Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Finn & Poe, Gay Couple in Star Wars?

The latest rumor going around the internet is that Finn and Poe will become a gay couple.  I thought I would throw out a few thoughts on this issue.

First, Star Wars is pretty sacred.  I don't want anything to tarnish it, and am still not fully over Jar Jar Binks.

Gay actors in general---No big deal.  Jody Foster was almost Princess Leia, and I imagine she would have played the role great.  I could care less about the gender identity of the actor/actress who plays a role.

How does it affect the storyline---This is in my mind the most important question.  When Lando was cast as Billy Dee Williams, it had no impact on the film.  It could have been a white actor, and assuming the actor played the role just as well, nothing in the story changes.  The focus of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi at no point was ever about Lando being black.  Same with Mace Windu.

If the story is mainly about the good vs. evil that is traditional of Star Wars, and as a side detail one or both of these characters happen to been gay, no big deal.  On the other hand, if the story is contrived to emphasize the gender identity of either of these characters, and it detracts from the main story, in my mind that's a significant problem.  Star Wars is sacred.

Case in point, The Walking Dead has made a point of including a few gay characters.  At no point has it detracted from the story, and I am still a big fan.

Evidence for Gayness---Poe and Finn embrace at one point, which Han and Luke did in the original Star Wars.  Poe lets Finn keep his coat.  Neither of these is conclusive.

Evidence against Gayness---Because they didn't really give much screen-time to Poe, and he was basically just a glorified Wedge Antilles, there isn't much evidence at all that Poe is Straight.  Finn, on the other hand, seems to be clearly attracted to Rey, and insists on trying to rescue her.  In contrast, when the tie-fighter crashes, he puts almost no effort into looking for Poe, despite seeing that he wasn't in the crashed fighter.  On top of that, Finn specifically asks Rey about a boyfriend (as a possible reason why she is so insistent on returning to Jaaku)

Conclusion---Finn most likely appears to be Straight.  Poe is simply not developed enough as a character to draw any conclusions.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

R2-KT in the Force Awakens---Where to Find Her.

Spoilers in this article, don't read if you don't want them.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with R2-KT, feel free to read this story about the droid's creation: R2-KT Creation.

With the news that the droid would be in the latest Star Wars installment, Episode VII, the Force Awakens, I made a point to watch for her.  After seeing the movie 8 times so far (Yes, I have really watched the movie 8 times), I have found her in 3 separate scenes, all of which are at the resistance base.
  • When Finn first sees Poe climbing out of an X-Wing, realizing that the pilot is alive.  Right as BB-8 starts rolling towards Poe, in the next shot of Poe you'll see the pink and white droid roll by in the background, underneath the X-Wing.
  • When they return from the final battle, while Finn is being loaded onto a transporter.  This one goes by quick.  In the first first instant that you see the rebel base, in the lower right-hand corner, R2-KT will be sitting there.
  • When Rey and Chewie take off in the Falcon, to find Luke Skywalker, you'll see almost everyone from the resistance watching the Falcon leave.  R2-KT is in the lower right-hand corner of the screen for about 2 seconds.
I will keep watching for more instances, though I don't think I will find any more instances.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Spoiler-free Star Wars Review

This is my (spoiler free) Star Wars Review

First, debunking the silliness---Luke Skywalker is NOT Kylo Ren (I don't consider this a spoiler, since it is in the credits).  Jar Jar Binks is not Kyloe Ren, nor is he in this movie.

What I loved---The final lightsaber battle, everything that happens on Jaaku, everything that happens on the Millennium Falcon, Finn (The best new character), Rey, Han Solo.  Ren is a good villain with a significant amount of depth to his character background.  The first imagine of Luke, Where you can still see the younger Luke inside of him mixed with the hardened veteran, is also great.  The ending is interesting/compelling, and leaves us wondering about a couple different issues/storylines.

Fears that didn't come to pass---The biggest was BB-8, I heard a lot of chatter that he might be the next Jar Jar Binks.  Fortunately, that wasn't the case.  Another fear was that the plot would be too much like A New Hope, and while there are some similar plot elements, there are strong differences and some good surprises.

What I didn't like---Captain Phasma was very under-utilized for a high profile villain. A lot of people seem to be noticing this.  Poe was under-developed and basically a stock character, the proverbial "ace pilot" who has no character depth or back-story.  He basically is a glorified Wedge Antilles, no backstory, which is disappointing.  I am not knocking Oscar Isaac, who played the role of Poe great, but can only perform what is written into the script.

Overall---The Story was good, and the pacing of the story was excellent.  Time spent away from action scenes is relatively sparse and limited to what is essential to the story (the Opposite of Episode II).  The soundtrack is good/solid, though not outstanding.  There are some humorous moments, and they all work well.

There is a part of me that feels like there is something missing.  I can't put my finger on what it is, but it seems to fall a little short of the hype I have hear about it, at least in my opinion.  It's like all of the ingredients are there, but they weren't mixed quite right, so instead of tasting fabulous, it's just really good.

Compared to the other movies, A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back are still the 2 best in my mind.  The Force Awakens is better than the Phantom Menace and WAY better than Attack of the Clones, and is on par with (or maybe a little better than) Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi.  Definitely a worthy movie for the Franchise.  Any fan will feel very satisfied and enjoy this newest installment.

Overall Comparison:
The Empire Strikes Back---5 stars
A New Hope---4 1/2 stars
The Force Awakens---4 stars
Revenge of the Sith---3 3/4 stars
Return of the Jedi---3 1/2 stars
The Phantom Menace---2 3/4 stars
Attack of the Clones---1 1/2 stars