So, you guys check out that wonderful article in Vanity Fair about the making of The Last–
*looks out window*
I am going to try to be level-headed about this, because the fandom is reaching garbage-fire Harry Potter levels, and it needs to be stopped. So if we can all stop hurling insults at each other for a moment, take a breath, and assess the situation.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN
It mean just as Johnson means: there is no center piece romance in this film like there was for Han and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back. Romance could happen in the next film, or maybe there is flirting but it’s small and not one of the big things for this movie. Hold out hope for the next movie for your ship to become canon if it really matters to you that much.
Speaking of which…
2. HAS CANON EVER STOPPED YOU FROM SHIPPING
I enjoy shipping. I enjoy discussing my ships with other people, and reading about their ships. I enjoy writing about my ships as well. Canon is the springboard for shipping, not the terminal port. Part of the fun of shipping is putting two people together you’d never think would be together, and see how that would pan out. I mean, how boring would it be if we only shipped what was canon?
Rian Johnson could have said that Reylo and Finnpoe would never in a million years happen in the official Star Wars canon, and we’d still ship it anyway because we can and it’s fun. I honestly don’t understand the anti – [insert ship here] mindset of shitting on other people’s fun. But I suppose that’s the nature of fandom, and there’s always a few toxic apples that try to spoil the barrel.
So who are your favorite Star Wars ships? Did you read the Vanity Fair article with all the great Carrie Fisher quotes? Also who else excited for Rose and Finn casino/James Bond adventures?
Now that I’m in the interim between graduating and starting my MFA, I decided to catch up on books, T.V. shows, and movies that I missed while wrestling with my thesis. I decided to do something quite unusual for me, and that’s follow an actor’s movies. I generally don’t see a movie just for the actor because often times I start to see more of the actor and less of the character. There are, however, a couple of exceptions.
Adam Driver is one of those exceptions.
I, like many others, was first introduced to Adam Driver as my new favorite angry creepy pathetic space prince Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He just has this intense screen presence that I could not get enough of, so I decided to check out what other stuff he made. So here’s a list of what I watched in the last two weeks (in the order that I watched them) and my general feelings about them.
I know, I know. So much virtual ink has already been shed on this topic that is a source of woe and misery for many such as myself, but it is a topic that never really goes away.
I always thought of you as a sister.
I like you, but as a friend.
Oh no, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to lead you on.
Yes, yes. I’ve heard all of the apologies, felt the sting that comes from misreading another person’s signals, nursed my hurt with dark beer and ice cream. And, in truth, I’ve said similar things myself.
I’m sorry, but I only want to be friends.
You always seemed like a brother to me.
Maybe we can stay as friends?
I’ve seen the hurt in their faces, but this pain is small potatoes compared to the real hurt of leading someone on because you feel sorry for them or that you owe them something. That, to me, is cruel. That is not the kind of person I want to be, much less date. I don’t quite understand the mind frame of men who like to suckle on articles confirming their entitlement to women’s bodies and…ah.
If you’re the kind of guy that does cling to articles decrying that men and women can’t be friends because “sex gets in the way,” then enjoy living your self-fulfilled prophecy, bro.
Men and women can have friendships that are beneficial to both parties as long as they, you know, treat each other like complex human beings instead of dating Sims with limited romance options. Word on the street is that friendship can actually be quite magical. Trust me, my stay at the friend zone has been quite pleasant, with plenty of engaging conversation and delicious food. Good friendships require work and effort on both parties, and can be quite rewarding as a result.
But maybe this is because I view my friends as autonomous people with wants and needs of their own, and not automatons created for the sole purpose of my pleasure. They don’t owe me shit, and no one owes you shit either. Over the years I’ve kept good friends after awkward romantic attempts, and either lost friends or cut out bad people after romantic attempts. I’ve done what I’ve could to minimize the hurt on my side and for the other person, I’ve made mistakes I’ve regretted, but I’ve also made right choices.
It’s sad how these “men can’t be friends with women” guys don’t see having good, healthy friendships with women as a positive thing to have, and would rather lock themselves in their own pity party prisons and blame women for not giving them the sex they felt entitled to get, for not making relationships flawless when by nature they are messy, and for not wanting to get dragged into playing out personal fantasies.
You’re the kind of guy who wants to escape the friend zone? Dig the key out of your ass, unlock your prison, take a step outside, and accept the fact that women don’t exist for your needs.
But in the time I’ve spent not being here, here’s what happened:
I got my MA in English w/Creative Writing Fiction!
I was accepted for the MFA in Fiction!
I wrote a book! (Editing)
I’m writing another book! (That I will probably publish first)
I’ve been writing more World of Warcraft and now Star Wars fanfic!
I went to therapy and don’t feel like shit on a log!
So, things have so far been on the up and up for the most part and I’m slowly but surely getting better at time management. So I have a bit of stuff I’m planning on publishing in the months to come before school starts up again:
Beauty and the Beast review (because hoooooo-wee does that look like a nuclear dumpster fire)
A craft post on making fabric gift boxes
Video on how to write fan fiction (summer)
Also, to keep me in the habit of writing on the blog, I’ll be reviewing each new episode of MLP:FiM season 7. They won’t be super in-depth reviews, but more or less me oohing or booing. Speaking of, DID YOU GUYS SEE THE NEW CLIP?
Hear that? That is the sound of my inner-ten year old screaming because OMG MAGIC CIRCLES SHIPPING PORTAL OMG OMG OMG MAGIC MAGIC STARBURST
Anyway, see you soon! When I come up with a better end tag, I’ll let you know.
Slapdash review: This is a good summer popcorn film, lots of laughs, characters I love being around, and a pretty fun ride. This film personally resonated with me enough for me to see it twice, but YMMV on enjoyment. The cameos are interesting, the film encourages you to watch through the credits. Go see it at least once, and stay for the end credits!
And now for my more lengthier thoughts about the film. BEWARE!MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! SPOILERS ABOUT THE ENTIRE MOVIE, ALL THE WAY TO THE END!
Currently I’m going to SFSU for my MA in English w/creative writing, with the intention of not only becoming a better writer, but to become a great teacher! One class that I’m taking to is Teaching Creative Writing, which is probably one of the bet classes I’ve taken. Essentially you’re creating a syllabus for a creative writing class or workshop, and my teacher has been extremely flexible with what kind of class we created. Naturally, I created a class that is basically an Introduction to Fantasy Writing class.
In Teaching Creative Writing, we have a 5, 10, 15, and a 20 minute presentation on the different elements or processes of craft we want to teach. Yesterday was my 20 minute presentation in which I attempted to define fantasy fiction.
Luckily most of my classmates don’t know a lot about fantasy (making them perfect guinea pigs for this presentation) but had some experience with speculative fiction, and one classmate is as knee-deep in fantasy fiction as I am. Before I handed out my handouts, I had asked my classmates to think of an adjective to describe fantasy. After I wrote down “the fantastic,” “portal fantasy,” “immersive fantasy,” “intrusive fantasy,” and “estranged fantasy,” I went down my list of classmates and received a wide variety of adjectives describing fantasy (from “Justin Trudeau” to “silly”). This was a perfect segue to hand out my handouts:
I talked about the aspect of the fantastic and how Farah Mendlesohn’s essay attempted a taxonomy of fantasy by creating four categories of how the fantastic is incorporated within the story. My main goal was to show why the fantastic element is important in fantasy stories, and that if that fantastic is taken away, the story can either change dramatically or just completely fall apart. This is where William Joyce’s Jack Frost came in handy.
Spoilers for Jack Frost, btw.
For those who haven’t read the story, Nightlight is a “creature of light” who is sworn to protect the Man in the Moon (MiM). He saves MiM from Pitch, but falls to Earth and is frozen in a comatose state long enough for him to forget his previous life. When he awakes, he’s now changed into Jack Frost, but is lonely and purposeless. MiM helps Jack by helping him remember who he use to be. Jack remembers his oath to protect MiM, but now amends it to protect the children of Earth, and is much happier with renewed purpose.
First, I related his story to the four categories. Jack Frost could be interpreted as a portal fantasy because our protagonist Nightlight falls from the world of the fantastic and into our reality, but it could also be interpreted as an intrusive fantasy because his magic, the magic of the Man in the Moon, and Pitch have also intruded on our reality.
Second, I made sure to point out how the texts guides the story while the art takes Jack’s internal feelings and makes them external. For example, let’s take a look at one of my favorite and most heartbreaking pages in the book:
Jack is tiny and sitting next to a dead tree, staring out into the nothing of snow blindness. The story guides us by telling us that Jack’s name is now Jack, but the pictures really emphasis Jack’s loneliness and possibly depression (or I could be projecting since this story feels like a fantastical version my life in the past five years):
Thirdly, I explained how the fantastic is necessary for this story about losing one’s purpose, wandering, and regaining that purpose. I feel I didn’t explain myself as clearly as I could have, but I do recall saying that what fantasy does is separate the reader from the problem, and because of that the reader is able to look at the problem differently than they may have done if the story was told straight naturalistically. Here we can see our protagonist physically change from his old life Nighlight to his new life Jack Frost, see his emotions being illustrated by how snowy everything, and most importantly, see how he keeps his purpose once he remembers it, but he changes it to fit his new life.
Anyway, once I finished my presentation, I received feedback and answered questions with my classmates that I’m just going to summarize here. Here’s the crux of the matter with defining fantasy: it’s essentially undefinable and can be applicable to just about anything and everything. In a classroom setting I can apply rules and categories to give students structure and focus to create effective and engaging fantasy. However, attempting to define or even categorize the fantasy genre can lead to generalizations like all magical realism stories would fall under estranged fantasy or portal fantasies are quest stories. Another issue with defining fantasy is that ultimately, the author decides how they want their story to be identified. With my experience in academia, there is still a lot of negative stigma against the term “fantasy” (which I have personally experienced) but not so much with “magical realism” (and that…that is a whole ‘nother rant).
All around though, my classmates and teacher really enjoyed the lesson. My teacher suggested that the four categories would be really great for writing exercises, and I completely agree! I was also told that even though the categories ran the risk of generalizing, they really are a great way to think about how fantasy works and why it is the way it is. So over all a great success, and now I’ve got a syllabus to work on!
Special thanks to William Joyce. Your books make for great presentations!