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What creating an 'Anthology' series really means for Star Wars

With the success of Rogue One and the several other stand alone films that Disney has planned to release with the famous brand, explain how this decision changes the way that we look at Star Wars’ film legacy. Does it change? If so how? What does this mean for die hard fans of the series?

  • I think an important element of this discussion would be defining what makes a Star Wars film as opposed to other space stories. – C8lin 2 weeks ago
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  • It's also important to note that Star Wars has so much lore. Be that through the novels, comics etc. the franchise itself already has a huge knowledge base and anthology-like feel. This knowledge just isn't something the general public makes themselves aware of – Nicole Sojkowski 2 weeks ago
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The Implications of Carrie Fisher's Death in the Star Wars Franchise

After the passing of its iconic and lovable star Carrie Fisher, the makers of Star Wars have reached a standstill about how to respectfully write out her character of Princess Leia. Consider the ethical, technological, and creative methods by which Fisher’s memory can be served in a series built on a foundation of visual breakthroughs in film.

    Taken by Laura Jungblut (PM) 2 weeks ago.
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    Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?

    Looking at The Force Awakens as well as canon novels, comics, film-maker’s comments, and even previous Star Wars films, suggest a reasonable theory or theories on who Supreme Leader Snoke could actually be. Snoke is the man behind the curtain in The Force Awakens and looks to have a very important role in the Star Wars universe moving forward. This would be an interesting topic because like Rey the question of Snoke’s identity remains unknown.

    • I think it could be useful to also interrogate how these theories relate to the act of story-telling itself. What do the candidates for Supreme Leader Snoke reveal about story-telling structure within Star Wars? How do these candidates relate the conflict between the author and audience's desire for how a story should progress? I'm thinking of this within the larger Star Wars franchise and how this has played out historically within the past. – Matt Sautman 3 months ago
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    The Force: Why Jedi and Sith Rise and Fall Through the Eras

    We all know the ways of the Jedi: truth, compassion, meditation, wisdom, etc. We also know the path of the Sith: anger, hatred, rage, jealousy, and power. However, the question remains, who is right and who is wrong? Exploring this topic would entail research into the creeds of both the Jedi and Sith and question why their black and white viewpoints cause them to fail. It should also discuss Grey Jedi, as well as Jedi and Sith who have resigned from their beliefs such as Ahsoka Tano, Count Dooku, Jolee Bindo, Asage Ventress and so on. Explore the differences between the teachings of the Old Republic Jedi/Sith and the teachings of Luke Skywalker’s generation of Jedi/Sith.

    • Isn't Darth Revan the most influential user of both sides of the force at one time? Not educated but I think that's what he did? – Slaidey 2 months ago
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    The similarities between A New Hope and The Force Awakens, and why it works

    Any genuine Star Wars fan cannot deny how closely the plot of The Force Awakens resembles that of A New Hope. Fans have generally had mixed feelings about this idea, but there are points to be made in the reasons as to why they’re so comparable. Just because they have similar plot points does not make The Force Awakens just a re-hash; in fact, The Force Awakens is as every bit as strong as any other Star Wars movie. Any comparable aspect of The Force Awakens has a reason behind it, and that’s why people can’t say that it’s just a remake of A New Hope.

    • I think this is a really great topic. Unfortunately, it's already been done (quite well), in the form of a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbaliPyihCY . To the prospective author of this article, do not start writing until you've watched this video in its entirety. If you think you have anything to add, than by all means, move forward. If you feel as though Mr. Stuckmann has summed up your thoughts quite well (and perhaps even better than you would have), then maybe we don't need a re-hash. Just my two cents. – ProtoCanon 2 months ago
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    • To add to the conversation, you might also add a section that predicts how later movies in the franchise will compare to the previous ones as well based on what is found to be similar between Ep 4 and Ep7. Will Ep5 and Ep8 be similar? Would this be a good or bad thing? – Kevin 2 months ago
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    Leia and Rey: Star Wars and The Anti Damsel in Distress

    Historically, people thought Star Wars was geared more towards men than women. Nevertheless, that idea has been put to rest and more and more fans are discussing gender roles in Star Wars. As such, Leia and Rey have had moments where they were trapped and seemingly needed to be rescued, but for the most part it was usually their own attitudes, strength, and intelligence that got them out of trouble. How is the female character designed in the Star Wars franchise? What makes her different? What makes her the same? How can we explore Leia and Rey and get an in-depth look at the anti damsel in distress?

    • Great topic. Would love to see an article on this. – Munjeera 12 months ago
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    • Might as well throw Padme in, too. – JLaurenceCohen 12 months ago
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    • Good topic, I would make the argument that Han and Luke had to "save the princess" in the first installment of the original trilogy. But I would agree that for the most part yes they are very strong, autonomous, independent women! – Jason052714 10 months ago
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    • would be interesting to chart Leia and Padme's growth through their respective trilogies; as Jason052714 points out Leia does initially require some help but moves on to become a general while Padme seems to move in the opposite direction, becoming less of a leader/action oriented character. – tlbdb 8 months ago
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    The Chicken or the Egg: Should Books or Movies come first?

    As we all await the release of the new Star Wars this winter, we should consider the fact that this series did not start off in print. That is to say, it was a movie sensation before anyone created a printed version of the story. Since then, there have been numerous novels, short stories, graphic novels, etc…that have been written. This is not unique; many movie sensations have prompted authors to create written versions of the film(s). Is there a use in creating written versions of films that have already been created? Readers often love to see movie versions of their favorite stories because it can help bring them to life. A difficult task for readers is often imagining what certain aspects of a story look like (i.e. characters, settings); therefore, a film version often confirms or disproves their previous assumptions. Unfortunately, for many readers, finding out this information, along with knowing how the story ends, can ruin the experience of reading something. In conclusion, what would the point be of reading a book if you have already seen the entire story in film version?

    • You could also look at what end up being more successful: print to movie adaptations, or movie to print adaptations. – Marcie Waters 1 year ago
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    • You could also determine talk about how some books are not fit for film. – birdonawire 1 year ago
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    • Perhaps this topic is best approached by genre. It may be that books before movies may be good for some genres--for example love and romance--but not for others--such as mysteries. – kalyraman 1 year ago
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    • You could determine your solutions based on top box office adaptations vs top literary adaptations. – Burst74 1 year ago
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    • I think book adaptations of movies have it too rough. If a great writer did it, I would read it. But as of now, they read like an intern took the script and translated it word for word into an easily digestible novel. However, I want After Hours by Martin Scorcese as a novel. I would read the hell out of that. – coletunningley 1 year ago
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    • Books sales, as a whole, should also be researched. You could also look into comic sales before and after a superhero movie is released. – MDanielewski 1 year ago
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    • This could also be stretched to include a show like 'Game of Thrones' where fans of the books will have to actively choose between watching the show or waiting until the books come out if they wish to continue consuming the media. – Matthew Sims 12 months ago
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    • You could also look at some of the reasons why book to movie adaptations fail at the box office. – writergurl22 7 months ago
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    What could happen with romantic entanglements in Star Wars 8/9?

    There is a lot of chatter online (social media and news sites) about relationships and orientations in Star Wars The Force Awakens, and the later upcoming films. For example there is talk of chemistry between Finn and Poe, the more obvious heterosexual pairing of Finn and Rey, or even a poly relationship between the three. Is there a possibility for a gay/poly relationship, or are these options merely being dangled over hopeful fans? It is not the first time this has been done, if only considering the indulgent hints at Sherlock/Watson in BBC Sherlock.

    An article can look at opinions online about possible pairings, and exploring other examples of dangling certain non-canon couples over the fans without committing to the relationship could provide interesting context. As can looking at the trend for fanfiction with non-canon couples. Also good to think what effects certain relationship choices could have over viewers, plot and social progression.

    • I think there's probably room for a gay relationship in Star Wars -- Poe for example, is an awesome and likeable character whose primary attributes are bravery, wit and awesome piloting. He displays absolutely no sexual or romantic leanings anywhere within Force Awaken's run time. Making him gay would be easy, contradict nothing pre-existing about the character and change nothing we like about him. He's a perfect candidate really, because up until now his sexuality has been left completely blank.I do hate that people keep pairing him with Finn, though. Not that Finn's sexuality is set in stone, or anything, but c'mon guys, can't two men still have a friendship without sexual overtones? I know that in some ways romantic relationships are inherently more interesting, but just because we should be moving toward a higher visibility of LGBTQ relationships, doesn't mean good old fashion friendship isn't a useful narrative device. – CrunchyEnglish 1 year ago
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    • Agreed that I find it counter-intuitive that the chemistry between Finn and Poe is automatically seen as potential for a homosexual coupling. Can't men just be buddies on screen any more?Also, the writer of this should be careful not to fall into the trap of so many bloggers that the show 'dangles options over hopeful fans'. The whole issue people raise of 'bait' and the writer's intent to create it often creates mind-numbing discussion that treats sexuality as something far more black-and-white than we should be treating it in the modern world. Spring 2015's anime 'Hibike! Euphonium' was a prime example of this.At the very least, the other side of the coin should be also considered - how some fans can be desperate for and do anything they can to encourage non-canonical or non-conventional couplings. i.e. when it's the viewer's input more than the show's design that causes these couplings to become 'options'. Finn/Poe ought to be approached from this angle, IMO. – JekoJeko 1 year ago
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    Which is Better for Hollywood: Franchises Built Around Nostalgia, or Franchises Built Around Creative Stories?

    If the successes of films like Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens have proven anything, it’s that nostalgia is very appealing to movie fans.

    The Force Awakens is actually the exact opposite of the prequels — where the prequels had a creative story (with a goal) and largely poor acting, Force Awakens has a largely derivative story (with no ending in sight beyond Episode IX) and good acting. The upcoming Ninja Turtles sequel is receiving anticipation from fans who have accepted the lack of story in the new bunch of films and just want to see Rocksteady and Bebop on the screen. Guardians of the Galaxy also relies heavily on nostalgia, albeit that of society rather than cinematic. Regardless of shortcomings, audiences continue to see these movies and these movies continue to get made.

    So what will ultimately be more financially successful in the long term for the already extremely perilous and risky film industry: appealing ever more to certain fanbases’ nostalgia (until that fanbase ages out and a new fanbase comes in), or appealing to everyone’s imagination through more originality and creativity?

    • This is a very interesting topic! I would be interested to see the article this would inspire. I would like to say in your first paragraph you mention both Jurassic World and Star Wars. Then in your second paragraph you discuss Star Wars, and TMNT; as a reader I was expecting a comment on Jurassic World instead. TMNT was kind of a surprise, although an interesting point to make and I think it's valuable to the post. But another mention of Jurassic World would strengthen the topic. Also, your title is a bit long, perhaps shortening it to something like: "Nostalgic Franchises vs. Creative Story Plots; Debating Blockbuster Success". – Megan Finsel 1 year ago
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    • Thank you so much, and great points! Yeah I was just kind of riffing across the spectrum. – IanB58 1 year ago
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    • And why can't we have both kinds of stories? Why must all things in Hollywood be dealt with in absolutes?! :) – IanB58 1 year ago
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    • I don't know if these series are successful because of nostalgia, necessarily. It's not as if Star Wars just went away in between 2005's Revenge of the Sith and 2015's The Force Awakens. It's been around, just not in movie format. There have been comics, books, and TV shows that have carried the Star Wars name during that time. Similarly TMNT has been rebooted a couple different times, once in 2003 and again in 2012. As such, a huge number of people have been exposed to Star Wars and TMNT at various points in time, so it's not really fair to say that these filmmakers are appealing to "niche" markets. They're fairly mainstream properties with millions of followers. – ericg 1 year ago
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    • Great points! But is the key thing in these movies appealing to the audience through new story, or calling to the memory of previous works? Visceral connections over intellectual ones, possibly even very much an extension of explosions and effects. – IanB58 1 year ago
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    The Mask and the Machine in 'The Force Awakens'

    "Take off that mask," Solo said to Ren, venturing further onto the bridge. "You don’t need it."*

    But what would Star Wars be without them? An analysis of The Force Awakens centred around this symbol offers the viewer many windows into aspects of character and theme, particularly when contrasted to A New Hope, which Episode Seven so blatantly sets itself in juxtaposition to. What roles do masks in Star Wars create, and how are these challenged and manipulated by characters? How does Finn’s acting before he takes off his helmet – effectively mime – create his character? How is Ren’s mask, aesthetically and symbolically, different from Vader’s, and what is significant about Vader’s memorial being his mask (which he discarded at the end of Episode 6)? Comparing the use and implications of masks in the film and franchise to the historical purposes of masks that are also echoed in the movies – for instance, the samurai helmets of the Sith – could yield further insights, though there are many other options for enquiry.

    The second focus of the article would be on machines, another key symbolic feature of the Star Wars series. The Force Awakens introduced us to new droids, from scrap to practically sentient. Comparing major characters like BB-8 to the junk droids we see on Jakku (and maybe comparing that comparison to a comparison of R2-D2/C-3PO against the junk droids on Tatooine) is just one path into the topic. Investigating the nature of the technology used by the ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’ of the movie also promises a lot of depth of discussion – why does the Dark Side always go for massive industrial weapons, contrasting to how the Light Side is saved by small, humble droids and the small pieces of data they carry – and why should those tiny things be threats against these massive feats of power?

    A strong conclusion would find an insightful way to bring these two together; this can, and perhaps should, govern the entire focus of the article. The writer could use research into the traditions and developments of the theatre to discuss masks and machines (while the former’s link to theatre is obvious, one could consider how the latter were used in, say, Victorian melodrama, which Star Wars could be seen to parallel).

    The article could consider just one of these symbols, but a controlled comparison should be more exciting.

    edit: now considering writing this myself, unless anyone else gets a burning desire to (in which case I can offer

    • One of the most amazing things about the original Star Wars film, "A New Hope," was that the production and costume design was so iconic in its approach. Rather than decking out the villains in colorful, over-the-top "villain-like" apparel--as may be seen in dozens of sci-fi and fantasy anime series and other 1960s/1970s sci-fi--the villains here are more military, but also much more simple and straight-forward. Darth Vader is a dark figure, tall and imposing, but his mask denotes a sense of inner Death. His former self died long ago, and so he wears the death of his former self as an outward shell. The storm-trooper might also be metaphors for skeletons of sorts, but much less human-like, and far more like flimsy shells that are easily shot through: whereas Darth Vader's shell is hard to penetrate and disrupt. Kylo Ren is not nearly as iconic right off the bat as a dark skeletal man with a Samurai styled head-piece, but he forges his own identity none-the-less, by trying to impersonate the look of Vader, and yet not verbatim. – Jonathan Leiter 1 year ago
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    • It's supposed to say 'offer my thoughts' at the end; the text box let me put in in but it cut it off once it got published... – JekoJeko 1 year ago
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