Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

It had to happen at some point. When a new Star Wars film is released I get the jitters and need to go, no matter how cool I think I am going to take it and wait. An opportunity came around pretty quick to see this one, so I took that chance and went yesterday to see the last of the Skywalker films [Pom and others who care, don’t read this until after you’ve seen the film].

I say a 4 o’clock-ish showing of the film as we finished work a little earlier than normal. The tide on this stretch of the Medway was about halfway but I don’t know whether it was ebbing or flowing. I could see half of the tidal flats reflecting the street lights from the opposite shore and the reflections broke up where the small waves lapped at the shore.

After watching the film I rated it on IMDB and then automatically tweeted the result. There is a whole communication covering how the rating system works and it is located here back in Feb 2014. This pretty much explains how I score certain films and what my criteria are. If you don’t like my score then perhaps read on, to see why I rated it as such.

I guess it’s time to explain why I rated this a 6/10. Apart from the fact that I probably won’t bother to watch it again.

THERE ARE POSSIBLY SPOILERS AHEAD. I haven’t written this yet so I don’t know, but it’s likely.

I enjoyed this film. I pretty much came out and thought to myself “It was OK”. That’s all. It was just OK. Nothing special about it. Much like when using the force I have learnt to let go of my feelings for this franchise.

Look, there were massive planet scapes, space battles, people dying, it all looked remarkably gorgeous. The planets were detailed although the production designers don’t seem to realise that planets can have all forms of terrain and weather, it’s how planets work but different planets are distinguished by their climate and flora. Just look at our [slowly burning] planet, we have all forms of weather and land type. Planets can be a mixture.

There were plenty of times when if I thought too much about what was going on I would be a little “What?”, how does that work, but, again, I’ve learnt to let go.

There is one thing I will say that annoyed me. Right at the end when all the rebellious little people turn up to help out they drop out of light speed in the cloud and I thought the whole point of that planet was to hide the fleet and you had to have the route fully mapped to be able to get into the secret area.

Richard E Grant was great.

Maybe my reaction to this film is more to do with where I am emotionally. It’s been a tough few months for me and I’m kinda divorced from a lot of feelings at the moment. Star Wars hasn’t affected me much. Even seeing the Emperor back didn’t do much for me. Who knows?

Then, there’re the general themes involved with this film. Much like a lot of our films and too much of the Disney stuff this film manages to further the ideas of family dynasty, family honour and christian dealings with sin. I’ll expand.

Too much of our society is obsessed with ideas of you being more than just you. It’s about the idea that you are who you were born to. Your history and family in the past is important. It matters if your father was Mr Boss, it matters which school you went to, it matters what your grandfather did. Why else do you think we have that shitty programme called “Who Do You Think You Are?”. It’s a BBC show about people’s family trees and what their ancestors did. It reinforces the notion that you are more than just you, you are also your family history. You have legitimacy because of what people who died before you were born did. I guess this is to be expected in a constitutional monarchy where our literal head of state depends on who their father is. This bullshit is reinforced by almost every aspect of our society and I fucking hate it. This film furthers those ideas.

Some powerful people seem to care about honour. Which i think is probably defined as caring about what others think of you. Currently it seems that a lot of our “leaders” don’t care about honour. They don’t care about what others think of them because they can get away with everything they say. If you think that’s extreme then be aware that the UK just voted for a known liar and racist to be its prime minister. People are selfish cunts.

Finally, because expanding my thoughts is hard work and I’m not the best writer in the world, the Star Wars films justify the best of christian values by allowing people to ask for forgiveness just before they die and allowing them to enter heaven. Vader atoned [?] for his sins by killing the Emperor [not very well as it turns out] and he gets reimagined as a jedi ghost. In this film, Kylo turns good right at the last minute and gets redeemed. What a crock of shit. It’s like Blair getting baptised after causing an illegal war. Such a bullshit view of the world but one that is enforced in our common culture.

These films perpetuate and reinforce these ideas of society and being born into your position in that society. They help youngsters learn that they must accept their place. There is no meritocracy. Only hereditary privilege.

Addendum [040120]: Saw this film again yesterday with a friend and I think it impressed me even less. Something Phil Plait complained about the Star Trek movie [reboot] was that it suffered from “too much stuff in it”, I agree with these comments about this latest SW film, which has JJ involved.

Lego 66 – Magazine Kits

Here’s another couple of Lego models for me to catalogue. These came attached to one of those magazines that cost around GBP5. But I think the models look quite cool.

Dwarf Spider Droid micro edition
Dwarf Spider Droid micro edition

U-Wing micro edition
U-Wing micro edition

It’s probable that the U-Wing is part of the rebellion against the established government of the galaxy. If we use a neo-con view of the world then we would probably think they are rebel scum, all those terrible people fighting for the rights of everyone. Could it be that they are the bad side?

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Today I went to see Solo. A film from the Star Wars universe but nothing really to do with the Empire and the Star Wars films. It was set before Han meets Luke is Mos Eisley. I went to the Plaza cinema in Workington and it was a very pleasant experience. The cinema was a good multiplex with decent prices. I liked it. I now need to include some form of information about the tide and I am afraid I have no visual information about it. I can inform you of what it was like at a similar time the day before:

This was the view over the River Esk slightly further down south. Just north of the Eskmeal Ranges used by the MOD to test rockets and shit out to sea.

As is customary I rated the film on IMDB and you should know by now to see this communication with information about the rating system.

So, there we go! A resounding 8/10. That’s pretty good for me. I went to see the film without any real expectation and I just wanted to be entertained. I struggled at the beginning because it seemed to be Oliver Twist for the first fifteen minutes but things settled and I enjoyed the remainder of the space romp.

I’m not going to go into detail. I enjoyed the film and I liked the action sequences. Could it have been better? Yes, loads. But it was good enough. I think what makes it survive a roasting here is that it didn’t have anything to say about the Darth Vader issue. It’s not a prequel and it doesn’t mess with the original films. I enjoyed it.

Star Wars – The Last Jedi

YOU ARE WARNED: There may be spoilers ahead. I don’t know yet. I haven’t written this article!

A few days ago I went to the Rochester Cineworld Cinema by the river Medway to see the latest Star Wars film and I have waited a few days before writing this as it could have been a very negative review and I didn’t want to put my dear readers off the film [unlikely].

I’m not sure about the state of the tide this time as it was dark and I didn’t pay attention as I drove along the esplanade. I have rated this film on the IMDB website and I think it gained two stars from my immediate reaction as I left the theatre. Read this communication to get an idea of scale.

And, on to the important bit:

I walked out of this movie really pissed off with it. In the initial battle [YOU WERE WARNED] why did Dameron continue to attack the Dreadnought? He is fucking stupid and shouldn’t be a leader of troops. Why do space ships have to attack in a straight line? Why didn’t the Star Destroyers just shoot the Rebel ship? Surely you disable the enemy’s escape plan first then finish them on the surface? Why do the bombers drop bombs as if there is gravity? I have so many more questions about the military tactics of the film. It was all very much lambs to the slaughter. If I rated the film when leaving the cinema I would have given it a 4! Hence I wrote this communication.

A day later I spoke to a friend about the film. He said it was pretty good fun. I wasn’t sure I agreed. We ranted about all the stupid plot elements and how much of it didn’t make sense. It took a good 40 minutes of us ranting to iron out the problems with this film. That’s not a good sign. I don’t have the time or inclination to write it all here. Clearly my problems with the opening sequence are pretty bad and I’ve not even put them all down!But, here’s the thing:

IT’S JUST A STAR WARS FILM

It’s not meant to be brilliant. It’s meant to make money. I let go of Star Wars a few years after episodes 1-3 were released because I just couldn’t stand the constant disappointment. I haven’t learnt really either!

So, here’s the best bit:

IT’S STILL MUCH MUCH AND MORE LOADS BETTER THAN EPISODES I, II, and III

I have, over the last week, relaxed in my view of this film. Yes, there was loads of bullshit and plots that were shit. The humour was OK and I quite enjoyed that. I even quite liked the porgs. So, I have rated this film an 8. I will watch it again and try to be less bothered by plot and serious things and just try to enjoy the cinematic experience.

A Star Wars Film

I have just returned from watching the latest Star Wars movie. This communication is a holding-communication as I have friends who haven’t seen the movie yet. When I do review the movie there will be spoilers. I will also rate the movie on IMDB.

I need to let thoughts settle in my head before I write.

Lego 47 Model 75102

It is a mini-Lego season here and so there’ll be a couple more models to show along the way.

Poe Dameron's X-Wing
Poe Dameron’s X-Wing

This Lego is so lovely it needs its own gallery to show it off properly!

Star Wars Identities

Tuskan Raider
Tuskan Raider

In part of the O2 arena complex there is an exhibition at the moment entitled Star Wars Identities. I went to see it today. The Millenium Dome as people my age remember it, the white elephant of bullshit that cost nearly a BILLION pounds for a year’s worth of exhibition about stuff at the turn of the millennium [although they got the wrong year, it should have been 2001 obviously]. I went to the dome in 2000 and it was shit. Then it lay empty as far as I know and at some point O2 coughed up money and it seems to be a half decent venue. I’ve not seen a band there but I have seen tennis and it was OK for that. The outer part of the arena seems to consist solely of places to buy food.

The exhibition was a little underwhelming. I knew there were going to be outfits, models and robots but I didn’t realise just how much “identity” was going to be in it. It was very nice to see the stuff from the films and I really enjoyed that but I’m not a fan enough to want to see developmental sketches and stuff like that. Just show me the real stuff.

C3PO
C3PO – with silver leg

The opening video section was about how Anakin and Luke were both heroes. How the choices they made changed them. And then there was more stuff but I had stopped listening. I just wasn’t interested in trying to shoehorn a reason for this exhibition into the exhibition. It wasn’t necessary. This sort of thing would have been good just by itself.

THE Falcon
THE Falcon

The best bit was being given a wrist RFID thing that meant I could create my own Star Wars character as I went around. By answering questions and making choices about my fictional life I would end up with a character.

I chose to be a wookie. There were nine other question stations and in the final hall area I could see the chosen character on the wall. I also got an emailed version which will appear below.

There was an expensive lot of tat being sold in the regulation shop at the end of the exhibition. I bought a few things including these glasses.

Expensive Tat
Expensive Tat

So, here is my character:

My Star Wars Identity
My Star Wars Identity

Here is my biography:

I was raised on the gas planet Bespin, where members of my community made their living working as engineers in Cloud City’s reactor core. On holidays my friends and I would traditionally relax in the luxurious floating spas.

My parents raised me with a mix of independence and support, and I inherited my natural abilities from them. Later on I spent some time with the wise Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose guidance left me with knowledge I still use every day in my job as a fighter pilot.

I remember this one time when I crash-landed on a strange planet. I didn’t let this affect me too much, though; instead I became a successful trader of scrap metal and found a home among the Jawas.

People often tell me I’m a generally organised and prepared person, I also tend to be adventurous and curious. But the most important thing to me is universalism: after all, as they say, equal rights for all and special privileges for none.

I have only a low sensitivity to the Force, but the Emperor saw potential in me. When he offered me limitless power in exchange for my allegiance, I fought the urge to join him and his evil minions and rejected his offer.

Overall it was expensive for what it was, although I expected that. I remember seeing a Lord Of The Rings exhibition at the Science Museum years ago and that was great. I’m glad I went as I love the photo I took of the Tusken Raider and the view from the cable car.

I also took a trip over the Thames in the cable cars sponsored by Emirates.

Thames
Thames

Secret Scotney Dark Side

I went and visited Scotney Castle today. The sun was shining and it was lovely out, a little cold but largely nice. The skies looked great, far better than all the grey we’ve had recently. The car managed 62 mpg on the way home, so I’m quite happy with that. Scotney is a lovely large house that definitely isn’t a castle. The owners deliberately ruined the old castle to create a good looking folly after the newer house was built.

Scotney
Scotney Castle

While wandering around the newer house I noticed a wooden panel in the library.

Sith Panel
Sith Panel

Now this is quite disturbing. When you focus on the words it becomes obvious that there may be secret Star Wars fans when the house was designed in the 1800s!

Sith Alert
Sith Alert

Apparently the phrase should be:

I care not for quotations of kings and queens. Also, they are quotations, not quotes.

Rogue One (2)

Well, this is definitely a first for me. Re-reviewing a film. I wrote about this film in this communication. I stand by everything I wrote in that. However, I enjoyed the film much more the second time around. Perhaps I had already accepted all of the annoying things and just wanted to enjoy the film. I still think it’s worth a 6 on the IRPFS.

I watched the film this time at the Odeon in Guildford with two old friends. One of them reads this shoddy site, the other doesn’t. It was very nice to see them both. We went to a ten o’clock showing of this film, which was very similar to seeing it the first time. I wonder what it is with middle-aged men that we go to see films early in the day? I think it’s because we have other responsibilities and aren’t allowed out in the evenings because then bad things can happen!

What do you do after a film when you still have spare time? Go to a military museum, obviously.