Aug 23, 2016

What does the title of Rogue One mean?

Rogue One title meaning

What does the name of the film ‘Rogue One’ actually mean?

When Rogue One was officially announced we pondered what the title meant as all the Star Wars movie names have some kind of thematic expression of what the movie is about.  'A New Hope' for instance is a reference to Luke Skywalker being the one that could perhaps bring down the Empire.

So what does it mean for this fourth Star Wars prequel?

Is it a military call sign?

Rogue One could easily be first considered as a military call sign that echoes Luke’s Rogue Squadron which was first shown in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke leads Rogue Squadron during the Battle of Hoth. In the wider Star Wars universe, Wedge Antilles featured heavily as the leader of the squad which proved popular and so the legacy of the name has stayed with Star Wars fans. 

So at first glance, Rogue One is part reference to that the past legacy of Star Wars and perhaps more so, the Squadron’s attitude of bravery and fearlessness.

A reference to Jyn Erso?

But, if you frame the film's meaning in the light of Jyn Erso as one can for Luke in ANH, Jyn is in fact a rogue one. 

The word rogue can be used to describe someone as being a scoundrel or a rascal or a dishonest person or a rebel or a thing out of place from the expected system. We know that Jyn Erso has been under arrest  (Hey! Jyn, rebels!) and is only granted her freedom by the Rebel Alliance so that she can do her mission of stealing the Death Star plans. 

This concept is very similar to the famous war movie, The Dirty Dozen where the rogues of that movie were sent on a suicide mission in return for their freedom (This is why we think a lot of the characters will die during the movie). So the meaning of Rogue One is that it is a reference to the character of Jyn Erso.

A description of the movie's place in the franchise?

But, as Yoda might say, there is another meaning. 

The film’s director Gareth Edward’s offered this meaning of the title which suggests it is descriptive of what kind of movie Rogue One is when compared to the 7 other movies. Edward’s said:
“…this is the first film that’s gone off-piste and is not part of the saga – or the Anakin story – so it’s the ‘rogue’ one, you know?”
In reality we think the movie's title is deliberately meant to evoke all three meanings. In that sense, it's really clever - it says nothing, yet everything about the movie.

Aug 16, 2016

4 subtle moments you may have missed in The Force Awakens

subtle moments you may have missed in  The Force Awakens

4 subtle moments you may have missed in  The Force Awakens

1. There was something familiar about the Dejarik Board on the Falcon...

"I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: let the Wookie win." - Aboard the Millenium Falcon, R2D2 is beating an agitated Chewbacca at Dejarik so C3PO suggests the strategy to placate the hairy goof. That game between the Walk Carpet and The Little Droid that Could was never actually finished.

In The Force Awakens, Finn accidentally turns on the Dejarik board and the game begins exactly where R2D2 and Chewbacca left off!

2. Obi Wan calls out to Rey via the Force

During Rey's flash back scene at Maz Kanata's castle, Obi-Wan Kenobi called out to her via the Force:

Rey! These are your first steps

It was very subtle and many people missed it the first time round. The internet went bonkers over the revelation from TFA's director JJ Abrams that yes, that was Obi-Wan Kenobi calling out to Rey and that the voice was that of both actors that have played Kenobi, the younger Ewan McGregor and the older, nominated for an Oscar for his turn at the role, Alec Guiness!

It turns out that Ewan had been called into to record this line of dialogue. Which is pretty cool as he was arguably the best thing about the Prequel Trilogy. He was the ultimate Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith and his part made Guinesses turn all the more special when you understand what the character went through.

So how did this happen that Guinness had a line as well as McGregor? You can thank producer Bryan Burkk for surprising JJ with some dialogue that Guinness had recorded when he said the word 'afraid'. The sound engineers were able to take the Rey sounding syllable as it was phrased just the way the script needed it. McGregor's words were used for the rest of the line.

3. Rey was always awesome, she didn't suddenly 'become' able to take on a Knight of Ren (but she did have some help...)

When we first met Rey, she is shown crawling and abseiling around the crashed Star Destroyer. She later beats up the two men sent by Unkar Plutt to steal BB-8 from her.  This subtly demonstrates to the viewer that she can handle herself in a fight, which is handy when she fights the grand son of darth vader. 

It should also be no surprise when she goes sneaking around the Star Killer base after she has escaped as she has had practice climbing around the crashed destroyer on Jakku, it was practically her day job after all! 

It's a classic movie making trick to show the hero doing something at the start of the movie so it's no surprise when they can do it later on. It's the Chekov's gun thinking at play. The subtly of The Force Awakens is that it's not in your face as much as other movies do.

4. It was not an accident that Han Solo kept using Chewbacca's Bowcaster weapon

When Han died, Chewbacca shot Kylo Ren in anger to avenge Han. What was REALLY happening was the culmination of the movie's running gag of Han Solo using Chewbacca's bowcaster.

The movie made a 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. And probably be dead.

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 however Chewbacca's shot severely injured him.

The subtlety of this is that it was a deliberately drawn out plot point that leveled the 'playing field' somewhat so that when Rey fought Kylo, she at least would be able to foot it with him for a time... 

The blast had left Ren bleeding and as he faced Rey, his blood was spilling onto the snow at his feet. All those hammy jokes of Han trying out the weapon were a subtle effort to make the climax of the movie believable. 

Did you like that? Star Wars is full of subtle moments. We've got some more:

As usual, Carrie Fisher knows how to make a splash!

Carrie Fisher making a splash at the beach

Here's a picture of a young Carrie Fisher dressed as the Return of the Jedi version of Leia, having some fun in the surf. We think this photo was part of the famous Rolling Stone Cover shoot.

Aug 15, 2016

Rian is making his lil indie movie still

I hope it's as interesting as Brick was!

Aug 11, 2016

Rogue One's official trailer is out!

Watch Rogue One's trailer

If your anticipation and wait  for that first The Force Awakens trailer  was driving you a lil bit crazy, you can talk some mild comfort everyone is busting their gut twice as bad to view Rogue One's official full length trailer!

This is not a teaser trailer, nor a behind the scenes reel, no, Rogue One's trailer is here and delivers all that this Star Wars fan wanted to see:

The Return of Darth Vader! If only for a second at the end. But he's there!

Watch the trailer on YouTube now:

How did you find it? 

Any way let's work through what we have just seen in the trailer. Colour us very excited !

We had an upside down Death Star caught in an eclipse. Some visually stunning cinematography. A robot that seems a bit of a dick - ‘The captain says you’re a friend. I will not kill you”. A tie fighter rising up to face Jyn. X-Wings flying in some kind of storm. A U-Wing dropping of Rebel soldiers onto the beach. A splash of a screenshot of Vader. Baze’s rocket being fired in the head of an AT-A©T. 

Didn’t catch any true Easter eggs in there. Some nods to the original movies – K-2SO’s odds of survival quote evoked C3PO’s quips.

We still think everyone is going to die in the end and we hope Vader is the cause of most of the deaths!

We only hope that Rogue Two will be this good! 

Aug 10, 2016

What is the Church of the Force?

What is the Church of the Force?

What is the Church of the Force?

Back when everyone was in the rumour mill phase of The Force Awakens and when every little bit of information was placed under the magnifying glass of a thousand Star Wars fans, there was a piece of concept art that leaked that featured Max Von Sydow dressed in brown robes.

The art was called The Vicar and sent off many a wild rumour and speculation. Was he the new Obi-Wan Kenobi? At one point, we even wondered if he was Boba Fett or a cyborg robot kind of guy called Montrose!

It turns out the vicar was actually the priest known as Lor San Tekka, and he was a priest of the Church of the Force. So what is it? Is it a cult? Why does the Force need a church? Was its Jedi Council sanctioned?

The Church of the Force was an underground faith made up of loosely affiliated worshipers of the Jedi ideals. Members of the faith believed that the Jedi Order would not only one day return, but that its return was essential in bringing balance to the Force.

The Church of the Force existed as an underground movement during the Age of the Empire, when the Jedi Knights were hunted to near-extinction following the infamous Order 66 and worship in the supernatural was a violation of Imperial law.

One member of the faith was Lor San Tekka, an explorer who did not believe the Imperial description of the so-called Jedi betrayal of the Galactic Republic.

Tekka was was born in the waning years of the Galactic Republic. He became a believer in the ideals of the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars, despite not being Force-sensitive, and followed the underground faith of his church during the dark times of the Galactic Empire's rule over the galaxy

He spent years finding history of the Jedi that the Empire had tried to suppress, and eventually helped Luke Skywalker, in his own search for Jedi lore and the orginal Jedi Temple.

The Church of the Force first appeared in the The Force Awakens, not that viewers would have learned this. The Church of the Force was not official referenced until Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary was

Ilco Munica from The Force Awakens
Illco Munica getting his last rites from Stormtroopers
It provided an official backstory for San Tekka and mentioned the Church of the Force.

His back story suggested that after the Battle of Endor (that occured in Return of the Jedi), San Tekka helped Luke Skywalker recover secret Jedi lore that the Empire had tried to erase. It is implied in his conversation with Kylo Ren that he is well aquanited with Princess Leia.

Following decades of adventure San Tekka had retired to live simply on Jakku, where he followed the dictates of the Church of the Force. While it's never explained how, Kylo Ren learned he had the map, found him and killing him and other fellow Church of the Force followers, including Ilco Munica, the terrified Abednedo that briefly featured on screen)

Jul 31, 2016

Was Anakin Skywalker drawing Kylo Ren to the light?

drawing of darth vader with helment off

In TFA, was Anakin Skywalker drawing Kylo Ren to the light?

If so, he failed and failed badly.

But let's chat first before we crucify the former Sith Lord.

In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren appears to be struggling with his place in the Universe. He clearly wants to embrace his dark side and follow in his Grand Father's foot steps and finish what he started (whatever that was). He also states to Vader's mask that he wants to be shown again.

We have no idea what he was shown.

But we do know as he told his father Han Solo just before he murdered him that he was struggling with what turned out to be being drawn to the light side of the Force.

What was calling him? What was causing this? Was it Anakin Skywalker? Was he trying to bring Kylo Ren back from going full retard by partnering fully with Snoke? 

If so, he failed.

But what if it was not Anakin, was there another entity drawing Ben back to the Light? Who else had reason to try? A certain Jedi Knight in self isolation at the first Jedi Temple? 

If so he failed too. 

My spidey sense tells me, that if this theory has any basis of reality, it will be Luke.

Of course, given that Vader is making an appearance in Rogue One, the clamour for more Vader will be big - and what film studio could resist the cash cow that Vader is? So, if Vader's Force ghost could appear in Episode VIII or IV, having him working to redeem Kylo Ren could be a way to do it.

Image Credit

Jul 27, 2016

Rogue One - the Ultimate Visual Guide by Pablo Hildago is coming to a book store near you! (or your mail box)

We mentioned that The Art of Rogue One. is coming out, we’ve got wind of another book tie, The Ultimate Visual Guide. The guide’s author is a name keen fans will well recognised, one Pablo Hildago. You, know, the great Star Wars troll on Twitter.

Order the Rogue One Visual Guide Book
Order me from Amazon now!
The book is hardcover and is two hundred pages long, so there will be plenty of cool content to feast your eyes on.

Here’s the official guff on the book. It’s billed as being:

"The essential, comprehensive guide to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

This exciting reference format accompanies the eagerly anticipated, first-ever standalone Star Wars movie: Rogue One. This beautifully detailed title features in-depth character profiles, plus 6 newly commissioned and fully annotated cross-sections of vehicles and mapped-out locations. With clear and authoritative text, this book is packed with essential information—and presented alongside stunning stills from the movie."

The Ultimate Visual Guide will be released on December 16th, the same day as the film so as to avoid any spoilers for the movie. You can order it from Amazon right now.

This is not the book from which the earlier Rogue One leaks came from, that would be a different title: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: The Official Visual Story Guide. Confused much?

Jul 26, 2016

Is that grumpy guy from Oasis to blame for The Phantom Menace sucking? *

Noel Gallagher, of Oasis fame, got to have a light saber duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi.

"Ewan McGregor was my neighbour, right, and he came round my house the night he got the part of Obi-Wan Kenobi. I just happened to have two of those lightsaber toys, so I said, “Come on — in the back garden.” And we had a f*cking lightsaber fight. His first Jedi training session was with yours truly in my back garden at eight in the morning."

So is he too blame for The Phantom Menace sucking?

* calm down, I'm only trolling.