Trevor Noah On TPM

August 24, 2016

Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” dropped by The Star Wars Show’s studios to chat about what else, Star Wars. Noah says the first Star Wars film he ever saw was TPM and he absolutely loved it and he loved Jar Jar. “To me he’s rock and roll.” Heh heh.

The interview starts three minutes into the show.

Obi-Wan Fan Trailer & Long Interview With Dave Filoni

August 23, 2016

A couple of videos for you today….first off, this fan-made edit for an Obi-Wan spinoff movie trailer:

Kenobi: A Star Wars Story Teaser from Rich Williamson on Vimeo.

And for those of you with an hour to kill, here’s an extended interview with Dave Filoni from the official Star Wars Show:

Star Wars Show Clip With Kevin Smith

August 22, 2016

Glad to hear Dave Filoni smacked some sense back into him:

What Really Needs To Be Done (Commentary)

August 22, 2016

Inverse posted an interview with the director of “The Prequels Strike Back” and it occurred to me a kind of new narrative is taking shape concerning the films. It’s not the dominant geek/media industrial complex’s narrative yet but I’ve noticed it becoming more common. That narrative is the prequels were ambitious, had good or at least interesting ideas, and creative but (and there’s always a “but”) they weren’t executed all of that well.

I think this narrative is arising due primarily to two factors:

1. The effect of Mike Klimo’s Ring Theory. Since it was posted in late 2014, numerous people have come to recognize the many cogs and wheels that make the saga work together.

2. TFA’s effect on perceptions of the prequels. Those who spent years disliking the prequels but still found fault with TFA needed a new take on their arguments. The old arguments that the prequels were entirely created on computer have been debunked to all but the willfully ignorant; in fact Slashfilm revealed in an interview the other day that there was no model work at all in TFA and it had far more CG shots than TPM.

Now after all of this time I suppose you might find it encouraging there is starting to be concession that the prequels have some value. However I don’t think it’s good enough. They are still holding on to the idea that the movies are “bad” or at least greatly inferior to the OT. It’s still repeated over and over in the media that the prequels are terrible and universally-hated. We still have a long way to go to reach the point where the prequels and we as fans get the respect long due.

It is certainly a positive development to see stuff like the Ring Theory out there and others delving into the meaning of the prequels, what they did to deepen the mythology, and what they can teach us. They’ve been helpful to those open enough to read or listen to those analyses. The problem is that analysis of the story is one thing, but the quality of how that story is expressed is another and it’s that aspect of the prequels that gets attacked the most. What’s really needed to help the prequels is to put forth the idea that they are exceptionally well-crafted, well-executed films.

One person who has done this is Camille Paglia in her book “Glittering Images.” But there needs to be more people out there with the courage to say these are deserving works of art and can express why. I have been doing that series “Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy” for this very reason: I write about why I think the acting, the score, the cinematography, etc. work in a particular scene. There’s also the prequel frames Tumblr. Such takes on the films need to be full-throated and without apology but also without a defensive tone.

Of course not everyone is going to be convinced but we can start to turn the bandwagon around.

Factoids About AOTC

August 19, 2016

A South African site posted sometime last year some fun facts about AOTC.  One of them is super obvious (are there real Kaminoans they could’ve cast?) but the others I hadn’t heard before or have slipped into the memory hole.

Help Me Out With This Poll

August 19, 2016

Hey SWPAS nation,

I’m trying to figure out the demographics of the people who read this site, so I came up with this completely unscientific poll you can take here.  It’s just asking ages.  It’s one question and it’s anonymous.  I’ve already posted the link on the SWPAS Facebook page and I will repost on Tumblr.


Clone Quotes & “The Professional”‘s Contribution to the Saga

August 15, 2016 recently posted a couple of things of interest.  First is Amy Ratcliffe’s Six Great Clone Trooper Quotes, her list of memorable clone trooper quotes from The Clone Wars and Rebels.

Then there is Bryan Young’s latest installment of The Cinema Behind Star Wars, a look at Luc Besson’s 1994 film “The Professional,” which of course gave the world Natalie Portman.

Read away!

More Tributes To Kenny Baker

August 13, 2016

Statement from George Lucas:

“Kenny Baker was a real gentleman as well as an incredible trooper who always worked hard under difficult circumstances.  A talented vaudevillian who could always make everybody laugh, Kenny was truly the heart and soul of R2-D2 and will be missed by all his fans and everyone who knew him.”

Posted on Steve Sansweet’s Facebook page:

“Kenny Baker passed away earlier Saturday. I knew him for nearly 20 years and he always was ready with a smile and a handshake. Thanks for being there for the fans, Kenny.”

RIP Kenny Baker. Thank you for bringing us all so much joy. You will be missed 💔 #rip #kennybaker

Kenny Baker 1934-2016

August 13, 2016

Today comes the sad news that Kenny Baker, who played R2D2 in all of George Lucas’s Star Wars films, passed away today just days from what would’ve been his 82nd birthday. He’d been suffering from a long-term undisclosed illness.  From The Guardian:

His niece, Abigail Shield, paid tribute to her uncle. She told the Guardian: “It was expected, but it’s sad nonetheless. He had a very long and fulfilled life. He brought lots of happiness to people and we’ll be celebrating the fact that he was well loved throughout the world. We’re all very proud of what he achieved in his lifetime.”

Baker and Shield’s father, Ian, grew up in Birmingham. She said: “When he was a child, he was told that he probably wouldn’t survive through puberty, being a little person in those times, they didn’t have a very good life expectancy. He did extremely well in his life. He was very ill for the last few years so we had been expecting it. He had been looked after by one of his nephews, who found him on Saturday morning.”

Apparently Lucas got to see him sometime before he passed:

Shield added: “He had problems with his lungs and was often in a wheelchair. He was very poorly for a long time. He was asked to go out to LA for the new Star Wars premiere, but he was told he was too ill to travel. Luckily he did manage to meet George Lucas again when he came to Manchester.”

Baker’s other films include “The Elephant Man,” “Time Bandits,” and “Flash Gordon.” He’d performed for years with his friend and frequent co-star Jack Purvis on the British cabaret circuit.

Here are some Tweets from his former co-stars:




From TPM/ROTS’s Christian Simpson’s Facebook page:

“SO sad. Kenny Baker is one with the Force. Beep-booop. My thoughts are with his family. An honor to work with him.”

I have a couple of personal memories about Baker. I met him in 2000 when he appeared at small convention in Fairfax County, VA, the only Star Wars guest with mostly Star Trek people. I sat through his talk and Q&A session, then got into line for autographs. All of the while I chatted with a guy behind me who was of course more of a Trekkie but as a little person himself (he was a Thalidomide baby), he said he grew up admiring Baker and saw him as an inspiration. I didn’t realize that this particular show required getting a coupon of some kind to get the autographs until I got up to the table. Baker was up there with his second wife and I was embarrassed to admit I didn’t know about the coupon thing. Instead of kicking me out of the line, he very graciously signed anyway. He had a great photo on the table that I had not seen before, with himself, George Lucas, Ewan McGregor, and Samuel L. Jackson at one of the TPM premieres. I almost asked him about it but I’d decided not to push my luck. The next time I saw Baker was at Celebration II two years later, when he and his wife were just walking along toward the music concert. When I’d glimpsed him at cons after that, he’d been in a wheelchair.

Do you have any memories of meeting Kenny Baker? Have any thoughts to share?

Natalie Portman Dropped By Rogue One & Ep VIII Sets

August 11, 2016

Membership has its privileges:  (From The L.A. Times via Star Wars Underworld)

She had just returned from London, where she was filming “Annihilation” at Pinewood Studios, on stages adjacent to where the next two “Star Wars” movies were in production. Portman, who many moviegoers first encountered as Padmé Amidala in the “Star Wars” prequels, said she enjoyed visiting the sets of “Rogue One” and “Episode VIII.”

“It’s fun to see that [‘Star Wars’] lives on, and now having a little boy, I see how deeply it lives in kids’ culture,” she said, noting that [her five year old son] Aleph has not seen any of the films but is familiar with the characters because of Star Wars Lego games. “He’s very Yoda-centric.”

It’s cool she was invited to check it all out. But the poor gal is going to be pestered about whether or not she cameos in either film!


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