“What,” you might have occasionally wondered “does Mark Gibbs have in common with Penn Jillette?” That’s a fine question, dear reader, and the answer, at least according to Your Celebrity Match, a cognitive computing application based on IBM’s Watson Developer Cloud, is apparently “not a lot”.
Tag Archives: Really
And the advice rings true. When we focus too much on others, we can lose sight of ourselves and our own progress. Now researchers are figuring out why.
A team led by Steven Buzinksi at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has investigated how the judgments and decisions of students can be guided by their perceptions of how others like them behave. This idea was explored previously — another study, concerned with how students overestimate how much their peers drink alcohol, found that this “widespread overestimation” actually influences students to drink more themselves.
However, this Chapel Hill team wanted to see if study habits and behaviors were affected in similar ways by inaccurate perceptions.
In studying hundreds of social psychology undergraduates, researchers found that exam scores could actually take a hit when students miscalculated how much their peers studied.
Overall, students had a tendency to underestimate how much time peers spent studying for upcoming exams. Even further, how much a student studied correlated with what they perceived was a normal amount of time to study, according to what they perceived about everyone else.
However, Buzinski and his team found that students’ misconceptions about the study time of their peers were not always positive influences for actual exam performance. One would normally assume that underestimating typical study time would lead to choosing to study less, and receiving poor test grades.
But, in fact, researchers surprisingly found that those students who overestimated, not underestimated, their peers’ study time actually performed worse in the subsequent test.
The reason? Buzinski’s team speculate that anxiety and self-doubt arrived when a student felt as if his or her peers were hitting the books too hard (even though it is likely that this perception was inaccurate).
Future research will be needed “to confirm the robustness of these findings,” and it may be necessary to “directly observe how correcting misconceptions affects students’ study behavior and their confidence.”
Ultimately, it may benefit you to apply these findings to your own working life — to think about how hard others may be working may actually cause you stress and anxiety, damaging your performance. Plus, you may be wrong about how hard your peers are working — so yes, make sure to focus on you.
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
As the year begins to stagger to a close, you start to look around you, hoping that you’re still acceptable to the world.
Sometimes, it’s hard to know.
You’ve been working so hard. You’re been manically pursuing goals you wrote on a napkin in a particularly seedy bar.
And you still don’t remember how you got home from that bar.
Could it be, though, that those you work with think you’ve lost it?
Well, here’s a simple test. If you know — and use — the following five words, you’re still au fait with the world’s direction.
If not, woe is you.
We’ll start with one that surely everyone knows: Floss.
Ah, but wait. This isn’t the meaning associated with slipping a piece of string between your teeth.
Instead, it’s a little dance that people perform if they want to look especially silly.
You performed it in that seedy bar, didn’t you? That’s a relief.
Alright, let’s move on to VAR.
Yes, it’s easy to get your acronyms in a twist. VAR doesn’t stand for Variable Accounting Regimen. Nor is it Vineyard Arrest Record.
Instead — surely you knew this — it’s Video Assistant Referee, the device that tries to help soccer referees make the correct decision and still manages to occasionally fail.
You must know Gammon.
No, it’s not something to do with meat. Some might say, however, that it’s something to do with meatheadedness.
For the Collins definition is: “A person, typically male, middle-aged, and white, with reactionary views, especially one who supports the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union.”
Oh, you didn’t know? How reactionary of you.
Then there’s the most difficult of these words: Plogging.
No, I’d never heard of it either. It’s apparently the practice of jogging while picking up litter. Or picking up little while jogging.
But doesn’t stopping to pick up litter defeat the cumulative aerobic effects of jogging?
I’m plogged if I know.
Finally — and the winner in Collins’ great race — is Single-Use.
Surely everyone knows and uses this. Well, at least once.
Single-Use describes the greatest scourge of our times, I’m told.
These are products that made to be used once and then thrown away. Yes, like T-shirts from H&M.
Please don’t let that happen to you.
If you aren’t familiar with these five words, you, too, could be a one-year wonder, there to be thrown away by capricious rivals or recalcitrant employees.
That might turn you into a Gammon.
One year ago on Oct 15th, 2017, the #MeToo movement exploded virally as a hashtag and has since forced the world to have a very long overdue conversation. Since its inception, a number of prominent men have lost their jobs, as well as California and New York passing laws to require company harassment training and make it easier to report abuse.
Times Up, the Hollywood-born legal defense fund fighting sexual harassment, raised over $ 20 million to provide legal resources to women in the workplace. And earlier this month, the organization hired its first president and CEO. Although the country has seen some movement in the fight for women’s rights, change takes time.
It got me thinking…what has actually changed since the #MeToo movement and what has not? I wanted to share my own thoughts and ask 5 powerful women entrepreneurs to weigh in on what they thought has changed for women, what hasn’t changed as well as suggesting one action we can take to continue the forward momentum.
Here are my thoughts:
In the past year there has been a collective breath taken by every woman, as more action is being taken in response to women speaking up about being harassed. Our voices are starting to be heard and that allows for more truth. What hasn’t changed is the questioning of women’s truth. We just saw this with the questioning of Dr. Ford’s claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
My suggestion is that women need to build their confidence so that they communicate their truth and don’t fear action. When you experience an injustice and sexism, do and say something.
The biggest change I’ve noticed is that women are sharing more freely about the experiences they had, in many cases so long ago. Still scarred, hurt and edgy — but talking about something they’ve mostly kept to themselves until now. What surprises me is how many people are brushing the experiences/accusations aside based on their political affiliation, rather than viewing it as a compassionate human.
My suggestion is to pay attention to your reaction when a new #MeToo story comes out. Watch what your initial impulse is… and follow the source of your belief or disbelief as objectively as you possibly can. If it ties into protecting something politically or personally motivated, check yo’ self!
Nisha Moodley, Women’s Leadership Coach & Founder of Global Sisterhood Day NishaMoodley.com
Since #MeToo, more women feel a sense of not being alone, and that our voices, bodies, and experiences matter. We matter. Paradoxically, what has not changed is that we are still shown, in numerous ways, that to many people our voices, bodies, and experiences do not matter.
Educate yourself on intersectional feminism, because the more layers of oppression a person experiences, the more complex and challenging it will be for them to thrive. If we’re going to stand for true equality and freedom for all, we have to prioritize and include the needs of LGBTQ folks, people of color, differently-abled folks, children, and our planet. If we’re going to continue to rise and steer our world towards progress, we need to include those who the status quo seeks to exclude.
The most significant change that has precipitated all these other changes has been a huge burst of energy and cohesion among women and their supporting networks. Women are coming out with their stories in greater numbers. Women are running for office in record breaking numbers. Unfortunately, while there has been major cross gender support for this movement, the old boys club remains the same. Some of the same men in power will always chalk this movement up to hysteria or some sort of desire for fame as related to victim hood.
We have to stop feeling that we need to be submissive to men in power. We have to speak up against people who dismiss women who tell their story or air their grievances. You have to define what that means for you, and it can be as small as speaking out against a sexist uncle at Thanksgiving, or as big as running for office. Find your voice. Don’t keep it inside anymore.
I love that women have been standing together in solidarity and saying, ENOUGH. Yes, Time Is Up! Last summer female founders came forward to talk about the harassment and bias and inappropriate behavior we were experiencing from venture capitalists and other high-profile executives in startup land. While the tide is starting to shift for female entrepreneurs in a startup ecosystem designed for and that caters to men, we still have a very, very long way to go in terms of gender parity when launching high-growth startups.
We need more women to become investors. In 2016, VCs gave male-led startups $ 58.2 billion compared to 1.46 billion to women-led companies. Yet, women do great things when our startups are venture backed. Our companies have been shown to produce a 35 percent higher ROI when venture-backed. Putting more women in funder seats, ups the chances of women getting funded, as well as additional effects on the startup community, including diversifying venture firms and deal flow.
More women are owning their power to speak up for themselves and share stories that were once shameful, as an opportunity to inspire others to do something different or speak up. Unfortunately, women are still getting themselves into really bad situations and let go of their power to physically, verbally and spiritually abusive men.
Vote! Vote on policies that make change. Take back your power.
Within hours of California governor Jerry Brown signing a sweeping net neutrality bill into law, the US Department of Justice sued the state, sparking the latest battle in the long legal war over the ground rules for the internet. Groups representing broadband providers followed suit on Wednesday, with their own lawsuit arguing that California’s law was illegal.
The California law, set to take effect on January 1, will ban internet service providers from blocking or otherwise discriminating against lawful internet content. The rules are designed to replace similar regulations passed by the Obama-era Federal Communications Commission but jettisoned earlier this year by the now Republican-controlled agency.
Lawyers say the dispute raises novel questions about the relationship between the federal government and the states. First is whether California has authority to impose net neutrality rules at all. Both the DOJ and the broadband industry claim that the inherently interstate nature of the internet means that only the federal government can regulate broadband services. A second, even thornier question is whether the FCC was within its rights when it effectively banned states from adopting net neutrality rules earlier this year.
At its heart is this conundrum: In repealing the Obama-era rules, the FCC said it didn’t have authority to impose net neutrality regulations. But the agency now claims it does have the authority to ban states from adopting their own rules.
“It’s hard to find a case that’s perfectly, squarely applicable, where an agency says ‘we’re vacating the field, and we’re not allowing anyone else to enter the field,’” says Marc Martin, a former FCC staffer during the presidency of George H.W. Bush who is chair of law firm Perkins Coie’s communications practice.
The California net neutrality dispute is just one part of a larger struggle between progressive states and the Trump administration on issues including immigration bans, separation of families at the border, and vehicle emissions. On net neutrality, several states, led by New York, are suing the FCC, arguing, among other things, that its decision was “arbitrary and capricious” and therefore illegal. A few states, including New York and Oregon, have banned state agencies from doing business with broadband providers that don’t protect net neutrality. And Washington, like California, passed a law to protect net neutrality directly.
Supporters of the California and Washington laws say they don’t conflict with federal regulations because, well, there aren’t any federal net neutrality regulations to conflict with.
“Usually you have preemption where there is a federal rule and a state tries to enact an incompatible rule,” says Pantelis Michalopoulos, a lawyer with the firm Steptoe & Johnson who is representing net neutrality advocates in a federal lawsuit against the FCC. “You’re in a much weaker position when you try to preempt a state rule where there is no federal rule.”
It’s not unheard of for the federal government to preempt state or local regulations when those regulations conflict with federal policy, even when the federal policy is not to regulate. Martin, the former FCC staffer, points to the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, which banned states from reimposing federal airline regulations.
But that was a decision by Congress, not a federal agency. More relevant to this case are court decisions upholding the FCC’s moves to block the state of Minnesota from regulating internet phone services like Vonage like traditional telephone carriers. But the Vonage cases differ from the California net neutrality case in that the FCC’s authority to regulate internet phone services wasn’t in doubt. It’s less clear that the FCC still has authority to regulate broadband in the same way.
The FCC spent years, under both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, trying to enact net neutrality regulations, but was repeatedly shot down in court until the FCC reclassified broadband providers as “Title II” common carriers, not unlike traditional telephone services. When the FCC passed the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which took effect earlier this year and repealed Obama-era federal net neutrality rules, the agency returned broadband to the less stringent “Title I” information service category. The agency also concluded that it doesn’t actually have the authority to ban broadband providers from blocking or discriminating against particular internet content.
In a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, a coalition of state and local governments and technology companies argued in a brief that this admission by the FCC effectively undermines its ability to preempt state laws, pointing to a 1976 federal court decision striking down the FCC’s attempt to preempt state regulation of two-way communications over cable television connections. That case was primarily about intrastate communications, but highlighted what Judge Malcolm Wilkey called a “vital difference between a refusal to use granted power, and an attempt to prevent regulation by others in an area where no ordinary Commission jurisdiction appears to exist.” Combined with the earlier cases that blocked the FCC from imposing net neutrality regulations without classifying broadband providers as common carriers, net neutrality advocates argue that the FCC lacks the authority to preempt states.
The question that remains is whether having the option to classify broadband as Title II and refusing to do so helps the FCC’s case, because it clearly had the authority to regulate net neutrality at one point, or hurts it, because it has given that authority up.
Martin thinks the states that are trying to protect net neutrality through policies barring state agencies from using broadband providers that don’t respect net neutrality are on stronger footing than the California and Washington laws. States are typically allowed to make their own decisions about how they spend their budgets. But Thomas Nachbar, senior fellow for national security law at the University of Virginia, isn’t so sure. He says those rules go too far by dictating how broadband providers treat not just the state, but other customers.
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We keep getting handshakes wrong.
So while I wrote separately about the most important rules to keep in mind when you’re shaking hands, you’re only one half of the handshaking equation. By definition, there’s another person involved.
And to paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre, Hell is other handshakers. Especially bad handshakers.
Fotunately, we can categorize most of the world’s leading handshake missteps, and help you put together a reaction plan long before your hands meet. Here’s what to do when you’re on the receiving end of a bad handshake.
1. What to do when someone tries to crush your hand with a handshake.
We’ll address this obvious one first: the guy (it’s always a guy) who wants to crush your hand while shaking it in a pathetic attempt to express dominance.
By the way, this is never done by mistake, although the “hard handshaker” will sometimes profess that he’s just that strong and can’t control himself. That is always a lie, and you should remember that the person who says it cannot be trusted.
Anyway, you have three options:
- Do nothing. He’s the pathetic one; let him think his gesture means something.
- Crush back. You can do this if you think you can win, although keep in mind you’re sinking to their level. You can also grip the trangressor’s handshake hand with your free left hand to add some extra power. If that feels like cheating, just remember the other guy started it, so anything goes.
- Call him out verbally, preferably with a humor-infused put-down. For example, “Wow, what a handshake, you must spend hours alone in your bedroom working on it!”
I’m big on number 3, as it completely undermines the hard handshaker’s M.O. Almost regardless of what happens next, he’s lost the alpha advantage he sought.
2. What to do when your handshake/hug radar is not aligned.
It happens: you go to shake hands; the other person goes in for the friendly hug. Or you’re the hugger and they’re the handshaker. You have to go with what’s natural, but in general, if they want to hug, give ’em a little hug. The fact that you make the second effort to get the gesture right will mean something.
That said, big exception here: If there is any chance that going in for the hug will make either of you feel uncomfortable–especially if the words “sexual harassment” enter into your psyche in any way–stick with the handshake. It’s always better to be remembered as the awkwardly formal guy than to remind someone of a creepy distant uncle.
3. What to do when they pull back or make you stretch to meet them.
This is either another one of those handshake power games, or it’s a matter of obliviousness. Usually, a handshake isn’t worth the contortions. You can beg off, or joke about it–pantomiming like you’re actually shaking hands while pointing out that it would be logistically ridiculous to climb over four people and reach over to shake hands.
Sometimes however, you just have to stretch and reach and do it. I’m thinking of the first time I met my girlfriend’s father, for example.
4. What to do when the handshake lasts too long.
Pumping is optional in handshakes, but if you do, there’s a firm three pump limit. Anything past that, and you’d better be gripping hands while holding a giant oversized check and posing for a camera. If the other person doesn’t stop shaking hands after three up-and-down motions–five at the absolute tops–it’s up to you to gently release your grip and pull back.
5. What to do when they shake hands limply.
Nothing really to be done here. Maybe they just don’t have a firm grip; maybe there’s a reason you know nothing about. Just reciprocate with a politely firm grip of your own and get out quickly.
6. What to do when they shake hands while ignoring you.
This is a tough one. To describe the situation further, I’m thinking of the times when someone starts to shake your hand, but in mid-shake turns his or her attention to someone else without letting go. It’s either a show of dominance, or a sign of a person who is at best case distracted, or at worse case, an egotist.
The good news here is that you hold all the cards. If this is a person you really want to talk with, you literally have them by the hand; they cannot walk away without pulling back.
If it’s someone you aren’t willing to play this game with, just let go as if the handshake never happened. Think of it as a bad relationship that took only a few seconds, and move on with your life.
7. What to do when they have wet or dirty hands.
You can try to beg off–maybe by saying something like, “Sorry for not shaking hands; my hands are wet.” Even if your hands are as dry as a James Bond martini, the other person can’t really call you out on this little white lie without bringing attention to the state of his or her hands.
Or, you can just shake hands anyway, and wash your hands or use a little hand sanitizer afterward. I know a guy who once went for a job interview, and used the men’s room while waiting, where he saw another guy use the facilities but not wash his hands. Minutes later, he met the person who’d be interviewing him: You guessed it: “Mr. Didn’t Wash His Hands.”
What are you going to do in that situation? If you want the job, I guess you shake hands.
Like our guide to how to shake hands like a human being, we can’t cover every situation here. But honestly, handling the overly-hard handshakers alone makes this worth it. Bottom line: Lead by example, it’s not that hard. Just shake hands like a regular human being.
Nikesh Arora, a Silicon Valley fixture who helped build Google and then did a brief and tumultuous stint as president of Masayoshi Son’s Softbank, has finally landed his CEO job. Arora will become head of Palo Alto Networks on June 6, replacing Mark McLaughlin.
Arora told Fortune in an interview Friday that after the SoftBank experience, “I went through the process of thinking about what I would do next, and I really wanted to be an operator. I wanted it to be at a growth company in a growth business… And I wanted to make sure it was the right company with the right team. The more time I spent with Mark and the team [at Palo Alto Networks], the more I got excited. It’s a great culture, a fast growth company, and the opportunity is to continue to work with the team and scale and expand.”
Arora has no direct experience in cybersecurity. But Palo Alto Networks has been thriving recently, with nearly $ 2 billion in revenue last year, and a 90% surge in its stock price. While it is an increasingly competitive business, “They have been winning against all the players in the marketplace,” Arora said.
McLaughlin will remain at the company as vice chairman. He said he wanted to step down as CEO in part to spend more time with his family, which includes two adult daughters and an eight-year-old son. McLaughlin will have an operational role as an advocate for customers and an interface with government. He added that he will continue his work with the federal government on a cybersecurity “moonshot.”
“You’ll be hearing more about that this summer,” McLaughlin said.
While at SoftBank in 2015, Arora paid a visit to Fortune’s annual Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen. Watch his interview with executive editor Adam Lashinsky here.
So, Solo: A Star Wars Story is finally in theaters. It’s fun! It might not be blowing up the box office, but folks are still seeing it in droves and when they do they’re in for a really nice time. (Alden Ehrenreich is a fun, swaggering Han Solo; Donald Glover is a sexy, swaggering Lando Calrissian; Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a smartass, swaggering droid.) They’re also in for at least one big surprise—and a few slightly smaller delights. But we’ll get to all of that in a second. First we need to give folks afraid of spoilers a chance to show themselves out. OK, everyone’s been warned. From here on out it’s just WIRED writers and editors Brendan Nystedt, Jason Parham, and Angela Watercutter dissecting Solo in detail. Make like Chewie and join us.
Angela Watercutter, Senior Associate Editor: Alright guys, I’m going to go out on a limb here (OK, not a crazy limb; like the kind of limb some ambitious dad turned into a tree bench, or put a swing on…): I liked Solo. Maybe that was the result of low expectations, maybe I just really love Glover’s Lando—I dunno. I just thought it was fun. It’s not going in my Top 5 Star Wars films, but I at least thought it was better than Rogue One. (Rotten Tomatoes disagrees with me here. That’s their problem.)
What about y’all? Did you like Pansexual Lando as much as me? Did you enjoy seeing the Millennium Falcon when it still had that new-ship smell? Did you have cognitive dissonance watching the Mother of Dragons (aka Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke) play Han Solo’s childhood girlfriend Qi’ra? Tell me things!
Brendan Nystedt, Market Editor: I would totally agree with you—I think it’s better than Rogue. I love that movie, but think it has some struggles getting off the ground at first. Solo kicked in and didn’t let up. I had heard the first act was slow, but for me, the movie never dragged. I went into it knowing a little more than the average bear, but it still kept me on my toes with its double-crosses and reveals. That’s not even digging into the endless references.
If I can give this movie props for one thing it would be that it made me love a bunch of stuff that sounds cringeworthy on paper. Did I want to know where Han’s name comes from? No, but in the moment, I bought it. I knew we were going to probably see Han and Chewie meet for the first time and I thought it added to their relationship. The card game where Han won the Falcon from Lando? Had me grinning. I thought Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover were about as good in the roles as you could ask for—not too much of an impression of the originals, but also imbued with their essences. Did anyone not click with these two dudes?
Also, as a non-GoT human, I thought Emilia Clarke was a standout. I was worried she’d be a prop for Han, someone who dies tragically and turns him into the embittered guy we see in A New Hope. Giving Qi’ra her own arc and giving her agency made me greatly appreciate the storytelling at work here. My other faves were Enfys Nest (let’s see her Cloud Riders in some ancillary materials, Disney!), Rio Durant (RIP), and, of course, L3 (Bridge).
Jason Parham, Senior Writer: I’m going to have to agree with WIRED colleague Brian Raftery on this one—I found Solo mostly inessential as a film. I’m of the belief that prequels are, by design, tougher canvases to experiment on. There’s always room for depth and context, but the Star Wars universe has already been dreamed up in spectacular, revolutionary fashion. For me, George Lucas’ original holy trinity is a near perfect symphony of love and loss and intergalactic repression. History also tells us that Star Wars prequels don’t fare too well. Just look at The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Still, Solo did get a handful of things right—one of which was its easy, untangled plot. Sometimes a film just needs to move from point A to B to C without taking detours or overthinking its next step. Especially in the case of origin stories. For me, Solo felt like the least complicated movie in the franchise. There was plenty of action and humor and cooly-imagined characters—I appreciated getting a view into Han and Chewy’s genesis; and loved L3’s zero-fucks attitude, though I do wonder if Ron Howard’s team hyper-feminized her look. Do robots have hips?
What the film lacked—and what every successful Star Wars film requires—was what Brian got at in his review: the intoxication of surprise. There were no truly satisfying reveals, maybe except for Darth Maul’s cameo near the close of the film. I would consider it a fun, but forgettable romp in the franchise’s treasure chest. A better play for Disney, if they’re going to make prequels an ongoing habit [And it seems that they are. —Ed.], would be to shed light on its side players. A stand-alone Lando Calrissian movie would be a real treat—which, according to Glover, would be “Frasier in space.” Sign me up!
Watercutter: Jason, I’m pretty sure you and I would both be in line on opening night for a Lando movie. Call me simple, but I just want to see more capes. And, yeah, more Glover.
I’m also wondering what folks thought of the look of Solo. One of the other smart things Brian brought up in his review were the films it resembled—shades of Paths of Glory, Runaway Train, and even a bit of the Mad Max movies. I think it even had a bit of Snowpiercer in there, too. But more than that, it felt just a tinge more stylish than, say, The Force Awakens. I was perhaps looking for this because I like the work of cinematographer Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival), but I really think there was something inviting about the environments in Solo. And frankly, since Young stayed on during the transition from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Ron Howard, his visual signature might be the thing that helped the whole film feel unified. Brendan, you’re a Star Wars encyclopedia, what do you think? Am I nuts?
Nystedt: I totally agree, Angela. Rogue One’s cinematography was done in landscapes, and this felt tighter and more personal. Young did some terrific work here in spite of the rocky production. Personally, I think Rogue has the more stunning vistas, but this had a unified look that worked at all times, and helped the world come alive. From the muddy, foggy Mimban to the dusty mines of Kessel, it felt Star Wars-y through and through.
I’d like to take Jason to task for a sec. I fundamentally disagree with his premise: I think Star Wars should have surprises, but not every film needs revelations. If the franchise is going to survive, audiences can’t expect a crazy twist in each and every film. How exhausting would that be? By Episode XX, the dialogue from Spaceballs—”I am your father’s, brother’s, nephew’s, cousin’s, former roommate!”—wouldn’t seem so outlandish. Snoke can be Snoke, Rey can be a nobody from Jakku. Though it’s still the highlight of the franchise, not every film needs to ape The Empire Strikes Back to be good, or even great.
I think this was a film with surprises and one that knew it didn’t need to have huge galaxy-on-the-brink stakes to keep people engaged. I want more Star Wars like this—movies that push the Jedi and the Force to the margins, dive into the underworld, and keep the stakes relatable.
OK, now that the cat’s out of the bag—who wants to talk more about Maul? Do we think this will confuse the heck out of audiences?
Parham: That’s fair, Brendan—a subtler, quieter, more relatable Star Wars could rightfully usher the franchise into a more deserving phase. I will say this: The Enfys Nest twist was probably the most rewarding surprise for me, though by the time we realize that they’re actually the good guys, the film is hurtling toward its end. I would’ve loved a little more screen time from them. As space Westerns go, Young did a standup job—each setting more visually alluring than the last. Westerns are often hypnotic in that way: bright, dusty, full of gunfire and promise. Young’s stellar cinematic patchwork made the film especially more radiant in those small ways. I’ve got one final question, which brings us back to Brendan’s point—is Solo deserving of a sequel or should Disney dive deeper into the underworld and into the lives of other space bandits next? Where do we go from here?
Watercutter: Oh man, OK, those are some big questions. First of all, Brendan, as you know from my Slack messages to you following the Solo screening I saw, I was a little confused by the Maul thing (mostly because he didn’t look like I’d remembered from the prequels). That said, I think audiences will like seeing him. Of all the final-act twists Lucasfilm could’ve thrown in there, that one felt the most unexpected. If you would’ve told me a month ago that Solo would have a callback to The Phantom Menace (and other expanded universe properties) I wouldn’t have believed you.
Now, to answer Jason’s question, I think it’s actually the Maul cameo that helps Solo earn a sequel—though I don’t think it’ll be one dedicated to Han. I know there’s already been talk, most of it debunked, of a Lando movie, but after Solo what I really wanted to see was a movie that dealt more with Crimson Dawn. And, like Jason said, Enfys Nest. Like if there’s a film that’s a Solo sequel in name only that becomes Qi’ra, Maul, and Crimson Dawn vs. Enfys Nest and the Cloud-Raiders, then I’m totally onboard. Brendan, do you agree?
Nystedt: ZOMG that’d be an awesome movie! I’d love for Enfys and her gang to get together with the rest of the Rebels, too. As for Maul, I also hope we get to see more of him in live action. We’ve seen him die already in Star Wars: Rebels but I wanna know where he’s been hanging out since the end of the Clone Wars. A sequel with him and Qi’ra (especially if we get a glimpse of Maul’s homeworld Dathomir, where he told her to meet him) could answer that question and finally give us more of Ray Park’s unmatched lightsaber acrobatics to boot. Fans have been waiting almost 20 years to see more Maul on the big screen.
As much of a Maul stan as I am, I’d also love more of Glover’s Lando. If his spin-off is “Frasier in space,” does that mean Lobot is Niles? That I’d pay good money to watch!
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John Mayer explains why he’s dropping his new music in four-song chunks (vs. a whole new album) and why ‘The Bachelor’ is a guilty pleasure he can’t get enough of, even if he doesn’t have time for it.