Showing all posts tagged: Star Wars

The Acolyte, a new addition to the ever expanding Star Wars universe

28 March 2024

The great thing about the Star Wars universe is the way it can move up down left right forwards and backwards. Like any good fiction franchise, the potential to create new stories, new universes within a universe even, are virtually limitless. This even though I’m way behind on anything Star Wars beyond most of the movies (mainly the Skywalker Saga films) released to date.

But since Disney bought the Star Wars franchise from creator George Lucas, it has been in overdrive expanding exponentially. The Acolyte is the latest offering from this exponentially expanding universe, and is set about one hundred years before events of The Phantom Menace, in what is referred to as the High Republic era.

The trailer looks impressive, and the new show begins streaming on Tuesday 4 June 2024.


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Lando Calrissian story now to be told as a film, not a TV series

16 September 2023

The Star Wars origin stories keep a coming. Lando Calrissian, one timer owner of the Millennium Falcon, apparent scoundrel, administrator of Cloud City, and later a general in the Rebel Alliance, is set to feature in his own big screen production.

A Calrissian backstory has been on the cards for some time, but was originally to be the subject of a TV series. Last Thursday however, news broke that series producers, Disney+, had decided to opt for a movie instead. Donald Glover, who portrayed a younger Calrissian in the 2016 Star Wars film Solo: A Star Wars Story, will reprise his role in the proposed feature length origin story, which at this stage appears to be simply titled Lando.

But if producers feel a Calrissian origin story is necessary, let’s hope they get it right. Solo, starring Alden Ehrenreich in the titular role, was underwhelming. To say the least. Han Solo is a character who works best as a happy-go-lucky, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants enigma, of a, well, scoundrel, one of whom we knew little about, a point reiterated by Ben Sherlock, writing for Game Rant, in 2021:

Han’s introduction in the shadiest corner booth of Mos Eisley Cantina in the original 1977 Star Wars movie already tells us everything we need to know about the character. He’s an intergalactic pirate and smuggler who’s only interested in money; his best friend (and, seemingly, only acquaintance in the galaxy) is a Wookiee named Chewbacca; and he’s the captain of the Millennium Falcon, the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

There’s a sea of characters in the Star Wars universe, many of whom are more deserving of origin stories. Take Wuher, owner of the infamous Mos Eisley Cantina, where we of course first met Solo. Wuher’s no ordinary guy working a bar though. His is a story that needs exploring, as I’ve said before.


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Daisy Ridley to return in one of three new Star Wars films

8 April 2023

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced three new Star Wars movies at Star Wars Celebration, currently taking place in London. One of the titles will see Daisy Ridley reprise the role of Rey, who featured prominently in episodes seven to nine, in a story that picks up fifteen years after events of The Rise of Skywalker:

The third film to be announced, a project to be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, has been known about for some time, but appears to have been dogged by changes of direction and staff departures. Obaid-Chinoy’s film will take place 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker and feature Daisy Ridley returning in the role of Rey; it will “tell the story of rebuilding the New Jedi Order and the powers that rise to tear it down”.

Sounds a little like post Return of the Jedi storylines that were plotted out in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU) back in the day. Now known as Star Wars Legends, the EU were imaginings of events in the Star Wars stories before, around, and more notably, after episode six.

Most of the main players in the original trilogy (episodes four to six) were part of these post Return of the Jedi EU stories. But episodes seven through nine saw many of them off, so obviously they will be absent. But who knows, maybe not. The Star Wars universe is full of ghosts. Let’s see what happens. And just maybe these new movies will be a little more engaging than the previous three. But again, let’s see what happens.


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Why so serious? The Star Wars movies are not exactly a joke

28 December 2022

American filmmaker Rian Johnson, who directed the 2017 Star Wars film The Last Jedi, the second instalment of the sequel trilogy, has defended his use of humour in the film, something fans of the long running space opera, have berated him for.

Humour, and a spattering of comedic scenes, says Johnson, are part and parcel of the Star Wars experience, considering the intent of the series was not serious:

“For me, everything in the movie is ‘Star Wars,’ and everything in the movie I can trace back to deeply, in a deep way, what ‘Star Wars’ is for me,” Johnson told GQ. “Everyone has a different take. I know there are ‘Star Wars’ fans who somehow think that ‘Star Wars’ was a serious thing, like the Batman movies or something. I was so young that when I watched ‘Empire Strikes Back,’ it had this deep, profound impact on me, because it was terrifying, because I was just young enough to not experience it as watching a ‘Star Wars’ movie, but to have it feel like too real.

If The Empire Strikes Back was anyone’s introduction to the franchise, I doubt they’d walk away from the film saying it wasn’t serious. Sure, the whole construct is science-fiction and fantasy, but Empire Strikes Back struck me as being nothing but serious. A New Hope, on the other hand, seemed like a more balanced film, even though a number of dark themes were present.

It was really Return of the Jedi, the concluding episode of the original trilogy, that introduced (at times) a less serious intent to the sci-fi saga. Ewoks, anyone?

Personally, of the sequel series movies, Last Jedi was the one I liked the most. The best of what was really a bad batch of films, to be precise. Even the prequel series, which had plenty of naysayers, held more allure.

Interestingly the Metascores — being an aggregate of ratings accorded, in this case, by film reviewers — give Last Jedi a score of 84. The first title in the sequel series, The Force Awakens received a rating of 80, while the truly awful (sorry) Rise of Skywalker scored a paltry 53.

In comparison, Empire Strikes Back — which many people consider to be the best of the Star Wars films — has a Metascore of 82. If we use Metascore as our go to metric to assess the Star Wars franchise, then Last Jedi outranks Empire Strikes Back. What’s happening there, then?

I know not everyone sees eye to eye with film critics, but if Last Jedi was as bad as people make it out to be, surely the title’s Metascore would have been far lower than that of Empire Strikes Back. And for anyone who’s curious, A New Hope — the first Star Wars movie screened in 1977 — scores a 90. Exactly right, if I may say so.


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Andor will take you back to the Star Wars you grew up with

24 September 2022

The trailer makes Andor, the latest Star Wars streaming series by Disney, look fascinating, but as we all know, trailers sometimes over-sell the story they’re promoting.

Set in the five year period prior to Rouge One, Andor however promises to take us back to the Star Wars we grew up with, says Michael Idato, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald.

At the centre of the series is Cassian Andor, and his involvement with the then fledgling rebellion against the Galactic Empire:

The “Andor” series will explore a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.

Andor has been screening since Wednesday 21 September 2022. Jack Seale, writing for The Guardian, describes it as the best Star Wars show since The Mandalorianonce it gets going:

In its third instalment, Andor finally becomes the gritty, kinetic spy thriller it has been billed as, after a surfeit of thoughtful world-building. Thankfully, somebody at Disney+ has their head screwed on, because Andor has debuted with a triple bill. Make it through that opening marathon and you have what’s shaping up to be the best Star Wars show since The Mandalorian.


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Star Wars Fan Film: A Blaster in the Right Hands

20 June 2022

A Blaster in the Right Hands, a Star Wars Fan Film, poster

Made in 2021, A Blaster in the Right Hands, a fan made Star Wars film, is a treat for admirers of bounty hunters in the long running film series. A Blaster in the Right Hands is the work of Australian filmmakers Lunacraft Productions, and was filmed, I believe, near the NSW town of Picton.


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Star Wars tops the ABC Classic soundtrack music poll

14 June 2022

The soundtrack for the Star Wars series of films, by American composer John Williams, has been voted the number one favourite by listeners of Australia’s ABC Classic, in their recent Classic 100 poll.

Despite spanning forty-odd years, Williams’s Star Wars scores are a coherent, singular musical project. ABC Classic’s Screen Sounds presenter Dan Golding described the music’s timeless appeal: “John Williams’s music emphasises what is emotionally familiar about this young boy who dreams of saving the galaxy. It is much more myth than metaphor, more Camelot than Brave New World.”

In addition to the Star Wars soundtrack, other works by Williams also featured in the top ten of the poll, including Schindler’s List, the Harry Potter films, and Jurassic Park.

While there’s only one hundred entries though, looking through the full list seems to reveal the presence of just about every known film or TV series. How can that be?


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Vale Colin Cantwell science fiction concept artist

27 May 2022

The late American concept artist, who died last week at the age of 90, was behind the concept and design of many of the vessels seen in the early Star Wars films.

His staggering number of designs and prototype models essentially formed the visual Star Wars starship lexicon, and include the X-wing, Y-wing (the first approved design, according to The Making of Star Wars), TIE fighter, Star Destroyer, Death Star, landspeeder, sandcrawler, and blockade runner (a design originally intended for the Millennium Falcon).


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Wuher: A Star Wars Story, and other films you may not live to see

18 November 2015

If a single movie, Rogue One, a Star Wars “spin off” story, slated for release in late 2016, can be spawned by way of a few words taken from the opening crawl of A New Hope, then imagine what else seen in the six films released to date, has the potential to inspire? A point that’s not lost on current series producers, the Walt Disney Company:

And if the people at the Walt Disney Company, which bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, have anything to say about it, the past four decades of Star Wars were merely prologue. They are making more. A lot more. The company intends to put out a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as people will buy tickets. Let me put it another way: If everything works out for Disney, and if you are (like me) old enough to have been conscious for the first Star Wars film, you will probably not live to see the last one. It’s the forever franchise.

I think Wuher, the gruff bartender in the canteen at Mos Eisley, is worthy of a film. In fact, I’m of the opinion that the significance of his role in the saga has been greatly understated so far. Read his profile. I think you’ll agree there’s far more to him than meets the eye.


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