Blog 711: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 7

After the attack of the interstitial film where nothing really happens, Revenge of the Sith has far too much going on in it. Suddenly we have to complete Darth Vader’s origin story and cement the rise of the Empire by ending the Clone Wars. Our conclusion is that it has far overstretched itself to have both, and our money is on the rise of the Empire plot as the more interesting one.

Let Darth Vader’s origins remain spoken of in hushed tones — it’s the galaxy-spanning double-sided Sith-puppetted civil war conspiracy plot that delivers the proper goods. After all, the original trilogy wasn’t about the death of Darth Vader, it was about the rebellion and the fall of the Empire. (Although the final battle between Obi Wan and Anakin is a stonker of a fight sequence. Could we have had that with General Grievous instead? :>)

No transcripts this time, and no additional thoughts either because we’ve pretty much covered all of it.

Blog 708: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 6

Villains are critical to the success of any fantasy adventure. I mean, without some suitably bad-ass villain (bad ass-villain), what have we got to rail against? Needless to say, the prequel trilogy’s problem is that we don’t get a consistent antagonist throughout — although it’s Palpatine’s story, he’s only revealed to our heroes as the true villain at the end of the line.

In the mean time, the three films chew though a succession of minibosses who are not actually given enough time to breathe before they’re unceremoniously murdered — including one of my favourite character designs of all time, let alone of Star Wars, General Grievous.

We blast all over the three prequels here in this ostensibly Episode II-based chat so, once again, apologies for melting our own continuity.

No transcripts this time, and no additional thoughts either. We… er… recorded this one a while ago…

Blog 706: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 5

Okay, maybe I lied last time when I said Attack of the Clones was merely average — it does contain an absolute howler of a romance sub-plot. Anakin catches up with childhood crush Padmé Amidala and tries to win her over with the creepiest lines in the galaxy, but instead of rightly punching his lights out and running for the hills, Padmé… f-falls in love with h-him?

It doesn’t make narrative sense, let alone human sense. Alas, we can come up with all the “it would have worked if…” scenarios we like in our cosy, rarified little Writer’s Room (errr, Chris’s lounge), but this is and always will be canon. Blergh.

We start to drift into some Episode III chat in here so apologies for melting our own continuity. It’s an… er… homage to the source material…?

No transcripts this time, and no additional thoughts either. We… er… recorded this one a while ago…

Blog 704: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 4

The most damning indictment of Episode II is that it’s ultimately pretty average. There’s nothing truly unstoppably bad about it — there’s no massive in-your-face focal point of cringe to match poor old Jar Jar Binks. Maybe it’s death by a thousand cuts, lots of little things that snowball into a prevailing sense of malaise.

I’m quite excited for us to get to the original trilogy so we can expound positively at what went right rather than negatively about all the missed opportunites and blunders (or maybe we’ll need to discuss the spectacularly good Rogue One before the original trilogy now?), but narrative flow demands that we first examine the prequels — so here begins our journey through Attack of the Clones.

No transcripts this time, and no additional thoughts either. We… er… recorded this one a while ago…

Blog 696: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 3

Why do we have to talk about Jar Jar so much? He was terrible, but he was also phased out of the subsequent films so his damage was successfully limited. However, he is such a large part of The Phantom Menace that you can’t ignore him, so let’s scrape the bottom of the barrel one last time before we move on to Episode 2.

No transcripts this time, just some additional thoughts in the post.

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Blog 695: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 2

The handful of lines about midichlorians singlehandedly destroyed the power and the mystery of the Force, turning subtle mysticism into hard science. Both have their place in different franchises, yes, but we like Star Wars for its subtle mysticism.

Let us discuss the ill-fated but pivotal character Anakin Skywalker and how he (child acting aside) is brutally mishanded by the narrative of the prequel trilogy.

No transcripts this time, just some additional thoughts in the post.

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Blog 693: Close, But No Biscuit – Star Wars – Part 1

Star Wars, oh Star Wars. It was my life; the original trilogy and selected bits of the Expanded Universe were everything to me growing up. The space-ships, the subtle mysticism, the ancient ruins and technological marvels mixed just so to create a wonderous, exciting universe of adventure.

Alas, while the disappointing scab of the prequel trilogy has mostly healed by now, to the point where I can actually appreciate some parts of them with a degree of clarity, the wound torn open by The Force Awakens is still raw.

But let’s not get started at the end. Let’s begin at the beginning, even though it’s not the real beginning. Let us discuss Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

No transcripts this time, just some additional thoughts in the post.

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Blog 686: Close, But No Biscuit – James Bond – Part 5

“Our Bond is Better” seems to be the recurring claim of the Daniel Craig era. “What were you expecting, an exploding pen?” Well, yes, actually — but even if I wasn’t, these films don’t ever deliver on their claims of being better. The gritty introspection that is the hallmark of modern Bond actually isn’t built up or built on in any meaningful way, so we are left with… nothing. Nothing but sadness, emptiness, and a hollow, pointless rage.

Alas, we are the problem, because we both still paid money to see these films.

(Transcript is included in the blog post.)

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