Star Wars is like a song you love. You hear the song and it takes you back to a special time in your life. It’s a soundtrack for your memories. You hear it and images unfold on the screen of your mind, accompanied by an array of sights, sounds, and sensations. For instance, within a few notes of “America the Beautiful” by Ray Charles, I’m back celebrating the 4th of July in the neighborhood where I grew up. I smell hotdogs on the grill and gunpowder in the air. I hear the cheers of baseball games, the sizzle and pop of sparklers, firecrackers, and Coca-Cola. I see star-spangled streamers flapping from bicycles, and breeze-kissed American flags waving from porches, washed golden in the sun, and then in the warm dusk, exploding gemstones of fireworks illuminating and patterning the sky.
A Guest Blog by Rhett Wilkinson
Appearance by wordsmith Gary Whitta headlines a Salt Lake City comic con heavy on Star Wars storytelling and continuity
Star Wars was a significant swath of Salt Lake Comic Con’s FanX 2017, with multiple panels, including one that featured Gary Whitta, co-screenwriter for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
At the panel Inside Rogue One, Whitta spoke about writing the first standalone film among the Star Wars films. Other panels on the event’s Saturday included The Interconnected Star Wars Universe and Full of Sith. They saw Lucasfilm Story Group executive Matt Martin and Full of Sith podcasters Bryan Young and Holly Frey answer questions from each other and attendees that usually had to do with the *story* of Star Wars.
(And, on the off-chance that you haven’t seen Rogue One yet, spoilers follow.)
One of the odder subplots in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones is the bounty hunter, Zam Wessel, being killed by Jango Fett with a toxic dart. I call the subplot odd because in a story as grand as Star Wars, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s quest to discover the meaning behind the dart feels more like a 1940’s detective film plot than something normally explored in the Star Wars story. Read more
It’s hard to believe, but Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope turns forty this year. It seems like only yesterday that I was tromping around my backyard pretending to be Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Actually, I was doing that yesterday, but I mean as an 8-year old kid back in 1977.
A New Hope is a period piece and other than Luke and Han’s hairstyles it’s easy to forget that this film was released in the late 1970’s. While it’s never a bad time to be a Star Wars fan nothing compares to how good it is today. Every time I hear someone complain about Legends versus canon, or points out some imperfection from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I want to turn to that person and say you have no idea just how amazing the Star Wars landscape is right now.
Whether it’s the films, novels, television, costumes, or toys all of it is so much more incredible that what we had back in my day.
Council of Fools
A Guest Blog by Imani Caradonna
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “I have failed you Anakin. I have failed you.” ~Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
For years we have been made aware of the dynamic and complex nature of the Jedi and the Sith. It’s not difficult to see flaws in the purity of the Jedi and the humanity in the darkness of the Sith. For Anakin Skywalker, this hazy cross-section of morality is where he found himself. There, juxtaposed between two force-wielding sects, he encountered his frailty. In Episode III, his master, Obi-Wan, admits that he failed his vexed padawan. However, the blame was not Obi-Wan’s alone. The Jedi council in its entirety had gone astray and led Anakin down the dark path while making a weak attempt to prevent its collapse. As difficult as it seems, the council could not protect Anakin from himself. Instead, they fueled their own destruction with hypocrisy and a lack of integrity.
Coffee With Kenobi’s Dan Zehr was kind enough to appear on my Star Wars collecting podcast, The Sandcrawler this week to offer tips and advice if you’re heading to Star Wars Celebration Orlando in April. Read more
Rogue One is out as of December 16; the first spin-off in the Star Wars franchise or “Star Wars Story” as they are being titled. The film is about the rag-tag group of Rebels capturing the plans of the first Death Star (not the 2nd, so no Bothan nonsense). But what did we know about this story before? True, this is a story that itself has never been depicted in any film or TV show. In fact, in current canon, all we know is what the opening scroll of Episode 4 – A New Hope says:
It is a period of civil war.
Rebel spaceships, striking
from a hidden base, have won
their first victory against
the evil Galactic Empire.
During the battle, Rebel
spies managed to steal secret
plans to the Empire’s
ultimate weapon, the DEATH
STAR, an armored space
station with enough power
to destroy an entire planet.
Pursued by the Empire’s
sinister agents, Princess
Leia races home aboard her
starship, custodian of the
stolen plans that can save her
people and restore
freedom to the galaxy….
So here is what we knew before, according to Legends.
5 Star Wars Novels That Had More Impact Than You Think — A Guest Blog by Cassie Phillips
After Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, many fans hoped they would touch upon characters and plots from the Expanded Universe (EU). Disney, however, wanted to create an original story and script, something that would be difficult as the original EU covered a century after the events of The Return of the Jedi. Eventually, Disney placed all of these novels into a separate category—Legends—to make way for their own expanded universe. With that said, Disney isn’t completely turning away from Legends. In fact they’ve reintroduced some fan favorites like Thrawn back into the universe.
This past week I spent two days in Baton Rouge, Louisiana helping with flood relief in the Livingston Parish. My time there was memorable, not only because of the wonderful people I met and impactful work I participated in, but also because I have never been into the “Deep South” before. The people in the parish I was working in had lost everything. Their lives laid in heaps on front lawns surrounded by insulation and molding drywall. So I in no way want to disparage this community and those surrounding it, but I left Louisiana with the distinct impression that this was a region of the country frozen in time decades ago. The airport of New Orleans, a city of 380,000 people, felt more like a small town train station. The bayou was littered with shrimping boats covered in moss and vines, rust caked the railing of the vessels and in my entire time there I didn’t see a human on board any of them. Rebel flags could be found flying in any neighborhood, Make America Great Again stickers were everywhere and as far as the stickers go…I couldn’t really blame them. This place has been left behind.
Loyalty and Duty: The Bond Between a Scoundrel and a Princess — A Guest Blog by Mike DeRose
Leia Organa and Han Solo should not work as a couple. Leia, the senator princess turned rebel who fights for the greater good and Han, the scoundrel smuggler who only cares about getting paid. Despite their differences it’s easy to see why they were drawn to each other. Leia had spent her entire life in politics surrounded by proper men or, let’s face it, probably just boring men. So when a rogue like Han comes along Leia would naturally be intrigued. But Han’s original interest in Leia was pretty straightforward. The princess was worth a pretty big reward.
I can’t imagine that if you are reading this you haven’t seen the films, so I’ll avoid recapping and give you one defining quote that sums up their relationship perfectly:
“I love you.”