I heard great things about The Mandalorian when it premiered a couple years ago and had been wanting to see it, but I did not have Disney+ (until this past year). So I finally got around to watching the first two seasons of the show and really enjoyed it. I normally prefer movies over TV series, but The Mandalorian was better than the recent Star Wars film trilogy. That’s probably because the showrunner (John Favreau) had more creative freedom since he wasn’t working with the core franchise characters. There were likely too many cooks in the kitchen for the movies, with producers, studio execs, marketing experts, toy manufacturers, and Disney brand advisors all having a say in the plot and characters. Plus there were different writers and directors for the three movies and they apparently didn’t plan together. Beyond that, so much was on the line for the Disney mega-corporation with those movies because of the production and marketing budgets. The Mandalorian had a relatively high budget (~$120 million per season), but the budgets of each Star Wars movie were 2-3x that. They surely saved a lot on marketing by just dropping the show on Disney+ (while people were stuck at home during a pandemic with nothing else to do but watch TV).
Mystery is the key to every successful story. Even if a story is not explicitly a mystery, it needs to have some element of mystery within it. If there’s no mystery, wherein the reader is wondering what will happen next, they have little reason to continue reading the story.
With the conclusion of the latest Star Wars trilogy, and supposedly the end of the Skywalker saga, I’ve been thinking about the series as a whole and its legacy. I liked each movie in the new trilogy upon first watching them. They were all enjoyable and exciting in-theater experiences with seemingly had everything you’d want in a Star Wars story: the Force, the Dark Side, lightsabers, space battles, aliens, planets, robots, Jedi, Sith, old masters, young apprentices, new characters, old characters, science fiction concepts, and more. I truly had a great time watching each movie the first time around, but it was only upon later reflection that I realized the parts didn’t quite add up to the whole. The acting, writing, and direction were all top-notch, especially compared to episodes 1-3, but the problem with this new trilogy, and the one area where the prequels were superior, is perhaps the most important part of all: story. Continue reading →
Whenever I re-read something I wrote, I always find things to edit and change, whether it’s actual mistakes or just rewording sentences to make them more clear and readable. Yet when I last left the work, I thought it was perfect—not actually perfect, as there’s no such thing as “perfect” in art, but as close to perfect as I could make it. However, every time I re-read anything I previously thought was perfect, I always find things to change. Why is that? Did I miss those things before? Or Is my idea of perfection changing? Continue reading →
In honor of Star Wars Day 2017, let’s continue the saga of the Force versus the Dark Side. We found a new hope in Episode IV, the Empire struck back in Episode V, the Jedi returned in Episode VI, and a Phantom Menace rose in Episode I. Now we visit episode two of the prequel trilogy, Attack of the Clones. It is admittedly not a great film, although it does contain one of my favorite action scenes in the entire Star Wars series: the flying car chase through the Coruscant cityscape at night. It also contains some wise insights into the Force (mindfulness) and the Dark Side (social anxiety).
We’ve completed the original trilogy of social anxiety in Star Wars, but now it’s time to start from the beginning. A time when the Jedi ruled the galaxy… Until there was a disturbance in the Force, and the Dark Side began to rise. Continue reading →
In part one of “Social Anxiety in Star Wars” I looked at Episode IV: A New Hope, and how using the Force (mindfulness and meditation) can help us overcome the Dark Side (social anxiety). Luke Skywalker was only briefly introduced to the powers of the Force in Episode IV. It wasn’t until Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back that Luke met the Jedi master Yoda, who taught him the full powers of the Force. So what can Yoda teach us about social anxiety? Find out we will. Continue reading →
Star Wars isn’t the first movie you think of for social anxiety. No character in the series actually suffers from shyness or has difficulty speaking—unless you count R2D2 and Chewbacca. However, Star Wars does have a message we can use, considering the Force (mindfulness) and the Dark Side (social anxiety).Continue reading →