Andor Review

There are two arguments when it comes to a prequel. One is that it allows a formerly minor character to get a little bit of time in the narrative spotlight. The other is that it is a cheap copout by the studio. Instead of giving voice to new stories, they are relying on a known (and perhaps too reliable) IP.

Andor premiered last Wednesday on DisneyPlus. In short, it is a prequel of a prequel. Five years before the events of A New Hope, it follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as he becomes the rebel that we know him to be in Rogue One.

While getting on the bad side of bureaucrat Syril Karn (Kyler Soller), he joins the rebellions by way of Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) and Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona).

So far, the first three episodes have been released. The connective tissue between the boy he was and the man he has become is starting to come together in a way that feels right for the character.

My favorite character so far is Maarva Andor (Fiona Shaw), Cassian’s adopted mother. She is not blind to what is happening and though she does not appear to have one, she has a spine made of steel.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

New episodes of Andor are released every Wednesday on DisneyPlus.

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Thoughts On the Andor Trailer

The hero’s journey is a fascinating tale. From where they start to where they end requires courage, a belief in the path they are taking, and the innate trust that everything will work out in the end.

The trailer for the new DisneyPlus Star Wars series, Andor dropped last week. The program follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as he goes on a path that will lead him to the rebellion in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

As usual, DisneyPlus and Lucasfilm are keeping the details close to the vest. What I see so far, I like. Cassian is such a fascinating character that I am curious to see where the story goes.

Andor premiers on August 31st, 2022 on DisneyPlus.

Thoughts On The Full Trailer Of Solo: A Star Wars Story

It takes a brave (or foolhardy, depending on your point of view) actor to step into the shoes of a character that is known and beloved the world over. Especially in a prequel or sequel.

The full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story was released on Sunday.

Alden Ehrenreich will be stepping into the very large shoes that Harrison Ford first made famous 41 years ago when Han Solo was introduced to audiences. Taking place 10 years before A New Hope, Han is still Han. Brash, cocky and still hell of a pilot, he gets entangled in the criminal underworld and goes on a journey that will lead him to the rebellion. His journey to the rebellion is incomplete without Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

As usual, Lucasfilm (and Disney by extension) gave fans just enough to get us excited without giving too much away. At this point, the film can go one of two ways. It can be like Rogue One and open the door to new characters/narratives within the Star Wars universe. Or, it can be like the prequels and basically suck.

Only time will tell. I can only hope and pray that the film lives up to the promises laid out in the trailer.

Solo: A Star Wars Story Mini Trailer

Yesterday, director Ron Howard announced the title of the upcoming Han Solo stand alone movie. It’s called Solo: A Star Wars Story. Set to be released next May, it’s not a surprise that the details of the movie, other than the general plot are being kept under wraps for the present. What is known is that the film is a prequel to Episode 4 and will tell the story of Han’s life before he met Luke, Leia and company.

Given the success of Rogue One and The Force Awakens and the hype surrounding The Last Jedi, I hope that this prequel/standalone film will only add to the luster of the Star Wars legacy and given fans a new reason to be loud and proud of their fandom.

The Best Movies Of 2016

It’s that time of year, the annual movie review. The movies listed below are the best of the best (in my humble opinion) of 2016.

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: This movie is a dream come true for any Star Wars fan. A prequel to Episode 4,  it abuts to the beginning of A New Hope and explains how the plans for the death star landed in the hands of the rebels. Starring Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, it is the perfect addition to the Star Wars franchise.
  2. Arrival: Arrival, starring Amy Adams is not the standard science fiction invasion alien film. It is about being human and dealing with everything that is human, while dealing with extra layer of potentially being invaded by an alien race. It could have been the typical schlockly science fiction film, but it is so much more.
  3. Denial: Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz), a respected historian and professor must prove that the Holocaust happened when she sued for libel. A powerful story of how thin the line is between free speech and hate speech.
  4. Son Of Saul: Son Of Saul is about a Saul (Geza Rohrig), a prisoner in Auschwitz who is able to locate a spark of hope when he finds the body of boy he believes to be his son. A Holocaust film that is without sentiment, it is one of the more powerful Holocaust films that has hit the big screen.
  5. Indignation: Based on the book by Philip Roth, Marcus Messner (Logan Lerman) is a young man of Jewish descent from New Jersey. Instead of going to college close to home, he attends a college in small town Ohio.  Against the backdrop of the Korean War and the sexual and social repression of the 1950’s, Marcus struggles to find himself.
  6. Florence Foster Jenkins: Florence Foster Jenkins is a socialite and an heiress living in New York City in the 1940’s. She has always wanted to be a performer, but her technical abilities don’t match up to her ambitions. A live concert will be a life long dream come true, but it could also be a cold blast of reality.
  7. Love And Friendship: Based on the unfinished novel by Jane Austen, Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) is a widow who decides that its high time to live with her in-laws. While she is chilling under their roof and looking for a husband for her teenage daughter, she may as well find one for herself.

Here’s to the good movies in 2016 and the hopefully good movies that will be released in 2017.

This will be my last post for this year. Have a safe and happy New Year and I will see you in 2017.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Review

I think it is a fair statement to say that the buzz surrounding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is palpable.

Filling in the gap between Revenge of the Sith (2005) and A New Hope (1977), Rogue One takes place just as the empire is tightening its grip on the universe. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is the daughter of a scientist, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) who has appeared to turn his back on rebels. She is raised by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) after her mother’s death and her father’s abdication to the dark side. We meet Jyn when she in imprisoned by the Empire. After being rescued by rebel forces, she joins the fight against the empire. Joining a team of rebels that includes Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Baze Malbus (Wen Jiang), Jyn is not only fighting to free the universe from the empire’s grasp, but is also seeking to find her father.

I’ve heard this movie being compared to The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. While both films are the best of the best of within the Star Wars series, this film certainly comes close. The two qualities of the film that I especially appreciated and loved was not only how badass Jyn was, but also the film talks about the true cost of freedom and the cost of rebelling against tyranny to attain that freedom. And for me, as a Janeite, the cherry on the top of the cake was knowing that I first was introduced to Felicity Jones when she played Catherine Moreland in the 2007 Northanger Abbey.

This film is a must see and one of the best of 2016 for me.

May The Fourth Be With You

Today is May 4th.

Last year at this time, there was a buzz in the air. We were anxiously waiting for Episode 7.

Considering the buzz kill that Episodes 1-3 were, many fans, myself included were naturally concerned. Episode 7 could rejuvenate the narrative and the fandom. Or it could just another overblown, special effects driven, short on plot and character science fiction film.

Last December our patience was rewarded. Episode 7 was everything that 4-6 were and much more. We were excited to meet the new characters and reunite with the old characters we’ve respected and adored for years.

To my fellow fans, I say may the fourth be with you. We will meet again in December for Rogue One.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Like many Star Wars fans, I am eagerly counting down the days until Episode 8 hits theaters. Thanks in no small part to J.J. Abrams, we are once more hungry to return to a galaxy far far away.

In the meantime, come December, we will have  a small consolation in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Starring Felicity Jones (Catherine Moreland in the 2007 Northanger Abbey) as Jyn Erso, this film looks to be the morsel the fans will need to cling to until next December. Jyn is a badass, a woman who is not afraid to break the rules. I like her already.

And for me, personally, this film bring together two of my favorite fandoms.

Whether it is true to the Star Wars universe and the narrative, is to be seen. I can only hope that it will be.

Enjoy your weekend.

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