I saw that movie last night, and it was possibly the most WTF movie I have seen since Gus Van Sant’s completely pointless ‘Gerry’. Here are the SPOILERIFFIC things that W’ed the F out of me…
Weird Alien Animals
What gives? The movie seemed to be obsessed with shoe-horning in as many odd, alien animal species as possible.
I couldn’t even see a merchandise angle, as these creatures not so much looked odd, as they appear to be poorly designed. That’s unusual for a franchise that even at its nadir has always had impeccable production design. Crystal foxes? Horses with Yoda heads? Bug-eyed owl penguins? Give up already…
Benicio Del Toro
What was he doing in the film? I mean, he didn’t play a character. It was just Benicio Del Toro. It’s not that I don’t think Del Toro is a great actor. He has a great screen presence across his movies. But there was nothing Star Warsy about his presence in this film.
His inclusion was about as odd as if they had put Vincent Vega in the film too. And how on earth did it just so happen that Finn and Rose get locked up in a cell with the best locksmith/code-breaker in the galaxy. Was he waiting for a cell-mate so that he could impress them with this skills?
That wasn’t Luke Skywalker. Even Mark Hamill himself spoke out to state that he didn’t think the character written for him in ‘The Last Jedi’ was the same character that appeared in the original trilogy. And what was the point in that whole force projection business if doing it made him pop his clogs anyway. He might as well have turned up for some fisty-cuffs. His sister didn’t seem that glad to see him either.
Vice Admiral Holdo
Laura Dern’s portrayal of Holdo was one of the high points of the film, but her character’s actions made no sense. Why didn’t she reveal her plan to Poe Dameron about creating a diversion with the big ship while the other ships scurried off to the rebel base. Instead of keeping him in the loop, she inspired an open mutiny and put her command at risk.
You know where I’m going with this one… Surviving an explosion intact, floating in a vacuum for several minutes without bloating, suffocating, freezing to death or having an aneurysm due to gas passing through her system. Then using the force to float towards a conveniently proximal air-lock door. I actually thought she was going to knock on the window for a second and shout ‘Yoo Hoo’.
So just at the start of the final battle, one of the resistance troops dabs his finger on the ground and gives it a wee taste. “It’s salt…” he declares. He would clearly have known that he was on a salt planet without having to taste the ground. This was clearly an incredibly clumsy plot device put in place to cover up the fact that the scene looked an awful lot like the snowy Hoth scene from Empire.
Well he was crap wasn’t he? The one act of evil Sith violence that he performed in two movies was to bonk Rey in the side of the head with a flying lightsaber. No Palpatine-style hand-lightning. No funky triple-bladed lightsaber, dispatched with a myriad of stunning kung-fu movies.
The Royal Guard
After Snoke had been dispatched, what were the royal guard doing? They would be unemployed after Snoke’s demise, so why on earth they decided to turn on a couple of capable jedi’s who had just taken out their boss, one of whom was technically their new boss, I have no idea.
What No Lando?
So pretty much every major Star Wars character makes an appearance in the new films. Except, there is the huge omission of Lando Calrissian. Given the diversity issues that Hollywood has been suffering from for the past years, why omit the key black character from the original trilogy? It’s not like Billy Dee Williams is overwhelmed with work these days. Even his flat faced BFF, Nien Nunb made a brief appearance, but no Lando…
Finishing The Job
Why didn’t the naughty First Order finish off the final 400 (minus casualties) resistance at the end. They had nowhere to go, and the first order still had a huge fleet of ships. Surely they had the back entrance of the big cave covered? Or why didn’t they just nuke the planet from orbit? Donald Trump could dispatch an entire North Korea in just a few minutes, and yet the resource-rich First Order can’t wipe out a tiny collection of cornered rebel scum with their gargantuan battle fleet. The only reason the Empire used AT-ATs in episode two was that they had to take out a shield generator from the ground. There was no shield generator on planet Red-Sand-Covered-With-Salt. This is possibly the biggest plot-hole in the whole film.
Well it was a watchable film, but after the highly impressive, ‘Rogue One’, the lastest movie in Lucas’s franchise made no sense whatsoever and completely dropped the ball. There were so many other little niggles, such as:
- Rey’s lack of charisma and her instant learning of the ways of The Force.
- The shit Yoda puppet.
- The crap casino scene with the mustachioed gambler from a 1920’s gangster film.
- The rebel land-speeders with the pointless stick dragging in the ground.
- Finn flying in the path of a Death Star laser beam without being incinerated.
- Captain Phasma’s quick death.
- The ginger whinger First Order commander that doesn’t get executed by Kylo Ren.
- The inexplicable, homoerotic Kylo Ren nipple flash scene.
- BB-8’s coin projectile moment as a follow-up to the ugnaught trying to buy a drink.
- Maz Kanata’s pointless hologram call.
- Kylo Ren’s motivation for being an evil pain in the arse.
But I can’t be bothered writing ‘Another 10 Crap Things About The Last Jedi’.
The Ferrell-Musician Connection
Not only are these five men at the top of their creative game. They also seem to be almost the same person. Is it just me? What is going on here?
Drummer of the legendary rock band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chad Smith appears to be Will Ferrell in disguise…
The alternative rock artist, synonymous with grunge band, The Screaming Trees has Ferrell/Smith moonlighting as a front man.
Mega movie star of movies such as ‘Hellboy’ and ‘City Of The Lost Children’, Perlman is definitely a member of the gang….
Harrison Ford Mark II
Anthony Ingruber is an interesting character. In the act of searching for the actor to play the young Han Solo for Disney’s upcoming Han Solo spin-off movie for the Star Wars movies, Ingruber started getting some viral hits. He depicted a young Ford in the movie ‘Age Of Adaline’, but it was his youtube Solo impersonations that drew the most attention.
Almost unbelievably, Ingruber did not get the Solo role. It went to Alden Ehrenreich instead.
Freddie Mercury Reborn
Queen being one of the biggest rock bands of the 1970’s and 1980’s with millions of record sales continue to operate without their enigmatic front man. Singer, Marc Martel drew remarkable comparisons to Mercury with his uncanny rendition of a Queen song.
Angry Man Revisted
To cap off this pointless trivial post I have to reiterate a resemblance that has been used on-screen. That between comedy actor, Greg Davies, and his spiritual clone, Rik Mayall. They even played father and son in the sitcom, ‘Man Down’.
This article contains spoilers, if that isn’t as evident from the title as much as a jar of peanut butter may contain nuts. ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ is a film that shows that George Lucas finally made a good decision as regards to the Star Wars franchise: he handed it over to an organisation that knew what to do with it. 2015’s Force Awakens and now the new film show that the movies are being guided by steady hands. Rogue One’s plot was far more interesting than it’s predecessor in Episode VII. While its conclusion was pre-ordained by the existing Star Wars canon, its approach to getting there was well-thought out. Of course, it wasn’t without flaws, which is why we are here. While reviews have been waxing lyrical about the film, I thought it might be more interesting and in the true spirit of #grumpyoldman to point out its clangers. So here they are.
The rebel mission to track down Galen Erso on Eadu started with a gut-wrenching crash-landing. While the special effects department did their job to depict the ship smashing into the unforgiving rocky planet surface as the crew decry, ‘We’re going down heavy…’, all crew members emerge from the smoking remains relatively unshaken and without a hair out of place. They weren’t even wearing seatbelts!
Death Star Flaw
So the film does provide an excellent explanation of why there is a flaw in the Death Star. Galen Erso is a fifth columnist who designs the flaw into the weapon. All well and good, but that doesn’t explain why the flaw continues to exist in Death Star 2, and even in the next generation Starkiller Base.
So Grand Moff Tarkin’s appearance in the film was an exciting surprise. His uncanny-valley palour was easy to forgive. However, he does seem rather unbelievably clueless as regards to the vulnerability of the Death Star, and this isn’t explained in the film. Not only is Orson Krennic desperately trying to stop the rebels from sending the Death Star plans from the data centre. Vader is relentless in trying to recover those plans from the scarpering troops on the Tantive IV, and Scarif is Death Starred from orbit to protect the data. There must be a weakness in the Death Star, given that the lead designer was revealed as a traitor. And yet when the attack on the Death Star is underway, during episode IV, Tarkin is informed, ‘We’ve analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?’. To which Tarkin replies, ‘Evacuate? In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances.’ How can Tarkin be so tactically naive?
Jyn Erso Jackpot
Wow, the rebels really struck lucky with Jyn Erso. Not only did they find her on a prison transfer during a spring operation on Wobani. They managed to identify her, even though the resourceful Empire had not twigged that she shared the same DNA as their treasured Death Star designer. This is so remarkable that the rebels declare she is lucky the Empire didn’t work out who she was. So how on earth did the ramshackle rebels manage this act of serendipitous due diligence? And they find her just as they need her to engage on a mission to network with the dissident Saw Gerrera who has literally just captured a defected Imperial pilot who happens to have a hologram addressed to her. She goes missing for sixteen years and gets randomly sprung on exactly the right day. Lucky, huh?
So the rebels manage to transmit the plans to the rebel command ship. Given that they have the technology to achieve interplanetary space travel, you would think they had pretty decent internet. And yet when the plans arrive, they don’t put them onto the network and transmit them virally to all receivers. They just burn them onto a crappy tape drive thingy. Given the size of the fleet, it’s pretty unbelievable that the tape drive is the only existing copy of the plans in the galaxy. Of course, if there were more copies of the plans, there would have been no point in rescuing Princess Leia from the Death Star in Episode IV.
Jyn Erso’s Motivations
Jyn appears to completely flip her motivation towards helping the rebel cause for no apparent reason. Forest Whittaker’s raspy Saw Gerrera asks her why she is involved, and she pretty much tells him that she just wants out now that she has reintroduced him to the rebel alliance. Gerrera is visibly distressed that she is completely indifferent to the cause. And yet, when they get back to the rebel base on Yavin IV, she has completely flipped her motivation. So much so that she is prepared to commit to a suicide mission that not even the Rebel Council agree upon as being a good idea.
Cassian Andor’s Motivations
Cassian is shown to be so ruthless that he happily fires a laser bolt into the belly of his rebel co-conspirator at the Imperial outpost. And yet he has a sudden bout of conscience when he has the apparent super-evil designer of an intergalactic super-weapon in his cross hairs. You could say this is akin to the distrust that was communicated by the scene in the cantina when Han Solo (who shot first) dispatches of the unlucky Greedo; an action that is supposed to make you question his good intentions. But Andor shooting a rebel?
Well, we saw them. They were great. However, the death troopers never rear their deathy heads ever again. Why were the death troopers deemed to be so ineffective that the Empire does not appear to continue to use their services in the following films?
The Stormtrooper plot hole crops up time and time again. If storm troopers are genetically-engineered super-soldiers, spliced together from the kick-ass DNA of veteran militant, Jango Fett by the Geonosians, how come they are so crap at being soldiers? Not only does Episode VI see them being defeated by a bunch of stone age teddy bears. Rogue One shows how they sloppily lose control of a prisoner transfer as their detail gets intercepted by rebels on Wobani.
Why were there highly risky rebel prisoner rescue missions being carried out on Wobani? Risking the lives of dozens of rebel soldiers and mercenaries for a few poxy prisoners that may or may not be useful to the cause seems like a dangerous way to spend resources. God only knows what random tombola of reprobates surfaced after each transport was attacked.
Darth Vader Misses His Opportunity
Vader appeared more interested in using his Sith powers to force levitate rebels into walls of the Tantive IV than he was in recovering the Death Star Plans. He appears to be so distracted that he doesn’t use his Force air-grab power to levitate the tape drive that is being passed through the jammed bulk head door. Bit silly…
Another surprise return for a character from the original trilogy. And everyone likes a ginge. It turns out that Mothma appears to be the top dog, the Theresa May of the rebel outfit. She pops up again in Episode VI. So where did she disappear to in Episode IV and Episode V? Did she have better things to do? It’s surprising that she neither played a part in the Yavin IV discussions to destroy the first Death Star, nor was she hanging out with her homies on Hoth.
So the Death Star plans are being stored at the data centre on Scarif. So it was pretty obvious what the rebels were doing given the circumstances that arose after the Galen Erso breach incident. Would it not have been easier to simply wipe the data centre clean of data as opposed to using the Death Star to destroy the entire planet? And of course, by the time they did that, the horse had already bolted.
Galen Erso and Orson Krennic Left To Live
This one is a double header. The Empire have the chance to finish off a prone Galen Erso as he lies on the landing platform on Eadu. Why keep him alive when he is clearly of use to the rebel fighters who are attacking the base. Krennic hesitates as he boards the shuttle, but lets him live for no explained reason. The same happens when Krennic is prone at the data centre on Scarif. He’s a high ranking Imperial officer, and yet assassin, Cassian Andor refuses to allow Jyn from unloading her blaster into the face of the man who effectively killed her parents.
Well, I think that just about covers it. Do let me know if you can think of anything else!
OK, so here is my third year of doing paintings on my mobile phone. I have no idea if I am achieving a higher standard, but it’s certainly fun continuing. The year appears to have been dominated by pin-up art and by politics, although not at the same time!
I saw the incredible documentary, ‘Amy’ over Christmas holidays, so I started off the year with this cartoony depiction.
The idea was mooted that Idris Elba could be touted as the new James Bond. Thought I would try him out…
I got to work on a painting derived from a sketch by the talented artist, Jasper.
This year, science fiction themes gave me some ideas for some pin-ups…
I did a portrait of one of my friends, Emily Gonzalez.
I had a go at this cantina scene…
When I was at school in the 1900’s, my schoolmates found that I had drawn a ‘saucy’ picture of Judge Anderson. It wasn’t very good, and it attracted a great deal of derision. With my skills back then I don’t think that I did it any justice, so I decided to revisit it.
2016 was quite a dramatic year for politics, and so this featured heavily in my paintings
This character pretty much kick-started all the trouble, with his promotion of toxic right-wing debate.
He was instrumental in getting all of these phrases flying around, and stirring up a culture of hate and blame.
It was this gentleman’s turn next. He managed to turn an era of hope and optimism into an age of discontent and cynicism.
My continuing depiction of ‘him down below’ had to make an entry.
I got my paint-on big time in 2015. Lots of different styles and subjects. Here is a boiled-down selection of the year’s work.
I have to start off with one of my favourite subjects. Thanks to my Roman Catholic upbringing, I give you…. Satan!
Xmas is always a provider of great inspiration when it comes to my artwork.
I guess I created a few paintings that don’t easily fit into categories…
So here are a bunch of doodles I made to get you into the seasonal mood!
Had to kick things off with a classic Zombie Claus. I can guess what he wants for Christmas…
Moving onto the nerdy Star Wars stuff…
How did Darth Vader know what he was getting for Christmas? He felt his presents…
With the hairdo, this fella is half way there…
Even an evil alien master race has to party a little at Christmas…
Who else but this fella could truly understand the spirit of the season?
And now for the really miserable ones, kicking off with some bad Santas…
Tucking into his turkey, in grotesque fashion…
Who’s been on the naughty list this year?
Capping things off with an evil snowman. Well, I think that sums up just about everything about my misanthropic feelings towards the holiday season. Hope you enjoy yours!!!