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Captain America’s Solo Trilogy: 5 Things It Did Right (& 5 It Did Wrong)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe began as Tony Stark’s franchise. The other heroes each had a chance to shine, but Stark was the anchor pulling the whole thing together. However, as soon as the Russo brothers took over the Captain America movies, Steve Rogers became just as important as Stark.

RELATED: The Avengers: 10 Best Candidates to Replace Captain America as Leader

It is the dichotomy between these two characters that has formed the backbone of the MCU for a good few years. It all began when the Russos showed up to get Cap’s solo franchise into shape. Here are 5 Things Captain America’s Solo Trilogy Did Right (And 5 It Did Wrong).

10 Wrong: Generic origin story

While Captain America: The First Avenger isn’t a terrible movie – it’s actually, all things considered, a pretty good one – there’s no denying that it follows the MCU’s set-menu origin story formula.

We meet Steve Rogers as a young man searching for his purpose. He has an older, wiser mentor figure who offers him the chance to fulfill his destiny. The mentor figure dies, which pushes him to fulfill that destiny. Everything’s going great until a villain shows up with similar powers to Steve and he’s finally met his match. The only non-generic thing about it is the fact that the hero is catapulted into the future at the end.

9 Right: Cap’s character arc

Captain America’s character arc as a whole lasted until Avengers: Endgame, but there is an internal one in his solo trilogy and it’s terrific. In The First Avenger, Steve is willing to do anything for his government. In The Winter Soldier, that government betrays him and he realizes he can only trust himself.

In Civil War, he actively fights against the government’s attempts to regulate his actions. The final moments of Civil War see Steve arriving at the Raft to break his allies out of prison. There’s no way we could imagine the Steve we first met doing that, yet it doesn’t feel out of character when we see it. That’s what character development looks like.

8 Wrong: Villains

The Captain America trilogy has never had particularly good villains. Despite Red Skull being Cap’s primary villain in the comics, he just came off as lame in The First Avenger.

It was an intriguing turning of the tables to have Cap’s best friend become the villain in The Winter Soldier, but ultimately, Bucky wasn’t the real villain of that movie; Alexander Pierce was, and he was another generic MCU villain with vague motivations for evil. Finally, Helmut Zemo was woefully underused in Civil War, since the focus was on the Avengers’ animosity towards each other, while his “getting caught was all a part of my plan” schtick has been done a thousand times before.

7 Right: Steve’s friendship with Sam

When we catch up with Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we truly see him as a man out of his time. He’s trying to get by, but it’s not easy, because all of his friends and family are dead and he doesn’t recognize the world. And then he meets Sam Wilson, a fellow vet who is similarly struggling to fit in.

RELATED: 10 Things We Want To See From Sam Wilson’s Captain America

Sam wasn’t frozen for 70 years, but he did go to war and return home to find that he had no place, so the two can relate to each other. Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie have fantastic chemistry and Cap’s solo movies have used this well.

6 Wrong: Steve’s romance with Sharon

In the years between Cap going into the ice and missing his date with Peggy and his trip back to the ‘40s to spend his whole life with her, Marvel didn’t really know what to do with his romantic arc. So, they put him in a weird, kind of creepy, pseudo-incestuous relationship with Peggy’s great-niece, Sharon.

Fans were never on board with this pairing, and it seems right that the MCU just sort of forgot about it. It’s even worse in retrospect, since we now know that Steve would eventually go back in time, marry Peggy, and technically become Sharon’s great uncle.

5 Right: Upping the stakes in the second movie

All these years later, Captain America: The Winter Soldier still stands as one of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It suitably upped the stakes following The First Avenger, with Steve Rogers adjusting to life in the modern world, losing his trust in the government he served (the only thing he had left), and coming face-to-face with the ultimate villain: his childhood best friend who he thought had died 70 years earlier and had been brainwashed by Nazi scientists to assassinate him. The Winter Soldier solidified Cap’s place as one of the MCU’s most well-defined and interesting characters.

4 Wrong: Third acts (except for Civil War)

The third act of Civil War is spectacular, with the conflict of the movie being stripped down to its essential elements: Tony finding out Bucky killed his parents, Tony wanting revenge, and Cap standing in his way as he’s torn between his best friend and his closest ally.

RELATED: 10 MCU Moments That Prove Captain America Was Always Worthy Of Mjolnir

But the third act of The First Avenger feels rushed in order to get Cap in the ice and send him into the modern day, while the third act of The Winter Soldier takes the paranoid political thriller build-up and tosses it out in favor of an all-too-familiar CGI smash-‘em-up for the final battle.

3 Right: Final lines of dialogue

The final line of dialogue in a movie is incredibly important, because they’re the words stuck in your head as you leave the theater and head home. The MCU understands this, and it’s never been on finer display than in the Captain America movies. At the end of The First Avenger, Steve finds himself hopelessly confused in 21st century New York and Nick Fury asks him if he’s going to be okay. Steve responds, “Yeah, I just…I had a date.”

His first thought is that he’s missed his chance with Peggy. At the end of The Winter Soldier, Steve tells Sam he doesn’t have to help him look for Bucky and Sam says, “I know. When do we start?” And at the end of Civil War, Steve sends Tony a letter that concludes, “No matter what, I promise you, if you need us, if you need me…I’ll be there.” Powerful stuff.

2 Wrong: Making Civil War pretty much an Avengers movie

Captain America: Civil War is often referred to as Avengers 2.5, because Iron Man, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, Black Widow, and Scarlet Witch are as much a part of the plot as Cap is. While Civil War is, at heart, still a Captain America movie, it doesn’t feel like a true solo movie in the sense that The Winter Soldier does. Civil War is bigger than Captain America, and that’s its biggest problem.

That story needed to be told – the Avengers had to break up before Thanos showed up, because that’s how Thanos won – but maybe it shouldn’t have been a Cap solo movie. Cap deserved a true closer to his solo trilogy.

1 Right: Completing the Cap/Bucky arc

The MCU as a whole gives us a rounded portrait of Steve Rogers and a complete, fleshed-out character arc, but the Captain America solo trilogy focused more specifically on his friendship with Bucky.

In the first one, they fought in World War II together and Bucky “died,” spurring Cap on to sacrifice himself. In the second one, Bucky returns as a brainwashed assassin out to kill Cap. In the third one, the Avengers are torn apart and the UN pokes around in superheroes’ business. But despite the epic scale, it still didn’t lose sight of the focus on the Cap/Bucky arc and gave it some closure, which is pretty admirable.

NEXT: Captain America: 8 Ways Chris Evans Can Still Play Steve Rogers In Another MCU Movie


2019-07-13 11:07:27

Ben Sherlock

Thor’s Solo Trilogy: 5 Things It Did Right (& 5 It Did Wrong)

Out of all the MCU’s solo franchises, it’s arguable that the Thor trilogy was the one that struggled the most. Marvel fans have always loved the character and the way Chris Hemsworth plays him, but from Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespearean tragedy to Alan Taylor’s GoT-style medieval fantasy to Taika Waititi’s nutty slapstick comedy, the Thor trilogy has bounced around a few different styles, genres, and tones to see what fit.

RELATED: 10 Things The MCU’s Fantastic Four Reboot Needs

As it turns out, they didn’t really figure it out until the third one and even then, some fans are skeptical. Here are 5 Things Thor’s Solo Trilogy Did Right (And 5 It Did Wrong).

10 Wrong: Love interest

By the laws of Hollywood filmmaking, every MCU solo movie needs a love interest. But where some of those movies have developed complicated and interesting relationships that fans have enjoyed following, like Peter Quill and Gamora or Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, others have given us banal romantic interests played by actors who have no chemistry with the lead, like Christine Palmer, or Jane Foster.

Natalie Portman is a terrific actor – one of the best working today, some would say – so she could’ve given the MCU a brilliant character if she was given any interesting material to work with in the scripts.

9 Right: Thor’s relationship with Loki

What makes Thor’s solo franchise unique is that it’s not just about him. Since the beginning, it’s been about his relationship with his brother, Loki, who continues to deceive and betray him.

Their relationship is a little like Jimmy and Chuck in Better Call Saul; you know that one brother is constantly screwing over the other brother and the other brother should just cut them out of their lives, but since they’re brothers, you know they can’t do that. The on-screen chemistry shared by Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston is an integral part of this – if they didn’t have chemistry, it wouldn’t work.

8 Wrong: An uninspired second chapter

MCU fans are pretty much unanimous in the opinion that Thor: The Dark World is the worst movie in the franchise (or, at the very least, that it’s very near the bottom). TV director Alan Taylor was brought in and he churned out a very bland and by-the-numbers take on the character. Loki’s fake-out death is predictable, the battle scenes don’t come close to matching Taylor’s work on Game of Thrones, and Jane Foster is given both her biggest role and her least substantial material.

Being the second chapter (the one that is usually the best: The Empire Strikes Back, Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, The Godfather Part II), The Dark World really drags down the trilogy. The third Thor movie had to be out-and-out bananas just to make up for how uninspired the second one was.

7 Right: Family themes

The strength of the Thor saga has always been its focus on family. Since he’s royalty, family has always been an important part of the God of Thunder’s life, and it’s the key to understanding him as a character.

Thor’s relationships with his brother, father, and mother have always been at the forefront of his stories – or, at least, they’ve been at the forefront in the first and third movies, which worked better than the second. A big part of the reason why The Dark World failed is that, even with moments like Frigga’s death, it lost sight of the family themes.

6 Wrong: Pre-Ragnarok comic relief

It’s often said that Thor: Ragnarok fixed the Thor trilogy by making it funny. The problem before was not a lack of humor, just a lack of good humor. The first two movies made attempts at comedy, and aside from a couple of fish-out-of-water gags involving Thor adjusting to life on Earth in the first one, it simply wasn’t that funny.

RELATED: Thor’s 10 Funniest Quotes In The MCU

Kat Dennings and Chris O’Dowd gave it their all, but The Dark World’s moments of humor just didn’t land. They were completely mishandled. Of course, as soon as the brilliant mind of Taika Waititi was hired to tackle the third Thor movie, this issue was under control.

5 Right: Anthony Hopkins as Odin

A lot of the casting in the Thor franchise is spot-on, Hemsworth and Hiddleston being the most obvious examples, but since they’re players in the wider MCU, that’s not really a point in favor of Thor’s solo series, but rather the franchise as a whole.

Anthony Hopkins as Odin, however, is very much a product of Thor’s solo movies, and he did a fantastic job. In a lot of his blockbuster roles, Hopkins seems to phone it in, like in the mind-numbing Transformers: The Last Knight, but in the Thor movies, he always brought his A-game. Whether he was stripping Thor of his powers or dying, Hopkins always sold the weight of Odin’s scenes.

4 Wrong: World-building

Although we know what Asgard looks like from afar with ample sweeping crane shots (plus, we’ve seen various locations close up), the world-building in the Thor movies has left a lot to be desired. Asgard is a fascinating place in the comics, and yet none of the movies have managed to convey that. We don’t get a sense of Asgard the way we get a sense of Hogwarts or the Death Star and that’s a huge disappointment.

It meant that we didn’t really care when Asgard was destroyed in Ragnarok. The Russos have done a better job of establishing New Asgard, the small Norwegian fishing town that the Asgardians have relocated to, in just one movie than three directors did with three movies set largely in the original Asgard.

3 Right: Villains

Apart from Malekith, the primary villain of The Dark World who felt underdeveloped and, as a result, boring, the villains in the Thor trilogy have all been pretty awesome. Loki proved to be such a strong villain that he was brought back as the main villain in The Avengers (as a side-note, there should be more recurring villains in the MCU, because the one-villain-per-movie system is getting to be a drag).

Even the Destroyer felt like a real threat. And in Ragnarok, we got not one, not two, but three great villains: Cate Blanchett’s delightfully flamboyant Hela, Jeff Goldblum’s hysterically unhinged Grandmaster, and a suitably formidable Surtur.

2 Wrong: No narrative consistency

While each Thor movie technically follows on from the previous one’s narrative developments, his solo franchise doesn’t feel like a consistent three-part story in the way that Iron Man and Captain America’s solo trilogies do. Instead, it feels like it was constantly trying to “fix” itself.

RELATED: Despite Ragnarok, Thor Is The Weakest Marvel Trilogy

Kenneth Branagh’s Thor was too light, so Marvel hired Alan Taylor to take the sequel to darker places. The Dark World was too serious, so Marvel hired Taika Waititi to take the threequel to brighter and sillier places. The Thor trilogy doesn’t feel like a trilogy as much as two write-offs followed by the first installment in a proper Thor trilogy.

1 Right: Finishing strong

The hardest movie in a trilogy to pull off is the third one, since it has the obligation of wrapping up the story and topping the first two. In the Thor trilogy’s case, the latter wasn’t too difficult, but the third movie, Ragnarok, was still faced with a difficult challenge.

Marvel made a wise decision bringing in Taika Waititi to direct the movie as a bright, colorful, zany comedy, because it differentiated Ragnarok from the previous two installments (neither of which are MCU classics) and felt like a breath of fresh air. As it turns out, all the Thor movies were missing was humor.

NEXT: Thor: 10 Possibilities For The God Of Thunder’s MCU Future


2019-07-13 09:07:15

Ben Sherlock

The 10 Grooviest Quotes From Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy

The 1980s had some highly-praised horror films, one of which was Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. The film was released in 1981. The film is notorious for its excess gore, which was all done with practical effects. Being friends with Sam and Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell was chosen for the role of Ash Williams, which has since become the most famous role of his career.

Related: 10 Best Possession Movies

Ash returned in 1987 for Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, the sequel Army of Darkness in 1992, as well as the TV show Ash vs. Evil Dead in 2015. Throughout Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy, Ash became more humorous and arrogant, resulting in some memorable lines. Here are The 10 Grooviest Quotes From Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy.

10 “YEAH, TRULY AMAZING”

Evil Dead II is one of the good examples of how to mix comedy and horror, which is why most of his famous lines come from Dead by Dawn and Army of Darkness. However, one of Ash’s few one-liners in the original Evil Dead is “Yeah, truly amazing”.

The line comes when Shelly and Linda are trying to guess the cards that the other person is holding. After Linda guesses incorrectly, Shelly lies and says she is right. She excitedly tells Ash that she guessed correctly, but he is trying to focus on the recording they found in the basement, so Ash simply responds, “Yeah, truly amazing”.

9 “SWALLOW THIS!”

Henrietta Knowby was a character first introduced in Evil Dead 2. She was the wife of Professor Raymond Knowby, who discovered the Necronomicon. The deadite version of Henrietta was a grotesque overweight demon, played by Ted Raimi.

After Henrietta turns into her fourth form, she grows a long neck, which makes it easier for Ash to cut with his chainsaw arm. As the head is flopping on the ground saying, “I’ll swallow your soul,” Ash takes his shotgun, points it at Henrietta and says, “Swallow this.” The head then explodes in a gory and typical Evil Dead fashion.

8 “YOU’RE GOIN’ DOWN”

Near the beginning of Evil Dead 2, Ash tries to leave the cabin only to discover that the bridge to safety has been destroyed. Ash heads back to the cabin where he finds that Linda’s head has come back to life. Linda bites his hand and won’t let go, so Ash takes her out to the shed and puts her head in a vice.

Related: Why Arielle Carver O’Neill Was Ash’s Daughter (& Not Kelly)

The deadite continues to torment Ash by saying that they have Linda’s soul and that she is suffering. Ash then says, “You’re goin’ down” before reaching for a chainsaw. Unfortunately, the chainsaw isn’t where he thought it was, so he has to fight Linda’s decapitated body to get it back.

7 “THIS… IS MY BOOMSTICK”

As if Ash didn’t have a hard enough time in the first two Evil Dead movies, things get even worse for him when he gets stuck in the year 1300 AD. At the end of Evil Dead 2, Ash gets sucked into a vortex which lands him in the Middle Ages and fights hordes of deadites to get back to the present day.

Upon arriving in 1300 AD, a knight challenges Ash to a sword fight. Ash simply shoots his shotgun at his sword, which cuts it in half and scares everyone since guns hadn’t been invented yet. Ash then says, “Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! See this? This… is my boomstick!”

6 “YO… SHE B****… LET’S GO”

Initially, Ash wants nothing to do with helping the people in 1300 AD defeat the army of the undead. All he wanted to do was go back to the present day and live his life, but he becomes romantically involved with a woman named Sheila (played by Embeth Davidtz).

Before Ash goes on his journey to find the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, he visits with the Wise Man, but during their meeting, a woman turns into a deadite and threatens Ash. Ash has no trouble killing the deadite with his boomstick, but before he does so, he says, “Yo… She-B****… Let’s go”.

5 “WELL HELLO MR. FANCY PANTS”

Before the people in 1300 AD find out that Ash is their savior, they imprison him and nearly kill him. After binding Ash in a pillory, they lead him to a pit, where they eventually throw him in to fight against a deadite. Before that though, he talks with a fellow prisoner; Henry the Red.

After Henry explains that he is lord of the Northlands and the leader of its citizens, Ash responds sarcastically by saying, “Well hello Mr. Fancy Pants. I got news for you pal, you ain’t leadin’ but two things right now; Jack and s***, and Jack left town.”

4 “GIMME SOME SUGAR BABY”

After having to kill all of his friends in a cabin in the woods, Ash is no doubt fed up with all of the deadites’ non-sense. Ash is significantly smarter than the people from 1300 AD, simply because he’s experienced several things that hadn’t even been invented yet. This causes Ash to have little patience with the people who need his help, constantly calling them primitives.

When Sheila comes to give Ash a cloak she made before he ventures off, he insults her, which results in him getting slapped in the face. Ash runs after Sheila before she leaves his quarters, holds her close and smoothly says, “Gimme some sugar baby”.

3 “SHOP SMART, SHOP S-MART”

Once Ash defeats the pit b****, he climbs out and is challenged by a knight. Ash effortlessly defeats the knight that provoked him by shooting his sword, breaking it in half. With the people unaware of what guns are, he calls it his “boomstick” before going into a long drawn out speech describing the weapon.

Related: Bruce Campbell Reprising Ash Williams One More Time in Evil Dead Video Game

Ash explains, “It’s a twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington, S-Mart’s top-of-the-line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That’s right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about $109.95. It’s got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair-trigger.He ends his monologue by saying,That’s right. Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart.” and screaming, “YA GOT THAT!?”

2 “HAIL TO THE KING, BABY”

 

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy almost ended very differently than what made it into the theatrical cut. Originally, Ash was going to end up in a post-apocalyptic future after drinking too much of the potion used to return to the present day.

Instead, they had Ash miss a word in the phrase he had to say to get back to his own time, resulting in a deadite attacking S-Mart. Ash heroically takes out the deadite using a shotgun from the Sporting Goods department, before sharing a passionate kiss with a woman he had been talking to before the attack.

1 “GROOVY”

No list of Evil Dead quotes would be complete without mentioning, “Groovy”. The iconic line was first muttered by Ash in Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn. The character builds a modification for a chainsaw, allowing him to attach it where his hand used to be.

Ash then cuts the barrel off of his shotgun before dramatically saying, “Groovy”. The one word one-liner is probably the most well-known quote from the Evil Dead series and was repeated in Army of Darkness and the TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead. Bruce Campbell even returned in a post-credits scene for Fede Alvarez’ Evil Dead remake to say his iconic line.

 Next: 10 Horror Movies From The ‘80s That Will Still Terrify You Today


2019-07-13 05:07:32

Christopher Fiduccia

Iron Man’s Solo Trilogy: 5 Things It Did Right (& 5 It Did Wrong)

The Iron Man trilogy is arguably the most important solo franchise in the MCU, because it was the first one. In 2008, the first Iron Man movie kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Tony Stark announcing to the world that he was the metal-clad superhero that had been spotted in the skies of Los Angeles and Nick Fury telling him he wasn’t the only superhero. It was then followed by two sequels, both of which received mixed reviews from critics and irked a lot of fans.

RELATED: Iron Man Movie Writers React to Tony Stark’s Death In Avengers: Endgame

10 Wrong: The Mandarin twist

There was a way to make the Mandarin twist work – it makes a good point about feared terrorist leaders in the public conscious being controlled by unseen puppet-masters and it’s a totally unexpected plot turn – but Iron Man 3 went about it all wrong. For starters, Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of Trevor Slattery was far too zany and over-the-top for the impact of the twist to really set in. Plus, the marketing of the movie got fans excited to see the real Mandarin, the iconic and terrifying villain from the comics, in the film. The Mandarin twist might be the MCU’s biggest missed opportunity.

9 Right: Tony Stark’s character development

Although the Avengers movies developed Tony Stark to an extent, his solo trilogy did most of the legwork. He arguably developed more in the first movie than in his entire character arc, as he realized selling weapons is wrong (after a near-death experience with a Stark Industries bomb) and decided to help others rather than himself. And as much as Marvel fans might rag on Iron Man 3, Shane Black arguably understood the Tony Stark character better than any other MCU director. By taking away his tech and forcing him to face the villains without it, Black showed us that Tony really is a hero.

8 Wrong: Unfocused second movie

There’s a lot in Iron Man 2 that fans were disappointed with, like its generic villains, but its most egregious crime is its lack of focus. As the arc reactor in Tony’s chest began to fail him, there was an opportunity for some real character development, but the sequel got too bogged down in setting up the wider MCU.

RELATED: 10 MCU Phase 1 Moments That Foreshadowed Endgame

Black Widow was crammed into it instead of getting her own solo movie and Nick Fury spent the whole movie harping on about the “Avengers Initiative.” Iron Man 2 was too preoccupied with setting the stage for The Avengers that it failed to be a great movie on its own.

7 Right: Working the events of The Avengers into the plot

All throughout Iron Man 3, Tony suffers from PTSD following his trip through a wormhole during the Battle of New York. People do suffer psychological damage after near-death experiences and it would’ve been disingenuous if Iron Man 3 ignored what had just happened to Tony in a wider plot of the MCU. The ongoing threat of the Mandarin in the early scenes of Iron Man 3 is deftly woven into his post-traumatic stress. Even though it was the very first case of a solo movie following on from a team-up movie, it still stands as one of the most effective.

6 Wrong: Recasting James Rhodes

After the first Iron Man movie, there was a contract dispute between Marvel and Terrence Howard, so the studio replaced him with Don Cheadle in Iron Man 2 onwards. This was a terrible mistake, because with Howard’s smooth charisma and genuine coolness, he was much better for the part than Cheadle. Also, being real-life friends with Robert Downey, Jr., Howard’s Rhodey had much stronger on-screen chemistry with Tony than Cheadle’s. Going back and rewatching Howard’s performance in Iron Man after nine years of Cheadle as Rhodey, it’s easy to see that the role should’ve never been recast and Howard was ideal for it.

5 Right: Origin story

The MCU’s origin stories are often criticized for following a rigid formula, but 2008’s Iron Man feels fresh. This is partly because it was the first ever MCU movie and therefore had no formula to follow yet, but partly because it’s just brilliantly made. It has a nonlinear structure, ordered perfectly to give us a pointed portrayal of Tony Stark. First, we see him get captured by terrorists. Then, we go back to see the life of excess and luxury he leads. Then, we return to his captivity as he builds a weaponized suit instead of the bomb the terrorists want him to build. As far as superhero origin stories go, this is as good as it gets.

4 Wrong: Finishing too early

Producer Kevin Feige is a huge fan of the trilogy as a narrative technique. To be fair, there is a rich history of brilliant trilogies, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The problem with that is that Iron Man’s solo franchise ended way too early. Since he had two solo movies in Phase 1 whereas everyone else had just one, Iron Man didn’t have the luxury of a solo movie at each stage of the MCU. His character arc only reached a certain stage by the end of his own trilogy and the rest of it spilled into other people’s movies. It would’ve been interesting to see an Iron Man movie in Phase 3.

3 Right: Blending action and humor

Tony Stark is one of the funniest characters in the MCU. He has a pop culture-inspired nickname for everyone and he has the perfect quip for every situation. But he’s also a superhero who flies through the sky and blows up bad guys. It can be tough to reconcile the two.

RELATED: The 12 Best Tony Stark Quotes From The Marvel Cinematic Universe

A lot of MCU movies struggle to walk the fine line between humor and action, often letting the humor distract from the action or vice versa. But the Iron Man movies nail the action/humor combo, and it’s almost entirely thanks to Robert Downey, Jr.’s mesmerizing performance in the role of Stark.

2 Wrong: Villains

Despite adhering to the cliché of the father figure who turns out to be evil, Obadiah Stane was a pretty great villain, but he was also the last great villain in the Iron Man trilogy. Iron Man 2 had two villains – Whiplash and Justin Hammer – and they were both boring and unnecessary. The true villain in that movie was the U.S. government, so they could’ve both been cut without compromising the film at all. The big twist in Iron Man 3 was that the Mandarin was a fake all along, and the real guy pulling the strings was Aldrich Killian, who was disappointing, to put it nicely. Killian was set up as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, which could’ve been interesting and led to an actually engaging twist if Guy Pearce hadn’t played the character as a mustache-twirling villain.

1 Right: The perfect ending

While the real ending to Iron Man’s character arc would come six years later in Avengers: Endgame, involving the Infinity Stones and a timeless callback, he got a sort of ending in Iron Man 3. In one of his only genuine shows of affection to Pepper – one that wasn’t simply an expensive “Aw, shucks!” gesture – he decides to undergo a surgical procedure to have the shrapnel removed from around his heart. Then, he drives down to the shore and tosses his now-useless arc reactor into the ocean. If Tony Stark’s story had ended there, perhaps it still would’ve been satisfying.

NEXT: Tony Stark: Iron Man’s Journey Through The MCU


2019-07-13 01:07:18

Ben Sherlock

Star Wars: Mark Hamill Shares Fan-Made Original Trilogy Reunion Image

Mark Hamill shares a fan-made image reuniting the beloved characters of the Star Wars original trilogy, wondering what might have been if the old guard went on another adventure together. By the time The Force Awakens picked up 30 years after Return of the Jedi, the heroes of the Rebellion had all gone their separate ways. Following the emergence of the First Order and Ben Solo’s turn to the dark side, Luke Skywalker fled to Ahch-To to die in isolation, Han Solo returned to a career of smuggling around the galaxy, and Princess Leia led the Resistance. The trio never saw each other again, due to Kylo Ren murdering his father at the end of Force Awakens.

For the sequel trilogy, the filmmakers created a new generation of heroes and villains that would carry the Skywalker saga towards its conclusion, introducing audiences to characters like Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron. The old guard of the originals was still a part of the new films, but they were all relegated to supporting roles. There are many fans out there who wish the veterans got one last hurrah together, and Hamill certainly sympathizes with that viewpoint.

Related: Star Wars 9 Theory: Snoke Was Actually Palpatine All Along

On Twitter, Hamill posted a fan-made image of the older versions of Han, Luke, Leia, and Lando Calrissian flying in the Millennium Falcon as they look to accomplish another mission. In his post, Hamill used the hashtag #MissedOpportunities. Check it out in the space below:

In the past, Hamill’s been vocal about his wish to see the original trilogy characters reunite, and even pitched a few ideas to J.J. Abrams. As fun as it might have been to see the band back together, an argument can be made the sequel trilogy is better because that didn’t happen. Luke, Han, and Leia already had their story told, and Star Wars needed fresh blood in order to be viable again. Additionally, the lack of a reunion made Han’s death all the more tragic. He never got an opportunity to patch things up with his best friend after it all went south. The closest fans got to seeing the original big three again was Luke and Leia’s tearful meeting on Crait, where Solo’s lucky gold dice symbolized his presence. Han’s death still would have been impactful if he saw Luke again, but knowing the two’s relationship (probably) was fractured and would never be repaired really tugged at the heartstrings.

Though Hamill made headlines for saying he fundamentally disagreed with The Last Jedi (comments he later regretted making), people should not take this as any sort of serious criticism of the modern movies. On social media, Hamill is a renowned prankster and enjoys trolling his followers – especially Star Wars fans. In all likelihood, this is tapping into that side of his personality, though it will be interesting to see if this actually turns out to be a tease of sorts. With The Rise of Skywalker set to definitively end the saga, people have their fingers crossed for some kind of flashback involving the big three.

More: Star Wars 9: Why Palpatine Can’t Be A Force Ghost

Source: Mark Hamill



2019-04-26 01:04:22

Chris Agar

The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review: Third Time’s The Charm

The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is making a souped-up return to form on consoles everywhere. Now’s the perfect time to get busy in court!

As the name suggests, the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a bundle of three games in Capcom’s long-standing franchise about being a lawyer who enthusiastically disagrees with everyone all the time. If you weren’t able to deduce that at first glance, then you might just want to forgo these titles completely.

Much like being a practicing lawyer, the Phoenix Wright games involve little to no guesswork or intuitive leaps that can’t be explained. This trilogy is firmly grounded in detective work, courtroom etiquette, and a hardcore puzzle background. The piece de resistance, however, is the wacky and wild veneer that it wears with aplomb.

Related: It’s Time To Start Trusting Capcom Again

The Ace Attorney trilogy is a collection of the first three mainline games in the expansive series: the original Ace Attorney, the divisive Justice For All, and Trials and Tribulations. The titles have been given a visual overhaul which gives them a very current feel in terms of the quality of the graphics. While there are a number of other Phoenix Wright games out there which may be well more known now after enjoying some popularity on consoles like the 3DS, this bundle is definitely the last word when it comes to content and getting the most well-rounded experience.

The games play out very much like the cross-section of a point and click adventure game and a visual novel. Add one part anime tropes, and shake well to mix. This is potentially most noticeable in Trials and Tribulations, which is as mechanically polished and coherent as any finale should be. The central conceit in basically any Phoenix Wright game is simple: you’re the namesake lawyer, and your job is to MacGyver your way out of some of the world’s most absurd legal situations.

Forget what you know about the law from watching Suits or any other dramatization where court appears to be about two, wildly attractive opponents exchanging clever words in measured voices. Phoenix Wright is chaos, and you have to embrace it if you really want to enjoy it.

Ever wanted to solve a case that went from identity theft to blackmail to multiple homicides all in the space of one day in court? Ever thought to yourself, “Gee, NCIS would be so much more interesting if someone on the force was a spirit medium”? The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy has answers to both the above and more. It’s hard to top a murder case as your cold open, but if there’s one thing that these Capcom titles are good at doing it’s an admirable job at trying to consistently up the ante.

One should note that making sense of Phoenix Wright’s overarching narrative is difficult when it spans multiple games in the trilogy and most of it is garnered through interacting with these elaborate cases that have dramatic twists. Each title is split up into a number of seemingly unconnected cases that lead up to a shocking climax and a reveal that links them all. Given that the subject matter and the crimes are often vastly disparate, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that getting to the end of what a Phoenix Wright game is trying to tell you often involves a major suspension of belief.

Luckily, you’ll likely find yourself too wrapped up in the brightly-colored minutiae of the courtroom experience to actually wonder whether or not solving a case about a masked jester actually advances Phoenix Wright’s personal plotline in any way. After each game’s tutorial, you’re left largely to your own devices as case after bizarre case gets thrown your way. There’s a familiar pattern to the proceedings in each of the episodes making up their own segment of the game: you investigate, proceed to trial, and get thrown a curveball, and repeat till your client’s found Not Guilty.

An investigation is a mix of talking to suspects, key figures, and collecting evidence from a crime scene. Note: none of these are things that you do as a practicing lawyer. You’ll have the chance to tighten the screws on people from Justice For All onwards which introduces an interrogatory system known as Psyche-Locks, allowing you to target the core of what someone may be hiding from you before you head to court. However, once you’re in front of the judge, some of the more recognizable Phoenix Wright clichés come into play.

If you’ve been on the internet in the last decade, you’re probably familiar with Phoenix Wright’s famous pose – one arm extended, finger pointed at someone invisible rival, and “Objection” emblazoned across the screen. You’re going to see this sight a hell of a lot in across these three games, whether it’s coming from the player or from the prosecution, so you better get used to it. The courtroom procedure can be boiled down to two distinct parts: cross-examining, and presenting evidence. No points for guessing which of the two involves a healthy degree of objecting.

As mentioned above, the court system used in Phoenix Wright is a beast of what seems to be America (based on the game’s bastardized fantasy location) and Japan’s various formalities with a hearty helping of irreverence. No matter how inaccurate, the back and forth in the courtroom is frankly electrifying even though it’s punctuated by long swathes of the player pouring over the mountain of evidence at hand and wondering how best to nail the true culprit.

You’ll get the opportunity for said nailing during the cross-examination phase: after the game’s given you a pass at a person’s monologue, allowing you to formulate some initial thoughts about guilt and about what their weak points might be. As they deliver their testimony again, you can either choose to press them for further detail or to object heartily.

Be warned, though. More often than not, you’ll be asked to back up your misgivings with some evidence and failing to do so will dock you points with the judge. Lose enough of these, evidenced by a health bar at the top of the screen, and you’re cooked. Being kicked back an hour or so because of a courtroom fumble can be frustrating, so it’s good that the PS4 version allows you to save pretty much at any point in the game; solving the latest murder puzzle is only a reload away.

Surviving in this courtroom about being attentive, alert, and quick to trust your gut when you smell a rat. Sure, you may have your fair share of misfires early on, but that’s also part of the charm of Phoenix Wright – it examines so many fallible characters through a humorous and humanistic lens and treats your own failings the same way, which stops you from being discouraged.

That being said, it can be exceedingly hard to keep track of what you’ve presented and what the various stories are, especially when characters make repeated appearances across episodes and the complexity of information becomes incredibly daunting in each game’s final case. It can be hard to follow for even veterans, so don’t be ashamed if you find yourself resorting to a guide – there’s no right way to play this game, so long as the culprit is caught.

All in all, it’s really in the way that the sum of all of Phoenix Wright’s parts comes together for a campy, thrilling time. The individual mechanics are serviceable enough on their own, but it’s within the wider tapestry of the zany plot, the off-the-wall characters, and the way that the game turns everything you know about cases you’re just about to close on its head which keep things fresh in a franchise that’s about two decades old. Those who have been Ace Attorney fans won’t regret picking this up again, and if you’re a virgin to the series then this is one of the best introductions you’re ever going to get.

Next: 10 Best Video Game Movies Of All Time

The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is out now on PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4. Screen Rant was provided with a PlayStation 4 code for the purposes of this review.


2019-04-22 02:04:03

Ginny Woo

Fear Street Movie Trilogy Casts Community’s Gillian Jacobs

Fans of R.L. Stine’s novels can rejoice, as the latest cast member for the upcoming Fear Street trilogy has been confirmed to be Gillian Jacobs. The possibility of a Fear Street film was first teased in 2015, when Stine confirmed that something was in the works for his other best-selling horror series. Stine is most known as the author of the Goosebumps series, which was also adapted, first for the small screen in the 1990s, and for the big screen in 2015. The film of the same title, and its 2018 sequel Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, stars Jack Black as Stine himself, and doesn’t directly adapt any of the books.

Jacobs most recently starred in Judd Apatow’s Love, with Paul Rust as her co-star. Prior to starring in the Netflix comedy, Jacobs played the role of Britta Perry on Dan Harmon’s Community, which ran for five seasons on NBC before airing its sixth and final season on Yahoo! Screen. Jacobs gained a fan following during her six season run on the show, and although a movie had been in talks since the show’s conception, it doesn’t appear as if the Community film will be happening anytime soon, if at all. Either way, Jacobs will be a welcome addition to the already impressive cast list of the Fear Street films.

Related: R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Movie Finds a Writer

THR reports that Jacobs signed on for all three films in the trilogy. So far, Kylie Killen (The Beaver) is slated to write the script, with Leah Janiak as director. Other confirmed cast members are Kiana Madeira, Olivia Welch, and Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink, making Jacobs the latest to confirm her involvement in the trilogy. Fear Street is another young adult horror series penned by Stine that has gained notoriety over the years, and will likely target a more mature audience than the Goosebumps films. Fear Street, while still aimed at a YA readership, is darker and more sinister than the Goosebumps books, so the films will likely reflect this maturity.

The 20th Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment film series is already filming in Atlanta at the moment, and some elements of the plot have been revealed. The films will span three different time periods, 1994, 1978 and 1666. Jacobs is slated to play a maintenance worker at a summer camp in the 1994 setting, but her other roles in the trilogy have yet to be confirmed. With Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox, the distribution plans for the trilogy are currently unknown.

As more information about the Fear Street films develop, the anticipation for a release date is rising. The first film in the franchise officially has a writer, director, and now an impressive list of talent behind it, but when can fans expect to see the film in theaters? Aside from a young adult audience, those who were fans of the novels in childhood will likely makeup a majority of the audience as well, if not for the thrilling content then for nostalgia. While a date has yet to be determined, fans can rest assured for now that the film series is in good hands.

More: R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Trilogy Casts Stranger Things’ Sadie Sink

Source: THR


2019-04-16 08:04:24

Taylor Charendoff

10 Most Memorable Quotes From Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy

Sam Raimi helped to start the superhero movie trend with 2002’s Spider-Man. He set the template for origin-story movies that is still used for dozens of movies every year. The sequel, Spider-Man 2, is still considered by many to be the greatest superhero movie ever made.

RELATED: Spider-Man Actor Tobey Maguire Is Open To Another Superhero Movie Role

The threequel, Spider-Man 3, might be maligned and controversial, but even that movie has some memorable moments. To many moviegoers, despite the fact Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland have since played the role in multiple movies of their own, Tobey Maguire is still the ultimate big-screen Peter Parker. Here are the 10 Most Memorable Quotes From Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy.

10 “For me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.”

A lot of the drama in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy is based on fate. Fate is what gave Peter Parker his powers, and he sees this as a sign that fate wants him to be a hero and make the world a better place, so he bases the whole rest of his life on that.

The way Peter sees it, he can’t just settle into a career and a healthy, steady relationship. It just isn’t on the cards anymore: “Not everyone is meant to make a difference. But for me, the choice to lead an ordinary life is no longer an option.”

9 “Hey, kiddo, let Mom and Dad talk for a minute, will ya?”

J.K. Simmons may have won his Oscar for his performance in Whiplash, but his portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy was fantastic. That’s what made him a star – he captured the Daily Bugle editor’s mannerisms and fast-talking so perfectly.

In the first movie, right after he talks down to Peter Parker, he’s attacked by the Green Goblin. When Peter returns as Spider-Man to save him, he’s able to talk down to Jameson from behind his mask. He seals his mouth shut with a web and says, “Hey, kiddo, let Mom and Dad talk for a minute, will ya?”

8 “You know, I guess one person really can make a difference.”

As much as audiences hate Spider-Man 3, there is no arguing that it has one of the most poignant Stan Lee cameos of all time. Peter Parker is looking forlornly at a news headline in Times Square announcing Spider-Man’s latest heroic act. He’s eternally unfulfilled with his double life as Spider-Man and isn’t sure how to feel about it.

But then Stan Lee comes along, the man who created the character and brought wonder into the minds and hearts of millions of people across the world, and tells him, “You know, I guess one person really can make a difference.”

7 “Go, web! Fly! Up, up, and away, web! Shazam! Go! Go! Go, web, go! Tally ho.”

With the release of the DCEU’s latest, Shazam!, it’s been unearthed that Sam Raimi actually referenced the character 17 years earlier in his first Spider-Man movie. As Peter Parker realizes he gained superpowers from the spider bite he sustained on a school field trip, he crawls up a wall and then tries to figure out how to shoot webs out of his wrist from the rooftop.

RELATED: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Had A Hilarious Shazam! Reference Back In 2002

Among the words and phrases he tries to use to activate his web-shooting ability was “Shazam!” Of course, in the movie Shazam! (and the corresponding DC Comics storylines), the titular exclamation is used by Billy Batson to activate his own superpowers.

6 “I believe there’s a hero in all of us.”

Marisa Tomei makes a fine Aunt May, but no one can beat Rosemary Harris’ delivery of this touching monologue, which indirectly convinces Peter to take back up the Spider-Man mantle:

“Too few characters out there, flying around like that, saving old girls like me. And Lord knows, kids like Henry need a hero. Courageous, self-sacrificing people. Setting examples for all of us. Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they’ll tell how they stood in the rain for hours, just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer. I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams…”

5 “I will not die a monster!”

This quote from Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus – who still stakes a claim as the best supervillain ever depicted on-screen – is like a primitive version of The Dark Knight’s “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain.”

By the time Doc Ock realizes the error of his ways and that he’s gone mad with power, it’s too late. He’s prepping to destroy the city. As a scientist, all he wants is to be remembered for his achievements. If he dies now, he realizes, he’ll be remembered as a monster. So, he sacrifices himself to save the city from his own diabolical plan.

4 “It’s as if you’ve reached the unreachable and you weren’t ready for it.”

This is the line that Sheldon quotes to Amy in The Big Bang Theory. As Mary Jane asks Peter what he told Spider-Man about her, he just drops all the lies and speaks from the heart:

“The great thing about M.J. is, when you look in her eyes and she’s looking back in yours, everything feels…not quite normal. Because you feel stronger and weaker at the same time. You feel excited, and at the same time, terrified. The truth is…you don’t know what you feel except you know what kind of man you want to be. It’s as if you’ve reached the unreachable and you weren’t ready for it.”

3 “Where do all these guys come from?”

There sure is a lot wrong with Spider-Man 3, but it also does a lot of things right. One of them is the sly, self-aware wit that Peter has developed over three movies as a superhero.

He’s battled a crazed millionaire who dressed up as a flying goblin to terrorize people, a crazed scientist who gave himself four extra robotic limbs, and now, he’s just come across a fugitive whose DNA has been fused with sand. As he walks away from the fight, trying to get the sand out of all the nooks and crannies, he says, “Where do all these guys come from?” It’s a good question.

2 “No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, the ones I love will always be the ones who pay.”

This pretty much sums up the internal struggle that Spider-Man goes through. He doesn’t want to get too close to people, like Mary Jane or Aunt May or Harry, because he knows that in his double life as a superhero, they’ll be the ones who suffer. This goes back to the beginning, back when his eye-for-an-eye attitude got his uncle killed.

RELATED: Spider-Man: 20 Things About Peter And Mary Jane’s Relationship That Make No Sense

This is a powerful quote, because it feeds into the struggle that makes Spider-Man such a tragic and relatable character: he loves people, and to protect them, he has to keep his distance from them, because he loves them so much. It’s a real pickle.

1 “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Tom Holland has vowed to never utter these words in any of his movies as Spider-Man, because they were immortalized by Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi’s trilogy. This is the phrase that Spider-Man lives by, as he hopes to bring peace and order back into the world to make up for letting his uncle get murdered.

Peter brings up Uncle Ben’s wise words in the final moments of the first movie: “Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spider-Man.”

NEXT: Venom Co-Creator Reveals His Biggest Problem With Spider-Man 3’s Version


2019-04-15 11:04:44

Ben Sherlock

Star Wars 9 Finally Addresses The Original Trilogy’s Dumbest Moment

Fans now know that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will confirm Luke’s legacy in one or way another, but the movie’s main villain now looks to be largely Luke’s fault… having survived due to the dumbest part of The Return of the Jedi‘s original ending.

We’re referring to Emperor Palpatine’s return in Star Wars 9, easily one of the most shocking reveals in the new trilogy. But no matter how Emperor Palpatine survived his death, whether it be in physical form or spiritual, it’s not actually difficult to understand why it went undetected. But once fans realize this massive twist is all based on the original trilogy’s most braindead ending, they may view the franchise’s legendary hero a bit differently.

After all, Luke Skywalker was the one person who should have known the Emperor was always going to return. All he had to do was ask the most obvious question he could have following the death of the last Sith Lords.

  • This Page: How Luke Missed The Obvious in Return of The Jedi
  • Page 2: Star Wars 9 Can Finally Confirm Luke Blew It

Every Star Wars fan can probably remember the final climactic battle beat for beat. The Emperor blasting Luke with Force Lightning, Luke writhing in agony, and Darth Vader looking back and forth, struggling with his internal draw towards both Dark and Light. In the end Vader decided to intervene to save his son’s life, lifting Emperor Palpatine over his head (being bombarded with Force Lightning in the process) and tossing him down an endless shaft. The explosion of blue fire confirming that the great leader of the Empire had perished.

RELATED: Star Wars Theory: There Was No Palpatine, Only Plagueis

But his turn towards the light cost Vader his own will to live. Removing his mask and finally reuniting with his son, the audience understood that Anakin Skywalker had resurfaced to discover the good still left in him, which Luke never believed had been completely erased. That was long before the fans knew Anakin’s full story, but it was a fitting end to this fantasy epic. To save his son meant killing his master… but it also meant his death, as well. Poignant, poetic, and as is revealed in later scenes, far more of a literal salvation than even Luke probably realized.

The image seems somewhat quaint by today’s standards, and far more of a “happy ending” moment than most modern blockbusters allow. But as the party erupts across the Forest Moon of Endor and every other planet in the Galactic Republic, celebrating the defeat of Palpatine, the destruction of the second Death Star, and the impending collapse of the Empire, Luke witnesses a different victory. Seeing the Force Ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda would be a pleasant enough ending, to know that his mentors had found new life in the Force. But to see his father Anakin Skywalker as the man he should have been… well, Luke wouldn’t be the only one with tears in his eyes.

Of course, once you stop and consider the events that have just transpired… it’s shocking to think that Luke Skywalker could actually be this dumb. But for thirty-five years Star Wars fans have been just as willing to ignore the MASSIVE red flags as Luke. But finally, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker looks to address the ignorance, obliviousness, and reckless stupidity of Luke and, if we’re being honest, the audience, too. Possible SPOILERS ahead.

Page 2 of 2: Star Wars 9 Can Finally Confirm Luke Blew It

Just to make sure that everyone is on the same page with Luke’s thought process in the final scenes of Star Wars: Return of The Jedi, let’s break it down. Having embraced and to the best of his abilities mastered the Force, Luke goes to the forest moon of Endor in faith that the light and goodness he senses in his father is real. Considering the events extend back into The Empire Strikes Back, let’s go over the major revelations that Luke has witnessed through the end of the original trilogy:

  • Obi-Wan dies.
  • Obi-Wan returns as a Force Ghost.
  • Yoda dies.
  • The Emperor dies.
  • His father dies.
  • Yoda returns as a Force Ghost.
  • His father returns as a Force Ghost.
  • …Luke moves on without looking back.

Once you actually consider that Luke witnesses the death of two masters, his own father, and the greatest Force-using villain in the galaxy–then witnesses both masters returning to teach and communicate with him as Force Ghosts, then be joined by his father, and somehow not wonder if the same happened to the Emperor, the true obliviousness is hard to ignore. And while we have to stop short of saying that everything that happens next is all unequivocally Luke’s fault… who else’s would it be? After all, he never actually told Leia or Han that when he was “talking” to Ben Kenobi he meant he was literally talking to the visible, conscious, Force Ghost of Ben Kenobi directly in front of him.

RELATED: Star Wars Rebels Explains How Force Ghosts Work

If he had–and if he had mentioned that things were all good for Anakin because he saw him and Yoda chilling with Ben in the Force afterlife, too–then maybe the more street-smart smuggler of spy would have asked the obvious question. You know, “Do you think it’s possible the Emperor isn’t really dead, either?” Alas, Luke kept his secrets to himself. But when he missed the gigantic clue in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the dumbest part of Return of the Jedi‘s ending got even more infuriating.

In some sense, we respect Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson for honoring how oblivious Luke Skywalker proved to be in the end, and carrying that intelligence forward. Because you really have to hand it to Luke, it can’t be easy staying so clueless with the entirety of the Force flowing through you. Even when he sensed the same darkness in his nephew Ben that Emperor Palpatine used to seduce his father, and even when Ben succumbed and fled to the Dark Side to follow in Anakin’s footsteps, Luke never made the connection.

Even after spending decades on a remote island with nothing but his own thoughts, he never stopped to wonder: is literally the exact same thing that happened to me–being trained and guided by the same Jedi master who trained my father after I watched him die–be happening to Ben, being trained and guided by the same Sith master who trained my father after I watched him die? Seriously Luke, we saw what the daily routine on Ahch-To consisted of, and there was plenty of time to put this two-piece jigsaw puzzle together. But even if he hadn’t, one of the most controversial and game-changing moments of The Last Jedi should have knocked some kind of understanding loose.

We’re referring to Yoda’s Force Ghost blasting a bolt of lightning–the same kind of Force energy Luke only ever saw used by Emperor Palpatine–into the sacred tree on Luke’s island. Where Ben Kenobi’s Force Ghost was restricted to talking to him in either a disembodied voice or sitting next to him in Force form, Ben’s influence was merely spoken, or felt. But Yoda demonstrating how a powerful Jedi could literally pierce the veil and inflict damage from beyond the grave?

At some point, Luke has to take some responsibility for being the only person to see the Emperor die, the most likely person to understand his spirit could live on, and basically ignore all evidence to suggest that for the remainder of his life. Alas, he did not. Which means it falls to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to address his ignorance by finally dealing with the Emperor’s remaining spirit once and for all. Who knows, maybe the ‘Rise of Skywalker’ refers to Luke’s sense of cosmic intelligence, as he finally realizes this is all his fault. Somehow… we doubt it.

MORE: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker Poster Hides a Secret Joke


2019-04-15 05:04:21

Andrew Dyce

10 Actors Almost Cast In New Star Wars Trilogy

Fans are still eagerly anticipating the first trailer for the still unnamed Star Wars: Episode IX. J.J. Abrams, who kick-started this new trilogy with The Force Awakens, will return to helm the final installment in what might be the end of the Skywalker saga.

While The Last Jedi divided some fans, this is still one of the most exciting franchises around and the new trilogy has been a welcome return to the galaxy far, far away. But as we get ready to say goodbye (for now at least) to some of our new favorite characters, it’s a good time to look back on the actors who were almost cast in the latest trilogy. While the new cast seems pretty perfect, it’s fun to imagine what these other actors would have brought to the roles. Here are a few of the famous faces who almost starred in the new Star Wars trilogy.

RELATED: All Upcoming Star Wars Movies

10 Evangeline Lilly

The Force Awakens not only marked Star Wars‘ triumphant return to the big screen, but it was also the first time George Lucas would not be involved in the franchise. J.J. Abrams was chosen as the man to take over the beloved series and you can bet as soon as the news was announced, every actor who ever worked with him was calling looking for a part.

One such actor was Evangeline Lilly, who had worked with Abrams on Lost. Lilly fully admits to asking for a part in the new trilogy. Unfortunately, Lilly seemed to think the new film would be a reboot as she wanted to be the new Princess Leia. Abrams had to set her straight, letting her know they already had the perfect Leia.

9 Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan is one of the most sought-after actors working today. Along with being a part of the MCU with his acclaimed role in Black Panther, Jordan has been linked to just about every franchise out there. But when he was still relatively up-and-coming, he auditioned for a role in The Force Awakens.

It sounds as though Jordan was brought in early in the process while the filmmakers were still trying to figure out what they wanted. It’s safe to bet he was up for either Finn or Poe Dameron.

8 Sam Witwer

One of the great things about Star Wars being around for so long is that now people are being cast in the new film who actually grew up watching the original trilogy and becoming die-hard fans like the rest of us. One such super-fan is Sam Witwer.

Witwer has actually been involved in the franchise on the animated level, providing the voice of Darth Maul in The Clone Wars, but almost had a chance at joining the live-action films. Witwer was asked to audition for a role, but sadly, after Michael Arndt’s script was thrown out, the role no longer existed.

7 Elizabeth Olsen

To be a member of one of the biggest franchises around must be quite a thrill, but to have the chance to be involved in two is almost too much to handle. That was the case with Elizabeth Olsen who found herself up for the role of Rey after being cast as Wanda Maximoff in the MCU.

RELATED: Why Scarlet Witch Isn’t As Powerful As Captain Marvel In The MCU

In the end, the MCU came first and Olsen declined to audition for Star Wars. As awesome as it would be for an actor, it seems pretty impossible to juggle two massive franchises like these.

6 Jesse Plemons

Jesse Plemons might not be a household name but he has proven to be one of the best character actors working today. Plemons has displayed outstanding range, from intense dramas like Breaking Bad to hilarious comedies like Game Night.

Plemons was among the many young actors who were asked to audition for The Force Awakens, but it didn’t feel like the right fit for him. The actor explains his discomfort with being kept in the dark about the movie and admits he couldn’t take himself seriously wielding a lightsaber. Some people just aren’t cut out to be a Jedi.

5 Michael Fassbender

Though Michael Fassbender has focused much of his career on smaller films, his role in the X-Men films has shown he can play in the big budget world as well as anyone. It’s no surprise then that he was approached to join The Force Awakens in an undisclosed role.

Fassbender confirms that he had discussions about the film but scheduling conflicts got in the way. While many have speculated that Fassbender was up for the Kylo Ren role, he seems a bit old for that part. It could be the role in question was Resistance pilot Poe Dameron.

4 Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix is an actor who has largely avoided appearing in the big budget films that are commonplace in the cinemas these days. Phoenix has chosen to work in smaller films with filmmakers like Gus Van Sant, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Spike Jonze. However, he has been pursued by some of the biggest franchises, including Star Wars.

RELATED: Everything We Know (So Far) About Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Movie

Phoenix was considered for the part of DJ in The Last Jedi, a role that was ultimately played by Benecio Del Toro. While the small role seems like it could have suited Phoenix nicely, he decided to pass on it in the end.

3 Gary Oldman

Back when George Lucas was finishing up his prequel trilogy, Gary Oldman was nearly cast as the voice of General Grievous in Revenge of the Sith. SAG regulations meant that Oldman had to pull out of the role, but he then went on to star in other huge franchises like Harry Potter and Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

Oldman actually had a second chance to join the Star Wars universe when the new trilogy came around. At the time, Oldman was hesitant to get too excited as the deal wasn’t done, and as it turned out, it was not meant to be.

2 Saorsie Ronan

Saorsie Ronan has had an amazing career for such a young actress. At just 24 years of age, Ronan has been nominated for three Oscars and is poised to be one of the best actors of her generation. It’s no surprise that Abrams and company wanted her in their new trilogy.

Ronan publicly confirmed she did have an audition for the film and even mentioned playing with a lightsaber in the audition. However, Ronan later revealed she didn’t get the part and theorizes her speaking publicly about it might have cost her the role. To be fair, that’s a hard thing to keep to yourself.

1 Eddie Redmayne

To get the chance to audition for Star Wars is probably a pretty big deal for most actors. This is likely the kind of role they dream of getting as a child. Imagine if you had the chance to be in an iconic franchise like this, but then you totally blew your shot.

Sadly, that seems to be what happened to Eddie Redmayne. He explains, “With films that top secret, they don’t give you the actual lines. So they give you a scene from ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ but then they tell you you’re auditioning for the baddie. If you’re me, you then put some ridiculous voice on.” Given his performance in Jupiter Ascending, maybe Redmayne should stay away from the sci-fi world.

NEXT: Every Star Wars Movie, Ranked


2019-04-06 09:04:52

Colin McCormick