The Force is strong with “Star Wars” fans before “The Force Awakens”

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Star Wars’ is latest film to show why Hollywood wants you to buy tickets in advance.

The new Star Wars movie hits theaters next week, and American fans of the Force are so desperate for clues regarding the film’s plot that they’re dissecting footage from movie trailers released overseas.

After Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump expressed his love for Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Harrison Ford — and, in particular, Ford’s role as U.S.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.In person, Harrison Ford is slighter than you’d think, but in every other way exactly as you had imagined: He’s gruff but not mean, serious but self-deprecating, a 73-year-old who looks 50.Today the release of a movie trailer is an entertainment event unto itself, with hyped teases, huge plot information dumps, and hours (upon hours) of scene-by-scene analysis after the fact.

President James Marshall in the 1997 movie Air Force One — Ford shared a special message for Trump with Australian television morning show Studio 10. The new material includes a lot of new dialogue between main characters played by newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, as well as previously unseen footage of an X-Wing battle and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo flying Ridely and Boyega away from danger in the Millennium Falcon. In fact, movie trailers used to be much simpler, with straightforward voice-over explaining why audiences should go see a movie, and little of the stylistic flourishes we take for granted today.

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. Hollywood is enamored with advance ticket sales, in part because they enable theater chains to glean detailed data about their customers’ tastes and moviegoing habits so that they can better program their schedules to meet consumer demand. As Fortune noted last week, Disney recruited him as an ambassador to hype the film in China, where people aren’t quite as familiar with the Star Wars franchise as those of us who grew up with the films in the U.S. (That lack of familiarity is also likely the reason why China’s trailer offers a more straightforward preview of the movie’s plot.) Lu Han’s boy band, EXO, even has a new Star Wars-themed song out called “Lightsaber.” Another reason why U.S. fans have had to scrape together hints about the highly anticipated film is Disney’s reported decision to go relatively soft on marketing spending for the film. Advance sales also provide a vehicle for capturing email addresses, a precious commodity for any consumer business. “While it’s still a nascent piece of the overall business, it’s going to continue to become a bigger and bigger thing,” said Dave Hollis, head of distribution for Burbank-based Disney. “Technology is going to continue to do more to build a relationship with consumers.” For the studios, early ticket sales help generate hype for hoped-for blockbusters and get an idea of how their movies will perform once they open.

He never breaks eye contact, answers the door himself, wonders whether you would like a cup of coffee — ordinary gestures that, he surely realizes, seem extraordinary when a movie star does them. Advance sales for Universal’s February hit “Fifty Shades of Grey” helped stoke excitement among the film’s largely female fan base and gave couples and groups of friends an incentive to reserve seats before its opening over Valentine’s Day weekend. “Fifty Shades” was one of five Universal films this year that were among the top 10 advance ticket sellers. “We were able to use the availability of tickets and the early sales success to generate even more interest in the film,” said Nick Carpou, head of domestic distribution for Universal. “We were able to announce it and create that early heat.” There are other benefits too.

When you pay for a ticket at the box office — and most people still do — you reveal little or no information about yourself and your moviegoing tastes. But when you buy an advance ticket with a credit card, you are giving theater chains or ticket services information such as email address, gender, date of birth and Zip Code.

Australian records were smashed when more than $1 million of tickets were sold in the film’s first four hours of presales for screenings beginning on Wednesday at midnight. They can then use that information to target you for future promotions, based on how often you visit your neighborhood theater and what your preferences are.

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. At present, theaters and online ticketing companies say they don’t share all of their data with studios, although the largest online ticketer, Fandango, is owned by the same company — Comcast Corp. — that owns Universal Pictures. 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.

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. Getting customers to plan their treks to the multiplex well ahead of time is increasingly important for exhibitors, who must compete with the growing number of entertainment options competing for people’s time and money, including sports, videos games, streaming services like Netflix and premium television. 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. To better compete, the major exhibitors in recent years have invested millions in making their theaters more of a draw to discerning consumers with reserved seating, remodeled stadiums and dine-in options. Beattie says Star Wars is a good fit for burlesque due to the ubiquity of the series. “The characters are so ingrained in popular culture that you don’t have to waste time setting up the story of the acts.

Then J.J. [Abrams] comes along; he took the script and did his due diligence with it, and [screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan] became involved, and it was on the basis of all of them that I felt comfortable. I know when I think about my career, which I try not to do very often — that my career is based on the success of “Star Wars” and that gave me the opportunity to have the career that I have. 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. 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. 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’. 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, ● For Palace’s midnight screening, cinema staff will dress up as their favourite character.

It’s not just an opening-weekend phenomenon,” Yanover said. “It’s another indication there’s a very clear momentum for where the market’s moving.” Consumers like advance sales too because they can ensure that they have seats for opening night. Thursday, Palace Norton Street, Leichhardt, $19.80-$22.80, ● 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, ● A Millennium Falcon drone will fly around during the Star Wars-themed edition of film quiz panel show Spoiler Alert. Buying “seat insurance” was the motivation for Ramsey, whose husband is a “Star Wars” fanatic who has dedicated a section of their basement to the VHS tapes, toys and Pez dispensers from the franchise. “I’ve been shown the trailers over and over,” she said, referring to the previews of the upcoming “Star Wars” film.

Tuesday, Giant Dwarf, Redfern, $17, ● Star Wars Trivia lets fans test their knowledge of the first two trilogies, with the ticket price including dinner. Imax Entertainment CEO Greg Foster said his company has been scheduling “Star Wars” showtimes at unusual times like 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. to satisfy the demand for tickets. 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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How Star Wars: The Force Awakens Snuck In Three Very Special Cameos

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

A ‘Star Wars’ Refresher.

James Arnold Taylor, the voice actor who played Kenobi in the Clone Wars TV series, revealed on Twitter that director JJ Abrams roped in McGregor to overdub his voice. Ewan McGregor and Frank Oz reprise their iconic Star Wars roles during a scene in The Force Awakens that also brings back the voice of the late Alec Guinness.Those who saw the film this weekend (and those who haven’t may want to stop here) know that midway through the movie Daisy Ridley’s lonely scavenger Rey has a vision, a dream-like flashback sequence after she discovers Luke Skywalker’s long-lost lightsaber in the basement of Maz Kanata’s castle.Not another prequel to establish more back story, but an honest-to-Obi-Wan Kenobi extension of the saga begun by George Lucas long, long, ago in a decade far, far away.

As Rey touches it, she is hit with an impressionistic wave of images and sounds that depict a cloaked Luke Skywalker in mourning, reaching out for support (or to comfort) R2-D2 beside a fire. After a costly battle, Han and Leia – bickering as the romantic sparks fly – flee to the city of Bespin, where they see Han’s putative friend, Lando Calrissian. Fans streaming out of the Westminster 10 after the first screening in Thursday night were all smiles, and maybe a little bit in shock at the fact that they had actually seen a new “Star Wars” movie after all these years. “I can’t stop smiling,” said Erica Richardson, 30, of Anaheim as she chatted in the parking lot with two friends after watching “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Fans at the the AMC Downtown Disney 12 went all out for the opening, with many in costume as their favorite characters – even those from the brand new movie. Many believe this could mean that Rey’s parentage, which is currently unconfirmed, could lead back to Obi-Wan Kenobi, yet Taylor points out that Yoda is also heard in the flashback.

Those of us at the perfect age for this space opera’s rapturous mix of science fiction, real-life drama and unique alternative universe—I was 12—had no idea we’d be awaiting its latest sequel/prequel nearly 40 years later. But sensing that his friends are in trouble – they’ve been double-crossed by Lando, who turns them over to Darth Vader – Luke cuts short his training to rescue them. And you hear Obi-Wan at the end say, ‘Rey … these are your first steps,’” Abrams told EW. “The idea of the voices was, we wanted the audience to feel – but not necessarily be presented right in your face — this idea that familiar, Force-strong voices were connecting with her. Abrams and his co-screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt after a Writers Guild of America screening, and they revealed how – and why – that scene came together the way it did. The seventh film in the Star Wars series has received nearly universal acclaim in early reviews and aims to destroy any and all box-office records in its path.

During a climactic lightsaber duel above the city’s central core reactor shaft, Darth Vader severs Luke’s right hand, then – in one of the biggest reveals in cinematic history – informs Luke that he’s his father. Ranking those who carry the Force in the temporal world of professional sports can be as complex as any list of Star Wars characters who have mastered the make-believe world of film. Literally the coolest voice over actor ever.’ But it wasn’t just McGregor’s voice they used – they even cut a line from the original trilogy of Alec Guinness saying the word ‘afraid’ as Kenobi. Obscure tidbit: Contrary to popular belief, Darth Vader doesn’t say, “Luke, I am your father.” The actual quote is the much-less catchy “No, I am your father.” I felt joy,” he said. “It pays such a good homage to the old ‘Star Wars’ without hanging on to them too much.” But what about the next generation of “Star Wars” fans?

The power of the Force provides users with incomprehensible battle reflexes, the power to heal wounds, the power to relieve pain and the ability to even cheat death. I don’t know why I would have thought he sounded like Miss Piggy!” But Oz was more than willing to return to the jumbled syntax of Yoda. “He was very generous to say, ‘Whatever makes the movie better, I’m happy to help out,” Abrams said. Luke Walton continues his father’s journey toward Obi-Wan status by coaching the NBA’s most lethal Jedi in Golden State’s Stephen Curry on an interim basis. But Abrams says part of the appeal of the new trilogy will be spreading out those revelations. “Everyone who has seen these movies thinks about ‘I am your father …’ and ‘There is another …’,” the director said. “But neither of those things were in [1977’s original] Star Wars. When Newton was still a padawan, he threw a stolen computer out of a campus dorm window at the University of Florida and was subsequently arrested. (The charges were dropped after he completed a pre-trial diversion program and community service.) The Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn now hands footballs to children in the stands after he scores touchdowns.

But depending on one’s loyalty and preference, Curry and the Warriors used the Force against James to bring balance to the NBA’s universe last spring. In honoring Williams, SI’s Christian Stone wrote: “We are honoring Serena Williams too for reasons that hang in the grayer, less comfortable ether, where issues such as race and femininity collide with the games.” “Far past the time that anyone expected it, she demonstrated a capacity for change—innovation, if you will. Tyree blew up the Death Star or crushed the hopes of the light side—depending on one’s perspective—with his 32-yard helmet catch over Rodney Harrison in the fourth quarter.

Darth Vader has thrown out the first pitch at Wrigley Field (above in 2014), teams have dressed in Star Wars-themed uniforms and more than one professional athlete, including Aaron Rodgers, has shown his affinity for the film series. There were Galactic Games held on a different planet every seven years during the time of the Galactic Republic. “The Galactic Games Council was so influential that they even succeeded to make betting on the games illegal,” Veekhoven and De Lange wrote. Other sports include shockball, smashball, zoneball and wegsphere, which “features two teams playing in a low-gravity field where they have to place the ball into the opponent’s goal.” In the earth’s normal gravitational pull, certain athletic successes can appear to be the result of metaphysical forces, curses or simple luck.

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