New episodes start Friday October 30th on Disney+
Star Wars! / Give me those Star Wars! / Nothing but… Star Wars / Don’t let them end — written by Nick Winters, 1977
With all the streaming at our fingertips, the entertainment business is making a lot of headlines promoting what they’re going to do once Earthlings return to mobility. But don’t get excited just yet: the only cameras operating right now are working Zoom and not Studio Binder. When Keith Richards self-quarantines, everyone should self-quarantine.
Next week’s launch of HBO Max has turned up the heat. Clearly, studios are concerned about competing for subscribers with promises of new content, which, at best, won’t appear until after the winter solstice. My take on HBO Max is simple: it’s goddamn expensive, and right now they’re running little but reruns. It’ll probably work out because they’re not promoting that fact. But reasonable bean-counters understand that few people are going to maintain subscriptions to HBO Max, Disney+, AppleTV, CBS All Access, Peacock Premium, and Amazon Prime – to name but a very few – all at once. That’s a lot of money, and it’s also more programming than one can handle. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #085: Crossing The Stream” →
“Battlestar Galactica star and Star Wars veteran Katee Sackhoff is joining The Mandalorian season 2. We have exclusively learned that Sackhoff will be playing a live-action version of Bo-Katan Kryze, a Mandalorian warrior she previously voiced in Dave Filoni’s animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and later Star Wars Rebels.”
A long time ago in a galaxy far away… a nerd convinced a studio to give him money to make a visual effects masterpiece with significant merchandizing appeal. He mashed together the tropes of the science fiction and fantasy serials he loved growing up, and put together a wonderful homage to the hero’s journey. It made a lot of money, and soon thereafter, Star Wars became an empire. But you already knew that.
As I’ve detailed before: my personal Star Wars fandom was mild to possibly salsa verde at any given point. As an only child of parents not into pop culture, I didn’t actually sit down to enjoy the original trilogy in earnest until the late 90’s special edition releases. And while I’d been inundated to all the significant moments through delightful pastiches abroad, as well as avidly played through any number of Star Wars licensed video games (Tie Fighter, Rebel Assault, and Dark Forces)… in the battle between the light and dark side, I was quite the mercenary. That’s to say that I was a fan only when it suited me to be. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #057: “The Mandolorian” Broke Me of My Star Wars Malaise” →
My name is Marc Alan Fishman, and I have a solemn confession: I don’t love Disney. I barely like it, in fact. The House of Mouse has come to own basically over half of all known creative content within my personal wheelhouse — that of the nerdy variety. It seems suspect that my head tells me I should have been coocoo-bananas for the recently launched Disney+ steaming service, yet my heart makes a wet fart noise and I move on.
And trust me, it feels like a rare feat. My social media feeds are nearly choked with baby Yoda (not Yoda) memes, and genuine gushing goo-goo’ing over all the content on the service. Yet, no matter how many trusted friends stamp The Mandalorian with their recommendation, nor posting about reruns of Darkwing Duck… the excitement bounces off of me much like I assume elation over a new BTS album dropping does to a hipster. And let’s be clear as day kiddos: I ain’t hip. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #051: Why Can’t I Care About Disney+?” →
Cecil Castellucci is an incredible artist in the true sense of the word. She began her quest to share art with the world by spending her life studying to be a filmmaker. Ultimately, she has thrived and shared stories with the world through many mediums. She has written Young Adult novels, and graphic novels. She has written for DC Comics and is the current writer on Batgirl. She has fronted a couple of punk rock bands, and also written hockey-based operas, to name a few media.
Most recently, she has written a graphic memoir called Girl on Film that is published by Boom! Studios. We acquired an advanced copy of the book that comes out in comic shops on November 12, 2019 and everywhere else the following week. Let me tell you, it is wonderful, and there is a more detailed review below.
We also reached out to Ms. Castellucci, and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us. You can find our interview below the book review. It was a great experience from us and we hope you enjoy it too.
One thing young Cecil was sure of from the minute she saw Star Wars was that she was going to be some kind of artiste. Probably a filmmaker. Possibly Steven Spielberg. Then, in 1980, the movie Fame came out. Cecil wasn’t allowed to see that movie. It was rated R, and she was ten. But she did watch the television show and would pretend with her friends that she was going to that school. Of course they were playing. She was not. She was destined to be an art school kid.
We are living in a golden age of fandom. Gone are the days of hiding your comic collection in the closet when school friends came over. The time when liking sci-fi books was cause for odd glances in the cafeteria is in the past. There are incredible things happening in the world today.
Let’s take for example the things we can point at that show the geek/nerd culture is popular in the mainstream;
The best selling motion picture in the world is Avengers: Endgame. It is the epic conclusion to over ten years of movie storytelling. I was moved to tears of joy while watching it at the massive amount of comic book characters from my your being translated to the big screen. This move was highly anticipated and it shattered box office records left and right.
Chuck Wendig, an author of (among other things) Star Wars novels and comics, was working on a Darth Vader miniseries for Marvel when his editor informed him he was fired. Wendig said it was “because of the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring… It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.”
It should be noted this is Wendig’s characterization. Marvel has not commented beyond confirming Wendig had been removed.
On October 6, Wendig tweeted: “There will be renewed calls for civility. Ignore them. They ask for civility as a way for you to grant them complicity in what they do…Civility is for normalcy. When things are normal and working as intended, civility is part of maintaining balance. But when that balance is gone, civility does not help return it but rather, destabilize it further. Because your civility gives them cover for evil. . . Note: this isn’t the same as calling for violence. But it is suggesting that you should not be shamed for using vigorous, vulgar language. Or for standing up in disobedience. Or for demanding acknowledgement and action in whatever way you must. . . Fuck Trump. But he’s just the ugly fake-gold mask they’ve put on this thing. Fuck all the GOP, fuck that blubbering, bristling frat boy judge, fuck McConnell, Ryan, Grassley, Collins, every last one of them. Fuck them for how they’ve shamed victims and helped dismantle democracy. . . They will tell you to smile, that we need to get back to business, that we gotta heal the rift and blah blah blah — but that’s the desire of a savvy bully, who wants you to stop crying after he hit you, who wants you not to fight back. But you can cry. And you can fight back. “
Basically, as some put it: ”Fuck civility.” Continue reading “Working Title #006: The Uncivil War” →
The Galaxy’s hottest club is Starkiller Base.
Located in the upper lower west side of space, this hollowed-out ice planet is the creation of some hardcore Empire fanboys who wanted their own Death Star and figured “Hey, third time’s the charm.” This place has everything: stormtroopers, wookiees, angry Darth Vader impersonators, giant Sith lords in loungewear. And look who’s at the bar. Is that Emperor Palpatine? No, it’s three ewoks in a trenchcoat.
If the bar’s not your scene, head down to the garbage compactor where DJ Phasma is spinning remixes of C-3PO’s Top 100 complaints.
And this Friday, the first hundred people through the door get to see a plucky band of rebels destroy the whole thing with a single critical flaw and the power of friendship.
(Also, droids drink free before 10pm)
Premiering in May of 2014, Star Wars Rebels was the first post-buyout Disney production we saw, and my grumpy inner Star Wars nerd was skeptical. The Expanded Universe had been dropped from official cannon, Clone Wars had been cancelled while the sixth season was under production, and Disney was going to give us a Jedi voiced by Freddy Prinze, Jr? FREDDIE PRINZE, JR?
Four years later, I owe all concerned an apology. Kanan Jarrus is in my Top 5 Jedi list, Chopper is my number one droid, Sabine is the hero Mandalore deserves, Ezra has gone from Space Aladdin to Jedi Whale Rider, Hera is a hero general of the Rebellion, and Zeb is… well, Zeb’s still a Wookie with a haircut. The series managed to tell its own tale while bringing back abandoned favorites from Clone Wars and reintroducing the EU’s best villain, the genius tactician Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Beginning immediately prior to Rogue One, Star Wars Rebels Season Four spends its first few episodes on Mandalore and Yavin IV, but mostly delivers a satisfying conclusion to Ezra Bridger’s story by bringing the action back to his home planet of Lothal. The crew of the Ghost attempt to stop the Empire from building an advanced new TIE Defender and stripping Lothal of its resources. By focusing on a smaller conflict in the greater rebellion, Rebels is able to tell an engaging story of its own without ignoring or rehashing the original trilogy.
The Blu-ray contains all sixteen episodes, episode recaps, several behind the scenes features with cast and crew including a discussion with series composer Kevin Kiner, and an exploration of the Force with Executive Producer (and voice of my number one droid) Dave Filoni. Filoni also contributes six commentary tracks.
If you have watched Rebels, you will want this Blu-ray. If you’re a Star Wars fan and you haven’t watched Rebels, shame on you. Go get this Blu-ray.
Season 4 stars Taylor Gray, Vanessa Marshall, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Tiya Sircar, Steve Blum, Dee Bradley Baker, David Oyelowo, Lars Mikkelsen, and Mary Elizabeth McGlynn.