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WIRE Buzz: The origin of Onward's Guinevere; Rian Johnson explains cut Last Jedi scene; and more

By Josh Weiss
Onward The Hunt Trolls Bloodshot Invisible Man

Pixar's Onward puts a 21st century twist on the concept of what we think of as the traditional fantasy quest, but in the early stages of its development, the movie stuck to that format a bit more religiously.

Speaking with Empire Magazine for the publication's June 2020 issue, director/co-writer Dan Scanlon  (Monsters University) revealed the movie's two main characters, Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt), were originally supposed to set off on foot — and stay that way.

Guinevere, Barley's beloved and beat up van adorned with a shimmering unicorn (she's named for King Arthur's wife), didn't enter the story until much later in the process.

"We had the boys walking all the way on their journey because it's a quest," Scanlon said. "We thought, 'This is a modern fantasy world, we should have a van because you can't have a van in a traditional fantasy movie.' She joined the movie more for entertainment reasons, but as it went on, she got deeper. Barley has made many sacrifices for Ian, but we've never really seen one — and we wanted to see a big one — so we worked backwards and created an arc for her."

Barley allows Guinevere to be destroyed in the latter half of the film when he and Ian are being chased by the police. It's a pretty emotional scene that proves Pixar's uncanny ability to make us tear up over almost anything. In the end, though, Barley gets a brand new van — one that isn't completely falling apart. 

Onward Pixar

Onward was one of the last movies to play in theaters before the coronavirus shut down all major chains. During its truncated run, the animated film made just over $103 million globally.

It is now streaming on Disney+ and available for digital purchase.

While Rian Johnson received a lot of unwanted backlash for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it's nice to see that the director is still happy to answer certain questions about its making. Responding to a fan on Twitter, the filmmaker addressed the cut of a scene where Rey (Daisy Ridley) attempts to stop a raid on the Ahch-To caretakers, only to angrily discover it was a test from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).

The comedic sequence, which recalls the Ewok celebration in Return of the Jedi, was removed for timing reasons, as the movie was already creeping over the two-and-half hour mark.

"Mostly pace, and something about it always felt a little repetitive, coming at a point in the movie where we want to hit the gas and start escalating towards the finale," Johnson wrote. "I love the scene, it was a tough (but ultimately good) cut."

Based on the art book for The Rise of Skywalker, there was an unused story idea about bringing back the caretakers (a species known as the Lanais) as assassins.

You can watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Disney+ or else buy/rent it on digital platforms.

The Simpsons goes to the extreme in the latest couch gag for Sunday's new episode.

Brought to life by guest animator Michal Socha, the highly-stylized opening (aptly titled "The Extremesons") finds Fox's most famous family skydiving, surfing, and snowboarding, and snorkeling.

Even young Maggie pops a wheelie on her trike.

By the end, it is revealed that the family was simply enjoying all of these dangerous activities through the use of VR headsets. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, the sequence could be a cheeky nod to the fact that everyone is currently stuck at home in self-isolation and/or quarantine.

The new episode ("The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby") premieres this Sunday at 8 p.m. EST.