5 Spoiler Free Reasons You Should Go See Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came out last week, and it was fantastic! I waited eight days to post this, hoping that most people who visit this blog would have already seen the movie by now. If you haven’t, don’t worry: there be no spoilers here! If you’re one of those people who thought it didn’t live up to the hype, let me ask you: what could have? GotG v1 was so good, how could anything that follows it live up

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How Fantasy Fails to Represent Magic

Magic is not meant to be realistic, it’s a force that is unquantifiable, unknowable, and above all: powerful and mysterious. But is it, really? Too often, magic is simply an excuse to apply modern science to a medieval setting, and often in such a way as to seem completely unreasonable. In the last fifteen years, The Force has been shred apart by the same roleplaying games that made magic into an understandable science. It makes sense –– you have to

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The Best Jedi Master Ever?

Qui-Gon? What? He got pwned the first time he fought a Sith, which his apprentice famously cut in half. How could Qui-Gon be the best Jedi master ever? He was a terrible Jedi. I hear you, but here’s my reasoning, my explanation. It’s quite simple really. Qui-Gon is the only master who’s pupil didn’t turn out to be a huge failure. Yoda’s apprentice, Count Dooku, turned to the dark side and lead the Separatists against the Republic. Although Yoda partially made

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“Good Enough”

I began reading Star Wars: Ahsoka last night. I’m 70 or so pages in and it’s great so far. And by “great” I mean that, if it keeps the quality up through the rest of the book, it will earn a place on my shelf next to my all-time favorite series: The Ranger’s Apprentice (John Flanagan). What struck me about Ahsoka wasn’t all of the Jedi awesomeness (there’s plenty of that, too), but the authenticity, especially in regards to how Ahsoka interprets the world

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Why City of Heroes was the Best MMO

I started playing massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs) during the beta of Star Wars Galaxies in 2003. And while SWG had mee hooked for over a year, it couldn’t compare to City of Heroes. Make your own superhero? It’s like they made the game just for me. But there are other reasons why I considered CoH the best MMO yet. While working at a cyber cafe, I walked behind someone who was decorating his wookiee’s house, and I thought

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Who’s Your Favorite X-Men Character?

Someone asked me recently who my favorite X-Men character is. I’ve had a few over the years, Wolverine, Gambit, Cyclops, Rogue, Storm, Iceman…Professor X, himself. I even count some of the X-Villains, like the Brotherhood of Mutants, in my list (Magneto and Sabretooth at the top of the list). But having to narrow down a favorite? That’s hard. Which Version? Just about every X-character has undergone changes over the decades-long history of the franchise. So a discussion on favorites almost needs to start

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Your Fandom Opinions Are “Correct”

Few discussions can drive a wedge between nerd friends than one person admitting they liked the Star Wars prequels. Why is it that fandom is so terrible to those minority members who like unpopular things? Why do we feel the need to be gatekeepers of the things we love or love to hate; dissenters be damned? Isn’t it possible that the minority could be right? My Introduction to Fandom and Pop-Culture My childhood was steeped in a particular concept of Superman. I was

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The Flash: An Exploration of the Hero’s Journey

Recently, I’ve been working on learning the Hero’s Journey a little better. Structuring full-length stories has always been a bit troublesome for me, as I’m used to the roleplaying method of creating an overall goal and a hook to get there, and then letting the players take over and drive the story. Since I’m writing longer fiction these days, I’ve had to make some adjustments and learn some new skills. The story structure I like the most, because it’s the

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Tones and Themes in Modern Media

I think we are becoming desensitized to deaths in our media. Creators have to go the extra mile to make a death meaningful nowadays. Just a few decades ago, if someone died in a story, the audience/reader would be shocked. “I can’t believe they died. What’s going to happen next?” And that happened even for bit characters (read: not mooks, but not stars either). In our modern media, it’s come to the point where Superman has to destroy an entire

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Fandom Fallacies

I’m a fan of many things in pop-culture: video game franchises, TV series, and movie trilogies, but most of all, I’m a fan of comic books…kinda. Every part of my fandom in different media stems from my childhood involvement with comic books. Why do I like small-unit military movies? Because they’re similar to Team 7, Wetworks, and the Weapon X days of Wolverine. Why do I like space science fiction? Because the X-Men went into space several times in the

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