WatchMojo’s got a timely list of everyone’s favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder’s 10 best moments from the Star Wars Saga. WM does a really nice job putting together a highlight reel of Harrison Ford’s time with the character pulling its list from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Force Awakens (nothing from Return of the Jedi?).
The list comes in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story’s pretty disastrous opening weekend. Adjusted for inflation, it’s the worst opening in franchise history, and considering the film was shot twice, Lucasfilm had a lot of money wrapped up in its second spin-off. Every franchise eventually has a bomb, but it’s usually a film that deserves to bomb. In this case, Solo was doomed even before The Last Jedi’s controversy that alienated a large portion of the fan base that traditionally whips itself into a frenzy for opening weekends. I wrote a column last summer, before The Last Jedi alienated me, begging Lucasfilm to keep Star Wars in December and to stop trying to put the franchise back in May, where it had traditionally opened under FOX. Even though it’s uneven, Solo is ultimately a good film with a really nice cast that sets itself up for even bigger adventures that we likely now will never get to see. I hope we do, but that would take some serious introspection on Disney’s part as to why exactly the film failed to connect. Hopefully they’ll take the lessons they should learn, let future installments breathe, and realize their mistakes. If not, they’re going to have a much more serious problem than a single Star Wars film that lost money.
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.
Lights down. Film rolls. Movie starts. A director has a limited amount of time, especially in the ADHD world we live in today, to whack audiences between the eyes and grab their attention for the rest of their film. Looper has put together a list of the 10 best opening sequences of all-time (the list appears to be a few years old). You can’t argue with The Godfather, The Dark Knight, or Rear Window. I’m not sure there aren’t better examples of an astounding opening sequence though than Hustle and Flow or Halloween, for example. I think the list is a good jumping-off point for conversation more than I think Looper did a fantastic, impeccable job assembling the greatest opening scenes of all-time. Patton was one that jumped immediately to my mind. What, after reviewing Looper’s choices, are some films you feel should have made this list?
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.