Tag Archive: George Lucas

We all know that George Lucas is perfectly willing to pimp out Star Wars to all and sundry, but I’m beginning to think he’s gone too far.

To ‘celebrate’ the release of The Phantom Menace’ in 3D (why? I have no idea), he’s allowed France’s / Benelux’ fast food chain Quick to create and market a Jedi Burger and a Dark Vador Burger.

No, you read that right, DARK VADOR!

What do these Force injected nummies look like?

Oh God! Make it stop!Do not adjust your monitors, you’re seeing it right. That’s a pitch black burger bun.  Nothing screams ‘Delicious’ like a bun that’s indistinguishable from a charcoal briquet.

And guess what? There’s also the Dark Burger just in case the Dark Vador is too emo for you.

No, please stop!

Dear Gods, please make it stop! Next thing you know, Quick will announce that’s the patties are made with bantha fodder.

Whatever happened to collectible cups?

Via: Mintinbox and BuzzFeed
Bob Anderson

RIP: 1922-2012

There is no doubt that sword fighting can be a vicious, brutal form of combat. The damage a blade can do to an unprotected body is staggering. It’s dangerous regardless of which side of the weapon you’re on.

It’s also sexy as hell.

Thrust and parry, lunge and retreat, en guard, riposte all combined to make a sword fight as graceful as it was deadly; a beautiful balance between strength, grace, steel and flesh.

No one knew this better than Bob Anderson, Hollywood’s sword fighting virtuoso who passed away yesterday at the age of 89.

After retiring from competitive fencing in 1952, Bob started working as a stunt man in Hollywood movies, where his first job was to stage fights and coach Errol Flinn in The Master of Ballantrae . Over the years, he became the most sought after fight coordinator and sword master in Hollywood, working continuously for six decades on some of the most notable films of all times including the James Bond films From Russia with Love, Die Another Day, Highlander, The Princess Bride, The Mask of Zorro, the Star Wars Trilogy and Lord of the Rings.

A quiet man, it was years before his true contribution to the Star Wars films was fully known. For years it was believed that he merely coached and choreographed the fight scenes for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In fact, Anderson was performing in those fight scenes, a fact that George Lucas wanted buried for fear it would adversely affect David Prowses career. The deception did not sit well with actor Mark Hamill, who finally revealed the truth in a Starlog interview in 1983:

“It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told (director) George (Lucas) I didn’t think it was fair any more. Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It’s ridiculous to preserve the myth that it’s all done by one man.”

According to Leon Hill, Anderson’s assistant:

“David Prowse wasn’t very good with a sword and Bob couldn’t get him to do the moves. Fortunately Bob could just don the costume and do it himself.”

Anderson’s best work was arguably done on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Not only did he train the actors and choreograph the fight scenes he also developed individual fighting styles for each of the cultures of Middle Earth based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s descriptions in the text. His genius is seen most notably in the Weathertop sequence from The Fellowship of the Ring, where Aragorn fights his first battle against the Ringwraiths. Remember that this was Viggo Mortensen’s first day of shooting, only arriving in New Zealand a few days before. It is a testament to Bob Anderson’s skill as both a choreographer and teacher (and Viggo as a student) that they were able to pull off the scene as amazingly well as they did with so little preparation.

I first became a fan of Anderson’s after seeing the movie Highlander, although I didn’t know it at the time. After seeing the battles between Christopher Lambert and Clancy Brown, I walked away wanting to be able to do that; to dance with a blade whirling around me. It was so fluid and beautiful and I was left in awe.

Rest well Bob. Thank you for the amazing legacy. Think I’m going to download Reclaiming the Blade from Netflix tonight.

Star Wars - The Robot Chicken versionThis does not bode well…

It seems that George Lucas is preparing to sally forth with another Star Wars television series.  This time, a sit-com!  WTF?

Featuring creative involvement from Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, creators and executive producers of the Emmy and Annie Award-winning Robot Chicken, as well as writing from The Daily Show‘s Brendan Hay, the series will look at the Saga’s characters with a playful and irreverent tone. The series will be produced by Daytime Emmy and Gemini Award-winner Jennifer Hill (The Backyardigans), and directed by Emmy-nominated Todd Grimes (Back at the Barnyard).

Playful and irreverent tone? The Backyardigans *and* Back at the Barnyard?

No, just no.  George, stop now. I used to cynically joke that everything you’ve done related to the Star Wars franchise since the release of Return of the Jedi has been nothing more than a money grab, but now I’m really starting to believe it. Are you really that devoid of new ideas that you have to keep going back to the well that ran dry years ago?

Seth Green is awesome, and Robot Chicken is great fun in limited doses, but an entire series à-la-mechanical-fowl?

Robot Chicken collaborator Senreich says:

“We’re going to pull back the curtain of some of those behind-the-scenes shenanigans.”

Well, sometimes the only thing behind the curtain are dust bunnies and dirty underwear, and they aren’t that interesting and really shouldn’t be trotted out for the masses.

The Clone Wars works as a television series because it fits within the framework of the prequels.  To be honest, the series is what the prequels should have been, rich characters and diverse stories against a epic backdrop that builds on the pre-existing narrative. Fans always had questions about what happened during those years, and Clone Wars is a great response.

I can’t imagine anyone wanting to know what happens in Mos Eisley’s Cantina when Han wasn’t shooting up the joint. Much less joking about it.

Nope. No sir, I don't approve.Frankly, this just stinks. If you want to do something like this, then make an hour long comedic documentary and add it onto the BlueRay release that we all know is coming.  Or better yet, start looking at the novels that have been written over the years.  There are a wealth of great concepts for a television series (I vote for anything involving Grand Admiral Thrawn myself).

But a sit com???

PS.  Han shot first!

The People vs. George Lucas - Premiering at SXSW, March 13, 6:30 pm.I really wish I could make it down to SXSW this year.  Melissa Auf de Mar is performing, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is hosting a couple of events, and but most of all, The People vs. George Lucas is premiering at the festival.

What, you haven’t heard about The People vs.George Lucas?

Described as a love letter to George Lucas, TPvsGL is a deconstruction of the man, his movies, his enduring influence, and the passionate, conflicting reactions that people have when when it comes to his work.  From the news release:

THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS explores the titanic struggle between a Godlike filmmaker and his legions of fans over the most popular franchise in movie history. The film combines key testimonies from the likes of Gary Kurtz (Producer of AMERICAN GRAFITTI, STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK), Neil Gaiman (THE SANDMAN, AMERICAN GODS), Dave Prowse (aka Darth Vader), Anthony Waye (Executive Producer of the BOND franchise), and Dale Pollock (George Lucas’s Biographer, Author of SKYWALKING) with fan footage from around the globe, and impassioned testimonies from George’s staunchest fans and foes.

A tribute to the YouTube generation, this unique participatory documentaryexamines and articulates the many contentious issues that have become an integral part of the Star Wars mystique, and deconstructs George Lucas’s cultural legacy through the prism of his fans.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how something so pure and earnest as Star Wars could become this huge corporate, soul sucking, money making machine; if you’ve written slash fic about Chewie and C3PO; ever yelled at the screen: “Han shot first!”; or muttered: “Lucas raped my childhood.”, this movie is for you.

If that doesn’t set your midi-chlorians twitching, here’s the teaser trailer number one:

And teaser trailer number 2:

Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, produced by Vanessa Philippe, Kerry Deignan Roy, Anna Higgs and Robert Muratore, and edited by Chad Hercheberger, The People vs George Lucas will premier at South X South West on Saturday, March 13 at 06:30 PM at Alamo Lamar1.

Visit the People vs. George Lucas website.

I really hope it makes its way to Toronto soon.