Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Miniland Expansion & Star Wars Days At Legoland California

By Benjamin Hart
Legoland in Carlsbad, California unveiled a new expansion to their Star Wars themed area. Back in March of 2011 Legoland opened the existing Star Wars Miniland, complete with seven scenes from the Six films and The Clone Wars animated series recreated with 1.5 million Lego bricks.New additions include a Lego version of the Underwater Passage through the planet core scene from Episode I(above), as well as a Sandcrawler in the Tatooine area, rebels caught in an Ewok trap on Endor and a new Tower in the Christophsis scene. Also a brand new area has been added featuring a "gallery" with three foot tall models of Anakin Skywalker, R2-D2, Boba Fett, Han Solo, Darth Maul, Captain Rex, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Wicket and Princess Leia, along with a life size model of Darth Maul.
Also, Legoland will be hosting it's annual "Star Wars days" March 31st thru April 15th. Featuring appearances by the 501st and Rebel legions, an eight foot tall Yoda build, costume contests and much more.  

Click here for more info.


Dave Filoni to Attend Celebration VI

By Dominic Jones 

It was announced on the official Star Wars Celebration website that Star Wars: The Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni will be attending Star Wars Celebration VI this August 23-26 in Orlando, Florida. Filoni has hinted in the past that he will be in attendance and promises to provide many sneak previews of the upcoming Season 5 of The Clone Wars. Filoni has stated in the past on his Facebook page that “if you can make it to Celebration 6 in Orlando you might get to see more Death Watch action than ever before.”


Friday, March 30, 2012

Opinion: Prequel Trilogy vs. Original Trilogy

By Savanna Kiefer

Welcome to the very first article for my new weekly post series about heated Star Wars subjects! In this post, I'll be discussing my views on one of the most controversial topic among Star Wars fans, Prequel Trilogy vs. Original Trilogy. As many of you know, the prequels get loads of useless hate from fans who grew up watching the original trilogy and were disappointed by the newer Star Wars films. While I can agree with some of their statements about the prequels not being fantastic, I do have to defend these movies. Fans need to remember that The Phantom Menace came out in 1999...a time when CGI effects and techniques were still "new". As much as I hate Jar-Jar Binks to death, George Lucas and the Lucasfilm animators deserve major props for creating a completely computer-generated character, making him interact with real live actors, and doing it fairly well! Even though I have much distaste for Jar-Jar's annoying comedy, he is a technically impressive character that I can respect for that aspect. Another thing that people usually hate on in Episode I is Jake Llyod, the boy who portrayed little Anakin Skywalker. There have been so many horrible things said about this actor when he played young Ani. Personally, I think that for his age, he did a great job at acting! If you're going to pitch a hissy fit and whine about how "bad" Jake acted, go and do better yourself! Make a fan film or something...I'm sure you'd fail way more than you think Jake did in TPM.

Then there's Hayden Christensen who played Anakin during Episodes II and III. Yet again, I can (slightly) agree with the haters when they say that Hayden didn't do a great job at emoting anger, frustration, and love in Attack of the Clones. However, from a certain point of view, I think that George Lucas may have been directing Hayden in a way that forced him to become this over emotional at times which came off as bad acting. Next we have Natalie Portman who brought the character Padme Amidala to the big screen. Here's one thing that I can wholly agree with the haters on. Sure, she's a beautiful girl with a nice personality but, as an actress in Star Wars, she's very weak. I cannot bear to watch any of the romantic scenes in the prequels because she and Hayden were both incredibly awkward. Like really, really awkward! I can see how their relationship may be weird at first because they were both young and had probably never experienced love but, you'd think that they would become more comfortable around each other after a while. There are tons of fans out there that absolutely love Episode II, but I find this to be one of my least favorite films. The romance bores me and the action isn't all that great. Jango Fett is a cool character, the clones are interesting to watch, and the big arena fight is epic but, in comparison to my other favorite Star Wars movies, this one lacks in a strong plot for me.

Moving onto Revenge of the very favorite prequel story! Episode III has everything that I love- tons of action and epic drama while everything unravels in Anakin's life. The animation of this movie was mind blowing and Nick Gillard's incredible lightsaber duel choreography is absolutely stunning. There are very few things that I don't like about this movie and I'm not even going to mention them because they are so minor.

So to quickly wrap up the prequel section of this post, I'd simply like to say that the prequels have both good and bad. Most of the time I'm an optimistic person, therefore, I like to recognize the good things about these three films and ignore the bad. People that spend all their time hating and boycotting the prequels is just stupid and, quite frankly, immature. If you can only see the bad things in the prequels, then you're NOT a Star Wars fan...and don't even dare try to prove that statement wrong. True fans appreciate Star Wars as a whole- prequels, originals, expanded universe, whatever! You may not love every second of these movies but, that's okay! Accept the prequels for what they are because George Lucas isn't going to remake them just to please the haters. Don't let the bad things consume the time that you could be using to enjoy the good things.

Now getting into "classic" Star Wars, also known as the original trilogy. There isn't too much hate on the OT because these are the movies that defined Star Wars and made the franchise such a huge success. We all know about the wonderful aspects of the original trilogy so I'm not going to spend too much time stating the obvious. Episode IV is such an iconic movie because it had such an elegant story with enough grit to hold all the action and battles together. A New Hope had the damsel in distress who turned out to be quite spunky, discouraged farmboy who found his true self, and the sinister villain in a shiny black helmet who threatened the Rebellion. The Empire Strikes Back is my all time favorite Star Wars movie because it had plenty of action but still a good paced plot with thick character development. The romance in Episode V was also done perfectly. I'm usually never a fan of romance but, Han and Leia are such a sweet couple and compliment each other so well.
I'd like to say that the original trilogy is perfect and has zero flaws but, that would be complete lie. Sure, Episodes IV and V win lots of praise from me but, in my opinion, Episode VI isn't so great. While the Ewoks were adorable and super cute, their purpose was a little confusing. Umm...teddy bears taking down biker scouts?! Yeah, kinda weird. Jabba the Hutt is repulsive to look at and Leia needed to put some clothes on. It should also be known that I am not a big fan of Mark Hamill. His portrayal of Luke Skywalker comes off as annoying and whiny sometimes. When Luke's character did "grow up" and he became a Jedi, he was overly serious yet obnoxious. For example, Anakin and Obi-Wan always had some sort of great humor in the prequels but, Luke's personality is really dry.
In the end, when I compare both the prequels and the originals, I have to say that I like them equally but for different reasons. They both have flaws yet they are fantastic trilogies and together they create an amazing saga. Finally, I ask that you leave a comment below about your thoughts on prequels vs. originals. Please keep in mind that this post was fully and 100% my own opinion. You do not have to agree with me! With that said, don't leave a comment that insults me for having personal thoughts and views on Star Wars. We are all entitled to our own opinion and should respect each other's with a mature attitude. I hope you enjoyed reading this first opinion article! Don't forget that there will be a new one every Sunday. If there's a Star Wars related controversial topic that you want me to discuss, shoot an email to


"Star Wars: Scourge" Mini Excerpt

By Dominic Jones
The official Del Rey Star Wars Books Facebook page has posted the fifth mini excerpt from the upcoming novel Star Wars: Scourge by Jeff Grubbs. The novel is set mostly in Hutt space and centers around Toro Irana, a novice Jedi, and his master Jedi archivist Mander Zuma. The novel will be released on April 24, 2012.  Check out the excerpt below:

“I am Mander Zuma,” Mander said in Huttese, “If you are Mika the Hutt, I should tell you that your father is concerned.”  
“I am Mika Anjilliac,” said the young Hutt in educated, precise Basic. “My father has every right to have been concerned. Welcome to ground zero for the Endregaad plague.”


"X-Wing: Mercy Kill" - New Cover Art

By: Dominic Jones

The official Del Rey Star Wars Books Facebook page announced yesterday that the cover art for Aaron Allston's upcoming novel X-Wing: Mercy Kill has been changed, slightly. The new cover is very similar to the old one however the new cover features the Rebel Alliance/New Republic/Galactic Alliance shield displayed prominently in the background. The novel will be released on August 7, 2012.

Here is the official synopsis for the novel:  

The intrepid spies, pilots, and sharpshooters of Wraith Squadron are back in an all-new Star Wars adventure, which transpires just after the events of the Fate of the Jedi series!  

Three decades have passed since Wraith Squadron carried out its last mission. Taking on the most dangerous and daring operations, the rogues and misfits of the elite X-Wing unit became legends of the Rebellion and the Second Galactic Civil War, before breaking up and going their separate ways. Now their singular skills are back in vital demand—for a tailor-made Wraith Squadron mission. A powerful general in the Galactic Alliance Army, once renowned for his valor, is suspected of participating in the infamous Lecersen Conspiracy, which nearly toppled the Alliance back into the merciless hands of the Empire. With orders to expose and apprehend the traitor—and license to do so by any and all means—the Wraiths will become thieves, pirates, impostors, forgers . . . and targets, as they put their guts, their guns, and their riskiest game plan to the test against the most lethal of adversaries.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebration VI – Autographs, Collecting and Hosts - Oh My!

By: Dominic Jones

Since its announcement last June, Star Wars fans have been dyeing to get some news regarding the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI which will take place at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida from August 23-26, 2012. Prior to this week there had been very few announcements ranging from fan events to author appearances. However this week fans were treated to the first concrete news in some time. First it was announced on Tuesday that James Arnold Taylor, David Collins and Pablo Hidalgo would be the stage hosts. Secondly, it was announced yesterday that Gus Lopez and his team would be returning to Celebration to host collectors panels and events. Finally, today (March 16) it was confirmed that Official Pix will, once again, be in charge of bringing celebrity guests to Celebration. 

The only surprise in the announcements was that Taylor, who voices Obi-Wan Kenobi on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, would be replacing Jay Laga’aia (Captain Typho in Episodes 2 and 3) as host of the main stage. Laga’aia had previously hosted the main stage at Star Wars Celebration IV and V. Taylor, however, is no rookie when it comes to hosting events. He was the event host at Disney Star Wars Weekends 2011 where he also performed a condensed version of his one man show Talking to Myself. Collins, former sound designer at LucasArts and Voice of PROXY in The Force Unleashed series, and Hidalgo, Author of such books as The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia and Star Wars: Year by Year will be reprising their roles as hosts of the Digital Stage and the Behind the Scenes Stage respectively. A video featuring James Arnold Taylor announcing the hosts has also been added to!


Star Wars References on "The Daily Show"

By: Dominic Jones

On the March 26th, 2012 episode of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart made several Star Wars references. Stewart is openly a Star Wars fan having interviewed George Lucas three times (twice on The Daily Show and once for The Main Event at Star Wars Celebration V) and was the inspiration for the name of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s home-world, Stewjon. The references on the show took place when Stewart was discussing news anchors and panelists wearing hoodies in support of the tragic murder of Trevon Martin. Stewart exclaimed “We have our new favourite game, choose Jedi or Sith Lord.” Stewart then went on to show a clip of MSNBC anchor Melissa Harris-Perry, removing her hoodie saying “Oh, so she’s got braids, she’s definitely got to be a Jedi! Braids are a sign she was once a padawan.” Stewart paused, then added “I really know too much about this.” He then went on to call Jennifer Granholm a Jedi since she once appeared on his program and proclaimed that MSNBC’s Keith Oberman was a Sith Lord, calling him “more machine now, than man.” Stewart finally then came to CNN correspondent Roland Martin and claimed that he was too adorable to be either a Sith Lord or a Jedi and should instead be labeled as an Ewok. 

The entire episode is available for fans to watch on for fans in the USA and on for fans in Canada. 


Opinion: Why the Jedi are more "evil" than the Sith

By: Dave Bouressa

*Note: I have not studied incredible mental disciplines such as meditation and techniques of that nature, so therefore some of my points may be considered “wrong” by those who have studied such mental disciplines. My point of view is that of an every day college student*

Before I go any further, I would like to clarify that I am in no way saying that Yoda is more evil than Darth Sidious. That would simply be untrue. The Sith as individuals are evil, murderous conquerors bent on controlling the galaxy. However, as an Order, the Jedi teachings and beliefs would be considered unintentionally more harsh, cruel, and in a sense, “evil”.

Let us take a look at the two codes of the Jedi and the Sith.

Jedi Code:
There is no emotion, there is peace
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, only harmony
There is no death, there is the force.

Sith Code:
Peace is a lie, there is only passion
Through passion, I gain strength
Through strength, I gain power
Through power, I gain victory
Through victory, my chains are broken
The force shall free me

For now, let us concentrate on the Jedi code. “There is no emotion, there is peace”. The Jedi are not only encouraged, but taught to detach themselves from individuals because their emotions may interfere in their thinking of what is “right”. It is a very “Vulcan” way of thinking in the sense that they go for what is logical as opposed to what their emotions tell them. They seem to follow the idea of “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” and that causes much inner conflict. They may have to sacrifice someone they care about deeply to save a group of strangers. As a single Jedi, one may have incredible struggle with this choice and may suffer incredible guilt, but as an Order, the Jedi are forced to keep a “poker face” with their decision, and in turn, detach themselves emotionally from the galaxy they are trying to serve and protect.

The second line of “There is no ignorance, there is knowledge” is a fairly standard line that I tend to agree with, and I’m sure the Sith would agree with as well. Both sides seek knowledge. My only concern with this being in the Jedi code is that although the Jedi seek to gain more knowledge of the force, they also tend to stop others from gaining the same knowledge. As any religion, they are very limited to what their followers learn regarding the past of the Order, the horrible events that the Order has done in the past, and restrict information that is considered “dangerous”, when in most cases, it is simple knowledge that may cause someone to see outside the inner bubble that the Order resides within. In the time of the prequels, the Jedi Temple Library prided itself with having all the knowledge in the galaxy, with it’s librarian, Jocasta Nu, stating; “If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist”, when in reality, much of their information was tampered with or missing. They are not only lying to the Order, but they are lying to themselves by being in denial. Along with this, a good fraction of the library is restricted to the majority of the Order, with access allowed to only the highest of Masters on the council. I understand WHY they restrict the knowledge, but I still feel it is wrong. The Jedi feel that a quest for knowledge can easily lead to a quest for power, and with power comes the luring of the Dark Side. However, to completely restrict the information to people among your own ranks is possibly more dangerous than having the information available. I didn’t want to compare it to this, but I can’t think of anything else: It is the same as many schools teaching “Abstinence-only” Sex Education. Rather than completely restrict any knowledge, tell them about it, and how to protect themselves from the dangers. Otherwise, the result could be more damaging. So in a way, the entire line of “There is no ignorance, there is knowledge” is completely wrong to begin with, and the opposite is more true.

“There is no passion, there is serenity” is a fairly complicated figure. These two concepts (passion and serenity) are not majorly related. However, if you consider “passion” as chaotic, then these two concepts have very related contrasts. Many people would consider “passion” as something that you love (whether it’s an action, an object, or a person), or a motive to accomplishment, mostly falling into a positive area of thought. However, going back to the Jedi’s detachment from the galaxy, “passion” is viewed as dangerous. In “Revenge of the Sith”, Anakin states; “The Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inwards, only about themselves”. Yet passion is but one of the contributors that would lead Anakin to become a Jedi in the first place. He wanted to become a Jedi. Given what “passion” means, look at another quote by Anakin: “Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love.” Perhaps this is simply due to Anakin’s own conflicted emotions, but he states two beliefs of the Order that are both applied within the order, yet are both contradictions of each other. On one hand, passion is “evil”, while compassion is essential. Aside from the fact that they both have “passion” in the words, they really aren’t too similar, but at the same time, they are both only one step away from “love”. Besides, if there is no passion in being a Jedi, then why are you there? Yes, you are strong in the force, and the Jedi took you as a child into the Order, but as far as I know, a Jedi can leave the Order at any time, yet their numbers seem quite high. Without passion for what you are doing, one is simply no different than a droid, and in a scenario that the Jedi as an Order are in, being monks/keepers of the peace turned generals, that makes the Jedi very dangerous to not only themselves but to the entire galaxy.

“There is no chaos, there is harmony” is a line that can be taken in two ways. One way is outward, trying to keep the galaxy by the same standard. Prevent chaos throughout the galaxy, and keep the peace. However, this can also be taken as internal. As I said previously, the Jedi are to detach themselves from all emotion, and with emotion comes guilt and inner conflict. The Jedi must remove all inner conflict and simply believe that if you remove yourself from this “chaos”, then you will find internal harmony. This is not a point that makes the Jedi more “evil” and cruel, such as the other lines of the code have, but it all goes back to the detachment component. I understand that with meditation and other techniques, people are able to find inner peace, but much like how you cannot have light without dark, you cannot have peace without conflict. Conflict is what drives us, and forces us to better ourselves. For the Jedi to put aside this conflict, even ignore it, seems incredibly counter-productive to any form of growth within their own ranks and is frankly a blind way of looking at things.

“There is no death, there is only the force” is a fairly standard line that I don’t feel needs any in-depth explanation. Much like other religions, the Jedi believe in an afterlife and becoming one with the force after death.

Now we look at the Sith code, and unlike the Jedi code where each statement is completely separate and not directly related to the ones before it, the Sith code builds on itself and grows, much like the person following it. Looking at the actual code, it is very much a contrast to the beliefs of the Jedi, and contrary to the Jedi, the Sith seem more in depth into growth and bettering themselves not only as an Order, but as individuals. In fact, if you take out the very first line and the very last line, the entire code could be taken as a personal mantra that a regular person could use in their every day life to gain success in one’s life.

Now, again, I would like to mention that the Sith as individuals are evil, murderous, power-hungry beings who want to control the galaxy. But that does not mean that everything about them is “wrong” or “evil”. The most prominent quality about the Sith that I find admirable is the fact that they are honest. Yes, they are manipulative, but in a way, so are the Jedi. The Sith have little to hide, and will therefore have no problems being open with the truth. They may only tell half the truth and not the entire story, but very rarely do they actually lie and twist their words around. For example, When Palpatine is telling Anakin about Darth Plagueis “The Wise”, he tells the true story about how Plagueis learned the secrets of the midi-chlorians and how to save people from death. What he didn’t tell Anakin was that the apprentice that killed Plagueis was actually Palpatine. Another Palpatine example would be how he informed Vader about Padme’s death. “It seems in your anger, you killed her” is not entirely untrue. Anakin did not directly kill her, but his actions caused her to die of a broken heart (ugh). Now, before anyone brings it up, I would like to mention Palpatine’s manipulation of the Senate to become emperor. If you watch episodes 1-3, it is clear that he is simply using everyone around him to gain a higher power, but at the same, he very rarely flat-out lies to get what he wants. He will take the truth and tell the Republic Senate the half that he wants them to hear and use reverse-psychology to get to a higher power. Also, Palpatine is a special example because when addressing the senate and other Republic officials, he is not speaking as a Sith Lord. Palpatine is playing the part of a politician, and when he does lie, I feel it is coming more from the political background as opposed to the teachings of the Sith. (I have not read the recently released Darth Plagueis novel, so I may be incorrect in this particular assessment. I am simply speaking from my experience watching the films).

The Jedi, however, lie frequently and rationalize it as speaking from “a different point of view”. When Luke asks “How did my father die?”, Obi-Wan proceeds to tell him that a Jedi named Darth Vader betrayed and murdered Anakin Skywalker, when in truth, Anakin IS Darth Vader. He also tells Luke that his father wanted him to have his lightsaber when he was old enough. Granted, I understand that there is no way Luke would have proceeded on the adventure he did if Obi-Wan had told him that his father was the Emperor’s right hand man and one of the most feared men in the galaxy, and that the lightsaber he holds in his hand was taken as his father lay next to a river of lava, burned and crippled at the hands of Obi-Wan himself. But when Luke discovers this, Obi-Wan says, “What I told you was true, from a certain point of view”, and needless to say, Luke is not too happy about that. There is a fine line between twisting your words, and lying. Saying person A was killed by person B, when they are the same person is a blatant lie. Another example of Jedi manipulation would be from Yoda, while training Luke on Dagobah. Luke simply asks, “Is the Dark Side stronger?” and Yoda replies with a very quick “NO!” followed by a more collected and calm “no”. I know many people take this as Yoda telling Luke to get the idea out of his head because it is wrong, however, I’ve always taken it as Yoda telling him to get the idea out of his head because it is right. The Dark Side is stronger, and he does not want Luke to know that. At this time, there are only 2 known Jedi, and if Luke believes that the Dark Side is stronger, then there is a greater chance that he will join the Dark Side. Yoda again states, “For once you go down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny”. Now, this is simply untrue. Again, I am no expert on the Expanded Universe, but I do know that there have been several Jedi who have turned to the Dark Side and returned to the light. Which means one of two things; either Yoda is lying to Luke and using this as a scare tactic, or Yoda is lying to himself because those are the ideas of the Jedi Order.

A major topic of why I enjoy the prequels (and possibly why many dislike them) is that it shows that the Jedi are flawed. In the Original Trilogy, we have only 2 Jedi to use as reference (Obi-Wan and Yoda) and we are given the idea that the Jedi are an Order of “super-heroes” who can do no wrong, yet in the prequels, they are incredibly flawed, favor questionable methods, and are incredibly untrustworthy. Even in the “Clone Wars” TV series, a recent story arc dubbed the “Bounty Hunters Arc” shows how the Jedi are willing to lie to not only the entire galaxy by “killing” a Jedi to accomplish a simple goal, but will lie to the majority of the Order as well. Only a few select people were in on the plan. The Jedi are not only more untrustworthy than the Sith, but they are sloppy about it. The Sith will either tell you half the truth, or they will not tell you anything at all to hide their true motives, while the Jedi flat-out lie and manipulate with people’s emotions to hide the truth.

To recap, I simply find the views and teachings of the Sith Order more simple to grasp, and more accepted within today’s society. If you were to take “Jedi” and “Sith” out of the equation and simply concentrate on the teachings and ideals, and then survey people about which way they would rather live their lives, I am quite confident that the majority of people would choose the ways of the Sith-not because they are evil, but because in all honesty, the Jedi live harsh lives. Granted, I am a college student living in the age of consumerism, laziness, and questionable values, but going through life without emotional attachment, with limited knowledge, and forcing to serve and protect something you are supposed to be loyal to without actually being passionate for what you’re doing, all for the sake of inner and outer peace seems almost like a physical, mental, and emotional prison sentence and would be considered by most people as a punishment, rather than a civil duty to do good. Yet, I find it interesting how the Jedi are still considered to be the “good guys”, and the Sith are considered the “bad guys”. Perhaps people are too invested in the end goal, and the intentions, rather than the steps that are taken to get there. While the Jedi have good intentions, they take harsh steps to get there, and while the Sith are considered the “bad guys”, they follow the basic steps that the majority of humanity would also follow. Does that make simple humanity and society “bad”? Or is it more a question of morality and what is viewed as “good” in people’s lives? To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi, “The truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of views”, and what may be right or good to someone, may be considered bad or wrong to another. I simply find it interesting that the group that most people would truthfully relate to more, are considered the villains. Whether or not you view the Jedi as the “good guys” or the Sith as the “bad guys”, think about it the next time someone asks if you would rather be a Jedi or a Sith Lord. Truly take a moment to really think about which one you would rather be in that galaxy far, far away…. your own answer may surprise you…


Art Auction for Baby Leah

By Dominic Jones
Another wonderful initiative in order to raise money for Baby Leah has begun. As of now there are 112 pieces of artwork (mostly Star Wars) up for auction until April 8, 2012 with all of the money raised going to support Zev and Francesca Esquenazi whose baby daughter Leah has been sick with a Mitochondrial disease. The family has been in and out of hospital since May 2011 and have hospital bills of over 2 Million dollars. Zev and Francesca are both HUGE Star Wars fans, Zev is a member of the 501st Legion and Mandalorian Mercs costuming organizations. Among the auction items are a signed Dave Dorman print with an exclusive sketch on the border, a Star Wars: Knight Errant print signed by author John Jackson Miller, exclusive artwork and prints, and so much more. A second auction to benefit the family will begin on April 14th, 2012. More details on this to follow.View the items and bid in the auction here.

Be sure to like the May the Force Be with Princess Leah Facebook page and visit to keep up with Leah and her family.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Celebration VI: Artists Announced!

By Dominic Jones
The official Star Wars Celebration VI website was updated today to announce the 40 artists who will be taking part in the official art show during the convention. The artists will all be producing exclusive prints for fans to purchase during Celebration. A preview of their works will be coming later this summer.

The artists are:

• Steve Anderson
• David Michael Beck
• Spencer Brinkerhoff
• Jeff Carlisle
• Jeff Confer
• Katie Cook
• Joe Corroney
• Doug Cowan
• Dave Dorman
• Jan Duursema
• Scott Erwert
• Carlos Garzon
• Grant Gould
• Stephen Hayford
• Tom Hodges
• Adam Hughes
• Ken Lashley
• Eric Maell
• Randy Martinez
• Mark McHaley
• Mark McKenna
• Clark Mitchell
• William O’Neill
• Jason Palmer
• Ken Phipps
• Tim Proctor
• David Rabbitte
• Mark Raats
• Brian Rood
• Tsuneo Sanda
• Joshua M Smith
• Allison Sohn
• Cat Staggs
• Chris Trevas
• Jerry VanderStelt
• Christian Waggoner
• Russell Walks
• Doug Wheatley
• Marc Wolfe
• Brent Woodside


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The SWU Podcast Episode 29 | 3/27/2012


In this episode of the SWU Podcast, Josh a.k.a. JD Maul joins hosts Chris, Jordan, and Kyle in a discussion about Clone Wars Season 4. They read your comments and the results of various fan polls about the season. Listen to find out which arcs, episodes, and characters stood out, and which ones did not.

» Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.

» JD Maul on Facebook

» Empire Fails on Youtube

» The Star Wars Talk Show

» Secrets of the Force

» Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TCW Voice Actors Nominated for BTVA Awards

By Benjamin Hart/Galactic Press

Behind the voice actors has announced the nominees for the 1st annual BTVA Voice acting awards. Several voice talents from the Clone Wars animated series were chosen, as well as a few Star Wars alumni. There is also a "People's choice" contest where you can vote for your favorites. Be sure to head over there and make Star Wars #1!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Clone Wars Bloopers: Season Four Finale

By: Benjamin Hart

Season four has come and gone far too quick. This post marks my first full season of CWB! I thoroughly appreciate your feedback and taking the time to read!


In the scene where Savage says, "My brother. I've been searching for him" most, if not all of Morley's body is floating above the ground.
It happens again several times in subsequent scenes.


After Savage exits the ship and is greeted by Mother Talzin, Maul's Lightsaber is not on his belt.
When they walk into the Temple it is now reappeared on his belt.

When Ventress first appears, Savage walks into the room and is on the left.
When the shot changes and she reveals herself, Savage is now opposite of where he was before.
It is much more clear later that Maul and Savage have switched places.

Kudos to Ruari and Daniel for helping me out with this one! If I made a blooper of my own let me know in the comments. If you enjoyed this edition of CWB please click the share buttons below!

Mini Reviews
Brothers was a let down, This episode was doomed from the beginning. The excessive marketing of Maul's return ruined the suspense, thus rendering the long build up to his reveal pointless. And once we got Maul he was only around for a couple minutes. If Brothers had been aired right before Revenge it would have worked much better, this episode can't stand on it's own. Aside from that, the story seemed erratic going from place to place showing Dooku, Ventress and Anakin reacting to "something sinister" when I think it should have focused solely on Savage. Even though it would have been nice to see Raxus Prime or Ord Mantel, Lotho Minor was a cool planet. On a positive note, I think they pulled off Maul very well. It really felt like he'd been there, barely surviving for ten years. Overall, 4.7/10

Now Revenge on the other hand, was one of the best of the series! Great pacing, awesome dialogue and a fantastic Lightsaber duel to top it off. The implied slaughter of Children really shows how TCW team tries to push the envelope when it comes to the maturity of this show. It ain't just for kids, people! I also really loved Maul's design, they pretty much copied his look from the Visionaries comic, which is awesome. Overall, 8.9/10

Until next time, MTFBWY! -B-


Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Star Wars: Scoundrels" Release Date, Cover and Synopsis Announced


By Dominic Jones

Entertainment Weekly announced today that Timothy Zahn’s new “Han Solo novel” will be titled Star Wars: Scoundrels and that it will be released on December 26, 2012. They also released cover, which features Han Solo, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian as well as the first official synopsis for the novel:

The Death Star has been destroyed. The Rebellion has had its first big victory. And Han Solo, newly conscripted to the Rebel cause, is on the run from the Empire and the bounty hunters eager to turn him in for the huge reward being offered by Jabba the Hutt. Now a mysterious stranger offers Han the resources to execute a daring robbery from a major crime lord. The mission is impossible, but the prize will make Han a free man. With no choice but to accept, Han Solo and his Wookiee partner, Chewbacca, set out to assemble a cast of rogues, knaves, and cons with the right combination of wits, skills, and derring-do to pull off an operation of this complexity and scale—the best scoundrels the galaxy has to offer. And then the game is on: a rip-roaring, intergalactic, Ocean’s Eleven-style heist adventure starring Han Solo, Chewie, and Lando Calrissian, written by #1 New York Times bestselling Star Wars author Timothy Zahn!

Zahn has previously stated that the novel will be similar to the Ocean’s 11 films. This is Zahn’s tenth novel in the Star Wars Universe.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The SWU Podcast Episode 28 - 3/20/2012


In this episode of the SWU Podcast, James from the film and TV show review site J And J Productions joins host Chris and Savanna in a discussion about the Clone Wars Season 4 finale episode Revenge. They discuss the latest Star Wars news, play your voicemails, and read your comments.

» Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.

» J And J Productions

» Pandas, Lightsabers, and Cameras, oh my!

» Fangirls On Felucia

» Secrets of the Force

» Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Celebration VI – Autographs, Collecting and Hosts - Oh My!!


By: Dominic Jones/Galactic Press

Since its announcement last June, Star Wars fans have been dyeing to get some news regarding the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI which will take place at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, Florida from August 23-26, 2012. Prior to this week there had been very few announcements ranging from fan events to author appearances. However this week fans were treated to the first concrete news in some time. First it was announced on Tuesday that James Arnold Taylor, David Collins and Pablo Hidalgo would be the stage hosts. Secondly, it was announced yesterday that Gus Lopez and his team would be returning to Celebration to host collectors panels and events. Finally, today (March 16) it was confirmed that Official Pix will, once again, be in charge of bringing celebrity guests to Celebration.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Clone Wars Season Finale Previews & Behind The Scenes

Episode 22 "Revenge", the finale episode for season four of The Clone Wars will air this Friday at 8:00pm ET/PT! Not only did we get two clips from this episode, but also two behind the scenes clips. One of Sam Witwer, who voices Maul, being interviewed in the Lucasfilm Archives. The other is footage from the fan screening of both Brothers and Revenge. If you aren't hyped for this episode yet, go watch all four videos and I guarantee you will be afterwards!

Clip #1

Clip #2

Sam Witwer In The Lucasfilm Archives

Fan Screening Footage


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The SWU Podcast Episode 27 - 3/13/2012


In this episode of the SWU Podcast, fan blogger Autumn joins hosts Chris, Savanna, and Jordan in a discussion about the latest Clone Wars episode, Brothers. They read your comments on the episode and this week's news headlines. Plus listen to hear a couple of your voicemails.

» Right click here and select save link as to Download MP3.

» An Autumn Day

» Pandas, Lightsabers, and Cameras, oh my!

» Fangirls On Felucia

» Secrets of the Force

» EmpireFails on Youtube

» Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Clone Wars 4.21-"Brothers" Review


This episode is exactly why you should not promote the finale after only a few episodes into the season. The original teaser for the Darth Maul arc hit the internet in October, and after 5 months, it finally airs, building up tension and suspense for the entire season. Perhaps it was my high expectations, but this was the biggest let down the Clone Wars has given in a long time. This may not be the worst episode ever, but it is by far the most disappointing. I honestly feel that if they hadn’t hyped up this story for the entire season, it would not be receiving the overall negative reactions it seems to be getting from a good number of people. Granted, there are parts that would cause a negative reaction regardless, but if this story had not been hyped up, the expectations of this episode would be that of a regular episode-and not of a story that is a complete game-changer by bringing back a major character “from the dead”, and therefore, the expectations would not have been held so high, to a point where only excellence will suffice. Unfortunately, this episode did not live up to the hype. The overall problem with this episode is that nothing happened. This is the episode that promised us “The Return of Darth Maul”, when in reality; he showed up for the last 5 minutes after 13 minutes of simply trying to get to that point. It spent the majority of the episode as dragged out build-up, and as soon as any momentum began, the episode ended abruptly.

Let’s start from the beginning scene with Savage in a diner on a random planet. We see him choking a random women (for no explained reason), he runs outside to some crates, sees some dust that has some “connection” to Darth Maul, he hijacks a ship that just arrived with the crates, and heads to it’s origin: Lotho Minor. This is the most convoluted and most pointless plot point I’ve seen in this series in a very long time. The episode should have started with Savage already on a ship, flying through space, with only the medallion guiding him to Lotho Minor. This not only would have saved a good amount of time, but would have instantly put the audience in the right mood right from the start. The entire scene with him on that planet had no meaning, no purpose, and did nothing but kill time, and give an excuse for Anakin and Ahsoka to make a cameo-with which they did nothing. They showed up (for no other reason than the fact that Anakin was hungry), and Anakin says, “I sense a disturbance... something sinister…something familiar”. Why would Anakin sense Darth Maul as familiar? He saw him once-ten years ago, and even still, that was from a distance. As soon as Darth Maul appeared in the hangar on Naboo, Anakin took off in the Naboo fighter into space, never to see Darth Maul again. For Obi-Wan to sense something made sense. For Ventress to sense something made sense. For Anakin to sense something made no sense whatsoever. Also, the animation in this scene seemed very choppy and poorly done. Character movements did not seem natural and were clearly not up to the animation standards that Season 4 has set.

We eventually end up on the junk planet of Lotho Minor, and Savage runs into a snake-like creature named Morley who then pulls a “Gollum” and states that he can lead Savage to where he needs to go. I understand that this character was supposed to be slimy and conniving, but there is a line that needs to be drawn, and this character crossed that line way too early. Upon first viewing, I found this character almost unbearably annoying, however, the more I watch the episode, the less I dislike this character. There were several character moments that made me smile and moments that worked well, but the majority of it didn’t. If they had cut this character’s time in half, it would have worked perfectly, however, this character overstayed his welcome, and I was happy to see his demise at the hands of Savage Opress.

Savage and Morley eventually run into a group of aliens/droids called “Junkers” who seem to be scavengers and use whatever they can find around them as homes, decoration, tools, etc. They proceed to attack the duo, and after a few minutes of Savage wiping them out, the few survivors back away and run off. A major problem with this scene is that it peaked way too early. The emotion and suspense would have been far better if as Savage and Morely were walking by, the Junkers peered from around the corner and in the shadows, and did not attack right away. Then when they do attack, do not have them all rush in and be slaughtered right away. The perfect example of this would be the introduction of the Jawas in “A New Hope”. They watch R2 in the canyon for quite some time before finally attacking, building up the right level of fear and tension. I love the Junkers, but I feel they were heavily misused.

Morley eventually betrays Savage, and tricks him down into a dark hole, leading him to an underground cave. Savage then proceeds to sense/chase Maul throughout the cave, before finally engaging in a physical struggle with him. Maul eventually realizes that the spider-shaped figure he has been chasing is actually his brother, resulting in Savage saying “Brother…” in probably the most unnatural conveyance of sympathy I’ve ever heard in this series. This leads to one of the very few good things I can say about this episode. I am quite pleased with Witwer’s portrayal of Darth Maul. What I really enjoy the most is that they didn’t bring him back as a bad-ass, but as a completely broken individual. Maul has completely lost his mind, and is almost animalistic. He begins to talk to himself quite rapidly and nonsensically, as Savage watches in horror as the man who he has just found out is his brother is both physically and mentally in shambles. I only wish that he had spoken a bit clearer. I found it very hard to understand what he was saying. I understand that that was the point, but Witwer has said several times that he threw in certain things and little nods into his ramblings, and trying to listen for those things was very difficult, but regarding Maul’s actual portrayal, I highly enjoyed this version of Maul. I will admit, the crying took me by surprise a bit, but given the environment, the fact that he is exiled and alone, and the fact that he is both physically and mentally broken, it makes sense, and I highly enjoyed it. Perhaps they could have toned it down just a notch, though. It did get a bit over-dramatic at one or two parts. But overall, Maul is really the one thing I can say mostly positive things about in this episode.

After finally getting to Maul, the episode cuts to Yoda and Obi-Wan discussing how they sense that Darth Maul is alive, and then the episode just ends abruptly, prompting me to actually yell “Are you kidding me?!” as soon as the end credits came on. This was incredibly disappointing. There was a severe lack of momentum in this episode, and as soon as things started to pick up, it ends.

Just so I don’t end completely on a negative note, I will speak about some of the positive things I liked about this episode. First of all, I loved the red title card. I thought it was a great change of pace, and I honestly did not realize it at first. Secondly, I loved the music in the episode. Usually they sneak in hints of the original John Williams score, but this time around they flat-out use it directly. As much as I dislike the diner scenes, I must admit, a smile did come over my face when the music began playing when Anakin and Ahsoka sat down in the booth. Thirdly, I loved the entire scene of Savage chasing Maul through the underground caves. That finally added some much needed suspense and action to an overly dragged out episode. Lastly, I love Witwer’s version of Maul. I know there are going to be some Maul “fan-boys” who will whine that he did not return as the awesome bad-ass that he is portrayed in the comics. I personally like that Maul’s return into the saga has him as a fragile-minded and almost pathetic character. We know Maul is going to rise up again, so having him start from such a low point really brings that out. In musician terms, the best way effectively portray a forte is to bring out the emphasis on the piano. In other words, make the big bigger by making the small smaller.

This was half of an episode. That was the main problem with this episode. They had 12 minutes of worthy material, and had to thrown in an extra ten to drag it out to full length. The entire opening diner scene had zero purpose, the “fire-breathers” (although cool) were just an excuse to show something cool, the inclusion of the snake went on for just a bit too long, the entire scene with the junkers was unnecessary, and overall, the animation was all over the place. The environmental animation such as the fires, fog and dust worked perfectly, but the character animation was suffering tremendously-particularly in the beginning scene. Characters were needlessly thrown in, and honestly, with the exception of Witwer, it sounded like nobody was invested in what they were doing, which was incredibly disappointing when coming from Clancy Brown (Savage Opress). He did an amazing job in the Nightsisters trilogy, but he seemed almost amateur in this episode. As someone who has been a major fan of the acting in this series from the beginning, it was heartbreaking to watch such a poor performance.

I have heard from people who have seen the final episode, and they tell me that it is all worth it and that the final episode makes up for this episode. We have gotten several episodes throughout the series that fall into that category. As a whole, this episode was a flop. However, as part of a bigger story, I’m sure it is just the first step to something great. Unfortunately, the problem with reviewing an episode like this is the fact that we have not seen the second half, and are forced to analyze something that is literally one half of a “double-episode”.

Season 4 as a whole has been up and down, but the past 2 episodes of this 4-part arc have been incredible, and it would be such a shame if they end the season on such a disappointment, particularly since they finally seem to have regained their footing. I have also heard that this season will be the first to end on a “cliff-hanger”, and that worries me tremendously. This season has been completely unstable, and desperately needs a solid ending. Ending on a cliffhanger is an incredible gamble, and in the words of Qui-Gon Jinn; “Whenever you gamble, eventually you lose”. I’m really wishing the best, but the previous track record is not looking good. All we can do is hope for the best. Now we simply play the waiting game…


Saturday, March 10, 2012

EW Dave Filoni Live Chat Highlights


Last night, during the airing of "Brothers", Entertainment weekly hosted a live chat with Dave Filoni, supervising director of the Clone Wars. Dave was kind enough to answer many fan questions as well as several from the host, Christian Blauvelt. I picked several of the questions and answers that I thought were incredibly interesting, he teased several things that we can look forward to in Season 5 and beyond. Check them out below:

William Bard
Q. Any chance we could see San Hill in TCW?

A. Muun's have been in the show, in fact you may see more Muun's in the future

Dominic Jones
Q. I'm just wondering if we'll ever see the story how Pre Vizla got his scar from Count Dooku in a future Clone Wars episode or in some other medium?

A. I do not think we have ever discussed telling that specific story, but I don't believe its outside the realm of possibilities for a comic or novel in the future. In the end it seems all stories get told, as long as people want to hear them.

Rick Frable
Q. How does one get to be a voice actor on this show?

A. Good question, you have to be a member of SAG and submit a demo reel, preferably through an agency. But all the samples come across my desk and I sort through them to cast each part.

Alex Gregory
Q. Dear Mr Filoni, will we ever see CIS leaders like Gunray and Tambor return to the show and will some of the other CIS leaders from the movies like Tikkes and Passel Argente make an appearence on the show?

A. The CIS leaders are a bit different as to how they fit into things than was presumed in the EU. We have intentionally left them out so far while we figure out how to use them properly. They are after all businessmen and not Generals, so they would not be leading forces against the Republic in reality.

Alex Gregory
Q. Cheers for replying to my question Dave but will you ever show any of the separatist leaders again, if we can't have the others can't we at least have Gunray?

A. I think in time, you may see them again, Wat Tambor is cool after all.

Daniel Georgiev
Q. How is it too hard to have CIS leaders like Tikkes or Tambor on but then you do have all those Senators in the Galactic senate all the time? Why the Senators from the Republic may appear and the CIS council leaders can not!

A. This is a really involved answer, you have to start thinking of the Banking Clan, the Trade Federation etc as corporations and not solely part of the Separatists. For example, Gunray is a businessman, but a known Separatist conspirator, at least according to Obi Wan. The corporations sit in the middle.

Christian Blauvelt
Q. Wow, I love this junkyard planet. Why choose to create a new planet like Lothar Minor instead of just going with Ord Mantell or Kessel?

A. We tend to make new planets and aliens at times, that way we don't have to conflict with existing continuity. Thats not to say both planets you mention wont show up, its just not where Maul was dumped ;)

Michael Lima
Q. Where is Oppo Rancicis, or whoever the 12 council member is that we've not seen?

A. Here's a spoiler, you will at some point in the future see Oppo Rancicis, I approved his CG model already, but he has not been in a scene yet, so hopefully soon.

Christian Blauvelt
Q. Dave, right now is The Clone Wars' future open-ended? I know initially you guys had said it might run only five seasons, but it seems like you guys have several seasons of storytelling left. Thoughts?

A. We have so many stories it is really amazing, but thats what happens when you have such an expansive universe that people care about. I just keep making them until George says stop, thats my plan at least and I'm ok with it, lol.

Gregory Linares
Q. Dave, Why was the clone's Phase II armor introduced so late in the series? Any chance we might see a Commander Bacara/Galactic Marines and Ki Adi Mundi episodes?

A. We felt we were near a half way point in the war so we switched over. I would love to get Bacara in, still working on that.

Henry Johnson
Q. I missed your episode-by-episode commentaries this season. Might we see those return next season?

A. I really liked doing that too, there were allot of changes going on at and all I can tell you is we've had some meetings and discussed some cool future plans so hopefully we can do more clone wars stuff in the future, commentaries or otherwise. 

Q. Another important Fett question...Will we ever see Boba reclaim Slave I (through some heavy pursuasion) from Hondo? I like to think his/Jango's Manda' armour was left aboard the ship too!

A. You will see slave 1 in the future. 

Christian Blauvelt 
Q. Dave, maybe you can help settle a dispute here. Did Embo just escape from Republic custody following the unraveling of the kidnapping plot on Naboo? Or is there more to that than meets the eye?

A. There's more than meets the eye, Embo has a fantastic escape that was never I the episode, but it was very James Bond like. You can't keep Embo down, he's too cool, and now with pet wolf-dog albino anooba.

Matt Gilbert
Q. Dave, I was really sorry to hear about the passing of Ian Abercrombie. He did a fantastic job as Palpatine and in other works he'd done like Seinfeld. Has there been any talk of who will carry on the role going forward?

A. Ian is one of a kind. Among the many challenges I have had on this show, replacing Ian ranks among the hardest. I had such great respect and admiration for him. We still have many scenes with Ian in our show, and I promise you his performances are among his best. We miss him very much.

Michael Lincoln
Q. Can't wait until next week! Here's a question: Will the Jedi starfighters that we see in "Revenge of the SIth" make an appearance in the future?

A. Yep, eventually just like the Clone armor, there will be a clue in an episode before it happens.

Christian Blauvelt
Q. So Dave, what hints can you give about season five?

A. It's a big season of very important character moments. ALOT changes forever for some of our heroes. It's a big year for Ahsoka, Ashley's best work, very poweful.

Alex Gregory
Q. Will we see Dooku try to get revenge on Hondo? It was hinted at the end of Gungan General that Dooku would return to Florrum for revenge.

A. Dooku has a good memory, as do you Alex.

Henry Johnson
Q. Will an official timeline for the episodes ever be released to the public, following the completion of the final season?

A. Yes, I've talked about that alot, I think we need to find the best way to get it to you guys, but I agree you need it.

Christian Blauvelt
Q. Dave, will there ever come a time when you'll decide to show Palpatine as an outright villain on the show?

A. Mmmm, probably not Palpatine, George and I strategize alot around Palpatine and his duality. We have to be careful with it.

Dominic Jones
Q. Any possibillity Yoda will be explored more on the show?

A. We are very careful with Yoda, George wants to be sure what is revealed about him is what he wants. That being said it is possible, but will take some time if we do it.

Alex Gregory
Q. Did Admiral Trench die in Cat and Mouse Dave?

A. I find spiders hard to kill, dont you?

Daniel Georgiev
Q. Tikkes?

A. Just for you I'm going to go see what happened to that cg model. :)

Be sure to 'Like' Dave Filoni on his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @dave_filoni


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Clone Wars Bloopers: Ep. 4.20 "Bounty"


I love this episode, it had everything you could ask for... Including some bloopers!

First off, when the group arrives at the Space station, Dengar is last to exit the ship...
But when the shot changes Dengar is right behind Boba and Bossk.

At first the window behind Latts is completely missing.
When the shot changes it is shattered but not completely gone...
And when she throws the Space Ninja... *Ehem* I mean Kage Warrior out the window there is no sound to accompany the glass breaking.

Next, when the Kage warriors first attack, Dengar is carrying a rifle, which he drops upon getting kicked in the face.
Later the weapon is nowhere to be seen on the deck.

Later on, when Boba calls on Asajj, "I need you in the back." both of them actually walk toward the front of the train to a car... 
...That looks identical to the rear car.
It appears that the train has the same type of cars at both ends. So it's a dialogue fail nonetheless.

And lastly, when the train is initially attacked, most, if not all the windows are broken. 
Near the end of the episode, when the Train stops, all the windows on that side are still intact.

If you enjoyed this edition of CWB please click the share buttons below. Thanks to Ruari and Jordan for helping me out with this one! If I made a faux pas of my own let me know in the comments.

Mini Review
This episode was pure Star Wars awesomeness!! The animation was gorgeous; Tatooine looked straight out of the films and Quarzite was breathtaking. The story was simple and interesting; put a bunch of Bounty hunters on a Train, throw in some Ninjas and a "Box" and you've got an epic plot. The music was fantastic; the tune in the Cantina was catchy and fit right in with other Modal Nodes classics. I also loved the rock/classical mix in one scene, reminded me of some of the music from Season 1. The action was some of the best of the entire series; Boba and Asajj kicked butt, Simon Pegg... *Cough* I mean Dengar was pretty epic, even if he did go out like a punk, and space Ninjas FTW! I really like what they're doing with Ventress' character, She's been a Jedi, a Sith and now a bounty hunter. Where will she go next? Overall, 11/10.

Until next time(MAUL!!), MTFBWY! -B-


Star Wars Needs To "Die"


*Note: This is in no way written out of anger, frustration, etc. I am simply stating what I think would be best for the future of Star Wars. I am cool, calm, and collected. Keep that in mind when reading this. This is simply my opinion. You are free to agree and disagree as much as you please*

*Note 2: Please read the entire thing before making a judgement about this topic.*

I love Star Wars. I truly do. They are quite possibly my 6 favorite movies of all time. And I love the Star Wars prequels. Yes, they’re massively flawed, but they are my childhood and I actually prefer the prequels to the original trilogy. I love the Clone Wars. I think aside from a few missteps here and there, it is by far the greatest animated series on television, if not one of the most cinematic shows on television period.

With that said, I believe that Star Wars needs to least for a while.

Today’s world is so bogged down with emotional Star Wars baggage, and has been for over 30 years, that the original magic of the film has been ripped to shreds to almost non-existence. Yes, it is still magical to watch those films, but you will never get the feeling you got in 1977 ever again. The love and magic that made these films continues to get bogged down with countless revised versions, EU novels, countless tv shows, toys, fanboys, etc. Star Wars has been on a downward slope for years, and I think it’s time to put it out of its misery before it suffers anymore.

In my opinion, there are 6 movies. The Clone Wars movie doesn't count in my eyes-it was an experiment, a ploy for money, and nothing more than a tv pilot. And I hope it always remains those 6. I hope that the rumored Boba Fett movie never happens and I hope Episodes 7-9 never happen. The Star Wars name has already become a name that has gone from award winning story telling to a "franchise" that is pretty much floating on it's on merchandising life-boat. Any “additions” to the “Star Wars movie” family would not be a Star Wars movie in my eyes. It will be simply a movie with Star Wars in the title.

Don't get me wrong, I love Star Wars, flaws and all. Even the rare bad episodes of Clone Wars, I love them to a certain degree because even though it's terrible, it's still Star Wars, and I will always have that love for it until I die. But to see anymore things come out like the Boba Fett movie simply trying to sell itself to the general audience simply because it has "Star Wars" slapped on to it really hurts. I don't care if the Boba Fett movie is better than all of the other movies. It is not a Star Wars movie. It may take place in the Star Wars Universe, but it is in no way a Star Wars movie. The Star Wars saga is the story of Anakin and Luke Skywalker, and that's it. Anything that branches off of that is nothing more than glorified EU. Star Wars has already been bastardized enough by having turned from art into a product. I don't want to see it happen anymore.

I am going to mention this because I KNOW it's going to come up. Yes, Lucas has a big part in this. But I'm not looking at it from his point of view or his involvement in the saga. The general population of today simply views Star Wars as something completely different than the population of 1977. The magic has been lost. Seeing any other movies or anything like that will only be taking away the little specialness the 6 films have left.

That's what the Clone Wars Movie did. It was thrown in theaters because it has the Star Wars title on it, with Warner Bros thinking they would pull in alot of money, victimizing the name. And what hurts twice as much is that it failed miserably. As much as I love The Clone Wars, when that movie came out, it was a wreck. Not just financially, but watching it hurt, and hearing the criticism hurt. It was terrible. And everyone knew it. It was when people realized "Ok, this is now just for the money". And it was. If they had premiered that movie on Cartoon Network, not only would it have been received much better because not only are expectations not nearly as high, and not only because it is a tv movie playing on tv as opposed to a theater where you have to pay 10 bucks per person, but it wouldn't seem like such a desperate ploy.

That's why I repeat what I said in a post earlier. No more Star Wars. I don't care who's doing it, Star Wars needs to go away for a while. It's become nothing more than a franchise on a money life-support, and it is emotionally painful to see something so magical being used like that, no matter how good it is. Like I said, that Boba Fett movie (should it ever happen) could be the best movie of the year, yet I will not be seeing it, nor will I even recognize it as a Star Wars film. Not because it wasn't by George Lucas. Not because it didn't have to do with the Skywalkers. But because it really is nothing more than a product hoping to lure people in with nothing more than a title, and I'll be damned if something I love so much that has already been victimized for the majority of it's life will end up a hollow money-making husk. Star Wars is already on it's death bed. I don't want to see it die like this and turn into a zombie puppet.

Like I said, it can be the best film of the year, but I will not be seeing it and view it as insulting. I fall into that category of people who view it as a ploy. I'm not going to let it affect my love of Star Wars, simply because I will not be considering it as Star Wars. That's why I get so offended when people say "They should make a movie of the Old Republic". "They should make a movie of the Yuuzhan Vong". It would simply be made for a small group of fanboys and is literally nothing more than a grab for money, no matter how good it is. The Star Wars saga is the 6 films. That's it.

Granted, I would not be against seeing another Clone Wars screening (much like the Savage Opress arc) as long as they don't try to sell it as a "Star Wars Movie"

When people heard that George Lucas would be making a prequel trilogy and telling the back-story to Star Wars, the entire world went nuts with excitement. However, when Phantom Menace came out, it received mainly negative reviews. Half the reason Phantom Menace failed the way it did was because it failed to meet expectations. Granted, the other half of why it failed is because it was poorly done, but that’s another topic for another time. When people hear “Star Wars”, they expect the best, and if not the best, then at least something that will give them that feeling they got in the theater in 1977. Unfortunately, the feeling is never going to happen again, and because of that, Star Wars is doomed to failure. Even on episodes of The Clone Wars, people expect the very best when they hear the main theme and see the opening logo. However, every now and then a “bad” episode airs, and people are flat-out angry. Yes, it is just an animated TV show, a “kid’s show” if you will, but when Star Wars fails to meet expectations, the audience is not only hurt and saddened by it, but also feels betrayed and let down to a certain extent. The audience puts their all into it and invests everything into what they’re viewing, and unfortunately, they do not always get back what they put in.

Another nail in the Star Wars coffin is the EU. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, there was no Star Wars. After “Return of the Jedi, that was it. Yes, there were two animated shows, but both were obviously intended for young children, and both were cancelled quite quickly. When Timothy Zahn wrote “Heir to the Empire” in 1991, it was (at the time) considered “official canon” and was intended to be the “official continuation” of the Trilogy because there was nothing else out there, and to this day, that particular trilogy (dubbed the Thrawn Trilogy) is considered as the Holy Grail of Star Wars Expanded Universe. But the problem is, so many comics and novels and video games have come out, people have kept that mindset that anything that comes out of Star Wars is official canon, no matter it’s source. There is now a “canon ladder” that sorts various books, novels, and games into 5 or 6 levels of canon, and I believe that is absurd. In my opinion, everything can be considered canon, until a higher power says otherwise, and at that point, it is no longer canon and just a story meant to be enjoyed. There is so much EU out there that clearly, something is obviously going to contradict something else. However, fans have clinged on to the idea that if it came first, it’s canon-no matter how silly the first story is and how “official”, the second story is. A frequent problem with The Clone Wars is that it “destroys continuity”. No, it destroys YOUR IDEA of continuity. People fail to realize that The Clone Wars is one of the few exceptions outside of the movies that is 100% canon. This has obviously caused a great rift in fandom, and many people are clouded by years of pointless knowledge that some random author made up, and would rather take the word of that author over the word of George Lucas-the creator of Star Wars, when it comes to a character’s origin, species, etc. It has prevented people from viewing something great as great, and instead will throw the entire thing out the window because something didn’t match up with a novel from 1996 or a comic from 2003 that sold maybe 6,000 copies total. For example, I attempted to show someone the “Nightsisters Trilogy” of The Clone Wars (which is by far one of the best produced stories of the show), and out of the hour long trilogy, the person stopped watching once they learned Asajj Ventress was actually from Dathomir instead of Rattatak (About 10 minutes or so into it), and this person refused to watch anymore, proceeding to talk about how George Lucas is messing up canon with this show.

And at the end of the day, people fail to realize that “Hey, it’s not real”. It is a fictional galaxy with characters that don’t exist. It is a product used to tell a story and make money. It is no different than when December comes around and Christmas is right around the corner (kids, don’t read this part). We all know Santa isn’t real, but that doesn’t mean we call out every mall-Santa we see as fakes and liars, and it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the “magic” of Christmas, even though in reality, it is just a regular day of the year and no different than any other day of the year. We all know Star Wars isn’t real, but we can still enjoy the magic of it. Unfortunately, there are two kinds of people in the world who have ruined this magic for everyone else. The first kind of person forgets that it is not real and takes it incredibly seriously and treats the backstory of a random character as legitimate history and forgets that in a fictional world, things such as histories and backstories can change to how the creator sees fit. The other kind of person is the person who knows it’s not real, knows it’s just a product, but unfortunately, see it only as that, and will not allow people to enjoy what they’re experiencing it because it doesn’t “conform” to their level of movie-making. Going back to the Santa metaphor, I know he’s not real, but I hate it when people say it out loud because it rips away the joy and magic I once had as a child. The same emotion occurs when people talk poorly about the prequel trilogy. I understand you may not like it, but those movies mean a lot to me. Let me enjoy the little magic there is left. The magic of Star Wars has been ripped away and only a little bit remains.

I am glad George Lucas is retiring. He has lived in the world of Star Wars for far too long, and as much as it pains me to say it, he is slowly starting to become delusional about it. For his sake, he needs a break, and honestly, I think the world needs a break from not only him, but from Star Wars as a whole. Society has been choked and suffocated by Star Wars in the mainstream and in pop culture for so long, that people have forgotten to come up and take a much needed breathe of fresh air to reset themselves, their minds, and their emotions. And that is why I feel Star Wars needs to go away. People just need to go back to that time of 1984-1995 where Star Wars existed, but was no long a matter of debate, no longer a major topic in the eyes of society, and was simply a magical movie series that people could sit down and enjoy for a few hours. And when I say that I want Star Wars to die, I don’t mean the equivalent of a violent public execution for “crimes against cinema” that many people wish for. In fact, I admit that the term "die" is probably a bit extreme. I just think that it is time to quietly put out the fire. It has had a good run that was unfortunately dampened by the cruel cynicism of people for many years, which has unfortunately become the status quo, causing it to exist in a world where it is no longer welcomed as it once was, and I think it would be best for not only the world, but for Star Wars as a whole if it quietly just went away for a long time and not come back for a while (if at all). And should it come back, the world will have had time to reset itself and its priorities and Star Wars may once again be welcomed in this new world...


Editors Note:

I should note that several people are missing the point of this article. I am not damning Star Wars. I love Star Wars. It has brought me closer to my father, and I've made MANY friends due to Star Wars and I owe George Lucas so much for making this happen. I am in no way hating on Star Wars.

What I'm trying to say is that in today's world, Star Wars has become almost a joke in the majority of the public eye, and to save something I love, I simply believe that it should quietly step back into the shadows, let people get it all out of their systems, and then have it come back after a few years. I am in no way promoting "DEATH TO STAR WARS!" like many people claim I am doing. I do not WANT Star Wars to go away. It truly means a lot to me and to see something like that disappear would be incredibly tragic. I simply think that the main spark that has kept Star Wars amazing has increasingly been fizzling out, and I simply wish to take it out of the storm, give it a few years and then if the time is right, come back refreshed with a new public perspective. I would rather see Star Wars disappear and then come back strong a few years down the line, than continue going and collapse under its own weight.

I should also note that I am not saying the QUALITY of Star Wars is going down. It's not. What I'm saying is the general public response and reaction to Star Wars over time is. So instead of always wanting more and more new material, when there is a good chanceit is not going to live up to your personal expectation (whether or not it is actually good), take what Star Wars we have and enjoy it. I'm not saying Star Wars is a terrible thing. I'm simply stating that I don't think there should be any new Star Wars material in the future. Enjoy the movies. Enjoy the tv show(s). Enjoy the comics and novels, that's fine. I'm just saying it's time to simply enjoy what we have rather than simply moving on to the next thing.

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