REVIEW: ANDOR – Season One (2022)

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Series Created by Tony Gilroy — Available on Disney+ now.

Since Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, it has been somewhat of a bumpy ride. Their so-called sequel trilogy features a safe-but-satisfying opener (The Force Awakens), an excellent and thrilling second film that divided the fanbase and revealed toxicities (The Last Jedi), and a conclusion that, in trying too hard to satisfy toxic fans, went back on what the previous film had set up and ended the trilogy on a whimper (The Rise of Skywalker). Even the spin-off films have divided opinions due to them over-explaining things that needed no explanations. As live-action Star Wars has embraced streaming, it has been with similar ups and downs. The Mandalorian is a bonafide hit (but in its most memorable moments it has still clung to fan service). The Book of Boba Fett was good in glimpses but its best episodes are essentially episodes of The Mandalorian. Finally, though richly satisfying, Obi-Wan Kenobi was a safe and fan-service-laden limited series that was yet another reminder of how insular Star Wars storytelling can often feel. As a huge Star Wars fan, it pleases me greatly to be able to affirm that ANDOR, a prequel spin-off series of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is a breath of fresh air in that it is a mature, dark, and gritty series that makes the Empire and the Rebellion feel real again.

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REVIEW: Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022)

Ewan McGregor is back as the titular Jedi in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

All Six Episodes of the Limited Series Were Directed by Deborah Chow.

Set a decade, or so, after the events of George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi follows the character of the same name (played by Ewan McGregor, now returning to the role), as he has gone into hiding on Tatooine, where he is watching over young Luke Skywalker from afar. Sith Inquisitors are still hunting for Jedi throughout the galaxy, including Kenobi who Reva (played by Moses Ingram), the Third Sister, is especially interested in. However, Obi-Wan Kenobi is forced out of hiding after young Princess Leia Organa (played by Vivien Lyra Blair) is kidnapped by criminals. Kenobi is Leia’s only hope, and that is exactly what Reva, who orchestrated the kidnapping, had expected and hoped for. As Kenobi leaves Tatooine, he has to reconnect to the Force, but this also means that he risks being confronted by the Inquisitors or even Darth Vader.

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REVIEW: The Book of Boba Fett (2021-2022)

Boba Fett (Played by Temura Morrison) in Lucasfilm’s THE BOOK OF BOBA FETT, exclusively on Disney+. — PHOTO: Lucasfilm / Disney+.

Series Created by Jon Favreau — All Episodes Are On Disney+ Right Now.

Jon Favreau’s The Book of Boba Fett is a spin-off of the extremely popular Disney+ Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian. The Book of Boba Fett follows the titular character (played by Temura Morrison), who became a fan-favorite character in the Original Trilogy (and who made his in-universe return in The Mandalorian), as he tries to become the new daimyo of Tatooine for the purpose of controlling the territory that once belonged to Jabba the Hutt. But he isn’t the only one who wants to control what can and can’t happen on the desert planet.

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REVIEW: Dune (2021)

Josh Brolin, left, as Gurney Halleck and Timothée Chalamet, right, as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s DUNE — Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) — Screenplay by Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth.

When science-fiction neophytes first lay their eyes on the marketing material for Denis Villeneuve’s latest science-fiction film, Dune, they should be forgiven, if they immediately remark that it looks like an imitation of Star Wars — or other similar films. Obviously, they would be under a false impression, but, after all, it is a little bit strange that one of Star Wars‘ most obvious sources of inspiration — Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune — has not previously generated a widely known or appreciated adaptation.

In fact, the Dune property is perhaps especially renowned for being difficult to adapt. Famously, Alejandro Jodorowsky tried but failed to get an adaptation off the ground, while David Lynch’s adaptation from 1984 was critically panned. Those ‘failed’ attempts are, in fact, more widely known than the Sci-Fi Channel mini-series that the franchise also spawned. Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. have now entrusted auteur Denis Villeneuve with the job of adapting Frank Herbert’s rich, influential, and dense source material, and I think that was a very smart decision.

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REVIEW: The Mandalorian – Seasons One and Two (2019/2020)

The Mandalorian Still Image
‘The Mandalorian,’ Still Image — Photo: Disney / Disney Plus / Lucasfilm.

Had it not been for the fact that I think there is a notable jump in quality from the first to the second season of the Disney+ Original series, it would’ve been really difficult for me to separate the two first seasons of the first-ever Star Wars live-action series. You see, while, for Americans, there was an entire year in between the two seasons, Disney+ didn’t arrive in Denmark until September of 2020, and Disney made the decision to release the first season week-by-week. They did this so that when it ended, the second season would be ready to begin, but they also did it in an attempt to keep people on the streaming service for as long as possible. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Mandalorian – Seasons One and Two (2019/2020)”

REVIEW: The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020)

Film Poster - Lego Star Wars
Release Poster – Disney+

Directed by Ken Cunningham — Available on Disney+.

It can be difficult to enjoy Star Wars fully when the fanbase is as fractured as it has been these last few years. A significant part of the fandom has a deep hatred for a film that I like quite a bit, and it has made it so draining to debate Star Wars opinions these days. These last few weeks, I have been watching the second season of The Mandalorian, which I will hopefully be reviewing soon, and it, along with this LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special released on Disney+, truly reminded me why I have always loved Star Wars so much that even online disputes can’t ruin it for me. The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is genuinely wonderful and a good time for the whole family. Continue reading “REVIEW: The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020)”

Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58

Edited image originally from ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019),’ Sony Pictures

It is finally that time of the year again, folks! The nominations for the Academy Awards will be released on Monday (January 13th, 2020). Just in time, I am ready with my final predictions for this awards season’s Oscars nominations. Below I have tried to predict every category except for the short film categories, as I simply haven’t seen enough short films from 2019. So, without further ado, let’s get to it! Continue reading “Nomination Predictions for the 92nd Academy Awards – Special Features #58”

7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part One – 2019

Happy new year! Today is the very first day of 2020, so it makes perfect sense to take a look back and begin to celebrate the best of the year to which we are saying goodbye. In the first part of the I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards for 2019, I will reveal my personal winners in my video game, song, superhero, and television categories. To see a complete list of the nominees, click here. Please do remember that my film nominations and winners will be announced in about a month. Continue reading “7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part One – 2019”

IJR Awards 2019: Nominations – Television, Games, etc.

Today, I am revealing the first half of the 2019 nominations for my blog’s awards (I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards [IJR Awards]). The nominations that I will reveal today concern the television, video games, superhero, and music categories. The second half of the nominations — the film categories — will be revealed at some point in early February, so that I am able to watch some of the Oscarworthy films that won’t be released in Denmark until the beginning of 2020. Continue reading “IJR Awards 2019: Nominations – Television, Games, etc.”

REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Disney / Lucasfilm

The following is a review of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker — Directed by J. J. Abrams.

Although the subtitle of this film suggests otherwise, Disney has been pretty adamant in saying that the Skywalker saga (i.e. the episodes) is coming to an end with this ninth episode, which thus ends Disney’s sequel trilogy. It has been a trilogy that has been bumpier than I expected it to be, which is largely due to Lucasfilm hirings and firings, as well as the return of a rabid, entitled, and toxic part of the Star Wars fandom, which has been determined to have their say on what can and cannot be appreciated about these films. This part of fandom has been absolutely infuriating, and it has robbed Star Wars fans of the happiness that one should get when you discuss something that you love. J. J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens was an undeniably satisfying and very rewatchable table-setter, and Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi was an ambitious, bold, and critically acclaimed exploration of legacy, legends, and failure. Now we have The Rise of Skywalker, J. J. Abrams’ curtain-closer. Though I did ultimately enjoy the film, I have to admit and acknowledge that this is definitely the sequel trilogy’s low-point, in part due to Abrams’ obvious attempt to appease parts of the fandom that could only be pacified by reversing decisions that were made in Rian Johnson’s film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)”