Star Wars Goes Fantasy

Winter is coming, and it brings David and Dan with it…

In one of the more surprising news stories to come out of LucasFilm over the past few months, it has today been announced that Dan Weiss and David Benioff, creators of the HBO phenomena Game of Thrones, have been hired to write and produce a new series of Star Wars films which are separate from both the Skywalker saga and Rian Johnson’s announced trilogy.

This news certainly makes it an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan (As if it wasn’t already). With Episode 9 on the horizon, a live action TV series, Rian Johnson’s new trilogy, a new animated series by Dave Filoni and now an entirely new series of films, there is certainly a lot of Star Wars content to consume.

If I was a betting man I would have to wager that the newly announced films will act as the stepping stones between Rian Johnson’s trilogy films. Meaning it’s likely we’ll get the first D&D written Star Wars film in 2022, if all rumoured line ups are to be believed.

However, with all the positives out of the way, I do have some reservations about this announcement. Firstly, I’m concerned about the lack of an announcement in regards to an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff. And secondly, I’m far from D&D’s biggest fan. For me their biggest weakness if writing a compelling script that isn’t based off already established source material. This is pretty evident given the nosedive in the quality of scripts in the later seasons of Game of Thrones. So hopefully the folks over at LucasFilm have done enough research before making this decision.

You would imagine that the creators of Game of Thrones would be brought in to pen an Old Republic era series of films, and if that’s the case then there is already pre-existing material for them to work with, so it’s not the worst case scenario. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that this all works out for the best. For now I’ll remain cautiously optimistic.

Andy Serkis teases Snoke return

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE LAST JEDI BELOW

snoke-apprentices-e1513886330651

The decision to kill of Snoke in Episode 8 was a devisive one to say the least. But speaking in an interview with /Film’s Peter Sciretta, Andy Serkis has revealed that all may not be as it seems for the former Supreme Leader of the First Order.

Sciretta set up the topic by asking:
“I’d like to ask a quick Star Wars question. Supreme Leader Snoke was seemingly set up as this ultimate galactic villain in The Force Awakens, so what was your reaction when you first read the script for The Last Jedi and discovered that your character would die in that way?”

Rather than turning down the question or offering up the usual political answer that Star Wars cast members seem to have in infinite supply, Serkis actually offered up a tease that may get the Star Wars fandom talking once again.

His reply:
“Look, it’s Star Wars, so you never know how life, or whether life can be come back to or not. Whether you can be resuscitated or brought back. I was shocked. Dramatically, it felt absolutely right for that moment in the film, so I didn’t question it. I just think it’s a very, very important scene, so I didn’t question it. But I do, I know it’s left fans feeling like, that they were really searching for something there. And what I’m saying is, who knows?”

It was later confirmed in the interview that Serkis had not spoken to JJ Abrams about Episode 9 following the release of Episode 8. But it’s a tantalizing tease for those fans who wanted more out of the Trilogy’s supposed “big bad”.

After all is said and done this is little more than fan theories again, but it’s a fun prospect that the doors are really wide open for where Abrams wants to take the final film in the trilogy he started. Personally I’m a big fan of the Snoke return concept, so kudos to /Film and Peter Sciretta for getting the tease out of the performance capture King.

Top 10 Original Trilogy Moments

Carrying on our look back over the best moments of Star Wars, our travels now take us back to where all the magic began for many fans.

Star-Wars-Original-Trilogy-Unaltered-Blu-Ray-Release

Following the fall of the Jedi order and the rise of the Galactic Empire, our journey through the story of the Force picks up with the first feature film simply named (At the time anyway) “Star Wars”.

Moment 10: “Use the Force Luke”, A New Hope

We kick off our list with perhaps one of the most significant moments in all of Star Wars, the moment that I young moisture farmer from the backwater planet of Tatooine realised the power he held inside and brought about the destruction of the largest battle station ever created.

Using the Force as his deceased former Master as his guides, Luke does what no other pilot in the Rebel Alliance was capable of, he destroyed the Death Star, saving millions of lives and bringing hope to the Galaxy.

Moment 9: Luke vs. Vader 2, Return of the Jedi

The culmination of three film’s worth of build. As his allies fight in space and on the forest moon of Endor, Luke Skywalker confronts his father and the Emperor for the final time. In what is to be considered one of the better lightsaber fights in Star Wars history, we witness father and son battle with the emotion and conflict that only these two characters could muster.

The fight allows Luke to show not only Vader, but the audience as well, how far he has come as a character. From the moisture farm of Tatooine, to a battle against the ruler of the Galaxy, Luke has finally affirmed his role as a Jedi Master and this battle brings out the best in every character involved.

Moment 8: Obi-Wan’s Sacrifice 

Now perhaps the moment that helped make Luke the character he became. Slayed by his former Padawan, it was Obi-Wan’s sacrifice aboard the first Death Star that helped Luke to understand his role in the Galaxy, that the good of the many outweighed the life of the one.

It was an important lesson for Luke to learn so early into the trilogy and enabled Obi-Wan to become far more powerful and useful to Luke in the form of an ever-present force ghost. A fitting end to an outstanding character.

Moment 7: “Never tell me the odds”

In a scene that perfectly portrays Han’s character as a reckless scoundrel, who just so happens to be an incredibly confident and gifted pilot, the “never tell me the odds” quote captures the energy of the scene perfectly.

Although some Star Wars films are often criticised for having bland side-stories away from our lead Jedi protagonist, the story of Han, Leia, Chewie and C3P0 was perfectly executed in The Empire Strikes Back.

Moment 6: “I love you” – “I know”, The Empire Strikes Back

And now onto the culmination of that story arc. Whereas the previous moment captured the scoundrel side of Han’s personality perfectly, this moment instead perfectly depicts his loving side. Not wanting to let his feelings show for fear that he would never see Leia again, Han ends his role in the Empire Strikes Back with a simple “I know”.

Not only is this scene heart-wrenching, but it was also a bold step for the franchise to take, deciding to end the middle film in a dark place with only the feint glow of hope to guide us into Episode 6.

Moment 5: The Battle of Hoth, The Empire Strikes Back

The best large scale battle scene in the entire original trilogy. Whilst the CGI and grandeur of the action may not hold up with later installments of the franchise, the gravity and importance that you feel when you first watch this battle unfold will be difficult to ever match.

A perfect example of the might of the Empire, with all its power, wealth and heavily armored machinery, battling against a ragtag group of Rebels who are fighting with little more than battered speeders as they try to buy enough time for their allies to escape.

Perfect storytelling.

Moment 4: Vader redeemed, The Return Of the Jedi

The culmination of Anakin Skywalker’s story across the entire saga. Growing from young boy, to a troubled young man, before morphing into the “more machine than man” figure known as Darth Vader, before finally realising his wrong doings, allowing the light to win the fight inside himself and fulfilling the prophecy of the Chosen One as he slays The Emperor to save his son.

Say what you want about Anakin’s turn to the dark side, but his redemption was handled perfectly. Character is something that the Original Trilogy does best, and this is by far one of the best examples of character-arcs.

Moment 3: Twin Suns/Binary Sunset, A New Hope

Perhaps the most beautiful of moments from the Original Trilogy, and yet perhaps the one which is the most insignificant to the actual story. The binary sunset scene, otherwise known as the twin suns scene, tells us all we need to know about both our protagonist and the universe in which we’re about to adventure.

The scene is one of longing and hope. As Luke watches over the sunset we are engulfed by John Williams’ perfect musical score, and it’s because of this that despite having little narrative importance, this scene lives in the hearts of many Star Wars fans.

Moment 2: The Opening Sequence, A New Hope

It’s been said a million times before, but the opening sequence of A New Hope was masterful. The way in which the scene is shot was not only a wonderful use of CGI for the time in which it was released, but it perfectly sets up our story without having to use a single line of dialogue.

The size of the Imperial Star Destroyer compared to Leia’s smaller cruiser tells us perfectly about the wealth and power available to the Empire, a visual depiction of the “long arm of the Empire”. Compared to the smaller Rebel ship, which in comparison is tiny, an immediate comparison through which we can understand the situations of both the Rebels and the Empire immediately.

A truly masterful opening.

Moment 1: “I am your Father”, The Empire Strikes Back

It had to be didn’t it? THE moment from Star Wars, the scene that even people outside of the fandom will recognise to one degree or another. The shocking revelation which was kept secret from even the cast of the film.

To this day it is arguably the biggest twist in cinematic history, a revelation that broke through the boundaries of the film itself and became a part of pop-culture. It is the perfect twist within a near perfect film, and is without a doubt the scene which helped to cement The Empire Strikes Back as the best of the bunch when it comes to Star Wars films.