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  • Just listened to Empire Business - Quite a Pickle

    Just for perspective despite all the gut punches like GoT and the learning experiences like Starburns we did have a good stuff in 2019 like True Detective, Deuce, Legion, Stranger Things, Mr. Robot, Chernobyl, Groundhog’s Day Marathon, etc.

    BM TV has been more consistent and has been great. Same with Bald Movies: sure you have Star Wars, but you also have Captain Marvel, End Game, Joker, etc.

    How about that Cecily and Alexis His Dark Materials cast? That was awesome.

    I’m not trying to engage in gratuitous dick-sucking, but there was a lot of good stuff to go along with the stuff that didn’t go right. I’m sure some of the great shows weren’t as rewarding as far as audience and membership gains as a fantastic GoT finish could have been, but the club abides so you have runway to take some risks and endure some setbacks.

    How many hours of material did BM produce in 2019? 200? 250? It can’t all be Breaking Bad or GoT season 3.
  • IRAN

    Looks like Iran hit unoccupied areas of the military bases as a statement that they could hit us, but without an insurmountable provocation. Also looks like someone was able to get a leash on Trump so he didn’t initiate a knee jerk response.

    Both sides declaring victory. This is turning out better than I feared.
  • Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker *SPOILER DISCUSSION*

    I don’t think the Jedi being rare would result in them being unknown. They’d be like Superman. Everyone would know about them, but their deeds and abilities would be twisted in gossip, myth, and legend because so few would witness them firsthand.
  • Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker *SPOILER DISCUSSION*

    Fantasy, and magical science fiction, only work in the long run when there are consistent rules around the fantastic stuff. They don’t need to be spelled out in the story, but the author(s) need to know them and stick within them even when it’s not convenient.

    In the new Star Wars cannon, the force just seems undefined and able to do whatever is convenient for the plot whenever it needs to be done. That’s laziness and the inconsistencies will degrade longer arcs, and the universe as a whole, over time. Light-speed/hyperspace in Star Wars also seems to suffer from this lack of limits.

    Its like when the emperor in RotJ starts shooting lighting from his fingers. That works in the trilogy as a steady revelation of the mysterious power of the force and leaves with with a “wow.” Then they’re doing lightning in the prequels and it’s like “why wasn’t Vader doing this in ANH then instead of just force-choking people?”

    Then you get these long distance force communication bonds, astral projection, holding ships against maximum thrust, immortality, etc. in the new trilogy and it’s like huh? Don’t get me started on the Holdo maneuver, light speed right out of a hangar bay, and then hyperspace-skipping. SMH. No amount of ret-conning can convince me that these things were always possible and just too hard, or too dangerous, or previously undiscovered, etc. so of course we never saw them until we did and it’s all consistent if you think about it “just right.”

    Fantasy has the same issues with ever escalating power ultimately breaking the narrative universe for future storytelling. Time travel has similar pitfalls. It takes rigorous self-restraint to use powerful concepts in fiction for multiple stories in the same universe. I’m hoping that Disney stops with the lazy fan service so we can get more good out of the Star Wars universe in the years to come.
  • Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker *SPOILER DISCUSSION*

    Keri Russell’s character (Zorii) is all: I want to see your brains splattered in the snow Poe, and the bounty on this Rey girl will just almost get me out of the whole you dug me into!
    Then she’s all: wait a tick, I actually like Rey now, so now I like you too Poe, and there is no hole that I’m stuck in, I can just cowboy up and fly around the galaxy whenever I want!

    No transition or evolution, just “Die MF’er I need the money!” then “We’re all good I’ll ride or die for you!”

    Small moment, but it kind of encapsulates my issues with the crammed and sloppy nature of the story.

    Rey is Palpatine’s daughter? Okay, I can roll with that, but Palpatine has to be reincarnated too? Some kind of hand-wavy force-clone shit that still resulted in him being an old maimed dead-looking dude 30 years after he was blow up...

    Star Destroyers that can blow up planets? Okay, at least it’s not another Death Star clone, but you have to have tens of thousands of them when 10 would do just fine as a threat and be more believable?

    Star Destroyers can’t leave the atmosphere without a navigation tower on the ground? You can do better.

    Hyperspace skipping? Another droid? CP30 mind-wipe that’s reversed anyway? Largely-intact Death Star wreckage after that explosion in Ep 6? Rey can hold a spacecraft thrusting away with her mind, but she needs some junky outrigger to cross a narrow stretch of water? You’re asking for a lot.

    Both my son and I thought Kylo wasn’t actually on the Death Star wreckage with the intact storm trooper helmets and emperor throne, it was that force bond with Rey right? Had to be because he never actually arrived there or anything and they’ve been doing the cool force bond thing. Wait, what, he’s there? Huh?

    This is one of those things where I lost suspension of disbelief early and from there on everything becomes a problem, but there were a lot of unforced errors in the script here that brought me to that point. JJ is JJ, I lay this disaster at the feet of Kathleen Kennedy and Disney. If this script was the best they had, they should have nixed the go-fever and taken a year or two to wrap this up in a more thoughtful way.