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There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.
Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.
Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker he was even second unit director on the former, as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.
We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.
The following has been edited for clarity and concision.
We see practical effects being championed as almost a marketing ploy with the “postquels” as a mix of nostalgia and an attempt to delineate from Lucas’ second trilogy. In some ways the love of the practically-realized snake undercuts the extraordinary CGI you and your team accomplished, and raises questions about why the need to fetishize the on-set inclusions when they’re replaced anyway. Could you talk about that ethos, that somehow doing stuff on a computer is a “cheat” while doing an effect practically is not?
I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to do the best that we can, trying to make the best, most dramatic or emotional movie we can visually. I’m coming from figuring out how do you get the most...
Mulan may never pass for a perfect bride, but a new set of Mulan character posters show that she passes as a perfect warrior, inside and out. Disney has released several new Mulan posters spotlighting the characters of the Niki Caro-directed live-action remake, including Yifei Liu as Mulan, Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan, Yoson An as Cheng Honghui, Gong Li as Xianniang, and Jet Li as the Emperor. The character posters show each of the characters wielding a weapon that shows Liu’s Mulan in its reflection, in what seems like a nifty play off of the animated film’s most popular song.
Alongside those posters, a new Mulan TV spot has also been released, highlighting the “true” duty of Liu’s heroine. See the TV spot and the Mulan character posters below.Mulan Character Posters #gallery-2 #gallery-2 .gallery-item #gallery-2 img #gallery-2 .gallery-caption /* see gallery_shortcode in wp-includes/media.php */
Everyone’s blades are very shiny in Disney’s upcoming remake of Mulan. The striking character posters are a a marked contrast from the character posters we’ve received for Disney live-action remakes as of late the Lion King posters were particularly egregious, and give a real sense of the film’s epic tone and artful approach. I especially love the movement in the posters, from the wind in Mulan and Cheng Honghui’s hair, as well as the withering gaze that Gong Li’s villainous witch Xianniang gives to the camera. There are some nice details as well, like Xianniang’s talons and the scars on Böri Khan’s face. And, of course, there is the wonderful touch of Mulan’s determined face gazing in the reflection of each blade.
The character posters make a nice companion to the new TV spot, which hints at the “true” identity of Mulan and her fate as a warrior that will save China.
Mulan arrives in theaters on March 27, 2020.
When the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, steps in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner-strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father. “Mulan” features a celebrated international cast that includes: Yifei Liu as Mulan; Donnie Yen as Commander Tung; Jason Scott Lee as Böri...
Mark Hamill took some time out of his day to thank Star Wars fans in a heartfelt farewell letter. The Rise of Skywalker marks the end of an era. The Skywalker Saga has come to a close, at least for now, and it's time to move on to new stories with different characters. Hamill's letter is included in copies of The Skywalker Saga boxed set, which includes all nine of the movies in 4k quality on the cutting-edge UHD Blu-rays, along with a ton of bonus features.
A few thoughts as one era ends and another begins...#StarWarspic.twitter.com/ZucNHEPtaS— Mark Hamill @HamillHimself April 3, 2020
Mark Hamill begins his letter by saying, 'A few thoughts as one era ends and another begins...' The Luke Skywalker actor has been a part of the franchise for over 40 years now and appreciates what it means to Star Wars fans. Hamill was brought back on for the sequel trilogies with original trilogy stars Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, and later Billy Dee Williams. Peter Mayhew was also brought back, along with Anthony Daniels. You can read a portion of his letter to fans below.'As Carrie once said, Star Wars is about family, and that is what we all have become - one giant community that shares the experience of these stories and the fundamental value they instill in us.'
The Star Wars community is like one big family, though it can be pretty dysfunctional at times. Regardless, it is rooted in positivity and though Mark Hamill is saying farewell, that doesn't mean he won't still be on social media teasing fans and offering up answers to their questions. He could still be involved with the franchise at some point down the line for any number of projects, but he more than likely will not be the focal point. Hamill concluded his letter to fans by giving hope for the future. He explains.'I am deeply thankful for all your continued enthusiasm and dedication to George's faraway galaxy, which will continue to grow with new storytellers building an even bigger gallery, filled with heroes, villains, action, romance, and, of course, The Force.'
Now would be a great time to dive back into the world of Star Wars, starting from the beginning. Everybody has a lot of extra time on their hands and revisiting what made these movies so special could help raise spirits. Or, it could lead to some fierce debate online, which would also help pass the time. Regardless, there is a ton of Star Wars material to devour in the next handful of weeks.
It's unclear where the Star Wars franchise will go next. The Mandalorian has proven to be a big hit with just about all fans and the highly anticipated season 2 is still on schedule to be released this fall. The Obi-Wan Kenobi series and the Rogue One prequel series are all in development, but the big screen is a big question mark at the moment. While we wait to see where Lucasfilm takes us next, you can read the thank you letter, thanks to Mark Hamill's Twitter...
Since Solo: A Star Wars Story ended up being a box office disappointment, it’s not likely that we’re going to get a sequel, and that’s coming from the film’s co-writer Jon Kasdan. But if the story arc that began in the spin-off were to continue, it would be awesome if it ended up making Lando Calrissian even more prominent. Apparently artist Peter Stults thought the same thing, which is why he used his quarantine time to make a trio of posters for a film series called The Calrissian Chronicles. Check out the Lando Calrissian trilogy posters and all the cool details within them below.
This imagined trilogy would be directed by Michael Anderson Logan’s Run, with a script Stanley Mann Conan the Destroyer, Irvin Kershner director of The Empire Strikes Back, and story by George Lucas himself. However, instead of John Williams doing the movie, Peter Bernstein The Ewok Adventure would be composing the score.
The overall vibe of the trilogy feels like a mix of 1970s blaxploitation and sci-fi with a little bit of fantasy tossed in there, which you can see in each of the posters below.Peter Stults Lando Calrissian Trilogy Posters
The first installment of The Calrissian Chronicles obviously features Billy Dee Williams in the role of Lando Calrissian. It would also have prominent roles for Tamara Dobson, Ron O’Neal and Moses Gunn. But the best tidbit here is that Shirley Bassey would play Lando’s beloved droid counterpart L3-37.
The second installment looks to have somewhat of an Asian influence with the addition of Tatsuya Nakadai and Meiko Kaji joining the cast. There’s also a role for Vonetta McGee, and Shirley Bassey is still around as L3-37.
In the final installment, a bit Star Wars returns with Peter Mayhew returning as Chewbacca, as well as a “special appearance” by Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Otherwise, the cast expands again with Angela Brent and Robert Urich. However, Shirley Bassey isn’t listed as L3-37 anymore, so maybe she met her end in the second installment.
But the real treat here in this final installment is imagining the introduction of Jean-Claude Van Damme to Hollywood as none other than Darth Maul. It’s a nice reference to the character’s return in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and just thinking about the skilled martial artist playing Darth Maul is so fun.
Unfortunately, we’ll never get to see movies like this with Billy Dee Williams in the lead. But these would make great comic books. Then again, maybe there’s hope for a Lando Calrissian film series starring Donald Glover. After all, Sleight director J.D. Dillard and writer Matt Owens are on the verge of becoming the first black creators to tackle Star Wars behind the camera and on the page, so maybe they have something...