Obi-Wan: a John Williams Masterpiece.

It is a surprise to none what a massive fan of Maestro John Williams I am. Since first hearing his new theme for Obi-Wan Kenobi it’s been a slow burn, but yesterday it hit me.

Different from almost all the other main Star Wars character themes (Solo excluded) which were written for a first appearance, Kenobi’s theme is like the retelling of an entire life journey; fitting as we consider Maestro Williams’ own incredible saga.

“Obi-Wan” is majestic and regal (as for a Jedi Master), yet it weeps with the sorrow and despair of battles, lives, and dear friends lost. There is a clear progression towards a moment of decision; the time to re-engage. Finally, the piece closes with a hint towards the nobility and ”purpose rediscovered”, perhaps of his final moments confronting Vader in A New Hope?

This is a masterpiece.

How Video Game & Music Tech Have Inspired the NHL

Two of my worlds have officially collided: NHL Hockey and Music Technology. 

If you’ve been watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs, you’ve been witnessing a fascinating presentation that at times feels more like a video game than a live sporting event… and it has been incredible! 

While the visuals- incredible wrap-around video and sequenced lighting, have been a very effective enhancement to the in-game action, the SOUND of the games has also been noteworthy, as crowd noises, home team goal horns, and more, have been effectively blended into the overall experience- with no fans in the stands!

Here is a fascinating read about how this is all being done; essentially a blend of video game technology from EA Sports and music technology from Ableton, which allows the in-game sounds to be performed live!

Congratulations to the NHL, EA Sports, and Ableton for their vision in creating a unique and exciting entertainment experience in the face of adversity.

Harrison Ford IS NOT Han Solo.

I’m 55 years old and a near lifelong fan of Science Fiction. In books, Asimov, Niven, Clark, Pohl, Bradbury, and Heinlein fired my imagination for days on end. On Television, the cathode rays of Star Trek, Space:1999, UFO, and Battlestar Galactica forced patience for soap and cigarette commercials. And in the Cinema, Star Wars and Star Trek blew my mind while showing me I was not alone in my fandom world.

Today I am a father of four who absolutely loves sharing Sci-fi with my family. In 1979 if you had told me that in 40 years I would be watching spectacular new Star Wars and Star Trek movies and Television series with my wife and kids, I am confident my vivid imagination would have tapped out. Yet here we are!

Now to the headline…

I love Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo. His perfect combination of rugged good looks, charm, and “accidental bravado” brought the space pirate invented by George Lucas to life for millions billions, and has helped make phrases like “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” truly colloquial.

However, Harrison Ford is not Han Solo just as Sean Connery is not 007, Christopher Reeve is not Superman, and <gulp> William Shatner is not James Tiberius Kirk. Each of these actors must be credited with delivering iconic and even definitive portrayals of legendary fictional characters, but no more (or no less!).

Why am I strong on this point? First, and selfishly, I want to continue enjoying new stories about fictional heroes and villains for as long as possible- certainly well after any one actor is prepared or able to portray them.

I _wanted_ to see the origins of Han Solo (and Chewie, Lando, the Falcon, and more), and thought that Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of the young rogue was superb. So too was I delighted by Chris Pine’s take on Captain Kirk, Daniel Craig’s Bond, and more. I also love enjoying these new stories with my kids!

Secondly, as a reader of fiction as a teen, I spent countless hours developing my own unique character interpretations as informed by the author. Saying this, I am naturally okay with the thought of many versions of the same character existing; indeed, with every reader comes a new take!

I love Harrison Ford’s portrayal of Han Solo. However, Harrison Ford IS NOT Han Solo. He can’t be. He’s Indiana Jones… 😉