Stephen's blog

Songs as Sources of Inspiration

I guess every point of refuge has its price
- The Eagles, Lyin’ Eyes.

Song lyrics - go figure.

Like many new writers, I first started my chapters with song lyrics - the embodiment of the idea I wanted to express. Like most writers, I got over it, but still, for longer works, I do usually have a playlist that represents moods or concepts, if not ideas, that I want to express. These aren’t necessarily favourite songs by any means. They just capture, or evoke in me, an aspect of a story that I want to share.

I Want to Believe

Star Trek Beyond has been on my mind a lot lately. Paramount’s treatment of Star Trek, and specifically the JJ Abrams reboot of the concept in 2009, has been irritating me more and more. I know I’m not alone. You see it on Reddit, you see it in film sites. Old-school fans aren’t happy with how the franchise has been treated in the JJ Trek universe and much of that unhappiness came into focus with the first trailer for Star Trek Beyond.

But a few things have happened recently that offer optimism.

Star Trek at 50 - Beyond the fanbase


It’s the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, and the fans had been hoping for a grand celebration. With no new Star Trek on TV this year, and with much of the original core fanbase not happy with JJ Abram’s 2009 rebooting of the franchise, this might be the most depressing birthday party you ever attend (or more likely, don’t even hear about).

Keir Dullea's (Star)lost Opportunity

For a short time there, Keir Dullea was going to be the face of science fiction in the 1970s. After starring in 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, Dullea went on to front an ambitious Canadian TV production, The Starlost - this was going to be the new Star Trek, the next big thing (four years before Star Wars), syndicated world-wide.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was the Star Wars Episode I We Never Got


Many people argue that Galaxy Quest is one of the best Star Trek movies. If you know the movie, you know it isn’t a Star Trek movie at all, but it has the heart, soul and humour of a great Star Trek movie.

I’d argue that we had a great Star Wars Episode 1, but it was released a year later than the Phantom Menace. It was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

The devolution of C-3P0

Star Wars (1977) introduced us to many interesting characters, among them a perhaps under-appreciated C-3P0. In the original trilogy, Threepio had agency. He had purpose, and he played a key role in bringing down the empire. Threepio doesn’t always make wise decisions, but he does keep the action moving forward (or at least keep up with it). He’s intelligent, articulate, the intellectual partner of R2-D2. He tells R2 what to do, gives directions (“Come on, R2, we’re going”) and takes initiative - talking his way past the guards in the security room of the Death Star.

So what went wrong?

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