the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Star Wars’ Category


Everyone is talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so I guess I will too. When the next Star Wars movie comes out, I can come back and read this post to see what I thought of the first one. Funny how blog posts can act almost as  . . .  diary entries.


Warning: This post includes epic amounts of rambling and digressions.  A few movie spoilers as well, but mostly rambling.


No way around it, your experience with the new Star Wars is directly connected to your past with Star Wars. Kids who have never seen a Star Wars movie will experience this new one completely differently than people who grew up watching episodes IV, V and VI as kids.


My past with Star Wars:

I grew up watching Star Wars. In the mid 80’s I was old enough to put a movie in the VHS player and hit play, but I wasn’t old enough to have the comprehension to understand a long story. We had episodes IV and VI on VHS, and I liked watching them. I didn’t understand the storyline at all, but I liked how I felt when I watched them, the music really stuck with me. I wondered why Luke went from wearing white and tan to wearing black. Han Solo was my first crush.  I wanted my wedding dress to look like Princess Leia’s long white dress during the medals ceremony at the end. I wouldn’t realize it for 15 years, but I was taking my first steps towards a love affair with the Campbellian Hero’s Journey.   Much later, when I finally saw episode V, things really started making sense.


Star Wars, like The Princess Bride, offers fans a sort of cultural secret handshake. If I say “are there rocks ahead?” and you respond with “if there are, we’ll all be dead”, I immediately know we are of the same tribe. Star Wars references (and Spaceballs references) serve the same purpose.

Any body got a peanut?

Any body got a peanut?

You know that thing about smell?  that you won’t remember names or faces or locations from your early childhood, but you’ll remember the smell of your Mom’s shampoo, or the grass outside, or what your dog smelled like? John William’s original Star Wars score is like a childhood smell to me. It takes me back, it takes me somewhere. I don’t even need any visuals, that music takes me on a transportive journey.   That scene in Interstellar where he’s falling through the blackhole and ends up in his daughter’s closet, and it takes him a few seconds to figure out what’s going on and it’s super trippy? That’s how I feel when I listen to John William’s original score.   Williams is a genius of Wagnerian proportions, he took a hero’s journey and translated it into the language of music.

interstellar falling

i feel like knocking some books off shelves.

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and by “meant to be”, I mean voiced over in all your favorite cartoon characters and other famous character voices.  They did it at the Emerald City ComiCon a few years ago.

Darth Vader as voiced by Bubbles the Powerpuff Girl or Princess Clara from Drawn Together? Yes please!  how about Luke Skywalker voiced as Dr. Zoidberg or Toot Braunstein, Uncle Owen voiced by Stimpy, Aunt Beru played by Twilight Sparkle, R2D2 in the style of Ozzy Osbourne, Obi wan Kenobi in the voice of Cartman or Inspector Gadget,  or Princess Leia in the voice of Vincent Price or Rosie Perez, or Han Solo in the voice of Kif or Twilight Sparkle? Also, there’s no such thing as too much Captain Kirk or too much Christopher Walken.

are you ready?

it’s too long to imbed, so click HERE to watch.

emerald city comicon

Also, I’ve developed some new celebrity crushes.

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200px-HeirToTheEmpireHeir to the Empire, by Timothy Zahn

published in 1991

where I got it: that bookshelf where my hubby’s favorite books are











Taking place 5 years after Episode 6, Heir to the Empire follows Luke, Leia and Han while they try to pry themselves away from the developing government of the New Republic. Leia and Han have married, and Leia is expecting twins. As Luke works with Leia to train her Jedi powers, they learn the unborn twins are strong with the force as well. As much as the three of them would prefer to spend their time together, the demands of the New Republic often have them at opposite ends of the sector, with Leia handling diplomatic concerns, Han trying to get his old smuggling friends to do legit shipping for the New Republic and Luke investigating rumors of other Jedi.

Meanwhile, the dying Empire is pulling itself back together, mostly with the help of Grand Admiral Thrawn. He’s not a Sith, and he doesn’t really care about the Force. Grand Admiral Thrawn is cold, calculating, and intensely intimidating. He studies his enemies and his victims, waiting until he’s sure of their reaction before attacking. Thrawn puts two and two together to manipulate the ultimate stealth weapon against Luke Skywalker and the future of the New Republic. I’m not going to tell you what his weapon is, but it’s brilliant, and truly stealthy.

Another important plot line involves Mara Jade, a conflicted woman who was once close to the Emperor, and now works for a smuggler. She dabbles in the force and has a burning hatred for Luke Skywalker.  Thrawn may prefer to take Skywalker alive, but Jade would rather kill him. Why does she hate him so much? Luke has no recollection of ever meeting her ,what could have he possibly done to her?
While reading Heir to the Empire, I felt like I was reading the novelization of an unmade Star Wars movie. Characters say and do things that you’d expect from them. Han is snarky but sometimes nervous, Luke sees the good in everyone will little regard for his own personal safety, Leia is slow to trust but quick on her feet.  There are action sequences with the Millenium Falcon outrunning a Star Destroyer and Tie Fighters firing on X-Wings.  The action flies along at a fast clip and we never spend too much time, or too little, with any one character. There’s even the situational humor we’ve come to appreciate when no one but Han can understand Chewbacca or C3P-0 doesn’t understand some idiom. A few dialog lines are actually cribbed directly from the movies, and slyly referred to as inside jokes between the characters. The first in Timothy Zahn’s trilogy, Heir to the Empire is the book every Star Wars fan should read.

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I had the best line for Belle’s opening number in Beauty and the Beast, but so far I haven’t been able to make the rest of it work. Who’dah thought that Gaston’s song makes for the best messing about?

Feast your eyes on the travesty that is Darth Bob!

Sung to “Gaston”, from Beauty and the Beast.  Makes a great duet!
Darth Bob:
Who does she think she is? That girl has tangled with
the wrong Sith! No one says “no” to Darth Bob!
Lied to! Betrayed! Publicly humiliated! Why, it’s
more than I can bear!
More Gorg?
Darth Bob:
what for, nothing helps. I’m disgraced!
Who you? Never! Darth Bob, you’ve got to pull yourself together!

It disturbs the force to see you this way
Looking so down in the dumps
Every Sith wants to be just like you
Even when taking your jumps
There’s nobody here as admired as you
You’re everyone’s fav’rote bad guy
Everyone’s so scared shitless of you
and it’s not very hard to see why
No one’s mean as Darth Bob
no one’s fast as Darth Bob
No one’s force choke is as strong as Darth Bob
we’d all love to be your apprentice,
You’re perfect a pure paragon!
You can ask any Hutt , Dug or Wookie,
And they’ll tell you whose side they prefer to be on!
No one’s been like Darth Bob
a kingpin like Darth Bob
No one’s got conflicted soul like Darth Bob!
Darth Bob:
As a specimen yes I’m intimidating!
my what a guy, that Darth Bob!

Chorus line:
Darth Bob is the best
Makes even Ventriss all stressed
No one trains like Darth Bob
gives us pain like Darth Bob
in a challenge no one force chokes like Darth Bob!
For there’s no one as force sensitive,
Darth Bob:
I’ve got Midichlorians to spare!
you’re completely light negative!
Darth Bob:
my force powers are nearly as dark as my hair!

in a force duel nobody maims like Darth Bob!

Darth Bob:
I’m especially good at regenerating
When I was a lad I sacrificed my own Dad
when he could teach me no more
and now that I’m grown I never feel bad
and I know every last page of Sith Lore!
Chorus Line:
No one kills like Darth Bob
or has skills like Darth Bob
Then stomps the star system like you!
Darth Bob:
I use Death Stars in all of my decorating



Stay tuned for more silliness!

Time for your favorite Little Mermaid to get all entangled with Midichlorians.   I do love that movie, so it only hurts a little bit to mash it up like this.

Meanwhile, on a rusty backwater planet, our bounty hunter/thief yearns to escape her downtrodden life and train as a Jedi. She’s collected bit and pieces, flotsam and jetsam, object that she thinks epitomizes the world she’d like to be a part of. And if she works hard enough, maybe, just maybe she’ll be able to train with the famed Jedi Master Skywalker. Little does she know, he’s already got his hands full.

Sung to the tune of Part of Your World
(go ahead, open and run that YouTube in another window. It’s way more fun when you sing along!)

Look at these droids
aren’t they neat.
wouldn’t you think my collections complete?
One of them even knows the
binary language of trade!
look at this droid
he’s part cyborg,
how many wonders can one cavern hold
looking around here you’d think
sure, she’s got everything!
I’ve got droids and blasters a-plenty
I’ve got cannons and couplings galore.
you want disruptors?
I’ve got twenty
but who cares?
no big deal,
I want more!

I wanna be where the Jedi are
I wanna learn, train with their younglings
I know I’m to old too train,but maybe there’s a place
for me. . .

Hanging ’round here you don’t get to far
Jedi training is needed to change my future
stealing and running all day, it gets dull for

Up where they fight, up where they run
up where they stay all day in the sun
Standing for them, one day I’ll be
part of that world.

What would I give, if I could live, with their favor?
what would I pay, to spend a day, training lightsaber?
Betcha up there, up there they see
Bet on Coruscant they’ll need me
Bright young women, sick of stealing,
ready to stand. . .

and Ready to know what the Jedi know
ask masters my questions and get some answers
even if they speak weird sometimes, it’s
Okay. . .

when’s it my turn?
wouldn’t I love to support the rebellion?
up in the sky
Wish I could be
one of the Jedi

Yesterday we met our fearless bounty hunter / thief.  She dreams of training with the Jedi at their temple on Coruscant, but meanwhile she’s in trouble with her current clients who are getting ready to betray her.

Jumping forward in time a bit, she’s made a deal with the devil to get to Coruscant where she trains with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.  Skywalker sure has his hands full, he’s got very little time to train new Jedi Knights, and little does he know there’s a secret agent in his latest crop of too-old students:

I’ll Make a Knight out of You.

(Sung to “I’ll make a Man Out of You”, from Mulan. Watch those pauses, they’re killer)

Let’s get down to business
to defeat the Sith
Did they send me farmers?
and not Padawans?
you’re the oldest bunch
I ever trained
but you can bet
before we’re though
One day I’ll make a knight
out of you.

Tranquil as a forest
but craving excitement.
Don’t think of adventure
Jedi craves not, those things.
You’re a sloppy slow
distracted lot
and you haven’t got a clue
Somehow I’ll make a knight
out of you.

(various padawans sing)
I’m never gonna catch
my breath
Say good-bye to
Boy was I a fool in school
for cutting gym
Skywalker’s got em
scared to death
hope he doesn’t see
I’m really Sith
Now I really wish that I
could use the force!

As Jedi
We won’t give in to
the dark side ever
As Jedi
with all the force
of the universe
As Jedi
With all the strength
In our power
Mysterious as the
dark side of Naboo

Time is racing towards us
till the Sith arrive
heed my every order
and you might survive
You’re too old to train
It’s preordained.
So pack up, go home
you’re through
How can I make a knight
how of you?

(Chorus repeats twice:)
As Jedi
We won’t give in to
the dark side ever
As Jedi
with all the force
of the universe
As Jedi
With all the strength
In our power
Mysterious as the
dark side of Naboo

The bad news is this isn’t a hoax.

The good news is George Lucas is donating much of the money from the sale to an educational charity.

But Disney?  doing a Star Wars movie?  I can totally see this turned into a 90s Disney musical, princess, animal sidekick, full musical score and all.  Perhaps Star Wars VII will open with a young bounty hunter, one who lives unaware of her latent force powers.  She’s  already in trouble with the Sith, and little does she know that the Sith has plans within plans. . .

our opening scene is sung to One Jump, from Aladdin
(this is even more fun if you’re singing along to the Youtube video)

Gotta keep
one step away from the air lock
one swing ahead of the Sith Lord
I kill only what pays a reward.
(that’s everyone!)

one jump ahead of the Sith Lord
that’s all, and that’s no joke
these guy don’t appreciate force choke.

[Crowd:] Riffraff! Street rat! Soundrel! Take that!

Just a little job guys

[Crowd:] Rip him open, take it back, guys

I can take a hint, have I been betrayed
Its time to get out of here!
[crowd:]She’s become a well known bounty hunter
But she cheated a powerful Sith Lord.

Gotta kill to live, cash in the reward,
tell you all about it when I’ve got the time!

one jump ahead of the Sith Lord
one skip ahead of my death
I’d scream except I’m out of breath!
one jump ahead of the Sith Lord
this ain’t as bad as it seems
I’ll bet I can escape their tractor beam.

[Crowd:] Stop, thief! Vandal! Outrage! Scandal!

Let’s not be to hasty

[alien] Human flesh is rather tasty!

Gotta kill to live, cash in the reward,
that’s why we’re never bored!

(Cue chase scene with required crash into a fruit stand)

[guards] she’s got a blaster!
you idiot, we’ve all got blasters!

one jump ahead of the Sith Lord

one skip ahead of my death

one trick ahead of disaster

They’re quick but I’m much faster

did I change the couplings
time to go to lightspeed
all I gotta do is jump!

that song is going to be stuck in your head forever now. totally worse than being rick-rolled.

At least now I’ll only be sued by one megacompany for copyright infringement instead of two. Stay tuned for the next installment of Disney Episode VII!  Who knows what adventures our bounty hunter/thief will encounter?  If she wants to escape the Sith and become a Jedi she’s got a lot to learn.

may be Vader some day later now he’s just a small fry. . .

Behold!  Weird Al’s brilliant spoof of Episode One.  This has been out for a while, so I’m sure most of you have already heard/seen it. Complete with guitar playing Jedi, odd aliens, a horrible Padme, Weird Al with short hair, and the damn catchiest chorus ever.  To the tune of American Pie, of course.

holy crap, is that the Emperor on keys at the end??


and there’s more!

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Serenity/Firefly aside, I don’t tend to go for graphic novels based on movies. But come on, it’s Star Wars! Han Solo was my first crush! The universe of “Clone Wars” stuff runs the gamut: there’s the Cartoon Network show, which is pretty much for children, and the Clone Wars comics and graphic novels put out by Dark Horse, which I think are more for teens or grown ups.

The Clone Wars comics by Dark Horse take place immediately after “Attack of the Clones” (Clones Wars: Adventures is something a little bit different), and stars characters known and new. You’ll notice right away the stunning artwork. Probably some of the best I’ve seen, to the point where if I even saw Jan Duuresma’s name on something, I’d be tempted to buy it no matter what it was. If you’re a Star Wars uberfan, this graphic novel is worth purchasing just for the artwork.

So the artwork is a major plus. And the last chapter is wonderful (more on this in a bit). but. . . . other than that, the graphic novel was just so-so. Too many characters that I didn’t know and wasn’t interested in, little side stories that I just didn’t care about, and Count Dooku being turned into the most super villian ever (don’t even get me started on the whole what’s the point of having an unbeatable bad guy?). Although where there is Dooku, there is Ventress, and I do dig her.

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.