Lord of the Rings Visual Effects

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, watch as visual effects artists react to more scenes from Lord of the Rings, including the Battle of Helm’s Deep and the Balrog fighting Gandalf. Plus, an SAS soldier reviews the accuracy of military scenes in movies like Commando and American Sniper, and the cast of the new Star Wars trilogy reveals which questions they never want to answer again. Read More »

star wars the rise of skywalker rey final shot

Another day, another Star Wars “controversy” that has been debunked. But of the many issues that comes from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, this is decidedly not one of them. A few days ago, an eagle-eyed Star Wars fan pointed out that the final shot of Rey in silhouette in The Rise of Skywalker looked oddly similar to another silhouetted shot earlier in the film. The observation went viral, but editor Maryann Brandon, who worked with Stefan Grube on editing the movie, has confirmed that this is not true.

Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker follow.

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Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Force Awakens said goodbye to Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Star Wars: The Last Jedi bid farewell to Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. So it only makes sense that the late Carrie Fisher gets her own send-off in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and co-writer Chris Terrio confirmed that one of the main goals of the movie – specifically because they had a limited amount of footage to work with from the previous films – was to figure out how to solidify Leia’s legacy in the entire saga and complete the arc that was alluded to in Return of the Jedi. Read More »

In the year of our Ford 2019, trying to make sense of people’s wildly divergent Star Wars opinions opens up a murky frontier of epistemological questions that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in theaters now, only complicates all the more. Epistemology concerns the nature of knowledge and justified belief. I believe that people believe what they believe when they share their Star Wars opinions but I often wonder how they acquired those opinions in the first place. There’s a precedent for Jedi mind tricks in the Star Wars universe and it leaves me questioning whether some opinions were planted in people’s minds, Kenobi-style, or whether they were genuine reactions that people formed on their own. Like, “Hey, have you Change.org petitioners perchance been inceptioned by the Kremlin?” Or, “Hmm. You journos been getting all chummy with Rian Johnson, listening to him sing subliminal karaoke at film festival bars?”

Discussing Disney’s sequel Star Wars trilogy online is like venturing into a mad minefield decorated with the same bad blood as George Lucas’s prequel trilogy. As the young Lando Calrissian tells us in his Grammy-winning music video: this is America. When J.J. Abrams stepped back into the director’s chair for The Rise of Skywalker, there was always the lingering fear that a big ol’ landmine was planted right under that chair, just waiting to detonate. In 2015, Abrams rescued the franchise, restoring its cultural clout with the $2 billion success of The Force Awakens. Now, he’s essentially trying to re-rescue the franchise from a re-polluted water cooler. This translates visually when The Rise of Skywalker introduces an ocean moon that’s polluted with the wreckage of the second Death Star.

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the rise of skywalker review

There was so much promise in the new Star Wars trilogy. A young, fresh, likable cast of characters was brought in to interact with classic characters. The legacy lived on. The excitement was palpable, and even when missteps were made, there was a real sense that we were experiencing blockbuster filmmaking at its finest. And that makes Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker all the more heartbreaking. What started so promisingly with The Force Awakens and reached exciting heights with The Last Jedi ends in almost unthinkable disappointment. What should have been the big, triumphant conclusion to the Skywalker Saga has instead ended with plenty of sound and fury signifying nothing.

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Star Wars Spoiler Questions - Daisy Ridley and Josh Gad

Back in February of 2017, when we were all still in the dark about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, actor Josh Gad and some of his famous friends did the best they could to get any answers they could from star Daisy Ridley. Now the Frozen star is at it again with a whole new array of actors and actresses who want to know who Rey’s parents are and so much more. But this time the video where Daisy Ridley answers Star Wars spoiler questions is much more professionally produced and it features only stars from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies. Read More »

The Last Jedi Lightsaber Fight Breakdown

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, Daisy Ridley revisits the throne room lightsaber battle from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Plus, Marriage Story writer and director Noah Baumbach breaks down the opening montages focusing on the two main characters played by Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, and Jumanji: The Next Level co-stars Awkwafina and Jack Black sit down to answer the web’s most searched questions about them. Read More »

Reylo in The Rise of Skywalker

The “will they, won’t they” aspect between Daisy Ridley‘s Rey and Adam Driver‘s Kylo Ren is a hotbed of divisiveness in the Star Wars fan community, and everyone is waiting to see how that relationship plays out in this month’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which may be the final time these characters share the screen together.

In a new interview, director/co-writer J.J. Abrams addresses the “profound” connection between them, how they’ve matured, and more. Read More »

Star Wars Rap Recap

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, watch as Star Wars franchise star Daisy Ridley gives a rap recap of the entire Skywalker saga on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Plus, find out the origins of stop-motion animation, long before it took off in Hollywood, and listen as HBO’s Watchmen co-star Tim Blake Nelson breaks down the most memorable roles in his career. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Who Are Rey's Parents

One of the biggest questions about the new Star Wars trilogy is the origin of the galaxy’s new savior. Who is Rey and where does she come from? Star Wars: The Last Jedi seemed to give us an answer when Kylo Ren flat out told her, “They were filthy junk traders, sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert.” Rey seemed to acknowledge this as a truth that she knew but was never willing to fully accept, but it turns out, like some Star Wars fans, she wants to know more.

When we reunite with Rey in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, not only have her skills in the Force improved as she’s continued training in the time since The Last Jedi, but she’s still trying to figure out who she is and exactly what lies in her past. In fact, Daisy Ridley says that aspect of Rey “is not satisfied” with that part of her story. So how will this movie rectify that? Read More »