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Well, I’m back from Star Wars Celebration in London.
For the uninitiated, Star Wars Celebration is a semi-annual convention à la ComicCon dedicated to all things Star Wars. Believe it or not, I’d never been, so this was my first time.
I’m so very glad I went. You would think — and I certainly feared — that four days of Star Wars would be too much. But you know what? It really wasn’t.
I came to Star Wars at six years old with the first movie (since retitled Episode IV: A New Hope) and for much of my life, I’ve thought about Star Wars in very segmented terms. There was the original trilogy. The prequel trilogy. Comics. Novels.
But since then — and this is thanks to LucasFilm/Disney’s decision that everything is now canon — Star Wars has grown into a vast tapestry of storytelling with threads that are, in some cases, decades old. As such, Star Wars is growing to becoming, not a universe but, rather, its own genre.
This isn’t as bad as it sounds. In fact, I consider it quite exciting. They say “Star Wars is for everyone” and that has really become true. There are entry points and content for every kind of person at every age. Although one could make a case for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’m hard pressed to think of another “franchise” (see how limiting that term is when applied to SW?) whose tapestry contains so many varied and different threads. It’s exciting.
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST - DOOMSDAY
I’m writing this having just shipped off the script for the third issue of X-Men: Days of Future Past - Doomsday (announced last week). It’s easily the most challenging issue of the series by far. For one thing, I have to pass a lot of time in the narrative without the whole thing descending into an extended montage.
For another, I’ve reached the point in the story where we’re “lining up” with some other stories set in this timeline which were written after the original Days of Future Past that present, shall we say, some continuity challenges. At the same time, I’m trying to present these events in a manner that’s consistent with my vow that you can read Doomsday without prior knowledge of Days of Future Past or any of its many sequels, tie-ins, and retcons.
Those aforementioned sequels, tie-ins, and retcons have rendered DoFP’s continuity a confusing muddle. I’ve generated a Word doc and a spreadsheet to keep track of it all, but I fear there are many continuity traps still lying in wait for me.
I’ve been going full speed on PROJECT MARBLE in the hope of completing a draft before the expiration of the WGA’s contract with the studios on May 1st. Due to a variety of factors, I’ve been working without a proper outline and the story has been unfolding the way many novelists describe their process: Driving down a road at night with your headlights on. You can see the road, you can see what’s up ahead, and you know your final destination, but that’s it.
I suppose it’s appropriate that I’m taking a novelistic approach to this movie, as it’s a legal thriller. Considering that it’s a legal thriller, you’d think (or, at least, I did) that it would be easy, but this movie has proven to be challenging in unexpected — albeit inspiring — ways.
There’s a major plot development that was intended to be the midpoint of the movie. I wrote it and pressed on. But the development proved to be problematic, causing problems for the protagonist (good) which were coming too soon in the plot and impacting/overshadowing other moments (very bad).
This had been bothering me for a few weeks now, until I embraced the problem. I would say “realized” the problem is really obvious: This moment, intended as the midpoint, was happening too soon. Despite my intentions, I realized I had to move the moment much, much further down, close to the end of the second act.
This determination necessitated, of course, a fairly massive restructuring of the second act. I’m now on the other side of said restructuring and I think (hope, pray, plead to the heavens above) that it’s all going to work.
We’re just about two weeks to deadline.
Today, a pod I did with Comic Book Squares went up. We talked about Torrent, Too Dead To Die, television, and a bunch of other stuff. You can check it out on Spotify.
This one doesn’t quite count as an “interview” per se, but brilliant Star Wars writer and absolute gentleman Cavan Scott also publishes a Substack and does something kinda cool with his newsletter: He asks folks a series of questions designed to illustrate their “perfect Sunday.” And for reasons passing understanding, he invited me to participate. You can check out the end result here.
All in all, it’s pretty clever of Cavan (as is his bent) because now he knows more about me than my kids do.
AGAIN WITH THE AI? SERIOUSLY?!
Yeah, I don’t know why this keeps happening either, but this time it’s The Wrap who reached out for some comments on AI’s impact on screenwriting. You can check out a non-paywalled version here.
SOMETHING I LIKE
It would be a cheat to mention the brilliant third season of Star Trek: Picard again, but I’m really tempted to after Thursday’s even-more-incredible-than-usual penultimate episode. But since that’s a cop-out and I don’t want to spoil the goodness, I’m going to pick something else for this week.
On my way home from dropping my youngest off at school this morning, I listened to Mickey Fisher’s (Extant, Reverie) Substack for this week. (Yes, you can listen to Substacks.) I don’t know how to describe his piece except to say that I found it to be a beautifully inspiring discussion of where inspiration comes from and I strongly recommend that you give it a read — or a listen — by checking it out here.
*I noticed that I had accidentally mis-numbered the last two editions. Oopsy.
Be good to each other.