My thoughts on Star Wars: Rebels (seasons 1 and 2)

*Warning: this post is FULL of spoilers for Star Wars: Rebels, so if you haven’t seen the series and don’t want any surprises, don’t look!!!

Oh. WOW!!!!!

I knew that Star Wars: Rebels was good, but I had no idea that it was THIS good!!!!

Let me back up a little: last weekend I had the opportunity to make a little extra money and I ended up purchasing season 1 of Rebels (much as I wanted to add the final season of Penny Dreadful to my collection, I hadn’t seen any episodes of Rebels yet). Fast forward to this past Saturday and I started watching and within five minutes, I was completely and utterly hooked! In fact, I was so hooked, that by the time I made it through episode 10 of season 1 I had to run out and buy season 2 so I could keep going!!


Left to right: Ezra, Kanan and Hera

If you ever watched the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, Rebels is kinda/sorta a sequel to that (in spirit at least, if not in actual fact). While the first series took place in between Episode II and III, Rebels picks up nearly 15 years after Episode 3 (and less than five years before the Battle of Yavin in Episode IV, you know, where the Death Star goes BOOM!)


Our band of heroes (Sabine is my favorite)

The setting (for the most part) is the planet Lothal in the Outer Rim. That’s where Ezra Bridger encounters a small group of rebels doing their own small part to undermine the Empire. They are:

Kanan Jarrus: a former Padawan and leader of the group

Sabine Wren: a young Mandalorian who loves to make things blow up

Zeb: a Lasat (purple striped alien) who really dislikes Stormtroopers

Hera Syndulla: a Twi’lek and the captain of the Ghost (the rebel’s ship)

Chopper: a really snarky C-1 droid with severe attitude problems

Ezra ends up joining the group after he 1) steals part of the supplies they were trying to steal 2) steals a Jedi Holocron that belongs to Kanan and 3) discovers that he has a lot of Force potential (evidenced by his ability to unlock the Holocron to play a recorded message from Obi-Wan Kenobi). It turns out that Kanan allowed Ezra to steal the holocron because he sensed the kid had Force potential, and if he proved able to unlock the holocron, he could potentially be trained to be a Jedi.


“Twilight of the Apprentice” is some of the greatest Star Wars action you will ever see

The story grows bigger and bigger as time goes on. We meet several Inquisitors, servants of the Dark Side (but NOT full Sith) who are trained to hunt down any remaining Jedi and to kidnap children with Force potential (to prevent their potential Jedi training in the future). They answer directly to Darth Vader (who trained them) and it is later revealed that they were formerly Jedi themselves. So far we have met:

The Grand Inquisitor, a former Jedi Temple Guard and the initial antagonist of the series. After being cornered by Kanan, he commits suicide rather than let himself report another failure to Darth Vader.

The Fifth Brother: a rather arrogant Inquisitor who definitely prefers killing first and asking questions later

The Seventh Sister: a very sly Inquisitor who uses an army of small droids to gather information and trap her prey (if necessary) until she can arrive.

The Eighth Brother: a mysterious Inquisitor dispatched on a secret mission to the planet Malachor (it’s revealed later that his mission was to hunt Darth Maul who, surprise, is still alive after all these years!)


5th Brother and 7th Sister: Two nasty pieces of work

As of the end of season 2, all these Inquisitors are deceased (by various means), but I have a feeling we may be meeting more in the future.

And then there’s Darth Vader himself (voiced by James Earl Jones naturally). His appearances are understandably kept few and far between, but he definitely steals the show every time he appears. He was the primary antagonist for season 2, and while it’s been said he won’t appear in season 3, I can’t help but think he’ll be back in the future (at least I hope so anyway). And speaking of season 2, a major arc involved him coming face to face with Ahsoka Tano, the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker (and a major character from The Clone Wars series). After Ahsoka finally confirmed that Anakin and Vader were one and the same (I think she figured it out a lot sooner, but she was in denial), a confrontation between the two was inevitable. That confrontation was the finale of season 2 and is going to get an entire blog post all to itself.

And now that season 3 is here, we have Grand Admiral Thrawn, back in canon and just as perfect as we all imagined he would be. Of course I’ve only seen clips from season 3; I ditched my cable over a year ago so the only way I can watch the show is on DVD which means a long wait for me.

But on the plus side, I have seasons 1 and 2 on DVD which means I can binge them as often as I like until season 3 is finished. Seriously, give this series a chance if you haven’t already. Yes the series is animated, but it’s definitely NOT just for kids.

My upcoming deadlines will be past soon, and once they are my blogging schedule should (mostly) return to normal (I hope). Thanks for sticking with Film Music Central, you guys are the best! -Becky

What Disney taught me about life: Things I learned from the Movies

This post is part of the Things I Learned from the Movies Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Speakeasy.

So, I have a confession to make. Originally I was going to write about what Disney films taught me about humor, but as I got started, I realized I couldn’t think of any good examples. So, I decided to make the subject a little broader, and talk about several life lessons I learned from Disney films (my apologies for the last minute change).

  1. Sometimes when you love a person, you have to let them go. This happens in Pocahontas (1995) when Pocahontas and John Smith know they love each other, but John has to go back to England to be treated for his injuries. Pocahontas could go with him, but she needs to stay with her people, and so they say goodbye, even though it breaks both their hearts.
  2. Imagination is a very powerful tool. I learned this from The Sword in the Stone (1963). Most of Merlin’s lessons are based on the Wart’s ability to “imagine” that he is a fish, or a bird or a squirrel before the magic can actually work. And as the Wart’s imagination is opened up further, he grows further and further as a young man.
  3. You don’t always fall in love at first sight. I know most Disney films portray the opposite, but that’s exactly my point. Until very recently, Disney portrayed true love as being something that could occur in a single meeting. Or, to be more generous, something that could occur over a relatively short period of time. While that’s better, I really think that real love takes closer to a year to happen. The good news is that Disney is slowly moving away from “true love at first sight”.

and the most important thing I learned from Disney films?

4. Sometimes the “bad guy” wins. The big example for this comes from The Lion King, when Scar succeeds with his plan to kill Mufasa. While we all want to believe that the hero always wins and the villain always loses, in real life it’s usually the other way around. And, while it took me years to understand, I think it’s good that Disney includes this concept in some of their stories. It hurts, but it’s a lesson that needs to be shared.

And that’s a small sample of the things I learned from Disney movies. I hope you enjoyed checking it out! Thanks to Silver Screenings and Speakeasy for hosting this great blogathon! -Becky

Cancelled Too Soon #1: Constantine (2014-2015)

So I’ve decided to start another series that’s been swirling in my head for a couple of months that will profile various TV shows that I personally loved but feel they were cancelled way too soon. And at the head of that list is the NBC show Constantine.


Based on DC’s super-popular Hellblazer comics, the show follows John Constantine (Matt Ryan), his best friend Chaz and a mysterious woman with psychic powers named Zed, as they work to stop the “Rising Darkness” from destroying the world. Constantine has some supernatural help in the form of an angel named Manny (more on him later), and a sometimes ally/sometimes nemesis in the form of Papa Midnite, a Voodoo witch doctor who communes with the Hell-bound spirit of his dead sister for information. Along the way, Constantine must also deal with the consequences of some reckless behavior from years before, behavior that ultimately caused a young girl’s soul to be dragged to Hell (something Constantine has never forgiven himself for).

I’d never read Hellblazer before watching this show, and I was initially going to ignore it, but I decided to try it out. Almost instantly, I was hooked! I discovered later (after speed-reading a few digital comics) that Matt Ryan absolutely NAILED Constantine’s character. He’s the type of actor you dream about; the kind who can embody a role so completely you have no trouble believing he IS that person.

From the beginning though, there were hints that the show was going to be in trouble. First of all, look up at the poster, see what day and time it was set to premiere? Yeah, Fridays at 10pm isn’t exactly the best slot to give a new TV show (they don’t call Friday nights the “kill slot” for nothing). Second, because the pilot wasn’t exactly well-received, NBC refused to give the show a full season of 26 episodes, instead leaving them with only 13 (that’s NEVER a good sign for the future of any show). And third (as I remember it), they kept screwing around with the show’s schedule, one week the new episodes would air, then it would skip a week, and so on. And there would be almost no notice given of these changes. It’s almost like they wanted this show to fail….

Despite these issues, the show quickly gathered a cult following, as the story grew better with every episode. It became clear that SOMEONE had to be manipulating the Rising Darkness, and Constantine needed to figure out who it was so he could stop it. And then the last episode came…remember I mentioned Manny the angel? From day one he’d represented himself as one of the “good” angels, one who served in Heaven (and apparently also served as an Angel of Death, as he was present when one of Constantine’s friends was dying and also personally escorted a soul to the afterlife in a really cool sequence) and (at times begrudgingly) helped Constantine solve a particular mystery. Well, in the last episode, at the very end, Manny reveals to another character that HE has been manipulating the Rising Darkness this entire time, and Constantine doesn’t know it. It was a tormenting cliffhanger because there was no guarantee the show was going to continue, and ultimately, it didn’t. Despite a very vocal petition from the fans and pleas for ANY other network to pick up the show, Constantine was cancelled and remained so, meaning we would never find out Manny’s motives or whether or not Constantine was ultimately successful in stopping him.

The cancellation of Constantine led to me abandoning NBC for good (I’d already been burned once with Dracula); no matter how good the show sounds, if it’s on NBC, I won’t tune in. If there’s one thing I can’t do, it’s emotionally invest in a show only to have it ripped away after only one season or less.

If you’d like to see the show, I have great news: the Warner Archive is (finally!!!) producing Constantine: The Complete Series as an On-Demand Title, meaning you order it and they’ll make one and send it to you, you can find it on, I know I’m going to get a copy as soon as possible. And as far as I know, the CW is still streaming the full series on their online streaming app. Be warned though, once you start, you will get hooked!

Thankfully, this is not the last we will see of Matt Ryan as John Constantine: he already did a guest spot in season 4 of Arrow and he will be reprising the character in the upcoming animated film Justice League Dark (adapting another comic series that features Constantine).

Did you watch Constantine while it was on the air? If you did, did you like it? Wish there was more of it? Let me know in the comments below, and have a great day! -Becky

Pocahontas “The Virginia Company” (1995)


In 1995, Disney released Pocahontas, their 33rd animated feature film, and the first Disney film to be based on a real historical person (that being Pocahontas, though the details have been heavily romanticized). To my surprise, I learned that this film received mixed reviews and is in fact considered the “beginning of the end” of the Disney Renaissance. I certainly didn’t get that impression when I saw the film in theaters, but I was only in the first grade at the time, and wasn’t exactly in a position to judge film quality.

Pocahontas “The Virginia Company” (1995)

Whether you like or dislike the film, there’s no denying Pocahontas has another great Disney score, with the songs once again being composed by Alan Menken. And the first song we hear is “The Virginia Company”, a short chorus that introduces the English settlers: Thomas (Christian Bale), the barely adult kid leaving home to make his fortune; Lon (Joe Baker) and Ben (Billy Connolly), two seasoned sailors who are well acquainted with the hero of the film, Captain John Smith (Mel Gibson), a man who’s traveled everywhere and doesn’t think this “New World” will be any different from the others he’s seen. And last, but not least, there’s Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers), his manservant Wiggins (also David Ogden Stiers) and his pompous pooch Percy. Ratcliffe is the nominal leader of the expedition and will be Governor of the new colony (but really, he’s just in it to get really rich so he can come back to England and worm his way into the aristocracy).

In “The Virginia Company”, the settlers sing about how this New World is a paradise full of gold and silver, and they’ll all become really rich:

In sixteen hundred seven
We sailed the open sea
For glory, God and gold
And the Virginia Company

For the New World is like heaven
And we’ll all be rich and free
Or so we have been told
By the Virginia Company

So we have been told
By the Virginia Company
For glory, God and gold
And the Virginia Company

On the beaches of Virginny
There’s diamonds like debris
There’s silver rivers flow
And gold you pick right off a tree

With a nugget for my Winnie
And another one for me
And all the rest’ll go
To the Virginia Company
It’s glory, God and gold
And the Virginia Company

They have this view because of the enormous riches the Spanish found when they plundered the New World and discovered the treasures of the Aztecs, the Inca and so on. Still, it is a stirring song to hear, and a good introduction to the story. There will be more Pocahontas in the days to come so stay tuned! -Becky

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Didn’t Think I’d Like it (But I did!) #4: Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986)

As I was rewatching Aliens last night, it suddenly dawned on me that this (and Alien) was one of those films I was sure I would NOT like, at all, but I ended up loving it instead.

Why was I so sure I’d hate it? Because of the Aliens of  course! I’d seen pictures of the xenomorphs long before I’d ever seen the film and for years that was more than enough to keep me far away from any of the Alien films (in my mind, the word Alien/Aliens was synonymous with “scariest films EVER”). I was not a fan of scary alien monster movies (and for the most part I have stayed that way) so I saw no need to watch Alien or Aliens….ever.


I love Sigourney Weaver

Fast forward to my college years, I was either a sophomore or a junior, and the SyFy channel was having an Alien marathon as part of its Halloween lineup. College had made me (slightly) more adventurous and I decided that I would finally watch and see what the fuss was all about.

If you could’ve seen me during Alien….you would’ve laughed like crazy. Picture me sitting on the floor of my dorm room, a death grip on my pillow, with my eyes peeking out over the pillow’s edge for about 80% of the film. For the record, I KNEW about the chestburster scene before I started watching (I read a synopsis of the film so I would know when it was coming), but I had never actually seen it before. To this day, I can’t see that scene without going a little bug-eyed in fear/grossing-out. The biggest thing that scares me about this movie (and I know this was partially the point of the film) is that you never know exactly WHERE that xenomorph is going to turn up at. And you only see glimpses of him for the most part, and what you see is absolutely terrifying!!! Also, the whole scene where Ash tries to kill Ripley deeply disturbs me, enough that I tend to look away when the film gets to that part. And yet…when the final credits rolled, I found I’d actually enjoyed myself, enough that I was okay with keeping the TV on for Aliens, which followed immediately after.

Aliens really is one of those sequels that surpasses the original, although that’s almost an unfair thing to say, given that Alien is a horror film and Aliens is action/horror-ish. Also, one of the bigger differences between the sequel and the original is that while the first film has one alien, Aliens has MANY, including the ever terrifying Alien Queen:


The Alien Queen = SCARY!!!!

It took me a couple of tries to watch Aliens without hiding in terror every time we got to the “aliens massacre the Marines” part, but now it’s become one of my favorite films. I think what helped me like it is I began a “game” where I would see how many wires I could spot in the film (answer: quite a few!). Seeing the wires keeps me mentally grounded (i.e. they’re not real, they’re just costumes/puppets). My favorite wire sighting? In the scene where an Alien emerges from the water behind Newt, watch its tail and you can clearly see the wire holding it up.

It’s hard to believe that ten years ago I wouldn’t have touched any Alien film with a ten foot pole and now I’m actively looking forward to Alien: Covenant. If you haven’t seen any of the Alien films, I highly recommend watching at least the original Alien, because it’s a spectacular sci-fi horror film (with a great score by Jerry Goldsmith I might add). If you want to watch more, Aliens is also great, but in my opinion Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection can be avoided.

Sorry I’ve been more quiet than normal, I have a big deadline coming up so I’ll probably be hit or miss in the coming weeks. Also, I thought I’d let you guys know the first week of November I won’t be around at all as I have a big trip to the annual conference for musicologists🙂 Hope everyone has a great week-Becky

See also:

Didn’t Think I’d Like it (but I did!) #1 : The LEGO Movie (2014)

Didn’t Think I’d Like it (But I did!) #2: Steven Universe (2013-present)

Didn’t Think I’d Like It (But I did!) #3: The Expendables (film series)


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I’m so in for this one!


Last year around this time, bloggers and cartoon buffs came out of the woodwork to express their appreciation of animated films that they have enjoyed. It was a very popular blogathon, and one of its entrants suggested that I revive it in the future. So, here it is, and here are the rules (same as for last year).


  1. Here’s your opportunity to sound off about one of your favorite animated films! Does a particular cartoon make you laugh, cry, think, or just plain fill you with joy? Post a blog entry about it here, and share your enthusiasm with the world!
  2. Notice that I said it can be one of your favorite cartoons. This is not a contest in which you have to summon up superior evidence that your cartoon of choice is the greatest one ever made. Just write about the reasons why you like it.
  3. The cartoon…

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A new Sunshine Blogger Award!!!


Thanks to Keithlovesmovies for nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award! If you haven’t checked his blog out yet, I highly recommend it as it is always filled with great info🙂

Like a Liebster Award, the rules of a Sunshine Blogger Award are simple:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you (including a link back to their blog)
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
  3. Nominate 11 new people
  4. Give them 11 questions to answer🙂

With that being said, here are my answers to Keith’s questions🙂

  1. If a movie was made about your life, what genre would it be?

It would either be an animated film in the style of the Disney Renaissance (I’m thinking it would look very much like Beauty and the Beast) or a dramatic comedy, because those two words do a pretty good job of summing up my life.

2. Is there any movie that you love but nobody else does?

Oh definitely, the biggest example that comes to mind is Thor: The Dark World. While I love this movie very much…most of my friends who are Marvel fans do not. I can’t help loving it, any movie with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki in it is great to me (and he steals the show in that film).

3. Any guilty pleasures movie or TV wise?

Hmmmm, I think my guilty pleasure would be watching Sword Art Online (the anime), it’s one of those shows you either love or hate and I love it (I’m eagerly waiting for Ordinal Scale to come out).

4. Do you still read and if so, what’s your favorite book?

I’m proud to say I read something every single day. As for my favorite book, oh boy…well my one favorite will always be The Lord of the Rings, but a more recent favorite is Newton’s Cannon (1998) by Gregory Keyes (imagine a world where Sir Isaac Newton discovered a science based on alchemy instead of the rational science we know).

5. If you had more time in a day, what would you be doing?

If there were more time in a day I’d be writing my dissertation a whole lot more.

6. Is there anything you’ve ever wanted to do but just haven’t had the chance?

I really want to go to San Diego Comic Con, just once (or New York Comic Con).

7. Do you care about IMAX and/or 3D when watching a movie?

Not really, in fact I try to avoid 3D whenever possible because even though I wear contacts now and I can wear 3D glasses comfortably, the 3D effects don’t really impress me all that much.

8. What was your favorite subject in school?

History!!! Any kind of history🙂

9. If you can meet a famous person who is either dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would want to meet with James Horner because I have pages of questions I wish I could ask him about his music.

10. Have you ever been so mad at a movie that you couldn’t help but to yell at the screen?

Hmmmm, nope, not really, though I got really close with Hail Caesar.

11. What movies are you looking forward to for the rest of this year?

In no particular order: Moana, Rogue One, Passengers, mayyyyybe Trolls

There are my answers🙂 The 11 people I’m going to nominate are:

  1. Pop Culture Pundit
  2. Via VHS
  3. MeredithRiggs
  4. Tye Files
  5. Cinematic Scribblings
  6. Hard Ticket to Home Video
  7. emmakwall (explains it all)
  8. Movierob
  9. Cinema Parrot Disco
  10. Popcorn & Film
  11. Films & Series: What About Them?

And my questions are:

  1. Do you collect Funko POP! Vinyls? If so, do you have a favorite?
  2. Are you excited about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story?
  3. Which movie/TV show is your guilty pleasure?
  4. What’s one movie you could not live without?
  5. What’s the last movie you went to see in the theater?
  6. Star Trek or Star Wars?
  7. What color would your lightsaber be?
  8. If you had to live in one movie universe for the rest of your life, where are you going?
  9. Has a movie ever made you cry?
  10. Favorite film soundtrack?
  11. Have you ever sung along with a Disney movie?

Thanks again to Keithlovesmovies for nominating me🙂 -Becky