Tag Archives: star wars

Why Rogue One sucks not so bad

Yes, I made a funny title, but I’m really torn about Rogue One. When I watched it the first time, I really dug the film. I had the full on cinematic experience with popcorn and was not too critical. Maybe also because I was celebrating my 5 year relationship (really proud of that). So why did this film suck not so bad?

Rogue One story

The story of Rogue one is so thin, that you can see through it. If you would wear Rogue One in public, it would be indecent. The plot revolves around the Death Star. To destroy it, the blueprints need to be acquired. We all know where this is going, but just not how it’s going to get there.

The protagonist is Jyn Erso, whose dad designes an builds the Death Star. Jyn is as a character not very believable, mainly because there is so little of it. We see Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso, daddy, in a performance that is as convincing as he always is, but also thin. It’s hard to find any sense in the motivation and acts of the characters, which is incredibly sad. Alan Tudyk (Firefly) voices a droid, who is ment for comic relief… Well, atleast it’s not Jar Jar Binks. But do the characters really matter that much? Not really, because the whole point of the film is hinting at the Trilogy and those characters. Shame that Jyn Erso and her compatriot Cassian Andor are just such lousy characters… No clue why they would risk their lives. I just didn’t understand them, nor connected to them.

source: petercushing.blogspot.com, “A display of people who… well, don’t really matter.”

Mind, this is in no way ment to criticize the actors. You can only offer criticism on that, when they are actually allowed to act. Maybe the actors know who their characters are, but they never have the room to bring that across. In a franchise that asts Hayden Christenson as Anakin Skywalker, perhaps character simply doesn’t matter…

Cinematographic spectacle

But the spectacle of seeing Darth Vader in his castle, or seeing Grand Moff Tarkin brought back to life with technology is amazing. Even a fleeting glimpse of Leia made a guy in the row in front of me jump up in frantic movement, simply because the enthusiasm couldn’t be contained. The way they movie makers did this part is absolutely glorious and brilliant.

The huge battles, the explosions and creatures of many different kinds are brilliant and believable. The film has all the spectacle it needs but maybe just a little too much. Maybe a bit of character build up would have made the overal performance of this film better. It’s such a shame, because this part is so brilliantly done. Still, I remain with the question that if the character Cassian carries with him a personal prison, why don’t we find out? Why trivialize the character so much with a mere response to this mystery, that goes like this: ‘yeah, I did some bad things… but I believe in this.’. Grandeur replaces character and that is murderous for the quality of a film.

The Star Wars Canon

A big bummer for many fans of the franchise was probably the fact that there was not a single mention of Kyle Katarn. Kyle Katarn is a character in the fringes of the Canon, who really came to life in the video games and legends of the Star Wars universe. Originally, he was the one who stole the plans of the Death Star. Well… no more.

Though more and more Legends are being reintegrated into the Canon, it’s hard to see what the impact is of the film. Rogue One is in a sense a rather small bit of history, that regarding the progression of the story will have little impact on the rest of the canon. It remains unclear though what this will mean for the further universe and the way it will develop. Rogue One doesn’t open any new doors, just rushes towards one that is wide open and titled ‘Star Wars IV – A New Hope’. It’s from there it derives all its value.


History will call Rogue One an insignificant film I fear. The overall response is that it lacks any real meaning, some real sense of inspiration. All the vibrant enthusiasm it evokes, it evokes by referring to the Trilogy. The highlight of the film is the moment you see Leia. If you haven’t seen it yet, that might keep you to your seat till the end of the thing. It won’t be its narrative brilliance.

So to wrap up the story, it doesn’t suck so bad. Just curb your enthusiasm and enjoy the spectacle. There’s little else Rogue One has to offer. All in all it will be a footnote in the franchise’s history.


RIP Carrie Fisher. I’ll miss you, dear princes. 

Star Wars: The Trade-off of Legends

I’ve enjoyed the new Star Wars film like no other. It reinvigorated my passion for the expansive universe sci-fi series, but when the revamp was announced one thing was soon clear: There’d be a huge trade-off.

The trade-off for new Star Wars films is the reduction of the expanded universe to ‘legends’. This means,that the powers that be are in full control of reshaping, remoulding and destroying parts of the universe in favor of continuity of the films. To me that massively sucks. I’m going to be heavily speculating here about some of the key elements of the Expanded universe in my own brand of depressed analysis. Still, I draw hope from what Timothy Zahn mentioned about this all:

Bottom line: let’s all sit back and relax and see what new adventures are offered to us, both in new books and new movies. It’ll be Star Wars, and that’s what counts. – Timothy Zahn

Force Users

Zahn offers me a good bridge to an inital element of annoyance. Luke Skywalker is not necessarily the last Jedi. In fact, the complete expanded universe has been a huge contradiction of this. If not just for the current sucky situation that Leia seems to have no affinity with the force whatsoever, how about some of the most beloved characters from post-Star Wars EU stories. Ok, there is this slight hint of Leia having a slim sort of affinity to the force when she experiences loss when Han Solo is killed, but its too little, too late. In ‘The Force Awakens’, the son of the couple Ben Solo has force affinity. This is also tricky. I’ll refrain from going into this wasps nest of theory though.

How about Kyle Katarn? Does this trade-off reduce him to the history books of cool-guy-could-have-beens? I’m not saying this won’t be fixed, but there’s definitely an issue now, after declaring Luke the only force user.

source: Reddit

Key Playaz of History

The present is shaped by the past, but this situation offers a great way to really reduce history’s significance to a near zero. Though the Republic fell so easily in the films I, II and III it had stood before that fora millenia. Millenia in which the most fierce and powerful of the Sith were active. Let’s be reasonable, Darth Sidious is a pitiful bit of Sith. Manipulative, sure, but is he so strong that he could overthrow the whole Jedi order? Was Anakin that bright light?

Exar Kun, source: Star Wars Wikia.com

How could that Republic fight back the likes of Marka Ragnos and the combined power of Exar Kun and Uli Qel-Droma and this one fall under the boot of Hayden Christensen?

Expanded Universe reduced to fleeting mythology

Not only does the history seem trivial now in comparison to the film and its characters, it also has been changed from established fact to myth. At any time it can be repudiated, discarded and even erased. From the rocks that show the path of history in the Galaxy far, far away it becomes a misty, vague past with probabilities and possibilities. A vast detereoration of years of passionate work and love for the galaxy. It’s even captivated in the name: ‘Legends’.

A well, these are just my minor concerns. Don bother too much with them if you have never heard of the expanded universe. It shouldn’t bother you much.

The source of happiness (for an anxious, pessimistic idiot)

Happiness, it’s a tricky concept and the title of a very depressing film.  Happiness can be achieved in many ways and I’ve found that there is more happiness in my life, since I let it in. But what is it that creates happiness?

Google ‘happiness’ and you’ll learn that it involves jumping in the air and stretching out your arms. You’ll also be entertained by the horrible cliché quotes that are representing the mental state of happiness.

I listened to the Smodcast by Kevin Smith today, where Smith and Scott Mosier (allegedly) get stoned and discuss stuff. They discussed a little video of George Lucas, talking about happiness. Happiness, he says, can be achieved through either joy or pleasure. Pleasure is an intense rush, like a drug infusion to your system, that gives momentary happiness… and eventually sadness when it wears of. It’s self centred as well, it’s all about you. That makes sense. I used to be satisfied with one Kinder Bueno, now I need five and then I feel depressed due to my stomach ache. It’s a silly metaphor, but you always want more of the things that give you pleasure.

Joy however, is a persuit that last forever. It’s something you can recall, it’s giving something to another from yourself, its compassion. It’s much smaller and a choice. I chose to persue happiness in the happiness of persuit. So where do I take my joy from these days? He was being true to his creation of Yoda there, very much so. Giving a shard of wisdom in a humble and traight forward way.

The world looks very nice
I had a strong tendency to look at the world as a grimy, grim place full of people that were evil. Seriously, that is a hard way to go through life if you aren’t playing Skyrim (even there compassion only sometimes bites you in the ass). Something changed though, I can see things differently now. Today I was feeling joy at things I saw around me. I was cycling and listening to this podcast, passing by the bus station. I saw a bus driver with his son. He had dreads, that looked very good, like he really took care of them. He greeted his colleague and walked through the bus. It sounds sad, but the fact that two people with different skin colours actually say hi makes me happy and hopeful these days. He proceeded, while smoking a cigarette, while instructing his kid to open the bus and get in. That was nice, a dad showing his kid the ropes. I enjoyed that. A little later I cycled over a small bridge. A man in dress shirt, carrying a brief case walked over it too. He stopped and turned towards the water, his face relaxed and he stood there enjoying the water. It was nice to see. This is the beauty I see around me now.

My greatest joy comes from interacting with people. It’s still a conscious thing sometimes to show empathy and ask those helpful questions, but more and more it goes automatically. It feels natural and I enjoy giving these small amounts of good to others. I love nothing better than cheering someone up, helping them out or succesfully arguing about some point. Not in the manner I used to, where I’d be aggressive, impatiant and defensive, but calmly and openly.

All in all I enjoy the world around me a lot more and I feel much calmer and more patient. Still, that’s all on a good day. I have more good days then I ever had before I think. Still, there are days when there’s all this noise, this distortion in my head and I can’t get to those good parts, where pleasure is my happiness.

Let me try to explain what that noise is. I have a lot of anxiety, so much that I have decided to try and really work on that. Now, everyone feels anxious sometimes, but why does it become noise? Well, simple. Imagine that anxious moment, where you worried everything would go wrong and the worst possible outcome was waiting for you. Everyone has such moments. Got it? Now imagine having that pretty much about anything, worrying and preparing for the worst all the time. It creates a lot of buzzing noise in ones head. Sometimes enough to not see the beauty around you anymore and the good side of people.

Source: Abdol Rauf

So what is the point? Well, Karma.
So what am I really saying there about happiness? Well, even though I still struggle in my persuit of joy, I am finding it and through it happiness. George Lucas is spot on, unlike with Jar Jar Binks, with his statement. This persuit is well worth it and has improved my life a lot this far. It’s all about Karma, what you give you get. If you invest in your happiness by giving, you’ll receive. I can tell you that much. I’m not there yet and I certainly had to ask for help many times along the way.

Surely, I don’t have the final answers. Just an uphill struggle and my experiences with that. I’m trying to give that little bit to anyone who is willing to appreciate it. That’s enough for me.

Joining the Empire!

Here I am with my empire
I’ll bring you to your knees
ebb and flow with my desire
cause its all that you’ve been taught to be
– Boysetsfire, ‘Empire’

The Empire, always the evil force in the world, but playing Skyrim I joined the Empire. Not the Stormcloaks. Am I finally becoming an adult?

A quick rundown of what the difference is between those two factions in the game. The Empire is a human faction, which has been keeping the Dominion at bay. The Dominion are the elves, who try to dominate the world. So the Empire is in a global conflict for the good cause, but has signed a concordate with the Elves (really, I am not good at getting to the core of things I am excited about). Now, the Empire is due to that concordat enforcing some rules, like prohibiting the reverence of Talos as a deity. Talos is like the first emperor of the land Tamriel and in a sense the ‘Elder Scrolls’ Jesus.

So the Stormcloaks, under Ulfric Stormcloak, think thats bullshit and want to kick the empire out. They are in essence rebels, fighting for freedom and maintaining their  Nord (the nordic people/race) ways. Downside: They’re also a bit going on with ‘Skyrim for the Nords’, which has a bit of a ‘Auslander Aus!’ flavor to it. So what it boils down to, the Empire protects the human population, but enforces some restrictions on religion. In general they provide peace and prosperity to an extent. The Stormcloaks want more freedoms and thus they fight them. There’s another group called the Forsworn, but apart from wearing silly costumes, they seem to lack a real plan.

source: Tumblr

Usually the Empire sucks, like in Star Wars and pretty much every slightly older scifi/fantasy setting. Mostly this is due to them being evil, but I never really got what was wrong with the Empire of Darth Vader and the Emperor. Sure, they were a bit hard handed, but was their plan to destroy the galaxy and plunge it into eternal war? That’s more the empire in Warhammer 40,000, but those are the good guys… Depending on your perspective at least. In Firefly you have the brown coats, who are like the ‘South’ in the American civil war, fighting  against the alliance that again brings peace and prosperity.

It’s almost like a Hobbesian view of society that is depicted by a bunch of these rebel movements. The society needs to submit to a ruling power, which is depicted as an all overshadowing Leviathan. Its the grimmest view one can take of the social contract, which it in fact. is. In Skyrim the Empire is your best bet, even though the Thalmor (evil elves) are dictating what they do. The Empire has been severely wounded by war and needs to lick its wounds. Now, it can’t do that if them elves kill all humans.

I was always a bit more of a rebel guy, but now I find that I sided with the empire. The blatant racism of the Stormcloaks might have a lot to do with it, but also the general lack of perspective. What point do your ‘freedoms’ have if you can not unite in any sense against a bigger enemy? If you cant actually realise anything. Also, ironically, you are putting a despot in place most of the time. I’ve had high doubts about the future of that ‘Galaxy far, far away…’ after the Empire falls apart. Who’s gonna rule that? Luke? Give me a break, maybe Lando has a shot at it.

I used to be into punkrock and I still believe in its strenght. Rebellion is a good thing and necessary even, but it is not the solution. So I say, throw in your lot with the empire. You can kill Thalmor on sight whenever you want anyways. What I was getting at though is that chosing the Empire is chosing relatively the greater good. I think thats the mature thing to do. I found it quite interesting. Apart from that, it shows a general shift in our thinking. A reevaluation of set ideas. What is the greater good and does it justify the good? You can decide for yourself and figure out what your stand on this is. If you change your mind, you can always reload an older save game.

source: PCgamer.com ‘Killing everything and everyone because you want to in Skyrim’

Also the Empire dresses like Romans and gives you Roman style ranks. I’m a Legate now. I guess there’s also people who just chop of heads of all npc’s. So it’s the liberalism of Voltaire for the Stormcloaks, Rousseau believers for the empire… and ofcourse De Sade like berserkers for just chopping of heads. Huzah!

Gaming makes you smarter kids.

Game of Thrones: Is this real or is this just fantasy?

You know what, Game of Thrones fans shouldn’t complain so much. The show is about life and actually deals everyone the hand that they deserve at some point during the show. Sure, death is cruel and all, but so is life.

I admit to be in the habit of escaping my daily life by playing video games and rolling the scifi shows. I also read books, which sometimes heavily disappoint me when the protagonist doesn’t get the girl (like in the Mountain Ararat by Kemal) or when reality seems better than a story (Gordie Howe vs. pretty all books with a bit of realism in them). I shuddered when Ned Stark lost his head (yeah, I know that given he was played by Sean Bean it was a bit of a give away) and was stunned when Roose Bolton killed Catelyn Stark, Robb Stark and his attractive, young and pregnant wife… When Jon Snow drew his last breath I just sighed…

source: hollywoodreporter.com And yes, this one put the most satanic smile on my face.
George R.R. Martin is not killing of characters for reasons of cruelty, he is writing a bit of fantasy that comes closer to reality than most stuff you probably have read over the years. In a way he’s pulling of the biggest history rip-off in years, like demonstrated in this Huff Post article. You don’t necesarily need to look for these literal equivalents, a brief browse through classic history will soon help you get the picture of the bloody, debauched and brutal universe that you find in the series. Everyone dies, like in the histories of Plutarch of the Roman Empire. Seriously, find me one person in there that died peacefully in his sleep instead of the brutal shit like being devoured by worms from within (like Sulla). Or just killing people at random (again, like Sulla and pretty much every other person in power ever) Yeah, reality is more brutal I suppose.

Source: izquotes.com Like this couldn’t be Cersei Lannisters words?

I’ve always been a sucker for the unlikely victories, acts of bravery and clear divide between good and evil, but that’s not the history of true historians like Plutarch, Tacitus or current day ones (though they sometimes are a bit too Hegelian). That sort of fantasy is the realm of the likes of Geoffrey of Monmouth, who wrote an epic history of England, which made virtually no sense and was filled with all those things that you’d find in a classic fantasy story.

Do you remember that scene from Clerks, where they discuss Star Wars? Dante answers Randall that his favorite film is ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, because it’s realistic with all the crap happening to the rebels.

Empire” had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader’s his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that’s what life is, a series of down endings. All “Jedi” had was a bunch of Muppets. – Dante in Clerks


Everything goes wrong and the oppressing empire wins. Now, that makes a lot of sense. Reality is what we have and maybe even fantasy is trying to help us deal with it. Think about it, how big is the chance that the evil, omnipotent empire builds a planet-destroying supermachine, that has one little hole and one dude manages to blow it up? Zero, which is the more realistic take on a nuclear threat if you ask me.

Ned Stark may be an upfront and noble guy, but he’s also dead. That’s how politics worked back in the day and still do in a more public shaming way. Life is harsh and so are the seven kingdoms. It’s much easier to relate to fantasy with a sense of reality, for that very reason I think.

source: imoviequotes.com

This is also why I think Harry Potter sucks in many ways…