Tagged: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Clone Wars, Rebels and more in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

lswtfa_boxart3Details about upcoming DLC for the already hotly awaited LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will make fans of the franchise’s various animated series very happy.  Lego announced that available DLC character packs will include characters from Star Wars: Rebels and Clone Wars, as well as characters from the upcoming series Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, premiering June 20th on Disney XD.

The new Star Wars game takes a page from the LEGO Marvel’s Avengers game by offering a season pass packed tighter than a smuggler’s storage bay, offering extra levels for the main characters of the game, as well as sets of characters from other trilogies and the animated series.

The Season Pass features three brand new Level Packs that extend the LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens adventure with exciting new content not seen in the movie. Each add-on pack will allow players to experience key events from the film in different ways, including Poe Dameron’s journey back to the Resistance base after crash landing on Jakku, the assault on Maz Kanata’s castle through the eyes of Kylo Ren and the collapse of Starkiller Base from the perspective of two Resistance pilots. The Season Pass will also include five (5) Character Packs featuring well-known Star Wars heroes, villains and Droids.

The LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Season Pass will be available for $9.99 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Steam (Windows PC). Players can also purchase each DLC Pack individually for $2.99 each. As an added bonus, Season Pass holders will gain exclusive access to The Jedi Character Pack, which will be available at launch on June 28, 2016.

The level packs are:

Poe’s Quest for Survival Level Pack

  • A whole new adventure following Poe Dameron’s journey back to the Resistance base. After his daring escape from the First Order that left him stranded on Jakku, Poe must search for BB-8 and locate a ship to escape the desert planet in an effort to find his way home.
  • Playable characters and vehicles include: Naka Lit, Ohn Gos, Poe Dameron (Jakku), Strus Clan Leader, Strus Clan Raider, Strus Clan Speeder (Full-size Vehicle), Strus Clan Speeder (Microfighter Vehicle)

First Order Siege of Takodana Level Pack

  • Experience the thrilling assault on Maz Kanata’s castle in a new way. Storm the shores of Takodana with Kylo Ren and the First Order in a quest to capture Rey and BB-8 to crush the Resistance forever.
  • Playable characters and vehicles include: Jashco Phurus, Rosser Weno, Strono “Cookie” Tuggs, Thromba, Laparo, Jakku Freighter (Full-size Vehicle), Jakku Freighter (Microfighter Vehicle)

Escape from Starkiller Base Level Pack

  • After crash landing on the surface of Starkiller Base, join the battle from the perspective of two Resistance pilots. With the help of a loyal astromech droid, outmaneuver the First Order to escape the planet before it explodes.
  • Playable characters and vehicles include: C’ai Threnalli, Colonel Datoo, Lieutenant Rodinon, Lt Wright, R3-Z3, Assault Walker (Full-size Vehicle), Assault Walker (Microfighter Vehicle)


The season pass will also feature five character packs:

The Jedi Character Pack – Season Pass Exclusive / Available June 28, 2016

  • Features powerful members of the Jedi Order. Available exclusively to Season Pass owners.
  • Playable characters and vehicles include: Aayla Secura, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Kit Fisto, Luminara Unduli, Mace Windu, Plo Koon, Saesee Tiin, Shaak Ti, Jedi Interceptor (Full-size Vehicle), Jedi Interceptor (Microfighter Vehicle)

The Prequel Trilogy Character Pack

  • Play as select characters from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
  • Playable characters and vehicles include: Anakin Skywalker (Damaged), Captain Panaka, Darth Maul, Jango Fett, Jar Jar Binks, Padmé Naberrie, Watto, Zam Wesell, Naboo Starfighter (Full-size Vehicle), Naboo Starfighter (Microfighter Vehicle)

The Freemaker Adventures Character Pack

  • Showcases the galaxy’s bravest family of scavengers from the upcoming LEGO animated series, debuting June 20th on Disney XD.
  • Playable characters and vehicles include: Baash (Iktotchi), Graballa the Hutt, Kordi Freemaker, Naare, Raam (Iktotchi), Roger (Battle Droid), Rowan Freemaker, Zander Freemaker, Star Scavenger (Full-size Vehicle), Star Scavenger (Microfighter Vehicle)

Star Wars: Rebels Character Pack

  • Play as the crew of the Ghost from the popular Disney XD animated series.
  • Playable characters and vehicles include: Ahsoka Tano, Chopper, Ezra Bridger, Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus, Sabine Wren, Seventh Sister Inquisitor, Zeb Orrelios, Ghost (Full-size Vehicle), Ghost (Microfighter Vehicle)

The Clone Wars Character Pack

  • Exciting characters from the acclaimed animated series.
  • Playable characters and vehicles include: Asajj Ventress, Aurra Sing, Barriss Offee, Cad Bane, Captain Rex, Commander Cody, Hondo Ohnaka, Savage Opress, Republic Gunship (Full-size Vehicle), Republic Gunship (Microfighter Vehicle)

In addition, people who buy the Deluxe edition of the game will receive early access to a sixth character featuring characters from The Empire Strikes Back, better known as “that really old movie on the snow planetwith the walking thingies” by a young super-hero from Queens (who, coincidentally, also got his own free DLC pack for Marvel’s Avengers this week).

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be released on June 28, 2016. For the timing and release of all other DLC content, keep an eye on the LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channels for details.

ComicMix Six: Box Office Democracy’s Top 6 Movies of 2015

ComicMix Six: Box Office Democracy’s Top 6 Movies of 2015


When I started making this list I was very down on 2015 but I was wrong. I was delighted to relive all of these films; 2015 was a fantastic year.

Honorable Mention: Get Hard – Get Hard is not a movie I reviewed for this site or even one I saw theatrically but rather on an airplane. The marketing for Get Hard was so unappealing to me, but I laughed harder while watching it than I did at any other movie this year. It had all of the uncomfortable moments where this or that rape joke or borderline racist moment happens but it’s overpowered by better jokes and a better attitude. I’m not much for movie quotes anymore but I have found myself saying “You are a disappointment to your parents, who I fucked” a few too many times for polite conversation and that’s got to be worth something.

  1. Furious 7/The Big Short – These are the movies that are probably not good enough to be on this list that I just couldn’t bring myself to cut. In their individual ways these films were both made for me. Furious 7 is not as good as Fast Five or Fast & Furious 6 but the goodwill from those sublime pieces of action cinema is too strong in me. I can’t dislike that movie even if the action sequences might be finally tipping over the edge of my suspension of disbelief and even if the characters might be getting a little too cartoony I love it too much. The touching tribute to Paul Walker is just icing on the cake.Similarly as a economics major who now works as a film critic I’m not sure any film has ever been aimed quite so squarely at me than The Big Short. Explaining the 2008 financial collapse in an understandable way is a herculean task and they accomplish it with no lack of gusto. The acting and the directing are also fantastic, but they feel a little too much like they’re aiming for awards to rate higher on this list. I don’t go to baseball games to see the players swing for the fences with every at bat, and I would appreciate a little more subtlety in my cinema as well.
  1. Inside Out – The real brilliance of Inside Out is in the simplicity of the idea. Of course our emotions are different people inside our heads just like of course our toys come to life when we aren’t looking. It just makes an intrinsic amount of sense. Inside Out is a simple story told very well with dizzying highs and devastating emotional lows and that kind of journey is rare in any movie and even more so in movies intended for children. That Pixar has made this kind of filmmaking so routine is a testament to their sublime artistry and I’m so happy to have them around.
  1. Straight Outta Compton – It’s been a long time coming for a serious filmmaker to make a movie about the dawn of hip-hop in a way that respects its audience, acknowledges the political reality that was urban America in the mid-80s, and respects the artistry the same way the endless parade of rock biopics have done over the years. Straight Outta Compton fulfils that promise and more. I hate when people describe actors as “channeling” a real person when they portray them on film but I feel myself reaching for that word when I want to describe how uncanny the acting performances were in this film. The icing on the cake is how relevant the struggles with the police feel even 30 years later because of the myriad ways nothing has really changed.


Box Office Democracy: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The first movie I ever reviewed was Attack of the Clones and I gave it a rave review, the kind of review I would never give it now that I consider it to be arguably the worst movie in the entire franchise. In my defense, I was 17 years old and mostly just didn’t know better when it came to dialogue, character arcs, or any facets of compelling filmmaking that weren’t balls-to-the-wall lightsaber fights. I walked out of every one of the prequels happy and only turned on them with time and perspective, and that’s why I’m afraid now to write about how thoroughly I enjoyed The Force Awakens because now these words might actually stick around.

From here on out I’m going to talk about the plot so if that’s not what you’re interested in, now is the time to head somewhere else.

There aren’t a lot of new story beats in The Force Awakens, in fact it seems like it follows the road map from A New Hope faithfully, but after hearing George Lucas go on and on for years about how the prequels were supposed to “rhyme” with the original trilogy this is hardly surprising. We don’t come to Star Wars for original or complex plots, we come for the skillful implementation of iconic moments. This is a franchise that started by ripping off Hidden Fortress and hasn’t had a great many original ideas since that weren’t about selling toys in fun new ways. The Force Awakens is a story I’ve heard many times before in a more dynamic wrapping.

J.J. Abrams is a better director than George Lucas in every way that counts, and it is almost cruel how they show that off. The original trilogy understandably looks a little dated at this point three decades in the future but fancy visual effects aside the prequel trilogy has aged terribly, they simply don’t share a visual vocabulary with their peers. The shots are largely static and the compositions boring; there seem to be more variety in the transitory wipes than in the set-ups. Abrams has a lot of flaws but he know how to move a camera and he knows how to shoot a good action scene and that’s more than enough to knock this movie out of the park. There’s one sequence that feels like a lumpy, out of place, mashup of Firefly and Men in Black full of just-too-cutsey cameos, but other than that I was suitably riveted to my seat for the entire film and that’s becoming more and more rare for me.

I love all of the new principal characters without reservation. John Boyega is utterly fantastic as Finn. He’s able to display such a depth of turmoil, he instantly becomes one of the most kinetic characters in the entire mythos. I’ve been a huge fan of his since Attack the Block and I’m thrilled to see him live up to all that promise and more here. Daisy Ridley is the new face of the franchise, and the way she shows the scars of her abandonment while similarly embodying the Luke Skywalker role for a new trilogy is most impressive. She doesn’t get a striking hero shot gazing in to a binary sunset, but she nails everything else about being a Star Wars protagonist. Her facial expression work in the climactic battle is worth the price of admission alone. Oscar Isaac is underused but his charisma is so strong he looms large over the movie and is just so alarmingly good looking, I’m not sure it’s safe to photograph him much more anyway. I liked Adam Driver more in his turn as Kylo Ren than I’ve liked him in anything else I’ve seen him in. He does about half the work in the biggest, most impactful scene in the movie and he feels right in that spot. He’s everything that Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford, or Ewan McGregor brought to this franchise and those names are good company.

The Force Awakens is a good action movie, it builds off of and feeds the endless churn of mythos needed to keep Star Wars afloat as an intellectual property, it creates new and interesting characters, and it gives them compelling places to do exciting things in. I don’t know what to want besides this. It isn’t exactly the same as seeing A New Hope for the first time when I was five years old… but nothing ever will be. This is the modernization the franchise needed, and it’s as good or better than every sequel I ever chased through mediocre novels throughout the years.

Star Wars is back and better than ever.

Tweeks Guide to Star Wars Bluffing

We won’t judge. It’s perfectly okay if the whole Star Wars fandom passed you by. We can’t all be into everything. Choices sometimes need to be made. Maybe you’ll come to it eventually, maybe it will be because of The Force Awakens, but until that time, you may feel really uncomfortable trying to follow everyone’s conversations.  So, this week, we are providing a service to those who need to bluff or  their way through conversations about the last six movies. We go through the major story arcs of six movies in 10 minutes stopping only for geeky nerd facts & a clip of Benedict Cumberbatch doing a Jar Jar Binks impression.  We know geek peer pressure can be hard, May the Force Be With You!


Glenn Hauman: A Bang-Up Opening Weekend

Boy, what a week, huh? We haven’t even recovered from the mass shooting in Colorado Springs, their second in six weeks, and whammo! We have a mass shooting in San Bernardino.

With two major shooting events in America back to back, the usual script of recriminations and wailing didn’t hold, and people stopped being publicly polite and deferential to the enablers– the people who are now being called out for offering thoughts and prayers, but are not thinking about how to prevent more deaths from guns and praying that no one calls them on it.

This has led to unprecedented public calls for change, like the New York Daily News front page which has been retweeted over 22,000 times; by contrast, the New York Post front page of “Muslim Killers” got less than 4% of that. And the New York Times ran their first front page editorial since 1920, calling on America to end our gun epidemic.

This led a right wing wacko pundit to stop using his words and start using his gun:


Ain’t he sweet?

Well, no, he ain’t. Because this isn’t the only place he wants to use his gun. He wants to bring his gun to the opening night of Star Wars.

I have never worried or fretted about things like this. Even after the Aurora, CO, shooting at the “Dark Knight Rises” showing, I never once worried about going to a theater and getting shot. I have taken the view of Stonewall Jackson that, believing in God, I am as safe on the battlefield as I am in my bed. Of course, Stonewall Jackson was killed on the battlefield.

After the events of Paris and in light of the unvetted Syrian refugees coming into this country, I am rather nervous about going to the opening day of “Star Wars.” […] I would like to find a theater in my area that allowed concealed carry permit holders to bring their guns to the movies.

Let’s ignore the racist fear-mongering and the daffy idea that fired bullets are worse if they come from outsiders rather than good old Americans. He wants to bring his gun into a movie theater showing Star Wars so that he can protect himself and maybe other people, because he thinks that guns are useful in a crowded, noisy, confused venue with cluttered sight-lines full of innocents.

I know lots of people who are going to go to movie theaters to see Star Wars on opening day. Heck, I know people who own movie theaters that will be showing Star Wars on opening day. (If you’re in Jacksonville, enjoy the wretched hive of scum and villainy.) And we have someone who shows his displeasure at ideas he doesn’t like by shooting them. To prove he’s a responsible gun owner.

Can’t you imagine him shooting at the screen if he doesn’t like John Boyega’s character?

Aw, but really, what are the chances of that? Everybody always reacts so calmly when J.J. Abrams reboots a science fiction franchise.

Erick, heed the lesson of Master Yoda. You’re carrying a gun because you’re afraid, and fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to… ah, I’d tell you to go watch The Phantom Menace for yourself, but do yourself a favor and lock up the gun first before you fire into your TV.

As for me, I’m giving the wast word to Barry Kripke: