#MyFirstPostRevisited

Lately, I’ve been less likely to do these WordPress tagging games but this one struck my interest. Thanks Mei-Mei!

Only because…I HIT MY 5 YEAR BLOGGERVERSARY A FEW WEEKS AGO! (Is it blogoversary or bloggerversary or blogversary? Anyone know?) And I kept meaning to make a post about honoring that exciting day but never did.

So here we go.

 My First Blog Post: July 24, 2012

Honestly, we don’t need another Star Wars blog, and I understand that.  But I’m dissatisfied with the Star Wars blogs out there and I want a place to write real thoughts, ideas, and viewpoints of how my life is connected to Star Wars.  Also, I did have another Star Wars blog, but it got shut down on starwars.com (shakes fist), so I’m starting fresh and new on WordPress.

First of all, there will be many times when I can be quite cynical about the movies and the fan base.  I thought I should put that out there as a disclaimer because some of these posts may not be all roses and “I LOVE STAR WARS ALL THE TIME.”  I do love Star Wars, I really do.  I’ve loved Star Wars for going on 15 years now and sometimes, when you love something so much, you can’t help but poke fun at it or be slightly cynical.  Because at the end of the day (and I hope no fans hate on me for this)…it’s a movie.  It’s a brilliant, wonderful, amazing movie…but it’s a movie.  It’s fiction and I love that it can take me to another world, expand my imagination, and have me still fall in love with the saga time and time again…but it’s still a movie.

That being said – a little bit about me and my love of Star Wars:

I have been working on an Old Republic Jedi Knight costume because I hope to join the Rebel Legion.  If you don’t know what that is other than in the movie sense – look it up.  However, I’ve been saying that for about 6 years now, so we’ll see where that takes me.  It’s really hard, especially as I am definitely not good at sewing (in fact, I hate it with a passion).

I’m not your stereotypical geek, but I do have a love for sci-fi and fantasy that draws me to conventions and cosplay (if I had loads of money).

I used to have another Star Wars blog on starwars.com, but they discontinued their services.  Alas.  Well, I paid for it, and if you know me, I am notoriously cheap so after two years I stopped using it.  There are so many free blogging sites out there, so why pay for what you can have for free?  Sigh, story of my life.

Along with Star Wars, I love Lord of the Rings, Battlestar Galactica, Hunger Games, and Harry Potter (notice how I did not mention Twilight?  That’s because Twilight is a poor excuse for fantasy and a copout), so if I ever get any followers and people are also interested in those topics – shoot me a note and I’ll devote a post to it every once in a while.

A lot of these posts are just going to be honest thoughts and not too many pictures or one liners.  I want to create something that is slightly interesting to the above average Star Wars fan, but not too high level that I lose anyone who only likes Star Wars for, well, Star Wars.

Ok, the introduction on me is over.  I hate introductions, but it’s done and now you can get to know me through future posts.  Have you noticed I also like using parentheses?

I wasn’t sure what kind of pic to put, so you end up with  me writing this post in my home office au naturale (aka no makeup)

How Has My Blog Changed Since Then?

I do use pictures. Sometimes I even use gifs! The horror!

But in seriousness, I’m curious as to why I thought I wouldn’t use pictures. The only thing I can think of is that I wanted my posts to be in the style of essays.

I think I have done that in some posts, but I think one of the main factors that prohibited me from doing them ALL the time is that,

  1. The posts take a lot of time, and
  2. Not everyone is interested in reading all of it

That was a hurdle I kept hitting. Sometimes I would devote so much time to a deeper post, only to have no one interact with it. Then I would spend 30 minutes writing up a shorter post on something I had a thought on – and it would explode! It was frustrating.

So what I do now is write down possible blog topics in my phone and pick and choose based on how I’m feeling.

Another way my blog has changed is definitely in consistency. I used to blog twice a week for a few years. Then in 2015, I quit my full-time job and went solo with my business and it took a lot of energy out of me. In 2016, I had my daughter which took out whatever other energy I had left.

It’s been a blow to the views for sure but I continue to blog because as long as I get some interaction every once and a while – it’s still fun. It’s a creative outlet for me and a way to talk about Star Wars as I’m surrounded by non-Star Wars lovers. Hopefully that will change as I raise my daughter in the Force, though!

I’ve never written about any of the my other fan loves, though…not much on LotR (unless it relates to Star Wars), not much on BSG (unless it was in reference to a con), and definitely haven’t written about the Hunger Games or Harry Potter (barring when I went to Universal). Oh, but funny I had to blast Twilight in my first post.

The Rules for the #MyFirstPostRevisited Blog Hop

  1. No cheating. You must highlight your first post. Not your second post, not one you love… the first post only.
  2. Link back to the person who tagged you (thank them if you feel like it or, if not, curse them with a plague of ladybugs).
  3. Cut and paste your old post into a new post or reblog your own bad self. (Either way is fine, but NO editing.)
  4. Put the hashtag #MyFirstPostRevisited in your title.
  5. Tag five (5) other bloggers to take up this challenge.
  6. Notify your tags in the comment section of their blog (don’t just hope they notice a pingback somewhere in their spam).
  7. Include “the rules” in your post.

 

So, I’m horrible, but I never actually tag people in these things because it annoys most people.

That said, I’m really curious to see L. Palmer’s first post, so she is the only one I’m tagging – just because. She’s been around WP long enough, I’ve even communicated with her a bit via email and she always has something wonderful to contribute (when she’s not working her butt off, which she currently is doing). (And I “know” her well enough that she won’t do this anyway so not holding my breath. I’ll probably have to go search through the endless bowels of her blog to find the first post…but I’ll never know how her blog has changed waaaah!)

 

HAPPY FRIDAY ALL.

A Thorn in My Side

This blog/article made me angry: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/09/16/when-kids-strike-back-against-star-wars/

Besides the obvious fact that it was not written cohesively (I expected a piece on Star Wars with valid points, but instead I prequel trilogyfeel like I got a trip down memory lane), it also shows a lack of encouragement on having a child form her own opinion.

Her daughter most likely does not want to see the Prequels based on what her mother (and others) are saying.  But her mother probably explained the backstory of Anakin, his relationship to Obi-Wan, his secret wife, Padmé, how he turned to the dark side, etc. etc.  And guess where all that information came from?  Ohhhh yeahhhhh, those films that so many fans try to ignore: The Prequels.  Otherwise, we’d all still be questioning and guessing on the back story of our favorite movies.

I don’t think the Prequels were bad.  At all.  However, if you think they were horrible, then that’s your free choice.

When I was younger, my family always encouraged me to make decisions for myself by looking at all the different angles when it came to novels, movies, music, food.  If I didn’t like something because everyone else didn’t like something, I was always quickly shut up when my mother or sister always asked, “Did you read/eat/see it?”  And I would sheepishly reply that actually, no, I hadn’t done that.  In which they would promptly dismiss what I said because it had no validity.

Here’s a sampling of books/movies/music I swore to hate because “everyone else” hated them, and then was encouraged to read them by my family and make my own opinion:

  1. Pride and Prejudice
  2. Harry Potter
  3. The Clone Wars
  4. Country music
  5. The Hobbit
  6. Any and all documentaries (some of them are quite good, I’ve come to learn)
  7. Brussels Sprouts

Here’s a sampling of books/movies/music I thought I’d like because “everyone else” did, but found that I actually hated them:

  1. The Twilight Series
  2. Rap music (for the most part)
  3. Anne Rice novels
  4. Coffee (okay, not really in the same category but I cannot get the appeal)
  5. The Mists of Avalon

Do you see my point?  Even just a little?  “My daughter says she doesn’t even know who Jar Jar Binks is, but she doesn’t want to watch him on screen.”  If your daughter doesn’t know who Jar Jar is, then why does she have a problem watching him?

I’m not perfect by any means, but what I’m trying to say is that we should be encouraged to form opinions after we’ve actually experienced something ourselves.  I can’t imagine all the happiness I would have lost in my life had I never read Pride & Prejudice with the sole purpose to prove to my mom and sister how horrible it was.  What a good book!

Suppose my argument is not good enough.  Okay, fine.  The daughter does not want to watch the Prequels and she made her own opinion that they were horrible.  By herself.  Without seeing them.  Fine.

What makes me further ticked off with this article is that the author did not use this as an exploratory lesson for her child on star wars prequelsstorytelling and the different aspects of it.  She did not bring up that the Prequels are part of the history of Star Wars and you can’t just ignore them. They may not seem to have a huge relevance to Star Wars right now with the upcoming movie, but I know they will be referenced in future films (did you see the photo of Rogue One? Doesn’t that look like podracer parts in the background?).  Or how about the reason George Lucas focused on releasing the Original Trilogy first is because he knew that it was a stronger story than Anakin’s backstory.  Or how about the fact that the Prequels broke new ground with their CGI?  Or that the Prequels are actually a very interesting, tragic love story between someone who is forbidden to be in love and a story about best friends who end up almost killing each other.  Or that the PT show one man’s journey from boy to man and from light to dark – and that after watching them, it highlights the flavors of the Original Trilogy so much more.

I do not have kids, so maybe I’m making too hasty of a judgement.  But I am a Star Wars fan and I think this Prequel bashing has got to stop.  It’s one thing if you were brought up on the OT and were seriously disappointed by the PT.  It’s another when you, as a Star Wars fan, transfer that disgruntlement to your children.

I hated The Clone Wars when it first came out on TV.  But I eventually watched it to and I ended up loving it.  #AhsokaLives

Who can say that won’t happen to this 13 year old girl?

Idolizing the Original Trilogy

I’m getting a little nervous.  It seems like as we move closer and closer to December 18th and this new world of Star Wars (aka post-Disney takeover), the more I realize how much of an emphasis we are placing on the Original Trilogy.

Of course I’m a fan of the OT, but it seems like ever since Disney took over the franchise, they want to bury the Prequel Trilogy six feet underground.

star wars canon timelineIt started with Star Wars Rebels that takes place 5 years before the Original Trilogy.  This is leading us up to The Force Awakens, set around 30 years after the Original Trilogy.

We then have news of the first in the Anthology series, Rogue One, which will take place before A New Hope (no one seems to be quite certain on how soon before) and it involves stealing the Death Star Plans…which is basically what all of ANH revolves around.

Most Star Wars comics and books that are part of the new unified canon since Disney has come onboard take place after ROTS.  The only novel prior to ROTS is Dark Disciple, released next month that follows the unfinished story of Asajj Ventress.

I understand where Disney is coming from.  They want to play it safe and they want to start with a bang.  George Lucas, unfortunately, ruined the beloved Star Wars universe for many die hard fans when he brought the Prequel Trilogy into the world.  It was so different from the OT that it was almost a whole new breed of sci-fi movies, almost unrelated to the Star Wars universe they knew and loved.

But what Disney is currently staying away from, and what I hope they realize eventually, is that the PT also brought Star Wars to a whole new generation of fans, myself included.  I had seen the OT before, but I didn’t fall in love with Star Wars until I saw The Phantom Menace – many fans least favorite film of the Saga.

Let me phrase it this way:

The Original Trilogy is a universe I could see myself living in.  The Prequel Trilogy is a universe that I hope to someday live in.

The PT was clean, had interesting costumes, the ships were sleek, shiny, and new, and we got to see a government that star wars nubian prequel shiphad functioned for thousands of years crumble to the ground.  It was a universe of the future, even if it was the past in the complete Star Wars saga.

My main concern is that I don’t want Disney to forget that the Prequels are part of Star Wars too.  I know I’ve said this multiple times, but when you love something, you love the whole thing – good and bad.  I admit the Prequels are definitely not as strong as the Originals, nor are they as good as a whole.  That doesn’t mean that I think we should lock them in a broom cupboard and hope no one knows they exist à la Harry Potter style.  If anything, we should embrace those movies and if Disney really wanted to, perhaps they could work on repairing some of the damage that was done to the reputation of the PT and make it almost as beloved as the OT through Anthology movies and Expanded Universe releases.

I believe strongly that the PT universe has a lot of potential to breed very, very interesting stories, while still appealing to the Prequel haters.  The Jedi could produce an interesting action movie; we saw examples in The Clone Wars.  Any bounty hunter during this time would be interesting to watch from AOTC all the way to the fall of the Republic.  I’m guessing bounty hunters probably flourished more when the Republic was dismantled so seeing that transition could be fascinating.  There’s a lot you could do with that time period and I hope that Disney realizes this and explores the Prequel era with Anthology movies.

If there’s one thing I know, if you stretch an elastic too tight, eventually it will snap back.  The extreme focus on the OT time period will hopefully ultimately lead to an extreme snap back and willingness to re-open the Prequels.

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.

“Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.”

I received two Liebster awards this week.  TWO!  That’s crazy.  The first one I received was in December 2013 and I thought that would be the end of that.   Nope, two more wonderful people have nominated me again: Glitch and Mei-Mei.  Glitch is a new follower of mine so I really appreciate the shout out from him.  Mei-Mei has been a following my blog for a long time, and I hers, so I appreciate the longstanding relationship I have with another blogger that I’ve never met.  So thank you to both of you!

oscar acceptance gif

Really, I think these awards are more about the relationships you develop with other bloggers across the community.  Which is why I chose that quote by Jesse Owens to headline this post…there would be no award without friends and followers, so really, I’m appreciative that this little ol’ blog has that many friends.

And now I’ll answer the questions posed and we can all move on to Star Wars.

Glitch first:

  1. What is your favorite color? A very faint, light purple.
  2. Favorite food? Spaghetti. There are two ways that I love to have it: Spaghetti carbonara and spaghetti and a garlic oil sauce with crushed red pepper flakes and prosciutto.
  3. Favorite movie? Is that even a question? If I had to be more specific, it would be ESB.  See this post for my rankings.
  4. Favorite book/series? I used to love Katherine by Anya Seton. It is slowly dwindling as my favorite novel because I’ve changed as a person.  Now I think it would be the LOTR, Harry Potter series, and the Liveship Traders series.
  5. Favorite subject in school? I loved Earth Science in college and English in high school.
  6. Favorite music? Country music! Seriously, that’s not a joke.  My current favorite song is Drunk on a Plane by Dierks Bentley.  However, overall, right now I’m totally digging my Enya station on Pandora because it’s great for yoga and plays cool movie themes like lotr and Gladiator.
  7. Star Wars or Star Trek? No comment.
  8. Science Fiction or Reality TV? Oh goodness. If we are just talking TV, probably reality TV.  I love zoning out to Chopped.
  9. Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit? (Movies) LOTR! You do not want to get me started on the Hobbit movies.
  10. Xbox, PlayStation, or PC? Eh. I don’t really play video games.  I was hella good at Mario Kart though, but gamecube and Wii are not an option here.  I’ll say Xbox because I love Dance Central.
  11. Do you like Jar Jar Binks? Hmmmm. No.  That said – I don’t hate him as others do!  But I don’t like him either.

 

Mei-Mei’s questions:

Why did you decide to blog in the first place?

I started my Star Wars blog on the starwars.com hyperspace about 8 years ago.  I took a break for a while in college because I couldn’t keep up.  I started it again, but then it was shut down because starwars.com discontinued hyperspace.  I took another break but then realized that I needed an outlet for my obsession, so wandered onto WordPress.  That was two years ago and I haven’t looked back.

Name three of your pastimes or hobbies.

  1. Yoga
  2. Attending sci-fi conventions and Ren Faires (though I’ve been to 0 this year because starting my own business has been exhausting)
  3. Reading.  Like Mei-Mei said, does that count?  It’s something I’ve done my whole life and love, so I’m going to include it.

If you could interview anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?

George Lucas.  Because he created Star Wars.

Do you have any pets? If not, what would you consider getting?

Dog – Chewie. Sweetest thing ever.

Bird – Peanut. Meanest thing ever.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Pass.

What is your favorite comic book and why? (If you don’t read comics, just name a favorite book).

I used to be really into comic books from about the ages 12-18.  I loved the Black Widow comics because Natasha could kick ass and had red hair.

What is your favorite Youtube channel?

Jenna Marbles and Lindsey Stirling.

If you could cosplay as any character, who would it be and why?

And elf from lotr.  As much as I’m not into Tauriel, I love those elf costumes.  They would just take too much effort to make.

What is your favorite topic to write about?

Star Wars.  I’ve lately been forcing myself to write about business on my VA blog, but it’s not half as fun.  It’s starting to get a little more interesting but it doesn’t flow.

What’s your favorite fandom?

Star Wars.

 

Finally, here are some other blogs that I nominate for a Liebster Award.  Do not feel pressured to accept and/or participate, I just want to spread the love for smaller blogs:

 

  1. The Jedi Librarian
  2. The Straw Feminist
  3. 12 Months of Lent
  4. Geek for His Glory
  5. The Nullspace

 

Your questions:

  1. Favorite TV show as a kid?
  2. Favorite local sports team?
  3. Your theme song is:
  4. Beer, wine or liquor?
  5. The movie version of my life would be titled:
  6. If I could have one superpower, it would be:
  7. It’s a Saturday morning at 10am. If I’m not sleeping, I’m:
  8. Something I said I’d never do, but did anyway was:
  9. If they could bottle my personality, the label would read:
  10. One thing people are surprised to find out about me is:
  11. If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go to:

MTFBWY!