Sand: A Star Wars Story (Darth Vader Hates This Song)

Too bad there’s so much sand in the Star Wars universe.

When I first heard this song about Star Wars and Sand, I played it a few times and realized it was way too catchy — impossible to tune out. But it’s so darn cute I don’t mind having the Force bouncing around in my skull for a spell.

The funny thing, in the wake of my post-bliss big-screen experience with Solo: A Star Wars Story, I decided to do an entire chronological re-watch of the entire Star Wars saga (excluding the animated movie and series for now). So two nights ago I saw Phantom Menace again (I’m more forgiving of it every time), then listened to the song. Huh. Really does fit in there.

Last night I watched Attack of the Clones, and then listened to the song a few more times, which really cracked me up. It’s so cringe-inducing listening to Anakin try to flirt with Padme by telling her his problem with sand getting everywhere. Not a romantic image. [pullquote]If your mind mentally replaces the original commonly used words in the prequels with SAND, it’s a bit of awesome.[/pullquote]

Tonite I’ll finish the prequels with Revenge of the Sith, and I expect the song to reach the highest heights of meme humor. Inserting the dread word SAND with almost any line by Anakin improves the experience immeasurably. We finally see why Anakin Force-choked his pregnant wife, fought Obi-Won, and turned the keeping of his soul over to the foul Emperor Palpatine (it was all because of Sand). Remember, in the words of young Ani, “Sand is very, very dangerous.”

And how does his son Luke beat him in Return of the Jedi? He had more Sand.

BTW, if you’re one of the Sandpeople on Tatooine, watch your back: Anakin will bust up your Sandy ways. Why? Because Sand is course, and rough, and irritating, and it gets everywhere. (Clearly, there’s no better reason to become a genocidal psychopath.) I think he only loved Padme for being soft and smooth. (Until she fell in love with the Sand.)

These lines are no more strange than the awkward ones Lucas gave us, so go with it. Where’s a sandworm when you need one?

Star Wars at Disneyland

From May the 4th through the opening weekend for Solo: A Star Wars Story, Disneyland’s Tomorrowland has a makeover hailing from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. In other words, The Force has taken over.

With Star Wars now a Disney property, Disney is the upcoming go-to place for immersive SW experiences — and next year, with an entire Star Wars “Land” opening, it should be as exciting as Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While Star Tours (A Star Wars motion-car ride) has been at Disneyland since 1987, that was essentially it for interesting intergalactic mayhem, for a long stretch of time.

Nowadays, fans can buy tickets for exclusive  “May the 4th” night-time parties (this year’s $99 event sold out in mere hours, prompting Disney to open a second evening’s events), a $130 intergalactic shindig on May 27th (celebrating the opening weekend of the young Han Solo movie), and a temporary re-do of several older areas of the now scruffy-looking Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland desperately needs an upgrade. It may have seemed very futuristic when it opened in 1955, but now just looks like a joke. It’s dated almost beyond repair. For a while that ‘land’ limped along as a sort of nostalgic look back on what the future would bring, but that stopped being relevant when the baby boomers started aging out of attendance. Star Tours went through several different story iterations, and became the only attraction worth seeing in that entire section of the park. Call this area a sci-fi money pit.

[pullquote]Here’s a somewhat exhaustive list of the new attractions and shows to be seen during Tomorrowland’s temporary Star Wars makeover [/pullquote] —

  • Hyperspace Mountain

For one thing, Space Mountain was getting tired. This ride-in-the-dark roller coaster was amazing for decades, but slowly became a second-tier attraction, like Thunder Mountain Railway and Matterhorn Bobsleds. This month, it’s been glitzed up with a snazzy Star Wars theme, and the signage has been overlaid as Hyperspace

Mountain. The outdoors section of the line is still awful (only grey concrete to look at for however many hours you wait to get inside). Once the line gets inside the building, lots of Star Wars stuff appears. The best part is a video mini-movie featuring Admiral “It’s a Trap” Ackbar, describing your new mission, and a hope that the Force will be with you.

The ride itself seemed more fun than I recall. I think it’s darker inside, which makes the roller coaster part more fun. You don’t know which way the coaster will go next — up, down, sideways, zig zag, etc — and it’s a lot more exciting. And now the coaster starts off with a Star Wars send-off, and a brief passage through the shooting lights of hyperspace.

If they keep the Star Wars elements intact after this month, the ride is again worth doing.

  • Star Tours

The line for this attraction is amazing. It’s almost better than the ride itself – no small feat. Once you get inside the “Spaceport Terminal,” every detail is seen to in a wacky, unbridled creative sense of joy. C3PO and Artoo are in there, as well as Number Five, from 1986 movie Short Circuit, apparently in charge of baggage.  This is how you manage crowds! And the motion-car attraction is a nice experience.

It’s upgraded to cover the sequel trilogy with Kylo Ren, and your shuttlecraft is still piloted by those old counterpart ‘droids. They’ve added 3D glasses to the experience. I’m pretty sure this attraction used to be occupied by Captain Eo (Michael Jackson himself) way, way back in the day. Anyone remember that?

As you leave Star Tours, you transit a huge store full of SW merchandise. If you like Star Wars, drop your cash here for some mighty cool swag.

You can also enter the store without entering Star Tours.

  • March of the First Order 

This little show occurs several times over the course of the day, featuring Captain Phasma and her crack First Order troops marching to fanfare throughout Tomorrowland. Phasma barks out commands, and the troops scan the audience at phaser-point, looking for Resistance spies. [pullquote position=”right”]I recommend standing in front of, and facing, the Star Wars Launch Bay for the best viewing. If you’re lucky, you’ll get singled out as a spy.[/pullquote] It’s a short show, but fun.

  • Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple

This show is mostly for the kiddies, who get to put on Padawan robes and learn lightsaber techniques onstage. It’s got showings all day long, and has a bit of story to it. Fun viewing for every age.

  • Star Wars Launch Bay

This area used to be a cafeteria, if I recall correctly. How…inspiring? I’m glad they turned it into a Star Wars Museum. And it’s the kind of museum that’s immersive – props are treated as actual relics and archival pieces, with fantastic signage, costumes, movie featurettes, and lots of room for more Star Wars additions as new movies roll out. Best thing – there’s no line, and barely anyone was even in there when I visited. It’s a cool and dark refuge for hot days. I really liked this space, and took only a bazillion photos (so I could read the “museum signs” at my leisure).

There’s a section in the Launch Bay that sells some extremely exclusive merch. Like a full-sized Storm Trooper, retailing for $6,000. Or you can get a copy of Rey’s Last Jedi shirt for only around $100.

  • Character Meetings: Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Chewbacca, and Rey

These characters are available all day for photo opps, located in their own private chambers within the Star Wars Launch Bay. Wait times were only 5-15 minutes while I was there. The costumed cast members act in character for you, making it a super cool experience. Plus, you get to hug Chewbacca. He gives great hugs. Seriously, ALWAYS take the time to hug Chewie.

  • Galaxy’s Edge

Scheduled to open in 2019, Disney will open Galaxy’s Edge, an ENTIRE LAND devoted to Star Wars. I assume they will move the Tomorrowland’s SW attractions there…leaving…exactly what in Tomorrowland? There won’t be anything left that’s worth doing. I say they should raze Tomorrowland to the ground and come up with a new and more cutting edge property. (What Disney franchise hasn’t been tapped yet? Pixar is covered already. Personally, I’d love to seeAliens, Star Trek, or Titanic themed areas, but those aren’t Disney owned.

Avatar would be great! Disney World already uses Avatar at their Animal Kingdom Party…so maybe they will import some of that here and revamp an erstwhile Tomorrowland into Pandora. James Cameron’s new Avatar movies are coming along soon, we hear.

The Marvel stuff is all in Disney’s California Adventure Park already – and the are demolishing A Bug’s Land to do their Marvel area right (Story for another time…

Read our easy, no waiting, no-lines tips to viewing the tall and otherworldly spires of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. (From now til the land opens in the summer of 2019)

(Images above owned by RunPee.com)

 

Star Wars Last Shot – A Han and Lando Novel

With the arrival of Solo —the newest Star Wars Story set to splash on cinema screens — pretty much the entire galaxy is primed to learn more about Han Solo. Just how did he fall from expert Imperial pilot to a petty criminal in a seedy underworld? Lots of pre-canon material is out there in book form, detailing how he met and saved the faithful Chewie, how he won (or cheated?) the Millennium Falcon out from under Lando Calrissian [pullquote] …and how the frak the Kessel Run was made in less than 12 parsecs (which, as we know, is a unit of distance, not time).  These are things Solo is expected to show.[/pullquote]

Now here’s the first completely canonized Han Solo book, to fill in the gaps the movies don’t cover. It’s called Star Wars: Last Shot (A Han and Lando Novel), written by Daniel José OlderApparently it delves into Han’s (and Lando’s) past and future. And like Han and Lando, the book is breezy, snarky, and funny.

[pullquote position=”right”]What’s challenging, structure-wise, is how the novel will make a coherent story without rehashing or rewriting established moments from these men’s lives that we haven’t already seen –[/pullquote] not in the original trilogy, the new Solo film, and the slowly growing bookshelf of canon novels. If Last Shot is going to be weaving four viewpoints around (young Han, young Lando, mature Han, and mature Lando), telling a credible, interesting tale with all new information sounds somewhat impossible. (But hey, never tell me the odds!)

According to Amazon reviewers, Last Shot manages all these things, and gives us plenty of insight to our two most-beloved galactic scoundrels. And, of course, Chewbacca.

Here’s a direct link to Star Wars – Last Shot on Amazon, so you can take a look for yourselves. The second link goes to the classic (now non-canon, but still awesome) Adventures of Han Solo trilogy. I still own the original books, in the first print of the first edition…and it’s time to get the first print of the new story!

 

New Solo Featurette: Becoming Solo

Han Solo is everyone’s favorite space rogue. Star Lord is kind of funnier, and might be almost as cool, but no one can top Han, or — at least — Harrison Ford’s version of him. He still had what it took to make us love Han all the more, in the Star Wars sequel trilogy opener The Force Awakens.

[pullquote]We’ll be seeing soon how well Alden Ehrenreich carries off a younger version of last generation’s most singular and iconic science fantasy movie character.[/pullquote] From all reports, Ford himself has given  Ehrenreich’s Solo: A Star Wars Story rave reviews. And this is a normally taciturn actor here. Ford doesn’t do ‘rave’ anything.

So, here is the new 2.22-minute featurette, “Becoming Solo.” Enjoy, and remember, the Force will be with you, always. Even if you’re a scruffy looking, low-level space criminal with a walking carpet for a co-pilot.

And this “Making Solo” featurette is just a bonus:

Diane Keaton Kisses Kimmel, Talks Sex

Diane Keaton has been busy talking up her new comedy/drama Book Club, a film about four older but formidable women who want to take back their zest and their sex lives, starting with a group reading of the infamous soft-bondage novel 50 Shades of Grey.

The actresses on tap are all top caliber: besides Keaton, the film stars Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen. It’s kinda unfair – all these ladies look great, for any age. But this is still Hollywood, and even older actresses have to maintain their image.

Here are some cute Keaton videos from her recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel, followed by some neat moments from The Ellen Show, where Keaton reveals more funny and intimate things. She’s totally on a roll. I’m excited for this movie! [pullquote]Why can’t we have older women role models to help guide us into aging vibrantly? Hell to aging “gracefully”…let’s rock![/pullquote]

It seems Kimmel’s got a bit of a crush going: 

And here’s Keaton on Ellen’s show, doing her thing:

Book Club isn’t getting rave reviews, but I’l guessing the target audience is…older women. And super fans of 50 Shades of Grey. Or why not older couples — to laugh together and take notes for new sexy ideas… 😉

More: Read RunPee’s Movie Review for Book Club

Deadpool Musical Parody – Beauty and the Beast

[pullquote]If you’re a Disney Princess fan, you might not exactly appreciate Disney’s Prince of Gab, Deadpool.[/pullquote] And here we get a little in-joke about the other Disney Marvel heroic ensembles: with nods to the Avengers, X-Men, and…Betsy? I don’t know which franchise Betsy’s from.

Also, we learn a new term (presumably not new to comic book fans) — the X-Force. The official trailers seem to be about assembling Deadpool’s X-Force entourage, but the term isn’t part of common parlance just yet. I’m sure it will be by this weekend, when Deadpool spurts across America (<—- sorry for that off-color joke. Deadpool’s naughty-ness “rubs off”...)

Beauty and the Beast fans will recognize this as the live-action Gaston Song, which is great in itself, and included below for comparisony fun. Both movies are officially Disney nowadays, so it shouldn’t offend too much. Plus, the news is that Deadpool the Musical won a Webby Award for Best Writing. It’s a nugget of sweet, sweet weirdness:

Read our review of the live action version of Beauty and the Beast, and every Deadpool article on RunPee.com.

Finally, here are some links to both movie soundtracks:

 

Deadpool 2 Outtakes, Bloopers, and Banned Jokes

It kind of doesn’t get better than these. Enjoy, laugh, and get psyched for Deadpool’s…er, “second coming”…on May 18th (hey, their joke — don’t blame me).  🙂

A roundup of some of Reynold’s best bloopers across several films, where we learn how perfect the current Deadpool role (not the previous sorry-excuse Wolverine X-Men version) is for this actor. A lot  of his lines are completely the actor’s own, and we love him for it.  Take a look here: 

And for good measure, here’s the Honest Trailer approach to the original  Deadpool (if you haven’t seen Honest Trailers, get ready to lose a few hours of your time).

Read Every Deadpool Article on RunPee.com

Fun Finds: Deadpool “Sexy” Funko Pop, and Monopoly: The Deadpool Edition —

 

Ryan Reynolds Explains the Deadpool Leak

It seems that Ryan Reynolds IS Deadpool on and off the set.

From the Graham Norton Show ( I do like him, with his Brit Wit): 

For good measure, another interview, explaining why EVERYONE loves Reynolds: 

Are you excited yet for Deadpool 2? This will probably be sold out from opening, through the weekend, so get your tickets early, or else chill out and have a Deadpool 1 rewatch party.

I’m set with a Deadpool shirt, some Deadpool buttons, and a big shyte-eating grin, ready to go.

There’s tons of Deadpool merch. There’s even a Star Wars/Deadpool mashup in the list – hey, crossovers! I’m personally wearing the black shirt with the ‘eyes’ logo. Anyway, have fun looking: 

Read every Deadpool article on RunPee.com

Adrift Movie Trailers

I’m interested to see this take on yet another survival story – I always enjoy those. This time, the setting is somewhere at sea, with the added complication of the only experienced sailor incapacitated, and possibly dying.  The word is that this movie is based on a true story – I would guess loosely based, for dramatic reasons, or to compress a long accounting of perhaps endless days drifting lost the ocean. [pullquote position=”left”]I would guess already that any ‘time passing’ at sea montages will make great Peetimes[/pullquote]. We’re never actually sure until we see the movie and make our notes, so you’ll want to load up the RunPee app and keep it ready for when you see Adrift.

An early Adrift Trailer:

The final Adrift Trailer:

We think it looks good from this side of things. Shailene Woodley is turning into a versatile actress. I hope her performance is up to this one…it looks like she will have to carry the entire film, with probably very little dialog. I know someone experienced like Emily Blunt could do it (Blunt can do anything), but Woodley is still comparatively untested.

Other Movies Featuring Shailene Woodley:

Melissa McCarthy on College Days, Life of the Party

 

Entertainment News – [pullquote]Melissa McCarthy’s new comedy Life of the Party is banking heavily on nostalgia for bygone college days.[/pullquote] I know the feeling. I’m 50 myself, and miss the my old school days, my long-lost chums, and the sense of being in a contained world where my only worries concern studying, learning, and deciding if I should/shouldn’t attend the next big kegger.

Well, then.  What is the actual audience for Life of The Party? Is it young adults who like fun fluff comedies, and are ready to cringe at the idea of a parent bursting onto their scene? Or people like me, who miss the Old Days? Or, probably, a lot of the audience will be just Melissa McCarthy fans.

The flick is up against Marvel’s juggernaut Avengers: Infinity War, which is breaking records, driving people to the theaters in droves (I myself saw Infinity War five times – yep).  Any other movie on the roster isn’t going to make a splash, so very few films are actually coming out this week. We’re only seeing two, and that is astounding. Normally we’ve got four or five movies to get Peetimes for.

Here’s what McCarthy says about her role in Life of the Party: 

What McCarthy has to say in a Mom’s Advice sort of group: 

Seriously, you go girl! And maybe I’ll make the priority to go back to school, too. Life’s too short to be a grown-up forever.

Related Articles on RunPee: 

Life of the Party Movie Review (Link to be added soon)

I Feel Pretty

Game Night

Comedy Movie Reviews

Movies Featuring Melissa McCarthy: