Star Wars Bits: The #KyloRenChallenge, The Music Of 'The Last Jedi,' And BBQ Porg Inaction Figures

In this edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • An analysis of the soundtrack from Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • An old cast photo from The Phantom Menace
  • John Mayer sparks the #KyloRenChallenge
  • Shocking update: Star Wars is making lots of money
  • And much more!

A widely-anticipated, sci-fi/action movie was recently released, and it received a polarizing response from critics and audiences. Wait, Star Wars Episode what? I was talking about Bright! John Boyega experienced a similar misunderstanding when he proclaimed on Twitter that "people like things you don't" in response to the negative backlash for Will Smith's Netflix film, and Star Wars fans assumed he was referring to The Last Jedi because everything is always about Star Wars, obviously.

last jedi tree jedi books library

Remember when Rian Johnson wrote and directed an entire movie about "letting the past die"? Well, as it turns out, Johnson himself doesn't believe in this maxim as much as his characters in The Last Jedi do. As excerpted by ScreenRant, Johnson had this to say in The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi: "If you think you are throwing away the past, you are fooling yourself. The only way to go forward is to embrace the past, figure out what is good and what is not good about it. But it's never going to not be a part of who we all are."

Han Solo Theme - John Williams

Star Wars fans can be pretty wicked smart, especially when it comes to deep-dive analyses of what makes Star Wars so special. In an epic, three-part miniseries for the podcast Full of Sith, Bobby Roberts tackles the soundtrack for The Last Jedi and brilliantly examines the latest musical themes and motifs from John Williams. You can check out all three episodes here.

Who said Star Wars was finally moving on from the Skywalker family saga? Because Luke – that is, Mark Hamill – managed to get all of his children cameos in The Last Jedi. You can see Nathan, Griffin, and Chelsea Hamill in this Tweet from Mark Hamill. #DadOfTheYear!

Solo director Ron Howard began 2018 right, tweeting out a new teaser image from the scruffy-looking smuggler's standalone Star Wars film. Looks like Han's ridin' solo...

phantom menace cast photo reddit

One cast photo from The Phantom Menace (which hit theaters 18 years ago, by the way – do you feel old yet?) is giving the entire "Awkward Family Photos" website a run for its money. Originally posted on Reddit and then shared via Twitter by Star Wars Facts, the promo shot features Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and Natalie Portman at peak '90s, and Jake Lloyd at peak creepiness. Phantom Menace, indeed.

 Star Wars Sabacc

Let the battle of the fandoms commence! The Star Wars franchise has officially passed the Harry Potter franchise as the most lucrative film series of all time. The 10 theatrically released Star Wars films have grossed a collected $8.55 billion at the box office, narrowly surpassing the $8.53 billion grossed by the nine Harry Potter installments. Of course, both franchises are continuing to churn out more movies, so this race will probably go on until the end of time itself. (No complaints here!)

John Boyega Star Wars spoiler

Meanwhile, The Last Jedi alone continues to rake in the cash, officially passing the $1 billion mark at the worldwide box office while topping Beauty and the Beast as the highest-grossing domestic film of the year. Variety has the details on where this latest Star Wars installment ranks in terms of global and domestic box office grosses. Controversy? What controversy?

 kylo ren challenge john mayer

Poor Kylo Ren thought he finally earned some respect in The Last Jedi, but alas: singer John Mayer initiated the #KyloRenChallenge on Instagram, turning everyone's favorite patricidal Skywalker into an Internet meme once again. Fans quickly answered the call, posting pictures of themselves, their pets, and their LEGOs without shirts and with high-waisted black pants. Sift through the beefcake glory on Mashable.

Rian Johnson Star Wars Episode 9

A report from Daily Record indicates that Johnson will begin shooting the first film of his new Star Wars trilogy in Scotland as early as this coming June. No rest for the weary! Poor Rian Johnson. And by "poor Rian Johnson," I mean, hey Rian Johnson, do you need some help co-writing your next Star Wars trilogy? Hit me up.

...but as our own Peter Sciretta points out, Johnson likely won't begin working on the new Star Wars trilogy anytime soon, so the rumors about a production start date are probably just that: rumors.

Mark Hamill also recently took to Twitter to clear up a rumor that Disney killed off Luke Skywalker in post-production because the studio was angry about Hamill creating "bad press." "Amazing!" Hamill wrote. "Every word in that tweet is WRONG."

Carrie Fisher passed away just over a year ago, and fans continue to honor her memory with personalized tributes. One such tribute was laid out below the Yoda statue on Lucasfilm's campus: a handwritten note, two candles, and two bottles of Coca-Cola (Fisher's favorite drink). A Lucasfilm employee passed by and took a photo for Twitter.

star-wars-kylo-ren-life-size-bust-sideshow-400316-05

A life-sized bust of Kylo Ren is now available from Sideshow Collectibles for only $1,150! Or more, if you decide to re-enact the film and smash Kylo's helmet to pieces. I mean, you can't Kylo halfway.

The Last Jedi final scene

It seems even Star Wars isn't immune from the "Are Millennials Ruining [X]?" headlines. MovieWeb recently ran a piece  arguing that Millennials are showing the most hatred for The Last Jedi because Kylo Ren's faults and Rey's naivete feel too "real." The Force Awakens, however, gave us the instant gratification we allegedly constantly crave. Listen, I'm guilty of writing my own thinkpiece about how I enjoyed TFA more than TLJ, but I'm honestly feeling so attacked right now and I just can't even??

hideo kojima

Japanese filmmaker and video game designer Hideo Kojima wrote up an illuminating analysis of the evolution and cinematic impact of Star Wars. "Lucas didn't end New American Cinema," Kojima claims, "he created a new way of making films." Read the piece in its entirety over at RollingStone.

BBQ porg

For fans of the best scene in The Last JediForces of Dorkness is selling a "BBQ Porg inaction figure." Unfortunately, the product is currently listed as Sold Out, but it should be easy enough to find and roast your own Porg, you lazy bum.

In the latest Q&A, Star Wars Explained addresses the (arguably) most glaring plot hole in The Last Jedi: Why didn't Admiral Holdo just tell Poe what the grand plan was for the Rebel Fleet? The video also dives into questions about the film's novelization, whether or not Kylo really outsmarted Snoke, and more.

In another video, Star Wars Explained calmly lets the air out of nearly every single Snoke theory in the wake of the release of The Last Jedi. So... ixnay on Darth Jar Jar?

amc the last jedi poster

Kneel before the masterpiece that is Dan Mumford's fourth and final poster design for the IMAX release of The Last Jedi. As tweeted out by the official IMAX account, this poster will be made available to viewers starting this Sunday. As Snoke himself said: Give me everything!!

Anyone else getting an itchy trigger finger? This pitch video from gaming studio Double Damage offers a tantalizing look at what a modernized space shooter game could look like. Read more about the hypothetical game over at Kotaku.