Tag Archives: star wars

The Farce Awakens(?)

I haven’t seen The Force Awakens yet (practically no one has), so there are no spoilers to worry about in this post. This is just my rambling thoughts and expectations about the movie.

Let's get the ball rolling.

Let’s get the ball rolling.

First, this movie has a lot of potential. It looks fairly accurate to the spirit of Star Wars, since it’s primarily an action movie. So far, there’s no indication of any of the boring political stuff that made the prequels so non-amazing. In the trailers, we see cool spaceship battles, cool lightsaber battles, and cool laser battles. The movie will definitely be cool, whether or not it lives up to expectations in other areas, like story and universe development.

This movie is arguably one of the most anticipated/hyped movies in recent history. It’s the new continuation of an old and loved franchise. There’s new actors, new characters, new planets, and, of course, a new director. One of the only reasons I have hope for this movie is that J.J. Abrams is directing it. He did a really good job on the recent Star Trek movies. I mean, he turned Star Trek into something totally watchable and cool. Not an easy task. One of the things he’s doing that I’m excited about is using a lot of practical effects. The original trilogy was awesome because of all the amazing practical effects, and the Prequel trilogy really suffered from too much CGI. Hopefully this movie won’t fall into the same trap.

Come on, there is no way J.J. can do worse than Episode I.

Episode VII looks like it will be a pretty good continuation of the Star Wars story, with the Rebellion growing stronger and the Empire declining after the Battle of Endor. It has Luke, Han, Leia, and a bunch of other old characters,  but it also introduces us to some new characters, including the villain: Kylo Ren. And that leads me to a key point: the designs in the movie.

I’ll start by saying the new three-bladed lightsaber is kind of dumb. It just is. Now, if the movie has a really good explanation of why it’s absolutely necessary for it to have three blades, then I’m on board. But until then, I’m skeptical. Also, I don’t completely get BB-8. I mean, it’s basically a basketball with a head. Totally cool (especially since they made it with practical effects instead of CGI), but it doesn’t make that much sense in the fictional universe. It would be really unstable and would have a lot of trouble on rough terrain. And where do all the cool gadgets come out of?

BB-8 2

Aside from those gripes, I actually like a lot of the designs we see in the trailers. The new stormtroopers are pretty sweet, and I like how they designed Kylo Ren’s helmet. It has a sort of samurai vibe, but is still very dark and Sith-like. Even though Jakku is just a discount Tatooine, the battle in and among the ruined Star Destoyers looks absolutely awesome. The First Order TIE fighters are really cool and seem like a natural evolution of the TIEs from the original trilogy. Those new X-wings are awesome, and again, feel like a logical continuation of the classic X-wings.

I think it’ll be really cool to see what they do with the technology and ships. In the Star Wars universe, three or four decades have passed since Return of the Jedi, so there’s a lot of space for new technological developments.

And now for the most important part: the story. At the end of Return of the Jedi, there are a lot of possible paths a screenwriter could take. Since Disney officially dumped the Extended Universe, there are almost limitless possibilities. (Though it does mean we probably won’t get a Thrawn movie. Bummer.) Anyway, it will be really interesting to see what happens. From what we can see, the Empire is far from destroyed, and the Rebels haven’t really formed a central government yet. So the plot might be very similar to the original trilogy, only with the Rebels/Resistance having won a good bit of ground from the Empire/First Order. It looks like there will be some new Jedi-in-training (as evidenced by the title), but we don’t know what role Luke plays in all of that. We don’t know what Han and Leia are doing, we don’t know what Kylo Ren is doing or where he came from, and we don’t know anything else, really.

Honestly, that’s a good thing. Nothing kills anticipation like a good spoiler, and the trailers and cast interviews have been completely spoiler-free. Of course, the Internet will be totally filled with them  this time tomorrow, but whatever.

Since we know almost nothing about the plot of the movie, I really don’t know whether to be excited or skeptical about it. I know there’ll be parts of the movie I really like, like the action scenes and the score (John Williams is still awesome), but the most important part, the story, is a complete unknown. Because J.J. Abrams is directing it, I have hope. Not a whole lot, since I don’t want to be disappointed (and because it’s Disney), but I do have hope. Overall, I’d say I’m cautiously optimistic.

Those are my thoughts for now. Once I go see it, I’ll probably write a review. And now, I’ll leave you with this:BB-asketball

I’m sorry, that droid just really looks like a basketball to me.

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The Empire Striketh Back

I smell something Wookiee in the system of Dantooine….

I’ve been reading Ian Doescher’s Star Wars books. Far from normal Star Wars books, these tell the story of the Original Trilogy as Shakespeare might have written it: in glorious iambic pentameter.

Here’s the version of the intro from “Verily, A New Hope.”
Star wars shakespeare

He also has versions of Episodes V and VI: The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Return.

These books are great. I love ’em.

Verily, what a nerd doth I be.

Review: 75035 Kashyyyk Troopers

From now on, I will be reviewing the Lego sets I get. This is the first.

Theme: Star Wars.
MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price): 12.99 USD.
Minifigs: 4.
Pieces: 99.
You can find it on Amazon here.

IMG_0347

It comes with a small swamp speeder, four clone troopers, four of the new shooting blasters, and some spare parts.

IMG_0348
The swamp speeder is very simple and unimpressive. The only notable pieces it has are the dark red ones and two of these. The design is simplistic, and the build uninteresting. In fact, I was able to put the model together without using the instructions. The speeder seats two minifigs, and can hold two blasters in the clips.

But now for the whole point of this set: the minifigs.IMG_0343
There are two clone scout troopers and two standard 2013-14 Episode III clones, in camouflage. The scout troopers have olive green helmets, torsos and arms and dark brown legs with olive hips. The camo troopers have olive green helmets and torsos, and dark tan arms and legs with olive hips.IMG_0344
I have to say, I’m impressed. The printing (front and back) is extremely detailed and high-quality. The helmet molds look very good (aside from the fact that they are too large for the fig’s body, but that’s normal for Lego). And aside from the picky technical details, they just look cool. I can definitely picture myself using these torsos for future military minifigs.

This set comes with four of the 2014 shooting blasters. Essentially, you put a 1×1 round in the front and press the lever, and it shoots a few feet. The farthest I was able to shoot it was about 5 feet. From point-blank range, the guns can actually knock a minifig over. However, they look completely and absolutely ludicrous. The guns are bigger (and thicker) than a fig’s leg. I don’t think that’s quite realistic. Also, they have no aesthetic value whatsoever. I can think of no other ways to use them.

Pros: the clones, the clones, the clones!
Cons: The speeder is rather lame, the guns are ridiculous, and the price-to-part ratio is high.

Final rating: 2 out of 5.