Tag Archives: tarkin

Darth Vader Tries to Change his Name

Darth Vader was in a foul mood.

Several years ago, the Emperor had christened him “Darth Vader”. At the time he thought nothing of it, since he had so much stuff to do like ending the war and killing some younglings.

But now that he had run out of Jedi, Vader was finally able to give some thought to his name. For the first time, the dark lord of the Sith realized that “Darth Vader” sucked. Where the fuck did the Emperor get that name?

Plagueis was cool, like some sort of unstoppable disease. Sidious was terrifying, since Palpatine really was an insidious asshole. And Maul, that was downright bad-ass. But what the hell was a “Vader”? It sounded like a Dutch “father”, and Anakin knew he wasn’t a dad. Hell, he didn’t even have balls anymore.

Force-grabbing a pen and paper, the dark lord sat down at his desk and prepared to work.

Hmm. Let’s see:

Darth Awesome – Anakin knew he was awesome, he won the Boonta eve as a kid, ended the Clone Wars as a whiny teen, and his mom told him so. But it was still too cliche.

Darth Devastator – He could throw a pretty mean punch. But “devastator” was too long. Besides, it sounded like a star destroyer.

Darth Dude – Shorter and much simpler, but too generic.

darth vader surfboard_thumb[2]Darth Dude also made him sound like a surfer dude, and he hated sand.

Darth Choker – Too BDSM. And he was already in black leather.

Darth the Menace – Nope, too juvenile.

Darth Superior – Palpatine wouldn’t like it.

Darth Tall, Dark and Handsome – That fit him right to a T! Okay, maybe not the handsome part anymore. Fucking Obi-Wan.

Darth Ani – Padme would have called her that. If only she were still alive….

Darth Vader punched the desk. Fuck, this name shit is hard!

The door to his cabin chimed. It was a junior officer.

“Sir, a squadron of Rebel fighters are approaching the Death Star from Yavin IV,” the nervous flunky reported. “The Grand Moff requests your presence on the bridge.”

“Tell him I’m on my way.”

Figures. Every time he gets some alone time, another emergency pops up. He couldn’t even get a few minutes of peace to change his goddamn name!

With a sigh, Vader Force-crumpled the paper and stood up. He hoped there won’t be a dogfight… he was feeling really distracted today.

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Rogue One Trailer: The Frame-by-Frame Lowdown

There was a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of geeks cried out in awe, and were suddenly silenced.

The Rogue One trailer must have happened.

This is it. After months of endless speculation, the salivating masses of Star Wars fans finally got their first fill of Rogue One. And it’s beyond everything we ever hoped, and more.

Let’s take a look.

The opening shot shows Felicity Jones’ character Jyn Erson being led down a familiar ancient temple / hangar.

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As her list of crimes are read out, everything from forging Imperial documents to aggravated assault and resisting arrest, we see the group grilling her:

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Yes, that’s THE 1977 Mon Mothma, in the operations rooms of  Yavin IV!

Mon Mothma says Jyn is aggressive, reckless, and undisciplined, to which she replies, “This is a rebellion isn’t it? I rebel.” And the next shots show exactly that.

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After a montage of rebelling and kicking hapless stormtrooper ass, the sirens blare. We get our first look at Ben Mendelsohn’s villain.

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Is he a Grand Admiral? An ISB bigwig? The white opposite of Lando Calrissian? Who cares, that immaculate cape, chilling stare and mindblowing background  all combine to say “I have manners, impeccable taste, and a penchant for blowing up entire planets.”

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Next we see the height of the Empire, with stormtroopers strutting, citizens cowering and a new Hasbro toy lumbering down the streets.

But not everyone bows down. Here we see Jyn and a fellow saboteur running from something, along with the stripped down droid from earlier in the trailer:

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Why are they running? Because stormtroopers. And tan troopers.

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And don’t forget the famous Shadow Trooper, finally seen in action. (Side note: maybe black armor isn’t the best when fighting in jungle terrain).

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Our heroes fight back, blowing up a landing barge that looks closer to Kylo Ren’s shuttle than a Sentinel-class craft:

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In the aftermath, we see Mr. Immaculate Cloak striding down the body-strewn battlefield. While Tarkin and his ilk lead from the polished floors of the Death Star, this is one admiral who isn’t afraid to go down in the trenches and get dirty.

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But the carnage wasn’t limited to stormtroopers. As Jyn and her misfits rush through the tropics, they come face to face with the Empire’s towering monstrosities. We finally get to see the famous walking artillery in a landscape other than Hoth! (And with a shitty tan camouflage at that. Did the Empire really think they will blend in with those trees?)

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As Forest Whitaker asks, “If you continue to fight, what will you become?”, we see a final shot of Jyn disguised as either a TIE pilot, Death Star gunner, technician, or random guy who cleaned the detention-level toilets.

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A lot is riding on Rogue One. A billion dollars worth, to be exact. As the first Star Wars film to venture outside the main story arcs and John Williams, it will be the benchmark to see if further Star Wars stories can be spun independent of the trilogies.

But judging by this trailer alone, it looks like the dark lords of Disney already have a winner on their hands. This film is even more Star Wars than the The Force Awakens. Take a look at the many homages and incredible attention to detail packed in that one and a half-minute trailer.

For instance, that famous shadowtrooper mug has its roots in the EU’s dark trooper and Ralph McQuarrie’s original concepts:

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They even got the Star Destroyer right. The Imperator Mk 1-class in the opening scene of A New Hope was slightly different from its later sister ships in ESB and Return of the Jedi:

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And finally, take a look at the Yavin scene. Not even 20 seconds into the trailer, we’re already treated to several cameos: the bushy bearded General Dodonna, complete with the iconic Rebel roulette table that doubles as a countdown timer! Seeing this scene alone, approximately 500 geeks fainted.

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Despite being billed as a different, grittier version of Star Wars outside of the main stories, Rogue One may end up as being the most Star War-sy film outside of A New Hope. 

And that’s a good thing.