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Messages - Muftak

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1
The Force Awakens / Re: TFA Takodana Battle Pack
« on: February 12, 2016, 08:08 AM »
This set actually reminds me a bit of the Resurgence of the Jedi battle pack from the TSC line.  We only got one really new figure in that set with the Luke.  Obi-Wan, R2 and C-3PO were all reissue figures, but damn did people go ga-ga over that Luke?  And coincidentally, that set also featured the chest that had the lightsaber, and the table from Ben's hut.

I bought that set for Artoo more than Luke...I don't think we'd gotten a "vanilla" Artoo based on the ROTS sneak-preview Astromech mold up until that point. They had just kept rehashing the chromedomed VOTC Artoo. That was what put the Resurgence pack over the top for me.

Maz looks really good, and I haven't bought any of the other figures yet so the value is definitely there for me with the Takodana pack. I didn't trust the Force Friday releases because of traditionally bad paint on early "new line" stuff. Heard the BB-8 in the three pack is of lesser quality. Haven't seen much but oddball characters on the pegs since November (though it's not like I hunt anymore...)

So all that adds up to a bit of interest in this pack, even if it would be mostly for my son to play with. If they are trying to get some of us old collectors off the fence, this sort of thing is a step in the right direction for us.

2
Jocasta's Reading Room / Re: The Force Awakens - Novel
« on: February 6, 2016, 08:04 PM »
Finished this up recently.

The book was very verbose, especially for something under 300 pages. Lots of descriptive text except where you'd really want it--like the X-Wing assault or the Duel in the Forest. I've always liked Foster's writing, but this go around seemed...off.

That said, there were some interesting additions to the story. Unkar Plutt and Rey have much more interaction than in the film. He seems like a creeper with an eye on Rey that reminded me of Jabba and Leia. After implying his intentions during the Jakku scenes, he and his goons follow our heroes (via the same tracker that Han used to find the Falcon which is, apparently, the same one Tarkin and Vader installed when it was aboard the ol' Death Star) to Maz's castle, where they try to nab Rey...

...but Chewie follows them in to rescue Rey, and rips Unkar Plutt's arm off in the process. This all happens between Finn leaving and Rey being called down to the vaults. Pretty neat addition, I thought.

By contrast, the scene of Poe getting off Jakku was pretty forgettable. The humor just doesn't play in the novel, and Poe spends the whole time joking, so it all falls flat.

We get more Resistance with Leia sending her envoy to the Republic capital to ask for more help...and it is through her that we witness the Starkiller's killer shot. Threepio is responsible for finding BB-8 and he reveals that he forgot to activate a tracker built into the droid. Instead he consults with the powered-dpwn Artoo and devises a plan to send out a galaxy-wide droid "Amber Alert" which explains why it is a droid at Maz's Castle that reports back to the Resistance when BB-8 shows up.

Snoke and Ren's relationship gets a bit of fleshing out as well. Snoke spells out the need for Ren to cut ties with Solo (pun intended) because it was Vader's emotional attachment that led to the Empire's defeat. Leia talks to Han about Snoke at depth, saying he had been watching their son for a while in his youth. To me this implies a relationship between Luke and Snoke before the rise of the First Order.

Ren's interrogation of Rey leads to his discovery of a mental block in her brain denying him access. Working against that is what allows her into his mind to discover his Vader obsession.

The infamous cut scene where Ren takes snowtroopers to the Falcon underwhelms in the book. I was expecting some reflection/introspection on Ren's part, but he just looks for people aboard and then gets distracted by the start of the X-Wing assault.

Ren expects the power of the Dark Side to increase in him when he deals with Solo, but he immediately feels weaker.

When Ren and Rey both summon Anakin's lightsaber and it goes to her, he exclaims "It is you!" but does not elaborate further. After Rey bests him, she resists the impulse to kill him, and recognizes that she is being called by the dark side.

Rey (and therefore us as well) witnesses Hux's shuttle landing and taking Ren away before Starkiller becomes a sun, which at least clears up the ambiguity of the movie. In his orders to Hux, Snoke agrees that Ren was "right about the girl." Again we don't get any elaboration on what that means exactly.

Rey finally meets Poe while randomly hugging him after the map is assembled.

Chewbacca insists that Rey sit in the Captain's chair on the Falcon when they ship out to get Luke. We don't get any kind of insight once we get there.

Like I said, the book is kind of a slog for how short it is, and IMO misses the beats of the action sequences and the crucial scene between Ren and Han. And the humor continually falls flat.

3
LEGO / Re: LEGO 2016 (possible TFA & Rogue One spoilers)
« on: February 1, 2016, 07:33 PM »
It's the latest "LEGO Star Wars made for TV" thing (like Yoda Chronicles or Droid Tales) - The Freemaker Series

Neat thanks!

My son loved the Yoda Chronicles and (especially) Droid Tales. They were fun to watch together for sure. He's gonna be pumped for this.

4
LEGO / Re: LEGO 2016 (possible TFA & Rogue One spoilers)
« on: February 1, 2016, 04:14 PM »
I'm more interested in the "TV Series" that is slated for August. I don't think it's referring to Rebels since that is referenced elsewhere.

Boba in Rogue One? I don't see why not. A fleet of Firespray-class ships? That would be cool too. A placeholder until they can show us what's really slated for fall? Most likely. Isn't a new Slave I lego set coming out in spring already?

5
The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILERS)
« on: December 26, 2015, 01:11 AM »
Really liked the movie. Conflicting because as much as I grew up with the OT I came of age with the EU stuff. These new movies may be more like the pretend stories to me than the books were, at least until I see how this is all meant to come together (which is the one advantage this series could have over the abandoned EU--it may yet congeal into something cohesive in a way the patchwork process of the books never could.)

Enjoyed the humor so much...Threepio's intro as a great example. "You may not recognize me..." it's been so long moviegoing-wise since something he said was genuinely funny from his naiveté and self-involvement and not forced. My favorite moment in the whole movie was probably Finn's desperate thirst driving him over to that dog bowl, and only quitting because the dog chased him off!

Enjoyed the general theme that what we believe about ourselves is what we become. Finn's arc epitomized it--he began as a stormtrooper, lies about being in the resistance as a means to escape, and in the end becomes a resistance fighter so thoroughly he is willing to give his life for the cause. Han and Leia too, you have to figure at some point they were happy together in parental roles, but after the Jedi training tragedy they both reverted to their earlier roles of smuggler and freedom fighter rather than deal with their loss as parents. Luke too, he gives up on the obvious growth of becoming a Master to a new generation to settling for life as the last of the Jedi. And Kylo Ren...the catalyst of everyone else's arc...struggling to believe he can be a fully-realized Vader (Not even Vader was strong enough to "pause" a laserblast!) to the point that he will kill his father to prove the completeness of his fall, even though he hasn't actually made that fall completely yet. It all harkens back to my favorite prequel quote: "Your focus determines your reality." That's the real message of Star Wars, it seems to me.

When I try to plug Rey into the themes, we just don't have enough pieces of her story yet to see what exactly is going on. She resists the lightsaber's call, insists she needs to return to Jakku to find her family, and in the end is the only one who goes to Luke...for training as a Jedi, one must infer. What are the implications of that from a storytelling point of view? I mean, it says something that Leia didn't go to recruit him into helping the Resistance, but Rey went.  Always been more of a Luke fan than a Han fan, so I am very interested in what lies ahead.

Every moment with Chewbacca rang true to the character as we knew him. On the flip side, while I take issue with Luke turning his back on everyone, I can not accept that Artoo just shut off for 20 years. Even if Luke had some grand plan he was in on, Artoo would've been the first one to stop him from such a selfish move. Artoo was always the biggest hero and risk taker of the gang, him sitting in the corner on pause just doesn't ring true.

I liked that it was a Han Solo movie more than anything else as far as tying into the OT. Han dubbing Finn "Big Deal" was great and felt right. Han and Rey--again, we'll be able to look at that better as her mysterious origins are explored. I can see her being his daughter, his son's cousin (if she is Luke's daughter...since I never heard marriage mentioned, I am assuming the galaxy just isn't civil enough to have time for wedding ceremonies anymore) or some random stranger who impressed him with her raw talent and was offered a spot on the crew the same way Luke was in the original. And honestly, I have no preference at this point. I am happy with how it all played out, even if Han's death genuinely tore out my heart.

My wife really liked the movie but couldn't get past the fact that a stormtrooper's lifetime indoctrination ought to make Finn's immediate revulsion at his first deployment not believable. I like the idea that if he is force sensitive then that is what could have enabled this in him (and now that I've mentioned it to her so does she.)

And it blew my 6-year old son away, too. He was at turns laughing, excited, scared, and sad in the end. I was 6 when I saw ESB in the theater, and I could tell he left feeling exactly the same way I did back then. He had to know what happens next! Can't give it a more positive endorsement than that!

6
Watto's Junk Yard / Re: Enjoy The Next Few Days
« on: December 16, 2015, 06:34 PM »
Loving all of this guys.

Looking forward to taking my 6 year old some time next week to catch the new movie. What happened to the days of needing the midnight show and multiple weekend views?

Still love Star Wars, but loving my family and my world a lot more these days.

7
The Prequel Trilogy / Re: The Phantom Menace: Was it That Bad?
« on: December 16, 2015, 06:27 PM »
I've been a TPM apologist for years.

I like it the most of the three prequels. To my eye, they just get more and more unfocused as the trilogy goes on. TPM, at least, is the most cohesive film by going after kids in a way the other five films (so far) did not. It was more or less told from a 10-year old's perspective, and is a ten year old's version of a good story. The political stuff doesn't make any sense because politics elude the juvenile mind. When the Clone Wars movie came out I liked it better than AOTC and ROTS for exactly the same reason. They tried too hard and failed. TPM does not strain to be more than a fun kids movie.

JarJar's speech to me was always a fun little bit...I was studying linguistics at the time and appreciated a periphery species speaking a pidgin form of the common language, it rung true for me (at least until JarJar said "Exsqueeze me." Yeah, some of it was rough to take.)

I think what "ruined" the prequels for me was comparing them to the Lord of the Rings trilogy that came out along with the latter two. Star Wars paled in every form of comparison. TPM squeaked out of that comparison a little because it really stood by itself as a kid's film. (And I guess I never warmed up to the Hobbit movies like I could've because I always felt that should have been handled more as a kids movie than trying to out-epic LOTR...but that's a discussion for elsewhere.)

All that being said, I would love a new version of the prequels with all the things mentioned above to tweak the story and tie the overall storyline together better. Or, you know, just to watch this new trilogy and see where the story goes.

8
The Sequel Trilogy / Re: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILER FREE)
« on: October 23, 2015, 10:09 PM »
When the Special Editions came out I bought tickets to every showing on opening day of ANH. I skipped two of the evening showings but my body ached from the sitting the next day. And that was almost 20 years ago. These days I would probably not be able to make it.

10 years after that my wife surprised me with tickets to an OT marathon at the local art house. It was fun and she was a real trooper since she is not a fan, but it was a full day and the only time I've ever sat through them back to back like that.

We will probably watch the saga in order that week one a night. I still self-edit ROTS for the sake of my 6 year old son. No marathon for me, not even stretched out on the couch. I am no longer the young man who can sit that long. Funny to realize that.

9
TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Anime
« on: March 29, 2015, 05:10 PM »
That's a really great video. I shared it with my 5-year old (who loves all the OT vehicles) and he really got into it. He's a bigger TIE fan than X-Wing, so he was pretty happy to see the Imperials win. And of all the TIEs his favorite is the Bomber, which he was really happy to see blow the "good guys" away. He was sad there were no voices, he wanted to know what everyone was saying.

I loved the "AT AT parking" fan wank. Also couldn't help grinning like a little kid when the Blockade Runner blew up and all its engines started tumbling. Good looking stuff!

The only negative I could chalk up was all the extreme zooms into somebody's eye. Probably a lot of fun to draw, but got old by the third time in such a short video.

I would love to see more like this, it really took me back to Star Wars in the 90's.

10
Star Wars Anthology / Re: Star Wars: Rogue One
« on: March 13, 2015, 02:47 PM »
When have the complainers let the facts stand in their way?

Interesting title, but so little in the way of details...all I can say is Luke was "rogue leader" so this could refer to anyone or anything at this point. It looks like an x-wing movie, but who knows? Maybe it will be the story of the inspiration for the Rogue Squadron name and have nothing to do with fightercraft at all.

The interesting toyline pointhere is how big a line will this movie get? There's precedent for anywhere from 12 to 50 figures for launch, and the more I think about it the more I feel we will get big dumps of 5 POA figures to open these movies and pretty much nothing after that. Again, depends what kind of movie this is. If it isn't a "cast of thousands" type spectacle like we are used to with Star Wars, then maybe a small line will make more sense than a big one would.

11
Power of the Force 2 / Re: 20th Anniversary of POTF2
« on: March 8, 2015, 04:44 PM »
Let's not forget that first Rebel Fleet Trooper in the too-buff category. Not just the abs and pecs, but that enormous neck!

I started collecting POTF2 from the very beginning, and for those 4 years we got a great collection as far as the variety of characters and vehicles. I honestly never thought it would surpass the vintage stuff...seems silly now.

I say it still stands as the best, most complete collection yet released. Sure the newer stuff looks better, but nothing touches the variety of POTF2.

12
Star Wars Rebels / Re: Star Wars Rebels Saga Legends Figures
« on: February 23, 2015, 10:08 AM »
I believe the ATDP Pilot helmet comes with the Ezra figure as an accessory. Probably could have just as easily sculpted a generic guy under there if they were gonna reuse the helmet. Weird.

Edit: nope, from pictures I see they are 2 different sculpts. Curiouser and curiouser...

13
Star Wars Rebels / Re: Star Wars Rebels - 5 POA Animated Style Figs
« on: February 18, 2015, 04:17 PM »
Here here, Darby. Good points all around.

I'm not much of a presence around here anymore because there are, like 8 figures left that I want Hasbro to make to finish my collection and I'll be done. I pop in to see if they're coming, but the rest of what's going on really doesn't concern me anymore. My 5-year old son loves watching Rebels with me, though, and has started buying the Rebels figures, so these days I am advocating for him, filtered through my own experiences with this hobby. :) I had my fun, now it's his turn, and I feel I am in a good position to guide him on his journey.

My son was looking at my figures and when I told him they made ones of the Rebels characters now, he wanted to get some to play with. He went to the store with Christmas money and we found that all that were available were the Zeb/Stormie 2-pack, Artoo and Threepio, and the Kanan/Ezra/Obi-Wan pack at TRU. None of the places we have been have had any of the single figures, and I suspect we nearly missed the Sabine/Stormie 2-pack (we saw Wicket and the Scout Trooper on the pegs.) Since then we have looked for more to no avail. We have also found no Rebels vehicles on the shelves...he is a big walker fan and wants one of those as well as the Phantom.

Last week he caved and bought a Bespin Luke/Darth Vader 2-pack just to add some more characters to his toybox (and he was excited about a pack with two lightsabers for instant dueling possibilities.) Routinely his figures play in and around my BMF which I get down for him and he uses it to substitute for the Ghost.

His favorite characters on the show are Chopper and Sabine, and he has been sad that he hasn't been able to find them yet. I promised him they're coming, as are the Inquisitor and other bad guys. I am happy with what we have been shown as in the pipeline, and I have to hold out hope that this stuff will show up somewhere soon in quantities that will allow him to get what he wants. I would be crushed for him if he missed his only chance at getting a Chopper or Inquisitor at the store last year.

I love that Sabine, Zeb and Hera all come with Stormtroopers. I wish there was an option to get Chopper, Kanan and Ezra that way, too, so he could build up a squad to fight. He is having fun dipping his toe into collecting figures, and so far the frustration of not being able to find what he wants hasn't stopped him since it is so early for him. Time will tell if things work out well for his collection. I feel so blessed to have a young Star Wars fan in the family.

14
The Black Series 3.75" Figures / Re: Toy Fair 2015
« on: February 18, 2015, 12:24 AM »
Not very surprised at the lack of anything new at Toy Fair. Even a TFA Preview Figure (or wave)deserves/commands its own press release. In effect it would be slumming in NYC.

As for a Ghost ship this year, I am still in the camp that doubts it. While I do now believe a BMF reissue is a done deal (and will cost $300) and that actually does free up the time and resources to tool a big ship, I gotta go with my gut and say they would use that slot on whatever big new design they have with TFA (Bad guy ship?) In the end, EP VII will never have another Christmas to support it, the attitude there has to be "now or never."

The long game could be a Ghost in 4th quarter 2016, if the standalone movie is a Han Solo or Boba Fett vehicle (no pun intended.) Since their signature ships are already done (well) then a 3rd season Ghost might stand a chance at getting made.


15
TV-9D9 / Re: Star Wars Rebels - Season One (Spoilers)
« on: February 3, 2015, 05:37 PM »

I think Fulcrum is definitely Bail Organa.

I have the feeling it's Leia. And I was under the impression that Fulcrum was presented as a long-time contact of Hera's.

My 5-year old has really been enjoying these episodes more and more. The yoda episode was riveting stuff for him, even if we grown ups could see what was going on immediately. Seeing Lando blew him away, too. (Ask him who Lando is and he'll tell you he blew up Death Star II. )

I like it so far...fun throwaway stuff.

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