George Lucas on Star Wars: A “Good” Villain?

***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Palpatine, Darth Sidious, Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

The Scene: Palpatine is revealed as Darth Sidious. Moments after Mace Windu’s death, he instructs his new apprentice Darth Vader to kill all the Jedi in the Jedi Temple.

George Lucas Says (via the Revenge of the Sith commentary track): “One of the issues in all of this is the bad guys think they’re good, and Lord Sidious thinks he’s bringing peace to the galaxy because there’s so much corruption, confusion, and chaos going on. And that now he’s going to be able to straighten everything out. Which may be true. But the price that the galaxy is going to have to pay for it is way too much.”

I Say: I understand the notion that most evil people don’t believe they’re evil. But I don’t necessarily agree with George here. Especially given the way Ian McDiarmid plays Palpatine. The man is clearly reveling in his own wickedness. This isn’t some misguided soul who thinks he’s making hard choices for the good of the galaxy. Palpatine knows who and what he is. He wants all the power in the universe for himself, and there’s no length to which he won’t go to obtain it. He’ll even defy death itself…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Obi-Wan #2 Micro-Review – Lights in the Darkness

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

Star Wars Obi-Wan 2, cover, 2022, Phil NotoTITLE: Star Wars: Obi-Wan #2
AUTHOR: Christopher Cantwell
ARTISTS:
Luke Ross, Nolan Woodard (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: June 29, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Luke Ross and Nolan Woodard’s art highlight this issue, as they have the not necessarily enviable task of depicting Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in an environment mostly devoid of light.

This issue didn’t blow me away from a plot perspective. But it did do a fine job of capturing the master/apprentice dynamic between our two heroes, which for my money was one of the better aspects of The Phantom Menace.

Marvel should really release a book of Phil Noto’s Star Wars work. The majority of it is just brilliant.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #3 Micro-Review – Our Hero’s Daddy Issues

***This is where we keep it nice and simple. Comic book reviews in 100 words or less. Straight, concise, and to the point.***

TITLE: Star Wars: Han Solo & Chewbacca #3
AUTHOR: Marc Guggenheim
ARTISTS:
David Messina, Alex Sinclair (Colorist), Joe Caramagna (Letterer). Cover by Phil Noto.

RELEASED: June 29, 2022

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This issue ends with an appearance from a Marvel character that recently made their live action debut on The Book of Boba Fett. I’m definitely hooked for issue #4.

Han Solo & Chewbacca has rebounded nicely after what I thought was an underwhelming first issue. Guggenheim has Han nailed from a depiction perspective. They’ve even managed to get me into the question “The Crystal Run” poses about Han’s father…

Because of course Han Solo has daddy issues. Star Wars is about that as much as anything else, isn’t it?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: Good and Bad Technology

***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

C-3PO, Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace

The Scene: R2-D2 and C-3PO are among the allies our heroes find as they face off against the Trade Federation and its army of Battle Droids.

George Lucas Says: “I like technology. I use technology. But at the same time, I understand the failings of technology. You can’t rely on technology for everything. So I have this duel nature in the movies of the friendly human good technology of Artoo and Threepio, and the evil technology of the battle droids. … I’m constantly playing with those two ends of the dilemma. But never really saying that one is better than the other. I’m just simply trying to promote the human spirit, even as it exists in a droid.”

I Say: I get what he’s saying here about the good and bad of technology. But at the same time, George Lucas talking about how he understands the failings of technology is a little rich, as so many of us would say his over-reliance on technology and CGI is one of the major drawbacks of the prequel trilogy.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Part VI” Review

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi poster, Owen LarsSERIES: Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
EPISODE:
“Part VI”
STARRING:
Ewan McGregor, Moses Ingram, Hayden Christensen, James Earl Jones (voice), Joel Edgerton
WRITERS:
Joby Harold, Andrew Stanton, Stuart Beattie, Hossein Amini
DIRECTOR:
Deborah Chow
PREMIERE DATE:
June 22, 2011
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan must face Darth Vader once again.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

We got a lot of callbacks in this episode. We got some Empire Strikes Back with the ship being chased by a Star Destroyer, Vader on the bridge, and the musical callback to John Williams’ score. We got another later in the episode with Luke’s line, “I’m not afraid.”

We had some more more verbal callbacks with Ewan’s lines, “I will do what I must,” (Revenge of the Sith) and “Then my friend is truly dead” (Return of the Jedi). Palpatine (more on him in a bit) had one about Vader’s thoughts being “clear.” One can even make an argument for Reva’s hunting of Luke in the dark being a nod to Return of the Jedi.

All…interesting choices. I’m not sure I would have gone quite that heavy. But there it is.

Ha! After Obi-Wan says, “I will do what I must,” he does what I’ll call the “Obi-Wan pose” (shown below), with the lightsaber in one hand and his other extended outward. Great little touch.

The second fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader was about what it should have been. Obi-Wan had a little bit of his mojo back, but was still doing a lot of evading.

That broken Vader helmet thing was done on Rebels. So there is a certain cheapness to doing it again. But I’d argue this was more effective, by virtue of us having the involvement of both Hayden Christensen and James Earl Jones, as well as Ewan McGregor.

This episode gave us what I thought was the show’s only major misstep: Obi-Wan knowingly leaving Vader alive. That’s an objectively stupid move. At least in Revenge of the Sith, he thought Anakin was dead when he left Mustafar. But here there’s no excuse. Obi-Wan has accepted the notion that the Anakin he knew is gone. He’s standing in front of Darth Vader, who has slaughtered hundreds, if not thousands of people. The right thing to do would have been to finish the job.

Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi, Part VI, pose

What boggles my mind is that they could have easily had the Grand Inquisitor fly in with a squad of TIE Fighters and attack Obi-Wan, prompting a hasty retreat. Or something like that. But to just leave the evil dictator alive when you’ve got him right where you want him? Nope. Fail. So is Obi-Wan now culpable in every life Vader takes from here on out?

Reva’s redemption obviously opens the door to more stories with her. Supposedly she has her own series in the works. I can’t say I’m dying to see her story continue. But who am I kidding? I’d watch. If nothing else it would be poetic justice for all the racist crap Moses Ingram got.

Great to see a Palpatine cameo from Ian McDiarmid. He’s always great. Poor guy had to lie about it at Star Wars Celebration.

There’s been a lot of talk about Leia’s outfits in this show being reminiscent of stuff she wore in the original trilogy. But I’d argue her final outfit in this episode, and the series itself, was very similar to what Luke wears on Tatooine. That’s fitting, for obvious reasons.

So…Obi-Wan just stopped by Alderaan for a quick visit? That’s a little weird. They couldn’t have done that via the holo-communicator?

I can already here the crybabies out there calling foul over Obi-Wan meeting Luke. But Luke did know who “Old Ben”was in A New Hope. There was nothing there to directly contradict him meeting Leia, and there’s even less to indicate that he hadn’t met Luke at least once. Maybe even two or three times. Cool your thrusters, fanboys…

Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi, Part VI

Aaaaaaand of course Liam Neeson made a cameo as Qui-Gon. I called it. They couldn’t not pay that off after Obi-Wan spoke to him multiple times over the course of the show. I’m happy Liam Neeson is back in the Star Wars fold. I enjoy the Qui-Gon Jinn character. Quite a bit, actually.

There was a time period where Star Wars really harped on hope. Especially in Rogue One and The Last Jedi. But in its own way, Obi-Wan Kenobi was about hope too. Specifically, Obi-Wan regaining the hope he lost so many years ago after Anakin’s fall. Thankfully, this series didn’t point at it the way those movies did.

Obi-Wan Kenobi went by fast, didn’t it? But the show, despite its critics, delivered. I’d still argue The Mandalorian is better. But not by much. Obi-Wan Kenobi has been, and perhaps should be, judged by very different standards. People came in with much higher expectations. But I honestly don’t see what more the show could have done to appeal to fans new and old. For that, I tip my hat to it.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Obi-Wan and Leia by Victor Garcia

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I couldn’t help but dip back into the “Toy Chest Theater” bag this week when I saw this shot of Obi-Wan and Princess Leia from Victor Garcia.

Garcia has an entire page filled with Star Wars shots using the figures by Hot Toys. But this shot spoke to me because of Leia’s unexpectedly large role in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, which ends today. Obviously Ewan McGregor and Vivian Lyra Blair have played the roles there. But this shot of Obi-Wan and Leia as we first saw them has a nice, vintage, classic Star Wars feel to it.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, Victor Garcia

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “The Mandalore Plot”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

Star Wars The Clone Wars The Mandalore Plot, Duchess SatineSERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S2:E12 – “The Mandalore Plot”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
James Arnold Taylor, Anna Graves, Jon Favreau, Corey Burton, Greg Proops
WRITER:
Melinda Hsu
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
January 29, 2010
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan reunites with an old friend to solve a mystery on Mandalore.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Episodes like “The Mandalore Plot” expose a problem with the show: Obi-Wan’s costume. For whatever reason, characters like Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka appear in the same singular outfit episode after episode. That’s not a drastic problem, as they’re Jedi and virtually always wear similar outfits. But for Obi-Wan it’s a problem, as they opted to put him in battle armor for his singular outfit. That works fine for battle sequences. But this episode starts with a diplomatic mission to Mandalore. As such, the armor is inappropriate. Obi-Wan really should have been in Jedi robes, akin to what he wears in all three prequel films.

Making the Mandalorians their own society of super commandos presents a problem: It devalues Boba Fett and Jango Fett, as we now virtually have a planet full of characters that all have similar costumes and gadgets. Considering what pivotal roles Boba and Jango have in the saga at large, I would have deemed that unacceptable, regardless of whether that’s how the Mandalorians were originally conceived.

Star Wars The Clone Wars, The Mandalore Plot, Pre Vizsla

What’s more, it’s a problem that Star Wars wasn’t able to even try and solve until more than a decade later, when we got to The Mandalorian. When we get to “The Tragedy” in season two, we’re able to see how Boba Fett’s fighting style is much more brutal than Din Djarin’s, and presumably the rest of the Mandalorians. I’d still prefer Boba and Jango had the whole helmet and jetpack M.O. to themselves. But that helped.

On the subject of The Mandalorian, the man who would become its showrunner, Jon Favreau, plays Pre Vizsla. I’m not enamored with that casting choice, though. Maybe it’s the stark contrast of his nasally American accent against the ones James Arnold Taylor and Anna Graves give to Obi-Wan and Satine. (I say that as a guy with a nasally American accent. It’s not an insult, I promise.)

The Clone Wars is a kids show, right? At least in theory? I say that because it’s not often you see a suicide on a kids show. We hear the sound of his body hitting the ground and everything. I ain’t mad at it. I’m just saying you don’t see it often. If ever…

Before strapping Obi-Wan into that Adam West Batman style death trap, the Death Watch soldiers thought enough to take Obi-Wan’s lightsaber. However they apparently didn’t think to check him for communication devices. Bad form, gentlemen.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Toy Chest Theater: Obi-Wan Kenobi by @jdv_edits

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Tomorrow, Obi-Wan Kenobi wraps up on Disney+. While the series definitely has its share of critics (Some Star Wars fans really hate Star Wars…), I’m among those who’ve enjoyed the series overall.

In that spirit, here we have a Lego image from @jdv_edits, depicting the scene in “Part IV” where Obi-Wan holds back the ocean water from rushing in through the window. I think that what pushes this pic over the edge is how it’s lit. It’s not an exact replica of how that scene on the show was lit. But it’s enough to make it look like it should be in one of those Lego Star Wars games.

Lego Obi-Wan Kenobi, jdv_edits

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

George Lucas on Star Wars: The Kurosawa Influence

***Think what you will about George Lucas, but in terms of Star Wars, it can all be traced back to him. That’s why I always find it so interesting to listen to him talk about it. His creative process, the reason certain decisions were made, and how these movies became the pop cultural staples they are. This space is dedicated to just that. This is “George Lucas on Star Wars.”***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

C-3PO, R2-D2, Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope

The Scene: The original Star Wars film opens from the point of view of two droids, C-3PO and R2-D2.

George Lucas Says (via the A New Hope commentary track): “…we follow the two most insignificant characters, which are the droids. This was an idea I was enamored with that was used by Akira Kurosawa in The Hidden Fortress. Where you take the least important characters and you follow their story amongst this big intergalactic drama that they don’t understand.”

I Say: The influence of Akira Kurosawa’s work on Lucas and Star Wars has been widely documented. In George Lucas: A Life, Brian Daley notes that such influence included the “used, repaired, then used again” look of Kurosawa’s films, along with the practice of dropping audiences in the middle of a grand setting without the benefit of backstory, were also among the more notable elements Lucas borrowed for the original film.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

A Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Part V” Review

SERIES: Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
EPISODE:
“Part V”
STARRING:
Ewan McGregor, Vivien Lyra Blair, Hayden Christensen, Moses Ingram, Indira Varma
WRITERS:
Joby Harold, Andrew Stanton
DIRECTOR:
Deborah Chow
PREMIERE DATE:
June 15, 2011
SYNOPSIS:
Obi-Wan, Tala, and the Path must escape an Imperial attack.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I’m a little confused as to why people are questioning how “canon-friendly” Obi-Wan Kenobi is, because of this new connection we’re seeing between Obi-Wan and Leia. Granted, there’s nothing in A New Hope that suggests they knew each other. But there’s nothing that says they didn’t, either. The two character don’t even have any shared screen time in the movie. The closest they come to contact is when Leia presumably catches a glance of the fight between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader.

And yes, Leia is a little formal with Obi-Wan in the transmission that Artoo delivers. But it’s presumably been almost a decade since they’ve seen each other. A little decorum isn’t uncalled for. Thus far, Obi-Wan Kenobi fits into canon just fine. At least as far as I know.

Before our recap, we get a warning: “There are certain scenes in this fictional series that some viewers may find upsetting.” Given the temperament of a lot of the fans, it seems like that’s the kind of warning that should come before every Star Wars show…

These are the flashbacks I’ve been looking for! Granted, Hayden Christensen doesn’t look much like the teenager that Anakin is supposed to be. But it almost doesn’t matter. Even as someone who’s willing to be critical of the prequels and their shortcomings, it’s thrilling to see him in the role again.

Wait, I’m confused. In his transmission to Obi-Wan, Bail says: “If he’s found you, if he’s learned of the children…”

He’s talking about Darth Vader, right? That seems to imply that Obi-Wan tipped Bail off that Anakin had survived as Vader. But when did he do that? Why did he do that? That “If he’s found you…” line is frustrating in that it unintentionally raises nagging questions.

We learn here that Reva was a youngling that Anakin stabbed during Order 66, but survived. Her fixation on finding Obi-Wan was wrapped up in her hatred for Anakin, and that he couldn’t prevent Anakin’s fall and subsequent slaughter of those close to her.

This works fairly well as Reva’s motivation. I like that she’s after Vader more than she is Obi-Wan. It speaks to the idea that all these Sith secretly hate each other, and when the chips are down will turn on one another.

And so Tala dies a heroic death via thermal detonator. Yeah, that feels about right. You knew she wasn’t going to make it through the series. You just knew it…

Someone who evidently will make it through the series? The Grand Inquisitor, who returns at the end of the episode. Many speculated this might be the case. And his big line, Revenge does wonders for the will to live, don’t you think?” is awesome.

By the way, does the Grand Inquisitor have a name? We briefly see the rank of Grand Inquisitor bestowed upon Reva in this episode. So we know it’s a title, not a name. So what is Rupert Friend’s character’s actual name? Did Rebels ever cover that?

At the end of the episode, Reva discovers Bail’s recorded message to Obi-Wan, which reveals Luke’s location. I had a feeling things would come back around to Tatooine at the end. And I’ve got a theory about how things may go…

Years ago, in conjunction with the release of Revenge of the Sith, Dark Horse Comics put out an anthology miniseries called Star Wars Visionaries. In one of the stories, “Old Wounds,” a revived Darth Maul arrives at the Lars Homestead looking for Luke. (This was obviously published years before Maul was canonically revived on the Clone Wars animated show.) Obi-Wan arrives and a battle ensues. But ultimately, it’s Owen Lars who surprises Maul with a head shot, killing him instantly…

Could we be looking at a similar scenario with Reva in the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale? It would be consistent with the Owen Lars we saw in the first episode

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.