November Writing Challenge Day 14: Star Wars: Rebellion

I’m blogging every day this month. Some will be game-related, but this challenge is different than my most recent play-a-game-and-blog-about-it challenge. I’m writing a single post every day: no topic guidelines, with some posts being a collection of random thoughts. Click here to read yesterday’s post.

With just over a month left until the final film of the Skywalker Saga hits movie theaters, I’ve decided to get an early start on the Star Wars madness. For Episodes VII and VIII I watched Episodes II through VI in Machete Order (IV, V, II, III, and VI; skipping I, aka my least favorite and the worst Star Wars film of the series). I haven’t started the movies yet, but I’ve already decided to watch them all, including Episode I, before the big day.

I’ve also decided to play a bunch of Star Wars board games. My buddy Patrick and I played what is probably my favorite Star Wars game, Star Wars: Rebellion. I’m terrible at this game, but it’s awesome. Although it can be played by four players, it’s really a two-player game, with you and your opponent playing the Rebels and the Empire. The Empire wins if it can locate and destroy the Rebel base, while the Rebels win if they can remain alive for a set number of turns.

It’s an epic experience that neatly ties in Star Wars lore throughout the game. In today’s game I was the Empire and I was able to capture Obi-Wan Kenobi, but of course he become a Force Ghost instead. I quickly found the Rebel base twice early in the game, but the Rebel scum wouldn’t go down without a fight and they managed to turn things around for the win.

There are certain parts of Star Wars: Rebellion that remind me of my other favorite space-opera-in-a-box, Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition. Activating systems and “locking” them down seems very TI4-like to me. The production of ships is also determined by the planets you control, but here in Rebellion it’s a bit simpler. Combat also comes down to dice rolls, but like TI4 there are cards that you play. And just like TI4, Rebellion can seem like a long game (up to three hours), but it certainly doesn’t feel that way since you’re only doing one action per turn.

After only two plays, Star Wars: Rebellion is one of my top five all-time greatest two-player games. It’s a grand, movie-like experience and although you don’t need to know anything about Star Wars to play the game, if you’re a lifelong Star Wars geek like me then you’ll undoubtedly love this as much as I do.

November Writing Challenge Day 5: Resistance Reborn

I’m blogging every day this month. Some will be game-related, but this challenge is different than my most recent play-a-game-and-blog-about-it challenge. I’m writing a single post every day: no topic guidelines, with some posts being a collection of random thoughts. Click here to read yesterday’s post.

On Day 3 of my writing challenge I wrote about The Rise of Skywalker and yesterday I found Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse in my mailbox.

I immediately dove into it and I hope to finish it this weekend. Resistance Reborn takes place after The Last Jedi and early on it feels like it’s setting up The Rise of Skywalker. General Leia, Rey, and Poe are all dealing with being the last of the Resistance. Where are their allies? What can be done about the First Order?

While I’ve read a bunch of Star Wars books, I’ve never read one in anticipation of an upcoming film. It’s usually been as a way to enjoy the Star Wars universe when no movies are planned. It’s exciting to see these characters come to life through the written word (and, yes, John Williams’ iconic music plays through my head more often than not while reading).

I’ve got a few pitches out to various websites for coverage on Resistance Reborn, so hopefully I’ll be able to write a bit more about it soon. Thanks to my friends at Random House for the advanced copy, which I’m enjoying so far.

If you’ve never read a Star Wars book, I’d highly recommend Timothy Zahn’s classic Thrawn trilogy. Published way back in 1991 during the dead time between the original trilogy and the first prequel, it’s still a fantastic series of books well worth reading. After Disney acquired the property it became part of the non-canon Legends series, which was a shame since Grand Admiral Thrawn is the best bad guy outside of Darth Vader and all of the books featuring him have been awesome. Thrawn-some, if you will.

Thankfully, Thrawn is officially part of the Star Wars universe again, thanks to a new series of books by Zahn and as part of the animated Rebels series. Although I’m not aware of any plans of making a feature film or television series about Thrawn, I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney eventually does. He’s too good of a character not to be up on the big screen.

November Writing Challenge Day 3: The Rise of Skywalker

I’m blogging every day this month. Some will be game-related, but this challenge is different than my most recent play-a-game-and-blog-about-it challenge. I’m writing a single post every day: no topic guidelines, with some posts being a collection of random thoughts. Click here to read yesterday’s post.

Has there ever been a more perfect teaser trailer than for Star Wars: The Force Awakens? I still get goosebumps watching it, which I tend to do whenever a new Star Wars teaser, trailer, or behind-the-scenes trailer is released. In only 30 seconds it captured all of the nostalgia from the original movies and introduced us to this strange, yet familiar new world. Here, watch it again, then we’ll talk about The Rise of Skywalker:

I’ve loved all of the new Star Wars movies, including The Last Jedi and Solo, both of which haven’t been universally acclaimed by fans. The final chapter in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, hits theaters next month and I’m equally excited and sad to see it. Excited because it’s Star Wars. Sad because it’s the end of an era.

And while we all know Disney will pump out new Star Wars material in various formats for years to come, this is the end of a story that captivated me as a child and into my teen years.

The original trilogy will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first “big” movie I remember seeing at a theater, when my parents took me to the old Pasadena Academy, an old-school moviehouse that was converted into a multiplex many years ago.

I already have my tickets to The Rise of Skywalker, thanks to my local comic book shop’s special screening the night before the official release date. I’ve seen all of the new Star Wars movies this way, with members of the 501st Legion showing up for pre-movie photo ops, Star Wars giveaways, and the thrill of watching the newest film with my fellow Star Wars fanatics.

I’d probably be more sad about The Saga ending if not for my nephew and nieces. Knowing that there will be new characters and stories from this amazing universe for them to enjoy puts a smile on my face. I hope they get as much joy out of whatever Star Wars they get in the future that I’ve gotten from the Skywalker story.

San Diego Comic Con 2017: Gone Viral


So, the video I posted of the kids in the mini landspeeder yesterday went viral.

My tweets typically get a few likes and, if I’m lucky, a retweet or two so this was totally unexpected. This particular tweet has deluged my phone with nonstop notifications and as of Saturday 7/22/17 at 4pm it’s been liked over 4,000 times and retweeted over 1,200 times.


It’s been interesting seeing how people have reacted to the video. Obviously, cute kids in their Star Wars costumes will usually generate lots of likes. Kudos to them (unfortunately, I didn’t actually meet them) for being good sports and to the Radio Flyer company for making such as amazing vehicle.

One cool thing about the video going viral? Getting a Twitter like from the man himself, Mark Hamill (shown above).

I’ll say it again: Whoa.

This has been the Best. Comic. Con. Ever.

Every Night Is Game Night: Loopin’ Chewie


I’m playing a board game every day this month and blogging about it (I did a similar challenge last year)Feel free to join me during my Every Night Is Game Night: My Daily Play & Blog Challenge. And tweet me with what you’re playing these days!

I haven’t been able to game with my Thursday night gaming group lately so it was nice being back tonight. I got to play games with a few of my regular buddies as well as some of the newer regulars whom I’ve only met or played with once. From backgammon to Clank! Sunken Treasures, it was a fun evening of old and new games.

Of course, I had to bust out Loopin’ Chewie in honor of Star Wars Day. I scored two copies last year and found a guy on BGG that sold a 3D-printed extension that allows six budding Jedis (or Siths) to play at once. Just like every other time I’ve played this, it’s hard not to start cracking up as Chewie flies around in the Millennium Falcon trying to knock down your stormtroopers. It may be a silly kids game, but I’ve never heard one adult complain while playing it.

May the 4th be with you!

Day 352: Action Figure

This figure is old. Must be worth a lot.

This figure is old. Must be worth a lot.

I’ve always wanted to take a picture in front of one of those backdrops made to look like a Star Wars action figure box. Last night I did, as I sported my Mace Windu haircut, Lando Calrissian mustache, and Chewbacca hoodie.

By the way, I’m still not posting anything about Star Wars: The Force Awakens until after Christmas. And, yes, I have a very patient wife, who’s had to listen to me go on about …

Day 351: We Saw It

Opening Night!

Opening Night!

As promised, no spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Pictured above: my wife and I before tonight’s 7:30pm showing. It’s been many years since I’ve seen a movie on opening night — forgot how much fun all of the extracurricular stuff is. I’ll talk about the movie next week.

Day 350: Star Wars Eve

The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens

I had a great time with my gaming group tonight, playing Carcassonne, Kingsburg, Forbidden Desert, and Roll for the Galaxy. It took me a while to “get” Roll for the Galaxy, but after I did, it’s been a blast.

Naturally, the conversation turned to The Force Awakens since a few of us are going to an early showing tomorrow night. Although Christmas is still a week away, it feels like this is my version of Christmas Eve; call it the Night Before Episode VII.

I’ve got my blinders on right now, trying not to catch any Internet spoilers. My state of mind can be summed up in two words:

So. Excited.