2019 Dec 08 | Brighten the Harbor Lighted Boat Parade in Monterey, all Star Wars movies

Time to watch all of the Star Wars movies in order. I decided to watch them in chronological order rather than release order.

And it begins.

The famous crawl.

My thoughts on Star Wars Episode 1: 2/10. Utter crap, both as a Star Wars movie and as a film in general. Horrible script, horrible dialogue, especially the queen, horrible acting. It's all about politics and trade deals; insanely boring. It also introduced the two absolute worst things about Star Wars: Jar Jar and Midi-chlorians. Best parts: the pod racing scene and the Darth Maul fight at the end. Compared to when I first saw it: I really enjoyed it when I initially saw it. Maybe it was just not having a Star Wars movie for so long, but the sound effects were amazing at the time, especially during pod racing and the final lightsaber battle. But it has aged horribly and I can't get past how bad the rest of the movie is.

Episode 2: 3/10. Just barely better than the first. It's too confusing figuring out all the groups they are talking about and who is working with whom. Anakin's acting is completely grating. The classic Star Wars music keeps starting at the wrong times. There are lots of stupid hand movements by the jedi during fights. Yoda's weird sentence structure seems very forced. Having a famous actor like Samuel Jackson is too distracting. Best parts: seeing Yoda fight with a lightsaber. Compared to when I first saw it: About the same, didn't like it then, don't like it now.

Episode 3: 8/10. The opening is much more interesting and fun, and Anakin isn't nearly as annoying. Some dumb stuff: a piece hunk of metal falls on Obi-Wan but just perfect so it incapacitates him but doesn't kill him; so unlikely. R2D2 is a little too slapstick. The Tarzan yell during the Wookie swing is dumb (how would they know Tarzan?) but still funny. The Yoda CGI is bad. The Anakin and Padme relationship actually feels real. Palpatine's argument about having to know both sides of something to truly understand it is convincing (and largely correct in the real world). The Jedi and Sith music is better timed. Emotions are more realistic. Battle of the Heroes during the final battle is an amazing song. Best parts: Yoda sword throw and Yoda pushing the red guards like they are nothing. Compared to when I first saw it: I really didn't like it when it first came out, but seeing it in order and fitting into the story made me really enjoy it.

Episode 3.5: 8/10. K-2SO is absolutely hilarious. It doesn't have the vibe of a Star Wars movie. The ground blowing up from the Death Star is cool. The blind guy is funny but is quite unrealistic in fights depending on how force sensitive he is. Belief / use of the force by a non-Jedi is interesting. "The Force moves darkly near a creature that's about to kill;" another striking idea. Much more of a gritty resistance vibe. Demonstrates there are difficult choices in war. Cassian is very complex; Jyn is annoying and simple. Jyn's speeches are horrible. R2D2 and C3PO make it feel like Star Wars. K-2SO's death is sadder than any human death in the film. The Corvette pushing the Star Destroyer into the shield was awesome. The fact that the main characters die for the cause is very emotional. Vader's breathing in the darkness and him in the hallway afterwards is absolutely amazing. Best parts: K-2SO's humor, Vader's attack at the end.

Onto the one that started it all.

Episode 4: 10/10. No humans at the beginning; just R2D2 and C3PO; they define Star Wars more than lightsabers and the force and anything else. There's action right at the beginning. There is evil and good music from the start. You're introduced to the bad guy right near the start. You get a great feel for R2D2 and C3PO's personalities from the start. The added special effects are atrocious; they get in the way, they're distracting, and they add nothing. The movie is so great in its simplicity and those subtract from it, not add to it. Great character development on everyone. Uncle Owen buying stuff is like so many guys I know; they don't care about extras, just what they're interested in and want to get in and out of the transaction fast. Luke is the typical complaining teenager but isn't annoying and is very realistic (compared to Anakin in 1 and 2) and is excited about the rebellion. Slow story development, teasing, makes you want to know more, piece by piece. Luke's music is beautiful. Facial expressions say so much; amazing acting by everyone. Disrespect of the force / religion is realistic. The burned human skeletons are horrific; I couldn't imagine a studio putting that in a major blockbuster now. Force mind influence is subtle, not too obvious. There is blood after a lightsaber cuts off an arm. Mos Eisley has more great character development and the aliens there are done very realistically. The new Jabba CGI looks like crap. Han has to calculate the light speed jump; it doesn't just happen. Both good guys and bad guys miss a lot with blasters; very realistic. All the good guys are jerks in different ways; it's hilarious but realistic. Darth and Kenobi meeting has so much more significance after the prequels. The light saber fights are very simple; seems like a letdown after how crazy they were in the prequels but both fighters are much older and out of practice now. It shows all of the support people who are needed to fly a ship. Communication between ships is distorted realistically. Best parts: how realistic everything is, how many little details are included, how real the emotions and acting are.

Episode 5: 6/10. lol, it looks like the snow monster from the animated Frosty the Snowman movie. Luke's force pull: how did he know that was possible? Ben's force ghost has weird timing. The acting and dialogue seems worse than 4. Longer musical scores; 4 just had brief pieces. Vader has a long-distance force choke. The separate scenes seem very disjointed. Why would the snow ships have harpoons? On Dagobah, Luke plugging in R2D2 and eating; little details are nice. The puppet Yoda is so, so much better than CGI Yoda. A new big bad in the Emperor. When they're on the asteroid: they need oxygen masks; finally some place that doesn't have normal air to breathe. Being inside the giant worm in the asteroid was cool. Yoda is still very powerful to lift the ship. If Vader keeps killing people he won't have anyone good left. The Vader and Luke fight is only OK. Vader throwing little things at Luke is pretty meh after Yoda and Dooku throwing massive pieces of metal at each other. Being his father isn't surprising after the prequels. Best parts: Yoda on Dagobah.

Episode 6: 5/10. A second Death Star; how unoriginal. Again, the new CGI is all crap. The Jabba scene is fun. There is another Skywalker isn't a surprise after the prequels. Speeders through the trees is entertaining. The Emperor's music is quite evil. R2D2 has many gadgets now. The whole Ewoks sublot is annoying. Luke talking to Leia and Vader is nice but has rather bad dialogue. Lightsaber fights are rather meh, but Luke lacks training. Luke taking Vader's mask off is so emotional. Old Anakin force ghost was better; Luke wouldn't even know who that dude is. Best parts: father and son coming together moment.

Episode 7: 6/10: BB-8 is just a new toy to sell. Another famous actor pulls you out of the movie. Humanizing the storm troopers is a neat idea. Kylo's unstable lightsaber is cool. Kylo's laser blast freeze is awesome. Poe joking to Kylo is rather dumb. Old crashed Star Destroyer and walker is cool. Rey dreams of leaving on a spaceship like Luke but has much less character development. How can Rey understand BB-8; nobody could understand R2D2 except C3PO. The Millenium Falcoln was fun but extremely unlikely. Rey went from not knowing how to fly the Falcoln to avoiding obstacles inside a Star Destroyer; so unrealistic. Too much dumb humor, although Kylo's temper tantrum is rather humorous. So unrealistic of Han to find the Falcon so fast and likely from so far; how far do trackers reach? Death Star #3; so unoriginal. Snoke is cool. Redo of Mos Eisley; unoriginal. Why do they bring BB-8 everywhere instead of hiding him? That's so dumb. Old Vader helmet: meh. The First Order are way too obviously Nazis; make it a little less blatant. Han and Leia talking seems honest. How would Rey know it's possible to Force mind influence someone? The Death Star #3 weapon charging from the sun is cool. "That's not how the force works" is hilarious. Phasma is cool but underutilized. When the sun is gone, it's ready to fire: why does it have to use all of the sun and not, say, 90%? The cinematography on the bridge is beautiful. The bowcaster has such variable power; it blew up a group of storm troopers earlier and now just injures people. The lightsaber fights are cool. How would Rey know how to force pull the lightsaber? Best parts: some little details (like Kylo freezing the laser blast), some of the cinematography. Compared to when I first saw it: definitely worse. Initially it was so fun seeing old fan favorites after so long, but now it's just so unrealistic having them show up.

Hey, where is Episode 8?

Aw, it's not on Disney+ yet. I guess we have to rent it on Amazon.

Episode 8: 1/10. The line of ships down to the planet is cool. The "I can't hear you" phone joke is so, so horrible. Bombers in space is dumb. She could have never caught that remote; it was too far down before she started moving. Luke tosses the lightsaber: WTF? Porgs: more dumb toys to sell. Snoke's face looks fake. Luke going to take on the entire First Order: uh, no, just go kill its leader. Green milk from animal: just utterly horrible. Why did Luke have to go to the other side to stab the fish? Constant jokes are funny but get annoying and don't feel like Star Wars. Leia force flight: absolutely moronic. Chewbacca eating a porg while others watch: WTF? Rose doubts Finn but nobody would doubt their hero that fast. All the talk about how the tracking works just sounds stupid; how would they know exactly how it works? Why would the island caretakers keep up the Jedi structures? Luke messing with Rey is funny but dumb. The force does not belong to the Jedi is a good point. Lasers blasts wouldn't curve in space as there's no gravity when ships are shooting at other ships. Why don't Rose and Finn hide the ship somewhere instead of out in the open on a beach? Aw jeez, a diatribe on war financing; this is even worse than the politics and trade deals in 1 because it's trying to make a bigger point. How did Snoke get to Ben? The codebreaker is another famous actor that pulls you out of the movie. Why didn't he break out of the cell earlier? How would BB-8 fit all of those coins inside? The fathiers have a rather human-ish face which is really creepy. Why would the fathiers run through a wall? Overused trope: fall off right at the edge of a cliff. Why are Kylo's pants so high? If Kylo were cut on his neck from Rey's lightsaber, it would have been much deeper into his face. If Yoda can call down lightning, why not fry Snoke? Holdo not telling Poe the plan makes sense as he could be a spy but she could at least tell him they have a plan so he doesn't mutiny, gah. Some of this stuff feels like it belongs in Space Balls. How would the First Order ever not see the little transports? "Godspeed, rebels;" is God in Star Wars? Ben couldn't hide his intention from Snoke; when you think "my enemy," you don't think the words "my enemy;" you think of the image of that person; so stupid. Kylo and Rey vs the guards: there's no previous indication of how good the guards would be at fighting. Overused trope: the guards take turns attacking Kylo and Rey. Why don't Kylo and Rey use the force? They could just force push all the guards away. Why doesn't Rey join Ben, stop shooting the transports, and try to turn him to good? Why did Holdo wait so long and let so many transports be destroyed before attacking with the cruiser? Cutting someone's head off with a laser axe doesn't hurt more than getting shot; it's instant death. The lightspeed ship through the other ship was very cool. Overused trope: the floor falls under Phasma right after she says something. Overused trope: half of Snoke's body falls. More dumb animals. Only way in or not; except it's not. It's salt, and he tastes it; who cares that it's salt? What does that add? Who cares? Red under salt: just to look cool, no reason for it. Why the hell did Chewbacca bring a porg? Overused trope: the porg on the window when the Falcon turns sideways. The miniature death star cannon is cool. Guy repeating Kylo like a submarine and Kylo staring at him: dumb. Rose knocking Finn out of the cannon's way is so so so dumb. It'd make sense if she said she couldn't stand losing him, but "That's how we're gonna win. Not fighting what we hate; saving what we love." WTF is that? Who is writing this schlock that doesn't even make sense? Nice conversation between Luke and Leia, but how is Ben really gone? He's still conflicted and Rey could still possibly turn him. Overused trope: Luke wiping dust off his shoulder. Finally C3PO gives some odds. Overused trope: just happens to be one ice fox to follow. Lifting rocks is too obvious. Luke's Matrix move under Kylo's lightsaber is so dumb. The kid force pulls a broom - what's that supposed to lead into / mean? I really wanted to find out who Rey and Snoke are; how disappointing. Nobody said, "I have a bad feeling about this." (I Googled it; BB-8 saying it in a language we don't understand doesn't count; hearing that saying in every movie was my wife's favorite part of this entire series and she was extremely disappointed it wasn't in this movie.) Best parts: Lightspeed ship attack, kind of Luke's humor but it doesn't really fit.

How the future looks: not good. I absolutely hated 8. 4 was a finely crafted work of unique cinematic art; 8 was a by-the-numbers Marvel copycat. They have completely lost the soul of Star Wars. Utterly shameful, but that's what seems to make money, and money is what motivates studios, so that's likely what the future holds.

Overall, amazing series, but only 3, 3.5, and 4 are great movies; the rest are pretty meh. I also think I'd prefer to watch them in the order they were released rather than the story order because that way the surprises in 5 and 6 are still surprises.

That's so nice.

I remember watching Joe Bob Briggs with Dad on Friday nights at the clinic. Great memories.

Some snails outside.

So many leaves.

The storm knocked down this tree.

Backed up on the way to work.

Due to the highway flooding.

Especially in this low spot under the bridge.

Even more rain in the afternoon; these cars crashed.

It's really coming down.

The rain caused a levee to break by the highway and cause a huge traffic mess. Everyone had to go around on side roads, and some of those ended up being flooded, too. It took some people five hours to get home instead of 30 minutes.

People taking side roads to avoid the flooding on the highway.

At least we can get through here.

Too many ads in our mailbox. I signed up to a couple different remove-me-from-your-mailings lists, so hopefully that'll cut down on these.

Ogii really likes whipped cream.

Maybe too much.

Bright sunset.

Football at Buffalo Wild Wings.

This woman was taunting back and forth with people cheering for the other team. That makes it so much more fun.

Time for an Advent calendar chocolate.

This scene from The Mandelorian is beautiful.

Ogii busy wrapping presents.

Hey, where did all of our chocolates go?

They slid way down here.

Shaking them back.

Except now they don't match. Target sells some really cheap crap now.

They also reused all of the pictures. This bunny with a present is exactly the same in both tabs.

Don't want Christmas tree leaves all over the car.

That's a little too big.

This one seems about right.

Old woman with a chainsaw.

This thing wraps the tree instantly; they just shove it through.

It almost fits. Just have to shove the tip over a bit.

Cute family of deer.

We'll start with the baby.

We also bought a new tree stand as the old one was pretty rusty. This one has these little levers so you can move the screws quickly. Very nice; now we don't have to screw the entire way.

Uh oh, still a little tall.

Young woman with a handsaw.

Still just a touch too tall.


Ogii decorating.

Us by the tree.

Time for some football.

And turkey legs.

Close game.

Leaping into the endzone.

Best play of the year. Kittle was running, a defender knew he didn't have a chance to tackle him, so the defender grabbed Kittle's facemask and held on, hoping he could drag him down. A 15-yard penatly for the facemask would be better than a touchdown.

Except Kittle kept going, and it took two more defenders to finally tackle him. Amazing effort.

Down by one; can they make the fieldgoal?


At Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey.

For dinner at Cafe Fina with Dr. James Hicks.

A table by the window.

With a view of some stand-up paddleboarders.

They were lit up for the Brighten the Harbor Lighted Boat Parade.

Where all of the boats...

... have Christmas lights.

The dock was crowded with onlookers.

The boat on the left had dolphins that lit up in a way that it looked like they were jumping forwards.

Dr. Hicks and me.

More coming in.


Lots of lights.

Umbrella jellyfish.

Giant snowman.

Another line.

A few people.

A lot of people.


All the boats docked.

A video.

The wharf was crowded.

A tree out front.

Another mismatched Advent calendar chocolate.

Lights on the car.

Fog in the mountains.

Nice sunrise.

Colorful tree.

Ski lift.

The Star Wars stars...

... all have lotteries...

... where you can win a trip with them...

... to the the premiere of Rise of Skywalker. Four chances to win.

This PokerStars PowerUp game is fun.

There are some pretty bad players; that was a horrible call by him.

That was close.

I won.

Hey, where is the game?

It was right here a few days ago.

Aw, the discontinued it.

And replaced it with this game.

And this game. You would think they could at least still leave the game somewhere, but nope, it's completely gone. That's too bad; it was really fun.