Guardians of the Galaxy came out in 2014 and blew me away. I’ve called it the best Star Wars since Star Wars of 1977 for stunning imagery and action, and the feature film version of TV’s FarScape, for its gonzo humour and pop culture self-awareness.
And like both of shows, Guardians has outrageous, memorable characters that make fans wish we could hang out with them. That film made a billion dollars globally and now the sequel is out, and as of recording today on May 8, 2017, just four days after opening, Volume 2 has already earned $430 million dollars around the world.
Guardians is a giga-successful series and if we’re lucky, will bring the fun, great characters, and wonder back to science fiction filmmaking. Returning to the show today to discuss Volume 2 are author Krista D. Ball and filmmaker Ben Dobyns.
Krista D. Ball is an Edmonton-based science fiction and fantasy author who was born and raised in Newfoundland where she learned how to chainsaw and chop wood before getting a degree in History from Mount Allison University. She’s also a tough online brawler against the alt-Right, and is basically the Gamora of Edmonton. She’s also the author of more than a dozen novels and novellas including the Spirit Caller and The Dark Abyss of Our Sins series.
Ben Dobyns is a film producer, editor, cinematographer, composer, writer, and director, and one of the founders of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, or ZOE. While he’s from the US he’s now living in British Columbia, and he and ZOE have just completed their third season of their indie-TV comedy-fantasy series JourneyQuest. They’ve also produced Strowlers, a forthcoming series about a world in which magic is suppressed and regulated by a xenophobic, oppressive government.
Today on MF GALAXY, we look at the sequel which is not even a week old, discussing the familiar cast of Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket, Drax, Baby Groot, Nebula, and Yondu, as well as Kurt Russell’s new character, all their interwoven personalities and arcs, modern screenwriting, the music of the film, its amazing cameos, its surprising and hilarious social satire, saving the galaxy, and whether my guests think it’s as good as the original. They spoke with me on May 7, 2017 by Skype.
Note that today’s discussion is 100% PACKED WITH SPOILERS. Listen at your own risk. If you’re listening on community radio and would like to hear the full 80-minute version, go to MF GALAXY.org to download it. Also, please note that Dobyns was Skyping at a public playground where his children were playing—you’ll even hear the sounds of swings later on—so some of his audio was difficult to discern. Therefore my virtual assistant M.O.I.R.A. will be voicing his missing words, as with Dobyns’s very first comment and again later on.
Review the film with me—as recorded live at Happy Harbor Comics—are Suzette Chan, the Features Editrix for SequentialTart.com (a webzine by women who are fans of comics and pop culture), and Stephen Notley, a game designer at PopCap and the creator of Bob the Angry Flower.
This reviews contains MAJOR SPOILERS.
Today’s episode is 100% non-stop spoilers. If you haven’t watched The Force Awakens yet, you obviously don’t care enough about Star Wars to care about these spoilers, or you’re in a coma. Either way, on we go.
Stephen Notley and I have been talking with each other about science fiction and fantasy for more than 25 years. He’s the cartoonist who for more the last two decades has written and drawn the genre-hopping, politically satirical, gonzo fanboy comic strip Bob the Angry Flower about an evil, brilliant, and super-enthusiastic flower named Bob, and the panels of Bob frequently geek over everything S F & F. Notley’s put out numerous Bob the Angry Flower compilation books and appeared at many major conventions including San Diego Comic Con. He has a vast following and counts among his fans no less than Joss Whedon, who also blurbed one of his collections.
Of course I’m the author of the Philip K. Dick-shortlisted The Coyote Kings whose pages are bursting with genre references and even include a criminal gang called the FanBoys.
To talk The Force Awakens, this last Boxing Day, Notley and I sat down at Ninja Sushi on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton. They have not paid me to endorse them, but I will say they had great tuna. I also apologise to the couple sitting next to us who had to listen to us talk about Star Wars for 90 minutes. Which isn’t exactly true, because they left after 45.
If you’re listening on radio, strap in for this half-hour edition. If you’re listening via podcast, this is a special 90 minute version. Radio listeners can go to iTunes or mfgalaxy.org to get the Starkiller-size.
Notley and I will debate the following questions:
Along the way, Notley refers to local journalist and our mutual friend Fish Griwkowsky. I began by responding to Notley’s question, How many times have I seen the film?