Happy New Year, Star Wars fans! I’m back to contemplate a very intriguing character from The Force Awakens, Lor San Tekka. He has a very brief role, but leaves a significant impression on viewers due to Max Von Sydow’s excellent performance. But who is he exactly? I wrote a speculative piece back before the move came out. Now that we’ve actually seen the movie, we know a little bit more.
Happy Holidays, Star Wars fans! It’s now time for our 20th weekly recap, and we’re 10 days past the release of The Force Awakens, and now a little less than a year from the release of Rogue One. Have you made your New Year’s resolution yet? We’re here to bring you the latest in Star Wars news from the galactic core to all the way in the outer rim. Let’s get started…
Merry Christmas, Star Wars fans! We’re back after reviewing The Force Awakens to bring you more theories about the movie that we saw, and to begin theorizing about what comes next. If you haven’t yet, check out our reviews of TFA here and here.
Hello Star Wars fans! Season’s greetings from Spoiled Blue Milk! Well, The Force Awakens has been out for a couple days now, and we’ve both seen it at least three times. You got @davestrrr review last week and now it is time for mine.
Hello Star Wars fans! HOLY COW THERE IS A NEW STAR WARS IN THEATERS NOW!!!! Oh and its pretty damn good. Believe it or not there is also some news on other fronts too. We’re here to bring you your weekly recap. Lets dive right into that.
Hi Star Wars fans! I hope everybody had a good couple of days as I assume most of you have seen The Force Awakens. I’ve seen TFA twice already (once in 3D and once in 2D), so I think I’m ready to give a little bit of a review. I had seen all the other Star Wars films so many more times than I had seen this one, so there really isn’t a fair comparison. That in mind, let’s begin. There will be spoilers in what follows, so don’t read on if you haven’t seen the film. See you after the jump:
Our twitter Friend @endless_Skye recently live tweeted re-watching the Saga. She decided to go Machete order and I thought it was funny and should share it with you today, on the premiere of the new installment The Force Awakens.
That magic moment. That moment just before the opening crawl hits for the first time with a blast of the trumpets and John Williams classic score. You can feel in the excitement in the air at that moment when everything goes silent. The anticipation is palpable.
This week every question is answered….about The Force Awakens, then comes a ton of questions on Rogue one and Episode 8. But for now lets get you up to date on the latest rumor, leaks and news. Some people in the press will get to see it today, other people will have to wait until Wednesday at 7pm. Can you believe it’s almost here? Given how close we are, we have lots of major SPOILERS, so be warned. Let’s get into it…
This character is much better executed as a CGI character. That’s just a practical reality when he’s 7-foot-something tall; he’s very, very thin.
They built costumes for Serkis to wear on set.
“[Snoke] is strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful,”
davestrrr: Very interesting. That’s two “very”s up there before thin. This guy is going to be shockingly thin. Like he might break if he falls over. This might be the “vulnerability” that Serkis was talking about?
mazlow01: This so cool to me, honestly I think he is the most anticipated character now. Disney and Lucasfilm were smart to hide him.
2. Snokegate! The internet has been buzzing back and forth about Snoke.
2.1 Collider claims a piece of fan art of Plaguies is Snoke. To be fair, they sent this picture to their “sources” and they said that was the look.
davestrrr: This is clearly fan art of Plagueis, and the guys at collider agree with this. So at this point, are we done? Nope. They think this is actually how Snoke looks. Then we didn’t need this magazine to ask them. Why could they just ask their sources if Snoke looks like all the Plagueis fan art? I don’t buy the whole Disney asked them to take it down. It was up for days after. This just smells like some attempt to get more views and more publicity.
mazlow01: Yeah no. They say they have sources that say Snoke looks similar to this and then claimed Disney told them to remove it. 5 days later it was still there, though now gone… clicks baby clicks. Also one of them has been on Plaguies=Snoke train from day one and the other has slowly joined. They were also claiming to have confirmed Rey’s staff was Plaguies’. I don’t buy it at all.
2.2 The next day a user on NeoGaf gave us this image of Snoke from “The Art of The Force Awakens”
davestrrr: This is the first “real” image that feels real. I don’t know if this is the final design, but this is the first thing we’ve seen that looks like actual concept art. These two versions look different, one younger with more recent injuries, and other older and more wrinkly, with older wounds. We did have the quote from Serkis earlier that they kept working on the design up until post-production.
mazlow01: Now this I believe will be close to the final design. Not exactly it, but close. Also both the collider boys said this was bogus and or fake.. the same user also released the next pics so he track record is already better than theirs.
2.3 The Collider guys came back and said that this NeoGaf image wasn’t real. It isn’t Snoke, they claim. We have this response from John Campea saying that the NeoGaf pic was “bogus”:
and then Kristian Harloff said that this image just “isn’t Snoke”.
@13jdlevesque that is not Snoke
— KristianHarloff (@KristianHarloff) December 12, 2015
davestrrr: I don’t know how John Campea can say that he has “never been firm”. He has frequently said that he is 100% of the view that Snoke = Plagueis, and we have reported on this before. In a recent interview with Justin Bolger, he has said “very firmly”, and other times he has said “100%”. Isn’t this “firm”? As a matter of fact, and this is kind of hilarious, in the Justin Bolger interview, John Campea says, and I quote (at 9:28) “I do believe, very firmly, that Snoke is Plagueis. I believe that whole-heartedly”. And now he says he has never been firm? Is this guy for real? Does he have no memory of what he says from one show to the next?
mazlow01: Once these guys are proven completely wrong will they hang there heads and go away? I doubt it. Instead they pretend they said they hoped it was Snoke but were never positive. This is a pathetic use of controversy to get hits up on their show.
3. Next we have a huge dump of images from the Visual Dictionary leaked, along with this image of the Kanjuklub Gang (hat tip to ugnaught) and this of Kylo Ren (hat tip to Dat_Miracle) Along with the following revelations (SPOILERS!)
- Han was leading a “normal” life married to Leia. Until some sort of tragedy struck.
- Lor San Tekka is a member of the underground “Church of the Force” which operated during the reign of the Emperor. Loosely associated with Jedi.
- Confirmation that Maz is force sensitive. But was never a Jedi.
- Maz has been holding on to a relic from the past that may someday make a difference. Aka the lightsaber.
- Confirmation of old leak that after Return of the Jedi the Empire fled to the “unknown regions” to regroup and explore. General Hux’s father was one of those people.
- “Kylo Ren betrayed the other Jedi Students studying with Master Luke Skywalker, and is responsible for their destruction.”
- Through his veins course the bloodlines of the most powerful Jedi and the Sith.
- Kylo is also called a Jedi Killer
davestrrr: Tremendous news here. The thing about Lor San Tekka being part of the “Church of the Force” is very interesting. Gives some point of reference to our earlier article on him. Could this connection provide him with knowledge of where Luke is? Great list of news here.
mazlow01: We had a good idea of the Gang based on the Lego set released that had them and this just rocks I really like the look and can’t wait to the actors (from The Raid) show off. The rest of this info! Han being a “family man” come on people he was married and after the loss of his kid he and leia didn’t survive like we suggested. And finally Kylo Ren confirms he kills Luke’s students, and he’s related to Luke. AWESOME!
4. John and Daisy training for The Force Awakens
davestrrr: Great shots there. Some good acrobatics too. Will there be other fights that are not trained here? Time will tell, but it looks like they are doing some good work. Interestingly, JJ has also stated that they are going back to an old school version of lightsaber fighting and that it won’t be as intense as the PT, more like the OT. More dialogue and emotional conflict than choreography.
mazlow01: Very cool. They are going to be freaking great, honestly this might hype me more than any of the trailers. Is that weird?
5. We have a great piece from 60 minutes last night on the music of TFA, along with the score of the opening scene!
davestrrr: Very exciting. John Williams is so freaking brilliant. The man is 83 years old and still has the mind of a young man. Pure genius. I can’t say enough about this great man, and all I can say is I hope he stays with us for another 10 years plus.
mazlow01: I only hope JW is around for the rest of this trilogy. This sounds closer to the PT than OT to me also.. part of his evolving style.
davestrrr: Sweet moves! I know the fights will be more old school, but skill like Kylo’s spin move is much appreciated and looks fantastic.
mazlow01: Dude Kylo is a badass! I can’t wait for Rey vs Kylo.
7. There were so many “5 days” TV spots. Here is a link to a compilation of them all!
davestrrr: Nothing terribly new here, and we’re already at 3 days (or 4 depending on when you are counting to), so this is a bit old at the rate news is coming. Have you felt it?
It’s Friday once again and time for the last of my Episodic Order Reviews of Star Wars. Next week, I guess I will do my best to review The Force Awakens. I can’t believe it’s less than a week away! This is just feels unreal. It just seems like yesterday I was happy that it hit 100 days away.
Many of you may be wondering why I did these reviews in episodic order. Basically, because this is the way that I think I’ve heard George Lucas had said to watch them. I know the twists already, so I don’t need to preserve anything, but if I was introducing Star Wars to someone that had never seen it before, I might suggest Modified Machete. Maybe I’d explain both to them and let them choose. You still get to see Luke’s reaction to the surprise revelation of his familial history.
I’m told that GL wanted the kind of surreal experience of seeing a sort of rock music number in the middle of a Star Wars movie. I typically find the scene frustrating because it’s such a departure from the rest of the saga, or at least from the rest of the OT. When I watched it tonight, I kind of felt like, you know, this is the kind of stuff that makes Star Wars great. The range. It can go from completely goofy to very sinister to heroic, to whatever. It can be anything. Maybe it’s also because I just watched the prequels. If you like the ring theory, and I’ve posted some stuff on that in the past, then you know that TPM is meant to mirror RotJ. So in a way, the Jedi Rocks scene is meant to mirror something equally goofy in The Phantom Menace. Maybe parts of the Podrace perhaps? I can think of a lot of scenes that are equally as goofy as Jedi Rocks. The more I think about it, watching RotJ tonight feels like much of the tone is similar to TPM in its levity, and goofy characters. Salacious crumb, Jedi Rocks, the ewoks, the burp jokes, some of Jabba’s wacky menagerie of characters. It all mirrors portions of TPM in tone and style. At the same time, like TPM it has some more serious moments. I won’t go into the Ring Theory any more in this review, but just wanted to put in words how I felt about the tone of the beginning of RotJ.
The deleted scene of Luke is a bit of a shame. I would have taken out the part where Vader is telepathically communicating with Luke, and just show him building his saber and hiding it in R2D2.
The High Points
That laugh. The cackle laugh when we first see the Emperor in person in the OT. Man, it is so creepy and awesome. Ian McDiarmid strikes again with his amazing talent.
I’ve always loved the scene when Luke says “So I am a Jedi” and Yoda says “OOoooh?”. Seeing the prequels did change how I see Yoda. I felt that his passing was in a way sadder having known what he did during the Clone Wars and before. Definitely harder to see the little guy go. He has become part of the connective tissue for the whole saga. That’s part of why I want to see him in the Sequel Trilogy. I have wondered before if he will be in TFA somehow, but I’m starting to think it is pretty unlikely. I think a more likely scenario is that we’ll see Yoda’s Force ghost in Episode VIII. I don’t have any inside info or anything, but it feels right. It would parallel the OT in a way because Yoda is introduced in the second act.
Hearing Obi Wan say that Luke’s sister “remains safely anonymous” kind of clears up a complaint that I had about RotS, and the believability of Leia hiding with an important senator, and he does remind us that she has a completely different name and maybe could have never left Alderaan until she was 13 or something, when the idea of Anakin’s offspring was long gone. That said, Sidious and Vader are pretty powerful and I’m still surprised that she was never sensed by the Sith.
I’m so glad that C3P0 finally puts to use his translation skills in this movie. Come to think of it, and correct me if I’m wrong, but does he do any other translating in the rest of the saga? At any rate, the droid proves his use in this movie.
The Space Battles. When those trumpets kick in and you see the Rebel fleet start to organize and assume attack coordinates. At this point, the movie really kicks in. Before the introduction of the Rebel Fleet and those trumpets, the movie feels a bit slow at times. After this, for me tonight at least, it feels like it picks up speed. Who knows, it’s like the 100th time I’ve seen this movie, it might feel like the first half is a little slow because I’ve seen it so many times. At any rate, the Space Battles of RotJ are some of the best of the ENTIRE saga. yeah, I said it. I think I like the Space Battle of RotJ better than RotS. That’s saying someting. I mean the opening shot of RotS may be the best single shot in the whole saga, but I feel that hands down, RotJ takes the cake with the Space battle and gives some of the best choreographed, and for that matter some of the most real special effects of any space battle in the saga. The music is excellent too. John Williams work during the space battles in this movie is some of the best of the saga. I’m saying this a lot, but I feel like the Space battles (and the saber fights/exchanges with Vader/Luke/Emperor, see below) are what MAKES this movie beyond just “good”. These scenes are spectacular even today.
Of course Lando and Nien Nunb are awesome and the whole blowing up the Death Star. The whole scene where Lando figures out that the shields are still up, all that stuff is gold. Lando is an excellent character in this one! He is sort of a minor role, but ends up doing some good stuff. This totally makes up for Lando falling off the floating barge thing on Tatooine.
Love the speeder chase. Wicket redeems himself and proves his awesomeness! I assume that’s wicket at least. Anyway, the way that little furball grabs that vine and escapes is pretty awesome.
You got to love the exchanges between Vader and Luke. All of this stuff works, and is really one of the high points of the whole saga. The dialogue, the saber battles, the Emperor, and the balance of the Force. All awesome, and a great conclusion to the saga.
The Low Points
I’m going to have to say the saliva in that guy’s mouth during the Jedi Rocks scene (I’m watching the blue-ray version) and just other parts of that scene. I mean, this just gets a little over the top for me. I’m not sure it was that much better before, and maybe the movie did need some sort of humor and fun at this moment. I’m not sure how it could be done better, but maybe just toned down a bit. Maybe the fact that it goes over the top shows the audience that this movie is not to be taken 100% serious. It’s for fun too.
OK, maybe this will be very controversial, but somehow the exchange between Luke and Leia in the Ewok Village, when Luke asks about Leia’s mother, seems a little off to me at the beginning. At first I thought it was going to be good, but it seems a bit off to me tonight. I think Luke is going through some serious stuff at this point, and is kind of overwhelmed. Luke kind of has a wild look in his eyes that comes across a little off, but maybe he is just going through some really difficult times, which he certainly is.
Beyond that, I don’t have much of a problem with anything. I actually don’t mind the ewoks. I tried to look for the blinking thing, but I barely even notice it. As far as I’m concerned, it looks pretty good and adds more life to them. In fact, I wish Wicket’s mouth moved a little more. So if anything, I don’t object to cute furry characters, but I would have actually preferred it if they were a little more dynamic. Wicket is the true mirror of Jar Jar. It’s cool to see this when he leads Leia to the Ewok Village. With that said, some of the early scenes in the Ewok village seem a little slow at times.
All things considered it’s pretty good. The movie feels a bit slow these days compared to contemporary movies, but has it’s moments.
Very Good 4 out of 5 stars
That brings me to my ranking. Having watched them all again over the past six weeks, here’s what I’m thinking:
Empire Strikes Back
A New Hope
Revenge of the Sith
Return of the Jedi
The Phantom Menace
Attack of the Clones
Stay tuned next week for my review of The Force Awakens!
Return of the Jedi is the first Star Wars movie I ever saw in the theater though if we’re honest I don’t remember the event. I was five years old and according to my parents immediately hooked. That birthday and Christmas I racked up on Star Wars toys. I had lightsabers with holes at the top to make the noise, an Ewok village and ALL of the Ewoks, every Main character and stormies, X-wings, TIE fighters, speeder bikes, you name it I had it*. My parents weren’t rich or willing to spoil me but I was the only grandson and one of two Grand kids at the time and my grandparents were more than willing to spoil me. Thanks Papa and Grandma! To say that Return of the Jedi started me on the Path of Geek is one percent correct. All that said lets jump into the final review before The Force Awakens.
What I Liked
The first shot mimics ANH opening and that is just a great sign. Vader really sets the tone when he uses the line “The emperor is not as forgiving as I am”. I really liked just about everything that happens at Jabba’s palace. Real Jabba over CGI Jabba any day of the week too, the CGI Jabba from the prequels and ANH:SE just aren’t the same character to me. Jabba is no fool and he proves it when he prevents Leia from rescuing Han and once Luke shows up by trying to dispatch him quickly. Leia shows us once again she’s a bad ass by taking down Jabba single-handedly. This highlights the failure of Padme’s arc in the prequels to me. Luke is obviously more powerful and confident and adds to his total as a mass murderer.
The Emperor is still so cool, I want to join the darkside as soon as he starts to speak. Yoda dying is actually really sad and yet he still jokes! Once back with everyone learning of the Rebels plans, Han’s incredulous look when Leia’s says “who’d they get to pull that off” is just… Han. As is the Han’s line later when they arrive at Endor “Fly Casual” I enjoyed the speeder bike chase and the introduction to both Leia and the rest of the group to the Ewoks. I know Ewoks aren’t the most popular of creatures but I like them. People act like 3-4 foot bears aren’t terrifying… really? Intelligent 3 -4 ft bears are absolutely terrifying to me. Anyway. Luke using C3PO and C3PO’s reaction are great. As is Han’s orders to C3PO about getting there stuff and the other 5 questions/commands he had.
Everything after Luke meets up with Vader is pure gold. The final battle is raging across three fields and the one with least amount of impact on the outcome for the Rebellion is one we care about the most. Luke vs Vader and the Emperor. Luke could lose that battle and still the rebellion could win if he wins the rebellion could still lose. The battle between these three is emotional with Luke trying to turn his Father and the Emperor trying to turn Luke. The Emperor is good but he blows it in his overconfidence. He unwittingly prevent Luke from truly going dark with his comments. Luke is willing to die to save his friends Anakin was willing to kill, the Emperor thought they were of the same cloth. Vader looking to his son and then teh emperor you can feel his conflict. Knowing what we know about the prequels you can make a guess of what is going through his head. Padme died, the Emperor couldn’t help me save her. If I let him kill Luke then everything I’ve done has been for nothing. Boom dead Emperor. I could go into the other battles but they don’t have the impact of this one. They are visually great and Han has a great moment with Leia after the Death Star 2.0 is destroyed. Act three is as good as ESB in my mind, no need to wax poetic.
What doesn’t work for me
ROTJ works on just about every level so there is very little to dislike. The special edition additions of the CGI band in Jabba’s place are kinda terrible as is the new song. I also can’t stand the new mouth on the Sarlacc. The only two other things I’d change about the first act are Boba goes down like lil punk and Yoda kinda should have given Luke a better warning about the Emperor. As far as the second and final acts I only have two issues. One is the scene after Luke leaves to face Vader. Leia and Han have what is at best an awkward scene, not quite Anakin and Padme in AotC but not great. The second would be the traps the Ewoks had set up for the Imperials in the woods. Seriously that would require tons of planning and work and they just didn’t have the time.
I mean in the orginal first draft of ANH we have an Ewok/rebels team up that was wookiees instead. How cool would that have been? I still like my Ewoks but Wookiees man. We could have had Wookiees!
RotJ is and always will be a great way to end Anakin’s story. If it weren’t for nostalgia and the way ANH changed the game RotJ would probably most people’s number 2. After my re-watch I have come to new conclusions on how I rank these films. ESB, RotJ, TPM(you read that right), ANH, RotS and AotC. This has also heightened my excitement for next Thursday first viewing of The Force Awakens to levels I’ve not felt for any movie since TPM. I will probably watch the OT Thursday then go right into TFA after seeing RotJ twice in a as many weeks. Expect my review of TFA to be bonkers.
Leia, princess, fighter, rebel, leader, Senator and we learned all that in the first 15 minutes of A New Hope. Its been over 30 years since we have seen her and quite a bit in her life has changed. However its fair to assume that not much has changed about Leia’s overall personality, a little older and wiser maybe but just as take charge and confident.
What do we know?
Leia was a leader in the Rebellion and she is now a General for the Resistance . She leads the Resistance which we believe is a separate organization from the Republic. This would mean she is no longer a political leader but a military one so her change from the begining of ANH(Senator) to the RotJ(Fighting on the ground) is complete.
After the events of RotJ Leia had a choice, study with Luke to become a Jedi or continue her work with the Republic . She decided she’d do the most good with Republic and now with the Resistance.
“It was a great question, and one that we talked about quite a bit, even with Carrie [Fisher]: If there was another, why did she not take advantage of this natural Force strength that this character had? And one of the answers was that it was simply a choice that she made, that her decision to run the Rebellion — ultimately, this Resistance — and consider herself a general, as opposed to a Jedi, it was simply a choice she took. Not that there was any regret that she could have and didn’t, but clearly we’ve seen, and we do again, she’s still Force-strong, and it’s something that is an intrinsic piece of her character.”JJ Abrams (Source)
So she is Force sensitive however she is not a Jedi and limited skills with the Force.
What we suspect
As the Leader of the Resistance she is tasked with stopping the First Order’s rise to power in the Galaxy. She is responsible for sending Poe to Jakku which starts all of our cast on its journey. After the Attack on Maz’s castle Leia leads the Resistance to Takodana to save the rest of the heroes and brings Han Chewie and Finn to the Resistance base. She is also responsible for the Resistance’s secret weapon which they use during the final battle of the movie.
Based on where we meet Han and the fact that Han goes to Maz instead of Leia we can assume that they no longer have the relationship they had at the end of RotJ. Speculation has named Kylo Ren Han and Leia’s son and possibly Rey as their daughter, making Leia a mother of at least one child. Considering where meet Rey and Kylo’s allegiance one would assume the loss of their child(ren) caused their estrangement. However they quickly put aside whatever the negative past is to fight once again against the darkside and save Rey.
By the end of TFA Leia will have won a battle against The First Order and most likely lost Han forever. She will have found a new family member in Rey, whether it be a daughter, niece or just in the Force is yet to be determined.
10 days. Just 10 days until we be in a theater to watch The Force Awakens! Of course the promo machine has kicked into high gear and every cast and crew member that can be interviewed is being interviewed. So we sorted through the new to give you our readers the spoilerly news you deserve!
1) Promo clip “Destiny” with a couple of new shots
mazlow01: So most of this is stuff we have seen however the new shots of Rey and Leia tell me something. Both are from the end of the movie. This most definitely from Rey and Leia’s goodbye before she heads to meet Luke.
davestrrr: Great clip! Those two shots at the end of Leia and Rey are pretty new. Not one of Carrie’s best smiles, but it’ll do. Love the new Rey pic! This pic reminds me of the end of TPM when Anakin get’s cleaned up and is smiling about venturing into his new life as a Jedi. Could this be the end of TFA?
2) New International TV spot with new footage
mazlow01: This mainly just new shots of aerial battles but holy cow the aerial battles look so much better than any previous ones! Also there does appear to be a brief shot of the interior of a ship with Kylo that is similar to a previous shot where he ignites his lightsaber.
davestrrr: Nice. The Rey piece was especially good with a couple of new shots here and there. I love the shot when she takes off her mask. Man, it feels like we are seeing too much of the movie!! The Spanish one is really trying to milk the Oscar Isaac thing.
3) People clarifies Snoke’s height among other interviews
mazlow01: As we thought Snoke is tall but not 25ft tall. Apparently he’s 7ft “something” which I think means closer to 8″ than not. He’s also really thin which is another McQuarrie concept call back to the orginal design of the emperor. Unfortunately this has once again brought back the Plaguies conspiracies. Listen people JJ learned his lesson with Khan. Get over it Plaguies is dead.
davestrrr: Phew! I think this is what we concluded, but still glad he isn’t King Kong height and can actually fit inside a door etc. That will make for better story telling I think.
4) Toys reveal minor characters
mazlow01: More McQuarrie concepts! Cool but nothing great.
davestrrr: I like the Wolfman! Very reminiscent of the Cantina scene.
5) Twitter Awakens Confirms Rey vs Kylo Ren!
mazlow01: Any one that has followed the spoilers knew this but finally confirmation! This did piss off people but lets be honest what doesn’t these days. Also Daisy and Oscar singing a duet was great! They both can really sing!
davestrrr: The fight is what I’m waiting for! We reported a leak last week on this, but it is good to have confirmation. This is the fight that everyone will be talking about! This will be the point that we may learn the truth about Rey’s backstory.
6) There were a TON of new interviews with the cast and crew… too many to link.
mazlow01: I was going to link the interviews here but honestly none of them REALLY gave us new info and I would have to put a link on every letter of the title. The one thing I did take is the cast has great chemistry, they’ve seen the movie and liked it and John and Daisy’s personalities are just fantastic.
davestrrr: So many interviews that I can’t keep up! The Aol stuff was pretty length and good. Except the guy kept talking about his “nerd tears”. Looks like everyone is doing the rounds and doing lots of interviews, but nobody is leaking too much anymore.
mazlow01: Thank you KK! Honestly the more diversity we can get in Star Wars the better for it quality and longevity.
davestrrr: Yeah, I think this is good. I think movies in general need more strong female characters. From what I can tell, Rey is shaping up to be a very strong AND beautiful female character that everyone can look up to.
8) Episode 8 casting and location rumors
mazlow01: The key to me was the travel to Spain. For whatever reason that makes me think of Naboo. I hope that is where we going!
davestrrr: Naboo seems doubtful since that was Italy. Who knows. What about something in the country-side? Beaches? Hills? What about this pic:
OK, so I know I usually get these up on Friday. Now I’m 2 days late, and 2 dollars short, but I’m here to give you another review as part of our lead up the The Force Awakens! If you haven’t, check out my review of A New Hope, or our other reviews here at SpoiledBlueMilk, including my review of the prequels.
Although I’m not a prequel hater, I am very much an OT lover. There was a long time in my life when Star Wars was just the trilogy. No OT, no PT, just “the trilogy”. The Star Wars Trilogy. And Empire has always stood at the top. It’s the darkest of the OT, and widely viewed as the best Star Wars movie around. In fact, there are some that rate it as the best movie ever.
The High Points
The Imperial March. Empire is the first movie that had the famous Imperial March, and the first scene when that music is played is absolutely epic. The Star Destroyers flying around Vader’s Super Star Destroyer, and then you go straight to the “lead in the Hoth System” when the Captain Piett vs Admiral Ozzel confrontation begins. When Vader says with such certainty “That’s it. The Rebels are there” is one of my favorite moments. Vader kicks so much ass in this film! And it’s the little things, like the look that Ozzel gives Piett and this little spat between them is one of the many little things that makes this movie so great to rewatch. You can easily forget about those characters, but each to time you watch it it’s so good.
Luke pulling the saber out of the ice. This is such a good scene because in the release order, this is the first time Luke ever uses the Force to move something. When we first saw this movie back in 1980, it was like “whoa the Force can do that?” It’s easy to take this for granted. Vader had a Force choke, but nothing else really involved such controlled telekinesis. Obi Wan made those Stormtroopers hear something, but it isn’t clear how he did it and if it wasn’t some sort of a mind trick. This moment with the sword in the ice is sort of supposed to be an homage to King Arthur pulling Excalibur out of the stone according to some theories. Who knows what it means, but it’s definitely cool.
The Bounty Hunters scene. I know this is a common one, but you gotta love this motley crew of bounty hunters. Still pretty cool after all these years. Even cooler with the knowledge of the significance of these guys for the story later on.
Luke upside-down and Yoda. This scene with Luke upside down levitating rocks is the first scene when there is a really controlled use of the Force and to me is one of the most significant uses of the Force. That is, until Yoda…
One of my most favorite of all time scenes in any Star Wars production ever is the scene were Yoda lifts Luke’s X-wing out of the swamp. The whole thing. From the beginning when Luke tries to lift it out the the end where this exchange happens:
Luke: I don’t believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.
So amazing even on the kaggillionth viewing. I think this is so true of real life. If you want something to happen and to accomplish some difficult task; if you don’t go in believing you can do it, it won’t happen. This moment, when the Yoda’s theme and the movie for that matter hit a crescendo, when Yoda lifts the X-wing out of the swamp is kind of the one-two punch with the introduction of the Imperial March. This is when you know there is no ordinary movie.
The thing about Empire, is it was still that point in the OT when everything looked “real”. What made Star Wars, A New Hope and subsequently Empire so great was that they were all so real looking compared to anything that happened before. That is, until the not-so-real CGI Jabba was put in ANH. The thing that makes Empire so great is it doesn’t try and do anything with the special effects that is overly ambitious. It does all the special effects for the most part with technology established in ANH. The thing that made it great is it was about telling a good story using established technology. It feels like it is pushing cinema and content rather than special effects. The effects are great, don’t get my wrong, but it doesn’t try and pull some special effects feat that doesn’t work.
Of course the “I am your father” and the “I love you. I know” moments. Also, “I’m altering the deal”. I won’t bother saying anything else on these. Hard to say anything that hasn’t been said many times before about these scenes.
The Low Points
Are there any low points? There is no scene in this movie that I have issues with. None that I can think of or that come up in the movie. Some complain about Leia kissing Luke being gross, but to me it was an innocent mistake. Neither of them knew, and it was just a kiss.
No annoying characters. No sub-par special effects. No bad scenes. This movie has it all.
It’s really hard to criticize this film. I’m pretty sure this is my favorite of all of them!
Excellent! 5 out of 5 stars.
When Revenge of the Sith first came out I was admittedly less excited than I had been for the two previous Prequels. I found myself focusing on the negative aspects of the previous movies instead of the many positives. Basically I was slowly becoming a prequel hater. After the first showing Revenge became my favorite prequel far and away, I thought it was the closest to old school Star Wars and was so freaking happy about it. However now it trades places with TPM as to which is my favorite of the prequels depending on the day. In some way the faults of AotC hurt the potential of RotS and it has it own faults but is still a great movie.
Lets start with a technical and story aspects that work, I’m going to focus on characters and the lightsaber battles after. The opening battle’s effects are just spectacular. I loved every visual they gave me. Once Obi-Wan and Anakin are on the ship there is a great mirror scene where Destroyers roll up on them just like in TPM, it just makes me smile. The comedy R2 adds by being a badass works in RotS in ways earlier comedy attempts did not, maybe because its R2? Who knows but it works. Also the interaction between Anakin and Obi-wan seems much more familiar than it did on AotC. When the Jedi spurn Anakin and then ask him to spy on Palpatine… well it was just another nail in their coffin. The effects on Utapau are also really well done and hold up great. Once Anakin has finally realized the Chancellor is a Sith lord, I absolutely loved how the Jedi seal their fate by excluding Anakin in the arrest. Mace is a total badass in his fight with Sidious but based on Mace’s actions I can believe Anakin would save the Sidious. I find Anakin’s fall completely believable while I know others don’t. The Jedi have consistently undervalued and mishandled Anakin while Sidious has played him perfectly. Of course Anakin would believe him and think the dark side could save his wife. Yoda’s answer was let go of attachment, Mace straight up said I don’t really trust you. Yoda and Obi-wan’s assault on the Jedi Temple was a great example of what teh Jedi SHOULD have been to me. Also Yoda is a badass again. Finally the funeral of Padme when she has the Juniper necklace in her hands… the feels man, right in the feels.
Lets talk about Sidious/Palpatine, holy cow was this a great character and performance by Ian McDiarmid. This is his movie more than any other charcter. Honestly he just chews up every scene and piece of dialog he has. When Obi-wan takes out the two guards during the battle with Dooku and Palpatine gives that lil “Yes!”, it is funny and believable. And after Anakin has Dooku in his grasp, Palpatine is convincing and just works Anakin so well. Honestly I would do what he told me too. I did like how Palpatine seemed nervous about the landing and had a certain amount of contempt for Grevious. The legend of Darth Plaguies is another example of Palpatine being so damn awesome. That scene places one more domino in the final downfall of the Jedi and Anakin. The line “Not from the Jedi”… damn! It is no wonder that Anakin joins him, why wouldn’t he?
Obi-wan once again is great. Pretty much any scene he is in is better because of it. Ewan seems to really be enjoying himself too(Sith lords are our specialty) . Anakin is much better written than in AotC and his interaction with Padme is believable and not creepy like before. I found Anakin’s rage more believable this time also. You tell he has continually been held back and viewed unfavorably and has become frustrated and resentful.
Lighsaber battles. Man o man is this one full of them. Obi-wan and Anakin vs Dooku. Obi-wan vs Grevious, Windu vs Sidious, Anakin Vs Obi-wan, Yoda vs Sidious. And they are all freaking awesome! I will say this the first two were better on the written page than in the movie. The background given about fighting style and subtle uses of the force in O+A vs D made it a much better fight. And Mace’s pep talk to Obi-wan before he leaves to find and destroy Grevious would have been great to see on screen. That said both fights were still really well done. Windu vs Sidious was great on screen. And the finale of Sidious yelling Unlimited power was spine chilling. Now of the two big battles I liked the Yoda vs Sidious better. Sacrilegious I know. Anakin vs Obi-wan was fast paced and just great fight choreography but I wanted to see Anakin getting the better of Obi-wan more. It seemed much more even of fight than my personal head cannon had always pictured it. What I love about the Yoda vs Sidious fight was Sidious’s reaction to everything. When Yoda force pushes him across the room then prevents him from leaving… He laughs! Once the fight is in the Senate chambers he is maniacal in his laughter and just seems to be enjoying the wanton destruction he causes. He even seem annoyed when Yoda fights back. Its is just awesome. Plus the dialog during the fight between the two is very OT style.
What didn’t work
I hate the opening crawl on this movie. I can’t explain what exactly it is maybe its the “War!: start or Heroes on both sides line but it just isn’t Star Warsey to me. The dialog and opening space battle why beautiful is choppy and slow. It could be more dynamic on the action front. I really did not like Padme’s portrayal in RotS. She seems like more of an Anakin prop than anything else and I absolutely hate that. This character carried the first movie, it was hers and in the final movie she merely there to push Anakin into uncomfortable situations.
I also didn’t like how Mace just up and decided Sidious had to die. The Chancellor being killed by a Jedi is good for no one. It makes no sense at all for him to do so. Anakin’s fall to the darkside is great however having him kill younglings right away doesn’t match up and leaves no “good in him” for Obi-wan to think there may be some (RotJ cannon). Anakin should have just let the troopers in and maybe handled any full Jedi there. Padme getting injured by Anakin should have been accidental similar to how they show at the end when Vader destroys everything around him. Padme should have been caught up by his rage focused on Obi-wan not the focus of it herself. Yoda didn’t lose his fight with Sidious he just gave up. Cheap. Having Padme die at the end also ruined RotJ cannon. They could have said she’d never recover fully and might live a couple more years. Have it her as part of the decision to separate the twins to hide them from their father. Let her have some agency in their lives. My final complaint is the complete lack of Jar-Jar. For gods sake he had a quarter of the dialog in TPM and in RotS he has all of one line and two scenes. I don’t care if you hate him its a disservice to the character that was important to the first movie.
No matter the faults I see in RotS, half of which are really just my own head cannon really, its still a great movie. I do like that the prequels are billed as the Story of Anakin but are really the stories of those who shaped him. The first is Padme’s story the second is Obi-wan’s mixed with Padme and Anakin’s courtship and the third is Palpatine’s. While none of these is really about him they all let us know how he became Darth Vader and I think the real fault people have with the movies is they wanted it to be 3 Anakin Skywalker movies and George told us the story we wanted in a way that we weren’t expecting.
Lor San Tekka is quite a mysterious character. Next to Snoke and Maz Kanata, he stands as the most unseen character in The Force Awakens. We know almost nothing about his backstory, but if we put the little bit that we do know together, we get the suggestion that he is much more than a village elder.
EDIT: I’ve just posted a new article about Lor San Tekka here since seeing the movie. Check it out for more insight! Also, I’ve just posted a review of TFA here , and it addresses some of the unanswered questions about Lor San Tekka.
A key plot point and the first live image of Lor San Tekka, played by Max Von Sydow, recently came out of a “Look and Find” book, from which we have the image:
The big news is that Lor has “a message that will help the Resistance against a new threat”. Not only that, we have that the message was placed inside BB-8 (thus mirroring ANH with Leia’s message in R2D2).
We have been told that Tekka is just a Jakku village elder, so why would this particular message be his? It’s possible that the message didn’t originate from Tekka, but rather was already in the lightsaber.
For those of you that may not be aware, Tekka is in possession of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber, the one lost on Cloud City in ESB. He gets it from Nakka, who finds it, and it isn’t until Lor San Tekka recognizes it’s importance that it is kept safe. If we connect this to other rumors about BB-8, we have the potentially relevant peices:
From an old post at MakingStarWars, we have the following:
We follow our main hero, Rey as she says goodbye to the important players in the film, Leia, Poe, and so on. Meanwhile BB-8, Artoo-Detoo, and See-Threepio decode a puzzle. Rey makes a special stop to say goodbye to Finn in the medical bay.
So is it possible that the “message” that Lor leaves in BB-8 is the puzzle, or is encoded in the puzzle? We have from other rumors that the puzzle not only encodes Luke Skywalker’s location, but is also too difficult for humans to solve:
The Resistance cannot decipher the puzzle to find Luke Skywalker, everyone overlooks the droids as potential puzzle solvers.
There was a lot of speculation, and a hint at confirmation (thanks to Darth_Zidious for digging that up for me) over this that the puzzle was put inside Luke’s lightsaber, or was some how part of the puzzle. This is because another article, again from MakingStarWars, reports that:
Poe Dameron arrives and retrieves the lightsaber from [Lor San Tekka]. The only problem? They’ve brought the Empire there as well (not sure if the Empire followed Poe or intercepted the initially transmission he received). Poe sees Stormtroopers are coming and he places the laser sword safely in a little droid: BB-8.
It is believed that Lor San Tekka has Lukes lightsaber, which he got from Nakka. Therefore, we have to wonder if Lor’s message and the puzzle encoding Luke’s location are one and the same. Under this theory, Luke is the thing that “will help the Resitance against a new threat” (presumably Snoke?) This would certainly simplify everything, but could be more controversial than it first looks.
The reason why Lor San Tekka’s message encoding Luke’s location is questionable is because how would Lor know Luke’s location? The way around this is that Luke encoded the puzzle that contains his location, and it was already in the lightsaber. This would be fine, but it says it’s “Lor’s message” according to the official material. Therefore, we have the other possibility that Lor’s message and the puzzle are two different things. Under this scenario, we have from the quote above that Lor’s message “will help the Resistance defend against a new threat”. So it must be something to do with the StarKiller base and some critical piece of info to take down this weapon. This is equally problematic because it raises the question of how Lor knows about the StarKiller weapon?
So we have two possibilities:
- Lor San Tekka knows Luke’s whereabouts and encodes the location in a “puzzle” hidden in Luke’s lightsaber
- Lor San Tekka places a separate message to help the Resistance defend against StarKiller, in addition to the saber, which encodes Luke’s location
The second seems most likely. This is because it is quite possible that everyone and everything on Jakku was formerly part of the Empire, left there after the fall of the Empire following the Battle of Jakku (at least initially; other scavengers later came there). We know that the landscape is full of wreckage of the Empire, and it is quite likely that Lor San Tekka, the Vicar, was once an Imperial officer.
Lor San Tekka was an Imperial officer. He and his troops were abandoned on Jakku. The remaining Imps on Jakku are a warring faction with Unkar Plutt and his thugs, who run scavenging operations. Rey is caught somewhere between the two “tribes.”
Therefore, a very likely scenario is that Lor’s message contains key strategic information about the Star Killer base. If so, this would suggest that this weapon was under construction going way back to the times of the Empire. How else would Tekka know about it? It began construction during the times of the Empire before the Battle of Jakku. It would have to be, to give time to construct such a monstrosity. If all this is true, it gives a plausible backstory to the First Order. They could be the remaining officers left after being stationed on Star Killer base, which we recently learned was once Ilum, and were sent by Palpatine before the end of the Empire.
We reported before about Palpatine sending out scientists and brigades to the outer reaches of the galaxy. The Aftermath book has the quote:
“Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our map was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the Galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.”
Perhaps these brigades were part of the group that started setting up base on Ilum, to seek the Force power in it’s kyber crystals, and forming the Star Killer base. The Ithorian character Byph stumbles upon a crystal on Ilum in the Clone Wars episode “The Gathering”, that almost suggests that the planet could also hold some Dark side power. Although the crystal is blue, there seems to be some red dark side energy that is amplified around it:
What else could do this other than some red Dark side crystals?
These machinations on Ilum were set in play before the Battle of Jakku, and Lor San Tekka was involved with it enough to know the base’s weakness, so that he could convey this in a message through BB-8.
Early concept art depicted Von Sydow as a cyborg character, and possibly former military with the helmets and armor he seems to have. Perhaps it is possible that some original conceptions of him were a damaged former officer with cybernetic replacements for the damage he endured fighting for the Empire.
In the end, we have two possibilities for Lor San Tekka (based on the two possibilities above). Either
- Lor San Tekka has Jedi roots, which is why he recognizes the lightsaber, and he knows Luke’s location, and he puts this in a message inside the lightsaber.
- Lor San Tekka is a former Imperial Officer, with knowledge of the StarKiller base and key strategic information of how to defend against it.
Either way, Lor San Tekka has an intriguing backstory.