Tag Archives: Movies

Species of the Week: Quarren

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Mon Cala

Notable members: Tessek, Darth Azard

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Return of the Jedi, Clone Wars, The Mandalorian, Legacy

The Quarren are a humanoid aquatic race native to Mon Cala. They have squid-like faces with tentacled mouths and are capable of spitting ink. They share their homeworld and also colonies, such as the estuary moon Trask, with the Mon Calamari. They have coexisted for centuries, though the Quarren are more isolationist and live in the depths of the ocean while the Mon Cala built settlements near the surface and developed a bustling starship building business. During the Clone Wars tensions between the two species were stokes with the Quarren siding with the Seperatists while the Mon Calamari stayed loyal to the Republic. Despite their aquatic nature Quarren have been seen on environments as diverse as frozen Maldo Kreis and the hot desert of Tatooine.

It was so cool to see so many Quarren and Mon Calamari in the latest Mandalorian episode. It made the galaxy feel so rich and the quarren are such a cool design – it reminded me of the two awesome Quarren Sith, Darth Meleval and Darth Azard from the Legacy comic series.

So…Who is Darth Talon anyway?

Darth Talon, a character from the Legacy comic series has been in the news again after a recent article uncovers more details about George Lucas’s early outlines for a sequel trilogy which featured Talon working under Maul.

If you want to know more about this story head to Star Wars News Net

To be fair this was only an early idea and Lucas had only pinched the look of the character as there was about a 100 year time gap between the proposed trilogy and her appearance in comics. In fact I think all this reveals really is that Lucas had a thing for lightsaber-wielding Twi’leks, after all Aayla Secura was borrowed directly from a comic series and brought into the movies because George liked the look of her

So who is she?

Darth Talon is from Star Wars: Legacy a comic series set 137 years after the battle of Yavin. She was born into the One Sith, a rebuilt Sith Order led by Darth Krayt (the guy in the coral armour). These Sith were built on an ancient philosophy from before Darth Bane founded the Rule of Two – rather these sith are many but one, all acting out the will of their leader.

(I am going into full details on this character so I want to pause at this point and recommend reading Legacy instead of listening to me ramble – it’s an incredible comic!)

Talon was raised from birth to be Darth Krayt’s ‘Hand’ – a personal agent of his will who didn’t answer to Sith or Imperial hierarchy but only to Krayt himself. She, like the other Sith, was covered in ritual tattoos. In a final ritual she was commanded to kill her teacher Darth Ruyn – she obeyed without hesitation.

To take over the galaxy the Sith had allied with the Imperial Remnant, but after their conquest the Empire was divided with most accepting Darth Krayt on the throne but with a portion following the Emperor Roan Fel who was in hiding. For her first mission Talon tracked down and attempted to capture Princess Marasiah, the Emperor’s daughter.

Talon tracked down the princess but she was rescued by Cade Skywalker, great-grandson of Luke, who had been hiding as a bounty hunter since the Sith takeover. Talon hunted them down but her attempt to recapture her was thwarted by the arrival of Jedi Knights and the Emperor’s force-sensitive Imperial Knights.

Some time later Cade attempted to infiltrate the Sith Temple on Coruscant to rescue a Jedi he had captured when working as a bounty hunter. Talon captured him and brought him to Krayt who wanted to use him for his powerful healing abilities. Talon was tasked with training Cade in the ways of the Sith and seduced him to form a closer bond between them. When Krayt murdered the Jedi Cade had come to save Cade struck out and struck a near-fatal blow to Talon, incapacitating her for some time.

When she recovered she helped her master track Cade down again. Desperate to capture him because of his ailing health Krayt led his Sith into a trap. He was betrayed and believed killed, so another Sith claimed the throne. Talon guarded his mausoleum on Korriban until she discovered the truth – Krayt was alive and ready to unleash his true will on the galaxy!

Talon followed Krayt to Coruscant where he unleashed a hidden fleet of warships and warriors. Talon eliminated any Sith or Imperials who had swayed their loyalty and set about on conquering the galaxy once and for all.

She went on the hunt for Jedi and discovered their hidden temple, leading a Sith assault and inflicting heavy losses on the Jedi. But the galaxy had had enough of Sith oppression and rose up against them. Cade Skywalker again was the thorn in their side as he brought an alliance of Imperials, Jedi and citizens of the galaxy to bear on the Sith. He bested Talon in their last duel and went on to destroy Krayt once and for all.

One of a handful of Sith to survive, she went into hiding, biding her time until the Sith could rise again.



And that’s Darth Talon in a nutshell . I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the character but like I said I can’t do the character, or the comic she comes from, justice and I highly recommend reading the full story for yourself.

Species of the week: Massif

Designation: Non-sentient

Homeworld: Tatooine

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Attack of the Clones, The Mandalorian

Massifs are squat, reptilian quadrupeds favoured as guard animals by the Tusken Raiders of Tatooine. The creatures had armoured hides and good night vision which made them excellent sentries. As well as belonging to the Tusken Raiders the creatures were used on other arid worlds by pirates, smugglers and even the Clone Army.

I really enjoyed seeing these creatures in The Mandalorian, it was a nice moment as I didn’t clock what they were at first but as soon as the Tuskens appeared I recalled their guard dogs and it was a nice moment of connectivity – one of many in the episode.

Species of the week: D’bari

Designation: Sentient

Notable members: Vuk

Fandom: X-Men

Appearances: Dark Phoenix

The D’Bari were a plant-based humanoid species form a star system of the same name. Their world was destroyed by the Phoenix force and after that time they sought to harness that power to rebuild their homeworld. They were capable of imiating the form of humans they came into contact with. They were naturally strong, easily resisting a bullet though they would eventually fall to heavy weapons fire or mutant abilities. Their leader Vuk tried to capture the Phoenix force when it entered Jean Grey but was instead killed by it and the rest of her people were taken out by the X-Men.

I liked the D’Bari because they were the only thing stopping this from beibg a carbon copy of The Last Stand but other than that I didn’t find them that original or exciting

Species of the week: Mirialan

Designation: Sentient

Homeworld: Mirial

Notable members: Luminara Unduli, Vernestra Rwoh

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars, Revenge of the Sith, A Test of Courage

Mirialans are a species that physically resemble humans apart from their skin which is brightly coloured and can vary in shade from greens to pinks and purples. They are also distinguished by facial tatoos that are a custom for their culture. Mirialan culture was centred around the Force and therefore it is unsurprising that a number of their species served as Jedi.

I’ve got to read a sample of the High Republic novel A Test of Courage which features the Mirialan Jedi Vernestra Rwoh. It looks like a really fun read and I’m excited to see how the series opens up in January

Species of the Week: Genetic Strandcast (artificial)

Designation: Sentient (mind-controlled)

Homeworld: Exegol

Notable members: Snoke

Fandom: Star Wars

Appearances: The Rise of Skywalker

Strandcasts are artificial beings created by manipulating genetic material from a host to create a new life-form. They are different from clones, which are an identical copy of the host and can have their own identity and a measure of free will. Palpatine created two types of strandcasts, one was discarded for lack of force-sensitivity but became father to Rey. The other was Snoke, who was powerful in the force and was made to be leader of the First Order. Palpatine kept multiple copies of Snoke of Exegol.

I thought I’d use this week’s post to wrap my head around the recent revelation that Snoke is a strand-cast. I mean, it was pretty much confirmation of what we already knew as The Rise of Skywalker made it clear that Snoke was created in a lab on Exegol and manipulated by Palpatine who also created a pure clone body of himself for his dark spirit to inhabit.

What I found interesting is the specific mention that Snoke has free will. My head-canon had been that Snoke (and Palpatine’s body on Exegol) were, what I call ‘meat puppets’ – physical bodies but devoid of life unless manipulated by Palpatine through the Force. This changes this into Snoke being a being with some measure of independence b ut it’s still clear that this powers and his destiny were always ultimately under Palpatine’s control.

A frequent comment I see is ‘why do all the Snokes have scars?”. To this my mind goes to The Prestige (spoilers if you haven’t seen it). Borden loses his finger so his twin cuts off his finger in the same place to maintain the illusion that they are just one person. I imagine the same thing is going on with Snoke. If the original was injured then the injuries would need to be replicated on all the backup copies to preserve the contnuity and to fit with the memories that would be transferred into the new host.

One thing I hadn’t thought of before, though it seems pretty prevalent on the internet, is that (assuming he is also taken from Palpatine’s genetic material) Snoke is effectively Rey’s uncle!!! It is possible that Snoke was created from another genetic source – it would be nice to have this confirmed either way at some point

Thank you for indulging me on this longer post but I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my thoughts on the new revelations about Snoke. I’d love to see your thoughts and theories in the comments!!

So…I watched Tenet

…and it wa great! I’ve yet to see a Nolan film that I didn’t enjoy and this did not break the trend. I’m not going to comment on it’s status as the only blockbuster to showing in cinemas and how it did but rather only on my personal enjoyment of the film.

Like most non-Batman Nolan films I came out scrstching my head and left with a bunch of unanswered questions and theories (will we ever find out about the war in the future?) but on reflection the film gave everything you needed to know about the characters and delivered a satisfying story.

Plot

The central hook of the film is technology developed in the future that gives objects (or people) ‘reversed-entropy’ a state which makes them effectively travel backwards in time. Not in the sense of time-travel but rather moving in reverse with the effect seeming to happend before the cause when perceived by someone travelling forwards in time.

The Protagonist is recruited into Tenet, an organisation dedicated to stopping an event which will cause the whole planet to be sent into reverse, a state which would effectively end the world. After recruiting allies and investigating corrupt Russian businessman Sator the Protagonist is drawn into a battle to save the future…and the past!

Opinion

Like I said I really enjoyed this film. I would like to watch it again without being deafened every time a gun goes off and with subtitles so I can catch all the dialogue but actually, despite it’s time-reversal premise, the film actually worked in a very linear fashion and I’m happy with the outcome.

I thought the plot was intriguing and kept me on the edge of my seat all the way to the end. And a film that leaves you satisfied and yet with a head full of questions is a load of fun. Who wants the experience to be over as soon as the credits roll?

I thought the acting was solid and after seeing Robert Pattinson’s performance I am 100% on board with him as the new Batman!!

Cool Stuff

I really love the ‘turnstiles’ – the doors you could go through to set you in or out of reverse entropy. I think these, along with the reverse bullets and other cool visuals are something I’d love to see again.

I know it isn’t Nolan’s thing but I’d love to see a sequel to this, or maybe even a series going more into detail about the conflict with the future and maybe answer some questions, such has how Sator can communicate with the future and just generally see more of those cool visuals.

Definitely recommend!!

So…I watched Valerian and the city of a thousand planets

…and it was fine. From the moment I saw the trailer I predicted that this film would be a flop. A high-concept big budget sci-fi adventure laden with CG and practical effects carried by a teen adventure story…yeah, it wasn’t going to do well.

But nonetheless I was keen to see it now that it’s streaming on Prime because I am a fan of spaceships and aliens and explosions and this film shoves as much of all these in your face as you can handle as the heroes journey from the outer reaches of space to Alpha, the International Space Station which has expanded into a colossal structure – the City of a Thousand Planets

Plot

After a fun opening sequence showing the history of Alpha Station we go to the planet Mul and it’s native species who live in harmony with nature until crashing starships devastate their planet. This vision is sent across space to Valerian an agent of Alpha Station who, with his partner Laurelei, is on a mission to retrieve an object of immense value.

After retrieving the item from Big Market, a trans-dimensional shopping venue, the pair return to Alpha only to discover an imminent threat to the station. The pair must stop the threat, uncover a truth about the destruction of Mul and deal with an assortment of aliens who want to rob, shoot, exploit, crush and eat them along the way.

Opinion

I suppose I’ve already given my opinion of the film. There were some really funny and great moments in the film and the strength for me was the really creative vision of the alien species that populated it. That being said it may also be it’s weakness as you were hit over the head with a new creature or species and it got hard to keep track and lost the wow factor after a little while

I also struggled to relate to the relationship dynamic between Valerian and Laureline. They obviously have enough of a history for Valerian to want to marry Laureline but the film was too busy rushing around to sell me on their relationship. Laureline seemed to flit between being in awe of Valerian and rolling her eyes at him and the dynamic between them just wasn’t defined enough for me.

I haven’t seen Cara Delevigne in much but I know Dane DeHaan is a phenomenal actor so I don’t want to slight the actors. I guess my point would be that the film would work perfectly well without any romance angle at all and it seemed to be stuck in because it had two attractive young leads…or maybe because of the source material I don’t know.

Cool Stuff

As with my last review (of Ready Player One – read HERE) there’s far too much going on in this film to break it down and unfortunately for me this film doesn’t warrant the time for a seperate breakdown post. The species were all really fun though – I particularly liked the Boulan-Bathor king who wanted to crack Laureline’s head with an oversized egg topper!

So…yeah. I wouldn’t have shelled out to see this at the cinemas but now that it’s streaming I’d definitely recommend giving it a watch

Species of the Week: Shingouz

Designation: Sentient

Notable members: Dogan Dagui

Fandom: Valerian and Laureline

Appearances: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Shingouz are diminutive race with large snouts , long tails and vestigial wings. They have a reputation as the best information brokers among the united species of Alpha Station.

I watched Valerian yesterday and, while it wasn’t amazing, it did have some fun alien species, including these guys.

So…I watched Ready Player One

And I really enjoyed it!! It was fun and I think that underlines the key thing about this film is that it was a really fun adventure film. I don’t know why but I kept waiting for the film to unlock a deeper meaning only to discover that, well…it didn’t need to! Turns out a fun 12-rated film can just be a fun adventure for 12 year-olds, who knew?

Of course it does tackle the issue of living vicariously through our digital avatars but it does so head on without being heavy-handed while also delivering a heap-load of pop culture references in a way that was integral to the plot of the story and it quickly unlocked my inner child and I was too busy shouting ‘ooh, Master Chief!’ to worry about anything else.

Plot

The plot centres around Wade Watts, a teenager living in a not-quite-post-apocalyptic Ohio. To escape his life in ‘the stacks’ which features trailers literally stacked on top of one another Wade (and most of humanity) enters the Oasis a shared virtual reality designed by reclusive genius James Halliday

As his avatar Parzival Wade seeks the Easter Egg, a key left by Halliday on his death that grants the finder sole ownership of the Oasis. He faces fierce competition from other hunters like Art3mis and IOI a corporation intent on dominating the Oasis for financial gain.

Wade makes allies and enemies and finds the stakes are higher than he could have imagined, both in the real and virtual world.

Opinion

I really liked it! Like I said it was a fun romp that kept me thoroughly entertained for the whole of it’s run. The characters were relatable enough for me to care about them and the action was non-stop right up to the epic final battle.

Two flaws I did find was that there was no emotional impact for Wade after his aunt was murdered by IOI. He just moved on and was concerned about his virtual friends more than avenging his flesh and blood relative.

I also wasn’t keen on The Shining part of the film.I guess they were just being faithful to the book but the horror element just felt out of place in what was essentially a kids film, same goes for the F-Bomb at the end.

But those gripes aside I really enjoyed it and I’d recommend it

Cool Stuff

Normally in a review like this I’d cover any cool species, ships or tech that appear. But this film was so chock-full of cameos from all sorts of media that trying to list them would be a whole blog series in itself – which someone else has probably done!!

Like I said – lots of fun!!