Haiku Me Friday! An Open Letter to George Lucas

It’s been 40 years
Since George Lucas took the helm
And transported us

 

Dear George,

I’ve wanted to say thank you for years.  Star Wars effects my life every day in small, and sometimes large, ways.  Without you, I would not be who I am today.  I’ve written about it a lot, but sometimes I think people tend to forget the man behind it all.  Well, not really forget, we could never forget.

It’s just that we get so wrapped up in the mythology, the worlds and stories that Star Wars has created.  We are constantly blown away by this amazing sandbox you allow us to play in.  We get so deep in the trenches that Star Wars becomes real to us.  I think we know deep down that it’s only a movie but we forget because Star Wars transverse many different levels of our lives.

Forty years ago, you probably did not yet realize what a sensation Star Wars would become.  Even after it broke box office records, did you think it was a fad?  Did you think the obsession of the public would eventually wane?  Or did you know you had struck gold?  I wish, so badly, I could interview you and dig your mind on what the summer was like 40 years ago.

Before this gets long winded, I wanted you to know that I haven’t forgotten that you are the man behind it all.  That you are the one who gave us this sandbox, filled it with sand, and then let us have fun within your creation.  Thank you for being flexible about that.

I know you tried your best when you gave Star Wars over to Disney, and for that – I’ll follow your lead and trust you as much as possible.  They’re doing an okay job (okay, a pretty good job), but they’re not you.  They could never be you.  There’s only one you – the person whom we love for giving so many of us a reason to be better people.

May the Force be with you.  Always.

xoxo,

Kiri

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Five Best Feel Good Moments in Star Wars

Yes, I totally stole this from Insider again but I do love these sections they have where they ask someone to list five … somethings from Star Wars.  I did one two years ago with my favorite five visual moments and one in September with my five favorite aliens.

For this Insider (actually two Insiders ago now), they asked Dan Madsen for his favorite five feel-good moments.  He is Star Wars Insider’s founding editor and now publicist for Her Universe.

Here are what I think are the five best feel good moments in the Star Wars saga, listed with number one as my favorite.

 

5. Leia and Han Work it All Out

Leia and Han have accomplished their mission on Endor and look up into the sky to see the Death Star blow up.  Han expresses his concern for Luke but Leia knows he’s safe.  And Han, ever the gallant gentleman, finally concedes defeat in what he thinks is a love triangle and says he won’t get in the way when Luke returns.

Leia’s confused face then gets transferred to Han as she tells him that Luke is her brother.  Han works it all out, has a big smile and kisses her more sincerely.  Ah, l’amour.  Wicket jumps up like a priest officiating a ceremony and even Han doesn’t seem too annoyed at the Ewok.

It’s a small scene but one that warms my heart.

leia han endor

 

4. Han Solo Comes to the Rescue

Han Solo comes to the rescue quite a few times in Star Wars but the moment at the end of ANH definitely takes the cake.  I still get a fuzzy, happy feeling whenever you see him fly down to hit the TIE fighters with that bolt that sends Vader spinning off into space. you're all clear kid

“You’re all clear, kid.  Now, let’s blow this thing and go home!”

Luke then uses the Force and sends the proton torpedoes straight into the exhaust port.  As the Death Star blows up and the ships race away, it was all because Han Solo decided the Rebellion meant more to him than money.

But there’s something about that line that makes me want to whoop for joy and you feel this surge of hope.  The underdog comes out ahead and there really is nothing more feel-good than that.  (Kind of like when the Patriots won their first Superbowl with Tom Brady and no one thought they would.   Yes, I had to go there.)

 

3. Vader Burns/Ewok Celebration

It’s hard to define Vader’s burning as a “feel good” moment, but for many years it was one for me.  There was a definitive end and peaceful feeling about everything.  Luke knew about his family history, had been faced with the dark side and overcame it, had redeemed his father, and the Emperor was killed.  The burning was symbolic of his past, letting go, and moving forward.

The beautiful transition (with the Force theme) from the funeral pyre to the night sky/fireworks and the Ewoks celebrating gave you this moment of all is right in the world.

As a child, I loved the ending of ROTJ.  It wasn’t until many years later when people complained that it was simplistic and had been wrapped too nicely with a bow on top, that I began to see it differently.

My fear now is that my children will never understand the feel good moments of that ending because they will always know that there is more to the story.  In a way, with Disney taking over, we’ve lost the simplicity of Star Wars that was so clear in ROTJ: it all worked out, everything was okay, and good prevailed.

I cherish the ending though because it reminds me of my childhood when things were more black and white.

 

2. “Chewie, We’re Home.” – TFA Trailer

This instance is too personal for me not to put it in.  I saw this at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim last year.  We had been waiting in line since han chewie TFA6:00am for this panel that included JJ Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and members of the old cast and new.  Everyone was hoping and praying that they would release a new trailer during this panel for TFA and they did not disappoint.

When the lights darkened and our lightsabers lit up the room, the feeling of intense emotion was inescapable.  We all held our breaths, I think, for the entire trailer and that last moment when Han and Chewie board the Falcon and he goes, “Chewie, we’re home,”…there was an explosion throughout that room at the Anaheim Convention Center.

I was swept up in the passion that you can only get when surrounded by thousands of other Star Wars fans who love and adore the series as much as you do.  When Abrams asked if we wanted to see the trailer again, it was met with a deafening, affirmative roar.

The moment in the movie is good, but it will never replace that moment in the teaser trailer and the feel-good memories I take away from it.

 

1. Yoda Lifts the X-Wing from the Swamp

There’s something about this scene that seems to define Star Wars.

Yoda is so diminutive and up until this point, he had trained Luke and had a lot of knowledge of the Force, but did he actually use the Force?

So I can totally understand when Luke gets frustrated and walks away saying, “You want the impossible.”  What he should have said is, “Oh really Yoda?  If you’re that awesome, why don’t you do it yourself?!”  Because that’s how I would be feeling if my only mode of transportation sunk into the grimy lakes of Dagobah, never to be seen again.  Luke then walks away in frustration, which is quite mature.  I might have “by mistake” kicked the little Jedi Master as I walked by.

Then you see Yoda take a deep breath and concentrate, outstretch his arm, Artoo freaks out, and the crescendo music as he lifts Luke’s x-wing out of the swamp is a moment so magical and makes you feel so good.

It sums up the Star Wars experience for me.  You get it in that moment.

The impossible can be possible.

Judge me by my size, do you?

Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.

Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.

 

What was most interesting to me is that none of these moments include the Prequels.  I did try hard to think of one from the Prequels, but they are definitely more somber than the Original Trilogy.  The only thing that kind of came close was Anakin winning the Boonta Eve Podrace.  But…with that, I knew it was going to happen, so the feel good moment lost some of its edge when you can predict the outcome.

 

Can you guys think of any PT moments that could make it on this list?  Or is there anything I forgot on this list out of all seven movies?

 

Star Wars Rebels

With the announcement a few days ago of a new animated series to premiere in fall of 2014, Star Wars fans are once again starting speculations and murmurs about whether or not this will be a good thing.

I refuse to go in angrily as I did when The Clone Wars premiered in 2008.  By declining to watch TCW for the first two years, I denied myself some great Star Wars action that had been sorely missing from my life.  In my defense, I had seen the movie in the theaters beforehand, and was completely unaware of what TCW was going for.  I was so disappointed that I boycotted the series.  However, if I had been a little more cognizant of what the TCW team was aiming to produce, maybe I would have been more understanding.

The new series is titled “Star Wars Rebels” and will take place between Episodes III and IV.  Premiering first on the Disney Channel, it will then move to Disney XD for its permanent home.

Now – as we know – that’s a good 19 years of time span to cover.  That gives Disney a lot of room to play with characters, situations, and major plot developments.  Will they deviate from the main Skywalker storyline right now or will they stick with what we know?

Obviously, the title gives something away as it’s during this time period that the Empire is strengthening its reach across the galaxy, but a small band of resistant leader’s form what is later known as the Rebellion…or perhaps better known as the Rebels of Star Wars?

And who is one of the first founders of the Rebel Alliance?  Bail Organa.  And who was Bail Organa?  Leia’s adoptive father.

Bail Organa

So does that mean we will get to see Leia during her youth?  Disney is not known for its subtlety (I mean, for Pete’s sake, Miley Cyrus only changed her hair color and became pop star Hannah Montana) so my guess is Disney’s line of thought is: Leia was part of the rebellion = Leia is an OT character = more Leia = means more people watching = means more ads = more money.  Ca-ching!  So yes, my theory is that Leia will make an appearance, if not multiple appearances.

Personally, I’m very interested in where they go with this because I have always loved the deleted scenes in ROTS that shows Padmé meeting with Organa and others and starting this small faction of rebels.  Damn, that took a lot of guts on Padmé’s end to do that behind Anakin’s back, which makes me believe she knew deep down that something was unraveling fast within their relationship.  As part of a married couple, there is not much I do that my husband does not know about because any secrets you have breaks down the trust between you both.  But look at what she was part of!  Though she dies soon after the Empire takes over, she has begun a group that lives on well after her death and has a hand in dismantling an entire political system.  I’m hoping Disney takes this and uses it to turn it into a very interesting show, at the rate the TCW started to become before it ended.

Forming of Star Wars Rebellion

One of my fears is that I have yet to see anything on the Disney XD channel that keeps my attention as an adult.  Disney XD was created for more action oriented shows geared towards boys ages 6 to 14.  Kathleen Kennedy says, “I think Star Wars Rebels will capture the look, feel and fun that both kids and their parents love about Star Wars.”  I hope she speaks true, because if they do this right, it will be a strong deviation from what is normally aired.  I’m no expert on this, and have definitely not watched much Disney XD, but I’m crossing my fingers that Disney doesn’t let us down.  They can learn from the TCW to see what worked and what didn’t regarding an animated TV show.  TCW was definitely on a children’s channel, but it handled adult themes and seriousness with a maturity that I found surprising and I think Disney could benefit from having a TV show like that.

All we do know for sure about this latest development is what came directly from Starwars.com: “Star Wars Rebels takes place in a time where the Empire is securing its grip on the galaxy and hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights as a fledgling rebellion against the Empire is taking shape. Details about the show are a closely guarded secret at this point.”  I can’t see hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights really taking that long in the TV show and I hope they don’t drag that out.  It also surprises me that they are talking about hunting down the last Jedi Knights, as that could be really violent.

Lastly, I will also be watching this closely because I’m realizing that everything is pointing to something else, especially now that Disney is controlling everything Star Wars related.  In one episode they could plant a nugget of information that will help in further understanding something in one of the standalone movies or new trilogy.

I recommend watching this video below for a little bit more information.  Not much, but it sounds like they are definitely using some of Ralph McQuarrie’s work as a foundation and it makes me happy to see Dave Filoni back on board.  Like I just mentioned, hopefully he can use what was learned from TCW and guide this show in a way that will benefit everyone.

Here is the starwars.com official announcement: http://starwars.com/news/new-animated-series-star-wars-rebels-coming-fall-2014.html

Announcement from Greg Weisman (worked on Gargoyles!  Anybody remember that show??  That show was awesome): http://bit.ly/13LG8mg

What do you guys think?  Anyone have thoughts on where they hope to see this show go?  Are you even going to watch it?

And So It Is: The Demise of LucasArts

After The Clone Wars and Detours stopped production, rumors have been swirling that LucasArts could be shutting down as well after numerous layoffs.  And it’s happened.

I mean – I’m not a huge gamer.  I dabbled in KOTOR (but I believe that’s BioWare) but couldn’t get past one level, so I gave up.  Same thing happened with Star Wars: Rogue Leader for GameCube.  I tried but the Hoth level really stumped me.  So I’m not wailing in distress over here that LucasArts has shut down.

However, I was pretty pumped about Star Wars 1313 and production on that game looks like it’s cancelled.  They seemed to look into options for licensing it out, but doesn’t seem like it happened.

Man, oh man, though.  Can you imagine working so hard on that game to only have it be discarded?  Perhaps that’s the nature of the beast when working for a gaming company, but wow.  All that hard work for nothing.

But does this mean we’ll eventually see more Star Wars games for PS3 and xbox, just under a different company?  Or will new games tie into the movies like everything else seems to be doing?  Or will we only be seeing a push in mobile gaming?

Anyway, thought I’d give a quick update.  More details can be found here: Kotaku.com

Geek out!

It’s another Geek Out day!  Some updates in the geek world…

Lucasfilm has been experiencing some layoffs.  Most of their animation department has been let go, according to bigshinyrobot.com (and numerous other tweets/links in the sci-fi world).  Unfortunately, this includes a lot positions that were working on Detours and The Clone Wars.  I mean, we should have seen this coming.  People are upset about this, rightfully so, because it means TCW really won’t be returning.   The extra/bonus content they promised is supposedly still on the way, but I wouldn’t expect to see any real episodes returning to the TV.  It’s sad that Detours got the ax before even stepping out the door (I’m a big fan of Seth Green), but it looks like Disney would like to revamp the animation department.  I mean – they do own Pixar after all…just saying.  And Pixar is pretty kick ass so having a new Star Wars TV show completely done by Pixar, well, I would put my faith in that.  Article can be found here.

For those really upset, feeling maligned, and just downright perturbed the realization that TCW has been canceled, a twitter protest is being staged!  Star Wars Underworld is not necessarily asking that TCW continue indefinitely, just that it be allowed to “continue to its planned ending”.   Personally, I thought the ending was great, but we do know there were more storylines in the works so my guess is that they want to see those storylines on TV.  They are rallying fans to the twitter protest and hope that Disney takes notice of #SaveTheCloneWars.  In the wonderful words of Han Solo, “Good luck!  You’re gonna need it.”  It will take a lot to see a big corporation like Disney give into demands.  But who knows?  This could be the next Rebellion vs. Empire in the real world.  The direct link to keep updated on this news would be the straight up www.savetheclonewars.com.  Otherwise, you can find more info on www.starwarsunderworld.com.

Alas, rumor has it that Star Wars: 1313 (the video game that even I was psyched to play!) is now “on hold” and may never see the light of day.  LucasArts did say that the Disney buyout would not affect 1313, but now reports are saying otherwise.  This delay that they’re claiming could be just stalling for time to announce that it will never happen.  BUT THE GAME LOOKS SO GOOD.  Ah, yes, I know.  Honestly – I’m a little surprised that Lucasfilm Animation is going first – I really expected it to be LucasArts.  Only because when the announcement was made in October, I remember them saying that they were going to try to focus the gaming aspects of Lucasfilm into mobile games, where it was sorely lacking.  They claimed that’s the way the world is going, so that’s what needs to happen.  In a way they’re right, but there are gamers out there who love and cherish their xbox and PS3 and I think they’re still a strong force in our geek community.  An interesting article on this development can be found here.

Finally, anyone interested in March Madness?  No?  Well, there’s a Star Wars March Madness going on right now at starwars.com!  I’ve been voting everyday and it’s been fun to see the showdown of good guys vs. bad guys.  Join in the fun!  http://starwars.com/this-is-madness/

Until next time – remember to keep geeking out!