May 25, 2005
May 24, 2005
Episode III has completed me in many ways, and I still want more. I could have sat there for hours upon hours because Star Wars is not just a movie for some of us; it is a lifeline to characters living in a story that has and will always effect us. I would love to see the daily lives of these characters because they are vivid lives that hold so much weight. Of course some may interpret that as me wanting to see Padme in the shower, or some other such nonsense, and that is offensive! I would never ever take advantages such as that. I mean, uh, I'm married.
Back to the movie. As the Emperor stated, this was a visually stunning masterpiece that has advanced cinematic technology. Now, let me say for everyone to hear: my favorite movie is _Lawrence of Arabia_. I believe David Lean had one of the only great eyes in cinema history. In my expert opinion (Welches School of Personal Opinion, class of '88), I do not think his ability has been matched, nor will it ever be because of CG innovations. I applaud Lucas for his ability, his vision, and his endeavors in that field, but hold to the old school style Epics. In the commentary of _LoA_, Spielberg makes an interesting comment; paraphrased, he said: _LoA_ could not be made today because of the extreme costs in paying all of the extras. And that is what I love about Lean and the epics of old: real people. With this all said, I am still able to get by the CG stuff in order to enjoy a story that has captivated my entire life.
Lucas has a terrific eye. We as the audience have felt that he owed us, to include all the old technology or visuals from the prior episodes because that is what we were used to, because that is how we enjoyed the films then. He was and is the cutting edge, that is what he does best. I do not believe it is our place to tell him how his story should look and what should happen. Yes, some scenes would definitely be more enjoyable had Lucas not touched them, especially several scenes that have people talking. But, it's his story, life marches on.
An aspect that really makes the movie for me is the interaction between Anakin and Palpatine. There is a very strong father/son relationship established, and I think that speaks volumes to Anakin's transfer (I will refrain from referencing the other two films because I want to focus solely on Episode III as it's own entity, if possible). When Palpatine is being held captive, Obi-Won is concerned with formalities, by bowing before the Chancellor, while Anakin walks right up and inquires as to Palpatine's condition. Even in the end, when Darth Vader is burned and alone on the embankment, the Emperor walks over and kneels down next to him, placing his hand on Darth's head. Just those two scenes allow me to believe the full transfer of Anakin into Darth Vader because of the intimacy that exists between the two villains.
Padme was beautiful, though she was hotter in the preceding films. One of the greatest moments in my life was watching, for the first time, the bad-ass rat/bobcat rip his claws into her while tearing away at the tight, white suit she wore so sinfully. But, she can't run worth crap (watch the scene after she falls from the Clone Cruiser, when she's talking with the Stormtrooper about helping Anakin and Obi-Won). I felt a little cheated with her character. She was such a strong, devout Senator in Episode II and even stronger in Episode I as the queen. But, in Episode III, she seems to be a patient, humble, pregnant wife, waiting for her husband to come home everyday from killing younglings (which was said too often). She did discuss the end of liberty, but that wasn't enough for me.
The emotion was heightened for me, to the point of tears, when John Williams' music is teamed with the assassinations of all the Jedi's. That short, destructive, and inevitable scene was probably the best in the entire movie for me. And that's all I have to say about that.
With the culmination of the campout and Episode III, I have gone through several emotions and most of them are of fondness and loss. I am upset this is over. Part of me wonders if they will do Episodes VII-IX, and part of me does not want them to. This has been such an emotional ride, with Anakin/Vader being the only true focal point of said ride, and I am not sure how those Episodes would fare. Of course I'd see them, and probably campout for them, but I wonder if the nostalgia would be the same.
Some have asked me what my order of the films is, now that the saga is complete and the story is over. I would say, as most educated in the film would, that _Empire Strikes Back_ is the finest of all, followed by _Return of the Jedi_, _Revenge of the Sith_, _A New Hope_, _Attack of the Clones_, and _The Phantom Menace_. Yes, I put Episode III as my third favorite film. I think it has the emotional and visual expertise to hold that slot. It met my expectations in most ways.
I have missed being at Big Newport, seeing the folks who were brought together by this wonderful story, these folks I will not see for sometime. Withdrawals is not overstating some of the emotions. Life will press on and we will prevail. So, these are my final thoughts. Thanks to all the contributors of this blog and to all of you who read it. I'm sure we never thought we'd get so many hits, and I hope all the folks have enjoyed our posts. This has been a journey of love, friendship and, now, finality. I will continue to believe in the magic of this story and I hope you can do the same.
The Force will be with you, always.
May 23, 2005
Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith has placed the SW saga amoungst the greatest works of cinema. I'm talking Lord of the Rings, Godfather, Casablanca, Indiana Jones, etc. The original Star Wars trilogy has already established itself as having a "classic" status. Will this prequel trilogy garner the same status over time? I believe Revenge of the Sith has definitely put it in that direction. This movie has redeemed Ep. 1 & 2 and may very well be established as a better Star Wars movie than any in the original trilogy. Why do I make such a crazy statement?
I read, viewed, listened and took part in any and every RotS (Revenge of the Sith) information I could find. I was not afraid of spoilers becuase Star Wars is such a visual movie. "Visual I say" well what do I mean, I am not about to defend Lucas' ability to write dialogue or realistic romantic banter but these are visual stories meant to be seen and felt not read. Ep 1&2 had terrible dialogue but stunning and sensational visuals. Old trilogy (at the time of its release) had cheesy dialogue and mind - blowing effects. You have to take the small amount of bad to get the large amount of great. RotS delivers on both fronts - visually and verbally. Example of great dialogue- any scene with Palpatine toying and tempting Anakin. The way Ian McDiarmid's charming and vexing vocalization sublty uses Anakin's lust for control and fear of loss as the catalyst for his own grand plan is amazing. It's played out perfectly and to some it may seem that Anakin's turn in RotS is not believable enough but his turn began in AotC when he loses his mother and gives into his love for Padme. Those 2 events completely go against the Jedi teachings and start the spiral towards the dark side. All Palpatine had to do was give Anakin an alternative to the Jedi way and make it attractive. Visually this movie has finally blurred the line between real and CGI. It started with TPM, was progressed with the LOTR trilogy and now with RotS has been perfected. There was no time in the movie where I was like "Oh, that's CGI." My mind has fully allowed the CGI to be apart and sometimes the whole movie itself. Bravo Lucas.
This movie had 3 distinct acts to it - the opening space battle and Palpatine's rescue - this felt like a Star Wars movie. The following of Obi and Ani's fighters through the massive and detailed battle above Coruasant is breath-taking, R2D2 at his comedic best, Dooku in a brief but effective cameo, and Grievous and his guards look amazing. This is a great act that catches us up on what has happened in the Clone Wars and Obi and Ani's relationship. After the "happy landing" we have scene after scene of dialogue and set up. This act to me is the slowest and to non-Star Wars fans could be the worst part of the movie. You have your Lucas - filled cheese -
Anakin - "You are so beautiful"
Padme - "It's only because I am so in love with you.."
Anakin - "..No, it's because I am so in love with you!" Ughh!!
Harrison Ford put it well when he told Lucas while filming the original Star Wars - "George you can write this shit, but you sure can't say it!!"
There are a few scenes like this but they are not movie-killers. For the most part you get Palpatine's amazing scenes seducing Anakin and they are mesmerizing. McDiarmid practically steals the show. Once we get Obi-wan to face-off against Grievous and Mace off to arrest Palpatine/Sidous the next act begins and never looks back.
Act 3 is the official part of the whole Star Wars saga where the lights go out. The Dark Side takes over. The last 50 minutes of RotS is as good as any epic out there. It provides moments only equal to the end of Ep.5 - "Luke I am your father." There are moments that break your heart - the Clone/Storm troopers turning on the Jedi and shooting them in the back, while Yoda keels over because of the huge impact in the force it makes. Moments that shock you - Anakin and the younglings, Anakin and Padme on Mustafar. All of this is set to the amazing themes provided be John Williams. The final duel(s) are fast paced and riveting, I loved the small use of Duel of the Fates as well. The PG-13 rating is definately earned too and watching Anakin being dismembered and burned with his eyes yellowed with the dark side while screaming that he hates Obi-wan is the most intense moment of any SW movie. When you finally get to see Vader rise and Padme die it all sinks in - Vader is never going to be as strong as Luke, he may have if not for his greed and fear. He is now a puppet for the Emperor with nothing left to drive him except for his anger and sorrow. Finally when you hear Leia and Luke's theme with the binary sunset, your exhausted.
I think the Obi-wan's dialogue with Luke in Ep.4 is perfect in describing Vader/Anakin. It all makes perfect sense, before you always wondered about the great Clone Wars and this cunning warrior that he describes. You feel like Luke wondering about the Jedi Knights of past and how did the Empire come about. Now we know, when we watch Ep.4-6 we will have faces and back-stories to help understand the reasons for everything that takes place. For all the wooden acting and dialogue, the prequels have given us visuals and characters that will endure and live on with Luke, Han, and Lando!?! Thanks George for sticking to your vision and giving us one last ride(Rots). For connecting the dots and giving the world films that provide everything a movie is supposed to be - an escape from reality, characters that are memorable, and a range of feelings that you never forget.
Now that I have pledged my allegiance to Lord Lucas I still feel that sobering feeling I had on Thurs as I left Big Newport at 3:30 am. The campout and the last Star Wars midnight show are over. The banner was tore down for the last time -
The characters that graced the campout and midnight show are gone as -
and Ugly they were -
I gave it my all, I don't regret anything I said(CONCEPTION at the CAMPOUT) or did. The 10 days spent with my closest friends and Star Wars geeks alike are burned in my memory forever. I have ticket stubs, photos, newspaper clippings, video footage, and ultimately the Star Wars movies themselves to always remind me of the amazing experience. My friendships will go on with most of the council and I'm sure we will continue to make many more memories - Star Wars or not. Thank you to Admiral Akwelches, Novi-wan, R2-E2, Jarhead Binks, Anakin Scottwalker, and Chewdumma for making this the greatest campout anywhere. Your individual friendships and times that we spent together are priceless.
Until the 3-D versions come out - this is the Emperor signing off and May the Force be with you - always.
May 18, 2005
I will not go on and on in this post, my presence is needed down at the line. I want to thank Emperor Wandrey for showing the films, for projecting them for all of us to see (along with El Newport Grande for his screen); thanks also to Noviwan and Grand Moth Elliot for staying as much as they did, protecting our investment. Thanks to Chewdumma for his grace and surefire foresight, though I know not what he says unless an interpreter is there, and also to Darth Jewey and Anakin Scottwalker for supplies. Jarhead, you are a beautiful person with depth and depthnicity.
And finally, a big thank you to my wife and the other wives for their support in this matter, and for not withholding sex throughout the duration of our cause.
I leave you now and may the force be with us.
May 17, 2005
I am guessing this will be the last time I see most of them. Some people will run into each other, say a few nice things, but that will be it. This connection is going to go away for good. Sure, we can watch all the episodes in one day and have a blast doing it. We can even try to impart some sort of mysticism into our children, so they can be linked to a part of our history and share in the magic that we believed in for so many years. But, this episode marks the point in life for me, where as if I were on the banks of the ocean and pushed my foot from the shore, I will get into the boat and really start to try and stay afloat. It has been a pleasure to share in this time with so many friends and interesting people.
There have been several instances in this campout, more than the last two, where our lives have been the topic of such scrutiny and curiosity. Last night alone we had three documentary filmmakers and an independent journalist just hanging out, recording campers doing what we do best: watch movies or fight with lightsabers. To date, I have been interviewed five times down there. What I find myself saying over and over again, trying to give a different spin on it each time, is that I love the movies. I don't read the comics, books, nor do I dress-up; I did not have a Star Wars Wedding last month when I was married; I will not debate between Luke or Han for my son's name (Lord Willing); I have never ever taken Lightsaber 101.
I am camping out because the movies kick ass, camping out kicks ass, and the seat I will sit in is gonna kick ass. And if it doesn't kick ass for you, I don't give a rat's. If you think I'm a nerd, "Go Stuff It!" People drive by honking, yelling f-you all day and all night, but that does not faze me. Do you know how many times I have been called a fag?
Luckily, Big Newport will hopefully remain so that those who love movies can come here and congregate. It is the greatest theatre in all of Orange County.
I am at work as I write this. My eyes are tired and my whole body wishes for a break. After today, I will be off for two days, waiting in line and waking up late Thursday morning. On that morning, I'm not sure how I'll feel. Certainly excitement will be there, but I know that a chapter in my life is over. And there is no passion that could ever take the place of Star Wars.
May 16, 2005
However, this all made me extremely curious about where all the blog traffic was actually coming from. I made a short checklist of possibilities...
The Los Angeles Times story from a few days ago?
Considering they only mentioned the blog name, without including the actual address, that probably wasn't it.
The KCAL-9 news story from two nights ago?
At first I thought this could be it, but then I remembered that people who watch KCAL typically can't read, so that's out.
The Orange County Register article from early last week? Definitely not.
Since none of the usual suspects appeared to be the culprit, I decided to check our Site Meter referral logs, and was amazed by what I found...
The top referrer today is... Primera Hora. Yes folks, the rumors are true. We made Primera Hora! Now, only one question remains...
What the hell is Primera Hora?
In any event, they wrote a great hit-piece on us. My favorite part...
Incluso en cines de barrio, como el Big Newport en el condado de Orange (California), ya hay gente haciendo cola para entrar, a pesar de los días que faltan y que ya tienen las entradas en su poder.
Claro que son miembros de la "Sociedad Star Wars" de este condado, aunque ellos prefieren describirse como gente normal.
"Tenemos esposas, amigos, trabajos, una vida", afirman con naturalidad desde un "blog" (www.starwarscampout.blogspot.com), cuyo aspecto parece decir lo contrario, ya que su página de apertura está dominada por el casco de Darth Vader sobre el que se lee "seis amigos, dos semanas, una película".
Which, for those of you who no habla Espanol, clearly means...
Even in cinemas of district, like the Big Newport in the county of Orange (Californian), or there is people doing tail to enter, in spite of the days that lack and that or have the entrances in their power.
Clear that they are members of the "Society Star Wars" of this county, although they prefer to describe themselves like normal people.
"We have spouses, friends, works, life", affirm with naturalness from "blog" (www.starwarscampout.blogspot.com), whose aspect seems to say opposite, since its page of opening is dominated by the helmet of Darth Vader on which it ***reflxes mng "six friends, two weeks, a film".
Now that we've got that all cleared up, allow me to state for the record, for the benefit of our new readers at Primera Hora, that we are NOT members of the Orange County Star Wars Society, nor is it "clear" that we are members. We do not dress up like Jedi, own expensive, custom-made lightsabers, or attend monthly meetings. However, we do concede that if we were members of said Society, we would probably try to describe ourselves "like normal people" too.
As for how our "aspect" seems to say the opposite of the fact that "we have spouses, friends, works, life", all I have to say is this is awesome. We've now just received our first lame insult, not from across the street, but from across the border.
May 15, 2005
There comes a time in all of our lives when we must evaluate where we are at. Sit back and think a bit about all that life holds for us and really consider the effects of our actions. None of us want to offend anyone, do we? Well, sometimes yes. I have really come to loathe some of the people in Newport Beach. While talking with the Jedi Master of our campout line, El Grande Newport, and while enjoying my neighbor's custom R2D2, we realized that the theatre we are congregating at (well, damn near worshipping with all the publicity) is the Saturday night babysitter of Newport Beach's beau monde. The ratio of parents to children was extremely, uh, wack. Yes, wack is the best word I could think of. Apparently parents have not realized that kids movies are only 90 minutes or less and a decent meal at Roy's or Morton's takes at least 2 1/2 hours, and that's with skipping dessert. Luckily the parents that have figured out this time conflict have opted to buy their kids tickets to R-rated movies, so they don't have to rush through their creme brulee or chocolate souffle.
Alas, some parents did decide to see movies with their children, the mother's wearing less and looking younger than most of their kids, talking to young men around the area; the father's donning their Rolex's, staring at the other parents' kids, hopefully.
At any given moment, the parking lot at Big Newport, on a weekend night, is probably worth well over 1.5 million dollars! And that's not counting all the work the drivers and passengers have had done on themselves.
I muse these thoughts because Day 8 of this wonderful campout served as a vague day and sleepless night. I decided to stay another night, do my part if you will, because I enjoy it and the atmosphere is entirely sublime. I walked onto our interplanetary campout conglomeration with no expectations, just a heightened way of looking at the evening.
Most of the folks were playing video games or watching movies. There were no obnoxious egg or balloon tossers last night, just the occasional honking of those in opposition or support- honestly, I am losing track of which honks mean what. A soft blanket of mist-filled clouds creeped in and cooled the night, as well as a steady breeze which made the palm trees give a bit of a sway.
We watched Episode I. What can I say other than "Loyal, we must be." The dialogue gets worse and worse. The actors are stagnate and opaque. Why did I feel chills the first time I saw this? I guess the only good thing that came from it is Liam Neeson's sword fighting. He has pretty much established himself as the only swordsman for hire in Hollywood (Kingdom of Heaven, Batman Begins).
I of course had my own intermission during the film and went to pop some popcorn. On my little outing, I had to watch as our cantina microwave's power went so low that all it did was turn the dish inside- no nuking going on- and the lights inside dim. Then, the El Newport Grande lent me his household radiation carrier to no avail. I finally asked the theatre manager if I could use their's, but he informed me of "the health risk involved with microwaving outside food where the Hot Dogs are cooked". The comedy in that statement is too precious to make my own. But, he did hook me up and went out of his way to use the theatre breakroom's microwave.
Sleep escaped me, but I managed to steal about two hours away. After that, I went to Stater Bros., bought my wife a small bouquet for our one month anniversary of being married, crawled into bed with her and watched her sleep for half an hour until I had to get up and go to work.
We had a BBQ planned and no one was dissappointed, except for yours truly. I had brought a BBQ that required a crude heating device from another galaxy. I was unable to make fire (grunt grunt) and get the heat going, but luckily another 'que was present... thanks Billy. Jew dogs, burgers, and kabobs were on hand to feed the masses.
This night also brought out the galaxies finest women. Wives, girlfriends, and other beauties were on hand to visit the men of the Cantina and certainly show the campout geeks and gawkers that the Jedi of Yorba Linda know how to roll!! I'd like to thank Lando for allowing these ladies to come down from the clouds because it is truly where they belong.
Then... the Admiral arrived...
...in good time too because this night brought plenty of scum and villainy. Low-life, meat-headed "OC" rejects cruised by attempting to disturb the Force but no avail. The Admiral showed those pieces of Bantha Fodder the true power of the Dark Side and now I'm sure that Mommy and Daddy aren't going to be too happy when Junior rolls home with his $50k SUV riddled with egg. HA HA.
Other happenings from Day 7...
- R2D2 visited the campout, bringing great joy to Younglings and Masters alike...
-"Return of the Jedi" screened to close out the Old Trilogy on the "Campout Outdoor Theatre"
-Numerous film crews were present from documentary makers to Channel 9 to Sprint TV, all to capture the magic of the campout.
4 days to go...
"The Phantom Menace" tonight...
May the Force be with you...
May 14, 2005
Though we had several outposts manned (Darth Jewey heading up one area), one of our fellow campers went down. A fast-moving speeder (duh), carrying a large assortment of eggs and balloons had no mercy on this lady of Tatooine. She meandered from her tent, possibly tempted by the Dark Side (but no one will comment), and that is when the hydro-zeppelin was released. The watery boob raced through the air, still stinking from the violater's stench, and burst upon our dear friend's face. A puffy mess, soaked and terrifying, the medics were called, the Newport Beach police responded quickly once they solved "The Stolen Surfboard" case, and all of us gathered around our friend, egg in hand, ready to attack the next ravagers of our holy compound... once Empire was over.
Still we wait for the final installment, the end of an era, the death of childhood for many of us, as the shadow of Episode III looms in the distant land of 12:01 a.m., Thurday the 19th, 2005. There is no one who can stop us from experiencing this madness, this deafening silence of a wait; there are no rocks in our shoes, not thorns in our sides, only the essence and promise of such a sweet and bitter end.
May we never forget.
May 13, 2005
And thence came the balloons.
Two SoccerMom vans in the parking lot of Fashion Island had taken position and lobed a few water bursting bombs only a few feet from our tent. But, we did not subside.
At one point in the evening, when my wife and I were preparing to bed down, the alarm was sounded and the eggs were dispersed. A wayward truck carrying two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve decided that they would strike us with another bombardment of their mini hydro-zeppelins. But, the Force gave us "Force-sight" and we headed them off, flanked 'em, and defeated them by tossing our own blitzkrieg of eggs onto and into their automobile.
Victory. Viva la Star Wars! Viva la Lucas!
Of course, the nerds continued to talk about the whole incident long into the witching hours; thus preventing sleep; thus prompting spelling errors; thus, I say thus.
May 12, 2005
The paper was going well until some retard thought it would be a swell idea to blast "(I Hate) Everything About You" by Three Days Grace, over and over, as loud as possible until his speakers sounded like they were about to explode. Now, don't get me wrong... I like my music as loud as the next guy, but not at 9 in the freaking morning when people are still trying to sleep. However, if you insist on blasting your music so the whole world can hear it, at least change up the song for crying out loud.
But I digress.
Met one of our tent-neighbors, Ralph, and talked with him about life, his job, the campout, and people who play their music too loud, before he had to go to work up in Seal Beach. Now that's a fun drive. Ryan stopped by for a quick visit, since he was in the neighborhood for work. After he left, I met my friend Stan, who works nearby, over at Hard Rock for lunch, where our waitress appeared to have been sniffing glue just prior to serving us.
Meanwhile, back at the campsite, a camper whose name I can't remember for the life of me was diligently working to correct our collective power situation. Amazingly enough, it seems that rigging up dozens of televisions, stereos, fridges, lights, space heaters and video game consoles, all on the same circuit breaker, will result in certain undesirable things like oh, I don't know, a blackout to the movie theater in the middle of a business day. Thankfully, this intrepid camper took it upon himself to re-route everyone's power strips so that they were allocated to several different power sources. This way, Big Newport doesn't have any more blackouts, and we get to avoid spending our last week reading books while shivering in the dark. Whoever you are, resident camper electrician guy, I salute you.
I was soon joined by the Emperor, Novi Wan, and later Chewdumma (that would be Nate), who despite my best attempts to lead him to the Dark Side, remained strong in the Force and refused to watch any of the movie spoilers contained in the Episode III Playstation 2 game. Novi Wan's girlfriend's kid brother and Padawan Learner, Jamey, came down to check out the action at the campout. Jamey proceeded to take on Nate at the video game, and gave Nate what can only be described as the mother of all shellackings. Nate then cried himself to sleep on his huge pillow.
As day turned into night, more and more moviegoers and looky-loo's wandered past our campsite, reading our FAQ's and asking us questions. One old man with a cane mumbled that he respected our dedication, "even for something totally immature, ridiculous, and asinine." I smiled and said "thanks... I think" as he then hobbled away.
Just as I was about to leave, two girls asked to interview us on video for a news service that Sprint PCS is doing. Should be interesting. I am especially looking forward to the part where Renee (Ryan's pregnant wife) berates him for saving his childhood Star Wars toys, and calls him a nerd on film for saying that he would go to the Star Wars Convention were he not married. This is interview gold, people. We'll keep you posted on when and how you can see that interview (they said it might be syndicated, so who knows), and whether or not Ryan and Renee's child ultimately turns out to be a Star Wars fan.
For all you kids who are tired of recreating battles between the forces of good and evil on the floral pattern of your mother's couch, or running around on the grass, losing figures in the process, the time has come to be dazzled by a wonderfully new terrain where "The Empire Strikes Back" can come to life.
Have you ever thrown away the styrofoam protectors that come with electronic equipment? Of course you have... we all have. Stop right this instant, friend. What that white protective substance can do for your imagination is beyond belief! With the different grooves, openings, and holes, you have the ability to recreate the epic battle for Hoth. Live in the moment as you position your characters in the control room, trying to decode the Imperial probe droid's message; watch Han and the Princess defy their love again and again in the cold hallways of the base; hear the agony of the blasters and the fateful scream: "Imperial troops have entered the base. Imperial troops have entered the base. Imperial troops have..."
Now, I know this kind of information is priceless, but today, I give it freely to you. Just promise that you will go out and buy a large appliance or electronic gadget, so you too can have the magic of Hoth come to life in your living room.
But still no Star Wars society.
Jarhead Binks and myself were interviewed for about half an hour by some people for Sprint and a new cell phone news service they have going on, so that was cool. Still, 9:00 came and went, and still no Star Wars society! So, with a heavy heart, James left Big Newport with his dad to get ready for another day of school.
Finally, around 10:00 (over 2 hours late!) the first of the dorks, er... Jedi... showed up! After taking a couple of laps around the camp to announce their presence, the 8 Jedi lined up in front of Big Newport to show us how it's done! I'm not sure if it was disappointment or the look of "what the heck are these people doing?!?!" on the faces of the people at the campout. I guess when you hear the term "class" you expect some sort of information, instruction, or at least a vein display of skill. What we saw were four sets of Jedi slapping their $150-$180 dollar (they made a point to tell all of us how much their CUSTOM light sabers cost!) at each other for about ten or fifteen seconds, then they had to take a ten minute water break because they were winded!! I can't tell you how thankful I was that James was not there to see that! I'm not saying that either him or myself are masters at this stuff, but we fight, come up with moves with the $10 dollar plastic sabers and have a good time. These people can't fight (if that's what you want to call it) for more than a minute without having to be toweled off or hosed down!
But from out of the ashes, a hope arose.
Now normally, you don't pray for a Sith to come out of hiding to lay waste to some "Jedi", but we did, and we were not disappointed!! Anakin Scottwalker, without regard for his own safety, took one for the team. As the Jedi "fights" (sissy slapping) continued, Scottwalker casually strolled around the corner of the tent, unhooked the Dark Lord of the Sith from his perch, grabbed a red light saber, and with Darth Vader providing cover, ScottWalker steeled his resolve and charged into the frey with a hellacious battle cry! When it was all over, the Jedi were winded...big surprise, and ScottWalker emerged victorious with only minor wounds to his Saber hand. So, a special thanks goes out to ScottWalker for ending the evening on a good note. Aside from that, that was one of the quietest nights I have ever experienced at Big Newport. No eggs, no honking, nothing. Thank you Anakin Scottwalker for making the evening a success!!!
May 11, 2005
Thursday May 12 - Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope
Friday May 13 - Star Wars Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back and "Star Wars Poker night"
Saturday May 14 - BBQ!! and Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi
Sunday May 15 - Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars Trivial Pursuit
Monday May 16 - Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
Tuesday May 17 - Star Wars: Clone Wars Volumes 1&2 and Star Wars roundtable discussion & Last night "toast" at Muldoons!!
The movies will begin no later than 8:30 pm and you don't want to miss any of the festivities because this is the last time this will ever happen again!! I'm serious! You will regret it....
If that is ordinary, than I am apple pie, turkey dinner, and a hamburger all together. No, not American: ordinary! And yes, I probably look a little like that three course meal above (and I may have eaten said meal before). But, the fascination of this line continues to grow for me. The different walks of life are staggering to hear about and enticing to make fun of, and I will not stop.
I will admit publicly my two biggest regrets. One: apologizing for a stupid prank in front of my college group at church (all around loser for doing it and being guilted into it). Two: Not staying to see Episode I six years ago after camping out for it. Three words: parents & failing math. What can I say? Math has done shit for me now and I assume it will do nothing for me later. Boldly and Sincerely: I am an idiot for missing it. I wish I could turn back time, tell my parents to cram it, and sit in the greatest theatre west of the Mississippi with my dear friends.
If there is anyway to be redeemed, I would love to discuss it. Otherwise, day three: That's Hot.
May 10, 2005
At least Emperor Wandrey's sex life is safely protected and not plastered across the news.
A big thank you to the Register for covering the campout. Too bad sex and high schoolers who are camping out for the first freaking time are the only thing that sells.
I tried to include a link to the story, but you need a login name and password, so here it is:
Then follow the link above and go to the local section.
Hey, at least they advertised our blog for us. Arrgghh! Honestly, wasn't it Jarhead who got this whole thing going? I guess we were too normal for the reading public of Orange County: guys who work, are married or dating attractive women, live well, and do not skip school.
Oh freakin' well.
May 09, 2005
During the setup of our Cantina, one of our faithful, but poorly astute followers forgot a device of power that gives life to one of the Cantina's most essential features: the TV. I will simply call this soft-brained individual "Chewdumma". After much debate and berating, even a few lovely f-bomb droppings, the Emperor and I, men of position and foresight, drove deep into the North County System, retrieved the remote, stopped by Wendy's to power up, and headed back to the Cantina in lightspeed. But, when the Dark Side of the Force has been meddled with once, it can happen again.
Late in the evening, when the temperature dropped low enough to freeze a Tonton, the Emperor, Noviwan, and I were awakened several times by the scruffy looking gondarks. But, the time that sent us into a Hoth like panic was when the screams reached our tent: SPRINKLERS!!!!!! I instantly jumped up in my Admiral skivies, unzipped the tent, and ran out to find our Cantina safe and sound. Water was attacking many of the other campers, their equipment, and their spirits. But thank the maker, we were alright.
This goes to show, no matter how much bantha fodder is thrown, those who trust in the Force will never turn to dark side and will always be protected.
The line up began Sun. around 12 pm and the Admiral, Novi-wan, and Darth Jewy pulled up some grass and soaked up the rays waiting for our 5 o'clock start time. The Register was on hand to interview and photo our progress. All 6 members of the council as well as others were on hand to erect the greatest Star Wars campout headquarters ever imagined!! 6-man tent, 13x9 canopy, TV, PS2, Fridge, Microwave, Floral print couch, and so much Star Wars decor that it should not be allowed!! We have definately gone all out. It was a long night as the Admiral, Novi-wan and myself tried to get some sleep around midnight but the excitement and roving geeks with conversations that ranged from Iranian women to the hatred for Lucas was enough to keep us up well into the early morn'. 9 days to go, the fun is being had and it is only going to get better!! Don't forget to check the photobucket!!
May 08, 2005
Soak this time up. Talk with someone at length and find out what their dreams are, someone you may not talk to again for a very long time after the curtains close on Episode III.
I don't mean to sound like a downer, but this is life. We are in it and there is nothing to do but accept it and make the best of it.
This campout will kick major ass because it must, because it is the last time all of us will camp out for anything dear to each one of us again (unless they release The Passion in 3D).
May God bless all of us as we enjoy and soak up one of the most important movies ever made. And I mean that from the depths of my soul.
May the Force be with you.
May 07, 2005
I am left with questions. Of which all will be answered within a 10 day period. Before we go tomorrow and set up camp in front of a theatre I pose these queries...
1. Will this campout meet and exceed expectations?
2. Are you too old and busy to fully give in and get lost in the magic of this event?
3. Will the movie live up to your expectations? (To elaborate on that question - We are all SW fans and I think Lucas could put a lightsaber next to a piece of fecal matter and we would love it. The question pertains to whether or not the expectations you have for what needs to happen in this Episode.)
A. Is the connection between this Episode and A New Hope seamless?
B. Is Anakin's fall believable?
C. Do the ramblings in Attack of the Clones about Sifo Dyas and the background of the Clone order get resolved?
D. How badass is Palpatine?
E. How badass is Grievous? So far the Clone War 'toons have built him up to be one bad mother!!)
F. Will the relationship between Obi-wan and Anakin dissolve so badly that the duel at the end is understood?
G. Does the new HaydenVader look and feel like the ProwseVader from the old
H. Does this film make Ep. 1 & 2 better?
4. What will you do to make this experience worthy of the Jedi archives?
The truck is packed, the tickets are in hand, and my wife knows it's GO time!!
May 06, 2005
George Lucas has been nominated for AOL's "The Greatest American." Here is our oppotunity to give back to the man who gave us the greatest story of our youth, friendships with actions figures, and a reason to fall in love with films and filmmaking. You could vote for Abraham Lincoln or John Edwards (WTF!!! He's about as worthy for this award as Hulk Hogan), or for one of the greatest visionaries of the twentieth century. Yeah Edison and Einstein were cool too, but come on: did either of them create a wookie?
If you don't vote for Lucas, you're a nerfherder. It's not like the damn thing means anything, anyways. It's AOL.
May 05, 2005
My favorite line: "Which of these buttons calls your parents to come pick you up?"
Classic stuff... FOR ME TO POOP ON!!!
The Force returns with most of its original power regained in "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith." Concluding entry in George Lucas' second three-pack of space epics teems with action, drama and spectacle, and even supplies the odd surge of emotion, as young Anakin Skywalker goes over to the Dark Side, and the stage is set for the generation of stories launched by the original "Star Wars" 28 years ago. Whatever one thought of the previous two installments, this dynamic picture irons out most of the problems, and emerges as the best in the overall series since "The Empire Strikes Back."
Before I comment, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Alex. I am a huge Star Wars fan. However, I admittedly belong to the small fan contingent that thinks Episode I was a craptastic crap-fest of a disaster that I guess you could also call a movie (yes, you all can stone me at the campout). As far as the early reviews were concerned, lots of fans criticized the press for all their negativity towards the movie. And you know what? They were dead on. I mean, Midichlorians? Jar-Jar Binks? Jake "I can't even act like a freaking ten year old" Lloyd? I know I'm sounding like moviepoopshoot.com, but come on, do I really need to continue?
The press wasn't far off in its assessment of Episode II, either. They basically said it was much better, but still not quite on par with the original three. I watched it, loved it, but tended to agree with their verdict.
That said, the above review, as well as Kevin Smith's review (see below) and basically all of the media chatter thus far all say the same thing: this movie more than makes up for the last two. I got a warm fuzzy feeling inside when Episode III got a PG-13 rating (and I've seen pictures that convince me it is well deserved), and the earlier plot spoilers make it sound like Lucas removed his head from his anus long enough to write a surprisingly good script. It's looking like this is going to be one to remember...
Given the general awareness of what's going to happen, it's up to Lucas to make it exciting. Despite fans' varying degrees of loss of faith that set in with "Menace" and "Clones," most will be inspired enough to believe again.Here's hoping...
May 03, 2005
The Soundtrack for the film which not only includes music orchestrated by the great John Williams but is bundled with a DVD that will have over 75 minutes of music videos to create a "musical journey" through the Star Wars saga!! No Limewiring or iTuning for me - this will be the one and only CD purchase I will need to make this year. CD drops Tuesday May 3. If you have Quicktime you can check out a music video at the official site.
Star Wars Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith : The video game, comes out on Thursday May 5 and promises to be the "Ultimate Jedi Action Experience". It walks you through the movie timeline and features the voice and motion capture from the stars, stunt coordinator Nick Gillard's lightsaber fights, and you can play as Anakin or Obi-wan!! This game will definately be down at the campout.
In addition to those items to spend your hard earned dollars on, check out Time magazine as they once again feature a Star Wars film. It is on newsstands now.
Of course if you want more Star Wars stuff than all you have to do is get out of your house because there is stuff everywhere - toys, books, and my 2 favorites - Cheez-its and
Lastly for those of you with your head stuck in your ass - the Campout starts this Sunday May 8th at 5 pm!! See you there...
April 28, 2005
You've been warned...
- "Revenge of the Sith" is, quite simply, fucking awesome. This is the "Star Wars" prequel the haters have been bitching for since "Menace" came out, and if they don't cop to that when they finally see it, they're lying. As dark as "Empire" was, this movie goes a thousand times darker - from the triggering of Order 66 (which has all the Shock Troopers turning on the Jedi Knights they've been fighting beside throughout the Clone Wars and gunning them down), to the jaw-dropping Anakin/Obi Wan fight on Mustafar (where - after cutting his legs and arm off, Ben leaves Skywalker burning alive on the shores of a lava river, with Anakin spitting venomous sentiments at his departing mentor), this flick is so satisfyingly tragic, you'll think you're watching "Othello" or "Hamlet".
I saw a gorgeous digitally projected version of the flick, and lemme tell ya': this is a beautiful looking film. The opening space battle sequence is the best in any of the six "Star Wars" movies. Grievous and Kenobi's lightsaber duel is bad-ass, with Grievous rocking four sabers. The Clone Wars end rather early in the flick (about the halfway point), leaving the rest of the film to concentrate on Anakin's turn to the Dark Side, and the resulting slaughter of the Jedi....
Go to the below site and scroll down for the rest of the review...
Does anybody actually read any of this stuff I post? It's SW gold people!!!
April 25, 2005
From the Lucas Q&A...
I was in the second Lucas Q&A (at least, I think it was the second - blue wrist band) and someone had the cojones to ask why the original trilogy was interesting and the prequels weren't. Lucas talked about how the first act of a play and the first chapters of a book are always boring because their exposition - they set up the rest of the story - and compared the prequels to that. Even more interesting, though, Lucas said that when he originally wrote the SW story, the prequels amounted to about 20 pages. 20% of that got used in TPM (with the rest of the movie made up - Lucas called it a "jazz rift" on the main plot), 20% in AOTC (with more "filler"), but fully 60% of the prequel plot is contained in ROTS.
From the "MacCallum Spectacular"...
I also got into the "Rick McCallum Spectacular," which I knew I wanted to see because I saw it at Celebration II, where he showed part of the seen where Yoda and Count Dooku duel from Episode II, which was before it was released in theaters. This time he showed the 6 minute montage. It had an excellent sound track that Rick said they just "threw it together from sound effects" solely for this montage. The montage and soundtrack is purely inexplainable. You just have to see this film to get it. Rick also had a Q&A, and here is what I gleamed from that:
* A script has been accepted for Indiana Jones 4, but Steven Spielberg's schedule is pretty tight.
* Someone asked if the montage was going to be included in the Episode III DVD, and Rick was like, "Uh, I don't... Uh..." which was met with every mouth in the room erupting with various deafening, but positive, noises. After which, Rick merely said, "Uh, sure. Ok. Since you feel that way, it'll be on the DVD," or something to that effect.
* Someone asked what it was like working with George Lucas, and Rick's answer was good, just that the most horrifying things he's lived through are when George shows up for work and says, "What if we did this..."
Here is some info from the 6 min. montage...
the 6-7 minutes of all new footage that was shown just blew people away. We are talking some of the best action sequences in any SW movie. Just a few high points:
- You get a really good look at Grevious several times but the one that stood out was when he is chasing Obi-Wan and Grevious is in his Wheel. This chase sequence is fast and very intense.
- The space battle is on a scale we have never seen before. Much more color and detail. When the ship explode, you actually see the droids or troopers fly out into space. Sometimes in pieces. Very cool effects.
- They showed several scenes of the clones turing against the Jedi. There is a close-up of Yoda in one of trailers where all you see is his face then you see pupils dialate. They show the rest of this scene and There are Clonetroopers behind him that are raising the guns in preparation for gunning him down. He senses this (close-up of his face), then spins around with his lightsaber and takes like three of them down with one swoop. Awesome scene.
- Another eerie scene has Anakin in a room, eyes red, and you see him using the force to shut all the doors in the room. They don't show who else is in the room but you can tell he's about to kick some ass.
- Another expander scene is the fight beteen Yoda and Palpatine in the Senate chamber. In the trailer you see palpatine use the force to throw one of the hover seats at Yoda like a frisbee. What you don't see is that Yoda uses the force to stop it within inches of his head, he then uses his own power to start spinning the thing and shoves is back at Palpatine. Looks much cooler than I can ever describe it.
- They also showed a scene of Yoda just getting his ass kicked by Palpatine. Thought it was odd that the crowd actually cheered when they saw this. I is an intense scene but Yoda really take it hard.
- Fanboys who are obsessed with clonetroopers are going to love this film. I couldn't even keep track of the different trypes of troopers there seem to be in the movie.
- There are five different lightsaber battle in this film and the footage we saw showed a bit of all of them. Seemed to show the most of the Anakin/Obi Wan lava battle. Looks awesome. I read in the latest Entertainment Weekly that Spielberg had some input on this sequence. Like I said, what I saw looks great.
Patience, we must have...14 days until campout...24 days until RotS!!
April 19, 2005
Very kid-friendly! But, "crush them"!!
You can catch a short glance of Grievous blocking Obi-wan with 2 lightsabers!!
Mace looks pissed!!
April 18, 2005
April 15, 2005
Here's the current state of play with regards to tickets for 'Revenge of the Sith' at US theaters.
* Rave Motion Picture Theaters - On sale from April 15th.
* Fandango - On sale from April 20th.
* AMC - (Darthfloyd writes): The AMC chain of theaters at least will be selling tickets to the midnight showing of Episode 3 starting today, April 14th. Apparently they got the go ahead from Fox last night around 5 pm, and multiple calls to their office confirmed this.
* Regal Cinemas - (James writes): In Charlotte, NC ticket preorders for Revenge of the Sith for Regal Cinemas start on April 20th according to an manager at the theatre.
* Warren Theaters - (Darth Sprocket writes): Revenge of the Sith tickets go on sale April 19th in Wichita, Kansas at the Warren Theaters.
* Kerasotes Theatres - (thanks to Chris): We will begin selling tickets online and at most of our theatres tonight, April 14th at 8:00 pm. As you are aware the film opens on Thursday, May 19. Many of our theatres will have 12:01 am shows opening day. Schedules will be available online.
* Amstar Cinemas - (Jay writes): I went to my local Amstar Cinema today in Oxford, Alabama and they had tickets on sale for the midnight showing of Episode III, as well as tickets through May 22nd. I then went to their official website, and tickets are on sale at all Amstar Cinemas now, April 14th, and will be for sale on-line on April 19th.
* Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas - (John writes): For people living in the Austin area, you can add the Alamo Drafthouse as of right now, April 14th.
* Seattle Cinerama - (Tom writes): (As of April 14th), now an ecstatic 7-ticket holder for 12:01am at the Seattle Cinerama.
* Cinemark - (Ron writes): I just bought my Ep 3 tickets at Cinemark's offical site for my theatre, on April 14th.
* Wehrenberg Theaters - (News-Leader writes): In Springfield, Campbell 16 Cin? will start selling tickets at 9:30 a.m. today (April 15th) online — www.wehrenberg.com. Box office sales at the theater, 4005 South Ave., begin about 11:30 a.m., manager Kendra Sparrow said.
* Showcase Cinemas - (Hamilton Journal News writes): Showcase Cinema — Cincinnati Mills: Tickets are to go on sale sometime Friday, April 15th.
* Muvico Theaters - (Steve writes): This chain is also selling tickets. We lined up yesterday (April 14th) and bought the tickets at midnight. Lots of free stuff and promotions.
* Strand and Family Cinemas - (Alhon writes): Strand and Family in Manitowoc, WI is selling tickets starting on April 30.
* Clearview Ziegfeld - (Quentin writes): Tickets are available starting now (April 15th) at the Ziegfeld in New York, and at the ticket counter at 1:00 p.m. sharp. To purchase tickets for the Midnight Screening, press "showtimes", then press on "Buy Tickets" for Sahara on today's date, then press "Change Date", to May 18. Nothing comes up on that page, so you have to click "CHANGE" in the upper right corner, and then the tickets come up: click on "Buy Tickets" for the 12:01 a.m. viewing.
Congrats Admiral Akwelches on your union!!
April 13, 2005
If this is true than we may need to talk to Big Newport and find out when they plan on releasing tiks before they go on Fandango. Maybe Shea could find out.....
April 12, 2005
Published on Sunday, April 10, 2005
Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
I’d like to quote a certain “FrostySkywalker” from this Jedi Council meeting held well over a year ago:
FROSTY: Right. Well, I’ve heard many times that he’s contractually obligated, and we’ve talked about this, for a PG rating.
I heard much of the same talk from people who worked for companies that had licensing deals with Lucasfilm. Everyone said the same thing. “He’s obligated to turn in a PG rated film.” Yet for almost a year now, Rick McCallum and Lucas himself have been suggesting that the film might be too dark for that rating.
Now, the official decision has been handed down: REVENGE OF THE SITH is PG-13 for “sci-fi violence and some intense images.”
I’m happy to say that all of us who speculated that he’d either try to buy the PG or cut his film to avoid a higher rating were wrong. He seems to have embraced the PG-13, and to that, I have only one thing to say:
Bring it on, George. Bring it on.