Saturday, October 31, 2020

Sean Connery (1930-2020)

I am deeply saddened by the news this morning that Sir Sean Connery has passed away.  He has given the pubic so many great roles and movies over his career.  The Untouchables, The Wind and the Lion, The Hunt for Red October, Outland, Darby O'Gill and the Little People, and, of course, his James Bond films are all much loved movies I will never tire of watching.  My thoughts go out to his family and friends.  RIP, and thank you for leaving such a legacy behind.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

My Favorite Star Wars ships (space ships, that is)

I love ships.  Physical ships, that is.  I don't "ship" characters.  Either a relationship happens in a movie/show/book or it doesn't.  I don't EVER wish two characters who don't get together would get together.  But a physical seagoing or aircraft or space-traveling craft can be a thing of sheer beauty, and I love them immensely.  The Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was probably the first ship I fell in love with.  Followed by Seaview (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea).  Followed by the Romulan Bird of Prey and the original Klingon ship design from Star Trek.

Then Star Wars came out, and the ships that movie introduced me to are still my favorite space-traveling ships to this day.  The Falcon, TIE Fighters, and original Star Destroyers all rocked my world and have never been surpassed.  

So, favorite ships?  These:

#1.  The Falcon


#2.   TIE Fighters from the original trilogy

#3.   Star Destroyers from the original trilogy


#4.  Poe's X-Wing in The Force Awakens

#5.  Obi-Wan's Jedi Star Fighter in Revenge of the Sith

#6.  Krennic's shuttle in Rogue One.

How do you know I love all of these?  Besides the fact that I said so?  I have them all as models or toys (and only these).  I still have the large Millennium Falcon and TIE Fighter toys (large enough to hold action figures) my parents got me in 1979, I have a Star Destroyer model still in the original box (never put together, though, cuz I have zero patience for building models) from 1980.  Those are stored in boxes in the garage.  

However, my Obi-Wan's Jedi Star Fighter is displayed on my shelf in the library, and Poe's X-Wing sits under my monitor at my work computer desk where I can look at them daily.  I also have a little TIE fighter from Force Awakens that matches Poe's X-Wing in size, and it is displayed on one of my DVD shelves.  Krennic's shuttle is the only one I love and don't own, and that's only because I never found a version of it for sale that I liked.  I will hopefully remedy that some day.

This is another, quite spontaneously written, post for the Everything Star Wars blogathon hosted by Coffee, Classics, and Craziness and I'm Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read).

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Star Wars: Rebels - Favorite episodes

Star Wars: Rebels came out in 2014, back when my family was still getting cable tv, so I was able to go to their house and we watched each season as it aired.  We had not really been interested in the Clone Wars animated series at the time, but the Rebels trailers were intriguing, and we got sucked into the show.  The half hour episodes made it a nice, show easy to watch, and we liked that it was set before A New Hope.  


I ended up rewatching the entire series after the first season of The Mandalorian ended, because there was so much from Rebels that appeared in The Mandalorian.  Seeing a live-action Loth cat was awesome.  Seeing the dark saber made me literally cheer out loud.  Seeing live troop carriers in the Rebels design was thrilling.  Seeing live blurrg!  The Mandalorian just increased my Rebels love ten fold.

So, what appealed to me about Rebels?  The characters, of course, always come first.  I love these characters, though I still have a hard time with Ezra in the early seasons.  The kid just doesn't listen!  I want to slap him.  I didn't start actually liking him until he eventually matures in the fourth season.  Finally, he came into his own, and then I was able to appreciate him.  My favorite characters of the Ghost crew were always Kanan and Sabine, but when I rewatched the show earlier this year, Hera jumped up higher on the list.  And Zeb is amusing.

But as much as I like our heroes, my favorite character has been, and always will be, Agent Kallus.  I adore Kallus.  He ranks high on my top favorite Star Wars characters of all time list.  I'm a sucker for a redemption arc, and he has a good one.  He's a smart adversary and I just dig him.

Which brings me to my favorite episodes.  None of the first season episodes make my favorite list.  As with most shows, it was still finding its footing in the first season, the characters were still settling in.  All the meaty stuff was still to come.  That said, the season one finale is probably my favorite episode of season one.  Which is part of a trend, as you'll see, because each season's finale show is pretty darned spectacular.

Fave episodes: 

#1.  “A Fool’s Hope” and “Family Reunion and Farewell” (season 4 series finale)

These two eps roll right into each other, so it’s hard to separate them.  Not only are they the best eps of season four, but they are the best eps of the entire series.  They’re also the very last eps, not just the season finale, but the series finale.  Everything that was set up over the four seasons comes to a head here.  Characters reappear, characters we’ve been waiting to face off against each other finally face off.  The Loth-Wolves are awesome as always, and instrumental in events.  Everything resolves Just So.  After getting next to no Kallus in season four, he finally gets to do a lot.  These last eps are just plain great.  (This series finale is not something you can cheat and just watch without having seen everything that came before, though. What makes it so fantastic is the payoff after the build-up to get there.)

#2.  “The Honorable Ones” (season 2) – A Kallus episode, is anyone surprised?  Kallus and Zeb are stranded and forced to work together to survive.  It's one of my favorite themes – enemies who have to put aside their differences to make it out of some life-threatening situation.  This ep is really well done and marks a turning point in Kallus’s arc. 

#3.  "Twilight of the Apprentice" (season 2 finale) – Without plot spoilers, this episode features Darth Maul, Darth Vader, Ashoka, Kanan, Ezra, Inquisitors... all facing off on an ancient Sith world.  This season two finale has it all.  Love it. 

#4.  "Zero Hour" (season 3 finale) – Surprise, surprise... another season finale makes my favorite list.  Admiral Thrawn arrives to wipe everyone out, the Bendu gets to shine, and I’ve never adored Kallus more.  

#5.  "Twin Suns" (season 3)  – I love this ep solely because of Obi-Wan and Darth Maul.  Ezra's disobeying orders as usual.

 Runners up:

"Heroes of Mandalore"
"Through Imperial Eyes"
"Fire Across the Galaxy"
"Blood Sisters"

There are plenty of guest appearances by familiar Star Wars faces.  Princess Leia, C3PO and R2, Mon Mothma, Tarkin, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Obi-Wan all appear.  Some characters from the Clone Wars also get some good parts, like Saw Gerrera, Bo-Katan, and, of course, Ahsoka.  

This has been an entry in the Everything Star Wars Blogathon, hosted by Eva and Katie.