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Friday, December 11, 2015

Star Wars fails at War

Well, it's less than a week until the latest unnecessary installment to the Star Wars saga is released in cinemas. So I may as well chip in my own opinions on it, 'cause I'm sure we need another random on the internet talking about a film that hasn't been released yet. Why is it called 'The Force Awakens' anyway? Considering the Force was around heavily in the prequels, and dwindled to almost nothing by the end of the original trilogy, shouldn't it be called 'The Force Reawakens'?

But's that's not what I'm here to complain about, oh no. For me personally, Star Wars Ep 7 has already failed. From what I've gathered from the trailers, it hasn't even gotten the 'war' component right. I mean come on! It's half the franchise's name! Over the years, I have studied a fair bit on military history. While I don't consider myself a master tactician, I do believe I know something about how wars are fought. Anyway, back to the Star Wars Ep7 trailer. So when is Ep7 set? 20? 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi? In any case, it's been a while. The first problem is that it appears the Imperials are still the enemy. Really? Last time we saw them, they lost the second Death Star, their leader and their capital Star Destroyer (I've forgotten the name of it. Sorry). How do they still have the capacity to fight? Are the Rebels that useless? My other problem is that in the trailer, we see X-Wings and TIE fighters. Now this is dumb, dumb, so fucking dumb, dumb beyond belief. Again, it's 20-30 years after Jedi and both sides are STILL using the same military hardware as before? This is particularly galling for the Empire. Considering how much stuff of theirs has been destroyed in previous movies, why do they persist using the same rubbish that, as we have seen, is inadequate? No! This is not how it's done! War is an arms race, trying to refine and improve your tactics and technology to get an edge over your opponent. Painting the TIES and X-Wings black is not an improvement.

Look at what they did in the original trilogy - In New Hope we saw the standard TIE. In Empire Strikes Back we saw the TIE bomber and in Jedi we saw the TIE interceptor. Now, as far as Star Wars lore goes, maybe all models were always there to begin with, I dunno. But as each film came along, we saw a new type of TIE. This (to me at least) gives the impression that the Empire are coming up with new ships over the timeline of the films. They were developing and improving their technology. Even the Rebels do the same. We see X and Y-Wings in the first movie (of the original trilogy) and by the third they also have the A and B-Wings (huh. I've just realised that X,Y,A and B are also the standard buttons on a video game controller. Sorry, got distracted)

I fear that the new film is making too many call backs to the original trilogy. I hate it when a movie is more 'hey look! It's that thing from the previous movies! Remember that?' rather than expanding and being creative with the franchise.

The original trilogy bollockses up war too. The Battle Of Hoth? Oh that's just woeful! Time for me to rant. Ahem;

I really don't know how the Empire won that fight. They got nothing right. The first misstep was reconnaissance. Why did they send probes to the planet surface? Why not send a high altitude drone? Or an orbital satellite? Both options would have allowed the surveillance of a wider area than a probe at ground level. Plus, something like a satellite may have been harder to detect than probes, which the Rebels detected and were alerted to the possibility of invasion. Then there's the battle itself and the AT-AT. Sigh. This by far is the dumbest bit of military hardware ever created. The AT-AT is incredibly slow (a jogging soldier can outrun one), has next to no maneuverability, has a high centre of gravity and only has guns on the front, leaving it vulnerable to attack from any other angle. I don't know why the Rebels sent out the snowspeeders. Send in Y-Wings! Pummel some proton torpedoes into the side! The high centre of gravity would make them fall over super easy! I also don't get why the AT-AT armour was impenetrable to blaster fire, but suddenly has the integrity of cardboard once the walker gets tripped up. Why couldn't the imperials send in some fighters? They got the walkers down to the surface and under the Rebel's shield somehow, surely they could also send in some low-flying fighters to zip in and destroy the shield generator  much, much faster than those stupid, useless walkers. Plus a speedy assault would have allowed the Empire to capture the base much faster and round up the Rebels before they could escape. This is the other thing - why did the Empire only send one Star Destroyer to Hoth? (was it only one? I can't remember) Why not several? Set up a blockade or something. Maybe it was over-confidence on the part of the Empire. I also don't get why the Rebels didn't also set up some kind of weapon to obliterate the Star Destroyers in conjunction with the ion cannons. I suppose that would result in some kind of prolonged siege. If the Rebels destroyed one Star Destroyer, then the Empire would send more. I guess the Rebels didn't have the resources to deal with it.

Anyway, that's my nerdy nitpicking out of the way for now. I'm sure I will go see the new film, but I'm not expecting much. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas and Stylene

This post serves a bit of a dual-purpose. Not only did I want to make a Christmas themed pic, but this month also marks the sixteenth birthday of my Dogs Of War character Stylene.

It was December 1999 when I first drew her. I don't know the precise date - I kinda wish I had put the date on the drawing at the time. Oh well.

In essence she's remained the same since her conceptualisation. It's just been the smaller details that have changed over the years - eye shape, hairstyle, as well as making her hands and feet brown rather than orange. I'm quite sure there will still be more changes to come - such as her fringe. I know I can come up with something better than that.