While the original Child’s Play had a magic angle to it, with the soul of killer Charles Lee Ray transferred into a doll, the upcoming remake goes with a different tactic. Replacing fantasy elements with science-fiction, the new take on Chucky sees him as a bit of artificial intelligence gone wrong – and that’s a pretty dangerous thing in the age smart phones and smart homes. Don’t believe me? Just check out the brand new trailer for the film that has just been released online and see for yourself:
In this revamped take on the Child’s Play franchise, Gabriel Bateman stars as Andy Barclay – an introvert who is nervous to move to a new town. His mom, Karen (Aubrey Plaza), is hopeful that the change of scenery will be good for him, and that he’ll be able to make friends fast, but things initially don’t go as planned. To help with Andy’s loneliness she buys him a Buddi– a toy designed to sync up with the other technologies created by the tech giant Kaslan Corp. – but things start to go horribly wrong when the doll, named Chucky (Mark Hamill), becomes homicidal.
The new Child’s Play has been a bit deliberate when it comes to revealing details about the evil doll at the center of its plot, with the casting of Mark Hamill only revealed a few weeks ago at WonderCon, and our first full look at Chucky dropping a couple days ago. This trailer still plays a bit coy, only showing him in brief shots, and showcasing only one line at the end (“Goodnight, Andy”), but it does leave an impression.
In addition to finally getting creeped out by an in-motion Chucky, this preview also gives us a brief glimpse at what to expect from some of the creative kills that will be featured in the movie – despite the fact that it’s a green band trailer for what will be an R-rated flick.
Those concerned that the evil doll wouldn’t get to wield his most iconic weapon – a chef’s knife – must certainly be breathing a sigh of relief, but stabbing seems like it’s only going to be one of the many causes of fatalities in this new Child’s Play. The sequence with the tangled Christmas lights and the lawnmower looks like it’s going to have a seriously bloody conclusion, and it also looks like Chucky is going to have a bit of fun when it comes to controlling various technologies, including cars. This is just a taste, though, and presumably we’ll be getting a whole lot more when the finished film comes out this summer.
Speaking of which, Child’s Play – which co-stars Brian Tyree Henry and Tim Matheson – will be in theaters in just a couple of months, set to be released by Orion Pictures on June 21st. We’ll have a lot more content about the film coming your way between now and then, so stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest updates.
Last Friday, the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker dropped at Star Wars Celebration, and while hearing Emperor Palpatine’s laugh at the end was arguably the preview’s biggest surprise, there were plenty of other cool and intriguing moments to absorb. This included the scene right before the Palpatine tease, where Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Chewbacca, C-3PO, BB-8 and D-O are on a strange planet where wreckage of a Death Star can be seen in the distance.
Wait, hold up, weren’t we done with this monstrosity? Evidently not. While the Star Wars sequel trilogy featured its own planet-destroying weapon in The Force Awakens, Starkiller Base, we’ve now learned that one of the Death Stars from the Original Trilogy will somehow factor into The Rise of Skywalker’s story. The question is which one.
Let’s backtrack and briefly go over the history of the two Death Stars. Within the Star Wars universe timeline (as opposed to the order in which the movies were released), the first Death Star was teased via schematics Count Dooku was given by Poggle the Lesser on Geonosis at the outbreak of the Clone Wars. Three years later, following the end of that conflict and the Empire’s rise to power, Emperor Palptaine ordered the space station start being constructed.
Nearly two decades later, the Death Star was finally operational, with its kyber crystals-powered superlaser first being unleashed on the surfaces of Jedha and Scarif. However, its full power would be demonstrated when Grand Moff Tarkin ordered Princess Leia Organa’s homeworld, Alderaan, be completely destroyed. The Death Star also nearly destroyed Yavin IV, the location of the main Rebel base at the time, but Luke Skywalker successfully used his Force-guided instincts to launch a coupe torpedoes into a conveniently-located exhaust vent (thank you for that weakness, Galen Erso) at the last minute, and the space station was destroyed.
The Empire began constructing the second Death Star soon after that, and only three years later, much of it was already complete. Not only was it even bigger than its predecessor, but it also removed the flaws that led to the first Death Star’s demise and was able to fire its superlaser every few minutes, rather than needing a whole day to recharge. Palatine let slip that the location of the unfinished Death Star to draw the Rebels into a trap, but thankfully, they still managed to destroy this monstrosity, which wouldn’t have been possible had it been completed.
Which brings us back to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which takes place a little over three decades after the Battle of Endor. While I can’t say with 100% certainty yet, I suspect that those are remnants of the second Death Star that the protagonists are visiting. Although the first Death Star was closing in on Yavin IV when it was destroyed, there was still a lot of distance between it and the planet, so wreckage of that size probably wouldn’t have made it to the surface.
The second Death Star, on the other hand, was right above Endor when it was destroyed, so it’s likely that parts of it managed to land on that world. And just to be clear, I’m speaking Endor the forest moon that we visited in Return of the Jedi, not the actual planet since it’s a gas giant. That said, the environment Rey and the others are on is much different from the one the Ewoks live in.
So for the sake of argument, let’s assume this is indeed the second Death Star the Rise of Skywalker characters are visiting. What does that mean? In typical Disney and Lucasfilm fashion, they’re keeping specific plot details for the upcoming Star Wars movie close to the chest, so who knows if we’ll get any hints in marketing and advertising about how the Death Star wreckage fits into the story. That being said, it’s a good bet that it’s somehow tied to Palpatine, who Ian McDiarmid is confirmed to be reprising in The Rise of Skywalker.
Remember, the second Death Star was also where Emperor Palpatine met his demise, as Darth Vader chose to save his son and toss his master into the space station’s reactor as Force lightning was still blasting from his fingertips. Since the Death Star was destroyed soon after, you’d think that was enough to ensure that the Sith puppet master was gone for good, and Ian McDiarmid has said that pre-The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine is definitely dead.
But the Star Wars universe is a strange place, and there’s already been plenty of speculation that The Rise of Skywalker will see Palpatine either resurrected or interacting with the land of the living as a Force ghost, though we shouldn’t discount that Palpatine will remain dead and appear though flashbacks or holocrons. Either way, it’s difficult to believe that the Death Star wreckage doesn’t tie into Palpatine’s role in this story. After all, he was the mastermind behind both of these terrifying weapons.
If Palpatine is resurrected in The Rise of Skywalker, perhaps the Death Star wreckage is where it will take place, and the heroes, having gotten wind of Darth Sidious’ return, head there for the movie’s climactic confrontation. It’d be so fitting if the Skywalker Saga ended with the Sith Lord finally being defeated for good at the same place he’d died decades earlier… except, you know, on a planet rather than out in space.
However, until otherwise persuaded, I’m more of the opinion that Palpatine is staying dead in The Rise of Skywalker; his involvement will only be through recordings/looks back at when he was still alive, and the final conflict in the movie will still revolve around overthrowing Kylo Ren and/or The First Order. To that end, maybe the Death Star site is the location of an object or key piece of information that managed to survive being blown up, and that’s why Rey and the others are going there. Retrieving whatever this thing is could finally turn the tide of the war in The Resistance’s favor.
If this ends up being the case, then it’s also reasonable to assume that Kylo Ren would have the same objective, meaning the Death Star could still be the site of a huge battle. In any case, given that the new main Star Wars installments have avoided revisiting classic locations, it’s intriguing that we’re heading back to the remnants of a machine that caused so much destruction at the end of the Original Trilogy. On the other hand, since this will be the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, it’s also rather appropriate.
We’ll find out what the deal is with the Death Star and so much more when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is released on December 20. For everything else coming to theaters later this year, look through our 2019 release schedule.
Star Wars: Episode IX is still several months away but it’s never too early to look forward to what the Star Wars galaxy will be bringing to our movie screens. While most of the details are still being tightly guarded, that doesn’t mean we don’t know anything about the movie that’s set to be the end of the Skywalker Saga.
A lot of what we do know comes from the first teaser, which was recently released at Star Wars Celebration. Check it out.
Let’s Talk About That Title
One of the biggest questions about Star Wars: Episode IX was what the movie itself would actually be called. The question was answered at the end of the trailer, with the subtitle The Rise of Skywalker. Of course, with that answer comes a host of new questions.
What exactly does that mean? With Luke Skywalker apparently dead, it seems unlikely the title refers to him. With Carrie Fisher’s role of Princess Leia limited due to her death, it would be difficult for the film to focus too much on her. There are many theories already about what the title could mean. We likely won’t know the truth until we actually see the movie.
What Is The Star Wars: Episode IX Rating And Release Date?
There was a time when the one thing that we knew for sure about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was its release date. It was set for May 24, 2019. Following the delay in Star Wars: The Last Jedi which shifted it from a summer to a holiday release in 2017, the Star Wars franchise was set to move into the summer of 2018 with Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: Episode IX was set to hit almost exactly a year later.
However, due to one very big change the movie is going through, which we’ll be getting into in a minute, Star Wars shifted back to a holiday release schedule. The movie is currently set to debut on December 20, 2019. This will see it open against the cinematic adaptation of the Broadway show Cats, and a week after the third Jumanji.
While it’s far too early to know the MPAA rating of The Rise of Skywalker, thus far, every Star Wars film under Disney has obtained a PG-13 rating. At this point, we have to assume that Star Wars: Episode IX will also be a PG-13 film.
Who Is Directing Star Wars: Episode IX?
At least when George Lucas was in charge, we knew the answers to such complicated questions as, “who’s directing this?” Star Wars had been looking to fairly new, but accomplished, directors to make a lot of their new movies. Following names like Gareth Edwards and Rian Johnson, Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow had been tapped as the man taking the reins to close out this new trilogy. However, in September of 2017, it was announced that Trevorrow and Lucasfilm had mutually agreed to part ways.
Trevorrow’s last movie, The Book of Henry was critically slammed, leading many to wonder if the director’s chair would be reconsidered, and while it’s not clear what role, if any, that movie played in the decision, Trevorrow has now followed Josh Trank, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller into the “almost Star Wars directors” club. A few days after the announcement of Trevorrow’s departure it was confirmed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams would be returning to finish the trilogy he started.
What Is Star Wars: Episode IX About?
Well, that is the question now, isn’t it? On the one hand, we know exactly what Episode IX will be about, as it will close out this third Star Wars trilogy, bringing the stories of Rey, Finn, Poe, Luke Skywalker and everybody else to some sort of conclusion. We fully expect the First Order to be defeated and for a new era in the galaxy to begin.
But, as far as how any of that might happen, we have almost no clue. Certainly, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi having left things in a particular way, we can now speculate where the final movie will start, based on where the previous one ended. There’s a lot that can still happen to our favorite characters. The new movie is set to pick up about a year after the events of The Last Jedi. This means we’ll find our characters in a very different place compared to how we left them, but how much has changed?
What About Carrie Fisher?
Star Wars fans were rocked in December of 2016 when Carrie Fisher passed away. While she had completed her work in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, nothing had even begun to get started on Star Wars: Episode IX. This left us with a finale to The Last Jedi that left Leia’s story open for the next chapter, but now without an actress to finish it out.
For a long time, things were left up in the air, it was clear that even Lucasfilm needed to sit down and figure out what to do. In the end, the studio found a way to include Carrie Fisher and General Leia.
It was an odd coincidence that, in the days immediately prior to Carrie Fisher’s death, we saw another actress play the role of Princess Leia in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Thanks to advances in CGI, the actress playing the part looked just like Carrie Fisher circa 1977. This led to the obvious question of whether or not Lucasfilm might try to do the same thing for an entire movie, allowing General Leia to finish out her story arc, looking like Carrie Fisher but being played by somebody else. Disney eventually quelled the fears and confirmed that this would not happen.
Instead, it was decided that there was enough unused footage of Carrie Fisher from the two previous Star Wars films that could be re-purposed to bring Leia back for the final entry in the film. We got to see a brief moment of this in the new teaser.
All of this is especially sad and confusing because, based on comments by Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, Episode IX was originally going to spotlight General Leia. According to Kennedy…
The minute she finished, she grabbed me and said, ‘I’d better be at the forefront of IX!’ Because Harrison was front and center on VII, and Mark is front and center on VIII. She thought IX would be her movie. And it would have been.
Just how much Leia will be at the center of the story of The Rise of Skywalker remains to be seen, but simply the fact that she’ll be there at all is a comfort.
Rey has been our focus character since the beginning of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and we expect that will continue through the end of this trilogy. In the first movie, she became aware of her Force abilities and in Star Wars: The Last Jedi she was trained by Luke Skywalker. In many ways, her arc appears to mirror that of Luke himself. If we continue this idea through The Rise of Skywalker then we would expect to see Rey as a powerful Force user in the movie leading toward a final confrontation with Kylo Ren.
Another thing we learned about Rey in The Last Jedi is that her parentage was apparently of no consequence. While many theories had Rey herself as a Skywalker or a Kenobi, that seems not to be the case. However, J.J. Abrams recently said there is still more to Rey’s story that we will learn in the final movie. Perhaps it will be something that helps the title make sense.
Who is Rey? Was Kylo Ren lying about her parents? Why did they leave her on Jakku as a child? Will she lead a new Resistance? We certainly expect that all of our questions about Rey will be answered by the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Finn may be the biggest question mark of a character in Star Wars: Episode IX. He started his life as a brain-washed drone, a Stormtrooper working for the First Order. In The Last Jedi, Finn tried, and failed, to rescue the Resistance alongside new ally Rose Tico. His ultimate goal then was to be reunited with his friend Rey. At the end of the last film that finally happened, and every indication is that the pair will be together for The Rise of Skywalker, though Finn may be bringing his new friend Rose along for the ride, because they’ve become close.
Poe was a popular character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, even though he had relatively little screen time in the movie. Poe did a lot more in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, though he was fighting Leia and her decisions the entire way. Mutiny? Poe, you surprise us. Where will this pilot go in Episode IX? He’s an important part of Leia and Rey’s new band of Rebels. And with the promise of Force sensitive younglings, Poe could be a mentor to many a young freedom fighter. He certainly looks like he’s taken on the role of a leader in the brief scenes we see of him in the new trailer.
While Snoke used to be the brains behind the First Order, Kylo Ren is the real villain of the story (and Snoke died, unceremoniously, at the saber of the former Ben Solo). His conflicted nature regarding the Dark Side of the Force might lead us to believe he’s headed for some sort of redemption story, similar to the one that his idol, Darth Vader, eventually had.
However, that’s going to be much more difficult here as Kylo Ren is ultimately responsible for the death of Han Solo, something that we don’t think the other characters of the trilogy, or the fans watching it, would be quite as willing to accept. Also, in The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren seemed to reject both the Light AND the Dark side of the Force, begging Rey to join him in the founding of something entirely new. Will that quest continue in Episode IX? How will the First Order be different under the complete leadership of Ben Solo?
Kelly Marie Tran had an important role in The Last Jedi. Tran played a Resistance maintenance worker named Rose. She seems like an odd sort of character to make a focal point of the story, but she was important because of the ways that she contributed to the Resistance. We expect that Rose and Finn may continue to spend a lot of time working together as part of the Resistance now that Leia and Rey are building a new army.
Rose never appears in the new teaser trailer, including in scenes when the rest of our heroes are together, so how she fits in is anybody’s guess at this point.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi ended with an epic confrontation between Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren that was made all the more amazing when it was revealed that Luke wasn’t even there. Light years away we would watch Luke vanish and his robes fall to the ground, much as his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, had done so many years before.
The expectation by many is that we’ll see Luke Skywalker in Episode IX as a Force Ghost, the same way Alec Guinness appeared in the original Star Wars sequels. The fact that we heard Mark Hamill’s voice in The Rise of Skywalker teaser would seem to confirm that, though it should be pointed out that Mark Hamill lent dialogue to the original teaser for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and we all know how much he actually spoke in that movie.
While some of our biggest and most popular characters from the original trilogy may be gone, Star Wars: Episode IX will see at least one return. Billy Dee Williams will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in the new film. The teaser showed him back at the helm of the Millennium Falcon alongside Chewbacca. Exactly how, or why, Lando returns to join our new band of heroes has not bee reveled, but certainly, fans will be glad to see him back. Almost as glad as Lando appears to be to finally be flying the Falcon again.
The single biggest piece of information revealed in the new trailer was a laugh. At the end of the teaser, just before the title was revealed, we heard a familiar, evil, laugh. Fans instantly recognized it as belonging to Emperor Palpatine. Just to prevent any confusion, when the teaser was first shown at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, Ian McDiarmid, the actor who played the role of the Emperor, appeared on stage.
The prequels saw Palpatine enact his plan to create the Galactic Empire, and the original trilogy, seemingly, showed that Empire fall and Palpatine himself be killed. And yet, somehow, the Emperor will return for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Is the Emperor truly alive? Will he be a Force Ghost? What does this mean for everything that came in the previous episodes of the trilogy?
While most of our questions about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker focus on the characters we already know, there will also be new characters for our heroes to contend with. Naomi Ackie was on the stage at the recent Star Wars Celebration, though all she could really do was confirm her character’s name, which is Jannah. Rumors that Jannah might be Lando’s daughter went unanswered. We did get the one still image, above, of Jannah to give us an idea what she looks like, but that’s about it.
One other new character that we know even less about will be played by Keri Russell. She’s a frequent collaborator of J.J. Abrams, so seeing her join the cast is no real shock. However, the only thing she has revealed about her character is that she wears a really cool costume.
What Happens Next
Once the current Star Wars trilogy ends, fans will almost certainly wonder what’s going to happen after that. At this point, we simply don’t know. We do know that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will mark the end of the Skywalker Saga, but that doesn’t mean we won’t ever see the likes of Rey and Finn again. However, it appears that Disney will be taking a break from Star Wars movies for a while. We know the likes of Rian Johnson and the creative team behind Game of Thrones are working on new projects, but we have little idea what any of these ideas are.
Be sure to bookmark this guide, as we’ll be updating it when relevant new information comes in regarding Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker!
It’s never easy to learn that something you’ve made isn’t liked by others. Director and writer M. Night Shyamalan has experienced this several times in his career, most recently with Glass, the final chapter of his Eastrail 177 trilogy that began with Unbreakable and continued with Split. In fact, Shyamalan cried upon learning that Glass was taking a critical beating back in January. As he recalled:
For nearly two decades Unbreakable was a standalone feature in M. Night Shyamalan’s filmography, but the filmmaker finally revisited that world with Split, which, in typical Shaymalan twist fashion, had Bruce Willis’ David Dunn appear at the end. Like Unbreakable, Split was met with positive reception, so shortly after its release, Shyamalan announced he’d be making Glass next. The hype surrounding Glass only grew over the next two years (give or take), especially after the first trailer dropped last summer.
Unfortunately for M. Night Shyamalan, Glass didn’t receive anywhere near the same level of approval as its predecessors, ranking at 37% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes. In other words, it wasn’t a flop across the board (as The Last Airbender and After Earth basically were), but it wasn’t a critical triumph either.
Hearing that Glass wasn’t being well-received was enough to make M. Night Shyamalan shed some tears while he was promoting the movie across the pond, but he felt better once he accounted for how commercially successful it was. Elaborating on how he felt at the time during a recent lecture at NYU’s Stern School of Business (via Indiewire), Shyamalan said:
Glass ended up making nearly $247 million worldwide off a $20 million budget, so on the money side of things, it definitely performed splendidly, although it still ended up falling short of Unbreakable and Split’s hauls. In any case, M. Night Shyamalan appears to have made peace with how things turned out on Glass, though he still acknowledged that he still gets “tired” dealing with this kind of critical reaction to his work.
M. Night Shyamalan is now working on his upcoming Apple series Servant and also has a movie called Labor of Love in development. When more details become available on either of those projects, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know about them. Glass can be purchased Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, and you can look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what movies are coming out later this year.
Around this time last year, filming on writer/director/actor Edward Norton’s film Motherless Brooklynsuffered an accidental fire, which claimed the life of New York firefighter Michael Davidson as he responded to the scene. Up until now, the legal ramifications of this fatality had been filed against Norton and his Class 5 production company, but a recent update has shown that Edward Norton is now filing a suit of his own.
In this latest turn of events, a lawsuit against the owner of the building Motherless Brooklyn was filming in, Vincent Sollazzo, claims that he is at fault for the fatal incident which occurred last March. Specifically, the suit alleges the following points of supposed negligence:
Class 5’s lawsuit also claims that the production company, and Edward Norton, had followed all protocols involving fire safety, throughout the production of Motherless Brooklyn. It was also inferred that Norton and his crew had the proper permits from the FDNY, and were not warned of any “unsafe or problematic” conditions at their shooting site.
The Blast has been a frequent source for reporting such developments during the production of Motherless Brooklyn, with the story becoming more complicated and saddening with each turn. Previously, the publication had reported on several additional lawsuits against Edward Norton’s Class 5 production company, with the most recent being filed earlier this month from a pair of tenants who literally claimed that this tragic incident ruined their lives.
This is the latest obstacle that’s befallen Motherless Brooklyn, as it’s a project that’s already taken over a decade to get into production. A project very near and dear to Norton, the film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by author Jonathan Lethem, which tells the story of a man with Tourette’s Syndrome trying to solve the murder of a local mobster.
It’s up to the law to determine whether the loss of life on Motherless Brooklyn is a case of gross negligence on any person’s part, or if this was merely an accident that took the life of a brave firefighter answering the call of service. However this ends up, at the very least, we should hope that the victims of this event can find peace and that measures are taken to make sure that accidents such as these happen less frequently during any future film productions.
Motherless Brooklyn has been set for a November 1 release date, but should that change for any reason we’ll provide the updated information as it breaks.
Last year, the legendary theme park attraction Jurassic Park: The Ridesailed its final voyage through Isla Nublar and closed down for refurbishment at Universal Studios Hollywood. That refresh was in the name of an updated attraction that swam in the same waters, but in service of promoting the Jurassic World franchise.
Now we have our first hint at what the updated attraction will look like, with the trailer below. Dear readers, welcome, to Jurassic World: The Ride:
The trailer starts out simple enough, with a western being filmed on the Universal Studios backlot. But before things get too shooty, an astronaut runs into frame with a familiar one word warning: “Run!” As one would expect, the chase scatters a bunch of other costumed actors running through the Universal lot, which results in Roberta the Tyrannosaurus Rex breaking through the Universal Studios arch.
It’s at this point that Jurassic World: The Ride finally shows itself through our first look at what exactly will be part of this new theme park attraction; and it’s here where we see something rather interesting. Pictured in the video is a boat that looks like one of the boats last seen in the Jurassic Park: The Ride attraction, only this time it’s stopped in the middle of the attraction.
Conveniently enough, the boat is stopped in front of a Mosasaurus tank, just in time for the beastie to charge towards the glass and make a hole. Water squirts out, the audience looks frightened and the boat moves on to bigger, scarier thrills, like the previously confirmed showdown between the famed T-Rex and “new behemoth dinosaurs.”
While Jurassic World: The Ride sounded pretty intense when described in the vaguest of terms, this new ride’s promise of more realistic terror is even more promising. The footage of how the ride’s supposed to work only makes for more excitement, as it looks like a digital screen approach similar to the Fast & Furious: Supercharged or Skull Island: Reign of Kong attractions, which be used to show some of the creatures at hand.
Though we wouldn’t count out any thrills and spills using original, or brand new, animatronics in Jurassic World: The Ride, as even those updated attractions still retain an actual physical element to their thrills. Of course, this is all speculation at this moment, but for now, taking a look into the world of this future adventure 65 million years in the making has us longing for our first chance to take that ride for ourselves.
Jurassic World: The Ride does not have an official opening date past the originally specified timeframe of this summer. However, Universal Studios Hollywood recommends checking back on their official website for any future updates.
And if you still want to ride Jurassic Park: The Ride, it’s still in operation at Universal Studios Japan, as well as Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando for the time being. Which has us wondering if any revamps to the latter park’s attraction could involve Roberta squaring off against Fluffy from the Harry Potter series. Just a suggestion, Universal.
Through the entire Star Wars saga, fans have had a pretty good beat on exactly where Luke Skywalker has been at all times. The movies have shown everything from his birth to his death, and while there have been some time jumps installed in the storytelling, various exposition and material deemed canonical has filled in the gaps. Despite all of this, however, one question has continued to make fans scratch their heads: did Luke ever have sex?
Because the movies are aimed at audiences of all ages, it’s not a subject that has specifically made its way into the movies – though it has been pointed out that Luke has never been shown to have any kind of on-screen romance. This has kept speculation alive, but now Mark Hamill has offered his two cents on the matter via his Twitter account:
Earlier today a Twitter user posed a question to her followers asking if Luke Skywalker died a virgin, and while he wasn’t actually tagged in the post, Mark Hamill found it and addressed the topic from his own perspective. He offered that fans can really make up any version of events that they want based on the evidence presented, but according to his own view of the character and his personally-constructed backstory, Luke did at some point find an opportunity to have a sexual relationship.
Of course, knowing this opens up a whole lot of other questions that we may never get specific answers to – unless Mark Hamill decides to offer them at some point down the line. The big one, of course, is the identity of the person with whom Luke had sex – but speculation in that arena comes part in parcel with queries such as when they were together; if they were in a romantic relationship; and what happened between them both before and after the sexual encounter.
One can expect that this revelation will also add some fuel to the flame in the on-going conversation regarding the parentage of Daisy Ridley’s Rey. While Star Wars: The Last Jedi told us who Rey’s mom and dad were, there are some who continue to not accept the word of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, and they have continued to wonder if the heroine might be Luke’s offspring. Knowing that Luke did have sex at some point in his life does technically increase the chances of a closer familial relationship with Rey… but there is also still plenty of evidence out there that suggests that possibility is not really on the table (not to mention the fact that the statement makes it sound like the topic isn’t going to be addressed in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker).
Right now this is all the information that we have to go on, but it’s certainly a subject that could easily be fleshed out at some point in the future. Beyond the blockbuster movies there are still comics, novels, and television shows being produced at a constant rate, and there is every possibility that one of them will eventually address the subject of Luke’s sexuality and sexual history. We’ll just have to wait.
Not everything shot for a movie is going to make it into the final cut, but thanks to DVDs, Blu-rays and digital purchases, people can oftentimes watch some, if not most of a production’s deleted scenes. Shazam! will be no exception, because according to Michel Aller, the editor of the sixth DC Extended Universe movie, the home release of Billy Batson’s origin story will be packed with a lot of deleted scenes, including potentially one involving Asher Angel’s Billy and Grace Fulton’s Mary Bromfield. Aller explained:
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Michel Aller about Shazam!, and among the topics we discussed was just how much material was cut out of the finished movie. Sure enough, like many other superhero movies before it, Shazam! will have a solid amount of deleted scenes as part of its special feature offerings, and it appear that like there’s a good chance this scene between Billy and Mary will be among them.
Billy Batson and Mary Bromfield have always been siblings in the comics, but as opposed to going the biological route as was the case for decades, the Shazam! movie pulled from Shazam’s New 52 origin story and had her, Freddy Freeman, Eugene Choi, Darla Dudley and Pedro Pena be Billy’s adoptive siblings at the Vasquez household. While Shazam! spent a decent amount of time introducing these new people in Billy’s life, it also had to move relatively quickly to actually bring in Billy’s Shazam persona, and whatever moment Billy and Mary had before the former began his superhero journey ended up on the cutting room floor.
While we didn’t get to see Mary confront Billy as he snuck out during his first night with his new family, Shazam! did still give us a touching moment between the two, albeit with Zachary Levi playing Billy instead, when Shazam saved her from being hit by a truck and tried to console her because she was upset about potentially having to leave her family behind to attend college. And, of course, in the climactic battle, Mary and the other kids were able to also become adult superheroes when Billy shared his power with them.
We’ll have to wait to learn if the Billy/Mary scene will indeed be included on the Shazam! home media release, but another deleted scene Michel Aller expects to be shown is how Sivana originally unleashed the power of the Seven Deadly Sins. Originally he went on his murder spree at a Christmas party being held at his mansion, but during the Shazam! reshoots, the location was changed to a boardroom at Sivana industries. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more information on Shazam! deleted scenes.
At last week’s Star Wars Celebration, we finally got our long-awaited first look at J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX in the form of a teaser trailer. From Rey’s lightsaber acrobatics to the return of Lando Calrissian to the intriguing title, the trailer gave us plenty to discuss, but the moment that made Star Wars fans lose their minds came at the end of the Rise of Skywalker trailer when we heard the laugh of franchise villain and presumed dead Sith Lord, Emperor Palpatine.
It was a hell of a tag to end the trailer on, and just so there’s no ambiguity, J.J. Abrams confirmed to Empire’s James Dyer that Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine is in the movie. This is incredibly exciting for a Sequel Trilogy that is arguably in need of a truly fearsome villain after the death of Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Yet while this cackling fan service-y reveal seemed to go a long way towards getting everyone amped for Star Wars again, Emperor Palpatine’s return opens up a whole can of worms (or Exogorth space slugs if you prefer).
Both in-story and on a macro level for the franchise as a whole, Palpatine’s return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker raises major questions that will need to be answered by the time the final credits roll in December. There is a lot to unpack and we may know more as we get closer to the film’s release, but these are some of the most obvious questions that come to mind.
Does Palpatine’s Return Diminish The End Of Return Of The Jedi?
Until Disney bought Lucasfilm and announced a new Star Wars trilogy in 2012, 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi was presumed to be the chronological end of the franchise. That was fine because that film wraps up the trilogy in a narratively and thematically satisfying way. After years in service to it, Darth Vader rejects the Dark Side and kills Emperor Palpatine. In doing so, he saves the galaxy from the yoke of the Empire and his son Luke from death at the Emperor’s hands. Vader then dies as he was born, as Anakin Skywalker.
There is an argument that no matter what form he returns in, Palpatine’s return in The Rise of Skywalker diminishes that relatively perfect ending. If Darth Sidious still holds some sway in the galaxy, Anakin Skywalker’s redemptive act at the end of Return of the Jedi does not have the same level of consequence. Anakin’s sacrifice still matters, but it does not have the finality that it once did. It is no longer the final victory against that evil, but merely a smaller battle won in an even greater war.
You could say that Vader still saved Luke so that he could one day meet Rey and help her to one day finish Palpatine for good, but it’s not the same. The manner and form of Palpatine’s return will matter a lot as far as how this question will be answered, and the execution must be perfect for this not to feel like a forced return for a villain that already had a great death. If nothing else, the fact that J.J. Abrams consulted with George Lucas about the story is encouraging.
Is He Actually “Alive”?
Just because Ian McDiarmid is definitely in The Rise of Skywalker doesn’t mean that we will see Emperor Palpatine alive and interacting with the Sequel Trilogy characters in the ‘present day.’ All we’ve heard is a laugh; we haven’t seen him yet. As far as we know, Sith don’t get Force Ghosts, an afterlife trade-off for the spoils they enjoy in the mortal realm. Ian McDiarmid also seemed to indicate that Palpatine is dead, at least to start off the film. Yet there are still ways that he could appear that wouldn’t undo the end of Return of the Jedi.
Emperor Palpatine could still be in the film and play a crucial role even if he isn’t a Force Ghost or resurrected. One possibility is that he could appear in hologram form. If Rey or Kylo came across a Sith Holocron owned by Darth Sidious, Ian McDiarmid’s character could impart knowledge and influence events from beyond the grave. Maybe it’s an arms race between Kylo and a Holocron versus Rey and the Jedi texts. If Palpatine appears via hologram, we would get to see him, but he would still be dead.
Another possibility that is very intriguing is that Palpatine could appear via flashback. The Sequel Trilogy has introduced flashbacks to the Saga and Palpatine flashbacks could provide further insight into this franchise villain. Flashbacks could also be used to answer some of the other questions on this list, like what connections he has to the events taking place in the film’s present.
If He’s Alive, How And In What Form?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has a lot of heavy lifting to do to close out this trilogy and the Skywalker Saga as a whole, and if Darth Sidious returns in physical form, that adds significant weight to that load. This Sequel Trilogy has introduced new wrinkles to the mythology, so maybe being a Force Ghost is on the table, and appearing as a hologram would be easy to do, albeit something of a tease. But an actual physical return would require a lot of explanation.
If Palpatine is alive, as our own Mick Joest suspects, there are several possible explanations. In the jettisoned Expanded Universe, Palpatine had clones made of himself as a safeguard against permanent death. The EU is gone, but Lucasfilm has shown a willingness to cherrypick certain elements from it when needed. Another possibility is that his essence went into some Sith artifact after his body was destroyed, and Kylo Ren discovers it and somehow returns him to life.
There is also the Darth Plagueis elephant in the room. Palpatine indicated to Anakin that Plagueis taught his apprentice everything he knew. Palpatine also told Anakin that he didn’t know the secret to saving Padmé. This could have been a lie and Palpatine truly did know how to cheat death like his master before him, but misled Anakin because Padmé would have only divided Anakin’s loyalty. Whatever the reason, we need to know how and why he is back and where he has been this whole time.
Was Palpatine’s Return Always The Plan?
We may never know definitively, but based on things that have been said over the years and the ways in which The Last Jedi diverges drastically from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it kind of looks like there was never a definitive and overarching plan for the Sequel Trilogy. So you could be forgiven for thinking that bringing back Sheev Palpatine in Episode IX is a last minute Hail Mary to unite the fanbase and give the Sequel Trilogy the imposing villain (and path to Kylo’s redemption) it has been lacking.
Speaking with Yahoo’s Kevin Polowy at Star Wars Celebration, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy indicated that Palpatine’s return has been in the works for a while, but they hadn’t decided on how exactly to bring him back. In some ways it makes sense; Palpatine was the big bad in the first two trilogies, so why not have this entire saga be about one family’s multigenerational battle against this one great evil. That may be the case, but it definitely makes you wonder why seeds weren’t really planted in Episode VII or Episode VIII.
Maybe J.J. Abrams is doing things in Episode IX that make Darth Sidious’ influence in the previous two films more obvious in hindsight (flashbacks perhaps?), but there is definitely a question about if there will be enough time to make it all work. If it was the plan all along, the execution will determine its effectiveness.
What Is His Relationship To Snoke And Kylo Ren?
If this were Episode VII, Palpatine could come back with far fewer needles to thread, but as it stands, he is returning in a Sequel Trilogy that has been focused on new, seemingly separate villains. It would be a bit strange to have Palpatine return just for one movie, so I expect The Rise of Skywalker to retroactively hint at his presence and influence throughout this trilogy. That means we need to know his relationship to the other Dark Side users we’ve met, namely Snoke and Kylo Ren.
Those two are supposedly not official Sith, but the distinction is a bit unclear. It would make Sidious look weak (and make us lament Snoke’s death) to find out that he was biding his time waiting for Snoke to fall. You havr to think he had some kind of relationship with Snoke. Maybe the late Supreme Leader was a puppet of Palpatine’s, a proxy while the Emperor worked from the shadows and regained his strength.
There is also a theory that Snoke was Palpatine, i.e. a host body ravaged by the power of the Sith Lord. Snoke’s obsession with Kylo Ren’s Skywalker bloodline and desire to make a new Vader certainly had parallels to Palpatine’s desires to turn Luke. As far as the Knights of Ren are concerned, there was a rumor that they were in “The Beyond” (Unknown Regions?) this whole time and there they encountered a new threat. If true, Palpatine’s spirit could have been out there figuring out how to become even more powerful and he finally revealed himself to the Knights of Ren.
How Do The Heroes Kill Him For Good?
With history’s greatest Sith Lord back to threaten the galaxy once more, and with the Skywalker Saga coming to a close, the heroes only have one movie in which to defeat him, and to bring closure to this saga, he must be completely defeated. But the very fact that he is back when we thought him gone means that killing him will prove quite the task though because if he didn’t perish completely after being vaporized at the end of Return of the Jedi, how do the heroes finish him off for good?
If Palpatine is a Force Ghost, we’d have to hope Luke could defeat him in that realm (this seems unlikely). If his spirit is still lingering in the galaxy, yet not able to take physical form, a la Sauron, Rey, Finn and Poe will have to figure out how to eliminate it. And if he is back in a body and knows how to cheat death, perhaps this will be a Horcrux situation where the heroes need to eliminate artifacts that his spirit could retreat into, so that when he meets his match he will be mortal once more.
One possibility is that Rey could get her Samwell Tarly on by turning to ancient texts to try and find answers to defeating an existential threat. Those sacred Jedi books have to come into play somehow. Maybe they contain a chapter titled ‘How to Kill a Sith For Good’ and finding something to do the trick, the film’s MacGuffin, will be one of the movie’s major plot points and the journey the heroes go on together.
Bringing Emperor Palpatine back shows that J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm are really swinging for the fences to unite the fanbase and end the Skywalker Saga with a bang. To that end, it is obvious that a lot of people are excited about Emperor Palpatine’s return, myself included. However, taking a swing this big is no easy thing, it comes with a lot of questions and potential pitfalls, but if they knock it out of the park it could be incredible. If nothing else, we’ve got plenty to speculate about from now until the next trailer.
Let us know your thoughts on these questions and any we didn’t think of in the comments below. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker blasts into theaters on December 20. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see all the movies you can look forward to before then, and for all the latest Star Wars news, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.
When Harry Met Sally’s restaurant orgasm scene is iconic, both within the context of the history of film and also Meg Ryan’s career. Now, 30 years after the release of the rom-com starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, the movie is going to be celebrated with galas and even a Fathom Event.
If you can’t make those, however, the cast and director Rob Reiner recently joined together to talk about the iconic film, noting that now-infamous orgasm scene was partially a concoction of Meg Ryan’s. According to Rob Reiner,
Previously, Bill Crystal told a similar story in which Meg Ryan had contributed the idea of the fake orgasm after Nora Ephron had mentioned women did this in real life. In his version however, the idea to do a fake orgasm was Ryan’s and the idea to do it in a restaurant was his.
Whatever the exact truth, it’s clear the When Harry Met Sally scene was pretty collaborative. Which may be one of the reasons it works so well in the final edit of the movie.
Rob Reiner went on to tell EW that wasn’t the only portion of the scene Meg Ryan contributed, however. After it was determined Meg Ryan would fake her orgasm opposite Billy Crystal at a restaurant, she had another brilliant idea…
It’s a classic movie moment. Many of the people in the restaurant have turned around to stare at Sally while she has her orgasmic moment, when suddenly she stops and all is back to normal. She takes a bit of her coleslaw while Harry gives her a look.
Afterwards an extra –who we know was actually Rob Reiner’s own mother – utters a famous movie line: “I’ll have what she’s having.”
Since I’m sure you’d like to relive the “I’ll have what she’s having moment, you can watch the full scene below.
However it came about exactly, the orgasm scene is so notable, Meg Ryan’s son Jack Quaid learned about it young and purposefully waited until he was in his twenties to actually watch the scene. Because who wants to watch their mom having a fake orgasm, am I right?
Thirty years after it was first put to film, When Harry Met Sally is still thought of as one of the most iconic rom-coms created for the big screen. Whether it will live on in the minds of movie lovers for the next 30 years remains to be seen, but for now you can catch it on Blu-ray, DVD or Digital or wait for the Fathom Event this winter.