Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi?

HeirtotheempireWell, it’s been confirmed.  Star Wars Episode VII has been set 30 years after the events of the destruction of the second Death Star.  The casting rumours are floating around still, but lets face it, at least one of the main characters from Episodes IV, V & VI will make an appearance.  Why? Well, think Luke Skywalker in a tank of Bacta Fluid (Episode V).  This stuff heals almost anything and since it will have been only 30 years, at least one of them must have survived!

Sadly, this likely means that those of us who have followed the character development of the main (and some sub) characters through the novels (since Heir to the Empire was released in 1991) will not see this timeline cemented in celluloid, or hard disk, whichever format they use these days!

Personally, after reading 65 of the novels I have grown with these characters and am not quite sure how I am going to accept a totally different interpretation of their lives on the silver screen.  Alternate realities will have to do.

Please don’t screw this up Mr. Abrams…i’m still really to young to be hurt like this 😉

This ain’t the blaster that killed Greedo

It’s up fosolo-blaster-480wr sale if you want it….but you’ll have to shell out at least $200,000 USD in order to make it a part of your collection. Just remember that because of it’s selling price doesn’t mean it actually shoots lasers, although that would be kinda cool!!!

Han Solo’s DL-44 Blaster is up for auction on Dec.21, 2013.  Apparently it’s the one used in Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI Return of the Jedi.  They are saying it’s not the same prop gun that blasted poor Greedo in the Cantina in Episode IV A New Hope. Clearly this is a weapon that can aim itself! Rumour has it that it may also be the same prop gun that Luke Skywalker uses in Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.

Regardless, it’s a piece of movie history that will most likely go for a lot more than the starting price… I wonder if Harrison Ford might bid on it or maybe that’s why it’s not the original DL-44 from A New Hope…maybe he kept that one…hmmm maybe someone should ask him!

JJ Abrams is going to make a really good Star Wars film

Quoting JJ Abrams:

Opening_crawl“When I was a kid and saw Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) for the first time it blew my mind and around the same time I had friends who were huge fans of Star Trek and I don’t know if I was smart enough to get it, or patient enough. What I loved about Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) was the visceral energy of it, the clarity of it, the kind of innocence and big heart of it. Star Trek always felt a little bit more sophisticated and philosophical, debating moral dilemmas and things that were theoretically interesting, but for some reason I couldn’t get on board. It really took working with all these guys and actually working on Star Trek for me to fall in love with that.”

“Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) is probably the most influential film of my generation. It’s the personification of good and evil and the way it opened up the world to space adventure, the way westerns had to our parents’ generations, left an indelible imprint. So, in a way, everything that any of us does is somehow directly or indirectly affected by the experience of seeing those first three films.”

“Looking back on my childhood, I have a list of things that are massively important to me. Without question, ‘Star Wars’ was on the list, and ‘Star Trek’ was not.”

This sounds like very good news for Star Wars fans.  Mr. Abrams was influenced by Star Wars as a kid and I can imagine that this endeavor into directing Episode VII is going to be his crowning achievement.  I realize he doesn’t have a lot of experience as a director (mostly producing and writing) but then neither did George Lucas before he directed Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope. Let’s face it, George Lucas is a fantastic writer and producer but when you look at Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, true fans realize the greatest of all the films wasn’t  directed by George Lucas.

Star Wars on Blu-Ray: Is High Definition too much?

I was recently gifted the re-release of the complete Star Wars Saga on Blu-ray disc.

First off let me say that this is probably my 4th version of the Saga (from VHS through DVD to Blu-ray) and I am always thrilled to watch it all over again.

Having said this I am left wondering if HD (High Definition) is really the right format for the Star Wars films.  Personally I believe some things are best left alone.  Although I strongly agree that a digital overhaul of the Saga was a necessity (The Special Edition and Episodes I thru III), I don’t believe HD has done it justice.

I know, you must be thinking I’m crazy.  HD is “da bomb” these days and most films look incredible in this format.  I have to say though the images in certain scenes look almost too “crystal clear”.  One scene in particular is in The Empire Strikes Back.  It’s the scene where the Imperial Star Destroyers are being overshadowed by Vader’s massive Super Star Destroyer.  In my opinion, the ships look like they are just little models on a starry backdrop because the image detail is, well,  too detailed!!!.

Sometimes using a filter or a “soft focus” can make things look more appealing and believable.  Many directors use this method for obvious reasons.  HD certainly takes some of that away. The hard edges in some scenes that use matte paintings (paintings on glass) for effects shots are simply downright harsh.

All in all it’s still worth watching again, if not for all the new goodies packaged with the release,  but I’ll still be keeping my other copies…just in case I want to see it as I remember it…. a long time ago in a theatre far far away.

65 novels and counting

I just finished reading the last novel in the Star Wars:Legacy of The Force series.  This is the 65th Star Wars fiction novel that I’ve read to date. All of them, excluding Splinter of the Mind;s Eye (see one of my earlier posts), are about the continuing adventures of the core group of characters from Star Wars: A New Hope.

It all started back in 1991.  Timothy Zahn had just published a trilogy of books, the first one titled “Heir to the Empire”.  Picking up where the original movie trilogy left off, it began an explosion of Expanded Universe media. Following these works, Star Wars novels and story collections by authors such as Kevin J. Anderson and Michael A. Stackpole were released, reinvigorating the Star Wars Franchise that had been largely dormant for years.

Since it’s release, George Lucas decided that if more were to be published, the novels would have to maintain continuity and that characters from one story could not be altered to satisfy a different story.  The novels also started a timeline which grew from what is referred to as After Battle of Yavin (ABY).  The books in the Expanded Universe would indicate how long after ABY the story occurred.

To date they have written stories that are set 138 years after the Battle of Yavin (the destruction of the first Death Star) and a couple of thousand years before it (origins of the Sith and the Jedi).  Although I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m reading about Luke Skywalkers’ descendants,  I have gotten far enough along in the character development to see Luke as an aged (he’s around 62 years old) Jedi Grand Master.

It wasn’t so long ago that he was just a starry-eyed farm boy from Tatooine who dreamt of adventure and excitement in a Galaxy far, far away,…

Star Wars Online

I didn’t realize this and it may be an anomaly.  I was looking on YouTube for a copy of the original TV trailer for Star Wars Episode IV.  When I got there, I’m not sure what I keyed into the search function but I ended up finding full versions of the all the films!

Usually they are split into many parts to avoid any “imperial entanglements” but I found all six films in their entirety and in pretty good viewing resolution.

I’m not going to provide a link as I don’t want to end up in cell block AA-23 but if you go to YouTube you’ll be able to watch any of the movies you may have missed.

It’s also a great place to look at homemade Star Wars movies from fans around the globe.  Some of the lightsaber duels are incredibly well put together for a bunch of amateurs.  Just do a search for lightsaber duels on YouTube.

Star Wars Live-Action TV Series On Hold for Another 3-4 Years

Star Wars Live-Action TV Series Plot Details Revealed, On Hold for Another 3-4 Years

Posted on Monday, June 13th, 2011 by Angie Han

It’s been six years since George Lucas first announced that he was developing a live-action Star Wars television series, and it seems we’re going to be waiting a little longer yet. In an interview, producer Rick McCallum revealed that he and Lucas would be putting the show on hold for another three to four years — but that when shooting does begin, it will be shot largely in the Czech Republic, possibly in Prague.

Ten years is a long time for a television series to be in development, and were this another filmmaker, I might’ve given up hope on this project by now. But Lucas is the guy who gave us a Star Wars prequel sixteen years after his last Star Wars film, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull nineteen years after Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. A decade to develop a series seems almost speedy in comparison.

If the series really does shoot in the Czech Republic, it’ll be a return to the county for McCallum and Lucas, who recently shot Red Tails in the country. McCallum and Lucas also filmed scenes for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles series in Prague, back in the 1990s. In the interview with Czech Position (via Bleeding Cool), McCallum praised Czech film crews, saying he’d “absolutely” consider shooting the Star Wars television series in Prague: “This would be one of the primary places because of the talent.”

As previously reported, however, the ambitious (read: expensive) scope of the series is holding up the project. Said McCallum:

The TV series is on hold, but that has nothing to do with the Czech Republic; it has to do with [the episodes being] so ambitious… We have 50 hours of third-draft scripts, but the problem we have is there is a lot of digital animation; we don’t have the technology yet to be able to do them at a price that is safe for television. Since we would be financing them, it would be suicide for us to do this [now]. So we are going to wait three or four years.

I’m guessing those “50 hours of third-draft scripts” are the same 50 hours ready to go that Lucas mentioned last month. The delay shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone who’s been following coverage of the series; Lucas has been frank about the problem with trying to make feature-quality episodes on a television budget. Still, depending on how much you trust Lucas to put out a good series, it’s either a grave disappointment or a huge relief to hear we may have still more years of waiting ahead.

That is, if we see the series at all. McCallum expressed his (in my opinion, not entirely reasonable) worry that there might not be a place on television for his series at all by the time it’s ready to go:

Network television and cable television as we know it are completely imploding, so we’re not really sure that in five years’ time we can release a dramatic one-hour episode because it is all reality TV now.

McCallum also spoke a bit about the plotline of the show, which will take place between Episodes III and IV in the Star Wars timeline — during Luke’s teen years, though the series won’t actually have anything to do with Luke himself.

Basically, it is like ‘The Godfather’; it’s the Empire slowly building up its power base around the galaxy, what happens in Coruscant, which is the major capital, and it’s [about] a group of underground bosses who live there and control drugs, prostitution.

Bleeding Cool likens McCallum’s description to /Filmcast favorite The Wire, which seems apt except that I don’t believe for a second that Lucas will demonstrate the same nuance and devotion to character that made the HBO series so beloved.

So to recap: In about three to five years, we can expect to see a Czech-shot live-action Star Wars television series that plays like an unsubtle, sci-fi version of The Wire — but only if Keeping Up with the Kardashians hasn’t ruined American television by then.

via Star Wars Live-Action TV Series Plot Details Revealed, On Hold for Another 3-4 Years | /Film.