Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Cinema Review)

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12A – 152mins – 2017 – 3D


 

THE BURDEN OF ALL MASTERS

“It’s time for the Jedi… to end.”

Having recently announced that writer/director Rian Johnson will spearhead a brand-new Star Wars trilogy unrelated to the principal Skywalker saga in the coming years, it is clear that Lucas’ successor Kathleen Kennedy et al at Lucasfilm/Disney are unequivocally thrilled with how Episode VIII has turned out. George himself is on record as praising it for being “beautifully shot,” while early reviews seem to be unanimously positive and box office projections astronomically high…

… Keep Scuttling!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Cinema Review)

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12A – 133mins – 2016 – 3D


SUPER TROOPERS

Ostensibly an orphan, Jyn Erso (Felicity Inferno Jones) has had a less than rosy upbringing after her mother was gunned down and her science officer father, Galen (Mads Doctor Strange Mikkelsen), kidnapped by the Galactic Empire to assist them in completing their “planet killing” orbital monstrosity, the Death Star. Rescued from an Imperial camp, Jyn is recruited by Mon Mothma (Revenge of the Sith’s Genevieve O’Reilly) and the Rebel Alliance to join Cassian Andor’s (Diego Luna) ragtag team of Rebels on a mission to track down Galen and seize the plans to the super-weapon in order to locate a weakness.

… Keep Scuttling!

Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company (Book Review)

Written by: Alexander Freed

Published in the UK by: Century, 2015

397pages


 

WARS OF THE WORLDS

Set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back in a post-Death Star, Vader-aware universe, Dragon Age comic author Alexander Freed does an admirable job of encapsulating the galaxy-wide scale of the fight against the Imperial Empire in this dense and often introspective companion story to last November’s hotly-anticipated Electronic Arts multi-player action shooter reboot, Star Wars Battlefront.

… Keep Scuttling!

Star Wars: Headspace (Album Review)

Release date: February 19th 2016 (Digital), March 18th (CD)

Label: Hollywood Records


 

DARTH PUNK

While the electro-rocking helmet-wearing duo from France have long brought some shiny sci-fi sensibilities to the dancefloor, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who felt that what the contemporary music scene was missing was an injection of space opera. But in yet another example of how ever-present Star Wars has become in modern society, that is exactly what we get with new club-friendly compilation Star Wars: Headspace.

What sounds like an underground mixtape cobbled together in some obsessive fan boy’s bedroom is actually a fully-licenced album endorsed by Lucasfilm and Bad Robot. Those concerned that this is no more than John William’s iconic orchestral score sped up and set to a synthesized drum beat need fear not, as Headspace contains 15 all-new compositions written and performed by such accomplished disc-jockeys as Röyksopp (pictured below), Bonobo, Rustie and Breakbot, and co-executive produced by industry supremo Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Run-D.M.C.).

True, the results are a mixed bag, but the majority veer on the decent and endearing side of experimental. Album opener “C-3PO’s Plight” by Kascade was clearly chosen to lead the pack due to its Bespin-high quality – mixing a summery, piano-led vibe with scant interpolations of goldenrod’s dialogue. Track 2, “Help Me!” by GTA is the closest offender to cheesily derivative, sounding mightily reminiscent of an Imperial March remix.

Track 6, “R2 Knows” by Claude VonStroke deserves special mention due to its extravagant robot rap by Barry Drift, which recounts an often cheeky summary of the original trilogy to music (let’s just say they broach the controversial topic of who shot first). The first time I heard it I winced in embarrassment, but a couple of listens later and I was gleefully chanting along with its catchy rhyming couplets!

A number of artists mine the same popular samples, so Darth Vader’s breathing and Leia’s “Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi” line are oft-repeated, while certain elements such as alarm and siren calls become noticeable in their over-use, but Headspace is not the absurd laughing stock it could so easily have been. Audacious, trippy and a lot of fun, I can well imagine Ponda Baba twerking the night away in the Mos Eisley Cantina to “Scruffy-Looking Nerfherder”.

CR@B Verdict: 3 stars

Strange Magic (DVD Review)

PG – 99mins – 2015


CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE

Palmed off onto their smaller Touchstone division and quietly released onto minimal screens Stateside in the doldrums of last January, this colourful Lucasfilm fairytale musical – part of the lucrative package which Disney paid $4billion for back in 2012 – was plainly earmarked to fail. I was determined to show my support for George Lucas’ first post-“retirement” gig, but this left UK screens in the blink of an eye following a delayed release a couple of months ago.

… Keep Scuttling!