Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Looking Back and Moving Forward at Star Wars Celebration V

As most geeks are probably well aware, Star Wars Celebration V took place this past weekend in Orlando (ha, Lando). This particular Force-centric convention celebrated the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, considered by many to be the best film in the saga, but it also clued fans in on some upcoming developments pertaining to that galaxy far, far away.

George Lucas and co. unveiled an exciting new trailer for the anticipated third season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which kicks off September 17. The clip introduces Savage Oppress, a servant of the dark side and a formidable new threat to the Galactic Republic. Oppress is a Zabrak, the same species as Phantom Menace baddie Darth Maul. I’m guessing he’s savage and, well, oppresses people from time to time. Sigh.

“It’s important that when creating a new character that they become iconic,” says Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni. “It was important that you don’t confuse him with Darth Maul—we couldn’t make him red and black so we made him yellow and black.”

Okay, cool, I dig the look of the character (pictured above), but the name? After General Grievous, Cad Bane and now this guy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next major Star Wars villain gets saddled with the name Evil Vicious. it’s almost as if the creative team at Lucasfilm just picks synonyms for “bad” out of the thesaurus and calls it a day when it comes to naming new villains. I’d go on, but since The Clone Wars is an excellent show overall, I’ll let the lazy monikers slide for now.

Perhaps the biggest piece of Star Wars news to come out of Celebration V was the announcement that the entire Star Wars saga will arrive on Blu-ray in the fall of 2011. The boxed set will feature all six films and extensive special features, including deleted scenes. Among this never-before-released footage is an introductory sequence from Return of the Jedi that shows Luke Skywalker building his lightsaber.

Reportedly (and expectedly), the set will not include the unaltered pre-Special Edition versions of the first three films. On the contrary, we’d all be wise to expect entirely new alterations to the original trilogy when the set hits shelves next fall.

For complete Celebration V coverage, visit StarWars.com.

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