No doubt many of your are mere hours away from seeing Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens, and a very good percentage of you have probably re-watched the the original 3 movies in preparation for this cinematic event. Of course that leaves a great many of us scrambling to find time to get a good solid recap in before the new movie and since Episode VII starts nationwide in just a few hours we don’t really have the time, now do we?
So, rather than blaming our poor time management skills (but seriously, we have to reevaluate how we spend our time,) we can breathe sigh of relief and bang out a full review of the only Star Wars movies that matter in a little more than 20 minutes thanks to the folks over at Bad Lip Reading. You can relive all the high points of the saga like Old Ben’s endless quest for the Pickaxe of Cortez, Vader’s surprise tear jerking emotional reveal at the end of Empire, and of course the songs… Oh all the songs. (more…)
Let’s be honest, Star Wars Episode VII really doesn’t need any advanced hype, the first three screening of the film at every theater are probably going to be sold out when this thing finally opens next December. More then that, I’ll bet there are people at Disney banking in the idea that this thing is going to steal the all-time box office crown from James Cameron’s Avatar. Not that they’ll say that in public, of course, but between Avengers: Age of Ultron and Episode VII, I think there are a lot of Walt Disney Company executives betting on great big bonuses in 2016. So when a member of the original cast of Star Wars implies that Episode VII is going to be better than any Star Wars that’s come before, you better believe everyone’s going to listen. (more…)
Thanks to some good folks out there on the Internetz, this vintage and rather goofy-looking trailer for The Empire Strikes Back has come to our attention. Enjoy the power of 80’s graphic technology and editing with this blast from the past: (more…)
I don’t think there’s been this much rumor mongering about Star Warssince 1996, but here we go: Another day/another day of Star Wars Rumor Control.
First up, one Lawrence Kasdan. Already in the Jedi Knight Hall of Fame for penning the screenplays to The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Kasdan is now writing the scripts with Simon Kinberg for the proposed spin-off films that will compliment the new sequel trilogy directed by J.J. Abrams. Over the weekend, the L.A. Times (via /Film) caught up with Kasdan at the Final Draft Hall of Fame ceremony and asked him about what might be in the cooker for the new films.
And while, of course, Kasdan offered no specific details, he did signal some broad strokes he and Kinberg maybe considering for their end of Star Wars Universe’s future. Basically, Kasdan says that he’s not “focusing on his previous scripts or on the extended Star Wars universe” in writing the new films.
“I’m trying to start fresh,” he says. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.”
There’s a couple of ways to take that: are they going to create entire new characters to base their stories around as opposed to telling the adventures of Yoda, young Han Solo, or Boba Fett as previously reported? Are they going for a completely new style of storytelling? Less pulpy and maybe more Merchant-Ivory, for example? Still, Kasdan, like everybody, has his own ideas about where Star Wars went off the tracks since the last time he worked on the films.
“The ones I worked on were a long time ago, and they had a slightly different feeling than the ones that followed,” he explains. “The first three, ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Empire’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ are all sort of more about people than the ones that followed.”
He has a point. So what will the next Wars look like without George Lucas‘ input? “George sort of brought me into this part of it, and he’s stepping back from the company,” Kasdan says. “He’s sort of given his blessing to everybody, and he’ll be there if you need him. I think everyone’s interested to see where this can go. It’s been some very different places over 30 years …. I think with J.J., we’ll get something entirely new.”
Meanwhile, if your looking towards the future of Star Wars gaming there’s some news on that front too. Obsidian Entertainment, the producers behind Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II – The Sith Lords, have in the works plans for an entirely new Star Wars game they swear will be epic – if only they can get the green light from Disney.
Welcome to the legal fog bank that a lot of Star Wars licenses now find themselves in. Disney now owns Star Wars, so any deals that Lucasfilm made independently prior to the purchase with either run out their contracts or have to negotiate again from scratch with Disney.
Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart recently talked to Rock Paper Shotgun (via Blastr) about what their plans for this new game involved, including the time period:
“There’s a lot of different eras in Star Wars, and that’s what we would focus on. We pitched a between-Episode III and Episode IV game [to LucasArts]. Because we think that timeframe is super interesting. It’s the fall of the Republic, the extermination of the Jedi, it’s Obi-Wan going off and making sure Luke is OK. You have the Sith, but you have the extermination of all Force users except for very, very few.
So it was an interesting time to set a game, and you know, Chris Avellone came up with a really cool story. We also latched onto it because it has elements people remember, but not the stories. It can just completely not involve [the movies]. It can tease them, but nothing else.”
LucasArts was hooked at the time, but in the here and now, Urquhart says that he’ll have to go back and pitch Disney on the project, if they can get their foot in the door…
“It’s something we’re still hoping for, even with the Disney/Lucas stuff going on. It changes things a lot, but you know, we’re gonna push on it. I would say it’s within the top three pitches we’ve ever come up with. We really worked on it hard and distilled it down to these eight or ten pages that really sold the story and characters. Then we sold it off to LucasArts and got a call back later that day. They were like, ‘This seems really cool. We want to talk to you guys, like, tomorrow about it.’”
“We haven’t [talked with Disney yet]. We’re kind of waiting for the smoke to clear. But that’s one of my next big things to do. To kind of go over there and [get the ball rolling again].”
It sounds like they’re really excited about it, so I hope that at least get the meeting. Time will tell, I guess, just how far those old relationships will extend between Lucasfilm and its former partners with Disney now in charge.
That Disney now controls Lucasfilm and thus the entirety of the Star Wars franchise is by no means news. In fact, this little development of the year 2012 may have been old news more than 30 years ago. If one takes a brief look at some of the background elements in the following collection of stills from Empire Strikes Back (1980), one can see what appears to be the surreptitiously placed head of the Mouse Overlord himself. Take a look and see what you think:
So, just a strange coincidence? Or a message from the past that Disney was destined to take over the franchise? Perhaps they are the ones who will bring (re-)balance to the force and make up for the sub-par Episodes I-III, just as the prophecy has foretold!
Well, we can always hope. In the meantime, keep watching the old films and finding more clues.
If you haven’t ever checked out Star Wars Uncut I urge you to give it a watch. The project is a recreation of Star Wars: A New Hope in 15 second segments filmed entirely by fans in any manner they choose: LEGO, live-action, action figures, animation, etc. It’s really a fascinating watch and is easily one of the best Star Wars fan projects around.
Now they’re back to take on The Empire Strikes Backand if you think you can create and contribute a scene in 30 days sign up to claim one. Act quickly, the best scenes are of course disappearing fast. Here’s their latest trailer,
As you probably noticed in the video I expect some of Empire‘s scene will have been filmed at Star Wars Celebration VI, making this Star Wars Uncut film something special. Are your planning to participate?
New York Toy Fair 2012 has come and gone. While we thought we featured everything in our NYTF: Toy, Toys and Oh Yeah, More Toys post, news is still coming out of the “Big Apple”. Hasbro has announced it’s line figurines, collectible items and game pieces for their upcoming Star Wars line. They presented a plethora of plastic fun things, which are representative of the original trilogy, prequel trilogy and the expanded universe. In other words, more Star Wars shit we can’t help but buy. As much as I hate putting more money in George Lucas’ pocket, I must own that Darth Star display with all the wee little figures (above).
Check out the full gallery of images (with shots supplied by Pietro Filipponi) and descriptions after the jump.
Hey, it’s Star Wars. “Shut up and take my money”, right? (more…)
Could the live action Star Wars: Underworld TV series be what we have been waiting for? Maybe, just we are going still be waiting awhile. Long time George Lucas cohort and producer Rick McCallum (the dude that gave us the underrated Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV show) recently dribbled out some information to Collider on the project that sounds promising. Ok, he called it ‘The Empire Strikes Back on steroids’. I know, but hear him out.
“Basically, it is like The Godfather; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s a group of underground bosses who live there and control drugs, prostitution.”
That. Sounds. Awesome.
Maybe I am just starved for good Star Wars, but what McCallum describes sounds very promising. With 50 scripts ready to roll it’s safe to say there is a strong vision of what the show will be, and in his words, it will be darker.
“It’s much darker [than the movies]. It’s a much more adult series. I think, thematically, in terms of characters and what they go through, it will be…if we can ever get it together and George really wants to pursue it, it’ll be the most awesome part of the whole franchise, personally…It’s Empire Strikes Back on steroids.”
McCallum says the show was envisioned as a Sci-fi Deadwood from the start. So… does that mean f-bombs and savage beatings? Not quite.
“Obviously, we changed it for where we couldn’t go in terms of language. It was to be serious performances, very complicated relationships, unbelievable issues of power and corruption, greed, vanity, pride, ego manifesting itself at levels that only equal the world that we live in now, but, as I said, on steroids.”
Alright. I’m sold. When does it come out? I want to set my Tivo now.
“This is the best way to put it into perspective: we did Episode III—which is one of the larger of all the Star Wars films in relation to set construction, visual effects, the amount of visual effects and everything else—and that was made for $100 million which was unheard of even five years ago, because had it been made by any studio or anywhere in the United States it would have been easily double that price. So imagine an hour’s episode with more digital animation and more visual effects and more complicated in terms of set design and costume design than a two-hour movie that takes us three years to make, and we have to do that every week and we only have $5 million to do it. That’s our challenge.”
Hang on, ‘a challenge?’ This sounds a little more that just a challenge, can you even do this on a TV budget? That is a lot of digital work to pack on to the small screen, and McCallum was just starting to describe the assload of work involved.
“[George has] come up with so many extraordinary digital characters that are onscreen for 30-40 minutes. Most people who love movies and kind of understand the process realize that if you do a character like Gollum or Jar Jar or any major digital character, that costs twice as much as having Tom Cruise in a movie. You get 150 people working for two years on a 40 minute performance and they all make serious money, you just add it up; that’s gonna be a serious $20-30 million character. That’s our problem, how do we get that down?”
Sounds really time consuming and expensive, right? Almost to much for TV. Well, McCallum isn’t done yet.
“[With] digital 3D matte paintings, how do we cut the time from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 days? On a television budget, on television screens it doesn’t have to be film res, but each one of these are major challenges for us. How do we get virtual set software? Because we can’t build any of this stuff. I mean we could do it if we did it in a traditional format where we have one set with all the characters, but George doesn’t work that way. We have 40-50 set pieces per hour, every minute and a half to two minutes there’s another set. Well we can’t build that and do that every week, that’s virtually impossible, so we have to come up with virtual set software and an environment that allows us to be able to do that on blue and green screen and be able to turn those backgrounds around really, really fast. We’re getting there, but it’s not perfect yet and it’s still too expensive.”
Come on man, give us something to go on here. I want this TV show, I want this TV show now.
“It’s not a challenge that I think can be dealt with in the next year or two years, I think it’s gonna be a little bit more longer term goal.”
Damn it and damn you. The first Star Wars related production I have been excited about in decades and it’s still so far out of reach. At the very least we can see that they are working on an incredibly ambitious TV show here, maybe the most ambitious ever and something that could quite possibly be the Star Wars we’ve been waiting for.
Remember the first time you saw the scene above? This NerdBastard was 15 years old, at an Army theater in Stuttgart Germany. My mother, a couple of her friends, and their kids went to the movie. I’m pretty sure it was the first time my mother heard me say out loud, “Son of a bitch.” She was so cool that she corrected me saying, “Son of an evil Bastard.”
YouTube user Bashthemonkey decided to capture this moment and the reaction of his 4 year old Faris on video. This NerdBastard is predicting that Faris will be liked by the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads – they will all adore him. They’ll think he’s a righteous dude.
Star Wars is just one of those movies that fan go crazy for. They love merchandise, products, art, and more.
The latest of these is by artist Szoki which takes a much different take on them than you usually find. He took the aspects of one of the most iconic characters from the movies, Princess Leia, and chronicled the passage of time in the movies via her different outfits. Also below are some very cool drawings of characters found within the Mos Eisley cantina, which you can see below the jump. For more awesome art, check out his portfolio website.