The Last Jedi

“Star Wars: Episode VIII” has a name, and we now know that it is “The Last Jedi”.  The image below was released today, giving us an official name for the next Star Wars movie.

The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi

There has of course been no end to the speculation in the last few hours.  Let’s start with my own speculation:

If the Jedi do die out, it doesn’t mean they’re really gone.  I’m thinking of what Maz Kanata said in “The Force Awakens”.  She says that she’s seen evil in many forms: the Sith, the Empire, the New Order.  Ultimately, even though the Sith are no more, the Dark Side still exists.  Maybe we’ll see something similar with the Light Side.  If Luke dies, the Jedi are gone, but the Light Side carries on through Rey.

In “Return of the Jedi” one of Yoda’s last words to Luke are “When gone I am, last of the Jedi you will be.”  Maybe this is just a reference to that.

And we can’t ignore the fact that the words “Star Wars” are in red, rather than the typical yellow.  No way that Disney accidentally did that.  It means something.  And it seems very foreboding.

What other thoughts and theories do you have for Episode VIII?  I’m sure there will be plenty more to come in the next 11 months (including from me), but I’d like to hear what you all think!

Most Anticipated Movies of 2017

2016 is hours away from ending, so it’s time to start looking ahead to 2017.  The new year already looks to be full of great movies, so I thought I’d put together a list of the most anticipated movie of each month.  There are very few months I had to actually stop and think about what I was looking forward to the most, which is pretty amazing.

This is based on movies listed on IMDB at http://www.imdb.com/movies-coming-soon/ as of 12/31/16.

January – “The Red Turtle” – I don’t really have anything super specific to say about this, other than it has caught my attention and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

February – “A Cure for Wellness” – I’ve been looking forward to this since the initial trailer debuted during last season’s “American Horror Story.” The slew of new trailers only leave me more excited.  There’s clearly something going on behind the scenes – it reminds me of “Shutter Island”.  Can’t wait.

March – “Logan” – The final movie that Hugh Jackman will do as Wolverine, and so far it’s actually looking good.  Unfortunately that hasn’t worked out for the past stand-alone Wolverine movies, but I’m still looking forward to this.  And if they’re using “Old Man Logan” as a template, we could be in for something awesome.

Close second goes to “The Belko Experiment”.  If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, go check it out.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCl0bOwq62c

April – “The Circle” – I’m still not 100% sure what this is even about, but it looks interesting.

May – “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” – This was already near the top of my “most anticipated of the year” right behind “Star Wars Episode VIII” even before the Baby Groot trailer came out.  “Guardians” is probably my favorite MCU movie to watch over and over again, so of course the sequel is one I’m looking forward to!

June – “Wonder Woman” – Based on the early trailers, it looks like we’re going to get a good DC movie.  I’m hoping it works this time!

Consolation prize to “The Mummy” just because the mummy itself looks pretty awesome.

July – “Spider-Man: Homecoming” – Linking Spider-Man into the MCU should be fun.  And Tom Holland has already given us a preview of the fun he can have with the role in “Captain America: Civil War”.

Second prize goes to “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”.

August – Not a lot to pick from at this time (only 4 listed with an August release right now), so I’ll give it to “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” because a cast of Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek and Gary Oldman has to be good for something.

September – September actually doesn’t really have anything I’m looking forward to (as of now).  Remakes of “It” and “Flatliners” feel pretty unnecessary.

October – Sigh.  Another month without much to offer.  Another “Saw” sequel.  Another installment in the “Insidious” series.  Eh.

November – It’s close, but I’ll give it to “Thor: Ragnarok”.  Depending on how “Wonder Woman” works out, I may give the edge to “Justice League”.

December – “Star Wars: Episode VIII” – Duh.  Can you imagine the opening night when the movie ends and there’s a dedication to Carrie Fisher?

Episode VIII

So what do you think?  There are going to be plenty of new movies announced as the year goes on, but what are you looking forward to most right now?

First Thoughts on “Rogue One”

As a fair warning, this post does include some spoilers from “Rogue One” so if you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and stop reading now. Seriously, don’t even read this sentence. Go watch Yoda sing about how much he hates seagulls. Really, go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9t-slLl30E
OK, you’ve been warned.
  

I don’t really consider this a full review, just some thoughts on what I did and didn’t like about “Rogue One”. 

The Good

The best character by far is Donnie Yen’s portrayal of Magic Stick Man (If you don’t know what that is, do yourself a favor and watch this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CehVgQ43pn0 ). OK, Chirrut Imwe. And his partner Baze Malbus, portrayed by Wen Jiang. Those two have a great chemistry. Throughout the movie, Baze kind of teases his counterpart about his belief in The Force, but as Chirrut is dying and Baze picks up the mantra of “I am one with The Force. The Force is with me”, that was one of the most emotional parts of the movie.

The effects in space. A lot of the ships looked almost “bad” by modern standards, which is a good thing. They had the feel of models used in the original trilogy, which was perfect for a movie leading directly into “A New Hope”.

Some of the little cameos. The a-holes from the Cantina. A few of the pilots in the battle (I didn’t catch all of them, but a buddy pointed it out). The quick little bit with R2-D2 and C3PO.

Vader. Obviously. His best fight scene in any of the movies. And it dawned on me that there isn’t any other villain out there that can be actively beating up the good guys and you’re cheering it on.

Galen Erso and his intentional design flaw. I should put this first, because this is pretty darn close to what I predicted here http://www.jaimeh.com/2016/11/06/bold-prediction-rogue-one-a-star-wars-story/. Although I predicted that the exhaust port was intentional, I’m taking credit for the intentional design flaw that he built into the core. 

The direct connection from the end of “Rogue One” going into “A New Hope”. I love that it was almost like “Rogue One” ended with a teaser going into a commercial, and “A New Hope” is was starts up the next episode.

I loved K-2SO. I still love R2-D2 and BB-8 more, but he was great. And he actually had character development. Going from really kind of an a-hole to sacrificing himself to protect Jyn and Cassian was great.

The Bad

There wasn’t a lot that I would consider to truly be “bad” with “Rogue One” but a couple things do stand out. Tarkin. He was too obviously CGI. I felt almost like I was watching Shrek, but as a friend put it, a video game is probably a better comparison. I would have loved them to find an actor who looked very close and just use makeup or some prosthetics to fill in the gap. I really want to say the same for Leia at the end, but at least her shot was just quick.

Vader and the cheese factor. “Don’t choke on your aspirations”. Boo.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say after I go again next week, but those are my initial thoughts. What did you all think?

Bold Prediction: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

If you read my movie prediction on “Doctor Strange” then you know It was a bust.  But that’s not going to stop me from making my prediction on the upcoming “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”.  My inspiration came from the most recent trailer.  If you haven’t seen it yet (what’s wrong with you??), here it is:


In this trailer, we see Jyn’s father, played by Mads Mikkelsen, apparently being taken away by the Empire, and forced to work on the design of the Death Star.  He makes the statement that “Whatever I do, I do it to protect you.”  So he’s going away peacefully in order to protect her, but that gives me the impression that he doesn’t support the empire.  Which leads me to my big prediction:

What could be happening?

What could be happening?

Since he is being forced to work on a superweapon that he does not support, I think the whole exhaust port leading directly to the outside of the Death Star….will be an intentional design flaw.  Although he is helping to design it, he’s going to build in a weakness, hoping it can be found and exploited.

So there it is.  Instead of a “critical design flaw,” it’s intentionally left there for the Rebels.  This immediately popped into my head when I saw that trailer, and I’m sticking with it.

Maybe this was intentional?

Maybe this was intentional?

So what do you think we will see in “Rogue One”?  Am I crazy with my theory?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Star Trek Vs. Star Wars

Last week I listened to an interesting conversation.  A couple of coworkers were chatting, and it turned to the new Star Wars movie.  One of the guys mentioned that he had always been a Star Trek fan, that he had grown up with it and never really got into Star Wars.

Suddenly it dawned on me that this is the first time I’ve ever actually heard anyone say anything like this.  The stereotype is that the two franchises have rabid fans who will defend their choice over the other all the time.  But what I’ve encountered in reality is people who may have a preference, but tend to be a fan of both.

Just an interesting observation, and maybe I don’t get involved deeply enough in the internet to truly get it.