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Throughout the years, Warwick Davis has appeared in three different Star Wars installments as five different characters. He has become a familiar face to those who follow the movies and is due to return this December in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as a new character, rumored to be called Bistan.
The news of Warwick’s addition to the Rogue One lineup comes just weeks after it was confirmed that Darth Vader himself would be making an appearance in the film, which is set immediately prior to the events in the franchise’s first outing, A New Hope.
With his first Star Wars appearance as Wicket the Ewok in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and his latest appearance as Wollivan in last year’s The Force Awakens, fans are excited to see what he will bring to the screen this time around. See more about his new role here.
This week Kelly and JJ are back from a two-week hiatus, yay! Also they begin a new series, where they take a fictional property and examine it from a storytelling perspective: character, plot, pacing, structure. This week they will tackling one of the most famous: Star Wars.
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Star Wars is a very typical Chosen One story, with very familiar tropes. What makes this property work is the strength of the characterization and dialogue.
There’s not much actually original about Star Wars, but it resonates with us on a visceral level. It’s archetypal enough to be familiar to us, and both specific and vague enough for us to fill in the edges. For example, the Force is something that connects all life forms together, but is essentially magic. The worldbuilding works because it’s simple.
Having different characters contrast and play off of each other makes them more interesting, e.g. Han’s cynicism contrasted against Luke’s idealism. Leia is somewhat in the middle, more of a pragmatist.
We’re shown a lot of things about these characters. Han shooting first, Leia coming up with escape plans, Luke’s desire to leave Tattooine in that scene when he’s watching the twin suns of the planet set.
The dialogue also illuminates a lot of about characterization. “I’m Luke Skywalker and I’m here to rescue you!” tells us that Luke is earnest and sincere, “Get in the chute, fly boy!” tells us that Leia suffers no nonsense, and “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid” underscores Han’s innate cynicism.
In terms of plot, pacing, and structure, Star Wars has clear goals in each act. Act I: Find Obi-Wan Kenobi and get information to Princess Leia. Act II: Rescue Princess Leia. Act III: Destroy the Death Star. Also any time our intrepid trio has a success, then a wrench is thrown into it: they get to Princess Leia, but they’re caught in a firefight, etc. Tension is maintained because stakes are clear: if they don’t destroy the Death Star in time, then the Death Star will destroy them.
Star Wars’s mythic quality works because of the simplicity of the narrative. Simple is not simplistic; Star Wars might be straightforward and uncomplicated, but that works in its favor.
A clear, direct plot and compelling characters make this movie a winner. The story doesn’t feel dated, despite the special effects of the period, because it is timeless.
What We’re Reading/Books Discussed
The Star WarsLegends books (formerly the Extended Universe, now no longer canon)
Lots of news coming out of the just wrapped EA press event for several highly anticipated titles like Mass Effect, FIFA and Battlefield; but perhaps the publishers developing crown jewel is the partnership with Lucas Film which has already given fans Star Wars Battlefront. During the Electronic Arts pre E3 press conference today, fans got […]
Happy National Geek Day! Why today? What’s so special about May 25th? Well, a long time ago, in 1977, Star Wars opened in 32 theaters! That’s when science fiction went mainstream! Yeah, there were Trekkies, but they were lowkey… there wasn’t a movie yet, and they mostly congregated at the Holiday Inn on weekends, along with […]
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, directed by Gareth Edwards, is the first of the Star Wars spin-off stories that will be released between “proper” episodes of the series. This first one, as you surely already know, centers on the Rebel attempt to steal the plans for the Death Star. Felicity Jones looks to be […]
As convention season goes from zero to 60 in a few weekends, publishers are announcing new titles, some shipping in a few months, some shipping next Fall. Marvel has announced their latest graphic novel collections, for September-December 2016, and we bring you their latest and greatest, just so you can start being good for Santa (or, […]
Today Marvel released a preview for STAR WARS SPECIAL: C-3PO #1. The book written by James Robinson (Armor Wars, Earth-2) and illustrated by Tony Harris (Ex Machina) is out this March . Only the spectacle of the Star Wars universe could reunite these two award winning creators as they reveal the mystery behind C-3PO’s red arm in The […]
By: Nicholas Eskey Every week, companies announce new, nerdy toys that threaten to drain our bank accounts and fill every spare inch on our shelves. To help you decide what is buy-worthy, we have decided to dedicate ourselves to highlighting the best of the best. Welcome to the new weekly toy preview! Without further stalling, […]
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. Have you seen it yet? We bet you have. If you haven't, get off your computer and thee to a cinema immediately, because this week's Podcorn Podcast is all about the latest entry in the Space Opera series.
For some time now, I have been among those who have argued that the fandom associated with the Star Wars franchise is akin to a religion. There are those who will quarrel with the word choice, but it is hard to gainsay the dedication of fans to the original films
Back when Dark Horse published Star Wars comics, they had a book called Star Wars Tales, and from Star Wars Tales #20 back in 2004, here is the heartrending story of George R. Binks, Jar Jar's magic father. And only the great Tony Millionaire could do justice to this story.
by John Patrick Green [Discussing the meanings and symbology of Star Wars The Force Awakens has become a national passtime, and i the interests of leaving nofacet of this cultural landmark unexamined, our resident Stawr Wars expoert John Patrick Green has put forth a radical new theory, which you can read below.] So the movie […]
Marvel’s 2015 is best boiled down to one core idea that influenced the entire line: Secret Wars. For the most part, the event was successful, and sold gangbusters in spite of production delays. Several promising concepts from the event and its tie-ins made it into the mainstream Marvel Universe, giving the re-launch a unique flavor that […]
Yesterday it was announced that the next, as yet unnamed Star Wars movie, Episode VIII, will be pushed back from Summer 2017 to Christmas 2017. This set off a rescheduling frenzy among studios with Spider-Man, Terminator, Pirates of the Caribbean and Jumanji all getting moved around. I wasn’t a bit surprised at the move: 18 […]
Last year, Marvel launched their new Star Wars comics by offering remastered editions of the original comic book adaptations. Well… next March, Lusasfilm Press will release a brand new graphic novel adaptation of the original trilogy (AKA “A New Hope Strikes the Jedi”)! I can’t discover who made this; it’s listed as “LucasFilm Book Group”. Disney […]
Are you aware of the Cozy Classics board book series? How about the felted board book versions of the original Star Wars movies? The other night I had dinner with Cozy Classics creator Holman Wang and we talked about his process. Turns out, the felted characters are needle felted entirely. A lawyer by trade, Holman learned how to felt through YouTube videos. Now what goes around comes around as you watch this oddly soothing time lapse YouTube video of his process. It’s an old video (as the dates at the end attest) but that doesn’t make it any less neat.
And as for the aforementioned Star Wars books, here’s Holman himself talking about his various techniques:
Also at that dinner, someone in attendance mentioned that Larry Wilmore on The Nightly Show had covered A Birthday Cake for George Washington. Come again? Yes, you truly know that a book has left our little orbit when it ends up a discussion topic on a Comedy Central evening show. I wouldn’t exactly call this one workplace appropriate, but I would call it funny. Nice too that while he talks about the book he does not speculate about the creators.
So I ask James Kennedy the other day to name his favorite 90-Second Newbery Film Festival co-hosts. And he rattles off a bunch of names but one that he was particularly impressed by? Nikki Loftin, author of Nightingale’s Nest. Don’t believe me? Then check out this killer opening Nikki and James did together. That woman has pipes!
Of course, I already had insider knowledge to Nikki’s singing prowess. Two years ago she created a video for Jules Danielson and myself and . . . well, if you just can’t get through your day without seeing a children’s author belting out classic Rogers & Hammerstein on a roof, then are YOU in luck!
And finally, for our off-topic-but-not-really video, I bring you information from beyond the grave. We all know Michael Jackson, and many of us know Bob Fosse. Now see how eerie it is when you put one on top of another. If The Little Prince movie did nothing else, it gave us this:
This morning is just chock-full of entertainment goodies. Now, we’ve got a quick teaser for Star Wars Episode VIII that’s just begun production: Along with the reveal that Benicio Del Toro (Sicario, Traffic), Laura Dern (Wild, Enlightened), and newcomer Kelly Tran will be joining the cast in undisclosed roles. Del Toro has been long rumored […]
Ah Toy Fair, a riot of plastic, wood, metal, resin and MAGIC! As usual, The Beat pounded the halls of the JAvits Center and beyodnd to bring you only the FRESHEST toys and playthings. The day started at 7 am with the Lego event. As that time of day there isn’t much to remember but […]