Issue THREE It seems impossible that we’re on our fourth issue of The Edge already, but here we are. We’ve had an exciting couple of months since the start of term, starting off exciting new projects and, of course, most recently hitting 1 million website hits. However, now at the end of term we can all start to get excited about something really big… Star Wars. While it may be Christmas for many, it’s Star Wars month here at The Edge. We’ve taken a look at the old and the new, the classic and the prequels and even debated the most infamous character of the franchise: Jar Jar Binks. However, that’s the not only big topic we’re tackling with our Head of Relations discussing Hollywood’s Wage Gap over on page 6. Staying topical is key for the success of any entertainment magazine and that’s why on page 8 you can read our writers’ and editors’ responses to the final trailer release for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the biggest features section of the issues so far, you can read everything from a defence of the prequels to The Edge’s best Star Wars moments and even our favourite games. Not just a one trick pony though; our Records Editor Amy Wotten has collated an excellent feature on the best and most famous John Williams soundtracks discussing our favourite movie scores from Jaws, Jurassic Park and even Harry Potter. You can also catch up with the festive spirit with our alternative playlist for Christmas on page 16. For the inside scoop turn over to page 22 to read our on-set experience for psychological thriller The Holly Kane Experiment. We’re also continuing to look ahead with our ‘everything you need to know about the X-Files’ for when it returns to our screens in January on page 28. With Issue Four finishing off the term for us, our team have started to become reflective on what has been a really exciting semester for The Edge. Our writers are more enthusiastic than ever, and our opportunities and team seems to be going from strength to strength. From all of us here at the magazine, Merry Christmas and we hope you have an entertaining new year. Natalie Fordham Editor 01
Editor Natalie Fordham email@example.com
Deputy Editor Lewis Taplin firstname.lastname@example.org
records Editor Amy Wootten email@example.com Features Editor Millie Cassidy firstname.lastname@example.org film Editor Ben Robins email@example.com C u lt u r e e d i t o r Harrison Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org live Editor Will Hodgetts email@example.com news Editor Anneka Honeyball firstname.lastname@example.org head of design Jack Gracie email@example.com
01 Welcome to Issue Four
03 The Newsbox 04 Nostalgic News 05 Notes on News: Closing The Wage Gap - why Hollywood needs to treat its stars fairly 08 The Edge Reacts To... The Final Star Wars Trailer
20 Review: Black Mass 21 On Set With: The Holly Kane Experiment 22 Director in Focus: J.J. Abrams 23 Blu-Ray Review: Ant-Man 23 Blu-Ray Review: Inside Out
25 Flashback Review: The Clone Wars (2008) 26 Flashback Review: The Clone Wars (2003) 27 What You Need To Know About: The X-Files
08 Star Wars - In Defence of the Prequels 09 Best Star Wars Moments 11 Best and Worst Star Wars Games 12 The Great Star Wars Comics That Are Soon To Be Forgotten 13 The Best Of: John Williams 15 The Edge’s Alternative Christmas Playlist
28 The Edge Introduces: The Costellos 29 Review: Ella Eyre @ 02 Guildhall 30 Review: Kid Ink @ 02 Guildhall 31 Preview: Zedd @ O2 Forum, Kentish town 31 Preview: The Vaccines @ 02 Academy, Brixton 32 Venue in Focus: 02 Guildhall
17 Review: Kate Boy - ONE 18 Review: Kelela - ‘Rewind’ 18 Review: Purity Ring - ‘Begin Again’ 18 Review: Yo La Tengo - ‘My Heart’s Not In It’ 19 Music Video Review: Kendrick Lamar - ‘These Walls’
Head of external relations Georgia Simpson firstname.lastname@example.org Head of publicity Helen Archer email@example.com Head of events Annabelle Asker firstname.lastname@example.org online manager Jack Lewin email@example.com
editor in chief Kerry Sclater firstname.lastname@example.org
TOP TOP FIVE FIVE NEWS NEWS STORIES STORIES 1
Star Trek is set return Annie to television in 2017, Beginning 9thtoMarch, Mac will take including newofcharacters unrelated the over the slot Monday to Thursdayto from current film7pm reboots. the hours to 9pm on Radio 1, replacing Chris Rock is set host next year’s Academy The Theory of to Everything’s Felicity Jones Awards. It Pi’s Irrfan has also been that and Life of Khan announced are confirmed to Ricky at the 2016’s star in Gervais Inferno,will thebe latest filmhelm to beofadapted Golden Globes. from Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series.
Phil Collins is making returnhis to music after Ewan McGregor will a make directorial his apparent retirement in 2011, planning a debut with the upcoming film, American new album and possible tour.
Philip Pullman’s His Dark as Materials seriesact is Rae Morris is confirmed the support set be Odell madewhen into aheBBC series for to Tom tourstelevision this Summer. - eight years after 2007’s badly recieved adaptation, The Golden Compass.
The behind Amy are set a Game to make aof Suefilmmakers Perkins is to host Thronecast, documentary about Oasis inair 2015, Thrones spin-off which will livewith afterboth each Gallagher brothers contributing. episode of the HBO series.
THE EDGE’S ENTERTAINMENT PICKS Editor:
Rebecca @ The Mayflower Theatre (3011/15 to 05/02/16)
Records Editor: Cage The Elephant, Tell Me I’m Pretty (18/12/15)
Film Editor: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J Abrams (17/12/15)
Culture Editor: Just Cause 3, Avalanche Studios (1/12/15)
Live Editor: The Kooks @ Southampton Guildhall (15/12/15)
THE KEATS OF TWEETS
The past few months have seen a resurgence in Potter-headed madness. Not only has Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them started filming, but J.K Rowling also revealed details of her new play, Harry Potter and The ling ow _R K J @ Cursed Child which will u know it yo run at The Palace Theatre, ow n So : t a prequel London from 7th June really isn’ e th & ter Harry Pot d starts 2016. edChil #Curs @ ter! Go to #19yearsla for more N D yL la HPP n. informatio
Got a celeb to nominate for next issue? Let us know:
@theedgesusu THE THE EDGE EDGE IS IS EAGER EAGER FOR... FOR... Sherlock: The long-awaited festive special, entitled ‘The Blur’s new album. Late last month, Blur unveiled a Abominable Bride’, is set to air on BBC One on New new track entitled ‘Go Out’, the lead single from their Years Day and will see Benedict Cumberbatch and upcoming album, The Magic Whip, due to be released Martin Freeman take a break from their contemporary this April, their first release in 12 years. roles, as they step into more traditional Victorian garb for this one-off episode. Doctor Who: An essential, sometimes problematic The new Alien film, whichifhas been recently been confestive watch, the sci-fi show will be getting festive firmed. District 9’s Neill Blomkamp is to direct the new in it’s from own way, it pairs up Peter twelfthScott film 20thasCentury Fox, as Capaldi’s well as Ridley Doctor withasAlex Kingston’s fiery companion, River confirmed the producer. Song. Downton Get Park. your tissues at theannounced ready. Julianthat This year’sAbbey: T in the It has been Fellowes’ phenomenon coming to an endare to Kasabian,global The Libertines andis Noel Gallagher this Christmas. Set in 1926, the special will TheJessie headline, with other names like Sam Smithsee and Crawley household celebrating Christmas and New J set to appear. Years Eve for the final time.
Another round up of things that happened this month in years gone by.
Edward Scissorhands was released 25 years ago Lisa Veiber Tim Burton’s gothic fantasy, Edward Scissorhands was released 25 years ago, on 7th December 1990. The movie acts as the first milestone in the ongoing collaborations between Burton and actor Johnny Depp, as well as the director’s fourth film with composer, Danny Elfman. The weird ambience within the movie is undoubtedly the cause of its resonating success, as it tells the story of a man with razors for hands, who is taken in by a kindly family living in the middle-class suburbs of America. Upon release, the movie (which also starred Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest and Anthony Michael Hall) was declared a commercial success, earning a total of $86.02 million at the worldwide box office. The film also received critical acclaim, due in part to the heart-melting chemistry between Depp and Ryder.
Heat was released 20 years ago Sophie McEvoy The heart-pumping thrill ride, Heat, was released 25 years ago, on 15th December 1995. A definitive classic, the film put Hollywood legends Al Pacino and Robert De Niro head to head, as a veteran detective and a professional thief in war with one another. Written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, the film is based on a famous police case in 1964. One of the real-life heists was closely recreated in the film, alongside a number of other scenes such as the iconic moment in which Pacino and De Niro’s characters meet for coffee. The combination of De Niro and Pacino’s performances, the atmospheric soundtrack and Mann’s refusal to work on a soundstage (the film was shot solely on location) makes for an unforgettable cinematic masterpiece that still captivates audiences 20 years later.
Eminem released ‘Stan’ 15 years ago Rhys Jackson Eminem’s notorious song ‘Stan’, featuring Dido was released in the UK 15 years ago, on 14th December 2000. The track, which is widely considered as one of Eminem’s signature raps of the nineties, follows the fictitious character ‘Stan’ and his obsession with Slim Shady (the rapper’s alter-ego). Highlighting the zealousness of extreme fans, the track’s dark bassline matches the lyrics, which paint the story of how Stan drives himself, his girlfriend and his unborn child into the sea. The song received critical acclaim and has sold over 750,000 copies in the UK, where it reached number one upon release. Appearing on Rolling Stone’s prestigious ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ list, it also helped springboard Dido’s career, by sampling her song ‘Thank You.’
CBBC’s Raven first aired 13 years ago Ashleigh Millman “Are you ready? Then let the challenge... begin!” 13 years ago, one of the best children’s game shows ever made was brought forth onto television. With mystical special effects, a strange Scottish man covered in feathers, and a lot of golden rings to be found through weird and wonderful challenges, CBBC’s Raven was the pinnacle of interactive fantasy gaming. The show first aired on 16th December 2002, and ran for ten series. Starring James McKenzie as the eponymous host, the show also won multiple BAFTA awards for its innovative and imaginative gameplay. The premise of the game was to collect as many golden rings as possible, whilst losing as few lives - with teams of six adolescents competing against each other to gain the title of ‘The Ultimate Warrior.’
for all the latest entertainment news theedgesusu.co.uk/news THE EDGE
Notes On News
Closing The Wage Gap - Why Hollywood needs to treat its stars fairly Georgia Simpson
In October, Jennifer Lawrence wrote an impassioned article on the ongoing wage-gap debate in Hollywood on Lena Dunham’s website, Lenny. The article marked the first time that the young actress had spoken out about the wage debate following last year’s revelations from the Sony email hack, which proved that she earned considerably less than her male co-stars in American Hustle. Despite her major presence as a bankable and well liked star, as well as her established talent as one of the youngest Academy Award winners, Lawrence only got a 7% share in the film’s $27 million profits. In her article, Lawrence wrote: “when the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early. I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need.” Though Lawrence is the highest-paid female actor of 2015, this statement suggests that she still does not have the power or influence to gain pay equality amongst her male castmates as she is expected to act timidly and agreeably. If she did not, she claims she would otherwise be branded as “difficult” or “spoilt” - much like Angelina Jolie was in the leaked emails regarding her own pay negotiations. This outlook on actresses is especially shocking and unjust when you consider that were these comments made by male actors, they would likely be considered headstrong. Sexism in the entertainment industry has been riotous of late, causing women to lose their jobs due to inexcusable pay which forces them to walk away from interesting projects. Sienna Miller recently spoke to E! news about how she walked away from a West End play that she was extremely passionate about because she was offered less than half of what the male star recieved. Even the most highly regarded female stars have experienced sexism. At the press conference for her most recent film, Suffragette, Meryl Streep expressed her belief that the misogynistic attitude in the industry stems from so-called ‘industry experts’ who affirm that 05
women’s films “don’t sell” - therefore adding to the futile amount of female filmmakers. There is also an inherent problem in the fact that male actors get paid astonishingly more than women. For example, though Lawrence is the highest paid actress of this year (earning $52 million), her highest paid male counterpart, Robert Downey Jr, earned $82 million that’s a whopping $30 million difference. Surely, in light of this, male actors should campaign for their female co-stars to recieve equal reward - like Bradley Cooper, who has begun to team up with female co-stars to negotiate salaries before any film he is working on goes into production. If all male actors did this and took a stand, there would no doubt be some resemblance of equality amongst the sexes in terms of pay. It is clear to us - the everyday people who marvel at the ridiculous amounts that stars earn - that women in the entertainment industry are paid significantly less than men - to the point where it could be considered offensive. But in my view, the only way to overcome this is to enforce equality for all, starting with fair pay regardless of someone’s gender.
THE EDGE REACTS TO...
THE FINAL STAR WARS TRAILER In a brand new feature, our writers offer their reactions to some OF THE biggest news events in the entertainment world. In this issue, they offer their thoughts on the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“Finally hearing the voices and becoming certain that this film’s main character is Rey was awesome. I’m already in love with Daisy Ridley. However, this would be a teaser trailer for anything else. Frustrating!”
George Seabrook, writer.
“The most anticipated movie of all time with one of the best trailers of all time. It showed us what we wanted to see; glimpses of story, excellent visuals, beloved characters returning, the further development of some intriguing new characters… 17th December will be the day that Star Wars will finally conquer the world once again!”
David Mitchell-Baker, writer.
“I had literal goosebumps. In proportions of the original new main trio, I’m a little and Finn already suggests women that young girls
only a few minutes, they somehow managed to capture the epic trilogy. Already, even though we’ve only seen glimpses of the bit in love with them. That little look of solidarity between Poe a new bromance to me! There also looks to be a lot of kickass can look up to. Needless to say- I can not wait for this film!”
Rehana Nurmahi, writer.
“A universe decaying faster than Harrison Ford’s career appears to have been saved. From this final look, JJ Abrams seems to have found the perfect balance between large scale action scenes and understated moments of reflection.”
James Chadwick, writer. “The Star Wars universe is about as stunning and awe-inspiring with modern visuals as we had ever hoped it to be, and more. It’s going to be a visual spectacle and something beautiful to ogle, and the fight seems more real. The Empire seems less all-powerful or untouchable, and it’s definitely going to feel a lot more personal and intense. I’m still somewhat guarded as to whether these new characters will win me over or not, though.”
Alex Rachwal, writer.
“It was nostalgic. With the sounds of TIE fighters and the Millennium Falcon and glimpses of old characters as well as the excitement of new ones!”
Jenny Simpson, writer. “It all looks so amazing. Rey and Finn are already pulling at my heartstrings. The sight of Han and Leia makes me want to weep. And Kylo Ren looks such a badass. The excitement is almost too much.”
Anneka Honeyball, News Editor.
“It’s finally okay to be excited about Star Wars again!”
Ben Robins, Film Editor.
THE VERDICT: The force is strong with this one. Excited we are. But wait just a little bit longer, we must.
In Defence of the Star Wars Prequels Written By Rehana Nurmahi
With the theatrical release of The Force Awakens on the horizon, many fans of the franchise have been declaring that this will be it: the redemption for the series. But does the series really need that much redemption? Surely, the prequels were not as awful as everyone makes out. Well, at least not awful enough to ignore them completely? There’s plenty to love, or to at least appreciate, about Episodes 1-3 of Star Wars; elements that I think can be enjoyed by fans young and old.
When they set about making the prequels in the 90s, already they had a better starting point than when filming the originals; purely because there was more technology on offer. And boy, did they do that! The sequences involving the Force are immediately made (somewhat) more realistic, just because the technological advances allow for it to be. This, paired with the awesome choreography in the lightsaber scenes (Darth Maul versus Qui-Gon Jinn, anyone?) makes for some exciting, edge of your seat moments. One of my favourite scenes from any of the Star Wars movies is the Pod Race from The Phantom Menace, and that is just one scene which shows the advantages that special effects provide. Also- it’s just a really fun scene to watch…
Yes, yes, I know; the origin story of one of our favourite villains was extremely disappointing. However, the prequels add context to the original trilogy in a way that makes them more interesting for the audience, because we have a better understanding of these characters and their world. Getting to see Yoda and Obi-Wan before their story starts in A New Hope is pretty damn cool; even if just because Ewan McGregor is fab. It allows us to empathise with those characters even more when re-watching the originals, and also means that they are given the opportunities for more action sequences which they weren’t really offered before, because you know… they were old. The prequels also explain to us more about the logistics of The Force and what it means to be a Jedi, drawing us in further into the Star Wars Universe.
Lightsaber fights have always been awesome, so when a double edged lightsaber, and a character who can wield four lightsabers at once were introduced – the level of cool went up. In telling new stories for the prequels, we also get the introduction of more awesome kickass characters: Mace Windu, Padme Amidala and Count Dooku are just some examples. The casting of these characters is wonderful too, and it was pretty awesome to see household names take on a completely different genre. I remember that as a little girl, Padme was a hero to me; and even now, I think that Natalie Portman’s depiction of that character is a great role model for young girls. As I said earlier, I fully acknowledge that the Star Wars prequels are not the best films in the world. Jar Jar Binks, Hayden Christensen’s acting: the list of bad points about them can go on for a while… However, at the end of the day, it’s still Star Wars. It still captures the essence of what the series is and builds on that. Ultimately, there’s got to be a reason that when we talk about marathoning Star Wars, we include all six and not just the originals. And in the end, if you still hate them, just remember the fact that we got a hilarious and awesome Weird Al song because of them!
Our Favourite Star Wars Moments Gearing yourself up for The Force Awakens? If you want to save yourself a six film marathon, or just want the best of the best, here are what The Edge deemed the best Star Wars moments ever.
Darth Maul Battle
Out of about two good bits from The Phantom Menace, it’s the three way lightsaber battle between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul that gets the most attention. There is a reason for this, that being that it’s probably the best action sequence in the whole saga. Maybe not in terms of narrative repercussions or drama, but just in terms of its intrinsic quality as a fight scene. Dizzying choreography and inventive staging make this the first time we ever saw a lightsaber battle with Jedis in their prime. Up until then, every duel had been performed by either an old man, a trainee, or an asthmatic in a cumbersome suit. As a result, this was something that we hadn’t seen before at the time, and there’s no one better to bring that new-found sense of kineticism and movement to a fight than Ray Park. John Williams, arguably the only person to not drop the ball throughout the prequel trilogy, is also as dependable as ever, giving us one of the greatest fight scores to accompany the battle, lending the whole thing a highly operatic tone. Harrison Abbott.
Han Solo Meets Greedo
This scene from Episode IV: A New Hope is iconic for a number of reasons. Chiefly, it’s the first scene in which we meet Harrison Ford’s dashing anti-hero, Han Solo – a character who fast became a fan favourite and elevated Ford to a level of worldwide recognition. In our first encounter with Solo, we witness his less-thanfavourable dealings with the Rodian bounty hunter, Greedo. In a Western-like standoff, we see the two sat at a table in the Mos Eisley cantina as they discuss Solo’s financial misgivings with Jabba the Hutt. When Solo claims that he hasn’t yet got Jabba’s money, Greedo gleefully prepares to shoot him. However, with that classic swagger, Solo beats Greedo to the punch and kills him point blank. There has been some controversy among fans over who actually shot first, as the original 1977 version differs to the 1997 DVD edition. In the original, Han shoots first, but after George Lucas expressed a dislike for the scene’s portrayal of Solo as a “coldblooded killer,” the scene was later adapted to look as though Greedo shot first and missed – leaving Solo to shoot in retaliation. Either way, it’s a great introductory scene for one of the franchise’s most beloved characters. Anneka Honeyball.
Obi Wan Kenobi’s Last Stand
Arguably the most memorable (and certainly one of the most spoofed) moments in all of the Star Wars lore comes from the very first film, the 1977 game-changer A New Hope. Although up to this point he has been steeped in mystery, ancient Jedi master Obi Wan ‘Ben’ Kenobi faces off with the diabolical Sith lord Darth Vader in one of the first proper displays of lightsaber battling that the franchise (or even the world at this point) had ever seen. Fencing Kenobi into a corner, Vader figures he has the upper hand, despite warnings that striking Obi Wan down will simply result in him becoming “more powerful than you can possibly imagine”. Ignoring this, Vader takes the hollow victory upon Kenobi’s surrender, supposedly killing him, yet with no corpse to show for it. Thus, the climactic battle of the film appears to end tragically, although it is soon revealed that Obi Wan’s sacrifice was part of a much bigger plan, and that Luke’s journey is simply just beginning, kicking off one of the most epic quests in blockbuster history. Ben Robins.
Han & Leia Being Cute
Amongst all the funny, eventually repetitive Ewok moments of the Battle of Endor, is one perfect little beat between Leia and Han. Throughout Empire Strikes Back they were a screwball-esque duo, arguing when they wanted to be flirting. But in Return of the Jedi, with their love confessed they were a moderately secure couple, and Leia was a huge part of that. But let’s not forget - she was also a complete badass. So, when stormtroopers confront Han and an injured Leia at the entry to the Empire’s Satellite base, what happens? Leia signals Han with her pistol. He tells her, “I love you” with all the besotted charm he can muster, and she cooly throws his own line back at him: “I know”. Popping out from behind Han she shoots the troopers, and continues to be awesome. Where Han sacrificed himself delivering that line, Leia saves them both. George Seabrook.
Rancor Pit Fight
The most memorable scene for me, out of the whole franchise, is definitely the pit fight from Return of the Jedi. There’s surprise and shock as Jabba throws innocent victims to his secret pet; the scene is built upon tension as the pit is revealed, and then the slow rise of a rusted, battle-worn gate – to unleash a behemoth: a horrifying combination of dinosaurlike features, freakishly sharp teeth and claws, and a whole load of dribble. The complete helplessness of the situation and Luke’s death-defying feat in besting
the beast always left me full of adrenaline and wonder – I always felt it was one of the best examples of the cross-over between fear and fun that the saga created. With a bit of horror, a lot of thriller and some drama and comedy sprinkled throughout, the rancor pit scene – though short – is always the bit I look forward to. Ashleigh Millman.
The Battle of Hoth
Though Empire Strikes Back is full of epic moments, the one that takes the crown has to be the opening battle on Hoth. As well as introducing one of the series’ many iconic machines, the AT-AT (robot camels), and being immensely enjoyable to watch, the scene establishes the main thrust of the film – that despite defeat in A New Hope, the Empire remains an unfathomably powerful force. Our heroes cannot resist the Empire’s advance: Luke takes to the skies, only to be shot down and struggle back to safety, while Han, Leia, and Chewbacca barely even fight at all. Empire marks the lowest point for all of the heroes – their victories are just attempts to soften the otherwise crushing defeats dealt to them by the Empire. Han is frozen, and Luke is beaten and crippled by Darth Vader. The battle of Hoth, with its sense of desperation and of dancing ever on the cusp of complete failure, is the perfect opening to a perfect film. Matt Clarson.
“No, I am your father.”
Before cinema had the Keyser Soze reveal in The Usual Suspects, or Bruce Willis at the end of The Sixth Sense, it had the grandfather of all plot twists: “No, I am your father”. Perpetually ingrained into popular culture (although commonly misquoted as “Luke, I am your father”), this game changing reveal that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father provides an iconic ending to what is often described as the best Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back. Young adults who grew up watching Star Wars might be hard pressed to remember a time when they didn’t know Vader was Luke’s dad, but there’s no denying that the tension in the scene is palpable, as well as Luke’s anguish. It’s common belief that it wasn’t originally the plan to – when making A New Hope, it’s very likely that George Lucas did in fact intend for Anakin and Vader to be completely different people. So it’s lucky that it all worked out as well as it did. Either way, it is up there with the greatest plot twists in cinema history, and has been referenced countless times, from Toy Story 2 to Austin Powers. Jack Dillon.
The Best and Worst Best: Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Jedi Academy is a great game, arguably one of the best in the franchise. You play as the fully customisable Jaden Korr, a new student under the tutelage of Kyle Katarn, and have to attempt not to kill your fellow student Rosh Penin out of sheer irritation. Cackle manically as you fry Stormtroopers with force lightning and throw Dark Jedi off buildings with force push. Despite some flaws, Jedi Academy is thoroughly entertaining, action-packed and lets you choose your own destiny – light or dark? Sarah Corrigan.
Best: Star Wars Battlefront II
There’s only one thing that’s more fun than watching the explosive battle on Hoth, the fight for victory on Endor, or the explosive space combat above Coruscant, and that’s actually getting to participate in those extraordinary events. The very popular sequel to Star Wars Battlefront takes all the elements that made the first one so good, such as getting to play as a Stormtrooper, or the ability to use the iconic vehicles from the Star Wars films, and adds in fantastic new aspects, including space combat, the ability to control iconic heroes from the franchise, and everybody’s favourite: Assault Mode on Mos Eisley. Thomas Davies.
Best: Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
The only games I feel qualified to talk about with any degree of authority are the Lego franchise games, having played every installment released. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga remains one of the best in the franchise, featuring all six episodes in the series. What makes it such a fantastic game, is the charm of being able to play as any character in the Star Wars world, in any episode of the series. The Lego-ified characters and levels allow you to experience the world as a player, and bring to life the fun of the original trilogy throughout the whole series. Rebecca James.
Best: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Star Wars Games Unleashed was the best Star Wars game in years. You play as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, between episodes III and IV, hunting down the remaining Jedi so that you can grow powerful enough to help Vader betray the emperor. The force had never been utilised before like it was in this game, with the character of Starkiller being able to pull tie fighters out of the air and drag storm troopers along the floor. The gameplay could get repetitive, but the variety of locations, as well as a great story with many familiar faces, made this a great addition to the Star Wars franchise. Conor Kavanagh.
Worst: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
The existence of The Force Unleashed II is irritating simply because it undermines some of the best parts of its predecessor’s narrative. Bringing Starkiller back as a clone is an interesting concept, but with a ludicrously brief campaign, the game has little time to truly explore it, and offers almost no replay-value. Elsewhere, the game simply re-skins familiar enemy types from the first game. This, combined with fewer memorable boss-battles, only serves to make this sequel more of a disappointment. Aside from some breathtaking graphics and truly cinematic cut-scenes, The Force Unleashed II just felt like a lazy DLC addition to the original game. Chris Evans.
Worst: Kinect: Star Wars
In all likelihood, the only reason that anybody forked out the obscene asking price for the fundamentally broken kinect motion sensor, was Kinect: Star Wars. No other licensed property lent itself so well to the new system, as the opportunity for dynamic lightsaber duels, high-speed pod races and blistering shoot-outs was too enticing for even the most cynical of gamers. Alas, what we got instead, was the video-game equivalent of The Phantom Menace. Failing on just about every conceivable level,
this was an unresponsive chore to play through, sucking all of the potential fun out of a motion controlled Star Wars tie in. And then there was the dancing mini-game. Yes. That actually happened. You weren’t just having a bad dream. Harrison Abbott.
The Great Star Wars Comics that are Soon to be Forgotten Written By Chris Evans Star Wars is prized by many of its fans because of its visually rich storytelling, so it seems like a no-brainer that this galaxy far far away would translate incredibly well onto the pages of comics. Dark Horse have contributed numerous memorable characters and adventures to the Star Wars lore, during their stint as the sole publishers of Star Wars comics from 1991, up until Disney’s acquisition of the franchise. To allow their writers complete creative freedom with their new sequels, Disney have sent the entire expanded universe canon down the Sarlaac pit, never to return. It seems fitting then, to revisit some of the best Dark Horse comics, before they’re forgotten in the wake of Episode VII.
Shortly after acquiring their licence to the Star Wars universe, Dark Horse launched an ambitious series of comics to pick up the story of Luke and co. post Return of The Jedi. The Dark Empire trilogy is a worthy successor to the original films in terms of its scope, and we get to see what would have happened if Luke had succumbed to the dark side. It’s pretty disturbing at times; the Emperor, who has resurrected himself as a clone, threatens to use his powers to possess Leia and Han’s unborn child. If Lucas had ever needed to roll out a mature rated Star Wars film, Dark Empire would be the source material he’d be reaching for.
Alan Dean Foster, the story sees Luke and Leia investigate the swamp world of Mimbaan, searching for a crystal that can harness and focus the user’s force powers. Foster’s novelisation was released as the first official Star Wars tie-in, giving birth to the expanded universe in the process. Drawing on Foster’s descriptions and Ralph MacQuarrie’s original cover art, Dark Horse’s four-part comic adaptation vividly brings the story to life, giving us a glimpse of how a very different sequel to Star Wars could have looked on-screen.
Star Wars: Purge
Part of the reason Darth Vader is so terrifying is down to the knowledge imparted by Obi-Wan, that the Sith Lord mercilessly hunted down and killed the last of the Jedi. At the end of Episode III, Lucas undid this mythos somewhat, by showing that the clone troopers seemingly did most of the work, whilst Anakin merely chopped down some younglings. Purge seeks to correct Vader’s legacy, by depicting his obsessive quest to hunt down the cunning survivors of Order 66. Picking up just where Episode III left off, these comics are full of betrayal and desperate confrontations and do a lot to restore Vader’s badass status.
Star Wars: Darth Maul
This origin story of sorts, gives us a closer look at the mysterious Sith Lord, as Darth Sidious tests him with his first mission. It’s a relentlessly paced plot, with Maul infiltrating and taking down an intergalactic crime syndicate from the inside. For anyone that felt Maul’s appearance in The Phantom Menace was all to fleeting, this is a must read.
Splinter of The Mind’s Eye
Right from the start, George Lucas had grand plans to spin Star Wars out into a saga, whether we liked it or not. Thrifty, Lucas had already lined up a low budget sequel called Splinter of The Mind’s Eye, in case his first film met with a mediocre reception. Penned by
Released in 2008, Star Wars: The Force 11
THE BEST OF:
John Williams Known for his mesmerising theme for Star Wars and with the release of Episode VII - The Force Awakens getting closer to our cinema screens, we took the time to look over the best of John Williams’ work in film music.
Star Wars Arguably the most famous of the lot, John Williams’ now infinitely iconic main title theme for George Lucas’s 1977 smash-hit space opera is up there with quite possibly the most hummable tunes of all time. He may have followed it with the equally definitive ‘Imperial March’ for the film’s first sequel, and some years later the explosively epic ‘Duel of the Fates’ - but it’s that loud, triumphant fanfare that plays over the classic scrolling text that really stands as quite possibly the most recognisable and celebrated ear-worm of Williams’ entire career. BEN ROBINS
Indiana Jones Adventure, mystery, history, romance… Indiana Jones has it all; as does its score. The main theme, ‘The Raider’s March’, is an iconic piece, and it has good reason to be- the build-up throughout the piece feels like it is preparing you to go on a quest much like Indy. The main motif played by the brass section is punchy and exciting, immediately pulling in the audience of the film. Other memorable pieces in the series include Slave Children’s Crusade and Marion’s Theme. In these two completely contrasting pieces, Williams matches the tone of the scenes which they accompany perfectly and effortlessly- showing his masterful composition. REHANA NURMAHI
Jurassic Park John Williams is one of the few composers who can create several memorable pieces for each film that he works on. With Jurassic Park (1993) he managed to do exactly that, with both the main theme, and what is commonly known as ‘The Island Fanfare’ standing out as particularly impactful. The latter has a boisterous and adventurous feel to it, whilst the former taps into the Speilbergian sense of awe that runs throughout the film. Making use of a large orchestra, providing rich, full pieces, Williams is able to conjure up the purest expression of childlike wonder and glee, with a theme that holds up as one of the all time best. HARRISON ABBOTT
The Lost World It is universally agreed upon that The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) is a fairly substantial step-down from the first film. However both Steven Spielberg and John Williams himself, prefer the score for the much derided sequel. Taking on a darker, much more primal sound, Williams’ work for the film avoids the typical sequel pitfall of rehashing old themes and motifs, and instead goes in its own direction. Relying much more heavily on percussion and horns, as well as animistic sounds created through a synthesizer, the first film’s awe is traded in for something that sounds like it conversely belongs in a horror film. HARRISON ABBOTT
Jaws With one of those most instantly recognisable soundtracks of all time, Jaws has to be John Williams’ most famous original score to date. The deep, dark and disturbing strings have incited intimidation and pure, icy fear into even the hardest of characters; with only simple repetition of two notes at the heart of the piece - earning Williams an Academy Award for his intelligent recreation of malice through music. Who would have thought the tuba could be so frightening? ASHLEIGH MILLMAN
The Edge’s Alternative Christmas Mixtape Want to avoid the Bublé this year? Tired of all that ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’? Us too. So, here are some of our favourite tracks; handpicked to make a decidedly less-than-average ode to the festive season.
The Night Santa Went Crazy – Weird Al Yankovic
Nothing says ‘alternative’ quite like a chirpy Christmas sing-along about good ol’ Saint Nick brutally murdering his entire yuletide workforce. Lord of all parodies “Weird” Al Yankovic released this festive gem as a surprise original alongside the likes of ‘Amish Paradise’ on his 1996 album Bad Hair Day, but over the years it’s seemed to sadly fade into obscurity alongside some of the singer’s less popular tracks. Why this is, we’ll never know: the track features some of Yankovic’s greatest lyrics to date, playing off a Santa-lead massacre as if it were the centre-point to a Commando-esque action movie, crossed with a classic 80s slasher. It’s bizarre and incredibly dark, but also sensationally funny, and all in the silliest way possible. Who knew that reindeers taste like chicken? Well, that is the “Weird” Al way after all. Ben Robins.
Marley & Marley - The Muppets
A song with the lyrics, “We took advantage of the poor, and just ignored the needy. We specialised in causing pain” hardly seems like a song to put you in the festive mood, but for me ‘Marley and Marley’ from The Muppets Christmas Carol is one of my favourite Christmas songs. An intensely catchy song, hearing it just makes me think of the season, and when The Muppets Christmas Carol is on my TV I know that Christmas is imminent! An unconventional choice for a Christmas playlist, but it has some cracking lyrics and reminds you not to be a Scrooge - regardless of how the commercialisation of Christmas might get you down! Rebecca James.
A Christmas Duel – The Hives & Cyndi Lauper
A genuine Christmas anthem should encompass all facades of the wintery period. There’s a sub-par tree in the middle of your house and there’s family members, aided by the concoction of mulled wine and overexposure to each other, airing their grievances over cheap mince pies. Squabbling over a piano before uniting over a jingle bell rock, Lauper and Pelle Almqvist own up to laziness, promiscuity, and some mild cases of arson and hiring hitmen. Best of all? Over a sprinkling foundation of festive frivolity, they agree to have a jolly good time regardless. ‘A Christmas Duel’ recognises the true chaos and beauty of late December in a way that no other song apparently can. Xavier Voigt-Hill.
Christmas Unicorn - Sufjan Stevens
Sufjan Stevens’ 12 and a half minute epic of audible joy evokes the same feeling of homeliness as a favourite Christmas movie, or a time honoured tradition. The vision of an actual Christmas Unicorn, a holiday mascot for the modern generation, gives you an clue of what to expect from the rest of the song. That is; to expect literally anything. Stevens proceeds to send you on a journey, taking the song through a wild range styles ranging from his trademark cutesy folky acoustic guitar accompaniment to a sprawling, synth heavy homage to Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. Ultimately, in a holiday that can get quite overwhelming at times, Sufjan allows us to let everything out with lyrics you can chant along to and drums you can air-drum away at. Joe Barr.
AMY WOOTTEN ‘Rewind’ hails from subtle techno beginnings, with a delicate reverberation that lightens the EP. Kelela’s unhurried vocals permeate through the electronic work, showcasing a sugary tone with a growing pace. A slow and steady percussive tempo controls ‘Rewind’ and keeps it on track, as the lyrics note that she can’t rewind. Kelela keeps it simple with a repetitive refrain, which makes for a clean track. Her music draws a warming comparison to FKA twigs, but her more melodic take removes the disjointed postmodern vibe associated with twigs, making ‘Rewind’ more accessible. Perhaps one of the safer tracks on the EP, ‘Rewind’ still glitters with the enticing tone found throughout Hallucinogen, with its repetitive chorus and plunging synth work becoming infectiously catchy.
KATE BOY O n e
KATE BOY’s highly-anticipated debut album, and is an electronic feast, fuelled by punchy, if slightly repetitive, beats and strong, confident vocals, that make for an intense listening experience. Opening with ‘Midnight Sun’, One effectively introduces KATE BOY’s electro-pop, energetic and jumpy vibes. Although one of the weaker tracks on the album, the song is efficient in condensing the essence of the Stockholm-based trio. A gentler beat on the album then begins to erupt with ‘Northern Lights’, a vocally-moody track that follows a more unpredictable route, with less of a formulaic structure that can be found in later songs. One of the highlights of the album, ‘Northern Lights’ is simultaneously robust whilst engaging with stripped-back moments.
‘Lion For Real’ follows, layering its beats on top of each other to transform into quite an epic and enthralling track. Blending a confident, catchy sound with sci-fi pulses tickling the background, the song is one that epitomises KATE BOY’s knowledge of their own eclectic identity. ‘Human Engine’ is the peak of the album, with self-assured electronic beats and waves of Kate Akhurst’s rooted vocals. Later on the album, ‘The Way We Are’ is another track proving the band’s credibility, ending with an intense, dance audible experience, with Akhurst’s vocals adopting a desperate tone, peeling away at her endless vocal ability. These tracks in particular showcase what thematically threads the album’s tracks together - a look into personal evolution and progressiveness, whilst simultaneously reflecting on one’s past. The album negotiates ideas around pushing boundaries and synchronously does it itself in its own musical palette. 17
‘Rewind’ is out now via Warp Records.
‘Higher’ and ‘Self Control’ are the songs that particularly demonstrate Akhurst’s talents. ‘Higher’ effectively utilises Akhurst’s vocal range where it revels in whispers almost turning into growls (evocative of HAIM’s Danielle), along with compellingly authoritative lines. ‘Self Control’ also reveals Akhurst’s incredible abilities, her sound bubbling into roars that idyllically coincide with the track’s electronic synths. As the album does progress, the feeling that the tracks lose their spark as well as seep into becoming one, cannot be shaken. ‘When I Was Young’ and ‘Open Fire’ are amongst the weakest songs, predominantly because they fail to offer anything different, and because of this their fierce electronic vigour becomes just something noisy. Although catchy, they unintentionally sample each other through very similar beats and structure, making it challenging to be captivated as a listener when the first four tracks of the album contained three crackers, setting the bar so high. One is both fun and dark, and plays with these various binaries. It is an impressive, confident debut, and will be one captivating live. When it reaches its high, it reaches a high unbelievably impressive for a debut. But when it reaches its low, it becomes a source of repetition, where weak tracks blend into each other, unaware of exactly where they desire to end up. LEWIS TAPLIN
One is out now via Fiction Records.
PURITY RING ‘BEGIN AGAIN’
BECCA JAMES ‘Begin Again’ is delicately interesting. As the name suggests, the addictive track is gentle enough to listen to on repeat, with a persistent building bassline that hits in just the right places every time. A hypnotising chorus keeps you coming back, a creepily dissonant sound accompanied by the titular hook fitting perfectly. James’ lyrics are simple but poetic, as she admits “I’ve been watching your kindness keep a lonely company.” However, it’s half way through the first verse that suspicions start to arise, and you begin to wonder if the one she sings about is in fact human at all, or rather something she watches “creep” around her “wandering feet.” One of the highlights on Another Eternity, ‘Begin Again’ is full of risky energy and dark undertones that keep the listener on their toes. A standout track from the electronic duo. ‘Begin Again’ is out now via Last Gang Records.
YO LA TENGO ‘HEART’S NOT IN IT’
MILLIE CASSIDY Fresh from celebrating their 30th anniversary, Yo La Tengo released their fourteenth studio album Stuff Like That There. The album features a delightful swooning cover of the 1940s track ‘My Heart’s Not In It’. First written and performed by Darlene McCrea, in Yo la Tengo’s cover the lyrics are softly crooned. Starting with a tradition multi-layered acoustic treatment that carries a synth-y sting in its tail, Georgia Hubley leads the vocals with a high, youthful voice. It’s a beautiful treatment of the track, wonderfully produced with a clean crisp sound that stays true to the swinging easy of the 40s, while still feeling off the cuff. A sufficiently original cover and seemingly effortless despite flawless production and instrumentals, ‘My Heart’s Not In It’ is a joy to hear. ‘Heart’s Not In It’ is out now via Matador Records. THE EDGE
JACK GRACIE Black Mass is a dark, compelling, and surprisingly funny crime thriller. Though it may not be perfect, and indeed lacks a sense of narrative direction, the film absorbs you from start to finish, in no small part thanks to several outstanding performances. Initially, this video hardly seems to showcase Kendrick Lamar as one of the most interesting, poetic, and thoughtful hip-hop artists of the generation. ‘These Walls’ (or ‘Behind The Walls: A Black Comedy’ as the short is titled) is a tale told from the perspective of an inmate recalling the night that landed him in the joint. The camera journeys through a kaleidoscopic collection of seedy motel rooms, tripping over falling drunks, bumping into drug deals gone wrong, and eyeballing dancing models pouring chardonnay; a party imagined by someone whose world knowledge has come through The Wire and Pitbull. This trance like journey is then broken up by an even wilder scene, a seemingly impromptu comedy dance routine from a Joker faced Kendrick and jacked up Terry Crews. So yeah, it’s not the art I might have promised. Without context the short could easily be an exact copy of those it’s parodying; vapid party scenes with comedy moments designed for virality, however it soon becomes clear that it’s satire, not just of the culture, but of this one man. ‘These Walls’ is one of the most personal and raw songs on the album; with lyrics that deserve a second read, it’s a bitter yet artistic look into one of Kendrick’s darkest moments, but instead of wallowing in pain, he makes a mockery of it, parading his victories to the victim.
Kendrick, along with director Colin Tilley, dedicate the entire concept to berating this man that has wronged him, his friends, and their families. He uses his fame to make sure this man is not hated, but ridiculed. While in later songs on the album Kendrick may show regret for his actions, and the extent that he abused his new found fame, here he proves one of his loudest statements on the album, that he’s a hypocrite. Despite his manipulations of those around him, and personal assertions that he will never do so again, it doesn’t prevent him from feeling some pride for his actions. What’s caused this video to be so bright and playful, will no doubt lead to the second being darker and collected. Technically there is nothing wrong with the short. The fluorescent cinematography, flashy set design, and overall style are brilliant, but the comedy, the overall focus of the piece, ranges from fun to pettiness. When it finally breaks down, Kendrick staring down the camera as it listlessly sways back and forth, speaking directly to his target, feels too late for the moral high ground. By cutting a final time to the shots of drink, women, and smiling faces, the song and message lose the strong and cutting ending that they deserved. Overall it’s good, but fails to deliver on the same quality as other work from the album.
The film is a biopic, chronicling the rise of James “Whitey” Bulger as Boston’s foremost criminal kingpin, and the FBI agent, John Connolly, who aided his rise. Bulger and Connolly are played by Johnny Depp and Joel Edgerton, respectively, who head an impressive cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, and Corey Stoll. All of the cast perform well, but it is Depp who takes the crown in a scintillating return to form. Exuding a kind of repulsive charm, he dominates the film with his balding, ghostly character. A long way from his goofy Tim Burton performances of late, Depp shows why he is still one of Hollywood’s foremost character actors here, switching from funny and kind-hearted to frighteningly brutal at the drop of a hat, and never letting up the aura of menace he imbibes Bulger with. As a character study (of both Bulger and Connolly), Black Mass is superb. Both characters are excellently portrayed and excellently written, with Scott Cooper’s direction flitting from scene to scene, character to character, never staying too long to bore, nor too fleetingly to confuse. Instead, we get a broad, full vision of the two main characters and their lives, punctuated by moments of uncomfortable violence
to keep us on our toes, and to make sure the brutality of Bulger is never too far from our thoughts. A character study alone though, does not necessarily make for a good film. While the main characters are fascinating to watch, Cooper’s focus on them leads to the supporting characters being side-lined. This wouldn’t be a problem were it not for the fact that so many of them are played by famous faces. What you end up with is Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, and co. popping up but not really doing anything, and with actors of their stature you really expect them to. You spend the film wondering when they’ll jump into action, instead of being enthralled by Depp’s astonishing performance. Similarly, the focus on Bulger and Connolly ends up detracting from the story, in that the film’s final third seems slightly directionless. Though everything concludes, it doesn’t do so nicely. There’s no tense build up, no euphoric victory for the good guy or thrilling finale for the bad guy. It just comes to a close in a quite abrupt fashion. That being said, Black Mass is still a very, very good film. Its flaws don’t ruin it so much as hold it back from being one of the best of the year. It is a film that you should definitely go and see, so that you can marvel at Johnny Depp’s astounding, award-worthy performance, it just maybe isn’t a film that you would hurry to watch again. MATT CLARSON
Director: Scott Cooper Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Out: 26th November
On Set With:
The Holly Kane Experiment
DIRECTOR in Focus: J.J. ABRAMS Written byAlys Manuel
WRITTEN BY ISAAC MacPHERSON A few weeks ago The Edge was lucky enough to visit the sunny seaside town of Brighton, and spend the day bumbling through the exciting, chaotic sets of upcoming independent psychological thriller The Holly Kane Experiment. Despite the not so sunny weather, and the occasional call to arms to help out onset (during an apartment breach scene, I aided two members of a SWAT squad by jamming their ear pieces into position), the day proved a fascinating exploration of the indie film making process. The Holly Kane Experiment is a film that deals explicitly with the theme of control, and its surprising balance within the relationships that we perceive as “normal.” Following the story of Holly Kane, a young psychologist haunted by a hereditary risk of schizophrenia, the film explores her transgressive experimentation with different forms of mind control. For example, when speaking with the films director Tom Sands, he accounted the exhausting process of constructing one of the films key experimental set pieces: a full size trance inducing floatation tank.
However, Tom made it clear that the film was to not be completely lumped within the psyche-thriller camp: “Although the film really revolves around the state of Holly’s psyche, it’s kind of a love story as well. That’s why I like it! It’s a love story, a psychological thriller, and kind of chase film as it reaches its climax.” What impressed me most about The Holly Kane Experiment though was its ambition as a production. For example, the team’s intended shooting schedule consisted of covering sixty-five locations in the space of three weeks, (an incredibly uncommon undertaking within the budgetary constraints of independent productions). If this wasn’t enough, the team’s adoption of multiple roles was so extensive that I doubt there was a member of the film crew with a single job title. It’s certainly expected that there will be some departmental crossover, but when your director is also co-producing, your assistant director is redirecting traffic, and your writer is catering for the entire crew, you may have gone a tad to far. Nevertheless, on the basis of my expertly shrewd judgment of on-set efficiency, the team appeared on top of schedule, and the on-set atmosphere never seemed to deviate from a stressfully intoxicating sense of excitement. My afternoon visit to the production teams multi purposing “home-base” proved equally as enlightening, as the communal snapshot of a crew living, working and sleeping under the same roof was remarkably refreshing. In my latter discussions with the supporting male lead: James Roads, he praised the lack of defined departmental borders as the encouragement for such an atmosphere. Despite its narrative promise and an interesting thematic direction, what really seemed the most remarkable about The Holly Kane Experiment was the onset mentality. From the communal “home-base”, to the drizzly excitement of outdoor action sequences, a sense enthusiasm was always present. The production was a true example of indie filmmaking in its most ambitious, and I’m excited to see what Sands brings to screen come 2016.
Jeffrey Jacob “J.J.” Abrams was born in June 27, 1966 in New York. Coming from a media industry based background (both his parents were producers), Abrams wished to attend a film school but decided against it in favour of college on the advice of his father who said “it’s more important that you go off and learn what to make movies about than how to make movies.” Abrams made his directorial debut in 2006 with Mission: Impossible III, up until that point he had made a name for himself with popular TV series’ such as 2004’s Lost (which ran until 2010) and since then has become iconic with his work in the genres of action, drama and science fiction. As a director, he has several trademarks such as often including a sub-plot about a box with mysterious contents, or adding a ‘cold opening’ - a suspenseful opening sequence before the opening credits used as a ‘hook’ so the audience are directly introduced into the story (he did this with both M:I III and his 2009 re-boot of Star Trek) and he is very enigmatic when it comes to the plot lines of his projects. Abrams’ recent works, a re-imagining of the massively popular sci-fi series Star Trek and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness have not only given him a positive reputation but have also paved the way for his directing of the first instalment of the new Star Wars sequel trilogy, making him the first director to direct films from both franchises, which have rivalling ‘fandoms’. Initially, Abrams had declined the role of director, however the potential creative freedom he’d have
with the project as well as persuasion from his wife and the fact that the Star Wars franchise is something of an inspiration to Abrams, changed his mind. For all sceptical fans, the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens enhances Abrams’ enigmatic style of filmmaking, yet fails to avoid the video game style of airborne fights that he generally eludes to. The trailer epitomises the work Abrams has placed into the making of this movie, showing promise and will no doubt prove to be an effort worth waiting for for any sci-fi fan worth their salt.
Did you know?
Abrams is one of the co-founders of the production company Bad Robot, which as well as powering his own projects, has also produced every single Mission: Impossible movie since Abram’s own effort. As well as lending a helping hand on Lost, Abrams also created the cult TV show Alias. In 2013, Abrams and author Doug Dorst released a novel entitled S. which required readers to uncover puzzles hidden in secretive messages throughout the book.
The Films You Should Watch:
Either of Abrams’ Star Trek films will certainly prove to be a great warm-up for this December’s latest Star Wars. THE EDGE
FILM Director: Peyton Reed Director: July Jung Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Out: 30th November
Rarely has a film managed to blend fantastic action, spectacular CGI, and light comedy, all within a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Ant-Man tells the story of cat-burglar and disgraced father Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) who is looking for redemption, and once-leading scientist Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) looking to bring down a sinister operation. Paul Rudd gives a very likeable performance throughout the film, with an equally pleasing one from Michael Douglas, and Michael Pena providing some subtle comic relief. Rudd
CALEB HINTON gives the role a genuine feel, and presents Scott Lang to be a very relatable hero, one that is particularly refreshing after seeing countless superhero films with impossibly heroic male leads. The theme of the underdog rising up, in effect the “small guy” winning for a change, is perhaps covered a little too vaguely in this film, one that was perfect for a film about a tiny superhero. While it may not be able to compete with the amount of superhero giants such as The Avengers, Ant-Man has some brilliant tongue in cheek humour aimed at cliché films, particularly with most viewers realising how most superhero films follow the same plot. Ant Man embraces this generic superhero plot, meanwhile poking fun at the genre, resulting in a refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable film, with a teaser ending that will leave fans of the Marvel universe ecstatic about films to come.
Director: PETER DOCTOR Distributor: WALT DISNEY STUDIOS Out: 23RD NOVEMBER
JACK GRACIE Inside Out has given us something that we’ve been sorely missing for a few years now: a Pixar classic. Easily the best Pixar has had to offer since Toy Story 3, Pete Docter’s endlessly creative tale of the emotions inside an 11-year-old girl’s head expertly plays the audience for both laughs and tears.
Out is not just for kids. Probably the darkest of Pixar’s filmography in some respects, Docter explores the depths of the human mind in quite a profound way, one that proves to be deeply affecting. Michael Giacchino’s wonderful, often melancholy, score helps this clever Each actor near-perfectly embodies the writing to hit home even harder. emotion they are portraying, especially the two leads. Amy Poehler of course brings her For the most part though, Inside A-game as Joy, the exuberant de facto leader Out is incredibly uplifting - it’s of the emotions in Riley’s head, while Phyllis hard not to be with such a bright, Smith is both hilarious and heartbreaking gorgeously designed world - and is as Sadness. Smith is quite an inspired bit of at its core a family film. That being casting; having only really had exposure in the said, some of the themes will probably U.S. version of The Office, you wouldn’t expect resonate a lot more with the adults her to turn up in a blockbuster kids’ film. in the family. Either way, Pixar have As with every Pixar film however, Inside proven that they’ve definitely still got it. 23 23
FLASHBACK REVIEWS: Star Wars: Clone Wars (2003) Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) The best thing about the prequel movies was the expansion of the Star Wars universe. In the original trilogy most planets only had one aspect to them: Hoth was the ice planet, Endor was the forest world and Tattoine was the desert one. Additionally, there were not that many locations in the Star Wars universe, and in the context of the original trilogy, a galaxy far far away was actually pretty small. The prequels changed all that and introduced new planets with more depth to them. The Clone Wars in particular explores many great stories set in this expanded universe. The television series was initially aimed at children, but by its third season it had taken on a much darker tone that was more in line with Revenge of the Sith. The animation is great, with the lightsaber duels and large scale battles being some of the best in the franchise. Additionally, the voice acting is brilliant, despite not having any of the cast from the films. The Clone Wars biggest strength however, lies in the stories that it chooses to tell. Questions you have had since the last movie, such as ‘what was Boba Fett doing after Geonosis?’ or ‘Why did Yoda choose Dagobah as his new home?’ are finally answered.Other stories focus on
familiar characters, with the series showing the origins of Grand Moff Tarkin, while on the other side of the spectrum charting Admiral Akbar’s rise to prominence. One of the of the most enjoyable stories centres on the return of Darth Maul and his burning desire to have revenge on Obi-Wan. Despite his robotic limbs, the character is finally done justice and he is much more fleshed out than in his cinematic appearance. The best narrative thread however, follows a clone who discovers that he has a chip in his head that will make him kill Jedi. He reveals this to some of his fellow clones, which leads to them eventually returning in Star Wars Rebels, fighting against the Empire. The Clone Wars tells some excellent and intriguing stories, and perhaps the most rewarding part is that the entire series is canon. Bounty hunter Cad Bane, an original character from The Clone Wars, is rumoured to be a part of 2016’s Rogue One, showing just how seriously Disney value the lore created by the series, making it a must watch for any Star Wars fan. Conor Kavanagh.
After Disney snatched up Lucasfilm three years ago and announced a sequel Star Wars trilogy, fans were generally excited for the saga to have a chance to redeem its legacy, following the disappointment caused by the prequels. A minor tragedy soon revealed itself however, as the vast majority of the expanded universe was erased from the canon and re-branded as Legends. That being said, this does not imply that we can’t still enjoy Genndy Tartakovsky’s excellent Star Wars: Clone Wars for what it is - a wonderfully executed bridging of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Not to be confused with the still-canon 2008 animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars (they took the time and effort to add the word ‘the’, in order to distinguish it from Tartakovsky’s series), this Clone Wars-themed microseries focused on the many battles of the titular war, first mentioned way back in A New Hope. Having originally created Cartoon Network classics Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, Tatakovsky brought his same stylish flair to Clone Wars, and gave us a character-driven set of Star Wars stories that also looked aesthetically amazing, something that George Lucas unfortunately couldn’t quite grasp with his prequel trilogy. Despite only being presented in three minute segments for the first couple of seasons, the characters in Clone Wars still feel rich. The actual design of both the old and new characters is brilliant too, with Palpatine’s
distorted-looking face hinting at his evil nature, and the thrilling introduction of fan favourite Asajj Ventress (the first female Sith) proving to be a memorable image. Action in cartoon - or in any medium really - can end up being rather boring and tedious after a while, but in Clone Wars the array of fight scenes and lightsaber duels never feels dull, although maybe a little repetitive when watching all of the episodes back-to-back. It is mainly the over-the-top style of these scenes that makes them feel so fun, and while this might not necessarily fit in with the tone of the original trilogy, it still certainly feels like Star Wars, just from a different perspective. Clone Wars made the two feature films that preceded it look weak in comparison, but also gave hope for the third movie in the trilogy, with all the characters and plot lines that were being set in place. While Revenge of the Sith was a great improvement on its predecessors, it was still distinctly average, and sadly disregarded a lot of what Clone Wars set up. Most notably, while baddie General Grevious came across as formidable and legitimately scary in the animated series, he really is not given much to do at all in the film, and is reduced to just being a bit of a coughing mess. Thankfully though, we still have Star Wars: Clone Wars to fall back on, a series that cemented itself as one of the best (if not the best) Star Wars television shows. Jack Dillon.
T H E The X-Files is a science fiction horror series that ran from 1994 – 2002. When it originally aired in 1994, it was initially considered to be a cult show; but as it began to gain more popularity throughout its first four seasons, The X-Files became a cultural phenomenon that developed into the longest-running science fiction series in U.S. television history. What’s more? It’s set to return in the New Year. The show revolves around two FBI agents on their investigations into the X-Files: cases that are marginalised and deemed unsolved by the FBI, usually involving paranormal phenomena. One is a believer in the existence of aliens and the paranormal, whilst the other is a skeptic and was assigned to the X-Files to debunk his work using her scientific expertise. Both agents become pieces in a government conspiracy and start to only trust each other. They begin to develop a close relationship, which is platonic at the beginning but became a romance by the end - which led to very engrossed fans who ultimately coined the term ‘shipping’ used in fandom to this very day.
Sculder & Mully?
Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is preoccupied with the mysterious disappearance of his sister Samantha. He embarks on an all-consuming search for her, which leads to his belief in extra-terrestrial life and a conspiracy to hide or deny the truth of their existence. After joining the FBI, Mulder re-opens the so-called ‘X-Files’, and becomes obsessed with them. He comes to be a hindrance to his superiors and a joke to his peers, resulting in the nickname of ‘Spooky Mulder’. Meanwhile, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) was recruited by the FBI whilst in medical school at Stanford University. She accepted the bureau’s offer as she believed that she could distinguish herself there as a Special Agent. Two years after joining the FBI, she is partnered with Mulder, in which she is tasked with applying scientific reasoning to his out-of-this-world theories. She maintains her skills as a forensic pathologist and medical doctor by consulting autopsies on the X-Files cases. Obviously, there are a plethora of characters including mysterious villain The Cigarette Smoking Man, begruding ally FBI Assistant Director Skinner and John Doggett that are rooted deep within the X-Files fandom. Some of which – The Lone Gunmen – even have their own spin-off show.
Wait…so there’s a new season? When?!
You newfound fans don’t have long to wait; the first episode of Season 10 is set to air on January 24, 2016. A handful of promos have been released since the cast and crew wrapped filming over the summer, and it’s set to be one hell of an homage to the original series. Mulder and Scully will finally be back, along with a handful of fan favourites and some newcomers in tow. Season 10 is set to be a short affair, as it’s only consisting of 6 episodes. But there is a chance that if the new season is received well – and if Duchovny and Anderson can fit it into their busy filming schedules – there might be a Season 11 on the horizon. Maybe there’s hope.
E D G E
I N T R O D U C I N G :
THE COSTELLOS @
T h e
J o i n e r s
On Monday 2nd November, The Edge continued their Introducing series by putting on a gig at one of Southampton’s most prestigious venues. The Joiners was named as the UK’s Best Small Music Venue by NME back in 2013, so what better place to put on a night of live music from three local bands than at a venue that has previously housed Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Oasis and Muse. The Edge chose Romsey and Southampton-based four-piece The Costellos to headline their latest Introducing show. The rock ‘n’ rollers have gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months, having supported the likes of The Hoosiers and The Spitfires, and playing at some of the UK’s biggest music festivals, including Isle Of Wight Festival, Common People and Wickham Festival. Winchesterbased Strawberry Morning and Portsmouth band CLUES provided the support for the evening. Local music fans turned out in force to see what the plethora of local talent that had been put on had to offer, and they were not left disappointed. You can read a review of the gig online on The Edge’s website at www.theedgesusu.co.uk. But here is what those in attendance had to say at the end of the night: “Headliners were amazing!” Erin Rose
(local music fan)
“The Edge Introducing gig was awesome! And also very professional. The Costellos kicked ass and I absolutely love their Oasis-y vibe. They’re going places.” Beth Lempriere
(The Edge reader)
“The Edge should be very proud of what they’ve achieved this evening - a top night!” Sophia Ward (The Edge reader)
“A really successful night! And the support bands were great!” Harry Stevenson (The Costellos bassist)
“I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but in my eyes it couldn’t have gone any better. A very successful night for all those involved!” Guy Clark
(local music fan)
“All three bands actually showed a professionalism well beyond their tender years. I look forward to following their progress.” Will Jackson (local music fan)
“I thought the whole night was a load of fun. The audience seemed to be having a great time and it was amazing to be back performing at The Joiners.” George Dummett
(The Costellos frontman)
“The Costellos, Strawberry Morning and CLUES should all give themselves a pat on the back. They put on a great night of live music and made my job easy!” Will Hodgetts
(Live Editor, The Edge)
“I can definitely see why some of the biggest festivals have been booking The Costellos, their live performances are sensational.” Kate Howe
(local music fan)
“I only hope The Edge are able to continue to unearth talents like The Costellos. I’ll be there at the next Introducing gig for sure!” Christian Taylor (local music fan)
@ O2 Guildhall, Southampton
@ O2 Guildhall, Southampton
arking the first date for her Feline Tour in support of her commercially successful debut album, Feline, Ella Eyre took to the stage at the O2 Guildhall in Southampton for an energetic and buzzy performance.
hinting at the fact that she would return for an encore. Closing with a cover of ‘Best Of My Love’, which added an intriguing disco element to the performance, and ‘Together’, Ella Eyre proved that she can certainly get the audience going.
Opening the show was Flawes, beginning the evening with an unexpected dark tone. Impressive and moody, Flawes are a new band that showcased a big and confident performance. Exhibiting their own material, as well as covering Halsey’s ‘Hold Me Down’, the band demonstrated a Bastilleesque vocal combined with an attractively pensive set. Jasmine Thompson was the second support act who, despite initially appearing nervous (an unsurprising front considering performing at the age of 14), developed her performance into a tender, Birdy-esque, ethereal sound. As well as singing original material, she also covered HAIM as well as her UK hit rendition of ‘Ain’t Nobody’.
The structure of Eyre’s set could do with some tweaking (the audience was bombarded with some overbearing dance, followed by a chunk of an acoustic set, before the artist perfectly settled with tracks that successfully bridged both a dance and rock-y sound whilst demonstrating great vocals). However, Eyre successfully pulled off a very powerful and sprightly performance, which both she and the audience - despite their rowdy nature - enjoyed.
It was then Ella Eyre’s turn to work the audience, opening with ‘All About You’ before transitioning into crowd-favourite ‘Comeback’. Sporting her staple jumpsuit along with intense (and occasionally both intrusive and overwhelming) lighting, Eyre slickly made her way through hits ‘Good Times’ and ‘Waiting All Night’. With her vocals disappointingly washed out by boisterous dance melodies, it was a welcome change when the 21 year-old departed from the stage and returned for more stripped-back tracks. Tracks such as ‘Two’ and ‘Even If’, with their ballad-like constructions, allowed for the singersongwriter to authentically showcase her vocal abilities. Although evoking a party vibe is clearly something that comes naturally to the artist, it was the slower tracks that were the most captivating moments of the show. Performing a tamer version of ‘Deeper’, Eyre hit the peak of her act with audience participation at an all-time high and her honest lyrics constructing a tangible crunch to her sound.
t’s 21:32 GMT. Pia Mia, chief among Kid Ink’s supporting troupe, has just dismounted the stage at Southampton’s O2 Guildhall. This set constitutes the first leg of a UK tour; the Kid is biding his time, sending up four associates to steel the crowd before his own, grand entrance, and the ten-minute gap between each appearance has resulted in a discernible air of agitation. Although all the performers are American, they have a distinctly kitschy, British air about them tonight enhanced by their regal surroundings and apparent proclivity for long-sleeved vestments. The Big Man’s arrival is hailed with a predictable round of ovation, and it looks for a second as if he may re-energise a decidedly mediocre show. Sure, the gig’s not a principal date on his calendar but, on paper, he’s the metaphorical full package, a slow-coming clubhop hitmaker who counts collaborations with R. Kelly, Chris Brown and DeJ Loaf among his repertoire. He’s got swagger, tenacity, and a body crammed with tats.
There are sparks of inspiration. Kid Ink’s delivery is smooth enough. All too often side-lined by bigger names in recent studio releases, his rhymes and flow benefit greatly when granted a live setup he can call his own. His seminal tunes are more than adequate in getting the audience jumping; ‘Be Real’ and ‘Show Me’ (“Roll up soon as I roll in / Security better get with the program”) serving as the incontrovertible movers of the night. Pia Mia (one to watch) has already set the intended vibe pretty well – this is nothing but unpretentious, glossy chart music, and Kid Ink, whether we like it or not, is going to leave with a fat grin on his face and money in his eyes. The onlookers are baying for blood, and, for a fleeting moment, it looks like the bloke might give it to them. But something has been lost on the flight over here. Much as we strive to like him, Kid Ink can’t escape the innate laziness of his output. It’s so pervasive that it spills from his guts and infects the other players, draining them of the individual vivacity stage performances so desperately need. His bombast shines through, but it’s a synthetic bombast, indicative of a last-minute attempt at a glitzy production joint to trade in a lack of genuine theatrical zest for the sort of Hollyweird bluster preteens appreciate in Pitbull music videos. Bluntly, it translates into apathy. For the bulk of Kid Ink’s slot, he simply glides about, freezing up between each song to say… well, very little. With ten minutes to go before the Guildhall’s Romanesque curtains fall, the crowd’s restlessness is at its zenith, their zombification complete. The glorious, unholy throng of cocked, bobbing fingers, on full display at the start of the evening, has by now degenerated into a permissive, very discomfiting mass-shuffling of feet. Not wanting to be around when they eat Kid Ink’s brains, I bolt for the exit, praying to the profane, foulmouthed ghost of Eazy-E that I’ll be gone, gone, gone before this show really gets going…
Moving through an edgier version of ‘Gravity’, an uplifting ‘Home’ and an infectiously catchy ‘Don’t Follow Me’, Eyre ended the main part of the show with the epic ‘If I Go’ - but not before
VENUE IN FOCUS
@O2 FORUM, Kentish town XAVIER VOIGT-HILL
German DJ and producer Zedd will return to the UK this month for the first time since 2013 with three shows to conclude his 53-date True Colors World Tour. After stunning fans with his debut album Clarity in 2012, which effortlessly blended sharp electro house with infectious pop through collaborations with Foxes and Ellie Goulding, Zedd became the
go-to man for crossover electro-pop success for Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Lady Gaga. May of this year saw the release of True Colors, his highly-anticipated follow-up, to great acclaim. Led by charting single ‘I Want You To Know’ featuring Selena Gomez, it cemented his reputation for musically-oriented house hits. From the entrancing ‘Papercut’ with Troye Sivan to the gritty club smash ‘Bumble Bee’ with Botnek, the album’s versatility and variety won him a nomination for top EDM artist in the American Music Awards, where he competes with David Guetta and Calvin Harris. Shows in Glasgow, Manchester, and London between November 27th and 29th now await, with support from upcoming Los Angeles duo Vindata on the cards. With a mesmerising live light show accompanying him and a wide gamut of adored tracks in his arsenal, Zedd is sure to bring his world trip to an emphatic conclusion.
Having opened up for bands including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arctic Monkeys and The Rolling Stones among others, The Vaccines have established themselves as one of the big names in today’s the UK’s indie rock scene.
The O2 Guildhall in Southampton has been home to hundreds of amazing acts over the years, and is described as the largest multipurpose entertainment venue in the South. Previously, it has housed the likes of The Killers, Pink Floyd and the late Amy Winehouse. Built in 1973, it was first opened by the 17th Earl of Derby and is now part of a Grade 2 listed building. The 70’s were captivated by that angst-y antiestablishment movement, which was perfectly reflected through the musical genre of Rock that was popular at the time. For this reason, the opening of the Guildhall was perfectly timed, providing a platform for the now incredibly renowned artists such as The Rolling Stones and David Bowie. The venue was refurbished in 1989 and taken over by LiveNation in 2003. A few years after, in 2006, it won Venue of the Year award, which came as no surprise to its loyal fanbase. In 2012, LiveNation formed a collaboration with the O2, to which the venue now owes its name.
comfort zone) and increasingly popular pizza and cider sensation The Stable. The Guildhall is situated in the centre of Guildhall Square, well known for its skate culture (as if you needed another reason to get in touch with the edgier and more artistic sides of yourselves). While surrounded by these amazing restaurants and art spots, it’s fairly easy to forget that the Guildhall is also home to Southampton’s civic centre and enormously resourced public library, whilst managing to host a capacity of 1749 people and be approximately 10 minutes from Southampton Central train station. Talk about multi-tasking, eh? Soon to be on tour at Southampton’s favourite live venue, The Kooks (December 15th), The Overtones (December 19th) and one of the most prestigious events in rock history: the NME Awards Tour 2016 (January 30th). If none of those take your fancy, feel free to laugh along to the distinctive voice of comedy royalty Katherine Ryan (February 5th)- probably because she’ll happily call you out if you don’t - or enjoy the incredibly soulful, albeit massively overdue, comeback of a Mr. James Morrison (March 17th). Whether you’re looking for a wild night out of live music and drinks, or a quieter intimate setting followed by a candlelit dinner, the Guildhall is the place for you.
Website: www.o2guildhallsouthampton.co.uk Facebook: www.facebook.com/o2guildhallsouthampton Twitter: www.twitter.com/O2GuildhallS
The Vaccines released their third studio album, English Graffiti, via Columbia Records on 25th May this year. English Graffiti follows the band’s hugely successful second album Come of Age, which reached number one in the UK album chart upon its release, and was certified gold in the UK.
The intimate feel of the Guildhall is arguably one of its many stellar selling points, alongside its location; surrounded by numerous incredible bars and restaurants, including the Caribbean fusion that is Turtle Bay (not forgetting the newly opened Nandos for those of you remaining firmly in your
Having made their first appearance at Brixton’s O2 Academy in 2011, indie rockers The Vaccines will return to make the final stop of their 12-date UK tour on the 26th November.
The band’s Brixton show was one of two extra dates their winter tour due to high demand. The Vaccines Brixton three times in total, with two earlier dates on and 23rd, before playing Cambridge’s Corn Exchange on
added to will play the 22nd the 25th.
@O2 ACADEMY, BRIXTON LIZZIE COOPER-SMITH
Listings Film 19th November - 3rd December
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 @ Union Films
Live 23rd November
Love is the Perfect Crime @ Harbour
Writers in Conversation - Tessa Hadley @ Nuffield Albert Hammond Jr @ Wedgewood Rooms Lonely The Brave @ Talking Heads James Morrison @ O2 Academy Bournemouth
22nd November Everest @ Union Films
24th November 25h November
Stations of the Cross @ Union Films
29th November The Apartment @ Harbour Lights
1st December Hand Gestures @ Harbour Lights
2nd December Timbuktu @ Union Films
Doctor Zhivago @ Harbour Lights The Martian @ Union Films
8th December Crimson Peak @ Union Films
9th December Pride @ Union Films
20th December Itâ€™s A Wonderful Life @ Harbour Lights
The Maccabees @ Southampton Guildhall
Jaws @ Joiners MuSoc Takeover @ Talking Heads
Hands Like Horses @ Joiners 11th December Paddy McGuinness @ Southampton Guildhall Sean McGowan @ Joiners Eddie & The Hot Rods @ Talking Heads
12th December Dreadzone @ Wedgewood Rooms
Apologies, I Have None @ Joiners Ben Poole @ Talking Heads
Public Service Broadcasting @ Southampton Guildhall Crazy Town @ Joiners System 7 @ Talking Heads Romance @ The Railyway Inn
The Beat @ Wedgewood Rooms Hercules Morse @ Joiners Gemma Hayes @ The Railway Inn
The Darkness @ Southampton Guildhall The Kooks @ Southampton Guildhall Dendera @ Joiners Virgil and the Accelerators @ Talking Heads
18th December Queen Kwong @ Joiners
The Overtones @ Southampton Guildhall
Theatre 24th - 28th November
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels @ Mayflower Theatre
Zebrahead @ Wedgewood Rooms
26th November - 4th January
Merlin @ Nuffield
Mike Todd @ joiners
Beans on Toast @ Wedgewood Rooms Stray From The Path @ Joiners Martin Harley @ The Railway Inn
3rd December The Magic Gang @ Joiners
Birdpen @ Joiners Karima Francis @ The Railway Inn
5th December Bemis @ Wedgewood Rooms
Black Tongue @ Joiners
Pretty Vicious @ Joiners FUSE ODG @ O2 Academy Bournemouth
David Gray @ Southampton Guildhall
30th November - 5th December Rebecca @ Mayflower Theatre
Experiment - December 2015 @ Nuffield
12th December - 3rd January Aladdin @ Mayflower Theatre
451 - December 2015 @ Nuffield
It seems impossible that we’re on our fourth issue of The Edge already, but here we are. We’ve had an exciting couple of months since the st...
Published on Dec 22, 2015
It seems impossible that we’re on our fourth issue of The Edge already, but here we are. We’ve had an exciting couple of months since the st...