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Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens
jawapro
Thu 17/12/2015 11:20 AM


 
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There has been an awakening... 

It’s the morning after Star Wars Episode 7 finally came out. I was at the midnight showing with a couple of mates.

The movie isn’t perfect, but I really enjoyed it.

Now, it’s going to be hard to mention anything without heaps of spoilers, so I’ll keep this nice and short.

I’m still a little bitter that Disney have wiped the slate clean and entirely ignored the Star Wars Extended Universe that had been created by thirty years worth of books. I was really invested in that universe, but it’s no longer considered canon, and the movies exist in an entirely different timeline.

That said - it you’re going to start again, I thought Episode 7 did a very good job. 

Kylo Ren is the new bad guy. I won't spoil who he is - but he’s a very different villain to Darth Vader. He is extremely powerful, but he also doesn’t appear to be very well trained. His anger may make him powerful, but it also causes him to lose control. He’s far less stable than the dark Jedi we’re used to.

For the most part the effects are great and feel like they belong with the original movies. Unlike the extremely CGI prequels, Episode 7 has a lot of practical effects and creatures. And it’s so refreshing. CG is awesome, but it doesn’t have the same feel. With the exception of the creatures in the freighter at one point (which were very CG and didn’t feel right) the rest of the effects seemed spot on. This is of course, after a single viewing, I might change my tune slightly after watching it again.

The biggest disappointment was the ‘threat’ and final battle. It was very familiar, something we’ve seen twice before. I think I can mention it without anyone complaining, because it was on the poster for crying out loud. The First Order (bad guys) have built something called Starkiller Base. That’s a pun on the fact that Luke Skywalker was called Starkiller in a very early draft of the script for the original Star Wars - but it’s basically another Death Star. It’s different, but the same. It’s not bad, but it would be nice if they’d thought of something different.  It felt a little underwhelming story-wise, and although it’s more powerful than the Death Star, it felt less threatening. 

But the personal conflicts and battles happening within that final battle were brilliant. I can’t say much here without spoilers, but it was very well done. Likely to cause some contention though.

I’ll certainly watch it again - but at this point I’m happy to say it’s better than the prequel trilogy. It may not be pefect, but JJ Abrams has proved that he’s better at capturing George Lucas’s magic from the original trilogy than George is himself.

May the Force be with you - as we wait for Episode 8,

   


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On no!
jawapro
Wed 02/12/2015 07:38 PM


 
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I'm surrounded by fake Lego Dinosaurs!



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Cyclops
jawapro
Wed 02/12/2015 07:33 PM


 
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So my car decided it would like to be a cyclops for a while, and blew one of my low-beam headlights.

No fear - I'll go to Supercheap and grab a replacement at lunchtime. Before I go, I do a quick Google search - apparently I need a H11 globe.

I get to Supercheap, and they have a handy book on the shelf, but it says I need a H4.

So I grab my phone and google again, one site says I need a H7, but the Nava site agrees with the H4.

That's two for a H4, so I get a H4.

Of course, when I get the old globe out after work, it's a H7.

So it's back to Supercheap in the morning :)
 


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My Car was stolen!
jawapro
Sat 14/11/2015 08:32 PM


 
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One of my cars was stolen last weekend!

Thankfully it was only the little blue one that lived on my letterbox.

The blue guy had been there for almost 4 years - not bad given the reputation my 
street has.
HummVee Letterbox - 15/11/2011

Of course, the blue truck was to replace a red one that had only lasted a month before being stolen.

Letterbox Tales - 21/07/2011

That didnt take long... - Wed 24/08/2011

The blue truck lastest longer because I’d made more of an effort to secure it - which means that they stole the entire roof the letterbox. People are daft.

I’ve made a temporary timber roof while I decide what’s to come next in the letterbox saga, Stay tuned.

   


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Dimensions and Portals
jawapro
Thu 08/10/2015 02:10 PM


 
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So LEGO Dimensions landed last week. It’s LEGO’s most recent computer game, and a major push for the company.

It’s basically Skylanders of Disney Infinite but with LEGO. If you’ve never played those games (like me), the idea is that you collect toys that have special bases. You put these bases onto a pad that comes with the game and connects to your console, which lets you use those characters in the game.

So if you put your Aladdin toy on the pad, suddenly Aladdin appears in the game.

The other games come with figurines rather than actual toys - they look good on display, but you can’t really play with them apart from the game.

LEGO Dimensions comes with actual Lego. Apparently you can change the models and that changes the in-game model too - but I’m not really sure how that works. 

Anyway - I don’t have the game, and don’t really intend to get it unless it gets cheaper.

I’m not sure how the game will go - as the packs are quite expensive. Base game is over $100 (ranges from $100ish to $150 depending on store). The extra level packs can be quite expensive too. The Portal one is around the $40 mark.

Will it take off as a game? I dunno.

The thing that will sell well is the exclusive licensed packs.

For example, the Portal Pack. 

As a huge fan of Portal and a huge LEGO nut, I couldn’t resist picking up an official LEGO Portal set, even with the high price point for the number of pieces.

And judging by how hard it was to find this set, everyone had the same idea. I had to visit about 6 stores before I finally found one (the last one in stock) at JB HiFi.

I’m not sure how much this will help the game’s sales though - as most of the packs aren’t exclusives like this. There are Jurassic World packs, Lord of the Rings, Simpsons, Chima, Ninjago, LEGO Movie etc, but they all appear to be minifigs we’ve seen before, so they won’t appeal to the collectors like myself, and might not sell quickly if at all.

There are some more desirable packs coming up in future waves (some new Ghostbusters figures, Dr Who etc), but it remains to be seen how successful the game itself is.

In the meantime, I’ve got myself some Portal LEGO, so I’m happy.

Annoyingly the Dimensions sets don’t appear to come with instructions because they expect you to be playing the game, and I assume the game tells you what to build. If you’re just after the models like me, I found the instructions here: http://lego.brickinstructions.com/en/lego_instructions/set/71203/Level_Pack:_Portal_2

And just for comparison, here is a Dinsey Infinite figure I got cheap a while back.

 
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