Sunday!

A long time ago, in another country, there was a movie that everybody and his brother saw a couple of times. Then it came out again another two years after that in preparations for the sequel.

I mean, seriously. Can you even imagine that today? Movie theaters showing Godfather because Godfather II is coming out next year?

Anyway, I saw Star Wars in the theater the first time, then I saw it again the second time in 1979.

As such, The Last Jedi is a movie that could be described as a movie that I have been waiting for my entire life.

We are scheduled to see it on 12/17/2017 at 10AM or so at the fancy schmancy theater with the reclining seats and the reserved seating.

I have seen the teaser that has the thing that I understand is called a “porg” in it, but I know little else about the movie other than it’s the one that comes after the last one. Which tells me a handful of non-spoiler things such as: this is the one with the training section (in the same way that Attack of the Clones covered Anakin being trained as well as Empire Strikes Back covered Luke being trained), it’ll have approximately 20-30% action scenes, and the dialog will be vaguely clunky.

If you haven’t seen it yet but have a handful of speculations and thoughts about what’s going to happen, feel free to leave your musings in comments. If you have seen it, please *NO SPOILERS*. We’ll have spoiler-friendly threads next week. I promise.

So… what are you reading and/or watching?


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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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35 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. Saw it last night, enjoyed it. Much like Ep 7, it isn’t perfect & has issues, but overall a solid part of the story & it follows the “part the second of three” formula to a T.

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  2. I too saw the original when it first came out, and I remember in ’79 my dad going to see that while the rest of us (the family) went to another film in the multiplex (whopping 3 screens!) but I have no idea what that was, which should tell you everything.

    I probably won’t see this until it is streaming, if then even. Because, while I love SF and loved the originals, I have lost my taste for ©StarWars

    Other than that, reading too much online and a W. Somerset Maugham collection, Cosmopolitans.

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  3. I also saw it in the fancy schmancy theater with the reclining seats and the reserved seating. Also the one that, when you buy a soda, you just get a cup that, after you show your ticket and go through the turnstile, you fill from the machines that dispense a hundred different flavors.

    Anyway, it was free because my boss took us, and worth every penny, and afterward when my co-workers were gushing about it, I did my good deed of smiling and nodding instead of being a spoilsport.

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  4. Maribou and I just got back from it.

    She loved it. I was worried that I wouldn’t like it given the (small) handful of things I’ve seen about it so far but I managed to enjoy it while noting stuff like “yeah, people are going to hate that part… people are *REALLY* going to hate that part… I can totally see why people would hate that part…”

    And without getting into spoilers at all, I’ll say that I walked in with a couple of big questions and got answers to both of them:

    1. A Really, Really *SATISFYING* Answer. (But it was given by the least reliable character in the movie so, maybe, it’s not the real answer. But if it is the answer, it’s a good one anyway.)

    2. The answer of “you know what, it doesn’t matter. Stop worrying about it.”

    So… fair enough. I was apprehensive about seeing it (especially after seeing VII). I’m not particularly apprehensive about seeing IX.

    But we’ll get more into spoilers next Sunday.

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  5. If anyone stopped watching Mr. Robot during or after the somewhat flawed Season 2, you should pick it back up and watch Season 3. The only real flaw in Season 3 is that they allowed Donald Trump to live rent free in the creators’ heads a bit too much. (well, there’s also some ongoing ‘that’s not how economics works’ but I’ve hit the “I Believe” button on most of that stuff)

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  6. Re: Star Wars I’m getting good reports from friends who have seen it, which is heartening. The Force Awakens was an absolute disgrace to the series, so hopefully this one will get it back on track. Also, I don’t understand the mad rush to see it. I was talking to a friend yesterday who went to see it on Thursday and she had to sit in the front row of the theater, which is hardly an optimal viewing experience.

    Watching: Currently working my way through Brooklyn Nine-Nine with my daughter. If there’s a funnier show currently on TV, I don’t know what it is.

    Reading: Just finished a re-reading of The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood’s prescience, 30 years before the fact, seems a bit startling. Currently reading some schlocky post-apocalyptic fiction on Kindle. I love the genre, but it sure does attract some bad writers.

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    • Watching: Currently working my way through Brooklyn Nine-Nine with my daughter. If there’s a funnier show currently on TV, I don’t know what it is.

      Seconded.

      Granted, I just started season two, so have no idea what’s going to happen in the future.

      But the nice thing is that basically all the characters are a) likable, and b) reasonable good at their jobs (Except for the pure comic relief ones.)

      I was expecting, when I was introduced to a lot of the characters, they would be caricatures. Almost all of them seem like that from the start.

      And none of them are. (Except the comic relief ones, but those guys are occupying maybe thirty seconds of screen time an episode.)

      The sole exception to all nice characterization seems to be Gina, who at times seems to almost be a comedic sociopath, but they’ve started doing some real stuff with her character lately, so we’ll see in the future.

      I especially like the relationship between Jake and Charles, because Charles seems like he could easily be the annoying guy who thinks he’s Jake’s friend, or tries to be everyone’s friends, and everyone just tolerates him…except they are actually friends, and in fact everyone mostly like Charles, because Charles is usually aware enough to know when he’s started to be annoying, or has said something dumb, because he, unlike most characters of that type, is not stupid.

      And the show explicitly goes out of its way to show all of them can actually do basic detective work. And, on top of that, the detective work is startlingly realistic, or at least seems that way to me…it’s not a procedural in any sense, I think we’ve have had maybe two episodes that focused on ‘We have to solve this’, whereas we’ve had several that were ‘We have to find this guy that we, and everyone with half a brain, knows did it because all the witnesses say so’ and ‘It’s probably the spouse…hey, it is the spouse, that was easy.’ and ‘Paperwork paperwork paperwork’.

      And, miracles of miracles, I think we’ve had exactly one ‘evil genius’ on the show, who is notable just a thief that managed to distract them into a wild-google chase as part of his pre-planned escape if the police ever got him, and they figured it out at the end of the episode. Unlike the serious police dramas, or even the non-serious dramas like Psych, where our heroes are running into multiple serial killers with clever detailed plans that always stay just one step ahead of the police.

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  7. Just got back from seeing the movie with my ten-year old. It was at the local mall: a decidedly non-fancy theater with seats that stubbornly refuse to recline. I was interested to note that the auditorium was decidedly not full. I mean really, really not full. Not embarrassingly empty, but still…

    As for the film: better than VII. While there is a lot in VIII that won’t stand up to scrutiny, I had far fewer “that doesn’t make a lick of sense!” responses watching it. How does it compare with the original trilogy? This is an unanswerable question, at least by me, what with my not being fourteen anymore. That being said, if I get just one DVD to take with me to the desert island, it will still be V.

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  8. I’m reading the Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet. The French philosopher Roland Barthes died in 1980 when he was struck by a laundry van. It was an accident. Or was it?

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  9. Saw it yesterday evening. A trekkie’s take.

    By far the most interesting of the new movies. Only Empire compares. The plot was interesting, not entirely predictable and the underlying philosophical points were actually capable of making few neurons fire.

    While the movie was good in of itself it presented some major, potentially even critical, problems from a world building/maintaining view.
    Star Wars economics have never made a remote lick of sense (slavery in a world of intelligent droids? Lunacy!) So the whole question around the casino worlds economics was pablum and generally dumb.
    The Vic Admirals gambit, while presented in a scene of artistry that made my breath catch and the entire theater audibly gasp, presents a titanic problem to the entire rationale of their universe. If that gambit could be done (and it was) and could produce that effect (and it did) then capital ships are basically near useless and it’s an open question why anyone anywhere would ever build a ship much larger than a light maneuverable craft like the Millennium Falcon. Certainly not the colossal capital ships of the Star Wars Universe.

    I was surprised how much seeing Carrie Fischer moved me. RIP.

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    • Lets table the practicality of the gambit for next week, since discussing it here would require spoilers.

      But remind me next week and we can have some fun with it.

      PS It’s a Vice Admiral, not a Vic Admiral (typo?)

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    • Since it’s not spoilery, I’ll take up the slavery question.

      I wonder if droids aren’t too expensive for many economic agents in this world. Slaves are the cheap form of owned labor: cheap, but harder to manage, more unruly, less trainable, less capable. C3PO and R2D2 are highly and many-functional machines owned and created (I think) by state-level actors. Slaves tend to be owned by petty local grifters and mob bosses, and seem to mostly do their grunt work.

      This certainly doesn’t answer any of a number of other valid questions about the economics of Star Wars.

      Also, ew, it felt pretty gross to write all of that about slavery and owning people.

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      • Yes, I can see that argument being made if we were going off just the original series*, the Force Awakens and Last Jedi films. The prequels, however, had droids as common and ubiquitous as dirt. I mean even in the late 1700 to 1800’s technology was making maintaining a fractious slave population increasingly problematic. The Star Wars Universe level of technology doesn’t appear to have any need at all for slavery.

        *Though it bears noting that in A New Hope Uncle Owen buys a pair of second hand droids with about the level of seriousness that you’d buy a new ride-on lawn mower. He was interested and concerned about the cost but it wasn’t like he was buying a new car or taking out a mortgage.

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          • Protocol droids, in Star Wars, not only are for talking to other cultures, but other models of droids and machines also. Owen mentions he’s getting C-3PO specifically for talking to the ‘vaporators’, which is presumably some part of a moisture farm’s equipment, and possibly cobbled together out of a bunch of different sources so doesn’t speak the same language.

            This is because Star Wars basically has no idea how technology works at any level. Admittedly, it’s from the 1970s, so obviously doesn’t know a lot, but even in the 1970s, people would have assumed that incompatible tech would talk to each other via some sort of converter instead of buying an _entire robot_ to wander around talking to them.

            That’s like 1940s-era nonsense there, but it’s how it works in Star Wars.

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        • The prequels, however, had droids as common and ubiquitous as dirt. I mean even in the late 1700 to 1800’s technology was making maintaining a fractious slave population increasingly problematic. The Star Wars Universe level of technology doesn’t appear to have any need at all for slavery.

          Not to spend too much time fanwanking this, but it seems to me you’re comparing two sorts of different locations, one that has slaves, and the other that has droids.

          In the orig-trig we literally do not visit any civilian location that is actually located in the Empire/Republic. We see Tatooine, which is part of the Hutt criminal empire, who cooperate with the Empire but aren’t part of it, and we see a lot of uninhabited planets that have rebel bases and Jedi masters on them. The closest we come to the actual ‘Civilian areas of the Empire’ is…Alderaan, which we don’t ever make it to for some reason I cannot recall. [Edit: Not sure if Cloud City is part of the Empire, but they have droids and not slaves, so my point stands.]

          In the prequels, we see those places again, where they still, or rather, ‘already’ have slaves, but we _also_ see plenty of inhabited parts of the Republic. Naboo and Coruscant, off the top of my head. Those places do not seem to have slaves, and also have an abundance of droids. (And also aren’t total crapholes.)

          But let’s go back to Tatooine for a second. On Tatooine, they apparently do not approve of droids in some manner. ‘We don’t serve their kind here’. is a weird line. What, were droids drinking too much and getting unruly?

          And it’s worth nothing that the droids were not bought at a market of any sort, but off a bunch of people obviously operating outside society. Are they _not selling_ droids in the local market? Droids maybe not be literally illegal (Whatever that means on a planet like Tatooine that doesn’t have a government besides a local crime boss.), but perhaps if you try selling them, your shop mysteriously burns to the ground?

          Are droids seen to be cutting into the slave trade in Huttlandia…and the population (Except for the slaves) is against this for some reason?

          In the new movies, of course, we are mostly back to the outskirts of society and uninhabited planets with hidden bases and Jedi Masters.

          Except the ‘rich planet’. That’s interesting, in that they seem to have slaves out of sight, and droids in sight. I also got the impression that the planet wasn’t part of any larger government. Sorta like Casablanca, or maybe Monaco, the Star War equivalent of a rich city-state.

          Oh, and to be thorough: In Rogue One, we do see a civilian part of the empire, Lah’mu, wherever Galen Erso’s farm is. At least, I think that’s part of the Empire? But we have no hint of the society that exists there…and he doesn’t seem to have any slaves or droids.

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  10. I loved the movie, and I thought it worked a lot better than Force Awakens.

    High points without spoilers:
    1) Did not have a planet-killing weapon in it. Woo.
    2) Much funnier than I was expecting. Literally the first scene is hilarious, a callback to Han’s ‘Boring conversation anyway’ scene in A New Hope, except way funnier.
    3) References were kept to a minimum. The only other ones I really caught were to blue milk, and the two suns in framed in the sky like that.
    4) Porgs not even slightly annoying. Neither was C-3PO. I like that Star Wars has apparently finally learned how comic relief works…you give them about fifteen seconds to be funny, and then you’re done for ten minutes. You don’t Jar-Jar them into the actual plot and put them in every scene.
    5) Red salt planet (I don’t remember the name.) was pretty cool looking.

    And, not a spoiler, but something only people who saw the movie will get: Everyone’s seen the joke of Luke getting handing his old lightsaber at the end of Force Awakens, looking at it, and saying ‘Did you bring the hand? There was supposed to be a hand with this.’.

    So, yeah. I really wish someone had made that joke aloud in the theater because…reasons. Just imagine it.

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  11. I will say I liked The Force Awakens better. Very possibly because I had a widely forgiving attitude going in. But now there are/were only two installments left in the core series, and I was looking for some pretty serious game-upping from VII. (Which perhaps reflects a bit on where I really stand on TFA’s overal quality. I nevertheless enjoyed TFA if only because it (necessarily?) had the quality I think I most cherish about the original trilogy – its sense of newness and possibility.) While the potential for a real step forward was established (especially in one major character-grouping), the follow-through unfortunately for me did not materialize.

    I will say that do not think it was a good idea to change directors between the first two installments of the final trilogy.

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  12. I liked it better than TFA. I’ve seen lot of people on FB hating on it, and they’re fans (from various x-wing miniatures group). I guess I can see why some uber fans may not have liked it, but it was fun and I agree with the poster above who said it has less wonky stuff than TFA. I’m also pretty sure I know Jaybird’s question.

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