In recent years, my relationship with the Star Wars franchise in its entirety has been in flux. Whether it be the disappointments of Episode VII: The Force Awakens or some of the recent novels like A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller or Honor Among Thieves by James S. A. Corey, I haven’t been enamoured of the franchise at all. There have been stand-outs such as Paul Kemp’s Lords of the Sith and James Luceno’s Tarkin, but there haven’t been many. And I won’t even get into the new comics from Marvel since most of them are retreading the area already covered extensively under Dark Horse and I don’t have much interest in them. However, when Rogue One was announced as a stand-alone movie in the franchise, and a prequel to the original Star Wars no less, I was excited because it was going to focus on almost entirely new characters and present us with something that we hadn’t really seen before on such a major platform.
Cue this past Thursday when the movie finally released. The trailers had built up a lot of hype for me, who was desperately looking for something to cheer for after the failings of The Force Awakens. Yes, the story would go over some material from Dark Horse and what some of the earlier video games had covered, but it was still mostly uncharted territory. Additionally, the period of the Galactic Empire’s dominance of the galaxy is one of the most fascinating periods in Star Wars lore, and I was totally ready for this movie. It looked to have a really awesome cast with some great promised cameos and I was all-in. And you know what, the movie didn’t disappoint. It was almost everything that I wanted from The Force Awakens but never got, and then some.
Note: This review contains some major spoilers from the movie, especially the ending, so read at your own risk.
In last year’s Christmas Special, Matt Smith’s 3-year reign as the Doctor came to a close in a bittersweet story about heroism, sacrifice and general all-round goofiness. The 50th Anniversary special episode and the Christmas Special were my first two episodes of the show ever, and I quite liked what I saw there. I saw a few episodes of the first series when the show was relaunched in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston in the role of the Doctor and I loved that too though I haven’t kept up with it. Still, the introduction of Peter Capaldi as a the new Doctor, the Twelfth that is, made me excited because having seen these previous two special episodes, I felt like I had jumped in at the right time and that it was a good time to be a new Whovian.
The new series debuted this Saturday, with Peter Capaldi in his first full-on episode as the Doctor, titled “Deep Breath” and it charts the course of the new Doctor and Clara’s relationship as they both try to adjust to the changes that have happened. For the former, he is still in regeneration shock and is picking back up the pieces of his memory while the latter is dealing with the loss of the man she knew and the arrival of this… older man who is unlike the Doctor she knew. It is kind of a really fun episode at times, packed with what I’d say is the show’s trademark humour, and with some excellent acting, though it often felt like there was something… missing.