Apr 252019

Star Wars Fan ToxicityI absolutely cannot abide toxic fans. One of the things that really gets my troll coals burning are people attacking other people because something didn’t play out the way they imagined it. I’ve been on these diatribes before that Star Wars fan toxicity is ruining Star Wars (and it’s definitely not Disney). Personally I feel that unless Disney explicitly snubbed your fan-fiction, your expressed opinions and/or your recommendation letters than you have zero creative control over the plot of the movies. They are not your story to tell. If you disagree, that’s fine. However resorting to toxic social media behavior doesn’t make it right. In fact, it makes you wrong and a disgusting tyrant. Actors and actresses are paid to play a role and a majority of them put a lot of work, and a bit of themselves, into their roles. Attacking a role they played is attacking the person and its asinine.

I Will Always Defend All The Movies

We need to fight against all this Star Wars fan toxicity. Nobody deserves to be lambasted for a role they are paid to play and it’s incredibly naive to think it doesn’t affect them. Daisey Ridley (Rey) and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico) are no longer on social media. Apparently some so-called “fans” disagreed with the Rey and Rose characters so much they tormented both actresses on their respective Twitter or Instagram accounts. Now their accounts are gone; deleted because of the sexist and racist vitriol from alleged “fans”. If that isn’t egregious enough for you then let’s talk about Ahmed Best.

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Apr 222019

I have been looking forward to the Star Wars Celebration for two reasons. First, the last one I went to was 2002, when it was in Indianapolis for the release of Attack of the Clones. Second, its in Chicago this year, my favorite city. Ultimately the best part of the going to the event was bringing my five-year old daughter. This is my Chicago Star Wars Celebration experience.

I don’t think I need to go into the big news. Everyone who cares should already be aware of the release of the first trailer and the title. I did not get to sit in on the panels since I only had a day to absorb as much as I could while keeping a five-year-old entertained.

A Little Leia Changes the Experience

When I went back in 2002 I was just this nerd wandering around the convention center taking pictures and getting autographs. I seemed convinced my experience would be the same except now my daughter would have to endure it. I was completely and utterly wrong! She dressed up as Princess Leia, and apparently a five-year old Leia is as popular as a celebrity. (Sorry, pictures will only be available for friends and family).

This is all the free stuff she got

She was constantly receiving free stuff from vendors and random fans, including fans from other countries. She was getting requests to be photographed or to be in a picture with other people attending the convention. As shy as she comes off, I think she secretly enjoyed the adoration. I cannot express how humbling and amazing the Star Wars fans were at this convention and it really made my daughter feel special. If this experience doesn’t make her a Star Wars fan, then I’ve done all I can do.

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Apr 122019

We have been waiting for months. Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels have been teasing us. They teased us at the Super Bowl. They teased us all through March. We were even teased for the first day of the Celebration. We had to wait until the second day of the Star Wars Celebration, during the Episode IX panel for J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy finally gave us what we all wanted!! Episode IX Title and Trailer!

The Title: The Rise of Skywalker

The Trailer:

Just as the previous two movies, I instantly got chills! I will share my analysis of the Episode IX title and trailer in a later post (after my heart rate returns to normal and I’ve had a chance to watch it a dozen times).

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

Apr 112019

Before the Storm (World of Warcraft, #15)Before the Storm by Christie Golden
My rating:

Christie Golden is here with another World of Warcraft novel. I have been a fan of her work since before she was hired by Blizzard, and I’ve read more than just her Warcraft themed novels. Before the Storm takes place before the events leading up to Battle for Azeroth.

Brief Synopsis

The Legion has just been defeated. While the Horde and Alliance honor their fallen, King Anduin Wrynn struggles not only with the loss of his father but also the weight of the crown. Similarly Sylvanas Windrunner must juggle her new role as Horde Warchief but does not want to neglect her beloved Forsaken. Then, from the wound inflicted by a defeated Sargeras, comes a new substance neither faction has seen before. A substance that can have good and evil implications.

Biggs’ Review

My one regret about this book is that I should have read it before Battle for Azeroth launched. Chronology being the primary reason. There really isn’t a lot in the expansion that spoils the book, however the book does have its surprises. So it’s still worth reading even this late in the expansion, especially if you have played through the priest storyline in Legion. There are characters from the Netherlight Temple that provide important plot points to the story.

RIP Elise BentonOne of the things I enjoyed the most is Anduin’s character development. His desires as a young king give the character more depth. The war-driven Anduin we see at the start of BfA is only one facet of his character. This book brings compassion and hope to his personality. Sylvanas, on the other hand, is as cunning and deceitful as we are already led to believe. In fact there is one act in this book that may very well be the catalyst for the Alliance entering this faction war.

Finally, there are the little things added the game that make references to events and characters in the book. Blizzard’s knack for little “tie-ins” are some of my favorite in-game easter eggs.

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diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss


Mar 272019

So this week is when I’m supposed to run my-age-in-miles divided by 10, a.k.a. the Bad Idea Birthday Challenge . I first completed this challenge a year ago.  However I run farther than that 5 days a week so it hardly seems like a challenge. Case in point, on the day of I ran 4.3 miles. Then one of my coworkers had an interesting idea. They suggest to take my age in miles, convert it to kilometers and divide it by 10. Therefore my challenge would be equivalent to the 10k for which I’m still training. So this year I will fulfill my Bad Idea Birthday Challenge when I run the 10K in a little over a month.

In any event, I have reached a weight loss milestone as well which puts me on track to lose 5 more pounds by race day. As long as I maintain the fitness regimen and meal portions I should have no problems reaching said goal. Short post but good news.



I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!


Mar 192019

From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars)From a Certain Point of View by Ben Acker
My rating:

When I picked up this book to read, I had similar concerns about it as I did about the Princess Leia book. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. In fact before I even added it to my “Currently Reading” list on Goodreads, I read the first chapter. It didn’t take much after that for me to keep reading it. This book was published back in 2017 for the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise. It is a massive collaboration of 40 different authors (because 40 years, get it?) each writing a chapter. Some of the more well-known contributors are Christie Golden, Chuck Wendig and Wil Wheaton (yes, Wesley Crusher). Here is my book review of “From A Certain Point of View”.

No Synopsis Required

I should have read the synopsis before I picked up this book. This book doesn’t require a synopsis because it’s the plot of Star Wars A New Hope. If you don’t know the plot of Episode IV then why are you here? The unique feature of this book is the events of A New Hope are told from the perspective of background characters. As boring as that sounds, it’s actually quite interesting.

Every chapter isn’t as interesting as some of the others. In fact there are a few chapters that are really superfluous. There are too many chapters that focus on the events in the cantina. The Greedo chapter and, perhaps, the Wuher chapter are really the only ones worth keeping. There are a couple of chapters on the Death Star, during the destruction of Alderaan that are pretty uninteresting too. For example, the chapter with the MSE droid and TK-421 is probably my least favorite chapter. His personal life and aspirations of MSE racing were gratuitous; so much so I actually skipped some of it. Another chapter I felt similarly about was Omi, the trash compactor beast. Pretty dull.

A Handful Does Not Ruin the Bunch

Despite the handful of tedious chapters, there are many that more than make up for it. There is a chapter where Qui-Gon is communing with Obi-Wan that I really enjoyed. The chapter from Tarkin’s point of view as well as a couple of members of the Imperial High Council are really fun. I think my favorite chapter is the one where a stormtrooper is filing an incident report from the events at Mos Eisley. I know that probably sounds as dreary as MSE racing but the author, Daniel Jose Older, makes it very entertaining. In fact his Star Wars book, Last Shot, is on my short list to read next.

Superfluous chapters aside, this is a great book to read. I would definitely recommend it for any Star Wars fan. If you’re reading a chapter that you find especially boring, you can freely skip it without missing something important. None of the chapters really build on each other, they only accompany the main plot of the movie. I’m really glad I decided to read it.

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diablo3-reading“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss