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! Alderaan

Leia’s only home A planet that is no more The Empire destroys

Leia’s only home
A planet that is no more
The Empire destroys

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we get to see Alderaan on the big screen sometime soon?  We are going to see so many new anthology movies that this could become a strong possibility.  I can’t imagine them not giving us this planet after knowing that we never saw it in both trilogies.  Well, we kind of saw it in ROTS, but only briefly.  The Clone Wars gave us viewings of it as well, but, that wasn’t a full length feature film on a big screen.

I want to see it on the big screen and to get a better understanding of where Leia came from and how it influence her.  I’ve argued before that our environment influences who we become and I think this could only give more insight to Leia as a character.

I wonder if they’ll show it in Rogue One…

Rogue One has grown on me, I think.  I’m not sure why I was so hesitant yesterday.  Perhaps the “different” feel of it kind of threw me off.  Now that I’ve adjusted, I’m looking forward to it again.  It seems like there are a lot of EU nods and I like how they’ve drenched this in the ANH time period.  I feel like Abrams wanted to do that but could only do so much since TFA took place 30 years later.  Edwards doesn’t need to concern himself with that too much.

 

Over and out guys, have a good weekend.

Sorry, I Can’t Relate – I’m a Younger Star Wars Fan

Ever since The Clone Wars came out, I’ve considered myself an “in the middle” Star Wars fan.  I’m not one of the original Star Wars fans who got to see the Original Trilogy in the theaters, nor am I the youngest who have fallen in love with Star Wars through the TV shows and, now, the release of new movies.  I’m smack in the middle…one of the younger fans who grew up on the Prequels.  Maybe we’re not so young now, but I always feel young when I talk to the fans who were there when it all began.

As such, when I do happen to talk to the Star Wars fans who have known a world without Star Wars, I find that there are some things I just can’t understand in terms of experiences and annoyances.

I compiled this list in my head during the past week of feelings I can’t relate to as a Star Wars fan born post-Original Trilogy.

Midi-chlorians

For some reason, this is one of the strongest differences I find between myself and older fans.  I’ve read articles and talked to people who were absolutely heartbroken that Lucas “scientized” the Force.

qui gon jinn and anakinMy understanding is that when you watched ANH, it gave the impression that the Force was so mystical and anyone could use if they had the proper training.  It spoke to fans because they realized that they could have this power.  By the end of ROTJ, fans realized it could be genetic but it was still something completely supernatural.  It couldn’t be explained why someone had the Force and someone didn’t or if it always gets passed down through generations.

When TPM came out and introduced midi-chlorians as the reason for the Force, a lot of older fans were outraged.  They were, and still are, upset that the Force became something you could track and measure by taking a blood sample.

I’ve never been able to relate to this.  I was 12 when TPM came out and even though I had seen the OT beforehand, I never thought much about the Force.  It was just there.  Luke had it.  Vader had it.  It was implied Leia might have it.  So when Qui-Gon starts telling Anakin about midi-chlorians, I thought, “Ah, okay, that makes sense,” and it became part of my Star Wars knowledge almost instantaneously.  I accepted it and moved on.  When people get upset about it, I almost can’t remember a time before midi-chlorians so it doesn’t get me worked up.

Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s Father

Alas, I wish I could relate to the shock everyone felt when that was revealed.  But I can’t . I knew Vader was Luke’s father before I watched the movies for the first time.  Even if I was never directly told, it’s such a part of our pop culture that the misquoted, “Luke, I am your father,” is almost I am your father vaderomnipresent.

This is one of those things where I really wish I could have had that older fan experience.  I wish I could be in the theater watching it for the first time and think, “Wait, what?  Did I hear that right?  What did he say?”

But nope.  It’ll never happen like that because I was born post-1980.

Jar Jar Binks

Jar Jar binksThis may come as a surprise, but I don’t hate Jar Jar.  Like the midi-chlorians, since TPM came out when I was 12, Jar Jar became accepted into my Star Wars love with no issues.  It wasn’t until I was older and rewatch the movies that I think he’s annoying.  Yet in 1999, he was just a different alien that, in the end, helped the Jedi and Amidala obtain victory over the Trade Federation.

Even now, I can’t relate to the extreme hatred older fans have for this character.  The cruelness at which fans crucify this character and George Lucas for creating him is baffling to me.  I’ve read that people think he’s a Jamaican stereotype and cruelly berate Lucas in articles for it.  Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but I don’t get it and I can’t relate to it.

The Feeling That Star Wars is Done Forever

I kind of felt like Star Wars as I knew it was over in 2005 after ROTS was released.  I didn’t know where my love for Star Wars would take me.  But even as it ended, there were rumors of an animated Star Wars TV show being released (keep in mind the original TCW, was an animated microseries,star wars comic 1985 ended in 2005 as well).  By 2008, we had a completely new Star Wars to watch, albeit a very different format, but enough to keep the spark there.

I don’t know what it feels like to feel like there is NOTHING.  Sure, Star Wars continued in the form of board games, comics, and some old school video games after ROTJ, but no one thought there would be new movies, TV shows, etc.  The Thrawn Trilogy wasn’t published until the early 1990s so there was a good 8-10 years where all fans had were comics and games.

Props to the older Star Wars fans.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be in a Jakku-like planet with absolutely no knowledge that there would ever be more Star Wars movies.

Practical Sets/Effects vs. CGI

This has become a huge debate in the past few years since Abrams was brought on board for TFA.  Any time he or Kathleen Kennedy was interviewed, they stressed about bringing back real sets, real costumes, real locations for the new Star Wars trilogy.  It’s clear that what they were saying is practical = Original Trilogy = what most fans love and CGI = Prequel Trilogy = what most fans dislike.

coruscantI disagree.   The PT is a large part of my life and I don’t think CGI is bad.  What I could possibly concede on is that a) too much CGI was used, and b) the scripts were not well done in the PT.  If you don’t have a good script or storyline, then the CGI is going to be more noticeable.

I loved seeing the planet of Coruscant, the ships in space, and all the interesting planets we got to see because of Lucas’ work with CGI.  One of my favorite scenes is when Artoo fixes the hyperdrive on Queen Amidala’s ship.  Can you imagine how crude that would look without CGI?  I also loved Utapau and the scenes with Obi-Wan riding the Varactyl.  That would not have been possible without CGI.

So I can’t understand where this aversion of CGI comes from.  It also baffles me that KK and Abrams went to such lengths to talk up their practical sets when the movie has a lot of CGI in it.  I’ve said this before, but if you are going to go in one direction or the other, go all the way.  I thought Snoke was one of the most out-of-place characters/moments/scenes in TFA and I know it was due to the CGI.  He might not have looked so out of place in the PT because our minds were used to the special effects.

 

If you’re an older fan, do you disagree with some of what I said?  If you’re a younger fan than me, is there something that perhaps you can’t relate to that I’ve written about?  If you are close to my age, do you agree with what I’ve written?

Haiku Me Friday! The Lightsaber Passes On

Early Rey Concept Art

It’s been found again
The lightsaber awakens
A new Skywalker?

I thought today would be a good day to discuss the speculations surrounding Rey, my new favorite character (I can’t tell if this is a phase or if she really is taking over Luke for my new favorite character).

If you haven’t seen TFA: move along, move along.

So far I’ve heard two main theories:

  1. Rey is Luke’s daughter.
  2. Rey is Obi-Wan’s granddaughter.

 

I like theory #1 the best…

  • The trilogies have always followed the Skywalker family.
  • Even though you could argue that Kylo Ren is a Skywalker, it would be an interesting twist to start following Leia’s side of the family. It makes more sense to follow Luke.
  • As part of this theory, there’s a sub-theory that I like a lot:
    • Luke gets married. We’ll call her Mara.
    • Luke and Mara have a daughter – Rey.
    • Luke trains Jedi’s, including Ben Solo.
    • Ben Solo falls to the dark side and kills Mara, along with all the other Jedi knights Luke was training (I believe this second part is canon but all we know is that the Knights of Ren killed the Jedi, not necessarily Ben).
    • Luke goes into despair. He can’t look at Rey because it reminds him of Mara.  Or he isn’t even thinking about her.
    • For whatever reason, Rey ends up dumped on Jakku.   Maybe because Luke wanted to go search for Jedi Temples.
    • Part of this is that Luke shut down Artoo and told him to only let people know where he is when Rey shows up again.
    • This is why Rey goes to search for Luke, not Leia. Because she’s his daughter and somehow knows.
  • There seemed to be a moment of recognition on Luke’s face at the end of TFA. There could have been tears in his eyes though that might have been the strong winds.

 

As for theory #2…

  • You’re really messing with canon and the Prequels if you think Obi-Wan had a daughter.
  • I understand that JJ and possibly KK too, turn up their noses at the PT, but Obi-Wan was a very by-the-books Jedi. He was even a stickler for obi wan and satinerules when Qui-Gon was his master.
  • Kenobi did love Satine, as was recognized in the TCW, but I don’t think he ever acted on it.
  • Based on Rey’s age, the only way to make this work would be for Obi-Wan to have a daughter or son when he was guarding Luke, and then they have the child Rey. But even that is questionable as we only know Obi-Wan as loving Satine and again, I do not think he compromised his vow with the Jedi Order for her.  It would also mean that Satine had to hide the child…it starts getting complicated.

 

So, no, I do not think she is related to Obi-Wan and I think mainly because that would really be messing with canon and the PT to have that be the case.  Also, story-wise, they should be staying with the Skywalker family.  If anything, we learned that JJ is obsessed with ANH (sometimes I felt like TFA was just ANH 2.0) and he stuck as close as possible to the Original Trilogy.

I’ve basically accepted that I believe Rey is Luke’s daughter in some way.  Just like I thought that logically Han had to die, I believe that common sense points to Rey being Luke’s daughter.  BUT I WOULD LOVE TO BE WRONG.

 

What are your thoughts/theories/speculations on Rey?

 

P.S. Found out today I am having a girl! So the name Luke is out. 😦  Any suggestions?

 

Haiku Me Friday! Clone Troopers

I look just like them I am a unique being But part of a team

I look just like them
I am a unique being
But part of a team

Am I the only fan who didn’t like the addition of a chip in the clones that would force them to obey Order 66?  I was going to talk about why I wasn’t a fan of this storyline, but then I realized I already had and has written about it much better in an older post.

So for now,  I guess I’ll just say that I like what The Clone Wars did with evolving the clones as individual beings despite that they are, well, clones.

But since the chip is now canon, and I have to accept it, I’m really interested in the three clones we see returning in Star Wars Rebels: Rex, Wolffe and Gregor.  What happened when Order 66 was issued with these clones?  We know what Commander Cody did – but Captain Rex is a mystery.  He was introduced in TCW but we didn’t see him in ROTS.

In the latest Insider, we have an interview with Dee Bradley Baker (super funny guy by the way, if you ever get to see him at a convention, definitely do it) who voices the clones in TCW, and now SWR, and there’s a question on what they think of the Jedi.  He answers,

That’s actually part of what’s interesting about what’s unfolding…What do they know?  What do they remember?  What is it that they are putting together as this continues to unfold?  That’s a very interesting question, and I think that’s part of what this series will have to address.

Vague, but food for thought.  Is he suggesting that they possibly could have followed through with Order 66 but don’t remember it?  Or that they blocked it out?  Or could they have “woken up” right after it happened and freaked out?

It will be interesting to see how their story unfolds.  For starting out as smaller characters, they really have grown to be a great addition to the animated series and the Star Wars universe.