May 042021
 

Bad Batch First ImpressionsOn May the Fourth in 2021 Star Wars fans are treated with a new animated series, The Bad Batch. We are first introduced to these “unique” clones at the beginning of Season 7 of The Clone Wars. They are a ruckus and elite squad of “genetically modified” clones with a penchant for “creative solutions” to their missions. They are a big hit with the fan base, so we were all very excited when Disney told us we’d be getting more of Hunter, Tech, Echo, Wrecker and Crosshair. This is The Bad Batch First Impressions of the first episode titled “Aftermath”.

There are going to be 16 episodes so I’m not sure I’ll write something for every episode. The Bad Batch stars Dee Bradley Baker, Dee Bradley Baker, Dee Bradley Baker, Dee Bradley Baker, Dee Bradley Baker and Michelle Ang.

spoiler alert!!!

The following content contains spoilers for The Bad Bath Episode 1.

Order 66 and Omega

We start out with Jedi Master Depa Billaba and her, very familiar, padawan Caleb. Within the first five minutes we are already getting a tie-in to another series. I’m already enjoying myself. This is that dreaded moment in Revenge of the Sith when Palpatine issues Order 66. We learn why Caleb doesn’t trust the clones. It appears, by and large, the genetic modifications to the clones of Clone Force 99 have also interfered with their inhibitor chips. The Bad Batch boys seem confused by this “Order 66” and the chatter they are hearing on the coms. Things become more interesting and confusing as the Clone War ends and they return home to Kamino. Reality takes a harsh turn when it seems not all of them have malfunctioning inhibitor chips … because “good soldiers follow orders”.

I love that we get to see Kamino again and we learn who is behind the decommissioning of the clones and initiates the conscripting of Stormtroopers. So far I really like this new Omega character, though I’m not sure what her role is yet. She’s as curious about Hunter and his marry band of misfits as I am about her. Is she the overarching plot of the series? The “Baby Yoda” of The Bad Batch, perhaps? Then we find out there is a significant connection she has with Clone Force 99, and that’s when it gets really interesting.

Finally, who is this mysterious contact Hunter knows on J-19? There are some interesting theories going around. Some think it’s Rex, but I don’t think they know where Rex is right now. I like the idea that it’s Cut Lawquane (from Season 2 of The Clone Wars). What are your thoughts?

/MT4BWY

You don’t know the power of the dark side.

May 042021
 

It’s the biggest Star Wars holiday of the year. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of just the originals or a fan of it all, this is the day we celebrate all things Star Wars. Keep an eye open for some great deals on Star Wars merchandise. Share your findings in the comments!

/MT4BWY

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.

May 012021
 

IT’S STAR WARS MONTH!!!! May is when all of us Star Wars fans (should) celebrate the franchise that brings us all so much joy! Today is 501st Legion Day whom we thank for all their wonderful charity work while spreading their love and enthusiasm for the franchise. I’m not going to go into too much detail about them as I already did that last year. However, in the spirit of their commitment of promoting interest in Star Wars I will go into why I’m a fan of ALL things Star Wars.

Justification Shouldn’t Be Necessary

Honestly, I don’t need to justify, to anyone, why I enjoy all of the Star Wars movies. The Original Trilogy, The Prequel Trilogy, the Sequel Trilogy, Rogue One and Solo; I love them all. All of them are Star Wars to me. Having to justify why I enjoy any of the movies makes as much sense as justifying why I like a certain type of music. Nobody criticizes and belittles people for liking Hip Hop vs Country.

In my opinion, if you’re ridiculing or shaming anyone because the movies didn’t meet some kind of conjured fan theory then that makes you a bully. You’re entitled to your opinion but I will not be bullied and I have zero tolerance for bullying. If you can’t respect my personal choice for enjoying the sequels and the prequels then take your vitriolic comments someplace else. As Mark Hamill said at the World Premiere of The Rise of Skywalker “I hope they enjoy it and if they don’t just keep it to yourself”.

I enjoy the characters and I LOVE the music and, yes, I even enjoy the story. I own shirts, all the books, soundtracks and several collectibles from each of the sequel movies. Furthermore, my daughter likes the movies, especially Rey. I couldn’t ask for anything more than to have my child enjoy the movies too.

More In Smaller Packages!

If you have not watched any of the series, you are missing out. There are at least three other reasons why I’m a fan: The Clone Wars, Rebels and The Mandalorian. Currently there are at least 10 more reasons in the works. Star Wars Resistance is OK but not a top three pick for me.

Be that as it may, some days you want to sit down for a dose of Star Wars but you don’t have time to indulge in 2 hours of ecstasy. You need that short 30-40 minute gratification. I’m sure, by now, nearly everyone has watched The Mandalorian but you really need to check out the two animated series. If I had to pick the best of the animated series, Rebels is a clear winner but The Clone Wars is definitely worth checking out. In fact I would recommend watching the first few episodes of Season 7 before “The Bad Batch” comes out in just a couple of days.

Every day I read or watch something that continues to fuel my love for these movies and these characters. This has been especially true since I’ve joined certain Facebook groups, left other Facebook groups and/or blocked certain posts and websites. I have also greatly reduced how much I read Twitter (the home of butthurt vitriolic toxicity), although I do like to check in on @HamillHimself from time to time.

/MTFBWY

Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi.

Apr 262021
 

I’ve been lazy. Actually I’ve been busy with a few real life things and I’ve been learning a new programming language. When I start something new like that, I get a little obsessed and I lose track of my other hobbies and activities. I’ve also been rebuilding my NAS server. I will write more about that stuff at a later time. My birthday was a month ago and I’ll be honest, I haven’t completed a Bad Idea Birthday Challenge this year and I don’t know if I will do one.

In the past years I’ve calculated a distance based on my age using some kind of conjured equation. First it was my age divided by 10, then it was my age in kilometers, divided by 10. Obviously the pandemic changed everything last year.

What’s In Store for 2021?

I don’t know. We are still trying to come out from under these pandemic restrictions so most races are still virtual, delayed or cancelled (again). I kind of made a fitness goal in my 2021 intentions by completing a 15k and I may still do that but I haven’t decided if I’m going to do it as part of an official run. My daily average is up to 5.3 miles with my farthest 2021 distance at about 7.3 miles. Perhaps it’s best if I make it a flexible challenge this year.

My new daily average goal is 6+ miles (roughly a 10K every day) and to finally break the 9 mile mark on a push day. I will try to sign up and complete some kind of organized race (virtual or in-person – I am fully vaccinated now). If something strikes me as a worthy “birthday challenge” then I can revaluate my goals. In the mean time, I guess my “bad idea birthday challenge” and my 2021 goals are one-in-the-same.

Also, a quick amusing side note. I’ve kind of become a neighborhood celebrity. People are always waving at me from their cars or their front yards so frequently it feels like I’m in a parade. A few people have commented on how much weight I’ve lost or ask far I run every day. I also receive many “thumbs up” and even the occasional applause. It’s actually quite motivating.

/cheers

minions_icon

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

 

Apr 062021
 

Dresden Files ChangesChanges by Jim Butcher
My rating:
(Click here to view at Goodreads)

I know, I know. The last book review I wrote for the Dresden Files was book 8. What can I say, I enjoy these books so much I immediately jump into the next book. In fact I do it so quickly that I don’t allow myself enough time to properly digest the book and, thus, write a book review. If you’ve read “Changes” then you know as well as I do, this is a good time to take a step back and breath before embarking on book 13.

Soooo, WoW! This book is aptly named! If you haven’t read it yet then I’m warning you now, there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead! I was not expecting half the events that unfold for poor Harry in this book. With that said, there are few books that have me shaking and/or tearing up at the end; this book managed to accomplish both.

spoiler alert!!!

The following content contains spoilers for Dresden Files Book 12 – Changes.

A Brief Synopsis/Biggs’ Review

Susan Rodriguez, Harry’s old fling, has returned. She needs Harry’s help, which is always seems to get Harry in trouble. Except this time he has no choice. Susan’s daughter, Maggie, has been taken by the Red Court and she needs Harry’s help to find her; after all … it’s his daughter too??!?!

Over the past several books we have seen Harry Dresden change quite a bit. A rogue wizard who is under the White Council’s constant vigilance to a Warden and now a father! While these are typical changes every person and/or character may go through, this book, literally, changes everything! I’d have to read the book again (which I intend to do) to fully catalog all the terrible things that happens to Harry. By the end you’re wondering where will Harry live now? When will Queen Mab come to collect? WHERE IS MISTER???!? And then … that happens …

A fellow Dresdenite (is that a thing?) said to me that this book could also be called “Harry Dresden and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. Every book is, essentially, Harry’s worst day/week out of the year. However, this book turns it up to 11. Despite the rapid change in landscape, I really like this book. Easily one of my favorite books in the series. I love it when an author suddenly decides to flip everything on its head. Hit the reset button, as it were. I mean, if I didn’t know there were 4 more books, I would have thought this was the end of the series. In fact this book, more than any other book I’ve read, leaves you wondering … where do we go from here???

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

 

Mar 102021
 

About Gina CaranoI know I’m probably taking a rather large risk here talking about Gina Carano. She is in some hot water recently and there are many who are fairly upset with her right now. I will not be offended if you chose not to read this post, however I assure you that I will not take a side. More on that later.

Be that as it may I still really like her character in the Star Wars Universe. Therefore I have no shame writing about her career and demonstrating that you’ve probably seen her more frequently then you thought.

From Fighting in the Cage to Fighting On Screen

Gina Carano was born in Dallas, Texas; she is the daughter of former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Glen Carano. When she was 7 her parents divorced and she was raised by her mother in Las Vegas. In 2006 she began her MMA career in the Featherweight division. In 2009 she left Mixed Martial Arts, with a record of 7-1-0, to begin acting.

If I had to compare Gina Carano to another television and movie actor, it would be Chuck Norris. Coincidentally she received the first Chuck Norris Award for best female action star for her role in “Haywire”. By the way, if you haven’t checked out Haywire, I highly recommend it. Carano stars along side fellow Star Wars alum Ewan McGregor as well as Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Michael Fassbender. She stars in a few other movies I plan to check out such as Scorched Earth and Heist.

You will also spot her in a couple of other more popular films. She is Riley in Fast & Furious 6 and Angel Dust in the Deadpool movie.

Social Media and Lucasfilm Controversy

In February of 2021 Lucasfilm released Gina Carano from further Star Wars projects as a result of some controversial social media posts. Again, I won’t take sides on this subject but I will say that I am upset this happened; I’m upset with both parties involved. I admire Gina Carano for sticking to her guns and standing up for what she believes, especially in the face of the intolerant liberal Hollywood. However, I do not agree with the manner in which she expressed her belief; she should have chosen a different metaphor. This is especially true given she’s had a target on her back since late last year. I think Lucasfilm was just waiting for the right time and, unfortunately, she gave it to them.

Lucasfilm’s response is exactly the action I expected so as to save face in an industry that is predominately left wing. However their response has made Gina Carano a martyr. It’s been over a month and I still see her and/or news about her popping up on social media. The content is often in support of her and, as a result, her martyrdom has further cemented Cara Dune’s legacy in the Star Wars Universe.

Whether you love her or you hate her, she is permanently part of the Star Wars family, whether her character lives or dies. Personally, the biggest disappointment in all of this is that it is extremely unlikely she will make any appearances at any Celebrations and/or Comic Cons. It’s a real shame because I’ve heard she is a very nice person. I hope for the best for her and I pray that her and Lucasfilm will, one day, reconcile and she makes a triumphant return to Star Wars.

I am open to comments and thoughts, however, any comment I deem rude and/or intolerant will be denied/removed.

Visit ginacarano.net

Breathe. Just breathe. Now reach out.