Resistance Reviews – Signal from Sector Six

Resistance Reviews
“Signal from Sector Six”

 

I’m starting to see a pattern in these Resistance episodes.  In just about every one of them so far, there’s some weird stuff, some awkward stuff, some almost awesome stuff and some stuff that makes me wonder if I should keep watching it.  Every time that happens,  I’m constantly just reminding myself that this is the sixth episode of the first season of a show that is admittedly made for an audience much younger then I am. Resistance can be enjoyed by everyone but in the end,  the crowd this show is reaching for may not be the same one the Cassian Andor spy adventures show will be.  Unless Cassian screams and falls down a hole in every episode.

Signal from Sector Six sees the welcome return of Poe Dameron as he and resident goofball Kaz go over the ongoing spy mission, fly some X-Wings and eventually get all Alien movie as they investigate a spooky abandoned freighter ship in space.  Once on there, the episode takes a odd and oddly satisfying detour as we learn the ship is the home to a gigantic, buff Kowakian ape.  I’ll save you the trip to Wookieepedia and let you know that a Kowakian ape is basically a big mean Salacious Crumb.  It’s 2018 and finally my dreams have started to come true.

Once Poe and Kaz start to escape they discover a mysterious person named Synara hiding in the ship and decide to bring her back to the Colossus.  After she gets there we learn (gasp!) she’s got dealings with the pirates from a few episodes back and she could be an actual spy for them and could bring the First Order into the station!  Oh and also there’s a touching droid heart to heart moment between BB-8 and the other BB unit droid, CB-23.  And did I mention that we learn that Poe hates monkeys?

Thinking back to how jam packed with the crazy this episode is makes me appreciate it a little bit more then when I first watched it.   Is it the best 22 minutes of television you’ll ever watch?  Definitely no.  It does let Oscar Isaac shine in a downright silly Poe Dameron performance and it has a giant pissed off Salacious Crumb.  And I may be wrong, but while Kaz still acted like an idiot a lot, he didn’t fall down once in this one. So I guess I’m not complaining ?

B+

Episode 148 : The Sounds of The Empire Strikes Back

This week Jason and Gabe are doing a deep dive into Ben Burtt’s amazing sounds of The Empire Strikes Back! We listen to almost 40 ESB sounds & share the wild stories on how they were created! Raccoons in bathtubs & Shakespearean Probe Droids! What sounds were shared with Raiders of the Lost Ark and what came from The Holiday Special sessions? Listen to this BurttTastic episode and find out!!
PLUS: We lost our minds over Cassian Andor The TV Show! Will he find his gloves?!
So smell bad on the outside and celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

 

Editorial – The Force of Star Wars Fan Fiction

“The Force of Star Wars Fan Fiction”

By Michelle Wittlich

 

I was a Star Wars Original Trilogy (OT) generation kid who was young enough in 1977 to have no memories of life pre-Star Wars. I also REALLY love the Sequel Trilogy (ST). I love it a lot. One might say I am obsessed. One would not be inaccurate if one used that term. I love “The Force Awakens” (TFA), but Holy Hello There, do I adore “The Last Jedi” (TLJ). I have no qualms calling it a Star Wars masterpiece.

However, am I EVER disgruntled with the current rift in fandom and the oft-discussed toxicity problem. We all know about that big ol’ “The Last Jedi”-shaped sinkhole that sadly opened up beneath us on or shortly after December 15, 2017. Most fans ended up on one side or the other of that sinkhole. I have close Star Wars friends who were also OT generation kids who simply do not understand how I can love TLJ with the passion that I do having been raised loving the OT. They feel differing degrees of betrayal for most of the same reasons other fans felt that way….Luke Skywalker’s character development and death, Canto Bight being a waste of time, a lack of Snoke’s backstory/importance, Rey’s lack of significant lineage, Yaddle, Yaddle, Yaddle. I have had a general theory on our divergent opinions on TLJ since the first times we talked following our first viewings….in my opinion, it was all about how they had expectations to which they were unable to let go and a sense of entitlement vs how I was able to let go of my expectations and had no sense of entitlement. What expectations I had (mainly, that Rey HAD to be a Skywalker), I was more than willing to let fall by the wayside in acquiescence to Lucasfilm’s and Rian Johnson’s engaging storytelling.

How can this be? Why am I so willing to let go of my expectations while my friends were unable or unwilling to do so even to the detriment of their Star Wars enjoyment?

I know what my friends think of me….I’m an OT traitor. They look at me like I am gleefully stabbing them in the back while I go on and on about my adoration for Rian Johnson, his carefully crafted script, his artful direction, and my favorite feature of all….the character developments of Luke, Rey and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. Honestly, I know they would feel justified in revoking my Star Wars card for actually being happy about and grateful for Luke’s arc.

Let me start to get to the point. There is a thing in TLJ that really got me. It got me BUT GOOD. The surprising development of the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren, ie Reylo, stunned and delighted me. Shamed I will not be for “‘shipping” Reylo, so useless the attempts are. That is a defensive statement because I have found that for….reasons, Reylo, like other features of TLJ, bothers some people. If you happen to be one of those people, don’t be too deterred about continuing to read because, really, this is not about Reylo, per se. It is more about Reylo fans, our expectations, and our solution for disappointment.

Reylo fans have been around since TFA. However, I didn’t get on board until Rian “Reylo” Johnson told me to. He seriously looked RIGHT AT ME and said, “Reylo is an actual thing I’m doing, and it is your new Star Wars obsession.” “OK, Rian.”, I answered. “I am ready, able and willing to drive this Reylo train to the ends of the galaxy!” I can talk about Rey and Kylo for hours. I can talk about how, together, they are the will of the Cosmic Force. How they will bring perfect balance to A Galaxy Far, Far Away. How only together can they achieve the balance that the Force has been striving for the entirety of the Star Wars saga. How, as the kids say, “Reylo is endgame.” How I believe Ben Solo will be redeemed through his love for Rey, with a Cosmic Force assist, and once and for all will close the circle of Anakin Skywalker’s and Padme Amidala’s tragic story through the selfless love between their grandson and his Force-chosen equal, through forgiveness, atonement and hope for the future (ie, Reylo babies). Beautiful, isn’t it? I think so.

But, wait. I just wrote that I am sure that the underlying reason my friends and a lot of fans are dissatisfied with TLJ is because they went into the theaters married or at least betrothed to theories and expectations about everything from Luke’s predicted badassery, Snoke’s backstory, Rey’s lineage, etc. So, then, why would I walk purposefully into the same trap for Episode IX? Am I not setting myself up to be a hater? Am I not going to be outraged and making YouTube videos about how J.J. Abrams ruined the entire saga by not following my carefully constructed head canons?

Full disclosure time….I would be disappointed if Ben Solo is not redeemed and Reylo fails to happen in some capacity. I understand that I might momentarily raise my fists to the sky and bellow, “WHYYYYYYYY????”. I might even be temporarily sad enough to binge on gluten-free cupcakes.

But I can also promise that I would NOT let that ruin my Star Wars joy for long. And here is the secret (It’s not a secret. Literally, huge numbers of people know about it.) that will keep me from contributing to bitter toxicity…..STAR WARS FAN FICTION.

Go ahead and make faces of skepticism. Look down your nose at me. Snicker. Chuckle. Eye roll. I’m used to it, and I’ll wait.

But here’s the thing. The fan fiction readers and writers that I know all agree on this. If one ever has feelings of disappointment with canon, fan fiction is a soothing balm for those feelings. It’s actually kind of magical. Deep within the safe confines of the internet lie thousands of fan fiction stories at archiveofourown.org. Some have blissful endings. Some are riddled with angst. Whatever kind of story you prefer (alternate universe stories, stories that stay true to canon, stories that are in the Star Wars universe but veer off into a whole other direction than canon) someone has probably written it. And if one had an idea but felt unsure about writing it, one could actually commission a writer to write that story. It is a glorious world of boundless Star Wars imagination. I am not exaggerating at all when I say fan fiction is the reason that I will not become a grumpy, Episode IX-hating ogre if Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams decide that Reylo isn’t a thing after all, and Kylo Ren is just a run-of-the-mill villain who should bleed his own blood and die unredeemed and evil. I know many Reylo fan fiction readers who feel the same, and I think we would all cope with any Episode IX disappointment just fine by delving into any number of literally thousands of Reylo-centric fan fictions.

Why do I and others seem to catch a lot of guff because we very much enjoy Star Wars fan fiction? I have my theories on that. I think some people assume that fan fiction is not good quality writing. That is false. I have whipped through 30 chapter fictions like a crazy person because the writing was so wonderful. Often, I have been blown away at the writer’s creativity. I also think some people assume fan fiction is nothing more than gratuitous, romantic “‘shipping” stories. Granted, there is a lot of that if that is one’s jam, but there are all kinds of stories. I also think critics and skeptics assume fan fiction is only written by women and for women. I’m not a man, so I can’t say whether a man would enjoy any of the fictions I have enjoyed, but I would be interested to find out what kind of fictions men DO enjoy.

Am I saying if more fans enjoyed fan fiction, the backlash to TLJ would have been lessened? The split in fandom wouldn’t be so gaping? Well, yes. I guess I am theorizing that if more fans were accustomed to reading/writing many various takes on Luke Skywalker, fans may have had a less entitled and proprietary attitude towards that character’s arc and fate, and therefore may have been less angry and bitter when TLJ didn’t fulfill the fantasies in their heads. They may have grumbled for a bit, but then perhaps sat down to read or even write a satisfying tale where Luke is a Jedi god and lives so long he starts to resemble Master Yoda, and as a result, may have felt less hostile towards TLJ.

Also, guess what? Reading Star Wars fan fiction is just a fun, fun time. It’s fun to talk about with other readers. It’s fun to imagine all the alternative “what-ifs” in the vast Star Wars universe. It’s fun to discover a great, new fiction and recommend it to others. And it is super fun when a favorite, ongoing fiction finally posts a new chapter.

Speaking of which, enough writing for me for now. If you’ll excuse me, I have some fan fiction chapter updates to devour. May the Force be with you all.

Resistance Reviews – The Children from Tehar

Resistance Reviews
“The Children from Tehar”

 

Let’s sit down and talk.  Just you and me, Resistance.   I’m trying really, REALLY hard to appreciate you.  I know you are going out of your way to give me me what I like with all the Space Turtle engineers, a sly Kylo Ren shoutout, an Asty cameo… but I swear that goofball Kaz tripped over things 7 times in 22 minutes.  7 TIMES!  Why?  I’m clumsy but I don’t trip and fall seven times a day! Can Kaz maybe, just maybe get a clue?  And for the love of Yoda, can he stop falling down all the dang time?

The Children of Tehar starts with a Kaz screwing up yet another project (imagine that) and he goes off to drown his sorrows in a glass of water at Z’s bar.   Once there he sees a hologram of some missing kids that if he found, he’d get a huge reward.  So he and Neeku fall down a couple times and eventually with the help of those fantastic Space Turtles, find the lost kids.  Who to nobody’s surprise, would rather not be found.  Seems these kids just escaped from the planet Tehar which just saw the mighty Kylo Ren wipe out a whole town of people and everyone these kids know.

In an effort to save these kids from a cool gold plated First Order trooper, Kaz’s character thankfully shows his first glimpses of being not being just a clumsy guy in a jacket who knows NOTHING about engineering.  Though he still screws up a lot in the process, as soon as Kaz hears about Kylo busting up their town, he springs into action to do anything to try and keep them safe.  It was good to see and it may be a hint of what’s eventually to come once the First Order does much much worse to everyone HE cares about.

While Children from Tehar is a much better episode then the blond kid episode or the nighttime biker gang episode, it’s still sad that just a namedrop of a film character like Kylo Ren can make a whole episode come alive.  When Kaz was talking to Ello Asty at the end, I almost passed out and I completely forgot all about plight of the runaway kids. The show is good but the original characters just aren’t there yet.   These new shows always take time, but I feel like by Rebels episode 5, we already knew we liked Hera, Zeb and Kanan.  Kaz just isn’t doing it for me and wonder if anyone is actually laughing at his constant buffoonery?

I’m sticking with you Resistance because you have promise and I feel like you’re building towards something.  Maybe it’s Hosian Prime blowing up, the discovery of Neeku being the First Order spy, a cameo from King Prana, a song by Asty or maybe it’s just Kaz falling down some more?  Either way, I’m still on board for now.

B

Episode 147 – The Art Of The Art Of Attack Of The Clones

This week Jason and Gabe take a look at the vastly underrated Art of Attack of the Clones!  This 2002 book not only holds some incredible Star Wars concept art but it also shows how AOTC was a truly groundbreaking film in every way!  From how it ushered in a new digital age of filmmaking, how the concepts changed from TPM,  to how it changed the way blockbuster films are designed! Tune in as we go over it all!

PLUS: Episode 9 is making us go insane, a movie that was not announced getting cancelled and speculation on just what is beyond the end of the Skywalker saga!

So create your army of Ace Frehley clones and celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!!

Resistance Reviews – The High Tower

Resistance Reviews
“The High Tower”

 

High Tower is a real mixed bag of an episode.  It’s like a bag of Chex Mix but there’s a lot of the weird bread things and not as many cereal squares.  Isn’t that always how it goes though?  Thankfully, the episode moves at a brisk and breezy pace and really stands out storywise compared to the last couple of bits of the story we’ve gotten. Sadly,  it also fails yet again to connect the viewer with the main character at all and often feels slightly uneven.  Kinda like a handful of Chex Mix.

A lot actually happens in this episode to move the show forward.  Like, A LOT.  We are finally introduced to one of the ace pilots, the charming Rodian named Hype Fazon.  We get our first idea on how the First Order is using the Colossus, and who’s dealing with them. We get to see some real relationships between Hype, Tam and Torra, and the elite in the High Tower are first made aware of the bumbling spy that is Kaz.  It’s a lot crammed into 22 minutes and once the cool red armored stormtrooper person shows up, it’s hard to really feel bad for Kaz as he goofs through his latest failed spy mission.

As I watched Tam and Hype talk about past regrets and attempt to make amends, I realized that those two characters right there and that story was a lot more engaging than our main character’s has been so far.  In two or three exchanged lines, I wanted to know way more about them then see Kaz mug and scream his way down a hallway while being chased by stormtroopers.

I know we are only on the 4th or 5th episode of the first season and the show is for kids and that Star Wars has been and will always be for kids (from a certain point of view) but Kaz so far is like the Uber-Ezra.  These shows don’t always need a main character who is constantly in over his head and messing up for kids to be into it.  Kaz needs to figure out what he’s really doing and the show needs to figure Kaz out before I begin the letter writing campaign to make the whole show about Tam and Torra.   Now I’ll go back to my Chex Mix.

B – 

Episode 146 – SNOKETOBERFEST!

SNOKETOBERFEST!  Jason and Gabe are back and are celebrating all things Snoke in this action packed SnokeToberfest filled episode!!  How did SnokeMania get started? What were the wild, insane theories on Snoke’s identity we all lived by? How could some Snoke mysteries be explored in the future of the saga?  Just what are his favorite songs? Tune in and find out! ‬ AND the greatest Snoke imitations sent in by listeners like you!!

PLUS : George Lucas is out and about!  The Mandalorian craziness!  Yogi Bear posters, Kylo Ren’s voicemail and so much more!

So take a chance on Snoke & celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!!

Episode photo made by Lysa Goodman!

 

Episode 145 – The Anthony Daniels Incredibly Improved Wonder Column Survival Experience

Did you know Anthony Daniels recorded a CD in 1999 of him telling stories about the filming of the original trilogy?  Did you know this chart topping CD also featured an odd side story about R2 and 3PO lost in space?   We didn’t either!  Now you can join in as we attempt to listen to the whole 60 plus minute thing!!   How much Anthony Daniels telling non stop stories can we take before we give up?  Tune in and find out!!

PLUS :  Mandalorian Madness!  Corn Dogs at Galaxy’s Edge and SNOKETOBERFEST!!

So fire up those Jawa eyes, take it to the limit and celebrate the love with BLAST POINTS!

Listen to the whole thing here :

http://podcasts.radiovalencia.fm/krob/krob.2015-05-25.0700.mp3

 

Resistance Reviews – Fuel for the Fire

Resistance Reviews
“Fuel for the Fire”

 

In some ways, in a lot of ways, this third episode of Resistance should have had warning signs pasted all over it.  This week we have resident goof Kaz meeting a gang of cool troublemakers led by the Star Wars Ken doll looking guy Jace Rucklin (voiced by Elijah Wood).  This gang of hooligans (which contains a Sullustan I wanted to know more about) want Kaz to steal some Corellian Hyperfuel (nice Solo shout out!!) from his goodhearted boss, Yaeger.  If that sounds like it’s going to have about  as much as a heavy handed learn your lesson as a very special episode of Punky Brewster, you’re absolutely right it does.

Somehow through that predictable story line, Fuel for the Fire manages to soar in ways last week’s The Triple Dark crashed.  This episode’s not so subtle lesson actually allows Kaz to grow the tiniest bit as a character this time.  He runs off with these rough and tumble pilots as he feels like he’s just … kinda… useless doing anything else.   He’s just about admits he’s not good a spying so far or pretending to be mechanic.  The guy is a pilot and here comes some weirdos saying, “hey, screw the man and that lousy job!  Let’s go fly!”  And he jumps at it!  Now of course these rascals want to steal and they cheat and all that stuff and we know how all that will naturally end up.

By the end of this episode, Kaz starts to realize that he has it pretty good on the Colossus.  He’s got friends, a sympathetic boss, a support system, a loyal BB unit and an important mission from the best pilot in the Resistance who also has the best jackets and hair.

It’ll be interesting to see where Kaz now goes in the upcoming episodes.  Will he revert back to a  “I don’t know why I’m here” or will he start to work with his team some more?  Regardless,  Fuel for the Fire is a pretty nice step in the right direction.

B+

Resistance Review – The Triple Dark

Resistance Reviews
“The Triple Dark”

 

Ah, the second episode.  The party of the big series premier is done, Poe Dameron is gone, the cake and ice cream has to go away and we have to start getting into what this show is actually really about.  We know the basic premise that this goofball from the New Republic, Kaz is pretending to be a pilot/mechanic on this big space aircraft carrier thing while actually Leia and Poe want him there figuring out who is a spy for the First Order.   Got that?  Okay, so does this this story actually get its feet in the Crait salt and take us on our first steps into a larger world here?  Well, yes and no.

While The Triple Dark features a bit more of a look at the day to day life on the continually fascinating Colossus, the biggest thing weighing it down is once again our main character, Kaz.  I know it’s only the second episode, but the fact that he suffers from Ezra syndrome and he’s kinda whiny, kinda an idiot, not a good fake mechanic and not a good for real spy make me wonder just what is he good at and why is he our main character?  The show picks up energy whenever Yeager or Tam are on screen because so far they’re a heck of a lot more interesting then the kid who is walking into poles and electrocuting people.   Those two have had hints of interesting backstories that tie to The Saga and frankly their not walking around slipping on banana peels all the time.

I’m not saying everything in this episode is a misstep though.  I love the Triple Dark pirate marauders, the grumpy Neimoidian is beautiful and the scene when the station’s pilots suit up and get in their fighters to defend the Colossus is Star Wars Gold.

Resistance so far is still like a new pair of shoes that look great but might just might be rubbing against my heel a little weird right now.  Maybe they’ll stretch out and I’m sure they will get more comfortable over time.   BUT  if this keeps up with the “I’m Kaz and I have no clue what I’m doing” stuff by the time Hosnian Prime blows up then me and these cool new shoes may have issues.   I gotta remind myself that Clone Wars started a little weird and the first few regular episodes of Rebels were extremely off.  So far Resistance is finding its groove at it’s own pace.  I just better not get a blister.

C+