Day 291: The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens

Star Wars The Force Awakens

Wasn’t I just talking about Star Wars?

As much as I’ve tried to contain my excitement about The Force Awakens, I find myself not doing a good job of it. I watched and live tweeted the original film for the umpteenth time. I finished reading the famous Thrawn trilogy.  I started playing the tabletop miniatures game.

And thanks to my local comic book store, I bought my tickets to an early screening of Episode VII.

Two months ago.

I’ve stopped trying to play it cool, so I was fired up to see the new poster for The Force Awakens today, even if I was disappointed in two things:

  1. No Luke. Is he doing an Obi-Wan-like sacrifice? Or is he already gone and only appearing in flashbacks?
  2. A new Death Star. Or what looks like one.

I don’t mind No. 1 at all. The nostalgia of the original cast is great, as is all of the practical and non-CGI effects, but the story needs to move forward as it pays tribute to its past.

It’s the new-ish Death Star that bothers me. Perhaps it’s a small part of a larger weapon or ship or I don’t know what. I know J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, et al, were smart enough not to rehash a tired gimmick, right? I guess it’s a minor quibble. Give me Death Star 3.0 over Jar Jar Binks 2.0 (or 1.0) any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

On a positive note, Kylo Ren continues to look cool and menacing and … well, I’ll quit while I’m ahead.  I said the same things about Darth Maul and we all know how that turned out.

Day 144: Sunday Sickday

Jedi Elvis

Jedi Elvis

I’m still wiped out from my sickness (which wasn’t helped by being out for Star Wars Day), so today’s post is short and sweet.

Above is Jedi Elvis, the hilarious singer/Star Wars geek. Below are links to my photo/video albums from the last two events I live-tweeted.

Star Wars Day photos and videos

Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Arts Night photos and videos

Day 143: Star Wars Day in Rancho Cucamonga

(Last night I posted this on my Google+ page; after being sick the last two days, I learned my website had exceeded its bandwidth)

I’ve been in bed sick since Thursday and I was getting a bad case of cabin fever. Thankfully, I was feeling a little better today, just in time for Star Wars Day in Rancho Cucamonga. This was the seventh year of the event and it’s better than ever. In addition to all of the amazing cosplayers, attendees were treated to Star Wars storytime with Darth Vader, arts and crafts (my wife and I wore our Yoda ears proudly), origami, artists (we scored a quick-draw sketch of Han and Leia by Jimmy Purcell), customized Star Wars cars, a fun lightsaber demonstration by the Saber Guild, kids costume contest, Wack-A-Jar-Jar (hilarious!), and my personal favorite, Jedi Elvis (songs from The King re-worked with Star Wars lyrics … yes!).

It was three hours of free Star Wars fun for the whole family. I liked how all of the activities were kid-friendly. It’s never too early to get the next generation into Star Wars and considering all of the light saber duels, costumed wee ones, and big smiles on everyone throughout the day, it’s safe to say that Disney’s multi-billion dollar investment will pay off in the years to come.

Day 142: Tea Time

Tea time

Tea time

Ugh. I caught a bug a few days ago and it hit me hard last night. My throat’s sore, my body aches, and I feel sluggish. I’m trying to take the positives out of this illness, though, and I can think of two things:

1. I love hot tea with honey and lemon; being sick lets me drink this all day long.

2. I should be somewhat better by tomorrow, so I can live-tweet from Star Wars Day at the Cultural Center in Victoria Gardens.

Day 125: Star Wars

Star Wars

Star Wars

(This is part of my ongoing series on my quest to watch all 100 of AFI’s Greatest American Films of All Time)


13. Star Wars

Yesterday I live-tweeted Star Wars, in honor of Star Wars Day. I had no idea how tough it would be to live-tweet a movie I’ve seen countless times. Even though I did a bit of pre-writing, it still wasn’t enough to prepare me for the task. It seemed like every time I tweeted something, there were two or three other things happening that I missed. I tried as best I could to include trivia and witty remarks, as well as references to all of the Star Wars parodies out there, but it was a Herculean task. Kudos to those who manage to do these type of things.

As for the film itself, we all know what it’s about, right? A long time ago … etc. Even though I consider myself a hardcore Star Wars fan, I don’t own a copy of the original film; I refuse to spend money on any special edition version of the film. Actually, that’s not true. I have the original trilogy on VHS somewhere in the garage, but no VCR to play it on.

For my Star Wars Day live-tweeting, I borrowed the original theatrical release DVD from the library. This is also the same version that’s included in the Blu-ray set, but neither has been remastered and I won’t buy it until it’s been remastered and unaltered. It’s a shame that George Lucas wouldn’t release the film without tinkering with it, but hopefully Disney will see the light (aka $$$) and give the fans what we’ve wanted for years.

As I live-tweeted the movie, two things stood out during my umpteenth viewing:

1. Sir Alec Guinness and Harrison Ford were miles above the rest of the cast in terms of acting skills. Luke is nearly unwatchable in certain scenes, Leia’s accent is all over the place, and some of the Empire cronies are awful (except for Christopher Lee and James Earl Jones, of course).

2. The lack of CGI special effects is a major plus. When J.J. Abrams announced that Episode VII would not rely on all of the over-the-top CGI of the prequels, I knew that Disney had hired the right director. Nearly 40 years later and the special effects in Star Wars still hold up, for the most part.

I’m sure I’ll notice other things the next time I watch this masterpiece. And I’m sure it will be before next May 4th.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Day 124: May The 4th Be With You

Light saber chopsticks

Light saber chopsticks

It’s great seeing how popular Star Wars Day (May 4th, as in “May the Force be with you”) has become over the years. Not that I need an excuse to wear a Star Wars shirt, discuss Star Wars, or use my light saber chopsticks to eat a meal. It’s the movie that defined my childhood, as it did millions of others, and I’ll never grow tired of it.

I made it a point to watch the original film today. I rented the DVD from the library, which is the non-special-edition version of Star Wars. It’s a shame that this (and the Blu-Ray version) is the only available version of the movie; no alterations were made, but no restoration was, either. Not until there’s a remastered high-definition copy with no special edition extras will I throw more money into the Disney coffers.

I used this inferior DVD for a live-tweeting session tonight. I kept my snarkiness to a minimum and learned a few things; mainly, live-tweeting a 38-year-old movie is tougher than it sounds. It was more fun than a farm boy shooting womp rats, though, so I’ll probably do it again for the sequel. Perhaps tomorrow, the Revenge of the 5th?