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Nostalgia Photo

Back to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Yesterday, Sarah and I visited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge again after first visiting a few months ago. This time, we were able to visit Oga’s Cantina a few times, and finally sample most of the drinks. It’s only been a few months sure, but it doesn’t look worn down at all, in fact it looks no different, probably due to the clever choice of basing it on an already worn down location.

If you stop by Oga’s Cantina, you’re going to want to try the Jet Juice and Dagobah Slug Slinger for sure. Earlier, I mentioned that Galaxy’s Edge has some of the best food in Disneyland, by far, but I forgot to leave some recommendations. Make sure that you stop by Ronto Roasters for a Ronto Wrap, and Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo for a Roasted Endorian Tip-Yip Salad.

Here are some photos from our return trip:

A quick note, some of these were touched up in Pixelmator Pro, which is on sale half-off until October 29!

For more photos and recommendations, see my first post on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

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Nostalgia Review Video

Rewatch: Mystery Science Theater 3000

There are two types of people in the world: those who love Mystery Science Theater 3000, and those who have never seen it. If you’re in that latter group, it’s time to change that.

MST3K was a TV series of bad films, featuring colorful commentary during the films to elevate and transform them into something far better. The series followed an unfortunate human, initially Joel Hodgson as Joel Robinson and later Michael J. Nelson as Mike Nelson, paired with two cranky robots, Crow T. Robot (voiced by Trace Beaulieu, then J. Elvis Weinstein, and finally Bill Corbett) and Tom Servo (voiced by J. Elvis Weinstein and later Kevin Murphy). The three are trapped on a research satellite where they are forced to watch bad films in order to find the one that will eventually drive them insane, you know, research. To break up the film, there are small low-budget interludes often featuring the characters discussing the film, their predicament, or doing something inspired by the film, and there are also interludes featuring their tormentors (a rotating cast of hilarious folks throughout the series).

The series premiered in 1988 on a low-budget local Minneapolis TV station, but quickly made the jump to Comedy Central and later Syfy. The series later saw a revival on Netflix, but since that started in 2017, I’m only focussing on the classic seasons here.

If you have never seen MST3K before, I strongly recommend starting with Space Mutiny. I think it features the best balance of a watchable film and great commentary.

If you need just one more to convince you, check out The Pumaman, which is just an odd film, so very odd.

MST3K has an impressive legacy, with many homages and spinoffs. If you somehow make it through all of the episodes, I recommend checking out RiffTrax next, or just check it out now anyway. It’s a still-active spinoff features Nelson, Corbett, and Murphy, and it’s just as great as MST3K.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 ran for an impressive 11 years. You can stream many episodes for free on ShoutFactoryTV, and you can probably find the rest on YouTube (after all, many episodes of the series ended with “keep circulating the tapes”).

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Nostalgia Video

Power Rangers vs Super Sentai

AKA, what we missed out on in the United States.

I grew up loving the Power Rangers, but I had no clue what I was missing out on back then. I tried to rewatch some for my Rewatch series, but I just couldn’t get engaged anymore, so imagine my surprise when I found multiple Super Sentai series on ShoutFactoryTV (a free ad-supported streaming service and app). Upon consuming several episodes, I became painfully aware of what we missed out on in the United States, and I’m hooked.

In short, Power Rangers takes the fight footage from Super Sentai and remixes it with overdubbed English dialogue and newly shot scenes featuring the English-speaking actors, often changing the plot dramatically. Rather than just getting a dubbed version of a great Japanese show, we got something very half-baked.

While scouring YouTube for some clips that I could use to make a comparison video, I was surprised to find exactly what I wanted, so let’s give them the ad revenue they deserve.

This clip shows a pivotal fight from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers between the Red Ranger and Green Ranger, followed at 4:08 by the Re-version of the fight featured obnoxious added visual effects (yes, this is official, and yes you should skip it for your sanity), followed at 8:30 by the same pivotal fight from Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger between the TyrannoRanger and DragonRanger.

I want you to notice a few things. First, the unrelenting electric guitar. It’s cool at first, but I won’t blame you if you find it obnoxious by the end. And second, how choppy and uneven the action is.

Let me give an example on that last point. In all three John Wick films, there is one scene involving gunfire in The Continental Hotel. If you took those three scenes and lined them up back to back, you’d be forgiven for accepting a thin narrative that they all take place around the same time, but something would feel very off. That’s what’s happening here in Power Rangers. To compensate for footage lost due to visible actors from the Super Sentai shots, and recognizable Japanese locations, the American produces have chopped in scenes from other fights. To make matters worse, some action has been cut entirely to keep the episode under time. All of that results in an unevenly paced, and sometimes confusing, fight sequence.

Compare that the Super Sentai scene, and you’ve got something very different. First, the music is great. And second, without any footage being removed or added, the fight sequence is evenly paced and far more intense.

I hope this brief comparison got you hooked on Super Sentai too. If it did, you can stream several Super Sentai series for free on ShoutFactoryTV, so find the Super Sentai counterpart to a Power Rangers series you used to love and start watching it today!

Update: For more on this subject, see Rewatch: Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger.

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Nostalgia Video

Power Rangers Fan Productions

I grew up loving the Power Rangers. It was a fun show for kids, and I found it quite engaging at the time. I had thought of writing a Rewatch post, but these shows have not aged well, and I find them oddly boring now. Don’t worry though, I have something Power Rangers adjacent planned that I hope you’ll like, but I still have about 30 episodes to get through first.

While re-living the glory days though, I managed to track down some outstanding fan productions featuring some of the original cast that I thought would be fun to share.

First, from batinthesun, and starring original Green Ranger actor Jason David Frank, we have a hypothetical look at what would happen in a Green Ranger vs Ryu match:

That must have really impressed some very important people, because batinthesun and Frank returned (alongside Megaforce Yellow Ranger actress Ciara Hanna) for an official tie-in short film announcing the inclusion of Street Fighter characters in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars.

I’m sure with the intension of riding that wave, batinthesun and Frank returned for a Power Ranges-ish fan film, Legend of the White Dragon. They were joined by several previous Power Rangers actors, including second Black Ranger actor Johnny Yong Bosh. An unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign was held to fund the whole film, but it sounds like they still have some plans for it.

I think we can agree at this point that batinthesun has cornered the market on quality Power Rangers fan films, but not to be outdone, the rest of the original cast is working on their own film, titled The Order. The film stars original Blue Ranger actor David Yost, original Red Ranger actor Austin St. John, original Black Ranger actor Walter Jones, and far too many more Power Rangers actors to list here. They had a successful Indiegogo campaign 2 years ago, and it sounds like they’ll begin shooting this year.

That’s all for now, I hope you’ve enjoyed these! If you know of any more great Power Rangers fan productions, please let me know in the comments below!

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Colleagues Photo

Automattic Meetup 2019

I just got back from our annual Automattic Grand Meetup in Orlando, Florida. We had over 800 employees from across the globe, suddenly filling 1 hotel for the week. I love building things in person with people I usually only communicate with via text (and the occasional GIF). It can be a bit overwhelming, but I always walk away with a few new friends.

Speaking of that, this was my first time working closely with my new team. I used to only support Jetpack, but now I participate in public support for Jetpack, WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Akismet, VaultPress, Gravatar, WordAds, Crowdsignal, and Simplenote! Our team is almost evenly spread across timezones, so we don’t often get a chance to be online together, much less in the same room for a week. 🙂

We built and learned quite a bit, and though we have no specific announcements yet, please watch the blogs of the above products for exciting news. Oh, and did you know we acquired Tumblr? So, the Tumblr Blog too! As for myself, I have a few photos to share:

In case you’re wondering, that last photo is of our very talented band of Automatticians.

For more photos, stop by the a8cgm tag on WordPress.com and on Instagram too.

If any of this looks interesting to you, we’re always hiring!