Rogue One

I saw Rogue One last night.  I had watched a couple of spoiler-free reviews beforehand which had rated the movie as “good, not great” and a letter grade of “B”, so I didn’t go into it with high expectations, but, personally, I was completely blown away by how good it was.  It was amazing!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

I’ve been trying to think of a reason not to rate this movie a 10 out of 10, and the only thing I feel is a legitimate gripe that I have with the movie is the CGI Tarkin (and, to a lesser degree, CGI Leia).  I don’t think it’s bad enough to knock my rating of the movie down by 10% from a 10 to a 9, though.

The pacing for the movie was great.  It did not feel like a typical Hollywood movie.  The plot moved along swiftly with no lulls or tiresome parts. The tone is also very different in this movie, and you feel it right away when you are immediately dropped into the movie without the traditional title and opening crawl.  It feels like “Star Wars for adults”.

Rogue One is definitely a war movie (as compared to all the other Star Wars movies, which are more fantasy-adventure movies).  During its development I had heard the filmmakers touting the film as being more serious, but I went into it with a little skepticism (because, come on — Star Wars is a movie about space wizards for goodness’ sake).  That skepticism was eliminated pretty early on in the movie when one of the main “good guys” ends a clandestine meeting in an alley by abruptly murdering his contact.

There are just so many great things about this movie.  I’ll just list a few of the things I really liked:

  • All the main characters were interesting and enjoyable to watch.
  • So much shooting and explosions and space ships fighting and space ships getting shot and space ships tumbling around on fire and space ships crashing into things!
  • The brief cameos from obscure characters, like “Dutch” Vander (Gold Leader) and Garven Dreis (Red Leader) who pilot a Y-wing and X-wing, respectively, both in this movie and the original Star Wars movie from nearly 40 years ago.
  • The very “British WWII military” look and feel of many of the officers on both sides (General Merrick — Blue Leader — is a great example).
  • Smashed X-wings “skating” across an energy shield.
  • The restoration of the “mystical” aspect of the Force (i.e. no stupid midichlorians), thanks in large part to the character of Chirrut (who is awesome).
  • An explanation for why the Death Star has a tiny hole in it that will cause the entire thing to blow up if someone shoots a single torpedo into it.
  • The largest Star Wars space battle ever (the Battle of Scarif).
  • Y-wings!  Y-wings making bombing runs!  Y-wings firing ion torpedoes!  I didn’t think Y-wings would ever get any love ever again, but they did!
  • Darth Vader’s literal “horror scene” near the end of the movie (one of the rebel troopers trapped in the corridor pounding on the window of the jammed door — begging for help from onlookers on the other side — was fantastically unsettling).

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I really hope the rest of the upcoming stand-alone Star Wars movies end up this good.

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The War is Over

Looks like the War on Christmas is finally over thanks to the tireless efforts of conservatives over the years. The election of Donald Trump appears to have the “atomic bomb” that finally ended the “war”.

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With the war on Christmas over, I wonder what the next made-up thing will be that the elite will use to trick members of the lower and middle classes into fighting amongst themselves and, ultimately, voting against their own best interests? Perhaps a War on Easter?

Rainbow Squadron

A-wings are one of my favorite ships from Star Wars.  In the X-wing Miniatures game, there are two paint schemes for the A-wing: red and blue.  A while back I painted up a green-themed A-wing.  Last week I finished up a yellow-themed one. I really weathered this one up, too – maybe too much so. Meh. I guess it’s just seen a lot of action.

awing_yellow_0 awing_yellow_1Working with yellow in my previous “Camaro A-wing” was a real pain, but I think I got the hang of painting yellow properly now. As advised by others, I painted bright white the areas I eventually wanted to paint yellow. The yellow paint worked really well when applied over top the white.

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“Rainbow Squadron” is coming along nicely.  (Note: The blue and red ones are the factory-painted ones)
awing_yellow_3 awing_yellow_4I guess an orange and a purple one are next.

X-wing Repaints

I painted up a couple of my X-wing minis.  Here are the two best ones so far:

HWK-290

I was never a fan of the original color scheme of the Moldy Crow.  I thought something darker and stealthier looking would look good.

Original:

hwk290origRepaint:

20161125_235301 20161125_235342 20161125_235655 20161125_235621 20161125_235500 20161125_235724

20161125_235731Inspiration:

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A-wing

The fastest ship in the X-wing Miniatures game deserved to be repainted to look like my Camaro.

Original:

awingorigRepaint:

20161125_234945 20161125_235016 20161125_235028 20161125_235208 20161125_235123Inspiration:

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