Trump’s GOP Cargo Cult


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Recently Republican Senator Bob Corker finally said what we all know- The Modern GOP is a Cult, specifically a Cargo Cult.  It’s latest incarnation sees Trump starting to eclipse Reagan as the demi-god and the introduction of some elements of the “Prosperity Minister” cultism.

Roughly 6 years after I first blogged about this in one of my earliest posts its time to look at the GOP Cargo Cult Now

The Cargo Cult- 

The classic historical Cargo Cult refers to a phenomenon that arose on the isolated pacific islands various military’s built bases on during the Second World War. Looking back it seems likely the earliest Cargo Cults probably revolved around people like Captain Cook and other colonial sea captains and political figures. I guess it’s probably worth noting that the Imperial Japanese, who were fascists, simply tried to ‘genocide’ anyone on islands they occupied and inspired guerrilla resistance rather than obsessive imitation. There are no known Imperial Japanese Cargo Cults, likely due to cruelty.

It’s only in the wake of World War II that sociology and modern psychological thinking have advanced enough for the Cargo Cult has come to be studied or understood.

The native islanders in places like Papua, New Guinea had not had much contact with the outside world.  They were isolated from the modernized humans who just had little need to go to their little part of the world until the cataclysm of the Second World War.

After the war began in the Pacific the native islanders were subject to massive culture shock.  21st Century humans are probably more mentally prepared for an Alien Invasion than these Un-contacted Tribes were for the 1940’s just erupting onto their neolithic islands. Literally overnight and literally out of the sky in the form of shiny silver airplanes (as well as great iron beasts from the sea) came the mid-20th century. They had NO context for this.

None of the previous limited contacts with outsiders provided a frame of reference for what transpired on their islands, which was the entirety of their very world, over the weeks following arrival of troops. Thousands of years of norms were simply obliterated.

I can’t stress the shock these people felt enough. To these isolated natives the idea that an internal combustion engine would spin gears and operate pistons to spin a propeller to power a vehicle capable of carrying goods or people was inconceivable. To the natives the planes were not machines at all.  They were great beasts akin to hollow metal dragons. The dragons insides were full of ‘Eggs”; or as we would call it, cargo containers. When cracked open there was magical treasure, like coca cola, or candy or whatever inside. They traded with the soldiers on the bases too.

These were near stone age societies. They barely had boats, so they just couldn’t wrap their minds around mechanized flight. It had to be magic! They were convinced that they were seeing people whose gods were simply stronger. It’s the same reaction the Romans would have had if a nuclear aircraft carrier with a squadron of jets showed up in the Mediterranean! So don’t tell yourselves primitive European’s would have handled it better. This was like a Star Trek episode happening to them!

To explain what they saw they looked to the natural world and their own supernatural tales. For instance they saw what we would call “Air Traffic Control” as a magical ritual rather than technical exercise. It’s kind of easy to see how. And they extrapolated conclusions from what they actually “knew”.

The way they saw it the dragons were summoned from the sky by rituals at a holy temple, or as we would call it, a Military Airfield. The “rituals” were the day to day operations of the base. Waving in incoming planes with flags and lighting runways. For obvious reasons, the groups of identically clad men marching in formation really impressed them. Seemed directly related to the cargo.  Sure seemed like a magical or religious ceremony to them. It’s not to far from some ways they had tried to appease their gods, lots of religions have ritual motions, including catholicism.  Except this never seemed to fail. After all, a plane always showed up, so it was just a matter of doing it right.

Just as quickly the war ends and the bases were mostly abandoned and life, for the natives, returned to ‘normal’. But things were forever changed.

They had become accustomed to the gleaming aluminum dragons. They missed the Cargo. No longer were the great beasts from the air and sea disgorging the amazing things they now desired. Gone was the supply of canned goods, cigarette lighters, flashlights and coca cola along with all other pieces of 20th century luxury and technology.

They felt that being thrown back 2000 years was  punishment from the Cargo gods and the wanted to reverse that.
In a turn of events still being studied by sociologists and historians, the Cargo Cults emerged. The Biggest one is called “John Frum”, sometimes spelled “John Frumm” It means “John from America” and theres a lot of images of him. He’s an African American US Navy Seabee.

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A John Frum Cultist (credit Tom Richards)

It happened like this;

Some of the natives eventually found their way to the abandoned bases and imitated the base personnel. Coconuts were fashioned into radio headsets, bamboo control towers were created. ‘Uniformly’ dressed men ‘marched’ in an attempt to summon the cargo Dragons back.

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A Bamboo Airplane constructed by John Frum members

While this didn’t work the behavior has persisted, John Frum is alive and well as a belief system today. To some hes more like Santa Claus, but he’s now part of the fabric of New Guinea society.  Every once in a while a really charismatic John Frum Cult Leader emerges and the whole cycle starts again.

Its should be noted that the cult mindset survives attempts by outside sociologists to dispel it as nonsense. The remaining true adherents are inoculated from the truth.

Trump and the GOP Cargo Cult 
How does this apply to early 21st century American Conservatism? The Republican Party is now packed with under qualified ideologues, who espouse an unrealistic image of a worry free past, in this case, the Go Go 80’s, which were sort of a result of idealizing the 50’s.

The Original Cargo Cult Republicans were those whose behavior and beliefs had devolved into a quasi-religious mindset towards Modern American Conservatism revolving around the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan in an idealized, ritualized and unrealistic way.

It seems that the whole idea is sort of tied to a feeling that in the past things were better. Movies were better, music was better. Its purely reactionary. It’s probably something to do with the fact people live longer now and there’s just more people pining for the past in general.

Then there’s a more sinister aspect where a lot of (white) people take it a little further and get into real trouble by extending the analogy too far. It ends up being: “In the past things were better because women and blacks knew their place.” This is sort of insane thing to think but somehow sort of popular. Just ask Tomi Lahren or other people in the White Grievance Political field.  Tomi’s making money talking about pure paranoia all day.

Now the GOP is selling white people on some idea that they’re an oppressed minority. Then they imply (or overtly say) that everyone would be rich if we crack down on Immigration and build a useless Wall in the desert. There’s more spokes of intolerance but that’s the essence of Trumpism. Its very close to classic fascism.

We’ve all heard the term ‘Cult 45″ for the president and his Political Jonestown of Deplorables. The Right seems to be sort of prone to Cult thinking. At this point we’re at least 2 generations deep in a desire to return to the past. This generation specifically wanting to go to the 80’s like their parents wanted to go back to the 50’s. So this would be the third time around we have looked to the 1950s for an ideal and conveninetly forgotten that it was an unjust time with rampant racism and a bad interventionist foreign policy for Uncle Sam.

The members of a Cult do not heed signs they are wrong. Instead they strive to out-do eachother.

The leader tends to jerk the leash regularly to let the followers know who’s boss.  Demonizing anyone not part of the Cult is also textbook cult behavior.

Denouncing people is big. Inside the cult theres a purity test and people like Mark Sanford just can’t pass anymore. The doctrine of Trumps Dangerous Ad Hocracy rules the day.




Trump, who was most successful in the 80s, when a rising tide lifted all ships,  played right to this idea and still does. The Cults alive and well. Just ask Bob Corker.

The images of John Frum are replaced with some dirt cheap overpriced red MAGA hats. Trump compared himself to Reagan in a series of falsehoods about his election.

Like the Cargo Cults of the Pacific in the Trump-Reagan Cult values form above results. They could care less that theres a rational explanation or a practical way to do things, they have their coconut phony radios and their MAGA hats.

The “Ritual” these days includes stuff like Xenophobia, Open Carry, Pro Assault Weapon policy, Intolerance and UnAmerican rhetoric. Delivered already are the Tax Cuts, which were done in the face of real statistics and facts that indicated it was reckless and bound to boomerang on us. Trickle Down Economic is a scam. It’s failed under 3 presidents. This is a big part of why it’s a cult.


Outright Cruelty is also now part of the Cargo. Hating Snowflakes and Libtards is the GOP gospel. So every Travel Ban, every child we kidnap from its parents and every sick person denied care is a reward to the Republican. So they’re getting some of the cargo, the part that’s free, right now. They’re probably pretty sure that they will al be very rich any minute. When that doesn’t happen they will blame who Trump tells them to.  Right now its democrats and immigrant children, but we’ve seen everyone including the pope and the our allies leaders has been hatefully bashed to whip up the greed and hate that motivate a political cargo cult.


Found this on youtube. It’s not my opinion but theres a lot of visuals.  The pundit is pretty scathing and I do not endorse all of his assertions, especially his condescending attitude; but at least you can see some of these things for yourself.


This is the third dive into Cargo Cults here, I’ve covered the Reagan Cargo Cult Mitt Romney tried floating (the time wasnt right) and my post on the Star Trek episode “A Piece of the Action” which involves an alien race that is highly impressionable and prone to “follower” behavior.


Outspoken Trump & Putin Critic Anthony Bourdain Dies Mysteriously


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Outspoken Trump and Putin critic Anthony Bourdain has died under mysterious circumstances in Europe.

While Bourdain had a troubled past and could have lost a battle with addiction or depression, there’s been no mention of a note.

Bourdain had called out Putin, among other things, as a murderer.

The former Chef turned free-range CNN world correspondent also seemed to fine recently on camera and none of his coworkers seem to have seen this coming. He leaves behind an 11 year old daughter. It would seem he had everything to live for.


Putin is exactly the kind of person who would kill someone he disliked and try to make it look like a suicide. He was in France, well within the established Putin Killing Zone for anyone he feels like off-ing.

I for one am glad its in the hands of French rather than American authorities.

Meanwhile the world has lost an ambassador for tolerance and a voice of resistance to the Trump – Putin Criminality that.s currently holding the us all hostage.

Its not impossible or maybe even unlikely Anthony Bourdain simply took his own life, but the idea Putin would just kill him needs to be analyzed by law enforcement. Again, I’m glad its not in the hands of American authorities because for this I trust the French a lot more.

Here he is allowing an anti Putin dissident to use his show as a platform. Putin is just as vain as Trump but far more ruthless and effective. We know he loves killing off his critics. This is the sort the thing he would hold a deadly grudge about for sure.  The man in the interview, Boris Nemtsov, died in a hail of gunfire weeks later. Now, mysteriously, Bourdain is dead as well.


Trump’s Dangerous Misunderstanding of Patton


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We’ve all seen enough by now to know that President Trump has an unhealthy fixation on the movie “Patton”. There’s plenty of articles by right wing people comparing Trump to Patton favorably and some of the more religious among them are buying in to Patton’s own belief in re-incarnation and, of course, imagining that it’s Trump. Trump himself seems to embrace Patton. He certainly mentions him regularly.

All I can say about the re-incarnation thing is- Patton saw himself only re-incarnated as a soldier and would have stayed in Vietnam every moment he could. He didn’t have to serve in the military, he was dyslexic, but he overcame it just so he could fight. So lets just forget about Trump being Patton reincarnated. Its preposterous.

The thing is Trump has a dangerous infatuation that will shape our futures. He is , in fact, president.

In Trump’s personal style dealing with the media and at his rallies we’ve seen him channel the angry, eccentric World War II generals profane and detailed threats, put downs and boasting as some of the main aspects of his public persona.
The big problems with this are that Donald trump is not like George Patton at all and that the movie glosses over certain flaws while making others appear as virtues.

Even worse, certain coincidences I believe Trump regards as similarities between himself and Patton as portrayed in the movie are now re-enforcing his delusional belief that he is very much like George Patton. Both are meltdown prone and scream at staff and abuse subordinates, both talk their way into huge avoidable problems. But thats as far as the real similarities really go. These men, and the staff’s they yelled at, couldn’t be more different.

Trump’s surrounded by Yes Men and traitors who can’t event get a security clearance. Patton’s guys were crack combat officers. So Trump’s never getting back competent answers or a person with enough integrity to stand up against a bad idea. Patton was rooted in reality far more than Trump and if his fuel guy told him there was no furel he’d scream a little, but he didn’t crucify the guy. These guys were colonels and West Point grads who could absorb a tantrum. Patton wasn’t spared bad news. SO there’s a major difference.

Another thing we all know about the president is he is a grandiose liar. He’s racked up several thousand outright falsehoods in just over a year in office and the tally keeps growing. In fact if you look at the numbers he’s lying more often than ever now. As far as Patton goes, Trump’s lying to himself. We already know Trump fancies himself smarter than a general, he told us so himself. It needs to be noted that Patton was not known to be a liar.

Here’s how a man mistakes a dramatic movie for reality; Trump is very simply ignorant of History and has very little actual knowledge about the actual Patton. In fact the only piece of information I’m absolutely sure Trump is aware of would be the Conspiracy Theories regarding Patton’s death (not in the movie). So to him this movie is 100% accurate and real. We know he never bothered reading up on it, come on!

Fantastic scenes where the salty general jumps out a window and cuts loose with his personal pistols against a couple of german bombers wrecking up his base are pure Hollywood but I’m sure this hasn’t occurred to Trump. He probably thinks Patton was an action hero AND a commanding officer.

The biggest thing my hypothesis has going for it is if you momentarily embrace it, it explains pretty much everything and holds up to scrutiny from numerous angles. Of course its not perfect, but indulge me and then draw your own conclusion— BECAUSE COMMENTS ARE ENABLED!! Please weigh in if you feel so inclined!



Patton- The Embellished Bio-Pic

Patton was pure Oscar Gold seldom paralleled. Winner of Academy Awards for Best Actor (George C Scott) Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Francis Ford Coppola) and Best Original Score (Jerry Goldsmith of Star Trek fame!).

The movie ‘Patton’ is a masterpiece of film making that starts with a very strong Francis Ford Coppola screenplay advised by none other than Patton contemporary and equal- General Omar Bradley himself. An inspired George C Scott gave a brilliant, authentic and career defining performance then blew off accepting his Best Actor Oscar to go to a hockey game, how cool is that? Throw in one of the best movie scores outside Star Wars to move it along from the great Jerry Goldsmith of Star Trek fame. The director was Franklin J Shaffner , fresh off “Planet of the Apes” success.

Why This Movie Is A Dangerous Influence on Trump

Trump’s fascination with Patton is a problem for a bunch of reasons. For one thing George Patton, despite his success, is a TERRIBLE role model for a politician or president. Brash and outspoken, his role in the war was minimized because of his personal antics.

While the movie makes much of this, the scenes where Patton goes on tirades around his staff and peers over the consequences of so many ill considered actions (sound familiar?) are captivating. George C Scott plays him as a figure who NEEDS to create obstacles for himself by self sabotaging because fate always turns the tables and suddenly the sabotage ends up benefiting him. Were Patton to have never stirred the pot he wouldn’t have had such great luck. Trump, as we have seen, loves to self sabotage. This could be part of why.

The obvious problem is Francis Ford Coppola is NOT writing reality and we may all be let down when fate DOESN’T turn the tables and everyone ends up screwed because of one of Trump’s crazy actions or tweets,etc. The poorly considered Korea Summit would be an example of self sabotage and then waiting for miracle. In reality the South Koreans really want some kind of peace talks so the idea keeps lurching forward while Trump vacillates.

The real Patton was apparently had no political ambitions, which makes sense since despite a rough charm he had no diplomatic skill or real personal charisma. He needed the shock and awe of non stop profanity to drive home a point to fighting men in time of war though. The moment he spoke to anyone else he was always and only ever inappropriate. While this was (barely) forgivable for a mid 20th century war time general, it’s just awful for a 21st century president! Yet we have only seen Trump speak for longer and longer making one dangerous uninformed statement after the next while salting in hardcore racism with the boasting, threats and pure bullshit.

Patton was so awful a human being technical adviser General Omar Bradley quit the movie when he saw the script portrayed him and Patton as close friends. Bradley, its should be noted, was famously a nice guy. This means Patton was probably despicable, so he has that in common with Trump. Bradley seems to have regarded him as exactly the re-incarnated Dark Ages Warlord Patton fancied himself to be in his poetry. Being a horrible dick may be the only thing Trump and Patton truly have in common, but Patton of course had certain redeeming traits.

In his own time Patton was seen as an eccentric throwback. Basically he was little too crazy and liked war a little too much. He was the kind of soldier who needed to be sealed in case marked “Only Open in Case of War”. He chaffed at his bosses and generally was a pain in their asses.

Despite fighting the nazis like a boss, he seemed to go soft on them after the war. Unlike Trump he hated the Russians, but he probably would have conspired with them just to get World War 3, which he gets sacked for advocating for (along with the soft on ex-nazi’s thing). When Patton dies he was in a heap of trouble and had no command again.

The root of Trump’s many misconceptions is due to viewing the movie in a very simple manner. Its unlikely Trump ever took a single film class. The fact is Film Appreciation 101 might save the planet were Trump forced to take the course. If he had he would have realized the Ironic Duality of the plot.

Simply put the movie is all about introducing the open question of “Is Patton all that is Great and Gallant in the Military? Or is he all that is Wrong and Perverse about War and War Making?” The movie seems to suggest he is both at the same time.

The characters from the movie line up in Trump World roughly like this- Trump of course is Patton. Egotistical British General Montgomery , equally delusional and insane to only a slightly lesser degree, is ‘Crooked Hillary’. Patton’s very first aide in the movie who dies is BOTH original campaign managers AND Chris Christie (aside from the actual sorrow Patton felt,Trump we know is a stranger to empathy). Cod, his final aide is Kellyanne Conway and racist Steve Bannon. Omar Bradley and the US military are Paul Ryan and the Republicans. The German Military is Mueller and the FBI.

The movie opens with a ‘Patton Rally’. With a huge flag behind him he lays down tough, gruff and profanity laced violent rhetoric in clear terms. Everything is black and white, which is just fine because they’re preparing for war. It’s really freaky when you see the scene superimposed on a 21st century political rally.

The movie provides a composite of Patton’s actual speeches delivered brilliantly, using George Scott’s incredible speaking voice to draw us in as he gives it to his troops in a loud and dirty fashion. It’s very much a political looking arena and the first of many Academy Award Moments defying the viewer to look away.

When Patton begins to speak he’s commanding and profane. He tells his men their better than anyone their opponents, who are subhuman creeps. He boasts about their training and weapons and says they’re destined to win. He speaks of violence and glory. Again, perfect for a wartime general, TERRIBLE for a president, but of course its not very different from what Trump says at his rallys.

Trump holds out immigrants and muslims as an enemy and dehumanizes them almost s much as Patton dehumanized the Nazis extolling his troops to kill. Unlike Patton, there’s no hope. Patton is sure their going to win and win big. Maybe it wont be easy or fun, but it’s going to happen. Trump follows one false gloomy statement with another.

There are some traits both the Man in the Movie and Trump share. Then there’s a lot of fluke-ish coincidences where they seem to resemble each other but dont hold up.

One similarity between Trump and Movie Patton would be the portrayal of Patton as very much Bipolar, which is one of the dominant parts of Trump’s Borderline Personality Disorder. So what I’m saying is both were crazy. Patton, and Trump, also had certain traits of sociopaths and worse.

Patton was probably ‘Manic Depressive’ in terms of that time. Both were spotty students at prestigious schools (though Patton was afflicted with dyslexia, an actual learning disability he overcame, showing some discipline and personal character). Both are only functional when attacking. Both are insulated from their mistakes by great personal wealth. The bottom line is; “Both were crazy and self destructive”


Anti-Patton Cartoon from “Patton” (1970)

Both loved media coverage of and yet bristled at the scrutiny that invites. Both earned the distinction of “Suspected Huge Fan of the Nazis” from the media in their time.

Neither one feels that it’s fair to have their own words used against them, no matter how hypocritical.

Near the end of the movie Patton’s being questioned by the press as to why he won’t remove former Nazi’s from key positions. He answers with his own “Very Fine People” gaff- analogizing the nazis to the Republican and Democratic Parties in the United States. It was such a stupid thing to say you don’t actually feel that bad he let himself get set up. In fact it seemed like he knew they were setting him up and went with a defiant response out of pure bile. It destroys his post War career.

Neither guy can simply shut up for any length of time. While Trump uses tweets Patton would simply act in an outrageous manner (sound familiar?) til the press couldn’t look away.

Both seem to flirt with the idea of War for War’s sake (the Patton character admits this repeatedly). The recent whimsical attitude in meeting with North Korea in different capacities without any preparation fits well with the Patton in the movie, but it sure isn’t reflective of the real life guy.

“Fire and fury,” is a total Patton line. It’s not from the movie, but it would fit. Threatening people is one of Trump’s favorite things. Patton boasted all the time too. The difference of course is it’s APPROPRIATE for general to be boastful and threatening.

And Appropriateness is an area where Trump is really in need of improvement. Whacked out tweets, not putting his hand on his heart during the National Anthem, disparaging numerous Gold Star Families and worse are all in a days work for the offender in chief. Bolstered by his delusion he’s Patton or Patton-like at least, Trump is likely to continue and increase the boasts and threats.

A particularly dangerous sequence in the movie revolves around the German Siege of Bastogne. Loaded up with fuel and ammo and ready to kick the Nazi’s asses the weather intercedes and slows sops his relief attempt.

Angry and scream-y, Patton decides its time for some help from God and a little theater to motivate the troops. He summons the Division Chaplain and makes and demands a prayer good enough for god to intercede and stop the storm. The chaplain points out hes asking him to pray for a battle and therefore death on massive scale and it’s sort of messed up. Patton has no problem with the hypocrisy.  Then he goes on a rant worthy of a Spartan king or a particularly extreme Roman general about how they’re going to be sustaining the attack no matter what. Patton admits to his aide he’s sort of acting. Its another Academy Award moment in the film.

A truly inspirational prayer, for those who care about such things, was written. The weather cleared fairly quickly thereafter and the Patton’s army set off on a historic campaign.

Of course what we all know today about Patton’s Weather Prayer is that a warm front moved in and the snow simply stopped. That doesn’t blunt the forceful nature of the scene where Patton excoriates a regimental chaplain, telling him to write a prayer “good enough” for God to bother listening. Its very much like Trump’s contempt for the Pope and religion in general. The “Two Corinthians” Fiasco shows Trump has no religious knowledge or convictions but has no problem with rank hypocrisy and is therefore a bit less moral than Patton.

This sequence of the movie is meant to show Patton’s Hubris and psychopathy in pursuit of battle and it’s a very dangerous thing to take it literally as surely Trump does. We can blame the Evangelical communities blind loyalty and excuse make-ing for Trump for this delusion gaining strength.

Another thing Trump and ‘Movie Patton’ have in common would be a total lack of understanding of whats called “Psychological Warfare”. In the film Patton is apparently baffled as to the importance of his mission leading up to D-Day- to be a weapon of mass distraction . Patton’s use as a decoy convinced Hitler to disregard an Actual Invasion and hold off forces that may well have turned the tide of the War itself , to await a Fictional Invasion that was never going to happen. It was key to pulling of the Allied Invasion of France.


Now consider Trump calling the Generals and the former president stupid repeatedly for broadcasting some details of their plan to destroy ISIS. He simply doesn’t understand the idea that you can cloud your opponents judgement to the point you can predict or even control his actions.

It’s too subtle for the movie character or Trump to grasp.

Both Trump and Patton have a deep disdain of giving out any government healthcare. Patton orders his hospital units not to admit Combat Fatigue (PTSD), which he considers cowardice.

This was so insane even to 1940’s medical personnel they simply ignore him. That of course boomerangs on Patton in his version of a “Hot Mic on the Bus” moment. Of course I am talking of the scene where Patton slaps a ‘cowardly’ soldier in a Field Hospital, disgusting everyone and showing his troops how little he cares about them despite the bravado.

In the heat of battle Patton visits a field hospital. At first he’s compassionate and deeply moved. Then he tirns hateful and insane. The General loses control of himself publicly and betrays his own bi-polar nature and complete lack of empathy during a brutal, sort of violent, screaming meltdown culminating with him repeatedly slapping a ‘cowardly’ soldier.

Lack of sleep and stress are surely in the mix when the real Patton freaked out like a true bi-polar. The sequence shows the dark side of Patton’s insanity. I dont think Trump will see it that way. His cruel approach to medicare and the Obamacare reforms shows he has no compassion, something the cinematic Patton develops. Trump surely wont (because Francis Ford Coppola is not writing reality).


Real life Patton slapped more than one soldier more than one time til they actually had to discipline him and remove him from command. It was just like the self inflicted wound we see Trump give himself all the time. Unlike Patton, he just never gets a humbling comeuppance where he returns slightly improved from time to time. Trump just keep making the same mistakes over and over.

Patton is benched and used as a decoy until after the D-Day Invasion, the battle he had waited all his life to fight in. He faces it like a pitcher caught doctoring a baseball and forced to miss a playoff start. In other words, with only a minimal thought of anyone else. Again Patton shows his view of war and command to be from the Dark Ages or perhaps early Renaissance at its most compassionate.

In his finest moments of triumph after receiving a new army to command, when prosecuting the war Patton is shown as petty and dismissive of his soldiers well-being and simply thinks of his Army as a whole. To Patton, when people get killed it’s like the Army itself is just trimming it’s fingernails. In other words; it’s a natural ongoing function of war. With Trump we can see the chaos in his personal staff and cabinet, burning people like Michael Cohen as needed.

Just as important as winning were the laurels and press adulation that came with it. When holding the spotlight Patton is grandiose in his actions while his words are always petty. Demonizing and denigrating his personal rivals, boasting of his the strength of his army. Its much like Trump with the exception of the part it’s actually appropriate for a general to have that attitude in time of war. Trump appropriating the George C Scott version of Patton in a political mode ISN’T appropriate at all, it worked well enough to get him ‘elected’ (we think). A crass and abusive screed of insults and violent rhetoric are the hallmark of every Trump Rally ever

Patton and Trump have contempt for the abilities (and probably even the racial abstraction) of the Russians, despite Trump’s open admiration for Putin. Patton moves himself firmly onto the hot seat in the early postwar moments by repeatedly insulting people, specifically members of the Russian military, the US President and that which would become NATO. Sound familiar ?

The movie closes with the disgraced Patton reflecting in how the Romans would celebrate a victory with a triumphant parade through Rome itself and a warning that all Glory is Fleeting. Cadet Bone Spurs insistence on a Bigly Military Parade is right in line with this.

Disturbing Conclusions and Thoughts-

We already have had our national policy shaped by this movie. As the documentary “All The President’s Movies” tells us, Nixon ordered major bombing offenses against Vietnam twice after watching the movie. And we all know that Trump loves Nixon so if he finds out that watch out!

It’s my theory that Trump see’s the story of Patton as that of an American who couldn’t lose cause he was an American and that he was an exceptional person who prospered BECAUSE he broke all rules and civility rather than IN SPITE OF THIS. I believe he sees his kooky Cabinet of Billionaire Ass kissers as equivalent to Patton’s highly trained and battle proven staff officers. This dangerous delusion was how Trump found a way to cast crazy ex-General Flynn in the role of Omar Bradley. Comparing Flynn to Bradley is so far from the truth it would be laughable of it weren’t absolute reality.

Based on his overtly displayed misunderstanding of the movie Trump shows he is dangerously militarily primitive and most comfortable with methods and ideas more commonly associated with the Nazi Germans than 20th century Americans.

Military deaths are way up under Trump I truly think he’s relaxed rules of engagement and demanded more missions in general. If you doubt it just consider the Green Berets lost in Niger. We still can’t get a reason that makes sense about why they were even on that doomed mission.

Patton is a terrible role model for even most soldiers as he was always succeeding at he expense of higher all around casualties. He declined peaceful solutions whenever possible. He was always one mistake from disaster but circumstance connived him a series of unlikely wins. As a role model for a president Patton is a disaster.

Like Trump, Patton’s glory should never eclipse the incompetence of his enemies. It requires some historical perspective to understand. Patton was set loose in western Europe with a veteran army and ample supplies. Even more decisive the Germans are mandated by Hitler ONLY to plan against Patton in an area where they expect the Invasion that never comes in Calais. Rather than ever accepting that they must fight Patton they become intimidated and willfully ignorant of the reality due to Hitler’s rapid mental decline from seriously insane to non functional maniac between about 1942 and early 1944. Patton directly benefits. Nothing analogous this is in play for Trump, His current foe, Mueller, is self-created but much more competent than Trump and no amount of freaking out is going to save Trump from that

Looking back at the 2016 campaign think of this as being roughly the same as Hillary not going to states she considered ‘safe’, like the vaunted Democratic “Blue Wall” of reliably Democratic states , each of which she then lost by less than an under-attended baseball game worth of people. We know Trump appreciates this misstep because its one of his favorite riffs to go on from the now “Trump 2020” rallies that are a veritable torchlight parade for the guy. “Kill Them All! Build That Wall!” however, is a lot less civilized than the behavior we see from people about to go to an actual war. Its belicose shit talking that serves just to help these cultists pay homage top their hero and are probably damaging the fabric of America.

Unlike Trump, Patton didn’t have a staff of soothsayers and guru’s off Fox News, Patton’s guys were highly competent top notch merit promoted staff officers with great expertise. Trumps rag tag group of advisers is anything BUT top notch or Highly Competent. They also have more turnover than Patton, which is amazing.

Another unavoidable conclusion from the movie is that current 21st century Americans are actually LESS civilized than Americans of the mid 20th century, 75 years ago, or at the very least the Americans of 1970 when the film is made. Being at war since 9-11 surely is somewhat to blame for this. This suggests that assertions about a cult of ignorance and a desire to literally turn back the clock to early post world war 2, before the integration of the military, by the Trumpists are very much real and accurate.

The movie ends before the freakish and controversial death of Patton in a car accident. The truth is the driver probably just messed up and plain old crashed. Patton lingered for a few days and was buried with his troops. Its long been imagined and even said that the General was killed by the CIA’s predecessor the OSS. This is sonething I’m sure Trump believes Patton was assassinated. I mean, there’s the whole issue where he’s afraid someone is going to poison him to back it up.

The Hate-Watcher’s Guide to Disney’s Star Wars Fails; Episode 1- Uncool Weapons


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Ever since Force Awakens hit theaters it’s slowly become obvious that the production values in The Galaxy Far, Far Away have fallen even as the budget has gone up. Sure, things usually look good in the center of the screen, but as anyone who’s racked up repeated views of Force Awakens, Last Jedi and SOLO will notice- Only the hero’s weapons are any good.

Part of it is technology may have simply enabled the developers to the point where they became the opposite of Creative, they are now “Risk Averse”. So while we got a decent effect for  Star Killer Base’s main weapon its sort of alone amidst dreadful new props and bad Foley Art (sound effects).

More Elegant Weapons from a More Civilized Time

Bigger, blander has been the trend and of course nothing is worse than Kylo Ren’s three bladed lightsaber. It’s at once stupid, poorly imagined, and thought provokingly impractical. The weapon was just a terrible vision of a lightsaber variant. It might have been forgivable alone, but it had plenty of (bad) company!


This is all on Disney. It’s cheapness, laziness and a lot of re-use of things from the Avenger’s Universe. It’s not like they can’t get it right, when they shelled out for lots of Lucas property in Rogue 1 and embraced the feel of the original movies things worked out. Everyone had a pretty cool weapon right down to the US Omaha Beach gear some of the Rebels sport in the final assault. They took the time to really study the original gear and art from the first movie. They also correctly realized that George Lucas was homage-ing World War II movies and added some real WWII movie looking features to the whole production. It’s not rocket science!


WW2 style Rebels in Rogue 1


two awesome, real looking weapons in a cut scene from Rogue 1 Theatrical release

Even in the heavily criticized pre-quel series George Lucas designed better looking and sounding weapons than Disney has ever bothered with. For example, when Lucas decides to give the lightsaber an upgrade for Darth Maul it results in a cool, dangerous and logical looking weapon. Same thing for blaster pistols. Jango Fett has a great set of silver blasters that sound awesome when fired. It seems like the Solo movie’s Lando has one just like them judging from the look and sound of it.

Continuing on the topic of Blasters we have lots of stand out bad props. It seems perhaps no one wants to use their best ideas on a weapon that will end up being property of Disney anyway. A lot of highly boring weapons are showing up for whatever reason.

The Force Awakens shows us our lamest weapons to that point. Consider it a watershed moment where lack of creativity would always be accepted so long as a huge special effects scene was enabled. The Star Killer Base itself is just not that creative a weapon. It’s a mega Death Star. It’s acceptable but it also seems like the galaxy’s most expensive fire and forget weapon cause they suck that star dry! Some enabling dialogue could fixed that in a second, but the movies sloppy. “After we fire prepare to tow the base to the secondary star in the next system!” There- see how easy that was?


Finn’s Blaster

The standard Stormtrooper weapon for the First Order is only okay. Its got white plastic on it probably incorporated for the sale of the toy (keeping it from looking too real). If we’re going to start designing movies around creating more effective Cosplay outfit we should just quit making Star Wars movies right now.


Rey’s blaster is a good example of a terrible weapon. It looks awful and lacks any menacing quality. It also sounds pretty crappy when she fires it. I won’t even waste a

paragraph on the LEGO style rifle Finn gets from Han Solo. I will indulge one more sentence and say its so bad it makes Rey’s modded vape rig of a pistol look a lot better.

In general they’ve given up on putting that worn, hard-used look into people’s personal weapons. In the past generally when Lucas was calling the shots the coolest weapons (and ships) had a convincing beat up look.  In the Disney Star Wars movies most of the gear looks new and fresh. It’s just not very Star Wars. Most Non Imperial Star Wars gear looks like it’s in serious need of maintenance.


Rey’s blaster

Just among major characters in the Solo movie; Beckett’s personal weapon was a forgettable collection of tubes! Bad Guy Vision/ Dryden Vos terrorizes people with a pair of ginsu brass knuckle lightsabers that are a snooze! I wont insult you by posting a picture.

Conversely, very watchable Rogue 1 features mostly Lucas and Lucas-like ships, enemies and weapons and made for a Star Wars movie we could feel the ‘danger’ in.

There’s also a new level of Gun Awareness in our society that shouldn’t make it into the movies creative process (at least so far as marketability of toys). In most states relaistic looking reproductions of weapons are simply illegal.  The result is that ‘realistic’ (aka Menacing looking) weapons have to be orange when they’re made into toys/collectibles. Seems the art prop department played to that.


Rey’s blaster prototype?

Think of it this way- when the original movie opens in 1977 every single weapon was awesome and had a great sound to it. Han’s blaster, storm trooper rifles, the Death Star’s main weapon. All wins. This starts to go away slowly in the prequels, but the guns still reflect the characters. Not so much anymore.

Han Solo’s weapon alone is a triumph of Hero Weaponry. Inspired by a real gun, heavy and dangerous looking, had a great sound for ‘cocking’ it as well as a super cool ‘report’ when it fired. It did damage that seemed appropriate. It’s a win. The storm trooper rifles are no less brilliant.

And George Lucas was a MASTER of Foley art who could always squeeze just a little more juice out of the right sounds and weapon combo. In return of the Jedi we finally hear a second type of weapon fired from the Falcon. You never get a great look but it seems that there’s forward firing cannons as well as the Quad laser Turrets. It has a unique bass-y sound.


Han Solo’s Lucas Conceived weapon


Lucas vs Disney = No Contest

There’s a visible creative drop off between Lucas conceived and, for lack of a better term, Abrams conceived weapons, where Lucas wins hand over fist. It’s not even close.

Cube-ish, rectangular and uninteresting weapons that unimportant characters sport are a new and growing problem. The Creature/ Weapon asssembly line at Dinsey evokes under-thought 1970’s Marvel Star Wars comics weapons or even something like the mid 80’s GI Joe animated cartoon. Everything looks like it’s made of LEGOS. The Force Awakens was a call away from arms, for lack of a better term, as it signaled a huge slip concept designs. Except for Rogue 1 all the weapons we’ve seen from Disney are just awful.

Refocusing on the SOLO Movie; every weapon but the main characters, which were leftover from Lucas, is bland and boring. Only ships like the Falcon and TIE fighters are actually good or have decently menacing weapons. Even so, the Non Lucas guns on the Falcon, which we understand were before a lot of “special modification”, were still just lame. Its not like the visibly less cool gun couldnt have sounded a little less wimpy. The earlier tie fighters were ‘copyright payment reducing-ly different,’ with toned down weapons as well and are not quite as familiar or menacing . They seem like they will be easy to deal with and they are.


Characters weapons were once much more important in The Galaxy Far, Far Away. The spoke to a character and added to it.


The desire to have the weapons reflect the character and also where they fit in to society was a meme in the original movie. For instance, well toCharacters weapons were once much more important in The Galaxy Far, Far Away. The spoke to a character and added to it.  do princess Leia has an appropriately elegant blaster, as does her mother Amidala in the prequels.

As for Leia’s weapon, it’s also well thought out and she stays with in later movies. It seems more precise and have a smaller impact mark on the stormtroopers she hits. Luke’s original musket was another example of the weapon fitting the character. It’s slim and elegant. It looks like a rich person would own it more than say what Han is running around with. It’s one of the character’s signature possessions.

When Luke gets his own pistol he ends up with what Han uses rather than the usual Rebel blaster, showing he was not your typical Rebel. It could be viewed as showing the characters self image, even if its just that he noticed it was pretty effective.


Rogue 1- Always the Exception

On the opposite end of the scale, the fluke good movie, Rogue 1, features mostly Lucas conceived ships and weapons. Let’s face it, it helped. The reveal of Princess Leia at the end is a rare moment of respectful treatment of an original character, but thats a whole post of its own.

The Rogue 1 characters weapons and what original gear, weapons and ships they had were close to the weapons we see in the original series. Its clear that this production team looked at the same sources Lucas looked at- the weapons and equipment of World War II, for inspiration when designing anything new.

It’s got a far more authentic “Star Wars” feel. We don’t have the Falcon, but he have the basic Imperial Shuttle, which has always been cool ( but was re-interpreted somewhat poorly as the First Order shuttle). Also in Rogue 1 we have a big battle featuring almost purely Lucas conceived ships at the end of the movie. Plenty of X-Wings, TIE fighters and other familiar and signature vessel’s were part of the fight. It felt very ‘Star Wars’.

A bunch of Darth Vader scenes where he does everything we love climaxes with his vicious attack on a group of rebel soldiers. It’s one of everyone’s favorite scenes from the movie and has been cosplayed at subsequent Comic-Cons. All the weapons in this sequence are Lucas conceived and it’s the best part of the best Disney movie by Light Years.  Think about that.

Intellectual Property

This will be it’s own post soon. Just a thought for now-

Im thinking theres probably a connection to the language in the Disney – Lucas Intellectual Property Agreement that is part of pushing weapons and ships into a Non-Lucas area.


more awesome weapons from Rogue 1





Why Star Wars Movies Keep Getting Worse


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Parallel Cosmologies

Well if you can mess up a Han Solo movie you can mess up anything. While Solo wasn’t a complete disaster it wasn’t as good as Rogue 1 or Revenge of the Sith. In general the movies are trending down. I have a few theories about exactly why this is happening.

Here’s my take on how these movies have gotten to the point making a good one is not likely at all-
The Wrong Movies Made MUCH More Money

Biggest Single Problem – The Phantom Menace is the highest grossing movie. That means every movie since has had elements of this huge fail thrown in. They think their giving the people what they want. It’s just because the price of movie tickets had hit an all time high (and has not gone up much since) around the time the movie came out AND the Star Wars Mandela Effect (more on that later)

Return of the Jedi is probably the highest grossing of the original trilogy in initial releases for all the obvious reasons. ROTJ is so flawed the Ret-Conning starts pretty quickly. Its probably the most re-made of the original movies too. This leads to a lot of problems. Lucas keeps helicoptering back to do a little more here and there.

One of the now recurring problems starting with ROTJ is “Unfrozen Han Solo” is a hit as a giddy comic relief type with no remaining darkness. It completes the characters journey from hard bitten cynic and works only in that sense. Sadly that version of Solo was the one we get in the Solo origin movie. It hamstrung the movie and the character.

Un-Failing Through Sheer Profitability has made the movies bomb proof and review-proof. How do you get a read on a franchise when your most flawed movie is highest grossing and you discount pent up demand?
Tech Crazy Money Hungry Mistakes and Purple Shift Compromise Originals

Along the way Lucas really fucks up and ‘Purple Shifts’ the prints of the original movies. In other words he was too quick to digitize the movies and they suffer from a then unnoticed flaw in technology. All colors pulled towards purple. Only a few people notice, until everyone does. Then you see it to the point its distracting. Its likely the original color scheme is gone forever.
Star Wars Mandela Effect

People just seem to blame themselves when they see a multi-billion dollar grossing movie that they know sucks. Herd Mentality and groupthink kick in. You see the same thing with badly designed cell phones. Apple especially has introduced flawed phones and blamed the user. One time they convinced everyone they just couldnt take a picture right. Hey it worked, right? Forget that they hadnt worked out a huge bug and just patched it. The story held up.

Most people think they enjoyed the movies no matter what. It’s like a lot of people are innoculated ahead of time against believing the movie could be bad.

There’s a harsh group of fans who also just hate every movie and at one time they were cranks. No one wants these cynics to win. It’s spiteful denial that the doomsayers ended up being right.

This means no ones Word of Mouth Testimonials about the movies can really be believed. Theyre lying to themselves and will try to get you to validate it for them by telling you it was good or that it was worth seeing.
Toy Money

The toy money is just as green as the movie money. So if the movie is a little off the mark more toys can be released and people will buy them no matter what. So you can ‘save’ movies with toys

The cruel Paradox; Toys are for Children; doesnt happen exactly like you might think, but it affects the movies.

Everyone collects the toys, including me. The problem isnt that adults wont buy them, they do. It’s making a movie too dark and scary for children at all is now off the table.

As proof I offer this- the best movie outside the original series is still Revenge of the Sith, the only PG-13 Star Wars movie ever. It was not considered profitable and its the “Temple of Doom” of the franchise. Different and interesting but not as successful and much ignored.

So you don’t really learn anything from making a chance-y but good movie. Another way to fairly assess the movies also gets closed off.

No chances are taken with Star Wars movies at all. The spark is gone. The New York Times accused the Solo movie of being a movie about a Wikipedia page. Its not unfair at all. There were few surprises in Solo.
Feedback Loop of Yes-Men

The Phantom Menace was terrible because NO ONE could criticize George Lucas to his face. The Internet made him anonymous again. He has never spoken of it but he was definitely going online like everyone else and he saw some biting criticisms. To his credit he seems to have listened. Im sure the first few hours were horrible for him though.

You can see Lucas’ effort to literally Un-Fuck the problems of Episode 1 in Episode 2. By Episode 3 he had re-set the stage for a truly good movie in Return of the Sith. I think Lucas absolutely was letting the fans have their way and its probably out of shame when he himself realizes he screwed the pooch with Episode 1.

Once Lucas is gone this lesson leaves with him.
No Failure Analysis

The fans are not honest with themselves when the movie is bad. this stops anyone from killing things that don’t work because most people are followers.

Don’t be a Follower. Solo, for example, has so many problems that exist outside center screen that it’ll be analyzed to death. They’re real.
Pure CGI Infatuation

CGI has been a blessing and a curse for the movie industry. In one sense wow, we can have a city wiped out by a flood or a snowstorm. Its freeing but in Sci-Fi its cut both ways and led some aspects of movie making right off a cliff creatively.

Its a lot of power to be able to use a CGI spectacle to bail out a medicore movie. That means movies that once wouldnt get made at all get made anyway with big special effects budget. Overall the worst thing its done its made for a lot of lazy shortcuts in otherwise good movies.

Star Wars goes through the same temptations and issues. And In the Galaxy Far, Far Away the problems also existed because, after all, its in Hollywood.

While Lucas got KILLED for the problems of the character Jar Jar Binks, the critics deem him as an ‘acceptable” effect and it starts us down a path of Pure CGI creatures. Most of the time the Pure CGI creature is simply too easy to create and ends up being mediocre.

They just never reach the level of believeability that Peter Jackson consistently manages to achieve.
Lazy Alien, Ship and Weapon Creation

A few scars, a helmet and some breathing issues and you’ve got yourself a bad guy. There no more to it than that. Technology may have simply enabled the developers to the point where they became the opposite of Creative.

Should the Alien Invasion ever occur we will all be shocked and angry if the alien race isn’t essentially the aliens from Hellboy and the Golden Army. These aliens were simply Reused in the Avengers. They pull all aliens is a similar direction.

Lets face it, deserters from the Golden Army show up all over the place. I guess theres just not a lot of opportunity to move up? Or-They all became Intergalactic Blackwater guys when the Golden Army lets them go? I dont know but lets maybe get them their own movie again and move on in other franchises?

The laziness and enablement that gets us so many dull aliens spills over to affect all aspects of production. Starships and aliens also too often get short creative shrift.

Its a real issue in Solo, outside the Heroes Weapons and Starships are Under-Developed. Again its due to the ease of which any vision can be created.

Think of it this way- when the original movie opens in 1977 every single weapon was awesome and had a great sound to it. Han’s blaster, storm trooper rifles, the Death Star’s main weapon. All wins. This starts to go away slowly in the prequels, but the guns still reflect the characters. Not so much anymore.

In the SOLO Movie every weapon but the main characters, which were leftover from Lucas, was bland and boring. Only ships like the Falcon and TIE fighters are actually good. Most obviously- Beckett’s ship was just 3 rectangles!

Because they’ve developed so many aliens theres a point where Aliens are no longer Alien. We’re just too familiar with Galaxies Far, Far Away.
Many Successful Parodies

After Spaceballs the Star Wars Parodies kept coming. Most were good and that just makes it harder then ever to make a serious Star Wars movie. Basically the open of The Last Jedi is so awful it seems like a moment from Spaceballs because any attempt at humor will evoke the parodies.

A similar thing happens to a lesser degree when Star Trek was confronted with Galaxy Quest. For some reason the effects arent as bad. This might because Galaxy Quest was actually a pretty respectful parody.

Last- I have a prediction.
Marvel and Star Wars Look The Same and WILL Crossover

Yup. I said it. I do not think the people involved can ignore the fact that theres a crossover between these universes that will result in the Hugest Box Office take of All Time when “Star Wars Meets the Avengers”. It CAN NOT NOT HAPPEN. It WILL eventually be made. The SOLO movie made for 3 of the last 4 releases simply being bad.

When the franchise is finally deemed to be Underperforming they will corssover the Universes. Don’t believe me” Marvel has had Star Wars rights since 1977. No one will be able to handle this fact. Consider Thor- Ragnorak a test balloon for the Marvel – Star Wars Crossover

They (almost) saved the Solo Movie! A Non Spoiler Assessment


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After 41 years of waiting we have our Han Solo movie. The special Edition release of Attack of the Clones is about as good. It’s not as good as Revenge of the Sith. In the Disney Sci-Fi universe it’s not as good as Black Panther or any Captain America Movie. It’s not as good as Rogue 1. It’s not as charming as Ant-Man. Thor : Ragnorak is considerably better. From the Abrams universe Star Trek Beyond is also considerably better.

The Rotten Tomatoes score of about 70% is fair, maybe slightly generous. Metacritic from IMDB has it at just over 60%. Split the difference

The movie is not as bad as Last Jedi. Han is cast well but the script is simply bad. There may have been nothing more Ron Howard could have done. It’s on the Kasdan’s. The director came close but they couldn’t save this movie.

Here’s the issues (as vaguely as possible)

Uneven Casting

Han and Lando work out, you’d figure biggest challenge has been met and the movies going to be great, but it never kicks in to gear. Quite the reverse.

Then it seems the casting people just pilfered the Marvel actors like Vision/ Paul Bettany as the bad guy Dryden Vos. He’s a lazily created alien who is essentially human. John Favreau gets his voice in to the movie. Everything looks a lot like the Avengers world. This is also true for the starship design and most of the CGI aliens. Lazy and quick and worst of all – familiar and boring. We’re talking Hellboy and the Golden Army or the aliens from Avengers 1 scattered through the universe. At times its too close to Marvel.

In an awful up front fail we meet the feared gangster Lady Proxima, who is basically Audrey 2 and a millipedes lovechild. Its not compelling. To complete the sort of lazy fails we see in this movie the voice is simply Linda Hunt, from one of the NCIS shows. Okay, she’s a great actress with an Academy Award but perhaps an interesting unknown may have been better?  It doesn’t kill it, but it’s unsettling. It stops the movie dead for a half a second. There’s just a few too many fails like this sprinkled in for you to really develop a lot of goodwill for moments where the movie needs you to be generous.

Aside from Han and Lando no one else works out. This includes the now standard poorly programmed android. And the pure CGI character with 4 arms.

Love Interest “Q’ra”(kira) cant act through the mediocre script and has no chemistry with Han. The character isn’t appealing. She feels very Marvel. I dont blame the actress. Her costumes were uninteresting and we never learn too much about her beyond “very early Han Solo girlfriend apparently from the same planet.”

Woody Harrelson just cant do anything with his poorly conceived character Beckett. This movie starts to feel contrived every time Woody speaks a word. We’ve seen Harrison Ford’s character foreshadowed better by other actors in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which is where they sort of took the Beckett character from. Woody was a lot better as a better developed character in the last Planet of the Apes movie (which is slightly better than this).

Then theres the cruel paradox-  the movie is actually kind of okay for about a half an hour because dammit they nailed the casting with Alden Ehrenreich and the Imperial Navy seems interesting. It’s a lot like the first JJ Abrams Star Trek that way. He’s as good a Han Solo as Chris Pine is a Captain Kirk, both deserve better movies.

Serving the Empire Had More Potential

Han’s stint serving the Empire felt fine. More than fine, it was going great for a minute or two.  I was really staring to enjoy it. He came off like Han Solo but then we quickly move on to his post Imperial career just as we’re starting to invest in the idea he’s going to serve the Empire for most of this movie. Sadly we move on and things get sort of lazy story-wise. If the movie had been his Imperial career maybe it’s better. It had a ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ kind of potential.

They also just have no more planets up their sleeve. In Star Wars the desert planet is a giant desert, The city planet is a giant city. So we’ve seen all the major terrain types now. For this movie it means that Corellia was exactly Coruscant.

Chewbacca FAIL

Its not the actor its the concept of the new fully CGI Chewbacca. He always looks like an Effect. Not as bad as Jar Jar Binks, but bad. I do not think there’s a practical suit prop. I think the actor just walks around in a unitard with ping pong balls on it. If their IS a suit they’re enhancing it more with CGI and its just wrong looking. He’s very smooth, very CGI too often. It doesn’t kill the movie, but as the movie slows down you start to notice.

However the initial meeting between the two might be the best character interaction of the movie. The natural light in the scene is low and hides the CGI fails for a while.

Its Been Done Before

In Solo we get Unfrozen Giddy and dumb Han Solo with bad taste in women. Essentially everything we hate about the character in Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens is on display most of the time. A dash more cynicism would have been just fine. Its like getting frozen made him revert to his younger self.

Slower & Slower

Every increment of 10 minutes that goes by you feel the movie losing momentum. It’s probably too long. The very fast pace is too breakneck for too long. Moving fast, not spending time with the right set of foes. It’s just hectic.

Don’t Blame Ron Howard

Ron Howard does capture a Lucas feel early on and does as much as a non writing director could do.  It does feel like a Star Wars movie most of the time but the Avengers are right on the edge. I really feel the script wasn’t that great.

We mostly meet poorly explained and convenient transplants from other franchises. There’s road warrior elements too in one rival criminal clan. They’re transplanted straight off Fury Road.

Bad Production and Cheap Aliens

The concept art was not reassuring but they overcame it and made a couple of good trailers for this ho-hum movie. Sadly the Avengers are now the dominant Disney Sci-Fi franchise so we have the same creatures and effects.

At this point an alien is too easy to create. A few scars or a helmet and some breathing issues and they’re ready to go.

Mandela Effect?

Who doesn’t remember the highly superstitious Han Solo’s signature small brass dice-like charm on a keychain?

Me either. Its a charm on the controls of the Falcon we see for a moment in The Last Jedi and yes, they’re probably going to find a way to CGI it into the other movies. I mean maybe we see them in Force Awakens but really it’s this new cannon and its a square peg in a round hole again. Han Solo is not superstitious as much as instinctual. It’s a new incongruous dimension to the character i sort of tried to ignore.

It was forced and cheap. Im sure the charm is available for around 40 bucks from the Disney Store. Thats the only reason its in the movies

UPDATE- Is the Mandela Effect Attempt legitimate or is it merely well researched? Its left over research from OTHER movies at this point (likely Last Jedi). To be fair, there IS a similar, but really anomalous object hanging in the Falcon cockpit in A New Hope. The chain is much longer on this charm (or stray wire). You can see it momentarily right as they fire up the Falcon and split Tattooine. Seems more silver than brass. It’s not where it should be when we get more looks inside the Falcon’s cockpit again later. I may be experiencing a Mandela Effect. 

Its hard to say, but I am re-watching the original movies with an eye towards it so I will update if needed.

Will 3-D Help?

NO. Not at all, it just adds to the amount of money you’ll be out after seeing it.

As much as I regret NOT seeing Blade Runner 2049 in 3 D is as much as I regretted seeing this one that way. It doesn’t add anything.


At least they keep the love interest (Thandie Newton) and the Bad Guy (Paul Bettany) from Mission:IMPOSSIBLE 2 out of the same scenes.


Musical Score

The score is better than Last Jedi and is actually good most of the time

Biggest Issues

All Non Lucas spaceships and aliens are under-thought and simple. Its just not Alien to the eye. Its bland and under-thought most of the time.  The pure CGI creations are boring and box like. So we have the Falcon and its all great when we mix it up with some TIE fighters, but the movie can’t live with prosperity and just ditches that moment pretty fast.

I’ve already described the way we just create aliens with some colored make up and a bizarre suit of clothing now. (or pure CGI). The Paul Bettany alien (is he an alien?) is just very simple and bad,  but I guess as his other Disney job is Vision of the Avengers he just wasn’t going to do another role where hes completely unrecognizable. You can understand why. He should just been human. Total costume fail.

Timeline Disaster

Just WHERE THE HELL are we at the end? I left confused. Reding some explanations, the thought Han Solo is supposed to be 16 at start of movie is just silly. And all just to create a Marvel Like semi-easter egged reveal we get an incongruous character from a bad pre-quel that we had really moved on from.


It might be too long. Let’s say it ends when it should and its gonna be hard to shoe horn in another pre Episode 4 story

Walking out someone cheered my rebel alliance t shirt and i instinctively said “It sucked.” and tossed my 3-D glasses into the recycling bin. It wasn’t a bad trip to an American Movie Theater in the 21st century. At least no one had shot me.

I wish I had saved the extra few bucks on 3-D. Its worth 12-15 bucks to see. Not 20. Its not as good as Rogue 1. We now have some Star Wars movies that are just mediocre. This is one of them.


If you truly LOVE Star Wars youre going to think “They DID save this, its 51% good” There’s some argument to be made for its not the best Sci-Fi movie of the year and maybe, depending on your view of Deadpool 2, not the best Sci-Fi movie in theaters at this time.


Does “Cobra Kai” Justify Paying for YouTube Red ?


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If you’re on the fence about YouTube Red here’s my advice- try it for a month if for no other reason than to see Cobra Kai, an amazing series based on, of all things, the Karate Kid movie franchise from the 1980s.

Bottom line- the show exceeds the movies. It’s brilliant, actually. The return of the key original cast members and a superb cast of young adults turn in great performances in this well written comic drama with moments of fun karate, There’s also lots of inspiring and even emotional moments of unconventional (but effective) mentoring by the one time bad Guy, Johnny Lawrence.

So far, if you watched the free episodes you know it’s not important to have really been a huge fan of the movie. In fact if you sort of didn’t like the movie the writers sort of relate to that and write towards it. Its one of the strange dynamics that makes the show work.

The beauty of Cobra Kai is that the plot is inverted from that of the Original Karate Kid movie. Daniel-San (Ralph Macchio) now has an awesome life and ex-rival Johnny Lawrence is a somewhat racist and alcoholic, loser.

There’s also an evolving Anti-Bullying and Anti-Cyber Bullying statements in the show. Instead of bullies this time the students of the Cobra-Kai Dojo are from the bottom of the social order at the local high school. The question of when fighting back becomes reverse bullying starts to emerge in later episodes.

The show is filled with believable and well done Heel Turns and Face Turns and it just has a lot  of charm. I HAD to see the whole series.


Jamming hair metal in his vintage (and worn out) Firebird, Johnny Lawrence bumbles through an average day dogged by the ever-present karate themed ad campaigns for teen rival Daniel LaRusso’s mega successful string of luxury car dealerships.

A series of bad breaks and a visit from the great Ed Asner had me squarely in Johnny’s corner as he re-discovers karate and starts teaching his lone student as he struggles of open his own Dojo.

The show just gets better from there. Johnny Lawrence is now the rogue sensei with just one student and Daniel is a sort of an unlikable jerk.

When episode 2 ends you have a decision to make- do I pay for the next 8 episodes? I did and I couldn’t be happier.

No Spoilers but the show simply gets better and better and ends on an ominous high that had me eager for next season. Its well done, its fun and its very self aware. Again, no spoiler, but watch the collar on Johnny’s denim jacket mirror his mood. When he’s really feeling good he’s got it full 80’s popped up. The lower he goes emotionally the lower the collar. Sort of represents his self worth at any given moment

So GO! Watch this excellent show and take the rest of YouTube Red’s well worth it deal. The free Google Music alone was once 9.99. as far as the other aspects of YouTube? It definitely is enhanced by Red. I personally started listening to books on tape and watching a lot of documentaries.

So Dump Netflix til they build up some more new shows and get with YouTube Red for one of the best entertainment deals out there!

I’m buying a Cobra Kai T-Shirt, that’s how much I liked it.

New NRA President Oliver North; Disgraced Marine, Liar and Illegal Weapons Dealer


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When Oliver North was announced as the new president of the National Rifle Association there were two things that went through my mind.

The first was- he has some previous experience in freelancing at espionage in something of a treasonous way and the second – a couple of strong parallels to the political rise of Hitler early on.

The disgraced former Marine Colonel was kicked out of the military for lying, being a jerk and basically not walking away from an ongoing series of related underhanded unsanctioned crazy mid to late 80’s CIA dark money scams to fund illegal weapons trade to people who were definitely not supposed to have them. Technically it was lying and taking at least one bribe that ends his military career (in front of a disgusted nation).

Now, poised to take the over Putin’s Favorite Anti-Government Organization theres an argument to be made Oliver North is one of the most influential people in all of America and indeed the world.


a totally accurate early Anti-North Meme

Ollie was born October 7, 1943, a birthday he shares with Cuban baseball hero Jose Cardenal. The city where he leapt, gun in hand, from his mothers womb was Gun lovin’ San Antonio Texas; a town best known for the amazing Mexican Military Victory against illegal aliens and anti-government forces in the Battle of the Alamo.

Pretty much immediately after Ollies born the North’ move north to liberal New York. Actually, to a non Metropolitan part of New York State the city people refer to as “Upstate”. It’s probably more like central Ohio than your vision of New York. It’s usually pretty Republican. But dont worry, you can be sure he’s gonna play that thar Texas thing up in his new gig.

Growing up you’d have to imagine that “The Rifleman” was young ollies favorite show, but “Gunsmoke” is probably in the mix too.

Young Oliver North took to going by Ollie. When High School rolled around he graduates from Ockawamick Central High School in 1961. He competes with double justified manslaughterer and Superbowl XXXV MVP Ray Lewis of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens for most famous alumni. I’m sure North would not have much sympathy for Lewis though,


Ray Lewis

despite the killings being deemed justified (self-defense). This is because not only is Lewis african american, but he used a knife. North would just frown on any missed opportunity to use a gun to kill someone legally. Fortunately they graduate decades apart so no shot of an awkward moment at the Class Reunion.

For the record Lewis seems to have regret for what happened and has made some positive contributions to society after his troubled phase. What I’m saying is he’s at this point a much better person than someone like North. He’s also a good NFL analyst.

Anyway he sort of briefly attends SUNY Brockport, which is not exactly Stony Brook or  Buff State as far as competitiveness. In other words he went to an okay but by no means great college.  He never graduates from there anyway. For some reason after two years at Brockport he went to some Marine Corps event at Quantico and caught the military bug.

He ends up graduating Annapolis in 1968. While he’s there he ends up boxing Jim Webb, the future War Hero and US Senator. Im guessing Webb won, he’s kind of an intimidating guy. He also marries wife Betsy in 1967. Thats right, during the Summer of Free Love and Peace Ollies getting hitched and heading for War. So he’s just not typical of his generation that way.

Unlike Draft Dodger Wayne LaPierre , North has a full resume of medals for all sorts of stuff while he was deployed in Vietnam. In fact had he not broken his oath not to be underhanded he’d be an inspirational figure to a point. He is free from Wayne LaPierre’s Achilles heel of Draft Dodging. Ollie North is a combat veteran with an impressive record.

North Vietnam photo 5 Resize 2

Ollie North in Vietnam

It seems Ollie North really liked being a combat Marine and he was good at it, no two ways about it. Like Hitler he was wounded twice and volunteered twice. Both were at home in war. Wikipedia says he’s a platoon commander, so assume he probably goes from lieutenant to captain. Im still researching the dates of his promotions. By around 1971 the wars winding down and Ollie is doing other stuff for the Corps. North ends up training people in Japan. He was probably okay at this too.

Then he spends the rest of the 70s and early 80s doing various stateside jobs including a stint studying at the prestigious Naval War College where he graduates in 1981.

At this point hes so qualified he ends up on the National Security Council, which is the principal means by which the United States president communicates and controls the US Military. Its a very important job and a feather in North’s cap. To complete the triumph he becomes a lieutenant colonel.

Who knows how many extremely uncool and possibly illegal things Ollie North is up to while he’s basically working for military intelligence? He seems to have excelled at “Bag Man.”

Whether it be cutting shady deals with Pineapple Face Noriega or his more sinister involvement with the Iran – Contra Affair, Ollie North was ready to jump right in there and take care of it. Sort of a Military Michael Cohen.

Wining and dining on yachts with aspiring Bond Villains and various El Presidente’s is sort of what North is up to at this point. He’s like a CIA Goon with some real power. He can broker you an air corridor for your cocaine. He can maybe call off the US Coast Guard for a moment, or at least tell you where they wont be. He can get the US Ambassador to listen to you a bit more and he probably can negotiate you a sweet deal on US weapons. He must have felt like a Spy from some kind of movie. He probably is hearing his own staccato guitar theme music when he walks around.

At some point he accepts something that gets deemed a bribe and it probably was just that. Whether it was a scat of cash, a luxury vacation or a gold plated ak-47 is something I’m still running down, but he was smart enough to know better.

The Iran-Contra Affair is a whole blog post, long story short – it was about the CIA, Military Intelligence and members of the Executive Branch of the US Government using money obtained by illegally selling arms to Embargoed and Sanctioned Iran (which was all sorts of Illegal and maybe a bit treasonous) and using the profits to fund Nicaraguan Anti-Government (but Pro US) Guerillas. The Contra’s were truly terrible guys and I guess today we’d call them Narco-Terrorists.

Closer to home- there was a not so crazy perception the CIA had in a proxy way dealt drugs to the American people. Somewhat more immoral; it then used the drug money to basically fund BOTH sides of a war! Remember we’re DOWN with Saddam’s Iraq at that point and they’re getting military aid from us. Then we turned around and sold weapons to the Iranians to resist him with (when he attacked them with the weapons we gave him).

It was wrong. It was obviously deeply immoral and its the sort of task he could and should have walked away from. Hey, other people absolutely did. Does the US Government need a Bag Man? Maybe, but is that Bag Man then supposed to be able to turn around and be a spokesman for our way of life? Seems a bit perverse, huh?

The Bag Man role had him enabling all the wrong people to do all the worst things. The most disturbing charge that could be levied against Oliver North of course has to be helping the US to arm both sides in a war. It’s profoundly evil. Truthfully; Oliver North is the stuff Black Sabbath lyrics.

Hey, in the 80’s we did some foul shit no doubt. Ollie North knew or helped out in a considerable percentage of it. He’s not the kind of guy who should have a big podium in our national Discourse.  Sadly he’s now got just that.

You would think espionage work would make in very cautious, that’s not the case here though. North was kind of a sloppy spy. He was only just so capable. I mean, sure,  he did have a hot secretary he almost definitely bangs but after that he’s really no James Bond.

He’s arming enemies of America Allies (and who knows who else), and then giving that money to what amounts to murderous South American anarchists on their best day.  His spy career ends with him getting caught and disgraced. Money, Sex, Cocaine, Anarchy. That was the 80s.


North’s Secretary Faun Hall

North ended up in front of Congress in July of 1987 in the Reagan administrations primary scandal ; The aforementioned Iran Contra Affair. North lies about a bunch of stuff and comes off like mafioso in a military uniform. In other words; he was the worst ever image of a professional American Warrior.

Iran-Contra was toxic. It almost ends George HW Bush on the spot; but the administration was popular, so they make it.

Tom Clancy’s book and movie “Clear and Present Danger” is loosely based on the scandal.

In an ironic side note; George HW Bush is a notable critic of the NRA and has been known to talk smack about the UnAmerican rantings of the organization. When former NRA President Wayne LaPierre called US Government Agents “Jack Booted Thugs” over the tragic mistakes of the Ruby Ridge Fiasco the combat veteran former president had had enough. Frequently criticized for an apparent lack of zeal, the understated Bush had no problem issuing a scathing dismissal of the now former NRA president;”Who the Hell IS Wayne LaPierre anyway?!” He then quit his membership in the organization with a terse letter. Bravo for HW on this one.

Back to North’s disasterous summer of 87-

Congress was angry as Hell at the Reagan administration and they were gonna nail someone.

Scrutiny fell on North. He’d done more than enough shady things and was a slam dunk to be tossed out of the military, so they torched him a little on national TV. It’s not like he was sympathetic.

He sat there in his Marine uniform and was, well, less than candid. Too vain to admit he cheated on his wife he had a bunch of silly sounding explanations for bizarre stuff. At one point he tries to explain away a trip to a Victoria Secret like women’s store (Parklane Hoisery) as innocent gifts for his daughters. No way was his secretary maybe only committing a bunch of crimes because she was involved with him and wanted to help him out shredding a bunch of stuff! It just looked that way and made the most sense. Not a great showing for Ollie on that one.  I remember thinking he was just a liar at the time. It was a bit pathetic.

Charged with SIXTEEN felonies he initially goes down for 3 of them- accepting an illegal gratuity, aiding and abetting in the obstruction of that congressional inquiry I mentioned, and most damning ; ordering the destruction of documents. This is totally incompatible with the kind of things your supposed to do when you’re a Marine Officer, so that goes away in a disgraceful manner. Essentially for lying to Congress, but they had other grounds too. Lying to Congress, sure, destroying evidence. Thais kind of dishonorable. Throw in cheating on his wife, while he might have gotten away with just that, it was part of an avalanche of burning garbage and nobody was about to take a bullet for Bag Man.

Life was never the same after that for Ollie. He was the Marine who lied to Congress about drugs and worse. Frustrating any personal redemption was that North had a Nuremburg-like defense about his actions. He was simply following orders. No one really bought it though.


Lying his way out of the Military in front of Congress

While his excuse was technically true he was an American Marine Corps Officer and he had the freedom to walk away and let someone else be the US Bag Man for what amounts to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. No one would have court marshalled him for saying he just didn’t feel right about doing something underhanded. And he would have remained in his beloved Marine Corps.

So the bottom line- Ollie North is out there with no job and unable to really capitalize on the most interesting aspect of his life- meeting Bond Villains and hearing their insane Bond Villain plans (with no personal jeopardy).

Like all true crooked egomaniacs Ollie’s True North was politics. In 1994 he loses a bid to be Senator from Virginia as a Republican. While North never made it out of the primary for some reason the documentary movie about it is called “The Perfect Candidate”. I would think it refers to the guy who beat him? Because Ollie North stumbled into this one with a ‘Congressionally Certified Liar’ label and ‘disgraced tossed out ex military’ status as baggage and would seem more a Nightmare Candidate to anyone not on meth.

Consider the 1994 Congressional run his Beer Hall Putsch. It’s a disaster but he declares victory and moves on.

Bouncing around as a speaker he must have been super relieved in 1996 when Fox News starts. Im not sure when he gets wrapped up with them but he’s hosting a third-rate military History show on the network by 2002. I love military documentaries, but rah-rah ‘War Stories with Oliver North” sucked. “Spy Stories with Oliver North” on the other hand, probably would have been pretty good. But the problem was that being a spy, the coolest thing he really did despite being a dick about it, was something he still kind of wouldn’t admit.


Early 2000’s – Fox News Warrior

To bolster his show and his rep he starts messing around on Fox as a pundit on whatever they threw at him. He responds by giving the Fox people what they want. He espouses seriously right-wing views and learns how to be a fire-breathing right wing nut when called upon to do so.

Which brings us to now and the second Hitler parallel. Having once been a War Hero North jumps the shark by joining a Super Right Wing Anti-Government Group. The Fascist National Rifle Association.

These days Ollie North is the new NRA President. We can expect the usual UnAmerican rantings his platform is known for. So in other words- Long anti-Government and anti-Police rants. A lot of Xenophobia, frequent allusions to Nazi Germany especially regarding Goverbment Law Enforcemnt. He will suggest that more guns answers all questions. We know he will absolutely get very rich. For comparison Wayne LaPierre pulled down 5 million a year in his tenure.

As the leader of America’s most influential Putin-Backed Anti-Government Group he’s a long way from that brave combat Marine of the early 70s. He’s a shadowy image of that now. A Liar and soon to be making all the predictable NRA Anti-American statements. Its his job now and it pays awesome!

He’ll imply the police are incompetent and hesitant to act. He will imply being unarmed is UnAmerican. He’s gonna have to go out there and join Dana Loesch and Colion Noir as one of the Reverse Superheroes that are the NRA Victim Mocking Goon Squad. He will call FBI Agents and Federal Law Enforcement Agents stormtroopers or otherwise liken them to Nazis or Stalin’s guys. If he hasn’t done all these things in the next 12 months I’ll amend this post, but we all know I wont have to.


I guess the previous semi-Treasonous experience makes him a great pick.

Talking smack about massacre survivors and pushing anti government conspiracies is a dream job if you’re a bad-hearted liar. So it seems North has found his niche.



Oliver  & Betsy North


Why I Have a Good Feeling about the ‘Solo’ Movie (and you should too!)


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With under just days to go until I sit down in my local theater (with my cell phone turned OFF) I’m EXCITED for the Solo movie! While the current 70-ish% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes isn’t the greatest, its still the mark of a pretty decent movie.

I predict the Solo movie will be good, or at least better than some of the scathing haters are saying. It’s not really an Abrams production for one thing. So thankfully we don’t have to worry about his fixation on Tropes and the fact his movies are merely strong beginnings that disintegrate to self important nonsense. The Star Trek franchise turned in its most enjoyable movie by far (Star Trek:Beyond) the moment Abrams was out of the ‘creative’ loop.

And we wont have to worry about Abrams unbreakable pattern of treating original characters as mostly comic relief with zero respect towards the sentiment of the fans. It looks like the Han Solo in the movie is someone you’d have a beer (or Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster) with.

The success of Rogue 1 is big source of hope for SOLO.  Like Rogue 1 it wont have The First Order or Kylo Ren, so thats great right there. There could be a cameo from almost anyone, but maybe Obi-Wan makes the most sense as there’s probably some time spent on Tattooine in this movie.

The way it looks now the Solo Movie is worth risking the 15 bucks.

Every Trailer was good. So theres that. The director is Ron Howard, so we can take some confidence in that too. Donald Glover looks perfect as Lando and it seems we’ve got the good ol’ Millenium Falcon in the mix.

The Falcon looks a bit different in this movie. Here’s some conjecture –  the Falcon seems to feature a ‘connected’ leading edge thats no longer the same when we see the ship in Episode 4. Could it be some sort of ejectable cargo bay? This would explain why its not there when Jabba is routing Solo for dumping his cargo.  Or it could just be before “a lot of special modifications” Han mentions in “A New Hope” that he and Chewie added on themselves. In other words they re-built the thing before Episode 4.

{Is it worth mentioning the ship has the gap in the leading edge seen from in Episode 4 on in the cameo’s it has in the prequels, as far away and tiny as it is? Probably not but hey I have to get something out of listening to the director, writer and special effects peoples commentary for the prequels!}


the Solo Movie’s Falcon

The new Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, very much looks the part and seemed appropriately breezy and loose in the trailer. While he doesn’t quite have Harrison Ford’s voice it’s still acceptable.  He sounds enough like Harrison for it not to be jarring.

Woody Harrelson is of some concern, but after his recent Planet of the Apes Bad Guy turn he seems like a decent Sci-Fi actor. The Apes character wasn’t all that great and he still pulled it off, a good sign. If you want to throw in decent performances playing not so great characters you’ve got the Hunger Games movies too. So Woody shouldn’t be an issue as a Sci-Fi actor. We’ve got some evidence he can adjust his acting style out of the very serious roles we’re more accustomed to and deliver in Sci-Fi roles.

Wild prediction – A Kessel Run movie would be great and could leave us at the moment Solo enters A New Hope the Creature Cantina. While this would e great it would sort of rule out any more Solo movies so maybe they go further back. The trailer seems to indicate it revolves around meeting Lando and obtaining ownership of an apparently slightly different looking Falcon.

Last Point – As Han Solo makes a few statements about not believing in the Force in A New Hope this should be a relatively Force-free movie. I mean if Han sees someone levitate or shoot lightning out of their hands we’ve got continuity issues.

Here’s the latest Trailer I could find-