Gross Star Wars Episode VII Predictions (Sort of)

Box office gross
What will Star Wars VII gross?

Star Wars news has been slow in the past few weeks (The lone exception), but there’s still plenty of buzz, coming from the financial district instead of the entertainment quarter. Right now, analysts are talking about the gross. Thankfully, not the kind that comes from a porta-potty.

Benjamin Swinburne, working at financial company Morgan Stanley, ran the numbers and came up with the staggering figure of 1.95 billion dollars. The number had been $1.6 billion previously. Swinburne estimates $650 million in the U.S. box office, and $1.3 billion internationally. This number would land it as the third-place box office, behind Titanic and Avatar. But Myles Udland, from Business Insider, thinks that Swinburne’s estimate is too low!

Udland takes Jurassic World – the billion-dollar box office hit – and saw that it was ranked as the fifth-most anticipated movie of 2015; Star Wars Episode VII was the first. Even the unexpected box office star Furious 7 gives credence to the thought that such a highly anticipated film such as the rejuvenated Star Wars is more than deserving of a higher box office take – even if the original number is almost two billion dollars.

Even Morgan Stanley thinks their estimate is low. They foresaw a scenario where SW VII brought in a gross of $2.25 billion, including a titanic $1.5 billion international gross. The institution maintains what is called an “Equal-Weight” outlook for Disney, meaning shares are more expensive relative to other media companies’ now, than they have been for six years.

The gross has been rising as time goes on. In 2013, the expected gross was a mere $1.2 billion thanks to John Carter and The Lone Ranger’s poor showings, thinking that Disney’s star was falling, and big-budget science fiction was on the decline. In 2014, the words “$3 billion” were bandied about by a number of sites. This very year, in April, Daily Mail suspected that it might get all the way to $500 million. Way to break the big news, Daily Mail.

Fans are adamant that the movie will shatter all and any preconceived notions of silly “records.” They are convinced all monetary units will be given to the Star Wars in December. Do you agree? Tell us what you think!

Father’s Day in Star Wars

Bad Father
Father’s Day gets confusing in Star Wars

In a few days it will be Father’s Day, and there’s no better way to celebrate than watching the Star Wars movies. Well, there are plenty of better ways actually, but it’s a pretty good way nonetheless. That’s more than we can say about the characters within the series, since father-child relationships are fairly strained.

Thirty-five year old spoiler: Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. He is also Princess Leia’s father. Sorry if you didn’t know that. When Luke discovers his father is one of the murderous Sith Lords ruling the galaxy, he gets a bit depressed. Darth Vader first attempts to get his son to join him on the Dark Side, and when Luke says he’s having none of it, Vader tries to overpower him on the orders of the Emperor. The next Skywalker family reunion will be a bit awkward. But at least now they have matching robotic hands!

Perhaps even worse is Anakin Skywalker himself, before he becomes Darth Vader. In Episode I his mother says he doesn’t have a father, that he was a virgin birth, but EU material reveals that Chancellor Palpatine influenced the midichlorians of the force to impregnate Shmi Skywalker. Good start. Later, after he’s actually born, Anakin finds a surrogate father figure in Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s too bad that he eventually decided that Obi-Wan had betrayed him, and then betrayed Obi-Wan, turning into Darth Vader after killing, just, so many Jedi.

And he wonders why Luke doesn’t want to join him.

Luckily, father-child relationships are rarely this complicated in real life. Let’s all take the time this Father’s Day to thank our fathers for not being megalomaniac Sith Lords.

If your father is a megalomaniac ruler, we apologize for any undue trauma this article has caused.

Fett Father's Day
And this isn’t even mentioning the Fetts

Greedo Character Corner

Greedo in Cantina
Greedo in the Cantina

Usually, on the Character Corner, we talk about cool characters. Popular characters. Interesting characters. This week, it’s Greedo.

History:

Born on Rodia in the persecuted Tetsu Clan, Greedo’s father (Greedo) was an esteemed bounty hunter that made his family famous. A rival bounty hunter named Navik the Red, leader of the Chattza Clan, killed the elder Greedo and stole his fortune, forcing the pregnant Neela to flee with her clan to U-Tendik. The clan elders decided to never tell the children what had happened. As a teenager, Greedo discovered three silver starships with his younger brother Pqweeduk. Their mother reluctantly revealed their clan’s past, and only a month later Navik the Red found the Tetsu clan once more, killing many and forcing Greedo and his family to Nar Shaddaa.

There, Greedo learned the ins and outs of the black market and learning more about the galaxy at large after a sheltered childhood. Later, the family moved to Tatooine, during which we can see Greedo in Episode I, pestering Anakin Skywalker. He became a mercenary, kidnapping and fighting for the highest bidder. After the end of the Clone Wars Greedo again found himself at Nar Shaddaa, which fueled his desire to become a bounty hunter. After saving the lives of two of them, he became a protégé to Spurch “Warhog” Goa. During this time, Greedo tried to steal power couplings from what turned out to be the Millennium Falcon, prompting Han Solo to steal Greedo’s rancor-skin jacket in exchange.

Soon after, Imperial agents attacked a rebel enclave, causing an explosion and killing Greedo’s family. Greedo began his bounty-hunting career in earnest, though he found himself out of his element. On Tatooine, he took the contract to kill Solo, tricked by his mentor into believing it would be simple. After the end of the disastrous job, Greedo’s body was ground into a powerful liqueur by Wuher, the Cantina’s bartender, who disliked the Rodian and proudly displayed his head – the only part that wasn’t ground up, on a stake. The details of Greedo’s death were told in different ways by those present, and eventually he became post-humously famous.

Behind the Scenes:

In Episode IV Paul Blake played Greedo in shots with Han Solo, and a special articulated head was used for close-ups, using a woman named Maria De Aragon to play the bounty hunter. The language he speaks is actually the South American language Quechua. In the Star Wars: Clone Wars series, he is voiced by Tom Kenny, who also does the voice for Spongebob Squarepants and the Ice King from Adventure Time.

Greedo in heels
Greedo in heels

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Character Corner; come back next week for more fun Star Wars information!

Graduation of a Jedi

Graduation Jedi
A Jedi at graduation

As it’s the end of the school year, you likely know someone graduating from high school or college. Perhaps even yourself! To commemorate, we’re going to take a look at how the Jedi graduation ceremony has changed over the changes that take place in the galaxy.

Old Jedi Order

Dating back to the beginning of the order, the graduation ceremony involved the members of the high council (or one of the other councils, though only the high council could promote at the end of the republic). After the Jedi trials, a Padawan will go to the middle of the Tranquility Spire, where they meditate, searching for their future path.

The next day, the Padawan will be summoned to the next level, which is called the Hall of Knighthood. In a darkened chamber the Masters wait with ignited lightsabers while the Padawan kneels in the center of the room. Led by the Grand Master and joined by other masters and Jedi that helped the Padawan while learning, the circle will recite ancient passages from the traditional ceremony. The Grand Master will lower his or her lightsaber just above the Padawan’s shoulders and sever the Padawan braid for species that grow hair. The ceremony finished, the Padawan would collect his or her braid if applicable and exit the chamber in silence.

Sometimes emergencies overrode the standard tradition. During battles, when the Padawan could not return to the temple, or during extended missions, the master would knight the Padawan himself. The Council was also the one to promote a knight to the level of Master.

Anakin's graduation
Anakin having his Padawan braid removed

New Jedi Order

When Yoda died while training Luke Skywalker, it left Luke without a formal declaration of his Knighthood. As such, Luke did not initially continue the rite in the rebuilt Jedi Order. He proclaimed Padawans Jedi Knights after they completed battery of tests and building their own lightsaber. The proclamation was usually informal, in a conversation or informal gathering. Twenty-four years after the battle of Yavin Luke found the last remaining copy of The Jedi path: A Manual for Students of the Force, a guidebook from the Old Order with details about the knighting ceremony.

Luke devised his own graduation ceremony, more celebratory than the original, but with similar rituals. Later graduating students would be given a private audience with Skywalker, including a speech and formal robes. While they eschewed the tradition during the Yuuzhan Vong war, the Council again began the ceremony after it ended.

Thanks for ready, and happy graduation! Don’t forget to pick up your unique robes for your big day, and be sure to come back next week for more fun information!