Friday, 11 March 2022

Enter Darth Vader

This week's Star Wars news has provided some much-needed hope.

Star Wars Celebration returns in May and Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, starring Ewan McGregor as the titular Jedi Master, is on the cover of Entertainment Weekly (EW).

Culminating in a Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi teaser trailer and the first look at Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen), which evokes Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

When EW asked whether Hayden Christensen might be making an appearance in the Star Wars special event series unmasked, the prequel trilogy star teased, “I wish I could tell you. I’m sworn to secrecy.”

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres exclusively on Disney+ on 25th May.

Are you excited to see Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader duel once more? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Return of a Jedi in Obi-Wan Kenobi

On Wednesday, Lucasfilm dropped a teaser trailer for Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney+. Nothing prepared me for this.

Read the official synopsis:

"The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader."

Obi-Wan Kenobi sees Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Hayden Christensen (Darth Vader) reprise their roles from George Lucas' prequel trilogy.

With the combination of Industrial Light & Magic's (ILM) StageCraft and director Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian) at the helm of the six-part special event series, there's an opportunity to fully explore the tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi's greatest failure and the rise of an evil Empire in the wake of Order 66.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres exclusively on Disney+ on 25th May.

From John Williams' iconic Duel of the Fates to the Inquisitors from Star Wars Rebels. I'm ready. Are you? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Obi-Wan Kenobi in Entertainment Weekly

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi is the cover story for Entertainment Weekly (EW). This coincides with the launch of an official Twitter account and rumours of a teaser trailer dropping later today.

Speaking exclusively to EW, Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) says, "We find Obi-Wan at the beginning of our story rather broken, and faithless, and beaten, somewhat given up."

Very little is known about the six-part special event series set a decade after the cataclysmic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. However, Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen will reprise the roles of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader respectively.

Disney+ is the perfect platform to fully explore the tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi's greatest failure: losing Anakin Skywalker to the dark side and the rise of an evil Empire.

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres exclusively on Disney+ on 25th May.

Are you looking forward to seeing Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader clash on Disney+? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Star Wars Celebration returns in May

Star Wars Celebration is coming back as an in-person event this year and coincides with the 45th anniversary of the original Star Wars movie's release in North America.

Lucasfilm has shared the following note to fans:

“Hello there!

It’s been almost three years since we last saw everyone at Star Wars Celebration — we’ve missed you! We obviously have a lot of catching up to do with everyone, and want to thank you for your patience and support through what has certainly been a challenging time for all.

A lot has happened since 2019 — in addition to current and upcoming Star Wars streaming series, there’s been a brand-new era of Star Wars storytelling introduced in books and comics, immersive Star Wars experiences unveiled at Disney Parks, and exciting games that continue to explore and expand the Star Wars galaxy like never before.

And there’s so much more to come — which is why we can’t wait to see everyone in Anaheim where we’ll showcase all the exciting things happening in our galaxy far, far away in a safe and comfortable setting for friends to reconnect at a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can only be found at Star Wars Celebration. See you in May!”

Whilst the schedule for Star Wars Celebration has yet to be announced. With the success of Star Wars spin-offs on Disney+, the future of the storied franchise created by George Lucas is bright.

After attending Star Wars Celebration Europe in 2016, I can't recommend it highly enough. For fellow fans interested in the official event, tickets go on sale from 15th March. You can get all the details here.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, which was the first movie I saw digitally at the cinema.

Going to Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022 and would like to cover the event for this site? Please contact me.

Are you excited about the return of Star Wars Celebration? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, 7 March 2022

Star Trek Strikes Back

“Mon Capitan, How I've missed you...”

Two years into the coronavirus pandemic, Star Trek: Picard is back as fan-favourites reunite for an explosive second season that mostly ignores a squandered first in this instance.

As season one unfolded, a real-world pandemic took hold, social distancing, self-isolation and lockdowns became the new normal making the need for nostalgia more pertinent than ever.

When Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) finally catches up with Star Trek: The Next Generation's Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna (Marina Sirtis) in the episode Nepenthe, I found their reunion deeply affecting. Culminating in one of the best episodes in the franchise's storied history.

From a compelling detective story to a full-blown threat of Cthulu-inspired mechas destroying all organic life in the galaxy, season one descended into a muddled morass, and the less said about Picard's death and rebirth as an android, the better.

The second season opener, The Star Gazer, instantly picks up the Starfleet baton and runs with it, phasers firing in all directions. Romulan ally Laris (Orla Brady) poses the question of why is Picard alone before Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), Q (John de Lancie,) and the Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) all make memorable returns to the galactic fray as the tragic childhood catalyst for Picard’s stargazing is explored.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. So, it's great to see a Star Trek series aspiring to the franchise's zenith. Frankly, this is the Star Trek: Picard series fans (myself included) deserved in the wake of Star Trek: Nemesis.

As I've stopped watching Star Trek: Discovery, Picard's explosive reply will satiate exploring the final frontier until Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

Star Trek: Picard is a compelling and dark rumination on the passage of time, as another life-threatening crisis engulfs Europe. The second season opener, a soft reset, sweeps away fading lockdown memories of the tonally-jarring first season and I’m here for it. Make it so.

New episodes of Star Trek: Picard drop every Thursday on Paramount+ and Friday on Amazon Prime (affiliate link).

What are your thoughts on Star Trek: Picard? Does it deserve a second chance? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, 6 March 2022

Tom Veitch: Legacy of a Dark Empire

Tom Veitch has died at the age of 80 due to complications from coronavirus (COVID-19).

The comic book writer is best known to Star Wars fans (myself included) for his seminal Dark Empire trilogy, originally published by Dark Horse Comics in the nineties. Poignantly, Luke Skywalker's return in The Book of Boba Fett left me misty-eyed and yearning for a live-action adaptation on Disney+.

Nick Smith, our resident US-based comic book guru, looks back at Tom Veitch's pioneering career.

Guest post by Nick Smith

Where do we go when we die? Or, perhaps more importantly, where do we want to go? If hell is of our own making then perhaps that applies to any afterlife.

In The Light and Darkness War, Vietnam vets fight in a sci-fi Valhalla while dealing with the psychological effects of the Nam conflict. The gritty script by Tom Veitch and exaggerated, bristle-chinned characters drawn by Cam Kennedy captured my attention when the comic was first published by Epic Comics in 1988.

Lazarus Jones, the main character, has survivor’s guilt, mourning the death of his helicopter crew. As his mood and his world gets darker, he finds himself in another world where his fallen comrades fight a different war. The heroes find a solace of sorts but knowing that the battle is eternal, they don’t exactly get a happy ending.

Veitch used comic book action as a gateway to examine themes of brotherhood, loss, and how we treat veterans once a war is done. He went on to explore the sanctity and connectivity of living things in his Animal Man run for DC Comics in the early ‘90s, where down-to-earth superhero Buddy Baker learned there were other Animal Masters linked to Earth’s fauna. The natural world had to be defended, Veitch surmised, and humans had to consider the paradise they were paving.

Around the same time, Veitch and Kennedy reunited to depict another legendary conflict, this time set in the Star Wars universe. Readers were finally able to see Luke, Han and Leia again in a limited series from Dark Horse Comics that took place after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and captured the essence of the original trilogy, with high adventure, a fast pace and a spiritual subtext along with some breathtaking space battle art.

Along with Timothy Zahn’s novel Heir to the Empire (also set after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi), Veitch’s world rebuilding kickstarted the deluge of Star Wars fiction and merchandise through the ‘90s, in turn, a proof of popularity that would help make the prequel trilogy a reality.

The Old Republic era was first introduced in Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi, also written by Veitch and published by Dark Horse Comics. Lucasfilm Games published BioWare's award-winning Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series in the early part of this century. A movie set in that period is rumoured to start filming this year.

Although Veitch is best known as a comic book writer with a background in underground titles like Skull Comix, he was also an author and poet. He passed away on February 18th 2022 at the age of 80. Whether his own afterlife is an Eden or a Valhalla, he has left a grand legacy of storytelling, full of empathy and excitement, leaving his mark in print and in the stars.

What are your memories of reading Tom Veitch's comic books? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Alien on Hulu

According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), a new standalone Alien movie is in the works along with a live-action spin-off series already greenlit for FX on Hulu and Star on Disney+.

Fede Álvarez, the lauded horror director behind Don’t Breathe, will write and direct an original standalone movie in the storied franchise for Hulu. Sir Ridley Scott, who directed the original Alien and prequels Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, will produce the upcoming movie and series for the House of Mouse.

Álvarez is reportedly eschewing big blockbuster thrills in favour of Alien's nightmarish haunted house roots.

In related news. Alien is coming to Star on Disney+ this month. Hopefully, it'll be available in 4K UHD like the original Predator, which has never looked better.

Are you looking forward to the new Alien movie and spin-off series? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Alan Ladd Jr., who greenlit Star Wars, dies

Oscar-winning producer Alan Ladd Jr. has passed away at the age of 84.

His daughter Amanda Ladd-Jones, director of a documentary about her father entitled "Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies," broke the news on that film's official Facebook page:

"With the heaviest of hearts, we announce that on March 2, 2022, Alan Ladd Jr. died peacefully at home surrounded by his family. Words cannot express how deeply he will be missed. His impact on films and filmmaking will live on in his absence."

Ladd famously backed George Lucas' Star Wars when other Hollywood studios passed on the project.

“My biggest contribution to Star Wars was keeping my mouth shut and standing by the picture,” Ladd told Variety.

Ladd also greenlit Star Wars' Twentieth Century Fox stablemate Alien with Sir Ridley Scott at the helm.

He is survived by his wife, Cindra Pincock, his children Kelliann and Tracy Ladd, his half-brother David Ladd, half-sister Alana Ladd, and step-sister Carol Lee Stuart-Ladd.

As a lifelong Star Wars fan, I thank you, Alan. The film Force was with you. RIP.

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

The Adam Project mocks multiverse

Netflix has released an official trailer for The Adam Project. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) reunites with Free Guy director Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) for a timey-wimey nostalgia trip in homage to the movies of George Lucas (Star Wars) and Steven Spielberg (Jaws).

Read the official synopsis:

"After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self on a mission to save the future."

Jennifer Garner (Alias) and Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) co-starred in 13 Going on 30. Ruffalo has also appeared with Zoe Saldaña (Guardians of the Galaxy) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The Adam Project is set to premiere exclusively on Netflix on 11th March.

What did you think of the official trailer? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Daredevil leaves Netflix for Disney+

Before WandaVision, there was Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher and The Defenders exclusively on Netflix.

Personally, I really enjoyed Daredevil when it debuted back in 2015 and was quoted in publicity for a series that championed diversity. Marvel's live-action spin-off series on Netflix were all cancelled in 2018 and have now left the streaming service before moving to Disney+, beginning in Canada, later this month.

Unlike Marvel's Agent Carter and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. already available on Disney+ in the UK. Due to the graphic nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) spin-offs on Netflix, it's assumed they'll be available on Star on Disney+ outside the US.

Daredevil (Charlie Cox) most recently appeared in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio) in Marvel Studios' Hawkeye.

In related news. Marvel Studios' Moon Knight will begin streaming on 30th March on Disney+.

Should these spin-offs be revived? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.