Thoughts on Media I’ve Consumed Recently and Not So Recently

I’ve been meaning to update the “blog” for a while now. I’ve been focused on my non-writing career (that is, my career doing social distribution strategy for NowThis) and enjoying it/having a lot of (time consuming) success.

In the time since the last post, I’ve finished the 6th draft of a manuscript and began the process of querying agents. Since then, I’ve also consumed books/movies/TV shows. I’ve wanted to review them all in detail but paragraph-long reviews will have to suffice. I wish I could remember more books I’ve read because it’s been quite a few since October. Alas, I can barely remember any.

My thoughts on Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death: Amazing. Gripping. Deep. Moving. All urban fantasy fans should check this one out.

My thoughts on Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The characters, story, and setting in this book were mostly forgettable. However, what’ll stay with me forever is the extremely well-thought-out magic system. Giving a magic system hard rules to govern its use is an incredible tool to guarantee tighter story telling. When I watch various Star Wars media with Jedi involved I’ll ask “Why don’t they just [insert action the Force could totally pull off in that situation]?” Of course, the answer is because it would be dramatically inconvenient to do so. When a magic system has clear rules, you get less of these immersion-shattering moments.

My thoughts on Solo: In some ways, Solo was the cinematic equivalent of a saltine cracker — bland but inoffensive. The movie had a bit too much fan service and Han Solo was written to be too nice of a character. Furthermore, I have no idea why the film needed to be so dark visually. Half the time I had no idea who was talking because the darkness obscured their faces. I’m not sure if one or even two horrible movies are enough to “kill” Star Wars. Thus, the “death” of Star Wars will last decades because of movies like Solo. They’ll just dilute Star Wars until it ultimately means nothing anymore.

My thoughts on Star Wars: The Clone Wars: This TV series meant for children has infinitely more nuance and emotional depth than any Star Wars product with George Lucas’ name since The Empire Strikes Back. The first season or two is very much a kids show but eventually it picks up and becomes quite gripping. You get to see all the things you wished the prequels contained but didn’t. There’s also some great new characters and world-building. It’s upsetting the show got canceled before it could be finished because the writers had some great stuff planned. My biggest issues with the show are mostly issues with the lore George Lucas created (the believability of the story suffers from Palpatine controlling both factions, there are simply too many Jedi, etc). But the writers did a great job of working with the suboptimal materials Lucas gave them.