Taken From Birth

A lot of my thoughts have lately been around my child (obviously) who is now three months old and how much they really do take over your life.  While the first eight weeks felt stagnant and like I was pouring in energy and getting nothing back, I now see changes each and every day and feel like she is growing so fast.

The first eight weeks was tough.  Yeah, it was really tough.  I began to think about how they did it in a galaxy far, far away.  Did they have droids to help them?  Like, babysitting droids?  Droids that somehow knew the magic touch to calm the baby?

All these meandering thoughts led me to think about the Jedi and the First Order Stormtroopers.

Qui Gon says to Shmi (in regards to Anakin):

Had he been born in the Republic, we would have identified him early, and he would have become Jedi…

General Hux counters Kylo:

My men are exceptionally trained — programmed from birth.

I’ve always admired the Jedi, though as I have gotten older I have seen their many flaws as an organization.  But all this thinking led me to wonder: how different are the Stormtroopers from the Jedi?

jedi younglingsWith the Jedi, I found some information online that says the parent’s permission was always asked, but once the child’s mind was opened to the Force, the parent could not take them back.  However, all this was wiped out with the new Disney canon so we essentially don’t know much about the subject of how the young were actually initiated into becoming a Jedi.

The Jedi Order is supposed to be good and uphold justice in the galaxy.  Yet they had a way of identifying young babies, or children, and taking them from their parents to become a Jedi.  I feel conflicted about this.  It seems almost selfish for a parent to refuse to give up their child to become a Jedi since it’s for the greater good of the galaxy.  When you think of how large the Star Wars galaxy is and how few Jedi there are in relation to the number of sentient beings – there aren’t that many Jedi.  At the same time – it’s your child.  How could you be expected to give it up?  Ever?  I look at ARM and I sometimes wonder to myself if I would be able to give her up if Jedi came knocking on my door.  I understand Shmi’s pain a lot better now when she said, “Don’t look back.”

It’s not just your child you’re giving up, you’re giving up your future.  Dreams and plans you had for them.  Little moments that you’ll never get to see.  You’re not allowed to visit them and they will never know who you are.

Then I began to think…is that more or less cruel than General Hux and his stormtroopers?

I’m assuming that Hux doesn’t give a choice to the parents and he wrenches the babies from them.  Then those children are spoon fed First Order young stormtrooperspropaganda day in and day out to make them completely loyal to the First Order.  Their whole life, all they know is the First Order and they live, breathe, and die for the First Order.

Is that really so different from the Jedi?  There are nuances but I find that they feel eerily similar to me.

Both are taken from birth to serve a higher order and both are entrenched in the doctrine of what they serve.  Creepy, right?

In the end, what slightly mollified me was remembering Ahsoka leaving the Jedi Order at the end of The Clone Wars.  I realized that despite the similarities, the Jedi offered something the First Order did not: a choice.  As a Jedi, you had the option to leave the Jedi Order.  If you wanted to give up your life as a Jedi when you got old enough, you were allowed to leave.

I have now begun to wonder if the Jedi who left ever went back to find their family.  If they found them, would they ask why they made the decision to let them go?  Or how hard it was?

The more I think about the Jedi Order, the more jaded I become with them at times.  But did the Jedi do what was right for them as an organization?  Had this been tried and tested many times over the years and they realized that younger children were better to train than older?  Yet, couldn’t there have been a balance between allowing them to know and love their parents while also training to be a Jedi?  Though attachment was forbidden, could it possibly have made them better Jedi in the end (an argument I strongly stand by)?

I don’t have any answers but I do realize now how hard it would be to let my child be taken by strangers, even if they were Jedi.  I’m not sure I could do it, even with how much I love Jedi.  Perhaps that’s the real reason why they had such small numbers – maybe more people had the Force than we know, it’s just that their parents didn’t want to give them up.  😉

Haiku Me Friday! Individuality

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There’s no difference
When it’s on, I’m one of them
Eyeing my helmet

I kind of liked playing with the idea of seeing all these stormtrooper helmets and getting ready to put one on.  If we are looking at this post OT, stormtroopers were recruited and were individuals, not clones.  So how would it feel to be hanging out at the Mess Hall on board a ship, where the other stormtroopers know you as an individual, and then to don a mask for battle and fade into anonymity?

Is it easy or hard to do?  Does it make it easier to gun down your enemy and know they’ll never see your face?  Or do you sometimes wish that people saw you for you, instead of a faceless, nameless stormtrooper?

Haiku Me Friday! Scout Trooper Cloud City Edition

Good, good things going on in my life right now guys…which is much needed since the first half of this year has been like I  was thrown unexpectedly into the Rancor pit.  I feel like I’ve finally fought him off and I’m catching a break.  Not sure if I killed the Rancor yet, I guess that will only become clear later, but right now I’m breathing better than I have in a long time and feel good about the way my life is headed.  You know what I mean?

Do you ever have that instance where you write about 4 paragraphs and just delete it all?  Yeah, that just happened.

Onto Friday fun!  Happy Friday everyone!

We creep in slowly Do we pass on by or shoot? It’s hard to decide

We creep in slowly
Do we pass on by or shoot?
It’s hard to decide

My first thought was, “Since when would scout troopers ever be needed on Cloud City?”  This picture completely baffled me so I looked up some more information on scout troopers over at Wookiepedia (to think that I used to buy new editions of Star Wars encyclopedias whenever they came out!  I was constantly buying the latest editions because the EU was always changing. Now we have the internet and I am so thankful):

Scout troopers, light armored and far more mobile than regular stormtrooper units, were usually assigned to planetary garrisons where they patrolled perimeters, performed reconnaissance missions and identified enemy positions. As scouts, their mission profile often positioned them far from Imperial resupply. As a result, the scout troopers received special training in order to become efficient survivalists who were equipped with an array of equipment and supplies to aid in their military role.

Okay, so here I’ve been for the past 17 years of my life thinking that scout troopers only served in forest-like locations due to Return of the Jedi.  This is where I know I have huge gaps in my Star Wars knowledge.

I like to think I know a lot, and yes, compared to an average human, I do know way more about Star Wars than I should.  But I am the first to admit that my knowledge is very limited and it’s starting to bother me.  I focus on what I love most: the Jedi and how they inadvertently brought down the destruction of the Republic, the tormented feelings of Padmé, Palpatine’s master scheming, and mostly just detailed movie knowledge.

I know very little about the Empire and focus very little on their troops, systems, organization, and politics.  Over the past year and a half, I have made a concentrated effort to read more Star Wars novels (though I swore I never would lol) that are now canon and be more open minded about parts of Star Wars that just don’t interest me.  For instance, one of my goals this year is to watch Attack of the Clones and find 10 things I like about it.  Notice that I still have not done it yet?  I keep procrastinating.

But this news about the scout troopers really interests me because I had no idea how specialized they were.  Anyone with half a brain could have figured it out, because, well, “scout” is in their title.  “Scout” does not equal “forest” last time I checked.  This knowledge of scout troopers being so specialized really does open up a whole new world of imagination for me.  They were complete idiots in ROTJ, but perhaps that was an anomaly.  I kind of want to be a scout trooper and go on cool missions.

So when does this picture take place?  ESB?  Well, that doesn’t make complete sense because it sounds like the Empire made a straight out deal with Lando so there would be no need for them to sneak around.  Do you think these scout troopers are going to actually kill the guy sleeping on duty?  Or do you think they already shot him?

What’s your passion when it comes to Star Wars?  Have you ever been surprised by information you’ve taken for granted?  Have you ignored other aspects of the Star Wars universe because you like something else so much more?

Friday Posts – Haiku Me Friday?

Should I talk about the Vanity Fair pics?  I feel like you guys have all already seen them, right?  I don’t consider them spoilers because it was authorized and allowed by Lucasfilm to go on the web.  But if you DO consider them spoilers…then skip the next paragraph.

Only noticeable news is that Kylo Ren is Adam Driver.  Gwendoline Christie is the silver stormtrooper Captain Phasma (stupid name).  Lupita Nyong’o is a CGI pirate character (which is a shame, because it would have been nice to see more diversity in the cast, but pirates! Fun!).  There’s a frozen planet.  Hoth?  Who knows?  A lot of people thought Jakku was Tatooine and it’s not.  See the whole article here: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/05/star-wars-force-awakens-photos

I’m still struggling with my Friday posts, and I apologize.  I like doing the Friday Fives, but I realize it’s too much work on my end when I’m already usually working on another post at the same time.  What I loved about the Scene Its, I’m now realizing, is that most of the work was done for me.  All I had to do was write about whatever scene came up.

So I’m debating if I should go back to my haiku’s.  I actually really liked them (though doing one every day for a month was a bit much) and I can do what I did last year – use whatever photo is on my calendar for that day to write the poem.  (Watch them discontinue the calendar next year.)

I apologize for the back and forth in trying to find something for my standing Friday post.  Bear with me as I experiment a bit.

You made a wise choice. Afraid of a lightsaber? As well you should be.

You made a wise choice.
Afraid of a lightsaber?
As well you should be.

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!

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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