A Disturbance in the Force (2023) [Fantasia Film Festival 2023]

When I think about it, it’s pretty shocking that no one has made a movie about “The Star Wars Holiday Special” yet. It’s an untapped corner of the “Star Wars” fandom that has remained mainly a running joke and mythical hurdle a fan must endure as a rite of passage. Director Jeremy Coon and Steve Cozak team up to deliver what is one of the breeziest, interesting and most entertaining “Star Wars” documentaries of all time. Likely to be regard as a classic fandom documentary, “A Disturbance in the Force” chronicles the making of “Star Wars” and how the pop culture climate took a fairly straight faced science fiction adventure movie and transformed it in to a disco variety show.

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How the Failure of “The Phantom Menace” fed my “Star Wars” Obsession

My “Star Wars” obsession began in 1997 when George Lucas unleashed the new editions of his trilogy in theaters. For me it was something of a passing fad that I admired through the fun commercials and the heavy connection to Doritos. I wanted those pogs even if I didn’t know who Luke Skywalker or Lando Calrissian was. A year later, I borrowed the original trilogy from a friend on VHS and consumed the whole series in one sitting over the course of a weekend. I never came back from that obsession, and to this day it’s a hard habit to break. “Star Wars” is a series that kept me hooked for a very long time and I was always looking for anything I could find to read about it, or consume in some form as entertainment.

In 1999 when Lucas aired the first ever trailer for “The Phantom Menace” on primetime television, I rushed home to watch the trailer on video tape, and I must have seen it at least ten times. It looked amazing.

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Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2016) [Blu-ray/DVD/Digital]

Raiders-cover“Raiders!” is easily one of the best films of 2016. It’s a compelling and incredibly emotional tale of how one movie influenced a trio of young boys, and how that piece of art not only paved the road for their future, but also save them in many ways. What becomes incredibly evident throughout the duration of “Raiders!” that makes what unfolds before our eyes a truly gut wrenching journey is that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were men influenced by movies. Thanks to their love for serials and Westerns, they were motivated to make “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as a means of confronting their love for classic serial adventurers. After seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in theaters, young Eric Zala sought out to remake of “Raiders” but with teenagers in place of the adult actors.

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Star Wars (1977)

StarWarsIt only takes a ripple to make a tidal wave, and “Star Wars” is one of the greatest cinematic tidal waves to ever hit America. It’s no secret that George Lucas’ science fiction epic was inspired by classic movie serials, and was generally looked down upon by studios who thought it would barely strike a chord as it was being made. What’s surprising is that many decades later, in whatever form you enjoy it, “Star Wars” is still a fantastic and flawless space adventure. Lucas masters the art of telling his own self contained tale that would open the door for future films.

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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

TFA-coverJJ Abrams has a lot of work to accomplish with “The Force Awakens,” removing the stigma and stench the series has accumulated over the years with the release of the “Star Wars” film prequels, the constant re-editing and changes to the original films, and so much more. “The Force Awakens” actively works as a rebuttal to the aforementioned legacy set, unleashing a film that’s very down to Earth and celebratory of the original trilogy as a whole. It not only musters up a lot of the tropes from the original trilogy, but acts as a launch pad for a massive movie series that Lucasfilm and Disney are planning for a very long stretch. While some have criticized the film for recycling some elements from “A New Hope,” Abrams fully understands what he’s working with, and working on, and uses “The Force Awakens” as a massive doorway accessible to literally anyone.

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Darth Maul: Apprentice – A Star Wars Fan Film (2016)


As a Star Wars fan, one of the biggest disappointments of sitting through 1999’s “The Phantom Menace” was watching the creation of one of the most amazing villains of the “Star Wars” cinematic universe, only for him to show up for about five minutes, be killed, and then never spoken of again. This character that was on mugs, and t shirts, and posters was almost non-existent in future films. “Apprentice” is a fantastic and dare I say perfect, fan film that shows what would have happened if George Lucas subtracted twenty minutes of screen time from Jar Jar Binks in favor of more emphases on the sheer danger and threat that was Darth Maul. Maul should have been the recurring villain in the prequels and could have salvaged the otherwise terrible films.

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5 Controversial “Star Wars” Developments We Don’t Hate


For years I wrote off “Star Wars” as another typical classic film I had zero interest in watching until 1998 when sheer boredom gave way to curiosity. Managing to borrow the original trilogy on VHS from my aunt, I watched it in one entire sitting and loved every minute of it. Since then it’s been a very hectic relationship with the series packed with a lot of love, and a lot of bile. In 2015 “Star Wars Rebels” made me realize I still love the series after a self inflicted hiatus, and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” finally confirmed I wasn’t quite ready to abandon this series just yet. Like any other “Star Wars” geek I have controversial ideas about the series I love and hate, and these are five of the controversial aspects from the whole shebang I don’t hate.

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