Tag Archives: Star Wars

Rogue One (Star Wars) and Imperial IT (SPOILERS!)

I liked Rogue One: A Star Wars Story quite a bit. Despite having a very different tone from either the original trilogy or the prequels, it’s still recognizable as a Star Wars film, and successfully weaves in and out of the events leading up to A New Hope.

There’s a somewhat odd setup for where they actually find the Death Star plans, though. SPOILERS after the cut:

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Why Kilgrave’s Power is Scarier than a Jedi Mind Trick

With Jessica Jones and Star Wars: The Force Awakens both out, it’s hard not to compare Kilgrave’s power to Jedis’ ability to influence minds. But while we admire “You don’t need to see our identification” and laugh at “Republic credits will be fine,” Kilgrave is terrifying.

It’s not just that Jedi are compassionate and Kilgrave is a total sociopath with no regard for human life who would casually make someone kill or maim themselves just because he was having a bad day. Darth Vader is just as ruthless, but doesn’t bother with the technique (in the films, at least).

It’s that the “Jedi mind trick” is explicitly shown to be limited. It’s used rarely, and only for specific commands. The first time we see it used in A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi describes it as “influence” rather than control and specifically says it only works on “the weak-minded.” Willpower is sufficient to guard against it. In Return of the Jedi, Jabba the Hutt even laughs it off when Luke tries to use it on him. The only time we see any sort of long-term suggestion it’s to “go home and rethink your life.” Presumably the dealer in Attack of the Clones will be in full command of his own faculties by then, having simply been prompted to start the soul-searching.

Kilgrave, however? His commands are absolute. No matter how hard you prepare mentally, no matter how strong your will, no matter whether your actions would go against your principles, or hurt you, or hurt someone else — even someone you care about — you do it. Immediately. None of the usual trying to stop your hand from moving that you see in a lot of movies where a mind-controlling character shows up. No apparent strain on his part to keep controlling you. Implanted commands can last for hours, and he can renew his control over and over as long as he wants to.

That’s scary enough right there. Putting that level of power in the hands (well, voice) of someone who sees other people as merely tools and playthings, and whose only behavioral boundaries consist in covering his own tracks? That’s nightmare-level stuff.

Think about it this way: Emperor Palpatine spent decades manipulating key people across a galaxy into putting him in a position of absolute control over thousands of worlds. Put him in a room with Kilgrave and he wouldn’t stand a chance.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Finally. It should have gone to bed earlier.)

So, we’ve got a title for Star Wars VII.


Pun not intended, but it is now.

Star Wars has a long history of cheesy titles, starting with, well, “STAR WARS.” But this one just doesn’t give you any sense of what the movie is going to be about.

I: The Phantom Menace – Some sort of hidden threat, but then we also knew it would be about young Darth Vader. Safe bet that the menace is the Emperor getting started.
II: Attack of the ClonesExactly what it says on the tin.
III: Revenge of the Sith – Ditto.
IV: A New Hope – Kind of vague, but by the time this title was tacked on, everyone on the planet had already seen the movie when it was just called “Star Wars,” which told you right off the bat it would be about wars in space.
V: The Empire Strikes Back – Exactly what it says on the tin.
VI: Return of the Jedi – Well, symbolically anyway, but we knew they’d at least have to resolve the Han cliffhanger and set up Luke as a Jedi Knight.

The Force Awakens? That could be about anything.

Maybe that’s the point. JJ Abrams likes his secrets. So does George Lucas, for that matter. And let’s face it: This is the first live-action Star Wars movie in ten years, and it reunites the original cast on screen for the first time in thirty. Nobody really cares what it’s called: it could be “Star Wars VII: The Search for More Money” and those of us who grew up on the original trilogy would still go out and see it opening weekend.

Just not at a midnight showing. We’re getting too old for that sort of thing.

On a side note: I find it interesting that ten years ago, Lucasfilm announced the Epsiode III title at Comic-Con and had T-shirts ready on the floor. This year, Disney announced the title on Twitter.