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  1. Episode X: A New Faith. Episode XI: Fall of the Insurgence. Episode XII: Rise of the Republic. "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." STAR WARS Episode X A New Faith "The age of darkness has descended once more upon the galaxy, as a new threat emerges in the form of THE REGIME, having arisen from the ashes of the First Order and seeking galactic dominance, a new army formed by the Republic, THE INSURGENCE goes to war to save the galaxy from tyranny once more. As the Republic meanwhile tries to uphold peace, justice and freedom in the parts of the galaxy that it can, former ace pilot of the Resistance now general Poe Dameron calls upon the help of an old friend whose location is situated in the Outer Rim, where territories are constantly being fought over during these times of crisis..." Planet Tomaz-The Outer Rim. A young boy is seen among a field of grass looking up towards the sky, as he looks up, he sees small stars going out one by one, suddenly, his mother calls to him, telling him to come home, the boy leaves and returns to his mother, revealed to be Rey, Rey says to the boy that she hopes that the boy wasn't looking out towards the sky again, the boy lies and says no, however, Rey, using the Force in a playful manner hits the boy behind the head with a small apple before getting slightly angry and telling the boy that she knows that he has been looking up towards the sky, he even secretly goes out at night to watch the stars flicker out into dust in space, the boy says he is sorry and promises never to do it again, Rey then remorsefully looks on at the boy, bends down to his level, strokes his hair before tightly hugging him, she says to the boy that she only wants what's best for the boy and that she tells him that going out into space one day won't make things better for him, for his life, as a whole, its better to stay close to the ground, surrounded by those that the boy knows and loves, grow up to be a strong, independent man and one day inherit their local farm full of greenhouses and vegetables, she then lastly calls out the boy's name, Aelec, wondering if Aelec agrees with her, he silently nods his head and proceeds to hug her but not before gazing out the house window, seeing the sky outside, as it starts to rain and thunderstorms and clouds start appearing, Rey gets backup on her feet and closes the curtains to the house window, not wanting the storms to frighten Aelec. 10 Years Later-The Present Day. Above Planet Tomaz. On-board a Regime Star Destroyer, the Vanquisher, a gold coloured Storm-trooper, Praetor Vorn Karis, is seen interrogating a hooded man who a normal white coloured Storm-trooper takes the hood off and identifies, as a elderly Finn with dreadlocks and a white coloured beard, Karis wants Finn to give him the location of the Droid he used to steal the secret plans of the Regime, Finn however, proceeds to spit on Karis' helmet and says that he refuses to reveal anything to the likes of the Regime, its then that Karis says to Finn that he seems to misinterpret two things, one is that the Regime isn't the organization that both Finn and everyone else in the galaxy make it out to be, it is a peace keeping organization, true, the Regime wears the mantles of the Empire and the First Order but unlike them, the Regime are not galactic tyrants, nor are they terrorists, they simply wish to establish universal galactic order whereas the Republic will not, before Karis can speak further, he is then interrupted by Finn saying to Karis that what the Regime seek is nothing more then complete and utter total bloodshed, Karis sighs knowing that this conversation is going nowhere so he decides to skip right to the 2nd thing he was going to tell Finn and that is that Finn isn't going to tell them anything, he won't have to...its then that Karis clicks his fingers and summons forth a dark shrouded figure covering his face, he walks up to Finn just, as the door closes behind the figure and then screaming could be heard shouting out from the room... Below On Planet Tomaz. Suddenly, a man is seen screaming before lifting his head and then proceeding to calm down, he wipes sweat off his head and wonders what was he just experiencing just then? he then hears a voice call out to him, the man answers the voice and proceeds to head towards it but not before closing up some greenhouses and then riding on a nearby small Speeder to his home, it was here that the man was greeted outside his house by his mother, an elderly Rey with wrinkles and crow's feet who welcomes her son, a grown up Aelec back home, the scene skips and the two are seen both cooking and then eating dinner whilst using the Force, as a leisure, Rey asks Aelec are the vegetables fully grown yet? for she does not want to sell vegetables in town nearby that people can't properly eat, especially since the annual vegetable competition is coming up, Aelec then asks his mother Rey a question, why doesn't she enter the competition herself for once instead of just selling food on the sidelines? on that note, how come she never goes to space ports and tries to sell them there but before he could continue speaking, Rey points her finger to Aelec, hinting to him to move his head a little forward to her, only to then get smacked on the head, as Rey says to Aelec that they have been over this and Rey quotes their family motto, to seek not, to want not, that is the way that both she and Aelec have been living over the years and intends to keep it that way, Aelec then whispers to himself then there is no point trying to achieve anything, to work anything, Rey questions what Aelec is muttering under his teeth and he suddenly snaps, shocking Rey, as Aelec asks her a few questions about their family, about their history and most importantly, about his life in particular, how come they can do the things that they can with the Force? why hasn't Rey ever told him about his father, other then the fact that his last name was Solo and finally, last but not least, why doesn't Rey ever want him to go near spaceports or to look up at the stars within the sky? does she think that Aelec was blind? he has always known what those stars were, they were spaceships belonging to both the Regime and the Insurgence, fighting it out against one another across in space all over the Outer Rim with the people on the planets below looking up towards them in the sky, trying to not get themselves involved of which so far that fortunately hasn't happened even after all this years when Aelec was just a boy, born a few years after the Regime was created and had then later started its war against the Republic, Aelec found out the truth about the spaceships when he heard people gossiping among themselves at a food market in town and then one day, not too far away from where Rey's farm is, a heavily damaged X-Wing belonging to an Insurgence pilot crash landed with the pilot on his deathbed before then suddenly dying but not before dropping a Blaster towards the ground, as he hanged over his cockpit, Aelec saw the pilot laying there dead and then saw his Blaster, he proceeded to pick it up and take it home, hiding it in secret from Rey until now when he shows the Blaster to her, upon immediately revealing the Blaster to her, Rey slaps Aelec across his face before suddenly realizing her mistake, as she sees that Aelec was hurting and not from the physical pain he just felt across his cheek but rather from all of the secrets that Rey has been keeping from him and all of the lies that she has been feeding him also over all these years, Aelec simply asks with small tears running down his eyes one question, just one question...who is he? is he truly Rey's child? just who is he? just who is Aelec really? ...before Rey could answer Aelec, suddenly, large gunfire could be heard from outside, the house was shaking, pottery was falling from up above down to the ground smashing and both Aelec and Rey held on to each other, as they tried to stand still together to stop themselves from shaking with all of it going around everywhere... Above Planet Tomaz-The Vanquisher. (To be continued, what does everyone think of the story so far :]?).
  2. I'm sure that many of us have some sort of fictional work, a movie perhaps, that's had a major impact on our lives. Something that we love to death and that we never get tired of. Something we grew up with and that potentially shaped us as a person. For me, that would be the Star Wars films. I've been a fan ever since my mom and dad introduced me to the franchise at an incredibly young age with A New Hope (I wouldn't be surprised if it was the first movie I ever saw, this series is huge in my family). With Rogue One on the horizon and my annual watching of the films (which I should really start doing more than once a year), I thought that it'd be fun to share my thoughts on each of them as I watch them. I don't know if I'd really call this a review; I'm sure most of us have seen at least one of these movies at some point. It's really just a way of sharing my personal feelings on this incredible series, hence the quotation marks around the word "review" in the thread title as I had no clue what else to go with. My plan is to watch one of them a day starting today: I'll be doing the Original Trilogy, Prequel Trilogy, and then end off with The Force Awakens. If possible, I'd absolutely enjoy doing a little write-up for Rogue One after I see that one as well. Now, without further ado, let's go back a long time ago, to a galaxy far, far, away... Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) The very first Star Wars movie, originally given the simple title of Star Wars but later given the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope to fit in with the five other planned episodes of the saga, was a massive hit. Being born 20 years after its release, I didn't get to experience its roots first-hand, but even today, this film is incredibly iconic and popular. Inspired by prior science-fiction, Western, and Japanese Samurai films, A New Hope was able to successfully garner the attention of the masses and spawn two trilogies, two additional upcoming trilogies, and a massive Expanded Universe of content. To think that so much came out of this one movie is incredible, but every time I watch it, I'm reminded of just what makes it so great. To clarify for the purposes of this "review," The version I watched was the 1995 VHS release, which was the final release before George Lucas put the Special Edition into circulation and stopped producing the original cut. While none of the home releases were the exact same as the original theatrical release, any version released prior to the 1997 Special Edition set is about as close as you'll get. I'm not going to go into detail on the differences between the older releases and the Special Edition cuts, but for those unfamiliar, the Special Editions were George Lucas' way of expanding upon the films after their release through the usage of CGI. These editions of the movie are controversial among die-hard Star Wars fans (The most popular example being the "Han shot first" debate that's still raging to this day), but if you pick up a DVD or Blu-Ray release, it's going to be the Special Edition. I personally found these VHS copies over the Summer at a local Goodwill for $1 a piece, so if you're looking for them, thrift stores would be my recommendation. Now, with that out of the way, let's get to talking about the movie itself! For anyone who's been living under a rock for the past 39 years, let me give a quick synopsis of A New Hope's plot. The film tells the story of Luke Skywalker, a young man living with his uncle and aunt on their moisture farm on the desert planet of Tatooine. One day, he comes across two droids named R2-D2 and C-3PO, both of whom had been caught in the midst of a war between the oppressive Galactic Empire and the Rebellion. R2-D2 contains a message from Princess Leia, an important leader of the Rebellion: the message's intended reciver is a man named Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke and the droids meet Ben Kenobi, an old hermit living in the Dune Seas of Tatooine, and learn that he is actually Obi-Wan, a former general in the Clone Wars and a Jedi Knight who knew Luke's father. This chain of events sets the four off on a journey across the galaxy where they meet smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and the evil Darth Vader. The film ends with the climactic battle between the Rebellion and the Empire to destroy the Empire's space station; while it ends in victory, Darth Vader is blasted away in his TIE Fighter beforehand, allowing him to survive... One of the greatest things about this film is the characters and their team dynamics. Each character develops: Luke goes from being a farm boy uncertain about his future to a courageous hero of the Rebellion, while Han begins as an uncaring smuggler who's only in it for the money but later decides to stay and help the team in their final battle, and those are just a couple of examples. Their interactions are genuine, and every major character feels important. In addition, the villain, Darth Vader, is an intimidating, cruel, and terrifying man. He doesn't get a whole lot of screentime, but every time we see him, he proves how threatening he is. Every character in this film is portrayed in an excellent way. The world-building is another one of my personal favorite aspects of the series, and it all begins here. Despite only really taking place on one planet, a moon, a space station, and a ship, the world itself feels expansive. The alien technology and terminology, the varying settings, and the vast shots of how huge this galaxy is really show how fleshed out this world feels. There are all sorts of alien species, from the Jawas to everyone's favorite Wookie, and no place brings this out as much as Mos Eisley. All sorts of varying aliens, people, and droids show up here; the cantina especially is filled with all sorts of interesting characters, even though many don't even speak a line of dialogue. It makes the world feel incredibly expansive and alive. This is probably what gave me a love for expansive, fleshed-out worlds in the first place: the world of Star Wars is massive and it's easy to get that sense. The special effects were yet another thing that made this movie incredible when it first came out, and still to this day. Back before CGI was such a widespread effect, the Star Wars team had to rely mostly on practical effects; the droids and aliens are all puppets or people in costumes, and this helps them seem more alive than they would be if they were simply CGI; for comparison, the CGI aliens added in the Special Edition just feel out of place. The ones in the original cut feel natural. Of course, the effects for the battles also worked. The smooth flight of the space ships, the bolts of blasters, and the iconic lightsaber were impressive for their time, and still look fantastic today. Even though their age shows a bit more these days, the effects still hold up very well. The sound effects are memorable as well: every shot of the blaster, the screech of a TIE Fighter, and the crackling of the lightsaber are sounds that are impossible to forget for fans of the franchise. The effects, visual and sound-related, made the movie even more alive. Of course, going off of the sound effects, it's impossible to give a detailed opinion piece on the paper without going into the music. John Williams' composition for the film is fantastic; the iconic main theme I included above is obviously the most memorable piece, but the entire soundtrack is incredible. The character themes fit their characters perfectly, the battle themes are just as tense or exciting as they need to be, and the concluding fanfare is the perfect piece to end the movie off on. There's probably a lot more that could be said about this movie, but I've gone on for long enough already. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is a cultural icon and one of the most influential and important films of all time; it's amassed many sequels, prequels, and a huge following, one that I'm proud to be a member of. Looking back on this movie, it's easy to see how it created such a massive franchise: all of its individual elements come together in a way that's unique, fun, and mesmerizing. How could anything possibly follow up after this movie? Well, we'll find that out tomorrow when I discuss Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back!
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