The annual D23 Expo was held over the weekend. With major presentations from Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm showcasing high profile projects coming down the pipeline over the next few years. Many fans speculated big reveals for upcoming projects like FantasticFour or X-Men, like finally revealing the cast for FF or ANY information about Mutants in The MCU and when we can expect the first X-Men related project from Marvel Studios. While major X-Men and Fantastic Four revelations would have certainly been cool, this year‘s Expo did manage to deliver some solid material to get excited about. So sit back and relax because, as usual, World’s Best Media’s here to give you the highlights.
Out of all the footage of upcoming projects that Marvel released to the public, this trailer got me most exciting. I love Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, so I’m very excited to see a MCU project where he takes center stage. It’s Nick Fury’s very own Miniseries. We see Don Cheadle return as James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Martin Freeman as Everett Ross, Colbie Smulders as Maria Hill, and a bunch of other new characters. It looks like a really intense, paranoid thriller and it’s definitely one of my most anticipated projects for 2023. Another interesting tidbit, was the reveal that Secret Invasion leads right into Rhodey’s miniseries ArmorWars, which begins filming soon. So it’ll be really cool to see what the MCU looks like softer Secret Invasion and how that affects Armor Wars.
Werewolf by Night
Marvel’s first Halloween Special, Werewolf By Night, based on the horror comic of the same name is coming to Disney+ this October. It actually look genuinely scary and a little gooey at time, which I love. Anyone else spot Man-Thing in this trailer? That’s a hell a deep cut, but an exciting one!
Honestly, I have little to no interest in this series. While I thought the character of Maya Lopez/Echo worked fine in Hawkeye, I certainly didn’t think there was anything about the character special or memorable enough to warrant her own Disney+ series . So I was a little surprised that Marvel still intended to move forward with this project. The only aspects of Echo, that make me want to tune in, are Vincent D’Onofrio reprising his role as Wilson Fisk in the series and the heavily rumored, but unconfirmed appearance of Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil. Plus, I like the idea of the show focusing on Native American culture in The MCU. It’s something we haven’t seen in The MCU yet.
Disney’s official synopsis “The origin story of Echo revisits Maya Lopez, whose ruthless behavior in New York City catches up with her in her hometown. She must face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots and embrace the meaning of family and community if she ever hopes to move forward.”
The audience was shown some footage from the upcoming series, which hasn’t made its way on line yet. However, those in attendance to see the footage I have reported a few interesting little moments included in the brief sneak peek shown at D 23. With one shot in particular Pekin street from the comics. Last time we saw Wilson Fisk in Maya Lopez together was in the Hawkeye Season (Series?) Finale, where Maya seemingly shot her former mentor, when it was revealed that The Kingpin had been responsible for the death of Maya’s father. A similar confrontation plays out in the comic books, with the injuries Fisk sustained from Maya’s attempted murder leaving him blind. It looks as if Echo will adapt this part of Wilson Fisk’s story. According to people who saw the footage, the show even goes out of its way to directly replicate this memorable image from comics.
The line up for Marvel’s upcoming Thunderbolts movie was revealed, as you can see below…
LUCASFILM (Star Wars & Indiana Jones)
The Mandalorian (Season 3)
Tales of The Jedi
Besides The Mandalorian Season 3, this is the upcoming Star Wars project I’m most excited for. I love the idea of a Star Wars animated anthology like this. Especially featuring, stories before The Phantom Menace, like Count Dooku before he went to The Dark Side, along with his young padawan Qui Gon-Jin. Even Yaddle makes an appearance. I’m really psyched for this one!
Indiana Jones 5
It’s great to see the famously grumpy and curmudgeonly Harrison Ford show some emotion and excitement. I think this bodes well for those of us hoping for a kick ass Indiana Jones 5! Plus, they have the perfect director to tell an excellent story about an aging iconic hero with James Mangold, whose last film was Logan. This guy knows how to make an action movie about an older hero who’s past his prime and still tell a thrilling, exciting, action-packed, adventure story.
Also, you gotta love the reunion of Indy and Short Round. As great as it would be for Short Round to make an appearance in Indy 5, Ke Huy Quan (whose enjoying a well deserved career renaissance) has joined the cast of Loki for Season 2, which is awesome, and attended the expo to promote the show with his cast mates. But he still had the time to snap this amazing reunion picture with his former costar from Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.
Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for the podcast, 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!
When I was a kid, I damn near wore out the VCR watching my favorite movies over and over again. Their were a few classics in particular that I just couldn’t get enough of: Raiders of The Lost Ark, Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II. These were the films that defined my love for movies. Actually, these four movies have more in common than you might think. The first entries in their respective franchise are unquestionably modern masterpieces. You’d have damn difficult time arguing that Raiders and Ghostbusters don’t belong on any list of the best movies ever made. The next installment in both series, Temple of Doom and Ghostebusters II were both unfairly characterized as unworthy follow ups to their predecessors.
I was always under the impression that each film in the original Indiana Jones Trilogy was beloved by critics and fans alike. It wasn’t until I really began to get into film around high school, that I began to hear that some critics and fans considered Temple of Doom to be the “bad“ film in the trilogy. It was the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull for the original Indiana Jones Trilogy. Hell, I even think Kingdom of The Crystal Skull is better than people give it credit for, despite it’s glaring flaws (But that’s a whole other article).
I understand where certain criticisms are coming from a little bit more with Ghostbusters II, than I do with Temple of Doom. SOME of the criticism leveled at Temple of Doom are fair, but ONLY SOME. Regarding the other film series in question, I completely love Ghostbusters II. Obviously it doesn’t hit the stratospheric heights of it’s predecessor, but it’s a more than worthy follow up to the original classic.
Now onto the main event! Ghostbusters: Afterlife…
Like Indiana Jones, rumors of a third Ghostbusters film had been circulating for years. Rumors and talk of a third film, continued almost constantly from Ghostbusters II, to Afterlife. There seemed a lot of back-and-forth, stop-and-go from people involved in the production. Often saying things like “It’s on! We’re finally making the third one.”|only for things to stall out, and whatever potential version of Ghostbusters 3 that was in development at that time, was dead. It would go back-and-forth like that for years, Dan Akroyd was always the most vocal about his desire for a third movie, with Bill Murray almost always the biggest hold out. In a perfect world we’d be on Ghostbusters 5 by now.
The Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones films were my gateway into my love of movies. As my two favorite movie franchises, I desperately wanted to see a third installment in the Ghostbusters series and a fourth Indiana Jones movie. This was way before the Internet was used as widely as it is now. There weren’t things like YouTube, where there are countless channels to news about the cool new science fiction, fantasy, or comic book films in development. Back in those days, I read movie magazines if I wanted to follow what’s was going on in the world of genre filmmaking. I remember being at Blockbuster Video in the late 90’s (Fuck, I’m old) and picking up a magazine called Cinescape, because it had an article on the status of a fourth Indiana Jones movie. From then I was hooked. I would read articles about which awesome films that were potentially getting sequels, which adaptations of beloved works of fiction we’re going to be put on the big screen? Which famous actor has been cast as the next big superhero? What interesting projects were coming down the pipeline from genres that I love? Rumors of another Ghostbusters movie was a frequent topic of discussion. I got into all of this stuff because of my research into the next installments in Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones. For better or for worse, it took a long damn time, but I finally got my wish.
If you follow my work, if you’ve read my articles or listened to my podcast, you may have noticed that I love stories with supernatural elements at play. Ghosts, vampires, demons, gods, werewolves, and on, and on, and on. It was the first two Ghostbusters films and the subsequent animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, that made me fall in love with that type of story. That’s why I’ve always loved movies shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, or The Conjuring series.
The buzz around Ghostbusters: Afterlife was very positive, the marketing was solid, so I was looking forward to seeing this new film. I’m pleased to say that Ghostbusters: Afterlife did not disappoint. It manages to work as both a soft reboot and legitimate Ghostbusters III.
First off, moving the story’s setting from the grit and grittiness of New York to small town middle America, is a great way to pull the audience out of their comfort zone, without alienating them. In the first two Ghostbusters films especially, the first one, New York City is almost a character in itself, in those films. Ghostbusters is one of the great New York movies. So, Seeing the Ecto-1 doing donuts in a wheat field or finding iconic pieces of Ghostbusters equipment or tech, like a ghost-trap, and putting them in the last place you’d expect to see them like an old farmhouse, is a great way to remind the audience why we love this stuff. It’s like taking away everything from the original films for a moment, and showing us that this stuff is fun and cool and awesome, no matter where you see it or find it. It’s special in and of itself. Something like the old PKE Meter, makes you remember why you wanted your own when you were a kid. I was surprised how much fun it was to simply to see the classic Ghostbusters toys onscreen again (along with a fun modification here and there).
Everything kicks off with harrowing, tense, and a little bit scary opening, that immediately gets you excited for what you’re about to watch. It’s takes place on the farm Igon’s family will soon inherit and what begins as a cool chase scene, just great job of showing the audience that he gone wasn’t out here for nothing. She had a very very important reason to come to this remote small town. You could even say he kind of saves the world and sacrifices himself in the process. The opening has some great callbacks to the original films and sets up some interesting stuff that becomes important later in the movie.
Following his death, we see Egon’s daughter, Callie, played by Carrie Coon, along with her teenage son played by Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard, and her younger daughter Phoebe (played by McKenna Grace). The family gets along well enough, but financial issues force Callie to reluctantly move her family to the dilapidated old farm house in the middle of nowhere, that she recently inherited from a father that she never knew.
Out of the entire family, Phoebe’s the most like her grandfather, Egon. She’s intellectually gifted and she loves science. I wouldn’t describe her as socially awkward, but like her grandfather, for lack of a better word, she’s… different. She’s a little introverted, but still self-confident. She’s always the smartest person in the room, but she’s not arrogant or condescending, which are traits too often seen in characters like Phoebe. People in general, but especially kids, don’t embrace people who are different. She’s at that age where she’s just about to become a teenager, but she’s still very much a kid. Her mom, Callie, encourages her to use the move to a new town as an opportunity to make some friends, which she does. She hits it off with a boy everybody calls “Podcast” (because he has a podcast) and finds a mentor of sorts in Paul Rudd’s character (more on that later). I was a big fan of Phoebe in this movie, I really liked this character. Phoebe is the heart of this movie and young McKenna Grace plays the character wonderfully. Grace damn near carries the movie in places and she’s certainly up to the task. She’s definitely an up coming, young actor to keep an eye on.
Then of course, there’s the always delightful Paul Rudd as a seismologist in town investigating geological events in the area, like earthquakes, with seemingly no explanation. He’s working as a substitute teacher to help pay the bills, while he investigates the strange seismic events events taking place in this town. Phoebe is his only student who remotely gives a crap about his research and they quickly develop an easy rapport. This leads to meeting Phoebe’s Mom, Callie and subsequently becomes an increasing presence in the lives of The Spengler family.
Because of the tragic loss of the great Harold Ramis, I was very curious to see how the filmmakers handle his absence. If Phoebe is the heart of the movie, than Ramis’ Egon Spengler is it’s soul. His spirit is felt throughout the movie (both literally and figuratively). Egon Spangler looms large in the story and the lives of the family he never knew. I think they took some great risks by choosing to handle the passing of Harold Ramis and how that would affect the story and his character. I would not be surprised if it divides audiences, with some people loving it and others hating it. Regardless of where you fall on the issue, it’s clear they spent a great deal of time, ef and thought into figuring out the best way to use him. It might turn some people off, but personally it really worked for me. I’m being deliberately vague here because I think it will work better if you see what the movie does with Egon for yourself.
I was genuinely surprised that every (living) member of the original cast was in this movie. It was undeniably thrilling seeing all of the original Ghostbusters, including Bill Murray, light up those proton packs one more time. Hell, I loved seeing Ray’s Occult Bookstore again!
Speaking of Ray’s Occult, there are 2 post-credit scenes in this movie. Both of them focus on letting us know what the characters from the original films have been up to in the decades since we’ve last seen them. One of the scene’s if a conversation between Janine (Annie Potts) and Winston (the great Ernie Hudson), taking place in what appears to be Winston’s office. In their conversation it’s revealed that sometime after Ghostbusters II, Winston went back to college, earning multiple degrees, and subsequently became a very successful businessman. However, in his heart he’ll always be a Ghostbuster first and foremost. He’s made a point to always look out for the guys over the years. Janine playfully reveals that Ray’s bookstore hasn’t been profitable for a long time and she knows that Winston has been quietly paying the rent and keeping Ray’s Occult above water for years. I thought this was a really sweet revelation that showed us exactly how deep the camaraderie was between these men. This is also where Winston expresses that putting on the proton pack and getting to be a Ghostbuster again (during the events of this film) was the best feeling he’s had in years. Despite all of his success, he misses those golden days of fighting alongside his friends as the Ghostbusters. I thought this could be an interesting way to set up a possible sequel, combining members of the original cast and the characters from this new film. Perhaps this new adventure has lit a fire within Winston enough where he’ll use his new money and resources, to finance a new Ghostbusters team? I think that could be really cool and different from what we’ve seen in other films.
The only major criticism or problem I had with this film was it’s villain. One of the things Ghostbusters II does really well is pit the guys against a very different, very scary, and most importantly very NEW threat to go up against. Gozer and Viggo are great big bands that couldn’t be less alike. Where so many other franchises fail by just copying what the first movie did, but just changing a few details, Ghostbusters II was smart enough to give audiences something didn’t see in the first film. A different kind of supernatural evil. Even in the classic, childhood defining Ghostbusters animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, the guys went up against all kinds of supernatural creatures. Werewolves, vampires, Bigfoot, a Jabberwocky, The Devil, and many, many more. It would have been nice to see these new characters face off with a new supernatural threat instead of bringing the exact same villain from the first film. Gozer, The Demon Dogs, The Gatekeeper, The Key Master, they’re all there, playing the same old song.
Despite a few minor flaws, Ghostbusters: Afterlife is the sequel that most fans have been waiting for. It’s a fun and inventive movie that hits you with just the right amount of nostalgia. It’s movie about family, the family you’re born with and the family you choose. As a wise man once said “Family don’t end in blood, but it’s doesn’t start there either.” Ghostbusters: Afterlife is a movie about family, the family you’re born with and the family you choose. Highly recommended.
Ghostbusters: Afterlife – B+
Thanks for reading! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews for the podcast, 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!
The new trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife came out earlier this week, and it really got my nostalgia going into overdrive. Personally I thought it was a fantastic trailer and I love the way they’re going with it. You can check out the trailer for yourself right below. When I think about my favorite movies of all time, the films that I really connected with were movies like Ghostbusters, Jaws, Raiders of The Lost Ark. In fact, those might be my 3 favorite movies of all time. However I do love the other Indiana Jones movies. When I was a kid, I must’ve watched Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II, at least 1000 times. I was completely obsessed with those films, especially Indiana Jones. Hell, I’m still in love with those movie.
I really became a massive film fan when I was about 12. So it was unimaginably frustrating for a burgeoning film enthusiast to hear or read about sequels to Indiana Jones and Ghostbusters sequels that never got made, throughout the 90’s. At least we eventually got a 4th Indiana Jones movie, with a 5th on the way (I am well aware that, for many people, the 4th Indiana Jones movie was by no means a good thing). Personally, despite the films many flaws, I’m actually a big fan of Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. With an Indiana Jones 5 on the horizon and the exciting new direction of the Ghostbusters franchise with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, I’m definitely feeling good about the position of two of my favorite blockbuster movie franchises. Take a look at the new trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife for yourself right here:
Here’s a great video where the film’s Director, Jason Reitman, son of original Ghostbusters Director Ivan Reitman, delivers a very interesting trailer commentary for the Ghostbusters: Afterlifer. Where he explains a bit of the backstory, the choices he made going into the movie, and what he was trying to accomplish with this new film. It’s really interesting and I highly recommend you watch this after checking out the trailer:
So on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we discuss the new trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, along with a deepdive into what makes the Ghostbusters and Indiana Jones franchises so fantastic!
Listen here: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/45889442 Or subscribe/listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Spreaker, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Podchaser, Castbox, Podcast Addict, Google Podcasts, & Apple Podcasts/ITunes…
OonThanks for listening! Follow us on Twitter @PJWrightWBM, Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017, and our Facebook Page, Worlds 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!
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!
Two small disclosures going into this, I have liked all of the new Star Wars films, this isn’t an attack on them for being bad movies, but rather a critique of what they haven’t done well with. Second, spoiler alert for Rise of Skywalker, in case you couldn’t tell.
Now, if you listen to Paul’s review of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, you’ll know how he feels about the film, and while my overall attitude towards it differs, I think all of his points are right on the money, and I’ll be referring to a bunch of those.
I thought that Rise of Skywalker struck a better tonal balance than either of the previous trilogy films, in the balancing homage (like in The Force Awakens) with new lore (like in The Last Jedi). I also thought it was fun, and if you thought of it on it’s own, and not a part of a bigger whole, that it was a good time.
Ultimately, I think it kind of cemented the problems Disney’s handling of the films in the last few years. Paul in the podcast talks about how it’s cowardly, and he uses the example of Rose, and I think that he’s right. Paul makes the statement that people hated Rose in The Last Jedi, so they put her in here minimally, and didn’t really think about what that does to Finn’s story arch, and how as much as he didn’t really care one way or the other about the character, it did matter to the story. He was right.
The problem with Star Wars now, is they try to get rid of the problems, and dive head on in to the success, without really understanding it. Instead of taking Rose away, make her story arch one that redeems her to audiences. There have been countless shows and films where I thought “ugh, I hate that character” (as in hating the portrayal, or the characterization, not good hate like we did with the Emperor in the original trilogy), and then as the show or film series progresses I think “oh that’s awesome he/she went from being one of my least favorite characters to one of my most favorite.” And if Rose had been a background character, like a Wedge Antilles or someone in the original trilogy, and we happened to hate them, you can get rid of them, but not when they’re integral to the story.
I once heard the saying “the customer doesn’t know what they want until you show them,” and I cannot think of anything more true than that in today’s film landscape. Think about Guardians of the Galaxy when you were hearing about Marvel’s next film, and finding out it starred a ‘talking raccoon, and his best friend a talking tree,’ and you probably thought “well, it’s Marvel, so I’ll check it out, but c’mon.” The audience didn’t know what they wanted, then we heard Vin Diesel say “I Am Groot” a hundred times (his best acting performance to date) and we were all down for it.
The Force Awakens is a really fun movie, and there is a lot of good work in it, but ultimately Disney wanted to say “hey you guys hate the prequels, so here is the old style effects, and the old plot line” and it worked really well, and from then on out, they were taking studio notes from one of the most divided and fickle audiences in entertainment. The Force Awakens becomes the highest grossing domestic film in history, but people complain that its too comfortable, and the pendulum swings with The Last Jedi (for the record I like both, but they’re not a cohesive whole, and I think while TLJ is an amazing cinematic work, it’s not that fun of a movie).
About a year and a half ago, after the release and flop of Solo, that Disney would likely do what film studios have most often done and learn the wrong lesson, and unfortunately, I think they’ve done that after each iteration over the last few years.
My hope, is that now that the Skywalker Saga is done, we can step away from this issue. The Mandalorian is a treasure, and I don’t think it had the expectations of the last trilogy, or even of the two Anthology films, which were inherently connected. We have a new trilogy coming out in a few years, and whether it’s something like Knights of the Old Republic, or the Mandalorian with a larger scale, I hope that they go into the writer’s room, and break the story, hit the points that will happen regardless of audience reaction, and start to build, and then if the audiences don’t react well, make smaller course adjustments, and right the ship, don’t take a U-Turn.
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I reviews the highly anticipated final installment in The Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. A movie over 40 years in the making. I think this episode should just speak for itself. Huge SPOILERS! Thanks for listening! Enjoy!
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, which 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!
Star Wars is like a religion to me. Those films are a large part of why I love movies so much. However, even with Star Wars Episode IX coming out in December, all of my attention as a fan has been focused on Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones ended up being a bit of a mixed bag in it’s final season, but man oh man, did Endgame deliver. Avengers: Endgame was one of the most thrilling movie going experiences of my life. The movie surpassed expectations to deliver a masterpiece of blockbuster filmmaking. I’ve often said The MCU is this generation’s Star Wars, which makes Endgame the modern equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back. Like, The Empire Strikes Back, Endgame has already reached the status of modern classic. Anyway, back to Star Wars! With Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame out of the way, I can focus my fandom on Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker! The final chapter in The Skywalker Saga, 40 years in the making.
The new issue Vanity Fair has given us the best look at the film so far. The June cover story is all about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with an excellent article by Lev Grossman that’s the most in depth look at the film yet and just a damn good read. You can read the full article the full article right here (I highly recommend that you do): https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/05/star-wars-cover-story?verso=true
The coolest part of the Vanity Fair issue is the amazing photos taken on the set by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. Vanity Fair and Leibovitz have been covering the Star Wars movies for decades now. I still have the Vanity Fair issue that focused on The Force Awakens because of the incredible photographs she had taken. In my opinion, Annie Leibovitz one of the best photographers in the business and these fantastic photos for The Rise of Skywalker are a testament to how stunningly beautiful her photos can be. You can see them all below.
Well, the countdown to Star Wars Episode IX has officially begun! Spider-Man: Far From Home is the last, “next BIG movie”, that I’m really looking forward to, but once I see that, I imagine my Star Wars mania will really start to heat up! As always, thanks for reading!
After decades of movies, books, TV shows, and comic books, we finally come to the beginning of the end. The first trailer for the final film in The Skywalker Saga is upon us. The film is officially called Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. Of course for an event this epic and monumental, I needed my resident Star Wars expert with me to get the job done, so I had the illustrious Mr. Ryan McDonald Esq. with me on this episode of The World’s Best Podcast.
We sat down to break down the trailer for this new Star Wars film, the final film in this new trilogy. We offer up our theories, we speculate where the story is going, we offer up some inside and behind the scenes information, and discuss the changing landscape of franchise filmmaking that began all those years ago in 1977 with the first Star Wars film. We had a great time recording this episode, so we hope you enjoy listening to it! If you’d like to watch the trailer before listening to the podcast, we have it posted at the bottom of the page. Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/17636894
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…
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.