Some light on the Dark
At the end of “Return of the Jedi,” it sure seemed the Empire was really destroyed and the good guys could live happily ever after, with Darth Vader redeemed and Ewoks singing the night away. So how come the evil ones are back in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (and all the upcoming sequels and spinoffs)? Director J.J. Abrams explained the state of this universe to Empire magazine (no relation to the one that strikes back):
“That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again? What could be born of that? Could the First Order exist as a group that actually admired the Empire? Could the work of the Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?”
Abrams also said that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the guy in the trailer with the blood-red broadsword-ish lightsaber, “works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.” Snoke is a performance-captured digital baddie played by — who else — Andy “Gollum” Serkis. The movie arrives Dec. 18.
And in other “Star Wars” news, a whole galaxy of toys — Captain Phasma action figures, Nerf crossbows and blasters, Chewbacca masks — will go on sale Sept. 4, Bloomberg reports, and Disney will unveil the merchandise via YouTube all day the day before.
That other universe
Meanwhile, Zachary “Spock” Quinto reveals a bit more about the next installment in that other beloved space franchise. While we’ve seen plenty of scenes with Captain Kirk and Spock in the reboot movies, next summer’s “Star Trek Beyond” will devote more time to Spock and McCoy (Karl Urban). “Those characters are so diametrically opposed that it’ll be nice to see them interacting,” Quinto told London’s Telegraph.
Their new game
We love Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer, and, apparently, they love each other too. So much so that they’re writing a comedy together and plan to star in it too. “We play sisters,” Lawrence told the New York Times in an aside as she was talking up this fall’s final “Hunger Games.” “We’re almost done writing. It just flowed out of us. We’ve got about 100 pages right now.”
Lawrence says she met Schumer only a couple of months ago. “I emailed her after I saw ‘Trainwreck’ and said, ‘I don’t know where to get started. I guess I should just say it: I’m in love with you,’” she recalled. “We started emailing, and then emailing turned to texting.”
“Amy and I were creatively made for each other. We have different flavors. It’s been the most fun experience of my life. We start the day off on the phone, laughing. And then we send each other pages. And we crack up.”
Straight outta “Kong”
As “Straight Outta Compton” continues to do well at the box office, its stars are seeing their careers rise as well. Jason Mitchell, who plays rapper Eazy-E, joins castmate Corey Hawkins (who plays Dr. Dre) in “Kong: Skull Island,” says Variety. Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson also star in this origin story about the mysterious home of the king of the apes. Expect it in spring 2017.
| Sharon Hoffmann, firstname.lastname@example.org