A Reaction to Midnight’s Edge Star Wars Video #MidnightsEdge #StarWars #D23 #Opinion

 

Okay, first of all, I’m usually a fan of Midnight’s Edge. They seem to have a strong finger on the pulse of not only the fans, but also the movie/tv productions as well. I will admit that they often take a rather pessimistic stance. I do enjoy their round tables especially, but in this case… I really feel the need to speak on this, given my own views on Star Wars and the trailers.

First of all, full disclosure… I love Star Wars. I will defend it day and night. So with that, I want to go back and rehash a few things I have previously…

  1. The prequels were not bad movies. They had their problems, I’ll admit, but keep in mind, they opened the door to the rest of the galaxy, which we had never seen. In the original trilogy, all we ever saw were large military vessels and far-off outposts. We saw junked ships being forced back into service and the scum and villainy of the galaxy. However, we never actually saw what they were fighting for. We never saw civilization, we never saw what the galaxy was like, and we never really understood how the Empire took control in the first place. The prequels answered that for us. On top of that, they were beautiful-looking movies.
    That doesn’t mean everything was good. Jar Jar was terrible, and yes the acting from the kids was hokey, let’s also not forget that George Lucas… isn’t the director he once was.
    I liked Episode 1, I found Episode 2 to be boring, Episode 3 however… I would put that with the original trilogy. It was dark, it was gritty, and I loved it. The movie delved a lot more into the Sith, it really worked through the mythos of the dark side, and it worked very well.
  2. The original trilogy is not perfect. This is especially true about a New Hope. The dated 70s acting takes you out of it a bit, the plot has holes, and it has some problems around what the original movie was meant to be vs. what it became. Originally, this was a rather expensive Flash Gordon rehash that was rewritten by Lucas’s wife, among others. In some places, that still shows. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing movie, but let’s not pretend it’s some pillar of perfection. It’s flawed, but what’s good about it far outweighs what’s not. Thankfully a lot of this was fixed come Empire, though Return of the Jedi went back ever so slightly, but as a series, these were solid movies.
  3. Anyone who’s saying that The Last Jedi killed Star Wars for them… HAS NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION! As far as I’m concerned, Disney has made one bad movie so far and that’s it.  Lucas did far worse. Don’t agree? Go watch the Holiday Special and then watch the Ewok Adventures, see why you’re wrong, then come back and talk to me. Disney made one bad movie, Lucas made four and a bad TV series (again, Ewoks). Yet I don’t recall people running this fast from Star Wars back then. Solo, despite being a box office disappointment, was good for what it was. I loved Rogue One, and despite being somewhat of a rehash, I really loved The Force Awakens. It felt like Star Wars again. Not to mention the Rebels series which was awesome itself and opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
  4. Which brings me to my final point, the criticisms of the Force Awakens, Solo, and Rogue One were unfounded. The Force Awakens felt like Star Wars. It was a slight retelling, but there was enough really good in the movie that kept me coming back for more. It was just different enough for me to want more.
    Rogue One showed a new side to the rebellion. It showed it’s leadership and organization in greater detail, and it had arguably the best space battle since Return of the Jedi. I was on the edge of my seat and loved every moment of it.
    Solo’s failure was a rebellion by the fan base. Everyone who eventually saw it said that it was a good movie, despite being something that people didn’t really ask for or want. It was actually good for what it was.

Okay, with that out of the way, I understand the hatred of The Last Jedi. This whole trend of attempting to subvert expectations has proven disastrous almost every time it’s been used. I understand not catering to the fans, but intentionally attempting to go in the other direction is arguably worse.

TLJ get’s worse every time I see it. They assassinated Poe’s character, Luke has been killed off in more ways than one, and honestly… it feels like very little was accomplished. I had close to no reaction to the movie after seeing it in the theater. In fact, when my wife asked me what I thought, my answer was simply, ‘I don’t know.’

Even leaving Episode 2, I said I really liked it, and at the time, I meant it. Looking back now, it was the weakest of the prequels, but still not that bad. I really wanted to like the Last Jedi, I thought we were really going to dig into the Jedi mythos and finally get into some of the stuff that the Expanded Universe has fleshed out. What we got instead was a prolonged chase movie and too much that simply either didn’t make sense or made me not like that movie.

However, for people to say that this killed Star Wars? I’m sorry, no. The magic is not gone. The original trilogy, the Clone Wars cartoons, Rebels, et al, they’re still around. They’re fine, they’re okay, they’re safe to watch! If they weren’t ruined by the Holiday Special which is worse than The Last Jedi, they aren’t ruined now.

So what about this new footage? Did it do anything for me? Actually, yes. I’m concerned about the Action figure controversy surrounding the poster… that is a bit off, but the actual footage was amazing! The fight on the Death Star fragments? The old school ships? Emperor freaken Palpatine!? Sign me up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m cautiously optimistic, but I do have hopes for this movie. This could be make or break for the series… and given that my opinion of The Force Awakens is positive… I’m actually looking forward to see more of JJ’s work here.

Let’s stay positive people, Star Wars is not dead, it has not been damaged, let’s just see where this goes!

But let’s open this up. Readers, what do you think? Am I right on, way off? Do you agree with Midnight’s Edge? Let me know in the comments and we’ll keep the conversation going!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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New Star Wars Trailer!

Won’t say anything! Just watch!!!!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Unpopular Opinion: Incredibles 2 wasn’t worth the wait. (Spoiler Free)

Yeah… this was a major let down.

torch-and-pitchfork.jpg

Oh, bring it on!

I went to see it with my family the other night at a drive-in. My kids loved the original and watch it ad nauseam.  I admit it’s a fun movie and definitely an entertaining take on Superheroes.

I actually got a laugh out of Samuel L. Jackson’s character when he’s arguing with his wife…

“It’s for the greater good!”
“I am your wife, I’m the greatest GOOD you’ll ever get!”

(No matter how many times I hear that, it still gets a laugh.)

So the movie takes place seemingly immediately after the first movie… despite 14 years passing. When the screen lit up and the cast appears on the screen to pathetically apologize for taking so long to make a sequel, I admit that was funny. It set the stage for what should have been a good movie.

What came after was… underwhelming. The story was a fairly run-of-the-mill paint by numbers superhero story. The “Surprise” bad guy that Disney seems to try to unleash on their audience lately has become so predictable… I had to resist the urge to point at the screen and be like, (okay, okay, ONE small spoiler! Skip to the next paragraph.) “Yeah, she’s the bad guy.”

It’s not that it was a bad movie, it just didn’t bring anything new to the table. Not helping matters though, was the voice acting…

Some of it was fine, as usual, Samuel L Jackson was his normal self and did a good job, but the rest of the cast sounded tired and out of it… except for one character, who arguably was even worse than that…

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This character is being portrayed by a 49-year-old woman… and it really shows. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against older actors playing younger roles… as long as they can pull it off. At no point did I believe that was the voice of a teenager. She actually sounded older than Elastagirl, which was kind of cringy, to say the least.

All in all, I didn’t enjoy this movie at all. It’s fun for little kids, I suppose, but it really doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to the table. Save your money and rent it when it comes out.

Readers, what did you think? Was Incredibles 2 good? Do you want to see it? What did you like about it if so? Let me know down in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Question: Did Palpatine Truly Care About Darth Vader?

 

I’ve seen a lot of information and theories flying around about Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious). There are theories that Darth Vader was a means to an end, that Darth Vader was disposable and the Emperor would do away with him as soon as someone else came along that might be better, or even worse, that Palpatine was some kind of celestial being (possibly Darth Plagueis) who could jump from body to body and was planning to jump into Anakin once he was properly prepared.

First of all, people… stop with the Plagueis theories. They’re getting old very quickly… Palpatine’s mentor was Plagueis, Palpatine is Plagueis, Snoke is Plagueis, the Grand Inquisitor is Plagueis…

Here’s a thought, maybe nobody is Plagueis. Maybe Palpatine made the whole thing up. Anybody ever thought of that? All right, moving on.

So we know that Palpatine is not above using pretty much anyone to get what he wants. He’s also not above sacrificing those people if need be. However, that being said, is it possible that in some way Palpatine actually cared about Vader/Anakin and cherished his friendship?

Maybe this is my own personal bias because I believe that everyone has some good in them. Palpatine is painted pretty much as bad as anyone can get, we know this. However even some of the worst people throughout our own history had friends, family, and people they genuinely cared for.

So the question is posed, based on what we know of Palpatine, SOLELY FROM Level 1 Canon, in other words forget the books, video games, etc. Based solely on Lucasfilm’s work (movies and TV shows)… does Palpatine truly care about Darth Vader or is he simply a means to an end?

Honestly, it’s a tough question to answer…

I mean if we look at scenes like the Opera chamber in Episode 3…

It’s… pretty clearly Palpatine planting the seeds of manipulation in order to make the dark side more tempting.

We also have this scene where Palpatine laughs as Darth Vader is defeated and attempted to goad Luke into killing him and taking his place.

However I don’t know if this is evidence or not… for a couple of reasons. One, we don’t know what would have happened if Luke had tried to kill his father. Would Palpatine have stopped him? Two servants are better than one.

 

Even if he did let Vader die, Vader had conspired against him in the past (Episode 3 and 6), something no doubt the Emperor sensed and decided that, despite his feelings, Vader was now a threat.

So then what evidence do I have that he actually cared about Vader? Well… it all boils down to two specific clips;

“You will not stop me. Soon Darth Vader will become more powerful than either of us.”

He’s placing a lot of faith in Darth Vader here and it almost seems as though he’s counting on Vader surpassing him and perhaps one day succeeding him as Emperor, maybe?

However the biggest piece of evidence that favors this argument is a later clip from Episode 3:

If there was ever a good place to leave Darth Vader for dead, this was it. He was broken, dying, completely mad with rage, and wounded to the point of not being able to survive on his own.

Simply put; the Emperor didn’t need Darth Vader anymore. The galaxy had turned on the Jedi, they were already being hunted down by clones, and soon the inquisitors would be joining that hunt, and the Emperor had all but achieved his goal of galactic domination. Granted having Vader around as his enforcer made things easier, but the pieces would likely have fallen into place without a second ambitious Sith Lord being a liability.

Yet the moment that the Emperor sensed that Vader was in danger, he hopped a shuttle and made his way to the Mustafar system. Once he arrived, at seeing Vader’s broken form, he could have easily either finished him off or left him to die painfully. Instead he immediately directs the attention of his guard to where Vader is. Upon seeing him, the Emperor appears both shocked and relieved. He orders his men to get a medical capsule and then goes down to Vader and… by the looks of things attempts to comfort him.

But what about when he lies about killing Padme’? 

Did he lie though? Think about it, why did Padme’ die? The medical droids couldn’t figure it out, they simply said that she lost the will to live. Now silly as this is, since this is the plot point… what caused her to lose the will to live? The answer; Anakin.

A certain point of view? 🙂

I think this evidence is enough to make the case that he did in fact care about him on a friend level. However, I’m curious to what everyone else thinks. Let’s open this one up to a discussion.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Star Wars Trailer Released!!!

 

Liking what I’m seeing so far… was that Luke saying that it’s time for the Jedi to end?

… I wonder what he means by that. Love the new cruiser design, loved seeing an old A-Wing there.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Fantasy Movies?

I got a request a while ago to recommend a few good fantasy movies. I’m going to assume they meant besides Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. So… let’s get into them.

  1. Nausica of the Valley of the Wind.
    Pretty much any studio Ghibli movie would do, but this one is considered Miyazaki’s grand masterpiece… and its my favorite.
  2. Army of Darkness
    Yeah yeah… I know the evil dead series is supposed to be Horror/Suspense/Thriller, but this one is definitely way outside the norm for those movies. This is not the same thing.
  3. Sinbad the Sailor
    ANY Sinbad the Sailor movie. Even the lesser-known ones are spectacular in their own way. I literally have all of them on DVD and love them!
  4. Merlin (1998)
    This little-known made of TV movie starring Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Even Horizon) is about as close to the source material as one can get while still making an enjoyable movie. It is sad and laced with tragedy all throughout and the effects haven’t aged well… but the ending really saves it. Watch it all the way through and it will become a memorable movie you’ll love for years to come.
  5. The Secret of Nimh
    Don Bluth movies hold a very special place in my heart, and this one is no exception. They often appear dark and drab, but the substance of the story is really incredible… just stay away from the sequel.
  6. Big Trouble in Little China
    Hahahahahaha… Just go… go watch it. Never in your life will you see another movie that makes you smile and applaud while asking the person next to you ‘What the hell did we just watch?’ like this one. It’s a total classic for all the wrong reasons.
  7. How to Train Your Dragon
    Yeah, didn’t think a Dreamworks movie would make it on here, did you? Well it did. This is about as close to Norse Mythology as most modern kids’ movies get.
  8. The Black Cauldron
    Sigh… I know a lot of people hated this movie, but it stars John Hurt, arguably one of the most underrated actors of all time and I honestly really enjoyed it.
  9. Stardust
    Loved the book, love the movie. This is a romance between a Fae (Star) and a human. It’s funny, suspenseful, and extremely light/warm-hearted. It’s a good watch.
  10. The NeverEnding Story
    The book is surprisingly better than the movie… I didn’t think it would be possible, but it is, and in comparing the two, I can see why Michael Ende wanted his name off of the movie.
  11. Maleficent
    Ehh… You could switch this out with the original Sleeping Beauty, but either works.
  12. Labyrinth
    Campy and really light-heart. I love this movie… just don’t look directly at the crotch. (Most ladies and some guys know what I’m talking about.)
  13. Clash of the Titans
    1981!!! I cannot stress this enough, go with the 1980 version. It is infinitely superior!
  14. The Last Unicorn.
    Beautifully animated, abbreviated retelling of the classic story. The only downside are the terrible musical numbers.
  15. Willow
    Sort of a retelling of Star Wars in a High Fantasy style story, but great none-the-less.
  16. Return to Oz
    This is the movie you punish your kids with and can get away with because it has a PG rating. (I know, I’m a bad man!) But even as an adult, it’s a freaky yet fascinating movie.
  17. Legend
    Tim Curry as Darkness… that’s… pretty much anyone can say about it.

Anything I missed? These aren’t the hugely known movies we all flock to, but are worth mentioning!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Why ‘Let it Go’ would have been a better villain song…

 

I can hear the groans from here. Yes you all knew that I was going to be talking about this shit-storm of a movie in more detail at some point and in all honest, I’ve done my best to avoid it.

However, given that it.s a take on one of the all-time great fantasy stories, it’s produced by… pretty much the main company that has been making the majority of fantasy movies for almost a century now… wow, it seemed like it was almost inevitable.

Look, I’m going to level with everyone here, I do not like this movie. Yes, I’m a small minority. I acknowledge that the movie visuals ate spectacular, the songs are for the most part entertaining… for the most part…

(UGH!)

I will give them credit for adding Scandinavian chanting in the opening credits, even if it does make you feel like you’re watch a much better movie. (Guess which one!)

My issue with this movie comes from the story, which like most Disney stories, is a bastardization of the original. Normally I give poetic license a pass, but on Hans Christian Anderson… I do not! I love the original Little Mermaid and thus don’t like that movie either, for pretty much the same reasons.

Anyway, onto the meat and potatoes of what I’m going to be talking about here. I want to talk about the main song that this movie is known for, Let it Go. Like so many others, I heard this song when the movie was released… mostly because it was hard to avoid, I mean everybody and their grandmother was doing a version of it… everybody…

 

Heck, there’s even a heavy metal version of it:

… Kay…

Heck, even the Nostalgia Critic tackled the insanity behind it:

(Though… do I really need to point out the irony of contributing to the madness in order to commentate on it? No? Okay, just checking…)

All right, so now you’ve gone through all the Let it Go videos on the internet, its 10 years later… and you’re still here reading this post… well, thanks! So what’s my take on it?

Well honestly, I think it would have been a better villain song. Allow me to put this into context. I first heard the song long before my kids begged me to take them to see it… or maybe it was my wife saying ‘Jim, we’re taking them to see this, end of discussion.’ Doesn’t matter… when I first heard the song, it starts out as a rather sad song and you can even pick up what’s going on even if you haven’t seen the movie. This young woman has been rejected by society and driven into the wilderness because they fear what she can do.

Then as the song progresses, we see her creating more and more. She builds herself a castle, creates live snow people, ice bridges, etc. Then you get lyrics like ‘It’s time to see what I can do.’ Okay, that could be interpreted as her preparing to turn her powers on the people who rejected her.

When I first heard this, to me, it was a song showing the transformation of a character from an innocent into a villain who was throwing caution to the wind after her worst fears had been realized. If you take a look at it, you get all the villain themes in check;
The rise to power, with her creating her fortress.
Testing her limits and breaking through.
Storm alterations.
The line ‘The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway.”

Everything about this just completely reminded me of the song from Wicked, Defying Gravity. This song is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a villain transformation song. See if you can pick out the similarities:

Wait a minute, Elphaba wasn’t a bad guy!!

No, that’s true, she wasn’t bad. However, she willingly accepted her role as the villain in this story, given that the good guys weren’t exactly the moral right here. It was at this point that she knowingly became The Wicked Witch of the West.

Had it been a similar situation in Frozen, or even just a tragic villain transformation, that would have been a lot more powerful than what we got. When I first heard this, knowing the original story, I first thought, ‘Yes, this is the origin of the Snow Queen.”

Well… not so much…

Anyway, those are just my thoughts on it. Let me know what you think in the comments:




Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim