What’s Wrong with Star Wars?

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Official Trailer #2

Screenshot 2017-10-10 13.54.53I have to admit that this trailer brought a smile to my face; which I honestly didn’t expect because as of late Star Wars movies have become known for the drama behind the scenes than on the screen since becoming a part of Disney.

And dissatisfaction with a director or the way a story seems to be progressing is by no means uncommon, though with Lucasfilm it seem to occur on a regular basis, such as with Rogue One, and the upcoming Han Solo prequel.

Which is why Rian Johnson’s (Brick, Looper) upcoming The Last Jedi is so refreshing.  It appears that he got the job, and shot the movie.  (Seemingly) No fuss, no muss and thankfully no drama.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Teaser Trailer

Screenshot 2017-04-14 12.35.54.pngRian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released a few hours ago, and looks… like a Star Wars movie.

Which is stating the obvious, though it also reveals a problem.  The last Star Wars movie, Rogue One, was what you get when you take Star Wars and remove the wonder, heart and engaging characters that made that made the series so well-loved by so many (even George Lucas’ much maligned–and deservedly so–prequel trilogy).

And sure, Rogue One made a gazillion dollars but it could easily be a case of diminishing returns, like in the case of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise.

Though to be fair it appears that The Last Jedi looks like it’s at least attempting to bring some of the aforementioned wonder and mystery central to prior entries, and that’s a good thing.

Will it work?  I have no idea, but it’s worth trying.

 

Star Wars: Rogue One Official Trailer 2

As I have written in the past, I’m not particularly fond of Gareth Edwards as a director.  I think that he’s talented but the movies he’s directed so far never seem to fit well with his stylistic sensibilities.

Monsters could have been titled ‘Traveling Through Mexico Meeting An Occasional Beastie‘ while Legendary’s Godzilla remake could have been called ‘Godzilla?  Where!?‘ due to, pardon the pun, the legendary monster’s late entry in his own movie.

That being said, what we can see from his direction of Star Wars: Rogue One is interesting because it shows a grittier side of the Star Wars movies, which look almost sanitized by comparison.

It looks like that we’re going to see more of the aftermath of what happens when the massive vehicles common to the Star Wars universe lay waste to a place; the human cost of all the technology run amok.

It should be an interesting juxtaposition and perhaps better fitting with Edwards’ style.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Official Olympics Trailer

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Does the image to the left remind anyone else of the scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind when the alien mothership hovers over Devil’s Tower?

That’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw this image from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The other thing was that, if I’m lucky, it might also be the first movie directed by Gareth Edwards that I think I might enjoy.

Monsters was underwhelming, and Edwards with Godzilla pulled of the seeming impossible: namely making a Godzilla movie that was dull.

Here’s to Rogue One making up for lost ground, directorially speaking at any rate.

My Two Cents – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Let me cut to the chase.  I am not particularly enamored of Gareth Edwards as a director.

The problems start with his filmography. First you have Monsters, a movie where the aforementioned monsters felt like an afterthought which shouldn’t be the case with a movie named Monsters. His followup, Legendary’s Godzilla suffered a similar fate, with  Godzilla not showing up till the latter third of the movie.

Is Edwards a good fit for a Star Wars movie? Based on what I have seen so far, I don’t think so. There are rumors that a large section of the movie had to be reshot due to the overly pessimistic tone the director struck.

That being said, reshoots aren’t unusual for a movie of this nature, so the truth probably lies somewhere between the two extremes.

What I can say is that what I have so far heard about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story makes me more interested in seeing it since the three movies that made up the original trilogy.

And for me, that means a lot.

Besides, I really, really, REALLY like the poster.

Love Disney, But Iger Seems A Bit Douchy

Screenshot 2016-06-15 16.25.12I am a huge fan of Disney, not because of their characters–which for the most part I find cloying and treacly–than the business acumen of Bob Iger, who had the sense to see the value in LucasFilm, Marvel Studios, and Pixar, all of which he purchased; each of which are virtually licenses to purchase money.

Captain America: Civil War is still in the Top 10–that’s called ‘legs,’ baby–despite being released May 6–has earned  earned almost $1.5 billion at the box office, while Zootopia–via Disney Animation–has earned just over a billion.

And you have Finding Dory coming up next from Pixar, and estimates have it opening somewhere in the ballpark of $125 million.

That’s a lot of money.

That being said, what most people think of when they consider ‘Walt Disney’ is probably the theme parks, which is why I found his response to Bernie Sanders, who drew attention to the pay earned by people that work there.

In response Iger asked how many jobs has Sanders created, which is interesting, though sort of silly because that’s not quite how Government works.

Though more importantly, he didn’t respond to Sanders’ point because Sanders was talking about how much people earned who work at Disney’s theme parks, while Iger responded by attacking him for being a Democratic Socialist, on top of asking how many jobs he had created.

As I said, that’s not what Sanders asked.  He was referring to how much people earned at Disney theme parks, NOT to how many people they’re employing because Walmart employs a lot of people too, though the last I heard many of them rely on government programs to make the difference from week to week to pay the bills–because their take-home pay is relatively little–though how much they earn is just as important–if not more so–than how many people they employ.

Disney is making money hand over fist, and it’s about time that they send some love–by which I mean money; love is awesome, but it doesn’t pay the bills unless you’re sleeping with your landlord.  And your cable and telephone provider (though they’re probably the same)–their workers way because THOSE WORKERS ARE DISNEY, and should be treated as such.