[Movie Club] “Return of the Jedi”: All Those Damn Aliens Everywhere

[Movie Club] “Return of the Jedi”: All Those Damn Aliens Everywhere

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(Foreword: Screenshots courtesy of Starwarsscreencaps.com)

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi had so many damn aliens everywhere. From the opening scenes in Jabba’s Palace all the way to the fireworks celebrations in the Ewok Village, there’s more new creatures and weird-looking dudes than practically every other Star Wars movie combined. If you’re really cynical about it, you’d probably say that it was all a marketing ploy to sell more action figures. But I’ll be optimistic and say that, because of the success of Yoda and other special effects masterworks in A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, ILM and George Lucas decided to go overboard with the costume and effects work and make some crazy-ass shit.

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[Movie Club] Star Wars Episode V: The Greatest Tragedy in Fiction?

[Movie Club] Star Wars Episode V: The Greatest Tragedy in Fiction?

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The Star Wars saga is, by and large, a tragedy. It chronicles the rise and fall of a man, his quest for identity, and the ceaseless maelstrom of good and evil that tore away at the very core of his being until he was but a shell of what he once was, that innocent boy from a desolate, backwater ball of sand in the Outer Rim. Yes, Lando Calrissian is a textbook example of an Aristotelian tragic hero. Continue reading “[Movie Club] Star Wars Episode V: The Greatest Tragedy in Fiction?” »

[Movie Club] The Star War Episode IV: Literally the Worst Thing Ever

[Movie Club] The Star War Episode IV: Literally the Worst Thing Ever

Star_Wars_Episode_IV-A_New_Hope_Theatrical_Release_PosterOkay, that title is misleading. Episode IV is not literally the worst ever (it is quite good, actually), but beneath the layers of movie magic and childlike wonder lies a despicable, rotten core. A malicious cancer that threatens to spread and retroactively make A New Hope a piece of unwatchable garbage. If you have even a slice of humanity in your soul then you will agree.  Continue reading “[Movie Club] The Star War Episode IV: Literally the Worst Thing Ever” »

[Movie Club] How Dense is “Revenge of the Sith”?

[Movie Club] How Dense is “Revenge of the Sith”?

Foreword: All screenshots courtesy of http://starwarsscreencaps.com/.

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When George Lucas said Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was going to be the last one, I don’t actually believe he ever meant it, but I do sincerely believe he wanted to go out as if it were. Because Revenge of the Sith is one of the biggest-scope movies ever made. It doesn’t seem like it from the exterior– its budget was only $115 million, which was big but still not mega-budget size, even in 2005, and it seemed like it was going to mostly expand on Attack of the Clones. What we got, however, was something that could only be the product of advanced CGI, and something that has never been replicated on this scale, aside from maybe Avatar.

While all six Star Wars movies are very well-known for their tendency to cram as much worldbuilding into the background of every single scene possible, Revenge of the Sith takes this philosophy and ramps it up by about three hundred percent. The concept artists behind this movie must have gone absolutely crazy while working on this movie, because there’s just so much stuff in this movie.

Like I described in my previous essay on Attack of the Clones, the prequels do a very good job at showing off worlds, and then expanding them in later instances by showing more layers of those worlds. Revenge of the Sith returns to all three of the planets that were featured in both Episodes I and II (though its visits to Tatooine and Naboo are brief), but it suddenly decides to go insane, and show off the entire rest of the galaxy to us.

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Movie Club News: “Star Wars Episode III” Article Delayed to Sunday

Movie Club News: “Star Wars Episode III” Article Delayed to Sunday

Facing a tremendous amount of things to do and an inability to find the time to watch through the movie again, I have decided to preemptively delay the essay for Revenge of the Sith to Sunday instead of the normal day, Friday, in the likely chance that I will be unable to watch and write the essay until the weekend. This is probably not a problem to anyone but me, who likes to keep consistent schedules, but I wanted to warn you in advance.

In its stead, I’ll be posting a short story I wrote recently that some people besides me might find humorous, though I have my doubts about that.

 

Edit: It’s out now!

[Movie Club] “Star Wars: Clone Wars”: The Missing Link

[Movie Club] “Star Wars: Clone Wars”: The Missing Link

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Star Wars: Clone Wars

The Star Wars: Clone Wars microseries is one that I will always hold very dear in my heart. Released in 20 three-to-five-minute episodes across 2003 and 2004, and then with 5 more twelve-minute episodes in 2005, this series essentially acts as a true Star Wars: Episode II.V. It runs at just over two hours, and its plot runs the course of the entire Clone Wars from the beginning all the way to the Battle of Coruscant, the end of which we see in the opening to Revenge of the Sith.

Every single Star Wars marathon I do with my family and friends, we watch Clone Wars in between Episodes II and III (except for when we did Machete Order once, though I don’t recommend it for marathons after having done it). It’s extremely fun, more fast-paced than any of the other prequels, and it fills in a crucial gap in Anakin’s story arc that isn’t directly shown in the other movies– his growth from a reckless Padawan to a reckless, but beloved, hero.

But it’s also a somewhat obscure entry in the franchise, at this point. Especially considering the massive success of the 2008 CGI series The Clone Wars (the word “The” makes all the difference), this series has been completely neglected by Lucasfilm, and somewhat forgotten by the fandom. It never even got more than a two-volume DVD set that quickly went out of print, and has never been re-released on Blu-Ray, or officially online (though you can easily watch it on Youtube here, and it doesn’t seem like Lucasfilm cares enough to take it down). Why is this? I don’t know. It could be a rights issue with Cartoon Network or director Genndy Tartakovsky, or it could be worries that it would confuse people trying to watch the 2008 series. There isn’t any official word that I can find on it.

Star Wars: Clone Wars is no longer canon, apparently, and is put in the Legends timeline (despite contradicting with the 2008 series almost not at all and in fact introducing or developing characters that would become major ones in that series). But I will still watch it every time that I do a Star Wars marathon, and I will continue to consider it canon, for me, until something comes along that unambiguously negates it.

In this article, I will discuss the reasons why Star Wars: Clone Wars deserves to be the seventh Star Wars film (which is why I will be referring to it as a movie not a series), while also going through the story loosely in chronological order, as much of this essay will cover Anakin Skywalker’s character growth over the course of the microseries. Once again, if you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend that you watch it, because it’s one of my favorite movies of all time (despite being divided into two separate DVDs….).

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[Movie Club] “Attack of the Clones” and Expanding Worlds

[Movie Club] “Attack of the Clones” and Expanding Worlds

(Foreword: All screencaps courtesy of Starwarsscreencaps.com.)

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Introduction

One thing I noticed about Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was the way it acts as a sequel to The Phantom Menace. The large gap between the episodes makes it a lot more standalone than any of the other films in the series; this is part of the reason why people leave The Phantom Menace out of Star Wars marathons, when doing the “Machete Order” (which goes IV, V, II, III, VI), because Attack of the Clones works well enough without requiring the viewer to have seen it.

However, even with that, Attack of the Clones works as a sequel to The Phantom Menace in some very subtle but powerful ways. What I will focus on for this article is the setting– the planets. The three planets visited in the first installment are all shown once again, and they expand on these worlds, making them feel more alive and diverse.

Coruscant, Naboo, and Tatooine are all shown again and in each case, the movie goes more in-depth into the nature of each planet than in The Phantom Menace. So, having already seen the planets before, the movie is able to explore them without needing to fully re-introduce them.

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[Movie Club] Star Wars Episode I: The Binks Awakens

[Movie Club] Star Wars Episode I: The Binks Awakens

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Hey, you like Star Wars, right? You probably do, as you are reading this shitty Star Wars essay also are more than likely a human. But as much as you love Star Wars, there are probably some things about it that you don’t like. For many people, they don’t like the prequel trilogy, in particular Episode I, in even more particular Jar Jar Binks. Jar Jar was a bumbling buffoon, arguably a racist caricature, and created for the sole purpose of appealing to young children. But, like it or not, Jar Jar Binks is the most important character in the entirety of the Star Wars canon.

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[Movie Club] Sicario: Misleading?

[Movie Club] Sicario: Misleading?

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Okay, change of plan. I WAS going to write about Bong Joon-ho’s The Host, but I didn’t get around to watching that. Instead, I went and saw Dennis Villeneuve’s Sicario. I’ll start out by saying that it was an excellent film and you should go see it while it is still in theaters, but I noticed that there was something very misleading about the film’s marketing in comparison to the finished product.

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