Blog · Star Wars · TV

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Star Wars Resistance

When Star Wars Resistance was first announced, I was ready to welcome a new Star Wars animated show into my life after the bittersweet ending of Star Wars Rebels. When we learned that the show would be influenced by Japanese anime and 80’s cartoons, I was really intrigued. I didn’t know what to expect, but I had this feeling I was going to enjoy it. Resistance tells the story of Kazuda Xiono who is recruited by Poe Dameron to be a Resistance Spy on an aircraft refueling station known as The Colussus. When it premiered late last year, my significant other and I caught up one Sunday and now it’s officially become Resistance Sunday. Because I love it so much and don’t see enough love for it on the internet, I wanted to write down a few reasons as to why you should check out this show, if you haven’t already.

Without further ado, here are five reasons why you should be watching Star Wars Resistance:

1. The show is gorgeous

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This show is beautifully animated and looks incredibly unique compared to other children’s animated shows in today’s day and age. The show, which is CGI, uses cel-shading to achieve its distinctive look. There have been several moments throughout the season where I’m taken aback because of the beauty of a shot.

2. Unique, interesting, and diverse characters

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Each character from the main cast has their own personality and quirks, which always makes for a fun and interesting watch. The characters themselves are also diverse in how they look, from people of color to alien species, and not only are the characters diverse, but the voice over cast is as well! It’s one of my favorite things about this show.

3. BB-8

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I loved BB-8 as soon as I saw him in the first teaser for The Force Awakens, but I think I fell in love with him while watching this show. He’s such a good droid and character and counterpart to everyone he meets. He is featured significantly throughout the show and even has his own love story, but I won’t give too much away… If you’re a fan of BB-8, this show has all the BB-8 content you could ever want.

4. Filling in the dots before and during The Force Awakens

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While the show focuses a lot on the weekly misadventures of Kazuda Xiono as a Resistance Spy, there have been several name drops, easter eggs, and special guests that tie into the ongoing conflict between the First Order and the Resistance. If you’re curious about what’s going on in the galaxy before the events of TFA, this show is the perfect starting point. The mid-season trailer also revealed that the show will in fact overlap with TFA, which is quite interesting if you love the animated shows connecting directly to the films.

5. Incredible character arcs

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If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Lucasfilm animation, it’s that they excel in character arcs. Ezra and Ahsoka are prime examples of characters who weren’t the easiest to like at the beginning for a majority of people, but eventually grew into some of the most beloved characters from the Star Wars galaxy. If you’ve seen The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels from beginning to end, then you know that it takes time and multiple seasons for these characters to grow from their begrudging beginnings to their celebrated heroic endings. Kaz is of the same breed and just like the characters before him, he is currently on his own journey of discovery and transformation.

Star Wars Resistance airs on Sundays on Disney XD and will conclude it’s first season on March 17th!

All photos belong to Lucasfilm.

 

Blog · Lauryn's Picks · TV

The 7 Best Historical Fiction & Fantasy Shows (IMHO)

Hey!

Have I ever mentioned that I have a thing for historical fiction? Well, I do.

I love period dramas and medieval fantasy shows. Like, I eat that shit up. I thought I’d list a few of my favorites because nothing’s better than sharing what you love, right?

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are my favorite historical fiction & fantasy shows….

1. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012)

This. Show. Is. So. Good. A couple of years ago I saw a gift set of Miss Fisher on tumblr and checked the show out on Netflix. I binged it in three days and fell in love with the 1920s. It’s a really, really great mystery show. I stopped watching Sherlock (2010) after season 3 so this filled my mystery hole quite nicely.

2. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell (2015)

Based on the popular novel (that I have yet to read) by Susanna Clarke, this miniseries is funny and weird and I looked forward to every episode each week when it was airing. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for something light and magical and takes place in the 19th century. I’d watch the hell out of this again if it were available on a streaming service.

3. Downton Abbey (2010)

Before people were live-tweeting Game of Thrones on the reg, people were live-tweeting Downton Abbey. I’m pretty sure at one point it did become a cultural phenomenon, but only a handful actually stuck around until the very end. This doesn’t mean it sucked, it just didn’t cater to the US as much as it did to the UK. Anyways, it holds a very special place in my heart and I still think about some of the characters to this day. If you want to see beautiful costumes from the early 20th century and walk around your house pretending you’re upperclass aristocrat this is the perfect show!

4. Outlander (2014)

Men in kilts! That’s it. That’s the whole show. To be honest, it bothers me that not enough people watch this show! I never see people talking about it online as much as they do other shows. It’s a hot and heavy romance featuring the political history of Scotland, men in kilts, and a dash of time travel. I live-tweet this show when it airs and I don’t plan on stopping.

5. Pride & Prejudice (1995)

Sticking to the romance, I present to you my favorite Pride & Prejudice adaptation. I love the Joe Wright film from 2005 and as a matter of fact it was my first introduction to P&P. From there I read the book and then I was recommended the 1995 miniseries, which I was a bit hesitant about due to google image searches and the fact that I didn’t find Colin Firth VERY APPEALING. But all that changed when I actually sat down and watched the damn thing. It is really good and yes, I fell in love with Colin Firth, as one does. I live for Mr. Darcy memes on tumblr so sit yourself down and watch this and join in on the fun! It’s romance in the 18th/19th century with an english countryside backdrop *swoon*.

6. Black Sails (2014)

I LOVE PIRATES. I love the history of pirates and rebellion in general, so this show was right up my alley. Black Sails gives us a realistic look at piracy in the 18th century and really interesting, complicated characters. I’m sad it didn’t get as much recognition when it aired, but it’s totally worth checking out. I will say that season 1 was slow but every episode of season 2 was fucking amazing and it just kept getting better! I am a former Pirates of the Caribbean fan (FORMER) and I used to say that if you grew up with PotC, Black Sails is your graduation gift.

7. The Crown (2016)

My current BAE. The Crown is phenomenal! While it is based on Queen Elizabeth II’s life, it’s not entirely fact and therefore qualifies as historical fiction. I love learning about the monarchy and while I’d prefer 17th century monarchy any day of the week, the 20th century monarchy is actually fascinating and wasn’t that long ago. I’m always googling what actually happened after every episode I watch of this show. If you’re interested in the life of Queen Elizabeth or love the present day royal family, check this show out!

Honorable mentions:

Game of Thrones (2011)

Vikings (2013)

Marco Polo (2014)

Penny Dreadful (2014)

The Man in the High Castle (2015)

Mad Men (2007)

I know there are many shows that I haven’t mentioned and that’s probably because I haven’t seen them yet or they escaped my mind. If you think I’d like something that’s not on this list, please feel free to recommend it! I do tend to like higher quality shows with bigger budgets, but if it has a good story and great writing then I’m ALL IN.

 

Blog · Star Wars · TV

Godspeed Rebels

Star Wars Rebels is over. It’s the end of an era.

The first season of Rebels was one of our earliest glimpses into the galaxy far, far away after the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. Many were hesitant about the show post-Clone Wars (me), but with Dave Filoni at the helm it quickly earned many fans’ respects.

Over the last four years we have been introduced to several characters across the galaxy and many unique qualities about the force that none of us would have ever believed. If you think The Last Jedi was weird, watch Star Wars Rebels. The series finale aired last night on Disney XD and I wanted to share my thoughts about the ending of this show that initially, I had very little faith in.

Basically, I loved it. I loved the finale. I loved that in the end, our ragtag crew of rebels made it out alive.

Well, for the most part.

We lost Kanan in “Jedi Knight” after he sacrificed himself to save the family that he loved, who he knew would continue the fight against the Empire. It was tragic, beautifully done, and a necessary loss. As for Ezra, I honestly cannot imagine where he’d be and if Thrawn is alive or not. I will probably have to listen to a few podcasts and read a few theories before I make any assumptions. Zeb and Kallus live happily ever after on Lira San and probably adopt a few lasats (wishful thinking). Hera turned out to be pregnant, which I would NEVER have predicted and ended up giving birth to a baby boy named Jacen (yes, Jacen). Jacen Syndulla.

Sabine narrates everyone’s lives from the liberation of Lothal to after the Battle of Endor, which was another surprise! Everyone expected Rebels to end before Rogue One or possibly after the Battle of Yavin. I absolutely love that Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper survived the original trilogy. I didn’t expect it, but I should have. Sabine then goes on to say that she along with Ahsoka Tano (AHSOKA LIVES) will fulfill the promises they made to Ezra to find him and bring him home.

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I’m dead.

First of all, Ahsoka Tano is a fucking legend. I am in love with her story even though it’s shrouded in mystery. I honestly think that’s probably what makes me love her even more. Yes, there is a small part of me that wants to ask, “well, where was she during this event or what about this infamous Yoda quote about Luke being the last Jedi?” I get it. However, Ahsoka isn’t a Jedi anymore and Luke is the only one who could have redeemed Vader, end of story.

Jacen Syndulla is my new favorite conspiracy theory. Who does he grow up to be? Where do his allegiances lie? They obviously were inspired by the EU to use the name Jacen. Why Jacen? Hmm? Anyways, I’m happy that Hera was able to have a living memory of her love for Kanan and it looks like she’s teaching him the ways of space piloting, which is so sweet.

Ezra is the heart of this show. I will admit that I didn’t care for him until the very last episodes because I couldn’t relate with him on a personal level. He is a teenage boy growing up under incredibly difficult circumstances. While I still don’t quite relate with him, I do sympathize and saw that in the last few episodes he really grew up and became the leader and light that everyone needed in those dark times. He made the decision to sacrifice himself not knowing where he’d end up, so that he could liberate his home planet and save his family. Just thinking about his last words make me teary-eyed. I hope Sabine and Ahsoka do find him and I hope we get to see that in a future show or film one day.

Thank you to Dave Filoni and the entire cast and crew of Star Wars Rebels. The show is over, but the Ghost crew will never be forgotten.

 

Featured image from StarWars.com & Lucasfilm.

Blog · Geek & Pop Culture · Lauryn's Picks · TV

The Anime We Saw That Day

A couple of years ago, back in high school, I became fully aware of anime and the culture that surrounds the popular art form. When I was young I had only heard of the term, but never really associated it with shows like Dragon Ball or Sailor Moon. To me those shows were just cartoons that I watched on Cartoon Network early in the mornings. In high school, I had friends who watched anime regularly and who would suggest shows here and there, however I never really took the time to check them out. I simply just preferred live action TV shows and I also felt that reading subtitles took away from my full enjoyment and understanding of what I was watching. Yeah, I was wrong.

Fast forward to 2016. My SO suggested I try to experience anime again and this time with an open mind. We started with Your Name, which also happens to be the fourth highest grossing film of all time in Japan and considered one of the greatest anime films ever made. I instantly fell in love with it. I am still very new to anime but as a movie buff, this film is absolutely wonderful and I still think about it to this day.

After Your Name, I moved on to actual shows. This is where I attempt to get any readers who have not seen an anime before to check out some handpicked shows that I think are amazing.

As an entryway anime the SO recommended, Attack on Titan, and it did not disappoint. Yes, Attack on Titan is extremely popular, but it deserves that recognition. I consider it the Game of Thrones of the anime world. Again, I am new so if your opinion differs, that’s fine! The show is epic and ongoing and there is so much happening and I happen to love most of the characters (Mikasa forever). As you can tell, I’m a fan. Season 2 just ended and it was fucking amazing. Go catch up in time for season 3, which is slated for a 2018 release!

The next anime is a real tearjerker and a show that will make you miss all the qualities of being a kid. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is the show that made me cry a lot, almost every episode, seriously. I related with it in the sense that I was a young kid who had a group of friends and we had great times, but all that ended and everyone grew up. The show deals with themes of innocence, grief, regret, and unrequited love all within a group of young high school kids. As I watched the show I kept thinking about the ending quote of the film Stand By Me, which goes “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” I highly recommend this show!

Terror in Resonance is phenomenal. The first episode had me hooked. I kept telling my SO that the show reminded me of something that would be on HBO. He did not get that reference. The tone of the show is very serious and feels very realistic in many ways. Honestly, its just really, really good TV. Worth a watch if you want to stay away from the goofy, fantasy centric anime.

My last recommendation is the brilliant Your Lie in April. I will admit this show took me about two episodes to really fall in love. It’s sad and in some ways predictable but it delivers the whole way through. I like to compare it to a Nicholas Sparks/John Green novel that really tugs at your heartstrings. It’s a romantic drama that will make you cry and make you wish you stuck with your piano lessons when you were younger.

As of July 2017, I have completed 7 shows and seen 4 movies. I am still extremely new to the scene and I am taking my time. I have yet to see at least one Studio Ghibli film, so I have a lot of gems to uncover. Before I started watching anime I had been in a TV show rut, nothing was really doing it for me so the change of pace is really nice. I also LOVE the fact that I don’t have to worry about catching up with 7 seasons of a show, 2 of which I will have to suffer through (looking at you American TV shows). Most Anime is short and ends where it needs to end.

Hopefully, I have convinced a few of you to check out some anime and give it a chance. There are really great shows and movies out there that I think people who are used to American TV shows will love and appreciate.