GeekNights Thursday - Star Wars: Rogue One

Tonight on GeekNights, now that we can assume everyone has seen it, we talk about Rogue One. It's a Star Wars Story. Easily the fourth best Star Wars movie. In the news, the Superb Owl LI is coming, the hybrid icing rule change was a great idea, and you should call the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs to oppose Steve Bannon's role in the National Security Council. In a short span, NYC Taxis, NYC Bodegas, and Comcast employees have all struck, with the looming and hopeful potential of an anti-Trump General Strike.

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Things of the Day

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The Groundhog Day video is already gone.

Oh well!

The first Dune is a pretty solid book, but I was talking to a buddy of mine who read it recently and we both agreed the last… third or so is just really shit.

If there was ever a time to make 1984 the Book Club Book, it’s now.

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If you didn’t read 1984 a long time ago like the rest of us, you aren’t even allowed to join the book club.

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Bit exclusionary. Why stop there?

That said I’d love to reread Brave New World or 1984. I’ve never read that Hanna Arendt book about fascism. Stupid college philosophy telling me to read about existentialism rather than fascism.

Oh I definitely have, but the Book Club also covered Hitchhiker’s Guide, which many people would argue would also fall under that same idea. Just because lots of people have already read it doesn’t mean it can’t be analyzed and discussed.

I’ve read Brave New World at least three times. Don’t quiz me on it, though. The most recent reading was in college about fifteen years ago.

If you already know to read these books, you don’t need GeekNights to tell you to read them. Just do it.

It took me a second to recall if I’d read 1984 and I read it last year. It was always one of those books I meant to read but just never did. Then I finally did, and it’s decent.

I had the same reaction as Rym when I first tried to read Dune. One chapter in and I went meh and returned it to the library. Granted I was about thirteen so that was part of it I’m sure. Went back to read it again after Rym mentioned it in the previous episode and the first couple of chapters introduce so many cool world building concepts. I’m excited to read it through properly for the book club.

The first couple chapters I remember being a fucking slog to that book. They just sort of drop you in to the world and introduce all these concepts in the face of a boring setting that doesn’t do much plot wise from what I remember. There was a lot of looking up proper nouns in the appendix. But once they get to Arrakis it takes off.

I’ve never read any of the others as I’d always heard they weren’t super great. And by the end of Dune I was sort of done with that world.

Regarding Rogue One, I really liked it but I felt like it was a book that I had skimmed instead of reading. It shows us the general plot shape and the basics of the characters, and has some scenes I really liked, but it didn’t dig in deep enough. And while I agree that it was a great ending, it does mean that we can’t get the missing pieces.

I haven’t read Dune yet either. I’ve heard that the world building is great but that it has some some problems. It’s definitely a geek cred book, though.

Rym’s conspiracy theory on Rogue One building up to the full Star Wars sound track is cute but it would also imply the composer writes terrible music for the rest of the film and then hands it over to John Williams.

It would be more credible if the soundtrack didn’t suck and still pulled of this feat.

A genuine book club recommendation: choose a theme for a couple of books so that you can not only discuss one book, but compare and contrast books for a deeper discussion.

Dune is a weird series. My observations go like this:

Lots of people get into the first novel. It’s a classic for a reason.

Of the people who like the first book, about half of those like the second book. Those who don’t like it stop reading the series.

Of the people who like the second book, about half like the third book. Those who don’t like it stop reading the series.

Of the people who like third book, about half like the fourth book… And so it goes on.

Personally I was into the series until book four. I read five and six, the last two books in the main chronology by Frank Herbert, but it’s pretty much an all-new story set way after the first four books, which mostly have overlapping characters.

I made it through two prequel trilogies, but that was back in the pre-internet days when I just bought whatever new science fiction books were in the store. I wouldn’t recommend any of them. Hunters of Dune and Paul of Dune were both abandoned part way through, and are some of the lowest rated books on the SFBRP.

Best Groundhog Day thing I’ve seen in a long time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5y3P5F_B5A

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You should pick Dune just so I have an excuse to reread it. And then I’ll read Burning Sands: Jihad.

Yeah part of me wants to reread it and he other part of me really doesn’t want to. I remember enough of it anyway.

Leak of the Episode 8 crawl

Repeating at every opportunity that the soundtrack sucked doesn’t make it so. Soundtrack didn’t suck. You just didn’t like it. I Googled “Rogue One soundtrack review”, and the first five reviews are all positive, with some even heaping over-the-top praise on it.