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– by Kyle Malone

Welcome to The Cantina where we definitely serve 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… maybe. There’s nothing more satisfying than a great Star Wars story, and I want more!  To be honest… I am running out of Star Wars booze to add here… So a round of Jack Daniels from Terra on me!

Recent News

Well, we’re almost a year out, to the date, from Episode IX. That means the rumor mill turns ever faster. This week we’ll talk about Snoke, Kylo Ren, and Rey.

 

I’ve said it before, I am okay with Snoke not being some person from the past. I honestly don’t want him to be a clone of Palpatine, or Darth Bane. I want Kylo to be the main villain and the main focus of these movies, considering he is the one with Skywalker blood. However, The Express brings us a new-ish rumor:

“JJ Abrams will be answering lot of the burning questions fans had that were left unanswered (by The Last Jedi). Filming started on August 1 and there were a lot of script rewrites. Disney and JJ Abrams were trying to figure out a way to put Snoke’s identity into Episode 9 and apparently a lot of those questions will be answered. His identity will be thrown into Episode 9 and explained. There has been a lot of talk that Snoke would be directly involved. This lines up with the news that Andy Serkis cancelled his appearance at a recent event.”

The canceled event the leak speaks of was the Keystone Comic-con in Pennsylvania. Also… screw them! Snoke was never the key to this film, just like the Emperor was not the key to the Original Trilogy. I don’t want Episode IX to spend the majority of its runtime explaining The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. You can see my thoughts on that here.

 

Next up is the rumor that Kylo Ren will be back in his mask. Apparently, he will spend the majority of his time in a repaired mask:

 “Sources have said they saw Kylo Ren with the reforged mask on in various stages of dress, which also means we can’t yet say how often he wears the helmet, so if this news disappoints you, try to keep that in mind. To them it looked like the mask was pieced back together using some kind of red crystalline bonding material. The visual gave the mask ‘a very corrupted look. A little Kylo, a little Vader, and maybe even with a hint of Maul’s facial stylings.”

I am cool with this. I like Kylo, his mask, and the idea of him as the big bad guy. I think him bringing his mask back out connects to Vader more, and his drive to be Vader means he will NOT be saved. The ONLY way I would want him saved is if Rey went dark, but after the passing of The Last Jedi, that boat has sailed.

 

Finally, we get word that Rey will team up with none other than Rose for a part of Episode IX:

 “I heard that the movie will follow 3 plot lines: Poe and Finn in a mission, second plot line would follow Rey and Rose going in a [sic] ‘adventure’ of some sorts, and the last plot line would be from Kylo’s perspective.”

This rumor comes from Reddit user hankosheppard via The Express. To be honest… who cares? Look, Rose in and of herself is not a good or bad character, but she had crappy use in TLJ. I have no strong feelings about this rumor, sorry. I often feel like the neutral planet people from Futurama when it comes to The Last Jedi. If the story is good, I don’t care who Rey is with for the movie. I do not see how pairing Rey with Rose will further the story though. It will take away from the relationship she made with Finn.

Wow, three more rumors down, and one more year to go. Look, I am as torn as many of you are on Star Wars in the Disney era. There are things I love and things I hate. To be fair I have nearly 20 years of Expanded Universe love to pad my opinions and that can have an effect on my opinion on things these days. I really want to finish the Skywalker saga, and I love the Idea of Kylo being the focus, not Rey. That being said I did not hate either The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi in their entirety, but this next movie better not start with the word “The”.

LAST CALL: Scene Analysis

For today’s Last Call we’ll be looking at a scene from a Star Wars film and breaking it down both technically and story-wise. This will happen monthly and I’ll be going through the movies in chronological order

 

The Phantom Menace is not a strong movie. As a matter of fact, it is a terrible movie that I will probably only watch one more time for the rest of my life. That’s because I plan on doing a massive Saga marathon when Episode IX hits home video. However, there are a few moments in the film that are well done. Let’s take a look at the one scene that is universally praised, Obi-Wan Kenobi versus Darth Maul.

This duel is the best in the entire saga! I will not back down from that statement. “What about Anakin versus Obi-Wan?” That looked like two dudes dancing at a rave with glow sticks. There are moments on screen where all you see are their faces and blue flashes. “What about the throne room in The Last Jedi?” That looked cool, one of the best looking scenes ever, but It was also got too flashy at times. I also think they lacked emotion during the fight, although the entire throne room scene before and after the fight is great! Obi v. Maul though… pure emotion. Both Ray Park (Maul) and Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) give masterful performances with their facial expressions and body language. There is absolute evil joy on Maul’s face after he kills Kenobi’s master, Qui-Gon Jinn, and he is relishing the anger on Kenobi’s face. McGregor’s expressions show pain and anger and his body movements and breathing increase the realism of those emotions. Both maintain great physical performances during the battle too, which I am sure can be challenging as you’re trying to remember the choreography at the same time as trying to act.

 

Technically this scene is also nearly perfect. It has some of the lowest use of green/blue screen throughout the entire Prequel Trilogy, but probably still has too much. It also utilizes more realistic choreography. Unlike the next two films, this one utilizes less flashy and spinning styles. I have also read rumors that McGregor and Park either ad-libbed or made their own choreography separate from that which was originally designed. I do know that the emotions ran high on-screen and off due to the documentary on the film that states Park and McGregor were hitting their “sabers” together so hard that the aluminum poles were at 90-degree angles by the time they yelled “cut” during takes.

This all combines to make one of the best scenes in the PT and makes it the best lightsaber fight there is. I would wager Return of the Jedi’s fight between Luke and Vader is a close second, but this one masterfully blends style, technicality, and emotion.

Well, what do you think of these rumors? Let us know in the comments below! May The Force Be With You!

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Kyle is the Weekend Editor for LRM Online and a business school graduate who loves movies, comics, and video games. He shares his passions with his wife and is raising a next-generation geek.