The Mandalorian (Pilot)

There are literally at least 5 other websites that have done an article on the new Mandalorian Disney+ series, and I don’t want to repeat what they said. So here are the things all the other websites won’t tell you about the show.

  • If you go into this series expecting to see a mandolin playing Manchurian eating oranges, you will be disappointed.
  • Everyone claims that Pedro Pascal is the Mandalorian, but that could be a lie. We never see the actor’s face, so it literally could be anyone, from Daniel Logan to Jeremy Bullock to Rebel Wilson.
  • One of the bounties collected by said title character says he was hoping to get home in time for Life Day, which means that is either a sick sick joke, or the end of Star Wars.
  • The Mandalorian starts out ba ba ba ba ba ba bad to the bone, but then kind of transitions into a less competent version. This means he is following in the footsteps of Boba Fett.
  • The two most important places to protect your body are your head and your shoulders, based on the placement of the special armor. This is taken from the book of Dredd.
  • It is a contractual requirement of every Star Wars property that there always be a desert planet in it. This is similar to the video game requirement that every Star Wars game must contain a Rancor.
  • The Mandalorian is a derivative work, in that it borrows, copies, or outright steals things from all the previous Star Wars movies.

Why Harry Potter is Not a Horcrux

Alternate Title: Harry is Not a Bloody Horcrux, OK!?

Tamper with the deepest mysteries – the source of life, the essence of self – only if prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind.

Adalbert Waffling – Fundamental Laws of Magic

One of the most common fallacies encountered in the Harry Potter corner of scifi.stackexchange is a user’s belief that Harry Potter is a Horcrux. I maintain he is not. This quick analysis is less for the Harry Potter super user as it is more for the newer or mid-level Harry Potter reader, who has come away from the series believing that Harry Potter is a Horcrux, particularly, I’m guessing, because of Dumbledore’s proclamation in Deathly Hallows. We’ll get there, but let’s start with canon:

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The Orville – Season 1

The Orville

Fox.com description:

From Emmy Award-winning executive producer and creator Seth MacFarlane (FAMILY GUY, “Ted,” “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey”), THE ORVILLE is a live-action, one-hour space adventure series set 400 years in the future that follows The Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. Its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the familiar, often humorous problems of everyday life.

Originally described as a Star Trek spoof, something along the lines of Galaxy Quest, The Orville starts off quirky and funny, and then immediately loses sight of this as it tries to be serious after creating a premise of satire.

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Gargoyles – A review

Cover of Clan Building #3, which shows a number of characters. Clockwise from top left: Flying gargoyle silhouetted against the moon, heavyset cyan gargoyle, small olive gargoyle, large lavender gargoyle with wings covering shoulders like a cape, blue dog-like gargoyle beast, human woman, red gargoyle with horns and white hair. All these gargoyles are male. In the center is a female lavender gargoyle.Warning: While this review is largely spoiler-free, it briefly mentions a few aspects of the show’s premise that might qualify as minor spoilers for the (lengthy) pilot under a strict definition.  I’ve done my best to minimize this by focusing on structure and themes, but it is difficult to avoid altogether.  Some of the links may contain more substantial spoilers, so please click at your own risk.

Unlike many Gargoyles fans, I was introduced to it via TV Tropes rather than the more conventional route of “watched it when I was a kid.”  The latter is apparently rather common for my generation, but I was just a little too young.  Moreover, I was raised on Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, instead of the Disney Channel, so I probably wouldn’t have seen it anyway.  Instead, as an adult I wanted to know who this “Xanatos” person was and why his gambits were apparently so foolproof.  I started watching the show and rapidly found myself addicted.

Seeing as most of us have never heard of Gargoyles, it might help to start with a definition. Gargoyles is an animated urban fantasy series, with some superhero undertones, primarily set in Manhattan.  It originally aired in the mid 90’s and largely took place in the then-present.  Many parts of Manhattan were substantially more dangerous at that time than they are today, and so the series is a bit of a period piece by modern standards.  Fortuitously, however, this works in the show’s favor: the perception of heightened crime is a necessary backdrop for any crime-fighting story to work.  You can’t have Batman without Gotham.

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