CORUSCANT — Obi-Wan Kenobi, the mastermind of some of the most devastating attacks on the Galactic Empire and the most hunted man in the galaxy, was killed in a firefight with Imperial forces near Alderaan, Darth Vader announced on Sunday.
In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the Imperial Palace, Lord Vader declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that agents of the Imperial Army and stormtroopers of the 501st Legion had finally cornered Kenobi, one of the leaders of the Jedi rebellion, who had eluded the Empire for nearly two decades. Imperial officials said Kenobi resisted and was cut down by Lord Vader’s own lightsaber. He was later dumped out of an airlock.
The news touched off an extraordinary outpouring of emotion as crowds gathered in the Senate District and outside the Imperial Palace, waving imperial flags, cheering, shouting, laughing and chanting, “Hail to the Emperor! Hail Lord Vader!” In the alien protection zone, crowds sang “The Ten Thousand Year Empire.” Throughout the Sah’c district, airspeeder drivers honked horns deep into the night.
“For over two decades, Kenobi has been the Jedi rebellion’s leader and symbol,” the Lord of the Sith said in a statement broadcast across the galaxy via HoloNet. “The death of Kenobi marks the most significant achievement to date in our empire’s effort to defeat the rebel alliance. But his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that the rebellion will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi ’s demise is a defining moment in the stormtrooper-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who turned against the Empire at the end of the Clone Wars. What remains to be seen, however, is whether it galvanizes Kenobi’s followers by turning him into a martyr or serves as a turning of the page in the war against the Rebel Alliance and gives further impetus to Emperor Palpatine to step up Stormtrooper recruitment.
In an earlier statement issued to the press, Kenobi boasted that striking him down could make him “more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”
How much his death will affect the rebel alliance itself remains unclear. For years, as they failed to find him, Imperial leaders have said that he was more symbolically important than operationally significant because he was on the run and hindered in any meaningful leadership role. Yet he remained the most potent face of terrorism in the Empire, and some of those who played down his role in recent years nonetheless celebrated his death.
Given Kenobi’s status among radicals, the Imperial Galactic government braced for possible retaliation. A Grand Moff of the Imperial Starfleet said late Sunday that military bases in the core worlds and around the galaxy were ordered to a higher state of readiness. The Imperial Security Bureau issued a galactic travel warning, urging citizens in volatile areas “to limit their travel outside of their local star systems and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.”
The strike could deepen tensions within the Outer Rim, which has periodically bristled at Imperial counterterrorism efforts even as Kenobi evidently found safe refuge it its territories for nearly two decades. Since taking over as Supreme Commander of the Imperial Navy, Lord Vader has ordered significantly more strikes on suspected terrorist targets in the Outer Rim, stirring public anger there and leading to increased criminal activity.
When the end came for Kenobi, he was found not in the remote uncharted areas of Wild Space and the Unknown Regions, where he has long been presumed to be sheltered, but in a massive compound about an hour’s drive west from the Tatooine capital of Bestine. He had been living under the alias “Ben” Kenobi for some time.
The compound, only about 50 miles from the base of operations for the Imperial Storm Squadron, is at the end of a narrow dirt road and is roughly eight times larger than other homes in the area, which were largely occupied by Tusken Raiders. When Imperial operatives converged on the planet on Saturday, following up on recent intelligence, two local moisture farmers “resisted the assault force” and were killed in the middle of an intense gun battle, a senior Stormtrooper said, but details were still sketchy early Monday morning.
A representative of the Imperial Starfleet said that military and intelligence officials first learned last summer that a “high-value target” was hiding somewhere on the desert world and began working on a plan for going in to get him. Beginning in March, Lord Vader worked closely with a series of several different Admirals serving onboard the Death Star to go over plans for the operation, and on Friday morning gave the final order for members of the 501st Legion (known commonly as “Vader’s Fist”) to strike.
Kenobi and a group of his followers were eventually captured while fleeing the system, and taken aboard the Death Star, which was in the midst of surveying the recent environmental disaster on Alderaan. Darth Vader called it a “targeted operation,” although officials said four tie fighters were lost because of “mechanical failures” and had to be destroyed to keep them from falling into hostile hands.
In addition to Kenobi, two men and one wookiee were killed, one believed to be his young apprentice and the other two his couriers, according to an admiral who briefed reporters under Imperial ground rules forbidding further identification. A woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, the Admiral said. Two droids were also reported missing.
Lord Vader has denied requests to present photographs of the body, describing them as “too gruesome” for the general public.
This was the original story:
WASHINGTON — Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan, President Obama announced on Sunday.
In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.
The news touched off an extraordinary outpouring of emotion as crowds gathered outside the White House, in Times Square and at the ground zero site, waving American flags, cheering, shouting, laughing and chanting, “U.S.A., U.S.A.!” In New York City, crowds sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Throughout downtown Washington, drivers honked horns deep into the night.
“For over two decades, Bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol,” the president said in a statement broadcast around the world. “The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
Bin Laden’s demise is a defining moment in the American-led fight against terrorism, a symbolic stroke affirming the relentlessness of the pursuit of those who attacked New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001. What remains to be seen, however, is whether it galvanizes Bin Laden’s followers by turning him into a martyr or serves as a turning of the page in the war in Afghanistan and gives further impetus to Mr. Obama to bring American troops home.
How much his death will affect Al Qaeda itself remains unclear. For years, as they failed to find him, American leaders have said that he was more symbolically important than operationally significant because he was on the run and hindered in any meaningful leadership role. Yet he remained the most potent face of terrorism around the world, and some of those who played down his role in recent years nonetheless celebrated his death.
Given Bin Laden’s status among radicals, the American government braced for possible retaliation. A senior Pentagon official said late Sunday that military bases in the United States and around the world were ordered to a higher state of readiness. The State Department issued a worldwide travel warning, urging Americans in volatile areas “to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations.”
The strike could deepen tensions with Pakistan, which has periodically bristled at American counterterrorism efforts even as Bin Laden evidently found safe refuge on its territory for nearly a decade. Since taking office, Mr. Obama has ordered significantly more drone strikes on suspected terrorist targets in Pakistan, stirring public anger there and prompting the Pakistani government to protest.
When the end came for Bin Laden, he was found not in the remote tribal areas along the Pakistani-Afghan border where he has long been presumed to be sheltered, but in a massive compound about an hour’s drive north from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. He was hiding in the medium-sized city of Abbottabad, home to a large Pakistani military base and a military academy of the Pakistani Army.
The compound, only about a third of a mile from the academy, is at the end of a narrow dirt road and is roughly eight times larger than other homes in the area, but had no telephone or Internet connections. When American operatives converged on the house on Sunday, Bin Laden “resisted the assault force” and was killed in the middle of an intense gun battle, a senior administration official said, but details were still sketchy early Monday morning.
The official said that military and intelligence officials first learned last summer that a “high-value target” was being protected in the compound and began working on a plan for going in to get him. Beginning in March, Mr. Obama presided over five national security meetings at the White House to go over plans for the operation and on Friday morning, just before leaving Washington to tour tornado damage in Alabama, gave the final order for members of the Navy Seals and C.I.A. operatives to strike.
Mr. Obama called it a “targeted operation,” although officials said one helicopter was lost because of a mechanical failure and had to be destroyed to keep it from falling into hostile hands.
In addition to Bin Laden, three men were killed during the 40-minute raid, one believed to be his son and the other two his couriers, according to an American official who briefed reporters under White House ground rules forbidding further identification. A woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, the official said, and two others wounded.
“No Americans were harmed,” Mr. Obama said. “They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.” Muslim tradition requires burial within 24 hours, but by doing it at sea, American authorities presumably were trying to avoid creating a shrine for his followers.
The whereabouts of Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda’s second-in-command, were unclear.
Bin Laden’s death came nearly 10 years after Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American passenger jets, crashing three of them into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington. The fourth hijacked jet, United Flight 93, crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside after passengers fought the militants.
“This is important news for us, and for the world,” said Gordon Felt, president of the group, Families of Flight 93. “It cannot ease our pain, or bring back our loved ones. It does bring a measure of comfort that the mastermind of the September 11th tragedy and the face of global terror can no longer spread his evil.”
The mostly young people who celebrated in the streets of New York and Washington saw it as a historic moment, one that for many of them culminated a worldwide manhunt that started when they were children.
Some climbed trees and lampposts directly in front of the White House to cheer and wave flags. Cigars and noisemakers were common. One group started singing, “Osama, Osama, hey, hey, hey, goodbye.”
Maureen Hasson, 22, a recent college graduate working for the Justice Department, came down to Lafayette Square in a fuchsia party dress and flip-flops. “This is full circle for our generation,” she said. “Just look around at the average age here. We were all in middle school when the terrorists struck. We all vividly remember 9/11 and this is the close of that chapter.”
Sam Sherman, 18, a freshman at George Washington University originally from New York, also rushed down to the White House. “The feeling you can’t even imagine, the feeling in the air. It’s crazy,” he said. “I have friends with parents dead because of Osama bin Laden’s plan, O.K. So when I heard this news, I was coming down to celebrate.”
Mr. Obama said Pakistan had helped develop the intelligence that led to Bin Laden, but an American official said the Pakistani government was not informed about the strike in advance. “We shared our intelligence on this compound with no other country, including Pakistan,” the official said.
Mr. Obama recalled his statements in the 2008 presidential campaign when he vowed to order American forces to strike inside Pakistan if necessary even without Islamabad’s permission. “That is what we’ve done,” he said. “But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to Bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.”
Relations with Pakistan had fallen in recent weeks to their lowest point in years. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly criticized the Pakistani military two weeks ago for failing to act against extremists allied to Al Qaeda who shelter in the tribal areas of North Waziristan. Last week, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, head of the Pakistani Army, said Pakistan had broken the back of terrorism on its territory, prompting skepticism in Washington.
Mr. Obama called President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan to tell him about the strike after it was set in motion, and his advisers called their Pakistani counterparts. “They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations,” Mr. Obama said.
The city of Abbottabad where Bin Laden was found has had other known Al Qaeda presence in the past. A senior Indonesian militant, Umar Patek, was arrested there earlier this year. Mr. Patek was protected by a Qaeda operative, a clerk who worked undercover at the main post office, a signal that Al Qaeda may have had other operations in the area.
The Pakistani military cordoned off the roads and alleys leading to the compound Monday. But residents of the middle-class area who were reached by phone said they had not been suspicious about the residents of the house, despite its size and the fact that very few people ever seemed to leave the compound.
As the operation’s start approached, many American officials at the United States consulate in Peshawar, the capital of the northwest area of Pakistan, were told suddenly to depart last Friday, leaving behind only a core group of essential staff. The American officials said they had been told to leave because of fears of kidnapping but were not tipped off to the operation.
Analysts said Bin Laden’s death amounted to a double blow for Al Qaeda, after its sermons of anti-Western violence seemed to be rendered irrelevant by the wave of political upheaval rolling through the Arab world.
“It comes at a time when Al Qaeda’s narrative is already very much in doubt in the Arab world,” said Martin S. Indyk, vice president and director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. “Its narrative was that violence was the way to redeem Arab honor and dignity. But Osama bin Laden and his violence didn’t succeed in unseating anybody.”
Al Qaeda sympathizers reacted with disbelief, anger and in some cases talk of retribution. On a Web site considered an outlet for Qaeda messages, forum administrators deleted posts by users announcing Bin Laden’s death and demanded that members wait until the news was confirmed by Qaeda sources, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors radicals.
Even so, SITE said, sympathizers on the forum posted messages calling Bin Laden a martyr and suggesting retaliation. “America will reap the same if the news is true and false,” said one message. “The lions will remain lions and will continue moving in the footsteps of Usama,” said another, using an alternate spelling of Bin Laden’s name.
In the United States, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an advocacy organization, said it welcomed Bin Laden’s death. “As we have stated repeatedly since the 9/11 terror attacks, Bin Laden never represented Muslims or Islam,” the group said in a statement. “In fact, in addition to the killing of thousands of Americans, he and Al Qaeda caused the deaths of countless Muslims worldwide.”
Mr. Obama called to inform his predecessor, George W. Bush, who started the war against Al Qaeda after Sept. 11, yet was frustrated in his efforts to capture Bin Laden “dead or alive,” as he once put it. Mr. Bush released a statement saying, “this momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”
“The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done,” he added.
Mr. Obama used similar language and warned that the war against terrorists had not ended. “We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies,” he said. “We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to Al Qaeda’s terror, justice has been done.”
The president was careful to add that, as Mr. Bush did during his presidency, the United States is not at war with Islam. “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims,” Mr. Obama said. “Indeed, Al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.”
Here are the links to the original stories. So lets give credit where credit is due
a great leader, a great wizard, adventure, Captain Pike, Chris Pine, Daniel Radcliff, Hagrid, Harry, Harry Potter, Hollywood ran out of ideas, Keanu Reeves, Kirk, Luke, Mark Hamil, Neo, Obi-Wan, powerful with the force, Recycled Movie Ideas, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Matrix, the One, Trinity
Like we mentioned before, we here at Thinksquad are huge movie fans. Do your favorite movies sometimes seem a bit…familiar? Kind of a “Matrix” Déjà vu? When discussing Harry Potter, do you sometimes mistake Voldemort for Darth Vader? Do Neo’s abilities in the Matrix remind you of the Force, only just a little bit different? Well, you would be right, as the most wildly successful franchises of the last 40 years are basically the same recycled story you have heard over and over again.
Once upon a time,
Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry
was living a miserable life. Feeling disconnected from his friends and family, he dreams about how his life could be different. One day, he is greeted by
Obi Wan | Captain Pike | Trinity | Hagrid
and told that his life is not what it seems, and that due to some circumstances surrounding his
birth | birth | birth | infancy
he was meant for something greater. Deciding to leave with
him | him | her | him,
Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry
is taken to
Mos Eisley | Starfleet Academy | the real world | Hogwarts
where he meets lots of new, fascinating people. For the first time in a very long time, life is exciting, and
Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry
explores the new life that has opened up for him. With his new friends, he starts to work hard to become the sort of man that
Obi Wan | Captain Pike | Trinity | Hagrid
said he could be. Although
Han | Spock | the Oracle | Draco
challenges his abilities, things go relatively well until suddenly,
Alderaan is destroyed | Vulcan is attacked | Morpheus is captured | Voldemort returns.
Leaping into action,
Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry
prepares to fight against the insistence of his teacher. Despite not having finished his training, the lessons have made him cocky and through a combination of skill and luck
Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry
is able to beat
Vader | Nero | Agent Smith | Quirrell
the Death Star | Nero’s Ship | the Sentinels | Voldermort’s Body.
Greeted as heroes,
Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry
realizes that he has become
powerful with the force | a great leader | the One | a great wizard
Obi Wan | Captain Pike | Trinity | Hagrid
said he would be. Right before the story ends, there is a sense that this is just the beginning of an extremely lucrative franchise. Er, I mean adventure.
Air Force One, Alexander, American Psycho, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ben Affleck., Ben Chaplin, Billy Crudup, Bret Easton Ellis, Brokeback Mountain, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Candice Bergen, Captain Hook, Christian Bale, Cindy Williams, Clarice Starling, Colin Farrel, David Bowie, Dorothy Boyd, Edward Norton, Face/Off, Focker, George Clooney, Han Solo, Hancock, Hook, IMDB, Jared Leto, Jerry Maguire, Jim Carrey, Joaquin Phoenix, Jodie Foster, John Constantine, John Woo, Johnathon Schaech, Johnny Depp, Jonny Lee Miller, Josh Hartnett, Julia Stiles, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, King Philip, Kurt Russell, Luke Skywalker, Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, Meet the Parents, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mike Nichols, Moulin Rogue, Movie, Movie Cast, Neo, Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Obi-Wan, Oliver Stone, Panic Room, Patrick Bateman, Paul Newman, Peter Pan, President James Marshall, Princess Leia, Robby Benson, Robert Redford, Robert Sean Leonard, Russell Crowe, Sean Connery, Star Wars, Steve McQueen, Sylverster Stallone, Teri Polo, The Graduate, The Matrix, The Postman, The Silence of the Lambs, Tom Hanks, Toshiro Mifune, Val Kilmer, Wild Wild West, Will Smith, Winona Ryder
We here at Thinksquad are HUGE movie fans and it’s always interesting to find out that other actors could have gotten the part to some of your favorite movies. Not only would the posters look different, the whole movie would’ve been different. But, would it have been for better or worst? It’s for you to decide.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
There were a handful of other actors considered for the parts of Ledger and Gylenhaal, among them Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Hartnett, Colin Farrel and Billy Crudup. Though, none is more interesting than the consideration of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
The Matrix (1999)
Would you believe it? Will Smith was an early choice in playing Neo, but he turned it down to make “Wild Wild West.” He admitted to regretting it.
However, Will Smith wasn’t the only choice to play superhero in this movie, George Clooney’s name came up during casting.
Meet the Parents (2000)
Jim Carrey was the main choice that he even contributed jokes, including calling the lead character “Focker.” Julia Stiles, was also a choice for the part of Teri Polo.
Director Oliver Stone’s primary choice was none other than epic king Russell Crowe. Sean Connery was listed in the role of King Philip that went to Val Kilmer.
Nicolas Cage was the original choice to play John Constantine but backed out of the project.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
They had Tom Hanks and Winona Ryder at hello, the roles of Jerry Maguire and Dorothy Boyd being originally written for them. It went to Cruise and Zellwegger, eventually.
Panic Room (2002)
Panic Room could’ve been Nicole Kidman’s movie easily, if not for a knee injury suffered during “Moulin Rogue.” The role eventually went to Jodie Foster.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The best role that landed on Jodie Foster’s lap was that of Clarice Starling, which Michelle Pfeiffer rejected saying it was “too violent.” Would she have won best actress if she had done it?
American Psycho (2000)
Bret Easton Ellis’ Patrick Bateman was offered to numerous actors before Christian Bale landed the gig. Among the hopefuls were Johnny Depp, Billy Crudup, Ben Chaplin, Robert Sean Leonard, Johnathon Schaech, Jonny Lee Miller, and Jared Leto. Edward Norton (pictured) was a close call.
Kevin Kline was the original choice for Peter Pan and David Bowie was offered the role of Captain Hook which he turned down.
The Graduate (1967)
TRIVIA From IMDB: Robert Redford screen-tested with Candice Bergen for the part of Benjamin Braddock but was finally rejected by director Mike Nichols because Nichols did not believe Redford could persuasively project the underdog qualities necessary to the role. When he told this to Redford, the actor asked Nichols what he meant. “Well, let’s put it this way,” said Nichols, “Have you ever struck out with a girl?” “What do you mean?” asked Redford. “That’s precisely my point,” said Nichols.
Originally, a superstar pairing of Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, but McQueen dropped out of the project and was replaced by Robert Redford. Had he not, Redford would’ve had to find another name to call his film festival.
Face/Off could’ve been bigger if the Ahnold/Sly tandem pushed through, but would the switching of faces vital to the story been convincing? John Woo didn’t think so.
Air Force One (1997)
The role of President James Marshall was supposedly written for Kevin Costner. He said no and concentrated on “The Postman.”
The casting of Star Wars is the stuff of legends. Kurt Russell (Han Solo), Cindy Williams (Princess Leia) and Robby Benson (Luke Skywalker), all screen tested and nearly got parts in the movie. The great Toshiro Mifune was considered as Obi-Wan. It could’ve been a very, very different Star Wars.