Feb 122014


With the Star Wars franchise changing ownership, and rumors of a massive overhaul of the EU underway, the time has come to reflect on new ways the owners of the Star Wars universe can reach out to its fans-both old and new.

As the setting is in a universe with tens of thousands of planets, a population of trillions, and a clean slate on post-Endor history, Star Wars developers hold the key to a writers wet dream. In the near future, these developers will need to decide what platforms would be best to reach fans and keep the setting both prolific and profitable.

While I would argue that video games, comics, and books make for ideal platforms, the main platform I propose they consider would include the creation of a live-action Star Wars TV series. TV series are great platforms for the creation of canonical storyline and presenting them to the masses in an entertaining and (hopefully) intellectual manner (like with Star Trek series, Star Wars Clone Wars). Technology is finally at a stage to give good, cheap lightsaber scenes (like with that youtube kid jumping around in his garage), and great ship battles (such as with Battlestar Galactica, DS9, and Stargate).

A Star Wars live-action TV series could give fans what its movies cannot–a story much smaller in scope than the move story lines but one that still offers us Star Wars flavor. Like Star Trek, they could produce series in different sections (quadrants, for you trekkies) of the galaxy, with overlapping or separate timelines. Despite the Star Wars universe being a Kardashev III civilization, even a regional or planetary based show could be made to feel important to its audience. The added benefit to this would be expanding on the cast of canonical characters that could then be used in later movies. These small budget series could pave the way to large budget films the the audience will (again, hopefully) know and love the characters, like with Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity.

I certainly hope this argument is something that the powers-that-be come across and consider. I love the Star Wars universe, and I would love for my children to say the same. They need only take the setting and combine it with the best loved of sci-fi our various generations–Firefly’s dialogue, Star Trek’s intellect and diplomacy, Battlestar’s dramatic twists and finales’, and naturally, the lightsaber.

At a cross roads, Star Wars is. Choose wisely, they must.

Jan 012014

Best Ongoing Show

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones on HBO is very much following in the footsteps of films such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter in bringing fantasy back into mainstream culture, for that alone I have to applaud their efforts. But they manage to accomplish so much more than just that, creating one of the most compelling stories on television while still staying faithful to the original stories and even providing different perspectives on events that have only been hinted at in the books.

What is even more amazing to me is how they manage to keep the emotional impact of events of the book intact, arguably even surpassing the book in places. Even having read the books before watching the show, and knowing exactly what is in store for some of these characters, events never came across as predictable, and each setback, triumph, and tragedy struck me as hard as if it had been the first I had ever heard of it. That is an amazing accomplishment, and I cannot wait to continue devouring everything Westeros has to offer, whatever format it appears in.
— Ben

Big Bang Theory

Big Bang Theory continues to hold its standing as one of my all-time favorite shows. While I sometimes feel that Sheldon now occasionally acts as a caricature of himself, the intelligent charm of this show continues to dominate my attention.
— Matt

Best New Show

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Unsurprisingly, Joss Whedon’s involvement with yet another superhero-related project has produced a winner (well, at least of a TLo42 Best of 2013 Award so far). Perhaps superhero-related is an overstatement, though, since most of the show doesn’t actually include Marvel’s Universe of Superheroes. Not directly, anyway. But that doesn’t stop the show from achieving something great. Coulson, Fitz, and Simmons shine, though at times other characters can be a bit trying. Each episode has centered around a creative mythical or supernatural device, and the writers have managed to continue developing new ones without the stories becoming contrived.
— Joe

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Sometimes it seems like anything that Joss Whedon does, I will love no matter its actual content, but the fact is that Joss is constantly fighting to have women who are not tropes and who are 3-dimensional characters and that happens to be something that I look for in the media that I choose to consume. However, that does not mean AoS is without its flaws. The first few episodes were difficult to get into- each character was stuck in a very narrow character arc and it took them a bit to branch out and be more interesting.  The storylines were rather simple, but after the sixth episode (which was awesome) it really started to pick up and I started to become invested in the characters and what happened to them. I also have to give a shout out to “FitzSimmons” the scientific duo who are hands-down my favorite characters on the show (being a scientist myself). If you are getting bogged down in the first couple of episodes, wait until after the 6th to write it off. It is definitely my favorite new show.
— Mystie