C2E2 2016 Photos: Star Wars: The New Cosplay Order

Rey + Kylo Ren!

Can this be? Rey and Kylo Ren working together? Say it ain’t so!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: my wife and I spent two days at the seventh annual Chicago Comics and Entertainment Exposition, where Midwest comics fans in particular and geeks in general gather together in the name of imaginary worlds from print and screen to revel in fiction and touch bases on what’s hot or cool at this moment in pop culture.

We expected new costume ideas to abound thanks to the interstellar success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the whole new cast of iconic characters for us to watch, study, follow, debate, and impersonate. We saw veritable armies of Rey and Kylo Ren parading around the show floor and claiming it as their own. We caught a mere fraction of a fraction of the Star Wars fans on site.

Right this way for more Rey, more Ren, and BB-8 in three sizes!

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: the IMAX 3-D Entry


Even the silliest pew-pew-pew effects sound glorious when you crank the speakers up to 27.

I have no current plans to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens six times as I did with one of its predecessors, but my son and I caught an encore for fun at one of the local IMAX theaters to see if the 3-D made any difference. It’s something we try maybe once every 2-3 years, not a regular part of our movie-going diet. I confess I dig IMAX screens more for their super-sized speaker systems than for any picture enlargement. In both TV and movies, JJ Abrams tends to be one of those directors who coach their sound effects team to deliver a booming, raucous performance in which you can feel the depth and the weight of every noise great and small. As a guy with lousy hearing who watches most TV shows with the captioning turned on just in case, I love a heavy hand at the soundboards.

After seeing the same scenes twice, I noticed slight shifts in a few of my opinions, along with a few other random observations beyond what I previously wrote over here and over there. I talked to a few relatives at Christmas gatherings today who still haven’t seen TFA, so I’m not the sort of elitist to assume that anyone who hasn’t seen it yet deserves spoilers as their punishment. If you’re like them and haven’t had the time or funds, please enjoy this courtesy SPOILER ALERT telling you politely to go away for now and save this entry for later.

Right this way for MCC bonus notes!

“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


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!

From the MCC Archives: Star Wars! Star Wars! Star Wars!

Walmart Vaders!

That name again: Star Wars! Official merchandise and irrelevant products of marketing synergy are now available in literally every Walmart department! Star Wars: It’s Not Just for Toy Aisles anymore!

From time to time, the Star Wars saga crosses our minds here at Midlife Crisis Crossover. Occasionally it’s a serious thinkpiece; usually it’s poking fun; either way, it’s coming from a longtime affectionate immersion in that phenomenal universe. In honor of the upcoming release of The Force Awakens, the seventh chapter in the live-action film canon as rendered by director JJ Abrams and a cast of whippersnappers and old folks alike, we present the following suggested reading list of essays and gags from MCC’s past. These entries may be undiscovered experiences for new followers, pleasant reruns for our longtime associates, or the perfect drugs for anyone who’s fiending for any form of consumable entertainment with the words “Star Wars” in or on it.

For a virtually complete revue of every major Star Wars entry we’ve ever posted, you can follow MCC’s “Star Wars” tag and, among other omissions, take a tour of every convention and event we’ve ever attended that drew a large turnout of Star Wars cosplayers, including our experiences at Star Wars Celebrations II and III. And don’t forget we were just talking about it a few days ago, though that entry’s far too new for the “archives” label and is therefore disqualified from inclusion. Maybe if we do this again for Episode VIII.

Enjoy, rest assured this list contains no real spoilers for The Force Awakens, and MTFBWY!

Right this way for your recommended Star Wars reading list!

What I Demand to See in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

The Force Awakens!

The Star Wars Cinematic Universe introduces the first three members of its All-New All-Different Avengers.

Every Star Wars fan, whether casual or hardcore, has their mental wish list of stuff they’re hoping Star Wars: The Force Awakens should contain in order to become the greatest Star Wars film of all time. With a modest running time of 136 minutes, J.J. Abrams and company can’t possibly satisfy every single fan on Earth, but it goes without saying that my checklist is the wisest and grandest of them all.

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The Only “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Shot-by-Shot Trailer Analysis You’ll Need

The Force Awakens!

John Boyega. Daisy Ridley. STAR WARS. Canon. Cope.

In the past 24 hours eight hundred million other internet users have posted their thoughts on the all-new Official Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer that premiered Monday night during ESPN’s Monday Night Football and was released online seconds later for those of us who don’t do sports. Hardcore fans have devoted every hour since then freezing every frame, enhancing every pixel, scrutinizing every living being or moving object, collating the data, and sharing results in hopes of extrapolating the plots of the next six Star Wars films, or at least guessing which toys they’ll buy next.

Now…it’s my turn.

Right this way for the greatest film study that matters only to me ever!

Five Days, Five Big Trailers, Four Sequels and a Reboot

Star Wars: the Force Awakens!

When blockbuster trailers come, they come not as single spies, but in battalions!

It’s been busy, busy times these past five days in the world of watching previews for mega-budget movies that won’t be here for a while, speculating on same, prejudging them all and assigning our Tomatometer ratings in advance so our opinions won’t be skewed later by the movies themselves. If you haven’t see all five of the latest hopeful super-sized moneymakers, now’s your chance to catch up and revisit worlds we haven’t seen in a long time. There’s a world where dinosaurs are reborn and man is the least dangerous game; a world where “hero” is a word they keep using, but I do not think it means what they think it means; and that one rediscovered world with the lightsabers and the Force and whatnot.

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