Editor’s note: Rumors abound over who will direct the next Star Wars film. Thanks to the comedic genius of Conan O’Brien we now have a glimpse at what some of the biggest names in Hollywood may submit as entries. Check out the videos below:
Archive for ‘In Pop Culture’
I grew up in the ’80s. I’ll never forget when I was a kid, going down to the store with my loose change to get the latest bubble gum cards from my favorite movie — Return of the Jedi. I would spend hours pouring over all the classic cards in my collection, looking at all my favorite characters. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said “Han Solo.”
As it turned out, when I grew up I didn’t become a galactic smuggler — I became a fashion designer.
Did you hear? They’re going to do a digital model of Bea Arthur from the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special and make her a bartender in Episode VII!
Did you know? The next Star Wars trilogy was actually fully plotted out in 1966 before George Lucas even graduated from the University of Southern California!
Do you believe it? In Episode IX, Princess Leia and Han Solo finally get married after previous multiple marriages to other beings, and the combined families of 27 children and 36 grandchildren live with them in a crowded tree house on Endor!
Ahem. What do Star Wars fans like to do almost more than anything else? Speculate about things they do not know, of course. It’s a fun pastime, any number can play, and it doesn’t matter how absurd the postings are since someone out there will likely believe them. Even now I get a worried chill that somebody is going to repost one or all of my three absurdities as gospel despite their ridiculousness.
Watching the Star Wars trilogy was one of the defining moments in my childhood. Up until that point, I had been raised in a strict, religious household: no TV, no secular friends. I identified with Luke — no control over his life, wanting to escape, trying to make a difference in the world (or universe). With Star Wars, I became caught up in the music, the imagery, in the possibility of other worlds and space! I fell in love with all the characters and their struggle against the Empire, and even when all hope seemed lost, they kept going and kept fighting. I learned that for the underdog, if they have enough heart, they can overcome the biggest obstacles life can throw at them. “Size matters not” was one of my favorite quotes. Star Wars opened the floodgates into the fantasy universe for me, and opened a world of possibility. My mind was blown!
One could say that I “grew up Disney.” My Dad started working for Disney when I was two years old and my earliest childhood memories revolve around Disney. Growing up in Orlando, Florida, with a parent that was a Disney “cast member” definitely had its perks. I got to go to the Disney parks all the time for free, I got in to advance screenings for Disney movies, my summer camps were at the Disney resorts, and I had special opportunities like going to live tapings of The Mickey Mouse Club. I bring this up because Disney was and always has been a MAJOR influence in my life and has definitely shaped the person I am today.
Back in Season Two of The Clone Wars, there was a fantastic episode named “Senate Spy.” It told a story of intrigue among Senators when the Jedi Council asks Padmé to spy on a fellow senator (and former lover) who is working with the Separatists. To spy on him, she’ll need to rekindle their relationship. And they assign Anakin as her liaison.
If the story sounds familiar, it’s because it shares the same rough story as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1946 masterpiece, Notorious, starring Cary Grant (as Devlin, the liaison) and Ingrid Bergman (as Alicia, the reluctant spy). While this movie might have some relationship themes that are over the heads of younger viewers, it is a spy film dripping in tension, and the team on The Clone Wars paid homage to all the best parts of it.
Let me give you a little bit of a background on myself: My name is Holly Griffith and I’m from southern Louisiana. For seven-and-a-half years I was a flight controller for the Space Shuttle’s Electrical Power System. Once Shuttle ended I transferred over to work on the International Space Station doing maintenance and mechanisms. I recently did a panel at Celebration VI with Dennis Bonilla from NASA HQ and Eric Geller of theforce.net . Two other JSC colleagues were there as well and we had a packed house! The panel was Science and Science Fiction and how the two influence each other. It was fascinating! Eric was a great moderator and the public asked lots of great questions. I’d love to be able to do it again next year!
(Photo credit: official WSW website)
Last Thursday, scientists and space geeks all over our little blue-and-green speck began observing World Space Week, “an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.” The Star Wars saga opened our imaginations to the possibility of life on exotic and fascinating planets and galactic conflicts utilizing incredible technologies. Since 1977, many of humanity’s accomplishments in space have been measured against the galaxy far, far away. While we still don’t have hyperspace travel, lightsabers, or proton torpedoes, we have been learning more and more about the universe we inhabit, and some of that new information has prompted comparisons to George Lucas’ space fantasy epic.
Join us for a review of Star Wars-like discoveries and technologies as we prepare to celebrate World Space Week!
I felt like I was sitting in the Imperial Senate.
Kofi Annan stepped up to the podium at the United Nations with a planetary orbits logo behind him surrounded by the U.N. Olive Branches and addressed the national delegations about the importance of space exploration. The delegations sat behind their country’s nameplates, in traditional dress, some with headphones offering translations into other languages.
As someone who has made films and written stories, it’s almost impossible for me to completely contain the influences of the cinematic art I consume. Some might shy away of such influence and homage, worried too much about words like “originality,” but others have embraced those influences and created truly breathtaking works of art.
When I was young, I always thought Star Wars was created in a vacuum. Something so impressive had to be completely new, fresh, and original, right?
I had no idea about the long history of films that helped shape it into what it became as it formulated in the head of George Lucas. From old Flash Gordon serials to the works of Akira Kurosawa, Star Wars is a vibrant tapestry of what has come before it. Sometimes it’s not so apparent, but when you spot those influences, you can see how much the minds behind Star Wars, The Clone Wars, and everything else with a Star Wars logo, care passionately about what they do.