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Messages - Nicklab

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The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS)
« on: December 18, 2015, 08:39 PM »
I was just surprised at how so many of the Hasbro toys had so little to do with the plot.  They are pretty uninteresting as toys, so I expected a little more role in the movie. 

There's a very subtle indicator of which vehicles from the toy line are in the movie and which ones are not.  That being a single line of text on the toy packaging.  If "THE FORCE AWAKENS" text is on the package, that vehicle appears in the movie.  Vehicles like the speeder bike, assault walkers and the Jakku speeder don't have that "THE FORCE AWAKENS"  text, and it doesn't appear to be a coincidence that they aren't in the film. 

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILER FREE)
« on: December 18, 2015, 03:31 PM »
I just saw it.  There was an emotional component to this movie that was somewhat lacking in the PT.  I was able to feel a much greater sense of empathy with these characters. 

The Force Awakens / Re: TFA 3.75" Jungle/Space/Snow/Desert Line
« on: December 18, 2015, 11:01 AM »
I just dropped by the TRU store closest to their corporate HQ on my way to my screening of THE FORCE AWAKENS.  If there's one store in the chain that is a stickler for street dates, it's this one.  Well, it looks like they restocked for the movie release, but that's it.  No new figures on the pegs. 

The Force Awakens / Re: TFA 3.75" Scale Millennium Falcon
« on: December 17, 2015, 11:06 PM »
I saw the Falcon on sale at TRU today for $119.99

The Force Awakens / Re: TFA 3.75" Jungle/Space/Snow/Desert Line
« on: December 17, 2015, 11:02 PM »
With THE FORCE AWAKENS being released in theaters today, I thought that we would start to see more of this basic figure line.  But I've seen hints of a street date for the remainder of the line, and it's NOT before Christmas.  Has anyone else heard about a January 14th date for the remainder of the line?

The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Recent purchases
« on: December 17, 2015, 09:25 AM »
Glad to see wave 2 hitting in greater numbers.  I was able to pick up another 3 First Order Stormtroopers the other day.  Right now I've got 5, but I'd certainly like to get more.  But at $13 each?  Those purchases sting a little bit.  And it leaves me hoping that these will sell so well that Hasbro will offer a wide-release Black Series once the deal with Walmart runs out.

The Sequel Trilogy / Re: The Force Awakens Trailers
« on: December 17, 2015, 09:03 AM »
Check out this ESPN SC Feature on Kendo, the Samurai films of Kurosawa, and how they provided the basis for lightsaber fighting in Star Wars. 

Mark Hamill hosts this special and it's pretty cool.  It features a good amount of archival footage from the OT, showing stunt coordinator Peter Diamond, Alec Guiness, David Prowse, Mark Hamill and Bob Anderson.  The PT segment is great, too.  Swordmaster Nick Gillard goes in depth about how Kendo influenced the more sophisticated fighting styles of the prequels.  And there's also a brief look at some of John Boyega's training for THE FORCE AWAKENS.

The Prequel Trilogy / Re: The Phantom Menace: Was it That Bad?
« on: December 16, 2015, 02:43 PM »
Then from a story standpoint you lose a few things.

The death of Qui-Gon serves as device for several things:  motivating Obi-Wan to step up and become a fully fledged Jedi Knight.  And Obi-Wan then promises a dying Qui-Gon that he will train Anakin Skywalker in defiance of the Jedi Council.  Plus you would also lose the device of Qui-Gon's spirit surviving in The Force and how that translates to the OT deaths of Obi-Wan and Yoda.

The traitor aspect of Dooku's character is significant.  He illustrated deep divisions in the Jedi Order, even among it's most honored Jedi Masters.  And he also had this noble status on his home planet that made him appropriate as the face of the Seperatist movement.

The Prequel Trilogy / Re: The Phantom Menace: Was it That Bad?
« on: December 16, 2015, 11:37 AM »
I agree with Nike about c-3po. If he just came along with the jedi at the beginning they wouldn't need that silver droid. They also wouldn't need Jar Jar. A better quality of jokes could have been there.  They could have met the Gungans on land and taken a Bongo to the city. Boss Ness could have been introduced as a minor character that will go with Padme to represent Naboo in the Senate in AOTC. He also should have looked like a Gungan. They could have skipped the entire planet core thing. C-3PO could have went with the gang to meet Watto and translate for them. Qui-Gon should not have died in TPM but instead became the Count Dooku character in AOTC.

I think that C-3PO could have co-existed with TC-14 in those opening scenes on the Trade Federation ship.  Protocol droids are this widely accepted diplomatic tool, and showing them in that capacity with some brief negotiations between the Jedi and Trade Federation could get some of the initial exposition moving along.  And a great way to get C-3PO out of that situation?  An escape pod, which would give you an echo back to ANH.

I think one very big missed opportunity would have been the inclusion of Count Dooku as a member of the Jedi Council during Episode I.  Some measure of dissent among the leading Jedi on the Council about whether or not to intervene on Naboo, as well as on the training of Anakin Skywalker as a Jedi would have set the stage for the rest of the PT in an interesting way.  It could have shown the flaws of the Jedi Order and further expand on the different schools of thought regarding the Living Force and the Cosmic Force, as well as explore the concept of the Jedi as peacekeepers and not as a military force.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Star Trek
« on: December 15, 2015, 11:23 PM »
Easy pass.  I waited to catch 'Into Darkness' on cable, and I think I'll probably be okay waiting for this one to make it to cable or Netflix, too.

The Force Awakens / Re: Retail Prices/Sales/Discounts
« on: December 15, 2015, 10:45 PM »

The Prequel Trilogy / Re: The Phantom Menace: Was it That Bad?
« on: December 15, 2015, 02:46 PM »
I think there was some shoe-horning that was just over the top.  One thing that REALLY got me on that front?  The fact that Anakin built C-3PO.  It's one of those moments that really took me out of the film.  I get that the droids are central to the overall arc of the story.  But I think there would have been a very viable way to incorporate C-3PO into the story without this ham-handed way of making Anakin the person who built C-3PO.

This is one story point where I think a re-write might have been in order.  My own take?  Bring C-3PO in at the beginning of the film accompanying the Jedi ambassadors.  Threepio is a protocol droid, who is designed for diplomatic translation.  If Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had been accompanied by a protocol droid on their diplomatic mission to open discussions with the Trade Federation and the Naboo, it would make sense from a story standpoint.  And since it's Threepio?  You've got the potential for some comic relief which was a large part of the role of Jar Jar Binks.  I think that the Gungans could have played out alright if Jar Jar had been played more seriously and with a significantly different voice.

All of this being said, I think that the end of the film is still an issue.  I saw a YouTube video recently that examined some of the Behind The Scenes material from the EPISODE I DVD release.  And the commentary from the YouTube poster who was gauging the reactions of George Lucas, Rick McCallum and even Ben Burtt is pretty revealing that THEY weren't totally on board with how the finale was split into four different settings (Padme - Palace; Jedi - Generator duel; Gungans - Land battle; Anakin - Space battle).

I still think that this film was the victim of the need to do a LOT of place setting for the rest of the PT as well as setting up the OT.  And I really have to wonder what this movie would have been like if Spielberg, Zemeckis or Howard had directed it like the recent rumors have revealed.

Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Hits a little too close to home...
« on: December 15, 2015, 02:26 PM »
Kraft gets in on it. But this time the collector has a wife/kid.

Star Wars Kraft Macaroni & Cheese "Can't Play"

Star Wars Kraft Macaroni & Cheese "Great Disturbance"

My wife sent this to me with a great big "LOL!  This is you and [our daughter's name] in 2 years!!!!"

The Force Awakens / Re: TFA 3.75" Jungle/Space/Snow/Desert Line
« on: December 11, 2015, 12:22 PM »
Sounds like new figures are hitting now?!? 

SWAN Facebook page is reporting on a new figure found at Walmart - Resistance Rey! 

Not posting the pic because the figure has potential SPOILERS, so click link at your own risk!!!

The pic itself has become the centerpiece in some DMCA news.  Disney and Lucasfilm (but not Hasbro) have filed DMCA claims to have the image pulled from various social media outlets, despite the fact that this figure was purchased much in the same way any other collector buys Star Wars figures.  It happened to leak out from a WalMart store in Iowa.  Yet Disney and Lucasfilm are going after the people who posted the images, and there have been no public announcements from Disney regarding concerns about the early release of embargoed, licensed merchandise by one of their largest retail partners.  Hmmmm...

The Force Awakens / Re: Retail Prices/Sales/Discounts
« on: December 8, 2015, 02:52 PM »
Yes, but it's Kohls.  Their price structure for EVERYTHING is ridiculous.  The regular prices are high, but most items always seem to be "on sale".  But those Kohls sale prices are almost always higher than the standard price of those items at other chains.  The sale price on those Armor Up figures will probably be $16.99 at least, and that's still at least $2 more than the standard price elsewhere. 

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