Award Time

I’m kind of horrible.  Star Guy nominated me for a Real Neat Blog Award…back in March.  I swore I would never let these go unnoticed and I would always participate, so here I am!  Two-ish months later.  April was just horrible due to getting a bad flu, going to Celebration and then having bad allergies the last week so I feel like that month is a wipeout.

I do want to thank Star Guy for nominating me and I “will do what I must” in participating.

The rules are as follows:

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

Star Guys questions for me:

  1. What is your favorite word?

My favorite word isn’t even in English, but you didn’t specify language: Namárië.  It’s Elvish for “Farewell” in the high speech of Quenya but can be literally translated as “to goodness”, which I love more than Farewell.  For those of namarieyou who need a quick rundown on Elvish, Quenya is the language of high elves, whereas Sindarin was more common in Middle Earth as a dialect.  Eventually Quenya was just used for poetry and songs and Sindarin turned into the standard dialect.  I’m a little hazy but I think all those facts are right.  How do I know this?  Good question.  I was determined to learn Elvish fluently during 9th-10th grade.  It didn’t work but I do remember some phrases, words and facts.

  1. What makes you laugh?

My husband.  He can always make me laugh.  Not many people realize how funny he is when they meet him, but the more they get to know him the more they realize that he’s actually pretty funny.

parks and rec gifOther than that, I love Aziz Ansari, Louis C.K., and Parks and Rec (which actually has both Aziz and Louis in it so win-win).  Without fail, they will make me laugh to the point of crying.

  1. What is your least favorite word/abbreviation (i.e. LOL)?

I hate it when people write “o i c” in an internet/IM conversation.  Really?  You can’t write “Oh I see”?  Those extra 3 letters are too difficult??  For some reason that really pisses me off.

  1. Excited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

No answer necessary.

I also liked how you didn’t put Episode VII in there.  I’m still trying to break that habit but I can’t find any solid evidence that it’s not Episode VII or that it is Episode VII.  Logically, it’s Episode VII because it’s after VI…or IS it??  Maybe they are leaving it ambiguous so they can put a different trilogy between them.

  1. Would you go here, or somewhere else?

(There was a picture of Lord Howe Island, Australia)

Is it free?  If it’s free and I have no choice, sign me up, hell yeah, happy to go.  If I have to pay for it, probably somewhere else since I’ve gone to Australia quite a few times, though never Lord Howe Island, and it’s expensive.  If it was free but I had any choice in the world, probably still somewhere else…like Ireland and London (next on my big trip list!).

  1. Favorite hobby?

Just Star Wars stuff.  I like writing in this blog and going to conventions when I get to.

  1. What is the best idea you’ve had? (as in, why has nobody invented that yet?)

Um, teleportation, obvs.  But I’m sure other people have had that great idea but it really does make me think…why has nobody invented that yet?

I guess another one would be a real life landspeeder.  When I was younger, I thought all you have to do is place fans underneath a vehicle.  I still kind of think that’s the easiest way to solve our gasoline problem.  FANS!  They could potentially be the solution for everything…

Put some fans on it!

Put some fans on it!

Okay!  I’m done.  Fascinating tidbits about me right?  Yawn.

Here are the latest three blogs I’ve followed that I think are real neat and you should check them out:

If you three decide to participate (I won’t be insulted if you don’t), then here are your questions:

  1. What is one of the most embarrassing things to happen to you? (Note: I didn’t say THE most embarrassing, just one of the most embarrassing)
  2. What’s your favorite book? Why?
  3. Who is your favorite Star Wars character and why?
  4. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  5. What would be your ideal date?
  6. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
  7. What’s your favorite candy? Not dessert, candy.  Like Halloween candy.

Okay, my only requirement is that if you DO participate, please let me know when your post is up!  I’d love to read your answers.

MTFBWY. Always.

“Not As Certain As Being Left Behind…”

I recently read Kelly’s post on not breaking your word a few days ago and now I can’t stop thinking about friendship.  What set me off on my maniacal thinking spree, and you can see from my comments on her post, was the relationship between Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Now, I know I’m a Tolkien Purist and I’ve come to admit it on this site, though I was in denial for a long time.  But overall, I loved what Peter Jackson did with the Lord of the Rings movies.  I think he did a great job.

The one thing that extensively pissed me off (other than the elves coming to save the day at Helm’s Deep, but that’s for another day) is a minor change he made to Sam and Frodo’s relationship.  Sam is the most loyal friend to Frodo and when he made the promise to Gandalf that he wouldn’t leave Frodo’s side, he meant it.

sam and frodo travel

There are tons of scenes in the movies that exemplify this, but there is one scene that strongly contradicts it.  In Return of the King, Gollum frames Sam by making it look like he ate the last of their food and Frodo gets so angry that he tells him to leave.  And Sam leaves.

What?  In the books, Sam never left Frodo’s side.  NEVER. Frodo treated Sam like dirt at times, due to the Ring, but Sam still saw Frodo through to the very end and never once turned around.  I love that perfect model of friendship.

Of course, my thoughts turned to Star Wars and I was curious to know if any of the friendships in Star Wars could pass the Sam/Frodo test.  And I realized that, wait a minute, there are not many friendship relationships throughout the saga that are not impaired by romance.  (N.B. I would love to go into Ahsoka and Anakin’s relationship, but I try to stick generally to the movies in this blog)

The closest relationships that passed the Sam/Frodo test were Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan and Han/Chewie.  Sure, Obi-Wan and Anakin were good friends, but they would not have stood the Sam/Frodo test because Anakin did something like betraying his best bud and murdering a bunch of people.

Out of both remaining friendships, I am leaning more towards Han and Chewie for passing the Sam/Frodo test.  Chewie Chewie hanhad a life debt to Solo, so in a way he was kind of forced upon him.  Sam was required to follow Frodo and stick by him on orders from Gandalf.  Where Han went, Chewie went.  Their quest was to help rid the galaxy of the Empire, whereas Sam and Frodo had to rid Middle Earth of the One Ring.  When Han was put into carbonite, Chewie fought to keep him “alive”, but Han asked him not to start a fight that he knew they would lose, but instead to protect Leia.  This order is different from the one Frodo gave to Sam in the ROTK movie.  Whereas Frodo’s order was said out of hatred because he thought Sam betrayed him, Han was giving Chewie an order to stay behind out of love for both him and Leia.  Different motives, big difference.

Even though Han and Chewie come close and pass the Sam/Frodo test, I’m not sure their relationship has the extra oomph that Sam and Frodo’s has.  A big difference is the fact that throughout 2/3 of LotR, we see Sam and Frodo interact by themselves (okay-Gollum showed up, but I’m not counting him), but other characters constantly surround Han and Chewie, so we don’t exactly know the depth of their friendship.  It’s much too…well, “real” for that extra level.  It’s Sam/Frodo taken down to our everyday lives.  They bicker at times and get frustrated with each other, but they still bounce ideas off of each other and lean on one another to help get through the tough times.

But the more I thought about different kinds of loyal friendships, the more I got to thinking: am I Samwise Gamgee to any of my friends, my ultimate idea of friendship perfection?

I think I was, once.  Similar to how Frodo and Sam lived near each other, I grew up in the house next to a girl who was adopted at age 7 from Brazil.  Our parents basically forced us upon each other: she needed a friend her age that could teach her English.  Our friendship grew exponentially after the first year of language struggles to the point where I could tell her anything.  Her parents moved her to a more “Brazilian friendly” (their words, not mine) community when we were 14 because they thought she was not making enough friends in our hometown.  In her new community, the Brazillians rejected her because she could no longer speak Portuguese and the Americans rejected her because she didn’t fit in with them.  At age 16, she tried to kill herself and was hospitalized.  At 17, she dropped out of high school and left her adoptive parents home swearing never to talk to them again.  At 18, she was a stripper and living with a guy where all they did was smoke a bunch of pot.  By 21, she had cleaned up a little and was no longer a stripper, but nevertheless had trouble holding a job and still was not talking to her adoptive parents.  At 23, she had found a new boyfriend and was moving to Rhode Island to be with him.

I have no idea what happened to her after that.  I stayed close with her all the way up until the end.  She was my Frodo, and I wanted to stick it out with her no matter what.  Because at the end of the day, though we seemed so different, my loyalty to her and our friendship was unparalleled.

But from ages 21-23, I was engaged to my now husband.  I told her I wanted to marry him before we were even engaged.  Somehow, I just knew he was the “one” for me.  Her reaction, however, was not what I expected.  She said, “But there’s still so much we need to do together.  How can you get married so young?”  I told her we could still do stuff together; being married wouldn’t make a difference.  I thought I had pacified her fears and insecurities.

Once I was engaged, I asked her to be my bridesmaid and she accepted graciously.  She was going to be first in line after my sister.  And then 6 months before my wedding, she stopped contacting me.  Last I talked with her, she was moving to Rhode Island.  I called her cell so many times, called her sister (the only person from her family she still kept in touch with), emailed her, called her ex-boyfriend…but all to no avail.  She does not have facebook, so that was no help either.  Eventually she changed her number and the cell number I would call said it was disconnected.  To this day, though, I still have that number in my phone and refuse to delete it.  I keep hoping that maybe she will reach out again and find me.

Did she think I was betraying or leaving her by getting married?  Did she just not have enough money to pay for being my bridesmaid?  Did she think that we were now on two different life paths and felt it better just to cut me off?  Maybe all of these answers, maybe none.

Since then, I have never felt the Samwise loyalty that I felt towards her for any of my other friends.  The closest person wouldfrodo and sam mount doom probably be my husband, and even that’s different since it’s a romantic relationship.  My friendships now reflect a galaxy far, far away, more than those in Middle Earth.  I don’t think it’s sad that my friendships are now closer aligned to those in Star Wars, because I love the real relationship between Chewie and Han.  But I do mourn the strength and bond of my former Middle Earth friendship that I have never experienced since.

“It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam,” said Frodo, “and I could not have borne that.”

“Not as certain as being left behind,” said Sam.

“But I am going to Mordor.”

“I know that well enough, Mr. Frodo. Of course you are. And I’m coming with you.”

Feeling Under The Weather? Watch Star Wars!

There’s nothing that cures a bad day, breakups, flus and colds, or this-job-sucks-I-really-need-to-get-a-new-one like watching Star Wars.  I mean, it’s just the perfect movie and really helps put your life into perspective.

Feel like your problems are insurmountable?  Well, at least you don’t have to take down the entire Empire by destroying their shield generator AND their huge, revolving space station.

Is your flu so awful that you are almost hallucinating due to your high fever?  Well, at least your arm hasn’t just been chopped off while at the same time finding out your father is one of the biggest, baddest guys in the whole universe.

Does your job suck so much that you are considering quitting?  Well, at least you aren’t that undervalued stormtrooper who hits his head on the closing doors, but doesn’t get a pay raise.  Ok.  I made that last part up.  I doubt stormtroopers even got paid.  Well – at least your job isn’t done by a million other clones!

stormtrooper blooper

So you’re having a bad day and “under the weather” so to say, but which of the Original Trilogy films do you actually end up watching?*

This is where I literally use the weather to help me out.  When I was younger, and having a bad day, I would always turn to Star Wars.  I couldn’t just pick out any of the OT movies to watch…I had to make sure the weather coincided with it.**

So without further ado…

A cloud chart for your reference

A cloud chart for your reference

 

Kiri’s Ultimate Weather Guide to Watching Star Wars

Sunshine (any kind of cumulous or cirrus clouds are ok in this situation)

Let’s start off with the easy weather.  A New Hope was always the movie I Tatooine twin sunswatched when the day was bright and beautiful.  A day that begins well and ends well is just like ANH.  We start off on Tatooine, a bright, sun-filled planet with nary a cloud in the sky, and end in Yavin 4 with a fabulous victory.  Isn’t that just the movie you want to watch when the sun is shining and you have nothing but lazy, summer days ahead of you?  (It’s been a long time since I sat and actually watched a movie when a beautiful summer day was beckoning, but when I was younger, I had a lot more free time)

Cloudy days (any kind of stratus cloud)

This is a little bit harder.  Cloudy days can be warm or cold, but can be very oppressive, especially here in the Northeast where the winter weather includes overcast skies for continual days on end.  So this is where I have to refine the formula even more and say that if it’s summer and there’s a cloudy day – I will go with Return of the Jedi.  It’s still warm outside, so that makes me happy, but the cloudy weather makes me want to stay inside.  With ROTJ, we have this movie that brings you down because you think that Luke will have to kill Vader and the attack on the Death Star makes you realize how close the Rebellion is to being completely destroyed.  But in the end, it’s happy and, well, warm.  Now – if it’s a cold, cloudy day, which often means there’s snow on the ground here in New England, then you have to go with Empire Strikes Back.

Snow days (nimbostratus)

ESB is meant for snow days.  For one reason, the movie starts off on Hoth, which is full of snow.  It’s very relatable when you’re sitting outside looking at Hoth KOTORthe snow rapidly falling and thinking, “I wish I didn’t have to shovel myself out and could just jump on a Tauntaun.”  Secondly, you’re trapped inside so you need a movie that lends well to contemplative thoughts.  And the scenes when Luke trains with Yoda can get boring after a while and should only be watched when you’re trapped inside with nowhere to go.  In this way, you can digest all of Yoda’s wisdom without any distractions.

Rainy days (nimbostratus)

This, too, has to be ESB for the above mentioned reasons.  Rain on Dagobah matches the rain outside, and you are trapped inside with Yoda scenes.

 

So that really only leaves two types of weather left: thunderstorms and crispy fall days (ok, that’s not really a weather pattern, but if you live in New England, it TOTALLY is).

Thunderstorms are a tough one.  We don’t often get full days of thunderstorms or that would be an easy choice (ESB).  We will usually have a warm day with a thunderstorm that pops up in the afternoon due to frontal changes.  Since that’s the norm around here, I will have to say thunderstorms fall in with ANH.

With crispy fall days, I pretty much only watch Fellowship of the Ring.  Wait, lothlorienwhat?  Yup, threw you for a loop on that one.  I rarely watch Star Wars in the fall because the weather is much more similar to Lothlórien or Rivendell and my Tolkien urges take over.  The changing color of the leaves, the gold hue surrounding us, the feel of the crunchy leaves beneath your feet as you walk – it is real life Lothlórien.

 

That, my dear friends, is how I used to watch Star Wars when I was growing up.  Not based on what movie I had an urge to watch, not based on my emotional level at that moment, but based on what the scene looked like outside my window.

And now, occasionally I still will use this Guide when the question pops into my head, “I’ve had a bad day.  Which Star Wars should I watch?” and it goes to show that old habits really do die hard.

 

 

*If you’re having a bad day, don’t watch the Prequels.  It may make your day worse.

**I love weather.  Always have and always will.  I majored in it in college but then decided to take a different route for my career.  I still forecast occasionally now, but it’s more of a hobby than something I sincerely pursue.  

Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #35

Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #35

I love this scene!  It always makes me laugh.  I also think this is the first Scene it on Friday I’ve done that has the “bad feeling” classic line.

C-3PO as a God...who would've thought that would happen?

C-3PO as a God…who would’ve thought that would happen?

I actually don’t mind the Ewoks and don’t understand the huge hatred that others have against them.  I understand why people don’t like Jar Jar, but I can’t get the Ewok hate.  Because they look like teddy bears?  Because George was going for the cute factor?  I’ve read forums where people think that the Ewoks just look silly and by placing them in the movie to fight the Empire, it makes the Empire look weak and easily defeated.  The intimidation of the Empire is lost.  I’ve heard others complain that it was just a huge marketing ploy to make more money off of.

I don’t mind them.  At all.  And I’ve also heard that Georgie originally created them as a juxtaposition of the Empire: these small creatures can take down a technologically advanced “civilization” with their primitive instruments.  It kind of reminds me of Tolkien and the end of Return of the King (novel, not movie) with the scouring of the Shire.  I like where George is going with this thought and it doesn’t bother me at all that the Empire lost their intimidation.  The Ewoks won a battle, not the war.  The Empire could easily destroy all the Ewoks if they so desired…it just happened that the battle the Ewoks helped win coincided with the winning of the war.

Threepio is in his element in this scene and cracks me up.  He doesn’t seem to understand the danger at stake and I love this.  His friends are going to be burned and eaten during a banquet in his honor and he’s…embarrassed?  Hahaha.  Not even Leia can help the Ewoks change their mind about the banquet.

One of my favorite parts of this scene when I was younger was when Luke made Threepio float/fly through the air and how freaked out Threepio gets.  I guess I like it because it really shows Luke’s new power well and how calm he stays in the situation.  While Han is frantically trying to blow out the large flame on the Tiki torch, Luke just uses the Force to and smarts to guide them all out of the situation.  He also knows how to deal with Threepio better than anyone else, which could help explain some of the calmness but it’s a big change from Idiot Farmboy to calm and in control Jedi.

Han's about to be made into the main course

Han’s about to be made into the main course

 

EXTERIOR: FOREST – SERIES OF SHOTS

 A procession of Ewoks winds through the ever-darkening forest.  Their prisoners – Han, Luke, Chewie, and Artoo – are tied to long poles and wrapped in vines, cocoonlike.

 Each pole is carried on the shoulders of several Ewoks. Behind the captives, Threepio is carried on a litter, like a king, by the remaining creatures.

 EXTERIOR: FOREST WALKWAY – MOON FOREST

 The procession moves along a shaky, narrow, wooden walkway, high in the giant trees. It stops at the end of the walkway, which drops off into nothingness. On the other side of the abyss is a village of mud huts and rickety walkways, attached to the giant trees. The lead Ewok takes hold of a long vine and swings across to the village square; the other Ewoks follow suit.

 EXTERIOR: EWOK VILLAGE SQUARE

 The procession winds its way into the village square. Mother Ewoks gather their babies up and scurry into their huts at the sight of the newcomers. The group stops before the largest hut.

 Han, Luke, Chewie, and Artoo are still bound to their poles. Han is placed on a spit above what looks like a barbecue pit and the others are leaned against a tree nearby. Threepio’s litter/throne is gently placed near the pit. He watches with rapt fascination. Han, Luke, and Chewie are less than fascinated.

 HAN: I have a really bad feeling about this.

 Chewie growls his concern.

 Suddenly all activity stops as LOGRAY, the tribal Medicine Man, comes out of the big hut. He examines the captives carefully, goes to join Threepio, whose throne has been placed on an elevated platform. A larger, gray-haired Ewok, CHIEF CHIRPA, is examining Luke’s lightsaber with great curiosity.

 Logray speaks to Threepio and the assemblage of fuzzy Ewoks, pointing to the prisoners tied to the stakes. The Ewoks begin filling the pit under Han with firewood.

 HAN: What did he say?

 THREEPIO: I’m rather embarrassed, General Solo, but it appears you are to be the main course at a banquet in my honor.

 The drums start beating, and all the furry heads turn to the large hut. Leia emerges, wearing an animal-skin dress. She sees what’s happening at the same moment the prisoners see her.

 HAN and LUKE: Leia!

 As she moves toward them, the Ewoks block her way with raised spears.

 LEIA: Oh!

 THREEPIO: Your Royal Highness.

 Artoo and Chewie chime in with their welcome. Leia looks at the assembled Ewoks and sighs.

 LEIA: But these are my friends. Threepio, tell them they must be set free.

 Threepio talks to Chirpa and Logray, who listen and shake their heads negatively. The Medicine Man gestures toward the prisoners and barks some orders. Several Ewoks jump up and pile more wood

on the barbecue with vigor. Leia trades frantic looks with Luke and Han.

 HAN: Somehow, I got the feeling that didn’t help us very much.

 LUKE: Threepio, tell them if they don’t do as you wish, you’ll become angry and use your magic.

 THREEPIO: But Master Luke, what magic? I couldn’t possibly —

 LUKE: Just tell them.

 Threepio speaks to the Ewoks. The Ewoks are disturbed. Logray steps forward and challenges Threepio. Luke closes his eyes and begins to concentrate.

 THREEPIO: You see, Master Luke; they didn’t believe me. Just…

 Now the litter/throne, with Threepio sitting upon it, rises from the ground. At first Threepio doesn’t notice and keeps talking.

 THREEPIO: …as I said they wouldn’t. Wha-wha-what’s happening! Oh! Oh, dear! Oh!

 The Ewoks fall back in terror from the floating throne. Now Threepio begins to spin as though he were on a revolving stool, with Threepio calling out in total panic at his situation.

 THREEPIO: Put me down! He-e-elp! Master Luke! Artoo! Somebody, somebody, help! Master Luke, Artoo! Artoo, quickly! Do something, somebody! Oh! Ohhh!

 Chief Chirpa yells orders to the cowering Ewoks. They rush up and release the bound prisoners. Luke and Han enfold Leia in a group embrace. Luke notices the spinning Threepio, with Artoo beeping up at him, and slowly lowers the golden droid and the throne to the ground. Logray orders the little droid cut down. Artoo crashes to the ground. When the Ewoks set him upright, the little droid is fighting mad. Artoo beeps a blue streak at the nearest Ewok, and begins pursuing him, finally getting close enough to zap him with an electric charge. The Ewok jumps two feet in the air and runs away, screaming. A small group of Ewoks surround the giant Wookiee, scratching their heads and marveling at his height.

 THREEPIO: Oh, oh, oh, oh! Thank goodness.

 LUKE: Thanks, Threepio.

 THREEPIO: (still shaken) I… I never knew I had it in me.

My New Video is Out!

Mr. Reticent and I have been working hard on our latest video.  This one is unrelated to Star Wars 😦  Sorry.

We based it off of the news that Peter Jackson decided to release the Hobbit in 3 movies.  If you follow the fan forums, you’ll see that some fans were really upset about this and thought that Jackson is ruining Tolkien’s story.

The Hobbit is one book, a lot smaller than Lord of the Rings, and is also a children’s story on top of that so it is not as heavily bogged down with information as Lord of the Rings.  To create 3 movies out of it seems a little ridiculous.  Jackson did mention he will be including other parts of the Middle Earth story into the movie, but fans are still all riled up that he is continuing to call it the Hobbit, if that is the case.  Some people are claiming he’s been taken in by the Hollywood money/cash and has become a sellout.

Based on all this, and because it amused me, I created our new video.  I realize that this video does not have the broad appeal as the last one did (everyone pretty much knows the story of Star Wars), but I’m hoping Tolkien fans will enjoy it.

As for my personal feelings on this subject – I was definitely a little wary when Peter Jackson announced that he was making one book into three movies.  However, I also believe that if anyone can do it, Jackson can.  So I will suspend my disbelief until I see it.  Hopefully he will not let us down!