Archive for the ‘Saga’ Category

So, What’s Up With This Obi-Wan Movie?

August 17, 2017

Today The Hollywood Reporter published a claim that Stephen Daldry is being considered to direct a standalone film focusing on Obi-Wan.  The film has NOT yet been announced by Lucasfilm so it’s not official but generally THR and Variety are pretty plugged in with what’s going on.  (I think they are getting their info from talent agents.)  The report emphasizes that there’s no script yet so nobody has been signed but it’ll get ugly fast if it doesn’t involve Ewan McGregor.

Both THR and Variety are also reporting that Lucasfilm still wants standalones about Yoda, Boba Fett, and (for God’s sake why) Jabba the Hutt.

More of my .02 on this…it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with.  The Maul/Obi-Wan rematch was already done on Rebels so it won’t be in the film.  I doubt you’ll have an entire movie of Obi-Wan haggling with Jawas or arm wrestling Sand People.  Still there is stuff you can do, like Obi-Wan flash backing to his earliest days at the Temple, communing with Qui-Gon (dude, if Liam Neeson comes back too I’ll explode), or bailing Luke out of jail for underage drinking before Uncle Owen finds out.  We’ll see.  But these reports will force Lucasfilm’s hand into confirming or denying this project very soon.

A Couple of Interesting Reads

July 30, 2017

First this look at Anakin and Padmé’s relationship that asserts in many ways she serves as a substitute for Shmi.  I think this is true although I don’t concur with everything in this piece.  See what you think!

And while I was busy with SDCC and being out of town, Matril posted her piece on a rather famous line from TPM.

A Communications Disruption: Commentary

July 19, 2017

Former Lucasfilm employee and author J.W. Rinzler recently started blogging a popular series called “The Rise And Fall of Star Wars” on his personal website.  The entries were going to cover his time at Lucasfilm 2001-2015 where he worked in publishing and got a great deal of access, especially while working on his series of behind the scenes books for ROTS, the OT, and TFA, which was unpublished.  Up until July 14 2017, he had published twelve entries with vivid descriptions of life at Skywalker Ranch and Big Rock Ranch and anecdotes about various personalities like George Lucas, Rick McCallum, Lucasfilm execs, ILM players, the prequels cast, etc..  Shortly after his twelfth entry was posted, he edited it a couple of times, then the blog completely disappeared.  He abruptly canceled an appearance (“indefinitely”) on the Star Wars Junk podcast that was supposed to happen July 17.  He then posted on Twitter that he has had to discontinue his blog, with no further explanation given.  This tells me Rinzler was ordered to stop blogging and to take down all of his entries immediately through a cease and desist letter from Lucasfilm.  It’s likely they are alleging the blog violates a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that I’m certain Rinzler had to sign while an employee.

The July 14 entry was about his time on the set of ROTS in 2003 and he had noted that 1) Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman were “likely” affected by years of prequel bashing and weren’t terribly cooperative with his efforts 2) McGregor loudly and rudely rebuffed Rinzler after getting the green light to interview him;  McCallum allegedly said the actor was on “an emotional rollercoaster” and the crew claimed he’d changed since working on TPM 3) the difference between the way McGregor and Hayden Christensen took direction versus old pro Jimmy Smits and 4) Christensen talking about how Lucas wanted Anakin to be more understated than he wanted.  Given that Rinzler had been blogging away for weeks, even getting comments from former and current Lucasfilm employees as well as fans, there was something about this entry that made Lucasfilm uncomfortable enough to cry havoc and unleash the legal dogs of war.

 Now, let’s get one thing straight.  Lucasfilm doesn’t give a crap that you now know Ewan McGregor may have had a hissy fit on a movie set fourteen years ago.  Lucasfilm got nervous because of what Rinzler knows about a whole host of other things:  Lucas’s failed battle to build a studio at Grady Rock Ranch, when Lucas got the bug to do another Star Wars trilogy and why, what were originally Lucas’s ideas for the sequel trilogy, the sale to Disney, the decision to pull the plug on Clone Wars, the decision to cancel re-releases of the prequel trilogy, rebooting the spinoff material of books and comics, any falling out between Lucas and his former allies at Lucasfilm, the decision to dump Michael Arndt for Larry Kasdan and J.J. Abrams, what happened on the set of TFA, why Lucasfilm didn’t publish his book about TFA, and why he was let go shortly after TFA’s release.   If Rinzler wasn’t afraid to talk about cranky actors, he sure wasn’t going to be afraid to give his perspective on a lot of other things.  Maybe it wasn’t all sweetness and light on the set of TFA; maybe there was far more to the story of Harrison Ford’s injuries than what we’ve been told.  There were after all criminal charges filed against the production company.

The old Lucasfilm was more than happy to delve behind the scenes.  The new Lucasfilm seems to regard, beyond a few PR-friendly reels for cons and home viewing, Star Wars films the same as sausage:  you don’t want to know how they are made.  A book about the making of “Rogue One” was supposed to be published this year and that was abruptly cancelled.  Fans suspect it was because of the re-shoot drama late in the film’s production.

The old Lucasfilm had NDAs all along but let people like David Prowse, Gary Kurtz, Charlie Lippencott, etc. talk all they wanted even if what they had to say was score-settling along with the inside skinny of making Eps IV-VI; Prowse eventually got banned from official events but nobody has ever shut him up.  A former employee named Michael Rubin wrote “Droidmaker” several years ago that gave an insider’s view at Lucasfilm, American Zoetrope, and the early days of Pixar.  Today’s Lucasfilm will use NDAs to make sure nobody says anything to anybody ever.  There might be people who will shrug off or even defend this action but this means what we learn about Star Wars and about Lucasfilm now  will only be through tightly-controlled PR or from the Supershadows of the world.  Either way, you don’t get the truth.

They won’t be able to keep everyone quiet forever though.  There will be others coming forward to give their .02 as they leave the business and aren’t worried about burning any bridges.  Somebody will fight draconian interpretations of NDAs, consequences be damned.

In the meantime, we’ve lost a valuable time capsule capturing a part of Star Wars history that doesn’t get a lot of coverage.  It’s truly a shame.

New Tees At Target

July 17, 2017

A reader tipped off a new tee from Target featuring PT and OT characters in a “Star Wars” alphabet, only $12.99.

Then while browsing I spotted this one, also for $12.99, featuring everyone’s favorite villains.

You’ve Got To Read J.W. Rinzler’s Blog

July 13, 2017

The author of “The Making of Revenge Of The Sith,” “The Making of (the OT),” and other books is now recounting his days at Lucasfilm 2001-2015 at his blog.  It’s a fascinating insider’s account at what it was like working there during the last decade or so of it being George Lucas’s company.  It’s honest and no-holds-barred without being mean, gossipy, or bitter. Get the inside skinny on the good and bad of an almost idyllic work environment, how certain projects came to be, and his impressions of folks like Lucas or prequels producer Rick McCallum (with many more to come, I’m sure).  I have a feeling that the closer the blog gets to the Disney era, the juicier it will get.

The entries (The Rise and Fall of Star Wars) are updated Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Update #1: The blog went 404 sometime yesterday evening my time and as of yet isn’t back up. The rest of the site is still there. Rinzler has as of yet not addressed the issue, whether it’s a technical/server problem or if he was asked to take his entries down.

Naboo News has summaries and excerpts from prequel-related posts from Rinzler’s blog in case you missed them.

Update #2:  Rinzler suddenly cancelled an appearance scheduled for tomorrow on the Star Wars Junk podcast.  It seems to me somebody told him to stop blogging.

Update #3:  Get this cached link to all 12 of the original entries and save them, quick!

New Star Words

June 22, 2017

While I was (mostly) offline, Matril posted a couple more installments of her Star Words series.

First, Obi-Wan on pathetic life forms and then some words of wisdom from Shmi to Anakin.

I’m Gonna Be The First To See Them All

June 8, 2017

The latest Star Words highlights a young Anakin with big dreams:

For some reason, there’s something particularly affecting for me about this particular line. The foreshadowing isn’t quite as literal — though Vader travels far and wide, I doubt he manages to visit every system in the galaxy. But it’s so heartrending to consider the contrast between this wide-eyed, innocent optimism and the grim being that Anakin will become.

Star Wars Poetry Video

June 3, 2017

I don’t think I’ve seen this Vimeo showing parallels between the OT and PT before, but if you’re a fan of the Ring Theory, you’ve got to check it out!

Star Wars Poetry from whoispablo on Vimeo.

Whose Lightsaber Is It Anyway? (Sort of a Commentary)

May 30, 2017

Lost in the shuffle of Star Wars’s 40th anniversary, the Vanity Fair stuff, and Darth Real Life was the admission last week that Lucasfilm’s marketing department now refers to the lightsaber that once took out a roomful of younglings as “Rey’s lightsaber.”  This means not only will there be no products indicating it’s Anakin’s lightsaber any time in the near future if ever, it seems to reinforce the perception that Lucasfilm is trying to bury any meaningful reference to the prequels.  As you might imagine, this hasn’t sat well with some prequel fans out there.  Is Lucasfilm just recognizing the reality of where Star Wars is today or is this like hauling down statues and blowing up ancient sites?  Or something in between?

I’ll concede the following points:

*It was also known as Luke’s lightsaber for years.  The lucky bastard had two of them:  the blue one he was given in ANH and the one at controversy, and the green one he built himself in ROTJ.  Since EFX got the license some years ago, it’s been marketed as Luke’s lightsaber again.  So the whitewashing started even before the Disney handover.

*Until Rey builds her own, it is in the current canon her lightsaber.  From a marketing standpoint, kids are more likely to associate the lightsaber with her than with anyone else.  Though the pricier EFX versions aren’t for the small fry, it remains a reality that most new products are there to promote what’s out now.

*TFA does (briefly) mention the lightsaber’s line of ownership even if it does not specify Anakin by name.

All of that said, it looks like Rey has basically inherited the Falcon too and I have to wonder if the Millennium Falcon, forever associated with Han Solo, is now going to be marketed as “the S.S. Rey-Mo-Bile.”  (I doubt it.)  While the marketing department has also scratched Luke from what was for two movies his lightsaber, it’s obvious from TFA that the fact he’d once possessed is what leads Rey to him.  Plus, Luke has a backup, the cool green one from ROTJ.  Nobody’s taking that one from him.  I hope.

It might seem like a small thing and in the grand scheme of things, it is.  Yet there’s a perception of slighting the prequels that Lucasfilm’s regime hasn’t quite shaken.  This doesn’t help.

Maybe I need to start marketing t-shirts, buttons, and stickers that say:  “Anakin is the Chosen One and that’s his lightsaber.”

anakin-skywalker_d3330724

Joseph Fiennes Was Almost Obi-Wan?

May 25, 2017

The current star of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” told The Wrap that he was a finalist in the contest to play the younger incarnation of Obi-Wan.  Sort of:

While Fiennes played coy at first, the actor let out enough information to source the film to Star Wars.

“I auditioned for a great director,” Fiennes started. “It was whittled down after many auditions to myself and another fine actor who I was at that time at drama school with.”

The Wrap independently confirmed Fiennes and McGregor were classmates as Guildhall School of Music and Drama way back when. The Londoners went on to pursue their acting careers, but the pair apparently reunited under the guise of Star Wars.

Fiennes went on to say he moved forward with audition levels until he got to do a test in front of a director and Robin Gurland, a casting director. After finishing, Fiennes went to meet George Lucas and his daughter.

“I auditioned for a great director,” Fiennes said as he began his story. “It was whittled down after many auditions to myself and another fine actor who I was at that time at drama school with.”

However, the encounter would up being a pitfall for Fiennes. “His daughter turned around and said ‘I don’t like this guy. He’s weird. I don’t like him.’ And that’s how my audition went,” Fiennes recalled.

Oh well! Read the rest here.