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


Teaching Star Wars 101

I’ll keep this short so you’ll actually click the link.  On Monday, Hannah and I were guests on Hyperspace PodBlast (A Star Wars Podcast) to talk about our Star Wars & Contemporary Myth class!  For real.  How amazing is that?!?  We had so much fun with Bryan and Shelby and it was a nerd dream come true.  So please (pretty please), click on this link and bounce over to their site so you can hear us all geek out about Star Wars and talk about the nature of our course!  Best.  Day.  Ever :). Continue reading

Thor’s Day Salutes: The Thor Comics I Fell In Love With

I’m back with another installment in this (clearly random in occurrence (but c’mon…the school year is back (and that means grading and lesson planning (so blogging itself becomes more random (to make room for other obligations))))) series saluting my love of Thor as I continue to get excited for Thor: Ragnarök.  As makes total sense to yours truly, there’s really no better day of the week to celebrate Thor than on the day named in his honor.  So let’s celebrate Thursday by remembering it literally means Thor’s Day and looking at why Thor comics captivated me as a kid! 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

The Superior Spider-Man : Confronting the Darkness Within

Of the many tropes to regularly wind their way through the Spider-Man comics over the years, the one that always wears on me is when some chain of events cause the “friendly neighborhood” attitude to drop from Spidey’s modus operandi and we see Peter become a dark, serious vigilante.  What can I say?  I like my Spider-Man to be a light, happy, inspiring character.  If I wanted glum and grim I’d read more Batman.  However, Dan Slott (who I’m learning more and more is nothing if not an inventive writer (who really loves Spider-Man)) upended this approach with The Superior Spider-Man.  One of the many things to happen to the web-head during the nineteen years I wasn’t reading his comics was Doctor Octopus stole his body and life for a time.  With Ock wearing the webs, we find our angrier Spider-Man but wrapped inside a tale of transformation and redemption. Continue reading

Wonder Woman: A Salvific Triumph

Even with the Rotten Tomatoes score, I wasn’t ready for this.  Wonder Woman is a revelation.  We now have a new standard bearer for what a superhero movie can do.  There are no spoilers here, obviously.  The movie just came out last night!  Everyone needs to see this and experience for themselves just how inspiring a comic book movie can be.  Marvel, and the world, need take notice too.  DC’s cinematic comic book universe has arrived and Wonder Woman is their flagship hero, carrying both the DCEU forward and the possible potential for all comic book movies.  Finding what I did in watching Wonder Woman was the most incredible surprise.  And you deserve that surprise too!  So I’m not talking spoilers but I will speak of the film thematically and speak to how it managed to move me so profoundly. Continue reading

Logan – Elegy to an Era

After three viewings and two weeks, I’m finally ready to talk about Logan.  I had high expectations.  I tried to manage them but it was impossible!  Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for seventeen years.  He ushered in the modern era of cinematic superheroes.  I couldn’t keep my expectations for his swansong from growing.  The film was absolutely nothing like I expected but it was brilliantly executed.  Hugh Jackman and James Mangold delivered a finale that deeply moved me.  Fair warning, this post will be filled with spoilers.  It will also be filled with emotions! Continue reading