Star Wars: The Force Awakens Everything is a Remix Video Essay

In 2010, Kirby Ferguson created a video essay called Everything is a Remix, about how it’s not just Quentin Tarantino, but every single artist (authors, musicians or filmmakers) who borrows something old to make something new. The video essay spawned a series of essays, which was later combined into an almost 40 minute long documentary (which you can watch here).

Ferguson has returned once again with a new Everything is a Remix video essay, this time focusing not just on Star Wars: The Force Awakens but also the overall storytelling career of JJ Abrams. The video isn’t just a visualization of all the complaints we’ve heard about Force Awakens being a rehash of A New Hope (we’ve already seen that before), but a serious look into the screenwriter, director and producer’s filmography, as well as an examination of how Abrams copies, transforms and combines his stories to create his art. But it also asks: is the remix method growing stale and have we hit the limits of remixing?

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening crawl

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of the most popular movies of all time, and we’ve posted about all the hidden Easter eggs, seen many video essays about the plot comparisons to A New Hope (which even Abrams has admitted was by design) and seen a bevy of posts and videos pointing out the film’s flaws. But one error I haven’t seen mentioned many places in the mainstream press is the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening crawl features a different font from the previous six live-action films. And there’s almost nothing nerdier than typography and font geekery, but if this kind of thing interests you, hit the jump and find out how it’s wrong.

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Jabba Flow

When the Star Wars: The Force Awakens soundtrack was released, many fans were angry that it didn’t include the song from Maz’s castle. The soundtrack only collected John Williams‘ score and not that awesome new cantina song which was created by Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda in collaboration with filmmaker JJ Abrams.

And now that its Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You), they have finally decided to release the song, titled “Jabba Flow”, on iTunes. JJ Abrams and Lin-Manuel Miranda made the announcement today, and even performed the single live. Hit the jump to find out how you can download the new single “Jabba Flow,” watch Abrams and Miranda perform the song live and also learn a bit about what the song means.

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anakin skywalker force awakens reference

Its not a new phenomenon, a lot of movie trailers feature shots from movies that don’t end up on the big screen. This usually takes the form of scenes or moments that hit the cutting room floor in the time between the early marketing and release date. And with big budget visual effects films, its not uncommon to see many different iterations of a computer rendering that evolves into a much better looking effect by the time it hits multiplexes.

And we’ve already talked a bunch about the deleted scenes that were glimpsed in the marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but didn’t make it to the theatrical release. But now that the movie is on Blu-ray and VOD fans are noticing some of the smaller details that didn’t make the theatrical cut of the film, the most recent of which is a reference to George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels and specifically Anakin Skywalker. Hit the jump to see the deleted Anakin Skywalker Force Awakens reference.

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CinemaCon

We’re back in Las Vegas at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of movie theater exhibitors. As you probably know by now, theater owners from around the nation gather to, among other things, watch presentations from all of the major movie studios previewing their film slates for the upcoming year and beyond. The opening night presentation was Paramount Pictures, which came to Vegas to promote Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Ben-Hur, the first teaser trailer for the Ring franchise film Rings, the first footage from Tom Cruise’s sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Robert Zemeckis’ spy thriller Allied, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, and a very early look at Baywatch starring The Rock and Zac Efron.

But the two biggest surprises involved Prisoners/Sicario/Blade Runner 2 filmmaker Denis Villeneuve adaptation of Story Of Your Life and the shocking lack of any Star Trek Beyond preview despite having Simon Pegg and JJ Abrams in town and on stage for an award celebration. The new Villeneuve film seems like a smart science fiction film, think Contact meets Close Encounters of a Third Kind. Hit the jump to watch a video blog reaction talking about all the clips shown at the presentation.
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the isolation of rey

Kasper Møller Jensen has edited together a short video exploring the visual elements and framings used by JJ Abrams to show the isolation and loneliness of Daisy Ridley‘s character Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Kylo Ren helmet ashes

One of the questions I had after seeing Star Wars: the Force Awakens was: Why does Kylo Ren put the mask on a table filled with what appear to be ashes? Some interesting theories have floated around since December, but now we finally have an answer thanks to director JJ Abrams. Find out the answer to the Kylo Ren helmet ashes mystery, after the jump.

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10 CLOVERFIELD LANE

Okay, now that 10 Cloverfield Lane has been out for a few weeks, the filmmakers have begun taking about spoilers. Want to hear about the thought and planning behind the ending of 10 Cloverfield Lane? We have some cool concept art to show you, some comments from director Dan Trachtenberg on not only the film’s ending, but deleted scenes and an IMAX-style aspect ratio expansion that was planned but abandoned during post production. So if you’ve seen the movie, hit the jump to learn the secrets behind the 10 Cloverfield Lane ending. Insert super obvious spoiler warning here.
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Cannibal Airlines

When the first teaser trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane was released, many people noticed that John Gallagher Jr.‘s character Emmet was looking at a VHS tape of a fake movie called Cannibal Airlines. It’s one of those fun little details that sent many fans on a hunt to find out what it may mean, or if whether it’s somehow connected to the film’s ARG (it wasn’t). When I talked to 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg last week, I found out the story behind the movie within the movie. And you might be surprised to learn that the VHS tape came from the mind of the man who is currently directing The Lego Movie 2.

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