Archive for the Star Wars Category
The “Star Wars” Films… Plus “Star Wars The Force Awakens”… In Review
What Star Wars Means To Me; Many of you who’ve followed me for a bit, are probably aware that the Original “Star Wars” & “The Empire Strikes Back” were the reasons I became a Filmmaker.
And in December 11th, 2011 I did a piece on my Filmcraft Series about “The Empire Strikes Back” (Though it looks like since then many of the Videos I linked on that post have since been blocked… Disney perhaps)
In a nutshell, the most important things to me in Film, are Story/Story Scope, And Strong Characters/Character Development… Which was at the Core of the First Two “Star Wars”.
In fact Story and Characters are so important to me, that, that is probably why I began this Blog back at the end of 2011, so I might Write a few myself.
George Lucas; To me George Lucas epitomizes what it is to bring your Vision to life… And as it turned out, he’s a Pretty Brilliant Businessman, which doesn’t hurt, if you like to have a lot of Freedom on your Projects, which I do.
He’s one of my Heroes, along with the likes of Walt Disney (The man), Bruce Lee (The Legend), Captain America (Not the movie version, the Comic version), John Hughes (Director of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, And The Breakfast Club) & Gary Gygax (Creator and/or Co-Creator of Dungeons & Dragons).
The Original “Star Wars” was mind boggling for me, and game changing for the Film Industry. Great Story Scope (Starting on Chapter IV, Brilliant), Amazing Characters (Han Solo/The Rebellious Handsome Rogue & Darth Vader/The Best Villain Ever to make his way on Film were my favorites). And…
…”The Empire Strikes Back” was the Best Sequel ever made (Some may say God Father II Was, but I’d really need to watch those Films again to comment, lol).
For me the First Film was ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’s’ Film (Though many might say it was Luke’s Film), and “The Empire Strikes Back” was ‘Han Solo’s’ Film… His character was brilliant… I remember experiencing what felt like the Best Film ever watching it (Same feeling with the First), and then the ‘Cliffhanger’ Ending just pissing everyone off, lol
“Return Of The Jedi” – I loved the Scenes with Luke on the Deathstar with the Emperor & Darth Vader… Did not personally care for the Ewoks (But I was 14 Years Old, so… I think Lucas was aiming a bit younger, as I know many who loved them), and didn’t care for Endor in general. The Jaba stuff was alright… Also, ‘HATED’ the way Boba Fett Died… Terrible… So terrible. For me “Return Of The Jedi” was Luke’s Film, and he did a brilliant job.
“Phantom Menace” – For me this Film fell way short… I liked Liam and McGregor (Above) as Jedi’s, but couldn’t stand the kid that played Anikan. Natalie Portman was good, but none of it really grabbed me. Really didn’t like Jar Jar Binks (Like Ewoks, he made the Film too silly… But once again, I believe he was aimed at a younger Audience, I was 30, lol), but have come to find out that he’s some people’s favorite character. The one Scene that did, however, ‘feel’ like “Star Wars”, was the Fight Scene towards the end between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon & Darth Maul. Though many felt Darth Maul looked too Demonic (Not the fans, more likely some Parents And/Or Religious affiliates), I thought he represented ‘true’ Evil.
Overall, because Darth Vader is my Favorite all time Villian, and “Star Wars” Character, I just couldn’t stand what Lucas did with Anikan.
“Attack Of The Clones” – “Attack of the Clones” was Brilliant… Not the calibur of the Original Two Films, but a really Great Film. First of all, this was definitely ‘Obi-Wan’s’ Film… Starting with the scene where he and Anikan were guarding Padme, and he ‘Leaped!’ through the window Fearlessly (I knew then that Obi-Wan was the truest Jedi, more than even Luke), through to the scene where he confronts Jango Fett in the rain… Just Brilliant… Followed by that ‘Film Industry Changing’ space battle (Largely because of the Sound of Boba’s explosives from his ship)…
“Attack Of The Clones” was George Lucas’s way of saying #@@R@R YOU! To all the haters who slammed him for “Phantom Menace”…
I Loved “Attack Of The Clones”… Except… Anikan… As much as I thought that Actor was a good choice (Though I would have preferred Leonardo Dicaprio, lol)… I really felt that Anikan was a ‘whining’ wet rag… Sorry Haden, no offense… He just seemed like an annoying brat who was Hyper Active… Not the Future ‘Darth Vader’.
“Revenge Of The Sith” – “Revenge Of The Sith” for me was like an Opera… Or what you might refer to as George Lucas’s ‘Swan Song’ (In regards to “Star Wars” anyway), or Swan Song To date… This Film was a perfect piece (Not meaning it was a perfect Film, but perfect for what it was) to end Lucas’s Series of Six Films.
For me the ‘use of music’ and ‘cinematography’ in this Film were pretty much flawless… And though, once again, Anikan never reached the kind of level I felt that Character had potential to reach, I do feel that Hayden did a better job in this Film.
And, once again, it was confirmed in my mind, and heart, that Obi-Wan, not Luke Skywalker, is, and was the ‘Truest’ of Jedi’s… More than Yoda, who I enjoyed, but always found a bit ‘demented/sarcastic’, lol via his humor… And not Mace Windu, who was strong, but a bit ‘Righteous with a dash of Ego’…
Not Obi-Wan… His Ego was completely balanced… He was, and is the Light… And though Luke Skywalker may reach his pinnacle place as a Jedi in Episode VIII (In 2017), up to this point, he has not.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” In Review…
At last, my “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Review
Let me start by saying, I am most likely one of the only people who Loves “Star Wars”, and didn’t see this Film in the Theatre…
And I have to tell you, it Wrecked me…
But, due to some Personal Issues, I never quite made it (Everything is fine, don’t worry, just never made it)
That said, we purchased a Digital Copy of it the day it became available on Itunes, and watched it that very night… And I was blown away.
Let me also say, that during the time that the Film was out, it was staggering to me how the Fans seemed to create some sort of ‘pact’ not to divulge any of the secrets of the story on Social Media…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there were some things out there, but for the most part, I didn’t find out ‘anything’ on Twitter nor Facebook
Part of this may have been that Mark Hamil himself was Tweeting requesting people to not give anything away… A noble act, from a very cool guy
The Story; The story is a good one… (SPOILERS, don’t read on if you haven’t seen it, and don’t want to know things) First of all, Luke Skywalker has disappeared after working with new Jedi’s, only to have one of his pupils destroy everything. Brilliant.
And thus a search for Luke is underway… Why? Mainly because there is a new group called the First Order, who has brought the Dark Side back into play… In other words, World Domination is their initiative. This group is lead by some cool bad guys, who I won’t discuss much.
Next, a Storm Trooper decides, he can’t do the acts that the First Order wishes him to do, and thus, he switches sides to the good guys… Great concept.
And a young girl who seems to have natural abilities with the Force, but only begins to realize it, enters the Story. Girl, not a boy, which is a nice twist
I don’t want to say more than that, but all and all, lots of good Story to work with, and build upon for the next two chapters. Episode VIII & Episode IX.*
*Did I Mention Han Solo And Chewie Are Back?? Yeah, They Are, And They’re Great
The Characters; To my utter surprise, I Love the two new Main Characters in this Film… Especially Finn, but Rey is great too.
Finn (John Boyega); I was literally shocked how much I liked this character… But in truth, the majority credit likely belongs to the Actor, John Boyega. Not only is he a huge “Star Wars” Fan (Or so the Director says in the Behind The Scenes, the Enthusiasm was definitely there), but his Heart and Conviction in this Role, is staggering… Especially his heart, and interactions with, and about Rey.
Rey (Daisy Ridley); Rey literally never seems to stop running… But this is done in a cool way… She actually seems more like a ‘Character’ than a person… What I mean by that is, she really seems to exist in this world that Lucas & Abrams created… Hard to explain, but it was really great… You never questioned anything about her. You just watched as she moved her way through the story. She does remind me a bit of Keira Knightley in her look, and speech, but only partly… And it’s not a bad thing… The rest just seems like they did a good job finding someone for what would, or could be a difficult/pressure filled role.
Han & Chewie; Han & Chewie were back, and were just the same… Only Solo was a bit older, it didn’t cause a problem.
BB-8; Was great
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) & Kylo Ren (Adam Driver); Both Poe & Kylo were good, but I’d like to see them more developed. Kylo’s last Scene was probably his best, but the Voice they use through the Mask is great! Poe has promise, but once again, I’d really like to see him more developed.
Remaining Characters; The remaining characters were good, especially the use of the Storm Troopers throughout.
Directing; The Directing Baton has been passed from Lucas to J.J. Abrams, who I thought was a perfect choice (Since they didn’t ask me, lol). His work in “Super 8” (If you haven’t seen it, do… It’s a great homage to Steven Spielberg’s type of Directing… Who I believe Produced it), and the New “Star Trek” movies, is brilliant.
And with this Film, he completely brought back that old “Star Wars” feeling from the Original two Films.
Producing; After watching the Behind the Scenes Feature Length Documentary of the making of “The Force Awakens”, I have to say my hat is off to Kathleen Kennedy, who Lucas had handed off the running of Lucas Films a while back. She was the heart and soul of this project.
The Review; For me, this Film was Great! I highly recommend it… I immediately wanted to watch it a Second Time, which rarely happens.
The way it moves, the Characters, the Story, the Effects… All Brilliant.
Here are the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) Ratings for all of the “Star Wars” Films, and my Ratings of the same Films;
“Star Wars” – IMDB = 8.7 – Mine = 9.3 (Like nothing anyone has ever seen)
“The Empire Strikes Back” – IMDB = 8.8 – Mine = 9.4 (Strong Story… Strong Characters/Character Development… Amazing Setting. Everything that I love in a Film)
“Return Of The Jedi” – IMDB = 8.4 – Mine = 7.5 (Some good, some not… But still great concepts)
“Phantom Menace” – IMDB = 6.5 – Mine = 7 (Lack luster, with a few good things)
“Attack Of The Clones” – IMDB = 6.7 – Mine = 8.5 (Great… Action with Intelligence)
“Revenge Of The Sith” – IMDB = 7.6 – Mine = 8.4 (Dramatic)
“The Force Awakens” – IMDB = 8.3 – Mine = 8.8 (Refreshing… Action filled return to the Essence that is “Star Wars”)
Thanks For Reading/Listening
And “May the Force be with you…”
The second Death Star has been destroyed. Rumors are flying that the Emperor and his enforcer, Darth Vader, are dead. A new government is forming to replace the Empire. But the galaxy is a big place, and the fallout of this cataclysm will affect different worlds in different ways. Does everyone accept the fall of Imperial rule? Has everyone even heard the life-altering news? What rushes in to fill the vacuum the Empire has left? And who will try to stop them? Those are some of the themes we’ll be exploring in Aftermath, and as a lifelong Star Wars fan, just writing those words gives me chills. I can’t wait for our first canon glimpse into the state of the galaxy after the Battle of Endor.
What’s more, Aftermath will be the first book in a trilogy that begins to bridge the Star Wars timeline between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. There is so much unknown between the Battle of Endor and the events of The Force Awakens, and we’re excited to take our first step into that space.
Obviously I wish I could tell you more about the story, but I can’t just yet. What I can reveal is that you will be introduced to a sweeping new cast of characters, along with a fan favorite from the films. And who knows what other familiar faces will pop up along the way? And once you’ve seen The Force Awakens in movie theaters, you may find that certain names and places in Aftermath have a relevance you never knew–so keep your eyes wide open!
The one person more excited about Aftermath than the Del Rey team and I is Chuck Wendig! Chuck is a lifelong Star Wars fan himself, and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with him thus far. We asked Chuck to share a few words about being asked to write this novel, and here’s what he said: “My earliest — and still one of my best — movie-going experiences as a kid was being a four-year-old watching The Empire Strikes Back at a drive-in theater with my sister…My jaw dropped and I don’t think I’ve found it, yet. Those movies opened up a world for me, and my love of storytelling comes from them and from the galaxy of smaller, connected stories, too — from the toys to the games to the books. In fact, one of the first novels I ever read was the novelization of A New Hope. I have a son who will in a few short months be my age when I saw Empire, so to be involved with the Star Wars universe just as the new film is coming out — it feels like not only something akin to kismet, but a great and powerful privilege.”
Chuck isn’t the only one feeling the weight of that privilege. This is a story unlike any we’ve told before. And it all begins in just six short months! I hope you’ll eagerly await Aftermath‘s September release along with us until then. You can preorder your copy here.
In the meantime, stay tuned to starwars.com for other announcements about Aftermath and the rest of the Journey to The Force Awakens program! And if you’d like to learn more about Chuck, visit his site at terribleminds.com and say hi to him on Twitter at @ChuckWendig. May the Force be with us!
Jen Heddle is senior editor of Lucas Books.
A Bit about what we know about this New Upcoming Era of “Star Wars”…
A brave and clever ragtag starship crew stands up against the evil Empire as it tightens its grip on the galaxy and hunts down the last of the Jedi Knights.
I have not watched “Star Wars Rebels”, but it’s Rated a 7.9 out of 10 on IMDB
Which is pretty good
Lets see what Variety thinks (Original Article Posted Here)
TV Review: ‘Star Wars Rebels’
Star Wars Rebels TV Review Disney
September 29, 2014 | 07:30AM PT
TV Columnist @blowryontv
Perhaps the “Star Wars” franchise’s worst-kept secret during the second-trilogy era is that its best screen depictions have come via TV animation. Inaugurating the Disney-synergy juggernaut before director J.J. Abrams can get there, “Star Wars Rebels” continues this trend, offering a sly, stylish offshoot — introducing a new lineup of characters very much in the “Clone Wars” tradition — with scads of action, beautiful animation and fidelity to the original’s spirit. Premiering on Disney Channel with a one-hour launch subtitled “Spark of Rebellion” before settling in as a series on boy-oriented Disney XD, the Force is indeed strong with this one.
Set during the period after “Revenge of the Sith” and prior to the original “Star Wars” (a.k.a. “A New Hope”), “Rebels” essentially reboots the first movie, albeit with a new small band of rebels leading an incipient fight against Imperial forces. That begins with their introduction to Ezra (voiced by Taylor Gray), an inordinately resourceful teenage thief, taken in by Kanan (Freddie Prinze Jr.), his alien pilot Hera (Vanessa Marshall), warrior Sabine (Tiya Sircar) and the powerful Zeb (Steve Blum), a Wookiee-like creature, except he can articulate his bad attitude, which includes taking pleasure in knocking Stormtroopers’ helmeted heads together.
Ezra combines elements of Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, since he’s hostile to authority and risking his neck to help others, as well as young and hotheaded. The project also showcases a sensationally striking villain known as the Inquisitor, voiced with appropriate menace by Jason Isaacs.
Though not having access to many well-known “Star Wars” figures would seem to put “Rebels” at a disadvantage relative to “The Clone Wars” (also overseen by Dave Filoni, who shares exec producer credit with “X-Men” scribe Simon Kinberg and Greg Weisman), it actually proves oddly liberating — or at least, less confining than knowing the best they can do is fight Count Dooku to a draw. Part of that has to do with the way these dense half-hours are driven by action, which in the premiere includes a way-cool fight sequence in zero gravity, as well as the expected narrow escapes and — for those who haven’t read up on the show — one very clever twist.
“Rebels” also exhibits some genuine wit, such as a second-episode rumination about Yoda-speak that should put a smile on the face of anyone who can quote freely from “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Disney, naturally, has been eager to wring value out of its Lucasfilm acquisition, which along with Marvel infuses a powerful boy- and teen-oriented element into its marketing and merchandising apparatus, complementing all those princesses and faeries. In that respect, the Disney Channel-to-Disney 😄 baton pass represents a shrewd way of helping establish the series, given all the mileage Cartoon Network got out of “Clone Wars.”
Viewed through the lens of the Disney empire, “Star Wars Rebels” offers a reassuring reminder that there’s plenty of room to operate within George Lucas’ far, far away galaxy. And in terms of succeeding creatively, they haven’t just tried; done it, they have.
TV Review: ‘Star Wars Rebels’
(Series; Disney Channel, Fri. Oct. 3, 8 p.m.)
Produced by Lucasfilm Animation.
Executive producers, Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, Greg Weisman; supervising director, Filoni; producers, Kiri Hart, Athena Yvette Portillo; director, Filoni; writer, Weisman; editor, Joe Elwood; music, Kevin Kiner; original theme by John Williams. 60 MIN.
Voice cast: Taylor Gray, Vanessa Marshall, Freddie Prinze Jr., Tiya Sircar, Steve Blum, David Oyelowo, Jason Isaacs
RELEASE DATE 12/18/15
Which includes Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels from the Original Films
With J. J. Abrams at the helm Directing, I imagine it will be pretty good
Rogue One Is the First Star Wars Stand-Alone Film, Rian Johnson to Write and Direct Star Wars: Episode VIII
The title for director Gareth Edwards’ stand-alone movie, featuring actress Felicity Jones, is revealed, and Rian Johnson is confirmed for Star Wars: Episode VIII — coming to theaters May 26, 2017.*
*Rogue One Is Set For December 16th, 2016
As More Is Revealed I Shall Post It Forth