Star Wars-the upcoming Favreau TV show-Thoughts and speculation

Jon Favreau has now been handed the keys to a live-action TV show based on Star Wars. Although of course, primarily a cinematic franchise, the series is no stranger to TV, with several animated series-Droids, Ewoks, Clone Wars, Rebels, even the Lego one-that have graced sets. Although it’s record with live-action is a bit more tricky….


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Although to be fair there were some cool moments in those Ewok movies….there’s something in particular about the Bluurg monsters that just screams “Star Wars” to me…

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Anyway, back after “Revenge of the Sith” George Lucas was still considering working on several “Star Wars” projects outside of the films. One of them, of course, turned into the Clone wars series. Another project, a live-action TV series, was also considered, and several pitches and scripts commissioned. One of these pitches-by FX guy John Knoll- would eventually see the light of day as “Rogue One”.

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When George Lucas sold Star Wars to Disney, the TV series concept largely remained dormant as Disney largely focused on getting the new films out-despite a few directorial missteps in 2017 (and some criticism) Lucasfilm/Disney now seem more secure in  the future of the franchise than ever before, commissioning new movies by Rian Johnson and the Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and DB Weiss, although what exactly they will cover remains seens (and still no word on a third spin-off….)

However, last week, we learned that Jon Favreau will be developing a new live-action Star Wars TV series. Favreau’s no stranger to Star Wars, having done a voice for Clone Wars villain Pre Visla…..


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and also a voice for a mysterious alien in the upcoming Solo..

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Of course he’s also had an incredible career outside of Star Wars as well. Apart from his acting talents, he’s also a director, having directed several hits such as Elf, The Jungle Book, and Chef (many of which he also had small roles in). But perhaps he’s best known as the director of the first and second Iron Man films, both of which launched the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”, one of the most powerful franchises in cinema today (and since 2010, also owned by Disney), and arguably a model that Disney wants to take Star Wars.

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Although Favreau hasn’t directed any Marvel films since Iron Man 2, and was replaced by Joss Whedon for the Avengers films, he doesn’t seem to harbor any ill will, as he continued to appear as the character Happy Hogan in Iron Man 3 (Directed by Shane Black)  and most recently Spider-Man homecoming, and he’s slated to appear in Avengers: Infinity War as well.


Now, onto the nitty gritty, what will Favreau’s series cover? It’s too early to really say at this stage, but from what I’ve seen, he seems to do a lot of “slice of life” projects, often with snarky, or naive characters, rather than big ‘event’ films. His Iron Man movies seemed to reflect this, mainly focusing on Tony Stark himself. Even as the Marvel films have gotten bigger and bigger and scope, they seem largely built on the Iron Man prototype, high adventure but with a lot of humor.

So I’m guessing that perhaps Favreau’s series might focus a bit on the fringe of Star Wars, not exactly the big epic events like some epic clash between the light and the dark side but those who try to make it by in this frequently war-torn galaxy…and that’s certainly a major theme of Star Wars-that even those who appear small and irrelevant can change the course of the future. After all, that’s pretty much what Star Wars is all about…as stated by Leia in the Star Wars novel,

“They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes.”

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(OK, the TPM cast were kind of high-class characters like a Queen, but at least Anakin and Jar-Jar kind of fit that)….

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….and of course the original team did as well…

and certainly the Disney casts fit the model quite well….


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It’s possible the series might cover the “Dark times” era as well (Between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope) although “Rebels” covered a portion of that. However, perhaps a series set earlier, when people are still adjusting to this new, darker galaxy, might be a good idea. Dark Horse certainly tried the concept with their “Dark Times” series.

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Solo Trailer:My thoughts

Solo is the second Star Wars anthology (or “Story”) film, following December 2016’s Rogue One, and the fourth Disney Star Wars film overall. However, while R1 had a roughly smooth path to the big screen-as did Force Awakens and Last Jedi-Solo had some problems….

In the middle of production, the film’s two directors-Phil Lord and Chris Miller-known for their “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” “21 Jump Street” series as well as the acclaimed “Lego movie” (Which featured Star Wars characters in it making a cameo appearance) were replaced, as Disney felt that they were trying to make the film too much of a comedy.

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While most of the cast-and probably a good amount of footage-was retained, director Ron Howard-whose experience spans decades-and he’s a longtime Lucasfilm collaborator as well. Most famously as the director of Willow…


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….but also for American Graffiti, pretty much the project that allowed Lucas to truly break into the mainstream and get backing for “Star Wars”… (a great deal of early Star Wars marketing centered around “It’s from the America Graffiti guy!”)

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…and of course inspired Ron’s later sitcom, “Happy Days”

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….was brought onboard to salvage the film. The trailer is really our first major look. The film arrives in May, making it the first of the Disney films to really be released in the traditional Memorial Day weekend that the Lucas-produced entries had (Every Disney Star Wars film-despite some early targets for  memorial day for TFA and TLJ-has been released in December. Probably marketing has something to do with it-Christmas and all!)


My thoughts on some shots, in no particular order.

Chewbacca’s bandolier here is a bit different, closely resembling the Wookie armor in “Revenge of the Sith”. Funny thing is, Chewie’s in that movie too and mainly just has his classic look.

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Looks like Han’s got the dark winter coat look again.

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Han in some sort of landspeeder seen a few times in the trailer.

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Once again bringing up “Grafitti”, kind of looks similar to Harrison’s character in that. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was deliberate, knowing Ron. (“Grafitti” is also referenced quite a few times in the various films, most notably in “Attack of the Clones” which features some slight 1950’s touches in it’s Coruscant scenes).

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The more pristine looking Falcon interior. Presumably, this is when Lando owned the ship.

Solo: A Star Wars Story screencap (Lucasfilm)

Considering his later venture, not surprising it’s super clean. (Cloud City-apart from maybe the Carbon freezing chamber-looks a lot less “used universe” than other OT locations).

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Speaking of Lando, like the old “Legends” materials, looks like Lando is teamed with a droid as his co-pilot. Possibly a female droid too (Well, although Droids don’t really have gender, maybe one programmed as female), as Pheobe Waller is part of the cast and said to play a droid character (She’s not the first “female” droid in the series of course, but  maybe the first one to really be a main character).

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I’m pretty sure that hand gesture they’re making is the same one Lando makes in ROTJ.

The look of the droid kind of looks a bit like a full body R2-unit (especially the head, but the legs and midsection also bear some resemblance.

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The design also reminds me a bit of Leebo, a character who appeared in the “Shadows of the Empire” storyline, as co-pilot of Dash Rendar, who, like Han, is a “mercenary with a heart of gold” (and often criticized for being the story’s Han stand-in).

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Back to Lando, he’s got a nice coat of his own…

As well as what seems to be his main look, a yellow shirt.



The Empire of course makes an appearance. I’m guessing this is sort of half-way between ROTS and Star Wars on the timeline scale of things. Han signing up for Imperial flight school is actually something that’s been associated with the character for a very long time….it’s part of some story notes Lucas wrote as guidelines for some of the comics and novels, and was elaborated on a bit in AC Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy, as well as the Chewbacca miniseries.

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In the Legends stuff, Han was trained by Baron Fel, a character who marries Wedge’s sister, and eventually they raise a rather large family, with one of Fel’s sons marrying Han’s daughter (and only surviving child) Jaina. And people say the prequels make the SW universe small!

Kind of curious about this creature, that looks a bit like a mix between Maz and an orangutan. I’m guessing this could be the original look of the Falcon’s gunner stations, although not quite sure on that.

…and of course, something almost every Star Wars film has…a weird bar/club.

One of the best things about the new Disney films-even if many disagree with the direction they’ve taken-is that they’ve got some really great Star Destroyer shots-Rogue One in particular of course had the interesting visual of the Destroyer over the city (Packing up what’s left of the Kyber crystals) as well as an ESB like shadow reveal of the Death Star dwarfing these things….and of course Vader’s arrival at Scarif.

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Here we see it in some strange (atmospheric? Space?) clouds, appearing to pursue the Falcon, which of course becomes a major Imperial pasttime in ESB.


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And like Disney’s other films, we’ve got a new TIE fighter. This one appears to have an extended hull, but not quite one like the TIE bomber. Red cockpit too, which is something we normally see on the First Order TIEs.

Speaking of Imperials, looks like we’re getting a new form of Stormtrooper in this film too.  Given the *ton* of Stormtrooper variants introduced in Rogue One-the most I think in a Star Wars film since “Revenge of the Sith”-


Some kind of train, I’m guessing an Imperial one. The windows in particular scream “Walker….” except this has no legs.  The cockpit area in particular seems to strongly evoke one particular Walker, the AT-M6 from Last Jedi. Maybe the train is a modified AT-M6 model? After all, the Special editions and prequels did use some CG elements from Jurassic Park to save some money on the creatures, so why not here?

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The mysterious Qi/Ra, along with Lando’s droid buddy.

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Judging by her outfit, I wonder if she has some relation to these weird armored guys, who wear a similar pattern and are involved in some train fight?

That combination of red, black and silver also seems slightly Phasmaesque too.

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Woody Harrelson, apparently a mentor character to Han who also has to “assemble a crew”, making me think this is a bit of a heist film (although one probably different in tone to “Rogue One”).

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Between Planet of the Apes, Venom and this, looks like Woody’s doing a lot of sci-fi work lately!

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Thadie Newton’s character. I’m guessing she might be an Imperial mole in Han’s crew. In a photo of her on set, that sure looks like it could be an Imperial symbol Ron’s trying to cover there.


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We also get a bit of the Falcon navigating what appears to be some giant tentacles after escaping the Imperials.  One of the most different features of the ship (apart from what looks like another alternate radar dish) is that the “Gap” between the maws seems to be filled in. Somehow I guess it eventually falls off or gets detached.

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The characters reaction to these tentacles as well (with a fairly pristine Falcon cockpit). I wonder, could this possible be the Kessel run?

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Favorite Movie scenes: The Force Awakens

In three years, Disney’s given us three Star Wars films-two installments of the sequel trilogy, and “Rogue One” of course. While they have been a bit polarizing among groups of fandom (mainly due to claims of unoriginality, or going too much into the OT sandbox of Rebellion vs. Empire instead of new story directions), they’ve gotten good critical reviews, and have definetly revived the brand as a major box office force (heh). Here’s my thoughts on a few notable scenes from the first Disney film, “The Force Awakens”.


Rey The Scavenger

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While the first few scenes of the film sort of showed off the “new toys”-the upgraded Stormtroopers, the fancy new (and ill-fated) X-wing with a Millenium Falconesque dorsal canon, Kylo Ren, and the new Star Destroyer etc, we get a lot of the old, first shown us via Rey’s goggles, which are crafted from a Stormtrooper helmets, with Rey taking some component out of some massive vessel….which we soon learn, from the outside, is very familiar-an old Star Destroyer (with an X-wing nearby)-the remnants of the Battle of Jaaku, a post-Endor battle-one that pretty much broke the Empire even further than Endor (While also planting the seeds of the First Order) that’s been retold in a good chunk of Disney media since TFA’s release (The novel Lost Stars, the novel Aftermath, both Battlefront games etc.).



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After Rey drops off some the scrap and get her rations for the day, we get even more interesting callbacks to the OT-Rey’s home, in particular, is that of a toppled AT-AT….and her helmet she seems to put on possibly out of boredom, that of a Rebel pilot.

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It’s worth noting that this was one of the early things we saw emerge from the filming….the foot of the said  Walker.

Related image It’s a sort of reflective scene, somewhat akin to Luke’s “binary sunset” moment, and with a similar narrative function as it’s soon followed by her adventure starting to move forward a bit when she hears BB8 (although at this point, Luke already had plenty of dialogue and had seen part of the Leia hologram, while Rey actually hasn’t spoken in the film at all yet!).

It sort of demonstrates, to a degree, the balancing act of the sequel trilogy; trying to mix the old with the new.

The Garbage will do!

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The Millenium Falcon makes it’s debut in the sequel trilogy (and it’s first real appearence since ROTJ, apart from some PT “hidden” cameos) in this thrilling scene, which of course hearkens back to Luke’s assesment of the ship when the audience first saw it (Well, before the reveal was kind of spoiled by the Special Edition version introducing it a scene earlier).


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But of course we get to see what this “piece of junk” can do, once again, in a scene that evokes the classic Star Wars trope of “obstacle course” chase scenes (The trench from A New Hope, the Asteroid Chase from ESB, the speeder bike chase and the Death Star shaft from ROTJ, TPM’s pod race, AOTC’s airspeeder chase and ROTJ’s opening space battle).


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We also get a look at a crashed Super star destroyer, once again confirming Vader’s ship wasn’t unique, and of course the shot of the TIE fighter pilot similar to the angle used in the other films (Some interesting trivia-the shot of the TIE pilot briefly seen in ROTJ is actually the same footage from ANH with a different backdrop-one of the rare examples of stock footage in the series.)


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We also get a “I can do this! I can do this” moment. I’m not sure if this is an Abrams cliche-outside of the Star Trek films and this I’ve seen relatively little of his work, but the line kind of reminds me of that moment in the 2009 Star trek reboot, although Chechov in the film *knew* he could do it, while in TFA Rey and Finn are pretty much trying to reassure themselves.

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And we also get the return of the Falcon’s gunner stations, which film-wise haven’t been seen on screen since “A new Hope”

(Although a scene was filmed for ROTJ, it ended up getting deleted from the final film-the other Rebel guys in the ship weren’t totally useless it seems!).


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Castle battle

The good ol’ shoot out with Stormtroopers, and Han Solo indulging in said favorite pasttime, with a series of shots, including a third one where he’s not even looking at the target…


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And of course there’s the running gag of Han using Chewie’s bowcaster.

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But we also get a scene a bit unlike what we’ve seen in other Star Wars films-a fight with a Stormtrooper using melee weapons.  While some of the Battle droids in the prequels-in particular the “Magnaguards” from Revenge of the Sith-had weapons that could block a lightsaber, this is pretty much the first time we’ve seen something similar in the films.

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Although the concept goes back to the early Star Wars days, with a Stormtrooper possessing a lightsaber in concept art. (Certainly, many aspects of the Force Awakens-and arguably the Disney Star Wars as a whole-owe a great debt to Star Wars concept art, which I might explore in a future article).

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Although Han, Finn and co. are quickly overwhelmed, we’re treated to the arrival of Poe’s resistance squadron, with some pretty cool X-wing moves that wouldn’t really have been quite as possible with the OT’s 80’s SFX (although they certainly tried). Particuarly cool is Poe’s skill as a pilot here; with his pretty epic takedown of several TIE fighters causing Finn-unaware that his friend is piloting the X-wing, exclaiming:




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While “The Force Awakens” was filming at Pinewood studios, so was another installment in a long-running franchise, likewise due for late 2015: Spectre, the 24th James Bond film, and the fourth to star Daniel Craig-and like TFA, it brought back some of the long-unusued elements of the franchise; in this case, the criminal organization known as SPECTRE, not seen since the late 60’s.

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Craig decided to make a short cameo in TFA filming close by, as the Stormtrooper that keeps an eye on Rey, but falls victim to her Jedi mind tricks, with an “And I’ll drop my weapon” as almost an afterthought. Some of fandom’s issues with how Rey could possibly know the Jedi mind trick despite not being trained at all aside, it’s a funny scene, and Craig’s voice is pretty much unmistakable. Although it’s certainly hard to imagine any James Bond ever really leaving his weapon behind-this is the guy who keeps his gun under his pillow when he sleeps.

Star Wars the Last Jedi Thoughts Part Two-What’s next in Episode 9? *Massive spoilers*

The Last Jedi is over, as well as 2/3rds of the new sequel trilogy.  However, Disney’s Star Wars movies are still far from over; as not only do we have the Han Solo spinoff film to go, but we also have an upcoming trilogy from Rian Johnson (although it’s unclear what shape it will take), many unannounced spin-off films (although according to many sources, “Kenobi” is almost a sure thing) and of course, the finale of this sequel trilogy, Episode 9.

But where do we go from here? At the end of “The Last Jedi”, the Resistance is pretty much down to a handful of people aboard the Millenium Falcon, and the First Order pretty much ruling the galaxy. Things haven’t been this bad since the Empire rose in “Revenge of the Sith”. Even “Empire’s” defeat was more of a personal one for the heroes;  while Han was frozen and Luke not only lost his hand but had his whole world turned upside down, the Rebel fleet, although without a base, was pretty much intact and gearing up for the battle in ROTJ.


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Now? Not only has the resistance lost pretty much most of it’s command staff, but pretty much it’s entire fleet. The Millenium Falcon pretty much *is* the fleet.

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Now, Leia still remains, but one of the biggest hurdles is that the actress, Carrie Fisher, died last year. According to Colin Tremorrow and some writers, Episode 9 was going to largely feature Carrie Fisher, with her perhaps playing a role in the defeat or redemption of her son, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren. This makes a lot of sense when one considers the structure of the films so far; Episode 7 focused on Han, 8 on Luke, so logically Leia would close out the trilogy.


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While there are still some OT characters around-C-3PO, R2-D2, Nien Numb….and Lando’s fate remains unresolved, they were mainly side characters and I can’t really see any taking over Leia’s intended role. It’s kind of unclear how 9 will handle the loss, perhaps explaining she died off-screen somehow (possibly as complications of her coma in 8?) or simply ignoring it, or saying she’s off doing something else, as some franchises do tend to do.

Although as far as the leadership of the Rebellion/resistance is concerned, Poe is definetly probably the candidate with Holdo and probably Leia now out of the picture. However, he has no real relationship to Kylo Ren apart from defying him at the beginning of TFA.

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Although the resistance is pretty much in really bad shape, Luke’s example of standing up to the Walkers seems to have become a bit of a legend among the orphans of Canto Bight, as seen in the closing scene-and at least one has force ability. Not only could the legend of Skywalker help rebuild the Resistance somehow, but also the Jedi, as we see one youth use the force to summon a broom. In both the “Legends” EU and the new Disney canon, Luke’s destruction of the Death Star helped the Rebellion-another seemingly impossible feat-helped the Rebellion grow in the first place. As said by both Holdo and later, Poe, “We are the spark that will burn the First Order down.”




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Speaking of the force, although Leia has the ability too of course, it’s possible Rey might be able to rally other force-users going forward, perhaps somehow rebuilding the Jedi-or something similar-in her own way, although it’s possible Luke, in a ghost form, will help.


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There’s also the question of the sacred Jedi texts. At the end of the film, they’re actually spotted on board the Millenium Falcon, hinting that perhaps Leia (Or Chewbacca?) took the texts and all Yoda really burned down was an empty tree. Maybe they’ll have some role going forward?

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Speaking of the Resistance, what about Finn and Rose? Rose of course is pretty much one of the new main characters, and it looks like romance will blossom between the two, although it’s unclear what their role in the resistance might be going forward. Perhaps they’ll help rally the citizens to oppose the first order, as Rose clearly has investment in how the citizens of the galaxy suffer under their rule? I actually wouldn’t mind both her and Finn perhaps taking over the ‘government’ part of the post-First order galaxy (if there is one) with Poe perhaps rebuilding the Republic navy and Rey, the Jedi.

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Then there’s the First Order itself. Snoke and Phasma are dead, and the Galaxy is currently ruled by two rivals-Hux and Ren. Ren, in many ways, achieved what his grandfather didn’t. In both ROTS and ESB, Vader obviously has ambitions to eventually replace Palpatine and rule the Empire with first Padme (His wife) and later Luke (His son). Although Vader does of course eventually overthrow him, it’s at the cost of his own life and more of a selfless act to save his son than any actual ambition. Ren, overthrowing Snoke, properly takes his place with no fatal injury to himself, although like Luke and Padme, Rey refuses to be co-ruler.

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Hux is in a bit of a weird place-it’s obvious he hates Ren and wants power for himself, (and possibly doesn’t believe Ren’s excuse about Snoke). While there’s hints of some friction between Vader and other Imperial commanders throughout the OT (and also in Rogue One), it’s not quite been at this level. Could First Order civil war be on the horizon?



Star Wars: The Last Jedi: My thoughts Part One-Luke-MASSIVE SPOILERS

His Compassion for you will be his undoing.-Palpatine


Remember, real heroes are never as polished as the legends that surround them.-Big Boss, Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker

In my 400th post 🙂 I’m going to look at the latest installment in the Star Wars saga, and perhaps the final one in the Skywalker side of things….well, at least the ‘light side’ of the Skywalkers, that is.

I’ll start with Luke, and eventually do further character/plot/setting reviews in future posts.

Luke Skywalker

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Luke’s the big macguffin here, but he’s initially portrayed as a broken man, and far less idealistic than he was in the OT. He’s a bit like Yoda in ESB, somewhat reluctant and with a more mischievous sense of humor than we’ve seen before (although he probably picked up a bit of that from Han). Although with Yoda, he was mainly testing Luke’s patience, and found him lacking, but trained him anyway with a slight push from Obi-Wan; Luke just doesn’t really want to get involved anymore. Even when he does agree to train Rey-with R2-D2 showing him the old “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” message, he only does it to show that while she has the gift and all, generally bringing back the Jedi is a bad idea, as it also allows the Dark side to gain ascendance (With the old Jedi Order being responsible, in part, for the Empire being formed, and his own failings helping give rise to the first order). Although Rey manages to rekindle at least part of his connection to the force (As he’s shut himself off) and at least reconnect with the comatose Leia (Perhaps helping her to regain consciousness), in a scene somewhat reminiscent of another mid-trilogy moment, when he had his other darkest hour…..

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After Rey leaves in an attempt to try to save Kylo Ren, somewhat similar to his own quest in ROTJ, Luke just wants to torch the old Jedi tree library (although it appears Rey took the books with her for some reason, as they’re seen later in the Falcon close to the end of the film.) when Yoda appears as a force ghost (as predicted by Obi-Wan in ROTJ) …


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….shows up and pretty much does the job for him, seemingly repeating another ROTJ qoute: “Already know you that which you need” but referring to Rey’s abilities, as well as reminding Luke to focus on the here and now instead of worrying about the future . (I’ll deal with more of Yoda’s presence in this film in the future.)The film also shows Luke as even more flawed. While it’s clear in the first two films he was a bit impatient and occasionally ‘cocky’, the film reveals that in a way, that he shares some of the blame for Ben’s fall and the state of things-in part, because he had compassion….and cared for his nephew in a similar fashion to the way he cared for his father, despite the darkness in both, and couldn’t do a killing a blow. But while Luke staying his hand resulted in the light awakening in his father and Vader selflessly giving his life to take the Emperor down, here it only awakened more darkness. The Force awakens, indeed.



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Luke seems to accept that this time, there’s no way to turn Ben back to the good side, something Rey also learns (although episode 9 will probably answer that question for good), and we see him with a look resembling his ROTJ appearance-cropped hair, black suit etc….although much older with a beard. It’s a nice nod to when we last saw him. Looks like he got a quick haircut too from his time on Ach-To.

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When things seem kind of really bad for the resistance, the Prodigal son (of Vader) returns, and has a nice moment with Leia, with the ROTJ brother/sister theme playing, and Luke handing her the Millenium Falcon’s dice (sort of) as a bit of a reminder of their shared friend, Han. Also pretty great is Luke’s wink to C-3PO, with one final “Master Luke”.

Luke’s last stand is pretty spectacular, with the Walkers against the setting sun. And although Luke doesn’t really take down any walkers, I can’t help but be a bit reminded of this scene with Luke facing a Walker in the now non-canon EU, “Dark Empire”.

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(Although he was certainly no slouch in ESB either, but he didn’t use the force.)

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Despite a massive barrage, Luke is unscathed. While we’re led to believe this is mainly the force shielding him from the blast perhaps, but even more anomalies show up, as Luke has the saber-broken on-board the Supremacy-fully working.

The duel isn’t really meant to be spectacular or flashy, and the blades hardly connect-indeed, Luke is pretty much dodging them altogether to keep up his illusion to allow the Resistance/New Rebellion to escape. It’s perhaps the closest we’ve come to a mexican stand-off in a lightsaber duel in this films, which is kind of funny since the old Eastwood Westerns were certainly an influence on the original films (and the Western films-particularly the late 60’s ones-borrow heavily from Asian cinema such as Kurosawa movies, another inspiration.)


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Although certainly there were elements of such a stand-off in TPM’s “Laser gate” sequence.

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But it turns out to be a ruse, and Luke was never there, and it’s Luke ‘broadcasting’ himself from Ach-To. It’s certainly something that’s been used in the Expanded Universe a lot…including the current Disney canon, where it was a Sith power…but I’ll get more on that later.

Luke’s last words,

“See you around, kid” seem to hint that, as he says he’ll be a presence in Kylo’s life going forward, although it’s unclear if it’ll be something that’ll weigh on his consciousness like his father’s death (Luke seems to indicate so when he states “If you strike me down in anger, I will always be with you. Just like your father.”

Luke then looks up at Ach-to’s twin suns (although this seems like a bit of a cheat-while it made sense for Tatooine to be a dried-out desert planet because of it’s two suns, Ach-To is pretty much the opposite….maybe they’re less powerful stars.), in an echo of course of that classic sequence…

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His journey, in a way, ends where it begins, although it’s possible the journey isn’t over yet, and maybe he’ll help the Rebellion in some fashion as a force ghost-as we saw with Yoda, it’s still possible for these ghosts to imprint on the physical world in some way, at least through the force.  Although we sort of saw this in ROTJ, with Obi-Wan at least being able to sit.

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And of course, in many ways having Leia still surviving sort of fits  ROTJ dialogue,

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“If I don’t make it back you’re the only hope for the alliance.”

Although due to unfortunate real-world events, this will not perhaps unfold that way. However, as we see towards the end of the film, Luke is no longer the last Jedi, Rey at least has “That what she needs” as Yoda would put it; and take the place of Luke as the Rebel’s Jedi inspiration….


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….and perhaps she can pass her knowledge on, as the end of the film hints that-despite their allies not responding, the legend of Luke facing down the Walkers and Kylo Ren has begun to grow among the orphans on Canto Bight, who wear the symbol of the Rebellion/resistance. So, like his father’s sacrifice, Luke’s sacrifice might eventually have deeper meaning, and allow for a true new beginning for the galaxy.

Star Wars: Return of the Marvel Part II: Vader in the dog house

Marvel’s “Darth Vader” series ran cocurrently with their Star Wars comics, featuring at first, the tale of Vader’s humiliation after Yavin and his attempt to discover the identity of the mysterious boy who destroyed the Death Star and-as related in the Star Wars monthly-possessed his old lightsaber and was trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi.


Kieron Gillien, who was noted for his runs on X-men and Iron Man, became the writer (and now he’s currently writing the latest arc of the Star Wars monthly) while Salvador Larocca-also an X-men vet-was the artist.


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Following Vader screwing up both the Death Star *and* Cymoon-1, Palpatine is of course not pleased, and technically demotes Vader, placing him under the authority of General Tagge, the officer in Star Wars who warned Admiral Motti that the rebellion was no laughing matter. Turns out he left the station before it was destroyed (Which makes sense, as he doesn’t appear in that many later scenes along with other members of the DS council-Motti, Bast, and of course, Tarkin).


I can’t help but wonder setting up Tagge as a rival for Vader here was a nod to the old Marvel comics, where the Tagge family became a major thorn in Vader’s side. (Although in that continuity, now “Legends” Tagge died along with Tarkin and Motti on the Death Star).

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Image result for General tagge Marvel

Vader-somewhat unnerved by this and the Emperor talking with another agent-a man called Cylo with an alien eye and other enhancements-he heads to Tatooine, appearing before Jabba the Hutt much like his son would years later-in part, to request a deal for his resources as had been the intention on Cymoon-1, but also to gain two bounty hunters-Boba Fett and the Wookie Black Krrsantan-to aid him. Fett would try to find the identity of the boy (Luke) while Krrsantan would try to uncover what was up with the Emperor’s agent.

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Vader also takes the time to indulge in his favorite Tatooine past-time. No, not Podracing…

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Vader-not too pleased with servitude under Tagge and seeking to earn his way back into the Emperor’s favor, starts to work to undermine the “Grand general”‘s authority, using a pirate attack to frame Tagge’s agent….

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…As well as meeting some old Clone Wars enemies (although modified)

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Vader, impressed with the souped-up Droidekas, decides to find the woman who had modified and programmed them- Doctor Aphra, a former archaeologist and droid programmer (and now a lady with her own comic, but I’ll get into that a bit later).


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….but soon he’ll have to content with his rival for the Emperor’s favor-Cylo IV-and of course, certain personal revelations coming to him via Boba Fett very soon…

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Star Wars Comics history-Return of the Marvel Part One)

*Jumping ahead a bit here from the other Star Wars comics history, but don’t worry, I’ll get back to the many Dark Horse Star Wars comics eventually!*

In 2009, Disney studios bought Marvel.

In 2012, in a surprising move, Lucas sold the rights to Star Wars to Disney, launching new films (Of which we now have III). For over twenty years, Dark Horse comics held the licence to the comics, mixing post-ROTJ fiction with spin-off stories such as Crimson Empire and Rogue Squadron, as well as a great deal of prequel tales, with some of their continuity bleeding over to the films themselves (The blue Twi’lek Jedi, Aayla Secura).

However, by 2014 the licence shifted back to Marvel, along with much of Dark Horse’s canon relegated to non-canon status (or “Legends”) . Marvel’s initial line-up for the series was an ongoing monthly series, a 25 issue Darth Vader series that pretty much tied in with that series (A second Vader monthly was launched recently, but is set at an earlier time after ROTS, although “Doctor Aphra” continues the adventures of characters introduced in DV, although with fewer appearances by the Man in Black) and a rotating series of limited series focusing on a character, starting with Princess Leia.


For this article we’ll focus on the first few arcs of the ongoing monthly.


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The series was written first by Jason Aaron, well-known at Marvel for his X-men and Thor work. It was drawn by John Cassidy, who had a memorable run on Astonishing X-men with Joss Whedon.

The series begins with the rebels, fresh off the Yavin victory, heading towards Cymoon-1, an Imperial factory world, in order to destroy it. Han-not quite on the Empire’s most wanted list yet-tries to pose as an emissary of Jabba the Hutt, while Luke and Leia try to destroy the facility and also free Imperial prisoners at the same time. Unfortunately, the mission quickly goes south when Vader arrives, and Luke finds himself meeting his father in person for the first time. Except he doesn’t know it yet. Vader however, is kind of puzzled that the boy has his old lightsaber, although he does get a partial answer-that he was trained, in part, by his old friend turned enemy Obi-Wan.



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Before Vader can interrogate Luke any further, however Han literally crashes the party by commandeering an AT-AT. He also attempts to smoosh Vader with it, but Vader’s got an advantage…..

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Although he doesn’t get stepped on, Han uses the AT-AT’s blasters on him which knock his helmet off-and once Vader recovers, isn’t too happy about that and would rather not his face be shown. Scratch one Stormtrooper witness.

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Eventually, the factory is destroyed and the group escape, although this encounter leaves Luke and Vader with more questions about each other’s identity. Luke takes a leave of absence for the alliance, while Han and Leia go on a scouting mission of their own, but end up getting shot down by TIE fighters. Their unlikely savior? Solo’s “wife” Sana, although this in fact part of a con he had pulled years before.


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Meanwhile, looking for more answers, Luke goes back to Tatooine to see if he can glean anything from Obi-Wan’s hut (He does find a journal). However, Vader has also hired Boba Fett to capture him. Although he’s unable to capture the young jedi, he’s able to glean something else from one of Luke’s fellow Tatooine youths. A name: Luke Skywalker.


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These events sort of match up with the “Darth Vader” monthly, in which Boba tells Vader the name of the youth (I’ll cover the DV issues a bit later). Vader-shocked by this revelation and that the Emperor sort of lied to him, uses his force powers to crack a Star Destroyer window, and vows to not only make Luke his, but the Empire as well….

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