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  1. Just got back from watching it. I enjoyed it, but it did feel a lot like a really long episode of Star Wars: Rebels with special guest appearances from Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. * Getting rid of Snoke in the second film. He was a dull and useless bad guy, so removing him from the picture was a great move. Though it did feel a bit as if Rian Johnson was having a bit of a laugh at the next director's expense. "Just killed off the main villain - try to imitate Return of the Jedi now!" * Contrary to what someone earlier in this thread said, I don't think that Ren and Rey's tango along the dark-light border is finished.When Ren looked up at Rey as she closed the door, his eyes were desperate - almost pleading. My current bet is that Ren will turn, but Hux - underestimated - will stab him in the back. It's not how I want Ren to be resolved - I'd really find it more interesting if he had to live and come to terms with what he's done - but I think Episode IX may go in that direction. * Nice use of humour. Wish it could have been kept up a bit more in the second half. The start - with Poe taunting Hux, and Luke chucking the light-saber over his shoulder - was fantastic. * Found Leia's Force-powered spacewalk incredibly cheesy. And odd, since she's been shown to be Force sensitive, but not a Force user. If they'd let the character die in the initial explosion, I would have been okay with that, except that we'd have lost the tender moment with Luke near the end. * I raised my eyebrows at the bit where Poe embraced BB8. It was as if someone at Disney was saying: "See? It's not just Finn. He's always like this. With men. Droids. Porgs. In a totally platonic and manly way." * The Finn & Rose jaunt in the middle. On the one hand, I was glad the film decided to do something a bit different, and actually show why the First Order is bad, and take us somewhere we haven't been before. I don't mind the overtones of serious political stuff, that's fine. On the other hand, I wish it had been better integrated into the main plot. Such as it was. * Also, using children for cuteness value is one of my pet hates. I know, I love imaginary fluffy birds invented to sell merchandise, but don't like children. I suppose it's because the Porgs are obviously fictional, and thus forgivable. Poor yet prepossessing undeveloped urchins are the garden gnomes of cinema. * Yes, it was spectacular, but it was a bit too spectacular. Hardly anyone got to have a conversation for any length of time. And at least one of the longer conversations - Luke and Yoda - should imho have been cut, because it didn't tell us anything new about Luke, and that time could have been spent doing a bit more character development with the next generation. * I liked Rey's trip into the hole. Visually and aurally it was effective. I found the endless line of mirror Rey's quite evocative. Perhaps the most memorable scene. * When Ren told her that her parents were nobodies, I instinctively believed he was taunting her, and that we'd learn more in the next film. Admittedly, I often struggled to hear the dialogue above the music and sound effects. But I was surprised when I visited the spoiler thread here and LJ, and found out that most people took him at his word. If it were true, it would be pleasing in a Taran Wanderer sort of way - the fourth novel in the Chronicles of Prydain sees Taran search for his identity, hoping to find that he's the son of a nobleman or royalty, but in the end only discovers that he is, as Ren says, a nobody. And that that's okay. * However, I do believe that there's more to come about Rey's ancestry/who Rey is. She said that there's something inside her that's awoken. Now that could just refer to the Force, but I think it's going to be more significant than that. Her transformation has been so sudden - from desert scrap metal hunter to Jedi in not very much time at all - that I think there's more behind it. I think it sounds more as if a buried memory of some sort has woken up. Also, the vision in the hole with the line of mirror Reys - that seems as if it will lead into something. * I am wondering how the next film is going to deal with the loss of Carrie Fisher. I had kind of predicted that the original three leads would exit the films in reverse order of appearance - thus Han first, then Luke, then Leia. I suppose what might happen is for them to start Episode IX with the crawl: "Princess Leia has died..." And use that as a starting block for the rest of the film. In summary, fun, well-acted, but rather by-the-numbers, and, as many others have pointed out, rather dumb in terms of plotting, even by Star Wars standards. Though damn, I did tear up a bit when R2D2 projected the whole hologram of Leia from ANH.
  2. Finished reading it on Sunday night. Really lovely experience that made me long for an evening in front of an open fire with roast potatoes and apple pie. Not that it was completely comfortable - the hyena daemon and its owner were intensely creepy. At the start of the story I had found myself wondering what mental health was like in Lyra's world - whether there were fewer problems since humans could always talk to and confide in their daemons, and would be less lonely. I also thought that the world might be on average less violent because while people might still be overly willing to let themselves die, they wouldn't be able to bear seeing their daemons suffer. So it was interesting to see someone whom the HDM characters view as mad. Malcolm apparently has a mention in Lyra's Oxford, so I'll have to read that next! Very happy to be drawn back to the HDM world again.
  3. The Satanists and the Death Eaters both thought the other group would bring the barbecue sauce?
  4. Not sure about the fanfic, but author sounds horrifically fascinating. At a distance.
  5. Wow, that was instructive. I had no idea that was there. Like lifting up a rock and finding all the HP fandom crowded beneath it! Thanks for the tip. (Note: I didn't ask)
  6. LiveJournal and its ilk were great in the noughties, way better than any of its successor/usurper social media sites. Tumblr. Pfft. Thanks for your help, Darth Richard II.
  7. That's right, laugh at my tragic situation. I may never find out if James Sirius Potter grows up to have a black-haired son and a red-haired daughter, who themselves grow up and beget two children (one black-, one red-haired) each, with a 75% chance of them being called James or Lily as either a first or middle name, and they each beget two children, and so on and so on. It's very difficult not knowing.
  8. This question doesn't strictly speaking belong here, but I'm not creating a whole new Harry Potter thread just to ask it - I reread HP&TDH today for the first time since it was released and I fear that it's stirred to life a disease that's been mostly latent for ten years. Ahem *twitch* Could anyone possibly point me in the direction of any good HP fanfiction written after DH was released? I don't have an LJ anymore, and no one's left to ask there regardless. My fannish haunts have all closed down. It's exactly like Don McLean walking into the sacred store/where he heard the music years before/but the man there said the music wouldn't play. Except not. Back in the day, I liked reading gen with romance preferably taking a back seat to plot/atmosphere/dialogue/anything that's not sex or romance.
  9. I don't think she's bad with people - she's winsome and friendly, and that counts for a lot. Stamets wasn't any the worse for having spoken to her, and at least he admitted what was happening. But she might need a dose of character development and experience before she could be said to be actively good with people. Though since the time-confused Stamets called her Captain, it looks as if both those things are coming her way. Unless she ends up as Captain via dead men's shoes.
  10. I think if he works for a company whose policy is threatening people, his moral ceiling could do with some reinforcement. Thought Reiser did a great job, and liked his character, but found him more ambiguous than most the crew.
  11. Don't think Dustin did keep Dart a secret until he had good reason too - Mike or Lucas (can't remember which) tried to attack it in the AV room. I enjoyed the Billy subplot and felt the pay off - Max sticking the syringe in his neck - was tremendously satisfying. I'll have to turn it into a GIF and put it on loop. A jerk who's a jerk because his father's an abusive is hardly a fresh new idea. But the Stranger Things creative team excels at creating larger-than-life family dynamics. The determinedly idle and emotionally absent Wheeler parents; the single mother households of Will and the de facto single mother one of Dustin... When Billy's father showed up, I was more scared of him than of the monsters. And I definitely didn't expect it when his character first showed up in Season 1, or indeed for much of the rest of that season, but Steve improves every scene he's in. Someone whose blog I read aptly compared him to Buffy Season 3's Cordelia. They seem to have flip-flopped a bit about the characterisation of Dr Owens - or perhaps I'm being ungenerous, and what I saw was simply a portrayal of ambiguity and a point of decision. His speech to Jonathan and Nancy, as well as his being involved with the lab at all, suggested that he was rather a bad man. But by the time we've reached the crisis, he was being pretty brave, compassionate and clever.
  12. Do we know what the white wolf is? I think theories that it was Ahsoka got shot down. I liked the latest pair of episodes. Glad we're spending longer on Lothal. It gives Ezra more context.
  13. So you think Sabine might appear in a future spin-off? Perhaps set between RotJ and TFA?
  14. Didn't realise the second part was here already. Pity Ezra and Sabine won't have a more extended sojourn with Saw, but it was a fun episode nevertheless. Feels like the clock is ticking for the crew of the Ghost though - the introduction of the Death Star makes it feel as if the game is nearly up. I hope the gloomy predictions about the death of absolutely everyone except Chopper and Hera aren't proved right. I like the "found family" vibe they have. Chopper was magnificent, as ever. If he was a human, he'd be a grumpy Zorro.
  15. Enjoyed the direction the latest episode took. Hope the status quo isn't reset next week - a more steady development would be better.