Bleats

JK Rowling Is Our Generation's George Lucas And That's Not A Compliment

It's not too late, JK, you still have time to stop this.

A critically-acclaimed franchise concludes on a pretty high note but its creator has trouble letting go and decides to work on a prequel some years later, only for the results to be middling and alienating to a big part of their fanbase.

If this sounds like George Lucas and Star Wars then you would be correct. But it seems like this description is gradually becoming more suited to someone whom we thought would avoid this little conundrum: JK Rowling.

Following the release of the god-awful Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, it appears that Rowling is getting dangerously close to George Lucas territory with her Fantastic Beasts prequel series, as well as every other supplementary Harry Potter-related project.

Whereas Harry Potter benefited from various other people’s voices, a series of well-plotted books to help frame the films, and Rowling having limited creative input, Fantastic Beasts is relying entirely on Rowling’s imagination and one super-thin fake textbook as the source material.

Couple that with Rowling’s near-total creative control on Fantastic Beasts and what you get is series of films that alienate fans due to baffling plot holes, inconsistencies, weird retcons, and the focusing on the wrong stuff rather than what made Harry Potter so good in the first place. I’d much rather Rowling be focusing on properly defining the characters in Fantastic Beasts than knowing how wizards peed back in the day.

TMI.

That’s not to say that prequels don’t work – just look at Red Dead Redemption 2 – but the big difference here is the creative team behind the prequels compared to the originals.

For Star Wars, Lucas had a team of directors, editors, and writers to help shape his vision for the Original Trilogy before he took over all the creative reins for the Prequel Trilogy. Likewise, the Harry Potter films were all made by a rotating roster of directors and writers before JK Rowling took on near-total creative control for Fantastic Beasts.

Without people to say no to their worst ideas, it basically meant that Lucas and Rowling had free rein to do whatever they want. But in letting Lucas run wild with ideas, we ended up with awful moments like “midichlorians” and “I don’t like sand” while also losing sight of what made Star Wars great in the first place.

Right now, Rowling is in danger of going down that same path and she’s only a few grains away from her own “I don’t like sand moment,” though she’s come close in Crimes Of Grindelwald with Professor McGonagall, Nagini, and whatever timeline wrangling she did to will Credence Barebone into existence for.

Ugh, this brings back some awful memories.

There’s still time for Rowling to course correct and avoid falling completely to the dark side. She may have created the Potterverse and it’s 100% in her right to have a say in everything that goes on, but the world is so expansive that it’s nearly impossible for just one person to keep tabs on every single detail while creating new things that are of the same quality.

What Rowling needs at this point is a few extra creative voices around her who are unafraid to tell her, “nope, that’s a crap idea” or “that doesn’t make sense.” That’s not to say that she doesn’t have much to offer to Harry Potter fans with regards to the Fantastic Beasts films, it’s just that every diamond needs polishing before it shines.

With Fantastic Beasts 3 being announced for 2021, it remains to be seen whether Rowling is able to right the ship for the franchise or whether we need to restart the discussion on how we shouldn’t have any more Harry Potter stories for 20 years

Peter Mayhew, The Man Behind Star Wars' Chewbacca Has Died

He will be dearly missed.

Peter Mayhew, the towering figure who breathed life into the iconic character of Chewbacca in the Star Wars franchise has died, aged 74.

The news was revealed in a new statement posted to his official Twitter account by his family, writing that Peter passed away on April 30, 2019 with his family by his side.

Peter became a household name when he was cast in the role of Chewbacca in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, where he captured the imaginations of millions of fans as Han Solo’s towering wookie partner.

He portrayed the character in a total of five Star Wars films with 2015’s The Force Awakens being his last appearance before handing the role over to Joonas Suotamo for all subsequent appearances.

Realising the impact he could have beyond the Star Wars fandom with his portrayal of Chewie, Peter portrayed the character countless times over the years for charitable purposes. He eventually established the Peter Mayhew Foundation, which aims to alleviate the “disease, pain, suffering, and the financial toll brought on by life’s traumatic events.”

It speaks volumes to Peter’s talent and devotion to the role of Chewbacca as he managed to create a character who is revered in pop-culture despite the fact that he is in costume the whole time and only communicates in noises rather than words. The role could’ve potentially been nothing more than Han’s dog and yet Peter managed to bring so much life to the character, something that was perhaps best demonstrated in The Empire Strikes Back.

May the force be with you, Peter, and please tell Carrie Fisher that we all say hi.

We miss you both dearly.

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