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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Ozyman.Jones
    March 13, 2017 @ 1:20 pm

    You touch on what is for me, perhaps, the most interesting aspect of TFA; and that is Finn, especially the likelihood of there being more like him in the massed ranks of stormtroopers regularly mowed down as canon fodder in the original trilogy, in TFA, and currently on TV in Star Wars Rebels series.

    My seven-year-old son commented while watching some random stormtroopers swapping quips just before being taken out by our series regular heroes in a recent episode that ,”They sounded like Finn.” And the concept of some of the stormtroopers being ‘good’, or at the very least likeable struck him silent for a while.

    Hours later he came to me to bring up an incident in an old episode of Clone Wars (we just completed a full six season binge about three weeks ago). Three Battle Droids were facing down a rampaging Jedi, intent on cutting his way past them. Droid #1 tries to rally his troops with a, “Stand firm, there’s three of us and only one of him.” The droids swap comic double takes, and he drops his blaster to his side and comments, “What does it matter!” And all three are unceremoniously dispatched by said Jedi, and forgotten. All played for comedy. And we did laugh when we watched it.

    The Finn/stormtrooper quandary had made him rethink this incident, and maybe start to ponder some of his young certainties about how the world worked.

    “What if droids had feelings and friends, too?” he asked innocently.


    • Roderick T. Long
      March 19, 2017 @ 5:16 am

      “he’s the first such character since Anakin to obtain any sort of protagonist status, and the first ever to do so as a straightforwardly sympathetic protagonist”

      This is true only if one ignores the tv shows (especially Clone Wars, which goes as far as it can toward exploring the oppressed status of clones and droids without actually declaring the Jedi to be awful people).


  2. Homunculette
    March 13, 2017 @ 1:26 pm

    I didn’t think the phrase “Lucas’s more Brechtian tendencies” would ever be a phrase I nodded in agreement with, but here we are.


  3. Austin Loomis
    March 13, 2017 @ 1:46 pm

    I’m half tempted to do a quick triptych of posts on his filmography before December, just to really set ridiculous expectations for myself in covering The Last Jedi.

    Do it. Do it do it dooooo iiiiit.


    • Sean Dillon
      March 13, 2017 @ 2:45 pm

      If anything, to finally convince me to watch The Brothers Bloom despite my brother’s negative reception towards the film.


      • Elizabeth Sandifer
        March 14, 2017 @ 1:40 am

        Your brother is hella wrong.


        • Sean Dillon
          March 14, 2017 @ 1:47 am

          If that was the only thing he was wrong about, I’d be much happier. Shame he also has to be an Amazing Atheist fan boy.


    • Lovecraft in Brooklyn
      March 14, 2017 @ 1:34 am

      Brick is brilliant, Looper is fun, and Brothers Bloom is about the power of telling stories. Do it.


      • Elizabeth Sandifer
        March 14, 2017 @ 1:41 am

        50% chance it’ll happen. Doing the first chunk of Proverbs of Hell first, though.


  4. Jesse
    March 13, 2017 @ 5:49 pm

    Wow, the structural connection between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Han is something I’d never considered before. But you’re right, each trilogy begins with a member of a generation that’s on its way out helping kick things off and then passing the torch along and getting killed by a Sith Lord’s lightsaber.


  5. David Anderson
    March 13, 2017 @ 10:21 pm

    I like to imagine that the development meeting that came up with Kylo Ren went something like this:
    – We want a villain that will be as iconic as Darth Vader.
    – But we’re never going to come up with a villain as iconic as Darth Vader.
    – Let’s make that our villain’s concept then: he wants to be as iconic as Darth Vader and knows he’s never going to be.

    And the rest of the film follows that (for example it’s blatant following of the original structure and iconography): it’s a spectacle sf movie that is openly about being a spectacle sf movie after Star Wars; which is something that only the Star Wars franchise can really do.


    • Daibhid C
      March 14, 2017 @ 6:12 pm

      That’s certainly how I see Kylo’s genesis. It’s the Infinite Improbability strategy; put the narrative problem itself in the text in such a way that it becomes its own solution.


    • Riggio
      March 14, 2017 @ 11:10 pm

      I remember when TFA first came out, one of the bits of news I came across involved how there were a ton of Kylo Ren toys manufactured, but which no one could move. And parents and children at stores and online were asking for more Rey merchandise that corporate never thought to make. Ren was featured really prominently in the trailer too.

      Basically, because Kylo Ren was the big villain with the coolest sword and the badass mask, the marketing and merchandising bros must have thought he’d be the best merchandising hook for the movie. They probably also bought into the notion that only boys would buy Star Wars toys. I don’t think the folks in charge of the initial marketing push for the film (if they even bothered to watch the film, which I doubt) had any idea that A) girls like sci-fi or B) Kylo Ren is, from top to bottom, designed as a pathetic wretch whose pale imitation of his grandfather invites only contempt.


      • Jack
        March 15, 2017 @ 5:22 am

        Right after the movie came out, I was talking with some fellow Star Wars fans and Kylo Ren came up, and one of them said they hated him because he was a whiny little wanna be, not a good villain like Vader

        I told them that they didn’t get it: that was the point of him. Rey explicitly says it. I’m guessing the marketing people didn’t get the memo. To be fair, after I saw the first trailer, I did think “that droid and that lightsaber are going to sell like hotcakes” but once I saw the movie, I knew Kylo Ren wasn’t going to be a commercial force, no pun intended.

        BB-8 turned out just fine.


  6. John Galbraith
    March 14, 2017 @ 10:08 am

    Recast Leia…bold…needs to be someone equally iconic…

    Oh, wait

    Karen Allen.

    There. Job done.


  7. Martin Porter
    March 17, 2017 @ 9:01 am

    When we were going to see The Force Awakens we were speculating on what Mark Hamill’s role would be. I suggested it would be a Police Squad style ‘special guest star’ appearance, where he dies in the opening credits before he can speak.

    I was almost right.


  8. John
    March 28, 2017 @ 2:20 am

    Leigh Brackett doesn’t count as a writer who’d already done better stuff than Star Wars? She worked on the scripts for The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, and The Long Goodbye


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