I have a confession to make: I’m not a gamer. Never have been. You won’t find a review of “LEGO Star Wars” or notices about the latest patch for “The Old Republic” in this space. I don’t pay that much attention to the gaming galaxies of the Expanded Universe, but I just couldn’t escape the furor over the newly released “Kinect Star Wars.”
You probably know what I’m referring to; last week millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror about the Xbox game, specifically its “Galactic Dance Off” feature where, according to the game’s website, you can “dance for Jabba the Hutt and take on other favorite ‘Star Wars’ characters in 4 different locations.”
What seems to be getting most folks in a tizzy is the sight of Han Solo boogieing down to a remake of Jason Derulo's "Ridin' Solo" (called "I'm Han Solo") inside the very room in which Movie Han gets carbon-frozen in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Once again, charges of childhood rape are being thrown around: at Microsoft, Lucasfilm and, of course, George Lucas himself.
Today (April 6), Billy Dee Williams will turn 75 years old. Mr. Williams, of course, is best known for portraying smooth scoundrel Lando Calrissian in two “Star Wars” movies.
Gambler, businessman, smuggler, pilot, rebel, hero: Lando is all these things and more. And although Han may be the wittiest and Yoda the wisest, Lando does utter quite a few memorable lines in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. So, to celebrate Williams’ big birthday, I give you my Top Ten Most Memorable Lando Lines, in random order.
1. “That blast came from the Death Star! That thing’s operational!”
It seems like every time I go online I see another news article or blog comparing “The Hunger Games” to “Star Wars.” I get it: they both made a lot of money and they both have trilogies. But that’s all the similarity I see. Don’t get me wrong, I like “The Hunger Games.” I’ve read all the books and I liked the movie, a lot. But Suzanne Collins is no George Lucas, and “The Hunger Games” is no “Star Wars.” And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Here are just a few of the many ways “The Hunger Games” differs from “Star Wars”:
1. We all know that “Star Wars” takes place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Collins’ story happens in the future, but right here at home – a North America that somewhere along the way is renamed Panem.
Today at MTV News we celebrate the birthday of actor Nathan Fillion. By “we” I mostly mean “I,” because I’m the only one around here with a mini-shrine to Nathan at my desk. But I invite you join me in the celebration, dear reader!
To get the party started, I present to you my Five Favorite Fillion Films, in list form. “Wait,” I hear you say, “Doesn’t Nathan Fillion do TV?” ‘Tis true, my astute fellow Fillionaire – he’s known primarily for his television roles on such shows as “Castle,” “Firefly” and “The Sitcom with Ryan Reynolds and Another Guy and a Girl and a Pizza Place.” But Nathan has done some fine work in film as well (and he will do more, as he’s just been cast as Hermes - a GOD! - in the “Percy Jackson” sequel). My faves are after the jump!
A while back I had an insightful conversation with Eric Geller of TheForce.Net about the improbable popularity of Boba Fett; this became the subject of my very first Comlink column.
Recently Eric and I discussed the ascent of another "Star Wars" character: the Corellian known as Dengar. Like Boba Fett, Dengar embarked on a search for Han Solo in “The Empire Strikes Back,” but unlike Fett, the voice of Dengar is not heard at all. In fact, he’s sort of a blink-and-you-miss-him kind of guy.
But despite his lack of screen time (and his loss of the Solo bounty to Fett), Dengar has become quite the cult figure in the Expanded Universe. His fans include actors Patton Oswalt and Simon Pegg, who just voiced the animated bounty hunter on “Star Wars: The Clone Wars.”
What’s the one must-have fashion accessory for the wannabe Jedi? A lightsaber, of course—the classiest (and potentially the deadliest) of personal weapons. With a lightsaber in your hand and the Force in your heart, there’s no enemy you cannot conquer.
Except maybe a Portland police officer.
"There's always going to be Sithy douchebags trying to misuse the Force," says Nerdist and all-around funny guy Chris Hardwick. "It’s a sword made of light,” Hardwick says with due reverence. "I remember seeing that for the first time when I was a kid and it completely melted my mind."
Taking a cue from the Yodas and Obi-Wans of the world, Hardwick has offered up a new opportunity to use the power of the lightsaber for good: an Olympic-style relay from Santa Monica to San Diego where participants pass off lightsabers to one another, just in time for Comic-Con. It will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and it’s appropriately called Course of the Force. Hardwick hopes this year’s event will be the first of many. "Initially we wanted to do it from Skywalker Ranch all the way down to San Diego, but we kind of wanted to just get our feet wet the first year," he explained.
According to Eric Geller from TheForce.net, there were three people who were largely responsible for the success of the original “Star Wars” trilogy: creator George Lucas, composer John Williams, and concept artist Ralph McQuarrie.
McQuarrie, who passed away on Saturday at age 82, might not have been as well-known as Lucas and Williams. But if it weren’t for him, “Star Wars” might never have made it to the big screen. It was his artwork that helped convince 20th Century Fox to green-light the first film back in 1975.
You may know that the new movie “John Carter” is based on some very old stories – Edgar Rice Burroughs’ title character first appeared in print a century ago. But you may not fully appreciate the influence that Burroughs’ creation has had on the sci-fi genre and pop culture in general.
So, with a little help from BigShinyRobot.com editor and Burroughs enthusiast Bryan Young, I give you the top five characters influenced by John Carter:
1. Flash Gordon
John Carter was a direct ancestor of this early sci-fi hero, as well as Buck Rogers. With the Carter stories, Burroughs “created that breathless, serialized style fifteen years before it was popularized in those ‘30’s serials,” says Young. “He was writing movie serials before movie serials existed.”
Nine films are nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year, begging the question: who deserved a tenth spot on that list? Oscars 2012: 10 Spot answers that question, as the MTV Movies team highlights some of 2011's greatest films and argues why they deserved a nod as the tenth Best Picture nominee.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: Yes, “Shame” is indeed The One With The Penis – Michael Fassbender’s, to be precise. That said, it would be a shame (no pun intended) if that’s all this extraordinary film is remembered for. For some insight into why “Shame” wasn’t nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, we should discuss what this movie is not:
» It’s not a family film (see above re: The One With The Penis). This movie is one hundred percent adult-oriented. There are no brave horses, charming pups or precocious kids in “Shame.” There are only grown-ups doing very grown-up things.
I was daydreaming at the office one recent afternoon when I started to notice all the "Star Wars" stuff I’ve got at my desk. Alongside representations of John McClane, Mal Reynolds and Kevin Costner as Robin Hood are: three Yodas (cute plush Yoda, figurine Yoda and Magic 8 Ball-type Yoda), one talking Yoda keychain, three flash drives (my favorite being the Han Solo which sleeps in a little “carbonite” case), one Ewok action figure (Wicket, I think), two different types of lightsaber, one Darth Vader talking pen that neither talks nor writes anymore and a 2012 mini calendar. At home I have a set of Star Wars linens from Pottery Barn.
The way I see it, there are three types of people who buy Star Wars stuff nowadays: There’s the obliging parent whose kid drags her through the aisles of Toys R Us so they can pick out a trinket from "The Clone Wars," the hardcore collector who spends most of his waking hours searching for That One Piece that might cost him much more than a week’s paycheck, and me – just a regular Star Wars fan who fondly remembers all the cool toys Mom and Dad threw away ages ago.
The first group shows up in force when there’s a new movie release or another cable TV season starts. The second and third groups fill the gap in between. Together we’ve spent $20 billion on "Star Wars" related merchandise since the franchise began, and there are no signs of slowing down.