Posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
George Lucas is something of an enigma –he’s one of our most fascinating and important living filmmakers while also being a lightning rod for criticism from the people who grew up appreciating his work. It may take a few more decades for pop culture to come to grips with the man who found his feet in the American New Wave, created Star Wars as a passion project, gave birth to the modern blockbuster, and then confounded fandom with his prequel trilogy years later. Like him or not, Lucas has spent over 40 years making the films he wanted to make, for better and worse.
Lucas has all but retired after selling Lucasfilm to Disney for a couple billion dollars, but when the creator of Star Wars decides to pop by to check out the set of your new Star Wars spin-off movie, you should extend him every courtesy. At the very least, you’ll get some fun stories to share.
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Remember when George Lucas and Steven Spielberg predicted Donald Trump would win the election and the United States would fall into a post-apocalyptic state of hell? Okay, maybe that wasn’t exactly what happened.
A few years back, the two legendary filmmakers predicted that some huge megabudget movies would come crashing to the ground causing an implosion of the Hollywood movie industry that would probably result in movie theaters moving to the “Broadway model” with moviegoers being charged more of a huge tentpole film than a smaller dramatic film. I’m not sure we’ve hit the implosion point that they theorized about (although this Summer had its fair share of box office bombs),
I don’t think we’ve hit the implosion point that they theorized about (although this Summer had its fair share of box office bombs), but big movie theater chains like AMC are beginning to consider this variable ticket price model. Find out the details, after the jump.
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In March, Disney announced that Steven Spielberg would be returning to direct Harrison Ford in a new Indiana Jones movie. While most of the internet was skeptical and cynical about the announcement, I was hopeful that Indiana Jones 5 could be a return to form for the beloved franchise. One of the reasons I cited was that George Lucas is not involved in this new film. Director Steven Spielberg later commented that Lucas would be involved as an executive producer on the project, stating “I would never make an Indiana Jones film without George Lucas. That’d be insane.” This comment has worried a lot of people, as Lucas was widely blamed for the most horrible aspects of the last installment, Indiana Jones and the Kindom of the Crystal Skull.
But don’t worry, my initial report seems to be confirmed by new comments from Indiana Jones 5 screenwriter David Koepp. Find out what he says about George Lucas Indiana Jones 5 involvement, after the jump.
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The third season premiere of Star Wars Rebels will air over the weekend. As you probably know, fans went crazy when it was revealed that Grand Admiral Thrawn had been resurrected from Legends and has rejoined the Star Wars universe canon as the season’s big villain. The morning after the episode was screened at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016 I was lucky to get a chance to sit down with Star Wars Rebels creator Dave Filoni and talk about the upcoming season.
We talk about a wide variety of topics, including where we are now in the Star Wars timeline, how Ezra has made so much progress since we last saw him, when we will finally get some X-Wings in the rebellion, his thoughts on The Force Awakens, if it’s possible to actually kill off a good guy or turn them to the dark side on a kid show, if Darth Vader or more Inquisitors will appear in Season 3 of Rebels, the idea of Force neutral characters, how Saw Gerrera ended up in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Wedge Antilles new canon backstory, if Rebels will end before A New Hope begins, the process of adapting Grand Admiral Thrawn back into canon, and much more. Some of these answers have been broken out into stories on the site already, but there is also a wealth of material never published before as well.
And don’t worry, the interview is season three spoiler free. Read our complete Dave Filoni Star Wars Rebels Season 3 interview, after the jump.
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Last night the Salt Lake Comic-Con kicked off over in Utah, and one of the first guests of honor was Star Wars saga star Mark Hamill. The actor took the stage for a panel that he wanted to be “more like an intimate conversation.” As Hamill said to kick off the panel, “I want to talk to you like you are sitting in my living room. Exactly as if you were sitting in my living room, but I won’t be serving snacks and no, you can’t use the bathroom.”
Sadly, Hamill did not divulge even the smallest bit of information about Star Wars: Episode VIII, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t talk about the iconic film franchise that gave him the career he has today. In fact, Hamill took the time to recall how George Lucas called him and Carrie Fisher to let them know that he was selling Lucasfilm to Disney, and that a new Star Wars trilogy was likely going into development with or without them. Hamill has told this story before, but this time he included an interesting detail. What if Mark Hamill didn’t return for Star Wars Episode VII? Read More »
George Lucas has been known to take inspiration for his movies from classic films, TV shows, comics and more. The original Star Wars in 1977 took cues from sci-fi serials like Flash Gordon and masterpieces such as Metropolis. Other influences include the films of Akira Kurosawa and much more, and this is a practice that George Lucas brought with him when he made the Star Wars prequels.
Many cinephiles know that the podracing sequence from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was inspired by the famous chariot race in Ben-Hur. Just to be clear, we’re talking about the classic 1959 film not the remake that just bombed at the box office this past weekend. There’s even one sequence that is mimicked almost shot-for-shot in The Phantom Menace. Now you can see how these sequences compare thanks to a video comparison showing all the similarities.
See The Phantom Menace vs Ben-Hur comparison video after the jump. Read More »
One of the most anticipated books in pop culture right now has to be J.W. Rinzler‘s The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Star Wars fans are looking forward to getting a real deep dive into the making of the new Star Wars movie, since so much of the content released so far (including the Blu-ray special features) has been shallow and unrewarding. And Rinzler’s Making Of books for the original Star Wars trilogy are the closest thing to the bible for most film geeks.
The book was originally scheduled to hit store shelves in March 2016, a few months after the release of the film. But the release date vanished from the publisher’s website. In May, Abrams Books told me, “Officially, the statement from Lucasfilm and [JJ] Abrams is that The Making of the Force Awakens has not been canceled. More details to come!” Sounded hopeful, and then a few months back an October 25th 2016 release date appeared on Amazon’s website. But the author of the book isn’t sure we’ll see the book later this year, or if we’ll ever see the book at all.
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On February 17, 1936, Lee Falk’s comic strip hero The Phantom was introduced to the world. Over the following years—as the character reached millions of fans through an unparalleled-for-that-era level of worldwide syndication—The Phantom became an international sensation. The comic strip (clearly) excelled in many countries around the world, but perhaps none more so than Australia. So it seems fitting that, six decades later, the man who would finally bring this hero to the big screen would be an Australian himself: Simon Wincer.
To learn about how The Phantom was made, I spoke at length with Simon Wincer. But it took a little while before we even got to talking about the masked crusader. Because, frankly, there was just too much to talk about. Like how Wincer swooped into to replace the original director of Free Willy (and ended up helping to save that film). Or how he helmed an Emmy-dominant, prestige miniseries (years before such things were du jour). We spoke about all those things and much more (like the cinematic value of manure). Below is a copy of our conversation…
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I’m not sure about you, but I’ve really been enjoying Star Wars Rebels. Between the Season 2 finale and the Season 3 premiere (which I saw early at Star Wars Celebration Europe 2016), it seems like things are getting a lot more intense. Season 2’s climactic finale “Twilight of the Apprentice” ended with Clone Wars favorite Ashoka Tano coming face to face with her former master Darth Vader and becoming trapped and possibly killed in the Sith Temple, while Ezra is left with a Sith Holocron and is feeling the pull to the dark side.
That’s some pretty dark ground for a family television series. So when I talked to Star Wars Rebels creator/showrunner Dave Filoni at Celebration, I was curious just how dark Star Wars Rebels could get. Could Filoni kill off a beloved fan-favorite character like Ashoka? Could the main character of this kid’s animated series actually be turned to the dark side? Find out what Filoni says, after the jump.
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One of the better characters created in the Star Wars prequels was Mace Windu, the Jedi master played by Samuel L. Jackson. If you forgive him for that awful “This party’s over” line from Attack of the Clones, he’s actually a pretty bad ass Jedi. But unfortunately, Mace Windu died at the hands of the Dark Side.
In a battle with Darth Sidious after Anakin Skywalker had turned to the dark side, not only did Skywalker cut off Windu’s arm, but Sidious struck him with Force lightning and then Force pushed him out the window. So we all know that Mace Windu died in Revenge of the Sith. But what Samuel L. Jackson presupposes is, maybe he didn’t? And it sounds like George Lucas was just fine with that. However, at this point, it probably doesn’t matter. Get the details on the possibilities of Mace Windu alive after the jump. Read More »