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Farewell Gary, Star Wars Slowdown, Rey’s Parents, And My Dream Game | The Cantina

 

Welcome to The Cantina where we definitely server your kind. I’m your bartender Kyle Malone and I’m serving up tall glasses of nothing but Star Wars.  By now you know I am the dedicated, well versed in the EU, experienced gamer, and open-minded fan this world needs. I see the flaws in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, but also the great moments too. I know the importance of The Empire Strikes Back but see how strong Return of the Jedi is. I see that the prequels… well… we’ll get there. I love Star Wars and I want more! More books, comics, games, and movies that take place in a galaxy far, far away. We have a lot to cover, including a loss, so raise your glasses to Mr. Kurtz and let’s get started.

Recent News

Welcome back, everyone! It’s been another week of little news, but what we got is important. We lost a key Rebel, learned of a slowdown, and have more rumors about Episode IX. More after the jump!

Yoda, Mark Hamill and Gary Kurtz on the set of The Empire Strikes Back. For Geoff Boucher Calendar story.

 

First, we must talk about the bad news. We lost Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back producer Gary Kurtz at age 78. Kurtz was a former Marine that served for three years as a cameraman and director of documentaries during the Vietnam era who was. He would carry on with his filmmaking after serving and meet George Lucas through Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas and Kurtz worked on the 1973 film American Graffiti together and during editing, they discussed Lucas’s idea for what would become Star Wars. During brainstorming for the story Kurtz, who had been a student of religion, helped develop the idea of The Force. That’s right… Kurtz gave us what “binds the galaxy together.”

While Star Wars set it all in motion, it was The Empire Strikes Back that showed how powerful this story truly was and Kurtz’s contribution of The Force was the core of its story. Unfortunately, Kurtz and Lucas would have a falling out while producing the beloved sequel and would never work together again. Kurtz went on to be involved in Dark CrystalReturn to Oz, and Slipstream the latter of which saw him reunited with Mark Hamill.

I understand I am repeating much of what has already been said, but in death, we must focus on achievements, not conjecture. Gary Kurtz gave us all something to be thankful for.

Star Wars is over 40 years old now and I am saddened to know that Kurtz won’t be alone for long. The cast and crew are getting older and many are airway reaching their generation’s life expectancy. I owe a lot of friendships and memories to Star Wars and feel a special connection with those involved in its creation and portrayal on screen. I do take solace knowing he’s joined our Princess in becoming one with The Force.

Remember when we were told we’d be getting a Star Wars movie every year for the foreseeable future? Remember how awesome that seemed? Yeah, so do I. I can remember being upset about the loss of the EU but being hopeful for this new plan after the first trailer for The Force Awakens. I absolutely loved Rogue One but have reasons why I hated the title and them using that call sign (see last week’s column) and I enjoyed a good chunk of The Last Jedi… Then came Solo. I hated that movie for SO many reasons. As a matter of fact, I am working on a piece about that movie and what it should have been, look for it soon. I’m not the only one that had issues with TLJ and Solo though. The latter lost money in theaters and did nothing to reunite the fans split by TLJ. This caused Bob Iger, the boss of bosses at Disney, to pump the brakes. You can catch his words in a piece by our own Seth McDonald here.

I am okay with this, honestly. It’s very hard to produce a movie that fits in a defined and sprawling story across multiple platforms every year. Yes, I know that Marvel releases three a year now, but they are a contained entity not beholden to comics, novels, and the really ignore their TV shows. They also have a plan, and that’s what Lucasfilm lacks right now… a cohesive plan. No one can deny that the Sequel Trilogy is lacking a real preplanned story. They’re letting the directors have too much freedom story wise and it’s hurting the saga. I fear that Episode IX will spend time “fixing” what many felt was wrong about TLJ and that will give us a crowded film that feels like a poor ending to the Skywalker story.

You can look at the problems both Rogue One and Solo had during production to see that Disney spread themselves too thin, and I hope that this slowdown results in better quality for the upcoming trilogies and anthology films. Mostly I hope they forego the horrible ideas of a Solo sequel, Boba Fett movie, and anything else that happens between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Honestly, I am even willing to give up on the idea of an Obi-Wan Kenobi film just to get away from that time period.

A slow down on Star Wars movies means more time to focus on story and less focus on money.

Now we get to dig into a controversial topic, Rey’s lineage. I am of the camp that thinks Rey being from the Palpatine, Skywalker, or Kenobi bloodline is a bad idea. Why? Because that’s what you expect! You see at one point Anakin/Vader was nothing special. Even part way into The Phantom Menace his DNA meant jack. However, once a “virgence” in The Force was created, we all of a sudden needed explanations for strong Force users. What about Yoda? Huh? HUH???

You see, with Rey being from no one we get to see the power of The Force again. We get to see how the Force, not midichlorians, speak to a being. Rey having some special parents is garbage, in my opinion.

This brings us to the latest rumors reported by The Express which relate to a supposed leak of storyboards that give us the impression that Rey’s parents are special. The storyboards supposedly show Rey from behind looking art two glowing figures on a jungle planet. They also show one figure touching Rey’s face with their glowing hand. In short, I am upset at this! I think this description of glowing parents means that Rey may be born of the original Force users. Yes, those all-powerful beings created for the Clone Wars cartoons seem like possible candidates for Rey’s patronage. Which means Rey is supposed to be as powerful as she seems versus her being a new anomaly.

I like the idea of her being different. I like her being something new. This means we are not beholden to the names of old! Look, as a HUGE… nay YUGE fan of the EU, I know the importance of a name or DNA. I went along the journey of Jacen and Jaina. I followed Ben Skywalker and his father Luke into a dramatic fight against Ableoth… which included Force projection (take that, TLJ haters). However, I don’t want more of that. I want something unique!

I really hope this rumor of Rey meeting her parents on a jungle planet is false!

Kyle’s Dream Project: X-Wing

 

A long time ago, on a little blue and green planet, flight simulator video games were a big deal. I can remember Microsoft’s Flight Simulator on computers at school, combat aircraft sims like F-22 Raptor, the Wing Commander series, and of course Star Wars simulators like X-Wing and TIE Fighter. I absolutely loved flight sims and spent countless hours “in the cockpit” of X-Wings, A-Wings, TIEs, and TIE Defenders. I always really enjoyed taking on capital ships… There’s just something about seeing a Star Destroyer’s blow up. However, flight simulators have all but died and I think it’s is due to the general decline in PC gaming and the rise of console gaming.

Although there are games like Star Wars: Battlefront that allow you to fly a spacecraft, the controls and mechanics are different than they were for dedicated flight sims. Controllers are completely different than a peripheral Joystick and keyboard and the game engine has to be more focused on the first person shooter mechanics over the physics and controls for flying. It’s hard to deal with pitch, yaw, rudder, and other flying mechanics while needing to seamlessly transfer from vehicle combat to FPS combat.

My dream is to bring back this awesome franchise for all platforms. There are enough buttons on a console controller for all the needed functions for flight and a joystick peripheral could be made for consoles. Imagine this on VR machines too!

The single player campaign would be episodic and span the entire saga. There would be familiar battles such as Naboo, Coruscant, Yavin, Hoth, Endor, and Starkiller Base, and there would also be battles from the current canon books as well as some created for the game. I would want this game to be huge and allow you to change the course of Star Wars history by flying for the bad guys and them actually being able to win the war. I would have a very pilot driven story for each arc and there would be no playable Force users. I want the character you play as to feel vulnerable and be part of the team, not some epic hero. I think there’s even room for a skill tree for each craft you fly. The more you fly an X-Wing the better you are in it as opposed to how well you would do in a Y-Wing bombing mission if you never fly them any time else. I also believe in having optional missions such as reconnaissance and escort to enhance your skills.

Multiplayer could go one of several ways. The first is classic deathmatch or battle royale. Two teams of up to 32 each (I hope) engage in epic dogfighting for a predetermined amount of time. This could be a great chance to have rankings and ladder matches, and a great way to hone your skills. The next would be co-op missions of attack and defend. Take epic battles like either Death Star and try to repeat or change history. I would also love to see a mixture of capital ships and fighters being able to be controlled for multiplayer. I can imagine a team of five controlling a Star Destroyer where one is the pilot and the other four control the guns in front, back, and each side. Can you see having a set of sensors on your screen and having to switch between batteries in your section to fight off a squadron of B-Wings? I can! This type of scenario would really demand teamwork. I also think there is a way to do a co-op story mode, but that isn’t something I would need in this game.

So there you go. What do you think about that?

Okay, okay folks! We’re done for this week. I have given you nearly 2,000 words of knowledge and opinion. If you don’t leave I will call ol’ Iceheart to come interrogate you about your knowledge of Rogue Squadron. Truth be told, I know about Talasea base myself, but don’t tell anyone. Until next week, May the Force be with You…

What do you think about the Rey rumors or the slowing down of Star Wars movie releases? Do you have any words for the loss of Gary Kurtz? What about my idea to bring back the Star Wars flight simulator games? Let me, and my LRM overlords, know in the comments.

Be sure to come back for another drink at The Cantina next week!

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Sources THR, The Express, Stars and Stripes

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