From Something Awful’s King of the Hill fanart forum
Manuelito Wheeler, the director of the Navajo Nation Museum, said he’s been working on the idea of getting a popular film dubbed into Navajo for more than three years as a way to preserve the Navajo language.
"By preserving the Navajo language and encouraging Navajo youth to learn their language, wes will also be preserving Navajo culture," Wheeler said.
He said when he approached Lucasfilm officials with the idea, he found that they were excited about the project.
"Since its inception, the Star Wars Saga has been experienced and shared all over the world. Its timeless themes of good versus evil have resonated with cultures far and wide. The movies have been translated across multiple languages and Lucasfilm Ltd. is proud to have Navajo as its most recent addition."
"Luke’s Change: An Inside Job"
A hilarious “Loose Change” parody right down to the music.
I said to George that I wanted to go back to the way it was, in the sense that ours was much more carefree and lighthearted and humorous – in my opinion, anyway
-Mark Hamill on what he said duing meetings to appear in Episode 7
It’s an annoying, condescending clarification that nerds like Kevin Smith make: “I’m an Empire [Strikes Back] fan, not a Star Wars fan.” Empire was the movie that gave gravitas to its silly space opera predecessor. While I love the original trilogy, I am the other way. Empire was a great film but in some ways it ruined Star Wars by going deeper into what would later become a frustrating mythology and a self-seriousness that would two decades later give us the limited psychology of Hayden Christensen’s terrible performance in Attack of the Clones, the nadir of the series (Christensen is a talented actor, Shattered Glass is a marvelous film and he’s great in it).
The original Star Wars (it’s not Episode IV; it’s the real and only Star Wars), is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s brilliance lies in its silliness and audacity. Star Wars is Glam Rock Sci-Fi.
It’s like T. Rex’s Electric Warrior or The Slider: disposable, silly, perfect, essential rock albums. Each text takes simple elements, simple chord progressions and melodramatic tropes, and elevate them to ambitious heights and orchestrations. They also capture the cultural moment without saying anything specific. As Mott the Hoople sang (via David Bowie lyrics) in All The Young Dudes (which name check’s T. Rex): “my brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones/We never got it off on that revolution stuff/What a drag too many snags.” This song and this line is basically the manifesto of Glam Rock, then again a Glam Rock manifesto is an oxymoron. The genius of glam rock is similar to Dada. It took the over seriousness of the late 60’s hippies and the early 70’s prog-rockers and said, screw it we’re going to write silly lyrics, and bombastic songs. And we’re even going to recognize that what we’re writing is, as T. Rex sang, a “rip off.”
Star Wars may not have that same level of self-awareness but it does do the same thing. As bands like T. Rex, Mott, Bowie, and Eno (pre-ambient) went back to the roots of rock music so too did Lucas go back to the roots of film, and not to the serious “classics,” but rather the most disposable of all fiction film: the sci-fi adventure serial. And from less successful genres like the fighter pilot subgenre. Sure, he also borrowed liberally from Kurosawa, but from his samurai films, in part because Kurosawa had updated and refined the b-westerns that also informed Lucas, not his “art films.”
While contemporary bands borrowed from classical music, jazz, and folk music, Glam rock went the other way. And while Glam Rock has the two basic elements of rock music, lyrically (cars and girls), it did often have a fascination with outer space. Not as it did for someone Sun Ra where Space is the Place, a Black space, a spiritual and conceptual space in contradiction to White oppression, but in a sense that space represents something out there, away from all of this. A vague spirituality like the force, without really developed notions but still a unifying ideal. This doesn’t mean that this can’t be powerful and important. David Bowie’s “Starman" is the defining track for this tendency but listen to a song like T. Rex’s "Girl." There’s something there with a strange fragility that putting a name to it would shatter.
Politically, Star Wars ignored everything- to an extent. A film so not about Vietnam that it sort of is. But then again, T. Rex released a song like Children of the Revolution which feels like a generational political screed but take a look at the lyrics: "Well, you can bump and grind, it is good for your mind/Well, you can twist and shout, let it all hang out.” It’s a political song because it’s not political at all. At least specifically. You could see parallels to the Cold War in Star Trek and part of Roddenberry’s genius lied in his use of ideas like “future” and “space” to subvert American culture and politics. Star Wars was fare more generalized; an us vs. them, where the Empire was any monolithic controlling force. According to Will Brooker, Star Wars appealed to teens and was co-opted by sub-cultures like Punk Rock, because “the rebellion depicted in the Star Wars films provides a useful model for thinking about the coalition-based cultural politics which define this whole DIY movement (in Henry Jenkins, "Quintin Tarantino’s Star Wars")." Ironically enough, just as Apple under Steve Jobs became the 1984 video that the company famously smashed, so too did Lucas, in his controlling vision and multimedia conglomeration, become Darth Vader; the Jedi turned machinery of submission to homogenization. But before that consolidation the looseness of the Star Wars universe gave its fans a promise of endless possibilities. This is why learning what exactly the force was, apparently something akin to what grows in your un-kept swimming pool, was such a death blow to a generations’ collective imagination. The new films should try to expand the universe while expanding possibilities rather than exploring and trying to explain what we’ve already seen.
The problem with a new Star Wars in today’s Fanboy climate is that every franchise is going the Christopher Nolan route, and fanboys seem to want this (what made The Avenger’s notable was that it wasn’t dark and brooding). But Batman has always been a dark, brooding person. Nolan didn’t make him that way. He was just the first person to make a Batman film who seemed like he had read the comic book. But aside from brooding, people want believable worlds. Star Trek has always been a franchise of big ideas, technologically and socially, and J.J. Abrams is perfect for that (then again I think he did, to an extent, dumb things down for his first film and make it far more real-world than it has been previously). That has always been the contention between the two fandoms, at least initially before things like the Expanded Universe and the prequels. In this broad generalization, at least in the initial nerd hierarchy, Star Trek was seen as the more pure piece of nerdery. It was for the nerds who read Asimov and had the patience for role playing games while Star Wars was for kids who hung out in the arcades and read comic books [In a way it was similar to the difference between teens who listened to Zeppelin and teens who listed to The Who a generation earlier]. Star Wars is better the less you think about it and the more you experience it; an experience similar to Luke’s rejection of the targeting system and reliance on the force to fire into the Death Star’s exhaust shaft.
The allure of the ridiculousness of Star Wars is anathema to such a real world setting from it’s very first frames: “A long time ago…in a Galaxy Far Far away” juxtaposed to futuristic looking space craft and visual effects. You can’t do “a long time ago,” with robots and lasers can you? Well, it did. Likewise, this is “far away,” as in not us. The best scene from a purely film studies standpoint in Star Wars, perhaps in the trilogy, is the Cantina scene an anarchic menagerie of aliens,rejects from 2001: A Space Odyssey knock-offs, and Western tropes. It’s a bit carnivalesque, grotesque, weird, and wonderful. The feeling of watching that scene for the first time, of being a stranger in a strange land but wanting to stay there, is what Star Wars needs to return to.
Of T. Rex and Marc Bolan’s music, music critic Piero Scaruffi wrote (and this is a poor translation from Italian): "It was…music played in a deliberately childish [manner], simple, dreamy but at the same time, with an angelic grace." That also explains to me the joy of Star Wars.
Though this better not mean that JJ is going to do what he did with Spock and have some time quake cloud thing (or whatever that was) reset the timeline like in Star Trek.
Expect this to be a daily feature for a long time now.
They could not have found a better writer for this thing.
With the rumor mill spinning faster than the Millennium Falcon flew the Kessel run that Matthew Vaughn is in talks to direct the recently announced 7th Star Wars movie (and first via Disney) I thought I’d give my two cents.
I’m not liking the Vaughn rumors. If he’s doing a heist movie I’d be fine with him. But his high concept films have been unimpressive and unwieldy. Fanboys are saying they want Nolan, Wheden, or Fincher-the only directors who seem to matter on the internet. None of those are good choices. Nolan is a technical master but rather inept at fleshing out characters, which was also the problem of the prequel trilogy. Wheden is too self-aware and basically did his Star Wars with Firefly, where every character was Han Solo. Fincher’s best work comes when he’s not distracted by excessive plot and can focus-I don’t need to mention Alien 3, do I?
Peter Jackson? His visual style is too baroque for the Star Wars universe. Del Torro? Has he actually made anything recently? He’s attached to like 17 films. Once again, the problem with any of these neo-auteurs is that their style is far too personalized. Even J.J. Abrams, who can at times channel the director he’s influenced by, will then remind you with some uninspired lens flare and will probably include a time portal for some reason.
Here are my top three choices:
1) Brad Bird
He didn’t just revitalize the Mission Impossible franchise, he gave us its best installment yet and proved he can direct expensive, complex action films. The Iron Giant is a fun, adventure movie for all ages that also make you run for your box of tissues-this is the tone I think Star Wars needs: one that emphasizes character and imagination, and Bird will give you that.
2) Kenneth Branagh
I thought for all its problems Thor was a great superhero blockbuster. It was able to combine the Operatic and capital “T” Tragic elements/influences with good natured silliness. And isn’t that what Star Wars was? A silly b-movie that had Shakespearean aspirations and came pretty darn close to achieving them?
Yes, I know you’re thinking, “What? The guy who did Audition?!” Sure, he did that…as well as like 100 other movies in the past 10 years (seriously, look at his output). When he sets his mind to it, and gives himself time, he has made some amazing, imaginative films-and not all of them are vomit inducing. Plus, Star Wars was always Akira Kurosawa via adventure serials so why not have the guy who made the best Samurai film since Kurosawa try his hand at it? If he could somehow mix 13 Assassins with some of his family films like The Great Yokai War-that would be the Star Wars I would want to see.
10 Reasons Star Wars Movies Are Already Practically Disney Movies [Click to continue reading]
I thought immediately that they would find a way to stick in Johnny Depp wearing some ridiculous costume.