Archive for Star Wars

Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog with tags on December 18, 2017 by slateman

I remember it, 34 years ago. Watching Episode VI in the theaters as a seven-year-old boy. I recall the anticipation, getting in the car, smiling throughout the film. In many ways Episode VII two years ago, was almost as exciting. But with such online vitriol for the surprisingly-different Episode VIII, I didn’t know what to expect.

[SPOILERS BTW] And now having seen it, the verdict is simple. The bad was average and a bit cheesy and out-of-place. The casino segment, the iffy middle storyline, the corny humor…There were some parts that gave me the feeling of Episode II, my least favorite of the eight (+one) SW movies. That’s not a good thing.

But on the other hand, the good of this film was GOOD. The entire intro sequence was impressive. The Kylo/Rey connection was a new take on the force and it hearkened back to Episode V and VI in all the right ways. I enjoyed his struggle, his tortured soul, the flashbacks to what led him to this point. Snoke’s death, while an impressive sequence (particularly in the aftermath), felt a bit empty as we don’t know anything about his backstory, his purpose. The final scenes both looked incredible and had such weight. The battle, Luke’s goodbye to Leia, the Luke vs. Kylo fight. OMFG. The latter had me on the edge of my seat. Then Kylo strikes him down. NOOOOooooo! Oh…he’s OK. Wait. Wait!

It was crushing. My childhood hero has succumbed. I just wanted Luke Skywalker adventures forever and he didn’t even leave his planet. It was disparaging, but as he faded away with the dual suns in the distance, the beauty and sadness were far more profound. It was so incredibly powerful and redeemed any shortcomings the remainder of the film had. Despite the discouraging reviews citing disappointment, I ultimately quite enjoyed it. And the best parts of the film could stand up alongside the highlights of the series.

How amazing it has been: from seeing Episode VI in theaters as a seven-year-old to taking my six-year-old to see Episode VIII three-and-a-half decades later. A perfect film it was not, but it was poignant and visually appealing and I got to say, “goodbye,” to my idol and every kid’s crush from the same era. And with that…the wait for Episode IX begins!

Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog with tags on January 24, 2017 by slateman

Pondering that I vividly recall seeing Return Of The Jedi in theaters makes me marvel at the fact that 34 years later, Star Wars is not only good again, it’s conquering the world again. I only truly tasted the spectacle as a child, whose beautiful memory was marred utterly by prequels. And that memory somehow survived the dark years of SW wherein a vast majority of it was neither cool nor good. Now, after unbridled successes of Episode VII and Rogue One, this poster just excites and entices. We pore over meanings of The Last Jedi. Is it singular? Plural? Who is it? And then the questions turn back to The Force Awakens. Who is Snoke? Who was the old man from the beginning? What precisely did Kylo Ren do? (and what is J.J. Abrams going to do about the unfortunate and untimely death of my childhood love, Princess Leia?)

Regardless of how this movie turns out (it’ll be great), I find it amazing that Star Wars is reaching an entire new generation…again…but this time without the bitter taste of Jar Jar Binks, cheesy Anakin or midichlorians. I cannot wait for December to roll around. This ride is spectacular and one my kids (ages 5 and 9) will remember just as I did. There’s nothing better than that.

Star Wars Rebels: Season Two Finale

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Reviews with tags on April 1, 2016 by slateman

swrBarring the highly-enjoyable Episode VII, the season two finale of Star Wars Rebels was the best SW outside of the original trilogy. What I just witnessed was nothing short of a brilliantly-written and outrageously-exciting anthology of what we all love about SW. The ending…and here are indeed SPOILERS…so, is Ahsoka dead? Vader’s messed up. Maul is off doing something. Kanan is blinded and beat down and Ezra…wait. WAT? Ezra is gonna hit up the Dark Side? OMFG that episode was legendary! A friend said it best, “I feel bad for any fan that doesn’t watch this.” I think that sums it up. Missing this would be folly. That episode was the best SW anyone could ask for and it goes toe-to-toe with the greatest the movies have to offer. Wow…

Mini-Review – Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Posted in Blog, Reviews with tags on December 20, 2015 by slateman

episode7

What can I say? Better than 1-2-3 was my only true request. That was done easily. However, the deeper lore of Star Wars was revealed. This was a movie I wanted to watch. I yearned for more info. I wasn’t bogged down in senate talk. And Poe’s intro scene said it all. Action, mystique, new ways to use the force and that humor from the originals all added up to a worthy successor to the films I grew up watching.

Seeing the old characters old was spectacular. How many sequels are truly set 30 years after the fact? The new characters shone. The action was great and the practical effects made this a tangible world I wanted to live in. The only downside I could see what that I knew it was part of a trilogy. Things must be explained and fleshed out later rather than NOW. A very minor downside indeed.

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens is a title I can’t believe exists. It is fun but not goofy, light-hearted and funny but not cheesy, serious but not crippling so, new but old! Magically, Star Wars is somehow cool again.