And so it is

I don’t think this will come of any surprise to anyone who’s actually been following this blog recently, but it’s time to make something official: I’m done with regular blogging.

Club Jade itself, as a group and a community to discuss Star Wars, began in 1995. I wasn’t a part of that – I joined a little bit later – but I did eventually end up taking over the website, sometime in 1997. In 2004, just a little under a year before Revenge of the Sith – the second “final” Star Wars – was released, I turned the site into this blog. Our focus wasn’t really the movies back then, but the Expanded Universe, specifically the stuff set after Return of the Jedi that is now the most Legends of Legends. The aim has changed quite a bit over these 15 years, as Star Wars itself has changed. But it’s begun to be too much, and I always knew I was too much of a taskmaster to pass things on.

I will never not be grateful to the sequel trilogy, for not only revitalizing the fandom, but for giving me these five years of… Well, overtime. Before the Disney sale, I was foundering with the franchise. The prequel era never did it for me in any format, the post-ROTJ books weren’t getting any better, and I’d finally lost faith that they ever could. The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi returned my faith in the franchise, and even if The Rise of Skywalker is a bit of a let-down, well. We can’t say we’ve never been here before. Sooner or later, Star Wars disappoints us all.

I made the decision to quit months ago – there are a few people who’ve known this was going to happen since April’s Celebration Chicago – so please don’t go on about how the movie or toxic fandom drove me off. I’ve been in internet fandom through six movies – nine if you want to count the Special Editions – and no reaction this fandom has to anything will ever truly shock me at this point. It’s always been “toxic,” in one way or another, in the corners and margins if nothing else. Hell, I’ve lit plenty of little fires of my own over the years, both intentionally and unintentionally. Nature of the beast.

I’ll still follow these things, and be “in fandom” – I’m not sure I know how not to – but I need a break from the obligation to write about Star Wars, to follow every little (and not so little) drip and drab of news. I don’t just need a hiatus, because even if I couched it in those terms it would be a lie. As I’ve pulled back on things over the past year or two – so many things – I’ve realized that it’s time. I want to be done. I’m not saying I’ll never do a blog post here again – who knows, maybe someone will find more bathroom graffiti! – but I need that to be an option.

And, frankly, we know so little about the future of the franchise right now, and what we do know… None of it really thrills me. None of it makes me want to keep doing this for another year, let alone three. And there’s so much of it! Even without movies, we have at least four seasons of TV coming up and who knows how many books.

The funny thing is, this was always an old-school kind of blog – even back in 2004. I found things, I linked things. I expect you to follow the links. And social media has taken the place of that sort of thing. You don’t need me – not on a regular basis, anyway.

My advice, if anyone even wants that, is to find what you love about fandom, and find the people who love it like you do. I was lucky enough to find my people in Club Jade early on, and they’re the ones that gave me this foundation to build on. Thanks to them, and those of you who’ve kept reading.

May the Force be with you. – Dunc

Review: The Rise of Skywalker is a wobbly but enjoyable conclusion to the saga

Even if you didn’t wake up this morning and read all the wildly divergent reviews, it’s no surprise that The Rise of Skywalker is divisive. There’s just too much baggage for it not to be, and what Star Wars project ever manages to please everyone?

And it’s true that it’s not a perfect movie. It plays things far too safe. It has more MacGuffins than any given Indiana Jones film. It’s not as good as either The Last Jedi or The Force Awakens. But I can say that I enjoyed it, and think it manages to hit most of the right beats. Not all of them, but most.

Continue reading “Review: The Rise of Skywalker is a wobbly but enjoyable conclusion to the saga”

Star Wars out this week: The Rise of Skywalker is just days away!

It’s movie week! The Rise of Skywalker will have the official premiere tonight in Hollywood, and debut throughout the rest of the world Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

But first up, let’s look at the comics that are dropping here in the U.S. on Wednesday, December 18. There’s The Rise of Kylo Ren #1 and Empire Ascendent from Marvel, plus Star Wars Adventures #29 from IDW.

Then in addition to the movie, Friday, December 20 brings Pablo Hidalgo’s The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary. We usually get the art book here as well, but The Art of Rise of Skywalker has been pushed back to spring.

Beyond Skywalker: What’s the future of Star Wars?

Kathleen Kennedy talks to the Los Angeles Times about what we can expect from Star Wars in the post-Rise of Skywalker world:

Kennedy said she plans to make key decisions about the direction of the franchise in the coming weeks. But some things she already knows. While the “Skywalker” saga is ending, the company won’t abandon the characters created in the most recent trilogy. Additionally, she said, the plan is to move beyond trilogies, which can be restricting.

“I think it gives us a more open-ended view of storytelling and doesn’t lock us into this three-act structure,” she said. “We’re not going to have some finite number and fit it into a box. We’re really going to let the story dictate that.”

Not too many detail details – although we do learn that Jon Kasdan has completed a pilot script for a Willow series – but some things to chew on.

A new Rise of Skywalker clip and other news

The Rise of Skywalker clip that debuted in Fortnite yesterday is basically what leads up to the “Jedi Mind Trick” bit from the commercials. This version is a little dark but you get the idea.

Also in this post: Victoria Mahoney writes on how she nabbed the second-unit directing gig, new TV spots, some interesting interviews and one question with the Late Show folks. Read on!

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Report: Cassian Andor series to film starting in June

The Disney+ Cassian Andor series will begin shooting in June, Discussing Film reports. The series, a prequel to Rogue One, will star Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk (K-2SO) reprising their film roles.

They’re also looking to cast two younger versions of Cassian – at 9 and 13 – plus his 9-year-old sister, the site says.

We heard in October that one of Rogue One’s writers, Tony Gilroy, had joined the series. Stephen Schiff (The Americans) is the showrunner.

The Obi-Wan series also begins filming this summer, so it’s anyone’s guess as to which will make it to Disney+ first. But we can probably expect the second season of The Mandalorian first, as it’s currently filming.