Ahmed Best’s Reddit Ask Me Anything. Into the lion’s den indeed…
The merchandise selection for the show store is out, and there’s plenty of great stuff to chose from. We already knew about the Expanded Universe maquettes, above. (There’s a zombie stormtrooper one as well.) As for the rest, I’m guessing the Jar Jar whoopie cushion and retro-style bag will be big sellers… See them, and a few of my other picks, below.
And yes, there’s a ton more at the link – StarWars.com has a handful of high res pics – and the Han and Leia couple shirts are back as well.
Gizmodo tries their hand at listing the most embarrassing official Star Wars merchandise, and while they do hit a few – the (hopefully) never-to-be-topped Jar Jar lollipop, the Star Wars Christmas album, the fishing tackle – overall, I think their choices are pretty weak. Sure, most of it is really, truly dumb, but it takes more than some Artoo Christmas lights to get us clutching our pearls.
In fact, I’m sure we can do better: Hell, we have a whole tag devoted to the crazy stuff that Lucasfilm approves. My vote goes to the vaginal Sarlacc toy. Or the pan-fried Vader hospital playset. Or perhaps Le Parfum Des Jedi? (And let’s not even start on the fiction, the comment thread will never end.) It’s a rich minefield down that rabbit hole. What’s your favorite?
Toy Fair is going on this weekend, and according to multiple reports, Jedi Master Mara Jade Skywalker was voted the Fan Choice figure. (You might remember the contest from last fall.) Unfortunately for those of us hoping to finally get a Mara figure without that blasted catsuit…
— Imperial Holcron (@ImpHolocron) February 11, 2012
The other Star Wars talker of Toy Fair? A Jar Jar in Carbonite figure will be a SDCC 2012 exclusive. Teehee.
UPDATED! StarWars.com has posted photos of Hasbro’s Toy Fair offerings, and sure enough, there’s no sign of Mara. (Though there is some nice Clone Wars stuff, if that’s your thing.) Needless to say, we’ll be watching Hasbro’s presentations through summer con season with great interest.
With The Phantom Menace 3D out this weekend, Entertainment Weekly checked in with the man behind Jar Jar Binks, Ahmed Best, who gave his thoughts on the Gungan’s diminished role in Episode III. Best also mentioned a scene cut filmed but cut from the finished version of Revenge of the Sith where Supreme Chancellor Palpatine takes a walk with Representative Binks:
“And Palpatine kind of thanks Jar Jar for putting him in power. It’s a really interesting scene, and it shows the evolution of Jar Jar from this fun-loving kid’s character into this manipulated politician. And it was an interesting arc for the character that I thought could have been explored, because the scene is really dark. But it just didn’t fit in the movie, which I understand. But yeah, George’s take on it is Jar Jar is now just a politician.”
The Phantom Menace is loose! Run for your lives! Or, chill out as we round up some of the press floating around about the movie. (And don’t forget that the new Her Universe stuff is now on sale!) Onward!
Reviews are in! MTV rounds up a couple from the pros. Our pal Bryan Young liked it. On the 3D, he says, “There was never a moment where I thought it was too overwhelming or too underwhelming.” Brian at Roqoo Depot is also favorable, calling it, “the single greatest post-processed 3D film that has graced the silver screen.”
Over at Entertainment Weekly, George Lucas talks about the 3D conversions came out of his efforts to get movie theaters to switch to digital, and why the format is beneficial to movies.
There’s also a photo gallery on their best and worst moments of the saga.
In today’s article, Keith Staskiewicz takes a look at how Episode I influenced special effects. Would we have Gollum if not for Jar Jar?
If you’re intrigued by some of the details Lucas mentioned in the EW video, learn more about The Phantom Menace’s 3D conversion from movieScope.
I’ve been looking at a lot of Phantom Menace stuff this week, and my favorite thing so far? Next Movie’s Eight biopics recast with Jar Jar. Yes, it’s total clickbait, but you certainly know by now that I love me some funny.
If you’re looking for something (sort of) serious, they also have an item about why Millennials (you know, those kids people us GenXers and GenCatalanos yell at to ‘get off our lawns’) don’t hate the prequels. But it’s in the form of a one-act play, so it’s not that serious.
CNN has a more straight-faced look at Star Wars, fandom and the reaction to Episode I. You know it’s serious because they enlisted Henry Jenkins.
The Dearborn Press and Guide highlights Steve Mitchell, a Michigan 501ster. The Great Lakes Garrison will appear at a Detroit Pistons game tonight and several Phantom Menace showings throughout the state tomorrow.
What’s TPM going up against at the box office? I don’t think it has much to worry about from The Vow, a romantic drama starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum… But the kid-friendly Journey 2: The Mysterious Island may also be a draw for the action-adventure crowd, not to mention the 3D big bucks.
Coming Soon is projecting The Vow to take the top spot, but has Episode I beating Journey by several million. Entertainment Weekly projects the same, but with a few more million between TPM and Journey.
And finally, for the bitterest kittens, here’s a little piece from my hometown paper: 10 reasons why not to see The Phantom Menace. (I’m rather partial to escaping to a more civilized age.) Or, swing over to see MTV’s Josh Horowitz argue TPM with Simon Pegg. Prequel-lovers, for you I have 10 reasons to love Jar Jar and MTV’s list of six underrated TPM characters.
We’ll be adding links to this post throughout the day, so check back!
It’s a busy day. Have some Lego Jar Jar.
Geekdad Matt Blum has proof that George Lucas is an evil genius. It makes as much sense as anything else these days:
My kids are pretty smart — I don’t like to brag, it’s just the truth. …So why, then, are they so drawn to a character that causes near-universal revulsion in those past puberty? Yes, exactly: Because George Lucas cleverly designed Jar Jar Binks so that kids would love him but adults would hate him. Why would he do that? Because it’s part of an evil scheme to take over the world, of course.
Of course! It’s so obvious!
- OMG PONIES! Mari Kasurinen has added three new Star Wars figures to her custom My Little Pony gallery: A farmboy Luke, slave Leia, and Han in carbonite.
- Technology: An impressive Artoo casemod made with a trash can and a mere $120 in additional parts.
- Crafts: The Darth Vader hula girl. I always knew he had it in him.
- The blogside: Bryan Young defends Jar Jar Binks over at Den of Geek. (via)