Monthly Archives: November 2012

SWR Staff United: Why We Love Star Wars

Disney bought Star Wars, Disney bought Star Wars…those are the words that have been rippling through not only the Star Wars community but the Disney community as well. Fans have been tested as to what kind of fan they truly are. We have seen many fans that have now denounced Star Wars and George Lucas because of this move. We have seen others that it has strengthened their belief in the Star Wars saga. It is amazing to me how this kind of news can shift someone’s fandom of something they have probably loved their entire life. While the reactions to the news have ranged from anger to elated with some anxious/confusion mixed in I think we can all agree that the Star Wars universe will forever be changed.

The Staff at the Star Wars Report were just as effected by this news only all of us were effected differently. Some of us just want to sit back and wait to hear what the new movie will be about while some of us like to speculate and develop theories. We all have our own concerns based on what part of the universe we care about the most and I think it is our passion that pulls us all together. During times like this as the rumor mill begins to circulate we have all taken an introspective look at our own personal fandom. We have all been trying to answer the question of why we love Star Wars?

We all have come together because we all have a very strong passion for the Saga but how we got here and why we are still here are different stories. As we talked about this we decided that we wanted to take a look at why each of us has this passion and what exactly it is about Star Wars that keeps the force flowing through us.

As we started down our introspective journey we had to first take a look at how we got here. One thing we found is that none of us saw the original trilogy in the theater when it first came out. This was astonishing because generally speaking there is always one person in a group that is old enough to remember the OT being released in theaters. Not in this group! All of us were introduced to the films either on VHS tape or on TV if it was being aired. We were introduced by our parents or even by our Catholic Grandparents. Some of us saw them when were very little like me (Teresa), Ryan and Pete. The rest of us were about 9 or 10 years old, well unless you are Riley and Bethany. These two first saw Star Wars by watching the Phantom Menace when they were in their teens! It does not matter what age we got introduced or how we got introduced the key thing is that we all found Star Wars!

Even though we all may have been introduced to Star Wars there came a time when we actually liked Star Wars. For some of us it took us a while to truly like it. We liked the action and we definitely were entertained but it would be later in life that we would really start to understand the story. As kids the character development and the story development was a little underneath us, but as we grew and watched it more we began to understand the story and the depth that Star Wars would take us. For some of us however the things that got us hooked were the sounds, music and visuals. The special editions were huge for the Staff of the Star Wars report as many of us got to see the Original trilogy in theaters and this experience far eclipsed watching it at home, thus getting us hooked further.

Liking Star Wars does not get you to where are all of us are today in our fandom. There had to be at least one thing that when we saw the films we got ourselves hooked. I actually think this topic is one that shows how different yet alike we all are. For some of us it was the Jedi vs. Sith and they way the interacted with each other in the saga. For many of our staff it was the existence of the force and the way that it flows through the universe. Still for other it is the themes that comprise the story and the mythology of the characters. Then there are the few of us that can remember one simple thing that hooked us, it could be small like a lightsaber or as simple as a character like the Ewoks.

Everyone always gets asked what their favorite film is and that is no different here. We all have different favorite films and sometimes that even changes depending on where we are in our lives or what our mood is. For almost all of us it is a toss up between 2 or 3 films. With having a group that is as young as we are it is inevitable that some of our favorite films are going to be the prequels. While my favorite film is not a prequel film my order of preference has them before Empire Strikes Back, which tends to blow some other fans minds. The two films that take the majority of the votes from our staff were Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back with Revenge of the Sith in a very close 3rd.

As we dug a little deeper past our favorites and began to analyze our lives because of Star Wars I felt it was fitting for us to look at the things we do in our lives that are because of what we have learned. Here is a quick list of the life lessons we have taken away:

  • Always commit to the things you want in life. Do them with passion and with strength or don’t do them at all
  • Never just be yourself…make yourself. Choose your own fate.
  • Never give in to your dark side.
  • If you have a chance to do the right thing…Do It! Do not be afraid and don’t step back.
  • Your choices make a difference and they shape your personality and character
  • Never be afraid to show your true self
  • We all make mistakes, to change all you have to do is choose to act

 

It is always easy to think about who your favorite character in the Star Wars universe is. However, it is harder to decide which character you most identify with because sometimes this character is not your favorite. Sometimes this character is someone that you do not even like. I identify the most with Padme Amidala I have a set of skills very similar to her and what she uses to keep the peace in the senate. I am also a fighter for peace and equality just as she is. Her strength is something i also see in myself but at the same time I admire her positivity and sense of self. Each one of us identifies with a character in a similar way. Riley most identifies with Han Solo because of his ability to take things in stride. Mark also identifies with Han but for much different reasons. Mark sees the Han that evolved in the Expanded Universe. He sees a person that was dealt a lot of hardships and learned to evolve from the pain and become even stronger. I think there were a lot of young fans out there that identified with Luke but we have four staff members that truly identify with Luke because of his compassion for others, willingness to do what is right and his passion for adventure. We only have one staff member that identifies with Chewie and his loyalty. The reason that Star Wars impresses me is the fact that there are so many diverse characters to choose from.

The final aspect of being a fan is recognizing all of the things that the world of Star Wars contributes that has nothing to do with the movies. We as a staff can all agree that the world of Star Wars fandom has brought many things to our lives. From friends that we make because we all love the same thing to the books that we read so that we can dive deeper into the world we love. The one thing we can all agree upon is that the world of Star Wars has never stopped growing regardless of the fact that the last film came out in 2005. We have gotten so much content through the years on top of the fan conventions that we have also gotten to enjoy. With this new evolution as Star Wars continues through Disney the one thing we know will happen for sure is that we are getting more Star Wars. It is a great time to be a Star Wars fan and to appreciate all the reasons that we quite simply Love Star Wars.

Teresa (@icecoldpenguin@fangirl_ND) 

Star Wars nerd at heart and a pop culture fanatic. Fangirl blogger, movie and book reviewer. Avid reader and film goer.I love penguins! Creator of the Fangirl Next Door website and podcast and staff for Jedi News UK.

http://www.fangirlnextdoor.com/

When You Wish Upon A Death Star… Killing The Big 3 – SWBTF #45

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Lucas Sells Out, Disney buys Lucasfilm, the Sequel Trilogy is a go with Episode VII coming in 2015, all on the next Star Wars Beyond the Films. YOUR Star Wars discussion podcast! YOUR ticket to the EU!

This week true believers, Beyonders, Fanboys, Fangirls, respected aliens around the galaxy, The Defender of the EU; Mark Hurliman, and your EU Guru; Nathan P. Butler, sit down to discuss the news that just might break the Expanded Universe. Strap in and tighten your crash webbing, Star Wars Beyond the Films is setting off on another rapid-fire trip into the galaxy far, far away!

The news that rocked the Fandom. Your hosts explore some of the possible ramifications of this major news. And how it might impact your Expanded Universe. They ponder if the EU could continue to  exist on its own as an alternate universe when Episode 7 comes out in 2015. While Nathan wants clarity, Mark wants the deaths of the big 3, if his EU is to go out, it might as well go out with a big bang!

They also discussed the possibilities of what could happen to Del Rey and Dark Horse as well as Cartoon Network with this announcement. But enough doom and gloom, on the brighter side of things: How about a Star Wars THEME PARK!

Oh all the Star Wars products that just might be. Leia as a Disney Princess? Does that make Han a Rogue Charming?Once again, your dynamic duo cover entirely too much Fan Reaction action in their ONE hour, but don’t worry, give it a go; you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even get a little education on the EU while you’re at it. But no matter how you slice it and dice it, you’ll be having another adventure Beyond the Films. So sit back, hang on, enjoy the show, and may the Force be with you!

Email:         SWBeyondfilms@starwarsfanworks.com
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Star Wars 7: Where Will the Story Take Us?

Now that we have had some time to process the amazing news that there will be more Star Wars movies, it’s time to start speculating.  The next movie is tentatively coming out in 2015 so speculation this early is almost pointless… but that’s never stopped me before.

With the announcement of an Episode VII the first thing on many people’s mind was “what will the story be about?”  It’s anyone’s guess, but we have been given a little direction.  Since the movie was referred to as Star Wars 7 that implies it will be picking up where Return of the Jedi left off or at least take place after RotJ in the timeline.  Here is what George Lucas had to say about the material that will be used for future Star Wars movies.

I have story treatments of 7, 8, and 9 and a bunch of other movies and obviously we have hundreds of books and comics.. everthing you could possibly imagine.  I sort of move that treasure trove of stories to Kathy and I have complete confidence that she is going to take them and make great movies.

Ok, so maybe that doesn’t tell us too much but we know that George has given story treatments for the new movies so we have to assume that these treatments will at least be the basis for what we see in 7, 8, and 9.  What is the likely direction the story will take?  All of our main characters are still alive and kickin’ at the end of Jedi so will these new movies pick up their story?  Will we instead get the story of the next generation of Solos and Skywalkers?  Will Chewbacca be killed for dramatic effect?  Let the speculation begin.

Unlikely: Expanded Universe Adaption

Many fans of the Expanded Universe of Star Wars already know what happens to Luke and friends after Return of the Jedi.  Han and Leia get married and have kids, Luke goes dark, he comes back to the light, he gets married, he has a kid, and so on.  But will these stories, which are found mostly in novels but also in comics, be the basis of the new movies?  Probably not.  George Lucas has a history of ignoring the Expanded Universe.  If these new movies are based on his treatments they will not be adaptions of  or even similar to the Thrawn Trilogy or the New Jedi Order books, as much as some fans might want to see that.  That doesn’t mean elements from these books won’t leak into the movies.  Maybe there will be a character named Mara Jade or Han and Leia may have twins, but I wouldn’t expect them to be the characters we know from the novels.  I just hope that if they do decide to give Luke a son they at least name him Ben.

More Likely: Directly After Return of the Jedi

They may decide to pick the story up directly after Return of the Jedi or just a few years after.  Maybe tell the story of how Luke, Han, and Leia helped wipe out the remaining forces of the Empire and established the New Republic (or whatever they decide to call it).  This would mean that the actors from the Original Trilogy would be way too old to play the parts.  The iconic parts of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia would have to be recast with younger actors.  Could this work without taking viewers completely out of the story?  I personally think the prospect of recasting the parts is fun.  Imagine how the internet would explode when they announce the actor who will play Luke Skywalker.  It would be a wild ride of fan overreaction and extremely fun to watch.

Most Likely: Many Years After Return of the Jedi

This is what I believe is the most likely placement of the new movies.  I really think we will see Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher reprise their roles at least in the first movie of the new trilogy.  Harrison Ford is a long shot but it would be cool if they all were back.  Mark Hamill claims that Lucas had once told him that he would like Hamill to play an Obi-Wan type character in a future movie.  It makes sense to have these older characters involved and pass the torch on to a younger generation of characters.  Maybe their children or maybe new characters all together.  So if Hamill and Fisher were to be in the movies (assuming no facial CGI or heavy make-up) they would have to be set about 40 years or more after Return of the Jedi.  This could make for some interesting storytelling.  It would be far enough in the future that Luke would have already re-established the Jedi Order.  Also the characters would have likely already been married and had families by now.  Shoot, their kids could be having kids.  We could have a fully populated world that has been at peace for years that is just ripe for a new galaxy spanning war.

Probably Not: Far Flung Future

There is always the possibility that Disney/Lucasfilm will decide to place the new movies far into the future of the Star Wars universe. Somewhere so far in the future that all major characters from the movies will have passed on and they could start fresh with a brand new cast of characters.  Dark Horse Comics has already done a similar thing with their Legacy series which follows the exploits of a Skywalker descendant named Cade Skywalker.  If the filmmakers do decide to go this direction I highly doubt we would see much if any influence from the comics, and they would most likely come up with their own original stories.

The appeal to this possibility is that we would have completely fresh perspective on the Star Wars universe.  Going this far into the future would put distance between the new movies and the existing six films and give new storytellers a wide open world to play in.  But is distance a good thing?  Filmgoers may need some familiarity to feel comfortable with these new movies.  I don’t expect this is the route they will take, although who knows how many Star Wars movies will be eventually made.  Maybe this era with be explored by movies set after 7, 8, and 9.

Until more official information is released all we can do is guess.  This is only the beginning of 3 long years of speculation and anticipation.  The good news is that at the end of those 3 years WE GET NEW STAR WARS MOVIES!

- Aaron Goins

“Disney Purchases LucasArts… Episode VII in 2015”

“Disney Purchases LucasArts… Episode VII in 2015”

That was the headline that turned my fandom upside-down. I lit up with excitement and immediately started talking to everyone I knew about it. While I am sure this is just one of many reaction articles I will write, I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts based on this one simple headline. This article is not going to be about speculation and what-if’s… it’s just a reaction to what we have already heard.

Let’s break it down, piece by piece.

“Disney…

What a great start! Disney is a great company that always provides high-quality entertainment for all ages. They are at the top of their craft, and there are few companies that have the enduring success of Disney. Specifically:
  • Disney is great at being creative- ask anyone how they feel about Disney movies and you will find almost universal appreciation.
  • Disney is great about fan experiences- there’s a reason that when people say “You’ve just won a million dollars… what are you going to do next?” and the answer is “I’m going to Disneyland!”.
  • Disney is great at making things that are relevant to the entire family- watching a great Disney movie is enjoyable for kids and parents alike!
  • Disney is great at managing brands- few characters are as carefully protected and beloved by all as Mickey and the Gang.

As George has been quoted as saying “When I first made Star Wars, everybody said, “This is a movie Disney should have made”. I couldn’t agree more that if Disney had been involved from the beginning, they would have played a great and welcome role. Them coming on board at this point will be just as successful!

Purchases LucasArts…

There are two great things that come to mind when I think about Disney purchasing LucasArts. The first is that this is something that Disney has been successful with in the past. When looking objectively at Disney’s purchase of Marvel and of Pixar… They have done a great job managing and expanding those brands.
The second is that it doesn’t mean that LucasArts is being dismantled or destroyed. When Disney purchased Marvel, comic book fans were terrified. What did it mean for the writing teams? What did it mean for Stan Lee’s role as the Yoda of comics? What would happen to the individual franchises?

If the result of Disney’s takeover of Marvel (at least in the movies side) is The Avengers, then Star Wars fans have NOTHING to worry about. That movie was widely heralded by fans and reviewers alike as a top-tier superhero movie. If that is the quality and love that Disney brings to its newly acquired companies, we are lucky to be moving to their camp.

Episode VII…

It’s very difficult to write about this part without going into my hopes and fears and without rampant speculation. All I can say is that as a Star Wars fan, I am SO excited that these films are being made. Knowing that there are more movies on the horizon just gets me all the more enthusiastic about the Galaxy I love the most (No offense, Milky Way). It means that there are more secrets to be revealed, more characters to meet and more adventures to be had.

As a huge fan of the EU (again, not going into hopes and fears here) I appreciate the richness of the universe George has created for us. It is so simple in its approach to good vs evil and yet so complex in its understanding of human (and bothan and barabel and wookiee…) nature and how complex individuals will always exist, even in a simple world. Even if they aren’t what YOU or I want them to be, the more stories we get the better our fandom is. I believe this with all of my heart!

In 2015”

Okay, I’m breaking my own rule and going off on wild speculation here. Why was this announcement made now? Why did the sale go through at all?

Most importantly, how come a franchise that has asked its fans to wait 15+ years is announcing something to be released in 3 years?

I think (Actually think, not only hope) the answer is that the IDEA came before the SALE. The one thing that makes the most sense to me is that someone came up with a brilliant idea for Episode VII, probably not knowing if it would even be possible to make. I think that the idea was SO GREAT that it convinced Disney that it was worth… I don’t know… maybe… FOUR BILLION (with a B) DOLLARS!

A single movie would not be enough to prompt this, but an idea that is good enough to jumpstart an entire revival would be!

Then that idea was good enough to convince the Maker himself that now was the time to entrust his coddled, nursed and protected baby to another. As much as we like to bash George’s love of money, he really does love his universe as well. I don’t think he would sell it if he didn’t have a real reason to believe it would be treated well. The rumors that the majority of the profits will be donated to charity further reinforces this point.

I truly believe that all of this is happening because the idea was crafted and that the idea was good enough to make it worth it for all parties from all directions. An idea that is good enough to ensure that it was smart business to invest 4 billion dollars (still with a b) and also an idea that is good enough for George to pass along his life’s work.

An idea that powerful has me so excited for what is to come!

-Mitchell Hanan

Mitchell is a Star Wars fan and a generally Hoopy Frood. He enjoys everything Sci-Fi and Fantasy but always comes back to the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Whether he’s defending the Prequel Trilogy, recommending different starting points for the EU or playing the newest games, Mitchell always looks for ways to bring his fandom to his family and friends.

Disney Acquires Lucasfilm (The GL clause) – #SWR 68

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Disney acquires Lucasfilm.

 

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Riley Blanton

Host of the Star Wars Report podcast, Tech enthusiast, former CAP cadet. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of… well… other people.

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