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.
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
This morning was the long anticipated Last Jedi panel at the annual Star Wars Celebration convention in Orlando, and it didn’t disappoint. In addition to seeing Force Awakens breakouts John Boyega and Daisy Ridley reunite on stage, the world was officialy introduced to Kelly Marie Tran. Even better? We finally got a sense of who her mysterious character is and how she fits in the saga.
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.
The CW pulled out the big guns for The Flash’s second mid-season finale: Mark Hamill’s return as the Trickster, Captain Cold, and… Wally West? Yes. Wally Freaking Kid Flash West is in this episode, and he’s beautiful. I mean, it’s beautiful. Yeah. That’s what I meant. Anyways, happy holidays and speed onward to read onward!
There is something to be said for having a shared experience with over 6,000 people sitting in an arena in Anaheim, California. A single, solitary moment when a giant video screen fades to black and you hear a voice that you recognize but can’t quite process quick enough before the visual hammers it home, “Chewie, we’re home.” Everybody around me immediately jumps up, fists pumping up high, cheers deafening, not quite processing everything about the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer. Luckily, we are able to see it again and are able to focus more on what we just saw.
“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.
While thinking about last week’s episode, I’m alternating listening to “Father Figure” by George Michael and “Tricky” by Run DMC. A lot of daddy issues in this one, but there are also a lot of fun inside jokes. So while you read this, keep in mind that during the serious moments I am singing, “I will be your father figure, put your tinyhandinmine” and during the fun Trickster moments, I’m rocking a rhyme that’s right on time.
In 1992, when I was only eight years old, my Batman knowledge was near non-existent. All I had to go on was the old Adam West Batman series that would repeat endlessly on the now-defunct Family Channel and Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, a movie that was too Tim Burton for my tastes. However, like any other kid, I loved cartoons. Getting home after school, my ritual was to grab a snack and watch The Disney Afternoon or Tiny Toon Adventures. Like the Adam West Batman, these shows were all lighthearted and mostly innocent.
Then Batman: The Animated Series premiered.
Minutes ago, Lucasfilm rocked the internet and officially announced the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII, the upcoming continuation of George Lucas’ classic saga, this time from Star Trek director J.J. Abrams. In addition to confirming the long-rumored appearances by Original Trilogy stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher, the announcement also ends months of casting speculation by naming John Boyega (Attack the Block) and Adam Driver (Girls) in lead roles.