Resident Evil "battle royal" game idea/suggestion?
Hello everyone ! First post here - I don't know where to post this, so I hope it will be welcomed here. So I heard about the possibility for a "Battle Royal" themed on R.E. and the few of reactions I witnessed about it were pretty negative - and I could agree as R.E. isn't well known for its PvP content... But I think I have an idea for something that people could enjoy - with originality, re-playability, difficulty and keeping a game close to events happening in the R.E. universe (based on the last "remake" version of the games). So, let me start: - date & place : 2X september 1998 ; Racoon City - Casino-Hotel Yes, "again Racoon City"; but this time you won't live the last days of the event, but one of the hot-spot at the begining of the outbreak. Umbrella, to test the virus on a bigger scale, tried different methods to spread it in the City. One of them was to infect a good number of patient within the City to release them all at once. The Casino-Hotel, was selected. Opening a good number of events, the building-complex is currently hosting hundreds of people. The Casino-Hotel: An impressive complex, with several floors of apartments, a great looking casino, a party-room (which is today for a wedding) and an opera-theater. There is also a specific floor for the security & direction of the Hotel; an underground facility & hidden corridors for the maintenance. - players : 2 to 20-ish? Each player wil incarne a random NPC - like this, no one is supposed to recognize who is a player or not at first glance. Everyone start in their appartment (1 playeroom); equiped with a combat-knife (no durability), on ordinary map of the hotel (no indication of back-doors, restricted areas). But there is still some customisation possible: the dressing allows you to change your clothings to hide better on some areas (tuxedo; tourist outfit; ...). - objectives : (1) survive the event (duh) - (2) escape by completing one of the multiple-routes. Once the game start, the phone in your room will ring : if you are new / beginer or want informations as a reminder, you will use it. The HUD will show you 3 main faction-quests - you can choose to "select" one (the quest will remain apparent on your HUD) or not. But here's the twist : accepted or not - you can choose to stick with this faction, or to betray it! The factions: (1) Umbrella's agency - find the spreading devices (2-3 existing on the map); select a way to use it (different possibilities as water-tanks (infect apartments & lodges) & fire sprinkler systems (infect a specific room)); once you get a critical number of infected : rendez-vous at the rooftop for extraction by helicopter (2) RCPD - find clues of Umbrella's terrorist activity; try to catch the devices or to sabotage Umbrella's agents; as the virus will spread anyway (slowly or quickly depending on players' actions) : call the RCPD to quarantine the buildings & for extraction (a timer will be set and you need to defend the exit that some Players will try to open. (3) Mercenaries - your objectives are to get a sample of the virus, steal Umbrella's document and use all the chaos made to exit (the underground should be the best bet) - working alone or in group, you are without any assistances from the outside. Remember: whether you succeed or not at your quests, the Casino-Hotel will fall to the virus. Gameplay: If people didn't formed a squad before the game, you start as a lone-wolf without any indication if your neighbor is a player, or not, and what could be its faction/intentions. Some areas are overcrowded (and with a type of outfit; wedding-hall = tuxedo), for you to hide, infect. In the first part of the game: all players want to get to restricted areas; and you decide your strategy : open-violence, taking a Casino's security outfit, stealing a key or simply following an other Player doing the dirty work for you. If you succeed to sneak behind someone, you could have a special 1vs1 melee interaction : during the animation, you will have to smash some buttons to execute the performance. But if you are on the defensive position, it isn't an insta-kill as you will have yourself an interaction to resist. Sadly for both of the player struggling : the animation could be stopped by a third-party, killing one or both. => this sneak-attack will then play a lot in the first stage of the game, but could also create epic moments. For the gun-gameplay: not much to say. All Casino's security is equiped with stun-gun, or 9mm pistol; some rare Hotel's clients could also have a weapon on them / or apartment; the security-floor is also well-equiped and a secret cache in the underground could provide Hunk's style of equipment. Add to that: you should have the ability to barricade doors; sabotage elevators to stop the Players & Zombies, but it would only slow things down (for them to get in, or you to get out...). End result: who win? First - the ones who survived ; then you get a result for each Faction's accomplishments: if you're route is linked to the ranked #1 one, you get a bonus in your Total Score. My guess on the Time per Mission : between 20min to 40min? Rewards: you should be able to buy with your scores, additionnal clothes, custom appearances for your weapons -------------------- tl;dr : a 3rd person-shooter, on a big Hotel-Casino map; playing like a spy-game at first, you end-up fighting for your survival while innocents are trapped and become part of a zombie-crowd. Help, make alliance, or use & betray other players to get a better score. Hope you had a good read at my engrish and that you like my idea/concept.
Daniel Craig’s debut – Casino Royale – has always been my favorite Bond film. We have the best lead actor, actress, and villain performances of his era (sorry, Silva), and a script that stays true to the original while reestablishing the original character after several increasingly silly films. However, what is probably my second favorite Bond film – Licence To Kill – also manages to stay true to the character while also providing some of the best thrills in the franchise. Timothy Dalton is in top form with this film. It is hard to tell which of his two performances is superior; this film was tailored towards his interpretation, which gives it a slight edge over his debut performance. His darker portrayal of the character gets criticism, but I think his staying true to Bond’s roots works in his favor. Carey Lowell is fine as Pam Bouvier. She may be no Pussy Galore or Tracy Bond, but she is definitely better than most of the other Bond girls from the preceding films, with the exception of Melina Havelock. Talisa Soto is not the best actor, but she does good enough as Lupe Lamora. Robert Davi is fantastic as Sanchez. He is more charismatic than Dalton’s moodier Bond, and the comparisons between the two is similar to Bond and Scaramanga. The two even dress similarly in several scenes to highlight this. Benicio Del Toro is also memorable as Dario, thanks to his psychotic nature. Desmond Llewelyn's largest role as Q is a highlight of the film and adds some much needed humor to a darker film. The plot makes use of elements from Live and Let Die and The Hildebrand Rarity, a short story from For Your Eyes Only. The film has received criticism for lacking a Bondian film and for making use of eighties tropes such as a drug lord as a villain and a rogue hero. However, the film tailors these tropes to the Bond style so successfully that I disagree with the lack of a Bond feeling. The sets are not the best in the franchise and like the other eighties films, has a cheap feel to it thanks to Moonraker’s high budget. However, I would argue that this film feels more Bondian than A View to A Kill due to its use of elements from the novels, as well as the creative action scenes. As I have said before, John Glen was at his best when directing action scenes and this film has some of the best in the franchise. The pre-title sequence racks up the tension before triumphantly playing the Bond theme as Bond goes fishing; the “water-skiing without skis” scene is as Bondian as they get; and the climactic tanker chase is easily my favorite finale to a Bond film. The bar and ninja scenes get criticized for being out of place in an otherwise serious film, but I do not think they hurt the film as bad as the sillier scenes from Octopussy do. Michael Kamen’s distinctly “eighties action movie” score is another source of contention for the film. I had watched Road House recently, which was also composed by Michael Kamen, and noticed some similarity in instruments between films. However, the frequent use of the Bond theme makes up for the rather generic score. I think the score fits the film and the experience is enhanced thanks to it, but the score is not as listenable on its own. Gladys Knight's theme is fantastic and definitely overlooked. "If You Asked Me Too" is a fitting sendoff for the eighties era, and perhaps the classic era, with the Brosnan and Craig films having different crews and being post Cold War films. In terms of tone, the film is the darkest yet. The more gruesome scenes are a bit hard to watch for some, but they bring back some of the nastiness Bond had lost in the increasingly sanitized films. Bond is also shown as a bit unhinged in this film. Like in Goldfinger, he makes mistakes, but this film really emphasizes how reckless Bond is. A great aspect to this is that Bond probably snapped from reliving something similar to Tracy’s own death. He might have felt that Sanchez deserved a worse death than falling down a chimney. Licence To Kill may feel like too much of an attempt to veer away from the campier Moore films, but it was going to happen eventually. The Bond films always had violent deaths, but this one lacked the campier elements that distracted audiences from them. For Your Eyes Only set the precedent for a more realistic, faithful to the source material Bond film, but Octopussy brought back the camp and A View to A Kill tried too hard to appeal to the MTV era, ultimately feeling less like a Bond film. The Living Daylights was a more serious film, but it was written with no specific Bond in mind. Licence To Kill was made with Dalton in mind and committed more than its predecessors did in creating a film that personified the novels. From Russia With Love has one of the best casts and plots in the franchise. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is the best directed and scored Bond film, and certainly classier than Dalton’s films. The Spy Who Loved Me takes the cinematic elements of Bond and brings it up to eleven, delivering a product that manages to thrill without veering too far into the excesses of the other Moore films. However, Licence To Kill is paced perfectly, has a strong plot, and some of the best action scenes in the franchise. As a result, it is my second favorite Bond film.
My Very Long Take on AEW. Please Share Your Thoughts
Ok, so i am sure this gets posted all the time, probably multiple times a week, but I would love to discuss this with some others. Ok, so I am sure this gets posted often, probably weekly, but I really wanted to share my opinions on AEW, and hear some opinions. Maybe people can change my mind. Let me start off by saying, I am in my mid 20s, I really enjoy Chris Jericho, Dustin, and Kenny Omega, I grew up on the Attitude Era and my favorite style of wrestling is the AJPW King’s Road Style. I cannot STAND AEW. The thing that bothers me the most is that I really really want to like it. I have given it a chance multiple times and just do not like the product one bit. Pardon my inner Cornette, but he goofy promos and skits, the silly characters, ridiculous indy spot after spot after spot, overly choreographed sequences, “not finished” belts, constant attacks towards WWE/NXT while saying they aren’t worried about them or care about them, the severe lack of heavyweights, having tough, trained professionals selling for someone that looks like a 12 year old boy, and an absolutely God awful women’s division makes this a very hard show to watch. I don’t see the appeal. If they would have advertised this as a goofy independent show with a billionaire’s backing, I wouldn’t be so upset. But they didn’t. They promised so much and have failed to deliver. They started off great in my opinion. The first PPVs were awesome. They felt real, exciting, new, and different. Cody vs Dustin was AMAZING, Jericho becoming the first champion was perfect, Omega’s future looked bright and looked to be a top player, and the Young Bucks, well, I could never stand them anyway, so they did nothing for me from day one. Back to the promises, we were lead to believe that the women’s division would be a highlight of the show. As a fan of the incredible women’s division that NXT has had for years, and the amazing Stardom promotion, I was excited for this. Khan promised that the Women’s division would be handled like the old WVW cruiserweight scene, specifically with regards to the incoming Joshi wrestlers and how they would interact with other performers on the roster. We assumed it would be an awesome, action packed division, with awesome stars that would deliver great in ring action every week. But we haven’t even gotten a fraction of that. We have gotten a very spotty, very hard to watch, botch/mish-mosh of “wrestling”. They pushed Nyla too fast in my opinion. I love the fact that they have a transgender on the roster, I just feel they needed to continue to build her as a dominant monster heel, then once she gets the strap, do not take it off her for years. That would be much more believable. The division does have some decent talent, Shida, Baker, Statlander, and some that look promising, but they need a reboot, better booking, and more time/action in the ring. They just haven’t really gelled at all. Hopefully this tag tournament thing will help. Hopefully it will bring in fresh talent that will elevate these women and not turn this into a botch-fest sh*t show. Another big issue with a failed promise is that Tony stated there would be no silly storylines. On Wade Keller’s podcast, Khan stated that the company’s storylines wouldn’t be lacking in drama, but they would stem from what happens in the ring, personal issues, and grudges. There would be lest focus on what he called “preposterous, ridiculous” angles. This was music to my ears. I was so excited for something different. An alternative to WWE. Action minus the silliness. Then they just end up doing the goofiest sh*t I have seen in years. The Bubbly Bunch? Dark Order shenanigans? A girl playing an alien on national TV? A dinosaur man and a tiny boy that looks 12? A guy who wrestles with his hands in his pockets and would get annihilated if he did that in a real match? Football stadium matches? Trust me I could go on for hours. The Inner Circle could’ve been a current version of the NWO. Jericho (like Hogan) a major player that jumped ship and expects to be treated like a God, young future talent (Sammy) a tag team (Santana and Ortiz) and the muscle (Hager). But they have turned into a complete joke. Guevara terribly singing Jericho’s entrance theme, Jericho overacting like a goof to everything, yelling at Tyson, getting involved with Matt Hardy’s goofy “broken” gimmick. Jericho, a top talent who just a year ago was serious and speaking in a monotone while holding the company’s title making it seem prestigious, is now acting as a drone and orange juice are his number one rivals. Selling a teleporting Matt Hardy and a guy who wrestles with his hands in his pockets (also a guy who Jericho would murder if they were to fight like that). There is also way to many factions I can’t even keep them straight. Who is with who? Who are buddies? Everyone is a part of a team or faction, and who the hell are heels and baby faces?! This brings me to my next point. They promised to be different. We wanted an alternative to WWE and some of their silly storylines. But what we have gotten is the worst of WWE amplified by lesser talent and inferior production. AEW has been slipping into some of old wrestling’s bad habits since day one. Silly comedy, which most isn’t funny at all, to unexplained changes in storylines, AEW is just as flawed as WWE is. But fan will continue to bash WWE for something and turn right around to praise AEW for the same thing (most of the times something that is even worse!). Allie was managing Butcher and the Blade as Bunny, one week she came to ringside during a match with QT Marshall and now she has nothing to do with Butcher and Blade, and she is no longer the Bunny and is in love with QT. They never told us why. They pushed so hard that they would be an alternative to WWE but have taken the worst elements of WWE and injected it directly into their show. Not to mention a good amount of their main event players are WWE rejects, or older WWE stars. As I mentioned in my intro, I am a HUGE fan of 90s AJPW/early Pro Wrestling NOAH and the King’s Road Style of wrestling. Giant Baba was an absolute genius booker. Jumbo Tsuruta/Tenryu laid the ground work for the Four Pillars and what I consider the greatest wrestling ever. If you watch these matches, you get so sucked in. You believe everything that is happening. There is no wasted movement, everything makes sense and has purpose. You believe 100% that these guys are trying to win and giving it their all. It is so easy to forget that it is pre-determined. There is incredible selling, passion, hard hitting offense, prestige, high risks, high rewards, it is all so believable and so sport like. And this is my NUMBER ONE gripe with AEW. They promised us a sports-based program. They promised a “real sport feel”. They do have the win/loss records which is cool and sport like, (I still don’t get how someone could be undefeated and not the number one contender) but on the other hand you have acts like the Dark Order, Orange Cassidy, Marko Stunt, Bubbly Bunch, and stadium matches, just some of the silliest stuff I have seen. None of the in-ring action appears real. The high spots are hard to watch, (Young Buck 1 holding on to Young Buck 2’s leg while their opponents attack his partner, SERIOUSLY?!) They treat tag team rules as a joke (to the point JR has called them out). The few big men they have (aside from Cage) like Hager and Wardlow, would wreck the rest of the roster in real combat sports, seem like backseat players who don’t add much at all. This is a fun quote from Mr. Khan that hasn’t aged well AT ALL; “We are going to provide a serious, sport-based product with the best wrestling. Something you’re going to notice more and more in our shows is they’re going to take place in and around the ring. Like, we’re not going to go out of the arena, we’re not going to spend half the show backstage in dressing rooms, or backstage choreographed segments.” I feel like every time I turn AEW on, it is a goofy backstage segment or match. Watching things like the Casino Battle Royale or the Stadium Match I think to myself “so this is supposed to be the serious, sports-based company?” I think that the disconnect comes from Khan not really knowing the wrestling business or how to book a promotion. He is a SUPER MARK with deep pockets. He gave the power to the wrestlers, he gave them creative control. You could have a great vision for a story and for character development, but if you give too many characters be more open with how they want to present themselves, it’s going to cause issues. A real sport would not have athletes that are too lazy to compete, it wouldn’t have a teleporting “Broken” Matt Hardy, it wouldn’t have Chris Jericho having a pep rally for himself as the main event for a ton of its shows. When it comes to sports-based NXT is actually doing a far better job than AEW, while NJPW is the king at the moment. To sum up, I just don’t get it. I want to, but I can’t. It is an odd thing to me. Fans complain about WWE being too silly and doing stupid things, then turn around and cheer the silly, cartoonish, comic-bookish stuff that AEW does as if it’s the greatest thing going. Khan at one point stated that he loves the more realistic stuff but knows that others, prefer silliness like Hardy and Cassidy’s characters. I probably would have preferred the show if Khan had more control, which he probably did those first few shows and why I enjoyed them way more than today’s product that is run by Cody, Bucks, Omega and their buddies. I read an article where AEW’s eyes must have been bigger than their stomach on this one, and wanted many. I know many people hate Cornette and his views, but i agree with 95% of things he says about AEW. At this point, I will just continue to watch NXT weekly and not give AEW much thought. I will try to follow it, but wont go out of my way to watch it. It is just not what I wanted, not what I was promised, and not the product I like. Also, I want to use this to encourage more people to watch classic AJPW. Misawa, Kobashi, Kawada, Taue, Akiyama, Hansen, Tsuruta, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, those guys knew how to put on a sports-based wrestling program and their matches still hold up today. Seriously the greatest in-ring action of all time! Thank you for taking the time to read this rant/essay and I would love to hear your thoughts.
Casino Royale is the Goldfinger of the 21st Century.
It is widely agreed upon that Goldfinger is the greatest Bond film of all time. It has great writing, acting, iconic scenes, introduction of the classic Bond formula such as visits to Q and the use of amazing gadgets. Casino Royale has reinvigorated Bond and did it in a Post 9/11 world. Bond was made cool again, made contemporary, and relevant. We start the film with a foot chase, the first in Bond history. It was epic. Bond shows how he is rough around the edges, kills first never asks questions. He is vulnerable with the women he is with such as Vesper. He allows himself to feel emotion through love and murder. In the stairway scene when he kills the 2 guys from the Congo he goes back to his room to clean up and is shaken by what he has done. We’ve never seen that before. Goldfinger and Casino Royale have an iconic scene of torture (Laser table/ testicle whipping) . Probably the most famous in Bond history. Granted the villains are very different but they are portrayed by great actors, Gert Frobe and Mads Mikkelson. The end of Casino shows how Bond has hardened and become cold to falling in love over the betrayal of Vesper (we wouldn’t know until the next movie she was dooped), he is also more tactical and doesn’t just kill (shoots Mr. White in the leg, also in Skyfall he’s pissed when he lets Patrice fall out the window. Showing character development that he didn’t want to kill him). He shows up wearing a 3 piece Brioni suit (Vesper tells him on the train that he doesn’t care how he dresses) and utters the classic “ Bond... James Bond”, for the first time, then the classic theme song plays for the first time. As a reimagining and update of the James Bond legend, Casino Royale has set the bar so high that I believe it will be the Goldfinger of this century.
My take on fixing the "Star Wars" Sequel Trilogy (Part 2)
Part 1 is HERE, if you're curious. This is the first half of my reimagining of Episode VIII. I wanted to fit it all in one post, but it got a little long. I promise: I'll post the second half as soon as it's finished. FAIR WARNING: Full disclosure: I'm one of the Star Wars fans who liked The Last Jedi. In fact, I'd go so far as to call it my favorite movie in the Sequel Trilogy. No, I don't think it was perfect. No, I don't think you're a bad person if you didn't like it. But as I said in my last post, I firmly believe that the single biggest problem with the Sequel Trilogy is that it felt more like an extended tribute to the Original Trilogy than a meaningful continuation of its story; I also happen to believe that The Last Jedi was the major exception to that rule. Love it or hate it, it's hard to deny that The Last Jedi charted its own course, and it was anything but a safe slice of fanservice. It developed the central characters of the Original Trilogy in bold ways, it went out of its way to shake up the classic Star Wars formula, it explored an array of ambitious themes, and it actively avoided following the same plot structure as the Original Trilogy. It's also easily the most visually unique entry in the Sequel Trilogy, with multiple striking set-pieces that look absolutely nothing like anything in the Original Trilogy. The desolate island planet of Ahch-To, the swanky resort/casino of Canto Bight, and the red deserts and crystal caverns of Crait were nothing if not original. I'm not here to argue with people who disliked The Last Jedi; I think we're all pretty sick of arguing about that film by now. But I will tell you up-front: of my three reimaginings of the Sequel Trilogy, this one will be the least changed from the source material. Consider yourself forewarned. The story so far: Thirty years after the death of Emperor Palpatine, an uneasy peace reigns over the galaxy. The New Republic, a democratic regime founded by the heroes of the victorious Rebel Alliance, rules over most of the galaxy from the capital world of Coruscant, its mighty space fleet patrolling the spaceways from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim. But in the wake of the mysterious disappearance of the legendary Jedi Knight known as Luke Skywalker, the future of the galaxy appears uncertain. Despite the New Republic's best intentions, most of the galaxy's wealth is concentrated in the hands of an elite group of traders and industrialists who profited from the rebuilding of the Core Worlds after the devastation of the Galactic Civil War. Since those dark days, divisions between rich and poor have left the vast majority of the galaxy's population living in squalor, leading to simmering tensions in even the most civilized worlds. On most habitable worlds, the New Republic keeps order with the aid of well-armed Planetary Security forces, who often use brutal methods to quell unrest and root out suspected radical groups. Amid this world of tension, an underground society known only as "The Resistance" claims to champion the ideals of Luke Skywalker, who once stood as a beacon of hope against the forces of tyranny and injustice. Some view the Resistance as dangerous radicals, but others see them as idealistic crusaders keeping the values of the old Rebel Alliance alive. Visually, this era of Star Wars is inspired less by pulp science-fiction of the '30s and '40s (Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, John Carter of Mars, Lensmen, etc.) and more by cyberpunk fiction of the '80s and '90s (Neuromancer, Snow Crash, Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, etc.). The Resistance aren't an upstanding crew of gallant freedom fighters—they're a morally ambiguous band of tattooed street punks who can usually be found hanging out in seedy night clubs at the heart of densely populated cities. "Planetary Security" aren't styled after goose-stepping Nazi Stormtroopers or SS Officers, but after modern-day American SWAT teams or riot cops. Rey didn't grow up on a Tatooine-esque desert planet covered in scrapyards, she grew up in the shantytowns of a sprawling planet-sized city. If you need a visual reference: think this, or this, or this. Anyway... In the Unknown Regions, the splintered remnants of the fallen Galactic Empire fight a long guerrilla war in the darkness of space, regularly launching surprise attacks on unprepared worlds in the Outer Rim as they spin plans to return the Empire to its former glory. Of the dozens of terrorist groups who continue to champion the Imperial cause, among the most merciless is "The First Order", an elusive band of fanatics led by the masked warrior Kylo Ren and his mysterious mentor known only as "The Oracle". Not too long ago, Kylo Ren and his companions (known as "The Knights of Ren") embarked on a mission to the desolate backwater planet of Eravana, looking for an aging old hermit called Lor San Tekka. As it turned out, San Tekka was a former member of the Jedi Order who was among the last people ever to see Luke Skywalker alive—and he possessed valuable information that held the key to revealing his old friend's whereabouts. In a brutal raid, Ren and his companions murdered San Tekka, took the encrypted map that he kept concealed in his necklace, and killed all witnesses in the nearby village that San Tekka guarded in his twilight years. But in the aftermath of the raid, one of Ren's loyal Stormtroopers—designated "FN-2187", but nicknamed "Finn"—suffered a crisis of conscience, and resolved to leave the First Order to defect to the New Republic. Believing that he could buy a new life with information on Luke Skywalker, he stole San Tekka's map and fled to the nearest inhabited world: a densely populated planet called Jakku covered by sprawling cities. Much to his dismay, Finn soon learned that it wouldn't be so easy to outrun his past. Not long after he arrived on Jakku, he found himself fighting for his life when the local Planetary Security force recognized him as a member of an Imperial loyalist group and tried to kill him on the spot. Soon after that, he learned that many of the New Republic's power-brokers were perfectly content to let Luke Skywalker stay in exile, viewing him as a dangerous revolutionary who would provoke unrest among the common people. While on the run from Planetary Security, Finn crossed paths with Rey, an orphaned young woman who was abandoned by her parents in the city's squalid shantytowns when she was just a girl. With the help of Rey and her trusty droid companion BB-8 (whom she built from spare parts), Finn sought out the local Resistance chapter in a seedy nightclub, knowing that they didn't share the New Republic's feelings on Luke Skywalker. Upon realizing that Lor San Tekka's map really did lead straight to Skywalker, the Resistance pledged their help in decoding the map, and offered to give Finn and Rey safe passage to their safehouse on the planet Takodana. After the Resistance made a call to a certain space pilot loyal to their cause, roguish Resistance agent Poe Dameron pledged to accompany Finn and Rey on their journey. With both Kylo Ren and Planetary Security hot on their trail, Finn, Rey, and Poe made a mad dash to Jakku's local spaceport, determined to make their rendezvous with the Resistance's pilot. Much to their surprise, they discovered that the pilot was none other than Han Solo, who had gone underground and joined the Resistance along with his faithful co-pilot Chewbacca. During the journey to Takodana, Han revealed that Kylo Ren was actually his son Ben Solo, a former pupil of Luke Skywalker who turned against him and destroyed his academy. While Han didn't know Luke's whereabouts, he also revealed that Luke vanished shortly after Ben's betrayal—possibly because he felt responsible for it. On Takodana, where the trio met Han's estranged wife Leia Organa—who had also gone underground and joined the Resistance—the Resistance set about decoding the map. Before they could, though, the Resistance's safehouse fell under an orbital strike from Kylo Ren, who had managed to track them to Takodana. Entering the safehouse with his Stormtroopers, Kylo took the encrypted map and captured Rey, then departed for his hidden fortress on the planet Ilum. Determined to reclaim the map and rescue Rey, Han took Finn, Poe, and Chewbacca to Ilum in the Falcon, secretly planning to confront his son and convince him to return to his family. After being interrogated by the First Order for information on Luke Skywalker, Rey miraculously managed to escape from her cell in Kylo's fortress by taking advantage of her latent sensitivity to the Force. Later, as Han entered the fortress with his companions in tow, he called out to his son by name after recognizing him from a distance—but Finn and Poe were forced to watch helplessly as a visibly conflicted Kylo ignited his lightsaber and stabbed his father through the chest, killing him. While making her way through the fortress in search of a way out, Rey accidentally stumbled upon Kylo's personal quarters, where he kept a shrine dedicated to his grandfather Anakin Skywalker, the man once known as "Darth Vader". Among the relics in the shrine was the distinctive black helmet that Anakin wore after his turn to the Dark Side, but also the lightsaber that he wielded as a Jedi—which was inherited by Luke Skywalker. Desperate for a weapon to defend herself, Rey took the lightsaber and instinctively ignited it when Kylo cornered her outside the fortress. In a fierce lightsaber duel, Rey surprisingly managed to hold her own against Kylo, and narrowly managed to escape with her life when Finn and Poe spotted her and picked her up in the Falcon. Rey, Finn, and Poe returned to Takodana with the map in hand, and finally managed to decode it, revealing that Luke Skywalker was on the distant ocean-covered planet of Ahch-To. But Leia, who had sensed Rey's budding sensitivity to the Force, urged Rey to make the journey to Ahch-To without her companions, hoping that Luke could teach her the ways of the Jedi and help her master her new abilities. Heeding Leia's advice, Leia boarded the Falcon with Chewbacca and R2-D2 as her co-pilots, and set course for Ahch-To. After a long flight over Ahch-To's endless seas, she landed on a strangely familiar island, which she seemed to remember from her dreams. On the island, a mysterious figure in a hooded robe stood before a lonely stone temple, seemingly waiting for her. When she held out Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber to the mysterious figure, he removed his hood—revealing the face of Luke Skywalker. And now, our story continues... STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII — THE LAST JEDI (Part 1) A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... (cue the fanfare) At the center of the New Republic, legendary freedom fighter Leia Organa returns to the capital world of Coruscant. Accompanied by her two newest companions, Leia prepares to call the galaxy to arms as a new war looms on the horizon. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren—the man once known as Ben Solo—gathers the forces of the sinister First Order for a desperate attack on the heart of the Republic, determined to strike back against the forces of the Resistance who once defied him. In the dark days to come, only the last of the Jedi can restore hope to the galaxy in the face of tyranny. After ten years in exile, Luke Skywalker must confront his destiny... After a long journey through space, a starship drops out of hyperspace in the orbit of a planet at the heart of the Galactic Core. At the bridge of the starship, Leia Organa looks down upon the surface of Coruscant—the world where her father once trained as a Jedi, and where her mother once represented her people as a member of the Galactic Senate. Nearby, Poe Dameron and Finn look down at the capital of the New Republic as their loyal companion BB-8 excitedly chirps and beeps. Finn, who was born on a backwater planet on the Outer Rim, is visibly awestruck at the sight of the planet. Poe, a hard-bitten member of the Resistance with no love for the New Republic, looks down on it with disdain. "This is it?" Finn asks. "Yeah, this is it," Poe says cynically. "The bright center of the universe..." Leia breathes deeply as her starship descends, preparing to dock at the spaceport. "A long time ago, I swore I'd never come back to this cess-pit," she says. "I hate to break a promise. But if we're gonna bring down the First Order, we're gonna need help.Something's coming—and I've got a bad feeling about it." In the darkened halls of his starship, Kylo Ren confers with his companions—the seven masked warriors known as "The Knights of Ren"—as he prepares for a meeting with his mentor "The Oracle". For the first time, we hear Kylo address the seven warriors by name, and it immediately becomes clear that Kylo (once called "Ben Solo") isn't the only one of them who cast aside his birth name. His companions (in no particular order) call themselves "Tarmin Ren", "Mokkar Ren", "Kadori Ren", "Shakar Ren", "Darro Ren", "Yandoss Ren", and "Vorjall Ren". As soon as we learn this, it becomes instantly clear that the surname "Ren" holds some personal significance for Kylo and his seven companions, and that each of them chose to take it. But what does it mean? "There are hard days coming," Kylo tells his companions. "The Force is strong with me, but I am no immortal. If I don't survive the battle to come, you must keep our crusade alive. Long ago, we swore an oath to each other. We swore that this war would only the beginning. Soon, we will embark on the final path toward ultimate power. But until then, you must stay on Ilum and await my return. Stay, train, and remember our oath." As the Knights of Ren bid farewell to Kylo and board a shuttle bound for their fortress on the planet Ilum, Kylo steps into the personal chambers of the Oracle. The Oracle's skin is deathly pale, his limbs are long and distorted, half of his face is covered in a horrific burn, and electrical wires extend under his skin like nerves. Upon seeing him in person, we see that he's strapped to a reclining chair and attached to a life-support machine, and is seemingly too frail and injured to stand. When he speaks, his voice warbles and reverberates with electronic sounds. A holographic monitor above his head displays his heartbeats and brainwaves, and seven armed warriors dressed in identical red armor—his Praetorian Guard—surround him at all times. "My worthy disciple..." the Oracle breathes. "It's coming, Oracle," Kylo says. "The day that you foresaw. The death of the New Republic draws near." "And yet, my visions tell of something else," the Oracle says. "Skywalker lives. The seed of the Jedi Order lives. As long as it does, hope lives in the galaxy." "It won't matter," Kylo says. "I'll burn down everything he built. If Skywalker would return, let him rule over dust and ash." "You forget, boy... I know of what you seek. You and your companions. This war is only the beginning. And when the day comes to seek out the ultimate power, you will not find it without me." "I've forgotten nothing, Oracle," Kylo says, bowing. "And I promise you this: when that day comes, the New Republic will not stand in our way." On the planet Ahch-To, we rejoin Rey. On a barren rock at the center of an endless ocean, she approaches Luke Skywalker and presents him with his father's lightsaber—the noble weapon entrusted to him by his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi, which was seemingly lost forever on Cloud City. Luke steps forward and accepts the lightsaber, clasping it in his metallic hand. For a moment, he seems overcome by memories of his past. But as soon as that moment passes, he nonchalantly tosses the weapon over his shoulder, then walks away without a word. Perplexed, Rey tries to follow him, even as she gradually realizes that the legendary "Sky-Walker" has been changed profoundly by his time in isolation. A far cry from the dashing, handsome war hero worshipped by the Resistance, Luke's hair and beard have grown long, his face is wind-burned, and he dresses in weather-beaten robes. At the top of a hill, she sees a simple hut built of mossy stones, where Luke has apparently lived for 10 long years without a soul for company. As he trudges up to the top of the hill, walks into his hut, and slams the door in her face, he never once glances back at his old lightsaber. Undaunted, Rey follows him into his hut, with Chewbacca following close behind. Luke does his best to blow them off, but Rey persists, following him around the rugged island as he goes about his daily chores. After telling Luke about her recent experiences, Rey insists that she won't leave until Luke trains her in the ways of the Force. Although Luke is devastated to learn of the death of his old friend Han Solo, he stubbornly refuses to train Rey. Having clearly become bitter and jaded in his old age, Luke insists that his training couldn't do Rey any good. "Something inside me has always been there," Rey says. "And now it's awake. And I'm afraid. I don't know what it is, or what to do with it. And I need help!" "You need a teacher. I can't teach you," Luke says. "I will never train another generation of Jedi. I came to this island to die. It's time for the Jedi to end." Rey is utterly shocked to hear Luke so callously reject the Jedi, but she still can't bring herself to abandon her mission. When night falls, she goes to sleep outside Luke's hut, planning to ask him again in the morning. Later that night, Luke creeps into the Millennium Falcon while Rey sleeps, and he finds himself overcome by his old memories as he walks through the familiar hallways of the spaceship that once took him on a fateful journey to the Death Star. While on his way out, he unexpectedly bumps into his trusty old droid R2-D2, who is ecstatic to see his master again after ten long years. Artoo pleads with Luke to leave his self-imposed exile and return to the Republic, but Luke still refuses—until Artoo tugs at his heartstrings by playing the holographic message from Princess Leia that once spurred him to leave Tatooine to fulfill his destiny. As Luke hears the familiar words "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi—you're my only hope!", he realizes that he can't deny who he truly is. He promises Rey that he will begin training her at dawn, but tells her that he will only give her three lessons on the Force. Back on his starship, Kylo Ren strides from the Oracle's chamber and walks into another room. The room is empty—but when he presses a button on the wall, the lights dim, and the room is filled with a massive hologram. Kylo suddenly finds himself at the center of a massive auditorium filled with shadowed figures, all of them dressed in the traditional colors of the old Galactic Empire. Some of them dress in blood-red armor, others in crisp black naval uniforms, others in white robes; in one corner of the auditorium, we see a group of men in grey chainmail with faces covered in black tattoos. "Who summons us?" one man calls out in a mocking voice. "Another pretender to the Imperial throne?" Kylo steps into the light. "I am Kylo Ren—master of the Knights of Ren, and Supreme Commandant ofthe First Order!" he responds. "I am no pretender, and I have come to claim no throne. Only my destiny." Cruel laughter fills the room. "And what of you?" Kylo asks. "Make yourselves known." One by one, the leaders of the various assembled groups step out of the shadows and announce themselves. "The Commander ofthe Crimson Legionstands present!" "The Admiral ofthe Black Fleetstands present!" "The Sovereign ofthe Dark Chosenstands present!" "The Lord ofthe True Sithstands present!" In our last adventure, it was well-established that the First Order are just one of many terrorist organizations formed from the splintered remnants of the fallen Empire, and they've been fighting a protracted guerrilla war against the New Republic while hiding in the Unknown Regions. Now, for the first time, we get a real idea of just how many Imperial loyalists groups are really hiding out on the fringes of the Galaxy. And for the first time in a long while, the leaders of the most powerful groups have come together to discuss an alliance. Some of them are partisan soldiers, others are Dark Side cultists, others command pirate space fleets, and some are adept warriors who practice the secret martial disciplines once wielded by Palpatine's elite Royal Guard. They all have their own private missions and agendas, but they all share a common dream: the eradication of the New Republic, and the rebirth of the Galactic Empire. "The New Republic has spread like a cancer. It is a parasite, corrupting the heart of a galaxy that was once great," Kylo says. "On Coruscant, where the Imperial Palace once stood, the bureaucrats of the Senate rule over a kingdom of beggars and thieves, bowing to the whims of the weak and the cowardly! But I know the same sacred truth that Palpatine knew: the Galaxy belongs only to the strong!" A murmur of approval echoes through the room—but one of Kylo's invited guests remains skeptical. "And you mean to challenge them, do you? Shall the fleet of the New Republic bow to a half-grown boy?" As an answer, Kylo pulls a familiar object from the folds of his cloak and holds it up to the light. His guests gasp in shock as they get a good look at it. It's Darth Vader's helmet! "They will bow to the heir of Darth Vader!" he calls, his voice echoing through the chamber. "Who are you, Ren?" the skeptical guest asks. "Who are you, truly?" A sly smile crosses Kylo's lips. "Once, my name wasBen Solo," he says. "My father was a lowborn smuggler. My mother, raised by the Queen of Alderaan, was the daughter of a Jedi Knight. His name wasAnakin Skywalker—but you knew him by another name." Kylo ignites his lightsaber as he holds Vader's helmet aloft. "I fight in the name of my grandfather, who once led the Empire to victory. I remember those who came before me. And when the time comes, I ask only that youtake what is yours." After a long silence, someone finally speaks. "What do you propose?" he asks. Once again, Kylo smiles. "Stay vigilant for word from Coruscant," he says. On Coruscant, Leia disembarks from her starship with Finn, Poe, and BB-8 in tow, and she's promptly greeted by mobs of spectators—some of whom clearly adore her, and some of whom apparently despise her. Since she went underground and joined the Resistance years earlier, Leia hasn't been seen in public in a long time, much less on the capital planet of the New Republic. A short distance away, Leia's destination looms above the crowds. It's the Galactic Senate Chamber—the building where Palpatine declared himself Emperor over half a century ago. She doesn't say a word, but the implication is clear: Leia has come to address the Senate on the threat of the First Order. Just like her mother, who once appeared before the Senate to call for aid on behalf of her people, Leia plans to call for aid against those who would keep Palpatine's dream alive. Inside the Senate Chamber, a massive multi-species delegation of planetary representatives has gathered to hear Leia's testimony. Before she approaches the platform at the center of the chamber, she orders Poe and Finn to wait on the sidelines for her. "It's been seven years since your last public appearance," one Senator says, as Leia takes the stand. "What urgent matter begs the attention of a princess?" Derisive laughter echoes through the chamber, but Leia stays passive. "I was a princess once," Leia says pensively. "I was a rebel. A diplomat. A smuggler's lover. It never really mattered to me. At heart, I've only ever been a soldier." "Once, perhaps," the Senator fires back. "This is peacetime, Your Highness. Have you forgotten that?" "I don't forget many things," Leia says. "Can you say the same?" A murmur of unrest echoes through the chamber. The Senator, unamused, proceeds forward. "Speak your piece, Your Highness," he says coldly. "You have the floor." True to his word, Luke gives Rey her first lesson in the Force in the early morning hours, encouraging her to reach out with her feelings while meditating at the top of a mountain. As Rey feels herself mentally connecting with the life around her, Luke tells her that the Force pervades all things, and all things achieve balance through the Force. Life and Death, Light and Darkness, Birth and Decay, and all of the forces that shape the universe itself. Rey realizes that she feels that same Force within herself. While the Force once gave the Jedi great power, Luke believes that the Jedi were undone by their arrogance when they convinced themselves that the Force belonged to them. As he tells Rey: even if the Jedi die out, the Force can never truly fade away—and the people of the Galaxy don't need the Jedi to teach them how to connect with the Force. "And this is the lesson," Luke says. "The Force does not belong to the Jedi. To say that if the Jedi die the Light dies is vanity. Can you feel that?" But Rey's lesson suddenly takes a dark turn when Rey senses something truly powerful and truly evil: a dark cavern beneath Luke's island temple, where the Dark Side of the Force gathers and festers. Something in the cavern calls out to her, promising to answer every question that she's asked herself since she was young. Despite Luke's warnings, Rey finds herself drawn to the darkness, forcing Luke to cut her lesson short. Visibly disturbed, Luke realizes that Rey's connection to the Force might be stronger than he realized—and she might be more susceptible to the allure of the Dark Side than he feared. "That place was trying to show me something," Rey says. "It offered you something you needed," Luke says. "And you didn't even try to stop yourself! I've seen this raw strength only once before, in Ben Solo. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now." As Luke strides away, Rey contemplates the unsteady ground beneath her feet, wondering what the cave was trying to show her. "I think my report speaks for itself," Leia says, at the conclusion of a short speech before the Senate. "Yes, quite..." the Senator says. "A terrorist base on Ilum? A fanatic with a lightsaber?" "A fanatic with a lightsaber and an army," Leia corrects him. "Kylo Ren is more than a terrorist. He has ambition. He has charisma. And he has power. Power like I haven't felt in years. Not since..." Leia's voice falters as she remembers her first encounter with her father as an adult. She doesn't finish her sentence, but her thoughts are clear: "Not since I stared Darth Vader in the face." "By all means, Your Highness..." the Senator says, rolling his eyes. "Indulge us with your murmurings about ripples in the Force!" Mocking laughter echoes through the chamber. It's immediately clear that few of the Senators take the Force seriously, dismissing it as an ignorant superstition. For the first time since she arrived on Coruscant, Leia raises her voice. Anger flashes in her eyes as she silences the laughter with a single word. "QUIET!" she yells. "Don't you ever forget: I fought on the frontlines with the Rebel Alliance! I gave everything I had to their cause, and I nearly died for it! I haven't forgotten what I fought against. Thirty years ago, I learned the true meaning of evil, and I stared it down and held my ground. The Dark Side isn't a fairy tale. Believe in it, or don't. It'll rip your heart out just the same." Sufficiently goaded, the Senator rises to his feet. "You would dare befoul this chamber with your superstitious clamor?" he fires back. "And shall we be lectured on evil by the daughter of Darth Vader?" All around the chamber, Senators audibly gasp. Leia stares down her adversary from across the length of the room, and his lips curl into an arrogant sneer. He has mentioned her greatest shame—the one that she could never overcome. "We haven't forgotten the past," the Senator says. "We remember what happened when the Jedi were allowed free reign. We remember what happened when the people of the Galaxy vainly put their faith in the Force. And we remember the Jedi who sat at the Emperor's right hand. Rest assured: the past will not repeat itself. If the Jedi would die, then let them die." Leia's lips tremble as she struggles to speak. "The Jedi aren't dead," she says. "There's one left. And he won't stay gone forever." "Luke Skywalker..." the Senator says derisively. "You say that you've foreseen a dark future for this Republic. So tell us, Your Highness: when that future comes, will one old man be enough to save us?" Leia takes a deep breath. "For all our sakes, I hope so." Kylo Ren's starship drops out of hyperspace, accompanied by dozens of First Order ships. As the fleet courses through the darkness of space, we see that they're flying in formation around a strange-looking starcraft that doesn't look quite like anything we've seen before. Its body is elongated, it's covered with transparent viewing windows, and glowing orbs endlessly spin around its midsection, pulsing and crackling with powerful energy. At the bridge of his flagship, Kylo sits behind a control panel. In the viewing window, a planet comes into view. It's Coruscant. Kylo Ren and the First Order have come to the capital of the New Republic. "Remember the plan," Kylo says to his officers. "And ready theStar Hammer. We've only got one shot at this!" In a pristine Planetary Security station at the heart of Coruscant—similar to the one we saw on Jakku—uniformed officers monitor a series of holographic computer banks, which display Coruscant's defense grid of armed orbital satellites. Suddenly, one by one, the computer monitors begin flashing bright red. "Something's not right..." a Planetary Security officer says, suddenly worried. "We're losing contact with our orbital defense grid!" As his starship enters Coruscant's orbit, Kylo keys a command into a computer panel. Back in the Planetary Security station on the surface of the planet, a look of abject horror crosses one officer's face. "No..." he breathes. "That's not possible!" "What's going on?" his commander asks. "It's our defense grid... We can't get a signal through, but our satellites are still moving on their own! They're turning—and they're aiming at the surface of the planet!" In an instant, the commander realizes what's happening: someone has hacked Coruscant's defense grid, and they're attacking the planet with its own defenses! The commander begins barking orders to his subordinants. "Send a message to every security station on the planet: the capital is under attack!" he yells. In the Senate Chamber, Leia and the Senator stare each other down. But before either of them can say another word, the building shakes, and the ground rumbles. Outside, a massive barrage of laser-fire rains down from the sky as the hacked satellites fire at the surface of Coruscant. Within moments, the center of the city is in flames. Buildings buckle and collapse, and the screams and cries of dying civilians echo through the streets. Inside the Senate Chamber, a Planetary Security squad rushes inside and orders the assembled Senators to evacuate. As the terrified politicians prepare to follow the Planetary Security officers to the nearest spaceport, one of the officers points to Leia. "You! Come with us, Your Highness. We have orders to evacuate you separately!" Leia gestures to Finn and Poe, who look around in terror and confusion as Coruscant collapses around them. "I'm not leaving alone," Leia says. "They're coming with me!" Together, Leia and her companions make a mad dash to the spaceport as chaos erupts all around them. In the skies above Coruscant, the First Order's warships come into view as they unleash a hellish artillery barrage on the buildings below. After a long run to the spaceport, the Planetary Security officers direct Leia to her ride off of Coruscant. To her surprise, it's not a civilian transport—it's the Comet Chaser, a warship in the New Republic space fleet. "You've been designated a critical asset by New Republic High Command!" the officer says. "You have intelligence on the First Order. That means we want you by our side." They board the Comet Chaser. Evading enemy fire, the warship takes off into the sky to join the unfolding space battle. But the worst is yet to come... In Coruscant's orbit, Kylo's elongated spacecraft—the mighty Star Hammer—charges its central reactor, and the glowing orbs spinning around its midsection begin to speed up. On the bridge of his starship, Kylo lays his hands on his control panel and begins making a complex gesture with his hands. The spinning orbs around the Star Hammer's midsection begin to speed up—and somewhere in the distance, a massive object approaches Coruscant... Back in the Planetary Security station on Coruscant's surface, one of the monitoring computers goes haywire. Heads turn as it begins beeping a shrill warning siren. "Something's coming..." one of the officers says. "Gravity fluctuations are off the chart! Whatever it is, it's big!" When he realizes what he's looking at, the commanding officer's mouth hangs open in shock. "No..." In the orbit of Coruscant, we zoom in on the Star Hammer as it shoots a burst of iridescent blue energy into the distance and hits Coruscant's moon. Finally, we realize what the Star Hammer is doing: it's an advanced superweapon that controls gravity, and it's caught Coruscant's moon in a powerful tractor beam. Now, as the First Order rains destruction down on the the New Republic's capital, it's preparing to hurl the moon at the surface of Coruscant, forcing the two celestial bodies into a massive collision that will wipe out all life on the planet. As the moon moves inexorably toward the surface of Coruscant, hundreds of civilian transports take off, desperately attempting to flee to freedom. On the surface of Coruscant, all Hell breaks loose as the moon comes into view, looming large over the seas of panicking civilians on the ground. Earthquakes tear through the surface of the planet, the ground splits open, and buildings collapse by the dozens. The Republic space fleet can repel an enemy space fleet, but they can't fight the raw power of gravity. Somewhere in the distance, Republic starships attempt to fight their way through the First Order's battle lines to take a shot at the Star Hammer and stop the moon—but it's already too late. As the Comet Chaser carries them into space, Finn and Poe can only watch in awe and horror as the moon slams into Coruscant, obliterating the New Republic's capital within moments. Far away, on another starship, a man dressed in Imperial colors watches the destruction of Coruscant unfold on a holographic viewscreen. As we soon see, it's the same man who skeptically dismissed Kylo at his gathering. Suddenly, Kylo's face appears in his viewscreen as he sends him a transmission from Coruscant. He leans in close, staring coldly. "Do I have your attentionnow?" Kylo asks. TL;DR: My version of The Last Jedi begins with Kylo Ren and the First Order forming a massive alliance of terrorist groups who continue to champion the cause of the Galactic Empire. While Rey trains with Luke on Ahch-To, Finn and Poe accompany Leia to the New Republic capital of Coruscant, where Leia attempts to warn the Galactic Senate of the threat of the First Order. Despite her best efforts, Leia's warnings are ignored by the Senate, who dismiss her visions of the rebirth of the Dark Side as superstitious prattle. In the middle of Leia's speech before the Senate, the First Order launches a shocking attack on the capital, using an experimental weapon known as "The Star Hammer" (which controls gravity) to hurl Coruscant's moon at the surface of the planet, wiping out most life on Coruscant. Amid the chaos, Leia narrowly manages to escape in a New Republic warship with Finn and Poe—but the First Order's attack turns out to be the first step in a coordinated assault, signaling Imperial loyalists all across the Galaxy to emerge from the shadows and attack the Republic. Additionally: the Knights of Ren have names, and it's established that they all use the surname "Ren"—hinting that the name holds some personal significance for them. And in a conversation between Kylo Ren and his mysterious mentor "The Oracle", it's hinted that Kylo's war with the New Republic is just the first step in a quest for ultimate power.
Film Rankings with Explanations, Ratings, and Tiers
During quarantine, I've had the opportunity to rewatch every movie in relatively short succession. I've seen them all 2-10 times and have been a lifelong Bond fan. I enjoy every Bond film, even the "bad" ones, but I wanted to try and rank them. I used a scoring system to help me, but ultimately went with my gut (e.g. License to Kill MUST be better than The World is Not Enough). I thought a tier system of ranking was useful, because it really is splitting hairs to rank some of these. Feel free to critique my ratings, my ratings weightings, and opinions! You could say I have too much time on my hands Tier 7: The Worst
Die Another Day: Best Sword Fight
- Why it's not irredeemable: For being the lowest ranked film on this list, it's not without its moments. Bond getting caught, tortured, then escaping from MI6 was interesting and novel. The ice hotel was neat, as well as the chase scene. I'll even defend the much maligned invisible car, as the Aston Martin Vanquish is quite a car. - Why it's not higher: Personally, I think Halle Berry is a terrible Bond girl, alternating between damsel in distress and super woman as the plot demands it. Moreover, Graves and the plot in general is pretty cheesy and boring. Perhaps most damaging is the deadly serious tone of the movie, which doesn't even provide the fun and excitement Brosnan's films generally provide the viewer. - Most under-appreciated part: The fencing scene is the best action scene of the entire movie. It's surprising it took Bond this long to fence, but seeing them go at it across the club was a blast. Tier 6: Disappointing
Quantum of Solace: Best Car Chase
- Why it's this high: The action is quite good, likely meriting the distinction of the best car chase in the entire series (the pre-credits sequence). Mathis is a good ally and it is sad to see him go. - Why it's not higher: My biggest beef with Craig's Bond films is that they are too serious, so when the plot and script isn't top-notch, the movie watching experience is just kind of dull. Quantum of Solace takes a bold risk in making the first Bond sequel, but unfortunately it's just not that good. Greene seems like a rather pathetic Bond villain, and his henchman (the worst in the series?) ends up in a neck-brace after getting tripped by Camilla. Also, the shaky cam is distracting and exhausting. - Most under-appreciated part: I actually thing the theme song is pretty good! Maybe I'm just too much of a Jack White groupie, but I think it rocks.
Moonraker: Best Locales
- Why it's this high: I'm pleased to see Jaws making a return, as he is an amazing henchman. On that note, the pre-credits sequence with Bond and Jaws falling out of the plane is exhilarating. Holly Goodhead is a very good Bond girl, beautiful, smart, and competent. Roger Moore always does an excellent job playing the role with suavity and wit. - Why it's not higher: Gosh it's cheesy. Particularly egregious is Jaws' love story. The theme song is terrible and Bond doesn't have any solid allies besides Goodhead and Jaws. - Most under-appreciated part: They really go all out with the settings here. Obviously, space is pretty polarizing, but I think Bond clearly should go to space at SOME point during the series. In addition, Italy and Brazil were gorgeous views, while Drax's estate is magnificent.
Spectre: Best Shooting
- Why it's this high: Rewatching this for the second time, I realized Lea Seydoux does a good job as the Bond girl, and it's actually quite believable she and James could work out, as she is the daughter of an assassin and can understand him (as Blofeld points out). Seeing Bond show off his marksmanship was quite satisfying, especially that one long shot during the escape from Blofeld's compound. Bonus points for Bond's DB10 and resurrecting the DB5. - Why it's not higher: The fatal flaw of this film is making Blofeld Bond's adopted brother. How did Bond not recognize him? How is Blofeld able to keep himself secret from British intelligence yet every criminal worth his salt knows of him? The worst part is that it actually cheapens the plot of the other Craig movies. I believe the Bond franchise should stay clear from sequels from here on out. Yes, they can weave a great story if done correctly, but it's so much more difficult to make great sequels (e.g. Star Wars only made two worthy sequels in seven tries) than to do one-offs. As usual for a Craig film, Bond has little charisma (save for his surprisingly good rapport with Moneypenny) and little in the way of jokes to lighten the mood. - Most under-appreciated part: The train fight scene with Dave Bautista is great! Gosh it was awesome to see them go at it, break through walls, and a priceless expression on Bautista's face when he knows he's done. Bautista is the first decent henchman since the 90s, so glad to see the series go back to this staple.
The Man with the Golden Gun: Best Potential, Worst Execution
- Why it's this high: This Bond movie frustrates more than any other, as it has the potential to be an all-time great. Bond's debriefing starts off with promise, as it turns out the world's top assassin is gunning for Bond! For the first time in the series, Bond seems vulnerable! M makes a hilarious quip as to who would try to kill Bond ("jealous husbands ... the list is endless"). Furthermore, the legendary Christopher Lee is possible the best Bond villain, a rare peer of 007. - Why it's not higher: Unfortunately, the movie opts to change course so that it's just Maud Adams trying to get Bond to kill Scaramanga. Goodnight is beautiful, but maybe the most inept Bond girl of all-time. They used a SLIDE WHISTLE, ruining one of the coolest Bond stunts ever (the car jump). - Most under-appreciated part: Nick Nack is a splendid henchman, showing the role can be more than just a strongman.
Diamonds Are Forever: Great Beginning and Ending, but Bad Everywhere Else
- Why it's this high: Is there another Bond with such a great contrast between the beginning/ending and everything in between? Connery shows his tough side, as he muscles his way through the pre-credits scene. Particularly good was the part where he seduces the woman, then uses her bikini top to choke her. At the end, Bond expertly uses his wine knowledge to detect something is amiss, then dispatches Kidd and Wint in style. Other cool scenes include Bond scaling the building to reach Blofeld and Bond driving the Mustang through the alley. - Why it's not higher: This is one of the films that I find myself liking less and less over time. Vegas, and especially the space laboratory scene, just seem cheesy. Connery is officially too old at this point, and Jill St. John just isn't a very compelling Bond girl. I would've preferred to have seen more of Plenty O'Toole, but alas 'twas not meant to be. Leiter is uninspired as well. Having Bond go after Blofeld for the millionth time just seems tired at this point. - Most under-appreciated part: Mr. Kidd and Wint are the creepiest henchmen in the Bond universe, but I'd argue they are some of the best. Their banter and creative modes of execution are quite chilling and thrilling.
A View to a Kill: Best Theme
- Why it's this high: Is it a hot take to not have View in the bottom five? Let me explain. I contend Duran Duran's theme is the very best. The ending fight scene on the Golden Gate Bridge is actually one of the most iconic ending set pieces in the series. The plot is stellar on paper, as the horse racing part was a very Bondian side story, and the idea of an attack on Silicon Valley actually seems even more plausible today. - Why it's not higher: It's self-evident that Moore is way too old for the part. Some parts are just mind-blowingly ridiculous, such as the fire truck chase scene through San Francisco and the part where Stacey is caught unaware by a blimp behind her. Speaking of Stacey, she may be beautiful, but she spends most of the movie shrieking whenever something goes wrong. - Most under-appreciated part: The scene with Bond and Ivanova is cool (I always like it when he interacts with other spies) and quite entertaining how he fools her with the cassettes. Tier 5: Below Average
Octopussy: The Most Characteristically Roger Moore Bond Film
- Why it's this high: Maud Adams has great screen presence as Octopussy, and her Amazonian-like women are cool to watch fight. Bond's deft swipe of the egg was nicely done. On a related aside, I wish Bond films would emphasize Bond's intellect more, as it seems the 60s and 70s films would allow Bond to showcase his vast knowledge more frequently than he does today. Gobinda is a fierce henchman, while India in general is a cool location. The plot is realistic, yet grand (war-mongering Russian general tries to detonate a nuke to get NATO to turn on itself). - Why it's not higher: This is the first Moore film where he simply was too old and shouldn't have been cast. Yes, it's too cheesy at times, most infamously during the Tarzan yell. Bond also doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: People tend to focus too much on Bond dressing as a clown, but the scene where Bond furiously tries to get to the bomb in time to defuse it is one of the tensest moments in the series. Moore's "Dammit there's a bomb in there!" really demonstrated the gravity of the situation (I get goosebumps during that part).
Tomorrow Never Dies: Most Tasteful Humor
- Why it's this high: Brosnan really settles into the role well here. He gives the most charismatic Bond performance in 15 years or so. His quip "I'm just here at Oxford, brushing up on a little Danish" is an all-time great Bond line. Teri Hatcher is stunning as Paris Carver, delivering a memorable performance with her limited screen time. The plot is original and ages well, highlighting the potential downsides of media power, while Carver is an above average villain. - Why it's not higher: Wai Lin is good for action, but the chemistry between her and Bond is non-existent. By the end of the movie, Pryce just seem silly (especially the scene where he mocks Wai Lin's martial arts skills). There aren't any good Bond allies, as Jack Wade doesn't impress in his return to the franchise. In general though, the movie has few things terribly wrong with it, it just doesn't excel in many ways. - Most under-appreciated part: Dr. Kaufman is hysterical. At first, I thought "this is weird," but by the end of the scene I'm cracking up. I genuinely wish they found someway to bring him back for World, but c'est la vie.
The World Is Not Enough: Less than the Sum of its Parts
- Why it's this high: According to my spreadsheet, this is a top 10 Bond film, while on my first watch on this film I thought it was bottom five. I think the truth is that it's somewhere in between. I like the settings, everything from the temporary MI-6 headquarters to Azerbaijan. Elektra is an all-time great Bond girl, with a nice plot twist and character arc. The glasses where Bond sees through women's clothing are hilarious. The sense of danger is strong, with everyone from Bond to M being in danger. The return of Zukovsky is a nice plus. - Why it's not higher: I think two things really doom this film. First, Renard is totally wasted a henchman. The idea of him not feeling pain is a cool one, but he just seems boring and extraneous. I don't even think Carlyle acted poorly, he was just misused. Secondly, the ending (after Bond killing Elektra which is quite good) is rather terrible. The whole scene in the sub just isn't entertaining or engaging. - Most under-appreciated part: I'm going to defend Denise Richards as Christmas Jones. Although no Ursula Andress, Richards is absolutely gorgeous and did not actively make Bond's mission more difficult, which is more than some Bond girls can say *cough Britt Ekland. In particular, I found her introductory scene to be quite memorable and convincing. Also, the Christmas quip at the end is quite cheeky. Tier 4: Solid
The Living Daylights:
- Why it's this high: Dalton brings a breath of fresh air to the franchise here. His more serious take makes for interesting movies that seem more unique than most. I'm happy to see this subreddit appreciate Dalton more than the casual fun does, but I wouldn't go as far as the Dalton fanboys and say he's the best Bond or anything like that. I do wish he got the role sooner and did more films. Moving on to Daylights, it's got a good intro for Dalton and good plot in general. Surprisingly, Bond's fidelity doesn't bother me one bit, as it actually makes sense that Kara falls in love with James by the end, given all they've gone through. - Why it's not higher: The biggest reason is that the villain is just terrible. Whitaker seems silly and pathetic, a terrible contrast to Dalton's serious nature. I think Whitaker might be the worst in the series, and a Bond movie can't be great without a good villain. Also, Dalton doesn't have much charm and is abysmal at one-liners, which, in my opinion, IS a facet of the perfect James Bond. - Most under-appreciated part: The Aston Martin Vantage is a beautiful car, and the chase scene across the ice is great! It's both exciting and funny! Not sure why people don't talk about this chase scene and this car more; it's arguably the highlight of the movie for me.
Thunderball: The Most Beautiful
- Why it's this high: Thunderball used to be top five for me and here is why. The underwater scenes, the setting, the score, and the Bond girls are beautiful even to this day. Domino is excellent, while Volpe is a tour de force, oozing sexuality and danger. I think the underwater parts are interesting and novel, creating a staple of sorts for the franchise. The DB 5 is always welcome, and the jetpack use was quite cool for the time (and to some extent now). - Why it's not higher: Some would say it's boring, while I would more generously admit the plot is slow. Furthermore, the theme song is all-time bad (apparently they could have used Johnny Cash!!!), and there is no great henchman for Bond to dispatch. - Most under-appreciated part: Two plot ideas I liked a lot: Bond being injured and needing rehab, plus the part where all the 00s meet up and then are sent to the corners of the globe.
Never Say Never Again: Guilty Pleasure
- Why it's this high: Rewatching Never for the third time, I was struck by how fun this movie is. It's exciting, funny, and fast-paced. Basically, it's a more exciting version of Thunderball, with better pacing and better humor. I think Irvin Kershner did a great job managing this star studded cast. Carrera is a firecracker as Blush, Sydow is a convincing Blofeld, and Basinger is a classic Bond girl. Connery clearly has a blast returning to the role, doing a great job despite his advanced age. If anything, this one might not be ranked high enough. - Why it's not higher: The music is terrible. Normally I don't notice these things, but one can't help but notice how dreadful this one is. The theme is awful as well. I'd argue this is the worst music of any Bond film. - Most under-appreciated part: The humor! This is one of the funniest Bonds, as I found myself laughing out loud at various parts (e.g. Mr Bean!).
The Spy Who Loved Me: Best Intro
- Why it's this high: There's a lot to love about this one, so I get why this ranks highly for many. It is simply the best introduction, starting with Bond romancing a woman, followed by a skii chase, then jumping off the cliff and pulling the Union Jack parachute! The Lotus is a top 3 Bond car. Jaws is a superb henchman. Triple X was an excellent Bond girl, deadly, charming, and beautiful. Of course, Moore is charming and the locations are exotic (Egypt was a cool locale). If I had to pick one Moore movie for a newcomer to watch, it would be this one. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is bad, and Stromberg is a below average villain. I also think the last 45 minutes or so of the movie kind of drags. - Most under-appreciated part: The whole dynamic between Bond and Triple X is great. Whenever Bond movies show Bond squaring off against other spies (see View to a Kill, Goldeneye) it's just a pleasure to watch.
Live and Let Die: Most Suave
- Why it's this high: Roger Moore superbly carves out his own take on Bond in an excellent addition to the franchise. The boat chase is my favorite in the series, and Live and Let Die is my second favorite theme. Jane Seymour is a good Bond girl, while Tee Hee and Kananga are a solid villain/henchman duo. Unpopular opinion: I find J.W. Pepper to be hilarious. - Why it's not higher: The introduction isn't very good, as Bond isn't even included! The second climax with the voodoo isn't great. Bond blowing up Kananga has aged terribly. - Most under-appreciated part: When Bond is visited in his apartment by M and Moneypenny, Bond rushes to hide his girl from his coworkers. Finally, when they leave and he unzips the dress with his magnetic watch is one of the best uses of a Bond gadget in the series, showcasing why Moore might be the most charming Bond of them all.
You Only Live Twice: Best Blofeld
- Why it's this high: Just your classic, fun Sean Connery Bond movie. It was a great decision to send Bond to Japan for his first Asian visit, giving the movie a fresh feel. The ending set piece battle is potentially the best of this staple of 60s/70s Bonds. Tiger Tanaka is one of Bond's cooler allies. Pleasance killed it as Blofeld; when I think of Blofeld, I think of his take. In what could have been cheesy, he is actually somewhat frightening. - Why it's not higher: The whole "we need to make you look Japanese" part seems both unrealistic (who is he really fooling?) plus surprisingly impotent coming from Tiger Tanaka who seems to be a competent and connected man otherwise. Honestly though, this movie doesn't have a major weakness. - Most under-appreciated part: The fight scene with the guard in the executive's office is probably the best hand-to-hand fight in the series up until that point. Tier 3: Excellent
Dr. No: The Most Spy-Like
- Why it's this high: Nearly 60 years later, this film is still a blast to watch, due in no small part to its focus on the little things of being a spy. I adore the scenes where Bond does the little things spies (presumably) do, such as putting a hair across the door, or showing Bond playing solitaire while waiting to spring his trap on Prof. Dent. I also enjoy the suspense of Bond sleuthing around the island, while he and the viewer are completely unaware of whom the villain is until quite late in the film. It's easy to take for granted now, but this film established so many series traditions that were ingenious. My personal favorite is Bond's introduction at the card table: "Bond .... James Bond." - Why it's not higher: The film just doesn't have the payoff it deserves. Maybe it's just a result of the time and budget, but from the point Bond escapes on, it's just mediocre. Particularly egregious is the "fight" between Dr. No and Bond where No meets his demise. - Most under-appreciated part: Ursula Andress was a surprisingly well developed Bond girl, with a shockingly violent backstory (she was raped!). Obviously, she is beautiful and the beach scene is iconic, but I was pleasantly surprised to conclude she is more than just eye candy.
License to Kill: The Grittiest
- Why it's this high: On my first watch, this was my least favorite Bond film, as I thought it was too dark and violent to befit 007. By my third time watching, I've decided it's actually one of the best. Fortunately, I don't have to go on my "Ackshually, Dalton did a good job" rant with this subreddit. I liked the wedding intro and the concept of a revenge arc for Leiter (although come on he should've been killed by a freaking shark). Also, Lamora and (especially) Bouvier are great Bond girls. Bouvier is both competent and beautiful, and it's great to see Bond choose her at the end. - Why it's not higher: The theme song is atrocious, Dalton is so angry (dare I say charmless?) the whole time it's almost puzzling why Bouvier and Lamora fall for him, and Bond doesn't use any cool vehicles. - Most under-appreciated part: Sanchez is actually a sneaky good Bond villain.
For Your Eyes Only: The Most Underrated
- Why it's this high: I think Moore is a bit underrated as Bond. Yes, he was too old towards the end and yes, his movies were at times too campy, but he himself played the role admirably. He was the most charming and witty of all the Bonds, so by the time he got his first relatively serious plot to work with, he hit it out of the park. Anyhow, the climactic mountaintop assault is one of my favorite Bond action climaxes. Columbo is one of the best Bond allies, and the plot twist where he turns out to be good and Kristatos bad was well-done. - Why it's not higher: The intro is just silly. Bibi's romantic infatuation with Bond is just ...er... uncomfortable? - Most under-appreciated part: The theme song is a banger. What a chorus! Tier 2: Exceptional
Skyfall: The Sharpest Film (From Plot to Aesthetics)
- Why it's this high: One of the best plots of the entire series. The idea of an older Bond who had lost a step, along with making M the focus point of the movie, works very well. Seeing Bond's childhood home is also pretty cool. Bardem's take on Silva is delightful and a lot of fun to watch. Even the cinematography is a series peak, while Adele's them is excellent. - Why it's not higher: One thing most Craig Bond films suffer from is the lack of a Bond-worthy henchman. Skyfall is no exception. More importantly, Bond girls are mostly irrelevant to the film. Yes, Severine is both beautiful and interesting, but she's scarcely twenty minutes of the film. - Most under-appreciated part: Setting the new supporting characters up nicely. The Moneypenny backstory was well-done. Casting Ralph Fiennes as the new M is a great choice in of itself, but he also got a nice chuck of background story to help us going forward.
Casino Royale: The First Bond Film I'd Show a Series Newcomer
- Why it's this high: Craig's take on Bond feels like a breath of fresh air. In particular, his hand-to-hand combat scenes are so much better (and more believable) than any other Bond. The parkour chase scene is one of the best chase scenes in the series. Le Chifre is an excellent villain, but, more importantly, Vesper is an all-time great Bond girl. The conversation between Vesper and Bond on the train is probably the most interesting of any film. Bonus points for Jeffrey Wright as Leiter and the Aston Martin DBS. - Why it's not higher: There are hardly any humorous parts or much charm displayed by Bond in general. More importantly, the movie should have just ended when Bond wakes up in rehab. The rest of the movie feels confused and superfluous. - Most under-appreciated part: The decision to change from chemin de fer to poker makes for much better (and understandable!) cinema. The poker scenes are the best of Bond's many gambling scenes throughout the series.
Goldeneye: The Most Fun
- Why it's this high: Wow, rewatching Goldeneye I was struck by how entertaining the whole thing is. The opening jump is breath taking, the scene where Bond drives his evaluator around is hilarious, and Xenia Onatopp is a livewire. Sean Bean is a formidable villain as 006, and a great foil to James. Bond and Judi Dench's first scene together is amazing. Goldeneye feels like the first modern Bond, yet so true to the predecessors. Wade and especially Zukovsky are excellent allies. - Why it's not higher: Simonova is a forgettable Bond girl. She's not annoying, unattractive, or acted poorly, but is just below average in most regards (looks, back story, chemistry with Bond, plot). - Most under-appreciated part: the action is just so much better than any Bond before it
From Russia with Love: The Best Henchman (Red Grant)
- Why it's this high: Interesting settings, beautiful women, and an engaging story make this a classic. I'm not the first to point out that the scenes with Grant and Bond aboard the train are some of the best in the entire series. Grant is one of the few villains who feels like a match for 007. Furthermore, the addition of Desmond Llewyn as Q was crucial and Kerim Bey is one of the better Bond allies. - Why it's not higher: The helicopter scene should've just been omitted, especially when combined with the subsequent boat chase. It's just awkward to watch. - Most under-appreciated part: The gypsy scenes are quite exotic and entertaining.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service: The Most Heartfelt
- Why it's this high: James and Tracy's love story is charming, and when she dies at the end, this is the one and only time in the entire series where the viewer feels genuinely sad. Diana Rigg did an excellent job convincing the audience Bond could finally fall in love with one girl. The skiing scenes were beautifully filmed, and the score was exemplary. Personally, I quite liked Lazenby's take; however, some of his lines and jokes fall flat. To his credit, he looks and acts like Bond more than any other actor. - Why it's not higher: Honestly, it does drag at times in the first half, plus there is no theme song! - Most under-appreciated part: Bond's Aston Martin DBS is a beautiful car, combining 60's sports-car beauty with Aston Martin's elegance. Tier 1: The Best
Goldfinger: The quintessential Bond
- Why it's this high: From the opening ("Positively shocking") to the seduction of Pussy Galore at the end, this film has it all. Goldfinger is an all time great villain, while Odd Job is an exceptional henchman. Connery delivers a master performance, and drives THE classic Bond Car, ejector seat included. The reason I put it #1 is not necessarily because it is the best film (although it is great), it checks all the boxes of what a perfect Bond film should do. - Why it's not higher: I cannot think of any notable imperfections. - Most under-appreciated part: The golf scene between Bond and Goldfinger is a delight to watch, demonstrating Bond's wits for the first and only time on the golf course.
Watch one movie per night during quarantine, here is my ranking:
Watched all the movies as a kid, decided to go back and rewatch them understand the plots, overall story, and then nostalgia of course. With that said, here is my ranking:
Die Another Day - terrible CGI, too many references to past films, almost feels more like an Austin Powers movie than a Bond movie. So much potential after the opening scene but it falls flat on its face afterwards.
Never Say Never Again - being the non-Eon film makes it just feel all wrong. Connery is way past his prime, and a lack of Llewelyn and the Bond theme music means it might as well have been part of another franchise.
The World is not Enough - sadly the last appearance by Llewelyn as Q, and that’s probably the highlight of this one.
A View to a Kill - Moore was way past his prime, and not even Christoper Walken could make this movie very memorable.
License to Kill - by far the darkest non-Craig movie, but feels more like a crime movie than a Bond movie.
Tomorrow Never Dies - pretty average in every sense of the word. Probably one of the weakest villains but at least he meets one of the gruesomest demises of the franchise.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service - the hand to hand combat was overdone, and it had one of the least interesting plots of any Bond movie. The emotional side of Bond gives this movie some redemption though.
Quantum of Solace - the worst of the Craig movies, not bad but felt rushed.
Moonraker - too SciFi for Bond. Yes, I realize this is a product of its era, but it’s still cheesy. Jaws redeems this movie, sort of...
The Man with the Golden Gun - title song is one of those obnoxious songs that you hate but can’t get out of your head. Nick Nack is an interesting henchmen.
Octopussy - the one that bond saves the day dressed as a clown, redeemed by some Alfa Romeo GTV6 action shots.
You Only Live Twice - first time we see Blofeld. Awesome final battle scene.
The Living Daylights - Dalton seems to get unfairly criticized for playing a similar, grittier Bond that Craig is praises for.
Dr No - overall the movie is a bit tame compared to some of its immediate successors, but my god Connery’s blue outfit and Honey Rider’s swimsuit are iconic as hell.
Live and Let Die - New Orleans and Voodoo make this movie very enjoyable for me, best title song of the series.
Thunderball - underwater battle scene is legendary
Spectre - very interesting back story, Chistoph Watlz nails Blofeld, but Dave Bautista gives it somewhat of a cheesy action feel.
Goldeneye - Brosnan at his best
For Your Eyes Only - a slightly less cool Lotus, a slightly less cool ski chase, it’s like TSWLM Jr, which isn’t a bad thing.
From Russia with Love - the debut of Q. Nothing incredibly outstanding but still a really good film.
Diamonds Are Forever - this one probably wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of anyone else’s list, but Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd are probably the most memorable henchmen.
Goldfinger - the movie that gave the rest of the series its identity, henchmen, gadgets, title sequences. Goldfinger just isn’t in the top tier of villains for me though.
Casino Royale - revived the franchise after its worst movie, awesome villain in Le Chiffre, and bonus points for a Chris Cornell title song.
The Spy Who Loved Me - submarine Lotus, the Ski chase, Jaws, and a great title song, maybe the best all-rounder
Skyfall - the best villain of the series in Silva in my opinion, and a perfect blend of modernity with homages to the past.
I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments! My rankings are open for discussion and debate.
There have been many mistakes that have been made, and someone needs to reverse the curse... Swoldow's Survivor has undergone 35 seasons of amazing plays, but sometimes, a few mistakes were made, and as a result, someone gets sent home. However, 20 new castaways have a chance to nullify that bad decision. A new twist, entitled 'Ghost Island' is an island someone can visit in exile, and bid their vote on a chance to get an advantage that has been misused by someone who has played prior to them. MEET THE CAST: Malolo Tribe:
Armando grew up learning how to cook from his mother, and knew that he wanted to do that as a career someday. He now runs a successful restaurant, and believes that his organizational and leadership skills can help him not only go far in this game, but to even possibly win as well.
Breadfruit is a very mysterious fellow. He rarely ever speaks and is extremely useless in every aspect of life. Allegedly, he is a genetic experiment gone wrong when scientists combined a human with the properties of breadfruit and has been locked up in a lab for his whole life. He came on the show because why not.
Growing up in Las Vegas, Devon learned first hand how to enjoy life in Sin City, and also how to live big in Sin City. In his early teens, Devon learned how to play gambling games from his pro poker player dad: Texas Hold 'em, Blackjack, Roulette. He also learned about people's tells and whether they are bluffing or not. Now grown up, he not only knows how to win big, he also has the skills for his job when not in Vegas, convincing people to purchase a house. He's going into Survivor with the same expectations as he does when he plays in a casino, Winning Big!
A notorious idiot with who has replaced any form of intelligence with good vibes instead. He is a proud weed addict, (420 for grubs and life), and has invented a yoga technique he refers to as 'the chill session'. Will his idiocy get the best of him, or will people want him around as an easy vote and goat?
Kathy has had the dream of being a movie star since she was a little girl, but unfortunately for her, she hasn't gotten her big break yet, and is financially struggling. She hopes Survivor can get her name out there, and someone takes notice how impressive she is at lying on the show, and take her in for a role.
Madelyn was born into a family that didn’t love her for who she is due to her gender transition. So she decided to create her own family. Welcome to the stage Haus Swann! She was bullied at first by other LGBT individuals when she first made an appearance on the ball scene. However, she quickly rose to fame because of her beautifully made gowns. She is quite the seamstress. She can make a dress in 3 minutes. She gives back to her community by taking in LGBT youth and giving them a home.
Ray grew up in a very conservative town where he couldn’t express himself openly. After getting accepted into college, he decided that he would leave his family and friends and be his true self. Right now he’s a very impulsive young man trying to get a security blanket with the money. Ray believes that anything that breathes is most likely attracted to him, which mean he’ll flirt with anyone or anything to get his way.
Roxy has always been the most popular at school. She loved being popular because people are intimidated by her and she runs the school. After leaving high school, Roxy didn’t want to go to college and decided to be a waitress. Roxy is willing to flirt with all the guys if that is what it takes for her to run the game like her high school and win.
Snow Kong has lived the majority of her short life thus far with everything being served to her on a silver platter. As a child and throughout high school, due to being the daughter of the CEO of a widely established professional services network, Snow attended a high-end boarding school where she stayed while her parents remained focused on their work rather than having to worry about their child. Because of her lack of parental involvement, Snow often acted out and was the notorious “mean girl” at her school. She was incredibly popular but also incredibly mean and arrogant. Rather than gaining her popularity from a large social circle, Snow’s popularity came from her family, her money, and the aura that she carried herself with; one that caused others to avert their gaze from her if she caught them staring or move out of a seat if she wanted to sit there. Currently, being 23 and out of high school now, Snow has opted to carry on being a socialite and makes her income by being booked for appearances at clubs and attending runway shows, movie premieres, and launching a perfume line or two. She loves making money by having fun and her lifestyle suits her well. Snow hopes she can use her effortless skills of persuasion and her threateningly charming aura to get her fellow castaways to hand her another easy million dollars.
Tea has always been a very eccentric and bubbly woman! When she was young she graduated at the top of her class and decided to go into the air force as she wanted to help others and serve for her country! She later had a major Injury when she lost her leg and was rushed to the hospital. She wasn't supposed to survive but she miraculously survived. She has been a huge fan of Survivor since the first season and she wants to compete herself and prove ANYONE can win
Brazilian-born Aline came to the U.S when she was 12 years old. She was born in the Brazilian favelas and for her to live in the U.S and get the work opportunities she has right now is the true definition of the American dream. She comes to Swoldow's Survivor with a fun attitude and hopes to bring her Brazilian essence to the show.
To sum a long story short, Brant is the definition of a psychopath. You can tell by just looking at him that there is something not right in his head, that there is some dark thoughts up there. He was always shy and weird, as he liked to kill insects and talk about death. That lead to a phase of him killing animals and keeping their organs in a jar, and having a large collection of fake blood to scare his family and friends. One day there was a triple homicide in his town with people suspecting it’s Brant, but there was no evidence it was him, although he says he knows whether he did it or not, but refuses to answer. After that he moved away, he brought a graveyard and changed his name. He likes working in the graveyard as he gets to live a private life alone, and look at the corpses, as he says they look so peaceful and beautiful. He wants to win that money to expand his graveyard, and will do anything to get it. Brant will just kill for that money.
Damon has been competitive his whole life, his family is a long line of professional athletes. He grew up in love with basketball. He is coming off an MVP season and a championship. He fills on top of the world. What's next... Survivor! He wants to play the best physical game there ever was.
Hope had a really bad childhood. She never saw a full plate of food, and her poverty led her to meet the wrong people. Passing out at a party, someone snuck a tattoo of her name on her face, and since then has tried to get herself out of her living situation. She wants to win to get a good life for her, her family, and end all of the financial problems that have plagued her.
Juliette has been a hard-worker from a very early age. Always intelligent and promising, Juliette was always the smartest kid in school. The class president and the one voted most likely to rule the world one day. Juliette's life has been rather charmed, but she's always been ambitious and eager to succeed. Becoming a therapist was exactly what she wanted to do with her life. Now, getting older, Juliette is in a comfortable place. She's happily married to a wonderful man, has kids, and a very successful job. But she still wants to do something new and interesting and Survivor is just the thing to be that for her. Juliette believes her intelligence will serve her well in the game and that her skills as a therapist will help her even more when it comes to relationships. With a big mind for strategy, she'll do whatever she has to in order to advance herself. If she needs to be loyal to get far, she will, but she'll just as easily break those bonds if it means getting to the end.
Mary is a struggling office worker hoping to get further by winning money on Survivor. She plans to use her wits and determination to get further in the game than people expect and become an unseen threat.
At a young age, Meg was mentally abused by her dad, causing her to cling to every man who came in contact with her. Unfortunately, all the men did for her was use her and kick her to the curb. Meg is out here to prove that she isn't a tool and can kick butt!
R2's parents moved to America and had him a year later. They've always taught him about the importance of hard work. He's quiet and introverted, but can be very charming once he finally opens up to people.
Taken from his parents alongside his brother and fellow player Ryan, Trey opted not to join Ryan's band and instead help produce for him. He wants to be known for his own game and not be judged on how his brother played in China and FvF.
Troy has a rough exterior and looks like he would be tough but deep down he is very sensitive and caring. He married his high school sweetheart and found out that she is pregnant two weeks before leaving for the show. Now he not only has himself and his wife to play for but also his unborn child.
THE SEASON: https://brantsteele.com/survivo36/r.php?c=KdpJKr3d Episode 1: Two tribes of ten are cast away in Fiji, and they are told the theme of this season is making failed decisions. The tribemates are immediately put to the test when they must pick a leader. Breadfruit volunteers without anyone's consent for Malolo, and Mary, being the oldest person on Naviti, is picked for them. They are then told to pick two people to compete in a challenge. Breadfruit picks Snow and Tea and Mary picks Troy and Juliette. Despite their... questionable pick for a leader, Malolo wins the challenge and get a shelter building kit. At Malolo, Snow immediately starts trying to make a move. She starts to flirt with Ray and the two naturally want to control the game together, forming a showmance they manage to keep well hidden. Wanting to form a group of all people that would be deemed as day one threats, Devon and Kathy are also roped into this new four-person group due to their occupations. The four of them have the strategic ability to pull off many crazy moves. Surf begins to notice the group forming, and doesn't really see that as very tubular so he tries and get Devon to align with him by introducing him to his 'chill sessions.' Unfortunately, Devon hates them, prompting a fight between him and Surf. At Naviti, Damon immediately wants to take charge of the tribe and starts to build trust with Hope, who he really likes. Trey introduces himself, and people are taken aback about him being a Durante. Trey knows that as soon as people knew his last name, he'd be seen as a threat, so he immediately starts painting targets on the backs of others, getting into a fight with Damon and accusing him of playing too hard, too early. Everyone knows that despite Trey's heritage, Damon is playing way harder than him, and everyone wants to naturally align with Trey. Juliette and Meg bond and open up to eachother, and Juliette sees Meg as an easy vote she can manipulate how she wants. Even Hope is starting to not trust Damon, so she starts to build an alliance, bringing in Trey and Juliette initially. Juliette then adds in Meg, the group decides to bring in Troy as well, and Aline and Brant sneak their way into the group too. Damon, Mary, and R2 are on the outs, as Mary screwed the challenge, Damon is a threat, and R2 has been nervous and hasn't cultivated a relationship. Naviti wins the first immunity challenge, and they have to pick someone to go to Ghost Island and be absent from tribal. They pick Tea. Upon arriving, she is given the opportunity to wager her vote for a secret advantage, and she manages to win it, as it is an idol clue. Malolo now has to go to tribal, and the tribe isn't very happy with Breadfruit's performance in the challenge, as he stood and did nothing for the majority of it. Everyone on Malolo agrees Breadfruit has to go, except for Surf, who sees Breadfruit as a chill dude and would much rather vote for Madelyn who he doesn't sense good vibes from. Breadfruit wants Roxy out for being a social threat, but nobody wants to work with him. Breadfruit is sent home in a 7-1-1 vote. Tea gets back from Ghost Island, and scared she hasn't formed any bonds due to being absent from tribal, she shares the idol clue she won with Roxy, who immediately stabs her in the back, finding the idol on her own. This idol was the one Connor never got to play in Blood vs Water. Tea realizes what Roxy did and has a meltdown, not expecting to be lied to, and wanting someone to vote with her alliance as a number, Kathy goes to comfort Tea and the two form a strong connection. Armando, wanting to make bonds starts cooking for everyone, and Roxy takes a liking to him, and the two grow close. Roxy says she'll vote for him if he gets her extra rice servings and Armando, immediately agrees, knowing he can use his skills to make there seem like more rice. At Naviti, Troy finds the legacy advantage Penelope misplayed in Egypt. Troy, wanting someone on the outs as a contingency plan talks to R2 and tells him of the idol to gain his trust. Mary, meanwhile, impresses the team with how much she works around camp. Brant, meanwhile, does the opposite, rubbing everyone the wrong way when he tells them about his gruesome pass-times as a child. He is promptly kicked from the alliance as everyone is disgusted by him. Malolo wins immunity, and Brant is sent to Ghost Island. He is at peace with the island as it is themed around death, but the advantage isn't available so he just lives in isolation for a night. R2 and Mary want to break up the duo of Juliette and Meg by voting Meg, and Damon wants R2 out for being weak in challenges. Aline has a strategic plan, but she wants to use her Brazilian charms to lay underestimated, so she tells Trey her plan, asking him to propose it to the group, promising she will look out for him if anyone tries to gun for him. Trey agrees. The two propose doing a 3-2-1 split vote between R2, Mary, and Damon, and everyone agrees. Troy is mad R2 plans to be the one everyone plans to send home, as he made a bond with him, but he doesn't want to anger anyone immediately so he goes with the plan. R2 goes home in a 4-2-1 vote. Episode 2: The tribes are told that they are swapping really early. The new Malolo tribe has Aline, Armando, Brant, Devon, Surf, Juliette, Kathy, Tea, and Trey, while Naviti has Damon, Hope, Madelyn, Mary, Meg, Ray, Roxy, Snow, and Troy. The only Malolo alliance is cut in two, with Devon and Kathy hoping Ray and Snow can make it out alive on the other side of things. Malolo has majority, but Surf and Tea haven't voted with them, and would flip if given the option. Trey, Aline, and Juliette retain their original alliance, with Brant as the final Naviti member. Trey starts bonding with Devon, hoping the two could work something out, and they get along nicely. Trey throws Brant's name under the bus, as he is a creep, and Devon also already feel uncomfortable by him. Both the idols are at Naviti camp, and Troy, Mary, Meg, and Hope run the tribe. Damon doesn't want to work with any of them, as they left him out of the conversation, so he starts to bond with Madelyn. Both were on the bottom of their tribes and they plan to work together. Snow and Ray immediately want to throw Roxy under the bus for being untrustworthy, as they know that they have to convince Naviti to spare them and cut Madelyn and Roxy first. Malolo wins immunity, and Devon, wanting his alliance to have safety, sends Snow to Ghost Island, where there is no advantage for her. Hope, Mary, Meg, and Troy get together and discuss who they want to vote, and they all see Roxy as the least trustworthy. Ray continues to fuel the fire, by spreading lies about her to the women of Naviti. However, Ray hopes an idol gets played, and he plans to vote for Meg. Madelyn, however, knows what Ray is up to, and is sick of it. She tells Damon to vote for Ray, and then tells Roxy she is being targeted by Naviti. Roxy gets extremely paranoid but knows what she has to do. She plans to vote for Hope, because she sees her as the biggest threat, and at tribal, Roxy plays her idol, negating 4 votes. Her jaw drops, however, when Ray is sent home in a 2-1-1-0 vote. Episode 3: Hope and Troy celebrate getting through the vote without anyone from Naviti going, and Mary notices how close Hope and Troy are getting, believing she is the third wheel. She immediately wants more power, so she approaches the outsiders, Damon and Madelyn, and a new alliance is formed. Snow gets back from Ghost Island and is appalled that her showmance was did dirty. She assumes someone from Naviti did it, and wants revenge, so she starts spreading lies about Meg to this newly formed alliance. Kathy continues to try and form as many bonds as possible and makes one with Aline, who she finds interesting due to her culture. Aline continues to play dumb, while secretly running things behind the scenes with Trey. Surf starts eating more and more rice daily, which angers Armando and Tea. Tea gets into a fight with Surf as a result. Naviti wins reward and Armando is sent to Ghost Island. He gets an available advantage, but doesn't want to wager his vote. Malolo wins immunity, and Naviti goes back to tribal. Snow wants everyone to pay for what happened to Ray, so she starts to have side conversations with those on the bottom to make a majority. She talks to Roxy, telling her they have to vote Meg, and then separately talks to Damon, Madelyn, and Mary. A new majority is formed, and Hope starts to get nervous. She talks to Troy about why nobody is talking to them, and Troy's intuition as a cop is to play his idol. He plays it on Meg, negating 5 votes, and sending Roxy home in a 3-0 vote. Episode 4: Despite the original alliance's victory, they are still at a minority, and Snow wants to make sure nobody flips back onto them. She uses her charms to make everyone believe she is an asset to tribal life, and Mary, Damon, and Madelyn still want to work with her to vote out Meg. Trey starts to try and convince a Malolo to flip on his tribe, and believes it is best to try and work Tea to his side. The two talk, but Kathy notices what Trey is trying to do and wants Tea to herself. She continues to bond with Tea as well. Malolo wins reward and they sent Troy to Ghost Island where he finds nothing. Malolo also wins immunity again, sending Naviti back to tribal. Hope doesn't feel comfortable in her alliance anymore, as it is in the minority, but doesn't want that to be apparent, so she plans to calmly morph into a free-agent while being unnoticed. Snow continues to keep the new trio of Damon, Mary, and Madelyn loyal to her interests, and they see her as a shield. As a result, they all want to stick together and keep the majority. Hope, Meg, and Troy want Mary out next due to being super social, so they gun for her, but Meg is sent home in a 4-3 vote. Episode 5: The tribes are told that they are swapping again, but this time, into three tribes. Malolo now has Brant, Damon, Kathy, Madelyn, and Snow. Naviti has Armando, Devon, Surf, Tea, and Troy, and the new Yanuya has Aline, Hope, Juliette, Mary, and Trey. Damon and Madelyn immediately find out that Snow no longer wants to work with them, as she is finally reunited with her alliance member Kathy, and the two girls spend the whole day talking together. Damon wants to pull a fast one on Kathy so Snow can be loyal to their interests, so he starts to bond with Kathy to lull him under a false sense of security, while continuing to bond with Madelyn. Kathy sees through Damon completely, and tells Snow she wants him gone. Snow and Kathy go looking for an idol and Snow finds it, willing to use it on her ally. At Naviti, Troy is the easy vote, as he is the only Naviti on the tribe, but Devon still gets paranoid, knowing his alliance wont be there to help him. He immediately starts looking for the idol and finds it. After, he begins to smooth things over, and forms a bond with Armando that could potentially help him down the road. At Yanuya, Trey does the most when building the shelter and everyone is impressed by him. Using this to his advantage, Trey immediately starts painting a target onto Mary's back, for flipping on her tribe, to his old allies, and both Aline and Juliette continue to want to work with Trey as a result. Naviti and Yanuya win immunity and Malolo goes to tribal. Damon immediately ropes Brant into his plan to get Kathy out, and Brant is all for it. Neither Snow or Kathy want to talk to Brant as he scares them, so Snow decides to resort to playing her idol to get her out of this mess. They plan to stick to their plan to vote Damon, despite him being needed to be kept around for challenges, and hope this move turns the tribe on it's head. Snow plays her idol on Kathy, negating 3 votes, and Damon is sent home in a 2-0 vote. Episode 6: Madelyn begins to get desperate as her number one ally got idoled out, so despite not wanting to talk to him at all, Madelyn makes an alliance with Brant, just to get past one more vote, hoping he would go to rocks for her. At Naviti, Troy tries to find a way to get out of being on the bottom, and starts to bond with Armando. Troy didn't want to have to play dirty, but he decides to, telling Armando that Tea approached him, telling him she wats Armando out. Armando is shocked, and wants Tea gone. At Yanuya, Hope knows that the plan is to vote Mary, but is starting to get extra worried, especially since Trey and Aline are close. She goes looking for the idol and finds it. This is the idol that Art didn't use in Heroes vs Villains II, that he went out with in his pocket. Malolo and Yanuya win reward, and they send Surf to Ghost Island. Surf decides to test his luck and wager his vote, but ultimately loses the chance game and has no vote at tribal anymore. Yanuya and Malolo win immunity, sending Naviti to tribal. Surf tells everyone he lost a vote on Ghost Island and everyone is intrugued. With Surf being unable to vote, hope is restored to Troy. Devon wants to make a move on Surf because he is vulnerable, and a physical threat as well, and proposes this plan to Troy. Troy however, still wants Tea and Armando to turn against eachother. He then tells Tea that Armando is gunning for her, and now both Tea and Armando want eachother out. Troy can now vote however he wants to, and Tea ends up being the one who gets the short end of the stick, in a 2-1-1 vote. Episode 7: The tribes merge, but tribal lines are already dissolving. Naviti has one extra person over Malolo, 7-6, but Mary doesn't want to work with her tribe, and would much rather play with Madelyn. She makes it apparent to her tribe that she is not with them, and this angers the rest of Naviti, who all want to work as a group. Aline receives a note in her buff, allowing her to sneak to Ghost Island at night, and when she gets there, she has the opportunity to wager her vote for an advantage but doesn't take it. Snow wins immunity, and immediately bring the alliance of her, Devon, and Kathy together. They all want Mary out, as she is the least trustworthy naviti left in the game, due to flipping. Mary suddenly realizes the error of her ways, and tries to make it up to her old tribe by doing more around camp, and attempting to establish an alliance between her, Aline, Hope, and Surf, but neither Aline or Hope plan to stick with it, and instead those two girls start to flirt with Surf, manipulating him to vote with their tribe. Wanting to get the hot babes and not really caring about his tribe, Surf gladly accepts. Madelyn attempts to try and flip Brant, trying her best to socialize with him but he doesn't budge. Trey and Troy propose the first vote, and they believe that Armando should go first as he is the biggest physical threat of the tribe. Mary talks with her old ally Madelyn about potentially voting Troy, and begs her new alliance do the same, but Aline, Surf, and Hope already have made their choice on who to vote. Armando becomes the first juror in a 7-4-2 vote. Episode 8: With the biggest physical threat out of the way, Naviti now wants to shift their focus to the biggest strategic threats. Troy starts to get a read on the Malolos and doesn't trust Devon at all, so he proposes voting for him. Meanwhile, Mary is fuming mad her new alliance voted against her wishes, and straightup leaves it. Hope also starts to try and become more social. She forms a relationship with both Troy and Trey, two of the bigger threats of the tribe. Brant, Devon, Hope, Madelyn, Mary, and Snow win reward, and they choose to send Trey to Ghost Island. He doesn't find a secret advantage. Aline wins her first immunity challenge, and everyone begins to strategize. Since the Malolo tribe is fractured, Juliette suggests splitting the votes 4-3 between Devon and Madelyn, knowing that someone has to have gotten the Naviti idol during the second swap. Kathy, Snow, and Devon start to feel like their days are numbered, but Devon tells his allies of his idol and plans to play it. The three plan to vote for Mary. Meanwhile, Mary and Madelyn plan to vote Devon, as they always saw him as shifty. At tribal, Devon plays his idol, negating 6 votes, and forcing a 3-3 tie between Mary and Medelyn. A revote occurs, and everyone believes Madelyn will be the one to go home, but Aline, Hope, and Surf are still mad at how she treated them after last tribal. They convince Brant to vote Mary, and Mary becomes the second juror in a 7-3 revote. Episode 9: After that tribal, Devon is now public enemy number one, and Madelyn is incredibly mad at him for being the reason his closest ally is now out of the game. She talks to Trey and tells him she wants Devon out at all costs, and Trey plans to use her vote to get Devon out. Brant, Surf, Juliette, Kathy, and Trey win reward, and Hope is sent to Ghost Island, who can wager her vote, but chooses not to. Madelyn wins immunity, to make sure she isn't targeted. The plan seems set to vote out Devon, but Juliette and Aline both are starting to get super uncomftorable around Brant, who they believe could strangle them in their sleep. They both have different options in trying to turn everyone against Brant. Aline starts getting to know Kathy, hoping her and Snow can be the ones to help her, but that backfires, when Kathy tells Snow that Aline is trying to manipulate them, causing both to want to vote for her. Juliette meanwhile does more around camp, so everyone trusts her more. Troy believes that Hope came back with an idol, as she told him she didn't lose her vote, and that makes him super suspicious of her. Juliette tries to convince Trey to help her get Brant out, but Trey tells her it would be foolish to give up the majority to Malolo. Trey, Madelyn, Hope, Surf, and Brant still are voting Devon. Devon becomes the third juror in a 5-3-2-1 vote. Episode 10: In this episode, the tribes are told that there will be two different tribals, with two different immunity winners. The first group consists of Hope, Kathy, Madelyn, Snow, and Troy, while the second group has Aline, Brant, Surf, Juliette, and Trey. Kathy and Aline win immunity for their separate groups. In the first group, there are two duos, of Madelyn and Hope, and Snow and Kathy, and both duos want Troy as their swing vote to get the other duo out. Madelyn tries bonding with Troy, but he already doesn't trust her, and also doesn't trust Hope, who he thinks may have an advantage. Kathy takes a different approach, and actually makes an alliance with Troy to get them through the vote. Naturally, Troy would much rather work with Kathy, and Madelyn starts to believe this, so Hope tells her about her idol. Troy, Kathy, and Snow all agree to vote Madelyn together, as she's been on the outs. At tribal, Hope plays her idol on Madelyn, negating three votes, and making Troy the fourth juror in a 2-0 vote. In the second group, all five members are aligned, and Trey doesn't want to pick off anyone that is loyal to him, so he recommends going for Surf, but both Juliette and Aline still try to get him to vote off Brant, telling him he gutted a fish and scared them with it once. Trey is immediately weirded out, and agrees Brant is way too unpredictable to keep around. Aline and Juliette promise that the three of them will stick together, and a final three deal is made. Quickly roping in Surf, Brant becomes the fifth juror in a unanimous 4-1 vote. Episode 11: With that tribal, Malolo and Naviti are now both even, with four players each. Hope starts to regret her decision of idoling out Troy, and believes that her tribe is now against her. She wants to make a move, and go against social threat Aline, so she talks to Kathy and Snow to see if they're on board, and they are surprisingly compliant. Kathy, wanting Hope to get an advantage to help them, wins reward, shares it with Snow, Trey, and Madelyn, and sends Hope to Ghost Island hoping she gets an idol. Hope, however, decides not to wager her vote, believing that it is too big of a risk if she wants her move to work. Madelyn wins her second immunity, and talks to Trey and Juliette about wanting Snow gone, as she is a social threat. Meanwhile, Hope starts to try and get Surf on board with her plan to vote Aline, but Surf, thinking Aline is hotter, tells Aline of Hope and Kathy's plan. Wanting Malolo numbers down, Aline tells Surf to vote Kathy, and she purposefully defies Juliette and Trey's plan to vote Snow. Juliette tries to enforce the vote to Surf but he argues with her, not wanting to be told what to do. At tribal, voted between Snow and Aline tie, 3-3-2, and on the revote, Surf switches his vote to Snow. Snow becomes the sixth juror in a 4-2 revote. Episode 12: Hope continues to drift away from her tribe, and starts to bond with Kathy, who is extremely desperate after losing her closest ally. Juliette and Trey are mad at Aline for defying them, but are still glad they got their desired outcome in the end. The two agree they have to break up Surf and Aline so Aline can be loyal to them. Juliette gets into a fight with Surf and this leads Surf to have a meltdown, wondering why this game is no longer chill anymore. Trey also wants to take extra precaution, and goes looking for an idol. He finds the idol, which is the idol Evan used in Game Changers that accidentally sent Astrid, his ally home. Aline and Juliette win reward and share it with Surf, sending Madelyn to Ghost Island. Madelyn wagers her vote and loses. She wins immunity, however, to make sure nothing goes wrong. At reward, Juliette and Surf make up, and Aline and Surf convince her to vote Hope. Trey, however, comes prepared. He tells Kathy that Surf and Aline want her gone, and it is best to vote Surf. He also ropes in Hope. Surf becomes the seventh juror in a 3-2-1 vote. Finale: With Surf gone, Aline has no choice but to work with Trey and Juliette, and Trey tells her that he has an idol to gain her trust. Hope wins immunity and shares reward with Trey and Kathy. Hope and Kathy need eachother and form an alliance on reward. Juliette and Hope also bond, but Hope knows she's closer to Trey than to her. Aline, Juliette, and Trey plan to split votes between Madelyn and Kathy in case someone from Ghost Island has an idol. Hope and Kathy want Aline out for winning lots of challenges and being super social, and Madelyn wants Juliette out. Trey, believing Aline is getting targeted, plays his idol for her, and two votes are successfully negated. Madelyn becomes the eighth juror in a 2-1-1-0 vote. Aline wins the next immunity, and it becomes more and more evident to Hope and Kathy that Aline, Trey, and Juliette have a final three deal. Trying to get in on that action, Kathy, now the last Malolo standing, talks to Aline and tries to make a last-minute alliance with her, but Aline wants nothing to do with it, as every Malolo on the jury would vote Kathy. Despite this, they see Hope as the bigger threat between her and Kathy, and a straightforward vote occurs. Hope becomes the ninth juror in a 3-2 vote. Aline wins the final immunity and now gets to pick who she takes to the top three with her, and who has to make fire. Out of everyone, she knows that Juliette is likely the least likely to win between anyone else, as Trey ran the whole game, and Kathy is the final Malolo standing, so it is pretty obvious who she picks. Kathy and Trey now have to face eachother in the firemaking challenge for the final spot in the final three, and Trey beats Kathy, eliminating the final Malolo from the game. Aline, Juliette, and Trey face the jury and deliver their closing arguments. Aline talks about how she won four immunities, and also played a great social game, using her charms to manipulate Surf into flipping to give Naviti the edge on the first few merge tribals. Juliette tells everyone that she masterminded the strategy behind the votes, voluntarily splitting in anticipation of Devon's idol play for example. Trey tells everyone about how he went into the game with a huge target on his back, especially since his brother played before and was a huge villain, but he put targets on other people, and ran the votes from start to finish when the merge hit. It was a hard decision, but it the jury ultimately put their votes on who was in on most votes. Aline spent many votes trying to get Kathy out to no avail, and Juliette did the same with Madelyn. As a result, Trey Durante is crowned the winner of Swoldow's Survivor: Ghost Island in a 5-4-1 vote. Hope is crowned fan favorite due to her idol play on Troy, and her underdog game. Potential Returnees: Trey, Juliette, Aline, Kathy, Hope, Madelyn, Surf, Snow, Troy Now that that's done, we will be moving onto a season I've been wanting to simulate for a long time. People from different walks of life will be categorized based off of their stories. One tribe of people who have overcame adversity, and the other, with people with some form of privilege. Signups for Swoldow's Survivor: David vs Goliath coming soon!
Hello, fellow Persona fans. Time for another long post about Persona 5, a game that, ever since I've played it, haven't been able to stop talking about. Persona 5 has many phenomenal moments in its story, so, well, I guess I'll have to go over some of favorite moments throughout the whole story/game. To be honest, it took me a while for me to consolidate my personal top 5 moments, since there are simply so many great moments throughout the entire game. Some quick honorable mentions, in chronological order:
Joker's Persona Awakening
Boss Fight versus Shadow Kamoshida
Eating Hot Pot with Yusuke
Makoto's Persona Awakening
Going to the Beach with Futaba
The Futaba Cannon
Ryuji Saves Everyone (let's ignore the part afterward)
Lavenza and the Reveal of the False God
The Final Showdown with Yaldabaoth
Now onto my list: Number 5: Ann Takamaki Gains Some Weight. During their plans to change Madarame's heart, the Phantom Thieves find themselves stuck in quite the sticky situation: Yusuke, confounded by his abusive teacher Madarame, has blackmailed Ann to pose nude for his work of art, or the Phantom Thieves will be reported to the police. The Phantom Thieves also need to open a "cognitive door" in Madarame's Palace. Consequently, they hatch quite an effective plan. I have to admit, the first time I saw Ann dressed in thirty layers of clothes in Yusuke's art room, I had to stop myself from laughing out loud. Following this scene, Ann continues to distract Yusuke with her rather prestigious acting skills, to Yusuke's continual flustering, forming the iconic interaction of this scene while a rather nervous Morgana attempts to unlock the door to the storage room. But once the door to the storage room opens, the comedic tone of the scene quickly shifts as Yusuke and then Madarame sees copies and copies of the Sayuri painting. When Ann unveils the cloth over a painting sitting on a stand, she reveals the true Sayuri and the full depth of Madarame's treachery: an "artist teacher" who had not only harshly treated and brainwashed his pupils into doing his bidding, but who had also plagiarized the creations of his students, treated them as his own, and produced copies of them in order for money and fame. Yusuke, meanwhile, wishes to believe that his teacher is innocent, but in the corner of his mind, he begins to realize that he has been manipulated for his entire life. This entire sequence of events, being one of Ann's most triumphantly comedic moments throughout the entire course of the game while also blending perfectly with the start of Yusuke's realization of his teacher's abuse and paving the path for his rebellion, is why this deserves the Number 5 spot. Number 4: Goro Akechi Battles the Phantom Thieves. Undoubtedly the foil to the Phantom Thieves' friendship, Akechi's failure to develop any meaningful friends, overconfidence in his own ability to solve any problem by himself, and simultaneous dependence and hatred on the wrong person, Shido, leads to his eventual downfall that occurs in this battle. The battle between Akechi and the Phantom Thieves has been building up for every single VIP that the Phantom Thieves defeat in Shido's Palace, giving us cutscenes depicting Akechi's traumatic upbringing, his assertion that he will take down the rest of the Thieves, and then his eventual realization of the phone. It's no surprise to the player that he eventually shows up before the confrontation with Shadow Shido. The confrontation with Akechi in the engine room is one of two boss fights in the game with a non-shadow (more on that on Number 3), and the only boss battle with another Persona user, a Wild Card at tha, and as a result benefits from being unique. Akechi is shown to be able to nearly defeat all of the Phantom Thieves strategically by himself, and in this battle, he is capable of nearly defeating all of the Phantom Thieves in combat by himself as well. One can only imagine how much his hubris and uncontrolled hatred hinders his potential. Ultimately, Akechi never overcomes the flaw that each one of the Phantom Thieves were able to overcome themselves: the seeking of validation and love from the wrong people. He has never known trust or love from anyone in his life, his path to a villain is tragic, and even though at the end he realizes his faults and attempts to redeem himself, it is too late. The boss fight with Akechi is a culmination of the character arc of the most fascinating character in Persona 5, making it one of the most iconic moments in the entire game. Number 3: Showdown in Shifting Sand Land. A lot about Futaba's Palace makes it extremely unique in Persona 5. The palace is the largest in the entire game, most of it is a desert wasteland. The entire palace itself is a metaphor exploring the trauma of the loss of Futaba's mother. Futaba's shadow is not hostile in the traditional way; instead, the palace is filled with traps and puzzles. Oh, and did I mention the boss fight? This is the only palace in which one is not sure what kind of boss one will face at the end. Every other palace has the player facing off against an abusive adult's shadow, like Kamoshida, Madarame, etc. But Futaba's Palace... the weird, hideous, titanic, Cognitive Wakaba sphinx absolutely delivers: she rips off the top of the pyramid and pounces on the Phantom Thieves. The Phantom Thieves are left desperately fighting with a monster they can barely comprehend and barely scratch. Meanwhile, Futaba accidentally enters her own Palace, and the following scenes, the final scenes of Futaba overcoming her illusion of her mother--the realization that her mother loved her, and it was the men in the the black suits, the Conspiracy, who had been forging lies and using her, culminating in the awakening of her UFO Persona, and Futaba's vow of vengeance on par with Inigo Montoya, makes it one of the compelling and triumphant Persona Awakenings of the entire game. The battle with Cognitive Wakaba shifts dramatically in favor to the Phantom Thieves as they use the ballista that Futaba hacks into the Metaverse to shoot down the sphinx and batter her with attacks, bringing one of the most intense boss battles in Persona 5 to a fist-pumping, triumphant end. I also liked the ending "Palace Escape" scenes with Makoto showing off driving skills on par with Dominic Toretto (but that's merely a small cherry on top of a massive, delectable cake). Number 2: The Aftermath of Saving the World. This is the only spot on this Top 5 list consisting of a non-climactic moment, but this moment definitely deserves its spot at Number 2. If there is one theme of Persona 5 directly applicable to the protagonist himself, it's the theme of building bonds and helping others, pretty much every social link in the game (other than Igor or Akechi) is about helping other people with the troubles in their lives and building bonds of trust and friendship with them. The scenes following the defeat of Yaldabaoth, starting from Joker's turning himself in, is the ultimate reinforcement of this essential theme. Every one of the Phantom Thieves helps to deliver a testimony and case in the favor of your innocence. Every confidant that you've maxed out, is delivering support to your side, and asking others to help you as well. Some of my favorites among the confidants include Mishima, the one character in Persona 5 portrayed to be the ultimate loser, but whose desperation to help out a friend is intimately heartwarming and also speaks to his development over the course of his confidant; Toranosuke, who delivers an inspiring monologue in front of the Diet Building to help out a friend in trouble, suggesting that not all politicians in the world want to run for office for power; and Ohya, whose usual carefree self is replaced with a sense of dire seriousness, and actually travels to the scene of "the crime" in order to gather support of the protagonists' innocence. This moment in the story also acts as one of the major section of Persona 5's critique of Japanese society, specifically the criminal justice system: even with Yaldabaoth and Shido defeated, injustice and unfairness still exist in society, and people need to get up and do something in order to protest and oppose such injustice. Finally, Sae's mention of transitioning to a defense attorney, at the end of the protagonist's confinement, completes her redemption arc and reclaiming of her original sense of justice. Speaking of Niijima... Number 1: The Greatest Gamble of Niijima. The end of Niijima's Palace is a moment all players have been waiting for: you return to the original point in the game: the escape from Niijima's casino, evading police officers, following the defeat of Shadow Sae. Except that the police have completely surrounded you, and you have been sold out by a member of your group. You are drugged, thrown into an underground interrogation cell, and Sae walks in to interrogate you about the Phantom Thieves. Under impossible odds, you manage to convince Sae of the Phantom Thieves' innocence and her of your unwavering sense of justice. At the end, however, you remember something: a phone, which needs to be shown to the true culprit, quickly revealed to be Akechi. The real twist however, was not that Akechi was a traitor to the Phantom Thieves, it was that the Phantom Thieves had realized his treachery and had prepared a counterattack! When I first saw the screen effects of entering the Metaverse when Sae showed the phone to Akechi, I (kind of) immediately realized what the Phantom Thieves had planned, and my jaw dropped in genius. What a subversive twist. The best part about the Phantom Thieves' strategy to counterattack Akechi, however, was the utilization of the story's hard magic system to the Phantom Thieves' advantage. Such a plot twist, which takes advantage of the story's fantastical elements in a logical and meaningful way, is what makes the Thieves' victory extremely convincing. The Phantom Thieves know how the Cognitive Metaverse is shaped based off of a person's perception of the world, and they check the interrogation room beforehand to ensure this is true. Many other small details then fall into place: stealing a fake treasure from Niijima's Palace, leading Sae back to the interrogation room in order to exit the Metaverse, and tying up the cognitive replica of Akechi. However, it's not just this plot twist that makes this scene phenomenal: the sequence of escaping Niijima's Palace during the police raid, the display of the protagonist's suicide and all of the other Phantom Thieves' reactions, and culminating in Ryuji's iconic "we got em." By the way, when I was referring to "The Greatest Gamble of Niijima," I was referring to Makoto. I'm interested in hearing about what your Top 5 moments are in Persona 5 (vanilla), and comments on your thoughts on why you think those moments are so great. Also, aside from the other various Persona awakenings, where there seems to be a lot of varied opinions, did I miss any great moments in this Top 5 or the above honorable mentions? I'm still not sure when I'll play Royal since I kind of need to cool down a bit on Vanilla.
Was just down in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend and got a chance to visit Seminole Hollywood HardRock. Overall, a fantastic room and would definitely go back. However, I'll break it down into specific segments because some aspects were better than others. ** The Room ** The poker room itself is gorgeous. It looks like something out of Casino Royale. Very nice lighting, (marble?) floors and walls, non-smoking (but with a patio for smokers), smells nice, clean bathrooms. You can tell they put a lot of attention to detail. The reason I mention these things is because not everywhere is like that. Seminole HardRock in Tampa has a darker kind of lighting and theme. The casinos I go to here in Michigan are usually very smoky. One thing I will say is the room is a little tucked away. I would have preferred if it was closer to the table games. Although, it is in the mall part of the hotel. There are tons of nice shops, bars, and even a dance club right next the poker room. So the room gets an AA rating from me. ** Dealers, Floor and Service ** The dealers were a mix of competent and incompetent. I'd say half of them were perfectly professional, the other half needed some improvement. I played 3 sessions for a total of 7 hours, and had something like 6 misdeals. A few times the dealers did a very bad job of keeping the action in order. I was playing Holdem the 2nd night, and the guy to my right kept acting out of turn. I raised his river donk lead and he insta-folded even though there was another player left in the hand (obviously he wants the other guy to call to see if I was bluffing). After the hand was over I asked the dealer, "you gonna do anyting about this?" because it was the 5th time he'd acted out of turn. The dealer literally shrugged. And that wasn't the only session where players were acting out of turn and the dealers weren't doing much proactively about it. Dealers get a JJ rating. Good enough, but wouldn't place too much faith in them. The floor got involved twice when I was there, and I think they handled it perfectly. First time was on holdem. Guy posts his small blind, gets dealt in, gets up to go get food, and the dealer folds him since he wasn't at the table. Guy gets mad, floor comes over, calmly explains that you will get mucked if you're not at the table, and moved on. Second time was at PLO. Guy opens, I 3bet KKds, a guy who limped starts pushing forward calling chips and the opener immediately says "POT". The guy was going to call pulls his chips back trying to save himself 60 bucks. The dealer says no, that stays in. Cue argument. Floor is called, and says, you have complete your action. Flustered, the guy decides to repot instead lmao. But yeah they handled it very well. Floor gets an AK rating: very slick. I gotta say, the drinks were expensive. Like $18 for a vodka-redbull (can not included). $10 for a beer. Maybe that's normal price down there, but seems like a scam. The waitress staff were all thicc, and were wearing push-up dresses and mini skirts. Which was distracting in a good way. The service staff gets a 69s rating from me: pretty to look at, not much value. ** The Players ** The players are action action action. Not as good as some of the home games I go to, but fuck do these fucks like to gambol. However, a lot of them have little to no manners. I got slow rolled twice in marginal pots for no apparent reason. One guy shoves a king high flush draw on the turn, binks the river, and then gets up and starts gloating to the other player. He sits down and says to the dealer, "I knew there was a reason why you good looking" and the dealer just looked uncomfortable lol. A lot of aggressive table talk too. That, along with how people drive, leads me to believe being assholish is just a part of the culture. So the players get a T9s rating: love to play 'em, but don't take 'em seriously.
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