Category Archives: Star Wars
Oh Grand Cayman, home of many Canadian banks that hold twice as much money than any of us could imagine. You can practically smell the data transfers.
GC is an island surrounded by coral so the large cruise ships are forced to tender their passengers. I think it’s just a way to filter out the lazy cruisers from visiting the island. We should have been one of those cruisers…
The process of getting 4000+ people off a ship with 3, two hundred seater boats running constantly between mainland and ship is a bit long. It took us close to an hour from deciding to get off the boat to hitting the port. Disney had the line going constantly and to be fair it was a disciplined process, even when 1/3rd of the passengers had strollers.
We hit the port and wander around for a bit with no goals in mind. We took a few pictures and then decided it would be fun to “go to Hell”. Hell is a tiny village on the north tip of the island that has a gift shop that is run by an insane person who wears a dollar store red cape and may or may not have pointy devil horns on his head. Depending on the day, I guess. It also is the home of volcanic rock formations that make the place look like… Hell! Yes you win a prize!
SharkBoy sees a bus stop with locals standing all around and we head over to ask which bus will take us there. The steward directs us to a dilapidated mini van and ushers us into the empty vehicle. The driver waved at us from across the parking lot as we sat. And waited. And waited. And waited. “Island time”, right? And waited. And then we got out when I suggested we go find a private cab at the port to take us. Of course we were yelled at we walked away. Thankfully they didn’t take our fare and we got away scott free.
At the port the same thing happened. We asked for a cab, got shown a similar van and were ushered in. This time there were other people in it. I slowly discovered that the couple near the front were going to Seven Mile Beach, the other couple were going to a fish farm and we were probably last on the list. And we waited. And waited.
In both instances the cab driver wanted to fill the van before leaving. I get it, efficient and saves gas. But damn our luck.
We got out and I swear to god the couple at the front glared at me and I might have imagined it but I thought I heard a whispered “Please take us with you!” from couple #2.
Back onboard the boys went back into the Spa for a round of specialty showers and a lay down on a heated ceramic bench. They claim the bench makes them doze off. The thought of me dozing off in public fills my head with images of drool, saggy body parts and air leaving my body. Nobody needs to see that.
In preparation for the next day, the day we all signed on for, the guys from Capital City Garrison brought their buckets to dinner. I was utterly jealous.
Before the cruise we had spent two days at Epcot & Magic Kingdom with Sis-in-law Sylvie, Pogo, Shawn and his new girlfriend, Dana (who is utterly cool), which was a blast. Though it did rain while at The Kingdom, we had a great time largely due to Beta Mike and unlimited knowledge of the park – he was the tour guide extrodinaire and would part with nuggets of trivia when we walked by things: “That trash can right there is where they found a human lung.” He pretty much made the entire week interesting and fun by always “being on”.
The morning of the cruise we met at Mike and Johnny’s beautiful home and had a moment with Ms Olive before the dog sitter took over. The other couple we shared the seas with, Thom and Dave, arrived soon after and we set out in two cars to the port. Each mid-sized SUV was packed to the brim with luggage as you can imagine three gay couples would. We stopped in a gas station on the far side of the airport that sold deep fried Gator bits. That people were actually buying. With money.
I. Love. Florida.
We parked and entered the terminal and checked in, no issues. As we waited for our boarding number I wandered in and out of the 4000+ crowd, looking for other 501st comrades and found a few. We chatted and shared our excitement. Nothing compares to Star Wars Nerd Excitement – it’s almost visible in the air and makes cats horny in a 2 mile radius. They should bottle it.
We board. And as you might have read previously, we were announced as the “Healey-Maquette” family. Yeah me and the wooden model. Nobody noticed, we were too excited.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the ship and the first (of many) drinks in La Piazza. When they released our rooms and our luggage was delivered we dressed for dinner and experienced that evening’s sunset (of many). But before the food trough was lowered, we saw that night’s show and then head into the restaurant. Little did we know that we were already singled out by one of the crew…
Dinner was a curiosity. Dave (a staunch Republican) and Thom (a staunch I never got what he was) told us about their plan to adopt a child in the very near future, told to us while Dave carved up raw garlic across his steak. The wait staff were a bit alarmed by the request yet brought him two hearty sized cloves. He folded them into his steak as we discussed diapers and future travel plans. As one does. I snuck a glance to Thom to see if this was normal and got no indication that this was going to be a problem with him. Later. In a small cabin. To each his own, I thought and fattily dug into my 3rd dessert.
Sharkboy and I retired early while some tried out the nightclubs.
There is NOTHING like sleeping on a ship in somewhat calm waters (the weather was super windy, but not, you know… Royal Caribbean windy)
A spy, in long cottony robes, is hugging the walls down a dark hallway.
An alarm! She runs! She’s shot in the back! An information disk flies from her hand and skids across the floor. A hand comes into frame and picks it up.
Bottom right corner, a number “1” appears.
Another spy, in black, running in the night! Laser blast all around his feet as he dodges hits. Alas, one hits and he goes down. An information disk flies from his hand and skids across the floor. A hand comes into frame and picks it up.
Bottom right corner the number jumps to “2”
Two spies in a hovering speeder zips across a field of bright yellow flowers. Behind them a massive black tank is in pursuit, churning up the beauty.
The tank shoots! The couple fly from the speeder in the resulting explosion. An information disk flies from their hands and skids across the ground and lands against a tree. A hand comes into frame and picks it up.
Bottom right corner the number jumps to “4”
A large spaceship in the inky black of space.
Laser shot. Ship explodes. An information disk floats through the dark and a robot grappling hand comes into frame and picks it up.
Bottom right corner the number jumps to “208”
A cruise ship, sinking in the dark of night. An information disk can be seen floating on the sea. A net comes and scoops it up.
Bottom right corner the number jumps to “2764”
Cut to: a control room with a beautiful woman in long robes. She says: “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.”
Title Card: Star Wars: Rogue One
Notice the details all along this thing! I think I’m having a heart attack. Oh… and wait for it… !!
Say you’re a dictator scheming away to rule a multitude of star systems. Got it?
You build a huge… oh …Death Star to strike fear into the souls of all you subjugate across the galaxy. These things aren’t cheap. Even if you are using slave labour, there is considerable cost involved with building a space station the size of a small moon. Not to mention continuing to run the day to day galaxy stuff.
Then a backwater kid comes along and blows it up with a decomissioned star fighter in one go.
You’re on the phone to the insurance company, I’m sure.
Okay so you get settlement somehow and you’re right back at it, building another one (slightly bigger!!) and meanwhile your #2 right hand man (ha!) is begging for his own massive battle cruiser. He wants to call it “Pademe” or some such nonsense and you remind him that you are signing the cheques and it will be called something more menacing, like “The Executor”. Cha-ching, more cash out the door.
Meanwhile I’m pretty sure that the Banks and the Trade Federation are at your door demanding money for interest on the loans you’ve taken out for your new Death Star. They’re probably sweating buckets that your first loan is kind of *poof* up in space dust and here you are asking for more and if the Banks don’t cough it up, Force chokes all around the boardroom.
And hey guess what? You’ve been such a dick creating fear across the galaxy that there are *more* rebels and they have a lot more ships and look! Here they come to blow up your new Death Star that isn’t even finished (or paid off yet).
Also, you’re dead.
So my question is: If the Imperial forces are weakened by all this mayhem, how can they afford upgrades to their armour?
I ask because this pic of the new look of a Stormtrooper has been leaked (allegedly) from the set of Star Wars VII. Have a boo:
Pretty snazzy, eh? While I am wicked excited about the look (it looks like Syd Mead stopped by the SWVII art department and scribbled stuff on the walls), the first thing that popped into my head was “How could the Empire afford upgrades?”
The original Star Wars art design was about “used space” (Lucas’ words to Ralph McQuarrie when he asked him to visualize his story) and I am a big fan of JJ Abrams. His teased shots of practical effects over the last couple months have made me really excited to see this movie. But I have a shiver of fear in this shot.
My thinking (as a rabid fanboy) is that the Imperial forces are now considered “the Rebels” and that the rebels have become the ruling class with all the fancy ships and nice clothes. Role reversal. So the “used” look would be transferred to the Imperial forces…right?
I have to calm down.
I hope the story backs up the justification of the upgrade and not “Make it cool!” for Hollywood sake.
As I type that last line I had another shiver…