STAR WARS OPINIONS (PLEASE DON’T READ)
Back in fall I rewatched all the Star Warses in anticipation of the new one, then I waited until February to see it, then I waited until now to post my thoughts. This is the order I rewatched them in, “Machete Order” with some modifications.
- Star Wars – It’s cool yet somewhat concerning how this scrappy looking little film just became this ur-text for pop culture for the next 40+ years. Last time I saw part of this on TV it was slightly annoying how every single line is like a famous quote now or inspired some later thing, but I didn’t feel that too much this time. The trench run is an amazing sequence.
- Rogue One – The whole time I kept thinking about how I should’ve watched this one first! Fuck!
- The Empire Strikes Back – I think this is sort of the ideal movie sequel?
- The Phantom Menace – Had not watched this since seeing it in the theater in 1999. It’s fine I guess? It’s not a good movie but I find it sorta fascinating. I also recently rewatched the Armin Tamzarian episode of The Simpsons, another widely-loathed piece of pop culture from that era and thought it was actually pretty good (I like the interpretation that it’s written like an episode of a sitcom where a character has to be hastily written out of the show because the actor didn’t renew their contract or whatever). With both things it’s like, I know the complaints, I made a few of them myself, I probably agree with a lot of them, but I’m so tired of it now, I don’t care anymore, time to move on. I appreciate that George Lucas made this movie that is aesthetically unlike everything the franchise had been up to that point, which I don’t think anyone can ever do again because not only do blockbuster auteurs not exist anymore but everything has to be so reverential now. Laughed a lot at the way he writes children (“uh, they say ‘Yippee!’ a lot, right?”).
- Attack of the Clones – When this came out I liked it so much I saw it in the theaters twice. The second time there was this middle aged guy who shouted “Yeah let’s go Yoda!!!” during the lightsaber fight. Upon rewatch I find it kinda boring although I think Hayden Christensen does a good job portraying “creepy boyfriend emitting red flags”
- Revenge of the Sith – Used to think this was the best of the prequels simply because stuff happens, now I’m not sure. It’s funny that Luke and Rey are presented with the equivalent of Adam Lanza’s AK-47 and it’s treated as this big reverential thing.
- Return of the Jedi – It’s weird that the trio of the new movies don’t actually all meet until the end of the second one but it’s less weird when you remember that Luke is separated from Han and Leia for much of the original trilogy and Obi-Wan is basically off on his own adventures during the prequels. It goes without saying but it’s so bizarre and goofy that Lucas decided to stick a bunch of badly-aged CGI into his old movies including a new dance number in this one. My headcanon is that Jabba’s sail barge is the Star Wars universe equivalent of Epstein’s jet plane.
- Solo – I liked the trailers for this but the movie is pretty disposable. Maybe it was too soon for a rewatch. What’s with this galaxy’s obsession with last names?
- The Force Awakens – I like the new characters, it’s a fun movie even if it’s derivative. Not sure how I’d feel now that I know how their stories end. Something I noticed is that the Lucas films have no flashbacks, in this one they get around this informal “rule” by encasing it in a force vision, and then in the next two they’re like “ah, it’s fine”
- The Last Jedi – Lots of humor, great visuals, fun characters, poignant at times. I liked that it did away with the Who Is Snoke (why can’t it just be some guy) and Who Are Rey’s Parents mysteries (ed. note I wrote part this a year ago). Seeing Leia use the force for the first time (onscreen at least) to save herself from the vacuum of space is a beautiful moment and seeing it mocked and memed by “uhhh, science much???” guys is annoying. I like the interpretation I read somewhere that the sequel trilogy is basically about millennials trying to find their way in the face of resurgent fascism after baby boomers and institutions failed them. My main gripe is that the “uh oh our space ship is out of gas!” plot kinda feels like something out of a filler episode of Rebels
- Rise of Skywalker – Boy who would’ve thought answering the “mysteries” would be unsatisfying. The dialogue was atrocious, everything with Carrie Fisher is so grotesque, the running gag of Finn’s message to Rey never gets paid off, and you can’t end on the twin suns when the last movie already did it, that’s illegal! I’ll give it this: “The dead speak!” is a wonderful way to start the crawl. I like when Star Wars gets pulpy, like the newsreel-type narrator in Clone Wars. Here’s hoping this won’t be the last movie I ever see in a theater
It’s been nearly two months since a substitute artist took over Mallard Fillmore and it’s still unclear what happened to Bruce Tinsley, but now there are some clues courtesy of comics curmudgeon Josh Frulinger. First, according to The Daily Cartoonist, the syndicate started rerunning strips in late November “due to unforeseen circumstances.” Secondly, the syndicate published – and then mysteriously removed – an interview with the substitute artist, which just says Tinsley’s “away.” Finally, earlier this month Tinsley made his first tweet in more than a year, a reply to Candace Owens.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think the new guy’s doing a bad job – he remembered that the supporting characters exist, which I appreciate, but it lacks the smugness, vitriol, and thinly-concealed bigotry of The Real Thing. Also, I still don’t like that font. Speaking of which…
…is Mallard going after me??
Bernie dropping out of the race feels liberating. I don’t have to care about the election anymore. I can free up some space in my mind for other things. I shall pay no mind to the usual suspects already trotting out the old “blame the voter” routine they’ve been doing for the past 20 years. Sorry your “electable” candidate sucks ass but it’s not my problem, haha. I feel no obligation to vote for the party of austerity and means-testing that was sending voters out to their deaths. I can sit back and watch the debates – assuming there’ll be debates – without worrying about “my” candidate and just enjoy the grotesque spectacle of two senile dipshits squabbling about The Debt as the world continues to burn. A month ago, I felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and despair as I continued to work during the pandemic, but now I feel free.
*desperately trying to avoid thinking about my imminent death voice* I think Disney+ does a poor job with the original theatrical shorts… there’s not a lot there to begin and the ones that they do have are just scattered throughout the service. It would be cool if they were organized in one place and you could just watch every available Disney short in chronological order without futzing around with a Wikipedia article. Maybe there should be a hub for shorts like there is for movies and series. Hopefully someday they’ll even add the Simpsons shorts from The Tracey Ullman Show, the Oswald shorts, and the Alice Comedies. Here’s hoping HBO Max does a better job with the Looney Tunes shorts.
Washington Post: Trump’s corporatist response to coronavirus shows no concern for national debt
A trillion here, a trillion there and soon you’re talking real money.
The national debt has surged from $20 trillion to $23 trillion since President Trump took office, even though the economy was at or near full employment, despite his campaign promises in 2016 to eliminate it altogether if he’s elected to two terms.
The Trump administration outlined a $1 trillion stimulus plan on Wednesday to respond to the pandemic, including $500 billion in cash payments to individuals and $300 billion toward helping small businesses, as well as $50 billion for bailing out airlines and $150 billion for other unspecified sectors. This will likely include hospitality, in which the president has a significant personal financial stake.
Mutant wearing a lanyard and a gas mask tip-toeing around the corpses littering the streets of Forbidden Quadrant X (formerly Alexandria, Virginia): Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the debt?!?
OBSERVATION OF THE DAY
It’s disappointing when you find out some 90s alternative cartoonist or 00s blogger has normie centrist politics
Mallard Fillmore has been in reruns since the start of the year (if not earlier) and as of yesterday there’s a replacement… er… substitute artist. That font looks atrocious, Mallard Fillmore should always be hand-lettered. I don’t know what’s going on but I sincerely hope Bruce Tinsley is able to return.
Whenever I saw Chris Matthews he always seemed like an easily-flustered baby man who’d never been in front of a camera before, even though he’d been on TV for like 30 years. Good riddance!