Archive for May, 2016

Geekdom’s Frankenstein’s Monster

May 31, 2016

SWMegaFan linked me to three different recent articles on three different sites that appeal a lot to geek culture, all of which having to do with the idea that maybe fandom is getting out of hand. They talked about the crackpot reactions over the new “Ghostbusters” film, anger over Marvel’s “big surprise” re Captain America, hashtag campaigns, and so forth. They realize now that fandom is demanding content be made its way, that it’s not being seen as art but instead as products that need to please the fans/consumers and their sensibilities or else.

Gee, you think? Where have you guys all been lately? Oh, that’s right, some of you were right there encouraging the mobs as far back as the ‘90s when the target was George Lucas. Geek culture magazines, pop culture and movie web sites, and the infamous AICN talk back fed nerd rage over the Special Editions and the prequels. Devin “You’re A Fine One To Talk” Faraci compared today’s fans to Annie Wilkes from “Misery.” I’ve been using the Annie Wilkes comparison for 20 years! I used to joke that Lucas had better pray his car doesn’t break down in front of the homes of these “fans,” because some of them were that crazy. There were always fans who have not liked the direction their favorite shows/movies took and have long since grumbled about showrunners and creators. What changed with the SEs/PT is not only a bigger, more immediate platform for venting but also active encouragement from the media. No reaction was too extreme. The narrative was Lucas committed an unpardonable sin by letting his fans down and his fans were righteous in punishing him because they knew Star Wars better and cared about it more than he did. Since geek media depends on getting readers, egging on the hate with an untold amount of clickbait and open comment sections had become a staple ever since.

Studios and creatives on the production end have done their part to encourage fans gone wild too.  I’ve noticed a Comic Con-ization of popular culture, where it’s important to win over that crowd by telling them what they want to hear. It used to be when a show creator, writer, or actor thanked fans at a con for their support, it was genuine, because they were so doggone thrilled somebody cared about their work. Today it often seems like pandering and sadly, a lot of people can’t discern when it’s pandering or they simply don’t care so long as they get what they want.

But these self-appointed poohbahs of geekdom have always been short on self-awareness, as are their readers, judging by the comments to some of these pieces. It’s disingenuous to scratch your head over why a guy would make a video announcement that he is boycotting “Ghostbusters” when over a decade ago you were applauding and promoting “fan-cuts” of TPM or seven-hour long prequel-bashing videos. If you’re treating these rebellious fans as heroes don’t be surprised others are seeking that kind of attention and validation; you also can’t be surprised at how corporations are increasingly treating their films and shows as “product” when not too long ago, you were attacking an artist as a villain for offending the nerd hordes. It even went on just a few months ago with X-Files creator Chris Carter. You can’t be surprised at death threats getting lobbed at the guy who made Captain America a Hydra agent if you thought it was hi-larious when Patton Oswalt “joked” about beating Lucas to death with a shovel.  The Annie Wilkes crazy kind of fandom is their Frankenstein’s monster.


Short Bits

May 28, 2016

It’s a holiday weekend in the U.S. and a bank holiday weekend in the UK, so not a heck of a lot is going on.  Snack on these:

A couple of fans tipped off that the Lego TFA game will have three different prequel-themed character packs available for those getting season passes (I assumed if you play these games, you know what this means).   No Ahsoka in the Clone Wars pack, though?

Sarah caught the so-called “Chewbacca Mom” talking prequels in her interview with Star Wars Originals, the new officially-produced online show.

And you can catch this review of the SH Figurarts Mace Windu figure.

Fun With Official Spotify Playlists

May 27, 2016

The official Star Wars Spotify account set up to promote TFA has a bunch of playlists (mostly of non-Williams/score music) dedicated to various characters from the whole series, including prequel main characters (but no Jar Jar, boo).

Some of them are clearly jokey lists; Chewbacca’s is entirely made up of ’80s “hair bands.”    Some are rather fitting;  I could imagine Han listening to old school rock and rambling about how it was all better back then than the crap we have today.  Others are kind of baffling.  Who knew Palpatine had a penchant for dubstep or that Obi-Wan digs ’60s pop?  Whoever’s responsible for putting Bieber on Luke’s playlist (!!!) needs to be dropped from a helicopter into an ocean of hungry sharks.

Anakin’s playlist features a lot of pop punk and ’00s era emo, the kind of stuff popular on alternative rock radio over the past 10 years.  But no Korn or Linkin Park???

Yoda’s playlist is basically, trippy.

Padmé Amidala’s playlist is full of girl power pop with some Marina and the Diamonds thrown in.

Artoo’s playlist is an EDM party.

Classical for Threepio, of course.

Qui-Gon’s list is stoner prog rock.

Here’s Obi-Wan’s list.  Groovy, baby!

Palpatine’s dubstep of doom.

Darth Maul’s death metal.

And finally, Mace Windu’s playlist which is an eclectic mix.

Have fun with the rest of the gang here.  The stuff on Boba Fett’s, Anakin’s, Finn’s and Kylo’s mixes are probably closest to what I listen to, with some of Artoo and Palpie’s stuff for the dance floor.  No classic post punk anywhere, though.  What a bummer!  Maybe I should come up with my own…

“Obi-Wan & Anakin” Finale Out Today

May 25, 2016

The fifth and final installment of Marvel’s “Obi-Wan & Anakin” miniseries is out right now at your friendly neighborhood comic book store.  I’m going to miss it!

Also available today is Marvel’s reissue of the TPM comics adaptation.

A Look At A Scene From ROTS

May 23, 2016

Smitty’s Gelato has a great post on the scene from ROTS where Anakin and Obi-Wan bid each other farewell before Obi-Wan goes off on his mission:

Brothers’ Farewell captures an unfortunate reality about human relationships. Anakin and Obi-Wan both realize that all is not right within their relationship, yet still insist on overlooking it. When people love each other, they prefer to wish away their conflicts, if only to avoid feelings of awkwardness and uncertainty. Dialogue works as a grand act of denial, an inert magic spell stubbornly chanted in hopes of gaining mastery over reality. Images provide honesty and insight that words cannot.

On a lighter note, here’s some of Palpatine’s doodles done for SW Prequel Appreciation Day.

Thanks everybody!

May 21, 2016

Thanks to everyone who participated in Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day.   I enjoyed reading all of  the entries!

By the way, I have deputized Adam Bram as a co-administrator, meaning he has the ability to approve comments and enforce my will, heh heh.  Since he had to sign on with WordPress, he’s posting under “senatorbinks.”

AOTC Obi-Wan Figure From SHFiguarts

May 20, 2016

Hot on the heels of its pricey but awesome TPM Obi-Wan figure, SHFiguarts is planning an AOTC version to be released in November:



Star Wars Prequel Appreciation Day Links

May 20, 2016

George Shot First

Skywalker Family Fanpage

Galixy Far Far Away

Fan Of Star Wars

Lady Jedi Scientist


Anthony Echevarria

Keith Palmer

The Kessel Runway  plus links to some great prequel-themed fashion!


Nilbog’s Storybook Land

Tatooine Talk

Plus, Yancy sent in his top 10 here:

Honorable mentions:  the politics (“Politics have been a part of the Saga since A New Hope, and George painted a much clearer picture of how the Star Wars Universe operates… The Prequels are a beautiful warning about just how fragile a republic can be, and how people are willing to give up their freedoms, all in the name of security… a very good warning for today.”) and Rick McCallum (“The man was a tremendous ambassador for George, for Star Wars, and for the fans. I miss his infectious energy, and his unwavering desire to see George’s vision put on the screen.”).

10) Cinematography – George’s wonderful cinematography realized by David Tattersall frequently plays back in my head. Star Wars was now huge in its scope, matching other cinema masters like David Lean and Akira Kurosawa in its visual language… and the ending of ROTS was like a visual trip into Dante’s Inferno.

9) The villains – Darth Sideous, Darth Maul, Count Dooku… all memorable, and deliciously evilllll… MUWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

8) Anakin & Padme – Lucas and McCallum both said their relationship was more akin to courtly love, and that’s exactly what we got on screen (which seemed to be completely missed by a lot of fanboys). Their relationship is Greek Tragedy & Shakespeare rolled into one.

7) Qui-Gon-Jinn: Yeah I needed more of this character in the Prequels, but what we did get was amazing. Qui-Gon is one of the most memorable characters in the entire series.

6) The incomparable John Williams… nuff said.

5) Trisha Biggar – Need I say more. Just amazing work in the Prequels, full of new ideas, and concepts that grew the galaxy by leaps and bounds.

4) The Fall of Anakin: Through three films we watched Anakin go from “The kindest boy in the universe,” to a selfish and angry young man obsessed with power, and making things the way HE wants them to be. Kudos to George for not taking the easy road, and sticking to his vision

3) Obi-Wan: While I’ve always liked Obi-Wan, the Prequel Trilogy and Clone Wars TV series turned the venerable Jedi Knight into my favorite character in the Saga… NOW GIVE ME MY SPIN OFF MOVIE!

2) The Clone Wars – Yeah not the Prequel films, but the introduction of the Clone Wars TV series added so many layers of depth to the era. Just an amazing run… I still miss the show desperately.

1) Obi-Wan/Padme Balcony Scene – RoTS: By far the most emotionally powerful, yet beautifully understated scene in the entire Saga, Two characters dancing around the truth, and two characters about to make fateful decisions that will change the galaxy. Some of Lucas’ best work in the Saga, and some of Williams most haunting music.

Note:  I’ll keep updating as I get more links and posts.  Thanks!

And Yet More Videos

May 19, 2016

Chris found some real gems on YouTube, like this rarely-seen t.v. ad for AOTC:

This AOTC featurette likely came from the DVD:

And here’s a t.v. ad for ROTS (which turns 11 today, as TPM turns 17) featuring rave reviews for the flick:

Clone Wars Home Movies

May 19, 2016

James Arnold Taylor posted this video originally made for Star Wars Weekends 2011 (but never used), featuring behind the scenes stuff on Clone Wars.