Empire Delivers Faint Praise for the Prequels

Faint Praise for the Prequel Trilogy from Empire Magazine | Green Card Back

With The Last Jedi less than two weeks away the film magazine Empire has launched an as-expected Star Wars edition, this time featuring alternate Rey and Kylo covers, an art card showing the best of Disney’s recycled designs and, of most interest, a supplemental magazine celebrating the saga’s 40th anniversary.

The magazine focuses the most heavily on the Original Trilogy, with a further eight whole pages dedicated to the Holiday Special and the Ewok TV movies. The tone of the Return of the Jedi section is generally denigrating of Lucas, so it comes as some surprise to find a tidy four page article tucked away at the back that’s actually written in defence of the Prequel Trilogy (PT).

Well, sort of.

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Is Battlefront II the Sequel Star Wars Needed?

Is Battlefront II the Sequel Star Wars Needed? | Green Card Back

If you have even a passing interest in Star Wars, gaming or pop culture, you may have heard one or two rumblings about EA’s new Star Wars Battlefront II game this last week…

The sequel to 2015’s Battlefront (which was in turn a sequel to 2005’s Battlefront II, itself a sequel to 2005’s Battlefront oh my god it rhymes) launched on November 17th amid a storm of controversy concerning micro-transactions and EU gambling laws, leading to EA’s (temporary) u-turn on in-game spending. You can find out more about the situation here and here.

As fascinating as this stuff is, it’s not what we’re here to talk about today. We’re looking at Battlefront II‘s campaign mode – or more specifically, the story within – and how it relates to the Star Wars we know.

Needless to say there are spoilers for the game ahead, so consider yourself warned!

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JJ Abrams to Direct ROTJ2

JJ Abrams directs Daisy Ridley | Green Card Back

OK, this blog title somewhat jests – Starkiller Base aside, the common criticism that The Force Awakens was a rehash isn’t as entirely fair as the popular narrative suggests, or indeed relevant to the actual flaws with the film. Still, there’s no question that the experience of watching Episode VII felt remarkably familiar…

I’ve been guardedly optimistic about how The Last Jedi is shaping up. It looks like it will address some of the issues raised by TFA (if not all) and Rian Johnson’s pedigree would indicate that the film is in safer hands than Abram’s initial entry ever was. So the news that Abrams is returning to the vacated director’s spot for Episode IX is disappointing to say the least.

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Which is the Best 3.75″ Kylo Ren Figure?

Best 3.75" Kylo Ren Figure | Green Card Back

One, Two, Three Times a Knight of Ren…

For a character deliberately designed to ape the success of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren is not off to a bad start – after one film he’s already the most interesting of Disney’s additions to the saga, and there’s the promise of plenty more to come in the next two instalments.

Since the release of The Force Awakens back in 2015 Hasbro has been quick to capitalise on the popularity of the troubled Ben Solo, releasing no fewer than eight 3.75” figures and counting. The kitbashed version released on a Rogue One card recently came into my possession, leading me to this rather particular question:

Which Kylo Ren action figure from The Force Awakens is the best?

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Hyperspace & The Force Awakens

X-Wing Entering Hyperspace 1993 | Green Card Back

The Last Jedi may contextualise The Force Awakens into place alongside the rest of the series. It may redeem Luke Skywalker; heck, it could even retcon Han Solo back to being the responsible leader he grew into over three films, rather than the failed smuggler and deadbeat absent dad we were presented with back in 2015.

All of the above would help. Rian Johnson’s film could (and I’m not holding my breath) perform an incredible job of papering over the cracks created by Abrams’ production, but it still can’t make The Force Awakens a good Star Wars film. And there’s one element that illustrates exactly why:

Hyperspace.

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