Archive for August, 2015

Great Scenes of the Prequel Trilogy: Jedi Don’t Have Nightmares

August 30, 2015

After Padmé friend zones Anakin, he suffers through nightmares about his mother Shmi. He is seen the next morning standing on a balcony with his hands clasped behind his back, staring off at clouds obscuring the sun and blue sky as he is lost in his thoughts about what to do next. The visuals signal his confusion and conflict between his assigned duty and his urgency to go to his mother, who might be in trouble.

Padmé emerges from her bedroom and is about to leave him, figuring she is interrupting his meditation or something but he asks her to stay. She tells him she heard his nightmares even though he denies it. Anakin reveals he is troubled about his mother’s fate and he has to go to her. Padmé, because of course she loves him in spite of what she’d told him, volunteers to travel with him.

This is another one of those quiet moments but there is a lot happening here. The nightmare is the catalyst for what happens with Anakin and Padmé’s arc for the rest of the film and leads to Anakin’s first surrender to the Dark Side. Anakin’s vision is “clouded” because he’s torn between what he feels he has to do and his duty on Naboo. He has no one to turn to for guidance; Obi-Wan is off on his own adventure. He has to make a choice and given his age and his attachment to his mother, of course he’s going to choose going to Tatooine. He’s no different from Luke deciding to run off to Cloud City to save his friends.

Many have noted the way Anakin is standing in the shot on the balcony is exactly the same way Darth Vader stands at various times during the OT. It’s a testament to both Hayden Christensen and George Lucas that they were thinking of keeping a character’s quirks consistent throughout the series.

What doesn’t get discussed as much is the intimacy between Anakin and Padmé in this scene. There’s no kissing or anything like that and Padmé is wearing a robe, but for a couple absolutely determined Not To Fall In Love, Anakin isn’t uncomfortable wearing a see-through shirt around her and you can tell Padmé’s nightgown is a little sexier than the one she had on earlier in the film. She doesn’t try that hard to make sure it’s absolutely covered up. Watch Padmé’s eyes as she is initially talking to Anakin; she is looking him up and down. Then she insists on going to Tatooine with Anakin instead of demanding he remain on Naboo with her or asking the Jedi Council to send somebody else. They’re in love all right.

The beauty of the scene, the on-beat performances, and the use of visuals to express the characters’ emotions make it a memorable one.

TBT/FBF: YSL One Love Cosmetics Line

August 27, 2015


Cover Girl (and Max Factor in the UK) is about to unleash its TFA tie-in line in the coming week with several lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascara. It’s really the only TFA merch I would like to find and that’s largely limited to the polishes and lipsticks. I mean, no prequel quotes on the mascara tubes? No blushes or eyeshadow? No liquid eyeliner? (Lime Crime has a Blue Milk eyeliner.) And they blew a big opportunity by not doing a BB-8 Beauty Balm.

Still, Cover Girl is affordable and ubiquitous in every drug store, big box store, and supermarket in America. The last time a Star Wars makeup line was licensed out in the U.S. and abroad they went with the very high-end Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) to promote TPM which wasn’t so affordable or easy to find.

Officially it was called something like the “One Love” line and it was unleashed in the fall of 1999 to coincide with TPM’s October release in France, where YSL is based. Because it was late in the year, YSL also decided to use the line to celebrate the upcoming new millennium, which is why some of its compacts were etched with “Love 2000.”

There were no Star Wars logos on the packaging but compacts, bottle caps, and boxes were in the same shade of red. Some items had Star Wars-y names, some didn’t. Stores had displays with everyone’s favorite queen on them along with samples of whatever items they had available. There was also a booklet that had tips on how to do your makeup just like Amidala. The funny thing about this booklet was that it was obviously originally written in French and then translated to English. The results weren’t as hilarious as “Backstroke of the West” but I recall the wording was silly and awkward.

I wish I could say I bought the entire line. But I had two problems. One, I was much broker in 1999 than I am today and that stuff wasn’t cheap. Two, not only was the line hard to find it was also hard to find a store that sold everything from the line. More than one fan has expressed surprise that I was ever able to find the line at all in stores because many of them didn’t. I lived on the East Coast at the time and I found the YSL line sold at three stores: the Sephora at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, VA; the Bloomingdales at Tysons Corner, VA; and the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York City. So I had to pick the stuff I liked the most and were the most “Star Wars.”

Therefore, I bought the Naboo Pink nail polish and the Rouge Amidala (Amidala Red) lipstick. The nail polish was a very light pink, almost white, with little hint of glitter. It was great for French manicures or for the professional gal in an era when blue or black or green nail polish was still considered weird. The lipstick was amazing. I’m a sucker for red lipstick anyway and this one was an incredible shade very close to the lip color used in the movie. I used both products for years and years afterwards and even when the polish ran out and the lipstick was reduced to a flat nib, I put the containers in the collection hoard.

In the spring of 2000 I went to Paris and I’d hoped to find remainders of the line kicking around some of the stores but no luck. That was a fall/winter line and they were already on to the spring/summer line.

As a side note, Avon Mexico did a kids’ “personal care” line of products for AOTC that included things like hand cream, fragrances, toothbrushes, and lip balm for those times you have to kiss a Senator or a Jedi, but that’s not quite the same thing.

Here’s an article from 1999 that mentions the makeup line:

Yves Saint Laurent, meanwhile, has chosen a golden glamour-gal look polished off with one of the most beautiful red lipsticks around. Spinning off from Queen Amidala’s signature Kabuki style in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace,” YSL’s makeup designer Terri de Gunzberg designed a collection called One Love that is truly original and complimentary to just about all complexions and hair color. The basis of the look is Royal Glow, a “dry oil” with a coppery-gold sparkle. Coupled with Shimmering Powder, an iridescent beigy-pink also flecked in metallic, Royal Glow, the affect is a rosy, healthy glow. Amidala’s Red, the Rouge Pure No. 71, is an intense blue-red that works magic on both blondes and brunettes.

Prequel Apparel Pinterest Board

August 26, 2015

Sick of searching site after site for PT-themed wear until your eyes bleed? Check out Colleen’s Prequel Apparel board on Pinterest. She’s got a bunch of them pinned, old and new, licensed and unlicensed. I even spotted a few I haven’t seen before. You’ll have to sign up for a Pinterest account to view them but it’s free.

Fan Asks Creators To Respect The Mythology

August 25, 2015

Thanks to a pingback, I found a link to this post on Star Wars Underworld called “Respect The Mythology.”

(As an aside, I think respecting the mythology ought to be the bare minimum and having respect for it isn’t the same as well, going on t.v. or the internet at every opportunity to tear down half of it as well as the fans who love it. Just sayin’.)

Book Report: Little Golden Books Prequel Trilogy

August 24, 2015


Zulily was selling the new Star Wars Little Golden Books in bundles of three–one set for each trilogy–at a good price, so I ordered away. The books arrived today and they are really adorable.

Each book has different writers and artists yet the books are consistent in style throughout. As you might expect, it’s an illustrated rundown of each movie. The adaptations hit every highlight of the films and do an admirable job of accurately summarizing them in a few bedtime story pages.

These are great for introducing little kids to Star Wars who might not yet have the attention span to sit through a two-hour-plus movie. But even if you don’t have kids or they’re long since out of kindergarten, they make for a fun collectible.

Rancho Obi-Wan Galaween 2015

August 23, 2015

The second annual Rancho Obi-Wan Galaween will be on October 24:

Galaween takes place in the midst of the world’s largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia and is hosted by master-collector Steve Sansweet. The Gala will raise funds for the ongoing costs of maintaining Rancho Obi-Wan and enable us to continue our mission of inspiring others. We look forward to spending an incredible evening with you celebrating our mutual love of Star Wars and relaxing amongst friends!

Members can buy tickets now on the Rancho Obi-Wan site. Partygoers can expect food from a local chef, dessert from a local bakery, drinks of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety, games, swag bags, auctions, and prizes. Guests include Don Post Jr., a guy known for his geek themed pumpkins, and a fortune teller. Get more details here.

Book Report: The Clone Army Attacketh

August 22, 2015

Ian Doescher’s Shakespeare-Meets-AOTC parody “The Clone Army Attacketh” came out last month but it took a while before I was able to get to it. I have to say I enjoyed it even more than the TPM one. AOTC seems weirdly very suited to a Shakespearean take on the film. Doescher has fun with Anakin and Padmé’s courtship for one thing (lots of soliloquies about how they really feel about each other). I also enjoyed the action scenes. Even the reek, nexu, and acklay get dialogue.

Jar Jar isn’t as self-assured as he was in TPM and I wonder if that was by design, after all he decided to vote for Palpatine’s emergency powers, or whether Doescher wasn’t sure what to do with him in his diminished role. We’ll have to see how it pans out in ROTS.

The book has some nice illustrations and if you’re not a huge Shakespeare geek, there’s a section at the end that explains how Doescher structures the dialogue. Even a non-expert like me caught the lines and devices used in other plays I’ve actually read. For example, Anakin quotes the famous soliloquy from “Macbeth.” For those of you more familiar with modern pop culture references, Doescher drops references to Samuel L. Jackson’s films, i.e. “Die hard, with a vengeance!”

Thankfully Doescher seemed even less inclined to poke fun at the movie as he did a little in the TPM one.

Go check it out!

Jedi Vs. Sith Trading Card Set

August 22, 2015

Hot on the heels of Topps’s ROTS 3D Widevision card set is the Star Wars Chrome Jedi vs. Sith set, due out soon.

Rebelscum posted a PDF of what to expect here. Lots of bells and whistles from all of the films, Clone Wars, and Rebels. Check out the busloads of people signing autographs for the card set too, including a lot of first-timers like Nick Gillard and Sam Witwer.

Were You A Teenage Girl During The Prequel Years?

August 21, 2015

I was WAY past being a teen when TPM came out but a fan is looking for others who were teenage girls 1999-2005 to tell their story. This is a quote from her original post, which discusses the appeal the prequels had to teenage girls:

I’d go as far to say, in all honesty, that teenage girls were the Prequel fandom. We did the fanfiction, the fanart, the graphics, the character analysis, the essays about what that one lighting effect in that one scene meant, the advice on how to sew that costume – the work, you could almost say, because we really loved those movies and the universe within them.

A Couple Of Interesting Reads

August 21, 2015

Entertain-O-Rama has an article on 4 of the author’s “four of the greatest moments” from the Anakin/Obi-Wan duel in ROTS.

And Clone Corridor has a new post about Padmé’s speech to the Senate that was cut from AOTC.