Is the girl from A Quiet Place deaf in real life?

a quiet place emily blunt millicent simmonds
Having a deaf daughter saves an entire family in an alien invasion. Who knew?

Is the girl from A Quiet Place deaf in real life? In a word, yes. The girl, aptly played by Millicent Simmonds, is deaf and speaks American Sign Language. And she’ll definitely be in this year’s follow up film, but presumably older and wiser.

Representing Disability in A Quiet Place

Actor-director John Krasinski pushed hard to have a real hard-of-hearing/deaf actress represent the deaf community. Judging by her actions and reactions in the film’s narrative, it was a superb choice.

I think it’s very difficult to make this kind of sensory difference come out right, so I had to wonder — is this actress truly deaf? A stand-out scene that sent frantic chills down my spine had Simmond’s deaf daughter Regan alone in the corn fields. Indeed, Regan’s quiet as a mouse, unaware one of the deadly but blind creatures was behind her, just…listening.

Simmonds hit all the right notes and I hope she did her community proud. She’s not the first deaf actress to star in a big feature film, but this one is less about in-your-face deafness and more about using it as an unexpected tool of survival.

Great Quiet Place casting gives this sequel hope

If you were one of the many movie fans pleasantly surprised by 2018’s sleeper hit A Quiet Place, you’re probably excited to catch the 2020 A Quiet Place II sequel. The original offered the right combination of refreshing cleverness, a terrifying plot that DOESN’T explain everything by the end, and ambitious hints of world-building… It’s a compelling work by the handful of speaking roles actors in the film.

Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe (most recently appearing as Peter Miles in 2019’s wonderful Ford v Ferrari)…and John Krasinski himself round out a small but tightly scripted cast in this truly brilliant — then copied wholesale in Sandra Bullock’s slightly-less-stellar but still worthwhile BirdBox — futuristic horror-lite instant classic. But can the follow-up be as good?

With great writing and a talented cast, all things are possible. I have hope. I’ll be at A Quiet Place II opening night…in shoes that don’t squeak, buying no snacks that can rustle. Seriously, someone in my theater jiggled a candy bag once and I thought they were going to get lynched. 😉

A Quiet Place – RunPee Jilly’s Movie Review (with SPOILERS)

Movie Review: A Quiet Place (RunPee Dan’s Review)

A Quiet Place 2 Announced

Movie Review – Ford v Ferrari

First View Movie Review: Star Wars – the Battle for Endor

Because I’m a crazy geek and want to understand all the canon Star Wars material out there, I decided to view all the ‘extra’ shows and movies Lucasfilm created, some of which may or may not be part of the larger narrative. Have you seen The Mandalorian yet? It’s amazing. Have you seen The Star Wars Holiday Special yet? It’s atrocious.

I decided I need to see Rebels and Clone Wars, which are considered quite good…and the really, really bad films that no one to owns up to watching. So, sit back and see if what you ignored the first time around is still as awful as you thought.

Here’s the 1985 Ewok made-for-TV movie review of Battle For Endor (I’m having trouble finding a free version of 1984’s Caravan of Courage, so stay tuned):

While it’s not easy to get your hands on a copy of these Lucasfilm Ewok TV movies, I found a terrible copy of the 1985 Battle for Endor on You Tube — and will review it right here and now, because, why not? I don’t want to miss my chance before someone takes this link down! (Like maybe you, George Lucas!)

With the Skywalker saga coming to a close in Rise of Skywalker — and The Mandalorian and the Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ shows in the works — I felt it was time to catch up on all the live action and even animated Star Wars specials…anything that might be considered part of the over-arcing story.

I’m surprised I skipped such miserable yet amusingly wacky outings like the Star Wars Holiday Special after all this time. I’m going to rectify this now.

Let’s continue after the Holiday Special with the Ewok duo of movies. George Lucas apparently liked Ewoks so much he made two films about them. He even got Warwick Davis to reprise his “Wicket” role! Too bad he didn’t ask anyone first if they wanted more Ewok tales. We could have saved Lucasfilm a bit of money.

Here’s one copy of the Battle of Endor (a bad copy, true) on You Tube to watch along with my commentary:

The Battle for Endor (1:20 minutes long — be ready)

Notes:

— This is a bad You Tube copy. I can barely hear it. I can’t even tell if the sound track sounds anything like John Williams.

— This Ewok has crazy looking eyes. Is this Wicket? Why does he look so bad?  I’m in the uncanny valley alread. If you didn’t hate the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi, you’ll want to look away from the terrible costuming going on here. I wish they tried better to make Warwick David’s Wicket character work. Seriously, Davis deserves better than this.

— I totally cannot hear this You Tube recording. I might need to sign up for Disney + to get up to date with old Star Wars cannon.

— The little kid is cute, but I can’t tell if it’s a girl or a boy starring in the role.

— The teen kid is a lot like Luke Skywalker. I like the role, but we never see him again. That’s too bad. He’s better than the kid or the Ewok or anyone else we’ve seen so far. (Note: I hear he plays a larger role in the Ewok’s Caravan of Courage.)

— Bad guys are introduced and they suck. I don’t care. Also good guys are introduced. But there is no decent storytelling here, in spite of Paul Gleeson trying his best.

— The production values on the Endor moon look great. Too bad I don’t get the story. Who are these new villains? Can’t the Empire provide decent bad gals/guys?

— Why am I watching this? Bored now. I think this is largely due to not understanding the lines. Does anyone have a better copy for me to review?

— The main Ewok (in spite of being played by the otherwise reliable Davis) is not given subtitles as things progress. This is poor storytelling — it’s not like Ewoks are cool in the first place. Lucas did this same thing to his detriment with Chewie’s family in the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Although maybe there are Orcs in the tale, which are an early Lord of the Rings concept. I think those are Orcs.

15 minutes in and I’m so bored

— Let’s keep going. I don’t mind kiddie stories as long as they are still interesting for adults.

–Pterodactyls. Okaaaay.

— I still don’t get why the kid and the Ewok are doing anything they do. This is pretty, but honestly, the crazy Star Wars Holiday Special is more exciting. Atrocious as that Lucasfilm wacky movie length Star Wars ‘movie’  is! Never thought that would be better than something else Star Wars-adjacent.

— New character making a meal for the kid and the Ewok. This is decent storytelling. But who is this?

— Clearly this is for children to watch, which explains why I missed it all this time. I was 12 when A New Hope came out and never thought Ewoks were a good idea. Battle For Endor has got decent production values at least. I think Lucasfilm decided the home-to-TV-movie would land us enough views to appreciate. But, no. I WISH I could move on from reviewing it. This is for you, fans.

— I’m a half hour in and want to turn this off. Maybe we should have anticipated Jar Jar Binks from this monstrosity…except Jar Jar is actually more interesting than whatever is happening here. I don’t understand why George Lucas made this awful TV movie. (To sell Ewok toys I guess.)

— The kiddo tells the bad guys why it’s not right to kidnap him. I don’t know why they even want this child. Willow did the story much better. Just watch that again instead of this mess.

— Does anyone think this is a good narrative? Who are the bad guys and good guys and why should I care? No wonder I never heard about this.

— Look, it’s Worf the Klingon! No, it’s actually nothing at all. Move along, move along.

An hour is done! Shit howdy and holy Jedi Force tidings, but this is bad. Chewie and his family waiting for Life Day is actually better.

— A battle begins! Do I care? No. Who are these people?

— I appreciated the Dewback mounts from A New Hope on Tatooine reprised here.

— Apparently, a lot of fans tried to watch The Battle for Endor because The Mandalorian was so good. Fans are trying to catch up to the bits of pieces of missed canon film in existence. You know what? Don’t bother.

— The final battle isn’t too awful. But I doubt you’ll make it this far into the film.

— I did it! It’s over. I watched this so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Should you watch The Battle of Endor?

No. Absolutely no, and this is from someone who watched and even sort of appreciated the insanely weird Star Wars Holiday Special. If you have kids that really like the Ewoks from The Return of the Jedi, maybe this is for you. For adults, SKIP. Really.

Otherwise…welcome to a total fail for Star Wars fans. The production values are good enough to keep The Battle for Endor from getting a total F grade, but I think I’m being too kind.

Movie Grade: D-

 

Willow Revival added to Disney+ line up (And Top 15 Willow Movie Quotes)

The Star Wars Holiday Special …Is it really that bad?

Star Wars – Top Seven Reasons to Watch The Mandalorian Now (No spoilers)

The Most Anticipated Science Fiction & Fantasy Shows of 2020

Avengers: Endgame
One “game” you can’t be late to.

In a post-Endgame, post-Star Wars Saga world, I have a hole in my soul where movie anticipation used to live. I had a lot of anticipation in 2019 for the new Terminator film, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Men in Black International, Zombieland 2, and Jumanji 3. All let me down in some way. They weren’t fails (mostly), but didn’t come close to how idyllic the original films were.

Endgame was the only perfect finale. I’m happy enough with Rise of Skywalker, but feel strangely empty knowing 42 years of storytelling is done.

I no longer have a burning desire to know how the next thing turns out. In fact, the only movie I’m excited for offhand in 2020 is Black Widow. And I’m actually a little bit meh on that. Call it a sort of Post-Snap Depression.

black-widow-may-2020The Best Sci Fi is on Television these days

Strangely, it’s TV that’s got me jazzed this year. The 2019 Mandalorian Season One was so good that my faith in Disney and Disney+ is restored. Can Season Two happen now? (What? No more ’til next fall? I cry foul!)

But there are other shows I’m crazy with anticipation for.

Here’s my short, short list for upcoming 2020 sci-fi shows:

The Mandalorian (Disney +)

Star Trek: Picard (CBS All-Access)

The Orville (Moving to Hulu)

falcon-and-winter-soldier-show-disney-plus

The Falcon and Winter Soldier (Disney +)

It’s annoying that all the best shows are being vacuumed up by premium channels. This must stop. Between Netflix, Hulu, CBS All-Access, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, consuming all the good stuff will cost more than cable used to be. Remember cable?

I actually remember when TV had four stations: CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS (for Sesame Street and Mr Rogers Neighborhood). And they were free. That’s what commercials were for. I have more time to pay than money, so commercials are fine in my book. However, I’m not the boss of TV, so I’ll have to figure something else out.

Twinkies not included.

2020 Movies to Anticipate?

There’s also the next Fantastic Beasts film, but no matter how much I like those, I don’t love them. They just aren’t Harry Potter. They kind of feel like The Hobbit movies compared to the Lord of the Rings. Or maybe prequel movies never live up to expectations in general (which might explain my meh-ness about Black Widow).

If you love your superheroes, sci fi, and fantasy features, there’s definitely good stuff coming, but patience is required. Who knows when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 will be — 2022? And Thor 4 is slated for 2021.

eternals

I’m fairly disinterested in 2020s The Eternals. The MCU will probably surprise us with a good film regardless, based on their track record. It’s just that I don’t need new characters in an already crammed shared universe.

What movies and TV shows are you looking forward to this year? Or do you also feel…kind of tired of it all?


RunPee – Our 2109 Movie Review Rankings (and who was stuck with the worst films!)

Jumanji Character Names and Skills

Avenger Superhero Powers, by Category

Critic Movie Reviews v RunPee Family Reviews

The Star Wars Holiday Special …Is it really that bad?

Is it really that bad?

Yes. Yes it is. With a few moments that were faintly amusing.

Created using the real-to-goodness original cast of Star Wars from A New Hope, The Star Wars Holiday Special was an earnest  1978 TV movie featuring awful production values, clearly stoned actors, and some really cracked-out looking Wookiees. Really, no wonder Chewbacca spends his whole life with Han instead of Itchy and Lumpy. (REAL NAMES. Holy hell George Lucas, were you high too?)

How did they get Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford to do this? (Besides paychecks.) It’s so bad even Lucas is quoted as wanting to take a hammer to every copy of The Star Wars Holiday Special and smash them into oblivion. Good thing You Tube exists to thwart him. Bwahaha!

Viewing this is a Geek Rite of Passage that I need to attend to. Okay, I’m starting it now. So far, it’s got a crazy narrative opening crawl titling it Star Wars Episode IV 1/2.

Yes. 4.5: Does this make it canon?

Can I watch The Star Wars Holiday Special sober and review it for RunPee? Let’s find out.

Instead of making a really great cohesive article, I’m going to just jot comments as I go. I don’t want to work harder at this than I have to. As Threepio famously says, “We seem to be made to suffer. It’s our lot in life.”

Want to join me in the fun? Start ‘er up here, until Lucas finds and destroys this version. Then just search for another. It’s like playing Whack A Mole. Thank the Maker for the Internet!

Notes from the infamously terrible Star Wars Holiday Special, done by points because Math Is Fun:

Settle in. The Special is an hour and half long. MOVIE LENGTH, folks. I might need The Force to get through it. I have a bad feeling about this -1

Life Day sounds cool. It’s a Wookiee thing that’s hugely important to Chewbacca’s family. We never hear about it again. Now that Rise of Skywalker is finished, maybe Chewie will go back home. +1

The matte screen of the Wookiee home world Kashyyyk is fake looking, but very pretty. I’d live in these luxurious Air BnB tree houses. +1 point.

Star Wars Starfighter merch! Luke isn’t the only one to play with toys. Wookiees do too. +1

Why are the first 20 minutes filmed in grunts and roars with no subtitles? I know in-universe everyone speaks Wookiee, but in our viewing galaxy, this is a bizarre choice. -1

Poor Ms. Chewbacca. She’s crying as she holds a photo of her husband. Chewie is an absentee father, ya’ll. No wonder he didn’t earn a medal. -1

Neat 70s decor in the Chewbacca homestead, though. +1

The little kid and old man Wookiees. These are some weird looking Walking Carpets, but they’re still cooler than Ewoks. +1

I thought we were going to see a call-back of the awesome Holographic Chess Game from the Millennium Falcon, but it turned out to be something…inexplicable. Sea Monkeys in space? This goes on and on. Holy hell. A good Peetime. -1

A transmission from Luke! Fiddling with R2-D2! Actual speaking lines! +1

When did Luke learn Wookiee? He also understands R2’s Binary language. Okay,  I don’t care. (No points awarded either way means it’s a neutral comment.)

I think Mark Hamill is wearing eyeliner. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

AHA! Chewie goes to Life Day annually! So…he visits his family once a year. Lame. -1

R2 is still da Droid. +1

And now for a transmission  with Imperial Officers at a Galactic Trading Post. This is promising. +1

I actually like the Pocket Sized Aquarium. But why is this here? +1 anyway.

Plot development….and the line about doing it by “Han(d), Solo” was cool. Maybe this won’t be so bad .+1

Star Destroyers! And Vader. +1

WTF. Okay, back to home life on Kashyyyk. This is where the truly weird stuff happens. Why is there a cross-dressing cooking show? Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that.  At least we learn how to create a savory Bantha rump stew. Move along, move along. -1

Outrunning Tie Fighters is good. Harrison Ford looks like he’s trying to make his scenes work. Poor guy. No wonder Ford wanted to kill off Han. +1

The trader shows up at House ‘Bacca. More plot!  +1

Whoohoo! We survived the first half hour, relatively unscathed.

Wait. What? Wookiee VR porn? For ten minutes! I’m no longer unscathed. Delete ten points for this shit. -10

A transmission from Leia and C-3P0. But not even the makeup on Carrie can hide that’s she’s totally not sober. -1

Stormtroopers. Not too bad a scene, considering. And the trader provides some understandable translation from the endless grunts and roars. He’s not as funny as he thinks, though. I’ve seen better fan films.

The evil Imperial agent watching Jefferson Starship. A ten-minute Jefferson freaking Starship video in the middle of this movie. I’m seriously confused. -1

The kid — Lumpy? Or Itchy? — sits down for some more inexplicable TV watching. Is all this filler, or did someone decide half of the show should feature non-sequiturs? …But wait: it’s the Boba Fett cartoon show! It’s got Han, R2, Admiral Ackbar,  and all the regular OT gang in it. It’s probably the best segment of the Holiday Special.  I’m almost okay with this, but why is Chewbacca’s son watching a show where ‘real people’– including his father — are ‘acting’ in it? I don’t understand, but this somewhat awesome viewing. There’s even a Y-Wing Starfighter. +1

(I’ve decided the cartoon-within-the-show was an excuse to run an animated show they already halfway produced and didn’t know what else to do with.)

And what is it about Star Wars and lava?

I hate to say this, but after seeing Season One of The Mandalorian, the Boba Fett cartoon explains some apparent Easter Eggs. Also Fett rides a dinosaur. Again, is any of this considered canon? +1

There’s a Starlog Update in the Boba Fett show! Was Lucas a Star Trek fan ? It made me smile anyway. Too bad they never did more of these Boba Fett cartoons. It’s so much better than many of the live action movies. +1

Back to Wookiee grunts and moans: the actual plot. -1

One Hour has passed…40 more minutes to go. Sigh.

 

YAY — the Wookiee child watches yet another weird-ass show on the Galactic Internet. I think it’s a toy instruction manual, like what you can find on You Tube. With dumb humor. And it never ends. -1

A new scene from Mos Eisley: it’s the Cantina Band! I don’t mind if this is just extra footage they wanted to use, but enough already. Apparently all they do on Wookiee World is watch TV. Maybe it’s a meta commentary about the internet, from before the internet. Well, actually, I doubt it. The Holiday Special isn’t clever enough for that.

The Cantina stuff is totally unused footage from A New Hope. Even aliens like the Hammerhead are in it. I’ll just enjoy it as a Star Wars deleted scene. +1

Oops: spoke too soon. There’s more footage from the Mos Eisley Cantina, and It. Is. Bad. There’s also a Golden Girl in it. Don’t make me describe this  anymore. Delete ten more points. -10

Ooh, is that blue milk? Nah, beige milk. What a missed opportunity. -1

Are we done yet?

I’m understanding why I never watched The Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s really, super, uber, astoundingly weird. Weird can be good if done right (see Farscape), but this is just a hot mess. There’s a romance between the Golden Girl and a man who pours drinks in a HOLE IN HIS HEAD. -1

Turns out Head Hole Guy (played by Harvey Korman) is a six fingered man. I’d give this ten bonus points if I was sure it was an homage to The Princess Bride, but I seriously doubt that. -1

The  Cantina ‘romance’ is so awkward that I miss watching the damn Wookiee porn. I don’t know what this is here for. Was it intended to be a pilot episode for a continuing Star Wars rom-com? Am I overthinking this? -1

And now there’s Bea Arthur singing a Star Wars version of Semisonic’s  Closing Time. Make it stop, please. -1

Bringing it home for the holidays

15 more minutes. I can do this. I’m totally a (storm) trooper.

Child abuse. -1

Chewie and Han made it home! Harrison Ford is still acting, unlike everyone else, who’s clearly given up. +1

I THINK I JUST HEARD A WILHELM SCREAM! Plus ten for unexpected awesomeness! +10

Awww. And now for the feels. I could watch Han Solo do anything, really, even if it’s just giving hugs to groaning Wookiees. +1

Peter Mayhew really deserved better than this. And Chewbacca, but at least he finally got his medal in Rise of Skywalker. Oh, spoiler. Sorry about that.

Chewie’s bowcaster! +1

Wookiees kissing! -1

Plot. +1

The dead Stormtrooper is named 7-11. I really wish I knew if that was an intentional joke, or just randomness.

LIFE DAY! Finally. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Let’s get those red robes on so Carrie Fisher can sing and end this thing. The opening crawl promised us a singing princess.

The denoument: magic candles, Wookiees walking in space/walking into a star, what the holy Force hell? Just when I figured the stupid was done. -1

Suddenly, C-3P0 and R2 appear to share tidings of comfort and joy. It’s fine. Everyone shows up. We’re almost finished. +1

The Princess says sappy things. “This is the promise of the tree of life.” What? Is that a reference to the Jedi tree on Ach-To somehow? Whatever. Fisher isn’t a bad singer.

Cue a random montage from A New Hope. -1.

Small heartwarming epilogue. +1

Credits. As with (almost) every Star Wars film, there are no extra scenes.

And… It’s over. Happy Life Day!

I did it! I finally watched this train-wreck! Ten Points to Gryffindor House. Oh wait: wrong saga. I hope you appreciate that I watched this for you so you don’t have to. 😉

Overall, I wish I could say this was a parody. But it’s not funny enough to matter. Or sensible enough. Yes, even parodies can be high quality and brilliant on their own. Take a look at Troops, a riff on Cops (with Stormtroopers). This isn’t anything like that. At least there weren’t any Death Stars.

Movie Grade, using Star Wars Math: +33 points, and -31 points…leaving The Star Wars Holiday Special with a surprisingly positive total of 2 points. That’s a lot better than I actually expected, saving it from a total Fail.

Let’s give this a D- for effort.


Maybe I’ll find the two Ewok TV specials to review next, because I’m an  idiot completist. 

Here’s the 1985 trailer for The Battle of Endor, also officially made by Lucasfilm. A better title: Ewoks — Still Better Than Jar Jar Binks.

Another time, perhaps. 

Star Wars – Top Seven Reasons to Watch The Mandalorian Now (No spoilers)

The 6 Most Epic Lightsaber Fights in Star Wars (plus 3 that didn’t make the cut)

Two Must See Science Fiction Spoof Film Documentaries (plus: the most ‘inconceivable’ parody of a spoof)

Movie Review – Underwater

Movie Review - UnderwaterUnderwater was much better than I was expecting. I had fun watching it;  they definitely did a great job with the suspense. I took my granddaughter with me and she whispered the funniest thing to me half way through. She says, “Don’t worry Grandma, I’m not gonna ask you to take me to the beach again.” She tells me in the car on the way home that if things like that could exist, she wants no part of the ocean again. Thanks Hollywood — no more sunburns and sand in my car.

I have one major positive and one major negative thought on this film.

The positive side: they did a fantastic job showing you their fear. I could feel the tension — it oozed off of the screen. Many times I put myself in the situations they are faced with, and I figured out that I would have been the first to die. Well played, actors.

My negative side: I wish we would have been given more on the characters back stories, especially Norah’s. (Kristen Stewart) That girl wouldn’t give up. They put in a quick scene about her past, but it was rushed and not very detailed.

Overall, we had a great time and weren’t disappointed.

Grade: B+

About The Peetimes: This movie is short, but jam packed with scenes that just don’t fit into Peetimes. If you use the 2nd Peetime, be sure to get back to your seat before the Peetimes ends, because there’s a critical scene you can’t miss.

There are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Underwater. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)

Rated (PG-13) for sci-fi action and terror, and brief strong language
Genres: Action, Drama, Horror

Is there anything extra during the end credits of Underwater?

The Seven Droids We Love from Star Wars (and what exactly they do)

We love our Star Wars Droids, big and little, especially when they are funny or maybe cute. Moreso when they are funny AND cute — like R2-D2 and BB-8. Every live-action Star Wars movie (plus The Mandalorian) has at least one memorable Droid character tagging along with their human owners.

(Yes, Droids are considered property. This uncomfortable issue about agency and consent rarely comes up in Star Wars.)

Can you name the “Big Seven” Droids we know and love? Do you know what they were created to do? 

First things first. Why are they called Droids?

Unknown. There aren’t any androids in Star Wars. Androids are AI robot machines with flesh on the outside, like a Terminator, or Data from Star Trek…so what exactly are Droids? Every single one is in reality a plain old robot with AI (artificial intelligence) and some degree of EI (emotional intelligence). We never wonder about this. So…go with it. George Lucas must have liked the sound of the word.

Let’s discuss each main Droid with no further ado.

Note: Spoilers follow for all live-action Star Wars films and The Mandalorian

1. C-3P0

Protocol Droid, Human-Cyborg Relations

Job: Language Interpreter and Diplomatic Adviser, Ewok God

Owned By: Anakin Skywalker (his creator), Padme Amidala, Captain Antilles, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, and finally, the Rebels/Resistance in general.

Seen In: Every Star Wars film but Solo. (Also, not in The Mandalorian.)

Notable: Knows Bocchi and 6 million other forms of communication. Not permitted to speak Sith by Senate decree. (We assume Palpatine made this law to keep Jedi out of Sith business.)

There are no true Cyborgs in Star Wars, unless you count Lando’s assistant on Bespin in the Empire Strikes Back. Also, those slaves in Solo who had their faces and brains shaved off and replaced with what I assume is a hard drive. This is too awful to contemplate, so let’s move on.

I’m case you didn’t know, a Cyborg is a human with augmented MI (machine intelligence).

So why does Threepio keep saying Human-Cyborg relations?

2. R2-D2

Astromech

Job: General assistant and on-board flight mechanic for StarFighters.

Owned By: Padme, Anakin, Captain Antilles, Luke, and possibly Rey.

Seen In: Like C-3P0, every Star Wars film but Solo. (And The Mandalorian, right.)

Noteable: R2 is scrappy, spirited, opinionated, friendly, and helpful. He holds the distinction of having never been mind-wiped in the entire series. Only speaks Binary. Counterpart and companion to C-3P0.

3. BB-8

Upgraded Astromech

Job: General assistant and on-board flight mechanic for StarFighters.

Seen In: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker

Owned By: Poe Dameron. He seems to share him with Rey at the end, but it’s made clear BB-8 belongs to Poe.

Notable: Actually cuter than R2-D2, but not as wise. Only speaks Binary. He seems to enjoy physical affection from his humans.

4. D-O

To sell cute toys and merchandise.

Does anyone know what this Droid is for? Seriously, this is all the information that even the Wookieepedia could find. If they don’t know what D-O is for, no one does. Feel free to make it up yourself.

Job: ?? He gets plugged in for information sharing at one point by the members of the Resistance, once he learns to trust them.

Seen In:  Rise of Skywalker

Owned By: Ochi, Rey.

Notable: The smallest droid in the ‘verse, it’s entirely unclear what he does or why Ochi (A dangerous Sith Assassin) needed him. Abused in the past. Rey shows him compassion when he joins the new crew. Also, he speaks Galactic Basic in addition to Binary.

5. L3-37

Navigational Droid, self-made from astromech and protocol parts

Job: Programs ships for Hyperspace lightspeed jumps. Droid Freedom Fighter. Possible lover to Lando. And why not? As she says, “it works.”

Seen In: Solo

Owned By: Lando Calrissian. Mental unit later absorbed into the navigational systems of the Millennium Falcon.

Notable: The only Droid self-identifying as female in Star Wars.  Cares deeply about Droid rights. Frees the enslaved mining Droids on the Spice Planet of Kessel.

6. K-2S0

Imperial Security Droid

Job: Murder, mainly

Seen In: Rogue One

Owned By: The Empire, Cassian Andor

Notable: Extremely funny yet sociopathic buddy to Cassian.

7. IG-11 (AKA IG-88 for detail sticklers)

Bounty Hunter/Assassin

Job: Hunt and capture or kill targets for dubious clients.

Seen In: Briefly in The Empire Strikes Back, and several times in The Mandalorian.

Owned By: Not clear — the Bounty Hunters Guild? Eventually reprogrammed by the compassionate Ugnaught Kuiil, and assigned to Baby Yoda.

Notable: Bounty Hunter-turned Nanny Droid? A lethal fighting machine with a snuggly baby-carrier on-board? Yes!

Other Droids seen and sometimes heard:

Diagnostic Droid (A New Hope – talks Binary to Han on the roof of the Falcon in the Tatooine Landing Bay)

Mouse Droid (A New Hope: the tiny one that runs when Chewie roars at him on the Death Star. This makes Chewie very satisfied.)

The Gonk (A New Hope, Return of the Jedi)

Torture Droid (Return of the Jedi, at Jabba’s Palace)

 

Imperial Probe Droid (On Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back)

Surgical Droid (Heals Luke twice, in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi)

Imperial Interrogation Droid (A New Hope, in Leia’s prison cell)

All the unnamed Droids seen in the Jawa Transport Crawler (A New Hope — see above video)

Pit Droids (the weird little things in Watto’s workshop in The Phantom Menace)

And, finally, the Droids we really, really hate:

Too many ridiculous Soldier/Battle Droids (From the Prequels, especially The Phantom Menace)

Ultimately, there’s a whole Galaxy of other Droids seen in Star Wars. Tell me who I missed in the comments below.


Who appears in every Star Wars movie?

Star Wars – Every Force Ghost Heard in Rise of Skywalker

Every Type of Starship and Starfighter in Star Wars, Explained

Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker in 4D

4d-rdx-poster
They actually don’t allow you to sit in other people’s laps at these things.

Somehow at the 2019 San Diego Comic Con I scored a free Regal Cinemas 4D movie ticket, handed to me by Dan Fogelberg — Jacob Kowalski himself — from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I decided the best possible use of this golden ticket was a 4D showing of Rise of Skywalker, the finale of the  Skywalker Star Wars Saga. I couldn’t think of a better use of this expensive freebie besides a Fantastic Beasts film (which wouldn’t come out soon before the ticket expired). So, I’m about to see my very first 4D movie excursion right now at the Regal Edwards Cinema in Mira Mesa, CA. (That’s in Northern San Diego.)

Spoilers start for Rise of Skywalker. I have to be specific, or not bother writing it up at all. 

entrance-rdx-4d
Welcome to the 4D chamber of delights. Or torture chamber. There’s some overlap.

Okay, I’m back. Here’s what I have to say about the 4D 3D D-Box experience for Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker

Good things, mostly:

The 3D was clear and worked well with the 4D story nods. Worth paying for both together if you’re going to bother with the extra expense.

The vibration feature was effective. This was probably the most effective element in the Rise of Skywalker‘s 4D version.

The wind feature helped set the mood well.

Temperature changes: I felt chilly a few times, but I’m not sure if it was just the wind feature in action. But this is supposed to happen. There probably should have been a few heat scenes during the fights.

Strobe lighting: A few times this worked, but it got distracting after the first few times. Mostly used in lightsaver scenes and anything with Palpatine. I think if you’re an epilectic you’ll want to NOT see Rise of Skywalker in 4D.

The seats rocked and bucked and yawed in tune with the spaceship action. But you stop noticing after a few times, and maybe this could have been done better. Or maybe they didn’t want people vomiting in their chairs. It felt like those old Star Tours rides at Disneyland, but without needing seat belts. I would have preferred more flying action AND seat belts.

Each lightsaber stab gave me an actual poke in the back, in different locations that loosely matched the movie fighting. More or less.

Some water mist on the ruined Death Star scenes were okay. Not enough, though. You are able to turn off the waterworks option on your seat console, so why not do this right for those who wanted it? More was needed. I barely noticed.

Smoke. Although it felt a little gratuitous since this wasn’t really that kind of film.

Scent: Um…a few times I smelt burnt rubber and that was it.

Overrated Things: 

Well, all of it, really, It still felt like they were trying too hard, and the few additions weren’t amazing enough to put me into the action. The effects got gratuitously repetitive, too.  It felt more like, “Oh, hey, they added a thing here. Now stop it.”

Oh, and if you get motion sickness easily, or have other health problems, don’t see RDX 4D motion movies.

There’s a long list of health warnings! 

4D-health-warnings
Look it up online if you’re unsure 4D is healthy for you.

 

Ultimately: should you shell out money for Star Wars in 4D?

Overall: 4D is still a cash grabbing gimmick. It’s fun to do for the occasional film (a RunPee fan told us it’s superb for Ford v Ferrari, and you can feel each gear shift and corner turn), but for Star Wars it was…meh?

I’d wait for the tech to improve before paying $25 for the experience. Do it once at a movie you’re excited about, and see if you’re willing to do it again.

The 6 Most Epic Lightsaber Fights in Star Wars (plus 3 that didn’t make the cut)

Movie Review – Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker (spoiler free)

Star Wars – Death Stars and Planet Killers: Enough Already

Star Wars – Every Force Ghost Voice Cameo in Rise of Skywalker

star wars force ghosts anakin yoda obi-wan
Force Ghost Busting.

Are you a huge Star Wars fan? I think Rise of Skywalker puts me — a die hard science fiction fan — to shame.  Can you place every Force Ghost voice we hear mentally chatting to Rey in the climactic and emotional Skywalker Saga finale?

 Spoilers follow for Rise of Skywalker. This should be obvious. 😉

When Rey asks her Jedi fan club to Be With Her, we finally hear them. It’s great fun to tease out each voice, and some of these callbacks were just thrilling. Who are all these Jedi voice cameos? Could you name them all?

In my first #RoS viewing, the lights came up as soon as the credits rolled, and I missed something crucial: each Force Ghost voice was listed by character and actor in its own section. So I missed that. In my second viewing (in 4D!), I saw this little list scroll by about two minutes after the credits began. It’s not an Extra Scene, but it’s worth waiting for if you want to catch every Force Ghost actor and character name.

Rey and her Force Ghost Voices

Who are the Jedi who finally respond to Rey’s request to “Be with me?” Here’s the list of characters encouraging Rey in Rise of Skywalker:

Luminara Unduli

Ahsoka Tano

Aayla Secura

Mace Windu

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Yoda

Anakin Skywalker

Adi Gallia

Kanan Jarrus

Qui-Gon Jinn

Luke Skywalker

 

I really tried to figure this out on my own from listening during the critical scene, but even if I’d seen every single bit of Star Wars canon that would be kind of rough. I had to make sure to look it all up. About 30 lines go by very fast, almost on top of each other. Tellingly, the messages that stand out the most are from Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda, and Luke. If you’re a Skywalker Saga fan, this should come as no surprise.

Anakin’s line is actually the most significant, story-wise, telling Rey to bring about balance in the Force, “as he did.”

(Remember Obi-Wan’s Force Ghost in Return of the Jedi as he cops to his lies to Luke?)

What else stood out:

Both voices for Obi-Wan Kenobi seemed layered over each other (using the same repurposed line from Sir Alec Guinness in the Force Vision in The Force Awakens over lines from Ewan McGregor). This is cleverly done. Instead of telling Rey she’s taking her first steps, Obi-Wan encourages her to take her final steps. Awwww. 

Frank Oz. Duh.

Liam Neeson! Samuel Jackson!

Hayden Christensen, in his best line reading yet.

Carrie Fisher, and finally (of course) Mark Hamill, putting a cap on the Jedi Ghost lineage.

The other voices, especially the female ones, I just could not place on my own. Since I’ve never seen Rebels or The Clone Wars, I figured the extra voices came from those animated — yet canon — materials.

Catching Up with The Clones

This is why I feel like I need to turn in my Geek card. There’s a lot of Star Wars canon I’ve missed. While I’m currently following (and loving) The Mandalorian, I previously turned up my nose at the animated Star Wars: Rebels and The Clone Wars. All sources report excellent stories therein and I’ll watch them eventually.

I also skipped The 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, because it’s so bad even George Lucas hates it. I’m going to catch it soon anyway. There are wonky copies of it on You Tube that pop up quicker than Lucasfilm can tear them down.  I think it’s something like a geek rite of passage to see something so awful that everyone agrees stinks like a family of wet Wookiees.

(Here’s a copy now. OMG, the opening crawl actually calls this Episode IV 1/2. Does this make it canon?)

I look forward to reviewing these previously undiscovered Star Wars stories here on RunPee. Re-watching the Force Ghost scene in Rise of Skywalker will be more meaningful if I know who those other characters were. In the meantime, I’ll try to avoid story spoilers…besides knowing all the characters must be dead (being Force GHOSTS and all).

What Force Ghost voices did you notice and appreciate the most? Discuss Rey’s cathartic #BeWithMe scene in the comments below. 


Star Wars Analysis – What does balance in the Force mean?

I have a bad feeling about this… Who said it in Star Wars and When?

More Powerful Than You Could Possibly Imagine

Who rated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker higher, men or women?

Who rated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker higher, men or women?

If you go to IMDb.com you’ll see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has a rating of 6.9/10. And at Rottentomatoes.com #RoS gets a 86% from users. (And 53% from critics, but who cares what critics think?)

Infographic of every Star Wars movie ranked by fans on IMDb and RottenTomatoes

That’s nice to know, but user polls like that have always bothered me, because  I don’t know who’s voting. The assumption is that if enough people vote, then it really doesn’t matter. But is that a good assumption? Let’s test it and find out.

In the RunPee app we have a user’s poll — we call it the Peeple’s Poll — that breaks down user voting more precisely by age and gender. We also ask users to submit their expectation vote before seeing the movie to compare with their after-movie vote, to see how a movie performs based on expectations.

Lets see what the Peeple’s Poll numbers have to say about Rise of Skywalker.

Who rated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker higher, men or women?

Raw data of results by gender

expectation
aftermovie
difference
men
75.9 81.5 +5.6
women
76.8 83.6 +6.8
COMbined
76.1 82.1 +6.0

Women have a higher expectation vote than men. And, their after-movie vote is also higher — by a wider margin. The last remnants of the Old Stereotype that Star Wars is for nerdy boys has been swept away.

An after-movie rating in the low 80% range is respectable. For context, an 82.1 score would put Rise Of Skywalker as the 28th best movie of 2019 — just slightly ahead of Joker.

Read the 2019 Peeple’s Poll Movies – Year in Review here.

Turns out men and women don’t rate movies equally. If we look at all votes for all movies we can see there is a slight, but noticeable, difference in how men and women rate movies.

Peeple’s Poll voting by gender for ALL MOVIES

expectation
aftermovie
difference
men
75.4 80.1 +4.7
women
76.4 82.6 +6.2
Women – men
+1.0 +1.5

Remember, the numbers above are for all movies. The expectation vote between men and women differ by 1.0 points, while the after-movie vote differs by 1.5 points. Not huge, but I think it’s interesting that women generally are happier with a movie than men.

Note: this is with over 80,000 total votes submitted.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker departure from average.

expectation

#RoS – overall avg.

after-movie

#RoS – overall avg.

men
75.9 – 75.4 = +0.5 81.5 – 80.1 = +1.4
women
76.8 – 76.4 = +0.4 83.6 – 82.6 = +1.0

Here we can see the departure from average is a little greater for men than women, but again, women still rate the movie higher.

However, in a deeper context, the trend is for women to have an expectation rating that is 1 point higher than men, and in the case of #RoS it’s 0.9.

Let’s call that a wash.

On the other hand, the trend, when considering all movies, is for women to have an after-movie rating that’s 1.5 points higher than men. In the case of #RoS, men are +1.4 and women are +1.0. Women’s after-movie rating is higher, but not by the margin we would expect according to average.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker expectation by age/genderInfographic, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, rating by men and women before movie expectation

You can see that, in general, women had slightly higher expectations across all age groups, except for the 20-29 range. But more interestingly, I think, the 20-29 age range was lower for both genders by wide margins. If you have some reasoning for, that I’d love to hear it in the comments. Notice also that, among women, those under 20 had the highest expectations, while those 20-29 had the lowest expectations. A stark contrast for two adjacent age groups. But, that’s life.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker after-movie by age/gender

Infographic, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, rating by men and women after movie rating

This is where it gets really interesting. What’s up with women under 20? We saw from the expectation chart that women under 20 had the highest expectation, but it’s crazy how much that groups after-movie rating stands out. My guess is that young women identify with the protagonist Rey and young men identify with Kylo Ren. I don’t want to get into anything spoilery, so I’ll leave it at that. But if you’ve seen the movie you can see how the outcome of the characters could have a strong influence on the weak minded young. 🙂

FAQ – Peeple’s Poll

Want to get punched in the nose? Go tell a teenage girl that #RoS sucked. Note: of the 2,800+ votes for #RoS women under 20 has the least number of votes at just 19. I’ll check back in a few days and update to see there are any changes.

The other thing I notice from the after-movie chart is, among men, those in the 30-39 range had the lowest rating for the movie of any group. Why? Let’s see… A man of about 35 would have been around 15 when Phantom Menace came out. Does the scar of Jar-Jar still haunt them? You tell me.

One other statistical result is worth mentioning, and that’s the percentage of votes by women vs men for all movies and for #RoS.

Percent of voters by gender

# of votes all movies
# of votes Rise of Skywalker
women
27,756 810
men
56,031 1,945
women/men %
49.5% 41.6%

You can see that overall women don’t submit votes in the Peeple’s Poll as frequently as men. (2 votes by men for every 1 vote by a woman.) However, I don’t have any overall gender demographics for RunPee app users. I can only go by users who submit votes in the Peeple’s Poll and submit their gender.

For Rise of Skywalker women account for 41.6% of the votes, down 7.9% from the overall trend. My interpretation is that, while women rate #RoS higher, men account for a disportionate percentage of the audience. At least among RunPee app users.

We’re just getting started here. Tell me, what other sorts of statistical breakdowns would you like to see in the future?

Movie Review – Star Wars – Rise of Skywalker (spoiler free)

Star Wars – Death Stars and Planet Killers: Enough Already

The 6 Most Epic Lightsaber Fights in Star Wars (plus 3 that didn’t make the cut)

 

Is there anything extra during the end credits of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker No, there are no extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Anything Extra Details

There are no extra scenes. However, if you’re a fan of the Star Wars music by John Williams there’s plenty to enjoy throughout the credits, including Darth Vader’s theme and the Celebratory passage from A New Hope.

Also, wait a few minutes after the credits roll, and you’ll see the complete list of [redacted for spoilers] characters/voice actors from a key scene in the movie. Without this list, it’s hard to identify them all.

The credits run for approximately 10 minutes.

Read the RunPee movie review for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rob Williams. Movie review grade: A-

Rated (PG-13) for sci-fi violence and action
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Sequel, Star Wars
USA release date: 2019-12-20
Movie length: 2 hours 22 minutes

We have 4 Peetimes for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Learn more.

About The Peetimes
Between we Peeps we’ve seen Rise of Skywalker now 5 times, so we can be sure we picked the best Peetimes and got the details right.

I recommend the 2nd or 3rd Peetime. Both are plenty long, but there’s important scenes that follow each Peetime, so don’t be late.

#MayTheRunPeeBeWithYou