The Mandalorian – Eps 1-3 – (Re)Reviewed

mandalorian-poster-detail-cropEp 1: “Ok, so, you have to watch The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian. You know, I can’t believe you! Why are you even watching that–that–garbage!? You know it’s bad. You know what Disney has done to Star Wars.”
“No, it’s actually surprisingly decent.”
“…”
“It is!”
“How can it be Star Wars when it ain’t even got none of the original people in it?”
“What? Look, just watch this gunfight at the end. Watch it!”
[…]
“Wait, wait, wait, why does this look like a Western?”
“Yeah!”
“No!”

Ep 2: “Look, it’s Baby Yoda.”
“Oh my gosh are you buying into that Baby Yoda cr–craziness? It’s aaaaaall over Facebook. All the time. Baby Yoda. Baby Yoda. Baby Yoda. Gah! It’s annoying! What is the big deal with Baby Yoda!?”
“People like Star Wars when it’s done even, y’know, half-way decently well!”
“Baby Yoda. Oh gosh. I can’t believe you.”
“Heh, see, he’s chasing the frog thing. And Mando tells him to spit it out. ’cause, y’know, babies.”
“Oh [hork], he ate it!?”
“You’re acting as though my niece did not just try to eat a dead fly off the windowsill.”
“…that was only once!
“And look at the Jawas! I always liked the Jawas!”
“I can’t believe you.”
“You gotta watch the whole thing, there’s a bit where he’s fighting this creature and he goes through each of his weapons–he goes through his rifle, and then his sidearm, and then his flamethrower, and then the mud-horn is y’know, getting ready for the charge and he’s like all beaten-up and on one knee, and all he can do is pull out his knife and get ready for it–and he’s so tired and his hands are shaking, and so he has to steady the knife with both hands as the creature is barreling down on him. It’s awesome.”
“…I don’t get it.”
“…y’know, we can always watch some little Barbie Disney Princess movie if you like instead.”
“Shut up.”
“We can watch My Little Pony!”
“SHUT UP.”

Ep 3: “Wait, so he never takes his helmet off?”
“This is the way.”
“His skin must be horrible.”
“…”
“I mean, imagine if he has dandruff. His hair must be sooo greasy and then he has to keep putting the same helmet back on again. It would never get a chance to get better. Ew.”
“…”
“Maybe he has like a beanie or something he wears under it and he can change that out. Like a helmet liner. Do they have helmet liners? Why are you looking at me like that? He’s the one who said he don’t ever take his helmet off!”
“SO THE GUNFIGHT HERE IS REALLY COOL, YEAH?”
“Yeah, it’s okay. But it’s still not as good as real Star Wars.”
“It’s the best we’re gonna get, and they were making an effort. They’re actively trying to do the story right, and, and, when they do insult your intelligence, it’s unintentional.”
“But there’s no lightsabers. It can’t really be Star Wars without lightsabers!”
Star Wars is technically–”
“It ain’t Star Wars unless it’s the original movies with the original cast, with the original director making it.”
“The movies had different directors.”
“You know what I mean! No lightsabers, no Star Wars! No George Lucas!”
Star Wars is science fiction. You don’t need lightsabers. You just need spaceships and blasters. And George Lucas sold out to Disney for four billion dollars.”
“Hmph. And also! There’s no Jedi. And there’s no Luke or Leia. Or Han.”
“You have Mando! And Baby Yoda! They are introducing new characters to Expand the Universe! And
can you imagine how they’d screw it up if they did have Luke and Leia?”
“Oh. Well. Yeah.”
“And Baby Yoda is very cute.”
“It looks realllllllly fake.”
“Yeah, it really does.”

Welcome to the Rebellion

The recently cancel-mobbed Gina Carano is down but not out. She’s going to be producing and acting in a film backed by The Daily Wire / Ben Shapiro and his crowd.

Carano will develop, produce, and star in the upcoming film, which The Daily Wire says it will release exclusively to its members as the company looks to bolster its entertainment division. Details are being kept under wraps but it will be produced as part of Daily Wire’s partnership with Bone Tomahawk producer Dallas Sonnier and his Bonfire Legend banner.

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The Mandalorian – Eps 1-3 – Reviewed

mandalorian-poster-detail-cropEp 1: “Ok, so, you have to watch The Mandalorian.
The Mandalorian. You know, I can’t believe you! Why are you even watching that–that–garbage!? You know it’s bad. You know what Disney has done to Star Wars.”
“No, it’s actually surprisingly decent.”
“…”
“It is!”
“How can it be Star Wars when it ain’t even got none of the original people in it?”
“What? Look, just watch this gunfight at the end. Watch it!”
[…]
“Wait, wait, wait, why does this look like a Western?”
“Yeah!”
“No!”

Ep 2: “Look, it’s Baby Yoda.”
“Oh my gosh are you buying into that Baby Yoda cr–craziness? It’s aaaaaall over Facebook. All the time. Baby Yoda. Baby Yoda. Baby Yoda. Gah! It’s annoying! What is the big deal with Baby Yoda!?”
“People like Star Wars when it’s done even, y’know, half-way decently well!”
“Baby Yoda. Oh gosh. I can’t believe you.”
“Heh, see, he’s chasing the frog thing. And Mando tells him to spit it out. ’cause, y’know, babies.”
“Oh [hork], he ate it!?”
“You’re acting as though my niece did not just try to eat a dead fly off the windowsill the other day.”
“…that was only once!”
“And look at the Jawas! I always liked the Jawas!”
“I can’t believe you.”
“You gotta watch the whole thing, there’s a bit where he’s fighting this creature and he goes through each of his weapons–he goes through his rifle, and then his sidearm, and then his flamethrower, and then the mud-horn is y’know, getting ready for the charge and he’s like all beaten-up and on one knee, and all he can do is pull out his knife and get ready for it–and he’s so tired and his hands are shaking, and so he has to steady the knife with both hands as the creature is barreling down on him. It’s awesome.”
“…I don’t get it.”
“…y’know, we can always watch some little Barbie Disney Princess movie if you like instead.”
“Shut up.”
“We can watch My Little Pony!”
“SHUT UP.”

Ep 3: “Wait, so he never takes his helmet off?”
“This is the way.”
“His skin must be horrible.”
“…”
“I mean, imagine if he has dandruff. His hair must be sooo greasy and then he has to keep putting the same helmet back on again. It would never get a chance to get better. Ew.”
“…”
“Maybe he has like a beanie or something he wears under it and he can change that out. Like a helmet liner. Do they have helmet liners? Why are you looking at me like that? He’s the one who said he don’t ever take his helmet off!”
“SO THE GUNFIGHT HERE IS REALLY COOL, YEAH?”
“Yeah, it’s okay. But it’s still not as good as real Star Wars.”
“It’s the best we’re gonna get, and they were making an effort. They’re actively trying to do the story right, and, and, when they do insult your intelligence, it’s unintentional.”
“But there’s no lightsabers. It can’t really be Star Wars without lightsabers!”
Star Wars is technically–”
“It ain’t Star Wars unless it’s the original movies with the original cast, with the original director making it.”
“The movies had different directors.”
“You know what I mean! No lightsabers, no Star Wars! No George Lucas!”
Star Wars is science fiction. You don’t need lightsabers. You just need spaceships and blasters. And George Lucas sold out to Disney for four billion dollars.”
“Hmph. And also! There’s no Jedi. And there’s no Luke or Leia. Or Han.”
“You have Mando! And Baby Yoda! They are introducing new characters to Expand the Universe! And
can you imagine how they’d screw it up if they did have Luke and Leia?”
“Oh. Well. Yeah.”
“And Baby Yoda is very cute.”
“It looks realllllllly fake.”
“Yeah, it really does.”

The Price of the Stars – Debra Doyle

The Price of the Stars – Debra Doyle & James MacDonald

The Stars Asunder is an excellent title for an SF book. Unfortunately, it’s also book five or six of this series (the Mageworlds), and more unfortunately it was the only book my local library had at the time, which was about ten years ago. At the time, I was in a read-everything phase, and gamely attempted to chow down–with no success. Book six was just not an accessible enough jumping-in point. However, book 1 exists and I finally stumbled across it. I’m both happy and unhappy that I did. So my alphabetical traverse through my ebook library has reached the Ds and fortunately this one packet seems to have the entire series, in nicely numbered order.

It reminds me of Star Wars and James H. Schmitz. In fact: I’m pretty sure it’s meant as a Star Wars post-OT with the serial numbers filed off story. It’s got the powerful and popular once war-hero Domina married to a now-General, once-pilot and privateer who flew the Web in six hours flat (well actually closer to seven. Or six and a half. Note: hours, not parsecs, good grief). It’s got his ship from the days of his youth, the Warhammer, an archaic craft with outsized engines and more firepower than a cruiser twice its size, which he’s worked on and knows every screw and bolt and scratch. It’s got the ersatz-Jedi: the serene, staff-wielding Adepts, and their hated mortal enemies, the Mages. It’s got, not furry but still fiercely honorable and dignified saurian hunter-killers who speak in growls that humans can understand but find hard to make themselves.

It’s got a heroine who is tough and talented, but not so much that she doesn’t heed her mysterious and hypercompetent mentor or her navicomp, who is fiery and feisty and authoritative and smart, good in a fight, yet still vulnerable to injury–physical or emotional. It’s got her brothers: the Adept Owen (OK, IF THAT’S NOT A DIRECT SHOUT OUT I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO SAY) and the towering Ari. It’s got a young and inexperienced Adept with the unenviable position of bodyguarding said Ari. It’s got hoverbikes and gamblers and crime lords and raids and radio chatter (I really love radio chatter in fiction. In real life, it’s mostly “who was that for?” and random bursts of static when somebody presses the button accidentally.) It’s got a mysterious mentor and a complex backstory (or at least the pleasant illusion of one–the Magewars sound interesting and well thought-through). It’s got a swift-moving plot with intelligent heroes and also intelligent–though yet unseen (I’m on page 151/289) villains. It’s got gunfights, plane chases, space chases, knife fights, gambling dens, eye patches, and gunbelts tied down low. It’s got pacing and humor and and gun duels, sword-staff duels, mage duels, and heroes in long coats firing guns akimbo (that scene bears mentioning twice!)
It’s got emotional resonance.

It’s made me laugh and thrill and rush home to read as much as possible on break and then get really sad, because it’s made me want Star Wars–real Star Wars–again, and I won’t ever get it.

But this is one of the closest–and hands-down the best-written–analogues thereof I’ve seen yet.

Rated: The stars are ours!

NOW HEAR THIS (AWOOGA AWOOOGA)

Several important and slightly belated fandom announcements incoming:

1) The release date for the next Dresden Files novel, Peace Talks,¬†has been announced. It’s stinking July of 2020. Damnit, Jim!

2) The Mandalorian is actually pretty decent. Not great–there’s a lot of what I call “tv-ness” about it, but I guess most of it was unavoidable.–but decent. And there’s at least a very solid, hard-core attempt to make it¬†feel and¬†especially to¬†look like¬†Star Wars.

So there’s that.

3) Also, yes, indeed, they were not lying. Baby Yoda is cute.

I have spoken.

Mighty One, We Have Lost Us Another

Peter Mayhew, Chewbacca, has died at age 74.

The 7-foot-3 Mayhew played the beloved and furry Chewbacca, sidekick to Han Solo and co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, in the original “Star Wars” trilogy.

“He put his heart and his soul into the role of Chewbacca, and it showed in every frame of the films, from his knock-kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth,” his family said.

A public fan memorial will be held in December; but truly, there is little more to say–for comfort or strength–than:

The Force will be with you. Always.