The [Star Wars] universe never ends, really. It ebbs and flows....
November 17, 2015 7:34 PM   Subscribe

The Star Wars galaxy is vast, and it's universe will expand for decades to come. In fact, it is quite likely that you won't live to see the final Star Wars movie - a Wired article on the ever-growing paracosms of the Star Wars and Marvel cinematic universes, and accolades for Chris Carter's expansive X-Files universe.
posted by filthy light thief (85 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Nice use of Ulises Farinas Where's My Wookie? art there.
posted by Artw at 7:37 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


To my mind, Chris Carter perfected the television paracosm when he created The X-Files. He figured out how to structure parallel tracks of multiseason stories with stand-alone episodes. It made the universe feel big.
ASIDE FROM THE PART WHERE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE X-FILES IS INCOHERENT NONSENSE RIGHT?

Ok, sorry. I'm just rewatching it from the beginning lately and thinking about this a lot. And actually the thing is that it never even tried that hard to pretend it was coherent, as far as I can tell. You just kind of have to let it wash over you.

Anyhow this is a pretty fascinating article, and I appreciate it for talking about this in terms of the things that are creatively kind of fascinating about big shared universes with long-term continuity instead of, I dunno, the business case or whatever.
posted by brennen at 7:59 PM on November 17, 2015 [21 favorites]


(Even if, no, Abrams' Trek was not remotely fine, was it.)
posted by brennen at 8:04 PM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's in an alternate universe!

Of suck.
posted by Artw at 8:06 PM on November 17, 2015 [10 favorites]


That X-Files Wiki has forgotten Strange Luck, VR-5, AND Harsh Realm. I'm disappointed.
posted by pan at 8:07 PM on November 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


Disney didn't pay $4bil for a set canon, it paid that much for the rights to a revenue stream in perpetuity.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:13 PM on November 17, 2015 [11 favorites]


BTW If I were a betting person I would put money down on the next big Star Wars cinema event, after the sequels, being "unspecial" editions of the original trilogy with all the CG additions scraped off.
posted by Artw at 8:19 PM on November 17, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why is there not a nerd Where's Waldo book full of pictures like that Wired article's lead illustration? I'm not one of those people who automatically likes something just because it makes reference to an interest of mine, but goddamnit I would love a Where's Waldo book like that!
posted by Bugbread at 8:22 PM on November 17, 2015


Yes, please. The VHS box set my dad brought home when I was 8 or 9 is in kinda rough shape.
posted by brennen at 8:23 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bugbread - see my first comment. :-)
posted by Artw at 8:24 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


BTW If I were a betting person I would put money down on the next big Star Wars cinema event, after the sequels, being "unspecial" editions of the original trilogy with all the CG additions scraped off.

How "original" will the original trilogy be? Star Wars was being edited while it was still in theaters, back in 1977:
One of the earliest changes made to Star Wars was within weeks into its theatrical run. Star Wars was initially released in 70mm 6-track audio (closer to the equivalent of a 4.1 track as opposed to a 5.1 track). The wider 35mm release had a 2-track Dolby Stereo matrixed 4-channel optical soundtrack. A mono mix was released in June 1977 for exhibition in cinemas with no Dolby Stereo support, which contains some changes from the stereo version
And then there's a list of dozens of minor audio tweaks. As growabrain wrote, "A few years ago George Lucas made and ate a sandwich. To this day he's still throwing pepper and mayonnaise down his throat to 'improve' it."
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 PM on November 17, 2015 [7 favorites]


Artw: "Bugbread - see my first comment. :-)"

I...I...

First, let me apologize for not seeing your comment. Somehow my eye's skipped to brennan's comment.

Second, thank you for finding me something I can ask for as a Christmas present!
posted by Bugbread at 8:29 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would be happy with best possible audio and visual quality and no fucking Pokemon splatter into the corners of every other scene. Also Han shoots first.
posted by Artw at 8:33 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Second, thank you for finding me something I can ask for as a Christmas present!

...and thank you for finding me something I can give as a christmas present!
posted by pompomtom at 8:34 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


ASIDE FROM THE PART WHERE EVERYTHING ABOUT THE X-FILES IS INCOHERENT NONSENSE RIGHT?

I'm convinced people remember this show in some idealized supercut memory version that never existed. Hell, i remembered it that way. It's almost impossible to rewatch. Something like quantum leap is easier even.

It desperately needs something like that TNG episode guide someone posted on the green a few years back(which google can't seem to find) which listed which episodes to skip until the show got good, and which ones to skip towards the end, etc. Xfiles is desperately in need of some like, DBZ abridged sort of action. It starts especially rough, too.

(Even if, no, Abrams' Trek was not remotely fine, was it.)

I'm a huge, enormous, gigantic die hard star trek fan and i think the first new movie was a good movie. Some of my best friends are also enormous fans since childhood that you could debate the trekkie/trekker argument with and they loved it. It has some flaws, and some head exploding stuff if you're super into the details of the universe, but it was just a good movie. Not a super intelligent deep thoughtful movie, but a solid theater movie. It's good in the way that like, the first Iron Man is good. I'd wager it's a stronger movie than any of the old ones after the second one are in the regard of just being sit-down-and-watchable.

It's the second Abrams movie that's a complete turdlaunch. I know it's cool to hate on the first one now that the second one exists, especially with how relatively excited quite a few people were for it... But it doesn't un-good the first one.
posted by emptythought at 9:03 PM on November 17, 2015 [16 favorites]


BTW If I were a betting person I would put money down on the next big Star Wars cinema event, after the sequels, being "unspecial" editions of the original trilogy with all the CG additions scraped off.

I'm really curious as to what the legal implications would be, if any, of Disney just wholesale boxing up the Despecialized Edition and putting it up for sale. I only saw the first one, but they really did an incredible job. Now, I have no way of knowing if it actually looks like how the original would have looked in the cinema in 1977, but it does a really good job of capturing how I felt like it looked when watching it as a 5 or 6 year old on a crappy over-the-air PAL broadcast on a tiny CRT at Christmas, and that really is as much as you can ask of it.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:05 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd wager it's a stronger movie than any of the old ones after the second one are in the regard of just being sit-down-and-watchable.

IV and VI are very watchable. More so than the new one IMO, but I still like it.

I have yet to see the first (or any) of the Star Wars movies.'

Get out.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:06 PM on November 17, 2015


It desperately needs something like that TNG episode guide someone posted on the green a few years back(which google can't seem to find) which listed which episodes to skip until the show got good, and which ones to skip towards the end, etc. Xfiles is desperately in need of some like, DBZ abridged sort of action. It starts especially rough, too

Skip everything that isn't standalone, stop after season five?
posted by atoxyl at 9:29 PM on November 17, 2015


I don't think the MotW "started out rough" with a couple of exceptions - I couldn't tell you about the rest 'cause I watch it the way I described.
posted by atoxyl at 9:32 PM on November 17, 2015


I mean it's always a little uneven but the first season not so particularly so.
posted by atoxyl at 9:34 PM on November 17, 2015


I have yet to see the first (or any) of the Star Wars movies.
Oh really? Well I've literally not seen hundreds of thousands of movies.
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 9:37 PM on November 17, 2015 [13 favorites]


We're most of the way through Clone Wars at the moment, having rewatched the first two prequels, so it looks like we are researching EVERYTHING before the new movie comes out. Take that, lame-o recap bloggers who are only doing the movies! You fucking lightweights!
posted by Artw at 9:42 PM on November 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


Xfiles is desperately in need of some like, DBZ abridged sort of action.

That's letting somebody else decide for you, and following a guide like that you could well end up skipping the stuff that you would actually like and getting stuck with stuff somebody else likes and you don't. I have little patience for the X-Files "funny" episodes beyond Humbug and one or two others, but a lot of fans loved that stuff. If I was seeing the show for the first time and following somebody else's guide, I could well end up giving up halfway through, thinking, "God, that show sure was a smirky, self-parodying mess!"

Just watch the darn show. If you're watching an episode and it's not working for you, bail.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:56 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


We're most of the way through Clone Wars at the moment,

The moment you're done, make sure you watch Genndy Taratakovsky's Clone War shorts from the Cartoon Network series that bridges AOTC and ROTS. Not only does it fill in the narrative gaps, but it's the best of the prequel content.
posted by mikelieman at 10:22 PM on November 17, 2015 [5 favorites]


The big thing with the X-Files is that its pacing is horrendous. "We've learned something huge about the conspiracy! Let's sit on it and do nothing with it for like a month if not longer!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:23 PM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


There's a YouTube edit of all of it. Normally I stick to conventional means but you can't get it normally.
posted by Artw at 10:27 PM on November 17, 2015


The company intends to put out a new Star Wars movie every year for as long as people will buy tickets.

They're just making it even easier for me ignore Star Wars forever. At this point, it isn't even a challenge.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:44 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, you never get to be 8 years old again. There are other thing to do.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:03 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


Marvel have kept up an impressive level of quality with a brisk release schedule, no reason why Star Wars wont be the same.

They're just making it even easier for me ignore Star Wars forever. At this point, it isn't even a challenge

Because they are making movies about it? That doesn't even make nerd hipster sense.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:09 PM on November 17, 2015 [12 favorites]


Ursula Hitler: "If I was seeing the show for the first time..."

Xfiles has three main story types: the mythos stuff, the monster-of-the-week stuff, and the occasional goofy stuff. If you've never watched it before, then, yeah, you might end up missing something you might have really liked. Maybe you figured you wouldn't like the funny stuff, so you skipped it, but in reality it would have totally struck your fancy.

But if you've already watched it? Totally different story. I enjoyed the mythos and the comedy. Hated the monster-of-the-week. Even a guide that was as simple as "watch this, don't watch that" would be extremely useful if it explained its criteria (I don't mean in-depth, I mean something as simple as titling it "List of X-Files Mythos Episodes" or "The Funniest and Scariest X-Files Episodes" or whatever). A guide that had all the episodes and indicated the episode type / tagged episodes / etc. would be super-useful.

Sure, I could rent every single episode and watch them, but it sucks sitting through ten minutes of something to decide "okay, never mind, monster-of-the-week" and turn it off, when that could be accomplished in 5 seconds by looking at a list of episode types. Plus a guide/list would save money on rental fees, since there are usually only two episodes per DVD and you'll often get two monster-of-the-weeks in a row.
posted by Bugbread at 11:22 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, forgot category four, Lone Gunmen episodes. That would have to be indicated in the guide, too.
posted by Bugbread at 11:23 PM on November 17, 2015


Because they are making movies about it? That doesn't even make nerd hipster sense.

If they want to turn Star Wars into an undead franchise like the countless sitcoms that shouldn't have lived past the 3rd or 4th season, and exist solely because they return more money than required to produce and everyone involved see it as an easy paycheck, have fun with it, but it's my choice not to be a part of it.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:41 PM on November 17, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thank you as well, Artw. Perfect Hannukah present for a special Star Wars fan in my life!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:42 PM on November 17, 2015


I have yet to see the first (or any) of the Star Wars movies.

Oh really? Well I've literally not seen hundreds of thousands of movies.


checkmate
posted by clockzero at 11:44 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


If they want to turn Star Wars into an undead franchise like the countless sitcoms that shouldn't have lived past the 3rd or 4th season, and exist solely because they return more money than required to produce and everyone involved see it as an easy paycheck, have fun with it, but it's my choice not to be a part of it.
posted by lmfsilva


I literally do not understand what the point of going out of your way to tell all of us that you are refusing to engage with the topic could possibly even be
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:48 PM on November 17, 2015 [17 favorites]


I care deeply and earnestly about this media empire decision and eagerly and desperately wish to watch these films to the extent that I am selling all that I have and giving it to medical researchers in order to discover clinical immortality so that I may be able to do so.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:52 PM on November 17, 2015 [4 favorites]


I literally do not understand what the point of going out of your way to tell all of us that you are refusing to engage with the topic could possibly even be

Isn't the point of things like Metafilter to discuss things? Why I can't voice my opinion that Disney turning Star Wars into an yearly cash cow is pretty much the point where I don't think it's worth caring about the franchise anymore?
But ok, fine. Have fun. Don't even bother replying because it's clearly not worth following this post.
posted by lmfsilva at 11:53 PM on November 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


Xfiles is desperately in need of some like, DBZ abridged sort of action.

Last time I watched, I just checked the episodes list in wikipedia, and skipped everything with the double-dagger mark, which is the long-running arc.
I really never liked that stuff even when it was airing.

I also read a couple of "Top 10 X-Files Episodes" type blogs which was good for finding some of the more memorable ones if just going by the wiki isn't doing it for you, the nice thing is that those types of lists don't usually have much overlap.
posted by lkc at 11:54 PM on November 17, 2015


Well, you never get to be 8 years old again. There are other thing to do.

You kind of do if you have a kid, just a little.
posted by Artw at 11:59 PM on November 17, 2015 [9 favorites]


DoctorFedora: "I literally do not understand what the point of going out of your way to tell all of us that you are refusing to engage with the topic could possibly even be"

I don't think what lmfsilva is doing is "refusing to engage with the topic". "Company X is doing Y" "I don't like Y, so I'm not going to buy Company X's products" is like 10% of MetaFilter anyway. Refusing to engage with the topic is what the person who dropped in to say "I have yet to see the first (or any) of the Star Wars movies" did (don't know who it was, because the comment seems to have been deleted).

If that comment was also by lmfsilva, then go ahead and drop this comment into the memory hole. I was never here, nobody ever saw me, you must be hallucinating.
posted by Bugbread at 12:16 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I admittedly forgot to also quote the earlier comment about ignoring Star Wars forever, and I may have been reading too far into what seemed, on its surface, to be basically just jumping into a thread to declare oneself above the topic of the thread (which, y'know, happens), so there is a very real possibility indeed that I am the one who is actually being a shit.
posted by DoctorFedora at 12:47 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been trying to make it through the first seven seasons of The X-Files, I'm just about done, and I'm utterly exhausted. I was trying to compile a list of episodes for my friend who was semi-interested but wasn't going to sit through so many episodes. Crawling through almost a dozen top ten/twenty episodes list, adding in all the Black Oil ones as well as my favourites I got it down to about 1/3 of the episodes but honestly, X-Files is kind of a huge mess. It has so many different tones and voices, wavers from comedy to horror to meta-analysis. There are way too many ways to slice it and it can go from being amazing and very much itself to being a meta-commentary of itself while also still being great. I don't know if I can recommend it to people without warning them that's a box of chocolates. (But definitely watch the Vince Gilligan episodes because they're ace)

Marvel has a cinematic Universe, DC wants one, Universal wants one for their monsters, Star Wars is going that route. I'm interested in seeing how this all unfolds. The idea for these franchises to still have steam with movies planned for ten/fifteen years down the line is interesting. I wonder how long interest will hold out.
posted by Neronomius at 1:56 AM on November 18, 2015


Remember reading an analogy about conspiracy thrillers / mystery stories where it's like peeling away layers of an onion until you get to the heart and solve the conspiracy. Around series 3 of X-Files I realised that the onion was going to go on forever, and you can only take so much onion, and the monster of the week eps had become not enough to keep me watching. I'd catch the odd ep but it was never enough to pull me back. I've thought about giving it another go, but I really think it was of its time now.

I suppose I should make the effort to watch the Star Wars films again before Dec (I'm not sure but I think something Star Wars related is happening then, might have seen a couple of things about it on the interweb) ... but enthusiasm is low for the prequals and all the cgi shit that's now smeared on the originals.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:49 AM on November 18, 2015


I re-watched the whole X-Files series over a period of about a year a couple of years ago and honestly, I thought the conspiracy stuff really wasn't that hard to follow. It was just stretched out to a tedious degree. It got less and less interesting as they had to keep the alien colonization plot spinning its wheels even after the original Syndicate group was killed (and then it got really dumb with the super soldiers), but I never thought it was really "incoherent."
posted by AndrewInDC at 4:44 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, you never get to be 8 years old again. There are other thing to do.

You kind of do if you have a kid, just a little.


My kid was 8 when the special editions came out in '97 so I was able to take him to see all of them in the theater. I know that Han shot first but I still thank Lucas for re-releasing those at just that moment in our respective lives.
posted by octothorpe at 4:56 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Quick note: It's actually fine to discuss the negatives of this! But let's avoid an extended meta-derail about that, please. Generally, the problem is with "I won't / don't even watch / read X thing" comments that don't contribute much.]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:10 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]



It desperately needs something like that TNG episode guide someone posted on the green a few years back(which google can't seem to find) which listed which episodes to skip until the show got good, and which ones to skip towards the end,


Anyone know of a link?
posted by sourwookie at 5:27 AM on November 18, 2015


it is quite likely that you won't live to see the final Star Wars movie

Really not a problem.
posted by juiceCake at 5:31 AM on November 18, 2015


​I recently realized that "Jedi" specifically refers not to all individuals who can sense and use the Force, but to this specific monastic order and their philosophy. Before the word "Jedi" existed, there were just loads of Force-users who were part of thousands of different societies, all using their powers for various reasons. Undoubtedly, Force users went by many different names, and used their powers selfishly. Imagine all the worlds where Force-users created brutal hierarchies and caste systems with themselves at the top. They were worshiped as divine or semi-divine, and probably called "The Exalted" or "The Chosen." Many of them became the worst tyrants ever, always with advantage over the lesser peoples, always able to sense plots against them. Their atrocities and malignant follies would have been legend. They would have been Sith, essentially, just without that name.

Eventually, i guess we can assume that the people of the galaxy began to steadily rebel against the Force-users and used technology to overthrow them. A royal family of Force-users could be eventually dispatched by a mob wielding blasters and piloting landspeeders. I guess the slaughter of the tyrants was nearly absolute, and the last few remaining ones took vows of peace and celibacy, bowing to civilian governments, and agreeing to their powers for the common good.

​I mean, that pretty much had to happen, right? Disney should make a prequel trilogy about those times. Fifty thousand years before the Republic, the brutality of House Draknorg reigned supreme! It would be like more like Game of Thrones crossed with Dune, only way more violent and cool!

Those would be neat movies. And it would be revealed that the Yodan race, though green and small in stature, were by far the most powerful Force-users of all and known for their infinite lust for torture and perversion.
posted by ELF Radio at 5:35 AM on November 18, 2015 [13 favorites]


it is quite likely that you won't live to see the final Star Wars movie

Hell is other prequals
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:02 AM on November 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


Xfiles is desperately in need of some like, DBZ abridged sort of action.

I've seen guides like this before, possibly even on the blue. Just a cursory search of "which x files episodes to watch" yielded these guides: Den of Geek, Skippable, Wired's Binge Guide, and /u/ragan651's list on /r/xfiles.
posted by msbrauer at 6:18 AM on November 18, 2015


How "original" will the original trilogy be? Star Wars was being edited while it was still in theaters, back in 1977

While this is technically true, I think it elides the differences between the early changes (which were basically things almost nobody would object to, like better mixing of audio for different viewing scenarios), and the later changes (wholesale changes to plot and characters). There's an awful lot of updates that 99.999% of people (even super-passionate fans) would have been fine with. It is only because Lucas literally wanted to re-edit the film and overhaul major character points a decade after the fact (and also suppress any ability to get a copy of anything remotely like the original cut) that there has been so much frustration voiced.

If the Special Editions had just been matte cleanups, color correction, and audio remastering, the number of people complaining about the changes would be about 1/1,000,000 of what it is.
posted by tocts at 6:37 AM on November 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


lmfsilva: If they want to turn Star Wars into an undead franchise like the countless sitcoms that shouldn't have lived past the 3rd or 4th season

Imma stop you there - Star Wars jumped that shark a long time ago with it's nigh endless list of books alone. That list was long before the prequels.


Neronomius: I wonder how long interest will hold out.

The Wired article touches on something interesting - with the next movie (Rogue One, due out Dec. 2016) is subtitled "A Star Wars Story" and will cover a McGuffin from the crawl of A New Hope, breaking from the episodic and exploring the space between those "pillar" films.

When you create a (cinematic) universe, you create a lot of space for play and exploration, so you can make any movie you like and layer in some canonical elements and you have a Star Wars Story, instead of just another random heist movie. I like fantasy worlds, and world-building in general, so I like the idea of playing in those spaces between the Episodes. You can step away from stalwart characters, and you don't get hung up on the original cast aging in the real world.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:13 AM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can't really explain how excited this makes me - it would appear that Disney is implementing what I hoped they would when they bought Lucasfilm.

The article really nails the "why" of what I said at the time: Star Wars is among the richest fictional universes we have, and it could be an amazing playground for writers and directors of all types.

It's true that what *is* Star Wars is a very specific thing, but I think it includes room to execute on all manner of story types: Wes Anderson could totally do one of his curious stop-motion movies in a Star Wars setting. Imagine bringing David Lynch into the fold, and all the weird he could bring to the table, while still maintaining the unmistakable bridge to what we immediately identify as Star Wars.

I think Genndy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars work is a perfect example: it's instantly recognizable as his work, and yet it's the most Star Wars thing that's happened since the original trilogy (caveat: I have not seen "Rebels").

And because the DNA of the universe includes input from so many genres, you could conceivably make a Star Wars Western. A Star Wars samurai film. A Star Wars racing flick. A Star Wars heist film. Etc.

Now, I might be ultimately disappointed, but the little bit about John Knoll and the genesis of "Rogue One" leads me to believe Disney is committed both to continuing the saga as well as fully exploring the universe and populating it with great stories.

The last time I was this excited about Star Wars was 1997, during the Special Edition theatrical releases. And I have hope that this is the beginning of a really great time to be a fan.
posted by rocketman at 7:15 AM on November 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm convinced people remember this show [The X-Files] in some idealized supercut memory version that never existed. Hell, i remembered it that way. It's almost impossible to rewatch. Something like quantum leap is easier even.

A bunch of us were having this conversation at dinner last weekend--how most of the X-Files episodes are terrible but the good ones (Peter Boyle, anyone?) are really great television. For the most part, the group agreed that Monster of The Week or Making Fun of Itself X-Files was superior to Government Conspiracy About Aliens X-Files. Where it breaks down for me is Home. I think Home is a terrible episode: cliched and obvious in the worst way with nothing but "ew gross!" to create any tension. I remarked at dinner that my opinion that Home is Worst X-Files, as opposed to Great X-Files is the only minor opinion I hold about an entertainment property that I have not found agreement for on the internet.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:26 AM on November 18, 2015


Star Wars was originally intended to evoke the spirit of the old movie serials, so it seems fitting for it to actually become a movie serial.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:27 AM on November 18, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think Genndy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars work is a perfect example: it's instantly recognizable as his work, and yet it's the most Star Wars thing that's happened since the original trilogy (caveat: I have not seen "Rebels").

Rebels is way more StarWarsier I will fight you.

Seriously, it's really fun, go watch it I'll wait.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:32 AM on November 18, 2015


I think Home is a terrible episode: cliched and obvious in the worst way with nothing but "ew gross!"

Oh god. My wife and I had been given a gift certificate to a B&B on Whibey Island in WA. We had a lovely dinner and came back to our room and snuggled down to watch the season premiere of X-Files. It was Home. We were both revolted and just ugh. Really put a damper on our evening.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:35 AM on November 18, 2015


Imma stop you there - Star Wars jumped that shark a long time ago with it's nigh endless list of books alone. That list was long before the prequels.

Exactly. Here's a list of all the books that were produced in the first expansion of the Star Wars universe. It was such a vast thing that after I unintentionally or not took a break from reading them as they came out (I got some early hard covers, yay?!) that by the time I thought I might be interested in reading them again, there were just so many I shrugged off the idea. Incidentally, Disney is well on its way to rebuilding the new expanded universe to be just as big (complete with a collection of short stories in the vein of "Tales of/from" that picked up minor characters and fleshed them out).

You also had the comics, too.

The second the idea of Star Wars beyond the films was something that could be easily monetized, the boom was on and it has never stopped. We had the Ewok movies before the Prequel Trilogy, and we had two animated versions of the Clone Wars (each great for different reasons), and so on. There were the Ewok cartoons and the Droid cartoons, etc...etc. What Disney is doing is nothing new and definitely not an out of the blue zombification of a franchise.

I may not live to see the "final" Star Wars film produced, but I will outlive characters and stories. Star Wars will simply be the setting, a stage that one can visit when one desires, but more so, people will come to care about the themes and characters. Granted, while one never knows to what extent corporate greed will resurrect the appearances of actors, we can expect that the stories of our favorite characters on the big screen will end, such as those with the names Skywalker and Solo, for example. After all, even in the old Expanded Universe, someone somewhere decided, "Hey, wouldn't be great if we killed off Chewbacca?"
posted by Atreides at 7:37 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a bunch of conflicting emotions and thoughts about the Eternal March of Star Wars Movies. Was a superfan through my youth, got bone-wearingly exhausted of the franchise and the endless megamarketing in my 30s. Have been, despite this, slowly won over to optimism for Episode VII by the trailers. So, despite being annoyed by the ad blitz (does the AV Club need to be doing Star Wars week now?), I'm excited to see see Ep VII. And I think it has a pretty good chance of being fun and good

But.

Let's be optimistic and say that Ep VIII is also fun and good. We've heard promising things! Sure! Optimism reigns. What about Ep IX? What about the anthology movies? Is it even remotely possible that high quality can be sustained over the long haul? That's completely unprecedented, even in franchises with shorter runs and smaller footprints. There will inevitably be a point when a really sucky Star Wars movie comes out again. This point will exist somewhere within a market continuum where people may or may not also be exhausted by other big franchises drifting into suckage.

I don't know what happens then, but I think it's fascinating to figure out. A big front has a big back.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 7:46 AM on November 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is it even remotely possible that high quality can be sustained over the long haul?

It's not, and I guess that's why I'm excited? This might seem strange, but I think uneven quality will help the franchise. Granted, if everything from here on out is of the level of the prequels, that sort of spells doom. But having some stinkers come out really takes the pressure off somebody working in Star Wars. Even George Freakin' Lucas couldn't get it right on revisiting it!

There's a gestalt to Star Wars that was lacking in the prequels, and I think fun is a huge part of it. It's extraordinarily difficult to have fun when you're under pressure to make the Greatest Star Wars Movie Ever.
posted by rocketman at 7:55 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've been a bit harsh on Rebels, but Seige of Lothal is some great Star Wars. Of course, it helps a lot if you know who Ahsoka Tano is and have seen a version of Anakin Skywalker you can actually give a shit about.
posted by Artw at 8:37 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Really I think Clone Wars Season 5 may be peak Star Wars for me.
posted by Artw at 8:39 AM on November 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


*powers up SWTOR*

*opens this thread on another monitor*

*continues working towards lifetime want of consuming anything and everything Star Wars until the midichlorians I know I have somewhere finally activate*
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:13 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


...with the next movie (Rogue One, due out Dec. 2016...
Finally, we may get to meet the ill-fated Bothans—hopefully non-CGI, and likable, so that the audience feels their loss when re-watching Episode IV.

(Unless “Bothan” is Jedi-speak for a keg, and Mon Mothma was saying “Those crazy Rogue One’ers got drunk and went and stole some blueprints... According to the bar-keep, before they left the cantina, many kegs were ‘killed’ by them...”)
posted by blueberry at 10:13 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know, I sort of hate those lists of episodes you can skip for things like The X-Files and TNG. Yeah, they're uneven, and yeah, there are some really bad episodes, but I think on the whole those shows are more than the sums of their parts, and immersing yourself in them is the best way to experience them. I was struck, for example, on a recent total TNG rewatch, of how much subtle characterization and plot continuity was there, and how each previous season did feel like it was building on everything that had come before. And at the end of the day, the best shows have characters that we just like spending time with.

Which is why seasons 8 and 9 of The X-Files is so boring, but I digress.
posted by Automocar at 10:14 AM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just rewatched the x-files over the summer. I was floored at how sensical and coherent the myth story was, as I remembered it as incoherent and all over the place. Its like they made a plot that works best for binge watching, before binge watching existed.
posted by charles148 at 10:28 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Finally, we may get to meet the ill-fated Bothans—hopefully non-CGI, and likable, so that the audience feels their loss when re-watching Episode IV.

Sorry, my friend, but the hard working Bothans died to get us the plans for the Second Death Star. You'll have to wait longer for Rogue Two: The Bothaning.
posted by Atreides at 10:35 AM on November 18, 2015 [3 favorites]


Tag line: It's a trap!
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Much like how planets in Star Wars have only a single biome, species in Star Wars end up being defined by the first instance that exists in the story. Consequently, all Bothans are hilariously somehow total super-spies who die to bring information forth, despite being really conspicuous looking lion people who are famous for being spies. How would they ever infiltrate anything when you can spot them a mile away? Why would anyone ever say anything important with them nearby? Who knows. STAR WARS!
posted by tocts at 10:43 AM on November 18, 2015 [7 favorites]


(Derail: I heard of Star Wars & Star Trek, but I never saw any of the films)....
posted by growabrain at 11:05 AM on November 18, 2015


juiceCake: "it is quite likely that you won't live to see the final Star Wars movie "

I'm glad I was born in time to be really excited about the first one.
posted by chavenet at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


I got it down to about 1/3 of the episodes but honestly, X-Files is kind of a huge mess. It has so many different tones and voices, wavers from comedy to horror to meta-analysis. There are way too many ways to slice it and it can go from being amazing and very much itself to being a meta-commentary of itself while also still being great.

If you view X-Files as a universe, you get to have that variety and aren't pinned to a single tone of voice for seven seasons. Trying to gorge on it is hard, but you could (possibly) step back and enjoy the broad scope of stories. Of course, if its the voice of characters that changes from episode to episode, it's hard to get past that.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM on November 18, 2015


Honest Trailers - Star Wars
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:49 AM on November 18, 2015


so there is a very real possibility indeed that I am the one who is actually being a sith.
posted by zippy at 1:00 PM on November 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Atreides, oh my god you are correct—for some reason I always remembered Mon Mothma as being in the original Star Wars, not Return of the Jedi...
posted by blueberry at 1:48 PM on November 18, 2015


crush-onastick: " I remarked at dinner that my opinion that Home is Worst X-Files, as opposed to Great X-Files is the only minor opinion I hold about an entertainment property that I have not found agreement for on the internet."

I think that's because of the existence of First Person Shooter. Any conversation can be turned by those three words. "You know, Bob, I was just thinking, Home is the worst XFiles episode." "Yeah, Alice? What about First Person Shooter?" "Oh...oh, yeah. Never mind."

Atreides: "we can expect that the stories of our favorite characters on the big screen will end, such as those with the names Skywalker and Solo, for example. After all, even in the old Expanded Universe, someone somewhere decided, "Hey, wouldn't be great if we killed off Chewbacca?""

Yes, but consider the fact that we're still seeing James Bond in movies, just using different actors. And consider the fact that not only has pretty much every superhero been killed off, but even in the more straightlaced SF vein, Spock was killed off.

blueberry: "for some reason I always remembered Mon Mothma as being in the original Star Wars, not Return of the Jedi..."

I have found my long-lost brother!! Welcome, brother!!
posted by Bugbread at 2:05 PM on November 18, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yes, but consider the fact that we're still seeing James Bond in movies, just using different actors. And consider the fact that not only has pretty much every superhero been killed off, but even in the more straightlaced SF vein, Spock was killed off.


That's definitely true, and Tarkin was recast for Revenge of the Sith and is rumored to be in Rogue One. Gads, it will be weird having an argument with a grandchild, "NO, HARRISON FORD IS THE ONLY HAN SOLO THAT MATTERS."
posted by Atreides at 2:08 PM on November 18, 2015


that TNG episode guide [...] which listed which episodes to skip until the show got good, and which ones to skip towards the end,

Anyone know of a link?


Maybe Star Trek: The Next Generation In 40 Hours? (Or did you mean a list for X-Files? If so, msbrauer probably has you covered.)
posted by Gerald Bostock at 3:07 PM on November 18, 2015




He's pretty much admitting he's just trolling the fandom now.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:14 AM on November 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Amanda Nelligan: He dropped by my apartment one day and... one thing sort of led to another.

Mulder: But the baby's father is an alien.

Amanda Nelligan: No, no, I didn't say he was an alien. I said he's from another planet. His name is Luke Skywalker. He's what is known as a Jedi knight.

Scully: Did he have a lightsaber?

Amanda Nelligan: No, he didn't bring it. He did sing his song for me though.

Scully: How many times have you seen Star Wars, Amanda?

Amanda Nelligan: 368. I should break 400 by Memorial Day.

Scully: Okay. Thank you.

Amanda Nelligan: Oh, wait a minute. Wait. You know these... these four other babies that were... born around here with tails.

Scully: Uh-huh.

Amanda Nelligan: There couldn't be any chance... Luke's the father, is there?
posted by Smedleyman at 9:08 AM on November 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Much like how planets in Star Wars have only a single biome, species in Star Wars end up being defined by the first instance that exists in the story. Consequently, all Bothans are hilariously somehow total super-spies who die to bring information forth, despite being really conspicuous looking lion people who are famous for being spies. How would they ever infiltrate anything when you can spot them a mile away? Why would anyone ever say anything important with them nearby? Who knows. STAR WARS!

TvTropes has you covered: Planet of Hats and especially, Planet of CopyHats
posted by kersplunk at 5:15 AM on November 20, 2015


Despite "TvTropes" being right in the sentence, you almost got me with that one. I had six extra tabs open before I caught myself.
posted by brennen at 7:15 AM on November 20, 2015 [4 favorites]


so there is a very real possibility indeed that I am the one who is actually being a sith.

Eh, sith happens.
posted by Sebmojo at 1:20 PM on November 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


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