Tag Archives: Star Wars

Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode IX!

It’s official. We reported that Abrams was the top choice to direct Star Wars: Episode IX a couple of years ago.

And then Colin Trevorrow was hired to direct the film. After a couple of years of pre-production on the film, Trevorrow was let go, leaving the director seat empty.

A few days later Lucasfilm announced that J.J. Abrams would return to the trilogy he started to helm the closing chapter of the new trilogy.

It all makes sense to me. Abrams is a steady hand at directing, his first Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, was very well received to the tune of $2 billion at the box office, introduced great new characters to the saga. It was both familiar and new, bringing new ideas to a universe that felt comfortable. The film could have very easily spent a lot of time with the old characters like Han, Luke and Leia, but it took some risks by not bringing in a single recognizable character for the first forty minutes of screen time. Not just that, but fan-favorite Luke Skywalker only briefly appears at the end without a word to say! To claim that the film took no risks is to forget about these very large ones. I would have appreciated another scene with Luke and Han sharing the screen together (and maybe it’ll happen with a surprise flashback scene at some point in The Last Jedi or Episode IX), but we’ll hopefully get a scene with Luke and Leia in The Last Jedi.

Before I can even speculate as to the content of Episode IX, I have to see The Last Jedi. That film is the mid-point that will catapult the cast toward whatever end the trilogy has in-store for us. Will The First Order be defeated? Will they win?

I say this as a fan of the saga and also as a business man…. the only way that smaller, independent or original (re: not sequels or remakes) are made are will the income that comes from the familiar. People buying tickets to Star Wars films in no way detracts from the creation of original films. It inspires the creation of original films. George Lucas was told “no” by nearly every studio in Hollywood until someone that had seen and enjoyed American Graffiti took a chance on it. Even Lucas’ friends thought he was crazy and that his idea wouldn’t work. It became the largest film franchise the world has ever seen, period. Avatar, Harry Potter, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tolkien… All of these put up a decent fight (save Avatar… that is still to be seen if 4 more movies will stand up to the weight of the first film). But Star Wars is a movie saga made for the whole family, and each film is an event. And the dollars that come in help Disney to be able to afford such films as Queen of Katwe, Up, Inside Out, etc. etc. etc. So let’s not lament that tentpole films exist, but celebrate that they do to help the studio continue to bring original IP to the silver screen. As a business man…. original IP is much more difficult to get moving than known quantities. I know from experience. We build a new IP this year and are having difficulties getting the sales up next to our existing IP. It’s not impossible, but it’s harder. It’s not wrong that our existing IP exists and will continue to do so (i.e. Star Wars) because that feeds the engine that makes the new IP possible. Without the existing IP, the new IP would not be possible. I used to believe that studios had run out of ideas, that only original films should ever be released, but now that I own a business of my own, I can see why things are the way they are.

And, for the record, just because we have an existing IP doesn’t mean that we don’t put the same amount of care into the product that we do with new IP. That would be ridiculous, because if we didn’t put the same care into each and every IP, then we would break the trust of our customers. I.E. Disney / Lucasfilm / Pixar etc…. they put the same amount of care into every film that they make… they’re not going to say “Star Wars prints money, so just slap the name onto a piece of junk.” They’re going to say “Star Wars prints money, but only as long as the fans trust us to do right by them, so let’s build their trust (The Force Awakens) and through some curveballs at them from time to time (Rogue One, Han Solo), so that we can properly bring them films that are a happy medium between the old and the new, with some of the best directors working today getting a chance to play in that sandbox. Rian Johnson got a chance, and now J.J. Abrams is getting another turn. I’ve also heard that Rian Johnson may have signed a contract to do two Star Wars films… the next one will, most likely, be a stand-alone Star Wars Story… like Rogue One, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, etc.

The reason that Colin Trevorrow was fired, I’ve heard, is because he started to get an ego that was hard to work with. He’d done quite well with Jurassic World, but then his next film bombed as he didn’t really listen to anyone’s suggestions (as this unnamed producer put it)… so you have to listen to the company and be willing to work with the studio, and not go off-script with your film. (Rian Johnson also said he wished he had more oversight than he did, which is ironic, considering everything that’s been said about him being “forced to make a movie that looks like the other films” in a 90 second teaser. When you’re writing chapter 8 of a 9 chapter book, the language has to be the same or the reader won’t know why it changed so much.)

#WheresRey? More like #WheresSabine! Star Wars Rebels’ Sabine Wren is the real problem

The problem with the #WheresRey campaign is that it was exceptionally misleading. I read that Rey was going to be more heavily included with series two of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys and action figures. In those articles, the writers stated incorrectly that this was the result of the #WheresRey protest and that Hasbro is “finally” making Rey toys. This isn’t in any way, shape, or form, true. The fact is: Series 1 included Rey. Anyone that tells you otherwise is frustrated that they didn’t find her at their local toy stores or toy sections before someone else did.

As a slight aside, I’ve been doing some thinking about the situation with the Millennium Falcon playset not including Rey. Oftentimes, toy companies will not include the same characters in multiple vehicle sets. They released Rey’s Speeder, and included her with that vehicle. If someone were to get both Rey’s Speeder and the Millennium Falcon, Hasbro can effectively save money by including Rey in one and not the other. That’s something that I remember happening a lot when I was a kid. I can’t recall any specific examples, but I do remember that happening. Plus, the fact that the vehicles come with action figures at all is something to be thankful for. The Ecto-1 from The Real Ghostbusters didn’t come with any.

Ecto-1

“The Real Ghostbusters Hero Action Figures Sold Separately” is printed right on the box.

So is it a problem that the Millennium Falcon playset comes with Finn and not Rey? No.. it also doesn’t come with Han Solo, and the ship belongs to him. Plus, Rey comes with her speeder, and Finn doesn’t come with a ship of his own.

On another note, many of the series two Rey action figures feature her carrying a weapon that we didn’t know she’d be carrying by the end of the movie. Much of the art features Finn carrying that weapon, including the poster! Makes sense that they’d hold those toys back.

Now, onto the very reason that I’m writing this article: Sabine Wren. She’s a mandalorian from Star Wars Rebels with a really cool costume. And yet, there have only been two toys made with Sabine included.

This:

Sabine Wren and Stormtrooper

This is supposed to retail for $9.99. I went to a dozen stores over many months and didn’t see her once, or I’d own it. The only places I ever saw this action figure set were the comic cons that I went to. The lowest price was at least double the MSRP. It would have been one thing if the action figure set was out of print at the time, and I didn’t have a chance of finding it, but at the time, it was supposed to be easy to find. My guess is that collectors snatched every one of her up as much as they could. I did find Hera on shelves a number of times, but never Sabine.

The only Sabine I do own is the Disney Infinity version.

Sabine Wren - Disney Infinity 3.0

StarWars.com took a vote late last year and Sabine came in second, so they’re going to make a Black Series action figure of Sabine Wren, which I hope to be able to find.

Now, here’s the real problem: they’ve released more Star Wars Rebels action figures alongside The Force Awakens action figures. They even come in the Force Awakens branded card-backs. But there is no Sabine.

Seriously. No Sabine. I’ve been looking for a Sabine for what seems like an eternity at this point. Where’s Sabine, Hasbro?

Rey has been available in stores since September 4th if you are lucky enough to run into her (which I have been a lot of times). Sabine? Not at all.

Watch 30+ Hours of Star Wars Celebration this Weekend!

Star Wars Celebration LiveStar Wars Celebration is happening starting this Thursday. It is kicking off with a Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel that may feature new footage from the film! It’s also possible that the trailer that is attached to Avengers: Age of Ultronwill be shown.

Here are the details:

For the first time ever, highlights and more than 30 hours of exclusive video content from Star Wars Celebration Anaheim will be officially live streamed to a worldwide community of fans on StarWars.com, all powered by Verizon.

Launching with a live stream of the highly-anticipated kickoff panel featuring Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy, the StarWars.com Celebration live stream powered by Verizon will continue providing coverage throughout the four-day event from a specially-designed Star Wars Cantina set located in the middle of the action on the convention floor.

Verizon and StarWars.com will deliver 30-plus hours of live streamed content following Thursday’s Celebration kickoff, featuring over a dozen panels and events, including discussions with actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, and several other performers associated with the Star Wars saga. Additionally, StarWars.com and Verizon will be live streaming the Star Wars Fan Film Awards; theSmuggler’s Bounty radio drama; EA’s new Battlefront videogame; and several other exclusive Celebration events that might otherwise be missed by members from Star Wars’ global fan community.

Between the live, on-stage events, StarWars.com will feature live interviews with celebrity guests within the Star Wars Cantina set specially built to capture the mood and atmosphere of the infamous Mos Eisley watering hole from A New Hope. These segments will have a fun, variety show flavor to them that brings a bit of the Star Wars Celebration vibe to those enjoying the event from afar.

Exclusive clips from throughout Star Wars Celebration event will also be available on demand from Verizon, allowing fans to celebrate Star Wars long after the live streams are over.

The live streaming begins at 10:00 a.m. PST, Thursday, April 16, on StarWars.com with the Celebration kickoff panel and continues with 30-plus hours of coverage through the closing ceremony on Sunday, April 19, beginning at 3:30 p.m. PST. Watch exclusive highlights and on-demand clips from Verizon on Twitter,@VerizonWireless, and at Facebook.com/Verizon.

J.J. Abrams talks Star Wars with MTV

J.J. Abrams
J.J. Abrams spoke with MTV about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Here are a couple of quotes.

“All I know is that it is, without question, an intense and terrifying prospect…The opportunity, I think, is greater than the fear, than the risk. I’m more excited about the work everyone has done on the movie and this incredible cast.”

“It was an amazing experience making this movie, I mean for everyone. There was a sort of weird buzz in the air when we were making this movie, but we were all aware how hard we had to work to make it something worthy of people’s time.”

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A mysterious figure as seen in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens

About that Lightsaber in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

A mysterious figure as seen in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A mysterious figure as seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

There’s a photo going around that people want me to share here, in the hopes that Abrams himself will see it. I doubt that Abrams even knows this website exists, but I’ll relent.

First, I will explain why I think there’s nothing wrong with the current Lightsaber, and then the problem with my thoughts on it.

The lightsaber has the cross beams, and people are saying “well that’s not going to stop any blade from sliding down and slicing through the hilt.” What if the material the hilt is made out of can stop the blade? It seems that it can focus the blade in whatever direction, so it stands to reason that it could also deflect the blade of another lightsaber.

Argument against? Other lightsabers have been sliced in two, including Darth Maul’s own double bladed lightsaber.

Argument for? According to super geeky source material, there are materials in the Star Wars universe that may deflect or even short-circuit a lightsaber blade. The substances are  phrikcortosis and Mandalorian iron. In fact, Emperor Palpatine’s own lightsaber was made of phrik, as described in the Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: The Visual Dictionary.

Therefore, the material the cross beam is made out of could very well be that same substance. Problem solved.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer Description

Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Teaser TrailerThe first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is imminent. Rumor has it that it will be showing up sooner than we think. Last weekend, John Williams may have even recorded new music specifically for the teaser.

And now there is a possible description for the teaser. Here’s what the report from Badass Digest says:

What’s it going to be like? If my sources are correct (and this is a big IF. These sources have been mighty reliable in the past, and if they’re wrong I believe they’re wrong honestly, i.e. they’re not b.s.ing me), it’ll be short. And when I say short, I mean one minute long. It’s going to have The Force Theme played on woodwinds, softly, over flashing images of the main leads, each fading to black. There’s no dialogue, just reveals of the characters. And then the music swells up into a full orchestral piece – perhaps what John Williams recorded this weekend? – and we hear a female voice, likely Daisy Ridley‘s, saying “Wake up.”

And then the title card appears – Star Wars: The Force Awakens – and we see the Millennium Falcon, firing blasters, coming right at the camera.

There are some other trailer descriptions out there, but as I’ve said before, if this turns out to be true, it’s only based on the teaser and not really spoiler material. I’m trying to keep myself spoiler-free for the movie as much as possible, only watching trailers and viewing official photos and posters released from LucasFilm/Disney.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Official Title for Episode VII

With the completion of principal photography on Star Wars: Episode VII comes the official title of the film.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

And for good measure, here’s a video of John Williams, the composer of all Star Wars live action films thus far, talking about working on The Force Awakens:


Interview: John Williams on Scoring Star Wars: Episode VII on Disney Video

Star Wars: Episode VII production ends! A letter to the cast and crew.

Star WarsRegardless of everything else that is coming to theaters in 2015, my most anticipated movie of the year is one that I never thought would happen: Star Wars: Episode VII. On Friday, October 31, production wrapped on the first film of the next generation of Star Wars films. Here’s a letter that came from J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy and a few others involved in the production:

To the Extraordinary Cast and Crew of Episode VII:

It is a true honor and absolute joy to come to set every day and work alongside each of you. Your professionalism, passion and patience is more deeply appreciated than we could ever express. From the deserts of Abu Dhabi, to the Forest of Dean, to the stages of Pinewood, you have risen to every challenge and been as wonderfully kind as you are brilliantly talented. Our ambition here is large, of course, and it must be: we are here to make a film that entertains millions of people, of all ages, for generations. To create an experience people will cherish watching as much as we will cherish having made it, together. How lovely it would be if you had, in addition to your name on the screen, some actual, real, tangible proof that you were part of it! Here, then, is that proof. Wear it well, wear it healthily, wear it proudly. But, mostly, thank you.

With love,

J.J. Abrams, et al.

Zack Snyder and J.J. Abrams having fun Star Wars & Justice League Mash-Up Twitter War

It started with Zack Snyder posting a photo of Superman dressed as a Jedi (but the red lightsaber makes him more like a Sith Lord).

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J.J. Abrams talks about Film vs. Digital

J.J. Abrams with X-Wing from Star Wars: Episode VIILately there have been multiple movie directors talking about the advantages of film over digital when it comes to film making. Abrams has used film on projects from Star Trek to Super 8, as well as Star Trek Into Darkness. Recently it seemed as if film was headed the way of the Dodo.

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