How did Luke Skywalker “make his bones”?


The Star Wars universe is a violent place.

Smugglers, bounty hunters and Jedi Knights are all experienced killers long before we meet them, and even a teenaged princess-senator thinks nothing of shooting a stormtrooper in cold blood right after he declares that he intends to take her alive.

But there is one character who stands out from all these hardened killers, one character who enters the story as a callow young farmboy and only gradually rises up to become an experienced warrior. I refer, of course, to Luke Skywalker.

And here’s a question that has been bugging me for some time: Who, exactly, was Luke’s first kill? In mafia parlance, how did Luke “make his bones”? And how did he feel about the fact that, y’know, he had just killed somebody?

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How many Star Wars actors have also been in Bible movies?


If you’re a Bible-movie buff and a space-movie buff like me, then you can’t help but notice how the two genres sometimes overlap.

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Review: SPECTRE (dir. Sam Mendes, 2015)


No time for a full review, alas, but a few quick points about the newest Bond movie.

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Jesus movies and, um, rude bodily noises

Warning: This post includes a few irreverent images from irreverent films.


Years ago, I used to say that if I ever made a movie about Jesus, I would include a scene in which he excuses himself to use the facilities (whatever they might have been in the first century), just to show that his humanity extended even to his “lower” bodily functions. I was reminded of that the other day when Bilge Ebiri, one of the critics who caught the Last Days in the Desert premiere at Sundance this week, wondered on Twitter if this was the first Jesus movie to have a “fart joke”.

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Exorcists and Emperors: young actors play old, then play young again in flashbacks or prequels

Further to my post marking the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist, I thought it might be fun to look at one other way in which the Exorcist movies parallel the Star Wars franchise: namely, both series feature an actor who plays considerably older than his real age, and then, in at least one of the sequels or prequels, the actor plays more-or-less his real age in scenes set years or even decades earlier.

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The Hobbit and The Phantom Menace: a few similarities

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first part of a prequel trilogy that takes place decades before another trilogy, namely The Lord of the Rings. This is the most obvious thing that Peter Jackson’s newest film has in common with Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, but are there any others?

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