Fangirl Loves Star Wars: Poe Dameron (Comics) by Charles Soule, Phil Noto & Angel Unzueta

Um, I don’t know if you know this or not, readers, but I really am fond of the character Poe Dameron.

That might be an understatement…

What’s the word for a character who’s life story you’ve dived into, who you’ve written tons of secret fanfiction about, who you’ve spend hundreds of dollars to create cosplay for, and who’s actor you’ve decided you must watch his entire filmography?

OH! Is the word, obsessed? Yes, I think that’s the word.

Never forget the tagline of this blog is “Saving The World One Obsession At A Time!”

And while my obsessions wax and wane and sometimes go away entirely. (I no longer feel the need to purchase every Billy Joel album, for example! And I never even got The Nylon Curtain or Cold Spring Harbor.) But ever since that night watching The Force Awakens five years ago, Poe Dameron and by extension Oscar Isaac’s have been pretty steady.

Poe Dameron the Comic series was written by Charles Soule who is very good at writing comics. (READ SHE-HULK! He made her comic into a David E. Kelley show and it was great and perfect) He was also very nice to me once at ACBC, so you know, there’s that.

Poe Dameron covers the time before and between movies. First we get the lead up to The Force Awakens where he is trying to find Lor San Tekka (Remember how Kylo Ren killed Max Von Sydow? That guy) because Leia said so.

Seriously, one of the best things about Poe, which is preserved here is that when Leia says jump, his answer is, “How high? Also can I do a barrel roll?” Anyway, our self proclaimed best pilot in the galaxy is not alone, he’s got a great group of friends in his Black Squadron. Snap Wexley (there’s a moment where Snap’s childhood droid friend, Mr. Bones from Aftermath makes a comeback and I said, “Oooh YAY!”),  Jessika Pava, Kare Kun and Suralinda Jones. They’re a good team, and also Snap and Kare are in love and great and now I am even more sad about how Snap died. (This is not even getting into the great tragedy of him being shot down right before his step dad Wedge Antilles showed up on Exagol. My friend Jess warned me of this, but it is ROUGH y’all.) There’s also a bunch of stuff about C-3P0’s spy network, which is BADASS, and BB-8 rolling around being the best.

The art is good. There’s something a little off putting about photo realistic art of characters who’s actors I know well, but the likenesses are quite good, and once I was used to it it got easier.

But mostly it’s a lot of piloting and character building which is cool. It makes Poe’s disposition in The Rise Of Skywalker make a lot more sense. He’s given up everything for this fight, he’s lost friends and he’s kind of done.

Anyway, I’m glad to have picked up this one. Our next visit to a galaxy far far away will be the novel Bloodline. First I’m going to be hanging out where no one has gone before…because y’all Picard starts tomorrow! New Clone Wars not far behind btw. Lot going on at the moment.

 

Rise, Rey, Rise Up

There’s a lot going on in The Rise Of Skywalker, and I’m actually having trouble articulating how I feel about this movie. I groaned at a lot of it, cried through more, loved it almost completely. It’s thoroughly predictable, and yet manages to satisfy regardless of that.

I’m not a big lover of twist endings, I think they’re often cheap. The predictability of a formula is not something I consider a fault in narrative. Tropes alone aren’t cheap, though they can be employed cheaply. And The Rise Of Skywalker uses tropes that it’s earned and a few that it hasn’t. It’s a mixed bag of a movie.

Like all Star Wars films it lives and dies on it’s performances. Daisy Ridley gives her strongest in this trilogy, Adam Driver gets less to do than the previous two outings. Oscar Isaac and John Boyega are a damn delight and here’s something that I never ever expected to write, Anthony Daniels really runs away with the thing.

And the score, as you may have heard is incredible. People are calling it the best Williams has done in the series. I don’t know about that. Empire and Phantom Menace are pretty high marks, but it gets close. (I need to listen to it without the film.) But it’s very good. Rey’s theme and Kylo’s theme both get mixed with The Imperial March and Force Theme’s in ways that are wonderful. Leia’s theme is also pretty prominent.

I really, really enjoyed myself.

Rankings

  1. Knive’s Out
  2. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
  3. Jo Jo Rabbit
  4. Frozen 2
  5. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  6. Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker
  7. Avengers: Endgame
  8. Rocketman
  9. Detective Pikachu
  10. Zombieland: Double Tap
  11. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
  12. Downton Abbey
  13. Joker

Trailers

The Jungle Cruise: This trailer does not have enough puns. It otherwise looks acceptable.

Onward: I really can’t wait for this. It looks so lovely and fun and kind of scary. Really great.

Wonder Woman 84: GIVE ME YOUR TIME TRAVEL SHENANIGANS AND CHRIS PINE IN A FANNY PACK!!!!

Anway, y’all ready for Spoilers!  THEY’RE HERE NOW

 

 

 

 

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Fangirl Loves Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Last Friday night I sauteed a chicken breast, and boiled some spaghetti, popped a bottle of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) and settled in to watch The Force Awakens for the first time in quite a while.

I mentioned the meal because I was so excited to watch the movie again and I wanted to breath it in and fall in love all over again. I was going on a date with Star Wars. 

I fell in love all over again. I really love this movie. I can see where the criticisms come from (though people criticizing a franchise that’s always been about remixing tropes and archetypes for doing it again feels like a reach…) but I can’t help but love it.

So much of that love belongs to Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, who are both so unfathomably wonderful. Rey and Finn aren’t particularly deep characters on the page. They are, as Luke, Han and Leia before them, archetypes, two searching orphans looking for home and belonging, and they find it in each other.

This would be wooden and dull and frightening if it were given to two actors with less charisma and less chemistry. Daisy and John click well together, so well, in fact, that they’re instantly connected, but they feel like family, not lovers, which is rare in a Hollywood blockbuster, and so so worth celebrating.

And then there’s the Kylo Ren issue. I think that Kylo is a pretty good villain, if pale in comparison to Darth Vader, but that’s kind of an impossible standard and is also the point of Kylo Ren. He’s not supposed to measure up, but he’s trying desparately to get there. The pressure of being from the greatest family in the galaxy broke him, and he reached for quickest connection to that legacy. It’s reiterated over and over again in Star Wars that the Dark Side is powerful and it’s quick. The light side requires patience discipline and letting go, allowing The Force to do the work. Ben Solo lost that battle because of the weight of expectation placed on his shoulders so he gripped to quick easy power.

THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT.

And, I saved it for last, you guys, I promised I wouldn’t spend this whole era dwelling on Poe Dameron, so I’m going to put it up here, and leave it at this. I am in awe of this character, who was shaped largely because of the actor they wanted playing him. (Oscar Isaac said he’d do it but not if he died.) Who became a focal point of the series because he was popular, and who models a kind of dedication and joy rarely seen in this trope of character. The hotshot pilot is supposed to be cocky, obnoxious, and out for himself, not quietly confident, deeply dedicated to his cause, and kind beyond reason. You keep waiting for Poe to be a dick. And then he isn’t.

I love Poe.

Alright, next week we talk about The Last Jedi, which should be great because no one on the internet ever talks about The Last Jedi right? We’re wading into new territory.

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…GULP.

Let The Past Die

The Last Jedi

 

*SPOILERS FOR DAYS*

 

 

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Last Jedi is a strange movie. There’s no getting around that. It’s paced oddly. (Poorly in certain spots) It’s full of weird looking creatures and off center character beats, and more weirdo philosophy than the seven movies that preceded it combined.

It’s also Carrie Fisher’s best performance of the five that she’s in, a fitting goodbye to a legend that we all love, allows Mark Hamill to play the comedy that he’s excellent at, deepens both Kylo Ren and Rey, and executes a B-Plot with exactly 0 white guys. (Seriously, the B-Plot heist is centered around Poe, Finn, new character Rose, Leia, new character Vice Admiral Holdo, and a surprise appearance by Benicio Del Toro.)

I need to see the movie again before I really evaluate it. But I enjoyed it immensely, if only for it’s truly spectacular moments. (This is why I want to see it again. I felt similarly about Revenge Of The Sith, so I want to watch it a bit more calmly.) Rey and Kylo fighting off Snoke’s guards after Kylo assasinates him. The force connection between Rey and Kylo convincing each of them that the other can be turned. Luke’s final conversation with Yoda. (Who after 40+ years is finally fed up with the Skywalker boys and their shit) The Star Wars version of the battle of Helm’s Deep. (Just when you thought there was nothing left from Tolkien for this series to mine!) Holdo’s sacrifice. Leia using the force to survive in space. That final moment between Luke and Leia. Luke brushing his shoulder off after a barrage of bullets in the battle.

The plot is what it is. There’s a maguffin, there’s a confrontation, there is, truly the best saber battle we’ve seen yet. The performances are strong, the character beats mostly work. The themes discussed including legacy, corruption and hope are well explored. It’s way too long. There’s definitely fat that could be trimmed, but for the most part it’s worth it.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say. I’ve got plenty of family time to log this week, and talking Star Wars with my family is my favorite thing.

Rankings:

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. The Big Sick
  3. Coco
  4. Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  5. Battle Of The Sexes
  6. Dunkirk
  7. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  8. Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 2
  9. Thor: Ragnarok
  10. Justice League
  11. King Arthur: Legend of The Sword
  12. The Dark Tower
  13. Cars 3
  14. Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Cosplay Corner: Best Pilot In The Resistance

This week’s Cosplay Corner is all about my favorite character in anything from the past few years. (Though seriously, Scorpius Malfoy is giving him a run for his money), and all the Rogue One talk over the week got me thinking about Star Wars again, and that lead to Poe Dameron.

Obviously, I’ve already covered my full on Con Version of the costume!

Also, I finished the Renn Faire Poe costume this week.

So, let’s talk about that

Renn Faire Poe Dameron


The base is simple enough, the same eyelet dress I used for Renn Faire last year, and my Disney World pirate costume, as well as the “corset belt” from those costumes. They will presumably be the base for all Renn Faire-style costumes moving forward, it’s comfortable and fits well.  I added an orange overskirt for the flight suit, and grey lace up tank top as a bodice, to represent the chest piece. To cover my head, I went through a few ideas, but landed on a kerchief style black headband, which I’ll add the Resistance symbol to in red, to riff on his helmet. Seriously, I bounced back and forth between a red and black flower crown, a red circlet with a black snood, some kind of cap, before I realized that this is what I needed it to be, simple, but very evocative. And then my Belle apron, and the Resistance symbol jewelry that I already own.

I’ll be at New York Renn Faire with it in a few weeks, and PA Renn Faire with it a few after that!

Closet Cosplays

Jakku And Escape


I’ve been trying to figure out this one for a while, and I think this outfit cracked it…Green skirt, brown leggings, my cream Doors tee shirt, and brown leather jacket. And of course the Resistance jewelry again!

Flight Suit


Y’all have seen this one in my Disney pics, but I just love it. My orange dress, which is one of my absolute favorite pieces of clothing. Black belt, and white cotton vest. It’s simple and perfect and I love it.

Star Wars News: Rogue OneTrailer and Poe Dameron #1

I was all set to write about Charles Soule and Phil Noto’s new Poe Dameron comic book, (hard to follow plot, because they made him perfectly beautiful…like Grayson level hard…except with fewer jokes about butts.) And so I thought, “oh, what a nice way to end the week.”

Poe

And then there was more Star Wars stuff, because the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story also dropped, and it’s wonderful as well.

I’m basically just overjoyed at all of this wonderful Star Wars goodness that I got.

Let’s start with Poe.

Guys it’s been a really long time since I clicked this hard with a character, when it came to full blown obsession.

I’m talking like, Blair Waldorf level obsession. (I haven’t yet modeled my entire wardrobe after Poe…I probably won’t, although I have been wearing a lot of orange.) I’m not really reading a lot of comics regularly these days. Pretty much just Bitch Planet.

But I was going to read this, and I will continue to read it every month, because I’m just completely obsesses.

The comic centers around Poe’s lead up to his mission on Jakku. He doesn’t know that he’s going to Jakku yet. Leia sends him to find Max Von Sidow (Character name I CANNOT REMEMBER FOR THE LIFE OF ME) to find the map to Luke. They know his last known whereabouts, so Poe assembles his squad of X-Wing pilots, most of whom we saw in the movie.

There’s also a reference to a battle on Jakku…which would explain the downed Star Destroyer and AT-AT…and possibly some stuff about how Rey and The Millenium Falcon wound up there…Anyway, Poe encounters a small group of people who are trying to hatch a galactic savior out of a giant egg and is both awkward and smooth around them, because that’s the sort of thing that Charles Soule excels at. In fact the quote that’s sticking out to me is “I don’t want to hurt your egg, I like your egg!”

The back up story is called “Rolling Along With BB-8,” where BB-8 is trying to hook up an X-Wing pilot with and X-Wing mechanic. It’s adorable, because he’s the best.

Now let’s talk Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First of all, I love the subtitle. I think it’s an excellent way to differentiate the “anthology” films from the “saga” films. Brilliant. Go Kathleen Kennedy. Next, the trailer looks bad ass.

I’m really into Felicity Jones as a straight up badass, and hey MON MOTHMA!! That’s pretty cool. And Forrest Whittaker. So there’s that. I’m really excited, I only got around to watching it once and it did make me cry. (The Force Theme man, it gets me every time.)

So much Star Wars goodness coming at us and I’m sure there’s just more to come.

Until then, May The Force Be With You!

The Special Features Awaken

I got home from work on Friday with two goal, exercise (I’m working out, either running or doing a Darebee work out everyday in April…) and then settle in and watch some stuff. Really I was thinking, “I can get into the DVR things that I need to clean out” but my TV in my bedroom was set to my Amazon Fire Stick rather than cable and there was a big old banner for The Force Awakens, so I bought it, and excercised during the first half hour and then settled on the couch to finish the movie and watch all of the special feature.

You guys already know how I feel about this movie. (If you don’t, here, you learn how I like it a whole heck of a lot!)

But the special features were new and I enjoyed them even more! (If that’s possible) The series of shorts as well as the big making of documentary were a lot of fun.

Because I followed the movie so closely in it’s run up and the weeks following it’s release I didn’t learn a lot of new things, but the bits I did learn were great.

First of all, it was deeply interesting to here the skepticism of the original 3…None of them were terribly interested in doing this movie and JJ Abrams had to talk them into it. I think we can all be grateful that they did. Particularly Harrison Ford, who spoke about Han never getting the ending Ford wanted for him. (Death, Harrison Ford really wanted Han Solo to die…and he got his wish!) Carrie Fisher spoke about having trouble getting back into acting, as she hadn’t in nearly a decade.. Mark Hamill wasn’t sure why Luke would have any bearing on a new story.

But my favorite little detail was how clearly they didn’t expect the fandom to explode over Poe Dameron. The segment about casting Oscar Isaac seems a good deal more thrown together than the rest. They describe him as “The Han of The Piece” which is true though narratively he far more resembles Leia, and Finn resembles Han.

But he is the Han in the sense that like Harrison Ford, this movie made Oscar Isaac everyone’s favorite actor all of a sudden.

Poe Dameron

Why wouldn’t he be?

I spent a good chunk of Thursday night talking about how wonderful he is with Aless, Jess and Alex. So, that’s important!

Anyway, I recommend the special features. The Digital edition is $20, which isn’t bad. I’m not sure how the Blu-Ray is priced, because I’m not buying it! The end!

Is He Your Friend?

Ex-machina-uk-poster

A big thing that I’ve wanted to do for 2016 to help keep my head on straight and to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed (here and in other areas of my life) is to get around to things I’ve been putting off. Whether that’s real life things, like prioritizing my finances, cleaning out my closets, running every day, not just every other day, or fandom related things like catching up on comics and prose reading, or social things like making an effort to see my friends and leave the house (this WHILE managing the finances is probably the most interesting.) So, if you’ll notice over on Facebook, every week I’m prioritizing “things I’m getting around to,” and this week’s big one was “watching Ex Machina.”

I haven’t stopped thinking about the movie since I finished it on Friday night.

Ex Machina is a film I should have seen earlier, but I just kept putting it off. So, I decided to just watch it and I’m really glad I did. The movie asks uncomfortable questions about human, technology, consciouness and in case you were wondering, the way men see women.

It’s not a coincidence that the only two human characters in this film are men. It’s not a coincidence that Nathan, the tech mogul played by Oscar Isaac has chosen to create an AI in the form of a beautiful young woman. It’s not a coincidence that Caleb, the programmer played by Dohmnall Gleeson, brought in to Turing Test the “system” (known as Ava and played wonderfully by Alicia Vikander) falls for her so quickly. This film is saying something about control, about fantasy, about how men want to control women. About how women refuse to be controlled.

I still don’t know exactly what it’s saying and I definitely want to revisit it…but not yet.

The best parts of Ex Machina are the twists and surprises, so I won’t say much more. It’s a fascinating and unsettling film. And it is masterfully acted, the performances (particularly Gleeson and Isaac) are natural and engrossing at the same time. You believe that these are men who might exist. And Vikander is stunning, engaging and just a hair over into inhuman as Ava. It’s an exceptional performance.

Overall, I was impressed, and glad I decided to check it out. Ex Machina is not in my usual line up of stuff I like or would check out, but expanding my horizons and pushing out of my comfort zone isn’t just going to apply to travel, food and exercise this year for me, it’s also applying to the kind of media I’m consuming. I figured this was a good place to start (genre trappings I’m comfortable with, themes that fascinate me and an actor I have a massive crush on…you know safe things for an outside the box choice…)

Cleanse

So this week, my mom, my sister and I did a juice cleanse. Actually we’re still doing it. It’s the final day.

It’s been interesting but not exactly fun. I’ve managed better than Mary, who was very cranky with me.

This is all a round about way of saying that I’m hungry and unfocused, and that’s my excuse for not having a post for today. As usual who wants to look at pictures of hot nerd world dudes instead of an actual post. You guys like when I do that, right?

 

Poe Dameron

Oscar, Obviously.

Grant Gustin

Grant, being adorable

sebastian-stan

Sebastian…because yeah…

4360241-splice_2_wenn2871043

Mehcad…mmmmm

Oscar Isaac

Oscar again…because I CAN!

Have a good day everyone! This time tomorrow I’ll have eaten solid food again. I’m pretty psyched about that…