Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Reviews of Episodes 7 and 8 of *The Mandalorian*

I have taken the blog back from Leia the Cat, as she got bored with it.  And with me.

So I have returned to reviewing the first season of the Mandalorian, just for the sake of completeness.   I am going to warn you that this review is not as funny as the others because I am quite put out with the writers, so much so that I threaten to write an academic article at them.

Which is, you know, a pretty serious threat.

Mandalorian, Episode 7: “The Reckoning”

Episode 7 begins with a little hologram message from the Guild leader who was shot.  The hologram is much higher quality than the one that Leia sends to Obiwan in Star Wars, and if they were this good in real life, then teaching remotely might not be so exhausting.

Or maybe it would.  I don’t know.

Anyway, he wants the Mandalorian to come work with him one more time because…I don’t know…there is some nameless threat to both of them out there.  And probably to Baby Yoda too, which is the real point.

So now we are on a sunny planet where Xena, Star Wars Edition, is fighting with a guy, and they are linked by red lightning that appears to be coming from their genitals, and…even though she wins, this is clearly written by men.

Mandalorian and Baby Yoda show up and offer her a job.  She tries to turn him down, but agrees because she likes fighting Imperials, I guess.  While they talk about the plan, Baby Yoda spies on them, which seems like a good idea on its part.

It is interesting that Baby Yoda’s species doesn’t seem to need any training to use the Force; I wonder why not.  I do not think I will find out in the Mandalorian.

And…now we are back on Nevarro, the planet where this all started.  It has deserts and, apparently, rivers of lava, which makes it a terrible hybrid of Tatooine and Mustafar.   They go visit Pig Nolte, because this is the part of the story where we assemble Our Gang of Heroes.  He says Baby Yoda is too ugly to have been engineered artificially, but Star Wars Xena looks like someone designed her, which is…Pig Nolte’s way of picking up girls? 

Anyway, Pig Nolte has rebuilt the twisty droid according to some kind of New Republic salvage law and taught it to do things.  I do not like that that droid is salvage; droids are obviously meant to be the slave class in Star Wars, and I kind of hope Twisty Droid wipes out the biologicals, but instead it…makes tea. Okay.  Once again, that seems a waste of technology.

Pig Nolte finally tells the Mandalorian his name when refusing to join his little gang, and then gives a lecture on the nature of droids, and says he’ll only join the gang if he can take his droid and his blurbs?  Oh, right, his pig lizard.  So each member of Our Gang has first said no, then said yes, and I am starting to appreciate the Flash from the terrible Justice League movie, just because he didn’t play hard to get like everybody else.

So Baby Yoda tries to force choke Star Wars Xena, and they FINALLY figure out that it can use the Force, but instead of talking about it, Pig Nolte gives an outraged lecture about being an Imperial slave while the droid watches.

The droid is the slave, ya’ll.  Ever since “We don’t serve their kind here,” we have known that they are treated like poo in Star Wars.  You know what?  I bet the droid dies.  That will be the character arc—it dies and the Mandalorian learns a lesson and…this is how they treat black characters in primarily white films, ya’ll.  Wtf?!  Why do we need a race of disposable characters to catalyze change in the hero?  I’m actually pretty pissed about this.

But the Mandalorian is determined to hate all droids at this point, even though he looks like a droid himself.  This character trait is getting more annoying, not less, and I hope we dispense with it before Season 2.

Ahsoka Tano is supposed to appear in Season 2, which might be enough for me to watch it.  Darn you, Disney!

The Guild guy meets them and is introduced to Baby Yoda, who, to my disappointment, does not immediately force choke him, because you know he is up to no good.  Everyone goes back to this same boring western town, now occupied by former Imperials.  Pig Nolte feeds Baby Yoda meat of some kind.  He has not explained about the Force, which is apparently a “rumor”—and I still don’t get this.  There were inquisitors running around all through the Empire stealing Force-powerful children—so how is it no one knows what the Force is?  Do they think they were stealing children for the hell of it?  I do not like this Disney canon which makes the Jedi, including Luke and Leia, obscure legends even after they kill the Emperor. 

Anyway, there is a shootout, and the Guild guy is shot; Baby Yoda to the rescue!  He heals the Guild guy with the Force, just like Rey does in the Rise of Skywalker.

Okay, this is the fourth shot of the gang all lined up against a landscape painting, and it’s starting to seem like they are just creating a bunch of zoom backgrounds.  Guild guy explains (to no one’s surprise) that he was going to double cross them and steal Baby Yoda, but now since he was healed, he doesn’t want to any more even if it violates the Code.  They make up some other tedious plan to confront the Imperial client and send Pig Nolte and Baby Yoda back to the ship to hide.  They ride on a pig lizard across the plains of Mordor to the ship while dramatic music plays.

They take the empty floaty chair to meet the client, who gives them a stupid lecture on the Empire, then takes a holocall from Moff Gideon, and the whole time, Xena Star Wars is getting more and more pissed at seeing more and more stormtroopers because Guild guy said there were only four. 

Moff Gideon shows up with something that the internets tell me is an Outland TIE fighter, which is pretty much the coolest thing in this episode, and a ton of troops, and sends troops on speeder bikes to catch Pig Nolte and Baby Yoda.  Oh, Pig Nolte is dead, and Baby Yoda is in the hands of the not-Empire!  What will happen?

Reviewers like this episode because most of the characters come back together to face off with the Moff and Save the Baby.  I am…disturbed…and I am ready to start an uprising on behalf of the droids.

Episode 8: “Redemption”

This episode starts with my favorite scene in the whole series, as two stormtroopers on the speeders argue and complain to each other.  They are pretty funny.  I give this scene a thumbs up.  These guys are my favorite troopers (not counting Finn, of course).  Twisty droid shows up to rescue Baby Yoda, who they mistake for…a nurse.  He beats them senseless and rescues the baby.  You know, my cousin Bekah is a nurse, and I think she could do this.  She is pretty bad ass.

Our Gang is trapped in a room, and they try, to my great amusement, to escape down the sewers, but when they go all Leia on the sewer grill, it does not break at all, so they cannot leap into the trash.  Really, the Death Star was shoddily constructed in many ways, wasn’t it?

Moff Gideon threatens them and gives them a deadline before opening fire, which makes no sense whatsoever.  Now we get the whole flashback to the Mandalorian’s childhood and find out that “Mandalorian” is not a race but a creed, and I still don’t think that fits since Mandalore is a planet.  Maybe they wiped out the whole planet under the Empire.  Rumor says Sabine Wren might also appear next season, and I am telling you, she is going to be pissed off.

This is a VERY long childhood flashback to explain how the Mandalorian became a Mandalorian.  A droid killed his parents; a Mandalorian saved him.  So he will don a mask and train in an underground lair, and strike fear into the hearts of cowardly droids as he stalks the Gotham…I mean, the Nevarro nights as…a bounty hunter.  Following a…creed?  Of bounty hunting?  And a Way of Mandalore? 

For a long flashback, this is not explained all that well.

Anyway, back to the fighting.

Twisty Droid shows up wearing Baby Yoda in a backpack and just destroys these stormtroopers.  Go, Twisty Droid!  It’s part of the IG series, which you might know because IG-88 was one of the bounty hunters hired to track down the Millennium Falcon in the Empire Strikes Back.  Based on what I am seeing here, Han and Leia and Chewie would have been toast if IG-88 had caught them instead of Boba Fett.  But everyone is all hyper for Boba Fett.  More bias towards biologicals, obviously.

So Twisty Droid blows the grid so they can go down in the sewers and the Mandalorian is injured and probably dying and says to leave him behind…but…Baby Yoda stands up and uses the Force all over the Imperials, giving everyone else time to get into the sewers.  Twisty droid stays to protect the Mandalorian, and the Mandalorian is like, “Kill me,” but the Droid has been reprogrammed and will not kill him.  Now, the Mandalorian has to remove his helmet to be healed; it also tells him a joke.  It is not a good joke.  But it’s okay to take off his helmet because this does not violate the Way because Twisty Droid is not a life form, and…now I am getting angry again.

This episode seems unusually long.

Somehow, they catch up to the rest of the gang in the sewers (which also does not make sense).  Ah, here are piles of old Mandalorian armor, some of it artistically painted, which I approve of.  But it looks like all of the Mandalorians in the jet packs have been wiped out.  The Armourer is alive, though, and she says the imperials wiped them out.  She wants to see Baby Yoda.

Ah, she knows what the Jedi are.  Sort of.

Anyway, now “the Way” is to find Baby Yoda’s home and “return him to a race of enemy sorcerers”; in the meantime, he has to be its father.  This Way keeps getting more complicated, like how the Grand Nagus keeps adding Rules of Acquisition.  Who can keep up? 

Now the Mandalorian gets a signet.  And a jet pack.  And a bunch of weapons.  This is convenient.  I did not know you could find all of this in the sewers.  Anyway, she tells them the way out.  Then stormtroopers come, and she takes a hammer and absolutely destroys them all. 

Now there is…a plain of lava?  And…a red R2 droid with long arms and legs piloting a boat over the lake of fire, and we will just go ahead and call it Charon, shall we?  And…here is the final character arc…Twisty Droid will sacrifice its life to save Baby Yoda, and now the Mandalorian can’t hate droids anymore.

I hate you, Star Wars Mandalorian writers; I really hate you.  Do you want me to write an academic article on the creation of a slave race in Star Wars using clichéd tropes for black characters in science fiction?  Do you?!  Because it seems like you do.

Anyhow, Our Gang escapes and says goodbye to dramatic music while the Mandalorian flies off to his ship with his jet pack.  He buries Pig Nolte before he flies away with Baby Yoda, who has stolen an ugly piece of jewelry.

And then my other favorite scene, as we see Moff Gideon has survived the crash of his TIE figher, and he cuts his way out using…the Darksaber.  And THAT is why Ahsoka Tano has to show up next season and find out how the heck a Moff got this stupid sword after all the trouble she went to to get it into the hands of Bo-Katan. 

Anyway, the Mandalorian’s last episode was better than the beginning of the show, but aside from the appearance of the Darksaber, it was pretty predictable, filled with racist clichés applied to droids, and mostly makes me want to go watch Star Wars: Rebels again.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Yet Another Set of Pandemic Updates from Leia the Cat

April 25: Apparently, the human is having vivd and disturbing dreams. Today, she explained that in the event of a zombie attack, my job is to "create a diversion." I already have a plan in place for a zombie attack; it does not involve the rescue of mentally disturbed humans who are late with breakfast.

April 26: More meteorological excess last night tempted the human to sleep past my breakfast time. She discovered that she still has plenty of bandaids, and that my breakfast is not to be delayed for thunderstorms.

Update from Spike the Other Cat: very scary storm. I cried and cried and peed in the hallway. Mommy yelled but then I got snuggles.


Update from Natalie the Human: Both of these cats are damned drama queens. I miss my students. They may occasionally complain, but they never pee on my stuff.

April 27: The human slept on and off most of the day murmuring listlessly about "barometric changes" and "sinuses." While this means I regained control of my territory AND had a warm place to sit throughout the day, experience has shown that she and Spike will do something embarrassing and energetic at 3am tonight.

April 28: The human has been working on the cat warming machine all day, but she has also been sneezing, loudly, the entire time. I have three times attempted to make her desist by placing a gentle paw across her face, but this has not improved the situation. More aggressive methods will need to be enacted if things do not improve, as her "allergies" are disrupting the peace of the household.

April 29: The human rescued Spike from a very small spider today, which had provoked him into huddling in the corner and crying. Instead of killing the invader, however, the human placed it outside the domicile, explaining that "spiders serve an important ecological niche as they are necessary for the creation of new superheroes." Had I been quicker, I would have killed it dead.

April 30: After taking out the trash (again, with the stupid "Danger Zone" song), the human put herself in "time out" for tracking mud across the floor that she had just mopped. She also instructed herself to leave wet shoes on the front porch, "or heads will roll!" I miss the cleaning lady; she does not sing or shout at herself.

May 1: Today I was a bit bored, so I entertained myself by hiding between the shower curtain and the shower curtain liner until the human walked near enough for me to tap her on the foot. Her screams were gratifying.

May 2:  The human spent many hours typing on the cat warming device today, muttering about grading. Her only pause was a bizarre rant on the topic of "why it's always the starboard coupling, answer me that that? I know you can't; it has to be a design flaw--so much for 24th century engineering." I took her lapse into madness as an opportunity to steal the cheese off of her sandwich.

May 3: The human left the domicile today! Unfortunately, within 30 minutes, she came back.

May 4: Today the human was punished by the fates for not sharing her chicken with me, as she spilled a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle on the dining room floor. Note: humans are pretty disgusting when they cry.

May 5: Another hailstorm, another overly dramatic breakdown on Spike's part.

May 6: The human attempted to bond with us today by discussing the best food to be found in the Detroit airport as well as a gathering place called "Bilbo's Pizza." I do not know what either of these has to do with medieval studies, but I do know that I am not receiving my customary Five Days of Intense Spoiling by the Neighbors which I look forward to each May. I am VERY unhappy.

May 7:  Today the human complained that she didn't have any wine "bad enough" for the traditional wine hour. Honestly, this pandemic has clearly given her brain damage.

May 8: The human, whose cleaning skills are rather weak in the best of times, attempted to dance with a mop last night while cleaning the floor of Spike's vomit. Naturally, she crashed in an undignified heap. After much overly dramatic shouting, she spent most of today in Spike's chair with her right rear paw elevated and encased in a bag of frozen peas. Worse yet, when she does bother to move, she does so with the assistance of two long sticks, one of which came close to crushing my tail!

May 9: The human left the frozen peas on a stool within reach of Spike for ten minutes. I spent the afternoon in the front bedroom out of range of both the rolling peas and the swearing.

May 10: The human seemed lonely today, so I made sure that I sat on at least one of her body parts at all times, including when she was using the bathroom. In spite of this affection, my dinner was 22 minutes late.

May 11:  Today, when I was trying to groom myself in peace, I was subjected to a rant from the human on the theme of "Why Starting a Sentence in an Essay with the Phrase, 'I Don't Mean to Be Offensive, But...' Should Result in a Grade of -2000." I do not care about student essays, but my human earned a D- today for lack of dignity alone.

May 13, 8am: I did not update yesterday because the human was boring.

May 13: By Bast's holy tail, what is Frozen 2, and why is it on continual loop?!

May 14: I have finally established that the front bedroom is Mine every afternoon--no humans, no orange cats--Mine alone. I need a few hours of solitude each day to preserve my sanity.

May 15: Someone sent the human Star Wars socks. The human attempted to see how they would look on ME, a decision she will regret at her leisure.

May 16: The human spent several hours this afternoon wearing a blue head covering and watching something she called "classic baseball." Then she sighed deeply and took a long nap, allowing me to do my nails in peace.

May 17: The human went outside today to "do battle with invasive species," and Spike ran out onto the front porch. After much drama, he ran back in, carrying a mouse he had caught. Instead of killing it, however, he released it into the house. Eventually, I had to bestir myself from my afternoon nap to kill it myself and deposit it in the human's slipper. Neither the human nor Spike expressed any appreciation, of course.

May 18: When the human took out the recycling today, she let a fly into the house. While I used the bug to contemplate the brevity of existence and the relative nature of time and space, Spike broke a glass, pulled down the bedroom curtains, and killed something called an "ipad mini." The fly left the domicile unmolested when the human brought in the mail. It's been over a decade, and I still do not understand why this household needed a second cat.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Yet Another Series of Pandemic Updates from Leia the Cat

April 16: Today was bright, and I was able to nap in the sunbeam in front of the door to the domicile. That allowed me to witness several humans leaving packages on the front porch. All of these humans wore masks. While I appreciate the effort, even with face coverings, humans are graceless and ugly compared to cats.

April 17: the human attempted to convince Spike and me that we had to walk only on pillows scattered across the living room "to avoid stepping in the burning lava!" She grew quite alarmed when we did not play this ridiculous game. I thought about indulging her. Then I thought again.

April 18: I do not know who Billie Jean is or why she demands the "moonwalk," but if I meet her, I will vomit a hairball onto her shoes. My human, incidentally, now appears to be limping.

April 19: Today was a relaxing day except for the half-hour lecture the human gave me on the uses and misuses of the apostrophe, a subject both tedious and unnecessary for an evolved creature such as myself. I have to admit to being surprised that this sort of thing passes for knowledge among humans.

April 20: the human engaged in something called a "primal scream" today. I engaged in clawing the bedroom drapes in response.

April 21: Spike incurred the wrath of the human today by standing in a bowl of pasta sauce to more effectively steal cheese. After a bath in the sink <shudder> the hair dryer was inflicted upon him. It did not go well. During all of this chaos, I, of course, ate the cheese.

April 22: the human heard something on the loud screen today and kept typing "face masks for cats" into the cat warming device and promising to protect us from the apocalypse. She was twenty minutes late with my dinner, however.

April 23:  the human "sang" the song "Danger Zone" by the execrable Kenny Loggins in preparation for rolling the garbage can to the curb. I am giving her my butt for the rest of the evening.

April 24: last night, when she SHOULD have been asleep, the human began stalking back and forth, pausing only to floridly display a single claw on each hand. This is a hostile gesture among her kind, here aimed at someone recommending "lysol injections" and "uv light to fight viruses." Today, I persuaded Spike to nap ostentatiously in a sunbeam, just to mess with her.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Pandemic Updates from Leia the Cat, 2nd Week of April 2020

April 8: The human has cleaned and organized the room referred to as "home office" today. She appears to have done this by moving all of the mayhem and flotsam from that room into another room. I really do not understand human behavior.

April 9: The human had three "meetings" at which she spoke into the cat warming device. I attended the third, interposing myself between the screen and the human and receiving adequate head scratching as a result. While I prefer the human's undivided attention when I demand it, the praise I received from the voices coming from the cat warming device was surprisingly gratifying.

April 10: Today the human sat around reading books. And more books. Finally I sat on the books and received appropriate attentions. Then she nudged me aside and went back to books. I do NOT approve.

April 11: The human attempted to lecture me today about sleeping and rolling around on the cat warming device. Apparently, this sends messages that no one can decipher. I will, of course, continue to do as I please.

April 12: The human arose from her bed at 3am last night, went into the dining room with a basket of old cat toys, and encased six of them inside egg-shaped plastic vessels. Then she wandered around the house depositing them in various locations. This morning, she attempted to persuade Spike to "find" the "kitty Easter eggs." Spike did not find them. I did not participate.

April 13: Today has been a quiet day, not because the human has finally left the domicile, but because last night's storm appears to have traumatized both her and Spike. Frankly, they were both equally useless today. I, of course, am not affected by meteorological drama.

April 14: The human cleaned the dining room floor today, which surprised me, as she has been astonishingly slothful. Having moved the chairs into the living room, she lost whatever mind she has left, draped blankets over them, and invited Spike and myself into her "fort" for "reading and self-care." The human is clearly completely bonkers. I will confess, however, to taking a peaceful 45-minute nap in the "fort."

April 15: The human spent most of today talking to various devices and drinking brown liquids. Eventually, I had to knock several devices to the floor to make room on the human's lap for petting and napping time. Attempts to retrieve the devices were met with claws.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Pandemic Updates from Leia the Cat, First Week of April 2020

March 31:  It is the middle of the night. The night belongs to me! This must stop. The human has covered her face with half a paper plate and is angrily shouting with some horrific, terrible musical soundtrack. I do not know who Andrew Lloyd Webber is, but I hope someone drops a chandelier on HIM.

April 1: The human fed us on time today, spent the morning cleaning, uttering only minor expletives about "damned internet connection," and then has spent the mid-day typing into the cat warming machine. Is it possible she can be domesticated after all?

April 2: The human woke up at an acceptable time today, but provided the wrong flavor food, something to which I had to draw her attention by knocking over her glass of iced coffee. Twice. FINALLY, she become aware of her error and provided a tuna substitute. Acceptable. But I expect better service tomorrow.

Update from Spike the Other Cat: Mom doing puzzles. Puzzles are yummy. Need to be washed first, though.

April 3: The human has started a new and somewhat worrying behavior. She has been asking the throw pillows "which ones of you would like to live in the bedroom this week? Is anyone unhappy with this sofa? Who would like to move to the loveseat?" She also praised the dishes for coming out of the dishwasher "all sparkling and ready to meet the world!" It is possible that her lack of contact with others of her kind is dangerous to her mental health.

April 4: A better day today. The human was quiet and productive, providing treats and even sharing her dinner with us. Has she adapted to her confinement? Or is this merely a lull?

April 5: The human is now referring to her living room chair as the "command chair," and she spent 25 minutes today explaining to Spike that his "position is at the ops station" and pointing at the loveseat. She also berated me for "falling asleep at the conn!" I am relentlessly ignoring her and hoping her hallucinations pass quickly.

April 6: Not much to report today. The human did not exit the dwelling, but did open all of the windows and shout "the outside be inside!" far too loudly. I was able to nap in the breeze.

April 7: So many boxes have been delivered! But am I allowed to keep any?! No! The human keeps slicing them into uselessness and removing them from the domicile. The orange cat and I do not agree on much, but we concur on the outrageousness of this behavior.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pandemic Updates from Leia the Cat, March 2020

Pandemic Updates from Leia the Cat, March 2020

(with the occasional comment from Spike the Other Cat)



March 15: The human is acting suspiciously. She pointed at the alarm clock and laughed, then cleaned out the refrigerator. Something is not right here.

March 16: Odd behavior continues. The human fed us late today, and we had to check to make sure she was not dead. She has stacked towers of gooshy food next to the cabinet and cleaned the oven.

March 17: The human seems determined to erase my scent from everything in the house. Is this why she is not leaving the domicile during the day? Or is she trying to take command of my territory? I am concerned, very concerned.

March 18: the cat warming device which the human kneads with her claws and stares at regularly has taken on a new function, for the human now periodically speaks to it...and IT SPEAKS BACK. The human may be practicing witchcraft. She was also late with my breakfast again.

March 19: the human woke up and fed us at a reasonable time today, then proceeded to move boxes around for several hours. I am aghast to report that most boxes were CUT OPEN and taken out of the domicile, rather than being placed strategically around my territory. This human is very badly trained.

March 20: the human behaved acceptably last night, providing a warm place where I could bathe and do my nails, but this morning she pulled out a Device of Evil Noise and fed paper to it for an hour while Singing Aloud. I may need to recruit the Orange Fool into my new behavior modification plan.

(March 20: update from Spike the Other Cat:  Mommy home.  More pettings.)

March 21: the human persists in not leaving the domicile. I thought she was attending to my needs properly when I scented the chicken flavor wafting through my territory, but neither my Significant Looks nor the Orange One's desperate pleas persuaded her to share her bounty. Bereft, the Orange one deposited a hairball in the human's bed.

March 22: if the human is going to stay home, she WILL learn to behave properly. I will knock over a fifth glass of iced tea if she has not learned from the first four.

March 23: the crisis intensifies. I thought the human was finally leaving the domicile today and returning to her usual habits. However, just as I was feeling relief that my tactics had borne fruit, she picked me up, deposited me in the mobile prison cell and took me to the vet! I will not detail the indignities I endured there. I'm not sure how much more of this I can take.

(March 23: Update from Spike the Other Cat: my sister went away today. It was sad. She came back! I jumped on her. She smacked me. Now I am happy.)

March 24: the human is STILL here, and she is really getting on my nerves. Not only does she persist in talking to me and to the orange cat whenever she sees us, even if I am clearly set upon other business, but she also talks to inanimate objects. I do not know if she has always been this way or she is going slowly mad, but if I hear her call, "Missing coffee cup, where are you?" one more time, there will be blood.

March 25: Things improved slightly yesterday, as the human installed a new light-and-noise machine under my supervision. The orange one attempted to hand tools to the human, but because he does not have opposable thumbs, this resulted in tools rolling under the sofa. I took great satisfaction in watching the human crawl on her belly to reach things, mewling pathetically the entire time. Such theater makes our joint confinement much more palatable.

(March 25: update from Spike the Other Cat: Fun!  Fun!  I help.  Chase tail.  Help more. Nice nap.)

March 26: the human attempted to nap through dinnertime yesterday. While I respect the nap as vital to the mental health of any being attempting to struggle through this universe, I have had enough of late meals. I climbed upon the human's head and spread out my fur. She awoke in a panic and promptly provided the appropriate wet food. Honestly, we could just avoid this kind of unpleasantness if she budgeted her time more effectively.

March 27: She has put BOOKS in my napping spot! Fortunately, I am not so old and weak that I cannot clear my spot myself. Loudly.

March 28: the human is determined to remove my scent from ALL of the fluffy blankets. I am determined to sleep in the basket where the un-felined blankets are folded until one of us surrenders to the inevitable.

March 29: the human did not feed us until 10:00 AM! I do not feel at all sorry that she slipped in cat vomit leaving her bedroom. She simply MUST LEARN.

March 30: Things have escalated here. Last evening, during what is clear Feline Dominance Time, when humans are supposed to be asleep in their dens, my human, may her fur be forever tangled, turned on the Loud Noise Machine and began singing the songs of her kind while gyrating through the house. Periodically, she would spot Spike or myself and exclaim, "Hands up, Kitties! It's time to rock this pandemic!" My nerves are shattered, absolutely shattered.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Rise of Skywalker: Likes, Dislikes, and Don't Cares

Ah, so I have received two requests that I get off my derriere and post my thoughts on Rise of Skywalker.  I warn you: some of you will be disappointed.  I do not care that much about continuity or how the force works or anything in Star Wars.  Star Wars has never felt like real science fiction to me, and I don't expect or demand much from it.  I like it to have strong female characters (who don't "die of a broken heart") and some mildly cool scenes that don't center around the edge-of-your-seat tensions of a trade embargo.  I appreciate the increased racial diversity in this recent trilogy, and I detest Joseph Campbell-style jungian-lite symbolism, so my childhood was not "destroyed" by Luke getting all crotchety.

So here is a list of my Likes, Dislikes, and Things I Don't Care About in this last film.


  • Rey calling Leia “master”
  • Poe and Finn wondering if Rey uses the Force to change them into friendly dinks like she does with the stormtroopers
  • Leia’s lightsaber
  • Chewy’s genuine devastation when Leia dies
  • Chewy finally getting his medal
  • Poe having to admit he was a spice dealer and Finn harassing him about it
  • Threepio just being Threepio, film after film, as if he’s the way Anakin accidentally brought balance to the franchise
  • Finn trying desperately to hold onto Rey and help her against Kylo Ren
  • Kylo Ren finally dying
  • Rey hearing the voices of all the jedi
  • Rey using two lightsabers, Ahsoka Tano-style, to destroy Palpatine
  • The last scene on Tatooine
  • Babu Frik


  • Avoiding a romance between Poe and Finn and substituting a blink-and-you-missed it kiss for two other characters instead
  • Rose’s character not getting enough screen time
  • Luke and Leia not telling Rey she’s a Palpatine even though Obi-wan and Yoda not telling them they are Vader’s kids totally screwed them up for decades
  • Kylo Ren getting redemption
  • Kylo and Rey kissing—ick!
Things I Don’t Care About Because This Is Star Wars and Things Have Not Made Sense Since “Parsec” Was a Measure of Time and the Death Star Could Be Destroyed with One Shot No Matter How Much They Tried to Fix These Things Later, This Is Not Real Science Fiction Please Get Ahold of Yourself

  • The Millennium Falcon skipping around in lightspeed or whatever
  • Palpatine somehow finding enough kyber crystals to make a thousand death star lasers
  • Threepio not just piloting the ship to the place described on the knife if he can’t translate sith language
  • A “dyad in the force”
  • Palpatine hanging from a big hook