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Showing posts from 2019

Talking About 'Star Wars' Fanmunism

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Is Disney destroying Star Wars over George Lucas royalties? Whatever gave you that idea? Look. As a Star Wars fan who has seen every Star Wars film (including the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie from 2008) in theaters, there is nothing more mind-bogglingly annoying than other fans who come up with silly theories such as The Walt Disney Company is destroying Star Wars so George Lucas can’t earn royalties. First of all, just because a vocal and persistent minority of the fandom has obsessively jumped on the Disney ruined Star Wars bandwagon for any of reasons does not mean that theories such as this one are valid, much less based on reality. The Internet is crawling with toxic fans who hate the Sequel Trilogy - especially The Last Jedi - for a plethora of cinematic sins, real or (mostly) imagined, including: J.J. Abrams ignored the Expanded UniverseToo many SJW tropes and minority charactersRian Johnson is a twit who ruined Luke SkywalkerLeia Organa = Mary Poppins in The Last …

Talking About Today's Military: When did the USA stop using non-combatant medics on the front line?

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When did the USA stop using non-combatant medics on the front line?
While it is true that in most of the 20th Century conflicts the United State fought in medics were not armed or participated in actual fighting, the nature of the enemy and how military medical personnel are treated by the enemy have changed. In World War II, for instance, most of the belligerents were signatories of The Hague Convention, which laid out the rules governing the treatment of combatants and non-combatants during times of war. Even Nazi Germany adhered to those rules in most cases, with the notable exception of how the Third Reich treated Jews and Soviet prisoners of war. (The Soviet Union and Japan were not signatories, so their record on how they treated prisoners was not exactly laudable. One of the many rules of war that most of the warring nations observed was that medical personnel did not carry weapons and had to wear distinguishing brassards or helmet insignia that bore the Red Cross or the Red Cr…

Talking About 'Star Wars': Why does the writer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi think it is plausible for Princess Leia to survive the vacuum of space without a spacesuit?

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Why does the writer of Star Wars: The Last Jedi think it is plausible for Princess Leia to survive the vacuum of space without a spacesuit? Let me ask you this: Why did George Lucas think it is plausible for starfighters to fly through the vacuum of space and maneuver exactly like jet fighters in atmospheric flight without all the complications of reaction control systems, complicated life support systems, and all of the known problems that space travel poses? Why did George Lucas think it was plausible for any civilization, even an advanced one with tech supposedly far more advanced than ours, to build a space station the size of a small moon? Why did George Lucas think it was plausible that a space station the size of a small moon could travel through hyperspace without creating a noticeable gravitational disturbance in its path and wake? Why do the crew and passengers of any starship, including the Millennium Falcon, fly in and out of space in a “shirtsleeves environment,” even dur…

Conservative Pundit Goes Wild: Why does Michelle Malkin accuse Cokie Roberts of "fake news"?

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Why does Michelle Malkin accuse Cokie Roberts of "fake news"?

“I distinctly remember that she was one of the first guilty culprits of fake news." - Michelle Malkin Let’s compare the career tracks of Michelle Malkin and the late Cokie Roberts, shall we? Michelle Malkin is the daughter of Filipino immigrants who she describes as “Ronald Reagan Republicans” who are not politically active. She majored in English at Oberlin College, which is one of the first post-secondary educational institutions to admit women and African-American students in the U.S. Even at an early age, Michelle Maglagan (her birth name) was a die-hard conservative; in an article she wrote for the student newspaper, she criticized Oberlin’s affirmative action admissions policy. Although Malkin has done some journalism work, she is not a professional reporter. She’s an “op-ed” columnist, which means she provides opinion-based articles as a syndicated writer for Creators Syndicate. She has also been affili…

Refuting Confederate Revisionism: Why can't the Civil War be called the "War of Northern Aggression" or a war about states' rights?

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Why can't the Civil War be called the "War of Northern Aggression" or a war about states' rights? Because those descriptions of the Civil War are deceitful and odious revisionism of history, that’s why. First of all, the Federal government tried to avoid bloodshed from the time of South Carolina’s secession (December 20, 1860) till Lincoln’s Inauguration (March 4, 1860) and on until the morning of April 12, 1861. Lincoln even addressed the issue of slavery in the South in his Inaugural Address, saying that the government was not going to abolish slavery in the states where it was already legal. Second, who fired the first shots of the Civil War? It was not the United States Army (or Navy, for that matter) who did so; it was the Confederate Army that let loose the first cannon shot against Ft. Sumter in Charleston (SC) harbor. So if the Civil War were to be renamed “the War of X Aggression,” the only apt style of doing so is by substituting “Southern” for X. Third, th…

Talking About World War II: When the US entered WWII, how far did geography determine where a draftee would be deployed?

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Geography was not a factor in most cases. If you were living in Miami, Florida any time after the draft was reinstated in the fall of 1940 (due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s declaration of a national emergency) and happened to get the “Greetings! The President of the United States and your neighbors…” letter from the Selective Service office, where you went while in the armed forces was pretty much determined by the needs of the service branch you were in. Thus, if you were a Floridian, you would not necessarily be sent to the Caribbean Command, North Africa, or the European Theater of Operations/ETO (including the Mediterranean Theater). You could be just as easily be sent to serve in the China-Burma-India Theater, the Philippines (before Pearl Harbor), or the South Pacific. Heck, you also had a chance to be stationed Stateside, if the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard needed you there. The only major exception to this: the Japanese-American volunteers who served in th…

Talking About 'Star Wars' Legends: Could Mara Jade Skywalker be incorporated into a canon Star Wars TV series or a movie?

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Could Mara Jade Skywalker be incorporated into a canon Star Wars TV series or a movie?

Yes, but it probably would not be done in a way that fans of the old Expanded Universe would like. As originally written in the 1990s and early 2000s, the iconic Emperor’s Hand who becomes an ally (and more) to Luke Skywalker would not be a good fit for the current canon. Why? For starters, the ship for making Mara Jade, aka Mara Jade Skywalker, into a canon character (i.e., a major supporting character in an official Lucasfilm Ltd. production) sailed a long time ago in a production company that operates in a land not very far away (California). Mara Jade is a character whose most important story arc occurs in the 1991–93 Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command). She was created by Timothy Zahn, a Hugo Award-winning author whose Star Wars novels stand out like diamonds in a sea of zirconias in the muddled mess that is the Star Wars Expanded Universe (which Lucasfi…

Beating a Dead Tauntaun Department, Part Two: Is there such a thing as Grey Jedi?

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On Quora, Jason Lowman asks:
Is there such a thing as Grey Jedi?
Grey Jedi exist only in the minds of Star Wars fans who are enthralled with the idea that a Jedi Knight can use both the dark and light side of the Force without suffering the fate of Darth Vader or Assajj Ventress. Other Quora members, such as Mike Prinke and Eric Lowe, have written extensively on the topic of the non-existence of Grey Jedi. They’ve pointed out the same facts about the “Grey Jedi” mythos, which are: There’s no mention of “Grey Jedi” anywhere in the official Star Wars canon, especially in the material that most counts: the eight (soon to be nine) Skywalker Saga films, the three existing Lucasfilm Animation TV series, or any of the canonical novels, comic books, or post-2014 Lucasfilm-licensed video gamesNone of the maverick Jedi characters seen or mentioned in the aforementioned canon are Grey Jedi. Not Qui-Gon Jinn. Not Ahsoka Tano. Not Quinlan Vos. Not Mace Windu.The Lucasfilm Story Group, the arbiter of…

Refuting Conservative Propaganda: My Reply to 'When will the left finally realize who really colluded with foreign countries to influence the 2016 presidential election?'

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On Quora, Trump supporter Jeff Blake asks this insincere question:  When will the left finally realize who really colluded with foreign countries to influence the 2016 presidential election? My reply:  News flash, sweet summer child: The “left,” the “center,” and the sane, honest members of the “right” are painfully aware that it was the Republican Party and - especially - the Trump campaign team who colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 general election. It’s only most of the “right,” particularly the die-hard core of Trump supporters and the craven leadership of the GOP, that constantly bangs on the “No collusion, no obstruction” drum. The Red Cap Brigade uses several tactics to gaslight the public and hide the modern-day Republican Party’s cozy relations with the Russians. They range from outright denial (“Russia did not intervene in the 2016 election at all.”) to clever deflection (“Russia did intervene, but only to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”) to outright defiance …

Talking About 'Star Wars': Are Star Wars animated series only placeholder canon until the movies decide what actually happened during that time frame?

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Are Star Wars animated series only placeholder canon until the movies decide what actually happened during that time frame?

No. Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Star Wars: Resistance are coequal in canon to the live-action films. Especially Star Wars: The Clone Wars, because that series was created and executive produced by George Lucas and was the last Star Wars content he personally oversaw. The only animated series that meets the “placeholder” criteria is the 2003–2005 Star Wars: Clone Wars 2-D micro-series created by Genndy Tartakovsky and co-produced by Lucasfilm and Cartoon Network. Intended as a means to bridge the three-year in-universe gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Tartakovsky’s series was just one of many elements in Lucasfilm’s multimedia Clone Wars campaign, as well as a backdoor pilot to George Lucas’s CGI animated series. Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In the early days of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Lucasfilm’s official stance was …

'Star Wars' Collectibles & Toys Review: Hasbro 'Star Wars Saga' TIE Fighter (Imperial Dogfight) and Imperial Pilot (2003)

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Part One: The first TIE Fighter versions: Good but flawed...

Ever since 1978, the year Kenner Toys (now Hasbro) started the Star Wars action figure collection and its assortment of vehicles and playsets, one of the mainstays has always been the Empire's Twin Ion Engine (TIE) fighter.
Unlike the first production version of its Rebel counterparts (the X-Wing and Millennium Falcon), it has always been proportionate in scale to the 3.75-inch figures, mainly because of its layout -- ball-shaped cockpit connected to two hexagonal solar panels that give the TIE its distinctive H-shape -- is simple and efficient. It could hold one figure -- at first, collectors had no choice but to use either Darth Vader (until he got his own TIE-Advanced X-1 fighter) or a stormtrooper until later runs of figures finally included the TIE Fighter pilot. To simulate severe battle damage during play, two spring-…