Different Expectations for Different Universes: Why I’m Comfortable Skipping Solo

Let me start off by saying this is not a persuasive essay; it’s an explanatory one.  I’m not trying to convince anyone to skip Solo: A Star Wars Story nor do I think they should if they want to see it.  I hope everyone who wants to see it, does.  And I hope they enjoy themselves!  I’ve talked to a few close friends who saw it and thought it was great.  I’m happy for them.  I don’t want the movie to do poorly or for people to be disappointed.  I just can’t see myself seeing it (at least not yet).  I wasn’t even going to write about this because I didn’t want to seem like I was being contrary just for the sake of it nor that I was trying to trash the film.  But people keep asking me if/when I’m seeing Solo.  I’ve discussed it in Facebook posts, messages and texts, emails, and more than a few times in person with family, friends, and students.  So I just decided to write about it. Continue reading

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Han Solo: Another Reflection on Head Canon

The term ended last week and with it came the close of the second round of our Star Wars & Contemporary Mythology course.  As Hannah and I were making our way through grading some of our students’ work, I had a revelation.  Something similar happened last year, as our students’ final papers helped us finally make peace with The Force Awakens.  I’m not sure if this epiphany-while-grading thing will become a tradition with our Star Wars class, but it’s happened to me again.  This time it came while reading several Star Wars Playlist assignments – focused on Han Solo – and it led me to clearly see something quite personal about my experience of Star Wars. Continue reading

Captain Phasma: A Lesson Learned in The Last Jedi

So this isn’t another essay or reflection on The Last Jedi.  I’m not looking deeper at the themes in the film nor am I furthering my analysis on Star Wars’ future as folklore in this post.  Rather, this piece is about an unexpected lesson I learned from The Last Jedi, care of everyone’s favorite chrome-plated stormtrooper Captain Phasma, regarding the growing Disney Canon of works in their Star Wars Universe.  What lesson, you may ask, did you glean from Phasma’s fifteen seconds of screen time?!?  While it’s probably quite the opposite of what Disney would want, I think it will make my Star Wars time far more enjoyable. Continue reading

The Last Jedi and Star Wars’ Movement from Mythology to Folk Tale

When I came out of my first showing of The Last Jedi, I was ready to say I liked it.  By the time I exited my third showing of The Last Jedi, I was ready to say I really liked it.  I was still struggling to figure out where to place this film in my larger emotional and intellectual experience of the Star Wars Saga but I was able to say, as a film, The Last Jedi was well done.  I was not ready for the heatedly divisive storm that followed.  As someone who needed a year and a half to be able to like The Force Awakens, I certainly appreciate the pain many feel over this film.  I’m just a bit surprised, given reactions to The Force Awakens, this film caused such an uproar.  Anyway, I’m finally ready to delve into my thoughts and feelings on The Last Jedi.  Be warned MASSIVE SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW.  So if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you come back and read this once you have. Continue reading

In Star Wars…Your Head Canon Is All The Matters

There…I said it.  All that matters is head canon.  The Last Jedi is on its way right?  (Yay!)  With it will come countless analyses, deconstructions, and evaluations (myself included).  No matter where you’re at in the world of Star Wars, you’re going to have opinions (myself included!).  And that’s exciting!  However, the Star Wars community can be volatile at times (especially online).  Instead of sharing our love, we seem to enjoy chastising those who love something else or love what we love in a different way.  Yet we can (and should) happily love what we love and respect what someone else loves too!  At the end of the day, no one can tell you what Star Wars stories move you.  So in the seemingly endless debate over what is or isn’t “canon” or what stories are “best,” the only important question is what do you like?  If the story moves you, it’s part of your Star Wars experience and those are the only stories that really matter.  Continue reading

Who is Rey?: An Avatar as a (Possible) Answer

As we inch ever closer to The Last Jedi, my excitement continues to mount.  No matter how much I tell myself not to get my expectations too high, I can’t help but speculate!  As I’ve said before, this random and excited speculating is part of the fun of Star Wars.  I remember the months leading up to The Force Awakens were filled with hours and hours of pondering and hypothesizing.  What will happen??  Who are these new characters??  How will the fit into the world of Star Wars?!?  Geeking out with other Star Wars fans is one of life’s great joys :).  And like many fans of the Saga, I’ve been spending a lot of time puzzling over who Rey really is and how she fits into the Force.  Somewhat unexpectedly, the answer I keep coming back to that makes the most sense comes care of Hinduism. Continue reading

Lando, Lobot, and the Beauty of Depth

I’ve written a piece for the Star Wars fansite Future Of The Force!  It’s about Marvel’s Lando miniseries and how it adds depth and beauty to the character of Lobot and his relationship with Lando.  I also talk about how I love all these additional Star Wars stories – be they from the Expanded Universe or the new Disney Canon – because they continue to expand the universe George Lucas created in so many ways.  I’m excited to be contributing to Future of the Force and I’d appreciate your clicking this handy little link and bouncing over there to give the piece a read.  Please and thank you!