This Is Not A Post




*We apologize for the typos on this blog. Turns out that cartoon animals can’t spell. Also, Sarah is mostly blind and was doing this remote, on a small screen!

209 thoughts on “This Is Not A Post

  1. Well, Malthus WAS right! Oaul Ehrlich HAS exceeded the environment’s carrying capacity for Paul Ehrlich…

  2. Come back, cute animals. Don’t worry. We’re really very nice here.

    Look, there’s a bunch of the fancy Paul Newman dog treats for the puppy, an entire case of tuna for Kitty, and 10 barrels worth of peanuts for Ellie. Come and hang out with us, we’ll all have tons of fun.

    How are we paying for all this? Oh, we’re just charging it to Sarah’s account. If she’s leaving you in charge, the least she can do is see to it that you have adequate snacks!

    1. The aardvark is bringing bon-bons!

      Fluffy will stage a BBQ!

      And the sea serpent in the minion pool will let you swim there!

        1. Only if you get too near her gold. Elsewhere, if you have trouble, she will benignly help you out.

  3. “Also, Sarah is mostly blind and was doing this remote, on a small screen!”

    Ah, the absolute JOYS of small screen toys and autocorrect!

  4. Hm. How about Star Wars? I know there are both people who like the new movies and people who hate them here (and everything in between).

    The Last Jedi sucks? Kathleen Kennedy with help from Rian Johnson has killed the whole franchise, or at least severely crippled it, and it will never again has the draw it used to have even if it survives this? Most likely it will limp on for a few more movies at least, but right now it looks like it might be dying.

    Until the probably inevitable reboot down the line – it has been way too profitable to be permanently abandoned. Reboots will come. It might just take a while before that, and there is a reasonably good chance that when it happens it will be an actual reboot, rewriting the whole universe, or at least the prequel and Disney parts of it, rather than filming new sequels, prequels or side stories to what already exists. Maybe the OT also will be redone – okay, likely – although I’d presume that part of the story will be changed less than anything else.

    (So I was wandering around youtube, looking for something to watch before going to bed as I was too tired to read but it was too early to sleep, and remembered somebody mentioning Razorfist’s rant about Hollywood always having been red – and of course he does have more than a few videos about Star Wars too as he predicted its demise around the time the first Disney movie came out).

    1. Well, that’s why I pretend the Disney sequels never happened, and every time a new Star Wars movie comes out, I just re-read Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy instead. Same deal with the prequels, and the scene in the revamp of the original film in which Lucas decided to let Greedo shoot first because . . . why, precisely?

      Also, as far as I’m concerned the Alien franchise ended with “Aliens,” and the rest of the films were just bad dreams Ripley and Newt had in hypersleep as the Sulaco returned to Earth. Although Larry Correia’s satire of “Prometheus” was hilarious.

      1. Then there’s the ‘sequel’ to THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS that starts off by killing off The Mole.


        Piss all,over your own childhood, damnit, and leave mine alone.

          1. Yep, so Ripley is in like five minutes of the movie, and really only in a scene or two. The movie is about Hicks.

            1. IIRC, at the time, Sigourney Weaver had indicated that she wasn’t interested in doing a third movie. So Gibson left her out of the script.

              Pity she didn’t stick with that decision…

        1. I deny the ‘would have done’. Lucas’ answer makes it sound like there was always an original plan. He has been making such claims for a while. We can be fairly that these claims are false. He seems to have been someone skilled at the art of shooting scenes who got lucky ripping of Dambusters and Hidden Fortress, and never had the ability to replicate the feat on his own.

          Kingdom Hearts III comes out on January 29, 2019. I’ve seen no evidence that MCU and SW will be included. Tetsuya Nomura probably has better ideas for Star Wars than George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy. I’m not saying he would have good ideas, or would do it right, but most likely better than Lucas and Kennedy. George can be fairly compared to Lucas Industries. Kathleen might be unfair to compare to the famous Kennedy family

        2. You can find the black-and-white rehearsal versions of that scene online (the one that starts with Han with a lady of negotiable virtue on his lap when Luke and Ben walk up) and it runs all the way through the dude who acted the Greedo mask with a lower class British accent getting Greedos comeuppance and Han’s “sorry about the mess” line, and from the very damn beginning back in 1976, with no cool sound effects or funny cuts, Han shot first.

          Whoever is occupying the Goerge Lucas mask if full of Bantha pudu.

      2. I quit after the first three. Sorry, they were just way too unbelievable by that point. The Force was comic-book Zen; I recognized that during the first movie. Physics didn’t work in whatever universe they were in like it does in our universe. I couldn’t suspend disbelief any longer.

        1. When you get right down to it the Star Wars ‘Force’ is a very western misunderstanding of the Asian concept of yin and yang.

          I had a lot of fun in a Star Wars role-playing game. The GM was running it as a favor to one of the payers, who loved the game and the setting but always got dragooned into GMing it. So the GM came to me and asked me what I could do to mess with that player’s head (The GM knew me well….). I played an ‘asian’ character, whose background was more balanced about the Force.

          “Light and dark are two sides of the whole. When you use the Force there is no Light or Dark. There is only performing your techniques properly”

          My character used a bo-ken, straight out of DEMON CITY SHINJUKU, and did all the usual lighsabre stuff with it. Drove the Jedi character nuts. The PLAYER loved it.

          I miss the hell out of that gaming circle. When I got up here, all the gaming stores were knee deep in Magic.

        2. I loved the first two, the Ewoks didn’t thrill me, but I liked the rest of Jedi.

          Caught the prequels on DVD; as memory serves, I watched Phantom Menace, mostly watched the second, and skimmed some scenes in the third.

          Haven’t seen any of the others, and plan to keep it that way.

          1. The Prequels were full of fail, but their biggest mistake was in not casting somebody who could PLAY ‘heroism corrupted’ as Anakin. Darth Vader as a corrupted Hero is a viable storyline. Darth Vader was a whining little bitch ain’t.

              1. That would have made things much better! I liked his proposal for the death of Padme; it would have made sense.

    2. Anyone who thinks it’s okay to degrade Luke Skywalker, then kill him off, and not understand why that might piss off the fans, is not fit to be in charge of Star Wars.

      There’s a t-shirt I saw that says “Not my Luke Skywalker” that I think I need …

      1. I found the movies I saw between meh and bad – Rogue One was okay, but I wasn’t exactly in love with it either, just found it, well, okay – but what pissed me off worst was that they almost totally destroy everything the heroes achieved in the original trilogy – both for the rebellion and in their personal lives – and change their characters, to the worse (Leia being bit of an exception to that, but she failed in a lot of things too which doesn’t make her look good).

        Now why would that make me excited about the new movies, or interested in seeing more? I can’t trust that franchise anymore.

        1. -Leia being a bit of an exception-

          Well there was her fatal mistake (according to the filmmakers): getting married and having a child.

        2. Rogue One was a deeply flawed movie with plotholes large enough to pilot a Star Destroyer through.

          But ultimately, the message of the movie, “Rebellions are built on hope,” struck me as true to the Star Wars universe. I can accept it as a canon prequel without it ruining my vision of Star Wars.

            1. As I was reminded, with A New Hope being largely* derived from Dambusters, they were following a well worn path.

              Which opens a thought: what is the worst possible WW II movie that could be used as source material? I never saw 1941, but the wiki summary implies it could be that mouldy mold.

              (*) TV stories at the time of the release also featured the strong influence from the Earl Flynn era of swashbucklers.

    3. Kathleen Kennedy’s artistic choices are perfectly appropriate to the Cult of the Sith.

      (Okay, I’ve used that joke before, so it is about dead. For anyone who doesn’t get the awful pun, Sith in English folklore, also spelled Sidhe, is pronounced She.)

      1. ….that is a freaking AWESOME pun, and it makes the evil force users actually make a sort of sense. They’re using elf logic.

        1. Credit I don’t deserve.

          I meant it more as commentary on the feminist pots of message that are alleged to be severe problems of the Disney Star Wars. Alleged because I gave up on Star Wars movies with Revenge of the Sith, can’t speak to problems in movies I haven’t seen, and could imagine other causes if there are problems.

          Yeah, angry misandrists is an easy explanation. Disney probably wanted to hire an outsider with industry experience and without a known artistic flavor that would interfere with Star Wars. They may have ended up hiring another Lucas, technically strong, but a poor storyteller. There may not have been a lot of good options that Hollywood could trust. The feminism may simply be an artifact of Hollywood culture, and not the root cause of the matter.

          1. I think they had to agree not to ignore the prequels, which meant they couldn’t just hire the expanded universe writers.

            If Lucas had half a freaking brain, that’s what he’d have done….

            1. Admittedly I haven’t looked closely at them, but it seemed to me that they DID ignore the prequels in the two movies that I saw. They didn’t de-canonize the prequels, precisely; they just agreed, “There are certain things out there, like midichlorians and gungans, that we will never, ever speak of.”

          2. Can’t help wondering – if I’m correct, Lucas insisted on Kathleen Kennedy being part of the Disney deal. He also said the fans would be begging him to take Star Wars back, or something along those lines. KK certainly made that happen.

            1. I’ve heard the theory – I don’t recall where from – that Lucas selling the franchise to Disney was a final act of spite against the fans.

              Think about it: up till the prequels Lucas was practically revered for Star Wars. It wasn’t common knowledge, the collaborative elements that made the movie great. Three prequel movies later and he’s a joke.

              Me: I’m not inclined to beg for Lucas back. I still don’t appreciate the prequels. They were inept cash-grabs and Lucas either didn’t care or had too much of an ego to seek creative help.

              And he put those irritating little touches in – just to annoy the fans I suspect: insisting that Han shot second, inserting stuff like ‘weesa free’ in new editions of Return of the Jedi just to tick fans off.

              The Disney sale and Kennedy were pure spite on Lucas’ part: he had a story he wasn’t equal to, so he chose to destroy it.

              1. Sounds like standard SJW procedure, especially when done to something well loved by Deplorables.

          3. I meant it more as commentary on the feminist pots of message that are alleged to be severe problems of the Disney Star Wars. Alleged because I gave up on Star Wars movies with Revenge of the Sith, can’t speak to problems in movies I haven’t seen, and could imagine other causes if there are problems.

            Well, for starters, there’s the picture of Kathleen Kennedy and some of her fellow female Disney employees all wearing t-shirts that say, “The Force is female!”

            There’s a lot that you can do to poke fun at that bit of absurdity. But I’ll leave it to the female Huns here to run with if they so choose.

        2. Insane elf logic would also explain the creative choices behind Star Wars, in addition to the bad guys within.

        1. Yep, the Sidhe are beings closer to gods than the Tolkien elves.

          Some people speculate that the stories of the Sidhe are actually stories about gods.

            1. It’d make a good story.

              Too bad that I’m not a good story teller. 😉

    4. There’s too much Star Wars, and most of questionable quality. It’s going to bring out burn out and boredom.
      The other problem is where do you go from the original trilogy? Right now, it’s either prequels (R1, Solo), naked remakes (TFA), or attempts to subvert audience expectations (TLJ)- all is basically just more of the same.

      It may have been better to jump ahead a century, and go all Doc Smith epic on the universe- think fleets of Death Stars on both sides, armies of Jedi and Sith- up the ante and go really big.

      1. Plus if they jumped ahead, our original heroes could have had long and happy lives together.

      2. Eh…

        The fact that people don’t appear to be burned out on Marvel yet shows that *good* Star Wars movies wouldn’t be causing burn-out. Consider – three Marvel movies a year versus one Star Wars movie a year. And yet it’s the latter franchise that’s got problems.

        1. One thing with Marvel is that they’ve been building to Infinity Wars for years, which gives fans something to look forward to.

          The other thing is that they’ve not fallen into the soft reboot/prequel trap. They’ve been able to successfully introduce new characters on their own, and then bring them into the main timeline, so there’s that element on novelty.

    5. What truly pisses me off about the Star Wars controversy is how damnably UNNECESSARY it all was!

      I mean, think about it: up till the late 90s Star Wars was one of the most popular brands ever. All that was needed were some well-made, well-acted stories. That’s all.

      Instead, we get Lucas and his ineptly-made cash grabs that turned Star Wars into nothing but parody fodder, then Abrams foists a reboot so close to the original in plotting as to be insulting, flavored with PC casting and the degradation and destruction of Han Solo, followed up with the blatant propaganda outlet that was Last Jedi.

      A good, well-acted story. That’s all they needed to do. The fans would’ve been happy and the studio would be making money hand over fist.

      Now look at the state of the franchise.

      So. Damn. Unnecssary.

        1. I disagree – it isn’t that they do not know how to it is that they deliberately avoid doing so. They are too artsy and too disdainful of their audiences to permit a well-told story from seeing the light of screen.

          They do not, however, know how to write dialogue* that sparkles with insight, wit, and cleverness.

          *Some exceptions exist, such as Whit Stilman’s Love & Friendship:

          1. The interesting little films are still there, it’s just that they don’t make as many of them anymore. Mainly because the Hollywood model is to go big and flashy so they can market the films to the international market.
            For instance, I’m surprised they made “The Death of Stalin” into a movie, and a pretty funny one at that. And yes, the whole Soviet Central Committee comes across as self serving bastards in that film.

            1. “And yes, the whole Soviet Central Committee comes across as self serving bastards in that film.”
              Because they were .. although truth in movies is usually not a factor.
              I guess it’s okay to make fun of the USSR so long as you still bow to the Marxist Ideal.

              1. The passage of time and the fall of the Soviet Union allows them to be more honest about Stalin’s brutality.

                Still the western press has had a track record as apologists for the Soviet leaders…

                I remember when Yuri Andropov was supposed to be a good chap because he liked jazz music … never mind that he had been involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising as the then Russian ambassador to Hungary and subsequently holding the position of the Director of the KGB for fifteen years.

      1. Yup. It would have been pathetically easy to do some stories set 15-20 years after ROTJ. The Second Republic, the revived Jedi Order…and the original characters in supporting roles. Luke = new Yoda, complete with stories about old Yoda. (“He was a great Jedi. Lousy cook, though.”)

    6. Slightly off-topic, but not really: credit to Nick Cole and Jason Anspach for providing an amazing alternative with the Galaxy’s Edge series.

      Also, John C. Wright is working on a fascinating and promising project he’s calling Starquest.

        1. I’m hoping he loses the bit about the tear on Ansteel’s cheek in the final version. Sparing the girl is one thing, but I thought him crying was a little much at this point.

          And in honor of the lost potential of Captain Phasma, I’m hoping for a female trooper modeled after Fairy Hardcastle: competent, deadly, and utterly sadistic, with super strength either from cybernetic implants or from coming from a high-gravity world.

        2. ❤ I have not seen any of the new Star Wars movies. Now I can pretend this "review" was the real one. And because I see what the words describe when I read rather than the words, I really did see this!

    7. “How about Star Wars?”

      Here’s my Official Phantom Take on Star Wars, and let the carp fall as they may.

      The destruction of Star Wars that began with Jar-Jar Binks was completed when Yoda ran away from a fight like a little bitch. A stake of holly right through the heart. Turning Natalie Portman from an ass-kicking shield maiden to the wilting, swooning mess we saw in The Revenge of the Sith was them cutting off the corpse’s head and stuffing the mouth with garlic. Then they buried it deep, and built a parking lot over it. I’ve seen all the Star Wars movies a few times, except that one. It was actively repugnant to me, and I haven’t seen it since it was in the theaters. Fie upon them all.

      The shambling undead wreck that JJ Abrams dug up and dusted off was jazzed back into motion with the sorcery of money and CGI. Then, in the Last Jedi, not content to merely disfigure the corpse, they actively came after the audience. I have not seen Soylo, but all the SJWs say its great, so that tells me to wait for Netflix.


      Last night I re-watched The Incredibles for the 40th time, and today I saw The Incredibles 2. Do not listen to the mealy-mouthed assholes out there calling it derivative and not-quite-as-good. It is up to the very high standard of the original. Plus the animation is -way- better. Any message there was lurking under the narrative was unobtrusive, which is what messages are supposed to be.

      Therefore, there are, at Disney, people who can still tell a story. They can still create characters that are excellent and draw you in. They can still do drama, and jokes, and plots that follow.

      They could be doing that with Star Wars too. And they’re not. Reasons why are left as an exercise for the reader. >:D

      1. I was hoping that Lord Vader would give Jar-Jar the chop. Gut him with a lightsaber…so he could whine, “Meesa DEAD!” and expire.

        It would have brought the house down.

        1. Better yet force choke the annoying creature to death and tell it to be quiet. If there was ever a race that justified xenocide it’s the Gungans.

          1. Well, I got the idea (from the novelization) that he was annoying to his own people. 👿

          2. A web comic from the early Aughts toyed with the idea of Jar Jar as a secret Sith. With the occasional dropping of “in” from a word to form Sith names, I guess he’d have been Darth Sipid.

            1. Some have argued that Jar Jar was a Force user of the “Drunken Master” type.

              Oh, “Drunken Master” is a theme from some Japanese/Chinese martial arts movies. IE A character somewhat played for laughs but still dangerous if you have to fight him.

              Mind you, from what I saw of him, he’s just a stupid character to be laughed at and I strongly dislike those sort of characters.

              1. One of the kinder thoughts was that Binks was modeled after Teela Brown. I think that was too subtle for Lucas.

                1. Mr Lucas’ idea of Sci Fi comes from Buck Rogers and the Republic serials. I find it unlikely that Mr Niven’s Ringworld is even on his radar screen even though I think it bas bopped around Hollywood on and of for 30 years. I believe people have bought the rights to Ringworld and then realized it was basically unfilmable due to the effects and being too intellectual to make a decent modern Sci Fi spectacle.

      2. I haven’t seen Solo myself, so understand that this is just guesses on my part based on what others have said. But based on people that I’ve spoken with who’ve actually seen the movie, it appears that at minimum the movie isn’t bad. I don’t know whether it qualifies for “good” or not. Some of the people I spoke with really enjoyed it, while there’s also been some with a mixed response from others. But watching it is apparently not a negative experience.

        1. I think the major problem with Solo is fact that we all just watched Han Solo die. How much fun is a movie about a guy when you already know that he dies in a stupid and futile manner, killed by his own child? And that Luke Skywalker likewise dies in a futile and stupid manner.

          Having said that, taken in isolation it has to be better than Revenge of the Sith. You can’t say “not a negative experience” about that one.

          1. Yeah, I really want to see the origin story of that guy who I now know was a failure who accomplished nothing in his life and died a pathetic death.

            Perhaps the worst part was that added scene near the end, where –


            -it’s revealed Darth Maul survived, because that’s one of the few things that could have actually lured me back into the theaters for the next movie about Obi Wan: clearly they were setting a hook for a Darth Maul/Obi Wan rematch, and that I’d love to see.

            Just think: Obi and Maul have both failed, and that’s got to add another layer to their conflict. Imagine how bitter Maul must be: he could be where Darth Vader is and eventually where Palpatine is. Where is he instead? Just a crime boss. Sure, he’s got some money and power, but he doesn’t dare rise to the level of top crime boss in the galaxy for fear of coming on Palpatine’s radar and being destroyed as a failed Sith.

            And who’s he going to blame for it? Obi Wan.

            The Obi Wan movie practically writes itself: Darth Maul’s organization shows up on Tatooine to muscle in on Jabba’s operation. Maul and Obi become aware of each other. Obi’s got to fight to prevent Maul becoming aware of Luke.

            And knowing how things turn out and it’ll end with Maul’s downfall, we might’ve even gotten to see Emilia Clarke in a slave-girl outfit in the end…

            But every time I start to get excited I think: no way. I know what these people are. Even if they had an awesome movie idea, they’d slip in some nasty, spiteful element just to irritate fans, like turning smooth, suave ladies man Lando into an omni-sexual with a feminist droid girlfriend. Just out of spite. Pass.

            Also, with the new PC code, we’re unlikely to see Emilia Clarke in a slave outfit.

          2. Although personally, I thought it was a little much for Maul to actually activate his lightsaber when he revealed himself to Emilia Clarke’s character: he’s got to be concealing who he is for fear of Palpatine finding out he’s alive. His own underlings would probably sell him out for a Jedi bounty if he started flashing the saber.

            Would’ve made more sense for him to have met Emilia Clarke in person rather than over hologram, then a bunch of assassins try to kill him, so he has to activate the saber and kill them all. Then he turns to Emilia Clarke and says it felt good to use the lightsaber after so many years, but he can’t let anyone know the truth, so either he kills her, or (deactivates saber) they work together.

            1. Maul’s survival has been canon for a while now. He initially turned up in the Clone Wars TV series, and then later appeared in Rebels (which is set after Solo).

              And Sidious knows that he’s alive.

                    1. Rebels is part of the new canon, and is set after Solo. So that’ll likely be the end of Maul for at least another decade or so.

          3. …dies in a futile and stupid manner.

            Here is a good part of the problem.  The first movie released caught the imagination of the fans because it was 1) entertaining and 2) hopeful.  Now the films have descended into a grandiose exercise of existential despair.  

            I, for one, do not have room in my entertainment budget (time and money) for that. 

            1. “I, for one, do not have room in my entertainment budget (time and money) for that. ”


      3. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you like heist movies you’ll like Solo. The PC-ness is minimal, Lando’s supposed omnisexuality never comes up, and the droid is…pointless.

    8. To save the franchise, I would start the next movie VERY PC, then 5 min or less in break the movie and have Wraith squadron announce that this is evil Empire propaganda and lies and that both Han and Luke are still alive, then trash the studio that the Empire used to make it. The remainder of the story could follow Wraith squadron on special ops with substantial assistance from both Han and Luke. Add a gratuitous comment about the propaganda change to the records to indicate that Han did not shoot first, attribute that to the Empire to cause rebels to let the storm troopers get the first shot in (there would of course not be a second).

      1. Nope. To use a metaphor, you cannot lose your virginity a second time. The saga has been bleeding viewers since the Hokas Ewoks and once you don’t care sufficiently to see one movie you won’t pay for the next, pleading “Please sir, may I have another?”

        They’ve gone far beyond shark jumping, they’re into Game of Swards territory: everyone you like will soon be pushing up daisies. They dare you to care. They are engaging in an experiment in how much abuse fans will accept, knowing that overseas sales will remain strong.

        The next movie in the series will probably feature Darth Trump.

        1. -overseas sales will remain strong-

          Not in China.

          Which goes to show how well the propaganda goes over in a country where the Star Wars brand means nothing.

        2. “Darth Trump.” Well, in Phanton Menace Lucas named two of the secondary villains after Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott, so that would be in keeping with Star Wars tradition of ramming politics down the audience’s throat, no?

      2. Don’t try.

        You can’t milk a series forever. When it’s additionally been smashed up, you want to start something NEW!

    9. The Last Jedi was better than all of the prequels except maybe Revenge of the Sith, and then only based on the strength of the dialogue.
      The problem with the movie is that so much of it is a waste of time that ends up leaving everyone back where they started, and the movie also fails in its attempts to deliver Message.

      1. 60 Guilders says

        The Last Jedi was better than all of the prequels except maybe Revenge of the Sith, and then only based on the strength of the dialogue.

        That’s a rather low bar to reach…. it’s kind of like saying it’s better than a pointy stick in the eye.

        Pardon me while I find my pointy stick.

    10. I’ve always thought that Lucasfilm or Disney should have made the Thrawn Trilogy into episodes 7-9. Better than anything since the original one-and-only Star Wars, they could have been.

      That being said, I have kinda liked “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi.” Don’t get me wrong, there were certainly cringeworthy elements in both. However, I don’t blame the producers for killing off Han Solo, since Harrison Ford made it a condition of him doing the film at all. And I personally find it an interesting dynamic that they killed off Luke in “The Last Jedi,” because it makes the next one a type of story that I have always wanted to see: a wizard trying to learn their powers and their limits with no one to teach them. Oh, and they were both better than the prequels, of which the only good parts were the lightsaber battles.

      I also ask myself this: What else could they have done? Given that someone higher up the food chain had already made the two most important Stupid Decisions (1: not use the novel ‘verse and 2: use the original cast), they didn’t have much room to maneuver.

      1. IMO Using the original cast (since they were alive at the time) was necessary as the fans would have expected them to show up.

        Casting new actors for the original characters would have also caused problems.

        It’s one thing to have a new actor play Han Solo in an origin story of Han, but another thing if they had cast an older actor in a movie set after the original three movies.

    11. I’m by no means a hard-core Star Wars fan, so I don’t have the same emotional attachment to the franchise that some do. With that in mind…

      I enjoyed The Force Awakens as an escapist romp and a broad-strokes remake of A New Hope. It was funny, it had action sequences, good guys and bad guys, everything I want out of my Star Wars films.

      I have decidedly mixed feelings on The Last Jedi. It felt like they had two separate movies that got smashed together, similar to what happens when films switch directors part way through production. Some of it felt decidedly Star Wars (the intial action sequence, the fight with the Knights of Ren) and some of it felt more like an episode of Stargate or Battlestar Galactica. The theme of tearing down the destructive past, in retrospect, comes across something of an FU to the older fanbase or people who were disappointed that Disney didn’t decide to turn the Thrawn Triology into live-action films.

      My biggest problem was the deconstruction of Luke Skywalker. They took the most optimistic and hopeful character of the original trilogy and tore him down for the sake of what? To provide a tragic motivation for the villain? I understand what they were trying to do with the duality of good and evil and all but man was some of it ever ham-fisted.

      It wasn’t a BAD movie overall, just kind of meh, and much of it didn’t really feel like Star Wars to me. I probably would have enjoyed it more if it had been its own script and its own world, rather than wearing the Star Wars brand.

      1. “My biggest problem was the deconstruction of Luke Skywalker. They took the most optimistic and hopeful character of the original trilogy and tore him down for the sake of what? To provide a tragic motivation for the villain?”

        I don’t know why _they_ did it, but I know what reasoning would have led me to make that decision. I can think of four reasons, any two of which would suffice:

        1) Luke’s mission in life was to recreate the Jedi Order, and avoid the mistakes that made his father fall to the Dark Side. He failed. Completely. It’s not at all unbelievable that this would have affected him badly.
        2) he lost Ben Solo to the Dark Side: his own blood, his sister’s son. And failed the two most important people in his life: his sister and his best friend. Put #1 and #2 together, and I’m hard pressed to think of a better recipe for catastrophic depression.
        3) A running theme of both movies was “passing the torch” to a new cast and a new generation of heroes. A new Jedi/Force user, a new action hero, a new ace pilot, a new droid sidekick… To have Luke come roaring back and beat the First Order as JEDI MASTER LUKE SKYWALKER would have seriously damaged that.
        4) JEDI MASTER LUKE SKYWALKER is a story-breaker (warning: TVTropes link!). This was visible all the way back in the first wave of the EU novels: what plausible conflicts can you create for him? OK, so he beats the First Order singlehanded, with lightsaber in one hand and Force lightning in the other. Then what? What’s left for the next movie?

        1. ….all of which could’ve been fixed if they had messed him up physically so he can’t fight, but kept the character the same, handed him an “…I cannot do this. I care too much, and it will taint the results”– or “he’s my sister’s son, my best friend’s son, I CAN’T FIGHT HIM”, and he DID bring back the order, but he’s old—

          Basically they couldn’t figure out a way to Batman: Beyond it and have a new Jedi order without killing the old one.

        2. And those were all one time failures, or one big loss. And he immediately gives up. Now if he had kept trying to bring Ben back for a decade instead of sulking on the island, or spend most of that time trying to figure out how to fix things, but had just given up a year or two before Rey gets there because he had not been able to make much headway it might have fit the character.

          As it was done, no. Not even close.

          As to the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker as a story breaker – the expanded universe Luke Skywalker, yes. But the movie universe Luke was not particularly powerful at the end of the last movie we saw him in. Hell, he could not even stand up to the Emperor. That at least was the impression I always had of that ending, that Luke refused to fight the Emperor or trying to strike him down because he knew he probably would not be able to do it, and most certainly would not be able to stand up both to his father and the Emperor, and knew that Vader would fight for the Emperor if Luke attacked him.

          Not a very powerful Jedi.

          So, you could have done that story by implicating that Snoke came into the picture before Luke had had a chance to develop that much, and he never became all that strong because he never got the chance to study while working with everything else he was trying to do, and that he finally went to the island in order to gain what he’d need but the job turned out to be way more difficult than he had assumed. And then maybe add some physical injury which would stop him from being a strong physical fighter anymore. Or have him finally have become very powerful in the Force due to what he found on the island, but only very recently and with some physical weaknesses due to age or injuries or both, and let him have one spectacular fight while he stalls the First Order troops as the Resistance forces, what little is left of them, escape – preferably when he is present, not as a skype call – but the strain kills him in the end.

          That would have been a much more fitting end to the character.

          And let him try to train Rey, but have them be so time constrained that he can’t do much, if the idea was to leave her without that training. And you could have left the sulking Luke to the beginning if he had been totally frustrated both by his inability to find a way to save Ben, even if he had learned a lot of other stuff, and by his weakening physical body which had given him the impression that he could no longer do much of anything useful to help anybody because he would have known what had happened – that the First Order had basically won, and the Resistance was running and he assumed time had run out, no time to learn more or teach anybody or do anything much.

          Just don’t give the impression that Luke Skywalker – LUKE SKYWALKER – would have ran off to sulk for the rest of his life after ONE failure, without trying to fix it at all, no matter how spectacular a failure it had been.

          1. I also very much like the idea I saw somewhere, that what made Ben break and run, seeing Luke standing over him with an ignited lightsaber, would have actually been a false vision, by Snoke. That Luke would have gone there because he sensed something – Snoke inside Ben’s mind – Ben wakes up and sees what he sees, calls his own lightsaber into his hand and ignites it, and Luke does the same only at that point. Rest goes as shown in the movie, Ben runs, gets some of the other students to run with him, they kills the others (or most of them…).

            Again because what that movie gives us just doesn’t feel like true to the character, at all. Especially when it didn’t show any preceding struggles by the character but instead just comes out of the blue, sort of. They should have dropped Canto whatever that casino is called, at least parts of it, and used that time to build up to that moment, like maybe Luke getting increasingly frustrated by his inability to keep Snoke out of Ben’s head or something. Anything.

        3. “2) he lost Ben Solo to the Dark Side: his own blood, his sister’s son. And failed the two most important people in his life: his sister and his best friend. Put #1 and #2 together, and I’m hard pressed to think of a better recipe for catastrophic depression.”

          Yeah, why is that in there? Does it -have- to be in there? He -had- to be teh YUGE fail in life and then crash and burn fighting Justin Trudeau with no shirt on? Who is a twerp that Rey kicked to the curb in single combat like a little bench. That would be zero-training Rey who never studied with Yoda, right? Remember Yoda, the ascended being with access to bodisatva-like powers. And where was ObiWan and the now-ascended Anakin Skywalker?

          Don’t get me started. We’ll be here all day. That thing was written by a committee of Lefty marketing executives using focus group data. Focus groups made up of Amazonian tribesmen who have never seen a fricking movie.

          1. I keep having to point out that Rey isn’t likely to have ‘zeros training’ in fighting. You think she’s never ever had to defend herself while scavving? We can assume she fights pretty well with her staff at least…

            1. Point was Rey has zero Jedi training in using The Force. Whereas Lil’ Justin clone has Luke fricking Skywalker training AND the Dark Side, plus he’s supposed to be the Super Force User Guy shades of Darth Vader! [Dun dun dun dundadun dundadun!] Take off that shirt, Justin.

              But Rey still kicked his ass in both movies. The new kid.

              This is the guy that defeated the Last Jedi? Really?

              Written by a committee of Californian Lefties.

    12. Well, this didn’t make anybody change their mind, I did figure out who stabbed my main character, and what his defining character flaw is, and why…..

      1. Of course not. But right now SW is a pretty guaranteed to create a discussion. Or different sides defending their opinions. Especially those of us who don’t like the new versions. 😀

        And hey, that can always bring results. Like figuring out why your characters do or don’t do things. 🙂

    1. Did you mean to post that? If not this constitutes a fence post error (Runs for the carp proof shelter…)

          1. Forty seven.
            Assuming a 9 x 12 pillbox formed from 12 inch posts and a 3 foot doorway.
            Twelve on each side, seven in the back, and four in front with twelve more across to form the roof.
            Then six feet of sandbags on top.
            Proof against anything short of a great white.

        1. Hey!!! Not Fair!!! Alderaan is a peaceful planet!!! The use of SOCB (SubOrbital Carp Bombardment) against non resisting populations is a violation of the Eridani Edict . Please note there is an exception if the population is solely Gungan (or perhaps Disney executives, the edict is unclear on this point although popular sentiment would be with you).

    1. Speaking of pink elephants…

      Tim Burton is directing the upcoming live-action Dumbo. A teaser trailer was released last week.

      And it has a pink elephant.

    1. Our Esteemed Hostess has declared this not to be a post.  It is her blog, and I guess she can call it whatever she wants.  Still, I don’t accept things simply because someone has told me so.  So:

      Dear Esteemed Hostess,

      You say This Is Not A Post.  I beg to differ.  While this may not be one of your standard posts, an essay or a collection of observations.  It looks like a successful post at that. It has stimulated conversation — people have posted numerous comments, and replies.


      1. On the gripping hand – what group are you most reminded of by “merchants of mayhem, profiteers of pain, dealers of death, who fatten on the blood of innocents and feast like demons on their corpses!”?

        It has been claimed that the universe, or gods, or whatever you assume helps the spells to work tends to take things literally, and likely to work from what IS, not from what the witch doing the spell THINKS is, so you better make sure you aim them right.

        What’s more – spells most certainly are under the dominion of the Trickster.

        You know, with the wording in that spell it might not hit the recipient they think they are aiming it at… 😀

        1. The Trickster answers this spell? Evil Thought. 😀

          Here’s a more evil thought. Traditionally, magic involves “making requests of and/or “compelling” powerful beings.

          This spell invokes the goddess Hectare and it awakes her.

          First and foremost, She Knows That They Aren’t Her Worshipers. IE They don’t really believe she exists and are Using Her Name In Vain.

          Since they really can’t compel Her and She has no reason to “answer” their request, she doesn’t “do what they ordered her to do” but by trying to compel Her they have opened a door into their own souls.

          God only knows what She might do to them. 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈

          Oh, since they likely don’t have a “spiritual patron”, then nobody is going to stop Her. 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈 😈

          1. You really wouldn’t want to actually wake that one up, much less disrespect her. The response might take generations to work itself out.

            1. I have faith that She would be restricted to only punishing Her disrespectful summoners. 😀

              1. I hope she both does that – and directs that curse to the “merchants of mayhem, profiteers of pain, dealers of death, who fatten on the blood of innocents and feast like demons on their corpses!”.

                Most of MSM would fit that description.

                As well as all the politicians who start to yell for gun control every time something happens on the gun-free zones, done by somebody who probably could have been stopped if the current laws were observed by common sense people. Or possibly if there had been just one good guy with a gun present.

                While Hekate may not have an obvious sense of humor the Trickster of course does, and is likely to get involved. He usually is, and this seems like it might be right down his alley as far as jokes go. And when it comes to two sides against one another you should not involve Hekate in any way as she could always side against you. One reason perhaps why Wiccans are traditionally wary of cursing… the Lady can be fickle that way. Especially when it’s something this big, involving forces shaping the whole society you should not assume that what YOU want is what SHE’d prefer, and even if it were she might still go against you, on principle, because you irritated her by assuming too much.

    1. Curse in one hand, 1911 in the other. Which one is going to stop the bad guy? Yeah. .45 cal jacketed hollow point to center of mass.

      1. Depends if Bad Guy is wasted on PCP and pain killers. Two to the COM and a follow-up to the cranium.

        1. Often credited to Jeff Cooper as the “Mozambique double-tap”, though I don’t think he claimed it.

          1. I was told that it was first used by a Colonel? General? something like that, when upon answering his door in Mozambique, he found an assassin.

  5. On a more serious note, the Anti-con Screaming Snowflake crowd appears to have struck again.

    Chris Hardwick has decided to step aside from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month due to accusations of abuse from his former girlfriend. AMC has also ceased airing of his Talking Dead show. Thing is, I don’t see any charges filed, just a verbal campaign from his ex.

    1. Welcome to our new normal, and thus it will continue until some way can be found to punish those who levy false accusations against good people. In the mean time since innuendo, threats of violence, and baseless rumors seem to bestow tremendous power on the undeserving expect more of the same.

    2. The only defense against that sort of thing is to get a publicist and a lawyer and go full screaming counterattack.

  6. Puppy is wrong – that will not make the Huns mad it will drive them to expose their madness.

  7. Malthus and Ehrlich were both guilty of the same mistake, their failure to understand that food production is technology driven and always has been since we moved from a hunter gatherer existence.
    And robots bless them can and hopefully will do all those boring repetative jobs that no human really wants to do freeing us up for the work that requires a human’s judgement and decision making skills.

  8. As for the white Mormon male business, have some respect for Ghod’s sake.
    She identifies as a Catholic Latina girly girl and only a transphobic mysogynistic racist would declare otherwise.

    1. I am trying to imagine Our Esteemed Hostess dressed in a frock of sheer pastel pink with ruffles and lace. Um? Nope, not really. The brain does not break, twitch a little, but not break. A elegant red dress with black accessories would better suit.

  9. Just throw out a bunch of things that make them talk.

    No one can make us talk. We are free and do so of our own accord. We like to talk. We like to argue. We like to snark and nitpick. We really don’t need much of an excuse.

  10. I guess trolls can look like kitties, doggies, and effants! Who knew?

    I was going to try to compare them to college kids with pointless majors, but I couldn’t get a joke to coalesce.

    Do get better soon, Ms. Hoyt!

    1. I do not know about coalescing, but while watching a CSPAN History TV lecture on John Jay and John Marshall’s serving as both Justices and (simultaneously) as representatives of the executive branch to engage in treaty negotiations I was reminded of the present environment by this denunciation of Jay’s 1795 Treaty with Britain:

      “Damn John Jay! Damn everyone that won’t damn John Jay! Damn every one that won’t put lights in his window and sit up all night damning John Jay!”

      The m ore things change, the moore they remain constant, eh?

    2. Don’t you know that some of them can change shape?

      One hid as a cat because an older troll had taken it into his head that the first one was trying to seduce his wife.

    1. Even if you think that all things are licit in the name of escaping the Huns, there are boundaries that no one should cross.

        1. I was thinking more of a declaration that the Hugos and Nebulas (Nebulae?) are just as valid and worthy of respect as ev…

          Nope. Can’t finish that thought, even as a hypothetical.

      1. The sabots are degradable, not the actual BULLET.

        But, don’t suggest the idea of biodegradable bullets to Charles, he’ll try to make some. A few explosions later…

        1. Given your description, he might try to make biodegradable uranium. On another continent, I hope.

          1. Charles isn’t that irresponsible.

            Most of the time.

            And, his irresponsibility usually involve cooking and zymurgy experiments. We had to beat the last wort he tried to make to death with a cricket bat, what a frightful mess…

  11. Totally out of the blue; I have a proposal for a 28th Amendment;

    “Congress shall pass no law prohibiting, regulating, registering, licensing, taxing or otherwise addressing behavior that cannot be clearly proven to harm others.

    Such proof must be based on data available for public examination, and be able to withstand the legal standard of Strict Scrutiny.”

    1. There is no such thing as a behavior that can not be clearly proven to harm others.

      And if you add “directly” — technically, that means the drunk driver has done no harm until he’s actually hit the children walking down the street.

        1. It deprives the organization that invited the speaker of the use of the hall for their own purposes, for which they have paid (either directly or in a ‘organization may reserve a hall’ sense). That colleges are so slow to have such disruptikns removed is one of the clearer signs of the intellectual bankruptcy of modern higher education.

              1. At which point the amendment is useless. No one is going to be able to prove anything harmless.

                1. I dunno; I looked it up in a book and Earth was described as “mostly harmless” — which is probably sufficient.

    2. This and the subsequent line of discussion illustrates the futility of trying to fix human behavior through laws.

      Foxfire is correct, there will be a glut of ‘proof’ created which will then be vociferously defended by those who like the resulting conclusions and equally attacked by those who don’t.

      Mary is correct, until the inebriated driver has had an accident resulting in an injury or loss of some kind to another no demonstrable harm has been caused.  In this light any kind of proactive or preventative restrictions become in question. 

      I have no trouble responding to those who suggest that morals should not be legislated — for what leads us as a society to agree that do not murder is a proper law but a moral principle? (And yet, in spite of this general consensus, individuals still commit murders.)  I am convinced that when you attempt to legislate manners society is in trouble. 

      1. There are pragmatic reasons to oppose murder in a great many cases. But there is a practical issue with a contractual utilitarian foundation for a legal prohibition of murder. That being the people for whom there is no real drawback to murdering, aside from coarsening the people doing it. Thus do the pragmatic reasons in practice tend towards a slippery slope implementation, that over time goes to a level of sanctioned murder that has huge side negative consequences.

        Though, I am very pro capital punishment, and should mention the perspective that sees me as no different than the pro-choicers.

        I see the pro-choice anti-capital punishment position as motivated by a cynical revolutionary marxist determination to preserve what they see as useful potential military forces.

  12. Got a message from Shadowdancer via twitter asking to link this to Sarah. So… I guess this one is being read a bit more than the vignettes one.

  13. Have been tracking down the #Walkaway guy – he hasn’t put his name in a visible location on his FB page that I can find, but here is his name via Wayne Dupree’s show*: Brandon Straka.

    Apparently he is a musician/actor (found an entry on IMdB for one show he appeared in, and he made a rock-movie-video)**.

    Also, here is a transcript of The Video:

    * (I don’t know him either, but here’s the vitae from his website) 2017 Top 50 Black Republican; NDC for Trump Board Mbr; 2015 Blogger Of The Year; 2014 Podcast of the Year Contact:

    **from the rock-movie on YouTube:
    The Unsilent Minority
    Published on Mar 7, 2018
    RESIST: A Rock Revolution is a show I wrote dealing with the presidential election of 2016 and the fallout from it. I myself was a lifelong liberal. I voted for Hillary Clinton. I cried after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. So I initially sought to write a reactionary show from a place of anger- and a rallying cry to other liberals that we would band together and fight back. As I wrote my show, I began to interview Trump supporters in an effort to understand their position. I wanted to try to grasp how anybody could make such a DEPLORABLE choice. And then something remarkable began to happen. I began to hear the stories of people across the country whose lives and communities had been so negatively impacted by the presidency of Barack Obama. I began to hear about the hope the was reignited in the hearts of so many forgotten Americans. And slowly but surely the veil was lifted for me regarding the unconscionably dishonest liberal media. I saw the narratives they had created- calling his supporters racists, sexists, homophobes, islamophobes- I saw that these things were untrue- and the narrative of my show had to change. So, RESIST: A Rock Revolution is a musical journey into my own experience which has led me out of liberalism and away from the Democratic party. I want to use my show and my voice to let all people know, especially racial and sexual minorities, that we HAVE A CHOICE. We do NOT have to align ourselves with liberals and democrats just because we are expected to. The media wishes to keep us uniformed and afraid.But we no longer have to be.

      1. It seems to be happening to a lot of people these days. I think the Democrats should have swallowed their anger and left the election-replay alone; they have taken off so many masks now, there is not much left to discover – as Brandon pointed out.

Comments are closed.