What George Lucas wants JJ Abrams to answer about Star Wars

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

It’s official: Revenge of the Sith is the best Star Wars movie ever.

The Star Wars creator, and director of four of the franchise’s installments, is one of a number of celebrities to ask Abrams a question in a new video posted by Vanity Fair. There was a time (in a galaxy far, far away, etc) when the likes of IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes didn’t exist: without a calculated percentage to guide them, bewildered film fans had to form opinions via a precarious process of watching films and then thinking about them.

Lucas wasn’t the only person to ask about Star Wars – Jared Leto wanted to know why he wasn’t playing Chewbacca, for instance? – but Abrams, master of the Mystery Box, kept his lips sealed. Abrams-directed “Star Wars” sequel by calling out both its similarities to classic science fiction — and knocking the return of some of the most disliked characters. The much-talked about poster for “The Force Awakens” features the characters Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) — both of which were featured in the “Star Wars” prequels. The results are startling: The general consensus – spanning critics, fans, obsessive Star Wars experts – is that the original trilogy is far superior to the prequel.

Shatner tweeted out to his more than 2.2 million followers on Oct. 20 that Phasma looks like a character from the original version of “Battlestar Galactica” — while Dameron resembles a character from a British sci-fi series called “Space: 1999,” The Guardian first reported. So it’s no wonder that most of the famous attendees at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit—from Jared Leto to Lena Dunham—had burning questions for Abrams. The “Boston Legal” star tweeted a couple of mocking comparisons from the new film to the prequels from the early 2000s, including the much-hated Jar Jar Binks. It has not been made clear why exactly Shatner has beef with “Star Wars,” though fans of both his series “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” have long been considered rivals.

The news will leave us questioning everything: maybe Hayden Christensen’s performance wasn’t so terrible after all; maybe those romantic lines (“Hold me, Ani. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo… where there was nothing but our love”) were ironic… It’s not all surprises though – coming in last was The Phantom Menace with an unremarkable but perfectly reasonable 60%. The 1999 film, the first of the prequel trilogy, was met with disdain by fans and earned acerbic quips from some critics (one called it ‘haplessly plotted, horribly written, and juvenile’) and gentle condescension from others (Time out New York: ‘it’s awesomely entertaining, provided you accept it on its own terms ‘).

In a panel conversation with Apple’s chief design officer, Jonathan Ive, and producer Brian Grazer, Abrams said, “Now that we’re into October,” he said, “it’s getting real. After going a uncommonly long time without killing off a major character, The Walking Dead this week said a wrenching goodbye to someone who’d been part of the show’s solid core since the beginning. At the end of the series’ very first episode, Rick Grimes was penned-in by zombies in downtown Atlanta with little hope of escape — then he heard the voice of a friendly stranger over the radio, calling him a “dumbass.” That stranger, a former pizza-delivery guy named Glenn Rhee, saved our hero’s life. But whenever I get freaked out, I just look at the work everyone has done.” But no matter how high the pressure and how many questions people ask, Abrams won’t open his famous mystery box for just anyone.

Now, in this week’s episode — entitled, appropriately enough, “Thank You” — Glenn calls his buddy “dumbass” one last time, via a radio message he delivers from a walker-infested small-town shopping plaza. And then there’s the long speech that an infected Alexandrian gives to Michonne, about how he just wants to make it back to the Safe Zone so that he can thank his wife for convincing him that happiness could still exist, even in the plague years. His hand-written note of gratitude ultimately ends up on the ground, trampled by the undead as its author dies screaming — not too long after Glenn mentions that he has a wife, too. As our heroes try to salvage the plan and get back to safety, Rick tells Glenn and Michonne that there are too many walkers ahead of them for their party to survive intact; he stresses that they shouldn’t hesitate to leave the weak and wounded behind. It’s an impressive, horrifying spectacle, captured by director Michael Slovis in a series of overhead shots that make the walkers look like an unstoppable force of nature.

He puts his faith in Nicholas, the ASZ coward he’s been trying to teach to be stronger; and the other man’s indecision leads them into a blocked-off alley, where they quickly run out of ammunition. Nicholas panics and shoots himself in the head (after saying, “Thank you”) and they both fall into the horde, where Glenn’s ripped apart, fully conscious. The death comes with about 15 minutes remaining in “Thank You,” leaving the rest of the episode to compare the lesson — that it’s cruel to be kind — with what our surviving heroes are going through. And Rick, having shocked the Alexandrians with how callously he kills and scavenges, shocks himself when he guns down some humans who are trying to commandeer his RV, then goes through their pockets and finds jars of baby food.

Right about now, this show’s fans fans are probably going through a similar intellectual wrestling match, trying to decide whether this latest twist is one too many. Most TV dramas, even the bloodiest, promise to keep at least a few major characters front-and-center, so that viewers will have someone reliable and likable to follow through the worst of times. But like Game of Thrones, our weekly dose of zombie-apocalypse drama has always been a show where the stakes are high and meaningful, and where anyone can die at any time.

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