Disney ‘Star Wars’...Superfans Speak Out
Unless your power was knocked out by Sandy (and we hope you’re safe and sound now!), you have probably heard the news that rippled through the entertainment world yesterday – Disney has bought LucasFilm in a stock and cash deal valued at $4.05 billion and plans to make a series of new Star Wars films, with creator George Lucas serving as creative consultant.
Speakeasy wanted to find out what movie fans, and especially die-hard “Star Wars” fans, think about all this. So, we had conversations with:
Chris Wyman – reporter and administrator for Star Wars fansites RebelScum.com and TheForce.net
Jimmy “Mac” McInerney – Host of the popular ForceCast podcast
Nick Nunziata – Film producer and founder of movie development website CHUD.com
Matt Goldberg – Managing Editor at movie news website Collider.com
Here’s what they had to say. Note: Each of the conversations was held separately–unless the participants were secretly communicating through some sort of Jedi Mind Trick.
Are you glad “Star Wars” is moving forward, or do you worry about something you love being tainted?
Nick Nunziata: “Star Wars” has been tainted since the mid-1990s. This represents the first growth in an interesting direction in a long time. Because the “Star Wars” that I fell in love with is gone, it’s truly a blank canvas.
Chris Wyman: I am extremely excited about the notion of more films. This is something that I felt could happen as George Lucas decided to step away from the day to day operations at Lucasfilm and that turned out to be exactly what was going on. I don’t see this as changing anything from the past, but securing the future of the franchise, certainly, and giving even more people a chance to experience “Star Wars”in a whole new light.
What about the cast, do you want Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford to come back as Luke, Leia, and Han Solo?
Matt Goldberg: It wouldn’t make much sense to go with all new characters, or at least ones unrelated to the Skywalkers. Anakin may be dead, but his legacy can remain. I think there was a reason Lucas decided that Leia also had Jedi in her blood, and that’s so that her offspring could also use the Force. Basically, we’re looking at the next generation. Ideally, if you’re going to bring back the characters, you want the same actors. But, realistically, I’m not sure how eager Hamill, Fisher, and Ford would be to return to the roles.
Jimmy Mac: I believe we will see a new trilogy set 20 years into the future of the “Star Wars” timeline. Luke Skywalker will appear in the film as an Obi-Wan-esque character…Someone who will pass the baton, er, Lightsaber on to the next generation. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford own those roles. They are cinema icons and should be re-cast if their characters are in the script. I believe you will see all three but the focus will be on new characters and situations.
And George Lucas, how much of a role should he play going forward?
Goldberg: Lucas needs to step aside creatively. His involvement would best be used as a resource; he knows the world, its creatures, planets, etc., but he doesn’t get to create the storylines or characters.
Nunziata: No more George. The best gift he could ever have given fans is their favorite world with a bright new future. He’s exhausted any goodwill he’s earned. Star Wars is bigger than George Lucas. And maybe this finally frees him to do the art films he’s always intended to do.
Jimmy Mac: I think the fact that these films will be made is due to Lucas’s amazing creativity, vision, and concept. It is his outlines that the scripts will be based on and he will continue to serve in a consultant capacity for the upcoming films. “Star Wars” owes its future to George Lucas and his profound grasp of storytelling and his ability to create universes.
A lot of fans have cracked jokes about Mickey Mouse as a Jedi or Donald Duck as Darth Vader, but do you think Disney is a good company to steer the franchise into the future?
Wyman: George couldn’t have picked a better company to take over. Disney’s reach is limitless and spans the entire world, literally. They are in the entertainment business and “Star Wars” fans want to be entertained, plain and simple. We aren’t going to see Mickey Mouse inserted into the “Star Wars” universe. Ultimately, this move really opens up a whole new world of opportunities for a younger generation to grow up with “Star Wars” all over again and that’s pretty special.
Nunziata: Absolutely. They are a machine and seeing the relationship with Marvel blossoming it’s a no-brainer. Disney is long past the cheese phase. They have as much integrity as any other studio, except with the firepower to execute on all the ancillary levels that the film world needs to thrive on.
Perhaps the most important question, are Star Wars fans excited about this or nervous?
Wyman: I’ve heard mixed reactions across the board. When it comes right down to it, you can be happy about getting new “Star Wars” films, collectibles & rides or you can choose to appreciate the history of “Star Wars” up to now and leave it at that. At the end of the day, a majority of the people are rejoicing and thrilled to be here for this momentous occasion and I’m certainly one of them. There’s never been a better time to be a fan.
Jimmy Mac: Yoda said “Always in motion the future is.” The fear of the unknown has caused some fans to become outraged at this announcement. But for the most part, “Star Wars” fans are excited and pumped up for the silver screen expansion of the saga in Episodes 7,8,9, and beyond. We will be talking about this on The ForceCast for months and years to come. Fan speculation is the backbone of the anticipation for any new “Star Wars” film. Here’s where the fun begins. We have only planted the seed…We haven’t even watered it yet!
Nunziata: I saw “Star Wars” in theaters as a kid of 5 when it was brand new. It changed my life. Shaped it. I went to film school in large part due to these films. I believe that if someone is a true “Star Wars” fan this is the best possible solution. I flat out gave up on it and assumed Lucas was going to ride the franchise into his grave. Instead it has new vibrant life and in a place where MULTIPLE visions are welcomed. It’s simply too big a franchise to be a singular one.
Goldberg: Deep down, they want to see more “Star Wars” and perhaps some kind of redemption of the series to wash out the bad taste of the prequels. My final thought is this: reporting on “Star Wars” casting rumors for the foreseeable future makes me want to put a gun in my mouth. - WSJ
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI) [Blu-ray]
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
Drug bosses order 'hit' on police sniffer dog
Drug bosses in Rio de Janeiro have issued a 'death order' against a sniffer dog named Boss. The labrador is wanted by the Brazilian gang in the violent Manguinhos slum after sniffing out more than 660 pounds of cannabis hiding inside a false wall. Police patrolling the favela in the north of the city intercepted a radio message from the trafficking kingpin with an order to "target brownie" – a reference to the dog's colour.
Five-year-old Boss is the most feared amongst the 68 sniffer dogs who help police find drugs in Rio's vast slums, police said. The gangsters recently tried to throw him off the scent by hiding a batch of drugs next to an open sewage drain, but the labrador still managed to lead officers to them despite the pungent smell.
Major Vitor Valle, from Rio's military police dog squad, said Boss will continue to work in the slum but will now be protected by nine policemen. He said it was the first time one of their dogs has received a death threat from the powerful drugs factions. "Since 1955, when the dog squad was first formed, have we had a case like this. We haven't even had a dog injured during police operations," he said.
He said Boss has always been an "excellent" sniffer dog. "He's become a target because of the amount of the traffickers' drugs he's helped seize. We see this as a normal situation. Every one of us is at risk who are working against drugs trafficking. A dog can also be threatened, especially as our dogs have helped find more than 1.5 tonnes of drugs in the last year. It won't stop us, or him, doing our work." - Telegraph
How NOT to break up a party...
At least 25 people have died and 30 others were hurt in a fire at a wedding in eastern Saudi Arabia, officials say. Hundreds were inside the courtyard of a home in the village of Ain Badr, in the Abqaiq region, when the blaze began.
A high-voltage power line reportedly fell down and sent sparks flying after it was hit by celebratory gunfire. The power line is also believed to have touched a metal door at the only exit from the courtyard, causing the electrocution of many of the victims. Most of those killed and injured are reported to have been women.
Civil Defence chief Gen Abdullah Khsheiman as said a women-only marquee was set on fire. Women are separated from men at weddings in Saudi Arabia in line with the kingdom's strict rules on gender segregation. Survivors have been taken to the Aramco and Central Abqaiq hospitals.
Civil Defence spokesman Col Mohammed al-Ajami said the governor of Eastern Province, Prince Mohammed bin Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, had ordered the authorities to investigate the incident. The Saudi authorities last month banned the shooting of firearms at weddings - a popular tradition in tribal areas of the kingdom. In July 1999, 76 people died in a similar incident in Eastern Province. - BBC
Raped by Bigfoot?
The following preamble and link are so bizarre and absurd, I decided that I'd post it...regardless of what I think about the author:
Was Melba Ketchum raped by a Bigfoot!? Yes, I realize that this is an incredible story, and it seems to strange to be believed. However, I have been told that Ketchum recently told at least 4 different people this story.
Here is what happened, according to her: Ketchum is leasing property somewhere in Texas, possibly in East Texas, where there is a Bigfoot habituation site. It is here that she says she has seen the Bigfoots and discovered that they braided the manes on her horses, among other odd things.
One day Melba went out to a part of her pasture “where the Bigfoots like to hang out.” This is an odd part of the pasture. She says that as soon as you open the gate to this part of the property, “you are likely to get zapped.” By this she apparently means hit by Bigfoot infrasound. Frightening! She apparently went out there to attend to her horses in some manner. Continue reading at Bigfoot News Halloween 2012
When Bigfoot Attacks
Forest Man: The hunt for Homo silvanus