Tag Archives: Star Wars

Special Features presents: A new hope??

For those of you know that know me, you probably also know that I am a huge Star Wars fan (okay and a fan of maybe a hundred or more other things, but that’s besides the point right now). When Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi came out in 2017 I was devastated. The movie completely ruined everything that I had ever liked about Star Wars. I hated the film with a vengeance and I did something that was completely out of character for me: I wrote a review in complete anger. In hindsight, that was something I should not have done. The post did become my most viewed one in the history of my blog and at the same time it gathered a huge amount of comments. Some people agreed with me, some did not. In the end it’s just a movie though. On the other hand the only reason why I was so passionate about it, is the fact that Star Wars films are MORE than movies for me. I have been a fan for over 30 years now and the saga of that galaxy far, far away has been a big part of my life. After the dust settled, and the fan base was divided, a lot of fans just wrote off Star Wars completely. The Solo movie for instance was a box office bomb because fans just didn’t believe in the Disney side of Star Wars anymore.

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I have a…..good…..feeling about this!

But…that’s not me. One bad movie doesn’t mean that I have all of a sudden stopped loving Star Wars. What I have become when it comes to this, is cautious. I don’t want to have another huge disappointment by becoming too enthusiastic about anything related to the continuation of the current trilogy. That said: HOLY FREAKING MOLY HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN THIS NEW TRAILER YET?!!? Erm…sorry…just my old enthusiasm creeping up on me. It won’t happen again. Seriously though, this teaser trailer that was released last night, certainly made me cautiously optimistic about the future, or should I say the end of this saga. Because Episode IX will be the final installment of the Skywalker story. It was a trailer that was made for fans, to restore the faith that some of them might have lost. And I say, already seeing some of the responses online to people that have watched the trailer, that they really managed to achieve their goal. So, let’s talk about it a bit. And if you don’t want to know anything for the upcoming film just skip the next paragraph.

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Be still my heart……

*Spoilers Begin* First off there is of course the title of the movie: The rise of Skywalker. But with Luke gone from the universe, there really is (at least so far as we know) only one Skywalker left: Kylo Ren. So, will this movie be about his redemption? Or is there something else going on? As far as nostalgia goes, it was of course great to see Lando in the cockpit of his old ship again. If you ask me he was only added to the film to bring back some of that old magic feeling, but hey I’m certainly not complaining about it. Leia hugging Rey was of course another of those goosebump inducing moments, especially considering the fact that the wonderful Carrie Fisher isn’t amongst us anymore. But the true surprise comes at the very end of the trailer where Luke in an overhead voice says: “ No one is ever really gone” and we hear the maniacal laugh of Emperor Palpatine. That was simply put, mindblowing, and one has to wonder what in blazes this will mean. Because really all bets are off now. *Spoilers End*

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That’s no moon, it’s a………

With this teaser trailer having now been released of course the fans are unleashing all their theories again on what they have seen, and what they predict may or may not happen. But, let’s not forget that the trailers for Episode VIII also looked amazing, and everyone was speculating wildly then as well. Until the film came out, and pretty much everything we had hoped for was thrown out the window. The Rise of Skywalker will be a very important movie. It will either reunite the fans again, or let a rift as big as the Sith and the Jedi rivalry forever stand between them. Episode IX has one huge advantage though: it has J.J. Abrams. I know some people really don’t like the guy. I do. Pretty much everything I have seen of him, whether it’s one of his tv shows, or his movies, I have enjoyed. I hope he can undo the damage that has been done with the previous film, and fix Star Wars again. And for those of you that loved The Last Jedi, as I said last time: no disrespect intended, I honestly think that’s great. Now of course down below, for your viewing pleasure a link to the trailer. May the Force be with you all: have a great weekend!

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Thrawn, a Star Wars novel by Timothy Zahn (2017)

With the movie the Return of the Jedi that was released in 1983, the first Star Wars trilogy was finished. And many people at the time thought that would be the end of things. The popularity of the franchise started to wane, and slowly but surely people began to lose interest. But then nine years later Star Wars got noticed again, this time not because of a new movie, but by a novel written by Timothy Zahn called Heir to the Empire. It would be the first of a new trilogy of books that chronicled events that took place after Return of the Jedi. It became a huge succes. Not only was it an amazing story, but it also introduced a couple of new characters that became fan favorites, even though they had never been seen before in a movie. The most notorious of these was Grand Admiral Thrawn. The blue skinned alien Chiss, was a military genius that almost brought the New Republic to it’s knees. After this first trilogy a huge range of novels were made that took the story even further. This became known as the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

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The original cover to the book that introduced Thrawn.

This was all before the Dark Times…before the Empi…erm, Disney. When they took over Lucasfilm, and revealed plans to make a new trilogy of movies taking place after Episode VI, something had to be done about the Expanded Universe. And something was done to it: it was declared non-canon. In other words all the characters, worlds and events created within those books were no longer part of the official Star Wars timeline. A lot of fans, including me, were not very happy with that. But two years ago, something happened that brought a smile to the faces of many people that loved those books: Thrawn was brought back. This time he was reintroduced as a new adversary in the Star Wars cartoonseries Rebels. And just like that Thrawn was canon again. Last year the original creator of Thrawn, writer Timothy Zahn, wrote a new book about the legendary character. It was, needless to say, highly anticipated. But as with most things that you look forward to, it very rarely lives up to all the things you expect.

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Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels. 

This novel explores the origin of Thrawn and tells the tale of his quick rise to power through the ranks of the Empire. Thrawn is first found as a young man, seemingly abandoned by his people. An Imperial team is impressed by his cunning and tactical genius, and decide to give him a chance to prove himself. Thrawn takes on the young ensign Eli Vanto as a translator and together with him, begins his training. But a lot of high ranked people don’t take kindly to having an alien in their ranks and would like to see him fail. Meanwhile on the planet Lothal a ruthless administrator called Arihnda Pryce is also making plans to expand her power. Eventually the two will cross paths. Where Thrawn is skilled in military tactics, Pryce is more than his match on the battlefield of politics. But when threats against the still unstable Empire begin to appear all over the galaxy, Thrawn faces a new adversary that might become his downfall. Especially when this opponent seems to be two steps ahead of him at every turn…..

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Yup….Arihnda Pryce was also featured in Rebels. She doesn’t look very happy about it though. 

Thrawn became a very different novel than I expected it to be. I had hoped for a very tense and exciting book, with an interesting origin story of the Grand Admiral. In part it delivers this, but the other part was well, quite frankly a bit boring. We get a story that focusses a lot on internal politics. As I am not a huge fan of politics in the first place, I felt that these chapters slowed the story down to a crawl. We also get a lot of secondary characters thrown into the mix, that just get introduced but then, at least most of them, don’t really do anything. But what of Thrawn himself? The character that many loved so much in the brilliant original trilogy of books that introduced him feels…different. It’s still Thrawn, that can’t be denied, but at the same time it’s not. Of course Zahn had to reinvent the character and as such has had to make some changes. But still, this is not the same Thrawn that was such an amazing villain. And that is the part that disappointed me the most.

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Yes, he is looking at you. Are you scared yet? 

Still, it is not a bad novel. There is small cameo appearance of a major character that will have most Star Wars fans whopping with joy. I also really liked the backstory of Arihnda Pryce who was at times even more cunning then Thrawn. Whether or not you will like this novel depends on a few things. If you like your Star Wars books to be full of action, big space battles and lots of tension, then I don’t think this is a novel you would enjoy. There are a few scenes like that, but mostly we get a book that focusses more on backstabbing officials and internal politics. As mentioned Thrawn is also not quite the character you are used to, but there are still flashes of his original brilliance throughout the book. Maybe the sequel to this novel, Thrawn: Alliances, that will be published this year, more of those flashes will make an appearance. All in all, Thrawn is an okay novel if you don’t expect too much from it.

I give Thrawn a 7 out of 10 score.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, American movie (2017)

I’m not a very happy man right now. In fact I’m pretty much at a loss for words and don’t even know where to start or how to write this post. This is probably going to be one of the hardest reviews that I have ever written since I started blogging. And it is all for a new movie in the science fiction franchise that I have loved for so many years. Today though, The Last Jedi, managed to really destroy the saga with a film that was destined to divide the Star Wars fan base community. I’m sorry to say that I am on the dark side here by stating that I really hated this movie. There…I have said it. I don’t think after all these years of watching movies, that I have ever been filled with more anger towards a film than for this one. I am also going to be breaking protocol here by writing a spoiler filled review for the first time in the history of this blog. It is really the only way to explain why I am feeling so much anger inside….and yes I know, I did hear Yoda’s words. Anger eventually leads to the Dark Side. Beware, this is a very different review by me than you are used to. It really is going to be a rant so if you are (force) sensitive to these sort of things, you can still turn away.

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Is it me, or do these things look like giant monkeys?

***!!!Spoilers Begin!!!***

So this movie pretty much picks up where The Force Awakens ended. The Rebellion is on the run and The First Order have somehow taken over the entire galaxy all of a sudden. (Which is kind of odd, seeing as they only had one base to begin with, which was destroyed in the last movie). But I’m willing to overlook that part. After episode VII fans were left with a lot of burning questions, chief amongst them being who is Snoke, and who are Rey’s parents? Let’s start with Snoke first. He is set up to be an extremely powerful villain, who has force powers that seem to be even stronger than those of The Emperor. So just who is this evil being? Well….who cares director Rian Johnson must have thought as he gets killed by Kylo Ren turning a lightsaber on him. I was completely stunned when this happened. Why introduce a seriously sinister and mysterious villain, that had fans speculating over his origins for months only to just kill him off in a single stroke? And without ever finding out who he was and how he came to be this all powerful figurehead?

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I know I look old to you, but really you don’t have to be rude about it and close your eyes.

Okay, right….so Rian is surely going to redeem himself by answering the question to who Rey’s parents were right? Erm…..wrong. Rey’s parents were, drumroll please: nobodies. Simply drunken scavengers that sold Rey off to slavers. Which means Rey herself is a nobody as well, and has no apparent bloodline to any famous force sensitive families. That’s what they came up with? Really? Great job, truly and utterly spectacular script writing. How on Earth is Rey able to do all the things that she is doing? It really makes no sense whatsoever. I had some hopes left, and those were centered on Luke and Leia. To be fair, both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher played their parts beautifully. There is a truly heartbreaking scene near the end of the movie in which brother and sister are reunited, and that one really gave me some goosebumps. But the old heroic Luke we came to know and love as fans is gone for most of the film. In his place is a cynical and whiny old man that wants nothing to do with any of the Rebellion’s problems. And after everything he went through in Episodes IV-VI, his change in personality, despite the cause that triggered it, seems too far fetched for me. And of course just because he can, Rian decides to kill off Luke as well.

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Look, my lightsaber is still shiny and red!

Remember Yoda saying after Luke left before completing his training in Empire that there was another? We later learn that he was talking about Leia of course, but she never got Jedi training. But what happens in this movie? After getting blown into outer space, she survives in a cold hard vacuum, flies like Supergirl and pulls herself to safety by using the Force. A feat that to my knowledge not even the most powerful Jedi were able to do. I could go on but really, you get my drift. This movie is just so full of plotholes like these, that not even a Jedi mindtrick is able to save it. Are there no positive things in this movie? Well, that would be too harsh a judgement, and also not fair. Oscar Isaac, echoing his own character’s words is the fire that really shines in this film. Poe Dameron has a much bigger role in this movie than in the Force Awakens and he really has become one of my alltime favorite Star Wars characters. He truly is both a hero and rebel in the biggest sense of those words.

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Chewie and Porg, the new talkshow coming to you soon!

In true Star Wars fashion we get a couple of grand battle scenes, and the fight near the end of the film really is one of the best in the franchise. And then of course there is at least one villain in this film that still is every bit as interesting as he was in the first movie: Kylo Ren. Adam Driver portraying the character does an amazing job in bringing his conflict to life. The fun thing about Kylo is that you never really know what his next move will be. Is he truly evil, or is there still light in him? It is a question that I think he can’t even answer himself, and that is what makes him such a really fun and scary character. From a visual point of view the movie really looks amazing. The special effects are really top notch but never become too much like a few scenes that were in the prequels. Last but not least we get the Porgs, a new and quite loveable race of beings that provide some truly entertaining scenes that had me roaring with laughter.

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Yep, this face pretty much sums up how I felt after leaving the theatre yesterday.

***Spoilers End***

So, there we have it, the first true rant that I ever had on my blog and for a movie that I had been looking forward to for two years now. Ever since leaving the theatre yesterday afternoon I have been thinking that there is something that I have missed in some way. That I am somehow being too harsh. But then I looked over on IMDB and saw the responses and reviews the movie is getting and I know now that I am not alone in this. As all of you know, at least everyone that has been reading my blog for a while now, I always respect other people’s opinions. So if you loved the film, I think that is great. With this film though for me Star Wars has turned into a new direction that I just don’t like. It has ripped out the heart of what made Star Wars so much fun in the first place, and what is left into it’s place is something rather cold. I don’t know if the magic is completely snuffed out now. Only time will tell I guess. I also know that this review is maybe going to cause a great disturbance in the Force amongst some of you. For that I am sorry. Know that in no way I wish to offend anyone here, it is simply my take on the film. Never would I want to force (push) my opinion on you.

I give Star Wars Episode VIII a heartbroken 4 out 10 score.

 

 

 

 

Star Wars episode IV: A New Hope, American movie (1977)

There are some stories in this world that are kind of hard to believe. Take the Star Wars franchise for instance. No matter the fact if you love it or hate it, I think nobody can deny the fact that it’s incredibly popular and makes a ton of money. But did you know that director George Lucas had an incredibly hard time to even get a funding for the first movie in that galaxy far, far away? After writing a 13 page treatment for it, he went from studio to studio, but pretty much no one believed that this was a movie that would attract an audience. After getting declined numerous times, Lucas finally got a green light from 20th Century Fox. But he only got a very small budget with which to make the movie. After many hardships during filming, including suffering a near heart attack, Lucas managed to complete his film. When the movie was finally released in 1977 it blew everything that had come before it completely away and became a huge success. It never fails to make me smile when I think about this story, as it is proof that pretty much everything is possible as long as you keep believing in it.

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You seem to have trouble talking. Is it something I did?

Now 40 years later, Star Wars is still going strong with no end in sight. This week the eagerly awaited eight installment of the franchise will be released. I have already got my tickets, although I still have to wait a few days, as I will be seeing it on saturday morning. Which means that I have got to avoid social media the upcoming days in order to not come across spoilers. It’s only fitting to conclude my Countdown to the Last Jedi feature with the movie that started it all, Episode IV, A New Hope. Probably most of you know the story of this film by heart, but for the few unlucky souls that have never seen this one, let me break it down for you. In a galaxy far, far away an evil Empire has grown that holds everyone in an iron grip. With the creation of a new weapon, a planet killer called the Death Star, it seems the Empire is ready to snuff out the final rays of light. But there is always hope. A rebellion has grown that has managed to steal the technical plans of this new terrorweapon. The plans are currently in possession of Princess Leia, who is racing home to try and find a weakness in the Death Star. But the Empire’s brutal enforcer Darth Vader is in hot pursuit with the sole purpose of extinquishing the rebellion once and for all….

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That’s no moon, it’s erm…..I don’t really know actually.

I was one year old when this movie came out, so I never saw it in the theatres when it was released. I of course did see it at a later age, when the special editions came out and the movies were brought back to the cinema. But the experience could never rival what movie audiences at that time must have felt. These days we are not easily surprised anymore by special effects. But imagine the reaction people must have had when that Star Destroyer came into view for the first time in 1977. Movies that featured that level of special effects were completely unheard of at that time. And in that way it pretty much changed the movie industry overnight. Rival companies were trying to play catch up and released science fiction movies that tried to copy what Star Wars did. With a few exceptions, most of these attempts failed. So what exactly made this movie so special, and why has it captured the hearts and minds of so many people?

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Your hair looks really ridiculous you know that right?

Yes, the special effects were mind boggling, and even though they are now showing their age, they still hold up very well even today. But for me it’s the story and the characters that form the main reason why I love this movie so very much. It’s the ultimate epic tale of good versus evil. Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and of course the classic actor Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi, all of them did such an amazing job in creating wonderful and heartwarming characters. When you look at this movie now, it’s amazing how young they all look. I don’t know if this makes me old or something, but it’s just incredible when you realise that time seriously is flying by faster than the Millenium Falcon on lightspeed. But let’s not get off track here. For another reason this movie is so memorable is it’s main villain: Darth Vader. The first time he enters the screen you can’t help but feel intimidated. He is the very personification of evil, and it oozes out from him in every way. For me he simply is the best villain in movie history.

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We are all going to be made into action figures? You are kidding me right?

When it comes to Star Wars it is really hard to stay objective. I have been a fan of this franchise ever since I saw that memorable opening crawl on my television screen for the first time. It is also hard to believe that after 40 years we will again see Mark Hamill reprise his role for which he has been famous all his life. No one yet knows what is in store for Luke, but I will be awaiting with anticipation that is bigger than a Womp Rat, I can tell you that. For those of you that have not seen this first film I can only say that I envy you. To experience a movie like this for the first time is something truly amazing. And yes, in case you were wondering this really is the movie you should start with first. I know it’s called Episode IV, but this was the very first installment. (Even though Episodes I-III were released much later, but that is a story for another time). A New Hope is an amazing piece of cinema, and a movie that you simply must see at least once in your life. And so we have reached the end of this feature. I leave you with the original trailer for the movie, and for those of you that are going to the cinema the coming days to see Episode VIII: May the Force be with you!

I give Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope a 10 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Countdown to the Last Jedi

In a few more weeks Star Wars fans from all over the world will be flocking to the theatres to finally see the latest installment from that galaxy far, far away…..Adventure, excitement, bah a Jedi craves not these things. No, a Jedi maybe not, but a Star Wars fan like myself does. I honestly can’t wait to see this movie, and I am actually counting down the days to finally see it. So, I thought it would be a cool idea to write a series of reviews, just like I did in my Countdown to Halloween feature. Only this time instead of horror, the focus will be on science fiction films. I will be reviewing one of these films each week. So, what is there to look forward to? Well, you can check my selection of films down below. And of course I had to end with a Star Wars film. Thanks for reading. The Force will be with you: always!

1. Kill Command

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2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

 

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3. Tron: Legacy

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4. Serenity

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5. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

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Special Features Presents: Coming up next……

Earlier this week I realised something that actually shocked me a bit. In a little bit less than two months we will be saying goodbye to the year 2017. I don’t know if this is just me, but seriously this year has rushed by so fast! But maybe the reason might simply be it’s because I’m getting older or something like that, but I do wonder where this year has gone off to in such a hurry. As the year 2018 is already slowly beginning to appear on the horizon, I thought it would be nice to let you all know what will be coming up next in these last two months of the year on my blog. I will try to release some diverse content so that hopefully everyone is going to have something to look forward to. So let’s take a look into the crystal ball of the future shall we?

Anime

imageYes anime is definitely still a part of my blog. It has been lacking a bit in the past few weeks, I have to admit, but let me just ease your minds: there is plenty of that still going to be heading your way. Ergo Proxy is a series that I know a lot of you have been waiting to hear my thoughts on. Rest assured the post for that one is coming this month. Girls und Panzer is an unexpected delight. I had skipped over this series quite a number of times in the Crunchyroll line up. But because of a recent post from The Otaku Judge on the Girls und Panzer film, I decided to give it a go. And I’m glad I did. Other anime you can expect reviews for are Deadman WonderlandThe Skycrawlers and Bakemonogatari.

Tv series

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I am really playing catch up to a lot of things at the moment, and as such have fallen  behind on some of my favorite television shows. But that does not mean I don’t occasionally start with something new. Television series based on movies are usually a very bad idea and have an awful track record. Ofcourse there are exceptions to this rule, and the Lethal Weapon tv series certainly is one. Prison Break returned this year to our small screens with a one time 9 episode event series. It used to be one of my alltime favorites, and that’s why I am really looking forward to watching this. Star Trek Discovery is the newest Star Trek tv series, and while I am still debating on whether or not I actually think it’s a good show, it’s certainly not bad either. Besides reviews for these three series, you can also expect posts for Homeland season 6, The Walking Dead season 7, and Fear the Walking Dead season 1.

Korean Dramas

imageKorean dramas are so much fun, but unfortunately as with almost everything I have really started to run behind on these (sorry Kay). The first one is Pinocchio a somewhat older series, but one that I have so far been enjoying for quite a bit. The second is one that has been on my to watch list for ages and that’s Missing 9. The main reason for watching this one is that it includes one of my favorite Korean actors Jung Kyung-ho. The second reason is that it reminds me a lot of Lost, an alltime favorite series of mine, as it tells the story of a group of people that survive a plane crash and get stranded on an island. Both of these are up for reviews in the coming months.

Movies

imageNo big suprise that of course movies will also remain a big part of this blog (at least I hope it won’t be a surprise that is lol). Yesterday I saw the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Ragnarok. It was a fun filled film, and that one will be up first when it comes to movie reviews. With the releasedate of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, coming ever closer, I am planning on doing a series of posts similar to the Countdown to Halloween feature. And it will be given the name Countdown to The Last Jedi (duhhhhh). I’m not yet going to reveal which movies will be included, but of course they are all going to be science fiction. Other movies you can expect reviews for are John Carpenter’s classic Christine and Justice League. But with movies I expect a few others to be added to this list along the way.

Books

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Ughh, my Good Reads to read list is growing daily, and I probably won’t be able to complete it until I am close to entering a retirement home. I do want to finish a couple of books by the end of the year though, so I still have hope of including at least a few reviews for those as well. I am currently right in the middle of the Sisters of Battle Omnibus written by James Swallow. Part of the Warhammer 40000 universe, it has so far been a very entertaining read. For those who want a bit of nostalgia, I’m also planning a review for the Mini-comic collection of He-man and the Masters of the Universe. The last two books on my list for this year are The official making of Big Trouble in little China and the Star Wars novel Thrawn by Timothy Zahn. This last one especially is one I am really looking forward to as it marks the return of my favorite villain from the Expanded Universe that became canon again (erm, yes I am going to explain that one when I write the review for it).

Boardgames

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Yes, I still play boardgames, even though the last review for one of those dates back to May this year. I hope to publish at least one more review for a boardgame and that is for the incredible Xenoshyft Dreadmire. This is a really fun but incredibly tough deckbuilding game, in which you have to defend your base from a horde of bloodthirsty alien creatures. The artwork for this game is off the scales, and it will be a delight to show it you in all it’s creepy glory.

In closing….

So, that’s pretty much what I have planned for the final two months of this year. In between these posts I also hope to catch up on some tags and awards that I haven’t yet made posts for. As with all things, these are all plans that can be subject to change, as you never know when real life decides to throw a wrench into everything again. But hopefully that won’t happen. In closing I want to thank each and everyone of you who continue to support my blog. I really could not do this without you! So: Thank you all 😀 Let me know in the comments section below if there are any things that you are looking forward to in particular (or if there is nothing on this list that grabs your attention, which is fine as well of course, but I definitely hope that’s not the case lol). Thank you all for reading, see you on the next post!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, American movie (2015)

Earlier this week a trailer was released for a very small movie that is coming out in december. You have probably never heard of this film, but why not, let me just throw it out there in case you have: Star Wars: The Last Jedi. See? Told you that this is a pretty much unknown movie. Okay, all kidding aside: how awesome was that trailer! I will go into that a little bit more in depth below, but after I had seen it, it put me into the mood to rewatch Episode VII again, The Force Awakens. This film was responsible for relighting the fire that is Star Wars, not that it had ever gone out completely. With expectations going through the roof weeks before it’s release, one of the things that everyone was looking forward to, was the appearance of the original cast. Yes, classic characters like Han and Leia were back again, and fans at times broke out in tears at watching the trailers. (Not me of course, I am a man and I never cry….blinks back tears). But was the Force Awakens a good film, or merely a rehash of old things?

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The first one who says my lightsaber looks like crap, is going to get it….

The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after the Return of the Jedi. The Empire has been defeated, but instead of peace returning to the galaxy, a new threat has emerged. The First Order has risen from the ashes of what the Empire left behind, and is threatening to snuff out the last peaces of light that are remaining. The Resistance is desperately trying to find Luke Skywalker who nobody has seen for decades, but who they think might turn the tide of war. They have send one of their best pilots, Poe Dameron, to track down a lead for information as to where Luke might be hiding. But the First Order has tracked Poe down, and one of their most sinister agents, Kylo Ren, succeeds in capturing him. All hope now lies with Poe’s droid BB-8, in which he has hidden the clue to finding the Jedi Master. While on the run BB-8 soon encounters a young scavenger girl that goes by the name of Rey. She reluctantly agrees to help the droid, and together with a former stormtrooper they set out on the mission to find the Resistance. But the First Order is hot on their heals and this time this new hope for the galaxy, might be lost…..

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Yeah, I know I look pretty good for an old nerfherder. 

The Force Awakens has been hated and loved in equal measures. The hate mostly came from people that said the movie was just a rewrite of the first original Star Wars movie. And I guess they do have a point. Just as in the first film, we have something hidden in a droid that becomes the focal point of the story. We have a Death Star like superweapon in the form of Star Killer Base, and of course we have an untrained person that is cast in the unlikely role of hero. So yes, there is certainly truth in that claim. But to dismiss it just based on that is pretty unfair. For there are also a lot of things that this movie did that were just plain awesome. The return of the old characters for instance. The first time you see Han Solo together with Chewie is just a goosebump inducing moment. And ofcourse that moment returns when you see Leia again, reunited with her scruffy looking love interest.

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I really can’t believe that you are not a CGI effect.

But the new characters are also not to be excluded. Kylo Ren is one of, if not, the most interesting villain from the entire saga. He is not just a Darth Vader wannabe, a fact that is only enforced when he removes his helmet. Here we have a person that is conflicted throughout the entire movie. And that conflict comes to the fore in that scene, which I am not going to spoil, but for anyone who has seen the movie it should be pretty clear to which scene I am referring. And then there are Rey, the scavenger girl, and Finn the former stormtrooper. Both great characters in their own way. It is still completely unclear who Rey’s parents are, despite all the theories floating around on the web. It is exactly this fact that defines her character though. The unknown, the fact that she really as of yet has no clue to who she truly is. But she tries her utmost to become the hero though. Finn is the true antihero however. Right from the start he stands up to the injustice that surrounds him, and he almost pays the ultimate price for that. I could probably write another 1000 words for how much I enjoyed this film, but I am not going to do that. My final verdict for the film will follow soon enough, but let’s talk a bit about the new trailer.

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I just had to include a picture that features the fastest hunt of junk in the galaxy. 

The Last Jedi trailer

Unless you have been captured by a Wampa this week, you must have seen the new trailer pop up somewhere on the web. Or a better word for it, is first trailer, as we had so far only seen a teaser for the new movie. And it was worth the wait. One thing this new trailer has been doing is messing with out heads. There are so many things going on that may or may not be true, that it almost makes your mind explode. Is Rey joining forces with Kylo? I myself doubt it. I believe, as a lot of people have said, that the scenes have been purposely blended together to make it look as if they are one scene. Or….it is real, and we are really in for a hell of a ride. One thing we can be sure of is that this film is going to be very hard on the forces of light. It all looks very spectacular, and I for one can’t wait for december. What are your thoughts on the new trailer? Let me know in the comments section below. And of course, just because I am a nice guy, I have included it below for your viewing pleasure.

The Verdict

But of course with the excitement building for Episode VIII let us not forget the movie that restarted this adventure in a galaxy far, far away. Yes, the film certainly may have lacked a bit of originality, you will not hear any argument from me for that. But this was a Star Wars film in every sense of the word, and a pretty damn good one at that. The terrific characters, the special effects that were mostly practical, and of course the return of the old favorites all made it a great adventure to be enjoyed by everyone. I for one loved it, and it truly made me feel like a kid again (although that feeling is pretty much a part of me anyway). So see this one again before the new one hits the theatres in december. To close with a Star Wars phrase: it is your destiny……

I give Star Wars: The Force Awakens a 9 out of 10 score.

Farewell, Carrie Fisher…

I usually don’t make posts like these, but for this one time I will make an exception. I just read the very sad news that Carrie Fisher, who played the role of the iconic Star Wars character of Princes Leia, has died at the age of 60. Apparently this year has not yet taken enough from us.

What to say to news like this. Pretty much everything you say about it, is just not enough. So I am not even going to give it a try. Carrie Fisher will live on in the work she has done, in the hearts and minds of every Star Wars fan. To coin a phrase that pretty much is going to be read in every item you will read about this “The Force will be with her….always”. Nothing seems more appropriate…

Special Features Presents:Things to look forward to in 2017 (Movies, Part Two)

And here it is, part two of the movies I am looking forward to the most for 2017. (You can find part one right here). Are these the only movies that I am looking forward to? Ofcourse not. Next year definitely promises to be an exciting year for movie buffs, and there are a couple of great ones heading our way, that have not been included on my list. Justice League, the Mummy, Spiderman: Homecoming, all look like they are going to be really cool movies. I am just not as excited about those, as the ones on these two lists. So to continue here are the last 6 movies :

Blade Runner 2049

Yes, I know. Do we really need a sequel to a movie that is 34 years old, and was an absolute classic? Sure: I am skeptical about this one as well. But after seeing the first trailer for this today, I can honestly say that I am cautiously optimistic for it. First off, we have Harrison Ford returning as Deckard, which is awesome. And the director Denis Villeneuve who has made such great films as Prisoners and Sicario,  has yet to disappoint. The teaser accompanied by some great music, looks very cool, and seems to retain the atmosphere of the original film. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for it.

 

Resident Evil: The final chapter.

This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure I have to admit. These movies are cheesy and almost venture into the B-movie category, but I can’t help it, I really enjoy watching them. With this movie promising to bring the story of the saga to an end, and a final appearance of Mila Jovovich as Alice, I hope the movie brings things to a satisfying conclusion. Well at least until we get the inevitable remake, reboot or whatever you wish to call it.

 

The Fate of the Furious

Vin Diesel and crew return for another installment in this enormously popular franchise. Sadly without Paul Walker, who’s untimely death still brings a sadness to my heart. The new movie promises to be more spectacular than ever, as the first trailer certainly shows. Yes it is completely over the top action, with impossible stunts and cheesy dialogue, but oh boy are these movies a lot of fun to watch. I would never have even guessed that this series would make it to a part 8, but I am glad it did.

 

Logan

Hugh Jackman returns in his iconic role of Wolverine, in which he tells us will be his final time. Although he has made this statement before, this time it might be the truth as there are at least no immediate plans for a new X-men movie. The new film is based on the highly popular comic book story Old Man Logan, in which we get to see a really vulnerable Wolverine. With captain Picard, excuse me Patrick Stewart, returning as Charles Xavier we are going to be in for an emotional and exciting ride for one of the most beloved comic book characters of all time.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

With Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel made on of their funniest movies to date. A perfect blend of comedy, sci-fi and action, with out of this world characters, it was an instant hit. Next year the long awaited sequel makes it’s appearance, and it will be great to go back to see all those fun characters in action. As with any sequel it is always a question if it will be just as good as the first one, but after seeing the first trailer for it, I think it is a safe bet.

 

Star Wars Episode VIII

Well, this last one on my list is probably not a real surprise. Next december we will finally return to the galaxy far, far away in the way it should be done: a new real Episode in the Saga. It will be awesome to finally see Luke return into action, and find out some answers to a lot of unanswered questions. At this point not a lot is known about this one, not even a title yet, but I would not be surprised if we get to see a first trailer for this one somewhere in january. Hopefully the movie will be just as enjoyable as The Force Awakens

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So as they say in movies, that’s a wrap! As always let me know in the comments section if there are any movies that you have on your list for next year. Next up will be a post for the things I am excited about that will appear on the small screen next year. I hope to release that one just before Christmas. Thank you for reading and see you next time!

Rogue one: a Star Wars story, American movie (2016)

Before I am going to start for real with this post, let me just point out to you that I am huge Star Wars fan. I have lost count of the number of times that I have seen the original movies, and own a lot of novels and other merchandise. When the news first arrived about Disney taking over the franchise from Lucas I was filled with fear. And yes I do know that may lead to the Dark Side. My fears pretty much disappeared last year with the release of Episode 7. I loved it from start to finish, and felt it really did justice to the galaxy from far, far away. One thing I did remain skeptical about were the plans for the stand alone movies. The first one has now been unleashed upon us with Force. Today I saw the film for the first time, and the question is, was I worried about nothing?

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Rogue One might best be described as Star Wars episode three point five, just to give you a point of reference. The Empire is planning to build a terror weapon to rule the galaxy, and for that they turn to a scientist called Galen Erso. Galen has no love for the Empire, but has no choice but to assist in building the weapon, as his wife and young daughter Jyn are both threatened to be killed. Years later, Jyn has grown up, and has now become a bit of a rebel but is also pretty much a loner. By pure chance however she meets up with a member of the real Rebel Alliance who has been searching for her. Things have become very dire indeed, as the Empire has almost finished building their planet killer. When Jyn finds out that her father might be the one who has pretty much designed the weapon, she is determined to find her father at all cost. With a group of like minded individuals she sets out on a path that will take her to her father, and which might bring a new hope to the galaxy…

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So there we have it, the first ever standalone movie of Star Wars. Was it a worthy addition to the Star Wars legacy? I would have to say yes. There are many things in this movie that worked, but it also has it’s flaws. One thing is for sure: this movie is very dark. It is basically a warmovie set in the Star Wars universe. As such, there is some light comedy in the film, but it mostly has a very serious tone to it. The fun things that were truly enjoyable in this film, were the many easter eggs that the movie contained. Any Star Wars fan, will really get a kick out of discovering those. And I am pretty sure that I even might have missed a few.

We get introduced to a whole new cast of characters, and most of these were very enjoyable. Felicity Jones did a fine job in her portrayal of Jyn Erso, and it was also very nice to see Hong Kong legend Donnie Yen having so much fun in his role of the blind Chirrut Imwe. Ben Mendelsohn was also superb as the villain, the evil Director Krennic, a character you are definitely going to hate. The best character however was the robot K-2SO, who produced some much needed comic relief.

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The pacing of the film however, was the thing that I felt was not handled very well. The first part of the film felt slow. At those times it also felt that for a reason I could not quite put my finger on, that I wasn’t watching a Star Wars movie. The last 45 minutes of the film though, were absolutely fantastic, and contained one of the best battlescenes of the entire Star Wars franchise. It also shows how desperate things really were for the Rebellion.

At the end of the film there was a question that popped up in my mind though: do we really need these stand alone movies? Even though I liked the movie, it just is not as good as the original trilogy films. As I said this one is a worthy addition to the Star Wars franchise, but with these movies now being released every other year, one has to wonder if this won’t simply become a question of quick cash in films. We will have to wait and see I guess. I do have to admit that the film was truly better than I had expected, and I did enjoy it for the most part. If you are a fan of the Star Wars universe I definitely recommend seeing it. And now all that’s left to do is wait for episode VIII and ofcourse see Rogue One for a second time. May the force be with you…..

I give Rogue One a Star Wars story a 8 out of 10 score.