Tag Archives: Star Wars

“Rogue One, May The Force Be With You”… Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Russian teaser posterI will say upfront, I was not as hesitant to see this Star Wars film as I was about Episode VII, probably because the expectations to carry on the legacy were so much higher and demanding (which VII, in a few ways, failed to meet), however I was gung-ho for ‘Rogue One’.  I went in blind, with little expectation and wasn’t disappointed.  It isn’t a ‘great’ movie, but as an entry into the Star Wars universe, it certainly is good.

A hybrid between Star Wars and WWII (which I think George Lucas on some level would appreciate), Rogue One helps tie a few of the loose ends that Episode III left hanging in the minds of the fandom, at least in immediate relation to Episode IV (I realize that statement nearly pulls a string that may not ever stop unravelling in fandom circles…) in terms of place setting for ‘A New Hope’.  Ah yes, hope.  If it isn’t a word you appreciate, cover your ears because it will be hammered into your brain for the next two hours.  Yes, ‘Hope’… we get it.  The usage of hope is one of say, less than a handful of things, force-fed to the viewer as reminder that EPISODE IV FOLLOWS THIS..!! Again, we know and we get it.  Even the most common of movie layperson who may have only seen Episode IV in passing a time or two will know the common ideas and the familiar thread.  *SPOILER* When a certain Senator begins reminding us of a certain Jedi Master and what he’s been doing for 18 years… we know.  A great fandom scene, over talked and poorly set for the sake of pushing the next chapter in case you weren’t familiar with it.

rogue-one-rebels

Now, if you can get past the swiftly changing settings of the opening twenty minutes and forgive a bit of the cardboard dialogue… you’re in.  The film settles in and unfolds fairly well, sure there are a few dragged transitions, more for fitting periphery story / characters in (Vader Vader Vader) but it does work to progress into Act Three.  Now technically, you know how this ends, don’t kid yourself or you’ll be sad and sniffling like a few of the other theatre goers.  We all know who the man in black is and he’s as badass as ever.  On a happier note, it was very cool to see old Star Wars faces in new places even if some were unexpected and others a little creepy (not Grand Moff Tarkin… that was cool).

vader-milk-bath

Pretty good once it gets rolling, fairly well paced and with enough characterization to be more than a mere place mat for Luke, Rogue One supplies a bit more setting and angst for our lovable, desperate yet hopeful rebellion.  Sno-Caps or M&M’s, no bathroom breaks.

4 Stars

 

Battle of the Heavyweights

From Yahoo:

Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.

The iconic superweapon from Star Wars has to be the Death Star, a moon-sized orbiting space station with a literal death ray attached to it. A single blast is all it takes to destroy a planet, and there exists no greater power in the universe.

Unless we’re talking about a multiverse. Other famous planet-destroying entities include Galactus and Unicron, and if all three were to meet in a battle of cosmic proportions, who would win this Royal Rumble? This debate has raged for eons (well, maybe close to three decades) in geekdom, and has been known to cause ferocious flame wars across the Internet. Let’s take a look at our combatants.

Death Star

We’ll take Death Star II (in Return of the Jedi) as our example here, since it’s larger and newer. It measures 160km in diameter, and carries an entire fleet of starships and firepower. Specifically, it has 15,00 heavy and standard turbolaser batteries along with 7,500 laser cannons and 5,000 ion cannons (as stated by Wookiepedia).

Of course, its planet buster is its most deadly weapon, which was used to destroy Alderaan, described as an Earth-like planet. From this we can conjecture that the Death Star is more than capable of destroying anything the size of Earth, and probably more than that given all its additional firepower.

Unicron

Unicron is an evil god from Transformers, who transforms into a devil planet with actual horns. He eats planets, although not by opening his mouth and chomping down on them. There are no definitive sizes for Unicron, so we have to extrapolate it. Unicorn is about the same size as Cybertron (who is actually a Transformer that’s Unicron’s good twin brother), which in the cartoon is about the same size as the Moon, placing it at a diameter of 3,474 km.

In “Transformers: The Movie” (1986), Unicron’s goal is to eat Cybertron, so we can safely assume that he can destroy something the size of the Moon with ease. He has some trouble handling attacks from the Transformers though, with one of his eyes getting shattered during the fight (and another one after his demise), so we know that smaller foes can hurt him. But since he is a deity, it is possible that such attacks mean nothing to him.

The only thing that Unicron fears is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, but that can only be opened by the Chosen One, who is in all likelihood the current or next Autobot leader.

Galactus

Galactus is a cosmic entity in the Marvel Universe that has to eat planets for sustenance. He’s generally depicted as 18 to 25 metres in height, which makes him tower over virtually anybody else. But he wields a force known as the Power Cosmic, which effectively allows him to do whatever he wants. Since he wants to devour Earth in his first appearance, we can safely say that he can destroy anything Earth-sized with ease.

His only fear is a weapon called the Ultimate Nullifier, which can eliminate any target it chooses, and has been shown to destroy an entire universe. Hence, the only kind of power that could hurt Galactus would weapons that deal damage on a universal scale.

Fight!

So, size-wise, Unicron wins, hands down, followed by the Death Star and then Galactus. But then, since Galactus has the Power Cosmic, he could use it to become larger than the other two, and trump them in the size department.

In terms of sheer power, Galactus would be able to do the most destruction, followed by the Death Star and then Unicron, going by the size of planets that they have attempted to destroy in the past. In all likelihood though, since Galactus and Unicron are both deities, their damage output would be pretty similar. Unicron might have a little bit more trouble handling the starships that the Death Star would send his way, but Galactus is also smaller than say, a Super Star Destroyer, so that might pose some inconvenience as well.

However, in terms of resilience, the Death Star would be the first to go down, since it doesn’t have any specific weaknesses. It’s as vulnerable to conventional attacks as any other planet, and it also has a nasty habit of hiding its planetary shields on nearby moons or have crippling design flaws that allow a well-placed shot to blow it up. So despite its destructive ability, the Death Star can’t take it as well as it can dish it.

Galactus vs Unicron

So it comes down to the two cosmic deities. Since their power level and toughness would be at the same godlike levels, it comes down to whose specific weaknesses are easier to exploit.

Galactus’ Ultimate Nullifier is pretty easy to get a hold of — nearly everyone in the Marvel Universe has held it at one point — and it’s also easy to use, since hardly anyone has trouble activating it. In fact, Galactus is scared off in his very first appearance when Mr Fantastic wields it against him. Kind of shows how conspicuous the Ultimate Nullifer is, eh?

Unicron’s Autobot Matrix of Leadership is a bit more difficult, since it’s usually contained in the chest cavity of the current Autobot leader, who’s usually a formidable giant transforming robot of war. In addition, only the Chosen One can use it, which means that you need to find and convince a specific person (or Transformer) to use it against Unicron. So when it comes to exploiting weaknesses, Unicron has the more difficult one.

Unicron wins!

So there you have it — an evil transforming robot god trumps a celestial force of nature and an orbital space station with a death ray. I’m all ready to be hunted down and drawn and quartered for having proven that Unicron would win, and having added to this endless debate.

Who do you think would win?

 

~In the grand scheme of things…. I agree.  The Death Star, be it version one or two, is a small moon in the hands of these titans of the stars.  Yes, it could unload the planet buster, but I’m sure Unicron and/or Galactus could easily dodge or misdirect it.

Unicron also has the  ability to re-create and re-format matter at least on a small scall as he recreated Megatron and his troops as well as create their ship.  More-so in the comics, he is a God, where as in the cartoon his origin was never given much attention.  For sheer size and power, I still give Unicron the edge as Galactus has often been beaten by the superheroes of Earth with a variety of weapons and ideas where Unicron, even after his destruction in The Transformers: The Movie continued to function in his ‘escape’ pod of a detached head…. and yes, the Autobots needed the Matrix, a calling card of their deity Primus, to do the deed.~

Who Is the Best ‘Star Wars’ Villain of All Time?

From Star Wars.com via Yahoo!

Emperial DuoThere is no shortage of bad guys in the Star Wars universe: A huge cast of characters — from Darth Vader to lowly Stormtrooper TK-421 — who fight on the side of darkness. But who among them is the baddest of the bad? The worst of the worst? The villain we most love to hate?

The staff of StarWars.com took a stab at answering that question and cameSenator Palpatine up with what we think is a very reasonable and well-thought out roster of candidates. Topping their list: Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious). Makes sense. He’s the head honcho, pulling the strings, responsible in many ways for Anakin Skywalker’s ultimate downfall. Plus, he’s really creepy looking: while we know it’s not wise to judge a book by its cover, one look at Sidious and you know he’s up to no good.

Emperor PalpatineFollowing the Emperor, Star Wars staffers placed Darth Vader in the number-two slot, followed by Grand Moff Tarkin (a.k.a., the guy with the “foul stench”). Here’s their complete list:

1. Darth Sidious / Emperor Palpatine
2. Darth Vader
3. Grand Moff Tarkin
4. Darth MaulDarth Maul
5. Jabba the Hutt
6. Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus
7. General Grievous
8. Asajj Ventress
9. Nute Gunray
10. Pong Krell

Darth TyranusBut, but, but! What about Boba Fett! Where is he? How could they forget Boba Fett?!?! Relax. This was no oversight: Staffers plan to release a separate list of their top ten bounty hunters. We’ve got a feeling he’ll be at the top.

For the sake of argument, though, let’s say Boba Fett was included in the above list. Where would he place? In his favor: He plays by his own rules, utters only cool lines (“He’s no good to me dead”), and isn’t afraid of anything. On the minus side — he meets his end (in Return of the Jedi) in a most undignified manner.

Delivering Solo

That said, we feel comfortable placing Fett in the spot ahead of Jabba. A solid showing. We could see him ahead of Maul, but Maul went out with a bang. Fett went out with a whimper. The best bad guys don’t do that.

Lightsaber Battle

Note: For my money, this is obviously a bit of flawed list just to grab some social media play.  Boba Fett is a villain, plain and simple and should have been on the list but obviously isn’t ‘Number One’ material which may offend the Fett fans.  Too bad.  Fett has been overrated for years and has had the advantage of being (in the film universe) a fairly undeveloped character (which is good for the forthcoming ‘one-shot’ film).  We know more about his Dad than we do him.  He is, however, the coolest of the Bounty Hunters… Maybe I’m biased because I’m a Han Solo fan.

 

Star Wars meets Witness… Blade Runner (1982)

Blade RunnerHarrison Ford certainly has depth… but this role was meaty. Not a run of the mill sci-fi flick, Han Solo’s slightly darker edges from ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Empire..’ slam into ‘Witness’ hard nose John Book and do it well.

Called back from retirement or waiting to die, Ford’s ‘Blade Runner’ is on the edge and keeps us on the edge. Sure it does drag in some spots but will pick up with the ebb and flow of the film’s course. Rutger Hauer’s shining moment with some great roles for the younger Sean Young and Darryl Hannah… Well scripted, well paced and well done.
Match MetIf you can see it on the big-screen, do so. Popcorn for sure.

4 Stars

The Best of either Trilogy… Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Empire Strikes BackNot as historic or groundbreaking as the original, this film easily represents the ‘Godfather part II’ of science fiction sequels. There is up and down, black and white with ebb and flow in film… and ‘Empire..’ hits them all, in order and without dragging it’s feet. Maybe because we know a majority of the story already, maybe because it just unfolds and unfolds and then BAM! carbonite. Scoundrels are lovers, dead men are ghosts, Jedi Masters can be two foot nuthin’ and Darth Vader is still the biggest intergalactic bastard around (and not much fun to work for).

Vader Chamber

‘Empire..’ represents the old-school swashbuckling epic that Lucas had envisioned, the episodic Saturday morning matinée you’d show up thirteen weeks in a row to see. To find a film even close you’d need to rent one of Errol Flynn’s early Warner Bros. works, and none of them had an eight foot Wookie. Far from a simple transition sequel, ‘Empire..’ stands above any other film in the six part series, and contains all the spirit, action, emotion and oomph that the prequels fought to give.I know

Reaching film epic. Bring the popcorn, some Snow Caps and NO breaks!

5 Stars

The end of the Saga… or is it? Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

Return of the JediOK, for those who care in the Star Wars universe, we know that there are 3 episodes left in the series… but even if we never see it, this was a fitting end. Sure, with the pre-quels in place, everything seems to fit just that much better, and make a little bit more sense of the smallest details.

Yes the updated or ‘Special Edition’ supplied a better ending and gave us a new ‘ghost’ version of Anakin, but either way, the Ewoks are still fuzzy and will never be as annoying as Jar-Jar Binks. Maybe the final battle could have been worked a bit better in special effects evolution, more Episode III than Adventures of Robin Hood, but it still works. And it still leaves us to wonder, just what happens next.
Jabba's PalaceVery close to epic, but the Ewoks just don’t carry us there. Bring them some popcorn, though, and no bathroom breaks.

4 Stars

Star Wars goes to Hell… Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Star Wars Episode 3It not only went to Hell, it went with gusto! The story was more original than what we had seen in the prequels, and it was long-awaited. Destruction has always ben easier than creation, and it was a great ride to see the cosmos crash and burn.

Complaint; Anakin took all of 10 seconds to turn into Darth Vader. Hmmm… not quite the emotional, gut-wrenching and tortured decision we thought it was going to be. I had expected more from the Chosen One who would become the scourge of the galaxy. Aside from that though, sure, there were some story gaps and a few things that maybe would’ve been worked in or out, but hey…. there are potentially three more films to go.
A Dark Knight RisesWith the loose ends not so much tied as lain out for the original trilogy, this one reached epic. No bathroom breaks.

4 Stars