Solo created some of its best creatures through surprisingly practical effects

There’s been plenty of advancements in CGI, but, unless you’re Luc Besson—Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets is underrated!—all that digital trickery will eventually guide audiences into the uncanny valley. As such, there’s no shortage of film buffs who, sometimes very loudly, yearn for the days of puppets…

Star Wars "fans" have apparently driven Kelly Marie Tran off of Instagram 

Certain Star Wars fans (if that’s the word we’re going to use) were already on edge after The Force Awakens dared to introduce a female hero with Jedi abilities, but Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi seems to have unlocked a particularly disgusting and pathetic vein of hatred in the minds of some people who really hate to…

Here's how to tell a good fantasy language from whatever it is that Jabba does

By the h’bhor of Vaksis, fantasy languages can be a great way to bring a sense of believable mystery to fictional worlds. Whether Game of Thrones’ guttural Dothraki, The Lord of the Rings’ lilting Elvish, or the garbled throat-clearing of Star Wars’ Wookie-talk, hearing characters speak in made-up tongues helps…

Lawrence Kasdan and Harrison Ford both fought for Han Solo to die in Return Of The Jedi

Filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan isn’t responsible for creating the Star Wars saga so much as bringing it to life. A New York Times profile of the writer and his son, Jonathan, Kasdan details his early involvement, after being hired on The Empire Strikes Back. “I’ll tell you what we’re doing—you write it,” Lucas told him at…

How to build a fantasy world, from Star Wars to Lord Of The Rings

It’s a ton of work to write a sci-fi or fantasy novel. If you’re trying to create a fictional universe where civilizations span galaxies or different, mythical species interact, you have to create a universe. In a wonderful new essay on Literary Hub, writer A.D. Jameson opines that it’s more or less expected from…

Solo provides the easy fan service that The Last Jedi daringly denied us

After a brief hiatus, A.V. Club film editor A.A. Dowd and staff critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky are back with a new edition of Film Club, discussing Disney’s latest trip to the galaxy far, far away, Solo: A Star Wars Story. Wherein the last entry in the Star Wars saga broke from convention (to the chagrin of some die-hard…

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“Hyperspace” shows how science can inform science fiction

Welcome back to Pop Lexicon, The A.V. Club’s series with Kory Stamper, Merriam-Webster lexicographer and editor, where she reveals the origins of America’s favorite colloquialisms. Today, Kory explains not only how science can inform science fiction, but how science fiction can influence scientific discovery, starting…

Here’s the story behind "I'm Han Solo," one of the worst pieces of Star Wars licensing ever

Even though it was arguably a better match for the visual tone of the film’s trailer, it’s unlikely we’re going to hear the song “I’m Han Solo” pop up anywhere in Solo: A Star Wars Story. That’s mainly because it’s notoriously terrible. The infamous track—a parody of Jason Derulo’s “Ridin’ Solo” with ham-fisted Star…

Han Severals: 16-plus characters who smuggled inspiration from Han Solo

Han Solo is based on a familiar archetype: Star Wars’ lovable scoundrel can trace his roots back to our earliest myths, while there are progenitors of his world-weary cynicism in Humphrey Bogart’s movies, his charming roguishness in Douglas Fairbanks’, and his reluctantly outlaw heroics throughout the samurai films…

A NASA scientist weighs in on the warmth of tauntaun corpses thanks to the new podcast Bad Science 

In the episodes leading up to January 1983, co-host Scott Weinberg lamented that he was dreading 1983, calling it one of the worst cinematic years he experienced in his lifetime. June certainly is a mixed bag of films for the summer season, featuring teen sex comedies, Gérard Depardieu, and a 4-hour-long Ingmar…