Tag Archives: Star Wars

Star Wars Rise Prep: A New Hope | … Always


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A NEW HOPE

 

Thoughts….

  • THIS. HOLDS. UP.
  • I mean, it really, really does. Was there ever a question that it would?
  • I watched in on Disney + to see if the changes were significant or egregious. They were neither. They were fine, though the Han/Greedo scene remains troublesome.
  • The Han/Jabba scene remains fun. I’ve never minded its inclusion.
  • This is the one that started it all and the one that JJ Abrams tried to (and, on many levels, did) remake with The Force Awakens.
  • All of the introductions are really perfect.
  • There are still lingering continuity questions with some of the dialogue, especially some of Obi Wan Kenobi’s lines. This illustrates, pretty clearly, that Lucas did not really know where this all was going on had no idea he’d get another movie in this universe.
  • That, during the filming of The Force Awakens, Mark Hamill was older than Alec Guinness was during the filming of this movie will NEVER cease blowing my mind.
  • Han Solo HAS to be on any Top Ten list of the greatest characters in American cinema, right? Go ahead, make a list that doesn’t include him. I’ll wait.
  • I’ve seen this movie more times than I’ve seen any other and I could watch it again right now.

Retro-Reaction

It’s easy now to look at A New Hope and say, of course, this was perfect. Of course it spawned a universe. Of course people who passed on it were idiots. It’s easy now.

I remember so well waiting to see it as a kid and going in the second year (you read that right, folks) of its release knowing NOTHING about it and being blown away. I was eight and I was forever changed.

I am older than eight now and the swells of music, the daring do, the character combinations and, yes, even the dialogue can still take me right back to the feelings I had then. They were feelings inspired by light triumphing over the darkness in the worst possible situations.

These are feeling I ALWAYS want to carry with me.

The Schedule 

  • Review One: The Phantom Menace
  • Review Two: Attack of the Clones
  • Review Week Three: Revenge of the Sith
  • Review Week Four: Solo
  • Review Week Five: Rogue One
  • Review Week Six: A New Hope
  • Review Week Seven: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Review Week Eight: Return of the Jedi
  • Review Week Nine: The Force Awakens
  • Review Week Ten: The Last Jedi

May the Force Be With Us!

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Star Wars Rise Prep: Rogue One – A Star Wars Story | Built on Hope


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ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

 

Thoughts….

  • This is the darkest of the Star Wars films. It makes The Empire Strikes Back look like Attack of the Clones.  (and that is the ONLY time I will use those two films in the same sentence.
  • I am very excited for the Cassian Andor solo series coming to Disney +. What a GREAT character!
  • Felicity Jones is so terrific in this movie.
  • I love K2SO.
  • Every moment featuring Darth Vader works. Overtime.
  • I had no issue with the CGI Tarkin or the CGI Leia, but I am a forgiving type.
  • I was so surprised when I first saw the movie and thrilled again to note that A New Hope takes place immediately after this movie. That’s a clever connection – one of many in the film (though Dr. Evazan and Walrus Man were bridges too far).
  • Jimmy Smits makes it back! I had actually forgotten that… perhaps we will see him on Disney + too?
  • There is something really compelling about the grittiness of this movie.
  • Churrit and Baze are great characters… are they gay characters? That would be fine by me.
  • The scenes on Jedha before the ambush of the storm troopers by Saw Gurrera’s forces don’t make much sense. At all.

Retro-Reaction

I really, really like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Every character works and every character has a great arc. The action is pretty stunning (Churrit’s first battle on Jedha, Vader on the Tantive IV). The chemistry among the characters is wonderful. K2SO is my favorite of all the new droid creations. There is very little that detracts from this fascinating prologue to A New Hope. Perhaps one downside is that Director Krennic is such a mustache twirling adversary and Ben Mendelson is a bit wasted. Other than that, I really enjoy this movie!

The Schedule 

  • Review One: The Phantom Menace
  • Review Two: Attack of the Clones
  • Review Week Three: Revenge of the Sith
  • Review Week Four: Solo
  • Review Week Five: Rogue One
  • Review Week Six: A New Hope
  • Review Week Seven: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Review Week Eight: Return of the Jedi
  • Review Week Nine: The Force Awakens
  • Review Week Ten: The Last Jedi

May the Force Be With Us!

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Star Wars Rise Prep: Solo – A Star Wars Story | I’ve Got a Good Feeling about This


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SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

 

Thoughts….

  • People are jerks. Did anyone “ask” for this movie? Who cares? It’s more than fine, it’s very good.
  • Alden Ehrenreich is a very good Han Solo. This is not a Harrison Ford impersonation, it’s Ehrenreich doing his own thing, and that thing works.
  • Donald Glover is a perfect Lando Calrissian and the film nails the relationship between the lovable scoundrels.
  • The first third of the movie feels a bit unfocused – perhaps due to the change in directors – but the last two thirds are terrific fun.
  • The movie is so very true to the character and the movie makes it very, very, abundantly clear that HAN. SHOT. FIRST. He always does.
  • I cannot be the only one who thinks it’s so very clever that Han Solo had a hand in starting the Rebellion, right?
  • I was shocked by the Darth Maul reveal and would love to see more of that storyline.
  • I wanted more Solo immediately after the movie ended.
  • Galaxy’s Edge – the Disney Star Wars lands – connect heavily to this movie. Maybe that bothered people, too. People! Lighten up!
  • The movie is a great addition to the Star Wars universe – certainly better, in my opinion, than The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. I think it’s as good as Revenge of the Sith.

Retro-Reaction

There is very, very little wrong with Solo: A Star Wars Story. It does have a slow start but, when it gets going, it makes the Kessel Run in less than… well, you know. The cast is having a bunch of fun and they should be. So should the audience. I really believe that the negative fanboy press coupled with the change in creative team and a reshoot of the movie that some describe as “almost total” kept the audience away. That’s a shame. If you avoided this one, do yourself a favor and see it. It’s a more than worthy installment. I would take a sequel in a heartbeat. Perhaps they can get Ehrenreich to reprise his role on Disney +. I’d sure watch!

The Schedule 

  • Review One: The Phantom Menace
  • Review Two: Attack of the Clones
  • Review Week Three: Revenge of the Sith
  • Review Week Four: Solo
  • Review Week Five: Rogue One
  • Review Week Six: A New Hope
  • Review Week Seven: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Review Week Eight: Return of the Jedi
  • Review Week Nine: The Force Awakens
  • Review Week Ten: The Last Jedi

May the Force Be With Us!

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Star Wars Rise Prep: Revenge of the Sith| Unlimited Power!


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REVENGE OF THE SITH

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Thoughts….

  • This is the only movie that Lucas really had an idea for in the new trilogy – he has all but admitted as much. That shows. Of the prequel trilogy, it is far and away the best.
  • Jar Jar Binks DOOMED THE GALAXY. It’s true…
  • Hayden Christensen still cannot act.
  • Natalie Portman is surprisingly bland here.
  • While there is great action, there is very little emotional connection for the audience.
  • Mace Windu deserved better!
  • Seeing the Emperor revealed is a great moment.
  • Ewan McGregor is a terrific Obi Wan Kenobi and I cannot wait for his Disney + series!
  • This is the most satisfying of the prequel movies. It has a reason for being and that helps – a lot!
  • The battle on Mustafar is worth the price of multiple admissions.
  • The Tantive IV makes a wonderful appearance.
  • I would like more of Jimmy’s Smits’ Bail Organa.

Retro-Reaction

Revenge of the Sith is, really, the one we’ve been waiting for. This is the story we really wanted to see – the fall of Anakin Skywalker, the rise of Darth Vader and the Emperor and the race into seclusion for Obi Wan Kenobi. The only thing holding the movie back is George Lucas’ over indulgence in his desire to make this a movie for children. While there is no argument that Star Wars is entertainment primarily aimed at kids, Lucas embraced that idea a little too closely throughout the prequels. While that tone worked okay in The Phantom Menace and was really on display in the daffy Attack of the Clones, it is very discordant here. This is a movie of sweeping themes and terrifying murders – anything that takes away from that is unfortunate. Lucas doesn’t quite find the middle ground here, but he comes close enough for this to be the best of the prequel bunch!

The Schedule 

  • Review One: The Phantom Menace
  • Review Two: Attack of the Clones
  • Review Week Three: Revenge of the Sith
  • Review Week Four: Solo
  • Review Week Five: Rogue One
  • Review Week Six: A New Hope
  • Review Week Seven: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Review Week Eight: Return of the Jedi
  • Review Week Nine: The Force Awakens
  • Review Week Ten: The Last Jedi

May the Force Be With Us!

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Star Wars Rise Prep: Attack of the Clones | Video Game Nightmare


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WEEK TWO: ATTACK OF THE CLONES

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Thoughts….

  • Every bad choice George Lucas could have made as a writer, he makes.
  • Every bad choice George Lucas could have made as a director, he makes.
  • This movie has all the depth of a bad video game.
  • Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman have NO chemistry.
  • I could have written (and I do really believe this is true) better puns for C-3PO.
  • Ewan McGregor and Christopher Lee are far better than the material.
  • Samuel L. Jackson is just happy to be there.
  • Does Boba Fett really pick up a helmet with his father’s severed head in it?!?
  • How video-game inspired is the Geonosis scene with Anakin, Padme, R2-D2 and C-3PO?
  • The Tusken Raider attack by Anakin is actually a very good set piece.
  • Jimmy Smits is a welcome addition.
  • Jar-Jar Binks is to blame for everything.
  • The music is truly incredible.
  • The real settings, especially the idyllic retreats on Naboo, are much more breathtaking than any digital creation.
  • This is the LOW POINT of all Star Wars movies as far as I am concerned.

Retro-Reaction

Attack of the Clones is, for my Republic Credits, the worst Star Wars movie of them all. There is so little story, so little creativity, so little logic to sustain it. I once read that George Lucas said he only had enough story for one prequel movie. That really seems to be the case here. Attack of the Clones is really a bad movie with very few redeeming points. Knowing that Revenge of the Sith is coming next is one of them.

The Schedule 

  • Week One: The Phantom Menace
  • Week Two: Attack of the Clones
  • Week Three: Revenge of the Sith
  • Week Four: Solo
  • Week Five: Rogue One
  • Week Six: A New Hope
  • Week Seven: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Week Eight: Return of the Jedi
  • Week Nine: The Force Awakens
  • Week Ten: The Last Jedi

May the Force Be With Us!

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Star Wars Rise Prep: The Phantom Menace| Yippee!


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WEEK ONE: THE PHANTOM MENACE

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Thoughts….

  • The 20th Century Fox flourish followed by the opening notes of John William’s score still impresses and excites.
  • Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are a terrific pair.
  • The CGI does not hold up well… it is surprising how primitive it looks.
  • I always forget Keira Knightley is in the movie!
  • R2-D2’s introduction is very well handled.
  • Darth Maul is a GREAT name (and a great character).
  • As good as the casting of Neeson and McGregor is, the casting of Jake Lloyd is … not.
  • Natalie Portman is really, really young in this film.
  • I tend to forget the midichlorians (mercifully).
  • This movie is really, really, really intended for children.
  • There is a certain visual grandeur to the beginning of the podrace scene as the flags take the field (then it’s completely undercut by an actual fart joke).
  • The last appearance of puppet Yoda is… nice.
  • Yoda’s “fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering” line is one of the best in the entire saga.
  • Darth Maul’s full reveal in the Naboo hangar is a Top 25 moment in the saga’s history.
  • The lightsaber battle is the best directed sequence in the film – no, it’s the best sequence in the film. The music, the action, the acting, they all work.
  • I had forgotten that the Darth Maul action figure came in torso and leg pieces joined by a powerful magnet.

Retro-Reaction

The Phantom Menace is… not great. 20 years ago, I tried to will it into being great then. That didn’t happen. I tried to see it for what it is now, and that helped. It’s a kids’ movie, made by a big kid for little kids. There is nothing wrong with that. It didn’t ruin my childhood. It doesn’t make me like Star Wars less. It doesn’t offend me.

It’s just not very good.

The Schedule 

  • Week One – 8.25 – 8.31: The Phantom Menace
  • Week Two – 9.8 – 9.14: Attack of the Clones
  • Week Three – 9.22 – 9.28: Revenge of the Sith
  • Week Four – 9.29 – 10.5: Solo
  • Week Five – 10.6 – 10.12: Rogue One
  • Week Six –  10.13 – 10.19: A New Hope
  • Week Seven – 10.20 – 10.26: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Week Eight – 11.3 – 11.9: Return of the Jedi
  • Week Nine – 11.17 – 11.23: The Force Awakens
  • Week Ten – 12.1 – 12.7: The Last Jedi

May the Force Be With Us!

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And There Came Rise of Skywalker Preparation


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In mid-December, the last installment of the 9 film Star Wars Skywalker saga will be released. The Rise of Skywalker will grace our movie screens, answer every-and-all questions we have about the Star Wars universe and satisfy all viewers.

Or not.

Here’s the thing: I know it WILL satisfy me. I know myself that well. And I cannot wait.

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In preparation, it is time (HIGH TIME) to re-watch each of the films and to blog about them going into this last chapter. The first decision to make is how to watch them. As any true Star Wars fan knows, there are three acceptable ways to watch:

  • In release order beginning with 1977’s – A New Hope through 2017’s The Last Jedi,
  • following the so-called “Machete Order
  • or in the order in which the films occurred in their timeline – The Timeline Order (1998’s The Phantom Menace through 2017’s The Last Jedi)

Writer’s Note: While they are not explicitly part of the Skywalker Saga, I am including Solo and Rogue One though they are not typically considered in the above approaches.

I will be watching the films in the Timelime Order as follows (and I have front loaded the project):

  • Week One – 8.25 – 8.31: The Phantom Menace
  • Week Two – 9.8 – 9.14: Attack of the Clones
  • Week Three – 9.22 – 9.28: Revenge of the Sith
  • Week Four – 9.29 – 10.5: Solo
  • Week Five – 10.6 – 10.12: Rogue One
  • Week Six –  10.13 – 10.19: A New Hope
  • Week Seven – 10.20 – 10.26: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Week Eight – 11.3 – 11.9: Return of the Jedi
  • Week Nine – 11.17 – 11.23: The Force Awakens
  • Week Ten – 12.1 – 12.7: The Last Jedi

May the Force Be With Us!

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