Terminator Timelines

I’ve seen some evidence of movement on a new Terminator film, bringing back Linda Hamilton as the once-central character Sarah Connor, the mother of the savior of mankind. Some people want this new movie to erase everything after Terminator 2: Judgement Day. I find this annoying. I don’t like uncomfortable parts of a movie series to be erased from the canon. I want them to be embraced, and hopefully given added value with additional context. And, come on, this is a series about time travel. You can reboot in-universe. (See Star Trek.)

So I hope this new movie carves itself a place in the mythology, all of the mythology.

But can it? Are the five extant films even logically self-consistent? (I’m going to ignore the TV show, largely because I barely watched it.)

The other thing about most time travel movies is that they present alterations to the timeline as if history is a chalkboard and the past is simply erased and rewritten. I find that approach more appealing than the “it’s all alternate history” explanation, which tends to remove a lot of the stakes. It doesn’t matter if this version of the character dies, since there’s another version over there in that timeline.

Another thing time travel stories love to do is create an unmotivated causal loop. (Chuck Berry learned how to rock from Marty McFly, who learned how to rock from Chuck Berry.) This kind of construction is cute and kind of mind-bendy, but it feels like a cheat.

With all of that in mind, can all five Terminator films be analyzed as a series of rewritten futures without the use of causal loops? Why yes, yes they can. Strap in. I’ll be describing six different timelines.

Timeline A

In 1984, Sarah Connor, a simple waitress living a simple life, meets a guy, gets pregnant, has the kid alone and names him John. At some point before 1997, someone invents Skynet. In 1997 Skynet becomes self-aware and tries to kill humanity. In the ensuing human resistance, John Connor becomes a key figure and comes to the attention of Skynet. Just before Skynet’s final defeat, it invents time travel and sends a T-800 terminator to 1984 to kill Sarah based on the best information it has about her whereabouts. John defeats Skynet, captures the time displacement device and learns about the plot to kill his mom. He enlists Kyle Reese to travel to 1984 to save her. [Note: Kyle’s flashbacks in The Terminator are from this timeline.]

Timeline B

In 1984, Sarah Connor is menaced by the T-800 and saved by Kyle Reese. She learns about her son’s destiny. But now Kyle is John’s dad. This is a completely different John from Timeline A, but his upbringing ensures that he will fulfill the destiny that Sarah assigns him. [These are the events of The Terminator.]

Afterwards, Cyberdyne gets the remains of the T-800 and Miles Dyson uses them to reverse engineer Skynet. Judgement Day occurs as in Timeline A. [It isn’t too similar. The date of Judgement Day isn’t given with much precision in the first film. In T2, the date is given very specifically, but that is a reference to Timeline B. The date for Judgement Day in Timeline A could be different.]

The new John follows his destiny in the resistance. Skynet now has enough information from history to understand that this is a new iteration, so it decides to double-down on the time-travelling-assassin plan, and sends two terminators into the past, to 1984 and 1994. When John captures the device, he sees the records of these transits, and so sends two protectors into the past.

Timeline C

The events of this timeline are identical to Timeline B until 1994, when the T-1000 and the fatherly T-800 arrive. Miles Dyson ensures that Cyberdyne will never create Skynet. [These are the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day.] Enough of Dyson’s work remains that Robert Brewster develops a new Skynet, but on a delayed time-frame. This version of Skynet isn’t ready until 2004, but Judgement Day comes anyway. This John is once again instrumental in the resistance. Skynet, with more history to review, decides to triple-down on its plan, and sends three bad terminators into the past: to 1984, 1994, and 2004. John finds the records, and sends three protectors, this time adding a dickish T-800 to the mix for the 2004 trip.

Timeline D

As before, all events are identical until 2004, when the T-X and the dickish T-800 arrive from the future. Despite his best efforts, John cannot avoid Judgement Day, and we get to see it happen in the movie. [These are the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.]

This version of Skynet has even more information, knowing that not only is John Connor important, but also Kyle Reese. [It’s not clear from Terminator: Salvation if Skynet understands that Kyle is John’s father, but that’s not important. All that is important is that Kyle is important to John. That could be explained by John’s own fascination with the man, since he knows he’s his father. Skynet may simply have learned of John’s search for Kyle.]

Skynet tries a new method of attack, sending a terminator/human hybrid to infiltrate the resistance in the form of Marcus Wright. This backfires. [These are the events of Terminator: Salvation.]

John is, as before, successful in defeating Skynet.

For some reason, which is unclear, Skynet decides to reset the table and finish out this iteration by sending only one terminator to 1984 to kill Sarah. (More on this decision later.) John sends Kyle to 1984 to save her.

Timeline E

This iteration is identical to Timeline B. The only appearances from the future are the T-800 and Kyle Reese in 1984. After Judgement Day, a young Kyle Reese is saved from terminators by John Connor.

[The reason for me adding this diversion is that the situation that led to John meeting Kyle in Terminator: Salvation differed greatly from Kyle’s flashback in Terminator: Genisys. For both versions to be “real”, they have to be in different timelines, hence Skynet must have reset the table. There is more evidence below.]

Before its final defeat, Skynet creates a human-seeming mole to insert into the resistance forces after they capture the time displacement device. Skynet sends the T-800 to 1984. John captures the facility and prepares to send Kyle to save Sarah. [We can infer that in this Timeline Skynet did not send anything to 1994 or 2004, since the resistance person says the device was used only once. Since John is not surprised by this information, that’s what happened in his history. Hence we know how Timeline D ended. This is more evidence for the “resetting the table” explanation.]

While in transport, Kyle sees the mole capture John. This moment gives Kyle the ability to remember not only his original Timeline E memories, but also his Timeline F memories. (This is admittedly kind of silly.)

After Kyle departs, Skynet sends an unspecified terminator model to 1974 to kill young Sarah, and it sends a second terminator (a Korean T-1000) to 1984 to help kill adult Sarah and Kyle. Some unknown actor sends a curmudgeonly T-800 to 1974 to save Sarah. Skynet also converts John into a more effective human/terminator hybrid and sends him back to 2014 to reboot the Skynet project in a different way. [This could be considered an insurance policy. If the changes to the timeline cause by the 1974 terminator made Skynet not appear in 1997 (or 2004) on schedule, John would ensure it could happen at a later point in history.]

Timeline F

Now everything is in flux. Sarah’s parents are killed in 1974, and she’s saved from a terminator by curmudgeonly T-800. In 1984, Kyle, another T-800 and Korean T-1000 all arrive, and there is much mayhem, leading to the destruction of both “bad” terminators. Sarah and Kyle are transported to 2017 by curmudgeonly T-800.

In 2017, Kyle and Sarah, along with now aged curmudgeonly T-800, determine that Skynet has changed form in this timeline into a multi-platform operating system called Genisys. During their attempt to stop it, they are confronted by Evil John. Even more mayhem leads to Genisys being defeated and curmudgeonly T-800 being upgraded with T-1000 technology.

Why did Skynet reset the table at the end of Timeline D?

As I said, this isn’t clear. But one potential explanation ties to the two worst films in the franchise, and maybe gives them a little more resonance. In Terminator: Salvation, Skynet tries to create a human/terminator hybrid and it fails. The human wins out over the machine. Perhaps at the end of Timeline D, it tried its plan of capturing and altering John, but the process failed because of his transplanted heart. This meant that if Skynet wanted to specifically use John as its savior, it would need a pristine copy of him. Thus it reset the table.

How does Skynet learn from iteration to iteration of the timeline?

That could be explained by the internet. As events occur in the world, there are references–news reports, police reports, etc.–that could persist until after Judgement Day. Skynet could glean at least a little new information from these sources in every iteration, thus giving it the motivation to alter its plans each time.

Conclusion

Was this analysis worth the brain power to make it work? I don’t know, but I enjoy this film series, even the lesser quality ones. I like the idea that they are really of a piece, and not simply various riffs on a single theme.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story

It seems like no one loves this movie. And no one hates it. In fact, I can’t even seem to find any consistency on what people love and hate about it. Simply talking to my brother, the things he found annoying and the things I found annoying were almost completely disjoint sets.

Weird.

But let’s break this down. Han (Alden Ehrenreich) is a street urchin in the misbegotten neighborhoods of Corellia, a ship-building world that’s mostly controlled by the Empire. His girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) and he have a plan to get off this planet and build a new life for themselves. That doesn’t work and everything Han does from that point seems to be in service of getting back together with Qi’ra.

There are some odd tangents, but the meat of the story is a series of heists to get some sort of magic fuel for a gang leader, Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). Coming along for the ride are a cape-wearing card hussler (Donald Glover), a cheeky robot (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), a world-weary smuggler (Woody Harrelson) and his wife (Thandie Newton). Also, some aliens.

There are a few laughs, and some exciting sequences, but I left the theatre feeling like I hadn’t really seen anything. I liked the characters in theory, and I thought the story was okay, but the whole was definitely less than the sum of it’s mildly disjointed parts.

That’s my “if this wasn’t a Star Wars movie” review.

To to the “this is a Star Wars movie” side of the review justice, I’ll have to veer into what could be considered spoiler territory. Now I know everyone who is a Star Wars fan has long since made up their mind if they’re going to see this. Nothing I say will change anyone’s mind. But if you’re just a casual movie-goer, you might enjoy the spectacle, or you might find it all kind of pointless.

On to the spoilers…

The things I liked about the film were some of the bits that fleshed out aspects of the things we’ve already seen. I liked the fact that Han’s on-the-nose last name isn’t a coincidence. I liked the fact that Han’s friendship with Chewbacca was forged in a life-or-death — and yet still hilarious — situation. I liked Qi’ra’s line: “That is a lot of capes.” These feel like pretty much organic explorations of Han’s backstory.

What I found more trying were the lengths they went to “correct” the flaws in the original films. The explanation for why Billy Dee Williams didn’t pronounce Han’s name correctly was a little too cute. The origin of Han’s desire to “shoot first” is pure fan-boy service. And I suppose it was inevitable that they were going to retcon the “12 parsecs” line from A New Hope by making clear that Han’s achievement in the Kessel Run was a short cut, and had nothing to do with time.

(Side note: I understand that in the original screen play for Star Wars, the line was meant to be gibberish from an overeager Han, and Obi-Wan was supposed to respond to it as such. Which would have been such a better result over all.)

The film was filled with these little tidbits, most of which I didn’t care about one way or another. What did Chewbacca do the first time he played that little hologram board game? Where did Han get his blaster? What were Lando’s thoughts on mining colonies before he managed Bespin? Who first suggested the Han take a job with Jabba the Hutt?

Some of the fan service I liked. Some I didn’t. But I could forgive it all if the story was more interesting. The war sequence when Han was actually in the Empire were rushed and pointless. The heists weren’t sufficiently heisty. And the final confrontation had way too many reversals.

Let’s look at Qi’ra. To the uninitiated, she’s a romantic interest for Han. But we know he’ll have forgotten about her by the time he meets Obi-Wan and Luke on Tatooine. Which means she’s certain to die a heroically redemptive death at the end of the next film. (Assuming of course there is a next film.)

The only backstory piece that I found intriguing and unexpected was the fate of L3-37. She dies to save her fellow droids, but then her brain is downloaded into the Millenium Falcon. This makes for some interesting reinterpretation of the previous films. At least once, the Falcon deployed it’s gun to shoot stormtroopers when it was not clear anyone had told it too. On more than one occasion, the ship wouldn’t work and responded to an admonishing blow. Were these moments of seeming “life” from the Falcon manifestations of L3-37’s latent personality? Maybe. That alone makes me want to revisit the original trilogy.

I’ll finish by slotting Solo into my ranking of the extant Star Wars films. (Minus the animated one, which I never saw.)

  1. The Force Awakens
  2. A New Hope
  3. Attack of the Clones
  4. Return of the Jedi/The Empire Strikes Back (tie)
  5. The Last Jedi
  6. Solo
  7. Rogue One
  8. The Phantom Menace
  9. Revenge of the Sith

Avengers: Infinity War

I don’t know if there’s a film I can think of for which my hopes were quite as high as this one. Maybe Jurassic Park (which, while a good film, was nonetheless a disappointment, because that novel was amazing). Maybe Ghostbusters 2, which was a bigger disappointment.

But this one was weighted down with so much sheer backstory. There were 18 MCU films before this one. And not one of them sucked. (Really. They’re all good. It’s just that there are a few which aren’t very good.)

It’s still early, so I won’t be doing anything spoilery with this review, so read on with no fear.

No surprise, this is a good film. I think it’s a great one. It’s funny and exciting and amazing to look at. There are even some deeper themes that are worth digging into. Themes about responsibility and sacrifice. I won’t discuss that further, for spoiler’s sake.

But the real worry about this film wasn’t if Tony Stark’s one-liners would be funny. The real worry was if it would topple from being so heavy with characters that deserve their own story lines. Remember how we were worried about the first Avengers film? There were four heroes! (Plus Nick Fury and Black Widow.) Well, that worked like gangbusters, except that poor Hawkeye was without agency for 80% of the film. Then Civil War came along, and it was even crazier. It had (by my count) 13 characters from previous films, plus it introduced us to even more. I can’t say that film really expanded my knowledge of, say, Falcon. But no one was sidelined. Everyone had, at the very least, a moment or two.

Now what are we looking at? There are 35 characters in this film we’ve seen in previous films. 35. That’s just nuts. And every one of them gets at the very least a moment. Some get fewer than others. Black Widow and Captain America probably get the least to do among the major players. And Thor is off in his own little movie for most of the runtime. Black Panther doesn’t get to do too much either. But, for all that, some of the characters really shine. Watching Doctor Strange facing off with Tony Stark was cinema gold. Then throwing Star-Lord into the mix? What did I ever do to deserve such riches?

This wouldn’t be a complete review if I didn’t mention Thanos. He doesn’t have the nastiness of Red Skull, or the charisma of Loki, but as Marvel villains go, he’s definitely up there. He’s menacing. He had me tense and worried in the opening scene. That feeling didn’t let up throughout the film. For something this funny and action-packed, it really played like a thriller for me, because I knew that anything Thanos got was something I didn’t want him to have.

True to my word, I won’t discuss the ending. But it’s a doozy.

Tomb Raider

I’m going to say it. This may be the best video game film ever.

Now, that might be considered damning with faint praise. It’s not like there have been any masterpieces in this genre. The best example I can think of is Resident Evil which was a lark and good enough to generate a slew of sequels of varying (but always lower) quality.

Tomb Raider feels less like an exceptional video game movie, and more like a serviceable (if slightly cheesy) action thriller. But that’s not to say it doesn’t have some of the video game pretensions. I’ll get to those.

Viewers of the lame Angelina Jolie films from a few years ago will see very few familiar things in this film. For example, they hired someone who can do a British accent. (Alicia Vikander is actually Swedish, but you can’t tell from this performance.) For another thing, this is a true origin story. This Lara Croft hasn’t raided a tomb in her life. More interestingly, she has refused to accept that her father is dead, so she won’t take any of his money. She’s living on the streets, delivering food on her bike. I immediately like her better because she’s not flaunting ridiculous wealth.

Soon enough she get a clue that sends her on a quest to find out what happened to her dad all those years ago. (We see said dad in a variety of flashbacks, played by Dominic West.) She meets a Chinese boat captain who we almost care about, who helps her get to a mysterious island near Japan.

The most interesting performance in the film is — get this — Walton Goggins. If you’ve never heard of this guy, you’re probably not alone. He’s best known for his roles on The Shield and Justified. You might have caught him in The Hateful Eight. Anyway, he was hired years ago to go to this island and find the film’s macguffin, and he’s trapped, unable to return to his own family until the deed is done. I liked this angle, of a man who has been twisted by his exile to do evil deeds in service of reuniting with his family. At least he wasn’t motivated by lust or greed, so that’s different.

There are a handful of moments that do feel like you’re back in the video game. Things Lara has to climb across, or jump onto. I definitely felt that if I was playing the game, it would have taken me a few tries to get those right. And one crane (or drone?) camera shot following her as she runs through the jungle was delightfully nostalgic for me, and thankfully, not overdone.

The finale is kind of a weak retread of some of the stuff we saw in the Indiana Jones films. (I won’t spoil any of the details here.) Not to say it isn’t exciting. It’s just not super-original.

Is this high art? Nope. But it’s a great example of what it is, and puts another solid performance onto Vikander’s resume.

The Hurricane Heist

It’s always a joy to see a new bouncing baby brought into the world. And when I saw this movie, I saw just that, because The Hurricane Heist is the child of Twister and Die Hard.

Sure, you could look at a film about a security guard driving a truck filled with treasure who seems way too intent on protecting this money even though it isn’t theirs, and notice the kindly sheriff who is actually a bad guy, and notice the reliance on inclement weather to advance the plot and think maybe Twister had an affair with Hard Rain. But I think Twister is more loyal than that. Let’s break it down.

First of all, this is a film by Rob Cohen, who brought us the first film in the Fast and Furious series, as well as the first in the XXX series. So he’s got some game. (Admittedly, his more recent fare, including Stealth and that really lame Mummy threequel don’t give me all the good feels.) And the fact that there’s a heist and dramatic weather? I’m there. And, what’s even better, I don’t have high expectations.

Which is good.

The film starts with two young brothers and their father, caught in a hurricane. The hurricane kills the father. (First Twister moment.) Cut to an impossibly cinematic weather center in the present day, where technicians we never care about are talking about an approaching storm. (Second Twister moment.) Then they call up the one brother, Will (Toby Kebbell) who is a nearly prescient meteorologist (okay) who is haunted by his father’s death (right) and who is delivering some flying technology to analyze the hurricane (okay, this is just ridiculous).

“Wait, Russell? Didn’t you say this was a Die Hard movie?”

Oh, yeah. After we meet Casey (Maggie Grace) and see her home base of a treasury building in Alabama, the place is overrun by a crack squad of goons (check) and their hammy hackers (check) and their gravelly-voiced, bearded leader (okay, good). Soon enough Will’s estranged brother, Breeze (Ryan Kwanten) is under the thumb of the bad guys because their generator went out. And the heroes get hold of a radio so that they can listen into and talk to the bad guys. There’s a figure of authority who gets shot in front of our hero. There’s a dramatic scene where the vault is finally opened (sadly without Beethoven playing). There’s even a goon who goes on a rampage of revenge after his brother is killed.

But the scene that made it all sing for me was the scene that effortlessly merged Twister and Die Hard moments into one. The bad guys have our heroes trapped in an abandoned mall during the height of the storm. The meteorologist is monitoring the atmospheric pressure which is impossibly low outside, so he ties himself and his comrade off, then tells her to shoot the glass. The pressure equalizes so dramatically that the bad guys are all sucked out of the window in the ceiling, but our heroes fly up into the maw of the storm, tethered to the mall. Then, once the rush of air dies down, they swing down around on their tethers and back into the mall through a window.

That moment made seeing this movie worth while for me.

But never forget. It’s really bad.

2018 Movie Pre-Review

Every year is a big year, so what’s big about this year. There wasn’t much to discuss in January, so I’m moving forward to February…

February

Annihiliation – Having read the series of which this is the first book, I know the weirdness we’re in store for. And I hope the film adapts it properly.

Black Panther – Another chance for the MCU to drop the ball. But they won’t.

Fifty Shades Freed – I hated the first one so much, I didn’t even watch the second. No chance on the third.

Game Night – This one looks hilarious.

Peter Rabbit – I really want to take my daughter to this one. For her. Really.

March

A Wrinkle in Time – I was a huge fan of the book when I was a kid, but the trailer doesn’t look anything like the story I remember. Maybe it will be awesome? More likely not.

Hurricane Heist – This is the kind of stupid action film I love.

Pacific Rim: Uprising – Most people liked the original more than I did. I can’t imagine this is better.

Ready Player One – I really liked the book, but this feels like it will run a course similar to Jurassic Park: disappointing on first viewing, followed by “yeah, that was pretty good” later on.

Red Sparrow – This one is just funny because it sounds like a Black Widow movie without Black Widow.

The Death of Stalin – There are many reasons I want to see this, but seeing Michael Palin on screen is at the top of the list.

Tomb Raider – Sure. Whatever. Reboot. I have zero emotional investment in the IP, but I do like Vikander.

April

Rampage – Hey, what if the 90s Godzilla was less serious?

May

Avengers: Infinity War – I’m honestly worried that there are too many characters. Still, this will be awesome.

Borg/McEnroe – John McEnroe may be the part that Shia Leboeuf was born to play.

Deadpool 2 – Remember when the Kick-Ass sequel was super-disappointing. That’s what I’m worried about here.

Solo: A Star Wars Story – I think might be fun. Or a waste of time. More likely fun.

June

Incredibles 2 – Well, I’ve only been waiting forever for this one.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – I really enjoyed Jurassic World. This seems to be of a piece with it, so I’m looking forward. (Plus, Goldblum!)

July

Ant-Man and the Wasp – I would be worried that they overstayed their welcome, but they’ve got the same director back. I’m hopeful this will be even better.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout – These films just get better and better. I don’t understand how it’s possible, but I am pleased. (Plus, Monaghan!)

Skyscraper – Didn’t Dwayne Johnson star in an improbable action film three months ago? He did? I guess he’s due.

The First Purge – Okay, I think I have to actually catch up on this series now.

August

Scarface – I guess the DePalma version was a remake, too. So, have fun.

The Meg – I’ve been waiting for a prehistoric shark film. Soon, the wait will be over. Also, it will probably suck.

September

Robin Hood – I guess the Ridley Scott version (and the Kevin Reynolds version (and the Mel Brooks version (and the Terry Gilliam version (and the Richard Lester version…))) is a remake, too. So, have fun.

The Predator – I really enjoyed the 2010 Predators, but I have faith that Shane Black can do something awesome here.

October

Venom – Okay, I guess, if you feel the extreme need to have this movie, whatever.

November

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – I really liked the first FB film, but mostly because of the promise it showed for future installments. Don’t drop the ball, J. K.!

X-Men: Dark Phoenix – I’m one of the three people on the planet who actually liked X-Men: The Last Stand. So I have no inherent interest in seeing this story “done right”. But the new batch of X-people have been largely effective. (Apocalypse was a dip in quality.) Hopefully this will be a reasonable send-off before the MCU reboots mutants from the ground up.

December

Aquaman – Jason Momoa was one of the brighter spots in Justice League, so I am not immediately giving up on this.

Bohemian Rhapsody – This Freddie Mercury biopic looks very interesting.

Bumblebee – Sigh.

Holmes and Watson – Honestly, I couldn’t care less about Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. I am intrigued, however, by Hugh Laurie as Mycroft and Ralph Fiennes as Moriarity.

Mary Poppins Returns – I have zero investment in the IP, but I love Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Mortal Engines – It wants to be the next Lord of the Rings. However, it look like the next Maze Runner.

Black Panther

The MCU films are an interesting combination of “let’s follow our formula religiously” and “let’s have this one feel entirely different.” It’s a tough line to walk, but they seem to make it work every time.

There are elements of this film that remind us of previous films. We have a young ruler who has to come to grips with the history of his family (like Thor). This guy is chemically enhanced and aided by vibranium (Captain America). He was born into wealth, trying to do the right thing (Iron Man). And we have him facing off with his there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I doppelganger (every MCU hero by this point?).

Obviously, the biggest difference between Black Panther and the rest of the MCU films is that it’s cast is almost entirely black. Chadwick Boseman is the title character, with his whispery voice and his gravitas. He’s aided by Forrest Whittaker, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya and (stealing her scenes) Letitia Wright. The bad guy is Michael B. Jordan, thankfully bringing in a breath of fresh air with his blunt American accent and his relatable backstory. There’s even a small role for Sterling K. Brown to dig his acting chops into.

The two white guys in the cast aren’t quite afterthoughts. Andy Serkis, reprising his Age of Ultron role as a despicable arms dealer is a lot of crazy fun. This guy should do more non-mo-cap work. And Martin Freeman, reprising his Civil War role, has, thankfully, spent some quality time with a dialect coach. He almost sounds American. Watching Gollum and Bilbo face off was a meta-joy for me. (Now I’m looking forward to Everett Ross sharing the screen with Dr. Strange and Justin Hammer.)

But, back to the main story. What the director, Ryan Coogler, manages to do is root this story of revolution in a secretive (and highly advanced) African nation in some heady themes: urban decay, racism, white colonialism and black slavery. But it never feels preachy or exploitative. It feels organic to the story.

I can’t say I’m chomping at the bit for another Blank Panther film, but the world-building going on here, and the impact that this story will have on the rest of this universe is potentially fascinating and should add a new texture to these films.

Well done.