Tag Archives: The Force Awakens

Eight Star Wars Facts You May Not Know

The Star Wars franchise has been around for 40 years, and with the upcoming release of The Last Jedi this December, there is no sign of slowing down for the hit film series. While many fans may know the inside and out of the films, there are a few facts about Star Wars that may have passed you by. Did you know who almost became Princess Leia or the fact that Jar Jar Binks may be more popular than first thought? Have a read of these eight Star Wars facts and I hope you enjoy them.

Ahmed Best Won An Award For Playing Jar Jar Binks

No, I haven’t been drinking too much of that blue milk. Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best is indeed an award winner for portraying the bumbling Gungan, but it is in the best way possible. While little praise was given to the character in the prequel trilogy, Ahmed made a great comeback with him reprising his Jar Jar role in all the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials. It was in the second special where Ahmed Best finally got rewarded for portraying Jar Jar Binks…and it is done really well. No matter what you thought of the character in The Phantom Menace, you will enjoy this video! And also, do we really believe the Darth Jar Jar thing?

Poe Dameron was meant to die

Hard to believe that the best pilot in the resistance wasn’t going to make it past his first film, but we are certainly glad that he did. In The Force Awakens, the character was originally envisioned to be biting the bullet at that point where the TIE fighter crashes onto Jakku. J.J. Abrams apparently thought better of this after casting Oscar Isaac in the part. While Poe was heavily featured in the first act, he was nowhere to be seen till the final assault on the Starkiller Base (and the rescue of the star map). Hopefully The Last Jedi will see him in a more prominent role throughout.

A Woman Originally Portrayed The Emperor

How many of you remember watching The Empire Strikes Back when it was first released? You may have noticed since re-watching the film once it was released on DVD that it had a noticeable yet justifiable change. We all know that Ian McDiarmid portrayed The Emperor in Return Of The Jedi and again in the prequel trilogy (and he was brilliant). But, the Emperor was first portrayed by Marjorie Eaton. Yes, a woman was The Emperor under a lot of make-up and wearing chimpanzee eyes that had been placed on her. While the woman was the body, the voice was by Clive Revill. Thankfully, this is one thing I am glad to have seen changed and Ian McDiarmid is the better Emperor by far!

Jodie Foster, Sissy Spacek and Cindy Williams Could Have Been Princess Leia

There were a few actresses who apparently went for the role of Princess Leia Organa. While we know that Carrie Fisher eventually got the role, her book ‘The Princess Diarist’ reveals that she auditioned for Carrie at the same time, as did the actress Sissy Spacek. Imagine if Sissy was cast as Leia? Also, Cindy Williams apparently went for the role too and also Jodie Foster. While I think Jodie Foster would have been superb, she would have only been 13-14 at the time of filming and definitely would not help to keep Luke and Leia at the same age. Thank goodness Carrie Fisher took the role.

All The Star Wars Films Have Been Shot In England

That is true, if you leave out the poor excuse of an animated film from 2008 (but I do love the Clone Wars show). All the live-action films so far have been filmed in England, starting with the first movie shooting in Elstree back in 1976 (which in turn has become the basis of its own film). Since then, all the films have been shot in England and places around the UK. Yes, certain desert and snow scenes had been shot in other countries, but the Star Wars franchise can honestly call England its home. Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Alien and even entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended Universe have since come to the UK to shoot mainly because of the great work made in the space opera franchise!

Loads Of People Have Played Darth Vader

We all know Darth Vader as soon as we hear that voice, even in spin-off movie Rogue One we saw James Earl Jones come back as the lord of the Sith! But, the man inside the suit has changed numerous times. Leading the original trilogy in the suit was David Prowse, he had a great presence and even today at the age of 81 has a powerful handshake that will crush your wrist (and the man is a pleasure to meet). We also have Hayden Christensen in the suit in Episode III. Then we also have Bob Anderson, Gene Bryant, Spencer Wilding, Daniel Naprous and Sebastian Shaw inside the iconic black armour. Plus, one last mention to Ben Burtt who made the iconic sounds of Star Wars which includes the breathing of Darth Vader! Darth Vader is one of the biggest villain’s in the world and it is clear to see how much has gone into the character over the years (and don’t even get me started on the animated shows and video game performances).

Rey’s hairstyle for Episode VIII was kept secret

As we saw in the original trilogy, Carrie Fisher’s hairstyle was changed in each film and each look was considered popular and started trends. With the character of Rey, it seemed to start the trends again with her three buns style in The Force Awakens. But, did many of you notice that in the lead -up to this film that she had her hair covered a number of times? There was a workout photo where Daisy Ridley was shown with a pillowcase around her head to keep it secret. With the success of The Force Awakens and the popularity of Ridley’s Rey, I think it is justified that all these measures are made to keep back any spoilers…including the hair on Daisy’s head (and what about Mark Hamill’s beard or the lovely scar that Adam Driver’s Kylo should be sporting?).

Anthony Daniels Is In EVERYTHING as C3PO!

For 40 years, Star Wars has had many constants in it. The lightsabers, the Jedi, X-Wings, exotic planets, superb villains and a certain protocol droid who has been there for all of it. Anthony Daniels has not been afraid of type-casting by taking his portrayal of C3PO to all the different medias that is available. To make it nine out of nine live-action films, Anthony Daniels will be back as C3PO in The Last Jedi. Plus he has appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, The Muppet Show. Sesame Street, Lilo and Stitch, Robot Chicken and even The Lego Movie in 2014! Also, how many video games and other shows has he appeared in? Anthony Daniels has made C3PO a part of himself and there is no way you could ever have anyone else in this role!

What did you think of these facts? Have you got any facts that you want to share? Message on this post and thank you for reading.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Why We Shall Never Forget Carrie Fisher

The news was indeed hard for any Star Wars fan to believe today, Carrie Fisher sadly passed away following the heart attack she had suffered just a few days ago. As well as the iconic role of Princess Leia, Carrie was indeed a very popular actress who could do comedy and drama well. It wasn’t just the acting which kept Carrie in the spotlight, just watching some of her interviews was enough to brighten your day. Carrie will be kept alive thanks to her unmistakable performances, her family (daughter Billie and pet Gary for example) and the memories that millions of fans will hold for her. Here are some of the big reasons we will miss our Princess!

Carrie Fisher Believed In Star Wars Before Anyone Else

When the film was first in production, a lot of people doubted it would become a success. It did at one point become the highest-earning film of all time. Carrie though was a firm believer that Star Wars will become a success. She honestly thought a lot of people would disagree with her, but aren’t we glad that we did? It shows that she gave the part her all as she wanted it to succeed, meaning that we love this princess because she wanted you to love her and this world which came to us nearly 40 years ago. George Lucas really did well with this piece of casting, and the rest is now movie history at its greatest.

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She Starred In Two Of The Best Films Of 1980

In 1980, The Empire Strikes Back took us back to the galaxy far, far away for possibly the greatest film sequel of all time. But, this wasn’t the only superb movie to star Carrie Fisher. She was also seen in the comedy classic The Blues Brothers, Carrie plays the wife-to-be of John Belushi’s Jake Blues. In the film, her character tries to kill Jake throughout the film to get revenge for leaving her at the altar. It does provide some very comical moments in the film and gives Carrie another very memorable role.

Meryl Streep “Technically” Played Carrie In A Film

A number of years after the original trilogy had left the cinemas, Carrie started writing. Her first novel was a semi-autographical story called ‘Postcards From The Edge’. A few years later when it was adapted into a movie, Carrie Fisher was able to create the screenplay for her own story for the big screen and Meryl Streep was cast as Carrie Fisher Suzanne Vale. When asked why she didn’t take the role herself, Carrie just said she had done it already. But following the sad news, who could possibly play Carrie Fisher in a bio pic for real?

Carrie Was Not Afraid To Take The Mick Out Of Herself

We know that Carrie probably had a lot to deal with after her initial time in the sci-fi franchise, but it would never keep her down. She had well noted incidents such as problems with drugs and also her relationships with Bryan Lourd and Paul Simon. She does take a lot of comments about her in good humour and was not afraid to take the piss out of herself. Check out some of the videos below.

and who in the UK could forget this…

Gary Fisher

In the last few years, Carrie would always have her faithful companion by her side. Gary Fisher gained his own following with fans and many would love to see him as much as Carrie. The canine companion of Carrie Fisher even has his own twitter, but in the last few hours there has been some very heartbreaking posts. The big question will be, who will now look after Gary? Nobody will be able to replace his Mum, but we will always have them great moments of the two.

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Family Guy And Other Shows

One thing Carrie Fisher did do well was that she could make an impressive mark on the small screen as much as she did on the big screen. Starring as herself in Sex And The City, Ellen and The Big Bang Theory did provide some laughs and her voiceover work on Family Guy as Peter’s boss Angela was indeed favoured by many. Most recently, Carrie had been reprising her role as Mia in the Channel 4 comedy Catastrophe! Her star shined bright not just on big and small screen, but on both sides of the Atlantic.

Legacy As Leia

Whichever way you look at it, Carrie Fisher will forever be known as our Princess from Alderaan. She took the part and made it her own. Everyone remembers her hairstyles, that bikini from Return Of The Jedi and just how much of a badass she is. Carrie also proved with Leia that this was a character who would be seen as a strong role model for young women. You can’t help but think of Leia when the conversation of Star Wars comes up. Let’s be honest, how happy was you when she turned up in The Force Awakens? It made me smile! I know that when Carrie appears in Episode VIII, it will be with a sense of joy but also with a great burdening sadness as this shall be our last outing with our Princess.

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What fond memories do you hold for Carrie Fisher? Will you miss her portrayal of Princess Leia? R.I.P. Carrie and may the force be with you!

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “You don’t know a thing about me, what I’ve seen… we all need to run.”

**BE WARNED, MINIMAL SPOILERS AHEAD**

 

So, how can I describe this film without giving any of the spoilers? First off, the film is a huge achievement in what can be created in the world from George Lucas. Taking place around 30 years after Return Of The Jedi, we begin the story on the planet of Jakku. Jakku was where a huge battle had taken place many years before, and looks set to see more action from its earliest moments. We learn the FIRST ORDER has come to take over from the Empire and looks to defeat the Resistance, and the FIRST ORDER are tough. We are steadily introduced to our new lead stars, as they burst onto the screen in a fantastic way. From X-Wing pilot Poe, Scavenger Rey and Stormtrooper Finn, we get to see them introduced gradually over the first ten minutes. The amount of practical effects is evident greatly in the opening moments, and sets a great tone for the rest of the movie. Of course, we also get to meet new droid BB-8 (the best practical invention I have seen on screen for a long time). Also from the opening few minutes, we meet the main villain, Kylo Ren! From the very beginning, we know how powerful Kylo is (and there is a good reason he follows the path originally for Darth Vader). This is a character who controls the FIRST ORDER (the new Stormtroopers, who can actually aim well and mean business), very powerful with the force and owns a cool lightsaber. He has one main ambition, to hunt down a certain Jedi.

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From the very beginning, we know we don’t need to rely on the old cast to make this film entertaining. The laughs are constant, especially during the first hour of the movie. The action makes a perfect blend of CGI and props really explode on the screen. Nothing beats the thrill of when you see Han Solo and Chewbacca first appear on the screen (I kid you not; there was an applause in that screen!). To have the millennium Falcon flying through the danger is always exciting, and the arm rests on my seat in the cinema definitely had plenty of wear from my grip (not force grip). To see the interactions of characters old and new is superb, whether it is BB-8 making friends with a familiar looking protocol droid or even Finn and Rey getting help with a smuggler and his hairy companion. Also, the number of villains in this movie may seem rather huge, but they all link back to the one cause. Kylo Ren may be the one we follow, but he is not the one in charge. Supreme Leader Snoke is a villain who looks to be the new emperor, but be sure to see more learnt about him as the film series go on.  Also, we see you can get bigger and better with the construction of Starkiller Base, a planet which is turned into a weapon (sound familiar? It seems like the Dark Side like to keep their plans huge!).

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Remember, this is only the first of three new films in the main series. There is a certain amount of set-up in this movie, there is just so much going on and that last scene will be both slightly irritating and breath-taking. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega steal the show as Rey and Finn, both injecting a new blood to the system. Their combination works well on many levels and hopefully shall continue to grow in Episode VIII. Adam Driver portrays a convincing villain in Kylo Ren, his actions will have you both feeling bad (there are some issues) for him and hating him (when you see what he does, you will hate him!). Peter Mayhew and Harrison Ford lead the pack and provide central roles to The Force Awakens. Han Solo and Chewbacca do the same as they did in Episode IV and win fans over within seconds of appearing on screen, and Han is still a smuggler with a heart for adventure (wait till you see what he has recently acquired). There isn’t much to go on, but Andy Serkis brings a strong menace with Supreme Leader Snoke. When we next see him, it should be a chance to see the extent of his powers.  Carrie Fisher gets back into the Leia role nicely, and joined by Anthony Daniels as the popular C3PO definitely will please lifelong fans. There are too many characters to single out, but all play their parts well. Though I was hoping to hear “It’s A Trap” from one returning character, but it never pans out that way (but still very cool to see him).

Chewbacca and Han Solo in a still from the Star Wars: The Force

I must say, this has become my favourite film made by JJ Abrams (and only two lens flares that really stood out), and his writing partnership with Lawrence Kasdan (using Michael Arndt’s original and expanding on it) shows that they had the job down to a tee and Lawrence can still do top notch work like he did for The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. George Lucas has passed this onto the safest of hands, and the future looks great. Having the opening text crawl is still the chill that sets you in for a great ride. The effects make the original trilogy not look out of place, making a good blend of what we saw and keeping the same look that we had back then. The film is not perfect, but it is superior to many films you will see this year. A few quarrels in regards to screen time for some characters are questionable and pacing is at times a bit off, but overall I loved this film. The excitement of two lightsabers striking each other is what we build up to in any Star Wars film, and this fight really does impress. It is a long wait now to May 2017 to see what comes next, but that last scene definitely shows you why you will want to watch the next one. Also, you know that Mark Hamill hasn’t been shown much in promotion, you will soon find out why! Also, look out for what happens when Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac, definitely will be the cool guy from this point onwards) shoot’s at a certain character, and soon regrets it.

A superb film, a pleasure throughout and the nostalgic trip which is easy to absorb. A great start to the follow-up trilogy we wanted. Best of luck to Rian Johnson, May The Force Be With You!

Final Rating: 9.5/10

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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The Final Trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Finally, it is here for us to watch in its glory! The last trailer before The Force Awakens makes it way to cinemas this December. Watch the trailer now, prepare for the biggest film of 2015!

Due in cinemas in the UK on Thursday 17th December and worldwide from Friday 18th December. Are you excited for the new film? Do you think it will be as good or better than the originals? Will J.J. Abrams be able to tackle one of the biggest ever film series? We will know soon.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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The Eleven Films You Will Be Watching In 2015

These films are to come out during the year 2015. A mix of action, drama, comedy and animation is here. Whether you want a comic book film, a laugh-out-loud experience or to travel to a galaxy far far away, this is the list for you. So, what eleven films will you definitely are seeing next year?

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Need I say more? The first film became the third highest-grossing film of all time, heralded critical acclaim all over the world and saw some of the most popular comic characters of all time finally come together in this massively epic story. Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and the rest are back to save the world yet again. This time, instead of battling the trickster god Loki, the team are to take on the mad robot Ultron (James Spader) as he looks to eradicate the human race. Be prepared for lots of action, humour, mayhem and possibly the biggest movie to come out this year!

Ant-Man

Completing Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man already has its work cut out for it as not only does it have to contend with carrying on the MCU after Age Of Ultron, but also it needs to establish a new rotation of characters the world. Edgar Wright may have left the project, but indications show that the combination of Peyton Reed and Adam McKay may just pay off and bring us a gem. Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas star in this movie which chronicles one of Marvel’s oldest franchises and finally brings Ant-Man to the big screen.

Spectre

Bond 24 now has a title, and the idea that SPECTRE is involved is very exciting. The group, known since the first official bond film in 1962, will be taking centre stage in the latest outing for Daniel Craig. Playing Bond for the fourth time, Craig is about to face Christoph Waltz as he becomes Franz Oberhauser (though many assume this a red herring and that he shall actually play Blofeld who was a staple of the classic Bond films). With the filming just started, it is a long way to October 2015 and we can’t wait to see if this film can top Skyfall!

Fifty Shades Of Grey

I don’t get why this film is made. I know many women are going to go and see this and drag their boyfriend/fiancée/husband to see it. Coming out on Valentines weekend, the film is looking to really take the business and going to the cinema will be a plan for some men to keep their partner happy. Northern Irish actor Jamie Dorman plays the male lead to Dakota Johnson and looks to be one of the most explicit films of the year. If a woman has read the book and liked it, you can be sure they will be sat in the cinema in February watching it.

Furious 7

Next, we say goodbye to actor Paul Walker as his last film is out in 2015. After being delayed following the death of Paul and still having shots to be done, re-writes were put in place and filming was complete using Paul Walker’s brothers and helping bring the movie to a conclusion. Vin Diesel, The Rock, Michelle Rodriguez and more return for the new instalment. Will the franchise continue following the loss of Paul Walker? Who knows? Will you be seeing this film when it comes out? Yes!

Pitch Perfect 2

Ok, I have not seen Pitch Perfect, but I know how popular it was when released. Anna Kendrick led the 2012 musical-comedy with Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Rebel Wilson as part of its cast. The songs were instant hits which spawned the song ‘Cups’ which hit No. 6 in the US single charts and won lots of awards. Compared to Glee, the show was positively seen for its fun characters, comedic tone and having a top soundtrack. If you like music in your comedy movies, this is definitely for you!

Ted 2

Seth MacFarlane brings back the foul-mouthed, ridiculously cute Ted for a second outing in 2015. With his best friend John (Mark Wahlberg) by his side, the two are set to make more laughs and make as big an impact as the first time. Mila Kunis may not be in this one, but with a cast including Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, David Hasselhoff and the return of Sam J. Jones (AKA Flash Gordon). This movie looks to get even funnier and bring about even more stand out moments.

Jurassic World

Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs! More Dinosaurs! Chris Pratt leads the cast of this upcoming sequel to the classic Jurassic Park and it looks good. Hybrid Dinosaurs look set to be the big bad in this film as the park, which is now fully functioning, looks to become in trouble again. Following the years of being in development hell, the movie is finally about to see the light of day and early footage looks impressive. With a new cast, updated CGI and the award winning combination of director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly, I think we will be in safe hands when we return to Isla Nublar.

Terminator Genisys

Is it a remake, a reboot, a sequel, a prequel or something else? The answer seems to be yes. Keeping to the same basic story, the story of a future where machines have taken over the world and are in war with the human race. John Connor sends back his friend Kyle Reese to protect his mother Sarah. On arriving in the past, she is already being looked after by a protector, the T-800. Showing an aged Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator, he is back and ready to fight any and all dangers. Showcasing elements made famous in Terminator 1 and 2, this movie looks set to change all that we know before and create a new legacy. Will Terminator Genisys be worth the effort and turn out good? We will find out. The trailer looks rather decent.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars had to come back. Being one of the most successful franchises of all time, J.J. Abrams steps behind the camera of Episode VII to give us the world post-empire and see what happened with Luke, Leia, Han and the others after Darth Vader was defeated. Set 30 years after Return Of The Jedi, the new film follows a new threat and will unite heroes old and new to take the threat on. Though not out until December 18th 2015, we recently got a glimpse of what to expect in an 88 second teaser trailer, and we were most certainly teased. Look out for your favourite characters, intense action and that John Williams soundtrack which just had to be there.

Minions

No explanation needed. The Minions are probably the most popular animated characters since The Simpsons. They are cute, simple, harmless and funny. This film is a prequel to the hit Despicable Me films and follows three of the minions as they look to serve the most evil person they can find. Being around since the dawn of time, they always look to do the best they can for their master. With this guaranteed to be a hit with the kids and hopefully keeping the humour which had the adults laughing along too, don’t be surprised if Minions was to become the hit film of the summer holidays.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove