The Lowdown BlogCast – Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

The Lowdown podcast returns with a very special episode. Rather than the usual fun and randominity that you’ve come to expect from us, we’ve a special two-and-a-half hour review of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. We cover everything from the performances to the plot to the dialogue to fan theories about Episodes VIII and IX.

This is a very spoiler-filled review. Spoilers start at about 7:45 of the podcast so this is your warning. If you’re trying to avoid The Force Awakens spoilers, don’t listen until you’ve watched the movie.

Click here to download The Lowdown BlogCast (81 MB).
Click here to download the podcast quality version (43 MB).


What if the Star Wars Prequels Were Good?

When I was looking for content for the run up to The Force Awakens, I came across a couple of videos with hypothetical re-writes of the Star Wars prequels by Belated Media. Now that I’ve finally seen The Force Awakens and (spoilers) found out that the prequels really had no impact on the new trilogy so far, I think it would be fun to go back and reexamine the prequels.

So the suggested re-writes aren’t perfect but they’re a reasonably good summation of what went wrong with the prequels and what could be done better.

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Sunday Link-Off: Have You Felt It

erin-heatherton-yutsaiyume15-03I know Jackie gave his quick thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday but I don’t think I’m capable of doing it quickly. Our review podcast could either be 30 minutes or 3 hours depending on how much we argue about. I think we’ll both agree that we loved it and will be going multiple times. We’ll let you know when to expect the review.

Anyway, that’s a problem for a future date. For now, we’ve got to focus on some links. Let’s kick things off with Erin Heatherton.

America’s Omnibus budget bill also included the dreaded CISA, Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. I hope you don’t value your privacy. (Engadget)

Fox News’ “fair and balanced” slogan might get mocked but it’s not off the mark when it comes to the Republican primary. They’re giving a good grilling to the frontrunners. (The Fix)

Carly Fiorina was near the head of the GOP polls for a little bit. Now, she might be talking her way out of any chance. She has a pretty poor relationship with the facts. (Salon)

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Everything Wrong with Star Wars in 140 Minutes

Everybody had their own way to celebrate the start of a new era of Star Wars. We’re doing a bunch of Star Wars themed posts capped off by our The Force Awakens review podcast. We’ll definitely do one. It’s just a matter of synchronizing our schedules halfway around the world.

The folks over at CinemaSins did their usual thing to celebrate The Force Awakens. They did the Everything Wrong With videos for all six Star Wars movies (no love for Clone Wars?) in nine videos and over two hours worth of sins. The funny thing was that I thought this was fantastic and I’m a massive Star Wars fan.

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The Jar Jar Binks Sith Theory Explained

This theory has been floating around the internet lately but intrepid YouTuber Vincent Valentine (probably not the same one from Gaia) has compiled the evidence that fans have put forward for this one. With The Force Awakens hitting today, fans are suggesting that the big villain of the prequel trilogy was actually Jar Jar Binks. When you go over the evidence, there’s actually a pretty compelling case for suggesting that Jar Jar was more than he seemed.

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Star Wars Merchandise Fails of the Week

Instead of our normal Fails of the Week, since it’s Star Wars Week on the blog, it’s a special edition of the Star Wars Fails of the Week. While I’m sure we could have just put up Episodes I and II along with George’s changes to the original trilogy and called it a day, I thought I’d go for something more epic. Today is the weirdest, wackiest and failiest pieces of Star Wars merchandise. It’s not just Disney stuff either. LucasFilm had some odd merch too.

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Dark Lords of the Sith: An Infographic

It’s almost here. We’re just a couple of days away from the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. No, I don’t know what we have planned for it in terms of a review. Maybe Jackie and I will do a special Lowdown podcast to review it. Maybe we’ll just do dueling written reviews. We’ll have something but that’s for after the movie.

Before the movie, we have to have a little bit of a Star Wars celebration. For today’s entry into a hastily planned and assembled Star Wars Week, we have a handy little infographic that looks at the Sith in the current canon. There was quite a bit more famous Sith of the past before the Disney retcon. Now, we’re down to just seven canon Sith Lords.

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The Dollars and Cents of Star Wars (Infographic)

Last week, someone pointed out to me that we’re under a month to the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Putting the biggest movie franchise in the world in the hands of one of the hottest sci-fi directors who happens to be a noted Star Wars fan has The Force Awakens expected to be one of the biggest movies of all-time. Analysts are expecting Episode VII to top a $1 billion gross, a half-billion dollar opening weekend and maybe even beat $2 billion at the box office.

For more on the money made by Star Wars and the money spent to make that money, we have a handy infographic for your perusal.

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Star Wars: Battlefront Beta Impressions: Pray I Alter It Further

star-wars-battlefront-headerSo we have a new Star Wars trailer and many, many people have tickets to an early showing of The Force Awakens. Exactly a month before the earliest showings of Episode VII, the next chapter in the Star Wars video game franchise will hit shelves.

Both the announcement of J.J. Abrams as director of Episode VII and the appointment of Electronic Arts as the publisher of Star Wars games were met with excitement. While EA did cause a bit of trepidation, the appointment of DICE, BioWare and Visceral, three of EA’s top guns, to develop the games got gamers excited. First up for EA and LucasFilm is DICE with their take on Battlefront. The early results aren’t exactly awe-inspiring.

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Sunday Link-Off: My Time is Now

jessica-lowndes-halloween15-01Does everybody know what time it is? I’m serious. That’s the one thing about time changes that I hate. I’m trying to watch F1 this afternoon but is it on at 2:00 PM EDT or 2:00 PM EST when it’s scheduled for 1:00 PM local time. And there’s StarCraft to be watched this afternoon too but at least I think that’s scheduled in Pacific Time. Time changes make sense but you always feel like no one else knows what they’re doing.

Anyway, it’s Sunday so it’s time for us to do the links. Since last night was Halloween, it’s only appropriate to kick off with Jessica Lowndes as what I would assume is Harley Quinn.

Wiretaps in Italy suggest Toronto is on the verge of a mafia war breaking out. (

The two frontrunners for the GOP Presidential nomination are amateur politicians. Everywhere else, people look to professionals. Why is politics so different? (Vox)

The latest Republican debate was another edition of the GOP versus the media. The media should be criticized but it should be for seldom holding anyone accountable. (Washington Post)

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