Archive for December, 2005

Personal Update/Yoda

Posted in V - The Empire Strikes Back with tags on December 29, 2005 by jedicouncil

Well, I know it’s been a while since I last blogged, but hey, I’ve been a buisy man!  And I’m not just talking about owning a house and everything else.  The Christmas season has been very kind to the Crissman family this season.  The kids had a great Christmas (which is what Christmas is all about in my house).  My son got a ton of Star Wars toys for Christmas and what can I say, I’m a proud dad that my son is THAT into Star Wars.  Anyway,  I got some cool gifts myself and was very happy with the turn-out of Christmas.  We had a great feast at our house and I could never be prouder to be able to host such a feast in my new house.  Now, on top of all of this my wife and I are actually going to be able to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve for only the second time in our eight years of being married.  I don’t know why I get so excited about that, but I do.  I like to see the ball drop and all the other places we go, we can’t do that.  At Scott’s place, Scott doesn’t have cable TV (as a personal protest, which I completely understand and respect Scott, so don’t take that the wrong way) and at my in-laws, they have satelite TV and don’t get local channels.  So, being able to watch the ball drop seems like a big deal to me.

On another note, for those of you that know me well know that I’m also into Lord of the Rings (which I may start another blog and podcast about that later on this upcoming year) and I have been playing the Lord of the Rings miniatures game from Games Workshop.  Well, I’m very excited to announce that my Helm’s Deep set that I have been building over the past year is really starting to take shape and take off.  I have just finnished with the outer wall and will be looking to make the great hall this week and raising up the entire inner and outer wall sections so that I can work on the deepening wall.  The only other thing I need is a six foot table to start putting the entire set on.  My ultimate goal is to be able to break it all down when I need to.  This is to save some space in my house.  Anyway, I’m just excited to be at this stage.  I have been considering putting some pics up on this blog of the current project, let me know what all of you think.

Also on another personal note, my classroom is finally moved.  I finnished up moving my room today and it was quite a chore.  The only thing I need to do is some massive organizing in my classroom.  So, tommorrow, I have to wake up early and drive to school by 7:30 a.m. and try to get back to my house less than two hours later so that Heather can leave for work while I watch the kids.

I also plan on starting to work on “The Jedi Council Speaks”, Volume 1, Episode 3 starting tommorrow.  So, if there are any comments or “jabs” you want to get into the show the next few days would be the time to do it.  I’m also proud to announce that a preview for this episode will be up on Podomatic on New Years Day (can’t garauntee the time yet).

Okay, so I know you came to talk/read about Star Wars, so here goes.  Tonight’s topice, Yoda and his role in The Empire Strikes Back.

Yoda:  ****** (6)


Yoda.  A character that as a child I revered and respected, but as an adult, I have learned to almost be annoyed by Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.  I think much of it has to do with what I have seen of Yoda as an adult compared to what I have seen of Yoda as a kid.

I remember seeing Yoda in the theater and I was very young, but I remember thinking “wow, that’s the famed Jedi Master Yoda.”  Of course, I had no idea what that really meant, and by this point in my life I hadn’t seen Yoda fight Count Dooku the way he does in the prequels, so I was going by what we were shown of Yoda.  I remember thinking that he was larger than life, and reality is that most of the quotes that are still used from Star Wars come from Yoda, like “Do or do not, there is no try” or “The dark side is quicker, easier”.  I love these quotes and you can find them all over my classroom because I think that they are quotes we can ALL live by.

On the other hand, Yoda can be completely annoying in this movie.  All the laughing and playing with Luke’s mind.  The fact that he doesn’t introduce himself at the beginning.  I know, he’s supposed to be testing Luke, but come on folks, was it really a fair test?  Or even a good test of Luke’s “abilities”?  I think the fact that Yoda is so quick to say that he won’t train Luke is also very interesting.  Evidently Yoda mastered that concept of communing with the dead on Dagobah (from Episode III) or he wouldn’t be able to commune with Obi-Wan. 

More over, how is it that Yoda takes years (almost decades) training Jedi Knights before this movie, but seems to be able to train Luke in what seems like days (maybe weeks), there doesn’t seem to be any calculation of time.  It can’t be too long considering what happens to Han and Leia.  Now, I understand that his training is not completed, but his training shouldn’t have even come close to being completed.

Now, with all I just said, I’m sure you’re expecting a totally negative rating.  Once thing I must say is that I like Frank Oz’s version of Yoda as opposed to the computer generated one’s of other movies.  What’s wrong with still using puppets even if computers give you more abilities.  With all of this in mind, I give Yoda a:

Yoda:  ****** (6)

The Millenium Falcon

Posted in V - The Empire Strikes Back with tags on December 20, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so there is always good news.  As my dad says on a daily basis, “hey, I’m vertical!”  Anyway, I thought I would share with my friends some good news.  The Crissmans have another baby on the way.   Hold on!  Read on…. It’s NOT us!  My brother and his wife are pregnant again, so congratulations Mike and Trish.  They’re going to make me Uncle Bob, yet again.  I’m still not sure I like the name Uncle Bob, but according to my brother, it’s Uncle Rob’s.  Anywho, it’s time to do a short blog on The Millenium Falcon, I hope you enjoy…..


So, I couldn’t talk about The Empire Strikes Back without talking about the role of the Millenium Falcon.  From the beginning when we see the Falcon being worked on by a repair droid, and the droid seems to be doing a horrible job working on the Falcon (at least according to Han).  Then Han decides to take Leia off of Hoth on the Falcon, and as usual, the engine doesn’t want to seem to work.  Even cooler in this scene is the use of the Falcon’s guns on the ground while in dock.  I thought it was really cool that Han was able to take out a fixed position blaster and some Snowtroopers, all while getting the engines warmed up.  That is what makes the Falcon cool, when it works, it has some cool little tricks up it’s sleeves.

Next, we find out that the hyperdrive on the Falcon is busted.  This becomes a situation of almost outright humor throughout the entire movie.  Han decides to try and fix the hyperdrive while inflight, but it doesn’t work.  They end up having to go into an asteroid field and dry-dock with an asteroid.  They continue to work on the Falcon, and it seems that C3-PO has a  connection with the Falcon, as it tells him about problems aboard the ship that Han can’t seem to understand.  But this is only the beginning of their problems.  They leave the asteroid to escape the creature (and according to Han the hyperdrive is fixed), however the hyperdrive STILL isn’t working!  So, Han decides to do another manuever that only the Falcon can do.  He moves into attack positon on the Star Destroyer and then docks with the backside of the bridge and “dissappears” off of their scopes.

Han decides to take the Falcon to Bespin to try and get it fixed.  While there, we find out that Lando used to own the Falcon.  Then we are told that the Falcon is yet again repaired.  Then we find out that Captain Needa sabotaged the repairs and when they go to use the hyperdrive again, it’s still busted!  Fortunately, R2D2 comes to save the day and manages to fix the hyperdrive on the Falcon so the “good guys” can escape the Star Destroyer chasing them.

All of this proves that the Falcon, although not a character, played a minor role in making The Empire Strikes Back a successful movie.

Christmas Season/Princess Leia

Posted in V - The Empire Strikes Back with tags on December 19, 2005 by jedicouncil

Well, we began Christmas here at the Crissman’s today with a celebration of the Crissman/Arkema Christmas and NOT to be overlooked was Tara Lynn’s Birthday (it often gets overlooked because it is so close to Christmas).  It was loads of fun and it was great to spend some time with family.  I will be honest with all of you, I will try to blog each day this week, but I can’t garauntee that I will get to it, because it’s the Christmas season and I can’t garauntee what will happen each day.  I wanted to have the “crib notes” to my podcast for February done by this weekend, but that hasn’t been started yet because I’m still working on school work to get caught up because I have to be ready to move my classroom over break.

Tonight’s blog is about Princess Leia’s role in The Empire Strikes Back.  I believe in getting straight to the point, so……

Princess Leia:  ** (2)


Well, Leia’s role in this movie seemed to be almost inconsequential at best.  I was really upset at the role, or lack of role, that Princess Leia had in this movie.  We start off with Leia being part of the force that is holding off the Empire when they attack the planet of Hoth.  On this planet happens one of the MOST despicable scenes of the entire Star Wars saga.  George (in his infinite wisdom) decides to have Princess Leia show Han that she has no feelings for him by kissing Luke.  At the time, no one thought anything of it.  As a matter of fact, the scene was pretty much written off, until Return of the Jedi was released.  THEN we find out that Luke is Leia’s brother!  WOW, talk about the verge of incest.  YUCK!!  I couldn’t believe that Lucas would have done that on purpose, and this proves even further that it was unlikely that George Lucas wrote all of these movies at once.  If Lucas was going to do anything on his re-re-re-release of the movies, then Lucas should have taken this scene completely out of this movie!

Going on, Leia can’t seem to get to her shuttle on time, so Han takes her off the planet on the Falcon.  They escape Vader and get away just in time.  While in space, they almost get caught by the Empire and head into an asteroid field where they try to repair the Falcon’s hyper drive.  Here, Leia and Han continue their romance and get interrupted by C3-PO.  They also discover Minoks on the Falcon and discover that they aren’t in a cave and so they decide to try and escape the creature’s stomach they are in.  While they escape, the Empire catches up with them and they are forced to “dock” with a Star Destroyer.  They then escape to Bespin and take refuge in Cloud City and try to hide from the Empire to make repairs to the Falcon.  The only truly interesting scene in this movie for Leia happens here.  She tells Han that she loves him and Han responds by saying, “I know”.  I think every guy has wanted to say that to his loved one in some way or another.  Anyway, Han gets frozen in carbonite.

Lando frees Chewy and Leia and they try to get Han’s body back from the bounty hunter but end up being too late.  They (Chewie and Leia) go back and rescue Luke, and that’s how we leave Leia in this movie.  Honestly, if it were not for the love interest of Han and Leia in this movie, we would not need Princess Leia in this movie at all!  Her character isn’t developed at all and never seems to go anywhere in this movie.  To make matters worse, I think Carrie Fisher did a worse acting job in this movie than in A New Hope.  I had high hopes for Leia, but they didn’t pan out, that’s why I gave Leia a….

Princess Leia:  ** (2)

Catching Up/Han Solo

Posted in V - The Empire Strikes Back with tags on December 17, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so it’s been almost a week since I’ve actually blogged.  What can I say?  It’s been quite a week.  So, I want to take a minute and catch my friends up on what has been going on in my life.  First off, I had a great “snow day” last Friday and got everything ready for my friend Josh to get here late Friday night.  Little did I know that Josh and I would end up playing “X-Men Legends II” until four in the morning on Saturday.  Not that I was complaining, but my wife can’t believe that I can still do that at the drop of a hat.  She figured that since I left college, I would not be able to continue to do that sort of thing.  Anyway, Josh and I went shopping together on Saturday and managed to learn how to stretch a budget.  I think both our wives are going to love their presents (and mine may kill me – I’ll explain this after Christmas, sometimes she reads this blog).  Anyway, Josh gave me an awesome Christmas gift, he bought for me Aliens v. Predator.  I LOVE this movie, and if you haven’t seen it, go buy it!  Josh had never seen it, so we HAD to watch it Saturday night while we wrapped gifts.  Of course, as soon as we got done, we continued to play “X-Men Legends II” again until 5 a.m. this time!  It was an awesome night, and we had some great fun!  Of course, this was only the beginning of this past week.

My school had their school concert on Tuesday and Tuesday night.  Students were stressed as always and things went really well despite their nerves.  So, I had to catch up on my sleep on Monday night and Tuesday night, I had to be at the concert.  I was so exhausted by Wednesday night, I almost didn’t get a chance to see the end of “Amazing Race”.  Finally, Thursday night I finally felt like myself again, and thanks to the weather, I had ANOTHER “snow Friday” today!  I spent the entire day cleaning the house getting ready for Christmas.  We are hosting it here at the Crissman household in Binghamton and we’re REALLY excited about Christmas and everything that comes with it.  It should be pretty exciting.  Oh yeah, in amongst all of this “stuff” going on, I am starting to complete getting my room ready for a move over Christmas break AND I finnished recording some of Heather’s tapes into my computer and transferring them to CD for her. 

Okay, so onto the Star Wars talk.  Tonight’s blog is going to focus on one of my favorite characters in The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo.

Han Solo:  ********** (10)


I have to admit, as a little boy I really looked up to a character like Han Solo.  He wasn’t like Luke Skywalker.  He didn’t have some “hoky religion” to believe in and always seemed like the down-to-earth kinda guy that your father always seemed to be.  To me Han Solo was also that guy that seemed very self-centered, and let’s face it, as a teenager and a child, YOU yourself are self-centered, so maybe that’s why I associated with this character so well.

In The Empire Strikes Back, Han takes on a much more formidable role in the storyline and in the movie.  We start off finding out that Han has a mark on his head by one of the Hutts.  We begin to understand what perils a smuggler may have that the other rebels don’t have to concern themselves with.  So, Chewie, Han, and Leia have to take off on their own in the storyline from the rest of the rebel fleet.  At this point we see the development of the love relationship between Han and Leia.  Not to sound too sappy (because I always love action films!), but I actually enjoy the development of the love story here.  I want to see how Han and Leia interact and how Han actually “woo’s” Leia.  I enjoy seeing them getting “interupted” by Leia on the Falcon.  Then we see Han pull off some really cool maneuvers and get himself to Bespin where he meets up with Lando Calrissian.  We hear some more of Han’s past as we learn that the Falcon was not initially Han’s ship.  We see more of the relationship between Han and Leia just before they get caught by Vader as a trap for Luke.  One of the other better scenes in this movie is seeing Han getting encased in carbonite.  I think that this still pulls on my “heart strings” even today.  I guess I don’t like to see people suffer and to see Han become a piece of rock, frozen in time, while he suffers makes it that much more emotional for me.  This emotional attachment to Han’s character makes him that much more powerful for this movie.

Honestly, Harrison Ford definetly developed himself as an actor by this point in his career.  I don’t think he really does a better role in any other of the Star Wars or Indiana Jones movies (Although, the third Indy movie comes real close).  I was very impressed with his acting and very impressed with his character, that’s why I gave Han Solo a:

Han Solo:  ********** (10)

Chewbacca

Posted in V - The Empire Strikes Back with tags on December 10, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, I have to say that everything today has been absolutely incredible!  First, I woke up to six inches of snow, so school was cancelled.  This made me very excited, almost as excited as the kids at school and the children in my house.  So, I slept in today and got a chance to IM with Josh this morning which I haven’t had a chance to do in weeks.  Next, I took a shower and went grocery shopping for my wife after she got back from work (around two p.m. or so).  We got back here and unloaded the car.  We ate dinner and I finnished up some work on the bathroom.  Then, my children finnished cleaning their rooms and we went downstairs and played “Jedi Knights” for about forty five minutes.  I love doing this with my children.  It’s very exhilerating and with my kids requires a lot of exercise as well.  Also, I got a chance to use my new lightsaber from Lind Sabers, and it worked great.  Since I have my new lightsaber, I now have two to “play” with.  Yeah, I know it sounds like I’m a kid.  And I am.  I’m just a big kid!

Anyway, I realized why I was so excited this week today.  Josh is coming down to go shopping with me tommorrow.  He should be arriving late tonight.  As a matter of fact he is probably at a hockey game as this is being typed in Rochester.  He should arrive here at twelve or one in the morning.  I love being around my friend Josh.  We always act like such goofs and I feel as though I can say or do anything in front of him.  My wife always jokes around about Josh being his “second husband” and he has really become part of the family here at the Crissman household.  So, I’m excited because Josh hasn’t seen the new house yet, so I’m excited to show him around and for him to use our new guest bedroom.  This is the first real visitors that are visiting and staying over since we arrived at out house, so it should be fun.  Besides, with Josh and I shopping for Christmas, we are sure to be doing a one a.m. Walmart run.  It just seems to be a tradition for us for some reason.  Can’t wait till Josh gets here.  I also hope to interview Josh in the car ride tommorrow for the next podcast.

I’m also, ironically, watching Star Wars Episode III while I’m blogging tonight.

Anyway, onto Star Wars talk…..

Chewbacca:  ****** (6)


Okay, so tonight’s blog is to talk about Chewbacca’s role in The Empire Strikes Back.  I believe that Chewie’s role in this movie is significantly heightened from the last movie.  Chewie seems to have a more prominent role in this movie and I love the banter that goes on between Han and Chewie throughout the entire movie.

The first time we see Chewie is when Han and Chewie find an Imperial Probe Droid.  Chewie distracts the droid by screaming at it while Han shoots it and it blows up.  Next we see Han and Chewie in the hangar at Hoth.  Chewie and Han are trying to take off early because there is a price on Han’s head by one of the Hutts.  Chewie and Han are both arguing with a droid that can’t seem to help fix the Millenium Falcon.  Next, Chewie and Han (with Princess Leia and C3-PO) leave Hoth and try to fly away to a point where they are safe.  However, they get caught by the Imperial Fleet.  They try to jump to hyperspace, but can’t because the Falcon really isn’t fixed.  Instead they take evasive action as Han and Chewie decide to try and fix the Falcon while in space.  Instead they fly into an asteroid field.

They decide to dock with one of the asteroids while they finnish repairing the Falcon.  While on this “asteroid”, Chewie and Han have to leave the Falcon and search the outside of the ship for Minoks.  That’s when Han realizes that they are not longer in an asteroid.  They escape the belly of a giant creature and still try to make the jump to hyperspace, but are unsuccessful.  After a chase and some fighting, the Falcon dissappears (and is really docked with a Star Destroyer).  After which, Chewie and Han go to Bespin to find Han’s old friend, Lando.

At Bespin, Chewie looses C3-PO and they find him in a pile of scrap metal.  Then, Chewie, Han, and Leia are all captured by Darth Vader.  In this segment of the movie there is two great scenes.  The first, when Chewie is trying to put C3-PO back together and C3-PO realizes he put his head on backwards.  Next, the scene where Chewie “freaks out” before Han is encased in carbonite, after which Han asks Chewie to take car of Leia.

Overall, Chewie was a great sidekick to Han througout this movie, but really played a very weak role as far acting and having an influece over the movie.  He had less of an impact in this movie than he did in A New Hope.  That’s why I gave Chewbacca a:

Chewbacca:  ****** (6)

C3-PO

Posted in V - The Empire Strikes Back with tags on December 9, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, so  I finally got my lightsaber today, and I am COMPLETELY IMPRESSED!!  It was really cool, looks great, doesn’t make that annoying “humming” sound I’ve heard a lot of EL Lightsabers have a tendency to make.  Just a great saber in general.  So, if you’re looking for a real looking, light up lightsaber for a real good price and want some quality service, check out Lind Sabers at http://www.lindsabers.com.  I promise to put the link up on my blogroll this week as well.  I will stand behind this company and say they are a much better alternative to Park Sabers who charges you between $250 and $300.

I also had another great website that I ran into tonight.  For those of you who don’t know, I am a Lord of the Rings fanatic as well as a Star Wars fan and have gotten into Lord of the Rings Miniature Gaming.  I have also gotten myself into Star Wars gaming, miniature and otherwise.  So, at www.palantir.org, they have recently decided to advertise about a Star Wars gaming site called “The Holocron”.  So, here it is folks, breaking Star Wars news right here on my blog.  “The Holocron” is officially open, it can be found at:  http://www.theholocron.org/forum/portal.php.  Check it out, it’s a cool site and I know I’ll be registering there sometime this week.

Okay, now onto the “real” reason we’re here.  Time to talk Star Wars…….

C3-PO:  ******** (8)


Okay, so I have limited time to type tonight, so I thought it necesary to talk about C3-PO and his role in The Empire Strikes Back.  I really think Lucas thought through C3-PO’s role in this movie a lot more than the other movies.  I sometimes wonder if maybe Anthony Daniels was given more of an opportunity to let his personality take over the role of C3-PO and let his humor come acrossed in this character.  I don’t know what George and Anthony did in this movie to improve C3-PO’s role, but I think they should have kept this formula for the rest of the movies.

C3-PO takes on the role of the comedian from the beginning of the movie on.  He makes several wise cracks on Hoth and seems to be involved in many of the funniest scenes.  I love Han yelling at C3-PO, “Come on Golden Rod, or you’re going to be a permanent resident!”  Some other great moments from C3-PO occur throughout this entire movie, like, “I don’t think this asteroid is entirely stable” or “look at me, I’m in pieces!”  He just simply plays the role of the comedian throughout the movie.  He also plays a significant logical role throughout the movie as well.  He’s able to help to fix the Millenium Falcon in this movie and is also able to help them escape Cloud City and is able to disrupt Han and Leia in their most intimate scene.  C3-PO was played a “toned down” version of his role in this movie and really played the role well.  Because of this, I give C3-PO a:

C3-PO:  ******** (8)

R2D2

Posted in V - The Empire Strikes Back with tags on December 8, 2005 by jedicouncil

Okay, still feel like a kid in a candy store.  My new lightsaber should arrive any day now and I can’t wait to see what it’s like.  Ever have one of those evenings where everything just doesn’t seem to go right?  Yeah, that was the kind of evening that I’ve had tonight.  I went out to buy a new battery for my wife’s timer for the kitchen.  The timer went dim and died slowly over time.   So, went out got a new battery and it doesn’t work.  So, I decide to take both the new and old battery to Radio Shack and see what I can find out.  Sure enough neither battery was bad.  While we were there, I put the old battery back into the timer and it started working.  I got out to the parking lot and after thirty seconds, the timer isn’t working again!  So, I went to Giant and bought a new one for my wife.  Came home, banged the old timer against the table and now it’s working fine again.  I guess I just can’t win!  Anyway, on to the Star Wars talk, I’ll make it short and sweet…..

R2D2:  ******* (7)


Okay, I think R2D2 takes on a whole new role in The Empire Strikes Back.  He really joins C3-PO as being the comic relief for the movie.  The difference is that R2 is funny and not annoying like C3-PO can be.  In this movie we see him doing all sorts of funny things like “turning up the heat” in a hoth room because C3-PO said it was freezing.  Or the game he plays when they land at Dagobah and he has to jump out of the X-Wing and make his way to shore.

I also like all of the gadgets we see R2 use in this movie again.  He interacts with other computers, tries to put C3-PO back together, uses a mechanical arm to try to fight with Yoda, and uses a fire extiguisher to mask an escape to the Millenium Falcon.  All of these gadgets liken me to think of R2 in the prequel trilogy.  THIS is the R2 that most Star Wars fans have come to know and love!

However, R2’s role in this movie becomes significantly lessened.  One thing that I think makes A New Hope interesting is the fact that the whole movie centers around the story of those two droids.  By this movie, the center of the story is really Luke Skywalker and the two robots take a back seat to the real story.  Because of this, I was dissapointed that the role of R2-D2 just didn’t have the same impact as the first movie.  Because of this, I gave R2D2 a:

R2D2:  ******* (7)