My Love For Star Wars in a Party

When I was 11, I received my first copy of Star Wars Insider from Lucasfilm after writing a letter to George Lucas (I did not get reply from him, alas).  Within the issue, they had a section where they printed letters from fans and readers.  One letter started out as:

Dear Insider,

I have been a Star Wars fan for over 20 years…

That sentence has stuck with me throughout my life.  Why?  Because family and friends thought I was going through a “fad” or “stage” in life with my Star Wars obsession.  And there is nothing that irks me more, even at that young age, than people thinking I’ll grow out of something or won’t like something as much in a while.  I saw that sentence and thought, “I want to be a Star Wars fan for over 20 years as well.”

I haven’t reached 20 years, but I’m currently at 18 years.  Actually, technically I’m over 20 years if you count when I first saw Star Wars, but I only count the age when I became obsessed as the starting point in my Star Wars journey.

Throughout this journey I have:

Yup, that Star Wars party happened this past weekend.  Why?  Because what better time to celebrate my true love than around Valentine’s Day?

I know “first annual” is an oxymoron of sorts, but I wanted to make it clear that this is something that will be continual on a yearly basis.  Due to some bad weather the day before, we only had seven people show up (12 RSVP’d as a yes) but I was more than happy with that!  This was blue_milkthe greatest party I could ever throw, in my opinion.

And, oh the discussions!  It was so wonderful to sit with friends, drink some wine and blue milk (yes, I had some blue milk and Yoda soda), watch a Star Wars movie, and discuss Star Wars for four hours.  Heaven.

What movie did we watch?  Ah, the suspense!  No one knew until they showed up and there was a prize for those who guessed correctly.  Surprisingly, there were a lot of ROTS guesses, which I thought was very strange.

But the movie I chose was The Force Awakens for two reasons: 1) In honor of my daughter, whom I hope will grow to be like Rey, and 2) It was the one movie I had not seen and discussed with a lot of my friends.

To reiterate: the discussions!  I have missed talking about Star Wars and guessing what will be coming next with good friends.  Here were my favorite discussions that happened during the party…please chime in with any thoughts you might have as well.

1. The Force Vision/Knights of Ren

When Rey touches Luke’s lightsaber on Takodona, there a bunch of scenes that go by very quickly.  One of them involves what looks like a knights-of-renmassacre by the Knights of Ren, with Kylo leading them with a lightsaber in the rain.  We don’t know where this is or what happened.  Rey sees someone coming towards her who looks like they are about to kill her, but instead gets killed by Kylo Ren.  When Kylo Ren starts stepping towards her, she gets scared and backs up, where the scene immediately shifts to a young Rey being left behind on Jakku with Unkar Plutt dragging her away.

My friend brought up this theory: what if Kylo Ren had, in fact, saved a young Rey (though we are seeing her as an adult) from another Knight of Ren?  That Knight of Ren could have been going to kill Rey as part of the massacre, but Kylo Ren steps in to save her.  He then takes her to Jakku where she is left behind, which would explain why it seems like Kylo Ren knows her.  Why would he save her? That’s the question.  Guilt?  Is he related to her?  If so – why wouldn’t Han recognize her?

When I previously thought about this scene, I thought Rey was seeing some insight into what happened when Kylo Ren turned to the dark side and those were all of Luke’s Jedi pupils.  I never thought about her actually being there, but the more I think about it, the more I like this theory and it seems to make sense.

2.The Force Vision/Artoo Shut Down

This is my theory and I have brought it up before, but it did become a discussion point again at the party.  In the Force vision, we see Luke put a hand on Artoo.  Artoo is clearly “awake” here and not in hibernation.  Is Luke shutting Artoo down and somehow using the Force to make sure the next time he awakes, it will be because of Rey?

This theory is a little far-fetched, but I keep coming back to it, because WHY are they showing Artoo in this vision?  It could be because Abrams wanted to keep Luke as hidden as possible until the end of the movie, but I also don’t think there were any throwaways in this movie.  They could have not had this scene if he wanted Luke to remain hidden.  Why show Artoo?

I believe Artoo was getting some kind of direction here and it is interesting that he is “awakened” just when Rey shows up on D’Qar.

Here’s a video of the Force vision for your reference:

3. Your favorite 15-20 minutes in Star Wars

This was a question someone asked at the end of the party.  What is your favorite 15-20 minutes out of all the Star Wars movies?

I thought that would be hard and there were scenes that flit across my brain very fast as I tried to think of something.  I thought of Amidala speaking to the senate (“I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die…”), I remembered Luke staring out at the binary sunset, I thought about Vader revealing he is Luke’s father, I thought about Rey rescuing BB-8, I remember Order 66, I remember Leia and Han’s exchange before he went into carbonite (“I love you!”  “I know.”), but then one part of the saga stood out to me the most.

My favorite scene in the Star Wars saga would be the end of Return of the Jedi.  Luke is trying to control his emotions but Vader gets to him when he realizes that Luke has a sister and says he will turn her to the dark side.  Luke loses it and goes after Vader with such hatred and bests him in their final lightsaber match.  He cuts of his hand in anger – only to hear the Emperor’s sinister laugh behind him.  The Emperor is sure of his victory; sure that Luke will take Vader’s place.  And then….Luke turns away from the dark side.  Seeing his own hand cut off, he turns to the Emperor and tells him:

You failed your highness.  I am a Jedi, like my father before me.

It makes me want to woop with joy every time I see that scene.  Talk about good triumphing over all!  Talk about doing the right thing even when you know it means death!  Aggggh that scene – everything about it: the lightsabers, the ominous music, the Emperor’s moment of triumph – only to have Luke come out on top and throw away his lightsaber.

The best.  That is, in my eyes, the best scene from the entire saga.

 

My party was wonderful and I had a great time.  It’s the perfect thing for me to look forward to since I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day.  This is a way to celebrate my true love in a way that honors it.

I can’t wait until next year’s party.

SWCE Rogue One Update

Here’s my Star Wars round up for today: Ezra cuts his hair in the new season of Rebels and I watched SWCE Rogue One panel live for an hour and didn’t get to see the new trailer.  Sigh.

But we did see this kind of cool behind the scenes look and you know what?  I’m really looking forward to it!  I know when the first trailer came out, I had some weird reservations that it seemed too much like an Iraq or Vietnam war movie (and I still think that) but it definitely looks cool.

The most interesting parts of the reel for me:

  • Seeing an RA-7 droid! Talk about a blast from the past.
  • Director Krennic’s cape.
  • Yavin 4!!
  • Jyn in normal clothing. Not even a low cut shirt.  Thanks for not making her a Charlie’s Angel.
  • Infiltrating the Empire. We all saw Jyn in that TIE uniform in the first trailer but if you slow down the clip, you can see Cassian in an Imperial uniform throwing a stormtrooper against a wall.

There were some interesting facts from the panel.  It wasn’t all a complete waste.  For instance:

  1. James Earl Jones is confirmed to come back as the voice of Vader (excuse me if everyone already knows this – I have been SO out of it due to having a baby.)
  2. K-2SO is the name of the new droid in this movie. From what Alan said during the panel, this droid may be the comic relief.  Once an Imperial droid, he’s now been reprogrammed by Cassian so he’s “not quite all there”.
  3. Along with K-2SO, I’m wondering if Baze is also some of the comic relief. It seems like since Chirrut is the more serious warrior-monk-but-not-quite-Jedi, Baze is the foil.  He described himself as a non-believer in the Force and a “doer” whereas Chirrut is the “thinker”.  Was there some reference somewhere that they might be a little like the two guys in The Hidden Fortress whom Lucas based Artoo and Threepio off of?  I feel like I read that somewhere…Is Chirrut part of the Church of the Force like Lor San Tekka?
  4. Bodhi was a pilot who worked for the Empire. The city he is from is occupied by the Empire and makes him question his job.  We all know he joins the Rebellion but I’m not sure what the tipping point is or if we’ll find out.
  5. Jyn’s father, Galen Erso, invented something “so beautiful, so fantastic, it might change the universe.” We know from previous articles that whatever he created or knows, it’s sought by the Empire and the Rebellion.  I’m sure that will create an interesting relationship between Jyn and her father and we all know how much Star Wars loves relationships between children and fathers.
  6. Jedha and Scarrif are the new locations/planets. Jedha is the planet that looks like Iraq and people make Force-based pilgrimages.  Scarrif is where you want to go on holiday.  LFL really likes introducing planets that start with J recently.
  7. Felicity Jones said the most interesting part of her character is that while Luke and Rey don’t know their background and are searching for it – Jyn knows her story and family, but is trying to find a cause.
  8. Not sure we learned much more about Saw Gerrera. I should probably watch those TCW episodes again.  I remember that I found him annoying and slightly crazy.

 

***SPOILER ALERT***

I think the guy who plays Baze also mistakenly revealed that Chirrut dies.  I’m pretty sure I understood that correctly and the way Gwendoline got awkward and tried to change the subject was funny.

***END SPOILER***

The new poster art revealed today at SWCE for Rogue One

The new poster art revealed today at SWCE for Rogue One

There’s a Force Awakens special tonight on abc at 8pm where most people think the second trailer will also be aired.  I’ve DVR’d it anyway so hoping that it’s true and I get to see the new trailer.

Strangely, this feels very much like Star Wars Rebels to me – minus Kanan and Ezra.  I wonder if that was on purpose?  Disney is trying so hard to make everything feel cohesive within the books, novels, TV shows, and the movies.

I am happy that my interest has been re-“awakened” in Rogue One.  There’s so much even from that one clip to dissect.  I’m not sure we’ll ever know what the reshoots were about but from this clip, I still think the movie feels very “war-like”.

 

Thoughts? Let’s hope for a new trailer tonight!

 

May the Fourth Be with You!

This day is so funny to me.  What started out in Canada as a tagline for an event, has taken over the mainstream world so much so that even LFL and Disney acknowledge it.  I remember everyone wondering if they were going to release some big news about TFA last year…I can’t remember if they did, but this year they announced the dates of the next Celebration: April 13-17 in Orlando.  Orlando is way better than Anaheim so I’m all for it.  AND IT’ FALLS OVER MY BIRTHDAY (April 14).  It’s a sign.

But I’m going to have a baby that’s less than a year old.

But I could dress her up in cute outfits.

But I might not have enough money since I have a baby.

But it could be really fun and I love Celebrations.

But that’s a lot of waiting in line with a baby.

But my husband could come again and he can stay in the hotel.

But that would be boring/lonely by myself.

Okay, okay, okay.  Internal dilemma.  I have almost a year to figure this out.  I digressed.

Yeah, this day is just amusing.  I mean, why the big deal?  It kind of reminds of Valentine’s Day, which I despise with a passion.  Why do you need a day singled out to watch Star Wars, wear Star Wars, and promote Star Wars?  But unlike Valentine’s Day, this doesn’t involve the pressure of being with someone else so I like it better.  I can celebrate and have fun on my own.

The most entertaining thing is that I get more texts today wishing me a Happy Star Wars Day than I do on my birthday.  My friends know their priorities. 🙂

I loved going through WordPress today and seeing what other people do.  Here’s what I did this year:

Last night I took out my Star Wars coloring book I got for my birthday (Mei-Mei has the same one! I posted about it a bit ago) and colored my first picture.  This is the first time I’ve colored in about probably 21 years, so kind of big deal.  And surprisingly, it was relaxing and addicting.  I kind of just let myself go and didn’t try to plan it out in advance.  Here’s what I came up with:

Star Wars coloring book

I started off knowing I wanted the Rebel Insignia red and worked from there.  I threw in a lot of green in the picture, even in places you might not see it (for instance, the lightsaber hilts have very light green in it) because green is my favorite lightsaber color.  What surprised me the most is when I would make a mistake and have to roll with it by adding other colors – those blend of colors usually ended up the prettiest.  For instance, the polygon shape that is holding a lightsaber hilt on the bottom turned out the most beautiful shade of purple!  It’s almost periwinkle and that all came from making a mistake on one and having to go and blend colors together to all of them.

I’m definitely going to continue doing this and hoping Mei-Mei will let me join in with her!

Other than that, I listened to Star Wars music all day and wore some Star Wars stuff.  Disney released the song that was played inside of Maz’s castle, TFA’s “cantina” song so I had fun listening to that.  The only thing is, it’s called Jabba Flow.  Like, really?  JABBA?  WHY?  Why did they have to pull that name from the OT?  It doesn’t even make sense.  Jabba has been dead for about 30 years and I don’t think anyone would name a song after him.

I also made my annual Star Wars cookies!  There’s a reason I only make these once a year…they take a long time.  This year I decided to switch it up a bit and make sugar cookies instead of shortbread cookies (what the kit recommends).  Not a good idea.  They exploded and you can barely make out the characters.  Sigh.  Compare this year to a different year’s:

Yeah.  LOL.  Oh well.

So there’s my day.  Not much but I hope everyone else had a good one, whether or not you celebrate Star Wars day!

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!).

Happy Star Wars Day!

I can’t say I’m doing anything special today (except wearing a Star Wars t-shirt), but I have had 7 people wish me Happy May the 4th…which is 5 more than those that wished my Happy Birthday 3 weeks ago.  Not sure how I should feel about that.

What are you guys up to today?  I always make cookies but didn’t have the time yesterday, which is a little sad since it was a long standing Star Wars Day tradition. I am going to a trivia night tonight, so let’s hope that they have a Star Wars category!

#Maythe4thBeWithYou!!

First Star Wars Celebration ever attended (II) and the latest in Anaheim. When I saw that Boba, I had to get a photo almost exactly the same to see how time has flown by!

First Star Wars Celebration ever attended (II) and the latest in Anaheim. When I saw that Boba, I had to get a photo almost exactly the same to see how time has flown by!