Thursday, July 29


I am so close to the end that I'm starting to choke.

I've blown the Aug 1 delivery date, but I should turn it in within two weeks, if my body holds out. My vision blurs, my head pounds, my hands shake --

My perception is clouded by the darkness in the Force.

You want dark? You're gonna get it.

Sunday, July 25

The Ep III Moment

I wrote the Moment today.

I'm reporting this because I'm pretty goddamn proud of myself; I've been working on this Moment since last Thursday. It started out to be roughly twelve pages (around 3,600 words) spread over three scenes, but it just wasn't working.

It is now a single scene of under 200 words, and I am very, very happy with it.

That's all.

Sometimes the real trick to this writing shit lies in what you DON'T say . . .

Thursday, July 22

Now, everybody dies. Everybody. Ep IV is all clones. Really. Oh, okay, I'm a goddamn liar. Whatever.

I'm over the hump on Ep III.

Yesterday, I officially passed the point where it was still possible that this book would suck.

Yes, there was a chance it would suck (up till yesterday, anyway); there's always a chance.

There was a sequence that I just didn't know how I was going to handle -- so visual and kinetic that I wasn't sure I could pull it off on the page; if I could have cut it out, I would have (though of course that was never a real option).

But guess what? I wrapped that sequence yesterday, and it came out better than I had dreamed.

This book no longer contains the possiblity of suckitude.

There's a lesson for all you little writers out there: don't quit on something just because you think you can't pull it off. You don't KNOW what you can pull off.

No masturbation jokes, either.

Thursday, July 15

Okay, okay, here's your Ep III fix

Somebody asked, a few days ago, how I'm liking working on Ep III, and what I thought of the first two PT movies, and how I think the Ep III film will be. Since I know that a great deal of traffic around here is generated by people looking for Ep III tidbits, I'll undertake to answer those questions.


Writing this adaptation is the hardest work I've ever done. It's also extremely interesting: an entirely new challenge for me as a writer.

One of my talents (that is, one of the things I seem to just be good at, as opposed to the skills I've had to struggle to develop) has always been my control of incident. If what's happening in the book isn't working, I'm really goddamn good at coming up with something else that might (or should) happen that will lead the story in the direction it needs to go.

In Ep III, of course, I can't do any of that. Everything that happens in the script has to happen in the novel. I don't have the liberty to alter the incidents, or the chain of causality that carries the story. Instead, what I have to do is look at each individual scene as a simple historical fact -- it's almost like writing a history, in fact, instead of a novel. What I have to do is take What Really Happened (GL's script) and retell that exact story in a way that makes for an entertaining (and, one hopes, affecting) novel.

It ain't easy. A script is a script, and a novel is a novel; they are very different animals, and for good reason. So if a scene isn't working for me, I have to find a way -- a change in point of view, or an altered tone, or a shift in esthetic distance -- that MAKES it work. Because I am entirely incapable of writing anything I'm not excited about. My brain just won't do it.

So, to answer the unspoken question: yeah, I think the book is going to be really, really good. I am pulling out all the stops on this one, because I think it'll be a great film, and it's the culmination of the most important pop-cultural phenomenon of the past hundred years. It's the last of the movies, and I want my novel version of it to not only do justice to the film itself, but to the whole universe that GL (and so many collaborators) has given us.


I didn't like the first two Pequel movies when I first saw them. I suppose, like many other fans, I was really hoping for something that would be the Original Trilogy Bigger, Faster, and Louder.

But --

After reading the script for Ep III, I went back and watched I and II again, and they were MUCH more enjoyable to me when I looked at them as parts of an organic whole. There is a real emotional arc to the whole story, and it works for me. I think it's gonna work for nearly all of you, too.

This is what I truly believe: when Ep III comes out, there will be a radical re-evaluation of the first two films, not unlike what I went through.

I really think it's gonna be that good.


I recently received the latest disk of screen shots and concept art.

I can't speak to the pacing, or the acting, or the editing, since I haven't seen the actual footage.

What I can tell you is that it's going to be a goddamn masterpiece of visual imagination.

There. That's your Ep III fix for the week. Now I have to go get back to work on it.

Thursday, July 8

Promises, promises . . .

I will post something on Ep III soon. Really. I promise. Meanwhile, however, I feel compelled to reply to a rant from one of the kind folks who occasionally post comments around here.

This is the rant:

--I just object to being robbed and threatened by people who claim to represent me, and who claim to be doing it for my own good. Government is a racket, and government officials are gangsters with badges. The fact that most of the people around me get offended when I point that out I'm losing at least a quarter of my check a week for roads that don't work, a Ponzi scheme retirement plan that'll be bankrupt before I'm old enought to qualify for it, laws that don't make sense, armies that invade every country on the globe and piss off their inhabitants at me, and a government that no longer even pretends to obey its own laws just aggravates me that much more.
# posted by Joe Crow : 2:42:04 AM --

While Joe is an intelligent and well-spoken fellow, I must intercede here to make a claim that this paragraph represents a particularly pernicious species of bullshit. JC is the last guy I'd expect to spout Reaganista agitprop, and I think this needs a response.

First, taxes are not robbery. Taxation is the foundation of civil society; you can't have the second without the first. Somebody has to pay for the fire department's trucks; somebody has to pay for the cops, and the roads, and the courts of law that are the thin black line between us and the law of vendetta. If the roads where Joe lives don't work, maybe Joe should try petitioning his local government to hire better contractors. The roads where I live work just damn fine. Government is a racket? If so, it is a racket full of people who devote their lives to making sure that we can all live together in something resembling peace; I believe that Joe should focus less on what government "makes" him do, and more on the responsiblities incumbent upon a citizen of a civilized nation. One of those responsiblities is, for example, paying taxes. The threat of sanctions -- what Joe seems to see as extortion -- upon those who refuse to pay such taxes, is nothing more than civil society's attempt (flawed though it may be) at fairness: to prevent anti-social slackers from getting a free ride on the backs of responsible citizens. Joe is not LOSING anything; if he were to stop and calculate the value of the public services financed by that quarter of his paycheck, he will discover (unless he is very, very rich indeed, and paying considerably more in taxes than I make in a year) that he is getting back vastly more than his money's worth.

Second, Social Security is in no danger of going broke, if we can only stop our fucking Congress from sticking its fingers into the pot. This whole "Ponzi scheme" line of horseshit was invented by the Reaganistas as an excuse to privatize Social Security to prop up the NYSE. As long as the Social Security funds are left where they are, and not used as a bottomless purse to fund, oh, say, the occupation of Iraq, there is no danger it will collapse. Even with our current deficits, Social Security is fully funded until 2040. I'd say 35 years is enough time to fix any further problems that might arise. And Social Security is NOT a retirement scheme. Retirement funds are the individual responsibility of all Americans. Social Security is a safety net, intended to ensure that we don't have people in the United States (by reason of age or physical disablity) starving to death. If Joe thinks we'd be better off, as a nation, letting those folks starve, well, he's entitled to that opinion. I, however, disagree.

The hyperbole about invading every country on the globe requires no reply; the final feature of my response to this has to do with the "government that no longer pretends to obey its own laws" business. I'll avoid the rhetorical cheap shot of pointing out that he's already decided those laws don't make sense, and thus hardly has any cause to complain if they are not obeyed (well, okay, I won't avoid it altogether); mostly, I want to emphasize the logical fallacy in referring to "the government" as a whole, as if it were some unified entity, answering to a single will. The simple fact is that in America, at least, one should properly refer to "the governments," in the plural. As we have seen -- with the Supreme Court's recent smackdown of the Bushite enemy-combatants-are-whoever-we-say-they-are horseshit, not to mention the 9/11 commission's smacking around of Rumsfeld and Condoleeza Rice, and the upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee report -- our governments often work at cross-purposes, and the intersection of their often-messy vectors of interest sometimes produces something resembling justice. To pretend that "it's all one thing" is merely agitprop, like I said before, largely invented by the Reaganistas: a bogey on whom to blame all of society's ills.

Not to say all this works perfectly -- i.e. that Senate Intelligence Committee report I mentioned before will focus solely on the failures of the CIA in analyzing pre-war intel on Iraq; the Dems and the GOPs have agreed to leave fallow their findings on all the damn lies of the Bush Administration until after the election.

Which is a giant motherfucking disservice to democracy.

However, we all have a recourse on this: get the hell out and vote. Because once we throw those shitsacks out of office, it won't MATTER how much they lied -- except, perhaps, someday (okay, I'm fantasizing now -- but that's what I do for a living. Sue me.) at their criminal trials . . .

That's MY rant for the day.

Sunday, July 4


Read it. Now.

Later on, I'll have something to say about Star Wars, too. Right now, I have to go write some. Then I'll be back to talk about it.