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I am back, and this time with something more movie related than game, but Star Wars has always been a series close to my heart, so what did I think of The Rise of Skywalker? Rather watch me ramble on, then you can click on this link here. - I've got so much to say on this film, I think I'll do a full podcast length review with some friends to really cover all bases once I've given all the films a re-watch and started to link everything up. This is going to be spoiler free until, well it's not, so I will give you a gigantic warning before hand but let's take a look at the beats that it hit, and perhaps a few it missed. Now I'm going to say ahead of time I'm not going to rip this film apart unless I truly think it deserves it. I'm going to be honest with my review, so with that in mind, here is why I absolutely loved Rise of the Skywalkers... Let's start first with the characters. For most, The Last Jedi did a lot to ruin established characters and introduce some we weren't fond of for one reason or another. This film manages to plug the holes created but this is also to it's detriment. It spends a little too much time on exposition and fixing mistakes made that it takes away from some scenes. Now and again characters outright speak the words of what and why something is happening in a scene and it can be jarring. But like I said this is a plus point too, for the most part it finishes characters arcs very well, making veteran and new fans feel very rewarded. Which leads perfectly into our next point Fan Service. This, for large parts, is a massive love letter to Leia and Luke, and the actress herself Carrie Fisher after her passing and I think it's the perfect way of doing it. Her character arc being completed and the great wrap up of the old saga for the newly established cast of Oscaar Isaacs, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. They run with that in this film, becoming the characters they've built up to be and ending in a rewarding way. I would be satisfied if this was the end for Star Wars, which is a huge statement, as I love few franchises more. Moments in this film had me choked up, laughing, questioning things, it was a rollercoaster, but now let's talk... SPOILERS BELOW - So this is your last chance to escape before the spoilers, run free, see the film and return... Let's talk the moment that made you, or at least me, choke up and fight back a few tears. The top one for me was Leia and Kylo fading away to the force, as other Jedis have. Which is a sweet way of saying they're dead. Leia has been around since the start, she was a crush for thousands of us growing up, and still was for many. The bikini scene has become icon but that's not what has made her an iconic character. She was powerful, smart and didn't take any rubbish, which for some fucked up reason was not something many princesses were. She was a one in a million character, with some of the greatest lines and most iconic scenes leading the way for women everywhere. I think The Last Jedi did the character no justice and this movie has not only cleaned that up, but gave her the send off she deserved. RIP Carrie Fisher and Princess Leia. What this film did particularly well, and The Last Jedi to some extent, was perfectly bridge the older saga and the new one. We had Poe trying to fill the roll of Leia and finally reaching a point of accomplishment at the end. And when Poe, Finn and Chewie are told of her passing you genuinely feel for them all. Finn took sort of a back seat, as the love interest for him and Rey never really came to anything, but I the moments between Rey and Kylo were more powerful and a much bigger driving point for the film. That being said, taking a back seat to two of the biggest characters Star Wars has scene is not a bad thing, Finn was instrumental in the Rey storyline and one of the few reasons she probably was taken fully by the dark side. John Boyega was the audience, worrying if Rey would give in, because the reasoning for her giving in put forward by Palpatine made sense? It was a worry she would give in... And oh my god, Palpatine? Rey Palpatine... I had no idea he would play such a big role, I assumed it would be his voice we heard, but not this big of a role and I couldn't have been happier. My favourite character is Palpatine (maybe replace by Poe now, it's a very tough call). He was a great, powerful leader in the original trilogy, absolutely stole the show in the prequels and managed to again in the new trilogy. Incredible character, steeped in lore and somebody who actually conjures fear. It's not just his power that makes him formidable, it's ability to convince and deceive. Like I've just said, the points he put forward made me worry Rey would give in, I GAVE IN! But as always with Star Wars, it wasn't so one note, it wasn't just the light, the jedis, we had Kylo Ren and the sith, and what an arc for this character. He went full Sith, became Supreme Leader and killed his own dad before hitting that point and returning to the light. It shows the range of the force and how important and powerful it is in the characters. Once this movie releases on Blu-ray I will go through and pick out all of the nostalgia points, and easter eggs but for now, I will say this film was steeped in them. From the top of my head we had Chewie receiving his medal (FINALLY, AMIRIGHT?), so many jedis in the voices for Rey towards the end... we had Mace Windu, Anakin, Obi Wan... Just so many which could probably warrant it's own video and investigation. I need to see this movie again. But new fans, don't worry there is plenty. There is unbelievable lightsaber fights, never before seen uses of the force and the extent of it's power, which this series in general does very well. Everything was big and spectacular, with huge stakes making you genuinely worry and feel for the characters. I could honestly sit and waffle about this film for hours, but I want to hear your thoughts most importantly. Drop them down below and let's start a discussion. If you had questions or wasn't sure about something, wanted more info, then drop that below too and I'll make sure to get to them all in the next video. But until next time...
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is EA's last chance at keeping the Star Wars license. Here's why I think so: A Lucrative Licence Imagine having exclusive rights to one of the largest franchises in entertainment history. Now imagine everyone hating you for this fact. This is EA. They have their hands on a multi-billion dollar monster of a franchise, and one that is growing year on year. Since Disney's $4 billion purchase of LucasFilm back in 2012, they have laid out a grand plan from a cinematic perspective. This includes the new Skywalker story arc, the stand alone Star Wars stories (which IMO are brilliant) and the upcoming series The Mandalorian. A very punchy production schedule, and one that is delivering a medium to high standard of content. But what about the games? George being George EA has held the license for Star Wars since 2013, and since then has produced a sorry 2 "full" star wars games: Battlefront 1 and 2. Oh and a heap of mobile cash-grab garbage that aren't even worth commenting on. Whilst Battlefront 1 was average at best, we all know Battlefront 2 was a complete mess. A game some fundamentally intertwined in monetisation that 2 years later they are still trying to untangle the mess they created with updates and additional content (which apparently are not bad, more on that in the future). So where does this leave EA and the Star Wars franchise? The conditions of the Star Wars license sets out and expiration date of 2023, so with less that 4 years to go, EA have really yet to prove themselves as a worthy developer to produce an experience fans can truly enjoy. Experiences such as Tie Fighter, Rogue Squadron or Jedi Knight 2. The clock is ticking, and EA need to act. Graveyard of Games EA could have been in a better position, but for reasons that still aren't clear, they have cancelled a number of Star Wars projects which from the little information we have, sounded promising. For example Star Wars 1313 was slated as a gritty bounty hunter title set on Coruscant. It had some impressive concept art and even had an E3 demo that sent the Star Wars fanbase in bit of a spin. "It's as if a million fanboys cried out when 1313 got cancelled" Another example was 'Project RagTag' which had the talented Amy Hennig (Uncharted) attached to it, and was planned to be produced by Visceral Studios. That was however, until EA decided to put a bullet in Visceral's head, and the game was dusted. Lessons Learned? Pressure is certainly mounting on EA to produce a Star Wars game that does the franchise justice and appeals to actual fans. And with the 2023 deadline looming on the horizon, rumors have already started spreading that Disney will not be renewing their contract. To me, it no longer makes much sense to a behemoth like Disney to outsource work like this. Not when they can whip up a game studio in no time with the seemingly endless resources they have. So enter stage left Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. Produced by Respawn (Apex Legends), and slated for release in November (to captialise on the movie hype at the time). Jedi Fallen Order is seemingly EA's last and largest chance at retaining the license, and also producing a worthy Star Wars game. The marketing to date has been amusingly informative. Developers have repeatedly stressed that it is a single player game, with no loot boxes and no micro-transactions. They are obviously eager to regain trust in fans who were heavily burnt by the Battlefront 2 debacle. In fact Respawn have been eager to point out that EA's involvement has been minimal. It's a hilarious state of affairs when studios are distancing themselves from their own publisher to ensure players stay interested. A last hope? So have EA learned their lesson from Battlefront 2? Only time will tell when Jedi Fallen Order releases later this year. The signs are promising, and EA might even get to keep the franchise should it be a success. But I'm sure you and many others will agree with me when I say, that is not a good thing. Which leaves us in a predicament, we want a good game, but we also don't want EA to keep the license. We shall just have to wait and see what Disney decides. May the force be with us Harlan