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Devilbat

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About Devilbat

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    Lurking in the shadows of TNI...
  • Birthday 11/02/1973

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    tsr27

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    Star Wars, G.I. Joe, and Transformers

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  1. Okay, so I just watched TROS again last night...this was, of course my third viewing, and I'm still seeing things I missed the first couple of times. I also realized yet another angle concerning the whole Snoke/Palpatine dynamic... One of the issues I had before concerned how all of those ships showed-up at the end...I was thinking that the weird red-nebula-looking thing prohibited any ship from jumping through hyperspace to Exogol, but then you see them all show up, and even a few more jump right up to the surface of Exogol, and I thought it was a goof. But then I paid more attention, and I noticed there's a relatively-short distance between the nebula and Exogol itself, and even Kylo Ren jumps that short distance at the beginning, so it made more sense this time... (lol) And, I thought I had a new angle figured-out between Palpatine and Snoke, but I just noticed something at the beginning that still doesn't make sense. While processing The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker together, I wondered why Snoke wanted Rey dead, but Palpatine seemed to want her alive so he could possess her body, and that didn't make sense to me if Palpatine was secretly controlling or influencing Snoke. But then it occurred to me that Snoke could have been an individual, autonomous entity altogether, as if Palpatine simply created or cloned a new apprentice instead of simply seeking one out or appointing one like he did in the past. And maybe Snoke wanted Rey dead so he could overturn Palpatine's rule, scheming against him like all past apprentices seemed to. But I just noticed that in the beginning of TROS, Palpatine orders Kylo Ren to "kill the girl", in his words. So why would he want her dead one minute, then want her brought to him alive next? Maybe I'm still missing something there, but I do like the idea that Snoke, although created by Palpatine, was in fact his own entity instead of some cloned puppet/disguised simply controlled or possessed by Palpatine.
  2. Thank you!!! Anyone that dismisses these are really missing-out I think...I just wish they'd make these for The Rise of Skywalker...
  3. I'm kind of on the fence right now...I'm in the process of rebuilding a mint/loose vintage collection, and I've bought several mint/loose figures fairly recently, but they've either had busted o-rings, rusty screws, or cracked elbows, or sometimes all three. Then there's the hassle of cleaning the screws, because I've learned that the screws are specific to the figures, and if you don't match them, they could strip the inner threads, or even stress the plastic ...never mind the fact that the plastic itself tends to get more brittle as time passes, so the figures will only become more fragile. But I've refurbished several figures so far, and for now they're great...but who knows how long they'll stay that way. It is nice to just buy a modern figure for your collection, and not have to worry about all those issues. But then it is awful nice when you've got one cleaned-up and put back together like new, too...so I see both sides.
  4. Okay, so I think this might be the third and final part of my review... Going back to Palpatine and Snoke, on second thought, that whole dynamic was not really satisfactorily explained or fleshed-out enough for me, and Palpatine's return ultimately felt like something done for shock value, like something you'd see in an M. Night Shyamalan movie...big, unexpected surprise that ultimately feels empty or done as just a cheap shocker. I mean, don't get me wrong...I absolutely LOVE Palpatine, but, I really wanted to know more about that whole dynamic...why he would choose that particular form as a disguise. And speaking of disguises, I had often entertained the notion that General Hux was actually a younger clone of Palpatine, that perhaps he was hiding in plain sight, secretly controlling Snoke as an underling, because he kind of looked like a young Palpatine, and he definitely sounded like Palpatine in his Starkiller Base speech...that would have been pretty cool, but maybe a little corny... Another thing I keep wondering about was why Leia at one point was so weak...they acted like it took all of her remaining strength to reach out to Ben Solo through the Force...why? She didn't seem sick or weakened at the beginning of the movie, when she was training Rey. Maybe I missed something... Something else I felt like was a missed opportunity, was the notion that Finn was beginning to realize he was Force-sensitive...it's a great angle, and it was like I read somewhere else, it explains why he was able to hold his own, at least for a little while, when fighting Kylo Ren. Leia could have been training both he and Rey, with Rey giving him pointers throughout the film, maybe. But in the end, it's fine how they just hinted at his Force-sensitivity, and perhaps it points to his journey towards becoming a Jedi in future films... Yet another missed opportunity to me was Snoke...I know I keep gravitating back to him, but many fans had speculated that he was, in fact, Darth Plagueis, Palpatine's master that he hinted at killing in Episode III. I think had they stuck with him as being the main baddie, even after having been killed in The Last Jedi, he could have still returned on Exogol...he could have presented himself in dramatic fashion to Kylo Ren, showing how he could return to life at will through his Dark Side powers, making him even more powerful than even Palpatine, revealing a much more ancient and evil Sith Lord that had been lurking in the backgound, maybe biding his time until his apprentice was disposed of so he could retake his place as the ultimate Sith Lord. Then you would have had this all-powerful villain that you couldn't seemingly kill, that Rey, combined with Kylo Ren's Force powers, could maybe defeat using the power from all past Jedi, just like she did in the film, and you could still have the same conclusion, having preserved Snoke as a meanigful villain, and Vader's sacrifice in Return of the Jedi would not have been in vain. But that's all the should've/could've/would've stuff that we fans will be debating for decades to come... (lol) Also...what was with all of those mysterious hooded acolytes in the Sith Temple on Exogol??? What happed to the supposed "Rule of Two" proposed in Episode I? Is there a difference between active Sith Lords and Sith followers, I guess? But it was creepy and cool, especially how they were all chanting the Sith incantations that you always heard whenever Darth Maul appeared on-screen in Episode I, but I also briefly imagined that under their dark hoods, which made them all look like Palpatine, were all Palpatine clones, which would have been completely silly and hilarious... (lol) At the end of the day, though, even when sifting through all of the misgivings I might have and the questions that still remain, I still love this movie, and I want to see it again just as soon as possible, as there was so much that I loved about it, despite the supposed "plot holes" and unanswered questions: I loved how it was revealed that Poe Dameron had been a spice smuggler like Han Solo before joining the Resistance, and it also made me wish we had seen Solo pilot an X-Wing like Poe did, see him be Luke's wing-man for real... I loved the quests for the Wayfinders and the Sith blade...that stuff was fun. It was just fun to see all of the main characters together for true adventures... I loved Lando's first scene...the stuff he talked about doing with Luke in the past reminded me of those old Marvel comics where they indeed went on adventures together. I LOVED Kylo Ren's/Ben Solo's arc in this film...I know he probably couldn't live story-and-character-wise, considering he was such a homicidal maniac in these films, so having him sacrifice his very life-force to save Rey was a fantastic way to show his complete return to the "Light Side", or good, or whatever you want to call it...it was so satisfying to see him turn back to good and help defeat Palpatine. I loved how Luke's Force ghost raised the X-Wing out of the ocean for Rey...it was an obvious nod to The Empire Strikes Back, of course, which was very cool, but also something I though he could have or should have done in The Last Jedi so he could go to Krayt in person to confront Kylo Ren. But I digress... I loved seeing Luke and Leia together as Force Ghosts at the end...I'll admit that a little part of me wanted to see Luke return as a flesh-and-blood Jedi in this movie...I mean, if the Sith could figure out how to return to the land of the living, then why not the Jedi as well, and I thought thats exactly where they were heading story-wise when Rey revealed her healing powers, like maybe she was the first Jedi that could bring people back to life, and maybe that's why Palpatine wanted her powers so badly. but it really made more sense and felt right to have Luke simply be a Force Ghost just like Obi-Wan Kenobi, acting as a guide and mentor from beyond, just as Kenobi and Yoda have done. It seemed logical, even though new aspects of the Force have been abound in these films... I liked how Hux turned out to be a spy...I've seen people complain that it was a silly development, but it really made sense to me...he seemed slightly cowardly throughout the first two films, and it fit his disposition to think he would try and undermine Kylo Ren's efforts as a turncoat... This movie has just turned out to be tons of fun for me to ponder and debate, dissect and discuss at length, and I'm sure there are other points I'll think of, but for the most part, those are my thoughts concerning The Rise of Skywalker. Please feel free to keep the discussion going, as I am truly enjoying it and love hearing other questions and proposals.
  5. Yes, you guys have gotten a little ahead of me...you all are bringing up some of the same issues I had. Some stuff had me scratching my head, and other things just brought a smile to my face. Just like you said, Colt90...how did that massive cobbled-together fleet make it through to the surface of Exogol?? I pondered that also, namely after my second viewing. It was one of those "hey-wait- a-minute" moments I had... (lol) And JayC...I can't be sure, but...it seems like the notion of Rey being a Palpatine was an actual fan theory I had seen somewhere. I wasn't entirely shocked by this revelation, but I did find it interesting, especially the notion that Palpatine had a son that was not Force-sensitive, and maybe the Force-sensitivity seemed to skip a generation in his family. I don't know...it just seemed to add a cool layer of humanity to Palpatine, and it made sense for the story, which explained why Rey was so mysterious and seemed to have no connections to anyone, yet she was immensely powerful with the Force... Someone else mentioned the Dark Empire influences on the parts of the story involving Palpatine and the cloning stuff...I personally enjoyed that. It was one of the coolest aspects of that storyline, and I'm glad they incorporated at least some elements of it into the films... One of you guys also mentioned the notion that Rey could have simply been created by Palpatine, like the books suggested he did with Anakin...my personal theory was similar...I suspected that she was going to be a clone of Luke AND Leia's DNA, which would have explained that weird Force vision she had in The Last Jedi...I thought that was a major clue...the long line of Reys, the fact that she asked to see her parents, and the image that was revealed to her was of what looked like a man and woman coming together as one person, and that person was Rey, like she simply came from cloning, or maybe the cloning of Luke and Leia somehow. But in retrospect, I guess she saw that she did indeed have two parents, but it could be seen now that although they were her parents, it was almost as if the Force itself was protecting her from knowing their true identities, her true lineage that came from evil origins. And, I guess also it's like mirroring Luke's journey to self realization, how there was the potential of her bloodline, not to quote Snoke...to lead down a dark path. It was just a cool angle for me to see a Palpatine become a good guy, as it were, and not submit to whatever sad excuse for family was promised by the Emperor... Another head-scratcher, though for me was thinking about Snoke in The Last Jedi. Now I know all of the practical reasons why things don't completely make sense since Rian Johnson's and J.J. Abrams' stories weren't coordinated, but speaking solely based on story...why did Snoke want to seemingly kill Rey? Knowing that Palpatine wanted her body to possess, that might explain it, but I thought perhaps he wanted her delivered to him alive so that he could transfer her living essence. Or maybe if he killed her, or even had Kylo Ren kill her, as the scene alluded to, then maybe he could syphon her lifeforce through Snoke like a conduit? And did he even realize as Snoke that Rey was actually the missing granddaughter he had been looking for? I don't know... (lol) Part three coming tomorrow, maybe...
  6. Okay, I don't know who all is left around here...I've been wanting to discuss The Rise of Skywalker with somebody, but I can't seem to get my regular buds to talk about it, so I thought I'd try here. And yes, I've been a traitor, I will admit it...Facebook and all of the toy groups I've discovered there has consumed my time and attention in recent months, but TNI will always be home for me online... So anyway...a good friend of mine secured me a ticket on the premier night at one of our local theaters. I'm not sure it was the premier...I think it was even a night early, like a pre-screening or something...I don't know. All I know is we got to go to one of the very first viewings around here, and I was so excited considering this has been touted as the final chapter in the Skywalker saga, and so many questions and theories have been swirling in my head for the last couple of years, so naturally I was hoping TROS would be the finale I was expecting, and I'd get some satisfying answers to all my questions... (WARNING: SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE ON OUT!!! TURN BACK IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET!!! (I'm sure, though, that most of you have...)) (lol) Let me just say up-front, that this movie was the finale I was hoping for...and it wasn't. It answered some questions, but not others. And this is in no way me complaining...I absolutely LOVED this film. It was just as epic as I was hoping, but it didn't seem to be trying to be epic, if that even makes sense. I'm not going to summarize the plot or anything like that...I think I'm just going to talk about what I loved, what I was and wasn't surprised by, and the questions that I still have, even after watching it twice... Upon my first viewing, I left the theater a little shell-shocked. Like you may have heard or read from other fans, there's ALOT jammed into this movie, and there's so much going on that you're just along for the ride, reacting to the plot points you've been wondering about, just following the story scene-by-scene, event-by-event, and there's not a whole lot of time to let anything sink in or to ponder what's going on, to make the connections. First of all, the return of Emperor Palpatine was probably the one thing I was most looking forward to...he's one of my favorite characters in the entire saga, in fact...he's probably my favorite villain of all time, even over Darth Vader. And even since I was a little kid seeing the bubble gum card of him way back in the spring of 1983 and wondering just who in the world Palpatine was...I was always endlessly fascinated by the mystery surrounding him. That's probably why I enjoyed his character in the prequels so much, which only served to deepen the mystery more than answering any questions about his origins or motivations... Anyway, he's back...no one knows how, but he is. And I really expected them to explain how he survived the plummet down that generator shaft in Return of the Jedi, but they never do. On one hand, I love that...he's always been dripping with evil and so mysterious, and his survival falls right into that theme. He even quotes himself from Revenge of the Sith by telling Kylo Ren that the Dark Side of the Force is "...a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural." It was one of the best and creepiest lines from that movie, and for him to reference it in Episode IX was perfect. Now this leads me to my next point/observation... Palpatine has inexplicably returned and sent out an ominous message from Exogol, a planet in the proximity of the galaxy referred to as the Unknown Regions, a mysterious region that supposedly Snoke and/or the beginnings of the First Order originated from, as the peripheral books and material has alluded to. This has caught the entire galaxy off-guard, understandibly, but Kylo Ren actively seeks Palpatine out, viewing him as a threat to his newfound power as Supreme Leader of the First Order. He goes directly to Exogol head-on to confront him in a total Sith/dark Jedi move, where he learns that Snoke was pretty-much a puppet...in one of the first scenes there, you see what looks like clone tanks or something of that nature in this dark and creepy lab-like setting, where there are Snoke body parts foating in the tanks, and it's populated by what looks like those weird, shadowy, cloaked figures in the background of Snoke's throne room. Now here's I was asking "Whaa...???" (lol) So was Snoke simply a puppet controlled by Palpatine? He tells Kylo Ren that he "made Snoke", and that's it. That's the only reference he makes. Was he an early failed attempt in cloning Palpatine? Was he simply a body the Emperor possessed as a disguise or a ruse, a vessel for his evil spirit until his original body could completely re-generate through the Dark Side? It's never explained. And part of me likes the mystery of it, the stuff that's simply left up to my imagination...I don't necessarily need to have every single plot point explained away...I just felt like a character as influential and powerful as Snoke needed more exposition, but maybe it was enough simply knowing it didn't matter, that he was just a disguise for Palpatine, a placeholder until he could return to his full power. I like the idea that he could possess other bodies like that using the Dark Side, and the whole ghoulish returning-to-life ability he had is endlessly fascinating and so much fun to entertain. It reminds me of the likes of Dracula and characters in that vein... Oh, and the Emperor looks so very creepy in this movie...he's downright horrifying. White skin, pupil-less eyes like a zombie, and black-looking lips and teeth. And he's hooked-up to this big apparatus that looks like something H.R. Giger would have designed that keeps him alive, perhaps, and he's suspended off the ground by it. The only thing I thought was kind silly or questionable was the fact that Palpatine seemed to simply be hanging-out in the weird lab-setting I described...he's just kind of there as Kylo Ren walked in. It wasn't like a dramatic entrance, where Ren walk into some elaborate chamber, and there you'd see Palpatine being attended by those mysterious robed figures. But Exogol itself is so very cool...it's like obscured within an almost impassable nebula or something, kinda like "The Briar Patch" thing in Star Trek: Insurrection, if you've seen that, and it's dark and cloudy, with lightning storms flashing all over the surface of the ancient-looking, rocky planet. And Palpatine's hang-out looks like this huge, monolithic, dark temple that's crumbling with ruins everywhere on this inside, complete with what looks like massive statues of past Sith Lords...it's fantastic-looking, and it hints a little at the origins of the dark, unknowable past of the Sith and Palpatine that I've always wondered about... Okay...I'm gonna have to do this in parts, apparently. It's getting late, I've got to get in bed for work tomorrow, and I've only scratched the surface of my impressions of this film. Bear with me, guys. Part two, maybe tomorrow...
  7. I've been thinking about this lately...I fell for the modern-style figures. I just chalked it up to the reality that Hasbro may never make figures like the vintage ones ever again due to production costs, metal components, etc. And I even used to convince myself that the newer figures were superior since they didn't sport brittle plastic or o-rings that could break and had to be replaced. You didn't have to worry about broken thumbs or crotches anymore, and the new figures had added articulation. I've come to realize, though, that none of that matters. Let me back-up a little... Over the last several months, I had decided that I was gonna get serious about rebuilding my vintage collection. Yeah, I had dabbled some over the years...I'd buy a vintage figure here, and a modern wave there, but I had never went all-in, as it were...I'm talking about MOC figures, MISB vehicles...a truly mint and loose collection that rivaled my original childhood one. I'm even getting ready to restore some of the handful of toys that actually survived the great purge of the early 2000s. (lol) I just realized one day that I'm not getting any younger, and if I'm gonna get serious about truly rebuilding my collection, I had better get on with it... So...since I've been in the throes of a new collecting era, I've been re-familiarizing myself with those good-ol' vintage o-ring Joes. And yeah, I've discovered all of the elbow cracks my figures have that I wasn't aware of, an issue that sometimes comes with age (or, I've learned, with specific waves). I've nit-picked over the paint rubs they have, realizing they're not as mint as I remember, and I've gotten discouraged over brand-new, sealed figures I've bought, only to discover they have cracked-elbows, too. But I'll tell ya...the fun I've had with it all, the memories, and the awesome look and feel of those old figures can't be paralleled. Now I know, when you line a vintage figures up next to its modern counterpart, it looks dated, pudgy even, perhaps, but...I was holding a vintage figure the other day and just appreciating how naturally it moved when I manipulated it. The combination of ball-jointed neck, o-ring, t-hook hip connector, and ball-jointed shoulders just makes for such a fluid-moving action figure that can be posed quite naturally despite the rivets, pins, and quaint sculpting. As much as I love the modern ones, simply due to what they are, you just can't get that same feeling from them... In conclusion, this has all got me to thinking...how cool would it be to someday get brand-new o-ring Joes, and I'm talking about the exact same packaging, cardback art, file cards by Larry Hama, and even the same style, scale, and even plastic quality of the originals...well, maybe not the exact same plastic. Maybe a type that wouldn't get brittle and break over time. (lol) But...wouldn't it be so very cool to see a new o-ring wave at the store, you turn the cardback over and see all of those tiny little pictures on the back, hinting at the new characters that were available again? And I don't even mean the same characters, per-se...I mean it'd be cool to see a line just pick up where the old one left off, brand-new characters again, with maybe upgrades of a few familiar faces sprinkled throughout each wave, just like in the old days... I'm not going to waste any more time looking back though, or wishing for what might have been, or what could be...I've missed enough vintage stuff to last me the rest of my life...I'll always be pursuing the old stuff to satisfy that part of me. I'm even excited about the new six-inch stuff coming out later this year(?). I've been wanting a six-inch line of Joes for years, so I'm super excited. I kind of expect Hasbro to actually do some sort of commemorative 3-3/4" line, too, kinda like that Retro Kenner line they did for Star Wars last year...I think that would be utterly fantastic... My short answer? Yes, I miss the classic style, too, Phanstar. (lol)
  8. Fantastic display, brother...I love it!!!
  9. That's awesome, brother!!! I was able to snag a Slugger still sealed in the plastic bags, unassembled, along with a mail-away Thunder still sealed to go with it. Also, I've got a Conquest X-30 coming that's also unassembled with bagged parts, new. Things fell into place and I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, luckily. I'm hoping the trend continues this new year. (lol) Phanstar, I'd love to see pics of your Flagg, bud!!!
  10. I sure hope so...I was just thinking that some Predator figure done by Lanard would be fantastic...
  11. Nice!!! I love those animated Batman figures...that's another collection I'm planning on building someday. I have yet to get any of them, but they look great!!! Makes me want them even more...
  12. That is fantastic my friend...truly impressive!!!
  13. ...and I'm calling it right now. If you don't want my prediction to muddle your viewing experience, or if you consider it a possible spoiler, the be warned: I think Rey is a clone of Luke AND Leia, and here"s why I think so: In The Force Awakens, she innately knows the Force, and throughout that sensitivity, she sees some of Luke's most heartwrenching experiences when she touches his lightsaber for the first time. And I still maintain Han knew who Rey was...he seemed to give her some knowing looks, and he implied in his actions he wanted to nudge her in the right direction without giving her the full story, just as Obi Wan did with Luke in the beginning. Now when it comes to Leia, she too seems to know who Rey is...she seems drawn to her, even seemingly emotional whenever she's near her...she never treats her like some random stranger that just got caught up in the fight, as it were... In The Last Jedi, she knows of the island Luke's on, even though she'd never been there before, as if she had some special and very deep connection with the Force. Also, in the "Dark Side cave", where she had her Force vision...and this is at the heart of my theory...she asks to see her parents, and in the murky reflection of the cave wall, where she could see two shadowy figures merge into one person, and it was revealed to have her face...that would seem to imply, along with the line of multiple Reys she saw, that she came from herself, or in other words, a clone of herself. Perhaps Rey is the one good clone of Luke and Leia the Emperor was going to groom to replace Vader if Luke didn't work out, and she was found following the Battle of Endor and spirited away, hid from any remaining Imperial elements that might use her to their advantage. It may not make complete sense, because Luke couldn't really sense who Rey was, even when he "tapped back into" the Force, or if he did, he didn't tell her or let on that he knew who she was... I had just thought at different times Rey was some sort of clone of at least one of the Skywalkers, but then at the end of this new trailer, you can hear Luke AND Leia say, "May the Force be with you...always." That could be another hint that she's a clone of their combined DNA...she's fiery and headstrong like Leia, as well as being a natural leader like her, and idealistic and mechanically-minded like Luke...plus she's an excellent pilot like Luke was. That, paired with the hints in her Force vision, leads me to believe she's a clone of both Luke and Leia. Your thoughts? Anything I'm missing? Am I just crazy? (lol)
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