2020 – A year of alien invasions

If movies set in the future are any indication of reality (and I think we can safely say that they are) 2020 is going to be a bleak year for humanity.  

Edge Of Tomorrow: Live Die Repeat (2014)

This movie actually concludes in 2020, with an ongoing war with alien oppressors from 2015. If you haven’t seen it on the news it is probably because of liberal bias. At least we have mech-suits.

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Help Keep The SFF Blog Running

It’s about time for annual bills for running TheSFFBlog.com to start coming in.

These costs are all privately funded by CreationEdge (Grayson Lei

gh), and he’s started a GoFundMe to help offset some of those costs.

Check out the GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/SupportTheSFFBlog

Now, to be clear, the continued existence of TheSFFBlog.com is not dependent upon the fundraiser meeting its goal. It’s merely an easy, transparent way for readers to help with costs. There’s no expectations attached. And there will _never_ be ads used to offset costs.

For ease of reading, the full text of the fundraiser is below.

Update: 2020 is fully funded, and use of funds are tracked on the Funding Paper Trail page. Donations are being accepted for future costs, but at the current moment I encourage people to donate to another cause, such as Australian Wildfire Relief, Puerto Rico Earthquake Recovery, a creator’s Patreon/Ko-Fi, etc.

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Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) – Re-watch

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It has been a little over 20 years since the much anticipated Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace hit theaters. I saw it in the theater, although not opening weekend. Maybe I saw it again, when it came to DVD, but I am not sure. I certainly have not watched it in the last 10+ years. But! I did recently watch it via Disney+. This was probably because I had just read Master & Apprentice, which takes place just before the events of The Phantom Menace.

Like many were at the original release, I was very much turned off to the character of Jar Jar Binks. In the Star Wars Episode I: The Making of The Phantom Menace Documentary, George Lucas says “Jar Jar is the key to all of this. If we get Jar Jar working. Because he is a funner character than we’ve ever had in any of the movies before.”

When my nieces and nephews first started watching the Star Wars movies, which was a few years ago, I asked them what they thought of Jar Jar. They said he was really funny. I also recall seeing footage of Lucas with his kids on set, and the explanation that this new trilogy was meant for a younger generation. It sounds like maybe he succeeded.

For my re-watch, I found Jar Jar to be significantly less annoying than I originally did. Still annoying, but not to the point of wanting to just shut it off, or even to fast-forward. The acting delivery still leaves a lot to be desired, but if you watch the making of documentary, you can hear the editor gripe about how Lucas was constantly rearranging scenes, so performances were mismatched compared to how they were actually filmed. No doubt this led to at least some of the imbalance in the final version. I think Lucas is on record as being a meddler.

The pod race drags on for me. I think they do three laps, and you are literally there for all three of them. The grand light saber duel is also somewhat long, which still strikes me as looking overly choreographed. Obviously the scenes have to be choreographed, but ideally they would be in a way which didn’t look like it. Particular having watched Clone Wars, and Rebels, the use of the force in the on-screen duels is significantly diminished compared it delivered in the cartoons.

I don’t love this movie, but it is certainly tolerable. Which means my opinion of the movie has significantly improved since it was released in theaters.

The Mandalorian (Pilot)

There are literally at least 5 other websites that have done an article on the new Mandalorian Disney+ series, and I don’t want to repeat what they said. So here are the things all the other websites won’t tell you about the show.

  • If you go into this series expecting to see a mandolin playing Manchurian eating oranges, you will be disappointed.
  • Everyone claims that Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian, but that could be a lie. We never see the actor’s face, so it literally could be anyone, from Daniel Logan to Jeremy Bullock to Rebel Wilson.
  • One of the bounties collected by said title character says he was hoping to get home in time for Life Day, which means that is either a sick sick joke, or the end of Star Wars.
  • The Mandalorian starts out ba ba ba ba ba ba bad to the bone, but then kind of transitions into a less competent version. This means he is following in the footsteps of Boba Fett.
  • The two most important places to protect your body are your head and your shoulders, based on the placement of the special armor. This is taken from the book of Dredd.
  • It is a contractual requirement of every Star Wars property that there always be a desert planet in it. This is similar to the video game requirement that every Star Wars game must contain a Rancor.
  • The Mandalorian is a derivative work, in that it borrows, copies, or outright steals things from all the previous Star Wars movies.

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