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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

John Williams Wins Grammy for The Force Awakens!

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John Williams Wins Grammy

John Williams added to his large trophy collection by taking home a Grammy for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens soundtrack.  The Grammy came in the Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media category. Other nominees that Williams competed against were Bridge Of Spies, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, Stranger Things Volume 1, and Stranger Things Volume 2.

Congratulations John Williams!

About Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Starring original cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker and franchise newcomers, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o and Max von Sydow, Star Wars Episode VII is now available on Blu-ray, Digital, and DVD.  You can purchase your copy at Amazon.com.

A Star Wars fan since 1978, he has a passion for all things Star Wars and wonders why May the 4th is not a national holiday. He lives in the wastelands of middle Georgia with his wife, two girls, and two dogs.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Saddest Moment from The Force Awakens

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Okay, so before we dive right into the subject of this post, as the new guy here at Outer Rim News I should really explain just what the hell gives me the right to post my opinions on the Internet, yeah? Well, I have been totally obsessed with Star Wars for over 20 years now, since I was taken to see the Special Edition re-release of Original Trilogy in the mid-90s. I actually didn’t want to go originally, I remember thinking it will be boring and I would much rather stay at home, however after the opening crawl, I was instantly hooked.

Watching what I learned to be the Tantive IV trying desperately to escape the clutches of the oncoming behemoth of a spaceship, the Star Destroyer Devastator, I was hooked, game over man. After leaving the cinema all I thought about was Star Wars, all I cared about was watching more Star Wars, and this obsession is alive and well twenty-two years later as I approach the big 30.

When Disney announced they had acquired the rights to Star Wars back in 2012, and that a new trilogy would be created, I literally ran around the house screaming with joy, new Star Wars films!!!! The Star Wars community was a mixture of sheer excitement, with a hint of apprehension due to a certain other trilogy of Star Wars films. Now I do not hate the Prequels, in fact, I am a massive fan of them, don’t get me wrong they aren’t perfect or hold up in any way to the Original Trilogy, but they are still great films that told fantastic Star Wars stories, but more on them in a later post…

Spoiler Alert!!!

 

 The entire Star Wars community held their breaths as we waited for  J.J. Abrams’ vision of the Galaxy far, far away, and it did not disappoint. J.J. made it clear from the start that he would be using the Original Trilogy as an inspiration, and this was evident in his decision to move away from the CGI originated style of the Prequels. I remember jumping for joy when not long after J.J. said yes to directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I found out that Lucasfilm was looking for puppet masters, via an IMDB search.

What also made The Force Awakens such an amazing film is it felt familiar, it felt like home. Now I know that is a bit of a strange description for a film, that it felt like home, but it truly did. The pacing of the film, the amazing set pieces, the use of life-like animatronics and puppets, the fun, and the heart-ache; everything just felt like a true Star Wars film. The lovable hero, a daunting villain and the fate of the galaxy in the hands of a select few. Some people did criticize the film saying that it was basically a remake of Star Wars: A New Hope, but anyone with that opinion is a nerf-herder and I couldn’t care less what you think.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens promotional art

Was it similar to A New Hope? Yes of course it was. J.J. stated he wanted the movie to feel like the Original Trilogy, he wanted viewers to feel a sense of nostalgia while watching. Some people are just never happy and they just live to criticize everything. The big reason why The Force Awakens was such a success and hit amongst the Star Wars community? We are still talking about it 12 months later, just as much as we were when it was first released, probably even more so with all the questions we have. Who are Rey’s parents? Who is Snoke? just how did Ben Solo become Kylo Ren? and the most important question of all, why does Hux wear his belt so dang high!?

 

That now nicely brings us to the main topic of this article… the saddest moment in The Force Awakens. The saddest moment to me is something that, you may not first realize while watching the film. I saw the film twice in a row. I left the cinema and saw there was another showing and went straight back in and this idea didn’t hit me until a few days later when I was just thinking about everything I had seen.

Now, obviously while watching the film, seeing Han killed by his own son gets you right in the feels. I did think it was coming before I saw the film, especially when J.J. did confirm that a main character will die in the film. It was just a question of the logical choice really. Harrison Ford wanted Han killed off after Empire, and there were all sorts of rumors and reports that Harrison didn’t really want to reprise his role as everyone’s favorite smuggler, but that is neither here or there. Watching the film for the first time, reacting first time to the scenes in front of us, of course Kylo killing Han is the saddest part of the film, especially this striking, heart-wrenching moment…

Han touching his son’s face for the last time

 

Did Han know his son’s intentions? Did he feel that the only way to help his son was to make the ultimate sacrifice? The expression on Ben’s face after as well suggests a sense of regret perhaps? Did Han think that letting his son kill him would bring him back to the light? We many never know, but it is interesting that Kylo says…

”I’m being torn apart, I want to be free of this pain.”

Chewbacca

Han Solo dying made every Star Wars fan feel utterly terrible. No matter who is or isn’t your favorite character(s), everyone loved Han. Like I said, I had a strong feeling that it was going to happen and it still brought a tear to my eye. If I asked most people what they think is the saddest moment in The Force Awakens then I guess that nearly everyone will say this, but I would like to draw your attention to another moment in this film. It involves everyone’s favorite walking carpet, and again a character that every fan loves…Chewbacca

 

The saddest moment for me in  The Force Awakens is when Chewbacca shoots Kylo Ren. Now like I said, this is a thought I did not have straight away while watching the movie, but any truly great film will make you think long after you’ve seen it, and make you question your initial feelings and reactions. So why on earth is the saddest part when Han’s loyal best friend shoots his killer? Well because to Chewie, Ben Solo isn’t just Kylo Ren, the killer of his best friend… He is also the son of his best friend. Just take a minute and think about that, just think about the history between Chewbacca and the boy before the infamous Kylo Ren, Ben Solo. There would have been a time where Chewbacca would have been good old Uncle Chewie. He would have loved Ben like he was his own because Chewbacca and Han were more than just friends, they were family, they were brothers. Chewie would have been there when Ben was growing up, playing with him as a child, going on adventures with him and Han, looking after him, and trying to stop him from being sad when Han and Leia had been arguing (because let’s face it, they would have argued a lot). Even writing about this is pulling on the old heart-strings, Chewie loved Ben and would have been just as heartbroken as his parents when Ben fell to the Dark Side and then rose up as Kylo Ren. Below is an absolutely brilliant comic strip by the extremely talented Tyson Murphy that illustrates Uncle Chewie and Ben.

Saddest Star Wars The Force Awakens Moment

Tyson Murphy brilliantly captures the agonising decision Chewie had to make

After watching his best friend brutally killed by his own son, Chewie then makes the soul-crushing decision to shoot Kylo Ren. What must have been going through his head? A flood of memories from a happier time, which is perhaps why he didn’t shoot straight away? Chewbacca must have been overcome with emotion, the memories of the little boy he loved like his own, his best friend’s heartache when Ben fell to the Dark Side, the hope gone that the little boy he once loved could come back.  Chewie could have easily killed Kylo on that bridge, but he just couldn’t bring himself to slay his ‘nephew’. Killing Kylo Ren would also mean killing Ben Solo. Now if this wasn’t sad enough for us, we saw the effect all this had on Chewie when he was back at the Resistance base, with his head in his hand, quietly contemplating what had happened. I might have shed a tear when Han died, I was in full gone weeping when I saw Chewie that upset. 

I hope in Episode 8 we explore more about the history between Kylo Ren and Chewbacca. Will they meet? Will Kylo Ren again kill a member of his family to appease his new master, Supreme Leader Plagueis, sorry I mean Snoke.

 

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ILM Releases New Video Focusing on the CGI of The Force Awakens

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Industrial Lights & Magic Logo

Remember when everyone was so hyped about the fact that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was going back to the franchise’s roots?  It was going to feature practical effects to get everyone hyped about Star Wars again.  Well ILM just released this new video (via their youtube page), showing just a fraction of the CGI of The Force Awakens.

This video really makes you think, was all that rah-rah practical effects hype, just to get fans back on board a train that Disney thought had derailed?  Looking at this video, it seems most of the film (if not all) has some sort of CGI element to it.  In most scenes shown, it seems that they are 95% CGI.

One scene on the Finalizer actually features CGI TIE-Fighter Pilots and Stormtroopers walking around the deck, as Finn tries to free Poe Dameron.

Check out the video below and see what you think.  As always, leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

About Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Starring original cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker and franchise newcomers, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o and Max von Sydow, Star Wars Episode VII is now available on Blu-ray, Digital, and DVD.  You can purchase your copy at Amazon.com.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens Soundtrack Debuts at #5 on the Billboard top 200!

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The Force Awakens Soundtrack

Not only has Star Wars: The Force Awakens taken the box office by storm, but John Williams’ brilliant soundtrack for the movie is taking the Billboards by storm as well!  You can grab your copy of the soundtrack right now on Amazon for a mere $12.29!

You can find the press release below:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Original Motion Picture Soundtrack From Oscar®-Winning Composer John Williams Debuts At No. 5 On The Billboard 200 Chart

BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The original motion picture soundtrack for the record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens, featuring new score conducted and composed by five-time Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams, has entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 5, scanning over 100,000 equivalent album units in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The last and only all-score soundtrack to debut in the Top 5 was Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 1999.

The album is No. 1 on Billboard’s Soundtrack and Overall Classical Charts; at iTunes, peaked at No. 1 on the Soundtrack chart and No. 3 on the Overall Album chart; and at Amazon, the album is No. 1 on the Soundtrack chart and No. 2 on the Overall Digital Album chart.  Additionally, the album has over 10.3M streams on Spotify.

From Lucasfilm and visionary director J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has broken numerous box office records, most recently becoming the fastest film to reach $1 billion globally, a feat it accomplished in 12 days with over $540 million domestically and$550 million internationally. It posted the biggest debut in industry history with $248 milliondomestically and $529 million globally in its first weekend, as well as the biggest second weekend of all time domestically with $149.2 million.

Oscar®-winning composer John Williams’ ubiquitous Star Wars “Main Title” theme has become part of popular culture since it was first heard accompanying Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977.  It is no surprise that Williams’ orchestral compositions for Star Wars are among the most beloved and recognizable themes in cinematic history, from the classic “Main Title” theme introduced in Star Wars: A New Hope to the ominous “Imperial March” from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back to the stirring “Duel of the Fates” from the prequel trilogy.

After creating the scores for all six of the previous Star Wars films, Williams returns to compose and conduct his signature sweeping music for The Force Awakens.

Williams, whose career spans over six decades, has won five Academy Awards® and he has scored some of the most popular and critically acclaimed films of all time, includingJaws, the Indiana Jones franchise, the first three Harry Potter films, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Lincoln, Schindler’s List, and countless others.

The soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available wherever music is sold (http://smarturl.it/swtfa).

Enjoy Star Wars on repeat with the new official Star Wars radio on Apple Music Radio now. All Star Wars music on repeat, 24 hours a day: http://smarturl.it/starwarsradio.

Spotify is matching Star Wars fans’ character-inspired playlists based on their music tastes. Users and non-users alike can be matched up with a character playlist by going to http://smarturl.it/SWTFASpotifyMatch.

For more information on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, please visithttp://www.theforceawakens.com.  For more information on Walt Disney Records’releases, like us on Facebook.com/disneymusic or follow us atTwitter.com/disneymusic.  For more information on Disney Music Emporium, please visitDisneyMusicEmporium.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/disneymusicemporium or follow us at Twitter.com/DisneyMusicEmp.

SOURCE Walt Disney Records

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