Posted in 1UP, Blog Posts, Star Wars

LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, based off Star Wars Episodes 1-3, created by George Lucas: a Video Game Review

What are we playing:

The prequel trilogy is BACK but now in LEGO form! Relive Episodes 1-3 as you play through the films all the while destroying everything in sight! Become a part of the film.

This set of LEGO games walks through the world of Star Wars Episodes 1-3, 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: 17

-Collectables: 56-59 characters (depending on the console), 13 hints to the game (these are both free and cost studs), 10 extras (that do both silly things and assist you), 170 canisters/minikits, 17 Jedi Level Stud Counts

-Rating: E10+ (Mild cartoony nudity and sexual innuendo, Mild violence but cartoony and LEGO, some “alcohol” use and scenes in bars, some intense scenes…but it’s a cartoon game so…)

-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):

These are considered Collectathon games and it is achievable to complete these to a 100% rating.  You do need to replay levels, sometimes several times with various characters you collect later in the game to achieve a full 100% of the games achievements.

I absolutely love playing the LEGO games.  They are wonderful stress relief since the whole point is to just beat up everything in sight.  You can die an infinite number of times so there is no real stress to dying like in many other “life based” games. And they take a fun approach to how the levels are set up.

You aren’t just playing the same standard levels over and over.  There are differences in the levels and level set ups, there is a free play version of nearly all the levels and there is the world in the diner to explore (though it is small and really just a portal to the levels).

Excellent game.  Very fun.  Playable with kids of all ages.  Love the collectathon aspect of the whole thing.

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 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.