If you have two hours of your time, I have a video just for you! Star Wars and Lucasfilm launched the The Empire Strikes Back Uncut project in 2013. They wanted everyday fans to create 15 second scenes from the classic movie The Empire Strikes Back. Lucasfilm got over 1500 submissions, and the movie below includes 480 fan made segments! The movie below features a mash-up of styles and filmmaking techniques, including live action, animation, and stop-motion. So, if you love Star Wars, or are a geek/nerd, sit back and enjoy below!
Over the weekend, the new series Star Wars Rebels premiered on Disney Channel. The new series is set 14 years after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and 5 years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Rebels takes place during an era when the Galactic Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights while a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking form. The pilot was an one hour movie titled “Spark of Rebellion”, and so far, I thought this series has a much better feel than Clone Wars, although some of the animation could have been better.
The new series features a motley group of rebels that band together aboard a freighter starship called the Ghost. At the beginning, we meet Ezra, who likes to steal and take advantage of others to survive. Some people are comparing Ezra to another Disney character, Aladdin. And I have to admit, they look very similar!
Let’s start with the animation qualities, which I had some trouble with in some places. The main characters had good animation qualities, the animated action scenes like the shootings, space scenes, and fighting was great. But some of the side characters were poorly animated! I especially found the animation of the Wookiees as very poor! The Wookiee looked like they came straight from Toy Story. The Wookiees looked like real plastic toys. I hope the Wookiees are better animated in future episodes.
As for the storyline, I was very impressed with it! A lot of people have said that Rebels has a more unique Star Wars feel and has a better Star Wars like story arc than Clone Wars. I have to agree with these people! I never got bored watching Spark of Rebellion. Ezra is that person who has given up on society, and has become the bad person to survive. He has to make a decision that not only changes his life, but the lives of many other people in the Star Wars universe. Throughout the first episode, he keeps saying “I am not a kid.” I give the writers some props for developing Ezra in the first episode, I hope we get to see more character development from Ezra in the series.
The main cast is also all misfit characters who don’t fit in the Galactic Empire. Kind of like me, who thinks a lot differently than many other people here in Alabama, when it comes to politics, and how to turn around a depressed town around. Kanan is a Jedi survivor who is critical and sometimes grumpy. Hera really knows how to pilot the Ghost and likes action. Sabine really likes explosives, as you can see in the pilot. And Zeb is mostly very critical and left Ezra behind, how cruel! I will be interested to see these characters develop in the series.
Overall, I felt like Star Wars Rebels was more like the original trilogy we saw back in the 1970’s/1980’s. I enjoyed the storylines, humor, and the action. The animators do a really good job with the action scenes, but could improve on the animated characters. I think we will see the character development and storylines improve throughout season one, I hope. Disney has already ordered a season two, before the series even premiered! So, we will be seeing lots more Star Wars Rebels. New episodes air on Monday nights on DisneyXD.
Learn more about Star Wars Rebels at: http://www.starwars.com/tv-shows/star-wars-rebels
All images and videos copyright from Disney Channel
Give a hand to Sesame Street, who have been taking Cookie Monster on these epic parody movie trailers! In their latest one called Star S’Mores, which is a parody of Star Wars. You will find Cookie Monster as Flan Solo, Luke Piewalker, Grover as Yoda, and Chewie the Cookie, who is actually a cookie. So, can Cookie Monster prevent eating Chewie? A long time ago in a cookies and milky way galaxy far, far away…, enjoy!
On this Animation Monday, on a Tuesday, I am catching up by briefly recapping some cartoons I like! Some cartoons have premiered a new season while other cartoons wrapped up their season, let’s go!
Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars
In late July, Disney Channel premiered Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars. And after watching it, I thought the creators and animators did a wonderful job! The crossover special mirrored the events in the movie Star Wars IV: A New Hope, and if the crossover was any indication, if Phineas and Ferb were not a part of Star Wars, the Death Star would have been completed and havoc would have happened! And I felt bad for Candace, if the leaders of the Rebels would have listened to her, things would have been different!
I also loved some of the background stuff, like the action that saved the Star Wars cast in the garbage compactor, and seeing Ferb as an evil person was perfect! The music and comedy was great in this special, and I enjoyed that kiss at the end between Phineas and Isabella, too bad in the real cartoon world that has happened once but their minds were erased! This special would not have been possible without Disney buying Lucasfilm, thanks Disney for this great special!
Gravity Falls Season 2
Also, Disney Channel has premiered Gravity Falls season 2, and I thought it was about time! So far, three new episodes have aired and I thought each one was done very well. The season premiere featured Stan trying to unlock the mysteries of Gravity Falls with a portal. And there were zombies, who were taken down with the help of karaoke. The second episode finally ended that almost love relationship between Dipper and Wendy. And the third episode shown all of us that there are creatures living inside the attractions at a mini golf course.
So far, I think Gravity Falls is one of the best cartoons on TV for kids and adults, and the first three episodes of season two have been great. There will be two new episodes premiering in September, I wish Disney would speed up the premieres, I guess they space them out to extend the seasons for way too long! Anyways, if you have not checked out Gravity Falls yet, check it out!
The Legend Of Korra Book 3 Finale
Also, book 3 of The Legend of Korra was shown, online. You see, Nickelodeon cancelled The Legend of Korra from TV, and only debuted the new episodes online only. Nick said the ratings for online viewing were off the charts, while the ratings on TV were not good. But in my opinion, the reasons why the ratings on TV were bad, is because the new episodes premiered on Friday night, and there were no repeat airings as well! I hope Nick will again air new episodes on TV, but I guess it’s online only from now on.
Anyways, the final episode of Book 3 featured Korra almost being killed when poison was absorbed into her body to force her into the avatar state which would kill her, and end the cycle of the Avatar’s rebirth. Thankfully, the Red Lotus is defeated and the poison is taken out of Korra. But the poison left Korra in a very weak state, the end of the episode featured Korra in a wheelchair and very weak. This would be a good time to take out the avatar. Anyways, the action and animation was amazing, too bad it’s not being shown on TV.
Littlest Pet Shop Reveal
Since Geek Alabama is a part of the Hub Network media family, let’s talk about the season 3 mid season break, where Blythe revealed her secret to her best friend Youngmee. The episode called The Secret Recipe featured pet treats that were not so good, a great song, a parody of Shark Tank called The Bear Cave, where the investors are dressed in bear suits, and a great flashback where Youngmee was connecting Blythe’s secret. The moral was perfect which is being honest with your friends, and LPS went out on a high note.
I am glad to see LPS break out of the status quo, and try something new for a change. This will be the last new episode of Littlest Pet Shop until MLP:FIM comes back for season 5. So the question is, does Hub Network have any plans to air some new cartoons on Saturday mornings. Is Sabrina coming back for a new season, or will the network acquire something new? I guess we will see!
As you know, Star Wars is being made again after Disney bought Lucasfilm. And if you are a diehard geek or nerd and are wondering how you could appear in Star Wars: Episode VII, I have some news for you! Director J.J. Abrams announced a new contest where a lucky person will actually appear in the new Star Wars movie! That’s right, if you win the contest, you will be flown to the movie set, and you can brag to all of your friends that you appeared in a popular movie that is going to rock the box office in December 2015. Here is J.J. Abrams speaking about this contest and where the money is going too.
For every $10 you donate to the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative, which is benefiting UNICEF, you get one entry into the contest where one lucky person will be flown to London and go to Pinewood Studios, meet the cast, tour the set, see the behind the scenes action, but more importantly, you will be put into hair and makeup, and they will shoot a movie scene with you in it! So, what is the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative? The initiative aims to find creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. It’s first goal is to raise $1 million for the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Innovation Labs.
Some of the life-changing projects includes portable, solar-powered learning kits being built in China, Uganda, and Burundi to ensure underprivileged children in these countries have access to relevant, high-quality educational materials. Mobile phone application developed in South Sudan and Uganda, and used in the Philippines, that helps reunite children with their families after an emergency. A text messaging solution in Zambia that helps families receive infant medical test results from clinics, in half the time, through mobile phones, and more! The best part, the more you donate, the better rewards you can get, other than having extra enteries to be in the movie!
Some of the rewards includes a thank you card from J.J Abrams for $40, a limited edition t-shirt for $100, a limited edition film still for $1000, and a private screening of the new Star Wars movie for $50,000. All funds raised will go towards charity, and if you a Star Wars fan, what are you waiting for? The contest closes on July 18th, you would want to have the chance to travel to a galaxy far, far away, don’t you? The more you give to the cause, the more entries you get, the better your chances are of winning!
See the details, enter the contest, and donate at: http://www.omaze.com/experiences/starwars-episode-vii