Critics claim that the middle film of a trilogy is the most difficult. They’re wrong.
The opening has the advantage of introduction. More time is allotted to get to know the people, setting, rules. Caring about the characters is more critical than advancing the plot.
The ending has the advantage of drama: Everything hinges on individual moments.
The penultimate installment has its own advantages, though. New threads can be introduced that don’t require immediate resolution. The characters are established. The center of a trilogy is the only place you can get away with episodic cliffhangers (the kind television takes for granted).
That’s why The Empire Strikes Back is the strongest STAR WARS. There’s no time wasted on Luke’s background, Han’s motives or Leia’s personality. Obi-Wan’s stoicism sets up Yoda’s hilarity (which wouldn’t be funny if we’d met Yoda first). Throw-away lines from the first movie (“You think a princess and a guy like me…?”) become whole plots, because there’s time for development.
Events aren’t concluded. Heroes stumble from bad to worse ’til credits roll. It’s fantastic.
Despite the gooey fun at the trilogy’s center (like a tootsie pop), The Two Towers managed to repeatedly disappoint, though sandwiched between two of the greatest fantasy adaptations of all time. Read More →
Last week was stressful. I needed a break when I could be both un-creative and harmlessly vengeful. (Pundits have missed the point of violence in video games…it’s so we don’t act out in reality.)
Typically, I prefer light-sided Sith. Their questlines are convoluted, balancing acts of kindness with impressing their masters and hiding their secret generosity. Dark Jedi balance similar deception among their elders. The gun classes (Trooper, Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Imperial Agent) are less polarized.
Dark Sith are a different animal. They’re afforded regular opportunities to be truly vicious. Normally, it’s exhausting. But sometimes you just need to play the villain. Tordethal was my first villain who pulled no punches. Weaklings and cowards who beg for mercy get receiving end of Force Lightning. *zap, crackle* Let that be a lesson to my coworkers! Yeah!
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My nickname is my full name, including the pretentious middle initial. This is what very close friends call me. Not “Lightning” or “Caveman” or “Starbuck” or “Captain Inappropriate.”
Okay, sometimes, “Captain Inappropriate.”
Like most nicknames, I didn’t choose it for myself.
Our campus pastor was an amazing man who remembered everyone’s name despite knowing hundreds of students. He called me “young Jason.” Pastor was amazing in other ways. Whether you were at every Bible study or hadn’t seen him in months, you felt like he was your best friend. Because he actually was.
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Megan claims she doesn’t like surprises. She prefers to be involved. She bought her own engagement ring — I didn’t even get to see it first. (That’s another tale and shall be told another time.) However, when you ask her detailed questions, she vacillates. Some surprises are good. Some are bad. What’s the pattern? Where’s the line?
It’s impossible for a loving husband to guess. Read More →
When I first committed to blogging daily, I had nothing planned or prepared. It was like jumping from an aircraft with a pledge to knit a parachute on the way down. I liked the idea because it was bold, daring and would force action. I thrive under pressure. Give me three years to complete a project and watch me “multitask,” confident you’ll forget. Give me three hours and be amazed. Read More →
Warning: To readers who wondered at yesterday’s not-always-family-friendly joke, today’s salty language may test your resolve. To readers who finish this post and wondered why there was a warning, you’re in the right place.
Yesterday, Megan cut her hair. Some of you are thinking, “Aw cute!” and similarly unhelpful things. Precious few of you will understand how deeply this wounds me.
I am the luckiest of men, however, in that my wife is one of those few. I love long hair. She gets it. I find it beautiful, she likes feeling beautiful…for us, it’s a win-win.
Jason! Wait! you cry. How did this tragedy befall such a happy union? Read More →