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FIRST TRAILER FOR 3D THEATRICAL RE-RELEASE OF ‘THE PHANTOM MENACE’

This trailer successfully combines two things that absolutely no one wants to pay to see in theaters: 3D technology, and The Phantom Menace. As a Star Wars fan, this made me smile, as a rational human being, it made me want to punch puppies. What do you think?

UPDATE: Trailer removed at the request of FOX. I’ll toss it back up when it goes online officially.

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LASERLINKS 10-13-11

Hey kids, I’m posting LaserLinks a day early this week because I am leaving bright and early Friday morning to attend the New York Comic-Con! I hope to attend the Venture Brothers, Felicia Day, Mark Hamill, and The Amazing Spider-Man panels — so look for reports on those as well as a crap-ton of cool cosplay pics at some point on Saturday. Until then, here’s the week’s news, trailers, and miscellany from the past week:

Star Wars

The first trailer for the theatrical release of the 3D version of The Phantom Menace will be attached to prints of The Three Musketeers.

The Avengers

Superherohype has a breakdown of 72 screenshots from the recently-released trailer.

James Bond 23

Javier Bardem has been confirmed as the villain in the 23rd Bond flick, which might also feature Blofeld and may be titled Skyfall.

Die Hard 5

This sequel has a title, a script, a director and a green-light.

The Dark Knight Rises

Here’s two set videos showing more of the Batwing and an insane chase scene involving Batman on the Batpod and what has to be every police officer in Gotham City.

The Lone Ranger

The film is back on the Disney greenlight schedule with a smaller budget.

Thor 2

The Marvel sequel has been pushed back to a November, 2013 release date.

GEORGE LUCAS IS BRINGING DARTH MAUL BACK

To the Clone Wars animated series, anyway. From USA Today:

Star Wars fans felt the shaft in The Phantom Menace when Darth Maul was introduced and quickly killed off — and so did the spiffy-looking Sith lord, who fell to his death after being sliced in two by a lightsaber.

You can’t keep a great villain down, though. And that’s why Darth Maul will be resurrected this spring, making his grand re-entry into Star Wars mythology in episodes of the Cartoon Network animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Filoni was as surprised as anyone during a Clone Wars story meeting when Star Wars creator George Lucas asked Filoni to figure out a way to bring Darth Maul back.

Darth Maul is probably one of the biggest “missed opportunities” in the history of Star Wars. Everyone was amazed by how visually badass Maul looked in the early Phantom Menace trailers, but that amazement quickly turned into disappointment when the character uttered a line or two of arbitrary dialogue and was unceremoniously cut in half by Obi-Wan.

The thing is, Clone Wars is a great little show that kids today LOVE, but its cardinal sin is the sloppy practice of shoe-horning tons of characters, events, and concepts into the time frame between Episodes II and III that all become irrelevant the moment Revenge of the Sith starts and no one mentions any of it. Bringing Darth Maul back to life (he won’t be a clone, apparently) is just another example of this  gratuitous ret-conning.

Don’t be surprised if, somewhere down the road, Filoni announces that George requested him to insert a huge battle between Ewoks and Jawas that turns the tide of the Clone Wars once and for all. Oh wait, that was just some bad fanfic I came up with 15 years ago. Nevermind.

KID HAS PRICELESS REACTION TO ‘EMPIRE STRIKES BACK’

Almost every geek on the Internet (including me) is a cynical bastard these days, so naturally, a cute little video showing a 4-year-old reacting to the big reveal in The Empire Strikes Back has ignited a firestorm of controversy in message boards across the InterTubes. Staged or not, it’s still really fun and innocent, so it boggles the mind why grown men are so angry about it. Here’s the clip, you be the judge – faked or not?

HAPPY STAR WARS BLU-RAY DAY!

So, if you haven’t heard by now, those Star Wars movies are out on Blu-ray today. There’s the full box set of all six films with a bonus special features disc for $80, and box sets for each trilogy at $40 a pop. I’m not cool enough to get a screener copy sent to me for free yet, so I don’t have a review for you. If you want to read an extremely thorough, well-written review of the set, there is no better place to go than The Digital Bits. May the Force Be With You!

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