Undeniable Fact About AOTC #5: It Boosted Hasbro’s Sales In 2002

September 15, 2014

According to Hasbro’s 2002 annual report, its toy sales increased 7% from the previous year “due primarily to sales of product in connection with the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in May 2002 and the video and DVD release in November of 2002.” It also helped offset losses in sales internationally.

Rumors Of An Obi-Wan Flick

September 14, 2014

Making Star Wars.net posted a bunch of Ep VII rumors on Friday (if you feel like being spoiled go look it up), but there was one non-Ep VII rumor about an Obi-Wan spinoff film. Quoted from MSW quoted from Club Jade:

’ve heard from quite a few people now that an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie is in the works. For the spin-off movies they were initially going to stay away from any Jedi or Sith characters. But I’m hearing now that because of the popularity of Obi-Wan (fans recently voting for him on the official website etc) that an art team is now working with a writer on concepts for an Obi-Wan movie.

I’ll believe it when I see it (after all, no one has officially confirmed what any of the spinoffs thus far are about) and if it’s true, they damn well better bring back Ewan.

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #6: It Was The 5th Film To Open #1 At The Box Office

September 14, 2014

Not many film series spanning a several decade period can keep opening big at the box office, but Star Wars is one of them.

Due to factors I will cover in my forthcoming rant on how AOTC was the worst-promoted film of the saga, it was the only Star Wars film to date that wasn’t the year’s biggest (North American) box office hit. But that isn’t to say the movie didn’t do well. In spite of opening just a couple of weekends after the year’s biggest winner “Spider Man,” AOTC opened #1 at the box office with a pretty big haul and won the Memorial Day weekend box office as well. (Someone told me AOTC outgrossed “Spider Man” every day of its release, but AOTC couldn’t catch the other film’s huge head start. But I can’t verify that.)

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #7: It Marked The 25th Anniversary Of Star Wars

September 14, 2014

What better way to celebrate the silver anniversary of Star Wars, marking 25 years since the release of ANH, than with a new movie in the saga? Indeed Celebration II was as much a celebration of ANH’s 25th birthday as it was a pep rally for AOTC. The Saturday night concert with the Indianapolis Symphony covered all of the major tracks from each film (but sadly not “Across the Stars”).

May 25, 2002 marked my first viewing of the digital cut of AOTC. What else was I going to do that day, right?

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #8: It Pioneered Hipster Marketing

September 13, 2014



Even though my rant on why AOTC was the worst-marketed film of the saga to date is forthcoming, it doesn’t mean that there weren’t at least some attempts at trying something new, regardless of whether they were good ideas or effective.

One such attempt at exiting the box was what I believe was called the “college campaign.” At Celebration II, I saw piles of brightly colored fliers on a table and they looked like the kind of photocopied fliers you’d see stuck on bulletin boards, poles, posts, or whatever else can’t move fast enough on a college campus. Instead of ads for local punk bands playing at a dive, searches for roommates, ads selling futons and bean bag chairs, or requests for rides, they were ads involving various characters from the film. I think for example one of them was a “bounty hunter for hire” flier with Jango Fett or Zam Wesell. I recall grabbing a whole bunch of them, at least one of each. My copies are stored away in the Hoard so I can’t show you what they looked like, but some of you might remember what I’m talking about. I don’t know if Lucasfilm expected fans to take the fliers and put them up themselves or if they just figured collect-o-holics like I was at the time would’ve wanted them. In any case, street teams were supposed to slap those fliers up at college campuses and nearby hangouts.

Now I have to say, it was not only a very inexpensive campaign, it was a very interesting idea to try to reach people in their late teens/early 20s. Borderline edgy, even. Had the movie come out 10 years later, they could’ve handed out free PBRs with Jango on the cans, clone cupcakes, or Obi-Wan mustaches.

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #9: Target Had The Most Complete Score To Date

September 13, 2014

Sony Classical released the AOTC soundtrack on April 23, 2002. The original release contained all of the main tracks but only the CDs Target stocked (with four different covers…I picked the Anakin/Padmé one, heh heh) contained the track “On The Conveyor Belt.” There has been no release of all of the music/cues from the film.

By the way, the soundtrack version of “Zam The Assassin and the Chase Through Coruscant” has an electric guitar in it, one of those things I noticed while listening to it with headphones. It’s the only Star Wars track to date with an electric guitar, though you can’t hear it in the actual film.

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #10: The Novelization Was A NYT Bestseller

September 12, 2014

R.A. Salvatore, an experienced Star Wars novelist notorious for whacking Chewbacca in 1999’s “Vector Prime,” was tapped to write the novelization for AOTC. The book was unleashed in hardcover on April 23, 2002 (it was released in paperback a year later) and spent several weeks on the New York Times fiction bestseller list, peaking at #2, and spending 7 weeks in the top 10.

Salvatore came to Northern Virginia in May 2002, shortly after the movie came out, and I trucked on down to the Barnes & Noble in Seven Corners for a talk/book signing. Good times!

Flashback Friday: R2D2 Beneath The Dome

September 12, 2014

In 2001, starwars.com did a goofy series of webisodes that were a parody of those “E! True Hollywood Story” or “VH1’s Behind The Music” celebrity documentaries. These focused on the rise, fall, and rise again of R2D2.

According to Wookieepedia, this was the brainchild of Artoo’s wrangler, Lucasfilm archivist Don Bies. It was mostly shot while AOTC’s cast was doing featurette stuff for the DVD, plus there are guest appearances from the likes of Steven Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss.

Sweet Painting Up For Sale On eBay

September 12, 2014

Rebelscum pointed out this auction for an original painting by the Hildebrandt brothers. It was done for the Episode One Great Big Flap Book published by Random House in 1999 and better yet, it’s signed.

The only catch is that it’s $7500. But hey, the shipping’s free!

Throwback Thursday: Brian Blessed On “Doctor Who”

September 11, 2014

Is there a genre t.v. show or movie series Brian Blessed hasn’t done? Well, I guess there is, but he sure has done a lot of them over his long career.

One role was a guest run on “Doctor Who” back in the mid ’80s, playing King Yrcanos on an arc called “Trial of a Timelord.” He and Doctor Who companion Peri try to stage some kind of rebellion with a bunch of guys in serapes but apparently it doesn’t work out. But according to Wikipedia, Peri’s death is faked and then King Yrcanos ends up marrying her. So it’s all good.


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