Recently, there was a flurry of casting news for the still-untitled ninth episode of the Star Wars saga. Directed by J.J. Abrams, Episode IX will feature stars of The Force Awakens and The Last JediDaisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Loan (Kelly Marie) Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Carrie Fisher.
This delightful and deftly-written new digital series offers a comedic glimpse into the occult in which the talents of Janet Varney, the show's creator, co-writer (with freelance writer and editor Brandon R. Reynolds), and producer, are on full display. In Fortune Rookie, Varney portrays an alternate-universe version of herself: a somewhat self-obsessed and insensitive but ultimately well-meaning actress who abandons her career to become a fortune teller.
In 2018, the frantic pace of political news cycles can make every week feel like a year. It can be difficult to keep an optimistic view of our national governing institutions, which ought always to be full of civil servants who put the good of the citizenry above their own.
I originally wrote this piece the week that Lucasfilm released a trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which delved into the events that took place before the classic trilogy. While many other people were writing about this trailer and the future of the franchise, I felt compelled to revisit my own history with Star Wars, in a galaxy not so far away!
The Star Wars franchise is perhaps most responsible for the popularization of the term "prequel," so it's entirely fitting that the series should contain the prequeliest prequel ever. This year's addition to the ever-expanding Star Wars canon, Rogue One, is a direct baton-pass to the original 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. If you cut out the end credits of the former, and the opening crawl of the latter, you would have a contiguous four-hour feature that tells a complete story: "The Death Star – From Discovery to Destruction."
This is an update of a piece I did after the 2016 Rio Olympics, and now that the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, have come and gone, it seems like a good time to revisit it.