A Gamer Geek's Cogitations, Conjectures and other Cortical Experiences

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How Much Do You Know (about)

HMDYK About Domhnall Gleeson

Today, March 12th, is Domhnall Gleeson’s birthday so its only fitting that I post this article in his honor. In case you didn’t know, Domhnall Gleeson is our loveable(?) General Hux in the sequel trilogy. The banter between Hux and Oscar Isaac‘s Poe Dameron is some of my favorite dialog in the sequels. When I chose Domhnall it was because I wanted to know what else I have seen him in and I was surprised. So, with that said, I ask you … how much do you know about Domhnall Gleeson?

Like Father, Like Son

Domhnall Gleeson is an Irish actor and writer. He was born May 12th (duh), 1983 in Dublin, Ireland. Let’s get the obvious question out of the way first. His first name is pronounced “doh-nall”, the “m” is silent. I’m sure that’s what all of you were wondering 🙂

Domhnall and Dad (Brendan) at The Force Awakens Premiere

He is the son of an actor you may have heard of, Brendan Gleeson. He has appeared in seven films with his father and I’m sure you have heard of at least two of them. He is Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2; his father, of course, plays Mad-Eye Moody. He is Thomas McGregor in the live action Peter Rabbit films. The first one isn’t that bad, especially if you have kids. I have not seen the second one.

Fun Fact: he competed with this father for Best Actor/Best Supporting Actor awards in a couple film festivals and lost, both times, to his father.

Hopefully he shows up to some Comic-Con or a Star Wars Celebration, I think I’d enjoy meeting him. I’d like to check out a few of his other roles so if you have a suggestion, please leave it in the comments. (If you are posting comments for the first time and it doesn’t appear, I have to approve all comments from new users.)

MTFBWY

HMDYK About Oscar Isaac

About Oscar Isaac

Usually I don’t discuss main characters; I generally pick more obscure roles. However there are times when I think certain actors deserve some extra appreciation regardless of their role. Oscar Isaac is deserving of extra recognition. In the Star Wars universe we all know him as the charismatic and witty ace pilot Poe Dameron. Besides Poe, what else do you know about Oscar Isaac?

Oscar Isaac was born in 1979 in Guatemala but he was raised in Miami, Florida. Currently he is married to Elvira Lind and they have one son together. He is also a very talented musician.

Speaking of Music

He is a singer and plays guitar. In fact he’s been playing the guitar since he was twelve years old. He co-wrote (with Alan Doyle) and performs the song “Never Had” for the movie 10 Years. You can check out a video of the performance below:

He also stars and performs in the Amazon movie Inside Llewyn Davis. His co-stars are Justin Timberlake and, fellow Star Wars actor, Adam Driver (who is quite funny in it). It’s kind of a strange movie but I enjoyed it and Isaac gives an excellent performance.

And Speaking of Excellent Performances

Let’s quickly review Oscar Isaac’s other roles. His first major role was Joseph in The Nativity Story and you may have noticed him as Prince John in the Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood. Oscar plays the main antagonist Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse (by the way, Oscar is a avid X-Men fan so this probably fulfills a childhood dream).

He is the voice of Gomez Addams in the latest incarnation of The Addams Family and he plays Duke Leto in the newest interpretation of Dune. By the way I recommend checking out that movie, it’s actually pretty good.

Most recently he is the lead in the newest Marvel series Moon Knight. He truly demonstrates his versatility in this series. The main character has Dissociative Identity Disorder; commonly known as multiple personality disorder. Oscar Isaac gives a spectacular performance! The show is a little strange (like stranger than Doctor Strange) but it’s worth watching for his performance alone!

Four episodes are available and you can catch up and watch the final two episodes every Wednesday on Disney+. No, I was not compensated for this endorsement 🙂

HMDYK About Shirley Henderson?

about Shirley Henderson

It is Women’s History Month so it’s only appropriate that I pick a woman for this month’s HMDYK topic. I am going really obscure this month. You may recognize the person in the picture but you’re probably wondering where you may have seen her face in Star Wars. I will get to that shortly. In the meantime, how much do you know about Shirley Henderson?

Of Wands and Droids

The most surprising detail I found about Shirley Henderson is that she is 56 years old (at the time of this writing)! She was born in 1965  in the village of Kincardine in Fife, Scotland. Before I delve into her filmography, I’m going to get the obscurity out of the way. You may have figured out by now how this actor is connected to Star Wars (because of the banner). Shirley Henderson is the voice for the adorable Babu Frik (from The Rise of Skywalker)! A male character doesn’t always have to be voiced by a male actor, take Bart Simpson for example.

I do not expect too many people to know her as the voice of Babu Frik, but I’m sure you all do recognize her from another franchise. She is Moaning Myrtle from Harry Potter. The first appearance of Moaning Myrtle was 20 years ago. This means Shirley Henderson would have been 36 when she portrayed a deceased 14 year old. Gotta love CG.

She’s Not In That Frozen

She has had other roles beyond a dead, teenage witch and a shifty, adorable droid mechanic. She’s Jude in all three Bridget Jones movies. The more interesting role is the lead in a (not-Olaf version) film called Frozen. In fact she was nominated and/or won for her performance at various film festivals. While it is a mediocre score on IMDB, I’m still inclined to watch this movie. I’ve checked out other movies for similar reasons and been very surprised.

She’s been in one episode of Doctor Who (and any appearance in Doctor Who is worth mentioning!). She has about 89 credits (at the time of this writing) but, unfortunately, I don’t really recognize most of them. I suspect (but did not confirm) most of them are probably UK series.

If you there is a show or movie you’ve seen her in that you enjoyed, please leave a comment and perhaps I will check it out.

/MTFBWY

HMDYK About Phil LaMarr

How much to you know about Phil LaMarr

In honor of Black History Month, I thought I would choose an African American for the next “How Much Do You Know” topic. There are several folks to choose from in the Star Wars Universe, but I didn’t want to make the obvious choice. I think the others will have their time in future posts but for this month, how much do you know about Phil LaMarr?

Phil LaMarr is pretty interesting. He was born in Los Angeles and he went to Yale University. He is one of the founding members of the Yale improve group, Purple Crayon. This is probably when improv became his life.

A Prolific Career

I think the first time I saw Phil LaMarr is MadTV. In fact that is probably one of the rare times you will see him in live-action. His impressions of Ray Charles, Johnnie Cochran and Sammy Davis Jr are some fond memories. However, what I find most interesting about Phil LaMarr is his voice acting career.

At the time of this writing Phil LaMarr has 502 acting credits and the bulk of them are voice acting roles. He has the occasional live-action role. For example he is Rag Doll in The Flash TV series and Malefic J’onzz on Supergirl. However his versatility really shines in all of his numerous voice acting roles.

In Star Wars (since that’s why we’re here) he is mostly known as the animated voice of Kit Fisto. In various other series he’s also provided the voice for Bail Organa and Orn Free Taa as well as random stormtroopers and other side/background characters. Most recently he’s provided the voice for two characters in The Book of Boba Fett.

Outside of Star Wars, you may recognize him as Hermes in Futurama, Samurai Jack, Ollie Williams in Family Guy, various characters in the DC universe; the list is extensive.

Clearly he’s an amazing actor and I really enjoyed doing the research.

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

HMDYK About Billie Lourd

It’s been quite a while since I have written one of these posts. Time just got away from me. I’ll keep doing these posts because they are fun and, hopefully, interesting (if you’re reading them). We just passed the 5 year anniversary of Carrie Fisher’s death so I feel like this is a good topic. How much do you know about Billie Lourd? Carrie Fisher’s daughter.

Billie Catherine Lourd was born in LA in 1992, her father is Bryan Lourd. When you hear Carrie joke about having terrible “gaydar”, Billie’s father is to whom she is referencing. I’m sure you are also aware that Debbie Reynolds was her grandmother, Carrie’s mother. She is an NYU graduate, majoring in religion and psychology. She has one child with fiancé Austen Rydell.

Star Wars and Leia’s Legacy

In 2015 Billie auditioned for the role of Rey in The Force Awakens. Obviously she didn’t get the part but J. J. Abrams wanted her in the movie (I assume because of her mother). So he created the role of Lieutenant Connix specifically for Billie. The Force Awakens is her first role, although the same year she was cast in Scream Queens. Her most recent role was in American Horror Story.

However, it’s not really about all of her roles that’s really made me admire Billie Lourd. Her connection with Star Wars and her mother is deep and special. She jokes that she had three parents when she was going up; a mom, a dad and Princess Leia. Mark Hamill affectionately refers to her as his “Space Niece”.

She fully embraced the role that made her mother famous. In every episode of Scream Queens she wore earmuffs as a nod to her mother. Billie even portrayed Leia in the flashback scene in The Rise of Skywalker. In 2019, 3 years after her mother’s death, TIME magazine wrote an article defining Billie Lourd as the Keeper of Princess Leia. You need to check out that article.

If there is ever anything developed during the sequel timeline, or after, I really hope Connix, and Billie, are part of it. I’d love to see more about that character. I think it would be cool to see that Connix is Force sensitive.

/MTFBWY

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

HMDYK About Slave 1

Normally these posts are about actors in the films but recent events has me inclined to do something different. A new Lego set is causing minor ripples on the Internet. Disney approached Lego and specifically asked them not to use the name “Slave 1” on the newest Lego set of Boba Fett’s ship. I will go into an unbiased discussion of this topic later. In the meantime, how much do you know about Slave 1?

Slave 1 is a Firespray-31 class patrol and attack craft manufactured on Kuat. The ship was commandeered (stolen) from the prison moon of Oovo IV during a job. There were only six of this model, all of which were patrol vessels at Oovo IV. Slave 1 is the last of its kind. There is a long history of this ship over the course of subsequent films, books and television series. Its unique design and ominous role in the franchise makes it a fan favorite. I’ll never forget seeing it pop up in The Mandalorian. I think all the fans were squealing with excitement.

Seismic Charges – The Greatest Sound Effect Ever!

I know you can hear this gif

Once the ship was in possession by the Fett’s, the weapons system was upgraded. In the original trilogy we never saw Slave 1 in a dog fight. It wasn’t until Attack of the Clones when we got to see one of the coolest weapons in its arsenal; the Seismic_charge (click the link to hear the satisfying audio). It is still one of my favorite sound effects from the franchise.

Here is another interesting, behind-the-scenes, fact about the seismic charge. Ben Burtt is the genius behind the Star Wars sound effects. He’s usually very forthcoming about how he came up with all the different sound effects, but he won’t talk about this one. In fact, to this day he still hasn’t told us the secret of its origin.

What’s In A Name?

This ship is one of the most beloved ships among Star Wars fans, aside from the Millennium Falcon. What makes this ship unique is that the actual name is only ever spoken once in an episode of Clone Wars (Season 2, episode 21 Aurra Sing says “Bossk! Fire up Slave 1“). It stands to reason that there might be a reaction when Disney is trying to skirt around the name. As I said before, I’m going to try to remain unbiased. I’m only writing to inform and not to persuade.

There have been a couple of Lego sets for the Slave 1, all of which are now retired. These previous sets are branded with the “Slave 1” name on the box. However, it’s not uncommon for Lego to leave the formal name of a ship off the box. An example is the Night Buzzard a transport ship used by the Knights of Ren; the Lego set simply calls it “Knights of Ren Transport Ship”. Perhaps there is a marketing metric that indicates sales are often better using less esoteric branding.

One more point and then I’ll let sleeping dogs lie. While Disney’s request is to rebrand the name on the box, they are not canonically changing the name. In fact “Slave 1” is still the name of the ship on the Wookiepedia page and in the databank on the official Star Wars web site. Whether they ultimately change it or not, the fact of the matter is you can’t rewrite the past by simply rebranding. All the fans will still remember it, and refer to it, as “Slave 1”.

/MTFBWY

I’ll do it, on one condition – if I die, you have to build a statue in my honor. An Expensive one.

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