Author Archives: Riley Blanton

The Omaze Episode VII Videos Tell Us These Two Things

J.J. just dropped another juicy Ep. VII detail in the form of a new Omaze charity video.

In the video, J.J. reveals the new X-wing design for Ep. VII, and it looks sweet!

However, I can’t help but think that there’s more to these teases than just raising money for charity.  These Omaze videos show just how brilliant the marketing for Ep. VII has been thus far for 2 reasons:

1. The videos show a focus on practical effects.

It’s no secret that many fans think the prequels focused way too much on the visual effects at the expense of the story. You’ll notice that a blue screen is nowhere to be found in either of these videos. This is no accident. I believe that J.J. and Co. are coming as close to apologizing for the prequels as they can without outright doing so. Seeing puppets reminiscent of Jabba’s-Palace and a real-life X-wing speaks volumes as to what Lucasfilm/Disney are trying to showcase from this film.

2. The videos showcase a sense of humor.

Another crowning aspect of the Original trilogy was comic relief. Whether it’s 3PO during the Carbon Freezing sequence, or Han Solo’s interactions with the Ewoks, humor has always played a large role in Star Wars. Interestingly, both of the Omaze videos feature a comical moment where J.J. is momentarily distracted from his charity pitch. In my view, this is most certainly intentional. Having a little laugh-moment indicates the style they want for marketing Ep. VII.

These charity videos have given fans a sense (though a small one) of the style and feel of the return of Star Wars to the big screen.

-Riley

Of Mouse Droids and X-Wings – SWR #137

Play

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

On this week’s podcast, Riley and Bethany have special guest Bobby Roberts of the Full of Sith podcast on to discuss the latest Star Wars news!

We discuss Bail Organa being in Star Wars Rebels, Ezra’s crush on Sabine, Anakin’s on Padme in Episode 1, and Luke’s on Leia in Episode 4.

BsnFnGhIgAAoT9J

We also talk about the Her Universe fashion show at Comic Con, and the X-Wing video from the Episode 7 set!

hu

 

x-wing

We also play a Twitter game with Bobby.

  • 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.

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

Big Bad Toy Store

The Day Kevin Smith Cried – SWR #136

Play

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”)
  • 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.

Krvin Smith

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

Big Bad Toy Store

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