Matthew Simmons

Matthew Simmons

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?

Looking at The Force Awakens as well as canon novels, comics, film-maker’s comments, and even previous Star Wars films, suggest a reasonable theory or theories on who Supreme Leader Snoke could actually be. Snoke is the man behind the curtain in The Force Awakens and looks to have a very important role in the Star Wars universe moving forward. This would be an interesting topic because like Rey the question of Snoke’s identity remains unknown.

  • I think it could be useful to also interrogate how these theories relate to the act of story-telling itself. What do the candidates for Supreme Leader Snoke reveal about story-telling structure within Star Wars? How do these candidates relate the conflict between the author and audience's desire for how a story should progress? I'm thinking of this within the larger Star Wars franchise and how this has played out historically within the past. – Matt Sautman 4 years ago
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Latest Comments

Matthew Simmons

The only film on this list that I can get behind as far as being a classic would be Brokeback Mountain. Like you said the film is still very relevant today and was overall an outstanding film. However, like someone else in the comments pointed out, it is not a film that just stands out. I can not see any of the other films becoming classics. Boyhood was an okay film, not a great film. Yes, the way Boyhood was filmed was amazing and could be something that other film-makers try but the film itself was simply okay. I also thought that Her was a very overrated film. The idea of the film was great but the execution not so much.

It is very hard to think of films that could be classics. Some that I could get behind are No Country For Old Men (2007) and The Dark Knight (2008).

The 21st Century Films Prepared For Classic Status
Matthew Simmons

The prequels may have not been great films but they did provide us with a lot of necessary history in the universe. I can still appreciate the films because of that despite the poorly written dialogue and weak directing from Lucas. However, it is mention in the article that the prequels have poor CGI backgrounds which is a bit grey for me. Lucas did make a mistake by not using more on location shoots but at the time that those films were released the CGI was incredible.

I am rather surprised you did not include the line that Kylo Ren says to General Hux near the beginning of the film. He suggests that Supreme Leader Snoke should look into using a clone army which clearly refers back to the prequels. Yes, the clone wars were mentioned in the original trilogy but they were only a mention.

I also wanted to comment on the lightsaber theory. In addition to what you said, Maz actually tells Rey that the saber belonged to Luke and his father before that, further acknowledging the history of the prequels. As for why Kylo says the line that he does I believe it is solely because the saber was originally Anakin’s. It seems Kylo collects some of Vader’s things already for example the helmet which most likely has some of his ash still in it. I do not believe Ben had used the saber before. If that were to be the case then they would have to explain how Luke ended up finding the saber sometime after Return of the Jedi. However, you do make a good argument about it. I am just torn on whether it would be better or worse for the overall story. If Luke did find the saber it would make sense that he would give it to his nephew. It would also make sense if Ben himself used it to murder someone. Maz’s line about the story for another time would definitely pay off with a story like that.

Star Wars: How The Prequel Trilogy Enhances The Force Awakens
Matthew Simmons

Mad Men did a great job of not trying to be the 1960s but actually becoming the 1960s. I feel as if that is part of why we got the accurate representation of both alcohol and sexism. There are a lot of shows out there that try to be a decade in which they are based but do not actually become that decade. Take a look at the more recent HBO show, Vinyl. Despite the fact that the show itself was not very good, it felt like it was trying to be the 1970s. In the first few episodes I watched of Vinyl there were tons of drugs used and booze drank but did any of it matter? No. There was no meaning behind it because it did not give us a real look at the 1970s.

Understanding The Vices Through Mad Men