The Evolution of a Franchise – Jurassic World’s Prequel Novel

Jurassic World: The Evolution of Claire by Tess Sharpe is a newly-released YA prequel novel to the Jurassic World movies. It is also a point-of-view reversal from Crichton’s Jurassic Park and the spiritual successor to Crichton’s The Lost World, while exploring the main question of the franchise.

Spoiler-free for The Evolution of Claire, but contains unmarked spoilers for previous works in the franchise.

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A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels “Twin Suns” – Part 9 – Did You Ever Hear the Tragedy of Darth Maul the Lost?

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When Maul kicks out the fire… you all of a sudden feel the vastness of where they are. (Joel Aron, CG Supervisor – Lighting & FX, “Apprentices to Outcasts”)

Kicking out the fire leaves Ben and Maul lit by only their sabers and the stars, and when the battle is complete, and their sabers go out, they are left in a field of stars.

[The Star Wars movies and shows are] all a connected thing. …They’re not disparate from each other. …They are inclusive of each other. I believe that Star Wars has this grandeur to it; I believe the Force has this infinite space to it.

So I started seeding… this idea of a place where there are stars.
(Dave Filoni – Rebels Recon 4.7)

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A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels “Twin Suns” – Part 8 – Sympathy for the Devil

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I was hesitant at first to make this its own installment. One 5,000-word post on 90 seconds of Maul screaming in a desert was certainly a dramatic way to begin this close read. Three posts* and over 15,000 words on 40 seconds of Obi-Wan cradling Maul? Surely that’s just becoming excessive.

And yet, the previous installment’s title, “It All Comes Down to This,” was no exaggeration on my part. This was the exact moment in which I fell in love with Star Wars all over again. This is Luke-throwing-away-his-lightsaber-level of iconic. This is the core theme of the franchise – compassion – distilled down to a single action. This moment deserves examination.

Especially since Maul has become one of the best examples in Star Wars about the power of compassion.

*Yes, Part 9 will be tackling yet another angle of these 40 seconds. There is a lot to unpack here.

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Vasily Beloi and His “Moral” Outrage – Finding Myself in Fiction: The Ugly

About the series: Finding Myself in Fiction

There are plenty of characters in Halo to hate, even to love to hate. The Prophet of Truth, Admiral Margaret Parangosky, the Gravemind, the Master Builder, and countless other, minor villains. All despicable. Yet none of them garners as strong a reaction in me than Corporal Vasily “Vaz” Beloi.

Vaz is actually a hero in his story, one of the core members of the Kilo-Five team in the trilogy of the same name. He is passionate in his hatred of injustice and of the human trafficking that was the Spartan-II program in particular. He is kind and sensitive to the needs of his teammates. But he terrifies me.

Because his ugly side is touted as moral righteousness in the trilogy.

Because his ugly side is mine too.

Modern parables do exist. And here is why Halo’s Vasily Beloi is one of mine:

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If nothing else, let us pursue God’s heart, which desires mercy, not sacrifice.

It sounds like some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are torn on their desire to please the Lord through being lawful citizens and their desire to please the Lord through showing mercy to the immigrants.

My heart hurts a lot in this time, and that’s knowing where I fall on this issue. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you.

Here are some facts about the situation and some evidence of God’s heart that I hope helps you understand what is going on:

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Solo Set Up a Perfect Movie for [Spoilers]

Spoilers. Spoilers. Spoilers.

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A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels “Twin Suns” – Part 7 – It All Comes Down to This

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You have to stick the landing.

Not only is it the end of an ambitious episode of Rebels, not only is it the end of a particular Rebels arc this season, but it’s also the end of an iconic Star Wars character and an iconic rivalry.

Maul’s impact on the Star Wars canon has been incredibly important from the get-go. It’s his appearance that reveals the presence of the Sith. It’s his actions that thrust Obi-Wan and Anakin together as Master and Padawan. It’s his “death” that cleared the way for Palpatine to start eyeing up young Skywalker.

In his return with The Clone Wars, his impact increased, though in a different manner. Try as he might, he never quite reached the scale of threat as Dooku and Sidious, but his effect began shaping the galaxy around the movies, adding nuance and depth to the events we saw in theaters.

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