The Blockade Runner

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The Star Wars Saga Teaser Trailers – The Blockade Runner Podcast #120

BR 120 CoverInspired by the recent D23 Rise of Skywalker trailer, this week we’re taking a look back at each of the saga films’ teasers. We discuss the evolving art form of movie trailers, which teasers most accurately reflect the films they’re advertising, and why watching the Attack of the Clones and Force Awakens teasers is such a transcendent experience.

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Early TFA Concept Art & Episode IX – The Blockade Runner Podcast #84

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John does a brief solo show covering possible links between TFA‘s early concept art and Episode IX for our final episode of 2018. We’re mostly just using Peter Sciretta’s Twitter comments from a few days ago as an excuse to pull down and pour over Phil Szostak’s incredible Art Of books for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Follow along if you have the books (or check out the images in the video version), and if you don’t, definitely pick them up if you can – they are must have resources for sequel trilogy fans, no doubt. Thanks for watching or listening in 2018 and here’s to what will undoubtedly be an unbelievable 2019 for Star Wars fans!

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A Blockade Runner Halloween 2018 – The Blockade Runner Podcast #80

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We get into the spooky spirit of Halloween this week by taking a look at the first four issues of IDW’s Tales From Vader’s Castle series in the first portion of this Halloween-themed episode. The back half of the show features a discussion of the similarities between The Force Awakens and this year’s new Halloween film, both of which walk the line between sequel, reboot, and reimagining (and are both really, really great).

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The Blockade Runner Podcast Episode 5 – Rebels Trailer Reaction and TFA Editing Theories

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Show Notes:

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Ryan, Dan, John, and first time Blockade Runner Lindsey get together to discuss the new Rebels trailer, Rey’s heritage and how much was originally set to be revealed about her in TFA, and more. Check out the links below for links to articles discussed on the show.

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Intro and outro music in The Blockade Runner is “Hedonism” by Ash.

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Did The Force Awakens Originally Reveal Rey’s Heritage?

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Rey (Daisy Ridley) Ph: Film Frame © 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Right Reserved..

Daisy Ridley’s Rey is an incredibly effective and likable hero and one that has made a huge impact on audiences. She is universally loved by the friends and family with whom I’ve discussed the film but there’s been quite a bit of debate surrounding where she comes from and to whom she’s related. This is clearly by design, but was it part of the original plan for The Force Awakens?

I avoided spoilers as much as possible in the lead up to TFA while still seeking out and devouring every possible article, interview, photo, and trailer I could in the months leading up to its release. One particularly memorable piece from that period is a November Hollywood Reporter interview with Ridley in which she discusses her audition process, training regiment, and the secrecy surrounding her character. After reading the interview, I was fully expecting to learn the truth regarding Rey’s heritage in Episode VII because of the following exchange:

In this age of social media everyone knows so much about movies before they see them.

And it takes away. I don’t want to dissect something before I see it. And things change. I don’t even know what it’s going to be like after editing.

Everyone wants to know who Rey’s parents are. Do you know?

Yeah.

Will the viewer know after the first episode or not necessarily?

Questions will be answered, absolutely. The main question will be answered.

Ridley’s answer clearly indicates that she believes the “main question” will be answered in The Force Awakens, but unless I missed something, that didn’t bear out. What’s more, she even references the editing process and the possibility of aspects of the film changing as it moves from the set to the editing bay to the theater.

I’ve now seen The Force Awakens seven times, and knowing the movie fairly well at this point it seems possible to me that perhaps Abrams, Kasdan, and Lucasfilm originally intended to provide more concrete details surrounding Rey’s heritage. There are conversations and interactions in the film that sometimes feel as if they end prematurely (such as Kylo Ren’s aggressively-delivered “WHAT GIRL?” as he force chokes Lieutenant Mitaka, or Han’s missing reply to Maz’s probing “who’s the girl?”) that may have originally played out in a different way. It also seems to me that if Rey is a Skywalker (and most of us are in agreement that she is), she spends an awful lot of time around Han, Leia, and Chewie with none of them acknowledging their connection to her. Episodes VIII and IX could obviously supply justifications for that lack of acknowledgment, but again, it seems possible this film was originally meant to do that until a decision was made later in the creative process to hold back the revelation of Rey’s heritage for a future film.

In my experience, no topic has been more hotly debated than Rey’s background. I’ve personally been involved in many, many conversations about that very subject and fans on every side of the argument point to specific lines and details in the film to support whichever theory they endorse. While I have to assume this was the filmmakers’ desired outcome, I’m now wondering if J.J. and crew made cuts late in the post-production process to delay revealing the answer to one of the TFA’s most important questions. With the Blu-ray release and its accompanying behind-the-scenes content likely arriving in April, we’ll undoubtedly learn more about the process of putting the movie together and perhaps we’ll find out more about how Rey’s character developed throughout the film’s production.

UPDATE: Collider released an article today featuring discussion of a deleted scene that seems like it would’ve revealed a cool aspect of Maz Kanata’s character before being left out in post-production. Perhaps another indication of an ongoing debate within Lucasfilm about how much to reveal in The Force Awakens?

 


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The Blockade Runner Podcast Episode 4.5 – More on The Force Awakens and the Future of Star Wars Films

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Show Notes:

Download this episode (right click and save)

In this episode of The Blockade Runner, Dan, Kevin, Chris, and John share more thoughts on The Force Awakens. We begin by checking in with Chris and his initial reactions to TFA since he wasn’t available for our last show. We also talk about our conflicted feelings regarding Star Wars movies without George Lucas’s involvement, our thoughts (and fears) about the anthology films, and just more general TFA discussion. We’ll be back soon with an episode about our TFA theories soon!

Intro and outro music in The Blockade Runner is “Hedonism” by Ash.

Email=theblockaderunnerpodcast@gmail.com

Twitter=@blockaderun

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Japanese Force Awakens Merchandise

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My good friend Kevin lives in Japan and was kind enough to take some pictures of Force Awakens promotional materials and merchandise he had come across!

First off, a clothing store called NewYorker released a catalog showcasing their new Star Wars-themed line of Fancy Adult Wear.

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It’s a pretty dang cool line; you can see more on their online store!

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