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oliverkinne
September 29, 2023
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Bagh Chal Review

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September 27, 2023
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September 26, 2023
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September 25, 2023
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Castle Panic Review

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September 22, 2023
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July 13, 2023
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June 29, 2023
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Cult of the Old - Citadels

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GrantLyon
June 26, 2023
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thegiantbrain
June 22, 2023
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Cult of the Old - Brass

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Gary Sax
June 21, 2023
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What TV SHOWS are you watching?

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17 Sep 2023 00:46 #340568 by dysjunct
Live action ONE PIECE on Netflix. One of the most bizarre high budget things I’ve seen. I have only passing familiarity with the property, so was going in mostly blind. I knew the main guy was stretchy. This is basically Pirates of the Caribbean on a total acid trip. It’s fun. The acting is good. The main character is endearingly optimistic. And it’s just bananapants logic from start to finish. I think it captures the vibe of the anime/manga? Dunno really, but it’s super fun, best approached with a solid buzz, and don’t try to make much sense of it.
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21 Sep 2023 11:26 #340591 by Sagrilarus
The first episode was rough as I don't think the actors had settled into their characters yet. But I'm maybe halfway through and it's gotten much better. I'm enjoying it more now.


The clown is pretty fucked up. That's an interesting character.

The female lead has started wearing pants too. Noticeably uncovered legs to start off the season, likely to capture attention early on.

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22 Sep 2023 13:47 #340602 by Joebot
No mention of Ahsoka yet in this thread? I guess that goes to show the general interest in Star Wars around here.

Sadly, the show isn't very good. The acting is wooden, the dialogue is terrible, and the pacing is ... well, to say "glacial" would be an insult to actual glaciers. The whole thing is little more than deep-cut, nostalgia-bait for fans of the old Rebels cartoon. Those not already deeply immersed in the lore are not welcome.

I read this comment on a forum the other day:

"Dave Filoni keeps bumping his head on the very low ceiling of his imagination."

Man, that is exactly right. This guy was the true Chosen One, hand-picked by George Lucas to rule his empire after his retirement. Turns out Filoni doesn't have a fraction of Lucas' storytelling ability or imagination (although he is probably a better director than Lucas).

I can't figure out why these Star Wars shows -- other than Andor -- are so very very mediocre. At least Book of Boba Fett was objectively terrible, which made it fun to talk about and mock. Ahsoka isn't even that. It's just ... boring. Can Disney not afford to hire experienced showrunners who know how to write scripts and pace television episodes? Is it that they know they don't have to try very hard and the viewers will show up anyway? Or, is it possible that maybe Star Wars just wasn't all that interesting in the first place, and trying to spawn a decades-long multimedia empire from it was misguided from the start?

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22 Sep 2023 14:40 #340603 by Jackwraith

Joebot wrote: Or, is it possible that maybe Star Wars just wasn't all that interesting in the first place, and trying to spawn a decades-long multimedia empire from it was misguided from the start?


Harlan Ellison referred to the original film as "a B-Western in space" and he wasn't wrong. The story was always simple, but also simplistic, which isn't a positive in the way the former can often be. It was the visuals that made it the colossal success that it was and trying to build off that simple framework without disturbing the wider fanbase with any genuinely challenging ideas ("How many Death Stars do we need to destroy before it becomes REALLY absurd?") or changes dooms it to the mediocrity that it's largely been, from a creative standpoint.

Why are Empire Strikes Back and Rogue One the most respected of the films by non-Star Wars types? Because they're actual stories with actual consequences written by solid screenwriters. The critically-hailed Andor is an outgrowth of Rogue One because it's a story about real humans inside a system that they're struggling to live in; not midichlorians or whether the color of a lightsaber meets canon. The best writing in the entire franchise was in those last couple episodes of Andor, where Stellan Skarsgard talks about how he's ruined his life to make this thing go forward, whether he stays in it or not. Most of the rest of it is just fan-service crap that they're churning out because they know the hordes will flock to anything and a large chunk of them will object to actual character development, as has been displayed in recent times.

I've never been a huge fan. I liked the original trilogy but kinda lost touch when they started in with the Ewoks, etc. Everything since then has been somewhere between decent and bloody fucking awful, with Andor as the only exception. I watched the first season of Rebels years ago because it was on when I was eating breakfast before leaving for work at 6 AM. I just started season three today (I'm watching while exercising in the morning) and it's still decent. But one season of The Mandalorian was enough for me and the rest of it isn't interesting at all.
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22 Sep 2023 23:11 #340608 by Msample
Asohka is....OK I guess ? I never saw the cartoon series, tried but they didn't take ( as does pretty much anything animated for me ) . I knew enough of the backstory so I wouldn't be completely lost but its just as Jackwraith says, rather dull and plodding. Ray Stevenson is criminally underutilized IMO and could have absorbed the Morgan Elsbeth storyline/character. The emo/moody/whatever Sabine grates me to no end, esp contrasted with Asohka being on Quaaludes the entire time. I get the zen Jedhi thing but this is ridiculous.

What is also not helping the show in general is that on the heels of ANDOR not only is not nearly as interesting, but visually the show was shot almost entirely in the Volume, the same MO they used on Mando. Its rather jarring visually after the lived in/shot on location look of ANDOR. While not as fake looking at say ATTACK OF THE CLONES, it still looks as if it was all shot in green screen - much more so than Mando .

Its amazing how the entire Disney+ streaming service basically launched with The Mandalorian, they had two solid seasons , then the big drop off in the third season ( not to mention the bizarre interlude in BOBA FETT ) . The rest of the Star Wars output has fizzled outside of ANDOR.

I don't think the problem is the Star Wars universe but the writing. One thing that made ANDOR ( and Rogue One ) work is that they weren't written and run by people with a slavish attachment to Disney who put fan service above good story writing. Some of the best scenes AREN'T over the top action scenes but dialogue/character scenes.

Its a shame ANDOR only has one season left ( albeit with 12 episodes ) . If I am ....whoever....in charge of the SW IP I'd be looking at what made ANDOR work and see how to replicate it. I tell you one thing, I'd watch the hell out of a series about the ISB....call it CSI/NCIS meets the Imperial bureaucracy . Anton Lesser killed it as the mentor/exasperated head of the ISB and could easily carry a show IMO. Instead of "villain" of the season you'd have a Rebel of the season they'd be chasing.
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26 Sep 2023 09:51 #340637 by Joebot

Msample wrote: Its a shame ANDOR only has one season left ( albeit with 12 episodes ) . If I am ....whoever....in charge of the SW IP I'd be looking at what made ANDOR work and see how to replicate it. I tell you one thing, I'd watch the hell out of a series about the ISB....call it CSI/NCIS meets the Imperial bureaucracy . Anton Lesser killed it as the mentor/exasperated head of the ISB and could easily carry a show IMO. Instead of "villain" of the season you'd have a Rebel of the season they'd be chasing.


Yep, agreed on that. When they first announced the Andor show, my immediate reaction was "Who?" I barely even remembered the character from Rogue One. The fact that they turned such a forgettable character into a great TV drama is really impressive.

One of my frustrations with modern Star Wars is how it has made the New Republic out to be incompetent and foolish. It undermines the original trilogy and what those characters were fighting for. Say what you will about Sheev Palapatine, but at least the trains ran on time! Are we supposed to feel nostalgic for the Empire, and how well-run it was?!? One of the great accomplishments of Andor is how scary the Empire is, even with no evil space wizards anywhere to be seen. It's a brutal, fascist, de-humanizing regime that grinds people down through fear, violence, and the sheer weight of bureaucracy. This is not something to be admired. But Filoni's vision of the New Republic, with it's lofty ideals of democracy and freedom, seems weak and feckless by comparison. If that's what Filoni is going for, I find that to be a deeply problematic viewpoint.
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26 Sep 2023 11:05 #340638 by dysjunct

Joebot wrote: One of my frustrations with modern Star Wars is how it has made the New Republic out to be incompetent and foolish.


Not just modern Star Wars! All the way back to Lucas, any kind of democratic order in Star Wars -- whether an actual democracy like the Old (or New) Republic, or just community- or consensus-based organization has been portrayed as weak and useless. The only thing that can solve problems is big bold individual heroes acting decisively, ignoring orders, taking insane risks, and so on. Autocracy is only bad when the wrong dictator is in charge.

I don't think Lucas was being deliberately cryptofascist; rather it comes from his unreasonable love of disproven bullshit artist Joseph Campbell. Dunno what Filoni's excuse is.

But I'm still liking Ahsoka, so what do I know. :P
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26 Sep 2023 12:20 - 26 Sep 2023 12:22 #340640 by n815e
Andor not being memorable is kind of interesting to me. Besides being one of the two leads of that movie, his character is important and a big shift in the way that the Rebellion is portrayed in the movies.

Sure Saw Gerrera is an extremist and a terrorist, and that is an angle not previously seen in the movies. But he is also portrayed as an outsider, not accepted by the mainstream organization.

Andor is a different story. He’s an operative for the mainstream rebellion. His character is someone who lives in a grey zone, he isn’t the morally upstanding type typically representative of the Rebellion up until that point. Even cowboys like Solo or power players like Lando are moral at their core, while Andor is perhaps amoral, or has given up his morality to allow him to accomplish his goals. This is a very realistic side to the otherwise good guy rebels and feels more like a civil war type character should.

But think he was significant. I think his character played an important role in establishing the less idealistic and more mature tone of Rogue One.
Last edit: 26 Sep 2023 12:22 by n815e.
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26 Sep 2023 12:53 #340641 by ChristopherMD
Its worth noting that not just Andor, but presumably the Rebellions' entire black ops group died in Rogue One. Just as their forces were galvanized into actually fighting the Empire.
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26 Sep 2023 16:42 #340642 by n815e
It’s possible. I do imagine there are several more Andor-ians working for the Rebellion. Those sketchy Bothans, for instance.
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26 Sep 2023 19:34 - 26 Sep 2023 22:39 #340644 by Jackwraith
https://qph.cf2.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-0c619f320c52cc7c236da35f91f75f1e-lq

Edit: Le sigh. I wish I could figure out how to embed pics in this system. I had it down once and now it doesn't seem to work anymore.
Last edit: 26 Sep 2023 22:39 by Jackwraith.
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26 Sep 2023 20:18 #340645 by Msample
I don't view the post Empire / Rebel government being portrayed as inept so much as its just showing that once you get rid of the really evil people, its not all unicorn farts and smiley faces. Governing is hard.

And one of the many good things about ANDOR is that it shows ( via the ISB ) that not every Empire official is a mustache twirling villain or an incompetent fool.
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26 Sep 2023 22:41 #340646 by Jackwraith

Msample wrote: I don't view the post Empire / Rebel government being portrayed as inept so much as its just showing that once you get rid of the really evil people, its not all unicorn farts and smiley faces. Governing is hard.

And one of the many good things about ANDOR is that it shows ( via the ISB ) that not every Empire official is a mustache twirling villain or an incompetent fool.


This is exactly right (especially the "governing is hard" part.) One of the things I'm enjoying about Rebels is exactly that idea: sometimes the Empire people are just doing their jobs in a massive bureaucracy. It doesn't excuse their actions, but it also doesn't mean that they're always acting out of Sauron-like malice, either.
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