So, we’ve got a title for Star Wars VII.


Pun not intended, but it is now.

Star Wars has a long history of cheesy titles, starting with, well, “STAR WARS.” But this one just doesn’t give you any sense of what the movie is going to be about.

I: The Phantom Menace – Some sort of hidden threat, but then we also knew it would be about young Darth Vader. Safe bet that the menace is the Emperor getting started.
II: Attack of the ClonesExactly what it says on the tin.
III: Revenge of the Sith – Ditto.
IV: A New Hope – Kind of vague, but by the time this title was tacked on, everyone on the planet had already seen the movie when it was just called “Star Wars,” which told you right off the bat it would be about wars in space.
V: The Empire Strikes Back – Exactly what it says on the tin.
VI: Return of the Jedi – Well, symbolically anyway, but we knew they’d at least have to resolve the Han cliffhanger and set up Luke as a Jedi Knight.

The Force Awakens? That could be about anything.

Maybe that’s the point. JJ Abrams likes his secrets. So does George Lucas, for that matter. And let’s face it: This is the first live-action Star Wars movie in ten years, and it reunites the original cast on screen for the first time in thirty. Nobody really cares what it’s called: it could be “Star Wars VII: The Search for More Money” and those of us who grew up on the original trilogy would still go out and see it opening weekend.

Just not at a midnight showing. We’re getting too old for that sort of thing.

On a side note: I find it interesting that ten years ago, Lucasfilm announced the Epsiode III title at Comic-Con and had T-shirts ready on the floor. This year, Disney announced the title on Twitter.

I was kind of hoping Disney would pick Joss Whedon to direct the next Star Wars movie just to watch fans’ heads explode. But going with the guy who rebooted Star Trek? That’s what I call a close second.

J.J. Abrams Will Reportedly Direct the Next Star Wars Movie

Originally posted on Google+

One of the coolest things to happen at last year’s Lost panel was Hurley Guy: a large, scruffy, longish-haired guy coming up to the Q&A mike wearing a green shirt. The producers were as amused as the audience, and his prize for asking his question was a tub of Dharma ranch dressing. I caught sight of him again on Friday afternoon of this year’s con, dressed this time in a yellow “I (heart) my Shih Tzu” shirt and pajama pants with a plaid bathrobe. I hung around him, waiting to ask for a picture, as he talked with his friends about when they planned to get to the line the next morning. The consensus was 4 a.m., which I found ridiculous. Later, after giving up on the picture, I learned that people were already camping that night. Even more ridiculous. But for the kind of panel that this year’s, the final Lost panel, was, I can see how they’d decide it was utterly worth it.

I arrived on the Plaza Park lawn as soon as the 8 a.m. shuttle could get me there. No one noticed I was dressed to resemble Kate, and Hurley Guy was nowhere in sight to beg for a photo. The doors opened at about 10:30 for the 11:00 panel, and on the way in we were handed pencils and fliers for “Lost University” (and I also got the “9” card being handed out as a promo for 9). We found out what that was all about at the beginning of the panel, when a clip advertising the website ( was played. I haven’t looked at the site, so I don’t know if it’s another ARG or another fan-gathering site. But with “test” questions and “schedules” involving polar bears and hunting boars, it’s bound to be at least slightly funny.

I believe this was also where there were some clips played of “things that might happen” in an altered world of Lost. I can’t remember precisely where this bit was, because I was a good fan and didn’t take pictures of any of the videos. The lineup included a commercial for Mr. Cluck’s featuring Hurley, who had apparently bought the company and had nothing but GOOD luck since winning the lottery. The restaurant was featuring “Australian” combos to commemorate his return from his walkabout trip. Then there was a segment from a “Most Wanted Fugitives” show, letting us know that Kate was still on the run. Apparently, instead of killing her stepdad in the explosion, she’d actually killed the underling he’d sent back to the house to collect his tools.

The panel itself started with Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof saying that they planned to make this mostly Q&A, to give back to the fans. Continue reading

Somehow, we’ve found ourselves watching a lot of shows on Fox this fall. And two out of three are returning, so we can be confident that they’ll actually finish out the season. The third is Fringe, and I’m still trying to decide whether I want to keep up with it.

So far it basically seems to be The X-Files as done by J.J. Abrams, with a corporate conspiracy replacing the government conspiracy. Which is fine, except I wasn’t particularly interested in The X-Files. I think I saw about 5 episodes plus the first movie.

One thing I’m not thrilled about is the implication that everything they investigate is going to be part of “The Pattern.” It seems awfully convenient that all the weirdness stems from one lab’s experiments back in the 1970s, with (presumably) one partner causing and the other investigating the weirdness. I’d actually prefer it if they sometimes ran into things that were weird and bizarre, but came from other people’s work.

They also seem to be big on body horror, which is not my favorite topic to watch on a weekly basis. Though that could just be the first two episodes.

The most interesting character so far is the mad scientist Dr. Bishop, played by John Noble. Oddly enough, I didn’t recognize the actor until the second episode.

The pilot episode actually got to a point about 2/3 of the way through where I wanted it to end. I found myself thinking, “Okay, the story’s done, you can wrap up the episode now.” Kind of like The Talented Mr. Ripley, it just kept going. Still, it was a pilot, and it was trying to do setup, so they get a pass.

Something I’ve noticed is that it’s easier for me to suspend my disbelief on things that are completely and totally “out there” than things that are just a little bit past normal. For instance, to bring up some spoilers from episode 2: Continue reading