I’m With Porg

 

I haven’t seen Star Wars Episode 8 yet.  But I’ve seen the trailers and at 1 minute and 32 seconds in to this trailer https://youtu.be/Q0CbN8sfihY we see a Porg.  It’s like a furry penguin I guess.  Sort of … like if you crossed a teddy bear and a penguin.  I don’t know what it is, but it’s adorable.

I was worried before Episode 7 about BB-8.  “What if the movie is bad?”  I worried.  “What if this rolly-polly droid is terrible?”  “I can’t let myself get too excited about the new movie or BB-8 because I might get hurt!”  But I think we all agree my worry was for nothing, Episode 7 and BB-8 were GREAT!

What was I worried about?  BB-8 was GREAT!  It’s true because it ryhms!

I’m not doing that again.  I’m not hedging my bets.  I’m not protecting my nerd heart by refusing to love Porgs until I see the movie.  I EMBRACE THE PORG!  They look cute, and funny, and cool.  And who knows if they’ll be in the movie very much or if they’ll be as iconic and awesome as Ewoks are?  I’m excited to find out.  I’m hoping they’ll be in all the scenes.

Look at this guy!  This is the star of the show!

I was worried before Episode 7 that the movie would be bad, worrying about BB-8 was just a small part of that great worry.  But I have no doubt that Episode 8 will be great.  7 was great, Rogue One was great, the Rebels series on TV is going great, the Star Wars universe is really on a roll pumping out great stuff!  I’m confident that Episode 8 will be great and that Porgs will be great along with it!  Bring on The Last Jedi and bring on the Porgs!!!

Lego Luke’s Landspeeder 75173

I build another Lego set last weekend.  This was set #75173 Luke’s Landspeeder and it was a great build.  It’s a classic part of the Star Wars movie series even and is a really distinct looking vehicle.  And since it comes with a minifig of Luke, See Threepio, Obi-Wan and a Sand People person it’s just filled with Star Wars goodness!

 

It’s worth it for the characters alone!

 

It’s a quick and easy build, perfect for when you want something that you can start and finish in one sitting.  And it’s pretty simply, I didn’t scratch my head a lot like some builds.  All in all I give it 5 out of 5.  I also recorded a speed build which you can find below.

 

Lego Rebel U-Wing Fighter 75155

I enjoy building Lego sets.  Is that a weird hobby for a grown-up?  I dunno, maybe.  For me constructing Lego is relaxing and chill and calming.  And when you finish you have a really cool model to display.  Finished sets are decoration, unfinished sets are a fun thing to do on a Friday night.

My latest build was the Star Wars Rebel U-Wing Fighter set # 75155 from the movie Rogue One.  This is a really cool looking model that looks great on my shelf.  I liked this ship in the movie because it felt like the classic ship designs while still being something new and original.  It won’t ever be as famous as the Millennium Falcon but it was home to the Rogue One crew for a little while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sliding doors on either side of the hull are pretty slick.  Lego these days have so many well engineered moving pieces.

The cockpit opens and shuts and the set comes with this generic pilot guy.

 

The big ol’ engines on the back look very cool!

 

This might be the only way to get Lego Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor.

 

 

All in all it was fun to build and looks great on display.  5 of 5, would assemble again.

The Attraction Assumption

 

Happy Revenge Of The Fifth and a belated happy May The Fourth.  In honor of these Star Warsian holidays I’d like to discuss an issue that really bugs me and which is Star Wars related.

I’m on record as loving Rogue One.  It’s my favorite new Star Wars (that is, favorite of all the ones made after the original trilogy).   But there are some people who roll their eyes at me when I tell them that.  And then they accuse me of, “You only like it because of the hot girl.”  That’s pretty upsetting for a bunch of reasons.  Firstly, I do not rave about movies being great just because I’m nuts for the lead actress.  If that was the case I’d be arguing that every Jennifer Aniston film ever made is amazing.  But secondly it’s also dismissive of the actresses talent, I like Jyn Erso because she’s a well written character and the actress who played her did a fantastic job acting the part.  Plus there’s more to a great movie than just one character played by one actress, there’s a whole cast of characters and actors, there’s the films writing and directing and special effects and all those other things.  I do not love a two hour long movie just because it features one attractive person!

It’s a problem I run into a lot actually.  I say I like Arrival and I’m accused of only liking it because of Amy Adams.  When I talk positively about Black Widow I’m dismissed because of how hot Scarlett Johansson is.  When I proclaim Return Of The Jedi to be my favorite Star Wars movie of the original trilogy (and all time) people tell me it’s only because of the Princess Leia in the Metal Bikini scenes.

The super frustrating thing about Rogue One is that I’m not super attracted to Felicity Jones.  I mean she’s beautiful of course but personally I’m just not that into her.   Which is how I know I’m not being unduly influenced by my hormones.  I genuinely like her character for the way she’s written and the way Felicity Jones portrays her.  But I feel uncomfortable using my lack of attraction to her as a rebuttal to people accusing me of overrating the movie.  I shouldn’t need to prove my un-attraction for the actress in order for my love of the character to be valid.  An actress can be both attractive and talented and I can appreciate those two things separately.

I don’t even bother arguing when people say I only like Black Widow because of  Scarlett Johansson anymore.  Because it’s so obvious that I’m super hot for her that nobody listens to my reasons for liking the character anyway.  I can explain that I love that Black Widow doesn’t have any super powers but still  fights side by side with Mech Suited, Super Soldier Serum’d, and Gamma Irradiated super heroes.  She uses her training, conditioning, and her mind be a Super Hero with, technically, no super powers.  In Avengers she outwitted Loki, she tricked the God Of Trickery!  She’s a cool character.  And I think Scarlett Johansson does a great job playing the character, acting the part, she’s a talented actress.  But Johansson is gorgeous and some people don’t seem to see anything past that.

The only movie that I’ve raved about without being eye rolled at is The Force Awakens.  Everybody knows Daisy Ridley is beautiful and everybody agrees Rey is an awesome character.  I’m super glad that we can all agree on that.  I’m curious what it is about Rey that makes people agree she’s great but they roll their eyes at me when I talk about Jyn.  Those are both great characters, they are both played by beautiful actresses, they’re both even Star Wars.  I don’t know what the difference is.

In closing I’d like to say that it’s rude to me to assume I’m so shallow as to only like an entire movie because the lead actress is beautiful and it’s rude to the actress who contributes more to the film than just her physical appearance.

 

My Thoughts On Rogue One

Having watched Rogue One twice, and the second viewing was just yesterday in the comfort of my home, I feel compelled to discuss it now on the internet.  Because discussing sci-fi shows is one of the three main reasons the internet even exists.

I am going to spoil Rogue One (And possibly all Star Wars movie) during the entire rest of this post.  Rogue One is available on iTunes and Blue Ray and all the various contrivances for home viewing so if you haven’t seen it yet simply close this blog and go watch it immediately.  Then return here for insight into what you’ve just witnessed.

Rogue One is the finest Star Wars film since the original trilogy.

Rogue One takes place during the time of the original trilogy, I swear you could start A New Hope at the moment Rogue One ends and it would feel like one long movie.  It doesn’t suffer the problems of the prequels, which look and feel like completely different movies.  Neither does it  suffer from episode 7’s problem of having changed everything to familiar but different things.  (Episode 7’s First Order feels a lot like the Empire but … it’s not exactly the Empire so what is it?)    Rogue One feels like the first three movies.

Rogue One answers questions and I like the answers it gives.

Q. How is it that the Death Star had such an obvious weakness?
A. The man who led the design team was a rebel sympathizer who secretly and purposefully built a weakness into it.  He secretly communicated the weakness’s existence to the rebellion.  Political infighting among the Empire caused Tarkin to destroy the base where the plans were kept so he could eliminate his rival Krennic (and also any hope of the Empire analyzing the plans to find the weakness themselves).
Q.  How did princess Leia end up with the plans at the beginning of A New Hope?
A.  A team of rebels snuck into the facility where the plans were stored and transmitted them to Leia’s ship.
Q. Why does the rebellion have nothing but X-Wing fighters to defend their base during the attack in A New Hope?
A.  Their capital ships were destroyed during the battle to secure the Death Star plans.
Rogue One is wonderful because, if nothing else, it finally answers the question of how the Death Star could be blown up so easily.  How many times have people asked about that?  A million times perhaps?  Finally we have a reasonable answer!
The action scenes are spectacular.  Every time people on the ground are fighting or ships in space are battling it’s a fun thing watch.  The space battle over Scarif looks like a sci-fi version of World War 2 aerial dog fights and naval battles.  For that matter the battle on the surface of Scarif looks like sci-fi versions of war movies as well.  Every fight scene in this film is a joy to behold.
Jyn Erso is awesome.  I love all her dialog, what she says and the way she says it is just a joy to listen too.  The pep talk she gives after they land on Scarif is both inspiring and honest.  The moment she really becomes a great character for me is when she and her team steals a ship to go off to try and get the plans.  In that moment she rebels even against the rebellion and launches her own clandestine mission, and because she’s making the right call that act secures her as a leader and hero.  It reminds me of Kirk stealing the Enterprise in Search For Spock to go do what Star Fleet won’t authorize because he knows it’s right.  Great Sci-Fi heroes often defy orders and Jyn Erso follows that proud tradition.
K-2SO is comedic relief done right, he’s funny without being silly or distracting.  And in the end he dies a heroes death.  Also the voice acting was perfect, you might say that droid was a leaf on the wind (get it?).    Chirrut Imwe is wonderful and more than makes up for this being the first Star Wars movie without a Jedi in it (Darth Vadar is a Sith so he doesn’t count).  I love Chirrut Imwe’s whole Blind Monk thing he’s doing, his faith and ability in the Force and his chant, he’s just fantastic!  I thought director Krennic was an excellent villain and enjoyed the political fight for power he had with Tarkin.  Darth Vadar was in the movie exactly the right amount, and at the end when he’s mowing down rebels while chasing after the Death Star plans he is more terrifying than he has ever been.

THE ONLY BAD THING for me is the sad ending.  Everybody dies.  I like happy endings.  And this ending is a downer.  It’s not all bad of course, they get the plans and that’s the big win that makes all the sacrifice worth it.  When they hand the plans to princess Leia that’s the happy ending right there, that’s the big victory and that’s an AWESOME moment!  And I’m not sure the movie would have worked if Jyn and her crew hadn’t all given their lives.  If they all lived and escaped it might have seemed a bit too easy, unbelievable, silly?  But whatever, personally I think I would have liked at least some of them escaping alive at the end.

So there you go, I loved it.  5 out of 5.  It’s the BEST of the new Star Wars movies.  It’s perfect in every way except for everyone dying at the end.  And I can get past that.  The way it set’s up A New Hope is fantastic.  The way it explains the weakness in the Death Star is a godsend to a nerd who is tired of defending how easy it was to destroy it.  The space battle at the end is pure awesome.  I really love this movie.