Monthly Archives: September 2015

Rage, rage against the dying of a planet. (complete post)

Greetings again, readers.  As stated previously, here is another of my posts from quaintjeremy’s blog.  This is a direct follow up to my first post on the subject of The New Jedi Order book series.  It was originally posted August 5, 2014.

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In my last post, I commented briefly on how Chewbacca’s death had set a grim tone for The New Jedi Order book series.  I would like to take some time now and examine that a little more in-depth in the first post on this topic.

In Vector Prime, Chewbacca, Han Solo, and his son Anakin Solo, go to the planet Sernpidal at the request of Han’s “old buddy” Lando Calrissian.  Lando has asked them to pick up a shipment for him, but things are not well when they get to Sernpidal.  The moon, Dobido, looks awfully large and seems to be moving awfully fast through its orbit around the planet.

They are approached by the former mayor, who tells them the moon is on a collision course with the planet. Then Han and Chewie begin loading up people onto starships to get as many folks off the doomed planet as possible, while Anakin runs off with the former mayor to try and see what’s causing the moon to behave this way.  As it turns out, the Yuuzhan Vong are behind it all, using a dovin basal to manipulate gravity and literally pull the moon into the planet.

When Anakin is knocked away from the Falcon, Chewie runs after him and gets him back up on the ship.  Han asks Anakin to take over so he can help Chewie up onto the boarding ramp.  However, the planet is beginning to come apart at the seams.  The ground is in violent upheaval, the winds are hurricane-force, and the moon is about to make contact with the planet at any moment.  Despite Han’s protests, Anakin makes a hard decision to leave Chewbacca behind, to save themselves, and the dozens of people on board, all of whom are now homeless refugees.

Han watches, disbelievingly, as the Falcon flies away, and Chewbacca howls defiantly at the moon as it crashes into him and the planet.

Chewbacca howls defiantly in the face of death. Image from http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090626185056/starwars/images/f/f6/Chewbacca_Sernpidal.jpg
Chewbacca howls defiantly in the face of death. Image from http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090626185056/starwars/images/f/f6/Chewbacca_Sernpidal.jpg

Han is furious with his son and so overcome with grief-fueled anger, that he goes as far as to blame Anakin for Chewie’s death.  Han Solo, revered and hated throughout the galaxy, became a man consumed by grief.  He spent weeks alone in the Solos’ apartment on Coruscant, with the lights off and a bottle in his hand.  His family and friends feared that he would never come out of his grief.  They all tried to pull him back into the fold, to be there for him, comfort him, but he would just push them away.  Even after Chewbacca’s funeral on Kashyyk, Han was nearly inconsolable.

This whole ordeal causes a massive rift to form between Han and his family, and he goes so far as to fly off in the Falcon, leaving Leia and the kids to their own devices.  Even with a new temporary sidekick in the form of a Ryn named Droma, Han still refuses to even take comm messages from his wife for several weeks.  It is a full four books after Vector Prime before Han begins to return to his old self, but even then, it is not entirely his old self.  Chewbacca’s death breaks one of Han Solo’s most endearing qualities: his sense of invincibility.  For several months after Chewie’s death, Han second-guesses himself and errs on the side of caution much more than he ever did.

It is also some time before Han actually apologizes to Anakin for the blame Han placed on him.  Yet, even with his father’s apologies, Anakin is forever changed by the guilt he feels.  With or without Han’s blame, Anakin feels responsible because he made the decision to leave Chewbacca behind.  It is Anakin’s reaction to Chewbacca’s death that I wish to examine next time.  For now, how did Chewbacca’s death affect you?  Do you agree with Han’s reaction, as developed in the series?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Loot Crate Unboxing – August 2015

Greetings, readers!  I realize I am sorely overdue on this post, but I’ve been quite busy with a family vacation and home improvement things.  My apologies to any of you whom have been anxiously awaiting this unboxing.  This month (last month), we have another sequel theme: Villains 2.

Villains 2
Villains 2

As you can see, loot quantity this month is on the low end.  However, the quality has not suffered one bit, starting with that cool apron from 50/Fifty.  I’ll be honest: I haven’t seen Breaking Bad yet.  It’s on my to-do list, but so are a lot of shows on Netflix.  That said, this apron is pretty cool and lightweight.  It’s a nice size, and obviously features the logo for Los Pollos Hermanos, from the aforementioned show.  I look forward to getting the reference some day.

Next, we have an exclusive wooden Joker figure.  This is a rather unique piece from DC Collectibles.  It features some movement of the arms and hands, but also has two different heads that can be swapped out.  One features menacing eyes with “heehee” in red for the mouth, while the other features slightly more maniacal eyes with “haha” for the mouth.  I’ll be using the “haha” face, as it strikes me as a little more Joker than the other face.

One of the reasons for the quantity shrink in this month’s crate is our next item.  A mug from Surreal Entertainment featuring one of two Marvel villains susceptible to sound waves.  In my case, I got Carnage, but other Looters could have gotten Venom instead.  For ceramic mugs, they are pretty good quality and do a decent job of capturing the faces of the symbiotes.  My only qualm is that they’re hand-wash only.  Maybe this will be a mantle mug instead of a drinking mug.

Lastly, we have a very impressive prop replica of a Hydra pin from the Captain America movies.  I’m going to pretend that it’s also tied to Agents of Shield, since that show is amazing and ties directly into the MCU.  The pin is a great replica and is based on digital files used to make actual props on the movie!  How cool is that?  Hail Hydra!!               Oh, sorry, got a little carried away there.

Well, there you have it folks.  Another month of great stuff from our Looting Overlords.  What was your favorite thing this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Weird Al Wednesday – September 2015

It’s that time again!  The first Wednesday of the month! Weird Al Wednesday is upon us again.  To think that it’s already September of 2015… my, how the time flies.  Well, this month, we go back to the album Even Worse for a big helping of Lasagna.

This is a parody of the hit song by Ritchie Valens, La Bamba, which is an adaptation of a Mexican folk song.¹  Al starts out with a very Italian sounding melody on his most famous instrument: the accordion.  He plays a few bars of something in a minor key with some mandolin accompaniment, then the mandolin strums us into the parody.

As with a lot of Al’s songs, the parody revolves around food.  In fact, he has so many food parodies & songs in his discography, that he even released an album called The Food Album.  One of the things that makes this song great is his ever-shining ability to parody lyrics so well.  He keeps the same lyrical rhythm as the original song.  Another great thing about this song is the good ole accordion.  This is arguably the instrument Al is most known for using in his music, and sadly one he uses less and less nowadays.

All in all, this is a song that is just as fun and upbeat as the original.  The band, once again, showcases their ability to play any style of music Al can throw at them.  It comes from a great album from fairly early in Al’s career.  What’s not to like about this song?  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Until next month, stay weird!

 

¹Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Bamba_%28song%29