We have witnessed many rebranding efforts in the annals of marketing history. Some have been spectacular successes, while others, well, not so good!
Next year Star Wars: The Phantom Menace celebrates its 20th anniversary. As that milestone approaches, discussions have increased about The Phantom Edit. Younger (and newer) fans may be aware of this unauthorized edit, but not know the details surrounding its creation. An essential understanding of the context of the time, as well as the intentions of the editor, is needed as the world once again is talking about Jar Jar Binks. This article is the first part of a three-part series.
Throughout the first and second seasons of Charlie Brooker’s anthology series Black Mirror what became expected of the show was for each individual episode, no matter what the setting or premise, would end with a dismal note on how humans use technology to exploit others or to heighten some of our worst habits. The series opener “The National Anthem” and “White Bear” showed the hostility with which technology can be used to punish others with the latter detailing how extreme this can be taken with the complete loss of identity within the protagonist’s confused mindset. Some of this is not dissimilar to the Netflix era with the season three episode “Shut Up and Dance” following a similar narrative trajectory but with the most realistic use of technology the series has arguably ever used. But unlike these episodes, "San Junipero" actually shows how technology can bring people together instead of tear them apart with obsession like in “The Entire History of You” or make them cling onto people who are no longer there in the mournful “Be Right Back.” San Junipero has deservedly been showered with praise for its open LGBT representation with the focus being on two romantically involved female protagonists who are not limited into ridiculous caricatures or pave into some fantasy depiction of queer women. Instead Kelly and Yorkie are real people who both share understandable problems and insecurities. As characters they are perhaps the most striking in that they’re so different from any other Black Mirror protagonists (aside from the protagonists of the thematically similar “Hang the DJ”) not because of their sexuality but due to the fact that they are not in any way portrayed as victims which is what a lot of other episodes fall into even in their various narrative twists some of the messages can seem repetitive due to the format of the show.
Growing up, I was never into Star Trek at all. I knew what it was, I had a basic knowledge of what it was about, but I never watched it. I didn't watch a lot of TV shows as a kid—not adult ones. I liked The Animated Adventures of Batman, Doug, Rocko's Modern Life, Rugrats, Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps! I would occasionally catch part of an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess during their early years, but I was not mentally developed to watch episodic dramas. I was, however, an avid fan of comic books and all geek related things, so by the time I was old enough to appreciate my nerdiness, Star Trek: Voyager was in the fourth or fifth season. I remember seeing a lot of publicity for the character of Seven of Nine (played by the beautifully talented Jeri Ryan.)
The most visual way to depict the first alien contact is a ship with blinding light descending from the sky or crashing to Earth, followed by sizable beings making an appearance. Usually, these aliens are somewhat comparable in size to humans. The way I see it, the first alien contact is likely to be with much smaller extraterrestrials, whether it's by chance or on purpose.
There are two feelings that you somehow can't forget: being excluded and feeling as though you're somehow "less than."
For more than 40 years, Star Wars has been a cinematic phenomenon that has captured the hearts and imaginations of moviegoers worldwide. It is a brand so well recognized and beloved that it is nearly impossible to imagine a world without it. And yet, since the release of the prequels, there has been a divide forming between the fans. There seem to be factions that have arisen out of the debates that this franchise has brought up.
Dune, Frank Herbert's 1965 science fiction masterpiece and the series that followed, should be the cinematic master series of the 21st century. In a cinema culture dominated by the continuing Star Wars series and the ever-present Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Expanded Universe, Herbert's Dune series stands with at least seven possible main series movies and even more prequels and expansions already written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson. Herbert's legends represent a much beloved yet mostly untapped potential pool of multimedia products. With Legendary Entertainment's acquisition of film rights, we may well stand to get the first successful film adaptation of this epic saga.
Did you know George Washington Carver made more than 300 products from peanuts?