Willow Revival added to Disney+ line up (And Top 15 Willow Movie Quotes)

Disney Plus recently announced a new TV show based on Ron Howard’s 1988 flick Willow — the goofy yet sentimental pre-Lord of the Rings Lucasfilm fantasy starring Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer. The announcement is here.

I‘m cool with a Willow revival. Especially if they get Davis back on board. He and his son Harrison played the blink-and-you’ll-miss-them Ewok cameos in Rise of Skywalker in late 2019. I may not love Ewoks, but Warwick Davis seems game for anything at any time, and I’ve always been a Willow fan. It’s a guilty pleasure. If you’re having a bitch of a day, put Willow on your TV. As Val Kilmer’s Madmartigan says, you’ll “feel BETTER!”

Willow is damn fun and full of fantastic quotes. It’s goofy, pleasant, charming, and is as close to a live action Lord of the Rings that ever happened before Peter Jackson and New Zealand came along to show us how it’s done. It’s got Hobbits and The Shire and swordfights and trolls and dragons and wizards and everything!

Willow may not be one of the best movies ever, but it’s just too enjoyable to forget. Remember, in that era, the finest feature fantasy films were all a bit silly or lightweight anyway. Look at The Princess Bride, LadyHawke, Highlander, Labyrinth, Goonies, The Dark Crystal, and The Never Ending Story. Willow is a cult classic and my favorite Val Kilmer role. The scenery, sets, and soundtrack (by James Horner, even)  are perfect for a small-scale early epic fantasy. Love it, love it. If you don’t remember this film, go back and enjoy it anew.

Movie Grade: A

Top 15 Willow quotes I still love and sometimes use:

Forget all you know, or think you know.

Don’t go near it. You don’t know where it’s been.

The bones tell me…nothing.

I miss you already.

No, don’t…! There’s a Peck…with an acorn pointed at me!

I stole the bay-beee!

You are mine to toy with….

We go THAT WAY!

I feel…BETTER!

Don’t call me a Peck! / Oh, I’m sorry. Peck Peck Peck Peck Peck!

Wanna breed?

Ignore the bird! Follow the river!

It went away? I dwell in darkness without you and it went away?

You are crawling with Brownies!

Let me do that. Get away, rodents!

Star Wars – Top Seven Reasons to Watch The Mandalorian Now (No spoilers)

If you’re a Star Wars fan burned by uneven movies in the franchise, you should  enjoy The Mandalorian. Available only on the Disney+ premium channel, these short but extremely competent episodes in the Star Wars lexicon need to be seen and savored. It’s giving the concurrent Rise of Skywalker a serious run for the money. As it should.

While only one season is available yet, “I have a very good feeling about this.” Creator Jon Favreau is a superb choice to run this first live action Star Wars TV series. If you binge the 2019 season all at once, you’ll have five hours of excellent viewing to enjoy. Here’s why you should watch The Mandalorian now.

Seven Reasons to Love The Mandalorian

  1. It’s not connected to the Skywalker Saga. In fact, no one you know is in it! Only die hard Star Wars fans will notice the fun nods to continuity. Yup. The fanservice is just right. And no, the titular Mandalorian isn’t Boba Fett… Enough retconning already.
  2. New timeline. The episodes occur between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. This is uncharted territory. The Mandalorian feels entirely new and entirely right.
  3. New characters and plots. This isn’t tethered to elite Force families or planet-killing weapons. We don’t balance the Force, tell half-lies, or worry about evil fathers. It’s about small stories with intimate stakes. No prior Star Wars knowledge needed! Understanding the Original Trilogy helps, but isn’t required.
  4. The episodes look like a million bucks. Actually, $12-15 million apiece: Disney+ spared no expense for The Mandalorian. Each episode is like a mini-movie. It’s blatantly gorgeous, in that trademark Original Trilogy “lived-in” way.
  5. This FEELS like Star Wars, even if tonally it’s a space Western instead of a rollicking adventure serial. The Mandalorian also sounds like Star Wars, despite lacking a John Williams score. Mood-wise, place it between Rogue One and the first hour of A New Hope. It’s both a spare and moving story, and gets better with each installment.
  6. The Mandalorian is highly rated. Rotten Tomatoes gives the show a 94% Critics Score and 93% Audience Rating. This might be the least divisive Star Wars outing in decades. Maybe ever.
  7. Finally, there’s something really cute here. But not too cute. (No Ewoks; thank the Maker.) It’s a MacGuffin, but a welcome one. Fortunately, the trailers don’t spoil the reveal. Feel free to watch them both.

The Mandalorian, Overall

You don’t need Peetimes to watch The Mandalorian because TVs have pause buttons, but so far — and may the Force be with us — it gets the RunPee Seal of Approval. I can’t wait for Season Two next fall.

Have you watched The Mandalorian yet? Discuss what you think of the Disney+ show in the comment section below.

The 6 Most Epic Lightsaber Fights in Star Wars (plus 3 that didn’t make the cut)

Movie Review – Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker (spoiler free)

13 iconic scenes from Star Wars you won’t have missed if you had the RunPee app

Star Wars Analysis – What does balance in the Force mean?

star wars the last jedi the force
Are we balanced yet?

Since we first saw The Phantom Menace in 1999, audiences wondered what precisely it meant to bring balance to the Force. Anakin Skywalker was prophesied to “bring it” and at the time, we all assumed it meant to bring more Light Side and less Darkness. Which made no sense, since we all knew who Anakin would grow up to be. He wasn’t going anywhere good until the very last 20 minutes of Return of the Jedi, when he pitched the Emperor over a railing…and died.

There’s been confusion over this ‘balance’ aspect since then. Was Anakin Skywalker’s whole life and six movies leading up to him tossing said Emperor? THAT was bringing balance to the Force? Not too impressive after so much build-up.

Integration is the answer

I always ascribed to a Jungian philosophy, where one needs to balance the anima and animus, or in other words, walk a line between light and dark. We all have aspects of good and evil within. It’s what we choose to do with our potential that makes us who we are. And it seemed that Star Wars creator George Lucas was telling us only the Light made right.

Well, fast forward a couple of decades plus three more films, and it turns out that I — and Jung — were not wrong. It’s kind of unbelievable it took 42 years from A New Hope until The Rise of Skywalker to make it clear what a “balance of the Force” meant. Succinctly: if there were going to be a lot of Jedi Knights, their Light would be spread pretty thin. And that with only two Sith (roughly) at any time, each of the two would have an equal power of Dark, shared among the Master and Apprentice. This isn’t exactly what I (okay, and Jung) had in mind, but balance definitely did NOT mean destroying Dark Side users and embracing only the Light. Or the inverse.

From what I can tell after the finale of the nine-part Skywalker saga, Force balance means each aspect will have an equal amount of…let’s call it life power…at any one time. This is my theory, at least.

Spoilers follow for Star Wars up through Rise of Skywalker.

In Rey’s communal message from all the Light Side Jedi, you can clearly hear Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) tell her to bring back the balance, “as he did.”

Um. Did he? Maybe he wanted Rey to throw Palpatine into another pit? I just don’t think that was the endgame after all this heavy world-building. I was very glad there was more to it than that.

When Anakin was The Chosen One, there were a lot of other Jedi out there. And two (or more, depending on if you include Count Dooku and General Grievous) Dark Force/Sith users. So, if his job was to bring balance, it wasn’t the good thing anyone hoped for. He brought balance by killing off almost every Jedi in existence.

After he became Dark Vader we had two Sith Lords (he and Palpatine) on the one side, and two Jedi, with Obi-Wan and Yoda, on the other. Actually, that sounds a lot like balance, doesn’t it?

A Ceaseless Cycle of Balance and Unbalance?

When Luke and Leia were born, there was a potential to throw off the balance again, unless one of the twins went Dark and the other went Light. Or neither could use the Force at all. When both became users of the Light, and Luke built his New Jedi Academy to make more Light Force users, right there the universe had a problem again.

If the natural course of existence is to seek Force balance, that meant either some of the students would turn mildly Dark, or one would become very Dark. We got a combo: I think the Knights of Ren were an example of the “some,” with Ben Solo — now Kylo Ren — being the very strong one. We also had powerful Dark strength in Snoke (created in a tank), and Palpatine (essentially a Force zombie).

Who was left to carry the Light half of the equation?

Kylo Ren killed the rest of the Jedi students, so what remained was a lot of Dark Side users, plus Luke (exiled), Leia (retired), and Rey (an unknown). It made sense for Kylo to be conflicted — the Dark Side wasn’t stable.

Of course, now we know Kylo Ren turned to the Light, Rey nearly turned to the Dark, and finally, only Rey remained…with, I suppose, aspects of both. The Kylo/Rey Dyad was broken, but somehow balance emerged.

I’m guessing here about Rey having access to both Light and Dark going forward. There’s no direct indication of where the Force is headed next, or if we get any final closure, ever. Rey buries the lightsabers of Luke and Leia. She lights her new sword: a yellow one made from her quarterstaff, and watches twin suns set over Tatooine…

And the familiar, final Star Wars score begins. Cue the credits.

In The Last Jedi, we saw BroomSaber Boy at the coda, so clearly there are Force potentials out there. In Rise of Skywalker, it appears Finn is Force-sensitive. Maz Canata has some Force abilities. And Rey has all the books of Jedi lore she swiped from Planet Ahch-to.

What does all of this mean, and where do we go after Rise of Skywalker?

I’d like the Force to stay balanced for a nice long while.

I’d really like to think we’re done with the Skywalkers. I was happy one of my guesses about Rey’s parentage proved true, and I’m content to stop the saga now. It would be nice if future movies didn’t involve rebels and fascist regimes.

If I have my way, new characters can allude to whatever Rey and her ghost friends decide to do. Establish a Force Academy that actually teaches balance, perhaps, but don’t make a movie about it. Follow some of the great Star Wars Extended Universe tales as the “New” New Republic rebuilds, rooting out the last bastions of the Empire/First Order/Final Order/Whatever. Something great could be based on the EU’s Grand Admiral Thrawn trilogy, for example. The EU is no longer considered canon Star Wars, but the movies already started cherry-picking storylines from those books anyway.

I really don’t care, as long as the next movies are well made and a pleasure to watch. Star Wars no longer needs to be tethered to Skywalkers, Palpatines, Kenobis, or even Solos. (Although I wouldn’t mind a Lando movie with Donald Glover. He was the best part of Solo.)

We don’t need another set of trilogies establishing how the Force gets balanced/unbalanced, why Rey’s lightsaber is a new color, or if Chewbacca ever goes home to Kashyyyk.

Enter The Mandalorian

If you managed to catch the first season of The Mandalorian on Disney+, it’s clear how much can still be done properly in the galaxy far away and long ago. Jon Favreau gets it: The Mandalorian is very, very good. It takes its sweet time crafting an interesting tale in the storytelling gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, without relying on old characters or well-trodden tropes.  I look forward to season two.

So far, balancing the Force isn’t a Mandalorian theme. Nor does it seem to be about achieving immortality, which is what the Skywalker Saga really boils down to.

Do you think Rey brought balance to the Force? Will her story continue, or should Star Wars follow The Mandalorian’s lead and tell new tales? What do you want to see Lucasfilm and Disney do with Star Wars next?

Star Wars Revealed: Obi-Wan Kenobi is a lying liar who lies

The 6 Most Epic Lightsaber Fights in Star Wars (plus 3 that didn’t make the cut)

A Meta-Side Discussion of the Force, and how Star Wars Ultimately Failed:

The Force is dead. Long live the Force.

5 Plot Holes in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker is like a date with the person you had a crush on for the longest time. You were drawn by this overwhelming feeling of a dream come true at the moment. But after the date, when you’re alone you think, “Huh, they’re actually kinda dumb.”

I have to say, I did enjoy the movie while watching it. It’s not a bad way to end the story. But the more I think about it, the less I like it, because of all the plot holes that just break the story up.

Spoilers ahead: you’ve been warned 🙂 

#1 – Confrontation Between Rey and Emperor Palpatine

This is the most obvious one, and almost ridiculous given the importance of the scene. Do you remember when Rey confronts her grandfather, Emperor Palpatine? He tells her he never really wanted to kill her, but for her to kill him. Rey then fights to resist the urge to kill her grandfather.

Rey facing her grandfather Palpatine at the end of the movie

Well, it’s not logical for Palpatine to tell Rey the truth at that moment. Cause if he didn’t, Rey would have killed him without hesitation, and he would have gotten what he wanted. What a perfect plan. Except he told her the one thing that could stop Rey from killing him at the most crucial moment. I call that a plot hole.

#2 – To Sense Or Not To Sense; That Is The Question

Remember the scene where Rey loses control and brings down a transport she thinks Chewie is on? Rey is devastated, as is Poe and Finn who try to console her. Later we learn that  Chewie was actually on a different transport — shown for a split second in the background. On it’s own, there’s nothing wrong with this scene. But later on, on the planet Kijimi, Rey senses Chewie on Kylo Ren’s ship.

Infographic of every Star Wars movie ranked by fans on IMDb and RottenTomatoes

Wait a minute, so Rey couldn’t sense Chewie on a different ship, around the corner and literally in shouting distance, but she can sense Chewie far away on a ship hovering over Kijimi?

#3 – What Level Of Mobility Does The Force Give Rey?

This is actually quite common in movies — the strength and power of a character are not consistent throughout the movie.

First, we see Rey in training, floating in mid-air with stones around her.  Then she backflips over Kylo Ren’s X-Wing Fighter. But next time we see her, she has to literally climb the Death Star, panting and almost slip off. Then again, she fights Kylo Ren and jumps over skyrise high waves.

I’m confused. How mobile is Rey exactly with the Force?

#4 – R2D2 Has A Copy Of C3PO’s Memory? 

This is a nice touch. I’m sure most of the Star Wars fans were choked up when C3PO says to Poe, “I’m taking a last look of my good friends, Sir.”

We went through the whole — there’s no way they can get that valuable piece of information unless C3PO gets a hard drive wipe. That’s why the scene was so touching and emotional.

It looks like Rey is dubious in this scene. 🙂

I’m happy that C3PO gets his memory back, but only if we knew it’s so easy to fix… Maybe R2D2 has a copy of C3PO’s memory, more likely, R2D2 just shared its memories with C3PO. Wait, so C3PO didn’t think about that? Or….. is C3PO evolving into manipulating human emotions….? 🙂

#5 – The Pathfinder In The Desert

Kylo Ren reveals to Rey in the abandoned Death Star that he sent Rey and the gang into the tunnel under the quicksand on purpose so she can find the pathfinder.

Well if that’s the case, it’s an awful plan that worked out miraculously well. Because Rey and the gang were shot down by a stormtrooper they missed in the fight, and then ended up in the quicksand. If the stormtroopers’ mission is to send them into the tunnel, they wouldn’t be firing on them during the chase, but actually, corner them into that spot and then knock them off. Also, what’s the point of Kylo Ren showing up after they got the pathfinder? Just wait at the finish line — the  Death Star.

#6 – How is Exegol Hidden?

Remember that wild nebula thing that Kylo, and then Rey, flew through before reaching Exegol — it was sort of like a red, spongy, thing they had to navigate through? And it was supposed to hide Exegol from the rest of the galaxy so that Palpatine could remain secretly in hiding. There’s a very brief shot after Rey passes through the nebula and sees the planet Exegol. And you know what was surrounding the planet? EMPTY SPACE. There’s nothing but stars in the background. Apparently this space sponge nebula was just a tiny thing on one side of the planet. Just fly around it; problem solved.

The Verdict is… 

The good news is that the combination of epic sets, emotionally touching scenes, and humor sprinkled throughout the movie are distracting enough — for the most part — to cover up these plot holes. Because as I said in the beginning, I did enjoy the movie as I watched it. But the plot in this movie isn’t as cohesive as that of the LEGO Star Wars movie.

That’s just sad.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

 

Movie Review – Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker (spoiler free)

Star Wars: millennium falcon, rey, chewy, chewie, poe, finn
Our Gang, 2.0

So. It’s done. After 42 years of buildup, the Star Wars Skywalker saga is over.  I liked it! But I didn’t LOVE it. Which is okay, as all I wanted for Christmas was for Rise of Skywalker to not suck. So I can happily say that Director JJ Abrams did his best to undo the problems he inherited from Director Rian Johnson from The Last Jedi. It’s good, all good: happy beeps only.

No spoilers in this review. I’ll save that for another article: read on, fear-free!

Good, goooooood… (What I liked)

YAY: the characters of Rey, Finn, and Poe had great scenes together, and interacted as a team again, recalling the classic trio of Luke, Han, and Leia. I was happy with the dialog, the humor, the friendships, and how the story used these characters.

Kylo Ren was a bit short-changed, but I liked his scenes when we got them. The split screen saber fights were brilliant. You’ll understand when you see them. What a novel storytelling device.

We had great droid stuff too. Threepio was very funny, and even poignant at one point. Looks like after nine films they figured out how to use the protocol droid properly.

The mystery of Rey? That was fine. It was one of my guesses (although not one I found appealing, just sort of inevitable). We find out about Snoke (another theory I had was right there too). Rey and Kylo Ren’s relationship was…well, put to bed. 😉

We find out a lot of things I hoped would be addressed. Whatever plot threads are left dangling (especially where Maz got Luke’s saber, why the lightsaber went to Rey instead of Kylo in TFA, and why the Millennium Falcon was owned by Rey’s caretaker on Jakku) will probably be addressed in the canon novels Lucasfilm churns out. That’s fine. There was a lot of ground to cover in RoS.

Fun cameos that didn’t feel “forced”

There were also some lovely cameos, and the movie paid a tasteful tribute throughout to the late Carrie Fisher. She got first billing in the credits, to which I say: “Awwwww.” Apparently all the scenes with our princess was actually her, with unused footage from The Force Awakens (and likely a body double for some shots). There was one quick de-aged moment with CGI, but I thought it looked good. So no complaints there.

There was also a sweet scene with Chewbacca that was waaaaay overdue. I’ll let you guess this one. Think about it and you’ll probably foresee it. Just…nice.

Seriously, if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find a lot of old characters in blink-and-you-miss-them scenes. I’m thinking the rewatchability factor will be high. Lots of great throw-away lines, too, if you listen.

Moreover, there is a very touching moment during the battle that I won’t spoil for you. Is the Rebellion conquered? Who’s left to fight?

Great set pieces

One thing all three movies in the sequel trilogy did right was with moving, beautiful visuals. To not spoil anything, I’m going to be vague here: there was something on a moon that we instantly recognized, and it looked both menacing and gorgeous.

We also went to some planets we’ve seen before, and you could tell everything was lovingly filmed. In each sequel episode, including The Last Jedi, the visuals are carefully crafted for beauty shots and an impressive sense of nostalgia that didn’t come across as cheap fan-service. The RoS space battle wasn’t bad either, although somehow the best space war was in Return of the Jedi, so long ago.

This happens. The T-1000 Terminator effects in the 90s was somehow better than the brand-new whatever Terminator this year that looked like tar and failed to impress. I don’t understand why old — OLD — movies have better effects than new ones, but I’ll blame laziness, since that’s a nice, easy (and lazy) complaint.

Warning: If you managed to not get spoiled for Rise of Skywalker, don’t watch this teaser trailer about the 9th and final Skywalker Saga film. Just don’t watch anything until you see the film (do a media blackout entirely). There’s a handful of things here that you might prefer to be surprised about: 

Some stuff just didn’t work

The big villain here is a mess. I didn’t need to see that particular character again. Everything with that person is…stupid. Boring. I guess I get where Abrams was going with it — coming full circle — but WHY WHY. Arg. I so want to discuss this here, but I’ll save it for my Spoiler Review. I will add this: the villain’s main henchman was also idiotic. They really need to not add new characters when a series already labors under a huge cast. It was much more fun playing Spot the Cameo. Can you find Wedge Antilles, for example? Keep your eyes open.

Also, the new droid, D-O? Cute and all, but entirely unnecessary. We already have an astromech droid or two (depending on what BB-8 is). All I can conclude is they needed to fill out the marketing quota for ‘ things to put under the Christmas tree’. They can even produce them to scale.

D-O has a few funny lines, but I would have cut the character and focused on the people actors. There was too much to cover in two and a half hours, and introducing newbies wasn’t called for.  Give more time to BB-8 or R2 — they were totally under-served, and it was noticeable. I don’t think those two did much on this outing.

I need to see RoS again. There’s a lot to follow in Rise of Skywalker, and JJ Abrams seemed to squander half of the narrative fixing Rian Johnson’s plot gaffs. Which, honestly, needed to be done.

Um… Dune?

There were also several homages to Dune, and I found those took me out of the story. Does JJ want to make a new Dune trilogy? I’m chill with this, but don’t squish it into my Star Wars, okay? It was weird enough seeing Sandworms in The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies.

(Re: Dune. If I could talk to JJ, I’d ask if it wasn’t enough to continue both Star Wars and Star Trek stories — don’t be greedy. Lots of talented directors out there, ya know…I wonder what Joss Whedon or Taika Waititi would do with Dune.)

And, those planet killing weapons? I’m pretty sick of that. There won’t be anyone to rule if you keep blowing worlds up. How Naboo was occupied in The Phantom Menace seemed more relevant and frightening. What do you think? (Comment section is below.)

Anyway, there are major spoilers in this last trailer…I managed to not watch it until now and was pleasantly surprised by a few things everyone else were spoiled on. So watch this ‘Final Trailer’ at your discretion:

Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker, overall

I’m really not in the mood to complain. I was pleased. Nobody in the audience clapped at the end, which was unusual for Star Wars…but it was a Friday midday showing and the room was mostly empty. I’ve heard other audiences did clap and laugh. I was the only person dressed in proper attire — my Jedi Knight outfit. I even brought a Porg and one of my lightsabers (the one that folds down and fits in a purse — you never know what they won’t let you bring to the theaters these days). A stranger complimented me on my ensemble, and we talked for 45 minutes about Rise of Skywalker and the saga in general. #GeekingOut

I have to digest the movie (and see it again) to really come to terms with how I felt about it, but overall I’m thinking this is the 4th-best film in the franchise. I do grade some franchises on a curve, like the MCU, Harry Potter, and Star Wars. So this one is slightly less good than The Force Awakens, but a world of better than The Last Jedi.

Is this the end?

Will we see these characters again? My guess *today* is no. George Lucas envisioned the story as a nine-part arc, and I’m cool with that. Things wrapped up just fine.

But you never know. Disney might want to cash in on the popularity of Rey, Finn, Poe, and our favorite droids. Stranger things have happened… We’re even getting a new Ghostbusters next summer with the surviving original cast (RIP Harold Ramis). We’re revisiting many old franchises recently: Men in Black, Jumanji, Toy Story, Terminator, Aliens, Avatar, The Matrix, Downton Abbey, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures, and Blade Runner. Among others. Getting butts in seats is the name of the cinema game.

In the meantime, Disney is playing Shuffle the Directors with any new Star Wars stories. So, who knows? I’d like to see a young Lando movie. Donald Glover was simply magnificent in Solo. More of that, please.

I’m grading this movie on a curve within the Star Wars Universe. I can’t help it. I do the same within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and some other franchises. I’m going to update my Star Wars Ranking article soon, and the series will be all slotted neatly, by rewatchability. And then we will achieve a balance in the Force!

PS: I’m going to see Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker in 4D soon. I have a ticket Dan Fogelberg himself gave me during the 2019 San Diego Comic Con (Yes, he’s Jacob from Fantastic Beasts), and I can’t wait to use it on this film. 

Movie Grade: A-

Infographic of every Star Wars movie ranked by fans on IMDb and RottenTomatoes

Star Wars Revealed: Obi-Wan Kenobi is a lying liar who lies

Movie analysis – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Infographic of every Star Wars movie ranked by fans on IMDb and RottenTomatoes

Infographic of every star wars movie fan-rank via imdb and rottentomatos.

It’s beginning to look a lot like… Star Wars season. Star Wars goes together with Christmas like Jawas and stolen droids. Not only is The Rise of Skywalker — the final episode in the latest Star Wars trilogy — releasing on December 20th, but I’d hazard to guess that Star Wars themed presents will be piled high under many Christmas trees this season.

And ask any Star Wars fan, young or old (or both in many instances), what they most want this Christmas and they’ll say, “All I need for Christmas is a great Rise of Skywalker movie.” Either that or they’ll ask for the Lego Millennium Falcon for only $179 at Amazon.  (You better hope for the former.)

Here’s an infographic of every Star Wars movie and how they are rated by fans at IMDb.com and RottenTomatoes.com.

Infographic of every star wars movie fan-rank via imdb and rottentomatos.
Infographic of every star wars movie fan-rank via imdb and rottentomatos.

I will update this infographic around the middle of January when the user ratings for Rise of Skywalker are in.

2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review

5 Reasons Kylo Ren Is a Good Villain

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker opens soon.  The wait is finally over. The Skywalker family will wrap up with this end to the storyline (though not the series).  And audiences will get to take one last adventure with Rey, Leia, Lando, Chewie, Finn, Poe, C-3PO, and R2D2.

It also means another visit from the dark side’s Kylo Ren.  A lot of fans have issues with this newer character.  I, for one, though, am a fan.  So I present to you my defense with this list of reasons why Kylo Ren makes a good villain.  (Note:  This post contains SPOILERS for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.)

1.  Adam Driver is a talented actor.

The filmmakers didn’t choose an unknown actor to portray Kylo Ren.  They hired one of the best  young character actors working in Hollywood.  He’s worked with everyone from Noah Baumbach to Spike Lee to Martin Scorsese.  You may not agree with all of his acting choices, but he knows what he’s doing.  The man is an Oscar-nominated actor.

2. Kylo is human.

Kylo’s vulnerability makes him an interesting villain.  His emotions and his anger make  him more relatable than an indestructible killing machine like Darth Maul or Boba Fett.  When he tells his father, Han Solo, that he’s torn apart, you can feel it.  Being a young, passionate villain who is still in training also makes Kylo a perfect foil for Rey.

3. Kylo is a tragic figure.

My high school English teacher defined a tragedy as a story about the fall of a good man.  Kylo starts out as one of Luke’s students and ends up killing his own father in cold blood.  It’s like something out of Shakespeare or an ancient Greek drama.  The person Kylo worships, Darth Vader, is also a tragic figure.  Vader was also a young boy who trained to be a Jedi only to turn to the dark side, unable to overcome his own fear and anger.  Kylo’s fall from grace makes him that much more evil and that much more compelling.

4. Kylo isn’t Darth Vader. 

J.J. Abrams could have just given audiences the second coming of Vader, but where would be the fun in that?  The whole point of Kylo is that he’s not Vader, that he idolizes Vader but falls short of becoming him.  Kylo’s lightsaber is a perfect symbol of that.  It’s a jury-rigged device, a home-made contraption that sometimes seems slightly on the fritz.  Like Kylo, it’s unstable and dangerous because of that.  (And, because, you know, it has three blades and stuff.)  Because he’s his own person, Kylo is able to make choices and even mistakes that surprise us.

5. Kylo is conflicted.

The main plot of Force Awakens is about finding Luke Skywalker.  However, the subplot is about the battle for Kylo Ren’s soul.  Despite the evil inside him (he has a whole village slaughtered at the start of the film), Kylo does not completely belong to the dark side.  Leia senses good in him.  Snoke warns him against being seduced by the light side.  Kylo himself feels the pull towards the light, praying to Darth Vader’s mask to show him the power of the dark side.  When Han tries to convince him to abandon the dark side, Kylo genuinely seems to consider it.

Kylo’s relationship with Rey is also complicated.  He doesn’t merely want to destroy her.  During their lightsaber battle at the end of Force Awakens, he tells her she needs a teacher and offers to show her the ways of the Force.  In The Last Jedi, he briefly joins forces with her to kill Snoke.  Then he offers her the chance to rule the universe with him.  A shot in the final trailer for Rise of Skywalker hints that they work together again at some point in the storyline, and there might even be some redemption for Kylo,like there was for Vader.  Kylo’s internal struggle is more interesting to watch than a bad guy like Jabba, whose nature never changes.

____

Movie analysis – Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I have a bad feeling about this… Who said it in Star Wars and When?

13 iconic scenes from Star Wars you won’t have missed if you had the RunPee app

Who appears in every Star Wars movie?

anthony-daniels-star-wars
The chances of him being in a Star Wars movie is 100%.

Do you know who appears in every Star Wars film?

It used to be easy to answer this: until Solo, R2-D2 and C-3PO were in every film, even if just a short cameo, as in Rogue One. But squeezing them into Solo would have been pure fan-service and narratively unnecessary. We did get a new droid who became part of the navigational unit in the Millennium Falcon. That was cool. But no beloved robotic friends from the past.

So? Want to guess? It’s not Chewbacca, Han, or Lando (in fact, only Chewbacca shows up in  the prequel trilogy — he is around 200, after all). And it’s not Yoda (who is around 900 years old!), although, like Chewie, he manages to hit all three of the trilogy series as a character, albeit a Force Ghost in the latter. I don’t know if we should count Luke and Leia in hitting all  trilogies: they only appear in the conclusion of the prequels as newborns. But while the twins didn’t appear in Solo, Leia has a final moment in Rogue One.

Anyway, none of these characters make an appearance in every Star Wars movie. But someone does.

Then who is it?

This is actually a trick question. No character shows up in every Star Wars movie, but one actor does: Anthony Daniels. Normally he plays our old lovable Goldenrod…but in Solo, Daniels gets to show his face briefly as a human named Tak — a friend of the Wookiee Chewbacca meets on the spice mining planet of Kessel.

Anthony Daniels also plays C-3PO in Ralph Breaks the Internet, which is just awesome, and he gets to interact with more Disney Princesses than just Leia. He’s a protocol droid, after all.

If we’re going to get picky, Daniels plays Threepio everywhere Star Wars abounds: in video games, radio shows, television episodes, and several rides at Disneyland. Daniels even wrote I Am C-3PO: The Inside Story (<-Amazon), an autobiography released on November 5, 2019. (He previously considered using the title Telling the Odds, which I kind of prefer.)

Here’s a last bit of cool trivia: Daniels was the voice of Legolas in the Ralph Bakshi animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (1978).

For an actor without a recognizable face, Anthony Daniels gets around! Will Daniels appear in Rise of Skywalker, the finale to the Star Wars saga? The odds are indeed looking good!

I have a bad feeling about this…

https://runpee.com/obi-wan-kenobi-is-a-lying-liar-who-lies/

 

What is the best all-time series franchise?

harry-potter sorcerers stone
It started well and kept getting better. Congratulations, Harry!

So many movie franchises, so little time. While it’s easy for producers to add yet another movie to any long-running series, it’s not so easy to have every one of them qualify as good, quality films. And in some series, all are decent, but none are outstanding. How to decide who gets the top spot for film series narratives where everything is both above average and don’t contain a clunker?

Definition: What’s a movie franchise?

We figure anything beyond a trilogy counts as a true series. Also, I’m looking at stories with an element — any element — of cannon material.

We fudged a few times here. Riddick only makes four films by including Dark Fury, an animated but CANNON inclusion to the series. The Matrix (at least through now, since a 4th movie has been recently announced, but hasn’t been filmed) has an entire cannon series of Animatrix anime. We’re going to take a leap and include those.

So, we’ve decided we have to draw a line somewhere, since linear story-telling material in so many series are all over the map.

Here we go: Soft Reboots are included…Hard Reboots are not. In other words, if the series nods to any previous incarnations and characters, that’s a Soft Reboot (ie – the Kelvin Timeline in Star Trek that refers to our Classic Timeline and has Old Spock and New Spock as continuous characters), but Hard Reboots are out (removing something like Evil Dead from the equation, for example, since the new version goes back to the beginning and erases the entire previous trilogy).

James Bond films are tough that way, and might be based on who was Bond when. Probably. We’re mulling over whether each Bond series has any connective tissue to the last. But clearly with each Batman version, it’s a Hard Reboot from the ones that follow. Which makes detangling DC an issue.

Note: We can’t say we’ve covered every series out there, especially those in the horror genre, which can malinger like old laundry. We see a lot of movies, but aren’t superheroes here. Let me know what I left out in the comment section below. 

Interesting “leading” actors note:

Vin Diesel, Harrison Ford, The Arnold, and Sylvester Stallone each have two entire lead role franchises on this list. Wow! We could possibly, maybe, conceivably, say so do Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, but those are “starring” roles in large ensemble films, instead of clear leads.

What do you think? We aren’t sure where to draw the line on this, so feel free to chime in to the comments with your opinions. We realize people can get worked up about their favorite movie series, and we want to hear all about it!

So, let’s get to it. Here are the franchises we’re looking at, and our personal, very opinionated comments as we go.

  • Aliens — Pure disaster from 2 onward. What not to do. ARGHHHH. So much original goodness, so, so wasted. After the first and the sequel, which ROCKED, we can’t recommend anything else. And they keep on trying…to no avail.
  • Terminator —  None actually suck, but it’s very uneven. A good effort. Also, with all the timelines, working out what is a Soft Reboot vs Hard Reboot is problematic. This would have been worth consideration as a winner, especially with the new Dark Fate offering, if Genisys wasn’t so damned dumb.
  • Predator —  All of them are rather good, if you don’t throw the Aliens vs Predators into the mix. That 2nd AvP is one of the worst movies I have ever sat through. And, to be honest, I don’t like Predator 2 much at all either, except for the fun spaceship ending. It felt like a gangster film and was not very sci fi. Bummer.
  • Resident Evil — Jeez. Past the first, are any good? There are six live action films to date, and a few animated ones. Did you realize six movies even happened? I remember really liking the first one a whole lot, with the brand new Alice and Raccoon City. Then the Resident Evils seemed to blend into a massive zombie mess, and can’t recall anything important, except for a cool scene with a motorcycle crashing through a church stained glass window. Which movie was that? I sure don’t know. Oh, wait, and didn’t one film have the remnants of humanity in Alaska? I really tried to keep up…
  • Harry Potter — Most consistently above par as a series. Each one is great-to-excellent. Probably the All_Over_Series Champion for this article’s purposes. So far, the Fantastic Beasts films are pulling it down a little, but not by much. None of these suck. The first two are juvenile….because the intention is that the audience will grow up with the series.  And the juvenile ones even knock my socks off, by introducing a magical ambiance and the firm foundation of a wizarding wish fulfillment fantasy. You know you want to get an acceptance letter to Hogwarts too. Don’t deny it. 😉
  • Twilight — Oooo boy. Best case: they are consistent…consistently bland. Next…
  • Star Wars. Yikes. It’s really too bad how uneven this series is. Even if you love the prequels, you’ll argue about the new films. No one agrees here with any of this. It’s really too bad. How did this happen?
  • Star Trek / original and Abrams — More yikes. Do you prefer Kirk or Picard? And which Kirk do you prefer? It doesn’t really matter, since each series has some great highs and some low, low, lows. Somehow, each movie manages to keep the continuity going (the Kelvin Timeline of JJ Abrams is a borderline Soft Reboot because of the alternate timeline including Old Spock). But the classic Kirk stories have their greats (Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home) and their losers (The Motion Picture, The Final Frontier). And the Patrick Stewart efforts are also up and down (Great: First Contact, Awful: Nemesis). I’m not going to argue about Nu-Trek. The big issue: no matter how you slice it, none of the parts of the series are consistent enough to come close to winning this prize. Sorry, Trek fans.
  • Indiana Jones — Sigh. Yep, uneven…I doubt I need to elaborate. Honestly, I only love the original. The rest are good-to-poor in execution. And it’s not Harrison Ford’s fault. I don’t know what happened with such a great premise.
  • MCU — Sooooo close to perfection. None are bad. The Hulk isn’t exactly good (it gets by with a ‘fair’). We think after the Harry Potter series, this is the Runner-Up Winner in terms of being consistently excellent. One could say the MCU should win by default, however, since after a WHOPPING 23 films, they are almost uniformly excellent. Should we allow one ‘fair’ Hulk film to drag this amazing feat down? (This Hulk was definitely better than the Ang Lee Hulk, which is frankly unwatchable). Seriously, none of these films are bad. But not all of them rank as good. This is a toughie. Also, Agents of SHIELD, Peggy Carter, and a few other one-offs with good material count as cannon. (Not sure if Thor’s adventures with his roommate Darryl count, but I don’t see why not. It’s even a trilogy in itself!)
  • X-Men/Wolverine/Deadpool — Part of the fun here is even the characters don’t know what is or isn’t cannon. Personally, I think this is an example of Marvel working out the bugs in making a contiguous franchise. Even their most recent X-Men movie this summer shows how awfully bad things can get when the writing isn’t planned well. I’m as confused as Wade Wilson when it comes to the X-Men.
  • DCEU — OH DEAR GODS. I’m going to just disqualify the DC universe until they figure out what the heck they’re doing. Some of it is cannon. Some are quite enjoyable (for me: only Wonder Woman and Shazam). Some of the DC films are hard reboots and some are soft reboots, and some suck no matter how you slice them.  Even after the successful new Joker film, I think they still don’t know what they’re doing. I hope James Gunn’s Suicide Squad 2 will be great, but even that is supposed to be a soft reboot. Will Birds of Prey fit in? Do we even care?
  • LOTR/Hobbit — It’s really too bad about that last Hobbit film. Our trips to Middle Earth could have swept all the wins. Battle of Five Armies was just awful. Damn.
  • Lego Movies — These are almost all pretty good. But the Ninjago one isn’t worthwhile. Sorry, Lego fans. Alllmost. It’s too bad. The other three are excellent. One clunker ruins the score.
  • Men In Black — Only the original is GREAT. The other three are…fine. Even the new one is…no better than fine. My personal ranking is 1, 3, 4, and then 2. Pass.
  • Toy Story —  Quite good as a series. 2 is kind of a clunker and brings the series down, which is too bad. This is almost a winner.
  • Shrek — Do you know there are four Shrek films out there? Me neither. And that boots this off the list. Sorry, Mike Myers. Were the last direct-to-video? I have no idea where this went.
  • Despicable Me + Minions — A fairly even series, I’ll grant it that, and a lot of fun. Not one is a clunker. But if Despicable Me wins this contest, I may have to eat someone, like a random Grip or Best Boy or Foley Artist…please, don’t make me do this. Cute, cute, cute. But seriously amazing storytelling? This might be a runner up. Seriously, for being a silly premise, this is kind of a winner. Banana!
  • The Matrix — The first movie redefined action movies. On the DVD box set there’s an option to watch the movie while three movie critics (yes, movie critics) commentate on the movie — how brave of the directors! One of the critics commented: “I realized while watching this movie that I was witnessing a watershed moment.” Then the other two movies came out — Reloaded and Revolutions — a few years later, to less than critical acclaim. As a huge Matrix fan, I didn’t know what to think, but upon rewatching, and rewatching, I understand that the story couldn’t have been better. Even the universally panned Burly Brawl fight scene in Revolutions served an important plot point than few people understand. (There’s a reason the fight went on, and on, and on.) Between Reloaded and Revolutions, we had the collection of animations –in the Animatrix. While it’s probably only appealing to uber-fans, the stories are all entertaining and are artfully done. Well worth watching, and they help fill in much of the back story, and even introduce a character who later shows up in Revolutions.
  • Riddick — All are good. Two are great. But having only half be amazing isn’t enough to win the franchise prize.
  • The Monster U/Godzilla — This series is ongoing, so the jury is still out until we see King Kong vs Godzilla. So far, the series is enjoyable, but far from great. I remember thinking during the first Godzilla movie that there wasn’t nearly enough Godzilla. Mostly, watching any of these movies just makes me crave watching Pacific Rim again.
  • Mission Impossible — Most of these mush together in my head. I can recall it around the stunts…as in, “This is the one where Tom Cruise does a Halo Jump.” Some of these are really very good, and some (early on, mainly) are mediocre.
  • Fast & Furious/H&S — None of these are bad, but it’s a pretty uneven series. Like with Mission Impossible, it gets better as it goes, and I remember them by stunts (“This is the one Vin Diesel flew a car between skyscapers in Abu Dhabi…”).
  • Rocky/Creed — The first movie was pretty amazing, and I don’t usually like fight plots. But then each following film focused more on fighting and less on story. Things got mediocre fast, even with the Creed films bolstering the narrative.
  • Rambo — I hate to say this, but I’ve never watched a single Rambo film. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.
  • Jaws — HA!  The first two have some decent continuity and are worth viewing…but then things dwindle fast. Do you know how many Jaws movies there are? (Hint: officially, 4. But with the ‘bad shark franchise’ being so fat and happy, you’d think there were more.)
  • Bond — Very uneven, if you look at all the Bonds in all the years. Some Bonds are more consistent than others. But since each one is a Hard Reboot, this makes it hard to grade. I don’t think any new Bond character acknowledges a prior Bond storyline. But I might be wrong. If you have some thoughts, share them in the comment section. I’d love to know if any Bonds refer to prior incarnations.
  • Die Hard — Did  you realize there are five films in this series? Poor John McClane, running barefoot through glass shards every Christmas. So to speak. I love him and the original film, but  this series is still too wobbly to win the Ultimate Franchise award. A+ plus for the original. then thing get mediocre quickly.
  • Mad Max — With Fury Road, this is 4 films and thus enters our competitive list. And I hate to say this….but I have NOT seen Fury Road. (Man, I know. I suck.) Even so, I think this is a consistent series, and each one is worth a watch. But they aren’t AMAZING, no matter how you slice it. So it’s not a win, not compared to Harry Potter.
  • Hunger Games — Decently consistent, but the 3rd is sort of lame and drags the series down. It’s too bad — this really could have been a contender. All it takes is one bad movie…
  • Transformers — Let’s face it:  that any single one of these movies is watchable is a win. The best I can say about any of the Transformer movies is that they make great films to play in the background for cleaning the house.
  • Halloween — There are 11 movies in this series. The most recent brought Jamie Lee Curtis back in a true sequel (and Soft Reboot) that continues where the first film left off, discarding the rest. Thankfully. This is how to do a follow-up, and it performed very well at the box office. There are two more films on the pike to continue this narrative.
  • Jurassic Park — The original is an A+ film and Lost World was a pretty good sequel. Then we got the abyssal Jurassic III, which should be taken out behind the shed and shot. It’s that bad. It took a long time to revive the series with Jurassic World, and the 4th movie is quite charming — a great relief for dino-philes like me. The 5th film is good, not very good or great, but certainly isn’t a dog like HP 3. It’s too bad 3 happened at all: JP could have been contender. JP 3 is THAT BAD.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean — Although there are four movies in this series, the only one to be taken seriously is the first. While the original was ground-breaking and fresh, everything that followed seemed like a live-action cartoon. FAIL.
  • National Lampoon’s Vacation – All, at least in the 5 films, (American Vacation, European Vacation, Xmas Vacation, Vegas Vacation and Vacation) are watchable. None are above a B grade, however. Just because all are watchable doesn’t mean any are great.
  • The Bourne movies – There are 5 of these! But the quality is up and down. Bummer.
  • Saw, Chucky, The Conjuring Universe – I’m just not a horror fan. I’ve seen exactly zero of these films, so I can’t comment on them. We’re hoping RunPee Sis, our resident horror fan, will make her own franchise list. I do have the sense that all have a very uneven quality. Feel free to tell me what you think in the comment section below.

I don’t pretend to cover every series. I’m not that awesome. But from this list here, it’s clear who wins, and who just misses the cut.

Winner: Harry Potter (even including the 2 Fantastic Beasts films), with 10 films of good to ‘fantastic’ quality that all easily make the ‘film classics’ list. Congrats to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Newt!

Runner Up: The Marvel Cinematic Universe. I really want to give this series the win. It’s hard to have 23 movies (plus two cannon TV shows and several one-shots) all be amazing. And it’s not fair to have Hulk (and maybe Thor 2) drag the entire thing down. When they did Hulk they really didn’t have the MCU formula worked out — that was the same year as the original Iron Man, which was a long shot at best. But you know what? It created an empire that almost nothing could compete with. It’s just soooo close. MCU, we love you 3,000.

Honorable Mention: The Matrix. A lot of people just do not like the sequels, and haven’t even seen the Animatrix Collection. In fact, the sequels spawned some serious vitriol when they came out. But if you watch them now, 20 years later, and forget “all you know, and think you know”, you’ll actually enjoy what the directors have accomplished. This cinematic experience is really very deep, and the quality can’t be argued against. We only hope the previously announced four-quel will add to the story (unlike the new Men In Black: International).

Honorable Mention 2: Believe it of not, Despicable Me/Minions is right up there, and more consistent than the otherwise beloved Toy Story series. I’m shocked too.

Do you agree or hate my assessments? Comment below. I promise I’ll respond with respect. This is what makes films fun. 

Disney announces release dates for upcoming MCU Phase 4 movies and Disney+ shows

Marvel StudiosOkay, deep breath. Thanos is snapped away along with his minions, and Ironman (luv u 3000) is hanging out with his daughter in the Soul Stone.

That’s the past. It’s time to create new stories, heroes, villains and get the MCU Phase 4 underway.

Here’s the movie/TV lineup Disney has announced:

2020

black-widow-may-2020May 1st, 2020 – Black Widow

What we know so far: the story takes place between the events of Civil War and Infinity War.

Stars: of course, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, and also introducing Florence Pugh (Angela in Malevolent, Saraya Knight in Fighting with My Family) as Yelena Belova, David Harbour (Jim Hopper in Stranger Things, Dexter Tolliver in Suicide Squad) as Alexei Shostakov / Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff…and oh yeah, this guy named Robert Downey Jr. may have a cameo as Tony Stark.

eternalsNovember 6, 2020 – The Eternals

What we know so far: It introduces the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations.

Stars: Angelina Jolie as Thena, Richard Madden (Robb Stark in GOT) as Ikaris, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Gemma Chan (Astrid Young Teo in Crazy Rich Asians) as Sersi, Kit Harington (Jon Snow in GOT) as Dane Whitman, Kumail Nanjiani (Stu inStuber, in Silicon Valley) as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff (Connie in The Walking Dead) as Makkari, Barry Keoghan (George in Dunkirk) as Druig, Brian Tyree Henry (Jefferson Davis in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) as  Phastos, Lia McHugh (Jessica Nolan in American Woman) as Sprite, and Dong-seok Ma (Sang-hwa in Train to Busan) as Gilgamesh.

falcon-and-winter-soldier-show-disney-plusNovember 12, 2020: The Falcon and Winter Soldier on Disney+

What we know: Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale) will direct all six episodes of the series.

Stars: Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan will officially reprise their roles as Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Daniel Bruhl and Emily VanCamp will both be joining the cast — reprising the roles they played in Captain America: Civil War.

2021

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten RingsFebruary 12, 2021 – Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

What we know: an introduction of the Marvel Comics character Shang-Chi the Kung-Fu Master. In the comics Shang Chi’s main power was really just a skill: the ability to rapidly master forms of combat. Although in later years, he did gain the power to replicate himself, which could come in handy. It’s unknown if the MCU will duplicate that power from the comics.

Stars: Simu Liu as Shang-Chi and Tony Chiu-Wai Leung as The Mandarin.

wandavisionSpring 2021: WandaVision on Disney+

What we know: There will be six episodes that follow after the events of Avengers: Endgame. It’s unknown how they will explain Vision’s return after he was killed/unstoned by Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. We do know that the events of WandaVision will cross over into the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which premiers around the same time.

Stars: Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will reprise their roles of Maximoff and Vision. They will be joined by Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis from the Thor movies and Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man. In addition Kathryn Hahn (Afternoon Design, Bad Moms) will also be joining as a “nosey neighbor.” Teyonah Parris is cast to play the role of Monica Rambeau — the young girl introduced in Captain Marvel.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessMay 7, 2021 – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

What we know: the plot is unknown but it will involve a crossover with the Disney+ show WandaVision.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch as Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Rachel McAdams as Christine Palmer (Strange’s girlfriend from the first Dr. Strange movie), Benedict Wong as Wong, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, and a To-be-confirmed actor as Nightmare.

Who is Nightmare, you ask? In Marvel Comics, Nightmare is a Class 3 demon —equal to Dormammu, Shuma Gorath, and Cthulhu — who rules the Nightmare World, located within the Dream Dimension. Nightmare feeds off humanity’s collective psychic dream energy, and terrorizes humans and superheroes alike.

Loki on Disney+Spring 2021: Loki on Disney+

What we know so far: Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as Loki, even though Thanos killed him in the first scene of Avengers: Endgame. But remember, later in the movie the Avengers go on their time travel adventures —  and Loki ends up holding the Tesseract and disappearing with it.

Hiddleston said: In the years since Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which came out this Spring… Two questions I’ve been asked are ‘is Loki really dead?’ and ‘what’s Loki doing with that cube?’ It’s always the cube somehow. And this series will answer both of those questions.

Spider-Man-3July 16, 2021 – Spider-Man 3

What we know: not much. The good news is that Spider-Man is returning to the MCU at all. The bad news is this is likely his last solo movie in the MCU. The plot is unknown, but will likely pick up on the ending of Far From Home, where Spider-Man was revealed to the public to be Peter Parker. And since Sony and Disney aren’t playing very well with each other, this movie might reveal why Spider-Man won’t be continuing as an Avenger. Unless Disney buys Sony and makes this whole mess go away.

MCU What IfSummer 2021: WHAT IF…?

What we know: this is the first animated adventure in the MCU. The first season will have 23 episodes that explore what would have happened in previous MCU stories had things gone differently.

Stars: Jeffrey Wright (West World as Bernard, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire as Beetee ) stars as the Watcher, who narrates the series.

Thor Love and ThunderNovember 5, 2021 – Thor: Love and Thunder

What we know: Director Taika Waititi, who did Thor: Ragnarok, is back. So is Natalie Portman as Jane, only this time she’s going to level up and gain the powers of Thor herself. (50/50 odds that she cries at some point.)

Stars: Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Tessa Thompson as Brunnhilde/Valkyrie, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor, Taika Waititi (the director) as Korg.

hawkeyeFall 2021: Hawkeye on Disney+

What we know: The show will act as a passing of the baton as Clint Barton ( Jeremy Renner) passes the title of “Hawkeye” to a new character: Kate Bishop. Kate is rumored to be played by Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, Enders Game, Bumble Bee), but that is not yet confirmed.

Note: Disney+ series for Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight are also in the works, and will debut after Hawkeye.

2022

October 7 – untitled movie

I’m going out on a limb to speculate that there will be more than one MCU movie released in 2022.

2023

February 17 – untitled movie
May 5 – untitled movie
July 28 – untitled movie
November 3 – untitled movie

Marvel Phase 4 Predictions – Some MCU Sure-Fire Guesses