Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Volkswagen’s 2012 Passat commercial featuring Darth Vader

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I can not tell you how much this resonates with me. I spent the better part of my childhood trying to move things using The Force.

A storm trooper, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and I in Hollywood, California

Darth Vader and friends.

Today I did a search on my site for Vader and came up empty-handed.  I just couldn’t stand for that and so I’m posting this photo of me, taken by Daniel Nicolas, with a storm trooper, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett.

As a side note: I paid them $5 to take this photograph.  Vader, Fett, nor the unnamed trooper are friends of mine.  I roll with the Rebels. 4eva!

Luke Skywalker is The Last Jedi

Earlier this week I rewatched Star Wars Episode VII. It is really great. Most of the criticisms of the film do not hold up well. It is fun, engaging the entire time, and the actors are perfect. And the film fits in perfectly with the other 3 originals.

One thing I’m surprised about, and was reminded of while watching Episode VII, is the ongoing “who is The Last Jedi” discussions that I’ve seen ever since the next movie’s title was announced.

Multiple times during Episode VII – including during the opening crawl – Luke Skywalker is referred to as The Last Jedi.

Some would think that Rey may become the last Jedi. But she isn’t one. Far from it. It took Luke three films to be a Jedi (and even then, it is questionable whether or not the Council would have ever approved him). Rey isn’t a Jedi simply because she closed her eyes once and bested the loose-canon Kylo Ren.

The next movie will be Luke’s movie. While he’s teaching Rey he will be not be on the sidelines.

That being said I believe Luke at his word in the trailer. It is time for the Jedi to end. A new order of things seems to be on the brink. Perhaps someone without so much fear and hate. Someone filled with hope now that Maz Kanata was straight with her regarding her family ever returning. Someone not tied to the Skywalker lineage and thus not having Vader’s rage in them. Perhaps someone like Rey. But what will this new “thing” be? I’m excited to find out.

Colin Trevorrow out as Star Wars Episode IX Director

Bryan Bishop reporting for The Verge:

Lucasfilm’s creative process has been a bit of a mess lately. Rogue One had to undergo extensive reshoots before release, and earlier this year producer Kathleen Kennedy took the extraordinary step of firing directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller of the standalone Han Solo film just two weeks before the end of principal photography. Ron Howard has since been brought on to finish the film, but the 11th-hour move raised questions as to why things were allowed to progress so far — particularly when massive creative differences apparently existed between Kennedy and Lord and Miller.

And now Trevorrow has “bowed out”. Doubtful. More likely shown the door.

There are two ways to look at all the messy, behind-the-scenes, musical chairs that has happened during the tumultuous first 3 films out of Lucasfilm since Disney bought it and Kathleen Kennedy took over.

One the one hand, you can think things are an absolute mess and surely something is wrong over there.

Or, you can look at it the way I believe the truth really is… making productions this large is a very messy and difficult business. This sort of thing happens more often than you and I think about. It is just that Disney and Lucasfilm are under a bit more scrutiny than many other film houses. Also, I like to think that Kathleen Kennedy is doing an amazing job. She’s making the really, really hard choices of completely firing people – forsaking the loss of time, money, and momentum, in order to ship a superior product.

Yes, there were reshoots for Rogue One. But the Rogue One we saw was very, very good. What if she (and, likely, others) didn’t force the issue to do reshoots? What if she didn’t fire the co-directors of the new Han Solo movie and recruit an Oscar-winning replacement? And, what if she kept Trevorrow on (even though he has a fantastic first name)?

It is very easy to point out that things could be wrong. But, it is more likely that this sort of thing is remarkably hard to do without some ego casualties.

My guess is that Episode IX will be better for it. While I enjoyed Jurassic World it was far from great. I think Trevorrow has a bit more work to do before you hand him the most beloved franchise of all time. I say bring in a heavy-hitter that wants a crack at Vader’s kid’s legacy.

Lando’s deal

So Facebook may be talking to news outlets about (and this is how the tech press has explained it) “hosting” their content on Facebook.

I’ll wait until I see exactly what this might be before I cast any judgement but I think John Gruber may be on the right track:

I can see why these news sites are tempted by the offer, but I think they’re going to regret it. It’s like Lando’s deal with Vader in The Empire Strikes Back.

We’ll see.

Lucasfilm, ILM, and Skywalker Sound sold to Disney

The price? Four Instagrams.

Dean J. Robinson:

Lots of people I follow on twitter [sic] (pretty much all of them actually) are Star Wars fans of some description – and the general consensus is that while they are quite surprised by the announcement they don’t necessarily have negative feeling about it. In fact many seem enthused by the prospect of a Star Wars film that George Lucas isn’t at the helm for.

My little tirade on Twitter last night may have been seenby some as an indication that I’m mad or upset about the transaction. I’m not. Well, maybe I am.

If George no longer wants ownership of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc. etc., or the companies that have done the sound and special effects for countless films over the last 35 years there is probably no better home than Disney.

I am upset, however, at the current state that Star Wars is left in. A Star Wars without George Lucas is not the same Star Wars. Think about it. A New Hope was a smashing success in 1977. Arguably one of the biggest successes in film history on many fronts. And, economics aside, it is a great Sci-Fi film. Some say that Empire Strikes Back is one of the best sequels of all time. And, aside from the Ewoks, Return of the Jedi was about as good of a trilogy ender as anyone could hope for. And then, a slow plummet. The Special Editions. Episodes I, II, and III simply never had a chance. (By the way, I think Episode III was actually pretty great. The Emperor really comes out looking like a clear winner.) And the Bluray release.

The last thing George did was go in and fiddle with the originals and add Ewok eyelids and emotion to Darth Vader where no emotion was needed. As Dean said some are excited by the prospect of an Episode 7 that he has nothing to do with. I, on the other hand, was rooting for George to come back and make something great since I was very young. And nowwe’re left with George Lucas never doing another Star Wars. I guess I was always hoping he’d find that same spark he had in the 70s and 80s.

That’s what I’m most upset about.