The launch of Disney+ yesterday brought a plethora of content from The W Disney Company, including most of the movies from the Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises. But there are still some titles from each franchise that aren’t available on Disney+ just yet. That’s because there’s still a holdover streaming deals that Disney has to run out with Netflix before they get the streaming rights back for themselves. The good news is we know when the remaining Star Wars titles and missing Marvel movies on Disney+ will be available.
One of the neat features of Disney+ so far though it’s also rather deceptive is that the library includes titles that aren’t yet available on Disney+. But if you seek them out, the date for their arrival on Disney+ is listed in the title’s profile. That’s how we know when the four Marvel movies and two Star Wars movies still stuck on Netflix will hit Disney’s streaming library. Here’s the schedule for those movies arriving on Disney+:
On the Star Wars side, the only missing feature films are Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Other than that, pretty much every piece of Star Wars content from film and television will be available, with the exception of some more obscure installments like the Ewok movies Caravan of Courage and The Battle for Endor, as well as the Star Wars Holiday Special. We’re not sure any of those will ever end up on the streaming service.
Thankfully, Star Wars and Marvel content will only continue to grow as Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios have new shows coming exclusively to Disney+ in the coming years. That’s on top of all the movies they have in the works too. So stay tuned to see how that all shakes out.
Even though George Lucas sold Lucasfilm and all of the company’s properties to The Walt Disney Company back in 2012, the creator of Star Wars has still been very influential in the creation of new movies, TV shows and more. Not only have creators at Lucasfilm tried to emulate the spirit and style of what George Lucas created back in 1977, but Lucas himself has met with plenty of writers, directors and artists to talk more about the galaxy that came from his imagination. Therefore it should come as no surprise that J.J. Abrams talked to George Lucas about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but what might be somewhat surprising is that their discussion turned to Midi-chlorians, perhaps the most divisive element introduced in the prequel trilogy.
In the latest issue of Total Film via sister site Games Radar, The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams talked about this discussion with George Lucas while he was working on the ending of the Skywalker saga and this new trilogy. What did George have to say? Abrams explained:
“He had a lot of things to say about the nature of the Force, the themes that he was dealing with when he was writing the movies. Yes, there were some conversations about Midi-chlorians – he loves his Midi-chlorians. But it was a very helpful thing. Sitting with him is a treat, just to hear him talk, because it’s fucking George Lucas talking about Star Wars. I always feel it’s a gift to hear him talk about that stuff. Because the effect that he had on me at 10 years old is utterly profound.”
Does this mean Midi-chlorians will come up again in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? That seems unlikely. Midi-chlorians are one element of Star Wars that hasn’t really been mentioned much ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm. That’s largely because it’s been deemed one of the worst additions to Star Wars canon in the entire saga. It essentially dictates that a person must have something in their blood that makes them strong in the Force. That’s something the new trilogy has kept their distance from, and I doubt J.J. Abrams would suddenly start leaning into that, especially when he went out of his way to be more bold this time.
However, we don’t know much about Rey’s familial history beyond what Kylo Ren said to her in Star Wars: The Last Jedi., so we’re not sure if she’s someone who came to be in tune with the Force naturally, or if it’s something that has been inside her due to some kind of family legacy. If that’s the case, it just a matter of whether she’s part of the Skywalker bloodline, a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi, or maybe even Sheev Palpatine. Would that weaken the concept of anyone becoming a Jedi? We’re not sure, but maybe that’s something Lucas and Abrams discussed.
It would be interesting if the Force itself evolved over time and came to make itself present in all living things beyond Midi-chlorians. After the death of countless Jedi at the end of the prequel trilogy and the near-total eradication of Force sensitive beings as evidenced by the fact that people like Luke Skywalker are regarded as myth or legend when The Force Awakens begins. If evolution has taught us anything it’s that living things will do anything to survive when faced with the prospect of extinction. Perhaps the Force came back in a big way when the galaxy needed it the most. Darkness rises and light to meet it.
It feels strange to review The Mandalorian at this point in time. The next big chapter of Star Wars — an in-between-quel bridging Return of the Jedi 1983 and The Force Awakens 2015 — has technically begun, but it’s unavailable to 95% of the world. Then again, I’m sure fans outside the U.S. won’t have trouble dusting off their digital eye-patches; the other option is waiting until Disney+ arrives locally, anywhere between next week and 2021 depending on where you live.
The Mandalorian, like all Star Wars under Disney, trades on nostalgia. I imagine anyone allured by a helmet evoking Boba Fett already knows he isn’t part of the series, so the imagery alone appears to be a selling-point. In its brief forty-minute premiere directed by Dave Fliloni of The Clone Wars fame, the show introduces us to a “Mandalorian,” a phrase that holds little meaning to those not already immersed in Star Wars books and comics. This nameless, faceless bounty hunter is meant to be the story’s emotional core. Pedro Pascal plays him with reserve as he ought to; this Mandalorian keeps to himself, but what we learn about him comes from what little body language he’s allowed to express. A Mandalorian, as the show goes on to reveal, never removes his mask.
Spoilers for the first episode begin here.
Shades of Grey
From beneath his clunky armour, one might gleam the occasional hesitance or urgency, albeit only within close quarters and usually in the context of money. How quickly does the Mandalorian accept his next bounty? What compromises does he make when presented with different currencies? In an early scene with Carl Weathers, as the leader of a bounty hunter guild, the show’s economics come to light. Some currencies are worthless after the Empire’s decline, and the bounty hunter gig economy is choked with bounty hunting freelancers. Relatable content.
Though what little we know about the Mandalorian — that he needs money — isn’t enough to augment what we don’t. He occupies the same space as Han Solo in the original Star Wars, a rogue gunman after Republic Credits who looks out only for himself. But where Han’s character was revealed through posture and tone of voice whatever the armchair pundits tell you, Solo failed largely because it lacked Harrison Ford, the Mandalorian is revealed to us through neither of these things. He barely speaks, and his enormous helmet hides even the withheld micro-reactions that might otherwise help us gauge him. In the show’s initial scenes, in which he captures and carbon-freezes a distinctly likeable blue alien, the Mandalorian comes off more like an emotionless Terminator than a man under a mask.
What good are moral greys, when their grey-ness isn’t tied to conflicting emotions?
The show sounds incredible, mind you. Composer Ludwig Göransson Creed, Black Panther creates a magnetic soundscape that feels like a classic Western filtered through something dark and seedy, like a spy thriller. Visually, the show attempts to replicate this aesthetic motif — not unlike muddled war spin-off Rogue One 2016 — though whether it succeeds is almost irrelevant. Grandiose space opera feels like the wrong venue for this sort of approach, a story in which a character cocoons themselves and traverses a linear path to violence, from which he is eventually shaken. Here, the cocoon is literal, and only literal; we’re never made privy to what lies beneath the hardened steel.
Bits and pieces toward the beginning of the episode feel like connective tissue ripped from a Scandinavian crime mystery. As the Mandalorian walks from place to place, the blue hues of the ice planets, and the casually distant camera which shakes with uncertainty, feel isolating. The key difference, however, is that someone like Tomas Alfredson or Thomas Vinterberg tends to have a human face at their disposal once they push in to close-ups. The lack of a recognizable face is by no means a death-knell, but no emotional beat in The Mandalorian complements its detached visual texture an admittedly gorgeous feat by D.P. Greg Fraser. From what, or from whom, is the Mandalorian detached? And what attachments keep him human? Beyond vague references to his culture, all we’re given is one frantic flashback of him as young boy, escaping… something. Some mayhem or violence he seems to carry with him, but nothing given enough breathing room so as to clarify who he is, or what he feels.
That same frantic-ness is applied to most of the episode. Even in its quiet, removed moments where the Mandalorian reacts silently, or when someone comments on the weight of his legacy, the show never slows down enough to let the impact land. It’s a pristine-looking plot-delivery machine. Nothing exemplifies this better than a key decision towards the end of the episode — perhaps the moment that defines the character altogether — which unfolds not only in fast forward, but largely off-screen.
When confronted with the prospect of killing a baby Yoda alongside IG-11… Sorry, let me back up a bit. The Mandalorian’s big mission involves retrieving a baby of Yoda’s species, during which he’s joined by a bounty hunting droid of the same model as IG-88 a minor character in The Empire Strikes Back. None of these things are particularly meaningful on their own; the baby is not Yoda, and the Mandalorian and IG-11 are not the bounty hunters from Empire. They merely evoke their iconography. Boba Fett and IG-88 remain in the fandom’s collective consciousness precisely because of their design; there’s nothing more to them than what they look like. And so, the episode’s climax mashes up mere photocopies of Star Wars memories.
Not only does the show use iconography that is, in and of itself, meaningless, it also does little to subvert these images or imbue them with meaning. After a particularly awkward shootout, where each character’s quips and comedy moments are met with the other’s reaction shots — in both cases, emotionless metal — the Mandalorian comes face to face with his target. IG-11 is tasked with killing the green infant, and so the Mandalorian puts a bullet in the droid’s head a decision he makes out of frame — though given his expressionless T-visor, I wonder if it matters.
Nothing in this climax challenges the Mandalorian, or challenges expectation. The droid, voiced by a monotone Taika Waititi, is not a living being, nor does he behave like one, so making scrap metal out of him is an emotionally easy task. The Mandalorian’s decision to keep the baby alive isn’t difficult either, since it doesn’t conflict with his mission; earlier in the episode, it’s established that he’ll be paid more, not less, if the target is retrieved alive. What use, then, are those flashbacks of the Mandalorian as a helpless child, if they have no bearing on his present decisions?
The Mandalorian: Impressions
In Star Wars, moral lines are clearly drawn; characters like Han and the Mandalorian are plopped neatly between them and made to choose between one or the other. The series has always been Western-inspired, but for it to have the depth or reflection of Unforgiven 1992, its keepers need to let it be mournful. They need to let their characters walk down difficult moral paths, enveloped in fog. The closest the series has come to this under Disney was Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi 2017, but that film had the advantage of using a character we already knew, one we’d seen rise and fall, and be tempted by darkness. The Mandalorian may eventually give us another, but its foundation thus far doesn’t inspire confidence.
If you’ve ever wanted to know what a toilet looks like in the Star Wars universe, The Mandalorian is for you. The creature and character designs are admittedly interesting — Nick Nolte shows up as a Planet of the Apes-inspired alien who rides giant terrestrial piranhas — but rather than telling a story, the show’s first episode merely presents a series of premises, each connected to the next by their resemblance to Star Wars. Werner Herzog is a joy to watch, as the man who sends the Mandalorian on his mission, but half the excitement comes from his specific intonations and enunciations being applied to space-gibberish. Little of what he or anyone says is given much weight; people speak of the lost glory of the Mandalorian culture, but what this actually means for the main character is never depicted or dramatized.
As a story, The Mandalorian is yet to feel worthwhile. It breaks no new ground, but more importantly, it doesn’t root its familiar elements in discernible emotions. Who the Mandalorian is, and how he conflicts with his circumstances, are key to this first chapter — or at least, they should be. You can tell the series has these questions on its lips, but it zips past them at every turn. As a concept, The Mandalorian feels like a financial inevitability under Disney. It has the appearance of breaking new ground and introducing never-before-seen characters, but it falls into the same trap The Force Awakens did when re-launching the franchise. It’s Star Wars remixing Star Wars — and watering it down in the process — rather than remixing anything more interesting.
T he Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, watch a powerful Star Wars trailer for the entire saga using the music from the most recent The Rise of Skywalker trailer. Plus, see how Last Christmas cast members Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, and more feel about certain holiday favorites like Elf and It’s a Wonderful Life, and see if Tig Notaro can figure out who Kaley Cuoco is in a new edition of Under a Rock.
First up, with the Skywalker saga coming to an end, opening the door for a new era of Star Wars to follow in the coming years, this trailer edited by Alec Siegel takes footage from all nine movies across the three trilogies and pulls at your heartstrings all over again. It’s that Rise of Skywalker trailer music that really makes the footage swell with emotion.
Next up, right now you can see Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh in the new holiday romantic comedy Last Christmas. So there’s no better time for Vanity Fair to have them take a look back at some holiday favorites from over the years and tell us how they feel about them. Everything from It’s a Wonderful Life to Love Actually is covered.
Finally, Tig Notaro is back with a new episode of Under a Rock from Funny or Die. This time she’s trying to figure out who Kaley Cuoco is, despite the fact that she starred in one of the most popular sitcoms of all-time. Plus, she’s also lending her voice to the titular DC Comics character in the forthcoming Harley Quinn animated series coming to DC Universe.
Between some initial technical difficulties, The Mandalorian premiere, complaints about the aspect ratio for the first few seasons of The Simpsons, and other matters, the Disney+ launch day was about as eventful as can be expected. Yet it was what many Star Wars fans noticed - including Uproxx‘s Mike Ryan - during the infamous “Han Shot First” scene of A New Hope that stirred lots of debate. Yes, that’s right folks… George Lucas managed to sneak yet another edit into the first film of his sprawling cinematic empire.
As subsequently reported and confirmed by Vanity Fair, Lucas re-editing Han Solo’s fateful meeting with Greedo so that, instead of Han shooting first as in the original theatrical cut or Greedo shooting first and missing as in the 1997 “Special Edition”, both bounty hunters shoot at the same time. Of course, Greedo misses and Han doesn’t. As weird and interesting as this was, though, it was the addition of a new line of dialogue from Greedo that spurred Twitter’s imagination. Just before firing, the Rodian exclaims “Maclunkey!” Or, at least that’s what it sounds like.
Yet it seems the odd phrase is actually something that was first uttered in The Phantom Menace, as StarWars.com writer Bryan Young noted on Twitter.
Also, the word Maclunkey or however you spell it was used by Sebulba. My Huttese is a bit rusty, but, roughly translated, it means "This'll be the end of you" pic.twitter.com/wkktkZJXGW
— Bryan Young @swankmotron November 12, 2019
Former Uproxx writer Donna Dickens not only noticed the same thing, but also provided receipts courtesy of a fan-made online dictionary of Star Wars languages. Huttese is the language spoken by the Hutts. It’s not actually “Maclunkey” that Greedo is shouting at Han, but “ma klounkee,” which translates to “this” or “it will be the end of you.”
Remember the alien that raced against Anakin in TPM? Selbulba? He threated Anakin with the same phrase. That dude - and Greedo - were in deep with the Hutts, and I think it's actually kind of cool to tie those threads together. #StarWars
— MildlyExasperated @MExasperated November 12, 2019
So, there you have it, folks. Lucas didn’t suddenly decide to insert a random bit of comically bad and seemingly unheard of dialogue into one of his final edits on Star Wars before selling Lucasfilm to Disney in 2015. He simply pulled the phrase from a previous usage in The Phantom Menace and invariably set the Internet on fire for a day.
'A New Hope,' 'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi' all have unseen moments now available.
Star Wars fans may have been so excited to stream 4K versions of theoriginal trilogy on Disney+ they overlooked something special. Along with each film, deleted scenes are offered. And while some bootlegs have been floating around the internet for years, theDisney+versions that hit Tuesday are higher quality and come with an explanation as to why they were left out.
Two deleted scenes for 1977's A New Hope really stand out. The first is a combination of moments that would have been put in the beginning of the film, showing what Luke Skywalker was doing on Tatooine while the opening space battle was going on above the planet. Viewers finally get to see Tosche Station — the place Luke famously wanted to go pick up some power converters — and have a better understand of his friendship withBiggs Darklighter.
The other is not a deleted scene so much as a rough cut of the Cantina segment. In it, viewers see that Han Solo was actually hanging out with a lady before Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi approached. The scene is also entertaining in that no voices had been dubbed, so you can hear actors speaking English, rather than alien languages.
The scene also clearly shows that Han killed Greedo in cold blood, which was the case until the 1997 special edition rerelease. The scene was actually changed once again by George Lucas before Disney bought the property in 2012. That change had Star Wars fans buzzing over social media on Tuesday when it was discovered on Disney+.
In 1980's Empire Strikes Back, there is a romantic scene between Luke and Princess Leia on Hoth after Luke is attacked by the Wampa and is recovering. He is about to tell Leia he has feelings for her and kiss her, though R2-D2 and C-3P0 interrupt before that can happen. At the time, it was harmless, since no one knew they were siblings, but it's a little tough to watch now. Of course, they do kiss in the actual cut of the movie, but that kiss seems more random and funny — intended to make Han jealous, while the deleted scene was meant to be emotional.
There also is an interesting scene from 1983's Return of the Jedi in which Commander Jerjerrod has serious misgivings about following orders when he is told by Emperor Palpatine to blow up the Endor moon with the Death Star, even though "several battalions" are still on the surface.
In another scene, Luke builds his new lightsaber, which would have been in the film before R2-D2 and C-3PO were sent to Jabba's palace.
The nine-film Skywalker Saga is set to conclude in December with The Rise of Skywalker.