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Reload the Canons!

This series of articles is an attempt to play through The Canon of videogames: your Metroids, your Marios, your Zeldas, your Pokemons, that kind of thing.

Except I'm not playing the original games. Instead, I'm playing only remakes, remixes, and weird fan projects. This is the canon of games as seen through the eyes of fans, and I'm going to treat fan games as what they are: legitimate works of art in their own right that deserve our analysis and respect.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Announcing: A Star Wars Collection

Rogue One is a controversial film, inspiring some with its surprising, improbable radical politics, while seeming to distress as many others with its unconventional storytelling and seeming break from the tone of Star Wars.

This upcoming (as yet unnamed) collection, featuring revised and expanded versions of Storming the Ivory Tower's Star Wars articles alongside exclusive content to tie it all together, lays out not just a defense of Rogue One but a defense of the more radical potential lurking in the apparently thoroughly corporate Star Wars franchise, and takes aim at the various misreadings of the series propagating on the Web.

The collection will be available in downloadable epub form, alongside four previous StIT collections, to $5 supporters of the Storming the Ivory Tower Patreon, and the raw, unformatted text will be available for just $1. Subscribe now as a $5 Patron to get your name in the final book as a sponsor of the project!

(Note: Twilight of the Superheroes is still happening, it's just much much more complicated than I expected, so I'm pushing out this collection while it's fresh in order to tide everyone over while I continue working on the Superhero project in the background.)


  1. If by 'unconventional storytelling' you mean 'a series of reshoots that were so badly edited together as to break shot-to-shot continuity' then yeah I suppose you could say I was distressed by it.

    Most distressing was that it's a hollow semiotic shell of a movie, having all the semblance of a tragic war flick with none of the substance: no real pathos and no depth of character on which to hang emotional import; a movie in which every action happens in a vacuum, with motivations unexplained within the text of the work. The movie's politics are radical? Its entire political acumen is 'the Empire is bad because if you've seen other Star Wars movies you know they are bad.' It's a film that presents a group of resistance fighters 'too extreme' for the Rebellion, and then never explains or shows in any way what actually entails. It's a movie about people standing around dispensing informed character traits ("Jynn you were the best fighter I have ever seen just take my word for it we can't afford to show it." "Jynn you're an antisocial criminal which is obvious in this movie because you're always frowning." "This Rebellion that has made my life miserable and just murdered my father is worth standing up and fighting for because of Hope and Virtue, traits that I, an antisocial criminal, obviously believe in."

    And so on.

    It's a movie of incredible cinematography dragooned into servicing a pantomime tragedy, an utterly disposable, utterly empty, frighteningly overhyped cinematic nothing. It broke free of the tone of Star Wars? It's is the apotheosis of Star Wars: a film that is nothing more than concentrated aesthetic nostalgia used to make money. It has no soul, nothing to say, and nothing excusing its creation other than commercial vapidity.

    All of which to say is to say that I can't wait to hear your defence. Can you change my mind about a film I went in excited to see (loved the trailers, reviews were great), walked out disappointed, and by the next morning had become filled with righteous critique? I await such a document with pleasure.

  2. ...I mean did you subscribe to my Patreon because if not you're going to be waiting a while...


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