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…
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With Season 2 of the hit Disney+ show, The Mandalorian, premiering on October 30, I knew it was only a matter of time before we got our first look at the new season. At long last, the first trailer for The Mandalorian Season 2 ha dropped online. Let’s be honest here, we would all be excited for this show no matter what, The Mandalorian was one of the best new series to come out last year. Disney + and Lucasfilm didn’t even really need to put out a trailer and fans would still watch the series in droves. That doesn’t mean I’m thankful as hell that we did get to see this cool new trailer. With Star Wars: The Ride of Skywalker being such a massive disappointment, at least to me, The Mandalorian was the saving grace of The Star Wars Universe in 2019. Earlier this year on Disney+, we got some of the best new Star Wars content in years with the fantastic final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. So hopefully, The Mandalorian Season 2 will be just as killer as Season 1, and make 2020 a great year to be a Star Wars fan. Take a look at the trailer right here:
What do you think of the trailer? Let me know in the comments below!
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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!
A few weeks ago, when the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Personally, I’m excited for the film, but what I want to talk about is some speculation into the film, but first let me give you a little background of my own star wars preferences, to help illustrate the point that I’m eventually hoping to make.
I guess the most important thing you need to know, is that I think Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith is the worst part of any Star Wars film (not counting the Holiday Special).I have been told most people think Jake Lloyd was worse, but at least he has the excuse of being a little kid, and many little kid actors aren’t good. Others have argued that Christensen’s not that bad, and I don’t even know what films they’re watching.
I will say this, I am not sure that I blame Hayden Christensen for the performances in his two Star Wars films. We’ve all seen that most of the performances in the prequel trilogy (and a decent amount of A New Hope) is cold, and the dialogue is not well written. Lucas couldn’t get a good performance out of nearly any of the better actors in the prequels (I know people will argue Ewan McGregor, but that was more a matter of an extremely good actor in a role that is intentionally cold and aloof, it’s the opposite of the Keanu Reeves in the Matrix effect, where he’s good despite his talent because of the role.
Alright, so now that I’ve explained that I think his performance is the worst, let me explain one other thing. He’s back in the new film. Now, I don’t know what capacity he’s going to be in the film, but the day after the trailer dropped, he had up on his Instagram page a picture of the new title card. Upon googling, it turns out he’s participating in the new film although all the specifics seem to be speculation. I assume he’s going to be appearing as a force ghost, that’s the most logical option, but whether it’s for a moment or scenes and dialogue, is anyone’s guess.
I think, his appearance in this film, could be the thing that redeems him, and the character of Anakin (I love Vader, but I don’t love Anakin) for me. You see, while I know that George Lucas has been involved in this film as a consultant (again to what extent is unknown) he isn’t writing the dialogue, and he isn’t directing the actors, and so now we have the opportunity to see what a director who is significantly better with both dialogue and actors can do. I think J.J. Abrams might be a little over hyped, but c’mon he’s better at those two things than George Lucas any day of the week.
Now, there is a chance Christensen’s appearance will be small enough that it doesn’t really affect his legacy in the role whatsoever, but I hope this isn’t the case. My hope is that we see one of two things, either one of which I think could make the film cool, and enhance Anakin as a character. We could see him as a force ghost trying to influence either Rey or Kylo, and this is the safer more likely bet, but it could definitely have some really cool scenes, further the story line, and help the dynamics between force using characters. This would be good.
Something that is much less likely, but would be awesome, and would kind of be crazy, and risky (after the Last Jedi, I think Disney proved they don’t do risk well, or maybe that they don’t commit to risk well). Paul kind of suggested this, and I think it’s an amazing idea. What if Anakin rises from the dead?
Like I said, this idea is a little out there, but I don’t think it’s totally out of the realm of possibility. So here’s a couple thing, one is that we know Anakin is the most powerful force user, essentially he’s the Jesus of Star Wars. Anakin is the Force’s immaculate conception. Then we see in Empire Strikes Back, Vader in his black egg thing. Well, I know it’s no longer canon, but the egg thing in the books was some kind of Force chamber, in the chamber, he’s trying to heal and rebuild his body with the force.
What if in dying and becoming a Force ghost, Anakin becomes “more powerful that you can possibly imagine,” and therefore finally powerful enough to use the force to rebuild his body.He is the chosen one, to bring balance to the force, and the Last Jedi, for all of it’s faults had one thing clear, there is something essentially broken with the black and whiteness of the Jedi/Sith mentalities. Both Luke and Kylo seem to have realized this, (even if Rey decides by the end she can be a hero or a villain, and not something else).
What if Anakin comes back, to show the way the force should be used, creating an order that isn’t as ’emotionless’ as Jedi, nor as ruled by emotion as Sith. Anakin, who wanted to be a Jedi, but also wanted to love, and was shunned by the Jedi for the latter, and manipulated by Palpatine for it, is the perfect person to show you can be a husband, a father, a son, and a powerful force user. Perhaps that is the balance?
We’re in the home stretch here people! Only FOUR. MORE. DAYS!!! UNTIL AVENGERS: ENDGAME! It’s the end of a legendary film era. The Infinity Saga. As the film approaches, some beautiful new posters for Endgame have shown up. When put together, they form one very cool larger poster. Check them out:
Pretty nice, right? These posters are only being shown in some European theaters, we get the photoshopped posters here in America. The other posters for Endgame actually aren’t that bad, but movies like Endgame are special and the posters the studio puts out should reflect that. When done well, (like the ones above) movie posters can be art. Who could forget the beautiful hand painted posters for Indiana Jones or the Star Wars films by Drew Struzan?
Amazing posters can even make terrible movies more interesting. Years ago, I remember seeing the teaser poster for Tim Burton’s 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes. The movie is fucking awful, but seeing the poster that teased the incredible make up effects and the designs that hinted at a whole new world and culture we’d be seeing in the film, captured my imagination. Sadly, the film didn’t live up to the promise and intrigue of that first poster I saw…
The movie is undeniably terrible, but that is an excellent movie poster. Don’t get me wrong The MCU has definitely had some great posters (Captain America: The First Avenger comes to mind…).
Now that Avengers: Endgame is finally here, it would be great if epic movies started getting epic posters again.