Sluggish Reaction: The Mandalorian trailer

My mind is still reeling from all the revelations at D23 but I’m going to try and process some of my thoughts, starting with the Epic trailer for the new live action Star Wars tv series.

The opening scene set the tone well, emphasising a time after the Empire, though Imperials are still a clear threat. I really liked the Music, it felt fresh but still seemed to fit in the Star Wars setting.

I’m liking the Razorcrest more and more every time I see it. This background ship looks cool, it seems to be a bit like a U-Wing but I’m pretty sure it’s a new design.

I really like this planet design. It’s such a simple idea to take something small like cracked sand on a hot day and blow it up to create a new environment. Also the sun glinting on the Razorcrest is sweet!!

Looks like we’re getting a while host of alien side characters, which is great!!

Moff Gideon just looks scary. Maybe it’s the Death Troopers flanked by him. I’m guessing Werner Herzog’s character is a lower down the food chain leader under the Moff’s command.

Quite a few shots of people in danger. I’m guessing these people are the Mandalorian’s target who he then saves. A lot of this trailer had a Rogue One Jedha conflict-vibe to it, which isn’t a bad thing but I hope it stands on its own in terms of style.

Space chase!!!

This fight is epic!! I was a little disappointed that we weren’t getting IG-88 in the show, but hearing Taika Waititi (who is directing and also voicing this character) say that IG-11 has to deal with being mistaken for the more famous bounty hunter looks to be a potentially hilarious plot line. I also really like that he’s an ally not an antagonist as I’d initially presumed.

Ok those were the main standouts for me. Let me know what caught your eye and what you think of my takes.

The series looks polished and if movie quality and I can’t wait to get into it in November!!!

Species of the week: Blurrg

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Unknown

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: The Clone Wars, The Mandalorian

Blurrgs are large bipedal reptiles used as mounts and beasts of burden by beings across the galaxy, including combat in the Clone Wars during the liberation of Ryloth. Blurrgfire was a popular drink in many cantinas.

I loved the trailer for The Mandalorian and seeing this brief scene was so cool. I hadn’t made the connection with Clone Wars initially but when I did I was even more excited. Seeing something transition from animation to live action is always cool!!

Species of the week: Nuknog

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Designsation: Sentient

Homeworld: Sump

Notable Members: Ark Roose

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones

 

The Nuknog are a reptilian species native to the planet Sump. They are short in stature and have smaller brains relative to their heads than most species meaning that many struggle in civilised society and are often short tempered. The Podracer Ark ‘Bumpy’ Roose was a successful member of their species who competed in many races.

I’m rewatching Attack of the Clones at the moment and I enjoyed seeing all the background races of Coruscant. I clocked one of these guys hanging out with a bunch of Dugs at Dex’s Diner

The 100: Series 4 review

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I thought I’d revive an old Blogga the Hutt tradition – the classic out of date review of The 100. We still don’t have an air date for series 6 so to fill the void I’ll revisit series 4 and (hopefully soon!) season 5 to refresh my memory.

Azgeda and Roan

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Roan bilaik Azgeda Haihefa ba em kru thosti gaf  hed op Polis

Roan had proved himself a useful ally to Clarke and Lexa during the ALIE crisis. But his people still hungered for domination and he grew mistrustful of Clarke after she kept him in the dark. In the power vacuum after the death of Lexa it was easy for Roan to seize control of Polis, though it was ultimately to be a short lived victory.

Ilian

Ilian

Ilian kom Trishanakru frag em nomon op kos ridou tiya em melon

This series introduced us to new character Ilian from the Trishanakru tribe. We saw his perspective on the ALIE crisis as he awoke mere seconds after killing his mother when compelled against his will. This experience lead him to despise all technology, even the sacred ‘flame’ used by the Commander. He gathered followers and sought to destroy all technology, sabotaging Clarke’s efforts to save lives.

Praimfaya

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Non ron off Praimfaya – em flosh ething klin

The greatest threat in this series was revealed by ALIE who stated that her forcing people to take the chip was actually a desperate attempt to save humanity from the combined meltdown of all nuclear reactors which the Grounder dubbed Praimfaya, their name for the nuclear war that wiped out civilization. This threat, and the realisation that it wouldn’t be stopped was what drove Clarke and others to push all their limits in a desperate attempt for survival.

Clarke and the 100

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Clarke teik aulana haken kik thru  Praimfaya ba wan em op

This season pushed Clarkre harder than ever as she had to first keep the secret of Praimfaya. She created a survival bunker, knowing that it would only contain 100 people. I really like the way the showrunners keep finding ways of making the title relevant. Later she went even further, resorting to experiments using her nightblood to trial radiation resistance on unwilling subjects. In the end she found her humanity in the only way she could, by saving her friends.

Jaha and the Second Dawn

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Jaha sak bonka daun kep Skaikru in

After pursuing the City of Light and bringing ALIEs control on the world Jaha was desperate to redeem himself. His efforts ultimately did prove successful as he found the Second Dawn cult bunker that saved the remnant of humanity but even then his need to control was misplaced as he tried to seize control of the bunker for Skaikru alone.

Octavia and the Final Conclave

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Oktavia laik Skaikru  yontsleya  den em bilaik Blodreina kom Wonkru

The series came to a dramatic conclusion as the tribes each chose a warrior to fight for whose clan would get to claim the bunker. This was basically The Hunger Games but it really worked and made sense in the setting it was in. The added tension of having known characters like Roan and Ilian in the fight made it extremely tense, along with Luna’s conviction that if she won humanity would be allowed to perish. But Octavia’s victory the the formation of Wonkru was a true surprise result, with each clan choosing 100 members to form a new clan and survive.

 

The 100 is one of the few shows to go from strength to strength. I’ve truly enjoyed all the seasons so far and season 5 was also a great one and I can’t wait to reminisce on it soon

Species of the Week: Gaiaphage

Gaiaphage

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Unknown

Notable members: The Darkness

Fandom: GONE series

 

Eons ago a life-worshiping species filled a dead moon with a sentient virus designed to create and spread life. They intentionally destroyed the moon allowing fragments to fly across the cosmos, hoping to spread life to barren worlds. One such fragment arrived on earth and, due to it’s interaction with human DNA became corrupted, producing devastating mutations in humans and wildlife and became a force of destruction.

I’ve been reading the fourth Gone novel Plague. It certainly steps up the gore and violence so I’d only recommend if you’ve got a strong stomach!! The world where adults have disappeared and teens with superpowers are trapped behind an impenetrable force field is a non-stop rollercoaster of suspense. Plague finally sheds some light on the origins of the Darkness, the ever-present and ever-changing threat to all the survivors of the FAYZ.

Sluggish Reaction: Cloak and Dagger Season 1 and 2

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While Marvel are crushing the box office and planning to launch big-name shows on their upcoming Disney+ service it is well worth noting that there are some great shows that may be smaller but are also incredibly well made. They tell personal stories while still delivering great superhero moments.

One of those shows is Cloak and Dagger.

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The show stars Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen and Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Thompson. As children they both fell into water as a nearby Roxxon rig exploded. Years later when they reconnect their contact unlocks their powers giving Tandy the ability to created daggers of light and Tyrone the ability to teleport.

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But their powers go beyond that. When they connect to other people they can sense what is inside them. Tyrone can uncover people’s fears while Tandy finds their hopes. Their powers grow and take strange turns as they develop leading to some really trippy sequences as they go into the minds of others and their own.

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The show is set in New Orleans (a departure from the comics) and weaved the culture of the city, particularly Voodoo practices, into the essence of the story. This is particularly strong in the second season as the pair encounter the Loa and cross into another dimension. I found this a little heavy at times but it did make the show stand out from others and give it a unique flavour. It is a part of the MCU, with some small references to other materials – mostly the Defenders – but largely is on it’s own which is fine with me.

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The show is a little slow-moving compared to other Marvel projects but for me it was a refreshing change of pace and the impact comes from the development of the characters. The pacing is believable with Season 1 dealing with the pair understanding and learning to control their powers and Season 2 dealing with them understanding what to do with them while also trying to get on with their lives, neither of which are going particularly well with Ty trying to be a perfect student while fighting to bring down the cops who murdered his brother and Tandy dealing with a troubled home life and the urge to run away from it all.

It is a slow build up but when the action comes Cloak and Dagger delivers some spic fight scenes that are all the better for having waited for them. This clip with Ty using teleportation to take down a stronger thug is perhaps one of my best Marvel moments of all time!

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Season 2 ended on an open but positive note. I’m hopeful we will get another season but for now we know there will be a crossover episode with Runaways another teen Marvel series I really enjoyed watching and I can’t wait to see it!

If you’re a superhero fan and you get the chance to watch this – I’d definitely recommend it.

 

 

Species of the week: Lurmen

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Mygeeto

Notable members: Tee Watt Kaa

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: The Clone Wars

The Lurmen are a diminutive mammalian race native to Mygeeto. Though small in stature they were incredibly agile with some members able to travel quickly by rolling. Their world was occupied by the Banking Clan so the world Maridun was colonised by a pacifist group of Lurmen seeking to escape the war.

I went to the Zoo today and enjoyed seeing the lemurs so naturally these guys popped into my head!! I thought their arc and the exploration of the role of the Jedi in war was really interesting.

Sluggish Reaction: Spider-Man Far From Home

I went to see the latest Spider-Man installment recently and it didn’t disappoint. With the announcement of Phase 4 recently I observed that I’ve got Marvel fatigue in the sense that I don’t really get hyped for the movies going in but I always enjoy them coming out and this was no exception.

To be clear it will be full on SPOILERS from here on, but I think I’m safe to comment by now!!

I’m a bit ambivalent about how they handled the ‘blip.’ I thought making it a comedy moment after a the heaviness of Endgame was good and I like how they confirmed that all the main cast got ‘blipped’ too and introduced age gaps which again worked for comedic effect and the tone of the film.

I would have liked a moment where the loss is dealt with, particularly with Peter and May – there wasn’t really time in Endgame to tell that personal story – I was hoping we’d get another Ant-Man film or series to see him deal with the loss of Cassie’s childhood but that isn’t going to happen so I hoped this movie might fill the gap a bit.

Also an explanation as to why May’s ok with him being Spider-Man now would have been appreciated by me.

I liked Mysterio a whole lot and the twist in his character. I knew he was a villain in comics but him presenting himself as an alternate-reality version sold me on his hero persona.

The name drop of Earth-616 was cool but I’m glad it wasn’t real in the end…too confusing!!

I really liked the illusions idea and bringing back the guy from the first Iron Man was a great touch. It was a bit far-fetched but I can suspend my disbelief a little more in a comic book movie!

I was a bit confused by how he died. It felt a bit quick and jarring, especially tying in to the post-credits scene.

I liked the Elementals plotline, even if it did turn out to be fake. I thought it was great to see Peter put up against threats he couldn’t handle and see him use his powers to save people instead and use his brains to plan a strategy.

Overall I thought the film did a great job. There were some great comedy moments along with an emotional arc for Peter dealing with the loss of a mentor and having big shoes to fill, and ultimately proving to himself that he was the right man for the job.

Ok and let’s talk about those post-credits scenes which may be the biggest yet in terms of impact. First we have the return of JK Simmonds as Jonah Jameson outing Peter then the revelation that Nick Fury was a Skrull the entire time (and possibly longer?).

My guess is this will tie into the recently announced Thor: Love and Thunder. In the comics Fury was hidden on the moon with an LMD replacing him on Earth, events that followed led to Jane Foster taking the mantle of Thor.

And I’m done. Another fun ride from Marvel wrapping up Phase 3 nicely.