There’s nor big romance neither major creature character in The Last Jedi

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FIVE THINGS THAT ARE NOT IN THE LAST JEDI

A big, central-to-the-plot romance. For all the fan-fiction fantasies of “Reylo” (an imagined union of Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren) or “Stormpilot” (the same, for John Boyega’s ex-stormtrooper Finn and Oscar Isaac’s pilot Poe Dameron), [writer-director Rian] Johnson says that The Last Jedi offers “no one-to-one equivalent of the Han-to-Leia, burning, unrequited love. In our story, that’s not a centerpiece.”

A major creature character. Though, as mentioned above, The Last Jedi is rife with creatures, Johnson says there is no major non-human character akin to Maz Kanata in The Force Awakens or Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. “Most of the creatures are peripheral characters, but they’re throughout the entire film,” he says. […]”

Read the whole article at Vanity Fair.

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Jerome Blake played 7 characters in the Star Wars Prequels; here’s his story (CNET)

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“For the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, I talked to a man who knows a thing or two about that: Jerome Blake, who played no fewer than seven characters in the prequels.

The British actor remembers being “shell-shocked” when he first saw “Star Wars” in 1977 at the Broad Beach Shopping Center in Bristol. He saw it three times. So 20 years later, when makeup maestro Nick Dudman, with whom Blake had worked on 1997’s “The Fifth Element”, asked if he wanted to be in a new Star Wars film, the answer was obvious.

In “The Fifth Element”, Blake climbed inside a hulking alien Mondoshawan suit, which meant he was used to not being seen on screen. That was the case for “The Phantom Menace”, which called for many characters created from layers of makeup and prosthetics.

As preproduction raced toward the film’s 1999 release, Dudman and his team began by making a cast of Blake’s head to sculpt the necessary prosthetics. Blake soon became the go-to guy for donning rubber masks and becoming whichever characters were required: he played seven roles in “The Phantom Menace,” reprising some of them for “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” too. […]

Blake did secure several roles that required increasingly outlandish new faces. The hirsute Jedi Oppo Rancisis was surprisingly easy to assemble, as Blake simply donned a swimming cap covered in hair. But he had to sit for five hours in the makeup chair to transform into Orn Free Taa, a corpulent Twi’lek senator with a large floppy-eared look. After seeing the film for the first time, Blake bumped into makeup artist Mark Coulier, who made the prosthetic pieces (and also appeared in the film as a different alien).

“It’s a rum thing, isn’t it?” Blake said to Coulier. “Five hours of makeup for two seconds on the screen.”

Coulier replied, “Never mind five hours. It took me three months to make all the latex pieces.”

The prequel trilogy spanned a period in which computer-generated imagery began to seriously replace practical effects, with George Lucas’ movies at the cutting edge of digital trickery. In “The Phantom Menace,” the character of Jar Jar Binks and the vistas of Naboo and Coruscant were conjured digitally, but there were still plenty of physical sets and characters created with practical makeup.

“By and large, ‘Phantom Menace’ was quite a traditional type of filmmaking,” recalls Blake. “The sets were there — there really was a Galactic Senate with pods in it.”

But Blake witnessed the shift to digital firsthand. One of his characters, Mas Amedda, a lackey of the soon-to-be emperor, appeared in the Galactic Senate scenes in the first and last films in the trilogy. “Progressively you found yourself dealing with more and more green-screen material and less people,” Blake says. “By the time they got to do my bits on ‘Revenge of the Sith’ there was nothing there, it was just completely green-screened.”

Blake describes shooting as “a very calm process” with few problems rearing their head. “By the time [Lucas] got around to making those movies he had the best of everything — the best heads of department, best crew, everyone at the top of their game.” […]

Read the whole article at CNET.

“Jerome Blake played Mas Amedda in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and Revenge of the Sith. He also played Oppo Rancisis in Episode I and II, and Rune Haako, Mik Regrap, Horox Ryyder, and Orn Free Taa in Episode I.”

Source : Wookieepedia

Joseph Fiennes says he nearly played Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars Prequels

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“When it comes to his most memorable audition story, “The Handmaid’s Tale” star Joseph Fiennes has a really good one. As it turns out, it revolves around a key role in the “Star Wars” prequels.

In an interview with TheWrap, Fiennes was coy at first, not dropping the name of the film or its director, but provided enough clues to tip us off. (Waving your hands around like you’re holding a lightsaber isn’t exactly subtle.)

“I auditioned for a great director,” Fiennes said as he began his story. “It was whittled down after many auditions to myself and another fine actor who I was at that time at drama school with.”

TheWrap confirmed later that the actor in question was indeed Ewan McGregor. Fiennes and McGregor attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London around the same time.

Fiennes recalled moving forward to the next level in [The Phantom Menace] audition process and getting to audition in front of a director (yes it was George Lucas) and casting director Robin Gurland. After he was done, he went over to them.
Fiennes met somebody’s daughter at that time, “a lovely, delightful child,” he said. “Must’ve been around age five — and he introduced me, ‘this is Joe and he’s quite possibly Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

At first, Fiennes said he was honored.

“His daughter turned around and said ‘I don’t like this guy. He’s weird. I don’t like him.’ And that’s how my audition went,” Fiennes recalled.

And that’s how his “Star Wars” dreams came to a screeching halt. Of course, the role of the venerated Jedi master went to McGregor and the rest is blockbuster history.”

Check out the video at The Wrap.

 

“Joseph Alberic Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes (/ˈfaɪnz/; born 27 May 1970) is an English film and stage actor.

He is known for his portrayals of William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love (1998), for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, Sir Robert Dudley in Elizabeth (1998), Commisar Danilov in Enemy at the Gates (2001), and Monsignor Timothy Howard in the second season of the TV series American Horror Story (2012–2013). He currently stars in the drama series The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-present).”

Source : Wikipedia

 

“As a new watcher, Revenge of the Sith is my favorite Star Wars film” (Digital Trends)

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“Hi, my name is Keith Nelson Jr. I’m 29 years old and I have never seen a single Star Wars film.

That’s what I told my coworkers at Digital Trends a few weeks back. The air went out of the room. […]

For the last week, I was force fed all the Star Wars movies I could handle, and in the fanciest, most modern way possible. Yep. I succumbed to peer pressure, partially to shut my coworkers up, but also to finally find out what all the fuss has been about for the last 40 years. That’s right, 40 years: the first film in the Star Wars franchise was was released on May 25, 1977, exactly 40 years ago today. So to come to grips with this thing, I watched the series in the new modified machete order. It’s an overly complex, out-of-order way to watch the franchise, likely created by someone with too much free time … and who may or may not understand that all of this is fake.

I started with Rogue One, zipped through Episode IV and V (A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back) before rewinding time and hitting the two final prequels (Episodes II and III, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith), then Return of the Jedi (Episode VI). Finally, The Force Awakens during which I entered a state of delirium. We skipped The Phantom Menace (Episode I) because it was agreed the film is unnecessary torture. What is it with Star Wars fans and the order these movies are watched? I need a movie just to understand it all. […]

I’m going to get right to it: As a new watcher in 2017, Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is my favorite Star Wars film, and I’m ready to throw down Ron Burgundy-style fisticuffs to defend it — which I may have to do, judging by the reactions I’m getting.

How is a film with non-stop action, the most profound dialogue from George Lucas, and the saddest end to a lightsaber fight in Star Wars history not the best one? Revenge of the Sith has it all. Even Yoda, the character my friends and I joked was a geriatric, feces-colored ragdoll, had me imitating sword swiping in the air trying to will him to defeat the chancellor. The Empire Strikes Back, my second favorite of the bunch, has the more expansive scope and better talent, but Episode III has more fun. I like fun, don’t you? […]”

Read the whole article at Digital Trends.

Vanity Fair publishes its “definitive preview” of The Last Jedi

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“[…] The site of Rey’s Force Awakens encounter with Luke is Ahch-To, the [first Jedi] temple’s home planet, which bears a striking resemblance to southwestern coastal Ireland. Though their time on Skellig Michael was brief, the Last Jedi crew returned to the area for additional shooting on the Dingle Peninsula, a ragged spear of land that juts out into the North Atlantic. There, Johnson said, the set builders “duplicated the beehive-shaped huts where the monks lived on Skellig and made a kind of little Jedi village out of them.” Luke, it transpires, has been living in this village among an indigenous race of caretaker creatures whom Johnson is loath to describe in any more detail, except to say that they are “not Ewoks.” […]

Among Johnson’s inventions for The Last Jedi are three significant new figures: a “shady character” of unclear allegiances, played by Benicio Del Toro, who goes unnamed in the film but is called DJ by the filmmakers (“You’ll see—there’s a reason why we call him DJ,” Johnson said); a prominent officer in the Resistance named Vice Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern; and a maintenance worker for the Resistance named Rose Tico, who is played by a young actress named Kelly Marie Tran (and who is the sister of Paige, the character I witnessed in the scene with Poe Dameron). Tran’s is the largest new part, and her plotline involves a mission behind enemy lines with Boyega’s Finn, the stormtrooper turned Resistance warrior.

Rose and Finn’s adventure takes them to, among other places, another Johnson innovation: a glittering casino city called Canto Bight, “a Star Wars Monte Carlo–type environment, a little James Bond–ish, a little To Catch a Thief,” the director said. “It was an interesting challenge, portraying luxury and wealth in this universe.” So much of the Star Wars aesthetic is rooted in sandy desolation and scrapyard blight; it appealed to Johnson to carve out a corner of the galaxy that is the complete opposite. “I was thinking, O.K., let’s go ultra-glamour. Let’s create a playground, basically, for rich assholes,” he said.

Canto Bight is also where viewers will get their multi-species fix of gnarled aliens and other grotesque creatures, a comic-relief staple of Star Wars movies since Luke Skywalker first met Han Solo amid the cankerous and snouty inhabitants of the Mos Eisley cantina. The Last Jedi is dark enough as it is, so Johnson has made a point of infusing the movie with levity. “I didn’t want this to be a dirge, a heavy-osity movie,” he said. “So one thing I’ve tried really hard to do is keep the humor in there, to maintain the feeling, amid all the heavy operatic moments, that you’re on a fun ride.” […]

Fisher’s death doesn’t change anything about The Last Jedi except make it more poignant: the film farewell of both the actress and the character. But it does change Episode IX, for which, as Fisher hoped, a central role for Leia had been planned. Kennedy, Trevorrow, and the Lucasfilm team have been compelled to swing from grieving into pragmatic mode, working out how to reconceive the next film in the saga, which is scheduled to start shooting in January.

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Read the whole article and watch the other photos at Vanity Fair.

See the Cast of The Last Jedi on Four Exclusive Vanity Fair Covers

“Today, Vanity Fair debuts the cast of its follow-up, The Last Jedi, on four different covers, marking the first time we’ve released alternate Star Wars covers. Leibovitz’s full portfolio will be online Wednesday, along with our story on the making of the new film, written by David Kamp. The Summer issue of Vanity Fair will be on newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on May 31, and nationally on June 6. Readers in search of the full Vanity FairStar Wars experience, including all four covers, a commemorative poster, and early access, on May 24, to our digital editions, with lightsaber effects by Industrial Light & Magic, can purchase here.”

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Read more at Vanity Fair.