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Hiatus… We Will Be Back Soon

Hey everyone!! I know there are som new faces here and while there have been large gaps of time in this blog the last year as I have been figuring out how all this works (I’m not great with technology and social media but I’m learning!) I wanted to offer an explanation about why there has been a really big gap since STAR WARS WEEK…

Honestly, there’s been a lot of crazy going on in my personal life which has put the blog on the back burner for a minute. New job, moving, helping to get the family home ready to sell… between no moving vans, packing and adjusting to a new work schedule and work life… it’s all been a lot.

But that doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned this project! No not at all!!!! I’ve been watching and reading and writing reviews and articles, planning events, activities… field trips… live watches. Maybe even some DLC…

It all starts back up in July with SUPERHERO MONTH where we celebrate all things superhero’s from MARVEL and DC Comics, their cinematic universes, TV shows… maybe even the theme parks that have been built around them! From the early beginnings of Captain America and Batman appearing in their own comics to the international phenomenon they have become, Superheroes and their villains, have captured our hearts from day one. And in the world of Ready Player One it is no different!

Stay tuned. We are cooking up some big surprises for the next year!

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Why did we include THAT?

“I wasn’t going to cut corners. I wasn’t going to miss something obvious. Somewhere along the way, I started to go overboard. I may, in fact, have started to go a little insane.” -Ready Player One, page 62

So I really should have written this a lot earlier…but you know. I’m still learning about how all this works and what the project should really be. Coming up on 9 months of working on the blog I’m finally getting into a rhythm with actually getting things done and reviewed (movies and music are pretty easy, tv isn’t so bad but literature is tough to get through even with the rate at which I read…)

And I’m only one person.  While my brother watches a lot of things with me and is trying to help me work up to playing video games live on twitch, which I am not good at keeping up with, he doesn’t write for the blog.  And I have a small circle of friends that will help me with things like finding books or letting me borrow them…or to let me come over and mooch off their streaming services for a tv show I need to watch, they are really just there for moral support.

So, consuming and writing about all of this is a LOT…it’s a full-time job. And I work and have a house on top of it.

Then why have you included all of the things you have (even if they weren’t exclusively mentioned in the book)?

I get asked this a lot.  And it was a hard decision to make as I developed this project over the years. Here is what I decided and why…

The book Ready Player One takes place in the year 2045.  Halliday grew up during the 1980s. 1990s, and was in his formidable adult years during the early 2000s into the 2020s…. but the book was published in 2011.

Which leaves a lot of time between the publication of the novel and when the actual story takes place.

I could have made the decision to just deal with any media that came before 2011. But it didn’t seem right.

Then there was the route of just going off the references that are directly named within the book.  And boy are there a LOT of those.  Yet again…this just didn’t feel like the right way to go.

So what was left?

In my opinion it was this:

If Wade was doing his research from around 2040-2045 which are the dates from Halliday’s death to when the first key was found by Wade himself then it would make sense that during that 5-year period he would have delved into all the references in Anorak’s Almanac.  

Since we don’t have direct access to the actual Almanac (I’m working on a version of it to post in the blog in case anyone wants to try this for themselves) I am left to guess about what all it contained.  Many of the references and things that would have been in the Almanac are quite apparent.  Throughout Ready Player One they are listed plainly: The Muppet Show, PAC-MAN, Firefly…

But the issue is with references that were vague…or that had more of the universe than what was mentioned directly.  Or even references that were expanded after the novel was published.

Using some general guess work and some logical reasoning the Almanac would have contained many additional items from pop culture that WOULD have existed in 2040 when Halliday died.

For example: Star Wars.  Directly in the text Wade talks of the “Holy Trinity’s” which included The Original Trilogy and The Prequel Trilogy.  There were several other films out in the series when Ready Player One came out that I do believe Halliday would have watched such at The Star Wars Holiday Special, The Ewok Adventure…etc., as well as a few tv shows, that came out before the book was released. Then after 2011 there was an expansion to the Star Wars Universe. Another trilogy, two more stories set in the Star Wars world…and don’t get me started on the insane number of comics, novels and other media that has existed throughout the years.

And I do believe that Halliday would have been interested in the extended universe of a world that he considered important enough, that he revered enough, to call “holy”.

So that is what I have done. I’ve included some things that wouldn’t have been considered part of the world in 2011 but would have existed in 2040, when Halliday died. Extended universes, more novels, new TV shows…and other things that maybe just weren’t directly messaged.

I’ve done this for a few reasons.

  1. I think that Halliday would have had these in his Almanac.
  2. Halliday shows Neurodivergent tendencies (I am also ND and show many of the same traits) that include hyper focus, obsession and an inability to connect with the people around him…which can often be seen in extensive research, over recording and obsession of a specific topic and other coping mechanisms seen throughout the book (and subsequently the film).
  3. Because it just felt right.

So here you go.  My reasons that you will see things like Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Trek: Picard, newer novels from Stephen King, obscure pieces of media from long dead authors, new music from the bands he loved (and maybe some that aren’t in the book just because it was something I thought he would have listened to because he liked They Might Be Giants), AND references from Ready Player Two… because Kira and her likes were much closer to my heart than Halliday’s.

And remember…I’m only one person who doesn’t have “12 hours a day, 7 days a week” to devote to this as much as I would love to.  So I’ll get to reviews as quickly as I can.

And Anorak’s Almanac is forthcoming…

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SPOILERS ABOUND….you have been warned.

With the release and subsequent reading of Ready Player Two I believe a warning should be posted… this wasn’t really a spoiler free blog in the first place but as Ready Player One is a few years old I didn’t feel the need to make a big deal of the fact that every single post here could possibly be a spoiler for that book.

HOWEVER

As we continue to move forward with both books this is NOT A SPOILER FREE BLOG.

Spoilers can happen in all sorts of places in this blog from the tags, the pages, the titles of articles….and especially in the content of those articles.

You have been warned.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

It’s a Trap!, a Family Guy Special: a Television Special Review

Synopsis:

The power goes out again!  What are the Griffins to do with no other entertainment?  Go back to the Star Wars universe and finish telling the story of Return of the Jedi…though perhaps a bit reluctantly this time…

General Information:

-Genre: Parody Animation

-Creator: Family Guy Special (done with the approval of Lucasfilm – Pre-Disney Acquisition)

-Length: Season 9, Episode 18 (57 minutes)

-Rating: TV-14 (moderate sexual innuendos, severe cartoon violence, moderate profanity, mild alcohol use and smoking)

-Where to Watch: Hulu (with add-on), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Peter, Lois, Chris, Mort, Glenn, Cleveland, Brian, Carter, Herbert, Carl, Stewie, Joe, Ernie the Giant Chicken, Meg

-Page of Reference in RP1: Not explicitly mentioned…but I was reviewing everything Star Wars anyway… haha…

Review (contains spoilers):

In typical Family Guy fashion, the parody is great but absolutely ridiculous.  There are tons of inappropriate jokes.  The gags are beaten into your head.  And like they said in the beginning…they kind of phoned this one in.  but not in a bad way.

Defiantly worth watching to finish out the trilogy.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Something, Something, Something Dark Side, a Family Guy Special: a TV Special Review

Synopsis:

The Griffins are once again sitting down to watch television for the evening when the power goes out!  At a loss for entertainment Peter tells the story of Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back.

General Information:

-Genre: Parody Animation

-Creator: Family Guy Special (done with the approval of Lucasfilm – Pre-Disney Acquisition)

-Length: Season 8, Episode 20 (54 minutes)

-Rating: TV-14 (mild sexual innuendo, crude humor, moderate cartoon violence, moderate profanity)

-Where to Watch: Hulu (with add-on), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Peter, Lois, Brian, Chris, Stewie, Herbert, Joe, Dr. Hartman, Quagmire, Cleveland, Carter, Meg, Carl, Mort

-Page of Reference in RP1: Not explicitly mentioned…but I was reviewing everything Star Wars anyway… haha…

Review (contains spoilers):

Once again, they did a great job.  Great parody.  Excellent jokes.  Great moments. Calls out some of the ridiculous things that are in the actual films.

Parts are super inappropriate and some of the jokes are really out of date. But its Family Guy so that was expected.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Blue Harvest, a Family Guy Special: a TV Special Review

Synopsis:

As the Griffins are watching their nightly dose of television the power goes out leaving them without any other forms of entertainment.  While they wait for the power to come back on, Peter decides to retell the story of Star Wars beginning with “Part IV”.

General Information:

-Genre: Parody Animation

-Creator: Family Guy Special (done with the approval of Lucasfilm – Pre-Disney Acquisition)

-Length: Season 6, Episode 1 (48 minutes)

-Rating: TV-14 (mild sexual innuendos, mild cartoon violence, moderate profanity use, mild use of weed)

-Where to Watch: Hulu (with add-on), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Peter, Lois, Quagmire, Cleveland, Stewie, Chris, Hubert, Brian, Meg, Adam West, Joe

-Page of Reference in RP1: Not explicitly mentioned…but I was reviewing everything Star Wars anyway… haha…

Review (contains spoilers):

I mean its about what you would expect.  The story is condensed into about an hour but with all the twists and turns of Peter telling the story.

The character replacements for the characters in the film are pretty funny. Some are incredibly accurate like Stewie as Darth Vader. And, of course, Peter and Lois are Han and Leia due to the story line of the other films. 

The parody was actually really hilarious.  A great parody version of the first movie.  And it did what all great parodies do… makes fun of the whole film, itself, the format of the show that is doing the parody…and basically everything else they could make fun of.

Worth the watch if you enjoy parody versions of popular films.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

The Muppet Show: STARRING the Cast of STAR WARS, created by Jim Henson: a TV Episode Review

Synopsis:

When prepping the night’s guest star, Angus McGonagle the gargling argyle gargoyle (say that ten times fast) something goes wrong and Luke Skywalker (accompanied by C-3PO and R2-D2) comes crashing into the dressing room looking for Chewbacca.  Scooter decides they would be much better guest stars for the evening and bumps Angus McGonagle.

As the opening number commences Kermit introduces the guests from Star Wars who would be joining them this week.  McGonagle comes on stage and is upset that he doesn’t get to do his act “gargling Gershwin” to which Kermit is grateful and as a condolence lets the shepherd, shepherdess and sheep perform their number.

As Luke Skywalker is backstage he gets mistaken by Fozzie as Mark Hamill, who Luke says is his cousin and just outside…and commences one of the weeks running gag that both Mark Hamill AND Luke Skywalker are both guest starring on the week’s show.

Mark and Angus gargle together followed by Scooter getting to try out his new skill on his new guitar (accompanied by the Electric Mayhem in his mind).  He’s a bit clumsy with the song but he’s still learning!

Robin races to tell Kermit that Luke has taken over the Swinetrek! To which he tries to find them…but is thwarted by the fact that the ship is already off on it’s mission…to save Chewbacca.  Which they do. Much to the distain of Darth Nadir.

The whole crew gets together to sing and dance to a few songs, wrapping up the show with both Luke Skywalker and Mark Hamill making an appearance side by side to say good night.

General Information:

-Genre: Family Sketch Comedy Special

-Creator: Jim Henson

-Length: 25 minutes

-Rating: PG (while it has some of the same reasoning as The Muppet Show overall, this one does have lots of door kicking and Star Wars characters…so…)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Angus McGonagle, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, R2-D2, Gonzo, Scooter, Chewbacca, Mark Hamill, The Newsman, The Electric Mayhem, Animal, Robin, Captain Link Hogthrob, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Darth Nadir

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22 (for information on why this was included look here)

Review (contains spoilers):

Such a fun episode.  Some great songs, some great bits with the Star Wars characters.  I love that Miss Piggy dresses up as Leia and throws herself at Luke (this episode came out JUST before Episode 5 so that makes the whole thing even funnier).

Mark Hamill looks like he had SO MUCH FUN as himself on the show being goofy and just a general riot.  Between his impressions, and his gargling, he just looks like he was having a blast hanging out with the Muppets, as I hope any of us would.

The Star Trek/Star Wars Crossover is hilarious and you can never be upset at Gonzo playing Darth Nadir.

The “tailor” gag is great too since the outfit Luke Skywalker wears isn’t seen in Episode 4 but is instead an outfit from Episode 5 that he wears on Bespin I believe.  And that movie wouldn’t come out for a few months into 1980…this episode aired in January.

Overall a really silly and fun episode with some great songs and great comedy as the Muppets always bring to the table.  And who doesn’t love seeing stars being silly and goofy and having a great time being themselves and enjoying their time.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in 8-Tracks, Blog Posts, Star Wars

The Music of Star Wars- John Williams: a Composer’s review

General Information:

-Album Title: varies by soundtrack, score, and media type

-Artist: Composed by John Williams

-Release Year: varies by soundtrack and score from 1977 to the present

-Song/Album Length: varies by soundtrack and score

-Genre: Soundtracks and Scores

-How to Listen: Spotify (with subscription), Apple Music (with subscription), iTunes (for purchase), CD, or look for it at your local library

-Page of Reference in RP1: not explicitly listed but Star Wars and George Lucas are mentioned throughout the book

Lyrics:

TYPICALLY, NONE

MOST Star Wars Soundtracks and Scores are instrumental compositions created by John Williams

Some contain a chorus of around 10-120 voices but most of his music is orchestral for around 80 to 120 players

Review:

Film scores and soundtracks are so essential to the production of movies.  The same can be said of other media such as video games but most of my experience comes from the world of film.

John Williams is one of the most prolific and well-known composers in the industry.  His name is synonymous with Star Wars and Lucasfilm in general.  He has composed for the Star Wars universe since the first film in 1977 and to this day creates compositions for the latest television shows like The Clone Wars animated series and The Mandalorian as well as for the newest video games that are coming out centered around the universe of Star Wars.

His scores pull from a variety of different inspirations.  From the romantic leanings of Richard Strauss to the big band and full orchestral sounds of old Hollywood Williams ability to weave the fantasy elements of Star Wars with the epic narratives of the writing and action are unmatched by anyone else.

Williams and Lucas focused on the swelling orchestral score for the first film Star Wars: A New Hope.  They drew inspiration from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The ups and downs of the music composed for that film are often considered one of the first of its kind…music that enhanced the actions of the film rather than just accompanied it.

When the pair were figuring out how the film should be approached it was Williams who brought up the idea that the score should be a series of repeating themes that built upon each other.  As you listen to the soundtrack as a whole you can hear this throughout the music.  Often times the score is the same music repeated, overlaid with other music, with instruments added or subtracted to enhance the action on screen. It is a unique way of creating depth to a world that takes place mostly in the vast reached of the vacuum of space.

Williams played on these ideas throughout the movies and games he has scored.  You will find so often the same ideas played in different ways from single instruments joined by others to huge orchestral renditions of the same pieces.  The ups and downs, orchestrations as well as the swells and falls of the music is just astounding on its own.  Yet when paired with the visuals of the film you feel completely emersed in the entire world.

And while this review is for the Star Wars Franchise Williams is famous for so many other scores that you may be familiar with (and many that will be reviewed on this blog) such as E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Home Alone, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park I & II, Schindler’s List, Jaws and even some of the Harry Potter films.

He works closely with George Lucas and Lucasfilms and Steven Spielberg, in addition to making appearances amongst some of the most epically scored movies of all time.  He has won Academy Awards, BAFTA nominations, Golden Globes, and even Grammys for his work.  And it is all well-deserved in my opinion.

My favorite place to experience his music for the Star Wars Universe is out in nature.  When Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Disney World brought the planet of Batuu to life Williams was brought in to compose the main theme to the world.  As you wander amongst the people, shop in the small stores, dodge Stormtoopers, eat at Oga’s or anywhere else…even wait in line to help the resistance (and the smugglers) fight the Imperial forces… you are emersed in the musical score of the great John Williams.

He is a legend in his own right but his hand in building the world of Star Wars not only added depth to the story but a heart and soul to the galaxy far, far away.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in 1UP, Blog Posts, Star Wars

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, based off of Star Wars Episode 7, created by George Lucas: a Video Game Review

What are we playing:

Explore the planets you’ve heard of in Star Wars but now in LEGO form! Relive Episode 7 and explore extended worlds from planet to planet as you play through the film all the while destroying everything in sight!

This set of LEGO game walks through the worlds and planets of Star Wars Episode 7, in playable levels which you can go back after completing in Story Mode and play again to collect everything.

General Information:

-Genre: Collectathon

-Creator: Traveller’s Tales in partnership with LEGO and Lucasfilm

-Number of Levels:

-Collectables:

-Rating: E10+ (mild cartoon nudity, moderate violence but cartoony and in LEGO, several scenes in bars, smuggling)

-How to Play: local game stores (explore your area and support local!), used game stores, online or in box stores, or look for it at your local library (many libraries now have video games and even tabletop games for checkout)

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62-64

Review (contains spoilers):

Just like all other LEGO games these are your fairly standard collectathon style game and it is achievable to get a 100% completion, you just have to return after Story Mode to get everything.

I love a good LEGO game! And this one did not disappoint. It took a page out of the Lord of the Rings LEGO games and went with a more open world concept vs. the more enclosed worlds/levels in the previous games. I also love that the included some of the offshoot stories as side quests for you to discover as you explore all of the planets in Episode 7. It’s wonderful.

Like always LEGO games are some of my favorite games to play. Since the majority of the game is just beating everything in sight to actually figure out what has stuff in it and what doesn’t it makes for awesome stress relief and I absolutely love that you can’t really die. You just burst into bits…aka LEGO currency.

These are super fun and are great to play with kids but challenging enough for adult players to really enjoy.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker, based on the universe created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Little time has passed since the death of Luke Skywalker at the Battle of Crait.  The Resistance has found another home base.  Currently off on a variety of missions they rush to find intelligence that could help their cause in the long run.

As the Resistance retrieves information from a First Order spy, Kylo Ren seeks out information from a Sith Wayfinder he acquires.  The new Supreme Leader makes his way to the uncharted Sith home world of Exegol, only to discover that everything he had been told his whole life was a lie.  The voice in his head was not Snoke, nor his grandfather Darth Vader, but it was the dreaded Emperor Palpatine who has managed to be revived by his servants.

When Rey and her friends discover that Palpatine is alive they set off on what may be their last mission ever.  To find the second Sith Wayfarer and make it to Exegol in order to defeat him and the rest of the First Order.

With the help of new allies, old friends, and the Force, will the Resistance be successful at saving the universe or will Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and the First Order finally find complete control of the old Republic?

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: based on the universe created by George Lucas

-Length: 142 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Sutoamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

There are so many characters in this that I love.  Zorii is a great character from her fighting skills to her sarcasm.  Babu Frik, the little guy who wipes C-3PO.  The new little droid friend that BB-8 makes.

I don’t really enjoy a few parts of this film.  The majority of it is really good but I do think there were some misses when it comes to the overall movie.  The first is to make Rey a Palpatine.  She didn’t need to be related to that monster.  Honestly, I found the fact that she was so strong in the force and having been a nobody and a slave a much better parallel for the Skywalker storyline than her being a part of the Palpatine line.

And while the confirmation has happened that Palpatine also “fathered” Anakin Skywalker I find that information incomplete and feel that Palpatine is more of a creator than a father in that situation which still makes Anakin a nobody and a slave.  Go ahead and fight me about semantics but I don’t think that using the Force to create life makes you a father if you haven’t provided the DNA only the manipulation to create the life.

The second part that I don’t think was a great choice was killing Ben at the end.  By the time we get to the point of his ultimate death and him becoming gone with the Force he as been through so much.  From the manipulations of Palpatine since he was an infant (or perhaps even in the womb…this is unclear in the extended universe).  His desire to rid himself of the voices and the darkness to the ultimate Sith Lord and the Supreme Leader of the First Order as well as the Master of the Knights of Ren to his return to the Light with the help of Rey… he has been through so much and his reward is to what? Die?

I know that not everything is fair in stories or in the world…but this just felt like a cop out in my opinion.  It felt like they decided that he just had to die because they didn’t know how to handle his characters reception in the greater universe if he had actually turned from everything he had been.  It felt like such a waste of the character.

I do also wonder, as do many other fans, what the movie would have been like had Carie Fisher not passed away during the filming.  We would have obviously gotten more of Rose and her story as she stayed on base with the General.  And this movie was supposed to feature Leia heavily and as a major player in the whole plot like Han did in the first of the sequel trilogy.

While the movie doesn’t feel forced like Episodes 1-3 it does make for an uneven trilogy.

But that all being said there are so many little details that are fantastic in the film from the new passing characters that we meet to the way that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber flickers due to the broken (and unfixed) Kyber crystal.  The details are beautiful.

Though I do think that it is odd that they can kill planets so easily.  And that they do it.  Wouldn’t the full death of a planet, blown out of the sky, and scattered as asteroids change so much about the particular solar system that those planets are in?

Whatever. I guess that is semantics and neither here nor there. But its just something I never understood about the Star Wars world in general.

Overall, this is a good end to the Skywalker Saga.  There is a bunch of loose ends tied up.  We get to see that Leia had a saber too, her story was told in its entirety.  We see the return of Luke’s X-Wing.  The end of the Skywalker line, and it also being picked back up.  The end of the name of Palpatine as well as his person.  The end of the Sith. And the end of the Jedi as we have known it until now.  The destruction of Exegol.  The destruction of the First Order.  The Resistance finally does what the Republic and then the Rebellion tried so hard to do.  The Galaxy is safe once again.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi, based on the Universe created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The battle of Starkiller Base has passed.  The Resistance is evacuating their base lead by General Leia Organa when the First Order arrive.  Against her orders, Poe Dameron leads a successful but ultimately costly attack on the dreadnoughts that allowed for the rest of the Resistance fleet to escape into hyperspace.

The First Order finds them quickly, tracking them into and out of hyperspace.  As they continue to flee just out of reach of the dreadnought blasters the situation looks bleak.  They are running low on fuel.  They have been attacked. And their beloved General is lying in a coma.  Vice-Admiral Holdo assumes command of the Resistance.

Rey attempts to recruit Luke Skywalker back into the Resistance, trying to drag him from his self-imposed exile.  He refuses to help and speaks of the ways of the Jedi needing to end.  After some prodding from R2-D2 Luke agrees to give Rey three lessons in the Force but is terrified when she is drawn immediately to the Dark Side without trying to resist the pull.  Though she is not pulled to the Dark Side a strange connection with Kylo Ren has them baffled.

Poe, Finn, mechanic Rose and BB-8 rush off on a secret mission to help the Resistance fleet as it runs low on fuel.  They have discovered a way to prevent the further tracking of the fleet, but it will take an act of the Force to pull it off. 

The balance of the Galaxy is in the hands of the Force as each of the groups race to put a stop to the First Order in their own way.

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: based on the universe created by George Lucas

-Length: 152 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Mark Hamill, Carie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio de Toro

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Its an interesting game of cat and mouse that gets played in this on several levels. 

You have the issue with the Resistance and the First Order. 

You have Kylo Ren looking for both Rey and for General Leia.

You have Rey chasing Luke.  And Luke running from his past.

Finn running from basically everything.

Everyone has their stories to tell.

The whole film is just an endless game of chase.  It’s an intriguing method of getting the story in.  And one of the movies that doesn’t feel like it is too expositional or too information heavy.  There is so much that happens, but it is so important to know everything that is going on.

I absolutely love this film.  It is a wonderful portrayal of what happens when people lack information, refuse to share plans with each other, or just don’t think of the greater picture.  Yet they all come together in the end to make a difference.  They all work together to change the world around them.

It is a masterful use of the screen and storytelling.  Everyone has a hand in their destiny.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens, based on the universe created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Thirty years have passed since the Galactic Civil War and the events on the moon of Endor.  A new regime has risen from the decimated Galactic Empire.  The First Order seeks to wipe out the New Republic.

A new rebel group known as The Resistance has emerged, backed by the New Republic and led by General Leia Organa to oppose everything that is going on with the First Order.  In a desperate attempt to helps save the galaxy once again, Leia is on a mission to find her brother, Luke Skywalker, who has gone missing…disappearing into myth and legend.

Resistance pilot Poe Dameron has sought out and successfully discovered a map that is said to lead to the legendary Jedi Knight.  While on Jakku retrieving the data, he is captured by members of the First Order and their leader Kylo Ren.  Little do they know that the map has been hidden in a BB-8 unit and sent to hide in the vast desert.  As Dameron is being tortured by Kylo Ren himself, a First Order Stormtrooper attempts to defect taking Poe with him to get them off the base.

Meanwhile on Jakku, a scavenger named Rey runs into and saves BB-8.  As Poe and Finn, the defecting Trooper, crash planet side they discover that they are about to need to run far and fast if they are going to make it away from the First Order.  When Finn and Rey accidently cross paths they steal the Millennium Falcon to avoid capture they set in motion a series of events that no one could predict would happen.  Will the Resistance be able to stop the First Order or will the Republic fall once again to the Dark Side?

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: based on the universe created by George Lucas

-Length: 135 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate science-fiction violence and gore, mild profanity, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Max von Sydow

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

So, I’ll probably be called a bad geek (and have been in many other instances) but I actually love the newest trilogy for the Skywalker Saga.  The characters like Rey and Poe, even Finn at times, are all extremely relatable to me.  They have real emotions and pasts that I connect to very easily.  I even love the struggle that Kylo Ren begins in this film is something that I enjoyed experiencing.

That being said though there are a lot of things that I do find difficult about the series.  It isn’t exactly the most even footed of the set.  But I’ll leave more of that for the final episode review to not give away too much in this episode.

In this movie I feel like everything is a little to fast paced.  Its sometimes feels like they tried to shove 3 movies worth of information into one film.  And while none of it truly feels forced the way a lot of the exposition does in Episode 1 of the series…it just…it’s a lot.

There is a lot going on and that is totally fine.  But I feel like quite a bit of it could have happened in the second film and it would have felt a little more balanced. 

There are lots of little parallels to Episode 4 in this film.  Between the journey that Rey begins and all the other returning characters it is nice to know that, while people developed and grew and changed, they still stayed very much the same.

And Kylo Ren is one of my favorite characters, particularly for his redemption arc.  He is so ridiculously strong in the Force but struggles with balance.  It is truly a fight that is as old as time.  Finding balance in life.  Fighting evil.

I defiantly think this film is far better than Episodes 1-3…regardless of its flaws.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.