Robot Chicken creator says Lucasfilm is far less willing to collaborate since George Lucas left

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From Screen Rant:

“One of Robot Chicken co-creator Matthew Senreich’s favorite things to parody on the long-running Adult Swim sketch show is Star Wars, which was fully supported by Lucasfilm guru, George Lucas, when the show started out. When Lucas sold his multi-billion dollar company to Disney in 2012, however, things changed a bit for Robot Chicken, and now it’s not as easy for the series to do Star Wars specials as it once was.

Speaking with Screen Rant at SDCC 2017, Senreich admitted the Star Wars stuff is “closest and dearest to his heart,” and it shows. […]

When asked how it was so easy for the show to have access to the Star Wars canon, Senreich replied:

“Because it was just one guy: George Lucas. He saw our show and he was the one to approach us, like, “What do you guys want to do with us?” It started a multi-year relationship. When he sold the company to Disney, it changed the relationship… It comes down to corporations playing with each other. As much as we know those people, and they like us and we like them, we are dealing with billion dollar companies that could care less what we think and how well we know each other.”

Senreich said that they will still poke fun at Star Wars, just in a shortened version – at least, for now:

“For a regular episode of the show, it’s parody so it’s no different from say Saturday Night Live making fun of any of these properties. But to do a full episode of an actual property, we would need the agreement of that company.””

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Prequel basher Wil Wheaton is now an official Star Wars writer


As a reminder:

“George Lucas ruined Star Wars with the Star Wars Prequels, specifically a little movie called The Phantom Menace”


Wil Wheaton is “an American actor, blogger, voice actor, and writer. He is known for his portrayals of Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me, Joey Trotta in Toy Soldiers as well as Bennett Hoenicker in Flubber.” (Wikipedia)

John Powell to Score Untitled Han Solo Movie

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From StarWars.com:

“Composer John Powell, who may be best known for his memorable soundtracks to the Matt Damon Bourne series, ShrekKung Fu Panda (1 and 2), and How to Train Your Dragon (1 and 2), will be lifting the baton to score the upcoming young Han Solo movie, due in theaters next year.

Powell, a London native, has written music for dozens of films since moving to the US in 1997, earning an Academy Award nomination for his stirring score to How to Train Your Dragon.  Powell is only the third composer to be welcomed into the exclusive family of Star Wars live-action music writers, which includes the legendary John Williams (the eight Skywalker saga movies) and Michael Giacchino, who scored last December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The untitled Han Solo movie will be scored in the style of the original Star Wars movies but retain Powell’s distinctive voice.”

Inverse: “The Phantom Menace is a much better film than Valerian”

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From Inverse:

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is a much better, more coherent science fiction film than Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. While both films are burdened by wooden dialogue, bad acting, and fake, goofy aliens, The Phantom Menace has a bunch of mandatory cinematic assets Valerian doesn’t: a story, characters, and stakes you actually care about.

We make this comparison because, in many ways, The Phantom Menace and Valerian are the same movie. So much so, that, in fact, you could argue that Luc Besson actually ripped off George Lucas. Both feature a pair of special agents dispatched by a crooked space government to try to get to the bottom of some corruption that is actually caused by their government. Valerian and Laureline ’s investigation isn’t thematically any different than Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s. It’s just that the subtly of Palpatine’s manipulation of the senate is actually way more interesting and realistic than Commander Arun Filitt (Clive Owen) trying to cover up the murder of the pearl aliens who clearly escaped from the planet Pandora.

Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s relationship is also more interesting and creative than Valerian and Laureline. In the latter, it’s just about some guy claiming he wants to marry someone who isn’t as keen on the idea. But, in The Phantom Menace, the partner dynamic is deeper.

Obi-Wan is more by-the-book than Qui-Gon, even though he’s younger. This smartly inverts the cliché of a young hothead who doesn’t listen to his teacher and instead puts the fussier, more conservative man in the youthful role, while the maverick uses his looser approach as a teaching tool. It’s all about whether or not someone is ready to do stuff on their own, to strike out and become independent, and what it means to be wise. […]

Functionally, Valerian is the Jar Jar Binks of his own movie. The scene in which this supposed crack agent infiltrates a marketplace in an alternate dimension plays out as slapstick comedy. Valerian bumps into people and knocks shit over. His hand is “comically” bouncing around in an alternate dimension by itself. Fans of Jar Jar must have loved this stuff: It’s exactly like when Jar Jar pisses off Sebulba in the Tatooine marketplace, only not as funny. Jar Jar was funny. […]

Points for The Phantom Menace here only because Qui-Gon Jinn gets to drop that cheesy “there’s always a bigger fish” line, which Luc Besson just wished he’d written.

In Valerian, there is literally nothing to care about. The two leads seem unrealistic, the conspiracy perpetrated by Arun Filitt is so obvious, and the pearl aliens are so generic that they they seem like set dressing. At least in The Phantom Menace the Gungans were weird and not remotely sexual. In Valerian, the pearl aliens feel like they’re market-tested to be appealing to creeps. […]

The Phantom Menace smartly had a deadly assassin named Darth Maul chasing Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon throughout the film. Sure, Arun Filitt had his killer robots in Valerian, but they didn’t really seem dangerous. The deadliness of Darth Maul is proven in the final scenes of The Phantom Menace when Qui-Gon Jinn is stabbed to death. When are you worried about anyone in Valerian? Is Arun Filitt’s corruption as scary as Palpatine’s political deftness? As scary as a dude with horns in a black hood?

Even if you’d never seen a Star Wars movie, in The Phantom Menace you could recognize creative character dynamics, interesting plot developments, and stakes which made you care about the characters. Valerian lacks all of those qualities and can only compete with The Phantom Menace in the visual effects category.

But, again, The Phantom Menace wins, if only because it has lightsabers and Valerian doesn’t.”

3 science journals have accepted a spoof paper about midi-chlorians, which contains the tragedy of Darth Plagueis

 

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From Neuroskeptic:

“A number of so-called scientific journals have accepted a Star Wars-themed spoof paper. The manuscript is an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes. I know because I wrote it.

Inspired by previous publishing “stings”, I wanted to test whether ‘predatory‘ journals would publish an obviously absurd paper. So I created a spoof manuscript about “midi-chlorians” – the fictional entities which live inside cells and give Jedi their powers in Star Wars. I filled it with other references to the galaxy far, far away, and submitted it to nine journals under the names of Dr Lucas McGeorge and Dr Annette Kin.

Four journals fell for the sting. The American Journal of Medical and Biological Research (SciEP) accepted the paper, but asked for a $360 fee, which I didn’t pay. Amazingly, three other journals not only accepted but actually published the spoof. Here’s the paper from the International Journal of Molecular Biology: Open Access (MedCrave), Austin Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Austin) and American Research Journal of Biosciences (ARJ) I hadn’t expected this, as all those journals charge publication fees, but I never paid them a penny.

So what did they publish? A travesty, which they should have rejected within about 5 minutes – or 2 minutes if the reviewer was familiar with Star Wars. Some highlights:

  • “Beyond supplying cellular energy, midichloria perform functions such as Force sensitivity…”
  • “Involved in ATP production is the citric acid cycle, also referred to as the Kyloren cycle after its discoverer”
  • “Midi-chlorians are microscopic life-forms that reside in all living cells – without the midi-chlorians, life couldn’t exist, and we’d have no knowledge of the force. Midichlorial disorders often erupt as brain diseases, such as autism.”
  • “midichloria DNA (mtDNRey)” and “ReyTP”

And so on. I even put the legendary Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise monologue in the paper:

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Ironically, I’m not even a big Star Wars fan. I just like the memes.

To generate the main text of the paper, I copied the Wikipedia page on ‘mitochondrion’ (which, unlike midichlorians, exist) and then did a simple find/replace to turn mitochondr* into midichlor*. I then Rogeted the text, i.e. I reworded it (badly), because the main focus of the sting was on whether journals would publish a ridiculous paper, not whether they used a plagiarism detector (although Rogeting is still plagiarism in my book.)

For transparency, I admitted what I’d done in the paper itself. The Methods section features the line “The majority of the text of this paper was Rogeted [7]”. Reference 7 cited an article on Rogeting followed by “The majority of the text in the current paper was Rogeted from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrion Apologies to the original authors of that page.””

Lucasfilm still doesn’t intend to release The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Michael Siglain is creative director at Lucasfilm Publishing.


J. W. Rinzler’s The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was initially scheduled for release in October 2016, but Lucasfilm eventually canceled it. The book was to reveal some of George Lucas’ original ideas for the sequel trilogy.

New Prequel Trilogy-related books revealed at SDCC

From StarWars.com:

“Time to make rathtar-sized room on your bookshelf and in your long boxes.

Lucasfilm announced and unveiled tons of new books and comics at San Diego Comic-Con today, including a Thrawn adaptation from Marvel, more from the Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi publishing program, and many titles inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Check out their covers in the gallery below!”

[Note : we’ve narrowed it down to the Prequel Trilogy-related books]

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5-Minute Star Wars Stories Strike Back
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
Authors: Various
Artist: Pilot Studios
A brand new collection of twelve action-packed retellings that span the entire Star Wars saga—including two tales from Star Wars: The Last Jedi! These exciting stories can each be read in just five minutes—perfect for galactic adventures at lightspeed!

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Star Wars Moviemaking Magic: Creatures and Aliens
Publisher: Abrams Books
Author: Mark Salisbury
The first in an immersive line of behind-the-scenes books for kids, Star WarsMoviemaking Magic: Creatures and Aliens uses the strange, creepy, and iconic creatures and aliens of the entire saga as a lens through which younger readers will enjoy a visual and interactive tour of the history of moviemaking and special effects. Exhaustively researched; includes archival interviews with iconic talent such as Ralph McQuarrie and Stuart Freeborn, along with new, exclusive interviews with Neal Scanlan, Doug Chiang, and Dave Filoni.”