(October 20 – 26)
I’ve been working on a re-edit of the novel for the last week or two. Things hadn’t been feeling quite with it in the latest chapter, which prompted me to stop work on it for a while, which inevitably caused me to lose my flow. Doing a bit of a second draft on the words written so far will hopefully enable me to re-engage with it and pick up the momentum once again.
The weekend brought two Star Wars viewings, starting off with Revenge Of The Sith. The Elderbeast has decided that ROTS is the best Star Wars film ever made, and I’m happy not to take that away from him. For my money, it’s still got some good moments (and, unlike the other prequels, manages to be watchable) but it still fumbles a lot of key moments: primarily Anakin’s transition to Darth Vader (despite all the plot work that goes into it, the moment when he transitions from wanting to save his beloved wife, to murdering children still comes across as a bit of an “oh well, sure, I’ve got nothing better to do today” moment).
For me the biggest lost opportunity of the prequels is making Anakin intolerable, childish and overall unsympathetic. Imagine if he’d been written more in the Han Solo mould: cocky, charismatic, able to make whole audiences fall in love with him. Imagine how much more of a tragedy his fall would have been then.
We followed this up with The Last Jedi, which I’m comfortable saying is the best of the sequel trilogy despite some minor plot niggles (mostly that the Canto Bight sequence doesn’t quite work structurally, even though it’s important for widening the universe). Now, because the Elderbeast spends his life on the internet, he’s exposed to the more … negative spectrum of the discussion around this film, so we spent much of our viewing discussing some of its perceived flaws of the movie—which gave me the opportunity to explain to him what Rian Johnson was attempting to do with a lot of the decisions he made. It turned out to be quite fun; a bit like watching a movie with a reverse commentary.
This week I went back to my Audible account to listen to the ‘autobiography’ of Alan Partridge (entitled I, Partridge). For those of you who aren’t aware, Alan Partridge is a fictional chat show host, and erstwhile radio personality, created by Steve Coogan. This autobiography is, therefore, written by Steve Coogan (and a number of collaborators) but more importantly, Coogan narrates it in his Alan Partridge persona—which obviously makes this essential listening.
For once the book lives up to its promise. There’s a lot of what I’ll call British High Street Nostalgia in it, for which I am the absolute target audiences. However, the main strength is Alan Partridge’s absolute conviction that he is some sort of media legend, while revealing his deficiencies with almost every word. He remains a genius comedy creation.