Monday, 25 August 2014

Hollywood Babble On & On #1173: Palpating Palpatine & Missing Mythbusters...


Since Star Wars 7 is a JJ Abrams production there's naturally lots of rumours spewing all over the internet. The latest is that the Emperor Palpatine, chronologically last seen being tossed to his alleged doom down a shaft in the Death Star by Darth Vader, will be making a comeback as the main villain.

If you remember JJ Abrams' modus operandi he loves to leak rumours about what he's working on, strongly and vehemently deny that those rumours are true, and then, when the picture's released, reveal that the rumours were true all along. (e.g. Star Trek Into Darkness.)

Now while all signs are saying that the rumours are true, I'm hoping it's not true for these reasons.

1. FAN SERVICE OVER STORY: The only reason to bring Palpatine back is because when Abrams takes over a franchise he feels he has to go all in for what he thinks the fans want, most famously with casting fan-favourite actor Benedict Cumberbatch, inappropriately as fan favourite villain Khan.

But here's a question: How many people, fans included, were actually satisfied by the story in Star Trek Into Darkness

Then answer is: Not many.

Fan service characters and casting infects the story, and becomes an excuse to avoid the hard work of creating something new that the audience would find interesting.

2. RENDERS VADER MEANINGLESS: Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back tricked the audience into thinking that it was the story of Luke Skywalker, the revelation that Vader was Luke's father in Empire,  his redemption by tossing Palpatine down the shaft in Return of the Jedi and the story of his fall in the prequel trilogy showed that the saga was really all about Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.

Bring Palpatine back and Anakin/Darth is no longer the fallen soul being redeemed through suffering and sacrifice, he's just a bump on Palpatine's road of mischief making.

And that's another thing…

3. IT CHEAPENS PALPATINE: Here's JJ Abrams' sales pitch: "We'll bring back Palpatine, he'll be played by another actor, so he'll look different, sound different, and he won't be ruling the Galaxy anymore, but he'll still be bad-ass because the actor will be a lot younger, and we'll use truckloads of CGI."

Anyway, I'd have preferred they create a new threat born from the chaos of a post-Palpatine galaxy, but Hollywood can't resisting rehashing stuff because they know you fans will lap it up like the salivating dogs that you are.


For some reason this is the only pic I could find
The long running blow-shit-up-in-the-name-of-science show Mythbusters is trimming 3/5s of its cast for the next season. They're dropping long running build team Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara.

The producers and the Discovery Channel say it's to bring the show back to its roots of just having original hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, but I don't really buy that.

I suspect they're trying to trim costs, but are doing so at the risk of alienating some of the show's long running fans who literally came of age in the long time those three were on the show.

Crying shame.


  1. “Mythbusters” losing the build team. Too bad it wasn’t the other ‘way round.

  2. "Mythbusters" is no longer fresh and new. They should have just killed it off and moved on but it's in the standard death spiral of trying to wring the last few bucks from the concept - leaving the fans with a bad taste as the last season will stink.