You know, in case you were wondering.
Untruths! An article about Jake Lloyd has been floating around in which claims he called his post-Star War childhood a “living hell.” Lloyd took to Facebook on Sunday to deny it: “The quotes in the article do not accurately reflect my feelings for the time I spent on Star Wars or the time I spent in high school.” The article says the quotes came from “a magazine” and also attributes comments from his mother to a (defunct) domain similar to Sci Fi Channel Australia, which did do an interview with Lloyd (though not his mother) in 2009.
Culture. In The New York Times, Matt Richtel takes a look at how Star Wars is still captivating kids. (Did no one tell him about The Clone Wars, which doesn’t get a single mention?) Last week in the NYT: The New York Jedi. Pity about the headline fail. (Jedi is the plural. Tell your copy editors.)
Randomly… Actor Topher Grace (That 70′s Show) edited all three prequels into one 85-minute film. The cut was shown only to “a private gathering of Topher’s industry friends.” There are no plans to show or release it publicly – Grace refuses to do so without permission, which seems unlikely.
Ewan McGregor spoke to /Film about his latest movie, Salmon Fishing in Yemen, his Oscar-winning Beginners co-star Christopher Plummer, the upcoming Jack the Giant Killer and, of course, the prequels:
Well I like them. I mean I saw them when they came out and I haven’t seen them since, but I was happy to be in them. I felt that it was great to be part of that huge legend of STAR WARS and you know I never involve myself in the discussion about it or the criticism of them or not. They are what they are and fortunately to the moment they’ve re-released the first one and there’s a whole generation of kids now who weren’t around when we released them before. Children love them, regardless of what the die hard STAR WARS fans from the 70’s think, kids love them to bits and I’ve always really enjoyed that with my discussions with them, you know when people’s kids who I haven’t met before come up and they see Obi Wan Kenobi. They’ve always got nice questions to ask and stuff.
He hasn’t seen The Phantom Menace 3D due to filming on The Corrections, but he hopes to go soon – and “take my kids along.”
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.
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!
I don’t know why I was surprised when James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis failed to blow my mind.
I bought the book on the release date, but didn’t start it until last Monday – mainly because I knew I’d have to recap the Luceno Facebook chat on Wednesday and I didn’t want to be spoiled for what folks on Twitter were labeling AMAZING REVELATIONS. So I forced myself through it in two days.
And I was not blown away. The revelations? Not that amazing. To me, anyway.
There are no overt spoilers for Darth Plagueis after the jump, though there are some references to the content which may be obvious to anyone well-versed in fandom. Continue reading
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.
The Royal Palace of Caserta, which served as interiors of the Theed Royal Palace for The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, was closed Tuesday, suprising hundreds of tourists who turned out for the All Saints Day holiday.
“The ministry did not authorise overtime payments because of a lack of funding. I’m very sorry that so many people were turned away but it is really not our fault,” a local official, Paola David, told La Repubblica newspaper.
It’s only the latest in a long line of funding issues plaguing Italy and embattled Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government.
The palace doubled as the Vatican for the adaption of Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons (which co-starred Ewan MacGregor) and also appeared in Mission: Impossible III.
Records. The Guinness Book of World Records has named Samuel L. Jackson the world’s highest-grossing actor. His films – which include not only the prequels but other blockbusters like Jurassic Park, The Incredibles and Iron Man 2 – have brought in a staggering $7.42 billion dollars.
Strange saberfellows. Noel Gallagher of the band Oasis was a neighbor of Ewan McGregor when he got the part of Obi-Wan – and he was the first to teach Ewan how to fight with a lightsaber. “I just happened to have two of those lightsaber toys, so I said, ‘Come on – in the back garden.’”
Uh-oh. Peter Serafinowicz – the original voice of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace – told Digital Spy that he didn’t think the film was very good. “”But it was certainly an extremely exciting thing to be a part of,” he goes on to say.
Technology. Learn a little more about Prime Focus, the company doing The Phantom Menace’s 3-D conversion, from India’s Economic Times
Samuel L. Jackson – aka Mace Windu, Nick Fury, Jules Winnfield and a host of other iconic characters – has joined Twitter as (what else?) @SamuelLJackson. Yes, the account is verified, so it looks like the real thing. With The Avengers gearing up, I’m sure he won’t run out of things to say.
You can find more Star Wars names with our handy Twitter list.