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!

 

Haiku Me Friday! The shield doors must be closed

Dread fills my inside
But I have no choice; door shuts
Was the right thing done?

When I went to Celebration/SWCA in 2015, there was a very interesting panel done on the music of the Empire Strikes Back.  They took all the music John Williams had written that was left on the cutting room floor per Lucas’ decision and played the original music where Williams intended them to go.  Some of it was silly – there was music with Luka and Yoda’s training that made you think it was a fun jaunt as opposed to serious preparation for facing a Sith Lord.

A lot of the music that was cut out of the final movie involved scenes at Hoth.  I remember vividly this scene: when the shield doors have to be shut for the night and Leia makes the hard, but right, decision to close the doors despite her two best friends being out in the freezing temperatures.  By closing the doors, she was signing a death sentence (and that’s not an easy thing to live with).

The music Williams had composed for this scene was full of trepidation, it was robust and deadly.  The music fit quite well and I think if it was in the movie, I would never have thought twice about it.

Yet George Lucas decided to leave it on the cutting floor.  This immediately turns the scene into an awkward, this-doesn’t-sit-well-with-me, uncomfortable feeling.  When there was music, the scene turned into a subconscious distraction for your feelings.  It’s almost like a glass of wine to handle the pain better.

But when the music is removed your feelings are left bare and you connect with Princess Leia in a raw, emotional way.  You feel what she feels: the indecision, the doubt, the regret, the fear – all happening as the loud shield doors pull to a close.  When they finally shut and you hear Chewie’s despairing howl, you get goosebumps.

Without the music, this scene turns authentic and harsh.  You are in the moment with Leia, Chewie, Artoo and Threepio.  Threepio’s assessment of the situation rings in your ears while they doors shut.

The odds of survival for Han and Luke are 775 to 1…and that is not very reassuring at all.

 

In case you were wondering what the scene sounds like with the original Williams music, I found it on YouTube.  Enjoy.

 

 

Haiku Me Friday! Hanging upside down

I’m disoriented
The blood rushes to my head
But I feel the Force

This scene in ESB is often overlooked.  It’s a scene that seems like it could have been left on the cutting floor EXCEPT for the fact that we see Luke use the Force in a way we’ve never seen before.  As someone who has grown up with the OT, I’ve gotten used to this scene but I believe it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Before now, we have not really seen what the Force can do.  We’ve seen Obi-Wan mind trick some Stormtroopers, fight Darth Vader with a lightsaber, and speak inside Luke’s head.  Luke blows up the Death Star but it’s still a little hazy on whether or not that was the Force.  As an audience member, we are to believe that he blew up the Death Star with two perfectly timed proton torpedoes using some supernatural element but still…ehh…maybe it was luck?

Then we see Luke pull his lightsaber to him like a magnet.  This is a huge jump from what happened in ANH, even more so because Luke is actually physically doing it and there can be no doubt.  Also, he does this while hanging upside down for goodness knows how long.

After this scene where it is determined that yes, Luke does have the Force, and yes, he’s getting stronger in using the Force – we see him speak to Ben on Hoth through a Force vision and then he heads to Dagobah where he trains in using the Force with Yoda.

This scene serves as a moving piece on the Saga game board.  Though small, it helps cement the audience’s belief in the Force.

 

Happy St. Patricks’ Day everyone!  Hope you find your pot o’ gold.  🙂

I leave you with this picture of my husband and I at the Guinness Brewery in October:

 

How Star Wars Made Me Who I Am Today

On the surface, Star Wars is a story about good versus evil.  It can seem simplistic to anyone who does not delve into the lair of the Sarlacc to find out as much as possible about the saga.

But it’s so much more than that as any fan can attest to.  It’s changed our lives to a varying degree or has been a guiding point for some of us throughout our life.

I was faced with a tough situation recently that brought the wisdom of Star Wars to the forefront of my mind.  I began to think about the way Star Wars has helped me throughout my years since I began to be obsessed with it.

 

Ages 8-10

This was when I first started getting into Star Wars.  Only the OT was available at that point and I used Star Wars to understand the classic good versus evil.  I was more simplistic back then and when I thought about “life” as a whole, it was black and white.

luke yoda training

What helped me the most was the part in ESB where Luke asks Yoda:

“Is the dark side stronger?”

“No… no… no.  Quicker, easier, more seductive.”

“But how am I to know the good side from the bad?”

“You will know.  When you are calm, at peace.”

So simple, but just what I needed at that point in my life.  Luke asks the point blank question on if the dark side is stronger and Yoda doesn’t give a wishy-washy answer.  The answer was no.

 

Pre-Teens (10-12)

I began to get restless at this age.  I understood there was more out there but I couldn’t quite grasp it yet.  I got antsy and frustrated.  Middle school was crueler, harder.  TPM came out when I was 11 and that’s when I began again to look at not just good versus evil, but being a better person as well.

qui gon and obi wanIt was the Jedi who guided me at this point.  Being introduced to the Jedi Council and hearing Qui-Gon Jinn’s advice to Obi-Wan encouraged me to pretend that I was also a Jedi Apprentice.

I also watched Luke’s journey more closely, understanding that he took a hard journey to become the Jedi that we knew him to be at the end of ROTJ.  It’s not always easy to do right, but it’s what you should do.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but during this time I kept a “Jedi Journal”.  Each day I would write down ways where I failed to live up the Jedi standard and how to improve.  Looking back, it sounds a little extreme, but it did help me become a lot more aware of my actions.

 

Angsty Teens (13-18)

I think this was one of the hardest parts of my life as the bullying began in middle school and I tried to find my place in high school.  I was different, nerdy, strange, and openly known as being obsessed with Star Wars.  Getting up and going to school was so difficult in the beginning, but gradually it became easier as people realized I didn’t care what they thought.  My friends were my friends because they liked me, not what I wore or what I loved.  That’s not to say I didn’t struggle – but I think this time period taught me to find myself and remain firm.

I had my first boyfriend whom I went out with for 2.5 years in high school and I remember he struggled with going out with *me*.  He was more padme leiapopular than I was, fit in more, and many people couldn’t understand why he would want to be with me.  (Yes, I know, looking back, I’m not sure why I stayed with him that long but hindsight is 20/20.)  In turn, that made me feel more out of place because I wasn’t necessarily accepted by his friends and my friends also felt uncomfortable around him.  It was a strange, isolating experience.

I gravitated towards the women of Star Wars during this time period: Padmé and Leia.  I liked how Amidala was in TPM, strong and just didn’t give a hoot what others thought about her decisions.  I loved Leia’s spunk and how she was a princess, Han a smuggler, and yet they still ended up together.  Each woman knew they were smart and didn’t care what people thought of them.

 

College (18-23)

For the first time in my life, I don’t think I stayed true to myself during my freshman year of college.  I had a roommate who loved to party and I thought that was what I was supposed to do too.  I went out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights…even when all I wanted to do was stay in and watch a movie.  I dabbled with different men and learned how to look “hot”.  She was cruel, judgmental, and selfish, yet I thought that somehow translated to confident when it was anything but.  By hanging out with her so much, I also became similar to her than I like to admit.

star wars saga

I remember being home in between freshman and sophomore year for summer and feeling so much more relaxed.  I realized I hadn’t watched Star Wars once during that freshman year.  I had given up on my Hyperspace/starwars.com blog and had let my love for Star Wars fade.  I began watching the movies again and also realized how far I had strayed from whom I was.  Me…who had always prided myself in staying true to my roots.   Yes, people knew I loved Star Wars, it’s not like I hid it, but I had forgotten why I loved it.  That’s the most essential puzzle piece to being the level of fan that I am.

I went back into sophomore year with an effort to be more of who I was.  I had the same roommate (really bad call) and it hit the fan pretty fast, but I’m proud that I stuck to my gut feeling that I wasn’t the person I wanted to be when I was with her.  Our “friendship” fell apart and our time together was an icy standoff for the remaining 5 months of sophomore year.

As I separated myself from her and her lifestyle, the rest of my college ride went pretty smoothly.  I did not party as much, I studied more and had a few boyfriends.  The nicest of those men was a scoundrel who is now my husband.

 

The Dawn of Marriage (23-28)

Being married has come with way more difficulties than people ever tell you.  Or perhaps they try to tell you but you believe your love is the strongest ever and it’s not hard at all.  Marriage is hard work and it’s hard work every single day.  Some days are not so hard, but other days are the hardest thing in the world.  Yet, it’s rewarding and gratifying at the same time if you give it patience and watch it grow like a young plant.

anakin and padmeI’ve realized in the past 5 years that good and evil are not so clear cut as I may have thought when I was growing up.  Being an exemplary Jedi is not as easy as I thought either.  Sometimes we struggle or don’t do what we know we should do.

Rewatching the saga during my marriage has made me realize more than a few things, but it’s been Anakin’s turn to the dark side that has always stayed with me.

Anakin goes to the dark side to save Padmé.  I might not have seen the significance of this when ROTS first came out, but I get it more now.  Anakin is not really doing what is wrong in his eyes because to him — it’s an act of selflessness.  He will do anything to save the woman he loves and is there anything wrong with that?  Yes, obviously we know there is, but it makes me feel for him.  I realize that sometimes our choices seem right to us and they make sense, but you’re caught up in a mess of mynocks before you can change your mind.  At that point, you just roll with it and it gets harder and harder to get out.

Which is why it’s good to have a support system and be truthful with your spouse.  Whenever Padmé and Anakin began to get into a conversation where honesty could have changed their future, it flat lined and they avoided digging deeper.  The secrets they hid from each other, never mind keeping their relationship a secret from the outside world, put a large strain on their marriage.  I see that and am reminded of how fragile a marriage, or any relationship, is unless you are both honest and keep communication flowing.

 

Present Day (28-?)

Recently, I’ve seen some of my friends go through hard times in their own marriage, with discussions of divorce and counseling circulating.  They ask for advice, but really, who am I to give it?  It’s not my relationship and the problems they have are not ones I have so it’s hard for me to relate.  The one line I keep coming back to is when Luke wants to change Han’s mind in ANH but Leia says,

He’s got to follow his own path. No one can choose it for him.

I can only be here for my friends, I can’t fight a war for them and I most certainly cannot give advice.  Nor do I want to.  They have to follow their own path and make their own decisions, no one else can do that.

There are also a few things already at work within me since TFA was released.  I find myself emulating Rey in the most random of circumstances.  As I work on moving things out of the guest bedroom to make way for a new family member, I find myself doing a lot more than I used to.  I’ve been trying to figure out power tools, installing shelves myself, and I even did half of the diaper changing table before my husband woke up!  It’s this small voice in the back that says, “I bet Rey would have been able to do this herself.”

rey at home on jakku

I’m entering a new stage of my life right now.  I can feel my little Jedi kicking within me and wonder how Star Wars will continue to shape my life.  How can I show her to be self-sufficient like Rey?  To be smart like Padmé?  To not care what other people think?  To work for justice and peace in our galaxy?  To know good versus evil?

How will I pull from Star Wars to continue to change my life and possibly hers, even if it’s indirectly?

 

Costumes and Characters Part III: Luke Skywalker

Two fun things before I begin this essay:

  1. I’m writing this from a greyhound bus on my way to NYC. And damn, I’ve knocked out quite a few blog posts while on this four hour trip.  It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have distractions (i.e. the Internet lol) and have plenty of time.  Plus, I feel like I look like some cool writer with my laptop out and typing away.  Though, most of the people around are sleeping or reading and not paying any attention to me.  Shhhh, I feel cool.
  2. I hit my 3 year blogging anniversary on WordPress! As Threepio says, “I never knew I had it in me.”  Thanks to all you awesome blogger friends out there!  In the past 3 years I’ve had guest posts, gotten to email with some people personally off this blog, get to know about their lives/more about them, and met up with one blogger friend in person…Darth Amethystos!  Who also mailed me some fun Star Wars Hallmark goodies recently.

Now onwards and upwards to the last section of my three part series on costumes and how they reflect the three main heroes in Star Wars.


Luke Skywalker evolves the most as a character within the Original Trilogy.  I’ve explored Han and Leia’s transformation in my earlier blog posts, and while I think Leia does go through some major changes, it’s nothing in comparison to Luke.  The narrative plot of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, focus solely on the journey of a naïve farm boy to a mature Jedi who helps overthrow the Empire.

I think Lucas made very deliberate choices with his costumes with 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.  I know nothing about costume fabrics so that area will remain untouched.

In A New Hope, Luke wears one costume primarily throughout the entire movie, other than the x-wing  uniform, which I will not go into.  We see him first as a farmboy on Tatooine where he wears a white tunic, cream/white colored pants, and the same color boots with straps.  He has a dark brown utility belt and in one scene, also wears a brown poncho when he and Obi-Wan sell his landspeeder and board the Millennium Falcon.  In the Throne Room ceremony scene, he is wearing black boots, brown pants, black shirt, overlaid by a gold jacket.

In the Empire Strikes Back, he starts off in Hoth with a mostly white snow suit and brown vest.  His boots are grey with white straps and he wears a hat that has a scarf attached to it so he can protect his face from the cold elements.  After healing from the Wampa attack, he is briefly in hospital garb that consists of a tunic on top, before changing into the Rogue Squadron uniform to fight the AT-AT’s in a snowspeeder.  When he heads to Dagobah, he is wearing a muted grey uniform (some people claim it’s cream or off-white, but I’ve always seen it grey or “muted”) that he stays in for almost the entire movie, until the last scene where he is in a comfortable off-white/tan hospital outfit that consists of baggy pants and a loose tunic.

The grey outfit is what we are most likely to think of when we associate Luke with the Empire Strikes Back.  The shirt is a sleeveless grey tank (the only one we see in the Star Wars Saga! Correct me if this is wrong, but I don’t remember seeing any other ones) and Luke often wears a jacket over it.  The jacket has multiple pockets and is made out of a coarser, heavier material and looks like it is meant to stand a lot of wear and tear.  His pants are slightly baggy, but the same color as his jacket, with darker boots. He also has a dark brown utility belt.

In Return of the Jedi, Luke stays in a same colored costume from beginning to end.  He has an all-black outfit: black shirt, black pants and black boots.  In the beginning, he has a standard Jedi Robe over his outfit, but loses it early on and also has two tabards over his long sleeve black shirt, very reminiscent to the original Jedi Order.  The tabards are lost when he meets up again with the Rebellion and he stays in that simple, black outfit for the entire movie (other than the camouflage tunic on Endor).  You’ll notice that his shirt is buttoned up very nicely until after his battle with Vader, where the top of his shirt comes undone from his shoulder, having it fall open in a triangular shape of a light grey color.  It stands out drastically compared to the rest of the outfit and it always bothered me when I was younger.  I wanted to attach it back to his shoulder.

With A New Hope, Luke is an innocent, young farmboy.  The greatest of his concerns are leaving the moisture farm to join his friends.  He’s the kid whose family doesn’t have enough to send him to college, and he has to stay behind, work, and watch all his friends go off and have adventures without him.  It definitely makes him a little petulant and whiny, as we see with his Tosche Station complaint to Uncle Owen.

As his story takes him off Tatooine, he learns more and progresses more, but still maintains the innocence of the beginning of the movie.  It stands in stark contrast to Han Solo’s bravado and worldly wisdom.  Luke is the eager beaver, wanting to impress and not stand out as the one who has no experience.  We’ve all been in that situation where we want to fit in and not show how little we know about what’s going on.  That’s the point where Luke is in this part of the trilogy.  He wants to fit in, to help in any way he can, and show that he can keep up with the big boys of the Rebellion.  The entirely white costume makes sense within the context of A New Hope as Luke shows his naiveté and innocence as a character.  When Luke gets awarded at the end of A New Hope with some medals, he has now been accepted into the Rebellion, and the shiny gold jacket represents the hero who saved the day.  It represents hope and a future for the Rebellion that is pinned on this one farm boy.

By the time we reach the Empire Strikes Back, Luke has gained some of that knowledge that he so wanted in A New Hope. But the knowledge comes at a price: Luke’s mentor, Obi-Wan, died by Darth Vader, Luke’s best friend was killed in the run against the Death Star, the Rebellion thought they had won a decisive victory and instead are forced into hiding on the remote, frigid world of Hoth.  Every day is lived in fear of the Empire finding them.

Luke’s knowledge and instincts in the Force begin to grow.  Since Obi-Wan helped him tap into that strength, a long luke esbsleeping power begins to grow within him.  With that power, life is not simple.  Yoda teaches him about the dark side versus the light side of the Force, and how Luke can live the way of a Jedi.  Toward the end of the movie, Luke has to make a choice between staying and continuing to learn under Yoda or go and rescue his friends.  Yoda tells him sternly not to leave his training when they’ve barely begun, but Luke leaves anyway.  During the failed rescue attempt, which is actually a trap for him, he learns the worst point of all: the feared Sith Lord and villain Darth Vader is his father.

That is a lot for one character to go through during an entire movie.  There’s no question that while Luke is still good, still a hero, he is now struggling with bigger and harder choices.  His main outfit, all in grey, helps emphasize the point that our main character is stuck between good and evil.  By the end of the movie, you think and hope that Luke continues on the path he is currently on, one with the light side of the Force.  Especially as the movie ends with him in a lighter costume with Leia.

When we move into Return of the Jedi, the progression of color seems a little baffling, especially knowing the ending of the film.  We know Luke redeems his father and stays on the light side of the Force, so why is he in black for the entire film?  And when the portion falls open, is it a deliberate choice by Lucas?

Black is almost always associated with evil.  Sure, you can change it around if you want, but in most mythical storylines, the character in black clearly equates to the villain.  So it is with Star Wars as well: Darth Vader and the Emperor are both always in black.  But so is Luke in Return of the Jedi.

Why?

We find out in the middle of the movie that Luke has come to accept he is Darth Vader’s son.  When he asks Yoda if Darth Vader is his father, it’s clear he already knows the answer deep down even as Yoda confirms it.  When Luke enters this Luke_Skywalkernew chapter of his life, he must be wondering what his fate is.  Will he be able to withstand the power of the dark side or will he succumb as his father did?

I studied criminology in college and there was one fact that stood out to me so clearly and I still remember to this day.  If a man had a checkered past, either with doing/selling drugs, going to jail, etc., but is now on the clean, law-abiding path, he should not tell his children – but more specifically his son(s) – that he had a questionable past.  Studies show that psychologically, young boys will start internalizing this fact and believe they are ultimately headed for the same lifestyle.  Instead of having the effect of a cautionary tale as was hoped, it backfired and the children, especially sons, were more likely to get into trouble knowing their fathers once had as well.  Of course, this is not true of all children, but was the case for the majority of those studied over a long term.

Luke, I believe, had already internalized the fact that Darth Vader was his father by the time he went off to rescue Han Solo on Tatooine.  He was already internalizing it at the end of the Empire Strikes Back when he kept asking, “Ben, why didn’t you tell me?”  If Luke has accepted that Darth Vader is his father, the black outfit follows the path that Luke believes he could potentially be headed on.  It makes the audience question whether or not he had enough training from Yoda to remain a Jedi, or inevitably become a Sith, like Anakin.  Maybe he thought it was part of his destiny, as Darth Vader had proclaimed.

This is where I think the part of the shirt falling open at the end of the movie is key to his character.  The shirt falling open still annoys me to this day, but now I look at it as a deliberate choice from Lucas.  By having the top part of the shirt fall open, it not only breaks up the black within the costume and gives us some light, but from an audience’s viewpoint, it’s on the left of Luke’s body.  Our hearts are on the left side of our chest and viewing Luke from an opposite side, it shows Luke’s heart being open.  When he refuses to give in to the dark side of the force, he is tortured and the shirt falls open, revealing that the dark side did not overtake him.  It was interrupted by the light side of the Force.   It makes Luke open to change, open to choice, and open to the light side of the Force.

At the end of the movie, Luke decides to focus not on the fact that Darth Vader is a Sith, but that he has come to accept that he was once Anakin Skywalker, his father.  By realizing that the Anakin Skywalker who fathered him was a Jedi at that point, it helps Luke remember that he has a choice.  His heart opens to the light side of the Force and at the climax of the movie, he tells the Emperor, “I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”  He accepts both the dark side and the light side of the Force as part of him and makes a choice on which to follow.


I hope you all enjoyed my three part series on the costumes of Leia, Han, and Luke as it reflects their journeys as characters.  I’m most interested to see where this leads us going forward with The Force Awakens, especially with Luke.  As a Jedi, there’s a lot more at stake if Luke turns to the dark side and with Darth Vader as his father, it’s entirely possible.

What are your thoughts on our three heroes and their costumes? Have I made a right judgement in my analyses?  Luke was the hardest to figure out, which is why I saved him for last. Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on Luke?