First Page of the Journal

blank paper will not judge you

I really liked the new Ghostbusters movie.

When I first saw The Force Awakens, I went with a friend, and we had so much fun talking about the movie afterwards that we managed to miss the right exit on the highway twice. One of my observations was the large number of female background characters present in the movie. She admonished me for not saying that about the protagonists.

Granted, that's generally the more important category to be concerned about, but here's why attention to extras matters too--and why a change in their demographics is so striking.

Soon after I saw TFA, I overheard a teenager reviewing the movie for a friend. He was of the opinion that Kylo Ren was the "worst Sith lord ever", criticized the fact that he was just a kid, and also took issue with the fact that his "unmasking" came so early in his trilogy. Meanwhile, on the internet, the "Emo Kylo Ren" twitter feed has become a sensation.

Now, I find the guy rather fascinating, for one big meta-reason: he does indeed have a whole lot of elements that could easily work against him ("just an emo kid" being high on the list)...and yet, taken together and in context, he works surprisingly well as a villain. Settle in while I list each possible detriment and why it's actually okay.

Mark Hamill expressed some surprise that anyone could manage to make a droid cuter than R2-D2, whom he considered "the most adorable droid in movie history."

I gotta call him out on this one.

Let's be clear about what constitutes a spoiler. (Spoilers under the fold, of course.)

Way back when I was very little, Mom and Dad recorded a VHS tape of little computer animated shorts produced by Pacific Data Images and some other artists. It was a much-loved tape, and a few of the things on it were obscure enough that I still haven't located them on YouTube. In many cases, it took a little detective work to find the title of a piece, especially when human error in recording cut off a title card or other details.