Thursday, August 30, 2007

Villification of Mace Windu

"Villification of Mace Windu"

I just came across an essay in which the writer suggested that Mace may have been slightly jealous of Anakin's power with the Force . . . and this would explain his "distrust" of Anakin.

What is it about the Mace Windu character that causes so many STAR WARS fans to come up with some ludicrous ideas about him?

Mace jealous of Anakin? Up until the Jedi Council had learned of a connection between Sidious and someone in Palpatine's circle, Mace was firm in the idea that Anakin was the Chosen One. He had been since Anankin's participation in the Battle of Naboo.

Has the Jedi Council scene in ROTS, in which Mace had to put Anakin in his place, the reason why so many fans have expressed hostility or created these lame ideas about him? What? They don't think he had the right to admonish Anakin? Here are some other idiot theories:

*Mace wasn't that strong in the Force, but was a skilled warrior

*Mace could have never defeated Palpatine on his own (according to Lucas, he, Yoda and Anakin were powerful enough to defeat Palpatine)

*Mace liked to tap into the Dark Side, in compare to other Jedi Knights

*Mace was responsible for Anakin's turn to the Dark Side, because he ordered Anakin to remain at the Temple during the attempt to arrest Palpatine

*Mace was the one who had erased the Kamino files from the Jedi Archives and was, therefore, the Jedi traitor (this dumb theory popped up after AOTC was released)

*Mace's purple lightsaber represented his light and dark side (what represented Obi-Wan or Yoda's light and dark sides, I wonder?)

What is this stream of negativity directed toward Mace Windu by SW fans? Why do they seem to dislike him so much? Many act as if he had no business being a Jedi Master. Is it because many fans didn't like the idea of Samuel L. Jackson in one of science-fiction's biggest sagas? Is that it?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Plotlines in the "BOURNE Trilogy"

Plotlines in the BOURNE Trilogy

Ever since its release, the critics and many fans have been in rapture over the third "BOURNE" movie. Some have called it the best action movie in recent years. And one particular critic had named all three movies as "the best Hollywood film trilogy ever made". Now, as much as I have enjoyed the "BOURNE" Trilogy, I do not think I would go that far. I do consider the trilogy to be amongst my favorite action films. But do I consider them to be the best? Hmmmm . . . no. In fact, following my second viewing of "ULTIMATUM", I have noticed some plotlines that concern me. In fact, I have a problem regarding a character in "SUPREMACY", as well.

Manheim and Jarda

When I first saw "SUPREMACY", I had assumed that the German-born Treadstone operative in this movie (Marton Csokas) was the same German-born operative who had killed Alexander Conklin in "IDENTITY". Well, I was wrong. Apparently, they are two different men. "IDENTITY" had identified three other Treadstone assasins other than Bourne operating in Europe - the Professor (Clive Owen), Castel (Nicky Naude) and Manheim. Out of all of them, Manheim was the only one who had survived. Yet two years later in "SUPREMACY", Bourne meets Jarda, who claimed that they were the only two Treadstone operatives left. What in the hell happened to Manheim? He survived the events of "IDENTITY", yet he was dead two years later? How did he died? And how did Jarda pop up into this mix?

I also have another question regarding Jarda. How did Bourne find out about him? Hell, how did Bourne know where to find him? When did he have the opportunity to get his hands on the files of Treadstone's European operatives? He certainly was not able to do so in "IDENTITY"'s finale. Nicky was already in the process of destroying the files when Bourne and Conklin had their showdown. Bourne certainly had no opportunity to do so in "SUPREMACY". So, how did he find out about Jarda?

Nicky's Comments About Her Past With Bourne

In "ULTIMATUM", CIA Logistics Coordinator Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) had hinted of some past relationship between her and Bourne that had left her shaken. A relationship that Bourne has no memory of. All I can say is . . . WTF? Since when? I am aware that both Bourne and Nicky were stationed in Paris before the attempted Wombosi hit that left him with amnesia. But recalling Nicky's reaction to Bourne near the end of the film, I never got the impression that they had enjoyed past intimacy with each other. At least not from Nicky. Her reaction to Bourne near the end of "IDENTITY" seemed to be the same as her reaction to the Professor after meeting him . . . namely trepidation. Nor did Nicky bring up any past intimacy between her and Bourne in "SUPREMACY". Aside from her trepidation in "IDENTITY", Nicky had expressed sheer terror when Bourne had kidnapped her in the second film in order to learn more about Treadstone and Pamela Landy (Joan Allen). I get the feeling that screenwriters Tony Gilroy and Scott Z. Burns had added this little tidbit to set the stage for a possible romance between Bourne and Nicky in future films. If this is true, I think it is a cheap shot.

CIA Directors - Martin Marshall and Ezra Cramer

Confusion really seemed to reign over the roles of the two CIA Directors featured in the films - Martin Marshall (Tomas Arana) and Ezra Cramer (Scott Glenn). Martin Marshall's name had briefly came up as the CIA's Director. We got to see him in the flesh in "SUPREMACY". Yet, in "ULTIMATUM", which is mainly set six weeks later after "SUPREMACY", the CIA has a new director - Ezra Cramer. What in the hell happened to Marshall during those six weeks? Someone had claimed that perhaps he had encountered trouble for what happened in Berlin at the beginning of the second film. Frankly, this makes no sense to me. The Berlin operation was big enough to get Pamela Landy in trouble, but certainly not Marshall.

And in "ULTIMATUM", it was claimed that Ezra Cramer had given Noah Vosen (David Strathairn) permission to use the Blackbriar program as a replacement for Treadstone. All I can say is . . . huh? At the end of "IDENTITY", it was Ward Abbott (Brian Cox) who had introduced the Blackbriar program to the CIA. Yes, I am aware that Blackbriar was originally sold by Abbott as a communications program between agencies and later became an assasination program. But when did this happen? During the six weeks between "SUPREMACY" and "ULTIMATUM"? Did Cramer give his authority to the Blackbriar program during this six-week period? Judging from the files in Vosen's safe, I rather doubt it.

I had learned that production on "ULTIMATUM" had began before the script's completion. Judging from some of the plot holes and the movie's cheesy ending that little tidbit seemed pretty obvious to me. And as much as I like the "BOURNE" movies, I find it hard to believe that they are the best action thrillers in the past decade or so. And I especially find it hard to accept that "ULTIMATUM" is the best action film this year or the best "BOURNE" movie. I can think of others that are better.

Monday, August 27, 2007

"The Helmsman's Log - 2373" - 2/2

Here is Part 2 of "The Helmsman's Logs - 2373":


Part 2

STARDATE 50536.19:

Voyager came across a planet during Alpha shift, called Sakari IV. And it seems to be rich with gallicite. Just what we need to reconstruct our poor, overused warp coils. B'Elanna will lead the Away team to find the gallicite. Because I have experience in rock climbing, she asked me to join her, Neelix and Vorik on the mission. I agreed. Hell, I couldn't say no to a pretty woman. End personal log.

STARDATE 50539.04:

(Sighs) God, I can't believe what I've just been through! What B'Elanna went through. It was just (Pauses) . . . Hell, it was just plain weird! Vorik comes down with something called pon far, infects B'Elanna and then she comes on to me like a bride eager to lose her virginity. It was all just so . . . And the weird thing is I would have happily complied to B'Elanna's wishes. God, I wanted her so badly! I . . .

Okay, I better simmer down. I'm beginning to ramble. I guess it all began before we beamed down to the surface of Sakari IV. When B'Elanna was in Engineering with Vorik, last night, he proposed marriage to her. Marriage! Between a half-Klingon and a Vulcan. Yeah right! I don' know what the hell Vorik was thinking. That pon far must have really made him delirious. It also made him attempt a telepathic mating bond with B'Elanna, after she turned down his offer. She responded by dislocating his jaw. Good for her!

I didn't know all of this when I met B'Elanna and Neelix in one of the Transporter Rooms, this morning. I guess I should have realized that something was wrong. B'Elanna had seemed too . . . I don't know, chipper. Flirtatious. I managed to put it all behind me, as we climbed down into the Sakari caves. But it all came back to me, after Neelix and B'Elanna's fall. While poor Neelix was on his back with a broken leg, B'Elanna began berating him for an accident that wasn't his fault. I tried to calm her down, but she . . . Good grief! She bit me, instead. On the chin. And to be honest, not only did it hurt . . . it also aroused me. God, I really must be sick! Anyway, B'Elanna ran off before I could stop her.

Well, I contacted the ship, and told the Captain what happened. Chakotay and Tuvok appeared on the planet with news on what happened between B'Elanna and Vorik, yesterday. We managed to find B'Elanna, and also a group of paranoid Sakarians, who thought we were an invading force out to destroy what was left of their world. Considering B'Elanna's aggressive behavior, I didn't blame them for being paranoid.

B'Elanna and I got separated from the others for a while. Chakotay and Tuvok managed to convince the Sakarians that we meant no harm. They also found us. And we were just about ready to return to the ship, when Vorik, acting very demented, appeared, demanding to bond with his "mate". Huh! That crazy idiot had disabled Voyager's Comm system and stolen a shuttle, just to reach B'Elanna. Anyway, Vorik challenged me to a . . . hell, I can't even pronounce the damn term! It was some kind of Vulcan combat ritual. And I had to fight it to win B'Elanna's hand. However, B'Elanna decided to challenge Vorik and soon, they were trying to tear each other to pieces. In the end, B'Elanna prevailed. At least she was the one left standing. That son-of-a-bitch Vorik was out cold and on the ground.

(Pauses)I wish I could say that was the end of it. But I can't. What happened today has finally forced me to admit a truth I've been afraid to face. B'Elanna. I love her. Hell, I'm in love with her. I don't know how long I've felt like this. Since Avery III? Or after my infatuation with Kes ended? I don't know. Hell, maybe the reason I was so attracted to Rain was because she strongly reminded me of B'Elanna. And I also remember feeling irritated by B'Elanna's infatuation with Chakotay. Along with the jealousy I felt whenever other men like Freddie Barstow and Vorik expressed interest in her.

She had been right about me when she said all those things in the cave. Those damn caves. I guess I'll never look at another cave without remembering Sakari IV. And that first bite, which gave me pain and unexpected pleasure. Or the way we wrestled each other over that phaser rifle. It had seemed as if we were engaged in some kind of mating dance. And I'll always remember the way she threw herself at me - rubbing her body against mine. And that kiss. God! She has the warmest lips! Hell, I nearly surrendered after that.

So why didn't I just give in and have sex with her? It would have spared her further suffering. Hell, my wildest dreams would have come true. But I also knew B'Elanna. If we had mated, she would have avoided me like the plague for the next 60 to 70 years. In the end, Tuvok urged me to have sex, since her fever was getting worse. After all that trouble I went to be a gentleman, I received permission to make a beast of myself. And I nearly did. At least after B'Elanna began sniffing me - and growling at the same time. Klingon custom, I guess. I have to admit that I was confused. But I also felt aroused. Then she tackled me to the ground (second time that day) and demanded to know what I was doing. When I told her that I was enjoying myself, she laughed. And so did I. God! She looked so wild . . . and beautiful! After our little wrestling match (something I'll never forget) we nearly had sex. Nearly. That was when Vorik decided to interrupt us in a fit of rage. Dammit!

I've already admitted that I'm in love with B'Elanna. But what about her? How does she feel about me? I still remember what she said in the caves about pretending disinterest in me. That she was afraid to reveal her true feelings. Was she speaking the truth? Does that mean she's attracted to me, after all? I mean, I wasn't the only man on Sakari IV, at the time. Even Chakotay was there. But she pursued only me. If she is attracted to me, then it's time to take this relationship to a new level. Like I said, I know B'Elanna. I'm sure she'll try her best to pretend that Sakari IV never happened. But I can't pretend anymore. I want her and I just can't let a good woman like her slip away. End personal log.

STARDATE 50541.57:

The crew spent the better part of the day, helping the Sakarians avoid any further detection from passing ships. In exchange, they gave us a large supply of gallicite. We also discovered why they were so paranoid. Someone found the corpse of a Borg drone. This means that we're not that far from Borg space.

Vorik came by my quarters to apologize for his behavior, yesterday. My first instinct was to knock his lights out. Or at least try. But I noticed the humiliation in his eyes and realized that he never wanted to attack B'Elanna or me in the first place. He also explained what going through pon far really meant. Chemical imbalance in the brain, every seven years? God! Pon far must really be a bitch to deal with. Thank God, I'm not Vulcan. I have enough trouble dealing with my Human emotions.

I also saw B'Elanna for the first time, since yesterday. We ran into each other in Turbolift Three and engaged in small talk for a few moments. But I couldn't take it any longer. I stopped the turbolift and demanded that we talk about what happened on Sakari IV. And B'Elanna did exactly what I had feared she would do - try to pretend that what happened was a mistake. And unfortunate incident caused by a Vulcan imbalance. But I wasn't having it. I told her that I refused to pretend that nothing happened. I also said that I saw her "wild Klingon side" and that I liked it. And that I wouldn't mind seeing it again. And guess what she said? "Be careful of what you wish for, Lieutenant." Was that a challenge? End personal log.

STARDATE 50607.31:

Voyager has been traveling through the Nekrit Expanse for the last month, now. Not only are we the first Alpha Quadrant natives to explore this part of space, but it hasn't even been charted by those in the Delta Quadrant. We have come across systems with inhabited planets - like Sakari IV. However, we mainly seemed to be encountering nebulas. And quite frankly, I'm getting a little tired of them. The Captain ordered Chakotay and Marie Kaplan to scout ahead for a shortcut through the Expanse. Huh. Good luck on that one. End personal log.

STARDATE 50616.23:

The Borg! I should have known we would encounter them, sooner or later. After all, we're in the Delta Quadrant, right? Voyager came across a Borg cube, hovering over some inhabited planet. It had been disabled by an electro-kinetic storm some four or five years ago. The survivors ended up on the planet below, disconnected from the Borg Collective. There, we found Chakotay . . . along with a dead Marie Kaplan.

Poor Marie. We had dated a couple of times, nearly two years ago. She was one of the few people aboard this ship that I really enjoyed being with. A lot of fun, yet passionate about her job. She was an engineer, but usually worked under Harry in Operations.

Chakotay made friends with the survivors, including a former Starfleet officer named Riley Fraizer. Very chummy, those two. Chakotay had been wounded by a group of renegades. Miss Fraizer and other former drones healed him, using some kind of temporary assimilation. I don't know if I would care for that. Even if it meant my life. I hate loss of control. And it didn't help Chakotay in the end. His new "friends" used his brief assimilation to force him to activate the neural transponder, so they could create their own little collective. He even shot B'Elanna (breathes deeply) and Tuvok with a phaser, while under their influence. (Sighs) I don't think Chakotay will ever trust the Borg again. Or maybe even ex-drones. End personal log.

STARDATE 50620.64:

B'Elanna has finally recovered from being shot by Chakotay, thank God. Naturally, she has forgiven him, realizing that he had acted against his will. I also heard that Vorik has returned to Alpha shift. According to B'Elanna, she got tired of Vorik skulking about like a whipped targ. And he also happened to be one of her best engineers. I guess I don't blame her. After having her sex drive tampered by a pon-farred Vorik and shot by an assimilated Chakotay, B'Elanna is having one hell of a month. I'm beginning to wonder what's next in store for her. They say trouble usually come in threes. End personal log.

STARDATE 50695.19:

Voyager came across a planet inhabited by aliens called the Mikhal Travelers. They usually traveled in vessels, big enough for only two occupants, exploring unknown space. Sounds like a great life, if you ask me. The Captain believes they can provide information in plotting a shorter course to the Alpha Quadrant.

Meanwhile, the Doctor has been using the holodeck a lot, lately. Becoming acquainted with historical figures in the Alpha Quadrant. Frankly, I have no idea on what he's up to. But it sounds dull. End personal log.

STARDATE 50697.31:

Another case for Inspector Tuvok. It seems someone has assaulted Kes' friend, Zahir, on the planet's surface. The Mikhal Travelers have asked Tuvok to investigate. I also ran into Doc in the turbolift. He looked . . . odd. Almost remote. And sinister. I wonder if he has been fooling around with his matrix. End personal log.


Poor B'Elanna. I once contemplated on what else could happen to her, after the incident with Chakotay. Well, it's happened. The Doc had used the holodeck to create a new personality improvement program for his matrix. He ended up becoming some kind of Jekyll and Hyde personality. It was the Doc who had assaulted Zahir. Jealous fit, perhaps? Maybe. He also kidnapped Kes and took her to the planet's surface. But not before paralyzing B'Elanna's legs before she could purge his new personality subroutines from his program. I just checked with B'Elanna. She's doing fine. I guess after Sakari IV and the Borg, she's taking this latest mishap in stride. And she has also purged the Doc's new program, thank God. End personal log.

STARDATE 50730.6:

Now it became Harry's turn to cause trouble for B'Elanna. It's almost becoming a sick joke. Harry didn't harm her directly. From what I gathered, Voyager had a first contact situation with a race called the Nasari. Before the Captain could establish friendly relations, Harry fired upon the Nasari ship, claiming their attentions weren't honorable. Well, the Nasari fired back, causing damage to Engineering. B'Elanna suffered major plasma burns from the damaged conduits. I just visited her in Sick Bay. She's unconscious, but stable. (Sighs) As for Harry, he's in the Captain's dog house, right now. End personal log.

STARDATE 50736.69:

Poor Harry! Because of a few spots on his face, he thought he had found his true home. A homeworld filled with lots of beautiful women. Instead, he nearly became a corpse and progenitor of future Taresian women. It seemed they travel to other systems to infect men with a retrovirus designed to alter their DNA. Apparently, some Taresian woman had infected Harry back at that last space station we had visited, some time ago. The DNA made Harry believe he was Taresian. Hence, his attack on the Nasari ship. Fortunately, Harry discovered that they wanted to use his genetic material for procreation. A process that would have meant death for Harry. We managed to beam him back to the ship and escape before he met that fate. Whew! The Taresians sure have one hell of a way of getting pregnant. Thank God they never became interested in me.

B'Elanna is doing okay. She regained consciousness, yesterday. The Doc kept her in Sick Bay for another day, due to the pain in her lungs. Right now, she's in her quarters, resting. Maybe I should pay her a visit. End personal log.

STARDATE 50763.54:

Miracles do happen, after all! I finally managed to convince B'Elanna to join me for lunch. Just the two of us. She had agree on one condition - that we don't eat in the Mess Hall. Apparently, she doesn't want to give the crew the misconception that we're dating. So, we ended up having pizza and wine in my quarters. It was nice. We discussed the party Neelix planned to hold in the Resort. Work also popped into the conversation, along with Harry's pursuit of Lyndsay Ballard. It seemed Harry and Ballard were old Academy chums. Harry had a crush on her back then, until he met the indomitable Libby. Ballard seemed oblivious to Harry's feelings for her.

Granted, our lunch wasn't exactly the romantic gathering I had envisioned, but it was better than nothing. End personal log.


Whew! What a day! Who would have thought an astral eddy would prove to nearly fatal? It had already destroyed a space station, where we were supposed to meet a race of aliens called the Vostigye. Since Voyager's hull was too heavy to withstand the eddy, I volunteered to investigate it from the Cochrane. And I nearly didn't make it back.

Before my Away mission, the Doc gave me a shot of hyronalin, while critizing my tendency to live dangerously. I later discovered that he was experiencing anxiety over the changes B'Elanna had made to his holofamily. Apparently, she found the Doc's family a little too perfect and decided to make a few tweaks, making them more realistic. Well, one of those tweaks resulted in the death of the Doc's holographic daughter, Belle. He wanted to end the program right there, but I convinced him to continue. He would have cheated himself of experiencing how families deal with tragedies - and how those tragedies brought them closer, because of the pain. Maybe B'Elanna went too far with her changes, but I think that the Doc might learn something valuable, in the end.

Speaking of B'Elanna, we had an interesting conversation in the Mess Hall before my trip on the Cochrane. It seems that Klingons also have a thing for romance. B'Elanna told me that romance for Klingons is a little more . . . "vigorous". Hmm, just thinking of that makes me . . . maybe I better not say anything. Anyway, after reading a small passage from her novel, I began to see that she hadn't exaggerated. Maybe I can ask her to lend me her copy of "Women Warriors of the Blood River" when she finishes. Who knows? It might turn out to be a convenient technical manual, after all. End personal log.

STARDATE 50878.57:

I finally managed to borrow B'Elanna's copy of "Women Warriors of the Blood River". From what I've read so far, it's damn good. I never thought I would enjoy reading Klingon romance novels. And it's also turning out to be one hell of a technical manual. End personal log.

STARDATE 50906.05:

Made a bet with B'Elanna. I bet that that the problem in the navigational conduits came from an anodyne relay. Naturally, I won. Which means we'll be using the new Klingon martial arts program I had just created inside Holodeck Two, tonight. Besides, it would be good for her. I love B'Elanna, but I wish she would be more willing to embrace her Klingon side. She doesn't realize that the combination of her two heritages make her so intriguing. Unique. Maybe this program will be the first step in the right direction for her. Maybe. End personal log.

STARDATE 50913.69:

God, she can be so damn stubborn! Would it have really hurt her to deliver the death blow? It's goddamn holoprogram, after all! (Pauses) Shit! I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm . . . now where in the hell are my trousers? Oh. There they are. (Pauses) Where was I? Oh yeah. B'Elanna and the martial arts program. (Sighs) Maybe it was a mistake to trick her into making that bet. She didn't m-m-m-phf-f-f-. . . (Sighs) mind at first. But when she had to deliver the final blow, she froze all of a sudden. I guess the idea of giving in to her Klingon side had appalled her. Instead, she stormed out of the holodeck. If we hadn't encountered that alien in the corridor, she probably would have gutted me with her bat'leth. Doc was right. I must like to live dangerously. (Sighs) Time to deal with our new visitor. End personal log.

STARDATE 50918.73:

Another bizarre adventure in the Delta Quadrant for Voyager's intrepid crew. For the second time, we had our ship taken from us. Only the Nyrians used more subtle methods than Seska and the Kazons. Very clever, really. They transported the crew, one-by-one, to their habitat . . . or prison. While they were transporting us off the ship, they transported their fellow Nyrians to Voyager. The gentleman B'Elanna and I had stumbled across on Deck Six, turned out to be the first . . . and leader of the whole operation. The Captain and Tuvok eventually discovered a way to regain Voyager . . . but not before B'Elanna and I ended up in another argument.

While on the Nyrian habitat, B'Elanna and I managed to make peace over our first argument. But good old Doc opened his big fat mouth . . . Okay, it wasn't all his fault. Maybe I shouldn't have agreed to his comment about B'Elanna's tendency to push people away. But the Doc was right. She does use her temper to keep others at a distance. Just as B'Elanna was right . . . (Sighs) She was right that I used humor to hide my own feelings. B'Elanna shut down the Doc's vocal subroutines to keep him from making it worse between us. It didn't help. By then, I had lost my temper and told her that she was afraid of making friends, and walked away before she could reply.

We made up - again. Of course, not after our little adventure in the Nyrian habitat. Dodging Nyrians in something that resembled the Artic Circle was no mean feat. Nor was preventing B'Elanna from succumbing to hypothermia. We eventually found ourselves back in the Voyager compound - with our arms wrapped around each other. Very embarrassing. I think Nagasawa was laughing. After our return to Voyager, B'Elanna found me in Holodeck One. We didn't say much, but we made our peace. And the smile she had on her face . . . God, it was beautiful! And so is she. End personal log.

STARDATE 50950.19:

B'Elanna and I were supposed to meet for lunch, this afternoon. Instead, I found her inside Holodeck Two, in the middle of a program. It seemed someone had created a program called Insurrection Alpha and it's all about a Maquis takeover aboard Voyager. It seemed so intriguing that I asked B'Elanna to reset it for me. The main character is a Starfleet Security ensign, who joins the mutiny out of his or her dislike of Tuvok. Only I botched it up. First, I betrayed Chakotay by warning Tuvok on the Bridge. Then, I rejoined the mutiny and ended up cleaning plasma conduits. Disappointing way to end a good story. End personal log.

STARDATE 50953.4:

I've decided to play along as a full-fledged mutineer. I hope it's more fun this time. End personal log.

STARDATE 50955.38:

What a relief it is to be finally out of the holodeck. I never thought I would say that, but I never thought I would be trapped inside one of the holodecks, trying to keep from getting murdered by a holographic Seska.

And to think, all of this came about, due to the imagination of one Lieutenant Tuvok, Chief of Security. During the early months of our journey, he had fears of a Maquis mutiny and created a program to prepare his junior officers for such an event. When his fears proved groundless, he abandoned the program. Unfortunately, Seska discovered Insurrection Alpha, about a month before she left and made some . . . adjustments. In case Tuvok decided to complete the program. Well, two years and five months later, Tuvok decided to complete it - after I had volunteered to do the same, myself.

Seska really laid out some traps for us. Which included getting shot by Chakotay, having the Doc put nitric acid on my wound, nearly being incinerated in one of the Jeffries tubes and execution by Seska. Whew! Thanks goodness the Captain added an attack by aliens to delay our execution. And thank goodness Tuvok managed to booby-trap that phaser. End personal log.


The Captain and others had suggested that Tuvok and I create a new story, together. Sounds like a good idea. Maybe I should follow B'Elanna's advice and add a little passion to it. A romance between characters similar to a handsome hotshot pilot and a feisty engineer, perhaps? End personal log.

STARDATE 50974.8:

We had a party for Kes, today. Ironically, it wasn't to celebrate her birthday, since that happened some four days ago. In some possible future, Kes became infected by chronoton radiation and later, began traveling backward in time. B'Elanna and the Doc found a way to bring her back in temporal sync with the rest of us. Kes didn't say very much on what happened . . . or should I say, what will happen. In fact, she seemed eager to write a report on a certain race of aliens we might encounter. Not long after B'Elanna, Harry and I left the Resort, we encountered her and again, tried to get more information on the future. She continued to be mum on the subject. However, she gave me the oddest look. I wonder why. End personal log.

STARDATE 50979.46:

Sad news today. Ensign Ane Jetal died from wounds she had suffered in an alien attack. Both she and Harry had been wounded pretty badly, during an Away mission. I was in Sickbay, when the Doc dragged me into assisting them. Kes was unavailable at the time. Poor Doc. He had the unfortunate task of choosing who to treat first - Harry or Ane. He chose Harry and Ensign Jetal died. End personal log.

STARDATE 50982.65:

Something happened to the Doc, this afternoon. He went beserk in the Mess Hall, not long after Ensign Jetal's memorial service. I guess he felt guilty for being unable to save her. The Captain decided to wipe his memory of the entire incident, much to Kes' distress. I heard she was furious. But not even Kes' anger was able to change the Captain's mind. End personal log.

STARDATE 50984.94:

Very chilling experience, this morning. B'Elanna came across what happened to our missing probe. It turns out it has been discovered by the Borg. Now it's official. Voyager has entered the heart of Borg space. You know, the idea of settling on some planet, light years away doesn't sound all that bad. End personal log.

STARDATE 50986.02:

Not long after our discovery of being in Borg space, preparation for surviving the upcoming journey began. The Captain had planned on taking the ship through an area unaffected by the Borg called the Northwest Passage. Only one problem. We would be traveling through a space affected by spatial distortions. But that's not all. The Borg is also on the run. It seems they are being hunted down by another race. It was a sight to behold - all those cubes zooming by, practically ignoring us. One cube did bother to stop and scan us. But it turned around and followed the others. Tuvok later discovered that all of the cubes had been destroyed. He had also picked up a strange reading. The Captain has ordered him, Chakotay and Harry to investigate. All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not going. End personal log.

STARDATE 50987.24:

Harry, Tuvok and Chakotay's little Away mission nearly ended in disaster. And if the Doc doesn't find a way to help Harry, disaster might just happen. (Sighs) Harry is in serious trouble. The Away mission came across an alien aboard a Borg cube filled with dead and injured drones. According to the data that Tuvok had collected, the Borg called these aliens, Species 8472. And according to Kes' telepathic flashes, Species 8472 are determined to wipe out the galaxy. If that's so, why are they only going after Borg targets? Poor Harry had an encounter with one and now his cells are being eradicated inside out. The Doc is trying to keep him stabilized. I only hope that he succeeds. End personal log.

STARDATE 50988.54:

The Captain has made her decision. We're going to form an alliance with the Borg. Judging from the expression on Chakotay's face, I guess he thinks it's a bad idea. And I have to admit . . . I heartily agree. I'm not saying that we should form an alliance with Species 8472, but Kes' visions aside, we don't really know much about the war between them and the Borg. But, she is the captain, so . . . a Borg alliance it is. God! An M-class planet would really look great right about now. End personal log.

STARDATE 50991.02:

Just have time for another break. I feel as if I've been glued to the Helm station for the past three days. Well, the Captain has her alliance with the Borg. She also found herself stuck on one of the cubes, after an attack by a Species 8472 bio-ship. However, she's still alive. And unassimilated. She ordered Chakotay to match the cube's speed. Not a difficult thing to. And there is more good news. Harry has recovered. I don't know what miracle the Doc had performed, but performed one, he did and Harry is alive and completely recovered. End personal log.

STARDATE 50993.46:

Species 8472 struck again and destroyed the cube that the Captain and Tuvok were on. Fortunately, we managed to beam them off before it blew up. Both the Captain and Tuvok were injured. However, in the Captain's case, her injuries were severe and now Chakotay is in command. We also have five Borg drones in Cargo Bay Two from the now destroyed cube. (Sighs) What is the point in complaining? If all of us get out of this alive, it will be a miracle bigger than the one Doc had performed on Harry. End personal log.

STARDATE 50995.84:

We did it! We defeated Species 8472, thanks to those new weapons developed by the Doc, Tuvok and that Borg drone. We destroyed a few bio-ships in fluidic space and destroyed more in normal space. Species 8472 have ended the war. Unfortunately, our lone Borg drone, who survived Chakotay's purge of Cargo Bay Two, tried to send Voyager to the nearest Borg cube to have us assimilated. The Captain and Chakotay overcame their differences and came up with a plan to stop her. It worked, but not before she knocked me down on the Bridge. Ouch! Chakotay and B'Elanna were able to disconnect her from the Borg Collective and now, she's stuck aboard Voyager. With us. End personal log.

STARDATE 50999.37:

We've survived the Borg and Species 8472. And since today is New Year's Eve, Neelix and I have decided to host a party on Holodeck One, using the Resort program. After five days of being in the middle of a galactic war, we need a little fun. Harry and I were supposed to escort B'Elanna to the party. But I asked Lyndsay Ballard to talk him into escorting her, so I could have B'Elanna to myself. I hope my plan works.

I just realized that today marks the end of 2373. Looking back, I have to admit that it has been one bizarre year. We started out battling the Kazon and ended up fighting even more dangerous adversaries. And we even got to Earth - well, in the wrong century, but it was Earth. More importantly . . . at least for me, I've fallen in love. Twice, actually. The first time, I had to leave Rain behind in the late 20th century Earth. Too bad. She was one of the few people I had an immediate connection with. As for the second time, I can only hope that I'll have better luck in the following year. That is, if B'Elanna can finally let her guard down. Oh well. Happy New Year. And end personal log.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

"The Helmsman's Log - 2373" - 1/2

I am continuing with the saga of Lieutenant Tom Paris' personal experiences with the Voyager crew. The following focuses upon Voyager's third year in the Delta Quadrant.


SUMMARY: The third in a collection of Tom Paris' personal logs during Voyager's seven years in the Delta Quadrant. Part 3 focuses upon the ship's third year, 2373.
FEEDBACK: - I would appreciate constructive feedback. Thank you.
DISCLAIMER: Tom Paris and all other characters related to Star Trek Voyager belong to Paramount, Viacom, Rick Berman, the Roddenberry family and other Trek producers.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This covers episodes from the last Season 2 episode, "Basics, Part 1" to the first Season 4 episode, "Scorpion, Part 2".


Part 1

STARDATE 50004.23:

Voyager just had its first battle with the Kazon-Nistrim since entering the Gema system. It wasn't much, considering that we only encountered a Kazon shuttle that managed to disable our secondary command processors. End personal log.

STARDATE 50010.35:

We just sustained another attack by a small Kazon ship. And for the second time, the attack disabled our secondary command processors, before we could finish repairing it. We've endured two attacks and already, Harry is nervous. I don't blame him. I have a feeling that there is a reason behind these attacks on the secondary command sub-processors. And if so, Seska is still alive. Only she could think of a reason to target that particular area. End personal log.

STARDATE 50020.72:

Don't have much time to complete a log entry. Voyager has just sustained a fourth attack by the Kazon. All of the previous attacks have been by sects other than the Nistrim. And they have also targeted the secondary command processors. Now, even the Captain is becoming paranoid. Voyager is no longer in communication range with the Talaxians at Prema II. I don't know. I only hope that the Doc's plan to use the echo displacement works. One last note - I heard from Ayala that Chakotay had a fight with Tiena, before ordering him to secured quarters on Deck 8. Right next door to Lon Suder. They ought to keep each other company. End personal log.

STARDATE 50023.13:

I'm making this log entry from the shuttlecraft, Cochrane. While engaged in a major battle with the Kazon-Nistrim, yesterday, there was an explosion on Deck 8. From Tiena's quarters, not surprisingly. Anyway, I asked the Captain to give me permission to take a shuttle and contact the Talaxians for help. I barely managed to escape. Kazon weapons managed to damage the shuttle. Fortunately, I repaired all of the damages. Now all I have to do is (a klaxon signal) . . . Huh? What the hell? What the hell is wrong now? End personal log.

STARDATE 50026.43:

I've regained control of Voyager . . . with help from Commander Paxim and the Talaxians, the Doctor and get this, Lon Suder. God, what an unlikely bunch we made. Well, except for the Talaxians. Thank goodness Suder managed to avoid capture when the Kazon and Seska took control of the ship, or my plan would have never worked.

As for Suder, the poor bastard is dead. Along with Seska and most of the Kazon. Cullah, his baby and a handful of his men had fled using one of the escape pods. Although the ship's computer is back online, the Doctor's program isn't and we have some work to do. Hopefully, the crew is still alive on Hanon IV. I may be a good holoprogrammer, but I don't know if I can repair the holoemitter systems in Sick Bay. End personal log.

STARDATE 50032.65:

I am one tired man, but a happy one. The crew has managed to survive the latest threat from the Kazon-Nistrim. Well, most of us. Poor Lon Suder was killed by the Kazon. Simon Hogan and Seda Abdalla were killed by some giant land eel on Hanon IV. We held services for all three in the Observation Lounge, yesterday. Suder's body was ejected into space. Seska and the dead Kazon were buried on Hanon IV.

Today, the crew held a party at Sandrine's. I would have remained longer, but I was simply too tired. Megan Delaney invited me for dinner, tomorrow night. I accepted. Everyone offered their gratitude to both the Doctor and me. Doc seemed to be eating up the attention. Me, I just wanted to return to my quarters for some much needed rest.

Before I could leave, B'Elanna waylaid me and dragged me to a private corner. Away from prying eyes, it seemed. She wanted to thank me for saving the crew from the hell of Hanon IV. Of course, she didn't have to drag me all the way to a corner to do that. And I almost said so. Until I looked into her eyes. (Pauses) Wait, what I meant was . . . Okay, I might as well confess. I don't know. When I looked into B'Elanna's eyes, for a brief moment, I felt this . . . I don't know . . . feeling? Electricity? I'm not going to go into some rapture about lost souls bonding and nonsense like that. Let's just say that I had felt . . . goosebumps. And I had to get out of there, fast. Only B'Elanna beat me to the punch. She gave me a quick good-bye and disappeared before I could open my mouth. I had this urge to go after her, but (Pauses) maybe some other time. I need to figure this out. End personal log.

STARDATE 50051.85:

That feeling I had about B'Elanna, a week ago? It was all in my mind. It had to be. I certainly didn't feel anything special when I had dinner with her and Harry in the Mess Hall, this evening. Everything seemed normal between us. (Pauses and sighs) Okay, maybe I'm lying. I practically had trouble breathing all night long. And my eyes tend to linger on her rear end, while we played pool inside Sandrine's, after dinner. I think I better stay away from B'Elanna for a while. I wonder if Megan Delaney will be available for dinner, tomorrow? End personal log.

STARDATE 50078.65:

Another attempt to return to the Alpha Quadrant has gone bust. This time, we have a pair of Ferengi con men to thank. They had arrived in the Delta Quadrant, via the Barzan wormhole. In fact, they turned out to be the same Ferengi who had disappeared some seven years ago. Voyager would have used the wormhole to reach the Gamma Quadrant. Unfortunately, we had to prevent the Ferengi from robbing the citizens of Takar. And once we got the Ferengi aboard ship, they managed to escape through the wormhole. And not before destabilizing the damn thing with a graviton probe from their shuttle. Oh well, such is life. Poor Harry is practically crying in his Leola root stew. End personal log.

STARDATE 50092.82:

Can you believe it? Ensign Freddie Barstow tried to ask B'Elanna out for a date. That kid? Not even Harry seem that green. I'm happy to say that B'Elanna turned him down. Smart woman. End personal log.

STARDATE 50128.51:

I'd never thought I would be happy to get away from Harry. He's been babbling about Tuvok and the Captain's mind meld all evening long. Our encounter with a Type 17 nebula that contained sirillium, led to a resurgence of old memories that Tuvok had suppressed. The only way to help him seemed to be a Vulcan mind meld with a family member or close friend. Namely, the Captain. According to Harry, the meld revealed that Tuvok had once served aboard the U.S.S. Excelsior, under the legendary Captain Hikaru Sulu.

Ever since Harry learned that little tidbit, he has been in a sweat over Starfleet history. Quite frankly, it was a subject that has never interested me. Harry couldn't understand, considering my love of history. Sure, I love history - but only Earth's history, before the creation of the Federation and Starfleet. Unlike many others, I have never found either topic interesting. Especially after having them jammed down my throat for so many years by the Admiral. I think Harry was a bit put off by my attitude. End personal log.

STARDATE 50147.33:

Voyager has arrived at an M-class planet called Akritiri. After establishing the usual diplomatic ties, the Akritirian government gave us permission to enjoy shore leave on the planet's surface. Harry and I have made plans to visit Akritiri, tomorrow, following Alpha shift. B'Elanna agreed to join us. That is, if Engineering can complete the repairs on the EPS conduits on Deck 10. In other words, it will probably be just Harry and me. End personal log.

STARDATE 50165.86:

Akritiri. Huh! Another quaint little alien world, visited by Voyager, during its journey through the Delta Quadrant. Ah, Akritiri! I shall never forget it - with its sophisticated civilization, terrorist bombings and brutal justice system. I still have fond memories of the Akritirian security that interrogated me for two days, before tossing me into some dreary prison.

(Sighs) I can't believe that I survived two to three days in that hellhole! Especially with that damn clamp implanted into my skull. It was bad enough that the Akritirians dumped their prisoners in that damn prison ship. Did they have to force us to endure the clamp, as well? What was the point in stimulating our aggressive tendencies? Cheap thrills, perhaps?

It's funny. When Harry came down that chute, I had no idea that he would end up protecting me. How ironic! A hardened ex-convict being protected by a green ensign, just two years out of Starfleet Academy. If only I hadn't been stabbed by one of Pitt's henchmen. I really don't know what happened after that. Aside from warning Harry to look after himself. I do have hazy memories of us fighting over a pipe, dreaming about Megan Delaney, and Harry warning the other inmates to stay away from me. But other than that . . . nothing.

Thank goodness, the Captain, Tuvok and a few others came to our rescue. Another day in that hellhole and I would have been dead. Kes and the Doctor had informed me that my knife wound had become infected. Poor Harry would have ended up out of his mind, like his friend, Zio. Him and his damn manifesto! He can keep it, as far as I'm concerned.

Harry is still a little out of it, despite my assurances that I don't blame him for assaulting me. I thought a lie would help. Keep him succumbing to guilt and depression. Believe me, I've been down that road before. I also suggested a little feast to celebrate our rescue from prison. Maybe I should invite the Delaney sisters. End personal log.

STARDATE 50168.04:

The feast to celebrate our rescue from the Akritirian prison turned out nice. Harry and I replicated so many dishes that I can't remember them all.

(Pauses) Okay, so I lied about enjoying myself. The evening could have been better, but Harry continued to brood over what happened in that prison. The Delaneys couldn't make it and we ended up inviting B'Elanna to join us. That would not have been so bad, except she spent most of the evening trying to snap Harry out of his funk. Even worse, I had a nightmare, later that night. A nightmare filled with images of both New Zealand and the Akritirian prison. Christ! When will I ever get over this? End personal log.

STARDATE 50188.13:

While delivering my navigation report to Engineering, I found Barstow asking B'Elanna out. Again. What is with that kid? Doesn't he realize that B'Elanna would eat him alive? End personal log.

STARDATE 50199.11:

While traveling through the Fima system, Voyager came across a ship filled with alien colonists. The Enarans. It seems this particular group was returning to their homeworld after spending decades on a colony. Some of the Enarans have never laid eyes on their homeworld.

They remind me of the Baneans in appearance. For one horrible moment, I found myself thinking of Lidell Ren. Fortunately, there wasn't a murderous adulteress in the bunch. They all seemed pretty nice. And we've discovered that they're also telepathic. Since their ship became incapable of traveling at warp speed, the Captain offered them a lift to Enara Prime. In return, the Enarans have agreed to help make our engines more efficient. Like I said, very nice people. End personal log.

STARDATE 50205.39:

Had a very nice time, this evening. The crew hosted a party for our visitors, in the Mess Hall. Harry really seemed to enjoy himself. He spent most of the evening with this Enaran woman named Jessen. I spent most of my time with the Delaneys. The only person missing was B'Elanna. I wonder what happened to her. Ensign Barstow seemed particularly disappointed by her non-appearance. End personal log.

STARDATE 50211.82:

So much for the Enarans being nice. Last night, B'Elanna came storming into the Mess Hall and accused them of genocide. Apparently, an elderly Enaran named Korenna Mirell, had telepathically passed her memories to B'Elanna. It was through these memories that our chief engineer learned about the genocide of the Regressives, another race that used to reside on Enara Prime. Naturally, Jor Brel and the other Enarans refused to believe her. Nor could the Doctor prove that Korenna Mirell had been murdered. Now that we have arrived at Enara Prime, our guests will be leaving this morning. B'Elanna told us that she had passed Korenna's memories to Jessen, Harry's friend. Maybe word of the Regressive genocide will get around, after all.

Meanwhile, Harry and I tried to get B'Elanna to tell us about Korenna's memories. She revealed everything to us - well, almost. Her early recollections of this man, Dathan, seemed suspiciously vague. Which makes me wonder what really happened. End personal log.

STARDATE 50229.72:

I couldn't believe it when I heard the news. B'Elanna had finally given in to Freddie Barstow. According to Neelix, B'Elanna accepted his offer for a game of Parises Squares. Which means they're on Holodeck Two, right now. Playing. And God knows what else. (Pauses) Wait a minute. I take that back. I don't know what made me think that B'Elanna and Barstow would be doing more than playing Parises Squares. It's not like she has any interest in the little worm. Right? End personal log.

STARDATE 50232.56:

I meant to ask B'Elanna about her date with Freddie Barstow. But for some reason, my nerve failed me. Geez! What the hell is wrong with me, anyway? And why in the hell should I care about what happened between those two? Harry thinks I'm jealous. Ha! Talk about a disillusioned mind! What the hell do I have to be jealous about? I'm not jealous of Barstow. I just don't think he and B'Elanna are suited for each other. End personal log.

STARDATE 50252.3:

While Voyager takes on supplies, Lt. Torres and I are investigating some intermittent sensor readings we picked up this morning. End personal log.

STARDATE 50256.16:

After yesterday's excitement, I felt too tired to make a log entry. I feel a lot better after a night's rest. Yesterday took a lot out of me. Got my nerves zapped by a pair of aliens that boarded the shuttle carrying B'Elanna and me. The Doc's program malfunctioned and Kes ended up saving my life. Whew! While crossing the Swarm's territory, I had to push Voyager to a 9.8 warp speed. Didn't help in the end. The aliens managed to beam to the Bridge and I ended up in a wrestling match with one of them. If the Captain and Harry had not reversed the shield frequency polarization to drive off the Swarm, we would have met the same fate as the crew of that dead alien.

I suppose all well that ends well. But one wouldn't think so after being in Tuvok's gloomy presence. It was obvious that he was still upset over the Captain's decision to break precious Starfleet protocols and ignore his advice. I accused him of being rigid and added that he should be thankful that we managed to shave off 15 months from our journey. He reminded me that he had thought an alliance with the Kazon was a good idea, despite Federation principles. He also added that Voyager was at least 70 years away from the Alpha Quadrant. A fifteen-month detour seemed paltry in comparison. Hell, even I couldn't argue with that.

One last thing - I finally learned what B'Elanna thought about Freddie Barstow. In a nutshell, she considered him a mere child who was lousy at Parises Squares. Her remark encouraged me to do a stupid thing. I asked her out for a date. Apparently, she found the idea of a date with me even more ludicrous than one with Barstow. Well, it's nice to know what she really thinks of me. End personal log.

STARDATE 50282.21:

Just had a date with Renlay Sharr. (Pauses) It was okay. We had dinner on the holodeck and later, ended up in her quarters. It was . . . well, okay. All right, so the earth didn't move. But at least I had a nice . . . time. I think. Geez, I better stop before I end up feeling disappointed. End personal log.

STARDATE 50316.52:

Who would have thought that a sighting of a temporal rift would lead to an exciting adventure? Or the chance of a lifetime to see history unfold right before my eyes? Or give me the opportunity to meet a potential soul mate? Okay, maybe I had exaggerated on that last entry. Rain wasn't a soul mate - just a very interesting, beautiful, intelligent, and witty young woman who happened to share my taste in entertainment. (Pauses) Then again, maybe she was a soul mate. Hell, I'm getting ahead of myself.

It was another day in the Delta Quadrant, when a temporal rift appeared, along with a ship from the 29th century. Can you believe it? The ship's pilot was this pompous fool named Captain Braxton. He accused us of being responsible for a major catastrophe 500 years from now. Apparently, he's part of some Temporal Intelligence Agency that Starfleet will have in the future. Our time traveler tried to destroy us, but thanks to Chakotay, we were able to stop him. Both Braxton's ship and Voyager got sucked into the rift.

Where did we end up? Orbiting around Earth. Twentieth century Earth. In 1996, almost 400 years in the past. Tuvok detected more temporal readings from the North American continent - in Los Angeles. To track down Braxton and his ship, the Captain led an Away team that included her, Chakotay, Tuvok and myself, to the surface. That left Harry in command of the ship. I bet that made him happy.

Late twentieth century Earth must have struck the others as bizarre. Off-the-wall. To be honest, I also found it a little overwhelming, but I still enjoyed it. A lot. For some odd reason, I felt at home. We managed to find Braxton near the beach, but before we could question him, Harry informed us that someone had spotted Voyager orbiting above Earth and made contact with the ship. The Captain ordered Tuvok and me to find this person and extract any data. And that is how I met Rain Robinson.

She worked at the Griffith Observatory, in the Hollywood Hills, above Los Angeles. It was Rain who had detected Voyager's gamma emissions and used an old (well, in 24th century terms) SETI communications greeting to contact the ship. When I first spotted the science-fiction movie posters on her office wall, I wondered if I had found a kindred spirit. And when I finally met her, I knew it. Rain seemed a bit reserved at first. Didn't blame her, there. Especially with two strangers in her office. But once I broke down her defenses - at least I think I did - we warmed to each other right away. She's so intelligent and feisty and beautiful. And at the same time, there seemed to be a vulnerability about her. One of a person who had spent many years, alone.

In the end, Tuvok and I used Rain's help to find the person in possession of Captain Braxton's technology - a businessman named Henry Starling. Fearful of being tracked down, Braxton hired Rain to keep an eye on any extraterrestrials - namely anyone from the future. When she realized that Starling had no intention of keeping her alive, Rain helped us kidnapped him.

With a shuttled manned by Chakotay and B'Elanna, we managed to beam Starling to Voyager. We also learned that the Doctor, whose program had been stolen by Starling, could now exist outside a room with holoemitters. And that Chakotay and B'Elanna's shuttle had crashed somewhere in Arizona.

It almost didn't end well. Starling's personal thug managed to beam him back to Earth with 29th century technology. And I also detected the timeship being moved from Chronowerx in a truck. That turned out to be a trick. Starling still had the timeship in one of his labs and he launched it for his own trip into the future. Fortunately, Tuvok and the Doctor rescued B'Elanna and Chakotay from a group of Arizona militia, repair the shuttle and rescue me from the California desert. And we, along with the Captain and Harry, managed to stop Starling from traveling to the 29th century and creating a catastrophe. Once disaster had been averted, Braxton reappeared - this one had never been on Earth - and returned us to the 24th century Delta Quadrant.

The worst part of all this was saying good-bye to Rain. I knew I had my duty to finish. And I realized I had to return to Voyager. But I didn't want to leave her. And I still wish I hadn't. Rain is probably the first woman - maybe the only one - who accepted me as myself. She didn't mind my ”geeky" nature, she shared my taste in horror B-movies, and she's also a great kisser. I had told her the truth when I said that I had never met anyone like her. God, I'm going to miss her. End personal log.

STARDATE 50333.82:

I think I'm getting on Harry's nerves. Or making him depressed. Perhaps, because I've been mooning over Rain during the past week or so. I didn't think it would be so hard for me to get over her. But it has. I've watched "Orgy of the Walking Dead" and "Bride of the Corpse" practically every day since our adventures in the past. Harry suggested I try out his new volleyball program with him. Unfortunately, volleyball has never been a favorite sport of mine.

I've checked Rain Robinson's name in the computer database. After a brief participation in the Eugenics War, she became a prominent astronomer for NASA. She even participated in the Ares program, including John Kelly's famous flight in 2032. Rain married a writer from Mexico named Diego Salazar. They had a daughter and son, before they got divorced after fifteen years of marriage. In 2053, ten years before First Contact, Rain was killed during a bombardment by the then Eastern Coalition. She was 73 years old. End personal log.

STARDATE 50341.96:

Had dinner with Harry and B'Elanna. It was nice. We joked a bit. B'Elanna and I told Harry more stories about our experiences on Earth. I also mentioned the information I found on Rain. Maybe I was imagining things, but B'Elanna seemed . . . I don't know, irritated. Huh. Even stranger was her reaction when I mentioned Rain's husband and children. I wonder why. End personal log.

STARDATE 50347.06:

We rescued three aliens from a ship leaking with radiation. It was also in danger of destruction from a core breach. Harry beamed them to Sick Bay, where they were treated by the Doc and Kes. One of them died. We discovered that they were from a planet called Ilari and Voyager is heading there to deliver the survivors to their people.

Also, Neelix introduced the crew to his new holoprogram. It's a recreation of the Paxau Resort, a popular holiday resort for wealthy Talaxians. It was nice. Sort of. Well, it did seemed a bit too formal for Harry and me. I added a few changes and addition to the program. You know, exotic drinks, Calypso music from Earth's Caribbean region, and more relaxed clothing for the resort's employees. Harry added one special feature - beautiful and scantily-clad females from his volleyball program. He claimed they were the Swedish volleyball team from some past Olympic games. You know, not only has Harry learned to put Libby behind him, I think he's developing a roving eye for the ladies. Good for him. End personal log.

STARDATE 50349.88:

Harry and I found B'Elanna using the resort program. Even I had to admit that she looked great in her blue swim suit. It fitted in all the right places. Ahem! Too bad she brought along that overdeveloped lapdog with her. I thought she had better taste in men than that. End personal log.

STARDATE 50358.7:

Just got back from commiserating with poor Neelix. Poor guy still can't believe that Kes has ended their romance for good. Come to think of it, neither can I. Neelix had thought Tiernan's possession of Kes was to blame for her sudden distant behavior. As it turned out, Tiernan only tapped into Kes' real feelings.

And who is Tiernan? Oh, just this warlord from the 22nd century, who started out as a war hero on Ilari and became a tyrant. His people eventually ousted him and Tiernan's conscience or spirit has spent the past two centuries, using host bodies to reclaim his position as Autarch of Ilari. He was in the body of the Ilarian who had died from radiation exposure, four days ago. Only, once that host body died, he took possession of Kes. Using her body, Tiernan stole a shuttle and reconquered Ilari. Tuvok tried to rescue Kes, but was captured, instead. The Captain, Chakotay, Neelix, a Security team, myself and a few Ilarians eventually conducted a raid on the planet's surface and rescued Kes and Tuvok.

Voyager got Kes back, but Neelix lost her in the end. Poor guy. I know exactly how he feels. In fact, I said so before I told him about Susie Crabtree. End personal log.

STARDATE 50372.46:

There are times I wish I could stuff Harry into the nearest airlock and space him! I think Ensign Kim has romance on the brain. Or maybe sex. Maybe he's been hanging around that volleyball team of his, too long. What in the hell made him think that I'm jealous of some damn holo character? It's ridiculous! Why on earth would I be jealous of B'Elanna's little holostud? He's just some muscle-bound creep who massages her every time she visits the Resort. Might as well be a professional masseuse! End personal log.

STARDATE 50382.83:

Today marked the third time a Starfleet crew witnessed a supernova. The first two supernovas had been witnessed by the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, under James Kirk's command - Minara in 2268 and Beta Niobe in 2269. Since Astrophysics was one of my majors at the Academy, I would have found the phenomenon exciting. Except, I was too concerned with getting Voyager out of the way of the star's fusion explosion. Still, it was a great sight.

Oh, one last thing - Q paid the Captain a visit in her quarters, later that day. That's right, he's back. And it seems that he wants to mate with her. Yeah, right! I wonder what he really wanted. End personal log.

STARDATE 50387.74:

Once more, Voyager's crew made history. Not only did we become the second Starfleet crew to witness a supernova, we ended up witnessing three of them. All because of the Q Continuum's civil war. The supernovas were side effects of the battles in the war. And we were wrong about Q. He really did want to mate with the Captain. He wanted omnipotent Q baby with human DNA to usher in some kind of new era for the Continuum. And stop the civil war.

The female Q, who wanted nothing more than to prevent her "beloved" and the Captain from procreating, helped Voyager enter the Continuum and stop the war. The Continuum actually resembled a battlefield from the American Civil War of the 19th century. Interesting. I even managed to get the drop on Q's nemesis. With a weapon harmful to omnipotent beings, of course. Frankly, I'm glad the whole thing is over. Both Qs managed to get on my nerves. Especially that female Q. Thanks to her, I have a new nickname - Helmboy. (Pause) Bitch. End personal log.


I forgot to add that I've decided to surrender and enjoy Harry's little collection of Swedish beauties. Who knew they would turn out to be such great masseuses? Besides, I might as well surrender. I'm not interested in any particular woman aboard ship. And I can't keep brooding over Rain forever. Especially since she is over 68,000 light years away and 377 years in the past. Oh well. End personal log.

STARDATE 50402.58:

I saw that B'Elanna has stopped using her little holostud in the Resort. She didn't have to. Not on my account. All I did was comment that he reminded me of Heller Prisco, a cadet I had known at the Academy. Prisco was known as a body building fanatic who had graduated second from the bottom of my class. It's not that I was comparing the holostud's IQ with Prisco's . . . or anything like that. I guess B'Elanna felt otherwise. End personal log.

STARDATE 50418.35:

Voyager came into contact with a new race called the Tak Tak. Since we're in dire need of foodstuff and dilithium, the Captain decided to trade some of our deuterium for them. She asked Neelix to accompany her to the Tak Tak homeworld. Guess whom Neelix asked to take care of the Mess Hall in his absence? That's right. Yours truly. (Sighs) Why can't I be the bastard that many already believe I am? End personal log.

STARDATE 50428.3:

I hope that Neelix never asks me to temporarily take over his Mess Hall duties again. Especially after what happened. Okay, the whole trouble didn't start in the Mess Hall, but on a mining colony called Garan that had been inflicted by some kind of outbreak. The Doc went on an Away mission to respond to the colony's medical distress call. He ended up returning to the ship with these macroviruses. It seemed they were attracted to his photon light and the ship's biofilters weren't able to detect them. And the entire crew ended up being infected.

Right now, I don't have much of an appetite. Especially after the events of yesterday. I especially don't have an appetite for any of Neelix's food. I guess facing a hungry crowd after burning a pot roast, getting infected by those macroviruses and seeing lavaflies pour out of B'Elanna's neck did the trick.

Speaking of B'Elanna, (Sighs) she's okay, thank goodness. She was the first to be infected after bursting that gel pack in the Mess Hall. I must say - she does have a sadistic wit. Maybe I shouldn't have teased her about Engineering's technical abilities. I couldn't help it. I guess it was my way of (Pauses) well . . . (Sighs) Oh God! I might as well admit it. I was trying to flirt with her. There! I . . . flirted . . . with . . . B'Elanna Torres. That wasn't so hard. Right? Right!

At least one good thing came out of this whole mess. The Captain decided to give the crew a little R and R to recover from the macroviruses. The duty shifts have been shortened for today. I heard that Chakotay and a few others plan to go skiing down a Ktarian glacier. Sounds like my kind of fun, but I plan to join Harry and B'Elanna, elsewhere. Paxan Resort, here I come! End personal log.

STARDATE 50431.53:

We've reached the border of the Nekrit Expanse, and a space station called the Nekrit Supply Depot. It's managed by this alien called Bahrat. Friendly fellow. That is, if one can call an emotionless, rigid nut, who charges visitors a 20 percent charge for trading on the station, friendly. The Captain, Chakotay and Neelix will visit the station. Ought to be interesting. End personal log.

STARDATE 50437.46:

I should have known when Neelix started asking questions about Caldik Prime that something was up. Too bad I didn't act on my suspicions and ask Neelix what was bugging him. If I had, Chakotay and I would have been spared from arrest and imprisonment for murder and trading in illegal substances.

But Neelix had it worse. Not only did his old friend, Wixiban, lure him into trouble, but also blackmailed him into getting a small supply of warp plasma particles from Voyager. Thankfully, Neelix finally found the guts to confess what happened to Bahrat and the Captain. He and Wixiban drummed up a plot to expose the drug trade that flourished on the station. Chakotay and I were finally released. Janeway punished Neelix by ordering him to scrub the deuterium exhaust manifolds for the next two weeks. As much as I feel sorry for Neelix, it's a hell of a lot better than spending the next 50 years in cryostasis suspension. End personal log.

STARDATE 50451.76:

Is it just me or is Vorik being unusually attentive to B'Elanna, lately? (Pauses) Nah! I must be imagining things. Or else Vorik is bucking for a promotion. Don't get me wrong. I like Vorik. He's a lot friendlier than Tuvok. Still, the idea of him and B'Elanna . . . (Sighs) What the hell is the matter with me? I sound like a jealous idiot and I don't have a reason to be jealous. I think my brain cells have gone soft. End personal log.

STARDATE 50460.17:

That little Vulcan worm! I should have known he was up to something! There I was, looking forward to a nice evening at Neelix's luau at the Resort. Hell, I even wore my favorite shirt - my Big Daddy-O Hawaiian shirt. Okay, B'Elanna made a few disparaging comments about it, but I decided to ignore it. After all, I liked it. And I liked B'Elanna's dress even more. She did look stunning . . . and tropical.

B'Elanna, Harry, Vorik and I had made plans to stick together during the luau. Only Harry almost didn't show up, because he was in a sweat over some hologram he had met in the Resort. Would you believe it? He went to Tuvok for advice on how to get over his infatuation. A Vulcan who would only try to get him to suppress his emotions, for crying out loud!

Speaking of Vulcans, that little backstabber, Vorik, managed to reserve seats with a - for B'Elanna and himself only. Hell, I was too surprised to give him a much deserved broken jaw. Come to think of it, I don't know if I have the strength to break a Vulcan's jaw. And how did I spend my evening? Let's just say that with Harry ending up pissed at Tuvok for spending time with that hologram and B'Elanna enjoying a dinner and a view with Vorik, I didn't exactly have a swell time. What a waste of a great shirt! End personal log.

STARDATE 50520.4:

The Captain nearly died from injuries suffered after a shuttle crash. Fortunately, Chakotay managed to keep her alive before he could contact Voyager. We eventually found them and the Doc beamed to the planet's surface to treat her injuries. Thank God he managed to save her. End personal log.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"THE MOTHER" (2004) Photo Gallery

Below is a gallery of photos from the 2004 movie, "THE MOTHER". Directed by Roger Michell, the movie is about a recently widowed English grandmother who has a passionate affair with a man half her age. This same man is also sleeping with her daughter. The movie stars Anne Reid ("CORONATION STREET", "HOT FUZZ" ), Daniel Craig ("MUNICH", "CASINO ROYALE") and Cathryn Bradshaw ("BERT RIGBY, YOU'RE A FOOL").

"THE MOTHER" (2004)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Notes and Observations on "STAR WARS III - Revenge of the Sith"


Notes and Observations

The following is a list of minor notes and observations that came to me, during my recent viewing of “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith”. I hope that you enjoy them

*How ironic that this story begins with the “rescue” of Chancellor Palpatine – the very person who has exploited the Jedi’s weaknesses to bring about their downfall. I wonder if both Anakin and Obi-Wan ever came to regret the success of their mission.

*I noticed how both Anakin and Obi-Wan seemed to be flying in perfect sync with each other in the opening sequences. And yet, as they get closer to Palpatine (who is “being held prisoner” aboard Grievous’ ship), things begin to go wrong. Perhaps this situation is an allegory of their relationship at this stage of the story.

*”Flying is for droids.” – Odd comment for Obi-Wan to make, considering that his former padawan is such an excellent pilot. Does this mean that Anakin can be viewed as a future droid?

*Poor R4-D17. At least he had three good years with Obi-Wan

*The usually cautious Obi-Wan zips out of his starfighter cockpit in a flash and starts striking down droids. Meanwhile, Anakin takes his time to unfasten his safety restraint and climb out of his cockpit. This might possibly be a sign of how the two men have adopted each other’s way of handling matters. This also reminds me of how both men had dealt with their “animus” nature inside the Geonosis arena in AOTC.

*Notice how both Count Dooku and General Grievous seem to foreshadow Anakin’s future as Darth Vader. Count Dooku represented the Jedi Knight/Master who became Palpatine’s Sith apprentice. Grievous represented the cyborg that Anakin will become.

*R2-D2’s efforts to hide from the Separatist droids must be one of the funniest sequences I have ever seen in a STAR WARS movie.

*”Uh, no loose wire jokes.” – Dear Anakin. It’s nice to see there is one advocate for the droids.

*The Chancellor’s seat on Grievous’ ship strongly reminds me of his throne in ROTJ.

*”Chancellor Palpatine, Sith Lords are our specialty.” – Oh dear. Obi-Wan seemed to be in danger of becoming too self-assured. The last time he had believed that he and Anakin could take out Dooku, Yoda ended up saving them.

*”Good! Twice the pride. Double the fall.” – It seems that Count Dooku is also suffering from the same kind of arrogance.

*Anakin tells Dooku that he has become twice as powerful, since their last encounter on Geonosis. How is it that despite the loss of an arm, his connection to the Force has strengthened? Makes me wonder if Lucas’ comment that Anakin’s loss of limbs on Mustafar had weakened his connection to the Force is a lot of bull.

*Anakin and Obi-Wan’s pride and aggression nearly cost them in their second duel against Dooku. Only Dooku’s own pride and arrogance saved them in the long run.

*Dooku had been right to criticize Anakin for not using his anger in their lightsaber duel. When Anakin finally did, he pretty much had it in control . . . until Palpatine convinced him to lose that control and kill Dooku.

*I also noticed that unlike Obi-Wan and Dooku, Anakin’s lightsaber skills do not seem as flashy as theirs. His style seemed to be similar to Qui-Gon and Mace – very direct and with very little complicated moves.

*I could not help but wonder what was going through Palpatine’s mind, when his life – along with Anakin and Obi-Wan’s – were in danger, while trying to escape from Grievous’ ship.

*”General Grievous . . . you’re shorter than I had expected.” – Hmm, now I see from whom Leia had inherited her sardonic manner.

*Has Obi-Wan become a little too cocky about his skills? He had chopped off the head of a Magna guard and walked away . . . only to be surprised to learn that it could still fight.

*Meanwhile, Anakin managed to show a predilection for patience – only in the wrong situation. It almost seemed as if an alien spirit had taken control of his body. Obi-Wan noticed and quite wisely disapproved. He knew that Anakin was not being true to himself.

*General Grievous’s escape from his ship struck me as being quite daring and masterful. I could also say the same about how Anakin had landed Grievous’ ship on Coruscant. As Obi-Wan said, “Another happy landing.”

*For the first time, I had noticed that the skies of Coruscant were cloudy . . . overcast. They seemed to hint the rising storm that will eventually erupt throughout the Republic.

*Was that Lucas’ daughter – a blue-skinned alien – amongst the welcoming committee for Palpatine?

*This is rare – Leia’s future father and stepfather actually have a scene together.

*Although Padme seemed to be wearing Leia’s infamous bun hairdo, I noticed that her hairstyle is slightly different.

*The moment that Anakin expressed his desire to end the deception over his marriage to Padme, she quickly opposed the idea. She must have been afraid of facing the consequences of their deception.

*John Williams’ score for this movie seemed darker and more martial than anything else heard in a STAR WARS movie. Has anyone else noticed this?

*I simply love the shot of Padme brushing her hair on the balcony, while Anakin watches her. Very romantic.

*”So, love has blinded you?” –Padme may have been speaking of Anakin. Then again, she may have been speaking of herself. Or both.

*It is interesting that Anakin has been reluctant to express his troubles to Padme. This must have been the case ever since his murder of the Tusken Raiders on Tatooine. One would say that all is not paradise with their marriage. But I must say . . . if their marriage had seemed like paradise, I would have been suspicious.

*The scene between Anakin and Yoda struck me as being rather cold. I wonder if this had been the first time Anakin had sought the counsel of the Jedi Master.

*I am curious as to why Obi-Wan had never exerted more effort to discourage Anakin’s friendship with Palpatine.

*I find it interesting that Anakin seemed more disturbed by the Jedi Council’s suggestion that he spy upon Palpatine than he was by the latter’s suggestion that he does the same with the Jedi Council. Especially after he had insisted that Anakin join the Council.

*After Mace reveals the Jedi Council’s decision not to make Anakin a Master, I noticed that both he and Obi-Wan seemed to express momentary flashes of guilt. And Yoda seemed to be making an attempt to distance himself from Anakin’s reaction by closing his eyes for a brief moment.

*Of course, Anakin’s reaction to the decision did seem very immature, as indicated by Mace’s order that he take a seat. But after Anakin had apologized for his outburst, Obi-Wan shook his head in silent disapproval of his former padawan.

*”It’s what you wanted. Your friendship with Chancellor Palpatine seemed to have paid off.” – For those who claimed that Obi-Wan understood Anakin very well, really need to read the above statement or watch that scene again. Why would Obi-Wan assume that Anakin had used his friendship with Palpatine to become a member of the Jedi Council? Why would he accuse Anakin of harboring ambitions to become a Council member, when he had admonished Qui-Gon, years earlier, for failing to reach such an achievement? What a curious man.

*If Obi-Wan was against Anakin spying on Palpatine, why did he insist that the young Knight accept the assignment in the first place? And why didn’t Anakin act on his feelings and refuse the assignment? I believe this scene is a clear case of Obi-Wan failing Anakin . . . and Anakin failing himself.

*Someone once stated that Padme had maintained her idealism of the Republic to the bitter end. And yet, in one scene, she tries to convince Anakin that the Republic was in danger of becoming the very evil she had opposed for so long.

*Why did Padme ask Anakin to discuss ending the war with Palpatine? I can see why he was upset. Like the Jedi, Padme seemed willing to use Anakin to further her own agenda regarding Palpatine.

*I noticed that Padme managed to change the subject from politics to personal matters in the same way Anakin had done during the Naboo picnic scene in AOTC.

*”All who gain power are afraid to lose it.” – Who would have thought that Palpatine would utter the very words that seemed to be the theme of the Prequel Trilogy. His words – more or less – seemed to describe all of the major characters. Including himself.

*Anakin must have been very desperate to believe Palpatine’s claim that he had knowledge of a way to save Padme through the use of the Force.

*Why was the Jedi Council so determined to refrain Anakin from going to Utaapau? Was their decision a reaction to the revelation that Palpatine had suggested that Anakin take part in that military operation?

*I wonder what was going through Anakin’s mind when he and Obi-Wan spoke for the last time as friends.

*So, not only does Anakin believe that the Jedi Council mistrust him, but also Obi-Wan. And I don’t know if he was right or wrong.

*”You expect too much of yourself.” – Padme was right. No wonder Anakin was determined to save her from death. A way to make up for Shmi’s death, perhaps?

*I like the look and style of the official that greeted Obi-Wan on Utaapau.

*Once again, Obi-Wan manages to remind me that he can be a little too arrogant in dealing with opponents. Facing Grievous turned out to be more difficult than had possibly imagined. Even if the Separatist general could barely use a lightsaber with barely any skill.

*I find it fascinating that the Jedi Council would even consider getting rid of Palpatine without the Senate’s authority. Even if it meant accepting Ki-Adi Mundi’s suggestion that the Council take control of the Senate.

*Palpatine was right that one must accept all aspects of nature – both the light and the dark. What he had failed to add was that the Sith were just as narrow and dogmatic in their view of the Force, as the Jedi.

*”So uncivilized.” - There’s nothing like a good blaster at your side, eh Obi-Wan?

*”For your own good, stay out of this affair. I sense a great deal of confusion in you, young Skywalker. There is much fear that clouds your judgment.” – Many people believe that Mace was wrong not to include Anakin in Palpatine’s arrest. I feel differently. Just listening to his words, made me realize that he had accurately sensed Anakin’s emotional state. If only he had heeded Mace’s words, Anakin would not have ended up with more blood on his hands. For those who say that Anakin would have destroyed Palpatine if Mace had allowed him to participate in the arrest. In truth, no one really knows what would have happened. Unfortunately, no one wants to admit this.

*Mace and the other three Jedi Knights did activate their lightsabers first. If they were there to arrest Palpatine, surely they should have received permission from the Senate. However, I noticed that Palpatine was the first to attack. And he nearly paid the price for his act of aggression.

*Aside from Mace, Palpatine failed to immediately kill Kit Fisto. And all because Mace had briefly intervened.

*Anakin arrived when Mace declared Palpatine under arrest. Then the latter attacked the Jedi Master with Force electrokinesis. Because he had disobeyed Mace, Anakin took his final steps into becoming a Sith Lord.

*”To cheat death is a power that only one has achieved.” Who was Palpatine talking about? Surely not Plageuis, who had failed to cheat death, thanks to his apprentice. And Palpatine knew nothing of Qui-Gon’s spiritual achievement.

*Although Anakin seemed willing to assist and agree with Palpatine, his face seemed to express great reluctance.

*Magnificent shot of Anakin leading the clone troopers to the Jedi Temple.

*Probably one of the most heartbreaking sequences in the entire STAR WARS saga is the execution of Order 66.

*What sort of vehicles were the clone troopers riding during their search for Yoda on Kashyyyk?

*I wonder what would have happened if Anakin had not told Padme of his intent to travel to Mustafar?

*Yoda had expressed belief that it would be easy for him and Obi-Wan to infiltrate the Jedi Temple. Yet, the two Jedi Masters found themselves forced to battle clone troopers guarding the Temple.

*It is interesting that Anakin’s murder of the Separatists leaders occurred around the same time as Palpatine’s declaration as the galaxy’s first emperor.

*Once more, a Jedi Master decides to move against Palpatine without the Senate’s consent. This time, it is Yoda, who decides to kill the Sith Lord. No wonder it was easy for Anakin to view the Jedi as a threat to the galaxy.

*Padme looked particularly heartbroken when Obi-Wan informed her that Anakin had become a Sith Lord.

*Why couldn’t Obi-Wan simply planted a tracker on Padme’s ship, instead of stowing away?

*You can hear signs of the Anakin/Padme love theme from AOTC, when Padme arrived on Mustafar.

*Anakin had an odd, calm expression on his face, while Padme was talking to him. And when he began talking about ruling the galaxy, his expression became even odder.

*Boy, Obi-Wan’s appearance on Mustafar was badly time. Which makes me question his decision to stowaway aboard Padme’s skiff even more.

*I forgot that Padme had been unconscious during Anakin and Obi-Wan’s duel.

*It is interesting that Obi-Wan was the first to light up his lightsaber.

*I now realize that Anakin and Obi-Wan’s duel was not about good versus evil. I believe that it was about years of resentment and anger finally exploding between two men who once loved each other as brothers, despite their disagreements. Hence, the use of blue lightsabers by both and the exploding fire and lava that surrounded them.

*Anakin and Obi-Wan’s out-of-control emotions during the duel seemed like a clear indication of why both had failed to achieve their goals. Anakin’s rash move near the lava bank had resulted in the loss of his legs and his other arm – and spending the rest of his life in the suit. Obi-Wan’s failure to immediately kill Anakin on that lava bank resulted in Vader’s impact upon the galaxy for over the next twenty years . . . and Obi-Wan’s eventual death.

*Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor’s moved very fast in their duel scenes. And I’m not simply referring to what was shown on the movie screen. I’m also referring to their practice sessions shown in the DVD’s Special Features disk.

*”Your arrogance blinds you, Master Yoda.” – I hate to say this, but Palpatine was right. But he could have also been referring to himself. As for Yoda, he made the worse mistake of attacking Palpatine’s guards upon entering the Emperor’s office. He had attacked the guards in the presence of Mas Amedda, the Senate’s leader. An accusation of an assassination attempt by the Jedi would not be far from the truth.

*”My little green friend.” – I would not be surprised if those words had pissed off Yoda.

*Anakin and Obi-Wan’s duel lasted longer than Yoda and Palpatine’s.

*”You were the Chosen One!” – Obi-Wan went into full rant after chopping off Anakin’s limbs. This is an example that he was just as emotional as Anakin during the duel. Of course, I cannot help but wonder why he did not kill Anakin, and allowed the latter to suffer a possible prolonged death on the lava bank.

*Palpatine’s return to Coruscant with a wounded Anakin happened in the midst of fierce rain storm. This scene reminded of that old lady’s words to the nine year-old Anakin in TPM – “Storm’s comin, Ani!” This had occurred before Maul’s arrival on Tatooine. Palpatine and Anakin’s return in the first mentioned scene truly indicated that the storm has finally struck the Republic.

*The expression on Anakin’s face as his Vader mask was being lowered upon him was truly heartbreaking.

*”There’s still good in him.” – If only Obi-Wan had heeded Padme’s words. But . . . he thought that Anakin was dead. On the other hand, the infant Luke did listen. This was perhaps, Padme’s greatest contribution.

*Palpatine seemed pleased by Anakin’s show of power inside the infirmary, when the latter learned of Padme’s death.

*The movie’s last shot of Padme is the japoor snippet that Anakin had given her, years ago.

*I think I must have cried during the movie’s last ten to fifteen minutes. Oh well. On to A NEW HOPE.