Thursday, July 19, 2018

Solo Home Video Release Date Set

Disney has announced the release date of Solo: A Star Wars Story for digital and Blu-ray along with the below trailer. The digital release is set for September 14 for around $20 or wait another two weeks for the Blu-ray and DVD release on September 25 and get a physical and digital copy for about the same price.

The special features are the usual behind the scenes/sales pitch with director, cast interviews, deleted scenes, and more but sadly no commentary track. Below is the details on the special features with the movie.

DIGITAL AND BLU-RAY BONUS MATERIAL (may vary by retailer):

Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable – Sit down with director Ron Howard and the stars for an intimate and entertaining discussion of the film’s making.

Team Chewie – See what it takes to bring your favorite Wookiee to life in this lighthearted look behind the scenes.

Kasdan on Kasdan – Iconic Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and son Jonathan share what it was like to write the movie’s script together.

Remaking the Millennium Falcon – Track the transformation of the most famous ship in the galaxy, from Lando’s swank and impeccable pride and joy to Han’s stripped-down hot-rod freighter with “special modifications.”

Escape from Corellia – Get behind the wheel for the making of this high-octane chase through the streets of Corellia.

The Train Heist – Explore the challenges and thrills of creating this action-packed sequence, including its remote location and spectacular effects.

Becoming a Droid: L3-37 – Meet the newest droid—and the talented actor who helps bring her to life.

Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso – Take an in-depth tour of the rough-and-tumble bar where strangers mix and gamblers risk all in the legendary card game, Sabaac.

Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run – Join Han and Chewie at the controls of the Millennium Falcon to see how this legendary moment in Star Wars history unfolds.

Deleted Scenes
Proxima’s Den
Corellian Foot Chase
Han Solo: Imperial Cadet
The Battle of Mimban: Extended
Han Versus Chewie: Extended
Snowball Fight!
Meet Dryden: Extended
Coaxium Double-Cross

The Millenium Falcon: From Page to Park – An exclusive look at the history of the most famous ship in the galaxy, its origin and development, and how it will translate in one of the most anticipated expansions in Disneyland’s history.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Original Lando Returns to Star Wars

We might have had a new Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story but the original isn't done with the character. Billy Dee Williams has signed on for Episode IX to reprise the role of Lando Calrissian. He is essentially the last original trilogy human character standing. Details on the role or really anything about Episode XI remains on lock down. We know the movie will exist for a December 20, 2019 release date and that's about it.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Disney Spins Star War Films Hold

A recent report indicated that the box office failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story was leading Disney to decide to put a hold on future spin-off films (with possible exception of the Boba Fett film). In source was an unnamed insider which has now been countered by other unnamed insiders saying this isn't true but really the comments seem to actually back up Collider's reporting rather then deny it.

From The Hollywood Reporter:
"They haven’t slowed down development," says a source with knowledge of Lucasfilm’s thinking, "but they are licking their wounds."

"It doesn’t mean those spinoffs don't happen," says another insider of Solo's underperformance globally. "It just means they’re trying to figure out how to make, and market, them differently."

But there's a catch with Boba Fett. Sources say that after the underperformance of Solo, the project could now be reconfigured. The thinking is that if Han Solo, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars universe, couldn’t sustain a big-budget origin feature, then any Fett movie would have to be scaled down, since though the character is popular, he’s certainly less well-known to most moviegoers than the Corellian smuggler.

The status of the Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff is even less clear. Stephen Daldry had been in negotiations to direct, but both the studio and his agency, CAA, had no comment on the current state of the project.
From ABC News:
Lucasfilm sources on Thursday characterized as "inaccurate" a report that future "Star Wars" movies falling outside of the regular trilogy storyline (Episodes I to IX) have been put on hold in the wake of the box office under-performance of "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

Instead, Lucasfilm told ABC News there are still "multiple" Star Wars films currently in development that have not been officially announced. Those projects are moving forward separate from an already-announced "Star Wars" trilogy being overseen by "The Last Jedi" director Rian Johnson and another series of movies from "Game of Thrones" producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
So basically Collider was accurate. One spin-off film (Boba Fett) may move forward and no movement on any other spin-offs. I suspect Disney's plan is to do a cheaper budgeted Boba Fett film, see how it does and then decide if they will do other spin-off films based on how it does combined with how far in development they are on the Rian Johnson's trilogy and the Benioff/Weiss film. A reasonable plan, not entirely sure why they just state that.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Disney Putting Star Wars Anthology Films on Hold?

It seems the relatively lackluster performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story might be making Disney gun shy about continuing to release a Star Wars film every year. Collider is reporting that unnamed sources within Disney owned Lucasfilm are " put plans for more A Star Wars Story spinoff movies on hold, instead opting to focus their attention on Star Wars: Episode IX and what the next trilogy of Star Wars films will be after that film." Disney has not confirmed this report.

If true, its a bit of a sudden turnaround considering they just hired James Mangold (Logan) to write and direct a Boba Fett film. Or alternatively that film is the last hurrah to maintain a "trilogy" feel for the spin off films. The possible decision is in light of Solo's weak $343.4M world wide box office result which means the film might break even at best. However, Disney is really comparing it to over $1 billion the previous 3 films have made.

If true, its seems like an over reaction. Solo didn't do well because it was an average film that came out during a highly competitive box office window against Disney's own Avengers: Infinity War, Rampage, A Quiet Place, Deadpool 2 and a host of others. Its a level of competition that the three previous films avoided with their holiday release dates that have the fraction of of tent pool releases and the rest are mostly Oscar bait releases that are not remotely competitive for box office dollars compared to Star Wars. In short, Disney can afford to verify if Solo was an outlier which is what the Boba Fett film, if moves forward, could do.

In the meantime, the Star Wars fun will definitely continue. Star Wars Episode IX is still on track for a December 2019 release. Rian Johnson remains in charge of the potential next trilogy of films that will follow for the 2020's and Jon Favreau is working on a live-action TV show. Later this year the next cartoon series Star Wars Resistence is expected to premiere.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Boba Fett Movie Officially In Works

Fett: A Story Wars Story (or whatever the title becomes) will be the next non-"Episode" film in the Star Wars saga according to THR. Logan director James Mangold direct and co-write the film with Simon Kinberg (The Martian). Boba Fett was a minor bounty hunter accidentally killed by a blind Han Solo in Return of the Jedi.

However, thanks mostly to the now jettisoned Extended Universe, he survived the experience and enjoyed a long and storied character history in the franchise via books, comics, and video games that turned him into one of the most popular Star Wars characters. Popular enough that he was written into Attack of the Clones and revealed to be a clone of bounty hunter Jango Fett, just like all the clones used by the Empire to seize power and execute "Order 66" that destroyed the Jedi. The only "difference" between Boba and those clones is he was allowed to age naturally.

As a result of all this, the setting of the film can go anywhere between the end of Attack of the Clones to around The Force Awakens. I suspect that like Solo and Rogue One, they will probably set it before A New Hope to show Fett earning his bounty hunter reputation with and end showing him accepting the contract to capture Han Solo for Jabba the Hutt. No release date or other details revealed but a writer and director means they are likely aiming for December 2020 to stay on their every other year schedule for these standalone films.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Reviews for Solo: A Star Wars Story Positive

The reviews for Solo: A Star Wars Story are starting to come in ahead of its May 25 release date. Overall they are positive with a current 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. The general consensus is it is safe, Star Wars-ish movie that entertains with strong performances by all the actors involved with many noting Alden Ehrenreich's performance (Han Solo). The main complaint seems to be the lack of an engaging story that instead relies on Star Wars things, mentions and the characters themselves. Below are a few highlights.

Collider grade: C
This fear or unwillingness to branch out of these archetypes and try new things renders Solo oddly joyless. It’s a movie that throws a ton of special effects at the screen, but no one really seems to be enjoying themselves or taking stock of their situation. It’s to Howard’s discredit that he could make a movie firmly in the mold of an action-adventure and it rarely feels adventurous. ...For Howard’s part, his greatest concern seems to being making sure everyone hits their mark and says their lines. It’s the bare minimum of direction as the score does the heavy lifting rather than injecting an actual personality into this movie.
USA Today grade: 3/4 stars
Ehrenreich does the character justice, mainly because he’s a different Han than previously seen. This guy’s all wide-eyed gumption and smirking confidence — not the cynic who gets a crash course in the Force later in life. Lawrence Kasdan penned the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi back in the day, so his co-writing Solo with son Jonathan — and having a masterful handle on Han’s voice — is half the battle.
AV Club grade: B
the action sequences, including a sci-fi train robbery and a smash-and-grab infiltration, unfold with the efficient professionalism often associated with director Ron Howard. ...Ehrenreich makes a fine, if not exactly revelatory, young Han. His best moments are comic, imitating some Harrison Ford mannerisms (the stance, the pointing) with a cocksure goofiness; he might have been a more distinctly funny take on the character for other filmmakers. ...This is a fannish, sometimes overstuffed undertaking, but it’s so full of Star Wars-y details, like the alien head floating in a jar singing backup at a villain-packed club, that it’s hard to begrudge it a certain inconsequentiality.
Entertainment Weekly grade: B
...Speaking of Glover, it’s no spoiler to say that the Atlanta star is easily the best thing in this good-not-great movie. More than any big action set piece or narrative double cross (and there are plenty of them thanks to a smooth crime boss played by Paul Bettany), it’s Glover’s mack-daddy, Colt 45 swagger as the rakish gambler formerly played by Billy Dee Williams that will be the thing you’ll be buzzing about after the lights come up. ...It’s all fun and rollicking enough until you walk out of the theater into the daylight and realize just how trivial and insignificant it all really is. What you’re really left with, apart from a yearning for the young Ford at his most cavalier, is a slightly fuller and more rounded understanding of who Han Solo is – where he came from, what makes him tick, and how he’d much prefer to shower alone than with a Wookiee. In other words, it’s pure fan service. And if that’s what you’re after, then you’ll be more than satisfied.
Filled with excellent action and a lot of emotion, Solo: A Star Wars Story is going to surprise a lot of people. Despite its troubled production, it’s ended up being incredibly fun and funny, with great characters, performances, and a huge range of Star Wars references to delight fans and non-fans alike. ...The whole film hinges on Ehrenreich’s portrayal of a younger, still-developing version of the legendary character, and I’m happy to report he nails it. Solo has flaws. But those flaws pale in comparison to the rest of it. This may not be your favorite Star Wars movie, and it definitely won’t change what you think Star Wars can be. It will, however, remind you of everything you love about it and, hopefully, have you grinning like Han the first time he jumps to hyperspace.

Harrison Ford and Two More TV Spots for Solo

Harrison Ford shows up for an interview along with two more TV spots for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Solo: New Posters, TV Spot and Clips

The advertising for Solo: A Star Wars Story continues as it nears its May 25 release date. Here is the new poster, tv spot and clips.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Two TV Spots and Clip from Solo

Here are two new TV spots and a clip for Solo: A Star Wars Story which hits theaters on May 25th.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Star Wars' Arrested Development Treatment and Falcon Tour

Few new videos to promote the May 25 release of Solo: A Star Wars Story. The first is Ron Howard doing his voice over magic on an Arrested Development style montage of A New Hope. The second video is a quick tour of the Millennium Falcon while the last is a new TV spot.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

New Solo Featurette and TV Spot

Solo: A Star Wars Story is now less then a month away from release on May 25. Below is a new featurette called "Becoming Solo" and TV spot for the film.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

New Star Wars Cartoon Series Announced

The next cartoon series of the Star Wars saga has been revealed today by Disney. It is called "Star Wars Resistance" and looks like it will take place before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The animated series will focus on "Kazuda Xiono, a young pilot recruited by the Resistance whose mission is to spy on the growing threat of the First Order" with Oscar Issac (Poe Dameron) and Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) voicing their characters. BB-8 and other new character will be part of the series.

"The idea for Star Wars Resistance came out of my interest in World War II aircraft and fighter pilots," [Lucasfilm Animation veteran Dave] Filoni said. "My grandfather was a pilot and my uncle flew and restored planes, so that's been a big influence on me. There's a long history of high-speed racing in Star Wars, and I think we've captured that sense of excitement in an anime-inspired style, which is something the entire team has been wanting to do for a long time."

The voice cast features Christopher Sean (Days of Our Lives), Suzie McGrath (East Enders), Scott Lawrence (Legion), Myrna Velasco (Elena of Avalor), Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), Donald Faison (Scrubs), Bobby Moynihan (DuckTales), Jim Rash (Community) and Rachel Butera (Tammy's Tiny Tea Time).

No premiere date has been set except that it will be sometime in the Fall 2018 on Disney XD.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Solo: Completes Production, New Poster

As of Monday, Solo: A Star Wars Story is officially in the can and ready to go as director Ron Howard tweeted the film has completed post-production:

“That’s a wrap on post production! #Solo @HanSoloStory #SkywalkerRanch Wow. What a movie-making adventure it’s been! Thanks to a terrific cast & extraordinary folks behind the camera as well. You’ve worked so hard to fully realize this cool story. Hope fans have a blast! #May25”

In addition, a new poster has been released while Solo writer Lawrence Kasdan describes the film as a love as story:
“It’s a love story. Obviously, they don’t automatically trust each other and become friends. But that’s all the meat of a good story. To me, this is a love story between Han and Chewie. Their relationship has always been my favorite part of the saga, and the fact that only Han understands what Chewie is saying, I find a very funny possibility for comedy … Wookiees have so many positive qualities. But what they don’t do is make it easy for you to get in.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story Risk TV Spot

New TV spot for the upcoming Solo Star Wars movie which hits theaters on May 25.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

New Solo: Star Wars Story Trailer and Poster

Tonight Disney has released a new trailer and poster for Solo: A Star Wars Story that acts as more or less an origin story for Han Solo.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Honest Trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Below is the honest trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi that takes both to "greatest" and "worst" Star Wars movie perspective.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Novelization Reveals New Story Tidbits

If seen the movie and ok with spoilers, has broken down some of the additional story points from Star Wars: The Last Jedi that didn't make it into the movie. Points that are in canon too. The story beats include a look at an alternative life for Luke, Han's funeral, details on the Leia, more details on the Force, Rey and Kylo's connection and a bit more. If don't mind the spoilers you can read the details here.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Last Jedi Solves Space Combat

Below is an interesting video that breaks apart some of the space fight sequences of Star Wars: The Last Jedi that explains and uses some of the space combat rules that was established in the previous movies that we may not have been entirely aware of.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Score Only Version of The Last Jedi Available

Right now you can buy a digital copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi or wait until March 27 and buy the Blu-ray with Digital Copy for the same price. It turns out if you have a Movies Anywhere account and linked to whichever service you prefer (iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, etc.) then it will come with a bonus feature. Via Movies Anywhere you will get access to a score only version of the movie with all the worlds and sound effects removed. A score only version of a film is really rare but welcome and worth trying if only for a few chapters. After all it is the iconic music of John Williams.
This is the full movie, but with no dialogue, fx or backgrounds... just John's score. I really wanted to put this out, it's really something to see John's music play with the movie, like a silent film.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) March 13, 2018

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

BTS Of The Visual Effects of Snoke and Battle of Crait from Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Here are two more videos that provide a behind the scenes look at the Oscar nominee visual effects for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The first vid is a look at the elements that created the Battle of Crait and the second is the creation of Supreme Leader Snoke. Thanks once again to Feris O. for the links.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Two Behinds the Scenes Videos of the VFX for The Last Jedi

Below are two quick videos that give you a behind the scenes peak at the Oscar nominated visual effects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The first one virtually builds the set used for the climatic battle on The First Order's massive ship hangar while the second builds a moment from the bombing run that opened the film. Thanks to Feris O. for the links.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Abrams: Episode IX Script Ready, Filming Begins This Summer

In an interview on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Star Wars Episode IX director JJ Abrams provided an update on the movie.
“We have a script, which is a big deal for me. It starts shooting end of July … Sometimes having the script in advance is something I haven’t always been lucky enough to have … But I’m writing this with Chris Terrio, who’s a genius, and I’m having a great time.”
The script is written with Abrams, Derek Connolly, Chris Terrio, and Colin Trevorrow while aiming for a December 20, 2019 release date.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Home Video Details

Disney has announced the details (with video below) for the home video release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As is now the norm, the digital copy will get an "early" release on March 13th while the physical copies (with their own digital codes) will come out on March 27. The special features include writer-director commentary, around 14 deleted scenes, and lots of behind the scenes footage.
• The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
• Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
• Scene Breakdowns
   - Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
   - Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
   - Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-world locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
• Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
• Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
• Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How Star Wars The Last Jedi Should Have Ended

Below is the latest offering from the HISHE gang that provides amusing take on the latest Star Wars offering that includes a pretty solid ending.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Game of Thrones Team To Create New Star Wars Films

The creators of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have signed up to write and produce a new series of Star Wars film. The films are separate from Skywalker films that are expected to end with Episode XI and from the new trilogy of films that The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is expected to write and direct. No number was specified for what "series of films" means but safe to assume it starts with the number three.

“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.”

“In the summer of 1977 we traveled to a galaxy far, far away, and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since,” Benioff and Weiss said in a joint statement. “We are honored by the opportunity, a little terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get started as soon as the final season of Game of Thrones is complete.”

This is all that was released - that you can count on two sets of Star Wars films to come out at some point in the future from critically acclaimed creators but with no details on story, release plan, or other details. I suspect this is will replace the "A Star Wars Story" set of films while Rian's films will replace the Skywalker trilogy so that Disney can continue with a new Star Wars movie every year while not leaning on the now essentially over Skywalker sage (since spoilers, the Skywalker line is essentially dead).

Monday, February 5, 2018

First Teaser Trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story

While last night was just a brief TV spot, this is the real teaser trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story that shows off the main characters but not much else.

Solo: A Star Wars Story Super Bowl TV Spot

While the trailer is expected this morning, for now enjoy this teaser from the Super Bowl for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

16-Bit Luke Skywalker vs Kylo Ren from The Last Jedi

Significant spoiler warning for those that have not seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Below is a re-creation of the near end of the movie in Super NES graphics and it does get that portion of the movie, including dialogue, with a high degree of accuracy. If seen the movie, will likely really enjoy this "remake".

The Last Jedi Passes $1 Billion Box Office

With each movie that comes out, Disney's $4 Billion purchase of Lucasfilm is starting to look like a bargain basement deal. The fourth film of the franchise in the Disney era has crossed the $1 Billion global box office in only a few weeks, on paper paying for the cost of the deal in box office dollars alone. The movie crossed the mark with third number one weekend in a row and will easily become the top movie of 2017 by the end of next week. The current breakdown is $533M in the US and $523.3 everywhere else and will be interesting to see how that ratio is maintained by the end of its run. Nowadays the typical successful tentpole movie is more like 30% US, 70% international so this 50/50 split is a rarity.