Soapbox: Star Wars – 15 Times The Jedi And Sith Forgot How To Use Their Powers

Jedi-Sith-Force-Powers
That moment when you realise you’ve forgotten how your Force powers work…

Within the Star Wars universe, the Jedi Knights and Sith Lords are renowned thanks to the awesome powers granted to them by their mastery of the Force. With the Force as their ally, a fully trained member of either order can move faster, jump higher, and just generally fight better than a non-Force sensitive individual. They also boast a myriad of even more fantastical abilities, ranging from telekinesis to precognition and other extrasensory gifts.

As such, both Jedi and Sith combatants are theoretically unstoppable – except when they forget how to use their powers! If that sounds unlikely (or even a little silly), it shouldn’t. Over the course of all the Star Wars films released to date, numerous servants of the light and dark sides of the Force – including several very prominent ones – have lost because they neglected to effectively use the amazing abilities at their disposal.

There’s a real-world reason for this, of course: it’s just not that exciting to watch unbeatable characters, so the filmmakers occasionally resort to afflicting Force users with temporary amnesia. But let’s be honest – half the time, audiences are so enthralled by these adventures in a galaxy far, far away, they don’t even notice.

Here are 15 Times The Jedi And Sith Forgot How To Use Their Powers.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article.

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Soapbox: Star Wars – 15 Times The Jedi And Sith Forgot How To Use Their Powers

Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat

The-Last-Jedi-poster
Don’t let the frowny faces fool you: there’s a LOT to be positive about when it comes to The Last Jedi trailer!

By now, we’ve all had time to digest the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (unless you’re one of the strong-willed souls who resisted the urge to watch it!). General consensus among fans and critics seems to be that – adorable porgs aside – Episode VIII of cinema’s greatest sci-fi/fantasy saga looks like a far darker outing than its predecessor, The Force Awakens.

After all, this most recent look at the film provided new glimpses of a grumpy, grizzled version of Luke Skywalker, good guys the Resistance on the run, and Jedi-in-training Rey being tortured by big bad Supreme Leader Snoke – at last taking a break from his giant hologram Wizard Of Oz-schtick. Heck, there’s even the suggestion that a bit of matricide might be on the cards, with tormented wannabe Darth Vader Kylo Ren seemingly poised to murder his mother, the former Princess Leia!

Ratcheting up the gloom factor has only served to further fuel comparisons between The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back – the latter of which is widely considered not only the best Star Wars episode of all time, but a perfect example of the “darker sequel” done right. And whilst it’s hard not to see tonal similarities between these two sombre films – just as it was impossible not to draw parallels between The Force Awakens and series opener A New Hope – the trailer has left me feeling surprisingly upbeat.

That’s because – despite its surface-level imitation of The Empire Strikes Back – this tantalising peek at The Last Jedi seems to have rewarded the faith of fans like me who hoped that incoming director Rian Johnson would finally taking the franchise in a fresh new direction. “This is not going to go the way you think,” promises Luke at one point – and thank the Force for that!

Continue reading “Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat”

Crystal Ball: The Upside Of The Dark Side – Why The Last Jedi Trailer Should Leave You Feeling Upbeat

Soapbox: Mortal Kombat – Every Ninja Ranked From Worst To Best

Mortal-Kombat-Ninjas
Let’s be honest: the question isn’t “Who got the top two spots?” but rather “In what order?”

Ninjas have been a mainstay of the Mortal Kombat universe ever since the introduction of iconic characters Sub-Zero and Scorpion in the first game in the series. From these humble beginnings, the number of ostensibly stealthy – yet inexplicably brightly-attired – warriors taking part in the franchise’s various tournaments has ballooned dramatically.

At first, the rationale for the rapid increase in ninjas featured in Mortal Kombat was purely a technical concern. Thanks to the limited amount of memory space available on video game cartridges (remember those?), the easiest way to add more fighters was to swap the colour palette of a masked character.

But even as technological advancements rendered storage space effectively a non-issue, the ninja aesthetic had become so ingrained in the Mortal Kombat mythology that more continued to be added. After all, who doesn’t love ninjas?

As you’d expect with this many shadowy assassins all populating the same fictional world, some stand out more than others – and the cream of the Mortal Kombat ninja crop all boast the best fighting moves, most gruesome finishing moves, coolest visuals and deepest backstories.

In a tip of the hat to Mortal Kombat’s spirit of (brutal) competition, here is Every Mortal Kombat Ninja Ranked From Best To Worst.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Mortal Kombat – Every Ninja Ranked From Worst To Best

Soapbox: 6 Amazing Movie Scenes That Almost Never Happened

Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark_Indy
It’s fair to say that this article took a bit of Indiana Jones-style archaelogy!

As even the most casual movie fan could tell you, virtually every frame of a film – even a bad film – takes months of planning and creative development.

Having said that, it’s quite startling just how many memorable movie scenes were either a last minute addition, or were very nearly left on the editing room floor!

From pre-production re-thinks to post-production re-shoots, you wouldn’t believe how many iconic cinematic moments came this close to not winding up on the screen.

With this in mind, here’s a round-up of six amazing movie scenes that almost never happened!

Continue reading “Soapbox: 6 Amazing Movie Scenes That Almost Never Happened”

Soapbox: 6 Amazing Movie Scenes That Almost Never Happened

Soapbox: Harry Potter –15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat

Neville-Voldemort-header
Neville may have a cracked noggin, but at least he has a nose!

The Sorting Hat is one of the most well-known and important magical objects in the Harry Potter franchise.

Created by the four founders of Hogwarts, this enchanted headwear has been allocating novice witches and wizards to school houses GryffindorRavenclawHufflepuff, and Slytherin for centuries.

What this essentially means is that – despite being a tatty old cap designed to handle a matter of school administration – the Sorting Hat has (at least partly) decided the destiny of the wizarding world for generations!

Indeed, despite its ragged appearance and seemingly limited (if vital) purpose, the Hat actually boasts a rich history full of surprises.

Some of its secrets – such as its ability to summon the Sword of Gryffindor – have long since become common knowledge to even casual fans of the Harry Potter books and films.

But just as many fascinating tidbits related to the Hat – including those surrounding its origins and abilities – remain a mystery to less ardent Potterheads.

We’ve sifted through all the available information – including books, films, interviews, plays and web content! – about the Hat, in search of the most interesting trivia.

Here, we present the fruits of these labors: a list of 15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Harry Potter –15 Things You Never Knew About The Sorting Hat

Soapbox: Masters Of The Universe – 15 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About The Movie

masters-of-the-universe-movie-struzan
Proof positive that legendary poster artist Drew Struzan can making ANYTHING look cool…

Back in the 1980s, Filmation’s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon series – and the Mattel action figure toy line it was based on – was the hottest thing going (if you were kid, at least).

It came as no surprise when a live-action adaptation of the story of Prince Adam (and his heroic alter ego, He-Man) was released in 1987. What did catch people unawares was just how terrible the film turned out to be!

Director Gary Goddard and production company Golan-Globus – the guilty party responsible for the even worse Superman IV: The Quest For Peace – served up an adventure barely recognizable to fans.

Sure, several of the franchise’s key ingredients – such as He-Man, his archvillain Skeletor, and Castle Grayskull – are present and accounted for. But just as many major aspects of Masters Of The Universe lore (including Prince Adam himself!) are nowhere to be seen.

Whilst Masters Of The Universe performed poorly at the box office – a $22 million haul against $17.3 million budget – it’s since gone on to become a cult classic, and there’s plenty of interesting trivia surrounding its troubled production.

With this in mind – and in honor of the film’s 30th anniversary last month – here’s a round up of 15 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About The Disastrous Masters Of The Universe Movie.

This post was written exclusively for Screen Rant – click here to read the full article

Soapbox: Masters Of The Universe – 15 Shocking Things You Didn’t Know About The Movie

Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff

Cedric_Diggory
I mean the guy from Twilight was a Hufflepuff – they’ve gotta have something going for them!

Ask any Harry Potter fan which Hogwarts house they think they’d belong to, and there’s a pretty good chance that their response will be “Gryffindor”.

This is hardly a surprise. After all, not only is it the house that Harry – along with Ron, Hermione and most of the other major supporting characters – was sorted into, but it’s also the house “where dwell the brave at heart”.

Toss in Gryffindor’s reputation for good-natured mischief, and you’re pretty much looking at the coolest student fraternity ever, magical or otherwise.

But whilst Gryffindor is undeniably awesome, the adoration that is lavished upon it by so many fans often comes at the expense of discounting the positive qualities of other houses – most notably Huffepuff.

The Sorting Hat – that magical headgear responsible for deciding which students are placed where – even claims that house founder Helga Hufflepuff “took the rest” when selecting her charges, and that’s a view that seems shared by the general fandom.

However, this is selling short everyone who has ever worn a black-and-yellow scarf – including Newt Scamander, Cedric Diggory and Tonks – many of whom have proven themselves highly talented witches and wizards.

Here, I’m going to take a look at why we can’t all be Gryffindors, why there’s nothing wrong with being a Hufflepuff, and why we need to accept (and embrace) that we all possess traits representative of every house.

Continue reading “Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff”

Soapbox: More Than Just “The Rest” – Learning To Embrace Your Inner Hufflepuff