STAR WARS NEWS
"I am happy I directed a Star Wars episode as my final work." Whoaaaa this looks incredible!! Disney has unveiled a first look teaser trailer for a new series of short films titled Star Wars: Visions - arriving this September. Everyone knows that George Lucas was inspired by Akira Kurowasa while making the original Star Wars movies. Disney has decided to finally go to Japan to let Japanese filmmakers tell their own Star Wars stories. Star Wars: Visions is a series of nine entirely original SW short films made by seven different anime studios from Japan. "Each studio will use their signature animation and storytelling styles to realize their own visions of the galaxy far, far away." It seems they gave them creative freedom to tell any kind of story any way they want, and the results are jaw-dropping, unlike anything we've seen set in the Star Wars universe before. Anime fans NEED to see this. The first look video is more of a promo with interviews and behind-the-scene glimpses, without any finished footage yet, but I cannot wait to view more of this already.
"It felt real, it felt so believable, and yet so imaginative and creative." Disney has debuted a set of behind-the-scenes featurettes celebrating 40 years since Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back opened. The highly anticipated sci-fi sequel first hit theaters on June 20th, 1980, three years after the original Star Wars movie rocked cinemas in 1977. A few different videos have been released, along with an oral history of the Hoth Battle, and so much more. The featurettes including commentary and conversations with all kinds of people involved in and in love with Star Wars: Taika Waititi, Pedro Pascal, Deborah Chow, Leslye Headland, George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, and Lawrence Kasdan. Growing up, I always remember Empire being my favorite of the original trilogy - just because it has everything, including the big emotional middle with Yoda training Luke. There's still so much to love about it even 40 years later.
"Nobody's allowed to mention it." An early promo trailer has debuted for a new fan documentary titled A Disturbance in the Force, co-directed by the filmmaker behind the Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made documentary. This crazy Star Wars doc is about the infamous, unbelievably bad Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978, digging deep into the behind-the-scenes story. The filmmakers explain to io9: "Most attention on the Holiday Special just focuses on how bad it is and doesn't go deeper. Our film is not going to be 90 minutes of dumping on it because no one wants to watch that. We're gone really deep in the research and like an onion, there are a lot more layers as to how the Special happened than you would expect." Sounds good to me. As much as I want nothing to do with that Holiday Special (although this year's Lego Holiday Special looks fun), I'm curious about this and what they learned from the people who made it.
"A time of joy, this is. A friendship. A family." Gather ’round, Star Wars fans! Disney has revealed the full-length trailer for the brand new 2020 LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, launching on Disney+ in just a few weeks. Directed by Ken Cunningham (of "Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar") the 44-minute animated LEGO special features all kinds of wacky stories and brings back pretty much every last Star Wars character - for one big crossover event (including Baby Yoda, the Ewoks, shirtless Kylo Ren, Zorii, Chewie, Vader, and many others). Plus there's time travel and pod races and so much more. Rey leaves her friends to prepare for Life Day as she sets off on an adventure to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. At a mysterious temple, she is hurled into a cross-timeline adventure. Will she make it back in time for Life Day? This looks like it might be the absurdly entertaining, wacky new Star Wars Holiday Special we didn't know we needed.
"You expect me to search the galaxy and deliver this creature to a race of enemy sorcerers?" "This is the way." Disney has unveiled the first official trailer for The Mandalorian Season 2, and since we're such big fans of this show, we can't help but feature it anyway despite usually not posting TV series trailers. Plus it's more Star Wars! And with the Skywalker saga over, and new movies not due out for a few years, this is the best we've got. And I'm fine with that! Mando Season 2 stars Pedro Pascal as Din Djarin, plus Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, and Giancarlo Esposito. The Mandalorian and "The Child" will continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy. Baby Yoda is back!! Of course he is, everyone's favorite character. Plus there's a brief appearance by Sasha Banks (in the hooded robe) in this trailer. It's all a tad cheesy, but this looks like a badass good time. I'll be watching.
"The Jedi speak of peace and carry the same swords." Another new Star Wars fan film to enjoy. Power is a 10-minute action film that tells a personal and introspective story through an epic lightsaber battle. Set in the dark times between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, a master and his apprentice are undercover with an illicit group of smugglers. When one turns on the other, a lightsaber duel ensues with both physical and moral stakes. The film was shot over 9 days, shot on location, with a total of 217 shots in the final cut. Starring Avery Bazan as Kai (with the blue lightsaber; who also directed this) and Brandon Reddick as Goran (with the yellow lightsaber). The fight itself is pretty cool, but there's more to this fan film than just a lightsaber duel. I always appreciate when die-hard Star Wars geek filmmakers work in the mythology and lore of the universe, adding depth to the characters and reminding us it all takes place in the same universe.
"This is just an idea – but I heard spinning's a good trick." Fire up this impressive microbudget Star Wars fan film and enjoy. Rogue Seven: A Star Wars Fan Film is a fun short Star Wars film made on a $900 budget by Los Angeles-based filmmaker James Martinez. "With the situation the world is in right now, everyone is looking for an escape, and I believe this film is the perfect escape." Rogue Seven's story follows a thief who must save a group of X-Wing pilots from an Imperial armada and an overconfident bounty hunter. Made to exist in canon within the final trilogy of movies. Starring James Ham, Brittany Faith Rosoff, Dillon Wrich, Michael William Hunter, David Zuckerman, Rob Wight, and Wilsa Derro. There's some kick ass miniatures / models, and cozy X-Wing cockpits made from scratch, despite almost everything being made out of random junk or borrowed from home. This is how you do a "no budget" movie! Have fun.
"The Empire doesn't know we're here. And they never will." While we wait for the official Obi-Wan Kenobi series Lucasfilm is developing (despite rumors it was scrapped, it is still in the works) there's an outstanding fan film to watch. Kenobi is a beautifully realized 18-minute short about Ben Kenobi living on Tatooine. Similar to the upcoming series, the film is about Ben protecting Luke when he's young, living in the desert watching over him from afar. Jamie Costa stars as Kenobi, with a cast including Tommy Snider as Owen Lars, Maxine Phoenix as Beru, Audie Rick as Luke, and James Arnold Taylor as Captain Leegus. This short has a lovely score, some great FX, and a fantastic performance by Costa. Highly recommend watching.
Joyeux Noel! Gledelig Jul! Frohe Weihnachten! Mele Kalikimaka! From all of us at FirstShowing.net, we want to wish every one our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays! Whether you're with your family or with friends or whether it's snowing or sunny, we hope you have a wonderful week. For those that follow the tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day, we hope you enjoy your selection this year with a jolly mix of films big and small - lots of new dramas and comedies, another wacky musical, a war movie with cinematography by Roger Deakins, the big Star Wars finale you'll either love or hate, the new 3-hour-long Terrence Malick film, and plenty more. You can also listen to our podcast about The Rise of Skywalker. News and trailers always slow down during the holidays, but we'll be operating at full-speed again in 2020.
"People keep telling me they know me. No one does." Tune in to our latest podcast episode for a discussion about the long-awaited, highly anticipated sci-fi finale Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by J.J. Abrams. The conclusion to Rey and Kylo Ren's stories. For this episode of The First Word podcast, Mike & Alex dive into a chat about what we love, like, and dislike about the movie, as well as the discourse surrounding it. Not just a review, and not any typical discussion. We also briefly discuss the first trailer for Nolan's Tenet. Friends Alex Billington (@firstshowing) and Mike Eisenberg (@Eisentower30) team up to bring you a podcast providing in-depth discussion, analysis, and interviews about the latest movies, and some old ones too. Our guest couldn't make it on but we recorded our conversation anyway. Listen in below.
Co-written and directed by filmmaker J.J. Abrams (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, Super 8), Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the third entry in this current Star Wars trilogy featuring Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren. It ends the trilogy also featuring Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). The film is the final episode of the nine-part Skywalker Saga, which began in 1977 with George Lucas' iconic Star Wars, later subtitled Episode IV – A New Hope. Over 40 years later, the sprawling space saga of rebellion and romance comes to a satisfying end with a movie that is both visually stunning and emotionally resonant.
"The Saga You Know, The Origins You Don't…." This is the week where we all finally get to experience the grand finale in the Skywalker saga, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opening in theaters soon. If you're in need of a hearty Star Wars boost to get you in the right mood, or just want to explore some more Star Wars goodness in honor of the long-awaited opening this week, this new fan film is a must watch. Star Wars: Origins is a spectacular, whimsical, and entertaining 18-minute short film made by filmmaker Phil Hawkins. The concept involves re-imaginging our own history as if Star Wars took place in our past. And what it would be like to go looking for artifacts related to the great stories. Starring Marie Everett, Jamie Costa, Hadrian Howard, and Philip Walker. Not only does this look and sound great, it's a thoroughly entertaining film with a couple of clever twists. Not just another Star Wars fan film, this is something more.