Why TPM Is Important For Children

Most people of my generation were brought up with the Prequels and most (but not all) find them perfectly okay.  Maybe not as great as the OT, but still worthy of watching.  However, I think the general consensus is that the Prequels should be held off for a while and you should have your children watch the OT for the first few rounds of Star Wars.

I have mentioned before that while I love and enjoy The Phantom Menace, it’s hard for children to watch because of the amount of talking anakin-and-kitsterand politics that are involved.  This came from an experience I had watching it with a 5 year old Star Wars fan.  He enjoyed the movie but got insanely distracted and bored during any of the senate scenes, or really…any scene that had a lot of talking which is quite a lot in TPM.

Yet I was thinking about TPM a few weeks ago and realized something that has been so obvious from the beginning: TPM is the only Star Wars movie that has a child in a leading role. Not only does it have a child in a leading role, it also has a cast of much younger characters than any of the other movies.

TPM boasts a cast of children that we see in multiple scenes, namely Anakin Skywalker.  On top of that, we have all of Anakin’s friends who show up when he is working on his podracer and his best friend Kitster also appears in many scenes, showing us that Anakin is quite a normal young child, despite his abilities.

One of my favorite Bible verses is 1 Timothy 4:12,

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Though this was in reference to an early (“young”) church, many people use it when teaching children in Sunday School.  It shows children that they too can be an example to others, even though they are so young.

The importance of children in TPM cannot be overlooked.  It is similar to the Bible verse in that when you show TPM to a child, you are showing that this galaxy far, far away has children who went on to do an extraordinary things.  Not teenagers, not adults, but children.  Of course, I’m talking about TPM only and not the rest of the Prequels/OT because I’m not sure little Ani’s Jedi wipeout is considered “extraordinary”.

padme-tpmThough I would not label Padmé as a child, I think she is still an important figure for children to see in the movie because she is the next step up.  We see such broad age ranges of people in TPM that it doesn’t take much for children to make a leap from Anakin, to Padmé, and then to Obi-Wan.

With Anakin, we see a young boy who can create and repair giant podracers.  He then makes the hard decision to leave his mother, whom he may never see again, to go on a different life path.  At the end of the movie, he saves the day by blowing up the Trade Federation Battleship.

Padmé is fourteen in TPM, a young teenager, and we see that she rules an entire planet as its queen.  She also disguises herself and goes along with the Jedi on Tatootine so that she can know exactly what is going on with the mission.  Towards the end of the movie, she makes the brave decision to return home to her planet against advice and enlist the help of an alienated race.

Obi-Wan is in his twenties in TPM and you get to see how even though he’s in his 20s, he’s not quite old enough to be independent.  He still needs to follow the rules set out for him by older Jedi until he passes his training.  This shows younger children that there are still limits that you have to work around even when you are older.

Realizing this made me rethink my decision on waiting until ARM is older for her to watch the Prequels.  Perhaps it would be smarter to introduce TPM when she is younger, maybe as soon as she can understand plot flows and larger concepts.  I don’t think the ages of characters is something that will be obvious to her, but perhaps subliminally it will be a good message.

tpm-anakin-skywalker

Haiku Me Friday! Whine, mope, and anger…

Brooding Kylo Ren An uncle and grandfather Runs in the family

Brooding Kylo Ren
An uncle and grandfather
Runs in the family

I’m so mopey today.  I’m mopey and angry and annoyed at my health.  I finally saw a specialist yesterday for my ongoing issues and I have chronic sinusitis.  It’s basically a cold that has a bacterial (as opposed to viral) component which is why it’s not going away.  I was excited to find out that I could get treatment in the form of super intense antibiotics…and then he told me he can’t give me anything because I’m breastfeeding and they would affect the baby.  So he said I would have to make a decision to either quit breastfeeding or continue breastfeeding and then either hope it resolves itself or get the antibiotics when I’m done.

On top of that, I’ve had two weeks of pain from mastitis and other breastfeeding issues.  I’m on my second round of antibiotics in 1.5 months (first was for strep throat last month) and I’m coming to this weird decision on if I even want to continue breastfeeding.  My goal was one year but things change.

Anyway, this honestly got me thinking about the whiners and mopers in the Star Wars trilogies.  We have some fabulous ones, so here they come:

 

In third place we get…

KYLO REN!

kylo-ren-darth-vaders-helmet

(said in an announcer’s voice…think Price is Right)

Kylo Ren is a brooding, dark wannabe Sith who likes to spend long hours pondering why he feels a pull to the light side.  He mopes about his draw to the light side and when he gets angry, he takes his lightsaber out to destroy crucial equipment!  When in doubt, slash it out!  Give a hand to our runner up – Kylo Ren!

billy-dee-clapping

 

The second place award goes to…

LUKE SKYWALKER!

luke-skywalker-tosche-station

A fine young man who doesn’t mope as much, but really likes to whine when things get down.  He’s not satisfied with having to do an honest day’s work like most normal people – instead he wants to go to Tosche Station to pick up power converters!  The cherry on top is when he wistfully stares out into the sunset and you can internally hear his moping and whining that he’s stuck on Tatooine.  Though he improves over 3 films, he gets second place for his wonderful, beautifully delivered Tosche Station whine.  Give it up for Luke Skywalker!

britney-spears-clapping

 

And you must know who the final winner is now!  Our coveted first place award goes to…

ANAKIN SKYWALKER!

anakin-skywalker-crying

It must run in the family, folks.  Anakin Skywalker whines, mopes, gets annoyed, and angry in every movie of the Prequel Trilogy!  You can’t beat that.  He starts off as a young boy annoyed at the Jedi Council with a little bit of cheek; he then moves up to a sulking teenager who whines that everyone is holding him back; and finally becomes a man that is so angry he turns into Darth Vader.  Nothing beats his whining and moping in AOTC though!  Almost all his dialogue is some form of a whine which makes him most deserving of first place!

minions-clapping

 

Okay, that made me feel better.  You can go about your business…

Fan Art Friday! Groovy Jabba

This month’s Fan Art Friday was chosen by yours truly by opening the Star Wars coloring book to a random page.  Genius, eh?

I really liked how Mei-Mei had a theme for her Southwestern Rebel Mandala because these pictures can be so interpretive.  It’s different from something like the Leia portrait that we both did because Leia is a distinct character and there’s only so much you can do to change up the picture.

But with these cool looking, kaleidoscope-esque pictures – the whole world is your sandbox!  Or, however many colored pencils you have.

So I decided to take a leaf out of Mei-Mei’s book and go with a theme as well.  I decided to try to make this picture reminiscent of the 1970s and have a “groovy” feel with the colors.  I’m not sure I completely succeeded but my inspiration was the Scooby Doo show (the original! not the remakes), movies like American Hustle, and my grandparents house in Connecticut, which sadly has never been renovated and is still stuck in the 70s (they love it though and still think it’s modern haha).

jabba star wars coloring book

I’m not sure if I succeeded but I do like how with these pictures, it’s not as big of a deal if it doesn’t come out how you intended.  I was so frustrated with the Leia picture but I found I was a lot easier on myself with this one.

My favorite part of this was the two circles, which I assumed were the Tatooine suns.  I combined two colors in an on-purpose rough look and the suns came out this beautiful blood orange – just like the bottom right sun when Luke is staring out into the sunset, frustrated to still be stuck on Tatooine for another season.  Success!

luke sunset tatooine

Be sure to check out Mei-Mei’s interpretation as well at her post.

Haiku Me Friday! Luke and His Grief

 

 

Star-Wars-Luke-Skywalker-Tatooine

The Empire killed them
For what? To find my two droids?
There is change coming

I love this photo…mostly because it’s not in the movie.  I feel like it’s this moment on Luke’s face where we’ve all been before.  The way he’s wrapped up in his poncho, even though it’s so warm out, shows that he has been hit badly by something strongly devastating.

You can see the tears in one of his eyes and there’s a haunted look in them.  Even if you don’t know the story, you know this boy is about to have his life changed.  You know something has happened, even if it’s all in his head or it was something external that forced him to get to this point.

For Luke, I always wonder if he’s wondering how the Empire could be so cruel over two droids?  Is he wondering if they asked Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen any questions before brutally murdering them?  Is his future even on his mind at this point or is he still in too much shock?  Does he blame the two new droids that he has for this turn of events?

In some ways, it’s interesting that he deals with this so easily.  When you compare Luke to Anakin, Anakin would have burned with rage for days.  He would have sought anyone working for the Empire on Tatooine for revenge.  Luke comes to acceptance faster than Anakin would and knows that, if anything, this is a sign for him to go to Alderaan with Obi-Wan.  As he says, “There’s nothing here for me now,” and it couldn’t be more true.

Anakin could never accept death.  It was an inexcusable part of life for him.  Instead of just trying to get his mother out of the Tusken Raiders camp and to a place where she could be buried properly, he instead takes his power, channels his anger, and kills all the Sandpeople.  When Palpatine tells him about the ability to stop death that Plagueis learned, it’s all he wants.  I believe he not only wants to it save Padmé, though that is his primary reason, but he also wants to have that power himself.  To never die and never have that weakness.

Luke, on the other hand, accepts it as part of life.  He accepts it as a normal person would and continues that even as his powers grow..  Through all the deaths we see him go through (Uncle/Aunt, Ben, Yoda, Vader), he tends to fight it a bit, but then realizes it’s part of life.

In this moment, I wonder if the feelings he’s going through gets him to acceptance faster.  Whereas Anakin stops in the anger stage and lets it build, Luke works through everything logically and emotionally to get to a point where he can see what he has to do next and why.

[I’m so mad at this new WP posting system…I can’t figure out how to make my haiku be a caption of the photo.  I can only get one line in before it stops me from doing two lines.  I also don’t know how to make my photo larger than this.  Grrrrr.  Anyone know how to make photos larger and add more than one line to a caption?  It won’t let me hit the plus sign on the photo and is telling me it’s as large as it gets. Lie.]

Third Times the Charm

(Please, please, please…if you have been reading all the spoilers on the internet – do not write about them here!  These are all my own theories and I want to be happily correct or incorrect WHEN I SEE THE MOVIE and not beforehand.  Thanks.)

Okay.  So.  This:

This happened last night.

These are my thoughts in no particular order and I am spoiler-free so these are all just MY theories:

  • The most obvious question on everyone’s mind is…where’s Luke?  He was not on the trailer poster released Sunday.  He had a voiceover in the 2nd trailer but it was revealed at Celebration that he recorded that later, so it may not be in the movie.  My theory is that Luke is missing or he’s locked himself away for some reason and the plot revolves around finding him.  I do not think he plays a large part in this movie.
  • Rey is crying and it looks like she’s crying over a body (possibly dead?).  I believe she’s crying because Han dies.  I’ve believed from day one that Han will die in this movie only because it took a lot of convincing, and money, to get Ford to come back to Star Wars.  I think for that reason alone, his dragging feet, he will be written out of the story line.
  • L. Palmer refers to Poe Dameron giving Finn a “bro slap” when he goes off to his x-wing…but I kind of interpreted it differently.  I’m not sure that looks friendly to me, nor do I think Finn thinks it’s friendly.  He looks a little thoughtful and definitely not happy after Dameron walks away.  It could just be that they’re heading into battle so everything is serious, but I’m curious.
  • And speaking of Dameron…dude what are you doing hanging out with Kylo?  What is that all about?  There has been so much speculation since character names were announced that Poe is evil because of his name but I’m not seeing any evidence of that – until now when he’s chilling with Kylo.  Okay, he looks like he’s in a lot of stress and may be getting tortured, but he’s still with him.  finn gif tfa
  • Rey’s accent is English, Finn’s is American.  I was sure, and still am leaning towards, that Rey is the daughter of Han and Leia.  I also have this wild theory that Kylo and Rey are siblings (maybe twins) and she’s hiding from him on Jakku (which I believe is actually Tatooine, but renamed after the Empire fell because it’s WAY too similar to Tatooine and we go to Tatooine in the first movie of both trilogies).  That could be why she’s trying to be “no one”.  Maybe she doesn’t want Kylo to know where she is.  Not sure how all this ties into my theory of her being Han and Leia’s daughter unless she got hidden at birth (like some other twins we know!!).
  • Kylo Ren wants to finish what Vader started.  What the heck did he start?
  • Nice juxtaposition in the trailer of Finn being aimless versus Kylo who seems to have a very clear direction.
  • Kylo will whoop Finn’s butt in the lightsaber battle at the end.  Finn looks nervous and not confident at all.  Maybe this is where Luke comes in and saves the day?  That would be awesome.
  • How does Finn get the lightsaber?  It sounds like, from all the trailers and the title, that the Force can “awaken” in you if you know how to let it in or let it emerge.  So does this get rid of the notion from the Prequels that you are either born with the Force or not born with the Force?  That’s a lot to erase from something that is officially canon…
  • Not sure if anyone has noticed over the trailers and the cool San Diego Comic Con clip that was released – Finn and Dameron share/switch jackets.  To me, it looks like the jacket belonged to Dameron, maybe Finn helped rescue him, and gets the jacket from him?  I only say this because of that brief, split second clip from SDCC when we see Poe being hurtled off in Starkiller Base (or a Star Destroyer) by two stormtroopers and he’s wearing the leather jacket.  Perhaps Finn is one of the troopers leading him away?
  • I think it might be Lupita/Maz doing the majority of the voiceover in this trailer.  “Who are you?…The Force…it’s calling to you.  Just let it in.”
  • It’s kind of cool to see how Han did a 180 from ANH to this trailer.  Now he believes in Jedi vs. telling Obi-Wan to shut up on his nonsense.
  • Lots of other Kylo Ren peeps standing around Kylo Ren…probably the Knights of Ren we’ve been hearing about.  But why don’t they get lightsabers?
  • Anyone see the cool Mandalorian skull on the flags around that temple?  Also, a droid!  JJ is not completely ignoring the Prequels!  It definitely looks more Prequel than OT.
  • Did you notice BB-8 is all over the place?  He’s with Rey, Finn, and Poe during this trailer.  Which makes me think that maybe he doesn’t really “belong” to anyone, or he plays a more pivotal role that any of us suspect.
  • I hate the name Captain Phasma, but she’s starting to grow on me because she looks BAD ASS.  Bring it.
  • Another trench on Starkiller Base.  Another blowing up of a gigantic battle station?  Please no.  Let’s try to be more original.

And finally, here is what I think the timeline of events is based on the trailers:

Dameron gets captured by the First Order.  Finn is a stormtrooper, has a change of heart, rescues him. Gets in trouble, rey the force awakens with bb8escapes via TIE and the Star Destroyer shoots it down.  He ends up on Jakkooine (my friend’s and I term for Jakku) and meets Rey. He’s a wanted man so they escape on the Falcon (still hazy on how she ends up with the Falcon other than she has been repairing it in her junkyard? Maybe?) to the Resistance.  Somehow they have to go find Luke because Kylo and his Knights of Ren are being talked about.  Finn and Han go to find Luke.  End up at a temple where maybe Maz or Luke is.  Finn gets a lightsaber.  No idea what happens to Rey.  There is a climatic battle at the end where Finn ends up facing Kylo, Han dies, Poe blows up battle station (boo).

As you can see, lots of holes!  But that’s my basic prediction…and I’ve got less than two months until I find out!

I got 7:00pm Imax tickets for December 17th.  Woot.  Excited.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS??  SHARE!