There’s a lot of The Force Awakens stuff I never covered, both because of the sheer amount of things happening and because I don’t make a habit of linking to deeply stupid stuff. (YMMV, natch.) But on Facebook, from a hero called Matty Granger, there is a delightful rip of one of the absolute dumbest pieces to come out in the wake of the film, and I entreat you to read it.
Oh, and the best part by far:
29. Who trained Rey to fight with a staff as effectively as she does, given that (a) she is an orphan with no friends or family, and (b) she has never been in a battle, but is, rather, merely a scrap-metal scavenger?
Dude. Wander down to the poorest part of whatever town you’re in and pick a fight with a mangy little mutt of a guy. The smaller the better. Once you’re out of the hospital, you’ll realize that people who are forced to survive in the harshest environments don’t train to fight. They learn the hard way and they get really, really good at it.
Now, I don’t necessarily agree with all of Granger’s assumptions/theories, but it’s always nice to see stupidity brought low.
What screenwriter Todd Alcott writes on movies and TV is always worth reading, and his pieces on The Force Awakens are no exception. Check out his thoughts on Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, and finally Poe Dameron and General Hux.
Here are a few other nice posts about various aspects of The Force Awakens. I also have a ton of meta queued up over at the Tumblr beginning Friday morning. (Currently binging on fan art.)
→ What to do when you’re not the hero any more, Laurie Penny’s look at how this year’s new movies (including The Force Awakens) and TV reflected a more diverse way of storytelling.
→ James Whitbrook on how Kylo Ren succeeds as a character where Anakin Skywalker failed. Or, there’s Bryan Young on ten times The Force Awakens nods to the prequels.
→ Two pieces for everyone sick of the ‘remake’ talk: Chris Taylor’s 5 questions and Joseph Scrimshaw’s how to talk to your family about The Force Awakens.
George Lucas was on Charlie Rose (via Indiewire) recently, where he was about as outspoken as he’s ever been on Star Wars in the wake of selling Lucasfilm to Disney:
“They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that. Every movie I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships, make it new,” he said.
George is gonna George, I guess.
An important read for this week – particularly in reflection of these comments – is Devin Faraci’s defense of George Lucas, and the importance of cultural context. (Something which also applies the “white slavers” comment you’re seeing around so much. Though George has apologized.)
Two different opinion pieces (or, as we call them in girl fandom, meta) regarding the Jedi Order popped up on the internet today.
The first, by Nanci at Tosche Station, argues for a restored Jedi Order – but a very different one than we saw in the prequels or the Legends novels.
In the second, Chris Taylor at Mashable considers the ramifications of the balance of the Force, and what that means for Luke Skywalker and the Jedi.
One of the latest writers to come into the Star Wars fold, Chuck Wendig, has a blog entry on canon this morning. (Warning: Lumpy.)
Here’s my favorite bit, which speaks to why a lot of us Expanded Universe fans aren’t up in arms over the Legends thing or calling for more.
The more strict and detailed the canon becomes, the more reverence we devote to it. And the more it restricts the future of that narrative. The more it chokes off what can be told. Doors close. Windows slam shut and are boarded over. Options are lost. The more we care about what’s “true” — in a universe that has never been true and whose power lies in its fiction — we start denigrating those things that aren’t. We view alternate timelines as somehow inconsequential. We dismiss fan-fiction as just some wish fulfillment machine instead of what it often is: a way to tell cool new stories in a pre-existing pop culture framework that aren’t beholden to the canonical straitjacket.
As someone with a lot of history in the fan fiction realm – remember, this site actually served mainly as an archive for Club Jade’s first several years – that is the perfect description of it: Another way to tell cool stories.
No, I don’t view Legends as fan fiction – it’s still professionally published and licensed, by professional authors, which most fanfic isn’t. (At all.) And the Legends authors never had the freedom your standard fic author does, to ignore or use whatever. Even in the beginning, there were guidelines and restrictions, which is why there wasn’t a crazy Obi-wan clone in the Thrawn trilogy.
But clinging to the concept of canon has, over time, done just as much harm as good, and it’s just plain unrealistic in many ways – which is Wendig’s point, really. The world doesn’t work like that.
May is the month of Star Wars birthdays, of course, and Wednesday was the 35th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back. Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich took the opportunity to write the lesson nobody learned from Empire Strikes Back – that the small and personal is what makes the film succeed, not the dark and twisty.
Cameos enrich Rebels’ character development, argues Ben Wahrman at Eleven-ThirtyEight, by giving the new characters “a known personality to bounce off of.”
#WheresHera? (and sometimes Sabine.) Guess who’s still missing from lots of Rebels merchandise? I guess folks really love us harping on this stuff, huh?
What’s up with the Jedi Temple? Mike Cooper at Eleven-ThirtyEight takes a look at how the Jedi Temple has been portrayed in the new canon – and what it might mean for the old canon.
Why Episode VII needs Skywalkers. Nanci at Tosche Station on why the new trilogy needs at least one of the leads to be a child (or children) of Luke or Leia.