In this edition of the mailbag, ForceCast listeners share how the show has affected their lives, discuss the news of Disney buying Lucasfilm, and weigh in on Episode VII.
A multi-part response to the November 10th show
Hi ForceCasters, thanks for another great show. LOTS to discuss indeed.
I wanted to comment on one of your topics discussed: I believe it was Jimmy who mentioned wanting to be on the forefront of a much more upbeat, positive Star Wars fan. Amen to that! I've been a fan since 1978 when my parents brought home our first 3 Star Wars figures. I was 3 and had not yet seen the movie but I was hooked. I'm 39 now and am getting very tired of the "fans" who bash everything and are just so negative about Star Wars.
The messages of Star Wars as an overall story are ultimately so positive... Good can conquer evil. Justice can eventually prevail. Villains can be redeemed. Ewoks will dance. Han will shoot first after all....and die hard fans will keep a franchise alive for years to come!
How can someone claim to be a fan of that and yet be so negative about it? The "People vs. George Lucas" crowd really need to think about what these movies are actually about and who they are for. Star Wars has always been for kids and for the kid in us all. It is unpretentious family entertainment and it is so bizarre to see people be so venomous about it.
Real fans remember that not everything with Star Wars on it has been edgy, cool or even very good. We remember the Droids/Ewoks cartoons (still waiting for the real DVDs!), we remember the Ewok TV movies, Jaxxon the rabbit, the super-buff Luke figure and we remember things like the Holiday Special & the Christmas album. We take that as part of the whole thing and, as you guys said, love it for what it is - not hate it for what it's not.
What does the Disney purchase mean? Well, my admittedly initial gut reaction was not excitement because memory of the 90's horrible Disney direct-to-video sequels of their own classics is still fresh (Bambi 2???). More recently the awful writing of so many of the Disney channel sitcoms also comes to mind. However, what Disney has done with Marvel, Pixar, the Muppets, and the Studio Ghibli films helps reassure that they most likely will let Lucasfilm be its own thing and happily stay out of the way.
And IF Disney does do a few weird promos like having droids appear on an episode of ANT Farm (oh wait - that happened pre-purchase!), there's plenty of precedent for that kind of cheesy publicity thing in the long history of our favourite fictional universe. Donnie & Marie, The Muppet Show, Sesame Street...right up to fairly recent Brisk & VW commercials. Star Wars Angry Birds?
You guys are right...we have little to worry about and MUCH to look forward to in the years to come. I am so excited that my infant daughter will get to experience these new movies right about the same age I was back when it was just a single movie called simply "Star Wars".
In the meantime, as Cliegg Lars said "we have a lot to talk about" .
Keep up the great work and positive fandom!
White Rock, BC
"Thanks for being there"
2011 is the year when I really grabbed back on to my Star Wars fandom and The ForceCast played a HUGE part in that.
As I mentioned previously, the Force Cast app is the ONLY app that I actually would spend money on. There have been many a Friday that the absolute highlight of the day is listening to Jason and Jimmy.
To both of you, from my heart, and from the Star Wars community, and it really is a community, we thank you. Thanks for being funny. Thanks for being timely (i.e. the Disney news podcast). Thanks for always being there.
I would end with a big thank you to Dave Filoni, the notorious GL, and all the folks at LFL. You have made this 45 year old man feel like a kid again. I never would have imagined 10 years ago that I would have waited in line for anything, but I gladly sat for hours at Celebration to see the Clone Wars premiere, with my Star Wars friends, mostly newly made, and family.
To Jimmy and Jason, stay strong, and May the Force Be With you...........always.
Regarding the Jedi Trials
Jason & Jimmy Mac,
I wanted to chime in on the Jedi trials discussion from your Roundtable about "The Gathering." Many of the panelists were expressing interest in seeing the trials or knowing what the trials are. I think the answer to that comes as an idea from the Genndy series, which was also brought up during the show.
One episode dealt with the council discussing Anakin's knighthood. Each of the council members had a chance to present their case as to why or why not he should be knighted.
How I have always interpreted that episode is that the trials are different for each individual. Think about it, Jedi exhibit different strengths, so they would be tested in different ways. For example Mace Windu is an entirely different Jedi than Jocasta Nu, so their trials would inherently be different.
There are probably some basics that all Jedi go through, but those wouldn't necessarily be their trials.
Just something I thought you guys would like to discuss on the next episode as it would relate to their lightsaber building as well. That too seems to be an individual process.
I'm so excited for what the future holds for Star Wars, and also glad and excited to hear you guys guide us through as we head toward episode VII.
Yours in the Force,
Jason from Spring Grove, IL (dat's up north)
Star Wars Episode VII: "Incredible"
Dear Jason and Jimmy,
Just wanted to comment on both the Disney/Lucasfilm buyout and the announcement of Episode VII. When I first heard the news, I couldn't believe it at first but as time has passed, it's all sinking in now. I look forward to what this means for the future of Star Wars and Lucasfilm in general. Now my thoughts on Episode VII can all be summed up into one word, incredible. Even though the notorious G.L. won't be directing or writing it, I look forward to seeing how Kathleen Kennedy and crew continue the adventures of Luke Skywalker and his friends as they try to rebuild the Jedi Order. Also, this will make listening to the ForceCast more exciting and fun for all of us listeners. Keep up the great work with the podcast, have a Happy Thanksgiving and may the force be with you both!
P.S.: Kister and Ben Quadrenaros should all be lobbied to be in Episode VII. Never forget the Kister or Quadrenaros movements!
Fanboys and "I Love You": A Listener Offers Thanks
Hey Jason & Jimmy,
I just wanted to tell you both thank you for all of the shows, entertainment, and on-the-road accompaniment you've provided me with over the past six years. If it weren't for the show, my fandom would undoubtedly be in a different place than it's in today. Every week you guys leave me invigorated about the saga in ways I haven't felt since the prequels were being released. With the new trilogy and the future of the franchise looking bright on the horizon, I can think of no other show or source of news that I'd rather have in my life.
Most importantly, if it weren't for The ForceCast, I may very well not be married to the same amazing woman that I have in my life right now. In December of 2008, I started seeing a girl named Rachel. We started to really connect, but unfortunately I had a job lined up at Disney World in Orlando starting in January. At the time, we were both living in Columbus, OH. Rather than cutting off something we both knew was going somewhere, we decided to keep in contact and start the first few months of our relationship in a long-distance capacity. After a number of letters and daily phone conversations, I knew that I was falling for her and that I wanted to tell her I loved her. The trick was that I really wanted to tell her so in person.
Reading TheForce.Net one night in February, I was provided with an opportunity. Fanboys was going to have its own Columbus, OH premiere event on February 20th with Kyle Newman, Ernie Cline, and The ForceCast crew! I had gone to the Fanboys panel at CIV and had been following its long journey to release on The ForceCast and here it was, premiering with a big party in my home city with me 1,000 miles away!
I had Friday and Saturday off, so I made the spontaneous decision that I was going to drive up. I packed a bag, and within a half hour I was on the road, listening to Rush nonstop in a very Fanboys-inspired trip to see the film itself, but most importantly to see the woman I had fallen in love with over the past two months and to tell her I loved her. We spent all day together, and I finally got to tell her the words "I love you", which she returned immediately.
We both attended the screening that night at the AMC Lennox, and loved the film. I got to finally meet and shake hands with you guys and with Kyle and Ernie. That night I received a ForceCast pin from Jimmy Mac, which has been scrapbooked from the day that I told my wife I loved her for the first time.
A year and a half later, I proposed to Rachel at Last Tour to Endor in Orlando during Celebration V. We were married on October 15th, 2011 and have lived happily ever since. Star Wars, the city of Orlando, and The ForceCast have held sentimental spots in both of our hearts as parts of early bonding in our relationship. During this season of giving thanks and appreciation for things in our lives that we take for granted, I wanted to thank you guys for the role you have played in my life during these past six years and for giving me that opportunity to make a 17-hour road trip to express my love to the best thing in my life that I'm thank God for each and every day.
In last week's episode of The Clone Wars, entitled A Test of Strength, I noticed a referential line to the film Air Force One that I found very amusing. While the airlocks are being used to vacuum the pirates out into space and their own ship, Hondo asks Ahsoka, "What are you doing!?". Her reply -- "Getting you off my ship" -- mirrors that of Harrison Ford's "Get off my plane" during the climactic confrontation at the end of the film. The circumstances are very similar, too, with each villain about to be sucked out of the ship/plane by an open hole. Here is a clip of Ford's line from the movie for reference.
Regarding the November 16th Episode
Jimmy and Jason,
I've been meaning to write you guys for a while now. I want to express my sincere gratitude for convincing my wife and I to attend Celebration V back in "twenty o ten". We had such a great time meeting both fans and people involved in making some aspect of Star Wars. Just the fact that the honored guests that we met (JAT, Cat Taber, Dee Bradley Baker, Ben Burtt, and Dave Dorman just to name a few) were just as nice as Paul "Awesome, awesome" Bateman, both of you guys (Jimmy, I found it so endearing when you talked with me at length about how toys should be taken out of the packaging), and so many other people who were there just to share their love of Star Wars made it feel like we were part of a huge, multicultural family.
We enjoyed the experience so much, we went to CVI this year. I felt that the experience was even better this time for two reasons. One, a couple of people remembered us from CV. I got a hug from Paul and Dave Dorman's wife remembered my wife for her beautiful curly red hair. Two, after reading about baby Leia Esquenazi's mystery illness on the 501st Twitter feed, she got involved with the Princess Leah's Angels Facebook organization. At CVI, it was her first chance to meet some of the people whom she had been working with to help this little girl. I think the highlight of the entire trip happened on Saturday, when Leah's mom Frani came to the con and we got to meet her in person. There were hugs and laughter and more hugs and just a great vibe that was shared by all of the Angels who were there.
Now, if I'd written this a week ago, the message would've ended there, but I listened to your Nov. 16th show, and I've got a couple of reactions to your director rumors. First, Jason, Guillermo Del Toro's first name is pronounced Gee-yair-moe. It felt like the auditory version of getting a paper cut. Second, *never* mention M. Knight Shamalan and Episode VII in the same sentence ever again. I don't think it will actually happen after the one-two punch of The Happening and The Last Airbender bombing at the box office, but I don't even want to deal with the thought of M. Knight making a Star Wars movie (Just for the record, I liked his movies through The Village. When Lady in the Water came out, I just didn't care anymore.). My third and final criticism is directed at YOU, JIMMY MAC. When talking about the possibility of Joss Whedon helming VII, you claimed that Firefly's protagonist, Malcolm Reynolds, was derivative of Han Solo. While Malcolm Reynolds was indeed inspired by Han Solo, I disagree that he is a derivative character. Captain Reynolds is thoroughly a Joss Whedon character. Star Wars was inspired by Joseph Campbell's work and Flash Gordan (and similar) serials, but it is also not a derivative work. I do, however, completely agree that Joss Whedon would be a poor choice for the Star Wars franchise. I would love to see Dave Filoni take a crack at a live action feature.
My wife and I were just talking about how this is the best time to be a Star Wars fan. The animated series features some of the best work and talent in the franchise. The fan inter-connectivity is amazeballs. And now, with the Disney acquisition, we have big change and the excitement of new BIG THINGS on the horizon and the promise of more MERCH than we ever dreamed of! Maybe more merch than *you* can imagine. (I bet you can imagine quite a bit.) Maybe more merch than Sansweet can imagine? The way things are going, at least four generations are going to be able to share new Star Wars experiences. Four generations! What a legacy.
Thanks to all of this week's mailbag contributors! Keep your emails coming to firstname.lastname@example.org.