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Dec 30, 2016

Admiral Raddus quotes from Rogue One

Admiral Raddus lines from Rogue One.
This guy has raditude.

We're pretty sure Gareth Edward's choice of Admiral Raddus to lead the Rebel fleet in Rogue One had anything to do with his name or that the Mon Calamari General would be so actually rad a character. 

Or maybe they got the name joke. Either way, Raddus was a key minor character from the movie. It's quite possible that Raddus will overtake Admiral Ackbar in the popularity stakes over time. Hey! Calm down, nothing will ever beat Ackbar's 'it's a trap' quote from Jedi.

But Raddus himself had a few things to say in Rogue One. His quote
"Rogue one, may the force be with you" is a classic line, and surely one to endure with fans.

The actor who did Raddus' voice over work, Stephen Stanton, was told was to come up with a few versions of a voice that would be a cross between Winston Churchill and the General George S. Patton and that the character was a military leader. He came up with a couple of versions. He later got a call back and then found out it was for the role of the Admiral.

Here's Raddus' quotes:


"I say we fight!" - When the Alliance is discussing their options.

"This is Admiral Raddus of the Rebel Alliance..." - Said just as he and the rest of the fleet exit hyperspace and come face to face with the Scarif defence systems.

"Get me a Hammerhead Corvette, I have an idea." - During the battle Raddus commands a Hammerhead ship to ram the disabled Star Destroyer into the other ship.

"Rogue one, may the Force be with you" - said as he realises all is lost for the Rebels on the Scarif's beach.


Dec 28, 2016

Red vs Blue lightsabers and the duality of Anakin Skywalker


In what may or not be case of over reading into things, Dan Zehr has provided some pretty cool insight into some of the themes that revolve around Anakin Sykywalker in Revenge of the Sith.

His article on the official Star Wars site features a consideration of modern 'man or machine' discussion and the ability of evil to 'subvert the natural order' and the two faces of Palpatine.

What really got my attention however was the duality drawn by Anakin's use of two sabers to behead the quite surprised Count Dooku in Revenge of the Sith.

If you recall at the beginning of the movie, Obi-Wan and Anakin are on a mission to rescue the conniving Palpatine which ends with Anakin being encouraged by the Chancellor to end Dooku's life and thus ending the Clone War (at face value anyway).




While this scene is obviously a deliberate signal to the viewer that Anakin has dipped his toes into the Dark Side of the Force, the message of the double saber may not have been have been picked up by all viewers (certainly not this author who has seen Revenge of the Sith 11 times by his reckoning).

So what is this duality Dan wrote of?

"On General Grievous’ flagship, Anakin captures Dooku’s lightsaber in dramatic fashion, thereby crossing both blades at the neck of the Sith Lord. 

The symbolism here is strong: the blue blade represents Anakin’s optimism, hope, and rationality, while the red blade (which Anakin will soon wield in another form) represents his anger, despair, and inherent violence. 

Both blades work in tandem, further demonstrating the conflict and dichotomy of the tragic hero."

Pretty heavy stuff but it turns our Dan is a school teacher who takes English classes so he's probably read enough Shakespeare to have enough authority to make such connections ;)

This is a great example of the talent of George Lucas. He's a wonderful story teller and this small moment of visually representing the duality of Anakin's journey is a nice small moment that reinforces the character's journey to the dark side. 

As an aside, our favourite 'small thing' in this movie occurs later when Anakin is covered by shadow, whereas in front of him Obi-Wan Kenobi is lit up, foreshadowing where each character's destiny ultimately lies in the movie. 

While this movie came after Jedi, in terms of story telling,  Luke Skywalker also followed his father's footsteps in terms of duality and his struggle to keep the dark side at bay - however this was explored in terms of Luke realising he was becoming his father when he severed Vader's arm, mirroring himself in the process. 

While at face value the Star Wars franchise is a kid's set of movies, look for the hidden depths as an adult you may just enjoy all six films all the more...

We really suggest you read Dan's full article and check out his Star Wars site, Coffee With Kenobi.

Dec 27, 2016

26 interesting Star Wars facts you need to know today

empire concept art
Luke Skywalker always took his bath time very seriously...

27 random as Star Wars facts that you might not know


Here's some random as nuggets of triva and facts about the Star Wars movies. As the legend and lore of Lucas's world grows, these factoids become even more awesome!


  1. In a New Hope, Leia was kept captive on the Death Star in cell number 2187. This was a deliberate choice as 2187 is the year that the Lucas directed film THX 1138, was set. 
  2. In Return of the Jedi, listen to the music very carefully as Darth Vader picks up the Emperor and throws him down the Death Star shaft. This is the only time the Jedi theme music plays over a shot of Vader, reflecting his return to the light side of the Force and him actually being the Chosen One. 
  3. Darth Vader was actually the only Star Wars film character to lose an arm three times! And both his legs as well. Obi Wan Kenobi got 3 of his limbs in Revenge of the Sith! He did have the higher ground after all...
  4. The Bantha milk drank by Luke and Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru in A New Hope is blue! It's become the stuff of Star Wars legend. I never noticed the colour until I was an adult with a mortgage!
  5. Anakin Skywalker really is the ‘Chosen one’. While Yoda and Obi Wan may have thought a mistake had been made in the reading of the prophecy, Anakin was the one who actually killed Sith Lord Palpatine by throwing him down the Death Star’s reactor shaft in Jedi and thus restored balance to the Force. 
  6. Harrison Ford famously was never intended to be Han Solo, he was just hanging around after American Graffitti and was helping other actors read their lines as Lucas was in the casting process. Eventually Lucas wised up and realised Harrison already had the part down cold. 
  7. Princess Leia was subject to one of the most famous ad libs in cinema history - that being Han Solo's response to her declaration of love - "I know". Harrison Ford apparently made it up at Irvine Kershner's suggestion. Leia got to return the line in Return of Jedi during the Battle of Endor. 
  8. Carrie Fisher appeared in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. This movie was a weird Kevin Smith homage to Star Wars and featured an appearance by Fisher as a nun and Mark Hamill as a parody of himself. Carrie's cameo was the one that got the laughs.... do you follow the good book?
  9. A lot of people forget this but Fisher appeared in the classic movie When Harry met Sally. She was the 'friend' of Sally who ended up marrying Harry’s best friend. See, there is life outside of Star Wars! Fisher also had a cameo in the Blues Brothers!
  10. Carrie Fisher wrote an actual bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge and screenplay for the film based on her writing. The book was about her drug addiction and her relationship with her mother. Fisher has managed to parlay her writing talent with a few turns at playing script doctor for a few Hollywood movies, most notably Rene Russo's Outbreak. 
  11. Yoda’s species has never been mentioned. In official records he is simply an ‘unknown species’. He'll always be Kermit's ugly cousin to us.
  12. For the prequel film Attack of the Clones, Yoda was performed by Frank Oz. The next two prequels featured a CGI Yoda and the DVD release of Clones saw a CGI version replace the puppet. 
  13. While many think Yoda had Darth Sidious beat in his famous duel in Revenge of the Sith, it was actually Mace Windu, a former student of Yoda who firmly beat the Sith Lord (of course Anakin came in and ruined it all..). 
  14. The original drafts for Star Wars show that the Skywalker family was actually called Starkiller. Indeed the drafts featured a General Starkiller and didn’t focus on the young moisture farmer from Tatooine. His son was called Deak. He eventually became Luke.
  15. During Revenge of the Sith Bail Organa and Yoda step into the hallway of Organa's ship and have a nice coversation about becoming rebels or something. It's the same ship that Darth Vader boards to capture Princess Leia Organa in the start of A New Hope. 
  16. Does the name “Annikin Starkiller” sound familiar? That's the character's original name for the Skywalker line.
  17. During the assault on the Rebels ice base on Hoth, it is Hamill who speaks the line, “the first transport is away!”. This line is later used as a reference to Star Wars in Mass Effect 3
  18. Carrie Fisher had to stand on a box for most of her scenes with Harrison Ford in the original Star Wars films because she is a foot shorter than him. This was done so the actors would look better in the frame shot together. 
  19. Master Yoda is 66 cm tall. As a comparison, R2D2 stands taller at 96 cm! 
  20. In the very short lived T.V. show Firefly, a model version of Han Solo frozen in carbonite can be seen in many places - the props department would move it around as a running gag. Presumably this was kind of like how Superman appeared in every episode of Seinfeld
  21. Princess Leia never actually gets to 'meet' Obi Wan Kenobi. She sees him from afar when she's escaping the Death Star and Obi Wan is about to let Darth Vader kill him but that's it. Unless you count Obi Wan being present for her birth in Revenge of the Sith... 
  22. Harrison is the only actor to have appeared in films directed by all three of these directors: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola
  23. Yoda's original name was 'Minch'.
  24. Everyone assumes Luke only appeared in the three original Star Wars films. Think about if for a moment and you’ll realise Skywalker appears a baby at the end of Revenge of the Sith. He of course appeared for 30 seconds in The Force Awakens making 5 film appearances. 
  25.  following Padme Amidala giving birth to him and Leia at the medical facility on Poliss Massa. 
  26. In A New Hope, Darth Vader has only 12 minutes of screen time! Talk about screen presence.

My happy thoughts about Carrie and heroines getting old



Update: Carrie has now died.


The pre Christmas news of Carrie Fisher suffering a heart attack and requiring resuscitation by passengers on the same flight was a sobering reminder of how quick things can change.

A couple of months ago my fit and health cousin had a similar event and nearly died but bounced back well. The same may not be said for Carrie and only time will tell.

We sincerely wish her the best.

Carrie's heart attack caused me to think about the first time I ever saw her character Leia in action. Somehow my brothers and I had been given a copy of Star Wars on VHS. I vaguely recall my father may have had it dubbed. I was probably 7 or 8 years old if I recall correctly. 

Pretty soon we see this massive space ship flying across our crappy television and it was awesome. I will never forget the part where Leia plays a bit of hide and seek with the Stormtroopers. She was clearly up to the task and knew what she was doing. 

I didn't realise it at the time but she was the first truly 'brave' and 'heroic' and female lead I think I had come across. Sure I may have seen another actress play a strong role but nothing to my mind sticks out. 

Later in the movie, Leia sort of has to re rescue herself as her rescuers find themselves stuck in the prison block. Seeing her fire some blaster shots and yell instructions about getting 'into the garbage shoot fly boy' showed she was bad ass.

In 40 years of cinema, there have only been two truly bad ass female science fiction heroines. You can surely name the other one. Her cat called Jonesy went missing...

And that's it.  

Which is probably why the news of the Carrie's troubles went around the world faster than pictures of children caught in Allepo. 

I think my favourite Princess Leia moment is at the start of Return of the Jedi.

Having made her way into Jabba's Palace in disguise as Bosch, she thought she had pulled off a great rescue of Han Solo and when he was free from the carbonite she responds to his question with "Someone who loves you, now let's movie it fly boy".

At least that's how I remember it.

I haven't scene a version of Jedi where she actually says that. I suspect the line was changed but I've never found any evidence. 

I liked this moment as even as a young kid sitting in the theatre watching Jedi as I remembered the line that Leia said all the way back in the movie which was only known then as Star Wars (to me!).

Or maybe it's just a romantic idea I have in my head. 

Leia shooting the Storm Trooper in Return of the Jedi as Han covers her was always a fun moment, as was when she met Wicket. Kids loved Wicket and the Ewoks!

So that small trip down memory lane brings us back to the harsh reality of life. 

While Carrie Fisher lies in a hospital bed, possibly near death, we can be thankful that we will probably make it through until tomorrow. 

Yes, our heroes and heroines get old, and they do die (wait until Clint Eastwood goes back to collect a few dollars more, your Dad WILL cry) and while we personally don't know our Carries, Hamills or Fords, we can be happy for their small parts in our lives. 

Dec 19, 2016

Every trailer shot that didn't make the final cut of Rogue One



Here's a mish mash of shots from all the Rogue One trailers that didn't make the final cut of the movie.

ROGUE ONE - 46 SHOTS NOT IN THE FINAL FILM from Vashi Nedomansky on Vimeo.

It's very interesting what this reveals - that the reshoots, that caused many a fan to go into mild cardiac arrest, resulted in what appears to be a very different last 20 minutes of the movie.

Not that we're complaining.


Things from the Prequels that influenced Rogue One


Things from the Prequels that influenced Rogue One

There's no denying the influence of the prequel films on Rogue One. Here's a couple of influences and references.
  • Bail Organa turned up! He appeared twice in the Prequels so was a big carry over. 
  • The actress who played Mon Mothma in Revenge of the Sith (her scenes cut) was brought back. 
  • Brief flashback to Coruscant when the Ersos were happier. Though arguably Coruscant first appeared in the Special Edition of A New Hope. 
  • Mustafer! Revenge of the Sith’s epic saber duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin took place on the lava planet. We now know that Vader chose to live on the planet in his scary old castle – one apparently built over land that has Sith secrets… The design of the castle was a call back to the original Star Wars designer Ralph McQuarrie and the work he did. 
  • Tarkin also had a cameo role on ROTS so that means he appeared in 3 movies. 
  • That giant truck that was transporting Jyn Erso? That’s known as the Juggernaut and can be seen in Revenge of the Sith. 
  • The Senate was referenced by Tarkin.
  • The Clone Wars was mentioned.
  • If Star Wars: Rebels counts – we get the Ghost ship joining the Battle of Scarif, a quick visual of robot Chopper and a radio ordered call for General Hera Syndulla to call in. 
  • If Star Wars: The Clone Wars count – a minor character called Saw Gerrera got to play a pretty big role as Jyn’s guardian.


How cool is this Vader in a bacta tank concept art?

The Art of Rogue One book is out - it features some excellent design work. This book is a visual chronicle of the Lucasfilm art department’s creation of new Star Wars worlds, characters, and newly imagined droids and vehicles.

Which is all nice and cool but given the Bacta scene in Rogue One, we feel this picture just sums things up perfectly:

bacta tank concept art

It's just so simple in its ethic but wholly conveys just what Vader's body was reduced to after Obi-Wan took him apart in Revenge of the Sith. 

Dec 18, 2016

Post Rogue One, let's look at A New Hope in A New Light




Rogue One nicely ties in with A New Hope. It's a deliberate, well thought out move. There's plenty of plot interplay which make some fun connections and also casts parts of ANH in a new light.

Here's a few links and re-thinks about what certain plot points mean now the two movies can be watched back to back.

Rebellions are built on hope


Let's start with our favorite bit. The Rogue One movie refers to 'hope' several times and finally finishes with Princess Leia's single line of dialogue, 'What is it they have brought us? Hope'.

What is arguably Princess Leia's most famous line in ANH?

It's 'help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope'.

So Rogue One now frames this with a bit more nuisance.

While Obi-Wan was the hope of Bail Organna and Mon Mothma, and Leia was sent on a mission to get him, Leia had not actually planned on receiving the plans to the Death Star. Her mission was soley to bring back Organna's friend, 'that Jedi'.

So, with Vader's Imperial Destroyer bearing down on the Tantive IV, Obi-Wan becomes her truly only hope to get the plans to the Rebels (by placing them within R2). 

It thus also gives the meaning of hope in a ANH two meanings - the first is the Death Star plans and what that entails but also of course Luke Skywalker being brought into the frame by Kenobi. It mostly refers to Luke, but that's the genesis of it all.

'There will be no one to stop us this time'


It would seem that this line that Vader says at the start of the movie is in reference to Jyn and her band of merry rogues, giving it more meaning. In the same vain, we suspect C3PO's quote "There will be no escape for the princess this time", is reference the most recent escape from the Battle of Scarif.

Leia already has some moxie


The boarding of the Tantive IV by Vader also can be seen in a new light which gives us a more unique insight into Leia's character. When she suggests to Vader that she's on a diplomatic mission, she's busting his nut because he damn well just saw her ship leave the Battle of Scarif!

The Imperial Senate


In ANH hope Tarkin shares the news that the Emperor has dispensed with the Imperial Senate. We can now figure that the report back from Tarkin that two successful test fires of the Death Star had occurred played into this.

The tests would have given the Emperor the confidence to sweep away the last remants of the Old Republic, knowing that he had this planet destroying weapon at his disposal - one which would keep detractors from his rule at bay.

Given we also now know that Tarkin and Krennic had a bit of a powerplay to keep control of the Death Star, Tarkin's decision to not leave the Station makes more sense. His apparent hubris is caused by his recent 'victory' over the Rebels by killing a lot of them above Scarif and possibly winning his rivalry with Krennic.

Tarkin's mentioning of the remants of the Old Republic may also be a reference to the fact that the Holy Jedi city Jedha had been recently blow up by himself personally.

The Death Star's weak spot


It's long been the subject of mirth that the Death Star had a design flaw that when some torpedoes are sent down a shaft, they will blow up and start a chain reaction that will destroy the Death Star completely. 

Like, how dumb does the Empire have to be?

We now know that Jyn's father and prisoner of Krennic, Galen Erso deliberately designed this flaw.

 After stalling as long as he could, the Death Star was due to be made fully operational so Erso made plans for Rook to get the message to Saw about the flaw he had designed. 

The Battle of Yavin


Given the Rebels had just gone through the Battle of Scarif and suffered great loss (sorry Blue Squadron), the Battle of Yavin shows just how desperate the Rebels would have been. 

With so many of their ship stocks destroyed during that battle, to front up to the assault on the Death Star in such short time means they were pretty hard pressed. 

Already battle worn, they simply had to throw the entire kitchen sink at the Emperor's mighty tool of destruction.

Those later Darth Vader duels


Thanks to Rogue's infamous final moments of Darth Vader charging down the hall brutally killing Rebel soldiers we know how strong a player he really is.

His ANH fight with Kenobi, Vader was basically toying with Kenobi and arguably the same with his fight with Luke in Empire.

So when Luke goes head to head with his father at the end of Return of the Jedi, we now actually have an even better understanding at just how advanced Luke is as a swordsman as he holds his own, and even bests his father.

I'm sure there's more there to think about. Let us know your ideas in the comments!

Let's clear this up. The Bothans never stole any Death Star plans ever, for any any Star Wars movie.


There's a cute thing that happens when ever a Star Wars movie comes out these days, particularity so when a movie features a plant to steal the plans to the Death Star.


It's about at this point someone will make a reference to 'Bothans' stealing the plans.

Another person will quip that they didn't see any Bothans in the movie and the internet will lose its collective shit and remind the poster that the Bothan's steal the plans in Return of the Jedi.

Case in point from a calm Pablo Hidalgo:



Except they didn't.

The Bothans do not steal any Death Star plans in Jedi (or events prior). Sometimes it seems only Pablo knows this!

What's happening is a bit of a fake memory event for some people.

Just like Captain Kirk, never actually said "Beam me up, Scotty" in the original Star Trek television series or how Vader never said in Empire "Luke, I am your father*" Mon Mothma never said that the Bothan's stole the Death Star plans. 

What she said was this:

"The Emperor's made a critical error, and the time for our attack has come.

The data brought to us by the Bothan spies pin point the exact location of the Emperor's new Battle Station. 

We also know that the weapon systems of this Death Star are not yet operational. With the Imperial Army spread through out the galaxy in a vain effort to engage us it is relatively unprotected.

But most importantly of all, we've learnt that the Emperor himself is personally overseeing the final stages of the construction of his Death Star. 

Many Bothans died to bring us this information. Admiral Ackbar please."

So having read the full quote, it should be clear that the Bothan's did not steal any Death Star plans, for any Star Wars movie, ever.

* Vader says, "No, I'm your father!"

10 plot point questions about Rogue One


Here's a few questions about some plot points on Rogue One. Don't take them too seriously.
  1. Why does Darth Vader need a bacta tank some 20 years after he was sliced and diced by Obi-Wan Kenobi? Was he still in that bad shape? 
  2. Why does Saw give up the fight and let himself be killed?
  3. We know Admiral Raddus was in leading the fleet in the attack on Scariff but where was Ackbar? 
  4. Wasn't it lucky that hours after running into Jyn on the streets of Jedha Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba were able to get to Tatooine so quickly?
  5. What is the significance of Jyn's Kyber cystal that she wears on her neck? Yes, her mother gave it to her and she almost wistful holds onto it later on but that's it? Is there no more special meaning? Was something cut?
  6. So no Biggs Darklighter? It be a great irony if his character was cut as a result of the re-shoot.
  7. How did R2D2 and C3PO get onto the Tantive 4? Last we saw them, C3PO was moaning about being left behind?
  8. Why does Vader live on the planet that Obi-Wan nearly killed him on? There's some kind of psychological issue there surely...
  9. Just what was the original fate of Jyn and Andor - the trailers showed them taking part in the battle on the ground, running for their lives with the Death Star plans in Jyn's hand. In the ending of Rogue One, the plans are transmitted and no action running scenes occurred.
  10. Why is Leia even present at the Battle of Scarif? Her mission was to get to Kenobi, not to get the plans. 

Dec 16, 2016

Let's play spot the cameo appearance in Rogue One

Cameo appearances in Rogue One 


Star Wars films has become a pretty handy vehicle for featuring pretty awesome cameo appearances both by those involved with the film's production and some genuinely famous actors having brief on screen moments.

The world lost its proverbial when it was realized that James Bond appeared as a Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens so what has happened with Rogue One?

List of Rogue One cameo appearances


Weeteef Cyubee
  • Warwick Davis has yet another turn at a cameo in a Star Wars movie. He plays Weeteef Cyubee, a soldier in Saw Gerrera's team. His role means he has played a different character in all the films 10 times by my reckoning.
  • Alan Tudyk obviously plays Enforcer Robot, K-250. He filmed a small cameo as a pilot called Wray Nerely but it was cut out. So no 'leaf on the wind' moment for him!
  • Ben Nathaniels, well known for The Exorcist and House of Cards has a small but pivotal role as General Merrick, the salty old soldier who leads an X-Wing Squadron. 
  • Taking a leaf from Alfred Hitchcock's playbook, Director Gareth Edwards makes a secret costumed cameo.
  • Where think this might be stretching things a little but Jimmy Smits returns as Bail Organa. Smits played the role in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Bringing the prequel character back is a wink and a nod of sorts so arguably is a cameo due to the small amount of screen time.
  • Ingvild Deila briefly plays Princess Leia at the end of the movie. She say's a single line, "what is it they've sent us? Hope".
  • Mon Mothma makes a return. Originally her first appearance was in Jedi but scenes for Revenge of the Sith were recorded but left on the cutting room floor.
  • Moff Tarkin is brought back via some hokey CGI. Looking like he had been embalmed in some manner, Tarkin has a fairly large role that showed just how much control he had in the Empire. Tarkin also had a CGI cameo role in Revenge of the Sith which now means the character has appeared in three Star Wars films.
  • Gold and Red leaders from ANH are brought back using footage filmed for ANH. Also, you may have learned that some female X-Wing and A-wing pilots were filmed for Return of the Jedi's Battle of Endor attack of the Death Star but never used. Those pilots were added to Rogue One's Battle of Scariff meaning Poppy Hands and Vivienne Chandler finally got their due. It's a small Easter egg but Blue Squad's appearance is a nod to the fact that in the novelization of A New Hope, Red squadron is actually Blue. This is because the book was finished and ready to publish before the movie was finished.
  • C3PO and his blue and white friend R2D2 are seen briefly on the secret Rebel base on Yavin 4. C3PO complains they were not informed about travelling to Scarrif. Anthony Daniels plays C3PO for like the 9th time in a Star Wars movie. 
  • Jyn Erso literally bumps into Doctor Evazan and Ponda Baba in the streets of Jedha. You might recall those two murders bumping into Luke in the Cantina scene of ANH.
And now on to the cameo roles of The Last Jedi!

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? What's in a name?

Is it a military call sign?


Rogue One is indeed a military call sign. It refers to the U-Xwing that Jyn's crew rides out on. Bohdi Rook so names it.

The call sign actually echoes Luke Skywalker’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, and featured in many novels.




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.


Is the title a reference to Jyn Erso?


Whereas Luke is the person referred to in A New Hope, Jyn can be considered the Rogue One, as in she's 'a bit of a rogue'.

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.

Is it 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.

Our Rogue One review. Yes, it's good. Great even.

Spoilars. Like, we say who dies.

Got it?

Let's begin this Rogue One review


Rogue One is the fourth Star Wars prequel so should Star Wars fans be wary of this Gareth Edwards directed film given in some quarters those prequels are considered terrible addition to Lucas's legacy?

I was certainly wary of it when the first trailer came out. It looked so filtered with some bad acting thrown in. It had an odd tone that I can't get down properly in words.

But that’s a part of Star Wars so who was I kidding?

No one. Not the least you.

Rogue One is a fiercely brilliant Star Wars movie.

Whereas The Force Awakens was a re-hash of many past film plot points and themes, Rogue One tells its own story, unafraid to be its own movie but at the same time delivering appropriate fan service.

It's also arguably a great war movie. Arguably.

That said Rogue One is an unmistakable cousin to A New Hope. The kind of cooler, more seasoned, more hip cousin that always had the best toys. There are many close connections, common themes, uniforms and sounds that make it feel at home in the Star Wars realm.

Gareth Edwards and the script writers can be proud of that and the Star Wars tale they have told.

So what did Edwards bring to the table?

Did you see the hot mess that was Godzilla? That was a beautifully crafted movie but a movie that had little soul.

So if Godzilla had no soul, what does Rogue One offer?

Where Godzilla had an almost pointless family scenario tacked into the movie, Rogue One’s very heart and soul is about a family where the very fact it was ripped apart but the evil Director Krennic gives ‘orphan’ Jyn Erso the reason to carry the movie on her shoulders.

You as the viewer can buy into that emotion so yes, this movie has soul.

There’s no doubt that Edwards has a true filmmaker’s eye.

His collaboration with cinematographer Greg Fraser has proved a happy union that has produced some amazing shots. The ominous Death Star eclipse moment over planet Jedha is a stunning spectacle and is likely to be remembered as much as the ANH scene where Luke stares at the two moons of Tatooine.

The blitzing blitzkrieg X-Wing attack on planet Scarif is a deliberate echo of the Rebels versus the Death Star in ANH but it’s an echo that will deafen you with its fantastic sound effects and all-round thrill of the kill. General Merrick’s handy moves in his X-Wing may prove to be one of Star Wars’ all time heroic fighter pilot moments.

Many pundits were hoping that because this film was sold as a ‘war film’ it would feature some classic war film moments in the vein of The Dirty Dozen or The Longest Day where everyone dies heroically.

So who dies in Rogue One?

Just about everyone in a bloody massacre. It's brutal, it's wonderful. It's Star Wars with DEATH!

So does Jyn Erso carry the movie?

Coming very hard on the heels of Rey carrying The Force Awakens, Rogue One shoulders the movie firmly on new character Jyn Erso as played by Felicity Jones.

We'll be frank, the character is good, great even, the acting is just passable. While Lucas was happy and even wanted the dialogue to be delivered in a hokey sense as an homage to the old Flash Gordon movies, no one wants that in a modern day Star Wars movie. So we can all be very happy Jyn's cringey "I rebel" line from the trailer was cut.

But that's a minor quibble.

As the movie moves a long, the ante is raised so much that you don't get a chance to ponder the inanity of some of the dialogue that Jones is forced to choke on.

Her sparring with K-2S0 is memorable only for the humor delivered on the giant robot's side. The reposte intended between the two falls a little flat but K-2SO is very quotable.

But the character itself is a fine introduction to the Star Wars franchise. Jyn is a brave heroine, worthy of top billing against some other fantastic characters.

Jyn's Rogues


Jyn's band of Rogues generally can be given top marks.

Donnie Yen's Chirrit in particular offers a fine example of 'adding an asian stereotype' into the movie without making it seem contrived, racist or just tacky.

Bodhi and Baze are also very handy characters that serve to broaden out the notion of team work and display great heart. Chirrit and Baze have a fantastic bromance going on, making their final moments most endearing.

We mentioned K-2SO above. Somewhat like how BB-8 stole the hearts of many Star Wars fans in TFA, K-2S0 will prove to be a very popular Star Wars robot. Alan Tyduk captured his role very well and adds a strange sense of pathos to what is already a bleak mission. That said, he has the only true laugh out loud moments in the movie.

As we feared, Cassian Andors is no Han Solo in any measure. While he has his moments and as a questionable moral compass, the issue for this reviewer is that the actor Diego Luna doesn't bring the right charisma to the particular role he's trying to play. Millions will love him but I feel he was horribly miscast. He actually really started to annoy me as the gig wore on.

There are also plenty of cameos in the movie to keep fans happy, Bail Organa being a key nod to the fans moment but the CGI cameo of Tarkin was fun as well. There's a blink and you'll miss it moment shout out to Red Leader from ANH too. Magic.

We'll always have a soft spot for Warwick Davis too.

And what of The Dark Knight?


If anyone going into this movie thought Darth Vader was going to be in every second scene, they didn’t watch the clues in trailers properly.

Vader is used quite sparingly (as he actually was in ANH) but to great effect.

Indeed, one particular moment provides us with quite the horrific moment - more so than when Anakin massacred the younglings in Revenge of the Sith.

We finally get to see Vader, in his black costume, just pummeling Rebel soldiers with his lightsaber and the Force. It is worth the price of the admission just to see this scene.

It was nice to hear the voice of James Earl Jones again. Sure beats his turn on The Big Bang Theory eh?

So about that lack of John Williams score?


John Williams has scored every Star Wars movie to date but he didn't do Rogue One as he's been composing for The Last Jedi!

So Michael Giacchino was given the opportunity to take the reins. He has done a fine job in re interpreting the original Star Wars themes and melodies and crafted them into a most perfect Star Wars soundtrack.

Giacchino's work is quite rousing and really propels the movie along, especially during the balls to the wall ending that Jyn's crew faced. I noticed that many times he would riff on a classic signature motif and just as you would expect a high note, he would go in a very different direction.

Verdict


The jury is in, Rogue One is a fantastic movie. Elements of it are as dark as anything Revenge of the Sith or Empire offered. The visuals are simply breathtaking, especially in the last third of the film.

Rogue One pays great tribute to A New Hope by tying both movies together so very very well. In many ways, a better film than The Force Awakens but one arguably one with less heart and 'magic'. As I said, it does have soul though.

Long time fans will simply adore this love letter to George Lucas's legacy, the more jaded and cynical movie viewer may simply see this as yes-another-action-movie-spectacle but they probably really never understood stood Star Wars in the first place.

Many people will say it's the best Star Wars movie only second to ANH. I suspect they are saying this based the the excitement of the last scene with Vader. Time will tell over the collective response but I can tell you now, it's no Jedi.

Here's a handy list of trivia about Rogue One we've put together about the making of the movie.

Some final points to ponder with serious spoilers:

  • So, Bail Organa is now officially dead in Star Wars.
  • How did R2D2 and C3PO get onto Leia's ship? (Maybe there was time to board the Yantive. 
  • So Captain Andor is a murderer? By my count he killed two people who didn't deserve to die
  • How good was it to see Vader's fortress on Mustapha?
  • Krennic - could have been even more of a bad guy?
  • How bad was the Princess Leia CGI? 
  • That Tarkin, what a bad ass eh?
  • Why did Saw let himself die? Surely he had life enough in him to help Jyn? If he was 'done' why was he still 'doing things' prior to the defection of Bohdi Rook?


Dec 15, 2016

Just a casual chat about Vader and his Castle in #RogueOne

Let's chat about THAT Darth Vader scene in Rogue One and a bit about his Castle


Spoilers!

Thirty years since we saw Darth Vader fulfill the prophecy as being the Chosen One, we have the 'return' of his character in Rogue One.

For two whole scenes.

But they are mighty scenes and one is sure to live on for years as the stuff of Star Wars legend.

Vader's first scene arises as a result of Director Krennic seeking out Vader at his fortress on the planet Mustafar. Krennic is seeking to keep control of his own little Empire.

This fortress has long been whispered about as George Lucas once made noises about it. And if I recall properly Lucas said he had pet dragons or gargoyles. No dragons in R1 however Krennic is reptile enough as he does his best to suck up to Vader. But he miscues and feels his thorax tighten as Vader gives him the good old Force Choke for being a bit too cocky. Did Krennic smile afterwards?

We also loved how the closer Vader walked towards Krennic, the larger the shadow on the wall grew.

Great stuff but more on the castle lair later.

The second scene involves Vader following Tarkin's orders to get the Rebel's copy of the Death Star plans. As an audience, we know he's not going to get them but we also know someone stopped him.

So who was it?

By my rough count it was about 17 brave Rebel soldiers who faced Vader's blade as it sliced through them as he charged towards his goal.

Given the Tantive IV goes into hyperspace, we are not sure how much time elapses before Vader catches up to it in ANH. But enough time must pass for Ponda Boba and Doctor Evazan to keave Jedha and get to Tatooine... So it's possible some one else later got in the way of Vader.

We have never seen Vader quite like this before.

He was brutal, killing everything in his path. He used the Force to smash a man into the ceiling and he cut a man in half as he cut through a metal door. The man was simply in his way.

We've seen glimpses of this fury and might before. In Attack of the Clones Anakin kills everyone in the village of the Tuskens that held his mother captive and in Revenge of the Sith, Anakin massacres the younglings in Yoda's class but it was off screen.

This scene will only add to the lord of Darth Vader as being a bad ass. Yes, we saw him duel with sabres a few times against Luke and Obi-Wan but we hardly ever saw him as the guy that almost single-handily hunted down the Jedi that survived Order 66.

So about Vader's Castle




darth vader concept design
An early scribble by Ralph McQuarrie of Vader's liar

But that name Mustafar. Does it ring a bell for you?

You should, it's the planet where Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker faced off each other in Revenge of the Sith when Anakin had become a Sith Lord himself.

Why on Earth (What? - Ed) would Vader want to have a Castle of his own on this planet? The answer lies in the Art of Rogue One book. Vader's Castle is built on an old Sith Cavern so that could be a reason why it's there.

The Rogue One script describes the lair as a monolithic, obsidian fortress of stark, brutalistic design. Lead designer Doug Chiang said that the 'turmoil of the roiling purgatory outside' is supposed to reflect the internal evils of Vader's twisted soul.

Which seems about right!

Vader's castle sketch by Ralph McQuarrie


Keen fans of the television show Star Wars Rebels will also now be able to take new meaning from the line about Mustafer being the 'place where Jedi go to die' because that's where Vader probably killed a few of them.

We wonder if we have ever seen the last of Vader's Castle. Will Kylo Ren take it over? Maybe that's where he is now? How cool will it be if The Last Jedi uses it as a location?

Also, what has became of Vader's servant 'Vanee' that attended to him while he was recuperating in the Bacta tank?

Dec 13, 2016

What were Darth Vader's last words to Luke?



What were Darth Vader's last words to his son Luke Skywalker?



If there's one verbal exchange between any two Star Wars characters that you asked us to quote word for word, it would probably be the words that Luke and Vader shared just before Vader died.

It's one of the best moments in the whole of the original trilogy.

Vader has just finally fulfilled the prophecy of him being the Chosen One and bringing balance to the Force. He's also saved his son's life after Luke has just effectively saved him, somewhat oddly by beating him in combat.


Luke denies the Emperor and rejects the his offer to join the dark side of the Force and in turn proving that he is a Jedi (thus participating in the titular return of the Jedi along with his father's return).

The Emperor, furious that his plan to turn Luke has failed determines to kill Luke with lightning Force.

Vader then kills the Emperor which leads us to the scene:

What Vader said to Luke before he died

Anakin Skywalker: Luke, help me take this mask off.

Luke: But you'll die!

Anakin: Nothing can stop that now. Just for once, let me look on you with my own eyes. Now...go, my son. Leave me.

Luke: No, you're coming with me. I won't leave you here. I've got to save you!

Anakin: You already have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me... Tell your sister... you were right...

Luke: Father... I won't leave you.

As they talk, the Jedi theme quietly plays. It's a bittersweet moment.

You could actually argue that these are not Vader's last words to Luke as Vader is now more properly back to being Anakin Skywalker having returned from the dark side of the Force (remember the Jedi theme just played to signal it).

In which case, Vader's last words to Luke were when he taunted Luke about turning sister Leia to the dark side during their light saber duel. 

Watch the whole exchange below:


If you want more, check out this page of Darth Vader's best quotes.

Dec 12, 2016

9 cool stories from 'The Making of Revenge of the Sith' book

Obie Wan Kenobi fighting Darth conceptual artwork

Where there's a Star Wars film, there's a making of booking and Revenge of the Sith is no exception. J.M. Rinzler has done a few of these now but I happened to come across his Making of the Revenge of the Sith and found some cool stories worth sharing.

According to Rick McCallum’s introduction to the book it was while directing an episode of Young Indianna Jones that George Lucas got it into his head that he might be up for directing again. 

This eventually spilled over into the prequels, of which George directed all three.

We think the coolest idea that got nixed was a young Han solo turning up to help Yoda out. Read on for more details!

A Revenge of the Sith scene was filmed during Attack of the Clones


The ROTS scene where Obi-Wan Kenobi hands over young Luke to Owen Lars was filmed 5 years before during filming for Attack of the Clones. 

This was done to avoid having to go back and re-film the Skywalker moisture farm, thus saving on production costs (and also guarantying that the same actors would be available).

Bobba Fett, where?


George Lucas considered putting a teenage Bobba Fett caught up in the Clone Wars.

Lucas revealed something cool about Force lightning during filming


Young Han Solo cut from Sith
Given Darth Vader's hands were chopped off by Obi-Wan, Vader is unable to use Sith Force Lightning. Which probably makes sense.

A young Han Solo was to play a small part


At one point Lucas had scripted a ten year old Han Solo would have had a role. Han would have assisted Yoda in tracking the fleeing General Grevious. 

This would have occurred on Kashyyyk and would have also meant that Chewbacca and Han would have already established their relationship.

Lucas was pretty serious about this idea, you can see he ordered a concept design to be drawn up of the young Han Solo.

We think this was a good move to cut the character - it was almost already too cute that Yoda knew Chewbacca as part of the Clone Wars.

On Mustapha


Lucas long carried the idea of Ben Kenobi confronting Vader on a volcano. He tried to get the volcano idea into Return of the Jedi at one point (the Emperor’s throne room as imagined by this concept art) but Sith gave him the opportunity to realise his vision.

Lucas says "I’ve always had this set piece between Obi-Wan and Anakin. I’ve always known where this movie was going to end up. It’s all this volcanic land, with all this lave shooting up. It’s almost monochromatic in all its red-and-blackness. I’ve had that image with me for a long time.”

An opportunity to tidy up Empire


Many fans that have viewed the Special Edition of The Empire Strikes Back that was released on DVD know that Ian McDiarmid re-filmed the scene where Palpatine and Vader discuss having a new enemy, being Luke. 

This new scene was recorded during the making of Revenge of the Sith. It was the perfect opportunity as McDiarmid was in the prosthetics as to how Palpatine looked in Jedi. 

This mean Lucas was able to replace the ‘monkey’ version of Palpatine that was originally released and to allow for a strong continuity as to how the Emperor looked. McDiarmid's voice over replaced the original work done by Clive Revill. 

Lucas also took the opportunity to subtly revise the dialogue between the two Sith Lords to reflect how the prequel story had played out. 

Steven Spielberg helped out with that duel.


Steven Spielberg helped out with the plotting and development of the duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin.  He decribed a drafted shot where Obi-Wan parts of wave of molten lava as the ‘Moses shot’ as it felt biblical and mythological. 

How much does it cost a minute to make a Star Wars movie?


Some back of the envelope calculations by film set crew estimated that it cost $333 dollars per minute to film the movie (does not inc CGI?) so that meant a three minute break to move a cable cost 1000 bucks.

Want more tales from the book? Order it on Amazon now.


Dec 11, 2016

Let's bust some minor myths about Star Wars

Darth Vader concept art

Let’s clear a few things up about the state of play about a couple of Star Wars related things by busting a few myths:
  • Ewoks are not smaller cousins of the Wookie. 
  • Han Shot first. 
  • Lucas did not 12 films all mapped out before the first Star Wars was released 
  • There is a difference between a Clone Trooper and a Storm Trooper. One of them is a clone. The other not so much. 
  • Kylo Ren is not a Sith Lord. Ren is not his last name. It is a direct reference that he is a Knight of Ren. 
  • Bail Organna may have died on Alderaan. He certainly appears in Rogue One.
  • There is no longer an official explanation for how Han did the Kessel Run 
  • The Wampa creature was not created to allow for Luke's rearranged face after a car accident 
  • Splinter of the Mind's Eye was note the scripted sequel to A New Hope. 
  • Anakin is the ‘Chosen One’ not Luke. 
  • Darth Vader does not mean ‘Dark Father’ and was not a clue to Luke’s parentage. 
  • Leia said ‘It’s a trap’ first in Empire, not Ackbar in Jedi. 
  • Yes, Lucas did consider Jedi ending with Luke turning to the dark side. 
  • “I know” was not an on the spot ad lib. Director Irvine Kershner suggested it to Harrison who agreed to give it a go.

Dec 9, 2016

So I googled "saddest star wars picture ever" and was not disappointed.

When I first saw Star Wars as a kid, the 'crispy critter' moment when we were shown what the Storm Troopers did to Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen was a pretty full on moment for a wide eyed lad - we didn't see anything so brutal in the film series till Revenge of the Sith came along and Vader murdered the Younglings.

Any ways, this picture came up when I googled "saddest star wars picture ever"

burnt uncle owen figurine

While fans could be forgiven for thinking some ghoulish Lucasfilm executive licensed these figurines given every lunch box is covered in a Star Wars sticker these days, these figurines are simply a rather gruesome parody of Star Wars.


Does C3PO have Asperger's Syndrome?


Does C3PO have Asperger's Syndrome?  


I'm not a doctor.

I'm not a professor of science.

I'm a Star Wars fan.

I'm a Star Wars fan who was watching the Big Bang Theory and I was enjoying how Dr Sheldon Cooper was oblivious to the situation around him.

He misses the blatant innuendo between his friends and he is completely oblivious to how rude he can be.

The joke is that he appears to have a degree of Asperger's Syndrome and it's never mentioned. And then they had James Earl Jones appear and I thought, crickey cobber, does C3PO have aspergers as well?

Now, let's be clear, this is a light hearted question. I have no expertise in this area (or any really) so read the rest of this article with a grain of salt (unless you have already thrown it over your shoulder.

NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS! once screamed Han Solo as he piloted the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid belt that was laced with potatoes. And during that stressful moment, C3PO decided to tell Han the odds of survival. It was completely inappropriate.

Han and Chewie were doing their best too dodge moving rocks and attacking TIE fighters, surely a pretty stressful thing - and what does golden rod do? Tells them his prediction about surviving. A pretty rude thing do to?

A pretty out there thing to say? Perhaps C3PO had missed the social situation he was in (impending doom) as perhaps Asperger's sufferer, Sheldon Cooper.

How many times has C3PO mentioned odds of something occuring in Star Wars? I have no idea but its a lot.

It's like he's his primary directive is to share gambling information with humans and other robots. People with Asperger syndrome often display intense interests, perhaps this can be ascribed to C3PO in the form of his love for mathematics and probability?

In all truthfulness, one can be reasonably confident that when George Lucas wrote Star Wars he never would have intended his robot to suffer from Aspergers. It's almost become a beat up by critics and fans, perhaps in the same way people think Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie are gay.

They were never intended to be but various quarters have embraced them as such. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Maybe the joke went to far with C3PO - let's just be glad that JJ 's Episode 7 didn't have him talking about the quality of K-Mart or counting cards as that would be a space bridge too far.

K Mart sucks by the way.

Where can I watch Rogue One online for free?

Slave and Jango Fett conceptual artwork


Where can I watch Rogue One online for free?



Given my recent rant about how Star Wars movies are available to watch for free online, I had shower thoughts moment and wondered what about the other Star Wars movies and the forth coming Rogue One: A Star Wars story..

That movie has the potential to be the most pirated film of the year, especially as it has the return of Darth Vader. Probably even more so than the latest season of Game of Thrones! Everyone will try and stream the movie for free.

I looked around and if you google, "where can I watch Rogue One online for free", you are immediately swamped with search engine results pages where presumptuous film pirates have already prepared pages which will eventually have Rogue One uploaded so it can be downloaded and streamed thousands and thousands of times.

It's crazy!

Even though no official announcement has been made, you can find pages that are already offering you the opportunity to watch Iron Man 4. We just hope that movie will be better than Iron Eagle 4.

So if you came to this page looking to watch Rogue One for free, we have a question for you.






Why are you asking Google "where can I watch Rogue One online"?

You surely do know the film has just come out yet so there's no way that you can legally find it online just yet?

Are you looking for some illegally copied film material, just in case Rogue One has already leaked? And yes, the cam copies are already available to view.

Are you trying to get an early glimpse of Darth Vader - yes, Darth Vader is in Rogue One!

We get it, you want to watch the final scene of the movie where he kills everybody in his way.

We understand why you would want to watch Star Wars: Rogue One online because it's a clearly a pretty cool movie and with it being the first Star Wars stand alone movie, everyone is keen to see what Darth Vader said to Jyn Erso when they finally met.

These behaviours are just other examples of issues and challenges that the movie industry needs to face up to. It needs to have plans in place so that when new film content like Star Wars Rogue One is released it can be viewed by as many people as possible in a most consumer centric manner as possible.

The difference between film release dates and DVD / Blue Ray releases are getting closer and closer.

We wonder how long it will be until there's a Star Wars movie that's released direct to legitimate online consumption platforms on day one.

The Art of Rogue One book revealed


The art of Rogue One book by Josh Kushins

Continuing the long tradition of Star Wars tie-in Rogue One will have its own art book.


Written by Josh Kushins, The Art of Rogue One - A Star Wars story features a massive amount of concept design, character iteration and all round Star Wars goodness.

Featuring Alan Tudyk's K-2SO robot on the cover, we are keen to see what design work went into creating this Imperial droid turned Rebel.

Star Wars concept design artist Doug Chiang does an introductory text to the book - this is fabulous as he's had a key hand the design of all the new Star Wars films, including Kylo Ren. Chiang's claim to fame is he was lead designer on the Prequel trilogies, which you've got to admit were visually wondrous. 

Some guy called Gareth Edwards also chips in with commentary. I think it was Lucasfilm letting some young kid obtain some work experience or something...

The Art of Rogue One is set for release on December 17th - the same day as the film so presumably to avoid the risk of movie spoilers!

You can pre-order the book from Amazon today!