And yes, Hondo is back, but he’s going up against a powerhouse in the first round – Han Solo. We expect to hear from Team Hondo soon.
Actors. It’s not that really a big surprise that J.J. Abrams wouldn’t be talking to Samuel L. Jackson or Ewan MacGregor regarding Episode VII, but Mark Hamill? So said Jackson in a recent David Letterman appearance, anyway.
Horrors. I originally clicked in this expecting to think ‘I’ve seen worse,’ but io9 may be right: This might really be be the ugliest Star Wars shirt ever.
Episode VII will be the first actual Star Wars movie not to open in May, StarWars.com announced today. The film will be in theaters December 18, 2015.
“We’re very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture,” said Disney’s Alan Horn.
Rumors about a non-May release date have been rampant in the last few months.
Well, I can’t say I’m thrilled with a December release, but I am glad we finally have an official date and all the ridiculous fanboy posturing – over that part of the equation, anyway – is over. I’m sure they’ll still have a few things to share with that April at Celebration!
Great news, my loyal, well mostly loyal, crew, from your captain, Hondo! I’ve won the StarWars.com This Is Madness contest. [Editor’s note: Hondo is not being entirely truthful. Yoda is the official winner. You can see the official results here. Also note that the official header image on the website today is Vader with the quote: “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”] Team Hondo can rejoice in my victory. [Editor’s Note: Yoda won. We have video proof from ESPN UNITE.]
As you can see in the video above, Darth Vader has bowed out of the contest, and he got only 40% of the vote. That leaves 60% for me. Or if you look at the way I set it up over the weekend, 100% of the votes were really for me. So that’s really 160% of the vote for me! So somebody needs to give Matt Martin 10 credits, I heard he bet it all on me, which is always a good option. Unless I’m betting on the other guy, and in those cases, I usually know something.
And as customary with victory speeches, I must thank all of my supporters. You. and you, and that guy over there. But especially all the fans on #teamhondo on twitter, and Justin at Jedi News and Tricia at Fangirl Blog. But not Cad Bane. Ok, enough frivol.. frivoli.. fun and games. Time to get back to work – I smell profit.
It is I, Hondo Ohnaka, bane of both Jedi and Sith, and I have one more pick for the StarWars.com game This Is Madness. It’s the final match and if you notice I’m not in it. Because I have better things to do, like make money rather than sit around waiting to face off against Yoda or Darth Vader. Really, a green puppet is no contest for the likes of me! And an old in a body suit with no eyebrows? Again, I laugh at the thought. Really, they should put both of them together against me. Certainly all the ladies would still pick me. It’s this jacket, it makes me look handsome.
So go to This Is Madness and vote, vote for Hondo. You can’t do that you say. Well, I have a solution. Mmmm… actually I don’t anymore. It sounded good at the time when I came up with it, but then I passed out. No, Hondo never passes out. I just got sleepy after too much frivolity at the wake of the fearsome pirate Guybrush Threepwood. But there was a plan.
Despite the brackets, Hondo is not on the dark side. So we have a light side winner – Master Yoda, and a dark side winner – Darth Vader, and a not-light-side-nor-dark-side winner – that’s me! And since it’s no contest, I’ve already won! So, #TeamHondo, you can vote for whomever you wish for second place – the incredible shrinking Hulk, or Timmy the human piece of toast. Because a vote for either of them is really a vote for Hondo.
Because: This Is Madness.
Ptooey! This is not good business at all. I, Captain Hondo Ohnaka am back, and I’m about to hang up my boots for This Is Madness. Apparently, everyone does the opposite of what your wise pirate captain says. So you’re all fired unless you win one for my Kowakian monkey lizard!
Yes, I’m still upset that more people voted for Chewbacca than for my favorite Jedi, Ahsoka Tano. And now Yoda has bested Obi-Wan in the battle of the Order 66 survivors. This is not profitable for me at all. So time to change my business plan. Phase III – Profit!
So, in today’s matches:
- Light side: We have R2-D2 against Chewbacca. It’s like the battle of your favorite appliance against your favorite pet. Both are loyal and handy with machines and prone to saying things that shouldn’t be repeated in proper company. Hondo does prefer having a droid on his team over a Wookiee, simply because you don’t have to pay a droid. So vote Artoo. Don’t let the Wookie win.
- Dark side: Boba Fett vs. Palpatine. This one is the match between the walking box of matches and the walking sparkplug. Both are good way to start a fire, but neither make for good company. Well, Palpatine will at least talk to you, but he’s always cackling and talking about your very special destiny. So I guess Palpatine.
Then we move on to the final match for each side for the following day:
- Light Side: Yoda vs Artoo or Yoda vs Chewbacca. Yoda is one of those Jedi who never tells you the truth, and is all high and mighty from his temple chair on Coruscant. While Artoo and Chewbacca are both folk I’d actually have work for me on my crew. Yoda’s not much into piracy. So vote for Artoo or Chewbacca, you will. That’s my Yoda attempt. I’m pretty sure I did it in a convincing accent.
- Dark Side: Darth Vader against the winner of Boba Fett / Palpatine. I’m just going to assume that Boba Fett is going to win against Palpatine. But vote Darth Vader anyway. While Fett’s a businessman like myself, his business is usually involving rounding up some of MY business associates. And that’s not good for my bottom line. Vader, on the other hand, is so consumed with tracking down Jedi that he leaves me alone. And every now and then he hires me for a job when having the Empire won’t look good for the role. It’s like he knows me from somewhere, but I can’t place it.
So Team Hondo, go vote on the website or you’re all fired! And since I haven’t paid you yet, get fired and you’ll walk away with just the shoes on your feet. Unless you don’t have any shoes. Or feet. And if you don’t have feet, who needs shoes?
I swear I’m not taking This Is Madness particularly seriously – some things I am happy to leave to Hondo – but let’s admit it: It’s particularly disheartening to see neither of the female characters made it past the second round.
Hell, Leia, perhaps the most recognizable Star Wars lady, could only muster 33% of the vote against a droid. Now I love Artoo, but come on: He’s a droid. And having no particular attachment to either character, I’m not sure what to think of Chewbacca’s victory over Ahsoka. I can understand favoring Chewbacca – I mean, who hates Chewbacca? – but Ahsoka is certainly one of the most developed characters (not female, just characters) to come out of The Clone Wars, and she still only got 35%.
So much for the theory of a Clone Wars surge, huh? Should we chalk Obi-wan’s victory over Han to Ewan McGregor fans who didn’t stick around for the other votes? (No cookies for you, Wantons.)
Does it even really matter? Of course not. It’s a goofy March Madness takeoff, nothing more. (And given that I generally have little patience for most March Madness ripoffs, I’m a little ashamed at even falling for this in the first place.) But it’s still a damn shame, and a key reminder: No matter how many t-shirts we buy, we’re not done yet, ladies.
With the light side vote in today’s StarWars.com This Is Madness game a choice between Chewbacca and Ahsoka Tano, Ashley Eckstein has hit the campaign trail to rally fans of Snips and The Clone Wars to stay in the game, and advance a character from The Clone Wars to the next round. Last weekend at WonderCon, she got some key endorsements, even from the original Chewbacca himself, Peter Mayhew. Plus she and her coach & husband David have made a second video, with some special guests to show why voting Ahsoka is the way to go!
We’ve already told you, via Team Hondo, to vote Ahsoka. So go do it, already. Or vote again.
Here’s the instructions from Lucasfilm:
- Share this message with your Star Wars friends.
- Take pictures in your Star Wars costumes (UPDATE: or Star Wars apparel!) with your local landmarks.
- Turn in the pictures with a signed copy of the release form (email or fax) to firstname.lastname@example.org, or 1-415-623-1107 (FAX: Attn: Mary Franklin). (Hint: don’t fax the photos!)
- Be sure to name the landmark, and area/city/country.
- You can start turning them in at any time. The sooner the better!
- The deadline is April 22nd to turn in pictures. But we’ll start putting them up soon after we get them
- Have Fun, and May the 4th Be With You!
With those last two points, I’m sure something big for Star Wars Day is planned! (Besides the 30th anniversary screenings of Return of the Jedi in Los Angeles.)
Grab that release form (Lucasfilm Personal Release 2013) and get out there and get some photos!
Extra Update: Please post on twitter or facebook or the like when you submit stuff!