Last week, three different sources pointed me to Rod Hilton’s blog post from last fall on the Machete order for watching the films of the Star Wars saga (especially for newcomers). While his overall proposed order (start with IV – A New Hope and V – The Empire Strikes Back, then go with the prequels, then show VI – Return of the Jedi isn’t new — Last year, we covered Drew McWeendy’s Film Nerd 2.0 showings to his two sons), Machete goes a step further by cutting out The Phantom Menace. Not because Hilton feels it is a bad movie, but because he points out that it is mostly irrelevant to the saga. Either a point gets brought up again in the other prequels or it isn’t needed at all in the larger scheme of things (Darth Maul, Qui-Gon Jinn, Valorum, podracing). He points out how he thinks it makes the saga stronger, by preserving some of the big reveals, and relating whiny Anakin to whiny Luke as showing Luke on the same path to the dark side in Return of the Jedi as Anakin in Revenge of the Sith. He also points out some of the weaknesses of his ordering of the films, most notably about the Prophecy of the Chosen One, and Anakin’s return to rescue Shmi and pick up Threepio in Attack of the Clones. The Machete Order got me thinking, and also prompted a discussion among some Club Jaders, who looked at the notion of order and TPM‘s relevance from several angles.
Reader Travis Hatfield alerted us to yet more Star Wars fabrics on the horizon, via online retailer Fat Quarter Shop. These Original Trilogy patterns are from Camelot Cottons and are, yes, 100% cotton and coming in April.
It looks like Camelot does a lot of licensed fabric – I spot lots of Marvel and DC characters in their category on Fat Quarter, including an aptly named ‘Girl Power’ collection.
Alas, the linked selections seems to be their only Star Wars offering at the moment.
George Lucas is the subject of a lengthy profile in the New York Times today, and gives them the full story on his ‘retirement.’
“I’m retiring,” Lucas said. “I’m moving away from the business, from the company, from all this kind of stuff.”
He was careful to leave himself an out clause for a fifth “Indiana Jones” film. But otherwise, “Red Tails” will be the last blockbuster Lucas makes. “Once this is finished, he’s done everything he’s ever wanted to do,” says Rick McCallum, who has been producing Lucas’s films for more than 20 years. “He will have completed his task as a man and a filmmaker.”
The profile focuses on Red Tails, of course, but also features a bit of frank talk on Star Wars. Of the special editions, prequels and backlash, and why we’re not going to see any more:
Lucas seized control of his movies from the studios only to discover that the fanboys could still give him script notes. “Why would I make any more,” Lucas says of the “Star Wars” movies, “when everybody yells at you all the time and says what a terrible person you are?”
It also covers the Indy 4 refrigerator, girlfriend Mellody Hobson, ‘personal’ films and all things “corny and wonderful.” It’s worth a read.
Bob Anderson, who did Darth Vader’s fighting in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, has died at age 89.
Anderson’s work on the Star Wars films was originally supposed to be a secret, but Mark Hamill outted him in a 1983 interview.
“It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told (director) George (Lucas) I didn’t think it was fair any more,” Hamill told Starlog magazine. “Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It’s ridiculous to preserve the myth that it’s all done by one man.”
An Olympic fencer for Great Britain in 1952, Anderson staged fights, coached actors and worked on stunts for dozens of movies, including Highlander, The Princess Bride, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
UPDATE: Hamill posted a dedication to Anderson on Twitter Tuesday afternoon:
Four-year-old Faris sees The Empire Strikes Back for the first time.
The price of the box set has been lowered to $79.99 on Amazon!
New Way (above,) Phenomenon and Galaxies. Anyone seen any of the commercials live yet?
Star Wars Aficionado got a look at some of the deleted scenes from the Star Wars Blu-Rays, and details several of them.
So last week, it was leaked, and then substantiated that the Blu-ray edition of Return of the Jedi would contain a change that set the fan world into a buzz: As Palpatine zaps Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader would now say “Nooooooooooooo!” as he decides to shaft the Emperor.
Many fans were taken aback by this change by George Lucas – not only does it feed into one of the most laughed-at lines from Revenge of the Sith, it changes the tone of the scene, from Vader as the silent man of action, to him giving voice to his emotional turmoil. Some fans bemoaned the general state of constant changes with each re-release of the movies, while others felt that it is fine for the creator to update his work to help tie the saga all together. Celebrity fan Simon Pegg called it a “clueless revision” – but was it really clueless? Continue reading