Jun 112018
 

I am still fuming from the news that Kelly Marie Tran was driven off social media because of bullying. Whoever these “manbabies” are have no place among Star Wars fans (or human beings). It’s all right to like or dislike the prequels or the new movies, but it’s utterly despicable to use racist and sexist language to force someone from social media. Especially someone as charming and wonderful as Kelly Marie Tran.

“Manbabies” is an accurate description for these alleged “fans”, a label applied by Rian Johnson in a tweet. Actually there are a few tweets in which Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill shutdown all these awful haters. You can express your disagreement of the new movies without resorting to bigotry and racism.

“Give Us Legends” the Scapegoat

The group of cowards responsible for this atrocious behavior attempted to throw “Give Us Legends” under the bus. I appreciate what GUL wants to do and I am more inclined to believe they were not involved with this act of bullying. A few days after the story broke, the website “Making Star Wars” published an article that implicates “Give Us Legends” as the culprits behind the racist attacks. While I could not find any source to back up the article, I found several sources that exonerated GUL.

If you are unfamiliar with “Give Us Legends”, they are a group of avid Star Wars fans that are respectfully urging Disney to continue the Legends canon. When Disney “debunked” the Expanded Universe, they coined the debunked canon as “Legends”. The article from “Making Star Wars” is successful in skewing your perception of GUL, however, their Facebook page absolves them. I initially thought they were among the group of whiny “manbabies” wishing to stop Disney from rewriting EU canon. However, they are simply asking for Disney to continue expanding the “Legends” canon as well as their new post-Jedi canon. I support that notion!

Kelly Marie Tran is Amazing

In a more recent post I discuss how Star Wars is more gender neutral because of strong female characters. Now I’m not going to preach about gender equality. An actor or character’s gender, race, creed, color or sexual orientation are irrelevant to the story. I don’t know why any of those characteristics need to be singled out in any capacity.

Be that as it may, Kelly Marie Tran’s character is Rose Tico (if you didn’t know). Rose is a mechanic on the Raddus, the cruiser that becomes the flagship for General Leia during the evacuation of D’Qar. While a good mechanic, she stays below the radar until her sister is killed during the bombing of the dreadnaught. Rose rises up to become another strong female character in the Star Wars universe. She is a welcome addition to the likes of Daisy Ridley, Ashley Eckstein and Carrie Fisher.

Since the disgusting display of human indecency, there has been a huge outpouring of support by the actual Star Wars fans. It’s unfortunate that Kelly Marie Tran has left social media because I think she would appreciate it. I hope she sees it eventually, because I look forward to seeing more Rose in the next movie.

/MTFBWY

The Force. It calls to you. Just let it in.

 

Jun 042018
 

Solo A Star Wars StorySolo: A Star Wars Story

Directed By: Ron Howard
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke

My Rating: 

Let’s face it, this movie was doomed from the moment it was announced. It’s poor opening weekend is as lackluster as the fan reaction of the original announcement. Critics are all pathetic so I could care less what they think; and I generally ignore the fare-weather fans. Admittedly, I have been skeptical of this movie since its announcement, but I prefer to keep an open mind.

For what it’s worth, calling it a “flop” seems a little harsh and unfair. How can you expect a movie to succeed when it was mired in doubt and disappointment since its announcement? Obviously people made up their minds before the movie was even released. It’s destiny was determined before it even had a chance. Ranting about fake fans aside, time to discuss what I think of the movie.

Biggs Review

This line from ESB has a much deeper and humorous meaning, now

**Spoiler Alert** Han, Chewie and Lando survive! Haha. I couldn’t resist. The negative expectations for this movie are completely unwarranted. If you have not seen this movie because of a preconceived notion that it’s a flop, then stop listening to the Internet and go anyway. I really enjoyed this movie! Much more than I was expecting. Alden Ehrenreich isn’t as terrible as he was in Beautiful Creatures, he actually does surprisingly well (maybe even better than Hayden Christensen). Donald Glover is a brilliant Lando Calrissian, I am really looking forward to see him in the Lando movie! Honestly, Donald Glover’s performance isn’t surprising, Woody Harrelson, however, is the biggest surprise. I cannot recall too many action rolls for Woody Harrelson but the battle sequence on the tram is really impressive. He makes a better Beckett than he does Haymitch (sorry Hunger Games fans).

There are two things I have to criticize about the movie, which is why I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5. First, I did not find Lady Proxima terribly impressive or intimidating. A large, purple alien worm is not a scary crime lord nor does she fit the Corellia fauna. I’m sure they wanted to use something other than a Hutt as a crime boss, but even a large slug appears more menacing. The second thing, Han actually attempting to speak Wookie the first time he meets Chewbacca. I understand his predicament warrants an alien language, but it didn’t feel like a “Han” thing to do.

And then there is the music.

The Soundtrack Is Amazing

The music is just as important to a movie as the acting, plot and story. If the soundtrack is excellent, 9 times out of 10, so is the movie. The one exception, in my experience, is Ang Lee’s Hulk movie (amazing soundtrack, mediocre movie). Now when you think Star Wars soundtrack, everyone always thinks John Williams. The man IS Star Wars music. You may be surprised to learn that John Williams did not compose this soundtrack. In fact he only composes for the main saga (FYI, Michael Giacchino is the composer for Rogue One).

John Powell is the composer for Solo A Star Wars Story. Powell is mostly known for his work on the How To Train Your Dragon movies and the Jason Bourne movies. I bought, and listened to, the soundtrack a week before I even saw the movie. The music draws you in so quickly it amazes me John Williams isn’t the composer. However, he clearly collaborated with Powell as there is a track that is a montage of some of the original music. In fact, I may be so bold as to say this soundtrack is better than the Rogue One soundtrack and the John Williams montage gives credence to that assertion.

This movie is definitely worth seeing at least once in the theater. Ignore the trolls, the fake fans and the critics and go with an open mind and I think you will find it very entertaining.

/MTFBWY

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

May 302018
 
Mount Hunting the Remainder of Legion

Spawn of Galakras – Awarded for Glory of the Orgimmar Raider

There is still about 10 weeks before Battle for Azeroth launches and if you’re like me, you’ve cleared Heroic Antorus. So now what? My raid team did go back and try to complete all the raid achievements starting with Emerald Nightmare. We have done all that our patience and sanity have allowed us. (Side note: some of these raid achievements are ridiculously hard and not much fun at all.) So while we wait we have to ask ourselves what is there to do for the remainder of legion?

If you are an “alt-aholic”, like me, then one of the obvious tasks is to finish leveling your alts. Perhaps even complete their respective Order Hall, Artifact and Class Mount campaigns. I’ve talked about this in a previous post. I do have a couple of alts left to level; 2 warlocks and a warrior. I am also leveling two of the allied race factions to unlock their unique looks.

Achievements and Mount Farming!

Mount Farmers Waiting for Nalak

Perhaps the most common activity for the remainder of legion will be completing achievements. Granted achievements is something that can be done anytime during the expansion; so why wait until the end of it? Well, your item level will be about as high as its going to get, which will be helpful depending on what achievements you are doing. Also, if you are raiding regularly, you may be spending your off nights doing World Quests and dailies to improve your gear; or farming materials for consumables. Or, as I alluded to earlier, you are leveling alts. This is usually the time I do some of the less exciting achievements, such as exploration and quest achievements. I will also go back and farm old content achievements as well.

Which leads to mount farming. Several mounts do come from larger achievements, such as the Spawn of Galakras pictured above. However, there are some mounts that come from different sources. Probably the most common mounts to farm are the Pandaria world bosses – Galleon, Nalak, Sha of Anger and Oondasta. I’m not going to lie, farming world bosses and old raids isn’t the most exciting of tasks, and will feel quite boring for 10 weeks. So some nights I may not even log in and, instead, play other games or catch up on some TV shows.

Blizzard seems to struggle with that balance of too much time before the new expansion, and too little time. Although we know that there is one more event coming prior to BfA, the final chapter of our artifact weapons.

What will you be doing for the remainder of Legion?

FOR THE ALLIANCE!

duke-nukem-sm If zombies attack the world, everyone will run and hide. Except for us gamers, of course. We’ve been waiting for this all our lives!

 

May 282018
 

Executed (Extracted Trilogy, #2)Executed by R.R. Haywood
My rating: 

The first thing I learned from reading the second book is that I waited too long to read it after finishing the first. It’s also possible I read too many books between the two. I don’t want to get into too many details about this book because I don’t want to inadvertently spoil anything from Extracted.

Executed really starts getting into the time travel aspect. In other words, book two delves much deeper into the science of science fiction. Our time traveling heroes will go to extreme lengths to avert the end of the world. New team members will aid in the mission and world governments will find themselves thrust into the middle of a power struggle.

The end of the book is quite intense and the most interesting use of time travel. I was not expecting the book to end the way it did. It leaves me wondering what the third book will entail. Ultimately, at the end, it might leave you saying “Mother ….!”

View all my reviews

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

 

May 252018
 

Welcome to Geek Pride Day 2018! This is a day of jubilation starting back to 2008 in which we celebrate geek culture. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are all geeks about something. Anything that you enjoy doing or something you are passionate about earns you the geek moniker. Many of us probably started earlier, like high school (or even prior to that). Back then the geek label often indicated how much smarter you are than your classmates. It also marks you as someone who may lack certain social skills, primarily because our interests were esoteric and unorthodox (comparatively speaking).

Be that as it may, there are two significant geek events that marks this day with Geek Pride. The twenty-fifth of May is the anniversary of the release of Star Wars (A New Hope) and it’s Towel Day. Also this year, we mark Geek Pride Day with the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story!

WTF is Towel Day??

I shouldn’t need to elaborate on the anniversary of Star Wars A New Hope. If you don’t know what that is, return to your planet because you’re not human. Some of you may know what Towel Day is, especially if you saw any of my previous Towel Day posts. For those that don’t know, it is the day we celebrate the work of Douglas Adams, he is the author behind the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books. The easiest way to celebrate Towel Day is to simply carry a towel with you, wherever you go. Why a towel you ask? Well, according to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value.

If you check out on the Towel Day Wikipedia page the guides goes into much more detail. The movie is a decent interpretation however, I highly recommend reading the books. Just keep in mind that Douglas Adams is pretty wacky, and utilizes quite a bit of dry British humor. Therefore, as a final homage to Geek Pride Day, I leave you with more Vogon Poetry, entitled:

Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in my Armpit One Midsummer Morning

Putty. Putty. Putty.
Green Putty – Grutty Peen.
Grarmpitutty – Morning!
Pridsummer – Grorning Utty!
Discovery….. Oh.
Putty?….. Armpit?
Armpit….. Putty.
Not even a particularly
Nice shade of green.
As I lick my armpit and shall agree,
That this putty is very well green.

So long and thanks for all the fish. MTFBWY.


When I was a kid, it was a huge insult to be a geek. Now it’s a point of pride in a weird way.” – J.J. Abrams

May 242018
 

Star Wars Is More Gender Neutral thanks to these women!When I was growing up, typical boy things were G.I. Joe, He-Man and Star Wars. The typical girl things were Barbie, baby dolls and My Little Pony. The world has changed and while G.I. Joe and He-Man are lost in time, Star Wars is stronger than ever – thank you, Disney! The interesting thing is, Star Wars isn’t just a “boy thing” anymore. Disney and Lucasfilm has successfully altered the perception with the right character placement and new protagonists. I’m glad it doesn’t feel forced (no pun intended); it’s very casual but very deliberate. As a result Star Wars is more gender neutral.

A Story About A Little Girl

The inspiration for this post comes from something I read a few months back. I thought it was a pretty cool story, but became more inspired by it when my 4-year-old daughter began showing more interest in Star Wars. A woman posted a tweet about her 7-year-old daughter crying in her room. She’s crying because she loves Star Wars but she’s scared she will be laughed at because Star Wars is a “boy thing”. I can certainly sympathize with this mother’s concern.

Mark Hamill, in his truly awesome panache, responds appropriately:

As I already mentioned, perhaps 20 years ago Star Wars was “boy stuff”, but all that has changed.

Strong Female Protagonists

Originally we only had Princess Leia. Her wit and snarky personality immediately made her one of the most endearing princesses in science fiction. Then we got Padme when the prequels came out, followed by Ahsoka with the Clone Wars animated series. Of course the new trilogy has Rey, probably one of the most powerful Jedi yet, and Rogue One has Jyn Erso (brilliantly portrayed by Felicity Jones). All five of these women are powerful and brilliant role models for young ladies!

It isn’t just the Clone Wars animated series that brings powerful females into the Star Wars Universe. I’m sure you have heard of Star Wars Rebels which features two more powerful women: Hera and Sabine. Then Disney does something that is absolutely brilliant; Forces of Destiny. If you haven’t seen these short webisodes then go check them out. I think there are about 20+ right now and I believe more are coming. They focus specifically on all of the women mentioned above. My daughter loves watching them, and I think they are pretty entertaining as well.

Her Universe Clothing

The introduction of Ahsoka was the catalyst for more feminine influence. Ashley Eckstein is the voice for Ahsoka Tano and a fashion designer. She used her talents to create “Her Universe“, clothing that specifically targets women and little girls. Star Wars is not the only franchise that her clothing features. It covers many “geek” genres – ex: Marvel, Doctor Who, Wonder Woman. I think Ashley Eckstein is a powerful and fantastic influence to illustrate the fact that Star Wars isn’t just for guys anymore. I love it!

The fact that Star Wars is starting to appeal to the female demographic is awesome! I’ll admit that I love the fact that my 4-year-old daughter likes Star Wars and can even identify characters from the franchise. Hopefully its something she will always like as she gets older. I’ll certainly enjoy it while it lasts but the amazing work Disney and Ashley Eckstein are doing gives me hope that it’s something she will also enjoy well into her 30s (just like her father).

/MTFBWY

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.