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A Trailer That Remembers the Face of Its Father

Which would be like…  a teaser?  The poster?  A synopsis?  I’m not entirely sure how parentage of a movie trailer works.  Anyway, I’m talking of course about the much anticipated – for me at least – Dark Tower trailer:

I’ll just say this now so you can either click away or tell me I’m wrong right away instead of getting to the bottom:  I. Loved. It.

Idris’ imposing charisma and gravitas as Roland, McConaughey’s sleazy and menacing presence as Walter/Randall/Man in Black, and just the amazing visuals of Midworld or the connection to the rest of King’s works all shining through in this short trailer.  It definitely delivers on everything I would want from a film adaptation of the Dark Tower series.

And I think that’s where there’s some debate going on about the trailer.  People aren’t happy that this seriously deviates from the source material so much.  People have had issues with the film focusing more on Jake, the movie toning down some of the more western concepts, or them being racists.  You know, pick your poison.  Overall, I wasn’t expecting a transfer of the books story to the big screen.  Because that would be terrible.  The story of the Dark Tower books barely fit into anything resembling a traditional narrative structure and more closely resemble a traditional saga where the characters go on a meandering journey to ultimate destination and have various adventures along the way (also see: The Hobbit.)  There is no easy way to break The Dark Tower into a simple beginning/middle/end.  Heck, one whole book is like 90% flashback.  Even the first novel, ‘The Gunslinger’ would work as a straight story namely because it ISN’T one.  The Gunslinger is five short stories that take place in a chronological order, but while each of the shorts have a roughly complete arc unto themselves, the whole of the narrative doesn’t.  Heck it doesn’t even really have an ending.  Not one that resolves any of the conflicts brought forth in the story at least.

And that’s the Dark Tower in the nutshell.  It lacks the structure that a film demands.  So to expect any of it to make it to the big screen without some level of heavy adaptation taking place is naive of how media adaptation is supposed to work.  That and I assume you’re a big fan of The Last Airbender.  That was pretty much just copying plot point for plot point of the entire first season of Avatar to the big screen.  (Full disclosure: I loved the Last Airbender.  I have never laughed so hard at a movie.  It wasn’t because it was good though.)

The other idea put forth about the movie that solves a lot of these conflicts would only make sense to those who have read the entire book series so this next point may have some SPOILERZ in it for those who are interested in reading the books.  The idea being introduced and seemingly confirmed by both King and the filmmakers is that this story is another one of Roland’s cycles.  Referring to the idea that entire series has been repeated an unknown amount of times until Roland gets it right by bringing the fabled Horn of Eld to the steps of the Dark Tower.  When we last see Roland at the end of the last book, his journey has begun once again but this time he actually has the Horn in hand.  While the Horn of Eld isn’t seen in the trailer (photos on the set show a horn like object in Roland’s satchel however), it doesn’t mean that this theory is bust.  After all, it wouldn’t be the first cycle where Roland lost the Horn.  But even Stephen King has hinted on his twitter that this is the next cycle after the books and that this time we’ll see Roland blow that horn and face down the Crimson King.

The one point I like about this theory is that it doesn’t tie the film makers to the events of the books.  Mid-World is still there, the old familiar faces may come and go, but those are this cycle’s versions of those people.  In the same way that Roland remembers Cuthbert fondly instead of bitterly at the end of the last book, we can’t simply assume that the events before or during the course of Roland’s last journey to the Tower will play the same.  That means the film makers have full access to the names and ideas presented in the books, but don’t have to use them or even use them the same way in the film version.

Combine all that with the fact that you can tell from the trailer that the behind-the-camera team has a lot of love for the property, and this could spell a great time for King fans and non-King fans alike.

One final aside that I’ve been pondering on with the trailer:  In one shot we see Jake wandering through an over-grown forest in the remnants of an amusement park with a giant broken down sign that reads “PENNYWISE” and a dilapidated statue of a clown holding balloons.  Of course, this is easily a reference to Stephen King’s IT that is slated for its own theatrical movie here soon.  But something struck me as odd – Is this where the clown came from?  It takes many forms in the course of the novel – a werewolf, a mummy, Bev’s Dad – all conjured from the children’s frightened minds and of course Its final physical form of some Lovecraftian horror that could only be described as “Giant Spider-like creature”.  But none of the kids were afraid of clowns.  Heck, even little Georgie wasn’t scared of Pennywise when they first met.  So where did that form come from?  We know that It comes from the Macroverse, a place described in very similar terms as Todash Space in the Dark Tower, and Its natural enemy is the Turtle, which is a reoccurring guardian deity in All-World.  So perhaps this right here is a hint to where the form of Pennywise the Dancing Clown comes from original.  Maybe this isn’t a reference to IT as much as IT is a reference to this.  Who knows.  Maybe we’ll find out in August.

Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

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Leave it to Laika to remind you that quality animation is not solely in the pocket of Big Mouse.  After their amazing interpretation of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, their homage to classic horror and Goonies-esque 80’s adventure films with ParaNorman, and a wild urban fairy tale with The Box Trolls, brings us a new treat in the form of a Japanese folk tale in Kubo and the Two Strings.  If you want to avoid any of the spoilers that may follow this and just want a straight up opinion, I’ll just say what I told my friend after the movie: “If more movies were like that, I’d actually go to the movies more often.”  It’s a story that is tight, where everything is established and foreshadowed, the characters are well acted and given well rounded three dimensional personalities, the animation is gorgeous and the cinematography is artistic.  In short, this film should be on your Must See list even if your not a normal fan of animation.  It’s not just a great animated movie, it’s a great movie in general.

Spoilers to follow beyond the break.

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Odditorial: On the Perceived Permanence of Lore

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If there’s one thing we nerds enjoy, it’s canon.  Is this canonical? Is that?  Is my OTP canonical?  How does X fit into the canon?  One need not look any further than the reaction to the announcement that the Star Wars Expanded Universe being retired into the Legends label to see how much a concise and clearly stated canon can matter to people.  So there gets to be this mindset among fans of just about anything that whatever is stated to be canon is something akin to a holy text that must be viewed as complete and immutable from whatever state a fan finds it in.  And that last bit is important because what eventually sets the bar as ‘betraying’, ‘contradicting’ or ‘ignoring’ canon depends a great deal on exactly what state the canon was in when and how you first were exposed to it.

After all, while the Green Lantern Corps was introduced in 1959, the concept of the Emotional Spectrum and the other Lantern Corps like the Red Lanterns, or the Sinestro Corps, didn’t come into being until 2006, despite it beings established that these things were in existence all along but the Green Lanterns may not have been aware of them.  If you were a fan before Geoff Johns’ new interpretation of the Green Lantern universe, you might find this idea a bit on the heretical side.  After all, how could the Guardians not know/expose this info?  How come it took decades of issues before it was revealed that Parralax was a big space bug that was sealed away and they knew about it but kinda didn’t want to bring it up?  On the same hand, if you came after that or say first got interested in Green Lantern due to the Green Lantern Animated Series – then the Emotional Spectrum and the other Lanterns are just part of the universe to you. Easy peasy.

Already we can see that time and method can dictate the view of what is considered to be canon and what isn’t.  Will new Star Wars fans a decade from now when the JJ Abrams Trilogy comes to a close even think that the Legends novels were anything more than interesting What-If stories?  That the Yuuzhan Vong are nothing more than glorified fanfiction characters?  Perhaps.  But aside from fan-interpretation and viewpoints of canon, what about when canon is changed by the ones who created it?

If you want a good example of fans getting upset at a ‘violation’ of canon by the ones who write the story themselves, look no further than our good friends at Blizzard Entertainment.   Almost every expansion is met with cries of ‘That’s not what this character would do’, ‘Blizzard doesn’t care about their own canon’ or ‘This violates their own lore’, etc.  I’ve played World of Warcraft since 2006 off and on, and I’ve seen these complaints so many times I’ve lost count.  But it always comes back to this idea that what WAS should be preserved in a little box, and left to the point where it is never changed or influenced.  Heck, I remember people complaining about the difference in characterization between Warcraft III and Vanilla WoW, almost like there was some sort of inexplicable 5 year jump mentioned in first few seconds of the opening cut scene.  These characters change, the situation changes, and the world moves forward.  The Forsaken were pretty much born out of Sylvanas’ quest for revenge against the Lich King.  You can’t very well expect them to stay the same after their sworn mortal enemy is dead.

There’s also the issue of the fact that since WE are aware of all the details of the story and lore, we often will forget that the characters don’t.  A character may not know the truth of all the details, or even heard the news if its something that happened on the completely other side of the planet and thus will act according to what they know and not what WE know.  The concept of ‘metagaming’ can extend to fiction too, ya know.  So while things sometimes look like a violation of canon, it can honestly sometimes just be a matter of ‘the characters wouldn’t know that’.  Back to World of Warcraft for example, it’s stated in some places that the Eredar corrupted the Titan Sargeras into turning evil, it’s later revealed upon meeting the Draenei – an exiled faction of the Eredar – that it was actually the reverse. Sargeras had corrupted the Eredar.  Is this a retcon? Yes, but does it break canon? No.  No one who originally told the tales of Sargeras & the Eredar would have been in the position to know the facts of the tale.  They are legends and fables, passed down for generations.  Now when they meet the Draenei?  Well, heck, Velen was THERE.  He knows.  Now he’s explaining it.  Now you have the myth, and the fact.  That’s developing canon, not violating it.

Wanting a canon to stay rigid, to have nothing new enter or depart the scene and for characters to stay the same as when we first fell in love with them just is flat out bad for storytelling.  Is BioWare futzing with their own lore with TOR?  Yes.  Yes they are.  The story is moving forward, a new enemy is appearing from beyond the borders of the galaxy and using a vastly different technique of force wielding to pursue a mission of galactic conquest.  Honestly, from a personal standpoint, it’s not nearly as conflicting as say KOTOR to KOTOR2 when in the space of 5 years the entire Jedi Order was completely wiped out leaving only a few stragglers like the Exile around.  No wonder they decided to set SWTOR 295 years later. Yeesh.

Now I’m not saying there aren’t ways you can mess up canon.  Even Blizzard has admitted to messing up with mixing up established facts and they have employees devoted to entire task of keeping this stuff straight.  But there’s a difference between ‘This never before explained thing has appeared and is attacking’ or ‘This ancient prophecy we just uncovered is coming true!’ and things like ‘Superman was never from Krypton, he’s from Snorglack-VII and always has been. Ignore what we said earlier.’  (And heck there are even acceptable ways to do that with continuity reboots, and elaborate explanations, that might reek of B.S. aren’t technically violating canon.)  There are times when you just screw up and forget that you’ve already established some detail, and there are times you introduce retcons that will devastatingly run in contrast to how a character is viewed (Did you Batman ALWAYS hated rock music because his Dad told him it was bad the night they died?) but there is also just the idea that you are expanding the story and the universe.

As fans we sometimes have the tendency to get a bit zealous with our devotion to what we know.  We like the permanence of the whole thing.  It feels good.  But that’s not necessarily what’s best for the story.  For a story to grow, canon must be altered and expanded.  Maybe there were 9 planets, but due to later revelations there are now 8 (or like 25).  Canon must always be somewhat flexible in order for things to move forward.  And I think we as fans need to be flexible with it.

Thanks for reading.

Big Hero 6 Review: Satisfaction Guarenteed

INTRO_Disney_BigHero6_guideI got a chance to go see Disney’s newest flick ‘Big Hero 6’ this past weekend.  I really didn’t know what to expect going in to the theater.  I was roughly familiar with the source material: a 90’s-tastic Japanese super hero team created by the ever loathsome Scott Lobdell and starring every Japanese movie stereotype known to man – ninjas, samurai, giant monsters, robots, etc.  I was also aware that the team working on this film were also the ones behind Wreck-It Ralph, a film that now ranks among one of my all time favorites.  So what does this strange collaboration of Disney magic and horrible 90’s comic schlock produce?  Actually something pretty fun.

While the film was based on an American comic book, it doesn’t really draw its overall influence from there.  In fact, I’d say the film has stronger ties with Eastern media like Astro Boy (in many ways this film reminded me of the underrated 2009 Astro Boy film that Imagi Animation made).  The film centers around a young genius named Hiro who loses his mentor/best friend/pseudo-criminal-accomplice big brother in an accident leaving him horribly depressed.  Hiro also comes into possession of Baymax, his brothers final invention.  Baymax is a big inflatable robot designed to help take care of people who are injured or in need of medical or psychological help.  With Baymax at his side, Hiro discovers the accident that took his brother may not have been an accident after all but the works of a super villain. So Hiro, Baymax and Hiro’s friends must suit up as super heroes to stop the villain.

If that sounds a bit run of the mill, it kinda is.  One of the films…  I hesitate to say “flaw” because it really isn’t but one of its traits is that it is a very formulaic film.   If you’ve seen super hero movies, you’ll recognize all the major story beats here.  From the fact that the group isn’t coordinated at all in their first fight with the villain and end up taking each other out, to the newly energized and ready to work as a team battle that gives them more direct challenges to overcome from the villain which they use a lesson from earlier in the film to help overcome.  If that sounds familiar to you, then the rest of the story will probably as well.  It gets to the point where superhero comic book fanboy character Fred even starts pointing out tropes. However, as they say, god is in the details.

What makes the film wonderful is all the little details that break the mold.  From the vividly diverse cast of characters, voiced by an equal diverse cast, to the fortitude to risk releasing a Disney super hero movie without a love story stuck in there in anyway.  Think about that.  Disney AND Superheroes.  Two groups who are known for the token romantic interests with guy gets the girl endings.  Not here.  Not even a hint of it.  Which is quite the breath of fresh air actually.  In the original comics, Hiro and Honey Lemon WERE an item and I was wondering how they would pull that off, especially since the main character is around 14 years old and the rest of the cast is 18+ and in college.  There’s been some complaints against Honey Lemon, that she has the quickly becoming cliche “Disney Face”.  You know, that Rapunzel, Anna, and Elsa all use the same rough face.  Luckily, they did change it up a bit with Honey.  She is somewhat implied to be a Latina character (voiced by a Latina actress who brings that out with various vocal inflections) and she is also a friggin twig.  Like not “princess skinny” where they are thin but still have hips and a bust and toned legs, etc.  No.  Honey in profile would like more like a straight line.  Not like anorexic sickly skinny either.  Just a twig.  Reminds me of my real life sister who is also a twig.  So at least there’s SOME deviation there.

At its heart, the film is about a young man coming to grips with loss and dealing with the grief that resulted from losing someone close.   From isolation and depression, to lashing out in anger and accidentally hurting your friends in the process.  It handles it magnificently as well.  With the care and understanding that such a story deserves.  You never feel Hiro’s actions are because he’s being annoying or going over the top.  The film is very clear about his actions coming from a place of deep hurting, and it conveys that to audience perfectly.  At the heart of this is Baymax, who serves as the emotional foil for Hiro.  Baymax is designed to be calm, gentle, and understanding.  He’s a robot whose sole purpose is to help those in pain, be it physical or emotional and as such is there to help Hiro through this journey.

While this film isn’t the amazing, jaw dropping experience that was Box Trolls or Book of Life, it does bring a lot of heart, fun and originality to a fairly predictable formula.  So yea, you may have seen this story before.  But at least you can sit through it knowing that at least its a well done iteration of that time worn tale of capes & cowls. If I actually used stars, it would be a solid 4 out of 5 from me with a definite recommendation to see it at least once.  It’s more debatable whether it will be just as enjoyable on subsequent viewings (definitely will be just as quotable), so it may not be a “BUY IT DAY ONE BLU RAY NAO!” kind of flick, but definitely a go see it once. Preferably in the theaters for that big screen experience.

Don’t Make Star Wars Look Like Star Wars

One of the most common complaints I see every single time a new video or pics come out for Star Wars the Old Republic it’s that nothing in the game “looks” or “feels” like Star Wars.  People demanding that everything adhere to lore, despite the fact that Star Wars lore is such a complete cluster-@#$% that pretty much anything flies there.  Don’t believe me? Look up Marvel’s old Star Wars comic with the giant green bunny.  Generally, when people say they want something to “look” like Star Wars they mean the movies – more specifically the Original Trilogy only.  However, it seems like a bad idea to me.  Why?  Because you’ll end up with this:

Yea. Operation after operation to get what amounts to roughly the same outfit over and over with varying shades of brown or black.  That sounds like raid gear I can get behind.  But what about on the Sith side?  Surely the Dark Lords with a fashion sense would have a wider array of ‘traditional’ Star Wars looks:

Well… uh…  At least black goes with everything? Okay, that’s a bit cruel of me.  Surely there are plenty of outfits in Star Wars lore to draw inspiration from.  Like Darth Maul which has a black tunic under the giant black cloak. That’s a bit different.  Oh and for the ladies, there’s always Darth Talon’s “ensemble”:

Yea. That’s gonna be a big crowd pleaser.  No one’s gonna complain about that lore-inspired get up at all.  Just make sure it’s classified as “heavy armor” to maintain the MMO Armor B.S. quota.

Honestly, you might not like the armor that Bioware adds to the game. But it’s a hell of lot better in my opinion than the same outfits over and over for the sake of staying true to a movie series that – once you include the B, C, D and E canon of the Expanded Universe – makes up a very small portion of the overall design aesthetic of the franchise.  Just remember, if you want SW:TOR to be more like the movies, you’re are just BEGGING for Gungans to show up.  Do you want that, Internet? Gunguns in TOR?  Yea. Thought not.

Lowered Expectations

Today, I feel like giving advice.  I rarely do this, and people often ignore it or get offended that I am doing it.  This is not some ultimatum, just some random musings culminating in an explanation that reinforces a viewpoint that may or may not cause you to go “Huh.”  You have been warned.

So recently I’ve been spending a lot of time flipping through the Star Wars: The Old Republic forums.  I can see you shaking your head in disheartened disgust.  Regardless of what you may think about the “Bioware Community”, they are indeed just as bad – if not worse in some regards – than the World of Warcraft forums.  While the Bioware forums proper demand nothing short of perfection from every Bioware title (Don’t believe me? Trying going there and complimenting Dragon Age 2.  See what kind of reaction you get), the Old Republic forums are full of bristling debate over simply what kind of game the Old Republic will be and the firestorm that discussion – a term I use lightly to describe the battle of enraging ki that encircles many a thread – leaves in its wake.  Exaggeration? Perhaps.  I find calm, civilized and cheerful discussions quite often on the Warcraft forums but that doesn’t seem to barricade anyone from bursting forth with the idea that the site in its entirety is a den of villains, thrice damned abominations and trolls.

Ultimately, the problem is one of expectations.  Many are gripping on to their title of choice (Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, Mass Effect 3… what have you) and wishing that their every desire will be fulfilled by that one title as if it were some all-powerful djinn with the cheat codes turned on.  Those who wish to herald of the days of yore when games were brutal and only the best of the best would claim the shiniest toy on the mound that they can lord over the unwashed masses will find any quote and smidgen of information to reinforce that this game will be their ideal world.  While those who arm themselves with communist ideals that all should be able to claim the shiniest toy should they desire will do the same.  It’s not just loot either than fuels these festering mosh pits of heated debate.  Everything from game play mechanics to who has the marginally more interesting story line can be fodder.  People expect things to be the way they want them to be, and not the way they don’t want it to be and they’ll will fight with self proclaimed righteousness to convert those with dissenting opinion.

Honestly, it is hilarious from an outsiders point of view.  Will TOR crash and burn for sticking to the Trinity?  Will Guild Wars 2 usher in a renaissance that will wipe the MMO playing field clear so a new world can be forged in its place? Does the Horde really get the best story lines and Blizzard just hates the Alliance with a passion?  I read these thoughts and laugh.  Because I know that the real answer is probably going to land in the middle, and thus begins a new cycle of hatred and bickering over failures and incompetence of the developers to satisfy what each person views as the majority opinion – that just so happens to align with their personal beliefs – of what should have happened.

So what do you do?  Well, I can’t say.  That’s for each to decide for themselves when the time comes.  I can however tell you how I have routinely been able to find pleasure in many a game over the years:  Keep your expectations simple.  If I told you the entirety of my expectations for The Old Republic was to have an interesting story and a neat crafting system, do you think I would find myself disappointed come December?  My only expectation for Brutal Legend was I was expecting to laugh because it’s a Tim Schafer game and that man is hilarious.  I have replayed that game about four times to date and am seriously tempted to do it again.  Actually, probably my first mistake with Cataclysm was expecting something massive.  A whole new Azeroth to explore! Everything is different now!  Yea, no.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have several issues with Cataclysm – ones that if Mists of Pandaria delivers what was proposed should remedy hopefully – but I don’t think I would have crashed and burned to the point of deleting my characters and saying “Screw it all!” a mere month a half in, were I more level headed about what to expect.

The only time everyone will be happy with something is when you only have a small handful of people to deal with, and even then it’s not a guarantee.  Companies like Bioware and Blizzard have to deal with an audience of millions.  How do you do that?  I can barely wrap my head around it, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a million anything.  The only thing that keeps coming back to me when I lie awake, staring at my ceiling, and thinking about all of this is ‘compromise.’  Compromise is how you make the most people happy.  They’re probably not all going to be ecstatic, possibly not even elated, but maybe pleased.  Pleased enough to pay and to keep paying.  The problem with compromise is that those who are hoping on this being the messiah they patiently waited for, that will do everything right in their book, may become bitter and discontent.  They become disgruntled trolls who might see themselves enlightened amongst the drooling mouth breathers who didn’t see the promise of absolute satisfaction and throw their money at it instead of rising up as one and saying “No! Do better!” and thus the cycle begins a new.

So my advice – hidden cryptically through the words of this rant – is to lower your expectations.  Not to the ground, mind you.  You should have some self respect for what you enjoy. But if you’re seeking what you feel is perfection and then condemn something for not living up to your personal demands, you will rarely – if possibly ever – find satisfaction.  Then again, if you are anything like one of my relatives, your disgruntled rage may be the fuel that keeps you going through life. So, uh…  kudos?

The Dread Spy James Bond?

“He explained that the name was the important thing for inspiring the necessary fear.” – Wesley, the Princess Bride

There is always something trecherous in discussing a character with a long continuity.  Like dipping into a pool of sharks with laser beams attached to their head, it can prove be a fascinating but dangerous experience.  So when I say that I have a theory that would fix the continuously growing amount of confusion (at least on my part) surrounding the continouity and mythos of one specific British secret agent, I do so with no doubt that this may cost me a good deal of time sorting through the endless amounts of angry comments demanding that I confess that I don’t know anything about James Bond.

So in an effort to spare my eyes the laborous task of sorting through nearly 60 years of muddled history and contradictory statements regarding background and various fan wankery about how it all fits together, as well as the aforementioned onslaught of angry emails and comments, let’s just begin this post by clarifying that my knowledge of James Bond is limited to the films, the information I’ve been able to gleam from those films, and I’ll be discussing my issues with those films.

In other words, I don’t give two stirred martinis about the continuity, history or information presented in the novels.  I have never read them.  I’m sure they’re lovely, but this post pertains wholly to the context of the films.  Thank you, and good day.

Back to the topic at hand,  I have had a long running issue with the Bond series.  From the changing actors to the shifting of the character’s age, there are a lot of inconsistencies with James Bond.  In 2006, they attempted to “reboot” the series in a modern-day setting with Casino Royale.  We have modern technology, a female M (played by the same actress, causing much head scratching on my part), and a suave new 21st century setting.  Essentially tossing out Bonds #1-20 out the window, to the point where I’m not sure why they are still numbering in this fashion (Maybe because it’s one of the only movie series that has more installments than the Land Before Time).

Not taking into account many of my own personal complaints with Casino Royale.  I felt the need to reboot the entire franchise unnecessary because there was a simple way to give Bond a fresh start, maintain continuity, and even patch a couple of potential plot holes along the way. The solution in my eyes is a very simple one: Make ‘James Bond’ a pseudonym.  A fake name that comes with holding the dubious title of being Agent 007.  When a former 007 retires (or dies), MI6 scouts a new one and they take their predecessor’s position and name.  They become the new James Bond.

Let’s go back and re-examine the beginning of Casino Royale. In a modern-day setting, we see a new agent become the new 007 and the new James Bond from M, played by the same actress as the previous four films.  Old M, new Bond. Well, that’s slightly less confusing.  There’s no Q, because Q sadly passed away back in The World is Not Enough and no witty banter with any form of Moneypenny because this new Bond is brand new and thus is not familiar with (possibly never has met) Moneypenny.  You get the new start, the emotionally fragile new Bond, and the new gadgets and with one small alteration you have not informed the fans of the previous 20 Bond films that their old favorites are now irrelevant.

This does more than fix some of my issues with Casino Royale though.  What about agent 006 – Alec Trevelyan?  One of Bond’s dearest friends from MI6 that has somehow never been mentioned until the events of GoldenEye. Well maybe because only the Pierce Brosnan Bond knew Alec and not the entire line of Bonds.  How about how Q continued to age while Bond roughly remained the same age from incarnation to incarnation?  And of course, James Bond isn’t the only alias the agent goes under.  After all, if the guy looking to kill you knows that you usually go under the name ‘Nigel Tinkerfleet’ you will probably be telling the hotel clerk that your name is ‘Horton Gagglesbrook’.

Though you must admit, the idea does hold some degree of weight.  Nor would it have been difficult to implement (heck, they still can in Bond 23 due out in 2012 supposedly), an additional scene or a few extra lines of dialogue to establish that the current James Bond is in a line of Bonds.  Something like “You may wish to familiarize yourself with the accomplishments of your predecessors” and flop! M tosses down a folder marked ‘007: James Bond’ with some photos in reference to previous Bond films.

Is this idea totally air tight? No, of course not, because I highly doubt it was ever intentional.  Ian Flemming’s novels clearly all portray the same man. The idea was to do the same with the films. There are likely several points where one Bond refers to something a different Bond did as personal experience, and then of course there’s the issue of Tracy, Bond’s deceased wife (To be fair, she is only in one film, and while the subtext can be interpreted that Bond might be thinking of or referring to Tracy, it’s never explicit.)  However, we are knocking of the 50th anniversary of Sean Connery’s debut performance in Dr. No and with all this talk of creating a grittier, darker Bond, and wanting to ‘reboot’ the entire franchise with these newest films, is changing this detail really such an out-there idea? Because honestly, I would take a retcon over a reboot any day.

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