Tag Archives: lucasfilm

The Galaxy Awaits in The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Dark Horse Books, Lucasfilm Ltd., Respawn Entertainment, and Electronic Arts present The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The new book, which was created in close collaboration between the four companies, is a full-color, oversized hardcover volume that captures the design process of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a galaxy-spanning, action-adventure video game from Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts arriving later this year.

The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order will guide readers through Cal Kestis’ perilous and heroic journey across the galaxy in an attempt to rebuild the Jedi Order as he learns the ways of the Force, travels to exotic worlds, and battles tyrannical foes. This uniquely designed work is sure to thrill dedicated Star Wars fans and gamers alike.With detailed concept art of all-new characters, exciting equipment, and locales both familiar and new, this tome offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a highly anticipated video game—all accompanied by intimate artists’ commentary that reveal how this incredible galaxy is brought together.

The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order goes on sale November 19, 2019.

The Art of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Explore The Art of Star Wars Rebels. The Art of Star Wars Rebels in October

Dark Horse Books and Lucasfilm present the official look inside one of the galaxy’s most beloved shows in The Art of Star Wars RebelsThe Art of Star Wars Rebels is an incredible hardcover amassing art and creator commentary chronicling four seasons of adventure in a galaxy far, far away. 

The award-winning team from Lucasfilm Animation brought the beloved occupants of the Ghost into our homes four years ago, now, take a step behind-the-scenes to witness the journey from paper to screen with The Art of Star Wars Rebels. Featuring never-before-seen concept art and process pieces along with exclusive commentary from the team behind the show as well as show creators Dave Filoni, Simon Kinberg, and Carrie Beck provided by writer Dan Wallace, this is the perfect addition to any Star Wars fan’s collection! 

The Art of Star Wars Rebels follows a tight-knit group of rebels in the early days of the rebellion banded together against all odds to do their part in the larger mission of defeating the Galactic Empire, sparking hope across the galaxy.

The Art of Star Wars Rebels goes on sale October 1, 2019, and retails for $39.99.

The Art of Star Wars Rebels

Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

We’ve all heard the rumors and know the reality that Solo: A Star Wars Story, the latest entry into the yearly Star Wars movie release schedule, was a full on production disaster. Directors were replaced. Rumors of actors unable to do the basics and in need of coaches. A script that was a mess. With all of that you’d expect what has wound up on screen to be an utter disaster. But, that’s the farthest thing from reality. Solo: A Star Wars Story is actually pretty fun.

Is it high art? No. Is it as good as the original trilogy? No. But, it’s a solid popcorn film that has enough new and enough winks and nods to make Star Wars fans and non-fans happy.

If you go into the film expecting what has come before, you’l be disappointed. Solo: A Star Wars Story is a departure from what has been released in many ways. While it is the second stand-alone film, Rogue One being the first, it’s also the first real stand alone film. Rogue One was a prequel to the original trilogy tying directly into it with its final scene and delivering a pretty key story to the adventure. Solo is something different. While the film obviously ties into everything that has happened, it also isn’t a vital tie-in. It’s a film set in the Star Wars universe as opposed to a film that’s a must watch fleshing out the story of the original trilogy.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is interesting in so many ways because of all of this. The film is the right direction for the franchise and while it stumbles at times, it’s entertaining. The story follows Solo as he joins the criminal underworld and we see key moments of his career. There’s his meeting of Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian but there’s also a lot that’s new. There’s also some interesting fleshing out of the Star Wars universe with hints and direct tie-ins that should make long time fans happy.

Solo is a gangster/crime/heist film set in the Star Wars universe. At its heart there’s little that’s new. A job is screwed up and the crew must make up for it with a bigger heist. That plot has been seen before. But, it hasn’t been seen in a Star Wars film. The heist plot has been seen in the animated spin-offs though and this film feels like it has more in common with Star Wars: Rebels, the latest animated television series, than anything else.

The film hits the right notes and at times things feel like a checklist when it comes to that. We get Chewie, Lando, and the Kessel run. None of it is surprising and it’s all fan service. But, it’s a fun ride with some great visuals and a presentation that feels unique.

The cast is all over in their ability. Alden Ehrenreich steps into the role Harrison Ford made as Han Solo and at times he channels Ford and at other times he’s about as far away in delivery as one can get. It’s not bad but it’s also not a star-making turn. Joonas Suotamo repeats as Chewbacca and the character feels appropriately younger and more physical. Woody Harrelson as Becket is the gang leader and he brings his curled smile that he delivers in so many roles. Emilia Clarke is the love interest who is good but something is missing that we get at the end of the film. Where her character goes is what we should have seen more of. Donald Glover steals the show as Lando Calrissian. He channels Billy Dee Williams at times sounding exactly like Williams. Glover’s performance emphasizes how off Ehrenreich’s Solo is at times. Glover is so good it makes every else look far behind (other than Suotamo). Thandie Newton‘s Val is underused and Paul Bettany‘s creepy Dryden Vos is a sleezy mob boss and great on screen. The film’s break out star is Phoebe Waller-Bridge‘s L3-37, the film’s robot compadre. L3-37’s belief in robot rights and being convinced of Lando’s crush is the thing of entertainment and delivers something special to a film which would be so much less without.

As I mentioned, the film visually is great and the characters and sets look fantastic. This is a grittier film in many ways showing the coldness of space and the Empire’s machine. This is a Star Wars universe I want to see more of. We can have stories set in the world that isn’t just an extension of the original trilogy’s story. We need spin-offs that can stand on their own.

The film isn’t perfect, far from it, but it is fun and entertaining. There’s some great sequences and it’s possible my lowered expectations due to the on-set drama may have had me expecting very little. While it may nit be as good as the original trilogy it’s definitely better than the prequels and well worth the price of admission. And, the film has me wanting to see what’s next.

Overall Rating: 7.0

Those Two Geeks With Alex & Joe Episode Thirteen

On the docket this week: The geeks have seen Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jediand want to talk about it. And they do. With full spoilers almost right from the get go, so be warned.

As always, the Alex and Joe can be found on twitter respectively @karcossa and @jc_hesh if you feel the need to tell them they’re wrong individually, or @those2geeks if you want to yell at them together on twitter or email ItsThose2Geeks@gmail.com.

Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week in the future!

Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2017 has been filled with “anticipated” films and yet none of them feel quite as anticipated as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, what’s sure to be a billion dollar film and a dominating presence for the next few months. The film exceeds expectations in many ways and falls flat in others, but overall, it’s 2.5 hour thing of force, action, and a surprising amount of humor.

The Last Jedi focuses on just a few settings and plot points but its themes are consistent for each. Like The Force Awakens‘ homage and comparison to A New Hope, it’s difficult to not compare The Last Jedi to Empire Strikes Back. Both are the middle chapter of a trilogy but how each film parallels each other is an interesting thing. The Last Jedi, like Empire, is about “hope.” It’s a word that’s brought up numerous times and unlike Empire‘s down take on that theme, The Last Jedi gives us a more inspired version that guides us to the yin of the Empire‘s darker and more negative yang. This film sees the light beyond the darkness the spark of rebellion from a small flame and it makes sure we see it too.

The film picks up from The Force Awakens with the Rebellion on the run and the First Order in pursuit. It’s really one long space battle and pursuit with some side quests. The issue at hand is the Rebellion’s lack of fuel making it inevitable the First Order will catch them to finish them off. Numbering just 400 individuals, hope is dim. A mission is cooked up to give the Rebellion a chance to escape and survive involving pass codes and disabling the main pursuing ship. A sidequest taken up by Finn and new character Rose (played by Kelly Marie Tran) and takes us to one of the few different locations, a gambling world that’s beautiful but with a dark undercurrent.

Here too the concept of “hope” is explored but in this case, it’s a discussion about what “hope” the 99% have against the 1% that exploit them. Though subtle, this is where the film gets its most outright political with an exploration of excess and what the wealthy 1% do with their money. Rose, representing the common worker, discusses the exploitation of ore and mineral and while she describes the world as beautiful can’t help but seeing the corrupt darkness it represents. A class warrior angle is presented and out of everything, it’s one of the more interesting aspects of themes. War has raged and there’s going to be individuals who profit off of it either through the sales of arms or exploitation of worlds and people. Here, that’s on full display.

When not focused on Finn and Rose’s quest, or the impending doom that is the pursuit in space, the movie explores Rey’s exploration as she attempts to lure back Luke Skywalker to help her and the Rebellion. Luke is a grizzled old man who has given up the ways of the Jedi instead living as a hermit at an old Jedi temple/outpost and attempting to enjoy his life. He’s seen the folly of the Jedi and the failure they represent and after his attempt to restore the Order, and it’s failure in Kylo, he’s given up deciding it’s best for the Jedi to die out and let a natural balance to the Force take over. Rey’s focus is to get Luke back into the battle thinking he represents the hope the Rebellion needs but she also wants to understand her own history and what she’s experiencing herself.

The Last Jedi is a brutal film with no problems destroying ships, sets, and killing characters and in each instance doing so with a style and look that’s jaw dropping. Director Rian Johnson (who also was the writer) delivers an amazing looking film with a style unto itself focused on using color to create the mood and setting. Every costume, everyone room, every scene has a color palette carefully chosen and to be debated for years. What’s Rey’s dark blue/grey mean? Why is Luke wearing black? There’s choices in that space alone which could see endless articles written.

Johnson also gives us nostalgia. There’s scenes that outright call back to the original trilogy. A speech in a elevator lift, a talk about what someone might do, they’re dialogue and scenes at times that feel lifted from other films emphasizing an almost cyclical nature of it all. There’s also throne room scenes that feel like they’re straight out of Return of the Jedi. And even Revenge of the Sith gets a nod in some ways.

Things aren’t all great. There’s some characters that fall flat like Benicio Del Toro‘s DJ whose delivery just feels like another take on the Marvel’s the Collector. And, the choice of the actor for the role seems rather odd as the screen time for this is rather limited. Again, Gwendoline Christie‘s Phasma goes down as the most overhyped and underused character in a long time. While there’s a final conflict between Phasma and Finn, it feels forced as if Johnson had to come up with something for the character. Snoke’s fate too feels a little too abrupt and anticlimactic with too many questions left out there. Finally, while I like Rose the character, she quickly turns into a do everything character starting as a maintenance person and then flying a plane in the final battle as if every person in the Rebellion excels at everything (the defense is she’s shown piloting a ship, which questions why she was in her maintenance role to begin with). And not all the settings work too, while I appreciated its themes of the 1%, scenes in the gambling world also feel a bit there for the kids based on some of who we meet and what happens. It lightens up what otherwise is a pretty dark film.

But, there’s also so much that’s good.

The film has a surprising amount of humor and there’s some really good laughs. It does a great job of taking our still relatively new heroes of Poe, Finn, and Rey, and adding more to them as to why we should like them. The action sequences are jaw dropping at times with space battle after space battle and an ending move that’s “holy shit” levels of amazing.

But, what I keep coming back to is that theme of “hope.” Johnson gets how to take a theme for a film and weave it into everything. From the obvious, the “hope” of escaping the First Order and the “hope” of sparking a new Rebellion, but also the “hope” we place in heroes. There’s the instance of it that Rey places in Luke where the idea of legends vs. reality is explored, but also Poe and his interaction with Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (played by Laura Dern). Poe must learn to respect “hope” in some ways and that direct results that are clear might not always be the answer. Sometimes you have to accept and “hope” things will turn out all right in the end.

And that’s where The Last Jedi and Empire Strikes Back diverge the most. Empire had us looking for “hope” but ended on a “down note.” The Last Jedi seems to recognize in this day and age that wouldn’t work and we need a real Rebellion, we need to see the sparks, and the film reminds us that from the tiniest flames a raging fire can grow.

Through it’s setting of constant pursuit, it’s acceptance of a dire situation, and it’s focus on the better tomorrow, Star Wars: The Last Jedi feels like it embodies today’s zeitgeist of “the resistance” and creates a Rebellion for us to be believe in.

Overall Rating: 9.0

Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny Comic Books Coming in 2018 from IDW Publishing

Fans who took their first step into a larger world with Star Wars Adventures are destined to love Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny. IDW Publishing and Lucasfilm are collaborating on a new series further exploring the comic book adventures of Star Wars for all ages— Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny is a weekly comic book series that will star such popular Star Wars heroines as LeiaReyPadméAhsoka, and Hera along with the newest stars from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rose and Paige.

Just as exciting are the talented creators who will be bringing these beloved characters’ stories to life, including an impressive roster of female writers from across the galaxy: Delilah S. DawsonElsa CharretierBeth RevisJody Houser, and Devin Grayson.

Art and covers will be provided by Elsa Charretier, Arianna Florean, Eva Widermann, Valentina Pinto, and Nicoletta Baldari. Charretier will also contribute five interconnected variant covers, which combine to create an iconic Forces of Destiny image. Collectible animation cell variant covers will be available from your retailer, as will a super-rare variant by Annie Wu.

May the Force(s) be with you this January when Star Wars Adventures: Forces of Destiny arrives weekly!

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