Solo Farce Will Be With You Always oh god i actually said that send help

What, exactly, were we expecting?

 

 

Han Solo shrugging.
“Sorry about the mess.”

 

Such a question defines not how we see new Star Wars films, but how we see any film. Pazaak cards on the table: I did not enter this movie in good faith. Solo: A Star Wars Story originally had Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) as directors. You’ll notice they’re famous for comedies. You’d guess that their version of Solo would be an improv-heavy satire that mocked its own premise. Disney did not foresee this. Lucasfilm fired both directors during production, hired Ron Howard as a replacement, and reshot 70% of the movie into something less… ok, I’ll stop the preamble. Howard reshot the Solo farce into something less good. A lot less good. I may seem close-minded here, but the movie didn’t even open a window for me.

 

 

That half-remembered backstory informed my viewing of Solo. Turns out, upon further research, Miller and Lord did respect the project in their own strange way. The movie never would have been an intentional send-up. But did it become unintentional satire? I walked into the theater expecting at least so-bad-it’s-funny from Solo. I barely even got that. 15% of the movie consists of dumb, but successful jokes noting how shallow the Star Wars mythology can be. 15% of the movie is regular dumb. The worst part is that, for the remaining 70%, I can’t tell which is which.

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“Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” Analysis and Review

Much like Luke Skywalker himself, I’m called back to my old quests. I spent the past few months, away from my wheelhouse, writing articles for The Borgen Project. This path opened a lot of doors for me, and opened my heart in surprising ways. My research on poverty found complexities in the simple, and discovered both good, and evil, in unexpected places. Yet my heart will always belong to Star Wars.

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It is I, C-3PO. You probably don’t recognize me because I replaced my red arm, for some reason.

I started out dismissive towards Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Yet it only took me a few re-watches until I loved and adored the movie. I still have mixed feelings on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. But I found a lot to like when I saw it a week ago. So why try to fight it? My Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Review and Analysis is that it’s FUCKING AMAZING.

This analysis excludes the first act of the movie, which is shaky and slapsticky and plodding and almost embarrassing. The Last Jedi is not perfect. I, stubborn and slightly illogical, still think Return of the Jedi is a better movie. Nothing will surpass Episode VI for me until a new Star Wars episode makes me cry. But yes, the last 2/3rds of Episode VIII: The Last Jedi are such an engrossing, madcap adventure, equal parts hopeful and cynical, that no weak start can keep it from being great. You may think you’ve got Star Wars mapped out at this point. This film will reignite excitement over the incoming flood of Star Wars films from an ever-expanding empire. If you hated how much the previous two movies borrowed from the original trilogy… well, Disney’s at least smarter about ripping off George Lucas here.

In a weird way, Episode VIII’s triumphs not only undermine Episode VII and Rogue One, but the entire franchise in general. Rampant, massive spoilers abound after the porg.

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Glimmer Train Spring 2015, Part 3: PRECARIOUS

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The middle section of stories in the Glimmer Train Spring/Summer 2015 issue all deal with an unstable situation. Topics include the frailty of human mortality, the risks of a hostile environment, and the hormones of a teenage girl. Ok, that last comment was unfair. In that story’s case, it’s the plot that drove a boat into a whirlpool and took its main character with it. As opposed to the other way around.

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Now that I’ve hinted at the third story’s insanity, it’ll be hard to interest you in the other, basically functional pieces of fiction that come before it. Well, as I said in my last Glimmer Train roundup, we can learn from any critical and emotional response a story elicits. And the soberness of “Caretaking” and “Civil Affairs” will reveal, in comparison, how exactly “Museum of Me” snorted Cocoa Puff powder stolen from a hack screenwriter. Let’s begin!

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Glimmer Train Spring 2015, Part 2: DENSITY

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During the last writing workshop I took, almost all the writers had an obsession with smooth reading. If you submitted a story, you were guaranteed a few comments about “I really had to slow down during this section,” or “I read too fast and got confused about X.” I tried to temper that type of criticism in my own feedback… mostly out of self-interest. If I get harsh in the below critiques (and I will), know that I have committed graver writing sins for far less interesting stories.

The readers in that workshop wanted fast-paced, uncomplicated prose. I like uncomplicated prose. I also like, on occasion, to take my time with a story, study the language, let my brain work a little against the hypnotism of literature instead of always submitting to it. And I got that sensation with “A Dispatch from Mt. Moriah,” “Norwegian for Troll,” and “Tunnels.”

This second cluster of stories in the Glimmer Train Spring/Summer 2015 issue require examination, patience, and more than a few trips to the dictionary. At least, for me they did. Bare in mind that complex doesn’t always mean smart… and the shorten form of “density” is “dense,” dense like that high school freshman who claimed to understand Nietzsche. Let me show you what I mean with our first story…

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Glimmer Train Spring 2015, Part 1: FOREBODING

The time has come to keep my promise.

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The first three stories in the Glimmer Train Spring/Summer 2015 issue hang on the theme of ominous portending. Each tale; “Window,” “The Bears,” and “Slaughter”; explores a different looming disaster. It may be the abandoning of family, the transformation into maturity, or just the approach of an unjust war.

If you’re going to write your own story about looming tragedy, you’ll need clarity of action and motivation. These three Glimmer Train features will show, through both good and bad examples, what I mean.

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How to Get Accepted By Glimmer Train (as of Winter 2015)

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I enjoy reading issues of Glimmer Train, and this one in particular had some great offerings. Even the stories I disliked the most had something worthwhile to provide. I can find short stories in many places, but the ones in Glimmer Train reveal the best path to a first ever publishing. Here are my previous reviews, from the worst story to the best:

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Glimmer Train Winter 2015: “Transit,” by Gillian Burnes

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We end the Winter 2015 issue of Glimmer Train as we began it— with a globe-hopping look at how every life interconnects. And, would you believe it, it’s even more plotless than “Number 41” was! That’s not all bad. Like I said, some stories move along by theme instead of plot. And in a couple of those stories, theme’s all you got. I loved “Number 41” like a comfort pillow. “Transit”’s more like bubble wrap… fun and cozy, to be sure, but not as substantial or even as appealing as such a pillow.

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