Category Archives: Star Wars

Link’n’Blogs – 6.8.18: Civility


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as fun or thought provoking as I have.

Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose in The Last Jedi, has left social media after ugly and vicious comments directed at her. What a terrible thing. She is an actress who created a lovely character who does not deserve such treatment.

No one does.

The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson, spoke out about this and good for him. More people in power should.

We all should.

You can read Vanity Fair’s coverage by clicking the photo.

Rose

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Link'n'Blog, Star Wars, The Last Jedi

Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Movie Review


Related Content from And There Came A Day


solo-official-poster

Solo: A Star Wars Story has a lot of masters to which it is required to answer: it must appeal to wide audience, must appease a rabid and, sometimes, irrational, fanbase, must overcome a public skeptical of its troubled production history (not every movie survives when directors who have shot a reported 70% of the film are replaced late in the process) and must win over those opposed to its trying to bring to a life a new version of one of the most beloved characters in cinematic history. To achieve all these goals would like making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.

Does Solo shorten the Run to 12?

Perhaps not entirely, but it comes very, very close.

I am not of the “nobody asked for a Han Solo movie” crowd and, while I love Harrison Ford and his steely-excellent work as Han Solo (who does not?), I have enjoyed various actors assaying interpretations of other, likewise iconic characters. Why would I be up in arms about Alden Ehrenreich giving Solo a shot? I, for one, liked the idea of seeing more adventures of Han and Chewbacca. I liked the idea of finding out just how Han won the Millennium Falcon in a card game or uncovering the origins of his clearly complex relationship with Lando Calrissian.

Therefore, I liked Solo. A lot.

It seems to me that the powers behind the Star Wars movies are taking a page from their corporate partners – Marvel Studios – book. That page suggests that one can create various genres of movie within established cinematic universes. Marvel has given us straight up superhero origin stories, political espionage films, science fiction comedies and more. Why can Star Wars movies not do the same thing? Rogue One: A Star Wars Story gave us Star Wars’ interpretation of a gritty war movie. Now we get Solo, an Ocean’s 11-like heist movie set in the universe of the Force, the Empire and the budding rebellion.

Give me more.

Ehrenreich does an excellent job in the title role. Stepping into such large shoes must have been daunting for him, but he handles himself very well. He does not offer a Harrison Ford impersonation, rather he creates a Han who is not quite as accomplished, but on his way, not quite as hardened but getting more coarse and not quite as wise-ass but we can see that coming. He gives us a Portrait of the Scoundrel as a Young Man and it works, especially in his interactions with Chewbacca. This pairing works so very well in the movie that I wished there was more of it, but the movie has more to accomplish than just a traveling, buddy picture will allow. Maybe next time.

Along for the thrill-ride (and the movie has thrilling moments) are Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Olivia Clarke and Paul Bettany, all terrific in their roles. Each of their interactions with Han mold him and move him closer to the character we will meet in A New Hope and each of them knows exactly what they are doing in the film. They, along with Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3-37, will become established parts of the Star Wars mythos in no time and they deserve to be.

But Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian establishes himself right away in the role and provides a dare-I-say smooth bridge to Billy Dee Williams’ version of the character. Solo is at its best when Han and Lando are matching wits and watching Solo attempt to win the Falcon from Calrissian is one of the real joys of Solo. Any sequel, and I do hope there is one, that does not feature Glover would be making a mistake. Frankly, he could likely carry a Lando: A Star Wars franchise of his own.

Ron Howard does an amazing job pulling together this production. Unlike other movies that have lost directors (Justice League, anyone?), it is very difficult to see where the original directors left off and Howard stepped in. He brings an American Graffiti feel to the movie and that is a perfect choice. He scores winning performances from his cast, stays true to the Star Wars universe and delivers a terrific movie.

Whether you “wanted” Solo or not, if you are a Star Wars fan, there is nothing here to complain about, much to enjoy and a surprise cameo that left this particular audience goer mouth agape…

Solo: A Star Wars Story works.

For my part, I would love to see more installments.

SOLO receives FOUR KESSEL RUNS out of a possible FIVE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Han Solo, Movie Review, Movies, Star Wars

Link’n’Blogs – 5.25.18: Solo – What To Know


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as fun or thought provoking as I have.

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens today. Are you ready? Reading the story from USA TODAY will help you get there! Click on Chewie below…

 

chewbacca

Leave a comment

Filed under Chewbacca, Han Solo, Link'n'Blog, Star Wars

Link’n’Blogs – 5.4.18: The Top 10 Han Solo Moments… May the 4th Be with You!


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

May the 4th be with you!

What better way to celebrate than with the Top 10 Han Solo Moments from the Star Wars franchises (pre-dating, of course, Solo: A Star Wars Story). Time Magazine put this list together and it is very good! Click the scoundrel below…

Solo

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Han Solo, Link'n'Blog, Star Wars

Link’n’Blogs – 3.23.18: Mark Hamill Has Problems


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is available on digital now and will be on Blu Ray and DVD in the coming weeks. Much has been made of Mark Hamill’s initial reactions to the film’s script and his displeasure, which he later had to back track, was part of the reason some fanboys and fangirls we upset with The Last Jedi (which I LOVED).

Turns out Hamill is hard to please. Click on the Tweet below to read how the iconic actor felt when he first read the script to Revenge (later Return) of the Jedi.

Hamill Tweet

Leave a comment

Filed under Link'n'Blog, Mark Hamill, Star Wars, Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi: A (Spoiler Free) Movie Review


Related Content from And There Came A Day


the-last-jedi-theatrical-blog

There were those who felt that The Force Awakens was too much a retread and homage of A New Hope. There were those who complained that the veneration of the Star Wars canon present in the movie hindered it. There were those who did not find anything particularly revelatory in the themes of that film.

They will be hard pressed to level those same sorts of criticisms at The Last Jedi.

Like all Star Wars movies before it, The Last Jedi opens with the sounds of John Williams and a terrific space battle. Unlike many of the Star Wars movies before it, The Last Jedi defies expectation at almost every turn.

Writer/director Rian Johnson has put his stamp on the Star Wars universe in a way that no director (outside of George Lucas) has been willing (or allowed) to do. And let it be said that it is clear that Johnson owns and loves animals… the Porgs and the Vultpex (the so-called “crystal critters” are delightful creations and, while they may take up the same space as the Ewoks before them, they are not as silly as those tiny teddy bears. No. This is not George Lucas’ Star Wars, nor, for that matter, is it JJ Abrams’. This is a Star Wars we have not seen much of before (save, perhaps, in Rogue One): a Star Wars where simplicity and black and white morality are eschewed in favor of complexity and thematic exploration. Some of the choices Johnson made surprised me. Some of them unsettled me. Some I will have to think about before I know how I feel.

The Last Jedi challenged me in ways I did not expect, in ways I did not know a property with which I have been familiar my entire life could challenge me.

Johnson does remarkable work with the four, core new characters and Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren (calling him just “Kylo” does not quite cut it for me). Each undergoes an arc of development in the film and each of those arcs is fulfilling. He also introduces a new Rebel in Rose and both the character and Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who plays her, are great additions to the Star Wars universe. Both Laura Dern and Bencio Del Toro deserve mentions, too. To mention more about their characters might spoil the movie, so I will refrain. Both are terrific if not quite as central as Rose.

Daisy Ridley is, again, terrific as Rey. John Boyega shines as Finn and it is his character that provides the most energy to the movie. Oscar Issac’s Poe has much more to do in The Last Jedi than he did in The Force Awakens and that is a very good thing. And Adam Driver is magnetic, surprising and, ultimately, incredibly powerful as Kylo Ren. And he is shredded (did Johnson include a specific scene in The Last Jedi because of a certain Saturday Night Live sketch?).

Yes, Johnson does wonderful work with the new characters, but it is how he handles Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa that really impressed me. These are characters with 40 year histories and characters about whom many in the audience have deep opinions. Johnson makes them fresh and new and takes Luke and Leia in directions I did not anticipate.

We know this is Leia’s last appearance as, following the death of Carrie Fisher last winter, the Star Wars filmmakers have said they will not digitally recreate her for the next installment of the saga. The Last Jedi is a fitting send off to a beloved princess and Fisher seemed to relish her role as wise, but not stolid, leader.

Relish, too, is what Mark Hamill brings to his return as Luke Skywalker. It is possible he is the best thing in the movie. Rumor has it that he was unhappy with almost every choice Johnson made with Luke. If that is the case, it does not show. He embraces his return to Star Wars and imbues Luke with pathos, grandeur and a dash of  humor.

The movie itself is surprisingly funny and Johnson balances the stakes (stakes that feel quite high) with more than enough humor and almost enough Porgs (and “Crystal Critters”) to please adults and children alike. There are laugh-out-loud moments sprinkled throughout The Last Jedi and it is a very good thing, too, because the movie overall is dark in tone and in content. While no Empire Strikes Back homage (it actually angles a bit closer to Return of the Jedi, in fact), it does share a certain bleakness with that second Star Wars sequel – and it keeps the audience in similar suspense throughout.

The Last Jedi is a more than worthy addition to the Star Wars canon. It treats its characters and its context with the appropriate respect while moving them forward into a new and unknown future. It pays just enough – and never too much – attention to fan service including moments that simply thrilled me. It inspires the audience to ask “what comes next?” We can only hope Episode IX will be as daring…

THE LAST JEDI receives FIVE Wide-Eyed Porgs out of a possible FIVE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Movie Review, Movies, Star Wars, Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi, Star Wars Rogue One, Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Link’n’Blogs – 12.15.17: Ready for THE LAST JEDI?


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Today is the day! THE LAST JEDI officially opens and, if you are like me, you’re going to see it. Soon! No clicking away for this weeks edition of Link’n’Blog. The infographic below will get you ready for the movie! MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

Star Wars Infographic

Leave a comment

Filed under Link'n'Blog, Star Wars