Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

Kanata and Dax – A Star Wars/Star Trek Crossover Story

April 13, 2021

Alarms went off in the small ship. A lot of alarms. The ship had been on autopilot so Maz Kanata woke up and scrambled out of her bunk. She rubbed her eyes and pulled on a jacket.

“Rose!” Maz yelled out. “What is that alarm? I’ve never heard that one before.”

Maz acted nonchalant as usual but Rose Tico could tell that she was worried. Rose was beyond worried herself and stopped cursing under her breath long enough to talk. She gestured to Maz to follow and then led her to the cockpit where she abruptly took the ship out of hyperdrive. The alarm suddenly stopped blaring.

“The ship detected an imminent collision while we were in hyperspace,” Rose said. “Now that we’re out of hyperdrive, the collision won’t happen. This shouldn’t happen, though. The odds of intersecting with another ship’s path in hyperspace are pretty astronomical.”

“And yet, we seem to have beaten those odds,” Maz said. “Lucky us. I suppose we should see who the culprit is and see if they’re also alright.”

“Well, that’s them right there,” Rose said as she pointed through the cockpit window. “I’ve never seen a ship like that before. It’s very pretty. All the round edges remind me of the pictures I’ve seen of the Old Republic days.”

“I can assure you that this ship is not designed like anything I’ve ever seen,” Maz said. “and I’ve been on Old Republic era ships. It reminds me of the Falcon but sleeker.”

“I should have guessed,” Rose said. “You’ve been everywhere by now. Oh, I think I know why we almost crashed. There’s a space object a quarter of a light-year back that may have altered our course.” She was pressing buttons on the console as she talked. Multi-tasking was one of the skills that had led Maz to recruit Rose.

“A space object,” Maz said. “How descriptive.”

“I’m an engineer, not a scientist,” Rose said. “I’m scanning frequencies to see if we can have a chat with our new friends.”

After a few minutes, the subspace radio crackled to life.

“I repeat,” a woman’s voice said. “This is Jadzia Dax of the USS Defiant. Please respond. We encountered a space/time distortion while in warp and we are worried that your ship may have been damaged. Please respond.”

Rose pressed a button on the console and gestured to Maz. After all, Maz Kanata was the leader of this little partnership.

“This is Maz Kanata of the New Republic Defense Force,” Maz said. “Can you hear me?”

“I can hear you loud and clear, Ms. Kanata,” Jadzia said. “I’m not getting any visuals. It seems our systems are barely compatible. Would you like to come aboard so our medics can have a look at you?”

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” Maz said. “but we’re always open to meeting new friends and our rendezvous can wait a little longer, I suppose. We’ll come around and dock.”

“No need,” Jadzia said. “We can beam you aboard. It’ll be quicker.”

“Beam?” Rose asked. “What does that mean?”

A shimmering blue light surrounded Maz and Rose but, before either could react, they vanished from the cockpit of their ship and were in the strangest place either had been which said a lot. A young woman with long, braided hair and peculiar birthmarks along her hairline and down along her neck smiled at them.

“Sorry about that,” Jadzia said. “My name is Jadzia Dax and this is the Starfleet vessel Defiant. What New Republic did you say you represent?”

“What’s Starfleet?” Rose asked.

“Good question,” Maz said. “but to answer a question, we’re from the New Republic. The new government formed after the fall of the Empire. I would have thought the news was more well-known by now.”

“None of that really made sense to me,” Jadzia said. “and did you hit your head and forget what Starfleet is? Can my medics check you out?”

Maz and Rose nodded, looking just as confused as Jadzia. The medics stepped forward and started to wave strange devices close to Maz and Rose’s body without touching. The medic near Maz started to look even more confused.

“This species, it’s not in any of our medical databases,” the medic said. “However, it does somewhat match some ancient archaeological data.”

“Oh,” Jadzia said. “I think we have quite a mystery on our hands.”


The End of One Road – A Star Wars Story

April 6, 2020

Finn carried a box of parts up the ramp of the Millenium Falcon and poked his head around the corner. He did not see anybody so he looked for somewhere to put the box down. It had been two weeks since the battle against the Final Order. Rey had gone off on her own but a lot of Finn’s other friends had been ordered to get some rest. They had run themselves ragged for so long, nearly dying on so many planets. Now everybody was going back to work and part of that was getting the Falcon back in tip-top shape. Not that it ever stayed in tip-top shape.

Finn was kind of surprised that the Falcon was even still there. He had thought that Rey would take it with her, maybe bring Chewie along for the ride. Instead, she had taken her own craft wherever she had gone. Chewbacca seemed to be done with the Falcon now and probably had no fight left in him. As he was the oldest current member of the Resistance, everybody understood his retirement. Lando had just said that he had already lost the Falcon a long time ago and felt that it had belonged to the Resistance now more than anybody.

While Finn was lost in thought, Poe climbed out of a hatch below and removed the welding goggles he had been wearing.

“Finn!” he said suddenly which made Finn nearly drop the box he forgot he had been holding. “What’s going on?”

“I, uh, just brought this box of parts,” Finn said. “I think this is what was needed. At least, it’s what I could scrounge up so far.”

“Cool,” Poe said. “Set it anywhere. Can you give a hand on a few things?”

“Sure,” Finn said. “I’m not really doing anything right now besides carrying stuff around.”

“Don’t sell yourself short,” Poe said. “You’ve learned a lot during your time with us. There was a time where I thought you’d run.”

“I actually tried,” Finn said. “Early on. Twice actually.”

“Really?” Poe asked. “Why am I only hearing about this now?”

“I guess I was embarrassed,” Finn said. “The first one Starkiller convinced me to stay and then Rose stopped me the second time.”

“I can’t really call you out,” Poe said. “Remember that I actually tried to stage a coup?”

“Oh yeah,” Finn said with a laugh. “That sucked.” Even though Finn had been off at Canto Bright at the time, the resistance’s rebellion had been laughed about when Finn got back. It was one of the only things to laugh at the time.

“Not my finest moment,” Poe said, blushing slightly. “I can be an ass.” It had been one of the first real stings to his ego which had thankfully led to him being a more mature officer and a real asset to the Resistance.

“You saved me, though,” Finn said. “Over Jakku.”

“You saved me first,” Poe said. “That was… intense.” The two of them shared a look as they remembered the frantic escape from the Star Destroyer over Jakku. The thrilling space battle which ended in disaster.

“I thought you died,” Finn said. “The only person I had in the entire universe and he was dead.” He saw the ship sinking into the sand in his mind’s eye and it made him shudder.

“I’m glad we met again,” Poe said.

“It’s part of why I stayed to handle Starkiller Base,” Finn said. “I trusted you. I trusted Rey.”

Poe thought for a moment. “Finn,” he started. “I’ve been meaning to bring something up with you.”

“What’s that?” Finn asked

“I’ve noticed that in the year since we met, you’ve gone after quite a few girls,” Poe said. “I mean, first you seemed to be trying for something with Rey.”

“I mean, I never said anything to her,” Finn said. “Now I never will.”

“Then you and Rose were actually an item,” Poe said.

“Not for long,” Finn said. “It kind of started in the heat of the moment but it fizzled out.”

“Then along came Jannah,” Poe said.

“Who?” Finn asked. “Oh, yeah, that was never really a thing. We’ve just got that shared history thing.” He was still not sure how he felt about that. He wanted to explore his past but he was also interested in his future. He felt conflicted.

“Do you think you would ever go for a guy?” Poe asked, looking Finn dead in the eye.

“What?” Finn asked, swallowing hard. “I’m not sure. I don’t have any experience there.”

“Could you see yourself with me?” Poe asked with a smile.

“I’ve met your ex,” Finn said. “I thought you liked girls too.”

“A person can like both,” Poe said with a shrug.

“A person could like both,” Finn agreed. Somehow that had not occurred to him.

Poe smiled again. This time there was something a little more intimate to that smile. “Think about it,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“I, uh, I will think about it,” Finn said. “What are you going to do now that the Final Order is toast?”

“Well,” Poe said. “I’m sure there are still First Order flunkies out there. There are rumors that Phasma is still alive somewhere.” At the mention of the name of his old Captain, Finn tensed.

“Then I’m definitely sticking around,” Finn said. “I want a piece of that.”

“That means we’ll be spending more time together,” Poe said.

“I guess it does,” Finn said with a smile. “I guess it does.”

<This was suggested by #BloggessFam friend Meerkat on Twitter>

Media Update 1/9/20

January 9, 2020

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I have been a Star Wars fan since I first saw the original movie as a kid. Our family had a whole bunch of the Kenner action figures at some point. I’ve seen every movie and played a whole bunch of the video games. I have even read some books. Still, I’m not one *those* fans who feel such ownership for the series (often also combined with hate for it). I enjoyed the movie. Did I have problems with it? Absolutely. Most of it was disappointments about what they decided to focus on versus what they had set up. I was a fan of The Last Jedi and the wild choices it made which I thought would set up an interesting new direction. However, they decided to play it safe and that worked out as well. Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Anthony Daniels did a great job as usual. Everybody else from previous movies had some fun cameos but had very little to do. That’s fine except for Kelly Marie Tran and Lupita Nyong’o who they should have given actual screen time to. Still, I got caught up in the nostalgic rush and Rian Johnson will be just fine. The action scenes are awesome and there are a lot of feel-good moments to close out what ended up being a decades-long story. There was more to like than to dislike and it was fine. I recommend it. Just go ahead and watch it if you’re on the fence.

Dark Phoenix

I have been a fan of the Fox X-Men franchise since X-Men (2000) first came out. Technically, Fox has been killing it with the X-Men franchise since the early nineties. Now that Disney has bought Fox, that chapter is now over. As far as I know, only one film remains and then it’s done. Anyway, X-Men First Class breathed new life into the franchise and allowed for a little more freedom. This is the final movie in that part of the franchise as well. Once again James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender return to deliver strong performances. Nicholas Hoult gets to step up and so does Tye Sheridan. However, Sophie Turner went from a few minutes in the previous movie to really carry this whole movie on her shoulders. She did a really good job with what she had to work with. Jessica Chastain ended up being a pretty neat villain, kind of balancing out all of the very male energy. It was a bit of a mess but, like Star Wars, it was a fun mess. The only real complaint I have is that part of the reason I watch X-Men movies is to see new mutants interpreted by the franchise and there was not much here. I recommend this as well but only for people who want to watch the other parts of the franchise.

Candyman: Day of the Dead

What? Halloween is 365 days a year in my world. Besides, Jordan Peele is working on a remake so I need to finish the original trilogy. The first Candyman is a classic and the second one was a strong continuation of the original concept. The first film covered the Cabrini-Green legends. The second film covered Mardi Gras. It seems fitting that the final installment would take place during Mexico’s Dias de la Muerta celebration. The franchise tries really hard to create a legend based around black culture (and touches on other people of color). The franchise also features a series of white women being terrorized by a black man and somehow the black man is not really the villain. The movies are about karma, the hate that springs from prejudice, and the hate crimes that go unpunished. The movies are all fairly trippy and moody and just so fun visually. Part of that is because such good (and surreal) art is usually involved in the making of each movie. Like previous entries, it also has a crapton of bees in it. That said, this is definitely the weakest entry in the series. Still, it stars the wonderful charismatic Tony Todd who plays a truly iconic horror villain.


Music of the Week:
Pale Waves – Television Romance

Otoboke Beaver – Don’t Light My Fire

The HU – Wolf Totem


Beabadoobee – I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus


Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Closing Out the Arc”
– I finished Runaways Season 1
– I finished Prodigal Son Season 1
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 8
– I watched more Scream Season 1
– I watched more Penn and Teller’s Bullshit Season 3
– I watched more Brooklyn 99 Season 3
– I watched more Ducktales Season 1
– I watched more Carmen Sandiego Season 2
– I watched more Blue Bloods Season 9
– I watched more Stumptown Season 1
– I watched more The Crown Season 3
– I started watching Sailor Moon Crystal Season 1
– I started watching Community Season 6
– Why, yes I have had the flu lately

Media Update 12/5/19

December 5, 2019

The Mandalorian

The Star Wars franchise has always had side projects, but it feels like they are getting better and better lately. Two of the most recent side projects are Solo and Rogue One. They successfully mixed Star Wars with a heist film and a war film respectively. The Mandalorian is a weekly television show that feels like it blends Star Wars with a western. The show is set post-Empire and the Mandalorians are scattered to the winds as a people. The show follows a Mandalorian bounty hunter who has a code of honor and is the best of the best. The show feels like something new in a familiar universe. There is plenty of humor but also that core of seriousness that most westerns have. Pedro Pascal does such a great job acting even though his face is always covered by a helmet Boba Fett-style. There are all sorts of enigmatic characters that I am interested to see what they are there for or who continues throughout the show. The only complaint I have is that there are no female main characters so far. I definitely recommend it.

The Great Mouse Detective

I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and this movie is Disney’s take on the story through the filter of original characters who are all Holmes-adjacent. Barrie Ingham is such a delight as Basil of Baker Street, an absent-minded but brilliant mouse detective who loves the thrill of the hunt. Val Bettin plays Dawson, the Watson analog, who is smart but his real strength is his good heart. Susanne Pollatschek is the young girl who is the client and is inquisitive and adds a lot of energy to the movie. Alan Young uses his Scrooge McDuck voice as her father. Candy Candido plays a hilariously stupid thug. Finally, the wonderful Vincent Price plays the Moriarty analog and he is so delightfully wicked. He honestly steals so many scenes just like some of the greatest Disney villains. The movie is a good little mystery but its strength is the likable characters and the goodness at its heart. I recommend it.

The Emperor’s New Groove

This is one that I had heard was way better than it was given credit for. The movie follows an arrogant and selfish emperor played by David Spade who goes on a journey of self-discovery. The movie definitely draws from the same spirit as The Emperor’s New Clothes. Somebody must speak against power when power goes too far. The movie is basically two slapstick buddy comedies in one. First, you have David Spade who must journey with John Goodman in order to survive. Second, you have Eartha Kitt hanging out with Patrick Warburton and opposing our protagonists. Kitt especially steals every single scene she is in. There is a reason why she is considered a legend but she is obviously having a great time in her role as an evil sorceress. The movie felt like a version of the Road pictures starring Hope and Crosby back in the day. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Mcbaise – She’s a Big Boy

Tessa Violet – Crush

Poppy – Concrete

Te Quemaste – MTZ Manuel Turizo X Anuel AA

Bad Wolves – I’ll Be There

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Disney+” #NotSponsored
– I watched more Brooklyn 99 Season 3
– I watched more Bob’s Burgers Season 7
– I watched more Blindspot Season 2
– I watched more Prodigal Son Season 1
– I watched more Stumptown Season 1
– I watched more Elementary Season 1
– I watched more Carmen Sandiego Season 2
– I watched more The Crown Season 3

Media Update 12/28/17

December 28, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Another controversial blockbuster genre movie but this time I fall on the positive side of things. I remember watching what is now called Episode IV as a little kid (on VHS, of course) and I was instantly enamored. I had a truckload of toys which I could have sold to buy a car if my family had kept them. For a while, Empire Strikes Back was my favorite of the franchise until it was replaced by The Force Awakens last year. Episode VII was a mix of nostalgia and really fun new stuff. This movie felt like it expanded on the new stuff while giving us a fun yet darker movie. This new movie leaned more on the Disney-created characters rather than the old guard which is good. We have spent so much time with those characters that it is time for them to pass the torch. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac continue to provide interesting characters. We got new characters from Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran. Both of them are awesome and I am looking forward to more from Tran. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher provide the nostalgia but also show us how their characters have grown over the years. Adam Driver and Andy Serkis are the main villains but we also got brief appearances from Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendoline Christie again. I feel like this was a great step forward for the franchise to help differentiate it from the original trilogy while still being a great movie. I definitely recommend it.


It was late on December 22 and I decided to watch this movie because the trailer intrigued me. Also, calls of it being “The Worst Movie of the Year” intrigued me because this year also produced Boss Baby and The Emoji Movie. The movie is directed by David Ayers and it was written by Max Landis, both have a weird track record. For the record, I did not know that Landis was accused of sexual assault before I watched the movie. This is a movie that is basically set in a world where Dungeons and Dragons was real and then time progressed to 2017. So, it is the story of a human cop saddled with an affirmative hire Orc cop. I’m sure there’s some message about race here but it is kind of lost in the story and probably should not be delivered by Max Landis. I actually liked the movie. It felt like one part D&D, one part Training Day, and one part Warriors. Will Smith was great as he was less his usual cocky self and more curmudgeonly and more of a reluctant hero. Joel Edgerton was great as the dumb but loyal orc cop. The movie was a little long and dragged here and there but there was some excellent world-building and I am a sucker for fantasy settings. I recommend it but it may not be up everyone’s alley.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

I am a huge fan of Luc Besson. He is a great director and goes into great detail creating his worlds whether they are more mundane or fantastic. My two favorites of his are Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional. He has a way of bringing interesting characters to life in fun and/or interesting situations. When I saw trailers for this movie, I figured it looked more like The Fifth Element and, in some ways, I was right. Dane DeHaan plays the titular Major Valerian, a secret military agent. His partner, Laureline, is played by Cara Delevigne. The two of them use high tech gadgetry and combat expertise to save the day. At first, they seemed a little bland to me but when I got into the rhythm of their straight-faced performance I saw their personalities come out. The story, apparently based on a comic book, is a little frantic and hard to follow at first. Once it settles in, the movie is way better and is driven by the characters trying to find their way through craziness. The world-building is off the charts with hundreds of aliens created and dozens of cultures shown. The other characters we meet are interesting and whole. The only real problem I had with the movie was that it was a bit too long and Besson could have probably cut out around 10 – 20 minutes. Still, I recommend this one if for no other reason than the awesome special effects and action sequences.

Music of the Week:
Getter – Rip N Dip

Selena Gomez, Marshmello – Wolves

Sia – Cheap Thrills


Cold Crush Brothers – The Weekend

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Teamwork in Genre Films”
– I started watching Little Witch Academia Season 2
– I continued watching Longmire Season 3
– I watched more of Fate/Apocrypha
– I watched more of Blue Exorcist Season 1
– I finished The Crown Season 2

Media Update 12/22/2016

December 22, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I went to Rogue One this past Saturday because I could not stand leaving it until later for fear of spoilers. Also, a whole bunch of my friends were going and we had assigned seats in a very cushy movie theater in Columbia. I had been hyped about Rogue One since the first inklings of a plot had been released. Most Star Wars movies have been sweeping epic fantasy movies that deal with the most important people in huge political conflicts. This movie pays more attention to the regular people in the Rebellion and the Empire. The heroine is important but she’s long been overlooked by everyone around her. The main villain is a sycophantic bureaucrat with high-minded aspirations of greatness. This is a darker, dirtier story about doing what it takes to spark the flames of hope in people ground down by the evil in the universe. This movie was exactly what I needed it to be. It had humor, it had sadness, it had triumph. It also had a lot of allusions or direct references to the rest of the Star Wars movies but nothing felt too forced or overdone. The ragtag group of heroes felt like they grew together and fought their hearts out. I do not want to spoil it too much because I definitely recommend you go see it. I do like Star Wars VII better but that is only because I feel like the normal Star Wars movies are a little happier.

Magnificent Seven (2016)

I am a big fan of the original movie but it has honestly been a while since I have seen it. The original was modeled after The Seven Samurai and both of those films are classics. When the trailer for the remake was released, I was definitely interested. A remake is not necessarily a bad thing. The True Grit remake was a lot better than the original. If you attach good writers, good directors and good actors to a project, it can succeed remake or not and this movie is proof. This version is a great story about people who have every reason to hate each other, gathering to fight for a just cause. The whole cast is excellent, as you would expect for a movie designed to be an ensemble affair. Of the cast, Chris Pratt was the one who drew me in first. He is proving that he is not only fun but he is a great actor as well. Of course, once I found out Denzel Washington was involved, I was even more excited. I really liked the friendship between Byung-hun Lee and Ethan Hawke. Vincent D’Onofrio once again plays a weirdo but this time with a heart of gold. To round it out, Martin Sensmeier is a great silent killer and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo is funny. On top of the seven, Haley Bennett is great as a widow with revenge on her mind. Peter Sarsgaard is a great, purely evil villain. I definitely recommend this one as it is a great tribute and companion to the original movie.

Female Agents

This movie is a dark but interesting tale set in 1944 in war-torn France in the Spring before the Normandy landings. A British agent has been captured and it is up to five female agents to rescue him from Nazi-occupied France. Since this was made recently, the women are portrayed realistically. So this is not a Charlie’s Angels type affair. This is more like an all-girl Dirty Dozen with each woman having a bit of a specialty that can help on the mission. They are all brave women but not all of them are badasses but they are all women who have had a hard life. The movie was made in France and the whole thing is in French with English subtitles which add to the movie. I like when I get to see a story about a region that is actually told by the country where it happened. The agents in question are from a few countries, the leader is a British agent but she teams up with French women and an Italian Jewish lady. The real title of this movie is actually The Women of the Shadows and that better describes the feel of this movie. War is Hell and it shows with the decisions these women (and their male allies) have to make in order to serve their countries against a greater evil. The actresses all have strong personalities and great characters who all come to the story from different directions. I was surprised by how interesting this movie was especially after I found out that it is based on a bunch of true stories. In fact, the story it details is very fascinating. I definitely recommend it as it is very dramatic and has a lot of twists and turns that I did not expect.

Music of the Week:
Vince Vance and the Valiants- All I Want For Christmas Is You

Bing Crosby & David Bowie – Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy

Harvey Fierstein and Michael Mckean – Heat Miser and Snow Miser

John Lennon – Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Twisted Sister – Silver Bells

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Hope in the Face of Evil”
– Happy Holidays. Keep safe and be happy.
– I got to Season 5 of The Office and it actually gets better as it goes
– I rewatched Nightmare Before Christmas, as I do every year
– I am on Season 3 of Parks and Recreation
– I am almost done Season 2 of Dark Matter

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

December 22, 2015

Star Wars has been around my entire life. A New Hope came out 5 and a half years before I was born. The Empire Strikes Back came out two and a half years before I was born. I was five months old when Return of the Jedi came out. I don’t remember exactly when I eventually watched the original trilogy but I think it probably wasn’t at 5 months. I do know that when I watched the movies, I liked them a lot. Even as a kid I was a fantasy fan more than I was a sci-fiction fan but I did love space (I wanted to be an astronaut). Star Wars was able to give me both Fantasy and Space in sufficient portions. I liked the cocky smirk on Han Solo’s face. Luke’s lightsaber, Leia’s fire, Ben’s wisdom and Vader’s spookiness. I never really cared for the droids but hey neither did most of the characters in the movie. I had a huge pile of Star Wars action figures and I read some of the expanded universe stuff as I got older.

I eventually saw the original trilogy in theaters when they released the special editions and the magic that had faded was renewed. On the heels of that gift, they started to release the Prequel trilogy and now I was old enough to eagerly greet the movies in theaters. They were disappointing but they got better as they went along. I defended those prequels the best I could but eventually my enthusiasm cooled and I packed Star Wars away except for watching The Clone Wars tv show now and then.

So it was with a great mixed emotion when Disney announced that they were planning their own Star Wars trilogy now that they owned the property. Several franchises had flourished under Disney including Pixar, Marvel and The Muppets just to name a few. Still, I was concerned because the original trilogy was not perfect but the prequels had definitely tarnished a lot of what was good in the franchise. Were the original actors too old to come back? Would JJ Abrams lose his way and create something less than good? Was there even anything left to mine in the Star Wars universe? There were just too many questions. I had been hurt before, so why try again? Because the trailer was interesting and new and nostalgic all at once. Moreover, I felt obligated to see it out of geek pride. Also, my friends said it was good on Saturday. So all of this was in my mind as I stepped into a movie theater at 3 in the afternoon in Martinsburg, WV.

I will stop here to give a fair warning that, although I’m earnestly trying not to spoil anything, I understand if you stop reading now. Go watch the movie and come back here later. I try not to include spoilers but I know even the slightest thing can be a spoiler for some people.

From the very beginning I was hit with nostalgia and then I was very intrigued. The movie did a great job of mixing the new with the familiar. One of the greatest faults of the The Phantom Menace was that it started with a boring scene about trade negotiations. Every Star Wars film before or since has started with some sort of interesting and/or action-packed sequence. They definitely fully regained that ability to grab you right away and pull you into the story. I definitely felt pulled in and the movie didn’t let me go until the credits rolled. I walked away humming the music, just barely able to keep the humming under my breath. I was smiling pretty hard during and after film. Honestly, the film felt a little like coming home. Sure things were different but most of those things were better and all the things you liked were still there.

It was so good to see Han Solo again. I know Harrison Ford doesn’t really understand the impact of the character and doesn’t enjoy it but he really pulled it off. Carrie Fisher was even more likeable as Ex-Princess Leia and she was a sight for sore eyes. Thankfully BB-8 wasn’t annoying at all after months of having him shoved down my throat. John Boyega was a total surprise hit as I was intrigued about his character in the trailer but was unsure how it would work out. Daisy Ridley is absolutely the actress and character we all deserved for being fans all of these years. Both of them work so well together and separately and I’m excited to see where their story goes. Everybody was absolutely great in their roles even all the bit characters and the CGI characters were so well done that it didn’t feel artificial like the prequels. The whole thing was written by two people. JJ Abrams has come a long way from the mess that was Lost and has even come a long way from the Star Trek reboot. Lawrence Kasdan wrote The Empire Strikes Back which was, until today, my favorite Star Wars movie and his work showed in this one.

Go see this movie whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not. There’s so much I loved in this movie that I just can’t talk about openly. I don’t want to ruin it for somebody who hasn’t seen it yet. I want to tell everybody I know to see it and everybody I don’t know as well.

Fanboys (2009)

June 12, 2014

It is now time for a long overdue movie review.  I’ve been a huge fan of Kristen Bell since I discovered Veronica Mars years ago.  As I absorbed the series, I became a bigger and bigger fan.  When I realized that season 4 was not going to happen, I was crushed but I knew I would always support the alumni of the show.  That’s what caused me watch the show Flashpoint (which is awesome) and made me love Moonlight a little more than I would have.  I’m even going to get around to watching Party Down if I ever get the chance.

I was flipping channels today as I tried to beat the heat and came upon a little movie called Fanboys.  Now, I had heard a little bit about Fanboys in the past but I never got around to watching it.  What caught my interest was that in the scene I happened upon, Kristen Bell was front and center.  Consider my interest piqued.  I hit record on the DVR and decided to watch it later since the movie was almost over

The movie is about four guys trying to travel from Ohio to San Francisco to break into Skywalker Ranch to see an early screening of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.  The four friends are lifelong fans of Star Wars (although, like me they weren’t yet born when A New Hope came out) One of them has cancer and is not expected to stay alive until the movie actually comes out.

Although the movie is mostly an ensemble movie,  Sam Huntingdon plays Eric who is arguably the lead.  For a minute, I thought it was Shia Lebouf in this part but Sam Huntingdon is way better and was also in Veronica Mars. (Bonus!)  Eric is facing a dilemma in that he always wanted to pursue being a comic book creator but fell into working at his dad’s car dealership in order to make a living.

Chris Marquette plays Linus who has cancer and was always best friends with Eric.  He’s disappointed in Eric for giving up his dream but also mad at Eric for not talking to him for three years.  He’s not ready to forgive Eric for leaving his friends behind.  He drew up a plan for a road trip to Skywalker Ranch when he and the gang were in elementary school.  He is also struggling with accepting his own mortality.

Dan Fogler plays Hutch, the requisite uber-fanboy man-child.  He likes to “bitchslap some trekkies” and will punch a man for demeaning Han Solo.  He is constantly trying to use jedi mind tricks on women and delights in embarassing and bullying his friends.  Despite all that, he’s actually really enjoyable to watch as I have definitely had friends like him.  The kind of guy that you’re friends with for no clear reason.

Jay Baruchel plays uber-nerd Windows and his name is never explained.  He is teased by the other three for having an internet girlfriend until said girlfriend is able to get them blueprints to Skywalker Ranch.  His journey is one of self-discovery and becoming comfortable with who he is and what he really wants.  On top of that, he has some of the funniest lines in the whole movie.

Kristen Bell plays Zoe, the geek girl of the group.  Somehow they avoid her being a complete stereotype and she is a lot of fun in this movie.  I don’t know if Kristen Bell has geeky pursuits in real life or not but it does not matter as she pulls off a believable comic book/sci-fi geek here.  She is also hands down the toughest character and the funniest performance of the movie which is actually saying a lot.  I won’t spoil her journey in the film.

There is plenty more to love in the film.  There’s cameos from Billy Dee Williams, Carrie Fisher and Ray Park all of whom are Star Wars alumni.  There’s a surprise Star Trek cameo as well which I won’t spoil.  There’s a cameo from Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith at one point as well.  Seth Rogen plays three funny characters, the first of which took me three minutes to realize it was him.

The movie really surprised me at how good it was.  It was not great cinema but it was an enjoyable road picture where the characters actually experienced growth.  The general feel of the movie reminded me of Detroit Rock City, a movie I actually remember liking a lot.  I don’t remember if it was ever stated in the movie but the characters are around college aged.  Though it is mentioned that Windows owns a comic book shop and Eric does have a serious job so maybe they’re closer to 30 than 20.

Apparently there was controversy over the editing of this film and the movie was delayed for years so they could do some reshoots.  Executive meddling almost cut out the whole cancer storyline which would have torn the heart right out of the movie.  I vaguely remember the protests and campaign against producer Harvey Weinstein so I’m happy the director/writer got as much of his original script as possible up on screen.

It was obvious that Lucasfilms was heavily involved in the movie but not enough to actually meddle in it.  It looks like they gave a lot of access and permissions for a lot of licensed stuff.  On the other hand, Viacom/Paramount gave absolutely no permission for Star Trek images or logos.  It makes the Star Trek stuff a little awkward but it still gets the point across.

I definitely recommend this movie.  Go ahead and watch it.

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