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So… has there been some Star Wars news this week…?

Well, let me just say this, which I’m sure I’ll be repeating over and over again ad nauseam between now and Dec 18, 2015.  I would love nothing more than to see a great new Star Wars movie in a theatre at some point during the rest of my life.  I would be delighted and thrilled for Episode VII to be that movie.  I am rooting for it.

Although there are a billion ways for it to go wrong and turn our embarrassing, I like the idea of the original trio of Luke, Han, and Leia (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher) being involved in the movie.

I am cautiously optimistic that J.J. Abrams is the right director for the film.  I think J.J. understand how to balance nostalgia with telling a fresh story; I think he has a good cinematic eye; and I think he has the muscle in Hollywood to make the movie he wants to make.  On the other hand, his last film was the execrable Star Trek Into Darkness.  So that’s a problem.

There are some really exciting names in the new cast just announced.  John Boyega was phenomenal in Attack the Block.  Oscar Isaac was phenomenal in Inside Llewyn Davis.  Domhnall Gleeson was phenomenal in About Time.  Andy Serkis is the new god of 21st century big-budget fantasy film-making.  (I assume he’ll be playing a mo-cap creature, but I’d be equally happy if he’s performing as himself in the film.)  Max Von Sydow was absolutely BORN to be in a Star Wars movie.  Adam Driver is a surprising choice — I think he’s a terrific actor, but he has a very “modern” feel that I have a hard time imagining translating into a Star Wars movie, but I can hold my judgment for now.  (Interestingly enough, he shared a scene — a GREAT scene — with Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis!)  Like the rest of America, I have no idea who Daisy Ridley is (just that she has a cool name), but I look forward to finding out.

So, so far, I am cautiously optimistic about Star Wars: Episode VII.  This is not a film I think needs to be made.  But since they’re making it, I hope to hell it’ll be great.  Right now, I have plenty of reasons to worry (none of us have to imagine what a terrible Star Wars movie looks like — we’ve all already seen it), but also plenty of reasons to hope.  We’ll all know for sure in just a year and a half.

In other news…

This is a fantastic oral history of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.  Fantastic article, well worth your time.

This is awesome: The story of Dune, recreated with Gummi Worms.

This is a great look back at Albert Brooks’ fantastic film from 1981, Modern Romance.  (I wrote about Modern Romance myself a few years ago, click here for my review.)

I am very, very excited for David Wain’s new film, which purports to skewer the familiar cliches of romantic comedies.  Take a look at They Came Together (great title):

This is funny: Benedict Cumberbatch and Jimmy Fallon have an Alan Rickman-off:

While we’re on the subject of celebrity impressions, for no reason other than that it will bring joy into your life, let’s bask in the glory of Kevin Pollak’s staggeringly terrific impression of William Shatner:

OK, Seth MacFarlane’s is pretty awesome as well:

Did you know Joss Whedon’s new film (he wrote the script, it was directed by Brin Hill) In Your Eyes is available to be seen, right now, on-line for just five dollars?  I just found this out — I need to watch this immediately!!  I’ll post a review as soon as I can.

Finally, thanks again to everyone who backed the kickstarter campaign for The Jewish Comix Anthology!  This incredible anthology, to be published this summer, will feature the work of 47 incredible Jewish artists, including Art Spiegelman, Harvey Pekar, Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, Joe Kubert… and me!!  (If you’ve been wondering why new cartoons have been a little sporadic on the site for the past few weeks, it’s because I’ve been working on finishing my pages for the Anthology.  Sorry!!)  This 250-plus page hardcover anthology is available for ore-order here.  I hope readers of this site will consider ordering a copy!  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!!

Thanks everyone.  We’ll be back on a regular schedule of cartoons and blogs next week, I promise.  I’ll have my review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, new Captain America: The Winter Soldier cartoons, and lots more.  See you then!

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