Another Interview About “Obi-Wan & Anakin”

October 12, 2015

Charles Soule is a popular guy these days, because star has another interview with the “Obi-Wan & Anakin” series writer:

“It probably wasn’t the very beginning, although I’m sure there are some stories to be told there. And I didn’t think it was at the end right before Attack of the Clones, because the relationship that they had was pretty much established by that point. So, I figured it would be kind of in the middle, when Anakin was just on the cusp of becoming a teenager, which is when everybody starts asking questions about the path their life is on. Up to that point, your parents, your guardians, tell you what you’re going to be doing with your life, and you just do it and don’t really think about it that much. But then, right around 13 or so, you start wondering if there might be another way. And likewise, Obi-Wan jumped into this after promising to train Anakin on Qui-Gon’s deathbed, and I don’t think he necessarily knew what training Anakin Skywalker was going to be like. If you had both those questions happening at the same time, you could get a really cool, dramatic story out of it.

In Other News From NYCC

October 10, 2015

Disney Press plans on unleashing a YA novel called “Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku,” which I think is about one of the minor characters in TFA.

Greg Rucka, who is writing Marvel’s Shattered Empire series, had some stuff to say during a panel that we’ll all find refreshing:





Marvel Announces “Obi-Wan and Anakin”

October 10, 2015

The Cup O’ Joe panel at New York Comic Con dropped some big news today: a five-issue series called “Obi-Wan and Anakin.”

The series takes place between TPM and AOTC:

Before their military heroism in the Clone Wars, before their tragic battle on Mustafar, and many decades before their final confrontation on the Death Star…they were Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan learner, Anakin Skywalker. It’s been a few years since Obi-Wan pledged to train the young “chosen one”, but even as they have grown closer through training, it has been a difficult road. Now, called to a remote planet for assistance, Master and Padawan may be pushed to the breaking point.

The series’ writer is Charles Soule and the artist is Marco Checchetto. Issue #1 is scheduled to drop in January. USA Today posted an interview with Soule.

Clone Corridor on Padmé’s Funeral Song

October 8, 2015

Clone Corridor posted an examination of the funeral scene music used in both TPM and ROTS:

Aside from bringing back the solemnity of Qui-Gon’s funeral, this is also the third time within the Prequel Trilogy that John Williams uses Sanskrit as his language choice. The first time is during the ‘Battle of Fates’ between Qui-Gon, Darth Maul and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The second and third time are the double uses of the Funeral-theme. Each of these instances is a moment in which Light and Dark come together and cause destruction. Rather than choose pre-existing Sanskrit texts and adapting them to his own liking, Williams had an Celtic poem translated for the ‘Battle of Fates’ and chose lyrics from that. For the Funeral-theme he had the line ‘Death’s long sweet sleep’ loosely translated.

The Fractured Fandom

October 7, 2015

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time and have held off on posting because honestly, I’m reluctant to bring up unpleasant topics. But it’s been my intent ever since last May the 4th when I got into an argument on Twitter with somebody. (Coming May 2016: Why I’m Done With May the 4th). Here’s a faux internet holiday meant to celebrate Star Wars and the celebrating I get to do is argue with a stranger, who naturally took advantage of the day to bash the stuff he didn’t like.

Such is one’s experience with Star Wars fandom and thus it has been for a long time. So here we are with a new movie looming closer, the first of a bunch of new cinematic offerings. There’s certainly excitement among fans but the divisions and dysfunction among active fans, especially online, have become deeper and more exacerbated. Some of this can be blamed on the tack being used to promote TFA. They could have chosen a campaign designed to bring everyone together. Instead we got a convention season campaign designed to appeal to prequel haters, critics, and nostalgics. Worse yet as a fan who loves all of the Star Wars movies, I felt like I was being asked to cynically shrug off throwing those movies and the people who worked on them under the bus for the sake of some Greater Good. If this was how TPM was promoted, I could 100% understand the backlash against the film. Maybe it wouldn’t have been fair but it would’ve been completely understandable.  Some of the rumors and trial balloons about Ep. VIII are showing a more conciliatory attitude toward the prequels and their fans but we’ll have to see if they pan out.  In any case, it’s going to stick in my craw for a long time.

A lot of this can be blamed on the media, which is going right along with the marketing tack because a lot of people in the media, especially the geek/comic book/movie/entertainment industrial complex, hate the prequels and/or use anti-PT sentiment as reliable clickbait. To Darth Media, it’s conventional wisdom the prequels were awful and the fans uniformly hated them. If I have to read one more condescending piece on how somebody has to “save” Star Wars or one more hack who makes the same lazy, uninformed assumptions, I’m going to barf. A pox on all of their pixels.

But the fundamental problem is the treatment of Star Wars as two competing trilogies that have nothing to do with each other, with competing, incompatible fan bases. Only one base can “win” and the other must “lose.” So the OT-only part of the base is declared real and legitimate and its favored trilogy is deemed the only real Star Wars. Those other movies are deemed illegitimate and the dopes who love them are frauds and pretenders. This attitude has been purchased wholesale. As a result, just about everyone has been looking the other way on or even celebrating some terrible behavior over the past several years. It’s not just one set of fans have an opinion that’s different from the opinion of another set of fans. This has been a vicious scorched earth campaign with trolling, bullying, flaming, threats, and harassment. Much of the anger was directed at Lucas and any accomplices working on the prequels.  But since there’s only so much you can do to Lucas, who has been wise enough to stay off of social media and the internet as a whole, the brunt of the ragefest was aimed at those attempting even the slightest defense of the movies. Those who embraced the prequels have been put on the defensive and viewed as outliers, outcasts, and worthy of contempt. That is if prequel fans aren’t outright ignored. I could write a book about some of the stuff I experienced: discussion threads trolled and derailed on other sites, nasty grams from strangers, a guy at a collector’s meeting loudly ripping the prequels even after he realized it was annoying me, getting called “stupid” or a “hate monger,” being told I don’t know anything about movies or that I’m not a real Star Wars fan, etc.. There was one guy who thought it was charming to post in the comments to a well-known fan news site a picture of the prequel DVDs on fire. If there’s anything that has taught me that People Suck, it’s been my experiences in this fandom.

Prequel fans have been pretty much kicked out of geek/nerd culture as a whole. Most geek sites only refer to those films in a disdainful way and you’ll get set upon by trolls if you don’t toe the line. Pro-prequel panels are rare at conventions. A panel at this year’s SDCC about different starships from different fandoms flat out refused to discuss anything from the prequels because “they don’t exist.” Those who sat through Celebration Anaheim’s streaming coverage had to put up with blatant and subtle digs at the prequels. And Lord help a writer who tries even the faintest attempt to defend the movies on any geek/comic book site.

In popular culture and the media, the prequels don’t get much of a break either. They get mocked by the faux geek hipsters on “The Big Bang Theory” or on TMZ. For some who worked on the films this behavior has driven them from social media and damaged careers. We were even debating here whether it had any influence on Jake Lloyd’s alleged struggles with mental illness. Somehow people found it acceptable to harass someone on the internet because they didn’t like what their target’s father had done with a movie. They found it okay to be a jerk to Ahmed Best or Hayden Christensen, even in person. Yet hardly anyone in fandom or in geekdom or the media has ever addressed this issue. You’re not supposed to talk about it much less show any sign of it bothering you. Worse yet, somebody like Patton Oswalt can say he wanted to beat George Lucas to death with a shovel and still get treated like a hero. Simon Pegg practically got to be creative consultant on TFA in spite of well, everything.

There seems to be very little patience and understanding for fans like us and at the same time, we’re expected to think of these bullies as “fellow fans” and “family.” I keep thinking, “You’ve got to be kidding.” I don’t want to waste any time with awful people who live only to make others miserable. Unfortunately if you venture anywhere near fandom, you’ll encounter them and sometimes they go out of their way to find you. Now that more prequel fans are finally finding a voice, the reaction is, “Shut up!” Over the past summer I’ve seen prequel fans called out for being “too negative.” That’s rich after what’s happened for the past several years! What really gets my goat is the insistence there’s actual parity between prequel fans defending what they love about Star Wars or themselves and the likes of calling for Lucas’s death by shovel, bullying a young actor, or issuing threats against fans and their kids. There isn’t. I’ll bet you money the knuckleheads who decided to troll Daisy Ridley’s Instagram the other day weren’t prequel fans.  And in any case, it’s what I call the Five Year Old’s Argument: “Mommy, he did it too!” Sorry fandom…prequel fans are NOT the problem. They never have been. We have every right to stick up for what we love about the saga as any other Star Wars fan. Somehow no one seems to understand this as though fandom isn’t about celebrating what you enjoy but about being constantly told you’re wrong for enjoying it. Who wants that?


October 7, 2015

This is a fantastic fan-made video that draws parallels between Luke and Padmé:

Here’s an electro remix of Duel of the Fates set to your favorite lightsaber duel scenes:

The Secret Connection of the SW Trilogies

October 5, 2015

Mike Klimo has brought his ring theory to star with his first article for the site, The Secret Connection of the Star Wars Trilogies:

So, just as George Lucas borrowed from a multitude of ancient sources in crafting the story of his modern myth, the use of multiple types of parallelism suggests that he also borrowed from ancient sources in creating the structure (or form) of his myth. But now that we know a little bit about the concept of parallelism, let’s take at look at some of the extremely subtle ways Lucas designed The Phantom Menace to correspond with A New Hope right from its opening frames.

Fan Theory That Connects TFA With The Prequels

October 5, 2015

If you’re steadfastly avoiding any and all spoilers, you might not want to watch but a fan has some really interesting theories on a possible connection between a new character in TFA and the prequels. No, it’s not about Plagueis:

At the very least it’s an interesting coincidence. I won’t post more than that here in the event people are keeping spoiler-free.

Review: “Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge”

October 5, 2015

Ian Doescher wraps up the SW prequel trilogy with his Shakespearean take on ROTS. The really interesting thing about this adaptation is that since ROTS is so dead-on as classic tragedy, this book almost completely plays it straight. There’s not a lot of inside joking around aside from the two Jedi characters who provided commentary in all of the prequel adaptations; in this case they’re wondering why their handbooks go from Order 65 to Order 67 and if it’s anything they should be concerned about.

Where some of ROTS’s most compelling, innovative, and fascinating moments are at least in part visual, Doescher had to improvise how to present them in literary form meant for a stage. You get some interesting results like Palpatine staging a fake play for Anakin’s benefit that dramatizes the legend of Darth Plagueis. The “ruminations” scene is replaced with long soliloquys. The silent coda at the end of the film is changed to Yoda delivering a speech at Padmé’s funeral. Other scenes that relied on intercutting are divided so that one whole scene plays out before it goes to the other scene. For example, Yoda and Sidious battle before Anakin and Obi-Wan do. Padmé dies first, then Vader’s transformation occurs.

Other than that you really do get the feeling this isn’t so much a Shakespeare spoof on Star Wars as it is Shakespeare’s ROTS screenplay circa 1599. The inside baseball stuff is almost exclusively for English/Shakespeare geeks who can recognize the way Doescher is playing around with verse depending on the characters and situations, which he helpfully explains to some degree at the end.

For me one of the highlights is how he handles Anakin and Padmé, not only in this book but in the previous ones. Instead of taking the cheap way out of making fun of them and their romance, Doescher takes them seriously and it probably helps they fit that Shakespeare template to a tee. The charged dialogue in “Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge” as they reunite for the first time captures the tension between them on film.

The only real criticism I have of “Tragedy” is how Doescher’s reimagining of Jar Jar as a highly intelligent being with his own agenda had no payoff. Granted Jar Jar did not have much of a presence in ROTS but in this adaptation, Jar Jar’s not there at all. So what happened? It’s almost as though Doescher forgot to tie up his own arcs.

Now that I’ve read all of these, I’ll probably have a break for a while and at some time in the future read the adaptations done for Eps IV-VI. I’m sure there will be a TFA one done sometime in

The Bearded Trio Weighs In On “Practical” Effects

October 5, 2015

2015 sure has spawned a cottage industry of videos debunking the idea the prequels were all CGI fests. The latest is one from The Bearded Trio, a blog that covers anything having to do with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, or John Williams:


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