Where Star Wars Failed

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.

Written by Mike Cole

New Trailer & Posters For The Mandalorian!

Hey Everyone,

Paul here…

THE MANDALORIAN The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and the Trandoshans


I can’t wait for The Mandalorian! It had so much positive buzz, the first trailer was fantastic, and the people working on this project are some of my favorite creators in Hollywood. As if my anticipated wasn’t already high enough, today Disney and Lucasfilm released a beautiful set of character posters and second trailer to get us hyped up for the shows November 12 release! It’s short, but God damn if it ain’t sweet! As cool as the visuals and production value are, I really love the strange, but fucking wonderful cast assembled to star in this series. You got Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones) as the titular Mandalorian and there are solid mainstays of film and television like Giancarlo Esposito and Carl Weathers. Finally you have these fantastic, weird, out of left field, pieces of casting that sound nuts, but are fucking awesome. Guys like Taika Watitti as the vicious droid bounty hunter, IG-88 and the always delightful Werner Herzog popping up as some kind of imperial officer or local official (I love to see pop up in these random roles). But I think my personal favorite piece of casting is seeing Bill Burr of all people, blasters in both hands and a mechanical shoulder rig, popping out a third gun out from behind his back! This truly is the best of all possible universes! Watch the trailer right here and check out the cool characters posters below:


FIRST LOOK: New Photos STAR WARS EPISODE IX THE RISE OF SKYWALKER!

Hey Everyone, 

Paul here…

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.

The Knights of Ren (FINALLY!!!)

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!

-Paul 

*Editors Note: All photos from Vanity Fair

PODCAST: Solo: A Star Wars Story Review (Some Spoilers)

Hey Everybody,

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On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I finally review the much debated new Star Wars film , Solo: A Star Wars Story! Unfortunately, I also forgot to introduce myself at the start of the show! So… I’m Paul Wright! Look, this isn’t easy, ok?!

Ive also included some cool promo images from the movie for your viewing pleasure.

1D0DBB00-FB3E-4287-90B8-E74FA26F9382F8F39488-1443-46D5-8C36-4D635749A3179D9D04F3-DB84-4759-BB6D-CBD42966057DI do get into SPOILER territory later in the episode, but I give my spoiler free thoughts on the movie ear Lin the episode.  Here you can get my take on the film and inside info on the making of Solo: A Star Wars Story, as well background on characters and mythology you can’t find anywhere else! I do go into SPOILERS, so beware! The World’s Best Podcast is available on iTunes, Stitcher, The Boston Podcast Network pod617.com ,and here on Spreaker. Enjoy!

Spreaker:
https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14902919

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-worlds-best-podcast/id1246038441?mt=2&i=1000412382091

May The Force Be With You…

-Paul

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Mini-Podcast: Star Wars Rebels Finale! Star Wars & X-Men movie News!

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Hey Everyone,

It’s Paul,

I’m flying solo for this mini-ish episode, among other things I get into the series finale of one of my favorite shows, Star Wars Rebels. I also cover some oStar Wars Expanded Universe stuff and some other cool news, like the new costumes the X-Men will wear in the new X-Men Dark Phoenix movie and more! Enjoy! Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/14270395

Thanks for listening!

-Paul

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Here’s the Amazon Link to the X-Men comic I mention in the episode.

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Here are the links to Star Wars Rebels on Blu Ray:

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PODCAST: The Films of Steven Spielberg (Part 1)

Hey everybody,

It’s Paul and here’s the latest episode of “The World’s Best Podcast with Paul & Tim”!  This is definitely one of my favorite episodes that we’ve done in a while.  In Part 1 of this excellent 2-Part episode, Tim and I go through the career of legendary director Steven Spielberg! But at the top of the episode we also discuss my family’s lifelong friendship with actor John Stamos (I’m exaggerating, but there is good story there). We also Discuss the new DC animated movie Batman: Gotham by Gaslight in full spoilers. So if you want to skip over the spoilers,  we start at 15min 30sec and end spoilers for Gotham by Gaslight 38 min in.  So please enjoy in Part 1, our look at the early career of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. Listen here or subscribe on iTunes:

https://www.spreaker.com/episode/13911244

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