Lit Literature member interviews

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Point Given, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    He didn't say he lived in Quebec! ;)

    (edit: also, damn you -- I have the stupid song stuck in my head now and I didn't even watch the video!)

    LI: Dude, you'd get a kick out of traveling. Yeah, tourists are annoying -- but just because you're traveling doesn't mean you have to act like a stereotypical tourist. Trust me, I hate them too -- talking to loudly, gawking at everyone, taking pictures of people walking around without asking for their permission as if they were props... but it's worth it, even if to see in real life things you've read about or know all about already. And sometimes you even learn a few new things.

    Also, no wonder you perked up when I said I was thinking of reading Dumas! :p
    Last edited by GrandAdmiralJello, Sep 26, 2013
  2. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    You really must finish Monte Cristo, and try the others I listed alongside it, too. I'm fairly certain you'd enjoy all of them, some perhaps even more than I do. I do imagine I'd enjoy traveling, but it's not quite so simple a matter for me as packing up and flying halfway around the world. There are other complicating factors, and that's leaving aside cost, that would likely make it a very limited experience even if I did puzzle out a way for it to work.
  3. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    8. What were your thoughts when Disney announced the purchase of Lucasfilm? Have they changed since then?

    My first thought was that it was a joke. Which, incidentally, was also what I thought Legacy was when I first heard about it. Spotted Cade Skywalker and that sketchy early drawing of him being uploaded on Wookieepedia, and I figured it for another fanon incursion. As it turned out, it was real, as was the Disney announcement. Unlike many, I was greatly pleased by the news. I expected we'd have to wait at least another decade or two before separating the franchise from George's cold, dead grasp. It was dying, and nothing they were doing was going to resuscitate it. After it changed hands, for the first time since Revenge of the Sith in 2005 (and to a lesser extent, since Return of the Jedi in 1983) the franchise was progressing again. We've stopped looking back at the trainwreck that was at least two-thirds of the prequels, and fiddling around with Clone Wars canon and cartoons. The sequel trilogy is something that should have happened a long, long time ago. In all honesty, I'd have preferred a remake of the original trilogy first (with Toshiro Mifune-inspired Japanese Obi-Wan Kenobi), then a sequel trilogy based on that, and then a remake of the prequels, but I can work with this, too. As a franchise, I think Star Wars works best when things are deciding long in advance and strict guidelines established, to establish proper continuity and prevent overlap and repetition. Otherwise we end up with Legacy of the Force and Fate of the Jedi, and nobody wants that to happen again.

    Ultimately, the current state of Star Wars is not something I particularly care about preserving. What I love is not necessarily the stories we've been told, but the underlying concept – the untapped potential. Star Wars has never achieved its full potential. A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back came close together, but Return of the Jedi failed to provide effective closure. The lack of a sequel trilogy or any further guidance on the subject has seriously hindered the long-term development of the Expanded Universe – we've never truly managed to progress beyond the original trilogy's portrayal of the Big Three and transfer them into permanent positions of respectable authority. Forty years later, and it's still up to them to flit about the galaxy in the Millennium Falcon solving everyone's problems for them. If it takes the complete and utter annihilation of everything we've built up so far to get a cohesive and focused vision for the future of the galaxy after Return of the Jedi, then that is a price I will gladly pay.

    Unlike some, I don't find the selection of J.J. Abrams particularly objectionable. He probably wasn't the best choice they could've made, but he wasn't the worst, either. As a producer, he's worked on my favorite television series of all time, as well as a movie I greatly enjoyed. As a director, I thought Star Trek was a terrible Trek movie, but a perfectly serviceable science fiction-action film as long as you don't go into with high expectations. Into Darkness was a good deal more disappointing and a waste of both Benedict Cumberbatch and his character, but it's still skies above the likes of TPM and AotC. The sequels may not be extraordinary, but I think we'd be looking more at plot holes and a weak story than Gungans and Ewoks and lines about sand, and I know which kind of bad I'd rather have. Plot holes can be covered up, and novels and games and comics can at least build on a weak foundation to create something better. Other things are much more difficult to sweep under the rug. If anything, I find the choice of Michael Arndt to write the screenplay to be considerably more confusing.

    Perhaps more than the sequel trilogy, I'm greatly interested in the potential offered by the character-centric spinoffs they've proposed. The sandbox nature of the galaxy is a weakness at times, but also a strength. Letting new talents in to play, especially if they're permitted to experiment with different genres according to the natures of the characters they're focusing on, is a serious potential goldmine. I love stories with vast casts and significant background characters, and the Galactic Civil War could've been so much better if we'd had access to that kind of multi-branched approach to looking at it from different perspectives, times, and places (I much prefer the idea of doing a great deal at once to going back later and trying to wedge things in where they might not fit). Essentially, it's like having a series of movies based on the Tales short stories, and that's something I could get behind entirely. Too often are secondary and background characters ignored in favor of the heroes – anything that contributes to supporting normals is entirely fine with me.

    If the saga were a magnificent realization of artistic vision spanning six epic films, I might be concerned about the sequel trilogy's treatment of the franchise. Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending on your point of view), we're already well past the point of no return. I will watch it for what it is, enjoy what is enjoyable, and spend the rest of my time trying to figure out how to fix whatever they screw up. Which is, more or less, exactly where we are now, except new movies coming soon holds a great deal more promise for me than new books do now.

    9. If you could re-do canon post NJO, (or any other time-period) what choices would you make, if any?

    There actually isn't a whole lot I'd change beyond the NJO – because I think the NJO itself is the point where everything went seriously off the rails, and have more or less written off everything taking place during and after it. It was such a massive and unnecessary divergence from everything that preceded it. We had hardly exhausted the story potential the Galactic Civil War and its aftermath offered to the point of needing to invent an extragalatic race of hardcore omnicidal religious-environmentalist extremists. I vastly prefer conflict between humans over matters of politics and religion and the like to “alien invasion” stories, and the Vong War is probably one of the largest alien invasion stories conceived, in terms of scale. So, let's get back to the basics. First thing I would do with canon, in any era, is set down the ground rules. You want focus, so you set aside one hundred years before ANH, and one hundred years after. This is the time period in which most stories will occur. Develop this era as much as possible before moving on to anything else. Other important ground rules: no time travel, and no magic outside the Force (sufficiently advanced technology is quite fine, however).

    ANH and ESB are, as I've noted before, fine as they are. Everything that is the essence of Star Wars is contained within those two films. Even if I got my desired remakes, it would focus more on adding to what they had, fitting in cut scenes and blending it with bits and pieces from the novelizations, comics, and earlier drafts. I've already explained to Nick the most significant alterations I'd make to Return of the Jedi – I'm pretty much fine with the bit centered around Jabba's palace, it's everything that comes after that concerns me. After RotJ, you need focus on the new government – the dissolution of the Rebel Alliance and the drafting of a new constitution, as described by West End Games. The difficulty in convincing worlds that it's time to throw off Imperial rule and assisting them with that process, as well as learning the rules of governance when you're throwing out everyone who's been involved in it for the past twenty-three years. You want the Big Three transitioning to positions of authority – Leia as high official in government, Han returning to a military career and running irregular operations through old smugglers' routes, Luke fulfilling his obligation to support the new government before heading off to establish a new Jedi Order, and Lando being himself and negotiating contracts for the new Republic (I much prefer the name Second Galactic Republic, incidentally).

    Then you've got warlords to topple, stories about Rogue Squadron and commandos liberating worlds to tell, the birth of a new Jedi Order and Luke's trials in learning how to teach instead of how to be taught, and the remnants of the Empire intriguing amongst themselves and trying to find suitable candidates to succeed His Imperial Majesty the Emperor. We never needed a Vong War – we still had decades of stories to be told. In the long term, you probably have the Empire settling into a sort of Russian or North Korean position as a rival state in the Outer Rim and other lawless regions, where the Empire successfully imposed order in place of chaos and the populations are still sufficiently grateful as to not go running off just because Mothma called. In the long term, you have stories transitioning to the next generation of heroes and their foes, the first generation of new Jedi, Luke trying to find what sort of place is suitable for his Order in the new Republic, the Republic's government dealing with regional conflicts that were suppressed by the Empire flaring up again, questions of Force philosophy when the shrunken Jedi Order is no longer able to find a new Force-wielder when they're born and they're able to develop and use their powers independently of Luke's guidance, and a great deal of other storyline potential.

    One of the other aspects of canon that bothers me is how much of the galaxy has been explored. When I saw ANH, I had the sense of Tatooine being far on the edge of the known galaxy, but also nowhere near the actual edge. I see a galaxy that is much larger than our own, with millions of uncharted and lost worlds still to be explored. There are stories of exploration and colonization still to be told, of Indiana Jones-style adventures in newly-discovered alien ruins, of powerful ancient alien artifacts being sold on the black market and falling into the wrong hands, of frontiersmen struggling on the edge of galactic civilization against pirates, raiders, and threats from the unknown, of mercenaries and pirates and princes striking out and carving new pocket empires from the darkness of primitive worlds with their private armies. When I say Star Wars has never achieved its full potential, this is what I mean. We've barely even scratched the surface of its possibilities. Star Wars is more than just a story, more than just a setting – it's a platform for freely exploring and experimenting with genres, characters, concepts, and ideals. Because of its age, and because of its unique blend of fantasy and science fiction, Star Wars has a level of freedom that virtually no other franchise is permitted, and time and time again it has failed to take advantage of that freedom, settling for the repetitive and the mundane over the exciting and the new.

    When I look at the prequels, I don't just see three somewhat terrible movies, I see everything they might have been. I see the decline of a once-great republic spanning the known galaxy from a thousand different causes while billions watch, but cannot reverse it. I see the rise and fall of heroic figures, rivaling the Trojan War in the size of its cast and their legendary status. I see regional conflicts and planetary wars springing up, the collapse of a centralized galactic government, and the desire for a powerful authority figure to push back the tide of chaos. I see a noble order of peacekeepers stretched thin in dark times, grown too larger and depended on by too many to fulfill the spiritual goals it once set for itself. I see something that could have been greater than anything the original trilogy offered. Luke was, let's face it, a bit dull. But the rise of Anakin Skywalker from obscurity to a general commanding legions, to a Jedi Master, to a hero to an entire galaxy – and his fall to become the sinister masked cyborg we saw in A New Hope? That could have blown everything the originals had to offer out of the water. This is the most frustrating part – being able to imagine everything that could have been done, and then looking at what it turned out to be.

    But despite how much I talk about the films and what came after, if you had to ask me what my favorite era was in all of Star Wars, it would be the last century of the Galactic Republic. Before Anakin and Obi-Wan there was the rise of Palpatine, the galaxy's descent into corruption, senators intriguing against each other in authentic Roman style, powerful industrial conglomerates waging trade wars against each other, and the Jedi simultaneously at their highest and lowest points. Everything in the saga comes from this period in time. It's the time for origin stories and fortunes to be built, it's the time for the great naval officers and military commanders of the Republic to prove themselves against pirates and independent warlords, it's the time for new planets to be discovered, charted, and exploited. If the Galactic Civil War is meant to be World War II, when I think of the Old Republic, I think of the late 1800s through to the 1930s (and throw in a few elements of ancient Rome and the age of freebooters). That taste of the traditional and the new mixing together (I've always found the presence of cavalry and tanks side-by-side to be quite fascinating), the elaborate military uniforms, the establishment of colonial rule, kings and emperors still reigning freely over their realms, the elaborate facial hair, adventurers and explorers journeying in search of the unknown. Perhaps the biggest change of all would be to focus on this era as much as they have on the Clone Wars and Legacy eras.

    So, to answer your question, I would redo it all, and fundamentally expand the focus of the entire Expanded Universe to encompass many more genres than it does now.

    So, regret asking that yet? :p
  4. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    10. What are your favorite movies outside of Star Wars?

    11. What are your favorite videogames, in and out of Star Wars?
  5. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    10. What are your favorite movies outside of Star Wars?

    Lawrence of Arabia comes in first. When I started it, I honestly never expected to finish it. It was extraordinarily long, and I've often found a lot of critically-acclaimed older movies haven't necessarily aged well. This one, though? It was magnificent. I simply couldn't take my eyes off it. The rest of my list doesn't have quite as clear a ranking. You see, I like it when my stories take full advantage of their format. I like my television arc-based, with a plot developing over many episodes and across seasons. I like my books lengthy and tomelike, with a level of detail unmatched by any other medium. I like my games deeply interactive, with a great deal of choice and options to guide the plot and characters to my liking. I like my movies well-paced and visual, with a clear understanding of their limitations. So, while my favorite books are often vast, historical, and hundreds of pages in length, I like my movies to have a good grasp of their action and entertainment value.

    So, in no particular order, you've got The Adventures of Tintin, which I found to be unexpectedly fantastic fun. There's also The Mask of Zorro, one of a very small handful of movies I consider truly worthy of the adventure genre (Tintin, too). I like my spy films smooth and sharp, so here we have Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the recently-released Swedish Carl Hamilton adaptations, the Bourne films (I actually quite liked Legacy - despite their reputation for realism, I think the series benefits when it veers into the domain of the slightly superhuman), and the James Bond films. I've seen quite a few of the latter, and while I favor the more modern style of the Craig movies, Brosnan has my preferred take on the character. As another long-running series of films that I don't believe have ever truly fulfilled its full potential, I think a mixture of the two (shaken, not stirred, of course) would be truly amazing.

    Despite Brosnan being my favorite Bond, that's not to say that I have anything against Sean Connery (outside of Zardoz), however. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Rock count as two more of my favorite films, the former being my favorite of all the Indiana Jones films. Like many, I also have a certain interest in superhero films, Iron Man first among them (first one was the best, third was quite good and had the best villain of the lot, second not so much). Because you cannot have Iron Man without Robert Downey Jr., I must also cite the first of his Sherlock Holmes appearances (still not the best Sherlock, though - that one is on television). I found the earthbound half of Thor vastly preferable to the Asgardian portion - his wandering around like a modern viking was by far the best part. Captain America is a bit too American for my Canadian tastes, and The Avengers was a better film than it had any right to be. Despite Batman being one of my favorite superheroes (and certainly has my favorite cast of comic book villains), I'm actually not a fan of the Dark Knight trilogy. It takes far too narrow and brief a view of Batman's career for my tastes.

    Some may also be aware that I have a certain liking for foreign films. 13 Assassins is the finest thing to come out of Japanese cinema I've seen yet, and The Good, The Bad, The Weird is the best Korean western (yes, that's a thing) I've ever watched - and maybe also the best western. Again, the aforementioned Hamilton spy films. Also of note is something an entire subgenre, notably embodied in Donnie Yen's Ip Man - martial arts films centering around China in the 1930s, frequently involving the Second Sino-Japanese War or the Chinese Civil War. For a variety of reasons, I find this period quite fascinating, and there's no shortage of movies covering it. Red Cliff and other movies covering a more ancient part of Chinese history are also worth mentioning. I had considerable hopes for the Largo Winch adaptations, but alas, they failed to meet my expectations. The Hans Kloss film is of special note - a sequel to a popular Polish television series from 1967, it brings back the actors who played both main characters from the original series in a hunt for Nazi gold, which is a plotline that I have not had the pleasure of seeing in a very long time.

    Heist films are another genre that greatly appeals to me. Sadly, I find it so rarely used that it's difficult for me to single out any one film as a favorite in it. I suppose the most distinguished one in recent memory I've seen would be Inception - in spirit, if not in precise execution. Ocean's Eleven was alright, but missing something I can't quite put my finger on. Still better than its sequels, though, so it has that going for it. The Thieves was an interesting Korean take on the heist genre, and incidentally also the second-highest grossing film in Korean history (I mean to work my way through the rest of the list at some point). The remainder of my list is a bit more disjointed, and consists mostly of movies that I don't necessarily love, but would at least rather watch than other movies I've seen but don't think worthy of mention.

    The first Die Hard, which I thought rather better than any of its sequels (granted, I enjoyed the third more than most - Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Irons, people!). Solomon Kane, which I found to be vastly superior than its reviews would have indicated (James Purefoy seems to enjoy himself no matter what he's in - in ten seconds he was the best part of John Carter). Dredd, which deserved a good deal more money than it made and needs a sequel. Movies in which Vin Diesel drives fast cars and things explode, because I have a certain degree of respect for anything willing to so blatantly disregard reality and the laws of physics in the name of a good time. The first Abrams Trek, as long as I don't think of it as Trek. Collateral (I don't really like Tom Cruise, but I keep finding myself watching his movies - it's bizarre). And, finally, Turkish Star Wars, because I have never managed to find something more incomprehensible than it.

    11. What are your favorite videogames, in and out of Star Wars?

    First place goes to the Assassin's Creed series, because it's actually managed to be more of a blender of all my favorite things in the world than Star Wars. I love history. Freerunning is fun stuff. Secret history is good. Templars make great villains. Having a hundred different ways to kill people at your disposal and a vast array of historical figures to test them on is tens of hours of fun. First time I played it, it was like they'd made an entire video game series just for me. In terms of individual quality, it goes Brotherhood, II, Revelations, the original, and everything in AC3 after the prologue. The prologue of AC3 ties with Brotherhood. Watch_Dogs, which I consider an honorary Assassin's Creed game set in the present, is also number one on my wishlist when it comes to upcoming video games.

    And, of course, taking a very close second is Crusader Kings II, which I have currently put 1069 hours into. I truly cannot heap enough praise on this magnificent game. There is nothing like it: nothing in the world. It is incredibly enjoyable, with unparalleled depth, and is also ridiculously moddable. The only thing I can criticize is that it's not popular enough and that it needs more DLC, because I need to give them more money so they can do more fun things with it and make a sequel for it. Seriously, play it. Today.

    Alpha Protocol is an incredibly underrated game that truly deserved better, even in its obviously incomplete state. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Adam Jensen didn't ask for this) was a worthy addition to the Deus Ex franchise, and I actually prefer it to the original. Dishonored is an excellent game, and I was greatly pleased to hear that it had achieved series status. Evil Genius is the best Bond villain simulator I've ever played, and that it is at long last getting a sequel made me far happier than you can imagine. I greatly enjoyed Dragon Age: Origins, and actually found Dragon Age II to be even more enjoyable. That having been said, despite being a fun game it was still a truly terrible sequel, and had an ending that felt far more like it should have been the halfway point (especially coming after a game as long as Origins was).

    To return to the topic of assassinations, I hold a certain fondness for the Hitman games, though I would prefer it if they would abandon their current course and return to focusing on substance and variety over style and console appeal. Just Cause was a fun little package of a game, and Just Cause 2 was probably the single greatest video game sequel I have ever seen - that Just Cause got a sequel in the first place was absurd, that the aforementioned sequel turned out to be a major hit and an insane improvement over the original is something that belongs in a recordbook somewhere. I occasionally enjoy Total War games, but the arrival of CK2 has rendered all over strategy games irrelevant until such a time that they copy its dynastic and role-playing mechanisms.

    Sleeping Dogs is probably the best crime game I've ever played, and I'm not just saying that because I got it for 99% off due to a bug in a Steam sale. Tom Clancy games also please me: the newer Rainbow Six games are the finest games in the shooter genre, which I'm normally not very fond of at all. Splinter Cell is always enjoyable: I don't mind the actionization of the series as much as some, I just wish the games were longer. If anything, Conviction's mechanics seemed quite suitable for a modern day Assassin's Creed, and seem to have inspired some of the mechanics of the aforementioned Watch_Dogs. The first Tropico will always be my favorite banana republic dictator simulation - the sequels have been more graphically impressive, but less enjoyable for me. Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. was also unexpectedly enjoyable - but then again, I do like slightly exaggerated fighter combat, particularly from the Ace Combat series (especially Zero).

    I was once a fan of the Mass Effect series, preferring ME2 to ME1, but the colossal shipwreck that was the ending of ME3 completely ruined an experience that had - up until that moment - seemed to be nearing perfection. Truly, as I neared the end of ME3, I felt that all the criticism had to have been overblown. Everything had fallen into place. All seemed right with the galaxy. The final battle was approaching. And then, violent derailment. Literally, the very moment I felt truly satisfied with the game, not three seconds later it dissolved my screen into a sea of white and flew me off to a bizarre parallel universe in which all my expectations were crushed and even the slightest trace of desire to replay any game in the series was annihilated.

    And before I finish, I must give great credit to the Witcher 2. After Just Cause 2, it was the most improvement I've ever seen in a sequel, and certainly the best role-playing game sequel. In comparison to Dragon Age 2 as a fantasy sequel, DA2 didn't even come close. The branching storyline was pure genius: it made it the only game that I ever felt compelled to start over the moment I finished, so as to experience the path I had declined the first time. And, guess what? It was so, so worth it. I picked the inferior path the first time, and loved it. The second playthrough turned out to be vastly better than something I already thought was phenomenal. If the Witcher 3 turns out to be anywhere near as good, this may be the first trilogy I consider to have achieved greatness in all three parts.
  6. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I read Monte Cristo in French, about 20 years ago. I remember liking it much better than Three Musketeers.

    I haven't read the English translation of either. At some point...
  7. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    There you go. It's free. Now you have no excuse not to.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  8. Gamiel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2012
    star 5
    Wait, wait people outside of Sweden actually watch Hamilton?!
  9. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    At some point, I need to get past the first mission of Deus Ex classic. Waru knows I've put enough hours into Human Revolution.
  10. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Huh -- you were right, I am a bit surprised about your movie selections -- particularly all those action films. However, I will say that I agree with you about Lawrence (David Lean's probably my favorite director, and I have the boxed collector's bluray of Lawrence that I'm waiting to watch on a friend's movie projector), I also agree that The Last Crusade is the best Indy film ("No ticket!" was my favorite scene as a child -- though Marcus Brody's ineptitude is also top among my favorites), and yeah the Marvel superhero films are actually surprisingly decent: naturally Thor is my favorite, so I liked his film and the Avengers best.

    As for games... almost agree with you about every single one of those games, though I'm shocked that your CK2 playtime is almost double mine! :p (also I forget if you've ever played TIE Fighter, and if you haven't... fix that.)
  11. JackG Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2011
    star 4
    44 days of CKII? ******* hell.
  12. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    There's also one game that I somehow managed to forget, as I haven't touched it in years now. Freelancer, which remains, to this day, the single greatest space simulation I have ever touched, and one of my favorite games of all time. Released in 2003, this is something that easily outperforms most games released in 2013. Well ahead of its time, the level of freedom was unparalleled, the depth, the stunning visuals, the systems to explore, the missions to complete, the faction system, the ships to purchase and upgrade - and all of that from a game that, like Dragon Age 2 and Alpha Protocol, did not even come close to its creator's original vision. Which I'm so excited to raise the topic of the upcoming Star Citizen, which seems like it will finally realize Chris Roberts' true vision for Freelancer, on scale that was impossible a decade ago and with a budget of twenty million dollars.
    I do. I found the first slightly better than the second, but I had no particular objections regarding them. They were quite watchable.
    I think part of it may be that, apparently unlike most people, I find it extremely difficult to get invested in performances. I can't make a connection with them, and they can't draw me in. Slower than a certain pace, and my natural critic starts kicking, my attention starts wandering and I start predicting what the next piece of dialogue is going to be, thinking about how the script could've been improved, evaluating the casting decisions, and otherwise spending more time analyzing than watching. Action films, for all their failings, can generally keep moving at a pace swift enough to keep me from growing tired of them quite as quickly.

    If it's a historical or semi-historical film, then I much prefer just to go read a book and get the complete, non-Hollywood version of the story. Movies like Lawrence of Arabia are an exception, of course, but performances and visuals like that are extremely rare. Foreign films tend to do better with me - I'm less likely to already be familiar with any potential inaccuracies, I don't understand the language well enough to criticize wording and dialogue choices, and the plots don't conform to the usual set of Hollywood expectations nearly as often.
  13. Barriss_Coffee Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2003
    star 6
    @The Loyal Imperial: While I don't agree with your take on the NJO, you're one of the few I've seen provide a reasonable assessment as to why you didn't think it was necessary that I can understand.

    And Lawrence of Arabia!!!!!! I love that film! It's sort of sad so few people today have any desire to watch it.
  14. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
    I also have an issue with rewriting dialogue and scenes in my head particularly with movie adaptations of books I've read.

    Did you have ever play the G-Police series? I think it would be up your alley, besides the dated graphics. Also the first Final Fantasy Tactics. (This is just an addendum to the last question :p )
  15. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    I have not had the chance to play G-Police, Final Fantasy Tactics, or TIE Fighter. Though, speaking of police, I would also like to see another SWAT game someday - it was like a more grounded and realistic Rainbow Six, and quite enjoyable (and also spawned my favorite narrated video game playthrough of all time). Compliments should also be extended to Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood, which was one of the finest and most enjoyable versions of the Robin Hood legend I have seen in any format - not that there are many to choose from.
  16. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    G-Police is pretty fun. It takes place in 2097 on one of Jupiter's colonized moons, Callisto where powerful corporations control the colony with the only Earth government presence being the outgunned police force who fly VTOL gunships. You're a veteran of the Mars War, and you join the force since your sister, a Lieutentant there, dies mysteriously and you want to find out what happened. At first you end up fighting gangs, then later in the game
    G-Police (open)
    intervening in a war between the two most powerful corporations and uncovering the conspiracy that led to your sister's (and others') deaths. It ends with a homage to RotJ where you fly inside a massive battleship under construction and destroy its reactor.


    The sequel involves gang warfare breaking out again on Callisto since G-Police lost a lot of people in the last game. The Earth government sends a force of Marines to help keep order, but
    G-Police 2 (open)
    the Marine commander decides to seize power for himself which leads to battles between the G-Police and loyal Marines vs the Commander and his Marines. There ends up being space battles including a Death Star type trench run on one of his battleships.


    Final Fantasy Tactics is great not for its battles but for its politics. (I only played the original, not the remake where the names have slightly changed). It's in the fictional country of Ivalice soon after the Fifty Years War where a group of war veterans called the Death Knights terrorize Ivalice wanting more freedom and respect from the nobility. At the same time, the King of Ivalice, Omdoria, dies suddenly leaving two children; a teenage girl named Ovelia (the daughter of the King's first wife) and the infant boy Orinas, the son of the second wife Queen Ruvelia who is now the power-hungry regent. Different nobles back the two children and it spills out into the Lion War.

    Anyway you're in control of the youngest son of the powerful Beoulve family, and noted JCF administrator @Ramza :p (Seriously that's his name) who is a newly promoted Knight in the shadow of his two older brothers Dycedarg, the head of the Beoulve family and Zalbag, a famous military commander. You start off fighting the Death Knights, then later getting drawn into the competing factions for the throne, and then the all-out Lion War. Ovelia is supported by Duke Goltana who has the backing of most of the nobles since they believe Ruvelia will seize the throne for herself through her son and kill her step-daughter. Orinas is supported by Duke Larg, Ruvelia's brother, whose supporters include your family, the Beoulves.


    FFT (open)
    By this time though, you've broken with your brothers and are attempting to restore peace to both sides. Your best friend, and adoptive brother, Delita, also is important as he kidnaps the Princess Ovelia and attempts to use her for his own ends. You find out he's working on behalf of the Church of Glabados (almost a direct analog to the Catholic Church) and that they are playing off both sides against each other to increase the Church's power. You end up finding out that the Church itself is being manipulated by the Templar Knights, its military wing as well. Delita is also working for the Church and for the Templars but he's manipulating both for his own ends as well

    The interesting thing about the Church is that it inverts the story of Jesus. The Jesus-type figure, St Ajora, had made a deal with a group of demons called the Lucavi and was now possessed by the head of them, Altima who wished to take down the Roman Empire analog at the time (whose name I forget). Ajora/Altima did, but was betrayed by a disciple, Germonis and executed. Germonis was reviled as a traitor when the Church of Glabados rose, but in this case, fictional Judas was the good guy and fictional Jesus was the bad one.

    Anyway the Templars wish to bring back Altima and the rest of the Lucavi and are manipulating the Church who is manipulating the the sides of the Lion War. You find out that Dycedarg made a deal with the Lucavi and is now possessed by one. Both Larg and Goltana die, as well as Dycedarg and Zalbag, and everything turns into a bloody free for all until you lead a strike team that tries to take down the resurrected Altima once and for all.


    Anyway you should really play it. It's actually my favorite game (even over CKII) due to its great politics and intrigue and a better fighting system than the other Final Fantasy games. It's very ASOIAF in the politics, though it was released only a year after AGoT was released, It's limited to PlayStation unfortunately. You can download it off of PSN. The updated version which adds better cutscenes and fixes translations and names is on the PSP.
    Last edited by Point Given, Sep 27, 2013
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  17. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    12. What are your favorite quotes? (Fictional/said by real people, etc.)

    13. What's your favorite food? What's your favorite alcoholic drink?
  18. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    @The Loyal Imperial

    I nearly got into Mass Effect right around the time ME3 came out. For years, I had heard how amazing the series was and how it crafted a universe that was rich and interconnected. By the time I finally got to a point where I was willing to give it a shot, I heard fans state how horrible the ending was. The cries were bad enough that I didn't start the series as I wasn't prepared to invest all that time to be disappointed at the end.

    Jumping back for a moment to ROTJ, I noticed you said you only liked the Jabba parts. Are you not a fan of the Endor space battle or the confrontation with the Emperor? For me personally, if you remove the Ewoks and the ground portion of Endor and you have a really solid movie.

    --Adm. Nick
  19. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    Eh, honestly, the ME trilogy's problems kick off in ME2. I'm convinced that almost every issue ME3 has is a result of ME2's failure to advance the overarching narrative.

    I wasn't a huge fan of the sudden genre shift into SUPERHEROES IN SPACE, either.

    That being said, they're still fantastic games, and I'd totally recommend playing through them.
  20. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

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    That's a pretty damn good taste in movies, LI. Still, I kinda want to see Zardoz just for that memetastic outfit Connery wears.
  21. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    re: Final Fantasy Tactics, a bunch of my friends have recommended that to me too. I've gotten the remastered iOS version, but sadly playing it on a tiny iPhone screen is just unworthy -- the controls are so difficult. I could play it on an iPad but then I'd have to get an iPad, and I'm morally opposed to those things. :p
  22. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    12. What are your favorite quotes? (Fictional/said by real people, etc.)
    13. What's your favorite food? What's your favorite alcoholic drink?

    Alas, this answer will probably be the shortest and least interesting of any so far. Throw in an extra question next and I'll make up for it. Due to an unfortunate quirk of my immune system, the consumption of most common foods (anything ranging from dairy and eggs to beef and bananas, and many more) would have immediate and quite fatal consequences. The smell alone is often sufficient to cause significant difficulty breathing. What little remains that is edible ranges from the bland to the truly disgusting. I cannot say that anything I've ever been able to eat has tasted anywhere close to good enough to warrant my labeling of it as a favorite. And as for alcoholic drinks, I've never consumed alcohol and it doesn't seem particularly likely that that will change in the foreseeable future. So, in short, I suppose the answer is that in this area, I have no favorites to speak of.
    I have no particular issues with the confrontation with His Imperial Majesty the Emperor, beyond the almost too-convenient shaft he was so rudely and suddenly deposited into. There are a few bits that could've done with a bit of tightening up, and I liked the part – I think it was from the novelization – where Luke actually managed to hold back the torrent of Force lightning at the start, which was presumably also the inspiration for Yoda's ability to do so in the prequels. I do like the space battle, but it also has considerably more elements that I would wish to see changed than Jabba's palace sequence. Leaving aside the decision to set it over Endor instead of Coruscant, the choice of Lando to lead the attack on the second Death Star is a touch problematic for me, especially after two movies spent building up Han's incredible piloting skills. To abruptly dump Han into a commando role and gift Lando with phenomenal piloting skills is waste of both their talents. Ideally, I'd much rather have Han in the cockpit, Lando with the fleet, and Leia and Chewbacca leading the ground assault.

    The destruction of the Executor is another aspect I find distasteful, largely for the same reason I dislike seeing Ewoks crushing Imperial legions – it does a great disservice to several different parties. If the Empire's troops and ships are so easily brought down, then that is obviously insulting to them. On the other hand, it's also offensive to the rebels – how is it that their war was such a desperate one when diminutive teddy bears and Kamikaze attack or two are all you need to win? Furthermore, it does a disservice to the audience that is expected to believe that the Imperial stormtroopers and the titanic flagship of the vaunted Imperial Navy that so impressed in previous films will go down with astonishing ease as soon as it's convenient for the plot. Endor is your one chance in the original trilogy for a truly grand naval battle: don't waste the biggest ship in the fight. Let's see the entire rebel fleet coordinating to bring it down in an appropriate moment of triumph for them and a good showing for the Executor's crew.

    My other issue with the space battle is that we didn't see nearly enough of it, though this is a problem that extends to the main battles in all three original films. We are told that this a conflict fought over the fate of the galaxy, but technological and budget limitations meant that it was difficult for them to actually show that. We needed to see more, more ships (and a greater variety of models), fighters launching from the decks of carriers, more perspective from other pilots and captains, a greater diversity of rebels to show how many factions have come together for this moment, more broadsides and maneuvers, a greater sense of desperation on the part of the rebels to truly sell the impression that they've been lured into a trap and that this really might be the end for them. So, to answer your question, I'm a fan of both, but I still think they could use as much improvement and expansion as the rest of the film.
  23. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    As always, good filmic criticism and analysis. Why don't you post more? We could use more of this!


    Also -- fine quote selection. That Canadian one is very interesting. And of course, Napoleon is always eminently quotable -- the guy had a knack for that kind of thing. My favorite of his:

    That quote gets me every time.
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  24. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Because this is Literature, not Classic Trilogy. :p
  25. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    psh, we have plenty of OT-era EU that fleshes things out -- including the novelizations themselves!