Archive for February, 2017

“In Defense Of Padmé Amidala”

February 19, 2017

LadyFromPlanetX forwarded an old Geek Dad post that I missed somehow but it’s really good.  If you can stand another defense of Padmé, you really ought to read it:

My favorite rule in chess is the one where a pawn advances to a higher piece if it manages to cross the whole board. Padmé starts the game as a queen. In The Phantom Menace and The Attack of the Clones she plays an aggressively defensive game. In Revenge of the Sith she becomes cornered and chooses to sacrifice herself to protect her king, Anakin.

In A New Hope Luke enters the game as a pawn. He is talented but untrained and impetuous. For every win there is also a loss, but the other pieces protect him because they know if he makes it across the board, they have their best chance at winning it all. In Return of the Jedi, when Luke refuses to be Palpatine’s pawn — the way his father had been all these years — he becomes a knight. And in doing so, in making the same choice Padmé made on the day of his birth, he catches Palpatine in his own trap. Anakin is free to win the game.

Filoni: Prequels Important To Today’s SW

February 18, 2017

Comic Book.com has a short interview with Dave Filoni where he discusses why the prequels are relevant to today’s Star Wars stories:

“I think it works into what the struggle is. You want to achieve this balance or you want to become … I think it’s a natural part of it, and really the introduction of this idea of balance comes from the prequels,” Filoni told ComicBook.com. “That’s where the prophecy of the chosen one and ‘the one who will bring balance,’ as quoted by Mace Windu, really comes from. So, I find that very interesting because the prequels add a tremendous amount of depth to all these things, especially ways of the Force. The people, I don’t think realize that that’s where it comes from, but it’s not something that’s natural to the original trilogy. It’s something that stems from the prequels, which added a tremendous amount to what we know about Star Wars.”

Regal Gown A-Line Dress

February 17, 2017

Independent fan fashion is showing more love for the prequels.  LadyJediScientist found this dress on Redbubble:

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Yours for $65.00 but Redbubble has frequent discount promotions.  You can also get leggings with the same design from the same shop.

Hint, hint licensees and retailers:  fans will fill in the missing gaps.

“The Case For Padme”

February 16, 2017

Power To The Prequels is back again at RetroZap, this time with an essay celebrating Padme, a character who doesn’t get the proper respect in fandom or in the media:

Padme’s stubborn refusal to lose all hope in the face of overwhelming despair and her steadfast loyalty to a man who has physically abused her is often used as evidence of her weakness as a character. And yet doesn’t Luke do the same thing in Return of the Jedi when he discards his weapon in the presence of the most powerful Sith in the galaxy and the abusive father who cut off his hand and kicked the crap out of him? How can Padme’s sacrifice be written off as weak, while Luke’s is bravery? They are the same thing. Luke is Padme’s child. Her spirit, her fearlessness and her loyalty live on in him.

Let me just add something here, not about the essay per se but about the things I link. If I don’t like a piece for whatever reason I don’t bother linking to it at all. If I think the piece makes a lot of good points, I do link to it even if I don’t agree with everything that’s in the piece. This particular one does have a little bit of a partisan POV and it’s not one I’m necessarily endorsing. Read Rules of the House on that issue.

Kitster Gets His Own Funko Pop Figure

February 16, 2017

 
The Star Wars Show brought back Dhruv Chanchani, who played Anakin’s buddy Kitster in TPM, to present him with a custom Kitster Funko Pop! figure direct from the company.

Japor Snippet DIY

February 13, 2017

The Kessel Runway has a japor snippet necklace DIY just in time for Valentine’s Day.  This isn’t a movie replica; it’s designed to be a fashion item.  So those of you who are present-less for tomorrow, here’s your last chance to impress your Valentine!

“Re-watching TPM”

February 11, 2017

Making Star Wars.net has an ongoing column called Opening the Holocron and its latest entry is a look back at TPM:

Of course, no movie could ever transcend that toddler’s memory and TPM – with its admitted flaws – certainly did not. But I did, and do, enjoy it.

Perhaps prophetically, it sure seems that many viewers who despise TPM (as well as its siblings Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) simply can’t remember what it was like to be Anakin Skywalker’s age, to have that kind of hope, to have that kind of awe…

Like Anakin himself, those who deride the prequels don’t (or didn’t) want things to change.

Time For Another Ask SWPAS

February 7, 2017

It’s pretty quiet out there, so I figure it’s time for another round of Ask SWPAS.  Ask whatever you like about the prequels and Star Wars in general, and I will answer in the comments below.

Clone Wars Leaving Netflix 3/7

February 5, 2017

Well, if you’re done with “The Crown” and you don’t care about anything else until “Stranger Things” comes back with another seasons, here’s a good reason to save $10 a month on Netflix for a while.

The series is available on Blu-Ray but for those of us without players or who just like to be able to see CW on the go, this is not great news.

Update:  Seasons 1-6 are still available on iTunes.

20 Years Of The Star Wars Special Editions: A Commentary

February 4, 2017

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January 31, 2017 marked an important but often overlooked anniversary in the long pop culture history of Star Wars. It’s the 20th anniversary of the Star Wars Special Editions, the first of which (ANH) was released in theaters January 31, 1997. TESB followed on February 21 and ROTJ on March 14. As is often the case with anything having to do with modern fandom and “geek” media, too much attention has been paid to the controversies and not enough on how really important those three months were in 1997. (For the record, I take the Harrison Ford position on the “who shot first” issue: I don’t care. I happen to think the 2004 DVD cut had the best version of the scene.)

1996’s “multimedia event” “Shadows Of The Empire” was a dress rehearsal for the Special Editions which in turn were a dress rehearsal for the prequels. Lucasfilm was riding a wave of resurgent popularity and this was to keep the momentum going while at the same time stretching muscles at everywhere from PR to licensing to ILM’s visual effects department that hadn’t been used for a long time, or at least not coordinated together since ROTJ’s release in 1983. But let me be clear: this wasn’t top-down manipulation.  There had been a renaissance of interest in Star Wars beginning in the early ’90s.  Moviegoers missed Star Wars. They missed the excitement those movies brought.  Meanwhile, there was a younger generation of fans whose only experience with Star Wars was on the boob tube. They yearned to see Star Wars the way God and Lucas intended them, on the big screen. They wanted to camp out on the sidewalk like fans did in the early ‘80s and dress up in costumes. They wanted to cheer with a big audience. Some of the most memorable ads for the Special Editions were aimed directly at that audience. Remember the one that started with the tinny sound and the X-wings on a little t.v. before it burst out onto the screen? It was genius.

This is why I had no doubts at all about the Special Editions succeeding. To a lot of the media, it seemed “risky” and a “gamble.” Why would people go to the theaters to pay to see movies that had been out on cable, network television, and home video for years? It seemed absurd. But Star Wars was different and at that time in 1997, there was a perfect storm ready to break out and astonish the world.

ANH:  SE had a shocking $35 million opening weekend, which set a record for a January opening and remains one of the biggest January openings even 20 years later.  It sat at the top of the box office for three weeks, racking up $138.6 million in its entire run and passing “E.T. The Extraterrestrial” to become the top-grossing film of all time (domestic) until James Cameron and Leonardo DiCaprio ruined everything a year later.  The three existing Star Wars film grossed a total of $447 million worldwide during their combined run.  That’s right…movies that were 14-20 years old made as much money if not more than just about every newly made hit released in 1997.

As per usual, complaining fans didn’t see the trees for the forest, preferring to dither on what was changed and how that made Lucas a horrible person.  It’s like your team wins the Super Bowl or the World Series and all you could do is complain about your team’s ugly uniforms and how much you hate the coach while everyone else around you is celebrating.  It probably indicated what was coming with the prequels.

But the Special Editions were a triumph for Star Wars and for George Lucas.  They proved that Star Wars was a permanent part of the cultural landscape and they introduced the theatrical experience to a new generation of fans.  In fact, the experience of seeing the films on the big screen after so many years and noticing how much was lost watching them on a t.v. influenced this fan to see the prequels as many times in the theater as possible when they were released.  The hype for new Star Wars films went into overdrive.  In fact, one could say this was the beginning of the prequel era.  I think TPM would’ve been a success even without the Special Editions but they probably would’ve had to have worked a lot harder to make the film an event.  The Special Editions pre-sold that audience two years in advance and built the excitement to make TPM the movie event of the decade.

This article has all of the info on how the Special Editions performed, making the process of writing this a lot easier and faster.