Archive | January 2018

I finally saw the Last Jedi…



Earlier in the week I finally got the chance to watch Star Wars The Last Jedi – the movie was quite good. Coming from the perspective of someone who has experience with the books a lot of the material fits together well and the movie made sense (minus the Princess going Superman back into the destroyed bridge of the cruiser).


Indeed I waited for a few weeks in order to gather as much intelligence as I could on the product before jumping into the pile, and it seems that after some time had passed the film started to click with some people; I did watch both reviews from Angry Joe (the initial review and the 2nd and 3rd screenings) and after he relented on the subject matter I started to dive deeper into the film and pick out what made it good and what left audiences disappointed.


While it is a shame to see Luke die in the film, it was a nice conclusion to his life – the watching of the twin suns rising as he faded into the Force was very poetic and the imagery was done well to convey the passing of someone in peace, rather than in pain and misery.


The bomber scene was something people picked on quite a lot, and to that one has to argue that if you wanted realism in a film taking place in space then explosions should not exist (ships should just crumple as there is no air to fuel fire in space; they would also shatter like glass and break into tiny pieces as there is no air to fuel an external fire – no plume of flame bursting out from the superstructure), sounds should not be heard (no audio in space minus whatever is internal to the ships themselves), and missiles wouldn’t work as there is no air for explosions so the projectile would just smack into the intended target and leave a giant hole while not detonating.


Should one wish to imagine a real-life space battle, one would have to think of MAC guns from Halo (Magnetically Accelerated Cannons); essentially one is firing a solid projectile straight at a target requiring direct line of sight, and the projectile would penetrate through the target rather than cause an explosion (though internally the ship would catch fire, vent atmosphere, etc).


Finally Kylo killing Snoke was a nice nod to the fact that the Rule of Two emphasized the need for the apprentice to kill the master and take their place. Indeed the Rule of Two ended with Vader and Sidious but Snoke and Kylo seemed to have carried on the tradition without actually being aware of it – this was left largely to the audience to interpret and digest. Kylo taking over the First Order was the natural path of progression as a student of the dark side would know that in the end they must take power in order to progress – peace is a lie, there is only passion.


Furthermore Rey’s origins being a bit of a let down could be written off as Kylo either lying to Rey in her moment of emotional distress, or that the director wanted to break away from the Skywalker family tree; force-sensitive beings come from all over the galaxy, and considering that the films wanted to end the Skywalker saga this is not at all surprising. Sure we would have liked to see our fan theories about Rey play out (Snoke included) but they are just that, fan theories – the director and script writers have the final say in this matter, rather than the audience.


Now where am I headed with all of this rambling? The point to be made is the directors are working with a science fiction franchise; none of it has to be realistic as it is not a documentary, and ownership of the fictional universe belongs to the studios that have a license to them and to the creators – we are simply the end consumer of said product. Now would I say the same if the film was poorly acted, the story poorly written, and the cinematography in general of poor quality? Yes, but I would further add that I can simply avoid the film; considering it is week five of the Last Jedi being in theaters and my viewing was a full house I hope in this particular case that the money speaks louder than the criticisms – I want more films, and if this film in the end it turned out alright then the others ought to be satisfactory.


Year end post – Commission from the ranks, some gaming talk, and final thoughts for 2017.

Hello folks;


2017 is nearly at an end, and I have seldom posted these past few months so let us get on to business to end things off for 2017.


Commissioning from the ranks should be a military’s first option; having some college kid take command of a unit straight out of Officer School with a degree is not what I would call a smart move. Quite often police departments tend to have their constables work their way up, making it a real meritocracy whereas in the military the Officer/Enlisted divide is a holdover from an age where birth and social status was an indicator of success in life.


When an army commissions from the ranks the relationship between soldier and officer is more concrete; quite often soldiers will not respect an officer who has little to no actual military experience and yet a country trusts them to take command and lead the troopers into action. Indeed it is the NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officers; your sergeants, corporals and so on) who are often the ones to take charge of a squad and lead the soldiers into action, and when the officer fails to use their brain they have to take charge of the situation and set a good example for others to follow. Now imagine if the Officer Corps commissioned from the NCO corps; imagine all that experience transferring over to a more senior command – would that not work better than direct commission?


Countries need to adapt to a changing world, and commissioning from the ranks is a positive step forward – do away with this archaic practice and see that the military becomes a true meritocracy rather than a place where social stratification is amplified and upheld.


This year’s gaming scene has been somewhat of a disappointment; perhaps it is the lack of time, perhaps it is the fact that the new releases that showed promise (ie: Battlefront 2) failed to live up to expectations.


This far into a gaming life so to speak one should be accustomed to disappointment, and yet it still strikes hard when a game fails to deliver on a promise or fall flat on its face after telling the market audience that it will not do just that. Battlefront 2 was a failure not the least bit because the Empire story arc turned into a generic turncoat soap opera, and Call of Duty WW2 made what was to be a serious topic (concentration camps) into some cheap heart-string moment – this followed up by over the top explosions because, apparently, the audience has an attention span that requires constant stimulation in order to remain focused lest they wander off onto Instagram and forget about the game.


Going into 2018 I hope that the gaming scene develops some interesting stories for us to enjoy as Gamers; while this is a real case of wishful thinking one must maintain optimism when it comes to our favourite pastime. 2017 for gaming was trash; even more so for films that were shown on the big screen as the Last Jedi turned out to be a flop, Transformers the Last Knight was poorly done, and I forgot the other films that were released – I have not even set foot in a theater this year, it was that bad.


Anyways folks this concludes the year end post for 2017 – thanks for sticking around and we shall see you in the new year (teleportation spell activated).