Heartwarming Quote of the Day

December 5, 2016

@FuzzyHayden posted on Twitter an excerpt of an interview with Hayden (source unknown) who is in Argentina filming a movie:

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ROTS & “Paradise Lost”

December 5, 2016

A reader passed along a link to this essay from a site called Clashing Sabers.net, “A Paradise Lost:  The Anatomy of a Fall.”  It focuses on Anakin’s fall in ROTS and compares it to John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”

Anakin as a representation of temptation also parallels Eve and Adam as Palpatine slithers into the role of the serpent. Eve is amazed by the serpent who speaks of their gifts being bestowed upon them by tasting the fruit from the tree of knowledge. The serpent further gains Eve’s trust by flattering her beauty.

Palpatine gains Anakin’s trust by constant flattery, encouraging him to take pride in his exceptional skills and convincing him that despite his youth he deserves a spot on the Jedi Council. When fear begins to take hold of Anakin, Palpatine offers his own fruit to the falling Jedi: salvation from death. Anakin’s pride and fear feed into each other as his pride and arrogance don’t allow him to concede to the possibility that he might not save Padme. When Eve goes to wander Paradise alone, Adam fears for her.

SH Figurarts AOTC PadmĂ© Revealed

December 2, 2016

These photos were posted on the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy Facebook page:

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I don’t know when it’ll be available but I think I’m going to get the entire AOTC set (Obi-Wan, Anakin, PadmĂ©, etc.).

Favorite Scene Series Gives Some Love To TPM

December 2, 2016

Frequent Lucasfilm/Star Wars author Jason Fry wrote this great piece on why “Qui-Gon Waits” is his favorite scene from the saga:

From a storytelling standpoint, the energy gates at the heart of Theed are a device to separate Obi-Wan from the other combatants, letting Lucas use Maul as the antagonist for two different dramatic fights.

The pause in the duel shows us the length of the energy-gate cycle, but it’s a potentially awkward bit of staging — one Lucas turns into a great, wordless character moment for all three duellists. Maul tests the energy field and then prowls around like a caged beast. Obi-Wan, powerless to intervene, bounces on his tiptoes in frustration. And Qui-Gon? He switches off his saber, regards Maul for a moment, then sinks to his knees and shuts his eyes.

A Little PSA For Rogue One Cast & Lucasfilm

December 2, 2016

I was at work and quite busy so I wasn’t able to listen in on today’s live internet Q&A session with the “Rogue One” cast.  However, I did get wind of some comments actor Alan Tudyk, who plays a droid in the movie, made about Ahmed Best’s work as Jar Jar as well as the moderator throwing some shade on the prequels about 25 minutes in.  I do not have a transcript but from what I understand, Tudyk inaccurately described Best as just doing a voice over when in fact he was mo-capped on the set and it seems to have been in the context of “heh, I did one better on him.”  Nobody corrected him.  For that, I would advise Tudyk and company to read this from 2014.

I have to criticize Lucasfilm for demonstrating once more it does not afford the prequels the same level of respect given to the OT and TFA, no matter what they keep telling us.  Actions, not words, count.  There is no way in hell anyone in “Rogue One” would ever knock the OT or dismiss Andy Serkis’s or Lupita Nyong’o’s work in TFA as “just” voice acting.  And SOMEBODY should’ve corrected Tudyk.  Frankly, I think Lucasfilm owes Ahmed Best an apology for that.  It’s inexcusable.

It’s as though it never occurs to the current regime to advise anyone who works for them on t.v., in movies, and writing books to respect the fan base.  ALL of the fan base.  I don’t know what the moderator’s alleged prequel joke was but if it was meant as a jab on those films, that shouldn’t be happening at an official Lucasfilm event.  I guess they figure we all bought our $30 tickets and it’s too late now, huh?

It also doesn’t seem to occur to the current regime to respect George Lucas.  None of them would be there without him yet it seems in many ways they are eager to get us to forget he ever had anything to do with this galaxy he created.  It’s clear the philosophy today is to do the opposite of everything Lucas strove to do creatively and to follow trends instead of setting them.  Moreover, just as the leadership threw out Lucas’s ST treatments, according to a recent Entertainment Weakly interview with Kathleen Kennedy, Lucas’s ideas for standalone films were also tossed into the shredder.  Nice.

Whatever the case, stuff like this is why many prequel fans don’t entirely trust Lucasfilm and why some don’t trust it at all.

 

Movie Score Video & More About HU’s “Naboo Collection”

November 30, 2016

Pedro passed along this video from about a year ago about Sony’s “Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection” of scores from Eps I-VI. It was an unboxing and Q&A session with movie score professionals:

The current episode (18) of the Galactic Fashion podcast features a long interview with Ashley Eckstein about Her Universe.  In it, she mentions the so-called Naboo collection we might see late next spring/summer.  It’s part of a vintage-themed planets line (she mentions Tatooine and Endor as other lines planned) and she discusses a Naboo dress design that features all kinds of stuff associated with it, including Anakin and PadmĂ©.  I gotta have it!

“Everything Great About TPM”

November 28, 2016

A You Tube channel called Cinema Wins apparently likes to focus on the positive with a series on what was great about particular films. The latest installment? “Everything Great About Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.”

I haven’t had time to watch it yet but the feedback I’m seeing is pretty positive.

Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Yoda Confronts Dooku

November 28, 2016

 

Perhaps the biggest crowd-pleasing scene in AOTC was Yoda confronting Count Dooku.  Up until the time AOTC was released, we’d never seen Yoda do anything other than train Jedi, walk around with that stick, and say wise stuff.  But Yoda could open a can of whoop-ass if necessary and thanks to ILM’s digital magic, what was once impossible for a character realized by a puppet was in 2002 a reality.

This was something George Lucas had wanted to do in AOTC from the get-go.  He wanted to show audiences why Yoda was “the” Jedi.  But he found a lot of resistance from people along the way.  ILM balked at the logistics of creating a credible fight scene with the little Jedi Master.  Others thought it would look dumb and people would laugh at it.  But of the 11 times I’d seen AOTC in the theaters, audiences applauded the top of this scene every single time.  The audience at the first screening I’d gone to at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C. went absolutely bananas.

We all know the drill.  Obi-Wan and Anakin attempt to battle Dooku and get it handed to both of them. It gets quiet and all of a sudden, Yoda humbly enters the scene.  After some trash talking, Dooku tries to fling things at Yoda with the Force.  After Yoda deflects the flying objects, Dooku tries Force lightning.  When that doesn’t work, it’s time to take out the lightsabers.  Yoda flips around and engages the really tall Dooku like a champ.  It’s only when Dooku tries to topple a pillar on top of Anakin and Obi-Wan that he’s able to escape from Yoda.  Cheater.

ILM’s visual effects artists of course did an amazing job realizing this scene. If the visuals didn’t work, the whole thing would’ve been a disaster. While today’s animation would be even better it was pretty spectacular for 2002. I happen to think it works now. Not only does Yoda look great in fight mode, I like his whole attitude prior to the fight. Some of those poses were seemingly inspired by Neo in “The Matrix.” Christopher Lee had to sell the duel on his end and he didn’t even have anyone to fight as it was shot on a soundstage. Lee does an amazing job but that just goes without saying. The lighting in the scene–some of it digital, some of it done on set–is perfect.

This was a high risk scene that walks the line between “wow, this is awesome” and the absurd but it became one of the most iconic fight scenes in the saga so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Lights Film Journal On AOTC

November 26, 2016

Mike Thorn posted a recent piece (Nov. 16) on Bright Lights Film Journal called “George Lucas’s Wildest Vision: Retrofuturist Auteurism in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones”.

This is a real critique of art from the standpoint of someone who is serious about cinema as an art form:

Returning to the comparison between Attack of the Clones and *Corpus Callosum, I would also argue that both films are born to differing degrees from avant-garde traditions, given Lucas’s directorial background and origins (his early work in short films is largely comprised of formalist experimentation, and even his feature debut THX 1138 [1971] eschews many of the customary characteristics of its genre). What defines Attack of the Clones more than anything is its wild formal inventiveness, which remains unprecedented in mainstream cinema. And like Snow’s Callosum, Lucas’s film deals with the futuristic possibilities of digital filmmaking, in this case, resulting ultimately in the alteration of an entire art form.

First Peek At Bail Organa in “Rogue One”

November 25, 2016

It looks like it came from celebrity gossip mag “Us” (originally posted by IndianaJedi on Twitter):

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Still has the House Organa thingie on his belt buckle.  Nice job, Costume Department.  He may not be as high up the food chain anymore because Leia took his job.