All posts tagged: Star Wars

George Lucas and Mickey in happier times.

EXCLUSIVE: George Lucas’ rejected plans for Star Wars VII revealed!

“The [story ideas] that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those,” George Lucas told this week. And now, this leaked 2012 memo shows what George Lucas had in mind for the new “Star Wars” trilogy, probably. Nov. 8, 2012 To: Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn Fr: George Lucas Re: Story ideas for Star Wars Episode VII Dear Alan: Thanks for taking the time to review the plot outlines I’d been working on for Ep. VII. As you know, you’re under no obligation to use these, but as the creator of “Star Wars” I think I have a good sense of what longtime fans are looking for. (Although if you go in a different direction I’ll just have to drown my sorrows in my $4 billion — ha ha!) We’ll start with Han Solo, since he’ll obviously need to be central to the new trilogy. As Ep. VII kicks off, the former smuggler has ironically been named viceroy of the newly reestablished Trade Federation …

Muppet Family Christmas, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, Star Wars Holiday Special: All worthy of reconsideration.

The top 5 almost-forgotten holiday TV specials

With “A Charlie Brown Christmas” having already made its first appearance of the season, and ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas” well underway, we’re into TV holiday special territory once again. But what specials of yesteryear (specifically my own childhood) seem to have gotten lost amid the onslaught? Here are five worthy of re-consideration. 5) ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (1974): This stands out as one of the only Rankin/Bass Christmas specials to be traditionally animated, rather than made by posing little plastic dolls, a meticulous process that no doubt led to insanity and this scene from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” You’ll recall the story involved a family of mice, and a clock, and a little nerdy mouse who almost destroys Christmas, and the voice of George Gobel. It was sweet and old-fashioned, which is probably why nobody watches it anymore. The good news is, apparently nobody watched the Grumpy Cat Christmas movie either, so there’s hope for humanity. 4) Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962): Hard to say if you could really classify …

Star Wars Episode VII is coming. What else do you need? ( photo)

24 current reasons to be thankful in 2014

Sure, the government’s a mess, the environment is spiraling out of control and American cities are actually burning. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take time to consider some of the reasons we all have to be thankful. So everyone, please put down your torches and pitchforks long enough to appreciate the following blessings: 1) Your job doesn’t require you to balance anything on Kim Kardashian’s big shiny butt. 2) You’re not married to Robin Thicke, probably. At least not anymore. 3) Statistically, if you get pulled over by a police officer you still have a very good chance of not being shot to death. No matter what Nancy Grace says. 4) You’re not on Nancy Grace. 5) You’re not a Red Sox fan. Oh, you are? Er, sorry. 6) You weren’t in the last “Expendables” movie. Oh, you were? Er, sorry. 7) You didn’t let yourself get too attached to “Selfie.” 8) Your professional success doesn’t rely on cooperation from the Republican Party. 9) You didn’t have everything riding on that damn Benghazi report. 10) You …


The Great Summer Movies: Unlimited Power!!!!!

Whatever the case, I think…I think I’m letting go. Maybe I’ll grab hold again someday. For now, let this latest outrage drift right on by. I’ve got Star Wars friends, I’ve got Star Wars memories, and I don’t need anything else from George Lucas. Chances are, you don’t, either. –Me, back in September 2011 So as it turns out, I may never “let go” of Star Wars. In the grand scheme of my life, it’s miniscule and monumental at the same time, this frequently disappointing franchise that has been breaking my heart since 1999. My capacity for critical thought battles endlessly in my own brain against the Underoo-clad seven year old who squees every time he sees a Stormtrooper. Star Wars attached itself to my subconscious decades ago and if I’m being totally honest, I’m okay with that. We all embrace whatever trash we need to wake up every morning and face a fucking hostile universe full of constant disappointment, tempered by occasional bliss. If pop culture is mostly comfort food, then for me, Star …


10 Movies…That Are Spinoffs, Not Sequels, Of Popular Movies (Like Disney’s ‘Planes’)

Spinoffs are the new reboot. Big studio movies are usually part of a franchise at this point, and they are going to become even more assembly lines, what with new, constant Star Wars and Marvel movies every year or so. A spinoff is not a sequel to a movie, merely set in the same universe, and maybe or maybe not a character, major or minor, from the original movie off doing their own thing. It usually works about as well as TV spinoffs work out, which is to say, not very well. Here are 10 movie spinoffs. Get Him to the Greek (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall) In the original, Jason Segel’s character was left by Kristen Bell’s character for a sleazy British rock star, played by Russell Brand in his introduction to America. The spinoff, Get Him to the Greek, marked the beginning of the selling of the Brand brand in earnest. It fleshed out the supporting character nicely, and has some wickedly funny moments. The Scorpion King (from The Mummy) The Rock had slightly …

Monsters University

10 Movies…That Are Unnecessary Prequels (To Prepare You For ‘Monsters University’)

Once Disney took a more draconian handle on Pixar, it was inevitable that they’d make the tiny, massively-gifted studio start churning out sequels and prequels to their most marketable hits. A couple years ago, they made Cars 2, which focused on Mater, the character that sold the most toys, and later this year we’ve got an offshoot called Planes. But first, Monsters University, in which we get to see the monsters from Monsters Inc. learning the job skills they’ll need to one day land a job at Monsters Inc. Here are 10 other unnecessary prequels. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd You want to know how Harry and Lloyd met? They met in high school. Where the hell else were they going to meet? Oz The Great and Powerful All about how Professor Marvel made his way to Oz and how everything went to shit before Dorothy showed up. However, the entire premise of this movie doesn’t make any sense, because Oz was dreamed up by a little girl in a dream and didn’t …

Those were the days.

The Great Summer Movies: Don’t Get Cocky!

18 Observations On Star Wars As It Turns 36, Just As I Did Last July 1. This was one of the first VHS tapes we owned; we had a guy across the street who somehow got us a dub of it, even before it was out on tape, I think. It must have been around 1982? 1983? Is that even possible? 2. I would watch it over and over till Darth Vader showed up, and then I distinctly remember being too scared to continue. 3. Even at that age—like 7, or 8—I wanted to count how many times I watched it. I got up to eleven before I stopped keeping track. It’s all been downhill from there. 4. Lucas swiped liberally from everywhere. This is pop goulash of the highest order. 5. The structure he swiped from Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, but it’s still a fascinating flow for a Hollywood film—characters meeting each other, building the plot person by person until the plot reaches its own critical mass. 6. He swiped the opening crawl and …


Valentine’s Day Character Crushes!

So this is Valentine’s Day? They can keep it! OK, so maybe I shouldn’t be saying that, after all I’m hitched and as a decent husband I should be overspending today on flowers, candy and teddy bears in hopes that my wife will repay me in … making awesome dinner for me! I’m a hopeless romantic, but I’ve never understood why we have to go out of our way this one day to love someone we should be loving just […]

Greatest Un-Hits: Meco’s “Theme From Superman” (1978)

Despite the cool, vaguely exotic euro-discoy name, Meco was really a kind of nerdy dude from Pennsylvania (real name: Domenico Monardo). As such, Meco loved only two things in life: over-the-top disco music, the kind with both lots of violins and laserlike keyboard sound effects; and Star Wars. In the late ’70s then, it was very good to be Meco indeed, to be living in a world whose pop culture was dominated by these, his two passions. He must have felt a divine kiss from the creator every time he awoke, or put a disco beat on an instrumental cue from a movie score. Because that’s pretty much what Meco did: he recorded disco versions of movie theme songs. This kind of thing would be a heavily ironic Internet meme that would be the hot ticket for a day or two, but such was the climate in the very late ’70s and very early ’80s that Meco did that which came naturally and it made him legitimately, extremely successful. Most of Meco’s hits were disco …