Monday, May 4, 2015

Reel Facts & Opinions: STAR WARS News and May the Fourth be with You.

The anniversary of the first STAR WARS film is May 25th, but in our current punchy-title-happy, social-media driven world, May the 4th has become known as Star Wars Day; with the appropriate “May the Fourth be with You” tagline being spread all throughout the galaxy. Whether or not you are still harboring resentment over past decisions made in the STAR WARS films, or if you’re still a little skeptical about the upcoming 7th episode in the series, there really is no reason to not celebrate that far, far away galaxy that was brought to us in 1977. If that means re-visiting the films or the TV series, listening to John Williams’ magnificent music, posting STAR WARS related items on social media, or re-connecting with your fellow fans…STAR WARS has always offered something for everyone, and everyone can find a way to celebrate if they choose.  

With the STAR WARS franchise ready to blast off once again, there has been no shortage of news lately concerning the upcoming films. The first headline-maker came late last week, when it was announced that director Josh Trank was departing from the second planned film in the upcoming ANTHOLOGY series…a set of films taking place in-between episodes. Trank, director of the 2012 sci-fi hit CHRONICLE, cited a “personal decision” to leave the film, while other sources are saying that he was flat-out fired…with rumors of erratic behavior swirling around as well. 

Is this a disaster for STAR WARS and the parent company, Disney? It does take a precious amount of time to put a STAR WARS film together, and the film Trank was attached to was, and still is, slated for a 2017 release (the first ANTHOLOGY film is slated for next year). There may be some scrambling going on at Disney, but the good news is that this opens the door for some much better directors out there. Trank may have wowed the world with CHRONICLE, but the reactions to his upcoming superhero flick THE FANTASTIC FOUR have not been good (maybe he was canned because Disney got to see it), and he was likely not the guy on a lot fans’ wish-lists. With Trank out those wish-lists are back, and this Blogger’s list includes Brad Bird (THE INCREDIBLES), Joss Whedon (AVENGERS, SERENITY), Duncan Jones (MOON), Gavin O’Connor (WARRIOR), and Alfonso Cuaron (GRAVITY, CHILDREN OF MEN). 

In other news, this Star Wars Day got an early start the night before, when Vanity Fair magazine previewed their upcoming STAR WARS-heavy issue. The issue has a stunning collection of photographs by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz of the cast and crew, along with a few surprises. 

It's great to see Harrison Ford give us that cocky Han Solo smirk again. The rest of the photos can be seen HERE


STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS opens December 17th of this year.


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