Sunday, June 23, 2013

Star Wars Retrospective: Wrap up

Welcome back, Ladies and Gentlemen, to my retrospective on the Star Wars Saga.  Unlike the days before, this is brand new content.  That's right, I'm not going to repost the entry I did four years ago.

So, a little backstory; before Episode 4 was released in 1977, movies were not what we think of today.  In the decade before it was released, some of the highest grossing movies were downers. A Clockwork Orange, The French Connection, The Godfather, the Exorcist, Papillon...even Rocky ended on a down note.  (Yes, Rocky 1 ended on a down note; he lost the match.  That one was an anomaly until Rocky Balboa. But I digress.)

Star Wars brought hope into cinema.  George Lucas gave us a story of triumph over adversity when all Hollywood thought we wanted was a gritty setting. George Lucas gave us high fantasy when Hollywood thought we wanted grim reality.  And George Lucas gave us a world worth fighting for, when Hollywood thought we wanted a distopian view of things.

Because of Star Wars, special effects techniques and technologies advanced decades, which had stagnated since the 1950s.  Any of you who have the original VHS or laserdisc releases of Episode 4 can see just how awesome the original effects were, compared to movies like 2001 a Space Odyssey or Planet of the Apes.  Granted, these were done in 1968, ILM was dealing with pretty much the same technologies in the 9 years between.  George Lucas wanted his movies to LOOK as good as the story he was trying to tell.

He also broke away with normal conventions of 1977; he went with a classical score instead of the disco or rock soundtrack that was expected at the time. Remember, in 1977, disco was king.  But it is timeless because of it.  A person who has never seen Episode 4 can watch it and not immediately think it's from the 70s.  Don't believe me? Then check this out; it's a disco version of the opening theme.

(BTW, I had to change the video, but this is what 70s looked like to, in addition to what disco sounds like.)

This movie also started the trend of the summer blockbuster.  Before this, if I remember things correctly, the biggest movies came out in the winter.  With Episode 4's release on May 25, 1977, it began the trend of the summer blockbuster.

This movie began 36 years of fandom and cultural impact, and counting.  We have seen books, tv shows, comic books, video games, fan fiction, fan movies, fan music, toys, and parodies.  We've even seen a "religion"; the 2001 Jedi Census Phenomenon.  Even lexicon from the film is known in popular culture; President Barack Obama mentioned the Jedi Mind Trick in one of his speeches.

Hundreds of authors, artists, musicians and film makers have been inspired by Star Wars.  Seth Macfarlane, Kevin Smith, Seth Green, J.J. Abrams, and SO many others have been inspired by the Star Wars Saga.  Hell, Abrams was tapped to make the next Star Wars movie, scheduled for release in 2015.

Star Wars has advanced technology, both inside and outside the film industry.  Industrial Light and Magic was founded in 1975 by George Lucas.  They are the biggest name in special effects today, and have advanced technology and techniques that filmmakers use today.  We also got Pixar out of Lucasfilm.  Skywalker Sound came from George Lucas, a set of tools used by both film makers and musicians now.

And lastly, there are VERY few people in this day and age who haven't seen at least one of them. I have met 2 people in 30 years.  I have known over a hundred people (and I mean conversed with on a regular basis at one point or another.  If I go with casual acquaintances, I've known more) in my life, and only 2 have never seen Star Wars in any way, shape or form.

Star Wars had its crap. Episode 1 and the Clone Wars cartoon comes to mind.  Those are garbage.  As is the New Jedi Order novels.   Those piss me off.  But no series of any genre has been as consistently good as Star Wars.  No other fandom outside Lord of the Rings has the dedicated fanbase that Star Wars has.  And yes, I know that the original Star Trek aired before Star Wars.  But had it not been for Episode 4, Star Trek would have been nothing more than a scifi tv show from the 1960s.

Star Wars changed the landscape of the world.  It has touched the world in ways most forms of media never could.  No matter what Disney does with the franchise from this point on, what George Lucas brought us from 1977 to 2012 has touched the lives of many people, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Star Wars Retrospective: Episode 6

I've found out that my problem with my headaches is a combination of the fact the weather (I get headaches when it's way to hot out), my new glasses, and caffeine withdrawal of all things.  After I had a soda, I felt MUCH better.  So, instead of cutting out the soda entirely, I'm trying to wean myself down from three cups of soda at approximately 20 ounces, (what I'm starting with now) to two, to one, to none.

Anyway, on to the retrospective.

Episode 6: Return of the Jedi.  The end of the Original Trilogy, and the end of the saga of Anakin Skywalker. And also the worst of the Old Trilogy.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a very good movie, and it's vastly superior to Episode 1 and 2, but it doesn't live up to the quality seen in the two directly prior.  Hell, it' superior to Episode 3!

There's little I can say about the characters at this point.  Ian McDiarmid makes his debut as Palpatine in this movie, and performs his role as Emperor and Lord of the Sith perfectly.  Imperious, creepy, kinda sleazy, and powerful as hell; McDiarmid portrayed those traits perfectly.

Now, for plot points; Vader's redemption.  We see a hint of what Anakin Skywalker should have been in Empire, when Vader called out to Luke through the Force, but this is the movie where we truly get to see what Luke means to Vader; Luke is not only his way to free himself from the thrall of Palpatine, he's his last link to Padme, and his only chance at being loved.  And that's all he ever wanted, every since he left Tatooine as a boy; to have some love him.

Luke's journey, however, is very different.  He's trained to be a weapon to kill the Emperor and Vader, but he ends up a true Jedi; a wise man who looks for the right answer, not just the quickest one.  Granted, he stumbled on the journey; he not only attacked the Emperor out of anger (and he would have killed him, had Vader not jumped to the Emperor's defense), but he viciously attacked Vader when he realized that Luke had a sister.  But, in the end, Luke chose to be a Jedi, like his father before him.  Better, in many ways, because Luke was calm during situations when Anakin would have losing it.

Now, the story between Leia and Han continued as it should, with a couple of fun twists.  I thought the moments when Han thought Leia was in love with Luke to be kinda funny in a lot of ways.  The scene where Han says "I won't stand in the way of you and Luke" was too funny, especially when Leia told him that Luke was her brother.

The Ewoks were cool.  Cute and cuddly characters who had a very tribal, hunter focused society made them both kid appeal and awesome.  Watch the way they fought the Empire; not the silly moments where they try to take down an AT-ST with a piece of rope, but the moments where they are jamming their spears into the soft parts in the stormtrooper armor. 

Now, for the nitpicky stuff.  First is the change from Sebastian Shaw as Anakin's Force Ghost into Hayden Christensen as Anakin's Force Ghost.  The reason behind it is that Anakin reverts back to the way he was before he falls to the Dark Side, and I really don't have a problem with this change.  It's a very silly change, but it doesn't hurt the universe or the movie.

What I DO have a problem with is this; how the hell does Cloud City, Tatooine, Naboo and Coruscant know that the Emperor is dead and the Death Star has been destroyed?  I know instantaneous galactic wide communication works, but I question the logic of showing that.  I really doubt the Empire would broadcast the Emperor just died, and I doubt that the average citizen would believe that the Alliance killed the Emperor that early. 

And, of course, Jar Jar is now in Return of the Jedi....No.   Just.....No.  Why the fuck would George Lucas put Jar Jar in Return of the Jedi?  Granted, he's not physically in the fucking movie, but why have him shout "Wesa free!"

All in all, I enjoy watching Return of the Jedi.  I just ignore the bullshit, and I enjoy the movie.

Next up, a full retrospective on the entire saga.

Now, unlike these past six, tomorrow won't be an old entry; it will be brand new.  So, I'm going to actually have to think about what I'm going to say.  Look forward to it!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Star Wars Retrospective: Episode 5

Pounding headache all day isn't making this easy, but I said I'd do this, and no one can say that I don't follow through on my promises.

Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back.

As I said, I only own the special edition, so I've only go the version where shit has been changed.  But, even tough I haven't seen the original version of Empire in 12 years, I remember enough of what wasn't there to know what was changed.  That said, on with the review.

This movie has a LOT of important moments.  We see Vader's meditation chamber, the budding romance between Han and Leia, Luke's Jedi training, the introduction of Yoda, and the introduction of the Emperor. 

First off, Vader's meditation chamber.  The only place where Vader can take the helmet off.  We actually see his bald, scarred head in that meditation chamber; the second inkling that something's seriously wrong with Vader, the breathing being the first.  Of course, having seen Episode 3, I know exactly what is wrong with Vader, but when I saw it in the late 80s and in the 1997 special edition, I had no idea why what was wrong with him.

Second, the Han and Leia romance.  The dialogue is so much better than than the Anakin/Padme romance.  Mostly because the dialogue isn't written by George Lucas.  It's subtle, and that's the only way a romance feels natural. 

Third, Yoda.  When he first pops up, we get to see a different side to him; a very silly little man.  He's playful.  He's funny when he first shows up.  Granted, he's doing that to test Luke's patience, But it's just awesome to see this side of Yoda.

Forth, Luke's Jedi training.  This is the first time we see Yoda as a Jedi Master.  Wise, powerful, and patient.  Which contrasts Luke during this time; dumb, weak, and impatient.  Luke has so many questions about the Force and about Jedi training, but the answers are things that Luke has to learn for himself.  And the two major moments in Luke's training; his failure in the cave, and his failure to lift his X-Wing.  He doesn't completely learn his lesson from the cave until after he faces Vader, but when he sees Yoda lift his X-Wing immediately after his failure, he learns something extremely important; where the Force is concerned, "Size matters not."  Seeing this is a turning point in Luke's training; seeing Yoda, a being half his size, lift something as big and heavy as an X-Wing makes Luke truly understands what a Jedi is capable of.  But, that also made him more susceptible to the Dark Side.  After all, he doesn't learn the lesson of the cave until after his duel with Vader.

Speaking of the duel with Vader, it was as good as the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar.  We started to see what a Lightsaber duel should look like in that battle.  Vader's full control of the Force and his lightsaber made him a powerful foe to Luke, and we can see that, during the entire fight, he's just toying with Luke.  We don't really see what Vader is capable of until near the end of the duel, when he starts throwing stuff at Luke and then cutting off Luke's hand.  Luke, for the most part, holds his own, pushing himself to his limits and testing his new powers.  And it's amazing with how well Luke does in the duel; a man with no sword training holds his own pretty well, despite the fact that we know that Vader is just toying with Luke.

And the revelation; "No.  I am your father."  That was shocking to the audience in 1980.  The villain of the last movie just told the hero that he is the hero's father; that was unbelievable.  It was shocking, and no one knew how to react to it.  James Earl Jones in the bonus material DVD said it best; "when I first saw that line, I thought, 'he's lying'."  (And that's why I advocate showing these three to the next generation first.  Because seeing Episode 3 ruins the impact of this scene.  Imagine a child, who didn't grow up with Star Wars the way we did, seeing this scene and blurting out.  "Duh!"  Horrifying, isn't it?)

Finally, The Emperor.  In 1980 and the original release of this movie on VHS, Palpatine's first appearance portrayed by was a woman with the composite image of a chimpanzee for the eyes, and voiced by Clive Revell.  Hell, even in the 1997 special edition it was like that.  But, for the 2004 DVD release, we get Ian McDiarmid.  And, in all honesty, this was an AWESOME change.  As I've said 3 times so far, McDiarmid is awesome as Palpatine.  He elevates an already awesome movie.  And let's be honest, that old woman-chimp image was stupid.

The only other major change made, other than BS additions to add CGI to "add more life" to the movie, was the change to Boba Fett's voice.   Boba Fett was originally voiced by Jason Wingreen the 1980 film, and the subsequent video releases had his voice in then.  But, for the 2004 DVD release, his voice was changed to Temura Morrison, the man who did Boba's father, Jango.  The idea was that, since Boba was a direct clone, his voice would be the same as Jango's.  And you know what?  That doesn't bother me.  Like the change to McDiarmid for the Palpatine hologram, it makes sense. It fits, and it's cosmetic.  And those minor changes don't hurt the movie experience.

I like the Empire Strikes Back.  In fact, it's my favorite one.  So much character growth goes on, so many important plot points are introduced in this movie.

Next up, the finality of the Star Wars saga, Return of the Jedi.  And then, my thoughts on all six.

Fixed some spelling. I'm glad I'm just copying and pasting something I did before, because I wouldn't have been able to keep my promise otherwise.  I've done nothing to day other than taking painkillers for my headache and putting an icepack on my eyes and forehead to stop the throbbing.  It's only now that the pain is down to a manageable point that I can do this.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Star Wars Retrospective: Episode 4

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of all ages! It's time for the next entry on my Star Wars retrospective that was originally on my livejournal!

Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope.  The one that started the entire Star Wars Saga.  But, is it as good as people make it out to be?

As you might have guessed, I've been going through the Star Wars saga over the last week or so.  And I'm going to say right now that the only version I have of the original Trilogy is the 2004 special edition.  So, I know the version I watch has a shit load of changes over the 1977 version, but that's okay.

Any, in the internal chronology, this one takes place 19 years after ROtS, and kick-starts the saga of Anakin's children.  And what a saga they have.  The first thing we see after the opening crawl is a chase scene, followed by a short battle.  And we're introduced to important characters in the movie in short order; C3PO, R2-D2, Leia Organa, and Darth Vader.  And, a few more minutes into the movie, we get Luke Skywalker, then Old Ben Kenobi, and then Han and Chewie.

This movie establishes the conventions we see in all other forms of Star Wars media; lightsabers, blasters, hyperdrives, space battles, and the Force.

Ah, the Force.  Old Ben described the Force as an energy field that surrounded and penetrated them, and gave a Jedi it's power.  Mystical, but not overly so.  And that's all we needed to establish 30+ years of awesomeness.  But then George Lucas had to go and ruin it with Episode 1 and "midiclorians", but I already ranted on that.

Anyway, the actors.  Harrison Ford does Han Solo very well; snarky, world weary, but still very altruistic.  Mark Hamill does an awesome Luke; bright eyed and innocent, but still extremely capable.  Leia's appropriately imperious, but good, capable young woman.  And Luke's attraction to her is very funny, considering what we know about them now.  I don't see it as incestuous, because they don't know they are twins. 

David Prowse was awesome as the body of Darth Vader.  Tall, big and strong, he was the perfect man to be put in the costume.  The only problem was his voice; his thick scottish accent did not fit the Dark Lord of the Sith.  That's where James Earl Jones came in.  His voice gave Darth Vader the menace he needed to be the villain for this movie.

Next up is Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin.  He seemed like every sleazy politician you can think of, but Cushing makes makes Tarkin have an air of menace that a politician just doesn't have.  And did you know that Cushing played opposite Christopher Lee in the 1958 Hammer Films (Horror of) Dracula?  Strange links between actors, huh?

And finally, Sir Alec Guinness.  A legend in the film industry long before Star Wars, Guinness brought legimitacy to what would be a low budget, independent film.  Guinness' portrayal of Ben Kenobi MADE the movie.  Like Ian McDiarmid's performance as Palpatine does in the prequels, Sir Alec Guinness' Ben Kenobi was awesome.   By the way, I call Alec Guinness' performance "Old Ben" to differentiate it from Ewen McGregor's performance.  Same guy, but completely different character.

Now, for some of the important moments in the movie.  Most importantly, the lightsaber duel.  In 1977, this was nothing more a moment of coolness that forced Luke to grow and learn.  But today, after seeing Episode 3, we can see the history between Vader and Obi-Wan.  We know why Vader says what he says to Ben, and we understand what is going on inside their heads when they fight.

Finally, the final battle; the Rebel fighters against the Death Star.  We first see just how awesome Luke is as a pilot, and a hint at what a Jedi can do with the Force.  And, of course, we get to see how awesome Vader is as a fighter pilot.

Now, since I have the 2004 special edition, I hate to deal with the "Han shot first" controversy.  First off, the event.  Greedo threatens Han, and then, in the special edition, Greedo shoots at Han, Han does a very badly edited dodge, and returns fire.  However, in the 1977 version, Han takes the only shot.  He kills Greedo before he gets a chance to take a shot.  Now, I think this was a stupid change, but I'm not going to let myself lose any sleep over it, or even bother ranting about it.

Second, the phrase.  "Han shot first" implies that Greedo got a shot off.  In 1977, he doesn't.  So, "Han Shot First" is a grave misnomer.  But, "Han Shoots Only" doesn't roll off the tongue like "Han Shot First."

So, Episode does a very good job at not only starting off the saga, but it also goes a great job at creating a phenomenon.  No matter what George Lucas says about his movies being about Anakin, this and its sequels are what people who aren't fans think of when someone says Star Wars.

Either tomorrow or the day after I will be reviewing The Empire Strikes Back.  Look forward to it!

I cleaned up a LOT of spelling and grammar errors in my repost.  Tomorrow brings us to Empire, and I'll wrap up the movies on Saturday, with a brand new retrospective to the series on Sunday.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Star Wars Retrospective: Episode 3

I think I'm coming down with something, because I've been dizzy as shit all day.  But I'm going to continue on with reposting my old livejournal retrospective with Episode 3.

Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith.  It all came down to the wire on this one, but, to use a baseball metaphor, George Lucas had two strikes and then hit a home run.  This movie was good.

First off, the action.  I believe this is the only movie that you actually start out with a battle.  The movie starts out with a space battle, to get to General Grevious' flagship so they can rescue the chancellor.  A few minutes later, we get a lightsaber battle, and then a skirmish with droids, and then a crash landing.  What a way to start your movie.  None of the other live action movies start out this way.  Episode 4 comes close, with Vader chasing the Tantative 4, but it's not a full scale war.

Second, the romance dialogue is far better, and it proves why George Lucas should not be writing dialogue.  Yeah, some of it is cheesy as hell, but is sounds natural.  I've actually heard people stuff similar to the "Only because I'm so in love" conversation.  Cheesy as hell, but it works.

Ian McDiarmid was awesome as Palpatine, as well.  The subtle way he forces Anakin to doubt the Jedi was just too delicious.  Palpatine knew that Anakin was finally ready to accept that Palpatine was Dark Lord of the Sith, and willing to accept his teachings.  And Palpatine knew he had Anakin by the balls, especially after Anakin told him about his dreams of Padme, and what the Jedi Council told him to do.

And seeing the Darth Vader costume and hearing James Earl Jones' voice again, that was almost orgasmic.  Granted, Jones' lines sucked balls and sounded completely out of character from what we see in the next three films, but I see that moment as the "death" of Anakin Skywalker, and the "birth" of Darth Vader.

And that final climactic between Obi-wan and Anakin was too cool for words.  You can see the emotion in their eyes, feel the pain in their hearts as they try to kill each other.  Despite what Anakin says, he still loves Obi-Wan like a father.  He's angry, confused, and he directs that all at Obi-Wan.  Not to mention that he blames Obi-Wan for what he "had to do" to his wife, the one person who loved him no matter what he did.

And Obi-Wan is confused as well.  Obi-Wan loved Anakin.  He even says as much.
"You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you!"

To see the man that Obi-Wan had trained since he was 9 like that, it broke Obi-Wan's heart. 
The fact that he couldn't stand the sight of Anakin engulfed by flames, and the line I quoted, showed how much it hurt Obi-Wan to have to do this.  And even though he should have, Obi-Wan could not kill his friend.  He couldn't bear the thought of taking his life.

And that battle adds new dimensions to the battle aboard the Death Star, nearly 20 years later.  But, I'll get into that when I review Episode 4.

The only downsides to this movie were nitpicky.  First off, any time Yoda is forced to use his lightsaber, while incredibly cool to see Yoda's sword skills, looks incredibly cheesy seeing him duel another Force user.

Padme's role is greatly diminished in this film, but her time to shine was over.  Yeah, she was a member of the Delegation of 2000, and while those scenes cut from the movie are canon, the only major event she had to do was give birth to Luke and Leia.  And that's fine.    This was the story of Anakin's fall, and Padme had to be pushed aside to tell that story.

Besides, she gives birth to A New Hope, so she still plays an extremely important role in the story.

The only other nitpicky thing I have is the sense of time.  I mean, how long does it take to make hyperspace journeys?  Padme said she hadn't seen Anakin since yesterday when she was told, by Obi-Wan, what Anakin did in the Jedi Temple, which implied to me that Mustafar was a day's travel from Coruscant.  The next scene, Padme shows up on Mustafar just as Anakin finishes talking to Palpatine.  And then Palpatine shows up right after the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan ends!!!  WTF?!?!

All in all, this is how the two prior should have been made.  This movie was higher quality than we had seen from George Lucas in a long time, and redeemed him in the eyes of many fans.  And then he had to go and create the Clone Wars movie and cartoon, but I digress.

Next review; Episode 4: A New Hope.

Episode 4 will be up at some point tomorrow. When and how much I saw will be determined by how I'm feeling.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Star Wars Retrospective: Episode 2

Day two of Star Wars retrospective week brings me to Episode 2: Attack of the Clones.  Remember, this is a posting of old livejournal posts, like most of my other reviews.

Episode 2: Attack of the Clones.  Better than Episode 1, but that's not saying much.  That's like saying the shit I took today was better than the I took yesterday.

I'm going to start with the ways this movie is better than its predecessor.  First off, the action.  A lot more, and a lot better.  I actually cared about what was going on.  From the moment Obi-Wan jumped out onto the droid to the battle of Geonosis, the action sequences were awesome.

Second, the performance of some of the actors.  Ian McDiarmid's performance as Palpatine was awesome, as always.  Christopher Lee was awesome as well.

And Hayden Christensen Anakin Skywalker.  He did the role well, but the lines he had to say were almost as bad as the stuff Jake Lloyd had to say.  But, playing an Emo/angry Jedi, Christensen did Anakin Skywalker justice.

The locations were awesome.  I love rainy environments, and Kamino had that in spades.  And the cloning facilities were just beautiful.  And the places that returned form previous were well done as well.

Having 3PO back for comedy relief was great too.  He made up for the craptasticness of Jar Jar in spades.

Which brings me to the bad.  First off, the dialogue still sucks.  I swear, George Lucas can write action, create amazing locales, amazing alien races, but he can't write natural dialogue to save his life. 

And the romance.   Don't get me started on how bad that was.  It just didn't feel believeable, and the dialogue was about as natural as an oral bowel movement.  Especially the fireside moment.  That was painful to listen to.

I'd go into it more, but I'm kinda tired at the moment of writing this.  All in all, Episode 2 was better than Episode 1, but that's not saying much.  Episode 3 makes up for these two pieces of shit, and then the original saga is George Lucas' best work in Star Wars to date.  I'll get to those in the next few days.

As for now, there's not a whole lot more I can say after rereading this.  It's not a good movie.  Now, on to Episode 3 tomorrow, the movie that saved the franchise in my mind. At least until the Clone Wars movie and cartoon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Star Wars Retrospective: Episode 1

As I said earlier, over the next week, I'm going to be reposting my old reviews of the Star Wars Saga. Here is my entry on Episode 1.

Today, I am going to review the WORST Star Wars movie ever made, and I'm not talking about that animated Clone Wars movie.  I'm talking about the 1999 crapfest known as Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. 

This movie was awful.  The action was dull, the characters were boring, and the plot was stupid.  I mean, the second line talks about a tax on trade routes.  Now, how is that exciting?

I'm not going to really go into the plot, because let's face it, everybody and their brother has seen this piece of shit in the last 10 years.  I will however, talk about the few things I liked, and the many things I didn't like.

First off, the many things I didn't like.  Now, I saw this movie when I was 16, so I was able to pick apart the movie back then.  It was so obvious that Padme, the supposed decoy, was Queen Amidala.  So many moments, especially on Tattooine, that just screamed "I AM Queen Amidala!"

And Jake Lloyd.  Ooh, Jake Lloyd.  His dialogue was annoying.  Now, I understand it wasn't his fault; George Lucas' dialogue is about as natural as an oral bowel movement, so you can't completely blame the kid for what he had to say.  But Jake Lloyd was supposed to do 2 things as Anakin Skywalker; show his innocence and his capabilities.  And Jake Lloyd does neither.  His "innocence" moments just seem...too rehearsed.  And that "Are you and angel?" line is so bad that it was actually spoofed in KOTOR 2.

"Are you an angel? Aw, I'm just kidding. That's the worst line I've ever used. Hope some poor kid doesn't start using it."
-Atton Rand

Next, is midiclorians.  I know that midiclorians are based on mitochondria, but it's still stupid.  Midiclorians create a scientific explanation for something that should remain mystical.  News Flash Lucas; the universe you create is NOT Earth, and shouldn't be treated as such.  You created alien races and planets that couldn't possibly exist in reality, (Coruscant, the planet that is completely city), and you feel the need to create the midiclorians?  Why?

Third; Jar Jar.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate Jar Jar.  He's annoying, he's clumsy, he's offensive at times in his stereotypes, and he is braindead.  I mean, even in his "comedy relief" role, he fails.  Nothing he does is funny.  But, I don't hate him nearly as much as I used to, because of a webcomic, Darth and Droids.  It does a retelling of the movies, but as a pen and paper role playing game.  And in that game, Jar Jar is played by a little girl.  And, then it hit me; Jar Jar wasn't created by George Lucas; it was created by one of his kids, most likely one of the younger ones; Katie or Jett.

Fourth, the action, or lack there of.  Well, I should say good action sequences, because there's plenty of crap.  The only good action scenes I can think of are the pod race, and the initial battle between Qui-Gonn and Darth Maul on Tattooine.  Everything else is sub-par.

Now, there are some good things.  First off is Ian McDiarmid, who is awesome as Palpatine.  McDiarmid's performance as Palpatine shows shades of what he is to become, and who he truly is, but at the same time, maintaining the benevolence needed for his role as a Senator, and later, Chancellor.  And his performance as Darth Sidious is wonderful.  Even though George Lucas' dialogue is awful, McDiarmid makes it work.  The entire Star Wars movie saga hinges on him, and he carries it perfectly.

Next, R2-D2.  As with Palpatine, a lot of moments hinge on R2.  Where other characters would seem forced into a role, R2 fits perfectly. 

Even 3PO is there, and is awesome.  He performs the role that Jar Jar fails at perfectly; comedic relief.  It's just too bad he isn't in more of the movie, because he is always funny.

All in all, this movie is a definite miss when it comes to George Lucas' storytelling.  In my opinion, this one can be passed and still get an awesome story.  Hell, not watching this one elevates the rest of the saga.

My best friend, when he introduces Star Wars to his daughter, is going to go with the original trilogy, then Episodes 2 and 3, forgoing Episode 1 until she is old enough to see just why this one is so bad.

As you can see, I did this review 4 years ago. At this point, the whole saga is on blue ray, a format that I don't own.  I still agree with what I said; it's still a piece of shit compared to the other five. Although, the Clone Wars cartoon gives this movie a run for it's money with how bad it is.  Anyway, tomorrow, on to Episode 2.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, blog!

Apparently yesterday marked one year of having this blog.  Made me realize that I haven't put as much as I thought I would have from my old live journal on here as I thought I would have by now.  So, starting next week, I'm going to put my Star Wars retrospective back on here.  They were seven posts on there, as I watched an analyzed the movies, one for each movie and then a final wrap up.

Monday, June 3, 2013

No TV or internet for a day

I got up this morning, logged in to my computer, tried to get on the internet; nothing. So, since I couldn't check my email, I tried my TV, and it didn't power on.  So, I put my pants on, and talked to my neighbors, and found out that lightning hit my building last night, and fried a LOT of people's stuff.

So I went ahead and bought a new TV from a pawn shop for 78 dollars, and came home, hooked up my TV to my game consoles and cable box, and try to watch TV; nothing.  I try the game consoles, they work fine. I try the internet on my computer, still nothing.  So I call my cable company, and they tell me that the internet and cable are out in my area.  So I sit all day, playing Dragon Age: Origins and watching movies on my laptop.  After pounding pavement looking for a job, of course. 

Now, here I am, with internet access, but I'm still having an issue between the cable box and my new TV.  It doesn't read the signal.  So I try to call my cable company, and they tell me that they they are still having troubles.  So, what I'm wondering is whether or not this new TV has issues with the HDMI cable, since I tried it in both HDMI slots.

So, yeah, interesting Monday. I'm going to call for a tech tomorrow, and have them take a look at it.

At least I get my glasses this week.  Finally be able to see clearly at a distance again.