Sunday, May 31, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 31: What Would I Say to George Lucas?

Via FAE Magazine
Dear George,

Can I call you George? I mean, I feel like I should be able to, considering how long I have followed everything you've ever created ... which is pretty much for the last two and a half decades of my life.

Anyway, I know I've done a lot of bitching over the past thirty days, and quite frankly, I don't take any of it back. You have earned all of the criticism I've posited in each of my posts, but you're a goddamn adult and should be used to it by now. It's not as if you haven't heard what I've written before, and you've managed to do pretty well for yourself in spite of it. As a matter of fact, you've profited beyond what most people dream of, so I guess you're laughing all the way to the bank. And then to charity, because that's apparently how you roll.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 30 Favorite Movie from the Entire Saga

Via Posters Grindhouse
I am one of thousands of people that say The Empire Strikes Back is their favorite of the entire series, and even my reasons are far from novel. The dialogue is on point, from "I know" to "I am not a committee," and the character development was delightful to watch, in particular Han's gradual adoption of a heroic persona that continued into Return of the JediESB doesn't necessarily have the emotional connection that I have with Day 5's Episode IV, but as a storyteller myself, it stands out as a bastion of greatness.

Friday, May 29, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 29: Something I Wish Were Different

Via Talking Comic Books
There are so many things about the prequels that I dislike, many of which I've about during this month's challenge: too much CGI, a complete lack of character development, the nonsensical storyline ... This list really could go on forever, and now I find myself really wishing that the Belated Media's version of the prequels (the first two, at least - I'm waiting on the third installment) was the real deal. Sigh.

However, my biggest issue isn't even that Jar Jar Binks exists, although that is a close second. It's just another example of the beef I had with George Lucas shoehorning Threepio and Artoo into the narrative of the prequels. His attempt at courting familiarity by paying fan service just rubbed me the wrong way. Don't get me wrong; seeing popular characters is a great promotional tool, and when it's done well, it's awesome. But when you have to go back and "fix" your original creation so it can at least seem plausible? That's when it gets a little muddy.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 28: Favorite Quote

Star Wars, the original trilogy in particular, is such a quotable series that several quotes from the movies have become a part of our daily lexicon.
"May the Force be with you." 
"I have a bad feeling about this." 
"I'd just as soon kiss a Wookiee."
I mean, maybe not everybody uses these on a regular basis, but say one of those lines, and I guarantee you that someone will smile. Of course, every fan of Star Wars has their go-to phrase, and I am no different.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 27: All-Time Favorite Scene in the Entire Saga

I nearly gave myself away back on Day 25 as to what my favorite scene in the whole saga is, and this scene was actually originally going to be my favorite of just Return of the Jedi. Then I thought about it and realized that the first two movies - and ultimately, the prequels - were building up to this moment, where the "prophecy" finally came true.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 26: Favorite Tracks from the Originals' Soundtracks

And the day for which I have been waiting has arrived. I am that person who, if you were to pick any part of any track from any of the original trilogy films, would be able to tell you what scene it was in and what dialogue was happening at that very moment. Because yes, I have seen these movies more times than should be humanly possible. And yet I feel no shame. Why should I?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Random Possibly Unpopular Opinions

  1. Racing games and first person shooters are vastly inferior to RPGs. 
  2. I don't like Nirvana and don't really understand the hype. It's not like I hate them - although Kurt Cobain's voice grates on my nerves - and I'll listen to one or two of their songs, but for the most part, I agree with Frances Bean on this one. Grunge is just not my scene.
  3. Diet Dr. Pepper is better than regular Dr. Pepper. 
  4. While I am a comic book nerd at heart, I am getting worn out on seeing a new superhero movie every fucking year. Almost enough to not care that Captain Marvel will be getting her own movie in three years. And I love me some Captain Marvel. 
  5. I adore Benedict Cumberbatch as an actor. Hell, I even liked him in Star Trek: Into Darkness. However, as a sex symbol? Uh-uh. He reminds me of Bruce, the big shark from Finding Nemo
  6. Garlic is the absolute worst spice ever, especially before you go to bed. I'm looking at you, HusFriend. 
  7. I prefer the simpering, immature characters in Jane Austen's books over her supposed heroines, who, to me, are mostly boring and pretentious (see: Fanny Price). 
  8. Eyeliner and Chapstik are the only two pieces of makeup anyone absolutely needs. Okay, maybe mascara, but that's pushing it. 
  9. Gin is the worst liquor on the planet. Ever. 
  10. Bourbon is the best liquor on the planet. My inner Polish heritage is crying right now. 
  11. Libertarianism is for selfish people. 
  12. I would actually miss the penny if we ever removed it from circulation. It keeps my piggy bank somewhat colorful.
  13. Kittens, while adorable, are much less preferable than an elderly cat who literally just wants to laze around and/or eat until it dies. 
  14. I hate winter. Like hate. Give me the blazing hot days of summer and you'll have a happy Juju. 
  15. I truly do not care if my veggies are organic. I do care if they are locally grown, though. Support your local farmers!
  16. Goodwill is just as bad as Wal-Mart or Target. There are much better thrift shops around that actually help people and don't give their CEO a personal jet. 
  17. N*SYNC is better than the Backstreet Boys. 
  18. Staying blond is way too much work. 
  19. Out of all the pantheons of all the religions in the world, the Hindu avatars make the most sense to me. 
  20. Out of all of the religions in the world, Buddhism speaks to me the most. 
  21. The Restoration Period (right after the Civil War) is probably one of the more interesting eras of United States history. 
  22. "Open floorplan" is one of the most awful phrases in the human language, especially in reference to any show featuring white people looking to buy a house. 
  23. I miss the soft rock and easy listening of the mid-1990s. Yes, even Bryan Adams. 
  24. Diversity is what I look for when I am trying to decide if I want to pick up a comic book. All straight white people? Thanks, I'll pass. 
  25. I'd rather camp in a tent than in a camper. 
  26. Paper and pen trumps tablet and nib. 
  27. Freesia is one of the worst smells that Bath and Body Works ever produced. See also: nearly any scent that Victoria's Secret ever produced. 
  28. I own an Xbox but would rather have a Playstation. 
  29. Indian cuisine is the tastiest in existence.  
  30. Vacuuming is the most soothing chore, but cleaning out a toilet is a close second. 

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 25: Favorite Scene from Return of the Jedi

Via LA Screenwriter
I know Return of the Jedi gets a lot of flack for the Ewoks and for some of the dialogue*, but it's still an incredibly fun film with some of the most recognizable scenes from the original trilogy:
  • Leia in the slave girl costume (sigh)
  • Threepio set up as a god by the Ewoks
  • Han's carbonite shell melting
  • Luke battling Vader while the Emperor looks on
It may not have had the character development of Empire or the innovation of Hope, but Jedi finished out the trilogy a lot better than the prequels did, finishing the Darth Vader arc bittersweetly. And it was stocked full of great scenes that I had to sift through to find my absolute favorite. Luckily, it wasn't too tough to pick one because I'm pretty sure that the scene I chose is one of the most iconic.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 24: Favorite Scene from The Empire Strikes Back

Via Star Wars Wiki
Spoiler alert: The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite film out of the entire saga, so sorry if you wanted to be surprised when you reached Day 30. I have each of the original trilogy films nearly memorized, so much that I don't even really need to watch it ever again (where's the fun in that?), but it's even more so with Episode V. I still feel many of the same emotions I had when I watched it the first time as a kid: glee, sadness, horror*. However, my fondness for the movie as a whole does not make today's challenge difficult for me in the slightest.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 23: Favorite Scene from A New Hope

Via LA Screenwriter
It is somehow already the 23rd of May. I don't know how this happened because I have a lot of shit to do before June 1st rolls around, and that includes finishing out this month-long challenge. So I suppose I should get to it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 22: Favorite Tracks from the Prequels Soundtracks

Eeee! I love the music challenge posts because 1) there's not as much writing to do and 2) I get to relisten to tracks that I adore. Not that I don't have the Star Wars soundtracks playing at least once a week, because I do. Those and the entire Mass Effect catalog. And Juno Reactor. And ... you know what, that is not the point. John Williams' epic compositions are.

So without further ado, my favorite tracks from the prequels!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 21: Favorite Scene in Revenge of the Sith

I saw this movie in the theater three times, two of which were by myself. The only real reason that Revenge of the Sith isn't my favorite of the prequels is because of Hayden Christensen, because this really is a far better movie than either of its predecessors. It has better action, better acting*, and better pacing, and I actually felt the stakes as the Jedi fell to the troopers, one by one. It has the exact opposite tone as Return of the Jedi: hopeless.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 20: Favorite Scene in The Attack of the Clones

Via Star Wars Wiki
Damn, this one is hard. Out of all of the prequels, Attack of the Clones is my absolute least favorite, so picking a scene that isn't just full of suck is kind of the opposite of Sophie's Choice. Which one isn't the worst? Okay, I am ridiculously tough on this movie, mainly because I loathe the stupid romance subplot bullshit, but I think it's warranted. Even Revenge of the Sith, with all its over the top, yet still wooden acting, has more going for it than this does.

A major problem with Clones - and, for that matter, the entire prequel trilogy - is that it takes itself so damn seriously while at the same time trying to up the ante when it comes to campiness. The whole sequence with Threepio in the battle droid factory is a good example of this; his lines - like "This is such a drag!" as his head is being tugboated behind Artoo - just don't fit within the universe* that Lucas created. However, there are some scenes that, despite their general too-serious tone, are still pretty fucking cool.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 19: Favorite Scene in The Phantom Menace

Via Star Wars Wiki
Oh, The Phantom Menace, how I do love you, despite the extreme disappointment that you were. Kind of like Matrix Reloaded, I walked in, prepared to be wowed by the mind of one of my major creative influences, and left feeling like I'd just watched an entire movie of occasional (somewhat boring) action sequences spliced between talking heads. Does that mean I didn't enjoy it? Well, not at first, obviously, since my nerd rage had erupted, but once I sat down and watched it several more times, I found myself appreciating a lot about it, in particular one scene that ended up being ruined by the third movie.

Monday, May 18, 2015

... On That War

In what may be one of my more popular posts, I talked about my body image. It's something with which I will most likely struggle for the rest of my life, even as I reach an age where society tells me I won't care any longer. Of course, I'd like to think that, since that article from 2012, I've matured enough to where my thoughts are drastically different from three years ago. I just let out a little chuckle; I know it's naive, even as I type the sentence. Such deeply ingrained ideas are very difficult to eradicate.

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 18: Best Star Wars-Related Story/Incident I've Had

I ... have no idea how to answer this one? Like, I'm seriously drawing a blank. This is almost as bad as when I couldn't remember any Separatists to say which was my favorite, except in that instance, at the last moment, I pulled Wat Tambor out of my ass. I mean, I've already talked about how my dad and I bonded over Star Wars, but I can't think of any particular time that stands out more than the others. I've never gone to any conventions (I know), and I've never met any of the cast, other than finding a signed copy of one of Carrie Fisher's books at a local used bookstore. A childhood friend of mine had an original AT-AT walker toy that he let me look at once? That was pretty cool?

You know what? Today is my Skip Day. Yep. That's what today is.


* I am, to this day, a staunch proponent of waiting to see the movie at least a week once a movie is released. It's not necessarily because I want to read reviews first, although I do tend to prefer going into a movie knowing what I'm in for, but so I don't have to deal with the sheer number of people. The last time I went opening night was for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and I regretted every minute of it. Ugh, so many fanboys. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 17: Book Versions vs. Movie Versions

Why yes, I do own every novelization. Thanks for asking! The original trilogy is in paperback (somehow, I have two of Return of the Jedi, and they are the absolute same edition), and because I was a pretentious fan back in high school, I bought the prequels in hard cover. Granted, I took the sleeves off after the movies turned out to be shit, but whatever.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 16: Favorite Minor Character

You know Oola? You know, Jabba's slave dancer that was unceremoniously offered up as rancor fodder* and then replaced by a captured Leia? She's a Twi'lek, which are essentially the asari of the Star Wars universe, only without a natural predisposition with the Force/biotics. Including the animated shows (Rebels and The Clone Wars), they have almost universal sexual appeal.
That's Oola on the right.
Via Of Blood and Honor: Star Wars Wiki

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Lord Was Testing Me

I am a homeowner for the first time. The elation that is flooding over me is nearly indescribable, even as I look around my living room and see the massive project that awaits me. I came into this with my eyes wide open, fully aware of the necessary time and work, but it is all worth it. No longer do I have to deal with a landlord who considers me inferior because I happen to have breasts or downstairs neighbors who have after-mixers at their place until 4A. I can paint the walls and construct kitty ledges and rip up flooring, all to my heart's content. It's invigorating.

But I swear, I nearly cut a bitch in the process. You may want to go brew yourself some tea and pop a bag of popcorn, 'cause this is going to take a while.

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 15: Favorite Battle

The battles of the prequels did absolutely nothing for me. It wasn't the CGI or anything, even though I felt Lucas and Co. relied too much on it, but the stakes just weren't there. In The Phantom Menace, I just didn't care because 1) obviously all the major characters had to survive in order for two more movies to be made (except for Qui-Gon) and 2) there wasn't the same sense of urgency that existed in A New Hope. The constant danger existing around Han, Leia, Luke, et al, was completely missing from the crew in Attack of the Clones, and ugh, the stupid that surrounded the entire production of Revenge of the Sith still makes my blood boil. Naturally, that leaves the original trilogy to be my source of my favorite battle ...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 14: Character I Wish Got More Screen Time

Well, I was thisclose to choosing Qui-Gon for this one, but then I realized this would have just tortured poor Liam Neeson even more, so I couldn't go through with it. Also, he did get quite a bit of screen time in the first movie - and his voice in Revenge of the Sith - so I don't know if he really qualifies. I'd be rehashing a lot of what I said on Day 10, anyway, so it was back to the drawing board.

But then I remembered some deleted scenes I'd watched a few weeks back and voila! I knew who fit the bill.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 13: Favorite Planet

You know, it's rare when I say something like, "Oh, thank God for the prequels, because without them, we wouldn't have [fill in the blank]," but today is that day. In the original trilogy, we see very few planets: Tatooine, Hoth, Alderaan (I'm being technical here, seeing as we only look at it from space before it's blown to bits), Endor, Yavin, and Bespin. Feel free to add more in the comments if I forgot any. But in the prequels? It's like a treasure trove of eye candy. We are even introduced to Coruscant, which is probably one of the coolest yet least realistic concepts of a planet ever.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 12: Favorite Ship

And yay! Back on track! "No more sickness" is my current mantra, because dear God, it's been a rough two weeks, what with the new house (you'll be getting a post on that soon, trust me), the new car, and then with whatever tummy ailment decided to mess with my goals.

Enough about me! On to today's challenge: my favorite ship in the Star Wars movie canon. First, I'd like to talk about the ships from the prequel trilogy. Number one, there was a simplistic beauty in the lived universe that George Lucas created in the originals. Alien continued with that idea with the Nostromo, and then Battlestar Galactica (the reimagined series) perfected it, even creating a new ship out of spare parts and the Chief's brilliance. Number two, I get that the prequels took place in a period of relative peace, but that does not mean that everything was pristine and shiny, like the Naboo cruiser that Padme and her entourage rode in The Phantom Menace. Even the interiors looked like sets, unlike the realism of the Milennium Falcon. It was like we were being told that we were in a fantasy, like in Hollywood films about the Middle Ages where everyone is meticulously clean. It takes me out of the story.

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 11: Favorite Droid

If you have to even guess which droid is my favorite, we may have to renegotiate our terms of friendship. I'm only half-joking here.

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 10: Favorite Jedi

See, it's on days like this that I wish I had included the rest of the Star Wars canon, because I would have chosen way differently on this challenge*. Alas, I chose to exclude the expanded universe, so I am forced to choose between the Jedi portrayed in the six live-action movies. Now, who I picked may actually surprise you, because guess what. It isn't Yoda or Obi-Wan or even Mace Windu.

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 9: Favorite Member of the Empire and of the Separatists

Dammit, this one is harder because I have even fewer to choose from. Plus, I wanna get caught up after being bed-ridden for nearly a week, so naturally, I'm a tad bit more anxious to get this one over and done with.

Monday, May 11, 2015

31 Day Challenge, Day 8: Favorite Member of the Rebellion and the Old Republic

Dammit, how I wish I could use the EU right now. Well, that's not entirely true. It's just that I know so much about each of the characters beyond their appearances in the movies, and this decision would have been that much harder if I were able to include them. Ultimately, I would have come to the same conclusion, but I feel like this isn't even a real challenge. So I expanded this into two characters, one from each of the trilogies, just to make it a bit difficult for me.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ugghhh ...

Yeah, sorry about the lack of Star Wars posts ... or anything at all, actually. Last week I came down with what may be one of the worst sicknesses I've ever had to suffer. At first, I thought I was pregnant - all the fun nausea and bloating a girl could want - and I had to call my mom to ask her what acid reflux's symptoms were. But after a few days, I was completely exhausted, and I felt like there was this cold balloon in my stomach; I couldn't eat anything other than maybe one or two crackers, and throwing up was always something I wanted to actually do, especially when a wave of nausea hit, but my body would never let me. So I went to the doctor and voila! My stomach was a breeding ground for ulcers, apparently. Thankfully, I hadn't developed one, but the doctor put me on some Zofran and a muscle relaxer that I cannot pronounce to make sure that I wouldn't.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I was pretty much in bed for the past week, save for a walk to the mailbox (which, of course, left me zapped of all energy), and even staying awake to read a book, watch a movie, or sit up to type on a computer was nearly impossible. Hence I'm behind. Again. I know, I know. I'm sorry. I'm still not 100% up to speed, but I'm currently working on the past posts, and everything will pick back up tomorrow!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 7: All-Time Favorite Character

For anyone who knows me, my answer to today's challenge is not going to be any sort of surprise. It's the character with whom I identified, even as a kid and especially now. She even ties with my other favorite character, Ahsoka Tano, but that Padawan Learner comes from The Clone Wars. Considering the prequels and what a mess her mother turned out to be (through no fault of her own; that travesty lies in the hands of one George Lucas), I can only thank the writers who took over in The Empire Strikes Back and yes, even in Return of the Jedi, for keeping her actively engaged in her own destiny, even if she does kinda break character that one time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I Have the Worst Luck with Cars, Part XX: Goddammit ... And Then There Was Light?

You know our girl Fancy? The Countess of Monte Cristo? The Lincoln Town Car of Much Woes? There are so many posts about this car that it's just easier if you go back and read through my whole I Have the Worst Luck with Cars series; plus, ugh, I am sick of that car.

And why is this? Well, let me tell you.

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 6: Favorite Movie in the Prequel Series

Let's just get this out of the way, folks. The prequels were pretty bad. And by pretty bad, I mean that they sucked all of the fun out of the Star Wars saga and nearly doomed any sequels straight to development hell. Well, that is my irritation talking; there's no way a money-making machine like Star Wars would be ended, especially now that Disney has its claws in it. Most of the time, I hate-watch them, mocking every woodenly delivered moan of woe and each stupid CGI alien foible. However, since I have to choose one of the prequels, I'm going to doom myself and pick The Phantom Menace.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 5: Favorite Movie in the Original Series

Like I said yesterday, my father introduced me to Star Wars, and we definitely bonded the first time we watched it together. My dad isn't necessarily the most emotively expressive person in the world (and that's an understatement), so seeing him excited about something that I was interested in was a lot of fun. As I got older, we'd talk for hours about the saga, from cool shots to moral implications to plot holes, but the one that actually got that whole thing started was Episode IV.

Monday, May 4, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 4: Why I Love Star Wars

Out of all of the challenges I've done so far, I can say that this is the one that means the most to me. Sure, I hold Buffy and Mass Effect close to my heart, and Battlestar Galactica inspires me on the daily, but with Star Wars? Yeah, we go back a long way.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 3: Favorite Trailer

I wasn't even born when the any of the original Star Wars films came out, and after growing up throughout the 80s and 90s, I have grown accustomed to how movie trailers look. So when I was gifted the entire trilogy on DVD (later, on BluRay), I was tickled pink to watch the original trailers in the extras. Looking back, I think I was expecting a polished product, sleek and actually using the now-famous score. But what I got was this:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Pull List: Miami Vice Remix #1 Review

You know, I love the Miami Vice TV show, enough that I'll be doing a challenge in August, so when I found out that there was going to be a comic book based series, I was ecstatic. There's something about the campiness of 80s television, especially when it was trying to be gritty and realistic, and Miami Vice was the king of that shit. It's not that it didn't tackle hard topics - rape, homophobia, drug use, etc. - but when compared to The Wire or The Shield, it can seem a little Pollyanna. Blarg, I'm getting ahead of myself here, and I'm also derailing, so ... back to why I'm actually typing.

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 2: Which Side Am I On?

If you can believe it, the HusFriend and I have very deep and philosophical conversations about nearly everything, and yep, Star Wars is one of those topics. So when I say that I've had a lot of time to think about how I would answer this question, know that I am not exaggerating. However, I will ask that you bear with me here, since I'm almost going into academic levels of examination here.

Friday, May 1, 2015

31 Day Star Wars Challenge, Day 1: Least Favorite Character

I just wanted to get this one out of the way because I'd prefer to focus on other things for the rest of the month. You'd think that I'd pick Jar Jar Binks because that just seems to be the easiest way out, and to be honest, it wouldn't even be a lie. He's up there on my list of Worst Characters Ever Created. But this lovely lady just kept popping up in my head, singing, "Lalalalaaaa, I am le horrible!!"
Padme Amidala
Via Wookieepedia
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