Episode 133 – Skywalking To 1987’s Celebration 0 With Richard Woloski

Where were you in 1987?  We were watching Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, but out in sunny California, there was the first ever official Star Wars convention!!  This week Jason and Gabe are talking to Richard Woloski from Skywalking Through Neverland about his adventures at this mysterious con!  What were panels?  Who were the guests?  What did Richard ask George Lucas?  What was it like being a fan in 87? Is Karate Kid 3 worth watching?  Can you catch a cold from Lucas?  Tune in for all these questions and more!!

PLUS: the big Episode IX casting announcement freak out!

So drink your water, sneak around backstage and celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

Listen to Skywalking Through Neverland!

https://skywalkingthroughneverland.com

Skywalking Through Neverland’s YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMeoYh3_lrkf-F7AsvAKgYg

C-3PO & R2-D2 at Celebration 0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mN0hnmHVB8

Darth Vader at Celebration 0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T442pUhdRkc

Editorial – Solo in Japan

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By Dave Hackerson

Han Solo: A Star Wars Story hit Japanese theaters on June 29, over a month after the film’s initial release in the US. This marked the first time in the Disney era of Star Wars that the release date in Japan did not coincide with the US and other major markets overseas. I’m not exactly sure why that was the case this time around, but I very nearly had to cut myself off from the Force (at least the English speaking faction) to avoid any spoilers that would ruin the surprises in the film. Fortunately we had the World Cup to keep us preoccupied, and the Japanese national team defied all expectations for a stellar run out of the group stage and into the round of 16. In similar fashion, the Han Solo film has surpassed expectations of fans here, with the overall response being positive.

News of the film’s “struggles” at the box office overseas did make its way over to Japan. However, Disney deftly masked over that in their marketing by hyping up the film as the number one feature at the US box office in one of the short TV spots (pausing the screen you see the data they referenced was for the Memorial Day weekend). They also used some clever play-on-words in the Japanese voiceover for the same TV spot, saying “Soro soro, Han Soro (Solo).” The phrase “soro soro” is often used in Japanese when saying “it’s about time” to do something or for something to happen, so this nice little catch copy essentially tells the Japanese audience “it’s about time you head to the theater and check out Solo”. In addition to the TV spots, Japanese morning talk shows also did special sessions highlighting the movie in the run up to its release. These moves apparently paid off, with the film claiming the number spot in the Japanese box office in its opening weekend, bringing in $5.94 million and attracting audiences much more diverse than typical StarWars film, spanning all age groups and demographics. I have seen numerous comments on Japanese Twitter and Facebook of Star Wars fan here pleasantly surprised to hear how the film has drawn in and delighted people with little exposure to the saga. Solo remained at the top of the box office charts for its second week as well, and as of July 9 had grossed over $11.12 million dollars. The film’s success thus far should really come as no surprise given not only the popularity of the Star Wars saga in Japan, but the character of Han Solo himself. One media company conducted a survey back in 1995 on the most popular characters in the saga, and Han Solo ranked number one amongst Japanese fans, beating out the likes of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.

Our family went to see it in English (with Japanese subtitles) at one of the local theaters on Saturday the 30th, the day after the film was released. There is a USAF base in our neck of the woods in western Tokyo, and from what I saw of the audience at our showing it seemed a third were from there. The US contingent aside, the Japanese audience spanned all ages and demographics, and there were some interesting conversations I picked up on in the lobby as we waited to enter the theater. One person was asking his friend about Donald Glover, and he excitedly told him that he was playing the young Lando. As typical with most major features in Japan, the concession/lobby area has stands set up selling all kinds of merchandise related to the film. I picked up the limited edition of the official Japanese guide, which was packed with great interviews with the cast, concept art for the film, and a special poster insert. There were also toys, books, and nice Solo design folders for holding A4 size sheets of paper (especially popular among students).

We all enjoyed the film immensely, with our oldest commenting that she felt Alden’s performance was quintessential Han Solo. It seemed the audience we viewed it with had a blast watching Solo as well. When people filed out of the theater, many were eager to snap a few selfies sitting in the Millennium Falcon cockpit prop that was set up right outside. Our youngest daughter (4 years) was quite enamored with the whole set, and kept wanting to go back for more pictures. That said, there was a few times where some of the humor in the dialogue only produced a laugh from among the non-Japanese factions of the audience. In addition, I found myself trying to keep up with the subtitles at times, which caused me to miss some of the things happening in the background. Our oldest say that she wanted to go see the film again, so for our second viewing we went to watch it in the Japanese dub.

We felt a different level of excitement than our initial viewing. Would the characters feel the same? Would the Japanese dub of Han match Alden’s performance? In short, the quality of the Japanese was on par with the dub for Rogue One. In fact, in almost every instance the Japanese spoken matched what I thought it would be. The translator not only conveyed the meaning imbued within the original English, but was able to create that same atmosphere and mood. The knockout-job that they did with this translation provided for a viewing experience even better than the first. We were able to really appreciate all the great banter between Han and Lando in the Sabaac, with the dub retaining the way Lando purposefully mispronounces Han’s name after he deliberately says Sabaac the wrong way in attempt to play the fool. Rio Durant sounded no different than he did in the original, with his witty comments effectively delivered in a manner that made me think that’s how Jon Favreau would sound in Japanese. Beckett did not speak with the distinctive drawl that comes with every Woody Harrelson role, but the delivery employed conveyed the character of a man steeped in experience but wore down by years of living the hard smuggler’s life. The exchange between him and Han at the end of the film felt just as poignant as it did in the subtitled version. Perhaps my favorite scene in the dub was the conversation between Qira and L-3 in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. While the dialogue is already loaded with nuance in the original English, the Japanese dub not only kept that nuance, but actually deepened it with the words employed by both characters. Younger audience members may not have caught it, but I’m pretty sure the adults in the theater appreciated the humor of that moment.

The Japanese dub featured not only a cast of seasoned voice actors, but also a number of celebrity guest appearances. One of these was Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut who enjoys the distinction of not only doing multiple missions on the International Space Station, but was also the first Japanese astronaut to work as a flight engineer on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Noguchi has been an ardent fan of the saga ever since he saw Episode 4 as an elementary school student, claiming that the original trilogy was one of his main inspirations for pursuing a career in outer space. He gave a glowing review of the film for the Japanese movie site Filmaga. He wrote “The true charm of the Star Wars saga is its ability to captivate our imaginations and inspire, and Solo chock full of elements which do just that. It’s a great ride for not only hard core fans of the saga, but also people who have never seen a Star Wars film. There’s so much in it that I need to verify for myself that I plan on seeing it at least two or three times more.” Noguchi was especially pleased with how they developed the relationship between Han and Chewie in the film. “Han’s initial encounter with Chewie was absolutely hilarious, but it was also incredibly convincing. The two didn’t get along right off the bat. Each had a different goal in mind, but they teamed up to tackle the mutual task at hand that they both faced. This created the bond between them that deepened as they fought side by side.” Another celebrity to make a guest appearance in the Japanese dub of Solo was Ebizo Ichikawa, the heir to Ichikawa clan of kabuki actors and the eleventh holder of the Ebizo name. A fan of the saga since he was a kid, Ebizo told director Ron Howard and Alden Ehrenreich how happy he was to be involved with the film at the Solo premier event held in Tokyo in mid-June. He lent his vocal talents to one of the Stormtroopers watching over the brawl between Chewbacca and Han at the beginning of the film.

All in all, there has been no real negative backlash to Solo in Japan that emanate from certain corners of fandom in the state. Most people have been happy to come along for the ride. I guess that’s why the Japanese TV spots have repeatedly used one of the film’s more iconic lines: “Ii yokan ga suru ze (I’ve got a really good feeling about this”). My daughter said it best after our initial viewing of the movie. “He (Alden) didn’t look like the original Han Solo, but he was Han Solo. That was a blast.” Considering that she had fairly little interest in Star Wars until The Last Jedi, I’d say that Lucasfilm and Disney have succeeded in making that galaxy far, far away accessible to a broader audience.

Episode 132 – Love Me Dooku (and Clone Wars Saved!)

Join Jason & Gabe as they unravel the mystery of the one and only COUNT DOOKU! Who was Dooku? Why was Dooku?  Where was Dooku?  What’s up with the Lost 20? How is he the Steven Seagal of Jedi?  Tune in as we dig deep into the enigmatic distinguished gentleman Sith Lord!  We look at the scene where interrogates Kenobi in AOTC as a perfect example of Sith lies/truth, riddles and wonder just what Dooku’s deal was!

PLUS: Clone Wars Saved!!! Solo blu ray bonus features, Lady Proxima at home & so much more! ‬

So shoot out some Sith lightning, tell someone the truth about Sidious and celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

Episode 131 – The Spielberg Connection

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Ever wish Spielberg would get the chance to direct a Star Wars movie?  Well he’s gotten pretty close & has had a ton of creative connections to the saga’s past, present and future!  This week Jason and Gabe explore the long and surprising influence George’s buddy Steven Spielberg has had on all of the Star Wars. From the music, to the casting, to creative visions and all the way to Mustafar, Spielberg has had his fingers in the galaxy far far away more then you may know!  PLUS: juicy Episode 9 maybe casting news, serious BeardWatch stuff & much more!!

So put down your Grievous animatics & celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

Episode 130 : Canady Day! (A Captain Canady Celebration)

Jason and Gabe are back with an all episode where they celebrate the fallen hero of The First Order, the one and only Captain Canady!  Which maybe they should have done five bloody minutes ago!   Join them as they discuss his backstory, his motivation, how it is not the actor’s first role in the Star Wars universe, and dissect EVERY single Canady line in the film and wonder about his very sensitive anger level.

PLUS : the latest Episode 9 rumor talk and discussion of some Star Wars rumors that are too insane to ever believe!

So what are you waiting for?  Charge the auto-cannons, fire on the base, celebrate the Canady and listen today!

Use The Forks – Star Wars Cooking

USE THE FORKS!
Star Wars Cooking

 

In my humble opinion, Padmé Amidala isn’t recognized for how important she really is. She’s a huge part of the Star Wars saga! She was a clever and compassionate elected queen at age 14, she worked closely with, and then against Palpatine once she figured out he was up to no good (sparking the Rebel Alliance)she married Anakin (his fear of losing her is what drove him to the dark side), and she’s the mother of Luke and Leia. Without Padmé, the Star Wars universe would be a lot more boring.

She’s also the most fashionable senator of all time. Sure at one point in Attack of the Clones, right after she survives an assassination attempt, she’s wearing a wicker garbage can from Pier 1 on her head, but that just shows she wasn’t afraid to take chances and improvise with what’s laying around in her room! My favorite Padmé outfit is the one she wears to the droid factory on Geonosis. That fleece cape is really great, too bad it gets lost before the battle (that she was on top of). Poggle the Lesser probably kept it for himself. A close second would be the first outfit we see her in, because it has glowing orange fire balls around bottom of her skirt. So awesome!

In The Clone Wars cartoons we get to see how cool and smart Padmé really is. She was a fearless public servant, and really dedicated her life to the greater good. Remember when she defended Ahsoka against murder charges? She’s a powerful ally!

She also has one of the best deleted scenes from Attack of the Clones. That picture in her bedroom where she’s swaying back and forth with “Sweetheart,” the orphan alien that died? *chef finger kiss* LOVE IT

My point is that Padmé is an important, strong, inspirational character that deserves more than to just die of a broken heart and be forgotten. Luke does ask Leia about their mother in Return of the Jedi, but not nearly as much as he asks Uncle Owen, Obi Wan and Yoda about his father. And if you look at Luke and Leia, they both take after Padmé much more than Anakin. Fighting for the greater good is in their DNA!

Padmé is a relatable example of someone who can make a real difference in the universe, even if they’re not a force sensitive, laser-sword carrier. Let’s honor her with a delicious dish, shall we?

Pad-Thai-Mé 

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz dried stir-fry rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 package (14oz) tofu, drained, patted dry, cut into thin small squares
  • 2 carrots, peeled & shredded
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced, greens & whites separated
  • 2 Tablespoons peanuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add the noodles.
2. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and allow the noodles to soak for 8 minutes.
3. Drain and set aside.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, Sriracha and brown sugar. Set aside.
5. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
6. Add beaten eggs, and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan.
7. Cook eggs until they’re set, about 1 minute or so, then transfer to a cutting board.
8. Roll eggs into a loose log (careful, they’re hot!) and slice into thin strips. Set aside.
9. Add 4 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the pan, and heat.
10. Add tofu slices in a single layer, and cook until browned on each side, about 7 minutes all together, flipping halfway through. Set aside.
10. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil to the skillet, and heat.
11. Add carrots, garlic, and scallion whites to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
12. Add lime juice mixture, and bring to a simmer.
13. Add noodles and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute or so.
14.  Add eggs & tofu, and gently toss to combine
15. Divide between 4 dishes, and sprinkle with scallion greens, peanuts and cilantro to serve.
16. Enjoy while fighting for liberty in a fashionable outfit.

 

Episode 129 – BLAST POINTS ALIVE! Ace Comic Con Seattle Panels

Jason & Gabe did TWO live shows in front of an audience in Seattle Washington at Ace Comic Con and now YOU can listen to both of them!  Hear Saturday’s “Best of the Weird” panel as they go through highlights from 40 years of the weirdest Star Wars stuff that ever happened.  We were flown across the country to show people George Lucas Japanese commercials and clips from Turkish Star Wars and here is the audio proof!  AND you can hear Sunday’s LIVE Rusty Miller Jedi Master Trivia Challenge with the Guess The CommTech Chip bonus round!  Can anyone remember Captain Tarpals’ name?  Listen and find out!!!

PLUS : what movie they watched on the flight, where they had mind blowing pizza in Seattle and MORE!

So call up Donny Osmond, celebrate the love & listen today!

Episode 128 – The Ewok Movies Listen Along Records Read Along Experience

This week Jason and Gabe tear through the read along records for BOTH of the epic Ewok films! The fun of 1984’s Ewok Adventure aka Caravan of Courage! The weird real life darkness drama of 1985’s Battle for Endor! In all of their vinyl glory!  Why would Ben Solo like them, why does Gabe want an Ewok yearbook and lots of Wilford Brimley talk!  PLUS : The  Lucas microbiotic saga talk, Count Dooku in Star Wars video games and more!  Celebrate the love & listen today!