We Need to Talk About Luke

We Need to Talk About Luke | Green Card Back

After watching the Solo teaser trailers back at the start of February my wife asked me a simple question. Having seen The Last Jedi, was I happier now that new Star Wars films were being made?

I thought about it for a few moments before answering honestly – no. As great as Rogue One is, its existence is not worth the damage that the other films have made to the franchise.

This, I realised, is why I was wrong about The Last Jedi.

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Force Visions: Kilian Plunkett


Titan Publishing’s Star Wars Magazine was essential reading back in the early days of the internet; a monthly hit that created a regular gateway to that galaxy far, far away. In 1998, while visiting my Nan in Hemel Hempstead, I picked up the latest issue and instantly lost myself between the covers.

Featured amongst the interviews and pictures of that sweet, sweet merchandise was an exclusive comic about two alien swoop punks on the harsh desert sands of Tatooine. It was a savage, world-expanding story with stunning art – my first exposure to the work of Kilian Plunkett.

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First Look at Solo: A Star Wars Story

First look at Solo: A Star Wars Story | Green Card Back

This week the deadlock finally broke as Lucasfilm brought us not just one but two advance looks at this May’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.

First out of the traps was the ‘Big Game‘ TV spot, which debuted in the US with the Superbowl and caused chatter amongst nerd keyboards globally. The one minute reel gives us the briefest of looks at the core cast (hey there, moody noir-lit Han) and some cool visuals, along with a most un-Star Wars take on the soundtrack.

On Monday morning (US time) the full teaser trailer saw release on Good Morning America. It gives us a bit of a better look at the characters (hey there, double-bandolier strap Chewie), a few more impressive character designs and visuals and a bit more understanding of the plot (so it’s a heist film, right?). In short, it does everything a good teaser trailer needs to do.

Read: 4 Reasons Why Solo: A Star Wars Story Might Not Suck

There is still the big question that’s going to loom over the entire film – and no, I don’t mean whether or not Alden Ehrenreich the right choice to play Han (first impressions are so-so on that score, but I’m willing to be impressed). What Solo: A Star Wars Story needs to demonstrate to me is whether there was ever a good reason to make it at all.

Lucasfilm has already slaughtered the Original Trilogy‘s sacred cows with the Sequel Trilogy, so we shouldn’t be surprised by anything that fundamentally changes our understanding of the Han Solo character. As far as I’m concerned, if the film manages to get anywhere near Rogue One quality while also giving us a good reason for Han to return to smuggling in later life (because The Force Awaken‘s deadbeat absent dad really didn’t fly), then I’ll be happy. Anything more than that will be a bonus.

Buy into the hype train (or don’t). We’re going to find out all about Solo on May 25th.

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Anakin vs Obi-Wan

There are few scenes in the Star Wars saga more pivotal than that of the duel between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith. It was a scene that fans had waited decades to see, the key piece of Skywalker’s transformation into the fearsome Darth Vader. In-universe the sense of tragedy is palpable as a friendship ends and the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance. It’s a huge moment in the Skywalker story, and the maestro John Williams delivers a suitably epic score.

What I love the most about Anakin vs Obi-Wan, besides the marching re-contextualising of the Battle of the Heroes theme, is how the tension builds and breaks into a full, lush rendition of the Imperial March. Williams understands how to tell stories as well as Lucas, and the sweep of Darth Vader’s theme underscores the raw power of Skywalker.

We all know it doesn’t last. Kenobi gains the high ground and the rest is history (at least from a certain point of view). But in that moment we get a taste of the uninhibited power of Darth Vader, and that’s in large part due to the incredible work of  John Williams.

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The Last Jedi Review: Lucasfilm Strikes Back!

The Last Jedi Review - Lucasfilm Strikes Back | Green Card Back

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has finally hit our screens amidst a flurry of Porgs, Snoke theories and enormous expectation. I took the hype of the last few weeks with a Crait-sized piece of salt, and you know what? I wasn’t disappointed.

The Last Jedi excites, awes and entertains in equal measure, as Rian Johnson takes the figurative lightsaber from JJ Abrams and tosses it nonchalantly over his shoulder. Star Wars has entered brand new territory here, which is a most welcome surprise indeed…

Click through for the review but be warned: spoilers are present!

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