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6 Things I Want From Star Wars Episode VIII

Hey, did you hear they’re making a new Star Wars movie? Fancy that. Production is already underway, so consider the hype train for Episode VIII in full locomotion. I’m as excited as the next fan. Heck, I’m even excited for Rogue One! I still have no idea how that movie’s going to work.

What would I like to see in Star Wars: Episode VIII?

We’re gonna need a good name for this one

When The Force Awakens was first announced way back in 2013, I wrote a similar list…and got maybe two of the things I asked for. But back then, we had no idea what to expect. Now we know the story, the characters, the concepts, and I have some new ideas in mind. New hopes and dreams that will, in all likelihood, still be dashed upon the snow like an overworked tauntaun.

But hope springs eternal! so join me after the jump for six things I want to see in Star Wars: Episode VIII! And be warned, there will be SPOILERS for The Force Awakens, just in case you haven’t seen it yet.

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The Star Wars Expanded Universe is Alive and Well

Don’t worry, everybody, geekery is alive and well in Star Wars. Our nerdy ability to create backstory for every single insignificant character in the Star Wars Universe has not diminished in the slightest with the death of the Expanded Universe and the arrival of The Force Awakens. I couldn’t be giddier.

I speak, of course, about Internet sensation ‘TR-8R’, the fan-name given to the First Order Stormtrooper who whips out that amazing stun baton and gets into a melee battle with Finn halfway through the film. He’s so named because he shouts, “Traitor!” at Finn before he attacks.

The new ‘Boba Fett’

It’s a cool battle, it’s the first lightsaber fight in the film, and that stun baton is just badass. The scene goes a long way to making Stormtroopers dangerous again. The Internet fell in love with the Trooper immediately, and he’s kind of become a meme sensation. It’s hilarious, in that special Internet way.

Now, if you were like me, you thought that scene would have been a great place to use Captain Phasma. She doesn’t get much screentime, and a fight against Finn would have been pretty stellar for her character. And even though TR-8R gets blasted in the end, there’s no reason Phasma couldn’t survive and come back later. It would have been a fantastic use of the character.

Her IMAX poster was a good use too

But now I know how wrong I was, because Star Wars knew exactly what it was doing. For you see, TR-8R isn’t just some random Riot Control Stormtrooper who is mad at Finn. He’s actually a fully-fleshed out character who has a lot of backstory in the new, Disney version of the Expanded Universe. It all takes place in Greg Rucka’s novel, Before the Awakening, which now I really want to track down and read. Fortunately, Awesome Internet Person babieseverywhere went and summarized the book for us — SPOILERS for Before the Awakening in that link, of course.

The official Star Wars website has also jumped in to explain the truth behind TR-8R after they noticed his sudden spike in popularity.

Not only does TR-8R have a backstory now, but we also know who that Stormtrooper was in the beginning who died, and whose blood then marked Finn’s helmet.

Granted, all of this was pre-planned to take place in a tie-in book, so it’s not the same as most of the Expanded Universe explanations. But it’s good enough for me. It’s been a long while since I read the EU books and was really a part of that universe, but I’m excited to see the practice continue with the new canon.

Plus, I don’t know about you henchies, but I’m finding all these TR-8R memes to be hilarious!

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Review: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Fair warning, there will be SPOILERS later on in this review. Everything before the jump will be spoiler-free, and everything after the jump will have spoilers. I’ll make the distinction clear.

This is not the movie you’re looking for. Or maybe it is. Honestly, I think opinions are going to be all over the map for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. For some, it might be a glorious return to that wonderful galaxy far, far away. For me, it was a fine and enjoyable film, but it wasn’t the be-all, end-all cinematic second coming that it was hyped up to be. Instead, The Force Awakens is a fun adventure full of familiar characters that easily entertains.

But if this really is the start of several decades worth of new Star Wars films, one after another, I’m no longer as excited as I was yesterday.

Movie Rating: 6/10 – Pretty Good.

There is definitely a lot to enjoy about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s definitely worth going to see, especially if you’re a Star Wars fan. The new cast all acquit themselves well, meshing splendidly together and with the old, returning cast. Harrison Ford’s aged Han Solo steals the show, with ample support from the legendary Chewbacca. The two of them on screen again is worth the price of admission alone. Lightsabers blaze with iconic glory, the Millennium Falcon is as great as we’ve always know it to be, and this galaxy looks like the lived in, wildly varied galaxy of yore.

But the movie is far from perfect. There are numerous plot contrivances that seem to exist solely to bait the fans’ love for the franchise. Several seemingly important characters barely get any screen time, making you wonder why they seemed like such a big deal in all the advertising. And worst of all, what really took me out of the movie, was the inexhaustible desire to callback to and remember the original trilogy.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens does not take the franchise anywhere new. It revels in the old ways, while presenting just enough new material to guarantee the endless supply of new movies we’re going to get over the next several years (decades?).

But at the very least, Han Solo and Chewbacca are pretty awesome.

Join me after the jump for my full review. Be warned, I really get to rambling a bit. And this is the SPOILER cut off. Read the rest at your own risk.

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My 6 Favorite Episodes of Adventure Time

Adventure Time! Come on, grab your friends, we’ll go to very distant lands With Jake the Dog and Finn the Human the fun will never end. Adventure Time! Is there any show in the history of television more insanely creative or wildly bonkers than Adventure Time? If there is, I’ll have to see it to believe it, because Adventure Time is nuts! It’s the silly and off-the-wall adventures of Finn and Jake in the magical land of Ooo. But ask any fan and they will tell you that Adventure Time is more than just ADHD-inspired insanity. It’s a show with wit, charm, and on a few surprising occasions, real pathos. Also, the dog is magic and there are candy people!

Why is it that people love Adventure Time so much? I’ve heard one theory that people watch for the nostalgia of their own childhood adventures. And I’m sure there are some people who won’t watch unless they’re high as a kite. For me, Adventure Time is a great show because they mix the maniacal with the mundane. The ideas are out of this world. From Abraham Lincoln being the King of Mars to a short, apple-loving old lady elephant named ‘Tree Trunks’. The show is insane.

But at the same time, quite frequently, most of the characters in the show treat this insane world as mundane. Like the time Finn and Jake returned to the Nightosphere and were being held prisoner in a cage full of bananas. When they were approached by the demonic, bat-like prison guard, the guy just made conversational small talk about the end of his shift. I love the tone of moments like that, and they’re sprinkled all throughout the weirdness of Adventure Time.

So even though the show is (hopefully) far from over, and the fifth season has only just begun, here is a list of my 6 favorite episodes (so far) of Adventure Time! I’m going to assume that anybody who reads this is already a fan of the show, so full SPOILERS are in effect as I talk about each episode. And if you haven’t seen the show, perhaps this will convince you to give it a try!

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