What the Hell Happened to Logan?

Long story short, it involves getting sick, family coming to visit, and a computer dying. So a lot of stuff has happened, so let's just dig right in to the last month's worth of news.

Rian Johnson to direct a new, standalone Star Wars trilogy

This was inevitable. Star Wars needs to exist without having the Skywalker's at the center.

Normally, news like this would've been announced after The Last Jedi had come out to rave reviews and a stellar box office start. The fact that Lucasfilm announced it months before the release speaks volumes about the working relationship that Johnson built up with Kathleen Kennedy, the head of Lucasfilm, but also the caliber of film that he put together. I know it help throw my own hype for The Last Jedi into overdrive.

Amazon working on a Lord of the Rings TV series

If anyone at Amazon ever reads this: Hire Me.
I seriously have most of the books you'd need for research sitting on a bookshelf.

While I am excited by the prospects of a Lord of the Rings television series, early details on the project describe it as a Fellowship of the Ring prequel series. This could mean a lot of things—from The Silmarillion and The Hobbit, t0 simply expanding upon the appendices in The Return of the King. This definitely can be handled right, but I'm cautious. Are they not going to make The Lord of the Rings? Is this supposed to be an anthology series? I can't wait until we can get more details. But, again: Hire me.

EA shits the bed

The Battlefront II microtransaction fiasco got so much attention, that a Reddit post by EA got over half-a-million downvotes, it made headlines in the mainstream press, and even lead to some governments investigating whether or not loot boxes are a form of gambling. The negative press got so bad that Disney stepped in and told EA to right the ship.

Frustration has been building up in the gaming community for a while over microtransactions, DLC, and "pay-to-win" schemes intended to make publishers and developers more money—and EA is often at the core of many of these complaints. While most can and will forgive cosmetic microtransactions, Battlefront II's would actually impact gameplay and were a complete mess. The fact that iconic heroes like Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker were locked behind a 40+ hour grind and/or a paywall, lead to all the complaints being dialed up to eleven. The negative press got so bad that EA removed to ability to purchase items in-game only hours prior to the game's official launch. But all this didn't stop the many cries of "Boycott!"

The Disney-Fox Merger

Expected to be announced tomorrow, but rumors have been swirling around for awhile that Disney is going to buy 21st Century Fox from News Corp. Murdoch keeps news and sports—his bread and butter—Disney gets everything else. This news has fans everywhere salivating. Will we see Wolverine in The Avengers? Will the Fox Fanfare play in front of Star Wars films again? How many merger jokes will be in Deadpool 2?

While fanboys and fangirls everywhere have much to be excited about, having one less major studio around is troubling. A shrinking Hollywood might be good for Wall Street, but not really for the people trying to make a living creating the content we consume.

And Finally:

Doug Jones wins in Alabama. Parliament throws a wrench into Teresa May's Brexit plans. It's almost like December rolled around and 2017 went "Oh shit! I should probably work on cleaning up some of that mess that 2016 left."



Growing up, whenever we traveled for vacation, I would inevitably have a bag filled with a half-dozen books in tow. They could be library books or books that I'd read a thousand times, but inevitably, I would’ve made my way through most of the books by the time our vacation was over.

Now, I've never really stopped reading. I spend hours a day perusing various news sites, online tech journals, and reading entertainment industry trades. In all honesty, I probably read as much today as I ever read in the past. The only difference is I stopped reading books.

This has always been one of those odd battles for me. I’ve never struggled with reading, but even as a kid, my mom—ever the teacher and librarian—would struggle to get me to read fiction. She even credits my discovery of Star Wars—and my desire to consume everything related to it—with getting me to read something other than a history book. But after the English classes of middle school, high school and college filled with classic pieces of literature, fiction has once again fallen to the wayside. I would still read, but I wouldn't be shocked if I was averaging only one-to-two books of fiction per year after I transferred to film school. In high school, I would’ve been reading one-to-two a month.

While the internet is a worthy replacement for non-fiction and news, I decided that my reading habits needed a kick in the proverbial behind. So, a few weeks ago, I started reading. A lot.

In the past three weeks, I’ve read the first three books in The Expanse series by James S. A. Corey, two books by John Scalzi (if you are a Trek fan, you need to read Redshirts), and, even though it was non-fiction, I also read Wil Wheaton’s Just A Geek. And because today is Hobbit Day, I’ve also started doing an in-depth re-read of The Lord of the Rings, something that’s been on my to-do list for awhile. Now, much of this reading onslaught is due to me currently enjoying hashtag funemployment, so it’s inevitable that I will eventually slow down. But I hope that this current effort pays off to become a good habit.