EPISODE 138 – The Force Of THX – 1138

It’s episode 138 so that can only mean this week Jason and Gabe are talking all about George Lucas’ first feature film, the fantastic THX-1138!  How did the film even happen and what are it’s themes and visual cues that are present in Star Wars’ past & present?  How did the basic DNA of THX-1138 show up in Clone Wars?  The Last Jedi?  Tune in as Blast Points goes into the void prison and discovers there is even more THX-1138 in the galaxy, far, far away then we first thought!

PLUS:  We catch up on the news with Episode 9 casting!  Resistance!  The live action TV show!  Jean Claude Van Damme!  and more!

So buy more, be happy & celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

BONUS EPISODE – Why YOU love Return of the Jedi

It’s the end of the epic RETURN OF THE JEDI month and now it’s time to hear from YOU on why you love Return of the Jedi!! Things get started with an awesome interview with Oola herself, Femi Taylor and the fun messages from listeners just keep going from there!
So get down to the cool sounds of Jedi Rocks and celebrate the love with some BONUS POINTS!

Episode 137 – J.W. Rinzler And The Early Drafts Of Return Of The Jedi

 

Return of the Jedi month rages on and this week Jason and Gabe are talking about the early ROTJ screenplay drafts with the none other than the author of The Making of Return of the Jedi and so much more, J.W. Rinzler!   Together they all dive into red hot juicy subjects like : how did the drafts fit Jedi evolve?  What was Leia originally going to be doing during the film’s opening?  What kind of influence did the conerpt art have?  Who was a mysterious Imperial character who got cut?  How did the relationship between Vader and Palpatine change?  What was added during the epic ROTJ story conferences?

PLUS : When did Alec Guinness almost quit Star Wars?  What doesn’t Lucas get enough credit for & just how many Star Wars movies were originally planned?

So put on that Vader helmet, declare yourself Emperor and celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

Visit J.W. Rinzler’s site for info on All Up, his Star Wars books and more:

http://www.jwrinzler.com

 

J.W. Rinzler on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/jwrinzler

 

Episode 136 – The Sounds Of Return Of The Jedi

Return of the Jedi month continues as we examine the amazing and fascinating SOUNDS of ROTJ! With this third movie, Lucasfilm sound maniac Ben Burtt began to take on a much larger role in not only design the film’s rich soundscape but being more hands on in every aspect of what you hear. Join us as we explore that rich history and go way in-depth on 37 of ROTJ’s most classic sounds! From burps to Frankenstein to an unborn child’s heartbeat… we go over it all!!

PLUS : Awesome listener voice messages on why YOU love RETURN OF THE JEDI!

So call up Grandma Vodka and celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

Finding Nien Numb:

https://www.starwars.com/news/the-road-to-rotich-finding-nien-nunb-part-1
https://www.starwars.com/news/the-road-to-rotich-finding-nien-nunb-part-2

 

 

 

Use the Forks – Star Wars Cooking

USE THE FORKS!
Star Wars Cooking

 

Mon Calas have always been vital assets to the rebel alliance, especially Prince Lee-Char, Nahdar Vebb, and from the cold side of the planet, Raddus. But the most famous Mon Cala citizen has to be Admiral Ackbar. Even though he doesn’t show up until Return of the Jedi, he still feels like a major character in the original trilogy. He’s an excellent commander, who makes plenty of hard decisions, and I wouldn’t have anyone else informing me that “It’s a trap!”

After being freed from Imperial Slavery by Juno Eclipse, he joined the Rebel Alliance. He also successfully recruited all of Mon Calamari to the cause. He fought in many battles and played a major role in securing the New Republic, after the Rebel victory on Endor. He’s also an AMAZING singer! Who knew?!
Which makes it all the more sad that he won’t be back for episode 9. :’( I can’t lie, his death hit me pretty hard. It was just so sudden, and I love Ackbar! As relieved as I was that General Organa was okay, it barely took the sting out of losing Ackbar. *sigh*

Admiral Gial Ackbar, I salute you with a batch of cheesy goldfish crackers, shaped like your face.

Admiral Ackbar Crack-Ars

 

Makes 18

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz (or 1 standard-sized bag) extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 Tablespoons ice water
Directions:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the cheese, butter and salt.
  2. Add the flour, and mix until pebbly.
  3. Slowly add the ice water, and mix until the dough forms a ball. You may not need all the water.
  4. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic, and place it in the fridge for half an hour.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, and roll each portion to about a 1/4″ thick.
  8. Using an Ackbar cookie cutter, cut out your crackers, and transfer them to your prepared baking sheets. With this particular cookie cutter, I used one side to cut the shape of Ackbar’s Head, then I flipped the cutter over and stamped his face on top of the shape.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until puffed and browned at the edges.
  10. Place on a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
  11. It’s been an honor snacking with all of you.

Episode 135 – Kirk Thatcher’s Adventures In Return Of The Jedi (Featuring Tom Spina!)

Return of the Jedi month continues as Tom Spina joins Jason and Gabe to talk to the legendary Kirk Thatcher about his days in the ROTJ creature department! The free wheeling, epic conversation ranges from starting at ILM at age 19, painting the Sarlacc, George Lucas’ favorite restaurant, watching dailies, going to the bar with Ewoks, hanging out with Carrie Fisher, and hazy memories from the epic ROTJ wrap party! Kirk has an endless amount of hilarious behind the scenes stories and this is a crazy fun one you won’t want to miss!‬
PLUS : Tom talks about his amazing experience with Magic Wheeler at San Diego Comic Con!

So keep painting that puppet movie’s hole in the sand and celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

Kirk Thatcher on Twitter : https://twitter.com/KirkThatcher
Tom Spina Designs : www.tomspinadesigns.com
Regal Robot : www.regalrobot.com

Rick Springfield Bop ‘Til You Drop video : https://youtu.be/YLnu8SzOGfs

Episode 134 – Classic Creatures And The Mick Jagger Lips Of ROTJ

Jason and Gabe are kicking off Return of the Jedi month with a look at the classic 1983 documentary, Classic Creatures!  It’s a mind blowing look at the good, the bad, the cute and the cuddly of ROTJ!  Our documentary hosts Carrie Fisher & Billy Dee Williams talk about Wiebba Wiebba, let Ackbar sing & show us just how the creatures of ROTJ were made!  If that wasn’t enough there’s Lucas with his shirt unbuttoned dangerously low, Mick Jagger lips, sleepy Phil Tippett, and the word “penetrate”.

PLUS: the JJ Episode 9 photo, an exciting Beardwatch & so much more!

So dare to be cute, celebrate the love and listen to BLAST POINTS!

Watch Classic Creatures:

https://youtu.be/7UifgdkGSas

Who is Wiebba Wiebba?

https://www.starwars.com/news/star-wars-mysteries-who-is-wiebba-wiebba

 

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

solojapan.jpg

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.