STAR WARS NEWS
"The Force will be with you, always." Whoa!! Surprise, Star Wars fans. Almost a decade ago, actor Topher Grace held a special private screening in Los Angeles showing an 85-minute edit of the Star Wars prequels that he created entirely in his own time for fun (because he loves editing). I was lucky to be invited to this special screening, and we recorded a video blog about it after. Jump ahead seven years, and Topher has cut together a new Star Wars preview tiled Star Wars: Always. This full "mega-trailer", as they've dubbed it, combines footage from the entire Star Wars series (including the two spin-offs) and presents a thrilling look at the entire anthology in only five minutes. We've seen fan trailers like this before (and for Topher's cut), but this one is polished, and deserves to be watched and admired. At least for as long as it's available online.
"Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer…" Nothing like a mashup of Star Wars and Shakespeare. Most stories are already inspired by Shakespeare, but this is an attempt to bring Shakespeare's dialogue right into the iconic Star Wars universe. Squad Leader TD-73028 Soliloquy is a short film directed by Maxime-Claude L'Écuyer from Montreal. The short features Hamlet's famous soliloquy presented as the inner voice of a Stormtrooper, emphasizing how relevant this dialogue still is (and will always be). The film stars David Blouin in the armor (as TD-73028), plus Anton Golikov as his voice. As simple as this may seem, there's some elegance in the presentation - thanks to the cinematography and score, and the emotional recitation.
Joyeux Noel! Gledelig Jul! Fröhliche 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 very diverse sets of movies - plenty of comedies, superhero stories, dramas, satires, and a new Transformers (of course). Reviews and trailers always slow down during the holidays, but we'll be back at it again by 2019. We wish everyone a lovely holiday and a nice, quiet break from all the chaos of everyday life.
"I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi, like my father." Disney + Lucasfilm have debuted the first set of animated shorts films for a new series they're calling Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures. These shorts feature key moments from the Star Wars cinematic franchise re-told in short form animation, in order to "introduce the classic themes, pivotal moments, and iconic characters from the Star Wars saga to the next generation." In addition to the new series of shorts being debuted online, a new Hasbro toy line is debuting at Walmart in December and expanding nationwide in January 2019. The first six of the 1-minute shorts are available now, and explore Luke's meeting with Obi-Wan, Vader's pursuit of Leia and his reign, plus introductions to R2-D2 and Chewbacca. These are pretty cool - even if they are made for kids. Enjoy.
"You knew this was going to be a suicide mission, didn't you?" There's always an abundance of new Star Wars fan films this year, but few of them are really this good. TK630 is an excellent, 10-minute Star Wars fan film short about a scout trooper - directed by Brendan H. Banks, an up-and-coming cinematographer who also shot this film. Marooned on a forest planet, an Imperial scout trooper hunts a lone Jedi, when he discovers an unexpected ally. Starring Josh Ruben & Starla Bolle, with Charlie McWade & Abe Danz. This is basic but good, and a nice twist focusing the story on an Imperial "bad guy." It's worth a quick watch.
Somewhere, in space, this could all be happening right now. Check out this new fan-made trailer for Star Wars: A New Hope, remade into a Japanese anime. It's awesome. Really, the animation work in this is fantastic, and I'd seriously pay god money watch this movie if they actually made it. Every once in a while, someone will re-imagine live-action movies as anime (or in the style of Pixar) and it's almost always cool to see. We're in the midst of a new era of Star Wars movies, but it's also nice to go back to the original movie that started it all. The anime characters here are pretty much spot on, and I wish this could really be turned into a feature-length film (why not just watch the original film, right?). Anyway, see the anime trailer below.
"You need an incredibly fast ship, and a brilliant pilot." Our latest episode of The First Word podcast is a discussion about Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, taking us full circle back to our very first episode last December when we discussed Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Our guest on this Star Wars episode is big-time Star Wars geek and entertainment journalist Germain Lussier from io9, who joins us for this full-on, spoiled-filled discussion about Solo and all the good and bad about it. Even if you didn't enjoy the movie as much as we did, it's still worth a listen. Friends Alex Billington (@firstshowing) and Mike Eisenberg (@Eisentower30) team up to bring you a film podcast providing in-depth discussion, analysis, and interviews about the latest movies, and some old ones too. Tune in below to our latest episode.
In many ways 2018 is both the best and worst period of time to be a fan of the Star Wars franchise. On one hand, with Disney and the Kathleen Kennedy-led Lucasfilm in charge of the slate of new films, there are more stories set in the tumultuous galaxy being told than ever before. On the flipside, the notion of burnout with all these Star Wars films can be felt to say nothing of the turbulent manner in which many fans find themselves. There is more conflict among the fan-base than there ever was under George Lucas' control, the catalyst of which stems from Lucasfilm's concept of going back and forth between stories set in the main Skywalker saga, and extra standalone stories set elsewhere in the time and place of the Star Wars galaxy.
The "Star Wars Expanded Universe" – Lucasfilm's stockpile of officially licensed books, comics, video games, television series, spin-off films, and other media created outside of the official canon – began with the 1978 novel, Splinter of the Mind's Eye. Written by Alan Dean Foster, the direct sequel to George Lucas's original 1977 film drew inspiration from early drafts of the script. In 1979, author Brian Daley expanded the universe further with Han Solo at Stars' End, the first in a trilogy of Solo-centric adventures (which would later be turned into comic books). For over 35 years, the EU gave Star Wars fans what they wanted most – more Star Wars – even if the stories and character developments weren't considered canon by the creator.
"So what's your name, anyway?" Disney + Lucasfilm have released an amusing new 45-second TV spot for Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, featuring quite a bit of new footage not yet seen in the past two trailers. There's a scene at the beginning of this TV spot in which it's clear Han is meeting Chewbacca for the first time (after the train heist). And then there's another fun scene later on where they're playing cards together. There's a few other tiny touches like this and cool shots, and I'm liking what they're showing us. Alden Ehrenreich stars as Han Solo, and the full cast includes Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newton, Warwick Davis, Clint Howard, and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. This really looks like so much fun, I'm not so worried, can't wait to see this. Fire it up below.
"Everything you've heard about me, is true." Disney + Lucasfilm have debuted the second official trailer for Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story movie, starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo. It was announced last week that Solo will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May out-of-competition, before hitting theaters worldwide. This is technically the full trailer following the first teaser and it shows quite a bit. The cast includes Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian (he's going to be the best part), plus Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newton, Warwick Davis (of course), Clint Howard, and Joonas Suotamo returning as Chewbacca. Okay, I have to say, this looks awesome. Maybe it's going to be incredible after all? I love how all-out action heavy this movie looks, I mean damn! Have fun.
"I trust him, I have to trust him." Lucasfilm has released a trailer for the documentary titled The Director and The Jedi. This feature-length (a full 95 minutes!) documentary is actually included as a bonus feature on the forthcoming Blu-Ray/VOD release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but it also just premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, hence the timing of this trailer. The Director and The Jedi is an intimate documentary delving into Rian Johnson and his process as he comes in as a director new to the Star Wars universe. The film examines his intensive work and his connection to Star Wars, as well as his techniques and process as a director. Everything about this looks awesome, and I'm excited to watch, just to see Rian at work. The film is apparently a very revealing inside look at the making of a HUGE movie, which is actually quite rare, especially packaged as a two hour documentary. Take a look below & get your copy of TLJ later this month.