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This is Madness: Sith Apprentices and Episode IV

In Sci-Fi on March 28, 2013 at 8:16 am

Welcome to the “This is Madness” quarterfinals!  After defeating Gen. Grievous in round one, Darth Vader moves on to face his rival apprentice, Darth Maul.  Obi-Wan Kenobi killed his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, to move on to fight Han Solo in round two.

Dark Side: Darth Vader vs. Darth Maul

Both Vader and Maul have the distinction of being apprentices to a master who was perpetually disappointed in them. Emperor Palpatine trained Maul in multiple lightsaber forms and used the zabrak to orchestrate the Naboo trade blockade, but the Sith apprentice was never good enough for Palpatine to bother showing him the true potential of the dark side.

Palpatine saw much more promise in Anakin Skywalker, a young and impressionable padawan with force powers that were off the scale and a certain ferocity in battle. However, much of Palpatine’s enthusiasm waned when Skywalker got burnt to a crisp on Mustafar and lost much of his power. After that, he never appreciated all the errands Vader ran for him (things like meeting with the battle station contractor, picking up rebel scum or trying to find that perfect dark side crystal).

Verdict:

darth maul, sith apprentice, saberstaff, star wars episode IDarth Maul wins despite setbacks! While Skywalker survived pod races, the Clone Wars and liquid hot magma – and kept his cool (no irony intended) for more than 20 years while Darth Sidious ordered him around – he just isn’t as spry as he used to be. In a head-to-head duel, Maul’s blistering pace and force-powered acrobatics would eventually overwhelm Vader. Vader, unable to tap into the dark side for sustained defense, would succumb to Maul’s saberstaff. Vader is more machine than man now, after all.

Light Side: Han Solo vs. Obi-Wan Kenobi

Han Solo is everybody’s favorite brigand. Solo spent a considerable amount of time successfully evading the Empire after he dropped out of the Imperial army. He worked in smuggling, so he knows a thing or two about reading people and staying ahead of the competition – or maybe not, because he did lose Jabba’s cargo on a job.

Obi-Wan Kenobi has the patience of a saint by the time he meets Solo. Despite spending 19 years in the desert – a time that eroded his dashing good looks and some of his skill – Kenobi has one power that cannot be denied. He learned how to transfer his essence into the force upon death, a trick that stupefied and seriously pissed off Vader in Episode IV.

Verdict:

obi-wan kenobi, obi-wan kenobi tattoine, jedi knight kenobi, star wars episode IVKenobi wins with his trademark stoicism. Not only does Kenobi possess the ability to unnerve Solo, the years on Tattoine did not steal all his skills. While Solo would move for evasion and use his blaster, we’ve seen Kenobi block hundreds of blaster shots. No doubt he could aim one back on Solo and take him out without slicing off his arm like he would an unruly cantina patron.

Don’t be afraid to go out and vote!

Star Wars Madness Day Eight: Last Force-user Standing

In Sci-Fi on March 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

Light Side: Ahsoka Tano vs. Captain Rex

Yoda gave Anakin Skywalker a padawan in hopes that the training would make him more responsible, but once the Jedi knight got to know Ahsoka Tano, Yoda wondered whether he’d made a mistake.  Tano proved to be an eager apprentice, all too willing to pull shenanigans for her Jedi master’s approval.  Tano often talked down to, mocked or threatened people during fights and interrogation sessions, a very non-Jedi trait.

Tano proved more than proficient in telekinesis.  Because she had high visuospatial awareness, she could figure out the proximity and location of objects around her with great ease.  She used her innate ability when pulling dangerous force moves such as pulling down entire walls so her master had to fit through a tiny window.  When using a lightsaber, she fought using an untraditional reverse grip that frustrated her master.  Skywalker made her use a standard grip and taught her Ataru, Djem So and Niman forms, making her a skilled duelist.  She also picked up some Jar’Kai during the Clone Wars.

Captain Rex, formally known as CT-7567, was a high-ranking clone trooper during the Clone Wars who served under Jedi General (yes, I said General) Anakin Skywalker.  Rex was a skilled soldier trained in multiple combat tactics and fighting styles.  He disagreed with the notion of blindly following orders and, because he believed in the humanity of himself and his fellow clones, often hesitated to head into volatile regions.

Verdict:

Ahsoka-ahsoka-tano-24547943-792-595Ahsoka Tano wins!  Not only did Tano have good tinkering skills, she proved an excellent pilot and even better hand-to-hand fighter.  Tano shared many characteristics with her master, including his aggressive temperament and determination to win during battle.  While Rex led a unit within the well known 501st Legion of the army learned not to underestimate the Jedi, he does not have the ability to overcome Tano’s innate force sensitivity.  The girl can knock down walls, for Pete’s sake!

Dark Side:  Emperor Palpatine vs. IG-88

Emperor Palpatine, otherwise known as Darth Sidious, was the culmination of a thousand year plan begun by Darth Bane.  Palpatine was a charismatic speaker able to manipulate a crowd’s emotion, which he used to his personal gain. He believed himself (and perhaps was) the pinnacle of Sith power over its long reign, a swordsman on par with Yoda himself.  He submersed himself so deeply in the dark side of the force that he became an embodiment of the force capable of unknowable evil.

The Model IG-88 droid was a line of assassin droids wanted by the Empire.  Shortly after activation, the original IG-88 droid killed its makers and transferred its consciousness into three other IG-88 models and killed most of the factory.  IG-88 teamed up with Bossk and Dengar at points but turned on his partners, seeing itself as superior to the biological organisms it was designed to destroy.  The droid uploaded its consciousness into the Death Star.

Verdict:

darth sidious, emperor palpatine, star wars character tournament, this is madness palpatine,Did they not have anyone of caliber to go up against Palpatine?  Of course the Sith Master wins! He’s fighting a droid! A stupid droid at that.  I mean, who thinks it’s a good idea to upload their consciousness into the Death Star?  We all know how living on the Death Star usually turns out.  I feel Palpatine would short-circuit him, force crush him or push him over a high ledge.  Case solved.

Don’t forget to go out and cast your ballot!  And let me know, who do you think would win?

Star Wars Madness Day Seven: I Sense A Disturbance in the Brackets

In Sci-Fi on March 26, 2013 at 8:51 am

DISCLAIMER: The following contents may be biased.  Please use discretion when reading this blog.

I sensed a disturbance in the force when I looked over today’s bracket lineup.  I know most of the brackets on the light side so far had a gimmick.  There were the two scoundrel friends, the two pilot friends from Red Squadron, the two robot friends, the master-apprentice duo (they were friends) and the mom vs. daughter combination of Padme and Leia.  And on the “dark side” we had three continual days of mercenaries and bounty hunters, which I’m sure no one found tedious.

But today took the cake.  Besides a language that needs a protocol droid for translation, try to guess what Chewbacca and Wicket have in common.  I’ll give you a hint: plushies.  Both Chewie and Wicket have furriness of a stuffed animal. And, because they physically cannot speak Basic, they have no way of defending their honor.  I’m calling shenanigans on the overly gimmicky brackets!

Light Side:  Chewbacca vs. Wicket

Chewbacca is a badass.  We all know the saying “Let the wookiee win,” but it takes on special meaning with Chewbacca.  In his younger years the wookiee already had an adventurer’s spirit; he knew all the paths through Kashyyyk and used them to his advantage when he had to enter into honor battles.  The bright wookiee was also a superb mechanic, able to build gizmos out of salvage.

Chewbacca aided the Republic during the Clone Wars, quickly gaining prestige as one of Kashyyyk’s greatest fighters.  Following Order 66, he aided Yoda in escaping and attempted to shelter other surviving Jedi – but he didn’t count on the Empire’s newest weapon, Darth Vader, who bombarded Kashyyyk in search of the Jedi.  Now wanted, Chewbacca took to the galaxy and became a freedom fighter until he was enslaved by an Imperial commander and beaten to near-death.  But, he was rescued by then-Lieutenant Han Solo, and the two escaped with a bounty on their heads to become smugglers.  The rest is history.

Wicket is an ewok scout from the forest moon of Endor.  Following many adorable – I mean harrowing – adventures in his day, Wicket befriended a human woman named Leia and invited her into his tree village.  The ewoks then helped the rebellion defeat the Imperial storm troopers during the Battle of Endor.

Actually, let’s get real: every picture of Wicket is a cartoon.  He goes on adventures against things called Phlogs and activates things like the “forbidden Rainbow Bridge.”  He helps baby animals find their way back home and gets blown off a mountain by the mountain itself.  Lucas, what is this treachery?  If I wanted adorable fantasy time, I wouldn’t immerse myself in something named “Star Wars.” Star implies science fiction, and Wars means violence. Duh.

Verdict:

let the wookiee win, Chewbacca crossbow, chewbacca wins, chewbacca and han solo

Chewbacca wins! It wasn’t hard to win against a teddy bear, really.  Chewbacca’s bow skills, mechanical know-how and ability to rip people’s arms out of their sockets trumps Wicket’s slingshot and adorable antics.  I don’t understand how the two made the same bracket unless it really was some warped attempt at “matching” the characters that came off as species-biased. In fact, since I don’t recognize the existence of ewoks in Star Wars canon, it is likely that Chewbacca had the entire bracket to himself.  That’s how you let the wookiee win.

Dark Side:  Count Dooku vs. Tarkin

Dooku promising telekinesis powers. Became a Jedi Master after successfully training Qui-Gon Jinn in to a Jedi knight.  His teachings about telekinesis and conquering arrogance were well regarded by the order, but Dooku began having doubts about the Jedi and left the order, one of only 20 Jedi before him to resign in 2,000 years.

Count Dooku killed his friend Sifo-Dyas and took control of the Jedi’s clone army. He turned the mortally injured Grievous into a cyborg and trained the Kaleesh in lightsaber fighting, turning him into a deadly duelist (all this would have been useful information in any of the prequel movies).  Using his telekinetic abilities and sith lighting, Dooku easily outmatched the Kenobi-Skywalker duo, fought Yoda and escaped with his life.  Years later his pride got the best of him and, betrayed by his master, he was executed by Anakin Skywalker.

Wilhuff Tarkin served Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in the Clone Wars before being appointed as Moff. The Emperor tasked Tarkin with building the Death Star and handed over full control of the project.  Tarkin, whom Darth Vader regarded as insane (yet, humiliatingly, was forced to obey), enjoyed ruling through fear – and explosive firepower.  He believed the Death Star would be the ultimate weapon in the war against the rebel alliance. But, as Darth Vader would put it, his technological terror paled in comparison to the power of the force.

Verdict:

count dooku, dooku darth tyrannus, dooku fighting, dooku anakin skywalker

Look at that hilt! Oh, it’s beautiful, isn’t it?

Dooku wins! Tarkin is essentially helpless against the power of the force.  While Tarkin is renowned as a crazed mastermind of galactic terror and seemed to naturally gravitate toward cruelty, Dooku would force choke the menacing smile off his face faster than he could call on Emperor Palpatine for help.  There is a reason Dooku’s fall to the dark side was mourned by the entire Jedi Order:  he was good.  His telekinetic abilities would have become legendary if he’d stayed in the order.  I imagine that he would not have to draw his lightsaber in battle against a non-force user.

What do you think?  Feel free to leave a comment below! Or, visit www.facebook.com/hannahscribbles to follow the “This is Madness” commentary! And, don’t forget to vote for who you think would win!

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