Holy crap this was a great week for trailers! The annual Walt Disney Co. 2020 Shareholders Meeting, took place a few days ago. Over the last decade or so, Disney has made some huge business moves that paid off, big time! With the creation of Marvel Studios, partnering with Sony to get Spider-Man in The MCU, the company acquiring Fox, and the success of Disney+, the company’s star is continuing to rise. This year Disney live-streamed the event to their shareholders, so fans had a chance watch the presentation as well. Star Wars and Marvel fans in particular, should keep this yearly event on their radar. Just and foremost, this meeting is about Disney displaying their value to their shareholders, so they usually pull out all the stops. As one among several events Disney hosts every year, this is where we can expect to see major announcements about upcoming Marvel and Star Wars projects. The heads of each entertainment division at Disney (Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disney Animation, etc) give presentation about all of the upcoming projects that they’re working on, which will of course make the shareholders shit loads of money. The event was live streamed on and they did not disappoint with some amazing and exciting announcements. We are going to go over everything that we saw at The Walt Disney Co. 2020 Shareholders Meeting on the next episode of The World’s Best Podcast, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, some fantastic new trailers were shown, so I figured it was the perfect time for Trailers of The Week!
Trailers For The Upcoming MCU Series On Disney+
Trailers For The New Star Wars Series On Disney+
These trailers are just a few teasers among a lot more exciting content heading our way! So much information was dropped during this event, that we are going to offer continued coverage of all the announcements, so keep an eye out for new articles and podcasts that will cover all of the really cool stuff coming down the Disney pipeline!
Thanks for reading… and watching! 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!
One of the things I love about having a platform like World’s Best Media, is that I have the opportunity to share content from other talented creators, that people might not otherwise see. There are so many fantastic filmmakers, artists, musicians, and more out there, whose work often gets overlooked. So when I found this very cool video I knew I had to post it. This animated video basically shows us a possible alternate narrative for Star Wars. Using a unique style of animation, this video asks the question: What if Order 66 failed? Anakin has still gone to The Dark Side and a lot of Jedi have died. But what if it wasn’t quite the decimation of The Jedi Order that we see in Revenge of The Sith? In this cool video I’ve posted below, we get to see what might have been. Enjoy…
I think this is probably how things would’ve played out if Order 66 failed. I love the idea of seeing an older Anakin Skywalker, who has gone full Dark Side, but without the debilitating injuries that put him in his iconic Darth Vader suit. Then escaping prison after years of confinement, to face his grown Jedi children. Very cool. It’s almost like “elseworlds” stories frequently seen in comic books.
This project was done by Star Wars Theory on YouTube. They have a lot of awesome videos and I definitely recommend checking them out. You can subscribe to their YouTube channel through this link: https://www.youtube.com/c/StarWarsTheory
You can follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. We’re on Instagram @worldsbestmedia2017. Those likes and follows 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!
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, I reviews the EPIC Final Season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+! Other streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime release all the episodes of a new series when it premieres. Disney+ on the other hand only releases one new episode of a series each week. Personally, I prefer the “binge watching” format of Netflix. However, the weekly release of original Disney+ content, like the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, was probably a necessity for the relatively new streaming service.
When Disney+ launched last November, the vast majority of the people who subscribed to the service were there to watch the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian. If Disney+ released the entire season of The Mandalorian when it was launched, it’s likely that many people would have binge-watched the show and canceled their subscription when the finished Season 1. By making the audience to come back each week to watch new episodes of The Mandalorian, they’d also become more familiar with the service and the rest of the content available. I think when Disney+ has built up enough original content they may adopt the “binge” release format like other streaming services. It’s possible that, in a few years, the service could become a juggernaut because of all the toys Disney has at his disposal. There are six or seven new original shows being developed for Disney+ that are going to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This year alone will see the release of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier later this summer and WandaVision in December, with a LOKI series following shortly after, and that’s just the Marvel content. From the Star Wars universe, we have Season 2 of The Mandalorian premiering in October and a live action Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewan McGregor in the works.
That was my long winded way of saying that, I showed a rare level of restraint and waited until all the episodes were available until I watched the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Man, I’m glad I did because the final four episodes of this series are among some of the very best Star Wars storytelling I have ever seen. The wait between those last four episodes must’ve been excruciating. I think it’s fair to say the the finale of this series will blow fans away! (This episode contains MILD SPOILERS)
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! Stay healthy and stay safe!
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?!
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 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.
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!
Disappointed by the lackluster finale of The Skywalker Saga, in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Well, I have just the thing to wash that bad taste out of your mouth. Next month, Disney+ will be reviving the popular animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars for a seventh and final season. The show ran for five seasons on Cartoon Network and one additional season on Netflix. However, due to behind the scenes business deals at Lucasfilm, the creative team was never able to complete their planned seventh season. Recently, they dropped the latest trailer for this new installment of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and it looks exciting and fun as hell. The series developed a significant following over the years, so the show’s many fans were disappointed that they never got to see the final season. With the new batch of episodes premiering on Disney+, fans can finally get some closure and fill in some gaps in the character arcs of fan favorite characters like Anakin Skywalker’s pandawan Ashoka Tano, former Sith Lord Darth Maul, and of course Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. Now viewers will finally be able to see the end of the story as the show’s creators intended.
The final season also promises to show audiences The Siege of Mandalore, which shares a major connection to the recent hit, live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian. The Siege was briefly shown in several flashbacks, where we see a young Din Djarin (The Mandalorian’s real name) as his parents desperately try to get him to the safety in the Umiddle of a massive battle. Young Mando is ultimately forced to watch as his mother and father are killed in the brutal massacre.
If you need another reason to check out the show, this season only takes place a short time before Revenge of The Sith. With the exception of Episode III, this will be the closest we’ve ever seen Anakin to the Darkside, before he fully crosses the line and becomes Darth Vader. At the end of the last season of The Clone Wars, Anakin’s relationship with The Jedi Council had never been more strained. When Ashoka, Anakin’s apprentice, was framed for a crime she didn’t commit, The Jedi Council presumed her guilt with little to no inquiry and hunted her down. When she was ultimately exonerated, Ashoka left The Jedi Order. Anakin, who’d maintained Ashoka’s innocence from the beginning, was disgusted by the entire ordeal and his animosity and frustration with The Jedi continued to fester.
I’m really looking forward to see how the show will ride that fine line between Anakinq a Jedi leaning towards the Darkside and the evil Darth Vader he will ultimately become. It’s one of the most interesting periods in the life of Anakin Skywalker, so it should be pretty fun to watch unfold onscreen.
Also, let’s not forget that it’s always a thrill to hear Sam Witwer return as Maul. Yes, Maul. Not Darth Maul. Just… Maul. Darth is a title given only to Sith Lords. While he’s still a very powerful force user, and hell with a light saber, he is most definitely no longer a Sith Lord. Before the events of the new season, Maul had become the Kingpin of scum and villainy in the galaxy’s underworld. He even makes a pretty cool cameo at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story, as the boss of all bosses that Emilia Clark’s character had to report to at the end of that film. Even though it’s very unlikely that we’ll see a sequel to Solo: A Star Wars Story, it would’ve been really cool to see Maul in live action again, especially because his character is so different from his debut in The Phantom Menace. Maul went through a lot of change and development in television shows, novels, and comic books that are all official Star Wars canon. It would be pretty goddamn amazing to see Han Solo and Chewie mixing it up with Maul: Kingpin of The Galaxy! But that’s besides the point, bottom line it’s great to see that Maul will be a significant part of the new season. Of course, I’m also excited to see Maul and Ashoka face off this season, as we see teased in the trailer.
Anyway, without further ado, check out the trailer for yourself right here:
On a personal note, I feel like I should mention that I truly believe Season One is not worth your time. It was one of those shows that just took a while to get going and it really didn’t hit its stride until about halfway into Season Two. So at the very least avoid Season One of Star Wars: The Clone Wars as well as the terrible animated movie of the same name that kicked off the series.
Let me know what you guys think of the new trailer! Are you excited for the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars? Let me know in the comments below!
Star Wars: The Clone Wars begins streaming it’s Seventh and Final Season 2/21/20 on Disney+!
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 for our 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?