Category Archives: Items of Interest

In Partial Defense of the Prequels

The Star Wars prequels (Episodes I-III1) are not good films2. The debate is about which one is the worst film (the correct answer is Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones despite the Yoda lightsaber scene3). The prequels are, however, very useful in the overarching mythological narrative of the Star Wars universe4. I have come to think of them as integral to the story, but, like a terrible production of Hamlet, almost unwatchable (unlike the new Star Wars VII trailer).

Following the digital release of the first six Star Wars films, my kids have been preparing for the release of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens by watching the prequels. In the minds of my kids, Anakin Skywalker’s character is second in importance only to Ahsoka Tano. This makes Anakin’s transition from hero to villain – from good to evil – extremely dramatic to them.

It also means that Daddy has had been required to repeatedly explain the narrative arc of Darth Vader. A complete explanation of Vader’s narrative arc requires the prequels to be understood, which is why I am cautiously glad the prequels exist. What follows is the explanation of Anakin/Vader that I give my kids (WARNING: May contain pop-psychology). Continue reading


If you are going to wind up as a reference point in a article, it can go a lot worse than being the Internet’s ironic evidence of Senator Lyndsay Graham’s antipathy to modern information technology (I’m concerned citizen #1), even when addressing questions on modern information technology that were submitted to his office using modern information technology*.

*It is arguable that my semi-rural, South Carolina, DSL connection is not modern information technology.


16280779113_1f69bb9871_oLast week I posted this photo of an animation that was used regularly during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and asked you to divine which of the multiple problems* bothered me so much. I think I’ve left you on pins and needles long enough. Continue reading


This graphic that they have been using regularly during the NCAA tournament (and I’ve seen it on other CBS Sports) broadcasts drives me nuts.16280779113_1f69bb9871_o

Can you figure out why?

*No, it is not that I hate Maryland. In fact, I bear then no ill will at all, now that they are no longer in the ACC to muck things up for my Blue Devils. Go Duke!

TIE Fighter FTW

Would I like themes from the classic video game space simulator TIE Fighter mashed up with anime visual aesthetics that make me nostalgic for the Voltron cartoon of my youth and electric guitar? You might as well ask my four-year-old if she wants a popsicle. Without further ado, we give you the short Star Wars fan film TIE Fighter by Paul Johnson.

SOURCE: Eric Diaz at Nerdist