First things first: I really enjoyed the recent Ghostbusters reboot, am disappointed that so many people attacked it and its stars so viciously, and am disappointed that rather than continuing that story, it’s apparently being ignored in favor of continuing the original story. Even some of the statements from the upcoming film’s creators were quite questionable, even if they were quickly walked back afterwards. So when the first trailer dropped today, I went into it with a pretty healthy dose of skepticism.
That said — it’s a good trailer, and while all of the above comments absolutely still apply, I’m now a lot less skeptical than I have been. While I’d still love to see a continuation of the reboot continuity, this new film picking up the original continuity does look promising.
Plus, it was fun watching this for the first time with Prairie, because I didn’t clue her in to what we were watching, and she didn’t realize what it was for until the reveal about halfway through (right at the “Whoa…killer replica!” line). Her final reaction was much the same as mine — still bummed that the reboot is being ignored, but also looking forward to the new film.
Sad news — D.C. Fontana, one of the pillars of Star Trek, has died.
As a writer, Fontana is credited with many episodes focusing on Vulcan culture and helped blaze a trail for female writers in sci-fi television. She is the mind behind The Original Series and The Animated Series episodes like “Yesteryear” and “Journey to Babel,” which introduced Spock’s father Sarek and mother Amanda. She co-wrote the Hugo Award nominated The Next Generation episode “Encounter at Farpoint” with Gene Rodenberry, and she continued to write for TNG and Deep Space Nine. Her last produced credit was an episode of webseries Star Trek: New Voyages, starring Walter Koenig.
This should be obvious from the title card. We’re a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Human beings evolved on this planet, Sol 3, over the last sixty million years or so depending on how you count. If we don’t want to go all “Chariots of the Gods?” we have to throw out the notion that the people represented by human actors in Star Wars movies are in fact human. They’re something else.
Why represent them as human? Let’s assume that the Star Wars movies are dramatizations of real history: that Luke, Leia, Han et. al. actually existed in a galaxy long, long ago (etc.), and that George Lucas accessed this history via the Force and wanted to represent it on film. Star Wars tells the story of a dominant-species empire arising from a pluralistic society, then being overthrown by courageous rebels and warrior monks. Lucas had to cast this drama with human actors, and the obvious choice was to use unmodified humans to represent the most common species.
While convenient, this approach does present one problem: watching the Original Trilogy, we assume that the ‘humans’ of the GFFA (Galaxy Far Far Away) are biologically and sociologically identical to Sol 3 humans. When obviously they’re not! In fact, I think a few important context clues present a very different picture of the dominant race of the Original Trilogy.
Read the rest of Max Gladstone’s theory for what he thinks is the most likely answer. From 2013, but I just came across this link today.
There are the Monty Python skits everyone knows and remembers fondly. Then…there are the others.
One of the interesting things about going through all four seasons of Monty Python (not watching, but stepping and skimming through as I add chapter markers for the skits to my rips of the just-released restored box set) is realizing just how frequently blackface (and full-body makeup) appears. It’s not every skit or even every episode, but it’s not just a one-off occurrence, either.
I’m sure this isn’t exactly breaking news, nor particularly surprising to those who have a more in-depth familiarity with Monty Python over the years than I have. I watched it in my youth, I know the most popular sketches, have watched and own many of the movies, and so on, but haven’t just sat and watched the shows themselves in ages (and I have to wonder how much the shows I saw were edited for US/PBS broadcast when I was first seeing them). And while the full rewatch will happen a bit later, after I’m done getting the rips chapterized, converted to .mp4, and added to my Plex server, even this quick skim through has been a somewhat eye-opening experience.
This doesn’t mean I’m no longer a fan of Monty Python. But it’s another reminder that it’s okay to be a fan of problematic media, but you should be able and willing to recognize and think critically about those parts that are problematic, rather than just glossing over them or shrugging them off.
Short Treks E07: “Ask Not”: A bit predictable — I figured out what was going on long before the reveal — but still enjoyable, and better than the last two. About those views of Engineering, though…how is there room for all that with all the empty space around the turbolifts? 🖖
Good news: My Norwegian Blu-ray Edition Monty Python box set from Network arrived!
Bad news: As gorgeous as the box is, the internal structure didn’t hold up through international shipping.
Still, it’s the content that counts, and I’m looking forward to watching these!