Haiku Me Friday! Gamorreans & Being a Girl Star Wars Fan

Gamorrean guard
Standing large at the palace
Their skills are lacking

I’ve mentioned this in a past post, and it’s interesting to me to see how people react to it.

When I was in high school and college, and met a fellow Star Wars fan, I would get excited to talk about Star Wars with them. When I told others I was a big Star Wars fan as well, they’d kind of smile and nod (these were mostly boys) but almost in a patronizing way. It got to be so common that I realized many of the fellow fans I was approaching conversation with did not think I was as obsessed as I am. I interpreted their reactions to think that since I was a girl, I probably didn’t LOVE Star Wars.

My frustration was often two-fold. First, I could tell that 90% of the people didn’t think I was a “real” fan, and second, inwardly, I realized that I may be an even “bigger” fan than they were. This was all based on a lot of assumptions and immaturity.

So, I used to have a theory where I tested people to weed out how much they knew about Star Wars. My one question was, “What species were the pig-like guards in Jabba’s Palace?”

If they could answer correctly, I would invest in a longer conversation with them. If they did not answer correctly, I would say, “Oh, close,” or, “Nah, it’s Gamorrean, but no biggy”, but inwardly realize it wasn’t worth my time. It’s a bit embarrassing to look back on it, but since I was being patronized, I had a need for revenge where I wanted to turn the tables on them and whoop their butt. I think my feelings were only natural, but my trivia question was completely unnecessary. I probably could have found a way to talk to ANY Star Wars fan, whether it was someone who only watches the movies occasionally or someone who devours the books and videogames. It was a little narrow-minded of me to base someone’s depth of love of Star Wars on how much they knew about species within the universe.

I dropped this question and attitude when Disney bought Lucasfilm. It’s become so much easier to talk to people about Star Wars. There were speculations to discuss, plot lines to think about, and so much more. Also, I think it helps that I’ve grown up a bit and I’m not as defensive when people ask me if I like Star Wars. I’m much more aware of how much I DON’T know, whereas before I thought I knew everything (the arrogance of youth or the need to prove a girl could be a big Star Wars fan – you choose).


If you’re a male – how did you react when you were younger, and a girl told you they were a Star Wars fan? Did you believe them? Were you open-minded or think there was no way they could be as big a fan as you?


The Last Jedi Soundtrack

I made the mistake of writing that I was disappointed with TFA’s soundtrack before I gave it a proper chance. I said there was nothing mind-blowing about it and the tracks fell short.

Yet, within 3 months, I had Rey’s Theme on repeat and loved The Jedi Steps and Finale. I couldn’t stop listening to them. When Spotify sent me my top played tracks of 2016 – Rey’s Theme was the first track. I grew to love March of the Resistance (it should be played every time you’re prepping for something big, trust me) and Kylo Ren’s theme (okay, I know he doesn’t have a theme, but you know what I’m talking about). As a whole, the soundtrack is lower on the list than others, but I think some of the core music is quite solid and enjoyable.

This time around, I made sure to wait to write a review on the The Last Jedi’s soundtrack because I didn’t want to make the same mistake. I had to listen to the soundtrack back-to-front and give it a fair chance.

I’m not in love with it. There are some good tracks, and some good themes, but in general, it falls a little short of other Star Wars soundtracks. For instance – when I come away from a Star Wars movie, I want to feel like I need to run and listen to that music…whatever that music is. It speaks to me, calls me, and fills me with emotion. With TPM, it was Duel of the Fates. With ANH, it is the Force theme. With AOTC, it’s Across the Stars. With TFA, it’s Rey’s Theme and The Jedi Steps. With ROTS, it’s Battle of the Heroes. With ESB, it’s the Imperial March. You get the point.

The closest track that comes close to capturing that in TLJ is Fun with Finn and Rose. The more I listen to it, the more it evokes feelings of comfort, family, and joy. I’m surprised that I associate it with family, because I believe it was meant to be playful and slightly romantic. But when I listen to it, I want to hold everyone in a giant hug and feel the security of what we are building for the future. It makes me feel safe and full of joy for those I love.

Unfortunately, Williams does not expand on this theme as much as I would like him to. It reminds me of Han Solo and the Princess – while there was a distinct theme for them, the music was often pushed together with other moments in the movie and other music (as in The Rebellion is Reborn with TLJ). I would have liked a fleshed-out theme for Finn and Rose because their music is one of the lighter pieces we feel through a soundtrack that is actually quite dark in its tones. I have the same disappointment with The Jedi Steps in TFA as I felt like it was over too quickly, but the saving grace was that The Jedi Steps as a piece also includes the finale, so we got another snippet of the Star Wars main theme, Rey’s Theme, March of the Resistance, and Kylo Ren’s/First Order theme.

Though Finn and Rose is my favorite, the one track that stands out the most on the TLJ soundtrack is The Spark. It’s a wonderful piece written by John Williams that encompasses the entire movie in one track. It starts out in a foreboding, anticipatory manner, that then shifts to Luke and Leia from Return of the Jedi. I get goosebumps when it makes that transition…it makes me nostalgic, sad, and resigned at the same time. Then it moves into Han and Leia for a brief moment, transitioning right after into it’s own piece. The past is over and let’s move into a new era. And then, and then, oh my gosh, the build up…you don’t need to have seen the movie to know that something big is coming. This is THE moment when the hero takes center stage. It’s that moment when you put your hand over your mouth and you don’t know what the eff is going to happen. AND THEN IT JUST STOPS. Which is kind of amazing but also so dissatisfying at the same time. All you want is a resolution and to find out what happens. But there is none, and in this case, I kind of like that about this composition. It’s the past moving forward into the future. But what does the future hold? No one knows. Always in motion is the future.

The last track that needs some recognition is the Canto Bight music. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the Canto Bight music. It took me a while to come around to it because I associated it so much with the scene in the movie that I thought was unnecessary, so it left a sour taste in my mouth for a while. Once I moved past that and only listened to the music, I found I enjoyed it a lot. The music changes its tones quickly and keeps you entertained throughout. It starts out with elements of Caribbean steel drums combined with brass music that has Southern American influences. The middle of the piece moves and flares up with some 1920s jazz throwback (strongly reminds me of the Jeeves and Wooster theme) that makes you think the parties and booze are in abundance on Canto Bight and it continues this to the end. For a “cantina” scene music, I find it very different and fresh for the Star Wars world. I still don’t understand why we need a cantina scene in every new Star Wars movie, but that’s a discussion for another time.


My verdict on this soundtrack is that though I enjoyed the way Williams embroidered past themes into TLJ, I thought there wasn’t enough new and fresh music. The focus was on the past – Leia’s theme played a dominant role, which is interesting because we had never heard her theme again after ANH, something I griped about earlier. I feel sure this is because of Fisher’s death and everyone wanted to pay a tribute to her legacy. Yet, for a movie that seemed so intent on telling us to let the past die, to kill it if we have to – it seemed determine to stay in the past with its music.


Now that we’ve had a few months to assimilate to The Last Jedi soundtrack, what have been your thoughts on it?

Haiku Me Friday! My favorite species

Ryloth, the harsh world
Some forced into lives of slaves
But they emerge strong

If you are new to my blog…and by new, I mean, you’ve only been following for about 2 years or less (lol), you’ll know my favorite species are the Twi’leks (pronounced Twee-leck).

I loved Twi’leks from the moment I first saw Oola on the screen. There was something about her that was strangely riveting. For being on screen for such a small amount of time, she made a huge mark. She was a slave who was forced to dance for a crime lord against her will, fought to get free (but honestly, she should have thought that through better), and died while trying to make her life better. Her life must have been pretty horrible to all of a sudden crack like that.

Since then, I’ve kept a close eye on the female Twi’leks. I don’t think any made an impression quite like Oola, but I would still perk up when a Twi’lek crossed the background of a screen. Their species was just so fascinating to me.

Watching the evolution of female Twi’leks throughout the history of Star Wars has been an interesting ride for the past 20 years of my life.

Oola was the first one we ever saw, and she was dressed in barely anything. This trend seemed to continue in the Special Editions, where we see Lyn Me, and then further into the Prequels with the Gella twins. All of these Twi’leks were slaves, which is one of the reasons we could explain away their lack of clothing. But as we progress into the Prequels, we see more Twi’leks in positions other than slaves, such as the Twi’leks on Coruscant or even a Jedi fan favorite, Aayla Secura. But, strangely, they still dress in revealing clothing, which had me wondering for a while if perhaps being dressed in little clothing was also something related to their culture.

For episodes I-VI, it seems like Twi’leks were equated with sexual and, in a way, we kind of normalized it as a fanbase. I’m not sure how I feel about that. As an older woman, it feels wrong. Looking back at my younger self, it was something that was presented to me and I accepted it. Not good or bad, it just was. Female Twi’leks were dressed provocatively, which is why I think for a long time, I believed it to be part of their culture.

It changed once The Clone Wars came out. We got to see more female Twi’leks in different roles than just slaves, as actual inhabitants of Ryloth with beliefs and reasons for living. We get to see children, notably Numa, who is dressed…normally.

Finally, with Star Wars Rebels, we are introduced to Hera Syndulla, one of my favorite characters outside of the movies. I appreciated Hera from the moment she was on screen in Star Wars Rebels. I love that Hera a) doesn’t have the Force, b) is a badass pilot without the Force, c) leads an entire team of rebels, first as a small ragtag group and later with the official Rebellion, d) is completely dressed from head-to-toe, and e) is a Twi’lek! I was so happy when I saw this drastic change in the way female Twi’leks are portrayed. I’ve often wondered if the reason she is so heavily dressed is because Disney was trying to make a new statement about female Twi’leks.

It was almost as if how we think about the female Twi’lek species matches the way we physically view them on the screen. When we first saw them, they were slaves to Jabba with very little cover-up and not much personality; then all the way through to an independent species that make their own mark on the Star Wars world. As we get further and further away from the George Lucas canon works (I-VI), I wonder if we’ll ever see the sexy female Twi’leks again? Are they gone forever? Or, if we see them again, will there be a heavy backstory relating to their slavery as opposed to only seeing them in the background?

Finally, I can’t end this post without saying that there is a much better haiku on Imperial Talker’s page that is dedicated entirely to the Twi’lek home world of Ryloth. Read it if you love Twi’leks! And lastly, this is a great little compilation of Twi’lek pictures that I stumbled upon.

The Master and the Apprentice – Obi-Wan Kenobi

After I watched The Last Jedi, I started thinking about the Master/Apprentice relationships of the Jedi throughout all the Star Wars films, I realized that they all are very different. I thought about the Jedi that we had seen in the films who we knew as apprentices and gradually grew into Masters themselves. The most prominent of these, and the ones that we got an in depth look at, are Obi-Wan and Luke. We see both in the Saga movies as Apprentices, and then Masters.

(Please note that while I would love to discuss Anakin/Ahsoka and Kanan/Ezra, I primarily try to stick to the movies in my blog to keep it as inclusive as possible – however, if someone else wants to discuss those, I’d love to hear your thoughts!)


I’ve divided the Apprentices and Masters into four labels:


Obi-Wan Kenobi – The Golden Child

             As a master – The Cautious

Anakin Skywalker – The Restless

Luke Skywalker – The Hopeful

               As a master – The Jaded

Rey – The Seeker


We only see Obi-Wan’s apprenticeship in one film, but it seems clear that he’s the “good kid”. You can see that the way he acted as an apprentice ended up steering the life he lived as a Jedi Master. Obi-Wan as an apprentice was rational and curious, but also followed directives. His Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, seemed to be the one who was more uncontrolled by nature. Obi-Wan is not an outside-of-the-box thinker when faced with the larger picture. He could think on his feet in the moment, in a battle, but he was not able to deviate from what he was presented when it came to larger life choices. We see this reflected mostly in Anakin, and in some ways, Luke.

As an Apprentice, Obi-Wan lives a very different life than what we see in the Original Trilogy. In TPM, Obi-Wan’s world as he knows it is intact. The Republic has flourished, the Jedi Council and members are strong and intact, and the Sith are mere whispers.

But over 15 years, everything he knows crumbles. He takes on Anakin as his apprentice and seems to grow even more cautious than he was an apprentice. He has a good relationship with him but in some ways, he stifles Anakin and too much of that relates back to his inability to think outside of the box.

Anakin pushes the boundaries and as a reaction, Obi-Wan tries to rein him in even more. I labeled Anakin as The Restless because even in TPM, we never see Anakin satisfied. When he’s young, he wants to be the greatest Jedi, free the slaves, and leave Tatooine to visit all the planets. In AOTC, we see Anakin fall in love, dissatisfied with Jedi Council’s forbiddance on attachment. Though I can’t stand the movie, one of the scenes that shows his true restless emotions is when he and Padmé are seated by the fire and acknowledging they’re falling for each other but refuse to do so at the same time. He is fidgeting, sweating, and held back by the rules of the Jedi – a real manifestation of the torture within him. In ROTS, we see his need for power grow. He knows he should not want more but he does. Instead of being satisfied with his life and who he is, this restless energy is becoming stronger and more potent within him. It’s a perfect breeding ground for Palpatine to come in and envelope him in the dark side of the Force.

When Anakin, who was The Chosen One, falls to the dark side and becomes a Sith who helps wipe out the entire Jedi Order, Obi-Wan’s life as he knows it drastically changes. If he was cautious as a Master to Anakin, you can imagine him being even more cautious with Luke.

We see Obi-Wan at his most guarded when he outright lies to Luke about who his father is. We could argue all day about WHY he did it, but the fact remains that he lied (from a certain point of view) and that was the cautionary side of him. He didn’t want to tell Luke at that moment because the timing was not right. Luke had no knowledge of the Force or of his Jedi ancestry. Perhaps Obi-Wan thought it would be better to wait until he became more invested in the ways of the Force.

Interestingly, the one time I believe Obi-Wan threw caution to the wind was when he gave himself up to the Force while fighting Darth Vader in ANH. He knew he could be of more help as a Force ghost than alive, but I do not think he deliberately planned out that situation.

Yet in ESB, he returns as a cautious Jedi Master. In Empire, he pleaded for Luke not to go to Cloud City. He wanted him to stay and finish his training. Ironically, the last pupil he had, Anakin Skywalker, also chafed at the leash of the Jedi training and Obi-Wan’s approach turned him to the dark side (there’s a lot more to Anakin’s fall; this is just one aspect of it). While Anakin restlessly remained a Jedi, Luke decided to disobey outright and go and help his friends, understanding full well the consequences of his actions.

In ROTJ, he seems to have a sense of despair layered onto his cautious side. He believes Vader cannot be turned back to the light side and the Emperor has won because Luke refuses to kill his father. He cautions him not to reveal that he has a sister, which in all fairness, seems to be the right choice. Yet, for all of Obi-Wan’s cautionary measures, nothing goes as planned and perhaps finding out that he not only one child, but two children with Padmé is his undoing.


I understand why people love Obi-Wan. He is an exemplary Jedi Knight who follows the Jedi Code and stays true to his roots. But his cautionary outlook is almost too inhibiting for those he takes under his wing and does some damage. As an apprentice, he closely followed the rules and continued to do so as an adult Jedi Master. Though he was less restrained as he grew older, he still did not bend the rules as much as he probably could have. It had different consequences in both apprentices – one who turned to the dark side and one who rid the galaxy of the dark side – both outcomes of not following the cautionary guidelines set forth by Obi-Wan.

Machete Theory: Review

I did it. I watched 7 Star Wars movies over 7 weekends. You may be thinking, “Really? That’s a feat?”

Yes. Why yes, it is.

I have a 19-month-old toddler. I run my own business and I’m up early in the morning working and late at night working. We bought a new house that we have been working on. It is the Christmas season.

Dammit, yes, 7 movies in 7 weekends is a lot!

If you remember, I decided to prep for The Last Jedi by watching every Star Wars saga movie in the Machete Theory order.

To recap, I watched them in this order: IV, V, I, II, III, VI, VII. This is not the original Machete Order, but my version because I love TPM and TFA is a new addition.

I also tried to pretend I was watching these movies for the first time and being introduced to Star Wars as a rookie. (This is important as many people suggest showing your children the movies in this order or to people who have not seen the movies.)

My verdict? I was not impressed. In fact, I’m not sure I liked this viewing sequence. I’m happy I did it, to finally get it out of the way because I’ve been obsessed with it for a while, but I won’t do it again.

There are few reasons here. (Excuse my lists lately on blog posts; they help me organize my thoughts cohesively)

  1. It doesn’t make sense.
  2. The flow is horrible.
  3. You can’t get strongly connected to the characters.


Before going more into detail on the above points, I do want to point out one tremendous pro to the Machete Order: You get more invested in Anakin as a character.

This is, after all, the point of the Machete viewing. You follow Anakin’s story much closer than you do if you split the trilogies up. I find the character fascinating but I’ve never had the connection I feel for, say, Luke or Rey. Yet over these past few weeks, I’ve understood more about Anakin than I ever have when I watched the movies as single one-offs.

For that reason alone, I do say every fan should try watching the movies in this specific order at least once in their life.

Now onto why I wouldn’t watch it in this order again.


It Doesn’t Make Sense

This was the biggest surprise for me. If you are watching the order in Machete style for the first time, you do not know who Anakin Skywalker is.

Think about it:

  1. ANH – Kenobi mentions a pupil named Darth Vader betrayed and murdered Luke’s father.
  2. ESB – It is revealed Vader is Luke’s father. We don’t know his first name. (***Please note, I am referring to the ORIGINAL THEATRICAL version of ESB. The scene when Vader speaks to the Emperor via hologram is later edited in the DVD versions to include Anakin’s name)
  3. TPM – Anakin’s full name is not mentioned until…get this…the podracing scene where they refer to him as a “late entry” to the race. He introduces himself as Anakin quickly to Padme in the angel scene and his name is mentioned when Padme says goodbye. It’s not until the podracing scene that they say his full name is Anakin Skywalker. There are a lot more mentions of his last name during the podracing scene, which helps, but right now, I would believe we were following Obi-Wan’s life, not Anakin’s.
  4. AOTC – Suppose I skip TPM and follow the original Machete order. We still run into the problem that Anakin’s last name is not mentioned in relation to him! It’s worse than TPM as the only time we run into his last name is when he is looking for his mother.
  5. ROTS – By this point, it evens out and we understand that Anakin’s last name is Skywalker.

As you can see, this is a big problem. If you are watching Star Wars for the first time, it is essential that you understand that Anakin is Luke’s father. The Leia surprise can wait, but it’s vital to the viewing of the Saga to understand who Anakin is. By watching the Machete Order, it would take a long time to understand that Anakin was the father to Luke. Like I mentioned, while watching it this way, I believed I was seeing the story of Obi-Wan’s life, not Anakin.

The Flow

There is a reason the audience should watch them I-III or IV-VI, and then VII separately. The most obvious reason are the special effects. The special effects make such a big difference on how we view the movies and I often forget that since I’m so entrenched in the mythology and story of Star Wars.

The Original Trilogy has more of a slow, plot-driven feel to it. Even though the special effects are good, it’s an older movie now and I find myself trying to follow along with figuring out who the Empire is versus the Rebellion. The redeeming part is that the basic plot is easy to understand and the characters are very relatable.

After watching ANH and Empire, I jumped into TPM, AOTC and ROTS. It was very jarring and slightly absurd. With ANH and ESB, I felt like the plot was relatively easy to follow. When I went into TPM – I couldn’t understand a thing. It was much faster; the effects they used made the movie seem like BANG! KAPOW! ZOOM! It made the saga seem disjointed and there are so many new characters. Most of the characters we focus on from the OT are Luke, Leia, Han, Vader, Kenobi, the droids, and Yoda. In The PT we have bounty hunters, the Jedi Council, multiple senators, Jar Jar, and a new species in each movie.

The flow when watching in this order didn’t fit well together. Lucas created these pieces of art in two different times in his life and wanted them to represent two different times of the galaxy. When watching it as a newcomer, it is irritating and it was hard to get into the PT after coming from the OT.


Connecting to Characters

This relates to my above point about the flow. One of the greatest parts about Star Wars are the characters. It’s very hard to get a lasting connection to the characters when they are chopped up from their trilogies. There is a lot of character development in the OT, and by taking ROTJ out of its place following IV and V, you get disconnected from some of the greatest feelings you may have when watching the OT whole. By ESB, you are really rooting for the characters. When you turn heel, and move to the PT, you must rework your feelings and do a 180 to understand a completely new set of people.

As with the different flow, the variety of environments and new faces make it hard to really feel for anyone except Yoda and Obi-Wan in the PT. I would also argue that it’s harder to connect to characters in the PT than in the OT. I believe, again, this is because the OT feels a lot more plot and character driven than the PT, which relies more on events to drive the movies.


As for TFA, I did not feel strongly one way or another about it, as it followed in the correct sequential order. The one note I did have, however, was I believe it is more different from ANH than I sometimes think. Broadly, yes, it pulled from ANH often. But minutely, not so much. There are enough differences to make it feel like the start of a new trilogy, but still within the same universe.


All that aside, if you watch the Machete Order as a seasoned fan, I think it can be enjoyable. I gained new experiences and felt deeply for Anakin in a different way than I had before.

If anything, if you choose not to explore watching the movies this way, I do recommend at some point watching ROTS followed by ROTJ. It was refreshing to watch Anakin’s fall and then his redemption within those two movies.


And now ladies and gents…onto The Last Jedi.