Jan 18, 2016

Darth Vader's quotes from Rogue One

Darth Vader's quotes from Star Wars: Rogue One

The Darkest Sith Lord of them all is going to make an appearance in the Rogue One movie.

This film is a prequel and a involves the infamous heist of the Death Star plans so it would make total sense for Vader to have another turn on the silver screen. 

It's Vader's first appearance since his short cameo in Revenge of the Sith when he was played by Hayden Christiansen.

Where's guessing the Vader's chief mission in Rogue One is to get his hands on the plans that Jyn Erso and her merry band of Rebels. His entry will be late in the piece. 

Vader's lines were once more voiced by the inimitable James Earl Jones and played by Spencer Wilding, a specialist creature performer.

Here's what the Dark Lord had to say on Rogue One.

"Be Careful Not To Choke On Your Convictions."

Jan 17, 2016

What exactly is the Resistance in TFA. Why is Princess, I mean, General Leia in charge?

What exactly is the Resistance in TFA? Why is Princess, I mean, General Leia in charge?

The official Star Wars database describes the Resistance as thus:

'A small, secretive private military force, the Resistance was founded by rebel hero Leia Organa to monitor the actions of the First Order. Most New Republic power brokers tolerate the Resistance while regarding Organa and her fighters as dead-enders with an unfortunate fixation on the past.

Organa’s cash-strapped movement relies on credits, ships and equipment quietly funneled to it from the few senators who share her concerns.

Soldiers of the Resistance are well trained and well equipped, but must rely on hit-and-run tactics when faced with the overwhelming might of the First Order.

If you have seen the movie, you would not necessarily have known this was the case however!

The Force Awakens was fairly light on explaining what the Resistance was exactly (and also the First Order).

There was some brief mentions by the characters - it was up to the viewers to work it out.

At its most basic level one simply had to accept that the Resistance were the good guys and the First Order where the bad guys in the same manner the Rebels were the good guys and the Empire were the baddies in A New Hope.

What would have helped explain things to the viewer was actually cut from the movie.

We briefly saw a character called Kor Sella just before the planet she was on in the Hosnian Prime system was blown up by the Star Killer base.

This is kind of a dramatic irony for she was a diplomatic aide to General Leia, and was sent to Hosnian Prime to petition the New Republic to increase support the Resistance, with the Starkiller Base as proof that the First Order broken the peace treaty that was settled many years before with the Empire!

So how big is the Resistance?

It's smaller than the Rebel Alliance was in Jedi!

In terms of ships, the organization has no capital vessels to call on, and its Starfighter numbers was  woefully light—two squadrons, Blue and Red, with Poe Dameron in the leadership role.

Why is Princess, I mean General Leia in charge? 

Cos it's Star Wars baby!

Jan 14, 2016

How the Force Awakens was inspired by Ralph McQuarrie concept art work

If there's a name as synonymous with Star Wars that's not an actor or George Lucas, it's Ralph McQuarrie. He was the first illustrator that George used to bring his ideas to the life by way of McQuarrie's exceptional drawing and painting talents. Ralph did conceptual art design for all three original films. Star Wars as we know it would be a completely different beast if a different artist was used to draw the Millennium Falcon.

For the Prequel trilogy, a different lead concept designer was used (Doug Chang). However, with the advent of the Star Wars Rebels TV show, Lucasfilm took a look at the original designs McQuarrie did in the past that did not necessarily see the light of day on the silver screen.

This use of McQuarrie's work was continued into the development of The Force Awakens and some of those elements made it on to the screen. Here’s what we’ve noticed as being directly inspired by the works of McQuarrie.

Our favourite is the X-Wing design. Note the split engines!

On the planet Jakku, there’s a opening entrance to the trading post where Rey gets her supplies from. It’s a direct lift from McQuarrie's work - I think this was from the Return of the Jedi design era.

When we first step inside Maz Kanata’s Castle we track a furry looking green tailed fellow. He’s known as a X and was once a suggestion for what the Greedo character in A New Hope could look like.

There's also some more minor examples of costume elements that may have made their way on to Rey's outfit and some Snow Stormtroopers (there were cut from the movie). You could even argue his designs influenced the Star Killer base look.

Extra for Experts:

McQuarrie brought life to R2D2 and C3PO and it was his drawings of them that George Lucas used to help shop his Star Wars stories around the film studios as he attempted to get his space opera made. That design work has also perhaps helped to inspire the design of BB-8.

Check out an original sketch idea and compare to the final version of BB8 and decided on that one for youself!

Jan 12, 2016

Boba Fett's 1313 concept art - oh what could have been...

bobba fett 1313 concept art

This picture of Boba Fett has been doing the rounds on the net - it's what the bounty would have looked like in the cancelled video game, 1313.

Oh what could have been...

Jan 5, 2016

Lyra Erso quotes Rogue One Star Wars

Lyra Erso quotes Rogue One Star Wars

Lyra Erso quotes Rogue One Star Wars

Lyra Erso is the mother of Rogue One's protagonist, Jyn Erso and husband to Galen.

Lyra is expected to feature in a flash back sequence which covers the reasons why the three of them are split up as a family.

Irish actress Valene Kane plays the role of Lyra. Her claim to fame prior to this part in Rogue One was a role on The Fall.

Lyra Erso quotes:

When Krennic has come for Galen, Lyra and both Galen know they need to protected their daughter. In making those preparations to hide Jyn, Lyra gives her daughter a necklace and says "Trust in the Force".

Facts and trivia about Supreme Leader Snoke

Here's all the facts and trivia we know about Supreme Leader Snoke. This is to say even though The Force Awakens has been released, we know hardly anything about the character!
  • Played by King Kong himself, Andy Serkis, Snoke is The Force Awaken's Emperor Palpatine.
  • Appearing to Kylo Ren and Hux as a hologram, he appears to be a disfigured humaniod character. 
  • We know he can sense things as they happen in real time as he appears to inform Kylo of the comings and goings of the galaxy in good time. 
  • He appears to have exerted a strong influence over Kylo Ren, so much so that he abandon his training with Luke, killed his fellow apprentices and became his protege.
  • Andy Serkis suggested he was seven feet tall.
  • While he's clearly in charge of The First Order regime, he appears to have some kind of connection to the Knights of Ren.
  • Snoke was the one who ordered Hux to destroy the New Republic using the Star Killer base.
  • Snoke bears a scar across his face. This suggests he's been 'in the wars' at some point.

Jan 4, 2016

18 references in The Force Awakens to the other 6 Star Wars movies

When JJ Abrams joked about putting Jar Jar Binks' decomposed body in a sand dune to make a call back to the Star Wars prequel films, it spread across the net as it served to show that JJ was smart enough to not do something stupid like that. None the less, there are plenty of references and call backs to both the original and prequel Star Wars trilogies.

Here's a list of them ! Note that this is a list of references to the films that came before TFA. Some are obvious, some are pretty obscure and vague. This is not a list of easter eggs of everything found in the movie (but do check out the Beastie Boys one!) nor does it explore the thematic relationships of the movies. Try this page, if you're after the cameo appearances by celebrity actors.
  1. This first one is a gimme - every Star Wars film has featured the classic line, "I've got a bad feeling about this.." And so in TFA it fell to Han Solo to deliver the famous quote. 
  2. Just as A New Hope found a young Luke Skywalker tied to the sandy planes of Tattooine as a moisture farmer, Rey finds herself as a scavenger who trades parts for food and water. She too is stuck on the planet, waiting for her family to return.
  3. When on the Falcon for the first time & as he's trying to give first aid to Chewie, Finn comes across the training ball aid that Luke used to learn about the Force when using the saber in ANH. In the same vein, Rey and Finn hide in the same hidden compartments that Han et al used when they first landed on the Death Star. We also get to see the famous dejarik or holochess game that RD2D and Chewbacca once played in ANH.
  4. The red light saber of Kylo Ren continues a tradition of the bad guys brandishing red sabers. 
  5. It's almost as an in joke but Finn appears to be a little short for a Stormtrooper, perhaps a reference to Leia's famous line to Luke as he attempts to rescue her on the Death Star ( the truth though is at the time of the TFA, clones are no longer used so troopers will be of differing heights).
  6. When Han asks Finn if there is a garbage shoot to put Phasma down, this is a call back to when Han and co went down a garbage shoot to escape from the cell block in ANH.
  7. Captain Phasma is modelled on Bobba Fett who was first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back as having the cool 'bad ass' role.
  8. Kylo Ren makes a reference to the Clone Wars when he perhaps mockingly suggests to General Hux that mayby they should consider obtaining a Clone Army given the apparent loyalty issues Finn had just demonstrated.
  9. As BB-8 does some rolling to escape the TIE attack, two podracers can be spied in the background. 
  10. Finn's trooper number, FN-2187, is a direct callback to A New Hope. If you recall the cell number that Princess Leia found her self in when she was captive on the Death Star, it was 218.
  11. When entering Maz Kanata's castle, our heroes observe a large array of flags. Many of them refer to the pod racing flags that racers like Sebulba and Anakin flew in Phantom Menace. The Mandalore flag which is a link to Bobba Fett as well.
  12. Many people have noted that Kylo Ren seems to have the same hair as Anakin Skywalker did in Revenge of the Sith. This would be a very subtle reference if it is intentional - none-the-less it could be the case due to the grandfather grandson relationship!
  13. The orange doll that Rey has fashioned in her living abode is very reminiscent of the suits worn by the rebel pilots in A New Hope. 
  14. A really obscure reference that is not explicity made in the film is that Captain Phasma's chrome armour is made from a space ship that Palpatine used to own. It's a prequel reference in that the ship was built in Naboo, the home planet of Padme Amidala, Kylo's grandmother. 
  15. Unkar Plutt has a similar kind of hold over Rey as did Watto over Anakin. While Watto owned Anakin, Plutt's control is by way of having an apparent monopoly over the food supply. More curiously, Rey's flashback sequence implies Plutt seems to have some kind of custodial responsibility for Rey as it is his arm that is holding her when she is watching her parent's spaceship take off from Jakku. 
  16. When Han Solo calls out to Kylo Ren using his real name of Ben, this is a direct reference to Obi Wan Kenobi, he was known as Old Ben during his time on Tatooine as he looked over Luke.
  17. Rey suggests to Han that they're on the ship that did the Kessel Run in 14 parsecs - Han is quick to correct that it was 12 as he claimed in ANH
  18. The lightsaber stuck in the snow moment between Rey and Kylo is a clear call back to the part in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke used his force powers to call the saber to him just prior to the Wampa attacking him for a second time.  In TFA, Rey's Force call is stronger than Kylo's.
That's just what we've picked up - if you have any more references, please let us know in the comments.

A dude called Abe reviews The Force Awakens

A dude we know wrote a review of 2015's best movie and we're pleased to publish it!

Don’t call it a comeback (minor spoilers ahead)

by Abe, a dude we know.

Let’s talk hype - it’s a bloody dangerous thing. Expectations skyrocket and are often dashed valiantly, disappointment seems inevitable. Waiting for a new Star Wars has been more than a grind, it’s been an exercise in pragmatism and a measure of personal discipline.

It’s also been one of the few times I’ve found joy in preserving my insanely lofty expectations, even if doing so helps tie that same noose.

But how glorious it is to be a part of something. To feel love and belonging en masse.

Millions of voices cheer as an X-wing pierces the surface tension of a lake. A blue bar of light appears for a matter of seconds and the minds and hearts of young and old alike erupt in a spectacular show of humanity.

If there’s one thing I can take away from a world post Episode VII, it’s that when hype delivers, it does just that.

Let’s rip this plaster off right now. I flat out loved this movie. Not ‘liked’, I didn’t think it was ‘pretty great’, I loved it.

A shot from a blaster, frozen in mid-air; a sand sled-cum-backpack; Chewie’s bowcaster finally put to use; and temper tantrums from our central villain.

It’s the small affectations that put all of my fears to rest.

Riddled throughout, it’s the tiny moments J.J has chosen to represent the Star Wars ethos and show that he truly lives and breathes Lucas’ creation - and what an absolute joy it is to lose yourself within.

Gone are the green screens, unnerving predatory stares, bizarre personal disdain for sand and melodrama of prequel’s past. Instead, here’s John Boyega and Oscar Isaac, bouncing off each other as if separated at birth; their joined screen-time is fleeting but if it isn’t the most beautiful friendship I’ve seen in years.

Gone also is the creeping menace of Vader or, more gladly, the incessant whining of Anakin. VII sees a handsome and brooding Adam Driver stepping up. Volatile, professional console destroyer, and equal parts immature, intimidating and agile, he's one flawed individual and one hell of an interesting addition to the ensemble.

Even the Stormtroopers are given their due.

Less background noise for action landscapes, we're finally given reason to care for these (mostly) faceless fodder as they quip, bleed and show much better accuracy to that of their predecessors.

Abram’s has given a heartbeat to just about every aspect of Star Wars and it's no more evident than we when feel ourselves rooting for just about everyone onscreen.

With the inclusion of old favourites, it’s as if the best pop culture of the last ten years had a Star Wars party and someone just took it upon themselves to film the shenanigans. The cast of The Raid rubs shoulders with Game of Thrones, Attack the Block, and so much more.

It's a delicious British, Irish and American gumbo, and it all works so well you wonder why the mash-up didn’t happen years ago.

Of course, there’s bound to be some blunders (it is, after all, J.J’s first crack at the Lucas legacy) and the one ‘Marvel’-ous, member of our cast did have it feel as though Stan Lee weaselled his way into a table read.

I’ll be keeping an eye on what Episode VIII director Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) does with Supreme Leader Snoke, but for now, you’d be hard pressed to convince me he’s any more than a big, glitzy McGuffin.

However, in seeing what’s become of the Star Wars universe in the last 30 years, hearing TIE fighters scream through the sky whilst costumed creatures grunt and mingle around a speakeasy or desert bazaar, seeing that spark in Harrison Ford that we haven’t been privy to since Jedi, it’s clear that we can breathe again.

Episode VII is a love letter to Star Wars and our beloved galaxy far, far away is as good as it's ever been.

TL;DR: it’s incredible.


Thanks Abe! We love your work.