In the twelve hours since news of Disney purchasing Lucasfilm broke, I’ve heard a lot of negative feedback with regards to the new Star Wars films being made. I’ve heard a lot of things like “Hasn’t it been desecrated enough? When will it end?!?!” and “Why God why must they continue to destroy my childhood?!”

The way I see it, Disney is going into this deal with the mindset of “Ok, let’s save Star Wars.” Because, let’s be real here, it needs to be saved. In 1999, George Lucas took everything that was awesome about Star Wars, made a list, and said to himself, “Ok we don’t need any of this.” The interesting intricate story, well written fleshed out characters, and adventurous atmosphere of the original three movies were nowhere to be found in the prequels. It’s almost as if they were made by a different person. What a lot of people don’t realize is, they kind of were.

In 1977, when George Lucas was making A New Hope he was 33 years old and had only made two movies. Fox Studios was not about to let him make this huge production and allow him complete creative control. The studio reigned in some of his ideas and that really did shape Star Wars into what it was. As a writer and a director Lucas really is someone who shouldn’t be allowed to do whatever he wants because, and the proof speaks for itself, he has a lot of bad ideas. He was going to make Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to be about a Haunted Castle, but Spielberg wouldn’t let him because he knew that was a stupid idea. Then, when you look at Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Lucas didn’t really have anything to do creatively with either of those movies. He stepped back and produced while he allowed others to write and direct.

Fast forward to 1999, George Lucas is directing not only his his first Star Wars film since 1977, but his first film in general since 1977. The difference is now; he’s been attributed with creating the Star Wars Trilogy; which, at the time, was the highest grossing film franchise ever. So who was Fox Studios to step in and tell him how to make his movies? Lucas had made them so much money, why should they step in and hinder his creative process? So they didn’t. Now here was George Lucas stepping back into a franchise which hadn’t really been his for over twenty years, and trying to figure out what was what again.

The finished product we wound up with was a set of three truly awful movies that make Oscar winning and nominated actors (Liam Neeson, Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman) look like some of the worst actors ever. I really think that what happened was somewhere along the line, he forgot how to make movies. You can really see how blatantly this is the case simply by pulling any scene out of the prequels and looking at, not only the writing and acting, but also even the staging of the shots, as well as the exorbitant use of CGI. It’s “How Not to Make Movies 101 with George Lucas.” Through this he was able to make ridiculous amounts of money, and make a lot of men living in their mother’s basements very very unhappy.

Now there is talk of a seventh, a further continuation of the Star Wars Saga. This is different though, George Lucas is stepping aside, he is allowing someone else to take his franchise and continue it without him. I don’t know why people aren’t seeing the opportunity here. If this franchise was to be given to someone who is not only an adept filmmaker, but also someone who loves Star Wars, we could be seeing the best Star Wars movie since the Empire struck back. I know people are turned off by the fact that Disney is the company that now owns the rights, worried that it’s going to be even more kid-friendly than it was in the prequels, and that it’s going to be lame. To those people all I have to say is go watch The Avengers. Disney bought Marvel and that relationship seems to be working out just fine for all parties involved. All Disney’s involvement is going to mean is a virtually unlimited budget and endorsements, as well as a shelf in the Disney Store.

Personally, I staunchly believe that the perfect candidate to direct this new movie would be J.J. Abrams, only because of how well he handled Star Trek. He took a series that was dead, and made it accessible to everyone, have it get great reviews, and it made a lot of money to boot. Handing the reigns of Star Wars over to him would be the equivalent of handing Marvel over to Joss Whedon, and we all know how well that worked out.

I really do think this is something to be looked at positively. It means that our last memories of Star Wars aren’t going to involve Hayden Christiansen, and if the movie sucks… then at least George Lucas will have someone to share the blame with.

See also:

Original announcement: Disney purchasing Lucasfilm, creating more Star Wars films.
George Lucas and Mickey Mouse: A relationship decades in the making (a pictorial).
Hypable Opinion: Disney’s purchase of LucasArts offers gaming potential.
The 19 funniest, most insightful tweets about Disney purchasing Star Wars.

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

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Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

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Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?