Saturday, May 13, 2006

No, you're out of order!

A friend asked me a question the other day, and it got me thinking: In what order should the Star Wars movies be watched?

It's hard to decide, but I think I'd have to go for watching them in the order they were released. I know it defeats the point of numbering them Episodes 1-6, but bear with me.

Part of the reason, obviously, is that's how I saw them: 4-6, then 1-3.

But I think watching Eps. 1-3 first could diminish the enjoyment of watching 4-6. For starters, by the time you get to "Star Wars," you already know how Darth Vader became Darth Vader. He's not as mysterious.

Okay, if you haven't seen all the movies, you might want to stop here, lest I spoil them for you.

Part of the fun for me watching the original trilogy (OT) was that you got only bits and pieces of Vader's story. Obi-Wan tells Luke that Anakin Skywalker was killed by Darth Vader. That's what made that scene ("No, I am your father!) in "Empire" such a jaw-dropper. We talked about that at school forever. But if you've already seen the new trilogy (NT), you already know who Vader is.

Not only that, but then you're wondering why Vader doesn't sense who Luke is during the first movie.

Or why Obi-Wan says that Yoda trained him instead of Qui-Gonn Jinn.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I think you have to pick which trilogy you want to be your trilogy.

"Star Wars" brings you in the middle of action, where the Rebellion is trying to topple the Empire. "The Phantom Menace" begins with a breath-taking tax dispute.

I'm also not a big fan of the fake foreshadowing in the NT, especially lines like Obi-Wan's "Why do I get the feeling you'll be the death of me?" to Anakin.

I'm still not convinced George Lucas had the whole story planned out in his head they way everyone says he did. The general idea, sure, but not the details. Otherwise, why would Leia have kissed Luke twice (once in Star Wars, once in Empire) if George knew they were brother and sister? Ick.

If you want to watch the original trilogy old-school-like, the non-Special Edition Star Wars trilogy will be out on DVD in September, despite assurances that the Special Editions were the definitive version.

And then next year, the Super-Definitive entire Star Wars saga is supposed to be released as a box set, and who knows what versions will be in that monster?

And there's the 3-D version George is working on.

Maybe I should just save my bucks and wait till the immersive holographic version comes out.

As long as Greedo doesn't shoot first, I'll be happy.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Surely you chest

The season finale of "The Office" is on tonight, and I can't wait to watch it, and not (as some in my household have speculated) just for Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam. I love this show; it always makes me laugh out loud, no matter how crabby I am.

It even makes me laugh when it's not on. How?

Every now and then, I check the stats for the blog, seeing if the number of visitors has reached double digits, things like that. But my favorite part is seeing how people got here.

A search for "Wonder Twins" usually pops up every week, and fans of "Camp Cucamonga" are apparently not in short supply.

But last week, there was this: "jenna fischer chest."

I love how search engines work. For a day or two, this blog was the top result for that search. And no, it wasn't me making the search, pervs...

This is particularly funny given that the subject of chests had come up on the blog Jenna writes for

So to sum up (especially for those readers who are married to me), I don't know her -- even though she's on my MySpace friends list -- and I'm sorry to have disappointed whoever came here looking for something besides pop culture fluff.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An unexpected reaction

While at the grocery store the other day, my son Brody was sitting quietly in the cart until something caught his eye.

"Wow, look at that!" he said. Not loudly, mind you, but I could tell something had really gotten his attention.

I looked at where he was looking, expecting to see a display that featured a car or construction equipment (generally the only thing he notices these days).

Nope. No cars.

A blonde.

My son, the girl-watcher. And he's not even 3 yet.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Free Comic Book Day recap

Free Comic Book Day has come and gone once again, and this year, I had a good time. Not so much because of the free comic books, but every now and then I like getting the chance to be in my local comic book store for more than just a few minutes.

It was neat to see a wide range of people, young and old, male and female, clearly enjoying something they liked. I'm terribly shy, but there's something about being a comic book reader/collector that makes it easy to just fall into conversations with people you've never met.

I was also pleased to get a sketch from artist Ethen Beavers, who is a cool cat. He was very nice, giving advice to budding artists and just talking about what it's like being in the business, not to mention doing free sketches all day. Go check out some of his work here. He also signed my copy of Justice League Unlimited #18, the issue he drew that features one of the funniest characters from DC's Silver Age sci-fi comics, Space Cabby.

Another thing that I really thought was cool was hearing a group of young woman professing their love for the Marv Wolfman-era Teen Titans, which is still one of my favorite comics. It was the first series I tried to collect the whole run of. And I don't remember meeting too many girls who were into comics at the time.

I had more fun in a few hours here than I generally do at giant comic conventions. Whether that's attributable to my dislike of crowds or just that there's almost too much to do at a convention, I don't know.

If you want to see a little bit of what was going on, you should check out this little video piece we did for work. Yes, I was pressed into service in front of a camera. Face for radio, voice for print, if you know what I mean. My part is in the second half.

Marvel at my near-lifelike presence.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The King's Arms? Where's the King's Arms?

While rooting around YouTube, I found this outtake. I also have it on a blooper compilation videotape that I got when I was younger.

To this day, it still makes me laugh. Draw your own conclusions about my level of maturity (or lack thereof).

Note: This clip contains one mildly inappropriate word (that I utter roughly a kajillion times during the course of a day, without much provocation) so view at your own peril!