Roundup: Star Wars is 40 today

I’ll be honest: I’m not really feeling much of the 40th Anniversary hullabaloo. (It’s… Okay. I guess? But aside from The Last Jedi stuff, much of it feels same-old-same-old to me.) But here are a few highlights:

→ io9 has debuted the Poe Dameron scale, the “ultimate Star Wars name-ranking system.” It made me giggle, so it must be worth your time.

→ Time has pictures of Star Wars fans from back in the day, including several women and girls.

→ Wired ranks Star Wars hair, a topic near and dear to my heart. Demerits for not giving the Padawan braid a solo entry, though they do at least call it “gross.” (It is.)

→ StarWars.com has a ton of stuff, naturally, all gathered on their own little page. (I enjoyed the anniversary poster retrospective.) The Star Wars Show interviewed Tim Zahn yesterday, that was nice.

→ And finally, props to The Hollywood Report for tracking down Laurie Goode, the stormtrooper who hit his head.

Rumor: Will Lucasfilm announce new editions of the pre-Special Edition original trilogy at Celebration?

After yesterday’s announcement of a 40th Anniversary panel on the first day of Celebration and a “surprise,”, naturally fan speculation ramped into overdrive. With The Last Jedi panel set for the second day of the con, fans focused on two things: A George Lucas appearance, or the announcement of the long-awaited and perennially rumored “unaltered” Original Trilogy. Today, Making Star Wars is saying that they’ve been hearing things that lead them to believe it will indeed be pre-Special Edition OT.

If the rumor does pan out this time, it will at least be something worth building up for hype. (I can’t really see George showing up, even if this turns up to be false – he seemed uncomfortable at Celebration even when he owned the company. That said, I’ve been wrong before.)

Almost all home releases of the original trilogy since the early ’90s have been built on the restored and digitally tweaked Special Edition versions that were released in 1997. Transfers of the 1993 Laserdisc versions of the film appeared as extras on some 2006 DVDs, but many fans have been hoping for better quality ports for years now. I’m not particularly obsessive about it, and I own those DVDS, but as a member of the VHS generation I’d buy better versions in a heartbeat.

But, as always, Star Wars fans love to speculate, and anything to do with this issue is hotly debated, so keep your pants on. For now, anyway.

In the meantime, here’s fuzzy Youtube version of ‘Lapti Nek’ for the younglings who only know ‘Jedi Rocks.’ It’s ’80s-sleaze-a-riffic!

TNT nabs Star Wars basic cable rights

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TNT and TBS will be the new basic cable home of the Star Wars franchise, per The Wrap. TNT will begin airing the first two trilogies later this month, beginning with The Phantom Menace on Tuesday, September 20. They’ll debut one film a night and finish up with a six-movie marathon on Sunday, September 25.

The multi-year licensing agreement also includes The Force Awakens (currently running on the premium channel Starz) and Rogue One. They’ll join the lineup in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Variety’s “industry sources” estimate the deal is worth “at least $250 million” for at least 10 films, with the rights for The Force Awakens and the upcoming movies in the range of $35-$40 million each. The deal runs through “at least” 2022. USA Network – which held the Star Wars basic cable rights back in the ’90s – and FX Networks were also in contention for the deal.

It’s May 25, and Star Wars is 39 years old today

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The original Star Wars was released on this day in 1977, making both the franchise and the film 39 years old today. Nowadays we call it A New Hope, but it didn’t receive the subtitle until a 1981 re-release.

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Return of the Jedi also came out on May 25, in 1983, making it 33 today.

Other Star Wars movie birthdays this month were Attack of the Clones on the 16th (14 years); The Phantom Menace (17 years) and Revenge of the Sith (11 years) on May 19; and The Empire Strikes Back (36 years) on May 21.

Happy real Star Wars Day! Whatever else happens today… Well, we’ll see.