Should Kathleen Kennedy be fired from Lucasfilm?

Dealing with division in Star Wars and other parts of our lives

I haven’t posted here for a while and I was saddened to see my last post was shortly after the release of Rogue One.  Good and happy times right?

So what has happened in the last eighteen months?  Quite a lot apparently.

The Last Jedi turned out to be very divisive for our more vocal section of Star Wars fandom.  So much so, that many ‘hater’ youtube channels sprang up demanding that Kathleen Kennedy be fired.

That, in combination of the fact that Solo: A Star Wars Story was released a mere six months later (not a great idea in hindsight), resulted in Solo actually losing money at the box office from many fans staying away.

Solo is actually a good movie, I really enjoyed it and feel it is an honest old fashioned action-packed romp true to the classic Star Wars DNA.  We were even treated at the end with a surprise cameo by Darth Maul.

Solo movie loses money
Solo movie loses money

My thoughts on The Last Jedi?  After my first viewing I was genuinely disappointed with Luke’s death although I though as a movie it was solid enough.  Having said that, on later viewings I’m not so sure.  I think it’s safe to say it’s one of the weaker Star Wars movies.  Potentially, it could have been great – lets face it we all wanted to see Luke pulling Star Destroyers out of the sky!

Focusing on Luke’s death again, I think had Luke not died at the end of the movie and done something just as impressive as he did anyway I don’t there would have been such a fan backlash.

Luke Skywalkers Death

Comparing TLJ with the prequel trilogy, I personally think TLJ is a better movie than Attack of the Clones (I really don’t like that movie).  There was of course lots of hate for the prequels, but don’t forget social media didn’t exist at the time of the prequels – something I’m sure George Lucas was relieved about in hindsight.

But this division of Star Wars fans while sad, shouldn’t be a surprise in an era of Donald Trump and of course Brexit.

Literally in the last few days there is also strong indications that the Obi Wan spin-off movie has been cancelled alongside Rian Johnson’s planned trilogy.

Let’s hope Episode IX is a strong movie for the sake of the future of Star Wars!


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Episode VIII Will Be Called : The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi

The sequel to The Force Awakens has a very ominous title.

It was announced today that Star Wars Episode VIII will be called The Last Jedi.

Is Rey the last Jedi?
Is Rey the last Jedi?


Could the title mean that Luke will die?  Or perhaps, it might mean Jedi in plural, just meaning Luke and Rey and any other Jedi that might decide to join them.

What we do know for certain, is that The Last Jedi will be dark as is suitable for act II of a Star Wars series.  It is also directed by Rian Johnson who is known to make more interesting and quirky movies.

For the first time, the Star Wars logo is also emblazoned in what could be called ‘Sith red’. The other Star Wars middle movies tipped the balance of power towards the evil villains as in The Empire Strikes Back and Attack Of The Clones.

We also know that The Last Jedi will begin immediately after the events of The Force Awakens, with no time gap in between.


So who is the last Jedi?  Luke, Rey or the group of them?  We will have to wait until December to find out!

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Carrie Fisher Has Died at 60

Luke and Leia Last jedi

Actress Carrie Fisher has died at the age of 60, People magazine reports.

The Star Wars star suffered a cardiac arrest on Friday on a United Airlines flight from London to Los Angeles just before it landed at LAX. She was travelling back from promoting her new book The Princess Diarist. Paramedics were there when the plane landed and “provided Advanced Life Support and aggressively treated and transported the patient to a local hospital.” Her brother, Todd Fisher, told reporters that his sister was in the Intensive Care Unit.

Best known for her role as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy which started in 1977, the character that propelled her into fame.

Princess Leia Heart Attack

In the 1980s, Fisher battled addictions to alcohol and drugs, which she wrote about in her first book, 1987’s  “Postcards from the Edge.” The successful, semi-autobiographical novel is about an actress addicted to drugs and it was made into a movie in 1990 for which Fisher wrote the screenplay. Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine starred in the film. 

Fisher has also had success as a script consultant for multiple movies, revising scripts for “Sister Act” and “The Wedding Singer.” 

In 2008, Fisher released “Wishful Drinking,” an autobiographical book in which she wrote more about her struggles with addiction and mental illness. It was turned into a one-woman stage play starring Fisher and aired on HBO.

Leia and Han in Star Wars The Force Awakens
Leia and Han in Star Wars The Force Awakens

In a 2015 interview with Diane Sawyer, Fisher publicly revealed her struggles with manic depression, a chemical disorder also known as bipolar disorder.


“I used to think I was a drug addict, pure and simple — just someone who could not stop taking drugs willfully, And I was that. But it turns out that I am severely manic depressive.”


Fisher returned to the “Star Wars” franchise in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. She has just finished shooting Star Wars: Episode VIII due for release December 2017.

In her new new book The Princess Diarist Fisher revealed that she had a secret love affair with Harrison Ford during filming of the first Star Wars movie.

Carrie Fisher was born October 21, 1956 to Hollywood actor Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. She is survived by her daughter, Billie Catherine Lourd, from a previous relationship with agent Bryan Lourd.
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Rogue One Review (contains spoilers)

Rogue One Review

Star Wars Rogue One – a new type of Star Wars movie

(contains spoilers)

In this new era of regular Star Wars movies, my viewing of Rogue One was approached with mild caution and hope, there’s always hope.

When you are such a huge Star Wars fan, it’s almost impossible to accurately judge how good a new Star Wars movie is on the first viewing. We all remember the hype machine of 1999 when The Phantom Menace was released – the first Star Wars movie for 16 years. We all swore it was a good movie, we must have – most of us watched more then five times at the theater!

More recently The Force Awakens was also similarly hyped, although this time we were spared the three months of camping outside the theater – remember that?  Now the dust has settled on The Force Awakens, I think we can safely say it’s a competent if slightly derivative episode of the saga. I bring all this up, because the real test of time is years – not days or even months to judge one movie against the other.

So for me, Rogue One starts off slowly setting up the story.  It already feels a little different with no opening crawl and no John Williams music, both firsts in a Star Wars movie.

Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor in Rogue One
Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor in Rogue One

Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter Jyn. His peaceful life ends when the ambitious Imperial director Orson Krennic takes him away from his beloved family. Many years later, Galen is now the Empire’s lead engineer for the most powerful weapon in the galaxy, the Death Star. Knowing that her father holds the key to its destruction, a grown up Jyn joins forces with the rebels to steal the space station’s plans for the Rebel Alliance. 

Director Orson Krennic
Director Orson Krennic

Established rebel characters feature, such as Mon Mothma and General Dadonna, as well as a bunch of new heroes including Cassian Andor and reprogrammed Imperial droid K2SO to provide the sarcastic wise cracks.

Probably the main talking point of Rogue One, was bringing Peter Cushing back from the dead as character Grand Moff Tarkin thanks to recent breakthrough CGI technology. It really is a watershed moment and which makes your jaw drop the first time you see it!  The same trick is pulled at the movies conclusion with a brief scene of a young 1977 Princess Leia, to prove Tarkin wasn’t a fluke.

Vader also features in a couple of powerful scenes which adds gravitas to the Star Wars universe.

Building the Death Star against his will, Galen has intentionally left a weakness within the design, detailed in the Death Star plans stored at a data center on the Tropical planet of Scarif also the location of the Death Star’s construction.

Rogue One is a more serious Star Wars movie more suited to adults in the same vein as Empire Strikes Back or arguably Revenge of the Sith, it respectfully and nostalgically captures the same tone as A New Hope.  The second half of the movie which climaxes with the Battle of Scarif, is a lot more intense and keeps up the pace brilliantly until the end.

The standard of acting performances is top drawer for a Star Wars movie, and the action scenes are a hark back to the original movies. I particularly liked the scene where the rebel fleet turns up for battle at Scarif which reminded me of one of my favorite scenes from Return Of The Jedi.

Battle of Scarif
Battle of Scarif

The movie ends just before the start of A New Hope, and this made me want to watch ANH when I got back home!

So, is Rogue One better than The Force Awakens and the Prequels?  Probably.

But is it as good as the original movies and how does it compare to them?  Only after a few years will we really know that, but Rogue One is surprisingly great and worth watching for any weathered Star Wars fan.

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Star Wars Force Ghosts Explained

Force Ghosts

The full explanation of Star Wars ‘Force Ghosts’ can be patchy post-prequels, so Mos Eisley Spaceport attempted to explain the whole thing…

Becoming a Force ghost involves transcending from the Living Force and the Cosmic Force, enabling a Jedi to effectively live on through the Force after their physical death.

This results in the Jedi’s body disappearing on their death or when they choose to transcend. However, this technique is only possible for light-side Jedi and not for Force users that have succumbed to the dark-side.

The Beginning…

The first Jedi to transcend to the Cosmic Force was Obi-Wan’s master, Qui-Gon Jinn. However, Qui-Gon did not perfect the technique before his death, so he was only able to project his voice through the Force. This is also why Qui-Gon’s body did not disappear when he died in Obi-Wans arms. He learned this from the Force Priestesses, who come from the same planet where midi-chlorians are said to have originated.

After Qui-Gon’s death, he spoke to Yoda and Obi-Wan, and taught them the technique. This is how both Obi-Wan and Yoda were able to transform into Force Ghosts after their deaths. 

Yoda: “Show yourself, can you?”

Qui-Gon Jinn: “I cannot. My training was incomplete. All energy from the Living Force, from all things that have ever lived, feeds into the Cosmic Force, binding everything and communicating to us through the midi-chlorians. Because of this, I can speak to you now.”

Before leaving for Tatooine in exile, Yoda told Obi-Wan he would teach him how to listen to Qui-Gon through the Force.



The Original Trilogy

When Obi-Wan Kenobi found himself face to face with Darth Vader, his old student Anakin Skywalker, Kenobi saw more benefit in using that moment to transcend to the Cosmic Force. It had appeared to everyone else that Obi-Wan had been killed by Vader.

There were multiple benefits for Obi-Wan choosing to do this, the distraction helped Luke and the others escape the Death Star and as a Force Ghost Obi-Wan could guide Luke. Obi-Wan helps Luke during the Battle of Yavin at the pivotal moment when Luke decides to use the Force instead of the targeting computer to destroy the Death Star.

It is also possible Obi-Wan or Yoda or Qui-Gon foresaw Anakin overthrow the Emperor, knowing he was the chosen one, Obi Wan was reluctant to kill Vader.


But what of Anakin’s Force Ghost?

During the victory party in the Ewok village, why does Anakin Skywalker’s Force Ghost appear and why is it the younger version of him?

When Vader struck his old master Kenobi down, he must have been puzzled as to what had happened to Kenobi’s body. It is likely he performed his own research and studied the technique. He would also have learned that he would not be able to use the technique as a Sith, unless he returned to the light. It is likely the Emperor was also aware of this technique, but Darth Sidious obviously had no intent on returning to the light.

After overthrowing the Emperor and bringing balance to the Force, Vader had redeemed himself and had returned to the light as Anakin Skywalker.

Therefore Anakin was able to transcend to the Cosmic Force on his death and although we don’t see his body disappear, we have to assume that it did shortly after he died. Luke then returned to Endor and built a funeral pyre with Vader’s empty armor.


The fact Anakin chose his younger self to be presented as his Force Ghost implies that on returning to the light, Anakin did not want to be remembered as his evil older self that was enthralled to Darth Sidious choosing to be remembered when he was most happy with Padme. 

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Obi-Wan movie delayed by Episodes VIII and IX ?

Having the tiniest of parts in The Force Awakens, the Obi-Wan Kenobi character may return in the saga Star Wars movies

The character, portrayed by Ewan McGregor in the prequel films and Alec Guinness in the original trilogy, made the briefest of appearances as a spirit in last year’s The Force Awakens.  Although not seen, only heard, McGregor provided one line of dialogue along with a recording of the late Guinness saying “Afraid”, edited to say “Rey”.

It had previously been rumored that there could be an Obi-Wan spin-off film which is certainly favorite option of the fans.  But Entertainment Weekly‘s Anthony Breznican spoke with Rebel Force Radio and mentioned that the character of Obi-Wan could make a return in either Episode VIII or XI

“I have heard rumors that the one reason they haven’t moved sooner on [a Obi-Wan spin-off] is that they’re not done with Obi-Wan quite yet in the ‘saga’ films. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see an Obi-Wan thing happen beyond Episode IX. Which it would have to anyway, because they’re booked up until Episode IX.”

Ewan Mcgregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Ewan Mcgregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Breznican began…

“I don’t think that’s controversial to say, but I think that there’s bound to be some reference to Obi-Wan [in VIII or XI] – and I’m not being coy here, this is literally all I know is that [Lucasfilm’s thinking is] ‘Ehh, if you want to tell an Episode IX story, it’s better that it happens after this first trilogy, because things that happen in it can maybe reference The Force Awakens trilogy,’ if that makes any sense.”


“Some of this is sort of like doing CIA spy work, where you get little pieces of information and then you try to connect them. But I think that they’ll probably be some reference to Obi-Wan in the ‘saga’ films, and his connection to whatever characters he happens to have a connection with. I’ve already written that I think that Rey has some kind of connection to him – family connection. So if that’s the case, maybe we see a part of that play out in the future Obi-Wan movie. Ewan McGregor would be the perfect age to reprise that [character]. So he seems game to do it, and I thin [the movie] hasn’t been one they’ve greenlit just yet, but partly because they’re still shaping that story. So we’ll see. I think it’s – again – kind of a no-brainer.”


The yet-untitled Episode VIII is set for a December 2017 release next year, with Episode IX due in 2019.  The separately planned anthology stand-alone movies begin with Rogue One next month set just before Episode IV A New Hope.

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George Lucas Influences Rogue One during studio tour

The Father of Star Wars George Lucas took a tour of the Rogue One Design Department

Although Lucas sold all the rights to Star Wars for $4 Billion in 2014 to Disney, the legendary visionary had ideas for The Force Awakens which were rejected in favor of J.J.Abrams plans.

However, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards recently spoke to Total Film about George Lucas’ visit to the design department.

Gareth Edwards X Wing


As you would expect when the creator of a franchise which has gripped the imaginations of millions takes a tour around the Rogue One design department, something was clear from the beginning to Edwards:


“whatever [Lucas] liked was pretty much guaranteed to be in the film,” 

Edwards says that sitting in the department was a prop that they couldn’t fit into the movie.


“a helmet we loved but didn’t know where to put it; there wasn’t really an opportunity to use it. [Then Lucas] walked past it and went ‘That’s cool, I like that'”

Not surprisingly then, that led to a renewed determination to put the mysterious helmet in the film, as the offhand comment by Lucas spurred Edwards into action:

“looked at each other like, ‘OK, we have to put that in the film!'”


Rogue One out December 15th
Rogue One out December 15th

Unfortunately, Edwards stopped short of giving us a description of the helmet in question so it’ll be hard to spot in the movie, but hopefully he’ll let us in on which one it is after the movie is released. 

Directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, and Alan Tudyk, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is scheduled to open in UK on December 15, 2016 and in the US a day later.

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Rogue One:A Star Wars Story Will Not Have Opening Crawl, Probably.

More speculation has arrived indicating that there will be no traditional Star Wars opening crawl in Rogue One.

Back in July, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director Gareth Edwards warned that Rogue will be a different Star Wars movie, done in a different way. 

“You know, we’re in the midst of talking about it, but I don’t think these films will have an opening crawl,”

Gareth Edwards and Kathleen Kennedy
Gareth Edwards and Kathleen Kennedy

Kennedy said of the possibility that Rogue One would include the familiar Star Wars trope.

“I think that’s what we kind of telegraphed at the beginning of the event today.”

Rogue One director Gareth Edwards shared his thoughts too.

“I think basically there’s a lot of things that I probably can’t talk about, is probably the safest way to answer that,” he joked. “The idea is this film is supposed to be different than the saga films…the whole crawl of it all — it’s funny people are fascinated on that.”

However, back then the decision still hadn’t been made.

Now Star Wars News Net are saying that thanks to a reliable source of theirs, they are confident there will be no traditional opening crawl in Rogue One.

This source has also said that the film’s introduction of the story to the audience differs from the classic films in the series.

What do you think?

Should Rogue One have the traditional Star Wars Opening Crawl?  Let us know in the comments!


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Rogue-One is a very different Star Wars movie

Star Wars special effects genius Neal Scanlan suggests Rogue One:A Star Wars Story will be a different take on the universe we know and love.


Scanlan spoke to CNET about British director for Rogue One, Gareth Edwards.


“What’s amazing and exciting about ‘Rogue One’, is that Gareth Edwards is a young, dynamic guy who’s brave enough to throw out the rule book. It’s very respectful, but he’s stamped his own personality on it.”


Scanlan himself also worked on the droids and creatures in The Force Awakens as well as Rogue One. 

He was speaking at a launch event for Gillette’s new Star Wars-branded Mach 3 razors. The accompanying advert was shot on the movie’s set with extras and production design that appears in the film, giving us another look at droids, vehicles and costumes glimpsed in trailers.

Scanlan was one of the crew who helped bring to life BB-8, the ball-shaped droid of “The Force Awakens”. From the moment J.J. Abrams first sketched the round robot on a napkin, Scanlan knew the cute droid would be something special. And now the effects whiz predicts “Rogue One” droid K-2SO will have a similar effect on audiences.

He describes the new droid K-2SO as “full of attitude” and very different from previous humanoid droid C-3PO.

The tall K-2SO is played by “Firefly” actor Alan Tudyk, whose performance was motion-captured while he wore stilt-like prosthetic legs. The sophisticated prosthetics let Tudyk jump around even though he was standing a foot above the ground, making K-2SO “the first droid with athletic prowess”.


K-2SO in Rogue One:A Star Wars Story
K-2SO in Rogue One:A Star Wars Story

“Something deep inside us knows when something is real,”

Scanlan says.

“It may not be as mind-blowing [as CGI], but we accept it in our heart and soul. We’re at the point where we can find a middle ground we haven’t fully explored yet, it’s a great place to be.”

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How Fast Is The Millennium Falcon?

Do you know how fast the Millennium Falcon can go?

Not many people have actually nailed down an exact speed the Falcon could possibly travel through hyperspace. This is because Star Wars was meant as a fantasy saga, so not many details are ever given in the movie.

Canon facts are indeed scarce.

But this didn’t stop Chris Lough from TOR working out some feasible speeds the Falcon may have traveled at.

So how did Chris work the Falcon’s speeds out?


She’ll make point 5 past light speed…


Obviously, the Falcon can go faster than light speed otherwise it would not be able to reach other star systems in a reasonable time. So what does ‘point 5’ mean?

Well, it could be on a similar scale to Star Trek’s warp system where for example Warp 6 is actually more than double Warp 5, not just 20% more. Warp 7 is over 3 times the speed of Warp 5 etc. When you get past Warp 9, speeds get exponentially faster peaking at an unreachable Warp 10. Warp 10 could be similar to a whole 1 (point 5 being half way down the scale), we’ll talk more about maximum practical speeds later.

But before we can work out a speed, we need a few solid facts about the Star Wars universe, not just the galaxy, but also the circumstances of a particular journey. If we have enough information, we can conclude likely outcomes, even if they are not exact statements, we can probably get some ballpark numbers, better than sticking a finger in the sky right?

So, let’s choose a well known journey all Star Wars fans are familiar with. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalkers’ hired trip from Tatooine to Alderaan.


We could almost buy our own ship for that!


Now we already know that old Ben Kenobi was in a hurry, he paid a premium for the trip after Han Solo’s boast of the Falcon’s credentials. So it is fairly safe to assume that during the trip to Alderaan the Falcon would have been travelling at close to it’s maximum speed, if not the very top. Maybe point 4, maybe point 5 🙂

Now we need to know the distance of the journey!  This has never been mentioned in the movies so we need a map!

Well, luckily we have an official galaxy map taken from the Star Wars Essential Atlas.

Star Wars galaxy map Essential Atlas

And yes, this map is close to canon as you are going to get, it’s LucasFilm approved. LucasFilm even suggested some of the planets that were added to the atlas.

The locations of Tatooine and Alderaan seem reliable, as every other Star Wars map (including this one) have always placed Tatooine in the South East corner of the Outer Rim and Alderaan in the North East corner of the Core.

“It looks like most of the way between the two planets consists of established space lanes, which is handy for our purposes. It assures us that the Falcon traveling at top speed would have been a simple affair since the route is mostly established and clear of stars, supernovas, asteroid fields, and other objects that would require trickier navigation.”

Working out the Millennium Falcons top speed!
Working out the Millennium Falcons top speed!

We know from the atlas that the Star Wars galaxy is 120,000 light years across, so each square on this atlas is 5217.39 light years across. Using the magic of Pythagoras we can calculate the actual journey!

We can get more accurate and follow the space lanes by doing this :

Pythagoras calculating the Falcon's speed
Pythagoras calculating the Falcon’s speed

“Measured out in Photoshop, each square of 5217.39 light years is 5/8ths of an inch, which means 1/8th of an inch equals 1043.478 light years, which gives us a small enough scale to be more exact when measuring the distance of their route.

When measuring and tallying everything up, the Tatooine to Alderaan route is 50855 light years long.”

So it was quite a journey in other words!

Now we have our distance, we need to come to some conclusions about how long the journey took and therefore what speed was attained.

To get the journey time we need to make some educational guesses and the likelihood of each time we come up with.

Possible Falcon speeds depending on travel time
Possible Falcon speeds depending on travel time

So how long did Obi-Wan and Luke spend on the Falcon with Han and Chewie?  Well, we know they spent at least a few hours on board, because they are lounging around playing holochess etc, possibly a day maybe even a few days.

It’s unlikely the journey took weeks, they would have run out of food and other resources. Also in the context of the movie, the characters would have been very familiar with each other had they spent THAT much time in each other’s company. We can probably rule out pit-stops and certainly rule out cryosleep chambers that we NEVER see in Star Wars.

So the most likely trip time would be 1 to a few days, maybe.

Millenium Falcon speed
Millennium Falcon speed

As you can see by the graph (dividing the distance by the number of days possibly travelled) anything shorter that 2 days is LUDICROUS speed!  In 2 days, the Falcon would be able to zip from one side of the galaxy to another in just over a day!  Anything less than 2 days, the Falcon would be able to zoom off the galactic map in LESS than a single day, highly unlikely!

Chris also speculates on maximum practical speeds where if the ship were going THAT fast, it literally would not be able to navigate celestial objects safely without slowing down every few minutes.

So… if we settle on 2 days as the journey time and round down the number to make it nice and neat, that gives us


25,000 light years per day, or 1041 light years per hour!

or… 9,125,000 times the speed of light.

Returning to the point 5 scale, if .5 means 25,000 lypd, .4 could mean 20,000 and .3 mean 15,000 etc. This would also mean a maximum whole ‘1’ equals 50,000 lypd.

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