Recently, I was home from work without anything planned. I decided to watch Return of the Jedi because it had been a while since I just sat down and watched it. One of the thing that always impressed me about Star Wars films was how much detail and story inhabits each scene. One example of this is the briefing room scene for the attack on the second Death Star. This well-designed scene includes character development, exposition, world building, and consequences in three carefully crafted minutes of the film. Read more
This month I want to talk about two films that may not have had a direct influence on Star Wars, yet their lasting legacy helped paved the road for filmmakers like George Lucas, and eventually J. J. Abrams and Gareth Edwards to create movies that will inspire future filmmakers.
Those two films are Double Indemnity, whose film noir style created a whole new genre in film as far as cinematography, story, and dialogue. And Mysterious Island which served as yet another technical milestone for effects artists Ray Harryhausen and composer Miklòs Ròsza.
The day is almost here and honestly, it’s hard to believe that Star Wars (A New Hope) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. What’s even harder to fathom, is the realization that I’ve grown up right alongside it―we’ve gotten old!
It was the first film that I’m aware of that played in the theater for a full year, giving it the title “blockbuster.” Strangely enough, I still remember going to the theater to see it for the first time. My brother was just super excited, and I was experiencing the movie theater for the very first time. Yes, Star Wars was my first film experience―and it’s left its mark on me. Read more
Dan Z is joined by YouTube and Star Wars superstar Chris Pirillo and Starships, Sabers, and Scoundrels Co-host (and CWK blogger), Dennis Keithly. The hosts open the show with a number of topics, including talk on the Star Wars 40th anniversary action figures. Jason Brame stops by with a canon update, and Dan Z. gives the news, During the Coffee Chat, the hosts discuss George Lucas turning 73, and they close out the show with email. This is the podcast you’re looking for!
Click the link below for show notes
Well, I’m back from Celebration Orlando. A grand time was had by all. Or at least by most. Probably by all. It wasn’t without its hiccups, but what large gathering of 60,000 people isn’t? The short version of my experience is this: It was great to see some friends again after 2 years, and great to meet some new friends for the first time, including my Comics With Kenobi co-host, the illustrious Mr. Matt Moore. There were a few nice surprises, which I’m sure you’ve read about already: Harrison Ford and George Lucas onstage for the 40th Anniversary Panel, John Williams playing Princess Leia’s theme as part of a tribute to Carrie Fisher, and the reveal of the teaser for The Last Jedi, to name just a few. There was one moment that was simultaneously somewhat surprising and not shocking in the least. Read on to find out what it was!
This is a first in a series focused on film and other mediums and their possible connections to the Star Wars saga, from a film-making viewpoint and a fans perspective.
When I examine the Star Wars saga, it is strictly from a fans angle. I will never claim to be an expert on its film-making style, nor will I try to attempt to contemplate the inner motivations of each character. I may try, and I may even get pretty close, but that’s not where my strengths lie. I am not a film critic. I have rarely recorded film outside my video camera on my iPhone. What I am however, is a fan of Star Wars. And like many of the things in life that interest me, whether it is music, a book, or a movie, I want to know what sparked the imagination; the creative juices flowing in the mind and heart of its creator; in this case George Lucas.
Have you ever found yourself in a particular place or situation, going about your business, and suddenly pulled yourself up short, coming to the conclusion that you have experienced that exact place or situation before – knowing as sure as you’re standing there that you never have been in that place or situation? I have found myself in such situations – more often than I care to admit – and, at the very least, I find them unsettling. An eerie feeling comes over me, and while I do my best to shake off such unwelcome sensations, I can’t help but consider George Lucas was on to something when he worked Force dreams into the Jedi’s abilities. Dreams – they’re pretty powerful stuff!
Philip Glass. A name I was not familiar with until about this time last year when his music became an inspiration for the music in an episode of Star Wars Rebels called “Legends of the Lasat.” If you’re a watcher of Star Wars Rebels then you’ve probably noticed more Philip Glass inspired music this season—check out any episodes with Grand Admiral Thrawn. This was the spark that caused me to watch a documentary called Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts. Born in 1937, Philip was a product of the 60s—meaning that any artistic expression was welcome—no one was excluded. Maybe not every one was accepted as being good, but it was a time when artistic freedom was at its peak. This was the case for 30-year-old Philip who didn’t care if his music was enjoyed or not, he just want to write what he liked; What he thought was good:
Ok, it’s been a month since I saw the Rogue One. As if a new Star Wars movie wasn’t enough news, we also have the passing of Carrie Fisher to contend with. My second viewing of the film just happened to be on the day her death was announced, so the final shot of the film took on even more significance than it ordinarily would have. “Hope,” she said. The Tantive IV took off, the familiar John Williams music started, and the credits rolled. Upon my first viewing, I was smiling. Upon my second, I was still smiling, but it was a bittersweet grin, since it was achieved with the knowledge of Ms. Fisher’s demise. Where would things go from here?
Eras. They have their beginnings. They have their endings. History marks them. And while we mere humans passing through time are but specks on the timeline of history, our own lives are marked with the beginnings and endings of our own personal eras. Recently, I witnessed the end of an era in my own family. And, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, I am not sure how I feel about it.