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News Blast: New Releases for The Last Jedi

News Blast: New Releases for The Last Jedi

Although old news for just about everybody, Lucasfilm released a new trailer for the upcoming film in the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. [Note: Your guess is as good as mine as to how many colons belong in that title. I’ll leave that for Dan to determine at a later date.] As with any Marvel/Disney/Lucasfilm trailer, there’s a lot being packed into two minutes and thirty-four seconds. For those that missed it, here it is:

I’m not really here to make any major speculation or draw any conclusions from this trailer. As a lot of people on the internet have already pointed out, there is a significant amount of clever cutting and editing. Any conclusions that you may draw from the trailer are entirely speculative (unless your conclusion is, “These people are in this movie”).

However, there is one thing from the trailer that has also appeared in several other forms of advertising media that has turned a few heads and gotten a few people talking: Luke Skywalker in various stages of “looking like a bad guy.” In the trailer, some attentive fans have looked at 1:47, where a defeated (and wet?) Luke says, “This will not go the way you think.” Others have referenced 1:53, where a wet Rey confronts what appears to be Luke in his grimdark outfit. [Note: we’re not entirely sure what wetness has to do with it, but it may be important.]

Of course, a few seconds of a trailer never amounted to anything. Don’t worry, because Lucasfilm did not stop there. Shortly before the release of the trailer, Lucasfilm released the new poster for the movie. It features everything one would expect from a movie titled, “The Last Jedi.” All the characters locked in seemingly action poses. A couple of lightsabers. Lots of … red? Judge for yourself:

Apparently, the primary color being used here is “Sith Red.”

Fans of Star Wars posters have noticed a certain theme that appears throughout a number of the posters. It is typical for a villainous character to appears in the background, behind the rest: Episode 1 – Darth Maul; Episode 3 – Darth Vader; Episode IV – Darth VaderEpisode V – Darth VaderEpisode VI – Darth VaderEpisode VII – Kylo Ren. Certainly, it’s nothing definitive, especially since in half of those cases, the villain pictured is not main villain of the story. But, it’s another thing that have drawn the attention of fans.

And let’s not forget about the IMAX Standee, also released last week.

Big movie requires big standee.

The standee, which is cleverly divided into “good guys” on the left and “bad guys” on the right, also happens to feature one character on both sides: our man Luke Skywalker, again. We could go on with this, but it’s just speculative absurdity at this point.

What does it all mean? Apparently, we’re meant to believe that Luke is playing both sides in this movie. Or not? It’s never really clear. Teasing the fanbase is something that Lucasfilm (or, more appropriately, Disney) has turned into a veritable art form and a standard operating procedure. At this point, the only thing we know for certain is that a lot of people are going to go see the new Star Wars movie in mid-December.

News Blast: Star Wars Celebration 2017!

News Blast: Star Wars Celebration 2017!

This weekend was Star Wars Celebration Orlando, the twelfth instance of the Star Wars Celebration experience. Star Wars Celebration is usually an opportunity for fans to get together and talk about their love of Star Wars. Of course, it’s also a great opportunity for the people that make Star Wars to unleash new content onto the world. This year was no different.

Perhaps the biggest news is the revelation of a trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

The Internet is already abuzz over the release of the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi. Mark Hamill drives the trailer as Luke Skywalker, providing the overall narration and a lot of heavy context to the “Last Jedi” aspect of the title. It sounds like the film will address the “balance of the Force” theme that first appeared in The Phantom Menace and has been further explored in Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels. I’ve already spent an undue amount of time trying to determine if Tom Baker found his way on to the cast list, given his role as the Bendu in Star Wars: Rebels. With a release expected this December, there’s already a lot of fan excitement developing for this title.

“Jedi and Sith wield the Ashla and Bogan. The light and the dark. I’m the one in the middle. The Bendu.”

In addition to the Episode VIII trailer, a preview for the upcoming fourth (and final!) season of Star Wars: Rebels was also released:

For those not following Star Wars: Rebels, it is the story of a cell of rebels fighting the Empire that become an essential part of the Rebel Alliance. The show has continued to provide a background for the formative years of the Rebel Alliance, and this final year appears to be no different. Season 3 villain Admiral Thrawn makes an appearance in the trailer (with what appears to be a silly General Veers style helmet) as does Katee Sackhoff’s character Bo-Katan, who was previously seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Forest Whitaker’s character Saw Gerrera also appeared briefly. With regard to thematic content, it appears that they will be addressing both the “balance of the Force” theme and the battle for Mandalore (which was an element of Sabine’s storyline from Season 3).

Probably the only character not featured (despite claims that her fate would be addressed) was Ahsoka Tano. As /Film’s Peter Sciretta points out, showrunner Dave Filoni seemed to tease the audience with a clever t-shirt swap during the Rebels event last weekend.

For not saying anything about Ahsoka during the event, he certainly seems to have said a bunch.

Given everything Star Wars that was unleashed in Orlando, it looks like 2017-18 will be a relatively big year for the franchise.

 

Episode 120 – Where the Hands Touch

Episode 120 – Where the Hands Touch

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew continues to reap the benefits of this winter’s Steam sale with the arrival of a Steam controller while Dan watches the new crowd-funded documentaries by video game journalist/personality, Danny O’Dwyer, called Noclip. Below is O’Dwyer’s “statement of purpose” regarding what he wants Noclip to be (as mentioned by Dan in the episode):

STAR WARS GAIDEN: [SPOILER ALERT] With enough time gone by since its release (and now that both have seen it), Dan and Andrew discuss Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and why it’s connecting with audiences, what it’s doing for the Star Wars universe and how it’s really doing what Marvel has been trying to do for almost a decade now. Again, we discuss SPOILERS in this discussion, so steer clear if you have not yet seen the movie (and come back and listen once you do).

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Rogue One” by Michael Giacchino (from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
-“The Gathering Storm” by Michael Allen (from Armello)
-“Boss Theme” by Curt Victor Bryant (from Slain: Back From Hell)

News Blast: The Casting of Lando Calrissian

News Blast: The Casting of Lando Calrissian

Since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, something Star Wars related is always percolating. It seems set that the House of Mouse will give the world more Star Wars movies one year at a time, following the numbered sequel/side story alternating style. In that format, 2016 will see the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and 2017 the release of Episode VIII. The NEXT Star Wars movie on the horizon (scheduled for 2018) is the tentatively titled Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film, which promises to fill out the story of how a young Han Solo got himself to where we know him in Episode IV. One of the important characters to be (as of yet) announced is the gambler and con man Lando Calrissian. And, in the last week, Lucasfilm announced that Lando will be portrayed by actor Donald Glover.

This new film depicts Lando in his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld — years before the events involving Han, Leia, and Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back and his rise to Rebel hero in Return of the Jedi.

Donald Glover has quite a sizable fan base, getting a significant amount of attention in Dan Harmon’s Community and more recently in an as-of-yet unrevealed role in the upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming. That’s not to mention the fan base acquired through his already prolific music career, mostly under the moniker of Childish Gambino

Although a lot of people are excited about this casting, at least one person has expressed vocal concern: Glover’s mother. As he said in an interview on the Ellen show, when he told his parents about the casting, his mother made it clear that she will not abide him messing up the character. This is a fair concern, as Billy Dee Williams is well known for bringing a sufficient amount of smooth to the role.

Lando Calrissian, c. 1980 and 2016.
Someone must have told them about his little maneuver at the battle of Taanab.

The one thing that does seem to stand out from all of the recent coverage is that this announcement seems to have shifted the focus of the film. The press release explains how the movie will depict Lando in his formative years “before the events involving Han, Leia, and Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back[.]” The IMDB listing already has Donald Glover listed above Han Solo actor Alden Ehrenreich. Given Donald Glover’s popularity, it almost seems like he’s stealing the show before the show has even been made.

Lando Calrissian, reminding everybody that he wears the best cape of the entire galaxy.
Lando Calrissian, reminding everybody that he wears the best cape of the entire galaxy.

At this point, the most important question is pretty clear: Will Donald Glover be able to wear a cape as well as Billy Dee Williams?