A SALUTE TO GALACTIC INNOVATIONS
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held an event on Thursday night to honor the minds behind Star Wars: A New Hope and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Many of the key contributors to both movies were on hand to talk about their contributions to these landmark films, including Dennis Muren, John Dykstra, Marcia Lucas, Richard Edlund, and John Knoll, with former Lucasfilm executive Kiri Hart acting as the host. According to the Academy, they shared their "journey of creating the impossible with their breakthrough visual effects."
Luckily for all of us who aren't members of the Academy, the whole event was live-streamed, so we can watch all of it.
I'd like to thank the Academy for this, sincerely.
PIRACY AT GALAXY'S EDGE
Disneyland's Star Wars theme park, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, is astoundingly popular. The first day the park opened to the general public without requiring reservations, the place reached full capacity in less than 30 minutes. With those increased crowds, there is also an increased desire for keepsakes. Visitors to Batuu are clamoring for any souvenirs they can get. Since the price of many of these souvenirs is fairly high at the gift shop, Black Spire Outpost, fans have taken to taking anything in the land not nailed down and putting it up on eBay.
The sporks from the restaurant? Gone. The coasters and drink menus at the bar? Gone. Commemorative maps of Galaxy's Edge? Gone. If it's not nailed down, it seems as though it's all showing up on eBay.
Even the Galaxy's Edge bottles of Coca-Cola have made their way onto eBay. Individual bottles of Coke are going for more than $10 plus shipping. Sets of Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite are fetching more than four times that. It's enough piracy to make Hondo Ohnaka proud.
It seems that Disney and Lucasfilm really did know what they were doing, and the thirst for these items is high — though the House of Mouse probably doesn't feel great about people swiping all its stuff. If the free items keep finding their way onto eBay, and the park continually needs to replace them, is there a chance that Galaxy's Edge will cut back on things like sporks and coasters? Or is this just the price of doing business in a galaxy that's even more lucrative than it is far, far away?
Only time will tell.
DAISY RIDLEY TALKS STAR WARS ON FALLON
Daisy Ridley is doing the press rounds for Ophelia, a film that tells the story of Hamlet from Ophelia's perspective. She's playing the titular character. Naturally she has to do press, and of course people are going to ask her about Star Wars.
The Tonight Shows's host Jimmy Fallon was no exception, pulling out a copy of the new issue of Vanity Fair to ask her about the ninth and final episode of the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The most interesting thing was how not-secretive director J.J. Abrams appeared to be when pitching her the movie when he was planning on casting her. She also described the wrap party for The Rise of Skywalker, which led Jimmy Fallon to chide her into rapping, which is a delight to see.
In terms of actual details about The Rise of Skywalker, Ridley described it as epic, which is both not especially revealing or surprising and yet, somehow, still exciting.
Ophelia is in limited release now with a wider, digital release next week from IFC films. The Rise of Skywalker comes out in December.
REVISITING THE DEATH STAR CANTEEN
Last weekend, I cracked a joke about the "Death Star Canteen" — an iconic geeky bit by the British comedian Eddie Izzard — to my 17-year-old son, and he stared at me blankly. Then I asked if he'd heard any of Izzard's jokes. Again, all he did was blink at me.
Then, when I did the math, I realized he was probably five years old when the "Death Star Canteen" went viral in the early days of YouTube. And, he was even younger when Eddie Izzard did the sketch in the first place.
I looked it up and showed him the LEGO version and I have to say, it still slays. So we end this week with a blast from the past, Eddie Izzard's "Death Star Canteen" sketch.
Until next week: May the Force be with you!