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Messages - Nicklab

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Star Wars Anthology / Re: Star Wars: Rogue One
« on: March 17, 2015, 02:15 PM »
This bit of news is pretty significant:  John Williams Will Not Score Star Wars: Rogue One.

Composer Alexandre Desplat has been tapped to score ROGUE ONE.  Here's the text:

Few things are as synonymous with Star Wars as the music of John Williams. It’s hard to even think about the franchise, original trilogy or prequels, without the composer’s rousing tunes coming to mind. When the first spinoff movie drops on December 16, 2016, however, you may be in for a shock, as John Williams will not score Star Wars: Rogue One.

 Williams’ music has a massive impact on the films he’s involved with. Just think what Star Wars, the Indiana Jones movies, and Jurassic Park would be without his work. But as revealed on an episode of French radio program, Radio Classique’s Culture Club, Alexandre Desplat will handle the score for director Gareth Edwards’ (Godzilla) upcoming turn around that far, far away galaxy.

 This makes Rogue One the first Star Wars movie to arrive in theaters without Williams, and though it’s shocking to think of at first, it isn’t a huge surprise. There has been talk for a while that the 83-year-old composer will continue to score the Episode movies, like The Force Awakens, but leave the standalone movies to franchise newcomers. If nothing else, this will be one way to truly establish these films as their own unique entity, as something different within the larger Star Wars framework.

 For his part, Desplat is slouch at all, and you can do a whole lot worse on this front. He’s very, very talented in his own right, and has worked on tons of high profile films, including both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Zero Dark Thirty, and Unbroken, among many others. Just recently, he won an Academy Award for his work on Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, in a category where he actually competed against himself. His score for the Benedict Cumberbatch-starring The Imitation Game was also nominated. The guy had a solid year.

 He’s obviously no stranger to big, epic movies, and Rogue One marks the second collaboration between Desplat and Edwards, who worked together on Godzilla last year. It will be interesting to see what he brings to Star Wars, and if he puts his own unique stamp on the film or tries to pay homage to Williams.

 For as much talk as there’s been, we don’t know a ton about Rogue One. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) is reportedly the female star, the story comes from an idea by longtime Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor John Knoll, and Chris Weitz is handling the latest incarnation of the script after Gary Whitta left. Everything else is unsubstantiated rumor and hearsay at this point.

 The title, Rogue One, presumably refers to Rogue Leader, the commander of Rogue Squadron, the most elite flying force in all of the Rebel Alliance. This moniker has, at various times, been bestowed on Wedge Antilles, Tycho Celchu, and Luke Skywalker, a name you probably recognize. We’ve also heard that this first standalone film involves bounty hunters, Boba Fett, and a heist, possibly of the plans for the first Death Star. At this stage, we have no idea how all of these elements, if they are indeed true, come together in the story, but we’re damn excited to find out.

Star Wars Anthology / Re: Star Wars: Rogue One
« on: March 13, 2015, 03:21 PM »
It's interesting that they're going to be returning to a May film release schedule.  When Disney first announced that they would be releasing THE FORCE AWAKENS in December, I got the sense that it was a play by Disney to own two distinct movie release periods.  Star Wars would give Disney ownership of the December box office, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe would take the leading role in owning that big May movie.

But I think that the way the movie industry is so intertwined with it's associated merchandising partners, Disney has come to realize that a December release doesn't work as well for a major merchandising oriented film.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season One (Spoilers)
« on: March 8, 2015, 09:47 AM »
One funny thing about the Inquisitors death in the Season 1 finale.  I got a sneaking feeling that the Inquisitor might die about a week before the episode aired.  And you know what clued me in on that?  Toys R Us put those 31" Jakks Pacific Inquisitor figures on clearance!

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Recents Finds and/or Purchases
« on: March 7, 2015, 03:32 PM »
I picked up a pair of AT-DP Drivers and a TIE Pilot this morning.  Nice to see TRU getting this wave. Wasn't able to find a Jedi Temple Guard though.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: The Avengers (and sequels)
« on: March 6, 2015, 09:14 PM »
Thankfully, Ang Lee's Hulk isn't considered a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I get what he tried to do with that film.  And it was an artistic take on the Hulk's story.  But I don't think it was something that comic fans were prepared to embrace.

I just don't know how anyone could manage to sit through all of that.  And I think that if anyone is going to nap through any of the films in the marathon, it would probably be during Iron Man 3.

So I finally saw the Saga Legends Commander Gree as well as the SL AT-AT Driver in the wild yesterday.  And it was kind of a disappointing situation.  We already had a Clone Wars Gree in the same armor deco, and there have been some pretty cool AT-AT Drivers offered since about 2009.  So when I saw these figures (with 5 POA) this sense of 'MEH' just washed over me.  I can get behind a figure like the Jedi Temple Guard since that's an all new character that has never made into a figure before.  But these 5 POA offerings of characters that have been previously offered in versions with super articulation and great sculpting really fall flat for me.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season One (Spoilers)
« on: March 6, 2015, 11:01 AM »
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda both saw the security recordings of Anakin taking part in the massacre at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. 

ANAKIN: The traitors have been taken care of, Lord Sidious.

DARTH SlDIOUS: Good . . . good . . . You have done well, my new apprentice. Do you feel your power growing?

ANAKIN: Yes, My Master.

DARTH SlDIOUS: Now, Lord Vader, now go and bring peace to the Empire.

OBI-WAN watches in horror. Tears well up in his eyes.

OBI-WAN: I can't watch any more.

OBI-WAN switches off the hologram. The TWO JEDI stand in silence for a few moments.

YODA: Destroy the Sith, we must.

OBI-WAN: Send me to kill the Emperor. I will not kill Anakin.

YODA: To fight this Lord Sidious, strong enough, you are not.

OBI-WAN: He is like my brother ... I cannot do it.

YODA: Twisted by the dark side, young Skywalker has become. The boy you trained, gone he is . . . Consumed by Darth Vader.

OBI-WAN: How could it have come to this?

YODA: To question, no time there is.

OBI-WAN: I do not know where the Emperor has sent him. I don't know where to look.

YODA: Use your feelings, Obi-Wan, and find him, you will. Visit the new Emperor, my task is. May the Force be with you.

OBI-WAN: May the Force be with you, Master Yoda.

That's from the script, and not necessarily the dialogue from the theatrical release.  But in ROTS Yoda does call Anakin 'Darth Vader'.  After the duel on Mustafar I think that Obi-Wan truly thought Anakin was dead.  But he and Yoda also knew that he had taken on this mantle of Darth Vader.  It stands to reason that following his exile Obi-Wan likely came across some sort of information about the Emporer's apprentice, Darth Vader.  Especially since he was hunting down Jedi.  Obi-Wan alluded to that much during the conversation in his hut with Luke in ANH.  Still, I think there was a sense of shock on Obi-Wan's face when he finally saw Vader on the Death Star in ANH.  More because of Vader's menacing appearance than by the revelation of his survival.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Harrison Ford Plane Crash
« on: March 6, 2015, 10:39 AM »
More reports are coming in about the circumstances around his forced landing.  It seems that he glided the plane down onto the golf course rather than making for the Santa Monica airport.  Trying to make for the airport may have led to the plane going down in a residential area, as Ford assessed that he didn't have enough altitude to be able to glide the distance from where he lost power to the runway at the airport.  If that's really the case, that's an incredibly gutsy bit of flying on the part of Harrison Ford!

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season One (Spoilers)
« on: March 6, 2015, 07:49 AM »
I think that within the Empire Darth Vader is regarded as the Emporer's enforcer.  He is to be respected and feared.  As for who may know that Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker?  I suspect that list of people is REALLY short.  As for who that includes following the events of Episode III?
-Obi-Wan Kenobi
-Bail Organa

People who may or may not know?  I suspect that Tarkin's previous familiarity with Anakin during the Clone Wars and subsequent relationship with him as Vader has keyed him in on that secret in the time between ROTS and ANH.  And Tarkin's dialogue with Vader during ANH makes it clear that he knows of Vader's past.  As for Uncle Owen?  Clearly he knows Anakin and that he was a Jedi from their time on the homestead in AOTC.  But I suspect that for the safety of Luke it's very likely that Obi-Wan did not share the whole truth about Padme and Anakin's fates in an effort to protect Owen, Beru and Luke.  Owen knew that Anakin was a Jedi.  But based on the what Obi-Wan initially told Luke about how Vader betrayed and murdered his father, I suspect that he told something similar to Owen as well.

So, will Ahsoka come to know this too if her character gets a more substantial role in the show?  Based on her contact with Bail Organa that's entirely possible.  But would Bail risk telling Anakin's former padawan?  He never told his own adopted daughter about her true parentage.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Harrison Ford Plane Crash
« on: March 6, 2015, 06:22 AM »
That's some scary ****.  I hope he's going to be alright.

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Star Wars Rebels "Mission Series" 2-Packs
« on: March 4, 2015, 10:33 AM »
Even though these figures feature 5 POA, these figures look pretty cool.  I actually like some of the stylization on Vader.

TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season One (Spoilers)
« on: March 4, 2015, 09:59 AM »
I was finally able to watch the episode yesterday.  As stories go, that final 3 episode arc was strong.  Even though the Inquisitor and Agent Kallus are not to be trifled with, the introduction of Tarkin to the series brought something far more sinister to the Empire.  The Imperial Forces seemed to be that much more of a threat with Tarkin's presence.  And even the Inquisitor was that much more brutal as well.

It seems like this crisis served to do more for Kanan in terms of deepening his connection with the Force.  And he's becoming a far better teacher to Ezra in the process.  And his lightsaber duel with the Inquisitor?  The setting absolutely brought you back to the Theed duel from EPISODE I.  But there the similarities ended.  Ezra is more youngling than a proper Padawan, and I think he was very much out of his depth and couldn't match up with the Inquisitor.  But Kanan did some things in that duel that were very much remarkable.  When Ezra fell I almost thought that Kanan was going to tap into the Dark Side.  But seeing him use that to center himself in the Force also seemed to help him get past the demons he had associated with the loss of his master, Depa Billaba.  And his use of Ezra's lightsaber / blaster in the duel was actually really clever.

I think the Inquisitor HAD to die.  And I think he's going to stay dead.  He seemed resigned to his death with his final words.  And I suspect that was directly related to his own fear of both Darth Vader and the Emporer.  Plus, I don't know how long a series like REBELS could hang onto an actor like Jason Isaacs.  Hell, I'm still surprised that they've got David Oyelowo for the part of Agent Kallus.  As for the return of Vader?  His appearance was a nice bookend to the series.  The series launch had that special scene with Vader communicating with the Inquisitor, and to cap things off with the arrival of Vader brings things to a place that we're all familiar with.

The revelation of Ahsoka as Fulcrum was kind of expected.  The leaks have been hinting at that for a few weeks now.  From a story standpoint I think it makes sense.  When we last saw Ahsoka in CLONE WARS we saw her as disaffected with both the Jedi and the Republic.  So I can understand her taking part in the Rebellion.  It makes sense for her as a character.  Part of me is wondering if the show might explore any sort of long standing connection between Ahsoka and Hera or her family.  It certainly makes me want to re-watch the CLONE WARS Ryloth story arc to see if there was any interaction between Ahsoka and Hera's father, Cham Syndulla.  I was also glad to see Bail Organa in the mix again along with those Blockade Runners.  One curious point?  The troopers who were awaiting the crew of the Ghost after they docked with the captured Imperial ship.  They were actually reminiscent of some Rebel troopers that were in THE FORCE UNLEASHED as part of Rahm Kota's militia.

Going forward?  I think we're going to see the crew of the Ghost much more involved in coordinated Rebel Alliance operations.  They're probably still going to be involved in some similar ops on Lothal that we saw in Season 1, but those will likely tie-in with broader Alliance missions and other Rebel cells.  I hope we get to see some more of Ahsoka and Bail Organa as the second season develops.  Will we see Leia?  That seems questionable since Leia was relatively young in ANH.

As for the Empire?  Bringing Vader into the mix will step things up with the Empire on Lothal.  I don't know how much Vader will be directly involved.  You would think that as soon as Vader becomes aware of any surviving Jedi that he would personally hunt them down.  Could Vader's arrival on Lothal be the catalyst for the crew of the Ghost to become more mobile in their operations?  I think that's a real possibility.  Especially if Kanan has heard about Vader in the years following Order 66. 

One thing that's been a point of contention for me is about how Imperial Inquisitors are Force users.  Dave Filoni has talked about this a little bit.  And he's specifically said that they are not Sith.  I know that the Inquisitors had a role in what is now "Legends" EU, but the only place I recall them popping up was in the Dark Empire storyline.  So, can we expect a new Inquisitor to come into the mix following the death of the Pau'an Inquisitor?  I'm interested to see what another different  Inquisitor might bring to the table for the second season.

Other series notes?  I like that we've seen something of a blend between PT era tech and OT tech in the REBELS series.  The AT-DP seems like a clear blend between the PT AT-RT and the OT's AT-ST.  And there was also the Gunships that we saw in the episode where Kanan was captured.  Those were the same class of Gunships that Anakin used on Coruscant as he and the Shock Troopers were trying to track down Ahsoka towards the end of the CLONE WARS series.  Things like that do help to establish some continuity that grounds things.

I think the movie characters stand the best chance of being made. Albeit without dead Padme.  Clearly it's going to take some time for Hasbro to get through the list with all of the new movies coming from Disney.  As for the EU figures?  Given their new "legends" status and the possibility for characters like Anakin Solo or Darth Caedus to cause some confusion between them and characters from the new films, I think it's very unlikely that Hasbro is going to go in that direction at all.

As for Doallyn?  I consider him done given last years Skiff Guard figure.  And I think Hasbro is actually pretty well primed to get to characters like Sim Aloo and the vintage deco Death Squad Commander.

And if we're REALLY looking all the way back through all of the Fan's Choice Polls?  There are still a couple of holdout from the original polls that Hasbro conducted that didn't make the cut for the Toyfare polls:
-Captain Nym (Starfighter video game)
-Ann & Tan Gella (TPM Twi'lek masseuses)

Star Wars Rebels / Re: Recents Finds and/or Purchases
« on: February 28, 2015, 08:42 AM »
Nice to hear Chopper is still showing up... I still haven't seen one.

Same here. 

And related to the Chopper issue, I would trade a carded Inquisitor for Chopper if anyone wants to make that deal. I just scored the Target exclusive version of the Inquisitor with his TIE Advanced prototype, so my carded Inquisitor is up for grabs to anyone that might have a spare Chopper.

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: The Black Series 3.75" - Wave 8
« on: February 27, 2015, 10:25 AM »
...In Marvel comics.  I had the comic adaptation of TESB, but never for STAR WARS.  So I missed out on that.  So with Mosep I get about as excited for that as I would for the actor in the furry costume who was the stand-in for the Docking Bay 94 scene.  Both of them are notable because of their interesting footnote status in the whole saga, but that obscurity doesn't do it for me.  When it comes to a Tatooine / Cantina denizen I'm more interested in someone who gets more screen time.  Like a Baniss Keeg or Danz Borin.

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