Wednesday, 26 April 2017


The Hollywood Reporter has news sure to thrill any Jurassic Park fan: Jeff Goldblum will return as Dr. Ian Malcolm in the Jurassic World sequel!

We all know that Jeff Goldblum starred in the original 1993 Steven Spielberg classic, Jurassic Park and its sequel, 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park.  The new film sees Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard returning after the successful box office smash, Jurassic World.  The new film is down to be released June 22nd 2018.

Goldblum will reprise his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm, the know-it-all mathematician.



The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.

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kathleen kennedy george lucas

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has said she wouldn't dream of messing around with George Lucas's vision of Star Wars.  In other words, the original theatrical cuts of Star Wars are to stay in the hands of George Lucas.  This, will of course upset a lot of Star Wars fans who have a desire to watch the original trilogy they remember from the 70s and 80s.

"I wouldn't touch those, are you kidding me?," she told the Steele Wars podcast, "Those will always remain his."

In the late 90s, George Lucas made changes to the original trilogy.  Some of the changes included rings around explosions and the now infamous 'Greedo shot first' scene.

Source - Steele Wars Podcast

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.

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Tuesday, 25 April 2017


Variety reports that Disney has announced several major release dates, including releasing Star Wars Episode IX on May 24, 2019, and moving Indiana Jones 5 to July 10th, 2020.

We had previously reported that Indiana Jones V will hit screens July 19th, 2019 but now we will have to wait an extra year for our favourite adventurer.  It is thought the extra time is a result of Steven Spielberg's other projects and to give extra time to work on the script.

Here’s the studio’s full release schedule.

UNTITLED DISNEY FAIRY TALE (Live Action) previously dated on 7/28/17 moves to 8/3/18

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: WRECK-IT RALPH 2 (3D) is final title of previous WRECK-IT RALPH SEQUEL – previously dated on 3/9/18 moves to 11/21/18

A WRINKLE IN TIME (3D) previously dated on 4/6/18 moves to 3/9/18

MAGIC CAMP is final title of previous UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION – previously dated on 8/3/18 now moves up to 4/6/18

GIGANTIC (3D) previously dated on 11/21/18 moves to 11/25/20

STAR WARS: EPISODE IX (3D) now dated on 5/24/19

UNTITLED INDIANA JONES previously dated on 7/19/19 moves to 7/10/20

THE LION KING (Live Action) (3D) now dated on 7/19/19

UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION now dated on 8/9/19

FROZEN 2 (3D) is the updated title of previous UNTITLED DISNEY ANIMATION – previously announced date of 11/27/19 is unchanged

UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION now dated on 4/3/20

UNTITLED MARVEL (3D) previously dated on 7/10/20 moves to 8/7/20

UNTITLED DISNEY ANIMATION (3D) previously dated on 11/25/20 moves to 11/24/21

UNTITLED DISNEY LIVE ACTION now dated on 3/12/21

UNTITLED PIXAR ANIMATION (3D) now dated on 6/18/21

Source - Variety


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john williams swco

We've been sent this set of wonderful photos of John Williams at the 40 Years of Star Wars Panel from Star Wars Celebration, Orlando.  We just had to share.

john williams swco

john williams swco

john williams swco

john williams swco

john williams swco

john williams swco

john williams swco

john williams swco

john williams swco

john williams swco


The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.

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"Jabba the Hutt" (CC BY 2.0) by dirkvorderstrasse
Between the legendary filmmakers George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, some incredible ideas have formed. The two are hailed for their contributions to sci-fi, and have been highly influential on all aspects of the genre since the 1970s. When looking at the monsters in any modern sci-fi flick, you’d be hard pushed to ignore the relevance to the films that started it all. The same can be said for gaming, with the ideas that sprouted in films like E.T evolving into characters like Abe in the Oddworld series. Between the two directors, there isn’t much they haven’t thought of.

It could be argued that every sci-fi film since the 70s has taken some inspiration from Lucas and Spielberg’s first flourishes in the genre. Star Wars: A New Hope and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, virtually kickstarted the genre, bringing the idea of aliens and space travel to mainstream Hollywood audiences. Star Wars was the more commercially successful of the two films with over $785 million taken in total worldwide revenue, but the well-respected Close Encounters continues to have a prominent influence on pop culture.

Only last year, Netflix’s Stranger Things (see trailer below) was released to critical acclaim, and the spooky series had strong references to Spielberg’s 1977 film. The eerie music, flashing lights, and the search for answers are all similarities between the two productions.



With reference to the actual visual representations of monsters and aliens though, what comparisons can be drawn with today’s visions and those of the two powerhouse directors?

Looking at games like the Monster Munchies slot from Booming games, resemblances can be drawn between the goofy aliens on the reels to the kind of monsters that were prevalent in the Star Wars series. Lucas was a genius when it came to thinking up highly original and downright hilarious ideas for his monsters, with alien races like Rodians, Hutts, and Yuzzums. To see monsters clearly instigated by Lucas and also enjoy a fun slot game, you will find Monster Munchies explained here.

For a modern take on an Alien invasion, Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve, did a pretty good job recently and was a slightly different take on a genre which normally pits humans against extra-terrestrials. The 2016 film harks back to early Spielberg ideas and the contact with aliens, with comparisons to E.T where the aliens clearly meant no harm to Earth but people were sceptical nonetheless. The Quebec filmmaker said himself how he was heavily influenced by the sci-fi legend’s ability to create strong visual worlds, and aimed to deliver the same eerie uncertainty himself.


The fact that Spielberg and Lucas’s early ventures into the sci-fi genre are still having such a heavy impact on films and popular culture today is commendable. With the two directors having already teamed up on Indiana Jones in the past, wouldn’t it be fantastic to see the early sci-fi pioneers get together and create something to do with aliens? One would think that if it were to happen it would have done so by now, but with big studios like Disney remaking all their old cartoon classics, it seems that anything is possible in Hollywood these days.

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john boyega force for change

John Boyega sneaks up on fans posing for photos at Star Wars Celebration and gets awesome pics and better reactions! This will really put a smile on your face.

For your chance to join the cast at the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere, LEARN MORE: http://strw.rs/60088eUYK

Entries benefit UNICEF and Starlight Children’s Foundation, on behalf of Star Wars: Force for Change.




No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited. Promotion begins 12:01 AM Pacific Time (PT) on April 11, 2017 and ends at 11:59 PM PT on May 11, 2017. Must be at least eighteen (18) years old and a resident of an eligible domicile to enter and win prizes. Residents of of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Malta, North Korea, Singapore, Sudan, Syria, or Thailand are not eligible to enter. Sweepstakes consists of four (4) prize drawings; odds of winning a prize depend on number of entries received for each drawing. For free entry: (i) send postcard to Sponsor at P.O. Box 866, 9942 Culver Blvd, Culver City, California 90232 and write the following statement: “I have read and agree to the Star Wars: Force For Change Official Rules” and send by applicable mail date; or (ii) visit www.omaze.com/starwars. Prizes that include being filmed in a movie scene do not guarantee that such footage will be included in the final movie. Travel and accommodations are at Sponsor’s discretion and subject to availability and change. Winner and guest may be required to pass a background screening or security check to receive a prize and/or reward. Visa conditions may apply. All taxes are winner’s responsibility.

Rewards are separate from sweepstakes prizes. Some rewards are limited in quantity. Not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook®. Residents of certain territories may be required to successfully complete a trivia question to qualify. For full sweepstakes entry requirements, methods & entry periods, prize details, list of rewards and all limitations & restrictions, see Official rules at www.omaze.com/starwars. Sole Sponsor: Omaze, Inc., P.O. Box 866, 9942 Culver Blvd, Culver City, California 90232

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.

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Monday, 24 April 2017

michael j. fox with coldplay

This is kind of an oldie where I come from but I'm sure your kids are gonna love it.  Michael J. Fox performs live with Coldplay in New York and the song, conveniently is Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode.  Performed live at the MetLife Stadium on 17 July 2016.  R.I.P. Chuck.



The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.

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It's Star Wars Collectors Cast, LIVE from Celebration Orlando 2017. Join James Burns and co-host Teresa Delgado as they chat collecting with Rancho Obi-Wan supremo Steve Sansweet and Marvel Comics artist John Tyler Christopher.

You can listen to the show below or from these links:



Some generous reviews on iTunes would be greatly appreciated. Head over there to let us know what you think of the show and check us out on our new Jedi News YouTube channel.




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Sunday, 23 April 2017

spielberg the post

Last month we reported that Steven Spielberg will be teaming up once more with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.  The movie will be centered around the Pentagon Papers.  Now we can tell you that the latest Spielberg movie of which most are calling "The Post" will be released on a limited basis on December 22nd with a nationwide release on January 12th, 2018.  Just a quick reminder that the movie is still officially unnamed and "The Post" is a speculative title.

Hanks will play hard-charging Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, with Streep handling the role of iron-willed publisher Katharine Graham

The film will be co-financed by Fox and Amblin Entertainment. Fox will handle domestic distribution; international will be Amblin, through its output deals with Universal, eOne, Reliance and others. With the Fox deal, Spielberg reunites with chairman/CEO Stacey Snider, his longtime partner at DreamWorks. This marks the fifth pairing of Spielberg with Hanks, after Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal and Bridge of Spies.

The Pentagon Papers was the name given to a secret Department of Defense study of U.S. political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967, prepared at the request of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in 1967

Source - Variety

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The title sequence from from Steven Spielberg's L.A. 2017

When I first year two years ago that Steven Spielberg had directed a science fiction TV movie called L.A. 2017, I was puzzled. How could I not know about this?  I pride myself on my extensive knowledge of Spielberg's work, and even on the relative completeness of my personal collection (when people try to catch me by asking if the collection includes Duel, I smirk and reply it even includes the far lesser known Something Evil.). How could i not be aware of this one? I soon discovered that in a way I was aware: I knew Spielberg had directed an episode of the series The Name of the Game. I was not aware that this was a forerunner of the rotating movie series that would be popularized with mystery shows like Columbo. The Name of the Game consisted of 90-minute episodes rotating between three central characters working for Howard Publications, a large magazine publishing company (why anyone would consider this an interesting or promising concept for a series still puzzles me), and L.A. 2017 was one of these. It represented Spielberg's first feature-length project (running 76 minutes without commercials), and due to its science fiction premise was more of a stand alone movie than most episodes. Spielberg doesn't officially include it among his feature films, but it's certainly an intriguing curiosity for fans, especially now that it takes place in our present. It's the first professional foray into science fiction for the filmmaker who would later give us Close Encounters of The Third Kind, E.T., Minority Report and others. On finally seeing it, I wasn't surprised to see that it doesn't hold a candle to Duel, but still offers some interesting glimpses of Spielberg's then unrefined talent.



L.A. 2017 centers on Glenn Howard, the publisher of Howard Publications. Glenn is played by Gene Barry (who would later cameo in Spielberg's War of the Worlds, though that was a reference to his appearance in the classic George Pal film, not this), and was portrayed as a sophisticated playboy who was occasionally given the more offbeat stories on the show, though this was certainly his most outrageous exploit. In fact, L.A. 2017 is far enough out there compared to the standard episode that in order to fit into the series writer Phillip Wylie was forced to resort to the lamest and most over-milked of dramatic copouts: "It was all a dream . . . Or was it?".  While dictating a report on an environmental conference, Howard gets dizzy and drives off the rode, then wakes up in the Los Angeles of 2017, where pollution and environmental irresponsibility have driven the portion of humanity that has survived underground, and what passes for America now is run by corporate totalitarians (so that part of 2017 they got right.). While the younger generation that never experienced the good old above ground days of freedom has adjusted fine to this post apocalyptic society, their elders have a harder time and are less trusting of their corporate government. That's where Glenn Howard comes in: The government wants him to bring back Howard Publications, a name the older folks remember and trust, and use it to spread their propaganda.

There are some intriguing ideas at play here (more in the area of dystopic future sci-fi than time travel, where it's seriously underdeveloped), but the story doesn't entirely hold together and is hampered by being far too oriented around scenes of characters sitting around reciting exposition.. And while the budget was high for a television series of its day, it apparently wasn't enough to provide and kind of interesting or futuristic production design: aside a sequence in a electronic "chapel" and one or two others like it, nearly everything on screen looks more or less like any other television drama made in 1971, and that's to the detriment of the film .Regardless of the fact that this society went underground in 1989 and they should have been able to recognize that styles would evolve somewhat in 18 years, it's simply not aesthetically interesting. The cast is adequate, thought largely stilted and not especially engaging.

 As a whole, L.A. 2017 is far more interesting as a glimpse at proto Spielberg than it is as a work in its own right, but both in story and in its direction there are flashes of great potential. Spielberg impresses with some highly inventive staging  and shot selection, including a dolly shot that follows one subject just to take us to another three times in one scene, and shakicam uphill run that foreshadows moments from Saving Private Ryan.  I was left imagining what the Spielberg of today would be able to with a reworked version of this concept. Just think of the director of Minority Report taking on a futuristic dystopian thriller based on themes of ecological responsibility and corporate greed. But for fans, the version of L.A. 2017 does exist is another fascinating (if not fully realized) glimpse at the early development of a cinematic master.

Watch "L.A. 2017" On YouTube



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steven spielberg universal cinema

On Thursday 20th April, Steven Spielberg joined others for the glitzy debut of Universal Studios Hollywood’s upgraded movie theater now called the Universal Cinema.

universal cinemaSpielberg was joined by Jordan Peele, Will Packer and Jason Blum who walked the red carpet and teamed up for ribbon-cutting duties at the AMC theater.

The new cinema boasts all the latest technology including Dolby ATMOS sound, deluxe recliner seats, Christie RGB laser projection and a renovated concession area.  Steven Spielberg said during the opening:

"Universal Studios has been part of my life as long as I can remember my life.  I spent a good part of my youth on the back-lot of Universal dreaming of being a filmmaker.  Then it happened.  First in TV and then in Motion Picture.  Later the dream expanded even more when some of the movies became theme park attractions.  I was fortunate to see my movies come to life right here."

"This entire lot, this industry here at Universal has made me very proud.  Universal Cinema defines advancement of technology with this new incredible movie theatre...Movie goers have a rare opportunity to watch movies where the movies are actually made."

Karen Irwin the president and COO of Universal Studios, Hollywood added “The new Universal Cinema is a spectacular place to enjoy blockbuster films and we’re thrilled to have such acclaimed filmmakers join us to commemorate the occasion,”

“As The Entertainment Capital of L.A., we’ve entertained guests for generations, taking them behind-the-scenes of movie-making and placing them in the heart of the action with our incredible attractions, so it’s only fitting that we create the ultimate movie-going experience giving fans access to a movie theatre where they watch films in Hollywood screening rooms the same way filmmakers do.”





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Saturday, 22 April 2017

"Dinosaur" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Valerie Everett
Everyone on the planet loves dinosaurs, or at least they should. Those gargantuan reptiles may have been extinct for over 60 million years, but they are still very much in our conscience. Kids grow up learning about dinosaurs in schools, some even play with dinosaurs toys, and others, like Ross of Friends, study them – well, whatever is left of them as fossils.

Back in 1993, Jurassic Park opened our eyes to the wonder and the sheer power of dinosaurs. It is one of Steven Spielberg’s greatest ever movies, if not the greatest, and to this day it remains hugely popular among the public. It was one of those films that are both fascinating and spooky; a movie that showed that a concept can pull in audiences as much as a couple of mega superstars can.

The forest has been a fascination of man for ages. Even today, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is being taught in schools, movies are being made based on his novel, and Mowgli remains one the most loved fictional character. The fourth instalment of the Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World, was released in 2015 and raked in over $1 billion. Jurassic World 2 is set to be released in 2018 and could be an even bigger hit at the box office.

Jurassic Park has been a huge influence on video games and online gaming. The popularity of the films has seen children and adults play video games with dinosaur themes. Online casinos now offer a range of slots based on forests and dinosaurs that are fun to play and are educational as well. It is not always possible for us, especially those who in live metropolitan cities, to enjoy the wildlife or go on safaris, which is why such online slots based on animals and jungles are so popular nowadays.

"dinosaur" (CC BY 2.0) by nsgbrown
Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Dinosaur Up are two of the many dinosaur-based online slot games. While the former takes you back 245 million years to a Stone Age rainforest with some fierce dinosaurs, the latter is based on the concept of an explorer on a jungle dinosaur hunt.

Such has been the rise in demand for forest-based games that online operator Fabulous Bingo has four jungle-themed slot games - Amazon Wild, Heart of the Jungle, Jungle Madness and Zuma. While the concept of these games are based on hunting in forests, all of them provide something different.
While Zuma is based in the Aztec forest, Heart of the Jungle lets the player explore the forest with photorealistic graphics and an atmospheric soundtrack. Amazon Wild is quite educational in the sense that it tells tales of ancient civilisations and cities that are lost. As for Jungle Madness, it is exactly what the name refers to - there are monkeys, snakes, exotic birds and a jungle man, and it is full of madness.


"dinosaur" (CC BY 2.0) by steve p2008
There are a number of other forest-based online slots available, such as Jungle Wild, where you can collect exotic flowers and gold, and Bush Telegraph, where news is transmitted by the drums played by animals. For those who have a fascination with big cats, there is an online slot tailor-made for them - Jungle Cats, which has lions, panthers and jaguars.

Planet of the Apes will also have its own slot from October 2017. Given the success of the franchise at the box office, it was only a matter of time before an online slot game was made on it. This is yet another sign just how big and popular forest and animal-themes games are among the general public, and it is only going to get bigger.

With the rainforests deteriorating and many species becoming either extinct or are endangered, such slot games based on wild animals and jungles are only going to gain in popularity. Man’s fascination with the unknown is everlasting, and it is not hard to understand why such online slots are so popular. Jurassic Park was meant to be just a movie about dinosaurs. More than 20 years later, it has become much, much more, and is still influencing us, whether we are aware of it or not. There is a reason why that movie is a classic, an all-time great, one of its kind.

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.

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Friday, 21 April 2017

The Lost City of Z
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Tom Holland, Angus McFadyen, Ian McDiarmid
Screenplay by James Gray
Based on the book by
Directed by James Gray






Out of Four

Reviewed by Paul Gibbs

I'm a sucker for a good epic adventure movie, and The Lost City of Z is a very good one. Not an action film, mind you. While there are a few sequences of flying arrows and narrow escapes, most of the adventure comes in the form of travel and exploration. While Percy Fawcett, the film's protagonist, is rumored to be one of the inspirations for Indiana Jones, there are no fights with Nazis or supernatural forces. But the story is harrowing nonetheless, and aside from a grand adventure it's a thoughtful treatise on what's important in life, what makes us who we are, and what a legacy is.

Major Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunham) begins the story as a man whose father, an alcoholic gambler, left him with no legacy. And in the class conscious British society of 1905, that's a problem. So Fawcett gladly accepts an assignment from the Royal Geographic Society to lead an expedition to Bolivia to map an unknown region and find the source of a river, leaving behind his wife (Sienna Miller) and young son Jack. Joining him is is aide Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson in a bushy beard and glasses.).  After an arduous journey, Fawcett and Costin find what they're looking for, but also find the remnants of pottery and other artifacts which Fawcett believes reveal that the stories the natives have told him about a great city are true.

Of course, on returning home, Fawcett's theory is widely scorned, as much of the proper society gentlemen believe such a civilization among the "savages" could not be possible, because that would mean the natives were their equals and they were actually just a bunch of sniveling prissy racist jackasses for ever thinking otherwise, and that just can't be. Fawcett vows to return and locate the city, which he calls Z.

Writer/director James Gray does excellent work here, nailing both the epic adventure of traipsing through the Amazon and the drama of the strain Fawcett's quest puts on his family.  While the film is long and will doubtless strike some audiences as slow moving, it never drags. And it's great to look at, as Darius Khondji's cinematography is first-rate, with a understated, natural-light look. Both stylistically and in term of pacing this is an old fashioned film, one that respecs its audience and doesn't feel the need to hit us over the head. That's no more common in "prestige" or indie films than it is in popcorn blockbusters these days, and it's both refreshing and stimulating.

Hunnam gives a complex, soulful performance  in the leading role, though Fawcett is not always an easy character to understand or relate to. It can be difficult to fully grasp his obsession, and his willingness to put his family through the hardship of his long absences. But this is a strength rather than a weakness. Like David Lean'Lean's masterpiece Lawrence of Arabia, this is an intimate epic that's as concerned with the interior life of its hero as it is with the spectacular exteriors he's exploring.  And Hunnam is ably supported by a solid group of actors, with Pattinson something of a revelation as an outstanding character actor given the right opportunity (there's nothing of Edward Cullen here.). The always excellent Tom Holland is up to his usual standards here, and is often the case Angus McFadyen is entertaining in the most colorful role. But I was perhaps most impressed by Sienna Miller, who I've tended to view as more of a pretty face than great actress, but who gives what I found to be the most compelling performance in the film as a firecly strong-willed and independent woman who is also strongly supportive of her husbamd, but sometimes struggles with being asked to do more than is reasonable.  It's triumph of turning the often thankless role of "the wife" and making her a fully realized character and human being.

While it's not terribly likely to please fans looking for a pre-summer blockbuster, The Lost City of Z is gourmet cinema that serious film buffs should seek out and devour. It's a compelling, stimulating and rewarding cinematic journey.

                     The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams
                                                               and a whole lot more.





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steven spielberg quiz

10 questions on the legendary director, Steven Spielberg.  Post your score in the comments below, on Twitter or on our Facebook page.  Good luck.

Steven Spielberg Quiz

How well do you know the legendary director? Here's 10 questions to (hopefully) test your knowledge. You get 10 points for each correct answer.



  1. Where was Steven Spielberg born?

  2. Cincinnati, Ohio
    San Jose, California
    Chicago, Illinois
    Jacksonville, Florida

  3. What year was he born?

  4. 1944
    1945
    1946
    1947

  5. Where were Steven Spielberg and George Lucas when they first discussed Indiana Jones together?

  6. The island of Kauaʻi
    The island of Maui
    The island of Kahoʻolawe
    The island of Lānaʻi

  7. What was the name of the segment Spielberg directed in Twilight Zone: The Movie?

  8. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
    It's a Good Life
    Time Out
    Kick the Can


  9. He has won two Academy Awards for best director. Which two movies were they for?

  10. Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan
    Schindler's List and The Color Purple
    Saving Private Ryan and The Color Purple
    Saving Private Ryan and Lincoln

  11. What year did Steven Spielberg receive the AFI Life Achievement Award?

  12. 1993
    1994
    1995
    1996

  13. During which movie did Steven Spielberg meet his future wife, Kate Capshaw?

  14. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    1941
    Always

  15. How many nominations at the 60th Academy Awards did Empire of the Sun receive?

  16. None
    3
    6
    9

  17. What year was Dreamworks founded?

  18. 1990
    1993
    1994
    1996

  19. Which drink did he reveal in an interview of hating?

  20. Tea
    Hot Chocolate
    Coca Cola
    Coffee

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Woah! Where do I start? Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017 was intense! For my first celebration, it was tons of fun—I made some new friends, definitely emotional, a little overwhelming at first, exhausting of course. It’s something I’ll never ever forget.

The best way for me to sum everything up without forgetting anything is to do a day-by-day recap.


Day 1 of SWCO: Let me just say the waiting in line was SO worth it. The 40th Anniversary panel was the greatest part of the entire weekend in my opinion. When Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy introduced George Lucas, a gasp engulfed the crowd before his name was even uttered. An all-star lineup was introduced on stage to pay tribute to George; Dave Filoni, who George referred to as his son that had to be purged of bad ideas. Dave intimately told a story of how George taught him not to be afraid to try new things that may seem impossible. “We’ll figure it out” George would tell him, and they always did. The one line that stuck with me is when Dave said he has learned “never to make any decision out of fear”.

After Dave left the stage, Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid joined George on stage. The ovation for Hayden was fantastic. As a first generation Star Wars fan, I was ecstatic to see a prequel actor receive some much deserved love from the fans—and I think he enjoyed himself too.
Next was the trio of Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Peter Mayhew. It’s so great to them together again for the first time since the end of Return of the Jedi if I’m not mistaken. They all shared some wonderful stories about George and working on Star Wars. I had a laugh when host, Warwick Davis commented that they were arguably George’s best four character creations on stage, and why not make it five only to introduce Mark Hamill. Just for the record I’d love to see a panel with just Warwick and Mark. Mark is a natural on stage and could have easily taken over the panel if not for the next guest—Harrison Ford. The crowd equally erupted for Harrison, maybe more so for him than even George. Two friends pointed out to me after the fact that at that point, without Carrie, there were no female guests on stage for that segment. Food for thought.

After everyone left the stage George and Kathleen remained to pay tribute to Carrie, in which Kathleen introduced Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd, on stage. Billie gave a stirring tribute to her mother which included the entire “help me Obi-Wan Kenobi you’re my only hope bit of dialogue. By this time there was not a dry eye in the house. After the crowd couldn’t handle anymore, there was a moment when the stage went dark then to the left the curtain rose and there is none of than the “greatest composer in the universe” John Williams, who like a Jedi Master, quieted the crowd with a single hand gesture. With the first note of Princess Leia’s theme, a woman two seats to my left was sobbing with emotion. After Leia’s theme they quickly moved into the Main Theme, then with a brief bit of praise from George and Kathleen finished the event off with The Imperial March.


After the 40th Anniversary wrapped up, our group split, and I got into line for the Dave Filoni: Animated Origins and Unexpected Fates with Pablo Hidalgo. This was a really cool panel in which some members of the 501st came out and presented Dave and Pablo with a gift. The crowd was showed unfinished Clone Wars footage of a scene between Cad Bane and Boba Fett featuring his well-known armor. This scene revealed how Boba received the dent on his helmet. Dave also pointed out how George specifically wanted smoke coming off Boba’s helmet where the dent is. For visual reference, this scene was obviously highly inspired by the shootout scene in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, up to the close up camera angles.

Later on that day I saw two panels in the Star Wars University; Chuck Wendig: A Small Group of Characters Can Change a Whole Galaxy, and the LGBTQ panel. After that I quickly made my way down to the podcast stage to catch Tarkins Top Shelf/Idiot’s Array podcast. At that point it was almost 8:30pm and I was done. I had bought tickets for Drowning in Moonlight but I decided for my own good not to go.

Day 2 of SWCO: The Last Jedi panel was the big event for the day on Friday. I found this panel to be a little on the short side. Other than the sweet poster we saw and the teaser trailer, this panel left me with wanting more. What the 40th anniversary gave me in abundance, The Last Jedi panel pulled back. Oscar Isaac could not make it, no mention of Laura Dern or Benicio del Toro or their respective characters, we did get to meet Kelly Marie Tran and her character Rose who is a Resistance maintenance technician. I attended a couple live podcasts events later in the afternoon (Full of Sith and Fangirls Going Rogue). I called it a day after that.

Day 3 of SWCO: It was stated at the beginning of the Rebels panel that this event was not being livestreamed. This was another emotional panel as Dave announced that season 4 of Rebels will be the last season. Shortly after he announced that he introduced a family who has been cosplaying as the Ghost crew even before Rebels was even on. Dave let the fans know how much he appreciated their support and it was pretty obvious that this decision was not an easy one to make. Tiya Sicar (Sabine Wren) wiped tears from her eyes as Dave spoke. Interesting to note, that no announcement was made of a new televised series. If I’m wrong let me know, but I didn’t officially hear anything.
The Rebels Press conference was a fantastic opportunity to drill the cast with more questions. Sarah Woloski from Skywalking Through Neverland and Fangirls Going Rogue asked Dave how the Force will be explored in season 4. Dave gave a mesmerizing answer about how the Force is the center of Star Wars and the relationship between parents and their child and the battle between, and how when the child matures they will hopefully cast away the dark influences and love their parents. This answer hit me hard, and deservedly received an ovation from the media.

As a student of writing I had to catch as many writing panels in Star Wars University. I caught the second half of Christie Golden’s and I also attended the panel on writing blogs hosted by Bryan Young, Tyler Westhause, James Floyd, Dan Zehr, and Linda Hansen-Raj. Saturday night I attended the Skywalking Through Neverland live podcast, which was a great entertaining show.


Day 4 of SWCO: A more laid back day, many people decided to leave early because of the Easter holiday, understandably so. I attended the Rebels Reunion panel which was kept really vague and unconvincing, gave the impression that it would be Rebels-based—well it was…sort of. The panel included some of the background rebels in the films, Denis Lawson (Wedge), Garrick Hagon (Biggs), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Numb), Angus MacInnes (Gold Leader). I have to admit, this panel was a surprisingly entertaining one. It’s fun to hear tales from the some of the secondary characters.

I attended a fascinating Woman in a galaxy far, far way panel, but had to bail a little early to attend the Closing Ceremonies in hopes to hear where the next Celebration will be in 2019. Seeing all the flashbacks covering the last four days always stirs up emotions. Unfortunately nothing was revealed other than Warwick Davis saying “we’ll see you next time…wherever that may be” to which the crowd groaned.

To wrap up this really long post, I’ll just say that one of my favorite experiences of the entire weekend was my fellow fans. Despite the long lines, everyone was so incredibly pleasant, I couldn’t be more proud to be a fan. Not one misbehaving child or rude fan that I heard anyway. I was really blown away by that. I had a great time. Now that I know what to expect I can prepare better. I know that I should not revolve my eating/resting around the panels. Pick out a couple that you want to see most each day, eat and sleep to maintain your endurance, and then see what other panels you’d like to attend. Buying snacks the day before was a good decision too. Keeping a reusable water bottle is a must.

I didn’t get to meet as many people as I originally planned, but I was fortunate enough to meet Becca Benjamin, Joe Tavano, Bryan Young, Richard and Sarah Woloski, Drew Kaplan, and Swara Salih, Matt Clifton, and Ryan Stamphli. It’s possible next time I’ll make more of an effort to reach out to more people. Because this on was my first I really wanted to attend more panels.

Anyway, that’s it. It’s all becoming a blur it happened to fast. I have plenty of memories and pictures to look back on my first Celebration. Star Wars is all about family and friends, and I’ve made so many new ones. I feel real fortunate for that. Just by doing that I’m contributing to the theme of Star Wars. And you are too.



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