Posts Tagged ‘George Lucas’
Every year I look forward to the Star Wars weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It is one of the wonderful opportunities for philosophy, fantasy, ingenuity and the best aspects of human nature to converge at a palace of capitalism and celebrate the existence of one of the greatest stories of all time. I love the energy, optimism, and opportunity that Star Wars offers individuals and families everywhere. Many die-hard Star Wars fans converge every year in the middle of May to attend the fabulous Star Wars Weekend events. For those who cannot attend, I offer these clips from the spectacle taken during the opening day ceremonies on Friday, May 17, 2013.
Sit back, grab a snack and enjoy the fun and pleasure of entertainment shown in the videos below!
The Emperor is coming to the biggest Star Wars party in Europe, July 26-28, 2013 in Essen, Germany.
Ian McDiarmid, the actor who unforgettably played the evil galactic mastermind and the ultimate villain of the Star Wars Saga, will make a rare convention appearance at Star Wars Celebration Europe, appearing on-stage and signing autographs.
This summer’s event will mark the first Celebration in Europe at which the highly sought-after actor will appear to sign autographs and chat on the Celebration Stage, offering attendees a rare opportunity to hear about the making of Star Wars from his perspective.
In 1983, McDiarmid embodied the full depth of the dark side as the Emperor in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, his face hidden under intensive makeup and his eyes concealed behind yellow contact lenses. When his true face was revealed as the apparently kind and helpful Senator Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace (1999), he projected a different kind of evil – a subtle manipulator of galactic events, a villain hidden in plain sight. As the prequels progressed, so too did Palpatine’s plans until finally, in Revenge of the Sith (2005), McDiarmid got to play evil at its fullest, and revealed the true power of Darth Sidious.
Star Wars Celebrations bring fans of all ages together, from all points of the globe, to celebrate the pop-culture phenomenon that is Star Wars. From its young fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to die-hards fueled by the nostalgia for the original Star Wars trilogy; curious, casual followers; gamers, readers, costumers or collectors — there’s something for everyone at Celebration.
Tickets available now at http://www.starwarscelebration.eu/
Barack Obama is America’s Jeroboam: How History will treat the $17 trillion dollar deficit driving President
I wanted the opportunity to vote for Herman Cain in the 2012 election, so what I am about to say has nothing to do with Civil Rights advances, or even politics. The game that is being played is clear in a society that ridiculed Herman Cain ruthlessly, yet celebrated Barack Obama even though they are both African-Americans. The performance of President Obama during the last week of February 2013 before the sequester deadline, which was set by his administration two years prior, proves what many have all along feared about Obama, and I am convinced that history will remember the current presidency as not just an appalling failure, but a horrendous blip on the radar of American prosperity. It will be revealed that all along, Obama was a domestic terrorist at war with The American Constitution with an aim at radical destruction of prosperity in The United States to redistribute the wealth of America to the rest of the world, only to destroy the global economy in the process. There is no other explanation for the reckless campaigning Obama engaged in trying to evoke fear in federal workers ahead of the sequester deadline. What he has failed to report in his campaigning to federal workers is that even with the sequester cuts The United States is still spending more this year than it did last year pushing our national debt on a path toward $17 trillion. Obama is either a complete idiot, which is possible—or he is a domestic terrorist intentionally attempting to wreck the American economy forever. There really isn’t any other option, and that makes the situation in Washington a perilous one that may be the greatest threat to our Republic since the War of 1812.
If Obama proves in historical context, once the emotions of the day have quelled, to have been the later of the feared motivations, it would not have been the first time such a thing occurred. In Biblical history, Obama’s current path might most parallel the actions of Jeroboam who advanced his rule over Israel by means of perpetuating the division of the southern Kingdom of Judah. Obama like Jeroboam has spent his reign doing nothing but perpetuating war so that in the division would defeat his enemies so they could not rise up against him directly. Obama has no interest in controlling costs or leaving America better of a country than when he found it, and he seeks to destroy all opposition to him through the kind of antics that history has seen time and time again. But these mechanisms are invisible to the modern television viewer who believes that Obama’s presidency is about proving America has overcome its follies in a post Civil War America. But the strategic intent is much, much more sinister.
So who was Jeroboam? Here is what Wikipedia offers:
Jeroboam pron.: /ˌdʒɛrəˈboʊ.əm/ (Hebrew: יָרָבְעָם yarobh`am, Greek: Ιεροβοάμ Hieroboam) was the first king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel after the revolt of the ten northern Israelite tribes against Rehoboam that put an end to the United Monarchy.
Jeroboam was the son of Nebat (Douay-Rheims: Nabat), a member of the Tribe of Ephraim of Zereda. His mother, named Zeruah was a widow (and could have been leprous, as her name translates; 1 Kings 11:26) He had at least two sons — Abijam and Nadab, who succeeded him on the throne.
Influenced by the words of the prophet Ahijah (1 Kings 11:29-39), he began to form conspiracies with the view of becoming king of the ten tribes; but these were discovered, and he fled to Egypt, where he remained under the protection of pharaoh Shishak until the death of Solomon. On the death of Solomon, Rehoboam assumed the throne. However, the ten northern tribes revolted against his rule and invited Jeroboam to become their king. The conduct of Rehoboam favored the designs of Jeroboam, and he was accordingly proclaimed “king of Israel”.
He rebuilt and fortified Shechem as the capital of his kingdom. He at once adopted means to perpetuate the division with the southern Kingdom of Judah. He erected at Dan and Bethel, the two extremities of his kingdom, “golden calves,” which he set up as symbols of God, enjoining the people not any more to go up to worship at Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, but to bring their offerings to the shrines he had erected.
Thus he became distinguished as the man “who made Israel to sin.” This policy was followed by all the succeeding kings of Israel.
According to 1 Kings 13:1-6, while Jeroboam was engaged in offering incense at Bethel, a “man of God” warned him that “a son named Josiah will be born to the house of David” who would destroy the altar (referring to King Josiah of Judah who would rule approximately three hundred years later). Attempting to arrest the prophet for his bold words of defiance, Jeroboam’s hand was “dried up,” and the altar before which he stood was rent asunder. At his urgent entreaty his “hand was restored him again” (1 Kings 13:1-6, compare 2 Kings 23:13-16); but the miracle made no abiding impression on him. This “man of God” who warned Jeroboam has been equated with a seer named Iddo.
He was in constant “war with the house of Judah”. While the southern kingdom made no serious effort to militarily regain power over the north, there was a long-lasting boundary dispute, fighting over which lasted during the reigns of several kings on both sides before being finally settled.
In the eighteenth year of Jeroboam’s reign, Abijah, Rehoboam’s son, became king of Judah. During his short reign of three years, Abijah went to considerable lengths to bring the Kingdom of Israel back under his control. He waged a major battle against Jeroboam in the mountains of Ephraim. Biblical sources credit Abijah with having a force of 400,000 and Jeroboam having 800,000. The Biblical sources mention that Abijah addressed the armies of Israel, urging them to submit and to let the Kingdom of Israel be whole again, but his plea fell on deaf ears. Abijah then rallied his own troops with a phrase which has since become famous: “Jehovah (God) himself is with us for a captain (commander of the army).” As per the Bible His elite warriors fended off a pincer movement to rout Jeroboam’s troops — killing 500,000 of them.
Jeroboam was crippled by this severe defeat to Abijah and posed little threat to the Kingdom of Judah for the rest of his reign. He also lost the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, with their surrounding villages. Bethel was an important centre for Jeroboam’s Golden Calf cult (which used non-Levites as priests), located on Israel’s southern border, which had been allocated to the Tribe of Benjamin by Joshua, as was Ephron, which is believed to be the Ophrah that was allocated to the Tribe of Benjamin by Joshua.
Jeroboam died soon after Abijam.
Bill O’Reilly as a journalist is someone I respect tremendously. He attempts to call things as straight as he can, which is why he is one of the most trusted news sources around today. I don’t always agree with him, but he really works to get to the truth of an issue. O’Reilly recently tackled the view that history might take upon gazing at Obama’s Presidency, and it was very good. O’Reilly covered the topic on one of his Talking Points Memos heard during the same week of Obama’s campaigning during February. O’Reilly uses less colorful language than I do, but his essence is much the same and is worth reading for just the statistics alone.
How will history view President Obama:
By Bill O’Reilly
In just a few days automatic federal spending cuts might kick in. That is known as “the sequester”, a word we don’t like here at The Factor because it’s a word few understand and it’s largely meaningless.
The issue is very, very simple. President Obama does not want to cut federal spending without another tax increase. Republicans say no way, they are not going to continue to feed the federal spending colossus as can be seen clearly by the following quotes:
OBAMA: Most Americans — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — understand that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE IN BUDGET HEARINGS: I want to disagree with those who say we have a spending problem.
REP. NANCY PELOSI: So it is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem. We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address.
SEN. MARY LANDRIEU: I am not going to keep cutting the discretionary budget, which, by the way, is not out of control, despite what you hear on Fox News.
O’REILLY: Senator Landrieu and others are simply wrong. The federal spending is certainly out of control. The debt is approaching $17 trillion.
Here is how bad it is. In 2003 the U.S. spent just above $2 trillion. This year, the estimated spending will be $3.6 trillion, a 75 percent rise in spending in a 10-year period with no inflation.
And what do we have to show for all that spending? The economy is not much better. The poverty rate is about the same as it was 50 years ago. And salaries for working people are going down.
So why are we spending all the money? For what reason? I’ll tell you why. Take a look at this chart put out by the Pew Research Center. It says 48 percent of Americans want smaller government and fewer services. But among Hispanics, only 19 percent want smaller government and fewer services. A whopping 75 percent of Latinos surveyed approve of bigger government and more entitlements. That’s why President Obama is spending the money because he knows that a coalition of African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, organized labor, and committed liberals will overwhelm the Republican Party.
So in essence, the President is putting party politics above the good of the nation. History will record that and a few years from now when President Obama’s administration is evaluated historians will not care about his charisma, his co-opting of the press or his demeanor in general. No. History will look at the facts. And the facts are that the USA is on the road to bankruptcy. And when that happens, if it does, President Obama will be blamed.
Previous presidents like Van Buren, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover all got hammered because of perceived bad economic policies. The fact is that right now Barack Obama is in that historical category. And that’s a fact.
And that’s “The Memo.”
- You can catch Bill O’Reilly’s “Talking Points Memo” weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obama’s forgetfulness of his sequestration deadline, which was set by The White House, reminds me most of the Popeye the Sailor character of Wimpy, who was famous for saying, “I’ll pay your Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Well, Tuesday is here, and Obama doesn’t want to pay for his hamburgers. Instead, he wants another loan for more hamburgers to be paid on many future Tuesdays, and it is hard to believe that anybody could be so stupid, unless they have deliberate intentions of collapsing the American economy.
Historically speaking, it appears that Obama will be viewed equally as Jeroboam, an intention divider of The United States for aims of power and wealth redistribution using Saul Alinsky tactics to execute the aims of Cloward and Piven. Unlike the times of Jeroboam, armies are not on hand to fight in hand to hand combat as factions meet on the battlefield to keep people like Jeroboam in power. These days’ armies are congregated in board rooms and banks. The new arrows of combat are check books and debt. The intent of battle and war in general is to force an opponent into concessions through violence, sanctions, or political manipulation. Obama is not even trying to work with Republicans, instead, he is attacking, and attacking, and attacking at every opportunity while running up a tremendous debt with the recklessness of Wimpy, except he never seems to have a desire to even pay on Tuesday. The intent appears to be complete fiscal collapse and that would be considered domestic terrorism which is something all Americans should guard against. Trying to invoke fear into political opponents and the masses behind them can be termed in no other way, and in this case exceeds the parameters of normal political theater. The level that Obama is attempting to carry the divisiveness of modern politics appears to have the same aim as Jeroboam, and will be remembered as such. The evidence is clear, and cannot be ascertained in any other fashion, unless of course Obama is just a complete fool that is as reckless in his designs as an intoxicated gambler on a Saturday night. Either way, history will not be kind to Barack Obama. The only question is whether America survives such a parasite as sixteen years of progressive rule on top of another eight that have severed half the nation from the values they had always held before the election of 1992. It is easy to see the demise in historical context over decades. But not so easy to see in the immediacy of the moment, which is the strategy of war played in modern politics, and seems to be the motivation of Barack Obama, the modern version of Jeroboam. The severed tribes of Obama are Hispanics, women, African-Americans, union leaders, the poor, the un-ambitious, and the government worker being paid extraordinary sums for a job the tax payer does for nearly half the same market value money. It is war that Obama is conducting and in order to continue that war, he needs more irresponsible spending and a government that will grow by another 100% in the coming years till America is no better than Europe economically. The slate of the world will then be wiped clean for Socialist International to step in and rule us all through the United Nations. That appears to be the intentions of America’s modern version of Jeroboam.
Many enemies work behind a cloak of good intentions, but most of them have other ideas concealed deep in their social plots. Evil is sometimes a point of view, and what might be evil for America might provoke sainthood among the advocates of global government. A rival team might be considered evil if they score a touchdown beating the hometown favorite—but the actions behind Obama are much worse than these kinds of trivial competitions. He is attacking every single American for seemingly ideological reasons, either through reckless stupidity or deliberate sabotage. But History will grade Obama a failure either way and a menace to all of civilization as they attempt to dig out from underneath the years of Obama with more than shovels. History will place Obama with the terrorists Jeroboam and the worst of the Roman Emperors. Such a legacy will outlast the political whims of the modern age, and will forever be viewed with the same kind of sinister sentiment as our current times view Stalin, Mao, and every tyrant who has so far breathed and walked the Earth. Obama will forever be just another brick in the road to tyranny that threatened the freedoms of every individual in the entire world with soul crushing debt recklessly applied to achieve a military victory long ago hatched in the living room of college Marxist professors in the glory days of being a “community organizer,” where the weak hearts of the great American enemy was discussed over mixed drinks and cigarettes to great effect and long-term strategy.
As I have said on many occasions, I would recommend my readers here watch Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Saturday mornings at 9:30. They aren’t just for kids, and are great family entertainment. But never more than this upcoming Saturday. The wonderful animated series will conclude in very dramatic fashion that many who read here often will find parallels my work here all to closely. Art is often the best representative of complex ideas, and when it comes to The Clone Wars, that has never been more true.
Ahsoka, one of the premier Jedi Knights who has defended the Old Republic valiantly has been set up by the mysterious unseen actions of a Sith Lord, which isn’t revealed fully until the actions in the feature film Revenge of the Sith, which was released by Lucasfilm into movie theaters in 2005.
The shocking finale to Season 5 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars has arrived, with major revelations that will leave characters forever changed. Ahsoka is wrongly accused for sedition and murder, and is to be prosecuted in the High Courts of the Galactic Republic by a zealous Admiral Tarkin. Seemingly abandoned, Ahsoka’s last hope lies in Anakin Skywalker, who hunts the Coruscant underworld for the real murderer in “The Wrong Jedi,” Saturday, March 2nd at 9:30am ET/PT on Cartoon Network.
This episode – the culmination of five years of development of Ahsoka Tano’s character and her relationship with Anakin – is personally helmed by Dave Filoni, who serves as episodic director in addition to being the supervising director for the series. Underscoring the significance of the finale, composer Kevin Kiner arranged an orchestral score for this episode to better resemble the full, classical score found in the Star Wars feature films.
Stuart Freeborn died at 98 years old recently, but he will forever live in the character of Yoda from the popular Star Wars stories. Freeborn was already an old man when he designed Yoda as a character puppet in 1979 for the Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back and without question put many of his own features into the face of the great science fiction philosopher. It doesn’t take much imagination to see Stuart Freeborn in the face of Yoda as the character has evolved from a puppet to a digital character in the prequel trilogies to the current fantastic cartoon series Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network. Yoda is the embodiment of Stuart Freeborn and will reflect for all the years going forth the best that the movie business has to contribute to the magic of mythmaking. For the latest incantation of Stuart Freeborn’s creation you can see Yoda this Saturday February 9th, 2013 in the latest Clone Wars episode filled the with the usual perilous drama mixed with political betrayals that aren’t so science fiction if placed in parallel to our current society.
I place a high level of credit for the success of Star Wars on the back of Stuart Freeborn. If the puppet he designed didn’t work in The Empire Strikes Back, the movie would have fallen on its face stopping the saga in its tracks after the second movie. The gamble that George Lucas took with his own money to make that classic science fiction film would have went up in flames if the audience did not accept Yoda as a believable character and all the magic that is currently falling like snow flakes upon our culture today. Star Wars would have gone out like a candle flame on a brisk day almost before it ever got started.
I have covered in great detail, especially lately Star Wars importance not just mythologically—which equates out to cultural improvements–but in economics. I am sure George Lucas and his collaboration with other filmmakers would cringe in trying to explain to their Marin County neighbors how what they’ve done at Skywalker Ranch in California has a lot more to do with Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged than the traditional Hollywood moochers who attempt to duplicate the quality of the Star Wars Franchise. As the political left hates Ayn Rand, it is obvious that quietly in the rolling hills of Central California, the values of Ayn Rand are celebrated in great abundance at Skywalker Ranch under hushed voices and public denials. The falsification is that Ayn Rand was a selfish witch and that Star Wars is about self-sacrifice and altruism. That is why everyone gets it wrong. The growing assembly of excellent creative talent gathering at Skywalker Ranch from Industrial Light and Magic to some of the most original music composition in our modern times is leaps and bounds beyond anything else being done in entertainment. As far as make-up designers Stuart Freeborn was the best of the best and his impact on human culture will forever be measured by his original designs in Star Wars characters like Yoda and Chewbacca. Freeborn like the wonderful characters in Ayn Rand’s great novel is one of the exceptional in his field of endeavor and it was ultimately George Lucas’s creation that allowed Freeborn the freedom to step beyond the restrictions of social dogma and unleash creations that propel the power of myth into mass culture with magnificently positive results.
The same people who complain that the Disney merger with Lucasfilm is one of a deplorable exploitation of capitalism also complain about the moral justification of Ayn Rand’s novels—particularly Atlas Shrugged. These personalities have been so embedded with socialism and the values of collectivism that they are unable to see the real power and message behind myth and the businesses it takes to deliver them. I have spoken about a vacation that my wife and I took playing the MMO video game Star Wars: The Old Republic (CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW). We spent move than six weeks continuously enjoying that game for hours upon hours every day together doing the work of the Jedi Council by solving problems in that galaxy far, far away. One of the problems with the massive BioWare game is that they have an XP (experience points) level cap of 50, which takes most players who spend a large amount of time on the game about two months to reach. Obsessive players can reach that cap within a month. At level 50, XP points no longer awarded, and for many they lose interest in the game because they no longer get the reward of earning XP for their game playing investments. So these players have been dropping their subscriptions forcing BioWare to find creative ways to convince players over level 50 to continue their memberships. This is what is called “game economy” and reflects accurately real life behavior. If citizens are taxed too much, or do not get to keep what they earn while working, they stop working, they stop being productive, and every kind creative input comes to a halt. Without incentives, gamers in The Old Republic lose interest if they can’t earn XP or large amounts of game credits and things to buy with them. Gamers who drop their subscriptions when they lose interest in playing the game without earning XP are proving Ayn Rand correct when the heroes of the classic novel Atlas Shrugged quit participating in America because taxes became too great. They abandoned socialism in the book and embraced the freedom of Galt’s Gulch (Atlantis).
Star Wars is all about generating wealth, not just in the economic numbers that the films, books, television shows, and retail merchandise generate for Lucasfilm and Disney as major corporations. But wealth is also generated as so many people desire the material, because they NEED mythologies that properly reflect the world they live in. CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE POWER OF MYTH. The move that Lucas made in selling his company to Disney was one that would allow him to expand the Star Wars mythology to fulfill the market demands of his product, which in many ways resided on the shoulders of Stuart Freeborn over thirty years ago. If George Lucas is the John Galt of the Star Wars saga—READ ATLAS SHRUGGED TO UNDERSTAND, then Stuart Freeborn was the Hank Reardon who made a product so good that nobody could equal his efforts—and the power of that creation is about to explode upon our modern culture in a way that is unfathomable. Trust me.
This is why I am spending so much time discussing Star Wars. There is nothing in our culture that captures all the elements of modern life the way that Star Wars mythology does not just spiritually, but economically, politically, and ethically. On both the business side of Star Wars and the creative side it represents the very best of the absolute best of all those individuals who make the Disney company, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic and the dozens and dozens of support companies that trickle down off them the best in their businesses. It should come as no surprise that the values of Yoda as expressed in the Star Wars stories are so popular that stand alone films of Stuart Freeborn’s characters are going to get their own films in addition to the completion of Episodes 7, 8, and 9. Yoda is getting his own film apparently, and Han Solo and Chewbacca are getting their own films in addition to the Joe Johnston creation of Boba Fett.
It is because of creative geniuses like Stuart Freeborn that Yoda has become over a thirty year period such a powerful character who might well surpass Mickey Mouse as the most recognizable iconic character in human history. Yoda was created by a wise old man who went on to live till the age of 98 and brought joy to many millions during his lifetime. But in his passing, Stuart Freeborn will live on and become stronger than anybody can possibly imagine, as his character of Yoda will carry Star Wars into a new dimension of entertainment experience in producing the myths that society lives by giving a rebirth to a new and prosperous century that nobody saw coming.
How do I know? Well, read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and understand that “A is A.” Once the value of “A” is known, then the addition of values can be added up and determined as an end result. Star Wars is about values in every way that they can be defined. And the grandfather of those values were people like Stuart Freeborn. He will be missed, but his memory will live on forever—like all Jedi who find themselves one with the Force.
One of the only television shows that my wife and I watch on a regular basis is Star Wars: Clone Wars that broadcasts each Saturday morning on the Cartoon Network. For science fiction based cartoons, I find them deeply entertaining, and exceptionally dramatic. They are also quite intelligent, and gorgeous to look at as separate pieces of art. I enjoy the sights, sounds and morality displayed within the Star Wars universe, particularly The Clone Wars animated series. I love them all, but recently after a particularly powerful episode in the middle of Season 5 director Dave Filoni proved that he’s not afraid to display his skills and episode leadership into an epic direction that I don’t think has ever been done for a show directed at children. They didn’t make cartoons like this when I was a kid, that’s for sure. After the February 2, 2013 episode arrived at 9:30 AM, which I displayed the press release sent from Lucasfilm, (CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW) Dave and the cast and crew had a Google Hangout meeting where fans of the show could chime in and learn more about what is in store for the rest of Season 5 and Star Wars in general. You can see that hour long meeting in full at the video below.
The episode they spent so much time talking about in the Google Meeting is called The Lawless. It was quite spectacular. It’s hard to believe that Dave and his crew was able to cover such a large expanse of story in just over 20 minutes, but the results are exceptional by any standard of cinema endeavor. I hope Star Wars: Clone Wars sticks around for a while, because after 5 years of broadcasting, they are every bit as good if not better than when they first aired in the late summer of 2008 with the feature film of the same name. Dave Filoni is a wonderful Star Wars director that in the context of history will give J.J. Abrams a run for his money in the magic and lore that has become the Star Wars Mythology. I am looking forward to many more future episodes so I can watch them with my grandson and introduce him to such a vast wilderness of ideas that is Star Wars in a morality play that is unequaled in the history of the world.
Obi Wan Kenobi must rescue the woman he loves from the manipulative clutches of Darth Maul on the planet Mandalore. With Duchess Satine as bait, the vengeful Darth Maul lures Obi-Wan into a trap. Drunk with power, Maul declares himself the true Sith Lord, a claim that will not go unanswered in “The Lawless” airing this Saturday, February 2nd at 9:30am ET/PT on Cartoon Network.
· This episode marks the first appearance of Darth Sidious “in the flesh.” In all other appearances, he has been a hologram.
· Obi-Wan Kenobi is wearing his Rako Hardeen disguise (from Season Four’s “Deception” arc) when he arrives on Mandalore.
· The much battered Twilight now sports a cartoonish illustration of Anakin as a boy Podracer pilot, with Aurebesh text that says “WIZARD!!!” The Twilight has not been seen since Season Two’s “Children of the Force.”
J.J. Abrams to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′: Kickstarting a new age with DYNAMITE peppered with TNT
As readers here know, I am a tremendous Star Wars fan. For my thoughts on Star Wars and the future implication of that vast mythological story, CLICK HERE. It goes without saying that the below press release I just received from Lucasfilm is news that I think is very valuable. I hold mythology as being far more important than politics, and considering how much time I spend on politics, that should emphasize my thoughts accurately. In my family, we relish mythology above and beyond all other transitory values, because the temperament of politics rolls in and out like the tide of an ocean, but mythology shapes society contextually and deserves a long view commitment. I have great hope for the future of Star Wars and the impact it will have on young people everywhere. So I am very, VERY proud that J.J. Abrams will be the next director of Star Wars: Episode 7. He was my deepest wish for this project, and I am happy to present the following press release as it was sent to me:
“Star Wars Is Being Kick-Started with Dynamite”
J.J. Abrams to Direct Star Wars: Episode VII
After a bevy of emails and phone calls, the formalities have been wrapped up, and at long last everyone can exhale and properly share the word with an excited Internet. Yes, J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII, the first of a new series of Star Wars films to come from Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy. Abrams will be directing and Academy Award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay.
“It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie,” said Kennedy. “J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.”
George Lucas went on to say “I’ve consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He’s an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn’t be in better hands.”
“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
J.J., his longtime producing partner Bryan Burk, and Bad Robot are on board to produce along with Kathleen Kennedy under the Disney | Lucasfilm banner.
Also consulting on the project are Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg. Kasdan has a long history with Lucasfilm, as screenwriter on The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg was writer on Sherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
Abrams and his production company Bad Robot have a proven track record of blockbuster movies that feature complex action, heartfelt drama, iconic heroes and fantastic production values with such credits as Star Trek, Super 8, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, and this year’s Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams has worked with Lucasfilm’s preeminent postproduction facilities, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, on all of the feature films he has directed, beginning with Mission: Impossible III. He also created or co-created such acclaimed television series as Felicity, Alias, Lost and Fringe.
Abrams is the director of one of my favorite monster movies of all time, Cloverfield. So I’m going to go get in line for Star Wars Episode 7 right now.
Because I think it’s going to be epic………………………………….it will be what you get when you mix dynamite with a side dish of TNT. What you get is……………THUNDERSTRUCK. And soon the magic of J.J. Abrams will strike us all.
The picture above is a fan design shown at Star Wars Celebration V of a future theme park that appears to be much more than fantasy now that Disney has purchased the long treasured franchise. This is significant because as I stated in my previous article about how George Lucas is the greatest anthropologist ever, I discussed why Star Wars is so important to the advancement of mankind.
If there is a great hope that I have for the future of civilization, it is in the philosophy advocated through Star Wars to the mass population, and specifically the youth. My views on this prompted Matt Clark and I to discuss the issue on WAAM Radio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In the story arch of Star Wars it is not about just one character, or even one family. It is a very encompassing idea that is nearly as complicated as Greek Mythology and is about the fundamental conflicts of a philosophy that embodies pure aggression and conquest against another focused on understanding. Within the story arcs done up to this point not only in the movies but the novels governments and the politicians behind them rise and fall many times, but always the heroes prevail through tenacity to give rise to another day. The one primary consistency in Star Wars is the prevalence of the Jedi Knights to always be present to offer logic and solutions, even when they find themselves enemies of the current political regimes. Sometimes they are on the right side of history as honored heroes, and sometimes they are fugitives fighting for their very existence, so whenever a long view is needed, Star Wars is a great mythology to partake in.
Under Disney it is my hope that Star Wars explodes culturally, not to make everyone sick of it, but in today’s tumultuous political climates and social atmosphere there really isn’t any other story that paints such a clear picture of right and wrong than Star Wars. At its roots, Star Wars is an old-fashioned story that paints the picture of moral dilemmas exceptionally well. It is my great hope that Star Wars under Disney ends up on cartoon stations, live action television and as many feature films that can be churned out from now till the end of time—because the essence of what Star Wars is about is good for society—because it invokes “thinking.”
So a theme park like the one shown above is not far off, and when it comes, I see big—positive things happening on a scale never seen before in any entertainment venture. To my thinking there is nothing more powerful in human society than the myths people live by. No invention of the human mind—be it cars, airplanes, electricity—anything, has the power of a great story. And Star Wars is a big story about big ideas. When the theme park is built, it will allow for the first time visitors to not only live out these big ideas within the context of a movie, or a book, but to walk around in these environments in a way that has never before been possible except with the massive resources of a big company that does great good like the Walt Disney Company.
When the new Star Wars Park opens, I will be one of the first in line with my entire family and I will be extremely excited to be there among the magic that perpetuates great ideas, and wonderful philosophy placed in a context that has significant social application. In my house we have over 265 novels and junior novels that capture the epic story of Star Wars with a literary legacy that is unparalleled. I have read most of them, my wife has read them all, and we will use those books to bring huge ideas to our growing family. It is a great relief to us to see that Star Wars will always be there for the decades to come and will become more of a reality than the fantasy that it currently is within our lifetimes.
I appreciate the support my readers here provide by clicking on the pictures below. The support expands life in ways that will ultimately create the means to boundless imagination. For a sample of such projects, click here and witness one of my ever reaching projects.
In the small political battles of our day—the ones over which idea is better than the other, I see such conflicts to be minor squabbles in the scheme of existence. I prefer always the long view of looking at big things with much distance between myself and the object so I can see the situation clearly. When I have to engage against competing tribes of political view who attempt to interrupt my enjoyment of the long view I am all too happy to display their conquered scalps as trophies of war, but I am very aware that such things are small insignificant victories upon the tapestry of living. When battles are raging around you, political or otherwise, there are only two choices, win or become a victim. Choosing not to play is a choice towards becoming a victim.
I will have to thank my friend over at the Atlas Shrugged site Galt’s Gulch, Dr. Brett for being the first to break the news to me that Lucasfilm had been sold to Disney for $4 billion dollars. As any who read here clearly know, I think a lot of Star Wars, and specifically George Lucas, so the news that Lucas has officially hung up a company he built all his life as a sole proprietor was very sad for me, almost as sad as losing a loved one to a death. I respect deeply the creative environment that Lucas utilized to build Star Wars into one of the most recognizable names in the entire world. I respect all the companies of George Lucas because he maintained his ownership of them the way he should have, and he never yielded to pressure to make his films into anything but what they are. He reserved his right to make films like Howard the Duck which were bombs, but he also made wonderfully powerful films like Tucker: A Man and His Dreams, Willow, and of course the Indiana Jones series which has changed dramatically the entire field of archaeology and anthropology. But it was and is Star Wars that made all those films possible, films that couldn’t be made by anybody else no matter how big the studio or the personalities behind them were.
It might seem that no amount of news could eclipse the massive Hurricane Sandy that had shut down the eastern United States, but news that Star Wars was now under the tent of the Disney Company eclipsed the tragedy of that event–even of the presidential elections. The news that Star Wars was now owned by Disney and that the company fully intended to make more Star Wars films rocked the world of Twitter, Facebook and news organizations all over the world with shock and awe.
I grew up with Star Wars; I raised my family on Star Wars. Star Wars is one of the great sacred bonds that my wife and I share. We love it, have watched the movies thousands of times, and read all the books. In fact, she has read every single Star Wars book ever written. They take up an entire section of our home. I enjoy watching Family Guy primarily because of all the parodies that Seth McFarland has done as a tribute to Star Wars. I get along most with Star Wars geeks and adults who aren’t afraid to admit that they love the films. My father-in-law and I have always shared an intense love for Star Wars. My nephews and I have stayed up entire nights playing Star Wars video games, and those memories still bond us as busy adults. Star Wars is always a dominate topic at every Christmas and Thanksgiving Dinner on both sides of the family. It is also the most commonly given gift for birthdays and Christmas in my family on both sides for over 30 years now. For me the love of the films are not an immature reach for eternal youth and fantasy, but rather, the long view at philosophy and life in general that they offer against the backdrop of fantasy in a far away time and space that allows ideas to reside in neutral territory. I find it repulsive when some fans accuse George Lucas of turning Star Wars into simply a cash cow, or that he sold out to the big and powerful Disney—allowing his sole creation to be turned over to some evil empire of the Disney Company. They simply don’t understand the situation and how the dots connect.
I have spent considerable time explaining at this site Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom why some people believe making money is bad—where those ideas came from, and actually how they hold society back. This is why I propose that Ayn Rand’s ideas are far more relevant philosophically for mankind than Karl Marx and that if one idea must be refined philosophically over another it should be those of Rand over Marx. Those reflections can be heard clearly in the opinions of Star Wars by the general public, but one thing that Star Wars does is unite people who would otherwise not be able to talk politics.
For instance, many of the writers of The Huffington Post who might argue with me about the merits of socialism versus capitalism share a love and passion for Star Wars. Many who believe that Star Wars is just a movie don’t understand why it is such a phenomena, but Star Wars is not just a movie intending to make money, but a tool that George Lucas has utilized to create the most important, and powerful mythology human civilization has ever known and it is intended to take Earth from a .7 Type Civilization that it is now, to a Type 1 Civilization on it’s way to an accelerated Type 2 with an intent to become a Type 3 and still have a basic philosophy that will hold up to such an expansion. For people who think Star Wars is just a silly movie, they do not understand that the foundation blocks of any civilization is its basic philosophy that is reinforced by its mythology, and Star Wars created by George Lucas is intended to be a giant mythology. Disney as a company envisioned by Uncle Walt was created to interpret and communicate mythology to the world, not to just make money. What most people miss due to the fact that they have been taught to hate money is that Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Company have billions of dollars of value between them because they offer a very good product—but the value of that product is cultural enrichment through mythological creation that improves the general philosophy of all human beings. While it is true that Star Wars is geared for children, the messages within that mythology contribute greatly to the improvement of world-wide philosophy. Lucas and Disney both as heads of their companies have managed to perfectly bring together two important attributes necessary to human survival, the ability to produce wealth, and to use that wealth to dramatically improve the living conditions of mankind.
The limits so far with Star Wars is that George Lucas has been the “brand” of his company. He has become so big that anything done in Star Wars as a story, because they are so important mythically speaking to so many millions of people, is distracting, even limiting. I believe Lucas being the “way ahead of the curve” kind of guy that he is has recognized this and has positioned his company, its employees, and the product of Star Wars itself through the television experiment of Clone Wars on the Cartoon Network to make this move with Disney at a very reasonable price. Disney, as a giant company with no direct face that is the “brand” can take Star Wars to places it could not otherwise go being headed by George Lucas. Disney has the ability to build an entire Star Wars park so visitors can actually walk around in the Star Wars Universe. They can expand on the television, the movies, even the video games. Disney has the power to take Star Wars from a household name and make it a room to room name within that household.
To understand why I think this move to Disney for Star Wars might have a severe impact for the positive it would require knowledge of George Lucas as I have, so to know what he is most likely thinking. Back in the 1990’s George Lucas was a board member for The Joseph Campbell Foundation who was being carried on by Campbell’s wife Jean after Campbell’s death of which I was also a member. Lucas has always been interested in using Star Wars to bring young people to the study of comparative religion and world mythology studies. Few people know it, but Lucas always wanted to be an Anthropologist and books like The Golden Bough and The Hero with A Thousand Faces had a powerful impact on him as a youth and he has always planned to use Star Wars as a way to introduce youth to higher philosophical concepts. To understand to what extent Lucas has been committed to this just look at his company Lucas Learning. I would bet everything I have and everything I ever obtain on the notion that Lucas has intentionally planned to inspire young people to reach for the stars with the stories of Star Wars in fields of science, medicine, politics, art, virtually every aspect of society, and Lucas has done this as an anthropology/archaeology enthusiast, not as a film maker. Lucas, never really wanted to be a film maker, but instead used film making to communicate his interest in cultural studies. It is his interest in anthropology that gives the Star Wars Universe such a rich texture, that far exceeds any other science fiction endeavor so far to date. And I believe the result of this investment Lucas has made in civilization will be the necessary mythological tool that is needed to continue the social evolution into a Type 1 Civilization where religious barriers, scientific limitations, and politics get in the way of arriving at these necessary human advancements. This was why George Lucas made Episodes 1 through 3 the way he did about Galactic Republics and the demise of governments in spite of the efforts of the noble Jedi Knights. Lucas solved the political problems of his galaxy that has embraced laissez-faire capitalism but is not regulated by untrustworthy politicians, by using Jedi Knights who are governed by a deep commitment to philosophy, not crony capitalism that goes on between gangsters, pirates and politicians, to maintain order.
In a 1964 article on searching for extraterrestrial civilizations, the Soviet astronomer Nikolai Kardashev suggested using radio telescopes to detect energy signals from other solar systems in which there might be civilizations of three levels of advancement: Type 1 can harness all of the energy of its home planet; Type 2 can harvest all of the power of its sun; and Type 3 can master the energy from its entire galaxy.
Based on our energy efficiency at the time, in 1973 the astronomer Carl Sagan estimated that Earth represented a Type 0.7 civilization on a Type 0 to Type 1 scale. (More current assessments put us at 0.72.) As the Kardashevian scale is logarithmic — where any increase in power consumption requires a huge leap in power production — we have a ways before 1.0.
Fossil fuels won’t get us there. Renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal are a good start, and coupled to nuclear power could eventually get us to Type 1. More info can be found at this article.
Nothing ever starts until the human mind can behold the concept. From there, invention and personal innovation will bridge the gaps. Currently, politically, our global societies are locked between a struggle between individualism and collectivism as political systems of all types are struggling to maintain the former power bases of class society indentured to resources controlled by the very few, whether that few are crony capitalists, socialists, pirates, thieves, looters, or kingdoms. The future is moving away from these kinds of regionalized controls and the internet is the first step in that particular direction. But there are still religions that are standing in the way of life expectancy and medicine, and governments that are restricting space travel as the human race is pushing violently against the limits of the past. Star Wars is a giant leap forward, but at the same time, into the past so to join in the minds of mankind with the possibilities of now. In Star Wars the galaxy they are living in is coming close to a Type 3 as they are able to travel across the entire Galaxy through hyperspace routes that are like intergalactic highways through worm holes in space. Such a concept is scientifically viable and scientists are beginning to seriously think about such things—because of Star Wars. And the utilization of the religious aspect of Star Wars, which is the Force follows many aspects that are just being discovered in quantum mechanics and presents them in story form in ways that human minds can find a practical use in the randomness of ideas. I could literally go on and on about this type of thinking, but in short, Star Wars is a big galaxy that has a lot of very fresh ideas in it from communication devices to propulsion systems, and those scientific concepts are quickly finding their way into the everyday lives of our current civilization.
Further, Disney as a company is about to do something that I think Walt Disney always fantasized about–it is about to take a bold step forward from a market driven motion picture market place and become a truly world power that will benefit the lives of the entire planet. For instance, China because it is a communist country only allows 10 foreign films to show in their country per year, which is actually a big step for them. The people of China are already looking forward to the next installment of Iron Man that is gearing up for a tremendous 2013 release—again another property by Disney who is uniquely positioned to take such a powerful mythology as the Marvel Comic properties and present them to a world hungry for the ideas in those stories. This is greatly helping China become more and more prone to the free market in all manners of business, slowly but surely brushing aside the kind of communism that has held those people down for over 60 years now. Star Wars has the potential to communicate those types of messages to a mass audience perhaps 10 times more powerfully, because the texture and depth of Star Wars is so deep and engrossing, and if Earth is to become a Type 1 Civilization, the same idea has to be held in the mind over most of the world. In other words, the people of China cannot think so much more different from those in The United States. But the lifestyle of The United States cannot be brought down just to level the playing field globally, but the rest of the world must be brought up to the level of America. The best way to do that is to export American ideas, like Star Wars to those countries so they can understand what they should be doing, and how to do it.
I feel sorry for some of my fellow adults who share my age, but not my youthful optimism. They truly believe that Star Wars is just another movie like everything else designed to make money for Lucas, or Disney. In fact in the days after this big announcement of Disney buying Lucasfilm that was the first thing that most people said to me, “Looks like Lucas just got even richer.” Those same people rush their kids to soccer practice while they update their Facebook accounts religiously and po-poo anything that isn’t rooted in the reality of their current busy lives. Their kids feel the magic on Christmas morning hoping they get a new Star Wars toy, or on Halloween when they get to dress up like a Jedi Knight. The parents feel the magic just a bit when they walk down the isles at Target and look at all the Star Wars toys designed specifically to massage the mind of young people by the toy makers in a plot Lucas hatched decades ago to expand the consciousness of the human race by beholding in their minds all of life’s potential.
When I was a little kid, I wanted the full-sized Millennium Falcon from Star Wars for Christmas like nothing else. This would be way back in 1980. But my parents couldn’t afford it, because it was really expensive. So I built my own Millennium Falcon out of a card board box that I played with for years. Once I got older and could afford to buy it myself, the toy had been off the market for a number of years, so I was never able to get it. But in 1995, prior to the Special Editions in 1997 Lucasfilm released all the old toys only updated with new manufacturing techniques complete with the “battle worn” condition made so popular in the films. That year for Christmas my wife bought me the new electronic Millennium Falcon with the updated paint scheme and everyday since that Christmas I have proudly set it next to my bed where I engage the engines every night before I go to sleep. Every night. And what’s strange is that it still has the same batteries in it from 1995, and they still work. Call it the FORCE! When I have had to fix a number of complicated problems around the house from broken dishwashers to electrical problems I have sometimes stared at that toy for hours pushing the buttons and thinking about the problem at hand which often frames the answer for me with perspective. The toy for me is a symbol of innovation and technical marvel, so it often elevates my logical trouble shooting thinking. That magic has stayed with me my whole life so far and doesn’t appear to be abating. And I know I’m not alone.
Under Disney, these toys, the books, the multiple nick-knacks will flood the marketplace and without question a sector of the population who hates money will call the whole ordeal a symbol of capitalist excess that is just making a lot of money for Disney and its shareholders. But the estimates from people like George Lucas are that the money drives the product and allows more people to experience such magic, and even the most hardened skeptic against capitalism or fantasy stories knows that they too feel a little of that magic when the media blankets the release of a new film, or they hear the famous tune to Star Wars which indicates to the ear that something great awaits the witness of the story at hand, they feel the magic. Lucas has attended many of the Star Wars Celebration events that take place each year, and he has seen the multitude of grown adults who share with their children love for a mythology that makes more sense to them than the reality of their daily life. With Disney now pushing the mythology machine of Star Wars, these events will explode with interest by even more people. Already the Star Wars weekends at Hollywood Studios in Florida that take place from May to June is so packed that the visitors have to use the parking lots at Epcot Center and Animal Kingdom to hold all the extra Star Wars fans. That was before Disney owned Star Wars. Now, it is certain that the parks in Florida will have a continued and much, much larger presence during the entire year and new generations will catch the fever even more than in the past, because if Disney does with Star Wars what they did with The Avengers the possibilities for how big Star Wars may become is immeasurable.
I have my doubts that the new Star Wars films will be as good as Episode 4 and Episode 5. But I have no doubt they can be as good as the other four. The proof is in the Cartoon Network episodes of The Clone Wars currently on television every Saturday morning at 9:30 AM. With that in mind, Disney could make Star Wars movies for centuries, because the material is that rich, and is so vast that the plot lines are literally infinite. I believe that with Disney at the helm of Star Wars, the ideas contained within it will find their way to every corner of the globe and in that way, will put every human being on common ground for the first time since the Tower of Babel separated all human beings with foreign language. That is what it will take to move Earth to a Type 1 Civilization, and Star Wars is the best hope for getting there.
So, in a lot of ways the news announced on October 30th 2012 has seismic consequences for every human being on planet Earth. Star Wars is not just another movie, and it is not just another product of Hollywood. It is modern mythology that surpasses the work of the Iliad, all the Greek classics, the Book of the Dead from Egypt, War and Peace, or all the works of Shakespeare, anything ever done in literature. It is the next step put into visual form what human beings are supposed to be working toward and they weren’t created superficially by whim from the mind of George Lucas, but are mythic characters dusted off from past stories and placed into the future for all to see with common eyes transcending language, political, and sociological backgrounds. That is the magic of Star Wars and the potential impact that the decision to move Lucasfilm under the umbrella of Disney can explode into uncharted waters never before seen by–anybody.
So I’m a fan of the move even though it does sadden me. The sadness is a selfish one, which I wish to preserve what Star Wars meant to me growing up, wanting to freeze-frame those films in time for my own enjoyment and memory. But I see the strategy and like Lucas I want the same thing. I want to see a world that embraces capitalism, embraces technical advancement, embraces philosophy, and never losses its belief in the limitless potential of the human imagination. There are only two directions possible at this juncture in history one where societies regress backward, or one where they move forward into space, colonizing the moon, Mars, and planets beyond with the effortless propulsion utilized in Star Wars. And the inventors of those future technologies are probably not yet even born, but will grow up in a world where Star Wars entices their minds with sounds and images plunging their imaginations into fantasy yearning for a Christmas toy under the tree to open and play with while they work out all the problems of advanced propulsion systems, gravity manipulation, and medical miracles performed without the added complication of losing their very souls to a shackled embrace of institutional imprisonment which always threatens to cast the mind of man back to the creation of fire.
That is what the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm means, and why it is very good. Also as a side note to George Lucas, when he enrolled in Modesto Junior college to become an anthropologist, and a philosopher he succeeded as both and those titles many years from now will come to describe him once all the concept of filmmaker is lost to the scrolls of time. Not only was he successful in studying the past and developing an expertise of history, but he has also changed the future for the better in ways that are subtle, yet unfathomably powerful for a civilization that is teetering on the brink and may yet survive thanks to Star Wars.
I appreciate the support my readers here provide by clicking on the pictures below. The support expands life in ways that will ultimately create the means to boundless imagination. For a sample of such projects, click here and witness one of my ever reaching projects.