When ROTS was still playing in theaters during the July 4th holiday weekend in 2005, Fox offered a sweet deal to moviegoers who either wanted to take in another viewing or were dragging their feet to see it, particularly families. If you bought three tickets, you got one free. They even whipped up this special poster/ad to promote the occasion.
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A link to SWPAS anyway.
As you might have noticed, star wars.com got a makeover and relaunched today.
Head on over to the Community page and scroll down to the Fan News and Blogs section, where you’ll find the fancy linky thing to this site.
It looks like you’ll have to sign on with Disney ID, which you’ll already have if you’ve registered on any Disney, ESPN, ABC, etc. site in the past.
A few weeks ago, there was a spoof of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trailer with the first set of Star Wars films. Now there’s a prequel version, which aside from a couple of eye-rolling Jar Jar jokes, surprisingly avoids beating up on them as a whole.
(If you ask me, these things are spoofs of typical Hollywood trailers. We’ve gone from “in a world where…” to this kind of thing.)
Weird Al Yankovic scored big with his musical retelling of TPM “The Saga Begins” in 1999 and it’s been part of his act since. Usually he performs it with his other Star Wars hit, “Yoda” and since his 1999 tour, he and his band usually put on Jedi robes during that segment of the show.
I picked this live performance from 2013 for the following reasons: 1. It’s in Columbia, MO, where I spent four years of my existence while attending the University of Missouri. 2. It was at an event put on by famed venue The Blue Note, where I saw many a show and attended many a dance party at its old location and its current location. Oh the stories I could tell. I saw The Red Hot Chili Peppers there months after Hillel Slovak died and they’d just recruited John Frusciante to replace him; back then Frusciante was a skinny mohawked kid. I also saw Chris & Cosey (still the weirdest show I’d ever seen), KMFDM, Fugazi, Dread Zeppelin, The Ocean Blue, The Mighty Lemon Drops, The Cramps, Special Beat (which was members of The Specials and English Beat), and lots of never heard of ‘em bands, including one time when I accidentally showed up for a Grateful Dead cover band show. Once Club MTV did a college tour there where two lucky winners got flown out to New York to be on the show. No, I wasn’t one of them.
Anyway, what’s great about this outdoor performance is the audience singing along. You probably will too:
It’s all but official, but the trades and other showbiz media are saying that “Looper” director Rian Johnson will direct Eps VIII and possibly IX (he’s at least writing the treatment for that one).
On the one hand, picking a not-so-obvious hungry up-and-coming talent is more or less what I’d hoped for all along. On the other hand, is this yet another prequel-hating Lucas-bashing hate boy or is this a real saga fan? And since we’re up to the fourth announced post-Lucas Star Wars director, are they all going to be nerdy white dudes?
It also raises the question, why is Abrams now One ‘n Done? Was it because he didn’t want to spend the next few years of his life in Ol’ Blighty? Supposedly he didn’t want to film in the UK and almost bailed because of it. Was it because he didn’t think he could stay on Disney’s breakneck pace or didn’t want to? Did Disney think he was too much trouble? Or was the plan to kick off the trilogy with a director who had a solid track record and then hand it off to newer talent? I think this might have been in the works for a while, so I don’t think it’s because Harrison Ford had his leg broken.
There are a lot of news reports out there about the first Midnight Madness in 1999 that heralded the release of TPM-related merchandise. This one in particular comes from a small town in Florida, where locals set upon their Toys R Us. I’ll never forget the Midnight Madness at the Tysons Corner TRU, particularly the way people grabbed action figures off the pegs like piranhas picking flesh off of a carcass.
Last time I talked about one of the most pivotal scenes in the prequel trilogy, when Anakin leaves Shmi in TPM. Things come full circle and not in a good way in AOTC, when Anakin returns to Tatooine after he is plagued by nightmares of his mother in trouble. He and Padme ultimately discover that Shmi was taken captive by Sand People, and Anakin goes off alone to rescue her.
Anakin reunites with Shmi in a Tusken Raider camp, but he is horrified at what he sees. She has been brutalized, she is weak, and she is dying. Again, not a big splashy special effects scene or an action sequence, but one of the most emotional and intriguing scenes in the saga. (In fact, I thought the entire sequence beginning with Anakin’s departure from the Lars household to Shmi’s funeral was brilliant. But I’ll get to all of those another time.) The scene is staged like a reverse Pieta, with Anakin cradling his broken, dying mother rather than the other way around. The only light comes from a fire, casting light and shadows, as darkness is about to overtake Anakin (a fan once noted that whenever anything significant happens to Anakin, there’s fire present). The shot is perfectly framed too, but then Lucas excels at framing shots. As for the performances, I thought Hayden hit this out of the park. Even though he didn’t play Anakin in TPM, you can see all over his face and by the way he speaks, that Anakin is reverting to his nine-year-old self, begging Shmi to stay with him even though he knows she’s not going to make it. (Which is underscored by John Williams’s use of “Anakin’s Theme” from TPM.) Pernilla August does a great job here too; I think I’ve read somewhere that she improvised some of her dialogue. In spite of her horrible final days, Shmi takes joy in the fact that she got to see her son one more time (“now I am complete”), grown up and a Jedi. Again, it’s something Anakin completely ignores because of his sorrow, which quickly becomes his wrath. Williams’s score turns from being sorrowful to something reminiscent of Bernard Hermann’s “Psycho” score as a mourning Anakin looks up with pure rage in his eyes. And well, we know what happens next.
I know, I know, I’m very late to the game on this one. Insider #150 is now appearing in mailboxes and on the stands but if you can still find #149 (General Grievous on the cover), you might want to check it out for its collection of new-to-me prequel stills and behind the scenes shots. Like this glorious shot of Anakin and Padmé from AOTC:
Visit titanmagazines.com to order #149 if you can’t snag a copy.
I’m going to be offline until Sunday night, maybe not until Monday. I may Tweet a bit here and there but I probably won’t be posting here until next week.