Friday, January 16, 2009

Weekend Plans of the Nerd Kind (January 16th-18th)

TV and MOVIES: Clone Wars, obviously - if Itunes actually posts it on time this week. I've got four or five episodes left of Babylon 5's third season, and I need to take care of those.

All five seasons of the show came in on DVD at once back in November, and I'm watching it from start to finish. Before this, I'd never seen an episode of the show. But I wanted to give it a try because I rather liked Straczynski's run on Spider-man. Also, being a fan of Deep Space Nine, I was curious to see how much Babylon 5 had in common with DS9, since I understand there's still some controversy over their similarities. Even in its third season, its still rough around the edges - though the quality of writing, acting, and production is decidedly improved from its first season.

GAMES: A little Left 4 Dead, surely. The wife and I are trying out Dokapon Kingdom for the Wii, and we're both enjoying the hell out of it. Though, it must be said, being an evil, backstabbing bastard comes much easier to me than it does to her. She actually hates playing competitive games with other people, unless it's Scrabble or Mario Kart, where she becomes an incredibly poor loser and even poorer winner, due all the boasting, gloating, and smack talk.

If Gamefly gets off its ass, there are two more Wii games coming this week: Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility and The Force Unleashed. I'll let you guess which one is for the wife and which one is for me.

BOOKS: More Star Wars, sad to say. There are times where my spare time is not solely devoted to the Wars, I swear.

I'm actually not a big fan of the Expanded Universe. I believe that the saga ends with Return of the Jedi, and it is a happy ending. I've got no problem with anything before Jedi, or something like the Legacy series of comic books, which is set a century or so after the saga ends with all new characters - but I hate just about every thing that every single novelist has done with every post-Jedi story featuring Luke, Leia, and Han.

But I do pick up a Clone Wars book now and again, if - only if - the story interests me. I decided to spend the first of '09 reading the entire Republic Commando series, by Karen Traviss. I read the first book, Hard Contact, when it came out a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't know why I never read the others, but I'm starting the series over.

Karen Traviss does something that few other Star Wars writers can manage: she makes the universe her own and tells a story her way, on her own terms, while still telling a tale that is fundamentally Star Wars. She brings a lot of teeth and heart back to Star Wars, after the ups and downs of the prequels. With the exception Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon, and their performances by Ewan MacGregor and Liam Neeson, I found the clones to be the most compelling part of the prequel trilogy. And they're at their best - and most tragic - in Traviss's work.

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