Category: Star Wars

‘The Last Jedi’ Gets a Second Chance: First Look at The Ultimate Fan Edit Trailer!!

I’ve been following the Last Jedi drama since the movie dropped back at the end of last year, it’s been a wild ride that’s for sure. As for The Last Jedi, no, I wasn’t a fan of it. At all. And it wasn’t because I dislike strong female leads either, I saw The Force Awakens 4 times in theaters. The Last Jedi to me was just unfulfilling on so many different levels as an old Star Wars fan who is over 40 years old, but it wasn’t just because they didn’t utilize the the classic characters in Episode 8 for one last adventure together. That was indeed a total bummer for sure. However, most of all for me it was because it didn’t feel like a cohesive sequel, it actually felt like one director (Rian Johnson) fighting actively against everything that came before it. Then serve up truly some subpar storytelling, with plot points that consistently go nowhere, dodgy “comedy” and wrap it all up into one dare I say rather boring mish mash of a feature film and you’re sure to have a ton of totally pissed off fans out there. Well, as we all know now, it indeed did piss of a legion of die hard Star Wars fans and one of them decided to take matters into his own hands. Enter a true Star Wars fan and professional editor Ivan Ortega!

Now I know there’s a lot of people out there that try stuff like this, but Ivan Ortega has real experience editing movies and tv shows under his belt. It’s clear with his Youtube channel’s content that he himself was indeed severely disappointed with the movie and has decided to use his skills to entirely re-edit it, actually changing many of it’s major plot points, trimming out the fat and even attempting to add in entirely new scenes altogether. At first I had my doubts about the execution of exactly what he wanted to accomplish and wondered how cheesy it might end up looking, but after watching a ton of his videos about the progress he’s made on the project, I’m really counting down the days to seeing his full cut of the movie. You wanted a real Luke Skywalker/Kylo Ren lightsaber duel? You didn’t like the Cantobite casino planet sub plot? Perhaps you were disappointed in the way Admiral Ackbar was killed off screen like it was no big deal? Totally bummed they killed of Luke? Hey maybe you thought Holdo was acting a like a prick when she could’ve revealed that she had a real plan to Poe? Well then I think you’re really gonna wanna check it out. Today the trailer has dropped for the new cut!I gotta say I’m fully impressed, this new trailer is a new hope indeed- Check it out!!!

 

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A Solo Yoda Movie: Star Wars Meets The Dark Crystal!

So for a while there was a lot of talk about the anthology “A Star Wars Story” movies that were potentially in the works, that was until ‘SOLO’ bombed at the box office. An Obi Wan movie, a Boba Fett and even talk of a Lando solo adventure. However the one that interested me the most was the idea of a Yoda movie, where we follow the adventures of a younger Yoda. This for a while seemed like an actual possibility but besides Solo’s failure in theaters, Frank Oz had stated a Yoda movie would simply be too difficult to articulate the puppet for a feature length movie and would likely need to be fully CGI. I think it could be done, utilizing both old school puppetry blended with CGI. The more I’ve thought about it all the better the idea seems to me, that Yoda should indeed get his own movie though.

So in response to Frank Oz, I think doing incredible puppetry in 2018 with the Disney budget doesn’t seem all that impossible, especially with green screens, CGI being able to erase wires, strings & actors who’re controlling it’s actions. I think utilizing CGI as well to bring Yoda to life in full body shots / lightsaber duels is indeed a must but using puppetry for close ups is also a must. It would be the perfect mixture of both to make everyone’s green Jedi really come to life in an epic full length adventure. Doing it the way they did back in 70’s though? Yeah, I’m certain that’d be quite a headache, though in the 80’s they pulled it off beautifully in the ambitious Dark Crystal.

Which leads me to the next point, imagine a Yoda movie that was more of a modern mix of The Dark Crystal and Star Wars. A spin-off Star Wars Story that maximized the use of real Puppets, exotic locations/sets and a stronger blend of old school fx blended with todays modern tech. It’d definitely be something different for a Star Wars movie especially in this day and age of total overuse of CG in blockbusters. I imagine someone like Guillermo del Toro at the helm, or at least someone who truly loves practical fx work, epic fantasy and incredible monsters. Just the hype of the movie featuring heavy puppetry alone I think would bring something truly unique to the table for today’s young and old fans of the franchise. They could even add some animatronic modifications to the Yoda puppet, giving him more complex facial expressions & get help from The Jim Henson Company to bring it all to life. I bet you’d have a hit on your hands at the box office. Continue reading

Casting the ‘Star Wars: Heir to the Empire’ Live Action Movie!

After the last two installments of the “Skywalker Saga” sequel trilogy ‘The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi’ from Disney I’ve decided to look elsewhere for a good fix of the iconic series til ‘Episode IX’ drops. There’s definitely not a better spot to start than with Timothy Zahn’s iconic “Thrawn” Trilogy!! There’s a lot of Star Wars fans out there, like myself, who’ve never really seriously delved into the EU (expanded universe) stuff, I’d been recommended this trilogy of books, ‘Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising & The Last Command’ for a long time as they’re considered by many fans the real Episodes 7, 8 & 9. I can firmly say I’d wished they’d have drawn from this storyline for the current trilogy as it’s not a direct “retelling” that mirrors the original trilogy. It has incredible villains at it’s core as well, that bury characters like Snoke, Kylo Ren & Phasma. The current trilogy is actually more of a reboot, borrowing major plot points from previous movies, even Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” while supposedly attempting to subvert audience expectations still follows very similar beats with the original trilogy.

Heir to the Empire is set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the Rebellion, which is now known as the New Republic, is still fighting the final remnants of the Imperial resistance and trying to set up a strong new government. But in outer reaches of the galaxy, the most cunning of all the hand picked Grand Admirals is quickly gaining power and preparing to launch a series of deadly attacks on the New Republic. After convincing a crazed Dark Jedi to join his side, Grand Admiral ‘Thrawn’ is scheming his ultimate victory. I’ve been listening to the audio books, narrated by Marc Thomson and damn does that guy nail the voices of almost all character to perfection, as I listened I could picture it all unfolding on screen with the original actors, so if you’re a bit late to the party (it came out in 1991!) & wanna check this out most definitely check out this version of the story, it’s a ton of fun.

So obviously I began to think about how much I’d like to see this basic story on the big screen & while it is true, that because of the newest trilogy they’d have to change a few of the plot points I think they could still manage to tell a decent version of the original story. Fore instance Leia is newly pregnant with twins at the time in the book, that’d have to change, it’d have to be baby Kylo and it could take place a bit later than 5 years after Return of the Jedi. Still though, this story could indeed be brought to the big screen as many of the major characters required for this adventure have actually already been recast in ‘Solo’ and ‘Rogue One’. I have my doubts however this movie would happen at this point in time, as ‘Solo’ was a bit of a flop and perhaps Disney wouldn’t want to take a chance recasting the original trilogy characters again. If they ever do bring this to life though, I’ve got the actors right here cast that’d likely please hardcore fans- let’s take a look at some choices for major characters in the story that I think would be great for the movie version of the epic trilogy….

Han Solo: Alden Ehrenreich

Obviously we’ve got to to cast Alden again as Han right? To keep with continuity of the new ‘Solo’ film it makes perfect sense he’d be up for the role again. I of course wish they’d have given Anthony Ingruber a shot as he’s a spitting image and mastered the general vibe of Harrison Ford. But in this case we’ve already got our new Han so we might as well roll with it right? That’s the good thing here, some of the casting is already complete. Phew!

 

Lando Calrissian: Donald Glover

Another no brainer, as Glover did an excellent job as portraying Lando in ‘Solo’. He had it down and obviously did his homework on mastering a similar swagger of icon Billie Dee Williams. There’s a lot of Lando here in this Star Wars adventure and it further cements him and Han’s friendship after the events of ROTJ. It’d be amazing to see Glover back again and cement his legacy as a younger Lando once again as this story has a good deal of trouble for him and Han to get into! 

 

Princess Leia: Billie Lourd

To me Billie Lourd is the only real option for Leia. She’s the perfect age to play the role, she’s totally beautiful like Carrie and she’s Carrie’s daughter!! She’s also looks a lot like her and has already expressed interest in playing a young version of the character. How truly sweet would it be to have her play her mother’s iconic character? Check this out as she states how she wishes she could play a young Leia:

I know she’s got a small role in the latest trilogy but this would be a whole new timeline. I’d love to see Billie as Leia learning to use a lightsaber as well as tapping into the Force like she did in the book. How could you turn her down for the role? You’d have to have no damn soul! 

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Indiana Jones 5: The Search for The Fountain of Youth?!

So supposedly we’re going to be getting a 5th installment in the next few years of the beloved Indiana Jones film franchise. It’s said to be Harrison Ford’s final portrayal of the character, as he’s going to be 77 years old next year. Many have been ranting about how unrealistic it is that good ol’ Indy would be running around exotic locations beating up Nazis at that old of an age. Sure it’s an unlikely scenario and it’s rumored well that he’s expected to pass the torch to a younger actor or even gender swap his character altogether making Indy a female adventurer much like ‘Laura Croft’. I’m a HUGE fan of the movies and at the end of the day whether Indy becomes a woman or not I just want the story to be a ton of fun and feel like whatever happens, happens naturally. This leads me to what I think would be an incredible idea for Harrison’s final movie IF they were indeed wanting the character of Indiana Jones to live on as the one we’ve seen throughout the years.

There’s a cool story that could be told that’d make perfect sense for one last hurrah in the world of an old Indiana Jones. What if an almost 80 year old Indiana Jones was suddenly given some sort of definitive proof that the fountain of youth does indeed exist and that he just might be able to find it? Now that’d be the news that I think could inspire him and his wife Marion Ravenwood to get up off the couch, grab the whip and head out into boonies for an adventure that to the both of them could feel as urgent & important as they come. For the 5th installment it’s important to have an excellent reason that’d inspire adventurers of this age to rally one last time and attempt to go the distance. Now imagine he enlists some of his old pals to join him and his wife, get Short Round back for this one give Sallah a call as he’d likely be down for a drink from the fountain of youth as well. Then get ready to recast the whole crew of actors as the odds look good they’ll indeed find what they’re looking for.

This could be an incredibly compelling & heartfelt tale to tell for the whole gang, they could legitimately amp up the nostalgia as well, as the older characters all long for their youth once more, reminisce about the old adventures and like most of us all, to some degree don’t want to face death. This last adventure could be one of Indy & crews most desperate and they could also this time around give us a spectacle that feels & looks more in line with the first three movies. Real locations, practical effects, real explosions the whole shebang. It’d also have to take place in the 1960’s as we’re now 10 years past Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which I do like-but also see it’s major flaws) which would also be a whole new time period to play with. Lastly, imagine say in the last 20 minutes or so, our heroes indeed do find the fountain after a crazy adventure thus far and are actually able to drink from it. This is where we pass the torch and the real supernatural aspect of the movie really kicks.

I know to many Star Wars fans Alden Ehrenreich wasn’t the person they’d initially hoped to see cast as a young Han Solo. The buzz for actor Anthony Ingruber was huge amongst fans, especially after he’d been perfectly cast as a young Harrsion Ford in The Age of Adaline. In these scenes Ingruber captures the likeness of Ford to pure perfection and also looks uncannily like him at the same time. Check it:

Now imagine Indiana Jones finally drinks from the fountain, we cut to some other characters in danger of being captured by Nazi’s or whoever the villains are this time around, and next we see Indy emerge from the shadows only this time Ingruber in the role stepping forward into the light. Now of course near the end of the movie perhaps all of his companions are offered a drink and we can then recast whoever does indeed partake of the mystical liquid. It’d be fun to throw around casting ideas as well for the rest of the gang and I think this would be a seamless and intriguing way to pass the torch to a younger generation. That would also leave adventures in the future to take place in the 60s,70s and 80s as well. It’d also finally utilize the actor who was once thought to be the perfect choice to portray one of Ford’s most iconic roles. If they do indeed stick with a continuation of the classic character this would be a great way to do so otherwise I guess they could go the whole Mutt Williams route once again and say Indiana has yet another child, this time a daughter he doesn’t know about that could continue his mantle. What do you think? P.S. Lucas & Spielberg feel free to rip me off! I wanna see this shit done right!!

The Young Harrison Ford: Should THIS Guy Have Been Cast as HAN SOLO?!

So tomorrow ‘SOLO: A Star Wars Story’ officially will be released here in the USA. Audiences will finally lay down the verdict upon Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of one of the most popular characters in pop culture history, good’ ol’ Han Solo. It’s been a long journey with this new movie, from the firing of the original directors, to Ron Howard taking over, to Lando’s new sexuality being debated. Fans of Disney Star Wars are more divided than ever, especially since the backlash against Rian Johnson’s ‘The Last Jedi’, we’ll finally see if ‘Solo’ suffers at all from the supposed “boycott” of the movie by angry fans.

In my opinion, judging from the trailers, I think the ‘Solo’ movie looks like a pretty good time. The only problem I’ve got with it so far is the movie’s portrayl of it’s main character, which I guess is kind of a big problem for a movie about Han Solo. Alden so far, just doesn’t look, sound or feel like the character he’s trying emulate. I can’t cast judgement fully because I haven’t seen the full movie but at this point I kinda wish they’d have cast someone else in the role. Which leads me to my main focus of this post. There’s a guy whose already portrayed a young Harrison Ford on the big screen in the movie ‘Age of Adaline’ from 2015. When I saw this clip below for the first time my mind was completely blown. This guy is so damn convincing portraying a young Harrison Ford, it’s almost a crime he wasn’t considered for the role of Han Solo in the new movie. He even looks like him, sounds exactly like him and has the mannerisms totally down. It’s so spot on it’s a bit perplexing…check this out: 

‘Anthony Ingruber’ is a Canadian actor and he’s had a handful of roles in smaller movies, tv shows and even done some voice acting for more recent Batman video games (Batman: The Enemy Within). He’s clearly got an uncanny knack to channel Harrison Ford that’s for sure. I’m really curious if he indeed tried to audition for the role in Solo? Here he’s again doing a scene from Star Wars as Han Solo: Continue reading

‘The Last Jedi’ Gets a Professional Makeover?!

I’ve recently discovered a cool project going on right now that’s producing a brand new cut of the The Last Jedi, a film that’s aggressively divided the Star Wars fan base into two camps. People either love it or hate it seems. I’m honestly not a fan of The Last Jedi, I really tried my best to like it, I really wanted to as I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Force Awakens’ despite it being a bit on the derivative side of the galaxy. Well without wasting any more time ripping on Rian Johnson’s movie, there’s a movie editor out there who’s decided to tackle The Last Jedi giving it a full on makeover.

Yeah I know there’s a lot of people out there that try stuff like this, but Ivan Ortega has some real experience editing movies and tv shows under his belt. It appears with his new Youtube channel that he himself was pretty disappointed with the movie and decided to use his skills to entirely re-edit the movie changing many of it’s major plot points, trimming out the fat and even attempting to add in entirely new scenes altogether.

At first I had my doubts about the execution of these things and wondered about how cheesy it might end up, but after watching a few of his videos about the progress he’s already made on the project, I’m really now quite intrigued with seeing his version of the movie. You wanted a real Luke Skywalker/Kylo Ren lightsaber duel? You didn’t like the Cantobite casino planet sub plot? Perhaps you were disappointed in the way Admiral Ackbar was killed off screen like it was no big deal? Totally bummed they killed of Luke? Hey maybe you thought Holdo was acting a little off when she could’ve revealed that she had a real plan to Poe? Well then I think you’re gonna  wanna check this out. 

This new cut just might piece things together in a much more cohesive way and even give many fans a better vision of just what could have been for the last of the Skywalker saga. If you’ve had a hard time digesting ‘The Last Jedi’ you should really check this out, it looks like a ton of fun and so far I think this new edit just might end up pleasing a lot of disgruntled Star Wars fans. The movie will utilize deleted scenes as well that might’ve given the original a bit more heart & emotion plus give the fans of the old characters a bit more satisfaction, rather than “killing the past” this version is looking to add some balance to the old vs new character narrative. Check it out!!

The full scoop:

 

 

STAR WARS: Episode IX – How to Please ALL the Fans One Last Time!

I’ve been re-watching the original Star Wars trilogy lately (along with the prequels which are still pretty damn hard to sit through) and been thinking a lot about the latest trilogy’s aggressive backlash since ‘The Last Jedi’. It’s clearly evident there’s something that the originals had that these new movies are missing the boat on. Those first three films had a serious feeling of camaraderie along with strong totally relatable bonds between it’s diverse cast of characters, something that the latest movies seem to be struggling quite a bit with. I like the new cast but they really haven’t been given the screen time they deserve to fully develop into the tight knit unit that the original crew became so iconic as.

Let’s face it, the gang in the original had a certain chemistry among them that for some odd reason has been incredibly hard for ‘Disney’ Star Wars to replicate. In the late 70’s & 80s films were paced quite a bit differently as well and characters were given more actual story & screen time to be fleshed out, making their friendships all the more believable. We definitely got some tender moments in The Force Awakens between Finn, Rey, Poe, Leia & Han but it felt like ‘The Last Jedi’ just wasn’t able capture much real emotion amongst it’s large cast. Finn & Rose felt pretty forced, Rey and Luke lacked any chemistry, while Holdo and Leia really weren’t given the time together for their relationship to mean much of anything to the audience. Most of the main three new characters barely spent much time onscreen together at all. Think for a second about the way Luke, Han, Leia, Chewy, C3PO & R2 all felt together on an adventure onscreen, their friendships were a wonder to behold. They were all like family, I often compare them to the main characters in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. You really feel something genuine for them all that really warms the heart.

Well now we’ve got one LAST movie left of the “Skywalker saga”, Episode 9 has got a lot riding on it’s back since the huge division amongst rabid Star Wars fans. It’s got to unite all fans again and there’s really an easy way to do exactly that, however it seems for some reason Disney just can’t wrap their heads around exactly what will please both new & old fans alike. To me it’s obvious, first off avoid making this last installment a copy of ‘Return of the Jedi’. Devise a bit more of an original story, because as much as Rian Johnson thinks his movie was divisive because it was “so different than any of the previous movies” in actuality it really did borrow a ton of it’s “unique” plot points from Empire & Return of the Jedi. Secondly it’s clear, Star Wars fans STILL love the old characters-I keep hearing everyone in the movie industry saying-it’s not the old characters story anymore, it’s about the new. My question is, why can’t the story truly be about both the old and the new?  Continue reading