Movie review: “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” (2019)

“Oh, dear! My first laser fight!”

What does Star Wars mean to you? Is it or has it become an indelible part of your life, and, if so, how long ago/for how long? How far back do your memories go? Did you somehow snag the cardboard IOU placeholder display from Kenner as a kid, promising a quartet of otherwise missing in action action figures that weird but enchanted first Christmas, a time so very long ago (1977), in a galaxy comparatively far, far away? Did you go to sleep each night of your childhood beneath a Return of the Jedi comforter, in a matching bedroom suit? Did you play Episode One Racer for the Nintendo 64 each night until your exasperated parents ordered you to bed? Did you build Lego set after Lego set, or play with the ancient diecast Micro Collection, or spend your weekends haunting Old Republic MMORPG servers? Did you ever argue passionately with some (other) idiot on the internet about midichlorians, or the scourge of creeping Disney-fication, or the enervating fiction that Greedo ever shot first? Do you care? Continue reading “Movie review: “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” (2019)”

Movie review: “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” (2015)

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“This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in fourteen parsecs?”

“TWELVE!”

My third grade class descended on the local mall on a glorious spring Monday morning in 1983 like a swarm of army ants, on a school-sanctioned field trip to see Return of the Jedi. The powers that be felt it would be the most efficient way to sate the thermonuclear excitement of a bunch of little hellions, and possibly the only ruse by which to attempt to focus their attention on schoolwork the entire rest of the week. Breathless speculation at the bus stop morphed into giddy anticipation on the rides both to and from school, before giving way to unalloyed joy in the movie theater. Afterward, we ate lunch at McDonald’s and played, en masse and single-minded, at a local park, pretending the wooden fort, with its suspension bridge, slides, and turrets, was Jabba the Hutt’s opulent pleasure barge, and that a giant rock jutting out of the ground just past the line separating sand from grass was the skiff from which Luke, Han, and Chewie were supposed to sacrifice themselves to the great and powerful Sarlacc…but rebelled. Continue reading “Movie review: “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” (2015)”

Musings on “Wrath of Khan” vs. “Into Darkness”

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NOTE: This piece is not intended to be a full review of either 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness (which I really liked) or 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (which I love beyond reason), merely a sort of brief, high level compare/contrast between the two and musing on how the requirements of modern blockbusters are adversely affecting the established properties they’re rebooting. There are no spoilers below for Into Darkness, which I cannot wait to see a second time. If the fact that Mr. Spock dies at the end of Star Trek II, selflessly sacrificing his life to allow the Enterprise to escape supervillain Khan’s final assassination attempt, qualifies to you as a spoiler, I have no sympathy. Continue reading “Musings on “Wrath of Khan” vs. “Into Darkness””