Justice League: First Peek

Ladies, gents, other such creatures, we got a bit of a treat today. The Comic Con Justice League trailer was recently released. And, well, A-W-E-S-O-M-E.

Poster for Justice League

First things first. I have to fess up. After seeing the last Batman VS Superman movie I wasn’t particularly excited for this movie. Save the Nolan Batman films, the DC universe has been a bit lackluster as of late (at least on the big screen). It has been playing catch-up to Marvel, and when you follow in someone else’s footsteps you generally limit your ability to make new and fun material. Having said that, it looks like DC picked out all the right leaves from their rival’s book.

Simply put, the trailer (linked below) looks F-U-N, FUN! We’ have had a barrage of dark and griddy DC universe films and series, and it’s nice to see our heroes finally having some fun, cracking jokes at each other, and all in all having a good time. It looks like Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne is going around, doing the rounds of collecting heroes for the Justice League – easily some of the funnest moments in superhero movies. We get a whiff of their origin stories, some good hero-to-hero banter, and the giddy-awesome-moment of having several of your favourite heroes interacting in the same shot.

Another complaint I had about this movie was Aquaman. I never read the Aquaman comics as a kid, nor did I watch much of the TV series. To be honest, I always found him a bit of a dull character. And my first criticism, which I was eager enough to share with my geeky partners in crime at a Tim Hortons at 2AM was that he simply wasn’t made for the big screen. His costume, his powers, it just wouldn’t be entertaining in a 21st century movie. He would look cheesy and lame, and the studio would embarrass itself. Well, this mans was wrong. I was impressed with some of the early Momoa concepts, but I still had some reservations. After seeing this trailer, I want to see the movie just to watch this guy kick ass. He exerts so much raw manliness that I’m sure he could make an inanimate object ovulate. I mean just look at this one…

Aquaman chugging some hard liquor, because he's a man and you're a bitch!
Aquaman chugging some hard liquor, because he’s a man and you’re a bitch!

And this one….

This dude getting absorbed into the waves like f'in Moses, but ripped, and cool, and sexy, and something something.
This dude getting absorbed into the waves like f’in Moses, but ripped, with tattoos, and cool, and sexy, and something something.

And this one…

If this dude gave me that look, I'd swallow every single criticism I made about him being "cheesy and lame" and run for the nearest planet.
If this dude gave me that look, I’d swallow every single criticism I made about him being “cheesy and lame” and run for the nearest planet.

Man crushes aside, there’s another casting that definitely perked my interest. Ezra Miller is playing The Flash! I’ve loved this dude since Perks of Being a Wallflower. He’s a good actor, and he has that really entertaining quirky, dorky presence that will fit in this movie like the perfect puzzle piece. You need some comic relief and some fun to contrast the brooding superheroes, and Ezra Miller will be just that and then some. He reminds me of Tom Holland who played Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War. And it’s about time we get this. Some of the superheroes we have are quirky, dorky geeks just like the rest of us. And it’s fun seeing that aspect of them being given some screen time. Mm-mm-good!

You haven't even seen the trailer and you already know this kid's about to lay down some quirky sass!
You haven’t even seen the trailer and you already know this kid’s about to lay down some quirky sass!

Lastly, I am glad that the trailer didn’t reveal too much as a lot of trailers have a habit of doing nowadays. Bruce Wayne mentions a threat, we see some grim, viking-looking dudes, and that’s all we get. And that’s all we need. I feel like I go in with a limp erection in half of the films these days because act I through V have been revealed in the trailer. Less is more, people!

Trailer – Let’s get this hype train a-rollin’! 

The Hateful Eight (Spoiler-Free) Review

hateful 8

Ladies, gents, and other such creatures, Christmas came just on time this year. But not because of the fat, red, bearded man that invades your houses and eats your cookies. No, no, it came because of the master of the retro genre of Cinema with the receding hairline – Quentin Tarantino. This man needs no introduction as he is probably one of THE most famous contemporary directors, and easily my favourite. Just a few short days ago, I had the opportunity to see his Hateful Eight in glorious 70mm, in a stuffy little theatre in the heart of Toronto. The air was humid with ill-disguised body odor, the floor was sticky wet from the recent cleaning, there was no commercials and no obnoxious Time Play. I was in for a proper good ol’ days movie experience.

The best way I can categorize The Hateful Eight is a suspense western. It starts off with a Civil War veteran, now turned bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) transporting three dead bodies to collect his bounty in the nearby town of Red Rock. On his way there, he hitches a ride from another famous bounty hunter, John The Hangman Ruth (Kurt Russell), who is also taking a bounty to Red Rock – alive. His bounty happens to be a mysterious Daisy Domergue, who happens to be worth a solid $10,000 – a very high price for a bounty, let alone a woman, let alone a woman nobody knows anything about. She’s the first to get our eyebrows arching. However, on their way to Red Rock, they get caught in a severe blizzard, and have to make a stop at Minnie’s Haberdashery, an inn for travellers. There they have to spend the next few nights with a selection of characters – Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), a strong-silent-type cowboy, Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), Red Rock’s quirky and eccentric hangman, SeĂąor Bob (DemiĂĄn Bichir), the replacement host at Minnie’s, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), who claims to be Red Rock’s new sheriff, and a General Sandy Smithers (Bruce Dern), a retired ex-General from the South. Not everyone is who they seem to be, and the why, what, and how is left shrouded in mystery.

Tarantino is truly a master of genre. When famously asked about his education in film, he responded “I went to the movies.” This man has seen his fair share of retro films and then some, and then some on top of that some. So everything from the dialogue, to the camera shots, to the music is absolutely on point. This man takes you in a time capsule to the heyday of westerns and lets you marinate in it while he does what he does best – and gives you grade A dialogue and character development. Now, the bit that’s not a western is the suspense and mystery. This movie’s a bit like those old films from the 70’s that were more or less a re-enactment of a mystery novella. “A scientist, a newly married couple, a millionaire tycoon, and an eccentric hunter are all drawn together by mysterious circumstances at a dinner party. But when guests start disappearing one by one, a horrible secret is revealed. But WHO is the killer?” You know, that kind of tosh. And that is a field in which Tarantino absolutely excels in. If you have seen his Inglorious Basterds, you might recall the bar scene. I think it is something like 30 minutes long, and it is just pure suspense. Tarantino puts six characters in a room, on a table, drinking beer, just talking, and it has you gripping your chair harder than any other thriller or action movie you’ve seen in the last two decades. So you get a pleasant mishmash of that and the western vibe. And in this movie you get the same thing, only it’s for three hours and it keeps you hooked for EVERY-DAMN-MINUTE. How many other directors can make a movie that doesn’t leave the confines of a room three hours long, and not lose the audience? Again, just raw talent.

One badass mahhhfucka!
One badass mahhhfucka!

Another little ball of fan-boy joy comes in the shape of Samuel L. Jackson (uhmm, yeah, phrasing…). We’ve seen him as Jules in Pulp Fiction, we’ve seen him as Ordell Robbie in Jackie Brown, and also as Stephen in Django Unchained. But I’ve really wanted to see him front and centre in a Tarantino movie. Just because he has that inherent badassery that seems to work so well in Tarantino’s universe. is there honestly a human being out there that doesn’t believe Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t put on this earth with the divine purpose of saying “motherfucker”? And even though this movie doesn’t really have a main character, Samuel L. Jackson is very much front row and centre in this movie, and I loved every bit of it. Major Warren’s a pretty curious character. He is undoubtedly a stone-cold killer and a badass, but he also carries on his person at all times a mysterious letter from Abraham Lincoln himself, a point of great curiosity for the other characters. And you can also tell he’s seen some shit. He’s a black man following the aftermath of the Civil War, and it don’t take too many guesses to imagine the things he’s been subjected to, and the things he’s seen. But even with all that he retains an air of mystery throughout most of the movie which makes him a very enjoyable character.

One tough lady.
One tough lady.

Another tip of the hat has to undoubtedly go to Jennifer Jason Leigh. In my mind, that’s what a perfect cast looks like. Fifteen seconds into her appearance in the movie, and you forget that’s an actor acting. She just IS Daisy Domergue. I know I’m beginning to use this term one too many times, but this IS a Tarantino film, god damn it! She is also an absolute badass. And that’s not an easy feat when you’re the only woman in a group of men, all who seem to be great bounty hunters, war heroes, and stone-cold killers. When we first see her, she already has a pretty serious black eye. She doesn’t hesitate mouthing off to John Ruth, which is no small feat, as he’s a hulking, intimidating bear of a man. He often hits her pretty brutally in retaliation, but it doesn’t seem to humble her any. She often repays the act with a bloody smile, as though she’s in on a secret no one else is. Astounding performance, I really hope Jennifer Leigh gets nominated for an Oscar for this, though I am sure she probably won’t.

This movie’s got everything you need – good dialogue, engaging characters, amazing suspense, and a whole lot of love letters to genres long forgotten. You simply can’t waste $15 on this movie, it’s well worth the watch. Thank you, Mr. Tarantino for bringing Christmas to us movie lovers this year!

The man, the master.
The man, the master.

Creed: A knock out? (this title: click bait?)

CreedLadies, gents, and creatures of other such varieties, today we look at Ryan Coogler’s Creed. This was not a movie I was excited to see by any stretch of the imagination. I liked the first few Rocky movies, they had cheesy montages, inspiring speeches, and were just generally good fun. That was until Satan decided that Rocky IV had to be spawned from the deep canals of Hell, and melt our collective faces with undiluted, demonic BAD. Then Rocky V followed suit, like an unwanted middle child. Sure it was slightly more mature than its older brother, but it still packed a bag of “meh,” that altogether made us feel that this family really should stop breeding.

But alas, an open Friday night and no plans made my feet wander into the movie theatre.

The story, for those of you unfamiliar, focuses on Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son, Adonis, and his struggles to make a name for himself in the wake of his father’s massive shadow. Unlike the other Rocky movies, he’s not really the underdog, or at least not in the traditional sense. He’s been raised by his foster mother, Apollo’s wife, had a good education, a well-paying white-collar job, and grows up in a mansion.

This already sets a strong contrast from the what we’re used to – lower class nobody, no money, no options in life. So far the Rocky movies have been just that – the struggle of the underdogs to make a place for themselves in this world, to get some recognition, some fame, and maybe the opportunity for a more prosperous life. This movie, however, decides to take a different direction and run with it. What’s more impressive is that it actually makes it work really well. Adonis doesn’t dare use his real name lest people compare him to his father. He wants to make his own way in the boxing world, but how is he to do that when he can’t get a decent trainer? His father’s old trainer rejects him from his gym on pretty much those terms – “You’ve lived off the silver spoon, you don’t belong here.”At every corner and boxing match he’s reminded that he’s just the product of a famous name and nothing more. He throws caution to the wind and knocks into none other than Balboa’s restaurant and asks him for his help. Little by little the two start developing a relationship, and the movie takes off.

One of the things that really make this movie stand out is Adonis, played by Michael B. Jordan. He’s really well fleshed out as a character, and he’s very, very likeable. In previous Rocky movies, there were some characters that were just fillers, two-dimensional, walking stereotypes, just there to deliver the lines to move the script forward – Rocky’s son in Rocky V comes to mind. But this movie takes its time to tell you who this kid is, show you his struggles – which despite his advantages in life are actually very real. And you really do start cheering for him scene after scene because this movie, unsuspectingly manages to get the feels hooks in. And this is quite the feat. It’s very easy to make a character sympathetic by taking away everything from them, and then having them climb for the top. However, it’s much more impressive to show a struggle of self rather than a struggle of class. This movie just goes to show that no matter how much money you have in your pocket, or how big the house is that you grew up in, things like your past, the death of loved ones, and the desire to prove yourself can be just as real for someone who’s presumably had “every advantage in life”.

Following up on that note, Sylvester Stallone doesn’t disappoint as usual. Again, his role isn’t too monumental or overly dramatic, but for the bit that he has, he really sells it, and sells it well. It really shows that he knows this character, and he wears his skin like his own. You really start feeling for the big softy – the old hero with the good heart who has nothing but ghosts for company. Having followed the series up until now, it packs even more of a punch (so not intended), as we’ve seen Rocky at his start, we’ve seen him at the top. And therefore it’s all the more gut-wrenching to see him having ended up like this – alone, useless, having outlived everyone in his life that matters (excluding his son, because f*** him). There’s definitely a moment or two in there when the air vents in the theatre must have been spitting mad dust because this proud, masculine, young male got choked up and and a little teared up in the presence of his equally proud, masculine, and young amigos.

One last note here, this movie actually has quite a few good laughs. And I don’t mean the lame, poorly written, sports jokes that have their own “cue laughter” button. But I mean some really fresh material. The humour in this was actually really good. One joke had my friends and I laughing like the hyenas from the Lion King for a good 3 minutes. Obviously I won’t tell you which joke, because I also want you and your lot to laugh like hyenas for 3 minutes (or more if you so desire). The jokes weren’t clichĂŠ, they were excellently timed, and quite plainly, pretty damn funny.

Mad props to the director, for whom this is only his second feature film. So, I don’t even know what to say – wow – wtf – omg -srsly? And big props also must make their way to Mr. Stallone and Mr. Jordan. Great performances by both – they really sold the characters and made them much more likeable than I’m used to seeing in movies these days.

You got your boxing montages, you got some good laughs, you got a few tear-jerkers, and you got some proper ass-kicking. Pretty solid movie, definitely one of the better boxing/martial arts movies out there right now. Definitely worth the price of admission. Go check it out!

Steve Jobs (2015): A Review

Reviewed by Vladi

Steve Jobs Poster

Ladies, gentlemen, and other such creatures, today iGET to review Steve Jobs, the newest Steve Jobs biopic. Directed by Danny Boyle. This film gives us a look at the iconic character and entrepreneur. The film covers three main launching events: the original Mac launch in 1984, Steve Jobs’ NEXT launch in 1988, and finally the iMac unveiling in 1998.

The movie follows the three launch events in chronological order. Michael Fassbender introduces us to his Steve Jobs as a strongly ambitious, albeit creative, ass-hole. He has big dreams regarding the future of the PC, and he has little care for what anyone else thinks or does. He’s often rude and abrasive with his colleagues and friends, making himself no allies, and has nothing but complete disregard for the shareholders and CEO’s at Apple. His eyes are fixed on the stars, and he often buds heads with people who remind him that he still has to walk on Earth.

Due to his arrogant and mean nature he has little enough people in his life that he can barely call friends, but even those relationships are shaky at best when more and more pressure is put on them by Jobs’ incessant attempts and ventures into pursuing the new frontiers of PC’s. Joanna Hoffman (played by Kate Winslet) is one of the few people Steve is willing to listen to, and ultimately respect. Kate Winslet does a great job playing the main supporting cast, more often than not challenging Jobs where most people would cower, giving us some good dialogue, drama, and more often than not, entertaining witty banter. Seth Rogen plays Steve Wozniak, hardware engineer, one of the founding members of Apple, and one of Steve’s “friends.” He is responsible for delivering some of the more intense and dramatic scenes in the movie by challenging his old friend and colleague on matters of principle and decency. Jeff Daniels also must be mentioned as John Sculley, a CEO of apple which has a very bipolar relationship with Jobs. One as his CEO, and one as an almost father-figure. Sculley has a lot of admiration for the man and entrepreneur, but little enough for the dreamer, making for a very entertaining and rich relationship.

He has to deal with Chrisann Brennan, a former lover of his, and her daughter, Lisa. Jobs continually refuses to admit that Lisa is his daughter even after a DNA test proves a 94% probability. Chrisann wants financial stability for her daughter and herself, and on several occasions has to beg from and fight her former lover to get it. While Jobs maintains that Lisa isn’t his daughter, he starts a relationship with her that is far from perfect, but is never the less quite touching, and we see that relationship change and grow as the movie goes on.

Danny Boyle is a great director. He’s known for 28 Days Later, Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, and 127 Hours. All of these movies don’t look that good on paper. If you were to read their plot synopsis, you would go “Yes, and ?”, however if you were to watch them, you would sit in your chair, holding in your bladder, because you are absolutely hooked on what you are seeing. Simply put, the man has a gift for “energy.” He can take something seemingly simple and passive, and make it vibrant. The entire plot of the movie doesn’t just centre around the launch events, but IS the launch events. We get to see Jobs’ few hours before each event, and how he interacts with the people closest to him. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “That sounds… so lame.” But it really is far from that. Leave it to Danny Boyle to get you interested and hooked onto this man’s life with just a series of conversations. That’s the hallmark of good writing and good character development. While I can’t rightfully say that you begin to like Jobs as this movie progresses (as he is a colossal ass-hole), you definitely begin to care what happens. Each supporting cast character is very well shaped and written, and challenges and brings out different aspects of Jobs’ personality and struggles.

iAM not a big fan of Apple or Steve Jobs, but I enjoyed this movie immensely. I didn’t walk away thinking that Jobs is a PC messiah, or anything of the sort, but I definitely walked away thinking he’s an interesting personality worth knowing about. Like most innovators and dreamers, his passion is highly intoxicating and attractive, and it draws you in. The cool thing is that that passion is very well counterbalanced by his arrogance and pride, making for a very grey and interesting character. And I will give credit to this movie where credit is due. It doesn’t trip over its own heels in an attempt to redeem its tragic hero. By the end of the movie, you get the good with the bad, and it’s still very hard to make up your mind, which I personally really like. Mostly because most people and situations in real life really are grey. It’s not so simple to draw the good from the bad and to make a definitive decision. Sometimes good people do bad things, and sometimes bad people do good things, sometimes people just do things, and that’s why they are interesting. And this movie did that very well.

So there you have it. iLIKE it, and you should see it!

Ex Machina: A Review

Reviewed by Vladi

Ladies, gentlemen, and other such creatures, summer is here and with it the promise of decent cinema. In the glorious month of May there are a few exciting releases. It’s easy to get overshadowed by the hype of blockbuster giants such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Mad Max. However, one pretty kick ass movie also came out recently which is well wort our notice.

I’m talking about Ex Machina. The movie is directed by Alex Garland, best known for 28 Days Later, and Dredd. If none of those movies add credibility to his name for you, take away this: the man’s a master of mood and suspense. He orchestrates his films very precisely and knows exactly how he wants you to feel and think through each separate scene. In that sense, his films feel very complete and very unified. Kind of like an album that’s an album and not just a casual selection of songs. In that respect, Ex Machina is no exception.

The plot should be no mystery to most people. It is the not too distant future and we are developing AI. Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a search engine mogul invites Calep (Domhnall Gleeson), one of his top employees, over to his house/lab to help him test the most advanced AI made to date, Ava (Alicia Vikander). Unlike simpler AI, she doesn’t have just a narrow question-response programming, but instead she is developed to form a consciousness of her own. So it’s up to Calep to interact with her and to see if she can pass the Touring test, a test developed by Alan Turing to see if an AI can fool a human into thinking that it’s a human. And that’s it. Do robots dream of electric sheep?

I think AI has been addressed a lot of times in cinema, with movies like A.I. (duh), Kubrick’s Space Odyssey, Bladerunner, I Robot, Transcendence, Ghost in The Shell, and more recently, Chappie. And while many of those movies pose good questions about the nature of A.I. and its impact on the human condition, Ex Machina takes it a step further to try and visualize what it would mean to have true A.I. What would it mean to birth a consciousness into our world? What would it mean to give that consciousness access to the internet, the most condensed source of information that we have? And more importantly, what would this A.I. think of us? How would it react towards us. Would it like us or hate us? Would it want to befriend us or destroy us? These are questions that I find can be absolutely chilling if you begin to comprehend just what the answers might be, and this movie does a great job of flirting with some of them.

Am I human? How do I know I’m not a robot?

The pacing is absolutely perfect. No scenes are fillers, none of them drag, and none of them are cheap. The mounting tension is handled very professionally, gradually building without your notice. An effect reinforced by a very solid soundtrack which has a narrative of its own. You could take this movie, play it on mute, and just play the soundtrack with it and it would still make sense. The music fits the story like a glove, and adds goosebumps up and down your spine on more than one occasion.

The cinematography also deserves a nod as the shots are set up beautifully. There’s a strangely calm and quiet grace with which the scenes follow one another. For a movie that’s a thriller, the shots are very calm and composed. Almost meditative. Yet that seems to only draw you into the movie more, making you want to jump in the protagonist’s shoes and make his decisions for him rather than just watch as a spectator.

This movie was a lot of fun. It is beautiful to look at, it will get you thinking, it will explore a very interesting concept, and it will probably disturb you on a few occasions, something that I think is the hallmark of any good sci-fi-the ability to shake your confidence in the world you live in. 4/5, very well made. Go give the theaters your money!

By the end of this movie, this scene should probably haunt you. Despite the movie being a thriller, there’s a lot of moments that just stand out on their own. Just so well constructed that they put you in a temporary state of awe and wonder.

Chappie: A Review

Do androids dream of electric sheep? Do celebrities make bad actors? Does a dog lick its own balls? Yes, and so does Chappie. 

Chappie is a film written and directed by Neill Blomkamp. It stars Sharlto Copley as Chappie, Dev Patel as Deon Wilson, Chappie’s creator, and Hugh Jackman as an angry, steroid ridden, ridiculously terrible antagonist who doesn’t deserve a name. Also, Die Antwoord, but more of that later.

The movie takes place in Johannesburg, where crime has been rampant. With the help of new police Scout Droids, however, the government has been able to establish order again. Deon Wilson, brilliant young programmer is the designer of these scouts. And while happy with his success, he is more interested in creating AI that can feel and think for itself. An AI that can develop its own emotions and own personality. Enter Chappie.

On the other side of town, we have Die Antwoord, a small group of heist criminals. They get in a bit of trouble with the local gangs, and need something short of a miracle to get out of a massive loan that’s hanging over their heads. How can they hope to steal enough money in time to pay their way out of death? Enter Chappie.

For those of you unfamiliar with Die Antwoord, they are a South African hip hop duo known for their explicit lyrics and music videos. They have a pretty crazy sound and image. Apparently the director was a big fan, so he decided they had to be in his movie. But to act a certain role, or to do a small cameo? No. They are more or less the main characters and spotlight of this film when Chappie isn’t yammering away in his awesome South African accent. They don’t even act, they just play themselves. And while they can be highly entertaining at times, there’s no hiding the fact that they are plain ridiculous.  They can’t act, and their personas don’t really have a place in this movie.

To the movie’s credit, it asks a lot of interesting questions about AI. It brings up the notion that personality, human or otherwise, may one day be boiled down to a highly complex mathematical algorithm. It asks some good questions about what makes us truly human, truly ourselves and not someone else. It makes a very good case for sentient machines being more than just that. In that regard, the movie truly does deserve a thumbs up.

Also, I would be doing a great disservice to Sharlto Copley if I didn’t mention how good his performance was in this. Any scene we have Chappie in, it’s hard to imagine that somebody actually acted out his performance. That he wasn’t just merely created like that, the perfect, endearing, little robot. His mannerisms, gestures and voice are absolutely spot on. Any scene he’s in, he absolutely steals the screen for the better. He could actually make me forget about the Die Antwoord parts of the movie and make me feel like I’m watching a good film again. However, inevitably, the Die Antwoord parts kept coming in, louder, and dumber in sequence.

Much like District 9, Blomkamp’s last successful film, you have a very good idea and concept which is executed very poorly. The narrative simply doesn’t carry its own weight. The writing is outright laughable in many parts. Any scene with Hugh Jackman is absolutely cringe worthy. Don’t get me wrong, Hugh Jackman is a GREAT actor. But in this film, everything he has to work with is a train wreck. Even the tone is all over the place. You go from Disney/Spielberg “aww” moments, to slapstick comedy, to people being graphically disembodied, to heart-wrenching drama… It really feels all over the place. The movie’s tone and direction are definitely not unified and defined.

If you got a Friday night to kill and there’s nothing better, this movie might be worth your dollar. It should give you a few good laughs, make you ponder a question or two. As long as you don’t take it too seriously, you might actually enjoy yourself. But don’t look for a proper film here.

Sorry, ol’ Chap.

 

 

Star Wars Rant Episode 1: Darth Curious

Star Wars

By Ryan:

Everyone knows what it is. I’m a fan, and you’re probably a fan. You’re sister isn’t, but her new born baby cousin will one day feel the awakening himself. Everyone has had a taste of the space opera’s milk in a galaxy far, far away. A franchise that, in wake of being reborn, has now become what could possibly be the most future proof investment in all of entertainment history. The Star Wars phenomena. It changed the life of the sci-fi genre in the 70s. It awoken the force in an entirely new generation at the turn of the century. And now, as we trek closer to the most anticipated movie of the year, let us ponder on some questions. Thinking big picture like I usually do, one question comes to mind immediately. What does the future hold for Star Wars?

Believe me, I love this idea to death. That once more, new generations of minds will see something they have never seen before and feel a new sense of hope and wonder. They will shiver with goose bumps over what they see before them, and the tantalizing excitement of what’s beyond. They will feel like a child all over again. What excites me the most about Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens, and the future of Star Wars, is that for the first time since The Empire Strikes Back, we do not know where we are going! Helpless geek, young minds, and your average movie go’er, all touched by the force of Star Wars, are lost in the mystery among the stars.

And so we ask ourselves, those geeks and younglings and even your average movie go’er , those questions that cloud the future of the force. What has happened after Return of the Jedi? What exciting events and emotions did we miss over the course of 30 years? So many questions, but how will they be answered? Whatever the next generations of fans get with new Star Wars movies, it will probably keep Disney financially secure for the next 50 years. But, do you really want a Star Wars movie every year for.. the next..50 years? Look to your big eared friend at Disney for the answer.

Mickey must wield the light side and not give into the temptation of the dark side. Here’s where big picture thinking needs to take control of the force that is the Star Wars machine. Disney needs to think smart, and keep the magic alive. How can you do that? Take a few lessons from the Marvel phase experiment, but make our Star Wars special! Take all the time you need to make it right. Quality over quantity, but quantity in the right space. Quality and magic with movies, and quantity with freedom with one or two television series. These two outlets are the main sources of exposure. Treat this with care Mickey, and don’t give in to the once embodied “everything to the max” creations of your predecessor, George Lucas.

Starting off with the original idea from the creator and perceived villain himself. Star Wars, at one point or another, was supposedly meant to be a 12 episode saga. Throughout its evolving history, we’ve heard things from Lucas that this was about the story line of Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader, then becoming the story about the Skywalker Family. One of the next most important questions for the future of the Star Wars franchise, and to its beloved fans is this, are you willing to let go of what made you love Star Wars, and risk losing or gaining attachment to something new? Here’s how the debate over “storylines” could be handled.

Universe-building. “Skywalker”, “Vader”, “Obi-Wan”, “Yoda”…all of these characters and references become known as the SKY WALKER SAGA. Movies, tv, comics, and merch all fit into this category. Episodes 1-9 or 1-12 become the movies of this saga. Lucas never intended to make Star Wars follow ups, and to build the universe episodically. The first movie was released as “Star Wars.” Things can evolve over time. With Disney in control, rebranding everything in titled sagas can then open the universe to unlimited possibilities. If milk runs dry from one cash cow, bring in another.

A new saga shall begin. New characters, new life, and new everything. All within the STAR WARS universe, but the beginning of a new story and era. Who says STAR WARS has to be about jedi’s, sith, and lightsabers? Imagine sagas like comic books: Star Wars The New Saga Title: Episode 1: The Adjective Noun. Put it on your shelf next to the complete Star Wars Skywalker Saga Episode 1-12. I would tell myself “Man it feels good to be excited for more Star Wars movies 10+ years after Episode 12.” That can’t get stale can’t it? Only if there are extended lengths of time between movies and sagas. That’s how you have quality and magic with movies touching each generation. We would move toward what we need to see in movies, more originality and imagination, and move away from reboots and remakes.

There is of course doubt in my mind of what may become of our dearest beloved. Disney gives into the dark temptations of the Star Wars machine, and the magic and quality is lost. No matter how far lost you are, there is always forgiveness. Do you want to do this best way possible, or do you want to be dying in your sons arms telling us “you were right.” I fear Star Wars may become all about the next Skywalker or Solo or Dameron. Episode 24 comes out December 18, 2030! Yoda spin off begins principal photography Jan 4th 2018. It can be done I guess, but you risk tampering with the dark side of fame that is over exposure. You risk losing the magic to quantity and greed.

Let Star Wars take on a life of its own. Let it breathe in new life and new civilizations. Let it boldly go where no one has gone before. Take a lesson from Star Trek if you will. Like in Star Trek, TV series can work, and movies every so often, but not too close to one another. The irony has become to ironic I must admit using the star trek references, but i’d like to see this happen. Game of Thrones, or The Walking Dead are unpredictable, seemingly never ending stories that have bad episodes, but usually right themselves. They carry a reputation about being a kick ass show, and rough patches are eventually forgotten. They’re based off of a creators work and take freedoms with their directions. Star Wars can have one or more critically acclaimed TV series by adopting the right models, but again, you risk too much of a good thing.

So maybe long breaks between trilogies are good. Maybe someone who has yet to see a single Star Wars movie has the next big idea for the Franchise. I’m excited because we get more, but I’m worried Star Wars may lose balance with the very force it created. So what does the future hold for Star Wars? I think no one really does know right now. I hope we figure it out. JJ Abrams and his team feel like our only hope, but no, there is always another. It’s in that hands of the next generation. Clouded your future has become, hmm.

May the force be with you,

Colonel