Getting to Know You: The NEW (and Old) Cast of Star Wars


Photo: David James/Lucasfilm

Well, after months of speculation and rumors, the cast of the new Star Wars film has officially been announced.  And with a pic of the table read to boot!  The cast is made up of some of your old favorites, some quasi-familiar faces, and some practically brand new faces.  So let’s dive in!

star-wars-orginal-castHarrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.  

What you know them from: One of them you know from a whole slew of things and the others… you know from only Star Wars for the most part (with a shout out to Carrie Fisher’s appearances in Blues Brothers and 30 Rock).

My guesses as to who they will be playing: The only roles that are not up in the air at this point, Ford, Fisher, and Hamill will be reprising their roles as (much older versions of) Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker.  Anthony Daniels will again be donning the C-3PO suit.  And power to him for still being able to fit into that thing.  Peter Mayhew will be playing everyone’s favorite fuzzball, Chewbacca, and Kenny Baker will again be manning R2-D2.

My thoughts: It is interesting that so many of the original cast is back here.  Disney and Co. obviously know that it is important to tread lightly here and are trying to make the transition as fluid as possible for the fans.  I anticipate that not everyone is going to make it out of Episode VII alive (RIP Han?), but maybe we can keep the driods?

John BoyegaJohn Boyega

What you might know him from: The Brit can be seen in the little known, but really good alien invasion flick Attack the Block, the upcoming 24: Live Another Day, and Sundance film Imperial Dreams.  So really not a whole lot.

My guesses as to who he will  be playing: He is listed first on a list that is not in alphabetical order.  Does this mean that he will be the hero of our story?  My money is on yes.  Perhaps Skywalker’s protege before he goes off to be that great Jedi in the sky?

My thoughts: I like to unknowns get big breaks in BIG movies, so I like it.  Also, if he is the lead, it is nice to see a man of color as the lead of what will surely be the biggest release of the year.  Even if he is the only diversity in the cast.  What do you expect? It’s still Hollywood.

Daisy RidleyDaisy Ridley

What you might  know her from: Probably nothing.  But her IMDb credits include an episode of Mr. Selfridge and other UK TV shows that haven’t made it across the pond including, YoungersToast of London, and Silent Witness

My guesses as to who she will be playing: Very much like the old Star Wars, this new cast only has one lone female.  So it is a safe bet that Ridley will be playing the butt-kicking female love interest, but maybe they will throw us through a loop and she will be the villain?  No, she’ll be the butt-kicking female love interest who maybe turns up in a gold bikini?  No, we’ll mix it up and make it silver this time.

My thoughts: I can’t have too many as I have never seen her in anything, but another unknown as a supposed lead!  Cool!  And another Brit! Maybe there is a new planet called Anglophinia or something.

Adam_Driver_36095Adam Driver

What you know him from: Adam on my favorite Girls (not!), Inside Llewyn Davis, Frances Ha, and Lincoln

My guesses as to who he will be playing: Maybe this is just my antipathy for Girls coming through, but my money is on him playing a villain.  He is just so despicable on that show that I can’t see casting being creative enough to cast him otherwise.

My thoughts: When this guy is one of the more well-known people in a cast, that is saying something.  I am fairly impressed with this Star Wars for thinking outside the box in terms of casting, but then I suppose you have that kind of freedom when you are freaking Star Wars movie.

oscar IsaacOscar Isaac

What you know them from: The titular lead in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, Carey Mulligan’s husband in Drive, and Prince John in the 2010 Robin Hood.

My guesses as to who he will be playing: This one is probably the hardest to predict.  A Han Solo like character?  Bad guy?  Good guy? It’s too hard to tell and seeing as how the creators are giving us very little to work with in regards to what the story will be, it’s too early to call.

My thoughts: Sure.  Looking at his IMDb, I respect his choices and he seems due for a blockbuster.

andy serkisAndy Serkis

What you know them from: You may not know HIM from a whole lot, but you know his work as he has become the go-to guy for CGI motion capture characters.  Gollum in Lord of the Rings, Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and King Kong in Peter Jackson’s version, to name a few.

My guesses as to who he will be playing: Is there even the slightest chance that he will be playing a flesh and blood character?  No.  Maybe a small side character in addition to a CGI character or whole slew of CGI characters.

My thoughts: Duh.  It seems like a given these days that if you have a movie that will rely upon performance capture, you call Serkis.

DomnhallDomhnall Gleeson

What you know them from: Aww, you guys.  About Time (!), Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2 (!), and starring alongside Michael Fassbender (!) in this summer’s indie darling Frank.  Also, he is the son of Brendan Gleeson, probably best known to Fangirly readers as Mad Eye Moody.  Whoa, I just imagined a contrived fanfic where Mad Eye and Molly Weasley had a torrid affair that resulted in a love child.  

My guesses as to who he will be playing: It is hard to imagine him as anything but some sort of charming, aw-shucksy type because I love him in About Time so much.  Also, he is just too ginger to be a villain.  Right?  That’s a thing, right?

My thoughts: This takes our Brit count to 4!  And I am so on board with this one.  Definitely the name that I was most excited to see listed.

tumblr_lwih6yBDVt1r7k5ddo1_500Max von Sydow

What you know them from: If you are a member of my family, Strange Brew.  For everyone else, The ExorcistExtremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Minority Report, Shutter Island, Flash Gordon, and that same Robin Hood with Oscar Isaac.

My guesses as to who he will be playing: The second most difficult to call, but it is going one of two ways.  He is going to either be a wise, prophetic type a la Obi-Wan Kenobi or a dark, menacing, hooded type a la Palpatine

My thoughts: Yeah, okay.  They had to have one revered actor type on the list and it is nice to see one who is still a lesser known choice on that “revered actor” list.


Overall, I’m pleased and will be excited to see how all the characters shake out.  What do you all think?  Are you more or less concerned about this new Star Wars movie?



Grade A, Choice Picks: Top Episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000

It is the 25th anniversary of the show that is basically the essence of my childhood, Mystery Science Theater 3000.  If you aren’t familiar with this show, I feel very sorry for you.  The basic premise of the show, a man sequestered in space who is forced to watch terrible movies with his robot pals by his mad overlords is unimportant.  All you need to know is that they watch terrible movies and make fun of them the whole time.  It is weird, quirky, and brilliant and narrowing it down to just five was a challenge, but the research was ever so fun.

1267637964_15) #910 The Final Sacrifice The basic premise is that some whiny teenage kid finds a map left by his dead father and he gets mixed up with a devil-worshiping cult (side note: apparently a lot of terrible movies center around cults). The movie really gets good (?) when the kid gets help from the stereotypical Canadian guy named Rowsdower, a name which the guys can’t seem to get over.  This film lends itself to a lot of major Canada bashingBest Riff: “Canadian Villain: Garth Vader.”

monster a go go4) #421 Monster A Go-Go Johnny Long Torso, the action figure who comes in pieces, has long been my favorite invention exchange, then you add the “Circus on Ice” short, Gypsy questioning Crow about how she doesn’t “get” him (“Is it that I often panic while making sandwiches?) AND the movie is pretty awesomely bad, too. It is about as bad as you would expect from a 1965 movie about a missing astronaut who has been exposed to radiation  Best Riff: “There is one terrifying word in the world of nuclear physics.” “Oops.”

space mutiny3) #820 Space Mutiny This 1988 movie focuses on, you guessed it, a mutiny in space, but the guys can’t seem to get over the “young” love interest who looks more like a member of AARP, the space commander who resembles a jolly old elf, and the main hero who was obviously not hired for his acting skills.  This is so apparent that the guys have no choice but to spend the movie coming up with names for him such as Punch RockGroin, Gristle McThornbody, Brick Meathouse. or Jack Landhammer.  Best Riff: “Big McLarge Huge”

santa claus2) #321 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians The title pretty much sums it up. Emotionless Martians kidnap Santa to bring joy to their children.  Enter a pipe wielding Santa, a bumbling fool of a martian, a coffee can robot, a spaceship that looks like a Simon game, and a truly terrifying man in a polar bear “custume”. This episode has my favorite Satellite of Love scenes between Crow’s Christmas wish to decide “who lives and who dies” and their obsession with having a  Roadhouse inspired “Patrick Swayze Christmas“.  Best Riff: “Crush him!” “You were adopted!”

manos the hands1) #424 Manos: The Hands of Fate Generally considered to be the worst movie ever made, this movie produced by a fertilizer salesman in El Paso, Texas focuses on a family setting off on a vacation when they get mixed up with a “Manos”-centric cult.  Who or what Manos is never really clear, but if you ever wanted to see a movie with a man in a robe with large hand prints, women wrestling in Playtex bras, or a man with watermelons for knees then this is the flick for you. As Joel says, “Every frame of this movie looks like someone’s last known photograph”.  The “Hired” short at the beginning is only the cherry on top of this terrible, gouge your eyes out sundae.  Even Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank apologize for this one.   Best Riff: “Been hittin’ the Thighmaster, Torgo?”

MST3K fans, did I miss your favorite?  Newbies, did I convince you to watch?


Somebody Convince Me: Mad Men Edition

Mad_Men_season_5_cast_photoWelcome to “Somebody Convince Me”, our new feature where we turn it over to you, the readers.  Speaking for myself, I have a lot weird pop culture hang-ups.  Shows, movies, or musical artists that I refuse to participate in for whatever reason.  With this new feature, we are going to let you convince us that we are wrong. Up first on the docket: Mad Men.

I have had so many people try to tell me that I would love this show and then there is all of those awards and critical accolades.  All that set aside, Jon Hamm in a 60’s era suit should be enough to sway me, but I have never been able to convince myself to dive into this one.

I should mention that I watched the pilot and the second episode, but decided that the characters all seemed too despicable and their problems too dramatic for me to see myself getting invested.

Convince me that I am wrong!  Or are my concerns valid and I should just count this as a pop culture blind spot?


Fangirly Crush of the Week: John Mulaney

John MulaneyWhitney’s well-deserving choice of Colin Jost for crush made me realize that I have yet to elect my favorite crushiest SNL writer, John Mulaney.  If you have yet to do so, you need to go to Netflix and watch his stand up special New In Town.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… from laughing, but more importantly, you’ll understand why he is my choice for crush of the week.  His smart, pop culture-infused humor and tall child, high-waisted good looks are a definite win in this girl’s book. And if you love Law & Order based humor, Mulaney is your guy.

Watch his stand up special now because his new show Mulaney got a six episode order from Fox and this way you will be able to say that you knew him before he got big.


Grade A, Choice Picks: Ellen’s Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2014

Jake+Johnson+Lets+Cops+Films+LA+lsCPAGbD5qdlSummer, the time for fun in the sun, but more importantly, air conditioned multiplexes.  You can take your beaches and BBQs, I’m all for sequestering myself into dark rooms with strangers and a tub of popcorn. Let’s dive into my top picks for movies to see this summer!

10. Jersey Boys (June 20) I’m a sucker for a good ol’ song and dance routine, especially when it is of the malt-shoppe-doo-woppy variety.  A musical helmed by Clint Eastwood with virtual unknowns has me especially intrigued.

9. Edge of Tomorrow (June 6) This one has had me swayed since I saw the first footage at Comic Con.  It looks like a gritty, sci-fi, Groundhog’s Day and I can get on board with that.

8. Let’s Be Cops (August 13) Movie, you had me at starring Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr.  Also, this is coming out on my birthday.  Happy birthday to me, indeed.

magic-in-the-moonlight-emma-stone-colin-firth7. Magic in the Moonlight (July 25) Yes, yes, Woody Allen is a bit taboo right now, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he makes good movies (most of the time) and that this one stars Emma Stone and Colin Firth.  As an Austenphile, I am contractually obligated to always believe in Colin Firth.

6. The Giver (August 15) File this under “Ellen’s Most Cautiously Anticipated Movies of Summer 2014”.  As someone who loves young adult literature, I am, of course, familiar with the source material here.  The trailer gives me much to worry over in regards to the fidelity, but I can also respect a good adaptation, no matter how unfaithful. The power of Meryl is helping to bolster me.

22-jump-street-red-band-trailer5. 22 Jump Street (June 13) I am sucker for stupid comedies and the previous 21 Jump Street had me hook, line, and sinker.  It was also what convinced me to join the Channing band wagon, because he was funny and that is all it takes with me.

4. Godzilla (May 16) With all due respect to Mr. Jessica Parker, I am excited to see what looks like will be an actually good Godzilla movie.  I also sat in on the Comic Con panel for this one and they talked a lot about how it is less a Godzilla movie and more a character study of people dealing with a Godzilla attack.  Color me excited.

first-official-image-released-from-x-men-days-of-future-past-142959-a-1376897445-470-753. X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23) The latest trailer has me even more excited for May 23rd.  I love me a good X-Men movie and, Fassbender bonus points aside, this looks like it is going to be good ‘un.  The star power alone should be enough to make it amazeballs.

ebfdbabec18c15c361c93dfc332c852a2. The Fault in Our Stars (June 6) Okay? Okay. This is another adaptation that has me worried, because I am not sure how all of John Green’s amazing book is going to translate to screen, but I am more excited than anything.  Why I am excited to get my cry on, I don’t know, but I am guaranteed a good one.

Zoe-Saldana-Chris-Pratt-and-Dave-Bautista-in-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-2014-Movie-Image21. Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1) I am taking a leap of faith here, because this could be terrible or too “weird” to find an audience.  But no.  I have faith.  Faith in Marvel and the power of Chris Pratt’s abs, a power that cannot be denied.  Also, hello?  Karen Gillan, Lee Pace, John C. Reilly, and Bradley Cooper as a machine gun toting raccoon?  More than anything, it will be fun to see Marvel work outside of the Avengers.  Don’t make me regret putting you at number one, Marvel.

What has you pumped/nervous?  Let us know in the comments!


Fangirly Crush of the Week: Colin Jost

colin-jost-618x400So much has happened the last few months- unrest in Eastern Europe, Kate Middleton’s first ever fashion misstep, ect.- that we here at Fangirly have been neglecting our duties.  In the flurry of movie premiers, award show stumbles , and diplomatic crises, we forgot to take a moment to geek out over SNL’s new head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost. He’s got the doofy good looks of a passable TV nerd and the biting wit that makes us hope this could be the start of a whole new SNL. Colin Jost, we salute you.


Web Bytes: Tonight Show Lip Sync Battle with Paul Rudd

This week has been rough.  I inadvertently made a twelve-year-old boy cry in public (a proud moment for both of us). I just realized that my library books are so overdue, I think it might be punishable by law. And, the cherry, I read that Kim and Kanye may have to call off their wedding, for which we’ve all been breathlessly waiting. HOW MUCH MORE CAN THE HUMAN SPIRIT ENDURE? Anyway, whenever I turn this particular shade of blue, I like to watch clips of The Tonight Show to remind me of how beautiful the human experience can be. Ladies and probably more ladies, I give you the Tonight Show lip synch battle with Paul Rudd.

And because I am a generous soul…



Grade A, Choice Picks: Top TV Shows Adapted from Movies

There has been a recent flood of TV shows adapted from movies with Fargo, About a Boy, Hannibal, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but cashing in on successful movies is not a new practice.  With that, I give you my top picks for the most successful TV shows based on movies.  Note the word “successful”.  Sorry, Clueless, but there was no room for you on this list.

bates5. Bates Motel – I have just started watching this one but I feel that it warrants a spot on the list.  It is creepy and cool and stays faithful enough to the spirit of the movie while still striking out on its own.  It is also the only Vera Farmiga vehicle that I have ever been able to get behind because she is just so dang good on it (don’t ask me why, but she has always bugged me in the past.  I just don’t get her).

oddcouple02m4. The Odd Couple – Honestly, I haven’t seen the movie or show in years.  We’re talking Nick-at-Nite-in-the-90’s years, but I was in the play in high school so it will always hold a special place in my heart.  Tony Randall perfectly takes up the mantel of Jack Lemmon’s Felix Unger and just think about all the successful “quirky roommate” shows that have followed.

MV5BMTY3OTY0OTI3NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjkwMjk3NQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_3. Teen Wolf – Yes, yes, a controversial pick, but just think about how lame the source material is for this one.  I think it is safe to say that this is one that sounded terrible on paper but has been a pleasant surprise to many.  Of course, it helps that really the only thing that they took from the source material was the title and basic premise that there is a teen and he is a werewolf. Sorry, Michael J. but MTV has got you beat on this one.

Buffy-The-Vampire-Slayer-film2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – All hail the Joss.  I feel like Whitney and I should be contractually obligated to write that any time we talk about him or his projects, which would be a lot given our proclivity for all things Joss Whedon.  The original movie is pretty awesome (probably because it was written by Joss Whedon) but the TV show was even awesome…er.    With all due respect to Kristy Swanson, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy was cooler, snarkier, and more kick @$$, all traits that we hold in high esteem here at Fangirly.

friday-night-lights-show1. Friday Night Lights – This is the only show that could take down Buffy and Joss.  Jason Katmis has become the go-to guy for movie to TV show adaptations with About a Boy and Parenthood under his belt, but that is probably because Friday Night Lights was pure perfection.  Another one that sounded potentially disastrous on paper, but succeeded, nay triumphed, because it was more than just a show about high school football.  It was about real people in a real town that just happened to be obsessed with football.  And when I say “real”, I mean they just felt real.  I am sadly aware that Tim Riggins is not real.

What do you think?  Do you agree with my picks?  I wanted to throw an animated pick in there (because there are a TON), but they all felt out of place on the list.


The Reviews Are In: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

fz-01350_01355_compThere are so many reasons why Ellen and I could never review movies professionally. Number one has to be the fact that objectivity continues to elude us. No one ever said “Oh, Ellen and Whitney? I know those chicks. They are straight-up dispassionate“. (If you read quote that in Tracy Morgan’s voice, then we are all on the same page). My point is, I walked into The Winter Soldier pretty much determined to love it. There honestly was no possible outcome that involved me not going gonzo over this movie. So you can imagine my relief when it actually turned out to be genuinely good.

Ok, yes it was kinda long and the ending had more set up than an Adobe update and some characters (COUGH Agent Thirteen COUGH) had no reason to be there at all, aside from the aforementioned set up. But honestly, unless you are  Aunt Linda that probably won’t bother you.

It’s hard to synopsize this movie because the potential for spoilers is pretty high.fz-03909_r In a nutshell, Cap learns that SHIELD may not be entirely on the up and up, even for a subversive spy organization. That’s his real conflict; the titular bad guy is more of a complication. A super, super hot complication.

This film also had some of the best character moments in the franchise so far. Early on there is a scene between Peggy Carter and Steve that will emotionally decimate you. I mean it. In other great news, we get see Black Widow do more than just kick and quip. The ex-KGB mama jamma gets to finally open up in ways that the other movies haven’t afforded.  She and Cap also punctuate the movie’s many action sequences with some bone-dry banter, most of which is about Steve really needing to get some. (Which begs the question: are we supposed to believe that Steve is still, umm, untapped, so to speak? Exactly how far are we supposed to suspend disbelief!?) Now that Winter Soldier is a record-breaking hit, we can only hope that Captain America is finally feeling the love. 65645c7d979a9234280f6294313ae050

Verdict: I thought it was pretty great. What do you think, Cap?


Fangirly Crush of the Week: Danny Castellano (AKA Chris Messina)

tumblr_n3ho4tGzYy1qagxdco1_500If you watched the return of The Mindy Project this week, your first thought at the end of the episode was probably “It is now so obvious who Ellen is going to pick for the crush of the week.”  Because duh.

As if his Christmas dance and airplane kiss weren’t enough, “Little D” had to go and read Bridget Jones’ Diary in a British accent.  How am I supposed to resist that?  It’s just not going to happen. Everything about who I am makes it physically impossible.

Over the course of the past few days, I have watched the new episodes…we’ll just say too many times, so really this choice was inevitable.  But it was also inevitable because Danny Castellano is a curmudgeonly dreamboat.  Just the way we like them (see also: Nick Miller).

Plus, his eyelashes are so long.  Like a pony.


TV Obituaries: RIP Psych

PsychWe have been so busy talking about that other finale that happened that I haven’t even gotten to properly grieve the passing of my beloved Psych. HIMYM and I had a roller coaster relationship, always up and down with it pissing me off quite a bit a times.  But, Psych?  Psych is that old friend that I always knew I could go to for a good laugh.  The only thing it ever did to upset me was go off the air for long periods of time, but that was always more USA’s fault.  Oh, and when Rachel Leigh Cook came in and screwed up everything.  That also upset me greatly.

Some may have said that this show was TOO goofy or TOO light or had TOO many pop culture references.  To those people, I say “C’mon son“.  Those were the reasons I loved it!  How am I supposed to live in a world where there will never be another Gus nickname?  Don’t be an old sponge with hair hanging off of it.

Shawn and Gus are the best bromance on TV, in my opionion, and it is what ultimately made the show.  Watching them scream like girls, eat pineapple, out reference each other, indecipherably bicker, and try to grow up will always warm my heart.

I have been with this show since day one, so this one hurts., but the pain is lessened by the fact that this show lived a nice, long life and got to go out on its own terms.  Psych, I salute you by raising a finger to my forehead and letting out a resounding “Suck it!”


Just because I love them…

JT Waring: Do you understand about honor, Mr. Spencer?
Shawn: Of course I do. I have a bootleg copy of Saving Private Ryan at home.

Lassiter: What do you two know about street racing anyway?
Shawn:Only what we learned from The Fast and The Furious. So… everything.

Gus: You’ve never read the Bible, have you?
Shawn: Sure. There’s Genesis. Exorcist. Leviathan. Do… the right thing.

Major General Felts: I assume you realize this kind of idiocy will not be tolerated on my base!
Shawn:Is there another type of idiocy you would be more comfortable with?

Juliet O’Hara: Well, Lassiter’s really got your goat, huh?
Shawn: Yeah, he does, and I want it back. God knows what he’s doing to that poor thing.

Shawn: I don’t lose things. I place things in locations which later elude me.

Gus: Do you think it could be PTSD?
Shawn: I think it’s slightly more serious than a mere menstrual issue.

Fangirly Investigates: Can There Be a Perfect Series Finale?

fans-are-not-happy-with-the-how-i-met-your-mother-series-finaleSeriously, is it even possible?

Last night, 9 seasons of How I Met Your Mother culminated in an hour long series finale.  The episode began with Ted Mosby still never having even laid eyes on the titular mother, so I went into already concerned.  How were they going to give me all of the moments that I wanted to see between Ted and the mother?  It just wasn’t possible.

SPOILERS FOLLOW: My worst fears were realized.

Bummer #1) After a season of Barney and Robin’s wedding, we find out that 3 years later they got a divorce.

Bummer #2) Robin gets too preoccupied with her job and basically never sees the gang anymore, breaking Lily’s heart (and mine).

Bummer #3) The mother dies.  Yeah, you read that right.  On a show called How I Met Your freaking Mother, the mother dies.

Bummer #4) After sitting through 9 seasons worth of story telling, Ted’s kids tell him that it is so obvious why he has been telling them all these stories.  It has not been to tell them how he met their mother, but how he may still have feelings for their “Aunt Robin”.  This was mainly a bummer because I never really “got” Ted and Robin.

Last Forever Part OneWhilst I am beginning to come around to the finale a little bit more, I was initially crushed.  This entire show has been building up to Ted meeting his soul mate, the one.  Or at least that is what I thought.

I have to at least respect that they hoodwinked all of us, because, yes, in theory it makes sense that this has been leading up to Ted ending up with Robin seeing as how the show has mainly centered on their on again, off again thing.


Mainly, the finale got me thinking about series finales in general.  Has there ever been one that has been universally adored?  In short, no.

I have to imagine that this is in part due to the fact that when you build a relationship, whether in real life or with a TV show (personally, my favorite kind of relationship), and you loved that person/show, the goodbye is always going to be the hardest part.

That is why I am trying to look on the HIMYM finale with some optimism and instead think of all the good times we had.   And not that I wanted to throw my TV out the window over this crushing major disappointment (*salute* Major Disappointment.)