The Star Wars Tale of a Lone Gunman and His Foundling Child is Becoming Something More

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Image Courtesy of Disney

At its core, Star Wars is an exercise in successfully blending genres together to create something new. The original trilogy was a space opera that used the larger context of a galactic war to test its characters through the lenses of different genres. The prequel and sequel trilogies attempted to use the same blueprint to tell their story arcs, and even though the results were inconsistent, the formula remained. Now, The Mandalorian is taking the notion of mixing genres, bringing it aboard the Razor Crest, and speeding off into hyperspace.

Star Wars: A New Hope laid the groundwork for George Lucas’ unique take on a sprawling science fiction blockbuster. Luke Skywalker begins his classical hero’s journey once he leaves the simple life on Tatooine to embrace adventure throughout the galaxy. Obi-Wan and Darth Vader bring out fantasy aspects of the story with their ties to The Force. Meanwhile, Princess Leia Organa keeps the story grounded by representing the larger galactic conflict of the film. A distinct blend of genres that mixed together to form the foundation of a cinematic juggernaut. …

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Image by Jenny Usi

You Either Win the NBA Championship Or You Die

Betrayal, deliciously ruthless competition, and unforgettable characters on my television on primetime on Sunday night? No, we are not back in Westeros. ESPN’s The Last Dance just features the elements that make for a compelling drama. The miniseries about the Chicago Bulls’ last championship season is turning out to be equal parts sports documentary and captivating melodrama. In fact, certain elements of The Last Dance remind me of Game of Thrones, another once popular drama series that captured peoples’ imaginations with dragons and lots of wine to cap off the weekend.

The backdrop for Game of Thrones is capturing the Iron Throne and ruling all of Westeros. A cast of memorable characters all vying for the title of king or queen. There was no shortage of family drama, political machinations, and murder all in the name of winning the game to sit on the throne. …

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Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

Batman Day just passed and it got me thinking about the Dark Knight’s legacy. The character has endured for 80 years and there is no reason to think he won’t be around for 80 more. DC will continue to churn out Batman comics, merchandise, television shows, and eventually, more movies. Robert Pattinson will be the next actor to don the cape and cowl when Matt Reeves’ reboot of the franchise, The Batman, hits movie screens on June 25, 2021. …

Kratos is raking in the dough and that is good news for future solo titles

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On Thursday, Sony announced that God of War is now the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive ever. In only three days, the title sold 3.1 million copies. It would take Kratos and Atreus a lifetime to find that much hacksilver in Midgard.

This is encouraging for Sony as well as the God of War team, but it is also great news for the future of single-player games. Multiplayer titles that bombard players with microtransactions are becoming increasingly abundant, unfortunately, at the expense of AAA single-player games. …

The sequel to Infinity War will bring back fan favorites in exchange for others

Spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War ahead*

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Avengers: Infinity War is the culmination of a decade of meticulous cinematic universe building by Marvel Studios. The Russo Brothers packed in as many characters as possible yet the story still maintained an emotional resonance throughout the film. One thing is for sure, Infinity War delivered on Robert Downey Jr.’s “heads will roll” guarantee. The Mad Titan Thanos snapped his fingers and used the collective power of the Infinity Stones to decimate the the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Long-time MCU pillars like Star-Lord, Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier) as well franchise newcomers like Spider-Man and even Black Panther were among the victims of Thanos’ plan. It was jarring seeing the heroes disintegrate before my very eyes. …

In a sea full of dank memes, SpongeBob reigns supreme

The year was 1999 and I just finished finished watching the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. The first episode of a new animated series called SpongeBob Squarepants was slated to debut after the show, so I stuck around to watch it. The show was different than what Nickelodeon offered at the time and that was part of its appeal. I had no idea at the time, but I was witnessing the beginnings of a cultural phenomenon that would eventually become an internet staple.

SpongeBob was popular way before the rise of popular social media platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook but the show is frequently the subject of viral memes. …

Marvel’s latest blockbuster features one of the best on-screen antagonists in recent history

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Black Panther

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Image courtesy of Marvel Studios

Superheroes appeal to an audience, especially if you count me in that audience. Who wouldn’t be drawn to Batman’s ninja-like skills and slick technology or the Avengers and their flashy combination of powers and personalities. Superhero movies are responsible for packing people into theaters, your overflowing streaming queue, and that new toy your nephew wants. These heroes draw people in, but what keeps audiences truly engaged are compelling villains. A fascinating antagonist can capture your attention and keep it long after the movie is over. It’s been over a week since I watched Black Panther and I’m still thinking about Michael B. …


Ryan Ocenada

I used work in editorial for Twitter and I’m also trying to keep this writing thing going.

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