I haven’t had a lot of time to actually write down any thoughts lately, but with new ideas and insights coming at me, I think it’s time I did so. Spoilers and rumors ahead, in case you want to avoid such things. If you have different opinions for anything here, I’d love to hear them.
Star Trek: Discovery
We’re now four episodes in. It’s not a perfect series, and I’ve certainly got my complaints, but I’m also intrigued by what’s unfolding.
I still think the Klingons are more than a little flat in their presentation. We’re led to believe they’re deeper than what we’ve seen before; they’re not. We’ve seen different layers in their culture before this, despite claims to the contrary. Still looking to see where they’re going with this.
Our lead character, Michael Burnham, is quickly turning into a Mary Sue. I love the actress; she’s doing a wonderful job. But seriously… is this character the only competent person on the ship?
I am truly enjoying Captain Lorca. I’ve always felt like there was a missed opportunity with Jason Isaacs, that he was somehow destined to play 007. And he did in one of the audiobooks. That level of danger that he exudes is all over the place here. Lorca is devious, desperate, and definitely the right man for the right job in the war against the Klingons… or so it would seem at first blush. I wonder if there will be a place for him in peace time, though. He adheres to the ideals of the Federation, but he’s willing to protect those ideals even by sacrificing them. It’s the kind of scary message that mirrors many leaders in our world. Those under Lorca’s command do not respect him. But they fear him. I’m wondering how a man like this got a black ops science ship to command in the first place. He stands in stark contrast to Captain Georgiou, who exemplified the very best of Starfleet in the short time we’ve come to know her.
The Discovery‘s “spore drive” is being called “the midichlorians of Star Trek.” I think that’s completely unfair. Midichlorians make perfect sense, for those who truly paid attention to George Lucas. But as I’ve already beaten that dead horse, I’ll let people believe what they will. This spore drive is based on all manner of quantum mechanics that I don’t pretend to fully comprehend like I do midichlorians, but I grasp the basics. The concept is beautiful: biology as physics, the integration of overlapping science that our own century has difficulty conceiving.
The implications are phenomenal. It’s exactly the kind of edge that any fleet captain would want in a war of this magnitude. And we’ve now seen the cost of that advancement. It’s something that violates every ethical code Starfleet has, which is no doubt why we won’t see its like again in service during Kirk’s five-year mission or any point after. The spinning saucer section and the little barrel roll the ship does when the drive fires up… LAME. How much money did those effects cost? Honestly, the visuals are still the part I’m having the most problem with (and the whole Sarek katra thing, of course, but they’ve not gone back to that yet). Yes, it’s very cinematic, as everyone claims. This looks like Abrams Trek. I can’t get over that. But I’m filled with sheer joy every time I hear a familiar TOS sound effect, be it on the bridge or in sickbay.
That’s not to say I’m not enamored with many of the visuals offered. We’ve now seen the inside of a replicator as it creates a uniform. That’s pretty freakin’ cool in my book. And the tardigrade is very well executed.
This weekend we’ll get our introduction to Harry Mudd, and rumor is there will be other legacy characters introduced this season as well. Still not sure how I feel about this, but… I’m in for the long haul so long as they keep giving me reasons to be.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
There are many theories out there now about Rey’s lineage. The one making waves right now is that she’s Palpatine or somehow related to the Emperor. I’m sticking to my original theory, and I’ll restate it for the record: she’s Anakin. The Chosen One reincarnates. The evidence has been there all along in the form of the lightsaber that called to her. The voices in her vision are voices Anakin would have known. Jinn, Kenobi, Palpatine, Yoda… all there. Who’s missing? Anakin’s voice.
There’s a new bit of supporting evidence for my theory. You may have seen this already, but I’ll spell out here for those who haven’t. Did you get a good look at the new poster?
Look not at the figures, but at the negative space, the general shape. Look at the layout of the figures. This is something I was taught to do in art classes when learning to appreciate the balance of Renaissance masterpieces. Now focus on that red spot behind the logo. See it? The triangle? Prepare yourself, for what is seen cannot be unseen.
The Chosen One is revealed. And it makes so much sense to me in the direction of the story. Kylo Ren wants nothing more than to be as mighty as his grandfather. He’s asked for guidance along these lines, and there she is. Luke is clearly afraid of her in the new trailer, and possibly even the one who dropped her off on Jakku in the first place. One can only imagine what Snoke must be thinking.
From a Certain Point of View
I’m 9 stories in on the 40 stories in this audiobook. I’m enjoying it immensely! And I’m taking my time with it. Instinct tells me to burn through it and then re-read because I can. I can’t bring myself to do that. Truth be told, I’m really looking forward to being able to bring you the review for this book. If you’re so inclined… just go get it. It’s worth the money.
Bride of Frankenstein
I said I was going to keep on top of the Universal Monsters, even if it looked like they were headed for an early grave. Well, it looks like that’s exactly what’s happening. Director Bill Condon wants Bride of Frankenstein to be a pure monster movie and all that implies. Universal still wants some misbegotten attempt at “Avengers with monsters.” Whatever the case, delays have now plagued this film, and this may cost them their stars, Angelina Jolie and Javier Bardem, due to scheduling. Condon says he wants Gal Gadot if Jolie backs out. At this point… does it even matter? If Universal wants a different movie than what Condon thinks he’s making, they’ll fire him first. Studios do that. And at this point, it may be a mercy kill for the entire Dark Universe.
I’m still convinced I can do better. I’m working on it, if my neighbors will ever give me the peace I need to write it up. C’mon, winter!
Superman: The Movie
I love this film. I grew up on it. Nostalgia aside, it’s still the high benchmark for me that DC / WB will never again reach until the powers that be pull their heads out of their asses and figure out what these characters truly mean. In recent years they gave us a 2.5 hour director’s cut of this film with more scenes, and they’ve even released the Donner Cut of Superman II. But I never thought I’d see the day they’d release the extended TV version.
I got my copy in yesterday. Still haven’t had the chance to watch it. When Superman first aired on TV (back in those days before ubiquitous home video releases), it was a big deal. You see, the Salkinds had Donner trim the runtime on this film back considerably so that they could have more showings in the theater, thus allowing the film to potentially get its money back. The studio had no faith in the film at the time, quite the reverse of today where they push out garbage and think everyone will love it. The extended cut actually clocks in around 3 hours 13 minutes (a good 45 minutes longer than the director’s cut), which left room for plenty of commercials, turning it into a 4-hour, two night event. And I’ve never seen it. It aired once, then it was gone, and I completely missed it. I’ve set aside time this weekend to make this happen.
Alas, this is all the time I have right now, but you get an idea of where my head is at these days. All this, and Star Wars: Rebels starts up again this weekend, which I want to blog about as it goes for this final season. Who else is watching this? Anyway… reviews are mounting, ideas are generating… I just never seem to have enough to time to crank out content. I’m working on it!