TacotheKid2282

The Death of Star Wars

In star wars, Uncategorized on April 21, 2020 at 10:33 PM

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…

To anyone who has been a live in the last fifty years, that is an iconic opening line and I’d be willing to bet that anyone alive can tell you what that came from. For me, however I think that Disney killed that franchise for me, sadly. I didn’t care much for Star Wars as a kid, but after my dad passed away, I watched Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith, and after that, I was more hooked on it than I had ever been. I liked the battle between Anikin and Obi-Wan at the end and then I couldn’t get enough of it. I had to have everything that I could get my hands on about Star Wars! Then fast forward to 2012 and the mouse was buying the Jedi and I was happy. I was happier still that they announced that they had plans to make a different Star Wars movie every year for about five years, and then start making anthology films. My heart was full of love that day and happiness because Disney had plans to continue making more Star Wars movies, including a stand alone Boba Fett movie, and I was overjoyed. Then it all came crashing down about a few months later…

 

No More Expanded Universe!?

When Disney announced that anything that was not the six original films and the Clone Wars TV show, than it was no longer cannon, and are now considered to be “Legends” instead. That meant that we had no hopes of seeing fan-favorites like Mara Jade Skywalker, the assassin sent by Palpatine moments after being tossed into the reactor shaft at the end of Jedi to kill Luke Skywalker. Nor would we be seeing other stories like the Youzan Vong, the death of Chewie, and others like Revan. The events of Knights of the Old Republic where great and made for a fantastic story and would make a badass movie or two, but no. No, we wouldn’t be seeing that at all, in fact nothing from KOTOR would ever be mentioned by Disney again, and all I have to ask is…why? They could have kept the EU in tact and just built their own movies around that. They could have kept the EU and chose to make movies based on that. Hell, it would be something better than remaking A New Hope with a female lead, at any rate. They could have told the original story of how Chewie was saved by Han, and that is how they became friends (Chewie was paying a Life-debt to Han, btw). It’s not all doom and gloom, though despite what you just read.

 

The EU is Trickling Back

And I’m ok with that. It is coming back in drips and drops, and so far they haven’t done much to make me hate them anymore, but they also haven’t done enough to make me forgive them, either. They are dropping little bits of the EU, at least enough that can fit into their new cannon, that is. They re-canonized the planet Mandalore, and even mentioned that a Jedi helped to win the war there, but they didn’t say much more about it, certainly didn’t say that Revan was the Jedi that lead the effort to stop the Mandalorians from taking over the galaxy. They did say that anything in the games moving forward from the date that Disney purchased Lucasfilm would be cannon. In one of their games, the overpriced demo that was the remake of Battlefront I, they mentioned that Han Solo did work for Cerka, the shady business that was trying to take over the galaxy in a sense…I’m sure that it’s only a coincidence that it sounds an awful like Disney… They did say that Revan, or at least his name and (hopefully) his Lightsaber crystal where cannon again. The crystal was only known as “The Jedi Crusader’s Crystal”, and as of writing this, there is only one Jedi Crusader, the aforementioned Revan. That gave me a little bit more…hope for the future…but it was dashed pretty quickly…

 

The Movies are Terrible

And that is why the franchise is dead to me. Not because they made some bad movies, but it’s because the movies are so damned terrible, and there is no cohesive story to the last three movies that they made. There was no reason to make Rey a female Luke Skywalker, even though I did kind of like The Force Awakens. There was no reason to make the same damn movies they did the first time. How many times has the Darkside, the Sith, the First Order, whatever they are called need to have their planet-blower-upper-gun blown up before they realize that it was a bad idea? The Emperor didn’t learn his lesson the first time, so he did it again. The First Order didn’t learn from those mistakes, either, and turned an entire planet into one that was blown up, too… The fact that the second movie, The Last Jedi undid everything that Lucas had done for the lore. I mean…ok, how does Luke Skywalker still see the good in Darth Vader, the most evil man in the galaxy, yet he sees just a hint of the Darkside in his nephew and instantly tries to kill him in his sleep? What the fuck?! I understand from a character standpoint why Luke tossed his old Lightsaber away; he was done with the Force as a whole and believed that everything that had happened since A New Hope had been because he carried on learning the ways of the Force. The galaxy was fucked up because of it, and his nephew Ben (Kylo Ren) had slaughtered the entirity of Luke’s new Jedi Temple because of him. He believed that Han and Leia split up because of his teachings and the events I just mentioned where all because of him. Ok, that makes sense to me. What doesn’t make sense is everything else he did that movie. Teaching Rey to be a Jedi must only take three days, yet we are shown only two lessons? OK… The remainder of the film is just to appease China and get the movies shown over there, and we didn’t need the exposition by Rose Tico on how she felt about the Canto Bite casino and how all the people there are mean and heartless because of the dirty ways in which they make their money. Show, don’t tell. The reason that Luke became a Jedi was because the Storm Troopers killed Owen and Breu; Luke had no reason to stay home and go to the Imperial Academy next harvest, and wanted to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like his father. The fact that they had to devote so much of that movie to a ham-fisted subplot? Come on. I understand that Luke was trying to show Rey that the legend of Luke Skywalker was just that: Legend and he was no different than any other person. He showed her his daily life and that included spear fishing and drinking green titty milk… NOT TO MENTION THAT IF HE DIDN’T WANT TO BE FOUND, THEN WHY LEAVE A MAP TO HIS LOCATION? But I digress. Anyhow, when he was trying to show her that he was not the super deity that Rey and the stories made him out to be, I understood that, too. However I cannot fathom why he decided to try and kill his nephew if he could see the good in Vader again! The third movie was even worse…

Apparently, Emperor Palpatine was back. Why? Because Disney knew that they had no big bad and needed to fix it. No, apparently he was back because Fortnite! Seriously, the movie gives no explanation as to why that happened, and those of us who don’t play Fortnite wouldn’t have any idea why. It was revealed in the novel that Palpatine was a clone. OK…could have said that in the damn movie, but nope. They had time for Ren and Rey to Skype through the Force, but no time to mention that Palpatine was a clone…they had time for the Force to transmute objects like a fucking Lightsaber, but no time to say that Palpatine was a clone. They had time to mention that Snoke was all the Emperor this time and time to mention that Huxley was a spy for the Resistance this time, and time to mention and show Leia flying through space with the use of the Force, but… They had time to mention that Force Heal is real, but that makes a big plot hole in the films. If the Force can be used to heal someone, then why can’t Obi-Wan use it to save Qui-Gon? Hell, General Holden had time to Hyperspace Ram some ships, but no one thought to do that to the first two damned Death Stars? OK… The movie had to bring The Emperor back because they kinda wrote themselves into a whole with the killing of Snoke in the second film without giving any backstory or even answering why he was there in the first place. And that is why they had to bring him back. I think that Disney should have had the writers and directors sit down and plan out an actual story for the trilogy. Like have them say that Palpatine is coming back in the second movie and then they have to deal with that in the third movie. Hell, they made Rey a Skywalker because apparently the idea of her being known as Rey Palpatine and doing what she can to reverse that damage is too much to think of for them.

The new characters are all just re-skinned versions of the original crew, as well. Poe was just a new Han Solo; he was a brash and arrogant fly-boy who happened to be a spice smuggler, too. Rey was just a female Luke, BB-8 was just a new R2-D2, Kylo was a more moody Anikin… The fact that they decided to kill off the original crew (with the exception of Carrie Fisher, obviously) was Disney’s way of killing the past and moving onward with their own characters. Hell Ben even says “The past is dead, let it die” in this sequel trilogy! Disney only did this to make money, and nothing more. They had no plan for this trilogy, hence the two different writers and directors for the three movies and the absolute shit that was therein. If Disney had any intention to actually continue the work that Lucas started it is lost on me.

The Han Solo stand alone movie is what killed the entire idea of stand alone movies, thanks to its flopping hard. I’ve never seen the movie, but I have seen plenty about it, and I said before that it didn’t need to be made. The fact that they did, and they made Lando fuck anything and everything was a stupid choice, honestly. I never thought that the story of Han Solo needed to be told, it was told perfectly in the Han Solo Trilogy of “Legends” novels. They could have used that, but they didn’t want to, as I said, they wanted to kill the past and killed it they did.

Rogue One was a fantastic film, despite having only one Jedi/Lightsaber through out the entire film. It was about how they got the plans to blow up the Death Star, and was very well done, in my opinion. Did I need to know how they got the plans? No, but it was good and that is what mattered to me. It didn’t need to be told, but I’m glad that they did, honestly.

 

What Killed the Franchise for Me

It wasn’t the cancellation of the stand alone movies, honestly. I was looking forward to seeing them, sure, but the fact that Disney turned the good vs evil storyline into something resembling “women are smart, men are dumb”. The entire point of the Force was that anyone can be a Jedi, that you don’t have to come from a certain lineage, as Ben Kenobi said, “The Force binds us, penetrates us all”. Some are more in control of it, some can’t even move their fingers with it. It was what it was. Then Disney decided that nope, the fact that Rey can use the Force is because of her lineage, not because she was more Force sensitive. Right. The fact that they had to make Rey a Palpatine was because they had nothing else to do and needed an answer to the question of “Who is Rey?” The internet was full of theories and some of them quite inventive, but they decided that nope, all that’s in that answer is disappointment. I think that Kathleen Kennedy had no idea what to do with the biggest marketing and merchandising juggernaut that was Star Wars, and she scrapped any and all of what made Star Wars great to push her own agenda, and it was a shitty move. If she wanted to make a female Jedi, fine. Did they have to kill off every main character (again with the exception of Carrie Fisher)? Harrison Ford had been begging for Solo to die since the end of A New Hope, so I’ll give them a pass on that. I wont give them a pass on them undoing everything that they tried to accomplish in The Force Awakens, nor do I give them a pass for the shit that was The Rise of Skywalker. As I said before, they didn’t have anything for the trilogy and it seems that they wrote it on the fly. Again, all they had to do was sit down with the writers, tell them this is the overarching plot, and let them make the movies from there. Hell, Lucas knew what he wanted with the original three movies, and didn’t have to scrape up a story until Episode I hit. Lucas had a hand in everything that had the Star Wars name, even. I do not know if Kennedy is involved that much, but I’d doubt it. Maybe Rian Johnson did want to ruin JJ Abrams because he was tushy troubled that he wasn’t chosen for all three movies, but I doubt that, too.

The fact that these movies exist is saddening to me. I took my nephew to see the first two, with plans to see the third one with him, just as my dad with me some years ago, but after that abomination that was The Last Jedi, I was done. As I mentioned earlier, there was no reason to leave a map behind if you do not want to be found. Who does that? Who says “I’m going away, don’t look for me…but here’s where I’m going”?

I hope that going forward, Disney can learn from the fan backlash and move on in a good way if they decide to continue making Star Wars.

Is Wrestling an “Essential Business”?

In Wrestling on April 15, 2020 at 10:49 AM

As anyone who knows me can attest, I love wrestling and have been watching it literally since the day I was born. It has always been a major source of entertainment for me, despite everything else, and the news that broke yesterday really pissed me off. When Wrestlemania rolled around, I was happy as hell because I needed some form of sports in my life, and I was happy that Wrestlemania was still going on as scheduled, just in an empty Performance Center. It sucked that Kairi Sane got robbed of a great pirate themed entrance, but we at least had a decent showing, and my heart was happy that there was some sports entertainment going on. Fast forward to April 14th, 2020 and now I am pissed off. Why?

 

WWE WAS DEEMED AN “ESSENTIAL BUSINESS” by the Governor of Florida, Rob Desantis after Linda McMahon’s Trump super PAC pledged $18.5 million dollars to the state. Seriously, this is corruption at the highest level, and not even subtle, either. The signs in Looney Tunes cartoons saying “THIS IS NOT THE BAD GUY’S HIDEOUT!” were more subtle than this. I am not surprised, however, not even in the least little bit. It’s politics, and those have always been corrupt, nor does the fact that Vince McMahon paid this amount also doesn’t surprise me, either. I mean, to be honest, he didn’t stop the show when Owen Hart died, nor did he stop the Saudi shows after their ruler killed and dismembered an American journalist a month prior. I love wrestling, yes but this is stupid as fuck! The health and safety of the workers are way more important that my need for professional wrestling, and it’s clear that Vince McMahon only cares about money, not his roster’s health and safety, and it’s sickening to me.

 

A few alternatives to having live shows held in the Performance Center are abundant. For one, they have millions of hours of content that they can run on the shows, and they alledgely taped shows far in advance line AEW did, but no. They decide to bribe a corrupt politician to get the “right” to hold live shows again. I mean, yeah it’s nice to have wrestling but not at this cost. Just show some old matches like they did for a few weeks. As I pointed out earlier, they have millions of hours of content that they could have picked from and thus not put the health and safety of their talent at risk, but then again Vince doesn’t care about the talent, and only cares about the money he stands to make on this deal. As others have commented online, they are going to cancel their Network subscription, and I would do the same but I paid for the Network with a gift card. In all honesty, I do not blame the ones who are canceling their subscriptions or calling for a boycott to the product. I mean is it really worth the price to put your entire company’s workforce at risk? Keep in mind that there are more than just wrestlers here. There is a building full of staff members from receptionists, janitors, security guards, assistants and the like that are now at risk, that is unless they aren’t deemed to be “essential” by the WWE and their corrupt management. That’s a shame, honestly. The roster is being paid either way, and I have no idea about the aforementioned staff. I know that someone has to be there and that someone is now at risk, but who cares when there is $18.5 million dollars to be spent, right?

 

I’m not calling for a boycott or for people to cancel their subscriptions, but I am saddened by this, though not surprised. I honestly knew that Vince only cared about the money and have known this ever since the tragic accident that took the life of Owen Hart. I farther knew this when the journalist got killed in Saudi Arabia and I had this reinforced when a global pandemic didn’t stop him from putting on a show. Yes, all of us, even the non-wrestling fans need to be entertained in some form or another, but not at the cost of corruption and the health and safety of the performers. I do not blame the ones in the company who are voicing their frustration over this issue and many others. Is it worth it to stop working for the company, to pull a Neville and stay home? Not at this time, no, but I would start looking to save as much money as possible to tide you over until this pandemic can be sorted out. I guess that the best source of wrestling content is going to be YouTube, I suppose. I’d honestly rather watch hours of decade old matches and pay-per-views than knowing that the performers are in danger just for me to be entertained. Honestly, it’s not worth it. Not worth it at all, and I think that I may be forced to take a break from WWE and their content for a while. It won’t ever go away, nor will the fact that WWE paid for the right to be deemed “essential media”. They aren’t essential, not in the least. Not like the news media, the health care industry, grocery stores…industries that people seriously cannot live without. I can live without wrestling for a while, I can and have, but I can’t live without food or medical care…Seriously fed up with the WWE at this point and I hope that the mainstream media pick this up and run with it. I hope that Vince McMahon, and the entire McMahon family are shamed for this; I hope that they lose investors and sponsorships over this. I hope the fans can realize that the WWE management, namely Vince and Linda McMahon are just as corrupt as the leaders they bribe and the government in which they suckle from.

Call of Duty: Ghosts

In Video Games on April 13, 2020 at 12:00 AM

THIS IS SURVIVAL

Those lines rang out in the multiplayer reveal trailer for the last good and fun Call of Duty game: Ghosts. When the game came out, the CoD community was begging for something different, something other than the same futuristic gameplay and they wanted something different than the same old Zombies gameplay. Then why did it fail? It was what the community wanted, right? Something different, a shorter Time To Kill, and something other than the Zombies game mode that had begun to grow stale. Well, we will go in to why it failed, and what made it, in my opinion, the last good Call of Duty game.

 

Campaign

The campaign was fantastic. It could be argued that it bridged the gap between the futuristic setting that had begun to crop up in CoD games at the time, while still maintaining the feel of “boots on the ground”. The campaign centers around two brothers, Hesh and Logan and their dog Riley in the fight against a foreign enemy that had managed to take control of the ODIN satellite. The enemy managed to hack into the satellite and launched the missile into Colorado. This act lead to the release of the Cryptids, but more on that later. From there, we follow the brothers as they try to get one of the highly trained soldiers known as “Ghosts”, only to find out that main baddie, Rourke was once a Ghost himself, and teamed with the boy’s father (who was a Ghost himself) some years ago. The story was actualy good, and engrossing and the gameplay was innovative at the time. Yeah, the campaign did get called out for re-skinning the end of Modern Warfare 3 to serve as the opening of Ghosts, but the story was top notch. That’s if you can look past the fact that the game’s main villain survived being shot through the heart with a .357 Magnum revolver, hit over the head with a fire extinguisher, and drowning; all this happened before the brothers Hesh and Logan called in a nuke strike to their location… The end of the campaign sees Logan getting dragged off by Rourke before the game fades to black, setting up a sequel that sadly never happened, thanks to low sales of the game.

 

Multiplayer

The multiplayer portion of the game was fun, to be honest. It was fun, but not perfect to say the least. The biggest complaint about the multiplayer was the dark, muted color scheme and the size of the maps on the base game. I will admit that some of the maps were huge, and thus made playing them a chore. Maps like Stonehaven, and Whiteout felt as though they where made for 24-player teams given their size, and not the 12-player teams that Ghosts had. The multiplayer even had “dynamic events” that would change the map, but not even that could save the game, I guess. Some of these dynamic events did make playing the game more fun, such as the nuke that the player could call in whilst playing Strikezone. Field Orders was also a new feature that was introduced in Ghosts and never seen again. These field orders would give bonus experience points for their completion, and on some maps, would even allow the player to become characters like Michael Meyers and Predator. Sadly, however this was not enough to save the game, either despite being the most fun thing about the multiplayer component. I remember when I had the game and ran around trying to axe as many people as possible as Michael Meyers before someone ended up killing me, I also remember running around the map hoping that Michael didn’t axe me, too.

The best change that was made to Ghosts was the shortened Time To Kill, or TTK. When Black Ops 2 dropped, that was a big complaint: that it took too long to kill the other player, thanks to them being able to absorb several rounds before dying. Ghosts changed this by shortening the TTK, and nerfing the weapons because of it, and the fans hated it. Why, I thought it was what they wanted? The game also brought back some maps from the Modern Warfare series and reskined them, but that wasn’t enough for the community, either and CoD: Ghosts saw a rapid decline in players and sales soon after.

The DLC changed the map sizes to medium/medium-small in an effort to appease the crowd, but that didn’t work either. Innovative gameplay elements like the dynamic maps and sliding, as opposed to jumping did nothing to please the community either, it seemed, and the game died out in the eyes of many players, which is sad given how much fun it was.

 

Extinction

This is, by and far the greatest moment in Call of Duty for me. I sank so many hours into this mode when I had the Playstation 3, and even managed to gain the rank of Prestige 1! Sure, no one else I knew bothered to play it because as they said “it’s not Zombies. Shooting aliens is dumb.” Well, if you recall earlier, I said that the ODIN strike was what released them, according to the game. Also according to the game, the Cryptids weren’t aliens, but rather living on Earth at the time of the dinosaurs, retreating into the planet after the meteor that hit and killed the dinosaurs. It is here that they stayed until the aforementioned ODIN strike hit and brought them out of their hiding. People seem to forget that, or just not know due to the fact that they didn’t bother playing more than one or two times before making up their minds about it.

It was challenging to say the least, but no other Call of Duty game had the upgradable elements, similar to that of an RPG. The story of Extinction was new, and innovative as well, even if no one played the game long enough to find that out. In the story, as I mentioned, the ODIN strike awoke the Cryptids and their numbers where so massive that it lead to the large…Extinction of the human race and it’s up to a small group of people known as Sif-1 to find the doctor and lead scientist on the project to better understand the Cryptids. When they did manage to find them, we find out that the lead scientist, Dr. Archer was planning to do so much more than study them, and even tried to capture and kill Samantha, the linguist that was working to stop the Cryptids by reading their carvings and language. Sadly, however it is clear that the only option that the human race could take was to nuke the entire planet and lead a mass exodus to another planet in hopes of rebuilding. It was here that Samantha says that the human race was due for extinction and something else would take its place right before her eyes turn to those of a Cryptid and we fade to black.

 

Then Why Did It Fail?

Well, to be blunt, the game failed because the Call of Duty community is fickle. Sorry, but that is the way it is. They have been saying for years that they wanted something different and got it, but it wasn’t what they wanted, so they hated it and returned to Black Ops 2. They wanted something different and when they got it, they didn’t like it and went back to BO2. The same happened with the next entry, Advanced Warfare, too. That game was too futuristic, and the community hated it, too. Even now, the community is fickle. They didn’t play the campaign anymore, or so it seemed and Treyarch cut that from Black Ops 4 to much outcry from the players…who didn’t play the campaign to begin with. The players didn’t like Ghosts because of the large maps, which Infinity Ward tried to remedy, but it was too little too late to save the game.

The game does live on in Infinity War, however so all is not lost. The Extinction maps are mentioned to be movies created by Willard Wyler and are not set in the real world, so I guess that explains the odd way it ended?

 

Things That I Did Not Like

All this being said, there are somethings that I didn’t like or care for at all about the game, too. The first being the ending. As I said, the Ghosts where highly trained and thus able to withstand a lot more than any normal person, and even more that some other special forces groups could. That, however does not excuse or explain how Rourke could survive being shot through the heart with a .357 Magnum revolver, hit over the head with a fire extinguisher and then drowned before a bomb blast sends the train the brothers are having this fight on into the deep…and then Rourke climbs out of the water and some how manages to drag Logan off camera. How the hell did he survive a tenth of this, let alone the entire ordeal?

I also have to ask if the kids are deaf, too. See, the brothers are rescued by the Ghosts themselves, and one says to the boys “Your father isn’t down there” before the leader of the group removes his mask revealing himself the be the boy’s father. And they can’t recognize their own father’s voice? It’s not like he was a rando who they had to rescue, only to find out in that moment that he was their father. No, they where with each other for a good time before this scene, so they should have recognized his voice. I’ll forgive the secrecy of him being THE Ghost of Ghosts given that one of their own turned on them, and by not telling the kids, he doesn’t put them in as much danger, I guess. Even spies keep their identities secret, so…yeah. But I’m sorry, I cannot forget that reveal, and then asking myself “How the fuck?” Maybe that was the moment that the community turned on the game? I have no idea.

Another aspect that I didn’t care for was the UAV. Normally, they are aircraft that fly around, but in this game they are satellites that are…on the ground and only when you have 4 of them do they act like any other UAV from the other games. Until then, you only see the enemy if they are around the satellite, and then lose them once they go out of range of the satellite. That was always stupid to me and I’ll never understand why they did that, not even from a story point.

Another thing that I hated about that game was the use of the dog in multiplayer, and this is only because they always seemed to find me before I could ever find them, and I hate that. I liked using them, the few  times that I actually got enough kills together to actually use them, that is; mostly, however I used them in offline battles with bots.

The voice over pack with Snoop Dog is another thing that baffles me, even to this day. I had it, of course but still didn’t get it. The R. Lee Ermy pack, I could understand as he was a former Marine and so it made sense. But hearing Snoop calling out that they killed my dog or took the objective in Domination? No, not so much. That is something that I will never understand.

The weapon and gear camo was another thing that I never understood. Well, partly never understood it. I liked some of them, thought some others where funny and the rest where so far out of left field that it never made any sense to me. The Extinction player avatar was fitting and nice, given the game, but some like the rubber ducky camo? No. Funny, sure, but why?

 

In Conclusion

I would have loved to see a Ghosts 2, or at least have something more than an Easter egg of Logan screaming in the pirate ship map would have been nice. The sequel would have been nice to close out the story, but I guess that we will never know how Rourke survived the ending, or how/if Hesh found him. It would also be nice to know if Rourke was able to turn Logan against his brother and the other Ghosts, but we will never know, and will have to be content with the fact that Extinction was at least mentioned in IW Zombies, I guess

Well, those are my thoughts on what is, to me the last good Call of Duty game. You may hate the game, love it, or never even play it for that matter, but do feel free to comment down below and tell me your thoughts on the game, too. Did I forget something that may even change my opinion on the game? Comment and let me know!

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