Gong Solo

Last night’s bombshell about Lord & Miller’s firing from the Han Solo film is still making waves. Because this is the internet, and because nobody asked, here are some scattered bullet point thoughts on the unfolding drama:

  • What conversations took place when Lord and Miller were hired? What were they told about how much of their vision was actually wanted? Did Kennedy and Lucasfilm even know how “meddlesome” they’d eventually be? Remember, Lord and Miller were hired in early July of 2015 – a full year before the drama of Rogue One’s making came to light. Maybe neither party had reason to think that creating a standalone would come to this?
  • But it has come to this. Why? Who’s to blame? Personally I don’t think it reflects very well on Lucasfilm and Kennedy at the moment. If the Han Solo movie still turns out to be a hit, all will be forgiven, and Kennedy will have even more faith (and power) than she already does. Let’s not forget that this is one of the most accomplished people in the movie business. Her moves may not be popular, but she’s entirely capable of rolling up her sleeves and getting dirty.
  • Apparently this happened because Kasdan wrote one thing, and Lord & Miller decided to put their own spin on what he wrote. In a Variety article outlining the drama, it says “People need to understand that Han Solo is not a comedic personality. He’s sarcastic and selfish,” This makes it sound like Kasdan wrote one version, while the other was being captured on film. Here’s the news, folks: if you don’t do what your bosses ask of you, you will be fired. The boss may be wrong. Stubborn. Shortsighted. Weak. Afraid, even. But they are the boss, and removing insubordinates is their prerogative. And if they think multi-million-dollar projects are in jeopardy of going sideways, it’s their responsibility to act, even if chaos ensues.
  • I respect both sides of this; for Kennedy’s firm hand in knowing how to bring a Star Wars movie to life, and making a bold call now that may border on unprofessional. But she’s siding with the person who knows Han Solo better than anyone not named George Lucas. How is that a bad thing?
  • Rogue One’s reshoots had to be a jarring experience for all, and Gareth Edwards’ decision to be part of the solution is a commendable one. On the flip side, Lord and Miller decided that their integrity as artists was important, and forced Kennedy’s hand. I respect that they stood up for themselves, and their vision. It’s a shame we won’t get to see their film on screen because everything they’ve ever done has been really entertaining. But both Lord and Miller will land on their feet. They’ve been doing this long enough that they’re not going to be out of work for very long. This isn’t a case of putting a family out on the street due to joblessness.
  • As for allegations that the set was a very polarizing place, and that the co-directors were prone to going off-script? I have no idea if that’s true or not. Quotes and soundbites from the cast made it sound like a positive place to be, so who really knows? But I’ll refer to an earlier point: don’t alienate your bosses. Bad move.
  • I wonder if this drama is part of the reason why Lucasfilm has taken SO long to announce the next standalone? Obviously there is a lot of friction when it comes to making non-saga movies. Lucasfilm wants a Star Wars movie to be a Star Wars movie, and with good reason. We pretend to be open, forgiving fans. There’s no shortage of people saying they want different voices and different looks to the galaxy far, far away, but Lucasfilm evidently doesn’t believe that. I personally don’t believe that, either. The prequels were proof positive of that. Hardcore fans will crucify the powers that be if they bungle a movie, even once. Kennedy and Lucasfilm is using all powers within their right to avoid making a bad movie. It’s messy, but I’ll never accuse them of being careless.
  • This is a gutsy call from Kennedy, and Lucasfilm. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right call. But whatever Han Solo turns out to be, had better be really, really good. What we had seen from Lord and Miller’s version had taken skeptics by surprise and gotten them excited. Version 2.0 better live up to this gong show. If Han Solo makes a billion dollars, all is forgiven. That will mean Star Wars fans across the world loved it, and it will probably mean critics loved it too.
  • One thing’s for sure: critics are going to scrutinize this movie much harder now. Lord and Miller are a respected duo, so replacing them now had better result in a movie worthy of critical praise.
  • While this is grounds for serious concern, the good news is that the movie is still happening, and it looks like Kasdan himself, Ron Howard, or Joe Johnston will come to the rescue. That’s not a bad thing. It’s also projected to be on time, unless someone decides that what Lord and Miller have filmed is unuseable.
  • This dramatic chapter in Star Wars history illustrates with great zeal that creatives don’t quite have the autonomy that they’d all have us believe. Star Wars movies have to be made like a Star Wars movie, and have to feel like a Star Wars movie. When it comes to the standalones, Lucasfilm is still clearly uncomfortable with the process, and are being heavy handed in securing their vision. What does this mean for future standalones? More diverse voices? Or reverting to names and faces that they already know? (i.e. the old boys club is now on speed dial?)
  • In the end, this sucks. But Lucasfilm is 2-for-2 in the Disney ownership era. Until they produce crap, they get the benefit of the doubt, right?

What are your thoughts on this? Let me know via any of these places:  @tumblingsaberFacebook | email

Episode 80 – The Big Setup



Hola TumblingSaber friends!

It was a quiet week in Star Wars news, and a week that episode IX director Colin Trevorrow would probably like to forget. He came under fire (deserved? undeserved?) for his latest release, as well as his total body of work. We also get a huge lift from our friends this week, where we are asked about:

  • Star Wars musicals,
  • Droid standalone movies,
  • Cannon fodder for Luke in The Last Jedi
  • The future (and past) of Star Wars,
  • and more!

As always, send your questions and feedback to Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars, Generation X-Wing, Rogue Squadron, Skyhoppers podcast, The Nerd Room Podcast, and San Diego Sabers Radio Podcast!

To get in touch with us: @tumblingsaberFacebook | Instagram | email | iTunes | Star Wars Commonwealth

Our Teepublic store is open! Grab a cool tee, mug or whatever else we put up there! All money earned will go back in to the show to help us improve in all aspects!

tumblingsaber podcast - a Star Wars podcast!

Sith Disturbers – The Iceman Wager



Coast in to the weekend with an hour of random blabber about anything that’s on our warped minds! From Top Gun 2, to Star Wars, and steak, we’ve got lots of thoughts and you’re gonna hear ’em!

If you’d like to help us grow the show, there are a couple of ways you can help us to do that:

  • Subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review.
  • Share this podcast with one Star Wars loving friend!

As always, send your questions and feedback to Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars,Generation X-Wing, Rogue Squadron, Skyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!

To get in touch with us: @tumblingsaberFacebook | Instagram | email | iTunes | Star Wars Commonwealth

Our Teepublic store is open! Grab a cool tee, mug or whatever else we put up there! All money earned will go back in to the show to help us improve in all aspects!

Sith Disturbers podcast

Episode 79 – Triple Edged Sword



Hey everyone! It’s yet another Totally New TumblingSaber Tuesday! We’ve put together an enormous show for you full of the latest news items, including:

  • Edgar Wright’s comments on directing Star Wars,
  • Battlefront II trailer release,
  • Ahsoka is not an overgrown dog,
  • Joel Edgerton as Uncle Owen,
  • Colin Trevorrow’s comments about Leia in episode 9,
  • Images of First Order forces from The Last Jedi,
  • Donald Glover on Lando,
  • Han Solo set pics from Fuerteventura,
  • And a TON of listener interaction from Ads, Carlos, Dan, and

If you’d like to help us grow the show, there are a couple of ways you can help us to do that:

  • Subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review.
  • Share this podcast with one Star Wars loving friend!

As always, send your questions and feedback to Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars,Generation X-Wing, Rogue Squadron, Skyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!

To get in touch with us: @tumblingsaberFacebook | Instagram | email | iTunes | Star Wars Commonwealth

Our Teepublic store is open! Grab a cool tee, mug or whatever else we put up there! All money earned will go back in to the show to help us improve in all aspects!

tumblingsaber podcast - a Star Wars podcast!

Episode 78 – Zero to Hero



Totally New TumblingSaber Tuesday is back!

This week in Star Wars news, we talk about:

  • the potential foreshadowing of Leia’s fate,
  • more on Snoke,
  • Finn IS a big deal,
  • Canto Bight’s relevance,

and more! We also talk about our favourite still images from the galaxy far, far away, and speculate about Luke’s academy, and if Snoke was perhaps a former partner before helping Ben tear the whole operation down?

If you’d like to help us grow the show, there are a couple of ways you can help us to do that!

  • Subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review.
  • Share this podcast with one Star Wars loving friend!

As always, send your questions and feedback to Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars,Generation X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!

Sith Disturbers – We Have A Winner



Hey everyone!

Jump in to our latest instalment of Sith Disturbers that nearly didn’t happen! Get yourselves prepped for the weekend with what may be our most random episode yet! This week we ramble about:

  • Montreal Comic Con
  • Sean Astin,
  • Transformers films and toys,
  • Cold showers,
  • Poutine,
  • The Predator
Somewhere in there we squeezed in some Star Wars talk so we hope you like how this show went all over the map! Hit play above and enjoy the show!
Because a healthy presence on iTunes is so important, please subscribe to our show and leave us a review! As always, send your questions and feedback to Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars,Generation X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!

Episode 77 – The Iconic Thing



Hey everyone!

Welcome back for another rousing “Totally New TumblingSaber Tuesday”! Unless you live under a rock, you no doubt saw the amazing Vanity Fair photos from the set of The Last Jedi, as well as the incredibly insightful stories that went along with them. We’ll talk about them all, and focus in on General Leia.

We also talk about Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, no love story in The Last Jedi, and more! To cap things off, we have a slew of listener questions to dissect! So strap yourselves in and enjoy the show!

If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review. It’s shocking how much they help! As always, send your questions and feedback to Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars,Generation X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!

 

Journals of the Whilling – Screaming Citadel 1


Hey everyone!

Welcome back to Journals of the Whilling! This week Steve and Kyle break down some of the latest in Star Wars publishing news, including:

  • Mace Windu’s getting his own mini-series
  • One-shot detailing how Cassian and K2S0 met

Our main feature this week is the Screaming Citadel #1, by Kieron Gillen, with art by Marco Checcheto. We’ll break down this promising cross-over through to its conclusion, so make sure you subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review. As always, send your questions and feedback to at Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars, Generation X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!

To get in touch with us:

@tumblingsaberFacebook | Instagram | email | iTunes | Star Wars Commonwealth

Our Teepublic store is open! Grab a cool tee, mug or whatever else we put up there! All money earned will go back in to the show to help us improve in all aspects!

 

Journals of the Whilling -Marvel Comics

You’re Going to Regret This

Continue Leia's story

Caution: potential major spoiler for The Last Jedi below. Consider yourselves warned.

Star Wars fans have spent countless intense hours debating what Lucasfilm should do with Leia’s character in the aftermath of Carrie Fisher’s passing. The opinions range from “kill her off in The Last Jedi” to “kill her early in episode 9”, to “recast the role, and see Leia’s story through to it’s original conclusion”. Each case has it’s pros and cons.

But for this blogger, there’s only one correct answer.

Finish Leia’s story as it was originally intended.

Why?

Because many moons ago, some very smart, creative, and talented people got together and fleshed out story arcs for our beloved heroes from the galaxy far, far away. But in December 2016, the big bad wolf huffed, puffed, and blew the house down. Carrie Fisher was struck down before Leia’s complete story could be told.

As stated in the huge Vanity Fair piece, the powers that be had to move from grieving to pragmatism very quickly. A retooling of episode 9 had to take place, presumably to work around Carrie’s passing.

What a mistake. Telling passages from David Kamp’s Vanity Fair piece seem to make Leia’s future quite clear:

Fisher’s death doesn’t change anything about The Last Jedi except make it more poignant: the film farewell of both the actress and the character. But it does change Episode IX, for which, as Fisher hoped, a central role for Leia had been planned. Kennedy, Trevorrow, and the Lucasfilm team have been compelled to swing from grieving into pragmatic mode, working out how to reconceive the next film in the saga, which is scheduled to start shooting in January.

What? Did they just spoil Leia’s fate in The Last Jedi? More than six months before the film’s release? What the hell just happened here? Softening the blow? Letting us down gently? To call this a curious decision is putting it mildly, especially considering how insanely close-to-the-vest Lucasfilm likes to keep things. Is there another way to interpret this quote? It’s definitely the farewell for Carrie. Is The Last Jedi the end for Leia as well? I can’t imagine Lucasfilm green-lighting this spoiler at any stage of the film’s production, or ramp-up period, yet here we are.

Look, I get it. Carrie is Leia. Leia is Carrie. They’re intertwined, forever synonymous with each other. They are both a part of our DNA as fans of this franchise. We’ve all grieved, and some are still grieving over her loss. That’s fine. For many, the thought of seeing another actress on-screen as Leia is revolting and a non-starter. I understand the sentiment.

But mark my words: if Lucasfilm takes the easy path of writing Leia out because Carrie is no longer with us, we’ll all regret it soon enough. We will all have to bear the brunt of that mistake for the rest of our saga-loving lives. Five, or maybe ten years from now you’ll sit down to watch episode 9. You’ll get cozy, grab a cold drink, and some popcorn. Dim the lights, crank up the volume….and there’s Leia’s premature death. Your fan brain will note this was done because Lucasfilm was AFRAID to forge ahead with the (presumably) terrific story they had conceived for her, for fear of fan backlash over a new face accepting the mantle as General Organa. You’ll forever wonder what the original plans for the film, and character was. If the saying “your first instinct is usually correct”, then episode 9 is bound for a let-down.

That’s a damn shame.

Cutting the knees out from under Leia’s story does a disservice to the story of Star Wars, and it’s especially a disservice to Leia, who deserves as epic and fitting a farewell as Anakin, Han Solo, Obi-Wan, and at some point, Luke.

It’s a disservice to fans, even the ones who don’t yet realize it.

It’s a disservice to Carrie, a great storyteller in her own right. I’d bet my last dime that she would not want her character to be disposed of hastily just because she was no longer in the credits.

But it’s done now. The powers that be re-wrote episode 9 earlier in 2017 in light of Carrie’s passing. Perhaps a decision made with compromised feelings due to her death?

It’s not engraved in stone to say that there’s only ONE WAY to end Leia’s story. Version 2.0 of Leia’s fate can be a fitting, and satisfying one. That duty now falls to Colin Trevorrow, the guy who directed Jurassic World; a film that while a spectacle, was not noted for it’s storytelling. The trust also falls to Derek Connolly, the guy who wrote the screenplay for Jurassic World, and to this flop:

Still optimistic? As Obi-Wan says: “Don’t let your personal feelings get in the way!”

Don’t let your nostalgic sensibilities get in the way of a good story.

I had hoped for more from Kathleen Kennedy and the leaders at Lucasfilm; bravery, confidence, and resoluteness in the face of backlash. It’s a shame that appears to not be the case. I pray that I’m wrong. I’ve nodded with enthusiastic agreement over nearly every single choice that has they’ve made on behalf of the saga, and it’s fans. This seeming decision threatens to tear that all down.

As always, comments are welcome. If you enjoyed this, or find the least bit thought-provoking, please give it a share on twitter or facebook so the debate can rage on.

Episode 76 – Lionheart Luke



 Totally new TumblingSaber Tuesday is back! This week we are HEAVY on our favourite wayward Jedi, Luke Skywalker! There’s rumours about him, as well as listener questions! In addition, we also chat about Snoke, Han Solo’s standalone, our dream throw-downs in Star Wars, and our thoughts on A New Hope on the eve of it’s 40th birthday.
If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our show in iTunes and be sure to leave us a review. It’s shocking how much they help! As always, send your questions and feedback to Kyle, or on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star Wars,Generation X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcast and the Nerd Room Podcast!