martes, 25 de diciembre de 2012

Happy Holidays!!

As today is Christmas, I sincerely hope that all of you are enjoying the holidays, whether you are Christian or not. I myself, will be having turkey for lunch with my grandmother, my cousins, my brother and my parents. Next year, I'll see if I can manage to do the Star Wars cookies I usually did for Christmas and see if I can take a picture with a red Holstein calf in my dad's or my grandma's dairy farm, as seen above. Let's just hope a red Holstein is born for the Holidays!!

viernes, 21 de diciembre de 2012

Amazing Star Wars Trailer

As I was looking forward to buying the Star Wars Blu-ray, I recently came across a very impressive, yet apparently fan-made trailer. The beauty of the trailer was that it came across using the famous score from Revenge of the Sith, ''Battle of the Heroes'' and manages to tie in the six films in a way I had never seen before. The only backdrop I would say, is that it reveals too much, but it's still a great video for any true Star Wars fan. Unless well, you hate Episodes I-III, I won't argue with you. In that stance I think you should check out Adam's blog, who sums up the complaints of those movies, and well, shows they are pretty ridiculous.

Return of the Jedi: Why it's my favorite

Of all the Star Wars films, which I all absolutely love by the way, none leave me as satisfied and happy when I end watching them as Return of the Jedi does. It's probably one of the most epic, and it undeniably is the most important tipping point of the Star Wars saga. I think that theirs a reason why Ryder Windham's excellent biographies of Luke, Anakin/Darth Vader and Obi-Wan's all start right before Return of the Jedi, and all of the other movies previous to it act as a flashback: It's ultimately the moment when the final fate of the galaxy is decided. And in a lot of ways, I think it has some of the most memorable scenes of all the films. In particular Yoda's death, Obi-Wan's last talk with Luke, Luke revealing to Leia their parentage, and the whole fight with Darth Vader, Luke and the Emperor, are really among the best in Star Wars.

The movie itself acts as the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Chosen One, and in more general terms, an ultimate battle between good and evil, in which eventually good prevails. It acts as the ending of the story, even if we are going to have three other movies told after this one (Which I hope doesn't screw up the ending of Return of the Jedi).

Many fans tend to complain about how the Ewoks ended up defeating the Empire, but the Ewoks didn't  actually win if you come to think of it. They simply needed to penetrate the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor, and make it explode in order for the second Death Star be destroyed, along with  the important members of the Empire. The Ewoks helped the outcome of the war, but they didn't actually win.

Ultimately the fun of Episode VI is to see how the story comes to its epic conclusion. And for some reason, every time I see the Ghosts of Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin smiling and looking at Luke and the others in the end, while the Victory Celebration plays in the background, is just...wonderful. It's one of those moments that I like to live over and over again, and leaves things so nicely wrapped up it makes me incredibly happy to watch it. That is why Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, is my personal favorite Star Wars film.

jueves, 20 de diciembre de 2012

Conflict in Episodes VII-IX

Another of the big mysteries that encompass the next trilogy of Star Wars films, is primarily the part of warfare. Even though the story is titled ''Star Wars'' the Wars part of the title seems to be somewhat out of context when you refer to anything post-Return of the Jedi, despite what the EU shows in that time period. Once you brought balance to the Force, even if your own children have to maintain it, it kind of has to symbolize how the battles that follow will not be the same as the ones previous to it. Let me explain myself better:

When we are introduced to the beginning of the story, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the battles were focused on the Gungans fighting off the Trade Federation's droid army. The army was not meant to be a large one, and was mainly used to defend the shipments the federation did. The war here is similar to how in Return of the Jedi, the Ewoks face off against the Empire, in the sense that it's a group of native species to that home planet fighting off a tyrannical regime. By the time we get to Attack of the Clones, Count Dooku has managed to assemble a more powerful and much bigger droid army than the one we saw in Episode I, combining the droids assembled by a series of banks and corporations. At the same time, as part of the Sith Grand Plan, the Jedi become aware of the creation of a Clone Army assembled by the Kaminoans, which had been ordered in secret by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas ten years earlier. Once the Republic feels in serious danger by the increasing threat of the Separatists, the Senate decides to allow for the use of this Clone Army. So, the beginning of the Clone Wars is in a sense the first full scale war we see in the saga.

The war by the time it meets its conclusion in Episode III, moves quickly from the transition phase of Droids vs Clones, to Clones killing the Jedi. It's much more tragic in scope, and it's somewhat overshadowed by the fights that take place at the end of the movie. Once we get to Episode IV,V and VI, we get to see that the Clone Army has been transformed into a Stormtrooper Army, in which they become a racist, imperialist regime similar to how the Nazi's where in World War II. The Rebel Alliance ends up being composed of the groups of Senators, Governors, Military officers, and the few remaining Jedi whom want to overthrow the Empire and bring back the Republic. The Rebel Alliance eventually manages to defeat the Empire, and with the help of the last of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker, he defeats the Sith.

What the next conflict will be in Star Wars-what it will be called-and which parties will be involved-is anyone's wild guess. If the next stories are much more ethereal in nature than the previous ones, and if we are talking about a time period in which balance to the Force took place previously, it's difficult to see what could happen next. They would obviously have to be different and have an impact that is much less severe to the galaxy, contrary to what we see in the EU.

The Fate of Ahsoka Tano

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding The Clone Wars, and has been the #1 question since day one is, what happens to Anakin Skywalker's apprentice, Ahsoka Tano? Dave Filoni hinted to us sometime back in July of 2011 that their were ''8 possible fates for Ahsoka, but nothing had been decided.'' But in a recent post from November, Filoni said that Ahsoka's fate had already been decided. Here are some possible options these guys could have taken:

1. Ahsoka dies. 
This one is the most obvious answer, due to the fact that she doesn't appear in Episode III and also due to the fact that we already know that most Jedi get killed in Order 66. However, despite how obvious it might look, I honestly doubt the show will end up killing her. For one, the show started with Ahsoka's story and it is more than likely that it will end with hers, and since the series will likely go to demonstrate some of the events that lead up to Revenge of the Sith, such as the ones depicted in James Luceno's novel Labyrinth of Evil, her death should be something present in the minds of the main characters. Even if it wasn't Anakin's fault that she died, it would still reflect poorly on him, and it would make the decision of the Jedi Council to promote him on being in the Council all the more complicated. You are also left wondering why she isn't even mentioned in Episode III. 

2.Ahsoka leaves the Order to be with Lux
This one is a tricky one for starters, due to the fact that so far Ahsoka's relationship with Lux as left off in the Onderon arc is more ambiguous than ever. She might leave the Jedi in order to be with him, but it is even more unlikely than the previous possibility, mainly due to the fact that Ahsoka leaving the Order would severely undermine her character. Lux might have something to do with saving Ahsoka from death though. 

3.Ahsoka survives Order 66
To be honest with you, unless the show ends up demonstrating another possibility, the only reasonable way Ahsoka can survive the Jedi Purge is the following way: Ahsoka is sent on a mission while the events of Episode III take place. Anakin doesn't mention her because well, she's just out in a mission temporarily. When Order 66 takes place, she might either get lucky and survive like Obi-Wan, or end up dead like almost everyone else. How she survives is anyone's guess, whether Lux saves her or whether Rex ends up not shooting her, or something else. It would leave future media open to address what happened to her, and it leaves open the possibility of her appearance in Episode 7. How she gets all the way to the events of Episode 7, would leave several stories to depict what happened to her.

jueves, 13 de diciembre de 2012

The Clone Wars First Half of the Season Review

Moving  away from all this Episode 7 speculation, I think it's time to talk about how the First Half of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 5 went. We have been comprised so far of two 4 part arcs, the Onderon arc and the Young Jedi one. Onderon proved to be an exciting arc, one in which we got to see the predecessors to the Rebel Alliance. The irony in all of this, is that it was Anakin's idea to organize the Rebels and train them in order to fight back the Separatists. Some saw this as showing Anakin's continuous descent towards the dark side, but I disagree: I think that it showed a great part about how Anakin managed to setup the path to his eventual redemption. One thing that did leave me confused was the fact that Ahsoka's relationship with Lux wasn't really taken forward from what we had seen in A Friend In Need. However, Steela's death might have been done on purpose in order for Lux and Ahsoka's relationship to actually flourish.

The Young Jedi arc opened up to see the interesting aspect about hoe the Jedi built their own lightsaber.  The addition of Huyang and the pirate Hondo made everything more interesting. Seeing Hondo drunk was all the more hilarious, and seeing General Grievous shine in this arc was even better. The Grievous vs. Ahsoka was a pretty intense, yet even match when considering the fact of how her fight was with Grievous way back in Season 1. 

I got to see at that point how the Season opener, Revival tied in to the destruction of Hondo's base. The return of Darth Maul and Savage Opress was what the audience was expecting from the get-go, and that episode proved to be one of the brilliants of the show.

Then came the Droids episodes which...many fans complain about. To be honest, the fans that don't want Star Wars to be a kid's show annoy the crap out of me, do to the fact that they forget that large parts of the Star Wars movies are told from the droids point of view. Seriously, will the stop complaining and enjoy the show? 

Secret Weapons proved to be a good episode, but it was really A Sunny Day in the Void, that struck me. Colonel Gascon's moment of despair and existencial questioning was one of the most philosophical of the show, without any Jedi involved in it, and the scene where the flock of birds come running and Wack ends up riding one of them was compelling, particularly when the bird did a kind of friendly gesture to Wack. What's funny of this is the fact that Wack is a droid, and it gives a theme of Animals and Robots, that I think has never been touched upon before. It was a scene that showed the innocent side of Star Wars some fans wish wouldn't exist. 

It was a very good first half, to say the least. I'm looking forward to seeing Gregor and Darth Maul return in the other half!!!

viernes, 7 de diciembre de 2012

Potential Sidekick Villains for Episode 7

Sidekick villains have always been central to Star Wars, in which most of the time they work for the main villain of the first six Star Wars films, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who went by Palpatine in public. Even though he is the main antagonist of Star Wars, he only makes his appearance clear by the time you get to Episode III and that is when you discover that Palpatine and Sidious are the same. He briefly appears in Episode V and makes a final appearance in Episode VI. Besides the Sith apprentices to Palpatine, their are a couple of sidekicks that are known for doing the bidding of the Sith, or of the Empire, be it the Trade Federation or the bounty hunters. So, who do you think will be the sidekick villain for Episode VII? Here are some potential candidates:

1. Bounty Hunters
Bounty Hunters have always been central villains to the Star Wars movies, and to The Clone Wars. Jango Fett was the central bounty hunter villain of Episodes I-III, while his ''son'' Boba Fett was central to Episodes IV-VI. Will Boba Fett's son replace him after he got eaten by the Sarlacc in Episode VII? Or will the next bounty hunter resemble something more ''Western'' like Cad Bane? 
I have to admit, I am a huge fan of this guy. He is the Cowboy of Star Wars.

2. Mandalorians
Now, for those of you who haven't watched The Clone Wars, The Mandalorians are basically a group of super commando warriors who use an armor similar to that of Jango Fett. They act as a terrorist group who intends on reclaiming their Planet Mandalore from the pacifist Duchess Satine-Obi-Wan's former love interest-and bring back Mandalore to it's previous warrior-like ways. So, it should come as no surprise if we get to see these guys in Episode VII. The only problem I might see is that it could potentially create confusion with Jango and Boba.

3. The Hutts
Another Obvious potential ally to the bad guys could be a Hutt. Jabba was one of the prominent sidekick villains to Episodes IV-VI, until his death in the hands of Princess Leia. Another member of the Hutt clan, potentially Gardulla or one of the other guys we have seen in The Clone Wars, could fit in the role of the evil Hutt.

4. Zygerrians

The Zygerrians are a fairly new concept that was introduced in The Clone Wars. They were once a great Slave Empire that thrived until the Jedi managed to destroy it. Once the Sith seeked to have millions of slaves under their command, they tried to reconstruct their Slave Empire. Eventhough the Republic managed to destroy their efforts on time, it's very likely that the Empire ended up having a gigantic number of slaves. Once the Empire collapsed, who knows what happened to these guys. One possible story might have to do with Luke and the rest of the Jedi trying to free the slaves. Who knows.

miércoles, 5 de diciembre de 2012

Who will be the villain(s) of Episode 7?

Another question that spurs up about the future of the Star Wars movies, is mostly about how will be the antagonist of Episodes 7-9. One answer that we should discard almost automatically out of the list, if the movies keep the prophecy of the Chosen One, which they probably will, is the appearance of the Sith Lords. A redeemed Anakin Skywalker throwed the Emperor towards a reactor shaft by the end of Return of the Jedi, thus destroying the Sith and so on. So without the Sith, who will play the cunning role of being the villain of the next films?

After watching The Clone Wars for a couple of seasons, and knowing the influence that George has on the show, I think it has become clear that a villain does not necessarily have to be a Sith to be a good one. Here are a couple of possibilities of who could be the next Star Wars villain:

1. The Nightsisters
When we went into the backstory of Asajj Ventress, we discovered that she originally came from a clan  of Witches from the planet Dathomir, known as Nightsisters. This clan of witches was known for being  practitioners of the dark side of the force, and had used the force differently from what we saw in both the Jedi and the Sith. The Nightsisters in particular, as seen in the show, aren't that powerful to be honest. General Grievous managed to kill almost all of the members save for Mother Talzin (below) the head of the clan. She clearly is far more powerful than the other Nightsisters, and has the kind of mystery that made the character of Darth Sidious so great. It's difficult to see if she will reorganize the clan to make them far more powerful and pave way to Episode VII, so for that we will have to tune in to the show to get some answers.

2. Force-wielders
This concept also taken from The Clone Wars, offers a very different insight to Star Wars, than anything we have seen before in the past. As we saw them in the Mortis trilogy, the so called force wielders were a group of beings that could manipulate the Force like no other being. The Daughter was the representation of the light side, the Son (below) of the dark, and the Father mantained the balance. Their is still a lot of mystery regarding what exactly happened in this series of episodes, and it remains even more mysterious when you counteract with the possibility of another Force-wielder making its way into the movie. For that, we will have to wait and see.

3. A Lightsaber wielding cyborg
Obviously, for this one  to work, the General Grievous type cyborg would have to be a sidekick to the real villain, much to how Grievous was in Episode III. Though he might be too much like Grievous if he can't use the Force. 

4. Former Jedi turned to the Dark Side

Similar too how Pong Krell served as a ''Dark'' Jedi in the Umbara arc back in Season 4, so could one of the villains be a former student to Luke who turned to the dark side. Again, he probably would have to as a sidekick villain. 

5. The Unknown Factor
A Star Wars movie without the Sith will not mean that their won't be lightsaber fights, nor that it won't be a good movie. I highly doubt that Lucas will overrun what he himself established in the movies, so it's likely that some sect of the dark side of the Force will be the next villain. So, the most likely contender, unless Lucas and the writers make one up from scratch, will be the Nightsisters, and possibly a force-wielder interacting. What do you guys think? 
Share your thoughts below.