A remarkable thing happened in movie theaters in the winter and spring of 1997. For six out of seven straight weekends, the top slot at the domestic box office was held by an old movie.
You know that James Earl Jones provided the voice of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films. But did you know when Star Wars was first released in 1977, Jones was not listed in the closing credits? Over the years he’s claimed that the reason for the omission was his belief that he hadn’t done enough work to deserve billing, and later confessed that he worried that if he was credited he would be typecast as a bad guy for the rest of his career. Jones’ name was added to the credits of the film when it was released in 1997 in its “Special Edition.” That’s just one of the Star Wars Special Edition facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
In the tradition of ScreenCrush series like You Think You Know Movies and You Think You Know TV comes a new YouTube series: Top Five! Every two weeks (or so; we’ve got a lot of other stuff going on), ScreenCrush editor and critic Matt Singer will count down a particular topic from the world of movies (and probably write these introductory posts in the third person).
When you have as much money as George Lucas has (a number we common peasants can scarcely imagine, a secret number, known only to those of the one percent’s one percent), simple luxury begins to lose its luster. You can only pay so many Ukrainian models to hand-feed you grapes and gently fan you with palm fronds before it all gets a little tired, at which point a person starts looking for more meaningful ways to spend their money. Philanthropy was born from this impulse, and branding-obsessed Lucas has found the perfect act of humanitarianism that also befits his planet-sized ego: founding a museum in which his creations of Star Wars can be displayed for all the world, and then slapping his name on it.
The world’s still stinging from the loss of Carrie Fisher yesterday, and while we will most likely remember her first as Princess Leia, the actress cultivated a long career of comedy after her Star Wars years. Her one-woman show Wishful Drinking was a must-see on Broadway, and her hilarious, often inscrutable Twitter account will stand as a testament to her bizarre wit. In the wake of Fisher’s sad death on Tuesday, one video in particular has begun to pop up again, and it might just be the comic’s most searing public appearance of all.
Today we mourn the loss of Carrie Fisher: Iconic actor, talented author, brilliant script doctor and, most of all, an incomparable force to be reckoned with. There are so many great adjectives you could use to describe Fisher: Uncompromising, unapologetic, fierce, witty, relatable, real, honest. She took all of those qualities and put them to work in her books — from memoirs to novels, Fisher had a knack for telling poignant and painful stories with wit and wisdom. Writing a worthy obituary for one of the best and boldest women on this planet or any other is surely an impossible task…so it’s a good thing that the perfect obit basically already exists, and unsurprisingly, Fisher came up with it herself.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow wears all manner of sci-fi influences on its sleeve, not the least of which has been Star Wars. Now, the Legends’ trips through history will finally extend to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away as well, spotlighting the origin of Star Wars itself with a young George Lucas next month.
When a director inherits a franchise from another more seasoned, more beloved filmmaker, there’s bound to be some anxiety about whether or not their predecessor will like the finished project. Did I get it right? they ask themselves. Did I do their legacy justice? Gareth Edwards, still pretty new to the blockbuster scene after taking the reins of 2014’s franchise starter/reviver Godzilla, has some galaxy-sized shoes to fill as the director of the upcoming Star Wars anthology film Rogue One. But he doesn’t have to worry too much anymore, because George Lucas has seen the movie, and given it his hearty blessing.
We’ve had plenty of time to process the demise and unfinished material of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, particularly as Star Wars Rebels filled the gap under the new Disney umbrella. That said, at least some of the late Clone Wars material was eyed for a spinoff George Lucas declined, according to Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo.
We’re still not sure exactly when the new Indiana Jones sequel will happen, but not long ago, Disney and Lucasfilm confirmed that Steven Spielberg is returning to direct Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones 5. David Koepp, who worked on the screenplay for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (insert sad trombone) is also reuniting with Spielberg for the upcoming sequel, and according to him, there’s one notable person who won’t be involved — at least on the story level.