Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Star Wars The TV Show and Young Indiana Jones?

Star Wars is going to continue after Revenge of the Sith with a TV show, maybe two. Rumours abound it will bridge the gap between Episode 3 and 4, or venture into the Expanded Universe (an animated adaption of the Zahn trilogy would be great, though Zahn's books are not exactly cinematic). It might be live action or a cartoon like Clone Wars, or pilot some new 3D technology George wants to play with. It's also mentioned it might be like the Young Indiana Jones TV show.

If you haven't seen Young Indiana Jones it's 3 seasons of stories featuring er... young Indy... learning life and eventually growing into Harrison Ford. Ford even had a cameo in one episode. Typically you'd see old Indy telling some story which would flashback to either him as a very small boy (played by some kid) or as a young man (Sean Patrick Flaherty), spanning from 1900s-1920s.

However to make things more artificial more or less every week without fail Indy would meet some historic figure that would impact his life. I assume this was some attempt to add education into the mix. It got a bit silly to be honest... for instance:-

"While going to college and working in a speakeasy, Indy meets up jazz great Sidney Bechet who teaches him how to play the blues. Unfortunately, Indy also crosses paths with Al Capone and it's only with the assistance of his dorm roommate, Eliot Ness, that Indy is able to solve a vicious murder and prevent himself from ending up dead. (jeez - Chicago is a small town isn't it?)

"To keep him from getting into any more trouble, Indy is sent to visit his aunt in New Mexico. While there, he is kidnapped by Pancho Villa and swept up into the Mexican Revolution."

"On a military mission, Indy rescues a small child in an African village, and encounters the legendary Albert Schweitzer, and helps him in his jungle hospital."

"Young Indy meets the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt while on safari in Kenya."

"After being assigned to the Lafayette Escadrille flying squadron, Indy encounters notorious German flying ace Baron von Richthofen; then goes undercover to persuade aircraft designer Anthony Fokker to defect from Germany." (not bad going for a 19 year old American in 1916).

and my personal favourite...

"Love - well, first infatuation - smites Young Indy in colorful Old Vienna where he falls for the daughter of Archduke Francis Ferdinand. Needing emotional guidance in his own crisis, Young Indy sounds out Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung on what love is all about." (not bad for a 9 year old).

So as you can see this stretches the credibility of the show just a little. The show itself is not exactly brilliant in my opinion, though it does seem like the critics loved it. Ok - it's watchable and boasts a pretty stellar cast (though Sean Patrick Flaherty is no Harrison Ford, but he's good on the Dead Zone).

The first time I saw Young Indy was when someone loaned me the video "Train of Doom". They were giving it away free with the movie trilogy video set. I should've been suspicious given the fellow told me to keep the extra video.

Train wreck of doom more like.

Each Young Indy video had a documentary telling you about the historic period it was set in, and George mentioned how the series had won critical acclaim for it's realistic portrayal of World War I.

Yeah - like in the Treasure of the Peacock's Eye (I was a sucker and bought another video thinking it might actually be a proper Indy adventure), where Indy and his sidekick leap out of the trenches into No-Man's Land to chase an Indian guy who stole a treasure map off them. Thankfully all the German troops in the adjoining trench were taking a nap so they didn't bother to obliterate Indy, the side-kick or the Indian map nicker.

Or like in Train of Doom is set during World War I. Indy, a member of the Belgium army ('cos like no Yank was in the War until 1917) is sent from the trenches to join this regiment of old fellas to blow up a massive gun mounted on a train. He succeeds and ends up reporting to what can only be the fathers of the two British airmen from 'Allo 'Allo.

Realistic depiction of World War I? Chase sequences in No-Man's Land? American in the Belgium army?

I guess George was listening to his Yes-men at Lucasfilm.

As an addendum, the regiment of old British soldiers and possibly the gun is real if I remember it correctly.

Even more oddly I could not see how on Earth the Indy portrayed in Young Indiana Jones could grow into the relatively ruthless treasure hunter of the movies. In "Treasure of the Peacock's Eye" Indy re-encounters his old pal Albert Schweitzer who convinces him life is more important than finding treasure and rather than chase the Peacock's Eye he decides to go help some sick African kids. Err... ok.

Anyway, what cued this rant was that I watched yet another episode on BBC 2 the other day. This was was where Young Indy went to New York in the 1920s and got a job working on a Broadway musical with the help of George Gershwin. Young Indy gets to trade quips with the famed and razor-witted Algonquin Round Table when he is not soothing temperamental stars, romancing three different women at once, and worrying about suspicious backstage malfunctionings.

Basically, rather than getting Raiders of the Lost Ark I got a plot that Coronation Street has recycled three times and a "realistic" depiction of 1920s New York.

So - umm... in summary- George - don't make any Star Wars series the same way you made Young Indiana Jones! Step back and let the guy who did Clone Wars do his stuff!


Anonymous said...

Or better yet, write a will allowing the use of the Star Wars universe by Lucasarts Studios, and then promptly drop dead... please?... Before you "Re-imagine to truely fit the vision" again and give Jar-Jar more screen time... please?

Young Indy is a big pile of steaming doo-doo... its Sesame Street for the over 12s... "Wow folks! I wonder who Indy will run into this week... why it's Abraham Lincon!" [Cue ole Abe entry from stage left, waving to the canned audience]

With the ability to make hour long mini-indy stories, they could have done the stuff that we watch Indiana Jones for, Treasure, traps, bad guys, the "dame", etc... Not some concocted who's who of the early 20th century.

If his model holds true, by now I should have helped Bill Gates debug the origional version of windows, asked Steve Jobs why the design for the iPod wasn't white, and saved the Queen from assasination by Cornish dissidents.

Oops, ranting again.

Stuart said...

No you wouldn't dude - you'd be the comedy sidekick for when I am not being played by David Dorfman.

Imagine if you will "The Young Stuart Kerrigan Chronicles"...

Episode 33:

Stuart and comedy sidekick Gregor decide to go off to what they call, "the First Gulf War" and work undercover for the CIA as vending machine attendants.

Digging in an anthrax depots Gregor uncovers a map that leads them to an ancient temple in Baghdad but they are dissuaded in their attempts by Stephen Hawking, who is vacationing in Iraq at the time.

Episode 34:

Whilst in London St. Pancras Stuart saves Duchess Sarah Ferguson from being mugged by two cockney stereotypes. Invited to attend Buck Palace Stuart uncovers a sinister plot to abduct the royal heirs. Margaret Thatcher co-stars.

Stuart said...

This is fun...

Episode 15:

Vacationing in Transylvania with a poor author named Stephen King, Stuart encounters his first love, a young girl named Carrie with bizarre telekinetic powers.

Anonymous said...

Episode 12: Stuart's blog is spotted by George Lucas who is trawling the net for good ideas to ignore, who quickly invites our heroes to Lucasarts Studios to ignore firsthand Stuart and Gregor's sage advice concerning the Star Wars franchise.

While flying to America, they discover themselves seated next to Osama Bin Laden who aims to hijack the plane and crash it into the Statue of Liberty. With the help of actor Tom Cruise, who is also on the plane, they foil the muslim's nefarious scheme, and save Cruise's life along the way, thus gaining themselves a part in his next movie.

Stuart said...

Episode 16:

With a summer job at the Olympics Stuart encounters winning athlete Daley Thompson (played by himself thanks to the miracles of plastic surgery) and foils a sinister plot by skinheads to ruin Daley's chances of winning. This also allows Stuart the opportunity to encounter long-lost family member and ice-skater Nancy Kerrigan.

Anonymous said...

Well thats the plots for next years Onnwal mods sorted :)

Stuart said...

I've only just started...

Anonymous said...

Episode 4: While on an exchange program in West Berlin Stuart witnesses the collapse of the Berlin Wall and races against time to prevent an evil group of brick layers from rebuilding it.

Anonymous said...

Episode 48: Gregor, sick of being labelled the comedy sidekick, goes off on his own adventure wearing his favourite dressing gown after Stu confiscated the yellow spandex.

Hitch-hiking with only his trusty but sadly malfunctioning PDA for company he eventually blaggs a lift with a penniless Dougie Adams. While lost in deepest Albania they happen upon Stephen Fry who upgrades the PDA so it now blabbers useless facts about places they visit in Fry's terrribly porsh voice.

While chatting on Trillium one day with the head of the BBC about his upcoming tour of the entire planet (funded by the licence-payer, natch) Gregor discovers that the world is being ruled by giant lizards. Unable to cope with this information Gregor gets Dougie plastered in a field and leaves him with the PDA for comfort, displaying the words 'Don't Panic'in bright green letters. Staggering off he runs into David Icke, who counsels him to return to Stuart.

Anonymous said...

Gregor and Stuart sit on a bench with a young Samuel Beckett, and wait for Hoppy.

But does Hoppy really exist...

Anonymous said...

Episode 26: Stuart and his faithful comedy sidekick somehow acquire some hangers on called Steve and Mare. Together this fellowship must go in search of the one true Calzone.

Battling through the dark lands of the taxi rank which is overrun by the dark lord's neds our heroes return Lady Mare safely... but Steve falls into darkness, sacrificing himself to the Carnoustie cab riders.

One of the most tear-jerking episodes.

Anonymous said...

Episode 16: While on a train to Dundee our hero gets into a scuffle with Gregor regarding ownership of a novelty frog-shaped chocolate. The free gift inside the pack explodes, leaving Stuart with a temporary lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. Placing his reading glasses on once more he orders Gregor to fetch a broom in order to sweep up the mess in the carriage.

He is observed with interest by a blonde named Jo Rowling...

Stuart said...

Episode 42: Young Stuart and Gregor join Richard Branson on his balloon ride across the world. Things turn sour when the balloon crashes in Michael Jackson's Neverland. Oprah Winfrey is on hand to save them, and they stop off in New York where they attend a showing of Ian McKellen's Hamlet.

Stuart said...

(I appreciate getting time off from Episode 48 to work on my new movie... Travel without a Donkey).

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, while a good script cannot be worked out, the film has a working title of "The traveller is a donkey"

Anonymous said...

More bad news today from the set of Stu's latest film, "Attach of the Clone: What Steph did next", a member of his massive entourage, rumoured to be Stu's mother threw a massive tantrum when someone criticised the catering.

Apparently not everyone appreciates Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Anonymous said...

Episdoe 97: Dozey Dookit.

While traveling in New England Stu and Gregor come across the "Legless Boatman" feared in Legend. Aided by Pat Sharp who is taking a break from his mullet contract, the intrepid duo rid the state of the scourge.

(Earlier edits where after one too many poor leg puns from Stu, Gregor let the boatman take Stu are unconfirmed).

Anonymous said...

Episode 101: Red-White-Black
Stu and Gregor are honoured by the President of the United States, George Bush, for all their hard work and effort.

Typical of the barely mammallian biped, he signs the wrong peice of paper, and consigns Gregor and Stu to jail for a crime they did not commit.

Whilst in jail Stu and Gregor befriend a schizophrenic and a big black man called Bubba. Together they plan their escape from prision using nothing but Stu's ability to chew cigars and Gregor's previous life onboard a Battlestar.

Also starring: 1000 Elephants.

Stuart said...

Episode 23: Conveniently finding the golden ticket in a Snickers bar (note the anachronism) Stuart is hand picked to go on a mission to the moon. Buzz Aldred mentors him through the gruelling space program.