Sunday, August 10, 2008

Charging the Batteries

For once, I can safely say that I’m entering the coming work week fully rested and ready to be productive. For two straight days, I slept in, watched movies, hung out with friends and generally turned off the part of my brain that tends to leap from one crisis to another.

No, I haven’t seen Pineapple Express, but from what I’ve heard, I’m sure I’m going to love it. As a fan of pretty much all things Judd Apatow—going back all the way to his short-lived series Freaks and Geeks—I know it’ll make me laugh my ass off. Between Pineapple Express and the upcoming Tropic Thunder, there’s plenty to enjoy at the multiplex this month.

Oh, and there is that whole Star Wars: The Clone Wars thing hitting theaters on August 15. Color me skeptical at the moment. I think it’s great that George Lucas it taking Star Wars in new and different directions, but I’m confused as to why he felt the need to further explore a time period that has been mined countless times already, from books to comics to a previous animated series by Genndy Tartakovsky. I’m not one to bash the Star Wars prequels—although, I still find them inferior to the classic trilogy—but I think that the general public is pretty bored with the pre-A New Hope era. There’s nothing more distancing than watching faceless automatons fight each other (for the uninitiated and therefore more attractive and popular, I’m talking about clones versus droids), but the fact that we’ve already seen how that conflict ends in Revenge of the Sith makes the entire thing seem frivolous. One of the chief problems with the prequel trilogy is that it spent too much time answering questions that we never asked. Wouldn’t an animated film and series chronicling the three-year Clone Wars era be doing just that?

Speaking of Star Wars (which I tend to do more often than is socially acceptable), I’ve been spending a great deal of time these days with Soulcalibur IV, which features playable characters from the Star Wars universe. As an Xbox 360 owner, I have the privilege of playing as Yoda, while my Playstation 3 brothers and sisters (mostly brothers, but female gamers feel free to speak up) have the chance to play as the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader. Yeah, I’m kind of envious, but Yoda kicks ass in his own muppety way. Also included is Darth Vader’s secret apprentice—from the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Unleashed—who is playable on both versions of the game. It’s great to see these characters crossing over into a solid, mainstream fighting game like this, but I doubt I’m the first person to be thrown into a Wookiee rage whenever they run into someone online playing as Yoda. The little green bastard is tough.

Anyway, have a great week Wortmaniacs!

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