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Around the Galaxy: Star Wars News 10.17.17

The Last Jedi Buzz Boosts Star Wars on Social Media


Some venerable publications have upped their attention on the Star Wars universe…

But that’s no surprise, as the entire world seems fixated by the upcoming installment of the franchise.

Variety’s Dave McNary reports mentions of The Last Jedi “dominated last week’s social media buzz in the wake of the release of a new trailer…”

According to media-measurement services like comScore, Episode VIII generated over 537,000 new conversations. Providing context, McNary writes:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has pulled in more than 3.39 million new conversations two months before its Dec. 15 launch. Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie picks up where 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” left off… Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” also generated a hefty 213,000 new conversations last week, lifting its total to 1.51 million three weeks before the Nov. 3 opening of the tentpole.

A porg state of mind…

The New Yorker is not always kind to the Star Wars franchise. That’s no surprise for a magazine that trashed A. A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner (in a critique from none other than Dorothy Parker).

However, the magazine’s Ian Crouch recently took the time to analyze Disney’s approach to a galaxy far, far away, and noted the consistent bleakness (and tendency to ape the “darker, sleeker” tone of Empire Strikes Back) of more recent editions like  The Force Awakens and Rogue One.

However, he saw a “speck of light in the darkness.” Crouch writes of that speck:

It comes in the middle of the new trailer, in the form of a screaming little critter known as a porg. A porg looks like a nightmare penguin, or a flying gerbil, or maybe a pug with wings. They are, apparently, birds—according to the official Star Wars page, “They build nests. They can fly. Their babies are called porglets.” The porg has cute little fin arms but sharp-looking teeth—the kind of thing you might reach out to pat before yanking your hand back to safety. It is small, and bug-eyed, and silly, and is there amid all the gloom and doom, presumably, to make you smile—or, as many people have pointed out, to sell toys to your children.

Crouch also noted the porgs‘ detractors; folks comparing the space birds to the much-derided Ewoks (especially of the Special Editions) and the Prequel’s Jar Jar.

However, according to Crouch, those folks missed the point. The writer reminded readers that the “best part of The Force Awakens, after all, wasn’t the ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ father-son showdown, or the operatic lightsabre duel in the snow, or all the overwrought speeches about fate and destiny. It was two likable teen-agers running through a market town in the desert, trading quips as they dodged lasers and explosions, all the while trailed by a rolling, bleeping and blooping robot named BB-8.”

Thinking aloud: Star Wars is at its best when it allows for escape, both literally and figuratively, no?

Raw Reaction from Ren

And for something decidedly less highbrow…

Our friends at io9 and Nerdist point out that the best reaction to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer comes from none other than Kylo Ren himself.

Nerdist’s Michael Walsh explains:

Just like when we he shared his reaction to the Rogue One trailer, and his subsequent review of the movie, the dad-killing Knight of Ren is back to give us his initial thoughts about the latest Star Wars trailer. Since the movie doesn’t come out until December, he doesn’t know exactly what it means since all of this is the “future” for him…despite all of this happening a long time ago. Look, we don’t understand how these timelines work either, but it makes for a much funnier reaction video this way.

io9’s July Muncy added, “trust me, no one is as angry at the trailer’s possibly misleading cuts and implications as Kylo Ren. Not that you can blame him.”



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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.
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