April 21st, 2016 · 162 minutes
This week, John and Merlin have two really big topics.
Things kick off with a discussion of Star Wars. In particular, there is extensive discussion of your hosts’ interests and preferences regarding preservation and fan restorations of the original trilogy, along with a wish list, speculations, and pipe dreams for an official re-release. We can dream, can’t we?
Next, the dolorous spoiler horn fires off for a detailed examination of The Walking Dead (TV series). Lots of talk about how and when the series works in general, followed by passionate complaints on the controversial Season 6 finale. Are we finally too far gone?
Spoilers start at 01:22:23.
(Episode recorded April 5, 2016)
This episode of Reconcilable Differences is sponsored by:
A small group of fans spent almost half a decade restoring the original Star Wars (in HD) from 35mm film prints. They don't want to make money off of it. They don't want their names publicized. They just want the work to be done. This is their fascinating story, as told by "Mr. Black".
This episode of Scruffy Thinking features a conversation with Merlin Mann and Mike J Nichols. We talk about San Francisco, music, getting a job and... of course, Star Wars: The Phantom Edit.
In it, Mike lucidly highlights his reasons for wanting to make the changes he did, including his thoughtful insights on what the prequel films really wanted to be, alongside detailed but novice-accessible explanations on how he pulled off the insane magic he performed from a technical standpoint.
John Siracusa and Dan Benjamin follow up on a host of topics: what ails Microsoft, the (slow, partial) democratization of corporate IT, the people vs. George Lucas, perpetual copyright, applications as art, Siri backlash, and the evils of Blu-ray.
Step inside the Lucasfilm art departments for the creation of fantastical worlds, unforgettable characters, and unimaginable creatures. The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will take you there, from the earliest gathering of artists and production designers at Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco to the fever pitch of production at Pinewood Studios to the conclusion of post-production at Industrial Light & Magic—all with unprecedented access. Exclusive interviews with the entire creative team impart fascinating insights in bringing director J. J. Abrams’s vision to life; unused “blue sky” concept art offers glimpses into roads not traveled.
Billions of years ago, the technologically-advanced extraterrestrial race known as the Watchers decided it was their duty to help the universe's less advanced races. In their first such experiment, proposed by Ikor, a delegation of four brought atomic energy knowledge to the planet Prosilicus. The Prosilicans accepted the gift, but used it to develop nuclear weapons and engaged in an auto-genocidal war. Ashamed, the Watchers vowed never again to interfere in the affairs of other races. Ikor drafted a code of ethics based upon strict noninterference and passive observation that was so strict that if another being were dying at a Watcher's feet, the Watcher would offer no aid. With their new code established, the Watchers evacuated their homeworld and relocated throughout the galaxies, each Watcher choosing a solar system where they could observe and mentally record the lives of other races for the sake of eventually sharing it with their fellow Watchers. The Watchers would then sporadically reassemble to pool their knowledge and share what they had witnessed.
They said it couldn’t be done! They said it shouldn’t be done! But here we are, talking about “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” Why are the Jedi such jerks? A little Jedi goes a long way. Also, the biggest letdown of John Siracusa’s life to date, stupid droids, good actors being boring, text versus subtext, the merits of prequels in general, and why this is a movie that makes us dream… of a better movie. Exqueeze me? (Part 1 of 2.)
We conclude our discussion of “Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.” We discuss the merits of podracing, debate who the Jedi’s version of Fonzie is, and grapple with tricky euphemisms. Plus, is the final lightsaber duel cool or just over-choreographed? And why is there a hall full of forcefields, next to a room with no guard rails? Party on, Darth! (Part 2 of 2.)
Missed high fives and a misaligned R2 head.