Rogue One

Dec. 18th, 2016 10:41 pm
schneefink: (ahsoka)
My favorite part about going to watch Rogue One: while waiting for admission DD and I by chance started talking with two people next to us. It started out about the practicalities of cloning, at one point we talked about Sith Lady Umbridge, and after the movie we went to two Christmas markets together and exchanged numbers and already made plans to meet up again. I love making new friends, and recently it hasn't happened as often as I'd like.

I also enjoyed the movie. It wasn't spectacular, but it was good.Spoiler-y notes )
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
4:30am and I almost finished packing! My time management is... not ideal. Now a few hours sleep, then a few things still to do, then to the airport. This will be the first time that I don't participate in an election, I ran out of time, I'm a bit disappointed in myself. (It's "only" the election of the mostly symbolic president, I definitely would have made time if we had a parliament or mayor election.)

Today in the morning I woke up to an excited text message from DD about the result of the first Pens playoffs game. Great win, now 15 more \o/ Playoffs are stressful.

I visited a Star Wars exhibition with DD in the afternoon, it was a lot of fun. Some original costumes, models, concept art, and some interactive "build your own character" stuff. Clearly made for fans. (She created a Twi'lek Jedi from Kashyyyk, I a Nautolan trader from Kamino, and yes of course I already thought of stories, that's what one does with characters.)

I'm not taking my laptop to NYC and I don't know how much internet access I'll have, I'm curious what and how much I'll miss. I'm very grateful for my ebook-reader, I made sure I'll have more than enough to read on the flight (especially considering that I'll definitely sleep for a few hours.)

ETA: Turns out I have iron-deficiency anemia, that explains several symptoms I didn't realize were symptoms. That's good news because it means I have another way to combat them. If I could pick, hopefully my appetite will come back first.
schneefink: (ahsoka)
I finally saw it! Unspoiled too (except the trailer), which was great.

Reactions )
schneefink: (Feldgatter)
Only two and a half weeks until the new Star Wars movie! I haven't even started my rewatch of the trilogies yet, I hope we'll manage to coordinate with my friends in time.
As the internet found out yesterday, J.J. Abrams and Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote some new music for their version of a cantina scene for the new movie. (My first reaction was "new cantina music, what, how, that music is so iconic", but I feel a bit more optimistic knowing LMM wrote it.) Inevitably a #Force4Ham hashtag was created, and it's a lot of fun. Some good tweets are collected here, and there are many more.

There is a Kickstarter for a documentary film about the inaugural season of the NWHL. They're one week and a little under 5,000$ away from meeting their goal, and I really hope they make it. It would be very cool.

Congrats to everyone who won NaNoWriMo! That's a lot of words :)
(I keep meaning to try it one day, but November is usually a time with many fic exchanges and for those I can't just write words without regard for quality. I almost finished my [ profile] hockeyfestivus fic, that's at least something.)
schneefink: (ahsoka)
I watched Star Wars Rebels, and it was a lot of fun :) I'm looking forward to the second season.

My favorite difference between Clone Wars and Rebels is between Chopper and R2D2. In the very first episode of Rebels the crew of the Ghost takes a vote on what to do, and Chopper gets a vote. Chopper is part of the crew! I love it. He's still technically property, but he's not treated that way (mostly. What were you thinking Zeb.) Nobody would ever think of leaving him behind.

More thoughts and spoilers: the crew )

The Empire )

Other thoughts )

Overall I enjoyed the show, it was good entertainment. It didn't really grab me in a way that would make me want to read and write more about the characters, I'm not sure why but that's generally mostly unpredictable for me. Another plus, unlike Clone Wars where we know it all ends in tragedy Rebels has more hope :)
schneefink: (ahsoka)
I'm trying to get my thoughts about the Jedi in order. (I finally have a Star Wars icon, even!) For comparison I'm looking for other canons that have people with special powers that are sometimes born among the population and whose existence is general knowledge.

So far I have:
- the telepaths in Babylon 5
- the mutants (or other super-powered people, but mutants fit best) in X-Men/Marvel and other superhero stories
- benders in Avatar:tla and LoK, though they're a bit more wide-spread
- chakra users in Naruto
- wizards and witches and magicians in several fantasy worlds: right now I can only think of Tortall and Emelan, but I know I'm missing some obvious ones, even excluding the many I don't know. Uprooted qualifies.

Which other groups/worlds can you think of?
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
Things emphasized in TCW 6x01-6x04: the story of the clone army is extremely tragic, and Palpatine is extremely evil. Excellent episodes.

6x01 The Unknown )

6x02 Conspiracy )

6x03 Fugitive )

6x04 Orders )

These were the last episodes of TCW that I really wanted to see. Onwards to Rebels! I'm really looking forward to it. There are a couple of TCW episodes that I'll probably watch later, but I want to try and catch up with Rebels before I'm even more spoiled than I already am. I heard good things :)
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
I have a kitchen! It looks great! They finished installing it today and I'm really happy with it. My mom helped me clean my room and it looks even better now, it's amazing how much clean windows can do.
I'm moving on the 25th, it seems simultaneously very soon and still some time away. Ten days! I'm excited :)
(I should probably start tidying up my room in preparation for packing...)

More Clone Wars episodes reviews from yesterday. Today during the kitchen installation I read Homestuck fic instead, which surprised me a lot because it's been a long time since I read Homestuck. If it wasn't so extremely long I'd like to reread it. Maybe I could jump in somewhere in the middle where I still remember the plot. Is anyone here still following it? How are the recent updates?

5x17 Sabotage )

5x18 The Jedi Who Knew Too Much )

5x19 To Catch a Jedi )

5x20 The Wrong Jedi )
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
I woke up because of a nightmare today, fortunately in the very early morning and not in the middle of the night. Usually I like to remember my dreams and try my best to recall them, so this one has been hard to shake. It did have some cool elements: I was part of a special operations group with superpowers. I was fast, had fighting skills, could make myself less noticeable, and I could switch objects with each other and/or keep them in "limbo" for a brief period of time, which was especially useful because the bad guys were among other things after a special rock. Unfortunately after some sneaking around eventually we fought against a group of human-looking demons who were impossible to kill. We put a trident through spine and lungs of one of them and broke her neck and she still got up again. They were pretty scary, and I couldn't even kill them when I started to realize that I was dreaming.

More Clone Wars season 4. It's the hockey offseason and I thought I would probably get into something new during the summer, but I didn't expect Star Wars. I'm not even sure how much I really like Star Wars! But it's fascinating.

A Friend in Need )

Rako Hardeen )
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
What an arc. Sometimes – quite often, actually , – TCW has plots that strongly remind me of h/c fanfic. This one in particular was excellent slavefic.

More details )

Then I wrote fic about that AU. In one day. Huh. That was sort of an accident, looks like I really didn't want to study yesterday.

Kadavo (1809 words) by schneefink
Fandom: Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) - All Media Types
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Characters: CT-7567 | Rex, Obi-Wan Kenobi
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Slavery, Torture
Summary: Rex isn't sure if it's been seven weeks or eight since they arrived on Kadavo.
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
I watched the Umbara episodes. Wow that was intense.

Spoilers )

I don't think I can root for the Republic anymore, it's just too broken. It's better than the Separatists, but that isn't saying much. And there may not be a viable alternative. But still. A "republic" built on slavery and brainwashing, no thank you.
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
I watched a few more episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and I really want the AU where the droids rebel and take over the galaxy. Ahem.

Mostly season 2 episodes )

I've looked through the episode summaries on Wikipedia and I'll probably just watch the episodes that sound particularly interesting. There are a couple that I'm looking forward to.
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
(Yes, the icon is wrong, I should get a generic space icon.)

When I said "suddenly"…. A big reason why I got more interested in Star Wars again now were updates to two great WIPs: A Star to Steer By, an excellent Stargate/Star Wars crossover/fusion (fantastic premise), and Re-Entry: Journey of the Whills, a time travel fic. Both feature clones, which persuaded me to check out the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." I'd heard of it in passing, but never watched it. Everything set before Revenge of the Sith has so much tragedy waiting in the future, I can only take that in limited quantities.
But so far I enjoy Clone Wars! Following this chronological order, I just finished watching 1x12.

Some thoughts so far )
schneefink: picture of Relena looking at the viewer (GW Relena)
It's still months until the next Star Wars movie, but I suddenly have a lot of feelings about Star Wars. Confused feelings. (And I use them to procrastinate. Today is not a good day.)

Star Wars was the first science fiction movie I saw, I'm pretty sure. It had spaceships! Robots! Lightsabers! I loved it.

I think "Revenge of the Sith" was the first Star Wars movie I saw in the theatre, when I was 14. I was not impressed. Anakin was unsympathetic, Padmé was extremely passive, Obi-Wan was incompetent as a mentor, the Jedi Order seemed little more than a military with magic… I already didn't like Attack of the Clones very much. And then I didn't want to rewatch the original trilogy because I was afraid it wouldn't hold up.

So the question of whether or not I actually like the Star Wars movies is kind of complicated. I really like the idea of them, but the movies itself… I don't think I can look at them without bias. For me Star Wars is the perfect example of a canon where the fascination comes from "wow, this has SO MUCH potential." If I ignore some parts of canon and add a lot of headcanon I get something really cool.

There are some aspects I want to clarify for myself, like "how would/should the Jedi order actually work", "are droids sentient and if yes how do you justify keeping them as property", similarly with the clones (who are definitely sentient so programming them to be obedient is highly questionable), and what exactly I think about Luke's actions on the second Death Star. I definitely need to rewatch the movies. I'd like to watch them with LK and AV to discuss questions like these, but it's rare enough that we get time to watch anything together, and we probably first want to finish Bab5. But we'll definitely watch Star Wars again before Episode VII. Maybe even sooner, we'll see.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)
Today was our debate club's last regular debate meeting before Christmas, so traditionally we did a fun motion. Last year's was "This House Believes That Batman is better than Superman", I'm so sorry I missed it! But last year we didn't have a chocolate fountain and fruit :)

This year the motion was "This House Would demand retribution from the Rebels for the destruction of the Death Star." L. and I were first government because we were the biggest geeks in the room.

It was a lot of fun! We decided to talk about the destruction of the second Death Star, not the first one, which removed much of the opposition's "self defense" argument. And their faces when L., who did the first speech, defined it thus were funny to see: "Wait, there was a second Death Star? Shit." Hehehe.

We concentrated on proving that the Empire was a legitimate government and the Rebels were terrorists, that their activities were immoral, that there had been damage to civilians, and that the Empire had the right to demand monetary retribution to prevent lasting economic damage to the whole society. Second government tackled the "who is evil" question, which was tangential to the debate but very interesting, and it was a prop sweep.
We could also have chosen the crackier route of "we are evil, therefore we demand retribution because we can", but I don't think it would have been as interesting.

Some interesting/funny things that came up:
L. had a nice argument where he claimed that the whole conflict came down to paying taxes (starting with the trade embargo of which nobody can ever remember the details), and he portrayed Leia as "the 1%." Opposition came with "no taxation without representation", only Leia had actually been a Senate member and was a member of the Rebellion even before the Senate was disbanded.

Opposition tried to portray the Empire as evil, but couldn't prove why. First opp tried "they restrict freedom", but in a way that left anarchy as the only alternative, which made that easy. Then they tried "they killed people", but the Rebels did that too. They also tried "they demanded too high taxes," hehe. They came with the "they killed the Jedi" argument, but C. from second government did a beautiful explanation of why the Jedi are actually the evil ones: they are outside the law, they manipulate helpless people to get their way, they believe they are better than anyone else, they attack a democratically elected Chancellor just because he follows a different philosophy etc.

Then there was the question of whether or not the Empire was a legitimate government, but unfortunately it wasn't argued well from either side. Government said that the way they came into power was legitimate (elected!), opposition said they aren't legitimate because they're evil, but nobody really got into "under which circumstances does a government become illegitimate?" We had some of "Just because you don't like what the government does or a member of government commits a crime (e.g. Alderaan) doesn't justify becoming a terrorist and committing terrorist attacks", but it wasn't engaged on enough. A pity, because that was actually one of the key questions, or should have been in my opinion. Admittedly he few thoughts that went in that direction didn't go very far because we don't actually see much of the Empire in the movies, so it would have been hard to do.

Second opp, who completely missed the point of the debate ("the Rebels don't have to pay because they won!" *sigh*), tried to argue that obviously the Empire was evil because Luke was the hero of the story, which gave me a nice opportunity to talk about George Lucas, traitorous rebel sympathizer, and how we have to look past the propaganda and understand what really happened. That was fun.

Other things that came up were the justification for having WMDs, whether or not there were construction crews on the Death Star, and who was the real hero of the Star Wars movies (Darth Vader, obviously.)

Afterwards, L. wrote to me "I think the debate today slightly ruined Star Wars for me because I don't think anything we said was actually wrong." I certainly think several things we said were exaggerated, but unfortunately I have to agree at least partly :(
Whatever, Star Wars never made any sense anyway, especially not the prequels, just don't think about it or pick the parts of the Extended Universe that support your view of things.
schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Moya)
I rarely read Star Wars fanfic, and I can't quite remember how I found this one (if someone recced this to me, thank you!) But a few days ago I found one with an intriguing premise that got steadily better, and the last few chapters had me so excited I kept having to stop to calm down.

Son of Suns, a Star Wars trilogy by blank101:
1) Into the Storm
2) In Shadows and Darkness
3) At the Brink of the Dawn and the Darkness
735,000 words total

It goes AU from the end of "The Empire Strikes Back": what if Vader had captured the Falcon on their flight from Bespin? Things go very, very wrong.

First, a warning: These stories are dark. They have detailed descriptions of many forms of torture and also include a lot of violence, manipulations, betrayal, and hopelessness. Even if you like h/c, this trilogy is heavy on the hurt and doesn't offer much comfort. Mild spoiler for the ending: It does have a mostly happy ending. There's a lot of permanent damage, of course, but overall it gets better. I was almost shouting in triumph.

It also has amazing characters, each one of them trying to either survive or to gain power, and many of them struggling with feelings that are getting in their way. Characters faced with inner conflicts they don't know how to handle, characters making wrong choices that have disastrous consequences, characters breaking and put back together, adapting, developing, changing and raising to challenges. I only know some of the Star Wars extended universe, so I wasn't always sure who was an OC and who from the extended canon, but all characters were fully developed and alive and made me root for them (except Palpatine.)

Another thing the trilogy does extremely well is politics. Have you ever wondered how the rebels managed to install peace and security in the Empire after Palpatine's death, about the allegiance of the military and the Court and the distant planets? The author of these stories has, in detail, and they managed to make all the complicated power games and conspiracies fascinating.

I won't give the summaries for each of the stories because they include spoilers, and that's another thing I very much enjoyed: I never knew what was going to happen. I didn't anticipate the plot twists (a few paragraphs in advance at the most) even though I read multiple POVs and some of them I felt I really should have. I was never sure how it was going to end and the actual ending was always better than what I had in mind.

If you don't mind dark stories, if you like good character development and galactic scale politics, (and if you have a lot of spare time,) you should read this fic.


schneefink: River walking among trees, from "Safe" (Default)

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