Jumanji: The Next Level – Review

Written by Michael Cole

Two years ago when Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was about to come out, I was one of the only people I knew that was actually excited to see it. I even wrote an article about it here on World’s Best Media, what I wanted to see. One of the things that I talked about wanting, was world building. Welcome to the Jungle brought us into the world of Jumanji in a way that they weren’t able to do in 1995 when the Robin Williams version was made. It was awesome, and I genuinely loved the film.

The latest entry in the series, Jumanji: The Next Level delivers on the world building aspects. We’re no longer confined to just a traditional jungle environment, but get to see the desert, and a snow covered jungle, and with new levels, we get different animals than the previous film. This is now fully realized, and I suspect I know how the next film is going to go, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.

* SPOILER ALERT! For The Rest Of This Article*

One of the cool things of Welcome to the Jungle, was that our four main characters, are avatars of teenagers, and it allows for some strong character moments, as well as comedic fodder. Jack Black was a teenage girl, Dwayne Johnson was a skittish nerdy kid, Karen Gillan was a nerdy girl, and Kevin Hart was a black jock. In this film, in order to keep everything fresh, they scramble the characters and introduce some new ones. This time, Johnson is playing Danny Devito, Kevin Hart is Danny Glover, Jack Black is now the jock, and Spencer , who had the Dwayne Johnson avatar in the last game, is now Awkwafina who is a new playable character.

Eventually once they’ve done the necessary character work, they find a way to switch all the characters back into the previous avatars, with Danny Glover becoming a horse, and Danny Devito transferring into Awkwafina.

Since the avatar actors playing multiple characters (mostly) is such a big part of the film let’s talk about it. Personally, I think Welcome to the Jungle’s character assignments were perfect, but I understand that they wanted to do some work with it this time. Kevin Hart is great as both of his characters, handling Danny Glover’s character just as well as the jock character. Also Awkwafina is amazing as both characters; she handles being a nerdy teenage boy with perfection, and I think her Danny Devito is great. That brings us to Dwayne Johnson, I don’t love his Danny Devito; he has moments that are great, but there’s a lot of moments when the ‘Rock’ persona and Devito persona aren’t blended well; he doesn’t fully get the cadence and accent right, and it’s a bit cartoony. Jack Black as the athlete doesn’t work well for me, it’s not terrible, but Jack Black as the jock handles the character stuff well, but his ‘black voice’ borders on uncomfortable, it’s less about racial issues for me, and more about his voice falling into the uncanny valley, of being close enough to not be offensive, but far enough where it’s awkward.

I think that the character work, and set pieces really overcome all of the shortcomings in the performances. I won’t tell you much about the actual plot, I wouldn’t do it much justice, but the film is well paced, and really enjoyable. I’ll just say, as you should already know, is that our characters win, and escape Jumanji. So let’s talk about easter eggs, and where I think the next installment is going.

In the previous film, the characters find tree a house with a carving that says: “Alan Parrish was here”. Which is an homage to Robin Williams and the first Jumanji movie. And I amThe Next Level, talks about a restaurant called Nora’s several times throughout the film, and eventually once everything is back to normal we discover that Nora was the Bebe Neuwirth character from the original, and in the end we see her hiring Danny Devito. I suspect that she’ll have some part to play in the next film, and will not just be a cameo.

As our heroes, recently returned to their own bodies outside of the game go to Nora’s to grab a meal and celebrate their victory, we cut back to the video game console, in the teenage boy’s basement as a heating repairman goes to touch it, and we hear the drumbeats that signal the game is coming, and cut to the main street where Nora’s is, and a pack of Ostriches comes rampaging down the street, the characters see them, and we cut to the credits.

Now, when I say I think I know where this is going, it’s probably pretty obvious, and I’m not making any bold predictions, but I think we’re going to get to see a setting more similar to the original film, (although I suspect the effects and scale will be drastically expanded), and we’ll have to see the characters working with the avatars who have stepped out of the game into their world. This will allow for a third set of avatar characters, the ones that the game originally intends for them, and by bringing them into our world, they keep the ‘fish out of water’ theme. I also suspect we may see something of a “Last Action Hero”/Buzz Lightyear style identity crisis within the characters in which they realize their reality isn’t actual reality.

Personally, after the previous two films, I’m 100% down for whatever comes next.

Overall grade: B+

PODCAST: HBO’s The Outsider Season 1 Breakdown! Plus: A Safe Way To Get Comics During The Health Crisis!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

It’s been a long time coming for, Paul “Old Man” Sr., but on this episode of the show we finally breakdown the first season of HBO’s fantastic new series The Outsider, based on the novel by Stephen King! The taut supernatural mystery/thriller starring Ben Mendelsohn recently wrapped up it’s debut season with multiple spectacular performances and excellent writing! You’ll definitely recognize the main character, Ralph Anderson, played by prolific character actor Ben Mendelsohn who has appeared in a shit load of films and TV series like, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Bloodlines on Netflix, The Dark Knight Rises, and Captain Marvel. That’s just to name a few, there are literally dozens of other great performances I could mention. However, he may have delivered one of his best performances in The Outsider.  Also, below I have some additional important info on the fantastic comic book store, The Hall Of Comics, that I mentioned at the beginning of this week’s podcast. If you’re cooped up in the house all day because of all the craziness going on in the world right now, what better way to pass the time then to finally dive into the world of comic books? The guys at The Hall Of Comics are exactly the people to help you do it safely and easily during this difficult time, you can read all about it below!

So join Paul Sr. and I as we discuss one of our favorite new series. Season 1 ended a few weeks ago and really hope we get a second season of this excellent show. 

Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/24192464   Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTuneshttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000469195687

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

As I mentioned on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, The Hall Of Comics in Southborough, MA have come up with some innovative and more importantly SAFE ways to get comics during this health crisis. I’ll let the guys explain it to you themselves right here, but let me just say, as one of the worlds biggest germaphobes, if I’m using this service, which I am, you know it’s got to be foolproof!

Make sure you check out their newsletter, too. I genuinely look forward to reading it every week. It gives a breakdown of all of the major comic book releases that week, details any major announcements in the comic book industry, offers personal comic book picks from the staff, gives out info about upcoming events, and more! Here’s this week’s newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/thehallofcomics/ma-shutdown-update-hellions-new-comics-newsletter-1916461
Tell them Paul sent you!

Thanks for listening and 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. 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,

New Movies Being Released Digitally & On Demand!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

   Due to the current health crisis, most movie theaters are closed or very soon will be. On the bright side, many notable films that have just been released in theaters, or were scheduled to be released sometime in the next month, are going to be available to purchase digitally or on demand. 

     Movies have already been making the transition from traditional movie theatre openings to digital and streaming releases. I think that depending on how well these films sell on digital platforms, it could take us one step closer to more and more films being released through streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and iTunes in addition to or instead of movie theaters. Regardless of how the health crisis turns out, this will definitely affect the film industry’s future. Below is a list of movies that are available to purchase digitally or on demand, now and in the coming weeks:

Now Available

Pixar’s Onward


The Invisible Man


Emma


The Hunt

March 24th

Birds of Prey 


Bloodshot


The Gentlemen 


Doolittle 


The Way Back

March 31st

Bad Boys For Life


Sonic The Hedgehog 


I’ll be updating the website is more films are announced…

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. 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,

PODCASTS: The Invisible Man Review! & My Special Appearance On Cuff’s Basement!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

This was a busy week, so I was late to post a webpage for the latest episode of The World’s Best Podcast, even though the episode came out earlier this week. I think it worked out well, because the delay meant that way I get to show you guys some cool content related to my review of The Invisible Man and promote my guest appearance on Tim Cuff and Ryan McDonald’s podcast, Cuff’s Basement! Going on that podcast was a lot of fun and you can read all about it below my invisible man review content.

Anyway, on this episode of “The World’s Best Podcast”, I review the excellent new thriller THE INVISIBLE MAN! Full Spoilers!  Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/23699306  Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTunes:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000467950237

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

During this weeks episode, I talk about how The Invisible Man is among the roster of Universal’s Classic Movie Monsters

Icons such as, Dracula, The Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, and more. These films are largely the reason vampires, werewolves, and various forms of the undead appear so frequently in our popular culture. There have been literally thousands of TV shows and movies featuring vampires and werewolves (sometimes even both). However, in other cultures around the world vampires and werewolves are far less prevalent in popular culture and take a backseat to other supernatural creatures.

I found this awesome piece of art online that gives us a more gruesome and terrifying look at Dracula, The Wolfman, and Frankenstein’s Monster, without losing the classic Universal Monsters “look” that made them so iconic!

   During my review of The Invisible Man, I brought up several scenes I love from other movies starring classic universal monsters. Like this fantastic scene from 1999’s The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weiss:

I LOVE 1999’s The Mummy and this is probably my favorite scene. Wait until the end, Brendan Fraser’s reaction to seeing The Mummy for the first time is fucking CLASSIC!

I also mentioned the iconic werewolf transformation scene in the film, An American Werewolf In London. As well as the much less iconic, but still interesting transformation scene from Benicio Del Toro‘s remake of The Wolfman. You can watch both clips below:

An American Werewolf in London (1981) Transformation Scene
The Wolfman (2010) Transformation Scene

Here’s a side-by-side comparison between The Invisible Man of 1933 and the new 2020 version (without giving too much away about what makes this new incarnation of The Invisible Man so cool…)

Well, that’s it for my review and coverage of The Invisible Man, but we’re not quite done yet today… Now, let’s switch gears here a little bit! It’s two podcasts for the price of one!

    As some of my listeners may know, Ryan McDonald who is a frequent co-host on the The World’s Best Podcast and Tim Cuff who was my original co-host on the show, have their own fun and unique podcast called Cuff’s Basement. It’s hilarious, it’s weird, and it’s a blast to listen to. I recently had the chance to make an guest appearance on Cuff’s Basement, on an episode of the show where Ryan, Tim, and I  each picked our 3 Favorite Comic Book Superhero Movies of all time. Of course, being the comic book movie super fans that we are, this ended up being a three-part episode. You can listen to the first 2 installments of our 3-Part episode right now, through the link to the Cuff’s Basement iTunes feed, which I’ve posted below. While you’re there don’t forget to hit subscribe, so you can listen to Part-3 of our Best Superhero Movies podcast as soon as it’s posted! I had a lot of fun recording this with the guys and I hope you all enjoy listening. Don’t miss it!

Cuff’s Basement – (ITunes feed):

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cuffs-basement/id1315442078

The Best Superhero Movies Part-1

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cuffs-basement/id1315442078?i=1000467670078

The Best Superhero Movies Part-2

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cuffs-basement/id1315442078?i=1000468256938

Thanks for reading and listening! 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. 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!

-Paul,

REVIEW: Pixar’s Onward!

I’m a huge fan of Pixar, and I think the argument can be made that they have the best record of any film company ever, based on average quality, and financial success rates. I do not however, have an issue seeing Pixar’s flaws, and from the moment I saw the trailer for Onward, I thought “Well, that’s gonna be a dud.”

Onward in someways seemed to diverge from what I was used to from Pixar, of the 21 previous films, 16 of them had main characters that were animals/objects/emotions, and while Onward isn’t about humans, they’re human-lite. Other than Brave (and perhaps you’d argue Coco, but that’s a religious and philosophical debate for another post) none had featured magic, and this was the first film to not have some connection with ‘Earth.’

I don’t exactly know how to to describe it, but there was a lack of interest on my part, and if I didn’t have a 3 year-old, I probably would have skipped the film. But, I do have a 3 year-old, and he wanted to see unicorns eating trash, and so my wife and I took him on Saturday, and the three of us loved this film.

Now, one of the things that has become something of a Pixar staple, In the last 15 years, you could argue that it’s been their defining trait, has been their ability to make you adults sad, and in that way, this film was totally Pixar. I’m a bit of a crier as it is, but my wife isn’t, and she was choking up a couple times during the film. But one of the other things that Pixar does well, is they make you sad and then make you happy again, and this didn’t fail to deliver.

I don’t really think I need to go into spoilers, so please note that all of what I’m about to tell you, is in the trailers.

The film is about two brothers who go on a quest two finish a spell that brings their father back to life for a day, and because they have half completed the spell at the beginning, it’s a race against the clock. It’s a story about family, something Pixar has done an pretty incredible job with on a few occasions. (See what I did there? Incredible job?)

This film has fun, and adventure, plenty of laughs, and as I mentioned before, tears. It’s a great time start to finish. I do want to mention something that it accomplishes, which no animated film has ever done before, and it’s a super mild spoiler. There is a scene in which they’re dealing with a great height, and there are some live action films in which I have gotten a sick to my stomach feeling due to my own fear of heights (The Walk did it in the trailer alone), and this film had me feeling that flip-floppy vertigo feeling for about a minute. That may sound like a complaint, but it should really be a testament to how invested I was in the story.

As far as ranking this with other Pixar films, I would say it’s in the top third, I don’t know if it’s as good as Toy Story 3, WALL-E, Up, or Inside Out, but it’s certainly better than all of the Cars films, Brave, and The Good Dinosaur.

Overall grade: A-
Written by Michael Cole

NEW TRAILERS: Marvel’s Black Widow & Justice League Dark: Apokolips War!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

It’s Movie Trailer Tuesday here at World’s Best Media! We have some new trailers and featurettes from 2 very different, but very cool upcoming superhero movies: Marvel’s Black Widow and the new film from DC Animation, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War!

First up, we have the final trailer for Marvel’s Black Widow, opening May 1st. Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow movie for years and early projections have this film doing big numbers for Marvel.

Personally, I’m most excited to see Taskmaster make his big screen debut. Taskmaster is a mercenary and assassin who can perfectly mimic the fighting style and ability of any combatant he encounters. It was especially cool to see Taskmaster studying the surveillance videos of Natasha’s big fight with the guards at Hammer Industries during the climax of Iron Man 2 (her first appearance in The MCU). We also see Taskmaster breakout moves mimicking the some of the best hand to hand fighters in The MCU, like Captain America, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. I think this is going to be a blast, but check out the trailer for yourself right here…

    DC Animation just released their adaptation of Superman: Red Son, arguably one of the most beloved Superman stories ever told. I loved the film, it was a return to the glory days of fantastic DC Animated Movies. Even though I love the DCAU, lately they have not been on par with the amazing work they’ve done in the past. However, it looks like they may be back on track. While Red Son was excellent, I found myself even more excited by the sneak peek at the next DC Animated film, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. 

      This is the culmination of at least a dozen or more movies that began with Justice League: War, which was about how the Justice League was formed to repel the forces of Darkseid and his invading armies. DCA puts out at least 3 or 4 movies every year and at least 1 or 2 of these films have taken place in this shared DC Animated Universe that started with Justice League: War (The other films released each year tend to be their own standalone stories like Superman: Red Son, Batman Gotham by Gaslight, or The Killing Joke). This new film looks like the DCAU version of Avengers: Endgame. This video was previewed as a feturette on the special features of Superman: Red Son, just give it a watch and you’ll see how cool this movie looks…

If that wasn’t enough, DC Animation also released a trailer for the new film as well which you can watch right here…

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be available digitally on iTunes on May 5th and on Blu-Ray/4K on May 19th.

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. 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!

-Paul,

FIRST LOOK: The NEW Batmobile!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

  We got our first look at the new Batmobile from the latest big screen incarnation of The Dark Knight, The Batman directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson. People always tend to get excited about the new Batmobile whenever a new Batman project is on the horizon. Folks get almost as excited about the car as they do about the Batman suit. I love the more grounded look of this design, something that looks it’s based on a souped up Dodge Charger. Take a look at the pictures posted below.

Personally, my two favorite versions of The Batmobile are The Tumbler from Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and the futuristic Batmobile from the classic animated series, Batman Beyond. But like I said before, I really like this new look for The Batmobile, it’s definitely a different direction to go in.

Batman Beyond Batmobile
Batmobile AKA The Tumbler from Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy

There has been a few rumors going around lately that The Batman will feature Robin in someway or another. This new Batmobile design lends some validity to the rumors because, as many others have pointed out, this Batmobile is very similar to the version Batman had when he met the boy who would go on to become the second Robin, Jason Todd. Batman caught him trying to steal the wheels off of the Batmobile and decided to take the orphan boy in. It shouldn’t have been much of a surprise to readers that Jason was eventually beaten to death by The Joker with a crowbar and was still inside the warehouse where The Joker was keeping him when the building exploded. A kid who tries to steal the rims off the fucking Batmobile isn’t exactly the brightest bulb around. Anyway, the similarity between the two designs are leaving some people to speculate that Jason Todd may appear in this new film in some way. Personally, I’d rather see Dick Grayson or Tim Drake, but I’ll take what I can get.

This is similar to the speculation that was taking place a few weeks ago after images of Robert Pattinson as Batman on his motorcycle surfaced online. The Bat-Suit Pattinson was wearing and the bike he was riding, were very similar to the suit and motorcycle Batman in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s story Zero Year.

Batman from the “Zero Year” storyline

I really dig everything I’ve seen so far from The Batman. Do you like the new design?Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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. 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!

-Paul,

PODCAST: 2020 Movie & TV Preview! (Article Exclusive – Top Upcoming Graphic Novels)

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

   This week on “The World’s Best Podcast”, Paul Sr. and I give the listeners the rundown on coolest, biggest, and most highly anticipated movies and TV shows of 2020! Wonder Woman 1984! The Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+, Marvel’s Black Widow, The Mandalorian Season 2, and so much more! We give you everything you need to know about the hottest film & TV projects of 2020, in this cant miss episode!

On this episode, I wanted to mention several graphic novels and comics that are coming out later this year that I am hugely looking forward to, but I forgot to mention them on the show. So I thought as a nice bit of extra content for this podcast webpage, I would post my list of my most anticipated comic book/graphic novel projects coming up in 2020:

Green Lantern: Earth One Vol.2 (Release Date – 6/9)

What’s The Deal?: Part of DC‘s Earth One series, which takes classic DC characters and lets talented creators tell out of continuity stories to take our heroes in exciting and unexpected new directions. This is a sequel to Green Lantern: Earth One Vol.1, which I would describe as if Stanley Kubrick ever did a Green Lantern story.  It’s pretty damn cool. I really enjoyed Vol.1 and Vol.2 looks to be even better.

DC: Death Metal (Release Date – 5/13)

What’s The Deal?: The epic sequel to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s hit event miniseries, Dark Nights: Metal. Look for Wonder Woman and The Batman Who Laughs to play key roles in the story.

Batman/Catwoman (Release Date – Spring/Summer 2020)

What’s The Deal?: Writer Tom King and Artist Clay Mann continue the epic story of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle that Tom King began in Batman Rebirth #1. This 12 issue maxi-series has been described by King as his “Dark Knight Returns” and inspired by Grant Morrison’s excellent Batman and Robin. From a writer as talented as Tom King, those are some fantastic comparisons to make and with a spectacular art team backing him up, this is definitely a book to watch.

Back to the podcast… Listen here:  https://www.spreaker.com/episode/23355156   Or subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…

iTuneshttps://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?i=1000467120781

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=185563

Thanks for listening! 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. 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!

-Paul 

What I Want to See: The Next Star Wars Trilogy

Written by Michael Cole

We’re more than two months separated from Rise of Skywalker, and the finale of The Mandalorian season 1, and so it’s time to speculate and dream. I want to tell you all my personal pitch for the next Star Wars trilogy. If Lucasfilm happens upon this post, I am available to hire for either screenwriting or directing responsibilities.

Let’s go back to Revenge of the Sith, in that film Anakin kills the younglings who have been training to be Jedi. It’s a sad moment, and it does a pretty good job at showing just how far toward the Dark Side Anakin is heading. Now, the idea is kills all the youngling who are there on Coruscant, but certainly Jedi would always be picking up little force users throughout the galaxy, right?

The first film tells the story of Jedi Knight Sharhor Kii, who has had little to no interactions with Anakin by the time of the youngling slaughter.  Sharhor is traveling from an Outer Rim planet with a young boy, Kar Weil, whom he plans to present to the council. He hasn’t transmitted in about the his hopeful new apprentice, because why would he. But the Council sends out the news of Anakin’s betrayal, and Sharhor returns to the Out Rim planet, and begins training in secrecy, waiting for any word that it is safe to return. We see the youngling grow up in training to the point of a teenager (through montage), and eventually Sharhor, aware that Darth Vader is hunting down Jedi, decides to leave his apprentice in hiding, since there is not record of him in the Jedi temples or the remnants of the council, and he goes off to face Vader, never to return. We follow Kar as he continues his training, and goes off looking for Sharhor. Along the way, he falls in love with Cera, the pilot that he’s hired for transport, and marrying her.

The second film, Kar and his wife have three children, all of whom Kar is now training in the ways of the force. They do not consider themselves Jedi, but they all wield lightsabers, none the traditional Jedi colors. Kar has a yellow lightsaber, his two daughters Pik and Ana wield orange, and his son Lon wields a turquoise blade. The Weil family’s presence on their home planet becomes unsafe especially when the four force users are together, and they split up with the intention of rendezvousing when they can. For the majority of this film, we split between Kar and Cera traveling to different Jedi temples, trying to uncover ruins, Lon trying to hitchhike off to join the rebellion, and Pik and Ana going to planets where slavery and injustice are the norms, and helping to free those people. At the end of the film, we learn that the second Death Star has been destroyed, Lon sending the message to his parents and his sisters.

The third film, Kar and Cera are now fully into the Jedi historian process, trying to learn and preserve as much as possible, trying to rebuild. They’re still mostly remote from the population of the galaxy, and while they know that the Empire has fallen, they haven’t desired to return to it. Pik and Ana also still have their fight, because the slavery and injustice existed before the Empire, and the fall of the Empire meant little in their fight. Lon now with war-worn A-wing, goes off to find his parents and his sisters, hoping to reunite them all finally.  By the third act, the sisters have pissed off a mob-boss with his own hired gun army, and Lon who is with his parents go to help them escape. The four force users, and their pilot mother/wife manage to take down the majority of the army before Lon is killed, and his father loses his dominant arm. His father driven by grief and rage uses the force at a level he’s never done before and lays waste to the remnants of the small army.

I don’t have all of the set-pieces or specific act structures for these three films, just a very brief outline, as you can see. But I want this to be a family story, something that shows just how life somewhat carried on during the time of the Rebellion and the Empire. The idea that a force user could slip under the radar due to clerical error, and kick off this whole separate legacy. I would call this trilogy, The Force Kin Trilogy.

Let me know in the comments below what you think of the idea!

Star Wars: What’s The Deal With Mace Windu?

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

     With the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+ recently premiering, as well as a small behind the scenes video clip that just surfaced, now is the perfect to time to talk about one of my favorite supporting characters in the Star Wars Universe. Samuel L. Jackson is simply one of the coolest motherfuckers around. Nick Fury, John Shaft, Zeus in Die Hard With A Vengeance, Jules Winnfield, the list of badass characters he’s played over the goes on and on. To Star Wars fans, he’s most beloved for his role as Jedi Master, Mace Windu, one of the more popular characters from the prequel trilogy. As powerful member of The Jedi Council at the height of their power, Mace Windu personified the very best and the worst of The Jedi. The prequel trilogy is just as much about the fall of the Jedi as it is about the fall of Anakin Skywalker. Mace perfectly personifies the characteristics that led to the downfall of the Jedi. He’s a skilled warrior with a lightsaber and one of the most powerful force users in the galaxy, yet he’s shortsighted, judgmental, and arrogant.

From their first meeting, continuing throughout the prequel trilogy, Mace is distrustful and condescending towards Anakin. Mace Windu is at the heart of Anakin’s feelings of alienation and frustration with The Jedi Council. It could be argued that if Mace treated Anakin differently, his choice to walk the path towards the Dark Side may have played out differently.

   When the Jedi realized that Chancellor Palpetine was actually Darth Sidious, Mace Windu and a group of Jedi are dispatched to arrest him. Chancellor Palpetine made quick work of the other Jedi, displaying his impressive lightsaber skills. Only Windu is powerful enough to challenge the Sith Lord.

The fight between the two powerful Force users ends in a stalemate, with the slight edge going towards Mace Windu. That’s when Anakin walks in. Master Windu tells Anakin that the Chancellor is too dangerous to be left alive and must be killed to preserve peace. The choice to save the Chancellor or to allow Master Windu to kill him, is one of the most important choices in the life of Anakin Skywalker and it’s the choice that ultimately leads him to become Darth Vader.

 When Anakin finds Mace standing over Palpetine, on the verge of killing him, Anakin see‘s a trusted old friend who has vowed to help him save the life of his wife and child and a man attacking his mentor and has treated him with nothing but scorn his entire life. There isn’t really much of a fucking choice at all here. Given the relationship he has with these two men, it’s pretty goddamn understandable the Anakin would cut Mace’s Lightsaber hand off and allow Palpetine to Force Lightening him out the window of a 200 story building. So came the end of Mace Windu, a cool character in Star Wars lore who played an important role in Anakin Skywalker‘s transformation into Darth Vader and that was the end of his story… or so we thought!

Star Wars fans are a rabid bunch (myself included). Fans tend to jump on every aspect or detail shown a long time ago in this galaxy far, far away. Especially lightsabers. Any new lightsaber is analyzed in great detail (and why not? They’re cool as fuck). So naturally, when the prequels were in production, fans noticed that Mace Windu had a purple lightsaber. Everyone knows that it goes: blue & green= Jedi, red= Sith (some “neutral” Force users like Ashoka Tano wield white lightsaber). Of course, it was immediately noticed that Sam The Man Jackson had a PURPLE lightsaber. I, like most Star Wars fans, assumed that Sam Jackson got a purple lightsaber because purple is kind of his personal color. As well as, being the bad ass, cool, son of a bitch that he is, it isn’t very surprising that he would want some detail to be included that made him stand out from the rest of The Jedi. Now, a video has surfaced from the set of the prequel trilogy and we can find out exactly how Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber became a reality (remember that behind the scenes video clip I mentioned at the top of the article?). Check out the video below…

So, there we have it! It pretty much came down to George Lucas telling Jackson “The Jedi have blue and green lightsabers and the Sith have red ones.“. Which prompted Sam Jackson to ask “Can I have a purple one?“ With Lucas shrugging and replying “Sure. What the hell?”. I know that’s not a verbatim account, but it’s pretty much the gist of the origin of the purple lightsaber! 

Look, I’ll be honest with you. There’s never been much mystery about Samuel L. Jackson‘s purple lightsaber. This video surfaced online and it seemed like a good  excuse to write a Star Wars article about Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu. I think he’s a really cool character with a lot of potential to be used in future stories, live action or animated. 

   Oh, I’m sorry? What’s that you’re asking? Didn’t he die when Anakin cut one of his hands off with a lightsaber and Sidious blasted him with Force Lightning out of a 200 story window to fall to his death? Well, technically that’s all true. But a few years ago the character was brought up to George Lucas. I’m not sure what the circumstances were, maybe somebody was pointing out that people have survived far worse in the Star Wars universe then Mace Windu’s fate. Anyway, Lucas said that as far as he and the Star Wars canon is concerned, Mace Windu somehow survived that brutal brush with death. Even though all official canon is technically decided by Disney now, they stood by Lucas’ assertion that Windu was still alive, out there, somewhere. I mean, Darth Maul got literally cut in half a fell into chasm so deep that the bottom wasn’t visible, but he got better! Why not Mace?!

The “Death” of Mace Windu & Anakin’s turn to The Darkside

Jackson himself has said, if the opportunity arises, he’d love to return to the character. So, if the stars aligned and there was an opportunity to have Samuel L. Jackson return to play an older, more banged up Mace Windu, where exactly could we see the character pop-up? To me, there are two very cool and very obvious option….

First, we must ask ourselves a few questions: What has he been doing since his apparent death? I don’t think the surviving Jedi have a very good idea of exactly how many other powerful Force users there are left in the galaxy after the rise of The Empire. Or in the case of a character like Ezra from Star Wars Rebels, he may be so far away, maybe even no longer in the same galaxy, that they can no longer sense him. That would explain why characters like Yoda, Luke, Vader, and Rey all state at various points that they are the last of The Jedi. In fact it’s possible that by the time of Luke Skywalker‘s death there could be as many three other living and powerful Jedi/Force users: Ezra Bridget, Ashoka Tano, and of course Mace Windu… (Like the piece of art above, there is a lot of cool fan art of Mace Windu if he survived Revenge of The Sith, which I’ll be including in this article).

So, if Mace Windu survived his encounter with Anakin and Palpetine, why haven’t we seen him in in any of the movies or TV shows since? I think like Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the other Jedi who survived Order 66, he most likely went into hiding. Like other survivors of The Fall of The Jedi, the events of Revenge of The Sith would have taken an enormous emotional toll on him. As one of the most senior and powerful members of The Jedi Council, he was one of the guiding hands of The Order in the years  leading up to it’s destruction. Maybe he felt more personally responsible for all the pain and suffering that took place? Of course, let’s not forget his very, very serious injuries. We’ve already established that individuals, especially powerful Force users, can survive seemingly lethal injuries, but Master Windu’s physical trauma was particularly serious. It’s important to remember that physical injury can actually affect one’s ability to use The Force. Like Anakin after his duel Obi-Wan on Mustafar, despite how powerful Darth Vader was with the force, had he not suffered such horrific injuries at the hands of his former master, there’s no telling how powerful he could have become. He most likely would’ve displayed Force abilities far more impressive than any we’ve seen in the Star Wars canon, so far. Coming back to Mace, all of this adds up to a man recovering from some incredibly intense physical and emotional trauma all the while on the run from an oppressive galactic regime out to kill him.

This is probably my favorite post-Revenge of The Sith art

  This would mean that he would’ve most likely stuck to the planets in The Outer Rim, at the very most edge of known space. The Outer Rim includes planets like Tantooine. Maybe there’s a scenario Mace heads to Tantooine, where an old hermit has been living out beyond The Dune Sea? Locals say he mostly keeps to him self, but trouble has a way of finding him every now and again. They say he’s some kind of wizard, goes by Ben Kenobi. Could be a cool storyline in the upcoming Obi-Wan live action series, right?

    Then, there’s The Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin, running around The Outer Rim with his adopted son, a small green alien with strange and powerful abilities. Who better to give Mando the 411 on The Kid than Mace Windu? Really he would fit pretty easily into either show.

  I think if Samuel L. Jackson appeared on either series, it would definitely be a guest appearance, maybe a multi-episode guest starring arc. I don’t think we’d see him  become a series regular on either show. Before any of you naysayers out there claim that he would never make an appearance on a TV show because he’s too big of a star, let me let me remind you that he appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first season multiple times and played a major role in the season one finale of that show. If Lucasfilm can’t get Jackson to come back, the character could always appear in a comic book or a novel or a video game. Who knows? I think most fans would really like to see him in live action, but however they choose to use the character, I think it is long past due that Mace Windu made his return to the main stage of the Star Wars Universe.

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-Paul,