The Last Jedi approaches. STAR WARS is heating up.

Are you excited yet? The most significant character from the original trilogy, Luke Skywalker, has been found and his (re)union with Rey promises to unleash either the most powerful jedi duo since Obiwan and Qui-Gon, or to set up massive internal conflict between the two, based on their differing understandings of the force and its connection to the Sith. While waiting for the next film, this website intends to keep your hankering for Star Wars-related news, anecdotes, gags and video updates well satisfied. Jump in, and enjoy!

Incredible fan film: Star Wars Downunder

Star Wars fan films are a dime a dozen. There are plenty that have been created and while it’s easy to admire the effort that has been injected into the process, most are lacking that special magic that separates professional-quality films from passion projects. Star Wars Downunder, however, is an entirely different case.

This ‘short’ film, which actually clocks in at just over 30 minutes, is a work of brilliance. It’s a tribute to the style, culture and aesthetic of Star Wars, but does two things differently from most fan films. The first of these is that it has infused the script, performances, character design, machine design and locations with an overtly Australian cultural twang. The second factor is that the quality of the writing, effects, stunt work and 3D animation is of a standard that is fully professional. How this was produced on an indie budget, I do not know, but it’s something special.

When it comes to the Australian-isms, you’ll be treated to a barrage of Aussie slang throughout. If you are Australian, you’ll follow the entire script. Others may struggle with some of the terms, but will probably recognise phrases such as “stone the flamin’ crows”, “cheers love”, “she’ll be right mate”, and a vocabulary that includes references such as: cobber, g’day, strewth, too right, larrikins, righty-o, mate, sweet, ripper and knackered. Character names include Bluey, Burko, Nugget and Bushwacka. Troopers are designed to resemble Australian bush ranger Ned Kelly and their arsenal includes kyber crystal-powered boomerangs. Walkers have been replaced by kangaroo-inspired “leapers”, and the big bad is one Darth Drongo (Aussie slang for ‘idiot’), who at one point invites the hero to bite his bum.

There are liberal references to beer, and our hero even uses his force pull to attract a cold can to his hand at one point. His droid’s initials feature the letters “VB”, which is short for Victoria Bitter, a popular brand of beer, and one of the end credits gives recognition to the production’s “Keg Operator.” It’s clear that those involved were having plenty of fun with the source material and in sending up Australian colloquialisms.

Outside of the fun script and character design, you’ll find a visually mesmerising film. The entire production is free to stream below.

How impressive was that? Comment below.

Why does so much hate surround The Last Jedi?

SPOILERS FOLLOW. Please don’t read until after you have seen The Last Jedi.

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Even as a lifelong Star Wars fan, I absolutely adored The Last Jedi. Its pace, self-reflective humor, incredible action set pieces, evolved performances and the surprising fates of Snoke, Luke and ‘broom boy’ were all rewarding in their unexpected nature, which hint at new directions while freshly transitioning away from the legacy that came before. I had issue with moments such as Leia’s Mary Poppins revelation and some of the Finn/Rose journey, but overall appreciate how the first recognises Leia’s innate force sensitivity and the latter helped to establish the ‘class war’ nature of the battle that is sure to take place in Episode IX. Other long-time fans, however, appear to have been deeply offended by how Rian Johnson and team handled Luke’s personality, Rey’s rapid force mastery, Snoke’s identity, Rey’s parentage, Rose’s role and other aspects of the film. While it’s fine to be critical, many have expressed their anger with a sense of vitriol.

Why is it that some fans have responded this way, and driven the Rotten Tomatoes’ fan score for the film into territory that differs so greatly from the ultra-fresh score it acquired from film critics? The video below attempts to uncover what elements of the film triggered such an emotive, divisive fan response, and looks into whether this was fully justified, or could be indicative of an early over-reaction.

What will happen to Star Wars after 1983?

The following news report provides a beautifully whimsical insight into the buzz surrounding the original release of Return of the Jedi, and what Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas had revealed at that point about their future plans for the saga. As someone who was lucky enough to attend a 1983 screening of the third (at that point, possibly the final) Star Wars film, I recall the palpable excitement that precipitated the film’s release. Now part of a well-oiled marketing machine, the merchandising, supporting stories and media buzz about the film was something rarely experienced at the time and it truly felt as though fans were part of a worldwide cultural phenomenon.

A number of interesting sights and tidbits appear within this report, including Harrison Ford suggesting that he was happy to permanently hang up Han Solo’s outfit, an uber-fan queuing up in a rare “Revenge of the Jedi” t-shirt, other fans hinting at the desire for prequel films and early talk about the nine-film story arc that had been drafted in rough form by that stage.

This is a lovely flashback, that will take older fans back to their childhoods and provide newer fans with some understanding as to how significant the Original Trilogy was in the popular culture of its time.

Star Wars actors take ‘What Star Wars Character Are You?’ quiz

Without meaning to come across as a promotion for Buzzfeed, I wanted to share this video with you, as it includes a few touching moments (look out for Mark Hamill’s result), and some beautiful banter between the lead actors of The Last Jedi.

You’ve all seen those rather pointless, but often entertaining, online quizzes that ask you a series of questions to determine which one of the Friends you are, which Disney princess you should marry, whether you should be on Team Swift or Team Kanye, etc. Buzzfeed created a quiz to find out which character from The Last Jedi best matches your personality. Where this becomes interesting is that they then brought in the stars of the film and had them work through the quiz themselves.

Now, actors are by nature performing when they step on set. As such, you¬† wouldn’t necessarily expect Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and crew to psychometrically align with the characters that they play, but some of the surprises that pop up throughout this process are great value. Gwen, in particular, reveals quite a lot about herself and her desires.

See what you think:

The forbidden spin-off: Star Wars Christmas Special

It’s the stuff of legend. Just months after the first Star Wars film became an unexpected box office smash and created a universe to which countless people – young and old – longed to escape, the first spin-off hit TV screens.

It was 1978 and the Star Wars universe, not yet fully formed, was used as the basis for a nonsensical TV variety show. The standalone production had the blessing of George Lucas at the time, though these days he is actively involved in a campaign to wipe its existence from the face of the Earth – which is a tough ask now that were living in the digital era.

The following video provides a fascinating insight into two things. Firstly, it describes how the infamous Star Wars Christmas Special came about, who was involved and what it was all about. Then, the video highlights why it is that this production was allowed to exist (temporarily) in the immature canon of the time, and how the Star Wars universe has both extended and contracted in the years since. It’s well worth a look, even if you know about the Christmas Special. For those who haven’t yet seen any footage from the first Star Wars spin-off, you’re in for a horrid treat.