The Phantom Menace is coming upon us yet again, and the press has been piling up. We’ll have more of a roundup tomorrow, but for this afternoon let’s start off with The Hollywood Reporter’s feature on Star Wars George Lucas. In it, we learn the franchise raked in $3 billion in licensing revenue last year. (That’s a lot of lightsabers – in the accompanying photo gallery, they say the franchise has raked in $20B in licensed goods alone.) Overall though, the feature doesn’t hold much for informed fans – merchandising rights, The Clone Wars, etc. So what’s really making waves among the geeky internet is a Q&A sidebar, where Lucas talks reaction to his Star Wars tweaks (“…when I make the slightest change, everybody thinks it’s the end of the world.”) and Han not shooting first:
Well, it’s not a religious event. I hate to tell people that. It’s a movie, just a movie. The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down.
He also talks about CGI Yoda, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and SOPA, but you know what’s getting passed around the internet for the rest of the evening…
It’s no surprise that the CGI version will be featured, since the subpar Phantom Menace puppet version was entirely replaced on the Blu-ray version of the film, but it’s an interesting bit of trivia nonetheless.
The 42-year-old driver dressed as Yoda was returning home from a Halloween party early Sunday morning when he had a collison that “lightly” injured a pedestrian. The police caught him, confiscated his license, and made him walk home.
“The officers were especially surprised to see … Grand Master Yoda at the wheel,” said the statement from police in the city of Darmstadt, near Frankfurt in western Germany.
“The hapless Jedi returned home on foot,” said police. “In this case, the force was not with him.”
Perhaps next time he’ll be wise enough to enlist Obi-Wan as a designated driver.
This is apparently the ‘new and improved’ CGI Yoda who has been rumored to be on The Phantom Menace blu-ray, replacing the traditional puppet. (I’m told this is different – or at least longer – than the clip on the Revenge of the Sith DVD.) Better? Worse? I was never a fan of the TPM puppet – he looked off – but I’m not sure this is any better. (via)
Emily Lewis, right, and her pal Jason at the Yoda Fountain. (Photo by Emily Lewis.
A dispatch from the mainstream. The Yoda statue at the Presidio is a landmark for Star Wars fans, an Associated Press article says this week. No, really? Other key Star Wars locales, like Tunisia and Lake Como, are also mentioned.
Baseball. The San Francisco Giants are freezing pitcher Brian Wilson (not the Beach Boy) in carbonite for the Star Wars day on September 4th. Wouldn’t it make more sense to freeze the visiting team’s pitcher?
It’s May, and as always, Hallmark’s 2011 Dreambook is out. The ornaments were on display at Celebration, but for those of us who weren’t there or somehow completely missed the Hallmark booth, this is the first look.