“Igor! Is it done?”
“It is, master.”
“Look, it lives! My creation LIVES!”
Several months on from the Great Reboot, a set of questions linger over Star Wars fandom: Could the continuity have been made to work? Could there have been an excision point whereby a lesser part would be jettisoned to save the greater? Could the reboot have been avoided? The answers to these depend very much on how flexible you think filmmakers are willing to be and what kind of continuity SW should be.
I cannot say I was of the view it could never be done, but over time, I have become more skeptical and do not think it could be done and work for SW. The same moves would work for other franchises – Marvel/DC superheroes certainly, Transformers would likely pull it off, Doctor Who would find it laughably easy, but none of those are SW. So a further question is: What about SW stops these solutions taking effect? I will examine three excision points, points where a merge could be considered. The questions for each are those outlined above. » Read more..
This past summer, Del Rey released a “sampler” of its first four post-reboot Star Wars novels; those excerpts from A New Dawn, Tarkin, Heir to the Jedi, and Lords of the Sith were our first glimpse at the new canon, or New Expanded Universe if you will. Rebels was still a couple months off, but bits and pieces of promotional material had already revealed that Sienar Fleet Systems and COMPNOR, among other elements of the Legends EU, were nevertheless sticking around. Between those bits and the assorted references in that Del Rey sampler, there was already enough EU showing up that we thought it would be fun to count down to the release of A New Dawn with a special Twitter hashtag, #EUPurgeSurvivors, highlighting a different EU escapee every weekday for a month or so.
We did the same thing in the lead-up to Tarkin, and the plan at first was to keep the practice going with each new release, as the “survivors” continued to accumulate…but then we started actually reading Tarkin. As our respective lists crept into the range of one hundred entries—including literally dozens of EU planets, and in some cases weird situations where the Bilbringi Shipyards, say, were canon but not necessarily the planet Bilbringi itself—it started to appear that maybe a new paradigm was needed. » Read more..
Ask any child who has seen Star Wars who their favorite character is and I’d give even odds that they say Darth Vader. I’ve never understood it but this was definitely the case with my niece and nephew. I have also trooped with someone dressed as Darth Vader and it is incredible to see how much the faces of these children light up when the see him standing there. No one else exists when Vader is around. Now ask those same children who their favorite Disney animated character is and I’d bet they pick a good guy. Why is that? What is it about the villain that is Darth Vader that has captivated audiences for over thirty years? What is it about Star Wars in general that has people clamoring over the villains? They don’t have better toys as both sides have lightsabers and awesome spaceships, not to mention the use of the force.
Realistically, I’m not here to answer that question and this opinion piece isn’t here to specifically address it or even focus on Darth Vader. This concept is something that has being bouncing around my head ever since my niece responded “Darth Vader” when I asked who her favorite character was in Star Wars over a year ago. I hadn’t quite figured out how to properly write up a piece concerning this topic until now. That is, until I read Tarkin. I didn’t quite realize what I was missing from the Expanded Universe until about halfway through Tarkin when a throw-a-way line caught my attention more than the entire book had so far. It was a lightbulb moment for sure. The EU had been missing depth in its villains. Even little lines about “flamboyant hats” and “frequenting the opera” give us a tiny insight into a character that otherwise we’d know nothing about. There is the depth to the Star Wars books that has been missing since the NJO. » Read more..
Did you ever have a big project you were working on? Something that just sort of occurred to you one day, but without any serious desire for self-expression—reorganizing your record/comic book/movie collection, redecorating your living room, landscaping your backyard, things like that. My aunt decided to add a room to her house a few years back, and while it looks awesome now, it ended up being a logistical nightmare, and she spent more than a year with a gaping hole in the side of her house. Lots of people who have done major home renovations probably have similar stories, and I’d bet that as proud as they were of the final results, their predominant feeling by that point was more along the lines of “thank god that’s over with!”
The thing you need to understand is, filmmaking is not an art to George Lucas—it has no sacred creative spark, it demands no reverence. It’s a project. » Read more..
Mike: Apparently I’m unusual.
And not just in the “runs a Star Wars blog” sense, but even amongst Star Wars people—I say this because when I pitched today’s topic to the staff—describe your earliest memory of seeing a Star Wars trailer—the majority either had no relevant memories whatsoever, or in one case, had never actually watched one!
Maybe it’s because my major in college, visual effects, happened to involve making a couple myself, but I’ve always been a huge fan of trailers—and I have numerous strong memories of my favorites, both Star Wars and otherwise. Ironically, while the Special Edition trailers were almost certainly the first ones I technically saw, I don’t remember them at all. It’s funny; I remember the two guys behind me laughing maniacally at Threepio in A New Hope, and I remember getting to Empire a couple minutes late and missing the opening crawl (still the only part of a SW film I haven’t seen on a big screen), but the advertising beforehand? Nothing. » Read more..