Devin and I welcome back West Coast correspondent Erin Vail for scorching hot takes on Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker and ~feelings~ about Little Women.
I’m not the right age to have Star Wars imprinted on my DNA. I’m too young to have seen the original movies when they stormed theaters from 1977 to 1983, and too old to look past the tonal and narrative flaws of the prequels. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a movie I wasn’t particularly clamoring for and didn’t really need. I like the originals just fine and found the prequels interesting as a fill-in-the-blanks exercise, but the cultlike devotion to the franchise has always eluded my grasp.
That’s not to say I wasn’t swept up in the multimillion dollar hype machine for this decade-in-the-making sequel, the first Star Wars movie produced without the guiding hand of creator George Lucas. I’d have to be made of stone not to feel some enthusiasm the sight of the movie’s young stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega parading across the late-night talk shows or the typically taciturn Harrison Ford grinning from ear to ear at the climax of the teaser trailer. But I watched approvingly from the margins, regarding the entire spectacle as another uncomfortable mix of creativity and commerce. I never fully engaged with the excitement, even as I recognize, respect and appreciate that others did.
(Avoid reading the rest of this review until you’ve seen the movie. I spoil some things.)
Last year at this time, I published a post with a series of hopes and dreams, big and small, for 2014. I’m happy to report that some of those hopes came true. A quick rundown:
I hoped that the third season of Sherlock is every bit as delectable as the first two. It wasn’t. The seams started to show, despite great moments. Oh well.
I hoped Jimmy Fallon’s transition to The Tonight Show would be smooth and hassle-free. Given NBC’s track record, this hope seemed far-fetched, but Fallon’s ratings are through the roof, and the qualities that made him a success on Late Night remain intact in the higher-profile timeslot.