What the Season 2 Finale Means for the Future of ‘The Mandalorian’

A year ago, when Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon emerged from a wrecked Tie Fighter wielding the Darksaber in the end-credits stinger to season one of The Mandalorian, it was a signal to the audience that season two would tie more directly to established Star Wars canon than initially expected. Fast forward to the end of season two and it’s safe to say no one was prepared for just how extensive those ties would be.

In a season full of cameos and call backs to every installment of the franchise’s four-decade history — from the return of Temuera Morrison as Boba Fett to the live action debuts of Katee Sackhoff as Bo-Katan and Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano — The Mandalorian season two proved to be as integral a part of the Skywalker Saga as each of the episodes released in theaters since 1977. None more so than the events of the second season finale, titled “The Rescue.” Spoilers for The Mandalorian season two finale from here on out.

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Force Healing and Its (Re-)Emergence in ‘Star Wars’

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the first season of The Mandalorian.

Force healing: The ability to heal oneself or another by way of pouring one’s life energy into a wound, but at the expense of their own vitality. While it has made appearances in the past in Star Wars Legends, it made its first live-action appearances in two recent Star Wars productions: the seventh episode of the first season of The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Continue reading “Force Healing and Its (Re-)Emergence in ‘Star Wars’”

Some Things are Stronger than Blood: The Core Theme of ‘Star Wars’

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

The latest and final installment of the Skywalker saga of Star Wars is now out in theaters. In The Rise of Skywalker, the Resistance must face the First Order once more, in the midst of the mysterious return of Emperor Palpatine.

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Hard NOC Life: The Reaction to ‘Skywalker’

After 42 years, the Skywalker Saga comes to a close with the release of The Rise of Skywalker. Keith was joined by Jamie Noguchi to screen the movie at Baltimore’s historic Senator Theater. Here are their instant reactions. SPOILERS!

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NOC Review: ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Ends the ‘Star Wars’ Saga with a Whimper

Let’s be honest. The reason you, the skeptic who hated on The Last Jedi for two years (not me, but you know who you are!), went on this site and clicked on this review is to find out whether or not Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is any good. But the answer to this isn’t a simple one. Now before the cynic in you dismisses the movie entirely just because it’s not an overwhelmingly positive “yes,” just know that it’s not terrible either. To put it simply, in a year where we had Avengers: Endgame and the finale of Game of ThronesThe Rise of Skywalker, the conclusion to the 40 year Skywalker saga, is squarely in between: neither as amazingly uplifting and universally praised, nor as abysmally disappointing and anticlimactic as some other fantasy finales that pissed me off.

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Hard NOC Life: The Last Rogue Force Awakens One Solo Jedi

With Rise of Skywalker and the end of the Skywalker Saga at the end of the month to look forward to, Hard NOC Life is going to be a Star Wars podcast for the month of December. Because there aren’t enough Star Wars podcasts on the internet! Each week, Dominic and Keith will be breaking down a different trilogy that make up the beloved Star Wars franchise.

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Hard NOC Life: Return of a New Empire Strikes the Jedi Hope Back

With Rise of Skywalker and the end of the Skywalker Saga at the end of the month to look forward to, Hard NOC Life is going to be a Star Wars podcast for the month of December. Because there aren’t enough Star Wars podcasts on the internet! Each week, Dominic and Keith will be breaking down a different trilogy that make up the beloved Star Wars franchise.

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The IX Best Moments from the Final ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Trailer

Finally, after weeks of anticipation — and one half of terrible football (unless you were a New England Patriots fan) — the world finally got to see the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and ultimately, the final trailer of the Skywalker Saga. And it did not disappoint!

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Breaking Down ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

All week, rabid Star Wars fans have been debating the merits of the most recent entry into the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Directed by Rian Johnson and starring Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Issac, Kelly Marie Tran, Carrie Fisher, and Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi has proven to be the most polarizing entry in the Lucasfilm canon. To break down what they thought of the movie, Keith invited his DC TV Classics co-host Britney Monae.

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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and Moving Beyond Nostalgic Ownership

To properly analyze Star Wars: The Last Jedi, you have to go beyond the trappings of fandom and look at the movie as a part of a larger product of Disney/Lucasfilm storytelling. Approaching this as anything other than a corporate juggernaut mainly concerned with moving merchandise and building the next generation of consumers will result in total anger, confusion, and regret. This might sound cynical and cold, but it’s only the acknowledgment that Hollywood cinema is big business and sometimes actual art will slip through the image factory despite their best efforts to curtail imagination and wonder.

I’m not saying The Last Jedi lacks imagination or wonder, but there’s definitely a middling corporate influence throughout the movie that simultaneously keeps the movie in an inoffensive zone of bland character moments while setting up Rian Jonhson’s long-term vision for the Star Wars franchise.

What makes The Last Jedi interesting, though, is that it deliberately erases the nostalgic underpinnings of the Star Wars saga being about the Skywalker clan. Now this is where you see a lot of online outrage regarding The Last Jedi (even when you remove the knee-jerk right-wing racist backlash to the movie being “too diverse“) with the main complaint is that it “feels different” than previous Star Wars films.

WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW

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NOCs of the Roundtable: Hot Star Wars Takes Awaken

You might not have known, but a little movie opens this weekend. It’s called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Heard of it? Well, it’s already shattering box office records worldwide, and it’ll probably be the highest grossing movie of the year. And there’s only two more weeks left in the year.

Anyway, a bunch of the NOCs have already seen the movie and want to share their thoughts. We’ll be updating this Roundtable throughout the weekend as more of us head out to the multiplex. In the meantime, know that anything and everything after the jump are massive Star Wars spoilers. Be warned.

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The Force Awakens Trailer Debuts at Star Wars Celebration

“Chewie, we’re home.”

With those three words, the internet became the happiest place in the galaxy. For an hour on Thursday, millions of UPFs (ultra passionate fans, as coined by Mark Hamill, himself) around the world tuned in to YouTube to watch a live stream of the eagerly anticipated Force Awakens panel at Star Wars Celebration. And if you stuck around for the whole hour, it did not disappoint as director JJ Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy unveiled the second teaser for Episode VII. We should have been working live-tweeted the whole thing. Choice tweets (and the trailer, of course) are after the jump.

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