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Back in 2015, an elaborate fan theory from a Reddit user named “Lumpawarroo” began making the rounds with its initially risible, then increasingly convincing argument that Jar Jar Binks—the mocking manifestation of all your years of serious devotion to a fantasy for kids—was a secret Sith lord all along. The theory offers some surprisingly persuasive evidence for the goofball Gungan as a Force-wielding mole, whose seeming dumb luck on the battlefield, baffling political sway, and general, irritatingly illogical presence at so many pivotal moments in the saga wasn’t just a means of moving some Jar Jar toothbrushes, but rather, a tip-off that he was manipulating these events undetected—the true Phantom Menace of the title. It concludes by arguing that George Lucas, who repeatedly referred to Jar Jar as “the key to all of this,” even intended to reveal this in the prequels, but chickened out over »
- Sean O'Neal
This year’s Oscars has been hailed as more inclusive than previous awards shows. After two straight years of only recognizing white actors, seven of the 20 acting nominees this year are performers of color, tying a record. There are also a number of films, such as “Fences” and “Hidden Figures,” that deal with the African-American experience in this country, as well as pictures such as “Moonlight” that feature gay protagonists.
There’s one demographic that Oscar films have largely ignored, according to a new report by USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Researchers looked at the 25 best picture nominees from 2014, 2015, and 2016 and discovered that less than 12 percent of the 1,256 speaking or named characters were 60 years of age or older. That’s not reflective of the wider country where seniors make up 18.5 percent of the U.S.population, nor does it account for the fact that they make up 14 percent of film ticket buyers. »
- Brent Lang
Industrial Light and Magic is a VFX company that needs no introduction. Founded by George Lucas in ’75 – just prior to the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977 – the production house has since worked across iconic cinematic franchises, including Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and James Cameron’s Terminator series, to name but three.
Late last year, Ilm was tasked with bringing Gareth Edwards’ vision to life in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and thanks to an all-new VFX breakdown, you’ll be able to get a sense of how those jaw-dropping effects shots came to be. Though it’s made up mostly of many of the same interviews that dropped online prior to Rogue One‘s release in December, this new featurette arrives in good time for the 89th Academy Awards, where Edwards’ standalone pic is nominated in two categories: Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects. »
- Michael Briers
‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (Courtesy: Lucasfilm)
By: Carson Blackwelder
Star Wars is one of the biggest — if not the biggest — franchises in film history and they have certainly left their mark on the Academy Awards. One of the most consistent categories these space operas have popped up in throughout the years is the best visual effects category, with only one of the films not making the cut between the ceremonies of 1978 and 2017 to varying success. Let’s take a look back at how well the eight installments have done in terms of wowing us with optic splendor.
We have to start with the most recent, just for the sake that it’s currently in contention. That brings us to the Gareth Edwards-directed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which is nominated in for best visual effects alongside Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, and Kubo and the Two Strings. »
- Carson Blackwelder
Back in the early 1970s, while George Lucas was immortalizing the “cruising” culture of teens and their cars in “American Graffiti,” his future frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg was exploring a different kind. Nearly a decade before director William Friedkin created a scandal with the Al Pacino-starring “Cruising” (released 37 years ago today), the wunderkind filmmaker—who has won over generations of audiences by evoking a childlike sense of wonder—almost made his leap from TV to features with the most adult-themed project imaginable.
It all started with producer Philip D’Antoni, who had won an Oscar for the 1971 drug-bust saga “The French Connection” and was looking for a filmmaker to helm another New York City-set crime project. He had just bought the rights to the novel “Cruising,” written by The New York Times feature writer Gerald Walker, in which an undercover cop descends into the leather bars of Greenwich Village as he tracks a homosexual murderer. »
- Michael Gingold
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
This Past Weekend:
The Lego Batman Movie won the weekend as expected, but not with nearly as much money as I had predicted, not besting the opening of The Lego Movie as expected, but instead ending up with a reasonable and not so bad $53 million. Fifty Shades Darker proved that the audience for movies based on the popular books was still great enough for it to win Friday with $21 million (to Lego Batman’s $15 million) and end up second for the weekend with a strong $46.6 million. That was still almost $40 million less than the opening of the previous movie Fifty Shades of Grey, but the sequel also didn’t have the benefits of Valentine’s Day and a four-day holiday. Coming in »
- Edward Douglas
Right off the top, we need to make it very clear that this may not mean anything, but at the same time, this could also potentially be something for Star Wars fans to get excited about. But only maybe. Recently, an IMDb page for the proposed Star Wars: Underworld TV show wound up on Reddit and interestingly enough, it actually lists a premiere date for the series. So, is Lucasfilm actually planning on bringing Star Wars: Underworld to the small screen in 2018?
As many Star Wars fans may know, Star Wars: Underworld, a live-action series that would have taken place between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope, was originally conceived back in 2005 by George Lucas. But, the series was ultimately shelved for budgetary reasons. Now, the IMDb page for the series has a premiere date listed as December 15, 2018. On the one hand, »
Andrew Blair Feb 15, 2017
Readers of this site may have read last week's news that there's to be a new Star Wars spoof. This film comes from the team who brought us Date Movie, Epic Movie, and apparently something called The Starving Games which blissfully passed me by. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Selzer make relatively cheap movies that, despite critical maulings, tend to make money at the box office. When I worked at a cinema, an eleven year old boy went to see Meet The Spartans three times, proclaiming it the best film he had ever seen.
Lucas Films has confirmed that Jimmy Vee will be the man inside the droid as the Scottish-born actor assumes the role of R2D2 for the next chapter in the "Skywalker Saga", Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Vee has inherited the role in the wake of long-time Artoo actor Kenny Baker's passing. Those who keep their ears to the ground regarding Star War-related news will find this casting... Read More »
- Steve Seigh
Over the course of the Star Wars saga, viewers saw Princess Leia’s parents’ courtship, her eventual birth, her rise to power as a leader of the Rebel Alliance, and finally, in 2015’s The Force Awakens, her ascendence to General Leia Organa. Her character arc will continue in this year’s The Last Jedi, although exactly how remains unclear, given actress Carrie Fisher’s death in December. Disney has denied that it will be giving her the computer-animated uncanny valley treatment it employed in Rogue One.
Like all of the classic Star Wars characters, though, she remains both fascinating and mythic, and a new video exploring her “untold story” digs up a number of interesting details.
- Clayton Purdom
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to have worked alongside the legendary Kenny Baker,” Vee said in a statement released by the Oh So Small production agency. “Kenny was a fantastic actor and taught me all the ‘tricks’ on how he brought R2-D2 to life which I will continue to portray in his honor. I’m so excited to be a part of the Star Wars universe and can’t wait for everyone to see what we’ve been working so hard on for the last year.”
Baker died in August at the age of 81. He had played R2-D2 — which stands for Second Generation Robotic Droid Series-2 — in all the “Star Wars” movies since the original 1977 film “A New Hope,” in which George Lucas introduced the droid as a comic-relief »
- Dave McNary
Rob Leane Feb 17, 2017
The Star Wars galaxy may be far, far away, but you can build your own version with these awesome Lego sets...
Star Wars and Lego is partnership made in heaven. George Lucas’ much beloved galaxy doesn’t seem so far, far away when you can build it in miniature, and knock it down repeatedly if you so desire, within the comforts of your Earthly home.
Many a fan coveted a Death Star Lego kit in their youth, or a Millennium Falcon one, and the luckiest kids had their wishes come true.
Now that we’re allegedly all ‘grown ups’, you might want to buy a Lego Star Wars set for a little person in your life, or – if you’re anything like me – you might fancy buying one for yourself to right the wrongs of your own childhood.
Whatever your motivations, here are seventeen of best, and »
Nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be.
When the poster for American Graffiti (1973) asked the question “Where were you in ’62?” it was marketing a trend, spiked by the increasing popularity of the theatrical musical Grease, for audiences of a certain age to look backward to a time when life wasn’t ostensibly so complicated, when your life was still out there waiting to be lived, to a time when America hadn’t yet “lost its innocence.” The demarcation point for that alleged loss is often assigned to the upheaval of grief and national confusion experienced in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, so it was no accident that the setting for American Graffiti’s night of cruising, romancing and soul-searching was placed a little over a year before that cataclysmic event. The interesting thing about Graffiti was the aggressiveness with which that »
- Dennis Cozzalio
The world of film-related books has been dominated by Star Wars for the last two years, and that’s not a bad thing. With insightful authors like Pablo Hidalgo and gorgeous efforts like Star Wars: Galactic Maps, there has never been a better time to be force-crazed. This month is no exception, but you’ll also find new releases about Hitchcock, the Marx Brothers, and even two involving X-Files prequels. Let’s start with a book that took on new relevance just weeks after its release.
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press)
Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist, a hilarious and touching look at her life as Star Wars icon Princess Leia, was a must-read even before the sudden, shocking passing of its author in December. It is even more poignant now. While the book earned pre-release buzz over its revelation of an on-set affair with Harrison Ford, »
- Christopher Schobert
Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson play star-crossed lovers in The Space Between Us, a sci-fi romance which, shockingly, is not an adaptation of a novel by Nicholas Sparks or Stephenie Meyer. It's still full of the sort of contrivances that usually get explained away by some well-read fan as being faithful to the source material, but it comes from an original screenplay. However, when you realise that the screenplay was written by Allan Loeb, author of last year's feel-bad turkey Collateral Beauty, you might start to understand why it's utter nonsense.
In the not-too-distant future, 16-year-old Gardner Elliot (Butterfield) is the first human born on Mars. Raised by scientists and kept secret from the people of Earth by aerospace CEO Nathaniel Shepard (Gary Oldman), Gardner rails against his sheltered life and longs to »
The dashing and clean-cut captain of Battlestar Galactica in the 70s TV series
In the rush to emulate the success of Star Wars, there were many imitations and rip-offs. The 1978 television series Battlestar Galactica was one of the most charming, thanks in no small part to the actor Richard Hatch, who has died aged 71 of pancreatic cancer. He was the dashing and clean-cut Captain Apollo, the show’s equivalent to Luke Skywalker, opposite the more roguish Han Solo figure, Lt Starbuck, played by Dirk Benedict. When Hatch first read the script, Apollo was named Skyler; other echoes of Star Wars were not so easily muted, however, and it was hardly surprising when 20th Century Fox, the studio behind George Lucas’s hit, sued Universal, the makers of Battlestar Galactica, citing 34 similarities between the two properties. The case was settled before reaching court in 1980, though by that point the series had already been cancelled. »
- Ryan Gilbey
Will Yoda show up in the second Star Wars Anthology movie centered on Han Solo? It's entirely possible. And a meeting between Yoda and Han Solo was already supposed to have happened. Now, some are speculating that a deleted scene from the original Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith script, which came very close to shooting, may find its way back into the Han Solo: A Star Wars Story opening prologue.
Jar Jar Binks, Midi-chlorian and the tortured 'Noooooo!' that Darth Vader moans at the end of Revenge of the Sith are the top three most hated things about the prequels. But there's one moment that fans don't even want to admit is real. Rather, they forget about it and pretend it never happened. That scene has Yoda calling Chewbacca an 'old friend'. Yes, Yoda and Chewbacca are besties, and they have been for years. And thanks to George Lucas, »
With the 40th anniversary of George Lucas’ Star Wars (or Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope as it’s now known) fast approaching, Hasbro has announced that it will be marking the occasion with a new series of 3.75 inch Black Series Titanium figures, featuring Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo.
As you can see from the above image, the diecast figures come with their own backdrop featuring either a scene from the movie or character artwork, as well as FX pieces for their signature weapons. Each figure will retail for $15.
See Also: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Previews exclusive Egg Attack Action Figures revealed
In addition to the new Titanium series, Hasbro will also be launching a 6-inch ‘Centrepiece’ line, which features various characters posing on a special stand, recreating key scenes from the movies. Here’s Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing »
- Gary Collinson
In this edition of Star Wars Bits: Mark Hamill sticks up for Jake Lloyd and George Lucas. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story may be hitting Blu-ray and DVD very soon. Star Wars: The Clone Wars is leaving Netflix. You can now dress like Jyn Erso for $450. Marvel’s new Darth Maul comic miniseries is […]
- Jacob Hall
“Star Wars” will soon be taken to another galaxy far, far away by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the duo known for the “Scary Movie” franchise and “Epic Movie.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, the two will write and direct a parody film titled, “Star Worlds Episode Xxxive=MC2: The Force Awakens The Last Jedi Who Went Rogue,” a spoof on the George Lucas-created universe.
No additional plot details or cast members were announced, but the film is expected to begin shooting in the fall.
“Jason and Aaron are a powerhouse duo who have proven time and time again that they are fully tapped into the what audiences love,” said Covert Media’s CEO Paul Hanson. “Their fearless take on pop culture has us beyond thrilled to tackle the world’s most popular franchise with the two of them leading us into a galaxy far, far away.”
- Liz Calvario
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