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Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:33 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:49 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:28 am
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:33 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Did you know: George Lucas' first sketches/notes for Star Wars seem to specify a ship based on Gerry Anderson's "Stingray?"

Also, though there's no concrete evidence of this yet, the Millennium Falcon seems to be jokingly named as a variation on Space 1999's Eagle. The design of the ship had to be changed after George Lucas and others thought it too similar to the Eagle. ... ium-falcon

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:44 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Because the humans from the Mos Eisley Cantina deserve a little attention too. Where are the action figures for Jenny Cresswell and Swilla Corey? ;) ... ey-cantina

"Dr. Evazan" has had an action figure. And Wuher. And Boshek. Maybe some of the other guys.

Even the "Tonnika Sisters" haven't gotten figures. Apart from this 90s minifig of "Brea Tonnika," which I had: ... 4f64d5.jpg

It's never been a line which had many women in it -- or a movie series --

There's a rumor that "Senni Tonnika" (Angela Staines) hasn't consented to the use of her likeness in merchandising. Some actors didn't sign a waiver at the time. (Apparently others signed waivers much later when appearing at conventions to sign autographs.)

But that wouldn't prevent the creation of "Brea" - unless the characters are considered too similar.

I hear Lucasfilm has them on a list of figures that will never be made, said it's for legal reasons, and taken the sisters out of the running in the "fan's choice poll." That could be a George decision though.

Here's a 2009 article about the "state of the Cantina" as action figures: ... e-cantina/

Since then, as you'd expect, plenty more characters have been made. Even humanish woman Leesub Sirln.

Also Bom Vimdin, Kal Fas, Mosep Binneed.

I see that Toryn Farr has now gotten an action figure as well - a minor Rebel on Hoth and one of the only women to have a line in the original trilogy (see also: Beru, Mon Mothma).

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:55 am
by Garrett Gilchrist
Rogue One is a movie for grown-up Star Wars fans. For many of you, this is exactly the Star Wars film you've been waiting for. It's dark and serious, lacking the humor and light touch of the original 1977 film, and for some viewers it may leave you cold. This is a Star Wars prequel, but it's hard to imagine Jar Jar Binks in this world. It also, for once, makes the words "Star Wars prequel" seem like a good idea. While George Lucas worked overtime to create new worlds, this film, like The Force Awakens, gets more mileage out of using the world the original films already created. Fans will be pleased, since the film takes great joy in recreating the look and feel of the original Star Wars films, and bringing back over a dozen characters we thought we'd never see again. There are many scenes here which will make longtime Star Wars fans gasp in shock, and I recommend going into the film knowing as little as possible. Spoilers are everywhere.

Rogue One also takes glee in going farther and digging deeper than the 1977 film could have, with state of the art special effects and a more brutal tone showing the horrors of war. It is a bleak film, and literally darker than the original films were. There is a lot of nostalgia in seeing environments from the original film again, like the Death Star and the Rebel base at Yavin IV, recreated in every detail. But they're often lit darker and filmed in a very 2016 way, with handheld camera and constant CGI. At times, director Gareth Edwards behaves like a kid given full control over the toy store, using characters and situations from the original as if he'd been waiting his whole life to do so. And that joy is eventually infectious, even in a film that takes the "War" part of "Star Wars" very seriously.

The very international cast adds to the feel that this is a "war movie." It's a sea of different thick accents, and "American comedian" is not among them. You'll care about these characters, and cheer as they storm the beaches and take on the Empire, but they're not quippy and quotable. While the original film was known for its humor, there are few wisecracks to be found here. Alan Tudyk is the exception, playing K-2SO, an android with an attitude, who ends many scenes with a joke. It's easy to wonder if some of his lines were added in post production. If BB-8 in "The Force Awakens" is the new R2-D2, this cynical droid is a new C-3PO.

The innovation here is to take the familiar world of Star Wars, tell a new story within it, and tell that story well. Rogue One wants to be an art film as much as it wants to be a good Star Wars movie, and it does all right in both respects. This is a good, solid, well-made film, and a real technical achievement. I would say it's better than The Force Awakens, or at least much more naturalistic, but the two are very comparable to each other. Rogue One's real achievement is making this all look easy - like making a new Star Wars film is the most normal and natural thing in the world. We know that's not true, since George Lucas made three Star Wars prequels which are full of wild ideas and awkward moments. Lucas tried a lot of interesting things which often didn't work. As with The Force Awakens, this is a new generation of Star Wars film which is happy to copy the old films visually rather than try something new. But this is also a generation of Star Wars films which takes itself seriously, and there is a skill and competence at play here which assures us that the world of Star Wars is in good hands.

The film begins without an opening crawl or John Williams fanfare, just a title card for "Rogue One." There isn't even the Star Wars logo, which is odd because otherwise this is the most Star Wars-y movie you've ever seen. The film actually feels a bit like a Star Wars "expanded universe" spinoff, like a comic book or novel, where plot points that passed by quickly in the original films are filled in with an entire huge adventure.

And this is a film which rewards longtime Star Wars fans. You'll see many characters from the original trilogy and even the prequels, and great care is taken to recreate the seventies look of George Lucas' trilogy.

One character in particular - and I hate to spoil this - is recreated in CGI. You'll gasp as he's revealed, and it works well as a one-scene gimmick. But the character sticks around for the duration of the film. That's a lot to ask of a CGI creation, even one as well done as this. We're forced to try to take the character seriously as an actor, and that's a bit of a stretch. But its nice to see ILM really reach for the state of the art in effets.

What is clear is that we're decades beyond Jar Jar Binks, and George Lucas should be proud of how far the filmmaking technologies he pioneered in the original and prequel trilogies have come. You'll be dazzled by an onslaught of artful CGI effects work that the original films couldn't have dreamed of.

The battles in space, with X-Wings and Tie Fighters and all other kinds of craft, work overtime to do more in every shot. I found it a little hard to care about the action, but that was always true of the space battles in Star Wars films. There's always a bunch of pilots who the movie isn't about - although fans will be pleasantly surprised at who shows up for the fight.

This is a film that, like the old expanded universe, works hard to flesh out corners of the Star Wars world and make the original movies better with that backstory. Of course the original movies don't need any help to be popular, and enough happens in this prequel that you'll wonder why we didn't hear about any of it before. But that's not a bad problem for Star Wars to have, and it brings to mind the novels and comics of the 90s, which came up wtih backstory for everyone and everything.

The cast is full of familiar faces who play their roles with a casual ease. They come across like old pros even when they don't have much to do. There is none of the awkwardness of the prequels here. These characters aren't as much fun (or as likely to sell toys) as even the characters of "The Force Awakens," but it is at least refreshing that this film treats its cast as something more than good or evil cartoon characters. There is moral ambiguity here, and a feeling that every character has done things they're not proud of.

Felicity Jones is all defiance as lead character Jyn Erso. She anchors the film, although it's hard at times to get a handle on her character. She's had a tough life and presents a tough exterior while still coming across as young and unsure of herself. But the movie also asks her for some bigger acting moments, unusual for a Star Wars film - crying over a message from her father, or making inspiring speeches to rally or convince the rebels. It feels at times like Jones has to deliver whatever character the scene requires, and it's likely that there was a lot of discussion about her character behind the scenes. But for the most part Felicity Jones makes all look easy and I can't think of another Star Wars lead who would have succeeded under the circumstances.

Diego Luna plays Captain Cassian Andor with a murkier morality than your usual Star Wars hero. It's fair to say this guy would have shot Greedo first, and shot a lot of other people as well. He dresses like a less cool Han Solo, but underplays the part, with none of that swagger. He's a serious and empathetic character, walking with the story's weight on his shoulders and doing more acting with his eyes than with his Mexican accent. He carries himself soulfully and we never doubt he'll do the right thing in the end.

Donnie Yen's character is a blind monk with martial arts skills and an affinity to the Force. When he's introduced, you'll hear references to the original 1975 script to Star Wars, as he talks about "The Force of Others" and Kyber crystals. As a team with Wen Jiang, the Chinese duo are fun to watch and ground the film in a certain spirituality, reminiscent perhaps of the Japanese samurai films that inspired Star Wars to begin with. They aren't Jedi but treat the Force with a reverence that we haven't seen since the first film - the sort of spiritual belief people carry in times of war.

Ben Mendelsohn plays Imperial Officer Krennic. He's got the right look and attitude, and could have stepped out of the Imperial forces of the old trilogy. But there's an awkwardness about him. He's often seen in the rain, looking a little ineffectual, though still dangerous. His collars are often wrinkled and the actor loses his temper a little too easily. He's often asked to carry scenes almost single-handedly, acting alongside people who aren't really there. It basically works. This is a villain role that's difficult to screw up, and Mendelsohn doesn't.

The film works hard to capture the look of 1977. Alistair Petrie as General Draven could have stepped out of The Empire Strikes Back, and it's nice to see more of Rebel leaders Mon Mothma and General Dodonna, here played by Genevieve O'Reilly (reprising her role from Revenge of the Sith) and Ian McElhinney.

Forrest Whitaker, as Saw Gerrera, is an unusual character who departs the film too quickly. He wears a life support machine which recalls that of Darth Vader, an idea reminiscent of George Lucas' early drafts of Star Wars.

The design of the film is largely taken from the original trilogy, recreating the 1977-1983 films in exacting detail. There is a new, more colorful Stormtrooper design which looks like it could have been concept art from the original films. There are new aliens, but overall the design for Rogue One plays it safe, copying the past even more than The Force Awakens did. And why not? This is the visual stuff people love about Star Wars, and the film treats it like coming home.

Tonally, this is not quite the Star Wars we know. The original Star Wars trilogy had a light tone overall. The Empire Strikes Back is of course the darkest of the three but still treats its characters like children, for the most part. It's clear in retrospect that there's something about the tone of the original trilogy - the first film in particular - which is difficult to replicate, something even Return of the Jedi struggled with.

Meanwhile the prequels had their own tone, as cartoony as they were cold and inaccessible. Director George Lucas used all kinds of new and unusual ideas visually, and that level of invention is certainly missed in the new films. But on a basic filmmaking level, most of what George was doing failed, and the prequels are riddled with awkward acting and writing.

For good and for bad, the prequels also paved the way for a new kind of digital filmmaking, driven by computer graphics and greenscreen. Rogue One manages moments that the earlier films couldn't have dreamed of.

It's hard to compare these new Star Wars films to the old ones. It's easier to compare them to one another - movies made to recapture what we loved about the franchise, while taking themselves seriously on a storytelling level. For good and for ill, this is zombie Star Wars, brought back from the dead to entertain the living. But if the films continue to be this technically well made, moviegoers should have no complaints.

Rogue One is not the most loveable or accessible film, by Star Wars standards. But it's a film which sneaks up on you. It does so little wrong that you're eventually overtaken by how much it does right.

The question becomes whether people can be happy and thrilled with a Star Wars movie without a big upbeat happy ending. This one doesn't mind being a downer. But it is thrilling and heroic, and it works on a large epic scale while still seeming small and personal. The film accomplishes a lot and works hard while making it all seem easy. By taking "Star Wars" out of the title, it's as if this film is happy to be underestimated, even while it embarrasses itself less than any Star Wars film since 1980.

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:06 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
The first teaser trailer for Rogue One now feels like an entirely different film than what we got. Not that that's a bad thing. It focuses on Jyn Erso's defiance and her criminal past, and shows a younger version of Forrest Whitaker's Saw Gerrara. All the characters in the final film, like Captain Cassian Andor, seem like a darker bunch with sketchy pasts, but clearly Jyn Erso was cleaned up to be less so.

Compare that to the final trailer, which matches the tone of the finished film, and the difference is eerie. It's hard to get a handle on Jyn Erso's character in the finished film, and it's pretty clear why -- the harder edges of that character were softened in reshoots and editing. ... r-footage/ ... the-movie/

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:15 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Shoutout to all the reporters hired to write up lists of the easter eggs and callbacks in Rogue One, and showing how little they actually know about Star Wars trivia.

One writer apparently hadn't noticed the two 1977-era pilots leading the X-Wing attack.

Another thought "Captain Antilles" was a shoutout to pilot Wedge Antilles. Same name, but Captain Antilles is strangled by Vader at the beginning of Star Wars, and mentioned later by C-3PO.

I haven't yet seen a writer mention all the references to early drafts of Star Wars - "The Whills," Kyber crystals, "The Force of Others" -- but I've already stopped reading.

We know from photos that Biggs Darklighter and Jek Porkins were recast for "Rogue One." I don't know if they're seen at all in the movie. ... G_7978.png ... -maybe.jpg

(That's a weird choice anyway, since Biggs wouldn't have been part of the rebellion at this point yet --!)

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:28 pm
by filmfan94

Re: Star Wars: Deleted Magic

PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 2:59 am
by Garrett Gilchrist