Archive for January, 2013

Just As A Note…

January 30, 2013

I’m not going to be posting very much over the next few days and the Clone Wars review probably won’t get posted until early next week; I will be going out of town.

“Frames” For The People

January 29, 2013

TFN posted a link to Amazon’s pre-order for “Star Wars: Frames” in paperback. This was the insanely expensive volume of shots from all 6 existing Star Wars films personally chosen by Papa George. The hardcover was thousands of dollars. This version is less than a hundred. Due out in November!

Update On Star Wars Storyboards: The Prequels

January 29, 2013

Remember J.W. Rinzler’s book on “Star Wars Storyboards: The Prequels?” Well, you can pre-order it now on Amazon. It’s due out May 14.

Meanwhile, the next installment of the Star Wars Art series will be “Concept.” There aren’t a lot of details yet on Amazon except that based on the involvement of prequel conceptual artists Doug Chiang and Ryan Church as well as Joe Johnston, I’m guessing it will feature concept art by Ralph McQuarrie, Chiang, Church, Iain McCaig, etc..

Yoda Chronicles

January 29, 2013

Who wants some good news? Well, coming soon on Cartoon Network is The Yoda Chronicles, a LEGO-themed set of three specials about the little green fella. It takes place during the prequel timeframe.

There’s been a lot of buzz about this show appearing on Cartoon Network’s planned 2013-2014 schedule but not Clone Wars, leading to speculation the show might be heading to Disney XD. Nothing as of writing has been confirmed yet and it may just be they have yet to figure out where Season Six is going to air.

Further Thoughts On 3D-Gate

January 28, 2013

And the more I think about it, the more I realize what a clusterfark this whole thing has been.

Here’s the first problem. Apparently Fox still holds distribution rights to the six existing Star Wars films and will until 2020. (It’s sort of referred to in this TFN item about Clone Wars possibly moving to Disney XD next fall.) For some reason this was not worked out in Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm. Could it be that Fox doesn’t want to re-release films it no longer has long-term investment? Could it be that Disney pressured Lucasfilm into cancelling the re-release, because it now wants people to think of Star Wars as a Disney brand?

Here’s the second problem. 3D re-releases haven’t been doing as well lately. “The Little Mermaid 3D” was just taken off Disney’s schedule because “Monsters 3D” didn’t perform as expected. Could it be all parties thought it wasn’t worth the expense and effort? Well, what does that mean for plans of releasing Episode VII in 3D?

The next problem is this business about having to focus on making Episode VII. As one commenter put it, are they going to shut down Clone Wars and not do effects on other movies for the next two years because all hands must be on deck to make Episode VII? He also pointed out that most of the conversion work is being done out of house anyway (although I remember that a couple of guys at ILM were also in on the process). The real issue may not be so much AOTC and ROTS but simply not having the time and resources to start the conversion process on Eps IV-VI. I can’t imagine they would just put out the prequels and not the other movies prior to Episode VII’s release.

Whatever the reasons are, I don’t think we got the truth in that short press release. Why? If George Lucas knew a year ago he was planning to sell to Disney and if many of the key players at Lucasfilm knew since June 2012 they were going to work on new movies, why bother with converting AOTC and ROTS, then promoting them at Celebration VI? Why weren’t any of the legal kinks worked out with the Disney deal? They had packaging ready to go, they had merchandise ready to go, they had promotional partnerships ready to go. Now it’s all abruptly flushed down the toilet.

And they blew a great opportunity. The Special Editions, released just two years prior to TPM, made a lot of money in 1997. People were excited because a new movie was around the corner. It was a time to celebrate Star Wars and to get ready for more. When TPM 3D came out a year ago, there were no known plans for more movies. Joe and Jane Sixpack are interested in Star Wars again. What better way to introduce a new generation to the joys of seeing Star Wars in the theater instead of just waiting for Episode VII on Blu-Ray? It was a penny wise pound foolish decision.

I have no idea when we’ll see these movies re-released. It could be whenever Disney acquires distribution rights…maybe as late as 2021. It’s probably going to be never. With a new trilogy beginning in 2015 or whenever (supposedly Abrams hasn’t committed to a 2015 deadline), and new spinoff movies every 2-3 years after that, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time open on the release schedule, does it?

I didn’t think it would only take three months to shake whatever confidence I had in the future of Star Wars in light of Disney’s acquisition and it was very shaky to begin with.

Lucasfilm Cancels AOTC & ROTS 3D

January 28, 2013

Oh, I’m sorry, “postponed.” From starwars.com:

Lucasfilm has decided to postpone this fall’s scheduled release of Star Wars Episodes II and III in 3D. Given the recent development that we are moving forward with a new Star Wars trilogy, we will now focus 100 percent of our efforts on Star Wars: Episode VII in order to ensure the best possible experience for our fans. We will post further information about our 3D release plans at a later date.

This is utter BULLCRAP.

They’ve been working on AOTC for at almost two years now and had to have worked on ROTS for a while as well. They can finish the conversion well before post-production on Episode VII begins.

So what’s the deal? Does this mean that they won’t re-release Eps IV-VI either? If the “delay” (frankly I doubt we’ll ever see these in theater) is because they wouldn’t have the resources to convert the older films and get a new movie out in two years, that’s understandable. But they should have said so UP FRONT.

Otherwise it’s once again treating the prequels like trash just to appease the bashers and the media. If they do re-release Eps IV-VI in 3D, I won’t be going to those OR Episode VII. Enough’s enough.

New Maul Tee From WeLoveFine

January 27, 2013

Maul fans have a new tee to add to their wardrobes. This one (available in women’s and men’s styles) has been around for a while, featuring Maul, Sidious, and Dooku which must be some kind of record.

Clone Wars Debriefing: “Shades Of Reasoning”

January 26, 2013

That was a wild episode, wasn’t it? Pure genius throughout.

The Maul-Vizsla band of rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, con men, et al. arrive on Mandalore to put their nefarious plans into action. Vizsla wants to displace Duchess Satine and restore Mandalore’s warrior ethic. Maul wants to use Satine as bait for Obi-Wan. They pull it off with a false flag operation where the baddies start attacking the populace.

While Satine has her panties in a twist as her people are being terrorized, Death Watch “heroically” flies in to save the day. It’s hilarious as Savage is fake-fighting Pre Vizsla; they’re almost exchanging winks. Savage, Maul, and the other dirtbags are “captured.” The gullible Mandalorians are grateful to Death Watch for saving them. With Vizsla’s approval ratings at 100% and Satine’s in the toilet, she is arrested and tossed in the pokey. And who should be in the next cell over than former prime minister Olmec? Remember him? The poisoned tea guy from a few seasons back?

Savage and Maul are paraded for show, then put in the same cell after they’re told the ruse’s over and Vizsla is officially screwing them now that he had what he wanted. Big mistake! Maul quickly forms an alliance with Olmec and then they bust out of the joint.

Maul finds Vizsla and challenges him to a duel, where the winner becomes the ruler of Mandalore. We all knew from the get-go that Vizsla had underestimated Maul due to his big fat ego. He had no idea who he was dealing with. Vizsla’s plans were always small potatoes compared to Maul’s and Maul is a lot smarter. So you just knew this was not going to end well for Vizsla. It was a great fight scene though. Vizsla accepts his end, knowing he had been defeated by a superior warrior, ironically killed by his own cortosis sword.

Maul demands Death Watch’s allegiance but Bo Katan refuses to bow to a non-Mandalorian. She and her fellow defectors fight their way out. Meanwhile Olmec, restored as prime minister and now Maul’s bitch, tells the public Satine had Vizsla killed. Uh oh!

Sam Witwer continues to bring his A-game voicing Maul. Jon Favreau’s turn as Vizsla has come to an end and he’d managed to create a special brand of low level menace, a tough guy who ultimately got too big for his britches. With her leader gone, Bo Katan has room for character growth in future episodes.

What’s tragic about Satine’s fall is that she’s hardly a bad person but she is filled with pride. It could only be out of pride (along with its attendants stubbornness and arrogance) that someone could cling to an ideal to the point of stupidity and irresponsibility. She not only left herself but also her people vulnerable to the kind of evil she was trying so hard to avoid. Her “security forces” were laughably ineffective. Her response to the criminal elements attacking Mandalore is to cling to her ideals even more. And she’s fearful of Death Watch. She might be principled and disdains corruption, but as a leader she sucks.

Now Obi-Wan is her only hope.

Separated At Birth?

January 26, 2013

Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite circa 1990:

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Bo-Katan:

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Open Thread: J.J. Abrams Picked To Direct Eppy VII

January 26, 2013

Are you thrilled? Sad? Hopeful? Not sure what to think?

My thoughts and concerns are here.