Outside Reading — Lightsabers Out edition

rian jedi

Why ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Really Pissed Off Fans by Matt Singer

As far as I’m concerned, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi saved Star Wars from itself, or at least from the tepidly sycophantic revival of the classically derived space saga that was set into motion by J.J. Abrams with The Force Awakens. Johnson’s movie made more than one billion dollars at the global box office and received largely laudatory reviews, but it’s almost entirely defined by a cacophonously loud subset of entitled fans offering their seething dissent. And all indications are that this group’s ire dictated the direction of latest Star Wars installment (which is back in Abrams’s hands), an astonishing outsourcing of the creative process for a film property that’s hardly a financial risk requiring desperate attempts to find an extra nickel here and there. Writing for ScreenCrush, Matt Singer nicely breaks down the likely reasons these bratty fans saw the strengths of Johnson’s filmmaking as something akin to an attack on their delicate, precious sensibilities.


rock warren

ELIZABETH WARREN The Rolling Stone Interview by Tessa Stuart

I usually invoke the publication Jann Wenner launched over a half-century ago in order to lob a couple embittered insults at it, mostly because I feel its former enormous influence on the music canon helped stagnate the pop culture canon. But I subscribed for many years, and this week I was reminded why. For a Rolling Stone cover story, Tessa Stuart interviews Massachusetts senator, U.S. presidential candidate, and all-around truth-teller Elizabeth Warren. The resulting piece is probing, engaging, and lively. And I truly believe Warren’s approach — the way she thinks about interconnected economic issues and the way she explains them, sometimes person by person — is the proper one for getting the nation to move forward again instead of maintaining the current regressive state that only benefits the most unsavory figures in the existing power structure. Every Democrat should study this answer:


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