The Minimum Effort Ep.15: The Last Jedi

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This is it, the moment we’ve been waiting for for almost two years… The Last Jedi premiered last week and boy was it a big surprise!

Come and join Ben and Lewis as they discuss the film, consider its place in the franchise, and wonder how this will affect the future of Star Wars…

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You are NOT the Father!

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With The Last Jedi set to hit cinemas in just a few days, fans of Star Wars are excited to see what Rian Johnson and co have in store for us with the new movie. One of the chief plot threads set to be explored is the parentage of humble scavenger Rey- who are her elusive parents, and why did they leave her on Jakku? I will now take a look at a few of the many possibilities, and will rank them according to their likelihood (in this fan’s humble opinion, at least). 

 

1: Luke Skywalker and X 

At face value, this seems like the obvious answer. Luke, like Rey, is strong in the force, and both followed similar paths in A New Hope and The Force Awakens respectively. Furthermore, the Star Wars saga has always followed a Skywalker, and so it would make sense for the main character to be a Skywalker, right? Add in the fact that the Skywalker lightsaber called to Rey, and it seems like a slam dunk. Well, unfortunately it doesn’t seem that simple. For starters, it can be argued that Kylo Ren, the grandson of Anakin Skywalker, fulfils the role of lead Skywalker in this trilogy. Secondly, JJ Abrams has stated that Rey’s parents did not appear in Episode XII, and while he could be lying, I feel inclined to believe him at this time. Finally, it seems out of character for Luke to have both fathered and abandoned a child, even after the destruction of his new Jedi order (I’ll mention more on that later). It is clear that Luke recognises Rey on Ach’to, but for now at least, exactly why remains a mystery. 

Likelihood: 7 midichlorians out of 10 

 

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2: Han Solo and Leia Organa 

Another popular theory suggests that Rey is in fact a Solo, and the sister of Ben. There are strong narrative advantages to this theory- direct relatives fighting one another on opposite sides of the war is a tried and tested storytelling mechanic, with great effect. Futhermore, this would go some lengths to explain the apparent connection that exists between Rey and Kylo- both seem able to tease information out of the other, Kylo sees the ocean and the island (Ach’to?) in Rey’s mind, while Rey sees Kylo’s fear of not matching up to Vader. Another, often overlooked, bonus to this theory is that it does not require the introduction of any new characters, which allows it to be much cleaner in terms of plot threads and continuity. However, the big cross next to this theory comes from the canon novel Bloodline, set six years before Episode XII. A not-yet-fallen Ben Solo is mentioned several times, and yet there is no mention of another sibling at all, let alone one matching the description of Rey. Of course, it could simply be a lie of omission, but in that case, why not release it after the reveal, preserving the continuity? The way the scene between Han and Maz at her castle is framed makes it likely that Han knew who Rey was, but with the presence of Bloodline it seems unlikely that it is a familial connection. 

 

Likelihood: 4 midichlorians out of 10 (8 out of 10 without Bloodline)  

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3: Grandaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi 

My personal favourite theory, (if for no other reason than because Obi-Wan is one of my favourite characters) and one that took a big boost with the announcement of the Kenobi anthology film, this is one that requires a bit more explaining. The theory suggests that Obi-Wan had a child while in exile, who in turn had Rey. Supporting evidence comes from hearing the voices of both Alec Guiness and Ewan McGregor (who recorded new lines) in the lightsaber-induced vision, the only characters to do so. As it was Old Ben who owned the lightsaber for the longest, and then passed it on to Luke, his appearance in the vision appears to make sense. Furthermore, it allows a well recognised and beloved character to remain relevant to the new trilogy, and explains Rey’s accent in the Force Awakens (meanwhile fellow Brit John Boyega had to change his for the role). This theory also satisfies Abrams’ “not in Episode XII” comment, while also providing hints for the audience. However, even a staunch Rey Kenobi believer like myself has to admit there are flaws to the theory. Several new characters would have to be introduced, which would potentially make the subsequent films messy, and question marks would arise as to why Kenobi never mentioned a child. This theory does fit, at least from a certain point of view. 

 

Likelihood: 6 midichlorians of 10 

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4: Students of Luke’s Academy 

The most plausible of all fan theories, simply due to its flexibility, is that one or both of Rey’s parents were students in Luke’s new Jedi Order before its destruction. This would explain most of the main cast’s familiarity with Rey (at least after some coaxing), while satisfying the Abrams rule and avoiding many of the pitfalls of the theories above. This would explain some of the visions in the lightsaber vision, such as the Knights of Ren and Luke with R2-D2. Her parents would have likely been killed by Kylo and his gang, fulfilling Maz’s “prophecy” about them never coming back. The only flaw with the theory comes from Rey’s abandonment on Jakku (Why does everybody want to go back to Jakku?!). Once again, Bloodline puts a spanner in the works, however, as Ben’s fall to the dark side and the subsequent destruction of the new Jedi Order would have happened a minimum of six years before the Force Awakens, a long time after Rey arrived on Jakku (in the vision she appears to be a maximum of seven years old). It is possible that Rey’s birth was against the Jedi code, and that is why she was hidden away- but in that case, why not send her to somewhere a little more hospitable (Luke at least stayed with his family on Tatooine)? Overall, though, this is the most likely scenario regarding Rey’s lineage. 

 

Likelihood: 8 midichlorians out of 10 

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A lot of other theories have been floated around, such as Sabine/Ezra, Qui Gon/Shmi and Cienna/Thane (and recently Iden Versio, but as I havent played the new Battlefront yet I am unqualified to comment), but they largely all suffer from the same problem- a lack of familiarity to a casual audience. When my Nan eventually sits down to watch The Last Jedi, she is not going to have any idea who these people are, and perhaps quite rightly. As much as Star Wars is about its expanded universe, the main series films still have to be accessible to a more general audience. Even spin offs, such as Rogue One and the new Kenobi anthology are on thin ice in this regard. Someone shouldn’t be forced to do research to understand a major plot point- that’s simply poor storytelling, and LucasFlim and Disney undoubtedly know this. So, unless the character appears in a live-action movie, they’re not Rey’s parent. 

I hope you enjoyed my list- if you have any other theories or would like to fact check me, please leave a comment below! 

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back- It’s SO Good

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imageSo we’ve reached The Empire Strikes Back, arguably the best of all the entries in the Star Wars franchise, and definitely my favourite of them all. Much like Revenge of the Sith, this film was an attempt at a darker, slightly more serious continuation of the story of Star Wars, and boy does it really pay off. However, when it was initially released, people weren’t sure what to make of this tone, and it wasn’t widely recognised as the best of the trilogy until quite a few years later. I find this quite hard to believe, because it’s definitely the best directed and most well written of the three, but hey, I wasn’t there.

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You can really see that with a good script these films can be absolutely incredible. The story, the dialogue, and one of the most iconic moments in cinema history all combine to create a film that stands the test of time, and will forever be a part of pop-culture.

Anyway, like Ben with A New Hope, I’m going to have a hell of a tough time picking out some bad points about this film.

  • First of all, it’s a tenuous point at best, but the few scenes that really bug me in this film are introduced in the special edition changes. Every other change to this film is absolutely fine by me, but the establishing shots of Cloud City that were constructed with CGI stand out like a sore thumb compared to the practical sets. I have no problem with the idea to show more of the city, and in fact I like that we get to see more of it, but the execution of the idea is just pretty bad. In my book, if you can’t do it to a good standard, you might as well not put it in there, because all it does is detract from the film.
  • I have to say thank you to a friend who suggested that the characterisation of Boba Fett is lacklustre at its best. I’m so used to accepting that he’s just there to do a job that I always forget how little attention is really paid to him. As with Darth Maul, there’s a lot of wasted potential in the character of Boba Fett; a wasted potential that isn’t even remedied in Return of the Jedi which would be the best place to do it. Now, I know there’s the argument that the lack of characterisation is due to the fact that his mysterious nature is the key to his popularity, and I do agree with this to an extent, but they could’ve given him just a few more lines to reveal a little more about his motivations and character. They could even use these lines to create even more mystery and ambiguity around him, but hey, I can see why they did the things they did.
  • I personally don’t have any issues with the special effects of the original 1980 cut, and to be honest, that Yoda puppet is about a hundred-times more believable as a character than the CGI turd-pile they gave us in the prequels. Buuuuuuuuut… I guess some people MIGHT have a problem with the practical effects, as much as it hurts my heart to say it… and that’s all I’ll say on the subject, because they’re wrong.

This is getting really difficult now…

  • I’ll admit, the dialogue can be kinda melodramatic, and I think you’ll know what moment really does stick out the most; some line about something not being possible or something… anyway, the thing is, when you’re completely absorbed in this film, you don’t notice the melodrama, and it can even feel like the most natural line in the world when you’re committed to this world you’re seeing on the screen. Really though, it’s pretty over-the-top, but what part of Star Wars isn’t?

Right, that’s about all I can manage to think of in terms of bad points about this film. I’m very sorry that they’re weak in comparison to some of the points I came up with for the prequels, but I mean, when you hold up The Empire Strikes Back against the likes of The Phantom Menace, there really is no comparison.

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Ok, now let’s get on and dig into the good stuff. There really is a lot of it-

  • I’ve already spoken a little about the dialogue in this film, and I’ve already mentioned that the story is pretty damn good too, but I’d just like to expand on what why this script is one of the stand-out things that make The Empire Strikes Back For me, my love of the film definitely stems from the content of the script, and the great dialogue. It’s a much more personal story than A New Hope, all the stakes are directly related to the characters rather than the galaxy as a whole, and I think this allows for deeper explorations of their personalities and motivations. As well as this great characterisation, we aren’t force-fed much exposition at all, and we’re thrown into the action and tone of the film immediately, with the Battle of Hoth happening pretty quickly after a little adventuring with Luke and Han Solo. The entire Dagobah scene is one of my favourite moments of Star Wars, and don’t even get me started about Luke’s eventual confrontation with Vader, because I’ll be talking about that shortly…
    At its heart though, The Empire Strikes Back is a love story. We finally get to see Leia and Han’s relationship develop beyond some roguish flirting into a mutual affection for each other, with some pretty hilarious lines from Harrison Ford thrown in as a bonus.
    “I love you”
    “I know”

What a loveable dickhead!

  • Industrial Light and Magic reach an entirely new level of quality with the special effects of this film. I’m certain that most people went into the cinema thinking that they would never be able to do better than Star Wars: A New Hope, but boy were they proved wrong. Everything just looks so well put together and designed here, but despite this neatness of design, it still feels likes Star Wars, and still looks all beat-up and used when it counts. In particular, I’ve always been impressed with the effects used for the Battle of Hoth, which stand-up today with very little CGI enhancement. Another superb scene is the asteroid chase, which is just as fun and tense every time I see it. I have yet to spot the famous shoe though, so I guess I’ll just have to keep watching it…
  • The performances of the cast are at an all-time high here, which was probably made possible by the well written story and script, but I think credit where credit is due. It seems like they’re a lot more comfortable in their roles than before, and there’s a nice natural chemistry between Hamill, Ford and Fisher; Ford and Fisher in particular. Hats off to Mark Hamill for his interactions with Frank Oz performing Yoda too. It can’t be easy acting against a three-foot puppet, but he pulls it off very believably. I’ll just make a quick honourable mention of Billy-Dee Williams as well for playing the smoothest criminal the galaxy has ever seen.
  • Another move by the writers I have to acknowledge is the idea to use Empire to progress the characters’ relationships and create a conflict that would result in a very emotional and powerful finale in Return of the Jedi. The fact that the film doesn’t really have an ending is one that frustrated a lot of movie-goers, but it really isn’t an issue for me. Ending the film on a note of uncertainty and defeat is one of the things that makes Empire stand out from the other films in the franchise. We’re left with a lot of questions that we desperately want answered; it leaves us anticipating the conclusion of the saga.
  • Oh boy, the most iconic moment of the entire Star Wars franchise exists as the pivotal moment in this film. Even if you’ve never seen Star Wars you’ll know that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father from the countless pop-culture references and just general knowledge. This moment is such an icon of cinema that it’s almost become a part of the world’s collective consciousness; everybody knows it. The story goes that nobody but Mark Hamill, David Prowse and the writing/directing crew knew what the famous lines actually read. Everybody else was under the impression that the revelation was that Obi-Wan was the one who killed Luke’s father, rather than Vader (which is a pretty good twist in itself). As for the fight, rather than the twirly, over choreographed duels of the prequels, we see Luke in a far more realistic, almost desperate attempt to save his friends, avenge Obi wan, and not die in the process. It really is a one-sided fight, and it’s clear that Vader is just toying with him until Luke gets a lucky hit in, at which point Vader decides to end it, and try to bring Luke over to the dark-side. This is such a tense sequence of events, and the amount of emotion and substance in the fight is only rivalled by their duel in Return of the Jedi, but perhaps that’s a fight for Ben to discuss tomorrow…

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Again, I can only apologise for the lack of negative points here, but it’s honestly just that good of a film. I didn’t want to get pedantic and start picking out little details or subjective opinions, because they really don’t affect the overall enjoyment of the film. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this, and you can look forward to Ben’s review of Return of the Jedi tomorrow, followed by our review of The Force Awakens on Thursday.

It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan!

Lewis

Trailer Talks: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Ben: Oh my God! How amazing is the new trailer?

Lewis: Absolutely fan-fucking-tastic. It was a masterpiece in its own right.

Ben: It was incredible, I got goosebumps.

Lewis: I think I’ve watched it about ten times now, just so I can get chills all over again.

Ben: It was so well done; all three trailers have given us something new without giving anything away.

Lewis: Exactly, JJ Abrams is one sly sonofabitch; he knows what the fans want. I know it’s still just a piece of marketing, so it might not represent the finished product, but Jesus Christ I’m excited

Ben: I couldn’t agree more. Let’s talk favourite bits and predictions.

Lewis: Right, well, just to get it out of the way before we talk about the characters- being the flight nerd I am, the dogfighting scenes just blew me away, I can’t wait to see how they fit in the film.

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Ben: There were a lot of in atmosphere dogfights, which were incredible, but they haven’t given much space battle stuff away.

Lewis: No, and to be honest, I’m kind of doubting that there’ll be many of them. Most of the film seems to take place planet-side at the moment.

Ben: If any at all. Apparently the “Starkiller” is planet based, which would make any space stuff pretty irrelevant in what looks like a packed film.

Lewis: From the looks of it that second dogfight we see over a snowy planet is probably an attack they’re making on Starkiller base (it even has a trench and everything).

Ben: Very reminiscent of A New Hope.

Lewis: Indeed! But better to be reminiscent of the original trilogy than… you know…

Ben: Yeah, for sure. As for the music, the use of the slowed “Leia’s theme” was another thing that gave me chills.

Lewis: Best romantic theme ever composed, I just can’t believe how talented John Williams is…
But anyway, onto the characters. So it looks like Rey might be scavenging that downed Star Destroyer we saw in the teaser,

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and it looks like BB-8 might actually belong to her? Even though we saw him in Poe’s X-Wing in that dogfighting scene.

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Ben: The music was just fantastic. Yeah, is the film her story? Like how the original trilogy is Luke’s?

Lewis: I’m not actually sure at the moment, because Finn’s the one with the lightsaber, but my theory is that maybe she has it, but, during the fight with Kylo Renn, she drops it or is incapacitated, so Finn picks it up and tries to defend her? I don’t know, but I’d be inclined to say that she’s the focus of the story. Also, in the teaser we see a woman handing the lightsaber to someone who looks like Rey.

Ben: Yeah I am thinking a very similar thing. I want to know who the ‘you’ is that they are talking about when discussing the force choosing someone. With regards the Finn/Ren fight, Finn does look like he is shitting himself, perhaps he has picked up the lightsaber to protect someone else…

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Lewis: Yeah, his “holy shit I’m gonna die” face is what made me think along those lines too. As for the “you”, apparently the woman speaking is Maz (Lupita Nyong’o) who might be the resident of that fortress we see Han, Rey and Finn walking up to. So my money is inclined to be on her speaking to both of them.

Ben: Fair enough. Speaking of Han, he seems to be the guide for the two younger heroes this time.

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Lewis: Yeah, he’s definitely taking on the Obi-Wan role, which leads me to ask, is Han Solo the character lying on the ground who Rey is crying over?

Ben: I think it might be. Could that be why the metal hand reaches out to R2? If it’s Luke it could be a reaction to his best friend’s death.

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Lewis: Now that is an interesting idea, I hadn’t thought of that… there’s already been speculation that it’s a funeral. We also haven’t seen C3PO yet.

Ben: No we haven’t, we also haven’t seen anything of Max Von Sydow, who could also be the unfortunate person to die. It was also only in this trailer that we have seen Leia.

Lewis: I’d forgotten about him, but I’d be inclined to say that he might be on Jakku rather than the snowy planet. That embrace between Leia and Han was interesting, it was either an emotional reunion or they were comforting each other about something…

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Ben: Yeah that is a fair point, or is it their last moment together before the unfortunate event happens?

Lewis: Hmmmmm, there are so many possibilities it’s almost impossible to guess.
We haven’t talked about the first order yet, they had a lot of screen time this time around.

Ben: One last point before we get to them, it’s interesting how the Jedi and the dark side are legends already, Finn and Rey knew nothing about them.

Lewis: Well 30 years is a long time, and I guess it’s been 50 years total between the present time and the time of the Jedi council. Considering that Rey is on such a barren, outer-rim world, it’s quite believable that the Jedi would have passed into legend, and it doesn’t help that they were destroyed so swiftly. We don’t know that Finn doesn’t know about them though.

Ben: Well even in A New Hope the Jedi were fading into myth and legend. As for the First Order, they had an awful lot of screen time, which brings me to my one and only gripe; I am not the biggest fan of the voice used for Kylo Ren.

Lewis: Well, I assume he’s trying to emulate Vader, who he’s obviously obsessed with. Speaking of Kylo Ren though, we got a glimpse of a group of people who look like they might be the other Knights of Ren.

Ben: Yeah that makes sense, but it is something that could get on my nerves…
And they’re surrounded by dead bodies, I have heard that the Knights of Ren are a group of dark Jedi, but Kylo is the only one with a lightsaber (that we can see anyway).

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Lewis: I’m not sure about that, I think they aspire to be Jedi, but yeah, Ren was the only one with a lightsaber out.
That new super weapon they have looks pretty brutal, but I don’t think it’s going to be as powerful as the Death Star.

Ben: I think they are Dark Jedi, the boundaries between Light and Dark could have been blurred. Is that the Star Killer thing? I have heard people saying that is has to be operated from space.

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Lewis: That would explain why Kylo Ren is standing on the bridge of a Star Destroyer watching it. It looks pretty epic whatever it is/does. Is there anything else we’ve missed?

Ben: Only the torture of Poe Dameron, which is pretty dark for Star Wars, and the Mandalorian flag which could hint at a return for Boba Fett. There is probably loads we have missed, we could be here all day discussing it.

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Lewis: Yeah that was a really intense moment, I hope he gets out of it alright, although I’m inclined to say he does. And yes, there were actually rumours that Max Von Sydow will be playing an older Boba Fett, but I don’t buy that. It’d be really interesting to see an interaction between Han and Boba after 30 years though.

Ben: It was really intense, but is Finn getting him out of captivity when he is dressed as a First Order Stormtrooper?
Part of the brilliance of the trailer is that we still don’t know.
Yeah, I have heard that as well. It is a possibility, but how would Boba Fett fit in? I don’t want him squashed in just for the fan service.

Lewis: Mmmm, maybe they need help, and he’s the baddest motherfucker in the galaxy? I think that Finn is definitely a deserter, but apart from that I have no idea. I think we’re gonna have to cut it off here though, otherwise we’ll be here discussing it until the film comes out.

Ben: See he may well be a deserter, but he could actually be an infiltrator?
Yeah, I suppose everything will become clear in December, but one last thing; very little Luke, which is making me think that Finn and Rey finding him will be the climax, and he will be more heavily involved in the next two films.

Lewis: Well that forest planet set was in Ireland, which is where Mark Hamill was seen filming stuff, so he could very well only come into it towards the end if that planet is the film’s climax. I’m a bit worried they haven’t shown him though, because to me that means that he isn’t the way we remember him…

Ben: Perhaps he has become a Yoda like character? Or perhaps he has become scared of his own ability? Either way, I see it as realistic character development considering what has happened. Yoda said in Return of the Jedi for him to pass on what he has learned, if Luke passed on what he knew and the Knights of Ren formed, perhaps he exiled himself.

Lewis: That’s a very good point, I heard rumours that he’s exiled himself to guard an ancient Sith tomb. There’s no way to know for sure though.

Ben: We will find out in December, there’s not long to wait now.

Lewis: No it’s not long, but it’s still too long. I wish I could be cryogenically frozen until it’s released.

Ben: Well I am quite happy with the trailer, but I’m not going to do anymore reading around the film; the rest will be a complete surprise in December.

Lewis: I think that’s for the best. Who knows what might end up being leaked?

Ben: Exactly.

“The force is strong in my family”

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Ben: “Chewie…we’re home.” What did you think?

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Lewis: Oh man, I’ve watched this trailer over and over, every time I’ve seen it advertised I’ve watched it, and I literally don’t have anything negative to say about it. I was blown away. How about you?

Ben: I thought it was fantastic, in fact, I would be happy if that was the full trailer. Nothing major was given away, just enough to make me incredibly excited. However, if you watch the trailers they made for the prequels they’re pretty good as well… good enough to make Attack of the Clones appear watchable.

Lewis: Hey, let’s not ruin our expectations by talking about those… I have to say, I think that opening shot (on what I assume is either Tatooine or that Jakku planet they’ve mentioned) is one of the most incredible pieces of film I’ve ever seen. I just loved how much it looked like A New Hope… even the background scenery looked like a huge, brilliantly detailed matt painting, which I absolutely love.

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Ben: It is on Jakku, I don’t think Tatooine is in this one. I really liked the X-wing scene, it’s just one of the little things that show us that this film will take us back to what made us fall in love with the films in the first place. It will have the humour, action and story which 4, 5 and 6 had but which the prequels lacked.

Lewis: Yeah, it definitely looks like it has the charm of the original trilogy. I’m very interested in the Luke voiceover, and the scene where someone with a hood and robotic right hand is with R2. I think that’s Luke, but it looks like he’s either exiled somewhere or on a journey…

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Ben: I think it is Luke, I’ve read that he exiled himself following the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. There are so many fantastic bits in the trailer, including the return of Anakin’s original blue lightsaber being handed from person to person, with the “my sister has it, you have it” voice over.mysisterhasit And the melted Darth Vader mask is a cool appearance too.

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Lewis: I watched Mark Hamill’s talk at Star Wars Celebration last weekend, and he said that for the voiceover they took the Return of the Jedi quote audio and put a new recording of his voice underneath it, giving it that weird echo. It was pretty cool to hear how they did that. Yeah, obviously someone has managed to retrieve that lightsaber from Bespin, and as for the helmet, I heard a theory that someone might be collecting artefacts from the Civil War, maybe the new villain, Kylo Ren?

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Ben: perhaps inspiring his own face mask.

Lewis: Yeah, bloody wannabe (Joking, I quite like his design). There are also a few changes to the design of the X-wings, they look more like the original concept art now.

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Ben: The most noticeable change is the Storm/Chrome/Pilot troopers. But then, they needed some new troops after being killed by the Ewoks…

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Lewis: I doubt there was a huge increase in recruits after that incident… The Empire logo is very different too, so maybe this is a new, rising Empire? Instead of remnants of the old one.

Ben: There are still quite a few unanswered questions. Why are they still using Storm troopers? Why was a TIE fighter shooting Stormtroopers inside the hanger? That is why it is such a brilliant trailer, there are so many things we are yet to find out about.

Lewis: Exactly, and there are so many different explanations you can give, but who knows what’s really going on? I just loved the look of it, it felt like Star Wars should feel. There wasn’t a complete saturation of CGI, the acting in the teaser alone was awesome, and I reckon that this film is going to be everything the prequels should’ve been

Ben: I agree. Probably one of the best trailers I have seen for a long time.

Lewis: Yeah, take note, that’s how you make a worthy trailer. Just before we finish, did you hear the details about ‘Rogue One’?

Ben: I haven’t no, do enlighten me.

Lewis: This is all they’ve said so far, “A band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in Star Wars anthology film, Rogue One”. They also showed a little teaser trailer which just had Alec Guinness’ quote “For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times. Before the Empire” being spoken while a TIE Fighter flew over a jungle planet with the Death Star looming over it in orbit.

Ben: It sounds interesting enough, an interesting choice for the first stand-alone film anyway.

Lewis: Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see what approach they take, I hope it’ll be like a WW2 commando film where they have to get behind enemy lines to blow something up, but instead they’ll be stealing the plans to the Death Star.

Ben: I can imagine that is the route they would take. I honestly would have thought a Boba Fett film would have been the first one out though.

Lewis: Yeah, I guess a Boba Fett film won’t be out for a few years yet.

Well that’s that. I hope you enjoyed this review/reaction piece of The Force Awakens’ second teaser, and I hope it was a least slightly informative and entertaining. Are you as excited for the film as we are? Or has the trailer left you feeling a little underwhelmed? (If so, do you not even have a soul?)

Let us know what you think down below.

Thanks for reading, Lewis and Ben.

“I’ve got a bad feelin’ about this”

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self portraitI’m gonna cheat a little for this one, but I hope you can forgive me; it’s for a very good reason.

“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for”

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The ‘Star Wars’ franchise played a huge part in my childhood, and I don’t think it’d be wrong to say that it’s the same for a lot of children around the world. If I think back to my earliest memories, ‘Star Wars IV: A New Hope’ is the film that dominates them, and so it was probably one of the first films I saw as a kid. I remember watching it with my cousin and playing with our ‘Star Wars’ figures at the same time, re-enacting scenes and making new ones. This love for the franchise continued well into my teens, and I still look back on it with fondness and nostalgia. I said that I’m going to cheat a little for this piece, and I guess I am in a way. I’m going to put the original trilogy in one of my favourite film slots.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, this is surely heresy!

I can’t do this!

Yes I can, and I’m going to.

The reason why is simple. I’ve loved ‘Star Wars’ since before I can remember, and over the years I’ve liked each of the films more than the others at different times. So while ‘Episode IV’ might have been my favourite when I was five, ‘Episode VI: Return of the Jedi’ might have been my favourite when I was eight years old, and so on. My favourite at the moment is probably ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’, and to be honest, it’s probably going to stay that way. But it’s never been a constant for me, it’s always in flux, and so I shall be posting all three as a collective.

‘Star Wars’ is the epitome of 70s Sci-fi, created and partially written by George Lucas, it still sets the bar for all space-faring sci-fi that has come after it. Its technical aspects, special effects, and costumes were perfection at that time, and while the plot may seem cheesy or a bit too black and white for some people, it’s still a great watch, for both adults and children. It’s the modern equivalent of a fairy tale or myth, like the ‘Wizard of Oz’ was for the previous generation. The only difference is that this one is set in a science fiction world, while the typical myth or fairytale is purely fantasy. You could argue that it’s as much a fantasy film as it is a Sci-fi one though. It definitely has aspects of both within it…

I’m sure most of you know the plot of ‘Star Wars’, or at least know the basics, but I’ll give you a run-down just in case. The original trilogy follows the story of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and his journey to become a Jedi Knight and bring balance to the force. Along with him are Princess Leia of Alderaan (Carrie Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Chewbacca, and his ever-faithful droids R2 D2 and C3PO. This group, along with the rest of the rebels, are the heroes and heroines of this story. And then you have the Empire, a galaxy-spanning domain ruled by The Emperor, a Sith Lord, and his apprentice, Darth Vader (Voiced by the impressive baritone of James Earl Jones). There is a constant war being waged between the two sides, with the overwhelmed rebellion seeking to restore peace and democracy to the galaxy.

The films are essentially about the constant battle between good and evil, both within a person and on a much larger scale. Along with this deeper meaning there are countless action-packed battles, romantic encounters, and a glamorisation of space travel, which result in a nicely balanced set of films. They aren’t pretentious or too philosphical in any shape or form, and they most certainly aren’t just eye candy either. For me, the original trilogy is far superior to the prequels, since they don’t feel a need to dumb everything down, nor introduce a character purely for “comic relief” (you know who I’m talking about), although the Ewoks are cutting it fine.

Also, another point, lightsabers are frickin’ cool as shit, which is the only excuse anyone needs to love these films. Who didn’t want to be a Jedi when they were a kid? In fact, who doesn’t even when they’ve grown up? It’s such a cool concept that it’s hard to resist any kind of love for it. They’re essentially samurai warriors in space with mystical powers and laser swords. Again, you can’t say that that’s not cool.

So there you go, ‘Star Wars’ is on my list because it was a huge influence on my childhood and my love for the sci-fi genre. It’s also simply a great franchise, with a rich story and memorable characters who you’ll remember for a long time after you stop watching them every other day.

What?

I can’t have been the only kid who did that!

-Lewis