The Force Awakened….

The-Force-Awakens-PosterWell friends, I finally watched The Force Awakens (TFA) January 3rd.  In a nutshell it was good.  It wasn’t anything like I expected and none of my theories were correct but alas, I expected that.

Unfortunately, much like The Phantom Menace, I left the theatre with more questions than answers, as did many fans. There were a lot of gaps and there were a lot of things that just didn’t really seem to fit.

Was it better the The Empire Strikes Back? In my opinion, no, although it came close.  It certainly was entertaining enough to help me forget about the prequels! I did like JJ Abrams style and thank god he backed off on all the “lens flare” effects…in the Star Trek movies that he helmed, that effect drove me nuts!

To add to my thoughts on TFA, I was disappointed with a few things. (Spoliers) I didn’t like the fact that Luke shows up at the very end of the movie.  I didn’t like the fact that we didn’t get to see much of R2 and 3PO.  The villain was a whiny baby IMHO.  Captain Phasma seemed to be more of an extra than anything else.  Who the fuck is Snoke?  Han gets wasted in a very shitty way and the response from his lifelong friend Chewbacca is laughable and poorly handled by writers JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan.

And finally, I totally agree with George Lucas.  This was a retro film. Although it pays homage to Star Wars of old, it seemed a bit recycled: Another desert planet, another ice planet, another rebellion, another Death Star type weapon. another scenario where everyone is looking for a small droid, another young person dreaming of a different life then being thrust into a whole new world, another villain robed all in black wearing a mask and sporting a red lightsaber, another cantina scene full of assorted aliens, another large “projected” version of the “leader” of the bad dudes, the list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong.  I thoroughly enjoyed this film because I am old school Original Trilogy so it brought back a lot of fond memories. Having said this I hope, like The Empire Strikes Back, the second installment is much better…Goodbye, General Solo…you will be missed.

 

Episode VII – No Hope at All

star-wars-poster“No Hope at All” .That would be my title of the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.  Emulating Episode IV where it all began, could this new episode be the end? I have to question all of it because previous rumours suggested that Peter Mayhew would not be reprising his role as Chewbacca, but now it has been confirmed that he is and that his medical issues are obviously over.

Having said this it is clear that JJ Abrams is tossing out the Star Wars Expanded Universe insofar as the character development that fans have enjoyed through the novelization of their continued exploits.  Sadly this can also only mean one thing: the Death of Han, Luke and Leia.  I say this because lets face it, the real world actors who portray these characters are, shall we say, well past their primes.

Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill haven’t really done any noteworthy acting in decades and Harrison Ford, is well, 72 this year!  I admit they are all pretty pumped about having cameos in the new film, but it occurred to me that frankly that’s all it can be.  They certainly won’t be seen in future Star Wars films because it is likely, based on their age, that they will be killed off in this upcoming film.  It makes sense, because they want to “rework” the whole Star Wars thing and that is why the script is apparently focusing on the children of the original characters.

I suspect they will all die honorable deaths (as Chewbacca did in “Vector Prime”) and that the villain responsible will be the arc of the new storyline. I venture to guess that they won’t survive because it just doesn’t seem plausible to reintroduce the original characters from the first trilogy and keep them on for the next two films after episode VII. JJ Abrams knows this and has to move beyond the original characters quickly in order for the storyline to evolve around the offspring.

Although I am disappointed that the EU has been scrapped, I am happy for Peter Mayhew.  He has always been Chewy!

Christmas with Chewy

Wow, even I have to admit when I saw this Christmas special a long time ago in a household far, far away even I wasn’t impressed.  I was only a kid when it aired and I can honestly say, “WOW” has my taste in entertainment ever changed! Princess Leia is singing!

This has got to be the corniest shows I think I have seen in decades and realize that the only reason I watched it was because it was Star Wars. There are a few cameos from the Droids, Han and Luke and even the Cantina band but it’s really poorly done.  If there was ever any doubt, people should really not watch this video if they haven’t already seen Star Wars and if they have, have an open mind. Even George Lucas admits its one of those things he wish he could forget and prays that every last copied gets destroyed.

All I can say is WOW…. now that’s worse than Episode 1 the Phantom Menace!

So much for the expanded universe…

star_wars_logoAnother unconfirmed yet reliable source has indicated that Episode VII will be set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. The next films are going to be about Legacy as they will focus on the children of Luke, Han & Leia.

The fact that there is a casting call out for someone to fill the Chewbacca suit leads all of the diehard fans to believe that there will be no continuity (or very little) with the Expanded Universe Novels. The novelization began in 1991 and picked up the story of Luke et al right after the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.

Since then there have been dozens of novels written that follow a timeline and ensure that every story is connected to the next, regardless of who wrote the book.  The idea was that in order to preserve the characters and the events that unfold after Return of the Jedi, all novelist had to read and incorporate events from previous novels.  Essentially this lead to character development that to date has followed the lives and events of the main characters (and some sub characters like Wedge Antilles) for over 45 years.

In these novels (spoiler alert), Chewbacca dies (a heroic death of course).  To bring him into Episode VII means Disney is not following the character development that has endured in the novelization of the Star Wars Universe for over 20 years.

So there you have it.  Expanded Universe fans are most likely going to be in for a shock and I’m sure there will be a lot of fallout because of it.  Personally I will find it difficult to absorb the next storyline presented in Episode VII but I am confident that JJ Abrams will pull it off somehow.  If he does, he will have done what Irvin Kershner did with Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back…still touted as the best Star Wars film of all time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Wookies are known to do that

chewieBe very tall that is.  Rumour is swirling that there is a casting call for an individual that is 7’2″ – 7’6″ and not too stocky (not thin but not muscular either) for a role in an upcoming as yet untitled feature film being produced by Lucasfilm and Bad Robot (JJ Abrams production company).

Apparently Peter Mayhew, the original and IMHO the only actor to play Chewbacca in 4 of the 6 Star Wars films, is said to be suffering from health issues (legs mostly) and will not be recast as the favorite “walking carpet” in the upcoming Episode VII.

In a way it’s kind of sad.  I remember reading an article once about how excited he was to reprise his role as everyone’s  favorite co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon in Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.  Even though the part was very small, George Lucas still considered the aging Englishman as the person to fill the fuzzball suit one more time.

Personally knowing that it won’t be the same actor portraying a character that died a hero’s death in the Yuuzhan Vong War. in the expanded universe novels will be just one more reason why I hope Disney doesn’t destroy Star Wars in favor of capitalism.

Does this mean Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) will be the only Star Wars Alumni to be cast in every film? All I can say is: Peter, get well soon! We need you, Chewie!

Rumour has it…

Other than the recent news that Star Trek reboot  director JJ Abrams is signed to direct Episode VII, there hasn’t been too many rumours flying around about the next installment of the Film Franchise.

Chewy-and-HanSo far there hasn’t been much more than speculation on what it will be about and who will star in it.  Harrison Ford has apparently signed on but there is still no word about Mark Hamill or Carrie Fisher.  Ironic really because way back when Han Solo didn’t have any grey hair or age spots, Harrison Ford had actually wanted George Lucas to kill off the beloved smuggler scoundrel. Now it seems he’s the only one interested in continuing his character.

I wonder if anyone else has been approached? I’m certain Dave (Darth Vader) Prowse has asked to be a part of it since they passed him over in Revenge of the Sith.  Maybe he could play a Wookie instead since Peter (Chewbacca) Mayhew hasn’t been approached yet either. Makes you wonder how Disney can consider reviving the Han Solo character but not Chewbacca.

This leads me , as a super fan, to believe that they may be taking something out of the Expanded Universe after all.  For those of you who don’t know, Chewbacca dies a heroic death in the Expanded Universe novels.

Now I am more curious than ever and really don’t know if I can wait until the premiere of Episode VII!  The speculation and rumour is killing me!