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Full scale Millennium Falcon completed for Star Wars:Episode VII

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When I hear or read about things like this, I always think about that line from Jurassic Park, when the parks creator John Hammond says “Spared no expense”. If this full 1:1 scale model of The Millennium Falcon is any sign of J.J. Abrams dedication to these movies, I’d say he’s in it to win it. According to Geek Tyrant, the rumors that J.J. was going full scale with the MF (yeah, just realized that too), were floating around for awhile, but according to YAHOO, this is happening/happened.

My only guess as to why they’d go through with such a project, is that they have enormous plans for the ship, which probably includes it’s installation at the Star Wars theme park at Disney. You can quote me on that shit!

“A full-scale 1:1 Millennium Falcon has been built as well as the interiors of the ship for filming. The Falcon is done – inside and out. The sets were built off-site, ready to move when Lucasfilm/Bad Robot were ready to move into Pinewood.”

Well, at least now Star Wars fans have their Mecca and now know that a pilgrimage will and must be made by the true followers.

Dark Horse’s THE STAR WARS #1 brings to life George Lucas’s first draft

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The premise of George Lucas’sThe Star Wars“, written by J.W Rinzler and illustrated by Mike Mayhew, pretty much follows what we now know as Star Wars, but with a little something different…no force, or at least not in this first issue of the Dark Horse Comic’s release. The “Force”, however, is mentioned in a tongue and cheeky way, take for instance Princess Leia, whom in TSW, is on her way to study abroad on another planet, is told by her father (King Kayos) before she leaves “May the force of others be with you”. This isn’t nitpicking, just interesting.

In this precursor, a man/Jedi by the name Kane Starkiller along with his two sons, Annikan and Deak, have been hiding from the Empire on a distant planet when trouble arrives in the form a Sith (basically the Empires hired guns set upon the remaining Jedi). Kane’s youngest is lost in the scrimmage with the Sith which forces Kane to leave the planet to save his remaining son Annikan. His journey leads him back to his home planet Aquilea.

Meanwhile the Empire is growing in power and guess who’s their leader…Darth Vader. But not the masked Sith you and I have grown to love, but a hulking Ray Fiennes in Schindler’s List on steroids, looking cat. The Empire is nothing like the Nazi inspired group we saw in Star Wars, but more like a republic and less dictator-ish. Course we do get a glimpse of Storm Troopers, but this issue gives us no clue as to whether they are Mandalorian clones. It’s in a particular scene, where the Empire is addressing a crowd of people, that we meet Whitsun, a smuggler, for the first time. Whitesun is figuratively Luke in The New Hope, at least for a few pages…why? Cause in this scene the Empire has grounded all ships as part of their new agenda, all but those reckless pirate vessels that are his only means off the planet. Do the math.

Midway into the comic book we meet our hero, General Luke Skywalker (The Legend), who looks like a heroic cartoon version of George Lucas, I don’t know whether that was on purpose, but it’s definitely obvious. He, as well as other remaining Jedi, live on Aquilea with King Kayos his daughter Leia and wife.

I don’t want to give away everything, but what I’m gathering is that The Star Wars was clearly a more serious story than Star Wars. No Jawas, no Sand People, no crazy cantina scene, just pure politics and hint’s towards this mystical power. The force, in TSW, plays out more like Han Solo‘s “I Know” in Empire, just before being frozen in carbonite. It’s there, but it isn’t, at the same time. I must say, I kinda like it…it’s refreshing in a way that lends itself well to the underground mysticism, that pervaded The New Hope. It wasn’t until everybody and their brother had the force that things just got cheap and kitschy. Although I know it won’t happen, someone need to take this project under their wing and shoot it. Sure it might confuse the fuck out of you at first, but for those of us who can see beyond the Hollywood gloss, it’s worth a shot. The franchise couldn’t get any worse.

Has the Jedi mysticism in Star Wars been lost over the years

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The years have not been kind to the Jedi, a once benevolent group of mystics who occasionally had to do battle with the forces of evil to create balance in the universe. Remember when Star Wars was just about Luke Skywalker, Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Vader? It’s been a very long time since I’ve been able to say those names and actually feel that same level of honor, one might feel, being inducted into a secret society.

This was another one of my random thoughts, I had while slinging hash at my job and thought “hey…maybe there’s others out there who feel the same way”…so I decided to expound on it.

Call me crazy, but when you watch Star Wars: A New Hope, didn’t you get the sense that the Jedi’s were still a bit aloof, even when they were accepted by the Republic. They still seemed nomadic in their ways and very hard to understand at times and like searching for a new Dalai Lama, a Jedi seemed to me to be very…very hard to come by even before the slaughter, but not anymore.

How many Jedi’s does this Star Wars really need?

For me, the answers simple, but for those hellbent on making JEDI-star-wars-jedi-23833947-1024-768money off this franchise, the answers “there can never be too many”. Now with the Star Wars :The Old Republic MMORPG, everyone and their uncle can be a  Jedi, as if in Ben’s time, they were just handing out lightsaber’s  like government cheese.

Perhaps it’s because I haven’t read any of the spin off novels and comic books, except Timothy Zahn’s “Heir To The Empire”, but hasn’t this always been about the movies and not the books?

Sure, I too envision a world of yet unheard of Jedi, all with new and fascinating force skills, and belonging to interesting new races, but one must draw a line between recklessness and tangibility…yes, even in fantasy, this is what makes fantasy great. Isn’t it?

I didn’t need to see the Jedi Council in “The Phantom Menace”. Why couldn’t it have been just another level of the myth, one that we all subscribed to, but didn’t literally have to see? I mean can anyone, outside of the hardcore, name the members of the council or the race they belonged too? I know I can’t.

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This wasn’t the only thing that bothered me, assuming the Jedi were the Templar’s of their time, there was nothing to suggest a monk lifestyle other than the robes they wore, which brings me back to Ben, in the first film. He was unlike any of the so-called Jedi we saw in Episodes I, II and III. He was like the “Oracle” in The Matrix. Simple, careful, always aware of his emotions and above all…humble. Certainly not the order we saw in the prequels with their spacious penthouse view of Coruscant. There’s nothing about the Jedi’s in the new movies that says ancient or mystic. In that way, I could see why something like the Sith would want to destroy them, but I highly doubt George was thinking about this when he embarked upon creating that reheated piece of fodder known as ‘the prequels”. He was just going for flash, forgoing any of the mysticism we became fond of in “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back” and replacing it with smoke and mirrors. Now everyone has the force, Leia, Han Solo, their kids and all the while, the ones who’ve remained more benevolent, clandestine, and shrouded in secrecy is the Sith.

I will even go as far as saying that “the “Sith” is the last bit of true Star Wars left, ironically enough”.

They are the one’s Hollywood unknowingly have made an “anomaly” in all this mess. We got bit’s and pieces of who they are in every film, but no visit to their planet or meeting with the council or glimpses into what it takes to become one. Again, if you’ve read any of the Dark Horse comics you already know a lot about the Sith, but for the majority of moviegoers, there’s nothing. This is the model the Jedi’s/George Lucas, should’ve followed before he decided to blanket the screen with so many meaningless characters and colorful light sabers. This over saturation made the loss of their kind even more unceremonious than it already was. Not only were thousands of Jedi slain, we only knew the names of only a handful of them.

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What’s real important to understand is that when George Lucas wrote A New Hope, back in the seventies he, as a film student, was deeply into Akira Kurosawa films like “Rashomon”, “Seven Samurai” and “Ran”. He peppered “A New Hope” with all sorts of Japanese inspired aesthetics like Luke and Ben’s Hakama garb and even replaced Samurai katanas with light sabers. The colors white and black, used in the Tao symbol for balance, are also represented throughout the film, demonstrating duality and then there’s Yoda, who was essentially a small green version of Pat Morita from The Karate Kid. Course there’s the blatant Nazi symbolism embraced by the Empire, but I  want to get into that.

What I’m saying is it took Luke Skywalker three films to become a full fledged Jedi. He had to learn how to control his emotions and discipline himself, a fact that was done away with with the introduction of Medichlorian’s in the prequels. The images of Luke doing the handstand in the swamps with Yoda and him taking the shots from his impromptu blast-shield training on the Falcon, are still etched in my mind. Now, no longer is this rigorous training necessary when your born with this ability. Really? Could they have made the Jedi anymore elitists?

Look, for every short coming the Star Wars franchise has faced in the last decade, there are a million more yet to come, but can we at least agree that the franchise has lost that bit (I use that term lightly) of magic that made the original great? No artist, I know, has ever finished a song, painting or script without stepping back several times to look at what he or she has done and asking themselves “It this still me?”, “Is this still inspired?” These are questions, I’m afraid, George never asked himself, instead, as if he had no idea what he’d created two decades ago, he proceeded to go more west with the storyline than east, like he originally intended.

I won’t even ask you if whether approaching Star Wars from A New Hope point of view, is even worth it anymore, but it would be nice if the reigning science fiction/fantasy mutilator J.J. Abrams, would take this into consideration as he begins work on Star Wars Episode VII, but given his track record with Star Trek, I ‘d say don’t count on it and with that I leave you with the immortal words of C3PO…”We’re doomed.”

Lukesaberanh

Wow! J.J. Abrams is set to direct Star Wars Episode VII!

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