The Animatrix, created by The Wachowskis: a Short Film Review


A series of 9 animated short films set in the world of the Matrix.  These stories serve as additional background and history as well as other stories surrounding the Matrix and the war that led to the dystopian setting.

General Information:

-Genre: Animated, Dystopian, Shorts

-Creator: The Wachowskis

-Length: 9 Short Films, Total Length 102 minutes

-Rating: Unrated, but note that the content of the animated shorts fits in with the content of the Matrix Trilogy films

-Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Page of Reference in RP1: 49

Review (contains spoilers):

The Final Flight of the Osiris:

A pretty standard 3D animation style.  Not sure why it needed to be quite so sexually charged in the fighting sequence in the Matrix training room.  We haven’t seen anything quite like that in the series so far.

The real world seems truer to what was in the first movie.  This is obviously the story of another ship that gets taken down.  That was an awful lot of sentinels.  And to be on the surface, its kind of crazy when they spend all their time below ground. 

I hope they warn Zion.  We know the ship is going down from the title but that is just an unnecessary number of sentinels to take down that ship. I know that it they were for getting to Zion when the driller worked but its really just a lot to send after one ship when 10 or so would do.  We saw 6 nearly take down the Nebuchadnezzar.

The Second Renaissance Parts 1 & 2:

Its interesting that the animations styles change.  This one is a combination of 2D and 3D animation that I’m not super familiar with but that looks like something I should recognize.  Ew.  A little Princess Mononoke style in there too.

The storytelling style is interesting too.  Like it would be a mythology story.   I feel like we are going to get a lot of history in here from Rights marches for the machines to making their own country.  Reaching out their hands, and getting slapped in the face.  War.  Destroying the sky.  It is just insane to me.

What I’m really taking away from this whole story (which is something I really knew already) is that most humans suck.  Its crazy to me that humans will chose to go to war rather than negotiate.  We see it every day… this just took it even further.

The machines win of course which is where we are in the films.  And while it’s absolutely terrifying to think about the model the machines use with humans as the batteries is actually quite efficient and completely sustainable with little waste.  And that’s kind of scary.

Kid’s Story:

This animation style is really interesting to me.  Its like they animated a painting.  All the sketch marks are still there, and the setting has the quality of a painting.  It’s a very chaotic style that seems to capture the energy of the story quite well.

That is incredible.  He did what Neo and so many others needed the Pills for by himself.  So, it is possible to become aware of the world around you.  It’s a great allegory for mental health in the Matrix.  There are a lot of discussions even now that people with mental health diagnosis see reality in such detail that it becomes painful.


I like how this animation feels.  It reminds me of looking at a 2D traditional Asian tapestries. Ukiyo-e.  Its beautiful.

This story is reminiscent of what happens in the first movie.  There are obviously people who want to go back even after they had rebelled and taken the Red Pill.

World Record:

I’m not sure how I feel about this animation style.

Another story of someone who made it out of the Matrix on their own.  It’s fascinating that it is possible.  With intellect. With physical acuity.  He didn’t make it completely out…


This feels more like a traditional anime style.  It reminds me of a show but I’m not sure exactly which one.

A story all about a glitch in the Matrix where things reverse, can be broken and be remade, you don’t hit the ground when you fall.  It’s all simply different. It’s a great explanation for haunted houses or places where things disappear.

A Detective Story:

Very film noir, Sin City vibes. Lots of Alice in Wonderland references just like the first movie.

I like this style a lot and its nice to get a bit of Trinity’s story before we meet Neo.


This is super trippy.  I get the idea of reprogramming a bot. But like…this is weird.

Having a converted army has to be helpful.  It allows you to be more stationary but in the long run is it worth it.  Especially if they can still find and destroy you.


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Heavy Metal, based on original works and stories from Heavy Metal Magazine: a Film Review


The Loc-Nar has been released into the world and has let its evil leech into the universe. As we follow the stories of those it has touched the characters, events and styles change with the situation.

Will the Loc-Nar have its way and continue to pour its pure evil into the world or will it meet its end finally?

General Information

-Genre: Animated, Science-Fiction, Science- Fantasy, Adult Content

-Creator: based off of works and stories from Heavy Metal Magazine

-Length: 90 minutes

-Film Rating: R (For violence, sexual situations and imagery, weapons, death and violent injury, blood and gore)

-Where to watch: STARZ, DVD, Blue-ray, or check your local library for a copy!

-Main Cast: Rodger Bumpass, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks, Martin Lavut, Marylin Lightstone, Eugene Levy, Alice Playten, Harold Remis, Susan Roman, Richard Romanus, August Shellenberg, Jon Vernon, Zal Yanovsky

-Page of Reference in RP1: 87

Review (contains spoilers):

This was super trippy but quite awesome! Gave me very Anamatrix vibes (we will be reviewing that one soon!) with all the stories tying back together but with all of them being written, created, and animated by different artists and creatives.

The overarching story was compelling but I was kind of thrown by just how adult a lot of the content was. I know it mentioned it at the beginning and it is rated R. I guess I was just thinking Princess Mononoke “R” not borderline pornography “R”.

Once I got past that it was a cool film. Definitely not for kids at all but from what I know about Heavy Metal magazine it seems to fit the theming really well. All the different art styles were cool. I love seeing how different animators see their style when given free reign. It makes me want to try and find some older copies of the magazine from the 1980s to see the stories this was based off of!

Overall, very cool and something I’ll probably watch again!


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Harley Quinn, created by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey, based on comics by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm: an Animated Television Series Review


Based on the comic series of the same name, this animated series follows Harley Quinn as she builds herself up after her breakup with Joker.  While she begins to deal with the aftermath of her relationship with Joker, Harley tries to put together a crew to help her show the Legion of Doom that she isn’t just a sidekick but a fully fledged super villain.


General Information:

-Genre: Superhero/Supervillain, Black Comedy, ADULT Animated Series

-Creator: created by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker, and Dean Lorey, based on comics by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm

-Length: 2 seasons, 26 episodes (around 22-25 minutes each)

-Rating: TV-MA (for mild sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, severe profanity, moderate use of alcohol, drugs and smoking, moderate to severe frightening and intense scenes)

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

-Main Cast: Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Ron Funches, Tony Hale, Jason Alexander, J. B. Smoove, Alan Tudyk

-Page of Reference in RP1: DC is mentioned throughout the book

Review (contains spoilers):


Ok so now that I have that warning out of the way (because I wasn’t expecting the first slew of cursing in the first 3 minutes), I have to say this show is great so far.

My overall review of this is that I am absolutely in love with the storytelling and the character development that the creators are manifesting in this show.  They are showing a Harley that is dealing with the trauma of her relationship with the Joker.  Ivy is doing what she can to help and to be a good friend but ultimately this is the journey that Harley Quinn needs to make to become her own person.

Season 1:

This was a wild ride.  I knew it wasn’t made for kids but having the first five minutes riddled with curse words wasn’t what I was expecting when I turned on this animated television show.

The trauma that Harley sustains and is dealing with throughout the season is well done.  She is by no means playing the victim card at any point but the back and forth between wanting to be her own person and wanting the Joker to actually take her seriously is quite common amongst abuse victims.  It is extremely difficult to believe in yourself as a person…you do believe everything you’ve been told about yourself by your abuser.  And they handled this beautifully.

Harley’s team is funny, silly, and a little deranged.  They all fit together in the “odd men out” kind of way but they are quite effective when they are working together.

I haven’t completely read though all of the comics that are tied and that influenced this show but if they are anything like this I know that I am going to love it.

Overall, a strong first season start to the show and I can’t wait to get into season 2. 

Season 2:


Rating: 4 out of 5.

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


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: 3 out of 5.

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


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: 3 out of 5.

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


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: 3 out of 5.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (animated), based on characters created by George Lucas: a Film Review


The Clone War is in full swing.  General Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and General Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker are leading a small battalion of Republican Clone Army against the Separatist Droid Army on Christophsis.  As they await reinforcements, a single shuttle lands on the planet carrying Jedi Apprentice Ahsoka Tano with a message from Jedi Grandmaster Yoda.  She has been assigned to General Skywalker as his apprentice, and not to Master Kenobi as was thought.

Meanwhile, Grandmaster Yoda has been told that Jabba the Hutt’s son has been taken hostage.  Skywalker and Ahsoka have been assigned to get him back as Master Kenobi visits the Hutts to reassure them that they will get his son back.

Of course, they are walking into a trap…

General Information:

-Genre: Computer-Animated Space Opera

-Creator: based on characters created by George Lucas

-Length: 98 minutes

-Rating: PG (Mild violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of hooka and drinks that could be alcohol, mild intense scenes)

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

-Main Cast: Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, James Arnold Taylor, Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Ian Abercrombie, Catherine Taber, Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Daniels

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

I’m not sure about this animation style but I am absolutely loving Ahsoka.  She will probably end up as one of my favorite characters in all of the Star Wars Universe.

The story is really interesting.  And I do think it falls quite in line with the parts of the world that I love.  I can tell we are going to get a lot of the larger world that we get with the “side” stories.  The characters seem more compelling and complex than what we get from the Skywalker Saga.

Ahsoka is so wonderful. Just as snarky as Anakin was with Kenobi but seems to have a better head on her shoulders.  She is more levelheaded, but can be just as reckless as her master. 

Ventress is new and different.  Its interesting to me that she is an “apprentice” to Dooku.  Especially since we have been led to believe there are only two Sith at any given time.  Perhaps it is just another matter of the Sith employing another force sensitive beings as their lackies.

The animation style kind of grew on me as the movie went on.

Ooh…. The play of both sides.  The Hutts are a powerful family in the Outer Rim.  It makes sense that whoever wins their favor will win the war.

I do appreciate that the director and the animators treated the film as an action film and not just as an “animated movie”.  There are dynamic angles, epic battles and great music.  They seem to have mastered the use of cinematic techniques and applied them to the world of animation.  It is impressive and greatly appreciated.

Padme being in things is always a plus.  She is a great character that really seemed underutilized in the films… going from a strong confident Queen and Senator to a lovesick girl over the course of the films.  I hope she remains strong during the course of the show…

And apparently, I have watched this a tad out of order…now to go back to the correct order according to the official Star Wars website for the show.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Series, created by George Lucas: a Television Review

Note: I am currently watching this series. Story Arc updates will be forthcoming.


The Clone Wars have officially begun.  As the Jedi Order lead scores of troopers against the Droid armies of the Separatists, the Galactic Republic is falling apart at the seams.

Anakin Skywalker has moved from Padawan to Jedi Knight and General, even being granted his own Padawan, the snarky Ahsoka Tano.  General Obi-Wan Kenobi is on missions of his own.  And General Yoda is fighting right alongside the troops.  As the Jedi are spread across the galaxy

Yet not everything is as it seems.

General Information:

-Genre: Computer-Animated Military Action/Adventure

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 7 Seasons, 133 Total Episodes (19-26 minutes per episode)

-Rating: TV-PG (mild sexual innuendos, kissing, and risqué clothing choices, mild to moderate cartoon violence and gore depending on the season, use of the word “hell” throughout the first 6 seasons, mild use of alcohol, smoking and mentions of a drug called “spice” though it is never used on screen, moderate frightening and intense scenes with many later episodes being very dark)

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

-Main Cast: Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, Yoda, General Grievous, Chancellor Palpatine, Padme Amidala, C-3P0, R2-D2

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Ok so I am going to try and do this review in the most comprehensive way for my brain.  First things first is a general review.  I love the narration of the film.  It feels like old 1940s News Reels that would play before movies in the theatre.  The whole “see the front lines as they advance against the enemy!” and “buy bonds! Help our troops” stuff.  The paint on their uniforms reminds me of how WW2 pilots used to paint their planes before going on a mission.  The pinups and the souvenirs that some of the troops have taken from the battlefield all scream this as well. It’s a really nice little nod to the fact that this is all about a war.

The animation style is a little odd, but it should be ok after a while.  And I do love the fact that they are treating the animation as an action movie with dynamic animation, film angles and action.

I am going to try to review this in “story arcs” since the officially released (and highly suggested) viewing order is not in the order they aired.

S2:E16 “Cat and Mouse”, S1:E16 “The Hidden Enemy”, Star Wars: The Clone Wars (animated film)

This is a really a great start to the series.  Everything is being explained in a way that is important and essential to the story.  There are internal conflicts that will come up.  And so many little things that I think will become subtle nuances and nods to World War II and The Cold War.

There was some use of obviously derogatory words in the series which don’t exist in our world, but you can tell were based off the inherent bias that comes when you are fighting an enemy.  It isn’t ok but I defiantly got the feeling from some of the terms that they are meant to be acceptable. 

Ventress is an interesting new character.  I’m digging the little flirty thing that she and Kenobi have going on. It s really funny and obviously ties back to unseen moments between them before we start watching what is going on during the war.

I’m really interested to see where all of this goes, and I hope that we get a lot of the other characters that I’ve heard so much about.

S3:E1 “Clone Cadets”

So, we get to see the behind the scenes of the Clone Soldiers training.  Its something that is really important to see.  Obviously, we know that the soldiers need training as any other military outfit will need to do.  Yet in the main films all we see is them working and fighting.  I like seeing these little details.

Its also kind of fascinating that they Jedi aren’t training them…though that does make sense because there aren’t enough of them to go around.  But I find it intriguing that bounty hunters are being used to train the troops.  It is a group of people that can train others and have the fighting abilities.

The show also brings up the question of morality of clones.  Are the clones their own persons? Or do you treat them the same as a non-sentient droid?  Is numbering them a way to dehumanize them?  What do you do when they malfunction due to the issues with the cloned DNA?  We also get to see the attitudes that different characters and even races have towards the clones from irritated to compassionate to indifferent.

S3:E3 “Supply Lines”, S1:E1 “Ambush”

At first, I thought “Supply Lines” was a continuation of “Clone Cadets” but that isn’t the case.

We got to see some of Senator Organa’s negotiation tactics.  We are getting the stories of how the Republic is getting around recruiting…or even is recruiting…the assistance of neutral planets.

Ventress is back.  We get to see how she is going to act and negotiate in the war.  And of course, seeing Yoda work in awesome because he’s so very small compared to the droid army, the clones…basically everyone around them.

The are doing a great job showing how fluid war is between the current fights on the ground, trying to protect the people of the planets they are on… the war and the battles are constantly in flux and you have to think on your feet.

The Separatists don’t mind being evil and sneaky when it comes to any of their missions.  Which I’m not surprised about.

S1:E2 “Rising Malevolence”, S1:E3 “Shadow of Malevolence”, S1:E4 “Destroy Malevolence”

Yay! Anakin and Ahsoka are back.  I can’t wait to see more of them in action. 

Of course, they go off course and seek out a rescue mission. And of course, it ends up being for the greater good.  They have saved a great Jedi General (and learned some more about Ahsoka’s past).

We get to figure out the weapon and hopefully they can get back to report on it.

This is the first time that we get to see General Grievous.  He’s an interesting specimen.

Now that we know who the enemy is, we are good to go to follow the rest of the story line with an attack on the ship and the new ion cannon.  Attempt number one to take out General Grievous.  We know how this will work if you’ve seen Episode 3.  This is all super interesting to see in the long run.

Anakin is off on another dangerous mission as per usual.  And he pulls it off.  We get to finally get a little bit of Padme.  She is one of my favorite characters in the universe but her storyline in the movies is quite unsatisfying.  I hope we get more of who she really is and what she is capable of.

The relationship between Anakin and Padme is going to be fun to see as it unfolds. 

S1:E5 “Rookies”

I don’t know if I can say it enough but the theming for this whole show is incredibly well done.  Between the old war reel feel of the intros to the war radio to how they get their armor painted.  It just has such a satisfying feel to it.

Ooh…I guess I’ve not really paid attention to the armor that Obi-wan and Anakin are wearing.  It’s a really nice combination of their Jedi robes and the armor the clones wear.  It’s a nice touch of solidarity with their armies.

And there is a Hoth-style situation with the droids infiltrating the quiet base in the midst of an asteroid shower.  I guess Domino team is getting the action they were hoping for.  The fact that the show gives us stories from all different levels of the military.  It isn’t just focused on Kenobi, Anakin and Ahsoka…  obviously Grievous and Dooku play major rolls but the fact that we see all the levels from training to the Generals makes for a very dynamic show.

S1:E6 “Downfall of a Droid”, S1:E7 “Duel of the Droids”

Yay a storyline where we will hopefully get more about Grievous and Anakin and Ahsoka.  I love seeing the two of them work together even though Ahsoka is so tiny.  She’s so young.

The way Grievous moves is so cool.  The animators have done and incredible job of giving him that balance between his old human self and the movements that humans would kind of stick to (things like a limp, his cough, the slouch) but then he does things that are so distinctively droid from his flips and the way he handles his weapons.  Its really an interesting feat of animation.

Poor R2-D2.  Though it is interesting to find out bits and bobs about droids as well.  I don’t know much about the extended Star Wars universe so its really interesting to me to get to find out things like the types of droids, what they look like, and their series numbers.  I like the little details that are super subtle.

Ahsoka verses Grievous.  That is a great battle.  The fights in this are so much fun to watch.  They really treat it like an action movie not a traditional animated show. 

S1:E8 “Bombad Jedi”, S1:E9 “Cloak of Darkness”

Padme Going to do this diplomatic mission alone will henceforth be known as mistake number one.

Cool we get to see Greedo’s people.  Grodians.  They haven’t’ really been in anything to date.  This was defiantly a trap.

I have no idea how no one figured out that Anakin and Padme were together.  Like there is a Jedi robe literally hanging in her private ship.  There are so many moments like this in the films that its insane to think that nobody figured out their more intimate and personal connection.

Its always great to get to see Padme working to get herself out of bad situations.  This is the Padme I love.  Not the lovesick girl that is in Episode 3.  The headstrong and courageous person she shows off in Episode 2.  I’m sol glad they decided to keep that in this show.

Seeing other Jedi is always a treat.  Since the focus of the main movies is the Skywalker story we just get to see so many of them in passing.  Shows like this are giving a chance to actually see not only the greater universe but to experience so many of the different worlds and the people on them.

More Ventress.  I’m all for that.  She’s an incredibly interesting character.  I still can’t figure out exactly what she wants out of everything.

Ahsoka is very brash.  She needs to get under control.  I understand that her Master isn’t always the most levelheaded…particularly when it comes to his attachments but still.  Though I guess being able to read the Viceroy well enough that she knew he would only respond to fear is a big deal.

Ooh.  Are we getting Ventress and Ahsoka?  The last fight se was in was great.  I love the way she holds her lightsaber. Its so different than many of the other force sensitive fighters.  Man.  Ventress is a beast.  And Ahsoka has so much raw and untapped power.  Geeze.  Where did she come from?

S1:E10 “Lair of Grievous”, S1:E11 “Dooku Captured”, S1:E12 “The Gungan General”

The lair of Grievous is fascinating.  We finally get an answer to how he has so many lightsabers.  This is the first time we see Grievous kill a Jedi and take the saber.  Its kind of horrible that these are his spoils from war.

Seeing more Jedi, how they fight, their personalities is going to make Order 66 even worse when it finally happens in Episode 3.  I’m glad to get more stories and more of the backgrounds of the world but it will make their deaths even worse in the long run.  It was bad enough that you know the majority of them die before or during this order.

Hmmm.  A set of bounty hunters actually captured Dooku and took his lightsabers.  That’s fascinating.  And the payment that they want to return him is a LOT of money.  This is one of the episodes that mentions “spice” which is implied to be a drug of sorts worth quite a bit of money.  It is mentioned at other times throughout the universe, but this is the first real mention of it in this series.

I’m sure Padme does not feel great about sending Anakin and Obi-wan into the fray without weapons.  It would be quite unsettling to send your partner into that situation in order to get ahold of a war criminal.

Anakin and Obi-wan always getting in trouble.  Let’s see how they get out of all of this.  That name sounds familiar.  Hando.  Where do I know that from?

Honestly, this is one of the less riveting storylines, but it is essential to the overall plot of the Clone Wars.

S1:E13 “Jedi Crash”, S1:E14 “Defenders of Peace”

Getting to see all of the different Jedi in this series is just a treat.  In my mind I knew that there were many of them from different races across the galaxy but since the main films focus on the Skywalker line this is the first time, we get to see other Jedi in more than just passing…or that one big battle scene in Episode 2 where a bunch of them come to the aid of Padme, Anakin, and Obi-wan.

Anakin and Ahsoka always getting into trouble.

Ooh that was a rough landing.  Such a crazy situation to be in with Anakin possibly dying, almost ending up in a star…. That was a lot.  I’m sure this will not be the first nor the last time these two will be in this kind of situation.

Sometimes I forget that this was meant to be for older kid and teens.  There are so many deep lessons in it.  This one makes an excellent point. 

While liberty is worth fighting for, is it worth killing for?

What is courage?  Is it fighting for a cause or sticking to your beliefs?

Are your beliefs worth dying for?  Does mounting a defense the same as fighting in a war?

When you don’t agree with the Creed you were raised under do you still defend it?

So many important questions that people often don’t think about.

S1:E15 “Trespass”

A new frozen planet that we haven’t seen before.  Just like we know that there are more desert planets like Tatooine its nice to see that there are other snowy and frozen planets, swamp planets…etc.  It shows so much diversity in the people that evolved from these kinds of worlds.

This episode is interesting because it’s the first time we are dealing with something that isn’t the Separatists.  There is obviously an internal conflict between the elected Senator and her people.  Everything points to something besides the Droid Army doing the damage here.  Maybe the planet/moon isn’t as uninhabited as everyone believed.

Oh, I don’t like the Chairman.  He’s really horrible.  He has the mentality of the Imperial Army and later the First Order.  This idea that there are people who are less than…who are not worthy or advanced enough to be protected.  That there are savages in the world.  It’s a horrible viewpoint.  All races and species are worth protecting.  He’s a hideous leader.

Diplomacy should always be tried first.  Finding peaceful resolutions and negotiations should be the first choice.

S1:E19 “Storm Over Ryloth”, S1:E20 “Innocents of Ryloth”, S1:E21 “Liberty on Ryloth”

So Ahsoka gets her first squad.  Let’s see how she handles losing men for the first time.  Such a teachable moment for Anakin.  This side is one that we don’t get to see from him in the Saga films.

There are so many heavy things that they deal with in this show.  Not just the morality of decisions that need to be made in war but how to deal with grief, survivor’s guilt, PTSD…the fear and pain that comes with it.  

Its time to come up with a better plan.  The reactions they have created are so incredible.  They not only fit the characters but also align with typical reactions seen in different situations of war and trauma.

Another of Anakin’s crazy plans.  Ahsoka gets the chance to be in charge.

For once we get to see them use a ship in a different kind of situation. I know that we often turn ships in space in a way that makes the most sense to our brains, but the fact is they don’t have to come from the same “up” direction.  Ahsoka using the bottom of the ship to protect the most important parts of the ship like there it is a blockade on the ground is absolutely genius.  There is no reason that these kinds of maneuvers shouldn’t be used more often.

Seeing so much diversity in the different species that are presented in the show is wonderful.  We don’t get much of the stories and interactions like this in the Saga films because it isn’t totally relevant to the story.  But in the extended universe like this we actually get to see what is happening on many of these planets.

Those are fun little mini AT-ST walkers.  It’s a great way to get around some of the battle fields.

Always more to the story than what is seen on the surface.  The Separatists are absolutely horrible.  You can see where the ideals of the later Empire come from.  We are seeing it through both the Separatists army as well as in some of the different worlds we have come across.  This idea that some people are meant to be possessed. That they are lesser.  Its only an ideology that leads to what happens later.

S2:E1 “Holocron Heist”, S2:E2 “Cargo of Doom”, S2:E3 “Children of the Force”

Ahsoka is grounded.  Its nice to see that even Jedi Padawan get grounded.

Cad Bane, a changling, and a droid walk into a bar…. Ok sorry but seriously.  It’s a good thing that Ahsoka had to answer for her indiscretion and that means that Anakin and Obi-wan were at the temple temporarily.

Interesting.  Kyber crystals with all of the information about every force sensitive child in the galaxy.  That is fascinating but makes sense that you would have to have some sort of list.

I like that we are getting to see what happens when Jedi work in tandem.  They can see greater futures, manipulate the Force in greater ways, and even break into strong minds if they work together to a particular goal.

Cad Bane is going to be another one of those fascinating characters.  I’m sure that we will see more of him in the long run.


The Star Wars LEGO Holiday Special, created by Lucasfilm and Disney: a Film Review


Taking place after Star Wars IX: The Rise of the Skywalker we join our friends as they settle in to create an amazing celebration for Life Day (the Star Wars equivalent of the Holidays).  As Rey continues on her journey to train up Finn as a new Jedi Knight she feels like her knowledge as a teacher is falling short.

While her friends prepare for Life Day Rey takes off to find a new source of information that may help her to train her new apprentice.  She finds herself on a journey through space and time discovering some of the most critical moments of past Jedi and Sith.  As things get out of hand will Rey make it back in time to celebrate Life Day with her friends?  And if she does will Poe have cooked any of the Tip-Yip in an edible way?

General Information:

-Genre: Holiday Family Special, Science-fiction

-Creator: Lucasfilm and Disney

-Length: 47 minutes

-Rating: TV-G (some mild animated violence but in LEGO form, some scary looking characters)

-Where to Watch: Disney+ (with subscription)

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

This was absolutely delightful.  Silly and self aware, full of LEGO jokes and Star Wars references up the wazoo.

Apparently it was not only released on the same day 42 years after the original (and frankly horrible) Star Wars Holiday Special the film took inspiration from and even pulled references directly from it.  When I finally find a copy I’ll be able to see if this is true.

Don’t go into this thinking its going to be some profound Star Wars addition. Its just a silly little film made for kids. It goes through time and space on a little journey to include all sorts of moments from the Star Wars Universe (including an appearance by Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian). Just sit back and enjoy…and learn a little lesson about friendship.

Overall a really fun little movie about Life Day. Even for someone like me who isn’t a huge Star Wars fan.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Coraline, created by LAIKA, based on the novella Coraline by Neil Gaiman: a Film Review


Eleven-year-old Coraline has just moved into a mansion turned apartment complex with her parents.  As the move happens her parents are busy trying to get their latest book done before their deadline.  They aren’t able to keep Coraline entertained in her new environment and encourage her to go and explore the grounds.

She meets a boy named Wybee whose grandmother owns the apartment complex.  He is weird and eventually gives Coraline a doll that looks like her.  When she asks where he found the doll he doesn’t seem to know, but comes back later when his grandmother is upset that Coraline was given the doll.

As rainy weather eventually prevents Coraline from exploring outside she takes to the inside of her home discovering a locked passage on her adventures.  When the door ends up opening seemingly of its own accord Coraline follows the hall into another world.  Just like her own…but better.

Better food, better entertainments from the neighbors…and another mother and father.  As Coraline makes herself at home the Other Mother offers her a choice… she can leave, or she can stay forever.  The catch? She must have buttons sewn into her eyes.

When Coraline asks to be given time to make the choice and returns to her world she gets the feeling that the Other Mother isn’t going to let her go so easily.  When her parents turn up missing she becomes frantic.  Will the Other Mother let Coraline go…or will this turn into a fight for not only her life but a fight for her parents as well?

General Information:

-Genre: Stop Motion Animation, Dark Fantasy, Horror

-Creator: LAIKA, based on the novella Coraline by Neil Gaiman

-Length: 100 minutes

-Rating: PG (for dark themes and horror, mild violence, death and discussions of death, fantasy themes, some language and suggestive humor, scary images and other thematic elements)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Starz, YouTube, iTunes, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Ian McShane

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Absolutely one of my favorite LAIKA films.  I watched it long before I ever read the book or the graphic novel but I fell in love with the delightfully dark story of the young Coraline.

Between her bratty and self-centered behavior and the strange and mysterious Wybee to the very disturbing Other Mother, LAIKA did a fantastic job utilizing their stop motion techniques to the fullest.  I honestly don’t thing traditional 2D or 3D animation could have really pulled off the jerky and creepy movements of the Beldam, the strange soupy movements of the Other Father as he disintegrates or the lithe and graceful movements of the Cat.

There is so much that can be said of this film.

The story does a great job of following what was in the book with the exception of adding Wybee (which is honestly a welcome addition and a fun companion for Coraline).  The characters are the same, the story follows very closely with little variation and the animation is just beautiful.

Defiantly a must see but beware with younger children.  Just because this movie is a children’s story it is dark and deals with very dark themes (both real and fantasy) and may be scary for some young viewers.


Rating: 4 out of 5.