Star Wars

Star Wars v. Star Trek

 

Amazing how surreal the real world is now in comparison to fiction.  Time to take a break from an increasingly insane world and take a  look at two of my favorite fictional locales:  Star Trek and Star Wars.

 

In comparing the two franchises, I would give the prize to Star Trek for consistent quality, with the exception of Star Trek the Next Generation (PC In Space.)  However, Star Trek never reached the heights attained in the first trilogy of Star Wars, or the depths plumbed in the second trilogy.   Give your opinion in the comboxes.

 

Bonus debate:  Most annoying Star Trek and Star Wars characters.  Hint: Continue reading

Mary Sue Stole the Death Star Plans

The trailer for Star Wars:  Rogue One, due out this Christmas, which tells how the Rebels stole the plans for the original Death Star.  The first of the Star Wars Anthology spin off films, and chronologically just before A New Hope, the first Star Wars film.  At the end of the trailer there  is  the beginning of an unintentionally hilarious  interview with a completely non-reactive Mark Hamill. Continue reading

Star Wars the Premake

 

A truly epic attempt by John D’Amico to recreate the first Stars Wars film, A New Hope, shot for shot using clips from pre-1977 films.  Some of the clips are misses but most are so on-target that it is difficult not to believe that they influenced Lucas in his crafting of a film that took a mishmash of heroic themes and archetypes and made them a huge crowd pleaser with then cutting edge technology.    The seventies prior to Star Wars was the age of the anti-hero, especially after the aging and ailing John Wayne was in the process of departing the scene.  The first Star Wars trilogy brought back heroes to cheer and villians to boo and told their tale in a coherent manner,  simple accomplishments actually, but we were then entering a period when even the simplest things, due to cultural rot, would become fouled up beyond recognition.  George Lucas is a typical Hollywood leftist, but in the Star Wars first trilogy he created a work of art that can be viewed as a deep critique of where the culture was going.

After 31 Years, Finally

The sequel to Return of the Jedi will be released in December of 2015, titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

What makes this different from the previous three Star Wars prequels?  George Lucas had almost nothing to do with the making of the film.  Yes, no more Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks, or any other poor attempts at young children product placements that ultimately killed each prequel and Return of the Jedi.

Yes, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are in my opinion the best of the bunch.  Great special effects, storyline, and action.  Only to stumble with Return of the Jedi and the three prequels being prevented from being timeless classics.

The first trailer was produced for American audiences, the second trailer was made for the rest of the world.

What to look for?  Storm Troopers have a slightly redesigned appearance, the light saber now has two ‘light handle bars’, a Darth Sith “may” have survived from Return of the Jedi, and a few more minor tweaks to let you figure out.

Enjoy!

 

A Plus For Emperor Palpatine?

The Galactic Empire Times brings us news of a stunning development:

The compound, only about 50 miles from the base of operations for the Imperial Storm Squadron, is at the end of a narrow dirt road and is roughly eight times larger than other homes in the area, which were largely occupied by Tusken Raiders. When Imperial operatives converged on the planet on Saturday, following up on recent intelligence, two local moisture farmers “resisted the assault force” and were killed in the middle of an intense gun battle, a senior Stormtrooper said, but details were still sketchy early Monday morning.

A representative of the Imperial Starfleet said that military and intelligence officials first learned last summer that a “high-value target” was hiding somewhere on the desert world and began working on a plan for going in to get him. Beginning in March, Lord Vader worked closely with a series of several different Admirals serving onboard the Death Star to go over plans for the operation, and on Friday morning gave the final order for members of the 501st Legion (known commonly as “Vader’s Fist”) to strike.

Kenobi and a group of his followers were eventually captured while fleeing the system, and taken aboard the Death Star, which was in the midst of surveying the recent environmental disaster on Alderaan. Darth Vader called it a “targeted operation,” although officials said four tie fighters were lost because of “mechanical failures” and had to be destroyed to keep them from falling into hostile hands.

In addition to Kenobi, two men and one wookiee were killed, one believed to be his young apprentice and the other two his couriers, according to an admiral who briefed reporters under Imperial ground rules forbidding further identification. A woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, the Admiral said. Two droids were also reported missing.

“No Stormtroopers were seriously harmed,” Lord Vader said. “They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, I defeated my former master and took custody of his body.” Jedi tradition requires burial within 24 hours, but by doing it in deep space, Imperial authorities presumably were trying to avoid creating a shrine for his followers.

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Genius, Weird Al Yankovic

That is a word that many music entertainers use to describe “Weird Al” Yankovic.

All of the songs that Weird Al parodies he gets approval for.  In fact after the Coolio controversy about his “Amish Paradise” music video he now makes sure he speaks with the music entertainer directly before he proceeds in the production of any new venture.

Weird Al also parodies music styles, ie, pastiche, in addition to pop music hits.

In another cult classic which is a rare original from Weird Al, he pokes fun at the pop music group Devo and their brand of music which is New Wave.

Shortly after the song was released, Weird Al received a letter from the lead singer of Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh, congratulating him on writing “the perfect Devo song”.  He has also said that the song is “beautiful … and I hate him for it, basically.”

An apocryphal story has been recounted where the lead singer of the Talking Heads, David Byrne, said after viewing the video for “Dare To Be Stupid” that Weird Al is a “genius”!

Dare To Be Stupid is the title song of the same album, and in my personal opinion his best album ever.

Enjoy!

[Warning: The following videos are without profane lyrics or any form of nudity.  You may finally realize that you can enjoy “contemporary” or “pop” music without all the vileness that emanates from the black hole that is MTV.]

Continue reading

Yes, It Is a Weird Al Weekend

I’m coming out of the closet, I’m a “Weird Al” Yankovic fan.  I don’t listen to him much these days, but I do keep up with some of his latest hits like my post from yesterday.

So here are some of his more enjoyable hits that some may not be aware of…

[Warning: The following videos are without profane lyrics or any form of nudity.  You may finally realize that you can enjoy “contemporary” or “pop” music without all the vileness that emanates from the black hole that is MTV.]

In 2006 AD the music video “White & Nerdy” re-introduced “Weird Al” back into the mainstream of American culture.  This video was his first Top 40 single since 1992’s “Smells Like Nirvana”.  It also eclipsed the greatest single he ever had, “Eat It”.

In between those to seminal hits he has been very active releasing albums every other year or so, but this new hit of his re-established himself as an icon of parody videos and clean fun.

“White & Nerdy” is the second single from “Weird Al’s” album Straight Outta Lynwood.  It parodies the song “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone. (OK, I’ll admit it, I have no idea who Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone are, but that’s what it said in Wikipedia)

This song makes fun of nerds everywhere from Houston, Texas to Springfield, Illinois.   It includes constant references to stereotypically “nerdy” things, such as collecting comic books, playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), and editing Wikipedia, as well as stereotypically “white” things, like watching Happy Days and playing ping pong.

Chamillionaire himself put “White & Nerdy” on his official MySpace page, and commented that he enjoys the parody. In an interview, he also stated he was pleasantly surprised by “Weird Al”‘s rapping ability, saying: “He’s actually rapping pretty good on it, it’s crazy … I didn’t know he could rap like that.”

Enjoy the cameo’s, especially from Donny Osmond!

Yes, there are more funny and highly entertaining video’s from Weird Al.  I compiled a short list of his most creative hits.

Continue reading

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