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Messages - tmanthegreat

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Disney Parks Droid Factory / Re: Disney Star Speeder 1000 playset
« on: December 11, 2011, 12:48 AM »
My brother works at Disneyland in Tomorrowland (of all places).  I live some distance away so the game is trying to coordinate with him to get me one of these, particularly as he could get it with a 40% castmember discount 8)

TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: March 15, 2011, 11:58 AM »
Great episode and my favorite from the story arc overall.  I particularly liked how it firmly established the Anakin/Vader and Tarkin relationship.

I'm not as well versed with the EU aspect of Star Wars as many others.  I've only dabbled in it a little, but its something I've largely stayed away from as a personal preference.  I tend to take that which springs from the mind of George Lucas as being the ultimate cannon as the Star Wars universe is, afterall, his ultimate creation.  So, to me the CW series is more cannon than what appears in much of the EU material...  Still, that's not to discount the fact that even Lucas contradicts his own work and certainly not to discount the vast creative body that makes up the EU and which has given the Star Wars universe a sense of life and vitality far beyond that of any other sci-fi genera.

I guess what's needed in the Star Wars community is some sort of equivalent to the "Council of Nicea" (to draw a simple historical comparison to the church council called by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 CE to determine an official religious cannon for Christianity) where Lucas and leading representatives of the EU community can hold a council and sit down and hammer out the "official" story line for Star Wars... Just a thought ;)   

TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: March 5, 2011, 06:40 PM »
Not a bad episode at all.  The commando droids with the shields were interesting.  Things just keep getting worse and worse for the clones and Jedi...  Sad to see Echo die, but interesting to see Tarkin and Anakin start to agree a little more on some key issues and start building their relationship.  I'll be interested to see how they're all going to escape in next weeks episode.  Obviously we know at least three of the characters make it out and into the later films ;)

TV-9D9 / Re: The death or disappearance of Ahsoka?
« on: February 19, 2011, 12:32 PM »
In retrospect, Asoka, should have died in last night's episode of "The Citadel" in the Carbon Freezing process (which was a scene I though was unnecessary and cheesy).  Afterall, we know from ESB that carbon freezing was supposed to be dangerous - Lando notes that if you put someone in the carbon freezing chamber it could kill them - yet in the episode, the Jedi and Clones seem to go about the process with pretty much a routine or devil-may-care attitude.  So, they all jump in the freezing chamber, including Asoka (unknown to Anakin), something goes wrong and she doesn't survive.  They arrive at the Citadel, get thawed out, and there's the dead Asoka.  Anakin blames himself, Obi Wan lectures him about how he instilled his rebelliousness into his padawan and look what it got him, their mission nearly gets compromised, Anakin gets pushed closer to the Dark Side... and well we know the rest.

Sorry, just having too much fun ;)

TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: February 19, 2011, 12:21 PM »
That was a fun episode. 

On one hand, the story wasn't completely original as it has a basic premise we've seen in many previous episodes throughout the series: Anakin, Obi Wan, Asoka, and the clones getting sent to rescue a Jedi holding some sort of valuable information we've never heard of before (but on which the whole fate of the galaxy rests) in some sort of impenetrable location.  On the other hand, the episode brought in new - and old - characters and works to set up the key relationship between Anakin/Vader and Tarkin in ANH, which I liked 8)

The whole Citadel interior really reminded me of the Death Star Detention Block from ANH more than anything else (and it was kind of fitting to see Tarkin in that setting).  I kept waiting for someone to blast a hole in a wall and all our heroes go sliding into the garbage chute :P

Nice to see Phase II armor appearing more often on Clones as well, even now some of the main ones.

My biggest beef with the episode was the carbon freezing thing.  It was just too thrown in there and too cheesy.  Don't they already have scanner-proof compartments that they could hide in like on the Falcon?  In ESB, Lando and even Vader expressed too much concern over the process of freezing a person in carbonite (heck, Vader didn't want Luke damaged by carbon freezing, so he tested it on Han Solo - and there was surprise that he lived) yet this episode made it seem as though the process was completely routine, harmless, normal, and that one could have a carbon freezing chamber (complete with Ugnaut) right in their own hanger.  In some respects, the carbon freezing sequence in this CW episode diminishes the drama and danger of the carbon freezing scene from ESB, which was always one of the most emotionally powerful of any scene in the Star Wars saga, at least in my opinion. 

I did, however, like the wisecrack about not wanting to wind up as a wall decoration ;)   


TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: February 18, 2011, 01:16 PM »
Please no young Han Solo... Chewbaca in ROTS with Yoda (and now here on Clone Wars) was pushing it and I hope they don't go that far with Solo.  Something tells me they will eventually, however.  I am stoked about Tarkin in tonights episode, however :)

The Clone Wars '08-'13 / Re: Republic Attack Shuttle
« on: February 7, 2011, 12:33 PM »
OK, so here I was rather excited to see that we would be getting a large version of the attack shuttle - its big, looks cool, could transport a platoon of clones, have lots of detail and features while conceivably keeping it real.  However, after seeing that catalogue picture, I'm now pretty much turned off by the whole playset-transformation thing and the vehicle itself.  Its really too cheesy for me and something many of the other large vehicles made to date didn't quite stoop to.  Granted some large vehicles are practically playsets in their own right - think the BMF or the AT-AT - but they remain within the context of the vehicle they are supposed to be and don't transform into something completely out of context. 

I guess this is just the realist in me coming out - I do primarily collect realistic military models and prefer the Star Wars items that more-or-less follow suit (and Hasbro has delivered many of those as of late). 

Nevertheless, I have to say that when all folded up, the Attack Shuttle still does look pretty cool 8)   

TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: January 29, 2011, 11:35 AM »
That episode was a Star Wars trip-fest, but then again, it was a rather cool show.  It did a few things namely for the development of Anakin and Obi Wan's characters that were never quite explored in the prequals and which were very much needed...

1) It sort of tied things up between Obi Wan and Qui Gon with regards to Anakin's training and possible future.  I loved how Obi Wan sort of had the chance to "vent" to Qui Gon's Force Ghost about how he had trained Anakin as best he could, but that the boy still remained passionate and impulsive.  A scene like that would have been perfect in Episode II or III, but alas...

2) The episode sort of gave a chance to see Anakin greive and reflect on the guilt he feels for the loss of his mother in a way that was not really done outside of Episode II, but which ultimately defines his transformation into Vader.  I like how the creature (in the form of his mother) cautioned him not to let his guilt define him and then warned him that his love for Padme, etc is actually a prison...   

3) It explored the significance of Anakin being the "chosen one" and what that possibly meant in regards to keeping balance to the Force.  It was for the greater good of the universe that Anakin stayed at that place to maintain the ballance between light and dark and notice how at the end of the episode, Anakin selfishly gave it up and left...

Just my thoughts.  I rather enjoyed it ;)

TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: January 16, 2011, 01:27 PM »
Dooku and the Jedi are going to have their hands full with that Savage Opress ;)  The last two minutes of that episode were the best part of that show. 

I disliked the fact that Savage was sort of "magically" changed by the witches into the brute as it sort of takes away from the insidious nature of the dark side of the force.  It would have been better to have seen the character seduced into the dark side over the episode arc by Ventress and the others - perhaps playing on the desire to protect his brother - than some sort of witch-spell, but I can't argue with the end result.

EU plot loopholes aside, what has been interesting about these two episodes is their exploration into the Sith culture.  It sort of provides a contrast against what we've seen with the Jedi.  The way the Sith constantly scheme against one another, master against aprentice, to achieve power...  Dooku sort of summed it up in the last lines of the episode when he noted how he and Opress could work together to overthrow Darth Sidious.  Not that he will, of course ;)   

TV-9D9 / Re: Family Guy Star Wars
« on: December 27, 2010, 12:12 PM »
Picked up "Its a Trap" this weekend as well, namely for the sake of completeness for the Family Guy Star Wars trilogy.  I agree it was the weakest of the three, but there were certainly some funny moments and its always fun to see what Family Guy or spin-off show characters they make into the various SW characters.  I guess my favorite gag would have had to have been when the dead emperor fell on the Falcon as it sped through the Death Star tunnel - my brother and I had joked about that happening for years and Seth McFarland finally made it happen :P

The Seth Green insults were funny as well ;)

TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: December 7, 2010, 01:07 PM »
I find myself again in the shrinking minority that found this episode actually interesting.  It's criminal that so many horrible, badly written political themed episodes preceded this and Heroes On Both Sides - I think the reaction to them would have been different.

The real issue seems to be who is this show for?  It's not for kids.  Kids don't watch C-SPAN.  And judging from the reaction around the web, it's not us, either.  We want to see things blow up.  So do kids.  Win, win, right?  So what's the issue?  Before and during the prequels, a lot of us clamored for more sophisticated and adult story telling.  That's more or less what we're getting here.  The inside baseball on the Republic's moral failures is remarkably sophisticated for a cartoon, let alone the films they follow.  I appreciate the effort, at least.  In these episodes, and even in the Kamino arc, we are seeing a society that values absolutely nothing, not even the men that die for it.  It's rotten to the core.  It got that way either because of greed or entitlement or both.  We're meant to see this as a reflection on our society.  Kids certainly aren't registering this, and the CW team probably doesn't mean for them to.  So it seems like a cannon shot to us, especially when it's so ham-handed as it was in the Mandalore arc.  It takes a lot of nerve for the creative team to center so much attention on the least active characters - Padme and Satine (Hasbro must be losing thier minds) - and position them in opposition to the war on which the entire series (and marketing) is based. 

Who is this show for?  What is this show about?  It's not about things that blow up, all though they do.  It's about something more, and I am willing to go along for the ride, so long as the driver knows the road.

Well said.  When its been done well in this series, I too find the political machinations of the Galactic Republic to be an interesting subject to explore, particularly the interactions between the corrupt and idealistic elements and how namely Palpatine really plays the two sides against each other to achieve his aims.  Its something truly sinister and occurs in a way most of the younger fans - and many of the older ones - may not understand, but which is a fundamental element of the Clone Wars.  Yes, there are all the pitched battles and light-saber fights (those are my favorite parts of the series as well), but how Palpatine uses the Senate, democracy, and claims to morality to effectively destroy themselves is a whole other critical element that deserves mention in the Clone Wars story as well, even if it comes off as a little less exciting than an space battle... 

Then again, I am a bit biased as I’ve always been a bit fascinated by the workings of politics - I explored the political history of the US during our Civil War for my MA thesis and I work for a political consulting firm where I get to see the political process on a local and state level in operation on a first-hand basis every day.  Sometimes, what you see happening on the CW show is not all that far from the truth :P

Perhaps in some ways, as Darby indicates, the show is indeed posing a moral question to viewers about our own society…  I would hope that some of the younger viewers would get it (though I doubt it) or at least that some of the parents watching it with their kids would find therein a “teachable moment” ;)

I agree with the desire for more "diorama" type pieces.  They can be pretty neat and add a lot of depth and dimension to a display.  At the same time, however, I can see where Hasbro may have some reluctance to make those sort of pieces.  They often tend to be costly and sell poorly, particularly compared to the action figures and vehicles.  Look at the mixed reactions that Lars Homestead set from Toys R Us got a couple years ago.  It sure was a lot to pay for a plastic shell.  I want to say there are even still one or two to be had at at least one of my local Toys R Us stores... 

For a comparative example from another toy line, during the heyday of 21st Century Toys super-realistic Ultimate Soldier 1:18 scale Xtreme Detail military line, they released a set or diorama pieces at Toys R Us stores, consisting of a bombed-out house, brick building, barn, and a fountain.  Each set came with the various building parts, a figure or two, and other accessories.  For any military diorama, they were fantastic pieces, but they were pricey and turned out to be very poor sellers, with most just rotting on the shelves at Toys R Us.  Diorama pieces just didn't have the appeal that the planes, tanks, and soldiers had and after a couple years, what remained wound up getting sold off at severe discount. 

Even with the wider appeal that Star Wars environment or diorama items would have, I doubt they would sell all that well in the long run.  Would they be cool as heck? Yes!  Would they be a good investment on the part of Hasbro?  Probably not.   

TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: November 21, 2010, 11:54 AM »
I rather liked this past episode in the sense that it explored "the other side" of the conflict and that is something that this show and the Star Wars saga in general really never delved into.  Even in the original films, everything is portrayed in black-and-white terms (good guys on one side, bad guys on the other) while in any conflict that is never the case.  (Any academic historian of good repute will tell you that, lol.) 

There are good honest beings fighting for the Separatist cause, just as there are for the Republic.  This episode seemed to handle that fact in a simple and touching manner, yet still highlight the deviousness of the Sith in playing everyone off against one another to achieve their ultimate aim of control.  There may not have been any lightsaber fights or space battles, but I still found this episode entertaining, even if on a mature level.

I also like the ROTS-style Anakin more mature-looking Asoka ;)

Shadows of the Dark Side / Re: Walmart "New" TIE Bomber
« on: November 21, 2010, 11:40 AM »
Found these in Central California yesterday - the four Fresno-area Wal Marts had nothing, but the rural Sanger store had six of them.  I picked one up and like it.  It is a new tooling from the older TIE Bombers, but the tooling is not significantly different in appearance.  The cockpit has definitely been changed with the ejection seat and new control column.  That probably wasn't necessary given the detailed cockpit on the original tooling, but now the cockpit "matches" the retooled TIE Interceptor and TIE Fighter better.  The bomb-dropping mechanism has been improved as one now loads six bombs into a magazine and twists the rear of the pod to drop the bombs.   The magazine has a sliding hatch to keep the bombs from falling out.  The missile clicks into the port in the front of the ordinance pod, protruding slightly. 

My biggest beef is no pilot figure, but its a good ship overall.

TV-9D9 / Re: The Clone Wars - Season Three Discussion Thread
« on: September 18, 2010, 01:19 PM »
Very pleased with both episodes.  I'm really a fan of the "clone centered" type of episodes and these two did not dissapoint.  I found it interesting to see a little background on the clone training process as well as what happens to the clones that don't quite make the cut.  Developing the clone characters and making them seem more human adds to the tragedy of the Order 66 sequence in ROTS - not that any of the younger viewers make that connection yet ;) 

The duels were great in the episodes as well - Kenobi vs Grevious had an ROTS vibe to it, sort of like a prequal to that final duel on Utapau.

Neat to start seeing the appearance of Phase II armor on the clones as well as the appearance of the ARC-170s in the space battle alongside the Y-Wings.

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