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Disney Could Rewrite Star Wars History

So, there’s a BIG rumor going on right now thanks to Bleeding Cool. The site claims they’ve intercepted an internal email from Disney that says the company will be releasing the unedited, theatrical versions of the Original Trilogy. If in fact that is true, it makes me want to shout “FINALLY!!”

Many fans want the tamper-free versions they grew up with. Honestly, I had a VHS tape in the other day and it actually felt better than watching the super-clean, crisp blu-rays anyway.

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But still, a nice blu-ray release of the pre-Lucas revisionist has been the dream since 1997. Right?

However, the next bit of information is even more extreme.

They claim there are rumblings around Disney that they want to view the Prequels as “non-canon.” Similar to how they announced the Expanded Universe of the books would not be honored as actual storyline.

This is a very gray area for me and I’m sure many others.

While I kind of only view the Original Trilogy as canon anyway, does it seem wrong that they could be erasing history and the creator’s ultimate vision?

It’s one thing to ditch the secondary material written by science fiction authors, but to blow out three movies written, directed and financed by the guy who started it all? It’s almost like a hostile takeover at its worst. (Though, they did pay him $4 billion to do whatever the hell they wanted.)

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Still, on the other side of the coin. That means one of the most disappointing moments of my movie going life would be erased. No midichlorians, No Jar Jar. No annoying kid or angry teen Darth Vader. No CGI overkill. No meaningless plot lines that horribly hide the villain. Did Lucas think audiences wouldn’t know Palpatine = Darth Sidious? And why was he never called Darth Sidious in the Original Trilogy, just the Emperor? And why would he build this huge clone army only to have them fight this droid army when ultimately it meant nothing? Couldn’t he just have secretly sided with the separatists? What was the point of the second movie again? Oh, the horribly wooden love story. And wait, was his deformed appearance due to the rebounding lightning in “Revenge of the Sith?” Or is that just his true appearance? And who the hell is Master Sifo-Dyas? And why does Yoda run into hiding when clearly, he was winning that FIGHT!!! Ugh…

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So, bringing things back around…all of this potentially means that Disney is willing to throw out post-1983 George Lucas. It’s sad. I mean, he is the one who came up with an idea that has literally changed lives, not just fans, workers at Lucasfilm and well beyond in the movie industry. People’s career have begun and ended with Lucas. Truly something to admire and praise. Yet, at the same time. his changes to the Original Trilogy are mostly horrible. And the prequels…I wanted to like them so much. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched them thinking “this time they’ll be good.” But they only get worse.

While Lucas’ accomplishments as a storyteller and innovator in the industry will continue to stand and be recognized. His need to tinker and rework his own masterpieces could ultimately be his demise. I find that both unfortunate and a bit sad. The Prequel Trilogy was largely terrible, but it did have some strong visual moments. One has to wonder if 1977 George would have made those movies. Now, they very well could be erased or perhaps worse, invalidated. 

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Disney,Star Wars,uncategorized and have No Comments

‘Star Wars’ Holiday Special?

We are coming up on what’s known as a Star Wars holiday. May 4th or May the Fourth Be With You. May has been synonymous with the intergalactic franchise since day one. Every film Episode I through VI has come out in late May. But that’s about to change.

Gone are the days of “summer blockbusters.” Instead, the roll out for summer is much earlier. April, even March at times. And while November and December used to be Oscar-bait films or holiday flicks, plenty of studios are now opting to use those months for their biggest movies, like the yet-to-be-titled “Star Wars: Episode VII.

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This brings about an interesting quandary. Will superfans be willing to camp out weeks in advance to see this next installment? 

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers Jedi from the swift completion of their appointed rounds movie-going experience.

Star Wars fans aren’t the United States Postal Service, but being one myself, I could argue we may be even belligerent in our quest to see, devour and consume every detail, television show or movie Lucasfilm throws at us.

So, how will this Hoth-like dilemma play out? Will everyone have long johns under their Han Solo slacks? Could Princess Leia hair buns double as ear muffs? Or will everyone just go covered in faux fur ala Chewbacca?

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Sure, this won’t be a problem in Los Angeles. But, what about the Northeast? We just suffered through what was arguably one of the worst winters in recent memory. If Star Wars comes out on December 18th, how could we possibly go back to see it multiple times over snow and ice covered roads? Surely, a Tauntaun ride would be in order. Well, as long as I didn’t take it too close to that first marker, then that Tauntaun would probably be toast.

And let’s say you are man or woman enough to set up an igloo outside New York City’s Ziegfeld theatre and dress in a Boba Fett or Oola (look it up) costume, how many of those people are going to be wearing a Santa hat or candy cane blaster? Probably too many to fit under the Rockefeller Christmas tree.

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The cold aside, my point is this will be different. The Star Wars summer event is over. It’s still awesome to have a new film coming out, but will it really feel the same? Nostalgia can be a very powerful thing and a great number of people who grew up with the original trilogy will miss the anticipation of a May release. Still, perhaps the next generation of fans will carry the same feelings toward December. Just think warm thoughts when you queue up alongside your fellow sith lords. A jedi mind trick may be in order.

 

 

posted by Seth Szilagyi in JJ Abrams,Star Wars and have No Comments

J.J. Abrams Mysterious Trailer

The man known for his mysteries that are often more fun than the actual payoff is doing it again. JJ Abrams’ company Bad Robot has released this trailer. For what? Well, that’s the mystery.

 

In the clip, a long-haired man is seen washing ashore with what looks like broken ropes around his hands. He staggers through the ocean tide as a narrator reads the following:

“He arrived knowing nothing of himself. Who is he? Soon he will know. Because what begins at the water shall end there. And what ends there shall once more begin. This is what happens: Men become lost; men vanish; men are erased – and reborn.”

Then, a light engulfs the screen and a creepy face appears; a man with lips that are shut with stitches.

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This could be a teaser for any number of Abrams projects. This does have a very “Lost” feel to it though. I highly doubt that it’s in any way connected to that though. Could there be a “Star Wars” link? Doubtful, but this type of feel would sure give the series some legitimacy again. However, I can’t imagine a relatively kid-friendly series taking this type of turn.

The consensus seems to be that this is actually a video teaser for a book being released by JJ Abrams and author Doug Dorst. The novel “S.” apparently ties in real-life “ephemera” with the book’s characters. This is the description on publisher Mulholland’s website:

“S., conceived of and developed by Abrams and written by award-winning author Doug Dorst, is Abrams’s first foray into publishing and will be released by Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company on October 29, 2013. At the core of this multilayered literary puzzle of love and adventure is a book of mysterious provenance. In the margins, another tale unfolds—through the hand-scribbled notes, questions, and confrontations of two readers. Between the pages, online, and in the real world, you’ll find evidence of their interaction, ephemera that bring this tale vividly to life.”

It does make sense for it to be tied to this. The book comes out in two months, “S.” is the title of the book and “Stranger” was the title of the video clip. So, what do you think? Is this really for the novel? Or is this a very dark turn for “Star Wars?” Or is “Lost” back?

 

posted by Seth Szilagyi in JJ Abrams and have No Comments

Return of the Jedis?, ‘The Hobbit’ & ‘Black Swan’

The last time a new Star Wars trilogy was announced, I was still in college and could not be more happy for its return. But just a short time later, the absurdly bad “The Phantom Menace” was released and my disappointment could not have been measured. Yet, I was still confident the prequel trilogy could be rescued by the next two films. I was wrong. Although, a bit better “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” both featured muddled plots and hollow, lifeless acting.


Now, there’s a report from IESB.net that Lucasfilm is planning another Star Wars trilogy. The series would apparently fit some time after “Return of the Jedi”, but would not focus on anyone in the Skywalker clan. Instead, it would be a whole new set of characters that would not have to “fit” with the current mythology. According to the report, the new movies would not come out until after ALL of the 3D re-releases were completed. That puts the release date around 2017/2018 if the 3D re-releases come out one a year as previously announced. So, not any time soon. And all that being said, Lucasfilm has denied the report. But that doesn’t really mean anything.


Since, the prequel trilogy has left me extremely skeptical, I’m not super-excited at the prospect of a new set of films. Sometimes less is more and this pony has already trotted out some pretty good tricks. However, if the concept is right, I may jump on the bandwagon.

A few suggestions: Make it less about special effects and more about the characters. It can’t be another Rebellion versus Empire film. Maybe the Jedis take a back seat to another idea. What if it focused on the Sith? Just throwing out a couple of thoughts. Lucasfilm if you are looking for a writer, you know where to find me.

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The fate of where they will film “The Hobbit” could be decided this week. Warner Bros. executives will travel to New Zealand to discuss the current standoff between the actors’ union and director Peter Jackson. Essentially, the union wants the actors to get a bigger piece of the pie. But Jackson feels they are being compensated fairly. Most film workers in the country want the enormous production to stay in New Zealand since it will infuse millions and millions of dollars into its economy. Thousands rallied this past weekend to lobby for the film and made this video. Check it out below and here’s hoping for the people of New Zealand they can work things out.

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I’m still desperate to see what Darren Aronofsky has done with “Black Swan” and if this new viral site is any indication, it’s going to be a pretty good trip. Ijustwantobeperfect.com reveals snippets of the upcoming film. I don’t really understand what it means, but it’s interesting nonetheless. You can also follow Natalie Portman’s ballerina character on twitter @theswanqueen and go to the IJWTBP Facebook page.

The film goes wide on December 3rd.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 3D,Star Wars,The Hobbit and have No Comments

Cast Reunions, ‘The Hobbit’ and Dress Like Luke Skywalker

I apologize to all my fans or the two that I have (mom and dad) for not updating very much over the past couple of months. Summer was crazy and Fall has proven even more maddening. But a few things caught my eye today.

Entertainment Weekly came out with a “Reunions” issue this week and posted some fun video of the casts talking about their films and tv shows. Some of the noteworthy clips include “Back to the Future” with Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson, the guys from “Lord of the Rings” and Jennifer Garner and Victor Garber talking “Alias.” The “Scream” trio is currently working on the fourth edition in that film series, they also spoke to the magazine about the slasher films.

Check out the videos below:

Can’t embed “Alias” but here’s the link.

EW also reunited several other casts “Will & Grace”, “The West Wing”, “Roots”, “Married…With Children” and “Pretty in Pink.” More on information on those can be found here.

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And on the topic of “Lord of the Rings”, it appears its prequel will finally start shooting next year. The Wrap reports “The Hobbit” has finally got the green light to begin principal photography in February 2011. The site also mentions that Peter Jackson (initially just an executive producer on the project) will indeed direct both installments after Guillermo Del Toro dropped out earlier this year. The first movie is expected to hit theaters in late December 2012. Not a lot of time to get it done, hopefully it won’t affect the quality of the production.

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And if you’ve been thinking you don’t have enough Rebel Alliance apparel in your closet, StarWars.com has a deal for you…for the low, low price of just $274.99 you could wear the same jacket as Luke Skywalker during the medal ceremony at the end of “A New Hope.” I’m a fan, but I don’t think I would buy that thing if it was $10, let alone nearly $300. Well, maybe $10.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Scream,Star Wars,The Hobbit,TV News and have No Comments

Update On the Lost ‘Jedi’ Clip & is 3D Already Dead?

Yesterday, I speculated that the deleted scene shown by Lucasfilm to tease its upcoming blu-ray release may not be as advertised. See my comments below.

And for the “seemingly” part. It looks legit and probably is, but there is part of me that thinks that clip was not filmed in 1982. One, all of the Darth Vader lines are virtually ripped from “Empire” and two, you never really see Mark Hamill’s face, just his chin. Like I said, I always thought this scene was never actually shot. Could this just be a ploy to get fans excited about the blu-ray discs and spend more money? I doubt it, but it makes for a great conspiracy theory.

Now, there is further evidence that, at the very least…it’s not what it appears to be. The clip below reveals that Mark Hamill never filmed that scene. So, the actor under the cloak is not him. Take a look.

I realize many shots in movies are body doubles, not the real actors. But, most of that is for scenes involving stunts, shots from behind or close ups. It seems this type of important establishing shot of Luke that was supposed to be at the beginning of the movie would be the real actor. I know I’m obsessing over this a little, but it would be a huge cheat if this were not filmed in the eighties.

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And now to my disdain for 3D!

If television news is correct and they are never wrong! 3D is already losing steam and credibility with moviegoers. Many studio big wigs will tell you different, but that’s because they’ve invested millions in this gimmick that didn’t work in the 50’s or 80’s.

Check out the CBS story below.


posted by Seth Szilagyi in 3D,Star Wars and have No Comments

Happy 30th Anniversary To ‘The Empire Strikes Back’

30 years ago, “The Empire Strikes Back” blasted into theaters and shattered expectations by surpassing its predecessor “Star Wars” later renamed “A New Hope.”


Last night Lucasfilm held a special screening of the film at the ArcLight Theater in Los Angeles for charity. It was followed by a question and answer period with Harrison  Ford. Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew and Ewan McGregor were also in attendance. And for some reason so were Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz. Seriously, who let them in the door?


I must admit they all look old. Especially Peter Mayhew who played Chewbacca. But, he does have a pretty kick ass lightsaber cane.

Here’s Darth Vader and Luke’s lightsaber duel edited together from “Empire.” My small way of celebrating. I may also go up to random people and tell them “I am your father.” On second thought, that may be too creepy.


And finally, check out this Imperial Star Destroyer themed home theater. It has Han frozen in carbonite and everything. Pretty sweet.





posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have No Comments

Star Wars On Blu Ray + The Return Of Han, Luke & Leia??

Just to start off, no, a date has not been set for a blu ray release of the original trilogy or the prequel trilogy for that matter. But, Slashfilm.com is reporting that Steve Sansweet (a Lucasfilm Fan rep) told audiences at a recent convention that blu ray discs are being worked on and they will include plenty of never-before-seen material. So at this time, it’s kind of a “be patient, it’s coming” scenario. Not great, but something. I just hope the discs include both versions of the films remastered and in HD. Because the originals Lucas released on dvd a few years back were worse than a vhs copy I had when I was 12. And frankly, not to be too much of a fanboy, but the 1997 versions of the films are not the films I want. The reasons are too numerous to count: In Star Wars, Han shooting first and that awful CGI Jabba. In Empire Strikes Back, Boba Fett’s voice changed to match the actor in the prequels and Vader’s line changed from a super-pissed “Bring my shuttle!” to a more subdued “Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival.” In Jedi, the idiotic beak on the sarlaac and having to see Hayden Christensen at the end instead of Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skywalker. And that’s just the short list.


If you want to see all the differences from the original Empire and the re-do click here.

Also talked about at the convention, the possibility of our old friends Han, Luke, Leia, et al appearing in the future animated series. Not the current “Clone Wars” cartoon, but apparently the sitcom comedy. So, I guess after they took out the second death star, beat the Empire and tossed Palpatine down a electrified chasm, they went and had a few laughs at the cantina. Yikes.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have Comment (1)

EW Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of ‘Empire’

If anyone doubts the staying power of “Star Wars” look no further than this week’s cover of Entertainment Weekly. The issue, in stores or your mailbox today, features a vintage picture from “The Empire Strikes Back.” Chewbacca is holding Princess Leia on the cover in honor of the 30th anniversary of arguably the best sequel ever. The magazine includes some never-before-seen photos from the production and a story on a new book coming out on the making of the movie.


Personally, it’s my favorite of all the “Star Wars” films and probably my favorite movie period. It’s just a far superior to anything of George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, focusing on characters while intertwining some pretty sweet action that still stands up to today’s wallpaper CGI. And something tells me, in 2032, EW will not put out an issue celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Attack of the Clones.” Just a hunch.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have Comments (2)

Yoda, Darth Vader & Lando Walk Into A Bar…

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. No really…stop. Not me, but George Lucas because he doesn’t seem to want to leave well enough alone. As if the prequel trilogy and Cartoon Network’s awful “Clone Wars” series weren’t painful enough, according to Variety Lucasfilm is developing a new animated show. And wait for it…it’s going to be a sitcom, as in comedy. I’ll give you a minute to digest that.

Seth Green of “Robot Chicken” fame and a “Daily Show” scribe will help write the series. They may be talented, but I just can’t see anything good coming of this. I mean, what am I missing? Can no one in that company stand up to Lucas and say “George, not sure that’s gonna work. We might as well make a comedy about women in Afghanistan.”

You know what’s funny about Star Wars? Outtakes, parodies, Lucas trying to justify Jar Jar Binks or this kid…


posted by Seth Szilagyi in Star Wars and have No Comments