Almost as long as Star Wars has existed, there have been spin-off stories to “fill the gaps” and expand the universe. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (or, as it was known then, Star Wars!) was released on May 25th 1977. Marvel’s Star Wars comic began on April 12th 1977, the first six issues adapting the film followed by original stories. The first Star Wars novel, Alan Dean Foster’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, was released in March 1978. Both continued the story George Lucas began and served to sate people’s desire for new Star Wars stories until the eventual sequel arrived. Almost as long as Star Wars has existed then, fans have navigated their relationships with such stories. Which, if any, do you read/watch? Which, if any, become a part of your experience of Star Wars? Disney+’s Obi-Wan Kenobi is one of the most ambitious of such spin-offs, with Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan), Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader), Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa), Bonnie Piesse (Beru Lars), and Joel Edgerton (Owen Lars) reprising their roles from the Prequel Trilogy. As with all Star Wars stories outside Lucas’ six films, Obi-Wan Kenobi forces (ha! no pun intended) fans to consider how, if at all, it fits in their experience of Star Wars. For me, the show brought many welcome, if at times conflicting, emotions.
THIS PIECE WILL HAVE SPOILERS FOR OBI-WAN KENOBI (E1-6).
One of my favorite marks of the Doctor’s character is the way they respond to meeting all manner of monsters. When I first began watching Doctor Who this was one of the earliest signs of how different a hero they were than I was used to. Time and again – no matter how scary or threatening or unapproachable whatever the Doctor finds in the universe may appear – their first reaction is never one of fear or judgment. They certainly never attack. Rather, they marvel at its beauty. They are overcome with joy and excitement at seeing something they’ve never seen before. And, if what they encounter appears frightened or injured, they are moved by compassion and offer help. In all this they are a beautifully important model for us, too. As Steven Moffatt, the Doctor Who showrunner for Series 5-10, rightly observed, “There will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor.”
Once upon a time, I didn’t watch Doctor Who. I didn’t know why the blue phonebooth was important and I didn’t know if that garbage can thing with the whisk and plunger was a good guy or a bad guy. Once upon a time, I was too intimidated to even think about watching Doctor Who. Then I started a new job and met Theresa! We became fast friends and the only way I survived my first year teaching was because of her friendship and guidance. Theresa’s the best. One of the many things we bonded over was our shared love of Marvel, Star Wars, and all those nerdy corners of pop culture fun. But I couldn’t discuss one of Theresa’s favorite shows/characters/universes with her – Doctor Who. Eventually, trusting Theresa and her taste, I jumped into the world of Doctor Who and my life has become better in every way for it! But you may not know Theresa. Maybe that’s why you’re here. Maybe you’re curious if you should watch Doctor Who and/or how you even begin watching Doctor Who but you don’t have Theresa there to help you. Well, that’s why I’m here. I hope this short piece helps answer your questions, calm your concerns, and ignites your excitement for Doctor Who in the way being friends with Theresa did for me :D.
One of my favorite things about Doctor Who is the first trip the Doctor makes with any new companion. Now I’m not talking about their first adventure, where they meet the Doctor and get pulled into a much larger world than they knew existed the day before. No, I’m talking about their first trip, the moment they decide they want to travel through time and space with the Doctor inside that little blue box. I love it, in part, because these episodes always make me think how would you even begin to choose?!!? If you had allllllllllll of time and space laid out before you, where would you even want to go first? How could you pick?!? Or, if you were in the Doctor’s place, how do you decide what first to show your new companion?
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag is one of those shows where I wonder how I lived without it. My first time through the series (I watch it often), I watched all of Season One in a day and Season Two the following day. My pause between them was only to allow myself time to try and process all the feelings the first season left me with. The show is hysterical while also being one of the most moving shows I’ve ever seen. It’s wildly intelligent and the emotional journey it takes you on is unforgettable. Returning to this was one of the first things I did when quarantine hit – it’s a thoughtful comfort show, making me laugh, think, and feel in equally strong waves. As I watched it, I realized I’d never written about my love for this series, something I want to do now with this reflection on a remarkable juxtaposition done in the fourth episode of the second season.
Note, there will obviously be spoilers (but not beyond S2,E4). I’ll be as general as I can be with the plot but if you haven’t seen this show maybe watch it now? I don’t wanna be bossy but it’s brilliant. Every. Single. Moment. Continue reading
I’ve started writing a regular monthly feature over at Reads & Reels! I know, right?? I’m super excited about it too. In it, I’ll be talking about something – be it a book, comic, movie, TV show, album, whatever – that has captivated my attention over the last month and proven a welcome distraction from everything else (re: boring adult stuff) that fills up my life. For my first piece, I’ve written about the work of brilliant postmodern art that was NBC’s Community. I am SUPER EXCITED to be writing for Reads & Reels (and pleased with the piece too) so you should totally click here and check it out!
I have a habit of committing (should we say overcommitting?) to ridiculous viewing marathons. I don’t really know why. But I tend to do it more so with movies than shows. However, when I heard the Arrowverse was going to be gaining a new show this fall in the form of Batwoman – a character whom I adore – I knew I’d be tuning in. When I realized Batwoman would be airing Sunday nights before Supergirl – a show I’ve always been interested in but never committed to watching (because the Arrowverse is huge and intimidating) – I figured I should check it out. Why not, right? The first four seasons were on Netflix. Maybe, maybe I should try and binge-watch (even though I don’t particularly care for binge-watching) all four seasons before the new one premiered. Then I could watch Batwoman live without fear of spoilers for Supergirl AND enjoy Supergirl at the same time! Was this the best idea I’ve ever had??
What follows is the stream-of-consciousness list of lessons I learned while trying to watch all ninety-six episodes of Supergirl (with crossovers) over the course of sixteen wild days. Continue reading
Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Doctor was special for me. I’ve only recently come into the world of Doctor Who, watching all ten (modern) seasons of the show last year. I began in the fall of 2017 with Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor (well, technically I started with David Tennant but my friend Theresa kept making sad sighs when she heard I didn’t start at the beginning so I went back and did) and finished Peter Capaldi’s run in the spring of 2018. So Jodie Whittaker became the first Doctor I got to watch as the season aired. It was so exciting! As this eleventh season (or series if I’m being English about it) of Doctor Who unfolded, I kept thinking of a post I wrote awhile back about being exhausted by binging and streaming TV shows. Jodie Whittaker and company have consistently delivered everything I’ve come to love about a Doctor Who episode! But I think part of the magic of this season came from watching it on a weekly basis. Continue reading