The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

First Thoughts on the Last Jedi


This is my reaction after just having seen The Last Jedi at the theater. If you haven’t seen the film then stop reading because spoilers and also I’m making reference to events in the film without explaining them to the point of view of someone who hasn’t seen the film.

Well, long story short, or perhaps I should say, long story excessively long, a big disappointment.

Going in to the film, I wanted to know who is Rey? Who is Snoke? What happened to Ahsoka, Kanan, and Space Aladdin aka Ezra? What is in the ancient books of the Jedi? How does Leia die (hopefully heroically)? Why is it time for the Jedi to end?

Are those crystal wolf things Loth-Wolves? Did Han survive his Disney death in the shaft?

And most of all, I wanted to see Luke kick some ass. And smarmy emo Adam Driver handed his.

Well if you were looking forward to any of those things, rest assured, none of those things are in this movie. None of them. For this manufactured committee-made story-line the awesome Clone Wars and Rebels and their bespoke characters were/are being terminated, why?

Kathleen Kennedy, you’re no George Lucas or Dave Filoni. And Rian Johnson, you’re no Lawrence Kasdan. Looking forward to the last half of the last season of Rebels, otherwise, I think that Kennedy, Abrams &co have just about driven this franchise over the shark as has happened to poor old Star Trek. Did anyone say “spore drive?”

Anyway, the Force went back to sleep, and nobody cared. There was zero audience interaction at the packed theatre. When I saw Thor Ragnarök and Rogue 1 at the same venue (AMD 12 Assembly Row Somerville, MA USA) , the crowd was very engaged, laughing, snarking cheering, and crying in the case of Rogue 1. Not so here, more’s the pity. 2 of 5 stars.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy


15 December, 2017 Posted by | movie, review, saga, samurai, scanlyze, Star Wars, The Last Jedi | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What happens to Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka in season 4 of Star Wars Rebels?

What happens to Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka in season 4 of Star Wars Rebels?

==possible spoilers==

This article assumes the reader is familiar with Star Wars Rebels. If not, you can catch up on any unfamiliar people at wookiepedia or tvtropes.

So what happens to the “Cowboy Jedi” Kanan Jarrus and his padewan, Ezra Bridger?

We now know that Hera and Chopper and possibly/probably clone trooper Capt. Rex survive and participate in the battle on Yavin 4 in Star Wars (the original movie). Do Kanan and Ezra die? Go into exile? Turn to the dark side?

Let’s take it in turn.

My guess is that yes, Kanan will die. I think the tragedy of that is being set up with his interactions with Hera Syndulla, particularly their almost-kiss in Rebels Season 4, Ep 3 “The Occupation

There’s no way that Kanan would voluntarily be separated from Hera again. The last time that happened, they lost Ahsoka and Kanan lost his sight. Therefore, there’s almost no way that Kanan would have not been at the battle of Yavin 4. And as the only known surviving member of the old Jedi Order except for Obi-Wan and Yoda, surely he would have been notable and a commander in the Rebel Army in Rogue One and Star Wars. So have to think there is a good possibility he gets a tearjerking heroic death and Hera soldiers on without him.

In the alternative, since Kanan is in many ways an expy of the bitter, dissolute, but then redeemed, blind ponytailed Jedi Master Rahm Kota from the non-canon game The Force Unleashed, maybe Kanan was on Yavin 4 and had his own “hero of another story” arc as Kota did and the cell in Rogue One did.

Ezra is more complicated. With his flirtation with the dark side, certainly I could see him going that way, although I kind of doubt he is Snoke. He could go back to being a street rat and live underground like Kanan used to after order 66. He might die with Kanan, or on his own, heroically, although it would be fairly brutal to kill off the teenage point of view character on an (allegedly) kids cartoon show.

What about Anakin Skywalker’s former Padewan, Ahsoka Tano? You can see a lot of my previous speculation here.

I’m going to put forward my own, I wouldn’t even call it a theory or speculation, but a story I like going forward. There’s one new piece of canon information which is pretty amazing which I want to introduce here. There was another Jedi Master who survived Order 66 besides Yoda, Obi-Wan, and, until she was captured and executed, Master Luminara.

According to Darth Vader #6, Master “Madame” Jocasta Nu, the Coruscant Jedi Temple chief librarian, survived Order 66. And she spent the years after compiling holograms she had saved or recovered. Was this preparation for refounding the Jedi Order? Or perhaps preparing a “time capsule” for a future time?

In the latter case, perhaps Madame Nu’s archive provided part of the basis either for Luke’s failed New Jedi Order, which Kylo Ren corrupted/destroyed, or perhaps his new, “Dai Bendu” or “Je’daii” grey, not-Jedi order which succeeds it.

Or, perhaps, just as with the Temple of the Whills and Ahch-To, and the abandoned Jedi Temple on Lothal, there is another temple on some place such as Dantooine, Dathomir, Ilum, or Tython to which Madame Nu, Ahsoka, Kanan, Ezra and whatever “children of the force” they can salvage form a hidden order unknown to Luke and the Skywalker and Solo clans (at least, yet.) That is what I would do if I were them in ep 7,8 era, get the heck out of Dodge and lay low for a few hundred or thousand years.

So here’s to Madame Nu and hoping she avoids Darth Vader! Because if a non-force-powered Clawdite could take her down in Clone Wars, I don’t give much for her chances against Darth Vader at an even more ancient age in the time of the classic movies or ep 7,8,9 era.

What do you think?

May the Force be with you!

Jocasta Nu

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy


4 November, 2017 Posted by | Ahsoka Tano, Clone Wars, Jedi, Jocasta Nu, Kanan Jarus, movie, Rebels, scanlyze, Star Wars, The Force | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thor and Hulk’s Big Adventure

I saw the premiere of Thor:Ragnarok tonight at the IMAX theater at Assembly Row in Somerville, MA, USA tonight. Some initial thoughts.

==also, I’m assuming you have seen the movie or already know the basic plot==

The 2 hours plus seemed like an hour, so it definitely did not drag. And some people remained in their seats even after the second stinger at the end of the credits, so they might still have been processing their queue due to information overload.

Kudos to Disney and Marvel for letting hundreds of millions ride on such a strange film by such a strange director. I will definitely go see Waititi’s other films now!

The film is almost a montage and somewhat defies conventional analysis but here goes.

Plot. Yeah there is a plot, two in fact. An “A” plot which is an abbreviated retelling of the Planet Hulk story and a “B” plot which is the eponymous Ragnarok, the Norse Twilight of the Gods.

The Planet Hulk story takes up the majority of the time, but it seems curiously pointless as the story’s climax and epilogue of how Sakaar was liberated and ruled by Hulk has fallen out. Similarly, Miek, who provides the comic relief and had a nice character arc, here is voiceless and kind of a pointless CGI creature/bug/person/thing.

The “B’ plot, such as it is, amounts to “evil throne usurper sibling syndrome” so that’s mostly predictable, though there are some nice aversions.

The characterization is accomplished through physical comedy, the budding bromance of Hulk and Thor, and by some pretty wonderful and loose acting by everyone except Anthony Hopkins, who seems like he was stuffed and reanimated for his bit.

The Sakaar setting is a Jack Kirby delight and includes shoutouts to everything from 2001 to Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Asgard is rather boring and CGI-ish but serviceable.

Looking back at my first reaction piece to the first trailer, I got most things right, so pat on the back for me. Thor Ragnarok Teaser Trailer Looks like Big Fun

Where I think this movie works is as a comedic deconstruction of the Thor movies, cartoon movies and movie tropes in general. There’s a lot of trope aversions and one extremely meta scene near the beginning. The acting is really delightful and in a way it reminds me of District Nine in the brave way the script got trashed and replaced with some very funny improvised bits.

Given the way the stock characters from the comics are manipulated for satirical and humorous effect, this film might be termed a “superhero comedy of manners.”

I’d say don’t get your hopes up too high, and maybe be a little loose and relaxed before you go, and it will be a fun time. 4/5 stars.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy


3 November, 2017 Posted by | comedy, movie, scanlyze, Thor, Waititi | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Spoilers ahead.

I enjoyed Wonder Woman. I found it rather predictable and it is a linear story with a foreordained conclusion.

However, there were a few averted tropes there. WW’s mother turns out to be a reasonable authority figure who understands that her daughter must go to “man’s world” to stop the scourge of war brought upon mankind by Ares. However, true to the original story, she then tells Diana she can never return if she leaves. Curiously, when she ponders sending all the Amazons, one of the reasons she mentions for not doing this isn’t “and we could never return.” Since Diana is not disobeying her mother’s commands by leaving, then exactly what is she banished for?

Cinematographicly, Wonder Woman has a lot in common with another feminist folktale, Fury Road. The oversaturated orange and blue coloration, and the persistent use of over and under-cranking the speed of action shots is characteristic of both movies, and seldom seen elsewhere. Similarly in the action scenes it was much like an estrogen-powered version of 300.

Finally, although shifted to WWI, it is difficult to overlook the many similarities of Wonder Woman with the first Captain America movie. Supersoldier/demigoddess and fish out of water in a red, white and blue uniform fights a German Big Bad whose sidekick is a renegade German scientist with a severe facial disfigurement in the midst of a World War.

The movie is carried by deft writing which neither quite falls over into camp nor takes itself too seriously. There is some real romantic tension between WW and her companion/love interest/designated rescuee, Steve Trevor, enough to make his Captain-America-like ultimate fate really sad and distressing.

Overall, a quickly passing and pleasant diversion, and fun to see in the theater and share the laughs with the audience.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy


24 June, 2017 Posted by | movie, review, scanlyze, Wonder Woman | , , , | Leave a comment

Thor Ragnarok Teaser Trailer Looks like Big Fun

I am looking forward to Thor: Ragnarok.

It seems the new Marvel/Disney superhero/sufficiently advanced aliens/gods vrs demons movie will combine several of the all-time fan-favorite moments from the Marvel comics universe. Plus we get to see Goth!Cate as the Norse Goddess of Death Hela show us what Galadriel would have perhaps been like if she took the One Ring from Frodo in The Fellowship of the Ring.

First, we see Planet Hulk–Sakaar. In the comics that arena fight was between Hulk and the Silver Surfer. In the animated Planet Hulk, due to rights issues, the antagonist role to Hulk was represented by Thor’s horse-headed alien buddy and fellow former Mjolnir wielder Beta Ray Bill. Now Thor himself steps up and that has to be epic.

Seems they have also tried to add more levity like Guardians of the Galaxy and probably that helps the Avengers and Guardians franchises not to have a sudden change of tone and stylistic discontinuity when they eventually come together for Infinity War.

Second, I see Skurge the Executioner with his signature weapon “Bloodaxe” and dual-wielding M-16’s. That implies we may see Skurge’s great Last Stand/They Shall Not Pass of “He stood alone at Gjallerbru.”

Third, the arc of Ragnarok in the myths and in the comics is of course archetypal and we may see Surt, the Frost giants, and presumably the great wolf Fenrir and World Serpent Jormangund. Unless something happens to disrupt the attack and it becomes “Apocalypse Later.”

And fourth, Cate Blanchett looks great in black.

A few open questions.

Why is Odin on earth looking like a bum?

What role is played by Dr. Strange?

Will we see the Enchantress or her sister Amora? Perhaps amalgamated into one character?

What role will be played by the Warriors Three? In the comics they are important mediating characters like the hobbits in the Lord of the Rings. Folks who are more close to a power level comparable to mortal humans rather than gods and cosmic powers.

It is a great cast and everyone seems to be having fun.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy


12 April, 2017 Posted by | Disney, movie, Ragnarok, scanlyze, Thor | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments