The Death Of Star Wars: “Toxic” Fandom and Drama #StarWars #LucasFilm #Fans #TheMandalorian

As I’ve said before… if you thought TLJ was the worst Star Wars ever put out, watch this, learn why you’re wrong, then come back and let’s talk.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYBODY!!! LMAO!!!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

The Death Of Star Wars: “Toxic” Fandom and Drama #StarWars #LucasFilm #Fans #TheMandalorian

Full disclaimer, I do not believe that all Star Wars fans are toxic, not by half. So please actually read my article before you get all hot under the collar one way or another. If you disagree with me, let’s talk about it in the comments. 

Okay, I know I’m treading on rather sensitive grounds here, but this is something I really think I need to go over. As of late, there has been a lot of mudslinging back and forth between Entertainment News Media, Hollywood, and the fan base of Star Wars. Though admittedly my blog has a limited readership, I wanted to do my part to try to tackle each of these and create a point of order… or some semblance of sanity. 

First thing I want to tackle, is Star Wars dead? I’ve actually heard some people out there, including independent journalist Tim Pool say that Star Wars was dead the moment The Last Jedi hit the theater. A lot of people stated that the more they saw it, the worse it got… and honestly, that’s fair criticism. Upon seeing the backlash to it, I wrote a post defending the Last Jedi. I stand by what I said at that point, though even I have to admit that each time I watch it, it really does get worse and worse. Perhaps another bad sign that it wasn’t good was when I left the theater, my wife asked me if I liked it, my response was ‘I don’t know’. That has NEVER happened. I loved Episode 1 so much that I went and bought all the action figures when I left the theater… and they’re pretty much worthless now. I still defend the prequel trilogy because I don’t think it was as bad as everyone said and has a lot of good elements that adds to the Star Wars mythos.

For The Last Jedi, okay… I’ll come out and say it. It was bad.

HOWEVER, if you think The Last Jedi was the worst thing to ever happen to Star Wars, go watch The Holiday Special, Caravan of Courage, or the Battle for Endor, realize why you’re wrong, then come back and talk to me.

A close acquaintance of mine once said that once Disney purchased Star Wars, we’d all be begging for Lucas to come back within a few years. I’m honestly not sure that’s true. Let’s take a look at what Disney has put out individually…

The Force Awakens: AWESOME! Yes, somewhat of a retread of ANH, but there was enough new stuff to keep us interested and IT FELT LIKE STAR WARS!!!

Rogue One: A gritty look at the Rebellion’s behind the scenes activities. It was gutsy and had the best space battle since Endor. It was action packed, and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Rebels: I have to admit… I love this show. Like… I REALLY love this show. it had a few problems and… God help us, it brought continuity-killing time travel themes into Star Wars, but it handled them well (so far), brought back fan favorite Ahsoka Tano, introduced inquisitors, and brought Malachor from KOTOR 2 into the fold.

The Last Jedi: This… yeah, was a horrible HORRIBLE mess. However, one issue I take with the criticism was the concept of fuel… um… fuel has been around in the Star Wars universe for a while. In ANH we see them fueling the fighters, and in TPM, they literally say “There’s not enough fuel to reach Coruscant”! That’s the whole reaon they had to set down on Tatooine.

Solo: Had some problems and no one asked for it, and yes… I don’t like who they cast as Solo, but the movie itself was pretty good. It was a somewhat dark, but lighthearted heist movie. For what it was, it was pretty good.

The Mandalorian: SO FAR, it’s been awesome!

So, there you go. One truly bad movie. That’s it, that’s all we have to complain about here. The jury is still out on The Rise of Skywalker, and granted we’ve heard that there have been production trouble… but the movie isn’t even out yet. This movie could be a make or break for Star Wars as everything comes down to how it ends, but we still have to wait and see.

So let’s move onto the second topic, toxic fandom… Are Star Wars fans truly toxic as a whole? NO! Absolutely not! Star Wars fans are really the most loyal fanbase there is. These were the people who kept the hype going even during the dark ages of 1983-1991 when there was close to nothing coming out for the franchise and kids like me, who were born after the movies came out, had to rely on their older cousins and siblings to get their hands on the merch. It is a very diverse group of fans ranging all ages, cultures, ethnicity, and backgrounds.

I will admit that some fans consider Star Wars sacred and I can understand that. My intro to Star Wars comes before I was even born! My mother saw Return of the Jedi in theater while pregnant with me! Apparently I was very excited during the whole thing. So I can understand why Star Wars fans get so vocal about their disdain when something bad comes out.

Now, does that mean that some fans don’t take things too far or are not worthy of the label ‘toxic’? No…

The toxicity has been on full display with the treatment of people like Kelly Marie Tran and Jake Lloyd. It is sad commentary on what they’ve had to deal with. On top of that, we get people who are saying that the whole franchise is dead because of one movie, or are refusing to watch the good movies/shows because the franchise is dead, or just seem to be unable to please. This is part of the reason so many directors have refused to tackle Star Wars.

That being said, they are hardly the majority or even a vast percentage. These days, for some reason, Hollywood has gone head-first into the political realm… and not just politics, but deeply divisive, arguably radical one-sided politics. As a result, they seem to have become part of the twitteratti and entered into a bubble where everyone who doesn’t like the direction they go is… seemingly akin to Adolf Hitler himself. As such, when people criticize their movies, those people are labelled as haters and toxic. This is propaganda and nothing more. I think in many cases, this meme sums up the problem pretty well…

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So if you want to make the argument that Hollywood is complicit in creating this whole ‘toxic’ fanbase problem, I’m right there with you. This also lends credence to my argument that politics can ruin a story if that is the focus. Anyone who reads my posts knows that I try to keep things apolitical with the exception of two areas; children, because I love kids and have long advocated for their welfare… something that should be universal, and escapism, because I feel like it’s so important and politics has invaded almost every facet of our lives, making it near impossible to escape.

So in summation… Star Wars is not dead and Hollywood is as toxic as they claim the majority of the fan base is. People… it’s just a creative universe. I know we all love it, but it’s not worth getting this worked up over. If you loved the original movies and the clone wars series… they’re still there, you can go watch them and enjoy. The books from the original Expanded Universe are still being published, as are the comics! Star Wars is awesome, go enjoy the literal universe of material!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Book review: Drakin, the story of Raiya

Awesome review by a wonderful reader! Thank you!

Tomas, the wandering dreamer

After two Sci-Fi books (Jurrasic Park and Resist), I got to read a book that is some kind of a mix of Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Another step into the unknown for me – and one that worked for me.

View original post 368 more words

Unpopular Opinion: Incredibles 2 wasn’t worth the wait. (Spoiler Free)

Yeah… this was a major let down.

torch-and-pitchfork.jpg

Oh, bring it on!

I went to see it with my family the other night at a drive-in. My kids loved the original and watch it ad nauseam.  I admit it’s a fun movie and definitely an entertaining take on Superheroes.

I actually got a laugh out of Samuel L. Jackson’s character when he’s arguing with his wife…

“It’s for the greater good!”
“I am your wife, I’m the greatest GOOD you’ll ever get!”

(No matter how many times I hear that, it still gets a laugh.)

So the movie takes place seemingly immediately after the first movie… despite 14 years passing. When the screen lit up and the cast appears on the screen to pathetically apologize for taking so long to make a sequel, I admit that was funny. It set the stage for what should have been a good movie.

What came after was… underwhelming. The story was a fairly run-of-the-mill paint by numbers superhero story. The “Surprise” bad guy that Disney seems to try to unleash on their audience lately has become so predictable… I had to resist the urge to point at the screen and be like, (okay, okay, ONE small spoiler! Skip to the next paragraph.) “Yeah, she’s the bad guy.”

It’s not that it was a bad movie, it just didn’t bring anything new to the table. Not helping matters though, was the voice acting…

Some of it was fine, as usual, Samuel L Jackson was his normal self and did a good job, but the rest of the cast sounded tired and out of it… except for one character, who arguably was even worse than that…

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This character is being portrayed by a 49-year-old woman… and it really shows. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against older actors playing younger roles… as long as they can pull it off. At no point did I believe that was the voice of a teenager. She actually sounded older than Elastagirl, which was kind of cringy, to say the least.

All in all, I didn’t enjoy this movie at all. It’s fun for little kids, I suppose, but it really doesn’t bring anything new or exciting to the table. Save your money and rent it when it comes out.

Readers, what did you think? Was Incredibles 2 good? Do you want to see it? What did you like about it if so? Let me know down in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Rose Tico: A Strong Female Protagonist?

This is something I’ve gone back and forth about publishing for a while… given everything that’s been going on between the creators of the new Star Wars series and the fandom.

This is a fight no one wins, so I don’t get involved.

That being said, there is a lot of buzz around Kelly Marie Tran and her character, Rose Tico.

First of all, I want to address what’s been going on recently. What’s been happening to Tran is, IMHO no different than what happened to Jake Llyod. It is not right, and it is not cool. No one should have to suffer that kind of negative blowback from a character they played.

Keep in mind, these actors do what they can with the roles their given. How they act and the lines they deliver are rarely of their own choosing. Harassing them is absolutely unacceptable and doesn’t do anything for the cause if such a thing exists.

All right, on topic. Anyone who’s read my review of The Last Jedi or Rogue One knows that I love the franchise and I’ve been… extremely charitable in my judging of these movies and have even gone so far as to defend many of the points of contention that fans have. I have not seen Solo yet, but I likely will be this weekend.

So… I welcome everyone’s input on this one… but I would like some feedback especially from my female followers/fans.

Since TLJ came out… the media has been singing praises for Rose Tico…

“in The Last Jedi, Rose Tico takes none of your fake sh*t.”
“It’s fun to see women on the big screen who continue to step up over and over again, proving just how strong they are.”
-SyFyWire

“Tran is also aware of the pressure of playing a strong Asian female role-model.”
-Huffington Post

“Her self-belief is as strong as her moral code of conduct.”
-Washington Post

“From the moment we were introduced to the character of Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we knew we had met a strong woman we could root for.”
-Ohmy.Disney.com

Reading these reviews of Tico… I can’t help but feel like I was watching a different movie from the ones these editorialists watched.

When I saw Tico, she struck me as a bit of a ditsy, obsessive, fangirl. She makes assumptions and acts without thinking, or in Fin’s case, without even considering that he may have a reason for his action. She seemed to have a bit of an inferiority complex when it came to her sister’s heroic sacrifice… Her motivations are horribly muddled, and her actions, at least in my opinion, do not fall into the description of ‘strong’.

I often find her being complimented for saving Fin’s life from… what they often describe as a pointless martyr complex at the end of the movie, but her actions come insanely close to sealing the fate of the remainder of the Resistance. She sacrificed everyone else to save the guy she loved… how is that strong and not even considered a bit selfish?

So… this is where I need the feedback. I write a lot of female characters. The fan favorites seem to be Raiya and Mary Jane, though General Xaphan has also gotten a few compliments.

When I write a character, be it male or female, and I want to make them strong, what I look for is a character that fits at least MOST of these attributes;

Independent, yet not averse to the idea of relying on another person if the need arises.

Prideful and confident: You pretty much need at least one of these to be strong.

Driven and determined: They have their goals and their own agendas that may or may not be in line with the overall narrative.

Opinionated. They have their own vices, but aren’t afraid to face them.

Can function as a leader, but is also willing to listen to others when needed.

Can show emotion such as fragility or even just a soft side, even if resistant at first.

Is strong both emotionally and physically to some extent.

Has a reasoning for their situation and their worldview, even if it doesn’t make much sense to others.

Their existence is not predicated on the existence of another character.

I saw very little of any of this from Rose Tico’s character at all. If anything, she was the antithesis to many of these. Like I said, she seemed like an obsessive fangirl half the time, clingy, emotional, and selfish the rest of it. Her motivations were a bit skewed, especially when it came to saving Fin, and her entire backstory served no purpose other than ramming blatant social commentary down the audience’s throat. Ask yourself… would anything have been lost had Tico and the entire Canto Bight sidequest been cut in favor of watching Rey train with Luke and Fin and Poe fighting the Empire in space?

So I am genuinely curious… is Rose Tico an example of a strong female lead? Is she someone we want our girls to look up to? Am I way off on my assessment of what makes a strong character? Is Rose Tico the way you want strong women portrayed?

Let me know in the comments. I’m genuinely curious here.

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

My Initial Thoughts on Detroit Become Human

Anyone who’s followed me for the last few months knows that I was anxiously awaiting this game. My wife and I demoed it at PAX East, and we were excited to finally get our hands on a copy.

So where did this all start for me? Well… actually when I was following what was going on with hilariously comical #FreedomForTay movement, someone posted this video and likened it to what was happening to Microsoft’s Tay AI. (Read more here.)

 

This trailer was incredibly well done, despite only being PS3 level graphics. You legitimately felt for Kara here to the point of almost having tears in your eyes. I was immediately hooked and started looking more into what this was about. I found out that it was a very early trailer for Detroit Become Human and I wanted to know more.

Well… the more I found out, the more interested I became and I really started getting into it when this extremely controversial trailer came out:

You really got to hand it to the PR people on this one. They really know how to get you hooked.

So for months and months I waited. Until finally last week… that glorious day happened! Detroit Become Human came out and my reserved copy was ready to be picked up!

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I immediately ran out and grabbed my copy. I popped it into our PS4 and my wife and I began the game.

The opening scene deals with Connor, a special ‘prototype’ android that has been issued to the police department. His job is to talk down another android that has apparently gone insane, killed its master, and taken the daughter hostage. This was the demo we played at PAX. Well… we knew how our decisions went last time (not so well) and we wanted to try for a better outcome, so we made a few different decisions, sure enough… something totally different happened.

That’s how this whole game works. Detroit Become Human is more of an interactive movie than an actual game… and when I say interactive… I mean you really can’t be much more immersive than the game is. Even the title screen interacts with you by giving you your own virtual android to assist you with getting started… for a while anyway.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself…

The game takes place in Detroit (obviously) of the Future, 2038 to be exact. There, people are out of work, neighborhoods are crumbling, drugs are rampant, and automation is replacing skilled and unskilled labor.

… in other words, Detroit hasn’t really changed at all in twenty years.

 

Sorry… back on topic. The story revolves around three androids:

Markus: A caretaker for artist facing the end of his days.

Kara: Another caretaker, this time for a child, Alice, and her drug addict, out of work, father.

Connor: A by-the-book police android who’s thrown in with a broken down cop who’s more often found at the bottom of a bottle of booze than actually in his office.

The story revolves around the evolution of the three characters and the choices they make. What happens to each character lands solely in your lap. If one or more character dies, the game does not end. The story simply continues without that character.

I really don’t want to give too much away, but I really preferred Kara’s story above all the others. Her struggle with keeping young Alice alive and happy while coming to terms with her own identity and finding her place was profound.

Markus’ story I found somewhat predictable. He’s an android who worked for an ‘enlightened’ artist who encouraged the android to cut his own path. Markus then, through a series of events that are not of his own making, becomes the leader of a revolution. After a few bad decisions, I didn’t like where this character was going and sought to kill him off… that might have been a mistake… It turns out, he’s a fairly integral part of the struggle for civil rights and losing him… has repercussions that are felt pretty strongly by the end of the game.

Connor… I’m not going to lie, I do love this one. If you like Lethal Weapon, his interactions with the other cop are pretty enjoyable. It’s a pretty standard buddy cop story, but it’s fun in its own way.

As I said, the story revolves around these three characters and the decisions you make will affect the lives of everyone around. One thing I will say about this game is that it get’s unexpectedly dark… I mean really dark. Murder, sexual assault, drug use, child abuse, domestic violence, and even genocide, are all potential themes in your story. Not all of them are avoidable. That is not a criticism, by the way, if you’re going to go dark, you should go all the way and this game very vividly shows the ramification of such themes.

So is this game everything I was hoping it would be?

Yes. The replay value is through the roof, it’s not an action game where you go around shooting and killing people. You’re essentially watching a movie when options come up on the screen, and allow you to choose what decision a character makes.

Negatives…

Well… when I say the game is immersive, I MEAN IT’S IMMERSIVE! You’re going to spend early parts of the game cleaning house, making dinner, doing laundry, and pushing an old man’s wheelchair. It’s definitely slow-moving at first and will lose some audience members with a shorter attention span.

Other than that, I was a little disappointed in how little the stories appear to interact… at least on my first playthrough. The most interaction I saw between Connor and Kara was when Connor looked oddly at Alice from across a room and when he Connor chased them across a street.

I expected their stories to be a little more intertwined, and maybe they are, but my first story was a fairly dark one that ended with android genocide and only Kara getting away unscathed.

So what’s my final judgment?

Detroit Become Human is awesome. The graphics are great, it’s got a great cast! The music is wonderful, the character development is excellent, and though initially slow-moving, the game’s storyline sucks you in and really makes you want to see what comes next.

So my overall score is going to be a 8.5 out of 10. Buy this game and try it out if you love a good story! You’ll love it!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Heads Up, New J.R.R. TOLKIEN NOVEL!

 

I am super excited about this one. Being a huge fan of Tolkien, owner of two first edition novels of his, and avid fan of the movies… this is huge for me!

The new novel is titled The Fall of Gondolin. It looks like Tolkien’s son Christopher Tolkien is trying to get everything out as fast as he can… given that he’s getting up there, I can understand that. The book will be illustrated by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings artist Alan Lee. I am familiar with, and love his work.

From what research there is available on this book, per  the author of Tolkien and the Great War, John Garth, Tolkien initially wrote The Fall of Gondolin while attempting to recover after the Battle of the Somme during the First World War. It is, however, not going to necessarily be recognizable to fans of the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings. According to an article in the Guardian, this story is set roughly six thousand years prior to the events of those two novels.

So to my fellow Tolkien followers, get ready!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim