In regards to the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, I’m of two minds. On the one side, I loved the action and the overall flow and the characters were fresh and interesting. I really liked the character Rey. She’s pretty cool how she’s been surviving on her own on the planet Tatooine. The only thing I didn’t like was how she kept feeling like she had to go back to the planet. Yea they explained the why in the storyline, but even so it didn’t sit right with me. Finn, the Stormtrooper, was another cool character. I liked his story even better and the whole “awaking” made sense enough to complete his character, especially with the whole concept of the Stormtroopers being stolen children raised and drugged into obedience. I guess after the Clone Wars the Empire moved away from the whole cloned soldier thing, not that doing so makes any sense. I mean seriously, why would the Sith Empire move away from cloned Stormtroopers?
Overall the action in the new movie was fast and the scenes cool, but still there was something lacking. At first I couldn’t put to words what it was. After the movie was finished we sat and talked to a German couple that wanted to discuss the film’s storyline and merits. I was still trying to figure out what didn’t sit right with me about the movie, when something the German guy said struck a chord. He said the movie was very predictable. After thinking about it for a moment, I realized he’d hit the proverbial nail on the head.
There was no true surprises in the storyline like there’d been in any of the other episodes’ storylines. Yea there was the awakening of Finn, but you knew something was going on and it wasn’t a surprise. Rey flying the ship out into space and being caught by Han and Chewbacca wasn’t a twist. There was a storyline as to why they were there, which worked. The Rathtars in this Han Solo thing were pretty kick ass. Made me think of how an Eye of the Beholder from Dungeon and Dragons would look in real life. Still, it wasn’t a twist in the plot that amounted to anything. Also, Kylo Ren started out the movie super kickass and scary Sith that made Luke Skywalker look like a child playing with the force, but almost immediately turns into a whiny Emo wannabe Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.
Overall the storyline itself and the feeling of desperation was very vanilla. The producer was trying to get that New Hope first Star War’s movie feel, while mixing in the emotional intensity of the Return of the Jedi and not really catching either feeling. There just wasn’t that fear of annihilation from the original Star War and the destruction of the Death Star. More importantly there wasn’t any amazing twist that changed the whole storyline that made sense once you saw it and made you say Wow. It was like they were trying to force too much into one story.
Now don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the movie. I immensely enjoyed the new Star War’s film. Still the negatives were major enough that it made me think seriously over Destiny’s storyline to make sure I didn’t make the same mistakes. Thankfully so far I am happy with the plot twists and the ending, although I’m still waiting to read through the whole flow of the story to make sure everything is just right.
Still, being in Germany during Christmas time is not all about Star Wars. Normally it’s about Christmas Markets. Every town in Germany has a Christmas Market and Germans love to go to their local city’s or village’s market throughout the week. Usually vendors come in with these prefab timber shops that they put up to sell their wares, carnival food and warm alcoholic drinks. Usually the drinks are gluhwein, which is a mulled wine served hot. To be honest, it’s not my favorite drink. Thankfully now-a-days they have two other choices: apple juice served warm with a shot of amaretto or a Bailey’s coffee. Being the non-drinking I am, one apple juice with a shot of amaretto is more than enough for me and even better it tastes good.
The other thing that the Christmas Markets are known for is their carnival food. Different in many way then what is typical for the USA. The core essential food for any Christmas Market is bratwurst on a round bun with mustard. Germans just love their bratwursts, that and their roasted fried almonds. There are some other fun foods like handmade doughnut and a flat bread like pizza covered with cream, bacon bits and onions, which I like best. Lastly there is all of the vendors selling all kinds of hand crafts like any other carnival. All in all fun stuff, except for one thing. They do these markets in the middle of winter, outside and without any heaters to keep you warm. The only thing warm you have is the gluhwein. Frustrating when you’re from Florida. I’ve never been one for standing outside and freezing to death, while eating and drinking. Unfortunately I seem to be the only one of this mindset. Thankfully this year has been unusually warm and my annual visit to the Christmas Markets was actually pretty enjoyable.
A quick update on my sick boy Kanchen is that the surgery came out okay. Unfortunately there wasn’t much they could do, except trim back the tumor so that his head doesn’t feel like it’s trying to split open from the pressure. The doctors are doing a biopsy, but it’s really only to see which type of cancer we are dealing with. Hopefully the surgery will give him some more time without severe pain. I spent the day watching over him and working on Destiny. Yesterday during the surgery I ended up reading a new book from Elliot Kay called “Life in Shadows” http://www.amazon.com/Life-Shadows-Elliott-Kay-ebook/dp/B018VBMPTI/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1450908392&sr=1-1&keywords=elliott+kay The awesome part of the book is that it’s in the Good Intention’s universe, which I absolutely love. I don’t know how Elliot managed to get the book out while working on his published series Poor Man’s Flight, but somehow he managed to squeeze it out. My hat off to your Mr. Kay! If you get a chance check it out and leave a good review. It’s the only way we’ll motivate him to keep the series going.
For those of you who keep up with my web site, you know I ran into Elliot Kay by accident. A fan of mine who I’ve become friends with directed me to check out the Good Intention Series, which I just loved. Henceforth that lead into reading all of Elliot’s other books and keeping up with his personal story somewhat. It was awesome to hear that he was picked up by a Publishing company for his Poor Man’s Fight series.
I try to work on my own writing style a lot by checking out Elliot Kay’s writing and John Conroe’s. Both writers have become two of my favorite authors to keep up with. John Conroe’s God Hammer series is a great example of an overpowered hero that still struggles against overwhelming odds. There is so much to learn from both writers style. For now there is not much I can do but keep writing and getting my content out. Only in that way can I be a writer that does this as their primary job. Making it to that point would be a dream come true.
Anyway, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays. I celebrate Christmas, but it’s the Santa Clause and Christmas Tree style of the holiday and the idea of giving flavor. For me, the idea of giving and sharing is very important during this time of year. The way I tend to do this is by baking cookies and sharing them out with people I care about. This year I did eight batches of cookies and five different types: traditional chocolate chips, oatmeal peanut butter chip cranberry, oatmeal banana raisin, oatmeal peanut butter and crushed walnuts and straight peanut butter drop Hershey chocolate kiss cookies. Europeans love the American style cookies and they are a great hit. Best part is I get to share and give in the gift of giving and the ideal of “paying it forward” that I love so much. Christmas Eve will be a Polish style dinner that my wife likes to make. Thankfully I’m off the hook this year for baking a twenty-two pound turkey with all of the sides. We only do that when family is visiting. Everyone always finds it crazy to have such a humongous bird on the table and all of the American style sides makes my wife family think of the American Christmas shows that they see on TV. Fun stuff all around. The best present I have this year is time off with my family and seeing Kanchen feeling much better. He still hurts, but he’s obviously is in less pain after the partial removal of the tumor.
I hope everyone’s holiday is wonderful and spent with people that you love and cherish.