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If you know me, then you know that I like to play dress up. The more refined nerds call it ‘costuming.’ If you’re not one, then you’ve at least seen one. You know, they’re the grown folks playing dress up, as if any day is Halloween.

Adam and Eve

This costume looks even worse on black people.

I came across a comment made by a friend of a friend (on Facebook, where else?) who said that he wished he could afford costuming. I have to admit – that’s the worst excuse I ever come across when it comes to playing dress up. I suppose what these people were saying is that they really wish they had the money to do a really great, detailed, “screen accurate” costume. But still, I find it disturbing.

First, it’s a bit of a misnomer to believe that expensive costumes are good, and that cheap costumes are, well, cheap. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you’ve ever been to one of those Halloween shops, you’ll know that they’re shoddy (at best) and expensive for what they are. And yes, I’ve bought costumes at those places (for my kids, FOR MY KIDS!!!) Mostly because I didn’t have the time to make my son an Optimus Prime costume.

Sure, it looks like I'm defecating, but I'm really chasing a bounty.

On the flip side, there are plenty of ‘cheap’ costumes that don’t look cheap at all. I know a girl that made a great Zam Wesell costume and she did it fairly cheap. I don’t remember what she spent on it, but for roughly what she would have paid at a costume store, she got something immensely more ‘realistic.’ Not to brag, but I made my own Vader costume. Yes, it cost quite a bit (around $600 total), but only because I spent $100 on a helmet, $100 on a saber, and $40 on boots. I suppose that still sounds like a lot of money, but it wasn’t all at once. I bought pieces here and there. And in the original version, I used a turtle neck tshirt and sweatpants for the undersuit. I upgraded to vinyl a few dollars later.

My point is that you CAN spend a lot of money on a costume, but why? If you have the time and patience, you can really knock out some good looking costumes for relatively cheap.

The balance is where to put your time and effort, and where to spend your money. If you’re looking to make a Jedi costume, you could make your own saber, but it may be worth the time and money to order something online. Unless you’re a whiz with circuits and batteries and stuff…

A Jedi costume is probably one of the easiest costumes to put together. My biggest suggestion is to shop around at fabric stores until you find the fabric you want at the price you don’t mind paying. I know some guys won’t settle for less than wool lined with silk, and that’s going to be expensive. But you can get some cheaper material and not line it and come out with a tunic that is less than $20! Compare that to the Halloween shops, and you’ll soon realize that this is the way to go for anything resembling a ‘real’ costume.

I’ve done a few Jedi tunics, and I have some suggestions. If you live in an area that’s typically warm and possibly humid, I’d really suggest that you stick with natural fibers. They breathe, whereas the synthetics get stuffy quick – especially if you’re working on your jump flips and saber twirls.

Oh, and look for fabrics with texture. They really add a lot to the look. Steer clear of broadcloth. It’s synthetic, hot, and looks really plain. Trust me on this – my first one was made with some beige broadcloth. But, I spent all of about $10 on fabric, so not a total loss.

Dresses. Jedi's love 'em.

One of the benefits of the Jedi costume is that you don’t have to go with one look. If you watch the Geonosis Battle in Episode II, you’ll see that the overall look is similar, but they’re all different. In fact, that one Jedi is wearing a DRESS!!!

The thing to keep in mind is that Jedi need to stay with neutral, earth tones (I disagree with the greens, but hey, it’s your Jedi.) The main thing is that you have a tunic, tabbards, sash and light saber. It’s also smart to match the colors. Have different colored tabbards and sash, but make sure they go with your tunic…

Pants. This should really be the easiest part of the costume. Grab some khakis and go with it. I have a pair of thin piped corduroys that work well for a Kenobi costume. But just about any khakis should work. I saw a guy at Celebration III who had a fantastic Jedi Tunic, but was wearing blue jeans. WHAT? The kid could have just headed out to Goodwill and picked up some khaki pants! I dubbed the guy “Casual Friday Jedi.” Don’t be that guy.

Now, there are a couple of pieces to this costume that can be done cheaply, but can be expensive as well.

BOOTS: I was able to pick up some Frye boots for $75 on ebay. I’ve worn them a lot, and they need to be resoled (bonus to ‘real’ boots.) But I’ve seen plenty of costumes that use the cheap $20 vinyl pirate boots that typically show up at those Halloween stores. The downside is that they aren’t very durable and will ultimately crack and fall apart after any extended use, but for the price you could get about 6 or 7 pairs for what you’d pay for cheap ‘real’ boots. And then there’s the whole “detail” part. If you look at Anakin’s and Obi Wan’s boots, you’ll see that they have some neat details that you don’t get with the cheap boots. That’s the trade off… Unless of course you’re a boot maker.

BELT: I’ve seen belts on ebay go for over $100! Which is insane, considering it’s just some leather strapping with some detail parts. I made my first belt. I looked through women’s belts at various stores until I found something that would work. One side had a suede texture, and the other was a marbled leather look. So I separated the front and back and then cut the belt to the size I needed. And, I was able to make pouches with the left over material. I used a buckle I found at a fabric store, and never got around to putting the food capsules on, but no one’s ever noticed. Except the guys thinking I should join one of the bigger costuming groups.

Hopefully you’ll be on your way to making a Jedi costume soon. If you are and need some advice, ask and I’ll be glad to help out.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, you just have to know where to spend your time, and where to spend your money. I suppose if I were to make a Star Wars analogy, I’d say that buying your costumes is like the Dark Side – quicker, easier, more seductive. Making your costume from scratch is like the Light Side, patience, my young apprentice.

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Some website has posted the “15 Anticipated Movies of 2011.” I’m not sure if they’re “Most Anticipated” or just “upcoming.” The article doesn’t really explain. I can’t really take it seriously, because it says in the first paragraph, “their is” rather than “there is.” But here’s my take on these…

1. Green Lantern.
I’ve always been more of a Marvel than DC guy, and to be honest, Marvel has put out a whole lot of movies in recent years. And I’d have to say that all DC has really banked on was the renewal of Batman. Sure, Jonah Hex was a DC comic, but who knows anything about that guy?

When I see the trailer, I think to myself, “Hey, this looks like it’d be a great rental. From Redbox.” Nothing makes me excited about this movie enough to lay out the bucks to see it in the theater. Even better, it’s undergoing a ‘conversion’ to 3D. Even less of a reason to go see it. Yeah, I’m not a fan of 3D. I wasn’t when Jaws 3D came out. I’m not a fan now.

Let’s hope DC can start making decent comic book movies, so that Marvel doesn’t have a monopoly on this.

2. Red Riding Hood
I saw the trailer at the front of the latest Harry Potter movie, and I was both annoyed and intrigued at the same time. It was fairly obvious it was going to be Little Red Riding Hood on the big screen. It was fairly annoyed. That is until they threw in the Werewolf aspect. Then I was intrigued.

I might make this an excuse to get out to the theater to watch. If you know me, then you know that I’m a zombie man, but I’ll allow werewolves as long as they’re not in movies with sparkling vampires. Something tells me there will be a twist in this where the werewolf is somehow related to Miss Hood.

3. Immortals
I haven’t heard of this until I saw this list. It has Mickey Rourke and John Hurt in it. It’s a Greek tale about Theseus. Theseus apparently the founder of Athens, and is on the same level as Heracles and Perseus. Also Cadmus. I’ve never heard of Cadmus or Theseus. Which is probably why Hollywood decided to make a movie out of it. Clash of the Titans did fairly well, right?

This may be another rental for me. Who knows.

4. Sucker Punch
All I know about this one is that they’ve put a lot of pictures of the women in the movie. Had they been dressed in Jane Austen attire, I probably wouldn’t have paid any attention or been able to tell you anything about this movie. They were, however, scantily clad warrior women (think Heavy Metal). Not that made me interested in the movie, just that I knew that there were women in it. Something tells me this movie is really about skin and fights, so that men will go see it. It’s a good thing Women’s Lib is dead. Otherwise, we’d not get to see naked warrior women.

Again, a rental for me. Or something…

5.  X-Men: First Class
There is really no reason for this movie. It’s a prequel. It tells how Professor X and Magneto came into being. It shows us how they went from ‘normal’ to ‘mutants.’ And, I’m pretty sure it is going to cause big continuity issues with the rest of the X-Men movies.

I’ll watch this. Probably sometime after this movie hits the five-dollar bin at Wal-Mart.

6. Rise of the Apes
I had no idea this movie was even being considered. It’s another movie about how things began. In this case, it shows us how we got “Planet of the Apes.” Not the cool Charleton Heston one. The not as cool Marky Mark one.

I’ll watch that X-Men movie before I watch this one. But at least Andy Serkis is getting work.

7. Cowboys and Aliens
I had heard something about this before I saw the preview before Harry Potter. I didn’t know what to think, but after the preview, I was wow’d. Daniel Craig wakes up and has no memory, and some device on his arm. Then Harrison Ford shows up. This is another one I’d like to see in the theater. I might even be able to drag Christy to go with me.

Special Note: This movie is set in 1873 Arizona, and probably shows us why they’re so against aliens, illegal or otherwise.

8. Battle: Los Angeles
I promised my kids a movie if they behaved well one week. The movie they picked was Skyline. I read that this movie took less than a year to go from concept to script to screen. It showed. I also think the reason that happened is because of this movie, Battle: LA. I’ve seen the trailer online, and it looks interesting – but the motion tracking seemed a bit off. Of course, part of what I do is in this line – so when I see mistakes like this in a big budget film, I get miffed. It doesn’t bother me when it’s low budget indie films, but it’s inexcusable when it’s a multi-million dollar feature film.

rental.

9. Super 8
This is a JJ Abrams film, written and directed. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, because Abrams isn’t as hot as Hollywood makes him out to be. Cloverfield, anyone? This is not tied to Cloverfield, but rather an homage to the late 70s and early 80s sci-fi movies. Something escapes a government train. I’m always down for a sci-fi flick, but with Abrams behind it, I’m tempted to wait till the dollar theater.

DOLLAR THEATER.  Unless someone takes me on a date and buys me soda and popcorn at the non-dollar theater.

10. Transformers 3
The last Transformers movie was so bad that it ruined the first one. I liked the first one. Until I saw the second one. And then I re-watched the first one and realized all that bad stuff was in the first one – we just chose to over look it because it was Transformers. So what does that mean for 3? It means the pit is deep and there will need to be a lot of crawling to be done to rise out of the ‘fallen.’

Something tells me my son will want to see this. And something tells me I’ll take him. And something tells me I’ll regret it soon afterwards. At least I didn’t have to explain what a scrotum was last time.

11. Thor
At the end of Iron Man 2, we were treated to something fantastic: The Avenger Initiative, and Mjolnir – Thor’s Hammer. Now, I’m all for Marvel expanding out into the movies and incorporating other franchises, etc… but to go from Iron Man to Thor…. hmmm. Maybe that’s what happened in the comic books, but I’m not sure I’m going to really enjoy Thor. Who knows.

I’m sure I’ll see this, but I’m not sure where. Maybe a rental… or if someone gets me a bootleg.

12. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Tom Cruise doing impossible missions.

13. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide
They really should just start calling this “Johnny Depp: Pirates.” Because that’s all it really is, right? Johnny Depp acting mildly humorous as dressed as a pirate. Don’t get me wrong, Capt. Jack Sparrow gets all the chicks at Magic Time Machine and the comic conventions, but in the movies? Meh. Yo ho ho and I haven’t even seen the third one yet.

14. The First Avenger: Captain America
Oh, hey, two Avenger movies from Marvel in 2011. I guess this has to happen because Cappy happens in the 40s. Thor has to travel through time to land in Tony Stark’s world.

I think I’ll make an effort to go see this. First, the costume looks fantastic – a great mix of the original Cappy and modern technology. It’s got me psyched. I’m psyched that we’ll see him fighting Nazis. I’ll be more psyched if we get to see him fighting Nazi ZOMBIES! Oh yeah. Plus – I’m pretty sure this will be 2011’s Joker costume. So many people will dress like this. And they’ll look nothing like Cappy.

15. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pt. 2.
The last of the Harry Potter movies. There are seven books, but they managed to pull an extra movie out of this by splitting the last one into two. Not bad, really. I did see Pt. 1 at Thanksgiving and enjoyed it. I just hope they don’t screw the pooch on this.

Yeah, we’ll be watching this. Won’t be standing in line for it, but we’ll be watching it. I think they are doing 3D, which I’ll skip out on.

Oh, I was going to put pictures in this, but I put pictures in the last one and it didn’t get a whole lot of views. So do what we did before the internet, use your imagination.

This is what my imagination looks like now with the internet.

Special thanks to the First Grade Class at Brentwood School. I completely stole a student’s picture for my own personal gain. I hope Mrs. Silvers and Mrs. Gursky don’t mind too much.

It’s been pretty hectic this last week. Had quite a few gigs this week, and the big one is almost finished. Should be done this afternoon at the latest. Once it’s done and uploaded, I’ll be posting links so that you guys can all watch them and comment and hopefully get them into the finals.

I shot a comedy show, Humor for Heroes, last Monday and am in the process of finishing that up. Wednesday was Corridor, which I haven’t even touched yet, and last night (and tonight) I shot for Gy Odom and Curtis Hammill. And I’ll get to that after the other two gigs are done.

And next Friday I have another comedy gig to shoot at Hotties Bar and Grill in San Antonio. It’s a new venue for me, so I’ll have to leave early so I can figure out what I need to do to set up properly.

And right now, I’m looking into selling my Canon XL2 and getting a Canon T2i. There are a few reasons as to why I want to do this. One, it’s full 1080p HD video for less than $900. Even the cheapest 1080p pro camcorders start at $2500. And if I want to get that ‘film’ look that the DSLRs get, I have to buy an adapter and then buy lenses. So, I could get a good rig for about $1500 with DSLR, or I could get something equivalent using an HD camcorder for about $7500. Even if math isn’t your strong suit, it should be fairly evident which is a better deal.

Another thing to consider is the media. Right now, I’m shooting on tape. Which is okay, but for every minute of video I take, I have to spend a minute capturing it to the computer. So, if the gig is a 2 hr comedy show, I have 2 hrs of video I have to play onto the computer. THEN, I can start editing.

With DSLR, I just take the SDHC card and pop it into the computer and can begin editing in seconds. And, if I’m shooting something with multiple takes, I can review the clips and only put those clips onto the computer.

Even with the HVX200a, the P2 cards are expensive compared to the same size SD card. So what’s the point?

Size. My XL2 is arguably the best Standard Definition camera on the market. There aren’t many SD cameras out there that are better. When I show up to a shoot with my XL2 and people see me piecing it together, they are impressed. I never fail to get a compliment when I’m out (unless I’m doing the normal gigs, and people are used to it).

However, if I showed up with what amounts to a still camera, people aren’t as impressed. In their heads, it’s a still camera. It’s not a video camera. It’s not impressive. Yes, it’s nicer than their little point and shoot jobber, but it’s not an intimidating impressive machine. It’s something they think they can get off the shelf at BestBuy. Which technically they can.

So what’s next week? The normal gigs, editing these vids, and hopefully getting a new T2i…

Sony HeadphonesThey’re Sony. Sue me.

I have a set of cheap Sony headphones that I use when I’m recording video to monitor the sound. They’re actually my second pair. First pair broke. The current pair are fine, but they’ve seen better days.

Earlier this year, I saw a pair of headphones that were pretty cool. And another friend just recently got a pair of these. I was looking around the internet this morning, and found that there is a third company producing headphones.

Yes, three different companies are putting out Star Wars themed headsets – Taito, Funko, and Coloud. I found it surprising that there was more than one company making headphones, but even more so when I found the third. I don’t understand it because LFL tends to just go with one company to produce an item. For instance, Master Replicas (now Factory Entertainment from what I see) used to make the Force FX sabers. Now Hasbro has that job.

I have you now.

These were inside the pilot's helmets.

I’ve gotten to hold the Funko Rebel Alliance headphones. It was some time ago, but they seemed nice. A little smaller on the ears than what I’d need for what I’d use them for. They seemed like a good pair of headphones to have just for casual listening. I definitely wouldn’t consider them studio monitor worthy. From what I remember, these were semi embossed, but they may not be. There’s quite a bit of detail on some of the headphones, but on others, it looks like a stencil or sticker stuck on the side. The Boba Fett ones look really cool on the band, but the ears seem to just have a sticker of Fett on it. That seems sort of cheap to me. Also, each earpiece has a wire coming from it. I try to stay away from these types, because the dual wire setup gets caught on things. Many times I’ve plugged things into my camera THROUGH that loop. Annoying. They’re listed at $25, but you may find them for $20 on the ‘net.

BooWeep

With all the bells and whistles.

I haven’t gotten to see or use the Taito versions, but they seem to be a little bigger and a little more durable. A friend of mine who got the R2 version said they were nice, but a little plastic-y feeling. The R2 headphones are chrome, with blue earphones and top (felt?). The sides are the top pattern of R2’s dome. I can see why they feel cheap and plastic, because they are. The chrome on it is that same chrome you seen on kids toys. The C-3P0 ones are similar, but the sides are 3P0’s eyes, they’re gold, and the ears and top are black. The Vader ones just have a red stencil of Vader’s helmet, and the ears and top are red on a black set of headphones. I can’t tell by the pictures, but it’s highly possible each headphone has a wire coming from it. And as I mentioned above, I find it annoying. Listed at $25.

Heavy breathing

I hope these play more than just heavy breathing.

Lastly is Coloud. Apparently all they do is make merchandised headphones. They have Hello Kitty, NHL, Marvel, and Fame (Really?). They have three different Star Wars headphones. Vader – black with red accents (see pic). Star Wars – black with gold Star Wars on a flying starfield. Rebel – white with orange and black accents. They also feature the single wire from one side of the headphones, which is really a plus. They also feature a coiled wire which allows for some tension and less tangling with normal use. I was impressed with these (although I’ve not used them) because the website actually has specs for these.  But these come at a little higher price – $40. If I get a chance to test these out (which I believe to be better than the Sony’s I’m using now), I’d be able to really decide how good these are. The single, coiled cord is worth it to me, really. Add the Vader on the side, and to me it’s worth the $15 extra bucks – everything else being equal.

Each of these headphones seem nice enough. The Funko headphones seem to have the edge to the casual listener, because there are quite a few of them to choose from. Some of the designs are really nice, but others seem to be nothing more than a stencil/sticker on it with color coordinated plastic parts.

Irony

Does anyone else see the irony in this picture?

The Taito ones seem to be a bit more detailed than the Funkos, but there are only three versions. The two toned look is a plus, and the 3P0 and R2 designs seem to be rather inspired.

Burnt.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and we all end up like Owen and Beru.


The Coloud ones are not as inspired as the Taitos, but the quality seems to be there. The higher price tag would probably turn off the casual listener, and the hard core fan would probably shy away from the designs. For instance, I prefer the Funko Rebel headphones to the Coloud Rebel headphones based solely on the design. But the Coloud Vader seems much better than the Funko or the Taito Vader.

Overall, the Coloud headphones are worth the extra $15, simply because they seem like headphones first and Star Wars ads second. The other brands are more dedicated to the fans, and for a casual mp3 listener, they’re more ‘involved’ than the Coloud. Taito has a good offering with the droid headphones, but for a Fett fan, the obvious choice is Funko.

UPDATE – I think I found out why there are three different companies making headphones. Coloud is based out of Canada, Taito is either Japan or China, and I think Funko is here in the States. I may be wrong on this all around, but it’s all I could figure.

I went to bed about 12:30a this morning. Mostly because I stayed up playing Halo: Reach. Hey, we had a good team and we were dropping opponents all over those maps. Big Team Battle, if you’re curious.

HaloReach

How can you sleep when there's so many kills to get?

I fell asleep almost immediately. Next thing I know, it’s 6:30a and it’s time to get the kids up and rolling. Christy got up and got ready to head over to the doctor’s office.

Quentin was especially grumpy this morning. He didn’t want his cereal. He didn’t want to get up. He didn’t want to get dressed. He didn’t want to go to Nana’s. He did, however, want to play Xbox. As much as I would have loved to sit next to him and make that happen, it just wasn’t the time.

Spider-Mug

The only way my mug could get cooler is if it spit webs.

David and Zada did well. I had to prod Zada a bit – she’s always a little slow to make it happen in the morning. She’s actually been a little groggy in the morning, not sure why. But by ten after seven, we were all ready to head out.

But I couldn’t find my coffee mug. CURSE YOU MISSING MUG.

We got to the school, David and Zada got out, and they were both excited because they knew they’d see their new sister this afternoon. David was talking about how he was going to tell his whole class. Zada told her class yesterday. Makes me feel good, because I wasn’t the only one who didn’t catch that it was supposed to be today. Apparently there is something to the miscommunication between men and women.  Hopefully we’ll be able send some pictures to school with them tomorrow. Pretty sure we won’t be sending Macy tomorrow.

Bom bom bada bom bom.

Quentin may one day dance as great as the Late King of Pop.

I dropped Quentin off at my mom’s, but he wasn’t too pleased about it. I’m not sure where he wanted to go, but it was not Nana’s at that point. He got out of the car and put his backpack on (diaper bag). Then he just froze. He stood there. I tried to pull his arm to get him to walk up the steps, but he wasn’t moving his feet. It was rather humorous, really. Think Michael Jackson in “Smooth Criminal.” Eventually I got him inside and I grabbed my mom’s keys to put the booster seats in her car. She’ll be picking up Deezo and Chickie this afternoon.

When I was getting Q’ball out of the car, I spotted it. My MUG!!! Sweet. Caffeine will be mine!!! Needless to say, I was pleased.

I pulled up to the hospital and headed to Christy’s room. She was already set up and ready to make things happen. The nurses hadn’t hooked up the IV and they were still doing the blood work. I was still sleepy, so I tried napping in the rocking chair. No go. Then the nurse pointed out that the arm of the couch slides out and makes a cool little bed. So I took a little nap. About 30 minutes worth. A little longer than I normally do, but refreshing.

Puzzle

This game is fun, especially when you're waiting on a baby.

Christy’s been hanging out, just watching TV. Waiting. I got some coffee, came back. Played on the iPod (which, by the way, the hospital’s verification thing doesn’t like Safari), went and got some more coffee and called my sister in law to give her the heads up. She said she wanted to call, but because she has a bad habit of calling as the baby is coming out, she’d wait until we called her.

When I got back into the room, Christy told me they started the Pitocin. That’s good, means we’re progressing. The nurse popped in to see if the doc had stopped in. He hadn’t. Apparently he’s performing a C-section right now. So, we waited.

chicken dinner

Almost exactly what I ate for lunch.

I looked up and realized that it was almost one o’clock. I realized that there was a chance that the cafeteria may close soon and I didn’t want to have to leave the hospital to grab a bite. Seems like last time I was here, I tried to get to the cafeteria but missed it. And I didn’t miss lunch. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies and a soda. MMMmmm good. I didn’t tell Christy, though. Didn’t seem right. They’ve given her broth, jello, and water. Yum.

No, no, NO!

I may forget to bring diapers, but I usually don't substitute fruit.

Just before 2p, my mom called. She was running out of diapers for Quentin. I thought I had enough, but who knows. Apparently she either changes a lot of diapers or she changes no diapers. There’s no rhyme or reason, apparently. I usually get about 3 or 4 a day, sometimes. But I’m not sure how many were in the bag. I do know that I had gotten some out to take with us but forgot to take them… oops.

Christy suggested I go get some and drop them off. So I headed to the house, picked up the ones I pulled out originally (still neatly stacked on the coffee table) and headed out. I pulled up to my mom’s, knocked on the door, and went in. Quentin was sacked out on the floor, as he normally does. I put the diapers on the table, grabbed a soda, and then helped my mom get him into the car. She was about to head out to pick up D and Z. I headed back to the hospital, and she off to the school.

snoozin

Despite the decor of the delivery room, the seating arrangements were no where near as comfy.

I came back and everything was the same. No doc, no baby. No nothing. The lights were out/dimmed, which made me want to take a nap. I did shut my eyes for a minute. Who knew waiting would be so tiring?

And for the next two hours, we just waited. Christy’s contractions were coming about every 3 minutes. No real change, and no doctor. It’s rather disappointing. I was hoping to have been celebrating by 5pm. Christy was really tired of being stuck in the bed.

It’s 5:30p right now – and there’s no baby…

I’ll post more later. Sorry no baby yet. 😦

Phoning

So, when exactly do you think Lucas lost his mind?

Yesterday I wrote this. I basically talked about what I’d do if handed the task of redefining the prequels. This sparked a
conversation with a friend about just following something blindly – not religion (besides, I don’t consider faith blind, more on that later) – but specifically dealing with Star Wars.

I remember the exact moment when I stopped believing in Star Wars blindly. I don’t remember the exact date per se, but I do remember the exact moment.

TIE Pilot

The big gun doubles as a crutch.

It was in 1996. Kenner/Hasbro had just launched a whole new set of Star Wars figures. I found a whole bunch at the Wal-Mart in Ft. Walton Beach. That should have been my first clue – hundreds of figures on the shelves. I had a cart, and I was putting two of everything into the cart. I remember looking into the cart and realizing that what I was doing – at that specific moment – was the same thing thousands of other Star Wars Fans were doing at the same time.

Hording. “Collecting.” Stockpiling.

And I definitely wasn’t the only one. In that store, there were other people doing something similar – at the same time! For some reason, we all thought these were going to be worth something. We all thought that we were going to be able to sell that one figure for hundreds of dollars. We all were looking to capitalize off the popularity. And I’m sure a lot of us were looking for that nostalgia. But I personally couldn’t get very nostalgic when Luke and Han looked more like Hans and Franz.

I still bought a bunch of figures. I still have them. Some are boxed, some are loose. I used the loose ones to decorate my room. They’re neat, but I have no misconceptions that they’re going to be worth anything. I have pretty much taken the idea that they’re all going to be worth less than what I paid. As in, I probably couldn’t give them away.

Bendems.

And you thought Jar Jar was a bad idea.

There was nothing even remotely nostalgic about these toys. They didn’t feel magical. They didn’t look magical. Sure, the 70’s version of Luke and Vader were far from “screen accurate,” but they had that magic that enabled little boys and girls to use their imagination and pretend that Luke could bend his elbows and that Vader could slash his saber without looking like he was strapped to a board. Telescoping sabers were fantastic – you really couldn’t lose one unless you really tried. What we ended up with were pieces of plastic that would adorn some geeks wall as a tribute to his “fanhood.”

That’s not to say that the Star Wars toys now aren’t fantastic – they are. Marvels. I found one of the HUGE Millennium Falcons on clearance at Wal-Mart once. It’s magnificent. The new AT-AT looks to be just as awesome. But to me, at least, they don’t have that magic.

The one thing that really dealt a blow to my ‘faith’ had to be the Bend’ems. This were little rubbery figures that you could shape and move. They also said they were “collectable,” (they meant collectible) which really was a slap in the face. There was nothing worth saving with these things. No craftsmanship. Not even reasonably attractive. The original Kenner figures were far more attractive, even with only 4 sometimes 5 points of articulation.

Sam I am. Hot Damn.

I can't believe I bought a Mace Windu Bend'em.

But because I’m not into the gluttony of “collecting” Star Wars, it doesn’t preclude me from still loving what I loved originally. I can respect a fan’s opinion, and I can respect the different aspects of Star Wars that someone may be into. What I can’t respect is the sad devotion to an ancient religion collection. No one is above reproach. Even Lucas, who has bestowed upon us arguably the most influential movie in the 20th century, is not above skepticism.

At the end of the day, I owe Lucas a huge amount of gratitude for giving me access to what I consider to be the greatest thing a young boy could ever dream of. I owe him gratitude. I don’t keep gratitude in my wallet.

The moral of the story is that it’s okay to enjoy something, but don’t let that appreciation blind you to the bad things. I love Star Wars. I always will, but I don’t let that love trick me into buying everything that has a Star Wars label on it. I love what Lucas birthed into the entertainment world, but I don’t let it blind me. I think it was fantastic that George Lucas gave us his Star Wars, but that doesn’t mean I have to love everything he shoves on us.

NO?

This makes as much sense as the special editions and the prequels.

There are a couple of things in the Star Wars Universe that are very divisive – the first big divisive point is the Special Editions. The specific item in that is Greedo shooting. Not even that he shot ‘first,’ but that he shot at all. Originally, Han had a ‘preemptive strike’ against his would-be assailant. Now, well… let’s not get into that.

The other big rift, and you could say a by-product of the Special Editions, is the prequels.

Truth be told, all Star Wars fans were excited to be getting more Star Wars. I’m not going to lie, I never questioned the movies while I was watching them. I just soaked them in and loved them. Not all of them, and they didn’t seem as magical as they should have been. Later on, I became a bit more critical.

The Phantom Menace

At one point, we believed

I wouldn’t say that these movies were all horrible – but they sure lack in the magic department.

Say what you will, but the signs were there. Lucas went crazy sometime in the mid-80’s I think. If you list the things you dislike about the prequels, do yourself a favor and go back and watch Return of the Jedi. All that stuff was there – it just wasn’t magnified. A recent interview with Gary Kurtz shows that by the time Jedi rolled around, Lucas was much more interested in toy sales than ‘artistic integrity.’  With that in mind, look back at the prequels, and you’ll see that there are TONS of characters in the movies. Why? Because more characters equals more toys which means more money. I even recently saw a “Clone Wars” tank that was based on some stuff from the Galactic Battlegrounds game.  But I digress – Lucas went nuts before he started writing the prequel scripts.

I recently had a thought about the movies. The thought was that the prequels should have all been done in one, single, epic, possibly 3 hr movie. All questions could have been handled, loose ends wrapped up, and we could have all walked away with a smile.

Unfortunately, Empire Strikes Back gave us Episode V, and subsequently Episode IV: A New Hope. Therefore, that means we have to have 3 movies, er, episodes that come before what I still call “Star Wars.” So what did we get? A bunch of nonsense and filler. Why do we need 30 minutes of pod-racing? Why is there a distinct absence of warring in the stars in a movie that is specifically titled, “Star Wars?”

Revenge.

Master, do you find it odd I've not flown a starfighter since I was nine?

If you look at the 3 prequels, you’ll see a very limited amount of space battles. Even though there is quite a bit of space travel, there’s very little actual “Star Wars.” In the original “Star Wars,” we OPEN UP THE MOVIE with a giant ship being chased and gunned down by an even MORE GIANT STAR SHIP! What do we get in the prequels? An obligatory star shot. Of a ship. Landing on a planet. Or a space station. Oh, yeah, I’m sorry. We delve right into battle in Episode III, but at that point it was more like, “Hey, we almost forgot to have space battle. Here’s space battle!”

Something tells me that a lot of “We’ll fix it in post” was used during the “filming” of all three movies.

Now I’ve told you all that in order to give you my thoughts on what the three prequels should have been.

All Lies

I was once a Jedi Knight... like, uh... hmmm. OH! Your Dad! Your Dad was a...


Remember that scene in “Star Wars,” where Old Ben is talking to young Luke about Kenobi and Anakin being Jedi Knights and such? Yeah, me too. And it’s that scene that really gives us the prequels. If it weren’t for that scene, we wouldn’t have gotten the prequels. So in my version, it’s this particular conversation that becomes lies.

In my prequels, it’s this line that turns out to be nothing more than Kenobi trying his best to get Luke to fix the problems of the Jedi that turned the Galaxy into ‘turmoil.’

Think about it – what do you see of the Empire? They blew up Alderaan. That’s about it. Everyone else in the galaxy seems to be doing just fine. In the cantina scene, there’s a good chance that the stormtroopers could have really just arrested everyone in there – but they didn’t. They just moseyed on like everything was cool. Which is my point – except for blowing up a planet (Crazed rogue military commander), the Empire really wasn’t that bad.

Luke points out that his dad was just a navigator on a spice freighter. Which Lucas made sure was ‘sorta’ true by adding some things to the “Clone Wars” series to make sure that even that wasn’t a lie.

Here’s where I make my changes – not to “Star Wars,” but to the prequels.

Anakin really is a navigator on a spice freighter. It’s a bit convoluted, but Watto’s operation is bigger, and an older Anakin (about 12-13) is a navigator in Watto’s recently expanded cargo operation.  Qui-Gon recognizes Anakin’s ability, and cons Watto out of Anakin. In my head, he trades Jar-Jar for Anakin. Yeah, that’s about right.

Qui-Gon takes Anakin to the council, but they don’t approve his training – because Anakin’s not quite as adept in the Force as Qui-Gon believes. They do bring him into the Jedi fold, but more to fine tune his abilities and have him fly the larger craft for the Jedi. Qui-Gon is able to request Anakin as his ‘personal driver’ and introduces him to Kenobi. Kenobi doesn’t like Anakin, because Kenobi thinks everyone who isn’t a Jedi is beneath him.

Episode I pretty much happens the way it does, but not with Anakin blowing up the control ship. Rather Anakin is able to fly a transport into the control ship and have commandos blow it up from the inside. Anakin gets recognition, but only as an after thought.

This starts Anakin down the path of the darkside. Palpatine begins to understand what is going on and by the time we get to Episode II, we find that Anakin has become more of a personal driver for Palpatine. Occassionally, he flies for the Jedi. Palpatine gives Anakin some rudimentary training in the ‘jedi’ arts, and sees the potential. Palpatine makes sure that Anakin is very in touch with the Jedi Council – making him a sort of driver for Yoda and Mace. Palpatine is also making sure bad things happen so that he can get his cloned army approved.

Oh, and it’s not Padme, the Queen, that Anakin falls for, but one of the handmaidens. It makes it a lot less awkward for him to have a relationship. Since he’s not really a Jedi, he pretty much runs around undetected.

In Episode III, we see that Anakin has gotten good, and the council is starting to consider allowing Anakin to become a Jedi – mostly because the war has started to thin resources.

In a final turn, we see that the council changes their minds, and continue to treat Anakin as hired help. Palpatine reveals himself to Anakin and invites him to turn to the dark side. So he does. And then we get pretty much the ending of “Sith” like it plays out, but not with that stupid Padme bit. No, Anakin’s hate and training with Palpatine turned him into a killing machine. Kenobi shows up and is able to defeat Anakin because he’s more patient, trained as a Jedi, not as a Sith. When Anakin is revived as the Vader we know, he vows to destroy the Jedi.

And then we get a much more vicious Vader, because he’s out killing Jedi because they denied him his glory as a Jedi.

Then when we get to Kenobi trying to seduce Luke, we see that it was Kenobi’s lies that brought down the Empire, not the redemption of Vader.

Bombad. What is it?

In my world, this game never existed.

Hey, it may not be great, but it’s better than what we got from Lucas.

I bought the HD-DVD drive for the Xbox 360. I paid $35 for it. Sam’s Club was clearing them out. I actually got their last two and gave the other to a good friend of mine. I was pleased.

And about a year later, the Format Wars ended. HD-DVDs lost. Blu-ray won. I was disappointed, but also happy.

HD-DVD on the left, Blu-ray on the right, here I am... stuck in the middle.

HD-DVD needed extending claws to beat Blu-ray.

I have bought more HD-DVD discs since the end of the format wars. Sure, they’re harder to find in retail outlets, but I happened to buy 5 or 6 from Goodwill for $4 each. I found MI:3 at Half Price Books – before the end of the format wars, mind you – for $9. And occasionally, I find some good deals. Sometimes the movie itself isn’t that great, but when you can get HD for less than regular DVDs, it’s almost worth it.

I can't quit you.

HD-DVD, I cain't quit you.

I live really close to Half-Price Books. I swing in there from time to time to see what’s going on. Slowly, they’ve been getting more and more HD-DVDs. I’ve noticed that they’ve been adding more and more titles. There are even two copies of Brokeback Mountain!

But there’s one problem –

THEY WANT $20 FOR EACH ONE!

What the heck, HPB? Do you somehow think that these are now “Collector’s Items?” Are they now somehow worth more because there aren’t as many now? How is it that every other outlet getting rid of these things are practically paying you to take them off their hands, but you HPB, are looking to score major loot of these things.

Little tip – If you have a lot of copies of a particular movie sitting on your shelf in DVD format, then you’re not going to move too many copies of the SAME movie in HD-DVD format. Especially when you can get two or three copies on DVD for the price of the ‘obsolete’ HD-DVD version.

Gallon of Pennies

How much is in this jug? Over 20 HD-DVDs!!!

Here’s the thing – you can buy HD-DVD movies at Amazon.com for PENNIES!!! PENNIES, I say! I paid $30 forTransformers when it came out. Now you can buy it online for less than a DOLLAR!

Why would I spend $20 on an HD-DVD movie at HPB, when I could spend $20 on Amazon and get almost 10 movies for the price, INCLUDING SHIPPING!!!

Okay, so maybe I’m a little annoyed, but shouldn’t I be? I mean, you can buy VHS tapes for a dollar almost anywhere you go. In fact, a lot of places will just give you the VHS tape if you even look in its general direction.

And yes, I’m annoyed at Blu-ray. I don’t think it’s a better quality. I don’t think there’s more to a Blu-ray movie than anywhere else. Some people tell me that BR holds more. That’s cool, but how many deleted scenes can a person watch? I mean, they were deleted for a reason, right? I’ve watched deleted scenes, alternate endings, and cast commentary.

IT DID NOT ADD TO THE EXPERIENCE. The best I could muster was some trivia at a party. Or, a better understanding of exactly how horrible Transformers could have been.

I guess what I’m trying to get across here is that if you find some cheap HD-DVDs, let me know. I’ll probably pick them up. Even if the movies aren’t that great.

If you’re not a Terminator fan – here’s a rundown.
Terminator:
A cyborg and a man are sent back in time. The cyborg’s goal is to kill Sarah Connor, because she gives birth to the leader of the human resistance, and he’s a big pain in the butt for Skynet. The man, Kyle Reese, is sent back to protect her, and ultimately father the leader of the human resistance. Kyle dies, and so does the terminator. Sarah survives and moves to Mexico.
T2:
Sarah has been put into a mental institution because she ‘believes’ the war of the machines and has acted out in retaliation to prevent Judgment Day. Two terminators are sent back, one which is a lot like the previous terminator and one that’s made of liquid metal. The “old” terminator is sent to protect a young John Connor. The other one is sent to kill everyone basically. It’s found that the parts left over from the first terminator are used to reverse engineer technology that actually speeds up the timeline of Judgment Day. Good terminator makes us cry a little as he takes a molten lava swim with the parts. And Miles Dyson doesn’t invent a vacuum cleaner, but he does have a good death scene.
T3:
Two more terminators, another good one in the form of Arnold, and a bad one in the form of a hot chick who is something between the liquid metal one and something else. This time Arnie bot is sent to protect Claire Danes, not Connor, because the Terminatrix (yeah, they called it that) is trying to wipe out Connor’s Lieutenants. At the end, we get a Southern Fried Arnold, beginnings of Skynet, and a nuclear holocaust. And plotholes.
T:Salvation
Lots of terminators, no time travel. A cyborg who doesn’t know he’s a cyborg (story is sort of reverse Pinocchio). John Connor starts heading up a pocket of resistance. We get to see a young Kyle Reese, and Claire Danes turned into Ron Howard’s daughter. At the end, the helicopter somehow manages to escape the EMP blast set off by the nuclear explosion. Oh, and they CGI’d Arnold’s face onto a body double. It’s better that way. Have you seen the Governator’s body recently?
I don’t know what I’d call my Terminator movie, but here’s what would happen.
John Connor realizes that he and Skynet are forever intertwined. They both created each other and both cannot exist without each other. Destroying one after they’ve become established does no good – meaning that even if Skynet killed Connor after Judgment Day, it wouldn’t matter, and the same goes for Connor destroying Skynet. It could happen, but it really has no bearing on the prior events. Humanity suffers a huge loss, and Skynet never gains complete control.
Since Connor realizes this, he also realizes that he can do something that Skynet never could or never would do – and that’s sacrifice himself (itself, in the case of Skynet) in order to protect humanity (world control, in the case of Skynet). Connor obviously can’t kill himself, because once he’s born, there’s really no stopping the events of Judgment Day. Nor can we erase seeing Arnold in star shades.
So what does Connor do?
He sends back the original bad terminator to kill his mom. Skynet ups it one and sends back Kyle Reese.
I know what you’re thinking – wait, Kyle said that he was sent back by none other than John FRIGGEN Connor in the first place.
I got that covered. In Salvation, Connor infiltrates one of the terminator factories. While there, Skynet could easily do scans and create a terminator based on Connor, knowing that it wouldn’t pass muster in any other role than a brief moment with Reese to send him back in time.
But Toby, if the terminator was sent back in time to kill Sarah, wouldn’t John have a really good idea where his mom was at the time? Ask yourself that question – did you know your parents’ address before you were born? Add to it that he’s born a bastard and most likely born in Mexico, and things really get fuzzy. It’s probably not a memory that Connor really has stored away. So he does what he can – send Arnold back to a general area with the general knowledge of where Sarah would be.
Kyle, however, being a human and vaguely familiar with how humans work (maybe even prior to Judgment Day), can use simple detective work and find where Sarah is and then work on it from there.
Skynet knows this, and probably doesn’t know any more than that. My reasoning is that when Judgment Day happened, Skynet basically rendered exabytes of data useless. Skynet wouldn’t need to keep the data, because in its bloated mainframes, it believes that it only needs the data that it has, or will obtain in the future. Sort of like a moving sale, where your goal is to get rid of everything that you can and then trash the rest.
Since John doesn’t disappear BTTF Style, he figures things didn’t go well in 1984. So what does he do? He sends back the T-1000. Skynet does a quick reprogram and boom, Arnold is the good guy.
Again, no disappearing.
Now John is getting frustrated, because he can’t seem to end it. He can’t render himself non-existent. Now he’s grasping at straws. So what does he do? Finds a Terminatrix and sends her back to off his Lieutenants and kill Claire Danes. Again, it didn’t work and we still have to see Arnold in star shades.
I haven’t written this movie yet, but if I did, I think I’d get it going this way –
We open up just a few months following T:S. John is trying to figure out a way to stop everything. He’s thinking long and hard, and as the birth of his child comes, he remembers what it was like growing up with his nutso mom. That’s when he gets it. He knows that in order to stop everything (maybe in a, “No matter what I do, I can’t stop it. I couldn’t do it when Robert Patrick was chasing me, and I couldn’t do it when that hot chick was hunting down my future wife who hated me for stealing her stuff or whatever happened in that crappy part of my life” moment)
Uh… yeah, he realizes in some moment that his existence is what spurred on the creation of Skynet and therefore ended humanity as we knew it. Or as he knew it. We’re not really in the movie. In fact, I doubt there was much movie making post-Judgment Day.
I should mention that these thoughts run through his head just as soon as his intelligence officer says that there is rumor that Skynet is building a time machine. Of course this intelligence is on the brink of death because he/she narrowly escaped from the T-750s or whatever. The dying breath is a rough estimate of where the rumored “Flying J” is. I call it the Flying J because that’s what I think it would be like. The Terminators pull up to a pump, and then get crappy service at the counter, and then boom. Off to 1955 to off Marty’s parents and ensure that Biff becomes a billionaire.
So in an homage to those movies in the past where the hero hatches a plan and whispers it into everyone’s ear, we get a montage of whoever takes Bale’s place talking to Ron Howard’s daughter and her crying her eyes out because they’ve got an infant there and she’s all hormonal and doesn’t want to disappear like McFly. In my head, he tells her that she won’t disappear. Sure, that kid will, but at that point it won’t matter because she’ll have whatever great life she was leading when she was a veterinarian.
Then was see John lead a small band to infiltrate another factory, the one where that dying person said it’d be. Along the way, there would be Kyle asking why they’re doing this, and exactly why they got killer robots and not zombies for the apocalypse. John keeps him calm and lets him know there’s a great chance that he can loose his virginity and mumbles “in 1984″…. Of course Kyle asks what’s 1984, and then John says, “a book by George Orwell. It’s like our lives but without the killer robots.”
They infiltrate the facility only to find that the princess is in another castle. But that’s because they nicknamed the time travel thing “Princess” and the facility was called the Castle. Someone will then mention how things are looking Up. Up. Down… you get the idea.
So off to another facility, but not before having to destroy a whole bunch of Arnolds. You know, it’s easy to do that in the 2030s, but not so much in the 1980s, 90s, or 2000s. Interesting.
Then they get into the right castle and find the princess. But John runs off ahead, to ‘recon.’ Which is code for send back a Terminator. Skynet, having been toying with cyborg tech since 1984 takes the opportunity to send T-JC-420 in to trick Kyle into going back into time. Of course, the John Connor cyborg has no idea and says things like “records are popular, Pokemon is big, and Seinfield gets huge laughs.” Kyle agrees because he’s curious what pokemon are.
And the movie leaves off with Real John Connor facing Cyborg John Connor. They may fight, but I think they’d become best pals and hang out and play pool at the flying j.
So that’s how my terminator movie would work. Probably more serious with lots of action and drama, and a lot less references to pop culture.

If you’re not a Terminator fan – here’s a rundown.
Terminator:A cyborg and a man are sent back in time. The cyborg’s goal is to kill Sarah Connor, because she gives birth to the leader of the human resistance, and he’s a big pain in the butt for Skynet. The man, Kyle Reese, is sent back to protect her, and ultimately father the leader of the human resistance. Kyle dies, and so does the terminator. Sarah survives and moves to Mexico.
T2:Sarah has been put into a mental institution because she ‘believes’ the war of the machines and has acted out in retaliation to prevent Judgment Day. Two terminators are sent back, one which is a lot like the previous terminator and one that’s made of liquid metal. The “old” terminator is sent to protect a young John Connor. The other one is sent to kill everyone basically. It’s found that the parts left over from the first terminator are used to reverse engineer technology that actually speeds up the timeline of Judgment Day. Good terminator makes us cry a little as he takes a molten lava swim with the parts. And Miles Dyson doesn’t invent a vacuum cleaner, but he does have a good death scene.
T3:Two more terminators, another good one in the form of Arnold, and a bad one in the form of a hot chick who is something between the liquid metal one and something else. This time Arnie bot is sent to protect Claire Danes, not Connor, because the Terminatrix (yeah, they called it that) is trying to wipe out Connor’s Lieutenants. At the end, we get a Southern Fried Arnold, beginnings of Skynet, and a nuclear holocaust. And plotholes.
T:SalvationLots of terminators, no time travel. A cyborg who doesn’t know he’s a cyborg (story is sort of reverse Pinocchio). John Connor starts heading up a pocket of resistance. We get to see a young Kyle Reese, and Claire Danes turned into Ron Howard’s daughter. At the end, the helicopter somehow manages to escape the EMP blast set off by the nuclear explosion. Oh, and they CGI’d Arnold’s face onto a body double. It’s better that way. Have you seen the Governator’s body recently?
I don’t know what I’d call my Terminator movie, but here’s what would happen.John Connor realizes that he and Skynet are forever intertwined. They both created each other and both cannot exist without each other. Destroying one after they’ve become established does no good – meaning that even if Skynet killed Connor after Judgment Day, it wouldn’t matter, and the same goes for Connor destroying Skynet. It could happen, but it really has no bearing on the prior events. Humanity suffers a huge loss, and Skynet never gains complete control.
Since Connor realizes this, he also realizes that he can do something that Skynet never could or never would do – and that’s sacrifice himself (itself, in the case of Skynet) in order to protect humanity (world control, in the case of Skynet). Connor obviously can’t kill himself, because once he’s born, there’s really no stopping the events of Judgment Day. Nor can we erase seeing Arnold in star shades.
So what does Connor do?
He sends back the original bad terminator to kill his mom. Skynet ups it one and sends back Kyle Reese.
I know what you’re thinking – wait, Kyle said that he was sent back by none other than John FRIGGEN Connor in the first place.
I got that covered. In Salvation, Connor infiltrates one of the terminator factories. While there, Skynet could easily do scans and create a terminator based on Connor, knowing that it wouldn’t pass muster in any other role than a brief moment with Reese to send him back in time.
But Toby, if the terminator was sent back in time to kill Sarah, wouldn’t John have a really good idea where his mom was at the time? Ask yourself that question – did you know your parents’ address before you were born? Add to it that he’s born a bastard and most likely born in Mexico, and things really get fuzzy. It’s probably not a memory that Connor really has stored away. So he does what he can – send Arnold back to a general area with the general knowledge of where Sarah would be.
Kyle, however, being a human and vaguely familiar with how humans work (maybe even prior to Judgment Day), can use simple detective work and find where Sarah is and then work on it from there.
Skynet knows this, and probably doesn’t know any more than that. My reasoning is that when Judgment Day happened, Skynet basically rendered exabytes of data useless. Skynet wouldn’t need to keep the data, because in its bloated mainframes, it believes that it only needs the data that it has, or will obtain in the future. Sort of like a moving sale, where your goal is to get rid of everything that you can and then trash the rest.
Since John doesn’t disappear BTTF Style, he figures things didn’t go well in 1984. So what does he do? He sends back the T-1000. Skynet does a quick reprogram and boom, Arnold is the good guy.
Again, no disappearing.
Now John is getting frustrated, because he can’t seem to end it. He can’t render himself non-existent. Now he’s grasping at straws. So what does he do? Finds a Terminatrix and sends her back to off his Lieutenants and kill Claire Danes. Again, it didn’t work and we still have to see Arnold in star shades.
I haven’t written this movie yet, but if I did, I think I’d get it going this way -We open up just a few months following T:S. John is trying to figure out a way to stop everything. He’s thinking long and hard, and as the birth of his child comes, he remembers what it was like growing up with his nutso mom. That’s when he gets it. He knows that in order to stop everything (maybe in a, “No matter what I do, I can’t stop it. I couldn’t do it when Robert Patrick was chasing me, and I couldn’t do it when that hot chick was hunting down my future wife who hated me for stealing her stuff or whatever happened in that crappy part of my life” moment)
Uh… yeah, he realizes in some moment that his existence is what spurred on the creation of Skynet and therefore ended humanity as we knew it. Or as he knew it. We’re not really in the movie. In fact, I doubt there was much movie making post-Judgment Day.
I should mention that these thoughts run through his head just as soon as his intelligence officer says that there is rumor that Skynet is building a time machine. Of course this intelligence is on the brink of death because he/she narrowly escaped from the T-750s or whatever. The dying breath is a rough estimate of where the rumored “Flying J” is. I call it the Flying J because that’s what I think it would be like. The Terminators pull up to a pump, and then get crappy service at the counter, and then boom. Off to 1955 to off Marty’s parents and ensure that Biff becomes a billionaire.
So in an homage to those movies in the past where the hero hatches a plan and whispers it into everyone’s ear, we get a montage of whoever takes Bale’s place talking to Ron Howard’s daughter and her crying her eyes out because they’ve got an infant there and she’s all hormonal and doesn’t want to disappear like McFly. In my head, he tells her that she won’t disappear. Sure, that kid will, but at that point it won’t matter because she’ll have whatever great life she was leading when she was a veterinarian.
Then was see John lead a small band to infiltrate another factory, the one where that dying person said it’d be. Along the way, there would be Kyle asking why they’re doing this, and exactly why they got killer robots and not zombies for the apocalypse. John keeps him calm and lets him know there’s a great chance that he can loose his virginity and mumbles “in 1984″…. Of course Kyle asks what’s 1984, and then John says, “a book by George Orwell. It’s like our lives but without the killer robots.”
They infiltrate the facility only to find that the princess is in another castle. But that’s because they nicknamed the time travel thing “Princess” and the facility was called the Castle. Someone will then mention how things are looking Up. Up. Down… you get the idea.
So off to another facility, but not before having to destroy a whole bunch of Arnolds. You know, it’s easy to do that in the 2030s, but not so much in the 1980s, 90s, or 2000s. Interesting.
Then they get into the right castle and find the princess. But John runs off ahead, to ‘recon.’ Which is code for send back a Terminator. Skynet, having been toying with cyborg tech since 1984 takes the opportunity to send T-JC-420 in to trick Kyle into going back into time. Of course, the John Connor cyborg has no idea and says things like “records are popular, Pokemon is big, and Seinfield gets huge laughs.” Kyle agrees because he’s curious what pokemon are.
And the movie leaves off with Real John Connor facing Cyborg John Connor. They may fight, but I think they’d become best pals and hang out and play pool at the flying j.
So that’s how my terminator movie would work. Probably more serious with lots of action and drama, and a lot less references to pop culture.