Haiku Me Friday! Need my ice cream!

I need my ice cream
Even with my world ending
I can’t be without

When I took my husband to SWCA in 2015, he was alternately bemused and bored through most of the convention. However, he thought the Running of the Hoods was one of the funniest things he had ever seen.

When the Hoods came dashing through the floor and continued outside with everyone following their tail taking pictures, he was so baffled and knew it had to be an “inside” thing.

So I explained to him about the random guy running through Cloud City with an ice cream maker and how (of course) Star Wars fans noticed this, thought it was hilarious, and created an annual tradition at Celebrations around this, complete with cosplaying the character.

This “random guy” in ESB has a name of Willrow Hood. According to canon, he is not actually carrying an ice cream maker, but the computer’s memory core. But that’s not half as fun is it?

I think what really happened is that he has his priorities straight. I’m sure we’ve all thought – at some point in our lives – what would grab out of our house if it was on fire? Besides loved ones, what is the one item we’d grab? For Willrow Hood, it was ice cream. You never know if you’re going to get ice cream in other parts of the galaxy, right? Or maybe other ice cream just wasn’t as good.

So here’s to all the silly fans out there, the ones who invent events like the Running of the Hoods and create traditions that give me warm fuzzy feelings. I raise my glass to you!

And who knows? Perhaps one day I’ll convince my husband to cosplay as Willrow Hood.

 

Star Wars ComLINKS: Most Emotional Scene

Apparently I was supposed to get this done by March 22nd – oops, I completely missed that note the first time I read through the post!  I’ll be better next time.

First, thanks to Graphic Novelty2, I re-discovered the blog Anakin and His Angel.  I remember I had it saved at some point on an old computer and then when I switched to Chrome, I think I lost it.

Anakin and His Angel does a monthly topic and invites other blogs to participate.  I love this…I get to write my own blog post without thinking about a topic!  Lazy me celebrates!  (Except lazy me got in the way of getting it done on time…)

 

Most Emotional Scene in Star Wars

My vote for the most emotional scene has to go to Han getting put into carbonite.

I picked this scene for four reasons:

  1. Han’s vulnerability,
  2. Leia’s realization of love,
  3. Chewie’s anger and sense of helplessness,
  4. Lando’s regret,
  5. The music.

That’s a heck of a lot of emotion to pack into one scene!

Let’s start with Han’s vulnerability – this goes back to my assessment of his clothing choices throughout the trilogy.  When he is stripped down to only that shirt, it’s not the Han we know and love.  He is not cocky or over-confident, but instead vulnerable.  Vulnerable is not a word we often associate with Han.  He’s about to be put into carbonite and he has no idea if he’ll survive.  That look on his face when he looks to Leia and Chewie before the steam rises…what is it?  Sadness?  Unspoken feelings?  Despair?  It’s something we don’t see on Han’s face very often.

Then we have the classic interchange between Han and Leia of, “I love you.” And “I know.”  Who doesn’t enjoy those lines?  We knew Princess Leia was hiding her feelings for Han during most of the movie but in this moment, she knows she has to say it.  If she doesn’t say it, she will kick herself every moment afterwards.  Watching her step forward with anguish on her face to tell Han those deeply personal words…I wouldn’t want to be in her position.  She’s seeing the man she realized she loves being put into a situation where he might not live.  And let’s not forget her moment of abject fear and disgust right before those moments when she looks over at Darth Vader.  *shudders*

This scene is often overshadowed by Leia and Han’s exchange, but I think one of the most emotionally moving parts is Chewie’s scream when the carbonite takes effect.  He starts off the scene by throwing Stormtroopers over the edge of the chamber in a last effort to save Han.  Han calms him down by saying he has to look after “the Princess”.   He acknowledges he might not live through this ordeal but is transferring Chewie’s life debt from Han to Leia.  But this is not something Chewie wants to hear.  Han was his best friend, the smuggler who saved him and to whom he owes a life debt.  I’m sure Chewie thought that if Han ever died, he would go down screaming with him (though we saw how that played out).  Instead he has to stand by helplessly in this whole scene, clinging to Leia until the deed is done and his roars are one of despair, anger, and frustration.

Lando, oh, Lando.  The moments the camera is on him during this scene are few and far between.  And when they do steal a moment to look at him, you have to watch closely.  But you can see it.  It’s there.  The “What have I done?  Was this the right thing?” look.  He looks at Leia and Chewie and his thoughts are clear.  I’m sure he’s feeling that deep uncertainty and regret…that gut feeling when you know you should not have made that deal.  Too late now, buddy.

Finally, the music.  Oh my gosh.  I get goosebumps every time I hear the music by John Williams for this scene.  Even when I’m not watching the scene and I’m only listening to the music, I get transported away to a tense place.  Everything in me stops and I’m filled with emotions of dread and anxiety.  I can’t concentrate on anything I do when hearing that music.  It’s the cherry on top of this whole scene.

 

That, my friends, is why I think the carbonite scene is the most emotional.  Hopefully I’ll get on my game faster next time and participate in ComLINKS before it expires.

 

What do you think is the most emotional scene?  This can include Rebels, TCW, anything in the Star Wars universe!

 

You Must Learn Control

Icarus left a comment on my blog post the other day that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about.  Actually, it wasn’t his comment per se, but was said by George Lucas regarding Anakin’s fall to the dark side from a CNN article in 2002 (AOTC era, pre ROTS):

In this film, you begin to see that he has a fear of losing things, a fear of losing his mother, and as a result, he wants to begin to control things, he wants to become powerful, and these are not Jedi traits.  And part of these are because he was starting to be trained so late in life, that he’d already formed these attachments. And for a Jedi, attachment is forbidden.

“He wants to begin to control things.”  This sat with me – mainly because of my terrible need to control things as well.  We all, at some point or another, want to control our life and our future, no matter who you are.  You can be the most chill person in the world, but there is probably some degree or need to control minuscule portions of your life.  Then there are others, like myself, who prefer to control every minuscule detail if possible and though I think I’ve gradually gotten better, I still fall apart when Plan A, B, and C aren’t quite working like I was hoping.

anakin angry

 

At one point on Dagobah, when Luke is training with Yoda, Yoda admonishes him,

Control, control, you must learn control!

So why does Yoda want Luke to learn control, yet probably wanted Anakin to let go of his control?  Isn’t that contradictory?

What is the difference between Anakin and Luke?  The way I read and think about the situation is that Anakin used his fear as a propeller to learn more and conquer more through his knowledge.  He wanted power to change the situations through his control of the Force.  We see this to be very true later on in ROTS when he wants the ultimate power – to stop Padmé from dying – and apply it to his life.  He believes he’s helping people but he is, instead, digging his own grave.  Would Padmé have died if Anakin hadn’t turned to the dark side?  Ah, the million dollar question.

With Luke, though, it seems a little different.  He wants to go to Cloud City to try and rescue his friends (which, again, would have fared better without his help) but his motivation does not seem to be as rooted in the need for power.  While it seems to be more altruistic in nature, it does also stem fromluke skywalker handstand dagobah this need to control the events around him.  As Yoda says, “If you leave now, help them you could.  But you would destroy all for which they have fought and suffered.”

Obviously I’m going completely off canon by suggesting Yoda would have wanted Anakin to lessen his need to control, but I don’t think it’s that out there.  What I believe is that both had the fear of loss ingrained within them (who doesn’t?) but where Luke needed to control more from a situation of distance and understanding, Anakin needed to lessen his control so that it could also bring him to a place of understanding and distance.

I’ve mentioned many times that I don’t think the Jedi had it right when they tried to rid their pupils from attachment.  In fact, most of the time I think it was just wrong.  As we saw, Luke used his attachment to his father to save Anakin from the dark side and also help the galaxy.  However, there is also a point where life needs to be played out for what it is without our involvement because sometimes when we mess around with it too much, we look back and realize that maybe we shouldn’t have tried to control it like we did.  Luke had to learn to take a step back and realize he couldn’t run to help Han and Leia with everything in their lives because it could just make it worse.  He had to control his need to always help and rein it in.  Anakin needed to learn that he couldn’t be all-powerful and that controlling everything too much could backfire.  The main difference I’ve found is that Luke’s control was rooted in love whereas Anakin’s control was rooted in fear.

The reason that quote has been bothering me so much is that I believe I lean more towards Anakin than Luke.  It’s when I get the most scared, the most fearful, the most anxious, that I begin to try to control events and people around me.  I use all the power that I have to influence what happens around me to make sure it happens the way I want it to go.  Unlike Luke, whose need for more control stems from a caring, kind, thoughtful place; instead, I feel like I completely understand Anakin.  I don’t want life to “just happen”.  I want life to happen according to my rules.

 

What about you?  Do you need more control because you always want to jump and help someone instead of letting them work it out on their own?  Or are you more like me and you need to lessen your control because you always want to make things go your way?

Haiku Me Friday! Scout Trooper Cloud City Edition

Good, good things going on in my life right now guys…which is much needed since the first half of this year has been like I  was thrown unexpectedly into the Rancor pit.  I feel like I’ve finally fought him off and I’m catching a break.  Not sure if I killed the Rancor yet, I guess that will only become clear later, but right now I’m breathing better than I have in a long time and feel good about the way my life is headed.  You know what I mean?

Do you ever have that instance where you write about 4 paragraphs and just delete it all?  Yeah, that just happened.

Onto Friday fun!  Happy Friday everyone!

We creep in slowly Do we pass on by or shoot? It’s hard to decide

We creep in slowly
Do we pass on by or shoot?
It’s hard to decide

My first thought was, “Since when would scout troopers ever be needed on Cloud City?”  This picture completely baffled me so I looked up some more information on scout troopers over at Wookiepedia (to think that I used to buy new editions of Star Wars encyclopedias whenever they came out!  I was constantly buying the latest editions because the EU was always changing. Now we have the internet and I am so thankful):

Scout troopers, light armored and far more mobile than regular stormtrooper units, were usually assigned to planetary garrisons where they patrolled perimeters, performed reconnaissance missions and identified enemy positions. As scouts, their mission profile often positioned them far from Imperial resupply. As a result, the scout troopers received special training in order to become efficient survivalists who were equipped with an array of equipment and supplies to aid in their military role.

Okay, so here I’ve been for the past 17 years of my life thinking that scout troopers only served in forest-like locations due to Return of the Jedi.  This is where I know I have huge gaps in my Star Wars knowledge.

I like to think I know a lot, and yes, compared to an average human, I do know way more about Star Wars than I should.  But I am the first to admit that my knowledge is very limited and it’s starting to bother me.  I focus on what I love most: the Jedi and how they inadvertently brought down the destruction of the Republic, the tormented feelings of Padmé, Palpatine’s master scheming, and mostly just detailed movie knowledge.

I know very little about the Empire and focus very little on their troops, systems, organization, and politics.  Over the past year and a half, I have made a concentrated effort to read more Star Wars novels (though I swore I never would lol) that are now canon and be more open minded about parts of Star Wars that just don’t interest me.  For instance, one of my goals this year is to watch Attack of the Clones and find 10 things I like about it.  Notice that I still have not done it yet?  I keep procrastinating.

But this news about the scout troopers really interests me because I had no idea how specialized they were.  Anyone with half a brain could have figured it out, because, well, “scout” is in their title.  “Scout” does not equal “forest” last time I checked.  This knowledge of scout troopers being so specialized really does open up a whole new world of imagination for me.  They were complete idiots in ROTJ, but perhaps that was an anomaly.  I kind of want to be a scout trooper and go on cool missions.

So when does this picture take place?  ESB?  Well, that doesn’t make complete sense because it sounds like the Empire made a straight out deal with Lando so there would be no need for them to sneak around.  Do you think these scout troopers are going to actually kill the guy sleeping on duty?  Or do you think they already shot him?

What’s your passion when it comes to Star Wars?  Have you ever been surprised by information you’ve taken for granted?  Have you ignored other aspects of the Star Wars universe because you like something else so much more?

Costuming & Characters: Part I – Princess Leia (Essay)

How do costumes define the characters in Star Wars?  This idea has been mulling around in my head for a while, since I had a brief discussion with Mei Mei in the comments of my blog on planets.  This is more of an essay than a blog post, but well worth the read if you’re interested.  I promise my posts on Luke and Han will be much shorter as there is not as much to discuss.

I think Lucas made very deliberate choices with his costumes on each of the three main characters in the original trilogy and made sure that what they were clothed in also reflected either a) their personality, b) their development as a character, or c) their environment.  The latter is the most obvious and almost always true, but I think it’s interesting how color and shape can also dictate a deeper look into who they are.

So I decided to split this up into a three part series and examine the most obvious choices of characters: Luke, Leia, and Han.  I know nothing about costume fabrics so that area will remain untouched.

On the surface, Princess Leia’s costumes remain almost always the same in terms of color.  In the entirety of A New Hope, she is wearing white.  There is only one costume change and that comes in during the last two minutes of the movie.

During the Empire Strikes Back, she steps it up a notch and has four costume changes.  She starts off with this one piece, white snowsuit with an off-white vest.  This is a slight change from ANH, as this is a pant snowsuit and not a dress, paired with almost knee-high boots (grey/white color).  She stays in that for the majority of the movie, until she gets to Bespin, where she changes into a deep red long sleeve short dress, with matching pants underneath and a tan vest/long sleeveless cloak.  She’s only in this briefly; as soon as Solo is captured, she is once again in her pant snowsuit, without the matching vest.  This time she is in white heels as opposed to boots.  At the end of the movie, she is surprisingly back in the same dress we see her in for the majority of ANH.

The Return of the Jedi sees five costume changes, but I am going to ignore her disguise as Boushh as that was her imposing as someone else.  If we ignore Boushh, she starts off in the famous metal bikini made of gold and maroon colors with grey shoes.  She transitions to her Endor outfit with light blue pants, black boots, tan shirt and grey vest, but while on Endor she dons a camouflage cape to blend in with the forest.  When with the Ewoks, she has a tan, rustic, homespun brown dress before she changes back into Endor gear, before finally ending the movie with the Ewok dress once again.

Now we have a good foundation at looking at Leia as a character and understanding how her costumes reflect her.

The first thing that always comes to mind with Leia and her costumes are:

  • She has many white costumes, and
  • Her costumes do not reveal a lot of skin, barring the slave costume which I will get into later.

Throughout mythology, white symbolizes goodness, purity, and light.  It is associated with perfection and safety.  Most of the time, it has a positive connotation.  This makes sense for Leia’s character, as Lucas wants us to see her as the Princess in need of rescuing in the first film.  This could also be why he puts her in a dress; as the Trilogy continues, Leia is more often found in pants.  He follows the standard fairytale format in ANH with a princess trapped away and a boy who rescue her (though, once she’s out of her cell, it seems like she does more the rescuing).  It’s way more nuanced than that but you understand the gist of it.  It wouldn’t make sense to dress Leia in any color other than white for the first film.

As we progress to the second and third film, there is more of a shift in her colors, though I would say that in ESB, she still is firmly in the white category.  The red dress-like costume when she is in Bespin is an abnormality, but it’s easy to see why.  cloud city red

When thinking of red in your daily life, what do you think?  Stop.  Danger.  Warning.  Love.  Seduction, at times.  Courage, at times.  We can tie her Cloud City costume back to her feelings of Lando.  Leia even clearly says, “I don’t trust Lando.”  Her costume is wrapped up in her feelings of Lando and his carnal feelings for her.  The red from her point of view symbolizes mistrust, her sense of danger over the whole situation.  For Lando, he sees the red dress and it plays to seduction and that she wants to be wooed by him.  It generates a lustful feeling for him.  Notice how quickly Leia pulls in the lighter, long cloak as soon as Lando enters and looks her up and down?  I believe Lucas paired the red dress with the white cloak to remind us that she is still a pure, good, and safe character.  It allows Leia to pull herself into safety despite her mistrust of Lando.

As soon as Lando’s betrayal is revealed and Han is captured by Boba and the Empire, Leia is once again put into the white costume.  There’s no more questioning of her character; she is back in control and a strong beacon of light.

Why does she end in the same dress she was in during most of ANH then?  I’ve tried analyzing this but have come up short on a satisfactory explanation.  We can’t really say she’s come full circle, as this is clearly the middle chapter of the story.  I like to think that she’s dressed in that outfit that was pre-Han because Han has been taken away and we don’t know if he’ll be brought back safe.  It’s still white, but it’s a symbol of Leia alone.  Again, not happy with this, so if anyone has better ideas, please share.

As we head into Return of the Jedi, I want to talk about how conservative Leia’s clothes have been thus far.  None of them have been revealing and I think that reflects on her as a very guarded, in control person.  She has a high position in helping run the Rebellion against the Empire and does not have time for a personal life.  Princess Leia is not the let-her-hair-down (figuratively and literally) kind of girl.  She’s definitely a little uptight, or as Han would like to say, “could use a good kiss.”  Her clothing reflects that strong and guarded woman.

The one time we see her in a pretty revealing outfit is…you guessed it…the slave costume in Return of the Jedi.  I wrote leia and jabbaabout this outfit in a previous post, arguing that this outfit is not quite a sexist as some would like to believe.  In a nutshell, the reasoning is that Leia was put into this costume against her will.  This forced bikini outfit represents Leia’s vulnerability at this moment in the Original Trilogy.  Up until she is at Jabba’s Palace, we have always seen Leia in control of situations.  In ANH she ran the entire show, got everyone out of the Death Star alive, and got Artoo back to the Rebellion in one piece with the stolen plans.  In ESB, she was one of the last to leave the base and the only time she sat back was when Han took them to Cloud City – and we saw how that turned out.  But never in the entire OT do we see her stripped of her ability to have an opinion, voice, or control.  The bikini shows this like no other costume can.

The muted colors of Leia’s slave outfit are a representation of Jabba’s hold on her.  There is no white in this costume, the lightest color are the shoes, which are a dark grey.  Gold is most commonly paired with wealth, riches, and affluence.  Of course that’s what Jabba is trying to portray.  He has a rich new toy (who better than a Princess of Alderaan and leader of the Rebellion?) and he wants to show it off.  Why not deck her out in the finest?

As soon as Leia is back with the Rebellion and Jabba is dead, she once more puts on conservative clothes.  The clothes are definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum, but they are not white.  I believe the camouflage cloak is clearly designed for practical, environmental purposes and will not go into that.  As the movie continues, she never wears white again, except once as a shirt underneath the Ewok dress.  We have left the monochromatic Leia behind and have begun to see a Leia with changes in her life.

The Ewok dress is a brown color.  Yes, it was probably made from earthy materials and environmentally influenced, but it could also reflect the way her life as she knew it is changing.

She’s falling for Han.  Hard.  She learns that Luke is her brother and her father is *gasp* Darth Vader.  Knowing that she leia and hanhas Sith in her now, perhaps Lucas wanted to reflect that with these colors that almost seem like water and earth running together.  Pure water (the light, white, pure Leia) and muddy dirt (knowing she has Sith/evil in her blood) mirrors her transition as a character.  She ends the Trilogy in the brown dress which makes sense with the white peeking out.  She’s no longer the character that she was in ANH.

We see through Leia’s costumes a passage of a character that speaks volumes.  I don’t think she ever loses her goodness, strength and purity.  But she does change, especially in Return of the Jedi where we see her attachment to Han and learns about her true family history.  Lucas was smart to have her costumes mirror the change internally in an external fashion (pun!).

If you made it through this whole essay, let me know what you think about Leia and her costumes.  Did you notice something that maybe I did not bring up?  What was I right about?  What was I wrong on?