Winter Olympics: chinese figure skaters perform to “Duel of the Fates” and other Star Wars themes

From Fansided:

“The pairs’ competition is wrapping up at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Pairs’ medals will be awarded at the conclusion of the pairs’ free skate, so this is the time to go big or go home. For Team China’s Xiaoyu Yu and Hao Zhang, they put it all on the line with a routine set to the music from Star Wars.

The 2018 Winter Olympics mark the first year that figure skaters can use music with lyrics in their routines, and so we have seen a variety of music in these Games ranging from Elvis and the Beatles to Lorde and music from Moulin Rouge and La La Land. All of that comes in addition to the skaters who choose to stay with more traditional selections like the main theme from Swan Lake.

For Team China, it was the music from Star Wars that kicked off their free skate at the Olympics in the final night of the pairs’ competition. Their routine was set to a medley from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. […]”

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WIRED falsely says that ‘audiences and critics received the Prequels poorly’

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From ‘The WIRED Guide to Star Wars‘:

“[George] Lucas involved other filmmakers in [The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi] and then returned to one-man-band status for the prequel trilogy, Episodes I through III, which came out starting in 1999. They were technical triumphs, but audiences and critics received them poorly.”


The facts:

The three movies were all graded with an A- at CinemaScore, which polls moviegoers on opening nights:

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The A.V. Club contributor says Padmé was her “perfect heroine” and wants her to get “her due” in Episode IX

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From The A.V. Club:

“[…] Though I’m sure screenwriters J.J. Abrams and Chris Terrio will craft a fitting tribute to the princess-turned-general [Leia Organa] and find a way to continue the story in her absence, Episode IX will still have a palpable void—in particular, where Leia’s maternal influence over Kylo Ren presumably would’ve been. And one option for filling it could be to call back a character who’s thus far been notably absent from the continued Star Wars mythos: Queen, Senator, Skywalker-twin mother, Kylo Ren grandmother, and all-around underappreciated Star Wars heroine, Padmé Amidala.

I’ll readily admit that, her horrendous Revenge Of The Sith arc aside, I perhaps have a greater fondness for Amidala than most fans.

[…] I see much of Padmé’s stiltedness as a conscious acting choice on Portman’s part. After all, she’s a young woman who’s spent her entire life within the stuffy, mannered world of galactic politics; Attack Of The Clones delightfully reveals that Padmé had her first kiss with a boy in her “Legislative Youth Program” when she was 12. At its best, Portman’s performance juxtaposes Padmé’s public-facing formality with her more casual private persona. And in her defense, as Harrison Ford once famously said, “George, you can type this shit, but you sure can’t say it!”

[…] [Padmé is] first and foremost a political leader, one who’s primarily concerned with the importance of preserving democracy. This has led many Star Wars fans to write her off as “wooden” or “boring,” but her political skills are exactly what make Padmé such a compelling character to me.

Even as a kid, I adored watching Padmé grapple with big political concerns, all while struggling with the fact that, as a young woman, people were less inclined to take her seriously. Early in The Phantom Menace, the Emperor tells his Neimoidian allies, “Queen Amidala is young and naive. You will find controlling her will not be difficult.” But that turns out not to be true. As a teenage queen, Padmé is curious, observant, empathetic, selfless, and brave. She’s willing to both put herself in harm’s way and humble herself before a political rival in order to save her homeworld. It’s no wonder the people of Naboo tried to amend their constitution to get her to stick around as queen once her two terms were up.

Though Attack Of The Clones is the weakest of the prequels, it’s probably the best showcase for Padmé as a character. As a Galactic Senator, she’s clear-eyed as she balances her idealism about how democracy should work with her pragmatism about how it actually does. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, but she’s also thoughtful about where and how she does so. And while very little about her relationship and repartee with Anakin actually works, the film features several delightful moments in which Padmé puts Anakin in his place whenever he jumps in with an opinion she didn’t ask for. That Attack Of The Clones also solidifies Padmé as the best-dressed person in the entire Star Wars universe is just icing on the cake.

Even amid her disappointing Revenge Of The Sith denouement—inexplicably losing the will to live after giving birth is perhaps the most insulting death she could’ve been given—Padmé at least gets to deliver some particularly savvy political observations as Chancellor Palpatine transforms the Republic into his Galactic Empire. “So this is how liberty dies,” she notes dryly, “with thunderous applause.” As a nerdy, opinionated young girl, Padmé was the perfect heroine on which to project my dreams, much as so many people did with Luke in the original trilogy.

It’s a little disappointing, then, to see Padmé completely forgotten in these new Star Wars films. Obviously I don’t expect her to suddenly turn up as a central character, given that she died long before the start of this new trilogy. But Episode IX has the perfect opportunity to bring her spirit back into the fold. As the one most personally betrayed by Anakin’s turn to the dark side, Padmé could easily fill the role Leia presumably would’ve played in challenging Kylo Ren’s obsession with Vader. Perhaps in encountering her old journals (holographic if Portman wants to return; written if she doesn’t), Kylo could develop an emotional connection to his grandmother, the same way he already has one with his long-dead grandfather.

Given how much the new films have tried to distance themselves from the prequels, there’s probably no realistic chance of Padmé finally getting her due in Episode IX—even if the inclusion of Jimmy Smits’ Bail Organa turned out to be one of the most unexpectedly moving parts of Rogue One. But hell, I’d even accept a Jimmy Smits hologram, talking about how much he respected Amidala as a political ally and how much his adoptive daughter reminds him of her. Because in a universe strangely devoid of mother figures, it would be nice to see the franchise remember it still has some inspiring ones in its past, just waiting to pass down their wisdom.”


“ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Caroline Siede is a pop culture critic in Chicago, where the cold never bothers her anyway. Her interests include superhero movies, feminist theory, and Jane Austen novels.”

Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score for The Last Jedi has tumbled to 49%, 16 points below Revenge of the Sith

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From Forbes:

“On the widely-tracked Rotten Tomatoes movie review site, both the critics’ “Tomatometer” score and the audience score for Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been ticking downward in the weeks since the film first released.

There’s nothing unusual about that; many studio tent-pole movies receive high scores during the initial flush of fan enthusiasm, and then more sober-minded assessments from the wider audience roll in and cause the scores to drop.

But there are two things that are highly unusual about The Last Jedi’s scores.

The first is that the audience score, now at 49 percent, is truly bad. That’s by far the lowest audience score ever given to a live action Star Wars movie, 14 percent lower than the 57 score of the next most disliked Star Wars film, the 2002 Hayden Christiansen-starring prequel Attack of the Clones. A great many people—hardcore fans, casual fans, and non-fans alike—consider The Last Jedi to be a terribly disappointing movie.

The second unusual thing is the huge gap between the 90 percent Tomatometer rating and that 49 percent audience score. That’s the widest gap for any Star Wars picture by a big margin.

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With regard to that very low audience score, quite a few conspiracy theorists ignored the overwhelming evidence that many moviegoers disliked the film, and circulated accusations of organized vote campaigns designed to drive down the film’s scores, despite the absence of any credible evidence to support this notion.

In late December I spoke with a Rotten Tomatoes representative named Dana Benson who assured me that the company works assiduously to prevent such manipulation and goes to great lengths to verify their ratings’ accuracy and authenticity. “We have several teams of security, network, and social database experts who constantly monitor reviews and ratings to ensure that they are genuine,” Benson told me. “They haven’t seen anything unusual with The Last Jedi, except that there has been an uptick in the number of written user reviews submitted.” […]”

New headlines falsely say that George Lucas denigrated The Phantom Menace (he was talking about a rough cut)

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In the documentary “The Beginning: Making Episode I”, we can hear George Lucas criticizing the fast pace of a rought cut of The Phantom Menace. Since years, Prequel bashers use this clip as evidence that even Lucas didn’t like his own movie. Which is absurd since virtually no filmmaker is satisfied with a rough cut. Later in the documentary, Lucas says that he’ll slow down the movie a little bit to make it better.

Today, The Hollywood Reporter and some other medias reused this old anti-Episode I propaganda. They didn’t have the honesty to specify in their headlines that Lucas wasn’t talking about the finished film.

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