I can’t wait until “The Force Awakens”…

It’s official…Star Wars Episode VII has a title: “The Force Awakens“.  It sounds cool.  Certainly better than “Attack of the Clones” and ultimately a better film, or so we hope.  A lot of it has been surprisingly kept secret with of course the odd picture surfacing here and there. One of my favorites is what I like to call the “SpaceHog”.spacehogApparently it’s a full sized creature that takes several men to operate it, much like Jabba the Hut was in Return of the Jedi.  Apparently JJ Abrams wanted to use a great deal of physical effects like in days of old rather than relying too heavily on blue/green screen computer animation. I for one hope that a return to old school visual effects will make the film one of the best in the series.  After all the fan favorite, The Empire Strikes Back was directed by someone (Irvin Kershner) other than George  Lucas so there is still hope that this film will be like Star Wars of old.  I can’t wait until The Force Awakens!

Penniless Prowse?

I just read an article that outlined the paycheques that some of the actors from the original Trilogy received for being in the films.

Surprisingly I found out that Dave Prowse, who played the role of Darth Vader in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, wasn’t even paid at all! This was allegedly due to due to “extremely ‘creative’ Hollywood accounting”.  This means he got letters from Lucasfilm stating that the movies never made any money and therefore they had nothing for him.

prowseNow, I’m not one to normally comment on these types of articles, but I have to say this…Bullshit!  I simply don’t believe that Dave Prowse was dumb enough to suit up for all three films and not get paid.  After A New Hope was filmed, you have to believe that in order for him to reprise his role, he would have put his foot down and simply stated that he’s not working for free.

Okay, yes they could have threatened to replace him, but I’m certain that by now he would have said something to the media regarding not being paid.  Interestingly enough he doesn’t even mention it on his official website either.

Personally, Dave, I would have done it for free, but then that’s just an extreme fan talking.  I hope you did get paid though! May the Force be with You!

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!

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!

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: The Old Republic

I’ve played many of the Star Wars video games…as far back as games like X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter! As a fan, it’s really cool to be able to immerse yourself in the Used Universe as often as possible. Flying a Tie Fighter or wielding a lightsaber can be very liberating (and destructive!)

Some video games do a good job of allowing the player to really ‘become’ the character, others of course, are a marketing ploy to just bring in cash.

Over the years the games really haven’t gotten much better in terms of story which is disappointing. The graphics have improved and on some games could be considered stunning (The Force Unleashed). The gameplay has been entertaining but not to the point where one would wan to play for hours.  Rarely a game comes along that is truly fun to play.

Maybe the latest Star Wars online video game will change all that.  From what I have read Star Wars: The Old Republic certainly looks impressive.  The cinematic “cut scenes” are downright cool.  If the gameplay and story for this replacement of Star Wars: Galaxies is better than it’s predecessor then fans alike will be in for a real treat.

Personally I can wait until some of the bugs are ironed out, but rest assured I will be online soon checking out some more of the Used Universe.

Check out the very cool game trailers on the official site.

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.