The Redemption of Kylo Ren

The question on everyone’s mind lately… “Is Kylo Ren Redeemable?” or as my guest blogger Michael Burgett queried yesterday: “Will Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?” If that question is not on your mind, then you just haven’t seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens enough! Go watch it again and then we can talk!

Reader, you know me by now. I’ve shared many an embarrassing story with you. I’ve told you about my dates and about my family and about my hopes and my dreams. I believe that you truly know me, in all my pie-in-the-sky optimism. So, of course, my answer to both the aforementioned questions would be yes. Yes, Kylo is redeemable and yes, he will be redeemed. In fact, I’d go further and say it is merely a matter of time till he is redeemed. And it is one scene in particular that gives me this hope for the son of Han Solo to find his way back to the Light.

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Han is leaving the Rebel base to go destroy Starkiller and confront his son who has turned so far from the path that Han, Leia and Luke had wanted for him. Leia and Han share a tender moment of goodbye, not knowing that it would be their last moment together. Leia says to Han “there is Light in him.” And as we know, this is a strong theme in the Star Wars universe. The presence of Light is more than just a touch of the good side…it is hope. Padme felt the Light in Anakin. Luke felt the Light in Darth Vader. That pull to the Light is a powerful feeling.

Often it is the Dark side that is given all the strength of power. And in the past we have witnessed the pull from the Light to the Dark in Anakin’s journey. Kylo’s journey, for us, starts out in the Dark with that sliver of Light still shining inside him. Light that he is desperate to eradicate and turn from.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. All that Light talk happened before Kylo kills his own father, our beloved Han Solo. Tell me something…does one deplorable act completely erase your humanity? Some might say yes, but I say no. (It’s a different story when it comes to the Emperor. Ask me about it sometime!) Kylo is still Leia’s son. And in the end if when Kylo comes back to the Light side, he will have to fully feel his actions on Starkiller base. The Dark side allows you to cloud your true feelings and boil them down into pure anger. But as any person who has experienced anger knows, there’s usually something else going on underneath it. And Supreme Commander Snoke knows this. He is pulling Kylo’s strings the way Emperor Palpatine pulled Anakin’s. The Dark side is manipulation and lies.

Now, I really like the point that Michael in his article yesterday. If this were just a villain, like Darth Vader was back in 1977, then we wouldn’t be having this argument. We don’t argue whether Hannibal Lecter will be redeemed or if Lord Voldemort will come back to the side of good wizardry in the end. But in 1983, when Return of the Jedi was released, George Lucas taught us that even a bad guy as bad as Darth Vader himself could find redemption and bring balance to the Force. Let’s not forget that lesson just because Kylo Ren has no prophecy to bring about his redemption.

We, the viewer, had no idea what history lay underneath Vader’s mask till the prequels came out in 1999. With Kylo, we know a little of his history, but none of his motivation. Why did he turn? What drew him to the Darkness? What lies about Darth Vader’s legacy has he been told? And if he finds out the truth about The Chosen One, will that make a difference?

All will be revealed in due time, reader. We may have to wait a few more months than we want to with Episode VIII being pushed from May 2017 to December 2017. But think of how happy your Star Wars friends will be to have another onslaught of delicious merchandise to acquire that Christmas. It’ll be so easy to shop! So in the end, the wait is worth it. And we can continue our speculation up until the very day when the truth is shared with us.

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In the meantime, I invite you to come join my Nerd in the City book club on Goodreads. So much delicious Star Wars Expanded Universe reading material to dive into and dissect!! Do not miss out!

5 Fandom Friday

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5 Things I Like About Winter

Today’s 5 Fandom Friday, brought to you by The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick are things you like about winter. This is a tough one for me. I actually hate winter with a deep, fierce passion! It’s mean and cold and it’s just brutal trying to get around the city. But this is a list of things I like about it. I guess that means I have to choose positive things, so here goes!

#1 – Flying Home

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Photo by Liz Tailor

My family lives in sunny, sunny Florida. So one of my favorite things about the winter season is that I know I will be leaving the cold to fly south. This year it was a lovely 71 degrees on Christmas day. Now, that’s what I call Christmas!! I should be wearing flip flops… it just makes sense!

#2 – Christmas

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Photo by Liz Tailor

Which leads me to the next thing I love about the winter. Christmas! Jesus’ Birthday! The season of giving. It’s the best holiday of all. Especially since my family dresses in themed costumes every year. So it’s basically Christmas with a little Halloween thrown in. I love going to Christmas Eve services and having breakfast at my Granny’s on Christmas morning. I love seeing my cousins and brothers and parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents. It’s such a happy time. (Made happier when there is no cold weather and no snow!)

#3 – My Birthday

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Photo by Liz Tailor

32 years ago, a lovely thing happened on the day after Christmas. Yours truly was born into this world. And the world would never be the same again… cause I’m awesome! 😉 Winter is worth it all because of my birthday. I have always loved birthdays. And most years I  had elaborate parties and invited every person I ever knew in life. We’ve always been a Do-It-Yourself kinda family. (Why pay someone to do something when you can do it yourself?) One year we did our own homemade Glamour Shots. Complete with before and after pictures. I had a really elaborate Alice in Wonderland tea party one year (I was 25 years old!) Age never stopped my birthday fun. Every year we go to the Cheesecake Factory where we are able to be loud and boisterous and eat Cheesecake and just have a blast. It’s the best!!

#4 – Wearing Fuzzy Slippers

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Photo by Liz Tailor

Last year for Christmas I got these amazing fuzzy slippers that are really only best when you are completely freezing. And I love that I can wear them all winter long. I live about 10 blocks away from the subway stop and on a blistery, winter night when I’m frozen all the way through, I love walking through the door and immediately hoping into these babies. They go best with flannel pajamas, a bowl of mac and cheese and a well thought out Netflix binge session!!!

#5 – Snail Mail

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Photo found on Pinterest (contact for credit!)

Winter is really the only season in which I get a steady flow of mail. You know… the mailbox kind. And not just junk mail and bills and offers to sign up for a new Capitol One credit card. But real deal mail. Mail that I get excited to open and read. I have always loved getting mail!! It just makes me happy. It’s fun to get an envelope and not know what’s inside. Is it a picture of my friend’s new baby? Is it another da-gum wedding invitation? Is it money from my Gran? I don’t know!! And that is the best part. During the winter I am usually inundated with cards! Not only Christmas and Holiday cards, but Birthday cards too. I love taking a huge stack of mail out of my mail box and sorting out the good stuff! It’s such a joy.

So all in all there are some things to like about cold, gross winter. I guess it’s an important season to have in the mix, after all! What do you like about winter? Let me know in the comments below! And if you wanna send me some snail mail or receive some, I’d be happy to send you my address and take yours. Let’s be pen pals!! 😉

Happy winter, my lovely nerds!

Merry Christmas to All!

If you’ve seen this week’s episode of my web series, then you’d know that my family and I love traditions. And we have a lot of unique things we do to celebrate Christmas. (If you haven’t seen it yet, CLICK HERE.)

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Whenever I tell people what we do on Christmas, I get 1 of 2 reactions. People are either really confused and borderline appalled… “You do WHAT on Christmas? Well, I nevah!” Or else they want to join in the fun… “Is your family looking to adopt a 27 year old from Sacramento?” (PS, the answer is always yes. Everyone is welcome with our family.)

It all started 6 years ago when my brothers, my cousins and I wanted to take some photos for our family’s Christmas presents. And instead of going to a JCPenny’s and taking boring, “normal” family portraits, we decided to get dressed up in Victorian garb and take pictures in our Granny’s 143 year old historical home, Eastbank.

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When we took a look at the photos together we realized a few things. #1. How much fun we had. #2. How much fun we all could have if we did it again at Christmas. and #3. How much more fun it would be if we had a different theme every year. And why not start with Harry Potter.

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As often happens in our family, things spiraled from there. Next thing we knew, a green screen was put up, a costume contest was started and friends and neighbors started showing up at our door in costume to join the fun. And let me tell you… it’s a lot of fun!! The best part is that every member of my family gets it. We are all a bunch of nerds. Once one of us gets into something we start to share it and then it spreads like wildfire. My mom read the Harry Potter books and fell in love with them. Then she recommended them to me and my brother. Next we told our cousin and aunt that they had to read them as well. And by then it was all over. We were a family full of Potterheads. Which is why we picked Harry Potter as the theme for our first themed family Christmas.

And the rest is history, Narnia (2010), Star Wars (2011), Lord of the Rings (2012), Doctor Who (2013), Superheroes and Villains (2014) and next year we will have Star Trek Christmas.

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So if you’re in the greater Orlando area next year around Christmas time and you have a Star Trek uniform hanging in your closet just waiting to be worn, then come on over, take pics in front of our green screen and have a Christmas you will never forget!!  And to see the pictures from Christmas’ past head over to our family Facebook page: CLICK HERE

And check out the Buzzfeed post HERE.

Brand New Episode of So…This Happened

Episode 18: Christmas Traditions

Starring: Liz Tailor

Ethical Closet: (Click the links for Liz’s Look)

The Madman and the Crazy Girl earrings from nerdgirlwensi on Etsy

Homemade Harley Quinn cosplay

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For more information on the companies we partner and what they stand for CLICK HERE,and for more on the fashions and where to get them CLICK HERE.

So… This Happened is taking a holiday hiatus and will be back on January 13th. Don’t forget to check back after the New Year!

5 Fandom Friday

Gifts I Want For Christmas

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Today’s 5 Fandom Friday topic from The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick is Gifts I Want for Christmas. So here are a few things that speak directly to my nerdy little heart!

#1 – Maurader’s Map Leggings from Black Milk Clothing

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Black Milk Clothing has all kinds of nerdy treasures. But these are some of my favorites. Now if only they came with a Harry’s real life Marauder’s Map… that would just be nerdtastic!! Make sure to check them out!

#2 – Ms Marvel Tank from Her Universe

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Ashley Eckstein’s company, Her Universe is geared towards the nerdy lady in your life. They also have a wide selection of things from multiple fandoms. But with the news that Carol Danvers will be gracing the screen in a few short years, this tank is timely and fashionable!! Head over and see everything they have!

#3 – Star Trek Pajamas from Think Geek

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Think Geek is an equal opportunity nerd atelier. They have things for all genders. Including these cozy pajamas made for space travelers the world over! Get your pair today.

#4 – Dirty Dancing Tee from The Nerd Machine

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Ok, I know that Dirty Dancing isn’t nerdy. But the amount of times I’ve seen it and the fact that I can quote the entire thing makes me a nerd for it. Plus Zachary Levi’s company, The Nerd Machine has an entire Cinema Series available. So maybe Dirty Dancing isn’t your jam. But perhaps Top Gun or Young Frankenstein are more your speed. Check out everything they have.

#5 – Lightsaber Earrings from Etsy shop: LandAWestDesign

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For me, Star Wars is the fandom of all fandoms. So these adorable Lego lightsaber earrings are exactly the ticket! Plus I love to support hand crafted businesses on Etsy. Check out more from LandAWestDesign.

What have you asked Santa for this year??

5 Fandom Friday

Top 5 Christmas Songs to Spread Cheer

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Happy Friday, my lovely nerds!! Today’s topic for blogversation from The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick is My 5 Favorite Christmas Songs to Spread Cheer. I actually tend to listen to more melancholy, pensive Christmas music for some strange reason. “Where Are You Christmas?” by Faith Fill,  “Mary, Did You Know” by Penatonix, “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews, “Some Children See Him” by James Taylor.

But when it comes to spreading Christmas cheer, these are the ones I like to listen to:

#1 – Joy To The World (Unspeakable Joy) by Chris Tomlin

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I love plain, old Joy to the World as much as the next person. But this version is so fun and uplifting. It just makes you want to raise your hands and praise God for the holiday season. Especially because the holidays can easily become stressful and all about traveling and presents and weather and such. I like to put this song on and just jam out to words that express what Christmas is really about. And Chris Tomlin is such a dynamic worship leader that you can’t help but smile while listening to it.

#2 – Snow by Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney

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Ok, I hate snow. But I loooove the movie White Christmas. It is one of the movies I watch every year to get me in the spirit. Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney singing about Snow is one of my favorite moments in this musical. (Sisters is my other favorite moment!) Yes, there are 4 people in the picture, but Vera-Ellen was not a singer. So Rosemary Clooney did some of the vocals for her while Trudy Stevens dubbed the rest. Vera-Ellen was a dancer though and an amazing one at that!! If you’ve never seen and love happiness and singing and warm fuzzy feelings than go watch it today.

#3 – Christmas Is All Around by Bill Nighy

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Love Actually may be a Christmas movie, but it’s one I tend to watch year round cause it fits into the romantic comedy genre. But Christmas is All Around is a song that is fun and a little silly and perfect for spreading holiday cheer.

#4 – Welcome Christmas from How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon

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Speaking of holiday cheer, Welcome Christmas is a song that just creates all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always had a soft spot for cartoons. Perhaps it’s the Dabu Dorays and the Fabu Forays. Perhaps it’s all those Who’s coming together to show that what they really care about is being together, not all the toys and trimmings and material things. Whatever it may be, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic that I’ve been watching since I was little and is one I look forward to sharing with my own kids one day.

#5 – Feliz Navidad by Michael Buble feat. Thalia

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There is one voice that just immediately gets me in the Christmas spirit. He could be singing Blue Skies or Fever and it’d still make me wanna trim a tree. Michael Buble just has one of those melt in your heart voices and his Feliz Navidad featuring Thalia is fun and jazzy and something you can dance to as you bake Christmas cookies and drink that egg nog!

What songs get you ready for Christmas?

25 days of (nerdy) Christmas!

Day 17: Trivia Winners

Thank you to everyone who answered my Elf trivia questions. Here are the questions and answers:

Question #1: What toy was Buddy making when he failed to make his quota?

Answer: Etch A Sketch

Buddy the Elf makes me smile

Question #2: What are Buddy’s four main food groups?

Answer: Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn and syrup

10 Christmas Movies and Specials We Can’t Live Without

Question #3: What is Buddy’s real father’s name?

Answer: Walter Hobbs (played by James Caan)

Buddy the elf, what's you favorite color?

Question #4: Who is Santa afraid of?

Answer: Central Park Rangers

The Elf Movie Quiz

Question #5: Who is the narrator of Elf?

Answer: Papa Elf (also accepted Bob Newhart)

❤ Buddy the Elf's dad
Here are my winners…

Stephanie Barnes

Brianne Blessitt

Brian Henson

Julie Mustakes

Cheralene Kondel

Kelly Holland

Winners… send me an email at nerdinthecity01@gmail.com and give me your address so that I can send you your prize!!

Thank you again for playing and keep checking back to Nerd in the  City for all your nerd related fun!!!!

25 days of (nerdy) Christmas!

“Jingle nerds, jingle nerds, jingle all the nerds!”

Day 14 & 15: Elf trivia

Well… the snow won out yesterday. And the Elf tour was cancelled. Which means I have all kinds of trivia prizes that are now just sitting on my bedroom floor, very sadly.

So I’m going to put the trivia questions up on my various social media outlets and I’ll pick winners from those who post answers.

So check Nerd in the City’s facebook page, Twitter feed (@nerdinthecity) and Instagram feed (@liz_tailor481) and make sure to answer the questions. You have till 10pm tomorrow night to answer and then I’ll pick winners.

Make sure to play cause my sad prizes need homes!!!

25 days of (nerdy) Christmas!

“O Nerdy Night!”

Day 13: Holiday Movies

Every Christmas my family and I go to the movies. It’s a tradition and we always look forward to the holiday releases. This year the options are:

 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (The most likely choice as it is the nerdiest!)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 

 

Saving Mr. Banks (Second most likely choice. We love Disney and this is a family friendly movie!)

Saving Mr. Banks

 

 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (The underdog of choices as it seems really heart-warming, but will most likely not have a chance against The Hobbit)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

 

 

47 Ronin (Looks awesome, but action rarely makes the Christmas cut.)

47 Ronin

 

 

American Hustle (The big NO! Not one member of my family wants to see 5 of the most attractive movie stars look like 1970’s trailer trash! No matter how much critical acclaim it garners.)

American Hustle

 

 

Justin Bieber’s Believe (No one saw the first one and this is what… a sequel?)

Justin Bieber's Believe

 

 

Walking with Dinosaurs (We may all be giant children, but none will be tempted by this film about talking dinosaurs.)

This is going to be the best movie ever. I know it!

 

 

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (My personal choice. With the recent passing of Nelson Mandela, this is both important and inspiring. Sounds like Christmas to me!)

MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM

 

 

Frozen (Strong possibilities. It will still be in the theaters, but I have yet to see it, and chances are the members of my family haven’t seen it yet either. And I mentioned the deep love of Disney!)

Frozen: Elsa the Snow Queen, coming this Thanksgiving. Excited!

 

 

Grudge Match (Again with the big no! Granny would never go for this film about 2 old timers duking it out years past their prime!)

 

Grudge Match | Poster

What will you be seeing this holiday season?