I’m Fixing Star Wars, Everyone Stand Back

No matter how many memes you throw at it or the revisionist history of The Clone Wars series, the prequels were a HUGE mess, an almost unwatchable mess.

The prequels need to be fixed. And that’s what I’m going to do.

A Tale of Two Padawans

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You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

What We Have: The relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan is… fraught to say the least. They meet when Anakin is an annoying child and Obi-Wan is a teenager with an unfortunate haircut and by the time Episode II rolls around, Anakin is describing Obi-Wan as “like a father to [him].” Then Episode III overcorrects by trying to sell the “brotherly” angle and a little too hard. It just doesn’t work.

How We’re Fixing It: Make Anakin and Obi-Wan both padawans of Qui-Gon Jinn at the same time. I mean, Qui-Gon was already rebelling hard by taking on Anakin to begin with, having two padawans is just a small step up. Maybe it happens by necessity, with Anakin saving both Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon on Tattoine as a teenager or young twentysomething.

Then, throughout the trilogy, we compare and contrast Obi-Wan and Anakin more closely and on the same level. When Qui-Gon dies (and midway through Episode I this time as an Act 2 turning point), Anakin explodes with rage while Obi-Wan shoves it down and internalizes his grief. They lock horns when Anakin believes Obi-Wan isn’t even grieving at all until the latter finally lashes out with exactly how much he’s hurting.

This moment defines their entire relationship throughout the trilogy and defines them as characters. And it makes the final confrontation sting.

Shut Your Political Pie-Hole

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I am the Senate

Emperor Palpatine, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

What We Have: Meandering, hard-to-understand scenes about alien politics that are barely explained. How much power does a senator have? How do their powers coincide with that of local rulers? Is Padmé ever conflicted between her duties as a queen and her duty as a Senator? What role do the Jedi have in government? It was never exactly fully explained.

How We’re Fixing It: Take a look at the original trilogy. How much government fits into it? We see a little – the Grand Moffs (Moves?) discuss dissolving the senate in the first movie, Tattooine is held under martial law, and Darth Vader has to awkwardly answer to middle-management.

That’s exactly how much government should be in the prequels. No trade federation, no senate, no politically radical Jar Jar Binks. We, the audience, do not need to see how the Galactic Senate fell and became the Empire in microscopic minutia.

The movies should focus on only a few things: the fall of Anakin Skywalker, the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan, Anakin’s romance with Padmé, and sweet laser-sword battles.

SMH Anakin

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I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.

Anakin Skywalker Episode II: Attack of the Clones

What We Have: Putting aside wooden acting and a clunky script and sand-hatred, let’s take a look at who Anakin Skywalker is as a person. He goes from gawkish socially awkward teen-slash-twentysomething to a homicidal maniac in movie-seconds. He might be an ace pilot and a genius inventor (somehow), he honestly doesn’t have much of a character and things just seem to happen around him.

How We’re Fixing It: The movies already might possibly imply the vaguest little idea of it, so let’s bring it to the forefront. Anakin is unusually strong in the Force and we’ve seen in the past that the Force can influence the mind of others. While we’d only seen it work on “the weak-minded”, is it that much of a leap to imagine a very, very strong Jedi being able to manipulate the mind of anyone?

Imagine it: Anakin is charming and friendly and seems to have a Mary Poppins-like ability to get what he wants. At first, it’s for the good of others, to help other people and to have a good time. Sometimes it might be a little selfish, he gets the best table for his and Padmé’s dates, he makes sure his speeder is well taken care of at the valet. But slowly, it becomes more horrifying.

Palpatine takes Anakin under his creepy cloak wing and teaches the Jedi that not only does he have this power, but he can control it willingly as opposed to the accidental uses before.

He manipulates government officials. He makes Obi-Wan agree with him. He orders Padmé to stop arguing and to say that she loves him. In fact, he may have been manipulating her into loving him since the beginning.

Over the course of the trilogy, we see the charismatic Ferris Bueller-like character become Jessica Jones‘s Killgrave.

That is how you build a villain. George Lucas, pay attention.

A Love Triangle (But You Know, If It Must Be Done)

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What We Have: What we have is an age-old question, “Why in the hey did Padmé go for tiny baby Anakin (awkward) when Ewan McGreggor is RIGHT THERE?!”

How We’re Fixing It: But if we apply the above point of her maybe being Force’d into loving Anakin, we have a good answer. But lest we forget that Padmé is Natalie Portman, one of the most beautiful actresses in our generation.

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Even if you shave her head!

What if a part of what tears apart Anakin and Obi-Wan’s relationship is that Obi-Wan is in love with Padmé too? And now that Anakin and Obi-Wan are around the same age, it’s less awkard.

He sees them together and thinks Anakin doesn’t deserve her. He finds out about the Force manipulation and he gets angry.

This is what leads to the final confrontation, THIS breaks them apart. Obi-Wan learns that he too was being manipulated the whole time and that Anakin had knowingly done it.

The finale is a crushing cavalcade of emotion, anger, betrayal, and yes.

Sweet Laser-Sword Battles.

Want More Star Wars?

Want More Of My Sweet Writing?

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read:
www.interlinkedtheseries.com

5 Hilarious and Terrible Foreign Covers of Familiar Books

1. A Game of Thrones – Russia

In the dark times before HBO/Starz/Showtime/Taco Bell/KFC/NASA told us what everyone looked like, bizarre fantasy book illustrations reigned supreme and this Russian cover for A Game of Thrones from the 90s is beautifully, horribly no exception.

Who even is that in the front? Arya? Joffrey with unfortunately-shaped armor that gives him ladylike curves? Is that supposed to be The Hound? Yoren protecting Arya from the Kingsguard? And who the heck is that ponce with a hat? Is that supposed to be a direwolf beside him because it looks like a husky with a mental deficiency.

Russia, you’re so strange.

2. Eragon – Italy

Apparently, Italy missed the memo that the first book is The Blue One and that it’s the second book, Eldest is The Red One but the confusion is understandable considering the dragon on the cover is name Saphira like sapphire like blue rock.

I’d also just like to point out that in the International Covers Gallery on his website, Christopher Paolini has pictures of his leather-bound copies of the series that look like they belong on your grandma’s bookshelf next to the 1984 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica.

3. The Hobbit – Sweden

Tove-Jansson-The-Hobbit

Being such an older and ubiquitous book, there were lots of weird foreign editions to choose from but this one is just beautifully bizarre.

I like to call this “Ten Year Old Bilbo Takes a Power Nap” because, I mean, just look at it. Between the nightcap and the youthful, cartoony face beneath it there’s just a lot here that makes no sense, up to and including the battle axe. Sting? More like Smash! Maybe they confused him with Tyrion for a hot minute.

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This action figure deserves its own article.

4. The Catcher In The Rye – Arabic

The Catcher in the Rye cover Arabic by دار المدى للطباعة والنشر والتوزيع

The original cover of The Catcher In The Rye is already kinda out there with its terrifying carousel Pale Horse Of Death thing going on (I still have nightmares of the giant poster in my freshman year English classroom), this one is. Um. It’s there.

Some other covers play up the hat or just go full abstract, but this one… this one looks like the kind of project I’d make in the third grade when we had to design new covers to go with our book reports. It certainly gives Holden Caulfield a reason to be so depressed and obnoxious. Just look at that hairline, you’d be whiny too!

5. Harry Potter – Korea/Japan

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source

No, it’s not technically a cover, but it’s too amusing not to share.

I recently discovered in my adventures in NYC’s Koreatown that Harry Potter is actually split up into smaller, easier-to-carry novella-sized volumes since small books are much more popular there.

While it must be nicer to carry than the massive tree-chunks that were the later books, that means that the entire series is broken up into 23 volumes.

In Japan, there are only 19 books, much more convenient!

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Special Mentions go to:

Harry Potter and the Cooky Art Teacher Vibes

(Germany)

Harry Potter and the Alarming Reminder That He’s WAY Too Young To Be Putting His Life In Danger Like This
(He Should Be Worrying More About Pokemon Cards Or Something)

(Spain)

Harry Potter and I Have No Idea What Is Happening Here

(Italy)

Harry Potter and Have They Ever Seen A Train Before, That Might Be the Ocarina Of Time?

(Sweden)

Harry Potter and The Only Things Still Clean on Laundry Day

(Denmark)

Harry Potter and IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE UMBRIDGE THEY DID NOT NEED TO MAKE HER WORSE and Also Why Are There Two Harry’s and Hermione Is Now Part House Elf Now, Cool and Everyone Is Wearing Ravenclaw Colors There’s So Much Wrong With This Help

(For f&@(‘s sake, Finland!)

And Finally:

Harry Potter and I’d Like To Point Out That Snake Has a Face

(Ukraine)


If you love my writing with all its snarky sarcasm and hilarious commentary (if I might toot my own horn for a moment) you’d love inter_linked the Series, a serialized novel about friendship, sarcasm, and robots.

Anny messed up. Big time. Now she’s stuck with WISR, the most bitter and sarcastic android every programmed. Now they travel the stars, trying to save every robot they can – if they don’t kill each other first!

It’s free to read on www.interlinkedtheseries.com with updates every Monday and Friday.
Patrons read a day early!

Read More:

Read It and Weep Re-Read
4 Books That Are Just Un-Film-Able (and How to Pull It Off Anyway)
I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t Have to (Part 1)
I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t Have to (Part 2, Rogue One)
Steven Universe: The Movie: The Review

“Read It And Weep” Re-Read

Read it and Weep is peak DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie, for those who never experienced this magic). It has the best of somewhere-in-Canada-or-California-Suburbia sets, not-bad-but-not-great acting, and a ridiculous concept that could only be dreamt up by a mouse-brained maniac.

In this film, a high-school aged girl, Jamie, “accidentally” publishes her personal diaries (thanks to some dubious direction from Mom) which becomes a mega blockbuster bestseller.

While I’d love to delve into the intricacies of the Hallmark movie level filmmaking, fabulously iffy writing, or… whatever it is she’s wearing here:

(SCREAMS IN 2006)

What I will be reviewing today is the accuracy of how they portray the world writing and publishing.

While I may be only a self-published author (read inter_linked The Series – it’s free!) I’ve done a lot of research on publishing and done a little querying on my own, not to mention reading just about every entry in Query Shark and very briefly interning at an agency. So I’m almost an expert.

Here we go:

For Reals

Sometimes Your Characters Will Talk to You and No, They Don’t Shut Up

One of the main elements of Read It and Weep is that Jamie and her wish-fulfillment character Isabella, or “Is”, are played by sisters Kay and Danielle Panabaker and they snip and sass and argue with each other constantly.

This is basically what a day in the life of a writer is. Getting into real actual out loud fights with these imaginary people until they tell you what they want to say.

Being An Author Is Just a Ton Of Work

Jamie is seen doing book signing after endless book signings, TV appearances, and just a load of parties rife with schmoozing and being friendly to annoying executives.

Being an author these days is a LOT of work. Most authors – even those with “Big Five” publishing houses! – have to do their own promotional work, schedule their own signings, and then are sent on lengthy book tours. Sorry, Jamie. This is just how it goes.

Backlash Is Inevitable

When everyone finds out what Jamie wrote, they are instantly mad at her, harassing her in school, vandalizing her author events, and making her life generally just kind of miserable.

While I can’t personally say that I’ve gotten any backlash for my books – aside from a few choice comments on my opinion on video games – but that’s really common, especially when writing directly about people you know.

Life protip: Do NOT do this. Do not write about your teachers or your parents or your friends or even places in your hometown. There will always be someone who be upset, and it’s generally pretty uncool. Even if you’re saying nice things, being put up on a pedestal isn’t exactly somewhere you want to be.
You can probably sneak in your dog, though. Dogs have no shame when it comes to flattery and can’t write angry tweets with their lack of opposable thumbs.

This is the face of 7/10 reviews and double-quadruple starred reviews

As You Wish

“Is Saves the World” (the in-universe, megabestseller novel) is wish fulfillment. Any time Is comes across something daunting, dangerous, or something she just doesn’t like, she ZAPs away the problem and all is perfect and fine.

While this may seem unrealistic and short on anything resembling a plot, think about Twilight. Ender’s Game. Ready Player One. Or just about any book you can think of. They’re power fantasies, stories of ordinary people who rose above to become extraordinary. And these stories sell.

Even give the movie itself a think, what is it actually about? A teenage girl getting something every teenage girl dreams about: attention, power, stardom, to be heard. The movie in itself is a power fantasy, and I definitely had high hopes for becoming a blockbuster writer at 14 after this film!

For Shame

Secret Agents

Photo by Mohammad Danish on Pexels.com

The plot kicks off when a mysterious “they” finds out about Jamie’s contest-winning essay (which turned out to be several hundred pages of her illustrated diaries that somehow also got printed in the school newspaper which I guess kids care about now). The publishing company only gets mentioned once offhandedly and Jamie has a “handler” for her PR events and photoshoots.

In real life, 90% of books are discovered by “querying”, or writing a very specific letter to an agent. If that agent likes your letter, they will request a “partial”, or a part of your manuscript to read, or a “full request” which is the entire thing, and that’s pretty rare.

After that, your book gets shopped around to editors, publishers, and sometimes even other agents in the same house if they have a relationship with a publisher who might be interested.

Honestly, I think that would make a much more interesting story – at least to me. The story of how Jamie’s very personal words get twisted around to be this monster of a “bestseller”, how something “zappy” that caught the hearts and minds of a small town becomes the bland, vanilla, formulaic blah that will end up on the 50% off table at Barnes and Noble within a month.

But maybe I was the only tween who enjoyed rants about the finer points of the Oxford Comma.

Name in the Game

Let’s not forget the fact that Jamie is a minor. She’s 15 or 16 at most. Young enough that she couldn’t sign her own contracts (which is horrifying when you think about it, her parents pretty much signed her up for this harassment and mistreatment by her peers, way to go.)

So the fact that she doesn’t write under a pseudonym or even her initials – which many female authors do to begin with – is baffling.

Sure, the folks of her hometown know exactly who she is and what she’s written, that’s inevitable. But consider that we know for a fact that this is the mid-early days of the internet. Someone could easily Google her name and come up with her phone number and home address.

Sure, it might have taken some convincing to get herself to pick something that’s not Selene Lunesta Maximillion McAllisterCrowley, but it would be worth it. Not using a nom de plume, especially that young, is just asking for trouble.

It Also Has No Plot, Just Saying

Is comes across a big bad monster who is also the big bad cheerleader of her school. Is ZAPs the monster away. Is wins. Is gets the boy. Yay.

If you’ve paid even the smallest modicum of attention to this film, you’ll notice that this is basically the “plot” of the entire book, the Not Oprah interviewing Jamie even says so. (Her meltdown on that show would land her on “Top 10 Celebrity Freakouts” lists for at least a decade to come).

Were this the real world, a developmental editor would have sat her down and showed her a three-act structure chart from ‘go’, if her manuscript even got a partial request to begin with. There’s no way this kind of thing would fly, even in a Middle Grade novel.

Final Thoughts

Read It And Weep is not a bad movie, just wildly inaccurate. Authors do not end up on TRL, have to put in a lot more work, and “Is Saves The World” probably wouldn’t get very far on its own merits.

But I love this movie. It’s the most mid-00s film ever made (she has a tablet PC with a touch screen, but not her own blog for crispysakes!)

This may look cool and modern, but that computer ways 20lbs, minimum

But it has a special place in my nostalgic little heart.

Have you seen this film or watched it after this breakdown?
What did you think?
Leave me a comment below!

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read:
www.interlinkedtheseries.com

All photos copyright Disney unless otherwise stated, used for review purposes only. Please don’t sue, I don’t have any money because I’m a self-published author.

4 Books That Are Just Unfilmable (And How They Can Be Pulled Off Anyway)

Books vs Movies. Nothing divides the literary community deeper than speculating which mode of media shall reign supreme, an unending war of many bloody battles that begin and shall always end with “I liked the book better”.

But no matter what you believe, some books just can’t be movies.

For one thing, you lose out completely on any third-person impartiality, whether that be backstory, or worldbuilding, or non-cringey flashbacks. They’re meant to be longer forms of entertainment, several hours as opposed to the “few” of film and cramming all of that detail into a tiny chunk of time like a narrative space bag is bound to be problematic.

But studios still try even though they should leave some of these alone.

Such as…

The Hobbit

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I know, I know, we’ve heard it before and a thousand other times that these movies were just plain terrible. I won’t delve into the why as so many others before me have. You know exactly what is wrong with this trilogy that should have never been.

But what exactly is it about this book that makes it just so unfit for the silver screen?

Well, for one thing, most of the most “cinematic” stuff happens off the page. The Battle of Five Armies? Was elsewhere. And that’s most of an entire movie right there. The book is also “narrated” in the “voice” of Tolkien, lending a very unique texture and flavor that just can’t be captured on celluloid. On top of all of this, if it feels like the chapters are on the episodic side as opposed to one cohesive story, well, it’s because they are. This book was intended to be a bedtime story, not a million-hours-long epic and shouldn’t be devoured in one sitting.

How To Actually Pull It Off

Make it actually for kids. Seriously. This was never meant to be a gritty PG-13 war epic and as much as I dig the edgification of the media I adore, this one needs to be left the h*ck alone. Let it be goofy, let it be fun, let it be a bouncy adventure with songs and riddles and magic rings.

I’m imagining a really fun animated miniseries something like Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network can air between longer shows made by an animator who knows how to have a fun, colorful time.

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BUT NOT THIS AAAAAAAAAAAAA

A Wrinkle In Time

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Hate me all you like, Brie Larson, but neither movie of A Wrinkle In Time were very good. Bouncing between melodramatic dreck, PS1 level CGI, and overwrought feel-good moral goop, they both fell on the “unwatchable” side of mediocre.

But why?

For one thing, he book falls into a weird place in, well… time. It’s very clearly a period piece – what with how the kids talk – but from a period that makes us think of other things. And having it set mostly in space and in a sleepy town where I guarantee nothing ever changes – believe me, I grew up there – it sort of takes you out of that time period, too.

The book is deeply mired in cerebral thought, contemplating physics and religion and emotion and memory and the price of knowledge. That kind of stuff just doesn’t work on film.

Oh, and most of the science stuff is pretty inacurate now.

How To Actually Pull It Off

For this one? You kind of don’t. Maybe if you really set it in its own time and really sell the 50s Suburbia Hell of Camazotz instead of trying to shove it into “modern day” to make it “relatable” then it could possibly work. If not, then maybe it’s better as a concept album or something.

The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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This movie should have worked. It had Martin Freeman who is an excellent actor who has shamefully popped up earlier on this list. It had Sam Rockwell who went on to make one of the most moving and beautiful movies about space that you should never google before watching. It had Professor Flitwick in a robot costume with the voice of Severus Snape.

Literally what else could you possibly ask for?

But much like Tolkein, Douglas Adams had a strong, musky flavor to his writing and even when you intercut with some prime absurdity, it’s just lost on the viewer if you play everything else around it straight. It’s also a book not meant for any heart-wrenching pathos (at least not for a while), it refuses to fit any of your silly three-act structures, and also it just kinda ends. So it’s hard to wrap a script around.

How To Actually Pull It Off

Give it to Baz Lurhman. Really. This is not a joke here.

Now, you may be thinking that the man had one amazing perfect movie that was only improved upon by putting Aaron Tevit in it, one movie that had Claire Daines making weird noises, and heahyeahthatotherone….

But here’s the deal. H2G2 has been adapted, re-adapted, re-written, and chopped into stew-sized chunks by its own author. Neil Gaiman wrote a book about it!

This more or less gives any director with the rocks to try complete creative freedom to be as zany and off the wall as theoretically possible and if you don’t think Luhrman’s quick-dollying rapid-cut rave seizure gooey handprint isn’t perfect to stamp upon it, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Harry Potter

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I heard that. That gasp of utter shock and then the heart-shattering consensus that yeah, these movies weren’t that great.

Many have picked apart the shortcomings of this adaptation, from cutting every plot thread like they’re writing Game of Thrones Season 8 to squashing characters entire personalities and motivations flat like they’re the Whomping Willow, these books have not been treated well.

How To Actually Pull It Off

A part of it does come from the medium, those books were doorstoppers at their smallest, the whole series clocking in at roughly four times as long as War and Peace.

Not only that, but the way movies treat characters is very different than the way books do. Book characters are allowed to be wrong, misguided, even unlikable, and they can stay that way for a decent chunk of time. In movies, that stuff needs to get out of the way very early on – or the exploration of these gray areas needs to be the point of the entire movie which is not the point of a series like Harry Potter. Turning Harry into a lovable goody-goody with a bit of an angsty streak who can do no wrong, Ron into a doofy best friend who’s along for the ride, and Hermione into a naggy know-it-all who never needs to grow past her Smartest In The Room phase does them all a disservice.

My thought is to write it all as one collective whole. The books weren’t written that way and it kinda shows in some barer patches, but this is a chance to smooth it over.

Producers would also need to decide whether each director will be allowed to have a wildly different idea of what Hogwarts and magic and the Wizarding World are like and make their own interpretations or it needs to be handled by one director, one team, one set.

And it should probably be a much longer thing on HBO.

Which book do you think can just never be adapted? Can it be done anyway?
Share in the comments!

My own book may or may not be film-worthy, but you can read it anyway! (whether you’re a movie exec or not!)

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read:
www.interlinkedtheseries.com

Steven Universe: The Movie: The Review

I’ve been a fan of Steven Universe for a couple of years, for all that I was a late-joiner, hopping on the bandwagon of its technicolor emotions in the hiatus following Season 4.

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You get zero points for guessing who my favorite character is… YOU CLODS!

It was kind of magical thing for me personally because it was something my brother and I bonded over in the depths of a wintry tempest in which we also decided a very chilly beer run was in order.

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But hey, it stayed cold!

We watched all the episodes one after another in a marathon of twists and turns and skipping the “boardies” episodes because honestly, how much of the french-fry-themed family can one put up with?

So before I delve into this list of barely-coherent thoughts, I just want to say that I love this show. I adore its warm and cozy vibe, its beautiful message, and the wonderfully terrifically LGBTIA+ overtones. Just in case it seems like I’m tearing this thing apart.

This will have some mild, unavoidable spoilers but I’ll do my best to keep them relatively low.

The Good

The Villain Is The Best Part – and Kinda Familiar

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I’m not sure when we entered what I like to call “The Age of the Villain”, but between characters like Cersei Lannister and Thanos, we’re seeing a real rise in villains who just steal the show.

The villain of Steven Universe: The Movie is sinister, vengeful, and a genuine threat. They give us some of the most interesting development and also some of the most amazing fight scenes we’ve seen in the show.

Their story and how they handle their development may seem a little familiar, though. It feels like a more nuanced examination of similar themes and situations we’ve seen before, a new look at the same dynamics.

They’re also wicked cool-looking.

The Music Was Just Wonderful

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While many reviewers will be talking about the musical numbers and character songs, but those being mind-blowingly amazing is just kind of par for the course.

I just want to take a moment to appreciate the score. It takes a special kind of show to pair a truly apocalyptic event with a smooth chill-hop groove.

The Animation Is Amped Up To Amazing

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More fluid, brighter colors, and better effects make the show still recognizable compared to the early episodes, but it’s a noticeable improvement.

Things like hair and liquid seem to have better movement, and the villain’s motions are handled brilliantly.

The hands also look more detailed and cool, which I know is a strange thing to notice but hey.

More Random Goodness:

  • Steven has a neck now and that’s just great.
  • The characterization is spot-on.
  • Garnet wears two wedding bands, and I’m not sure if that was in the show, but it made me so happy to see (again).
  • Steven has his natural voice! Finally! You could hear his poor VA cracking in later seasons and it’s so nice to hear him not trying to sound 12.
  • Holy wow is some of this just utterly surreal. I’m getting residual flashbacks to when I owned Yellow Submarine on VHS.
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WEEE ALLL LIIIVE IN A WOOOORLD OF LSD!

The ‘Eh’

The Ending Just Sort Of… Happens

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Not to spoil too heavily, but the resolution to everything just sort of shows up and it’s over just like that.

Who knew that healing millennia-long scars was just 30 seconds of harmonizing away?

The Solution To the Great Big Problem is Kinda Iffy

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The villain’s actions are a little easily undone thanks to a pretty major flaw that probably shouldn’t logically exist.

The solution to Steven’s particular problem kinda made no sense to me and still makes very little after having it explained to me.

There’s a New Fusion And I Literally Screamed At My TV When I Saw It

No spoilers, but it gave me complicated feelings.

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Steven Universe: The Movie was excellent and definitely worth watching, although like many story arcs in this show, don’t expect much by way of follow-through.

The music is catchy and lovely, the characters show some amazing development, and the villain was the best part on top of it all.

Did you like Steven Universe: The Movie?
Leave a comment below – but please avoid spoilers!

Read More Reviews:

The Lies of Locke Lamora book review
The Umbrella Academy Netflix review
The Elder Scrolls 25th Anniversary review

If you like warm and cozy stories about family and friendship, you’re gonna love this!

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read:
www.interlinkedtheseries.com

I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t Have To. A Review. (Part 2, Rogue One)

If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 on the Original Trilogy novels

Rogue One is an odd entry in the Star Wars franchise. Even at their darkest moments, the originals and even the prequels always had the bad guys losing, the good guys winning, and as soon as the John Williams score began to blare over the closing credits, you felt somewhat good about yourself.

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Ahh, happiness. I’ve been told they stopped manufacturing that in 1982.

In this film, it really shows the realities of war, the people left behind, the families torn apart. Instead of the shiny Tantive IV hallways and the dramatic chasms of the Death Star, we see the raw and the real. Chipping paint, dust and dirt, a more “lived in” universe.

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It’s pretty gross, to be honest, but I kinda like it that way.

It might be one of my favorite Wars movies and probably the best written of the novels I made myself read, although after the disastrous Empire novelization, just about anything looked good.

One of the bigger changes for the book, however, was that they upped the tragedy hardcore. They wanted to bludgeon any reader unfortunate enough to think this might have a happy ending with the most unrelenting sorrow they could conjure.

When Jyn gets brought into Saw – her foster father’s – hideaway, she starts asking questions about friends and comrades she’d left behind, only to be told they were all dead.

Yowch.

The thing about Big Destruction in action movies is that you kind of don’t think about it. No one looks at a Michael Bay movie and thinks, “Wow, those poor people!”

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Don’t laugh, think about his kids who no longer have a father and WEEEEP

So when the Death Star blows up Jedha, I thought “Wow, that’s sad. And a cool explosion. Look, it goes all the way down to the mantle of the planet! That’s kinda rad!” But Rogue One the novelization pulls no punches. Four pages are spent describing the people in the city, their daily lives, their wants and hopes and dreams and then exactly how painful and brutal their deaths were. This includes STORM TROOPERS that got left behind.

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“Tell… my wife… that I love…. her……… ʳᵒˢᵉᵇᵘᵈ”

In the film, Jyn finally finds her father and ekes out a fragment of a conversation as he lays dying and he tells her he regrets everything, how he loved her, how there was so much he still wanted to do with her. It’s tragic, it’s sad, it’s brutal.

But the book makes it so much worse. His last words are:

“Someone has to destroy it”

This is a significant change. It means that even this was taken away from Jyn by the Empire, by the war. She’s already lost her freedom, her foster father, her everything and now she doesn’t even have one final memory of her dad to call her own.

So with all this death and tragedy, the audience should skew older, right?

But no.

This exists.

This.

THIS.

FOR THE LITTLEST TINIEST BABIES THIS IS REAL.

Because, you know, it’s Star Wars! Pew-pew blasters, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Power of the Force, yay! And it’s PG-13, just like all the superhero movies, so it must be fine, right? RIGHT? This is certainly not the movie where our “hero” begins by shooting an innocent and unnarmed man in the back because he can’t deal with complications.

Even as I sit here writing this article, I haven’t cracked this book open out of fear of what I’ll find inside. Don’t say I that I don’t love you, readers.

The first thing I noticed is that the whole book is printed with this “gritty”, “grungy” pattern, which is kind of bizarre. Also, the font is weird and looks like it was chosen specifically to take up more page space.

Ew.

They are fully okay with talking about death and dying but when major characters start dropping, they start dishing out some wacky euphemisms like “he was gone”, “they joined the Force”, and “his mind went black” or they gloss it over completely with heavy implications. “The last thing he heard was the grenade’s boom”.

It also dealt more in the physical side of what the characters go through, as opposed to the official novelization that goes DEEP into each and every character’s mindsets.

They also cut out the entire part where Darth Vader starts slicing some fools, which even the toughest critics said was the coolest part of the movie.

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This is the closest we’re getting to a Star Wars horror movie so savor this, people!

I just have to wonder, though, who was this written for? There’s too much violence for it to be a Middle-Grade novel (for ages 8-12), it’s kept firmly in the PG-13 range. But it glosses over and cuts out just enough that anyone older than that who was looking for an easy read would be disappointed and patronized. It’s a strange, strange in between and for a movie like this, probably shouldn’t exist.

What other movies would make awful junior novels? Which of the Star Wars books are your favorite?
Let me know in the comments!

TES25: “Oblivion” is the Best Elder Scrolls Game, Let’s Be Real

25 years ago, in a small forgotten town called “Bethesda, Maryland”, a miracle was born. A game series that would define generations, a franchise that would shape the RPG genre as we know it today.

This is The Elder Scrolls.

While the first two entries could only be described as “iffy at best”, there among the raw potential was a game so perfect in composition, it became known as the crown jewel of the medium as a whole.

Morrowind.

Or at least, that’s what people would tell you. But they’re wrong. So wrong. Morrowind is an… alright game, I’ll give them that. I’ve had my false starts with it, but the story is pretty cool.

But no, the best game of them all is actually the fourth in the series, Oblivion. And here’s why:

1. Everyone is Having a Really Good Time

Ever play a game that felt like pure misery? Like the only interesting thing was a celebrity voice actor and they were clearly there just to get paid? Like the studio just churned out something just to say that they did it?

Oblivion is not that game.

The whole place just seems created with so much love and care, from the tiny flowers blooming in the wilds of the West Weald, to the gleaming heights of the White-Gold Tower.

All of the voice actors seem to be having a ball, too. Lynda Carter, in particular, seems to love hamming up her battle dialogue and everyone gave their all into each and every line that was handed to them. Which was a lot, because most of them voiced more than one race.

2. They Tried

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Speaking of voices, there are two things anyone who’s ever played Oblivion for more than five minutes will tell you: A. That they saw a mudcrab the other day and B. They’re horrible creatures.

Oblivion was really ambitious, even by today’s standards. They managed to create a completely randomized conversation system for NPC chatter, an entire motivations protocol to direct how computer-generated characters worked and acted, and fought, and suite of actions and dialogues to go with them.

Compared to Skyrim, which is rife with just pre-scripted conversations that play almost every time you walk into the city like the Scandinavian equivalent of the squirrel at Splash Mountain, Oblivion is a masterwork of simulating civilization.

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“Blast, girl! You have your tools, I have mine!”

3. What a Wonderful World

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Skyrim had the advantage of coming six years later with better technology and more stunning graphics. Far be it from me to say that Skyrim doesn’t have more well-crafted images than Oblivion’s potato-face people.

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AAAAAAAAAAAAA

But Skyrim the country? Is ugly. Really ugly. When even the prettiest flowers one can find are scraggly little weeds that look like they’re only good for making really gross tea, you know your country is…. erm… “rugged”.

But when you come down the Colovian Highlands, among the huge stands of shady trees, down the Imperial Reserve and into the blooming fields of the West Weald, and towards the Abecean Sea where the grass grows golden in the glinting sunlight, it just takes your breath away.

4. It’s Actually an RPG and It Actually Works

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Morrowind. We need to chat. Because I am hitting this baddie and I am very clearly smacking ‘im good, but you keep saying I’ve “missed” because I’m… unlucky? Sorry. Say that one more time? It’s not my fault that I woke up in the slimy bilgewater of some leaky boat and dumped unceremoniously onto the shores of a country with two polygons to call its name. Heck, I was woken up by St. Jiub before his most holy veneration, I should be considered luckier for that! Or at least gotten an autograph.

Skyrim has Perks, not stats. They’re cool, I guess, but not an RPG where I can break the fabric of the known universe by using sabermetrics. Thank you, next.

5. Sheogorath

Need I say more?

Do you agree that Oblivion is the GOAT of TES? Are you going to track me down with a giant neon green claymore only to miss every time thanks to unfortunate numbers?

Let me know in the comments!

Read More:

I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t have To
Soundtracks to Write Fantasy To
6 Video Games With Actually Decent Writing
“The Umbrella Academy” is the Best Thing Netflix Has Done Since Existing, Probably

If you want more adventure, more beautiful settings, and more badly-programmed robots (sorry, WISR!) check this out!

inter_linked The Series is the fun, sarcastic story of a girl and her android.

Follow the adventures of Anny and WISR as they try to help every robot they can, while the hardest part of the journey is putting up with each other.

Absolutely free to read:
www.interlinkedtheseries.com

I Read a Bunch of Star Wars Novelizations So You Don’t Have To. A Review. (Part 1)

Tie-in novels are great. Not only do they occupy a weird part of the production cycle most people don’t think about, but they also can add a lot of emotion and internal thought to characters we generally only see emote (barring some narration, of course).

I’ve always wanted to write a novelization or tie-in, truth be told, and not just because my fanfiction is awesome. It’s a challenge, it’s entertaining, it’s just plain fun to be able to describe these visuals on the page and to bring characters to life in a way they otherwise wouldn’t on the silver screen.

(if anyone at Del Rey is reading, call me.)

I’ve read a handful of novelizations in my time, not enough to call myself an expert, but enough to say that they have the potential to be decent. So in an effort to better understand the medium, the artistry, I picked up a few from my local library and got down to analyzing.

Maker save us…

And holy wow what I found was… interesting.

(I also picked up The Shape of Water but that one turned out to be fairly decent and not really worth mentioning besides “It’s Good, Go Read It.”)

Star Wars (A New Hope)

The first Star Wars movie had a famously troubled production, to the point where there are multiple documentaries, fan films, and books about the affair. So it should be no surprise that the novelization is zero exception.

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Alec Guiness, moments before realizing this is all anyone under the age of 30 will ever remember him for (1976, decolorized)

While I was reading, I noticed that it was actually pretty well-written. A little pretentious, perhaps (who says “essayed” anyway?) but not bad! For being credited towards George Lucas himself, it was better than I’d – well – hoped. To the point where I got suspicious. So I did my research and it turns out, it was ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster, who also wrote Star Trek: The Motion Picture (aka “The Bizarre One With the Computer Lady Who Has No Pants”) and the first Star Wars EU novel called Splinter of the Mind’s Eye (aka “The Bizarre One Where No One Told Alan Dean Foster That Luke And Leia Are Brother And Sister And This Is Very Awkward”).

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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Star Wars was also very famously very bad when it was first put together and only the expert editing of Lucas’ wife-at-the-time and her friends saved it from being a bizarre slushfest. (There’s a great YouTube video detailing exactly what got changed around.) The novelization, however, comes curiously in-between. The subplot with Biggs Darklighter remains – who here remembers who that even is? – there’s the scene with Jabba the Hutt that got CGI’d in to later editions, and Luke is very much a troubled kid. He lies, he sneaks out, and his Aunt and Uncle are genuinely very worried that he might be getting into some bad stuff like his father did.

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“You don’t understand me… SPACE DAD”

Lightsabers are “still in use in some galactic quarters”, Chewie gets his medal, no they don’t say if Han Shot First, and it also has one of the only mentions of ducks in the Star Wars universe which Wikipedia tells me is notable.

It also mentions “The Journal of the Whills”, an early concept George Lucas invented. The idea is that the Star Wars films are actually a historical account by otherworldly beings, and that’s why the films start off with “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”

Out of all of the OT, it’s the weirdest but most readable and most interesting. It’s also the longest by about 50 pages, even though it’s shorter than the other two movies.

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Some people consider this the most perfect movie ever created which I disagree with strongly as I am busy getting a beer and nachos during the boring Hoth parts in the beginning. Those of you who do have this opinion, though, will be surprised to hear that the book is bad. Really bad.

For one thing, the author can’t seem to get away from real-world references and compound simile… things. Taun-tauns are “llamalike”. We also get “stiltlike”, “gazellelike”, “wedgelike”, and “skullike”, and many others I didn’t bother writing down. Oh and Star Destroyers are “mechanized death angels.” I wish I was joking.

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????

It also seriously lacks in the emotion department which is really tragic considering it’s the most emotionally-charged of the three.

“Now, as she looked at [Han], he’d never seemed more handsome. But she was still a princess.”

Girlfriend, you are the princess of a bunch of blowed-up space rocks and you have bigger problems to worry about. He’s Harrison Ford. Literally what are you waiting for?

“No, no! That’s not true…” Luke said, refusing to believe what he’d heard. “That’s impossible.”
“Search your feelings,” Vader said, sounding like an evil version of Yoda, “you know it to be true.”

That’s it?! That’s all you can conjure when it comes to the inner turmoil Luke must be facing, discovering not only is his most hated enemy his own father? That’s all? Evil Yoda. That’s all we get.

“I love you,” [Leia] said softly, “I couldn’t tell you before, but it’s true.”
He smiled his familiar, cocky smile. “Just remember that, because I’ll be back.”

Yeah, I’m glad these lines were improvised because yeesh.

I know.

Yoda is blue and so is Vader’s lightsaber which they keep calling a “sword” (this bothers me for some reason), and they keep calling Han “Corellian” but Lando is only called “black”. The 80s had issues, why are we so nostalgic again?

Star Wars Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Okay, I fully admit to being kind of tired of this book-chunk by the time I hit Jedi so I skimmed it because also who really likes this one anyway? It’s not the worst written, it’s not the best, it sits firmly in the middle of being “okay”, both the film and the book.

The opening is hilarious because the opening of the movie is a pan over empty space and then WHOA THERE’S A DEATH STAR I THOUGHT WE BLEW THAT THING UP IN 1977 WHAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!?

The first time I read this, I was super confused. It seems stilted, it seems kinda dumb, and then I realized what they were going for and I guess it makes sense?

Luke spends the whole book switching back and forth between this faux-eloquent “wise Jedi” talk and being a whiny “youth” (oh yeah, all three books continually call him this and it’s weird).

“Goodbye, dear sister – lost and found. Goodbye, sweet, sweet Leia.”

Um. Okay.

When O-Ben-Wan Kenobi’s ghost shows up, he talks for a LONG time about what actually happened to Vader, which is alright for a reader, I suppose, but wouldn’t fly for a moment onscreen. He actually talks about how Anakin “fell into a molten pit” and emerged as Darth Vader, making me wonder how early the lightsaber battle on Mustafar was planned out.

Leia has a complete meltdown when she finds out she’s Vader’s daughter, like a total blue screen of death that Han has to snap her out of and they imply they’d been having a relationship for some time offscreen. Aww.

There’s a really cool point-of-view chapter for Palaptine detailing what his worldview (worldsview?) was really like which was also, as the internet tells me, a criticism of Nixon. Neat.

Also, there’s an INCREDIBLY WEIRD part at the very end where Luke cries on an unmasked Vader’s face and he says how he LIKES HOW THE TEARS TASTE WHAT.

[Luke] saw the old eyes focus on him. Tears burned Luke’ cheeks, fell on his father’s lips. His father smiled at the taste.

Yes, there… he felt a raindrop on his lips. He licked the delicate droplet… but wait, it wasn’t sweetwater, it was salty, it was… a teardrop.

You thought I was making this up.

I think I’mma gonna puke up my bantha milk.

Want to hear more about my adventures into the Rogue One books? Stay tuned for Part 2!
In the meantime, don’t forget to like and comment!

What’s your favorite movie novelization of all time?

Best-Written Fantasy Films (That Aren’t “Lord of the Rings”)

Film is a visual medium, although the visuals would be nothing without strong dialogue and a well-done screenplay to build off of.

Unfortunately, far too many fantasy movies focus on the swords and battles and magical effects without considering the writing elements.

There are a few standouts, though, a few exceptional films that really do turn their dialogue into an art. If you are a book-ish person looking for something new to watch or a movie watcher looking for the one non-cheesey flick (that isn’t directed by Peter Jackson), check out this list:

Stardust

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Featuring Claire Daines and future Daredevil, Charlie Cox, this tweenage fantasy film is clever, fun, and fresh with an old concept (boy tries to win girl’s heart with an epic adventure quest) with new twists.

Much of this can be credited to the always-amazing Neil Gaiman who wrote the novel inspiring this screenplay, although huge parts of the story have been pared down, simplified, or made much less… rated R.

It also features Robert De Niro doing a can-can. Literally what else could you want?

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Edward Scissorhands

Romance movie: Edward Scissorhands

This classic Tim Burton film may have been what kicked off the Johhny-Depp-Looking-So-Pallid-He’s-Practically-Black-and-White-And-Also-Has-Bad-Hair Era of horror filmmaking, but it’s arguably the best of them.

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SIGH.

The most interesting part of the movie’s writing and direction is how the “normal” 50s-ish suburban world is depicted as the real “other”, the real strange place and strange people and the man with literal scissors for hands is the normal one.

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It also features horror royalty Vincent Price’s last performances and it’s as heartbreaking as it is glorious.

A Knight’s Tale

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Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany and many future Game of Thrones alums gather in your typical sports movie about a lower-class underdog trying to make it in the rich man’s sport, win the upper-crust girl of his dreams, and defeat the condescending villain who inexplicably wears black all the time.

Oh, and the sport is jousting.

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This film is an interesting example because while it’s set in a pre-technological historical era with some fantastical elements (Geoffrey Chaucer running into Edward the Black Prince of Wales while writing The Canterbury Tales?!) the dialogue is mostly built on modern-day slang with the tropes and tales of a typical underdog sports movie.

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More easter-eggs from the world of today (or 2001, at least) abound with a wooden version of the Millenium Eye popping up in medieval London, jousting fans thump-thump-clap-ping to “We Will Rock You” and David Bowie being the dance of choice at a 14th-century banquet. The movie really shines, however, in Paul Bettany’s roaring, scenery-chewing speeches:

The Princess Bride

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This one is cheating and needs no introduction. If you haven’t seen it, watch it now. Seriously. How have you gone this long without experiencing this masterpiece? You can thank me later.

The dialogue is tight, every direction is deliberate and meaningful, every line stuffed with humor and intelligence and double-meanings. Some of the best parts, however, come from the fully-improvised unscripted ramblings of Billy Crystal as Miracle Max, a bumbling magic man with a nagging wife (played by Carol Kane) which nearly shut down the film’s production for being too funny.

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Every line is a classic, an in-joke among nerds and fantasy fans for close to 40 years.

If you are a film student or even a passing hobbyist, the screenplays of William Goldman (which include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Misery) can be read like novels and are a masterclass in screenplay writing.

Seriously. Go watch this.

What is your favorite well-written fantasy movie? Which of these are you going to give a try?
Let me know in the comments!

And if you’re looking for more good fantasy writing, check out my novella In the House of Souls: a Faehunter Novella which is only 99c/99p on Amazon!

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“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Review

(While I am more than committed to #KeepingTheSecrets, there are mild-to-moderate spoilers here for folks who are talented at squinting, connecting dots, or discovery charms. This is your warning.)

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As of this writing, I’ve just wrapped up a whopping near nine hours of theater, walked 30 blocks to avoid the midtown trains, spent an hour on the Subway reading reviews and TV Tropes pages, marched the 20 mins home and have immediately sat down to write this review.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a play that doesn’t leave you when you leave the theater. While it doesn’t weigh as heavy as say, Les Miserables or leave you as emotionally shaken as the surprisingly graphic Anastasia, the magic is something alive and living and it takes root in those willing to believe.

That being said, any production, no matter how beautiful and charming and amazing can still have its flaws, and it’s no secret that Harry Potter has found more than its fair share of criticisms.

Here are my own feelings:

The Good Stuff

Music

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I expected to be enthralled by the staging and being thrown back into a magical world I’ve always loved so much. I didn’t expect to be so taken in by the music.

Composed by indie musician Imogen Heap, the score combines bubbly vocals with stirring strings, but the instruments never seem to bog down the modern sounds. The energetic beats were incredibly refreshing when I sat down expecting the same-old full pit orchestra with cinematic, but unremarkable swells.

I plan on looking into where to find the soundtrack immediately to have it underscore literally everything I do from now on.

Movement

While Harry Potter is a straight play – and one of the only shows on Broadway now with no singing and dancing, it features a huge amount of choreographed “movement”. Incredibly synchronized with sound queues, beat-for-beat and step-for-step with the music, the movements are not only very cool-looking, but also highly metaphorical. Certain steps represent boarding a train, gathering for class, learning to control magic, or travels in time and space.

Movement makes up for a relatively minimalist set but also ensures the show is full of action and momentum.

There’s also a super-cool dance the bad guys do. It’s just wonderful to behold.

Character

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Here’s the thing about Harry Potter. He’s the teenage protagonist in a book intended for 10-to-16-year-olds and while it’s fun to watch him wangst through a PTSD meltdown, he’s the rebellious hero of the plucky resistaince who you know will win out in the end.

You don’t see him as a mature human with real grown-up depth. You don’t see him as vulnurable, deal with real adult fears, or face the prospects of perhaps failing at being a father. And that is a beautiful thing to see unfold onstage, especially when it’s as wonderfully acted as this current cast played it.

Stage Magic

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I fully admit that sitting down for this show, it’s 60-70% of what I was there for. The Cool Stuff.

There’s fire shooting out of wands, instantaneous on-stage quick-changes, trap-door affects, transformations, flying wirework performances, moving staircase montages, spinning clocks, and a supercool blacklight-induced reveal that I won’t spoil here. And more.

If you’ve got even a passing interest in stagecraft, slight-of-hand, or practical effects, this show is a spectacular.

The Not-So-Good Stuff

(Much more spoilery spoilers abound here. If you’re really into secret-keeping, skip this section)

Central Conflict

Image result for harry potter and the cursed child albus and scorpius

There’s no easy way to put this. The entire central conflict revolves around the fact that the boys want to save Cedric Diggory’s life (remember him?) but if they cause him to fail the Triwizard Tournament, he will delve so deep into bitterness and self-pity, the kid will become a Death Eater and usher in a new holocaust at the hands of the Maginazis.

Yeah. Cedric Diggory who took his Quidditch losses in stride. Cedric Diggory who offered Harry help with his own Triwizard challenges even if it meant the possibility of setting himself back. Cedric Diggory who had caring and supportive parents who loved him to the ends of the earth and grieved over his death until their own final breaths. Cedric Diggory.

You know what would have made a better plot? Saving someone who actually mattered to Harry and his children. Sirius Black, one of the only adults in Harry’s life who didn’t see him as a means to an end or as some mythological hero and who Albus could look up to as the heavy metal flying motorcycle rebel hero he never knew. Remus Lupin who didn’t treat Harry as an extension of his father, who left behind his own orphan who could easily come back with his own angsty blame against the Potters. And Lupin so deserves a more accurate representation. (I refuse to be sorry for this, David Thewlis always seemed like he had little understanding or interest in his own character).

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Literally anything but turning sweet, normal Cedric Diggory into some evil cape-twirling racist.

Themes and Resolution Dissonance

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One central theme running through The Cursed Child is that ones parents do not necessarily determine their destiny and that it’s okay to seek love, care, and validation if it’s done in a healthy way.

This is completely dropped when it comes to our main villain.

This antagonist, revealed very late in the show, is another orphan-of-war who was brought up, much like Harry himself, in less than pleasant circumstances without much by way of loving care. While Harry has pity and affection piled on him despite his numerous mistakes that nearly and actually resulted in the deaths of others, our heroes refuse to even consider the perspective of the villain.

They made it clear that all they sought was love, validation, and appreciation from their parents, and have gone about finding it by any means necessary. They felt the need to be “evil” in order to achieve these goals that the heroes themselves work to because they weren’t given the same support or options.

Not only that, but the heroes are practically hand-delivered a golden opportunity to reverse the ravages of time and bring this neglected person into a more healthy home, but instead the “good guys” merely fling them off-stage with the promise of locking them away in the cold, lonely villain prison where they’d live out the remainder of their days under the threat of their souls being forcibly sucked out.

Minor GripesImage result for harry potter and the cursed child

  • Some actors seemed a little too keen on acting exactly like the characters in the movies did. McGonnagal and Hagrid in particular seemed to be trying a little too hard.
  • Hagrid also had a very strange moment after something extremely tragic where he kinda blunders in like a big pile of jolly joy where canonically he was absolutely distraught. It made him seem a bit flat.
  • Ron, too, got flattened to little more than a joke character and comic relief, the writers sort of missed the point of him.
  • If two of the characters were male and female, they would have been each other’s love interests with absolutely zero changes to the script, but because they are the same gender, they had to have an extra heterosexual love interest shoehorned in.
  • Some strange religious imagery where there never was any before in the world of Harry Potter. Not that I have any particular problem with it myself, it just seemed a little out of place.
  • Time travel plots.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was a good show. It was a magical, exciting ride, and while long, certainly worth the time. While it had its issues, returning to the world of Harry Potter was a journey I’ll never forget.