Del Rey’s Star Wars Books Facebook page posted that Star Wars Insider #146, due any time now in your mailboxes, will feature a Darth Maul short story by Joe Schreiber, author of the upcoming “Darth Maul: Lockdown.”
Another “quiet” scene brimming with brilliance is this one from AOTC. We see Yoda doing what he’s does best, training future Jedi. But instead of 20-something-year-old Luke Skywalker on some swamp planet, it’s a class full of cute Jedi kids on Coruscant. One gets the feeling that even with Yoda’s status on the Jedi Council and his abilities as a fighter, this is his element. He clearly enjoys being with the children, not only because they’re his height (ha!) but also because of their open minds, as we’ll see demonstrated after Obi-Wan enters the room.
Obi-Wan asks for Yoda’s help in trying to find Kamino, which we know has been erased from the galaxy’s map. Yoda’s line, “Lost a planet Master Obi-Wan has…how embarrassing, how embarrassing” as the kids giggle in the background is pure gold: it’s the mischievous Yoda seen in TESB. Why they didn’t make a bunch of t-shirts with that line is baffling to me. As they shut down the lights and Obi-Wan turns on the 3D map, enveloping the room with “stars,” it’s accompanied by John Williams’s hauntingly beautiful score. It gives the scene a mystical quality as Yoda and the younglings try to solve Obi-Wan’s mystery. Which they do thanks to the common sense displayed by one of the tykes. “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is,” Yoda says. A child who hasn’t yet adopted the feeling of invincibility his older Jedi counterparts take for granted. It’s what Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Mace Windu discussed at another point in the film about the Jedi becoming too arrogant and sure of themselves. It’s the librarian sniffing that if it’s not in the archive, it didn’t exist. Kids do have a very straightforward way of looking at things because it hasn’t been “educated” out of them yet. Lucas celebrates this simplicity with this scene.
In retrospect, the scene is poignant because we see in ROTS younglings just like them aren’t spared in the attack on the Jedi Temple.
The Emmy-winning yet-canceled Clone Wars Season 5 picked up a couple of nominations from the Annie Awards, which focuses on–you guessed it–animation. Clone Wars has been nominated in the past but hasn’t won. Better luck this time to Keith Kellogg for Character Animation and Jason W.A. Tucker for Editorial in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production.
As I shared on the SWPAS Facebook page a few days ago, Jedi News posted a rumor from a Dutch fan who dug around and found out that AOTC and ROTS 3D were set for releases in December 2014.
We know that AOTC’s 3D conversion was done, and who knows how far along ROTS was before the plug was pulled? (As far as anyone knows, no real work has been done yet on ANH, TESB, or ROTJ.) Has Disney changed its mind? Or are people having delusions of grandeur? We’ll just have to see. Meanwhile, here’s some follow up from Jedi News, posted today.
Hot Topic is running a promo this weekend with 25% off all orders plus free shipping on orders over $30. Take advantage to get this sweet new AOTC t-shirt for gals, new from Her Universe. Hot Topic is already selling it cheaper than HU (though you can get that free Darth Vader pin if you buy it from HU), plus you can also pick up these bobble heads, including Jar Jar and Queen Amidala.
Acme is running a promo where you can get art for 25% off until Monday, plus artist Jerry Vanderstelt is offering 15% off his works (including lots of beautiful Star Wars and LOTR pieces) through Monday.
There may be few if any updates over the coming week. I’m going out of town tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday and while I’ll have internet access, I will also be busy with relatives.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!
The scene where Anakin gathers his new friends–all of which play a part in his eventual fate–around the table with his mother is a quiet one with only Jar Jar as the “visual effect.” No big battles or swelling themes from John Williams. Yet it is this kind of scene that I think Lucas does extremely well, and he usually doesn’t get too much credit for it. It grounds his universe in a sense of normalcy, which serves to further flesh out the characters and make them more relatable, because they do something simple that all of us in the audience do all of the time.
Yet the simplicity belies the fact there is a lot happening in that scene. It establishes Anakin and Shmi as poor but generous people. Not even slavery is an excuse not to provide hospitality and kindness to others. It establishes Qui-Gon and Padmé as the kind of people who accept that hospitality without complaint; a queen and a Jedi based out of Coruscant have experienced a lot more posh settings than a backwater slave hovel.
The conversation is lightened up with the childlike Jar Jar greedily and obnoxiously slurping food off of the table and Qui-Gon grabbing his tongue, gently telling him not to do that again. He also kids with Anakin about the lightsaber Anakin had seen on Qui-Gon’s belt earlier. “No one can kill a Jedi,” Anakin says, his words heavy with irony because he’ll end up killing lots of them. It’s at this point Anakin’s destiny opens up for him. This is Anakin’s first contact with the Order that will become his life for the next decade or so and the means by which he will meet Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon then starts to realize this is more than just a nice kid, particularly when he offers his services as a novice pod racer to help his new friends get the parts they need for their ship. No human being has the reflexes to handle a pod racer, so it’s at this point Qui-Gon pays close attention to Anakin. Qui-Gon doesn’t seem to be too worried once Shmi gives the okay, in spite of Padmé’s misgivings.
The conversation also raises the stakes for the pod race. More than parts are at stake in the race; Anakin’s freedom is at well since the scene establishes why Anakin and Shmi don’t just run away.
I thought the rhythm of the scene worked really well, with the actors playing nicely off of each other. It’s not overacted and it’s very naturalistic.
A group of lucky Polish fans went to a con and got some details on what was supposed to be the sixth season of Clone Wars: called “The Lost Missions,” they will air next year on Disney XD, at least it will in Poland.
What’s interesting is they were told it was going to be 10 episodes. Pablo Hidalgo tweeted that number seemed too low. So more than 10 episodes? What gives?
Read it all at The Star Wars Underworld and see for yourself.
Star Wars Books posted an excerpt from “Darth Maul: Lockdown.” Our old buddy Darth Plagueis is back!
“This Radique,” Plagueis continued on in the same conversational tone as he gazed out the window at the approaching Avenue of the Core Founders, “is rumored to be one of the most powerful arms dealers in the galaxy?”
“Radique is as dangerous as he is unpredictable.” Sidious was aware of an unwelcome warmth beginning to climb upward through the back of his neck, enveloping his cheeks and forehead.
“Which is why I sent Maul to assassinate him.”