Archive for August, 2014

Make Your Own Disney Stuff

August 28, 2014

A friend pointed out that the Disney Store online had some new items. When I took a peek at them, I saw they had customizable items like mugs, t-shirts, school binders, and iPad covers.

When you look at the available designs powered by Zazzle, you’ll see there are some prequel designs you can use! I don’t know how this oversight occurred ;). No Clone Wars stuff (boo) but the PT3, Clone Troopers, and Darth Maul are there.

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #18: It Was The Last Star Wars Film On VHS

August 28, 2014

Remember the VCR and the VHS cassette? Be kind and rewind? Fuzzies on the picture if you played it too many times?

I know it seems like it was another century but actually, the last Star Wars film released on VHS rolled out early in the 21st century. November 2002 to be exact. The DVD had become in a short period of time the dominating home video medium; TPM was the first Star Wars film issued on DVD but AOTC was the first Star Wars film issued on DVD for its first home video release (TPM came out on VHS in 2000). But since many people still had VCRs and hadn’t splurged for a DVD player (though you could play DVDs on computers and laptops by that time), Fox’s home video division released AOTC on both formats. For the record, I bought the DVD. Fox must’ve seen the writing on the wall because in 2005, ROTS was released exclusively on DVD.

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #19: It Set The Stage For The Next Generation

August 27, 2014


Maybe no one gives it a whole lot of thought, but one of the themes of AOTC is reproduction. No, really. On the one hand, there is the courtship of Anakin and Padmé, which we all know will eventually result in the births of Luke and Leia. It is set against the natural beauty of Naboo, which emphasizes the natural and human way everyone’s favorite twins came into existence. Even though the relationship must remain secret and ultimately did its part to turn Anakin to the dark side, the heroes of the next part of the saga would not exist without it.

This is contrasted with the cloning facility on Kamino, where men are bred in test tubes, mere genetic product meant to serve someone else’s ends. They are literal reproductions of Jango Fett, who commits to this scheme for money. But he also requests one clone to raise as his own, his “son” Boba. It’s poignant to realize Jango is unwilling/unable to find love on his own likely because of his occupation, but still wants to fill a lonely hole in his otherwise cold heart. Jango’s death pretty much ensured Boba Fett would be a ruthless bastard himself the rest of his life.

Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Qui-Gon Checks For “Infections”

August 27, 2014


What? Isn’t this an insignificant little scene where OMG, they bring up midichlorians???

Yeah, that’s right. And it’s really a terrific scene.

Anakin, being the excitable young boy he was in TPM, is up past his bedtime (though it did make me wonder just what Shmi was going to do if he didn’t listen to her; she didn’t seem like the corporal punishment sort). He’s talking to his new Jedi friend Qui-Gon outside of his hovel under a sky full of stars. What’s great about this scene is that it’s Anakin dreaming big dreams, full of exuberance and innocence. He looks up in wonder at the stars above him and declares that one day when he grows up, he’s going to visit all of them. An impossibility but Anakin ends up seeing quite a great deal of the galaxy, for better or worse. Most of us know that, which is what makes this scene poignant. Darth Vader, the second worst guy in the galaxy, was once this lad who really wasn’t all of that different from any other kid we might know. Or his son Luke for that matter. Jake Lloyd’s naturalistic way of handling the scene made that much more resonant.

Qui-Gon’s interaction with Anakin is interesting. It’s clear he already has an affection for the boy and Anakin seems to have found the father figure lacking in his life. Yet Qui-Gon being Qui-Gon can’t reveal what he suspects, so he has to tell a little white lie in order to test the blood from a cut on Anakin’s arm. We tend to think of the Jedi as good guys but as the OT showed, they are more than capable of deception when it’s for “the greater good.”

This scene also reveals that Anakin’s midichlorian count is way off the charts, even higher than Yoda’s. To me, this scene justifies the midichlorians, because otherwise, what’s so special about Anakin other than he’s a nice kid? Or about Luke or Leia for that matter, who presumably also have crazy-high midichlorian mojo?

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #20: It Was The Last Star Wars Film Shot In Tunisia

August 26, 2014

The North African nation of Tunisia doubled as Tatooine in ANH, TPM, and AOTC. (There were no Tatooine visits in TESB and all of the Tatooine scenes in ROTJ were shot in the U.S. Southwest.) It turns out that location shoot in 2000 was the last time the Star Wars crew came to the original home of Mos Eisley, Mos Espa, and the Lars homestead. Lucas shot plates that were used for the final scene in ROTS while he was filming AOTC. I can’t say with 100% certainty that the desert shots done for Episode VII were meant to be Tatooine, but everything points to that they are “Tatooine,” and those were done in Abu Dhabi. Unless some future production returns to Tunisia, AOTC marked the end of an era.

Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir: The Nickel Review

August 25, 2014

What can I say? “Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir” was awesome! What a way to close out Dark Horse’s 23-year run as purveyor of Star Wars comics.

No matter what you might think of Darth Maul’s resurrection from the dead on Clone Wars, this was one heck of a story. Based on a script written for the show but never aired (curse you, whoever canceled Clone Wars), Darth Maul, the rogue Mandalorians, and his new friends in the criminal underground cause lots of trouble. Maul is captured and tortured, then he escapes with the help of his buddies. Then Maul in turn captures Dooku and Grievous. After a brief team-up to repel a pesky Jedi attack, Maul ends up in a battle royale that involves every significant villain of the prequel trilogy but Jango Fett. This would have been one epic, ratings-grabbing episode had it aired on t.v.! It is revealed that Mother Talzin is Maul’s mother and she had sacrificed much of her own corporeal existence to bring him back to life. In order to fully restore herself she needed to take the life energy of another and Maul sets up Dooku to fit that bill. But you’ll be surprised at who puts a stop to those plans. No, it’s not Jar Jar though that would be extremely surprising. While it was odd to see Clone Wars characters depicted differently and while no one can draw Darth Maul the way Jan Duursema can, the art was really good. “Son of Dathomir” serves to remind you of how much creative strength was left in Clone Wars. If it was this exciting to read, it would have been even better as an animated show. What a shame.

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #21: It Brought Artoo & Threepio Together

August 25, 2014


Artoo and Threepio might have “first” met in TPM but it was brief and Threepio stayed behind on Tatooine while Artoo got to go have fun the rest of the movie.

In AOTC they’re reunited on Tatooine, go off on their first adventure on Geonosis, and remain together the rest of the saga (thus far). I always thought it was kind of charming how the droid duo were family heirlooms; Artoo was Padmé’s and Threepio was Anakin’s. The wedding ceremony at the end not only made Anakin and Padmé husband and wife, it also made the droids mechanical stepbrothers. In ROTS you can see that Anakin and Padmé gave each other their respective droids. Artoo serves as Anakin’s buddy and co-pilot, while Threepio is in Padmé’s service.

So much feels!

Clone Wars Season 6 DVD/Blu-Ray In November?

August 23, 2014

German fan site Jedi Bibliothek noticed the German Amazon site was taking pre-orders for the Clone Wars Season 6 DVD/Blu-Ray. It lists the release date as November 20. Usually these kinds of releases are on or around the same time worldwide and it’s just in time for Christmas/Hanukkah gift-giving season. 11/20 is a Thursday so it is entirely possible we’ll get it on 11/18 since Tuesday is the usual day for new releases on DVD and Blu-Ray in North America. Stay tuned!

Flashback Friday: Art of Revenge

August 22, 2014

One of the many features the old Hyperspace Star Wars Fan Club had for “premium” (paid) members was a series called Art of Revenge. It was launched on August 23, 2004 and it featured concept art from the film.

Given that this along with photos and live web cams from the set, it’s amazing how much Lucasfilm made available prior to ROTS’s release.

Undeniable Fact About AOTC #22: It Introduced Luke & Leia’s Adoptive Families

August 22, 2014

One thing that is often overlooked about AOTC is how the film goes a long way to set up what occurs in Eps IV-VI. The film introduces the people who will raise Luke and Leia; Bail Organa is seen for the first time in a Star Wars film while we meet the younger incarnations of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. It establishes Owen is Anakin’s stepbrother (the ROTJ novelization originally made Owen Obi-Wan’s relative) and therefore there’s a closer relationship with Luke than we had believed. They really were Luke’s aunt and uncle! It is revealed why everyone trusted Bail to raise Leia and how many of his ideals were passed on to her. Anyone who loves the lore of Star Wars couldn’t help but geek out over this kind of stuff.