Episode 106 – The Last Jedi Breakdown, part 1

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Hey gang!

It’s here! The Last Jedi has landed and boy does it ever get us talking! As this podcast unfolded, it became clear to me that this is just going to be the first in series of podcasts focusing on The Last Jedi.

So without further adieu, hit play and let the rambly goodness wash over you!

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Sith and That: Rian Johnson’s New Star Wars Trilogy

Rian Johnson new Star Wars trilogy

Image courtesy of Lucasfilm

 

Hey gang!

Welcome to Sith and That, a new blog series where I’ll post some scattered thoughts from the galaxy far, far away. Typically these thoughts will have been heard on the TumblingSaber podcast, but for those who have not yet subscribed, I thought I’d put some content here to scratch the itch for those who prefer reading. If you like what you read here, then you may want to listen in to our podcasts and join the fun!

So with that said, he are some of my thoughts related to last week’s bombshell announcement that Rian Johnson is getting creative control over a NEW, totally unique trilogy.

  • This is just the latest in what is becoming a long series of “where were you when this happened in Star Wars” moments? So where were you when this news dropped?
  • The announcement was made by Disney bossman Bob Iger on a quarterly earnings call with investors. Interesting to note that Iger is leaving Disney in 2019, so no doubt he wants to exit with the company on a soaring stock high. Is his golden handshake tied to stock price? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me.
  • Part of Lucasfilm’s statement: “Lucasfilm is excited to announce that Johnson will create a brand-new Star Wars trilogy, the first of which he is also set to write and direct, with longtime collaborator Ram Bergman onboard to produce. As writer-director of The Last Jedi, Johnson conceived and realized a powerful film of which Lucasfilm and Disney are immensely proud. In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga, Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored. We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “He’s a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy.”
  • We’ve had days to think about this now – but I think this is the boldest thing coming out of Star Wars since Star Wars itself in May of 1977.
  • Given the effusive praise from both sides, I guess we should have smelled something was afoot. We as fans clamoured for him to take over from Trevorrow with only seeing a trailer for The Last Jedi, so we are feeling the good vibes as well.
  • Maybe we’re just homers, but we normally have a good sense about Star Wars movies before they come out, but this one has a different vibe. The lead up feels different this time. Johnson himself feels different – and maybe that’s because of the way the film came together without a hitch, but it feels like he’s got his finger on the pulse of Star Wars.
  • Lucasfilm must really be pleased with The Last Jedi and Rian Johnson as a collaborator to entrust him with such a huge task.
  • Funny, I didn’t see ONE person saying “BAH, they should have taken a break! Enough movies already”. This was met with near-unanimous excitement.
  • For those upset with the announcement – please read the statement. He’s going to write and direct the first movie, not the entire trilogy! 
  • I said this in episode 99 in response to Ads’ question about where we thought Lucasfilm wanted to do with the Skywalkers, I said they would do a new trilogy starting with episode 10 but that it wasn’t going to be about the Skywalkers. I said they must be keen to get away from the Skywalkers and branch out to tell larger stories. “It’s so much bigger”.
  • Is this going to be related to the lore that will be explored in The Last Jedi? Hard to imagine that it won’t be.
  • If they go back in time, (and TLJ looks to be doing that to some extent) exploring Jedi who “had it right”, do they risk totally wrecking the reputation of the Jedi from episodes 1-6? 
  • I personally want them to explore new themes, break new ground and get far, far away from Lucas’ motif of rhyming and poetry. No more of that. It was fine for father and son, but time to smash that mold, right?
  • I don’t want Johnson to adapt Legends material that’s already out there. A lot of people want Old Republic or KOTOR. I don’t think Johnson would do that unless he was completely free from the expectations of bringing in Revan or the like. He’s not going to take that blank slate and load it up with  baggage, expectations, and a somewhat confined frame work. That doesn’t sound like a blank slate to me.
  • Johnson is a creative powerhouse and is going to want to do something totally original. Nobody of his kind of pedigree wants to be tied to something that already has built-in expectations.
  • I have to give Lucasfilm credit here. I didn’t think they’d detach themselves from the marketing leverage of the original Skywalker story.
  • Nobody is talking about this, but what about the music? Surely it won’t be Williams; he’ll be pushing 90. I think we’ll get a new guy soon enough and episode 9 will be Williams’ swan song?
  • Think about this as well: Collecting. This is like pressing the plunger and starting from scratch again. The thought of an entirely new line of Star Wars is daunting to say the least!
  • When do you think we’ll be getting this? There’s no standalone announced for 2020, leaving him plenty of time to get it done. What happens to Obi-Wan then?
  • Potential schedule for movies over the next decade?
    • 2018: Solo
    • 2019: Episode 9
    • 2020: Obi Wan standalone (let’s announce this already!)
    • 2021: Rian Johnson I
    • 2022: Standalone 4
    • 2023: Rian Johnson II
    • 2024: Standalone 5
    • 2025: Rian Johnson III
    • 2026: Standalone 6
    • 2027 50th Anniversary of A New Hope – a year possibly left blank out of respect / full on tributes?

Ok kids, that’s it for the first edition of Sith and That! These are scattered, bullet-form thoughts on big news of the day.

If you liked what you read here, be sure to listen and subscribe to our podcast! We pump out new content episodes every Tuesday, and Friday our Powerful Friendz get exclusive podcast content. To become a Powerful Friend, support us on Patreon! For just a couple dollars per month you get access exclusive podcasts, entry to our awesome prize draws and more! You won’t regret it!


Saber Rattling #1 with Ryan Johnson

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Did the headline grab you? It should have!

While Ryan did not direct The Last Jedi, he is the owner of Canada’s largest Star Wars collection. I was lucky enough to chat with Ryan about his massive collection, his origins, and the state of collecting today. To listen to Ryan talk about collecting is a masterclass in what it’s like at the top of the mountain. He’s a true pro when it comes to Star Wars collectibles.

Happy Friday!

If you enjoy our podcasts, please consider signing up for our Powerful Friends Program! This episode of Saber Rattling was provided to PowerfulFriendz weeks ago as one of the many perks of being a supporter on Patreon! Join in with some other distinguished friends and help propel us in to the next era of podcasting! Get the exclusive Sith Distubers podcast, early access to Journals of the Whilling, Worthy of Recognition, and Saber Rattling! In addition, you’ll be part of our monthly draws for awesome prizes like 40th Anniversary figures, Black Series figures, and much, much more!

As always, send us our feedback on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star WarsGeneration X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcastThe Nerd Room Podcast, and San Diego Sabers Radio Podcast!

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TumblingSaber presents Saber Rattling - Cool Star Wars discussions!


Bridger Transmissions #3 – In the Name of the Rebellion

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Hello everybody!

The final season of Rebels hit another gear this week with In the Name of the Rebellion! It was as much about Saw Gerrera vs Mon Mothma as it was Rebels vs the Empire. What did we think of the 2-part episode? Click play to find out!

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Bridger Transmissions


Saw Gerrera .Vs. Mon Mothma/In Depth Look

In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first act commenced with Senator Mon Mothma dispatching Jyn Erso to the planet of Jedha to mend the rift between herself and Extremist Saw Gerrera. After Saw Gerrera made his debut in Season Three of Star Wars Rebels, he resurfaced in the second trailer for Star Wars Rebels Season Four. It is clear based off of footage from the trailer that we will see the dramatic schism of the Rebel Alliance, mentioned in Rogue One, play out  between cell leader and extremist Saw Gerrera, and major alliance leader Mon Mothma. In a clip of upcoming episode, “In the Name of the Rebellion,” Saw and Mothma have a very heated argument. From this, it is clearly evident that a break is going to happen.

Before we dive deep, Dave Filoni, touched that topic in Rebels recon back in Season 3 of the finale, “You will see Mon Mothma again, you will see Saw Gerrera again, You’ll get much more of an insight into seeing how that relationship breaks down and breaks apart….”

First we need to take a closer look at the history of these two different leaders. The morals and values that they each believe in are a result of the different lives that have each led up to this point.

We saw, Saw (no pun intended) fight for his home planet, Onderon, back in the Clone Wars. As was frequently hinted, Saw viewed the war as a “crusade” to liberate the planet from the Separatists one that depended solely on military action. As he mentioned in the first episode of the arc, “War on Two Fronts,” “politics have failed us. We have no choice.” For this reason, he loved do heavy damage against the Separatists. However, he already showed signs of being a different leader. Unlike his sister Steela, who stressed the objective of winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the Onderon people, Saw had no qualms about the collateral damage that took place despite. (S05E05). Things drastically changed in the final battle of the war when a Separatist gunship killed his sister. He blamed himself for her death and deeply regretted what had happened. In this way, Saw became aware of the bitter cost of war.

 

Many of these continuities that took place in the Onderon arc returned in Star Wars Rebels. After the Republic became the Empire, Onderon endured another military occupation. With all of his hard work undone, it is understandable that Saw became bitter. He blamed the Jedi for losing the war (as he hinted in Ghosts of Geonosis part II) and thus once again believed that Onderon was on its own in its fight against the Empire. This most likely built his extremist mind. He created his own rebel cell and committed himself to the fight against the Empire. “I’m fighting for you and everyone not to lose what they’ve got” Then after the empire took over he was one of the first leaders to create a rebel cell.

Mon Mothma, the Senator of Chandrilla, is different from Saw in that she views war from an opposing lens. In the final years of the Galactic Republic, she engaged in a political endeavor to preserve the democratic institutions of the Republic from within the Senate, on Coruscant. However, she was fighting against an unstoppable force: the Emperor and his gradual takeover of the Senate, which gradually became less democratic and instead more upholden to the Chancellor’s dictatorial policies.  In some deleted scenes back in Revenge of the Sith, we see her working alongside Bail Organa, Padme Amidala and some other senators in a coalition known as the Delegation of 2000 draft a petition demanding that Palpatine restore democracy once the war was at an end. But it was an unmitigated failure. In this way, when the Emperor announced the creation of the “first galactic empire,” what Mon Mothma and other Senators lost was the democratic government that she was so desperately trying to save and preserve.

Later when both leaders appeared in Rebels we see the leaders enter Season three in two very unique ways. Saw is already on a mission, and he lost his entire team. Mon, on the other hand, is on the run and hunted by the Empire. He is very aware of the evil of the empire and has only suffered another loss. Mon is still holding out that diplomacy will prevail.In an interview with EW Filoni spoke about Saw, “Saw’s always seeking his own path, and he’s certain of the evil the Empire’s up to and there can be no peace,” he says. “He’s been pushed even further down that path of belief.” How can that be hard to believe given that he became the guardian of the creator’s daughter of the Death Star project? Along the way hes also found bits and pieces indicating “that the empire was up to something big”. Word passes around. He was on Geonosis looking for clues.

How can that be hard to believe given that he had the creator’s daughter of the evil project? Along the way hes also found bits and pieces indicating “that the empire was up to something big”. Word passes around. He was on Geonosis looking for clues.

So how does the ghost crew fits into this storyline? What kind moves do they make? The Rebels in season 2 were unaware when they found the debris and stations surrounding the planet Geonosis that that they had stumbled onto the biggest project in the galaxy. However, they were suspicious, given that there were no signs of life on the surface.

It also seems as though Ezra could start to see Saw’s point of view, although they didn’t see eye to eye with their first counter. “The Empire is already on the verge of winning a war. Most of the rebel alliance doesn’t already believe it’s begun” Does his opinion change after losing in Zero Hour? We know how desperate he wants to save his home, Lothal. Love for his home is not the only thing that drives his character. A large part of Ezra’s arc was to learn more about what happened to his parents, and after he discovered from Ryder Azadi that they had heard his message in Season 1, Ezra perhaps hopes to honor his parents dying wish. And ironically in the clip we see Ezra talking to Kanan and making his thoughts known on how they should fight.

In the same interview Dave added that Alliance leaders including Mon and Bail, “still hold out hope the Senate can find a peaceful way to resolve everything, and it won’t come to all-out war. Saw is trying to get the evidence and prove out that he’s right. We have some fun scenes when he interacts with Mon Mothma and it shows the fractures between the two.”

The new clip definitely shows the fractures. The voice of Mon Mothma sent shivers down my spine. Such command in her voice, it was quite a performance! Most likely when we see the episode, it will only get better for what she has to say.

 

Mon wanted to talk to Saw…..but why? Agreeing to disagree? How this war should be fought? It was clear that she would stand her ground.”So long as our allies in the senate have hope of a peaceful resolution to this conflict. I will not risk” Then she called Saw a criminal. Naming what he has done to innocents and his enemies that have surrendered. She has a moral code of honor and highly believes in rules of engagement and on not rising to their opponent’s level. Which moves on to the second topic  

Is Saw really a criminal? “The empire considers us both criminals, at least I act like one”.  He openly admit that he is a criminal. And he wasn’t ashamed of it. He targets civilians and as Mon pointed out he “breaks every rule of engagement”. However, up until this point, and until his death in Rogue One, Saw was fighting an actual war. Unlike Mon, he sees men and women die every day and has become quite aware of how bloody and costly war is. Saw perhaps feels that Mon is not aware of what it takes. And sometimes sacrificing honor is necessary. It’s hard for a man to feel pain when they’ve already been through too much.

I personally don’t agree with his extremist ideology, but war, as it does with all soldiers, gradually makes them more implacable and resistant to the costs. As Mon Mothma says, it “degrades them” to the point of becoming inhuman. In the Clone Wars, Obi-Wan also says: “war also distorts our point of view. If we sacrifice our code even for victory, we risk losing something more important. Our honor.”

The issue of becoming too embroiled in open warfare against the Empire is a theme that plagues the Rebels at the end of the third season of Star Wars Rebels. In the Zero Hour, we saw the rebels forces crushed! They were plainly unprepared to fight. It is not just a catastrophe since the Phoenix Squadron lost on Atollon. The fact that General Dodonna, General Sato and Captain Syndulla, three of the best generals in the Alliance, got outclassed by Thrawn, convinces Mon Mothma that full scale war would destroy the Alliance. This only shows how weak, and disorganized the Rebellion still is, and how much growth it still needs to make. Mon, understandably, doesn’t want to fight and would prefer to wait for the right time. Part of this mindset may be hers and Bail’s goal of keeping Senator Amidala’s memory alive. Even in Rogue One, we may see how divided the Rebel Alliance council leaders were on whether or not they were prepared for war against the Empire. As one of the leaders stated, “if it’s war you want, you will fight alone.” Another questioned General Dravin’s decision of attacking the Imperial base on Eadu. Earlier, when we meet Mon Mothma in Secret Cargo, a team of Rebels from Gold Squadron escort her. In the Rebels Recon episode of Secret Cargo, Dave Filoni and Henry Gilroy note how different many of the rebel cells are. In the case of General Dodonna and Gold Squadron, they most likely operated on a more covert level, protecting convoys and attacking soft Imperial targets. This may explain why they were so critical of the Phoenix Squadron and their bold attacks on the Empire. As Gold 2 scolded Ezra, “You might think twice before you pull off another stunt like that. The imperials have tightened security throughout the entire Outer Rim as a result. You are making things harder for all of us.” The fact that Gold 2 thinks this way shows how not all of the rebellion fights in the same way. Nor do they all see eye to eye. This is a brilliant move on the part of the makers to make the Rebellion that much more complex and realistic as an organization.

In our current story in Season 4, the reference about ignoring the ‘Delindi relay’ only shows the actual struggle that the Rebels have, and how important this episode will be to the larger story on ‘the growing up story’ of the Alliance to Restore the Republic.

In conclusion, this story will show of that the rebellion was not a well-oiled machine when we first saw them in A New Hope. These two unique leaders of the star wars universe are both wrong and right. A decision of war is a hard one. There is always conflict within. And I can’t wait to see the story unfold until then. Watch the clip that I was referring to below. And May the force be with you.

 


Solo: A Star Wars Story

We just got news that Ron Howard has wrapped shooting on the Han Solo movie, and that it’s going to be titled Solo: A Star Wars Story.

  • It’s a bit bland but if it hints at Han’s eventual role as an estranged, lone wolf then I think it works. Simple and elegant.
  • The logo also evokes a vintage Star Wars feel, but has a slightly cartoonish angle to it, which maybe hints at a bit of the comedic tone the film may have.
  • Bigger takeaway is May 25th. They seem very intent on this. I wouldn’t mind if they moved it to allow for a non-rushed post production but they’ve got 7+ months to get this done. That’s enough when you consider the major reshoots for Rogue One in August of 2016 still permitted the movie to drop in December.
  • The biggest factor that fans likely don’t give a rip about probably has the biggest impact: Manufacturers are plowing ahead with production of toys and other products for this film. Food chains, and other retailers are building out their marketing programs which require fixed dates for planning. Once product is in production, and partners are crafting marketing plans, we pass the point of no return. 
  • I’d still like to see it moved to Xmas for selfish “new tradition” reasons, but it’s not going to happen.

What do you think of the title?

If you enjoy our blogs and podcasts, please consider signing up for our Powerful Friends Program! Join in with some other distinguished friends and help propel us in to the next era of podcasting! Get yourself some EXCLUSIVE podcasts, and cool monthly giveaways!

As always, send us our feedback on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star WarsGeneration X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcastThe Nerd Room Podcast, and San Diego Sabers Radio Podcast!

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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!


The Least of All Evils

Recently we ran a poll that gave out a pretty surprising result. But first, the question:

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So, Reylo ran away with this one. I can’t say I disagree. It’s an awful, depressing thought for many reasons, the least of which that it takes a great character like Rey, and reduces her to yet another girl with bad judgement in guys. Nope, Rey is better than that and Kylo…well…he doesn’t deserve her.

But what about the other options? 23% of respondents thought that revisiting the chosen one prophecy is a bad idea. This is my pick for most annoying option. Let’s tarnish the legacy of Lucas’ work, and the central character by reducing his role to that of a never-was. Everything we learned about Anakin and his power, his destiny would have been for naught.

Luke without a lightsaber? A fright to be sure, but I *think* there’s a version of this trilogy where a saberless Luke can still be compelling. I don’t want to see it, but I’m preparing myself for it.

Snoke is Plagueis? A scant 10% don’t like this idea. Seems like people are more or less cozy with the idea that Palpatine’s old master is in fact still around. It’s not awful, but I’m hoping for something original.

What do you think? Let me know on twitter, facebook or in the comments below.

If you enjoy our podcasts, please consider signing up for our Powerful Friends Program! Join in with some other distinguished friends and help propel us in to the next era of podcasting! Get yourself some EXCLUSIVE podcasts, and cool monthly giveaways!

As always, send us our feedback on your social media network of choice! Visit the Star Wars Commonwealth, and follow Talk Star WarsGeneration X-WingRogue SquadronSkyhoppers podcastThe Nerd Room Podcast, and San Diego Sabers Radio Podcast!

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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!

 


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 77 – The Iconic Thing

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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!

 


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.