Hyperspace Theories Episode 11: Disney Influences, Shifting Scripts, and the Star Wars Everyman

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The topics for this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories practically generated themselves. After Star Wars Celebration earlier in the year, in August the city of Anaheim hosted another huge fan gathering: the D23 Expo featuring all things Disney. In addition to major news about a Star Wars land coming to Disney Parks, The Force Awakens and Rogue One also put Star Wars movies in the spotlight at the convention, along with major coverage in Entertainment Weekly. Joining us for the episode is Ryan Hurley of Turtle Power Podcast, whose core fandoms – Star Wars, Disney, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – fit in perfectly with our topics.

We begin with considering the influence of Disney on Star Wars now that the multinational, publicly traded company owns Lucasfilm. In addition to its own creations, Disney has managed the successes of fellow subsidiaries Pixar and Marvel. Observing how Disney protects the images of its characters in its theme parks, for example, may indicate how Star Wars characters will be handled in the future. Another important impact of Disney’s influence on the future of Star Wars was the willingness of Disney’s leadership to transition away from the treatment for Episode VII created from the notes of George Lucas to a script written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams instead.

For our speculation meta segment we discuss the challenges of speculating about a movie when multiple versions of a story or screenplay exist during the course of the development process. Ryan shares his experience . . . → Read More: Hyperspace Theories Episode 11: Disney Influences, Shifting Scripts, and the Star Wars Everyman

Alyssa Rosenberg: Reporter, Feminist, Science Fiction Fan

Alyssa Rosenberg

by Priya Chhaya

There was a time a few years ago where I lived to get my pop culture commentary from the Washington Post (WaPo). Mostly it involved weekly live chats about a little show called LOST with Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly. But when the column, Celebritology, went defunct I parted ways with the Style section and leaned on other blogs like Vulture and Entertainment Weekly for my daily dose of movies, television, and books. Then, as a true child of the digital age, I found myself sharing pop culture articles from the WaPo again and it was a few months before I realized they were all by one person: Alyssa Rosenberg.

Her column, Act Four, covers a wide array of topics – in one week you could find her waxing over a plot point in Orange is the New Black, providing recaps of Game of Thrones, all the while covering the culture angle of a particular real life event (such as the tragic movie theatre shootings). As I read her work I realized that there are two things that I really love about her writings. The first is that no matter the subject, Rosenberg is incredibly honest and fair with her commentary. The second is that when dealing with tough subjects she does so in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

This is most evident in four pieces she put together in the last year:

Two Magazine Covers and the Fight for Transgender Equality Want to Celebrate Southern Heritage? . . . → Read More: Alyssa Rosenberg: Reporter, Feminist, Science Fiction Fan

Tricia Barr Talks Star Wars Land and More on Jogcast Radio

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Apparently the ladies of Fangirls Going Rogue have a fanbase in Australia! Tricia Barr joins Jogcast Radio to discuss D23 Expo news, including Star Wars Land, the Drew Struzan poster for The Force Awakens, and the Rogue One cast photo. Simon Pegg’s role in Star Wars resulted in differing opinions.

Plus, Tricia gets a chance to share some insight on her award-winning space opera Wynde.

Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She is one of four authors of Ultimate Star Wars from DK Publishing, has written several feature articles for Star Wars Insider magazine and is a contributor for Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and RebelForce Radio Presents Fangirls Going Rogue.

Tricia Barr’s novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library’s successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena’s Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.

For updates on all things FANgirl follow @FANgirlcantina on Twitter or like FANgirl Zone on Facebook. At times she tries the Tumblr.

. . . → Read More: Tricia Barr Talks Star Wars Land and More on Jogcast Radio

Katie Couric’s Rise of the Female Superhero

Wonder-Woman

At Yahoo! News, Katie Couric has a wonderful new report titled, “Rise of the Female Superhero.” The video is about 17 minutes long, and covers a wide range of topics. It’s great to see a high-profile journalist like Couric giving reach to topics that fangirls have been emphasizing recently:

With a fan base that’s now 47 percent female, the notion of comic book superheroes being a boys club is now a thing of the past. Publishers like Marvel, DC and Image have answered the demand for more female protagonists, and behind the pages, a new wave of female creators are giving these characters the presence they never had. From writers G. Willow Wilson and Kelly Sue DeConnick to artists like Babs Tarr, the comic book industry has never seemed so diverse.

As many eagerly wait for Hollywood to catch up to comicdom with upcoming films like “Captain Marvel” and “Wonder Woman,” and television shows like “Supergirl,” these comic book creators are ringing in a new golden age for the female superhero, and the world of crime fighting will never be the same.

Only a few years ago, DC Comic’s Dan Didio publicly dismissed the concerns of female fans; now he’s seen the positives that diversity in stories – and the audience – can bring to the industry. With Mockingjay Part 2 and The Force Awakens coming to theaters at the end of the year, hopefully the trend Couric is noting will only gain more momentum in the months . . . → Read More: Katie Couric’s Rise of the Female Superhero

Supergirl Meets Her Audience

Supergirls

CBS recently invited 400 mother and their daughters to attend a screening of Supergirl, rounding it out with a surprise visit from Supergirl herself Melissa Benoist. From CBS.com:

Before taking questions from her young fans, Melissa insisted that every girl in the audience stand and do the Supergirl pose. Mothers clapped as their daughters erupted from their seats with their left hands on their hips and their right fists aimed firmly to the sky. Melissa answered questions about her Supergirl costume, the powers she’ll have, and who her personal hero is: her mom. Before leaving, Benoist reminded the audience that what makes Kara Danvers “super” isn’t just her powers, but her love for her family, her courage, and the positive support she receives from those who love her.

This event follows a recent trend to use mothers and female empowerment as effective marketing tools. According to Variety, Supergirl is expected to beat out its competition Gotham for the valuable 18-49 audience.

Check out the recent trailer, where Kara Danvers proves she is not a reluctant hero.

Supergirl premieres Monday, October 26th (8:30-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on CBS.

Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She is one of four authors of Ultimate Star Wars from DK Publishing, has written several feature articles for Star . . . → Read More: Supergirl Meets Her Audience

Taylor Gray and Ray Park Join Fangirls Going Rogue

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The ladies fly fast and shoot straight with their ‘ships in the newest episode of Fangirls Going Rogue. Bria LaVorgna (Tosche Station, White Hot Room) joins Tricia Barr, Teresa Delgado, and Sarah Woloski to discuss survival skills for a new era of Star Wars movies. Lessons learned in the ‘shipper wars in the Prequel Trilogy and Expanded Universe eras spur a discussion on how to be passionate about our favorite characters without making enemies of fandom friends. Parents, Parents, this is the podcast conversation to help guide you and your younglings through the social media era. Hear the ladies’ thoughts on Star Wars Rebels Season 2 summer premiere; short form #spacemarried, #Vaderrules, and #fangirlflail. Speaking of Rebels, the fangirls round out interviews with all the members of the Ghost‘s crew, speaking to Taylor Gray. From Star Wars Weekends, Darth Maul stunt actor Ray Park shares how Star Wars inspired his career and how martial arts can help little (and big) kids focus. Finally, the character discussion gets imposing as Agent Kallus takes center stage.

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Don’t forget you can get your own Fangirls Going Rogue or #fangirlflail shirts from our store.

Bria LaVorgna as Jedi Mulan

Fangirls Going Rogue is available on Shotglass Digital and iTunes or subscribe to the RebelForce Radio RSS feed.

Fangirls Going Rogue: @FGGoingRogue

Tricia: @fangirlcantina

Teresa: @icecoldpenguin

Sarah: @JediTink

Bria: @ChaosBria

Email: fangirlsgoingrogue@gmail.com

Facebook: Fangirls Going Rogue

Tumblr: fangirlsgoingrogue.tumblr.com

Instagram: @FGGoingRogue

Voicemail: 331-21 Ewoks or 331-213-9657

Please like Rebel Force Radio . . . → Read More: Taylor Gray and Ray Park Join Fangirls Going Rogue

Hyperspace Theories: The Force Awakens SDCC 2015 Panel Reaction Special

Star Wars and Lucasfilm have a long tradition of making waves at San Diego Comic-Con. With The Force Awakens due in December, this summer’s convention was no exception. Friday evening July 10 the famous Hall H hosted the movie’s panel, moderated by Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick and featuring nine panelists: production masterminds Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Lawrence Kasdan; John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac for the light side; Adam Driver, Domnhall Gleeson, and Gwendoline Christie for the dark side; and legacy actors Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford. Although the panel’s conversation was great fun, for purposes of speculation and insight into the movie nothing could top the three-and-a-half minute behind the scenes reel which premiered early in the panel.

Naturally the video formed the basis for a special reaction episode of Hyperspace Theories, speculating about the movie based upon the new glimpses and clues provided by the reel. Tricia, B.J., and Kay are joined by Sarah and Richard Woloski from Skywalking Through Neverland for the discussion. We share our reactions to the panel and the video, then proceed to analyze the video in chronological order. Watch along with us while you listen!

You can also listen to Hyperspace Theories at Libsyn or download the show there. Or subscribe on iTunes.

Hyperspace Theories is on Twitter @HyperspacePod!

Tricia is @FANgirlcantina on Twitter, as well as posting at FANgirl Zone on Facebook and on Tumblr.

Kay tweets @Geek_Kay.

Richard and Sarah are on Twitter . . . → Read More: Hyperspace Theories: The Force Awakens SDCC 2015 Panel Reaction Special

Killing Your Darlings: The Life and Death of Ahsoka Tano

Hasbro SWCA Vader Ahsoka poster

One of the goals for our podcast Hyperspace Theories is using the perspective of storytelling to inform the process of speculation about future Star Wars tales. While promotional reveals and rumored spoilers can shape fans’ ideas about directions for speculating, getting inside the mind of the storyteller also can provide a basis for anticipating future developments or culling among more likely and less likely possibilities.

Last week Tricia and I were discussing a key decision for any storyteller: writing the death of a fan-favorite character. Certainly neither of us is opposed in principle to “killing our darlings” in stories; anyone who’s read our fiction knows that. At the same time, when carried out poorly such a death can cause a profoundly negative fan reaction and corresponding detrimental impact on subsequent interest in purchasing later stories. In the Legends era, for example, fans were heartbroken by the death of Ton Phanan but still hold the character and his demise in great esteem; by contrast, the death of Mara Jade Skywalker garnered little but ill will and declining sales for the novels. Fans spurn deaths that undermine characterization or themes, lack adequate reasons in the plot, or fail to pay off in future stories, among other flaws – but they also may come to revere a death written with meaning and impact. In other words, although one decision must be whether to kill the character, that choice cannot be separated from the why and how portrayed in the story.

In the course . . . → Read More: Killing Your Darlings: The Life and Death of Ahsoka Tano

Kay Returns to Nerd Lunch for Return of the Jedi

Leia Rescues Han in Return of the Jedi

The craziest multi-step plan in all of Star Wars. But let’s not forget Leia’s entrance.

It’s time for the Nerd Lunch crew to close up shop on the original trilogy drilldown. So I reconvened with CT, Pax, Jeeg, and Michael May to discuss the divisive Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. As usual we talk about our favorite and least favorite parts as well as how it fits for us personally in the rest of the trilogy. And of course since I’m there, someone starts singing at some point.

Other highlights include my theory on how Luke completed his Jedi training and his status as Loki of the Rebellion, how Darth Vader and Luke resonates with fathers and sons, and a breakdown of how crazy the plan is to rescue Han. All in all it was a good way as any to ring in my 10th official Nerd Lunch appearance.

You can also find Nerd Lunch on iTunes and Stitcher.

Be sure to also check out our previous Star Wars drilldowns with A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and the podcast episode that started my journey as Nerd Lunch Leia – Setting the Table on Star Wars.

Kay grew up wanting to be an astronaut. After seeing Star Wars, she wanted to be Princess Leia, Han Solo, and an astronaut. A voice actor, photographer, and artist who also consults in communications and marketing, Kay would pick up more jobs, hobbies, and fitness routines if she was a . . . → Read More: Kay Returns to Nerd Lunch for Return of the Jedi

Dark Disciple Review by Kay

Dark Disciple Cover

There are times when you find yourself unable to put down a book you’re reading. Although some of those times you don’t want to put it down because you know if you do, you won’t pick it back up again. While it started out fine, reading Dark Disciple eventually became one of those latter times.

Christie Golden’s latest is based on an unproduced eight-episode arc of The Clone Wars television series and finds the Jedi Council assigning Jedi Quinlan Vos to team up with former dark-sider Asajj Ventress to end Count Dooku’s reign of terror.

Like other recent Star Wars book releases, setting this story between the movies leaves the author with a challenge. We already know from the movies how Count Dooku dies, and it isn’t by the hand of Quinlan Vos or Asajj Ventress. So how does this story keep its tension and interest when the outcome of the mission can’t hold that?

The short answer is it doesn’t, really. Too soon the pacing of Dark Disciple becomes the world’s most consistently disappointing rollercoaster with long, info-dumping setups and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it payoffs over and over again. The television show episode structure is still readily apparent, which might not be the worst if you want to imagine this as more episodes of The Clone Wars. But if you want to read it as one big story, it’s awkward.

Probably also due to the episode structure, the beginning of the book feels like it’s Vos’ story. After a bit Ventress comes . . . → Read More: Dark Disciple Review by Kay