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The 7 Cs, Week 4

This time, the lesson was about God on Mt. Sinai establishing his covenant with Israel. The class highlighted God’s faithfulness when Israel committed adultery before the conclusion of the covenant ceremony.

After reading the scriptures about that day on Mt. Sinai, the class discussed the personal application of the lesson’s theme, commitment. Now, what immediately came to mind was the goal of writing that novel. I have been meaning to write a science fiction novel for years. With that goal, I’m going on five years now.

It keeps getting pushed further out. And I put it away after trying again and again. It’s become this thing that eats away at me, its incompleteness a reflection of personal shortcomings.

This week’s class helped clarify two things: self-respect and stewarding a God-given gift go a long way, especially regarding creative pursuits. This whole time, I had been thinking of writing and finishing my first novel as a benchmark to be reached before self-respect could be earned. That’s not how it works. Vision cannot stand without self-respect.

In light of this and the New Year being little more than a month away, I’m making a quick resolutions list: write The Eternal Moon. I’ve got characters and a sense of direction. All that’s left is an outline and a schedule.

I’ve got to get to it.

7 C’s, Week 3

Genesis 12 was the chapter of discussion. In that chapter, God calls Abram to leave Ur, his home, and move. To where he did not know. Abram had two options: stay in Ur or trust God in the wilderness.

For historical context, it had been centuries since the abandonment of the construction of the Tower of Babel, which God judged by confusing the language of humanity. Humanity was spread across the world, splintered into nations, the world into which Abram was born.

Abram lived in a fascinating time, most of it shrouded in mystery. What little is known of it has unquestionably deep anthropological roots in our world as it is shaped now. So far back in history, it’s all legend to the general public and contested as historical fact by the academic community. It’s held me captive to its mystery for a long time.

Let’s zoom in on the human element. Abram was a man of faith, and Ur was his home. Canaan was his future. Turning that future into reality required Abram, son of Terah, to do the culturally unthinkable – belief in and follow an invisible God who had no temple. That set God apart from the other gods who had temples for dwelling in those ancient days. A loaded man like Abram leaving the protection of a city to follow God who didn’t dwell in a temple was a gamble. It was a life-and-death choice to make.

Abram and Sarai shared the cost of this decision. For Abram, it was likely leaving the comforts and familiarity of home, while for Sarai, a woman, the price was no less significant. Had her husband died before reaching God’s chosen land, she would have been left with nothing. To her and Abram, the reasons to fear were stacked high beyond measure. Fortunately, they served a faithful God.

As I consider their story as the seed of faith, passed down through generations, reaching me, a gentile, I am inspired. And the only way to honor that artistic inclination is to write at least one screenplay about these stories of Genesis leading to Abram. Such an idea sends a shiver down my spine. By age 36, I want to have a final draft of a script written for the story of Adam and Eve and the fruit they ate from the Tree of Knowledge.

No More NaNoWriMo

I wrote for, and gave up on, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) after only six days of feverish writing. I ceased the nuckle-cracking exercise for one reason: I had begun on a whim for the wrong reason. I was avoiding an epic idea beyond my skill by working on a six-month-old idea born of a collaboration with Jonathan, my former college roommate.

Why was I scared? Pain. I had tried to write a novel countless times before. I had tried and tried, and tried again, unceasingly. I couldn’t let myself give up. The pain and inward torment was ongoing, with shrinking rays of hope that vanished every time I returned to the “masterpiece” to see what needed trimming. Being a writer who couldn’t seem to tell a story to save his life became the internal narrative through which I viewed myself.

Writing a novel, as a personal goal, stems from the fundamental, artistic inclination I caught as a kid to pay it forward. As a general rule, when wonder hits, whether through a novel or movie, it sometimes converts to inspiration, which evolves into an undying, artistic desire. So, for the sake of brevity, I’ll only rewind to 2018.

That year, when The Last Jedi (not the source of my inspiration) divided the fandom, I resolved to write a novel, even if it killed me. I didn’t want to write just a sci-fi novel, but the sci-fi novel. What that meant, I couldn’t say at the time. In hindsight, however, I know I wanted to write a story that, in spirit, honored works by my heroes (George Lucas, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Ron D. Moore).

Three long years later, I finally admitted that what I had aimed for artistically was far beyond my skill level. The dream had crushed me flat, leaving me to recover emotionally from the years of self-criticism and inward battling to push through and see the book finished.

Now, with NaNoWriMo wipped from my month list of goals, I took my eyes off the prize, which was completion of my first, first-draft novel, and examined my motives more precisely. It became clear that I was sorrowfully out of synch with my heart. I had to be in agreement with what I had in my heart to write. Therapy provided training for this introspection.

True to my creative integrity, I changed course, bringing within my sights The Eternal Moon. Time to write it, even if it kills me. If I can finish that book, that leaves fewer impossible things to give up on.

All About Scale, Part 1 of 3

The anticipation before a cinematic battle is awe-inspiring. The king steps out in front of the troops and sounds the war cry, and with the tip of his sword, he releases the battle-hardened troops! They begin to march (or gallop). The opposing armies rapidly close the gap, swinging swords and firing across the opening, and finally clash. Units fall on both sides as shots are fired and randomly pick off those in the oncoming formation.

That’s my description of King Theoden and his riders of Rohan in The Lord of the Rings. Watching a sequence like that spiked my teenage testosterone levels and blew my mind. I echoed the war cry in my heart, wishing I had a sword in my hand instead of the television remote. That epic sequence mixed with the battles in Star Wars, my imagination grew with possibilities, reaching for the vast cosmos.

That feeling of cinematic scale stuck with me, and it sparked my search for a game that could translate it onto the virtual field without compromising unit count. I wanted to command, to lead the charge; I wanted to gather the troops, organize them into formation, and march into battle. The armies clash, rockets fly, and explosions blossom.

As a kid, I wanted to somehow reenact in a video game what I saw in film. Cinematic portrayals of war spurred my imagination, specifically ones framing the grandness of war. The following movies, spanning multiple genres, became outlets for this growing obsession of mine: Troy (historical), Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (science fiction); Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Return of the King (fantasy); and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (war drama).

While these films sparked my imagination, reality introduced the cold terms of adulthood in an unforgiving, merciless world. To hold onto the wonder, I watched and rewatched these films through my awkward teenage years. I lived primarily in my imagination, symptomatic of a budding writer, among other things.

As life threw its punches, I insulated myself with the search for a video game with the tools to stage full-scale virtual warfare worthy of the Clone Wars and D-Day. I tried the games already out on the market. Games like Star Wars: Empire at War, Age of Empires, and Empire Earth allowed command of forces and groups of ships across small maps of blue, green, and stary terrain. Those games were fun, mass-producing X-Wing fighters, raising up water-bound battleships, and lining up a human wall of Revolutionary War muskets against enemy AI forces.

Given the scale I was after, however, games of that kind, tactics-heavy with clostrophobic camera views of the maps, quickly lost my interest. Their unit caps were shallow, maxing me out on my army size to suit an invasion of a small town. I shook my bist at the developers (LucasArts, Ensemble Studios, Stainless Steel Studios, Mad Doc Software) for what I perceived as a lack of vision. Little did I know that the business side of video game development was limited to a market of PCs customizable to the shallow pockets of retail employees. Teenage me expected to control and lead an army of thousands with the click of my mouse after a marathon of Looney Tunes and Captain Crunch, while wearing pajamas on a Saturday morning. Movies had taught me that to take down the bad guys, it took more than 250 units spread thin across land, air, and sea.

Despite the reasonable expectations appealed to me by wiser and more mature friends, I hoped all-the-same that someone out there saw strategy gaming the way I did. Having tried strategy games across the Star Wars, Halo, and world conflict IP franchises, ignoring Star Craft, I waited. I couldn’t be the only one with this vision of full-scale war (Total War games didn’t count).

In 2007, my quest could have ended because the unthinkable had happened. Chris Taylor, owner of Gas Powered Games, had designed and released Supreme Commander, which was his answer to the problem of modern “strategy games” like Age of Empires being designed for tactics with little strategy in mind, much less scale. When his game could have changed my life then and there, I had an Xbox controller in my hands, playing through Master Chief’s concluding campaign story. Bungie’s Halo 3, the equivalent to Mass Effect 3 in terms of concluding a trilogy (the original Mass Effect was released that year) had arrived.

It would be years before Supreme Commander caught my eye at the local GameStop. When it did in 2012, I vetted the Gas Powered Games product by asking one of the store employees about it. I assumed that GameStop employees worked for GameStop because video games were their oxygen, their reason for living (mine were DVDs, script writing, and novels). When the female employee invoked the word “scale” with widened eyes, her hair pink and makeup an intense purple, I snatched the last copy from the display shelf, paid the sticker price, and ran home, my heart pounding through my chest.

In moments of intense excitement like this, I often put the cart before the horse. The #1 rule for buying a video game was matching its system requirements with the gaming machine stationed at the home base. Unless one’s wallet was deep enough for a high-end, flashy, glowing gaming machine, games like Supreme Commander remained sorrowfully out of reach at the time.

“Could it be?” I shouted with only the voice through the radio to share my excitement. It wasn’t until I got to my desk at my apartment that I learned from the back of my Dell PC that its single-core processing power couldn’t harness the high-end demands of Chris Taylor’s epic strategy game.

It would be a few more years before I could finally sink my teeth into Supreme Commander in all its non-tactics-based, strategy-friendly, scaled glory. I had to first get a good job, quit it to write a novel in a year, buy a gaming machine instead, and finally play to my heart’s content with hilarious results.

Life on the 7 C’s – Week 2

It was 30 minutes before 6 pm class on Tuesday. I got dressed, scrambling to leave the house and get to class on time, my hair still wet from the shower.

I looked down, trying to spot my curriculum book amidst the messy floor, thinking I was prepared for class, unlike last week. There it was, next to a mound of discarded clothes. It had been resting there since I got home from last week’s class, untouched.

Grabbing it by the fold, I was out the door, behind the wheel, and driving to the church building. Branden began the class on time, 5 minutes ago. Last to sit down, I opened my curriculum book to Lesson 3 and sat without a word, waiting for the moment of my late arrival to pass. There wasn’t a single judgemental person there, but apparently, the twelve years since college for me was not enough to erase feeling like the late student to an English class. I remembered the judgemental glare of the teachers shooting darts at my tardiness. Luckily, Branden wasn’t the sort, and this wasn’t a college class.

Branden had everyone open the curriculum book and dive into the story of the Fall. It’s a hard-to-spoil story, in which the woman (not yet named) ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which God had made forbidden. Adam, standing by, had let it happen, and humanity has since paid dearly.

This chapter in the Book of Genesis is so well known, most readers may no attention to the suble details that infer tremendous meaning about that tragic moment.

Because most of the class was new to a deeper understanding of the Bible, two hours wasn’t enough time to get into every nuance. So, I had to be careful about what ideas I brought up in the discussion. Now, however, in this post, I’m going full throttle.

Let’s begin. God had told Adam not to eat of that tree lest he die (a spiritual death). For whatever reason, when the serpent questioned her understanding of God’s command, the woman misquoted what God had commanded Adam. In her mind, the command wasn’t just “don’t eat of it” but “don’t even touch it.” I embdace the belief that Adam, as steward of Creation, put his own spin on the command in passing it on to the woman. Adam was likely exercising control. Maybe he had already assumed that he knew best. And God allowed him to assume that. So, to the woman, touching the fruit was perhaps a challenge to Adam.

Where was Adam? Next to her, uninvolved, likely watching to see what she’d do. Even though, in hindsight, obedience is clearly the point here, it was probably not how Adam and the woman assessed the moment. Adam was responsible for what he shared or didn’t share with her, and the woman was responsible for taking up that mantel of stewardship alongside Adam. They shared responsibility, while also occupying different roles in their sphere of influence. The bottom line though was that because Adam had been created first, the woman needed him to impart his knowledge to her, what little he knew thus far.

Adam failed to fill that need, even in her most critical moment of need. Adam chose not to step up and challenge the serpent. Why? After all, the woman probably had some expectation of Adam that involved him leading her into either obeying or disobeying their Creator. With Adam choosing to linger backstage and the woman onstage choosing how to end the play, more was at risk than just trying out untested fruit. Paradise itself hung by a thread.

Another interesting comes up on top of that. There came a moment when the woman was fallen and Adam was not. Before she gave him the fruit, and he accepted it, Adam still had a choice. Human history, would have taken a different turn, theoretically, for a time.

An idea we briefly explored in class was that Adam ate the fruit because he perhaps didn’t want the woman to be alone in sin. Curious, but perhaps that assigns Adam too much selflessness. Maybe his angle had a pinch of selfishness: What if he was unwilling to live without the woman’s companionship? After all, the animals had come in pairs – male and female – and he had no one to identify with, flesh to flesh. The woman, shaped and brought to life by God, was the divine answer to Adam’s loneliness. God had said that it was not good for man to be alone. And now, the woman God had given him was no longer spiritually alive but spiritually dead. Perhaps, even at that moment, he objectified her as something he didn’t want to lose.

Adam perhaps never knew fear, so it’s possible that joining the woman in sin had everything to do with desire. They both assumed that God wouldn’t satisfy their individual desires, that taking matters into their own hands felt more secure.

When to Push Myself

Life is full of challenges, some harder than others. The important thing is set up for success. In other words, be prepared.

As a writer, I’m swooned by the flow of words. And, even more so, as a perfectionist who loves rich lore and complex characters, it comes naturally to take a simple idea and in a day make it five layers deep with meaning. In other words, I’m a plotter or planter, or gardener, or architecture. Pick one. The writing community is never short on words for defining a writer.

Every year, writers like myself look forward to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It’s a creative challenge recongized around the world as an invitation to create characters – to tell a story. I’ve tried on more than a few rounds of this annual endeavor to write my first novel. Whether it was a family event or job-related setbacks, life seemed to always throw a good-sized rock on my path, just out of sight but properly on my footpath for me to trip.

Over the years, it became this dreadful, disheartenimg reminder of another year gone without having my first novel written. I’d wonder where the time had gone. It pained me to think that while other writers were having such success with their stories, I was still in the early development stages of my novel without anything printed that I could be proud of.

The challenge became this double-edged sword of possibility and creative obligation. And no matter how many times I opted to give NaNoWriMo a try, I always ended up getting lost in 5,000 words of garbbled gook.

I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to write a first draft during the month of November. I’ve lost could. What I do know, however, is that there are 11 other months in the year. And the important thing is not to derive my sense of success as a writer from NaNoWriMo but to treat it as an end-of-the-year exercise to write consistently for 30 days. The first 10 months of the year need to be time spent preparing, writing, brainstorm. I can do the same thing with NaNoWriMo in February or July. I just need to set myself up for success and let November be the time that I’m walking down the hill from the peak of success, not climbing up towards it.

7 C’s, Week 2

In class, the lesson was about Adam made of the earth, given life by God’s breath. God brought Adam to live in the east, then brought him to the Garden of Eden.

The Creation of Man here in Genesis is fascinating. Adam was a heap of dirt before God’s breath entered his nostrils and inflated his lungs with a beatingheart. Jesus was similarly born of the Spirit through the virgin Mary. From her he got his flesh, but from God, not man, he received life.

Making that connection was exciting. Bringing it to light at the table for discussion was awkward, my speech rushed with eyes on me.

Now that class is over, I am endeavoring to work it out in this post. (disclaimer: I have no formal theological training, just more research on my own time than the average believer). Since Adam and Eve made a deal with the devil by eating of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, it fell upon the divine to parse out a solution. And Jesus was that solution. Theologically, Jesus is considered the 2nd Adam, giving him legal grounds to “right the wrong,” buying back the earth and our souls, which were precisely what Adam and Eve had lost by disobeying God.

Let’s go an inch deeper now. It stands to reason that we’ve always shared Adam’s connection with the divine, given the creative method by which God engineered Adam into a sentient form of life with personality and agency (choice). The breath of life is considered an extention, if not a form of, the Holy Spirit, which is what believers receive today by faith through Jesus Christ.

What this leaves us with now is vast, immeasurable potential, which can take us well beyond the confines of American life. It shakes the very foundations of what we westerners think is possible spiritually, specifically pertaining to our capacity in faith to relate to the dualistic nature of Jesus, the Messiah himself.

After all, if we are supposed to be in relationship with Jesus daily, that means we can practically seek to understand Jesus’s divine nature by discovering it through him in spirit.

What does that mean for us believers today? It places in our hands the possibility of bearing witness to Jesus’s dualistic nature in our hearts. With that, having that depth of relationship with what C.S. Lewis called the supreme being, there’s no end to what the believer is capable of in Jesus.

We don’t even know all of that which Jesus did on this Earth. The Gospels say that all the books in the world couldn’t contain the full measure of works the Jesus accomplished before his ascension.

To Be Continued

Careful, You Might Be a Writer

“You have to have at least a cup’s worth of crazy to call yourself a writer. That was a text I sent Jonathan, my friend, earlier today. His response was that the text was quotable, or at least it sounded like a quote.

He asked if I had made it up, to which I proudly confirmed. “Sounds like a good topic for a blog post,” he said.

Now, with only a little time left before the end of the weekend, I’m writing. Looking ahead, I see I will work from Tuesday through Friday, waiting until Saturday to play Halo Infinite and maybe watch a movie. Sunday gets filled with the youth group, which is draining, so I nap afterward. And maybe play more Halo Infinite after that.

So, where’s the “crazy”? All writers put on a mask to some degree, which means behind closed doors is when the crazy comes out as all writers are self-identifying geniuses, whether they whisper it quietly to their ego or shout it from the rooftops. Writers live inside their heads.

It’s worth knowing whether or not the shoe fits. Here’s a comprehensive list of identifiers to classify a writer with a cup’s worth of crazy:

  • Drink coffee and write at the same time
  • Do any other task for stimulation under the guise of preparing to write
  • Take frequent, hour-long breaks every sentence or paragraph to go hunt down inspiration.
  • Grieve openly in a tongue-and-cheek way over the undiscovered talent that is you
  • Talk endlessly about the nuances and complexities of your novel, which you have not yet begun to write (huzzah!)
  • Describe your book at any possible opportunity, regardless of who is listening
  • Establish a non-life-threatening habit that at least looks like you’re smoking a cigarette and drinking to emulate the greats like William Faulkner and Edgar Allan Poe
  • Wear nice clothes to appear put together in public
  • Spend the day in pajamas, drinking coffee
  • Finally, above all, procrastinate

We writers can be miserable creatures. We try to live a normal life when the fantasy in our heads is far more compelling.

Life on the 7 C’s – Week 1

To all pirate fans thinking this is about pirates, I apologize because it’s not. The 7 C’s are about something different. Read on, however, if you can’t walk away without knowing at least what they are.

The 7 C’s summarize the story of the Bible. The first “C” is Creation – Genesis, Chapter 1 – the seven days in which God brought life into existence – the trees, the plants, the animals, and humanity. The second “C” is the Crisis, which takes place in Genesis, Chapter 2. That’s when Eve eats the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, plunging humanity into an age of darkness. And what a long age it’s been; we’re in it now. The third “C” is Covenant, God’s solution to the corruption of human nature, a bond between the Almighty and the nation of Israel in Exodus. The fourth “C” is Christ, the one who bore the sins of humanity on the cross in the New Testament. With that, things get better as Jesus Christ ushers in the fifth “C,” the New Covenant, which is binding by the power of the Holy Spirit and faith.

To speed things along here, the two remaining “C’s” are Final Crisis and New Creation, which are the Day of Judgement and the new-age-to-come as prophesied in the Book of Revelation. Those last two would be the climax to this story we live in today.

I now relearn all the 7 C’s from a renewed perspective because last Tuesday marked orientation for the Kingdom Story Class. The class consists of 30 lessons spanning the Bible, not every chapter, mind you, just the essential parts. Even though the course won’t end until May 2023, it won’t be enough time to cover every mystery. I wish there was an opportunity to go into more detail on certain things, such as angels and demons, Jesus as the continuation of the order of Melchizedek (whoever that was), and whether or not there was a Lilith in Genesis, Chapter 2 (I’m kidding about the last one).

With all those unknowns in the Bible, I have a difficult time being content what little I know. The Western way of believing in the Bible is more dogmatic than intellectually sound. What that comes down to is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Bible. And that’s why I have a hunger for more knowledge, for at least a deeper understanding of what the scriptures actually say. And that’s why I’m part of this class because by the end I want to know the heart of God more deeply as he is the beginning and end of all wisdom and understanding.

Earlier, I mentioned having a renewed perspective. About five years ago, I approached the class’s program director, Branden Hubbell. We sat down for dinner at a Mexican restaurant, and I asked him to mentor me. I was lost, wandering through life without a clear sense of purpose or calling. Dinner with Branden began a five-year journey that included intense discipleship, a year of therapy, and more time walking into old wounds than I can count. My closet was stuffed with skeletons, and it was time to work it out.

Now, I live no longer shackled to the past. I haven’t forgotten my mistakes, but they’re not a crippling burden that weighs me down. I can be more present, sipping a cup of coffee with delight, playing Halo with my uncle, attending church to lead the youth group, and working to earn a paycheck. I want it to be more than that five or ten year from now, but I leave that in God’s hands. This is my life, appreciating the little things with little concern for the big stuff.

I can’t wait for week 2 of Kingdom Story Class.

The Call of Abram – Preview of We Were There


This is a preview of the historical fiction book I’m writing for Kingdom Story Ministries. The publication of this book is slated for Q4 of 2022.

Enjoy.

THE SETTING

Adam and Eve had violated God’s command; they had eaten the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. For this deed, their time in Eden was over. The Tree of Life, guarded by angels, became inaccessible.  

Now in a cursed world, surviving in nature, Adam and Eve started a family. Their firstborn was a boy. They named him Cain. And after him came Abel. Cain was the first to spill blood. He did so out of jealousy; God had favored Abel’s sacrifice over his. For spilling the blood of his brother, Cain became an outcast; God decreed that the son of Adam and Eve be a wanderer in the world. In the years that followed, Cain led his descendants away from God, ushering in greater evils for future generations. More darkness.

With Abel buried, Eve sought to resolve her grief by having a third son. She named him Seth who was in the likeness of his father. Coming of age, Seth called upon the Lord. To the lawless descendants of Cain, Seth became a beacon of truth and light, and for a time, his descendants feared God. Not long after that, however, his sons married the daughters of Cain, bringing forth unspeakable evils.  

With the Earth engulfed in human wickedness, God grieved, setting in motion a day of judgement. But one man named Noah, grandchild of Seth, found favor in the Creator’s eyes. Given time and instruction until the Flood, he built an ark. This vessel would ensure the survival of the animals of land and air, while the Flood waters covered the entire world. Noah obeyed. When the rains came and water burst from under the ground, Noah and his family and two of every kind of animal was safe inside the ark.

After God baptized the world, Noah and his family set foot on dry ground and rebuilt their lives with a renewed land before them. By the will of a merciful Creator, humanity had another chance. 

Yet, centuries later, the descendants of Noah turned from God, setting their sights on the stars. The idea was to build a city in the clouds. Through this, they thought, their legacy would echo through time. God saw this Tower of Babel and the arrogant hearts of its architects. Merciful once again, however, God came down, this time confusing their tongues, splitting the people up into tribes and races, reducing the dream of a humanity to memory.

The people scattered over the face of the earth over time, developing diverse cultures and forgetting the ambitions of their half-built tower. Around cities and towns walls rose up, and inside those walls men and women pursued pleasures, exchanging generosity for greed and jealousy.

Despite the evil in human hearts, God had designs for the redemption of humanity. He set the foundation of this plan in the heart of one man, Abram. God called Abram out of his home in the city of Ur, to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household and journey into the wilderness where the soil was rich and lush fruits grew. God would bless him and rename him Abraham, and out of him would rise a great nation to whom God would bestow the blessings of Eden.  

 

The Geekiness Awakens

On July 30, 2020, Zebulon Dak made a minute-long YouTube video stating that every Star Wars film had the wrong title. I watched the video and was blown away by his rearranging of the movie titles. While I disagreed with some of his changes, there were others that hit the nail on the head.

This got me thinking. Could I come up with something better? If so, I couldn’t do it alone. So, my good friend, Jonathan Sulzbach, whom I had known since 2010 in college, joined in on the fun. Like me, he had been a Star Wars fan himself since his formative youth. 

For three hours, we debated, drinking coffee and doughnuts, laughing and geeking out. This felt more productive to us than not writing our own creative works. Sometimes, ironically, procrastination can be most productive. Our shared goal was to assign the proper title to each Star Wars film in the 9-episode saga. We didn’t allow ourselves the freedom to create new titles. We had to work with what was already there, namely The Force Awakens, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, The Empire Strikes Back, The Rise of Skywalker, The Last Jedi, A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, and…Revenge of the Sith. The order in which the titles appear above was the end result of our collaboration. This order became official in our minds, even though they remained unchanged on Disney+. We did this to cope in a way with how the sequel trilogy turned out. Since Disney took over the franchise, the stories told in that galaxy far, far away have only declined in quality and spirit. Was this exercise necessary? Well, it was fun, to say the least. Desperate fans call for desperate measures. Are we expecting job offers from Lucasfilm? We’d sooner get an apology from Disney for damage done since 2015. We’d sooner hear that the sequels are getting remade. Would we move to Los Angeles and work for them as story consultants? I can’t speak for my friend, but I certainly would, even if the job description purely entailed running grocery errands for John Knoll (I wouldn’t work for the Lucasfilm Story Group, unless I had total creative freedom). 

If I were to wait for any of those things to happen, I’d be waiting for a very, very long time.