May The Fourth: Star Wars Day! Here’s Some Awesome Star Wars Art

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

May The Force Be With You, my friends! Today we celebrate another Star Wars Day! For those of you who don’t know every year, May 4 is Star Wars day. You know, like “May The Fourth Be With You” (I normally hate puns, but it’s Star Wars so I kind of like this one). One of my favorite things to do is find unique and talented artists all throughout the Internet and see their take, their interpretation, of classic pop-culture characters or stories. Star Wars has some of the BEST art on the internet. From concept art from the films that were never used, to famous artists putting their own spin on a Star Wars character or scene, or all of the incredible amature artists out there who post their fantastic work on Instagram and social media. So to commemorate Star Wars Day, I wanted to share some of the cooler pieces of Star Wars art I’ve come across recently. Check them out below! May The Force be with you, always…


I also wanted to include some of these fantastic photos you’ll see below. Every time a new Star Wars movie has come out of the last 25 years, Vanity Fair wouldsend world renowned photographer Annie Leibowitz to take photos of the production, the actors, the characters, etc. Vanity Fair’s Star Wars issue was usually best look at the upcoming Star Wars movie. Usually a teaser trailer would have been released, but not much else. So Vanity Fair’s in-depth article on each, upcoming Star Wars film was our first and best look at the coming film. The best part was that each article was accompanied by Leibowitz’s amazing images. Through color and texture, she captured so much amazing detail with her photos. Each photo she took was unmistakably an Annie Liebowitz photo. She’s just that damn good. So I wanted to include some of my favorite photos from her extensive Star Wars portfolio…

Thanks You! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul


Is Robert Downey Jr Playing Grand Admiral Thrawn on The Mandalorian & Other Disney+ Star Wars Shows?

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

Who Is Grand Admiral Thrawn?

After 2020’s thrillling 2nd Season of The Mandalorian and the phenomenal Final Season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars both streaming on Disney+, fans are excited about what’s next for our favorite corner of a galaxy far, far, away. In Episode 4 of The Mandalorian’s 2nd Season, titled “The Jedi”, not only were we introduced to Rosario Dawson’s live-action iteration of Ahsoka Tano, but a MAJOR name from Star Wars mythology was dropped as well. A name that has potentially massive implications for the future of the franchise. In this episode, Ahsoka revealed that she is hunting Grand Admiral Thrawn himself. While many viewers likely didn’t understand the weight that his name carries, Thrawn is one of the most fascinating and dangerous villains in the Star Wars Universe. With more seasons of The Mandalorian and the recently announced upcoming shows like Ahsoka, Rangers of The New Republic, and The Book of Boba Fett, all coming down the pipe line, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni plan to keep these shows closely interconnected much like The MCU. The plan being that at some point, there will be some big crossover miniseries or movie on Disney+ that will bring all the characters from the various shows together to combat some larger threat.

Grand Admiral Thrawn would be the perfect antagonist to embody that larger threat in a team up project like this. Not only would he poses an existential threat to the galaxy, but he’s also a fantastic character. Thrawn was first introduced in a trilogy of novels written by Timothy Zahn.

The novels told the story of how The Emperor sent Thrawn on a special mission to investigate a strange new threat that took him far beyond the outer rim, for years. He was so far away in fact, that communication between himself and the heart of The Empire was impossible. Thrawn finally returns with a small fleet to find The Rebellion victorious and The Emperor killed after the events of Return of The Jedi. He rallies what’s left of The Empire and with his brilliance and lethal cunning comes damn near close to destroying The New Republic. 

From The MCU’S Greatest Hero to The Most Cunning Villain In Star Wars?

This image was created by a fantastic digital artist. I don’t have the artist’s name right now, but as soon as I do I will post it on this article with a link to see more of their work.

    Rumor has it, that none other than Robert Downey Jr, old pal of Jon Favreau, is in talks with Disney and Lucasfilm to sign on as the character in upcoming Star Wars projects for Disney+. While it hasn’t been 100% confirmed that Thrawn is the character Downey is meeting with Disney/Lucasfilm and Favreau to discuss, reports have been very clear that the role is not a cameo, it’s a significant part, it would require Downey to wear some sort of prosthetic make up and it would be a departure from the heroic characters he’s been playing over the last 15 years or so. 

     I think this is fantastic news. Like I mentioned before, Downey is good friends with Jon Favreau, it’s a fantastic role for any actor, and after the unmitigated disaster that was Dolittle, I’m certain Downey is probably looking for a sure thing for his next major project. As an added benefit, I often describe Thrawn as an evil Sherlock Holmes. Considering that Robert Downey Jr. played a pretty damn good Sherlock Holmes in the past, that’s just one more check in the plus column. I really hope this rumor becomes reality. It’s interesting that so many elements from The Star Wars Expanded Universe are being brought into play lately because when Disney bought Lucasfilm they tossed out all of the Star Wars EU stories and filed them under the umbrella of Star Wars “Legends”. Meaning the stories were no longer considered canon. I understand why Disney/Lucasfilm would want to do that at the time, a lot of the EU stories took place after Return of The Jedi. The company wanted to keep the “Post-RoTJ” time period wide open, so they didn’t have any pre-existing stories or characters that would interfere or contradict the direction that they wanted to go in. Which didn’t work out quite as well as we all would’ve hoped, however, I must admit that I absolutely love The Force Awakens.

Thrawn was reintroduced to Star Wars continuity as the main villain facing the fledgling Rebellion in the final 2 seasons of Star Wars: Rebels. An argument could be made that Lars Mikkelsen, who played Thrawn in Rebels, wouldn’t be a bad choice to play the live-action version of the character. So I really like the actor, he played the villain Charles Augustus Magnuson in Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Season 3, he also played the wizard Geralt meets in the first season of The Witcher. Personally I think his brother, Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Casino Royale, Doctor Strange), would be much better suited to play Thrawn. Unfortunately, he already played a pretty major character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Galen Erso, the man who was forced to design and build The Death Star. BUT he also put the fatal flaw in the space station’s design that allowed Luke to destroy The Death Star during The Battle of Yavin.
We’ve even seen Thrawn appearance in some excellent comics recently. Disney also owns Marvel Comics, so there of been some fantastic Star Wars graphic novels published, with one miniseries specifically focusing on Thrawn.

    With Thrawn already having made his appearance on Star Wars Rebels and now possibly in live action for the first time, as well as Boba Fett officially surviving his trip into The Sarlak Pit (which is also an Expanded Universe concept), it seems that Lucasfilm is getting more comfortable about using EU characters and stories. They seem to be keeping the essence of exactly who these characters are, while changing minor details like when they appear in the mythology. Thrawn debuted on Star Wars Rebels at the height of The Empire’s power, right before the start of The Rebellion. In the EU, he comes into play after Return of The Jedi and the fall of The Empire. So people like Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni seem to be interested in using EU characters, they might just move around where they pop up in the Star Wars timeline and how they fit into mythology, while still respecting the essence of the character. Which begs the question what other EU characters might we see pop-up next? Dash Rendar? Prince Xizor, or a fan favorite character like Mara Jade? My money would be on the latter. Time will tell. Despite the lack luster ending of The Skywalker Saga, it seems like it’s still a pretty good time to be a Star Wars fan!

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again! Stay healthy and stay safe!

-Paul

STAR WARS RETROSPECTIVE (Part 7) EPISODE VII THE FORCE AWAKENS

Hey everybody,

So here it is, our final entry in our look back at the epic Star Wars saga. Thank you so much for reading and supporting this series of articles. Everyone involved has had a blast doing it and we hope to do something similar in the future.  I also want to personally thank the writers who contributed to the series. Thank you, guys! You all did a great job. Now all that’s left is to see the new movie! I know I have my tickets to Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi! May The Force Be With You…

-Paul

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Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens Written by Paul Wright

We never thought it would happen. A promise 40 years in the making. The fabled final 3rd act in an epic 9 part Saga. We knew that Anakin and The Republic’s story in the prequels would ultimately, inevitably end in tragedy. Now a new, uncharted story awaited us…

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I don’t remember when I realized “This is really going to happen. We are getting the final 3 films.”. As I’ve always said seeing Star Wars films have always been deeply personal experiences for me and I was thrilled that as I entered a new chapter in my own life that I’d get to share in The Star War Saga with my friends and family once again. They thrilled me as a kid with the re-released Special Editions, The Prequels illicit many fond memories from my high school and college years, but now I’d get to experience the Saga as an adult. It’s a great feeling.

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I do remember the excitement leading up to The Force Awakens. I remember that first incredible teaser released over a year before the film opened. Man, if there’s one thing Star Wars is incredible at, it’s the art of teaser trailers: Andy Serkis’ voice over. A panicked looking stormtrooper, a droid shaped like a ball, a girl on a big speeder, and of course a snow cover landscape with a dark figure unsheathing a red lightsaber with a cross guard. Then… BOOM The Millenium Falcon being chased by tie fighters. The trailer said “Here’s something new, but it’s continuing the story you love.” The idea of watching the fall of the Jedi and Anakin Skywalker’s decent into Vader was interesting (at least on paper). But there were a lot of questions left unanswered after Return of The Jedi and all our key characters were still in play. Finally we’d see that story.

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As soon as I heard J.J. Abrams was the director, I knew we were in good hands. I remember him being interviewed for his first Star Trek movie and saying that he wasn’t a Star Trek fan, but Star Wars was why he became a film maker. In fact, if you look back on almost all of his work, he constantly brings up Star Wars as his reason for being a film maker. Personally, I think he did a hell of a job. The worst thing that could have happened would have been if The Force Awakens was… fine. Just a movie, just OK. Terrible is better than “OK” in a strange way. But he didn’t do that, he made a Star Wars film and one of the great Star Wars films at that. Yes the film has it’s flaws, but the movie is exactly what it needs to: a great start to a new trilogy.

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What makes this movie work so well is its characters, both new and old. We all fell in love with Rey and Finn. Poe was cool enough, we’d see more from him in subsequent films. Kylo Ren gave us another truly great Star Wars villain. Everyone’s favorite Princess was now General Organa. In hindsight, I like what they did with Luke, it gave us that much more anticipation for the next Episode without being a true cliffhanger. But the man who stole the show was the smuggler who made The Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs…

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There are so many things I could bring up and analyze with this film, but today I’m going to focus on one aspect a little more than the others: The Solo family (mainly Han and Kylo Ren AKA Ben Solo.

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One of my favorite parts of this film is how Han Solo is portrayed and especially how Harrison Ford plays him. It’s been no secret that Ford has no great love for the Star Wars franchise. I was surprised he agreed to do The Force Awakens, but I think it was a great idea for Ford as an actor. He’s alive in this character and in this film in a way we hadn’t seen him in far too long. It was like, Holy shit, Harrison Ford… its good to have you back. This was not the Han Solo of the Original Trilogy. The thirty years had changed him, this was a man with more depth and perspective than the cowboy smuggler we new and loved. But the cowboy smuggler was still there.

This films biggest weakness is it’s plot. As so many other have said, when it comes to the story, it might as well be a remake of A New Hope. But in one of my favorite scenes of the film, when Han, Chewie, Finn, and Rey are on The Millenum Falcon, that “weakness” actually helps the movie to give us one hell of a great character moment:

Han Solo: This map’s not complete. It’s just a piece. Ever since Luke disappeared, people have been looking for him.
Rey: Why did he leave?
Han Solo: He was training a new generation of Jedi. One boy, an apprentice, turned against him, destroyed it all. Luke felt responsible. He just walked away from everything.
Finn: Do you know what happened to him?
Han Solo: A lot of rumors. Stories. People that knew him best think he went looking for the first Jedi temple.
Rey: The Jedi were real?
Han Solo: I used to wonder about that myself. Thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. A magical power holding together good and evil, the dark side and the light. Crazy thing is… it’s true. The Force. The Jedi… All of it… It’s all true.

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What’s wonderful about this scene is that it brings Han’s story full circle. 40 years ago he stood in almost the same spot and called The Force bullshit to Ben Kenobi. Which gives me the perfect opportunity to point out how significant it was that Han and Leia chose to name their son Ben. This goes back to that new depth to Han that I spoke about before. I think that naming his son Ben was almost certainly Han’s idea, not Leia’s. Leia knew him more as the fabled General Obi-Wan Kenobi The Jedi warrior who fought in The Clones Wars, Han was the one who knew him as Ben in the short time they spent in each other’s lives. This tells the audience that the massive impact Old Ben Kenobi had on his life, was not lost on Han. This old man who Han dismissed as a fool set Han on the path that would define him. The path that led him to everything in his life that mattered. They spend such little time on screen together that fans forget how important Han Solo meeting Obi-Wan Kenobi was. But Han didn’t forget.

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Ben Solo AKA Kylo Ren played brilliantly by Adam Driver has the potential to be one of the most complicated, interesting, and best characters in the Saga. As far as I’m concerned he’s already great. But depending on where the story takes him, by the end of the trilogy, he could become iconic. I always felt like this was how Anakin should have been portrayed in the prequels. What made Kylo Ren unique was his struggle not with the dark side, but with his better nature. F565C07F-67A0-4CB8-8BFD-6ABD284497D0

That was take on a dark force user that we hadn’t seen before. He saw the light as something tempting him off his path, where the dark side was so easy to slip onto for so many others.

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I knew Harrison Ford would die in this movie the second I’d heard he signed on. There was no way he was going to stick around for two more films (they’re lucky they got him for this one). So I knew walking into the theatre, that’d we’d probably be saying goodbye to one of the most beloved characters in cinematic history.

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As death’s of legendary characters go, it’s fine I suppose. Killed by his son and falling into an abyss. I still don’t know if Ben Solo intended to kill his father no matter. Had Ben Solo known what he was going to as soon as Han stepped onto that catwalk. Was Han getting through to him or was this the only way that confrontation could play put? I think there was doubt there in Ben Solo. The Dark and The Light inside of him pushing and pulling. Who knows? Unfortunately we all know the choice he makes…
Will he find some sort of redemption like his grandfather did? Does he even deserve redemption?

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In the end, what makes The Force Awakens a great chapter in the Star Wars Saga is the magic. It manages to tap into the moments of wonder, the excellent characters, and excitement that make a great Star Wars movie. The stage has been set for Episode VIII. I hope The Last Jedi is The Empire Strikes Back of the new trilogy. All I know is that I can’t wait to visit this world and these characters again.

May The Force Be With You…

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(To my female readers.. I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it)

 

 

 

STAR WARS RETROSPECTIVE (PART 6) EPISODE VI RETURN OF THE JEDI

Hi everybody,

First of all thank you all so much supporting this series of articles. We had a great time putting them together. We’re really getting down to the wire here because today our article is on Star Wars Episode VI Return of The Jedi. I originally asked Marc Rodolfo, the author of today’s article, to just right the article for Episode VI. But I thought it was so damn good, that I asked him to write the Empire Strikes Back article, which we published last week. So this is absolutely one of my favorite articles in this series ( I feel like I say that for every piece because all of them are so damn good, I love them all!). Please enjoy!

– Paul

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Star Wars Episode VI: Return of The Jedi written by Marc Rodolfo

Cartoons and Carbonite: A Reflection on Return of the Jedi 

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I hated Return of the Jedi the first time I saw it. Strange, I know. Especially since I am now such a huge Star Wars fan. But there was a reason for my initial ignorance; Return of the Jedi was the first Star Wars movie I had ever seen. And because it was the first Star Wars movie I had ever seen, I had absolutely no fucking clue what the hell was going on.
At the behest of my mother, I was told over and over “you should watch this movie,” and my mother, bless her heart and all that, didn’t quite remember that Star Wars was a trilogy and that Jedi was the end of that trilogy. See this was the early 90’s before the word “Prequel” became so dirty, and at a time when the words “Special Edition” were still just a mere twinkling in daddy Lucas’ eyes. Star Wars had hit a lull in popularity and at the time, it wasn’t quite on my burgeoning nerd radar. Star Wars, to early 90’s me anyway, was nerd stuff. I had better things to do like watch Batman the Animated Series, or the saturday morning Spider-Man cartoon, or set-up and play out elaborate and dramatic scenes with my action figures from the aforementioned shows. Yeah, Star Wars was nerd stuff and I was, decidedly, not a nerd. Denial is a funny thing.

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Anyway, I ultimately gave in to my mother’s suggestions and we went to the video store to rent a VHS copy of pre-special edition Return of the Jedi. If I had been less moody that day, maybe I would have noticed that what sat right next to Jedi on the rack were VHS copies of The Empire Strikes Back and A New Hope; and yes, it was called A New Hope back then. Lucas began his artistic OCD in 81’ with Star Wars’ first re-release. But I was a little jerk back then and DID NOT want to watch some old movie with crappy special effects. Hell, I had just seen Jurassic Park. The dinosaurs looked like they were pulled right out of the past and plopped on a Hollywood soundstage. The rancor…looked like something out of a nightmare version of a christmas special. It was some cheesy claymation crap that made me cringe instead of fear for Luke’s life.

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And that…is exactly where I stopped watching. Right at the rancor. I shut it off and counted the days until Jurassic Park would release on VHS. Jedi just couldn’t hold my interest. Besides having no idea what was going on, not knowing who these weird looking robots were, or why Indiana Jones was frozen like he was about to get hit by a car, or what that gross looking slug was all about, or why this guy dressed all in black was talking like some bad ass when he looked like anything but a badass, this stop animation monster was in no way as realistic as the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park. I had my fingers stuck in my ears and my feet firmly planted in the ground.

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It wasn’t until years later that the trailers for Episode IV dropped in all their special edition glory. “Wait a minute,” I said to myself, “how do I know these characters?” I even remember getting in a short lived tiff with my mother. Now I knew. Now I knew that you weren’t supposed to start with Jedi. How could she have done this to me? Start me off with the END of a story? It was like reading Return of the King without Fellowship, or A Storm of Swords without A Game of Thrones. A New Hope was first. Duh! THAT is why I couldn’t get into Jedi. That is why I spurned it and didn’t give it a chance. And that really was the reason I never liked the movie. Eventually, I saw A New Hope and I fell in love; the rest of the trilogy came after and I fell further into the fandom.

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At the time, there not being an internet community to bitch about everything, people actually seemed excited. Star Wars was getting re-released (re-re-released?) and in the way George Lucas originally intended. The special effects were getting cleaned up, the creatures actually looked as realistic as the dinos, and all the little nuances were being perfected. It was time to embrace Star Wars. Of course, this was all in preparation for The Phantom Menace which had hyped me even further, but the excitement was real. I became a Star Wars fan and Jedi, a movie I once “hated,” became my favorite.


Why did I love it so dearly? Jedi was the redemption story for one of, if not, the greatest villains of all time (rivalled only by the Joker). The feeling of finally seeing what was under the mask of Darth Vader was indescribable; I was both alleviated that he was just another guy and saddened that he wasn’t something more.

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Yet, I loved every bit of Return of the Jedi. I loved the Max Rebo band’s new song, as corny as it was. I loved the sarlacc’s beak coming out of the pit. I even loved the “Victory Celebration” song that replaced “Yub Nub.” In fact, “Yub Nub” can go screw. I even loved the damn ewoks, as crappy as they seem now. It was also when I fell in love with Leia. Yeah, sure there was the golden bikini and all, but seeing her in the army digs later in the movie during the Battle of Endor, is what really made me fall for her. This cemented my appreciation for a strong woman that wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty and kick some ass when she needed to; Linda Hamilton and Sigourney Weaver were on that list too.

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Many complain about the changes of the special edition episodes today, but I was never disillusioned by them. Jedi was a perfect movie in every way. Though I will admit, that as I have grown older, Empire has replaced it as my favorite. As Dante from Clerks said, “[Empire] ends on such a down note. That’s all life is: a series of down endings.” It’s interesting that Jedi was my favorite as a kid and now, as an adult, Empire, the darker of the two, has become my favorite. If that’s not a metaphor for…something I don’t know what is. But Jedi will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s a movie that taught me to give things a second chance, to not judge right away, to embrace my nerdom, to love princesses that kick as much ass as the princes, and to have an appreciation and love for old cinema.

May The Force Be With You…

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STAR WARS RETROSPECTIVE (PART 5): EPISODE V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Hey, everybody

It’s Paul, today we have the next piece of our series of articles looking back at The Star Wars Saga with Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Our guest writer today is Marc Rodolfo who is a Incredible wordsmith. He’ll also be writing our Return of The Jedi article which I’m excited for you guys to read, (it’s one of my favorites from the entire series of articles). Without further ado, please enjoy our article on arguably the best Star Wars film: The Empire Strikes Back…

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Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back  Written by Marc Rodolfo

The Darkside of Dagobah: Reflecting on The Empire Strikes Back

Empire…Empire…Man…If you tell me that A New Hope truly made you a Star Wars fan, I simply, and unequivocally, don’t believe you. And I mean, a true fan. I’m sure you liked A New Hope. I am sure you thought it fun and interesting and if pressed you may even admit you WERE a fan. However, it was Empire that truly made you a fan. Empire that turned you from a fair-weather Storm Trooper (puns!) to a Darkside lovin’ Darth Vader. This is how it was for me and for the purposes of this article, for you too.
What follows is a piece written with an unmitigated love for the best Star Wars film ever…and yes, I am going to be THAT stubborn and say it will be better than Episode VIII and Episode IX and any A Star Wars Story movie that is bestowed upon us in the future. Because this is Empire and Empire changed the essence of Star Wars. Empire took a franchise that was supposedly created for the enjoyment of children and made it for everyone.

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It’s funny, I don’t really have a nostalgic story for Empire like I do for A New Hope and, as you will see in the next article, for Return of the Jedi. All I truly remember is that I went to the movie theater and I saw the movie. I don’t remember who I was with. I don’t remember if it was at the old General Cinema in Shopper’s World or the new AMC “A Lesson in Excess” Theater. I don’t remember the trailers or the ticket. I don’t remember if I got popcorn or soda. I don’t remember anything except for the movie. All that mattered was Empire. Yes, once the auditorium lights dimmed and the excited voices drifted off into soft murmurs and then to silence and the opening crawl accompanied that oh-so-familiar theme, I was back: enraptured in a universe that the previous chapter didn’t quite prepare me for…

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And as the opening preamble drifted upwards and the camera panned down towards this new planet, the hushed silence of the theater began to echo the icy azure aerospace of Hoth. Soon though the silence would be broken by a roar, a flash of a lightsaber, mumblings about someone called Yoda, and the incoming Imperial onslaught of the AT-ATs. Those AT-ATs…I mean, the Death Star was huge, sure, but it never really gave a menacing presence. It was just a giant steel ball after all; a “small moon.” But these new machines, these new tanks, looked like giant mechanical camels or elephants or something and slowly, they stalked towards their tiny prey, not unlike a monster in a slasher flick.

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And then, we got Vader. The last we saw of him he was spinning away into the eternal blackness of space. But now he was back, on the ground, and cutting rebels down left and right. Sounds of lasers, explosions, and the whirring of a red lightsaber pervaded the once tranquil theater. We were all on the edge.

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Empire started with a bang and continued throughout with more and more revelations: “I am your father!” (Notice he didn’t say Luke first?) Force ghosts. Removable hands. Immovable Hans. Betrayals and backstabbing. Cities in the clouds. And an ending…an ending that tipped us over that edge.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Yoda. But let’s face it-Yoda was a risk. In a complete tonal shift from the maturity of the movie, we got a seemingly goofy puppet with a weird backward voice. We all complain about Jar-Jar, but if Yoda wasn’t putting us on and pulling a fast one, he would have made no sense in that movie. Luckily for us, it was a ruse; it was a test for Luke to see if he had the patience to start his training. It was then that Yoda quickly went from just another Star Wars muppet, to the wizened Jedi Master we know today. It was from Yoda we learned the true extent of what “the force” was capable.

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More than a “bad feeling about this” (a cliche that is uttered over ten times throughout the movies and is even mocked in Rogue One), more than intuition, more than mental connections, the force was a strength that awed even the most skeptical of us (Han Solo-lookin’ at you). It was Yoda that made us all, and I’m admitting it, actually try to move things with our minds. Yoda who taught us even the smallest of us can have strength and power as well as wisdom. Yoda that taught us the path to becoming a Jedi was found in patience and virtue. Yes, our little Buddhist monk quickly became a fan favorite.

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The Empire Strikes Back is one of those rare near perfect films. It brings back old characters and introduces new ones that quickly became fan favorites. It is the movie that cemented the Star Wars fandom and expanded it from a somewhat claustrophobic space opera (Episode IV was really only Tatooine and the Death Star) to a vast open wide space epic. From tundra to jungle and cave, from space to cloud and sky, each of Empire’s set pieces is as epic as the next and each moment is as memorable as the last. It is the Star Wars movie that created a universe.

May The Force Be With You…

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STAR WARS RETROSPECTIVE (PART 4): EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE

Hey everyone,
Here’s the next in our series of articles looking back at the Star Wars Saga. Today we look back at the one, the only, the ORIGINAL, STAR WARS EPISODE IV A NEW HOPE. This excellent article is written by our very own Ryan McDonald and it is not to be missed. With respect to all of my other fantastic writers, I think this may be my favorite article in our Star Wars series. Enjoy!
-Paul

 

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Star Wars EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE written by Ryan McDonald
Unfortunately, I can’t remember the first time I saw Star Wars, (I can remember the copied VHS tape I had) but I really can’t remember the exact moment I saw it. I feel ashamed being as Tim called me in his Phantom Menace article, a “Star Wars Guy”. I wish I had some great “blown away” story about seeing it as a kid and it changing my life forever. What I can always remember though is, how it felt, or should I say how Star Wars makes me feel. Having watched Episodes I to VI in a single day (ladies, I’ll post my phone number in the comments) I know if someone had never seen a single Star Wars movie, I would definitely have them start with Star Wars Episode IV New Hope. A New Hope has a timeless quality to it that makes it feel brand new every time I see it and I keep getting sucked down the rabbit hole again and again every time I watch the movie.

 

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I think what gives the movie this unique quality is how you’re just immediately thrown into this world. Most movies that take a place in a fictional universe tend to take up a lot of screen time, or even whole movies, setting up the history of the world before they can tell story they actually want to tell. I think George Lucas brilliantly began the Star Wars saga in medias res, with what would later learn was the fourth movie, right in the middle of a chaotic shoot-out between the Rebels and the Imperial army. He has you follow C-3PO and R2-D2, two seemingly unimportant characters as they escape from this conflict, unintentionally find Luke Skywalker and along the way uncover Princess Leia’s secret mission for R2 to find the mythic Obi-Wan Kenobi, thus our first steps into this larger world.

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Let’s highlight Princess Leia Organa for a minute here. In my opinion she’s truly the first female bad-ass in science fiction movies. One moment I absolutely fucking love, is when one of the imperial Stormtroopers finds her during the aforementioned shoot-out and says “there’s one, set for stun” like she’s just some defenseless little thing who poses no threat, so I’ll just stun her and BOOM she just blows him away. She seems to have this stigma of being a damsel-in-distress. Yes, the fact that she did have to be rescued and the “help me Obi-Wan Kenobi” message doesn’t really help my case here. I love that she was hurling insults as Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin took her prisoner, tortured her and eventually blew up her home planet. She would later go on in the trilogy to have some truly great moments, like killing the Al Capone of the Star Wars universe, Jabba the Hutt. Princess Leia was a trailblazer in film. I think future sci-fi heroines like Ellen Ripley or Sarah Connor owe Leia some kind of gratitude or at least their creators do.

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Leia’s rescuers are our two heroes, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Han was what every fan wanted to be, smooth, all the best lines, coolest ship and he had the best partner-in-crime ever, Chewbacca. Luke was who every fan actually was, the kid stuck in a rut, longing for more. Luke gazing off into the binary sunset on Tatooine with John Williams’ music doing what it does best is the epitome of that Star Wars feeling for me. I whole heartedly believe that a huge part of the success of these films is the Incredible music of John Williams. He’s carved out some of the best themes in movie history, but his music for the Star Wars Saga, is the playbook on how to score anything. Literally every character, moment and scene has some kind of musical acknowledgement. They never felt repetitive or feel copied and pasted from one scene to another, they just felt right. Williams is so fucking good he even makes the background music in the Cantina bar scene memorable.

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B9AD0E4D-0813-4B5A-A5E4-EC466D52825DSpeaking of the Cantina, let’s talk about something I never saw before in any sci-fi movie, a dive bar. Filled with every awful looking creature you can think of: yeti-thing, thirsty-rat, butt-face, satan-guy etc. they’re all just hanging out, drinking like regulars you would see at any dive.

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One of these scumbags makes the fatal mistake of messing with Luke and attacking old Ben Kenobi resulting in Ben cutting its fucking arm off. The band stops playing and all the patrons are just staring at Ben, Luke and the severed arm on the floor, only to immediately go back to what they were doing, the band continues to play, not giving the slightest shit, CLASSIC DIVE BAR, I love this place.

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I obviously can’t talk about A New Hope without mentioning is main antagonist, the one, the only Darth Vader. Without the influence of the prequels, we only knew Vader as the half man/half machine Imperial Commander, who could strangle people with his mind and stuck to his belief in the long forgotten Force. To me, Vader is at his coldest in this installment, strictly business, trying to locate that damn Rebel Base. The only tiny crack we see in his armor is when he sees Obi-Wan for the first time in very a long time. What I love is just how much I felt their history, in the way these two characters felt each other’s presence in this moment. I love how the shot lingers on Old Ben as he walks down the quiet Death Star corridor then comes to a slow stop. We see Vader standing there with his lightsaber drawn, just waiting for him and of course, that breathing.

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Their duel that follows is barely a duel really and I don’t think it was meant to be either. Their dialogue during this scene is almost unnecessary; the sound of the lightsabers, Obi- Wan’s facial expressions, Darth Vader’s body movements and the lack of music does it all, you know shit just got real.

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Obi Wan sees Luke and the gang escaping, that stirring force theme whispers its way into the foreground again, he holds his lightsaber up to his face, closes his eyes in moment of Zen and Vader takes him down. I remember being full-on panicked when Old Ben died “what the fuck are they gonna do now?”

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A New Hope’s final act is Luke in his X-Wing with his fellow Rebel pilots, against Darth Vader and his TIE Fighters in a dog fight along the crevice of the Death Star. Han, who bailed earlier, shows up just in time to knock Vader out of the fight and give Luke a clear path to destroy the Death Star, stopping the Empire…for now.

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When I saw the Death Star explode in theatres during the 1997 Special Edition re-release, I think the entire audience reacted as if something had actually blown up inside the theatre, everyone screamed and immediately began laughing and clapping when the scene ended.

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The movie of course ends with a medal ceremony for Luke and Han (not for Chewbacca though? I call bullshit) bestowed upon them by Leia and the Rebel alliance leaders. The recipients turn and face the audience as they are applauded to one final reprise of the Star Wars theme and cut to stars in space…and cut to me buying hundreds of toys, making friends who also love these movies, seeing every episode after with these friends and feeling it every time.

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May The Force Be With You…

Ryan

 

P.S. A note from Paul, our Editor In Chief…

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Han Fucking shot FIRST!

 

Star Wars Retrospective (Part 3): Episode III Revenge Of The Sith

Hi, Everybody

Today I have the privilege of writing the next article in our series looking back at the entire Star Wars saga, with Episode III Revenge of the Sith.  I hope you enjoy it.

– Paul

 

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Star Wars Episode III Revenge Of The Sith written by Paul Wright:

Light your torches. Get your pitch forks. Wake the neighbors. Because I’m going to have an angry mob after me for what I’m about to say: Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith is a great Star Wars movie. Not only great, but one of my favorites, probably in the top 3. But hear me out, because Revenge of the Sith is a better movie than it gets credit for.

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To be fair this isn’t exactly an objective statement. Like so many of you, my love of Star Wars and this film in particular, comes in large part from the experience of seeing it in the theatre. On the big screen. When the new trilogy ends, I’ll be proud to say that I got to see the entire Star Wars Saga on the big screen (Yes, I’m counting the re-releases, I’m not that fucking old yet). When the new trilogy, Episodes VII to IX, was announced I felt a profound sense of gratitude that I’d once again be able to go to the movie theatre with my friends and family and see a NEW STAR WARS MOVIE! The most important part of that last sentence was “friends and family” and probably the single biggest reason I love Star War so much.

I remember my Dad taking my brother and I to see the re-released “Special Editions” at the local theatre in Cambridge, Mass. At that point no one in the theater cared about Lucas mucking about with the movies, at the time I certainly didn’t care. There was a palpable excitement in the theatre seeing these incredible movies. Even if the guy next to me had seen the original back in 77, we were all about to see something new. Some of the additions actually really add to the trilogy, seeing Jaba confront Han in A New Hope, puts their conflict with him in Return of the Jedi in a slightly different light and bookends Han’s journey in that trilogy in a cool way. Say what you want, but I think re-releasing the original trilogy, changes and all, was one of the smartest moves Lucas ever made. Because even though some of the changes are for the worse, Lucas created a whole new generation of Star Wars fans and I was one of them. So, when the prequels came out I was chomping at the bit.

I’ll never forget seeing that first trailer for The Phantom Menace. This was before the internet was in constant use, I had no idea this was coming. My brother and I lost our minds, the movie we were about to see was forgotten because we just saw a trailer for a NEW STAR WARS MOVIE! It was pure joy and man… it was one HELL of a trailer. Try to forget any negative feelings you may have for The Phantom Menace and just try to appreciate this trailer on its own terms:

After The Phantom Menace mostly disappointed (but I walked away more or less enjoying it at the time), Attack of the Clones was a huge improvement. It’s a very flawed movie, but I love it. Finally, we got to the real meat of it… Revenge of the Sith. Seeing this movie opening night was without a doubt the best movie going experience of my life.

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Me, my brother, and a group of our best friends waited in line for at least 2 hours to see the midnight show. At this point, I was in college and the highlight of the pre-show festivities had to be watching one of my best friends who was dressed as a Sith Lord, nearly get pummeled into submission by an 11 year old boy, toppling into a gigantic movie theatre display in what started as a “playful” lightsaber duel. Everyone in line loved it and it set the tone for a great night. Finally, we took our seats and the movie began and those immortal words appeared across the screen…

A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far away…

There I was surrounded by people I loved and hundreds of strangers, all there because we all loved these movies. This is what people are talking about when they call movies “magic”. There was magic in the theatre that night. I don’t think Ive ever seen a theatre crowd so wrapt to the movie they were watching.

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I feel I should say I don’t think Hayden Christenson who plays Anakin Skywalker, is a particularly good actor. There were better choices for actors to play the man who would one day be the most feared and reviled individual in the galaxy. But Hayden Christenson stepped up his game between Episodes II and III. You could see that there was something very wrong about this guy. The transition from the swashbuckling man we see at the beginning of the film to the man consumed by rage and fear, ready to fight Obi-Wan to the death really works and is the backbone of the movie.

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And since I brought him up, lets talk about the real hero of this movie (and the entire trilogy really): Ewan MacGregor. He is fantastic as Obi-Wan Kenobi. More than anyone in the prequels he always managed to make Lucas’ stilted dialogue work. I hate the idea of this stupid, fucking Han Solo prequel movie, but I’d love to see MacGregor return to the character in an Obi-Wan stand alone movie. I’m sure there are plenty of interesting stories that could be told during his 20 year vigil on Tantooine.

 

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My esteemed colleague, Mr. Tim Cuff, believes steadfastly that the 3 way lightsaber duel in The Phantom Menace is the best lightsaber fight in the Star Wars Saga, but Anakin and Obi-Wan’s fateful duel on Mustafar is mythic. It’s the stuff of legend! The creation of Darth Vader! This is a fight fans have been hearing about for decades and it doesn’t disappoint. While the fight choreography in The Phantom Menace fight may be more dazzling, it’s hurt by the fact that film keeps cutting away to Padme’s misson, the Gungan’s battling the droids and Young Anakin in his spaceship. This fight only cuts to the almost equally epic Yoda vs Palpatine fight. Which is a thrilling fight no Star Wars fan ever thought they’d get to see. Yoda and Palpatine, the Jedi and the Sith in their purest forms.

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Let’s not forget that these two men were like brothers and the power of there bond being destroyed is felt in every lightsaber swing. In my favorite scene in the movie, there’s a pause in Anakin and Obi-Wan’s fight across Mustafar’s volcanic landscape. Obi-Wan looks at Anakin with pain in his eyes and says “I have failed you, Anakin. I have failed you.” The tragedy is that Obi-Wan couldn’t save his friend, and though it wasn’t his fault, he’s haunted by it for the rest of his life. Of course, Obi-Wan ultimately wins the fight. Anakin is horribly maimed and burned. Obi-Wan says to him “You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you.” With nothing left of the man he once was, Anakin’s last words to Obi-Wan “I hate you!” are a guttural scream. With that Obi-Wan picks up Anakin’s lightsaber, the same weapon wielded by Rey decades later, and turns his back on his dying friend. The Emperor defeats Yoda and shows up on Mustafar to saves his apprentice. Almost like Frankenstein’s Monster his transformation into Darth Vader is complete.

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What I love about this film is that its just as much about the failure of The Jedi as it is about the fall of Anakin Skywalker. Their monastic, black and white view of the world (as well as their arrogance) is what led to their downfall. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Luke is trained very differently when he becomes a Jedi. Luke was almost always kind of a grey Jedi, as if Obi-Wan and Yoda learned from their mistakes with Anakin.

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So, the story of the creation of one of the greatest villains in cinema history was complete. The movie closes out with the setting of the twin sun’s of Tantooine and John Williams’ iconic music swells. The credits hit the screen: Directed by George Lucas. I shot up into air and screamed “FUCK YEAH!”. The theatre erupted. I’m sure opinions varied later on, but in that moment we were all caught up in the magic of Star Wars. Which brings me to my original point and why Star Wars is sacred to me. Star Wars is family. It turns strangers into brothers. It brings us together instead of tearing us apart. So, whenever a new chapter in the Star Wars Saga hits theaters, I look back at that night back in 2005 and realize I’m going to make new memories and have new experiences with the people I love. What is that, if not magic?

May The Force Be with you…

-Paul

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Star Wars Retrospective (Part 2): Episode II Attack Of The Clones

Hi, everyone

Our 7 part series looking back on the Star Wars Saga continues with Star Wars Episode II Attack Of The Clones. Today’s article is written by long time Star Wars fan and World’s Best Media contributor Michael Cole. I asked Mike to write up the Episode II article specifically because I remember years ago Mike saying how he thought this scene was cool.

0B821532-CBF9-4234-82EB-598E6022107CThat may just be some bullshit memory of a conversation we never had, but Mike’s article is a good read anyway!

-Paul

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Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones written by Michael Cole

I am of a unique generation of Star Wars fans. The original fans, even those who were very young in 1977, were already full-grown adults when the prequels started coming out. There is also a generation of kids for whom the prequels are their first taste of Star Wars. Between these two generations is mine, I was 14 when the Phantom Menace came out in 1999, and not quite 21 when Revenge of the Sith came out in 2005. One’s stance on the prequels seems to be largely dictated based on the viewer’s age upon their release, the older crowd seems to hate them, the younger crowd enjoyed them. So I think that I have a relatively unique viewpoint of the prequels.
Attack of the Clones is often considered the worst of all 7 saga films. I don’t agree, my own personal least favorite is Revenge of the Sith. What I want to do in this look back on Attack of the Clones, is focus on the positive. There are plenty of negatives, but there are a lot of positives that almost never get mentioned.

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First, and this has nothing to do with the film itself, but a personal memory that I enjoy, is actually going to see the movie. When I went and saw Phantom Menace, I went alone, because I had no friends, when I went and saw Revenge of the Sith, I went with my two best friends, but for Attack of the Clones, I went with the largest crowd I think I’ve ever gone to a movie with. It was opening night and I went with a ton of people from school (I was a junior in high school at the time). As the lights went down, and the screen said “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” someone yelled “aww, I’ve seen this one already,” got up and walked out (I’m relatively sure he immediately walked back in, but I was too fixated on the screen to really pay attention). Regardless of the film itself, it was one of the best movie going experiences of my life.
Now, to the quality of the film. Like I said before, there is plenty of stuff that you’ve probably heard about that doesn’t work in this film, but rarely do you hear about the positives. We’ve only had one saga film since the prequels, and so perhaps this isn’t a fair statement, but the prequels when compared to The Force Awakens, are much more creative. The Force Awakens was a good film, but it doesn’t reinvent the wheel. In the prequels we saw a lot of expansion of the universe, we saw exciting set pieces and action sequences (and not a single Death Star!)

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There are two things that I think stand out about the Attack of the Clones, first of all, we got to see an epic multi-Jedi battle in a gladiator style arena. The original trilogy had been somewhat limited as to what they were able to show with lightsaber battles due to their really not being anymore Jedi, but this wasn’t a problem for the prequels. We got to see the Jedi Council fly in, and kick some ass in a colosseum.

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The next great thing about this film, is that for the first time in 4 movies, we got to see Yoda fight in a lightsaber battle. Looking back, little ball of a Jedi Master bouncing around Count Dooku in a cave may not be as impressive , but on opening night? That was the greatest thing I had ever seen!

D76FFAA6-6F7F-46F2-9DCB-4D485B6A2713Another highlight was the speeder chase through the ‘streets’ of Coruscant. Not completely original, but new and exciting in a Star Wars film. With Anakin jumping out of the car and landing levels below onto another car. This was a very Star Wars version of similar scenes from movies like The Fifth Element and Blade Runner. Even with his wooden line delivery, Hayden Christenson seemed pretty badass (for those first few minutes). You also began to see what Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship was like. Which brings me to my next point…

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Finally, since the original Star Wars had come out, we knew to some extent that Obi-Wan had been Darth Vader’s (or Anakin Skywalker’s) teacher, and really this is the only film  we get to see that dynamic. Hayden Christenson doesn’t really carry his share of the ‘chemistry,’ but Ewan MacGregor does. MacGregor’s performance shows us how close the two characters had been, which really adds layers to their reunion in A New Hope.

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This is far from a perfect film. But I don’t think it deserves to be remembered as the worst Star Wars movie. I would argue that ultimately it suffers most, from the trilogy’s real problem. Which is that the whole films are never more than the sum of their parts. Some of those parts are really good, unfortunately they’re brought down by the ‘other’ parts.
May the Force be with you!

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Star Wars Retrospective: Episode I The Phantom Menace

Hey Everybody,

It’s Paul

As you all know Star Wars is like a religion to me. It’s a sacred thing not just because of the magic of the films, but because of the incredible personal experiences I’ve had with friends and family while watching these movies. Obviously I’m counting down the days until Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi opens and I wanted to do something special in anticipation of that film. So today is the beginning of a really cool series of articles that we’ll be posting once a week, from now until Star Wars The Last Jedi opens on December 15th. Each week a different contributor from World’s Best Media (myself included) will be writing a piece on a Star Wars film starting with Episode 1 and ending with Episode VII, right before the new film opens. Some of the articles are already finished and it’s been wonderful reading each one as it comes in. We’ll all get to experience these incredible movies through someone else’s eye. That’s what each of these articles will be about: the personal and emotional experience each of our writers had with a Star Wars film. I won’t be writing a long introduction to each article, but for the first piece I felt like I needed to explain what we’re doing.

So, first up is Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace written by my co-host on The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim, Tim Cuff. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “ Tim Cuff? TIM CUFF?!!! He is no Star Wars fan! Heresy! Heresy, I say!” Believe me guys, I know where you’re coming from. But as soon as I started thinking about this doing this series of articles, I immediately thought of Tim for The Phantom Menace. First of all, Tim’s a great writer and secondly Tim has always had weird love and respect for Episode I. Now, he doesn’t let the movie off easy. Nor should he, because even the most devote fans of The Saga will admit that movie is a bit of a mess. But there are pieces of brilliance sprinkled throughout the film. After reading this article, you may agree with me when I say… The Force may be with Tim after all…

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EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE by Tim Cuff

Unlike most of the other writers carefully selected to write these Star Wars-related articles, I am not a Star Wars guy. Being “not a Star Wars guy,” why on earth would Paul choose me to kick this whole thing off and recap Episode I, a movie disliked by many fans and non-fans alike? Well to understand why Episode I is so special to me, let’s hop in the ole time machine and head back to 1999.

Back when the Red Sox were still cursed and Limp Bizkit was a respected musical act, a young Tim Cuff was 13. I don’t think any description from me can do justice to what a major movie event Episode I was. A Star Wars movie hadn’t come out since 1983 (yes, I understand the original trilogy was re-released in theatres in the 90s, doesn’t really count). This was going to be the first Star Wars movie with modern special effects (yes, I understand the original trilogy had some CGI added in when it was re-released in theatres in the 90s, doesn’t really count). This was going to kick off a new saga. This was going to explain where Darth Vader and Obi Wan came from. Young Tim went into this movie with the absolute highest of expectations, and unlike most fans, he was not disappointed.

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Let’s start off with Qui-Gon Jinn. If you don’t like Liam Neeson, I don’t like you. Liam Neeson is a boss now, and he was a fucking boss in 1999. Obi Wan, comparatively, is pretty lame in this movie (in terms of his storyline). He spends 50% of this movie inside of a parked ship waiting for everyone to get back, he has a weird short ponytail, and an even weirder super long side-of-his-head rat tail. In fact, other than the fact that they build Qui-Gon up so you can be devastated when he (18 YEAR OLD SPOILER ALERT) dies, I don’t understand why Obi Wan didn’t just replace Qui-Gon’s part in this movie. Anyways, I digress. Qui Gon is a quiet badass, akin to John Wick or Christian Bale in Equilibrium. He is a rebel who doesn’t blindly follow orders, he often disagrees with the Jedi. Anyone who tries to push back against those pompous galactic dickheads is cool with me. Although, to be fair, he was VERY mistaken thinking Anakin was the chosen one who will bring balance to the force. I can’t really stress enough how very, very wrong he was in this thought process.

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My favorite Qui-Gon moment, which epitomizes him as a character: During the final battle with Darth Maul, when the force field walls temporarily stop the action and the duelists are forced to take a short break, Qui-Gon sits on the ground and fucking mediates. How badass is that? Imagine you are in a to-the-death battle with a red and black horned demon with a laser bowstaff that can cut through metal walls, and you have a 30 second break. Could you calm yourself enough to mediate!? Well, sadly, it didn’t help much as he is shortly offed with a lightsaber to the stomach. I honestly find those force field walls brilliant, even watching it now, as it stopped Obi Wan from helping and also forced him to watch his best friend and mentor die. Young Tim was devastated by this. I truly did not see it coming, I thought Neeson was an actor I would get to see in the sequels to come (reading about this online wasn’t a thing for me at the time), and it really did hit home.

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As much as I loved Qui-Gon, I think the most memorable character in this movie is his killer: Jar Jar Binks. Sorry that was a typo, I meant Darth Maul. In a universe where the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad with no grey area in-between, there is no cooler bad guy than Darth Maul. I actually think it was a huge mistake to kill him off as from a purely visual standpoint he was the best character of the new trilogy. The black and red face (from my understanding the black is tattoos), the horns around the top of his head, the awesome ninja moves, and of course the fucking DOUBLE LIGHTSABER. After seeing the movie and loving Qui-Gon Jinn, when Young Tim went to Toys R Us after this movie did he reach for a green lightsaber? Nope, he went straight for the double red one. Who wouldn’t? My young mind was completely blown. There was no explanation given as to why suddenly the Jedis were ninjas that could almost fly (I guess “the force was stronger then”), but Young Tim didn’t care. I still find this 3-way swordfight to be the best in the entire series, old or new.

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The podracing scene was, in many people’s opinions, the highlight of the movie. It wasn’t for me, I always liked the lightsabering more, but nonetheless the race was a truly awesome scene that inspired several great video games. If I was Anakin’s mother, I probably wouldn’t let him enter the race to help out some random strangers. The race is, after all, so dangerous that only 2 racers even made it to the finish line and it seems several of the racers died. When I asked my mother as a boy, “Can I enter a death race so some people that broke down can buy a new part for their car?” she said no, which is why I am not currently living up to my potential.

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This is by no means a perfect movie, I will admit. The two biggest issues are Jar Jar and Anakin, but I will briefly tackle why they shouldn’t ruin the movie for everyone. Jar Jar is truly an awful character. Young Tim didn’t hate Jar Jar, he instead accurately thought of him as nothing. He was a nothing character. Under careful recent re-watching I realized Jar Jar could almost be entirely edited out of the movie with it making no difference. The only time Jar Jar contributes to the plot in any way is when he brings Obi Wan and Qui-Gon to the Gungan city. The only other moments he has are when he clumsily falls or has some annoying throwaway line. He was obviously included as a desperate attempt to appeal to children that miserably failed. As a child, I don’t remember any other children actually liking Jar Jar. However since he is such a minor, unimportant part of the movie you can try to just black him out and pretend he’s not there.

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Jake Lloyd as Anakin to me is worse than Jar Jar, because his dialogue with other characters (especially Natalie Portman) is so important to the movie. His acting is almost always painful, and I blame Lucas for this. Lucas could have casted another actor, and also Lucas is known for providing the cast almost no direction. Someone as inexperienced as Lloyd likely needed lots and lots of direction. I in no way blame Lloyd as he was a child. My only excuse for this (to help make this aspect of the series tolerable) is even in 1999 we all knew Anakin was going to be Vader by Episode 3. Due to this, it was forgone conclusion Episode I is the only time we would be forced to hang out with Jake Lloyd. I wanted to add quickly I truly do feel bad for Jake Lloyd as Episode I clearly ruined his life. If you google his name or watch any interviews with him, you will immediately understand what I am referring to.

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Episode I was quite polarizing when it came out; it received mostly mixed to negative reviews. However Lucas always said Star Wars is meant for children. Well Young Tim fucking loved it, so I guess to Lucas that is a win. Due to my contractual obligation with World’s Best Media to never speak negatively about Star Wars, I will end the review with that. After this movie we all poured some out for Qui-Gon and Maul, gone too soon, and prepared for the budding romance of Anakin and Natalie Portman. I mean, the scenes between them in the next movie can’t be as bad, right?

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