krpalmer: (Default)
While I've tried for a while to limit my purchases from, I did wind up wanting to buy a non-anime Blu-Ray the movie store in the area mall couldn't seem to get, and resorted to online shopping at last. That led to something familiar enough, including something else in the order to get free shipping. It didn't take me long to think of a second title; the thought had been coming to me that so far as "Lucasfilm productions involving 'escorting bombers'" go, Red Tails had seemed more personally satisfying than The Last Jedi...
A different continuation )
krpalmer: (mst3k)
As the short second set of episodes of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival approached, I might even have got to the point of a little anticipation. However, with "The Gauntlet" becoming available on American Thanksgiving, the "Turkey Day" long linked with the show, I accepted I wouldn't be able to start into it as soon as some people. As for the first weekend following, a pre-Christmas get-together with my family took up most of it. By the time it was over, though, a sudden chill had fallen over me.
An explanation at length )
krpalmer: (europa)
After commenting on the beginning of an annual trip back through the movies of the Star Wars saga with the admission I wasn't thinking about extending it with anything produced in the last few years (no matter what particular film it was supposed to follow), all of a sudden I did start thinking there was something I could try and fit in between two movies after all. It's been more than a few years since I'd last watched the "drawn animation" Clone Wars "micro-series" produced in two blocks between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Back then, I'd come to think that in starting off only able to follow Attack of the Clones they had cast too ominous and unappealing a shadow over their Anakin Skywalker. Even though I understand some people seem able to enjoy more than a few of the movies without having a very positive view of his character, the interpretation I've been able to stick with and feel satisfied by wants to allow him the uncomplicated, enjoying-himself heroism of the beginning of Revenge of the Sith before "tragic protagonist" takes over altogether. That some people in the time since then hadn't stopped using the drawn animation as a stick against the movies themselves and the computer-animated Clone Wars series that had been able to work with a complete saga didn't appeal to me either. There was finally too much Clone Wars computer animation to just casually view it "in between," though, and I suppose I also got to thinking I couldn't turn down every chance to take another look at something and perhaps even pick up on something fixed opinions might hide from me. I've seen a few positive takes quite lately on the older drawn animation that might not have pushed me away. As I started watching my DVD compiling the first block of very short episodes, though, the strongest "new insight" I was feeling was that the ersatz Anakin voice, in trying to sound like Hayden Christensen's, just had me thinking that was a hard voice to imitate. While I could remember seeing comments about the computer-animated Clone Wars (not simply intending to put it down, I believe) that its Anakin voice didn't quite seem to get the character's complexities either, I don't remember it sounding quite as "off" to me; that Obi-Wan sounded the same as in the computer-animated series didn't help either.
Dialogue's not the only focus, though )
krpalmer: (europa)
Returning to a whole cycle of movies once a year, given I don't often carve out the time to watch other films (although I did get to the nearest cinema to see First Man earlier this month), can seem an extravagance. Even so, I have told myself that since I haven't taken in their spinoff narratives in print for quite a while (and now I'm not doing that in computer animation, either), watching "just" the six Star Wars movies in the saga set isn't that all-consuming. With that, though, does come the ambiguous admission that where just a few years ago I'd wondered about an expanded series finally becoming overwhelming to watch "in full" yearly, now the "Disney productions" aren't on my agenda. Last year I had started off by watching Rogue One on Blu-Ray and then proceeding in "production order," but this year for one reason and another I'm not quite interested in even that. Instead, after watching the saga one rather conventional way last year and trying the "hybrid" or "flashback" order again the year before, I was looking forward to the simple and strict "numerical order."
A thought or two )
krpalmer: (europa)
It was from someone I don't follow for "Star Wars news" (and, I have to admit, most of whose occasionally offered opinions on the subject I disagree with) that I first saw a report new episodes of The Clone Wars would be made. I sought confirmation from the "Prequel Appreciation Society" site (which I don't check the way I used to now that it doesn't allow comments). It was a surprise to be sure, and yet, as repellant the thought is of trying to put down the possibile genuine excitement of anyone else, I have to admit that for me there's been water under the bridge since a "final batch" of episodes were made available on Netflix and I signed up for that service to watch them.
Some of the water )
krpalmer: (europa)
In dwelling on a disconnection that may only be increasing between me and this new corporate era of Star Wars product, I have thought a bit about at least some of the other opinions I've picked up on even at the possible risk of being pushed in unapproving directions. There are those who insist the sure antidote for current ill feelings is to turn back to the spinoff novels and comics sold up until a little while after the sale, works ultimately encompassed under the name "the Expanded Universe" but shockingly "decanonized" near the beginning of the new era. To focus on something you're positive towards does seem commendable, but I have to admit quite a few things built up over a fair while to detach me from those spinoffs.
Quite a few things )
krpalmer: (europa)
Ever since happening on the period "making of The Empire Strikes Back" book, contemporaneous with the movie itself, in a nearby used book store, I've known "May the Fourth be with you" was proclaimed outside of "fannish" contexts (or at least, I halfway want to think, before the bundle of arch attitudes that seem tied up with them but just happen to leave me uncertain about embracing them too tight had filtered into those wider contexts) back when just one Star Wars movie was complete. Telling myself that, though, doesn't seem to be helping all that much as the phrase is invoked once more in the arch tones I've already alluded to and, more than that, posters go up in nearby bus shelters for yet another new-era Star Wars movie. It may be opening in the month the original six all premiered in, but I am now contemplating breaking a pattern of "keeping my first reactions all my own" (even if that's come to mean holing up newsless well past opening weekend), with the distinct possibility of not seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story at all.
The dangers of indifference )
krpalmer: (europa)
Having decided to return to Rogue One relatively uninfluenced by the other Star Wars movies, I went on from it by wrapping around to the original Star Wars and continued on in "production order." As I wrapped around once more to The Phantom Menace, I can admit to some "now we're getting somewhere" thoughts, even if I'm still managing to half-shrink from anticipations of somebody rapping my knuckles in a way that might even not be "angry." There might also have been a few "what if the 'offense' some make such a big deal of taking sneaks up on me with my guard down?" warning thoughts. Even so, having kept up with the whim (in no way a matter of "having" to "cling to the past") I mentioned once before and followed Rogue One with "pre-Special Editions" I do happen to have on DVD, it was something to get to my Blu-Ray set.

Even with my viewing order this time around, I was willing to contemplate "beginning at number one," if less seriously than some people do seem stuck on. In the process of sort of accepting how Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's hints of greater awarenesses suddenly burst out into "warrior diplomacy," though, I did get to contemplating how Obi-Wan had named Yoda, and if that name gets connected to the character in the movie itself. Maybe I'm less intent than some on focusing on the grass blades of official names, species, and biographies in "outside" works, to the point where I can imagine those people missing the wider and more satisfying vistas, but in getting through the Jedi Council scenes and wondering if any of the Jedi there were actually named in the dialogue, I might have grown just a little uncertain, always a bit too able to imagine arguments being made up. However, I did manage to notice Obi-Wan bringing up Yoda's name in their private meeting near the end of the movie. It's a small point, perhaps, but I was at least a bit amused imagining "that little guy?" reactions a bit different from the ones embedded in history.
krpalmer: (europa)
"The Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Society" has been around for ten years; the person who's kept it running didn't have time to make a big deal of that, but someone did manage to throw in an off-topic comment mentioning the anniversary and didn't get in trouble. That the site may have stayed "necessary" for me is reinforced by a certain apprehension about bringing this up, but at least I can keep telling myself that if I'm "wrong" I'm not the only one in the world that way.
So far as the passage of ten years goes... )
But it might not be my single source for opinions these days )
krpalmer: (mimas)
Dropping into a large used book store last weekend, I was passing the computer books section when by a title that might have been misfiled (even among video game books) grabbed my attention but threatened to push it right back away. The first part of Luke Skywalker Can't Read and Other Geeky Truths was provocative enough, but the subtitle raised my hackles just like the word "geek" always seems to do in non-chicken-head contexts these days. I've tried to find explanations for that delving past "the word seems too often wrapped up with prequel bashing," which of course might only bring on "serves you right" rejoinders. I'm not sure, though, if "viewpoints that might have once ranged beyond the ordinary now just seem restrictive and fixated on the stuff seen when young and impressionable without finding any depths beyond 'story' or genuine positivity" is any more articulate or able to avoid "you might not condemn creators, but you still have targets..."
Anyway, I did take enough of a chance to look inside... )
krpalmer: (europa)
With the year having managed to wear along to fall, I've returned to the season I've often watched through the Star Wars movies in. ("Once a year" doesn't feel too obsessive to me; I can at least tell myself I haven't read the novels or comics extending the franchise for a long time now, and I don't even know what possibly premium channel "Rebels" airs on up in Canada; however, I am conscious I've piled up plenty of other movies I don't get around to watching at all...) This year, too, I'd been thinking ahead that things could be a bit different. For all that I let a chance to buy a cheap used copy of The Force Awakens from a discount store across the corner go by and have been letting the Netflix-offered chance to see it for just the second time in total slide by week by week, I did ask for a copy of Rogue One for my birthday, and my brother carried a Blu-Ray across the Atlantic in his luggage so he could hand it to me on the day itself. I then had to carry the disc back across the Atlantic before I could get back to a Blu-Ray player or even redeem the digital copy code in the case, but I took the digital copy home the first chance I got only for my brother to mutter he wasn't really that interested in seeing the movie again...

Having spent a fair length of time by now not watching The Force Awakens again without quite managing to articulate my feelings much beyond "the backstory felt depressing and the rest of the film just seemed sort of pinched and uninspiring", I accepted that and let months pass until the fall. I could at least remember Rogue One had seemed to offer grander vistas and the chance to claim I'm not just resentful whatever ideas George Lucas sold to Disney got locked up (although I might then be accused of resenting having worked so hard not to convince myself I wasn't offended by the previous Star Wars movies, only for the new order to charm everyone with snappy dialogue). After I'd watched the Blu-Ray for the first time and the movie for the second time in total, though, I was conscious it wasn't easy to put my fresh thoughts together.
If you haven't seen the movie, things may be given away )
krpalmer: Imagination sold and serviced here: Infocom (infocom)
Seeing a bit of attention paid to "old computers" from an unexpected but notable direction did get me thinking of the home computer games I'd actually played when I was young (instead of managing to get around to them years later), and which of them might be called "personal standouts." I thought of the Pole Position imitation I would load and then twiddle the TV's tint knob until the blue "artifact colour" of the backgrounds changed to "green grass" (although the Radio Shack Color Computer 2 could start up with its blue and red artifact colours switched, which made for a different experience again), of the "first-person perspective maze" our disk had gone bad for unfortunately early on so that long years later it became one of my most notable pushes towards getting emulator programs working, and of several illustrated adventures, some easier to play all the way through than others. After remembering those and other Color Computer games, though, all of a sudden I reminded myself that before it my family had started out with a TRS-80 Model I. Even with its low-resolution black-and-white graphics (converted to black-and-green with a thick piece of green plastic foam-taped to the converted RCA surplus TV that served as its official monitor), we had some games for it. Two of them that came to mind right away were the Berzerk imitation "Robot Attack" and a "swoop a spaceship over an enemy base and through a cavern" game from a "software every month" cassette magazine, both of which I'd got working on emulators in recent years. That double revival, though, had also got me thinking of a third game stuck in my mind but which I hadn't been able to find in these latter days...
The third game, and some illustrated proof )
krpalmer: (europa)
"Prequel Appreciation Day" has been moved up this year with the fifteenth anniversary of Attack of the Clones rolling around, but while I'm still away on vacation this does happen to be one of the days I can access wireless ashore, and while I didn't bring the movie with me memories are ready to hand.

I'd wound up feeling stuck between a sense I hadn't been triggered to hostility by The Phantom Menace the way what had seemed so many others had made such a deal of and the nervous fear watching that movie, the previous trilogy, or indeed just about any other movie would at last grind my face in how "obvious" the hostile reaction was, but the trailers for the next new Star Wars movie (one of which my brother had made a big deal of accessing by going online with the Phantom Menace DVD loaded in his computer's disc drive) had somehow managed to begin invigorating me again. After forming tentative theories and going back and forth on whether the "clones" in their white and black armour might even be on the side of the Republic, the opening crawl did jolted me by mentioning Amidala as "former" queen (the first hint other people could also be positive about the extension to the saga were "fanfics" that had speculated ahead with a great sense of Amidala being Queen, even if I hadn't looked beyond them yet to the group of positive people I would discover in the nick of time), but from there things managed to build, and the opening night audience had seemed to enjoy the movie in the end. I did overhear a "George Lucas has redeemed himself" comment from someone that did, after everything, provoke a sort of "I'm not that hostile to what came before" reaction from me, but I can still wonder if, in different circumstances, I might have wound up convinced "the real story started with 'Episode II.'"

I have to mention that as speculation because of the way certain people rallied to find something to be offended at even as I kept realising that while "shipping" doesn't do a lot for me I can get gooey and sentimental about the indisputable romances that don't match sheer imagination for others. By "the nick of time" I've already mentioned, I was stuck the same miserable distance from the then-latest Star Wars movie as from the others. In happening on the positive people who became "prequel appreciators," things managed to work out, although I can wonder yet if a "middle movie" caught between something with the freedom to look "different yet familiar" and the payoff for everything set up can feel somehow "overstuffed" and be a bit easier to just sort of take as part of the whole. At the same time, though, some recent comments noticed about Attack of the Clones being the most like the Flash Gordon serials at one root of everything do have a pleasant resemblance to thoughts I've had before about the movie being free in its variety to "be a Star Wars movie pure and simple."
krpalmer: (mimas)
I've been conscious for a while now of continuing to hold back from watching The Force Awakens on Netflix, but the latest time I thought about that I also thought it's been a while since I've watched Clone Wars. I had made a point of returning to the late plot arc I'd heard had included a character who would appear "decades later" in Rogue One (only to wind up thinking it was hard to suppose Saw's character in the movie showed any particular influences of that previous story), but other than that the same "I'd rather use my time watching other things" feeling seems to apply in both cases.

However, the "Clone Wars era" itself doesn't quite seem to have left my contemplations. In starting to wonder if the Jedi wound up so focused on "Count Dooku leading the enemy" as to neglect the other Sith Lord he'd even named to Obi-Wan, all of a sudden I happened to wonder if the assorted "Dark Side acolytes" in the Clone Wars series were meant to get the Jedi thinking he had become the master. While I had grown to find characters like Asajj Ventress and Savage Oppress interesting, I suppose the discussions of other fans about how there can only be two Sith had intrigued me, influencing the way I thought about the old movies; to start multiplying acolytes for the sake of more action had led to a few unfortunate thoughts of the old Star Wars novels I wasn't reading any more. Having mulled over this new idea for a little while now (until, of course, the day people start tossing an amusing greeting back and forth) does seem to suggest it's not pushing me back towards watching Clone Wars again, but it's at least nice to keep thinking about the subject.
krpalmer: (europa)
Some imp of the perverse might have been driving me as I noticed an item on Satellite News that Rifftrax would be providing their own brand of commentary in a synch-it-yourself audio file timed to Rogue One. The odds seem minimal I'd ever listen to that track, given that Rifftrax having begun by "needling blockbusters" has kept me away from the "video files with pre-synched commentary featuring more MST3K-like B-to-Z-movies" they do mostly offer these days (although that in turn might have been an "I can't become utterly paralyzed with fear I might hear disparaging references I can't find funny" push to pledge to the MST3K revival Kickstarter). I looked at the comments, though, and one of the first ones was someone more or less saying "sure; Jyn is the Mary Sue Rey didn't turn out to be." Someone else riposted, and the comment "You don't know what a Mary Sue is" came up.
Something came to mind at once )
krpalmer: (europa)
Dropping in to the discount store across the corner on the weekend, I was wandering around its rack of cheap Blu-Rays when I saw two "previously owned" copies of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on display. A moment I'd imagined might arrive back when I hadn't bought the movie on its home video release had indeed come to pass, but I walked out of the store without a disc, remembering how hearing the special features had gone straight back to "isn't it wonderful there were so many animatronics on set?" had squashed what interest I might have had and how the movie's been available on Netflix up here for months but I've kept putting off making the time to watch it.
Instead of that... )
krpalmer: (europa)
When I got around to watching the Star Wars movies this year and, halfway through "hybrid order," found any possible previous concerns that this time things would be different seemingly overcome by invigoration, I went ahead and posted about it. After I'd done that, though, I did get to wondering if I'd "set myself up at last," if Attack of the Clones in particular would feel "stuck as the middle movie" or something. I got through it in turn just fine, however, and thoughts that maybe Revenge of the Sith would pose personal problems somehow might not have had the chance to get started. On getting back to the old movies with Return of the Jedi, though, I suppose I was at least conscious of the laments of others on interpreting most of the major performances as "burnt out," as much as I tried to bring to mind other, more positive interpretations I've seen. At least since reading the modern "making of" book, I sometimes find myself wondering if George Lucas saw the important part of the movie as "redemption," but with the big secret of The Empire Strikes Back having leaked (if perhaps not to as widespread publicity as might happen nowadays) he tried even harder to keep that part restricted to those who needed to know, only to leave everyone else kind of underwhelmed at the impression the movie was "about" "creatures..."

I was perhaps following more Star Wars discussions in the late 1990s since I've done since, and I'm ready to suppose a "golden age" wasn't "lost" in sudden and shocking fashion in 1999 (or even 1997) because I'm aware of the complaints about Return of the Jedi from back then. It's at least possible I fell away from possible "groupthink" just out of the inarticulate conviction the then-third Star Wars movie was the conclusion and getting upset about it wouldn't make a difference except to yourself, but in since coming to think I could really shock some by declaring the three new movies a more interesting and compelling unit I always feel that also has to face the possibility all the "blame" then falls on Return of the Jedi itself. That, of course, might not even really touch on the unpleasant feeling that the latest of three "official" continuations from that point (and the one that has the apparent advantage of existing in the same medium as the previous movies) involves the celebrated heroes of the apparently beloved movies having failed off-screen in just about every way for the sake of getting new product with a drab ethos and a barrage of snappy dialogue rolling. Still, that hasn't quite stopped me from thinking "roll on Rogue One" so far.
krpalmer: (europa)
A few hours after putting together a post yesterday suggesting it seems at least possible to escape indignation at the conviction that the "battle for Naboo" hinged altogether on a "whoops" moment, I had a "whoops" moment of my own remembering an additional thought I'd had but forgotten to set down in writing. That "not everything depended on Anakin" doesn't have to lead to the smug conclusion he should have just been left with his mother on Tatooine and everyone would have wound up happier; he did also happen to clear some "destroyer droids" out of Queen Amidala and company's path to get his Naboo starfighter moving. (I suppose this could be seen as beginning to set up the suggestion a larger power was guiding him, anyway.)
krpalmer: (europa)
When I made the time last year to watch six Star Wars movies (which can, among other things, leave me aware how often I can't make the time to watch even one old movie), I suppose thoughts of "the end of an era" were at least present. After not managing to work up interest in buying the Blu-Ray of The Force Awakens, though, and after making one excuse after another to not watch it on Netflix this weekend, all of a sudden I'd resolved to get back to the familiar six before the end of the year, almost as if things hadn't changed after all. I did resort to what I can call "hybrid order," with the new movies in the middle as an extended flashback, as if to avoid both a too-strong statement of just where "numerical order" points and the direct lead-in of "production order" to Rogue One (although at the moment each of its successive trailers seem to have impressed me a bit more than before...) While I'd at least imagined accusations of resenting how I'd put all that work into "appreciation" to the point of resisting an effortless barrage of snappy dialogue, when the order rolled around to The Phantom Menace once more I didn't seem troubled at all. I suppose I'd put a bit of thought beforehand into one particular interpretation of one particular moment, though.

I can still wrap my head around to supposing Anakin seeming to fire the shot that blows up the droid control ship "by accident" added to the indignation of some. While there just might be a chance now to point elsewhere at "the Force guiding someone," I happened to think that while "the big explosion" catches attention, the crucial moment that had been mentioned before in the movie was Amidala and company managing to capture the Trade Federation viceroy, an echo perhaps of Palpatine managing at least a partial success in becoming Supreme Chancellor. Anakin would then have definitely helped more pilots survive the battle than otherwise and eliminated the possibility the droid army would eventually execute its captives, but once again the rush to indignation might have overcome some. That thought might not help anyone but me, but it did at least add a bit to getting to the halfway point; I'm looking further ahead yet at the possibility of managing to watch the Clone Wars episodes that featured the younger inspiration for a Rogue One character, anyway.
krpalmer: (europa)

Being invited to mark the shared anniversary of two of the Star Wars movies by coming up with "ten things I like about the prequels" was invigorating, but also challenging. By this point my appreciation of them is pretty far-ranging; the trick was narrowing it down to a few things I could share some hopefully well-chosen words about. With thought, though, I formed a list, and then a list I could and had to pick and choose from. As I did so, I did have to face insisting it isn't a "top ten" list; to say something about the major characters might mean saying a lot, much of which may have been picked up from others. Instead, I hope this is more a personal but wide-ranging summary.

An illustrated summary, too )

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