Posts tagged Star Wars

The Ballad of the Blue Lightsaber


As mentioned on a recent episode of Raging Nerdon, Christmas is now all about my children.  I don’t really need or want anything aside from maybe an Amazon gift card.  Instead, I’m focused on my kids and what they want for the holiday.  While Parker is still too young to ask for anything, Oliver is now at the age where he can create something resembling a wishlist.  This is fortunate as we struggled for a bit as to what to get him this year.  At one point I had him go through the Toys R Us book to pick out things that he wanted.  This backfired because he went page by page, circling at least one thing on each one.  After circling an Xbox One controller, I asked him what that was and he had no idea.  He was just circling things that looked interesting.

There was one item that he asked for non-stop.  Every time we asked Oliver what he wanted for Christmas, the one and only answer was a blue lightsaber.  For months he’d roll up a piece of paper or pick up a stick and call it a lightsaber.  I have no earthly idea how he became so obsessed with the Jedi weapon as the boy has never seen Star Wars or any of the spinoff TV shows.  His knowledge probably comes from other kids at day care talking about it…or the Force is strong in this one.

I actually tried to show him Episode IV a few weeks back.  He made it about forty minutes in before throwing in the towel.  The entire time he was asking where Darth Vader was.  He did pick up a working knowledge of most of the main characters, including Princess Leia, whom he brought to day care for show-and-tell for the letter L.

With the lightsaber a safe bet for a Christmas gift, I ordered him one from Amazon, along with a red one for Parker.  I realize that I’m almost to the point where I’ll have to buy two of everything.  That will probably come next year.  The lightsabers arrived and we hid them away safely where the kids wouldn’t stumble upon them.  Oliver even went to see Santa and told the big man himself that he wanted a blue lightsaber.  Everything looked good.

Then, out of the blue, the color changed.  After playing with one at Target, Oliver proclaimed that he now wanted a green lightsaber.  This panicked me because I didn’t want a blow up or something on Christmas morning after I had already secured a blue one.  I asked Oliver what he would do if he got a blue lightsaber, given that he told Santa that’s what he wanted.  His reply?  “I’ll throw it out a window.”  That’s right.  My kid does not mince words.  He wanted a green one and that was that.

Fortunately, this green phase passed a week or two before Christmas.  He frantically opened all his presents that morning except for the lightsaber.  I had hid that one to save it for last.  I wanted him and Parker to open them at the same time, but Parker was lagging behind in the present opening and Oliver was starting to mope a bit thinking he had opened everything and didn’t get a lightsaber.  I took out the gift and he’s been swinging the thing around ever since.  He’s basically popping the lightsaber open, collapsing it again, and then repeating the process over and over again.  What’s the over / under of him losing his grip on it and sending it through the window after all?

James in the Big City (8/12/2008)


The alarm clock sounds at 6:30 but I’m in no hurry to get up. Monica and I lounge around and watch some King of Queens. Regular morning routine begins, but I hang out while Monica heads in to work. I’m heading to the city today and not the office. I quickly write out my blog for yesterday as well as a review for the first season of Justice League on DVD, then head down to the train station.

Since I don’t have a parking permit for the station, I hoof it down the hill. It takes about 10 minutes for me to get down there with my ipod shuffling tunes in my ears on the way. I buy a ticket and then pass the time before the train arrives by reading Peace Like a River. The train comes right on schedule and I continue reading on the way.

I arrive in New York City just before 10. After double checking my subway map (which I’ve already checked about 4 times and will most likely check again at least 3 times), I head to the correct tunnel and take the S train to Times Square and then the A train to 34th street. I’m so proud of myself for being able to actually navigate through the city with my total lack of a sense of direction. Granted this is apparently something that’s incredibly easy, but still.

After venturing back up to the street level, I walk a block or two and call up former co-worker Mike who’s working at Visible World now. I get his voicemail so I pop a squat on a bench and give him another few calls before I get a hold of him. He comes out to get me and we head into his temporary office to show me what the company does. The product is amazing and it’s definitely pretty impressive. They basically do some incredibly targeted Television advertising on the fly based on what you enter in. He showed me some examples of different types of commercials for the same product and I loved it. It’s a great idea and a great system. It’s interesting to see a software application that actually works (SoftWave Radio and TV, I’m looking at you). We chat for a little while before Mike heads to another meeting and I head back out.

I hop on the A train again and mosey up to Times Square. After locating the theater where Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be showing, I kill some time by walking through Toys R Us and the Virgin Megastore. I don’t find anything all that interesting so I hoof it back to the theater where a line is already developing. The ticket that I received said that the theater was overbooked and seats would be available on a first come, first serve basis, so I wanted to make sure I got there early. Since I still had at least a half hour to kill, I read some more before calling Darryll to see if he made it into the city yet. He had actually just arrived and was on his way. He gets to the line and we chat a little before we’re let in.

The theater was f’ing huge. We go up four skinny escalators that pass by windows looking into restaurants and other stores on the way up to the theater. I wasn’t even sure we were in the same building at that point. We stop and cash in our coupons (provided with the ticket) for some free popcorn and soda. We actually do this on the third floor before heading up to the fourth floor. This turned out to be a really smart idea as everyone else ended up stopping on the fourth floor and there was a huge line.

My bag was searched by Warner Bros. security personnel and I went through a metal detector before I was allowed entry to the theater. I was also told repeatedly to turn off my cell phone all while holding my soda and popcorn in each hand. Darryll and I find seats and relax while everyone else files in.

Before the show starts, I send out one of the last tweets for Twitter for the day. A day like this has me thinking of finally upgrading my cellphone. Up until now I’ve been perfectly content with my phone and it’s lack of features. Why would I need to browse the Internet on a tiny screen? The most advanced feature on my phone is a flashlight. That being said, on a day like today where I’m all over the city and unable to check any sort of email or anything else, it might be somewhat beneficial to look into a smart phone. I’m sticking with Verizon as a provider though as I really like them. Monica and I will be getting a plan together in October, so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

The movie starts and I’m not all that impressed. My full review can be read here. After the movie, I called Kaitlin from Sherman’s Travel. She lets me know where their offices are and I head down to meet up with her. Darryll is heading in the same direction and after a quick subway ride we part ways. After a brief stint of getting lost, I meet up with Kaitlin and we get a quick snack and eat outside. I had some chocolate milk and cookies. It was nice to put a face to the voice and email address. We talk for about an hour or so. As it turns out she went to Marist and has a sister that is currently enrolled at New Paltz. Small world. She has to return to work, so we say goodbye and I head back to the subway.

At this point it’s about 4 o’clock. There’s a 4:15 express train back to Tarrytown. Sure there are other trains, but I want this one. I somehow forget that I’m on 34th street and not 42nd street and end up walking the 8 blocks to Times Square instead of hopping on the subway. I take a quick ride on the S train and make it to Grand Central with 4 minutes to spare. Upon my arrival at the terminal I realize that I’m out of water and could use a refill and I’ve also got a wicked wedgie that cannot be fixed by any means I can do in public. I make a rash decision to just get on the train once I find the track though. I’ll have to deal. What if my watch is slow and I miss the train? I can’t take that risk!

The train brings me back up north and away from the city. I realized earlier in the morning that I have a sort of love-hate relationship with the Big Apple. Throughout the day there were times where I thought “Wow. I love this place.” and then there were other times where I thought “Ugh. What is this horrible smell? I hate this city.”

I return to Tarrytown and walk back up the hill to the apartment with wedgie in tow…or ass. After talking with Monica for a little while, I check my email to find that I’ve got about 10 new followers on Twitter. Granted, I was posting to Twitter about my day but I didn’t think it was anything that would warrant 10 new followers. I did a bit more investigating and I found that I was today’s Marvel Comics’ “TFOOM’er” (Twitter Follower of ‘Ol Marvel). Here’s a screenshot for posterity.

Needless to say I was excited.

Monica and I relax a bit and I play some GTA IV. I finish up around 8 and we watch the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Review to come soon, but I really didn’t care for it. Too much crazy pirate lore pulled out of thin air. After the movie, I did some more reading and got to sleep around 11:30.

Movie Review: Star Wars – The Clone Wars (2008)


I was privileged enough to see a sneak preview of Star Wars: The Clone Wars earlier today. After the film ended, my first thought was “Well, at least I didn’t have to pay to see that.” Now, I’m a big fan of the Star Wars films, even the prequels to some extent (however lackluster they are). This film is essentially the start of a new series that will be airing on Cartoon Network. The series will begin after a brief theatrical run of the film (which can be looked at as the series premiere).

While I understand that since the show will be on Cartoon Network that it should appeal to kids, I felt like they just dumbed down Star Wars even more than the prequels did. As with the prequels, The Clone Wars is filled with horrendous dialogue that would have been better written if you asked a 3rd grade class what their favorite sayings were. Also, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that no one uttered the infamous Star Wars line of “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” That right there makes it null and void when it comes to the films of the Force.

Add to this the horrible new character of Ahsoka Tano, a padawan sent to train under Anakin Skywalker and I’m ready to shoot myself in the face. It’s like George Lucas thought to himself “Gee, what could possibly be more annoying than Jar Jar Binks? I know! An annoying bratty teenager!” As if Anakin wasn’t emo enough in the prequels. Now we have to deal with what amounts to his dumb kid sister that won’t listen to him even though he’s her friggin’ teacher. The chick’s supposed to become a JEDI. How can you be such a pain in the ass if you’re a padawan? Shouldn’t that be a prerequisite to the academy? If you’re a dumb whiny bitch, please leave.

Now, I didn’t entirely hate the movie. Visually it’s very impressive. If I were to watch it in say another language, it would be near perfect. The actual dialogue is just so bad that any visually pleasing film is just torn to shreds. It’s all flare and no substance.

I also can’t review this film without mentioning the other Star Wars – Clone Wars series. Remember that one that was made by the guy who did Samurai Jack that was friggin’ awesome? Didn’t it deal with the SAME EXACT time period? What happened here? Is George Lucas that senile that he’s forgotten that already? That was great. Leave that time period alone and let’s move on to other things like Episodes 7,8, and 9 or at the very least show us a series detailing the time between Episodes 3 and 4.

Bottom line, even for a big Star Wars fan like me, this is a “Skip It.” If you’re a super level 4 Jedi Knight fan, then I guess you’ll see this anyway. Just don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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