Around the Galaxy: How Will Solo Deal With Pressure?

Star Wars News & Notes - January 10, 2018

There’s plenty to read this morning, even beyond Deadline’s report that The Last Jedi has passed Iron Man 3 for 12th place on the all-time global box office list.

Pressure on Solo Standalone

Han Solo
“Hey, it’s me.”

Over at Forbes, Scott Mendelson reiterated some thoughts he’s mentioned previously via tweet; namely, that there’s undue pressure on Solo: A Star Wars Story to succeed at the box office.

On Tuesday he wrote:

…the mixed reaction from fans to The Last Jedi and the (perhaps unfair) questions over its grosses compared to The Force Awakens puts Solo in a position of not just being a glorified victory lap. Because the narrative around The Last Jedi has been partially about its alleged box office underperformance and its mixed word-of-mouth among the fans, there is potentially more pressure on the Han Solo origin movie to make some kind of case that Star Wars is still Star Wars in a world with Avengers movies and Fast/Furious blowouts.

It’s another good read from Forbes’ #BoxOffice.

The Storey on Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars Land
Galaxy’s Edge concept art.

Hoping to garner some heat via osmosis, we head over to Orlando Weekly where Ken Storey blogged, “Disney wants Star Wars Land to be a WestWorld meets Harry Potter.”

Beyond the ominous and obvious overtones of that headline, Storey’s story has an excellent overview of the doings over at Walt Disney World.

Chock full of links, its most crucial link speaks about a new patent filed by Disney:

In August of 2016, a patent was filed that showed a physical lightsaber which a user could deflect “laser beams” from a drone that would be flying nearby. The drone would shoot a light beam towards the LED lightsaber. The lightsaber then has an internal light beam effect of its own. When combined it looks like the lightsaber deflected the light from the drone. The result requires the room to be foggy for the light beam that the lightsaber projects to properly work. A haptic feedback vest can be worn by guests to provide the sensation of being hit by the light beams that the lightsaber misses.

Given the excellent reviews given to the 4D experience in Secrets of the Empire, adding lightsabers to an immersive environment should establish Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge as a cut above the rest.

Check out the informative piece here

Star Wars 101

The briefing room...
Rebel pilots in class…

Katie Byard of the Akron Beacon Journal posted fun piece entitled, “US students required to watch all ‘Star Wars’ movies as part of course.”

The course, “The Films of Star Wars,” is taught by associate professor Juan Contreras of the University of Akron’s School of Communication.

Explaining the class, Byard wrote:

…students will study the portrayal of women and minorities in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the most recent installment of the Star Wars saga released in December.

“Traditionally, oppressive regimes have attempted to force minority groups into submission, and those groups become second-class citizens,” explained Contreras in a prepared statement to the Akron Beacon Journal. “In The Last Jedi you see The First Order, much like the Empire, mainly led by white males, while the Rebellion has female leadership, and even an alien admiral.”

Byard notes collegiate classes exploring Star Wars is not new. In fact, MSW readers already read about Jedi in the classroom. However, you should bone up on the subject by reading the Ohio.com piece, here.

The Last Jedi’s victory over the Dark Side

The Last Jedi
The Last Jedi: inside the tree.

Speaking of study, Jamie Lovett of Comicbook.com wrote a treatise on The Last Jedi, the headline of which states, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a Victory of Fiction Over the Worst Parts of Fandom.”

Diving deep into the mythology, Lovett wrote:

Fans too often conflate light side and dark side with good and evil. Nobody talks about the light side of the Force in the original trilogy. There is no balancing light side and dark side. The “light side” is the balance. The dark side is the imbalance. You can’t be “too light side” any more than you can be “too perfectly balanced.”

Jamie continued, saying, “This is the idea Luke tries to knock out of Rey’s mind during training. She reaches out to the Force and expects to wield great power. Luke shows her otherwise. He reminds Rey — and fans — that being a Jedi isn’t the same as being a superhero. It’s about balance, not fulfilling a power fantasy.”

It’s a longish read, but one that’s imbued with love for the franchise and its latest installment.

Back to the Battlefront

Finally, Wes Fenlon — over at PC Gamer — penned his own loving look, this time at a beloved video game that has survived the test of time.

Apparently, the old Battlefront II, the one released in 2005, is seeing a surge in popularity.

Fenlon wrote:

It’s a goofy, manic shooter that we keep going back to, and we’re not alone. Since 2012, according to Steamcharts, Battlefront 2 has never dipped below an average 100+ playercount, even after its Gamespy servers shut down. Lately, that player count has cracked four digits thanks to GOG, which restored online functionality in October and is still working on updates (a new patch just landed last week). Amazingly, this 12-year-old game is poised for a comeback.

We’re just fine with that. That reminds me, where is my PS2? JB

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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for BostonBruins.com prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.

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