Friday, January 30, 2009

Smallville - "Power"

"Power?" Really? In eight seasons, we've never before had an episode called "Power?" Wow.

Okay, was it me, or was this episode just a mess? Lana and Tess are allies, Lana and Tess are enemies, Oh gee Lana is kidnapped again, Oh no Lana might want to kill Lex again, oh no Clark's threatening in one breath then begging in the next breath again, Clark's being the doom-saying wet blanket when someone tries to do something good again... it took me a while to realize that Regan, played by middle-aged man in a suit Ari Cohen, LexCorp employee and assistant to Tess Mercer who is against her, was not the same man as Carter Bowfry, played by middle-aged man in a suit Ted Whittall, LexCorp employee and assistant to Tess Mercer who is working for her but is really working for Lana so he's only against Tess if Lana is. What?!?

I liked Lana's bursting out in a fiery phoenix glow. So now that she has super powers, she and Clark can be a super hero team together. That sounds good, I like where that could go. But oh no, this means they're a couple again. Refer back to my complaint from last episode...

Knight Rider - "I Wanna Rock & Roll All Knight" and "Knight Fever"

I'm folding laundry today, which means time to catch up on some Knight Rider.

Okay, first off, this show has definitely turned into a reboot. They keep talking about how this KITT is the first successful AI, which would imply that they considered the original KITT a failure, which of course we know he wasn't. And they keep referring to the only other computer that was even similar to KITT being KARR... again, ignoring the original KITT. So I have to assume that this show is a reboot. Which means we'll never see David Hasslehoff on it again, and (sadder still) we'll never get to have the two KITTs meet.

But I really enjoy the ongoing subplot on how this new organization (what is it? The SSC? what's that stand for, anyway?) got started, the mysterious dark past with the failed KARR, and what it is they're hiding from Mike. I like the fancy headquarters and all the high-tech action and all the beautiful people. So while this isn't a great series, it's always fun to fold laundry to. (Better than A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, anyway.)

The only thing that keeps this from being a great show (well okay, a non-laundry folding show) is too often they seem to not use common sense, because if they did it would ruin whatever plot they have going. Like in this case, Mike knows that he's risking KITT getting infected with the techno-virus, he no longer needs the extra manueverability, yet he doesn't bring KITT's shields back up. 'Cause if he did, the virus would have been contained and the show would have been over.

Ah well. Just look at how hot Zoe is and try not to think about it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "Jedi Crash"

Now this is more like it. Dynamic space battles, exotic alien locales and creatures, a dynamic musical score... at times I felt like I was watching a Star Wars movie. All this, and Aayla Secura too. I loved her talking about her master, now only if she'd said his karkin' name! Quin-Lon Vos! THERE! I said it! See? Wasn't that easy?? Oh well, can't have everything.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "The Battle"

I always liked this episode for a number of reasons, and they still hold true:

* The use of the theme song as background music;

* The bridge of the Stargazer being so reminiscent of the TOS Movie-era bridge. I've read it was a redress of the battle bridge set, but you'd never know to look at it.

I also have a few new perspectives on this episode, having since read all the Star Trek: Stargazer novels. Nice to still see a blonde woman at the helm, which I assume would be Idun Asmund; however the novels made Vigo a blue Pandrilite, which the guy Picard was addressing definitely was not. Kinda' makes me wonder why Michael Jan Friedman chose to make him one. But still, very cool.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Battlestar Galactica - "A Disquiet Follows My Soul"

I figured the Galactica was going to eventually move on from Earth, but I didn't think it would be after just one episode. Somehow I thought they'd be spending a little more time there trying to figure out a few of the mysteries they found. But nope, they just say "Well, that was bust. Screw it. On to the next planet." (And the "Six Days After Finding Earth" at the beginning of the webisodes doesn't count for clueing me in that they'd leave right away; for this show, six days could be 12 episodes.)

As usual, the show gives a complex situation with no answers-- the ships' personal freedoms versus what's best for the survival of the fleet. And of course, everyone's convinced their answers are the right ones, and everyone else is wrong. But it serves to show how everything's heating up.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Star Wars: Millennium Falcon by James Luceno

This is just what the Star Wars books needed: a fun, light-hearted adventure. The New Jedi Order and Legacy of the Force series were great, but they were so dark and angst-filled. And the upcoming Fate of the Jedi series looks like it's going to be just as heavy, so this book is like a breath of fresh air.

I've always liked James Luceno, even before I realized he was half of Jack McKinney. His McKinney (non-Robotech) series The Black Hole Travel Agency is some of the best space opera I've ever read. He knows how to weave a complex tale yet keep the characters light and likeable, and he continues to do so with Millennium Falcon.

We get to follow one of the earlier owners of the Falcon, who's trying to trace the ship's history forward to learn what happened after he lost her. And at the same time we're also following Han, Leia, Allana and C-3PO, who are trying to trace the ship's history backwards, to see who owned her before Lando. And it's a fun ride, with just a dash of feeling like an Indiana Jones quest as well.

And with the completion of this book, I'm now "caught up" on The Further Adventures of Star Wars. Now I can get back to wiping out that comic backlog mentioned on the right-hand column, and start reading some non-media SF again!

Smallville - "Bulletproof"

  • I was so excited about last week's episode with the Legion, I forgot to say how happy I was that Chloe's memory has been restored. Thank you, Smallville. All is forgiven.
  • Dan Turpin! Hurray!
  • Another step closer to the founding of the Justice League.
  • Was there a sexual tension between Tess & Lana, or was I just reading into it? ...Oh, I was? Damn. That would have been hot.
  • Oh no, Clark's not making googley-eyes and smoochy-face with Lana again?!? AGAIN?!?! F'r cryin' out loud! Let it go!!!

Star Wars: The Clone Wars "The Gungan General"

Eh. Not bad, but not as exciting as previous episodes. Jar Jar was a good blend of his comical self while becoming a more competent person, but I couldn't get passed B J Hughes's doing his voice instead of Ahmed Best.

I also liked the Weequay's R5 Astromech with the blaster installed on its head.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Heroes - "Dual"

Well, this was probably what this season needed... a more-or-less reset back to the status quo. I liked what they tried to do with this volume, showing that no one was all good or all evil, but I don't think they could make up their minds on how they wanted to do it. I hope that they have more of a solid vision for Volume Four.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bedtime Stories

My main motivation for seeing this movie was (1) Dave and Mylene wanted to go see it, and (2) I was in a bummed mood and figured going out to the movies might pick me up.

Normally my daughter likes to sit WAY in the back. Not me; I prefer somewhere around 1/3 of the way back from the screen. But since I didn't really care about this movie, I indulged her. She picked the second row from the back.

So about halfway through the trailers, I started getting the feeling that I probably should have gone to the bathroom before entering the theater. But I didn't want to miss the beginning of the movie, and it wasn't an emergency. Yet.

So the movie starts, and I'm wondering if I haven't made a bad call about the bathroom. The movie starts with a narration; the narrator says, "Any good storyteller knows the audience needs to be ready for a story. Is every one set? Anyone need to go to the bathroom?"

I figure what the hell, and raise my hand.

"You, sir, in the back?" the narrator says.

I emphatically nod my head yes and am actually considering getting up.

"Well, you'll have to hold it. It's time for the story to start." Ah, well. But I'm so amused that I'm now smiling and decide to in fact hold it anyway.

And to be honest, I didn't really think about it for the rest of the movie. Not a great movie, mind you, but definitely entertaining enough. I've sat through much, much worse kids fare.

And it even had spaceships in it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Macross Frontier #23 "True Beginning," #24 "Last Frontier" and #25 "Your Sound"

And finally all the pieces come together, in true Macross style.

Okay, so Grace, Ranka and Brera were all from Expedition 117, who first encountered the Vajra. The Vajra are an insect race who share a single hive mind and communicate through Fold Waves. So this has been Grace's plan, to take over the Vajra hive mind and unite the entire galaxy in one mind, with her in control. How very Gendo Ikari of her. I also can't help thinking that the Vajra are very much like the Invid, which amuses me to no end.

So we get a great big final battle! It's like "Force of Arms" and Do You Remember Love? and Shadow Chronicles all rolled into one, with that usual cool Macross Frontier twist where all of the sudden the humans are the ones taking on Dolza's role and attacking the Vajra's homeworld, and we get a giant Rei Ayanami version of Ranka singing "Do You Remember Love" as the human fleet starts getting blown up. Daaaammmnn.

And then Alto, Sheryl and Ranka decide that their three-way love is the most powerful of all and they kick Grace's ass with an old-school Daedalus Attack. Works for me!


DISCLAIMER: This is of course a gross over-simplification of EVERYTHING, especially considering that Ranka & Sheryl's closing conversation seems like they're entering a friendly rivalry for Alto's love. However the deviant in me also sees that conversation as Sheryl accepting Ranka's challenge of "not losing at love" as Ranka and Sheryl making a dedication to each other and accepting the challenge of a new beginning in a new romantic trio, especially since Sheryl gives Ranka sign language for "I love you"!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Smallville - "Legion"

Man, this has got to be the best season of Smallville, ever.

Not just the Legion, not just actual codenames (Cosmic Boy called Garth "Lightning Lad!!" They all kept calling Rokk "Cos"!!! They called Imra... well, okay, they never said Saturn Girl that I noticed, but two out of three ain't bad,) not just costumes that reference their outfits (well two out of three ain't bad), not just some awesome Legion flight rings, not just a ton of cool references (I heard Imra mention Coluans when attacking Brainiac, Lightning Lad said "sprock" and "grife," and mentioning he had a sister, and of course Cosmic Boy holding the big metal ball at the end)... not just all that... but we also got "No glasses? No tights, no flights? So far, he is nothing like the Man of Steel."

Geoff Johns rules. He should be allowed to write every episode of this show.

Also some very good bits about Clark refusing to kill. Clark is very much growing into the Man of Steel this season. And nice bits about how just because your future is someone else's history, it doesn't mean you have no free will. I rather like that.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Battlestar Galactica - "Sometimes a Great Notion"

Well. That's what I love about Galactica, is that it constantly surprises me.

Okay, some thoughts and theories...

Starbuck: Either she's a previously unknown 13th Cylon... or she was resurrected by this remake's version of the Crystal Barge?

Duella: ...well, damn.

Earth: Personally I think that the Colonies were an offshoot of Earth, and not vice versa, as everyone on the show has been led to believe. But Rich has an absolutely frakkin' great theory...

This show has not been a remake at all, but has in fact been a continuation of Galactica 1980.

Think about it: the original BSG takes place somewhere around the 1960s, as Apollo catches a transmission of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Then the Galactica finds Earth in 1980. A human-looking Cylon finds the Earth in "The Night the Cylons Landed." Those are the established facts, of what actually aired.

So suppose the original Galactica fleet ends up in a climactic battle with the Cylons following them, but the new human-looking Cylons end up defecting and joining humanity. (I can just picture it, a wondrously cheesy 1980's scene with the human Cylon saying "What are these things called emotions that I now feel?!? We must help the humans, not destroy them!") Together, the Colonists, the Old Human-looking Cylons and Earth defeat the regular Cylons. The Colonists and Old-Human Looking Cylons settle on Earth, now confident that the Cylon threat has ended. They begin interbreeding with humans (stay with me, here) for centuries, to the point where human and Cylon DNA are now completely intertwined and "pure" humans have died out.

But wait! It turns out that there were still "original" Cylons left in the universe, and the remaining ones have finally found Earth. They nuke it, but are also destroyed themselves in the battle. The "Final Five," who are just regular members of the new Cylon/Human race of Earth, have already been trying to set up a template to recover the lost art of downloading themselves, and have just achieved it at the time of the battle.

The survivors of this final, apocalyptic showdown head out to the stars... find a new planet to settle, that they name Kobol... from there, they settle twelve new Colonies... and over the course of two thousand years, their history is forgotten, confused and jumbled. Earth becomes a legend. Mankind creates their new Cylons. The Cylons rebel. After the war, they shut themselves away from humanity... And They Have A Plan. It's the plan that the Final Five set in motion-- the New Cylons discover their works, create their own human Cylons using their template, and the "Final Five" become the first five of the new human looking Cylons. But from there they can only create 7 new templates, which is why there are only 12 models. They think this plan left behind from the Original Human/Cylons is their call from God. Enter the new series...

Just a thought. ;)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Battlestar Galactica - "Face of the Enemy"

I finally got around to checking out the latest batch of BSG webisodes. If you haven't seen them yet, they're here at

Hey, look at that-- Gaeta's bi! Woo-hoo! And right after my previous post on the subject, too.

Hey look at that-- Gaeta's making all the worst choices when faced with a decision! Well, it wouldn't be Galactica if he didn't.

It looks like this might end up having a bigger impact on later episodes. Most of the webisodes only run two to four minutes, so they're worth checking out before the season resumes on Friday.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Justice"

Bit of a mixed bag, this episode. If you want, you can skip all the rambling below and just read my last paragraph, which sums everything all up. ;)

On the one hand, it raises some great concepts about laws and justice. The line "There can be no justice when laws are absolute" stuck with me from the moment I first saw this episode back in '87; I even put it on a job application once. (Suffice to say, I didn't get the job.) Picard's dilemma is dealing with conflicting senses of justice-- Allowing Wesley to be executed for a crime that would barely be a misdemeanor in his culture strikes him as an injustice, but forcibly preventing it is not only an injustice to the laws of the Edos, but an injustice to his own laws, as it would be breaking the prime directive.

Which is another interesting aspect of this episode-- it takes a totally TOS approach to the Prime Directive, saying it's okay to introduce yourself to a pre-warp civilization, as long as you don't interfere with their laws or customs. By the episode "First Contact," this was changed to any contact with a pre-warp civilization was not allowed, on the grounds that simple knowledge of the Federation's existence could change the course of the planet's development.

Hmm, maybe after this episode, Starfleet decided to tighten up the rules?

I also love the "God Ship" in this episode. I just always loved the look of it, so angular yet ethereal. I think this episode handles the concept of God and religion quite well also. I also love the bit where the Edo guy throws Picard's "Diss the 20th Century" bit back in his face.

The places where I feel this episode doesn't work mostly involves the acting. Once again, (with the exception of Patrick Stewart,) everybody's so stiff, especially the Crushers and the Edos. I'm not saying they have to talk like they're from New York, but I feel like they all do that "We-must-care-ful-ly-space-our-words-be-cause-we-come-from-a-diff-er-ent-time-and-place!" way of talking that just sounds stiff.

And speaking of stiff, I think the concept of a sexually open society was a good one, but unfortunately it just kind of falls flat here. But that may be a case of my standards being too high, so they at least get points for trying. And I know this is my queer eye speaking, but I just also have a hard time accepting that absolutely EVERYONE we see on this planet is straight. They're this open, loving society that places a huge emphasis on health and pleasure and basically saying the body is something to celebrate... but only between opposite genders. Anytime you see people making out in the background, it's always boy-girl. Maybe their God-Ship decreed it. "Why, no-one-would-dare-risk-playing-love-games-with-some-one-of-the-same-gender, because-no-one-would-risk-death!" But seriously, to be fair I need to be realistic of the situation-- this was 1987, on the show that scrapped "Blood and Fire." It just would have been great if Star Trek had continued to be the barrier breaking show it was in 1966. So when I watch this episode, I find myself thinking of what might have been.

Thank heavens for Ivanova and Talia on Babylon 5 years later...

::climbs down off of patented LGBT Soap Box™::

Anyway. Cool looking God-Ship and concepts on justice, fairness and religion. Nice acting by Patrick Stewart, dissapointing acting by a lot of others. Dissapointing follow-through of Planet Love, but nice concept and lots of hot blondes in skimpy outfits.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Invincible by Troy Denning

A good ending to a strong, albeit sad and tragic, series. I feel kind of stunned.

  • The references back to Jaina and Jacen's bond in the "Young Jedi Knights" series, showing that even though Jacen was gone, there was a part of Jaina that could never look at him as anything but her brother.
  • Tahiri felt more like herself in this book. I felt more like this was the Tahiri I knew, twisted into doing what she thought was a necessary evil. Of course, it may have helped that I remembered Anakin Solo had a Force vision of Tahiri becoming a Sith. Wish I'd remembered that while I was reading the last book...
  • The observation that there has to be something left inside a Sith that wants to be redeemed. It's easy to see how, despite his horrible acts, Darth Vader regretted the path he'd gone down and still longed to be Anakin Skywalker again, he just thought he was beyond redemption. As opposed to Darth Caedus, who had come to despise everything that Jacen Solo was. Even his last act-- warning Tenel Ka to try and save her and Allana-- was really just his trying to make sure his Sith vision of Allana ruling the galaxy came true, and not the old Jacen trying to take hold again as Jaina misinterpreted it.
  • I feel a little lost about what happened to Admiral Niathel. There were mentions of her setting up a government in exile, and a side comment that her fleet had been wiped out. Does this mean she was killed? No mention was made of her one way or the other when they were going through the candidates for who would take over as Alliance Chief-of-State. Kinda' vague for a character that had been very prominant.

  • I'm kind of surprised that there was so little made of the Yuzzhan Vong prophecy of twins having to fight each other to the death, especially from Tahiri, since her brain is half Yuzzhan Vong.
  • Was Darth Caedus's vision really a Sith vision of Allana ruling the galaxy as he wanted to rule it, or was it simply a Force vision of Allana being a benevolent ruler of the Hapes Consoritum (or maybe even the Galactic Alliance), and he just interpreted what he was seeing in his own twisted Sith way? Or is it even deeper than that, and Jaina was right; that all of this means that Jacen's initial goal-- a galaxy that was safe for his daughter-- has come to fruition, and even if he personally (and the Sith and his "controlled galaxy") all lost, that his goal was still achieved and Allana will be safe... so he did win?
Well, I've put my request in to my local library for their copy of the next book, Millenium Falcon. Their website says it's already overdue, so maybe I'll get it soon. I'm just going to read comic books in the meantime. I think I can find one or two of them laying around here somewhere...

Macross Frontier #21 "Azure Ether" and #22 "Northern Cross"

Okay, well this at least explains what happened to Ai-Kun. Perhaps Ai-Kun is meant to be the bridge that helps us understand what the Vajra are all about? On the one hand, Grace says all they're about is "they're in our way," and on the other hand she calls "the planet where the Vajra's true queen resides" her "treasure island."

So now I get what was so special about Sheryl and Ranka's singing, specifically-- their voices produce fold waves, which are somehow in tune with the Vajra. But what's it all for?

And so the Macross Quarter goes rogue, and Alto and Ozma wind up on opposite sides. Can you imagine that ever happening to Rick and Roy?!? Well, I guess Rick may have been thick, but he wasn't quite as obstinate as Alto is, and I can totally understand Ozma's thinking on not including him.

Only three more to go...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stargate Atlantis - "Enemy at the Gate"

Well, I didn't see that ending coming.

One of the things I love about series finales is that since there are no plans to make any more, anyone could die at any time. (Hopefully it won't be a wasted, pointless, out-of-character death like Trip's on Star Trek: Enterprise... but I digress.) So I was in serious fear for everyone (and every ship) on this episode. The only thing I didn't think they would go for was actually nuking the hive ship with everyone aboard it, but hey... it wouldn't be the first time a show decided to end by killing off everybody.

But I really, really didn't expect them to bring Atlantis back to Earth. I never thought of Atlantis as one of those Gilligan's Island type shows... right from the beginning, they intended to stay in the Pegasus galaxy, but ideally be able to travel back and forth as needed. And the more they accomplished that goal, the more I liked the show. (It broke my heart when they blew up the GateBridge.) I loved the idea of Earth being the catalyst for uniting all these scattered tribes of mankind across the universe, and with Atlantis being Earth's permanent base in another galaxy it just felt like humanity was constantly moving forward. So the idea that they might say "Show's over, bring them home!" just never occurred to me.

Although I have to admit, that closing shot of them all lined up looking at the Golden Gate bridge was great, and exactly what Voyager should have had. (I wonder if they did it on purpose just to take a dig at Voyager? After all, wouldn't it have been more fitting to have Atlantis touch down in the Atlantic ocean, instead of the Pacific?)

Which raises my next question... Earth considered it their obligation to stay in the Pegasus galaxy since they woke up the Wraith. Now I'd imagine that some of the Wraith have been "cured" as Todd apparently was, but I doubt that completely solves the problem. I'll be curious to see how much the next TV movie deals with this, and how much of it is setting up Stargate Universe.

Speaking of which, I'm guessing that will be using that nifty Singularity Drive they got working this episode...

And lastly... SO MANY COOL SHIP SHOTS!! I love the ships on Stargate. I really, really do. I wish Hasbro would make Stargate ships in their Titanium line. And I really like the F-302s. I love the whole concept that the US Air Force reverse-engineered these alien Death Gliders, and now we have an Earth-looking version. It's the kind of thing that other shows would have as back story, but we watched it all unfold on SG-1.

And speaking of which, it was good to have so many supporting characters fro SG-1 and Atlantis come back for this episode. (But who the heck was that woman who visited Ronon in the infirmary?!?)

All in all, I'd have to say Stargate Atlantis did a good job in its run. It had a great theme song, good characters, character growth, and cool spaceships. Not as good as SG-1, but still a strong show in its own right. I'm looking forward to Stargate Universe.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Lonely Among Us"

I'm not a big fan of "I've been taken over by an alien entity" stories, and Next Gen is pretty much to blame for that. They did it a lot. This episode is the first of many, and in a way it feels even more frustrating for it, because everyone's so dang patient about it since it's the first time that it's happening to them.

On the plus side, it really brings home what a great actor Patrick Stewart is, as his performance while possessed is the best of all. And Brent Spiner really steals the show with his discovery of (and subsequent impressions of) Sherlock Holmes.

I don't think the characters were intended to be a metaphor for them, but the Anitcans and Selay made me think of the Israelis and the Palestinians... two sides that have so much bad blood between them that they can't stop hating each other. But the topic is only brushed on in one of those "let's show how much better we are than the 20th century" lines, and the Anticans seem to be used more as an argument in favor of vegetarianism more than anything else.

Nostalgia Segment: when we first watched this episode in 1987, for some reason my mother and I thought this was the second appearance of Assistant Chief Engineer Singh, and were surprised when they killed him off. But rewatching it now, I see this was his only appearance. Alas, poor Singh... I knew him not as well as I thought I did, Horatio...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Revelation by Karen Traviss

I'm not upset with the direction of the story, just amazed at how the Star Wars universe has turned itself upside down with this series.

Yes, sooner or later it happens to all the popular villains... Punisher... Venom... heck, even Wolverine... something happens where we learn why our favorite bad guy is such a tortured soul, and we start to understand his own code of honor, and he even starts to be heroic. Add ol' Boba Fett to the list. I think what makes is it work so well in this case is Fett's being surrounded by all the other Mandalorians (excuse me, Mando'ade) and watching Mandalore rebuild itself. Karen Traviss does such a good job pulling it off that I'm tempted to read her Republic Commando novels.

Ahh, and at last, Darth Caedus is not hiding he's a Sith, everybody's talking about it (even if some of them don't really understand what it means), and he's even starting to let people know his new Sith title. I wish it happened a little sooner in the book, but it's still rewarding to see it happen.

The only thing that didn't work for me in this book was Tahiri. She just feels out of character. I get that Caedus has been seducing her with the flow-walks to see Anakin and all, but I just can't see that being enough to make her turn a blind eye to everything that's happening. She's fallen into the whole Sith apprentice thing too easily for me. Even if other people don't realize what being a Sith means, she should in no uncertain terms. Tahiri was always headstrong, and here she's just weak and easily manipulated.

And Jaina's treatment of Tahiri is just as bad-- so much was made of how all the Solo family tried to make Tahiri a part of their family after Anakin died, that for Jaina to face off against her with Mirta and not have any qualms about it at all just doesn't make sense. (And further more, it belittles Jaina's bonding with Mirta throughout this book; does this mean that if Jaina and Mirta end up finding themselves on opposing armies, all of that "we'll make sure we avoid each other" stuff gets forgotten?) To give a fair reality check here, I realize that this is probably just a case of conflicting authors; you can't expect every author to know every little detail of every Star Wars book ever printed. But this just seemed like a big enough point that I felt someone should have acknowledged it somewhere.

But despite that, this book felt very, very satisfying. I can't wait to read the final Legacy of the Force book. Oh look! It came out in paperback yesterday! Perfect....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - "Dooku Captured"

This one was okay. Not bad, but didn't excite me like the last few episodes have. Just kinda' average.

Things I liked: Getting to see so much of the Weequays, the little Salacious Crumb guy, and of course the Jawa. I also liked seeing Obi-Wan trying to show Anakin that the whole thing could be a lesson in humility; it was good to show how Anakin has his flaws, and that Obi-Wan is still trying to gude him, but in a much more subtle way than the movies did.

Things I didn't like: for some reason, Obi-Wan's dialogue comes across as... well... like he's being a dick. I like Matt Lanter's take on Anakin more than Hayden Christensen's, but James Arnold Taylor's take on Obi-Wan just really rubbed me the wrong way this time. Eh, maybe it's my mood. And Ewan McGregor and Alec Guiness are very tough acts to follow.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Macross Frontier #19 "Triangler" and #20 "Diamond Crevasse"

I'm continually intrigued on how the character of Minmay has been split between Sheryl and Ranka; when we started, Sheryl was the weary Minmay of Do You Remember Love?, and Ranka was the hopeful Minmay of the TV series. Now we've watched their roles reverse.

So let me get this straight: Ranka's pet Ai-Kun turned out to be a larva-stage Vajra, so that means he was just one of many Vajra that Leon had stashed away for whatever his nefarious plot is? At first I thought he was the only one on the Frontier (Well, not counting the ones stuck in the big giant tubes, of course). So when the second-stage Vajra showed up and killed the assassin, I thought it must have been Ai-Kun "grown up." But then there were tons of Vajra running around and I couldn't understand how all those Vajra came from one little one. (I mean come on now, it was Gubaba that looked like a Tribble, not Ai-Kun!) So I guess the other Vajra didn't come from Ai-Kun, but were bred from the ones in the tubes, and Ai-Kun just got loose and became Ranka's pet?

So I'm guessing this also means that Leon and Grace are in control of all the Vajra, which they are using for some as yet unrevealed purpose. Whatever the purpose is, to accomplish it they used the Vajra to destroy the Macross Galaxy, but it wasn't enough, and now they're trying again with the Macross Frontier.

Oh, and somehow these Vajra attacks are bringing out emotional energy (dare I all it Spiritia?) in the Macross singers (first Sheryl on the Galaxy and now Ranka on the Frontier), which Leon and Grace also need for their plan.

At least that's what I think is going on. You know, I appreciate that in this post-Evangelion age, anime stories give us credit for being able to think for ourselves and try to make you piece together what the bigger picture is on your own ... but man, there are times when I really miss the Robotech narrator.

Once again, Macross F reminds me that just because characters and situations are similar to Macross, it doesn't mean they'll end the same. Michel's relationship with Klan was always some good comic relief, and I always liked the "Max and Miria" overtones to it. After a while you can't help but hope that Klan would finally get Michael. (Although I have to admit, the fact that her micronized body was a little girl's would keep me away from her too, I don't care how old her brain inside the body is.) Michel's sacrifice for Klan was heart wrenching, and I totally did not see it coming.

See You, Space Playboy.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stargate Atlantis - "Vegas"

Wow, I absolutely LOVED this episode.

I don't watch CSI (not enough spaceships in it) so I didn't get the specific homages, but I figured they were something along those lines. And I really didn't need to know CSI to enjoy the extra elements of this episode.

It didn't take long for me to stop watching it with an eye towards figuring out the angle ("is this a broken timeline? An alternate reality? A hallucination?") and just got sucked into this totally different take on the show. Learning why everything was different was just icing on the cake.

Looks like Atlantis is going out in style.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Fury by Aaron Aliston

I'm growing impatient for Darth Caedus to come out of his Sith closet. Everybody knows "Jacen" has "gone dark" and turned his back on everything and everyone he ever believed in, but none of the Jedi seem to be willing to bring up the obvious... this is not just "dark" behavior, this is evil. This is Sith. Maybe now that he's strangling officers on his bridge people will get it. Hopefully the next book will open with him brandishing his nice new red lightsaber screaming "I AM DARTH CAEDUS!!!" to the Galaxy. I hope so, since there's only two books left. I'd like Luke and Leia and Han to completely understand just what it is they're fighting.

Along those lines, I'm very happy that the secret of Allana's parentage is out. At last, Han and Leia know they're grandparents and get to meet their granddaughter. The scene where Caedus reveals he's Allana's father to her was incredible... you get the echoes of the scene with Vader and Luke, only it comes across as so much more hopeful. You can feel his love for his daughter and it's as if we're getting to see that there's still a tiny bit of Jacen left in there, just like there was a tiny bit of Anakin left in Vader that allowed him to be turned back to the light.

And then he goes and says "and then you can help me decide how all the people should live... wouldn't that be nice?" Man. Talk about creepy chills, and making him seem all the more irredeemable.

I'm also very glad to see the rift between Jagged Fell and Jaina healing up. I always liked how they worked together. Zekk being in the mix (and even becoming friends with Jag as well) has definitely added a lot of flavor to it as well.

And at long last, an end to Alema Rar! At least, I hope it's a real end this time. She's been a tragic character, but I think her story dragged on a little too long.

And lastly, I assume that's Ben Skywalker on the cover, based on the color of his lightsaber and the way he's dressed... but his face looks so much older, and so grim, that I originally thought it was Darth Caedus. And the guy on the cover of Betrayal, the first book in this series, looks so young I thought that was Ben, but I recently saw on Wookiepedia that it's Jacen! Is it just me that their ages seem to be reversed, or were other people confused too?


UPDATE: I just went to put Fury back on my shelf, and I pulled off the next book... and it's called Revelation, with Darth Caedus on the cover brandishing a red lightsaber. How's that for instant gratification?