Tag Archives: Darth Vader

“Rogue One, May The Force Be With You”… Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Russian teaser posterI will say upfront, I was not as hesitant to see this Star Wars film as I was about Episode VII, probably because the expectations to carry on the legacy were so much higher and demanding (which VII, in a few ways, failed to meet), however I was gung-ho for ‘Rogue One’.  I went in blind, with little expectation and wasn’t disappointed.  It isn’t a ‘great’ movie, but as an entry into the Star Wars universe, it certainly is good.

A hybrid between Star Wars and WWII (which I think George Lucas on some level would appreciate), Rogue One helps tie a few of the loose ends that Episode III left hanging in the minds of the fandom, at least in immediate relation to Episode IV (I realize that statement nearly pulls a string that may not ever stop unravelling in fandom circles…) in terms of place setting for ‘A New Hope’.  Ah yes, hope.  If it isn’t a word you appreciate, cover your ears because it will be hammered into your brain for the next two hours.  Yes, ‘Hope’… we get it.  The usage of hope is one of say, less than a handful of things, force-fed to the viewer as reminder that EPISODE IV FOLLOWS THIS..!! Again, we know and we get it.  Even the most common of movie layperson who may have only seen Episode IV in passing a time or two will know the common ideas and the familiar thread.  *SPOILER* When a certain Senator begins reminding us of a certain Jedi Master and what he’s been doing for 18 years… we know.  A great fandom scene, over talked and poorly set for the sake of pushing the next chapter in case you weren’t familiar with it.

rogue-one-rebels

Now, if you can get past the swiftly changing settings of the opening twenty minutes and forgive a bit of the cardboard dialogue… you’re in.  The film settles in and unfolds fairly well, sure there are a few dragged transitions, more for fitting periphery story / characters in (Vader Vader Vader) but it does work to progress into Act Three.  Now technically, you know how this ends, don’t kid yourself or you’ll be sad and sniffling like a few of the other theatre goers.  We all know who the man in black is and he’s as badass as ever.  On a happier note, it was very cool to see old Star Wars faces in new places even if some were unexpected and others a little creepy (not Grand Moff Tarkin… that was cool).

vader-milk-bath

Pretty good once it gets rolling, fairly well paced and with enough characterization to be more than a mere place mat for Luke, Rogue One supplies a bit more setting and angst for our lovable, desperate yet hopeful rebellion.  Sno-Caps or M&M’s, no bathroom breaks.

4 Stars

 

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Who Is the Best ‘Star Wars’ Villain of All Time?

From Star Wars.com via Yahoo!

Emperial DuoThere is no shortage of bad guys in the Star Wars universe: A huge cast of characters — from Darth Vader to lowly Stormtrooper TK-421 — who fight on the side of darkness. But who among them is the baddest of the bad? The worst of the worst? The villain we most love to hate?

The staff of StarWars.com took a stab at answering that question and cameSenator Palpatine up with what we think is a very reasonable and well-thought out roster of candidates. Topping their list: Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious). Makes sense. He’s the head honcho, pulling the strings, responsible in many ways for Anakin Skywalker’s ultimate downfall. Plus, he’s really creepy looking: while we know it’s not wise to judge a book by its cover, one look at Sidious and you know he’s up to no good.

Emperor PalpatineFollowing the Emperor, Star Wars staffers placed Darth Vader in the number-two slot, followed by Grand Moff Tarkin (a.k.a., the guy with the “foul stench”). Here’s their complete list:

1. Darth Sidious / Emperor Palpatine
2. Darth Vader
3. Grand Moff Tarkin
4. Darth MaulDarth Maul
5. Jabba the Hutt
6. Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus
7. General Grievous
8. Asajj Ventress
9. Nute Gunray
10. Pong Krell

Darth TyranusBut, but, but! What about Boba Fett! Where is he? How could they forget Boba Fett?!?! Relax. This was no oversight: Staffers plan to release a separate list of their top ten bounty hunters. We’ve got a feeling he’ll be at the top.

For the sake of argument, though, let’s say Boba Fett was included in the above list. Where would he place? In his favor: He plays by his own rules, utters only cool lines (“He’s no good to me dead”), and isn’t afraid of anything. On the minus side — he meets his end (in Return of the Jedi) in a most undignified manner.

Delivering Solo

That said, we feel comfortable placing Fett in the spot ahead of Jabba. A solid showing. We could see him ahead of Maul, but Maul went out with a bang. Fett went out with a whimper. The best bad guys don’t do that.

Lightsaber Battle

Note: For my money, this is obviously a bit of flawed list just to grab some social media play.  Boba Fett is a villain, plain and simple and should have been on the list but obviously isn’t ‘Number One’ material which may offend the Fett fans.  Too bad.  Fett has been overrated for years and has had the advantage of being (in the film universe) a fairly undeveloped character (which is good for the forthcoming ‘one-shot’ film).  We know more about his Dad than we do him.  He is, however, the coolest of the Bounty Hunters… Maybe I’m biased because I’m a Han Solo fan.

 

The Best of either Trilogy… Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Empire Strikes BackNot as historic or groundbreaking as the original, this film easily represents the ‘Godfather part II’ of science fiction sequels. There is up and down, black and white with ebb and flow in film… and ‘Empire..’ hits them all, in order and without dragging it’s feet. Maybe because we know a majority of the story already, maybe because it just unfolds and unfolds and then BAM! carbonite. Scoundrels are lovers, dead men are ghosts, Jedi Masters can be two foot nuthin’ and Darth Vader is still the biggest intergalactic bastard around (and not much fun to work for).

Vader Chamber

‘Empire..’ represents the old-school swashbuckling epic that Lucas had envisioned, the episodic Saturday morning matinée you’d show up thirteen weeks in a row to see. To find a film even close you’d need to rent one of Errol Flynn’s early Warner Bros. works, and none of them had an eight foot Wookie. Far from a simple transition sequel, ‘Empire..’ stands above any other film in the six part series, and contains all the spirit, action, emotion and oomph that the prequels fought to give.I know

Reaching film epic. Bring the popcorn, some Snow Caps and NO breaks!

5 Stars

The end of the Saga… or is it? Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

Return of the JediOK, for those who care in the Star Wars universe, we know that there are 3 episodes left in the series… but even if we never see it, this was a fitting end. Sure, with the pre-quels in place, everything seems to fit just that much better, and make a little bit more sense of the smallest details.

Yes the updated or ‘Special Edition’ supplied a better ending and gave us a new ‘ghost’ version of Anakin, but either way, the Ewoks are still fuzzy and will never be as annoying as Jar-Jar Binks. Maybe the final battle could have been worked a bit better in special effects evolution, more Episode III than Adventures of Robin Hood, but it still works. And it still leaves us to wonder, just what happens next.
Jabba's PalaceVery close to epic, but the Ewoks just don’t carry us there. Bring them some popcorn, though, and no bathroom breaks.

4 Stars

Star Wars goes to Hell… Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Star Wars Episode 3It not only went to Hell, it went with gusto! The story was more original than what we had seen in the prequels, and it was long-awaited. Destruction has always ben easier than creation, and it was a great ride to see the cosmos crash and burn.

Complaint; Anakin took all of 10 seconds to turn into Darth Vader. Hmmm… not quite the emotional, gut-wrenching and tortured decision we thought it was going to be. I had expected more from the Chosen One who would become the scourge of the galaxy. Aside from that though, sure, there were some story gaps and a few things that maybe would’ve been worked in or out, but hey…. there are potentially three more films to go.
A Dark Knight RisesWith the loose ends not so much tied as lain out for the original trilogy, this one reached epic. No bathroom breaks.

4 Stars

Only once in a great while… Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Star WarsIt’s not often that a film is released and it literally changes society. Pop culture, modern film and cinema history took a hit when this film was released… yes even before the ‘Episode IV’ title was attached.

‘Star Wars’ wasn’t just another Sci-Fi film, it was the first time in a long time a filmmaker’s vision transferred to celuloid untouched by executive hands and actually worked. Sure, millions will say that it’s one of the greatest films ever… perhaps in Sci-Fi circles. It was, easily, one of the most influential. Not because it spawned a billion dollar industry for special FX, toys and marketing or five sequel films… but it led the way for all the films and filmmakers to follow in it’s footsteps.
Vader at workWas it greatly acted? It was OK. Was it greatly written? It was an original, paced story. But with it’s effects, score and direction, it all came together… and in the end, that is what great epic film is all about.

5 Stars