Star Wars – The Force Awakens Reaction and Review

I posted my review and reaction to The Force Awakens as a vlog. I wanted to talk, rather than write, about it.

Have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet? What did you think? Let me know :)

For the Love of The Saga

starwarscomplete

It’s now less than two weeks until the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I am at maximum excitement. I was pleasantly surprised that I could still get this excited about Star Wars. My anticipation for the new movie has also fostered a renewed appreciation for the Star Wars Saga as a whole. Continue reading

Problematic Gender Politics in Jurassic World or An Argument for Its Own Sake

promotional image for Jurassic World featuring Bryce Dallas Howard

I just got back from seeing Jurassic World, the long-awaited successor to Jurassic Park. Movie-goers spent over $208 million in the US, giving the movie the most successful opening weekend ever. It’s not hard to understand why. It’s incredibly fun. Chris Pratt nails his role as a velociraptor trainer. Think of him like the most badass falconer that could possibly exist. Basically that.

Excuse my swoony digression. The rest of this post discusses plot developments from the movie. This is your spoiler warning. Continue reading

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy Promises More Women in STAR WARS

I am pumped about Star Wars The Force Awakens. My giddiness is actually a bit of a welcome surprise. When Disney announced the Sequel Trilogy, I wasn’t sure if I’d be quite as excited this time around. Maybe I’m jaded from the Prequels. Maybe I just thought I might be too old to really geek out over Star Wars.

Well, the excitement is here, as full and real as it was 16 years ago in the lead up to Episode I. I think part of the reason I’ve been able to rediscover that old enthusiasm is because Disney and Lucasfilm seem to be doing so much right. The president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, doesn’t hesitate to acknowledge that what Star Wars has in fictional alien diversity, it lacks in real human diversity. By watching the first six movies, you’d think that most of the humans in the Star Wars galaxy are white men (and primarily British). Kennedy has a problem with that, and she’s using her position to change it.

At Star Wars Celebration 2015, the yearly international convention dedicated to the universe, Kennedy spoke at a panel about the lack of women on screen. When the moderator asked which charaacter she’d like to be, Kennedy responded, “I don’t have many choices.” She let that statement hang in the air for a moment, making an important point from the light-hearted question. She continued, “But that’s going to change.”

Though there was only one new female actress announced in the original casting, Kennedy prosmised, “There are going to be a lot of wonderful new [female] characters.” That seems to be the case. In addition to the female lead Daisy Ridley and returning star Carrie Fisher, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, and Maisie Rishardson-Sellers have all joined the cast. That is five significant female roles in this film alone. We now know that Felicity Jones is the only confirmed cast member for the first stand-alone film, Rogue One.

Obviously, this only addresses the issue of gender diversity. I’m holding out hope, though, that we’ll see considerably more racial diversity as well.

The panel with Kathleen Kennedy can be found here.

I am excited for new Star Wars. Not only does the upcoming movie look fun and exciting, but Star Wars is poised to become culturally relevant again.

Review – Interstellar (spoiler-free)

I’ve been anticipating Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar since it was announced. The premise is an idea that’s close to my heart: humanity must leave Earth if we’re to persevere as a species. I enjoyed the movie. It was moving and dramatic. It fell just short of the movie I was hoping it would be, though. Continue reading

Ender’s Game – To See or Not to See

November 1st is the end of a decade of waiting, of starts and stops. At the beginning of the month, the Ender’s Game movie is finally going to be released. I am extremely excited because Ender’s Game is my all-time favorite book (though Still Life with Woodpecker may have dethroned it). I’ll finally get to see all of the Wiggin kids, Bean, the Battle Room and Command School. I can’t actually remember the last time I was this excited for a movie. Unfortunately, this movie has become a bit of a battle ground itself, so I’m uncertain whether I’ll see it in the theater at all. Continue reading

Pride & The Future

It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Students have been clamoring for every available hour I have to prepare for finals next week. This afternoon was quiet, though, it’s the earliest I’ve ever been able to get off the farm and I don’t have students on Fridays or Saturdays. Yeah, I made sure I worked days off into my schedule this term.

There’s a bunch of stuff I want to share and talk about. So, this is going to be an Interests & Excitement post! Remember when I did one of those once? Well, it’s back.

I’m going to break this into two categories: Personal & Accomplishments, and News & Entertainment. Here we go. Continue reading