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?

 

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The Highs and the Lows: 2015

I’ve decided this year to split the books I’ve read from this past year and my life recap into two separate posts.  It was getting to be too long with both (other than last years, where I wrote it and then somehow ended up deleting all of my reviews).  This way you don’t have to read the one post a year where I talk about my life if you’re more into books, haha!

This blog had a fabulous year!  I’m sure a lot of it was helped by The Force Awakens, but I’ll take it.  I had a secret goal of doubling my views from last year and though that didn’t happen, it still did very well.  I completed my one major goal of finding 10 things I liked about AOTC and wrote some other posts that I was very proud of: my three essays on costume analysis of Leia, Han, and Luke in the Original Trilogy.  My most viewed post was Environmental Attitude (I think because of the images, not the content lol), followed by my costume analysis on Leia.  The Jedi Code Absolutes did well again this year and took home the bronze.

My most commented post was the recent review on The Force Awakens and the highest day for views was December 18th (duh, release date for TFA).  My top commenters were Mei-Mei and Data Glitch.  Thanks for hanging around!

 

2015 was interesting.  It was more highs than lows, and for that I’m thankful.  2014 was very evenly balanced in terms of the highs were great and the lows were horrible so 2014 was a perfect yin and yang of duality.

The Highs of 2015

  • I went to Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in California. This was definitely one of the best parts of the year.  I bit the bullet, scraped together my money and headed off on an adventure with my reluctant husband.  Despite almost ruining my costume and standing in line for 15+ hours In line for IMAX TFAover 3 days, it was one of my favorite parts of this year.  And now my husband is used to standing in lots of lines for brief Star Wars panels, so there’s that too. 🙂
  • The Force Awakens was released! Finally!  After almost 3 years of waiting, we got the next installment in the Star Wars universe.  Overall, I liked it and was not disappointed.  I love Rey and continue to use her as an example in random parts of my life, mostly with mantras of, “If Rey can do this, I can do it,” even if Rey never had to open a particularly hard jar of olives in the movie.  Now that the foundation and storyline has been set, I’m interested to see where the universe continues to take us with the anthology movies and Sequel Trilogy.
  • I quit my full-time job and went solo with my Virtual Assistant business. It happened faster than I thought.  It’s been an interesting process and definitely is nerve wracking every time I try to renew a client’s contract.  So far, I haven’t lost anyone but I know it’s bound to happen so am waiting for that time.  Right now, I’m still working out kinks, dabbling in subcontracting, and trying to figure out how to grow my business but somehow not take on tons more work in the process (LOL).
  • We got a new dog! After we put Chewie to sleep last year, we waited out the winter (smart move, lemme tell you) and got Yogi at the end of March.  He is much crazier than Chewie and more of a handful but can also be the cutest little thing.  I wanted to continue the Star Wars naming tradition but he was too much of a cute Yogi Bear (though his size lends more to Boo Boo).
  • I’m pregnant! This is especially joyous as it’s take number three.  Many of you who read my blog post last year remember that I miscarried.  I also had an unfortunate, difficult experience with pregnancy this spring so finally getting news that this one is healthy and doing well is a relief (though I’m not near as excited as most first time pregnant people are – that’s been kind of been robbed from me and I’d like to describe myself as cautiously optimistic).  I am 4.5 months along and the baby is due in May.  You know what that means right?  MAY IS STAR WARS MONTH.  There are five auspicious dates when I’m hoping this momentous event will happen:
    • May 4th – duh. That is a little early for me and my doctor is actually hoping that won’t happen, but, you know, it’s Star Wars day.
    • May 16th – AOTC release date
    • May 19th – TPM and ROTS release date
    • May 21st – ESB release date
    • May 25th – ANH and ROTJ release date

I find out the sex of the baby in less than two weeks.  If it’s a boy we will most likely name it Luke because my husband is the best person ever (it’s also not suspiciously Star Wars-y and he thinks it’s a strong name).  If it’s a girl, no idea.  Definitely not a Star Wars name because that’s too obvious and even I don’t want that.    

It's nickname has been "The Little Jedi"

It’s nickname has been “The Little Jedi”

The Lows of 2015

  • My second pregnancy. Unlike the first time in 2014 when I miscarried, this time I carried the baby completely through the first trimester…only to find out in the initial screening that there was something very, very wrong with it.  It was not growing correctly and not moving.  They sent me to specialists at a local hospital, who then sent me into Boston for further testing and genetic counselors.   After a discussion with my husband, and multiple doctors, we decided to get rid of it and have an abortion.  I know everyone’s political views are different and this was a very difficult decision (trust me), especially as we had to rush all of our evaluations since I was beginning to show.

The hard part was the doctors and specialists only had guesses based on ultrasounds, not any conclusive evidence though they promised me that they were 99% sure it was this one issue and it wouldn’t live past 5 years old.  The tests would take almost a month to get back so we had to make a quick decision.

Well guess what?  A few weeks after getting rid of the baby, they called me and told me that what they initially thought was incorrect and they were continuing to test the chromosomes.

My heart dropped and I freaked.  I had been doing okay, but when I realized there was a chance that I got rid of a baby that may have lived – I lost it.

Mercifully, two weeks after that news, they called me again to tell me they found out what it was and it’s something SO rare that only happens in 1 in 50,000 pregnant women.  It’s not genetic (thankfully) and completely random.  They said I would have either miscarried it later down the line or had a stillborn because it’s very rare these types of babies live.

It was a horrible time…the worst was the one month period when we had to make fast decisions, when dreams were shattered, and the first misdiagnosis left me in despair.  Once I got the final test results back, I felt more at peace and was able to move on with my life.  What’s done was done, and I like to believe everything happens for a reason.

This is a very, very short version of the month when it happened.  I wish I could go more in depth of how hard it is to carry and connect with your child only to make the decision to get rid of it, the guilt that follows, the debilitating, cruel jealousy over friends who get and stay pregnant with no problems, and struggling to be upbeat when no one knows what you are going through (only my husband and sister knew while it was happening…since then I’ve opened up to some close friends and my parents, but not while it was happening).

HOWEVER – I do want to say that if anyone ever struggles with pregnancy issues, please connect with me because I’ve been there.

  • The winter of this year. This seems lame compared to my last bullet point, but trust me – it wasn’t.  The winter in Boston was record breaking in many ways…and it also almost broke our backs when we shoveled.  Every week there was a snowstorm, which didn’t allow the previous snow to melt.  I pulled my back for the first time ever and it still gives me problems on and off since then.  It was very depressing and it took until April for the snow to melt.  I hope to never, ever see that kind of snow again.  We had a 7-8’ snow bank at the end of our driveway.
7 foot hill of snow at the end of my driveway. Fun times.

7 foot hill of snow at the end of my driveway. Fun times.

 

As you can see, I had two lows compared to multiple highs.  Though my second pregnancy took a lot out of me physically and emotionally, when I’m here in January looking back on 2015, I realize that I think 2015 was a good year overall.  The beginning of the year was horrible with our winter, but going solo as a business owner was huge for me and a big leap of faith.  Anything and everything Star Wars related were bright points that only shined brighter as the year continued.

2014 was a year of learning about myself, learning what I’m made of.  2015 was a year of learning how to feel, that it’s okay to feel and not resist (“what you resist persists” was one of my favorite sayings this year) and to be more empathetic to those around me.  You never know what other people are going through even if everything seems okay on the outside.

Thank you for bearing with me as I took my normal deviance from Star Wars posts to reflect on this past year.   I’m ready for 2016 (and a baby Jedi!).

SWCA Recap

I think this is the happiest I’ve ever seen you.  I think you’re even happier than on our wedding day.

Yes, that was my husband’s statement to me on the second day of Star Wars Celebration Anaheim.  Oh guys, it was amazing.  Amazing.  It was so much fun.  There were high, high points throughout the whole thing, and only a couple of points that brought me down.  Overall, I wish I was back there and already miss it.

The best:

  • Standing in line for 4 hours to get onto the main stage to see JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy. We saw the
    Line at 6:00am was already so long. We barely made it for seeing the main stage

    Line at 6:00am was already so long. We barely made it for seeing the main stage

    new trailer first (twice!) and saw John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and a real BB-8!  We were exhausted but the thrill of the crowd, seeing the trailer, and being surrounded by Star Wars was the best feeling.

  • The funny inside joke we formed as a collective group. Whenever someone knocked down a barrier while standing in line, everyone would cheer and clap.  It started on Thursday morning before JJ and KK and continued with each long queue where there were metal barriers on the concrete floor.
  • All the cosplay! There were the standard stormtroopers, Jedi, Sith, but some of it was super funny or really well done.
  • The deeper panels they had for fans like me who wanted to know where the costumes came from, how myth plays into the OT and PT, and learning about the music that was taken out of the Empire Strikes Back.
  • The panels with Ian McDiarmid (such a nice gentleman AND he read from The Jedi Doth Return in the Emperor’s voice), Carrie Fisher (complete wack job and I don’t think I learned much about the experience of working on Star Wars from her other than sometimes she was really hungover. But she brought her dog on stage which had its tongue hanging out the whole time and that was funny), and Mark Hamill (so gracious, funny, and told great stories about working on set) were really fun to sit in on and watch, even if we had to sit through mega long lines.
  • Talking with other fans in lines about Star Wars. Unfortunately, some fans were not as talkative as what I remember in Celebration II and I wonder if some of that has to do with everyone being on their phones.  People were on their phones all. The. Time.  However, we did talk to some great people and I loved talking to kids.  There was one 5 year old kid that knew so much about Star Wars that I was completely shocked.
  • The Star Wars Rebels panel was great! I didn’t go see the premiere, but I loved seeing all the voice actors on stage (along with Filoni and Kimberg) and finding out that Hondo AND Captain Rex are back in Rebels!
  • Meeting Darth Amethystos. Yes, I got to meet a fellow WordPress blogger!  I was so happy because I always want to meet people that I chat with on comments but I know some people just want to stay behind their computer screens.  But we spent a bit of time together, we were both not weird or psychopaths (well, she wasn’t, I don’t know what she’d say about me), and got along just fine.  I thought that was one of the best parts of the trip though I think my husband was totally baffled on who she was (and still is) since he never reads this blog.

The worst:

  • The lines. Especially on Saturday.  I didn’t stay for Sunday, but I’m sure it was just as much of a shitshow.  Everyone locally decided to turn up at Celebration and it made the place a mess.  Carrie Fisher’s line on Friday was 1.5 hours and we got an okay seat, Mark Hamill’s line was ridiculous on Saturday and we were in line 2.5 hours early.  And there were still so many people behind us.
  • Someone crashed into me and my pizza was spilled all over my costume. This was, again, on Saturday
    And this is only half of my stain :(

    And this is only half of my stain 😦

    because everything was so cramped and congested that I turned around with a plate of pizza and BAM a young girl crashed into me and the pizza just slid down my tunic, onto my tabard, down my pant leg.  The entire left hand side of the costume that took me 2.5 years and a lot of money to make is now ruined.  I was able to get the grease out with a stain remover but my next step is the dry cleaners.  By the way, I got back in line with my husband and totally cried a little bit.  We had been standing in line for The Force Awakens exhibit (an exhibit featuring many of the costumes from TFA which was a complete surprise at the convention) for three and a half hours, plus I was hungry, so I think the crying is justifiable.  Oh, and the worst of this is that we didn’t even get to see the TFA exhibit!  We found out that the Mark Hamill line was already really long so I gave up and headed to that instead.  Soooooo 3.5 hours of my life wasted.

  • The exhibit hall. I mean, it was good, but it wasn’t organized very well.  It also didn’t have enough of those Star Wars household items I love so much (beach towels, hand towels, plates, etc.).  There were replicas you could take photos at but the lines were SO long that it wasn’t worth it.  I feel like there could have been a much better system for those so you didn’t waste your time in line for a stupid photo…like a scheduled time slot or something?  The spaces between booths were also really cramped, to the point that it was stifling.  The reason why I’m complaining about this is that I’ve gone to NYCC which has MORE attendees than Celebration and I thought the exhibit hall was so better organized and had a better variety of vendors, personally.  Maybe that’s because it’s a comic con, but still, I was a little disappointed.

Okay, so those are my high level feelings on SWCA, but honestly, it was SO much fun and I’d go back in a heartbeat despite standing in lines for hours, and my costume being ruined.

Now what did we learn at Celebration, because isn’t that the most important thing about conferences?  You sit in panels and learn things you’ve never learned before.  You get the latest news on new seasons of TV shows, new movies, etc.

What I learned about TFA:

  • Rey (Daisy Ridley) is a scavenger in a ship graveyard, a loner until she meets a character and begins an adventure. My guess is the character is Finn since the new trailer definitely seemed to point that way.  Therefore, my conclusion is that Rey is not a descendent of any of the Skywalkers even though she looks so much like she could have come from the maternal side!
  • Finn is in a lot of danger and “the way he reacts changes his life”. We always see him looking like he’s nervous/in a hurry in both trailers, plus we’ve only seen him in a stormtroopers outfit except once in this new one, so not that much new information here.
  • Poe Dameron is sent on a mission by a “certain princess” where he meets up with Finn and they continue together. Okay, he didn’t say that, he said “their fates are forever intertwined”, which is a super interesting comment.  Forever intertwined.  And who’s this princess?  Leia?
  • The desert planet from the trailers is NOT Tatooine.   I didn’t think it was, because I thought it was too orange, but then all my Star Wars friends convinced me it was.  Sad to say, I got caught up in that and eventually agreed.  So when JJ Abrams revealed it’s actually the planet Jakku, damn, I was thrilled.  It also reveals a little more about planets and what I had discussed a few weeks ago.  So you CAN have more than one planet with the same ecosystem, which just makes sense.  But then again, perhaps only one section of Jakku is a desert.

Here are the behind the scenes photos they revealed to us (plus some better quality photos of them on stage since i was so far away):

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What I learned about Star Wars:

  • Anakin and Luke really have the same mythical storyline. They both are taken from those they love and their home (Shmi; Beru/Lars), become a hero by the end of the first movie, and train to become a Jedi.  The only difference is that Anakin falls to the dark side when confronted by the Emperor, and Luke chose to remain on the light side.  And that made all the difference (…or did it?  Guess we’ll find out in TFA).
  • Jar Jar was an important piece of the saga. Jar Jar was largely ignored and cast aside as annoying and beneath people’s notice.  In turn, Palpatine noticed that and preyed upon his insecurity by making Jar Jar feel like he was doing something important when Jar Jar gave emergency powers to Palpatine.
  • If we look at both the OT and PT, we should be able to predict some situations in the upcoming trilogy…namely, a character will undergo an arc of leaving home, having an adventure, and trying to decide right from wrong. What the panel expert believed is that someone should die in TFA, and his prediction was Han Solo.  The only reason I might agree is that I don’t think Harrison Ford is interested in doing any more Star Wars after TFA.
  • ESB had about 20 more minutes of music that was cut out by George Lucas. Examples that I’m glad were cut: Luke’s training on Dagobah and his fight with Darth Vader.  The training on Dagobah sounded like a silly, light hearted mixture that gave the impression the training was not serious.  By taking it out, we get the more realistic impression of hard work and intense learning.  The music while Luke was fighting Vader was very heroic and pro-Luke.  It didn’t make sense with the end of the fight, where Luke is defeated.
  • Both Captain Rex and Hondo are back for Season Two of Rebels, along with Ahsoka. Also, Dave Filoni has such a soft spot for when a child < 8 years asks a question that he almost always answers, even if it’s just to whisper it into the child’s ear and tell her not to tell anyone.

And of course…much, much more!  I have come back refreshed with new ideas on what to go into on my blog and topics to write about that I had never thought about before.  I think I’m still on the whole post-Celebration cloud 9 and it’s been a little over a week.

Rumor has it they will start doing them every other year and go between Orlando and Anaheim.  I hope so!  I can’t wait for the next one and do hope I’ll get to go again.

Enjoy my slideshow 🙂

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I. DID. IT.

I did it.  I pulled the trigger.

star wars celebration

My husband and I are going to the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim!!!  Now, will my husband enjoy it?  Meh, probably not.  BUT I’M GOING!  AHHHHHHHHHHHH.  I’m beside myself.  If you know me, you know I refuse to buy any tickets for a Con until I’m adequately satisfied with the supposed turnout of guests and panels.  So this was tough for me, but I just had to do it.

Now that I’ve actually just bit the bullet and purchased the tix, I’m squealing like a pig.  They better have a) TFA folks there, and b) some OT folks (it would be awesome if the original 3 showed up but definitely not holding my breath on Ford) and c) show some footage from TFA.

Gosh.  I’m going to Anaheim.  Any one else want to go and meet up with me???