The Prequels Need Love, Too!

Insisting that fans should love everything a series does, of course, is ridiculous, and, when put into practice, a reminder that “fan” derives from “fanatic.” But that kind of fanboy dogma has been reversed so hard that it’s now tricky to say anything positive about the prequels without sounding like either one of those fanatics without a critical eye, or an apologist willfully turning that eye blind. It will become trickier still if The Force Awakens is as good as everyone hopes it will be; there’s a tendency, in both fandom and criticism, to see highly anticipated sequels or revivals as correctives, to finally fix what bothered “everyone” about the last sequel or revival. But movies are, again, not a binary: J.J. Abrams can make a fresh, revitalized Star Wars (maybe even with good dialogue!) without invalidating the serial-style craft and CG painting of the prequel trilogy, just as the heavy use of computer animation in the prequels doesn’t destroy the more tactile moments in the original trilogy. Yoda can be a perfectly crafted and fascinatingly lifelike puppet performance in The Empire Strikes Back, and he can leap into a kickass whirling-dervish lightsaber duel during the extended climax of Attack Of The Clones. (In another instance of watching the movies being more fun than turning backlash into a meme, this moment drew cheers the first time I saw the movie, back in 2002. Unless my theater was a total anomaly, the prevailing sentiment was not “ugh, CG!”)

Those first Star Wars movies feel personal to a lot of viewers, but that feeling comes from the memories associated with them more than the movies themselves. At their core, they’re big, crowd-pleasing space operas with a vast, inventive playground of planets, aliens, and spaceships. The fact that they inspired a toy-manufacturing boom doesn’t feel entirely mercenary because those toys were a natural outgrowth of a series with half-glimpsed, single-scene characters bustling around all of that hero’s-journey power-of-myth stuff. I don’t watch Star Wars movies for the music of human speech; I watch them to marvel at crazy water-planets, laugh at R2-D2’s antics, and wonder what Captain Typho does in his downtime. That’s what I love about the prequels: Their imagination is vast, yet interactive; beautiful, yet recognizably human.

via Star Wars Week The Star Wars prequels don’t deserve your hatred · For Our Consideration · The A.V. Club.

And without the prequels, we wouldn’t have gotten the Clone Wars series or Rebels.

What’s Marvel Up To In 2015?

With 2015 now a full two days old, Alonso follows last year’s look back with a look ahead, and opines on the future of Marvel Comics — starting with the two big “Wars” of the comic book new year — “Star Wars” and “Secret Wars.” With Marvel’s new “Star Wars” line set to debut in less than a fortnight, Alonso talks what he thinks the beloved franchise adds to Marvel’s publishing slate. Given that readers have already been told that the year-long “Secret Wars” is going to be a really big deal for Marvel, Alonso shares his thoughts on what excites him about the story itself. Beyond that, Alonso talks Disney/Marvel collaborations, publishing priorities for 2015, “Uncanny Avengers” and the increased role of Sabretooth, plus drops a pretty big (albeit certainly open to interpretation) hint about a Marvel character poised to have a big year.

via Axel-In-Charge: Looking Ahead to Marvel’s 2015, From “Star Wars” to “Secret Wars” – Comic Book Resources.

Looks interesting.

Axel-In-Charge 12-12-14

Fresh off Marvel’s latest three-day editorial retreat, Alonso talked about the contributions of a new addition to that usual crew — “Ms. Marvel” writer G. Willow Wilson, who the E-i-C revealed is now Marvel exclusive and working on as-yet unrevealed material along with the monthly adventures of Kamala Khan. Alonso also reflected on the recently confirmed news that more than one million copies of the new “Star Wars” #1 have been sold to retailers, and the alternate means of distribution the publisher has employed for the issue. All that, plus insights into the latest Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver-related revelations, the new “Moon Knight” creative team of Cullen Bunn and Ron Ackins, Gerry Conway returning to “Amazing Spider-Man” and answers to your questions, directly from the CBR Community.

via Axel-In-Charge: Wilson Goes Marvel Exclusive, One Million “Star Wars” #1s – Comic Book Resources.

Happy #StarWarsDay!

Star Wars… In Concert!

Announcing Star Wars: In Concert

“LOS ANGELES, July 23 /PRNewswire/Star Wars™: In Concert, a unique multi-media event featuring music from all six of John Williams‘ epic Star Wars scores, begins its worldwide arena tour on October 1, 2009 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

“Narrated live by Anthony Daniels (the actor who portrayed C-3PO in all six films), the production features a full symphony orchestra and choir, accompanied by specially edited footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, high-definition LED super-screen — one of the largest ever put on tour. The live music and film elements are synchronized in order to create a full multi-media, one-of-kind Star Wars experience.

“‘We’ve taken the key themes from the music and cut together all the images that fit with each theme, so you can really get a sense of how the music played into the images,’ said George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars Saga. ‘The whole soundtrack is a testament to John Williams’ creativity and his extraordinary ability to enhance the emotional aspects of the films.’

“‘Creating the music for the Star Wars films has been an exciting and wonderful experience for me, and I therefore have derived particular pleasure in assembling a compendium of themes from all of the films to be presented in Star Wars in Concert,’ said Williams. ‘The editors at Lucasfilm have created original film montages to accompany each of the musical selections, and in the process, I believe that a singular and unique Star Wars experience has been born.'”

The tour also includes an exhibit of movie props, costumes, and other artifacts.

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The Next Great Vacation Destination

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BioWare reveals new playable planet for The Old Republic – Massively (via FriendFeed)

BioWare reveals new playable planet for The Old Republic - Massively
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“BioWare has just released some new information on their upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO which includes screenshots and concept art for a newly-announced playable planet: Nal Hutta. This planet, translated to “Glorious Jewel” in Huttese, is considered a wasteland of nightmarish bogs and industrial waste to most races. Yet to the Hutts who took over the planet, it’s a paradise.”Ron Bailey

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Links for 01-25-09

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Links for 2009-01-25 []

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Watch "Star Wars Slot Machine, Yoda, Darth, Vader, Luke, Death Star, Boba, Stormtrooper" on Google Video

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