We’ve seen all too often movie sequels take missteps after great starts. Be it too many villains – the ’90s Batman sequels, Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, etc. – or too much reliance on bringing back past characters, which has been a big knock on much of the Disney-Era Star Wars Universe. Too much reliance on the Skywalkers makes a vast galaxy seem small.
With Star Wars fervor at an all time high Halloween presents itself as the perfect opportunity to dress up as your favorite character. The best part? There are so many options out there to chose from.
2014 is nearing a close with a flood of news and rumors about the future of the Star Wars franchise. Mace Windu is rumored to be getting his own spinoff film, the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens dropped earlier today, and a new dose of Star Wars spinoff film news has hit the web.
We have known for a while that starting in 2015 Disney plans to release a new Star Wars movie each year, alternating between the new series and stand alone character based movies. We now have confirmation that these movies will be origin stories. Disney’s chief financial officer Jay Rasulo announced during a presentation to financial investors that the intermittent installments would play host to the origins of some of the best-loved characters from the franchise.
Variety broke the story yesterday afternoon stating that Rasulo sees it as “the sky’s the limit” for the for the sci-fi franchise, including expanding its presence in the company’s theme parks. “There’s incredible flexibility. It’s an unbelievable palette to create from.”
Rasulo also confirmed that from 2015 one Star Wars trilogy film or origin story film would also appear on the release schedule, starting with the seventh installment in the Star Wars saga directed by J.J. Abrams. Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were previously rumored to have been hired to write the second and third installments, with Michael Arndt already scripting Star Wars Episode VII, however it is now confirmed the Kasdan and Kinberg will be writing the stand-alone origin movies.
Any Star Wars fan that knows his salt is aware that Kasdan is no new-comer to the saga, having written, in my opinion the best installment, Empire Strikes Back and having an eye in on Return of The Jedi. Aint It Cool News reported a little while back that one of the stand alone films would focus on Yoda, and Bleeding Cool recently reported that there was also talks of Han Solo and Boba Fett movies with a casting call already out for a young Han. It remains to be seen if Han Solo and Boba Fett would get separate movies or have share the screen. We already know that Harrison Ford and the rest of the central Star Wars cast will be reprising their roles, but this would be the first sign that Disney is looking to recast characters from the original trilogy for the new movies. Granted Harrison Ford is too old to play a young, agile Solo, but this is certainly a piece of casting Disney will need to get right.
It would be great to see two of the best characters from the saga face off against each other. I fear for fanboys the world over whose heads would explode in excitement!
Geek Exchange have confirmed that Disney has more plans for the Star Wars franchise and certainly more movies in the pipeline. We also now know who will write two of them. Lawrence Kasdan (Screen Writer on The Empire Strikes Back) and Simon Kinberg (Screen Writer on X-Men: Days of Future Past) were confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger. He had this to say about the two writers:
[box_light]“[Kasdan and Kinberg are] working on films derived from great Star Wars characters that are not part of the overall saga, so we still plan to make Star Wars VII, VIII and IX roughly over a six-year period of time starting in 2015. But there are going to be a few other films released in that period of time, too.”[/box_light]
So not only are Star Wars fans getting more of the continuing storyline of George Lucas’s epic saga, they are also going to be treated to more movies spinning off from Star Wars Mythology. Fantastic news to say the least and some even better news about the great talent behind these spin offs. Lawrence and Kasdan are established and clever writers and with Kasdan himself already a part of the Star Wars universe (with him working on Empire) we can expect great things. This format opens up a massive selection of characters that could be given their own stories.
While the movies lay dormant for quite some time after Return of the Jedi (until The Phantom Menace came onto our screens), the universe did not wait and expanded out into books, comics, with a huge amount of expanded stories that spanned through several era’s in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Stories concerning events set years before The Phantom Menace (The Old Republic, Tales of the Jedi), or during the original trilogy (Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, Shadows of the Empire), and the continuing story after the original trilogy which are sagas in their own right (Dark Empire, The Thrawn Trilogy). So while the expanded movies will be original stories, there really is no limit to where they can move forward from here. Especially with a few stand-alone pictures mixed in. Can you imagine a whole film with Yoda (rumored) or Mace Windu? That’s what this turn of events could offer us.
Shortly after this was released to the masses, Bob Iger came back again with even more exciting news. Collider shared that two confirmed stories would be about a young Han Solo (following the young rogue smuggler after Revenge of the Sith to his appearance in A New Hope) and the mightiest of all bounty hunters Boba Fett (probably between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi, unless you go with the expanded universe version where HE SURVIVES) mixing it up with some other bounty hunter scum.
So what do we have here exactly? Well with these stories we could see a return of characters now dead in the franchise. Darth Vader could easily make an appearance again,as he hired Boba Fett and could have had dealings with Han Solo, whohas had trouble with the Empire before. And with Boba Fett involved you would think that Jabba the Hutt will pop up at some point as well as his old bounty hunter buddies like IG88. With Han Solo we could see him winning the Millennium Falcon or meeting up with his hairy buddy Chewbacca. There are lots and lots of possibilities here.
However, there are certain problems with this. Finding an actor to play a young Han Solo could be a problem. Those are some big boots to fill as every one remembers Harrison Ford as their Han Solo. Most people seemed to embrace Ewan McGregor as Obi Wan, so maybe it will not be an issue. As I mentioned before the comics and books about Star Wars have already expanded greatly on the adventures of certain characters and Boba Fett is one of the most talked about. He has had entire comic books written about his exploits so it will be interesting to see if any of these plot lines are taken for the movie. It seems that Boba Fett will not rise from the Sarlacc’s belly as he did in the comic books; just because of the fact his story takes place in between parts 4-6. Still, it would be great to see him jet off again in his own adventure.
Is it a good thing to do these spin-off movies at all? If Disney is spreading themselves to thin here, than will the spin-off movies be of a poor caliber compared to Episodes 7 – 9? Personally I think Star Wars content lends itself better to television format rather than other feature films. Television is better suited to character development. Certain new characters could be introduced to a fresh audience this way and established characters can be expanded on, giving older Star Wars fans something to get excited about. People could disagree with me here after the cheesy nature of The Star Wars Holiday Special, but television has moved on greatly since then and it has become a respected form of story telling in its own right. But at the end of the day it is still more Star Wars so as long as it does not turn out like The Phantom Menace (which I hate to say is still painful to watch even after its release in 1999 over ten years ago), then I think we can all agree it is an interesting time to be a Star Wars fan.
One finally note to this news which may be of interest. Yahoo has an interview with both Lawrence and Kasdan about how they feel taking on this established and beloved universe and some of their plans for it. Keep reading Grizzly Bomb for more information as it develops.
At least the Clone Wars is providing us with some entertaining filler before the final two episodes of the season featuring Darth Maul. Last night’s episode ‘Bounty’ was rather excellent, featuring a new planet and a couple of species that I’ve never seen before. Not to mention the newest addition to the growing cast of bounty hunters. Not only do we get to see some of the soon to be veterans such as Bossk, Dengar and Boba Fett but also a couple of newcomers.
The episode follows Ventress after last weeks defeat and general annihilation of the Night Sisters on Dathomir by the Separatist forces of Count Dooku. It seems like Ventress is basically on a path to nowhere, perhaps letting the force lead her to her next point in life which in this episode happens to be on Tatooine where she runs afoul of Boba Fett and his motley crew of bounty hunters. After killing one of their number for the huge mistake of hitting on her, Ventress is sort of forced into joining their team for a job, even though I’m pretty sure that she could have killed them all in about ten seconds flat if she wanted to. And so begins the episode which is ultimately not linked to the storyline for next week’s episode but filled with plenty of action which was beautifully shot against the backdrop of a unique planet where all of the action takes place well below the surface.
The Darth Plagueis novel was very unlike many other Star Wars literature I’ve read. It was light on action and heavy on political machinations by the Sith as they tipped the force inexorably in their favor. I was under the impression that Plagueis died well before Palpatine started his foray into politics but alas I was very wrong. I also assumed that the book would start with Plagueis training Palpatine from the start and again I was proven wrong. The book not only chronicles the apprenticeship of Sidious to Plagueis but also touches on the relationship between Plagueis and his own master Darth Tenebrous. There are a few other Darths mentioned throughout, but learning further about the Sith succession line is only a small portion of what makes up a fantastic book by Star Wars veteran James Luceno.
The X-Men Guide To Puberty: If you have to ask ‘how many penises is normal?’ this pamphlet is for you – [CollegeHumor]
The 6 Creepiest Comic Book Characters of All Time: Not creepy as in that weird guy is looking at you, more like this horse just fondled you and now wants cab fare – [Cracked]
Gorgeous Gwen & MJ Pin-Ups: I shouldn’t need to say anything else – [ComicsAlliance]
Okay, so my title was a huge crack at how ridiculous George Lucas’ movie titles were getting with the Star Wars movies. So let’s take a look at how someone else took a big crack at the empire know as Lucasfilm, run by none other than ‘The Maker’ and creator of a Galaxy Far Far Away George Lucas.
I must have missed the newsflash back when he won a lawsuit against an engineer named Andrew Ainsworth, the man supposedly responsible designing the Stormtrooper helmets for Episode 4: A New Hope. Lucas and his minions however claim that they already mapped out how the look of the helmet was to be and that Ainsworth only produced the helmets physically. So apparently Ainsworth and his studio have been making Stormtrooper helmets for quite sometime before ole’ Georgie boy shut them down back in 2006, but that didn’t stop Mr. Ainsworth and company from producing the replicas in the United Kingdom with any hindrance.
So of course Mr. Lucas went there to stop this rebel scum and what do you think happened with his lawsuit? If you said “he won and Mr. Ainsworth was disintegrated by George Lucas wearing Boba Fett armor.” then you would be completely wrong. The U.K. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Ainsworth’s appeal and said this via Deadline:
In the UK, Lucasfilm had to prove that the helmets were works of art to qualify for copyright protection under the law. “It was the Star Wars film that was the work of art that Mr. Lucas and his companies created,” the justices wrote. “The helmet was utilitarian, in the sense that it was an element in the process of production of the film.”
So I guess there’s one win for the little guy. Sorry Lucasfilm, you can’t win em’ all. But on the other hand Mr. Ainsworth had this to say after the ruling – “If there is a Force, then it has been with me these past five years.” Seriously tool? Go make a living doing something besides selling white plastic cannon-fodder helmets to a bunch of fan boys. Now what’s his website so I can buy one of these?
The third season of the Cartoon Network hit Star Wars: The Clone Wars, started out way below light speed for me. After about three decent episodes, packed with clone training and droid blasting, the seasons momentum crashed with a few stagnant weeks of political intrigue. Two of these episodes focusing almost solely on the Mandalorians and their pacifist [Ed: Lame] ideals.
Eventually though, after an agonizing break in episodes, it started to pick up with the introduction of Savage Oppress. (Terrible name, I know. Grievous, Whorm Loathsom. Savage Oppress. See the pattern?) Savage Oppress is Count Dooku’s newest Sith apprentice, and he’s kicking all sorts of sphincter.
That was followed up then by the ‘Mortis trilogy’. Although ultimately a bit unnecessary, it kept me interested with Liam Neeson reprising his role as Qui Gon Jinn.
Now with ‘The Citadel’ episodes they have brought in the future Grand Moff Tarkin, who was portrayed in A New Hope by the legendary Peter Cushing. It is interesting to see the interactions between him and Anakin, seeing as how they will most definitely be colleagues in the near future.
Now as much as I enjoyed seeing young Boba Fett last season, and the introductions of Greedo and Tarkin this season, nothing really compares to how excited I am to see the next big return: Chewbacca. The legendary wookie is set to grace the screen once more in the two-part finale of season 3. Check out the video below to see him in action.
VIDEO NO LONGER EXISTS
So get ready for some good ole’ Chewie, Padawans and Trandoshan slavers to wrap things up on April Fools Day! I can’t wait.