Samuel L. Jackson, like fellow actors Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, came late to superstardom. Jackson was in his mid-40s when his career began to skyrocket with roles in Jurassic Park and his first of six partnerships with Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction. Despite the late start, Jackson quickly became known as one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood. His filmography has over 100 movies on it as Jackson continues to make several film appearances every year. A huge comic book fan himself, Jackson’s Nick Fury was the backbone of the early MCU. His Nick Fury was so popular that the character in the comics was redesigned to bear his likeness. His plus-sized personality and range continue to grow (practice, if nothing else, makes perfect) and heading into his 70s, Jackson is as big a star as he ever was. Continue reading Samuel L. Jackson’s 10 Best Movies→
The latest fantastic Star Wars tribute video from Hero Fan Productions (you have to subscribe to them on YouTube) features something not often dwelt upon when you think of the Jedi. They are awesome. They are heroic. They are also…possibly the worst educators in fiction. Yoda trained Dooku, Obi-Wan trained Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda barely trained Luke, Luke botched training Ben, and gave Rey 48 hours or so of instruction before Ghost Yoda had to show up and whack him over the head with his ghost stick (which apparently you can do if you’re a ghost…now).
Of course there were extenuating circumstances in all these training failures, and the hubris of the Jedi Order was what ensured its downfall from Palpatine (who was, all things considered, probably a better teacher than any of them). Those who can do; those who can’t teach. What the Jedi needed were a lot more mediocre doers who made better teachers. I’m sure Rey will take all the magic broom kids from Canto Bight and turn them into a new generation of Sith if the pattern holds. Still, it’s a wonderfully edited look at the lessons of failure in the Star Wars Saga from The Phantom Menace through The Last Jedi.
Hero Fan Productions makes some fantastic videos over on YouTube, including two of my favorite Star Wars videos ever in The Chosen One and The Last. While those videos highlighted the Skywalker clan, HFP has just released a tribute to Obi-Wan Kenobi. Using his initial meeting with Luke in A New Hope as the pivot point, the go through Obi-Wan’s entire life as we’ve seen it thus far from Episodes I, II, and III, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels (SPOILER WARNINGS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN REBELS).
Whether or not we’re going to get a Kenobi spin-off film starring McGregor that would cover Obi-Wan’s time between Episodes III and IV seems still up in the air. Director Stephen Daldry was attached to the project, but McGregor hadn’t been signed as of writing. No 2020 Star Wars film has been announced, and it is unlikely that Rian Johnson or the Game of Thrones creators will be ready with their new series of films by then. Kenobi seems to be the one spin-off most fans want, even the ones who don’t like the “Star Wars Story” concept. McGregor certainly has campaigned for returning to the role, and I think they could make a great film out of that mysterious time period in SW lore. In the meantime, check out HFP, and enjoy Kenobi’s story thus far.
Hero Fan Productions is a channel you MUST be following on YouTube. A week ago, I shared their video “The Last”, which depicts Luke Skywalker’s journey through Episode IV to the trailer to Episode VIII (click here if you missed it). In “The Chosen One”, HFP looks at Luke’s father, Anakin, from Episodes I-VI (and Rogue One) plus footage from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. Vader’s legacy still loomed large over his family in Episode VII. Even 30 years after his death, Anakin’s fall was still dividing and hurting his family, the irony being that it was the mad protection of his family that drove him from them into the arms of the Dark Side. Everyone has their own view on the Prequels, but the information provided from them (mostly from Episode III and the 10 years of animated series) makes Vader’s story even more tragic. The notions of “balance to the force” and “the chosen one” appear to be something that we’re going to be dealing with again in The Last Jedi, which is promising the BIGGEST jaw-dropping plot twist in the Saga’s history. HFP does a great job with this (I wish they’d have stuck to using Williams’ score instead of epic music that gets a little distracting), and it gets you thinking about those parts of Anakin’s story that still may affect the stories yet to come.
Not unexpected, as Kenny Baker was too ill to make the London premiere of Star Wars Episode VII, but still very sad news today that the British actor that brought R2-D2 to life in the first six Star Wars films has passed away after a long illness. The British actor brought life to the little droid long before he became a completely electronic creation, and also had roles in Flash Gordon, The Elephant Man, and Amadeus (among many others) during his distinguished career. The Hollywood Reporter’s full obituary is below along with a Tweet from co-star Mark Hamill who may have summed it up best: “He was the droid we were looking for.” Kenny Baker was 81. Continue reading R.I.P. Kenny Baker (1934 – 2016) *Farwell, R2-D2*→