“A Tauntaun is for life”: Christmas Tauntauns

The 2020 holiday season is drawing to a close, capping off a year that was, for lack of a better word, chaotic. With everything that’s been happening in these past months, it’s always important to have some fun to keep your mind at ease, whether it’s hanging with friends online or just watching something on TV. A couple of weeks ago, the season finale of The Mandalorian (working title: Growing Up Grogu) aired on Disney Plus and received mostly positive reviews. In honor of the occasion and in celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, let’s take a look at Christmas Tauntauns, a strange yet sweet music video from 2001 directed by animator Matt Bagshaw that holds the distinction of receiving the first ever George Lucas Selects Award at the 2002 Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards. If the creator of Star Wars digs it, maybe you can enjoy it too.

Have a happy and healthy new year!

Credit: mattbag3d

“Lightsaber battle royale”: Ryan vs. Dorkman 1 and 2

How ’bout them Mandos, eh? The latest season of Disney Plus’s hit series The Life and Times of Baby Yoda (also known as The Mandalorian) is halfway done and there’s a great deal of worthwhile social media discussion and discourse that follows each new weekly installment. Today’s post won’t deal with any of that. Once again, this will be another dive into the world of Star Wars fan projects. The subject of this post is the Ryan vs. Dorkman duology, a pair of videos that distill the average Star Wars fan film into its most basic elements.

Created by visual effects artists Ryan Wieber (Heroes) and Michael “Dorkman” Scott (Supergirl), the films give you all the intense action, visual creativity and humor that you expect out of most fan films but condensed into a form that fulfills the biggest power fantasy the Star Wars franchise has ever given to legions of fans: “what if I had the Force and a lightsaber?” The most appealing thing about the RvD shorts is the no-frills, DIY setup. Even in RvD2, which is much more technically complex than its predecessor and features a bombastic score composed by Kyle Newmaster and Gordy Haab (Star Wars: Battlefront), the lack of fancy costumes and green-screen composited backgrounds allows you to concentrate on the impressive duel.

Hope you enjoy them!

Credit: maniacmike, DorkmanScott

Origin-AL-ity Is Independence

This Friday and Saturday, comedy music maven and pop music parodist “Weird Al” Yankovic makes a stop in Chicago for his new Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, a series of concerts focused on his catalog of original songs. If you only think of Yankovic as the “Eat It” guy, you’re missing out on a wealth of hidden gems that provide the real meat of his discography and act as a better demonstration of both his songwriting skills and the impressive range of his band. With that in mind, here are my favorite Weird Al originals, one from each of his 14 albums.

“Weird Al” Yankovic (1983) – “The Check’s in the Mail”

“Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D (1984) – “Buy Me a Condo”

Dare to Be Stupid (1985) – “One More Minute”

Polka Party (1986) – “Dog Eat Dog”

Even Worse (1988) – “Velvet Elvis”

UHF (1989) – “Generic Blues”

Off the Deep End (1992) – “You Don’t Love Me Anymore”

Alapalooza (1993) – “Frank’s 2000″ TV”

Bad Hair Day (1996) – “Everything You Know Is Wrong”

Running with Scissors (1999) – “Your Horoscope for Today”

Poodle Hat (2003) – “Genius in France”

Straight Outta Lynwood (2006) – “Pancreas”

Alpocalypse (2011) – “Skipper Dan”

Mandatory Fun (2014) – “Mission Statement”

Credit: alyankovicVEVOCasey DeckerjedbaddaSWBattlefrontGuruRWappinAlbinoBlackSheepoenthusiast

They Don’t Call It Tragic-Con

The four days of the San Diego Comic-Con are almost upon us, so with that in mind, let’s take a look back at Comic Book: The Movie, a 2004 mockumetary filmed on location at the 2002 Comic-Con. Starring and directed by Mark Hamill (you know, that clown from that space movie), the comedy features interviews with geek culture bigwigs such as Stan Lee, Bruce Campbell and Kevin Smith, as well as the talents of several prolific voice actors including Billy West, Jess Harnell and Tom Kenny. Although it’s a little choppy, I recommend it just for the novelty of seeing top-notch voice actors plying their craft in a live-action production.

Here’s my favorite deleted scene with Harnell and West performing a lovely song called “Four Color World” to a group of Comic-Con attendees.

Credit: thedvdupdate