Rogue One nabbed two Oscar nominations today, for Visual Effects and Sound Mixing. Big Shiny Robot has a couple of statements from John Knoll and sound designer Chris Scarbosio. As for Star Wars alumni, Natalie Portman has received her third nomination, this time for lead in Jackie. She won the category for Black Swan in 2011.
→ It says sad things about the state of women’s paychecks in Hollywood that it’s actually news that Felicity Jones was by far Rogue One’s highest-paid cast member. A more bizarre wrinkle: Jones has a single sequel option in her contract. (Though I’m not sure why THR brings up “a young Luke Skywalker stand-alone” in relation to that, considering that the only speculation regarding Luke and Jyn was Jossed by the film itself.)
Latino Review has dropped Da7e Gonzales’ Friday column early, and it features more (and clearer) pictures of the second X-wing, as well as a few details on how the starfighters figure in.
The ships may be real, but the plot/character stuff? I shrug. But I will note that it does sound like something (someones?) who could be primed for a spin-off.
As for the other big bombshell (so to speak) of the week, I’m already sick of the Death Star crap that’s floating around the J.J. Abrams pic from the other day. That well is dried up, thanks in no small part to Return of the Jedi. The part of me that railed against the fetish back in the days of Kevin J. Anderson is wary, but I wouldn’t count out a superweapon of some kind. But an actualfax Death Star? No matter what you believe about the Empire itself, it’s not so far-fetched that there are a ton of Star Destroyers with similar light packages and shiny floors still around.
Yes, some pockets of resistance have recently emerged to the retro-heavy looks we’ve seen thus far, but let’s give them a tad more credit than recycling an idea for the third time. Remember, we haven’t seen the full package yet, and somehow I doubt they brought in Doug Chiang and Iain McCaigjust to touch up some old McQuarrie pieces.
Ryder Windham has written over fifty Star Wars books, across the spectrum from comics to junior books to hefty reference books. His latest book, the Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual, came out this week as a Haynes manual, and focuses on the saga’s favorite armored space station. Windham spoke with me about the new book, illustrated by Chris Reiff and Chris Trevas, who had worked previously with Windham on the Haynes Millennium Falcon Owner’s Technical Guide which came out in 2011. Here’s the interview with Ryder Windham about the new Death Star reference book:
Calling Earth an unimaginatively named planet, the press statement quotes both Governor Tarkin and Admiral Motti on their views for why our world has decided against building the Death Star, and smoothing over any concern about that design flaw that was cited by the White House.
The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
With plenty of links, Shawcross continues the response with examples of what the U.S. is doing to develop other Star Wars-esque technologies, including laser-wielding robots on other planets (Mars Rover), and fostering greater interest in STEM careers.
Probably another key consideration would be the additional security risk to prevent the Death Star plans from being stolen.