The Mandalorian: Second Official Trailer

Disney has released a second official trailer for their new Star Wars tv spinoff The Mandalorian:

The Mandalorian – Official Trailer 2 | Disney+ | Streaming Nov. 12 by Star Wars on YouTube

Like the previous one, it’s quite dark; I’d say even darker than the first. This one is also 15 seconds longer, but I’m not sure how much of that is actually new footage and how much is repeat scenes spliced up differently. There seems to be a more scuffed up reddish armor plus a shiny silvery one, so perhaps the Mandalorian will be kitted up for a big confrontation? And speaking of, there seems to be ever so much fisticuffs, perhaps even to the exclusion of plot—but what else would you expect from a series focusing on a bounty-hunter?

I’m a little icked by the hint of a romance, because there was a time when Hollywood claimed that’s the only thing women were good for (or, as audience, could ever be interested in), and that time hasn’t quite yet met the pitiful depths of the most lone corner of the deepest abyss imaginable that it so amply deserves. At least there also were women doing other things in this trailer, including an armored, physically competent-looking woman in a bar. Hard to say for sure, though; as we know, no group is a monolith, and trailers always lie.

Streaming is to start on November 12, 2019.

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BB-Hate Pumpkin for Halloween

Grab black paint, duct tape in a few colors, permanent markers, and two plastic pumpkins to make your very own BB-hate pumpkin this Halloween.

Desert Chica Karen Heffren How-to-make-a-Star-Wars-BB-9E-Pumpkin

Tutorial by Karen Heffren at Desert Chica. She’s also made a cool BB-8 from an actual pumpkin!

Crossposted from the Playfully Grownup Tumblr.

Image by Karen Heffren at Desert Chica

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.

The Mandalorian Trailer

The Star Wars family of spinoffs is about to have a new member: The Mandalorian. Here’s the trailer:

The Mandalorian | Official Trailer | Disney+ | Streaming Nov. 12 by Star Wars on YouTube

A much darker view of the SW galaxy like in Rogue One; the story is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order.

The writing credits are split between George Lucas and Jon Favreau, and episode directors include Taika Waititi and Bryce Dallas Howard. It won’t be Howard’s first directing gig, but the first I’m likely to see. (Basically I only know her as the twit of a corporate lady whose heels were practically glued on for the chase scenes in Jurassic World, although apparently I’ve seen her as Gwen Stacy in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3.) The series music is by Ludwig Göransson, whose work on Black Panther I really liked, so that’s also promising.

One point of personal delight is the glimpse of a small craft flying over a flat, wooded land dotted with small lakes and smaller fields (the sequence starts at about the 15-second mark). It’s one of the very few instances on the large, international screens of places that look like my home that I’ve seen. I hope that’s not all of it!

Other than that there’s not much definite info to be got, so we’ll have to see. I can’t even decide yet on the basis of this trailer whether The Mandalorian is worth the trouble of looking up what Disney+ streaming might take to access or whether we should just wait for the disc release.

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Lego Star Wars Droids Play Star Wars Music

What else is there to say about this video? It’s an orchestra of Lego’s programmable Star Wars droid models playing the Star Wars theme on real instruments. What more can you ask for?

“Watch this awesome droid orchestra! – LEGO Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander” via LEGO

This project is the work of Sam Battle. Find more of his inventive musical performances at lookmumnocomputer.com.

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

A Very Short Introduction to Intertextuality

Intertextuality—besides being an excellent Scrabble word—is a useful tool for thinking about literature and storytelling.

Intertextuality is when one literary work refers to or places itself in the context of another work. While different thinkers have used the term in different ways, it is often used to refer to cases in which the meaning of the later work is shaped by or depends upon knowledge of the first.

To make things a little more concrete, take the example of Arthurian legend. The early literary versions of King Arthur’s tales come from several different authors across several centuries, each of whom took certain basic ideas about a legendary king and his family and followers, and added in new characters, told new stories, or shifted the tales to new settings. Each of these literary works was engaged in intertextuality, drawing on a set of characters, stories, and ideas that their audience already knew while adding something new and different to the mix.

Or, to take it a step further, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is intertextual with the whole lot. The movie features such staple characters of Arthurian legend as King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Gawain, and references to Camelot and the Holy Grail. Even though Monty Python’s take on the Arthurian legendarium goes in a very different direction than the traditional tales, it explicitly places itself in relationship to them. You don’t exactly have to know Arthurian legend in order to appreciate Holy Grail, but many of the jokes are built around subverting or parodying standard parts of the mythology.

By contrast, although Star Wars also makes use of Arthurian ideas—a farm boy who discovers his secret destiny, a magical sword, a wise mentor who disappears partway through the story—it is not intertextual with Arthurian legend in the same way that Holy Grail is. Star Wars does not have characters named Arthur or Lancelot. There is no planet Camelot. Even though Star Wars invokes some Arthurian themes, it does not use them to reproduce or comment on the Arthurian legends themselves: Luke does not become king, assemble a round table of Jedi knights, or go in search of a mystical cup.

We live in a great age of intertextuality, an age of cinematic universes, boundless fan fiction, and knowing parodies. It’s a useful idea to have at hand for thinking and talking about the stories in the world around us.

Images: Still from Monty Python and the Holy Grail via IMDb. Still from Star Wars IV: A New Hope via IMDb.

Story Time is an occasional feature all about stories and story-telling. Whether it’s on the page or on the screen, this is about how stories work and what makes us love the ones we love.

An Improved Kenobi-Vader Fight for Star Wars A New Hope

Under the moniker FXitinPost, visual effects artist Christopher Clements made an unofficial, improved scene for Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and seamlessly inserted it into the movie. The resulting six-minute clip is all about the final confrontation between Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader, and definitely worth a watch:

Star Wars SC 38 Reimagined by FXitinPost on YouTube

I don’t know whether they had any skill or not, but if Alec Guinness and David Prowse were not competent sword fighers, it’s understandable the scene looks like it does. I have to confess, though, that the clunkiness of the fight has been long bugging me; it also stands out since Lucas retroactively changed so many other scenes. Clements’ version is much more in line with Jedi abilities and includes many intriguing creative choices on how to use the space on the Death Star. Kudos!

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.

Disney Princess Cosplayers Wearing Mandalorian Armor

Ooh—I knew cosplayers were an ingenious group, but this is awesome: cosplayers portray Disney princesses in Boba Fett -like armor:

Tumblr Queens-of-Cosplay Boba Fett Pocahontas

Oh my goodness, the leaf detailing on the Pocahontas / Fett helmet! And the detailing in general—love it!

Tumblr Queens-of-Cosplay Boba Fett Elsa Tinkerbell

The photography is credited to Jonathan York who posts his photos as York In A Box. I haven’t been to confirm it, since Facebook has been glitching for me for some reason. It would’ve been great to read more about the setup and the individual cosplayers’ thoughts.

(I did some searching elsewhere, too, but my google fu fails me for the moment. If you can find a different link, please share!)

Found via Queens-of-Cosplay on Tumblr.

Images by Jonathan York / York In A Box via Tumblr.

Out There is an occasional feature highlighting intriguing art, spaces, places, phenomena, flora, and fauna.

First Trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The name and the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX were released last week, and both are tantalizing! Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker again seems to revolve around Rey:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Teaser by Star Wars on YouTube

Oh my goodness, her leap over the speeding fighter looks incredible! (Even if I can’t quite understand the decision to run with an extended lightsaber in your hand… Is anyone else reminded of running with scissors?) I’m also looking forward to seeing Poe and Finn questing, er, fighting the Empire together—I always appreciated the ease with which they became and remain buddies.

J.J. Abrams’s work has been bit of a hit or miss for me in the past, so at the moment I’m cautiously optimistic about Rise. It will, however, be remarkable to see the end of the nine-movie Skywalker story arc begun when I was a toddler.

A nostalgic tidbit: A New Hope was one of the first stories I remember reacting to and realizing that I really, really liked the stuff with space and robots and dragons and elves and whatnot. Ever since then, around the age of 11 or 12 or so, I’ve considered myself a science fiction and fantasy geek.

And now I kinda want to make myself a sleeveless, hooded tunic like what Rey is wearing underneath her wrap. It’s a really neat design. 🙂

December 20, 2019, seems so far, far away.

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Large LED-Lit DIY Death Star Wall Art

This Star Wars wall art project is older, but a stunner nevertheless: Melissa DIYed an LED-illuminated Death Star for under $16.

320 Sycamore Melissa DIY Death Star w LED Lights

Wow; nicely done. Apparently Pottery Barn Kids used to list still sells a similar art piece for $299, except that one is stretched canvas while Melissa used particle board and an inexpensive engineer print.

Impressive; most impressive (done in my best Darth Vader imitation). Head to her site for the tutorial. Thanks for sharing, Melissa!

Found via Knock Off Decor.

Image by Melissa at 320 Sycamore.

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds

A Lego Porg

Wow – there’s now an official Lego porg.

LEGO Porg Oct 2018

“Features authentic detailing, an opening mouth and flapping wings.

“Also includes a display stand with decorative fact plaque and an extra porg mini build.

“Porg without stand stands over 7” (19cm) high.

“Display stand measures approx. 2” (6cm) high and 1” (3cm) deep, and over 4” (11cm) wide.

“Relive fun porg adventures from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Otherwise it sounds fine and dandy, but does anyone else get an odd vibe from “fun porg adventures”—like being roasted by Chewbacca?!? The marketing department didn’t quite succeed with this particular copy.

Other than that, this almost makes me wish I’d kept my old Legos. Almost—it’s a little too specialized to use inventively in other builds.

Found via File 770.

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.