Haiku Me Friday! Leia’s Pain

I felt it in me
Something has happened to Han
I know he is gone

There are many theories out there on why Leia opted not to follow the Jedi path like Luke. I think her strengths lay with politics and used that as an explanation. But what I really believe is that when she found out Vader was her father and how the Force had corrupted him, she wanted to stay way clear of it.

It reminds me of kids who grow up watching their parents as alcohol abusers. Not all, but some, decide to stay far away from drinking. They go in an extreme opposite direction where they don’t touch anything. A good example would be radio host Bobby Bones, who hosts one of the most popular Country music morning shows in Nashville. His mother had a lot of drug problems with alcohol being the primary one. Because of that Bobby Bones has not only never drunk alcohol, but has never touched coffee either. Anything that he can get addicted to that may not be safe, he stays away from because he has an extremist personality.

Is Leia an extremist? On the outside I would argue that she isn’t. But Leia is very passionate – and passion can eventually turn into extremism if you let it (look at all of us wonderful Star Wars fans!). She risked her life for the Rebellion numerous times, a cause that she was very passionate about. The Rebellion is, after all, a group of extremists.

Perhaps Leia knew herself well enough to instead channel her passion into politics after the Empire was destroyed.  She was given two choices: cultivate the Force within her and follow a Jedi path or focus on politics and rebuilding a government in an unstable galaxy. Knowing who her father was probably shook her to the core and she did not want to go down that path. Perhaps, who knows, maybe she saw something dark within her, similar to Anakin. Or maybe she didn’t want to chance it and take that bet.

Instead Leia ended up with moments of feeling the Force within her life, similar to when she turned around and rescued Luke after the Bespin incident. New canon comics list her as having random Force visions, some of her mother and Darth Maul. And here, in the scene I based my haiku off of, she feels Han’s death acutely.

 

Do you think Leia made the right choice? Should she have learned more of the Force? Do you think that could have helped prevent Ben going to the dark side?

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Friday Fives: You Upset Me

Now onto my Friday Five, which is an unusual post just because I rarely talk about things I hate about Star Wars.  But there are things that really upset me, and that I almost hate, and most of them actually tie into the Prequels in some way.

 The Five Things That Really Upset Me About Star Wars

  1. I’ve gone into this a lot in my grievances post, but I think the biggest inconsistency that bothers me is Leia “remembering” her mother.  It’s not possible.  I don’t care how strong you are in the Force (and Leia is less strong than Luke and Luke has no memory of her), and if you have past Force visions (whatever), you can’t remember her from the womb or the 10 seconds you were with each other.

    No, no, no, no.  There was just so much potential with a really cool storyline for Leia and Padmé that…died (pun).  Maybe that’s what I mourn the most.  The fact that Lucas could have done something really interesting with Leia and Padmé at the end of ROTS was a lost opportunity.  My great storyline has always been that Obi-Wan tries to hide Padmé and Leia (he already gave Luke to the Owen and Beru). But Anakin knows Padmé is still alive and is searching for her, so Padmé decides to confront him and tries to save him.  She entrusts Leia to the Organas on Alderaan and flies to meet Vader.  Palpatine knows about this and an “accident” happens to her ship and she blows up in flames.  It plays into Palpatine’s master plans and his conniving and we kind of get the same results as before…but this time Leia can actually remember her mother.

  2. Attack of the Clones. Okay, we all know this is my least favorite Star Wars movie.  But let me actually go into more detail on why…the script writing is horrible.    It doesn’t matter how good of an actor you are (I think Ewan AOTC movie posterMcGregor and Natalie Portman are pretty darn good), if you are faced with lines like you were presented in that script, ugh, good luck.  You just can’t make that work.  Examples of what I am talking about:
    1. “I’d rather dream of Padmé. Just being around her again is…intoxicating.”
    2. “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything’s soft… and smooth…”
    3. “Then we’d be living a lie – one we couldn’t keep even if we wanted to. I couldn’t do that. Could you, Anakin? Could you live like that?”

It’s really brutal.  Sometimes when I read the script I think it sounds like a bad soap opera.  And the acting is halting and stiff, none of the characters seem to have any real chemistry.  I think it definitely gets better in ROTS, but AOTC is so horrible that I’m surprised I own it sometimes.  The action scenes are cool, I just can’t get past the dialogue and acting in Episode II.

  1. Hayden Christensen replaces Sebastian Shaw as a Force Ghost the end of ROTJ. I cried when I saw this the first time and it wasn’t out of happiness.  I still remember where I was because I had heard rumors about this.  I kept hoping it wasn’t true, praying it wasn’t true.  I had spent the whole day of a Saturday watching the trilogy as it had just been released on DVD.  I was getting towards the end of ROTJ and I pulled up my legs to tuck under myhayden christsensen dvd rotj chin and just stared with hope against hope that the rumors were wrong.  But they weren’t wrong and Christensen materialized on the screen and I screamed.  And paced.  And screamed at the TV again.  I have heard many reasons for the change.  One of them was that Lucas wanted something to tie both the PT and the OT together.  Another was that as a Jedi Force Ghost, that was how Anakin remembered himself as a Jedi, before he turned into Darth Vader.  A different reason was that Anakin truly died as a Jedi when he was younger, so it makes sense to come back as a Force Ghost in the younger version.  It was a bad decision and it sucks that I can’t watch a nice DVD without that stupid guy’s face popping up at the end.  I’m actually one of the few people that doesn’t mind the added dance scene’s in Jabba’s palace.  I’d keep that in a heartbeat if it just meant taking out Hayden Christensen’s head (yes, supposedly they just CGI’d his head on there, so it’s ¾ Shaw and ¼ Christensen).
  2. When Vader is portrayed super muscular. I don’t know, it just doesn’t sit well with me.  Yes, Vader is large.  Yes, he may be muscular underneath all that machine, but his muscles are not rippling out of his suit.  I’ve seen many paintings and pictures which show Vader as this unstoppable force to be reckoned with, with large, broad Gaston-like muscles.  I understand a lot of it is for comic books, because that’s the style of comic books, but it’s just a little out of character.  I feel like I’m making a really weak argument, but look at these pictures and try to understand where I’m coming from:
  1. Darth Maul returns in TCW. Overall, I liked TCW…except for when Darth Maul came back.  Darth Maul was quintessentially the coolest badass Sith to bring into the Prequels.  He didn’t talk much, which lent to his mysterious background.  He had a double bladed lightsaber (wtf, so cool).  He held his own significantly against
    Not neccessary.

    Not necessary.

    two highly trained Jedi.  I was sad he died so soon, but it seemed to be a fitting end as it hinted at Obi-Wan’s rage and how he teetered on the brink of the dark side.  And damn, he got cut clean in half.  No one is coming back from that.  Oh wait, but he did.  Whhhhhhy?  They put mechanical legs on him, which look dumb, and he talks…all the time.  I really loved Maul when he didn’t talk.  As I said, mysterious.  His whole story line was just weird too, uninteresting, and unimportant.  Technically, it leaves us on a cliffhanger too where we don’t know what is going to happen to him.  Why would Sidious keep him alive?  Why would he even entertain that notion?  (Yes, I’ve read up on Sons of Dathomir so I know what was supposed to happen after that.  Still uninteresting.)

Rants over.  When you love something, you love it with your whole heart, even the bad parts.  I can overlook these bad parts because I love the Saga so much, but sometimes…these little things really annoy me.

Anyone else want to chime in?  Who shot first?

What’s In a Name?

The Emperor has been expecting you.

I know, father.

So, you have accepted the truth.

I’ve accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father.

That name no longer has any meaning for me.

It is the name of your true self. You’ve only forgotten. I know there is good in you. The Emperor hasn’t driven it from you fully. That is why you couldn’t destroy me. That’s why you won’t bring me to your Emperor now.

I think we take for granted just how important a name can be.  Think about it…if you didn’t have your name, who would you be?

Luke and VaderMy name is Kiri.  My name is of Maori origin and means shining and bright, which suits my energetic, happy personality.  I love watching, writing and reading about Star Wars. I love drinking tea.  I could eat a whole jar of olives in one sitting.  My favorite day would consist of it raining outside, putting all responsibilities on hold, snuggled up in bed with a cup of tea next to me and reading a great book.  Because of my name, I have always had trouble introducing myself.  It is now wrapped up in my identity so much that I cannot imagine meeting someone and them not having a problem pronouncing my name, asking me how it’s spelled, or where it is from.  Attendance was always difficult in school, as is telling people my email address over the phone.  My name is so intertwined with who I am, that I would not be able to distinguish it from my personality.  If I was named Isabel, would I still like tea and reading?  I’ll never know, because all I know is Kiri: the person who eats olives, drinks tea, loves Star Wars and sometimes dreads introducing herself.

So when I watched ROTJ this past Christmas break, this scene stood out to me.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be for Luke to find out that the galaxy’s most feared person (along with the Emperor) is his own father.  But Luke is smart…he realizes that the man that was his father, and who possibly loved his mother, was not the same man that is before him today.  That man was Anakin Skywalker.

And see how Vader reacts when Luke says his original name?  He lashes out quickly in fear.  “It no longer has any meaning” to him.  That part of him is dead, or so he believes.  By speaking Vader’s original name, it brings up his “true self”, and he does not want to see that again.

Because who was Anakin?  Anakin was a person who was powerful, but full of emotion.  Within those anakin vaderemotions was love and compassion.  Love for his secret wife, love for his mentor, love for his mother.  Compassion for those less fortunate than him, like slaves still captured around the galaxy.  Anakin was ambitious but felt stifled with his powers.  He was powerful, but always held back.  In short, he was a boiling pot of emotions.  Just like my name is so intertwined with who I am, it’s the same with Anakin.  Isn’t it so much easier just to compile all of those emotions and channel it into rage, unlimited power, and hatred?  And when you ignore and push down this other side of you, why not become your new name?

When we look at the saga as a whole, I noticed that it’s only the Sith that give themselves new names.  The Jedi do not.  But then again, why would the Jedi need to?  The Jedi never grow into something different from themselves.  Taken from their families at a young age, they keep their names while they train to become a Jedi.  So becoming a Jedi is intertwined with their name and identity.

Though not all Sith chose a new name, most did.  Most of the Sith we see in the movies had a different name originally: Vader = Anakin, Sidious = Palpatine, Tyranus = Dooku.  The only exception is Darth Maul, who had a history similar to the Jedi, in that he was given to Sidious as an infant.  Therefore his name was wrapped up in his identity as a Sith since he didn’t know any different.  When researching the EU, I see that most adopted a new name for themselves when they became a Sith Lord.

We see this constantly throughout literature as well.  Either characters choose a name for themselves and create a new identity, or they work hard to break away from a forced name to become who they really are.  I am not referring to a nickname that is Liz from Elizabeth or Joe from Joseph.  In Harry Potter, Dumbledore was not afraid to speak to Voldemort and use his real name of Tom Riddle.  He certainly never feared calling him Voldemort around others either for he believed that, “Fear of a name king arthurincreases fear of the thing itself.”  Voldemort was similar to the Sith in the way that he chose a name to create a new identity and to cover his old one.  King Arthur was once known as Wart, a naïve, unassuming boy who breaks out of his mold to reach his full potential as King Arthur.  And to bring it back to Star Wars, Luke’s nickname in the original script was “Wormie.”  Like King Arthur, he would have had to break out of that nickname to show his true colors and embrace his original name.

But if you have an adopted name, given or forced upon you, isn’t it always a burden?  Your “true self” is hidden and waiting to emerge given the right set of circumstances.  Maybe those circumstances never come to play, but perhaps they might as we see with Vader and Luke. What if Luke had not started off his first conversation in ROTJ with Vader using his true name?  By telling Vader that when he calls him father, he is referring to Anakin, he creates a pattern that he uses over and over throughout ROTJ, slowly chipping away at the “Vader shield” that Anakin hides behind.  He invokes memories of Anakin’s true self and slowly begins to win his battle against the Emperor.  He didn’t need to defeat the Emperor, all he needed to do was defeat Vader.

Darth Tyranus vs. Darth Maul Showdown!

In April, I promised a post on the Sith. I started writing it and got bored writing it, and left it alone, and went back to it, and got bored again, so I realized that if I can’t even be interested in my post, nobody else would be.   Then this past week I started thinking about pitting Jedi against Jedi and Sith against Sith and I thought…actually, this is a more interesting way to think about my post.

I was planning on writing an entire post on the four Sith we see in the saga, including Vader vs. Sidious, but it’s too long! So I’m cutting it up and today’s excerpt will just be Darth Tyranus vs. Darth Maul. And yes, I am also planning on doing a Jedi Showdown at some point, I just need to get to it.

So introducing our first pair in the rink! (They can’t be paired with Sidious because of the different weight class. Sidious is obviously much heavier with the Force and would ruin them as soon as the buzzer went off)

This is ranked on a point basis: 10 means they exhibit the qualities to the extreme, 1 being that they show too many Jedi qualities 😉 Points will be given based on intelligence, ruthlessness, experience, and lightsaber combat.

 darth-maul-vs-count-dooku

DARTH MAUL VS. DARTH TYRANUS SHOWDOWN

Presenting Darth Tyranus! A formidable fighter, but can he withstand the brutality of his Dathomirian counterpart? 

Darth Tyranus comes into the ring:

  • Intelligence: 8/10. As someone once respected by the Jedi (known as Count Dooku), I’m sure he was able to get away count dooku sidiouswith a lot more before anyone caught on that, hey, wait a minute, you’re no longer a Jedi. Tyranus took over the clone army project and erased Kamino from the Jedi Archives. He also was a leader of the Separatists and trained quite a few chilling opponents of the Jedi. This guy was pretty organized and intelligent – helping Sidious pave the way for an Empire ruled by Sith. He lacks two final points because he was not quite smart enough to realize that he was just a pawn in Sidious’ game.
  • Ruthlessness: 6/10. Once turned to the dark side, Tyranus had no qualms killing those he loved. Looking at his backstory, you can see that he was once good friends with Jedi Sifo-Dyus, and murdered him in order to become a full Sith and take over the clone army project. He also took on Asajj Ventress as a pseudo apprentice but ordered her killed as well. Though he didn’t succeed, it shows that he has no problem abandoning those he should also have some sort of attachment to. The only reason I don’t give him more points is because he seems to be a bit of a coward. He ran away from Yoda in AOTC and sent someone else to try to kill Asajj Ventress.
  • Experience: 9/10. Tyranus was pretty formidable even in his older age. All those years as a Jedi and now a Sith leads to one thing: he knows his stuff. He knows how the Jedi fight and also how to outmaneuver them, as we saw in AOTC. He is experienced in politics and the Force, which makes for a deadly combination. He trained Jedi and then went on to train leaders in the Separatist Droid Army: Durge, Asajj Ventress, and General Grievous. Plus, he knows how to create Force lightening and you can’t do that as a rookie.
  • Lightsaber combat: 8/10. Wookieepedia says that Dooku was a well respected instructor at the Jedi Temple and “one of the most renowned swordsmen in the galaxy”, up there with Yoda and Mace Windu. I think that was pretty obviouscount dooku vs yoda when in AOTC, he took on Obi-Wan, Anakin, and finally Yoda in a battle where he bested 2/3 of his opponents. He even did pretty well in ROTS when he again took on Obi-Wan and Anakin. Though he lost his life, he held out for quite a while. It’s clear that Obi-Wan wasn’t much of a match for him. I almost gave him 9/10, but the fact that he ran from Yoda and died at Anakin’s hands shows that he wasn’t the best.

Tyranus total points: 31/40 or a 78% chance of winning in the rink.

And now we have…Darth Maul! A formidable, rage-filled opponent, but does he have enough experience to defeat the older veteran?

dooku vs maul

 Darth Maul comes into the ring:

  • Intelligence: 5/10. I always got the impression that Darth Maul was more of a mercenary than an intelligent being valued for his input and ideas. Reading up on his history in Wookieepedia, I see that I was kind of right. Apparently he was trained while Sidious was still an apprentice to Plagueis. Plagueis was aware of Maul, but agreed to train him to be “expendable”. You don’t train intelligent people to be expendable, because they will catch on and turn on you. Also, Maul failed to see that Obi-Wan was using the Force to jump up and grab Qui-Gon Jinn’s lightsaber. Do you remember his baffled look as he slowly tried to figure out what Obi-Wan was doing? Not the brightest bulb.
  • Ruthlessness: 10/10. Yes, I give Maul a perfect score on this. This dude is legit crazy. Not only was he trained as a Sith, he was also trained as a Sith Assassin, where horrible torturing techniques were used on him to hone him into a skilled, heartless warrior.darth maul tcw Maul survived his encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi by living off of his rage (I like to pretend this storyline doesn’t exist but alas, it’s part of canon now) as his “mental equilibrium slowly became undone.” If you watch these TCW episodes, you’ll see how ruthless he really is. When he is brought back to some sort of normalcy (well, “normal” for him) he goes off on a mad hunt for Obi-Wan, killing multiple people in the process in bloody rage. He is cray cray, and that leads to him being a ruthless Sith.
  • Experience: 7/10. When Maul starts out, he doesn’t have much experience other than his training. He almost dies on Naboo (okay, he totally does, grrr), but then goes on to lead his bloody rampage. When we last see Darth Maul, Sidious has kidnapped him and plans to use him for his own purposes once more. Darth Maul built his way up from almost being killed, to gaining more experience battling Jedi, pirates, Nightsisters, and even dabbles in the politics of Mandalore. He definitely does not have the same amount of knowledge as Tyranus does, but given time, he may be near indestructible when his rage is combined with his experience.
  • Lightsaber combat: 7/10. I struggled with this ranking. We only see one fight from Maul so it’s almost unfair to rate him.darth maul fighting However, from this one battle we can see he did manage to kill Qui-Gon, but in the end was bested by Obi-Wan. But to be defeated by Obi-Wan means that your lightsaber combat skills cannot be the best of the best. I only say that because, well, we’ve never actually seen Obi-Wan kill any Sith Lord other than Maul. He failed against Tyranus, Anakin (though that may have been emotional), and couldn’t even really hold his own against Grievous who doesn’t even have the Force. I’m not saying Obi-Wan is easy to fight, I just don’t think he’s the best. Maul does a much better job in lightsaber combat in TCW, so I upped his points, but he still can’t manage to beat Obi-Wan.

Maul total points: 29/40 or a 73% chance of winning in the rink.

And the winner is…drumroll…

darth tyranus

Darth Tyranus! Also known as Count Dooku, this man possesses the right combination of experience, intelligence, and combat skills to defeat one who relies primarily on his rage.

I really enjoyed writing this post and learned a lot in the process about these two Sith. We all know I’m a Jedi girl, but this was just pure fun. Personally, I like Darth Maul better than Dooku and I wish he hadn’t died in TPM. The lightsaber battle is one of my favorites of all time.

Do you guys agree with my little assessment? Think Tyranus would win if he was placed against Maul?

Also, Rebels finally has a release date!