Do you want murder stormtroopers with Baby Yoda? Sure, we all do.
Back in February, Twitter user Nanobuds delighted The Mandalorian fans with a short video highlighting his impressive Star Wars: Battlefront II mod that transformed BB-8 into a deadly bassinet-riding Baby Yoda. With its realistic graphics and adorable violence, the video became a viral hat that promoted Nanobuds to go back and not only refine the mod, but make it playable for PC players:
“I started this as a joke mod but it ended up being pretty cool,” Nanobuds said about the creation. “He looks wacky on the frontend- There is nothing I can do about this. I can't change the animations to make BB8's arm or wire go away. Everything is fine in-game though.”
According to the release notes, the mod is “online safe” because it doesn't affect gameplay, but Polygon warns that the use of mods always carries a risk of being banned by Electronic Arts. Is mowing down opponents with Baby Yoda worth it? That's for players to decide.
As for fans who are hoping to see “The Child” Baby Yoda's official name wield a more Jedi appropriate weapon, Giancarlo Esposito recently teased “epic lightsaber action” in season two of The Mandalorian. Baby's probably not wielding the weapon, though:
“Major, major, epic, epic lightsaber action happening on this show,” Esposito said via Comic Book. “And I should mention that I'm the only character in this first season who was able to be honored with having that lightsaber. So it feels wonderful.”
The mod also arrives just in time for an avalanche of Baby Yoda merchandising. Toy Fair 2020 featured a cornucopia of “The Child” toys ranging from action figures of every conceivable size to plush animatronics that'll make it feel like the Yoda Baby never left you. The cuteness will be with you... always.
Watch a video of the playable Baby Yoda Battlefront II mod below:
Via Polygon, Comic Book
If you’re tired of building the ships, planets and locations from the Star Wars universe with LEGO bricks, maybe you’d like to piece together some of the most recognizable helmets. That’s what LEGO is hoping since they’re releasing a new line of buildable helmets of the bounty hunter Boba Fett, as well as the Imperial Stormtrooper and TIE Fighter Pilot. Check out the LEGO Star Wars helmets below.LEGO Star Wars Helmets #gallery-4 #gallery-4 .gallery-item #gallery-4 img #gallery-4 .gallery-caption /* see gallery_shortcode in wp-includes/media.php */ LEGO Star Wars Boba Fett Buildable Model Helmet– pay tribute to the legendary bounty hunter by recreating the distinctive shape of the Mandalorian helmet with this awesome, 21cm tall brick-built display model. #gallery-5 #gallery-5 .gallery-item #gallery-5 img #gallery-5 .gallery-caption /* see gallery_shortcode in wp-includes/media.php */ LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Buildable Model Helmet– recreate the iconic look of a Stormtrooper with this striking 18cm tall model before displaying it as a tribute to the epic Galactic Empire ground force. #gallery-6 #gallery-6 .gallery-item #gallery-6 img #gallery-6 .gallery-caption /* see gallery_shortcode in wp-includes/media.php */ LEGO Star Wars TIE Fighter Pilot Buildable Model Helmet –create the notorious contours of the TIE pilot helmet with LEGO bricks to complete this 18cm tall model and receive the glory of the Empire
The way these LEGO sets use existing LEGO pieces to create the details of these helmets is impressive, especially how they included that dent in Boba Fett’s helmet. No new pieces were used to create these busts, and Jens Kronvold Frederiksen, LEGO Star Wars Design Director, confirmed as much:
“The Star Wars galaxy continues to provide us with endless opportunities to bring scenes and characters from the movies to life using LEGO bricks. The new LEGO Star Wars Helmets provide a challenging building experience but only use existing LEGO pieces to recreate the iconic contours and colours of headgear, showing what is possible with the LEGO System in Play.”
Meanwhile, Derek Stothard, vice president of licensing at Lucasfilm said,...
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...
While we’re all sitting around daydreaming about an alternate reality in which the coronavirus doesn’t exist, it may be interesting to mix it up for a second and try to envision a world in which Samuel “Screech” Powers – the scrawny, Lisa Turtle-obsessed goofball on Saved by the Bell – was played by late night talk show host and comedian Stephen Colbert instead of actor Dustin Diamond. Colbert says he auditioned for the role of Screech in the 1980s and was rejected for a pretty humorous reason. Watch him tell the story below.Stephen Colbert Saved by the Bell Audition Story
Around the 3:00 mark in this video, The Late Show guest Ryan Reynolds makes a joke about Saved by the Bell, sparking Colbert’s memory about the time he tried out for the role of Screech and didn’t get it.
“I auditioned for Saved by the Bell!” he exclaims. “That was my first professional audition. 1986? [Editor’s note: this must have been when they were auditioning Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which was eventually reworked into the hit show Saved by the Bell.] They came to Chicago. I was a student at Northwestern University, and I don’t know, somebody had seen me do something, somebody had scouted me at school. I got called down to a casting agent on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, I walk in, they hand me the thing, and I was auditioning for the part of – was the character’s name Screech?”
Reynolds bursts into laughter and thinks Colbert is messing with him, but the late night host swears it’s real. “I’m not joking!” he continues. “I auditioned for this part of Screech, and let me tell you how big I was. Imagine how that character ended up in broadcast. I did my audition, and they said to me, ‘There’s a term you’re going to need to know about as a professional. It’s called over the top. You just went over the top. Don’t do that anymore.’ And I saw the subtle interplay of status dynamics that Dustin Diamond brought to that part.”
Saved by the Bell was a massive show for a certain generation, and its actors – Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Mario Lopez, etc. – will always be remembered first and foremost for the characters they played on that show, regardless of whatever else they’ve done in their careers. Imagining Colbert playing the wacky, ineffectual Screech is sorta blowing my mind right now, and needless to say, I think everyone on Earth is glad he didn’t land that role. Except for maybe Dustin Diamond, who may have been better off in life if he didn’t get the job, either. To avoid a depressing rabbit hole, it’s probably best not to look into what became of him after that show went off the air....