STEPHEN NOTLEY + MINISTER FAUST ON STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS (MF GALAXY 060)
HOW DERIVATIVE IS IT? WILL IT RESTORE LUCAS’S REPUTATION? WHO’S MORE HUMOURLESS: LUKE OR REY? DOES STARKILLER BASE MAKE ANY SENSE? WHO’S IN LOVE: REY/FINN, REY/KYLO, OR FINN/POE?
Today’s episode is 100% non-stop spoilers. If you haven’t watched The Force Awakens yet, you obviously don’t care enough about Star Wars to care about these spoilers, or you’re in a coma. Either way, on we go.
Stephen Notley and I have been talking about science fiction and fantasy for more than 25 years. He’s the cartoonist who for more the last two decades has written and drawn the genre-hopping, politically satirical, gonzo fanboy comic strip Bob the Angry Flower about an evil, brilliant, and super-enthusiastic flower named Bob, and the panels of Bob frequently geek over everything S F & F.
Notley’s put out numerous Bob the Angry Flower compilation books and appeared at many major conventions including San Diego Comic Con. He has a vast following and counts among his fans no less than Joss Whedon, who also blurbed one of his collections.
Of course I’m the author of the Philip K. Dick-shortlisted The Coyote Kings whose pages are bursting with genre references and even include a criminal gang called the FanBoys.
To talk The Force Awakens, this last Boxing Day, Notley and I sat down at Ninja Sushi on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. They have not paid me to endorse them, but I will say they had great tuna. I also apologise to the couple sitting next to us who had to listen to us talk about Star Wars for 90 minutes. Which isn’t exactly true, because they left after 45.
If you’re listening on radio, strap in for this half-hour edition. If you’re listening via podcast, this is a special 90 minute version. Radio listeners can go to iTunes or mfgalaxy.org to get the Starkiller-size.
Notley and I will debate the following questions:
- So, just how derivative was The Force Awakens?
- Will it help resurrect the reputation of George Lucas?
- How much did Lucas’s prequels successfully add to the Star Wars universe without getting any credit?
- Who’s better in a first movie appearance: Luke, or Rey? And who is more humourless?
- What’s the role of cuteness in Star Wars?
- Why isn’t Jaaku simply called Tattooine?
- When does Star Wars do planets right?
- How did Starkiller Base actually work?
- What do The Force Awakens and the original Battlestar Galactica have in common?
- Why does Han starts talking like Geordi LaForge?
- Is Poe the new Han Solo?
- Who’s in love—Rey and Finn, or Rey and Kylo Ren? And how will Disney decide?
- What’s the love and character arc parallel between The Force Awakens and Avatar: The Last Airbender?
- What’s the major writing no-no in how the script introduces and develops Kylo Ren, especially with his powers, his mask, and his swordsmanship?
- Who is Snoke? Why is he called Snoke? And why is he a giant Gollum?
- What was wrong in the generational values of JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot?
- The Han-Leia relationship and Han’s decline from general back to smuggler and bad father: well-written or a lost opportunity?
- Why should you read the novel Darth Plagueis?
- Does Finn possess the Force?
- Maz Kanata, Lupita Nyong’o. Is the character a Super Duper Magical Negro?
- And is JJ Abrams’ greatest Star Wars movie… Star Trek 2009?
Along the way, Notley refers to local journalist and our mutual friend Fish Griwkowsky. I began by responding to Notley’s question, How many times have I seen the film?
BUY BOB THE ANGRY FLOWER BOOKS AND SWAG!