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Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 Photos #5: The Stars in Our Galaxy

Katee Sackhoff!

She played a recurring Mandalorian on Clone Wars and Rebels, but you might also know Katee Sackhoff from such series as Battlestar Galactica, The Flash, and that not-bad Bionic Woman update that lasted about three minutes.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

April 11-15, 2019, was the ninth American edition of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars Celebration, recurring major convention celebrating their works, creations, actors, fans, and merchandise, not always in that order. After jaunts around the U.S. coast and overseas, this year’s was in Chicago, gracing the Midwest with its products for the first time since 2005. My wife Anne and I attended Thursday through Saturday and fled Sunday morning…

It’s not a Celebration without a bevy of actors who’ve appeared on various planets throughout the Star Wars universe. We had our choice among a mixture of old pros from the original trilogy, a few big names from the prequels and from Rogue One, exactly one (1) actor from Episodes VII and VIII, and a wide array of all-star voice actors from various animated projects and video games. Though we’d met quite a few already, we zeroed in on a few key names and once again added to our jazz-hands photo-op collection.

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“Pacific Rim: Uprising”: Mecha-Lecha-High? Mecha-High-Nee-NOPE

Pacific Rim Uprising!

Blue Man Group: The Metal Years.

Much as I’d love for John Boyega to be successful in everything he touches, I felt sheepish about my issues with Detroit and hoped I wouldn’t have to harp on him again too soon. Then I rushed out to see Pacific Rim: Uprising in its second week of release, and realized…well, uh, here we go again. It’s still better than at least three of Michael Bay’s Transformers films, but that’s…well, I wouldn’t call that a “low bar” so much as it’s me whispering to Boyega and director Steven DeKnight that I won’t tattletale if they want to walk around the climbing wall and skip the bar as a courtesy.

I try not to hold MCC to too many inflexible rules, but one of the few remaining is that every film I see in theaters gets its own entry. Now that Uprising‘s home video release is coming up this month, maybe it’s past time to hold myself accountable for that promise and face down this long-delayed entry, no matter how fruitless it may end up.

(Look, I’m not a great self-promoter. Anyone who’s been here long enough know this. We persevere together anyway.)

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So There’s a Moment in the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” End Credits

Porg!

Warning: the first five rows of the theater may get Porg’d.

You’ve already seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi, right? I don’t plan to delve into heavy spoilers, but don’t be surprised if I mention things not in the trailers. Obviously I won’t list the names of the nine characters who die, the two who turn to the dark side, and the one who debuted in The Star Wars Holiday Special that has now made that travesty officially New Canon.

But I kid! I kid because I’d been excited for this flick ever since they announced TLJ would be helmed by Rian Johnson, the director of Brick and Looper, two films that were very much keepers. Longtime MCC readers may recall I’m not a full-on hardcore unconditional Star Wars fan who super-loves anything automatically that has those two words stamped on it. And yet, ever since the not-bad relaunch of the franchise with The Force Awakens, I find myself looking forward to these new films with increasing curiosity as to where they’ll go, what they’ll change, and how many films it’ll take before we’ll see a new generation of young Star Wars fans who weren’t scarred firsthand by George Lucas’ prequels.

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“Detroit”, One Night Only

Detroit!

“Look, this is all a big misunderstanding. If I could just have my blaster back…”

One of MCC’s long-standing rules is that every film I make the effort to see in theaters gets an entry. I saw Kathryn Bigelow’s harrowing Detroit a few months ago but procrastinated writing about it because I had trouble sorting what few thoughts I had on it. We’re now less than a month away from the scheduled DVD release, and on the heels of an upcoming limited re-release meant to remind Oscar voters that it exists. Maybe it’s time to move on this and see what happens. I won’t be surprised if I get something wrong according to the zeitgeist or say something innately stupid, but that’s the risk we run in oversharing opinions online on sensitive subjects.

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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: The All-Spoiler Entry

Captain Phasma!

Hey, remember that time we had high hopes for every well-dressed new character in The Force Awakens?

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: we saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens! The previous entry was the requisite MCC review-not-review, but lighter on details this time for the benefit of those fans who want a fighting change to see the movie with as few surprises spoiled as possible. According to my son, some deranged Expanded Universe fans were invading random YouTube comments sections for videos that had absolutely nothing to do with Star Wars and were posting major TFA spoilers because they are bitter and they are twelve. Between the heavily armed loner gunmen we fear are waiting at the crowded theater lobbies and the entitled trolls waiting to type furiously at innocents at home, the cinema experience is strangely more challenging and less fun than ever.

That didn’t stop us, though. We had thoughts and I remembered to write down many of them. Here’s a COURTESY SPOILER WARNING in case you somehow overlooked the title.

Right this way for another round of Star Wars!

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: The Non-Spoiler Entry

BB-8!

Still hiding out from rampant internet spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

Never fear! We here at Midlife Crisis Crossover know your fears. I spent part of Thursday and all of Friday hiding out from social media, shunning all peer contact, and busying myself around the house until it was our turn to see it Saturday afternoon. At last I can rejoin the cool kids’ kaffeeklatsch, already in progress.

But that doesn’t mean I have to ruin it for anyone else. Thus I’ve split my thoughts into (at least) two entries. First up: the light summary of impressions from my first showing, written in a manner that hopefully doesn’t compromise your own first screening.

Right this way for the short version!

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