Tagged: mark Hamill

Final Verdict: Disney STAR WARS is Pretty Decent FAN Fiction!

‘Obi Wan Kenobi’ has officially wrapped up with the finale of the series released today! I watched it an enjoyed the finale/the series in general was pretty fun. It was a good time seeing the prequel era get some love, Ewan & Hayden back for some sort of “redemption” from their wooden performances of the prequels was nice to see. That all being said this series has really cemented Disney Star Wars, at least for me, as big budget fan fiction. Long gone are the days of me freakin’ out over new Star Wars stuff.

At this point I view this new stuff in the same way I do YouTuber Star Wars fan fiction videos. It took me a while to get here as for years The “Sequel” Trilogy would trigger me into a geek rage. But once I realized George Lucas had sold Disney the treatments for his true sequel trilogy and they chose to instead let JJ & Rian Johnson write their own, I knew Star Wars now is actually more like a Marvel Comics “What If?” adventure than the real vision of George.

 

Today, I just don’t take it seriously for THAT simple reason. It’s just like ‘Legends’, but with less interesting, less daring, more corporate influence over the franchise. ‘Kenobi’ was just fine, it had some great moments but it also had what I think was somewhat predictable, lazy story telling.

It’s honestly probably the best you’re gonna get out of a giant corporate entity that is pumping out Star Wars content like an 80s sitcom rather than a precious cinematic event. It’s all now sorta just regular standard streaming “content”, we know more is on the way by the boatload to keep that monthly subscription ongoing. $$$$$ to the MOUSE Y’all!!

So it was all just fine, Kenobi came back and while it wasn’t mind blowing storytelling it was for the most part a “good time”. Of all the series on Disney Plus though this should have been “the one” to melt the minds of the fans. So many missed opportunities to make a truly epic unforgettable adventure. My expectations are low these days, so I wasn’t let down but still, I always just wish they’d have George crafting at the very least the BASIC storylines…

I wanna know what had REALLY happened to Luke, Leia, Lando & Han from the creator himself. I wanted to know what Obi Wan & Vader were really up to during this time period and we’ll perhaps the mystery of it all is better left in the minds of us fans...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating My Words? KENOBI Finally Gets Good!

I really try not to post that much here about the new Disney Star Wars stuff because everybody and their long lost step brother seem to be having that well covered all over the Internet! So that being said, this one will be short and sweet. So far the Obi Wan Kenobi series in my opinion has been totally lackluster, The story has been pretty bland, the fight choreography feels off, and just the look of the show in general feels like something you might come across at times on the SyFy channel.

To me something of this scale really deserved to be set on the big screen. All of these Star Wars TV shows are just making the franchise feel a little too available and not incredibly special. Gone are the days of waiting for the next movie patiently I guess, Now are the days of each Star Wars series almost overlapping each other once the other ends. Kenobi’s first four episodes haven‘t felt like the “rematch of the century”,

However with the latest, episode 5 I’ve I’ve got to admit I’ve begun to change my opinion on the series at least so far. In my opinion though this took far too long to get here and fans deserve so much more than this for a true return of Vader and Kenobi. Spoilers AHEAD!

 I’ve already seen people complaining about the opening scene of episode 5 with the flashbacks featuring Hayden and McGregor sparring in the “prequel era”. The biggest complaint I’m hearing from some fans is they’re upset that they didn’t use the the de-aging techniques they’ve been utilizing in previous series. I might be in the minority here but I think it was a truly wise decision & a complete breath of fresh air to see Hayden playing Anakin in a flashback without some weird rubbery de-aged face. It really made the scene more believable and allowed some REAL more compelling acting with room to breathe. It also felt more fierce, his real face added exactly what this scene needed, more depth. It was for the most part perfectly executed.

Secondly the focus more on Vader AND Kenobi was finally a real step in the right direction, this felt like the show I was hoping for.. Even if James Earl Jones is NOT actually voicing Vader, (instead they used some AI generated respeecher). I really was let down to find out my “vision” of James Earl Jones voicing Darth Vader in a cozy dark studio was actually just more weird digitized shenanigans. It’s for reasons like THIS I was so thrilled to see the real Hayden in the flashbacks! Vader nonetheless was awesome here, powerful and scary. Reva too really blossomed into a much more interesting character with her true backstory and motivations revealed. I was pretty underwhelmed thus far with her in the series, but for the most part this changed almost everything. Of course some of the writing still feels sloppy, but hey look at the damn prequels right?

Also I love that the real Grand Inquisitor is back somehow, seeing him standing next to Vader was a great view: bring on the cool villains! So yeah, I am now pretty excited to see the finale and hope we get a continued focus on mainly Vader and Kenobi, but now I’m also am really intrigued to see Reva’s next move: Way to turn it around Deborah! I’ll be back for more for sure!  One last thing though,  After being shaped with a lightsaber can people please start dying from that again? I mean the whole surviving being impaled by a being impaled by a laser over and over is getting a little questionable….

Lost Gems of the 80s: The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents!

I’ve been delving deeply into old 1980s horror/fantasy television shows and lovin’ it, because one thing I’ve noticed is nobody does it quite like they did back then in the “golden era” of horror- Even when it comes to TV shows!

After watching the totally radical ‘Amazing Stories’ series and the Twilight Zone 80s revival I was sooo ready for more. Digging deep back into my memories of my childhood I clearly remember the obvious choice: ‘The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ that ran from ’85-1989.

I have some fond memories of this show and one episode in particular that stuck in my mind all of these years right up to today. Part of me was wondering if I’d maybe in fact dreamt up this particular episode of the show? Not the case. In fact upon watching the 1st few episodes it was clear, this was going to be a fun ride of full on nostalgia done to perfection! I imagine remembering an episode plot from well over 35 years ago is a good sign of a memorable show? I think so!

This series, at least for me. way back then was paired in a sort of “power hour” with Steven Spielberg’s ‘Amazing Stories’. The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents is full of twists, turns, star studded cameos and now famous directors. A mix of horror, suspense and most importantly MURDER, fuel this nearly forgotten gem. It originally aired on NBC but was canceled, later being picked up on the USA Network thankfully!

Nearly every episode has a familiar face, which really makes half of the fun here and every so often a surprise director comes comes on to the scene, like a particular episode called ‘The Jar’ which  is helmed by Tim Burton himself and drips with his signature tone and style.

There’s also some great star studded appearances featuring the likes of Mark Hamill, Mia Sara, a VERY young Joaquin Phoenix, Martin Sheen, Michael Ironside And many more.

One of my all time favorite episodes is ‘Night Creatures’ one of the only 100% supernatural fueled episodes. It plays out more like an incredible schlocky neon drenched 1980s tv pilot than a single episode. It features a punk rock goth rock star who’s secretly a bloodthirsty vampire and would be a welcome entry into any 1980s heavy metal horror anthology! 

There are so many excellent episodes here to behold, I really can’t recommend this series enough for those those eighties horror hounds in search of some memorable cheez. Of course there are some misses among the 40 plus episodes of 4 seasons.  The show covers a lot of interesting but disturbing topics too like “kids playing with guns” in one of the most unsettling episodes you’re likely to see in the series and  of course that classic episode that always stuck with me featuring a woman who’s been brutally assaulted and her husband heads off on his own to stalk the perp. The twist here is one of the most chilling of the entire series! 

Lastly Martin Sheen shines as a crazy aging actor who’s hellbent on landing a role so much so that he goes to the extremes of murder to get what he wants! His performance is so over the top and enjoyable It’s by far one of the standout performances of the series.

This elusive little series deserves a sweet blu ray release, I found a bootleg copy of the entire series on eBay which has been a truly fun ride over the past few weeks!  Luckily many of the episodes can be actually found right on YouTube. Hunt this long lost gem down and treat yourself to the golden era of mystery and horror with the new Alfred Hitchcock presents! Here’s a  great episode to start you off!

Does the NEW Luke Skywalker Truly Have What it Takes?!

I wanted to quickly give my two damn cents worth here about The Book of Boba Fett’s controversial Luke Skywalker appearance! This was much more than a cameo as you already know by now and its got people talkin’ for sure.

 I’ve gotta say, as much as I’m normally against using CGI to replace real actors, the Luke Skywalker that showed up was indeed pretty amazing!  A 1000% improvement from what we got at the end of The Mandorian: Season 2. If I didn’t know any better I probably would’ve thought he was just an ordinary actor on set. It really did feel like it was 1983 all over again. 

That being said I do think there is still room for improvement and I’m not entirely sure that an full series could be driven yet by this portrayal of Luke Skywalker yet. I think the main issue for me personally comes with his his voice, which from what I understand wasn’t just Mark Hamill speaking all the lines and impersonating his younger self. From what I understand his voice was actually generated using old Star Wars radio broadcasts and using some sort of AI synthetic generator to bust out his lines.

If that truly is the case it’d be clear why some of Luke’s dialog delivery felt a bit robotic. What I think is most important going forward is to have Mark Hamill involved in the creation of this character in as many ways possible. He’s an incredible voice actor and I think he could easily deliver the lines impersonating a younger version of himself with a little practice.

I’m also not sure how they are generating Luke Skywalker’s face but clearly they need to be using Mark fully for the facial emotions of the character going forward if they haven’t already. I’m really looking forward to a ‘behind the scenes’ of how this episode was created to see exactly how they did it and exactly what his involvement truly was.

 At this point though they’re definitely moving in the right direction and as quickly as technology seems to be changing it’s clear that they can likely recreate almost any older classic character that they choose. What does this mean for the future of actors in Hollywood and movies? I’m not quite sure. Some of it’s a little creepy to be honest, but in this particular case of bringing back one of the most iconic cinematic heroes, I guess I’m totally fine with this rendition of Skywalker! And for continuity’s sake I hope Disney goes back and replaces The Luke Skywalker from the end of Mando Season 2 with THIS new technology to smooth it out!  I’m also not opposed to the idea of Luke being recast at this point either using Sebastian Stan, though to be honest I would really have to see him in the role to see if he’s actually truly believable as the character. Alden didn’t sell Han Solo for me so I still remain a bit skeptical recasting any of the original trilogy characters!  Though I do think if they would have used Anthony Ingruber in the role of Han Solo I’ll be singing a different tune.  I can’t wait until Wednesday to see what happens next….

Luke Skywalker & Grogu set to RETURN With New Mandalorian Promo Art!!

Yowza!! So it looks like we have some more good news on the Star Wars front for everyone who was disappointed with The Sequel Trilogy!! This new official poster just dropped today as promo art for the next season of The Mandalorian. It’s clear that Luke Skywalker and Grogu Will officially be back for swashbuckling adventure together. This brings more questions though who will be playing Luke Skywalker this time? It sure does look like Mr. Hamill himself! However I’m fully prepared prepared for Sebastian Stan to step into the role so bring it on!

Animated STAR WARS: Dark Empire Web Series!

Are you hungry for some classic Star Wars after the conclusion of the Mandalorian? Well this week the second episode of the animated fan series for the classic ‘Dark Empire’ storyline from the 90s just dropped! 

From what I understand the dialogue and voice actors are lifted from an older “radio drama” and apparently the voice of Lando here is actually the one and only Billy Dee Williams! Sit back and check out some classic Star Wars, as fans continue to produce the content themselves that’s so many of us have wanted to see you for so long. Nice work Wilkins Animations!!

Why Mark Hamill MUST Appear as Luke Skywalker in The Mandalorian!!

Mark Hamill surely got the short end of the stick in Disney’s lackluster and uninspiring “sequel” trilogy. All hope was lost to ever see the iconic actor appear again as the iconic hero in Star Wars ever again….then along came The Mandalorian season 2, episode 5!! With Baby Yoda (or ‘Grogu’) now on his way to an ancient Jedi planet called Tython (to call out to the force in hopes of a Jedi sensing him), we’re now closer than ever to a possible Luke Skywalker return to Star wars! And not Jake Skywalker this time!

Videos all over YouTube are speculating about this, but instead of Mark Hamill reprising the role they’re for some odd reason overeager about shoehorning Sebastian Stan into the iconic role as quickly as possible. Um…Ok, I know there’s been talk on the internet about him someday portraying a younger Luke Skywalker but maybe these peeps fail to remember ‘Captain Marvel’ where they perfectly de-aged Samuel L Jackson?! Hello everyone? Why are you all so damn quick so quick to “Alden Ehrenreichthe hell out of Luke Skywalker?!! Jon Favreau and his crew would have to be crazy to NOT utilize the same technology for Mark Hamill and Luke Skywalker! Hell, they even did it already in the ‘Rise of Skywalker’. We’ve got a living breathing Mark Hamill ( Yeah the REAL Luke) here and all these Youtube nerds can think about is giving up his role to Bucky?!

I think if we’re going to do this shit for real in the Mandalorian with Luke Skywalker and most likely have it a one-off episode or two why the hell not get Hamill back in the role for one last hurrah? IMO this would be the perfect “redemption” for Mark AND for Luke Skywalker. Sure it won’t fix everything that the “sequel” trilogy destroyed about his character but at least it’ll give us what we’d all been waiting for, for over 30 plus years. Speaking of Samuel L. Jackson, just to make it that much more unforgettable, how about Luke AND Mace Windu both show up to meet Baby Yoda? How incredible would that be? And while they’re at it, give us an epic battle for the season 2 finale where we really, truly get to see Luke Skywalker in all of his Jedi glory one last time? This whole Sebastian Stan thing can be done a couple years from now, so guys get off your high horses here, fans want the real deal, meaning we want Hamill in the role at least here and now. He deserves it more than anyone after the abomination of the “sequel” trilogy. Putting Sebastian Stan in the role is not going to take away that yucky feeling we all had from ‘The Last Jedi’.

If Star Wars fans truly want to heal, this would be the best remedy to correct the wrongs of the “sequels”. At the end of the day, as much as they all want Sebastian Stan to be Luke, I can guarantee that Jon Favreau, as the true fan that he is, knows for sure: if he’s going to put Luke in his damn series he’s going to give Mark a call! Bet On It! However I wonder if all of this talk of Luke Skywalker and some famous Jedi appearing might all just be hype? And what’s with all this shit talk about some random Jedi dude from a Star Wars video game appearing to take Baby Yoda? Who’s going to think that’s bad ass? We’ll see, but I’m going to say it here, don’t think baby Yoda is going to leave with any Jedi, we heard it was his choice to choose this path. My bet is that he chooses to stay with the Mandalorian! What do you think? Give me one reason why they shouldn’t just de-age Hamill in the same way they did Sam Jackson!

Disney+: Bring Back Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker For One Last REAL Adventure!!

Bring. Back. Hamill. There I said it, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and now that I’ve accepted the fact that in reality Disney “Star Wars” is really nothing more than big budget fan fiction, my feelings on the sequel trilogy aren’t quite as enraging as they once were. That being said, I was pondering the one major thing most disgruntled fans were livid about in the “Sequel” trilogy and it’s hands down the portrayal & underwhelming demise of Luke Skywalker. I don’t need to explain anything at this point, it’s been talked to death over the last couple years. However I think you could really soften the blow of the “Sequels” if one bold move with a Disney Plus mini series, bring back Luke Skywalker from the Force in the flesh for one final curtain call.  

 

Ok, of course I know it sounds like a total long shot but why let the opportunity pass by without giving Luke a one last real adventure, with Hamill in the damn role?! Lets say, something like a 4 episode series like the proposed Obi Wan show? What if Luke had unfinished business, learned that he could return from The Force or was pushed back out of it against his will? We could finally have one last real adventure with him, R2, 3P0, Chewy, Lando and maybe a sequel character or new ones altogether? Is the Disney Star Wars universe really better without Luke in the flesh? Perhaps the series could go deeper into the lore of The Force entirely, focusing on more of the mystery behind it in a dimension jumping adventure?

Luke being forced to wield a lightsaber once again, perhaps living his older years on the physical plain? Something akin to the ‘Picard’ show but with more action and a more compelling reason for Luke to return? Maybe he gives up his right of entry back once he returns? What if he returned to reunite or help Mara Jade, perhaps she’s out there still and he was unaware of it? The possibilities for an ‘Old Man Luke’ mini series could be very compelling and it’d be a great way to right the wrongs of the sequel trilogy. It’d be a wonderful way to continue the current timeline having Hamill return for what fans were truly hoping for. I think it’d be the most epic tale and it’s a shame that our limited time with the character in the “sequels” was such a disappointment, so there’s still time to correct the Luke Skywalker problem, but it’d be a bold move. As it’s really just all fan fiction without Lucas, I’d see no harm in letting Luke come back for one last REAL adventure-what fan would not have a total blast with this? C’mon Disney make it happen, the Star Wars universe is a more exciting place with Master Luke getting to walk among the living one last time!! Let’s get this idea out there!!! Below is the one scene from The Last Jedi that imo makes the case for more Mark Hamill as Old Man Luke… 

VHS Verdict: 1998’s ‘WATCHERS REBORN’ is Better Than ‘THE LAST JEDI’!

Hello everyone out there, I hope you’re all doing your best during these unprecedented times, staying inside and staying SAFE! Being essentially trapped indoors leaves plenty of time to watch movies, well the other evening I’d found myself thinking about the colossal failure of the Disney Star Wars “Sequel Trilogy”. If only they’d have given us fans what they’d always dreamed of, a cohesive compelling story that gave us a truly unforgettable send off to the characters we’d been waiting 30 plus years to see again AND brand new fleshed out characters who we could continue to follow on cosmic adventures for years to come. In many hardcore fan’s opinions we got neither and I was thinking of how awesome it would have been to watch this “sequel trilogy” over and over if it’d had been done with care and not flat out wasted classic characters like Leia & Luke Skywalker.

Mark Hamill in particular really got the short end of the stick and many fans of arguably the most iconic pop culture character, Luke Skywalker left ‘Episode 8’ feeling incredibly underwhelmed. Well many fans might appreciate an alternative to ‘The Last Jedi’ in the form of a largely forgotten sequel to ‘The Watchers’ (the totally 80’s super fun Corey Haim Creature Feature), ‘Watchers Reborn’. The star of the whole show? You guessed it Mark Hamill! Technically the 4th film in The Watchers franchise, it’s the only sequel that’s really worth tracking down and technically more of a sequel to the first movie anyway. Keep in mind this one’s a fully b-level monster flick, it’s cheezy, it’s low budget but it’s got a lot more heart than The Last Jedi! You’ll get a great does of 90’s Hamill front and center in a pretty damn fun little horror thriller. Another plus is that it’s directed by John Carl Buechler (RIP), practical fx wizard behind New World Pictures, who’s done some stellar work right up until his death in 2019 (Hatchet, Nightmare on Elm St 4, Troll, Friday the 13th part 7) .

In this sci-fi charged tale, the US government has lost control of the “Outsider”, an experimental human animal hybrid forced into becoming a savage killing machine. The monster busts loose onto the city streets and eventually into a local zoo where it begins it spree of murder. The Government desperately seeking to cover up the break out, sends agents from the NSA to begin eliminating anyone involved with the project. This inspires Dr. Grace Hudson, who’d worked closely with the creature to run for her life. Enter down on his luck Jack Murphy (Mark Hamill), a skilled detective whose partner was just murdered by the Outsider. While investigating the murder Jack runs into a stray golden retriever with human intelligence named Einstein, who escaped from the same governmental agency responsible for the Outsider. He reluctantly takes the dog in and eventually decides to help Dr. Hudson escape from the clutches of deadly assassins. Now on the run, the trio must rely on the few resources they have left evading the clutches of of the vicious monster that is also trailing them.
 
 
‘Watchers Reborn’ is worth the price of admission alone for Mark Hamill, who’s a ton of fun in this one. There’s plenty of heartfelt and comedic moments here to enjoy, especially his relationship with the uber intelligent dog being a pretty sweet highlight. There’s certainly more charming moments for Mark here than in The Last Jedi and to be honest, despite it’s small budget is a lot more fun to watch. It also makes me sad Lucas didn’t utilize Hamill in the 90’s for a Star Wars adventure, he would have truly shined once again as the character. Instead much of Hamill’s post Star Wars career had been reduced to largely forgotten B-movies, this being one of the best in my opinion.
 
 
There’s also some pretty fun gory monster moments here, action and a pretty well done werewolf-y creature thanks to Buechler’s fx skills. A bit of a road movie, buddy comedy and action thriller rolled into one, ‘Watchers Reborn’ is a truly delightful piece of 90’s schlock. I’d buy this one on Blu-ray along with 1988 original for sure if it ever gets the proper treatment. If you’ve felt a little depressed about Luke Skywalker recently I suggest checking this one out, grab a few drinks and some pizza because this one is a cheezy slice of cinema from much simpler times…..
 

 
 

 

Pissed Off Fans & Plot Leaks Galore: Is There Any Hope for Star Wars: Episode IX?!

It’s been quite a wild one for Disney “Star Wars” over the past couple years, that’s for sure. It seems ‘The Last Jedi’ ignited some serious controversy that many people blame for ‘Solo’ underperforming massively at the box office. Me personally? I’d be a liar to say I wasn’t legitimately let down by The Last Jedi (and the Force Awakens to a certain degree) but then over the last couple years it became very clear: Disney Star Wars is really just high budget fan fiction, at least the sequel trilogy. It’s really no more legit than the ‘Expanded Universe’ stuff at this point, especially upon learning that Disney had the option to use George Lucas’ original treatment for Episodes 7-9. We all know now that they opted for a lesser original JJ Abrams & Rian Johnson helmed retelling of the original trilogy with ‘The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Last Jedi’ which both follow the similar beats to the original trilogy. So in my eyes, not at least lightly following George’s treatment for the sequel trilogy is somewhat blasphemous and inauthentic. That all being said, I just don’t care as much knowing we’re not getting the creators true vision for the finale of the Skywalker saga. 

My excitement level for the next Star Wars film couldn’t be any lower honestly. I’ll still go and see it, but I’m not rushing out opening weekend anymore for them. Over the years I’ve come to realize that Star Wars (for me) isn’t the cinematic “event” it once was after stepping out of The Last Jedi. It’s become a level of Hollywood sequel on par with ‘The Predator’ franchise, recent ‘Alien’ movies or ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’. Just bloated big budget remakes disguised as modern day “sequels” to beloved nostalgic franchises. Movies that end up quickly forgotten after leaving the theater. The more I’ve read and seen of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’, the less excited I’ve become. One of the biggest problems facing the movie are the “Jedi Paxis” leaks, which dropped a couple months ago and now appear to be perfectly matching what’s been shown in trailers and tv spots for the movie. I checked the leaks out and I’ll admit, I’m not incredibly excited to see it all unfold on the big screen. In fact the inclusion of Palpatine furthers the fact that these sequels are not much more than disguised remakes of the OT. I’m fully open to the leaks being false and perhaps Disney has pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes with some new form of marketing, but it’s really starting to all look pretty legit. But the ‘Game of Thrones’ leaks ended up true, ‘The Predator’ leaks, ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ leaks ALL ended up true as well. This presents a pretty damn big problem for Star Wars and JJ’s “mystery boxes” he seems to love so much.

Now I’m sure Episode IX will make a billion dollars, but I’m not sure what effect this movie will have on the cinematic future of the franchise if it further divides fans. If it fails to provide a proper story for the beloved original trilogy characters then it’s truly failed the fans. So far my gut feeling is ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ might end up being more divisive than The Last Jedi. On a positive note, ‘The Mandalorian’ seems to have fans all on the same page somehow? I’ve loved the first 5 episodes and I really wish that THIS would have been the movie we got instead of the sequel trilogy. At this point I think they should’ve just left the old characters alone and let the story rest with Return of the Jedi. None of what we’ve been served up in my eyes has been compelling or innovative storytelling and if you’re unable to pass the torch in a way that’s truly rewarding for fans, then it probably should have all just been left as was.

So my guess here is that this last installment from JJ is going to problematic for Star Wars cinematically. I think the Disney+ platform is where Star Wars will rule for the next few years or so. I mean how exciting will it be to see ‘Baby Yoda’ grow up?! So it’s sad that so far the return of Star Wars wasn’t at all what I’d hoped for and I really don’t think it’d have been all that difficult to send the old characters on an incredible adventure along with a set of new ones who could carry the torch into their very own trilogy. As far as fan fiction goes I’ll stick with the expanded universe stuff for the moment, but also happy that these new movies don’t bother me anymore. I’m fine with accepting them for what they are, big budget fan fiction from JJ & Rian…..