Day 293: Full Geek Mode

Full Geek Mode

Full Geek Mode

I’m in full geek mode right now. After the Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer debuted last night, I read a handful of Star Wars articles and watched youtube videos (and, yes, I watched the trailer dozens of times).

One thing that I stumbled upon that I absolutely loved was this quote from Felicia Day: “Geekdom is the joy of connecting about things you love without fear of judgment.”

I’ve been connecting with Star Wars for the last 24 hours, but I’m not forgetting about my other geekdom joys. I’m finishing (finally!) A Clash of Kings, I’m all caught up with The Walking Dead, and I just started James Doohan’s memoir, Beam Me Up Scotty.

The only thing I didn’t geek out on tonight was Fresh Off the Boat, since it was off the air this week. This is probably a good thing or else I might start getting my geekdom worlds mixed up.

Day 292: Bingo and BB-8

Star Wars The Force Awakens.

Star Wars The Force Awakens.

My wife and I were out with friends tonight, enjoying drinks, appetizers, and a hilarious game of bingo at a local restaurant. We wouldn’t be watching the Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer “live,” but we could watch it at home. The bingo game was a blast and my wife won a prize! We were excited because neither of us had won at bingo yet.

Of course, the prize for me was waiting at home: the Star Wars youtube channel. I fired up the trailer and we watched it.

And watched it again.

And again.

Wow. We got more of the story this time. We got more action shots. We got glimpses of Han and Leia.

Two teasers, a behind-the-scenes preview, and tonight’s trailer. That’s four times I’ve been reduced to a babbling idiot, excited like it was 1977 all over again.


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 268: Laser Moon Awakens

Laser Moon Awakens

Laser Moon Awakens

I don’t recall how I came across the Auralnauts, but I’m glad I did. Their Star Wars parody (which is more of a retelling that uses about 40 minutes of Episode IV footage) is a crazed, wacky, and hilarious work of inspired lunacy.

I mean, how else do you explain the Death Star re-imagined as the ultimate entertainment center with over 500,000 dining choices and … well, I won’t give away anything else. Go here to watch.

Day 265: Star Wars for a Quarter

Star Wars T-Shirt

Star Wars T-Shirt

Last week I scored my new favorite Star Wars shirt for a whopping 19 cents. I’m pretty sure it’s the cheapest piece of clothing I’ve ever purchased.

And I’ll answer the question you’re all dying to ask: No, I didn’t use a Jedi Mind Trick on the cashier.

Thanks to a JC Penney sale, a few coupons, and perfect timing, the shirt was mine for less than a quarter. It doesn’t sound as cool as using the Force, but at least I didn’t have to go to some shady bar in Mos Eisley to buy it.

Day 260: I Tried, But …

X-Wing Miniatures Game Core Set

X-Wing Miniatures Game Core Set

Confession: as a self-proclaimed Star Wars geek, I don’t have much of a collection. I have a Yoda figurine, an Admiral Ackbar action figure, a few books, some old trading cards, and a few knickknacks. Nothing too exciting. I LOVE the original trilogy, but I didn’t save any of my childhood toys, then later in life I didn’t feel the need to collect Star Wars stuff. The memories of the films were sufficient.

And even though Force Friday offered a lot of cool things to buy, I still had no urge to buy Star Wars toys, clothing, food, or what not. I’ve resisted the urge, even though I was getting more excited about the movie every day.

My excitement finally got the better of me.

I took the plunge and bought the X-Wing Miniatures Game Core Set. I can’t remember the last time I bought a miniatures game (if ever) and a Star Wars-themed game would be the one, of course. I told myself that it serves the dual purpose of owning a few cool Star Wars miniatures and satisfying my urge to game.

The core set comes with the X-Wing and two Tie Fighters shown above, which are beautiful. But they’re not just aesthetically pleasing, they’re functional as well: using the game’s cards, dice, and range-finding system, you and a friend can create dogfights on your tabletop.

The spaceships only take up a small portion of the living room table and I’m trying not to remind myself that there’s plenty of room for the Millennium Falcon, Slave I, and all of the other iconic ships. I do remind myself, however, that each addition isn’t cheap.

So, I tried to resist the Star Wars merchandising empire, but like Yoda said … well, at least I know this game will be more fun than Episode I.

Day 257: From the Tabletop

X-Wing Miniatures The Force Awakens Core Set

X-Wing Miniatures The Force Awakens Core Set (image from

News and notes from the world of board gaming …

7 Wonders Duel Release (source: Repos Production)

My favorite game of the moment is the highly regarded 7 Wonders. I love leading my city through the ages, constructing buildings and wonders while improving its science and technology and strengthening its military. In 23 days, the two-player version, 7 Wonders Duel, will be released. Click here for the countdown clock and an overview and trailer for the game.

#WhatDidYouPlayMondays (source: Geeky Goodies)

Chris Cormier of Geeky Goodies created the Twitter hashtag #WhatDidYouPlayMondays for gamers to tweet about the games they played during the previous week. It’s a terrific way to see what others in the Twitterverse are bringing to the tabletops, from quick fillers to all-day campaigns. And in the spirit of the hashtag, last week I played Samurai, Taluva, Lost Valley: The Yukon Gold Rush 1896, and Carcassone with my gaming group.

Force Friday (source:

It’s been nearly two weeks since Force Friday, the unofficial holiday of new Star Wars merchandise. Included among the action figures, light sabers, and BB-8s were a few games, most notably the X-Wing Miniatures Game The Force Awakens Core Set. Early reviews of the game were positive, but if you’re like me, reviews don’t matter since the words “Star Wars” seem to short circuit the part of my brain that controls my logic, reasoning, and impulse-buying powers. I predict the “shut up and take my money” refrain will be the most commonly uttered phrase when Star Wars mania hits the holiday shopping season.

Day 247: Force Friday

Force Friday


I’m enjoying the cold weather this morning on #ForceFriday, the hashtag day created by Disney to shove new Star Wars merchandise down the public’s throats.

I shouldn’t be so cynical. I’ve been trying not to get too excited about Episode VII. Thanks to social media, though, the hype has been even more insane than when the first prequel was released in 1999.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been trying to temper my expectations; the let-down of the prequels punched a hole in the franchise’s invulnerability. Fans learned that George Lucas was not infallible and neither was everything associated with the Star Wars universe. While we could laugh about Mark Hamill’s whining in the original, we couldn’t forgive Hayden Christensen for his portrayal of Anakin (and we were shocked to see Natalie Portman be so flat-out bad).

For the record, I did enjoy Episode III, despite the horrendous acting and dumb moments like this (although it did inspire this piece of Internet brilliance).

So, I’ll pass on the Star Wars merch for now. I’ll continue to ignore every Star Wars-related news online. I’ll keep my wallet closed until December 18th, 2015.

And I expect my bank account to be empty on December 19th, 2015.

Day 191: Anti-Prequel Approach

Episode 7: The Force Awakens

Episode 7: The Force Awakens

I’m trying not to get too excited about Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. I refuse to click on all of the news, gossip, and photo links. I avoid fan arguments dissecting every little detail from the two official teasers. I don’t Google anything related to Episode VII.

But then this happens.

What an AWESOME clip. It’s exactly what all of us diehards want; what I call the anti-prequel approach to making the film. As much as George Lucas and his team advanced CGI special effects during Episodes I-III, those films lacked the heart of the original trilogy. The attention to special effects took precedence over the writing and direction. How else to explain Natalie Portman’s worst acting to date?

Sure, perhaps J.J. Abrams is going overboard with the back-to-basics approach to special effects and forgetting all about the script and his actors. But I doubt it. He seems to be genuinely excited about his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the fans are clearly behind him as he tries to give them a film worthy of the Star Wars legend.

Of course, the fans have also promised to rename him Jar Jar Abrams if he screws this up. I can’t wait until December.