Homemade Christmas Ornament – 2022

Our second Christmas means our second ornament (see 2021). It was a year full of Star Wars, from watching everything in order to building a lot of LEGO sets (The Child). So for this year’s ornament we made a model of a panel that you might find next to a spaceship door.

The main building materials were polystyrene and plastic cement from Hobby Lobby and I already had an assortment of paints (spray cans and acrylics). As we were getting started, I pulled out a bin of random plastic parts we might be able to incorporate, but they were all too big. Brandi asked if we had any extra LEGO pieces. We sure did, so we used some of those.

I forgot to get a picture during the initial assembly, but here’s the piece after a coat of gray primer.

Then it was all about adding colors. The delicate type of painter’s tape was used when masking off areas was needed. Little bits of color here and there made each area stand out.

A few coats of spray lacquer locked in the painting done so far. It looked too crisp and new at that point though. Weathering with acrylic paints was the final step and made it look like a real thing that had been used and abused.

After final coats of spray lacquer we hung it up.

If you’re like to learn how to do panel modeling like this, I highly recommend checking out Adam Savage Demonstrates Miniature Spaceship Paneling or Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Kit-Bashing and Scratch-Building on YouTube.

LIGHT & MAGIC

Last week I binged the Disney series Light & Magic. It was phenomenal!

LIGHT & MAGIC is a six-part series that tells the story of Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects company George Lucas founded to make Star Wars. Through personal interviews and never-before-seen footage, director Lawrence Kasdan pulls back the curtain on ILM’s most iconic effects, while delving into the fascinating backstories of the artists and innovators who created them.

via Disney

Since we had watched all of Star Wars in chronological order earlier this year it was good timing for me. I enjoyed learning how they did a lot of the visual effects for the first movies and seeing how creative the teams had to be in order to do things which had never been done. It was very inspiring and came at a time when I was just getting back in to my basement workshop. Watch for some project posts coming soon!

Watching Star Wars in (Mostly) Chronological Order

When the first episode of “The Book of Boba Fett” came out on December 29th I asked Brandi if she wanted to watch it. I wasn’t sure because I’d mentioned the idea of watching the nine Star Wars movies in order (something I’ve been wanting to do) several times and she never showed enough interest for us to get started. She enjoyed the episode, so I said we needed to watch “The Mandalorian” and as soon as “The Child” made his appearance she was hooked. We cruised through Mando’s two seasons in about ten days and then continued watching the Boba Fett episodes as they were released each week.

Somewhere during Boba Fett’s running we started our journey of the nine movies. I created a list, as I do. The list expanded to add “Solo” and “Rogue One”. Then a friend suggested watching some of the animated series, which would fill in a lot of gaps. That let to finding the Disney+ playlists of essential “Clone Wars” episodes and essential Ahsoka Tano episodes. I found a short list of essential Rebels episodes. We added some other Clone Wars episodes based on recommendations by another friend. “The Bad Batch” and “Resistance” were placed in the timeline.

Adjustments to the timeline were made as we went so I could share it when were were done. It’s not perfect by any means, especially since it’s impossible to eliminate all overlapping. If you look online there are countless debates about what “essential” episodes should be selected from the various animated series, but we didn’t want to invest the time to watch all seven seasons of Clone Wars and four seasons of Rebels. Feel free to take this list and make it your own. Leave suggestions in the comments for the next person’s benefits.

  • The Phantom Menace
  • Attack of the Clones
  • The Clone Wars (movie)
  • The Clone Wars
    • S1 (1, 5, 19)
    • S2 (5-8, 11-14)
    • S3 (2, 22)
    • S4 (14, 21-22)
    • S5 (6, 1, 14-20)
    • S7 (1-4, 7-10)
  • Revenge of the Sith
  • Clone Wars S7 (11-12)
  • The Bad Batch
  • Solo
  • Rebels
    • S1 (10, 15)
    • S2 (1-3, 18, 21-22)
    • S3 (15-16, 20)
    • S4 (1-2, 13, 15)
  • Rogue One
  • A New Hope
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • Return of the Jedi
  • The Mandalorian
  • The Book of Boba Fett
  • Resistance S1 (1-2, 10-11, 19-21)
  • The Force Awakens
  • The Last Jedi
  • Resistance S2 (3, 5, 7, 8, 17-19)
  • The Rise of Skywalker

It took us four months to watch everything. In terms of the animated series, Clone Wars and Bad Batch are excellent, with CW providing a lot of extra details to the Star Wars universe. Rebels wasn’t very good but some of the episodes provided valuable stories. Resistance was pretty good, but didn’t give much extra information to tie in with the movies.

We really enjoyed the whole adventure and watching things in order helped a lot. It was great having someone as excited as I was along for the ride because we’d often pause to discuss something or ask a backstory question. Each of us would remember different things and have different questions, which really added to the experience.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

People’s reactions seem to be all over the map after watching The Last Jedi. I enjoyed it. It’s a really fun movie. I don’t remember the last time I watched a two and a half hour movie without feeling bored or uncomfortable at all. When I got in my car I remember looking at the clock and thinking it was off; I couldn’t have possibly been in the theater that long.

Everything you said about this movie is wrong. If you walked out of the movie disappointed, listen to this podcast. Hopefully it’ll help you appreciate the film a little more.

I think a key point they make is Star Wars is for kids. We’re grown up kids now, but there are new generations of children being introduced to this universe with each movie. We keep getting older, but there are always going to be children watching their first Star Wars film.

Review: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars - Episode III, Revenge of the SithIt’s been over a month since I saw Revenge of the Sith, so a review is long overdue. I might need to see the movie again to remember it!

Like most people, I was disappointed with Episodes I and II, so I was really looking forward to III. It didn’t disappoint me. I thought the movie was a great finish to the last (actually 3rd in the timeline) of the Star Wars movies. Revenge of the Sith answered all of the questions I had going into it. I won’t go into any detail because I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie.

I do have to bring up two things I didn’t care for. I thought General Grievous would be a much more prominent charcter in the film. I thought he went down pretty easy to Obi-Wan Kenobi. I was waiting for a big battle where he took on 4 or 5 Jedi. Which leads me to my other complaint. Did the Jedi go down too easy or what?

With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed Episode III and give it an A.