May 17, 2013 | 8:00 a.m.
With 2009′s “Star Trek,” filmmaker J.J. Abrams breathed new life into one of science fiction’s most venerable franchises. His sleek cinematic reboot re-introduced moviegoers to brash but loyal Capt. James T. Kirk and his level-headed foil Spock, played with a winning hint of modern bromance by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto. Now, Abrams has returned to the USS Enterprise with “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which beams into theaters on a course toward what’s expected to be a roughly $100-million opening. The Times’ Betsy Sharkey raved in her review that the film, “bursting at the seams with enemies, wears its politics, its mettle, its moxie and its heart on its ginormous 3-D sleeve.” She went on to describe the movie as the best release of the summer movie season so far. Late last month, before Abrams embarked on a whirlwind publicity […]
May 04, 2013 | 9:08 a.m.
“Star Wars” fans have dubbed May 4 as “‘Star Wars’ Day” (as in “May the fourth be with you…”), and Hero Complex is celebrating with a look to the future of pop culture’s favorite space saga. Disney announced last month it will release a new “Star Wars” film every year beginning in 2015 with “Episode VII,” the first installment in a planned trilogy. In between those movies, Disney is releasing two standalone “Star Wars” films not part of the overall saga, penned by Simon Kinberg and “The Empire Strikes Back” scribe Lawrence Kasdan. “I’m trying to start fresh,” Kasdan told Hero Complex in February. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.” […]
May 04, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
When Disney announced in January that J.J. Abrams would direct “Star Wars: Episode VII,” the news had major implications for the geek faithful. While some rejoiced at the prospect of Hollywood’s A-list nerd-auteur shepherding the next entry in the beloved sci-fi franchise, many fans of that other beloved sci-fi franchise, “Star Trek,” wondered what Abrams’ new gig would mean for them. After all, Abrams had successfully revived “Star Trek” with his 2009 Paramount film, casting Chris Pine as a young James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock, and crafting a movie that managed to win over both “Trek” die-hards and newcomers to the series. He had already shot “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which opens May 17, and was on track to make a third movie. It turns out it wasn’t just fans wondering what Abrams taking on “Star Wars” […]
April 25, 2013 | 2:16 p.m.
Pet-themed YouTube channel the Pet Collective has combined two of the Internet’s greatest distractions — cat videos and “Star Wars” — into a single undertaking. “Paw Warz,” a new weekly video series, promises to explore such burning questions as: Did Haz Alone shoot first? (That’s the cat version of Han Solo, for those not in the know). The Pet Collective also has launched a companion website that seems poised to become the Wookieepedia of “Paw Warz” knowledge, listing information on such ships as “Rex Wing Fighters” and on characters including “3Meow,” “Boop Boop Beep Boop” and “Toada,” the latter of which is a toad who lives on the planet Dogobath. Carrying on with the “Star Wars” puns, the bad guys in the “Paw Warz” universe have fallen to “The Dog Side” led by the evil “Aarf Vader.” Forget the upcoming […]
April 19, 2013 | 5:23 p.m.
What if Darth Vader had been a loving and devoted father? Comic writer and artist Jeffrey Brown answered that question last year with his charming book “Darth Vader and Son,” which imagined the endearing Sith Lord’s struggles and tender moments with young Luke Skywalker. Now Princess Leia is getting the same treatment in “Vader’s Little Princess,” due out Tuesday. Brown, whose previous work includes “Clumsy,” “Bighead” and two adorable cat books, received an Eisner Award nomination for best humor publication for “Vader and Son.” Unlike that book, which focused on Luke’s early childhood years, “Vader’s Little Princess” follows Leia through her adolescence and rebellious teen years, leaving Vader to worry about his daughter’s wardrobe, driving (should we say piloting?) abilities and boyfriends, including one scruffy-looking Han Solo. “I think part of what was so fun about this idea is like, […]
April 17, 2013 | 2:38 p.m.
The Force is strong with Alan Horn. At CinemaCon on Wednesday, the Walt Disney Studios chairman said the company plans to release three “Star Wars” films by the end of the decade — one in 2015, 2017 and 2019. In between those movies, “we expect to have pictures derived from that universe,” Horn said, indicating that spinoff movies should be expected in 2016 and 2018 as well. The news comes six months after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in a surprise deal for $4.05 billion. At the time of that deal in October, the company said it planned to release a seventh live-action “Star Wars” movie in 2015. It has since been announced that J.J. Abrams will direct that film, while Oscar winner Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine,” “Toy Story 3″) has been tapped to write the screenplay. PHOTOS: J.J. Abrams career […]
April 17, 2013 | 1:35 p.m.
Leave it to comedy genius Patton Oswalt to figure out a way to bring Tony Stark into the “Star Wars” universe. The actor is set for a guest-star spot on the NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation” this week, playing a character who appears at a Pawnee City Council meeting to filibuster a vote. Oswalt apparently launched into an eight-minute improvisational speech about his ideas for the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII,” and they are appropriately cosmic in scope. His vision begins with Brian DePalma being tapped to write the introductory credit scroll (as he did for “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope,” Oswalt points out) and in minutes, he’s managed to resurrect Boba Fett and rope in some prominent Marvel characters. By no means is that an easy feat. It’s a grand masterpiece of a tapestry Oswalt’s woven […]
April 17, 2013 | 12:00 p.m.
Richard LeParmentier, who played Admiral Motti in “Star Wars,” died Tuesday. He was 66. The Pittsburgh-born character actor appeared in more than 50 films and television shows, including Norman Jewison’s 1975 film “Rollerball,” Warren Beatty’s 1981 drama “Reds,” the 1983 James Bond movie “Octopussy” and Richard Lester’s 1980 superhero sequel “Superman II,” in which he played a reporter. But it was his turn in George Lucas’ landmark space opera that perhaps was his greatest claim to fame. In one of the many memorable scenes aboard the Death Star, Motti takes a haughty tone with Darth Vader, suggesting he not try to frighten the commanders with his “sorcerer’s ways.” He then launches into a derisive speech criticizing Vader’s inability to conjure up the stolen data tapes with the plans for the space station or the location of the rebels’ secret stronghold. […]
April 11, 2013 | 12:04 p.m.
Harrison Ford is out on the promotion trail, talking up his role in the new Jackie Robinson baseball movie “42.” But what everyone really wants to discuss is his possible return as Han Solo in the new “Star Wars” movie. Everyone except Harrison Ford, that is. The star, who’s reportedly set to reprise his landmark role as the heroic cad, either doesn’t know much about his participation in “Episode VII” at this early date or he’s not allowed to share details. In any case, he’s opted to deflect “Star Wars” questions not with polite demurrals or stone-faced silence, but rather a grandfatherly sense of befuddlement. Witness how Ford handled David Letterman on Wednesday. Letterman, who uses confusion himself in order to draw answers out of his guests, met his match in Ford when the subject of “Star Wars” was raised. […]
April 05, 2013 | 11:44 a.m.
The Force is strong with Dark Horse Comics editor in chief Scott Allie. The Oregon-based company recently announced plans to publish George Lucas’ original screenplay for “Star Wars” as an eight-issue comic series launching in September, adapted by Lucasfilm executive editor and writer J. W. Rinzler and Mike Mayhew. As first drafted in 1974, “The Star Wars!” told the story of Jedi Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker, an alien named Han Solo and evil Sith Knights. Many had long speculated that the complete original version would never see the light of day, conflicting as it does with the saga’s mythic canon. But Allie said they found a powerful ally in Rinzler. “We ran some samples by him in order to show proof of concept, and now here we are,” Allie said. “We’ve had a great relationship with Lucasfilm for […]