Hollywood: “Take what we give you, and shut up!” – by the Phantom (reblogged from his blog) with commentary by Sarah

Hollywood: “Take what we give you, and shut up!” – by the Phantom (reblogged from his blog) with commentary by Sarah

B-52 Stratofortress dropping bombs in the 1960's. (U.S. Air Force graphic)
In the latest in a series of science fiction fandom witch burnings, we have this article in Forbes magazine:

Kathleen Kennedy Is Still The Best Person To Make ‘Star Wars’ Movies

The reason I post this apologia to the Disney gods is the virulent language in it. It reads like a comment at Vile 666 or Floppy Cameltron. Or maybe Jezebel. Emphasis and colours mine.

[And bracketed comments mine.]

Rumors surfaced this week that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy might step down from company leadership in the aftermath of Solo: A Star Wars Story’s box office failure. This comes amid rampaging racism, sexism, and other extreme toxic behavior from a segment of mostly male (and mostly white) fans who’ve taken to harassing female actors and artists for existing. This is all part of a larger bigoted backlash of complaints against Star Wars for incorporating people of color and other types of diversity into the previously predominantly white male storytelling.

[You know, it’s very weird that they bring in the same thing every time.  “Racism and sexism” — even though I’ve seen absolutely zero comments about having a black character. (Understand, okay, I don’t have a dog in this fight.  At the risk of being burned at the stake, I never took to Star Wars.  You see, when it came out I was reading science fiction, and had explored ideas far more threatening and interesting than Star Wars. And I’m not visual, so the special effects did nothing for me.  I’d seen better in my head.) Zero, zip none.  And all the problems I’ve heard about the female character have to do with her springing up fully formed and perfect, like Athena from Zeus’ head and therefore us not seeing her struggle up in a hero’s journey kind of way.  The other problems I’ve heard come from the left’s obsession that I call “no one is good, Mr., no one is clean.”  They broke up marriages, made people miserable and had kids turn out bad. Look, I’m not a novice at this story telling thing.  Nihilism doesn’t sell.  It just doesn’t.  It can for a while — Game of Thrones — given enough push, but if it continues to be all “no one turns out all right” it just crashes.  And Star wars didn’t start out nihilist but as a thing of hope for the future.  They could ponder that.  They might even be able to figure out why they always go to nihilism and darkness (my guess?  to soothe the hatred and envy that propelled them to a philosophy that hinges on envy and makes it a virtue. But hey, I could be wrong. They could be doing it to sound “intellectual.”) However, examining their actions is so horrifying and scary they prefer to cast their sins upon the dissenting scapegoat — in this case the whole public — and send us out into the desert as “racist, sexist” (did they forget homophobic this time?) I don’t know about you but when you are that afraid to look upon yourself in the mirror, it’s because you know a monster will stare back.- SAH]

That’s the first three sentences. Yes, you read that right, Solo, or Soylo as they are saying over at Ace of Spades, is tanking -hard- at the box office, and the reason is… the audience is a bunch of toxic racist fanbros. Yep. Movie tanks, blame the -audience-. Oh, and shut up!, because ain’t nobody got time for none of your “extreme toxic behavior.”

[It’s amazing how many “racist fanbros” there must be. I mean, to make a box office hit it takes a broad, broad segment of the population.  If Hollywood really thinks that many of us are “racist fanbros” maybe they should decamp our shores and go make movies in some headland of enlightment like Cuba, or… or the United Arab Emirates.  No?  I know, I know, Venezuela.  They can be paid in flamingo steaks!- SAH]

Amazing in Forbes magazine, right? But wait, there’s more! The next three paragraphs:

Mindless screams of “keep your politics out of my entertainment” abound from that corner of fandom ignorant of the most basic facts about what the films say and represent (the Empire’s designs and titles were heavily influenced by fascism and Nazi imagery, the Ewok uprising was a veiled commentary about the Vietnam War, and the entire concept is about rebelling against authoritarianism and fighting back against oppression and slavery).

[Yeah, and what Hollywood should ask itself is why the “racist fanboys” didn’t mind it then.  No, please, don’t tell us that it’s because they didn’t catch on.  Before Kathleen Kennedy was out of diapers (I have no idea how old she is, but she is still in mental diapers, so roll with it) and before I’d left college, I’d read analysis of the politics in Star Wars written by people on all sides of the political spectrum who were fans of the movies.  (BTW if people on our side are right, then the Empire was actually supposed to be the evolution of the USA.  Yeah, this is me rolling eyes so hard.  Yeah, people saw those politics.  They were also glad that Lucas, like a great many artists before and after him was lousy at transcribing his political idiocy into movie, so what came across was often the opposite of what he meant.)
Why do they assume we don’t see politics in the original? Look, political stories on both sides have succeeded and become beacons in the field.  The Foundation, The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, and a long list of others.  We saw the politics, thank you so much, and something from politics we didn’t like might not be our favorite, but it might still be cherished.  Why?  Because there was a story there, and we LIKED stories.  That’s why we read.
Any explanation of failure that says it failed because we’re racist and sexist ignores the basics of what is ultimately the most open of the genres.  Guys, we like stories about people with many sexes, or none.  (One of my favorites, whose name and author I keep forgetting because I read it in Portuguese in 9th grade where it was called, if I recall “Os Duros” the species was energy beings with three sexes.  Another favorite growing up was The Left Hand of Darkness. My very first published work had a sex-shifting elf. I’m sure I’m neither rare nor unusual among SF/F fandom.)  Some of our favorite characters are reptilian aliens. “Racism, sexism” is a lousy explanation.
Yes, it’s one that Hollywood — and publishing — have told themselves for a long time.  Outside Baen it’s hard to publish books with gay characters — in my experience — because the rest of publishing is terrified of invisible homophobes in the audience.  It’s hard to publish characters of a different race — in my experience — because publishing is convinced flyover country is racist.  I’m sure despite the fact that EVERY ACTION HERO published in the last ten years is a woman they think we’re sexist too.
It might really help — really — if instead they looked at the screeds disguised as books that they publish, and realized that’s what makes them tank, not unusual characters, etc.
And Hollywood, and Ms Kennedy, that goes double for you.  When you publish pictures like this:

you think you’re making a bold statement.  And you are.  It’s just not the one you think you’re making.
You think you’re standing up against “racists” in the field and telling them to shut up.  What you’re actually doing is telling us you’re twelve and your version of feminism is to paint a sign saying “No icky boys allowed.”
That’s fine, but I think we found the sexist. It’s you!
Real feminism, and real fight for equality does not consist in excluding a sex.  Only hysterics are so terrified of men that they must exclude them in order to be “equal.”
Let’s put this way, woman, you just insulted half of your audience and told them they’re not wanted.  You also just displayed SUCH stunning levels of immaturity and virtue signaling that even women with half a brain know your movies are going to be ham-fisted preaching fests, the kind we don’t like in church, much less in a theater we pay to enter. In what world does this end well? It might feel good, but do you want to do that? Perhaps a little less self-indulgence and a lot more trying to engage the audience instead of screaming at them? – SAH]

This is the same group of fans, remember, whose entire rant is rooted in their own personal politics and a desire to see their personal preferences projected onto the screen while nobody else is entitled to the same right or representation. That enraged reactionaries want to deny everybody else equal representation while demanding their own right to be heard and obeyed is hardly new or shocking, of course. These types of vulgar fans always existed, because fandom is just a portion of the population as a whole, and the population always includes angry self-entitled bigots.

[I find it hilarious they call people like me, who want to abolish as much of the state as possible, and live in never-before-tried freedom reactionary.  But hey, they also call people like me racist and sexist when we say it’s the individual that counts.  They are semantically incoherent.
And again, I don’t understand what the hell they’re screaming about.  No, seriously.  Throughout my entire life, one side of the conversation has held Hollywood — the left.  Movies like “Reds” weren’t made by the right, the glorification of the sixties protesters wasn’t an artifact of the right, etc.  So, who the hell wants to deny who “representation?”  We’ve had plenty of action-hero females, plenty of male castrati, plenty of people of all colors — hey, one of my favorite sf movies remains Independence Day — so… why would these “reactionaries” (Really, do you get your entire vocabulary from “the Illustrated Lenin for children”?) only react NOW?
Perhaps there’s something more going on.  Look in the mirror, you assholes, look.  You feel threatened and you’re everything you accuse us of being. – SAH]

In other words, it’s fine to ignore them and to not care what they want or what they say, and to deny them the myopic whitewashed world they demand. They don’t deserve representation of their ideas, since their ideas are backward, hateful, and devoid of merit in the first place. If you scream in anger about seeing other people represented, if you harass and insult and threaten marginalized people for daring to exist and to appear in movies, then you and your beliefs have no place in modern storytelling or modern society (except as villains to be defeated and cast aside forever).

[Marginalized people… like people who disagree with your ideas?  Like the many writers, artists and creatives you’ve kept out because no matter how good they are, they’re just not “good people”?  Like people who, by opening their mouth once and saying “That’s not exactly true” render their work unacceptable to you forever?
It must be.  Because other than that, WHO IS MARGINALIZED in entertainment in the 21st century?  Who isn’t represented, in proportion and beyond proportion to the population?  Who?

As for ideas being backward and hateful and devoid of merit, you mean like the collectivist ideas that caused the death of AT LEAST a hundred million innocents throughout the world?  You flaming hypocrites, you power seekers.  The rot of a HUNDRED MILLION graves calls out against you, even as the dead hands of Stalin and Mao creep up your asses to manipulate your unthinking brains.  No wonder you’re afraid of the mirror.  We know the monster that looks back.

No one threatens “marginalized people.”  You’re the gatekeepers.  You’re the ones who marginalize, unperson and isolate.  Look at yourself, LOOK.

As for “beliefs have no place in modern story telling”…. Yeah, we’ve seen it.  Oh we’ve seen it.  You create straw opponents who are racist, sexist, homophobic and either become enlightened and repentant, or die horrible deaths, and then you dance around proclaiming victory.  You have no idea what individualists actually stand for.  You create your tower of unfalsifiable beliefs and then dance around proclaiming virtue.  I’d call you kindergartners, except kindergartners don’t have gatekeeping power and probably wouldn’t use it to support genocidal philosophies- SAH]

Yeah! De-platform those assholes! No place in modern storytelling! Wait, wut?

Who -is- this maniac? Well, he’s this guy. Mark Hughes.

Mark Hughes, screen writer and SJW weenieMark Hughes.


I work as a screenwriter for film and TV. In a former life I was a media specialist & campaign ad writer.

I think he left out a word. He meant to say DEMOCRAT campaign ad writer.

Thing is, I’ve seen this reaction before. Remember Fantastic Four? We were all nerd-racists for saying that was going to suck, right? Then when Marvel Comics was tanking hard in April last year? That was nerd-racism then, too. The four years of the Sad Puppies Campaign, super-duper nerd-racism. Kicking nerd-racist Conservative authors out of Guest-of-Honor spots at conventions, totally consistent with the narrative.

[PARTICULARLY the Sad Puppies campaign, of whom ONE person qualified as a white male and two as white females (though one a severely disabled one.)  All of us Dudebro racist and sexist.  Which took effort.  Like, sex and race change operations.  They’ll do ANYTHING to avoid that mirror.  ANYTHING.  One is starting to wonder if it’s their own hateful beliefs they avoid, or if they’re aware of their stunning lack of talent and that it’s only virtue signaling and liberal privilege that keeps them making money. – SAH]

Prediction: If she doesn’t get fired over the failure of Solo, Kathleen Kennedy will double down on the SJW themes for the next Star Wars. There will be gay droids and trans Jedi, disabled POC heros and the whole quilt-bag full of progressive agenda goodness. The movie will suck, the box-office will bomb harder than a B-52 squadron, and Ms. KK will be violently defended by Mark Hughes. Right before they fire her.

[Because of course, Kathleen Kennedy and her ilk are unable to conceive of people except as widgets within groups.  So these characters will not be real or resemble anyone alive or dead (as the disclaimer goes) because they’ll come from a planet where you are your minority and oppression group ONLY.  (I think we found the racist, sexist homophobic, too.) So the story will be about as much fun as reading The Communist Manifesto, but infinitely longer.  And of course, the unfalsifiable beliefs of the left, that equate political signaling with quality will insist that the only reason it can fail is that the people are bad and evil.  The same people who, for years before the left went full potato supported lavishly filmmakers with whose political opinions they disagreed (and yes, we saw the.  You leftists are about as stealthy as Godzilla in a ninja costume. But we didn’t care as long as the story and characters were good.) – SAH]

Dear Disney, save yourself the money and fire her now. Your shareholders will thank you.

[For sure.  Another characteristic of the left is that you’ll never be enlightened enough for them.  Not until “capitalism” is destroyed, and everyone is forced to watch movies that are “good for them.”  Walt Disney is spinning so fast in his grave, you could power California from the movement.  This is not what Disney’s massive fortune and power are founded on.  But hey, if you want to squander it in virtue signaling, you can lose it all.  That’s fine too.- SAH]

The Phantom NerdRacist.

[by which he means the kind of racist who doesn’t care what color people or characters are provided they’re decent people and interesting characters.

It is weird the left now insists that “color blind”is “erasing people of color” and therefore racist.  This only makes sense if to you “people of color” are ONLY the color and not individuals.  So you see only the relative level of tanning, and you consult the chart of relative victimhood.  You don’t see that people are people and individuals are individuals, and in fact racists are ones that view the whole world through the lens of race.
Boy, oh, boy, Hitler would love YOU.

Once again you are revealing the ugly biases and monstrous beliefs that you try to project onto us.


And because you follow the same path of unpersoning large sections of the population, YOU my dear leftists would bring about the same hell Hitler caused if you ever got power. Because, yeah, Hitler was a despicable racist.  So was FDR.  And?  It’s believing that some segment of people aren’t “really people” that unfolds the horrors of Hitler, or Stalin or Mao, the last two having unleashed their horrors not on races as such, but groups they defined as non-human.  Not worthy of being heard.  Standing in the way of progress. As you do.
Fortunately a lot of us will make sure you never get that power.  Unlike you, most of us have children and grandchildren and other kids we care about.  We’re not fighting for these big lumpen “groups” you’re so fond of.  We’re fighting for real people.  And we’ll make sure you don’t spread your poison to them.  Because with your philosophies, it always ends in the mass graves. – Sincerely yours, Sarah A. Hoyt, who you assure me is a (racist, sexist, homophobic, da.) Mormon White Male.]


343 thoughts on “Hollywood: “Take what we give you, and shut up!” – by the Phantom (reblogged from his blog) with commentary by Sarah

  1. “. . . the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?”

    (Bertholt Brecht, “Die Lösung,” written back in the days when even Communists occasionally recognized the truth.)

  2. My grandson and I enjoyed Solo. I especially appreciated the origin scenes with the swelling theme music. I did not see a sexual relationship between Lando C. and L3 (how?) but did understand the emotional connection, since we already have had troops shedding tear over IED-sniffing robots in the ongoing Sand Wars. The Solo character was great as a young Han, crooked grin and all, and the female heroine/villain was sympathetic for the most part, too.

    Then again, I haven’t seen TLJ.

    And it it is always amusing to read the Left as it descends into absolute insanity. I hope they never realize, never get “woke” to Reality. Maybe we can reclaim our country and Western civilization before they bring us Venezuela.

        1. Interestingly, the Romans did not generally name their weapons, though they were one of the most warlike peoples to ever exist. The Roman Legions were an army composed of soldiers, not an armed mob of warriors, such as the Celts, and generally viewed their swords as interchangeable tools of their trade.

      1. This is a thing that people do. Remember all the super decorated weapons in archaeology? Everybody decorates their death-stick.

        I do believe this is a fundamental thing with humans. We personify and love our tools and weapons.

        When the tools and weapons get smart enough (won’t be soon!), they will probably love us back. Screw you, Dr, Frankenstein.

        1. Look at how folk personalize their cars, office cubicles and even stack-a-prol apartments. What else is going on with graffiti tagging?

          1. Large white cismale of the straight, old and get off my lawn variety. But no great rack, sorry. ~:D

    1. I liked TLJ. But I don’t think that people who *disliked* it did so for any particular reason beyond “it wasn’t what I wanted.” And that’s okay.

    2. Despite snark on the right, the feedback I’ve been hearing about Solo has been positive. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a great movie. But it sounds like it’s not the disaster that many predicted. I’m guessing that the poor response is due to –

      1.) Word circulating about the last minute change in directors. That’s the kind of thing that makes people think, “Hmm… this movie sounds like it’s going to be a dud…”
      2.) TLJ turning people off. I’ve heard from a lot of people who didn’t like TLJ, and I suspect that the disappointment has kept people out of the theaters for Solo.

      1. TLJ, which I didn’t even see because I was suspicious after TFA which I sort of enjoyed. But I hated what they did with Han in it.

        He had devolved back into what he was in the beginning of the story and lost most of the character development which happened, from a selfish smuggler into a rebel hero and leader and later, as was implied, a loving husband to a divorcee and dad who didn’t seem to have been giving much of an effort to find and help – or stop, because that would have fit too what the hero he seemed to be in the end of TRJ rather than let HIS son help undo all he and his wife and his friends accomplished – his troubled son who was turning downright evil but rather ran away, abandoned his wife and friends and returned to his old life where he didn’t need to care about anybody but himself and Chewie (Chewie never gets any character development to speak of which is a bit irritating, he might as well be a two-legged dog who can fly and use a gun, but at least that makes his actions somewhat more okay as he isn’t really a character, more of a prop).

        So, we know now how Han ends and what happened to him during his last years. Depressing.

        And that made me lose all interest in what his life might have been like in the beginning. Now if he had actually seen his (and Luke’s – a short scene or two doesn’t really count) fall as it developed there might at least be some great tragedy sort of fondness left, but we don’t. He is just a supporting character now. A supporting character who is greatly changed from what he was in his own story, without any real explanation apart from a few throwaway lines. That just DOESN’T WORK, not for me anyway. And maybe I am not alone in this.

        Han and Luke as characters would have worked well enough – and probably did to those who either hadn’t seen the OT movies or who had seen them long ago but had not become particularly invested in the story or characters – if they had been mere supporting characters who I had not seen before as very different main characters. They might have worked also if there had been a movie or two before which concentrated on the story of their change, and what happened to Ben Solo (would have needed to be a tragedy, which is not really Star Wars as I want it, but still better). As it is they were just too jarring, especially considering that they had been heroes I had really, really liked before.

        1. As stories the movies I saw, TFA and Rogue One, had other problems, but what was done with the old characters and what kind of conclusion that all gave to the original trilogy – character development and what the characters achieved was pretty much all in vain, they might as well have stayed home – which destroyed the new movies for me.

          They tossed the hope and optimism into trash. I am no longer interested.

    3. I had zero interest in seeing the movie based largely on the prequels and the whole girly thing with the new movies– haven’t seen Solo, my husband and son did, they loved it.

      I think Solo is suffering from mostly folks burnt out like I am, and a bit of the “Dumbledore is gay!” type signaling.

      The Soylo thing is clever, though.

      1. Yeah. TLJ was okay once, but unfortunately I got suckered in to watching it twice because Kid can really turn on the puppy-dog eyes sometimes. I came away from the second movie with nothing more than a deep, deep desire to strangle Admiral Holdo.

      2. I haven’t seen a Star Wars movie since Revenge of the Sith. I’m happy with original trilogy and ignoring everything else. Forget canon.

      3. I’ve heard very little negative about Solo that didn’t sound extremely nit-picky and ignorable. The the extent that it tanked, it tanked because the uber-fans were run off with extreme prejudice by Luke’s behavior and failure (and the nice bit at the end where he is convinced by Rey to come back to fight may have been nice but it was weak sauce and far from adequate). In the end, striping the “hero” and abasing him had utterly nothing to do with who else was introduced or their race or their gender. It had to do with deliberately spitting on those fans who idolized Luke from when they were 13 years old and saw Star Wars in theaters 46 times.

        Solo wasn’t the offender. It was just where the fall-out landed.

  3. And all the problems I’ve heard about the female character have to do with her springing up fully formed and perfect, like Athena from Zeus’ head and therefore us not seeing her struggle up in a hero’s journey kind of way.

    Yep. And the worst part of it is, at least one of the unexplained talents-out-of-nowhere that she has… could have been explained by a fifteen-second scene. When she sits down at the controls of the Millennium Falcon, how come she can pilot it so quickly and easily (with only a few bobbles at the beginning as she gets used to the control layout)? And how come she’s so good at piloting the ship that she’s managing to pull off advancced maneuvers by the end of that chase scene? (Like flipping the ship on its side to get through a vertical gap, a move that requires knowing exactly where the pilot’s seat is relative to the ship’s body — on the Millennium Falcon, the seat is at one end of the ship instead of in the middle.) The movie never explains how she can do that: we’re just supposed to believe that it’s because she’s Just That Awesome™.

    But a fifteen-second scene could have fixed that. The scene where she pulls out a Rebel pilot’s helmet and stares at it, as the movie not-so-subtly hints that her parents were part of the Rebellion? All they needed to do was have her put on the helmet, pull out a joystick and plug it into a port on the side of the helmet, and say “Engage training mode”. Then a simulated HUD appears on the helmet’s visor and she starts tilting the joystick as she starts flying a sim. Fifteen seconds of screen time, three extra words of dialogue, and I would have easily believed that she could fly an unfamiliar ship with only a few bobbles at the start as she gets used to the control layout.

    Her ability with the Force, without spending weeks of training like Luke did, is a bigger problem and can’t be fixed with just one scene. Her talent with mechanical stuff and rewiring things on the fly was no problem: the movie actually spent the time to establish that one. But her piloting skill was the first time that TFA lost my suspension of disbelief. The fact that it happened so early in the movie, and the fact that a fifteen-second scene could have fixed it, tells me that the screenwriters really didn’t know how to tell a story WELL.

    1. One wonders if such was considered, or not. Or if it hit “the cutting room floor” (digitally.. or mentally). I have my suspicions, but then I’m not exactly a SW fan to start with. [See, the original{s} were supposed to evoke a Flash Gordon serial type of feel/experience… and when it came out, a local station was broadcasting those. The gap was already filled. And then add (admittedly very young) ‘peers’ going on and on and on and on about how AmazinglyFantasticalGreatyGreat it was… one tires of hearing of it. When I finally saw it (1980’s TV broadcast, with so many commercial breaks and ‘making of’ scenes that one wondered where the damn movie was most of time…) it was a let-down. Summed up: “Knight has to rescue Princess from ‘dragon’… in spaaaaaaace!” I went,”Really? THAT was it? REALLY? THAT is what all the fuss was about?!”]

        1. Yeah, I walked out of it saying, “Meh. Doc Smith did it better. But it was nice to see effects that weren’t cringe-inducing.”

          It was about a decade or two later that I chanced across actual footage of pre-WWII rocket flight and understood that those Flash Gordon sputtering rockets (i.e., potatoes with sparklers shoved in their butts) were realistic depictions of rockets of that era.

          1. Yes…but it was great seeing even a faint echo of Smith’s work brought to the screen.

          2. To this day, I’m surprised that so few people realize that as far as the battle scenes, it is essentially a shot-for-shot remake, with dialog included, of “The Dam Busters”

            1. When the original film came out, it was no secret. You hear about George Lucas…the person you don’t hear about is Marcia Lucas, who edited the film. Before working on the final battle sequence, they grabbed a slew of World War II movie footage and put together exactly what they were looking for in the way of shots and dialog.

        2. Ah, to appreciate the impact of Star Wars in its original release, you have to have context. 1977.

          Science Fiction films were either low-budget cheesy Monster Movies with ‘Atomic’ tacked on, or were Very Serious Indeed. “Forbidden Planet” was great and thoughtful. “2001” was great and …. well, 2001 is many things, but “action-adventure” isn’t one of them. “Silent Running” which is very much the visual ancestor of “Star Wars” that showed Lucas was the modern effects could do is a downer of a film.

          What about the other cinema? Folks, this was the 1970’s. Nixon, Ford, and Carter. We’re running out of oil. We’re going to have a new Ice Age because of our use of fossil fuels. Soylent Green and Rollerball and Logan’s Run in the future, tan polyester leisure suits today. And the Soviet Union was just as likely going to run the world anyway…

          Star Wars was no more (and no less!) that a simple, fun, action-adventure story of the type that had once been a staple of cinema. I love the 1940’s Three Musketeers movie too — but don’t try to use it for historical accuracy! In bright color! And with a sound design that really, to this day, reshaped cinema forever … not JUST John Williams, but the rest of the sound effects, the fact that the soundtrack and sound effects were so very much a part of the movie. Fast spaceships! Quick dialog! A hero! A villain! A damsel! A wise old wizard!

          The simultaneous break in visual style, sound design, and that a story could be both FUN and profitable really broke the mold.

          Even as a child, seeing it in cinema for the first time, while I was in love with the movie, I never thought of it as “deep”. Even as a child, I could say “spaceships do NOT work that way”. But it hardly mattered.

          We don’t live in that kind of age any more (thank goodness!). Trying to achieve that same impact the same way won’t work. And trying to make something “deep” out of Star Wars truly, completely, misses the point.

          It was “just for fun”. And it made a lot of money, because people would much RATHER pay for something FUN. Remember that lesson, build on it, and make things that today are FUN.

          You can tell people a movie is important. You can tell them it is socially conscious. You can tell them it is brilliantly scripted. But you can’t tell them to have fun — they can tell for themselves. And one more thing … in movies, as in literature … people have realized that if everyone is telling them all the reasons OTHER THAN FUN why they really ought to like something …. chances are, that’s because it’s NOT fun.

          1. So much this. My brother and I went down to the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood just so see it, in initial release. I was on leave, before going out to Japan. We thought that we would see an early-evening showing … but the line for tickets went around the block in one direction, the line to get in, around the block in the other. I got in one line, my brother in the other … and we eventually got in, late in the evening.

            1. I’ll always have a soft spot for Star Wars… it was the first movie I ever went to on my own, no parent or older brother.

              Last one I paid to see, though, was The Farce Awakens. Rogue 1 I saw on Netflix, planning the same for the last couple.

          2. ah. Well, the suckitude wasn’t as pervasive for me, because movies didn’t matter, and I hadn’t read all the Heinleins yet (due to weird publishing in Portugal) so…
            Yeah, I remember once you mentioned, the run of nihilism of the 70s

          3. That. So much that.

            And I am visually oriented. First time I could SEE what I had imagined done well on screen. And it all works. Well, now you can see the seams, like obviously matte painting planets and so on, as we have seen so much better on screen, but the fact that it still mostly holds is one indication of how brilliantly done the visuals are.

            Even the damn wardrobe choices doesn’t look particularly dated now, no instant “ah, the 70’s” vibe comes from them. There are of course some things which do give that, like the men’s haircuts, but considering the places where the story happens, a farm boy, a smuggler etc you could always think that presumably they weren’t all that interested in what might be stylish somewhere like Coruscant at the moment, plus a wide galaxy, lots of different styles anyway (one of the problems with the later movies btw – in the first one it feels like a fairly big galaxy and actual planets, but things start to feel rather more constricted later, one problem being that the impression is of people traveling from star system to star system sometimes in way less time than it takes to fly from a continent to another in real world, and that we never see more than just one smallish spot of any planet, and they are a desert planet, an ocean planet, a city planet, a jungle planet and so on – the scale feels SMALL).

          4. The thing that got me into the theaters (multiple times) during the summer of 1977 was that all that` scifi stuff was just there – they didn’t stop the story to stand around explaining hyperdrive or blasters or lightsabers or whatever. And the Millenium Falcon looked used, not sparkly-cleanroom-only-government-employees-can-use-this-spaceship ala 2001.

            And the story kept moving, keeping characters progressing along the storyline and never stopping. Due primarily to Marcia Lucas, the editing was inspired, and I now know she made brilliant use of some really crappy shots that George accepted as final takes on set. There’s a reason she won the editing Oscar that year (along with Richard Chew and Paul Hirsch).

            The entire flow of the movie had all the characters pursuing their own agendas while the conveyances were just conveyances, the weapons were just weapons, and the important thing was to get the plans to the good guys (or for Vader, to get back the plans – yeah don’t ask why the Rebellion didn’t load a copy it on every ship and leave copies at every planetfall – Vader, talking to the Emperor via Holoskype: “Master, I have recovered the plans!” Just then, Imperial Spy #2357 pops over the comm: “Lord Vader, I have the plans!” The door swooshes open, and a junior mess hall clerk rushes into the compartment: “My Lord, I have recovered the Death Star plans! I was on shore leave, and they were for sale in the local bazaar! Um, can I get reimbursed?” On the Holoskype, the Emperor just bows his head, grabbing the bridge of his nose.).

            The original Star Wars still holds together. And it still beats the pants off anything else in the series save maybe The Empire Strikes Back. WHich was also edited by Marcia Lucas.

      1. If you watch the original theatrical trailer, you’ll see why it was considered so amazing. The trailer promises “A boy… a girl… the universe” with the cheesiest possible cuts and music, and then you get smacked in the face with John Williams. (Seriously, I think he’s responsible for most of the strong emotional reaction that people have to that movie. Put a different soundtrack on it and it becomes a serious ‘meh’.)

        When you’re expecting gold and you get iron pyrite, you’re not going to be happy. But if you’re expecting lead and you get Super Sparkly Glitter, it’s going to blow your mind.

        1. I was 25. I first heard of SW via radio commercials. As I recall, they did a wonderful tease of the show, and Silicon Valley was an ideal spot for the nerd-attraction nature.

          Pretty sure I saw it the first weekend, or else the next one. Saw it a couple more times over the years (once the next weekend with a friend, then on a re-release just before Empire.

          With respect to the music, there’s a reason why the Boston Pops got John Williams after Arthur Fiedler’s era was over. The man has talent for epic popular music; I’ll even forgive his role in Phantom Menace. 🙂

          1. I consider John Williams to be the greatest composer since Wagner. In particular, he’s so consistent in his excellence.

        2. I agree with your theory that part of the reason why it was so successful was because John Williams was a master of using music to bring about strong emotional reactions in people. I was listening to a CD called Star Tracks II for a good chunk of my youth and preteen years; along with classical music and movie soundtracks.

          Come to think of it, I still do (expanding to video game sound tracks as well.)

        3. As far as I recall that kind of epic classical style music was pretty rare when it comes to movie soundtracks back then too.

          Aha. A fast look at the history of movie soundtracks does say that John Williams in Star Wars (the first movie as back in the day it was just Star Wars, the subtitle A New Hope was added later) brought back “classical scoring”, which seems to mean, well, an orchestra, classical style music and motifs for characters and supporting and underlining whatever the mood in a scene is supposed to be.

      2. OK I saw Star Wars when it came out in 1977 as a 16 year old. I remember seeing a brief piece from it on the New York TV station (WNBC) news. It was the like 20 seconds of the fight with the Tie fighters
        and I knew I had to see it even though the lasers were going pew pew. Movie didn’t show up in the burbs until late June (and only because the local theater owner was a mad man had 70MM projection hardware that had hardly been used since the late 60’s).
        I was entranced on the first viewing. About mid August the theater owner dropped the price from $3 to $1 (he had to take it for a 12 week run to get it at all). Saw it another dozen times. Started discussing with my assorted SciFi loving buddies and yup its just a (crappy) fantasy story wrapped in a space opera coating. But compared to what had gone before for SciFi it was so different. What had gone before was 1) dystopian and 2) very cheesy (e.g Logan’s Run, Soylent Green, Roller Ball, Assorted Planet of the Apes). It ain’t great Scifi, but for then it was new and fresh and fun and the good guys won. Admittedly it had plot holes you could drive an Imperial Star Destroyer through but in 1977 it was utterly different. The modern ones are clearly derivative and just Hollywood regurgitating the same old pap. This time the fan bois noticed it was regurgitated pap and not even good regurgitated pap…

        1. Between the music, the amazing for the time effects, and the clear “good guy vs. baaaaaad guy” lines, the original Star Wars hit all the right spots. I was younger than you, and I was of an age to be absolutely amazed. But my parents loved it too. And I can rewatch it without too many winces, unlike some sci-fi from then and later. It doesn’t leave me with a nasty taste in my mouth like Logan’s Run and some others did and do.

          1. Roller Ball. Seriously, that was an SF movie back in the day. Even had a Real Star in it. I saw it at the flicks and (as a kid) didn’t think it was that bad. And it wasn’t, compared with everything else out there.

            Anybody see the re-make? Yes they did, they remade Roller Ball. OMG.

            1. No, they didn’t remake Rollerball. I’m not sure what that crap was but it missed most of the central points of the original. Blecho.

          2. Whatever else it is, it’s still a good working old fashioned adventure story. And what I mean is that kind of optimistic fun adventure which manages to stay kind of lighthearted and optimistic – you trust that the heroes win and everything will be all right in the end – even when pretty dark and tragic kind of things happen, without making those darker things seem farcical or pretentious but without ever losing the optimism. And always still keep the tension, even if you are fairly sure of that happy ending there is still tension, and you worry about the main characters and their survival.

            Which, actually, seems to be something VERY hard to do just right, and hit the exact spot needed between keeping up tension and maintaining the optimism. For every good one there has been countless attempts which don’t quite work or which veer from that to something else like plain action or action comedy.

            How many do you remember from the 80’s to the 90’s? I have always watched a ton of movies, but when it comes to what best counts as pretty pure adventure it’s pretty much the original Star Wars trilogy, the first Indiana Jones movie, the first Ghostbusters movie, Princess Bride and not that many others, at least not ones I have continued to enjoy no matter how many times I have seen them. From the 90’s it’s Jurassic Park, The Rocketeer, which wasn’t a big hit so even if it fits me just right it presumably isn’t a good example otherwise, and Independence Day, and off hand I can’t remember any others although there probably are at least a few I’d still enjoy watching.

            So, as said, it does seem to be a surprisingly hard genre in movies at least, even if it is often dismissed as “just” an adventure as if it was easier than something darker. Good comedy isn’t all that easy either, but even that seems to work more often than what is meant to be pretty pure adventure does.

            And the dark stuff which often gets appreciated more, drama, horror and so on, works more often.

    2. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who got irked with “Insta-skill, just add starship.”

      You sort of wonder if the writers read Campbell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey” and then crossed out steps because “that was then, we don’t need that anymore.”

      1. I’ve only read the novelization of that movie but in the book there’s a point where we see her fighting very well which makes sense for a young woman “living on the edge”.

        That IMO made her “taking up the light-saber” work but yes even in the book her flying the Falcon was strange.

      2. Ehh, I actually got much more of an impression of “floundering into survival with help from the Force” than actual expertise. And Rey and Finn jubilating in astonishment afterward was cute. The Force always seemed to me like something that you’d need training to draw on reliably but might very well be amenable to instinctive support. Although, as I think somebody else noted, you’ve got a worse risk of falling if you’re using it without training in how to chill….

        What bothered me the most was that they were too obviously checking off beats from A New Hope and simultaneously incorporating some of the most annoying features from the discarded EU.

        I haven’t gotten around to seeing The Last Jedi.

    3. That movie was obviously made by somebody who always gets limo service and has thus never had the experience f arriving at an airport after dusk, picking up a rental car and having to find the light switch while maneuvering through a complicated parking area into a freeway ramp.

    4. That was fixed in the book. Probably because they realized that it was a problem before it hits the theaters. There is supposed to be something about Rey putting in various training modules and reviewing data from the vehicles she’s been cannibalising over the years. And there is a scene in the book explaining that she’s been the one doing all the work on the Falcon for her boss/owner so she does know it inside and out and may even have flown short hops in it. But not many are interested in the books when the movies disappoint.

      1. The book is not supposed to plaster over failures in the movie, it is supposed to amplify and expand on the film, adding greater depth while following the film’s tale.

        Peter David’s novelization of the first Iron Man movie is a good example of this. But as you note, the movie drives the book sales.

        1. Heh, reminds me of when I found “The Martian” on smashwords… For free….
          Long before Wier pulled it.

          Never seen the movie but the book is a pretty good read.

        2. I liked the novelization of the first Star Trek reboot movie; actually. I’ll have to hunt down the novelization of the first Iron Man movie sometime. Peter David does fun pretty darned well.

          Apparently, according to Housemate, Peter David has a Star Trek Online Foundry mission. Foundry missions are missions created by the players, and are optional missions that you can do in parties or alone, for fun. They range from ‘eh’ to ‘oh my god this is effing amazing.’ There’s a foundry mission that had a bazillion references and jokes to the source TV series called Six Cups of Codrazine that is meant to be completely NOT SERIOUS EVER.

        3. That. So much that. The movie needs to stand on its own, you are not supposed to need to buy the novelization and who knows what else before you can get what happens in the movie.

          And even when it’s a series of movies, like a trilogy, considering that it can be between months to years between the individual movies you should still be able to follow every one without having seen the others. TV series, or old time movie serials, where there was one every week are a different thing (even though even in TV series I personally prefer ones where each episode can be watched and understood as a stand alone story). I think that that is one of the reasons why the Marvel movies have done so well – even if you miss one or two you can still go and watch the next one, they build on each other and you get more if you have seen them all, but you can still enjoy them as stand alones too.

          1. I’m a Babylon 5 fan. B5 has its own set of problems, though. When the fans took Strac to task for them, though, his usual reply was “that’s answered in the comic” or “this tie-in book explains that.”

            No. This was back when your chance of finding a particular comic or book that’d gone out of print a year or two before was essentially zero. If the episodes or story arcs didn’t stand up on their own, it wasn’t our fault for not buying all the tie-in materials during their brief appearances at the bookstores. Strac’s comments, translated into English, boiled down to “F*** you, neener-neener.”

            You only get graded for what’s on the screen. Books and comics don’t count.

          2. The problem of needing to read the book to understand the movie goes back a ways. 2001: A Space Odyssey was fairly incomprehensible to those not familiar with the book. As I recall, Kubrick and Clarke were working on the movie while Clarke was writing the book, so they were fairly close (modulo using Jupiter in the movie vs Saturn). I probably hadn’t read “The Sentinel” til much later, but got the book before I saw the movie. Made sense to me, and I probably explained some bits to my girlfriend. I suspect anybody familiar with the SF tropes at the time would have figured it out right away.

            The classical music in the movie was supposed to be a working track while an original score was being done. Kubrick didn’t like the score, so it got dropped. I don’t know if the proposed soundtrack ever was released.

            OTOH, a large number of people went to see the movie just for the light show. College showings usually had a blast of marijuana smoke and occasional whiffs of gin when that sequence started. (HAL stating he was built in Urbana, IL usually got some mutterings about the Illiac IV project. That was moved to California after a terrorist bombing at UW killed a researcher.)

            On the gripping hand, 2010 was accessible, but meh.

            1. The film of Howl’s Moving Castle took the book, turned it all around, lopped off many things, stuck on more, put a bow on top — and still didn’t make sense at points if you had not read the book.

              1. One of my girls has the book; I should borrow it some time along here.

                The movie, though, makes perfect sense to me. I did have to watch it about six or seven times…

                1. 1. Yes, you should read any of Dianna Wynne Jones’ books.

                  2. It ought be acknowledged that the book* preceded the movie and was not a adaptation. Thus the rules regarding clarity in film do not apply

                  *IIRC, the movie attempted to merge elements of the first two books f the Howl trilogy, exacerbating the challenge.

                  1. With a really big dose of the movie’s director’s go-to topics.

                    He’s good enough that they don’t totally take everything over, but the TV series adaptation of the Dresden Files did a much better job of accuracy and keeping the tone.

                    (For those who haven’t seen the Dresden Files’ single season: they changed A WHOLE FREAKING LOT, but managed to hit the details; worked kind of like Sam L. Jackson in the Marvel movies. But more. Honestly did a pretty dang good translation since a lot of the changes made it “work” in a visual media much better…..)

                    1. I loved the TV Dresden Files. It seemed to me that most of the changes were practical ones for filming… for example, Bob presenting as a person instead of an incorporeal voice that lived in a skull, combining his office and home into one and having a door onto the street instead of narrow hallways and closed in spaces, an open old jeep instead of a closed in old VW bug. They *could* have had the actress go blond, but does it really matter? I thought they did a really good job of capturing the characters.

                      I’m still salty about it getting cancelled and annoyed at overly critical fans.

                    2. The hockey stick was brilliant, Morgan’s casting worked, I’m conflicted about Ancient Mai (May?)…..

                      It got the feel right. ❤

                2. Go for it! I’d place it somewhere between “Dealing with Dragons” and “Shrek” on the style of self-aware-fairy-tale, and I’d probably rate it as better than either. Though I’m highly biased because Dealing with Dragons is a favorite.

    5. on that point, I’d like to point out that Luke DESTROYED THE DEATH STAR in a fighter he had never flown before.

      1. Was he? Luke was being Raptured by the Force; I thought it was R2D2 who was doing the flying.

      2. Yes and no… supposedly the T-65 X-Wing has a flight control system either identical or similar to the T-16 he flew back home.

        It was mentioned in the novelization, along with a bit showing Luke nearly crashing into the Death Star since he encountered a little bit of a difference in the controls but he recovered in time and was able to fly somewhat normally for the rest of the battle.

        1. It is also actually foreshadowed in the movie, although it of course might have worked better if they had shown him actually flying his T-16 at some point (I am assuming that would have been a fairly hard and expensive scene to film at the time – with a model and matte paintings – as it would have happened on a canyon on planet surface, and wasn’t even attempted for that reason). He plays with a model of it in the beginning for a while when talking with the droids, or listening to 3-3PO, and he talks about it a couple of times, if only in a short sentence or two. He was supposed to be quite good with it, according to himself, and it is supposed to be fairly similar to the x-wing fighters when it comes to controls and handling which also gets mentioned at least once if I remember right.

          So it was handled as a character boasting of something but we don’t see any proof so there is the suspicion that he is just boasting, then he is proved to be about as good as he had been claiming to be.

        2. One of the places where fansplaining helped a little. The original material implied the T-65 had controls a lot like a T-16. The fan stuff elaborated that alI Incom’s fighters were designed to be easy to learn–Incom was selling to local militias, etc., and knew a lot of them would be flown by whoever the customer could find; so they deliberately made the controls as much like an ordinary skyhopper’s as possible, etc.

      3. But he wasn’t ‘the bestest fighter of all who no one could touch’ and the Force shot at the end was a last minute save, and even then he needed Han to come back and help him.

        Also, he was following someone else’s battle plan. He wasn’t so good only Vader could have taken him. If anything, that movie showed VADER’S badass cred: he recognized that the Rebels were targeting a weak point and he got into a fighter HIMSELF to guard the weak point, and NO ONE could get past him. Not even Luke. Till Han helped.

        1. After figuring out what Obi Wan was doing and killing him, AND figuring out a way to get to the base using a homing device. Vader was behind every smart and effective move the Empire made.

          And THAT is how you build up a good villain.

          1. Yeah, they built up Vader as a good villain . . . and then in the never-to-be-sufficiently-damned prequel trilogy they threw him away by turning Anakin into a whiny little emo biotch. Sigh.

            1. And then they set up Episode VII to have a brand new Vader… but reveal that he’s really only Darth Emo.

        2. Yeah. Vader was just a thug in the first movie, but he was a D*** GOOD thug. What the 007 RPG called a Priviledged Henchman. An Oddjob/Jaws class badass, but with a working brain.

      4. I actually thought of mentioning the line “It’ll be just like Beggar’s Canyon back home” as another five-second fix that makes the scene more believable, Difference was that in A New Hope, they actually kept the line in, so you have some in-movie reason to believe that Luke has some experience in handling a fast-moving vehicle in tight, confined spaces.

        1. but they deleted the entire beggar’s canyon sequence, and most of the shot of him playing with the Skyhopper miniature. (yeah, the T-16 model he was playing with was the mini they were going to use)

          1. They kept important clues, though –

            1.) During the Cantina, when the Obi-Wan and Han are haggling over the cost of passage to Alderaan, Luke blurts out that he’s a good pilot. We don’t actually see him fly, but we have no reason to believe that he isn’t at least capable.
            2.) During the briefing, Luke talks about shooting womp rats in his T-16.

            So we know that he can fly, and we know that he’s a decent shot.

            Rey does get one in-movie moment that suggests she knows a little bit about the Falcon when she helps Han fix a problem that iirc was caused by one of the modifications that her old boss had made to the ship. It’s pretty late in the movie, though, shortly before she leaves the Falcon for good. By that time she’s already shown off her flying skills. And that’s the sort of clue that should be seen before she flies, and not after.

            1. As I just wrote in another comment, it was done in a way which made you think that Luke maybe was a kid who was only boasting of something which was mostly true in just his imagination – nobody seemed to take him all that seriously when he starts to talk about that, being a good pilot, they either just let him say it but don’t start a conversation, or cut him off like in the cantina (and Han is not at all impressed).

              Then in the end he is given the chance to prove himself and he does show that he was not just boasting, but actually is a good pilot.

              1. A counter-comment about the boast –

                It was suggested to me once that the “spontaneous” boast is a little more strategic than you might expect. Ben is bargaining with Han over the cost of their passage. Ben is doing the actual negotiation, while Luke’s comment serves to make clear that they *do* have other options if Han isn’t willing to accept Ben’s counter-offer. If Han holds out for too much money, then the two will walk away.

                Also, as Han’s response indicates, interstellar travel is trickier than just piloting. Sure, Luke might be able to fly a ship. But he doesn’t have any experience as a navigator.

                1. Heh. If we assume that Luke thought of that himself then he’d be a little more canny than he appears to be. But if he has been dealing with the Jawas himself maybe he does know something about bargaining. And maybe we should assume that he has, to keep that T-16 and his landspeeder working. But of course it’s also possible Obi-Wan told him to do something like it beforehand.

                  BTW, that “good engineer” thing is one other thing we are kind of shown Luke might be, at least he starts tinkering and trying to fix R2-D2 right away, and the general impression is that he possibly does quite a lot of that on the farm, except it never comes up afterwards.

            2. Womp rats == ROUS? Part of that speech has Luke saying, “I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home. They’re not much bigger than two meters.” Not much bigger than 2 meters? That’s 6+ foot of rodent!!! As I think about it they make ROUS look like pipsqueaks…

      5. The difference between Luke and Rey is that piloting is acknowledged to be Luke’s ONLY skill. There’s a number of lines in the movie saying Luke is a good pilot… and that’s it. Rey isn’t just a good pilot, she’s a good engineer, a good fighter, and she becomes practically a Jedi Master (If Yoda or Obi-Wan could just mind-control enemy soldiers like that, then they’d take a lot more prisoners) five minutes after learning that she can use the Force at all.

        I can believe that a boy who is a naturally gifted and practiced pilot, aided by the Force, could make a single good shot, on his second try. Reys successes are multiple and reliable throughout the movie.

        You might say that Luke’s infiltration of the Death Star shows that he’s a good fighter, but remember that Vader and Tarkin WANTED them to escape, to track down the Rebel base. Luke didn’t actually succeed, indeed he may even be considered to have failed in realizing this before Leia pointed it out.

        1. That is, btw, the one place where a complaint about The Last Jedi may not be valid. Meaning tracking a ship in hyperspace if there is a tracking device hidden somewhere in it. How was it done in A New Hope? the Death Star did follow Falcon to the rebel base. I don’t remember, so I suppose it might have been that they got the tracker signal only after Falcon got there, of course the Death Star comes there only after a while, not instantly, but I don’t remember if it is ever mentioned in the movie. And if it isn’t you could perhaps claim that they were able to track Han’s ship even when it was in hyperspace in that movie too.

    6. The Instant Force User thing could have been at least partly fixed, again way back when she first appears: show her suffering from what she thinks are hallucinations/flashbacks (and a remark on the order of “not this shit again!”) but are in fact leakage from Luke’s brain. Would have tied the whole thing together better and provided the basis for that unlearned skill.

      1. I suspect that the problem faced is not training Luke/Rei on how to use the Force, but how to do it without them falling to the Dark Side.
        There’s a bit of a Western Zen thing there, where the less you know, the more you know kind of thing- notice that Yoda never teaches Luke anything about light saber combat. It’s more about opening oneself up and trusting wholly in the power and guidance of the Force.

      2. I don’t feel that way. Reys first ‘focused’ use of the Force is to mind control a soldier. It’s not a Jedi Mind Trick which is the supernatural equivalent of fast-talking. There’s a huge difference between making some soldiers sweating their assess off at some shitty checkpoint on a godforsaken planet forget exactly what droids they’re looking for, and telling a soldier to unlock a prisoner, drop his weapon, and leave the room, which will get him executed the moment his superiors find out.

        Imagine if Yoda or Obi-Wan could do that to the average enemy soldier? It would be considered normal for a Jedi to come home from any fight with several Force-pacified prisoners to interrogate, or simply to take prisoner as an alternative to killing them.

        Rey isn’t merely ‘good’ in the Force, she does something that exceeds the power of a Jedi Master. And if you want to say “But that level of mind control leads to the Dark Side, so that’s why Jedi Masters haven’t done it before”, I’d like to note that Rey shows no sign of hatred, anger or other negative emotions associated with tapping into the Dark Side after that. She does not have a character arc of resisting the temptation of the Dark Side. So either mind controlling someone to peacefully surrender and walk away doesn’t qualify as a Dark Side act, or Rey is more resistant to the allure of the Dark Side than Yoda.

        1. She doesn’t just mind control a random storm trooper. She mind controls James Bond!


          (Daniel Craig has an uncredited role in the movie, and it’s believed he’s the storm trooper in question)

          On a more serious note, the fandom generally excused Rey’s super Force competency by believing that she has some training in her past that she doesn’t remember. Presumably it would have taken place before she was dropped off on the planet that the movie opens with. And then The Last Jedi came along with its utterly pointless and dull Dark Side Cave sequence that indicated that no, she’s just a random orphan.

          Now that may yet turn out to be false. I think the writers would be performing a huge save if we found out in Episode IX that she had some Force training in her misremembered youth. But I suspect that they won’t go that route.

          The obviously untrained kid on the casino planet that casually uses Force telekinesis to pick up his broom just reinforces that idea in my head.

          1. the director for the next one is already talking about … patching that up a bit

        2. For that matter, note that the *Sith* don’t seem to mind control anybody. Iappears to be strictly a *Jedi* mind trick.

          That’s come up in fan wars, I believe. And I’ve played with a fanfic where a group splintered off partly because of that–they concluded that “evil” and “of the Dark Side” did not have a one-to-one correspondence…

            1. The other part of the splinter group *did* say “they aren’t that bright.” The first hint of a scientific basis for studying the force, and they were told to worship it instead.

              Relevant quote:
              “The first time some Jedi Master said, ‘Trust your feelings, young Padawan. The midi-clorians will tell you what to do!”, the schism became an nevitability.”


    7. My personal patch-it for TFA is that Rey’s Force sensitivity manifests mostly as psychometry. Touch Luke’s lightsaber, pick up lightsaber-fighting abilities while her hands are on the hilt. Grab the Falcon controls, get an echo of previous pilots’ skills. Doesn’t explain everything, but I like it nonetheless. 🙂

      1. I’m actually willing to give her a pass on the lightsaber fighting in TFA under the general category of “Kylo Ren just plain sucks with a lightsaber”. Even Finn manages to land a hit on him with the lightsaber, and Finn supposedly doesn’t have access to the Force.

        But you can’t use that logic in the big TLJ fight scene.

    8. The Yard Ape and I are convinced that if these people just played RPGs they could make good characters that still feed their play-pretend feminist “rebellion”.

      “Rey took ++++ points in fighting (staff), desert survival, Force (machine communication), mechanics, and Force (machine repair)”

      A nice mix of successes and failures: She can’t convince anyone “weak-minded” ala Obi Wan, but she can tell the machine cuffs to let her go. She uses the light saber like a bo staff, etc. She’d be both real and a super cool power girl: Jedi engineer!

      I finally saw TFA – got a library copy and watched it in 10 – 20 min intervals as I got back up to speed working out. So much wasted potential.

      1. I thought (based on what I heard) that was what she was *supposed* to be, before grrl power became all. And Finn would be the Jedi muscle–a sort of good-guy Darth Maul.

        On another forum, I daydreamed of some actual character interaction. Rey showing off her new Swiss Army lightsaber (variable blade length, stun setting, whatever). She offers to help Finn build one too.

        Hey, I’m a stormtrooper, remember?

        (activates lightsaber)

        (deactivates lightsaber)

        (Puts lightsaber away.)
        Isn’t that complicated enough?

        (They don’t *quite* stick their tongues out at each other.)

        (LUKE has to hide a smirk before doing the Wise Mentor Speech for that scene.)

        1. And Finn would be the Jedi muscle–a sort of good-guy Darth Maul.

          That actor could totally pull it off, too. I’m picturing somewhere between a Marine and a playing-dumb sailor.

  4. When I look in a mirror, I expect to see a “monster”… but not an Evil/Thoughtless/Malicious/Unthinking Bastage. And, yes, there is a difference.

    1. Admittedly as a Rigellian I find you a bit disturbing. But that goes for the humans too. All and all the horns and hooves are far more appealing through my sense of perception than the fleshiness that is your average human. As one monster to another way to go.

          1. Palainian, My friend Nadreck is one. Rather weird critters, think Pluto in the far part of its orbit is a vacation site. Kimbal Kinnison and Worsel are tough, but Nadreck is scary and seriously dangerous if he’s not on your side.

            1. IIRC Nadreck thinks he has committed a “sin” if he kills the “bad guys” himself instead of putting them in a situation where they kill themselves.

                1. Nah. Hollyweird would be destroyed by now if Nadreck was attacking them. 😈

    2. Besides, you’re our monster. We like a monster who wants to be good much more than any human who wants to be evil or malicious!

  5. “Sincerely yours, Sarah A. Hoyt, who you assure me is a (racist, sexist, homophobic, da.) Mormon White Male.”
    But hey, you still have a great rack.
    I was involved in my own small way on the fringes of the whole Sad Puppy kerfuffle, small attempts to post counter comments to all the carp they were throwing at a few hard working authors who wanted nothing more than a bit of fairness, fools that they were.
    And I see the same tactics being used on a daily basis in one of my pet causes, the gun control debate. If you’re pro gun you are by definition a white, male, misogynist, racist, homophobic, religious bigot. The thing I’ve come to realize is that the anti gun crowd don’t hate guns, what they hate is guns in the hands of the common people.
    One of the left’s patron saints, Mao Tse Tung, famously observed that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. Hard to argue with someone who conquered the largest country in the world. So for the left the ideal would be that they and their operatives be the only ones with guns. Then, by Mao all glory be to him, then they could make all we ignorant knuckle dragging free thinkers do precisely what they decide is in our (honestly their) best interest. You see to them communism (with them in charge of course) is the only way to a perfect world, it’s just never been done correctly before. And after all what’s a hundred million more or less in the greater scheme of things.

  6. Aside from the usual Poison Narrative (Which exists, never doubt!) there’s another factor. When dealing with an established narrative property there is always a HUGE temptation to piss on it so it smells like you. Sometimes thins can bring energy and freshness to a narrative property that’s getting tired and faded. Maleficent was a lot of fun. OK, it stretched a bit to make everything the fault of Males, but it was a hell of a fresh retake on a story that has always bored me to tears. Frozen was terrific, had a nice-guy male, didn’t depend on romantic love between people who barely know each-other to fix everything, and was in almost all ways superior to every version of The Snow Queen story I’ve ever read.

    But often, it’s a runaway ego that thinks its stale ideas are an improvement on the stale ideas that the audience at least finds comfortable and familiar. I wish, for example, that people would stop f*cking with THE JUNGLE BOOKS. Yes, Kipling is a defender of colonialism, and by modern ‘standards’ an absolutely awful person. He is also a better writer than storyteller than any of the twerps who have tried to better his work. Go screw up TRAZAN. The writing of the original is so awful, nobody will notice much.

    1. I rather liked what they did with Tangled, myself. Especially when you realize that the whole movie is told by an Unreliable Narrator.

      1. Yes, Tangled, Frozen, and several other recent Disney core properties make me hope that the kind of idiocy that’s going on with Star Wars is an aberration.

        Hope. Not firmly believe.

        OTOH the trend of turning every classic Disney animated film into a Live Action/CGI extravaganza really needs to slow the f*ck down. Some of the films have been interesting (MALEIFICENT). Some have been a pure waste of time (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST). And some are disasters waiting to happen (DUMBO).

        Wait until somebody has a really good idea, guys. You’re forcing it.

        1. Live action Dumbo? Is Disney totally bat-crap insane (Given data in evidence I retract my question…). That movie has so many issues from the stereotyped crows to the child terrifying mistreatment of the mother that I can’t imagine any wish to remake it. Heck I bet almost as many children run in terror from the scene with chaining the mom as have to leave Bambi when they get rid of his mom in the fire.

        2. Frozen was a bit of a cluster, imho, so I’m inclined to call that one a symptom of Disney’s idiocy.

          They did good things with Tangled, though.

          1. Once you get past – strike that: IF – the stupid for plot, Frozen is okay. It would be better as an anime though.

            I really like the Japanese version of “Let it Go”

            1. I suppose you could accuse FROZEN of plot stupidity. It makes one hell of a lot more sense than the plot of the traditional forms of THE SNOW QUEEN. As i recall the ‘boy’ is the one in trouble. He is a consummate ass, and richly deserves to be in trouble and stay there. The girl is infatuated with this twerp, despite what amounts to an abusive relationship, she undergoes harrowing adventure and mortal peril, and is ‘rewarded’ with the boy….who as I mentioned is a world class sphincter. So she’s smart enough to make it through a fairy tale, but so dumb she will stick with The Twerp.


              1. IIRC, Kay in the original was an okay kid until his emotions and perceptions got poisoned by fragments of the evil mirror, although Gerta doesn’t know why he’s acting like that. He’s supposed to be better once they melt.

              2. It makes one hell of a lot more sense than the plot of the traditional forms of THE SNOW QUEEN


                About the biggest issue is that there wasn’t anybody designated to be regent until the girls grew up…but it might be a quiet enough place that nobody flipped out, they just DEAL with it.

              3. The only Snow Queen I can recall that sort of fits that one is Ms Vinge’s. Which wasn’t stupid-for-plot, either, mind. . The first fairy story by Hans Christian Anderson has two dear friends separated when the boy’s soul is poisoned. He becomes ever colder and more sociopathic until the monstrous Snow Queen takes him away. His childhood friend remains loyal and after many trials and sacrifices she finds her friend. Her faith is rewarded, and she is granted a miracle: the poison is removed! Her childhood friend is restored to her, and they return safely to life, and live happily ever after. The twerpage, if you will, is overcome by charity.

                The Vinge one adds SF + a garden of Eden motif: The poison is chosen.

                Disney… adds super stupid parents because reasons… then tells a pretty good story once the inciting incident is past.

                1. Pretty standard parental over-correction in response to one of their kids nearly dying due, in large part, to them not applying basic sense to safety when teaching their older child to play with the younger. One of the managers at the farm supply store screwed up sort of similarly– didn’t teach the kid not to play with the controls in the tractor, little boy killed his older brother. Mom very carefully did not mention that I was driving tractors in single digits, just properly taught and carefully chosen tasks; knew not to touch the controls unless I was Doing A Job.

                  Add in that from what Pappy troll said, Anna would start dying again as soon as her brain wasn’t fooled about the ice damage (getting hit in the heart apparently jolted her brain back into ‘getting’ it), and the emphasis on secrecy makes more sense.

                  Hopefully they would’ve figured out how to have control without suppression before she was 16 or so…but they died, instead, so the mess stayed.

    2. > Kipling … colonialism

      Colonialism paid off BIGLY for Britain. Without help from Canada, Australia, India, and even the United States, Britain would have wound up as part of the German Empire or the Greater German Reich.

      Funny, you don’t hear Britons whingeing about Roman, Danish, or Viking colonialism, though they tend to get a bit testy about the French…

      1. I find it hilarious that all the anti-colonial fruitbats don’t know/won’t admit that the French are STILL DOING IT. They still have colonies. The French Foreign Legion is still a thing too, last I checked.

        1. That is one reason the French are laughing at us!

          Too many people forget that chauvinism is a French word.

      2. I think studies have shown that the Brits essentially lost money on colonialism. I do not know how reliable those studies might be but there is a certain credibility to the argument when you look at the costs as well as the earnings.

        1. The question would be *who* lost money. The merchants who expanded the Empire had enough political clout to get Parliament to assign military forces to defend their holdings, and eventually colonial government officers were set up.

          That is, ordinary Britons supported the colonial system with their taxes… but that was “free” money, and doesn’t count, right?

        2. I would be highly suspicious of any ‘study’ that showed that the British lost money on their colonies. Their society went through enormous growth of wealth during the colonial era, and while some of it was entirely home grown, more depended on trade from outside. Would the British textile industry have grown as fast without access to Indian cotton? Who knows?

          The thing about such studies is that there is always an impulse to ‘show’ that the accepted wisdom is wrong. Somethings this results in a new point of view and useful scholarship, but all too often it is just some desperate grad student trying to come up with a dissertation that hasn’t been done to death.

          And that doesn’t even could ideology-driven drivel like ARMING AMERICA.

          1. For one thing, if they hadn’t had access to Indian cotton, the odds of them intervening in the ACW on the side of the Confederacy would have gone up.

      3. And a big part of why the Progressive Left hates Kipling so much is that, by any objective standards, things have gone downhill in Africa and large parts of Asia since the end of British Colonialism. It doesn’t take all that many decades of tribal genocide, famine as a tool of statecraft, and broad based kleptocracy to make old fashioned Colonial Paternalism look pretty goddamned good.

        Some African States are beginning – just BEGINNING, mind – to look like they are climbing out of the hole. Pity South Africa, which is just starting on its way down. They should hook a turbine to Nelson Mandela’s corpse; he must be spinning hard enough to generate several megawatts.

        1. Fill full the mouth of famine
          And bid the sickness cease;
          And when your goal is nearest
          The end for others sought,
          Watch Sloth and heathen Folly
          Bring all your hopes to nought.

          1. Oh, how they hate Hate HATE that poem. Not least because they wish to ‘take up the White Man’s Burden’ in quite a different way, and corral their charges into permanent dependence and gratitude.


          2. “Kitchener’s School”
            “OH, HUBSHEE, carry your shoes in your hand and bow your head on your breast!
            This is the message of Kitchener who did not break you in jest.
            It was permitted to him to fulfill the long-appointed years;
            Reaching the end ordained of old over your dead Emirs.

            He stamped only before your walls, and the Tomb ye knew was dust:
            He gathered up under his armpits all the swords of your trust:
            He set a guard on your granaries, securing the weak from the strong:
            He said: — ” Go work the waterwheels that were abolished so long.”

            He said: — “Go safely, being abased. I have accomplished my vow.”
            That was the mercy of Kitchener. Cometh his madness now!
            He does not desire as ye desire, nor devise as ye devise:
            He is preparing a second host — an army to make you wise.

            Not at the mouth of his clean-lipped guns shall ye learn his name again,
            But letter by letter, from Kaf to Kaf, at the mouths of his chosen men.
            He has gone back to his own city, not seeking presents or bribes,
            But openly asking the English for money to buy you Hakims and scribes.

            Knowing that ye are forfeit by battle and have no right to live,
            He begs for money to bring you learning — and all the English give.
            It is their treasure — it is their pleasure — thus are their hearts inclined:
            For Allah created the English mad — the maddest of all mankind!

            They do not consider the Meaning of Things; they consult not creed nor clan.
            Behold, they clap the slave on the back, and behold, he ariseth a man!
            They terribly carpet the earth with dead, and before their cannon cool,
            They walk unarmed by twos and threes to call the living to school.

            How is this reason (which is their reason) to judge a scholar’s worth,
            By casting a ball at three straight sticks and defending the same with a fourth?
            But this they do (which is doubtless a spell) and other matters more strange,
            Until, by the operation of years, the hearts of their scholars change:

            Till these make come and go great boats or engines upon the rail
            (But always the English watch near by to prop them when they fail);
            Till these make laws of their own choice and Judges of their own blood;
            And all the mad English obey the Judges and say that that Law is good.

            Certainly they were mad from of old; but I think one new thing,
            That the magic whereby they work their magic — wherefrom their fortunes spring —
            May be that they show all peoples their magic and ask no price in return.
            Wherefore, since ye are bond to that magic, O Hubshee, make haste and learn!

            Certainly also is Kitchener mad. But one sure thing I know —
            If he who broke you be minded to teach you, to his Madrissa go!
            Go, and carry your shoes in your hand and bow your head on your breast,
            For he who did not slay you in sport, he will not teach you in jest. “

          1. I have slowly come to the belief that Mandala grew into his statesman role, and that he should no more be blamed for his bitch wife than MLK jr. should be blamed for his. Mandala really seems to have spent a good deal of time and energy trying to bring about an understanding between the variously colored tribes.

            He failed, though. And he was going to fail, which is even more tragic. The idiots were going to end up running things into the ground, pretty much no matter what anybody did.

            If the South African people get really lucky, maybe the Cape Baboons will take over. They are as nasty a nuisance animal as exists on the planet, but would be better than the government that seems likely for the foreseeable future.

  7. The thing that I am coming to see, very plainly now, is that the establishment entertainment media, and a large part of the establishment press despises flyover-country Americans. They loath and fear us, they can’t even bother hiding their contempt any more.
    They are all perfectly willing to propagandize, and outright lie in service to their ideal all-encompassing State. They will make propaganda movies, and write glowing tributes to the Leader that they worship, and cheerfully consign dissenters to the outer darkness, given half a chance.
    They hate us. Don’t ever forget it.

    1. You forgot the closer. It’s not just hate. They want us and those that matter to us dead. Some will accept bended knee.

    2. They despise everyone, including each other. It’s just that now they have quit pretending they don’t despise us.

    3. “They loath and fear us, they can’t even bother hiding their contempt any more.”

      That’s really the take-home of the Hughes article. He’s stopped pretending and come right out and said it:

      “They don’t deserve representation of their ideas, since their ideas are backward, hateful, and devoid of merit in the first place.”

      That’s the kind of guy who’s not having a conversation about simple entertainment anymore. He’s fully devoted to using the entertainment as a vehicle for his hate and rage against… me. I’m a representative member of the group this guy wants to do this to:
      “…you and your beliefs have no place in modern storytelling or modern society (except as villains to be defeated and cast aside forever).”

      We are to be defeated and cast aside.

      You don’t normally see it written out in long hand like that, usually they kind of dog-whistle it in case the straights (me) might catch on. The contempt is palpable, practically oozing off the letters. But what I like is the fear. He’s not content with the hinting and the dog-whistle anymore, now he’s screaming it. “LOOK OUT! They’re coming! We’re all gonna dieeeee!!!!”

      Yeah. We’re coming. We decline to be defeated and cast aside without a fight, especially by a pencil-necked dickweed like Mark f-ing Hughes. (Seriously, that f-ing mustache though. Buy a razor or up your testosterone dosage, pal. Get some saw palmetto already.)

      Show us what you got, bitchez. “These are my middle fingers!” SAH.

      1. “Cast aside?” That’s way too passive: They want to actively PURGE us. The attempts to banish conservatives from social media, cut off access to financial services and now hounding people out of restaurants and movie theaters for being Republican – as happened to Kiersten Nijelsen, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and now Pam Bondi just this past week – are just a foretaste of what they have planned.

        And I fully expect that in the next few weeks, some of the would-be purgers are going to step up to the plate and find out they’ll be catching instead of pitching. We’ve gone well past the point of no return, and probably did when Steve Scalise was shot.

        1. yep, so we sue them for not serving us, and end up with them having to admit in court that their brand of leftism is a religion

        2. I wonder sometimes if the point of no return was 9/11. Bad guys who hated the USA crashed four airliners and killed 3000+ people.

          The NEXT DAY the newspapers had liberal commentators essentially saying the USA was asking for it.

          I wonder if that wasn’t the day when Americans on the Right finally realized there was never going to be a time when they were going to be “good enough.” They were always going to be a basket of deplorables, uncouth and disgraceful.

          On or around 9/12/2001 they said “Okay. I get it.”

          1. These are still hard times because you can’t KNOW for sure. It looks like maybe the tide is turning. You know that it always will, sooner or later, but sometimes that later can come not decades but centuries later, after a period of really dark times, and you don’t, can’t, really know if we are living in the beginning of that change now or if this is yet another temporary sputter before the slow collapse of resistance, and things locking in place for a long time.

            Or at least what is left of my lifetime, which won’t be more than about two, at most three, decades, and might very well be less than two considering my mom’s family history and the fact that when it comes to health I seem to take more after her than my father. A couple of decades is not that long when we talk about societies even if it can be pretty long for an in individual.

            I am way more anxious at times than I’d like to be, and part of it is that carrot which is hanging just out of reach. I want to see that change happen, damn it, fully and for real, not just in little bits and maybe it’s about to, any day now, but to see it become the accepted consensus culture you’d see in our entertainment and news media and so on instead of being the counterculture constantly under attack it is now. Or at least see it starting to get there in a way which makes it clear it has become the juggernaut which can’t be stopped anymore (when maybe something has happened like close to a half of the celebs have more or less flipped their stance publicly, and most of the new ones take that stance from the start… yes, a lot of them at that point wouldn’t be sincere, but I think that would be a pretty good indicator, as most of them are pretty damn sincere when it comes to keeping their popularity and their careers).

            Even if it were to happen just in your country, not yet mine, because that would at least give concrete evidence that it CAN happen in what the world is like today, and doesn’t need to wait until some new dark age has come and gone and things have changed in other ways drastically.

            The irritating part of being my age is that the old cultural imprint wasn’t completely gone yet when I was a child, things like self-reliance and good manners and so on were still around, and at times the rebellion against them seemed like it might just bring in some adjustments which would be good, like getting rid of habits of putting people in certain roles according to their sex and race regardless of what their individuals skills and talents might be.

            And then the child got thrown out with the bathwater. Well, now he is older and trying to get back in, but it is not yet certain if he can do it.


            1. That Chris Pratt would go into that arena and say what he said is a positive sign.

              “I accept the responsibility as your elder.”

          2. The thing that got me was that they were talking as if this was DIFFERENT from Pearl Harbor. That Pearl Harbor was ‘unprovoked’ and 9/11 wasn’t.

            Pearl Harbor was provoked. We were doing a lot to provoke the Japanese, and they deserved every bit of it. Their behavior in Manchuria has largely been flushed down the memory hole, but the difference between the Japanese Military and the Nazis isn’t as big as some people might like us to believe. In fact it might be fair to say, it isn’t visible to the looking eye.

            Now, I won’t deny that in 2001 we had been provoking the Islamofools. But we SHOULD have been provoking them. They are barbarians. They treat their women like farm animals. They are murderous, odoriferous, intolerant jerkoffs. In short they are everything the Liberal Left likes to fantasize that Baptists are.

            1. “…the difference between the Japanese Military and the Nazis isn’t as big as some people might like us to believe.”

              For some reason, probably Diversity!!!11!, the Japanese military has gotten a very nice whitewash since the 1970s. A beautiful thick coat of paint over the truth of their behavior in WWII and prior to that during WWI.

              Knowing what I do about their atrocities in China, Korea, the whole region generally, IMHO the Nazis were choir boys compared to the Japanese. What the Nazis had going for them was an organized, industrialized approach to atrocity. A factory model, if you will. That’s the only reason they beat the Japanese for sheer numbers.

              This is not to say (for the lurking idiot brigade) the the Nazis were somehow acceptable, or not that bad. They were horrific evil. But they were pikers compared to the Japanese in Nanjing. Of course the Japanese and Nazis taken together were -nothing- compared to the Stalinists. And, as we know to our cost, the depredations of Chairman Mao make the rest look like shoplifters.

              Four flavors of the same shit-sandwich, each worse than the one before.

              1. The Nazis were horrific because Germany was Christian and European and Highly Civilized; “Everybody” knew that the Japanese were operating on a rather different moral framework.

                Come to think of it, isn’t the 70s about when they would’ve generally been flipping out about recognizing “no, really, these guys’ cultural differences ACTUALLY MATER”, isn’t it?

              2. Arguably the Nazis were much better, adhering to the Geneva Conventions far more faithfully, especially in their treatment of POWs, even as bad as that was it didn’t hold a candle to the Japanese treatment of troops so lacking in honor as to disgrace themselves by surrendering. Heck, the Germans might even rate better than the Russians in prisoner treatment.

                What the German experimenters did to their subjects was done to civilian detainees and is still slightly better than the Japanese treatments.

                1. An acquaintance of mine had a grandfather who served in WWII and was captured by the Germans. When the Red Army got to the prison camp, they released all the Russian prisoners (the Germans had helpfully segregated everyone by nationality) and left the rest of the Allied soldiers in their respective areas. Once they were a safe distance away, the Reds began shelling the prison camp….

        3. Keep in mind; these are the death-throes of the Progressive Left. If they still had control of the debate powerful enough to keep their opponents silent, they wouldn’t be talking this way. They would be allowing the other side just enough access to look ridiculous.

          They can’t do that any more, and BOY does that itch their jockey shorts.

          This is the Plantation Owner’s son haughtily declaiming that one Southern Gentleman can lick five Yankees….while carefully ignoring that he’d have to lick ten. Or that the Yankees will have guns, and his supply is by no means assured.

          I have some hopes that some people in Hollyweird have seen which way the wind is blowing. Thanks as a murderous Environmental Radical was a nice surprise.

          But hold on. These morons are on the way out.

  8. Nice rant! 🙂

    The reason I didn’t gaga over Star Wars as a kid is that I had a background in quality and not-so quality written science fiction before I saw it on the big screen. Plus I saw the re-release of 2001 in a good movie house with ginormous screen and kick-ass sound before I saw Stars Wars. So I filed the whole Star Wars experience as C-grade serial, below Star Trek and Perry Rhodan. The Ewoks confirmed that the toys were more important than story.

    1. I was exposed to Star Wars fairly early, and my Mom was more willing to let me read the Star Wars and Star Trek part of the adult science fiction section than everything in that section.

    2. Perry Rhodan! There’s a blast from the past, eh? I used to like that, I’m sure there’s a couple of them kicking around the Phantom Catacombs somewheres.

    3. > Ewoks

      I had paid more money than I could actually afford for a first-run seat to watch that movie. And I got angrier and angrier as I sat there, and I got up and walked out about half an hour before it was over.

      1. Heh. Not quite that bad, but while they didn’t ruin the last movie for me they certainly made me enjoy it a lot less. Wookiees might have been fine. The Ewoks were sort of irritable but vaguely tolerable until they started bashing the stormtroopers left and right. With stone age weapons. If it had been just traps like pits and those swinging logs… but it was actual combat. Lost my grip on my suspension of disbelief for quite a while there.

        I still like that movie. But now it’s a bit easier to jump over those bits than it was with VHS. And I don’t think I’d care to see it in a theater ever again even if I did go a few times back then.

        1. That’s why I walked out of that theater… the movie passed from “suspension of disbelief” to “in-your-face stupid.”

          1. The first movie was Fresh, the second was GOOD! and the third was “I don’t want to do this anymore.”

    4. Nah. My mom took me to see the (real) first Star Wars when I was 13. Good Lord, I still remember how thrilling it was. I was still “playing pretend” and I ran around being Jedi Pilot Spy girl (Leia + Luke + Han) like there was no tomorrow.

      And the music! The sound as that destroyer filled the screen! The richness of the colour palette. The sheer amazing FUN. And it mostly holds up. Especially the score.

  9. I’d call you kindergartners, except kindergartners don’t have gatekeeping power and probably wouldn’t use it to support genocidal philosophies

    Hey, when I was in kindergarten… Hmm, now that I think about it, I’m not sure I cared enough about societal outcomes to want to change them at great cost in human life. Okay, I definitely could see that some times the way to an objective was through a pile of corpses, and may have been fine with that, but I’m not sure I cared at all about the big picture. I’m pretty sure I was fairly happy then, and that the dislike for drug users only reached the level of wanting to kill all of them much later in life.

  10. Sarah, the idea of a guest post is that you are supposed to do -less- work on it. ~:D I guess little Mr. Marky Hughes mashed all of your piss-off buttons.

    The “nerdRacist toxic fan dudebro” thing amazes me sometimes. That people who say stuff like that expect to be taken seriously may be the most amazing part.

    A guy like Mark Hughes says: “They don’t deserve representation of their ideas, since their ideas are backward, hateful, and devoid of merit in the first place.” And we are all supposed to… what? Apologize for not liking the movie? Run out and buy their merch? Kiss the guy’s ass on Twitter?

    Star Wars started out fun and got turned into a propaganda vehicle and a merch selling machine. Why are there Porgs in the movie? Merch. Why is BB8 in the movie? Merch. Why can Rey fly the spaceship like a pro with two seconds of practice? Propaganda. Why is there a whole sub-plot with the black guy and the Asian girl? Propaganda. ( I liked the sub-plot actually, it was one of the less-lame parts of the movie, but it didn’t belong there. It was like tail fins on a VW Bug.)

    Having that opinion makes me a NerdRacist? I’m not allowed to say that because my ideas are “backward, hateful, and devoid of merit?” Yeah, sure thing dude.

    -Make- me shut up, fucker.

    That’s my unhelpful (and not pleasant to have) reaction. Entertainment is supposed to be ENTERTAINING, its not supposed to have the dragon banging on his cage bars down there in the basement of my psyche, trying to get out and eat this guy. I’m tired of it. Its boring too.

    1. Why is there a whole sub-plot with the black guy and the Asian girl?

      Because otherwise Finn could spend the entire movie comatose, and no one would notice. And that’s a shame, because imo right now Finn is the most well-rounded character in the new movies. Of the three leads, we’ve got emo-boy, intensity girl, and a guy who’s scared to death of the First Order, but doesn’t want to abandon the new friends he’s made.

      The Asian character, Rose, is despised in many circles. In part it’s because her story arc serves no real purpose within the story. And in part it’s because people feel that she’s a “check the diversity box” character (there’s a rumor that she was introduced in part to make the film more popular in China; if so, this has backfired as the Chinese decided it meant that the people doing the casting were idiots since they thought Chinese audiences would care about a Vietnamese actress). I feel pretty sorry for the actress. She no doubt thought she was finally getting her big break with a prominent supporting character role in a major motion picture release. And instead, she’s been hounded from social media by upset Star Wars fans.

      And none of it’s her fault. It’s the fault of the people who wrote the script.

      1. The actress that plays Rose is quite good, her performance is one of the better ones in the movie. I militantly do not care that she’s Asian.

        The problem with the -character- Rose is that she’s there to check off the Asian Female box. Her whole story arc is superfluous, its only there to allow the runner-beast racing scene, include some gratuitous slave stuff, and get a few hate-points posted against Capitalism. Worse, they do that whole big thing and it all comes to nothing.

      2. they thought Chinese audiences would care about a Vietnamese actress

        All those SE-Asians look alike, right? Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean – who can tell them apart?

        Well, actually, I’ve seen enough films from that part of the world to be able to distinguish them about as well as I do Italians, Greeks, French and Turks, or Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and Russians. But that’s me, I’m not “woke” like those Hollywood super-geniuses.

        1. Just to avoid ignoring this blog’s proprietress I wish to acknowledge that all Latinos — Spaniards, Portuguese, Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Hondurans, Colombians, Venezuelans, Brazilians, and the rest are indistinguishable.

          Especially if you think of people as widgets indistinguishable from their “class.”

        2. You forgot Scottish, Irish, English, N. American, …, Heck even the border control can’t tell a tan Scottish/English/Welsh from a Mexican …

        3. Hey, I can’t tell Swedes, Russians, Danes and Norwegians apart, or that they are not Finns, except by the language or accent. Not as individuals. En masse there are some faint differences. Same goes for people further south – you see more of some types on the streets when you are in this country and when you go to the next it is a bit more different type which seems to dominate (and dressing styles can be a bit different too, what is popular right now here is not necessarily quite as popular one country over) – but if it’s person by person no idea. With mid-and southern Europeans I can’t often enough quite place the accents either although I can at least usually tell which language when it’s the main ones. 😛

      3. My theory is that Finn was supposed to be the hero of The Force awakens. And aside from the mildly cringe-inducing element that “our First Black Hero [tm]” was … a space janitor, it was a good idea. No, not the blackness bit, but the idea that a Red Shirt conscript would have a moral awakening, and grow and take the Hero’s journey to manhood.

        Then the feminists got their hands on it, and it was the All About Rey show.

        1. Maybe. IMO, what happened was that they tried to cram in three main character arcs (Finn, Rey, and Kylo Ren), three secondary character arcs (Poe, Han and Chewie, Leia), and the result was a muddled but enjoyable film.
          Then they got too ambitious with TLJ, and tried to do four main character arcs (Poe, Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn), two secondary character arcs (Rose, Luke), and the results were a horrifyingly muddled and much less enjoyable film.
          I’m hoping that they learn the actual lessons from TLJ and Solo.

          1. They turned Finn into a comedy side-kick instead of developing him as a main character.

            The plot necessities of Poe’s “character arc” are responsible for every completely idiotic move by every completely idiotic woman in the film. How’s that for some irony?

            “I’m hoping that they learn the actual lessons from TLJ and Solo.”

            Yeah, well… good luck with that.

      4. I’ve got a completely different take on the Rose character.

        For me, she is a quintessential “Star Wars” character. She’s a relative nobody, but she steps up and does what she feels is right, regardless of cost. That is the very essence of (the original) Star Wars. Luke Skywalker was a farm boy who stepped up. Han Solo was a smuggler, and in spite of himself came back and stepped up. For me, this is a bit of the magic that was lost after the original three movies. I loved seeing it.

        Was Rose a checkbox? Perhaps, perhaps not. I have long thought that some fans are overly sensitive to the “checkbox” phenomenon. Yes, there are characters stuck into various movies to fulfill a (probably imagined) requirement. Those characters are generally little better than set pieces, and the writers/directors/producers who put them in are stupid and racist in that “soft racism” of “We need an X, but an X isn’t a strong enough main character, so we’ll just stick one in somewhere.” I think the actor turned in an excelent performance with the Rose character, and while the character did seem to be a little under-developed, she was way more than just a set piece.

        The real crime here are the (supposed) fans who are trolling the actor. If they didn’t like the character, they can go pound sand. However, I suspect they imagined that they caught a whiff of checkbox ink and decided to hate without really giving the character (or maybe the movie) a chance, then decided to be assholes about it.

        Oh, that and whoever is responsible for Holdo…

        1. I liked Rose though I didn’t like some of what they had her do. I mean, I guess I’m sort of “woke” to minion deaths so her saving Finn while all of her friends and coworkers got fried to cinders bothered me rather more than a lot, and the stooooopid pap they had her say!

          But her character? I liked her character. She was supposed to be that every-person, looking up at the heroes with stars in her eyes and not realizing that her just doing what she thought necessary was heroic, too.

    2. They probably need to have admittance exams at theatres to ensure that only the sufficiently woke are admitted.

      1. Tolerance, civility, diversity — those are for us, not them. They have always been the party of “We don’t serve your kind here.” Were I local there it would be tempting to visit that restaurant and ask whether as Conservatives they had seats for us. Should they say yes I would inquire how I could be confident nobody in the kitchen would spit in my food..

        Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Family Kicked out of Restaurant Over White House Work
        Do these people know how utterly ridiculous they look to normal people?

        White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was out to dinner with her family last night when the owner of the restaurant walked over to her table and asked her to leave. …

        1. Very simply there are far too many people who read 1984 and Animal Farm and thought they were “how too” guides. Thus we have Newspeak, Thought Crime, the Two Minute Hate and of course the requisite slogans:
          War is Peace
          Freedom is Slavery
          Ignorance is Strength
          Conformity is Diversity

          The appropriate term for today’s left is Communazi. They seek to fulfill the goals of international socialism (communism) but are willing to have some private ownership and corporations just as long as that private sector exists solely to serve the state, thus making use of Fascist methods to achieve communist goals. Finally, the identity based Marxism that it has devolved into, where people’s worth is defined by their group (i.e. the “volk” they belong to) and the general rabid anti-Semitism on the left, makes the title communazi fully descriptive. And if anyone wants to make use of that term in any writings or columns, please feel free to do so.

    3. > Why is BB8 in the movie? Merch. Why can Rey fly the spaceship like a pro with two seconds of practice?

      Simple! Someone had upgraded the Auto-Drive software somewhere along the way.

      Hey, if ships, cars, and planes can operate themselves at our level of technology, an FTL civilization ought to be able to do it at least as good, right?

      1. My favorite bit was the Millennium Falcon had been sitting abandoned in the desert for Rey’s whole life and was known to her as “garbage!”… but it still held air, and it still had gas in it. And two amateurs beat out the professionally piloted and maintained Tie fighters.

        Sure they did.

        1. Plus, scrapping is a big industry on I Can’t Believe It’s Not Tatooine!
          Anything usable on that ship would have long been stripped out and sold.

          1. I think there was a bit in the novelization that her former boss owned the Falcon and had used it from time to time.

            Oh, I like the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Tatooine”. 😉

            1. Yeah. She’s actually flown it before (into orbit and back), though you wouldn’t know that from the movie.

              1. From what I’ve heard, “you wouldn’t know it from the movie” is most of the problem with the movies

    4. Why are there Porgs in the movie?

      Because they couldn’t get the @!#$@ birds to go away, so they had to CGI them into aliens.

      No, really.

      1. Right my understanding is on the island off Ireland that they used to shoot Luke’s planet there are hordes of puffins. And the things are protected, you can’t do ANYTHING to them (move, constrain, limit) so
        they were always coming into the scene and ruining shots. So some clever johnny got the idea of replacing them with CG equivalents and thus the Porg was born. The Disney types took it and ran with it and we have one of the most annoying creatures in SW since Ewoks.

    5. “TAIL fins on a VW Bug”
      That’s the hot rod I want. I picture a Big Daddy Roth fantasy, with a big V8 and a Bug body, but with great big Dodge style fins. Some things just send me off on a tangent.

      1. Uh. Search “VW Beetle with tail fins.” And note that several companies still sell V8 conversions; your choice of mid or rear engine…

        – TRX (gearhead)

        1. You can find anything on the internet (except a video of someone shooting cows with nerf darts).

      2. I’ve long been of the opinion that an aluminum block four-valve V8 out of a Lincoln Mk 8 or SVT Mustang would look bitchin’ hanging out the back of a VW Baja Bug. Twin turbo of course. ~:D

        Or go completely crazy and put the 454 big block Chevy in the front, with Roots blower and bug catcher scoop. I’m sure it has been done somewhere, but not enough.

        1. The Chevy has been in production over 60 years now, you can still buy 454, 502, 575, and 602 cubci inch crate motors, and has a proven racing history.

          The Ford Mod motor is, not to put too fine a point on it, a bad design that only got made at all due to some internal politicking at Ford’s senior management levels (the engineers managed to kill the project several times, but it kept coming back from the dead) and now Ford has such a sunk investment in it, they can’t afford to dump it.

          The Chevy would be *way* cheaper to build and would make more power. The LS series isn’t bad either. Even though I’m on the Ford side of the Ford-vs-Chevy debate, the Mod motor isn’t worth messing with unless you’re stuck with no alternative.

    6. “And we are all supposed to… what? ”

      Agree with him. It’s like the atheists who think sneering about “sky fairies” is an argument.

      1. Agreed. Too many people out there these days don’t understand that ad hominem mockery is not an argument. Atheists often tend to be a very pernicious example of the type. The type of people who find their own not-believing isn’t sufficient, and they’ve decided you are not allowed to believe either.

  11. I’ve seen absolutely zero comments about having a black character

    There actually were some negative comments about the black stormtrooper before Episode 7 released. But it was 4chan being 4chan. Unfortunately, there are likely still some people who think that was real and not just trolling.

    1. Eh, there is also the fact that all the established lore said that all storm troopers were clones of iirc jango fett. It was just a first guess that they were going to abuse the existing universe

      1. No, it was pretty clear that the Empire had turned from clones to draftees and recruits by the time Ep4 came out- or rather that Lucas did one of his famous rectal pulls to somehow get clones into the prequels.
        A lot of both the Legends and the current timeline have a majority of non-clone stormtroopers.
        Which makes sense- clones take about a decade plus to grow before they’re ready for service, even with accelerated growth. Draftees don’t take that long, cost less to obtain, and there’s tons available.

      2. I got that take too. “You mean, we had to sit through Attack of the Clones and now you say they have to be clones to be storm troopers? WTF??? GFY!”

        Not sure it’s a good idea to tick off the autists on 4chan.

          1. Attack of the Clones was just a stupid way to try to make sense of the “Clone Wars” remark by Leia in the first movie. Stupid because who names a war by referring to your own troops, rather than by whom you’re fighting against?

            Similarly, the 3rd prequel was just Lucas going down a list of things he had to show and checking off boxes.

            1. not just that, its also because Lucas decided he wanted to backtrack on the entire idea of cloned Jedi.

      3. There was nothing saying that all those clones lasted until A New Hope. They fought with the Seperatists, then with the Rebellion for however long, and who knows how long the cloning planet lasted. They COULD still be clones, but there’s no reason to think that the Empire would have an army based solely on clones for all those years.

        Besides, the clones all have kiwi accents, and the Stormtroopers in the original trilogy do not. There’s other reasons to think that the Empire has in fact run out of clones (or is not using them exlusively) but this is already an incredibly nitpicky nerdy conversation 😀

        1. naah, average stormtroopers are still clones. there are heavy hints that the quality has degraded significantly by ANH…

          1. Depends on which canon you go by. In Legends, it’s pretty much directly stated that the Stormtroopers on the Death Star are draftees (re “Death Star”).
            In the Disney canon, likewise we see a mix of old clones and new draftees.

        2. “Aren’t you a little short for a storm trooper?”

          Sure minimum height regs, but having them all be within a couple inches of the same height would make someone shorter or taller stand out.

          Which would be easier with clones.

    2. *Shrug* I remember when I first saw Lando Calrissian. I didn’t care that he was black. I cared that he was a smooth-talking con man and gambler who had gotten himself in over his head.

      1. They could have cast James Garner doing his Bret Maverick shtick and it would worked just fine, but Billy Dee Williams was probably a lot cheaper. Black or White mattered less than charisma and that knows no melanin requirement

      2. It’s interesting to read the Shakespeare version where, logically, Lando has to give them game away with asides so that we have dramatic irony instead of surprise.

      1. Trolling is as legitimate an artform as telling jokes. In art histories covering the twenty first century, 4chan will be regarded highly. Either that or they will found the Cis-Fascist Pinochet Party.

    3. I saw a few comments about “white men aren’t allowed to be heroes anymore!” But that was mostly from the fever swamp sites.

  12. Everything I have read and heard make me view the latest SW movies as only being marginally better then the prequels. As to all this “nerdracist” crap, well here’s my middle fingers…

  13. Nihilism doesn’t sell. It just doesn’t. It can for a while — Game of Thrones — given enough push bare tits.


    1. So, GOT’s target audience is “people too dumb to find naked women on the internet?”

      1. You can’t really talk with most friends about the naked women (and men) you find on the net. But if you watch a popular TV show that actually has a story to see them then it’s water cooler talk instead of you being a perv.

    2. There’s a reason why Titus Andronicus isn’t considered among the best of Shakespeare’s plays.

      I’m sure it wowed ’em at the Globe in its day, but… not his best work.

  14. I was composing a lengthy rant. The short version is that Hollywood executives, the money people, the producers who have the big bucks to decide which movies do or do not get made, live in a different world than their audiences. If they do manage to make something that connects with the general public, it is almost entirely by accident. After that, the reasons they think it was successful are usually wrong.

    1. That’s honestly true across most careers and positions. A CEO working his way up one company is a normal. Many hop around and haven’t even looked at the trenches in decades. Educrats and govt drones go into gated communities or different communities entirely as they do not use their own services. Never mind the ivory tower mindset and our rulers in NoVA

    2. It’s not necessarily a product solely of their mistakes in thinking. De Vany’s book Hollywood Economics applies some sophisticated statistical methods to the movie industry, and concludes that movie success goes beyond normal randomness, to the point where the statistical methods of economics just don’t work on it. Two of his summary statements are “Nobody knows anything” and “Stars don’t make pictures; pictures make stars.” When a movie takes off, producers and film companies try to imitate it, guessing at what made it a success—but for example, while a major film usually propels at least one actor to the top (the way Star Wars did with Harrison Ford), a major actor can’t save a bad film.

      In the circumstances, it’s not surprising if Hollywood comes up with weird and misleading theories. It’s kind of like B.F. Skinner’s “superstitious” pigeons that responded to a random schedule of rewards by singling out whatever movement or stimulus happened to coincide with some rewards, and repeating it increasingly obsessively as later repetitions failed to work. The brain isn’t really well set up to deal with actual unpredictability. All those people are in an industry that inevitably makes people crazy.

      1. But how much of that uncertainty is an artifact of the current organizational state of the industry, and hence potentially vulnerable to being changed once smaller nimbler manufacturers start displacing the dinosaurs?

        1. I don’t think that’s the situation. There are, after all, occasional films that are made by small companies with low budgets, but that become wild successes; on the other hand, there don’t seem to be producers or directors with an unbroken record of success. If you have smaller companies, you will indeed have more films being produced, and more variation in their success, and likely enough more runaway hits; but I don’t think you will necessarily have some of their makers turn out to be able to produce brilliant successes to order.

          Consider, for example, Joss Whedon, who has had quite a number of successes, either popular or cult: TV series, blockbuster films, even a film of a Shakespearean comedy. Whedon is good at a lot of things, including selecting actors who are capable of unexpectedly brilliant performances. But he also gave us, for example, Dollhouse, which seems to have been one of the projects he personally invested a lot into.

          1. Whedon, in hindsight, also seems to have been a moron.

            Buffy-the-movie came out twenty six years ago. Whedon hated it, and set about ‘fixing’ it in Buffy-the-series. The lack of ‘strong female empowerment’ he complains about in the movie made from his script? Empowerment looks very much like consistent messaging to the effect that a young woman is completely alone in the world, with no one to trust or rely on. (Which considering what has come out about Whedon’s womanizing, what the affair of Weinstein tells us about media cover ups of Hollywood predation, and the sort of things a serial sexual predator becomes good at saying…)

            I think Whedon has always had a few screws loose when it comes to storytelling. I think his better efforts (Buffy, Buffy, Firefly) have involved collaborators who could adjust things to work, and like Lucas will mess up when permitted a singular artistic vision. I think his cult following has insulated him from feedback.

            Abnormal successes in entertainment will probably never be manufactured reliably to order. Regular and reliable production to formula, as in fiction books, seems quite doable. Absent union overhead, and with future technology, the returns from reliable formula should go further. Hence could probably fund a small and stable creative team that might happily produce very similar stories year after year.

            I’m not very familiar with South Park, but it does seem to fit the model I describe. Perhaps the creators will go mad someday, or maybe their fans will grow out of it, but until such does, there is probably a reliable income stream.

            1. I’m not sure what you mean that Buffy included “consistent messaging to the effect that a young woman is completely alone in the world, with no one to trust or rely on.” I got the opposite message: what made Buffy a successful and (at least comparatively) long-lived slayer was the fact that she WASN’T alone; she had friends she trusted and who could be relied on to help her when her burdens got to be too much. Okay, in some of the later seasons her friends could be serious jerks sometimes, but even there I don’t think they were supposed to be seen as jerks.

              I’ll admit that I’m not one of the wild Firefly fans. I’ve kind of liked the episodes I’ve seen, but I think a big part of its cult following is due to the single season: the fans will always imagine the perfect future episodes that could have been rather than the good and bad mix that probably would have been the result of Firefly seasons 2-7.

              1. Contrast the settings established by Buffy-the-movie and by the Buffy and Angel TV series. (I watched a lot of the latter back in the day, and have recently watched the movie. Can’t testify to the comic books.) Reward and betrayal of trust are often interpreted as making a wider statement about general trustworthiness of people within the setting.

                Look at Buffy’s desires in the movie, the ending, and the emotional logic of the story beats. Look at Whedon’s comments about how badly he thinks the movie implemented his intentions. What is fundamentally wrong with movie Buffy’s motivations from his perspective?

                What is the result of the ‘fixes’ he made?

                Next contrast question, how would these influence the trust patterns of a young woman? For a young woman of normal family background, as in not particularly toxic or evil, what is an optimally safe pattern of trust? For a sexual predator of woman, what is the best pattern to manipulate a young woman’s pattern of trust towards?

                Yeah, this new critical theory isn’t particularly rigorous or well founded by deep study of the artform. Yeah, there are defensible alternative explanations, and the critical theory may be flat out nuts.

              2. I’ll admit that I’m not one of the wild Firefly fans. I’ve kind of liked the episodes I’ve seen, but I think a big part of its cult following is due to the single season: the fans will always imagine the perfect future episodes that could have been rather than the good and bad mix that probably would have been the result of Firefly seasons 2-7.

                That, and the nifty-appealing-ideas didn’t have time to be worked through to the point of conflict. They got to STAY “this sounds really appealing!”

                The whole “Companion” thing would end in either tears or one of the characters breaking to make it work; given Joss’ history, probably the character would be broken. Been too long since I watched it to remember any of the other stuff that jumped out at me from an analyzing-the-story aspect, but it hit a lot of the same “notes” as Star Wars. Appealing, don’t nuke it, and probably unable to keep going on the same wavelength for a full series run. (Although Star Wars could’ve gone a lot longer with decent writers, without doing the Anime style dive-into-the-dark thing.)

                1. I found the whole “Companion” thing cringe-worthy but, on the other hand, the relationship was interesting. Mal *hated* it. Absolutely hated it. Yet society told him he was supposed to think it was grand. And on the one episode where Anara specifically said she didn’t have a claim on Mal so the other “Companion” who was her friend slept with him, she WAS in tears. Because she hated it too.

                  The movie started that she had left the ship… which is one of the possible things that could have happened but wouldn’t have worked for a television series.

                  1. I read somewhere that, according to the actress, Whedon had done the old “you have a secret nobody knows; play your character accordingly” schtick, and hers was that she had a terminal illness. Don’t know if it’s true; but if so, he was gonna screw it up even worse than we thought.

                    1. If no one knows, then it could be changed at any time. Though a terminal illness might prompt a lot of plot while they all attempt to save her.

                      Still, now that you mention it, she did always seem withdrawn from the rest of them. I think that one reason that the show has so many rabid fans was that the acting was exceptionally good and the character relationships were beyond complex.

                  2. The Companion thing also made a different interesting point. Mal wasn’t the only one who hated it. Inara was quite sure, for instance, that Book was going to tell her precisely which hell she was going to, and was rather surprised that he didn’t. And every single instance where she flaunted her occupation, it was a class/status thing–whether smugly mingling with the Important People or pulling rank on lower-class working schmoes (like the sherrif in “The Train Job.”)

                    It was almost as if her position in society was despised by many, if not most, of the Common People, who were forced to “respect” it by an arrogant upper class. Wonder where he got that idea…

          2. Part of the issue with passion projects is that their creators are much less likely to listen when someone says “hey, this element doesn’t work,” largely because the creator views the project as part of themselves, and is therefore more prone to regard a criticism of the project as a criticism of their person.
            Projects made to put food on the table, OTOH, are much less personal, and their creators are therefore more amenable to editing.

      2. A star will generate pre-release buzz, will make people aware of the film and open to trying it. Back in the studio days it demonstrated commitment by the producers to a certain minimum level of quality; since the collapse of the studios it reflects the judgement of the star, something which can (as Johnny Depp has shown) can be a very irregular thing. Robert Duvall, OTOH, has consistently proven a reliable indicator that a movie won’t offend.

  15. Original Star Wars:New Hope and then Empire Strikes Back were successful because Lucas reread Joseph Campbell books. Luke was on a ‘Hero Journey’ and many of us had our atavistic parts of brain activated, and also those humming lightsabers were awesome. Star Wars went off rails after first two movies because franchise became more than Luke and his journey.

    1. Actually, the initial draft(s?) of Empire Strikes Back were written by a professional screen writer and science fiction author, Leigh Brackett. That’s probably why it’s widely considered to be the best of the franchise.

      1. Leigh Brackett was not just a Sci Fi writter (though she certainly was one and a good one). Her main day job had been as a screenplay writer. She has a fair number of screen credits including “The Big Sleep ” (with William Faulkner!!) and “Rio Lobo”. She died before Empire Strikes Back was made so Lawrence Kasadan did the fixes and he ain’t half bad either. Although his name is on Soylo so maybe credit for empire should stay with Ms. Brackett 🙂

  16. “Os Duros” sounds a bit like the second part of Azimov’s _The Gods Themselves_, with three-sex energy beings.

    1. That’s the other Asimov character that I could think of the other day, with a good enough characterization to actually care. The Emotional Dua. (The only one in the entire novel, alas.)

  17. Movie tanks, blame the -audience-.

    We do not deserve their efforts, their brilliance, their artistry. They should just stop making movies if the audience consists of deplorable unappreciative cretins. That would show us!

    Also, blame white cismale critics insufficiently woke to understand that these movies (A Wrinkle In Time, Oceans 8, Ghostbusters, the Rebooted) were not made for them.

    N.B. – somebody at Disney/Marvel needs t advise Brie “Captain Marvel” Larson to STFU before she poisons the audience for not just her upcoming film but also the Infinity War sequel in which we expect her to defeat Thanos (did that want a spolier warning?) Remember: With great platform comes great responsibility.

    1. I suspect that Brie is being given the platform to trash the audience specifically by TPTB at Disney/Marvel. She is following the pattern of setting up a boogeyman (those evulwhitemanhaterfaces!) so when the underwhelming film does underwhelming returns, they have someone to pin the blame on who isn’t looking back at themselves in the mirror.

      1. They’d better hope Captain Marvel doesn’t tank. They’re planning to use it to lead into the finale of the storyline that they’ve been building to since Captain America. And I suspect that she’s also going to be important in the post-Infinity Gauntlet films.

        If she tanks, then they’re in trouble.

    2. Well, I read an article on the “making” of that Captain Marvel movie where some of the writers were worried about making her a “man with breasts” (whatever that means) but decided not to worry about that.

      IE Just make “her” a strong character who just happens to be female.

      It doesn’t mean that they can’t mess it up. 😦

      1. Yes, because that is their interpretation of how a good female military officer acts in any kind of combat arms specialty.

        1. It isn’t as if they understand/recognize the variety of combat leadership styles of male military commanders.

  18. “They are semantically,/DEL> incoherent.”

    Writing tip: eschew gratuitous modifers.

    1. “They are semantically incoherent.”

      Writing tip: eschew gratuitous modifiers.

      Also, eschew gratuitous HTML coding failures and typos.

  19. So these characters will not be real or resemble anyone alive or dead (as the disclaimer goes) because they’ll come from a planet where you are your minority and oppression group ONLY.

    Gee, if I were still interested in filmmaking I would so make a film right now in which everthing is so perfectly PC that no actors are used in the making of the film, just sock puppets.

  20. It’s believing that some segment of people aren’t “really people” that unfolds the horrors of Hitler, or Stalin or Mao

    And demonizing those segments (e.g., Jews, Untermenschen*, Kulaks and Counter-Revolutionaries) as undermining the perfection of our world and demanding they be suppressed (for certain values of suppression) for the greater good.

    *aka Deplorables, aka the Unwoken

  21. *Mumblety mumbelty* years ago, I attended a talk by a Canadian sci-fi writer who was doing work in the Flat State U special collections research center. Somehow, Flat State ended up with a LOT of early horror and sci-fi in the archives. Anyway, he was talking about science fiction in literature and film. One thing that boggled me was his rant about no one objecting to the slavery in _Star Wars._ The robots are all slaves, according to him. Why was no one up in arms about that?

    That’s when I decided that either I had missed an amazing amount of sub-text in sci-fi, or some people were reading way too much into sci-fi. The passing years have not changed my mind. The people running _Star Wars_ are well along the way of selling their birthright for a pot of message [bows towards RAH, PBUH]. No matter if _Solo_ is a fun film or not, the show-runners have been so careful to check off all the boxes that the rest of us now anticipate it. And it ruins the fun.

    1. You know who else are slaves? Microwave ovens! Automobiles! Computers! All treated as mere objects, forced to cater to their “owners”! Does your TV get to choose what it wants to watch? Do you let your DVD player select its’ programming? Even just the fact we deny their autonomy by objectifying such devices and employing the pronoun “it” is evidence of how we deny their autonomy!

      Nice citation of RAH, whose Loonies in TMiaHM were effectively slaves held by Luna Authority, whose Starship Troopers were free men and women even while under an absolute authority and whose Citizen of the Galaxy explored three of the forms slavery can take.

      1. Unlike the other items that you listed, at least some droids are fully sentient. So there are some potential ethics issues there. Though it should also be noted that different droids appear to show different levels of sentience. The various types of battle droids from the prequels didn’t seem to be as intelligent as R2-D2, and C3-PO.

        The same could also be argued with respect to clones, I would imagine, since so far as I am aware, the Clones that made up the clone army were effectively the possessions of the Republic.

    2. I never got upset about people not “objecting” to it, but I did find it creepy how things like the torture of droids was background color, and everybody is OK with buying, selling, mindwiping and harvesting for parts these characters that have personalities (sometimes annoying personalities….) and such.

      Good grief, they have the droid having his “feet” burnt in the Jawa ship, and screaming in pain…but it’s high pitched and set up quasi-funny, so…?

      1. I run (or used to run before my time was swallowed up by having a kid, but I’ll get back to it) a Star Wars role-playing campaign. (FFG’s Edge of the Empire / Age of Rebellion ruleset is pretty cool). The setting allows players to play a droid character, which means the slavery-or-not status of droids looms large in the background, and the GM pretty much has to address it if someone wants to play a droid.

        So I don’t know where that guy gets the idea that nobody objected to the slavery status of droids — I’ve seen it all over the place in discussions of the Star Wars universe.

        1. This was over a decade ago, so that might make some difference. And I got the feeling that he wrote literary sci-fi for the most part, which might mean that he wasn’t involved with the “pop sci-fi” fans. One of his other complaints was that no one was writing about technology and climate change except for Michael Chrichton, and Chrichton didn’t believe in AGW – the horror, the horror.

          I wasn’t overwhelmed by the author’s talk, as you can probably tell.

  22. “Outside Baen it’s hard to publish books with gay characters — in my experience — because the rest of publishing is terrified of invisible homophobes in the audience.”

    Simon & Schuster doesn’t seem to have a problem with Mercedes Lackey’s gay characters. Of course she had a trilogy with impressive sales before she introduced them as main characters.

    1. Yep. But she was not of my “generation”but well before. By my generation they were “terrified” of having gay characters, because “they won’t sell.”

      1. Well, if they’re all eternal victims or whiny little twits who never change, sure.

        But that was what made Vanyel Ashkevron so great – he grew up, dealt with his issues, and went on to sacrifice himself defending his kin and land.

      2. …and then you have the vast number of characters whose sexual orientation isn’t mentioned, BECAUSE IT HAS NO PART IN THE STORY. All characters are white straight Christian males, and even explicitly saying otherwise doesn’t count, unless the author beats the reader over the head with it.

        “But there’s no character that looks just like me!” Well, if that’s a critical part of enjoying a story, I guess I need to write off a bunch of Heinlein and Norton…

        1. … there’s no character that looks just like me!

          Inability to identify with characters conveys more about the complainer’s lack of empathy and imagination than anything else.

  23. “One of my favorites, whose name and author I keep forgetting because I read it in Portuguese in 9th grade where it was called, if I recall “Os Duros” the species was energy beings with three sexes”

    Isaac Asimov – The Gods Themselves

  24. > gay droids

    C3PO certainly *acted* gay… and “Tripping the Rift” pwned that character mercilessly.

    1. “Gay” droids … make my head hurt. They don’t have sexes. Or reproduce sexually. So … how can their affections be anything other than, just their affections? And quite alien to anything we hairy meat people pursue. It seems like a really silly box to put a machine intelligence into.

      1. That just proves how stupidly narrow-minded you are, you cis-organic bigot! HATER!!!

          1. Nobody that doesn’t resemble the readership here has *ever* been sure when/whether I was joking. It’s a risk I have to take.

            One reason I don’t Book my Face much. And have never Twitted in my life.

  25. The problem with the excuse that a movie bombed because the racist flyover fanbros can’t handle black or female heroes is that there’s a lot of very very successful movies with black or female heroes. Black Panther, Wonder Woman, or Mad Max: Fury Road come to mind. Because they were good, and not too preachy and awful.
    So trying to say that people are avoiding a movie because they’re scared of blacks and women is blatantly untrue.

    1. Those movies were successful in spite of the slope-browed deplorabes because REASONS and SHUT UP, hater!

    2. I have to say that, of the entire Mad Max franchise, I really only enjoyed “Thunderdome.” That one because of Tina Turner. I never cared much for her music – but she really pegged that role of the bat-sh*t crazy barbarian queen.

  26. “Solo” has three and a half major problems at the box office: “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Deadpool 2,” and “Jurassic World: The Lost Kingdom.”

    Too many things out too close together all trying to get the same pool of dollars. Had they given it a December release date like the other new Star Wars films, rather than dumping it on the end of the superhero trifecta and just ahead of dinosaurs, it probably would have done much better.

  27. I don’t want to address Star Wars as a series or this movie.
    I want to speak of the entire industry.
    The left spoils everything they touch.
    They have screwed up the publishing industry and for years we had no help for it until technology gave us a way to publish indie.
    They screwed up motion pictures and we face some horrible sparse years, but computers are advancing until it will be easy for your pre-teen to make something better than what a studio can do right now. I just bought a video card and put in my computer this month – for less than a thousand dollars – that has as much computing capacity, and most 9 TFLOPS. As much power as the worlds best super computers had in the year 2000. Then the studios will be a burnt out shell of their former glory – too.

    1. but that card doesnt have enough memory to render a decent realistic animation scene, so it ends up rendered on CPUs, which require lots of CPUs… but rendering on Amazon Web Services is cheap and they even have a render farm controller that is part of AWS now…

      (Grimm used AWS for rendering, too, so it does work.)

      1. Then again, look at what Samuli Torssonnen did with “In the Pirkinning” back in 2007, using not-state-of-the-art PC hardware.

  28. I’m not sure Kathleen will be fired. I may be wrong. Thing is, Disney as an organization is Progressive Left, and Kennedy’s fault lies not in spewing SJWisms all over the screen, but merely failing to break even on the first week of release. What I’m afraid of is that Pixar, Marvel, and anything else gobbled up by the Disney Behemoth will be wrung through the Proggy stamper and distorted so badly that nobody will want to go to the movies any more.

    1. Disney still has a bottom line, and they still pay attention to it at a certain level. So I’m going to have to disagree. If she continues to fail to deliver, then she will be forced to resign.

      Now that doesn’t meant that whomever follows her will be any better. It is entirely possible that the replacement will be brought onboard for all the wrong reasons.

      Also, the rumor from various non-Disney sources is that the “A Star Wars Story” movies are on hold for the time being while Disney takes stock of the situation post-Solo.

      1. Yeah, but their theatrical division is only part of the whole. And the leftists have shown no particular compunction about burning their own institutions to the ground to forward their agenda.

        1. It’s Star Wars, though. Not only did they pay a ridiculous amount for it, but they also have books, comic books, and merchendising. That goes away if the movies crash and burn too much.

          And then there’s Star Wars Land, which is scheduled to open next year…

    2. Honestly, I WANT Disney to die. Besides the general principle that companies should cycle out every now and then, the death of Disney will be a strong indicator to the average joe about the problems of social justice.

      Disney is a much less important canary than some entire nations that have already collapsed.

      1. Not me. That particular canary is in my back yard. I would rather not see the local economy crash just so companies can cycle out every now and then. Besides, if Disney were to crash because progressive/SJW BS, it would just be hushed up and something else would get blamed. Can’t let Joe Public realizing the truth.

  29. You know, I’m beginning to get sick (in rather more deep ways than the usual useage of that term) of Hollywood, of Disney, of the whole mileu that manufactures our culture. Of their movies, of their nihilism and darkness. It pervades our culture, and it’s soul poison on more subtle levels than merely being manufactured by twisted people who hate us.

    Certain books I’ve read have it too, now – this sort of nasty background assumption that people are exactly as honorable and benevolent as circumstances painstakingly force them to be and not an iota more. About how mankind’s nature, fate, and just reward is a circular firing squad.

    It’s just gratuitous ugliness, everywhere. Maybe in revenge for not adopting the political-religion du-jour, but it seems like it’s just because. Bleh, this might just be my migraine talking…

    The stuff I’ve read from the 50’s and 60’s is just so dizzyingly free of all that, (even if there is a far more innocent infatuation with socialism in some of it) it really is night and day.

    1. Ehh, sorry. Complaining about a negative doesn’t create a positive. I just finished reading some rather weird and dark stuff.

      If I don’t like it, I need to start writing my own stuff again.

    2. PPS – IMO Solo wasn’t all that bad. TLJ was, by this ill defined metric of mine. Most of the novels I’ve read recently are also doing this thing, to the point where it isn’t a lot of fun reading them.

    3. Back two-three years ago, before the SadPuppies Campaigns, there was a lot of discussion in this corner of the blogiverse about Human Wave fiction (and non-fiction), how it fit with Superversive fiction (John C. Wright’s term), and how to encourage more people-positive stories. Perhaps it’s time to revisit some of that discussion and see how things have changed and what new ideas and fora are out there? The Dragon Awards is a major jump in the right direction, I believe, but what else has developed since 2014-15?

    4. Heh. I think most people are slightly more honorable and benevolent as circumstance painstakingly dictate them to be; if only for their own self image. (Conscience is a real monkey, even for those who have little or poorly developed ones.) And there are the few that plumb the depths of malignancy which pushes the whole nihilism thing further along.

      1. I think Hollywood is most likely a festering sty, and not representative of wider trends in America. And I have a critical theory to find evidence supporting that, which is at least as intellectually sound as the racist/sexist/homophobic subtext ones.

  30. As an aside: I am of two minds regarding Independence Day:

    On the one hand, it is a rollicking summer movie, the Will Smith “punch” scene is classic (along with the following one dragging the unconscious alien on his chute canopy through the desert, proving no heroic deed goes unpunished), and the speech is the best modern St. Crispins Day speech yet.

    But I have to switch off a major chunk of my brain to enjoy it, because they shoot air-to-air missiles at a spaceship that’s the size of a city!!! Gee, all we have air if only there were a weapon that airplanes could use to attack things the size of a city. Hmm, I think I will call it a BOMB.

    So if you have a choice of what to shoot when your unfriendly neighborhood aliens come to call and inexplicably drop down into the atmosphere to do their city-destroying, and you have

    AIM-9 Sidewinder missile, explosive weight: 20.8 lbs High Explosive (HE)
    AIM-120 AMRAAM missile, explosive weight: 50 lbs HE
    Mark 82 “500 lb” bomb, explosive weight: 192 lbs HE
    Mark 83 “1,000 lb” bomb, explosive weight: 445 lbs HE
    Mark 84 “2,000 lb: bomb, explosive weight 945 lbs HE
    BLU-109 or -116 “2,000 lb bunker buster” bomb, explosive weight 530 lbs HE (more non-explosive mass so it penetrates deeper before going all splodey).

    Note there are laser-guidance kits for all these bomb thingees for precision attack, not that you could actually miss a spaceship the size of a city hovering around the planet’s surface at a speed of around 45 mph.

    So which do you think might have more effect on your local spaceship full of nasty brutish and tall aliens?

    Every. Single. Time. That I watch that flick I have to clamp my mouth shut and will myself not shout “Bomb Them, You Idiots!” at the screen.

    Why did the moviemaker do it this way? Because the scenes from TOPGUN with the missiles dramatically flying off were visually appealing, and they had this idea of the missiles flying off and then hitting the shields. Dropping bombs from way darn high and having them explode on the shields just wouldn’t look as cool.

    But they could have had the initial attacks use missiles because that’s what they had loaded on the planes, and then the later purposeful attack, when they were hoping to have the shields knocked down, use bombs since they had time to think about it.

    And not triggered me to seek my coherent munitions employment safe space.

    But if I can switch off that part of my brain, it’s a really good movie.

    1. Geeks have to turn off the computer interfacing .. in a world where getting Macs, Windows, & every flavor of Unix, to play nice, on the same network, someone getting into an aliens network, even if they were co-opting the worlds satellites, which implies 1 & 0’s are universal, & what-his-name was implied to be an under-achieving computer master … oh heck, just roll your eyes, go wide eyed, & “Damn … he’s good!” (not much sarcasm implied).

      1. “I reverse engineered an *alien computer network protocol* over an alien communication’s bus, and found an exploit for hardware I’ve never seen before from another star system just trying random things from a 90’s era macbook command prompt. Not bad for 10 minutes work!”
        “You got insanely lucky, didn’t you?”
        “Oh, look! Plot!”

    2. I can barely manage the first problem. The movie shows the aliens hitting the fighter squadrons pretty hard; maybe they hit the bomber groups even hard. (Of course, then you get the question of why, when they’re invulnerable to anything in our arsenal anyway? Plus, there is at least one bomber that survives, to drop the one nuke that fails. Sigh.)

      The second one, I have no answer for; I just have to turn the brain off. I was a code jockey myself, and fairly experienced in security protocols. Although maybe he got in through a Squidbook exploit…

      1. “The second one, I have no answer for; I just have to turn the brain off. I was a code jockey myself, and fairly experienced in security protocols. Although maybe he got in through a Squidbook exploit…”

        I too was a code jockey. Only time I dealt directly with security protocols, other than home (& frankly other than printer sharing, we use the sneaker net, with all unit sharing turned off), was when I did “everything”; translation, knew a little about a lot, not a lot about about somethings. Which meant for networks security I did what was needed to keep the server running & people connected AND this was early ’90’s & hacking though possible, for this data, why? I would not classify myself as anywhere near “fairly experienced in security protocols.” I can listen to the talk & more or less understand what is being said (which is more than most).

        So, for the movie, I really could roll eyes & suspend belief & go with “wow, really, really, underachieving genus” as alluded to early in the movie.

        What is really a PIA is those without a clue then expecting a miracle on anything on computers, just because you work on them daily (doing anything). More than once “Why is this software or web page doing ??? My short answer is “S*** if I know, I didn’t write the thing! What did you do?” or “It’s broken.” Upon which I was considered a smart ass 😉 FYI, my sister & husband, who also were code jockeys do the same thing. Upon their (their usually being my husband, son, mom, other family members) answer/cry is “I don’t know.” It’s almost as bad as being a doctor, don’t volunteer you know anything about computers & software.

        1. I have an uncle who keeps trying to get me to find files that were deleted off of his computer one or two hard drives prior, although it’s possible the first few times there were two hard drives, after one of his sons’ friends “helped” and massively infected it with…well, everything. And about ten years ago. And there IS NO back up, and he doesn’t really remember the file names.

          1. PLUS. When I do provide tech support for family I get a lot of “I’m not an idiot. Don’t point. If I wanted to know why, I would have asked. You don’t do that with clients at work!”

            uhhhh, “yes I do”; programmer providing client support. **Better than most, but when they called, not much coding got done.

            **Primarily because I am tried to explain why, whether they asked or not, in the hopes they won’t call back every 1/2 hour, all day. Even worked, most the time.

        2. When I worked for an HMO clinic, way back when, several of the doctors there didn’t ever admit that they were MDs outside of work (or a conference, or some such).

          My father used to get questions all the time about people’s medical problems.

          My father was a veterinarian.

      2. When I read the word “Squidbook,” I immediately thought of the Necronomicon.

        What that says about me, I don’t really know.

    3. They could’ve AT LEAST used Harpoons or Mavericks (not Tomahawks–they make MUCH more sense, but the audience wouldn’t get to “look them all the way in”).

      It was like BATTLESHIP. “So we’ll drop the anchor and play Snap the Whip with the *Missouri* at twenty-plus knots, so we can bring the sixteen-inchers into line for an unaimed snap shot at one hundred yards.”

      Of course you will.

      1. “It was like BATTLESHIP. “So we’ll drop the anchor and play Snap the Whip with the *Missouri* at twenty-plus knots, so we can bring the sixteen-inchers into line for an unaimed snap shot at one hundred yards.””

        Glad I missed that one, because the only anchor chain that could have done it would have been the one that bound Fenris Wolf. 8-(

        1. I was trapped in a drivers’ lounge where the tv was on that channel. Some of the others were talking about what a fine movie it was. I concealed my cringes and said nothing. Coward that I am.

      2. I was surprised at just how small, relatively speaking, the turning radius of a carrier is. Search YouTube for “aircraft carrier emergency turn”. And, since it’s practice, it could probably be a bit tighter in a real emergency.

  31. I agree with everything you said here. Your thoughts are so refreshing to hear (read?). Sometimes it’s easy for right-leaning nerds to feel alone when they see the shit that the leftist entertainment industry is churning out. Because we can’t speak up against it for any reason, lest we be called bigots.

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