Sad to hear that Peter Mayhew, known largely as the actor who portrayed Chewbacca in five Star Wars films, passed away this week at the age of 71. Yet Mayhew’s death occurring two days before “Star Wars Day” (May the 4th be with you) probably resulted in even more attention and appreciation for his career than it otherwise may have received.
But maybe not. Chewbacca was a beloved, iconic character in the most famous movie franchise of all time (well, until Marvel and the Avengers came along). Mayhew’s death was going to be news. But a community came together online and in person, due to social media and Star Wars Day, to express their affection, which made it just that much more special.
Growing up with Star Wars (though I often recap my love of comic books and superheroes more), Han Solo was the coolest character for me. Roguish, charming, a little bit unethical, but ultimately noble. He wore a slick vest and piloted the best starship in the galaxy. Yet as I got older (and old), I developed more affection for Chewbacca. And not just because I often express myself with roars and grunts too.
I keep saying this isn’t a newsletter and have posted that content here instead. But the reasons I haven’t really followed through on trying to do a newsletter is a) not having anybody sign up would be kind of depressing and b) I’m not writing enough at other outlets to have anything to collect here.
Plus, I’m already asking people to subscribe to The Podcass, which friends and followers have been supporting nicely, and I’d really like that to do well. At some point, you all will just get sick of me tugging on your pant legs, right?
But here’s the thing: I miss the old days of blogging. With me writing less professionally, I need an outlet and I’m enjoying writing for fun again. The era of Blogger, LiveJournal and Tumblr has passed, but the spirit of blogging still seems to exist, if not the interactivity and sense of community. Maybe it’s just in newsletters and podcasts now.
So here we go. This is becoming a newsletter. I’ll try to get this out on Thursday or Friday, since a lot of newsletters go out on Sunday. Please subscribe to Overzealous Recycling at tinyletter.com/casselberry. And thank you in advance.
We’ve reached the 25-episode mark on The Amusement Park Podcast! (Actually, we’ve done 26 episodes, including a Special Edition. We haven’t done any of those since, probably because it’s not always easy to find time to record, and I’m not sure we’ll do so again.)
This time around, we talk about the Avengers: Endgame and Toy Story 4 Super Bowl teasers, in addition to a couple of other commercials. We also review Amazon’s Hanna pilot, which was available for 24 hours after The Big Game, and look back at Game of Thrones Season 1, trying to refresh ourselves on everything before Season 8 premieres in April. And we do some quick hits on a variety of topics, something we may do regularly on future podcasts.
One thing I didn’t mention during our discussion of Hanna was how much I enjoyed the soundtrack for the original 2011 movie. The music by The Chemical Brothers was a vital part of the film, setting the visuals to a beat that fit the story’s quick pace. Or in the case of “Hanna’s Theme,” the soundtrack was a play on the coming-of-age aspect of the main character’s story.
Also worth mentioning was how much of a departure this movie was for director Joe Wright, whose filmography is largely filled with dramas like Pride & Prejudice, Atonement and Darkest Hour. But there wasn’t really a place for that during the conversation.
On the latest Amusement Park Podcast, we pay tribute to Stan Lee and the Marvel icon’s role in pop culture. Also, George R.R. Martin’s struggles with The Winds of Winter, Hallmark Christmas movies update, and what we’re enjoying this week.
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