This week's episode of The Clone Wars tackles what I can only assume is the equivalent to Christmas Day for a Jedi Youngling: procuring a crystal to use in the construction of your very own lightsaber. A greater day for a Youngling I can not imagine . . .
Well, we've finally reached the conclusion of the Onderon Arc, or as I've dubbed it, "The Robes Arc," and I can honestly say it was a well-executed and worthy finale.
We're back this week with a more action-oriented installment of The Clone Wars and probably my favorite episode so far of the Onderon arc. I really dug the direction they took with the opening, having the Rebels jump into action against the Separatist Droids patrolling the streets, making themselves known to the town folk. The gigantic holograph was a neat effect, allowing Steela to broadcast herself around various points in the town.
A War on Two Fronts
Sorry for the delay here, folks, but sometimes the real life gets in the way of my television viewing. Boo! Now, if I could just get paid for liking Star Wars, I'd be sitting on a gold mine. But, all that aside, lets get into A War on Two Fronts. The previews for this episode had me really excited, because it looked to me like another Landing at Point Rain-style episode. So, while not as action packed as I had hoped for, the slower pace actually worked for me, as I realized this was just the first in a four-part arc.
I developed a love for art at a very young age, appreciating it on a different level than many of my peers. Do you remember as a kid you would flip through the instruction manual for your NES games like Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda, and they had that FANTASTIC artwork of all the wondrous creatures you would be encountering on your adventure? And then, you pop in the game and each of these beautiful designs is depicted as a tiny, 8-bit red or blue splotch on the screen? Friends would ask me why they'd put so much effort into these drawings if the final product isn't going to resemble it in the slightest? For me, it helped paint the picture in my head of exactly what dangers I was facing. Sure, on screen they didn't look all that special, but those images from the booklet helped paint a picture for my young mind to conjure up heroes, princesses, and assorted baddies I'd meet during my travels.
These are the thoughts that came flooding back to me as I flipped through the pages of The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy, a five-book collection showcasing the elegant and alluring artwork of Yoshitaka Amano through the first ten Final Fantasy games. Having been a Final Fantasy enthusiast since day one, I would latch onto anything FF-related I could get my grubby, little hands on. Freshman year of college I took advantage of the high-speed internet to download the FF games that had only been released in Japan.
And, here we are. The thrilling conclusion to "Vader's Trip to the Ghost Prison." I will be keeping this review spoiler free for you all, since giving away even the smallest detail kind of ruins it for you. So, what can I say about the conclusion then, you ask? As a long-time Star Wars fan and as someone who was hooked on this story arc from the first issue, I can honestly say that the conclusion was more than satisfying. In just 26 pages, all of the loose ends are tied up nicely. Of course, "nicely" in no way reflects the actual characters behavior in any way, but you know what I meant. I hope . . .
I'll admit that I am not a long-time Whovian. In fact, after putting it off for several years, it wasn't until six months ago that I finally found the time to sit down and see what all the fuss about Doctor Who was about. After only a few episodes into the series, my initial reaction was to hop in my own TARDIS and kick my past self in the butt for not watching it sooner.
Yes, it's THAT good, but, of course, if you're reading this, you're most likely already a Whovian yourself.
As a youngling, I remember walking into my local comic book store and stopping dead in my tracks when my eyes caught glimpse of Danger Girl Issue #1 resting so elegantly on the shelf. And, how could I not? Flipping though the pages, I was treated to incredibly gorgeous women in tight clothing who kicked a-- with a mentor who looked exactly like Sean Connery. And, if that's not enough, these beautiful women were drawn by a then unknown (to me at least) J. Scott Campbell. Looking back on it now, it's incredible how much of what I loved about the series was merely "fan service," but hey, I was 14 and that's all that mattered back then. 'Till this day, I still think J. Scott Campbell is my favorite artist when it comes to the ladies. I remember jumping ship on Danger Girl once a new artist took over, because to me they just weren't the same characters anymore.
Well, this certainly brings me back. I had read this issue as part of a much larger graphic novel a hundred times over as a child. Easy. Though the cartoon show was my introduction into Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's world of mutated, ninja reptiles, it was the comic books I became most hooked on. Yes, I know the comics came out before the cartoon, but I hadn't heard of them. One Christmas I received two enormous TMNT graphic novels that became my new obsession. Sure, the show was great at the time, but these books were how I thought the turtles should really be. It was dark, gritty, violent, and just felt more real.