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.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi, created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Han Solo has been encased in carbonite for over a year when C-3PO and R2-D2 are sent to negotiate with the notorious crime lord Jabba the Hutt.  They are the bargaining chip to get Han back.  When this fails Princess Leia infiltrates the palace as a bounty hunter, attempting to turn in Chewbacca for the bounty on his head.  While in the palace she manages to unfreeze Han but is in turn captured.  With Leia enslaved, Chewbacca and Han Solo captured, and his droids taken as hostages Luke has no choice but to come to the surface himself to negotiate their return.  Unfortunately things don’t go as planned and the group must fight their way out.

As they rendezvous with the Rebel Alliance, Luke takes a detour back to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training with Yoda, who is sadly dying.  In his final moments Yoda does confirm for Luke what he already knows… that Darth Vader was once the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker.  His father.  And that there is another Skywalker.  He is not alone.

The Rebels discover that a new Death Star is being built, this time under the direct supervision of the Emperor himself.  They uncover the information to defeat the Empire once and for all.  In order to do this they will need all hands available and the Force on their side…

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 132 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild sex and nudity, mild violence and gore, mild smoking and alcohol use, mild 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, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

This is probably my favorite of the Original Trilogy.  There is enough going on that it is entertaining but not overly complicated.  All the little loose ends get tied up.  We get some romance with Han and Leia.  Luke comes into his own, albeit a bit on the arrogant side. The resolution to the Skywalker family mysteries is solved.  Anakin comes back to the side of the Light.  Palpatine is dead.  Leia and Luke reunite as siblings.  The Ewoks get cuter the older I get…though they are still a silly addition in my opinion. The Empire is destroyed.  The Rebels win.  Everything is back in balance…mostly.

It’s a nice ending to the Original Trilogy.  We get to see our heroes win against the fascist Empire.  They all survive the war though not without some wounds.  Wounds that will affect them for the rest of their lives.  Han and Leia have found each other.  Everyone dances.  You can’t really ask for much more when it comes to the end of an epic trilogy.

Rating:

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

Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back, created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Three years have passed since the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star.  The Imperial Fleet, led by the notorious Darth Vader, is in pursuit of the new Rebel base.  As they send out probe droids across the galaxy to try and locate the group and their leader, Princess Leia.

One of the probes locates the base on the ice planet Hoth, a cold and deserted chunk of rock ignored by most of the galaxy.  Groups of the Rebel forces take turns to monitor the outer plains for the safety of the base.  Luke Skywalker is captured during one of his shifts, having gone further to investigate the mysterious asteroid that hit the surface…discovering that it was an Imperial Probe Droid.

As Han Solo goes out to rescue his friend, the rest of the Rebels begin to pack up and evacuate before the Empire shows up to launch a full-scale attack on the base.  Luke is saved but is convinced that he must seek out Jedi Master Yoda when the Empire arrives on Hoth.  The Rebels set out to meet the Imperial Army.

The Empire manages to push the Rebels to evacuate, cutting off the route that Princess Leia needs to get off the base.  Luckily, Han Solo is able to draw her away to the Millennium Falcon and their small contingency escapes the planet.  Luke makes it off world as well, heading to the Dagobah system.  As the group is spread across the galaxy in an attempt to escape and then reconvene to attack the Empire once again they learn hard lessons on who to trust and who to cast aside.

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 124 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild violence and gore, 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, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billie Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

This is probably my least favorite of the Original Trilogy.  It is necessary story wise, and I get that…but honestly I don’t like a lot of the characters and the situations that they are put in.

Between Cloud City and Dagobah, Hoth and the issues with the Falcon…and of course, Han Solo in carbonite…its just not as satisfying to watch.  I know that all of this is needed.  The betrayals, the secrets revealed.  The beginnings of the balance of the Force in Luke.  Leia realizing her feelings for Solo so she can make the rash decisions that she does in the third film.

While it isn’t as unbalanced as the issues in Episodes 1-3, this one is quite hard for me to watch.  It’s a lot of hurry up and wait.  Which is needed.  The next movie needs the groundwork built here. 

Luke needs to grow.  He needs Yoda to learn what he is missing with the Force.  We need the reveal of Vader as his father.  We need the tidbits of Leia being his sister.  The balance that he begins to bring to himself in the movie.

Leia and Han need to find their grounding together.  And need to have an adventure away from Luke.  They need to learn that they can rely on each other (and Chewie of course).  Lando needs his redeeming moments.

We need to learn more about the reach of the Empire.  And how the people outside of the scope we see are being treated.  How difficult the world is around the Rebels and why they are fighting so hard to end the tyranny.

This is all necessary.  But its just a long movie to get through.  And not in the same way as the first parts of the Skywalker Saga.

Rating:

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

Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope, created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The galactic civil war has raged for many years with losses on both sides.  The Rebel Alliance has stolen plans for the Galactic Empire’s Death Star, a moon sized space station with capabilities to destroy entire worlds.  Imperial Senator Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan is secretly one of the Rebel Spies and has the schematics in her possession when she passes them onto a droid amidst an attack on her vessel.  She sends the droid to the nearest planet as the ruthless Darth Vader makes way onto her ship.

The small droid, R2-D2, accompanied by a protocol droid, C-3PO, are captured on the planet by Jawa traders and eventually make their way into the hands of Owen Lars, a moisture farmer.  Lars sends his rebellious teenaged nephew, Luke, to clean the droids and while doing so he stumbles across the message that Princess Leia has left behind.  Luke connects the “Obi-wan Kenobi” in the message to Old Ben Kenobi, the elderly hermit that lives in the hills.

When Luke takes the droids to Ben, he uncovers the truth behind Ben’s past.  That he was a Jedi Knight, a galactic peacekeeper, studied in the ways of the Force…a metaphysical energy that runs through all things.  They had been nearly hunted to extinction during the course of the civil war by the Imperial Army and the notorious Darth Vader.

As R2-D2 plays the Princesses full message a course of action becomes clear.  They must go and help her no matter the danger.  For they are her “only hope”.

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 121 minutes

-Rating: PG (moderate violence without blood and gore, mild use of alcohol, moderate intense science fiction scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

I do really love this film.  The original film is wonderful.  It’s a beautiful world that Lucas built with a perfect balance between action and exposition. This film has what is truly lacking in the prequel films.

The story is told at times that make sense from Obi-wan Kenobi explaining the Force to Luke when they are dealing with R2-D2, to the bits and pieces that you get from Han Solo and from the council sessions of the Imperial Army.  Nothing feels forced like in Episode 1 yet we get enough information to feel included in the world and its goings on unlike Episode 3.

The characters are real and fleshed out with all their faults and strengths and weaknesses. The practical effects still hold up today.  Extraordinarily little looks bad to a modern audience (a little in the sabers and the laser blasts…a bit in the space scenes) and I credit this to the fact that more modern CGI techniques were not really a thing.

It’s a great film and quite family friendly.  There is violence but it is mostly gore free with the exception of one minor dispute on Tatooine. Great story and great film.

Rating:

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

Star Wars, Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The Clone Wars have been going on for the last three years.  The Jedi Order is scattered far across the galaxy, fighting against the Separatists.  Master Obi-wan Kenobi and Padawan Anakin Skywalker have been sent on a mission to destroy General Grievous and rescue Senator Palpatine from capture.

While their attempt at a rescue mission could be called a narrow success, the General escapes.  Upon their return Padme and Anakin are reunited and she tells him she is pregnant.  Anakin once again begins to have his premonition dreams, this time pointing to the death of his beloved wife.

As the war continues to rage about the Galaxy pulling both Master Kenobi and Master Yoda into parts unknown to search for Grievous and hopefully end the war.  Anakin continues to get closer to Senator Palpatine and begins his final descent into the Dark Side fueled by his inability to have a logical head when it comes to his attachments….

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 140 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (moderate science fiction violence and epic battle scenes, moderate intense and frightening scenes including someone catching on fire)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L Jackson, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

Oof…this one is really tough for me to review because there is just so much that is bad in the film and so much that I love (mainly the romance that continues between Anakin and Padme…and the fact that the are so blatantly obvious about the whole thing…).

This is probably the one film that I wish there was more exposition in…more explanation (could we not have taken some of the tedious and horribly forced moments in Episode 1 and just…nudged them carefully into here?)  I know from my research there is a lot of what I always had questions about available online and through other television shows but come on. We couldn’t have gotten a little bit in the movie for those of us who didn’t have access to the shows or who didn’t want to watch more than the films.

Anakin is still insufferable in these movies. And while I love the romance between Anakin and Padme it is hard to get through because Padme was the mature one…but in this film she seems more childish.  I can understand that love can make us do stupid things, yet this is a bit much.  The giddy schoolgirl routine is kind of worn out at this point.

Obi-wan continues to be a wonderful character.  He has only grown well into his role.  The moments he as within the story line showing all of the dangerous of war and the deceit of fighting it are beautifully done.  There is so much going on behind the scenes of war that they do go into in little bits and pieces.  It probably one of the better things that they do in this movie.

But I do think it a bit unbelievable that Anakin is constantly able to sneak off to be with Padme.  Does no one ask where he is staying at night?  It’s just fascinating.  And it leaves him so open to Palpatine’s influence in many other ways as well.

Overall, the push and pull in this film are ok.  And the acting and writing feel better than the previous two as if the writers have finally settled in.  but the issue with that is that you don’t have time to settle in doing a film franchise like this.  You have to be good right off the start.  And these films just seem to fall a little flat in that regards.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

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

Synopsis:

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:

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

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

A decade after the invasion and battle of Naboo, the Galactic Republic is being threatened by a Separatist movement led by the notorious Count Dooku.  Now Senator Padme Amidala is on Coruscant to vote on a motion that would create an army meant to assist the Jedi Order in their peace keeping mission and to eliminate this threat.

After an assassination attempt that went wrong, Master Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker are assigned to protect the Senator.  When a second assassination attempt nearly kills her (narrowly avoided by her Jedi protectors) Padme is told to retire back to Naboo as a safety precaution.  Anakin is assigned as her safety detail while Master Kenobi tries to find the source of the assassin and why the Senator is being attacked.

When the information presented leads Obi-wan to a seemingly missing planet and a full scale army that seems to be waiting for his arrival (a great shock to him when told), it seems that some of the Jedi themselves might be behind the Republic’s new army.

So who is pulling the strings in the shadows?  And what will happen as the arrogant and emotional Anakin Skywalker as he works his assignment to protect Senator Amidala? And what will the Republic make of the Separatist threat?

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 142 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild violence, mild intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L Jackson, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

I do enjoy this film quite a bit more than the first film.  Between the better performances and the better writing, the characters seem truer to who they were trying to be set up as.  Everything feels less forced overall and the world building and expansion see more natural.

Padme and Obi-wan are by far still my favorite characters.  Anakin steps up his sass game in this film which adds a level to his character that his much younger self didn’t have.  There is more action in this film and the world building is extensively done through the background and the plot points vs the exposition.  For me personally that type of world building is much more satisfying that simply being told (and often in a condescending way) what the world is like.

The romance in the film was a nice touch for people like me who don’t often watch films like this due to the fact that we don’t follow the other cannon pieces of the world.  There just seems to be so much media to consume that it can be overwhelming… the little tidbits in this film that make that less so are quite welcome.

Of the three prequals this is probably my favorite.  Though still not the part of this series I genuinely love.  Those didn’t come till much later.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, created by George Lucas: a Film Review

Synopsis:

32 years before Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope there was a trade dispute on the planet Naboo, an outlier planet in the Galactic Republic.  The Jedi send two of their own, a Jedi Knight by the name of Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi, to serve as ambassadors to smooth over the situation.  When they are attacked by the Federation, the pair escape to the planet’s surface in order to get to the bottom of the situation.

Meanwhile, the Trade Federation invades the planet and captures the Queen in order to solidify their forced treaty with Naboo.  The Federation is assured that the Galactic Senate will back their invasion so long as the treaty is signed by the Queen.

While the council of Naboo and their Queen are being taken away they are saved by Master Jinn and his apprentice who then help them to escape Naboo in order to plead their case in front of the Senate.  As they attempt to get through the blockade their ship is damaged forcing the small group to land on Tattoine, a planet even further on the outskirts of the Galactic Republic, where they hope to find assistance and get their ship fixed.

Here they meet a young boy strong in the force and encounter the cause behind all their problems… how will the story end?  Will Naboo fall to the power of the Trade Federation?  Who is behind the whole debacle? And is the young slave boy they have found The Chosen One that the Jedi have been searching for…the One who will bring Balance to the Force?

General Information:

-Genre: Space Opera

-Creator: George Lucas

-Length: 133 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild violence, mild intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Disney+ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGreggor, Natalie Portman, Jake Loyd, Ian McDiarmid, Ahmend Best, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August, Frank Oz, Samuel L Jackson, Ray Park, Keira Knightley

-Page of Reference in RP1: 22

Review (contains spoilers):

So….as I’ve talked about several times, I am not a huge Star Wars fan (Star Trek is more my jam)…but that being said the first three prequels are the Star Wars films I really grew up with.  The Original Trilogy was shown to me as a child and I really liked them but as I got older I didn’t really connect with them in the same way.

When these films released, I was between the ages that Anakin and Padme are in the movies.  Padme resonated more with me than a lot of the other characters but she was still older and had different responsibilities I didn’t really connect with.  I do attribute this to the reason why I didn’t really connect to this world in the same way (that did change with the new trilogy though and I will talk about this in those reviews and another article in more detail).

However, from an objective standpoint and re-watching these films I really struggle with them.  They are fine overall but knowing how the Original trilogy was set up is a big deal.  This movie is so full of exposition and world building…but not in the way the Original Trilogy is full of that same concept.  Everything that explains the world and the story of the Jedi (such as the midi-clorions and the whole Chosen One prophecy, the way the order trains its warriors, etc) it is all so… drawn out.

The explanations feel forced and often wordy.  Come at times that make little to no sense and it all just is…heavy.  In a way that the other films aren’t.  that’s not to say there aren’t moments in the other movies that are not like this. But this is the whole film.  Its like the movie was written just to give all this backstory and they kind of forced it to “make sense” within the world of Star Wars and its greater universe.

Overall, necessary to watch because it’s part of the universe. But not the best of the films.  However, it does truly introduce one of my favorite characters in all of his sassy glory (anyone else really excited for the show Obi-Wan to come out on Disney+???? Just me? ok.) so it gets an extra half point for that.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.