Author Archives: Riley Blanton

The Day Kevin Smith Cried – SWR #136

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This week’s episode is brought to you by Big Bad Toy Store

On this week’s podcast, Riley, Bethany and Mark talk about Kevin Smith’s visit to the Episode VII set, too much cgi, and the latest casting news!

  • Download the mp3 HERE: (Right-click and “save as”)
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Krvin Smith

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Why Hayden Christensen Should be in ROTJ

The following is piece by Jason Hunt of the Wampa’s Lair Podcast.

Hayden Christensen should be the Force ghost of Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi.

Now before anyone jumps on me for suggesting such a blasphemous idea let me give you some context about me and my thought process leading up to my conclusion.

Hayden

I am a 25 year old Star Wars fan who missed seeing the OT in unaltered form.  The only OT film I have seen in its original version is ROTJ on a VHS at a friend’s house.  But before you write me off as a young, prequel loving whippersnapper (although that may be true) my first exposure to the films was the Special Edition where I was able to see Sebastian Shaw in all his ghostly glory.  When the DVDs came out with the Hayden change I was surprised but not angry.  I got used to the change and decided I liked it because of how it tied the Prequel Trilogy in with the Original Trilogy, they are the same story after all.

Since then I’ve defended my enjoyment of the change as a stylistic preference while conceding to story based arguments in favor of Sebastian Shaw.  Over the years this lead to a gradual waning of my positive opinion of the Hayden change until I reached a neutral “non-opinion.”  Two weeks ago that all changed.

I was doing my podcast prep for Episode 91 of The Wampa’s Lair Podcast.  Karl and I were discussing various changes in the Star Wars films; changes we liked, changes we didn’t like, and changes we would make.  The Hayden Christensen change came to mind and I was trying to figure out which, if any, category it would go into.  Then that was when my brainstorm hit me and I will never look on this change with apathy or disdain ever again!

Having the Hayden Christensen Anakin as a Force ghost shows us the depth and completeness of Anakin’s redemption.  In my mind it also helps to reinforce the fact that Anakin Skywalker, not Luke, is the Chosen One.  Here is how I see it.

Having the old Anakin as the Force ghost gives me the impression of “Hey you were a good person who turned horribly evil but decided to become good on your deathbed for all the right reasons and here is your reward.”  Maybe that’s a slightly cynical look at it but it really feels like old Anakin is a ghost only because he turned to the light side and Luke forgave him right there.  Not that I’m saying that was a bad thing but it seems a bit limited.

With the Hayden Christensen Force ghost we see Anakin as he was BEFORE his fall to the dark side.  This is key because that shows me the full extent of his redemption.  Not only did Luke forgive Anakin but it appears the Force did as well.  Anakin fell to the dark side, abandoned his calling of being the Chosen One, and committed horrible acts in the name of his master.  But at the very end of it all when Anakin rises up in Vader, saves his son, and kills the emperor he returned to the light side and fulfilled his destiny as the Chosen One. With the young Anakin ghost we see that his redemption wasn’t just for his last moments of life.  Anakin’s redemption was full and complete, covering everything that he ever did.

So maybe that wasn’t George Lucas’ intention when he made that change and maybe my view is colored by my religious beliefs.  But that’s the beauty of Star Wars.  We get to read our own experiences in mythology, philosophy, and theology in the characters and stories on the screen.  All I know is after coming to this realization about Anakin’s Force ghost I get chills when I see Hayden Christensen in Return of the Jedi.  This is now my favorite change made in Return of the Jedi.  I don’t expect everyone to have the same reaction I did but maybe at least this will give people less cause to hate the change.

Jason Hunt

Episode VII Casting: Crystal Clarke & Pip Anderson

From starwars.com, (via Making Star Wars) it looks like we have to latest members of the Star Wars VII cast have joined the crew! Are they “Rachel and Thomas”? It looks that way.

Having hunted high and low for young and undiscovered talent, the filmmakers are delighted to announce that two actors from the open call call have been cast.

pip-crystal-1536x864-754960233252

Crystal Clarke is an American actress studying in Glasgow, UK, who has both stage and screen acting experience and is soon to be seen in her first feature, The Moon and the Sun (to be released in 2015). British actor Pip Anderson is a skilled practitioner of parkour, a discipline that involves propelling oneself through any given environment with incredible grace and agility. Pip recently demonstrated this remarkable skill in a Spider-Man adfor Sony.

“The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition. We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film,” said producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

Abu Dhabi shooting is now wrapped and it looks like Principal photography continues at Pinewood. However, there will be a two week break in August while Harrison Ford recovers from his peg-leg-causing injury.

Most importantly: The release date stands firm! See ya in theaters in Dec. 2015!

-Riley

Three Star Wars Characters I have an Irrational Love For

Tastes vary and tastes change, but it is often our first impressions and earliest preferences that stick with us. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen the Star Wars films, but I can tell you that the characters that drew my attention most as a child are still the ones that make me smile every time I watch the films. If you are like me you probably have your own set of supporting or background characters that you love. I thought I would share with you three characters from the original trilogy that I have an irrational love for.

A New Hope: Kabe

A number of thoughts pass through my mind when I see Kabe, the diminutive female Chandra-Fan sidle up to the bar. If the cantina is such a rough-and-tumble place, what is this little critter doing in there? Just how much butt must Kabe kick?

I also am impressed with the eagerness to imbibe that drink of whatever concoction Wuher cooked up. The contrast of large appetite and small stature provides a note of humor in stories.

Finally I am struck with the irrepressible urge to say, “awww, how cute.”

The Empire Strikes Back: Toryn Farr

In the male dominated originally trilogy, Rebel communications officer Toryn Farr sticks out. We learn next to nothing about her, but two things make me always cheer her appearance.

Toryn has some of the coolest toys in the galaxy. The sensor screens that she operates are one of my favorite pieces of set in the entire trilogy.

More important than her tech is Toryn’s courage. She is one of the last to evacuate the Hoth base, even after the Imperials have made landfall and the whole base is shaking she stays in the command center to make sure her comrades can get away.

Return of the Jedi: EV-9D9

ev-9d9

Prior to Return of the Jedi we had seen droids that where obstinate, cranky, sarcastic, helpful, brave, and even quietly menacing. When we enter Jabba’s Palace we meet a whole new set of sadistic and evil droids in the bowels of the palace.

Of these droids my favorite is EV-9D9. A supervisor and interrogator droid EV was just plain nasty. Now it is hard to tell if EV is one of my favorite characters because of her appearance in the film or because of how awesome the action figure was.

I received a case of loose Star Wars action figures and accessories from my cousin Joe and EV was one of my favorite figures because of her articulated mouth. I don’t know why I was so tickled by that feature but playing with EV is something I still remember today.

Do you share my irrational love of Kabe, Toryn, and Ev-9D9? Are there other characters you irrationally love? Let me know on Twitter:

@PeteMorrisonLR

Spanish Palpatine – SWR #135

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This week’s episode is brought to you by Big Bad Toy Store

On this week’s podcast, Riley, Bethany and Mark talk about discovering the social side of fandom, the latest Episode VII rumors, and a new tidbit on Star Wars Rebels.

  • Download the mp3 HERE: (Right-click and “save as”)
  • Also, for exclusive updates and content, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list! 
  • Be sure to jump to the bottom of this post to subscribe to the show.

Senator_palpatine

We’d also like to thank our sponsor! It’s Big Bad Toy Store! Amazing deals for all of your collecting needs! Just go to starwarsreport.com/toys

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