JJ Abrams reveals his favorite moment from Star Wars

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Chris Lackner: How one space cowboy saved the Star Wars franchise.

The veteran actor, who rose to fame as “Star Wars” hero Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy, is fronting a film titled “Star Wars: Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel,” which tells the story of the most famous battle sequences. “The elaborate choreography for the actual fight is done on several different sets over a period of weeks and then it is edited down to what you see on the screens, so I am happy people are able to see the amount of work that goes into it.” The documentary also features contributions from J.J.A video making the rounds on social media takes a classic “Star Wars” scene and dubs in actual Donald Trump recorded quotes for the villainous Darth Vader.Expectations that the Sons of Obiwan Saber Academy in Tuggerah would be catering mostly to children have been proved wrong: 80 per cent of students are adults. Abrams, director of the latest instalment Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, the new film’s star John Boyega and Ian McDiarmid, who played Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi and the prequel films.

Abrams sat across from each other like seeming strangers, they had no apparent inkling about how intertwined their professional destinies would become. But he’s confident that his collection includes just about “every figure that has been made since 1994,” adding up to “well over a thousand.” The collection takes up a lot of space: “I have one room that’s dedicated to my collection, but I also have an unfinished part of the basement that I had to move some things into.” What sets the “Star Wars” characters apart from those in other fantasy and science-fiction films, Shepherd says, is that “they seem like people you would know. Most of the 100% authentic soundbites used in the 7-minute video are quotes from the Republican Presidential candidate, necktie salesman, and reality star attempting to convince reporters of his general awesomeness. The only difference is, they use lightsabers and blasters, and they’re in peril all the time.” “When the original movies came out, I was about 4 years old,” he says. “And I had the attention span of a 4-year-old.

The result of adding Trump’s voice to the Vader scenes is that suddenly, all of Vader’s classic henchmen seem to be looking at the warlord like he’s nuts. “Darth Trump” is the work of Auralnauts, whose other internet offerings include Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises” doing a freestyle rap, and a parody trailer of the Biblical film, “Noah.” On this episode of IFC’s “Dinner for Five,” Hamill was asked whether he ever wanted to take Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side. “I pitched that to George” Lucas, replied Hamill, who explained that of course, as an actor, it would be especially interesting to play Luke as a villain.

She was left an immediate, life-long convert within the first few moments. “The scene that got me instantly hooked was the Star Destroyer coming through space. A popular item with fans, the lightsaber will return in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” One of those fans, Bryan Alford, has come up with his own take on the weapon — without its lethal capability, of course. “I actually got a collectible lightsaber for my wife for Valentine’s Day once,” Alford says. “But you can’t really play or battle with those.

But there, without any obvious poker “tell,” sat Abrams, then noted for “Lost” and “Alias,” well before rebooting “Star Trek” or “Star Wars.” Perhaps the wheels were turning, though, because Abrams seems transfixed. I wanted to make something that I could fight with, but also didn’t spend a ton of money on.” “I made two or three just to play with, and then some friends wanted some,” says the Alton resident.

Fast-forward to recent interviews, in which Abrams and Lucasfilm honcho Kathleen Kennedy recounted how she wooed the director to board “The Force Awakens” over his initial resistance. From there, he “started selling them on eBay, and getting customers from all over the world.” “The ones in the films are very elaborate,” he says. “They have all kinds of little knobs and buttons.” But his lightsabers “are purely to fight with, and designed to take a severe beating. “I took one out and had a trash truck drive over it, just to see if I could get it to break,” Alford says. “And all it did was scratch it up a little bit.” By Calvin Wilson Meghan Newell was 2½ years old when her parents turned on a “Star Wars” marathon. But somewhere between Tatooine and Endor, Han became the hero with staying power in our hearts and minds – further evidenced by his seemingly larger role in the Dec. 18 reboot. The question that many fans have asked this year is not “Who is Luke?” but “Where is Luke?” The Tattooine farm boy has been nearly absent from trailers, save for his apparent mechanical hand reaching to R2-D2 for a moment.

Here’s how: Shades of grey: In a black-and-white universe of Jedi and Sith, Empire and Rebels, the cagey career criminal with a heart-of-gold stood out for his moral nuances. When she was in preschool, she wanted everyone to call her Darth Vader, and at a “Star Wars”-themed Cardinals game in 2014, she met Chad Collins, who was dressed up for the game as Darth Maul. And we can see why that turn might hold appeal to Hamill (per his own words), as well as the simpatico Abrams, who has acknowledged that there are significant reasons he has revealed next to nothing about Luke.

For her most recent birthday party she asked for that Darth Maul to appear (he did). “This is everything to her,” says her mother, Jennifer Newell. “She says ‘May the Force be with you’ to people. Sydney Star Wars fans (from left) Brenden Graves (Darth Vader), Keira Skidmore (Ewok), Sarah Hillier (Chewbacca) and Craig Ellis (stormtrooper) experience life in a galaxy far, far away. He was a gambling addict with a penchant for getting into business with shady characters. (One named Jabba, in particular, comes to mind.) As Lucas once explained: “He’s slightly self-destructive and he sort of enjoys being on the brink of disaster.” Sarcasm: As the resident bad boy with a complete lack of decorum, Han always had the best lines. Well, perhaps, our greatest clue yet comes from “Force Awakens” lead John Boyega, who in a recent interview said that more than three decades after “Jedi,” there is a galactic generation for whom Luke, Princess Leia and Han Solo are “as good as myth” – they might as well be fairy tale.

In a factory unit in Meadowbank resides the Sydney Robot Workshop, a place that sprung out of the R2-D2 Builders Club started by David Everett in 1999. So what that means, of course, is that Luke does not have to be evil; history merely needs to have been rewritten so that Luke is remembered as a potential villain. Enthusiasts drop by to design droids and perhaps even craft an R2-D2 of their own. “R2 is probably the most popular droid to build, but builders have also made R5s and mouse droids. And there wasn’t a deferential bone in his body, whether for a Jedi master or the royal princess he would come to love: “Look, Your Worshipfulness, let’s get one thing straight. Our droids are radio-controlled, can drive around, the heads turn, the lights flash and the droids make the appropriate sounds,” Everett says. “There’s a great deal of satisfaction in taking plastic, glue and screws and turning it into something that seems alive to people seeing it for the first time.” When burlesque mastermind Russall​ Beattie created his parody show The Empire Strips Back, he expected it to run for only one night.

I take orders from just one person: me.” Recklessness: “Never tell me the odds!” Han berates C-3PO after being told a dangerous escape plan will likely fail. Everyone has a good understanding of what the joke is, so it’s not hard to deliver on the punchline.” The incredible outfits are also a drawcard and have evolved dramatically from the initial performance. “They went from costumes I made in my garage for $50 to getting people who actually worked on the Star Wars films to make them.” Chris Brennan, the director of Star Walking Inc, Australia’s long-running Star Wars appreciation society, has seen a local resurgence of interest in the series. “It definitely comes in waves. Every other character has guzzled the Kool-Aid before the opening credits have finished: The Force, the noble rebel cause, desperate pleas from a princess hologram etc.

Han’s healthy wariness almost seems to stand in for the audience as it takes in the evolving space soap opera – one full of plastic masks, light sabres, robots and invisible, mystical energy. “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” Reluctant Hero: Luke was destined for big things – it was literally in his blood. But Han stumbled upon medals and glory, unwittingly evolving from cynical loner to leader. “Look, I ain’t in this for your revolution, and I’m not in it for you, princess.

I’m punching in four or five new members per day.” A quick browse online shows it would easily be possible to kit out one’s entire life with Star Wars paraphernalia, with the cutesy marketplace of Etsy alone featuring everything from nail decals of the characters to a Yoda hip flask to Ewok costumes for dogs. Photo: Supplied One of the more elegant interpretations of the films’ aesthetic comes from Sydney-based French illustrator Clementine Campardou, who sells her work online under the artist name of Blule and also displays pieces at her Bondi studio, L’Atelier de Blule. Audiences said “awww.” Galaxy smarts: While Luke wrestled with daddy issues and getting his Jedi training wheels, Han repeatedly saved the young Skywalker’s butt. Sure, Luke had a bearded Jedi phantom and a green puppet to teach him right from wrong, but Han was his most important mentor, with gruff survival lessons like: “Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy” or “Great, kid, don’t get cocky.” Lover, not just a fighter: He wins the heart of the princess, forever settling the debate of whether opposites attract.

At the Sydney Stage Combat School in St Peters, punters can have a tutorial in the art with fight director Kyle Rowling, who played Jedi Joclad Danva in Episode II: Attack of the Clones. For Luke Boyton, a fan so keen he has Han Solo, Yoda and Princess Leia tattooed on his body, it was an inheritance from his mother that let him live out his dream of opening a lightsaber school. Han’s most memorable courtship moment was saved for the touching, confessional before he was about to be encased in carbonite: Leia: “I love you.” Han: “I know.” Survival Instincts: Han outmaneuvered everyone and everything on the board: from warlords to assassins, and Imperial star cruisers to Sarlacc pits.

Photo: Supplied And Boyton might just have the answer as to why so many want to bring the fictional world of into the real-life realm. “We live in a culture of distraction where you never get to do anything for yourself,” he says. “I always ask people why they do [lightsaber classes] and the most common answer is, ‘It’s something for me’. No surprise that the most stirring scene from the latter’s trailer is a quip from a grizzled, grandfatherly Han to a burgeoning, young hero: “It’s true. Making her most difficult outfit required more than six months of latch-hooking synthetic hair into mesh netting to craft an intricate Chewbacca costume, complete with bucket stilts that take her up to a height of 2.3 metres to match the Wookiee’s​ towering stature. Wednesday, The Ritz Cinema, Randwick, $20-$45, ritzcinema.com.au. ● For Palace’s midnight screening, cinema staff will dress up as their favourite character.

Thursday, Palace Norton Street, Leichhardt, $19.80-$22.80, palacecinemas.com.au. ● IMAX Darling Harbour has Australia’s only 2D 1570 IMAX film print of the movie, one of just 20 in the world. From Thursday, IMAX Sydney, Darling Harbour, $35, imax.com.au. ● A Millennium Falcon drone will fly around during the Star Wars-themed edition of film quiz panel show Spoiler Alert. Tuesday, Giant Dwarf, Redfern, $17, giantdwarf.com.au. ● Star Wars Trivia lets fans test their knowledge of the first two trilogies, with the ticket price including dinner. Photo: Christopher Pearce Speaking to the New York Times last week, Trump said that he enjoyed movies with heroic presidents — singling out Air Force One, the 1997 films in which Ford plays a president who has to fight off a group of Russian terrorists when they hijack the titular presidential plane. In a 2011 interview with the Irish Times, when asked about his religious upbringing, he said he and his brother were “raised Democrat”. “We had no catechism,” he said. “Instead we were given Democrat instruction; to be liberals of every stripe.

Ford spent a long time signing autographs and posing for selfies with the hoards of fans who turned up, many in costumes from the film and some brandishing lightsabers.

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