Tag Archives: star wars

The ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Trailer: Fine, You Win, Porgs (via The Loop / Golf Digest)

I am all in on these guys

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The Loop / Golf Digest — Rejoice with me, Internet, for this day we can stop stocking the panic room with Spam and Pop-Tarts and briefly pause from remembering that Hollywood is apparently filled with fat entitled sex offenders BECAUSE THE “STAR WARS” TRAILER DROPPED LAST NIGHT, during a piping hot matchup between the (shuffles papers) 2-2 Vikings and 1-3 Bears? God, no wonder Disney jammed space movie news into football. (That massive low rumble you heard at 10:03 p.m. was everyone changing the channel.)

The release of any “Star Wars” trailer causes all fans to ignite their lightsabers in glee and most of them to spend the next day online. So let’s go through the trailer, piece by piece, and see if we can ruin some surprises for when the movie arrives on Dec. 15.

 

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Fine, Then YOU Try Explaining That “Empire Strikes Back” Kiss to a 10-Year-Old

images-1Island Packet — What did you guys do this weekend? Did you sleep in, relax, maybe lounge about on the porch? Did you get some sun, go golfing, head out for a leisurely bike ride? Me? Oh thanks for asking, I had to explain to a fourth-grader why a sister passionately kissing her brother is weird.

Anyone within a certain age (30-50), gender (dudes) and personality type (not rugby players) knows that sentence means one thing: “The Empire Strikes Back,” which the little man and I watched this weekend. We did this for two reasons: First, he’s 10, and it is a crucial plateau in the emotional education of a 10-year-old to watch “The Empire Strikes Back” — all the pediatricians say so. (Sure, not any I could find around here, but I’m sure that underneath their responses of “What are you talking about?” and “Are you being serious right now? and “Mr. Vrabel, this is the third time we’ve had to tell you, please stop calling our office,” they were secretly agreeing with me.)

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Right, Like The “President” Doesn’t Know What A “Jedi Mind Trick” Is

president spock

As someone who was literally called “Spock” every day of my life from 3rd through 10th grades, this picture is highly gratifying.

GateHouse — Welp, late last week the President went on TV and mixed up a “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” things, and then the Internet died, keeled over, that very second, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. Obviously we’re still hashing out whether this was a negative or a positive.

First things first: Here is what Obama said, and I warn you that if you thought his swearing on a fake Muslim Bible in his first inauguration was bad, the following may actually give you appendicitis: In a press conference about something having to do with a 400-year-long slap-fight with a sobbing John Boehner and those angry hobgoblins who work for the government who also hate the government, Obama started talking about science fiction movies, exactly all of which are more likely than a reality in which a theoretically functional government elects to install a land mine in its own front yard, then wakes up one morning and waddles right out on top of it. (That’s right: ALL sci-fi movies. “Lawnmower Man?” MORE LIKELY. “Spaceballs?” CONSIDERABLY MORE LIKELY. “The Running Man?” I’M PRETTY SURE WE HAVE THAT ALREADY.)

Obama, out loud, said the following:

“I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow, you know, do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.”

For those of you who learned to unclasp a girl’s bra before the age of 27, this is a GRIEVOUS AND GHASTLY ERROR, on the order of that time he meant to write “Socialist” on his presidential paperwork and wrote “Democrat” instead, one that CONFUSES the “Star Wars” Jedi mind trick, most famously used by Obi-Wan Kenobi in order to get the galaxy’s most wanted teenager past the desert-planet equivalent of mall security, and the “Star Trek” mind meld, which is when Spock touches your brain and learns your bank passwords.

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87 reasons dads should never touch “Angry Birds Star Wars”

 

For real, I've been laughing at this for three weeks straight.

For real, I’ve been laughing at this for three weeks straight.

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GateHouse — The thing that I love most is how the 8-year-old hands me — me! — the iPad to clear a level of “Angry Birds: Star Wars,” like that’s something that I can do better. Like because I am a Grown Person with my own retirement account, flood insurance and cholesterol medicine (ha! just kidding about the retirement account, and possibly flood insurance) I possess magic Angry Birds-Flinging powers available only to graying people whose bones make weird noises when they get up in the morning.

I suppose I should be thankful for this, that at the age of near-9 my son still holds me in enough esteem to shovel me problems he finds insurmountable and I, being a dynamic and powerful father, will not hesitate to squoosh a junta of cartoon pigs who are wearing stormtrooper masks. I should also be thankful that we haven’t encountered any Insurmountable Problems that involve, say, removing a snake from someplace confined and damp, or attending to something in or around an engine block.

But most of the time, I’m just watching the kid squish birds. Actually, I’m sort of watching him, because my aging eyes cannot adequately track his fingers. All they see is hands moving, going from one spot to another without apparently visiting the space in between, like a skinny ninja who cannot remember to brush all of his teeth, and then some pigs explode. He’ll fling a bird and evaluate in mid-flight whether or not the bird’s trajectory is pleasing to his little spongebrain, and if it’s clear the bird isn’t going to splat where it’s supposed to splat he’ll have paused, canceled and restarted the level basically before I’ve realized that the iPad is on. One would think someone with this kind of preternatural grasp on physics and trajectory would be able to walk up a door marked PUSH and not pull it, yet here we are.

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So, uh, I didn’t hate “The Phantom Menace” this time

Darth Maul, whose character development begins and ends with his evil Southwestern facepaint

GateHouse — Went to see the new, 3Dmafied version of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” this weekend, and I didn’t hate it. I should’ve hated it. I didn’t hate it. What the hell is going on right now.

Like most “Star Wars” nerds and nerdesses, I have a love/hate relationship with “The Phantom Menace,” and by “love/hate” I mean “Just the hate, with a side of grilled This Sucks and a mug of What Is This Horse Poop?” I saw “Menace” in 1999 with a cadre of fellow nerdlingers (and, inexplicably, our fiances) and we spent the next two weeks struggling to think of nice things to say about it, fighting to justify the emotional investment we’d made, an investment that had been returned to us in the form of jokes involving flatulent space horses and the nuanced drama of intergalactic trade route taxation disputes.

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEcjgJSqSRU]

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“Avatar” is THE FUTURE OF MOVIES, and not at all lanky Smurf unicorns fighting in space or anything

GateHouse — While watching both football and the Chicago Bears last weekend, and thus absorbing the traditional Sunday diet of commercials for drugs regarding sex and going to the bathroom and objects that Howie Long is yearning to sell me (which is all of them), I was made aware of the shocking development that movies are about to be changed forever, this coming Friday.
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Now, this was very startling news to me, not just because of my having to call everyone to tell them to begin the process of adjusting everything they know about movies (“Like do you know how they have montages and Sandra Bullock and talking chipmunks? YEAH THAT IS ALL OVER NOW, SALLY”) , but because I had to start watching all those old movies, before The Change occurred and I couldn’t do it anymore. So needless to say, I’ve spent literally every moment of the last week drowning myself in caffeine, energy drinks and Mountain Dew-soaked sugar cubes like a Tiger Woods paparazzi stalker to stay awake watching as many films as possible, so I can try to hold on to my fragile, wispy memory of what movies were like before they were changed, forever, this coming Friday.
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For the record, movies are going to be changed by, perplexingly enough, a movie. It will be called “Avatar,” and according to the rotating flotilla of commercials on the television it is the FUTURE OF CINEMA, insofar as you define FUTURE OF CINEMA to be seemingly two hours of blue Smurf unicorns battling with explosions and spaceships and attractive people in aviator glasses. Actually, it’s James Cameron directing, so make that seven hours.
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Five lightsabers, one walrus, one WordPress and several demolished config. files: A Parable

GateHouse — A short parable for this holiday season, starring .htaccess files, five lightsabers, inessential ambition and egregious, carrying-a-walrus-with-two-hands-over-your-head stupidity:

I am, as anyone who has spent more than four minutes with me and my collection of stories involving personal interactions with “Weird Al” Yankovic (there are six) will attest, a nerd. Not a geek, mind you, nor a dingus, and not really a twerp, although there was a good period of pronounced twerpery between the years of 1987-1989 that cheerfully coincided with the purchase of a new camera by both my Dad and the school yearbook staff. Good times.

The point is, nerd. To wit, I spent Thanksgiving this year at the home of lovely and hospitable friends who have one baby and five lightsabers. Also to wit, I just said to wit, which actually makes me want to beat myself up. Anyway, after dinner the husband component of this couple produced the replica lightsabers — I’m going to stop and do that again with overbearing punctuation: five. replica.lightsabers — and the small percentage of guests who were able to regard this development without releasing a sigh of utter despondency adjourned directly outside and — well, there’s no other way to say this — had a Jedi fight. I would say we did this for the benefit of my five-year-old son, but I’d be lying if I suggested that I found the entire endeavor to be anything south of way awesome.

Anyway, this minor though not entirely un-violent episode coincided with a time in which I decided, hey, you know what, this Internet thing seems to be gaining traction amongst the youngsters and the media, in that order, so let’s see if I can’t get my blog looking a little spiffier and moved to a new host that can make that happen.

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http://bit.ly/af0mky

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The Great Comedy Recession has affected us all

ponda-baba2

Pictured: AM radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh.

Island PacketDespite what I’m sure it looks like to people with real jobs, it is not easy to come up with funny ideas these days, especially in a writing landscape where anyone with an inside-joke phrase and a working knowledge of the Bloggers can more or less become a published columnist, circumventing the old methods of getting published, which was either getting someone in management super-drunk or waiting until everyone else on the copy desk had gone home, and surreptitiously swapping out some other loser story with your column, and then, the next morning, acting all like, “That could have been anyone who put my extremely handsome mug shot on there, I AM NOT GOING TO STAND FOR THIS INTERROGATION!”

But in what may be a historic first for this column space, I’m going to be perfectly honest (although I’m pretty sure Farrell was honest in her piece about screaming at the checkout dude at Publix, which, by the way, shame on her): It has become more and more difficult to think of Funny Column Ideas with the soothing regularity to which my readers have become accustomed, and by “readers” I mean my Mom and the folks who scour each line looking for anti-Rush Limbaugh jokes looking to write blog comments about, such as this one: Rush Limbaugh sweats canola oil, rocks 38 lbs. of neck fat and bleats feeding-trough noises like the Walrus Man who mouth-snorts at Luke in the “Star Wars” cantina scene. No, Rush, I don’t like you either.

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http://bit.ly/9xh7II

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Cruel supermarket to Jedi: You cannot go about your business

vrabel925

These aren't the fresh legumes you're looking for.

Island Packet — If there is anything in this world that drives me nuts, it is a grumpy Jedi.

They are like this more than you think, always with the “These burlap robes are so itchy,” and the “I’m supposed to lift that whole ship out of that swamp but I’m staaaaarving” and the “Since he figured out post-death communication, Obi-Wan’s Force Spirit keeps dropping in during Me Time, if you catch my Jedi drift.”

But on the whole, Jedis are supposed to be wise, enlightened and even-tempered, which is why it was peculiar this week to read of one of them getting  all snippy with a British supermarket.

Indeed, the founder of the absolutely factual International Church of Jediism, a 23-year-old with the discouragingly snoozy name of Daniel Jones (although his Jedi name is Morda Hehol, which is also the noise that occurs when you bump a four-wheeler into the back of a camel), is claiming he was “victimized over his beliefs” by the workers at a Tesco supermarket in North Wales, who were, to be fair, probably just really upset about their subpar midichlorian counts.

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The lightsaber: An elegant weapon for a more civilized 4-year-old

Island Packet — Kids these days, they just don’t know how good they have it. They have the YouTubes, they have the orange and purple iPods, they have the Wii, with that little remote control you wave around to make that gelatinous snowman that’s supposed to be a tennis player on the TV do tennis-y things.

They have movies like “Cars” and “Wall-E” instead of “The Dark Crystal” and those Ewok TV movies that had Wilford Brimley in them for some reason. They have G.I. Joes whose thumbs don’t snap off the minute you try to put a gun in their hands, they have “Star Wars” characters that aren’t decorated with lead paint and make you experience brief but colorful hallucinations when you chew on them (um, according to my friend Chuck, who, er, was the one who did). Most importantly, they have freaking sweet lightsabers.

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