Inside the Creative Mind of George Lucas and the Team Behind Strange Magic

Inside the Creative Mind of George Lucas and the Team Behind Strange Magic

StrangeMagic movie poster

I’ve written before about my childhood obsession with Star Wars.  And of course, as a Gen Xer, I am not alone in the cultural impact that film had on me. And while my 5 year-old self would have been most eager to meet Carrie Fisher, My grown up was incredibly excited to meet George Lucas and hear about his creative process and sources of inspiration for his new film Strange Magic. (I’d still be THRILLED to meet Carrie Fisher, by the way, and even more so for her work as a fantastically witty and bold writer.)

George Lucas

Strange Magic is a a fairy tale (really, it’s all about fairies) that gets to the heart of true love that comes from seeing someone for who they truly are, and not just what is on the surface.  One of the things George Lucas discussed was his own long quest to find someone after his first marriage ended in divorce.  He said he and his current wife seemingly have nothing in common, and yet in the most important ways they have everything in common – their outlook on life, their beliefs, their morals, the way they think about things in the same way at their core. And that is the thread that runs throughout Strange Magic.  Plus, I loved that he talked about how having daughters influenced him to tell a different kind of story from the female point of view.

Strange Magic is above all about the music. In a very throw back, American Graffiti kind of way, music fills very second of the movie, and is central to how the characters tell the story. The entire cast, director and musical director joined us for the second half of the press conference, and I couldn’t have been thrilled to see Sam Palladio as one of the main characters since I’m a nutty Nashville fan. And of course, Alan Cumming can do no wrong.

cast and director of strange magic

Gary Rydstrom (Director), Meredith Anne Bull (voice of “Dawn”), Sam Palladio (voice of “Roland”), Evan Rachel Wood (voice of “Marianne”), Alan Cumming (voice of “Bog King”), Elijah Kelly (voice of “Sunny”), Marius De Vries (Musical Director)

Watch this wonderful featurette of the cast talking about their characters:

The cast reiterated much of what George Lucas talked about – that sometimes you find love where you least expect it, or in the words of Elijah Kelly, “No matter how weird and strange you are, there is someone else out there just as weird and strange as you,” And if that’s not a great message for kids I don’t know what is.

STRANGE MAGIC opens in theatres everywhere on January 23rd!

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Once Princess Leia, Always Princess Leia

Wordless Wednesday was never this geeky.  I know.  When my husband saw this he said, “Truly there are no words.”  Actually, he said, ” That is the geekiest thing I’ve ever seen.”   I’m OK with that.  I spent all of kindergarten with my hair in two side buns.  I saw Star Wars 26 times in the summer of 1977 – and the first time it was with my dad in Times Square at the old Astor Plaza Theater. I was 5.

And so yesterday when I was at the holiday showcase event for Xbox360 Kinect and R2D2 was there – for real people – I could not resist taking advantage of having a hooded sweater coat with me and posing like this.  What you can’t tell from the picture is that when I did that the prerecorded message of Princess Leia saying, “Help me Obi-Wan you’re my only hope,” played from deep inside that lovable droid.  Now I don’t feel so bad that I missed all the fun at Comic Con last week.

Thank you GayNycDad for taking the pic!!

Can a Television Be a Member of the Family?

For the last five years my husband and I have researched TVs. Our steadfast and true 27″ picture tube set sat like a big ol’ lazy uncle on it’s stand and delivered perfectly fine viewing as far as we were concerned.  But, we had the itch.  The flat screen bigger-than-your-kitchen-table TV itch.  One by one our friends and families turned in their old model TVs for sleek and ever bigger sets.  But we held out, year after year, watching prices fall and new models come out, and not quite ready to splurge on something out of pure decadence.  After all, our TV worked perfectly fine.

Then this month something happened.  My husband was home sick and intoxicated by the endless promises of Black Friday sales, of the incessant ads and reviews on the web of all the TVs that were passing us by.   For the first time ever he didn’t just browse Amazon and Best Buy and cnet reading the reviews and saying, “what if?” but instead he made an Excel spreadsheet with all of the options.  Now, I knew he was serious.  If my husband could make a spreadsheet for every moment of his life he would.  Once it’s on the spreadsheet it’s real, it’s tangible, it’s going to happen.

And so it did.  We bit the bullet and bought a 50″ Samsung TV.  My husband came home from work to be here when the delivery guys arrived.  They set it up, plugged everything in, and left.  A calm fell over the apartment.  And I hate to admit it, but we turned on the TV and just sat down to look at it in awe.  It changed our entire living room – we both looked at each other and realized that the TV was nicer than any other piece of furniture in the room.  The TV practically demands a room make over.  Did I feel bad for the sad blob of a TV that now sat on the floor awaiting removal by our Super?  No.  It had been replaced by a much younger, thinner and sexier model, and quite frankly it was time.

All these years my fear of getting a TV like this was that it sort of announced to the world in all caps: “WE WATCH TV.”  You know what? We do.  I actually love TV.  My kids watch almost no TV, but even they walked in to the apartment after school in full giddiness and anticipation.  They couldn’t have been more excited if we had brought home a baby.  (Though still a distant second to a puppy)  And the Wii on this TV?  It makes me want to buy some adult games, or maybe even bust out the Wii Fit.  There is no doubt that our newest addition to the family has made us all ridiculously happy – and the fact that my husband and I spent a night watching both My Fair Lady and Star Wars with equal absorption on both our parts is pretty telling about the power of this TV to suck us in.  Eventually I’m sure the TV will seem ho hum and part of our everyday life but for now it’s incredibly fun to have something new and shiny that we all enjoy.  I imagine it’s how many people feel about a new car – but being a Manhattanite I could care less about ever owning a car in this city.  However, if I could just convince my husband to start a spreadsheet on dining room tables…

This post originally appeared on nycmomsblog