Tag Archives: Star Wars

First Star Wars Episode VIII Footage Has Arrived!

The First Star Wars Episode VIII Footage Is Here!

Well, that was fast.

Less than a month into production and the first Star Wars Episode VIII footage has already hit the internet.

The snippet of a teaser hardly shows anything new, but it’s nice to see that Luke already has more screen time in the preview than he did in all of The Force Awakens.

It appears the film will begin immediately where Episode VII left off, with Daisy Riddley’s Rey offering Luke’s old lightsaber he lost on Bespin, minus the missing hand, to an old and recluse hermit looking Luke. After the shot we pull back to see new franchise director Rian Johnson behind the camera to welcome everybody to what appears to be the first day of filming.

Although the clip is nothing earth shattering, it’s nice to see a little tidbit of the new film so early into the filming process. Just to remind everybody that Episode VIII is well on it’s way,or maybe as cover to take attention off of the upcoming Star Wars: Rouge One which is also currently filming but has been so shrouded in secrecy that very little photos or footage of the film have made it’s way onto the internet yet, despite the fact the film is due out next year, December 16th, 2016.

Star Wars; Episodde VIII stars Daisy Riddley,John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis.

New cast members include Benicio Del Torro and Laura Dern in as yet, unnamed roles.

Star Wars: Epsiode VIII is scheduled to release on Dec 17, 2017.

Our Favorite Movies Of 2015

The Best Of 2015. Our Favorite Movies

There were some great movies to come out in 2015. From Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out, The Martian, Sicario, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it was really a tremendous year for film.  Which is why we at the Film Box would like to look back at our very favorite movies of 2015. If you missed any of these over the course of the year don’t hesitate to catch up with them at a later date. These 2015 standouts are definitely worth your time.

del torro sicario

Sicario

Joseph Jo: Out of all the films that were released in 2015, Sicario was eventually the one that had me in awe throughout the film. The only thing I knew about this film was Denis Villeneuve was the director where couple years back I had the chance to watch his earlier work, the Incendies, which is another one of my favorite. I’m usually one of those theater goers, where I wait until everything dies down, and thankfully I was glad I went to watch Sicario few months after the release, because this is one of those films where you just have to watch alone in the big screen without knowing nothing about it.

I knew from the movie poster that Emily Blunt was starring along with Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro. Usually I don’t really care who’s in the picture, because ultimately I care about the story, structure, editing and how it was directed. And may all the deities bless the production team, because this movie made me feel exactly like Emily Blunt’s character throughout the movie, and that’s how I feel the movie was intended to be. If I had bothered to even read the tagline, I probably would have never felt the chill when Benicio’s character gave that eerie vibe when he said, “Welcome to Juarez.”

 

heart of a dog movie

Heart Of A Dog

Helen HighlyI would recommend Laurie Anderson’sHeart of a Dog” as Best Film of the Year. This 75-minute, poetic film-collage essay combines Anderson’s personal stories and musings with quotations from renowned philosophers, ink drawings on paper, printed words, animation, scratchy old 8mm home-movie clips, new footage of landscapes, surveillance camera footage with time codes, graphic images such as computer icons, and her ingenious use of music.

The movie is officially classified as a documentary and has rightfully been shortlisted (down to the final 15) for the Academy Award Best Documentary Feature. But it doesn’t feel at all like a traditional “non-fiction educational film.” It’s a playfully experimental memoir that is sometimes a meditation on how to go on living despite despair – “the purpose of death is the release of love,” an insightful (and not maudlin) reflection on America’s 9/11 attack, and also a witty tale on the nature of telling and remembering and forgetting. Ultimately, this is Laurie Anderson’s own love story – about her dog, her mother, her husband, and her city. It is uncommon and evocative film making and a true pleasure to watch

I think this may be the year of the documentary. There were so many interesting, important, and really well done documentaries that crossed over into mainstream film (or at least mainstream indie film). So I think it’s appropriate to name a documentary as “Best Of” this year. And the Laurie Anderson movie is truly beautiful and important as well as being surprisingly accessible (easy and fun to watch), once you start watching. And I also think this film has staying-power. It will still be relevant and worth-watching for years to come. It’s simply a great flick.

More of Helen Highly’s movie related rants and raves can also be found at HelenHighly.com

steve carell the big short

The Big Short

Matt Taylor: In a cinematic landscape filled with big budget disaster flicks it’s a rare thing for a movie to come along with actual, real world doom as part of it’s narrative. The Big Short is a sobering reminder, and revealing portrait, of the 2008 Economic Collapse. Directed by Adam McKay, who you may recognize as the wacky mind behind so many Will Ferrell films such as Anchorman and Talladega Nights, The Big Short presented it’s subject matter in such a lively, innovative way that it had to be my number one pick for Best Film of 2015.

The Big Short follows a handful of bankers who discovered the housing market collapse years before it happened. The film has us follow them as they attempt to expose and profit from this collapse. The irony and hypocrisy on display is what made the film compelling. Sure, there’s a few characters that are bleeding heart crusaders trying to do the right thing, but at the end of the day they’re bankers turning a profit. Even the best among those in the big banking machine are both whistle blowers and profiteers.
The film was made was with a documentary style, with none of the usual documentarian tropes i.e. interviews. The characters do break the fourth wall and address the audience to explain things, and most interesting is the directors use of celebrities and public figures to break down the really tough to grasp financial terminologies driving the story. For example there’s a quick cutaway to actress Margot Robbie in a bubble bath who explains the sub-prime mortgage problem leading up to the financial collapse. The use of cutaways, sound design, camera movement and character made this film about finance, which could have been extremely dull, a fast paced riveting look at one of the biggest disasters in American, and dare I say, World History. It is for those reasons that The Big Short is number one on my list for the year 2015.
More of Matt Taylor can be found at Twitter

the-woman-in-gold film

The Woman In Gold

Charles Soste: My favorite film for 2015 after much consideration, was The Woman In Gold. It was a well-acted, brilliantly directed story of an Austrian victim of World War II seeking to retain priceless art work that was stolen from her family by the Nazis.  The film was incredibly moving and what all great cinema should be.  Helen Mirren was at her unsurprising best in the lead role and Daniel Bruhl and Ryan Reynolds were excellent too.

I should also add that very honorable mention should go to Spotlight, Mr. Holmes and The Martian for me as well since they were all fantastic.

Rey and Finn star wars

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Cameron Dueker: Like many others, for me, my favorite movie was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan since I was younger and the franchise has held a special place not only in my heart but in my life because of it. I still remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news the news that Disney had bought out Lucasfilm and the doubts that crept into my head shortly after. George Lucas was out. J.J. Abrams was in. Would it follow the Expanded Universe or blaze a new trail of it’s own? Could the original actors still play a role in their old age? Any New Hope that filled me was simultaneously checked with cautious trepidation of the still  recent mixed bag of the prequels.

Maybe the years of reverence surrounding the original trilogy  had simply set the bar for any new Star Wars films too high.

As information about the new film slowly leaked out it was clear to me these concerns were also weighing heavily on the cast and crew. You could just see the amount of love and care everybody involved was putting into The Force Awakens which only rocketed expectations into the stratosphere.

And when I finally saw the film I was blown away. It was a call back to 1977 true, but what is so wrong with that? The new characters were hugely compelling, the action was great, the story was intriguing and full of mystery’s still unsolved, and the feel was spot on with how WE all want a Star Wars film to be.

The Force Awakens may not be the best Star Wars film, Empire still holds that crown, but for me it was far, far away the best film of 2015.

 

Harrison Ford Was Paid 50x More Than Star Wars Co-Stars

Harrison Ford meant it when he said in the new Star Wars film that “the force” was real; his celebrity forced Disney and Lucasfilm to pay huge money.

With its global in-take now at a record $529 million, Star Wars‘ box office success is staggering. But how much money did The Force Awakens actors earn to join a galaxy far, far away?

Variety is reporting that Harrison Ford’s salary was in the eight-figure range ($10 million to $20 million) to reprise his role of Han Solo. According to a Disney insider, the 73-year-old notoriously grouchy actor earned a substantially larger cut than his co-stars — 50 times more than the fresh faces who shared the screen with him.

Word on the street says that Disney made a decision in 2014, prior to casting the new roles, to create a “legacy pay scale” intended for talent like Ford, Fisher and Hamill, who had previously been a part of the Star Wars franchise, and pay only “scale” for actors that would be appearing for the first time. In that universe, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher took home pay checks in the low-seven-figure range.

Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac negotiated deals in the mid- to high-six figures, due to their previous film and TV work. But newcomers John Boyega and Daisy Ridley were paid only in the low-six-figure range ($100k-$300k), due to their lack of experience in large-scale film. That’s barely a tiny flash of light in the gigantic financial universe that is Star Wars. Let’s hope that next time (and there will surely will be a next time), the force will be with them when they bargain for their salaries.

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When she is not writing about film and art on her blog, HelenHighly.com, Helen Kaplow is busy being a culture vulture in her adopted home of New York City. 

10 Obscure Star Wars Facts

10 Obscure Star Wars Facts Even Hardcore Fans Don’t Know

The only thing people may love more than Star Wars is talking about how much they love Star Wars.

Especially when it comes to true Star Wars fanboys (and fangirls) who can become engaged in a verbal lightsaber measuring contest for hours to figure out who the biggest fan is. Original Trilogy, Prequels, Expanded Universe, it’s all fair game when once’s nerd credentials have been challenged.

Because Star Wars is so popular, most everybody knows a lot about the films already. That Darth Vader wasn’t originally supposed to be Luke’s dad until Empire Strikes Back was written. That Lando and the Millennium Falcon were never supposed to have made it out of the 2nd Death Star alive. Or that Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer were cast because they had the good fortune of test screening with Harrison Ford. Even though most of the public may not know these facts, it’s a safe wager that for most hardcore Star Wars fans these would all be old news.

So let’s throw out everything even a scruffy nerfherder would know and discover 10 obscure Star Wars facts even hardcore fans would be surprised to know.

How many do you think you’ll know?

Death-Star-II-Scale-Size

10. The Second Death Star was HUGE!

The first Death Star was nothing to sneeze at. Conceived as the ultimate battlestation, it was designed to bring terror to the galaxy and to crush entire star systems under  the jack boot of the Empire. And it’s worth noting it’s still the only one to ever get a planet on it’s scoresheet when Grand Moff Tarkin of so casually wiped Alderaan off the space charts as if he was shooing a fly in A New Hope. (in the movies at least)

No doubt, the first Death Star was big. So big in fact that, Han Solo first thought it was a moon upon his first glance of it.

But compared to the second Death Star, the first is a small party favor or a small children’s toy.

According to the wookieepedia entry for the Death Star (the Star Wars version of wikipedia) the first Death Star clocks in with a diameter of 160 kilometers. Pretty impressive. Most impressive actually.

That is until you compare it to the second Death Star which was built was a diameter of 900 kilometers! That’s 460% bigger than the original! That’s mind bogglingly massive!

And yet, still insignificant when compared to the power of the Force.

Did you know? In 2012 a petition to the White House was submitted asking for the construction of a Death Star as a form of economic stimulus. As the petition received over 250,000 signatures it was required to receive an official response. In 2013 he White House formally rejected the proposal citing an excessive cost of 852 quadtrillion dollars and an estimated 833,000 years to complete!

Spoiler Heavy Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Spoiler Heavy Review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WARNING! You will only get to see the new Star Wars movie for the first time once. So go see it. And if you want spoiler free reviews than you can find a bunch on the internet here, here, and here.

Once you’ve done that come back here for a spoiler heavy review and analysis. You’ve been warned.

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. When Disney bought Star Wars three years ago and announced that an Episode VII was being fast tracked into development fans around the world freaked out. One year ago the first trailer dropped and kicked anticipation into lightspeed. The hype and positive buzz surrounding the film only grew from there as the film inched closer to release.

So how does the first Star Wars film in ten years hold up against the biggest hype train we’ll all never see the likes of again?

In many aspects it holds up quite well. Exceptionally well actually considering the impossibly high expectations and circumstances surrounding it.

But in others it falls as hard as Darth Vader did to the dark side.

darth vader burnt mask

Before we start, I will say this. Given the immense hype and the smattering of trailers and TV commercials that’s bombarded the public in the recent weeks, J.J. Abrams and Disney did an amazing job dangling the movie in front of the public without ruining it. The film has some really great moments and surprises for everybody that the trailers never hinted at or showed. Even if you’ve seen them all a hundred times by now, you know who you are, the film still entertains.

And the Force Awakens does this on the strength of it’s characters. The new main characters are all spectacular, well developed and fun to watch. They were my favorite part of the film by far and will be for most viewers as you can tell the writers put a lot of thought and care into their development.

John Boyega’s Finn is one hundred times funnier than Jar Jar Binks ever wished he was. By the end of the film, he was really nothing more than a dense stormtrooper with a big heart and a conscious who got himself in way over his head. Finn’s best qualities come out when he puts himself into the greatest danger like escaping from the First Order, or on the Millennium Falcon, or in his two great lightsaber duels.

The Rebels, now the Resistance’s, hotshot pilot Poe Dameron had the smallest part of the new cast but always seemed exuberant and eager. I would have liked to see more of him  in the cockpit of his slick black X-wing, but then again I would have liked to have seen more X-wings in the film as well.

BB-8 is a scene stealer throughout the entire movie. Maybe it’s wise R2-D2 was shut down through most of the film as there’s no way he can compete with that adorable soccer ball of a droid.

Kylo Ren Force Awakens Trailer

Kylo Ren was also quite a surprise, but not for the reasons that are the most apparent. As much as he strives not to be, his character is the anti-Vader in almost every way. Emotional, witty and surprisingly funny he is also full of doubt as he finds himself pulled to the light side, something which he struggles to find the strength to combat. What a great way to flip not only Darth Vader comparisons but also the whole dichotomy of the Force and how it’s perceived in general. It’s not just the dark side that can pulls and seduce anymore, the light side is just as tempting it seems. What a great twist that takes what’s come before makes it new and interesting again. I also got quite a kick of his synthesized voice which sounded a lot like Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men and his lightsaber temper tantrums. What better way to show Kylo as the spoiled brat he is than to have him slash everything with his lightsaber. It was also a nice touch I thought that under his mask he is quite the pretty boy which made for a nice visual contrast with Vader’s scared and ruined face.

Rey The Force Awakens

The last great revelation was Daisy Ridley in her role as Rey. Like Luke, she begins the movie as a lost youth stuck trying to make ends meet on a backwards desert planet. Adventurous and resourceful, she braves the derelict ruins of Star Destroyers spelunking  for scrap she can sell for food. She waits patiently on her seemingly adopted homeworld of Jakku for the family she can’t remember to one day return to her. It’s very endearing and gives Rey some vulnerability while also keeping her tough as she needs no one to protect or rescue her in a welcome change of pace. She is also quite plucky and scrappy when she needs to be and develops a great father daughter chemistry with Han Solo that the film never quite wants to awkwardly acknowledge. She has a lot in common with Luke on the surface but I was reminded more of the good qualities she shares with Anakin Skywalker in the prequels. What does that mean, if anything? I have no idea as the film seems dead set on revealing Rey’s backstory in a “I am your father” moment in Episode VIII. Seeing her escape on her own in the Starkiller base instead of being rescued was a great  touch, and it was about time we finally see a girl kick ass with a lightsaber in a Star Wars film.

Han Solo The Force Awakens

The other main character that’s worth mentioning is Han Solo and his huge role in the film. I was worried that age would have caught up to Han Solo as it had Harrison Ford but those fears all flew out the window quickly. The Han Solo in the Force Awakens is still the lovable scoundrel he was in the original trilogy. He’s still down on his luck and constantly facing long odds with only Chewie, his blaster, and his quick wit by his side.

It sucks he had to die.

Part of the fun of watching The Force Awakens is to identify all the callbacks to the previous movies, there are many, and how director J.J. Abrams and writer Lawrence Kashdan play with them. The Force Awakens does stay awfully close to the main story structure of A New Hope. Secret plans are hidden in a droid that must be returned safely to the good guys before he falls into enemy hands. Before the plans are delireved a cantina is visited, a new planet destroying super weapon is tested and some talk about the Force’s role in all this is explained. Eventually the plans are delivered but not before our female lead is captured and rescued while a small fleet of X-wings launches a desperate attack on a looming threat.

By the time Han Solo walks out to confront his son who he’s failed to raise on the straight and narrow in front of Rey and Finn on the Death Star 3.0 you know he’ll soon be following in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s footsteps. It’s a powerful scene that hits hard because it’s so connected to A New Hope.

But it could have been amazing if the film had done anymore than wink about Han’s and Kylo’s father-son relationship. As far as the films go, (I know in the Expanded Universe this is all old hat) it’s a lot for audiences to take in that not only did Han and Leia have a child named Ben, but that he was trained to be a Jedi and eventually turned to the dark side. If we were never told these events took place we’d be hard pressed to believe them as the film never really develops their relationship to a point that’s believable.  Even cold hearted Leia treats the loss of her son to the dark side in the same stoic way as when she lost her home planet. The whole father son reveal falls flat as it seems rushed and loses any of the poignancy required for a death of this magnitude to truly resonate.

Which is another problem the film has in that the second half comes off as too rushed. Too much is happening with the X-wing attack, Rey’s rescue, the destruction of the shield generators, Kylo Ren, Han’s death, and a great lightsaber duel for any of it to stand out.

Compare that to the film’s first half which though brisk, was expertly paced and kept things interesting and moving forward. The first half is pure joy and Star Wars nostalgia as The Force Awakens fills in the gaps of the last thirty years since Return of the Jedi. Seeing Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters back on the big screen is a thrill as is reintroducing the Millennium Falcon and learning what Han and Chewie have been up to in the years since. It also helps having BB-8 around as he’s a much bigger player in the first half than the second. Actually whenever BB-8 was around the movie seemed stronger. He’s that good.

Force Awakens X-wings

A major complaint I have with the film is that it seems too interested in leaving a trail of story related bread crumbs into Episodes VIII and IX. There is a lot of blatant mystery the film sets up but flat out chooses to ignore, at least until further sequels. For instance, how did Luke’s lighstaber get into that wooden box? Who was the old man at the beginning? Who are Rey’s parents? Han and Leia? Luke perhaps? How was she able to become so proficient in the Force in such a short matter of time? What was the relationship between Luke and Ben Solo? How exactly did the Force Awaken?

There were a few small things that really bugged me. Captain Phasma got the true Boba Fett treatment in that she looks cool but doesn’t really do anything and gets taken out like a punk just the same. I didn’t like Supreme Leader Snoke though I am getting a Wizard of Oz vibe from him and his huge holographic projection. The new Death Star was taken out waaaay too easily with only a handful of X-wings and despite the hope of some kick ass space battles, my favorite, the dogfights here were over much to quickly for my liking. And Luke. It would have been nice if he would have said something or if not then at the very least end the movie right after his reveal instead of holding on his straggly beard for what seemed like an entirety in the wind.

star-wars-episode-vii-force-awakens

Don’t get me wrong, The Force Awakens was still a good film and I really enjoyed it. It’s the funniest Star Wars film by far and had great action pieces. Seeing the scale of everything filmed with actual actors and props was so effective in making the film seem as real as the originals were. I liked the final duel in the snowy woods where the trees replaced the bamboo groves of old samurai movies. Watching Rey climb the long and winding stairs towards Luke at the end for some good old fashioned Kung Fu training was fun, and seeing her wear the pistol Han Solo gave her, slung low on her hip like Han made me smile.

The acting was top notch all around and it’s clear the franchise is in good hands with this new core group of actors firmly established to take the franchise into the future for many many more years to come.

I can’t wait to see it again. The Force is strong with it.

5 Reasons Why Star Wars The Force Awakens Might Be Good

5 Reasons Why Star Wars The Force Awakens Might Be Good

So, it’s come to this. We are now just days away from the premiere of Star Wars The Force Awakens. As one a time fan whose adoration of the franchise was ruined by the prequels, I am definitely going into this new installment with a good deal of skepticism. Previously and given the tremendous veil of secrecy that naturally surrounds the film, I put forth 5 Reasons Why The Force Awakens Might Suck and there were good reasons for those fears. However, there is also a chance that this new tale about life a long time ago in a galaxy far far away could resurrect the greatness of the original trilogy. Therefore, here are 5 Reasons That Star Wars The Force Awakens Might Be Good.
jj abrams directing star wars
1. J.J. Abrams Is The Co-Writer and Director: In all honesty I’m not the familiar with J.J. Abrams work. Even though I haven’t seen much of what he has done, he is a Spielberg protege and he has been involved in the creation of a number of well-received movies and television series and I’m sure all that praise is not without merit. One need only look at the love people had for his revival of Star Trek to be given a feeling a hope at the fact that he has been intimately involved with every aspect of The Force Awakens. However, more than his successful track record, his biggest asset is being a life long Star Wars fan whose world was forever changed when he saw the first movie in 1977. He has such an obvious love and appreciation for the series that he may have delivered a movie that will satisfy and inspire fans and critics alike. And, who knows maybe it could even be on the level of the originals that were not only entertaining, but actually imparted some deeper philosophical messages like whether there is a god, what gives life meaning, and redemption.

Chewie force awakens
2. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo And Princess Leia Are Back: Although, it appears that the crux of The Force Awakens will focus on the story lines of the new characters in it, the fact that the three stars of the original trilogy are returning is another reason to peel back some cynicism. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia were truly beloved characters portrayed astoundingly by the actors who played them. All three of them may have a limited impact on this film and the state we are going to find them in probably is not wonderful, but they will be there and it will be good to see them. Furthermore, over the course of the film they maybe able to work their way out of whatever entanglements they find themselves in, which could be exciting. Finally, the fact that all three of the actors who were in the original movies came back to be in this film is a good sign as they must have felt the material was worthy enough to reprise their respective roles.

Lawrence kashdan
3. Lawrence Kasdan Co-Wrote The Screenplay: Lawrence Kasdan is an absolutely excellent filmmaker and script writer. One need only look at Grand Canyon and The Big Chill to see how extremely talented he is. More importantly though, Kasdan was involved in the writing of The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of The Jedi. Both of those movies were fantastic and the fact that he has had a hand at writing two Star Wars pictures before means he knows the territory very well. This time he may have delivered a screenplay as good as Empire and Jedi. That is an exciting prospect for any past or present fan and I hope that it meets expectations.

jj abrams bb8
4. Abrams Went Old School: While watching 60 Minutes the other night J.J. Abrams was featured in a segment that showed he employed a limited use of C.G.I. A lot of the new characters that he created for this film were produced organically and all the explosions were real. This is about as close to how Star Wars and its successors were made as possible. In fact, one of the biggest reasons that A New Hope blew everybody’s mind was no film like it had ever been done before and a tremendous amount of that had to do with how it was shot, how all of the creatures in it were created and how incredibly real it all looked. For me, an enormous drawback of the prequels aside from the wooden acting and campy dialogue, were that everything looked so fake and shot on a green screen. If Abrams was able to create a Star Wars similar to the original with as much realism than it could be great.
Millimum Falcon The Force Awakens
5. The Trailers Have Been Good: Movie trailers can be a very deceptive thing. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a trailer for a movie that looked interesting that than turned out to be terrible or seen a trailer for a movie that looked awful and turned out excellent. (The Royal Tennenbaums and Mr. Brooks come to mind when thinking of the latter.) But, the trailers that have been released for The Force Awakens have all been interesting and intriguing. Furthermore, based on the little footage that has been shown, the movie appears to lack the shortcomings of the prequels. That being said, you never know with trailers. But it is yet another reason to believe that the force very well may be strong with this one.

So, therein lie my 5 Reasons For Why The Force Awakens Might Be Good. You may disagree with me and in a few days most of us will have formed our opinions, and all the mystery surrounding the movie will be over. But, whichever way it goes, I do have to give some credit to J.J. Abrams for even undertaking this project considering all of the risks that it entails. Stepping in to helm a beloved franchise with a black mark on its legacy is no easy feat and for that alone he should be given a pat on the back.

Every Limb Ever Lost In Star Wars

Every Limb Ever Lost in Star Wars Infographic

Lightsabers are a dangerous thing. Able to cut through droids, hack off limbs and melt through security doors like a hot knife through butter. It’s no surprise then that the Star Wars films are a graveyard full of severed arms and heads from the unfortunate victims who met the business end of a lightsaber.

Here is a great infographic that shows every limb ever lost in Star Wars.

 Star Wars Limb Loss Infographic
Image Created by HalloweenCostumes.com

5 Reasons Why Star Wars The Force Awakens Might Suck

5 Reasons Why Star Wars The Force Awakens Might Suck

With the premiere of Star Wars The Force Awakens just days away and a tremendous amount of secrecy surrounding it, one fact is certain. That fact is that The Force Awakens is bound to make a great deal of money. But, like with other recent cinematic interpretations of life in a galaxy far far away, a lot of gross at the box office doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of it will necessarily be all that good. As one who spent most of his early childhood obsessed with the original trilogy and was at first extremely excited and profoundly disappointed by The Phantom Menace and the films that followed it, I’m coming to this latest part of the Star Wars saga with extreme skepticism. In my mind, the chances of this one being well done and able to capture the magic of the original are about 50/50. I hope my worst fears are not confirmed, but here are 5 Reasons That Star Wars The Force Awakens Might Suck.
jar jar binks goofy
1. The Prequels: The Force Awakens may bear almost no resemblance to the prequels released in the late 2Oth and early 21st Centuries. It is set in a different time with different characters, has a different director in J.J. Abrams, and obviously has a different storyline. However, it does share one similarity with its predecessors. Like The Phantom Menace, Attack of The Clones, and Revenge of The Sith, it is a new Star Wars movie. It is not The Empire Strikes Back or Return of The Jedi that we came to love. As a result, there is a very good chance that it will be unable to match up to the movies that inspired us all so long ago. It may be hard to remember now, but the world was thrilled about the Phantom Menace being the first new Star Wars movie before it was actually seen. There seems to be similar hype about this one and like those movies it may be unable to deliver. Finally, the mediocrity of the sequels was so hard to stomach that even if The Force Awakens is excellent, people like me maybe so jaded from the prequels that we’re unable to appreciate the attributes of this one.

jj abrams r2 d2 star wars
2. The Force Awakens Release Date Was Pushed Back:
Since I have not kept a watchful eye on when this film was bound to come out I’m not quite sure when it was slated to be released. But, what I do know, is that its release date was pushed back to December 2016, when it was meant to come out earlier. When it comes to movies this is generally not a good sign. A movie being released later than expected can sometimes be due to the fact that world events seem putting it out after a real event like it has just occurred to be in poor taste (This was the case with O and Phone Booth.) or because the studio behind it feels that it could be more successful financially if it is released at a particular time of the year. But, more likely it means that the movie had some serious issues with it that need fixing before it can be released. I’m sure there are instances where doing this has worked well. But, many times when seeing a picture that showed great promise, and then turned out to be bad this is often a reason given for its lackluster quality. Remember that Star Wars: A New Hope was released on May 25, 1977 because it and films like it tend to do well during the Summer Blockbuster period. According to what I’ve seen in the trailer, The Force Awakens appears to fit a summer release better than a holiday one. Perhaps, they didn’t release it in the summer because of problems. If that is so, that doesn’t bode well.
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3. The Producers And Director Are Considering Reprising Anakin Skywalker: In recent months, a spate of stories stated that J.J. Abrams and the producers are considering having Anakin Skywalker from the prequels come back in the next two films after the Force Awakens to play Darth Vader. If that is true, even though that story arc won’t be present in this film, it doesn’t leave a good taste in my mouth. Reawakening anything from the prequels whether it be actors, dialogue or story lines is not promising. The prequels were terrible and the acting was a big part of why. Therefore, they should stay way from anyone that was involved with them. The fact that they’re even thinking of this means that this film could contain all of the things about the prequels that the public did not like. or even if they don’t, could end up being just as weak.

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4. Han Solo, Leia and Luke May Be Present, But They’re Not The Central Focus: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and the chemistry between the actors portraying them were a big part of the success of the original three films. Fans of Star Wars came to love all three characters and the reason for that was how wonderful Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fischer were at playing them. It appears that in this movie all three of them will have a focus, but they won’t be the central focus. Instead the story appears to aim most of its attention at brand new characters that we’re all unfamiliar with. Unless the actors playing them render fabulous performances and the script is excellent, they may not be able to engender the same kind of good feelings that the original stars did. If that happens, no matter how good it may be to see Han, Luke and Leia again they won’t be able to make up for the lack of connection we may feel to the characters that they’re interacting with.

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5. Return of The Jedi Will Be Forever Altered: At the end of Return of The Jedi, the Empire has been defeated, the Galaxy has been liberated, Han and Leia are together and Luke has redeemed his father. Although we were all sad to see it end, this was a solid conclusion to a brilliant set of movies that left us feeling happy. This film by its very nature will undo all of that. Based on whats been shown and leaked to the public, the years since the victory of the Rebel Alliance have not been kind especially to those characters we came to love. As good as this movie could be, it may prove too difficult to see that the conclusion of The Return of The Jedi will be seen differently from the moment that The Force Awakens starts. For fans of Jedi like myself, that may be tough to see.

I haven’t seen the original trilogy in sixteen years because the prequels forever altered my preconceptions about its origins. My preconceptions about The aftermath of life in the galaxy after the fall of the Empire will no doubt be changed by this film and its sequels, and that may mean I won’t like it.

So, there are my reasons that Star Wars The Force Awakens Might Suck. I hope that I’m proven wrong, but I’m not exactly cautiously optimistic.