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I think at the very least the new Star Wars movies will suck less than Phantom Menace, and a best case scenario will have Joss Whedon or someone take on the franchise.

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SilverHammerMan said on November 23rd, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Right on the money about the EU stuff I think, there’s a bit of worthwhile stuff, the Thrawn Trilogy in particular is excellent and feels like a natural progression for the story, but most of it kind of sucks. The Republic has to deal with yet another new threat and/or more of the remnants of the Empire, blah blah blah. It’s boring. And frankly I just want the stories of Luke, Leia, and Han to end. I like knowing that Leia and Han got together, but I have absolutely no desire to read about their grand children or see a 60+ year old Han Solo saddle up for yet another adventure because the EU simply hasn’t generated any really good protagonists. I think the books have gotten into the timeframe of like 30 years after episode 4, and I just want them to move on and let the characters rest.

On another note, am I the only one who’s not excited about the idea of the original cast coming back? I get that the series was built around Luke and Vader, so they want to continue that story, but much like with the EU stuff, I just want these characters to rest. No desire to see tired old Luke Skywalker try to hero it up at this point.

Not totally against the idea of a sequel though, I just hope it focuses on either other characters or another timeframe. And hey, maybe we’ll get a Boba Fett space western.

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I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Mark Hamil hand down the lightsaber to another generation, maybe even playing an Obi Wan role (see: episodes 4-6, not 1-3) as a mentor to the new guys.

I’m hoping this new movie turns out good, especially as Disney seems to have their head on straight when it comes to making good movies with licensed properties. Like the Marvel movies and the Great Mouse Detective.

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This feels like it’s going too fast for me. I never got into the comics and novels. As far as I was concerned, the story ended on Endor (forest moon of planet Endor?) with the Ewok hoedown and the blue Jedi ghosts. I never seriously thought what would happen afterward. And now, I’m being told that Disney is fast-tracking a seventh movie for 2015? It just feels off.

For the record, I heard that news on the Tuesday after Hurricane Sandy. I had been without power for 25 hours, and I thought that maybe this was an elaborate prank on those who were cut out of the pop culture loop, whose only news was through battery-powered radios and was about Sandy.

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I’ve gotten very good at ignoring the parts of a franchise I dislike and taking just the parts I do like. So to me there is zero risk in making a new Star Wars movie.

Two years ago I got to see a screening of the real, unscrewed-around-with Star Wars, a vintage British dye-transfer print- it was a once in a lifetime thing. I was a generation too late to have been in theaters in `77, but that night I was in a packed theater full of people who were excited as all hell to be there, who cheered at all the right places, who were having the time of their lives. It’s an experience I think about all the time, and I wish I could see it happen again as much as I count myself lucky for being able to be there at all.

I know the reason that new Star Wars movies will be made is money, and only money, but I don’t care. If there is even the slightest sliver of a hope that you could create an experience like that for somebody again, you take it!

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Actually, with good writing and today’s special effects, I could see a Howard the Duck movie being pretty damn good, actually.

I vote for Danny DeVito to play Howard.

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Dylan beat me to what I was gonna say. If they stuck closer to Steve Gerber’s original character, a HtD reboot could be great.

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The best part of the Expanded Universe stuff were the stories that didn’t feature main characters from the movie, at least to me. They weren’t all good, but there was a lot more room to just explore when it wash’t tied to Luke doinf Jedi stuff. Probably the one notable exception was a short story where Boba Fett and Han Solo face each other again, because it’s not about the fight, but how they’ve been changed over time.

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My idea: Howard. Because “Howard the Duck” would be too obvious. Howard would be a bit of a recluse, an urban legend from the 70s about a talking duck that tried to fit in with the shaved apes. I wouldn’t take it too far . . . for instance, he wouldn’t throw a beer bottle at a TV anytime an AFLAC commercial came on.

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I am currently reading the Star Wars Chronology, which goes from twenty five thousand years before the movies to something like a century or so after. I think. I’m not done with it yet. But yeah, going up through eleven years after A New Hope it does feel a little redundant. I found some of the most enjoyable stories took place before the A New Hope, Han Solo and Chewbacca’s adventures as well as Lando’s. There was a touch of Star Trek wonder going on in some of those stories and that is not a bad thing, not when we are dealing with an immense galaxy that should be full of alien glories like lost civilizations and truly alien aliens.

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Brian Smith said on November 23rd, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Has there yet been any official statement that the 3-D version re-release schedule had been kicked up from one-a-year to two-a-year because of the behind-the-scenes Episode VII plans? Or am I reading too much into a decision that could just as easily have been motivated by someone somewhere saying “We want money, and we want it NOW”?

And I’ll second the notion that the one Boba Fett/Han Solo story was awesome.

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Boba’s only good when there’s a level of mystery and antagonism to him. Most stories basically treat him as Wolverine, so I’d personally avoid the guy.

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Weird, I just blogged something similar:

http://phantasmicblog.blogspot.ca/2012/11/in-praise-of-mediocrity.html

It needs to be said that while it’s certainly true that “Star Wars is one of the most important and influential pieces of art in the 20th century”, that’s not quite the same as saying it’s *good*, exactly. Not that I’m saying it’s bad either, just that its undeniably immense influence shouldn’t automatically be considered to be a good thing. There are a lot of ways in which I think Star Wars changed pop culture for the worse. But there are plenty of good things about it too, and yes, a new series in the hands of people who really care about the franchise–i.e., not Lucas anymore–is still something that can get me excited.

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And unsurprisingly for a company that just spent four billion dollars to pick up what amounts to two worthwhile intellectual properties and the rights to ‘Willow’

Don’t forget that they also got Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound. Even if you don’t consider the genuine talent working there, from a purely mercenary perspective owning those two outfits is a good way to make money not just off your movies, but off OTHER peoples movies.

And yet…and yet, despite the fact that there is as yet no cast and no director and no script, I am tentatively interested in the upcoming sequel to ‘Star Wars’. Why?

Is this all that complicated?

For all they like the video games and novels and whatnot, people want to see some Star Wars action on the big screen. Clone Wars is a fine TV series, better than it has any right to be, but it’s animated and on TV. That’s a legitimate avenue for artistic expression; the first Clone Wars tv series, the one helmed by Genndy Tartakovsky, is better than ANY of the prequels and some of the finest Star Wars materiel ever produced.

But what we really want to see is a live-action Star Wars movie, and we don’t trust Lucas with it anymore.

And Disney, as you say, has a track record of handling its properties well. And you couldn’t have asked for them to have handled Marvel as well as they have. Plus, they’ve been on a tear lately.

Combine all those factors together, and you need a reason NOT to be interested. Being interested should be where you default to.

I’ve never been a big fan of the Expanded Universe.

Fair enough. And there was a TON of dreck in the EU. But a lot of people, myself included, have a lot of affection for it. Moreover, we have a 25-year investment in it from the standpoint of ‘want to know what happened after? We have this big interesting universe. Come learn about it!’

but after a while I feel like it really devolved into an endless slog of book after book after book of “A new Dark Jedi/Imperial general holdover/Dark Sun crime boss rears its ugly head, and the fledgling Republic has to deal with this menace or else!” Which always seemed to translate to me as, “Let’s bring back the Emperor/Tarkin/Jabba with the serial numbers filed off!

This is an absolutely fair criticism of the EU for a long time after the Thrawn trilogy. It felt like it was really spinning its wheels for awhile until they came up with the idea of “lets start another conflict with some genuinely scary aliens who interact in odd ways with the Jedi mind hoodoo, and let’s explore the idea of evil traveling down through the generations via Vader’s grandkids.”

I’m not saying they succeeded at what they were aiming for, because a lot of THOSE storylines were dreck. And then they let Karen Traviss molest the franchise for awhile, and letting someone who hates Jedi write Star Wars turned out about as well as you’d think it would.

Combine that with the militaristic insistence that this was the True Canon, the Word of Lucas

… wait, what?

Most devotees of the EU were wary of Lucas, because it was well-known that he wasn’t deeply involved in it beyond issuing the occasional editorial diktat (the reason it took Luke and Mara so long to hook up is because one of the longstanding editorial rules was Luke couldn’t have a permanent love interest or get laid) and also that when he sat down to write the prequels, he was quite resentful of some elements of the EU hemming him in. It would be unusual for someone to defend the EU as canon by falling back on LUCAS, of all people.

As for the “True Canon” thing, I’ve done that myself, and the reason I do it is because when I get involved in Watsonian discussions of Star Wars, I’ve had people try to use sneering references to something being “from the EU” in order to attempt to de-legitimize my points. Firing back with ‘no, it’s pretty canonical’ is a valid riposte.

Not that arguing about that sort of thing is horribly productive, but…

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mygif

Now that the mouse has Marvel, a Howard reboot / Donald & Scrooge crossover is not that unthinkable…

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I still believe the Star Wars EU started producing consistently good content when the Yuzhon Vong stuff started. Their writers started behaving like a TV writing staff and quality improved across the board.

Though, ‘good’ EU content still just means ‘fun, pulpy Star Wars continuation’.

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Howard the Duck movie: Base it on the recent Ty Templeton/Juan Bobillo arc, Jon Benjamin voices Howard, MODOT is played by a digitally enlarged David Warner head with little puppet arms.

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IR: Yuuzhan Vong was crap. I don’t think I’ve met anyone else who really liked those biotech-wanking, Chewie-murdering, inconsistently-characterized tosspots.

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I sort of respect the Yuuzhan Vong stuff, despite not actually LIKING it all that much, because they were attempting something genuinely ambitious; they’d realized they had reached the point, as Seavey says, where everything seemed like “Let’s bring back the Emperor/Tarkin/Jabba with the serial numbers filed off.”

Honestly, it’s sort of like the Star Trek novels. There’s an occasional gem buried amongst a lot of ‘this is okay’ and a lot of ‘wow, this is just… bad.’

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Pennyforth said on November 24th, 2012 at 2:08 am

As long as notions of a new Howard the Duck film are being tossed around….I think that Patton Oswalt would be the perfect voice to capture the general disgust with humanity that is the comics Howard’s hallmark. I just don’t know whether or not Oswalt’s issues with Lucasfilm will be resolved by George’s retirement.

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Tim O'Neil said on November 24th, 2012 at 2:16 am

You lost me at “there hasn’t been a good Star Wars movie produced in almost thirty years” – really, am I the only lonely voice in the wilderness on this?

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@Tim O’Neil-

Well, I thought the Clone Wars movie was good. No, not Attack of the Clones. The other one, the one with Ahsoka.

So I’m even crazier than you, I think.

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“Let’s bring back the Emperor/Tarkin/Jabba with the serial numbers filed off.”

Nevermind the time they ACTUALLY resurrected the ACTUAL Emperor…

…and made Luke evil…

…and saved the day with a Jedi Carebear Stare…

…!@#$…

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Yvonmukluk said on November 24th, 2012 at 5:44 am

Well apparently they’ve brought back the guy who wrote ESB and ROTJ (and whatever you say about the Ewoks, that was still an excellent movie), so it looks like your optimism is well-founded at this juncture.

and I agree that finally having a star Wars movies being made with proper editorial scrutiny, like the original trilogy, can only bode well.

I just hope they don’t make the other mistake of the prequels and use greenscreen for everything. If they want to use CGI, there should either use it sparingly or make the film an animated feature.

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“‘Star Wars’ is, I insist and will continue to insist, one of the most important and influential pieces of art in the 20th century.”

Equally as valid, and possibly more true: ‘Star Wars’ is one of the most important and influential pieces of merchandising and advertising in the 20th century.

(It’s easy to read it as an artistic failure (which doesn’t imply unimportance or lack of influentialness) in a number of ways. I can’t think of any way to read it as a failure of merchandising, brand-creating, or advertising.)

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malakim2099 said on November 24th, 2012 at 10:48 am

Am I the only one that wants to see Episode VII be the start of the Heir to the Empire trilogy, and have all the main roles completely recast?

*waits to be tarred and feathered*

Oh, and PUSH THE BUTTON, JOHN! (Just had to get that in there with the MST3K shoutout.)

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I’m sorry, the phrase “the sequels are arguably less good” makes no sense to me. I read it initially as “the prequels are arguably less good,” which confuses me as I thought there was no argument there. The prequels are less good.

If “the sequels” refers to the EU, then it really depends which part of the EU is being referenced. Some sequels are unquestionably worse. I don’t know anyone who would argue that the EU as a whole is as good as the OT, but perhaps it might be argued out there somewhere. The only place I see a real, valid argument being likely is regarding Zahn’s work with Thrawn. Personally, I find it superior to the OT, but am willing to let the argument go, YMMV, etc.

So what’s the arguable sequel quality being referenced?

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@malakim2099: I love that trilogy enough to entertain the idea, but I’m not sure enough of the complexity and nuance would make it through to the film to make it truly worth it. I’d prefer an entirely new story with the original cast in brief cameos (perhaps Luke more majorly as a mentor) and new heroes.

And now that the PT has scrambled the EU so shamelessly, I’m wondering whether it might not be better to declare the EU an AU and use it only selectively in new stories.

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See, I’m of the opinion that there hasn’t been a good Star Wars movie produced in SEVEN years, so there! (I’m an unapologetic admirer of the Prequels. Yes, they have more warts than the original trilogy. None of the warts bug me enough to sink the Prequels as a whole. Not even Jar Jar!)

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@Yvonmukluk

THANK YOU! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks ROTJ is a great movie. I swear that it gets way to much heat for the dumbest of reasons.

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kingderella said on November 24th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

theres no reason the new star wars cant be entertaining, since george lucas isnt going to be writing or directing them. i think jj abrams would be a good choice.

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My feeling is that it won’t particularly matter who directs or “writes” because they’re just going to be carrying out Disney predetermined directive.

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Kirala: he’s saying that Empire and Jedi were worse than the original.

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My feeling is that it won’t particularly matter who directs or “writes” because they’re just going to be carrying out Disney predetermined directive.

I’m not sure why you have writes in scare quotes. Could you elaborate on that? I mean, if I were to write “Joss Whedon ‘wrote’ the Avengers; he was just carrying out Disney predetermined objectives” it would be exactly as true as your statement.

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Heksefatter said on November 25th, 2012 at 6:17 am

Once again a vision has been saved from its creator by a big, faceless corporation.

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Joe Gualtieri said on November 25th, 2012 at 11:00 am

“Never been an Identity Crisis for Mickey Mouse”

Other than the Floyd Gottfredson comics, surely.

Heksefatter- I’m glad someone else said it, it’s a shame that Lucas gave his ownership and control. People don’t like to think of them in such terms, but the five sequels to Star Wars are biggest indie movies ever.

Part of me is a little excited about the prospect of seeing Hammil reprise his role, but otherwise my disappointment at Lucas giving up on his ideals outweighs any other emotion.

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Star Wars the Phantom Menace is the most disappointing thing since my son.

At least it means more Plinkett reviews, and by that extension: MORE DEAD HOOKERS!

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My position is as follows- at the very least we are getting one, most likely three more movies about spaceships shooting lasers at each other.

It’s possible for a film in that genre to be bad, obviously (I like the prequels but that’s an argument you want to avoid at all costs these days). But even a bad one usually has some appeal.

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The only thing I feel strongly about is that the new movies should not have Harrison Ford in them under any circumstances. No one wants to see Han Solo get old.

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Joe Gualtieri: never before has a man GIVING FOUR BILLION DOLLARS TO CHARITY been referred to as ” giving up on his ideals”.

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When you consider the role Ben Kenobi played in Episode 4, relative to his role in Episodes 1-3, having Luke/Leia/Han tossed back into the pot isn’t the end of the world.

Most people don’t want to see these characters ritually murdered for ratings. That said, picking up with Luke training a new school of Jedi Guardians or working in Han/Leia’s kids as the primary protagonists, isn’t the worst idea in the world. They can be characters, just don’t make them the main characters.

Of course, at the end of the day, what we’re all really asking for is “Please write a decent story/screenplay.” Don’t force comic relief. Don’t leave the cast so inbred that you can draw a straight line from Yoda’s high school indiscretion to Luke’s grandchildren. Don’t bring back another Death Star. Do keep coming up with new and exciting species and locals and universe-spanning events to keep my inner child making the “pew-pew-pew” sound in my head.

:-p Even the original trilogy wasn’t perfect (Han shot first, you bastards!) but it’s quality entertainment and that’s all we’re really looking for.

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Murc said: “As for the “True Canon” thing, I’ve done that myself, and the reason I do it is because when I get involved in Watsonian discussions of Star Wars, I’ve had people try to use sneering references to something being “from the EU” in order to attempt to de-legitimize my points. Firing back with ‘no, it’s pretty canonical’ is a valid riposte.”

Actually, I think I might have been one of those people. :) And my point about ‘true canon’ isn’t that people should be able to say, ‘That doesn’t count because it’s from the EU,’ it’s that when someone says, for example, ‘The behavior of that character in the EU is way off-model,’ the response shouldn’t be, ‘But it happened for realz because the EU is canon, so there.’ Which is the response I usually get. :)

My primary example is Boba Fett. We never actually see him in a significant fight in any of the films except ‘Jedi’, and when he does fight, he’s remarkably ineffectual. He literally gets killed by a blind guy with a stick. In ‘Empire’, all he really does is track his quarry down and call the cops, then confiscate the helpless prisoner. (Note that he doesn’t try to claim Chewbacca, even though there’s almost certainly a bounty on him as well, because a Wookie–even one in chains–is a little too much for him.) And in the prequels, we find out that he’s really just a stormtrooper with a jetpack.

But when you point out that a more accurate depiction of Boba Fett would be as a sneaky little bastard with an overhyped rep who died like a bitch, you get, “Oh, he totally survived the Sarlacc off-screen and there’s six billion books and seventy billion comics that show him as a total badass and so you’re wrong wrong WRONG!” To which my response is, “No. Those are all just things made up by fans of Boba Fett. They are fans of Boba Fett who received a paycheck from Lucas, but that does not make their ideas better or more accurate depictions of that fictional universe.” That is, yes, the kind of thing I’d like to see go away, the idea that some fans’ ideas are better than others because Lucas rubber-stamped them. The prequels wounded it, I’m hoping the sequels kill it.

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Halloween Jack said on November 26th, 2012 at 9:00 pm

First, let me say that WRT: it’s like someone telling you that a giant monster walked by, and you not noticing it because you can’t see out of this weird foot-shaped canyon you’re in., it’s good to see that someone remembers Smax (unless there’s prior art).

Second, it’s worth remembering that it was possible for the prequels to have been worse, simply because Lucas didn’t get everything wrong. The bits with Palpatine maneuvering and manipulating his way to power were well-done, if a bit sketchily, and there were some germs of good ideas there: a competing political power that wasn’t necessarily (or at least at first) capital-E eeevil (the Trade Federation), the use of the Jedi as investigators/negotiators/troubleshooters where their combat skills would possibly be the least important things about them, in the mold of the Texas Rangers or Stephen King’s gunslingers; even the existence of a sentient aboriginal population that was (at first) overlooked by the government as having a legitimate say in internal or external affairs (the Gungans; yes, it’s possible to imagine Jar-Jar as having a real purpose in a plot, if he wasn’t played up as crypto-racist comic relief), etc. These things have been done in the likes of Star Trek and other space operas, probably multiple times; that doesn’t mean that the SW franchise couldn’t try to improve on them. At the very least, it would make for a more interesting argument than Star Destroyer vs. Enterprise-D.

Finally, I’ve read very little of the EU, but the important thing, ultimately and finally, is whether or not it results in a good story. You can obviously write a crap SW story whether you hew to every little tittle and jot on Wookkiepedia, or if you decide that possessing Force abilities depends on prenatal exposure to unicorn farts.

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ObiWanUDontKnowMe said on December 5th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Here, let me state this for all the REAL AND TRUE FANS OF STAR WARS…

There should have never been prequels. I think when the idea came out, we were all on board. And then we watched them. Some of us went back to watch it twice or three times even… because deep down…. we really wanted to like it. And then reality set in, and many of us came to realize the true nature of the prequel force… the justification for the prequels was to tell the story of Anakin Skywalker, all they really did however, was completely tarnish the name of our beloved Star Wars. End of that topic.

Before the prequels, Lucas and his lack of money apparently, released how many different versions of the same three films??? Seriously, how many have there been? I don’t even know. But for the longest time, Mr. Lucas and his empire, refused to give us what WE, the true fans really wanted. A release of the originals, in it’s ORIGINAL format. And when they did finally give us our original back. Guess what? It wasn’t even the original that we requested. I’m not going to nit-pick the discrepancies, all I’m going to do is state the obvious. We couldn’t even get our damn originals properly released on DVD or Blu-Ray. End of that topic.

And now, this. Disney. I almost don’t even have words for this shit. It’s like, who the fuck are you people that support this idea? What the flying fuck is wrong with all of you? Hollywood these days… complete and utter garbage. Basura. GARBAGE. All Hollywood does these days is come out with remake after remake of classic movies, and they can’t even get that right! I just finished watching the Conan remake. Are you fucking kidding me? People these days like this crap? This is entertainment to the masses of morons who walk amongst myself?

So go ahead enjoy your new Disney Wars. I, someone who will never forget 1977, and what real magic felt like at the theater, will continue to laugh and make fun of the idiotic populace that I am forced to live amongst. I am appalled and almost shocked at how stupid society is living in 2012. Almost.

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