Just Wanted to Say...
After a little loading a metallic voice spoke, "Ladies and Gents, the Galaxies best regards; may the Force be with you through these early years."
After a little loading a metallic voice spoke, "Ladies and Gents, the Galaxies best regards; may the Force be with you through these early years."
Last year I reviewed the second season of one of my favorite animated shows Star Wars: Rebels, and now I'm back with Season 3. The adventures of the Ghost crew (Kanan, Ezra, Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper) continues as they aid in the formation of the Rebel Alliance. Their numbers are growing stronger but they continue to risk their lives as the Galactic Empire hunts them down. The Ghost crew take on new roles and challenges as they now face a new calculating adversary, Grand Admiral Thrawn.
So let's talk about the biggest positive of this season and that's the new villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Fuck yeah, they did him justice! For those who don't know, Grand Admiral Thrawn is often considered to be one of the greatest villains in the Star Wars Universe. First appearing in a trilogy of novels (Heir to the Empire) written brilliantly by author Timothy Zahn, he's up there with Darth Vader and the Emperor. He's a very smart, very brilliant tactician that held the Empire together after the death of the Emperor in Episode 6, and one of the very few aliens to hold a high ranking officer position in an empire that was generally xenophobic. Unlike most incompetent imperial officers, Thrawn's philosophy was that to defeat an enemy you had to learn everything about them. And another big part of his personality was that he was a major art enthusiast. He loved art. He was just so fucking awesome. Imagine the love child of Sherlock Holmes and Tywin Lannister and you have Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Sadly when Disney bought out Star Wars, and categorized the Canon and Legends universes, Thrawn was thrown into Legends and that pissed a lot of fans off, myself included. Thankful series creator Dave Filoni is a true Star Wars fan and he helped make the beloved character canon, and my god he was done perfectly. That's partly because they had Timothy Zahn himself supervising them on how to get the character right. He was cold, he was intimidating, and he was unbelievable smart. That was Thrawn right off the pages! Fun fact: Thrawn is voiced by Lars Mikkelson, who is the brother of Mads Mikkelson, whom you might recognize as Hannibal Lector or Jyn Erso's father from Star Wars: Rogue One.
So enough about our villain, what about our main heroes. First of all I'm just happy to see that they officially got rid of that stupid lightsaber-blaster hybrid piece of shit that Ezra had for the last two season. So glad Vader chopped that thing the fuck up so now Ezra can have himself a proper lightsaber. It's lean, it's green, and it suits him. Second, all the main characters had major makeovers. Kanan is officially blind after his brief duel with Darth Maul last season and he's sporting a beard. I really like Sabine's new hairstyle and new body armor. Also am I the only one who senses a lesbian vibe from her? No one? Just me? I gotta ask! That would be pretty cool if it were true.
Lots of familiar faces showing up this season. We got Grand Admiral Thrawn, Mon Mothma, Wedge Antilles, Darth Maul back again, Saw Gerrera of Rogue One was in this (with Forrest Whitaker reprising the role), and we even have Obi-Wan Kenobi. I'm gonna talk about him a little later in this review because it's worth discussing. And for those wondering what happened to Ahsoka last season, we still don't know. We'll probably won't know until maybe next season, so keep waiting. Plus we are introduced to an interesting new character called the Bendu (voiced by the 4th Doctor himself Tom Baker) who serves as Kanan's force teacher after he became blind. Give him credit, he's got some of the best lines in the whole season, next to Thrawn of course.
Alright now I'm going to dive into spoiler territory because there are a couple episodes I really want to get into at the moment. First two episodes worth discussing is the two-parter "Ghosts of Geonosis" where our heroes meet up with Saw Gerrera. This is worth noting because we learn that the Geonosians were wiped to extinction. Damn! I knew the Empire was brutal but this was overkill. More importantly we learned why they were wiped out. It was hinted in the episode that the Geonosians were used to build the infamous Death Star and so to keep it a secret they committed genocide on the whole Geonosian species. Dark, Disney! I like it!
Next is Sabine's story arc. In the episodes "Trials of the Darksaber" and "Legacy of Mandalore" we really get into depth of Sabine's character. Sabine has possession of the Darksaber and so Kanan tries to teach how to duel with it. You see, according to Mandalorian law of leadership if you have possession of this weapon it shows you're capable of leading the Mandalorians. However, we learn that Sabine does not want to be a leader and here's why. During an intense training session, Sabine reveals, in an emotional breakdown, that she used to make weapons for the Empire, weapons that were used on her own people. And when she stood to defy the Empire, her family did not, and she was cast out. Then later she travels back to Mandalore and confronts her family. I won't discuss what happens there because it's worth watching for yourselves.
Now for the big one! Maul is back this season and he's still hunting down Kenobi for his revenge. Ezra travels to Tatooine because he believes that Obi-Wan is the key to destroying the Sith. Eventually he meets up with him and it's not quite the Obi-Wan we knew from the Prequel Trilogy or The Clone Wars animated series. This is clearly Old Ben Kenobi. He's older, wiser, and much more sage like. This is the same Obi-Wan we first met in A New Hope. Hell, the voice actor even does a damn good impression of Alec Guinness.
Any who, Maul final confronts him and they have a very short lightsaber duel. I mean really short, like three strikes and Maul is dead. I've noticed some folks complaining about this but here's my insight. Like I mentioned before this is a much more wiser Obi-Wan than before. He anticipates that Maul is going to use the same fighting style from their first encounter, and so he counters against Maul with something new and that's how he was able to defeat him for the final time. It was also kinda sad watching Maul die in Old Ben's arms. He's known nothing but hatred and cruelty, and never once had any peace in his life. The only peace he could have was his death. That is some seriously powerful stuff!
In the end, I enjoyed the hell out of this season! I don't have any real gripes about it, other than WHAT HAPPENED TO AHSOKA!?! Sorry, overall this is worth your time!
Light Side: Dark Side:
-New looks -What happened to Ahsoka?
-Thrawn is canon! Yay!
Final Grade: A
Have you watch the latest season of Star Wars Rebels? What were your thoughts? What was your favorite episode that season? Are you just as happy to have Grand Admiral Thrawn part of the canon-verse as I am? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and check back as we countdown to the 100th review!
Grand Admiral Thrawn: "To defeat an enemy, you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics, but their history, philosophy, art."
"Fear, hope, desire, despair," droned the technician as he cut them out of my head.
Aligned our paths
And I, called it
And then you uttered that word;
But as time passes by
It is apparent that I -
Was the only one that believed
And just as that word drifted from my mind
And just as I started healing, and my chest;
was about to stop aching
Was uttered again, by a stranger now
Amidst our conversation
And I no longer knew what it felt like to be
Without thoughts clouding my mind or
An aching in my chest
And of all the words that could've been used
This once beautiful word, has been tainted
And of all the thoughts, about you, I've endured
The once beautiful thoughts, have been tainted
Mechanical surrogates for human reproduction. Too much relief from necessary pain. Humans cease to be.
He uploaded the virus onto the mainframe. Now, all brains in vats would see reality.
Go, go Power Rangers?
More like no, no Power Rangers!
Yup, it's just as it sounds. This is an official Power Rangers movie of the popular action series of the same name, which was adapted from the popular Japanese show Super Sentai. The story is pretty simple. Five teenagers, who are looked upon as outcasts, are chosen to be the planet's greatest protectors known only as the Power Rangers. Under the mentorship of Zordon (played by Bryan Cranston) they must morph together in order to stop the wicked witch Rita Repulsa (played by Elizabeth Banks) from destroying their world. I was a big fan of Power Rangers as a kid when back in the day. Sure it was campy and ridiculous but it was also fun and kickass. That is to say I did not have big hopes for this movie. It looked like the Breakfast Club turned into Power Rangers, and I was right for the most part.
Let's start by getting the good stuff out of the way. The major positive this film has going is the actual Power Rangers themselves. These five actors actually pulled off amazing performances and they all managed to be likable. If they didn't this movie would have completely failed. I think my favorite is the Blue Ranger, whom I can relate to because we're both autistic. They also have really good chemistry with each other. There was a scene where they all sit around the campfire and they have a heart to heart moment just talking about their issues, and I really felt for them.
It was also cool they got Bryan Cranston to be Zordon, which he did a good job as. Fun fact, Bryan Cranston actually played a couple villains in the original Power Rangers series. Cool huh? Even a couple of the original Rangers make cameos in the movie, which I got a kick out of. I should also mention that Alpha-5 is in this too, and he's voiced by Bill Hader. I found him annoying in the show, and he's still annoying in this film.
I hope you enjoyed those positives because it's no mercy from here on. Let's talk about the villain. Holy shit. If you remember Rita from the original you remember how over-the-top she was as a villain and it was fun to watch. Elizabeth Banks brings that over-the-topness in her portrayal, which is kinda fun to watch. But when our main heroes are giving great performances and she just giving this really campy performance it comes off as really, really ridiculous that you can't take her seriously.
The Power Rangers series is famously known for their action but the action here comes off as stale. I was pretty bored through most of the film. It wasn't until when Rita forms Goldar and the Zords morph into the Megazord is where things got interesting for me. And this film did exactly what I feared it was going to do. They get their Power Rangers suits in the last act of the film. That sucks! We want to see them in their suits more not less! But for the most part there is no action. We get some training montages and then the big fight at the end, and that's it! Otherwise I was just bored throughout the movie, wishing for something to happen.
As for humor it's all over the place, and I mean that not in a good way. It ranges from flat to unintentional to inappropriate. I'll admit a few jokes got me to laugh and their were moments that I laughed too hard because it wasn't meant to be funny, but I was also silent throughout.
The editing was also the film's major flaw. I hate it when a movie does so many jump cuts in one scene alone and this film had one too many, especially the scenes revolving around Rita Repulsa.
Prosers, in the end this movie was just not good. For Power Rangers fans this is not worth your time or money. While there are some good moments and the five main actors are really good, it's not enough to save the film. This movie can go, go fuck itself!
Go, go grading scale!
-The Power Rangers -Rita's over-the-top portrayal
-Bryan Cranston -Boring
-Final act -Cliched dialogue
-Unintentional funny parts -Bad/inappropriate jokes
-Lack of real action
-No real fun
Final Grade: D
Sad thing is that I know this movie is going to bank, which means they'll get a sequel later on. So that's my review of the new Power Rangers movie. Have you seen it? What are your thoughts? And to any Power Rangers fans on Prose, which series was your favorite, and which was your favorite Power Ranger? Please be kind, leave a like and comment, and get out more reviews here on Prose!
Jason Lee Scott/Red Ranger: "It's morphing time!"
Frank had always done his job the right way, finished his work on time. He had never gotten into arguments and had gone to church every Sunday.
So he was not expecting to hear what Peter told him.
"Such an unpleasant situation. I'm afraid I cannot allow you to pass. It pains me to have to send you Below, but I have no choice. This place is reserved for the best of your kind. Yahweh's rules. I'm truly sorry."
And then Frank felt his phantom limbs leave the ground as he plunged towards Hell at the speed of light. He felt his soul stringed and stretched like melted cheese, like a light wave being sucked into a black hole.
Then darkness. He was still now, though he felt no ground beneath him. He could sense only emptiness around him.
Suddenly, from the void, a voice spoke to him. It was deeper than anything meant to be heard by human ears, but the voice penetrated him and resonated through every fiber of his soul. Every word seemed to last an eternity.
"You do not belong here.
This is a place reserved for the worst among you.
You carry no evil, no hatred.
No fears to feed from, nor any hopes or dreams to drain you of.
I have no use for you.
And so rejected from both Heaven and Hell, Frank was left to wander through the spiritual realm. He journeyed for thousands of years, searching every corner of limbo for a place to rest his soul.
He encountered Anubis,Thoth, and Ammut, and they judged him and weighed his heart.
But they could neither welcome him nor condemn him, for his heart contained nothing inside of it and was lighter than the feather, Maat. Thoth had never recorded an event like that before.
He met The Enlightened One, who meditated in empathy for Frank.
But Frank could not be reincarnated, for the way he had led his life had not been good, but it had not been bad either, so any new manifestation of Frank could not be anything greater or worse than himself. And coming back as your past self is prohibited for mortals.
Enlightenment was even more out of the question.
He reached the bank of the River Styx but did not have a single obol to pay for passage, so Charon could not let him step foot on his ferry.
He tried to become a ghost, but even that he could not be, for any mortal must have a strong purpose in life in order to remain attached to the physical plane.
So, aimlessly he wandered for many more centuries, barely existing as little more than a long lost memory. It was not much different than how he had existed in his physical form, and Frank realized he didn't mind limbo so much after all. Limbo was not good, but it wasn't bad either.
And that suited Frank just fine.
Epiphanies, visions, we've been called before
Realizations, revelations, inspiration, more
"Eureka", "Bingo", "Hallelujah" "Aha"!
Ra, Zeus, Osiris, God, Allah
They have felt our presence and have called us many things
But in our dimension we remain unseen
We traveled here from a distant place
To be among the young human race
We stay among them in our higher plane
Ever hoping our work is not in vain
We came from their future, a very far one
To shape a path that must be redone
But we cannot ever directly interfere
We can only whisper things in their ears
To think we, masters of the universe
Must resort to hiding as whisperers!
But our survival depends on their success
We must do what we can to help them progress
For they are us, and we are them
And in the future we have seen our end
We did not advance enough in time
To leave our universe before it dies
We cannot cross in our current state
So we traveled against time to change our fate
By leaving our whispers for them to hear
We hope in their course they can be steered
We attempt to find the most sensitive minds
And leave our knowledge for them to find
Einstein, Jesus, Tesla, Da Vinci
Sagan, Teresa, Hawking, Archimedes
These are some of the few who have heard our call
And used our whispers for the good of all
We can only hope they are quick to progress
And choose not to war, divide, and oppress
If only we would have not been so blind
And realized we had only a blink of an eye
To do what was right, to grow and change
To work together and one day be saved
Now we stay among them hoping to be their guide
So one day they can cross and save our human kind
March 1st 1999
The small team at NOAA who first discovered the sound gathered excitedly around the computer console. It was for these rare discoveries that the scientists worked long, thankless hours. The last sound they discovered was two years previous, when the hydrophones detected one of the loudest sounds ever recorded 3000 miles away off the southern coast of South America. The sound resembled a large bubble being blown under water, and thus it was lovingly termed ‘The Bloop’.
The sound discovered today was different.
Within fifteen minutes the Managing Director, Greg Hobbs, was in the lab and listening to the sound. He had to sit down. “Good god, this is something alive?” he said.
The red phone rang. Everybody froze. This phone had never rung before, and only one person was authorised to call it. Greg took a deep breath and answered.
“Managing Director Hobbs.”
The scientists who looked on noticed his shoulders sag and his head drop. He turned to face his colleagues, all warmth had drained from his face. “I understand,” Hobbs said. “Yes sir, Mr President”. Hobbs placed down the phone.
“Come away from the computers,” Hobbs got down on his knees, “and get down on the floor with your hands on your head. Do it now”
The group, confused stepped away from the computers and placed themselves on the floor as instructed.
Moments later, the door crashed in, and a squadron of black clad military personnel burst through.
18 Years Later. March 18th 2017
Built within the rock of ‘The Dom’, the third highest mountain in the Pennine Alps, Switzerland, was a state of the art, highly classified facility. Within thirty minutes of Air Force One landing on the runway in the mountains core, the President of the United States, Thomas Ellison, was escorted to a large boardroom, and left inside alone. This was highly irregular.
The first thing the president noticed before entering was how unnecessarily large the doors were. At least ten feet high. The second, as he entered, was that despite the facility being set deep within the rock, he could see through it. Half of the room and a portion of the roof and floor were completely see through. Ellison could see the other peaks in the distance, and the hazy mist of clouds below.
A few moments later, the large metallic doors opposite swung open, and a gentleman in an elegantly tailored grey suit and peppered grey hair strode through with a black folder in hand. The President met him half way.
The man in the grey suit extended his hand. “Mr President, thank you for meeting with me. My name is Klaus Heinrich Engel. Please sit.” Engel gestured to the nearest seats at the board table.
Engel sat and placed the folder on the table. “I don’t intend to keep you very long, Mr President. I’m aware of the constraints on your time, as I share a similar burden. Firstly, I just wish to congratulate you on your recent appointment. I understand the inauguration was one of the most viewed on record?” He spoke crisply, precisely, with only a hint of his native German accent.
“Thank you, Mr Engel, yes, over 40 million around the globe”
“An impressive feat. You must be very pleased?”
“Truthfully, I haven’t had the time to process it. I thought my life was busy before the election. I’m never left alone, now. In fact, I must admit, I’m at somewhat of a loss in relation to our meeting. It’s unusual for me to be in any situation without my security detail and a contingent of my advisors, especially out of state”
Engel smiled knowingly. “Ah, yes. I can understand the concern behind your words. The information I’m going to provide to you is Code Black classified. Very few people are granted access to this information. This facility was constructed with the knowledge that the magnitude of these secrets would be contained within, and so naturally, it is the safest place on earth. This is the only reason why your security contingent could be negotiated to wait outside the door and not in here with you, I assure you of that.”
The President crossed his legs and rested his clutched hands on his knee. “Well, alright then”
“Yes, down to business.” Engel affixed his glasses, opened the black folder and flicked through the pages. “Are you aware of NOAA under the Department of Commerce?”
“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration? Yes, they’re environmental researchers” said Ellison.
Engel nodded. He found the page he was looking for and pushed it across the table to Ellison. It was a simple document entitled ‘Julia’ dated 2nd March 1999. It was stamped Top Secret.
“On March 1st 1999, NOAA recorded an underwater sound so loud it was heard through the entire Pacific Ocean. The sound came from Antarctica.” Engel pressed a button on a device on the table which played the recording. It was like a deep echoing groan. Ellison had never heard anything quite like it.
Engel continued, “Sounds like this have occurred before. ‘The Bloop’ you may have heard of, quite well known, was recorded in 1997, and the ‘Upsweep’ has been recorded seasonally since 1991. The official explanation is underwater volcanic activity, and in the cases of The Bloop and Julia, the sound of a large iceberg that has run aground.”
Engel worked through the folder again, and pushed over a series of photographs blown to A4 size. “The unofficial explanation, is that Julia is a creature more than double the size of the Empire State Building, roughly 800 metres in length. These are classified images taken by NASA’s Apollo 33A5.” Ellison picked up the photos one at a time. Enormous shadows could be seen in the photographs. As he flicked through them, the shadows became darker and darker until the creature surfaced. It was monstrous. Like a cross between an Eel and a Great White.
Ellison continued through the photographs and drew a quick breath. “Is that a ship?”
Engel nodded “It’s not by the petitions of Greenpeace or diplomatic government efforts that Japanese whalers have ceased activity in the Antarctic. The Japanese have been whaling on an industrial scale for almost 130 years. We’ve identified that Whales are a key food source for her. She’s intelligent, Mr President. She’s been targeting the ships. Those pictures show her eating them. Whole”
Ellison felt ill. “This ship has to be over 60 metres long?”
“What the hell is it?” Ellison said. “Who knows about this? How has it not been leaked?”
“We know its origins are of Earth. Pre-historic of course. Remnants of a time long gone. It prefers cold water, and the effects of global warming, we suspect, are why it’s becoming more active” Engel paged through the folder again and passed over another document, this one signed by a Greg Hobbs.
“In terms of who knows the truth, well, very few do. You and President Clinton are the only two U.S Presidents to be briefed about it. The staff present at NOAA during the discovery signed an NDA. A breach of the agreement would incur a minimum penalty of life imprisonment in a high security installation without parole”
Ellison placed the documents down and rubbed his eyes. This was far and away from anything he expected to be discussing. And the anxious pull in his stomach told him he was missing something. “Why am I here, Mr Engel?”
Engel gathered the photo and documents that had accumulated and began ordering them back into the folder. “It has come to our attention that you intend on following through on a campaign promise to begin oil drilling in Antarctica.”
Ellison reacted immediately. “Now, hang on a minut-“
Engel turned to face Ellison, “Mr President, you’re here today so that we may insist in person, that you cease these plans.”
Ellison wasn’t having it. “To hell with that! I won the election based on that promise. To turn back on it now will kill me politically. The Democrats will have my head. You want me to stop because of this fucking worm? I have the largest military force in the world. I’ll blow the bitch to hell!”
Engel thought on this calmly. “There are things under that ice, Mr President. Ancient things. Things classified even to you. Things that you will never recover from once you’re told. Things that we are insisting not be disturbed because we have a vested interest in not disturbing them."
“Who the hell is ‘we’?” said Ellison.
“The United Conglomerate of Earth”
“And what is that exactly?”
“The real government, Mr President”
Ellison could feel himself crumbling. He had worked too damn hard to be brought down this early in his Presidency. He’d be the laughing stock of the world for lapsing on this after how hard he pushed it. “I am the President of the United States of America! I am the most powerful man on earth. This will fuck me! You understand this right? This will fuck me up. Who the hell are you to insist anything to me?”
The corner of Engels mouth twitched into a grin. He closed the black folder. “I am the Director General of the United Conglomerate of Earth,” He removed his glasses and placed them in his inner jacket coat pocket as he stood. “Mr President, you will come to understand, in the fullness of time, that you are only a big fish in a small pond. Julia, is a much bigger fish…and I am bigger still.”
Engel pushed his chair back under the table. “Good day, Mr President. I’ll be in touch.”
Engel turned on the spot and walked back to the large door he entered through. Ellison, still in shock, clutched the arms of his chair as the door was opened for Engel by an eight foot tall humanoid with beige membranous skin. The creature and Engel exchanged words briefly, as he passed through the door and then the creature looked directly at the President. Its eyes were large, luminescent blue. They flickered a horrifying black and red, and then it closed the door.