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Return of the Jedi

When the scene near the beginning in Jabba’s Palace with that extended musical performance happens, it just makes me want to cry. It’s so incredibly bad. And the lack of the Ewok song at the end is still so incredibly unsatisfying. God I hate the “special edition” changes.

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The Empire Strikes Back

The best thing about Empire is that of the original trilogy, it’s the one film that is the least affected by the horrible CG additions done to the “special editions.” Sure, there’s still stuff there, but at least it’s not as eye rolling as was you see in Episodes 4 and 6. And as much as I like Yoda, I still find the stuff on Dagobah to be a bit of a drag.

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Marvel Star Wars Comics

I’ve been enjoying pretty much all of the Star Wars comics from Marvel since they launched earlier this year – the recent Lando mini-series was especially good – and with all of the excitement for the upcoming release of The Force Awakens, I decided to read the only two series from the Marvel books I hadn’t read. The first is a 4-issue mini-series called Shattered Empire, that is the only book so far that take place after Return of the Jedi. It was quite enjoyable, in that I’m now a bit hungry to find out more about what happens during this period of time, leading up to Force Awakens. Greg Rucka is a good writer, and the art was decent. The other series is called Kanan, is still ongoing, and tells the origins of one of the characters from the current Star Wars: Rebels animated series (one of the last Jedi). When the book launched earlier this year, it wasn’t something I was particularly interested in reading, but I binged all 7 issues that are out, and ended up really liking it. The art is quite good (less so for the one fill-in issue, but still fine), and it made me appreciate this character much more than I did from watching the first season of Rebels (I haven’t watched anything from the second season yet). If you’re looking for more Star Wars comics, the current Chewbacca mini-series is really funny.

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A New Hope

Yes, I am indeed caught up in the hype leading up to next month’s release of The Force Awakens (I quite enjoyed cover features in both Entertainment Weekly and Wired), and so have decided to re-watch the original trilogy – I may re-watch the prequels as well, but I’m still not sure if that’s a journey I really need to embark on. It still bums me out that I need to watch the “special editions,” as what they add really is terrible, and because it’s mostly CG, they are also the bits that age the movies the most. But despite that, it was indeed very fun watching this again, as it had been a while. During the final battle sequence, I had flashbacks of playing the old Star Wars arcade game as a kid, the one with vector graphics. Good times.

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Star Wars: Commander

I feel like I always have to make excuses when I try playing another one of these free-to-play games, but yes, the Star Wars name made me want to give this Clash of Clans clone a try, and what can I say, a week later I’m still playing. I still don’t like the fact that I can only play this in bite-sized chunks – which is why I didn’t last long in Clash of Clans – but I get a kick out of seeing all those tiny Star Wars vehicles and soldiers, and so I’m still at it. I doubt I’ll last long, but it still has me for now.

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Heroes Within

As I’ve mentioned quite a few times, I really love all of the Star Wars tables that have been released for Zen Pinball 2 – especially to play on PS4, where they look amazing – and so I was pretty excited to get a new set of 4 tables, Heroes Within. What can I say, it’s another bunch of great tables that are fun as fuck, and as I’ve said before, I think these are the best Star Wars games getting released these days – there’s nothing else out there that reminds me how much I used to love this franchise. I especially love the Han Solo table – it has the Cantina music playing the whole time! And just a reminder that even though these are cross-buy, you need to buy them first on PS3 or Vita, and then import them to PS4 (if you just buy on PS4, you won’t have access to the PS3/Vita versions).

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The Clone Wars

A while back I decided to give the Clone Wars animated series a try, and now as I finish off the second season, I can say that I’m glad I did. Sure, I’m not at all a fan of the prequels, but I am excited for the upcoming Rebels animated series – that will take place between episodes 3 and 4 – and one thing I can say about Clone Wars is that it really is much, MUCH better than the prequels. I love the look of it – a perfect balance of cartoony and realism (well, fantastic realism) – and the stories are exciting, with great action, and some interesting multi-episode arcs that get pretty juicy within the “world” of Star Wars. Looking forward to working my way through the rest of the seasons.

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Star Wars: Assault Team

I downloaded another new free-to-play game yesterday, this time for iPad, and it’s Star Wars: Assault Team. It’s sort of a card game – in that the cards basically act as avatars for your characters, that you can upgrade – and each mission has you moving through a space in first-person view, encountering things to pick up and battle. As with most free-to-play games, the start is definitely fun, as I’m not encountering anything that is preventing me from playing when I want – there is an energy system, but I haven’t been empty yet, and I haven’t yet encountered anything that I couldn’t overcome with good management of my team. The game does look quite good, and it’s fun to make up teams with all manner of Star Wars characters. Combat is turn-based, with each character having a regular attack and a special attack/action – for example, the rebel medic has a healing special action, which is quite useful. I doubt I’ll stick with this for long, but for now it’s good fun.

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Lego Star Wars Microfighters

Why am I playing this? I like Lego, I like Star Wars, and I like top-down shooters. It’s a decent play so far, and as you’d expect from a Lego game, the cut scenes are silly and fun. I certainly feel like I’m getting my buck’s worth.

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Star Wars Pinball: Balance of the Force

I love pinball, I love Zen Pinball 2, and I especially love the Star Wars tables. I recently got the second set of SW tables that were released for the game, Balance of the Force, and wow. I truly believe that these are the best Star Wars games that have come out in years. I get such a charge from playing them, with the amazing music and sound/voice effects that really make me fall in love with the series all over again (yes, it is possible to wash away the bad taste from the prequels). And as much as I already loved playing these on PS3 and Vita, they are astoundingly beautiful on PS4. Also, note that although Zen Pinball 2 purchases are cross-platform (PS3/PS4/Vita), you need to buy them on PS3 or Vita and then import them in the PS4 version of the game – if you buy them in the PS4 version, you can’t access them in your PS3 or Vita versions of the game.