Will Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?

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Last week, an article was released on Retro Zap called “Is Kylo Ren Redeemable?” Finding it rather interesting, I posted it to my various social media sites encouraging my followers to read it. One of my favorite Twitter friends had a response and this is it:

THERE ARE SPOILERS!! Of course there are spoilers. If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet and have come to my blog, then you’re sorta asking to be spoiled, aren’t you now? 

Will Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?

by Michael Burgett

“By now, most everyone has seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens numerous times (I say most everyone because it’s still behind Avatar & Titanic in worldwide box office). And there have been a wide range of articles written about the movie and every nuance that could be found within it.  One that was interesting, brought to my attention by my friend Liz, was an article entitled “Is Kylo Ren Redeemable?

The article itself doesn’t necessarily answer the question, although it does tell what Ben can possibly do to overcome what has happened.  But the question still hangs there….is Kylo Ren redeemable?

Granted, we are asking this question and are only one film into this trilogy of Star Wars films.  We do not know the journey that took Ben Solo to Kylo Ren.  We do not know the journey that will take place in the next two films.  What we do know is the actions that Kylo took in The Force Awakens.  He killed his own father, Han Solo.  For many, that may seem to be the unredeemable offense.

But let’s imagine we’re back in 1980.  We have just walked out of the movie theater after watching The Empire Strikes Back for the first time.  We have watched Darth Vader and all the evil things he had done.  We will have had two films to base our opinion of him.  If someone came up to you and asked “Is Darth Vader redeemable?” what would our response have been?  I would guess that most would respond with a resounding no.  He was portrayed as one of the ultimate villains.  He is “THE bad guy” when you think of bad guys.

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However, as we came to find out in Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader was redeemable.  He found redemption and became Anakin Skywalker again.  It was not without doubt.  Most everyone even in the Star Wars universe thought that it wasn’t possible.  It was not without sacrifice.  Vader had to sacrifice his life to save his son from Emperor Palpatine.  But it did happen and that redemption changed the course of history in the Star Wars universe.

We saw one act of deplorability from Kylo Ren.  Granted it was a pretty deplorable act that he did.  But if you compare him to Vader (and in many ways that’s what he himself is trying to do), he is no less redeemable.  By the time we get to Return of the Jedi, Vader had committed numerous deplorable acts to both people he loved and people he didn’t know.

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So I would say that yes, Kylo Ren is redeemable.  Deep down, we all like and root for a redemption story because it gives us hope.  Hope for a brighter future.  Hope for change.  If Darth Vader can change, if Kylo Ren can change, then maybe anyone can change.

The question then becomes “Will Kylo Ren be redeemed?”  That is the tougher question to answer.  It is one thing to say if someone is redeemable, it’s another to say whether they will or not.  One may be given all the opportunities in the world to be redeemed and not take them.  For all we know the scene with Kylo and his father may be the last time or it may just be the first time there is the opportunity for redemption.

We will have to wait and see how things transpire in the next two films.  Kylo Ren stands at the same crossroads with the same opportunity to respond to redemption as his grandfather did.  He will have that same choice to make.  And we will be on the edge of our seats to see how he responds.”

 

Michael Burgett is a nerd in a different city. He has a blog called “There and Back Again” and is a part of a podcast called “Reactor Radio.” Go check out all the things Michael is up to and follow him on Twitter at @MichaelBurgett

Reader, what do you think? Is Kylo redeemable at all? Or is it just a matter of time till he is redeemed?

I will be posting my thoughts on this matter tomorrow. Stay tuned…

Follow Friday

Follow Friday

You know what I love about Fridays? The fact that they always come back around again. Fridays never leave us nor forsake us, gentle reader! Fridays are steadfast and ever constant. And so shall my Follow Friday Blog series be.

I want to help you discover the multitude of internet talent that may be hiding just around the river bend. You deserve to enjoy fun photos, sweet music and hilarious posts that will help remind you that the world is a beautiful place and God put beautiful people in it!!

As always, if you have a suggestion you’d like to send my way for consideration please email me at: nerdinthecity01@gmail.com. I always love to hear from you, readers!!

Emo Kylo Ren on Twitter

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Do you love Star Wars? Did you see The Force Awakens and wonder to yourself “Hmmm…I wonder what kind of things that moody, little twerp Kylo Ren would tweet if they had such things as Twitter in that galaxy far, far away?” Well, wonder no more. Because Emo Kylo Ren exists for your reading pleasure on the Twittersphere!! And boy is he hilarious. Just take a look at the above tweets. There’s more where that came from. Go follow @KyloR3n right this instance!

Maxwell Glick on YouTube

Allow me to introduce you to the wonderful world of Maxwell Glick aka Mr. Cheezy Pop. Maxwell is best known on the inter webs for his charming portrayal of Ricky Collins in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series (which again, if you haven’t seen…you must see immediately.) He was also in School of Thrones and Muzzled the Musical (both of which deserve your viewership as well.)

But it’s his You Tube channel that I want to draw your attention to. In this age of digital trolling and Trump on TV, it’s fair to say that we could all use a little positivity in our lives. And that’s exactly what Maxwell has to offer. He LOVES Disney and his channel has is a veritable treasure trove of fun including, but not limited to: original parody songs (my personal favorites,) Disney tours, reaction vidscommentary and a whole lot more.

The point I’m trying to make is that you should give Maxwell a try!!

Momma’s Gone City on Instagram

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Photo Courtesy of Momma’s Gone City

Meet Theo and Beau. A pair of best friends who love to take the most adorable naps together. Luckily mom, Jessica Shyba had the good sense to document the adorable that took place and put the resulting pictures up on Instagram, where these pictures feel right at home.

Beau was just a toddler when he found his new best friend in puppy, Theo. Both were tiny tykes when Jessica started out. They have both grown, but don’t worry the cute still continues in this family’s newest endeavor “Naptime with Theo and Beau.” A children’s book that is now available everywhere books are sold. And “Bathtime with Theo and Beau,” their follow-up book,  just landed in stores on January 19th, 2016.

But that isn’t all, in 2014 the family welcomed home Evvie, their newest edition. And guess what she loves to do…take naps with adorable animals like Theo and the family’s cat. Don’t miss a single moment of the adorable that this family has to offer with the popular hashtags: #TheoandBeau and #TheoandEvvie and of course @mommasgonecity herself!!

Reactor Radio Podcast

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Photo Courtesy of Reactor Radio

Marty, Michael, Brandon and Jared are four nerdy dudes who decided to start a podcast together. Each Tuesday on their weekly podcast, they break down what’s new, exciting, infuriating, etc. in pop culture. It could be a new trailer that dropped, a TV show pilot, a game launch…if it’s nerdy and they have a reaction, they’ll be discussing it on the podcast.

They occasionally have guest reactors including your truly! But don’t take my word for it. Check them out every week and make sure to weigh in on any reactions you may have or burning questions you want answered on their Twitter page.

Eh Bee Family on Vine

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Photo Courtesy of the Eh Bee Family

If you enjoy clean, fun, family entertainment then let me introduce you to the first family of Vine. The Eh Bee Family is a hilarious group consisting of Mom, Dad, Daughter and Son who love to tell funny 6 second stories on a daily basis. They have over 2 million followers on Vine and over 12 million followers word wide over various social media platforms. Check them out on You Tube, Instagram, Twitter and their native platform Vine. This group is safe to share with the little ones. The kids and parents alike are talented and have found a way to share the joy of their family with us all.

Emma Watson’s Book Club on Goodreads

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Photo Courtesy of Goodreads

Calling anyone who loves to read and believes in equality. Emma Watson has been working with UN Women and in an effort learn more about equality and to prepare for her role as feminist icon and all around lovely human being, Emma has started her own Book Club on Goodreads. The group is called “Our Shared Shelf” and the first book we’re reading is “My Life on the Road” by Gloria Steinem. The perfect choice for this group.

In a world where more and more people are escaping direct interaction with the online community due to the huge insurgence of internet trolls and hate mongering, Emma Watson takes a bold step towards greater connectivity with her fans and creating a conversation about equality that is positive and productive to the narrative of our culture. She has a big dream for the women of this world and she’s not afraid to share it!! So get onboard the Hogwarts Express…ok, I had to make a Potter reference somewhere!! Moral of the story is, join in!

And, of course, if you aren’t yet following little ole me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, Pinterest, Podcast coming soon, Periscope (@nerdinthecity), Vine, Snapchat (@nerdinthesand) and on the very Blog you are currently reading, then now’s the time to pick your favorite platform, cause I have a little something for everyone!

Thanks for reading. Go forth and discover something or someone new!

The Force is Awake

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Now that I’ve see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens for the 6th time, I feel like I can accurately and comprehensively share with you my thoughts and feelings and theories about it all. But before you go any further, let me offer you two warnings:

The 1st is the obligatory SPOILER WARNING. Because I’m doing deep. I’ll be up to my elbows in Jar-Jar quotes and Midiclorian references…wait…it’s not 1999. Regardless…there will be spoilers and I don’t want you, who haven’t seen it, to be spoiled. So if you choose to proceed…you have been warned about the spoilers.

There are SPOILERS ahead.

So many SPOILERS!!

Ok. The 2nd warning is about the tone of my “critique.” I put critique in quote marks because I have not the desire nor the ability to be critical of Star Wars right now. Thats not always the case, I guess. I have very strong opinions about Episode II: Attack of the Clones. But those opinions developed after many years and many viewings and many Conventions and debates and articles.  What you are about to read is enthusiastic. It’s positive. It’s hopelessly upbeat. I just can’t help it and I won’t apologize. So if you’re looking for a searing review or a critical eye…you’ve come to the wrong place. I absolutely, positively loved this movie (hence the seeing it 6 times thing.)

Now that you’ve been doubly warned, you may proceed…

PLOT

X-Wings Star Wars The Force Awakens recap blog

On my scale from Clones to Empire… I would give this a resounding Jedi! The plot itself greatly mirrors the events in A New Hope. Evil reigns in the galaxy. A misfit band, the Rebellion Resistance fight to stop them. A young person from a sandy planet doesn’t know the power that lies inside them, but after meeting an adorable droid is set on a journey of adventure and discovery that leads them to the Force. That adorable droid also carries secret plans that the Empire First Order is desperately trying to retrieve. The Rathtar gags mirror the Trash Compactor scene. And even Han Solo’s last stand against his son Kylo Ren mirrors Obi-Wan’s final stand against Kylo’s own grandfather, Darth Vader.

There have been complaints that this mirroring hurts the film in that it essentially is unoriginal. But I disagree. I think it makes it feel like home. The Force Awakens’ job (JJ’s job) was to create nostalgia and warm feelings inside, while trying to start the franchise on a new journey. What they have accomplished is making  this film feel comfortably old and excitingly new at the same time. No small feat. And where the prequels lacked things like shocking revelations (ie: Luke’s parentage or Kylo’s parentage) and witty one liners (ie: “I’d just as soon kiss a Wookie.” or “That’s not how the Force works!”) TFA has it all and then some. So I’d say that Disney’s mission is accomplished and the numbers don’t lie. TFA continues to break records as we speak!

And besides, Star Wars was never about the proven theories or even the deep character development, though those things are what makes it an everlasting saga. Star Wars is about the feels…the emotion…the shared experience of watching it with loved ones. That’s what Star Wars is about and this movie does not disappoint. From the very first words that scroll across the screen, “Luke Skywalker has vanished.” It grabs you by the short hairs and holds on tight till we finally glimpse that weathered face on the cliffs of who-the-hell-knows. If you didn’t shed a smidgen of a tear, then I daresay you may have embraced The Dark Side…

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN

REY

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I don’t even know where to begin with Daisy Ridley and her performance as Rey. OUTSTANDING…STUPENDOUS…AMAZING? Yes to all three, but those measly words still lack the emotion that I felt watching a young, independent female take the lead in this film. I felt empowered. I felt represented. She was neither the love interest (“I know how to run without you holding my hand.”), nor the sexual object that her predecessors fell prey to. (ie: gold bikini and “accidental” midriffs.)

Rey doesn’t know the power of the Force that has lay dormant inside her. But we get to watch as she discovers it. From the moment Han Solo mentions the Jedi, there is an undeniable spark lit in Rey’s eyes. When Kylo Ren attempts to raid her mind for the map to Skywalker, Rey discovers she can fight back. And even more, she can use that power against him. And even tests this new strength on who she must surmise is a mindless drone (but is of course in fact, James Bond himself!!) As each power is unveiled she innocently steps forward to test her skills and in so doing, she tests her very being.

She’s funny (“I bypassed the compressor.”) She’s endearing (“I know how to run without you holding my hand.”) And she has all the makings of a truly great character. What we don’t know about her parentage and back story only serves to make her more intriguing and interesting. Let the great debate ensue about whether she’s a Skywalker, a Solo, a Kenobi or someone else entirely. I’m casting my vote for her to be a Solo!! If you want to know why…just ask! I can talk about it for hours!! 😉

FINN

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DANG! John Boyega hit this out of the park for me too!!! Again we have a character with very little backstory. Where is his family? Will we ever meet them? And does he get to kiss Rey eventually?? What’s going to happen when he wakes up? And why not put him in a Bacta tank? That always seems to help!! But I digress…Finn is no hero. At every turn he is actually trying to run away. He helps Poe escape so that he himself can escape the evil that he realizes he’s been apart of for far too long. And when Luke Skywalker is mentioned, he’s not driven to help the Resistance right away. It is when his new friend, Rey, is in danger that he is driven to help…to answer the call…until then, he merely gets swept up in the action.

He doesn’t have to get involved. He has no personal stake in the outcome of events. In fact, he even tries to run away time and again and even seeks an escape from Maz Tanata. But there is good in him! So much good that even he can’t fight his own nature and actually succeed in running away. That is what makes him charming and lovely and all the good words in the dictionary!!!

When Rey leaves him with the Resistance he is unconscious after his intense battle against Kylo Ren. The fact that Finn, a mere Stormtrooper, is able to hold his own against a Knight of Ren begs the question…how? He is passably competent with a lightsaber, a weapon he’s never seen in his life, let alone actually used. So how could he possibly hope to fight a Dark Lord like Kylo? Questions…questions and more questions.

POE DAMERON

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Is Poe single? Cause I’m super available!!! I didn’t think I could love anyone as much as I love Han Solo…scratch that, I can’t. But if anyone comes really close…it’s Oscar Isaac’s Poe. He’s cocky. He’s scruffy-looking. He has that hair! Dare I call him nerf-herder???

His relationship with BB8 is something akin to Luke’s relationship with R2D2. While his relationship to Finn reminds us of Han to Luke. I’m very interested to see more interaction between Poe and Rey. What kind of relationship will be in store for them? For surely they will meet and fight the good fight together. Rey, Finn and Kylo may be the central figures in the film, but Poe steals every scene he’s in and certainly deserves his medal in the proverbial Throne Room!!

Not only is Poe an outstanding pilot in the Resistance, fighting the good fight but he’s also able to keep his cool in the face of danger and even mouths off to scary, masked bad guys. He is EVERYTHING! And I cannot wait to see more of this character. Again, we don’t know much backstory. But with two movies in the wings, I don’t even care about any of that. I’m just eager for more and more and more!!

KYLO REN

Star Wars The Force Awakens Kylo Ren Reaction BLog

We know that he was Luke’s apprentice. We know that Supreme Leader Snoke seduced him to the Dark Side. We know that he is Han Solo and General Leia Organa’s son and that in the end his decision to kill his father was a tortured one, but that it ultimately helped him turn farther towards the darkness. And we know that his given name is Ben. What we don’t know is why? We have gotten to see Anakin’s journey to the Darkness and his motivations for turning and Luke’s journey to become a Jedi and his motivation for choosing the Light. But with Kylo we are coming in halfway into the story. Much has happened prior to the events of TFA. (Hoping for rich novelization to fill in some of those blanks.)

With Luke Skywalker as his teacher, Han Solo as his father, General Leia as his mother and dang…Chewbacca as his godfather (probably) what could ever motivate him to choose the path to the Dark Side? What is it about the Knights of Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke that was so enticing? It’s a bit of a head scratcher. But if this movie attempted to answer all the questions it throws at us, then it wouldn’t have been a great movie. JJ likes to present you with questions, (watchers of LOST know this very well) many questions. It’s what draws you in. It’s what will make us all return for Episodes VIII and IX!!

Adam Driver did a beautiful and tortured job, showing Kylo’s struggle. I felt like he really was conflicted with his choices. He is a young man, temper-mental, cocky, and yet still unsure of himself. He’s obviously very gifted in the ways of the Force. The way he freezes Poe and Rey in those scenes shows the strength he has. His talent is raw. It is not polished like an Obi-Wan Kenobi or highly trained like a Yoda. You can see it in his very lightsaber. It crackles. It spits fire. He wants so desperately to be great and powerful. But he is still so young.

In the final battle against Finn and then Rey, I did question how he could possibly Force throw Rey up into a tree and then have to put up a fight against someone as untrained as Finn. But…you see…he’d just killed his father. And I have to imagine that would rip up whatever light is/was still in him, causing a great disturbance inside of him. Who says that a bad guy has to be really secure in every evil decision he makes?

I like to think that murdering his dad haunts him. And in turn it influenced the way he was able to fight in the moments following that grave action. That’s my explanation…take it or leave it.

BB8

Star Wars The Force Awakens BB8 droid Reaction blog

Ummmm……there are not enough happy words to describe how much I adore BB8. He is just the cutest. And while he is not quite (i say quite because he is very funny) as funny as R2 always is, he takes over the part of secret carrying droid very well. He is in the thick of it all and survives. He makes friends. He makes jokes (lighter thumbs up anyone.) There is absolutely nothing they could have possibly done to make BB8 any better.

The scene where he is trying to get R2 to wake up is just everything good in this world. We can probably assume, given Poe’s affection for the little guy, that BB8 has been apart of the Resistance for  a while now. And yet he’s never met R2D2, who himself is a war hero!! Didn’t think there could possibly be back story questions about BB8 and yet…I have them.

MAZ KANATA

Star Wars The Force Awakens Maz Kanata reaction blog

I like to think of her as the new Yoda. Maz is very wise. And while she herself is not a Force user…she knows the Force and can speak intelligently to Rey about it’s power. She knows that Luke’s lightsaber is calling to Rey. Perhaps she senses the great power inside of her. I love that Maz knows Han’s struggles to stay away from Leia..from home. I want to know more about their history.

Lupita N’yongo did such a great job voicing this character. I LOVE that she calls Chewie her boyfriend. It immediately made me not just like her…but love her! Hoping for a lot more from Maz in the future. And dare I wish for many expanded universe novels telling her tales…I dare!!

CAPTAIN PHASMA

Star Wars The Force Awakens Captain Phasma reaction blog

This is perhaps my only minor beef with TFA. Too little of Phasma. As a Game of Thrones fan, when I heard that Gwendoline Christie was going to be in Star Wars, I was very excited. When I heard she was gonna be a lady Stormtrooper…I almost sprouted wings and flew!!! What a wonderful choice!! I don’t care if it was an eleventh hour decision or if that was the plan all along.

So, expectation and excitement were very high for this character, but then not only do we see very little of her, she is easily taken down and then placed in a trash compactor, which is a great nod to A New Hope, but a terrible ending for a potentially sick character! Apparently there will be more Phasma in our future, which is why my beef is only minor. I’d love for her to be the titular Boba Fett, but with far more onscreen time than fan favorite Boba got in the OT.

I think that she should have been the Stormtrooper that yelled “traitor” at Maz’s place and then proceeded to whip out that laser blaster weapon thing. How much more crazy cool would that fight have been if it had been her…Anyways. Cool character. Hoping for much, much more!! Would love to read a comic run with her headlining.

GENERAL HUX

Star Wars The Force Awakens General Hux reaction blog

Hux didn’t really do it for me. He’s a little young to have the gravitas of a Governor Tarkin. I’m not really afraid of him. Sure he’s blowing up planets like his forefathers did, but he just didn’t have the regal elegance I have come to expect from my British Imperial types. Even his Nazi rant about the Republic just sounded so forced. Though I dearly love Domhall Gleeson as Bill Weasley, perhaps that’s why I expected more bad assery and less petulance.

But, you know me…I have to find something positive! What I did like was the hatred between him and Kylo. I sense a history of them undermining one another to get into Snoke’s good graces. I like thinking that they could eventually have to figure some shit out and either band together or duke it out. Could make this character more interesting.

SUPREME LEADER SNOKE

Star Wars The Force Awakens Supreme Leader Snoke

Andy Serkis is here doing what he does best. Breathing life into computer animation. And what life he breathes! This life, the dark variety. Snoke is a character that is shrouded in mystery. How did he come to rule the First Order? Is he a Sith? Is he in fact Emperor Palpatine’s own former master, Darth Plaguies resurrected from the dead? Did he finally find a way to cross between death and life?

All we have are questions right now. But we know that Kylo is on a dark path towards whatever goals Snoke has laid out for him and now Kylo is about to “complete his training.” Mirroring Emperor Palpatine’s role in Darth Vader’s life. Again I wonder if that training has it’s origins in the dark ways of the Sith, given the givens of the Star Wars Universe. Only time and extensive reading of the new Expanded Universe will answer these pressing questions.

HAN SOLO

Star Wars The Force Awakens Han Solo and Chewbacca

He’s back!!! We’ve known for a long time that he’d be back, we just didn’t know how or in what capacity. But he is back at full throttle and smuggling once again, with faithful Chewbacca at his side. He joins the story in Act 2 when Rey and Finn find themselves aboard the one and only Millennium Falcon. They are attempting to get BB8 back to the Resistance so the map to Luke Skywalker will be secured. A noble mission, to be sure. One that our Han wants nothing to do with at first. He comes home to the Falcon with little on his mind other than Rathtars. Same old Han! Except it’s not, is it.

This Han is a father, we find out. A responsibility not taken lightly by him. The weight of Kylo’s betrayal weighs heavy on Han’s shoulders. With the proper prodding from Maz Kanata, Han is right back in the thick of it.

As I mentioned, we don’t know much…anything about Rey’s past. But I kept getting the feeling that Han knows something. He wants her to join his crew…that’s a rarity in and of itself. They finish each others sandwiches sentences. And when Maz Kanata questions Han about Rey, the camera pans away. Giving the impression that perhaps he knows more than he’s led Rey to believe. This would not be out of character for someone in the Star Wars Universe. Ben Kenobi was holding emotional hand grenades up his flowing Jedi robe sleeves, wasn’t he!

It’s all about the greater good sometimes. The needs of the many…ok that’s Star Trek not Star Wars. But you get my point.

I can’t mention Han without mentioning the big elephant on the handrail-less bridge. The final showdown between father and son. The epic moment when Han steps onto that bridge and calls out his son’s name, “BEN!” Kylo stares with remorseless eyes at the father who wasn’t able to bring him back to the Light. There is so much emotion in that scene…I cried at least the first 3 times watching the movie!!! Han is a favorite, a beloved part of the core of Star Wars and his light has been snuffed out by his own son. It was hard to watch. It still stings, but it was Han (and Harrison’s) chance to pass the torch to the new generation. In that context, I guess it makes sense. And JJ has never been one to shy away from those big, emotional moments.

GENERAL LEIA ORGANA

Star Wars The Force Awakens General Leia Organa

There wasn’t much screen time for the once and future General Leia Organa. Since the original Expanded Universe is no longer canon, we cannot rely on the books to shed light on all the years between Jedi and Force (not yet.) So we don’t know why, instead of banding together, Han and Leia split company in the face of their son’s turning to the Dark Side. But then again we also don’t know why Uncle Luke thought it best to turn tail and run…but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Leia is trying to run a Rebellion over here. One imagines that the pressures of motherhood stunted her otherwise promising career as Luke’s potential Padawan. And once Snoke began to rise in power and eventually sway her own son, perhaps Leia had not the will to try and learn the ways of a Force that is seemingly quite fickle at times. It not only took her father, but her son. What would cause her to want to learn it’s ways.

There is a tell tale scene in the trailer that was deleted. The scene of Maz Kanata handing Luke’s lightsaber to Leia, not to Rey. One would think that Luke/Anakin’s lightsaber might call out to Leia more than Rey. Leia’s force potential is something that I dearly hope will be explored especially because the disbanded EU explained it so beautifully. She clearly sensed Han’s death, and we know the Force is indeed strong in her. Too strong to fight against? One can only hope!!

LUKE SKYWALKER

Star Wars The Force Awakens Luke Skywalker

When the first major trailer hit the interwebs, the question on everyone’s mind was, of course, “WHERE’S LUKE?” Star Wars is a story of the Skywalkers. The story of a father and a son and the balance that is eventually brought to the Force through that family. How could you step forward into a new chapter of Star Wars with little to no Luke?

From the first word in the title scroll, we know that Luke is pivotal to the plot of this film. There is a map to Skywalker. The Resistance has it. The First Order wants it. The Jedi may be all but extinct, but Luke’s power is still very much a central theme of this movie. There is a light in Rey’s eye when she hears the name Skywalker. The tales are still being told, though truth has been warped and turned into legend.

One is led to wonder many things where Luke’s concerned (though don’t expect answers till 2017 and later!!) How on earth did Maz Kanata get hold of Luke’s blue lightsaber? The one that was lost to that ventilation shaft on Cloud City after Vader liberated his son from his hand.

Why, instead of choosing to stay and right things, would Luke leave his sister and his friends and the cause he believes in to go find an island in the middle of nowhere? Even if it is the island where stands the first Jedi temple? What answers could possibly be waiting for him? What could be more important than saving his friends? The very friends he left his training on Dagobah to go save, all those years ago? Have things changed so much? Were his newly turned nephew and potential niece/daughter/Padawan who knows nothing of her own Force sensitivity not enough to stick around for? And if Rey is his daughter, dear Lord in Heaven…let her mother be Mara Jade!!! (A girl can dream!)

Aside from all that, we get the much needed glimpse of that face we love. Though the lines suggest that he’s seen some things and has weathered all kinds of conflict, it is still and always will be a beloved face. Though one can’t help but wish that, instead of staring at Rey with deep sorrow in his eyes, he Force called his lightsaber from her and ignited it and the passion for the Light side inside of him. Thus setting the tone for what’s to come. Regardless, that ending held the power and momentum that we have come to expect from that little shaggy-haired farm boy from the remote planet of Tatooine!!

STANDOUT MOMENTS

Star Wars The Force Awakens reaction blog

Why choose from the stars in the sky? There were so many!!!

The moment that Han and Chewie come charging aboard the Millennium Falcon after what appears to be years apart from their ship.

How about the moment when Han and Leia see each other after their long and painful separation.

I loved when BB8 tried to coax R2D2 out of stasis for the cutest droid meeting ever!!! And then when they finally did meet and joyful beep boop beeps were had by all!!

Poe and Finn’s reunion after Finn believed Poe dead is endearing and heartwarming and has apparently launched a thousand “ships!”

It could be the moment Han Solo takes the step towards his son in the final act, and we all sensed that this could be the end and indeed it was for our favorite scoundrel.

Perhaps when we finally see Luke on that mountain top and Rey holds out the lightsaber that was lost to him years and years ago. His father’s lightsaber.

But for me, a moment that was beautiful and hopeful was when Luke/Anakin’s lightsaber comes careening out of the snow, not into Kylo Ren’s expectant hands, but instead into the hands of the untrained Rey. The telltale music swells. The blue light shines on her face as the red light shines on Kylo’s and a battle worthy of the title EPIC ensues!! It is truly a great moment in movie history and indeed in Stars Wars movie history as well!

I Love Star Wars Nerd in the city

Obviously I could wax poetic about not only this movie, but the Star Wars Universe for pages and pages. I could talk about music and graphics and costumes and effects and all kinds of things because it’s a deep and true part of my life!! But I’ll end by saying that I simply and truly loved it!! I don’t think I can rank it among the other movies quite yet. It stands on it’s own two feet and doesn’t deserve the comparison yet. So…love…that’s what I’ve got in my heart! Hope you enjoyed it as much or even half as much as I did. Let me know in the comments below or come connect with me on Twitter: @nerdinthecity for a more in depth chat!!

There’s a lot to look forward to in the galaxy far, far away and Nerd in the City will be with you every step of the way!!

May the Force be with us…ALWAYS!

The Family That Nerds Together

Nerd runs deep in my family. My father has it, my brother has it, my mother has it, my uncle has it, my cousin has it and of course… I have it.

Nerdy things were not cool at school. But they sure were cool at home!
My parents are huge Trekkies, saw Star Wars in the theaters and are always watching whatever superhero, fairytale, castaway TV show comes on. The nerd runs even deeper than my immediate family. My aunt and uncle, my cousin and her husband…we’re all a bunch of nerds.

So I come by my nerd pretty naturally. You could say I was destined for nerdom! And in the wake of a new Star Wars movie, I wondered what my family members felt about Star Wars. What it’s meant to them. And here’s what they said…

Linton (Uncle):

“I can remember thinking ‘STAR WARS?’ How could anything be better than STAR TREK? Not possible!! But then I went to see it, it was just AMAZING! From the scroll in the beginning to the very end. Star Trek, take a back seat!”

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Barbara (Mom):

“It’s hard to believe that I have such a vivid picture of watching the first Star Wars movie in 1977 since I don’t have a great memory about other events in my past. I remember not really knowing much about what I was going to be seeing. I went with some friends from college. I always liked Sci-Fi, Star Trek was a favorite, but I didn’t really know much about Star Wars.

That day in the theater when it came on the big screen was like nothing I’d ever seen before. Bigger than life, exciting, fantastic, amazing! Coming out of the theater we couldn’t talk about anything else, but what we had just experienced. And when we learned that there was going to be another movie made, we were ecstatic.

Each subsequent movie has been the same, bigger than life and amazing. I know the upcoming one will be awesome and I can’t wait!”

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Sterling (Cousin):

“Well it was you and Jeremy who introduced me to Star Wars (along with Power Rangers, the Rosie O’Donnell Show and Gone with the Wind, those were the only things ever on TV at your house.) And my first memory was actually not watching Star Wars together, but dressing up for Halloween as Star Wars characters together. My Ewok costume wasn’t staying together so I remember my father stapling me into it.”

my first memory was actually not watching Star Wars together, but dressing up for Halloween as Star Wars characters

Jeremy (Brother): 

“Star Wars. I must say it has been quite a ride for me. I cannot pinpoint when I first watched it or when I first became a superfan, mainly because it’s been with me for as long as I can remember. My sister likes to think that she introduced me to it, I tend to think the other way around. Whatever the case, it has been a huge part of my life. There was a time post-prequels when my enthusiasm waned. Why? Who knows. It could have been my post-college adulthood trying to push out all of the things I liked as a kid. Whatever the reason, Star Wars was put on the back burner for several years.

What brought it back (and in a big way?) I think it must have been watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series. It gave me new stories and characters to love as well as reminding me of all of the other aspects of Star Wars I loved.

Now, I’m back to being that superfan I was as a kid (so much so, I have a Star Wars room and even contemplated naming my soon-to-be baby girl Leia…or Rey.) And how, if you are a living breathing human (or non-human) can you not be excited about The Force Awakens? I mean…Episode VII!!! Who ever thought that this day would come! (*contented sigh)

I LOVE STAR WARS!”

DESSERTS

Eric (Dad): 

“I saw Episode IV then I was a counselor at Salvation Army summer camp.. The rest of the time at camp we college age counselors (at least the cool ones) discussed the various aspects of the movie. Little did I know that that was just the beginning of my involvement with a whole new universe – or at least a galaxy!”

The rest of the time at camp we college age counselors (at least the cool ones) discussed the various aspects of the movie.

 
What does Star Wars mean to you? Comment below or send me an email at liztailor481@gmail.com

Star Wars Rewatch (Episode I)

I’m not on a mission to convince you that the prequels are worth watching. I think that argument is ridiculous. We all have our feelings and opinions on the matter.
I personally like them. They are deeply entrenched in nostalgia from my high school and early college years and yes…there are bad patches, but when I sat in that theater in 1999 watching The Phantom Menace and in 2002 watching Attack of the Clones and in 2005 watching Revenge of the Sith, the last thing on my mind was how well they held up as part of the beloved Star Wars Universe, much less whether they had merit as movies in general.

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I love them. I still love them and no amount of vehement hatred or logical conclusions can convince me otherwise.
And likewise I’m sure my plucky optimism will do nothing to convince you they have worth and value and aren’t quite the evil incarnate that they have come to represent.

My beloved brothers and sisters in Star Wars fandom, let us cross party lines and hold hands together as we await The Force Awakens. Let’s band together, not bludgeon each other with the “I’m rights” and “you’re nots” that have become synonymous with loving Star Wars.

I am re-watching all of Star Wars in number order to prepare for the biggest of days. I prefer machete order, personally, but I think number order makes sense before watching Episode VII. Anyone who thinks otherwise is probably right as well (as it’s a choice not a commandment!)

Without further ado… here are 92 of my humble recollections, thoughts and feelings about Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace: (Best when read along with the movie.)

-Nute Gunray…no thank you!

-Anyone else shipping TC14 and C3PO… cause he needs a nice lady protocol droid.

-I remember hearing Obi-Wan say the classic line “I have a bad feeling about this” basically cemented it for me.

-I love Qui-Gonn so much.

-Battle droids have the funniest butts.

-That thing where Qui-Gonn puts his lightsaber through the door and makes a lava hole…so cool!

-Obi-Wan’s youthful exuberance is so infectious. He’s so eager to Jedi. And his smile reminds me of Anakin and Luke (in the happier time of course.)

-Com-mune-ications…nope!

-Queen Amidala’s wardrobe was my whole reason for life in high school. It’s why I chose to study fashion design in college.

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-Oh, Captain Panaka. I always liked you! And definitely shipped him with Dorme in Attack of the Clones. Even supporting characters deserve a love story.

-Here comes Jar-Jar… you know what I thought was cool about Jar-Jar back in 1999 when I first saw TPM? I thought the behind the scene stuff with Ahmed Best was so cool. His screen capture work was so neat and really got overlooked in the aftermath of the Jar-Jar hatred.

-I really like saying “okie-day.” I’m gonna start saying it a lot more!

-Gungan City is beautiful and I’d like to book a night in a bubble room.

-Jar-Jar was clearly a fan of Full House’s Michelle Tanner…”How wude.”

-Jar-Jar involvement in the entire prequel trilogy is Qui-Gonn’s fault. Obi-Wan was all “leave him behind…we don’t have time.”

-The Bonga ship is cool.

-“There’s always a bigger fish!” I really love foreshadowing.

-Did we need two examples of “there’s always a bigger fish” though? Probably not.

-Obsessed with Amidala’s red dress with the glowing orb things.

-This movie began Kiera Knightley’s career. So we can thank it for that! You can never have enough women who vaguely resemble Natalie Portman.

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-Oh, hey, little droid…we know you!

-“We’re losing droids, fast.” Not all droids, Obi-Wan. Not all droids!

-I guess I wonder why Sidious isn’t Force Choking people left and right, Vader style?

-Tatooine must have a lot of money in it’s tourism  budget. There has to be billboards up in the galaxy “100 light years to Tatooine: Home of the bluest milk in the galaxy.” “30 light years from Tattoine: Home of the sexiest Twi’lek dancers.” Everyone goes to Tattoine!

-Awww little Jake Lloyd. It wasn’t your fault. Look how cute you were, you little mop head!

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-“Oh yeah…totally not at all creepy  that I’m gonna marry you in the next movie, Padme. Not one bit!” -Anakin

-Hey R2, come meet your new best friend for the rest of your life.

-Hahahaha! R2 is a bit of a prude. “What do you mean…naked?”

-Unrequited ship… Qui-Gonn and Shmi! Dreaming of the whatifs.

-Padme is a little idealistic to not know there’s slavery in the galaxy. Isn’t that something a politician should know about?

-More foreshadowing about Qui-Gonn’s death. I really do like foreshadowing!

-I think one of the biggest mistakes the prequels made was to kill off Qui-Gonn in the first movie. He and Obi-Wan are the best ones.

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-I think Shmi’s accent is really sexy and can’t possibly come from Tatooine. Will go Google her entire history…

-“There was no father” That whole Midiclorian business is so unnecessary! Anakin could easily have been the chosen one with a father in the picture. It woulda worked. It’s sorta lazy to just nix the dad and call him chosen.

-Anakin had a whole bunch of Debbie Downer friends. Why does he hang out with them? Where’s his Biggs Darklighter?

-Qui-Gonn and Shmi could have been the forbidden Jedi romance we never had or rather the forbidden Jedi romance we deserved.

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-In an alternate Star Wars timeline, Qui-Gonn defeats Darth Maul and goes back to marry Shmi and free her from slavery and becomes Anakin’s doting stepfather who loves him and helps Obi train him in the ways of the Force. And there is smiling and happiness!

-See, Qui-Gonn tried to save her! The feels!

-Jedi are cheaters! Misappropriation of Jedi powers. Not cool, Qui-Gonn. Not cool!

-“This is so wizard, Ani!” I’m definitely gonna start saying “wizard” and “okie-day”… get ready for it!

-Greg Proops! I love you from Whose Line…but Star Wars gives you street cred!

-Gardula the Hutt has breasts. Ewww. Put a gold bikini on those things.

-I LOVE pod racing.

-I was completely obsessed with that Aurra Sing sighting we get. I wanted to know everything about her!! It’s a travesty that they scraped her from the movies. A cool, lady bounty hunter? Sign me up! Thank goodness for The Clone Wars!

-Shout out to my Tusken Raiders!

-Poor Quadrinaro…he was just trying to support his family with a little pod racing.

-I wanted to be a pod racer so bad! And definitely had more than one Lego pod racing set! Pod racers make wicked cool Lego sets for sure.

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-Ooo-tee-dee!

-John Williams has a beautiful mind. And his music elevates this movie to places it couldn’t have gone without it. Duel of the Fates is still my jam to this day. And I really like Augie’s Municipal Band.

-This is the same as letting a 9 year old drag race. Very ill advised. What was everyone thinking?

-Poodu! (The sneakiest cursing in the galaxy.)

-Warrick Davis sighting!

-“You can’t stop the change, anymore than you can stop the sun from setting.” Dropping some serious wisdom, Shmi!

-“Thank the maker” takes on a whole new meaning after discovering who the maker is.

-No one writes musics like John Williams. NO ONE!

-I dig Darth Maul so much! Hes no Vader, of course. But he is a bad ass. When he flips off that speeder to fight Qui-Gonn…come on! Ray Park is a beast.

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-Qui-Gonn trying to teach Anakin patience…the most useless lesson he ever taught. Anakin was not listening.

-Obi-Wan…meet Anakin Skywalker. You will train him and love him like a brother and then cut off his arm and legs and leave him for dead…it’s a whole thing.

-Japor snippets are the new class rings or like getting pinned I guess.

-I love those sunset handmaiden outfits. Definitely wanted one when I was a kid.

-Queen Amidala rarely uses contractions. Is it more regal to say do no and can not and I am??

-Unrequited ship #2: Yoda and Yaddle. Let’s get those crazy kids together. Wait…only 2 of their kind that we ever see? They could be related. Never mind, this isn’t Game of Thrones!

-What exactly is a vergence? And is it different that a convergence? Is it only a Jedi thing?

-No one wants to see politicians in the Star Wars Universe unless its an evil dictatorship and the rebellion that will overthrow it.

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-Palpatine is one slippery snake and that is a strength of this movie.

-I loved this line when I watched back then and have had it memorized for years! “I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee.”

-Wookies in the Senate! ET’s in the Senate! George Lucas in the Senate!!!

-They sure have beautiful sunsets in Coruscant.

-“How feel you?” Another phrase I’m gonna start saying all the time.

-“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Sometimes I forget this line came from the prequels. It is so widely quoted and absolutely dripping of Star Wars! Forget not!

-What Amidala should have said: “Leave the Gungan. Take the cannoli”

-“From your point of view.” See! Obi-Wan listens to his Master. And Qui-Gonn’s idioms become his own.

-Obi-Wan is the very best.

-Anakin: “I gave Japor snippets to the Queen?” (sunglass smiley face!)

-I really like her battle hair. (Saving that for a 30 Days of Nerdy Hair to come.)

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-Those yellow Naboo starfighters. So cool looking.

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-Gungan vs Battle Droids is a fight I could care less about. But those Gungan shields!

-FAVORITE PART OF THE MOVIE!! DARTH MAUL appears! Duel of the Fates …2 bladed lightsaber…epic fight ensues!!

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-Just a room with bridges and no hand rails and now red laser doors? Who built this death trap palace?

-I always thought Padme’s blaster was so sleek! I had the mini keychain version.

-NOOOOOOOOO, NOT QUI-GONN!! Oh, you’re gonna get it now, Maul!

-Seriously, Ray Park! BEAST.

-Lady Naboo pilot alert.

-Battle Droid 1138. (Easter Egg alert)

-Darth Maul, you shoulda had more time to be evil. But (spoiler alert)I’m glad you got resurrected in The Clone Wars.

-Palpatine foreshadowing. You know how I feel about the foreshadowing!

-Qui-Gonn wanted balance to the Force which my father pointed out mean 2 Jedi and 2 Sith. Which is what eventually comes about after Vader kills the Jedi. Dad wonders why Qui-Gonn wanted to bring this balance. When there were so many Jedi and 2 Sith. Did he know the cost of balance?

-Obi and Ani together at last.

-Always 2 there are. No more, no less.

-Farewell, Qui-Gonn!

-History Lesson: In 1999, my brother bought the soundtrack before seeing the movie. And one of the tracks was named Qui-Gonn’s funeral. So we knew he was gonna die and that’s why we don’t buy soundtracks before seeing the films. No spoilers please!

-I love the ending. Augie’s Municipal Band and the big blue  ball of peace (which incidentally, looks a lot like their big blue ball of death.)

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-I have always waited till the end of the credits and in TPM, we were rewarded with the sound of Vader breathing. We flipped our shit. It was so exciting and fueled the excitement for the next episode!

-(Side Note: I saw The Phantom Menace 11 times in the theaters.)