A moment of levity struck the internet earlier today, when in a speech on the otherwise deadly-serious (and completely off-topic here) subject of sequestration, President Barack Obama used the term “Jedi mind meld” – crossing the streams of Star Wars and Star Trek and igniting the internet in geek ‘rage.’
And though Hidalgo — chuckling throughout the entire interview — suspects it was probably a mixup of of Star Wars and Star Trek, he can’t be 100 percent sure. While there’s no evidence the president of the United States reads or has read Star Wars books, or is conversant in extended Star Wars lore, Hidalgo said, “he may have tipped off deeper knowledge than anyone may have suspected.”
Hey, you’d laugh, too. At this, if nothing else:
You’d be surprised how many Star Wars manuscripts I’ve seen mentioning photon torpedos and warp drives.
— Leland Chee (@HolocronKeeper) March 1, 2013
As for the White House, they wasted little time marrying the two Star franchises with their message. If only the political forces were so compatible.
On Friday night, Lucasfilm hosted a screening of the final season five arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars for fans and the crew of the show and their families at their main campus in San Francisco. Combining the last four episodes (including the premiere of ‘To Catch a Jedi’ and ‘The Wrong Jedi’), the audience was treated to a special presentation of the story, and was followed up with a question and answer session with Dave Filoni, Ashley Eckstein and Matt Lanter, moderated by Pablo Hidalgo. Also in attendance were Sam Witwer, the voice of Darth Maul; and Charles Murray, who wrote the story arc.
After a quick intro from Dave Filoni and producer Cary Silver (with Filoni officially accepting Bonnie Burton into the 104th Wolf Pack), they got the show started. Similar to other screenings where they have shown an entire story arc, this version included some extra scenes that didn’t fit into the original episodes, and perhaps also helped to tie the whole story arc together. As a bonus treat, Dave announced that the opening had been made for the screening: which was having The Clone Wars logo enter with the Star Wars theme music as if it were a Star Wars movie. Also, classic Star Wars wipes were used between several scenes that I hadn’t noticed before.
My spoiler-free review of the episodes: Holy cow! This is some of the best this show has ever done – with story, with animation and sound, everything. There is really something to seeing this show on a big screen that makes it so much better than watching it on a TV. But even without the Lucasfilm theater experience, this story will blow you away. We’ve already seen a fantastic scene with Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano at the end of ‘The Jedi Who Knew Too Much’, where their relationship changes with Ahsoka asking her master to trust her as she leaps into the maw of Coruscant. That’s just the start of some great character bits, with Matt Lanter and Ashley Eckstein (and several others) bringing the characters to life in a powerful way. And there’s some awesome action. And some stuff I didn’t expect at all. I’m sure there’s only so many ways I can say that this is amazing, but it truly is.
Before the Q&A started, Pablo answered two important questions that might have been on people’s minds: No, they weren’t going to take any questions on Episode VII or other non-TCW topics, and there is no official announcement yet on if/when/how Season Six (and later seasons) will be broadcast or otherwise enjoyed by the public.
The Q&A obviously covered a lot of the key stuff from the story arc, so I won’t talk about it until after all the episodes have aired. If you’re looking for hints for what happens, go back to see my write-ups from the USO screening for some of the questions and answers from that – part I and part II. If you want something not spoilery, Dave Filoni talked about the influence of his pets on the show, and when asked if he got a motion picture budget to make a Clone Wars movie, he’d spend most of it on hockey pants or crew jackets with rocket packs. This screening was Matt Lanter’s first time seeing the completed episodes, and he was pretty amazed by the final results on screen.
Thanks to Lucasfilm for hosting such a fantastic event. After seeing this screening and the USO screening, I really believe that The Clone Wars is best seen on the big screen, and LFL should keep that in mind for the fans, and fans should seek out any opportunity to watch it cinematically – like at the next Celebration they attend?
It’s been a while since we checked in with progress on Celebration Europe, so here’s what’s been happening.
And on that note, Pablo Hidalgo continues his wildly successful run as host of the Behind-The-Scenes Stage.
They’ve also announced the art show lineup, which includes Joe Corroney, Hugh Fleming, Tsuneo Sanda, Chris Trevas and many more.
And if you’re wondering, yes, it looks like there are still VIP tickets available.
With some big happenings in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, supervising director Dave Filoni took to the Internet with three cast members to discuss today’s episode, ‘The Lawless’, which concluded the Maul storyline and also preview the final story arc of the season, featuring Anakin and Ahsoka. Hosted by Pablo Hidalgo and Christian Blauvelt, the entire video session from Google hangout (more than 50 minutes) is now available online at Youtube, but here’s some of the key points (trying to keep it free of major spoilers for this episode and ones to come):
- Sam Witwer talked quite a bit about Maul’s motivations for his entire story arc – getting from Spider-Maul to how he toys with the bounty hunters in ‘Eminence’ to his role in ‘The Lawless’.
- One early scene that was voice recorded but cut out of ‘The Lawless’ before it was animated would have brought Anakin and Ahsoka into the episode.
- Ashley Eckstein and Dave Filoni broached the final story arc a bit, with a big appearance of a returning movie character, who is viewed very differently by Ahsoka and Anakin.
- We got to see a bunch of concept art, from ‘The Lawless’ and from next week’s ‘Sabotage’ as well as a preview clip of ‘Sabotage’, which introduces a David Caruso-inspired investigator, complete with sunglasses-on-and-off-ness.
- Pablo Hidalgo took a couple questions from Twitter for Dave Filoni and the cast to answer, including some about the fate of Echo and Gregor, and the return appearance of Twilight, and the return of the Wolfpack.
- Ashley Eckstein shared a great story about her first encounter with Matt Lanter on the set.
- Dave Filoni started talking about the machinations against the Jedi – not just in reducing their numbers, but in how Palpatine works to reduce their reputation and influence.
- Noticeably not answered: anything specific about season six.
Overall, a lot of fun and I hope that we get more of these types of events with the cast and crew, especially with some of the voice talent of recurring but not main show characters, like Sam Witwer (who gave a great interview with Christian Blauvelt on Hollywood.com).
Don’t forget that Dave Filoni and three cast members of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be taking questions in a Google+ hangout today – at 10:30 am Pacific / 1:30 pm Eastern, after today’s airing of ‘The Lawless’. Sam Witwer (“Darth Maul”), Matt Lanter (“Anakin Skywalker”), and Ashley Eckstein (“Ahsoka Tano”) will be chatting alongside supervising director Filoni and the event will be hosted by Pablo Hidalgo and Hollywood.com’s Christian Blauvelt. Join the event on Google+, or watch the livestream on youtube.
To get you ready for the hangout, Christian Blauvelt has a great spoiler-free interview with Sam Witwer that examines Maul’s journey on the show and ties together Maul, Sidious and Anakin Skywalker.
The blogside. Bria over at Tosche Station has been doing a massive re-read of the Expanded Universe – chronologically! She made it to the Revenge of the Sith novelization yesterday and had many feels, as the kids on Tumblr say.
I admit it – sometimes it’s hard not to be a snob about print. Yeah, I still love reading magazines, but when it comes to news? They’re slow. Still, looks like Star Wars fans owe Pablo Hidalgo and the Star Wars Insider crew a small debt for making sure that the sequel news actually got into the next possible issue, as Pablo reveals in his latest blog entry.
We were disappointed to find out that the Insider interview with George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy was transcribed from the videos (4 of the 5 of which we’ve already seen,) but Pablo does reveal that the Insider version has some content that “will never make it into the web series.” (The fifth video – and last, reportably – will go online the 31st.)
NYCC. Aaron Goins writes up last weekend’s Star Wars Books panel. We may have gleaned the big news then, but there’s more here. Since he was in town, Suvudu talked to Pablo Hidalgo about The Essential Readers’ Companion and Timothy Zahn about Scoundrels. And Tim Zahn met the Emperor!
Interviews. EUCantina talked to Del Rey’s Erich Schoeneweiss about winning back jaded fans, editorial decisions and even those Stover rumors. (Spoiler: Don’t hold your breath) and more. Meanwhile, there’s more Pablo over at BSR, and Bombad Radio has Drew Karpyshyn.
The blogside. On the occasion of old stories coming out into the light again, Charlene Newcomb writes about the birth of Alex Winger. And Steve Sansweet learns to love his action figure book.
Sword of the Jedi. All the news is above, but here are Shelly Shapiro, Jennifer Heddle and Frank Parisi discussing the series with Christie Golden.
HORRORS! Tosche Station’s Nanci is rereading the Jedi Prince books. Oh dear.
Nonfiction. Coverage of The Essential Reader’s Companion isn’t slowing down now that’s it’s out. Author Pablo Hidalgo wrote about what didn’t make the cut, and as well as talking toSuvudu, Jedi News and Jedi Journals. Tosche Station’s Brian reviewed the book, and NJOE asks if it’s right for you. If you have to ask…?
Star Wars Reads. Well, hopefully you have a good idea of what you’re doing tomorrow, but for today, the chat at GoodReads is on. Of particular interest may be Randy Stradley addressing continuity concerns people have been bringing up for Brian Wood’s Star Wars. Jason Fry, Ryder Windham, Jeffrey Brown and Timothy Zahn have answered fan questions so far. And on the Star Wars blog, Fry weighs in on his first Star Wars book.
Bundles. In a related matter, the two Essential Novel eBook bundles (10 for $63, and 4 for $8) are on sale now. And it looks like that’s not the last bundle we have coming: Knights Archive noticed a listing for Drew Karpyshyn’s The Darth Bane series, and it’s now live in the Random House catalog. The eBook bundle will be on sale November 5th for $18.99.
Art books. J.W. Rinzler blogged a bit about the release of Star Wars Art: Illustration, revealing that there are two more books coming in the series.