Oct 17, 2017

The untitled Han Solo movie is called: Solo

How uninspired..

solo- a star wars story

At least it looks like the movie is in good hands!
I'm sure everyone is just going to call it the Han Solo movie any way. 

Maybe they should have just called it Han and Lando's Excellent Adventure

Oct 12, 2017

Why do Stormtroopers 'always' miss their targets?

Why do Stormtroopers 'always' miss their targets?

It's become a bit of a joke on the internet that Stormtroopers always miss their target.

Storm Troopers are so bad at firing their weaponry that the heroes always get away with not even a scratch.

There's even a popular joke that if a Stormtrooper shoots a Star Trek 'red shirt' the red shirt will still die. Which may say more about Star Trek...

But do Stormtroopers really miss? The evidence suggests otherwise and that it's a myth they always miss.

Let's start with A New Hope

The opening scene involves Stormtroopers boarding Princess Leia's ship, the Tantive IV. The entry hatch is blasted and out swarm the troopers into their own kill box they just created. They then proceed to kill most of the men aboard the vessel using their.... blasters. They basically shot their way out of a hole in the wall.

They were deadly accurate and  later on one of them was even able to quickly switch to stun and take down Princess Leia herself. Mission accomplished boys.

Whilst on Tattoine, Luke and Obiwan come across the Jawa's barge which has been shot to shit by Storm Troopers. Luke surmises it was the Tusken Raiders but Obi Wan is moved to note that "these blast points, too accurate for sand people. Only imperial storm troopers are so precise."

Now lets bear in mind that Obi Wan Kenobi is not merely a craxy old hermit, he was a General who fought in the Clone Wars. He knows what he is talking about. And as we later found out from the Clone Wars / Sith movie, we know he survived Order 66 - we'll talk about that some more later.

Also remember that Aunt Beru and Uncle Own were turned into crispy critters.

A few scenes later and we are on board the Death Star. Which is where all the talk of Stormtroopers missing appears to stem from. Queue the prison cell block break out.

Our heroes are pinned down in a corridor with cloned marksmen shooting at them with some serious firepower and they all miss. Yep. You got us there.

Our heroes are then later attempting to sneak onboard the Millennium Falcon as Obi Wan becomes one with the Force at the hands of Vader to wit Luke cries out Noooooooooo (like father, like son eh?).

The distracted troopers note the escape and commence firing at our heroes. All shots miss. Yep, you got us there. These Storm Troopers can't hit the side of a barn.

But hold the phone, don't we find out after our heroes escape that Governor Tarkin had ordered a homing beacon placed on the Falcon in an attempt to learn the location of the rebel forces? He was pretty serious about finding them, you'll recall he blew up Alderaan to try and get the location from Princess Leia.

So if it was that important for Tarkin to learn the location of the rebels secret base do you think he would allow the Stormtroopers to actually harm our heroes? The reality is Tarkin actually let them escape so our heroes would inadvertently lead him to the rebel fleet.
This means the Stormtroopers were deliberately missing their supposed targets.
You might be asking yourself, but because of their inability to shoot to kill, the Clone soldiers were dying at the hands of our heroes.

Yes, yes they were and the sequels revealed the Clones were under the direct control of the Republic and by the time A New Hope rolled around, under Lord Sidous. They were at his beck and call to do his will. And by delegated authority, they were Tarkin's minions. So when he orders them to not kill, that's all they do.

Only Ewoks can prevent forest fires?

Ewoks can prevent forest fires poster

Oct 10, 2017

Just how did Rey win her duel with Kylo Ren?

Thoughts on the duel between Rey and Kylo Ren - how did Rey win?

How did Rey REALLY beat Kylo Ren in their duel?

We spied this amusing comment on the 'net from someone who said they'd seen the movie three times which read:

"How does someone that just a few minutes earlier discover that she has Force ability so easily defeat someone else who although not a Jedi or a Sith has clearly had some training in the force."

And I was like did you see the same movie?

They probably thought Rey was just a girl.

The saber battle between Kylo and Rey was pretty darn good but Rey was the ultimate victor.

How does this come to pass?

The start of The Force Awakens shows Rey being attacked by TWO masked men. She fights them off and displays that she's a talented fighter able to hold her own against physically stronger opponents, using her staff.

She's clearly tough and not afraid of getting into the odd scrape. She's been through it before.

This serves to demonstrate in the fight with Ren that she has enough skills and agility to take him on in combat.

This next bit is really important.

Kylo Ren is severely injured in the fight.

The movie made an extremely blunt point that Chewbacca's Bowcaster weapon is very strong. Both Chewie and Han Solo used it to great effect, demonstrating that when hit with it you would be thrown 10 feet from where you stood. Many Stormtroopers died to bring you this information.

After Kylo Ren killed Han Solo, Chewie shot Kylo with the bowcaster. He took the full blast to his chest. He didn't take a back step, which demonstrated how strong he was.

The blast however left him bleeding and as he faced Rey, his blood was spilling onto the snow at his feet. You saw it when he punched his own chest. He was in real pain.

Finn had also managed to get Kylo with the saber. It was more of a flesh wound but it would serve to help Kylo lose a bit of focus. It would have also tired him somewhat.

Focus is key here too.

Kylo has just murdered his father Han Solo as part of his personal test whether he would be drawn to the dark or light side of the Force. It would be pretty fair to say his mind isn't fully in the game as he's waging an emotional battle in his head.

Another point to consider is that his training is not yet complete - Snoke tells us so at the end of the movie so it's arguable that Kylo is not yet the ultimate swordsman and it's quite likely he hasn't been in combat against another force sensitive person (wielding a saber) since he took part in the massacre at the Jedi Temple / Academy that Luke had started.

Remember, this film is called The Force Awakens and it has awoken in Rey big time.

The Force awoke within her when she touched Luke's long lost saber in Maz Kanata's castle. The Force is seemingly on a mission to bring Rey and Luke together. It is willing her to succeed.

There are some possibilities to consider.

Rey could be Luke's daughter. 

Rey could also be a Solo - while that would seem unlikely given the context of the film, that could be part of a bigger secret. If there is a familial relation to the Skywalker linage, it would be reasonable to assume the Force is particularly strong within Rey which would help her beat Kylo.

At the end of the day, the Force Awakens need a climactic sword fight - so to make it believable, Kylo had to be turned down somewhat and the blast from Chewie served that purpose.

Think back to the movie Gladiator when the same trick was used on Maximus - though the extreme of that was he was dealt a mortal blow (and still won the fight against Commodus).

We'll find out when The Last Jedi comes out in 2017.

Oct 9, 2017

The Last Jedi's full trailer has finally been revealed.

It feels like I have been waiting for this moment since Luke hacked off his father's arm and was inducted into the club by the Emperor with the classic line 'So be it then, Jedi.'.

Sure, Luke Skywalker had a wordless cameo at the end of The Force Awakens but that hardly counts as some quality time with a child hood hero.

Enjoy Rian Johnson's trailer for The Last Jedi.

Holy Cow Batman, were you blinded by its majesty?



I have no idea how the movie can live up to the hype of its own trailer.

Let's cover the things. Oh, the things!

Rey gets to the Journal of Wills

The Walkers!

The silvery fox creatures!

Luke speaks!

Has Kylo swapped sides?

Is that Luke facing off against Kylo? Snoke? We think there was a LOT of misdirection happening in this trailer!

Isn't this quote just brilliant? "I've seen this strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now!"

If you live long enough, you see the same eyes in different people

If you live long enough, you see the same eyes in different people.

Look at those eyes. 

So piercingly real. 

This image is from the poster of The Last Jedi.

The official The Last Jedi poster has been released

Here's the official Star Wars poster for The Last Jedi. 

First thing one notes is Luke looms large over top. His father used to play that part...

Also it's bathed in chuck berry red. 

Blood red.

Which means Rey's blue saber stands out. Note that its glow reflects onto Luke who is largely bathed in red on the other side. More Stars Wars duality.

The use of the red and blue sabers continues on from The Force Awakens poster and again Rey and Kylo's weapons of choice run in parallel to each other (In TFA Rey's staff aligned with Kylo's saber).

It also confirms Captain Phasma has a spear. 

And of course, there's no Han Solo :( 

the last jedi official poster

To download the poster for a screenshot / wallpaper right click on the image. 

Oct 8, 2017

When is a Star Wars prequel not a prequel?

douglas chiang phantom menace concept design

When it's a sequel!

I noted a great discussion on Reddit about how Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are prequels to A New Hope but also act as sequels to The Phantom Menace.

Mind blown?

Probably not if you understand the meaning of 'sequel'.

What it basically comes down to is the anchoring in time of the original publication:

"a published, broadcast, or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one."

Many people think of sequel as being a publication that comes after the initial publication.

And that's pretty fair, however the definition also gives room to describe what one would consider a prequel as being as sequel.

It's all simple word play then or a game of semantics right?

One could even state a sequel is "something that takes place after or as a result of an earlier event."

And that's when you can describe Attack of the Clones as being a sequel to the story of The Phantom Menace as it's a continuation of the story.

Technically then, every release after ANH, inclusive of The Last Jedi is a sequel.

Some smart ass might like to argue then that A New Hope is a prequel to The Empire Strikes Back.

And they'd be wrong because ANH was the first publication and thus the defintion of what is a prequel or sequel hands on that.

So Rogue One is a prequel to ANH as it is published some 40 years after the original movie.

Is it a sequel to Revenge of the Sith?

You could argue that in terms of the time line of actual publication it is, however I would contend that given it has very little plot connection to ROTS, it doesn't serve as a continuation of that story story so is not a sequel but it does meet the definition in relation to ANH...

Now, any considerations on the Holiday Special?

Oct 5, 2017

Who REALLY is the Supreme Intellect that Lucas spoke of to the director of Return of the Jedi?

Update: Clearly I was late to the party as Stumpy Hobbit had already had it confirmed by Pablo Hildago himself on Twitter that George's storylines indeed inspired the Snoke character!

I couldn't find the actual tweet by Pablo though...

Who is the Supreme Intellect that Lucas spoke of to Richard Marquand?

This tweet by Jedi News piqued my interest:

Richard Marquand was the director of the third Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi. A personal favorite, Jedi was the first Star Wars movie I saw as a kid at the theatre.

Given that love, I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Marquand and think he made a great movie

So when Jedi News says that Marquand had some insight about Lucas's intended vision of the Star Wars universe post Jedi, I was indeed interested. 

Here's the actual quote from the July 1983 edition of Prevue Magazine:

“If you follow the direction, and project into the final trilogy [i.e. Episode VII-IX], you realise that you’re going to meet the supreme intellect, and you think how is it possible to create a man who has such profound cunning that he can not only control Darth Vader, but the fate of Luke Skywalker? Control the destiny of the whole galaxy? You’ll be amazed!”

So there's apparently supreme intellect out there, pulling strings across the universe far wider than that Palpatine once managed?

That was in 1983 and some 33 years later, The Force Awakens is released and with it a mysterious character called Snoke. Snoke is definitely pulling strings across the universe. He's tapped into the psyhe of Kylo Ren and is attuned to the Force in someway. 

Is Snoke the embodiment of the idea that Lucas described to Marquand? 

Is Snoke this 'Supreme Intellect'?

I'm sure Pablo Hidalgo will be the first to tell me my Snoke Theory Sucks but it's not really mine, this theory has been around since the moment Snoke dropped into canon. I'm just taking it for a spin.

It's impossible to miss the reference to the intelligence is considered 'supreme' and that Snoke's more formal title is 'Supreme Leader'. Or am I making a leap to far like most random Youtube Star Wars speculators?

A rumoured working title for TFA was The Ancient Fear. An ancient supreme intellect perhaps? Update 2 - Pablo debunked that for us personally!

I quite like the Snoke - Darth Plagueis theory myself... but then Pable debunked that theory too. 

But let's take a side step of sorts. 

I'm interested in this reminder from history because of what happened with the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney - you know when Lucas sold Star Wars to the 'white slavers'...

We understand that Lucas had been playing with ideas for years about the movies numbers 7,8,9 and had made several comments over the decades.

While it is absolute myth that Lucas actually wrote 9 or even 12 Star Wars movies, he has stated several times, he thought that the third trilogy should be filmed in the time line where Luke Skywalker was as old as Kenobi himself was in A New Hope.

Indeed, at the time of the sale it was widely reported that Lucas had been developing story lines for the future and they were incorporated into the sale.  

Cut to literally the last minute of The Force Awakens and it's clear that Lucas' vision of Luke has been carried through.

We also know that script writer Michael Arndt spent also most a year as the lead pen of the film that became The Force Awakens before JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan effectively when back to the drawing board.

But did Arndt work with the story lines that Lucas had developed and supplied to Disney? And did these also include the 'Supreme Intellect' that Marquand spoke of? And if so, is this shadowy entity Supreme Leader Snoke?

We won't of course know until until The Last Jedi is released. And even then, we may not know until movie 9 but we're picking that now Skywalker is Obi Wan's age equivalent, the story lines as suggested by Lucas for that character will be mixed into the new foundation set by The Force Awakens.

And maybe we'll learn just how much of Lucas's ideas were carried over into the third trilogy and The last Jedi. Will Luke Skywalker get to confront the Supreme Intellect?

Did you ever see the movie Krull? It's an awesome fantasy film that's so bad it's good. Nice to see it had a mention on the Prevue magazine cover above!

Joss Wheedon says The Empire Strikes Back committed a cardinal sin. What was it?

ending screen empire back

The Avengers and Firefly director had been clearly thinking about the perils of sequels when he went into Age of Ultron.

He commented on the ending of The Empire Strikes back:

Empire committed the cardinal sin of not actually ending.

Which at the time I was appalled by and I still think it was a terrible idea. Well, it's not an ending. It's a Come Back Next Week, or in three years. And that upsets me.

I go to movies expecting to have a whole experience. If I want a movie that doesn't end I'll go to a French movie.

That's a betrayal of trust to me. A movie has to be complete within itself, it can't just build off the first one or play variations."

Which is not to say you can run around screaming “OMG WHEEDON HATES STAR WARS!”.

So how did Age of Ultron fair in terms of quality. Someone remind me?