Archive for November, 2005

Governor Tarkin

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 30, 2005 by jedicouncil

Well, I got a chance to listen to Sheep Guarding Llama episode number 26 tonight.  I honestly must say, Scott, that your episode was very unique (I guess).  The girls kind of scared me with the singing and all the gigglyness (is that a word?).  Okay, so no subjects to get on tonight, just straightforward Star Wars talk.  Only 28 hours till the release of “The Jedi Council Speaks” Volume 1, Episode II.  Time to talk about Governor Tarkin….

Tarkin:  ********* (9)


There is no doubt that one of the best “bad guys” in this movie has to be Governor Tarkin as well as Darth Vader.  Tarkin reminds me of a grandfather on a massive pissed-off rampage.  He always seems to have a grip on Vader throughout the movie.  Througout A New Hope, it seems as though Tarkin orders Vader around and Vader consistently seems afraid of Governor Tarkin.  This has always surprised me considering Tarkin is supposed to be merely a Governor.  But for some reason he always seemed very powerful to me.

 

Maybe it was because it seems that Tarkin has more power than the Emporer.  He has better control over Vader than the Emporer.  He even gets Vader to stop from killing one of his fellow officers when he says, “release him!”  How often did the Emporer give a direct order to Vader that he followed in the movies preceding A New Hope.  Quite honestly, Tarkin treats Vader like he’s his “bitch” (sorry about the French!).

 

Anyway, my favorite scene with Tarkin is the moment just before he dies.  I love to watch the scene as we see his profile and watches the screen hoping the Rebels fail in trying to bring down the Death Star.  I really think this shows Tarkin’s stubbornness and his willingness to believe that the Death Star would not be destroyed.  Something to think about, Tarkin believes in Vader outright because he believes that Vader will get to the X-Wings before the Death Star is destroyed.

 

Finally, Tarkin is really the man in control of the situation at the beginning of the movie.  I find it most interesting that we don’t see the Emporer at ALL throughout this entire movie.  So Tarkin seems to take his place for this one movie and really fills in the role of the “Bad Guy in Charge” very well.  So, with this in mind, I gave Tarkin a…..

 

Tarkin:  ********* (9)

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Star Wars Battlefront II

Posted in Uncategorized on November 29, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so tonight I’m going to take a break from my discussion of A New Hope and help out a friend.  I have recently played the Battlefront II videogame and recently had a discussion (really an IM discussion) with one of my former students online about the game.  Although I planned on reviewing Star Wars games later on in this blog, I thought I would take this opportunity to post Nathaniel’s review of Battlefront II.  So, this Blog is Nathaniel Hartnett’s review of Star Wars Battlefront II….


STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II:  

A Player’s Review….  

 

 

          Yes! Star Wars fans old and young can appreciate an awesome Star Wars game. Star Wars battlefront II is the sequel to the best selling Star Wars game of all time. But, what really makes the Battlefront series so great? Well…..for one thing….One of the main pros to this game is the choice of planets, eras, and units to use. Some of the first playable planets included….Hoth, Endor, Geonosis, Rhen Var, Kashyyk, and Tatooine. And that was only Battlefront I! What was a slight disappointment to many Star Wars gamers was that this game didn’t have any real aerial combat stages. In Bespin’s platforms, pilots got some brief action, but it wasn’t intense enough for any real pilot. Units had specially designed weapons for each class.  

 

Every team had four main classes: Soldier, Missile Trooper, Sniper and pilot.  

 

·        Soldiers used assault rifles and thermal detonators to obliterate enemies.  

·        Missile Troopers were used to take down enemy vehicles.  

·        Snipers obviously stayed hidden and killed enemies from a distance but they also had a recon droid capable of calling for a small air strike to get rid of any cluttering enemies.  

·        Pilots were used to repair ships and turrets for defensive purposes and they could heal any vehicle they used.  

           

Think I’m done? No way.  

 

In addition to the four core classes, every team had its own unique special class.  

·        Republic got the jet trooper.  

·        CIS (Confederacy of Independent Systems (includes a whole bunch of trading companies and the trade federation…the war is on the whole CIS and their rebellion…not just one company.) was granted the droideka (destroyer droid).  

·        The rebellion got the Wookie warrior.  

·        The Empire got the feared Dark trooper.  

 

Many people should already know all of the special class weapons, but in case you don’t…..Im not goanna say what they are. If you really want to know….go out and buy Battlefront I…if you don’t want to finish reading what the features in Battlefront II are…  

           

Alright….no onto what this is really all about….the evaluation of Battlefront II!  

 

All in all….the game is about two or three stars above Battlefront I…..for a few reasons. One of the things I wasn’t to happy about was that they took out some of the levels….many of which were just stupid and should have been, but they did take out an entire planet…Rhen Var. Really….levels were the only thing I had a problem with. In the new edition to the series…you are now able to wage your war into space….destroy their shields and take out some of their equipment like life support and the auto-turret control. The two usable units in space are the pilot and the marine.  

·        Pilots carry time bombs capable of mass destruction and sabotage.  

·        Marines are assault men who carry blaster rifles for combat and a missile launcher to sabotage ships. (Less powerful than time bomb.)  

 

 

The game also features smarter AI, improved maps and skins, and Episode III clones skins as well as heroes and villains.  

 

Yes….the time has come…..at certain levels in instant action and the new campaign: Rise of the Empire, you will now have a chance to play as the levels hero for your side.  

The rebels may get on a certain level someone like…Princess Leia Organa or maybe…..CHEWBACCA! Even Jedi heroes like Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi (does not change to Ben Kenobi for rebel faction) and the master himself…..YODA! Jedi moves differ from one to another as do their force powers.  

 

A few new modes include standard conquest which is what the traditional style for fighting in Battlefront I was. (reinforcement count can now be changed for longer battles!), Hunt where the native species of a planet battle the invading force to a certain set score, and capture the flag….obvious…no explanation needed. Battlefront I players who are too familiar with the core classes weapons….get ready…..cause Lucas Arts and Pandemic switched some of the weapons of each class around…partly to get players confused and to improve class weaponry. For example, Sniper players who use that recon droid to obliterate far-away enemies….not any more. This time you’re given an auto-turret to cover your butt as you get invaded by some strike force. Also, your engineer (formerly pilot) now has a shotgun, health and ammo dispenser and det-packs.  

          In total….Battlefront II ranks MUCH higher than Battlefront I…so many upgrades to a once great game….now….its even better….any real Star Wars fan should have this game…it’s a necessity!  

 

Battlefront I ******* (Eight Stars for semi-good animation and no really thorough maps)  

 

Battlefront II ********** (Ten stars for….basically all of the new stuff on an already awesome game…better animation….but still kind of rigid)  

The Millenium Falcon

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 28, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, I want to let you all know that Volume I, Episode II of “The Jedi Council Speaks” was completed tonight.  However, I’m NOT going to release it early!  (that’s right Nathan)  The next episode will be released on December 1st at 12 a.m.  That’s right folks, On Thursday morning (or Wednesday night, depending on how you look at it) at midnight, you will be able to download the next episode, so depending on how late at night you stay up, depends on how soon you hear the next episode.  I will tell you the next episode is one hour and thirty four minutes long.

Okay, so tonight’s Star Wars Blog will be a little short again, but I decided to talk about the Millenium Falcon.  I won’t rate it, however, because it is not a character.


I know the Millenium Falcon is not a Star Wars character persay, but I feel as though I can’t help but consider it a Star Wars character.  The ship is definetly full of character, and I feel as though I understand what the Millenium Falcon represents.  In my house the Falcon actually represents a car.  That’s right, my car is referred to as the Millenium Falcon in our house (my kids call it that).  By the way, my wife’s car is called “The Lady Luck”.  That will make more sense when we get to the Timothy Zahn series of books.

Anyway, the Falcon is a character in it’s own way.  It’s ugly on the outside but runs like a gem when you want it to.  Think about how many cars you know of in your lifetime that could be explained this way.  The Falcon is a unique piece of equipment that takes on it’s own life throughout the Star Wars movies it appears in.  As a matter of fact, I think the Falcon becomes a very unique character in The Empire Strikes Back.  Honestly, without the Millenium Falcon, Chewie and Han become dull and boring characters and much of the backstory humor that happens in these three films gets lost.

So, to all of us that own “Millenium Falcons” out there, my hats off to you.  Those pieces of equipment are unique and with a time of Thanksgiving, we should be thankful that we have a car that runs or a ship that actually flies.

Black Friday and Stormtrooper

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 27, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, I want to begin by saying that this is the third time I have attempted to make this blog tonight.  For whatever reason, my computer and internet connection are not working with me tonight.  So, I thought tonight’s two topics could go hand in hand.  You know, thousands of people dressed alike and pushing and shoving to try to help themselves to the best deal in the galaxy.  Sounds familiar, don’t it?  Okay, so I’m going to start off tonight’s blog very off beat and talk about Black Friday and the economy.  Did anyone on this blog read the economic news on Wednesday?  It was reported that they expect to see a six percent increase in consumer spending during this holiday spending according to the three major shopping industries Wal Mart, KMart, and Target.  My first reaction was, “what are they smoking?!!”  Have these people looked around at what has happened to our country in a year?  We are in a war (which usually creates a recession until the war is over), we have had a miriad of natural disasters, gas prices are up a record twenty percent from last year, and now product prices are expected to start jumping five and ten percent including staple items such as bread and water.  Then, Alan Greenspan has decided to up the interest rates a total of four percent over the past year.  But, remember when your pocketbooks are the most empty, you’re expected to spend six percent more than last year!  I’ll tell you why Black Friday was so chaotic at stores this year.  It’s for one reason, the bargains!  People didn’t want to spend this year what they spent last year, so they attacked the stores for the biggest and best bargains and now shopping will go down between now and Christmas unless the bargains start to look better.  Let’s face it folks, most of us are spending less.

As an aside, I must say that I made a trip to Burger King this weekend and we all bought ourselves some Star Wars watches.  All in all, they are pretty cool.  Although, I don’t know why they decided to put on a “holographic back” to the watch.  Why would I buy a watch and then hide the time?

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now and do a short blog about Stormtroopers……..

Stormtroopers:  ******* (7)


Okay, so I really like Stormtroopers in general.  I really like guys who dress up like the stormtroopers in fandom like the 501st.  If you don’t know who they are, go over to http://www.501st.com  they have a great website.  By the way, the stormtroopers that are in the new Star Wars Battlefront II game are all from the 501st, so they have made a name for themselves.  Anyway, the one thing I like about stromtroopers is that when you see one of them, you almost expect to see millions of them of the like.  So, you rarely ever catch a stormtrooper by himself.  Instead, the smallest group you find them in are in squads of five or six.  Isn’t that they way we would like our military to work?  They also make a great addition to the Star Wars universe as the badboys of Darth Vader’s.  I just can’t picture any other troopers behind Vader other than a stormtrooper.  I think they set themselves apart from the badguy army dudes from any other sci-fi film.  They are ominous (you don’t see their faces), they are scary, and they are armoured.

This leads me to my only question about Stormtroopers in A New Hope.  If the stromtroopers are so well armored, then why do the Rebels’ wimpy blasters seem to poke holes in their armor at the beginning of the movie?  Somehow, I don’t find this very believable.  So, I gave stormtroopers a:

Stormtroopers:  ******* (7)

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 24, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so today’s blog does not announce which character we will discuss today, and neither will this intro.  Instead, I will let you read on to find out what character I am reviewing today.  Okay, so I’ll be honest, tommorrow there may not be a blog from this website.  Not because I don’t want to, but because I will be out there with over two million Americans shopping on “Black Friday”.  Oh yeah, and since I live so close to the boarder with Pennsylvannia, why would I shop in New York with eight and a half percent tax, when I can travel one hour south and only pay four percent tax.  God, I love this country!  Okay, onto the discussion about my next character from A New Hope……


Okay, I chose a holiday to review this character because this character deserves a holiday unto himself.  Of course, I’m talking about Darth Vader!  When I first saw Darth Vader (and could remember what I saw) I remember that I was so scared of him I would have peed my pants if I weren’t wearing diapers at the time.  He really is the ultimate bad-guy.  And now that the prequel has come out, my viewpoint on this character has since changed.  So, I’ve decided to tell you what I thought of Darth Vader after my first viewing of A New Hope and then I thought I would give you my viewpoint now that it has changed with the release of the prequel.

I really thought that Darth Vader was the ultimate, hard-core bad-guy.  We first see him at the very beginning of the movie when he first boards the Rebel Cruiser looking for “the plans” .  Of course, we don’t know what the plans are till later, but we do see Vader’s disdain for human life.  He threatens and kills a Rebel officer and even threatens one of his own officers as well.  He then finds Pricness Leia and threatens her life immediately as well.  I remember the most powerful fearful characteristic of Darth Vader was the ominous, constant breathing that you hear everytime he is on the screen.  Of course there are other features that make him fearful.  Like the fact that you never see his face and he is always dressed in black.  For me, the other fear is the constant reference to The Force, this “religion” (as one of the Senators put it) that we know very little about by this point in the story.  Going on, Vader tortures Leia with a really cool looking droid and Leia gives him a planet that is supposedly the location of the Rebel base.  Of course Vader doesn’t trust her and decides to blow up her home planet of Alderaan.  Another Dark moment for the good guys and another victory for Vader.  After they blow up the planet, they manage to catch the Millenium Falcon and search the ship for the stolen plans, which are no where to be found.  Finally, Vader searches the Death Star for a distrubance in the Force which he has detected, but can’t tell where it has come from.  He finally finds the “disturbance” and finds that it is Obi-Wan being aboard the Death Star and fights Obi-Wan on the spot.  He defeats Obi-Wan (and little to his knowledge started the chain reaction that will lead to his own demise).

Finally, the Rebels decide to attack the Death Star and Vader and Tarkin don’t believe that the Rebels will be successful and yet they come close to hitting the “Thermal Exhause Port”.  So, Vader goes out in his own ship and starts hunting down Rebel pilots one by one on his own.  He gets to destroy a whole bunch of Rebel ships until Luke is the only one left, but Han comes to save the day and Vader’s life is spared because he gets pushed away from the Death Star before it blows up.  I think by that point, every Star Wars fan knew there would be a sequel, or Darth Vader would have died on the Death Star.

So, how has my viewpoint on Vader changed?  Well, simply put, I used to hate Vader and view him as a really bad guy and I just wanted to see him die (I even was very happy at the end of Return of the Jedi when I finally saw him die).  Now, I don’t feel the same.  Now I feel sorry for Vader.  I see him as Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Knight that was so powerful that no one understood his point of view or his point of life and his power.  Because of that, I feel sorry for Darth Vader and see him as a Jedi Knight that was manipulated by the Dark Side and never really had a chance to become what he thought he could really achieve.  Moreover, Darth Vader became what he did out of love.  He simply did not want to see Padme die.  I can understand that because I don’t know what I would do with my life if my wifer were to ever die.  That is how my viewpoint of Darth Vader has changed.  Even after all of this, I still give Darth Vader a……

Darth Vader:  ********** (10)

*HAPPY THANKSGIVING BLOGGERS AND BLOG READERS!!!!*

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 24, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so I was bound to screw up sooner or later.  Last night I had quite the night at the Crissman household.  My wife and I decided to finnish up a makeover of our bathroom last night and into today to change over our very “blah” white bathroom into a purple/lilac colored bathroom with a carpeted floor and all.  The really cool thing that we found in our bathroom is a laundry shoot into the basement that we didn’t even know existed in our house, so we were very excited to find that.  Okay, so tonight we’re going to talk about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s role in A New Hope……

Obi-Wan (“Old Ben”) Kenobi:  ********** (10)


I really do like the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope.  Honestly, I believe that this role and the role of Darth Vader are the two people that hold the glue of this particular Star Wars movie together.  We first learn about Obi-Wan as “Old Ben” Kenobi, some old hermit ont he planet of Tattoine.  He seems to be this old guy that no one knows anything about.  I think that is what makes Obi-Wan so awesome in this movie, there is a lot of intrigue that seems to follow this character at every turn.

Luke finally finds Old Ben to give him R2 back and to get the message to Ben.  Ironically, Ben Kenobi doesn’t recognize Luke’s own sister but says they need to figure out a way to rescue Princess Leia.  They decide to hire Han almost on the spot and become deeply involved in the training that Luke is now to undergo.  Interestingly, Obi-Wan ended up training both Luke and Anakin, which I find very interesting considering they are father and son.  Anyway, we find out Alderaan has been blown to bits and has disappeared.  Going on, Ben helps to free the Millenium Falcon and finds Darth Vader on his way back to the ship.  This is where the best quote from the movie comes from, “when I last left you I was but the student, now I am the master”.  I love this quote in this scene because it explains so much about what happens in the prequels without seeing them.  It does prove that in some ways Lucas may have written this whole storyline all at once.  Going on, Obi-Wan deliberately lets Darth Vader kill him, knowing that he has learned the power to “come back from the dead” which he learned from Yoda, who learned it from Qui-Gonn (of course we don’t officially find this out until Episode III came out).  Finally, Obi-Wan helps Luke have the confidence to shoot down the Death Star and good wins the day.

I give Alec Guiness doing a great job playing this character and I believe he is the best actor in this film.  I don’t know what other films Guiness has done, but I believe that this role is probably his crowning achievement and he did a great job in his performance.  Kudos to you Alec Guiness for playing a great Old Obi-Wan Kenobi.  That’s why I gave Obi-Wan a:

Obi-Wan (“Old Ben”) Kenobi:  ********** (10)

Princess Leia

Posted in IV - A New Hope with tags on November 22, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so I meant to try a whole “cut and paste” blog tonight and simply didn’t get a chance to do it today at school, because my school, in it’s infinite wisdom, has decided to move my room over Christmas vacation.  SO, I need to basically tear my whole room down and put it back up again half way through the school year.  But you know what, it’s all good!  I do better under pressure anyway!

So, tonight’s blog is about that infamous Princess Leia.  Every girl wanted to be her and every guy, well they didn’t want to “be” her, read on to find out more…..

Princess Leia:  *** (3)


Okay, so Princess Leia was the ultimate in female Star Wars characters.  She was completely defiant to Darth Vader in the beginning of the movie and seems to get caught pretty easy by the stormtroopers.  One thing I have to say that I completely admire about Princess Leia is her outfits, I mean her defiance under pressure (just kidding ;)).  Anyway, I admire her ability to defy Darth Vader and the interogation methods he uses.

Then comes the rescue.  For whatever reason, Princess Leia really annoys me when it comes to the rescuing of her character.  She becomes overly cinical and creates some of the most comedic moments like, “you came in that!  You’re braver than I thought!”  But, her witty humor just turns out to be annoying.  To make matters worse, she tries to get bitchy with Han when he decides to take his money and run.  What did she expect him to do?  He’s a frickin’ smuggler.  He’s not likely to just decide to help your cause especially when you just turned him down!  Anyway, she is happy when Luke and Han team together and save the day.

I was most annoyed that Carrie Fisher was chosen to play this role.  She is a really weak female actress and if you  have ever payed attention, she never had a successful acting career outside of Star Wars.  Honestly, I think this is because Carrie Fisher can’t act.  I am even more annoyed now after the role that Natalie Portman played in the first Star Wars trilogy to watch Carrie Fisher’s poor performance in this movie!  Carrie is really a weak actress and plays a pretty powerful female role in the Star Wars films and does, quite honestly, a shitty job doing it!  So, with all of this in mind, I give Princess Leia a:

Princess Leia:  *** (3)