The Force Asleeps


Good ole Mister Plinkett, of Red Letter Media, released a video a couple of months back that I missed out on. It’s his analysis of why The Force Awakens didn’t really work well as a movie. I can agree with pretty much all his points here, though he does go on, and on, and on, for quite some time before actually getting to them.

Also, the “character” is starting to wear on me.

A Force to Reckon With


I’m sick! So no real substance today. But here’s a video on how the CGI version of Grand Moff Tarkin (and, spoilers, one other character), was made in Rogue One.

Movie Review – Rogue One


So the short and sweet here: much, much better than The Force Awakens, and easily the best of the bunch since Empire.

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Everyone involved in this movie faced a very difficult task: how do make interesting a story that everyone knows the ending to? We all know that the rebels got the Death Star plans and used them to find a weakness in the design that enabled them to blow it up.We know there’s a backstory there, but is it enough to base a whole movie on?

Well, it is if you do it right, and the people involved here certainly did.

The movie tells the story of a young girl, made effectively orphan when her father, who had a hand in the first designs of the Death Star, is captured by the Imperials and sent to finish the job. The girl eventually gets dragged into the fight against the Empire, meets up with several other people, and goes off to try and find her father.

It’s a pretty basic story, but it works well. It’s nice to have proper Imperial villains to sneer at once more, like Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin (even if the CGI on him isn’t quite there just yet), and it’s fun seeing old heroes, like Mon Mothma and Bail Organa. One gets a whole lot of other wonderful cameos, and little Easter eggs referring to the larger universe.

But at its heart, the movie is about our heroes and their efforts to stop the Death Star, and I have to say that the movie did a great job of making me actually care about all of them, even the droid, and what many people are speculating might be a gay couple.I felt genuinely invested in these characters in a way that I haven’t since the original trilogy.

The movie isn’t perfect. The CGI Tarkin probably should have only been used very sparingly, James Earl Jones sounds a bit “off” as Vader, and the music, except where it harkens back to the original score, was very forgettable. But otherwise, if this is a sign of things to come with the Star Wars universe, than I am very happy indeed. The “main” story may have gone off the rails since 1983, but at least the sub-stories can be great.

Here, Look at This


Just got back from work/bowling. Now I’m tired. So here’s this great thing! Can’t wait to see the movie.

In Case You Haven’t Seen This…


…watch it now!

I am very much looking forward to this. I was extremely disappointed by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, because it really wasn’t a good movie. This one has potential.

Of course, I thought that one did, too, so what I know? But I remain hopeful.

Some Thoughts on The Force Awakens


I said the basic thrust of this on Facebook, but I’m going to go into more spoilery depth here. This picture, though, generally sums up my opinion.

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SPOILERS from here on out.

So the first time I watched it, on release day, I came in expecting to be wowed. I wanted to be blown away, and to be so very impressed. I expected I wasn’t going to be, but I wanted to be.

I wasn’t.

The first screening, I give a B-. It was a good movie, but not a great movie. Decent, not bad, but merely ok. Neither The Phantom Menace nor Empire Stikes Back, but rather some very basic place right in the middle.

Upon the second viewing, I dropped the film down to a C. Frankly, I was bored. Repeat viewings did not do this movie any favors, though to be fair, even the first viewing felt like a repeat, since it was basically a warmed-over version of A New Hope.

There were plenty of things that I liked. I liked Rey quite a bit, and I was very pleased that the two main characters were played by a black man and a woman. I also liked BB-8 quite a bit more than I expected to, and the idea of the new Big Bad being a whiny emo brat worked far better than I had expected, too.

But really, that’s about it. The story is so much like the first movie that it isn’t even funny, and I’m confused about some of the choices they made with it. Ok, give Rey a little quest and stuff, but why did she have to be on yet another desert planet? And why not, if you’re already going to do that, just make that planet Tatooine? That would have made basically zero sense, but doing it this way in the first place makes so little sense that it wouldn’t have hurt the credibility any.

I was also very disappointed in the ultimate fate of one of the characters who, yes, died for all the right reasons, but had clearly never seen a movie or a TV show, or read a book, since that death was so telegraphed, it might as well have been delivered by Western Union.

I was further disappointed in the fact that the movie went an extra several minutes past where it should have ended. There was a very clear end point to the movie (it was staged exactly like the final scenes in all the other films), and yet they decided to continue past that point to something that should have been a post-credits sequence. Yes, this series has never done that before, but I would have accepted it here.

JJ Abrams is, at his most basic, a decent director. Nothing he’s ever made has been truly amazing, though little of it has been bad (Star Trek Into Darkness being a notable exception). I’m frankly not sure why he doesn’t get more flack from movie fans, because he’s really not all that great, and he showed that here. He remade the first Star Wars movie, made it a bit “eh”, showed us nothing that was really new or amazing, and really wasted an opportunity to make a game-changer of a film. You know, like what George Lucas did in 1977.

This isn’t a bad movie at all, but it wasn’t great. I don’t regret seeing it, and I’m looking forward to the next one, but…I really wanted more and I just didn’t get it.

A Change for Star Wars


Lucasfilm announced today that they’re establishing a new official canon for the Star Wars universe, and that canon doesn’t include the expanded universe items. This means classic novels like Heir to the Empire and video games, like Shadows of the Empire are no longer going to “count”. Now they say that this doesn’t mean the EU is going away. They say they’re going keep little elements here and there, which is fine, I guess.

But I’m kind of confused. I was always under the impression that the main canon was comprised of the movies, and only the movies. I assumed all the spin-offs had their own continuities, and I was fine with that. Now I learn that the canon is the movies, plus the Clone Wars tv series and that, basically, all the spin-offs have their own continuities. So I’m not entirely clear as to why this announcement had to be made.

I suppose Lucasfilm is simply clearing the decks for the upcoming seventh movie, now only a bit more than a year-and-a-half away. Plus they’ve got a new animated series coming up on one of the Disney channels. So I guess they’re getting all their ducks in a row.

Still…to me this changes basically nothing. What about for other fans out there?