There will be a Star Wars Marathon Event featuring all eight Episodes on December 14

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From StarWars.com:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives December 15, continuing the epic story of Rey, Kylo Ren, and the struggle between the Resistance and the First Order. StarWars.com is thrilled to announce a galaxy of ticket offers, special events, and giveaways in celebration of the highly-anticipated film’s release:

Opening Night Events

Star Wars fans will have multiple ways to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. On Thursday, December 14, ahead of its official opening on December 15, fans can be among the first to see the film by attending one of three events: An Opening Night Fan Event. A Star Wars: The Force Awakens andStar Wars: The Last Jedi Double Feature. Or, a Star Wars Marathon featuring all eight movies in one epic journey. These premium events will include exclusive content, Star Wars collectible cards, and a special concession offer. Plus, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will start at 6 p.m. local time, one hour earlier than regular public show times. […]”

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The Prequels Strike Back… Strikes Back! – Episode I – Like Father, Like Son

From Ministry of Cinema:

“A year ago, documentary film The Prequels Strike Back challenged viewers with new and interesting perspectives on George Lucas and his controversial prequel trilogy. Now, indie studio Ministry of Cinema is at it again with The Prequels Strike Back…Strikes Back!

Told in three parts, The Prequels Strike Back…Strikes Back! aims to cover missed material and tie up loose ends.

The first episode of The Prequels Strike Back…Strikes Back! will stream for free on Ministry of Cinema’s YouTube channel starting October 6th. Subsequent episodes will release in the months following.”

40 screenwriters ranked George Lucas 16th best screenwriter of all time

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From Vulture:

““To make a good film,” Alfred Hitchcock once said, “you need three things: the script, the script, and the script.” Yet while it’s easy to find (and argue over) lists of the greatest films ever, it’s difficult to find a list of the greatest screenwriters. We decided to remedy that — by polling more than 40 of today’s top screenwriters on which of their predecessors (and contemporaries) they consider to be the best. To compile such a list is to pose a question: What is the essence of the screenwriter’s art? Plot? Dialogue? Character? All that and more? We left that judgment to those who know best — the writers. Here are their selections (ranked in order of popularity, with ties broken by us), and representative testimonials for each. […]

16. George Lucas

Notable Scripts: American Graffiti (1973), Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
Oscars: Best Original Screenplay, American Graffiti; Best Original Screenplay, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Dialogue isn’t everything. For proof, look no further than the career of George Lucas, for whom human speech has served as an occasional stumbling block. Alec Guinness spent the bulk of his time on Star Wars complaining that his lines were “rubbish,” while Harrison Ford famously told Lucas, “You can type this shit, but you can’t say it.” No matter. A few clunky lines didn’t stop Lucas from dreaming up one of the most alluring and enduring universes in the history of cinema. In marrying the aesthetics of the pulp serials of his youth to formal lessons gleaned from Joseph Campbell, he quite literally created the template for 40-plus years of blockbusters. But his legacy isn’t limited to space operas. “Yes, the man created Star Wars, but want to see another side of his skills? Check out American Graffiti and weep because you’ll never be as talented as he is,” says Andrea Berloff.”

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Video: The Filmmaker’s Voice – George Lucas

From Alejandro Villarreal@Alamo City:

“Should a man’s life be defined by Jar Jar Binks? George Lucas is not a perfect filmmaker. But he is a genius. A genius who is able to communicate the best and worst of our common nature, and has done so in an unprecedented, universal cinematic language. Few have been able to equal his artistic success, because frankly, he makes it look easy.

I made this video essay to provide a window into the mind of a socially conscious filmmaker who is explored ideas about our common existence and tried to present them to in new, interesting ways to audiences. His goal was never to make an escapist film solely for the special effects and explosions, but it was to give his audiences a greater understanding of our shared humanity.

True, he sometimes fell short. “Attack of the Clones” is a bit weird, to be sure. But he was always true to himself, his voice and his stories. All this to say: I would rather watch a flawed movie by an imperfect genius than a movie made by a voiceless committee.”

Ian McDiarmid: ‘I don’t want anyone else to play Palpatine’

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From BBC:

“[…] Ian McDiarmid, who is currently appearing in What Shadows at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh, first appeared as Darth Vader’s master in Return of the Jedi in 1983, overseeing the last stages of the second Death Star’s construction.

In an interview with BBC Scotland’s Timeline programme, the actor, who was only 37 when he got the part, says: “They wanted the oldest person in the world because in Return of the Jedi Palpatine is about 120 I think.

“They had cast someone who was nearer to that age than I was but for some reason he could not continue.

“I think the contact lens tests were rather unpleasant. They were hard glass.”

It was another 16 years before McDiarmid returned with the Star Wars prequels in 1999’s The Phantom Menace, which is set decades before the original films.

McDiarmid says: “I was alright for Return of the Jedi because I was under four hours of make-up so no-one really knew what I looked like or sounded like because I lower my voice very much for the film.

“So I could be anonymous.

“But when the prequels happened Palpatine was his younger self which was about my age then, in his 50s.

“Apart from a not-very-flattering hairpiece I looked like me, so privacy was over.”

McDiarmid says he is often recognised for his role but most fans are “very friendly”.

He says: “I don’t feel oppressed by it. I don’t feel every minute of every day someone is going to ask for an autograph.”

As the Star Wars universe continues to generate spin-off movies, McDiarmid says he has no idea if he will ever again be called on to play the Emperor.

He says: “I suppose there must be a chance but I think you’d find out about it more quickly than I would.

“As far as the new films are concerned, I’m dead. There is no question about that.

“But there is what they call the anthology series and actually the most recent one, Rogue One, was about the time when I was in charge.

“I was referred to a few times, Darth Vader popped up, but you did not see me.

“Maybe they are keeping me as a surprise for later but I have no idea. Of course, I don’t want anyone else to play him.””

Rebels EP Dave Filoni likes ‘anything that brings the prequel and the original trilogy periods together’

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From StarWars.com:

“StarWars.com: This season also offered you a chance to tie up some loose ends from The Clone Wars, and one was “The Last Battle.” Where did the idea come from that you were going to take an opportunity to give some closure to characters who went through the Clone Wars?

[Rebels executive producer] Dave Filoni: We had toyed with this old battle droid story many times and we never found a good place for it. With Rex back, it seemed like there was an opportunity. Plus, Ezra didn’t have any perspective on the Clone War. He didn’t grow up in it, so there was the opportunity to have him ask, like he did when he first met Rex, “What is this all about?” Ezra sees it from a point of view that helps both Kanan and Rex understand what they went through. Even they didn’t fully understand it.

It’s a great thing to produce because you make battle droids, and when you make one, you get a whole bunch of them, so it works from a production level. The thought of battle droids confronting stormtroopers was really appealing. I like anything that really brings the prequel and the original trilogy periods together. I think it’s important to do so people understand these stories all work together as one piece. It’s not like the prequels end and everything in them just disappears.

Having worked in the prequel era for a long time, I know it really well. It was really interesting to see Kanan, Ezra, and Zeb dealing with it and, frankly, how dangerous some of it was. While the droids weren’t much of a match for Anakin Skywalker, they’re more than a match for someone like Ezra who’s not as well-trained. So, it gave a great perspective into what they’re capable of, too. […]

StarWars.com: There’s something about seeing original and prequel trilogy elements come together that’s so surprising.

Dave Filoni: Right? It shouldn’t be, but it is.

We do have this strange thing where I was able to finish a lot of storylines from Clone Wars, things that never really got dealt with in the past. That felt good, and I felt like that followed through for a lot of people who wanted to know more about Ahsoka and wanted to know more about Rex, and so here’s how they got it.

StarWars.com: Is it important to you to tell those stories on a personal level, like it’s unfinished business? Is it for George Lucas, is it because you think it makes the story better? Or is it a little bit of everything?

Dave Filoni: I think it’s a little bit of everything. It feels right for Rebels characters to be involved with other characters. Plus, in a lot of ways, creatively, I’ve been the guardian of those characters. I think the audience feels it’s authentic if I’m the one behind telling their story. They have invested in these characters, and want to see that I’m still invested in them, as well. When I go back to telling more of their story, it validates everyone’s investment in them. Many people felt cheated that they didn’t get an ending to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Now when you look at it, and it wasn’t really intended, you can say you need to watch Clone Wars and then go into Rebels, and then you get the whole story. Which is kind of unique. We’ve been pretty lucky with what we’ve been able to do — telling these stories and finishing stories that would’ve otherwise had no way to end.”

Lucasfilm reportedly plans films on Yoda, Boba Fett and Jabba (in addition to Obi-Wan)

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From The Hollywood Reporter:

“The Obi-Wan Kenobi stand-alone is one of several projects being developed by Lucasfilm and Disney that fall outside the trilogies telling the saga of the Skywalker family. A Han Solo movie is now in the final stages of shooting under new director Ron Howard, and Lucasfilm is also considering movies centering on Yoda and bounty hunter Boba Fett, among other characters.


From Variety:

“Disney has been developing several standalone pics with the goal of keeping fans buying tickets while they wait for the next episodes in the main new trilogy. “Rogue One” was the first of the standalones, and Disney is currently shooting an untitled origin tale of beloved smuggler Han Solo. Some of the other standalones in development include a Jabba the Hutt story and a Boba Fett movie.