Squeaky Mouse Droid Star Wars Day Edition: May the Fourth Be With You!
Happy Star Wars Day everyone! I remember just prior to May 4th of last year Star Wars fans were biting at the bit for any Star Wars news, and the big question at the time was whether or not Lucasfilm would drop any news on Star Wars Day. With the new movie well into production, they’d have to drop something, right?
Well, in actuality, Lucasfilm had dropped a huge bit of news a few days before Star Wars Day by dropping that famous script-read picture on the internet: it was a pretty cool way to announce the cast of the film, and it set the internet on fire. Fans still expected something – maybe even something as big – to drop on Star Wars day.
If I recall correctly, a promo for Star Wars Rebels was released on Star Wars Day. Good stuff, but certainly not as big as people expected.
Hey! Rebels is a good show. Season Two looks fantastic, and that first season was ten kinds of awesome.
So what does Lucasfilm drop this time?
Well, how about a whole bunch of pictures, all of them taken from an upcoming issue of Vanity Fair? For some reason of which I am not privy too, it is Vanity Fair that gets the earliest scoop on each new film in the franchise since The Phantom Menace. I remember that they had a “casual” photo of Jar Jar Binks hanging with the cast and crew as if it was real, and this was neat (important to have context here: this was long before anyone heard him speak or act).
This is literally the greatest cover for a magazine ever: search your feelings. You know it to be true. Harrison Ford is truly back as Han Solo. Gone is the grumpy Ford of the last few years: even in a still shot, he’s killing it as Han.
What’s great about this cover is that it only shows characters we’ve seen in the trailer. While the inside of the magazine has some interesting new characters, it’s a good way to sell the magazine itself without spoiling anything.
How about this:
So, this photo shows that Lucasfilm is embracing the Star Wars tradition by creating creatures the old-fashioned way: in a workshop. Some non-fans might call these kinds of creatures tacky and dated, but the fact is that this feels like Star Wars. Having CG characters in the prequels stood out a bit too much.
Also, they are doing both. The magazine also had a shot of Lupita Nyong’o wearing mo-cap dots, so her character (reportedly named Maz Kanata) will be a CG character. What makes Star Wars feel like Star Wars are the practical effects and tangible creatures and machines I’ll tell you this: if there is a creature or machine in the new film that I can tell is done with stop-motion animation, I won’t mind, and I won’t think of it as unfinished. Such as effect would fit the over aesthetic that the original trilogy had, and they used a lot of those techniques many would call primitive. It all felt of-a-piece, and each little effect had it’s own charm. These days, people are way too content with charmless CGI flying aircraft carriers that are gray and have gray smoke and crash into gray buildings. Bring back the old aesthetics of Star Wars. Bring them back now.
Okay, so the next photo is a bit simpler: It’s Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), the best pilot in the friggin’ galaxy.
Next is Rey taking off on her speeder in a behind-the-scenes shot.
Then we have our villain, Kylo Ren. All the speculation is over: this is the character that Kylo Ren is playing. This is likely not a movie still, so it remains to be seen if Kylo Ren looks like this under the mask or even if he will take the mask off in the film. My guess: he won’t.
Note the awesome new Snowtroopers. I was so excited as a kid to see the snowtroopers in the Empire Strikes Back. Now I have that excitement again.
Next is Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, the Chrometrooper we were able to get a glimpse of in the trailer.
These photos comprise an awesome May the Fourth present for us.
Now for the other news.
Josh Trank has parted ways with Lucasfilm after he was slated to write and direct the second anthology film due in 2018. The press releases make the split seem amicable, but people are speculating that he was canned. This could be the case if rumors of his strange on-set antics while filming The Fantastic Four reboot are true (that he was unapproachable and distant, and that he left some dogs in the house he was staying in unattended.) I won’t even speculate about those rumors. Indeed, there could be a more basic reason for the split (like Fantastic Four looking not very good to those in the industry who have seen early cuts of it). For all we know, he could have simply walked away. There’s still plenty of time to find a replacement. Many sources, including The Wrap, are reporting that this film will focus on the character of Boba Fett.
Yes, I did say Boba Fett.
Sounds good to me! May the Fourth be with you!