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han solo


Movie review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

There’s been a lot of dubious buzz over the last several months about Solo: A Star Wars Story. A lot of folks have been concerned about the change in directors, and about whether the movie would deliver a cohesive story. It’s only been out a week, and there’s buzz now about OHNOEZ DID IT FLOP, apparently because it hasn’t made quite as gigantic a pile of money as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi have done.

With all this negative buzz going around, you could easily conclude that the movie sucks. I am delighted to report, Internets, that this is not the case.

As y’all know I’m a lifelong fangirl for Harrison Ford in general, and for Han Solo in particular. So I was absolutely expecting to come into this movie all Judgy McJudgypants. Because of my Ford fangirldom, but also because of my longstanding love of the Han Solo backstory novels by Brian Daley and A.C. Crispin. The Crispins in particular are near and dear to my heart, as I relied upon them heavily for inspiration when playing Han on Star Wars MUSH back in the day.

Happily, while this movie’s story is of course different in the minor details (while getting the major ones generally right), its spirit felt entirely like those novels. It was just generally fun in a way we don’t usually get with Star Wars flicks. By which I mean, we’re not dealing with galaxy-shaking stakes here. This is an origin story, a heist-flick-in-space, with the Empire only a background presence rather than the main point.

And while Alden Ehrenreich isn’t Harrison Ford, I am now happy to accept his take on Han. Also, Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian is absolutely glorious, and so is the droid L3.

All in all, if you’re a Star Wars fan–and especially if you’re a Han fan–go see it!

Now let’s have a swing past the Spoiler Mines of Kessel, shall we?

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Movie review: Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens

Dara and I, accompanied by friends Mimi and Layna, have finally seen The Force Awakens.

YOU GUYS. That? That right there? That was a goddamned Star Wars film. And let me put this in perspective for you: do you all know the last time I would have walked out of a movie theater entirely emotionally satisfied with a Star Wars film? That would have been 1980–the year The Empire Strikes Back came out.

And I can say this. Even having had a major plot point spoiled for me (and I am STILL cranky at the player on Dungeon Boss chat who blew that for me, grr), I was still full of the feels. And I have many, many thoughts on what I just witnessed, and I shall now share them with you all!

Needless to say, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS OMG SO MANY SPOILERS YOUR FLEET CANNOT REPEL SPOILERS OF THIS MAGNITUDE AND DID I MENTION SPOILERS? If you’re coming over from one of the social media networks or from LJ or Dreamwidth to read this, I beg you: please stay right on if you want to drop comments. Because there will be spoilers and I want to minimize their presence anywhere this post gets mirrored. If I see you drop a spoiler-related comment on any of my social media networks where this post goes up, I WILL DELETE THAT COMMENT. Do not make Han cranky!

Han says NO.

Han says NO.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding! Let’s get to it, shall we? And did I mention OMG SPOILERS?

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New trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

And in the middle of the ongoing Puppy wars, suddenly, with a stirring of the orchestra, we have a Christmas cease-fire gift showered down in glory upon our heads.

Because the new trailer for The Force Awakens has just dropped, and this? THIS IS WHY I GOT INTO SCIENCE FICTION, people. I think the same can be said for a lot of us.

I posted the other day about my dismay that the 20th Century Fox fanfare has been changed in the new digital releases. And one of the things I said in that post was how the music of the Star Wars movies can make me eight years old all over again.

And that just happened, watching this trailer. That opening theme, set off against that magnificent opening shot, just set my heart soaring.

And oh god. Luke’s voiceover. The wrecked Vader helmet. A stormtrooper who’s a character of color–joining hands with–who is this, then? Is she Luke’s daughter? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

And that final shot. Harrison. OH HARRISON. You’re an old dude now, but goddammit, it’s good to see you, sir.

And CHEWIE! A lot of people have been upset that the Expanded Universe novels have been relegated to non-canon status, but y’know what? When those novels killed off Chewbacca is the point at which I stopped reading. Because I couldn’t bear to read that. And now, here’s Chewie right there in the movie, right at Han’s side, where he belongs. :~)

Goddammit, my hopes are now not only up, they’re flying. I still very distinctly remember getting excited over the Phantom Menace trailer. Forty-six-year-old-me is too world-weary to commit completely to getting excited now.

But eight-year-old me, the me who stared in awe at the Star Destroyer that filled the screen when A New Hope came out… eight-year-old me is shrieking with joy. While forty-six-year-old me is smiling, with a shine of tears in her eyes.

“Chewie, we’re home,” indeed. <3 <3 <3

Bring on Christmas. And please oh please oh please oh please don’t let this movie suck.


Super-fast book roundup post

Because I got no brain, pretty much, and because I want to get this draft file out of my queue.

Picked up from Kobo:

Razor’s Edge, by Martha Wells. First of a Star Wars trilogy set between A New Hope and Empire, grabbed on that grounds and also because of Leia looking badassed on the cover. Giving me new Rebellion-era adventures IS a pretty damned good way to get me to pay attention to Star Wars again, I gotta say!

(Also, I noted with glee that Book 2 has a Han-centric cover. Yum.)

And, picked up from B&N:

The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch, which I still haven’t read. I actually have a copy of this in paperback as well, but I grabbed the ebook because it was available for only .99. (Still is as of me checking this evening, so if you don’t have this book already, check fast! You may be able to snag it for cheap!)

156 for the year.


A clearing out the backlog on the wishlist ebook roundup post

Clearing out a few more items off the wishlist backlog. Picked up from Carina:

  • Stellarnet Prince, by J.L Hilton. This is book 2 of her series with Carina, and since I liked the first one, I’m proceeding on to the second!

And, picked up from Kobo:

  • Gaming for Keeps, by Seleste deLaney. Seleste deLaney is a fellow Carina author, but this is one of her non-Carina releases, and I had to grab this one for being chock full of geekery. The heroine is a gamer and there’s action at a con! Awesome!
  • Leviathan Wakes, by James S.A. Corey. SF novel that’s been on my radar for a bit and I grabbed it while it was available for $2.99.
  • Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente. Grabbed this for being generally quite impressed by the excerpt that got posted to a while back, and because this promises to be one of the more entertaining fairy tale retellings I’ve encountered in a while.
  • The Gaslight Dogs, by Karin Lowachee. A fantasy that also has been on my radar for a while, and I wanted to give it a look for a) a pretty neat cover, and b) some alternate-history action going on that featured an Inuit-like culture.
  • The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit, and Rebel Dawn, by A.C. Crispin. This is the awesome Han Solo origin story trilogy Crispin did a while back, and while I’ve already got these in paperback–in fact, they’re among the few Star Wars novels I’m keeping in paperback–I wanted them in ebook too. Because they’re just. That. Awesome.
  • The Han Solo Adventures, by Brian Daley. Same notation as previous. This is the omnibus edition of the much older Han Solo adventures that Daley did, and which were in turn referenced by Crispin in her works. Great fun.
  • Before the Storm, Shield of Lies, and Tyrant’s Test, by Michael P. Kube-McDowell. A Star Wars trilogy I didn’t retain in paperback but which I wanted again in ebook. Liked this one for high Han-related action.
  • Still Life, by Louise Penny. Mystery. This is the first of Penny’s series of mysteries set in Quebec, which I want to read for reasons that should be obvious to anybody who’s seen me rhapsodizing about Quebecois trad for more than two seconds in a row. 😉

122 for the year.


Awesome little Star Wars fan film

userinfospazzkat pointed me at this last night, and I am obliged by two and a half years of playing Solo on Star Wars MUSH to share this with you all. <3 The creator did an awesome job, and apparently even won a fan film contest with it! Particular props for the voice work for Han channeling Ford quite nicely, as well as his banter with Chewie.

There's also a 3D version, but you need old-school red/cyan 3D glasses to watch that!

The Solo Adventures 2D from Daniel L Smith on Vimeo.