ROGUE ONE (SPOILERS)

If you haven’t seen Rogue One, stop reading now. You can come back to this post after you’ve seen the movie.

Seriously, don’t go any further unless you want to see things and know things you really shouldn’t yet.

STOP READING:  THERE BE SPOILERS HERE!

 

SPOILERS–DANGER–PULL UP

 

SERIOUSLY

 

Okay, since you’re still with me, I assume you’ve seen the movie.

 

Three Things To Love

Thing One: Darth Vader is perfect in this film. His cryogenic/frozen bacta chamber is splendid. His choking pun is laugh-out-loud. Then, a the end, we finally see Darth Vader as Darth Vader doing Darth Vader Sith Lord stuff. The clinched fist while in battle was just simply marvelous.

Get that Droid a Blaster. And A Therapist.
Get that Droid a Blaster. And A Therapist.

Thing Two: The droid K-2SO was perhaps the best new character in the franchise. His passive-aggressive, cynical, sarcastic tone reminded me of Alan Richman’s turn as Marvin from A Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy. I didn’t really care if any of the humans survived, but his death was tragic.

Thing Three: I loved the battle scenes. The Mon Calamari cruisers in action against Star Destroyers was breathtaking. It was the kind of space combat we missed in The Force Awakens.

 

Some Random Things to Sorta Like

I sorta liked Jyn. She is no Rey, that is for sure. Her story–abandoned girl motif–felt like a rip off of the Rey story–or perhaps a hybrid mix of the Rey story and the Luke story.

I sorta liked the portrayal of the Empire as a military state. The IED ambush of the Empire’s squadron through the streets of Jedha City could have been set in Kabul.

I sorta liked the explanation of the weakness in the Death Star’s design. Sorta.

I sorta liked the use of Rogue One as the launch of Rogue Squadron, but, if I may, Rogue Squadron would have found a way to get off the planet mostly alive.

 

Two Things I Hated

I hated the CGI Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. They did a much better job on Moff Tarkin, but botched Leia completely. It wasn’t so much the effort as it was the choices. Her face is smiling, happy, and hopeful. That is not Princess Leia from  the original Star Wars film. That Leia was furrow browed, scornful, sarcastic, and realistic. Plus, in the scene, they are barely escaping (indeed, they don’t escape because of ANH beginning, duh) so why she is so optimistic and smiley is troubling.

I hated the Death Star being used to blow up cities. That is not what the Death Star was built for. It was built for blowing up planets, and the understood original use of the Death Star was Alderaan. Star Destroyers can take out a city–that is what they were built for–orbital bombardment. Using the Death Star to blow up a city is like using Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum to kill a fly. Sure, it could do it, but it is just a little overkill.

The film is good popcorn fun, and it is very enjoyable. However, it has a significance in the Star Wars Universe somewhere between The Clone Wars cartoon and The Phantom Menace.

A BETTER VOTING CHOICE

9c28a3556e27bb30f5ccbbc48223063c1On November 8 most Americans will hold their nose and vote for someone they really don’t like all that much. Many Republicans are experiencing a form of buyers remorse with Mr. Trump and Democrats really felt the Bern over the summer but the deck was stacked against them. So, what to do?

Mrs. Greenbean and I are seriously considering if we should write someone in–if nothing else so we can sleep at night with a clear conscience. For a fleeting moment I thought about writing in Captain Kirk. Kim thought about Dumbledore for President. That got me to thinking. If I were voting, which make believe ticket would I choose? I came up with four for you to choose from, since there are four on the ballot, if we include the Libertarians and Greens.

Dumbledore/Snadesign-692-2013-06-25-06-45-551pe–The problem with these two is citizenship but being wizards and all, they should be able to take care of that with a flick of the wand.  I suspect a Dumbledore/Snape administration would be able to fix the national debt, but it would also introduce unknown variables, like, You Know Who.

Palpatine/Vader–From the Star Wars universe it is tempting to put forth a Skywalker/Solo ticket, but my impression is that the Jedi, for all their heroism, are not all that bright or perceptive. Han Solo would never be able to get away from the corruption of the smugglers. Besides, the Emperor and Darth Vader have a lot of experience at governance. This is your, “Law and Order” ticket.

Picard/Riker–I know, I know, I thought about it long and hard, but Captain Kirk would make a terrible POTUS. Picard is a diplomat. What I would really like is a Picard/Spock ticket. That would truly be The Best Of Both Worlds. A Picard/Riker ticket would create jobs and end corruption. The downside is Riker would blow up the ship.555021_11

Frodo/Sam–There are a lot of options from the LOTR universe, but I don’t think Gandalf is reliable enough to stick around–he up and disappears as he pleases–and Aragorn, though he has a great lineage doesn’t really have what it takes to fix our problems. We can make him Secretary of Defense, perhaps. A Baggins/Gamgee ticket would guarantee that the pubs are always open and that the potatoes are always cooked.untitled

So, who would you vote for? Vote below–and check back often to see who is winning.

LUKE SKWALKER VERSUS SPOCK

Its ridiculous.

I know that, so don’t point it out and indulge me.

I was wearing one of my favorite Christmas presents this week, which is a black t-shirt with LLAP on it. Of course, LLAP is short for the Vulcan greeting and salutation, “Live long and prosper.”

Somehow in the course of the day, I began to think about who I would rather have in a pinch–a Jedi or Spock?

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In my honest opinion, Luke Skywalker is the greatest of the Jedi because he defeated Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and only had about forty five minutes of training from Yoda to learn everything. There might be other, greater Vulcans than Spock, but he is the one I know the most about, and he is the only Vulcan who has the coolness factor.

Just to clarify, when I say Spock, I mean Leonard Nimoy as Spock.

So, Luke Skywalker and Spock are in a pitched battle against each other for survival. Who do you got?

I got Spock. I think if they were at odds with each other, Spock would win nine times out of ten. Here is why.

  1. Jedi are stupid. Their abilities make them intellectually lazy. That is the only explanation I have for why they didn’t spot Palpaltine as Sith, or why Yoda and Kenobi didn’t both go after Palpatine together, then Vader.  Why divide up like that? Oh, I know, stupid.
  2. It might take time, but Spock would invent some kind of device that would neutralize Skywalker’s lightsaber.
  3. Do you think Jedi mind tricks would work on Spock. Of course not.
  4. Vulcans have their own paranormal mumbo jumbo going for them, which would offset some of Luke’s Jedi powers. Spock did one time mind meld with a brick, remember?
  5. In a world with Jedi, Spock would have a blood sample with midi-chlorians, find a way to kill them, and thus end Skywalker’s powers. He could defeat Skywalker without having to kill him.
  6. Spock would dodge one slash of the lightsaber, then put a Vulcan nerve pinch on Luke. Game. Set. Match.

I’m sure I missed something, but I think Spock would make quick work of the Jedi master. Now, give me some time to think about James Bond versus Harry Potter.

A LITTLE SWEATY FUN

Yesterday I posted the following on the Facebooks

File Jan 06, 8 19 21 AM

It wasn’t long before many of my FB friends had ideas. At first it was helpful suggestions–people weighing in on whether they preferred “poured” or “ran” in the sentence. It wasn’t long before I was getting full fledged sentence ideas, complete with metaphor and plot devices. My post had turned into a writing prompt.

One writer friend wrote,

He sweat like a fat man chasing a donut through the Amazonian jungle.

Another friend channeled the classic film Throw Momma From the Train and suggested, “It’s sultry in here.” That would make the whole thing moist.

A wordy pastor friend of mine suggested the interjection of a medical condition, writing the sentence as,

It wasn’t the first time he was thankful for being born with anhidrosis.

The concept took a bizarre turn when someone suggested he word “glisten” in order to make the torture scene sexy, then this decidedly romantic idea was postulated by a friend from New Orleans:

He glistened as sweat poured down his face. His sultry eyes took long pauses when he blinked as he inhaled deeply to slow his racing heart.

A Star Wars fan tapped into the zeitgeist of the times and wrote,

Waving his hand like a Jedi Knight, ‘this is the phrase your shooting for.’

Then, the donut Amazon writer friend chimed back in with this gem:

Sweat shot from his face, head and back, like a fire hose in a five alarm fire, knocking everything down, drowning children and small woodland animals in the process.

How about this other one,

he sweat like a sieve held under a waterfall after a heavy rain.

Another writer friend took the time to send me an email suggestion.

Beads of sweat attacked his face like the rage of a thousand angry, wet dentists.

I never knew that tortured sweat could be so much fun.

In case your wondering, here is the way it currently looks in the WIP, which is part of the finale for my Deep Cove series–of which there will be big news in early spring. Keep in mind this is the WIP and not the final product.

Without saying anything else, Finn opened the door so quickly that it startled both Jack and A-Jay. Agent Finn swept into the jail cell and was on top of the prisoner with his knee in the chest of his target. From his coat pocket he produced something that looked like a ballpoint pin. He jammed it into the prisoner’s side. The victim began to shake, only slightly at first but then with the force of a major epileptic seizure.
Finn pulled the device away, then he brought the back of his hand hard against the victim’s jaw.
“Now, what is your name? What are you doing here? Are there any more with you?”
Sweat covered the prisoner’s face. His teeth rattled.
From where A-Jay was she thought his eyes were rolled back into his head. It occurred to her that she should intervene, but then, she was not in the best position herself. She felt vulnerable, and that was a feeling she didn’t like.
Finn yelled, “Answer me!”
There was a momentary silence. The prisoner grunted, then looked Finn in the eyes. In perfect English he said, “I will never tell you anything.”
“I believe you,” Finn said, jamming . . .

You’ll have to buy the story in March to find out more.