RIP David Prowse

#RIP: venerable British actor David Prowse has died at the age of 85. He played #DarthVader in “#StarWars IV: #ANewHope”, “Star Wars V: #TheEmpireStrikesBack” and “Star Wars VI: #ReturnOfTheJedi”); though the character was voiced by James Earl Jones. David Prowse also played Julian in #ACkockworkOrange, Cloud Creature in #Space1999, Minotaur in #DoctorWho, Red Herring and Black Knights in #Jabberwocky, Android in #TheTomorrowPeople, & more.

Our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and fans. May he rest in peace. The Force will be with him always.

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Upcoming Book Reveals More of George Lucas’ Original Plans for a “Star Wars” Sequel Trilogy that Disney Ignored

When George Lucas sold #LucasFilm and #StarWars to The #Disney Company in 2012, he did have treatments and a plan for the sequel trilogy. This isn’t the first time that he has discussed this, but he did reveal more about the nature of what he intended for a sequel trilogy in an upcoming book entitled The Star Wars Archives. 1999-2005″ that was written by Paul Duncan and edited & published by TASCHEN.

During an interview with the book’s author last year, which he included in the book, George Lucas described that Darth Maul would have trained a new apprentice, Darth Talon (as conceptualized below), who would have occupied a similar role to Darth Vader, while Maul continued to control the criminal underworld.

In George Lucas’ words,

“Maul eventually becomes the godfather of crime in the universe, as the Empire fails, he takes over.”

“Darth Maul trained a girl, Darth Talon, who was in the comic books, as his apprentice. She was the new Darth Vader and most of the action was with her. So these were the two main villains of the trilogy.”

This trilogy would have taken place only a few years after the events of “Star Wars VI: #ReturnOfTheJedi”, with Leia trying to bring order back to the galaxy as Luke attempted to rebuild the Jedi Order. While Luke would have accomplished his task, Leia would have succeeded in establishing a New Republic, solidifying her as the true “Chosen One.”

When discussing these exciting reveals on Twitter, author Duncan confirmed to fans, “These were some of his ideas when prepping the films in 2012, before he sold to Disney, as related to me by George in an interview last year.”

YouTuber Thor Skywalker released an interesting video discussing this topic, which we have shared below:

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John Boyega: Disney Sidelined his “Star Wars” Character

In an interview with British GQ magazine published on Sept. 2, 2020, actor John Boyega candidly criticized how The #Disney Company treated himself and his character of Finn in the #StarWars sequel trilogy. In other words, #racism marred his time spent in a galaxy far, far away. Boyega said,

“You get yourself involved in projects and you’re not necessarily going to like everything. [But] what I would say to Disney is do not bring out a black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”

In the first sequel trilogy film (“Star Wars: #TheForceAwakens”, directed by J.J. Abrams), Boyega played Finn, a former Stormtrooper who wielded a lightsaber, as a major driving force of the narrative. But in the following two films (“Star Wars VIII: #TheLastJedi” and “Star Wars IX: #TheRiseOfSkywalker”), Disney & #LucasFilm gave more space to Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and sidelined Finn.

But John Boyega wasn’t only referring to himself, he was also talking about the other people of color in the cast. Namely, Naomi Ackie, Kelly Marie Tran and Oscar Isaac: who he feels suffered the same treatment. Boyega acknowledges that some people will say he’s “crazy” or “making it up”, but the reordered character hierarchy of “The Last Jedi” was particularly hard to take. Boyega went on to say the following in the interview:

“Like, you guys knew what to do with Daisy Ridley, you knew what to do with Adam Driver. You knew what to do with these other people, but when it came to Kelly Marie Tran, when it came to John Boyega, you know fuck all. So what do you want me to say? What they want you to say is, ‘I enjoyed being a part of it. It was a great experience…’ Nah, nah, nah. I’ll take that deal when it’s a great experience. They gave all the nuance to Adam Driver, all the nuance to Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest. Daisy knows this. Adam knows this. Everybody knows. I’m not exposing anything.”

In an August, 2018 essay published in the New York Times, Kelly Marie Tran, who is Vietnamese-American and was introduced in “The Last Jedi” before being sidelined in “The Rise of Skywalker”, wrote about the her own ordeal with racism, saying she had gone “down a spiral of self-hate” due to all the harassment she had received:

“It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them. Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories.”

“[Society] taught me I existed only in the background of their stories, doing their nails, diagnosing their illnesses, supporting their love interests—and perhaps the most damaging—waiting for them to rescue me. And for a long time, I believed them.”

When John Boyega’s face first appeared from beneath a stormtrooper helmet in the first released trailer for “The Force Awakens”, racist hashtags like #BoycottStarWarsVII suddenly appeared on social media. Boyega acknowledged the boycotts in the British GQ magazine directly, saying that he was

“the only cast member who had their own unique experience of that franchise based on their race.… It makes you angry with a process like that. It makes you much more militant; it changes you. Because you realize, I got given this opportunity, but I’m in an industry that wasn’t even ready for me. Nobody else in the cast had people saying they were going to boycott the movie because [they were in it]. Nobody else had the uproar and death threats sent to their Instagram DMs and social media, saying, ‘Black this and Black that and you shouldn’t be a stormtrooper.’ Nobody else had that experience. But yet people are surprised that I’m this way. That’s my frustration.”

Then there was Disney’s official poster for “The Force Awakens” released in China. While it was very similar to the one released in the U.S., Boyega’s image as Finn, which was prominent in the U.S. poster, was severely shrunk in the Chinese one.

"Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens" Posters

“Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens” Posters released in the U.S. (Left) and China (Right).

John Boyega’s words in the interview are an indictment on the systemic mistreatment of black characters in blockbuster films, saying,

“They’re always scared. They’re always fricking sweating.”

Boyega also viewed the return of director J.J. Abrams to “The Rise of Skywalker” as a salvage job, saying,

“Everybody needs to leave my boy alone. He wasn’t even supposed to come back and try to save your shit.”

While Boyega acknowledged that “Star Wars” was an “amazing opportunity” and a “stepping stone” that has precipitated so much good in his life and career, he was palpably exhilarated to be finally saying all this. To dismiss his words as merely professional bitterness or paranoia is to miss the point. His primary motivation is to show the frustrations and difficulties of trying to operate within what can feel like a permanently rigged system. He is trying to let you know what it feels like to have a boyhood dream ruptured by the toxic realities of the world.

John Boyega

John Boyega

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Daisy Ridley Having Difficulty Finding Work After “Star Wars”

Following the release of the final #Disney #StarWars trilogy film in Dec., 2019 (“Star Wars IX: #TheRiseOfSkywalker”), the main star of the series, actress Daisy Ridley, is reportedly having difficulty finding new acting roles. Earlier this month, IndieWire reported that she was unprepared for the negative backlash for the final film:

“After receiving unanimous acclaim from critics and fans alike in her debut tentpole ‘Star Wars: #TheForceAwakens,’ the follow-up film ‘#TheLastJedi’ severely divided the fandom. But even the backlash to ‘The Last Jedi’ could not prepare her for the outrage that met ‘[The] Rise of Skywalker,’ her reported final outing as Rey in a ‘Star Wars’ feature film. The movie earned some of the worst reviews ever for a ‘Star Wars’ film and ended its run as the lowest-grossing entry in Ridley’s trilogy.”

In an interview on DragCast podcast in mid-August, Daisy Ridley said,

“January was not that nice. It was weird, I felt like all of this love that we’d sort of been shown the first time around, I was like, ‘Where’s the love gone?’”

“You know, everyone’s entitled to not like something, but it feels like it’s changed slightly. But I think in general that’s because social media and what have you…I guess now conversations are just more public, so there’s stuff I wouldn’t have seen, but honestly trying to scroll through my newsfeed in January and trying to not see ‘Star Wars’ stuff, I’d see headlines and be like ‘Oh my God this is so upsetting. So it’s been tricky, but then it’s having that thing of ‘I feel really proud of it,’ and ‘I’m so thrilled to be part of it.’ Yeah, but it’s a funny thing.”

Then in a recent interview with “Entertainment Weekly”, Ridley had this to say:

“It was so sad to finish [Star Wars]. When the film was released, I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ It was such a huge chapter. And, weirdly, the past few months of not having much… Obviously now it’s really nice to be working, but not having much [at the time] I feel like I processed the last five years. To be forced to slow down, it was good mentally for me because [Star Wars was] a big thing in my life.”

“Weirdly, at the beginning of the year nothing was coming through. I was like, ‘Aww! No one wants to employ me.'”

“There were actually loads of things that I auditioned for at the beginning of the year and didn’t get any of them. I had that moment of ‘Oh my god!’ and then just thought ‘everything in its right time.'”

Ridley is now starting to get some voice work.

Daisy Ridley & Mark Hamill

Daisy Ridley & Mark Hamill

References

RIP Malcolm Dixon

#RIP: actor Malcolm Dixon has died at the age of 66. Born in Sept., 1953 (his exact birthdate is unknown), he played Leektar the Ewok Warrior in “#StarWars VI: #ReturnOfTheJedi” (he was also a film extra in “Star Wars IV: #ANewHope), an Oompa Loompa in #WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory, a dwarf in #FlashGordon, Strutter in #TimeBandits, an additional performer in #TheDarkCrystal, Goblin Corps in #Labyrinth, Diddy in #SnowWhite (1987), Nelwyn Band Member in #Willow, & more.

Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. May he rest in peace and may the Force be with him.

Malcolm Dixon

Malcolm Dixon (1953-2020)

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RIP Andrew Jack

#RIP: actor and dialect coach Andrew Jack has died at the age of 76 from #COVID19. He played Major Ematt in “#StarWars VII: #TheForceAwakens”, “Star Wars VIII: #TheLastJedi”, Moloch (voice) in “#Solo: A Star Wars Story”; & more. He was also a dialect coach (miscellaneous crew) for a large number of films, including #Dolittle, “#Avengers: #Endgame”, “Avengers: #InfinityWar”, “#Thor: #Ragnarok”, “#RogueOne: A Star Wars Story”, #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy, “#SnowWhite and #TheHuntsman”, “#CaptainAmerica: #TheFirstAvenger”, #AlienVsPredator, #TheLordOfTheRings (#TheFellowshipOfTheRing, #TheTwoTowers, #ReturnOfTheKing), & more.

Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. May he rest in peace, and may the Force be with him.

Andrew Jack

Andrew Jack (1944-2020)

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RIP Max von Sydow

#RIP: we are saddened to report that actor Max von Sydow has died at the age of 90. He played Lor San Tekka in “#StarWarsVII: #TheForceAwakens”, Doctor Kynes in #Dune (1984), Emperor Ming in #FlashGordon (1980), Three-Eyed Raven in #GameOfThrones, King Osric in #CononTheBarbarian (1982), Director Lamar Burgess in #MinorityReport, Judge Fargo in #JudgeDredd, Henry Farber in #UntilTheEndOfTheWorld, Vigo (voice) in “#Ghosbusters II”, Doctor Paul Novotny in the sci-fi / horror film #Dreamscape, uncredited role in #TheIcePirates, & more, including playing Father Merrin in the horror films #TheExorcist & “#Exorcist II: #TheHeretic”.

Our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and fans. May he rest in peace. The Force  will be with him always.

Max von Sydow

Max von Sydow (1929-2020)

References

Bob Iger Stepping Down as Disney CEO

CNBC is reporting that Bob Iger is stepping down as #Disney CEO effective immediately. The man responsible for purchasing #StarWars and #LucasFilm from George Lucas in 2012, Iger will become executive chairman. Bob Chapek, who most recently served as chairman of Disney parks, experiences and products, will assume the role of CEO.

Bob Iger

Bob Iger

References

RIP Alan Harris

#RIP: actor & miscellaneous crew member Alan Harris died on Jan. 31, 2020 at the age of 81. He played Leia’s Rebel Escort in “#StarWars IV: #ANewHope”, Bossk / Bespin Security Guard / stand-in for C-3PO for Anthony Daniels in “Star Wars V: #TheEmpireStrikesBack”, Stormtrooper / stand-in for C-3PO for Anthony Daniels in “Star Wars VI: #ReturnOfTheJedi”, double for actor Terrence stamp as Chancellor Finis Valorum in “Star Wars I: #ThePhantomMenace”; Vervoid / Sevateem Council Member in #DoctorWho; Main Mission Operative / Alphan / Entran Prisoner / Patient in #Space1999; Skydiver Engineer / Interceptor Pilot in #GerryAnderson’s #UFO; man in street in #Scrooge; prison guard in #AClockworkOrange; photographer in #JourneyToTheFarSideOfTheSun; Doctor / Hotel Porter / Journalist / Man at Party in #TheAvengers (TV series); an uncredited stand-in for Peter Hinwood in #RockyHorrorPictureShow; stand-in in #TheDarkCrystal; stand-in for Christopher Reeve & Gene Hackman in #Superman (1978), stand-in for Gene Hackman in “Superman II”; & more.

Our condolences to his family, friends and fans. May he rest in peace and may the Force be with him always.

Alan Harris

Alan Harris (1938-2020)

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