Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Star Wars. Show all posts

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Real Star Wars Holiday Special...






It looks like the Mouse is going to be giving us presents for years to come...

Maybe that post should say specials, as in plural.  Between the three episode films, which will now obviously be out in December and the two spinoff films which will most likely come out during the holidays as well, we will have at least five years of joyous Christmas gifts to open.  Essentially, five holiday specials over five years.  And thankfully, no sign of Bea Arthur anywhere.

Those of you hiding in a hole probably don't know about the recent announcement of the release date of "Episode VII" being December 18, 2015.  Now the three people that didn't know actually do.  I know that some of the hard-core purist will be upset that a May release date is not in the cards, but I prefer the film to be good and later, then bad and a slave to tradition.

The Lucasfilm Suits know that we don't want another disappointment like we got when the Prequels debuted.  J.J. Abrams and his crew are working hard to make sure we get the film we deserve, not the one some fans fear.  Being as Abrams is a fan, we shouldn't have to worry as much. The absence of the Jedi Master will make sure the minds are not clouded in the creation of this new chapter in the galaxy.  No more Jar Jars, no Midi-chlorians, please.

Starting next year we'll be getting new content for the next six years. Star Wars Rebels will bridge us between this year and the 2015 debut of the Sequel Trilogy.  I have a feeling after "Episode IX", they might take a breather, but there should be periodic films every two or three years from then on. Star Wars, specifically new Star Wars theatrical adventures should be a part of our future for decades to come. For fans of the series, and science fiction/science fantasy fans and geeks the world over it's great news.  Now if we can just get the Prequels released in a special edition that takes out all the bad parts.

Sadly, that would mean that "Episode I" wouldn't be very long...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Multiple Solos...





Yes, if it wasn't for rumors we would have no news at all...

Well, that's not entirely true.  We did have the announcement last week that Michael Arndt was moving on from his work on Star Wars and J.J. Abrams and OT scribe Lawrence Kasdan would do the heavy lifting the rest of the journey.  Now comes an interesting rumor about a certain space smuggler.

Jedi News is reporting that the deal to have Han Solo in the Sequel Trilogy has been finalized.  And by that, it would include more than just "Episode VII".  So the stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder could wind up being seen in the entire trilogy.  At least he'll be seen in "EpisodeVII" and "Episode VIII" if the rumors are to be believed.

From the Bothans I've talked to say that Ford was looking for finality to his character.  The resolution the actor wanted in "Return of the Jedi" appears to have been the price for his signing on.  Those of you that don't know what I'm talking about can simply Google it.  That said, I would have thought it only requires one film.  I guess they want to stretch the character out over a longer period.  Could this be the reason for Abrams and Kasdan's taking control of the current/final drafts?

It was also noted that the actor wanted a guarantee of "Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Platinum Wheelchair".  The article says he didn't achieve that.  This doesn't mean I'm against another Man in Hat film, it just means after the last adventure I'm a little worried about seeing an aging archeologists and his unconvincing spawn of a Mutt.  How about a prequel to Crystal Skull so as to not have to deal with that?

But I'm looking forward to seeing the Millenium Falcon's owner again...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Few Months Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away...




So the earth shattering news is that "Episode VII" moves quietly forward...

It appears that after almost a year working on the next Star Wars, Michael Arndt is stepping away.  J.J. Abrams and veteran Lucas collaborator, Lawrence Kasdan are taking over screenwriting duties.  Some will take this as a sign of doom while I take it as just building on what has already been constructed.  Remember that Leigh Brackett's script was tossed out and Kasdan was brought in to fashion the best chapter of the series.  That is another reason I'm not worried.  This man wrote "The Empire Strikes Back" and the Greatest Film of All Time.

Here's the official press release from the Mouse's Lucasfilm division:


MASTER FILMMAKING TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
As Episode VII continues pre-production, Lawrence Kasdan and director J.J. Abrams have assumed screenwriting duties for the film. Kasdan, who has been serving as a consultant on the film, is a veteran of several classic Lucasfilm productions, writing the screenplay for Raiders of the Lost Ark and serving as co-screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Acclaimed director and screenwriter Abrams’ credits include Super 8Mission: Impossible IIIFringe, and Lost. 
“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” states Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”

Location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway on Episode VII. A team of gifted artists are working to bring the latest installment of the Star Wars saga, including director of photography Dan Mindel (Mission: Impossible IIIStar TrekStar Trek Into Darkness), production designers Rick Carter (LincolnAvatarForrest Gump) and Darren Gilford (OblivionTRON: Legacy), costume designer Michael Kaplan (Star Trek Into DarknessMission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolFight Club),special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (Skyfall,The Dark Knight RisesInception), sound designer Ben Burtt (LincolnWall-EStar Wars: Episodes I-VI), re-recording mixer Gary Rydstrom (Jurassic ParkSaving Private RyanToy StoryMission: Impossible -Ghost Protocol), supervising sound editor Matthew Wood (Star Trek Into DarknessThe MasterThere Will Be Blood) of Skywalker Sound, and visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett (Star Trek Into DarknessPirates of the Caribbean: At World’s EndStar Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith) of Industrial Light & Magic. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible – Ghost ProtocolJack RyanStar Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin,War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII. 
Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release.


Of course, this delay could mean the release date will change to the holidays meaning that light sabers will likely battle big blue smurfs (possibly Episode VIII at least).  Which doesn't bother me at all.  I care that that get the story right.  If it's December instead of May, I'm happy with that.

It'll be a really wonderful Christmas gift...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Star Wars: Return Of The Subtitle's Revenge...




     





There are so many things Star Wars fans are wondering about Episode VII...

Right now I think the most obvious question on fans mind's is what will it be called?  We had a rumor a few weeks ago that it might be "A New Dawn".  Now comes a rumor from Latino Review that George Lucas had two working titles before he sold it to the Mouse.


Return of the Sith

Rise of the Jedi


Kind of on the nose don't you think?  I mean, it would seem in line with what direction we expect the story to head, but could these really be the actual ones?  I doubt it.  It's not that some of the actual titles don't sound cheesy.  Phantom Menace?  Attack of the Clones?

To be fair, Star Wars is inspired by the old Flash Gordon serials and serials in general.  And many of these weekly chapters has corny titles.  So they might turn out to be correct.  But I wondered what other titles could be used?  What would I use? What would you title it?  Here are just a few cheesy titles I came up with.


A New Empire Rises

Dawn of the Republic

The Dark Encircling

A Galaxy in Peril

Battle for the Republic

The Chaos Factor

War of the Sith


Feel free to leave your own subtitle, it can't be any stranger than what is out there...


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Rebellion's Dawn...




So we now have our first look at this nasty Rebel Alliance...

By now I'm sure you've seen Lucasfilm's teaser(really a micro-teaser) for "Star Wars Rebels" that'll premiere on the Mouse's Disney Channel next fall.  Hopefully most fans won't be disappointed in its shortness. You have to remember that this thing is just being animated right now and not much is in a fished enough state to show.

We probably won't get a decent trailer showing the narrative until the beginning of the new year since there is so much to animate.  It doesn't mean that we won't get news. In fact, I think will be seeing artwork and character designs before you know it.  I've heard impressive things about the designs of the show.  Really looking forward to watching it unfold piece by piece, rebel by rebel, ship by ship.

The Force is strong with this one…

Monday, September 30, 2013

Echoes From Echo Base...










The success of ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.IE.L.D." seems to be rubbing off on the Mouse

While the show had an impressive debut, resulting in the largest audience for a drama in four years, the network and studio seem to be wanting to generate more internal content from all these acquisitions.  Remember that there was talk of a "Star Wars" television show for many years, and it was supposed to be a more mature take, a sort of "Sopranos" version of a galaxy far, far away reportedly titled: "Star Wars: Underworld".  But George Lucas and Rick McCallum squashed those fantasies with the reality of how much it would cost to make each episode (up to five million per episode).  Now with Disney's money behind it, many have hoped that those adventures might happen again.

From what I hear behind-the-scenes, Bothans are telling me that this is a good possibility. Although, it might not be the dark brooding adventure that was described. There is talk going on, but nothing definite yet as to what a new series could entail.  In fact, it may not even happen in the time it was originally set.  Again, preliminary talks are still going on so many things could change but right now there's a debate as to whether or not a television show would take place in between the Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy, or should they go forward with a series that's between the Original Trilogy and the Sequel Trilogy.  This way they could play on the new mythos this new trilogy is creating.

Really right now it's just batting ideas around and seeing which ones work and which ones they want to pitch to the network.

They might still go with the "Deadwood in space" themed setting, but being as it would be on ABC it is unlikely that Disney would want it to be that dark. Not that they would want it to be for the little ones only, they just have a brand to protect and don't want to go too far outside it (it's a four billion dollar investment after all).  Kind of like a television version of in the movies Disney really doesn't want to go beyond PG-13 (R's are out of the question as it's kind of a family company).  But the narratives being discussed right now go back between making a series out of the stories they originally got written which will be set at the dawn of the Empire, or creating a whole new set of adventures after the destruction of the Galactic Empire set at the dawn of the New Republic.

Alan Horn and Bob Iger will likely weigh on on this but it will all be up to the decision of Kathleen Kennedy as to what direction they decide to go.  ABC wants to work with Lucasfilm and has had preliminary discussions on creating a series for the Alphabet Network.  Nothing is likely to be done before next year since the "Star Wars Rebels" and the ramp up for "Episode VII".  But if the brainstorming leads to a story they want to present, things could move faster .  I believe that Kennedy already has a lot on her plate and wouldn't expect to hear anything about a live-action till 2014 at the earliest.  In fact, I believe they want to get the Sequel Trilogy going before setting too big a foundation in television.  But this is Hollywood.  This is the entertainment business and rules don't always apply.

Sometimes magic happens when you least expect it...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The New Emperor...








Take it with a huge grain of space smuggler's salt, but...

There is a rumor going throughout the Internet that J.J. Abrams is going to be much more involved in the lives if the Skywalkers than previously suspected.

It's a trap!

Well, possibly but it's a geeky rumor that could have lasting affects if true.  The news comes from Stat Wars Episode 7 News via Comic Book Movie and as of right now is just a new hope.  Yes, I went there.

So what is this news?

That J.J. Abrams could wind up being the Galactic Overlord, the creative advisor of all things Star Wars.  In a sense, what Joss Whedon is to Marvel, J.J. would be to Star Wars.  And not just the films, but television, books, comics, video games, merchandise, and Internet.  A position he doesn't hold in that other science fiction series he's trekking across.

What's this effect would have on his producing capacity over at Paramount, no one knows.  But it seems highly unlikely that he would have a very deep integral position with that franchise after the next film in the series.  Which is fine by me, were he to retain power over Wars and Trek it would be a little too much cross pollinating fot myself. now that's been proven you can go on without the original Kirk and Spock, finding another director/producer to take control of the series shouldn't be that difficult. Although I'm sure the fans will definitely weigh in on this.

But Abrams taking control of the creative aspects of the Star Wars universe, while allowing Kathleen Kennedy to retain the managerial part would be a fine set up for most Star Wars fans, I believe.  The Mouse has set up its divisions with strong executives to keep production going strong for years.

Alan Horn has Sean Bailey working on Walt Disney live action, over at animation he has Ed Catmull handling the business side and John Lasseter handling the creative.  At Marvel he has Kevin Feige doing the business side and Joss Whedon on the creative side.  And if this is true, Kennedy in charge of day to day management, while J.J. Keeps the Star Wars Universe turning.  After Episode VII, he'll probably step back into a producer role.  Like he did with "Mission: Impossible 3" when he stepped aside and let Brad Bird direct the next one.

Yes, I went there...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Episode Dux...











The Prequels were not the high point in the Star Wars universe...

"The Phantom Menace" was a highly anticipated film that wound up being a devastatingly bad start to a trip back into the Star Wars galaxy.  Many people have speculated about what went wrong and what could have been fixed and countless what if's.  One of the best Episode One "what if's" was by Belated Media.

Well, they're back with a continuation of those "what if's" on Episode Two, and just like their first one, they're spot on again.  It would have been great if a Suit or someone with his ear had the same taste as that guy.  And the bigger obstacle: getting George to listen.  The films we deserved, we might have actually seen.

Now, we dream and wait for their interpretation on Episode Three...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bird Watching...










So those rumors of J.J. Abrams leaving "Episode VII" circling about...

Alan Horn put an end to them at D23 Expo 2013 yesterday, unless he's not in the loop with the director.  Which I have to say is unlikely.  So, with JJ moving full steam ahead directing the latest episode, one has to wonder if they are moving ahead planning for who will direct the next one.  It is unlikely that Abrams will direct the rest of the series as it will keep him occupied for the rest of the decade were he to do so.  As much as a fan as he is, I don't expect him to want to be tied exclusively to nothing but Star Wars for that long a time.  I mean, look at what it has done to George.

So the question becomes who will direct Episode VIII?  My response would be the person I wanted to direct Episode VII.

Brad Bird.

Now I know it's early, but Kathleen Kennedy isn't going to want to wait too long before looking ahead to who will helm the franchise after the next film.  Unlike the original trilogy, or even the Prequel's where there were three years between each film, this new one will have a film out every other year.  This will mean that by the time EP7 is in post, they will have to be preparing the next film already.  Not long after the film is released they will be very close to starting production on the next one.  That is how tight the schedule will be.

And many like myself were hoping that Bird would get the nod, but as he has talked about in interviews, the director is too busy with his current project: "Tomorrowland".  That film comes out next year, and he will just so happen to be looking for his next project.  Hello luck, meet opportunity.  I hope that Horn and Kennedy are being proactive and focusing on the great chance they have here.  He's ripe for the picking.  Imagine the continuation of the new trilogy under his command?

It could be "The Empire Strikes Back" of this Postquel...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Star Wars 3 Battlefronts...









Yes, I know many were disappointed that Battlefront 3 won't be out till 2015…

And from what I hear it will look pretty impressive. But a little news to tide you over till then that just might make you a little happier, that game isn't the only one that Electronic Arts has planned for you.

In fact, they have a couple more plan for you.

They won't be released anytime soon, and they are in an embryonic stage at this time, but there are a total of three games in development at the gaming studio.  The plans are evolving and nothing is set in stone of course, but there are other games already on the fast track. one of them is a space action shooter, and you can guess what that would be about, and the other is currently being developed as a online role playing game.  Neither game is a continuation of any former series, at least as of right now.

So in addition to DICE's Battlefront game, two other development teams are fast at work to give you even more fun with the Force.  Well the details are scarce right now, but plans are for one of these titles to be released early 2016, or late 2016.  That could change, as videogame releases tend to be quite mercurial.  At this time neither game is definitively scheduled to be released before the other, but they are both actively being worked on by game planners and Suits at Lucasfilm.

Yes, even Kathleen Kennedy is providing input on some of these titles.  And I've heard that there is talk of the screenwriters helping out with suggestions as well.  It is unknown right now if J.J. Abrams will have any input, but with his micromanaging of all things Bad Robot it is likely.

It appears that the Force will be with us a lot more than just on the battlefront…

Saturday, July 27, 2013

News From The Rebellion...








So now we have a tiny bit more on the coming Force...

At the Star Wars Celebration in Europe, Executive Producer Dave Filoni gave the audience a tease of what to expect from "Star Wars Rebels" when it premiers next year.  That's the logo up above, and there were several other promising pieces that he showed as well. 

What was shown?

Quite a lot surprisingly, from a Rebel Alliance ship known as the Ghost that will play a prominent role in the film, to battles with Tie Fighters, a Star Destroyer, interior/exterior, to a stylize Storm Trooper were all seen by those attending.  

One thing they all shared in common: a heavily influenced style based on original Star Wars artist, Ralph MacQuarrie. And it was pretty cool to see this is going to be the stylized look of the show.  It appears that Filoni is trying to branch out from "The Clone Wars" and give the series it's own feeling and look in the expansive universe of this famous galaxy. 

Hopefully, the story/scripts will be as attractive as the art that was presented...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pulp Stars...





If you love sci-fi and pulp then Timothy Anderson should be on your dial...

We've posted some of his amazing work before when he did this to "Blade Runner" and other classic science fiction.  Now, he's taken the Star Wars trilogy and made prints of it that look like old pulp covers as well.  Take a look at his site where he has prints for sale.  I can't wait to see what he does next.

Maybe something on a long, lost Ark...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

ReTurning Thirty...












Thirty years ago today we were introduced to Ewoks...

And although it's the most flawed of the bunch, "Episode VI: Return of the Jedi" is still part of the Original Trilogy.  And it's far better than the Prequels.  There are moments of greatness in the film (The arrival of the Emperor, the duel with Vader.), but there are scenes of unnecessary repetitiveness (Another Death Star, really?  Ewok, instead of Wookies, really!? A final battle on the Moon of Endor instead of a full scale assault on Coruscant, really!!?).

But it also marked a closing.  There was no way of knowing if George Lucas would ever get around to making the original films he had told us about.  And sadly, when he did get around to them they never quite lived up to what we expected.  "Revenge of the Sith" almost rises to the quality of the original, but falls just short.  If they'd started out like that particular film and got better then most of of us wouldn't be complaining I'd like to think.

There have been a lot of changes to the film since then.  Most were done for the wrong reasons and we've been over those arguments before.  George could do with them what he wanted.  And now he's wanted to move beyond his creation, letting it live past him into a new future.

I'll still remember sitting in that darkened theater as a kid watching the opening scrawl come up and just felling giddy about the prospect of seeing another Star Wars film.  And then the sadness that it was all over when the credits starting rolling.  So even with all its bumps and warts Jedi still retains that innocence of the thosel films we watched as innocents.

You know, before the dark times...

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Geek Codex...













It's amazing how the past can sometimes take control of the present...

Or predict the future.  Because that's what happened between the 1930's to the 1950's.  Much of the literature or films of these decades greatly influenced what we go to the theaters to see, or what we turn on the television to watch.  Now, I'm talking specifically about a certain type of literature (pulp magazines & comics) and a certain kind of film (serials).

Don't think so?  Think again.

Imagine some of the biggest hits in the last two decades, or even three decades and what do you come up with?  Star Wars?  It's a Saturday morning serial, especially "The Empire Strikes Back", as it's a pure matinee picture.  Raiders of the Lost Ark?  It's cut from the mold of old serials like "Spy Smasher" or "Zorro's Black Whip" among others.  Even it has imitators like "The Mummy" that play into the serial/pulp vein of pictures.  What is Disney's big tent pole picture this summer?  "The Lone Ranger" which is based on pulp stories that turned into serials like "The Lone Ranger" and "The Lone Ranger Rides Again" to the classic television series.

And then there are the pulp stories like "Doc Savage" that is walking right out of a tattered, old pulp magazine.  There have been some abortive attempts like "The Shadow" which has the correct look, but the wrong feel for the character.  And there have been efforts to bring him back, specifically, Sam Raimi a few years back before he got "Spider-Man" off the ground.  Disney's own "John Carter of Mars", which sadly didn't connect properly with audiences, comes from the Edgar Rice Burroughs stories printed in these old pulps.  Most people like to make fun of this that have never read the novels, or they simply forget because of Burroughs more famous pulp creation: Tarzan.

And comic books seem to be the biggest beneficiary of this resurgence.  There have been bad attempts at this over the decades, but around the end of the last century we started getting films that tapped the right fan artery.  Part of this was because Suit in charge were beginning to be the generation that read these comics so the stories were more authentic, and second, the introduction of computer graphics made it possible to create believable worlds; something that wasn't achievable a decade earlier.  A film of the Justice League or Avengers a couple of decades ago would have looked horrible, but with the help of CG and a script by Joss Whedon, look at what can be achieved?  A Justice League picture right now sounds like a monster waiting to be unleashed, not a film to be humiliatingly tucked away in a vault.

But a great deal of what you see on the silver screen today has been born from the DNA of these mediums.  And we're beginning o see more and more of them.  Expect if Doc Savage succeeds for The Shadow to be quickly green lit into production.  Studio Suits will go mining the pages of dingy pulps looking for the next character that they can exploit.  Something like The Spider could be the next one to go, or a less known pulp hero like Operator 5 or Secret Agent X.  If Warner Bros. wants to get on the band wagon, all they have to do is look through their DC Comics characters for "Spy Smasher", a little character they bought from Whiz Comics years ago.  He's the star of an incredibly entertaining serial by the same name that is utterly dear to me.

Not everything will be a hit.  For every Star Wars, there is a "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" that doesn't perform.  Or a "Rocketeer" that disappoints.  But even that film has developed a growing following as it's gotten older.  It's aged like wine to the point where the Mouse is thinking of rebooting it for the next generation.  Everything old is new again, or can be.  If you were a fan of "The Clone Wars" then you might not know that you were watching a serial.  Everything about that show flows back to the old Flash Gordon serials, from the action to the opening exposition setting up what's to come.

Yes, pulp/serials/comics changed the world.  At least the one we pay money for a ticket to see.  They take us away from the boring, drab world we live in to take us to a world where good will win, and it will do so with style and presence.  It's a place where danger lurks around every corner, but fun pervades every bit of atmosphere.  Within this world we can escape the lives we live, to experience something missing from our day to day journeys.

Now sit back in your chair at that theater and watch these old tales live again...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Son Of Solo...









































Yes, I know we've had Star Wars casting rumors since last yesterday...

But has anyone thought to try and think of who Jonathan Rhys Meyers would be playing?  The most logical choice would be the offspring of Han and Leia.  So what we might have here is the son of the roguish space pirate.   Could this really be Chewie's godson?

It strange because I remember when "Mission: Impossible 3" came out reading an interview with Meyers where they asked him if there was any type of role he'd not like to play.  And he said science fiction, and then used a pejorative word regarding using the rest room to describe it.  I can't remember what article it was, but I clearly remember him saying it.

If this rumor is true, things have certainly changed.  Being offered a role in what could be the most widely anticipated film in a decade can have that effect on you.  Plus there is the prospect of working for his former director, J.J. Abrams.  Times change, taste change, people change.

Now we just have to find out if he's solo...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rebellion...








It seems that Star Wars fans have an answer as to what will follow "The Clone Wars" animated series...

Starting in the fall of 2014 "Star Wars Rebels" will debut on Disney XD.  It'll start out as a one hour special on The Disney Channel and then move over to XD after the roll out.  The great appeal of the show is that it will exist between the timelines of EP III and EP IV, meaning that we'll get a look that's more representative of the original trilogy.

The action-filled series is set between the events of Episode III and IV -- an era spanning almost two decades never-before explored on-screen.Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.

Even better is in an announcement video, Dave Filoni, who was the man behind the Clone Wars series will be in charge of this show.  He described the look as being something like computer representations of Ralph McQuarrie's pre-production paintings.  Now that would be awesome because his artwork looks likes the Star Wars universe, but slightly off.  If they're able to translate that look and feel into animation, it should appear stunning.

Filoni and Greg Weisman will executive produce the series along with Simon Kinberg, who will also be writing the pilot for the show in addition to the screenplay of his own Star Wars spin off.  This will go a long way toward restoring good will among the fans.  It also sets up the chance that we might see characters from the original trilogy in this one as well.  An older Obi-Wan, Yoda, or even Darth Vader in flowing black cape and all.

Just no kid Han Solo please...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Obi-yashi Maru...








































Ok, so J.J. Abrams "Star Trek" sequel has been released over the weekend...

And just like J.J., I've always been a Star Wars fan.  I enjoyed Star Trek, but never to the point where it compared to the passionate love I had for Star Wars.  Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were always more interesting that Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock to me.  Lightsabers and blasters were more fun than phasers and communicators when playing with my friends.  Of the films, I was very fond of  "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" than any other Trek film.  But overall, I was never as in to the worlds of the Federation than the worlds of the Galactic Empire.

J.J. Abrams felt this way too.  To be fair, he said "he didn't get Star Trek", which I don't agree with.  I got it. I just didn't get into it as much as normal Trek fans.  And when Abrams finally took on the job of rebooting the franchise, I think to get it, he had to be able to relate to it more like his love of Star Wars.  At its most basic core, Star Trek is science fiction and Star Wars is science fantasy.  Trek is owes a lot more to "2001" and Star Wars owes a lot more to "John Carter of Mars" and "Flash Gordon".  Gene Roddenberry's show was pitched as a western in space, but it's more of a field trip, while George Lucas' film feels like an adventure.

And when Abrams made the first Star Trek film he seemed to be injecting some of that.  No matter how he has tried to explain the differences in all his interviews during his publicity for the film, it feels that this is what he's subconsciously done.  Which bodes well for "Episode VII", but that's another story.  And there are many Trek fans that simply don't like what he's done.  He's departed from the core of what they enjoy about the series/films.  The closest Star Wars film to Trek is "The Phantom Menace" because it's a film that has more analytically droning on in political exposition than action.  It only becomes a Star Wars film in the end during the battle with Darth Maul.

But the new films are filled with adventure and pure spectacle.  There are a lot of people that will go into the theater that will leave upset.  Some for reasons of continuity with the original films/series, but several may come out shaking their heads at the number of unanswered questions as to how events in the films could/should have happened.  I found "Star Trek: Into Darkness" to be an absolutely entertaining film, but a much different Star Trek film than hardcore fans will be used to.  And one that some fans will hate because it departs so much from the mythology they've grown up with.  It takes to warp speed and jettisons the original canon in favor of a clean slate.  No stories are sacred here.  And Trekkers and Trekkies have a Star Wars fan at the helm.

J.J. seems to have thrown out the curiosity of the original in favor of the thrills of the reboot.  And for most people in those theaters it'll be enough.  Most may not have been born early enough to see the originals or next generation.  Many of them may have not even seen the original cast.  They may only know them from the vague pictures they've seen in magazines or the shuffle of films in their Netflix cue.

This Star Trek, unlike the ones before, has finally gone far, far away...


Thursday, May 16, 2013

2 Many Dreams...







If you remember, Brad Bird was always my first choice for the "Episode VII" directing gig...

The genius director talked with The Hollywood Report's Heat Vision for an interview where he addressed the chance to be behind the camera for the start of a new Star Wars film.  His response was layered in his passion for stories and his love of pursuing dreams:


I’ve known Kathy [Kennedy] for a while and I know George. And they did come to me. But the problem was, the schedule they had in mind made it impossible to do…unless I dropped Tomorrowland. And I was just really deeply into this film at that point. It’s easy to say, “Just put it on hold.” But you’re moving now; you don’t know if you’re going to be able to move later. Maybe it’s true of filmmakers like Cameron or Spielberg, but I have to act on momentum. We had reached a critical mass where it would’ve thrown the furniture around from the train stopping. I really want to see this movie. I love the Star Wars films, and I can’t wait to see what J.J. does, but it meant I’d have to shut down one dream to participate in another. I feel like [with Tomorrowland] we’re making something that’s really special and unique.


He also got asked about the chances for another "Incredibles" film.  He probable has been asked this more than any other question every time he sits down for an interview:


I have been thinking about it. People think that I have not been, but I have. Because I love those characters and love that world. I am stroking my chin and scratching my head. I have many, many elements that I think would work really well in another [Incredibles] film, and if I can get ‘em to click all together, I would probably wanna do that. I like the idea of moving a little more quickly in films. I’m looking for ways to accelerate the pace a little bit and figure out a way to keep creative control over these movies to a level where I’m comfortable with the end result but also speed them up a bit and make more of them. I have many different films I wanna make. It’s like a big airplane hangar and I have different projects on the floor; half-assembled in my brain. I’m interested in all of them. You kind of have to move on the ones people are willing to pay for and the ones you’re most excited about.


I believe when he's done with "Tomorrowland" he'll be perfectly timed to gear up for "Episode VIII" to start pre-production...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Execute Older 69...










Today The Beard is celebrating a birthday...

That's right the Master Jedi himself, George Lucas is celebrating being sixty-nine years old.  And he's finally moving on to do those things in life he's wanted to do, but a little something got in the way.  After creating the iconic filmography that has included "American Graffiti , "Indiana Jones", and of course, "Star Wars", the film maker has finally moved on to being a museum curator.

That said, he's left an incredible mark on American pop culture and even global film history.  Although his life will now pursue another course, his legacy will endure, and his creations will be timeless.  Many (myself included) may fault him for the fallacy that are the Prequels, but most directors, writers and producers would kill for a career so prolific upon the consciousness of mankind.

Happy Birthday, George...

Debating Myths...






















J.J. Abrams was on The Daily Show to talk about...

The difference between "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" mostly.  But he touched on filming, directing, all those series he produces and Jon Stewart as a Jedi.  Take a little time out of your day to reflect on those arguments you had in the sandbox with the other guy.  Which is better, who would win in a fight, Uhura or Princess Leia.

Here is the conversation: Part One which focuses on the debate, and Part Two which focuses on most everything else.

Enjoy...