: Hello, gentlebeings, and welcome to Chapter 35 of Wedge’s Gamble, wherein wow, this is actually a wham episode, isn’t it?
In personal news, Will and I spent about eight days actually in the same physical locations. For the New Year’s Eve and the weekend before that, we were in Myrtle Beach, SC, renting a house with some very dear friends to ring in the New Year as we always do; from the 1st to last Sunday Will was staying at my place and we were commuting to MagFest in National Harbor near DC. Which was glorious. And now, back to the rhythm of the things.
: Before we dive completely into the rhythm, a weird note: both Z and I saw The Rise of Skywalker shortly before the New Year. Both of us agreed that it was fine; not the brilliant work that we found The Last Jedi to be, not the letdown that the prequels were. Some of the choices and story elements were disappointing–while I firmly do not believe that J.J. Abrams was doing anything so direct as “refuting” or “undoing” TLJ, there were definitely choices that could have leaned into that movie’s decisions and didn’t–but it was still perfectly satisfying in its way. It feels, appropriately, comparable to TLJ the same way that ROTJ feels comparable to ESB. Frankly its biggest flaw (much like the original trilogy, though with far less excuse) what seemed like a complete lack of cohesive planning.
Oh, and the less said about “Release the Abrams Cut,” the Star Wars universe’s own version of QAnon by way of Justice League, the better. (If you don’t know what that means, don’t look it up. If you do, and you actually believe any of it…we don’t need readers that badly. Get some perspective.)
: …what? No, no don’t tell me.
: So what’s the weird note, I hear you ask? That we didn’t think to say anything about it until now. Yes, we had the holidays, and yes, things were busy and hectic, but this was the latest, and arguably final, element of the series and saga that has defined so much of our adult lives, and we didn’t even think to mention it. Part of that is the fact that hot-take criticism and critique of current content is exhausting in general (it’s the second-most-tiring thing on Twitter after watching the end of the world play out in realtime, 280 characters each); part of it is that particular conspiracy-lunacy I mentioned last paragraph. But another part, I think/fear, is the way that Star Wars has been Disneyfied. John Scalzi’s review of Rise called it a victim of “Cinematic Dynamic Range Compression”: Star Wars under Disney is consistent and consistently entertaining, but it’s lost some of the grand scope and ambition.
There’s more truth to that than I would like to admit.
: And part of what made The Last Jedi as attractive to us as it did was that it was attempting to bring back some of the scope and ambition, in variously-ept ways.
: But hey. Also, the damn thing is still brand new and it’s going to take a while to really process it all. Z and I are still planning to do chatwatches of the rest of the films, at least (in fact, Z has never seen Solo, and now is planning to not see it until we chatwatch it; that will be fun), so come back in a few…years, probably…and we’ll see how well this film ages.
But anyway. Back to the past…