Star Wars: The Last Jedi-Full Trailer thoughts


The latest trailer-and poster-for The Last Jedi just debuted. Here’s some thoughts and speculation.


Ren smashing his helmet into the Imperial-style lights what appears to be a First Order elevator….explaining this shot….and why the helmet is smoldering.

Image result for Kylo Ren last jedi smashed helmet

Speaking of Kylo-who gets a lot of focus in this trailer-we also get this shot of him looking out at what appears to be a First Order hanger.

Vader looking out a window at something was of course used quite a few times in the trilogy and ROTS…



Image result for ESB Vader Star destroyer bridge

And the prequels even had a few nods to it:


Image result for Anakin's nightmare back

Although this is far from Kylo’s first rodeo with this thing.

Image result for Kylo ren windows

The new model walkers, the MT-A6. Curiously you can see what appears to be smaller walkers-which resemble more closely the AT-ATs (Although with some small changes in the middle and the head it seems). As well as Kylo’s shuttle floating above. One of the big worries about the film is that it might mirror EMPIRE in a similar fashion that TFA does with ANH. This is pretty much the biggest evidence that it might.

Rey doing some Jedi moves.

Luke looking amazed as Rey seems to be cracking the rocks under her….

….and her raw power scares him, something that didn’t happen before…. (and what’s that emblem on the floor?)

….when presumably his own Jedi training facility was destroyed. Also, we kind of know what happened to the flesh on his robot hand now.

Resistance capital ships, which resemble the Rebellion’s old ships-The Mon Calamari cruiser, an escort frigate and possibly a transport-the ship dying on the left there.

Ren’s personal fighter, the TIE silencer. Seems to spin a bit, a “neat trick” he seems to inherited from both his grandfather and his father.

Kylo about to fire on Leia’s ship, but hesitates. Also wearing what appears to be the Star Wars version of a band aid.


Leia appears to be using the force to attempt to reach out to her son.

Leia’s expression here definitely reminds me of when we first see her using the force in ESB (although a bit more focused). Looks like telepathy is the main force trait she seems to have. Due to Carrie’s death I don’t think we’ll see Leia with a lightsaber and levitating stuff though.

Image result for Leia ESB ending

Finn’s X-wing now seems to be equipped with a speed booster. Hopefully he’ll get more to do this time.

Finn fighting with Phasma using a riot weapon similar to the “Traitor!” Stormtrooper that used it against him in ESB. Phasma has some sort of spear, and it’s nice to know she’s getting her own action scene.

More of the space battles from the other trailer, although here we get a clearer look at the new First Order “Star dreadnought”.

Luke angirly telling Rey (“This isn’t going to happen the way you want it to!)

Some weird kind of crystalline wolf beings heading toward some kind of hanger on Crait, which seems to be one of the key locations of the film-it’s sand seems to kick up some red dust, which seems to have informed the look of the poster. Presumabely, some comic will reveal that it’s an old rebel base or something like that.

Leia looking a bit worried-perhaps about some upcoming battle?

Falcon evading some TIES, possibly on Crait judging by the crystalline/red stuff the planet seems to have.


Finn presumabely on his First Order infiltration mission. There doesn’t appear to be any sign of Rose, or his other mission on the “Casino planet” of Casio Bight in this trailer.

The first Order assembly, similar to their last assembly in TFA but also highly remiscent of the ROTJ scene of the Empire gathering for Palpatine’s arrival. Also, looks like the first Order’s version of the AT-ST in a few places, prominently on the right.



Snoke, in the flesh this time, lifting and using the force on Rey. Looks pretty painful for Rey.




And the trailer’s currently most talked about scene. Rey wondering what her part to play in all this is….and Kylo holding out his hand.




A light side redemption for Kylo, perhaps brought about by his hesitation to kill Leia? Or is it the other way around….a dark side fall for Rey? Or two shots just edited to give that impression somehow?


We’ll see, I suppose.

Curiously, the new poster seems to be somewhat similar to “Return of the Jedi”-with Luke in Vader’s spot, Rey and Ren sort of being similar to Luke and Han (Although Rey’s lightsaber is angled downward) Leia in pretty much the same spot (although more covered up!) and fighters on the ground on Crait instead of fighters in space. The poster also seems to put the good guys on the left (Rey, Chewie, Finn BB8, R2, 3PO and the bad ones on the right…(Ren, Hux, Snoke’s guards, the first order BB unit, and Phasma,with curiously, Poe on the right. Could another hero be heading down a dark path?

Image result for Last jedi new poster


Image result for Return of the jedi poster


Star Wars comics history-This ain’t no game

The Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic game, which came out in 2003, was an extremely popular action/RPG set in the ancient Star Wars universe where the Jedi and the Sith were both at the peak of their power, and frequently warred with each other, before the Sith decided to lay low for a millenia and adopt a more limited membership, which culminates in what we see in the films. The game utilized some more common Star Wars tropes than Tales of the Jedi did, with a sort of rag-tag group of characters-a few Jedi, but also a Chewbacca-like Wookie hero, a small astromech droid, a Mandalorian turned mercenary, and a “Hunter killer” droid whose persona is worlds away from C-3PO: HK-427. They hoped along their quest in a Millenium Falcon-esque ship, the Ebon Hawk (Even the name’s a bit similar) against the forces of Darth Malek, who like Darth Vader, is somewhat disfigured.


Image result for Knights of the old republic game

The game spawned one sequel, the “Sith Lords”, as well as a semi-third entry, “The Old Republic” MMORPG, which still continues to this day (and is pretty much the only continuing “Legends” continuity product for Star Wars allowed to continue by Disney)

In 2007, Dark Horse started a comic series that takes place between “Tales of the Jedi” and the first game, but is not really an “interquel” but more of it’s own thing, although with many links to KOTOR’s story.


Image result for KOTOR comic books

The main character, Zayne Carrick, is sort of a failing Jedi Padawan, who is apprenticed to “the covenant”, a sort of odd Jedi cult (although he-and the Jedi council-are unaware of this). The covenant envisions a prophecy where one of their padawans will somehow become a Sith Lord, and then kill their Padawans-all except for Zayne, who is framed for the murders when he stumbles upon them, and now must go on the run with criminal Gryph (a Snivvian “Snaggletooth” two ivory-skinned Arkanians-an eccentric old man named Camper and the younger, badass Jareal (also one of Zayne’s romantic interests), Rohlan Dyre, a Mandalorian who may not be all wha he seems  and a huge TL-1B. So your usual Star Wars cast of misfits. Zayne-despite the prophecy-is portrayed, like Luke is as first, as a little over-optimistic, naive and clumsy, but he has a good heart and finds his inner strength and skills.

Image result for Zayne carrick badass

Jareal largely follows the Leia archetype of a strong female warrior who also has a touch of royalty-and the force as well. A great deal of the second half of the series focuses on her backstory, and the beginnings of her romance with Zayne.

Image result for Jareal Knights of the old Republic


Image result for Gryph Star Wars

Gryph is sort of the series’s comic relief, a sort of rogue with a heart of gold, kind of what would happen if you mixed Watto from “The Phantom Menace” with Han Solo.


Aiding them in their quest is also Alek “Squint”, a Jedi apprenticed to a guy called the “Revanchist”.

Image result for Darth Malak squint

Alek’s fate is actually tied of course to this whole prophesy, and it’s easy for KOTOR players to figure out why (The name’s kind of a dead giveaway too):

Image result for Darth Malak and Revan

While the series deals a lot with it’s own characters, and the main “quest” is for the fugitive Kayne to prove he was not responsible for the crimes he’s alledgly committed, the series also deals with some other elements of KOTOR, such as the Coruscantish city planet of Taris:

Image result for Taris KOTOR comics

….and the start of the Mandalorian wars, a huge conflict in which the Republic fought these warriors, whose armor of course is related to a certain bounty hunter….

Image result for Mandalorian war old Republic comics

Image result for Boba fett

The series also delves a bit into the past of Saul Karath, KOTOR’s “Tarkin” analog:

Image result for Saul Karath comics

As well as Carth Onasi, a crucial member of your party in the game.

Image result for Carth onasi comics

The origin of the Rakghoul plague from the game are also covered in the “Vector” crossover, which linked the different eras of the series together around an ancient Sith talisman and a Jedi Knight.

Image result for Star Wars vector crossover rakghouls


Like KOTOR in a way explained some of the history of Tatooine-at least where the Sandcrawlers came from-the KOTOR comics did something similar with the “Space slug” seen in Empire Strikes Back, in a storyline dealing with Camper and Jareal’s past.


Image result for Star wars kotor issues space slugs

Eventually, Zayne’s name is cleared and the Jedi masters either killed, exposed, or weakened. It’s strongly implied one of them becomes Lord Sion, the Sith Lord from the KOTOR II game, although the continuity doesn’t really match up.

KOTOR wrapped up after 52 issues in 2010, with most of the characters having a happy ending. A short mini-series prologue, “War” dealing with Zayne and co. involved in the early stages of the Mandalorian war, came out in 2012, on pretty much the eve of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, with the license shifting from Dark Horse back to the now Disney-owned Marvel fully in 2014.

Although the KOTOR continuity is no longer part of the “canon”, John Jackson Miller-the writer of the comic series-continues to write Star Wars novels and comics. In fact, he wrote the very first novel set in the revised continuity-the “Rebels” prequel, New Dawn.


Image result for A New Dawn Star wars



Star Wars comics history-A Tale to Tell

Around 1999, Dark Horse debuted an anthology Star Wars series, which would feature multiple Star Wars stories from a variety of creators. While some were serious, others played a bit more with the continuity and visual style-including, most memorably perhaps, Peter David’s “Skippy the Jedi Droid”, which had “Red” (R5-D4) malfunction on purpose, as he was in fact a droid jedi who knew the importance of R2’s mission. For the most part, the series was released quarterly (4 times a year), and given the usual “annual” size of 64 pages. Each issue would feature a few short stories, although they were occasionally serialized stories as well.


Or “A Death Star is Born” by Kevin Rubio …

Image result for Death Star is born

Which-with it’s send-up of the Imperial logo-seemed to predict Star Wars’s eventual ownership.

Others took a more serious approach, but were still a bit ‘out there’-one tale implying that Vader did, in fact, recognize C-3PO and practically gave him over to Chewbacca to fix.

Or the Vader/Darth Maul confrontation (Maul being resurrected by a group of Monks) or something like that (Vader impales his own cyborg body to kill Maul again).

One of the more inventive stories has the Millenium Falcon somehow jump from hyperspace to crash-land on  Earth after a deadly space battle, with Han dying-Chewbacca however, lives on from the point of “A Long Time Ago” to the middle of the twentieth century, creating the legends of sasquatch….one that’s eventually investigated by Indiana Jones, of course Harrison Ford’s other most famous role. There’s a nice nod here to the old Indiana Jones “Fate of Atlantis” comic and Adventure PC game, while Indiana saying the skeleton looks familiar somehow is also a nice touch.


Others fit a bit more easily into continuity, with an early issue having Vader confront the “Dark Woman” a mysterious Jedi master who also appeared in various issues of the Prequel-Era Star Wars monthly (Later called “Republic”)

Image result for Vader vs the dark woman

It also didn’t shy away from using popular EU characters such as Mara Jade, former Imperial agent who eventually becomes Luke’s wife….

Or Kyle Katarn, mercenary turned Jedi knight featured in a series of video games, featured in a “New Jedi Order” era story.


The series wrapped up in 2005, with the serial “Nomad”, a revenge tale about a mercenary who tracks down a dark jedi.





Star Wars Comics History-Age of the Empire

While it was currently running the prequel-era “Republic” comics, Dark Horse also began a second monthly, featuring events during the Original trilogy era.


The series started with the Betrayal arc, in which a series of Grand Moffs-who don’t like being ruled by two Sith Lords-try to organize a coup against the Emperor and Vader. Of course, it doesn’t quite go well.

Image result for Star wars betrayal

The arc also introduced-and quickly got rid of-Grand Moff Tractha, who like Vader has Cybernetic replacements; however, he later showed up in the “early Empire” story Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison, and even got a Hasbro figure.


After a brief interlude with Princess Leia (“Princess, Warrior”) taking place slightly before “A New Hope”, and a Boba Fett issue by the team who wrote his one-shots “trilogy”, we’re given the second major arc with “Darklighter”.

The comics largely detailed the backstory of Biggs Darklighter, an old friend of Luke’s, who dies on the Death Star trench run.

A lot of Bigg’s role and backstory in the movie was deleted (although one scene was restored for the special edition). In older cuts, Luke actually appears far earlier in the movie, spotting the space battle overhead and running to tell his friends, including Biggs who is on leave from the Imperial academy. The two get to have a talk, in which Biggs confides in him that he’s joining the Rebellion.

The comic builds heavily on not only this, but also Bigg’s short career as a TIE fighter pilot, with the artistic choice to make the helmet translucent to better show the emotions of the characters. The issues with the Darklighter aren’t actually sequential (perhaps due to the time needed to finish the detailed art) and were broken up between standalones.

After two more standalones-one featuring a Stormtrooper on the Death Star, and another revealing what happened to Vader after his TIE went out of control at the end of the film, we get another new arc after the Darklighter issues finally finish.


The next arc deals with an Imperial batallion dealing with a large group of hostile, flatworm-like “Anamamen”

Image result for Janek Sunber to the last man

Represented in the films by this kin of creepy guy.

They’re led by Janek Sunber, whose story also ties into Luke and Biggs…

After this arc ends we get a short interlude with Vader targeted by the Faleen, an alien species who’s homeworld was messed up by Vader (This also ties into the Shadows of the Empire storyline).

What follows are a few adventures with Han, Leia, and Chewbacca, one in particular introducing the character Deena Shan, who plays a significant role in the final arc of the series.


The next major arc-after a Boba Fett standalone and a two issue-story where Luke recruits a former Clone trooper into the alliance-we get “In the Shadows of their Fathers”. This is a sequel to the “Battle of Jaabim” arc, with the Jaabim rebels not being too pleased with how things went down during the Clone Wars, where another man by the name of Skywalker abandoned them. It’s got some pretty cool covers…


Image result for In the shadows of their fathers 

It ends with Luke leaving the planet, but somewhat unsettled by what he’s learned, that his father might not have been the great hero he thought he was, and  that Obi-Wan was ‘killed’ on the planet. He wonders what Ben was keeping from him…

The final arc is “Wrong Side of the War”, where Luke, Deena, and other rebels go undercover in Imperial outfits as part of a rebel infiltration and strike force. However, things don’t go quite smoothly. Deena falls in love with an Imperial officer during the mission, and Janek Sunber shows up, and recognizes Luke. We learn that Janek is in fact, Luke’s old buddy “Tank”-mentioned in Star Wars as having left like Biggs did to join the Empire, but unlike Biggs, he didn’t join the rebels….he recognizes Luke, but only as his old friend, who he’s convinced also joined the Empire, not knowing that Luke is a rebel hero. Of course, Luke’s true allegiance is finally figured out-but Sunber is reluctant to join the alliance, as he believes in the Order of the Empire.


The storyline continues in the sequel series “Star Wars  Rebellion”, which I will cover in the next article.



Star Wars: The Last Jedi Sizzle reel thoughts *potential spoiler warning*

Although we didn’t get a full trailer yet as of this posting., we did get something almost just as good for the film-a Sizzle Reel. (Previously, The Force Awakens and Rogue One had these as well, and Lucasfilm did release several BTS materials for the prequel trilogy prior to their release) Here’s a few observations. Although a lot of this is speculation, some of it is based on rumors circulating around the internet, so there are some potential spoilers.


Early on, we see some red material exploding. I’m guessing this is some of the salt on the planet seen in the trailer or something, and not a person exploding into a bunch of guts. Star Wars is still PG-13 after all!


Plenty of shots of Rey in her new look.


Chewie, but looks like he’s in a fighter far too small to be the Falcon.





A character in some sort of gun pod, similar to those seen on The Millenium Falcon and the Republic gunships in the other films. I think this is Veronica Ngo, and the character she’s playing is Paige, Rose’s sister and fellow resistance member. Rose is pretty much a new main character, introduced in this film perhaps as how Lando became part of the gang in the second.


We also get what looks to be a somewhat similar outfit on a character falling into a group of spheres (Could be Paige as well). Knowing how Star Wars uses spheres so often, these could be anything, really.

Speaking of Rose, it looks like she’ll be in the Finn/Poe/BB8/Leia part of the story (Which might meet up with Rey and Luke’s at some point). Here they appear to be in a medbay, perhaps where Finn is recovering from his injuries sustained in his fight with Kylo Ren.


It also looks like Finn and her go undercover on some First Order vessel. Dressing up as the bad guys is something that of course goes back to the very first film, and was recently repeated in Rogue One. I guess Finn’s defection hasn’t reached whatever ship or installation they’re infiltrating (There’s a rumor that this scene also involves Tom Hardy in a cameo).


Speaking of Finn, looks like he gets a haircut and a flight suit similar to Paige’s-and what appears to be a new haircut (possibly trimmed to accommodate First Order officer regulations?)


Given Finn’s skills as a gunner in both the TIE fighter and the Falcon, I’m guessing they’re building that up as a trait for his character.


After the positive reaction to the “Traitor!” Stormtrooper in TFA, looks like the First Order’s got some new melee weapons for the troops. Looks pretty nasty.



Interesting shot of Leia here, possibly on Luke’s planet, finally reuniting with her estranged brother?



We also get these guys, rumored to be among the local wildlife on Luke’s planet.


Also a good view of the “Space horse” Finn’s rumored to ride, and one spotted on set.



Looks like Ren’s managed to get his mask back back on although if the trailer’s any indication he’s going to break it at some point.


Here’s Laura Dern’s admiral apparently meeting with Leia. It’s unclear what side Holdo’s on. It’s possible she’s part of the Republic, and she’s trying to re-organize the fleet after the destruction of Hosnian prime.



Benicio Del Toro. He’s rumored to play “DJ”, a character with underworld connections possibly on a rumored “Casino planet” Leia and co. visit (and possibly meet with Holdo).


What looks like a tiny dealer at the Casino planet. Reminds me a bit of Colonel Gason from the “Clone Wars” cartoon, who was also very small, but many of the features seem a bit too different for it to be the same type of species (Maybe a distant relative, perhaps)



Luke in a new outfit, perhaps preparing to leave his exile is the bag’s any indication.


Here we’ve got Poe in what appears to be an A-wing. In recent comics and novels, it’s  revealed that Poe’s mother piloted an A-wing at Endor (and nearly shot down Luke’s shuttle to boot!) Or it could be the thing Chewie’s piloting.



Speaking of A-wings, here’s a blue one….


Although of course not exactly the same, the look kind of reminds me of Ralph Mcquarrie’s concept art for the A-wing:


A shot of what looks like Hux or another First Order officer in a landspeeder that looks part Batmobile.



Star Wars Comics History: Begun, this Clone War has-Anakin and Obi-Wan

(Thought I’d skip ahead a bit in the comics history thing, as Quinlan Vos alone is enough material for a few posts which I’ll work on somewhat later).

The Clone Wars is, of course, the three-year war that took place between “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith”, laying the seeds for Emperor Palpatine’s conversion of the Republic into the Empire and “Order 66” the purge of the Jedi Knights…..also of course, the birth of Darth Vader. It’s a topic covered in various Star Wars media, especially the “Clone Wars” animated series that ran from 2008-2013. The comics and novels paint a somewhat different picture of the war and it’s timeline, one that struggled to fit in with the continuity of the cartoon series until it was decided the CG series would be the only ‘canon’ account of the war.

The Clone Wars issues of Star Wars Republic (Which it was renamed as) mainly began with issue #50, with Obi-Wan and Anakin. (#49 is set after AOTC as well but features Quinlan Vos, which I’ll deal with in a later article) This issue, which was extra-sized and included three stories (all set during the battle) was also the debut of the elite ARC troopers, including the character “Alpha” who would later become the inspiration for Captain Rex in the CG series.

Alpha would also accompany Obi-Wan and Anakin to the moons of Naboo (Home of “disgruntled spice miners” as Mace Windu put it at the beginning of “Attack of the Clones”), where Anakin and Obi-Wan first meet Durge, who before General Greivous and Cad Bane, was considered the main major Clone Wars villain next to Asajj Ventress….and he’s literally next to her on the cover to #52.


Ventress, long before her cartoon appearences, first appeared in these comics, although technically her design goes back to ideas for an AOTC sith lord….a concept ultiametly realized in her commander, Count Dooku.


This stories’s strangest thing? Zombie Gungans (although they’re mainly just puppeted by Ventress’s force powers). They were wiped out by a deadly virus that the seperatists want to use on Naboo itself, and stopping it is of course a priority for Anakin, for obvious reasons.

The next arc (after a Vos issue and an Obi-Wan solo in which he’s the sole survivor of a Jedi mission) takes the two Jedi to Jaabim, where a fierce battle is being fought. The Republic however has a nice new toy:

Obi-Wan however is presumed dead during the battle, and Anakin is put in charge of a group of “orphaned” Padawans.

They fight fiercely, but ultimately all end up dying except for Anakin, who orders the Republic retreat in part to of course, save his star future pupil. As Anakin reluctantly leaves, he learns a sort of “handy” skill with the force to keep back an angry Republic partisan; one that would become one of his trademarks.


Anakin’s actions here would prove to haunt his son later on, in a sequel story in the “Empire” comics.

Still presuming Obi-Wan to be dead, Anakin is next teamed up with the one Jedi he’d rather not be: The one raised by the Tuskens.

For obvious reasons, of course.

After a mission, Anakin nearly lashes out at A’shared Hett. Hett calms him a bit by revealing his true face, and Anakin admits to Hett his secret about killing the Tusken village. In a haunting ending, when asked if he’d do it again, Anakin replies plainly: “Yes”.

Of course, given what happens to Krayt later on, this is kind of ironic….he pretty much revives the Sith and restores the Empire, undoing a century of peace, in the “Legacy” comic series.

The next arc features Obi-Wan and Alpha-who are actually alive, escaping from Ventress’s dungeon (Anakin in the meantime is apprenticed to Ki-Adi-Mundi, who we learn lost his family in the war). This arc also revealed much of Asajj’s backstory.


The next arc to feature Anakin and Obi-Wan draws closer to “Revenge of the Sith” with Anakin knighted and with new, longer hair. They team up with Quinlan Vos, (Sort of, as he’s sort of a double agent for both sides; it’s complicated) He’s also sporting the Azure Angel, the custom starfighter patterned in part on his old Pod Racer, and which also featured heavily in the original Clone Wars cartoon.

(In “Canon” Anakin would just have a yellow Jedi starfighter, both AOTC and ROTS versions, although a Jedi starfighter with a similar color scheme shows up in ROTS, but not piloted by Anakin, but by Plo Koon)

The arc also features Captain Dodonna, a character who would later give command a very critical operation (although on the opposite side of things):

The arc features the Dreadnoughts, powerful ships that play a significant role in the post-ROTJ Thrawn trilogy.


The arc ends with things sort of settled and everybody on Coruscant, with Palpatine gaining a new fleet of warships. However, Ventress shows up, discover’s Anakin marriage, and the two duel-with Ventress’s blade creating the scar we see him sport in ROTS.

Of course it’s the first of many, many more.

Anakin believes he’s killed Ventress after their fight, but in fact she’s rescued by Dooku.  In the series “Obsession” Obi-Wan becomes obsessed with finding Asajj Ventress. He also pretty much lands on Naboo to find Anakin and Padme, but he just shrugs it off a bit, not bothering to report it to the council (It’s sort of implied in both AOTC and ROTS he knows what’s really going on, but has enough respect for Anakin to not make a big deal of it). Smooth move Obi-Wan…and they thought Jar-Jar was responsible for the Empire.


In the comic Anakin also shows some more ruthlessness, by dropping the character Durge into an escape pod and throwing him into a sun, killing the seemingly immortal bounty hunter. So much for “It’s not the jedi way”.

The comic ends with a showdown on Boz Pity (Thanks to some help from Bail Organa), with General Greivous unleashed, killing Jedi council member (and star of the Jedi starfighter game) Adi Gallia. (In the cartoon, she dies at the hands of the ressurected Darth Maul and Savaj Opress; also, a look-alike character, Stass Allie, is killed during the Order 66 montage. Explanation? They’re cousins).


IIRC Adi Gallia was killed by Maul and Savage, so who gets gunned down by the clone troopers on the speeders in RoTS?

Eventually Ventress has a last-minute change of heart, and apparentally dies going to the light side. Plus she leaves a little hint as to the Sith’s next plot.

However, plot twist-she’s actually not dead, and commandeers a medical frigate to parts unknown, but just as far from the war as she possibly can.

What happens next in “Legends” continuity is either this:


or this:

As they both kind of have somewhat contradictory views of the events leading straight to Sith.

Star Wars: Han Solo and the history of troubled Star Wars production

It’s been recently announced that the directors of the Han Solo film, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, have left the film. While the details are a bit sketchy, it seems to have mostly come down to creative differences between Lucasfilm and the two directors (Seen manning the controls here alongside the cast)

This isn’t of course the first time this film has suffered director problems-Josh Trank was apparentally part of the project up until mid-2015, during the highly publicized turbulent release of his “Fantastic Four” film.

Reportedly, this is because Phil Lord and Miller-whose main experience is directing family (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs) and comedy films (The 21 Jump street films) were making the film too much of a comedy, and Kathleen Kennedy and Lawrence Kasdan-who fleshed out Han’s character as co-writer of The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens-wanted the matter to be taken more seriously, arguing that while Han’s provided moments of comic relief, it’s been in a more sarcastic way.  I’m actually kind of with Kasdan on this.

“I grew up here, you know.”

“You’re going to die here, you know. Convenient.”


Although this of course isn’t the first time there’s been production issues with the films, or sudden departures-although I’m pretty certain the films haven’t fired directors before-perhaps because George Lucas directed four of the original six films (Despite a few fans wanting him to step aside after TPM disappointed them)-mainly removing himself from ESB and ROTJ largely because A New Hope was a tough shoot, with Lucas not even sure the film would do well, problems with the special effects, the tough filming in Tunisia etc..


Empire Strikes Back suffered quite a few problems during production as well.  Difficulty with the sets, such as the Dagobah set with stunk, the very cold filming in Norway….

and perhaps most troubling of all was the Carbon Freezing chamber set where two key scenes were set (Han being frozen and the first part of the Luke/Vader duel), which had the very loud pistons fire at the wrong time, numerous dialogue rewrites, and was pretty hot too.

The film went largely overbudget, and it’s been speculated by many that this is why producer Gary Kurtz left the series (Although Kurtz says it’s more to do with creative differences with Lucas)


“Return of the Jedi” went a little smoother, as did the prequels somewhat, although there were some problems with TPM’s production (sandstorms, for one)  and Lucas disagreeing visibly with his team (Most notably ILM’s John Knoll). Much of this was shown in The Beginning, a documentary released around the time of TPM’s DVD release-footage from which is often used by internet critics on youtube to help dissect what went wrong.

The main problem was mainly with the actors, most notably Ralph Marsh (Pilot Ric Olie) and Terrance Stamp (Chancellor Valorum) who expressed pretty damning opinions of Lucas’s directing after the film came out. There were also rumors of on-set disputes with arguably two of the most successful actors from the films, Liam Neeson and Natalie Portman.


Even under Disney things haven’t been 100% smooth. Michael Ardnt was the initial writer of Force Awakens, but was also let go (He didn’t seem too sad about it, though)

Image result for Michael Arndt

And of course there’s the on-set accident which badly hurt Harrison Ford’s leg (as demonstrated by Harrison on the Tonight Show).


And Rogue One had some highly publicized reshoots, including a great deal of the scenes shown in the initial teaser trailer-although it at least kept it’s director.


And of course Carrie Fisher’s recent passing has radically reshuffled plans for Episode 9, set to film fairly soon as the finishing touches are put on “Last Jedi”. Although not the only person to die while working on a Star Wars production-Leigh Brackett for instance died while writing The Empire Strikes Back-she was reportedly going to be center to the plot of 9, perhaps with Leia’s relationship to Kylo Ren.

So now, things remain a bit frozen while the search for a new director takes place, possibly with Ron Howard (Who worked with Lucas behind and in front of the cameras with “American Grafitti” and “Willow”)…but right now, things remain….frozen like a certain scoundrel…..

But hopefully soon the Millenium Falcon will fly again 🙂