News broke last week on Collider.com that the showrunners of popular HBO series Game of Thrones will be writing and directing a brand new Star Wars trilogy, presumable after Episode 9.
On the surface, it’s sort of like, cool, these guys have some Emmy’s under their belts and have made a fantasy series into a household name and visually, Game of Thrones is gorgeous to look at, from costume design to sets to character minutiae. It’s been wildly successful, so why not be joyous these dudes are gonna have a go at one of the richest universes in sci-fi?
That’s where it gets complicated for me.
It’s not a secret I love A Song of Ice and Fire and its television counterpart Game of Thrones (as evidenced by our Youtube series A Game of Theories). However, I can love something and criticize it at the same time, much like I already do with Star Wars. The handing over of a trilogy to Benioff and Weiss means it’ll be that much longer before a director of color or a female director gets a shot at expanding the universe. While it might not matter to some, for me, and other people of color like me, it feels like a missed opportunity at the least.
“But they have a fantastic resume!”
Do they, though? Benioff wrote X-Men: Origins in 2009 (which most of were very lukewarm towards), and Weiss hasn’t done much in the way of big budget films.
My point is, something like Star Wars in the hands of someone with a different lens on life would be refreshing. Plus, a successful trilogy does wonders for the resume of someone who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to helm them. I’m not suggesting anyone in particular here, but it’s something I would love to see, sooner rather than later.
My main issue is how they have portrayed women.
Game of Thrones is known for pushing the envelope. Mostly in a negative way regarding female characters. In a series where rape and incest is prevalent, it makes zero sense to add MORE. A strong character does not need a traumatic backstory based in assault of some kind. I understand that seems to be a mindblowing concept, but I’m loathe to embrace a Star Wars universe in where this could be allowed. I have some trust in how iron of a grip Kathleen Kennedy has on the property as a whole, but her endorsement of Benioff and Weiss gives me some pause. No, I don’t think we will see rape onscreen, but based on their track record, it’s safe to say we will get a Disney friendly, Whedonesque rapey backstory for whoever the female character may be.
“But Leia, there’s not any mention of rape in Star Wars!”
Maybe not outright, but I guess Oola the slave girl, just danced and didn’t encounter any sexual assault ever. I guess Leia didn’t encounter any sexual assault while she was Jabba’s prisoner. I guess Rey didn’t encounter anything against her will by Kylo.
Look, I’m always a diehard for Star Wars, but I’m hesitant about this development. I’m hesitant that we will get Confederate (their so far failed HBO series about what if the South had successfully seceded and slavery became legal and modernized, oh wait, that’s the prison system, isn’t it), but in space cause there ARE slaves in the Star Wars universe.
I’m just plain hesitant.
It’s 2.45 in the morning, and I have just returned from the latest instalment of the juggernaut that is the Star Wars Saga.
I actually went to a double bill screening of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, to ensure that I was caught up on the new characters and their introduction. It became quite clear that very little back story is explored with the new generation, and The Last Jedi begins to address that.
To bring us up to date, the Republic was decimated by Starkiller Base, Rey had departed in search of Luke Skywalker, and Finn was left in medical care.
Fast forward two years and we now have Rey meeting Luke, and looking for answers about The Force and how she can use it. Finn is still in the medical bay, and Poe Dameron is becoming a reckless and daring pilot.
As you would expect, there is quite a lot of the movie devoted to Rey seeking guidance from Luke, who has gone to great lengths to isolate himself from the galaxy. We are also introduced to the species native to the island, who have looked after the ancient Jedi temple for thousands of years, and also the Porgs, cuddly looking birdlike creatures that are clearly only in the movie for their cuteness. The setting felt very reminiscent of Fight Club, with recruits following around the master, waiting for some recognition and acceptance.
Towards the end of The Force Awakens we saw that The First Order had confirmed the location of the Resistance headquarters, and were powering up for a second shot when the base was crippled and destroyed. We now have the Resistance evacuating the base ahead of the inevitable counter-attack, in a move that feels very reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back. If I am honest, I was a little worried that this would set the tone for the entire movie as simply a reskin of Episode V, in the same way that some people consider The Force Awakens to be a reskin of Episode IV.
Luckily, the movie wisely chose to change things around by making a bold decision to introduce new characters quite early on, who become central to the film’s plot.
Finn wakes up from his recovery and wants to go and find Rey, but instead meets Rose, who changes his mind, and becomes his companion for much of the film.
Supreme Leader Snoke was presented as a hologram throughout Episode VII, but here we see him take a central role, as he tries to manipulate his subjects, as any decent villain would do.
We still see regular sniping between General Hux and Kylo Ren, as they vie for favour with Snoke aboard his flagship, and by the end of the movie there is a clear winner in this infantile struggle.
Captain Phasma returns which a much more interesting role, in that she does a lot more than simply walk about ordering others to do as she commands. She proved to be one of my favourites with her increased use as a character, and seeing her engaging in combat is encouraging.
BB-8 seems to have been upgraded from central character with the occasional comedy moment to occasionally on screen, but always commanding attention when he is. BB-9e was introduced in the summer as a First Order version of the new favourite droid, but he is in and out of the movie so quickly a more cynical person might think he was only featured in order to sell more toys.
Rey and Kylo Ren had an intense fight towards the end of The force Awakens, and there is a large investment in exploring the relationship between the force-wielders.
This is one aspect which frustrates me a little. Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One, and was supposed to be one of the best Jedi. In this movie we see a lot of new Jedi powers, and whilst it is good for the story, it did leave me beginning to predict the next series of new powers that we would have seen.
I would suggest that there is plenty of space combat to keep fans happy, plenty of drama, and loss of characters, though some new tricks you didn’t see coming are generally well received. The humour is a little more abundant, but some of the jokes miss the mark, but they can’t all be golden. There is also a cameo of a character that was very well hidden from the media, so I will not mention who it is, but it was great to see.
My biggest criticism of the movie is that it felt like it was 2.5 hours long, which is was, but that is like saying I was fed up with The Return Of The King for going on another 20 minutes or so after they could have ended the movie. I will almost definitely see the movie again at the cinema, but it began to feel like so much needed to be crammed into this movie that the Episode IX team will need to work hard to create some form of peril for our new heroes.
This film is definitely much darker than the previous one, but it feels like it is constantly trying to throw in a joke or sidewards glance to remind you that there are other factions and allegiances being represented, and I have already mentioned the Porgs.
Overall I enjoyed the movie, and would recommend it, although not before advising of a trip to use the toilet prior to the film starting.
– Justin Smith has been a podcaster for over 6 years, and has been visiting the cinema regularly for 4 of them. When he’s not playing games with Star Wars themed miniatures, he spends time with video games.
It’s that time of year again! No, not Halloween (though that is sneaking up on us faster that I realize). I’m talking about New York Comic Con time! Though not as prolific as San Diego Comic Con, NYCC is the East Coast’s biggest comic and media convention, boasting hundreds of exhibitors and tens of thousands of attendees.
Just like its West Coast counterpart, NYCC attracts countless collectors and, as such, has become a haven for exclusive merchandise. This is where Funko comes in. Over the summer we showed you all of Funko’s SDCC exclusives, the Pop!s, Dorbz, Rides and Vnyls that were only available at the con. Luckily, they’re bringing a pretty strong game to New York Comic Con as well.
Since they’re revealing all of their exclusives in waves so make sure to check back often as we update to see everything you can expect to find at NYCC.
San Diego Comic Con is just about a month away and there’s a ton of stuff that we’re excited to see come out of the show, like the big announcements from all of the major movie and TV studios and comic book big (and little) shots. However, one of the major draws to the West Coast mecca for geek culture is the exclusive toys that are available at the show.
Over the last couple of weeks, Funko, the purveyor of fine Pop! vinyls, has announced their lineup of SDCC exclusive figures. We have compiled everything right here for you so you can decide before you go which ones you can’t live without (or salivate over the exclusives you’ll need to hunt down on eBay if you can’t make it to San Diego).
To those of us enamored of Carrie Fisher, the most important person in your life, you were a comfort. You helped an icon be the best she could be. You were there with her to the end.
May I share a couple of personal stories with you?
In 1977, my parents went on a date to see a movie. I don’t know whether they argued about what to see, but ultimately they saw Star Wars. They tucked away the name “Luke” on the chance they had a boy in the near future. I arrived nine years later and was instead given the name of the space princess who saved a galaxy. Inevitably, I grew up watching Carrie in A New Hope over and over again. She stood up to an entire fucking Empire! I can’t impress upon you enough what that felt like, to see a woman staring defiantly in the face of oppression and darkness. It was an honor to have such a name as Leia. When I felt weak, I looked to her character for guidance. “What Would Princess Leia Do?” became a mantra.
She gave me new hope every time I felt hopeless.
Learning that the woman who played her was just as strong and just as fiery was AMAZING. Carrie Fisher was outspoken and honest about everything, even when the world at large told her she shouldn’t be. She struggled with being bipolar, and spoke candidly about the stigma surrounding it.
That’s when you came along. Seeing you became synonymous with knowing she felt more at peace with herself. You helped her so much, Gary! In fact, my second story is about you.
In May 2015, I attended a Dallas convention in a spur of the moment decision. My time was spent showing a convention newbie around the place. When we entered a hallway between the dealer room and the autograph area, you zoomed out to us, barking happily. We squatted and gave you a couple of pets before I froze. A voice I knew all too well rang out in the quite hallway.
“GARY, MY LOVE, COME!” she called out and off you went, tongue out, tail wagging.
I gripped my companion as we stood, ecstatic that I’d gotten to meet you.
You probably don’t need me to tell you how great she was, as you knew her much better than I did. My awe of her was spent largely from afar, one of many many fans of her work, both onscreen and off.
It doesn’t make me sad I never officially got to meet her, because I get to see her whenever I’d like. I get to share her story with everyone and describe how a princess could save herself, an entire galaxy, and ultimately, me. A whole new generation of people just got the chance to fall in love with one of the greatest heroes of our time.
That will always be what Carrie Fisher was to me…A hero.
I am so sorry that she has left your side, but please let me say from the bottom of my broken heart: Thank you, Gary.
Author: Put Me In The Story
Release Date: Available Now
In a galaxy far, far away, everyone must decide where their true allegiance lies.
We all imagine ourselves as the hero of our favorite stories, and with Put Me In The Story, you (or the person you gift this to) can become the star character.
When you order a book from Put Me In The Story, as a gift or for yourself like I did, you upload a photo of the recipient and include personal information like their name and a message (I chose “Fortune favors the bold.”). By doing this, you get immersed in the universe and it helps you feel as if you’re being asked the questions by these classic characters. It’s done to great effect!
The book itself is meant to help you on your path. First Yoda, Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia ask questions to guide you and help you become a Jedi Master. Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him. Then the dark side of the Force will try to sway you – flip the book over and meet General Grievous, Darth Vader, Count Dooku, Darth Maul and Darth Sidious. Each side reveals your rank among the Jedi and Sith with a personalized certificate and poster with your picture, which is uploaded at checkout!
It’s a fun twist on the “Choose Your Adventure” style of books, and one that is definitely a memorable keepsake, especially as The Force Awakens release looms ever closer.
While the age range for the books is from 4-10, as a grown woman nearing 30, it’s just as enjoyable to read up on how my personality aligns with the Force. Plus, it’s always cool to learn more about your favorite characters. Now, I just need to hope I don’t let Princess Leia down!