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.

 

Delusions of Grandeur? Maybe not….

jj-abrams-star-warsI read an article a few months ago about an interview with Anthony Daniels (C-3P0).  In it he stated that he believes that “Episode VII – The Force Awakens will be better than The Empire Strikes Back”.  For Star Wars fans, that’s a big statement.

Coming from the man that has been the physical and vocal (cartoons, video games etc.) character of C-3P0 for almost 40 years, I first though this was a jaded perspective.  I thought of course he would say something like that because Star Wars has been his primary source of income for 4 decades.Perhaps I was too critical of his comments because I thought he was just trying to pump up the new film.

After recently watching JJ Abrams second movie in the other space franchise…ok I’ll say it, Star Trek…I must admit that he really knows what he is doing.  I though the second film was way better than the first and it was very entertaining.  I kept thinking to myself if he and the writer from The Empire Strikes Back, Mr. Lawrence Kasdan, wrote a great script for Episode VII then it is a certainty that it will be very well directed.

Maybe Threepio is right.  Could The Force Awakens be better or equal to The Empire Strikes Back?  As a fan, I sure hope so…I’ll just have to wait another 299 days to find out!

It’s official…or is it?

Although they haven’t started filming yet, the cast for Star Wars Episode VII has been “officially” announced.  I personally am somewhat disappointed that they haven’t got any really good actors portraying the new characters. header.jpg

The new cast includes John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.

I’ll admit I’ve never actually heard of most of them except Andy Serkis and Max Von Sydow.  Chances are Sydow’s role will be short lived because of his age…likely some sort of high ranking general or a Sith lord in the newest installment. As for the rest, well. let’s hope the casting director and JJ Abrams know what they are doing.

Although the original cast is being pulled out of mothballs, I find it unlikely that they too will endure beyond this movie and will likely only see cameo roles.

Again I am somewhat upset that the Expanded Universe is being thrown out the window so to speak but I do hope that they try to incorporate some of the elements brought forth by the novelization timeline. I am keeping my fingers, toes, arms and eyes crossed!

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!

Do you think they’ll melt us down?

DroidsIt occurred to me that if JJ Abrams isn’t going to follow the timeline and events from the Expanded Universe novels for the new Episode VII film, what happens to C-3P0 and R2-D2?

Since there has been no talk or rumours about re-casting Anthony Daniels for the role of Threepio (even if it’s a voice over), does this mean that Goldenrod and his sidekick won’t offer comic relief in Episode VII?

I think we can assume, much like the Star Trek reboot, that JJ Abrams will be updating the tech in the Star Wars universe, considering Episode VII is set 30 years after ROTJ. Having said this Threepio and R2 would be obsolete droids so would they even be around for this adventure? Considering it would be like using an old Motorola “brick” cellphone today versus a sleek iPhone, I’d say the old droids may have seen their day.

Something to consider for all you Droid lovers out there….

 

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.