Archive for February, 2014

Ask SWPAS: Your Questions, My Answers III

February 28, 2014

From Adam:

Is there anything about I-III (or even IV-VI) that needed to grow on you? I know my journey as a fan involved a lot of epiphanies about what was really going on, and parts that I used to not care for are now some of my favorites. Any moments like that for you?

The first time I saw TPM, it took about a half hour for me to really get into the film because it struck me as so different from the other films.

From peacetrainjedi:

This is kind of an open two-parter, a bit out of left field and perhaps a bit less relevant then previous questions, but…If you (somehow) found yourself in the Star Wars galaxy, say shortly before the events of Episode I, where would you most want to go, and what would you do when you got there? Are there any famous residents of that galaxy far, far away you’d want to meet (and possibly give a few pointers)?

I’d like to visit Naboo or Coruscant. If I had to meet anyone pre-TPM though, it would be Shmi and Anakin. I’d give them a bus ticket off of Tatooine and instruct them not to speak to any Jedi or Sith.

The second part is more of a serious question. One of the criticisms of the PT I could never understand was that they had “unrelatable” and unsympathetic characters. I love the 6 films and the storyline they weave, but (in an in-universe context), I often long for the Jedi Order and the Old Republic to endure despite already knowing they’re doomed. When you rewatch the films, are there moments when you long for a different outcome (even though you know how every scene turns out)?

Yes! Including but not limited to Qui-Gon getting killed, Anakin running off to rescue Shmi and take out the Sand People, and Anakin deciding to go to Palpatine’s office to stop Mace Windu and his posse.

From obi-rob-kenobi:

What do you think about the evolution of the hateboy problem on the jedi council forms over on theforce.net?

I think it’s unfortunate but what can you do? The JC can do what it pleases. We just have to make nice places like this for ourselves.

From Daniel Xie:

Do you think that a lot of websites have given special privilage to hateboys to compare the PT to other movies (often unfavorably). A lot of people call the Prequels Michael Bay-level crap. however when I pointed out how stuff like Twilight may be worse, I’m not allowed to compare the prequels to Twilight or 50 shades of Grey. So they can say that prequels are just as bad as movie x but why can’t I ay movie X is worse than the PT?

The excuse I see all of the time is that more is expected from Star Wars than from say, “Twilight” or the oeuvre of Michael Bay. Though to be honest, I think “Twilight” is bashed a lot more often than the prequels.

Also is it likely the reason that hateboys claim that GL dosen’t own Star Wars is because of the EU?

No. They think Star Wars belongs to them because they are fans. They spend time obsessing over the movies so they start to believe they know Star Wars better than even Lucas does and therefore, they have a better idea of what’s best for Star Wars.

From Tarrlok:

1. Do you believe the broadly good reputation which TCW currently has will last?

Yes. Especially since it was cut down in its prime. “Rebels” has to live up to what CW became and that bar is pretty high.

2. How well regarded do you honestly think TPM, AOTC and ROTS will be in future decades?

That I don’t know. At times I’m optimistic, at times I’m pessimistic.

3. Beyond the crude “Jar Jar Binks in carbonite” sort, what things could Episode VII and the Sequel Trilogy do story- or design-wise that you would perceive as a jab at the PT?

If they were to retcon any important point in the PT, like denying Anakin was the the Chosen One or to undermine his role as the Chosen One by saying he didn’t really bring balance to the Force or anything.

I’d also say completely ignoring the movies in this trilogy would be a jab by omission. I’d consider it a huge missed opportunity if for instance, Luke and Leia, or their descendants, never connect with their maternal roots. Luke and Leia feasibly had a living aunt and cousins by the fall of the Empire.

Keep those questions coming! SWPASadmin@gmail.com!

Ask SWPAS: Your Questions, My Answers II

February 27, 2014

From evangelian007:

Hey Lazy!
I got a question regarding Clone Wars: How much did the episodes cost to make? Because Lucas and Filoni never said how they much cost. Was it as expensive as the Young Indiana Jones serial/tv show? Or was it less?
It something that I always felt curious ever since the show aired.

I have no idea how much each episode cost. Someone on one of my recent posts mentioned that it was an expensive show to make and that’s why Disney cancelled it. I do not know if the show’s budget was a factor or not. However, I remember hearing Dave Filoni on a podcast prior to Clone Wars’s cancelation that the cost per episode was so low, if they had the kind of budget used on a Pixar or DreamWorks animated film, Filoni wouldn’t know what to do with the leftover money. He joked that he’d have to buy everyone rocket packs or something. Young Indiana Jones was an expensive show to make, which is why ABC axed it lickety split.

What do you think of Raikoh-illust’s star wars fan art? He’s someone who makes a lot (and I mean a lot) of Star Wars fan art.
Mostly it’s of Ahsoka which makes me happy because at least she’s getting respect and appreciation. He even drew her as a pony from the Friendship is Magic show. The reason why I’m asking is that he made a short fan comic named Barriss’s story that’s about her finding redemption. Even though it was fan made it was very well done. Maybe you could give him a shout out to him or his fan comic. Most of his SW fan art is positive and constructive.

I am not familiar with this artist but I’m sure s/he appreciates the plug!

From Andrew B:

Another question I have is why were the Star Wars films (especially the prequels) snubbed at the Academy Awards? We’ll start with episode I. Nominated for 3 (best VE, sound mixing, sound editing) losing ALL 3 to the Matrix. Not sure how fair that is, but whatever. I think that all 3 prequels deserved nominations for best original score (John Williams is perfection) and best costume design for Trisha Biggar, who costumed the galaxy flawlessly. And the only one that didn’t receive a nomination for best visual effects was ROTS! That makes ZERO sense! And finally, while I thought the acting was magnificent from all people, I thought Ian McDiarmid deserved a nomination for best supporting actor for his flawless work in episode III. Just my thoughts. What is your take on how the oscars forgot the prequels?

Part of it is because Fox/Lucasfilm never did a serious campaign for the films, part of it is because of backlash against the prequels/Lucas, and part of it is because the Academy had moved on from Star Wars the way it has recently moved on from Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth flicks. The LOTR movies were showered with nominations and awards, but the two Hobbit films have been largely ignored. ANH won a respectable 9 Oscars (though lost all of the big categories) while TESB and ROTJ won maybe one each. I don’t expect anything different for Episode VII no matter how much money it makes or how well it is received.

From Prince Of Naboo:

My question to SWPAS: I’ve only discovered Star Wars in 2006, so I completely missed the original releases of the films and what was going on. I’ve always wondered how “fandom” has changed over the years?
When the respective movies came out: Were there more people (I mean fans, specifically) who loved them or who hated them? Was it balanced?
Is it worse nowadays than when the movies came out? What was the situation overall?

I’d appreciate it a lot if you could just give a short overview of the “evolution of fandom and the reception of the films when they were originally released among SW fans”. This is especially directed at the Prequel films, but I’m also interested in fan’s reactions to the Ep. V and VI when they were released as well (I don’t know if you’re old enough to remember?). Thank you in advance.

Oh, I was old enough to remember! I’ll try to keep this as brief as possible because I could write a book on the topic. My personal experience was on the playground, not as part of a fandom per se, since I was a kid in those days. I’d say the overall reaction to TESB and ROTJ was positive (the reaction to ANH was in a class by itself), though I was in my early teens when ROTJ came out and was a little bit more aware there were a few negative reviews. I attributed that to jealousy and the critics being tired of the movies. I was shocked to find out later that *gasp* there were people out there who didn’t like Star Wars. It seemed like over time it became fashionable to love TESB and to bash ROTJ. I don’t know why. The only window I had into the thoughts of adult fans at the time the movies came out was by reading old fanzines from the ’80s. Again, most fans were positive about the movies but I recall the editors of one zine who absolutely hated TESB and left fandom shortly afterward, and another crew of “hate girls” who hated ROTJ because it didn’t end the way they wanted.

The biggest difference though between then and the late ’90s-00s was that the prequels came out in a world of the internet and 24/7 media. I don’t know how Eps V-VI would have fared had the internet existed then, probably not as well as they did in an era without the internet.

Got any questions? Comment or send ’em to SWPASadmin@gmail.com! When I get another batch, I’ll make another post!

Throwback Thursday: Rose Byrne In “Dallas Doll”

February 27, 2014

Another prequel star who’s done pretty well for herself is Rose “Dormé” Byrne. Known only in Australia until her turn in AOTC, Byrne has since appeared in movies like “Troy,” “Bridesmaids,” and “X Men: First Class” along with the FX t.v. show “Damages.”

Her acting debut was in 1994’s “Dallas Doll” at age 15. All I know about it is that it’s some weird Aussie movie starring Sandra Bernhard.

A Quick Review of Star Wars Insider #147

February 25, 2014

Star Wars Insider #147 came out a while ago and before the next issue rolls out, I thought I’d post some of my thoughts about #147. The “50 Greatest Reasons To Love The Prequels” was a nice piece, with contributions from various Star Wars personalities and Big Name Fans. On the other hand, I thought it was kind of sad anyone thought this was necessary. Did the Insider ever have to do an article called “50 Greatest Reasons To Love Star Wars” back in the ’90s? Not that I can remember; it was a given. Take what we can get.

Lizzi Kartay-Dod got one of her beloved Neimodians named after her; that was pretty cool.

But my favorite piece got surprisingly little fanfare, and that was Tricia Barr’s interview with Camille Paglia about ROTS! If there’s any reason at all to find a copy of #147, this is it. It’s not very long, but it’ll make you wonder why Paglia hasn’t appeared at a Celebration panel yet.

The Coruscant Tapestry

February 25, 2014

A gallery in Los Angeles called Gallery1988 has a sweet hand-sewn 30-foot tapestry depicting scenes from all six existing films, from TPM to ROTJ. Yours for only 20 grand!

Here are some additional photos on the gallery’s Tumblr page.

Terryl Whitlatch Video

February 25, 2014

This video’s been around for a while but I was tagged on Facebook to check it out, so here it is, an hour-20 minute chat with TPM creature designer Terryl Whitlatch:

Ask SWPAS: Your Questions, My Answers I

February 24, 2014

Wow, that was fast! I got a bunch of questions already, mostly because some of you asked multiple questions, which is fine.

First, this one from Jelmer de Haan:

My brother is very fond of the works of a Star Wars fan who intents to ‘improve’ the Star Wars movies and claims on his website that what he makes are: “What the special editions should have been.” A claim, I believe to be untrue and unfair. The project is called Star Wars Revisited. Some changes are interesting, but In my eyes are not ‘owed’ to anyone or necessary, and this fan seems to think that he knows what best for Star Wars, more so than it’s creator George Lucas.

Now, what I was was curious about, is what your thoughts about this project, it’s changes and the attitude of it’s creator are. And if it basically the same as most fan-versions of the films. That is, if you’re familiar with it at all.

At the very least thanks for your consideration and the best of luck with whatever it is you’ll be working on in the future.

I have never heard of this particular project but I’ve known about many other similar “fan edits.” A few people do them just as a way to learn editing, but others do them because they’re a bunch of smarty pants who think they can do Star Wars better (there are also fan fiction writers who are the same way). Unless you’ve got access to every bit of footage shot, all you’re doing is taking things out that you don’t like. It’s like “editing” a book by ripping out pages and chapters that you found boring. No, you’re just ripping pages out of a book. Such projects don’t interest me. Those who can do, while everyone else hacks up movies on YouTube.

From Andrew B:

One of the things I hear the prequels getting most criticized about is their acting. I think it is preformed amazingly, but the majority seems to think otherwise. What do you think of the acting?

I thought the cast did a great job. Part of the reason why I’ve been doing the Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy posts is to point out how well-acted many of scenes were. It’s crazy to me that critics totally discount many of the fantastic performances, in big roles and small. By the way, critics who disliked the first set of Star Wars films, even some that liked them, also dismissed the acting as stiff, wooden, phoned-in, etc..

And now these questions from Daniel Xie (edited down):

Some have argued that the reason Disney pulled the plug on TCW is because of influence from Hateboys. How so? If anything, I have seen a lot of hateboys like the show as much as the Prequel fans.

If I had a dollar for every “TCW is better than the prequels” comment, I could’ve bought Lucasfilm back from Disney! *Eyeroll.* I think the main reason Disney canned the show was that it wanted its own project instead. It did the same thing to a Marvel animated show after it bought Marvel a few years ago, then produced its own show. The decision to set it closer to the OT era though probably was motivated to some degree by the anti-PT backlash. Though only Disney, Lucasfilm, and those who worked on the show know for sure.

In that regard, is it hypocritical for the hateboys to love the TCW but hate the prequels?

I don’t understand it, since Clone Wars is meaningless without the prequels. But they didn’t really get on board until after the first season or so, when they did all-bounty hunter episodes and stuff, and Ahsoka started acting older. They really hated her at first.

Do you think the downgrading of TPM from fresh to Rotten on RT with the re-release is because of hateboy influence on the critics? If that is so, has Disney done us a service by not releasing the 3D releases because then the hateboys will trash it to no end?

Yes on the first question; actually many critics ARE hate boys and saw the re-release as an excuse to re-review the film and trash it. No on the second. If they’re worried about RT now, they may as well not make any new Star Wars movies ever again.

(W)hat is the Prequel-fan stance on stuff like the KOTOR games or the Thrawn novels, both of which are liked by both PT fans and Hateboys alike? Yes GL gave the image of the Empire being fully defeated in ROTJ but the fact is that an empire like that has hold-outs on many worlds so it is very conceivable someone like Thrawn or Isard would step up to lead the remnants. And what of KOTOR? What about Legacy comics? Is 100 years enough gap for new Sith to emerge?

There’s no official prequel fan opinion on books, comics, or games. The only canon is what’s in the movies and in Clone Wars. Beyond that is apocrypha. Or whatever the Story Group ultimately decides.

With that aside, there are a lot of EU fans that are hateboys. Why so? Do you think it’s because they need to do something to somehow prove they are SW fans?

I think that group of fans prefer the EU’s vision of Star Wars over what’s in the actual films. Many of them were too young to have seen the first set of movies in the theater but read the novels and comics for almost a decade before TPM came out.

What are your thoughts about people defending the PT simply because it fit into their political view(s)?

Almost always they do that because they totally misinterpreted the films or because they are taking advantage of pop culture to persuade people politically. Then there are people who have attacked the films because they believe there’s a political or social agenda that they disagree with. It’s all cringe-inducing. You can research Lucas’s personal views and once you know them, it’s easy to see where he’s coming from. Then you can intelligently agree or disagree with what’s put on the screen.

Are hateboys “only” restricted to the internet or to geek/nerd clubs? Why is this happening? I have always heard of people being hateboys only on the Internet and the mass media, but why is this happening in real life? I do not know because I asked many of them about Plinkett and no one has heard of Plinkett videos. Why is this occuring with the average joe?

Because if people hear things enough times, they’ll start to believe it’s true.

Has there been a shift to hateboy mentality in the Jedi Council boards?

I thought it was bad 10 years ago and it’s worse now. I don’t even bother posting there anymore.

Got any questions? Post in the comments or send an e-mail to SWPASadmin@gmail.com.

Natalie Talks Star Wars

February 24, 2014

It took a while to dig to the original interview but I found it on Movie Pilot. Natalie talks mostly about “Thor: The Dark World” which is due out tomorrow on Blu-Ray/DVD, but there’s this bit about Star Wars:

What are your thoughts on the new Star Wars movies?

I am so excited about them. I think J.J. Abrams is such a talent and I can’t wait to see what he does. I am only sorry that my character died, which means I can’t be in them. I saw him somewhere and I said, “How did this happen? I can’t believe I’m not going to be in the new movie.”

Well, if anyone takes a trip back to Mortis, I suppose it’s possible! If not in Episode VII, then VIII or IX. In any case, it’s nice to see PT alumni proud of their roots.

Netflix Clone Wars Trailer

February 24, 2014

In case you were hiding in a cave all day, here it is:

The episodes get uploaded on Netflix March 7.

Ask SWPAS

February 22, 2014

We’ll see if it was a good idea or not, but I’ve decided to introduce an “Ask SWPAS” column where you, the reader, can ask me anything concerning Star Wars, fandom, or whatever, so long as it’s nothing gross, obnoxious, or personal. When I get a batch of questions, I’ll answer them in a separate post.

Post your questions in the thread or send ’em to SWPASadmin@gmail.com.