Well, the best laid plans of mice and men…amiright?
The day I decided to start my brand new Boot Camp series was the day that we found out our friend Wally had died. After attempting to keep on keeping on despite the mounting grief washing through my soul, I finally came to the point where I couldn’t just keep on. I had to stop. Stop what I was doing. Stop and take stock of why I was doing it. And in the aftermath of tragedy, my body didn’t care about getting back into shape. The Dark Side had taken over.
I’d be lying if I said that the Darkness has left…it hasn’t.
But this past Monday, I decided to give my Star Wars Boot Camp a do-over. The desire to tune my body back to healthy has resurfaced and I feel extra motivated to make the best of my life. Especially remembering that there are people who don’t get one more day. It really does put your grief into perspective. It puts your fears and failures into perspective. And for me, it makes me stronger. It makes me want to fight for the best life I can have.
Week 1: Sith Apprentice Week (Anakin Skywalker)
I’m altering the routine I had previously shared just a bit (pray I don’t alter it further.) 😉
Here’s a look at my morning routine, which I will do every morning this week:
1 min of each
Jog in Place
Dumbbell Shoulder Press (4 sets, 8 reps)
Standing Dumbbell Curls (3 sets, 12 reps)
Reverse Curls (3 sets, 12 reps)
Dumbbell Lateral Raises (3 sets, 12 reps)
Hammer Curls (2 sets, 15 reps)
Tricep Press (3 sets, 12 reps)
Upright Dumbbell Row (3 sets, 12 reps)
Here’s another look at my playlist this week:
To add a little extra oomph to this week’s workouts, I’m adding some YouTube videos that will focus on some Sith skills, such as lightsaber combat, Kendo and martial arts. I chose one of these 4 days out of the week to try. Take a look:
No guarantee that I’ll master these in a week…in fact, it’s a safe bet to say that I won’t. But that’s not really the point of Boot Camp. This Boot Camp is supposed to give me focus. Every morning, I’ll be narrowing in on what’s happening with my body. Where the pain is, where I need to push myself. And by focusing on those things, it will take my eyes off of the unhealthy habits I’ve been forming in the last month or so.
As of today, I’m 2 days into it and I’ve had successful morning and evening workouts each day since starting! Now it’s time to add on these extra bonus workouts and push more…just like a Sith Apprentice would. Channeling my inner Anakin!
Here’s a look at some of the training Hayden Christensen did for Episode III to get you inspired!
No, I’m not talking about the current state of American politics. I’m talking about Star Wars.
I am an…avid lover of Star Wars, this you know. So is my cousin. But when it comes to The Force Awakens we have vastly differing opinions. Mine is one of love and effervescence, his of skepticism and tentative acceptance. My love of the Star Wars Universe is not more fervent or deep or borderline obsessive than his and yet, get us talking about The Force Awakens and Disney canon novels and we seem to be at odds.
He is not alone in his opinion and neither am I. And yet, he and I sat in the same living room when word came down the pipes that there were going to be more Star Wars in our near and extended future. The excitement, the childlike joy in both our eyes was the same. That nerdy, little twinkle lives in both of us. So what gives?
I recently came across a new Twitter friend who was as equally dismayed about The Force Awakens as my cousin, but unlike my cousin, who is very excited about the upcoming Rogue One, this friend was not at all excited about it.
His Star Wars lives in a glass box. It’s incased in carbonite, in perfect hibernation, not to be touched or tainted by the outside world. Many fan people experience this when their favorite things get rebooted (i.e., Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, JEM, and most recently Ghostbusters.) Just like the mint condition toys that remain in their boxes with no scratches or scruff, so too should the movies remain. In some instances I agree and yet when it comes to Star Wars, I absolutely do not.
Star Wars is not the pristine tale of a perfect world. It doesn’t live high up on a shelf never to be touched by human hands. The Force is messy. The Jedi are flawed. The Dark Side is tempting. The stories of Star Wars are as scratched up as the humans who enjoy them.
Some poor sad soul out there might tell you that even the original trilogy is imperfect. Most fans will openly admit that the prequels are far from perfect. And there are some that call the new age of Star Wars an abomination, nothing more than a ploy by the House of Mouse to sell toys and keep us all tethered to consumerism.
One could argue that all art, once it becomes popular, wrestles with that very dilemma. Make money and “sell out” or retain “freedom” by appealing only to the cult collective. Star Wars manages to walk the line between mainstream and absolutely nerdvana. No small feat.
Perhaps some of the fanboys and fangirls who aren’t excited about new stories from the Star Wars Universe are afraid. They’re afraid that what they love will be tainted by Muggles who don’t have the deep abiding love of that galaxy far, far away and are only in it for the pop culture references.
To be honest, I do have to bite my tongue when some poor little Muggle girl, who knows nothing, starts misquoting my beloved Star Wars.
But it also opens the door for me to maybe make a new friend and to be a part of her story, even if it’s just to say “So, you like Star Wars, huh?”
Star Wars is and has always been about bringing people together. It’s a story of family and heroes and darkness and light. It’s all the best things put on a screen. And I count all Star Wars as my top favorite movies because they’re all connected for me. Sure, I have favorites. But the connecting story and the greater world of the Star Wars Universe is what I love. And if I get to see any part of that world, I find myself to be incandescently happy!!
After all, I am, at times, as poorly written as the love scenes in Episode II. I am, at times, as annoying as Jar-Jar Binks in Episode I. I, at times, obtain moments of triumph and victory like in the Throne Room in Episode IV. And I even, at times, experience heart break like with Han’s death in Episode VII.
We are human. And it’s easy for us to pick things apart. It’s easy to read into everything and see the bad and miss the good. I’m saying…be messy with me. You don’t have to love all Star Wars equally. But keep an open mind for what the future of the Star Wars Universe might hold for us. Allow it to play in the mud.
Don’t you think there were fans out there who were not eager for a sequel to Star Wars? People who thought it would suck? People who thought George was just out to capitalize on his success and make more money? Who cares if he was, we got The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi out of the deal. What would have happened if Star Wars had stayed in it’s glass box, high up on a shelf? Perish that thought!
If you haven’t yet seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, then I’d venture to say it’s only a matter of time till you do.
The biggest pop culture event of all time…even the Muggles want to be a part of this. There’s a lot of new people discovering the wonderful world of Star Wars. Maybe they just never devoted the time to watch all 6 movies before (or 3 if you’re a purist.) Maybe they thought it was kid’s stuff, but now are discovering the truth.
Inevitably they’re gonna reach a point where they’re going to wonder…”Now what?” It always happens after the excitement and fervor of a new movie dies down. It happens to me after binge-watching a show or reading a great book series or watching a new Star Wars movie. It’s hard because all you (I) want to do is immerse in the fictional world you’ve (I’ve) just been a part of. It recently happened to me after watching 4 straight seasons of Scandal. It happened after reading Harry Potter, but nowhere has it hit as hard as with the Star Wars Universe.
So…you’ve seen Star Wars. You’re in what Amazon likes to call a #Showhole. But there’s good news. This is where the fun begins. This is when you can start to discover what we die hard fans have been doing to stay in touch with that galaxy far, far away for years.
It’s called the Expanded Universe and it’s marvelous!
Here’s what you’re gonna do…If you’ve been living in a cave and have just emerged after 12 long years and haven’t had time to take a shower and get yourself to the movie theater quite yet…then Step 1 is pretty clear.
And if you haven’t gone back and watched the 6 movies that came before then…actually scratch that other Step 1… this is Step 1.
Next up is the television universe created by Cartoon Network and Disney XD in the form of Clone Wars (seasons 1-6 available on Netflix) and Rebels (season 1 available on Netflix, season 2 currently airing on Disney XD.)
After watching all that, go to your local book store and pick up the newest novels in the Expanded Universe: Dark Disciple, Lords of the Sith, Tarkin, A New Dawn, Heir to the Jedi, Aftermath, Lost Stars, etc. These novels start to build the world around what you know and have seen on screen. They fill in the blanks and flesh out the questions. They also allow supporting characters to have rich story lines.
After you’ve read all that, head to your local comic book store and dive into the Expanded Universe created by Marvel Comics. The comic runs for Star Wars, Lando, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Kanan… The best thing about all this material is that is fits together like one giant puzzle. Each component working with the rest. It’s very impressive!
If you’ve done all that and are still thirsty for more. Go see Episode VII 2 or 3 or 12 more times so you know the dialogue by heart and then…
Go deep or go home.
The Star Wars Universe goes beyond Disney cannon. But I warn you, this step is not for the faint of heart. It involves heart break, misery and long hours reading amazing stories that are now considered mere Legend in the Star Wars Universe.
You wanted more and here it is! Silver platter not included!
I have to admit that I thought this movie would remain more favorable in my opinion than it has. I found myself rolling my eyes far more often than ever before. Needless to say, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones doesn’t exactly stand the test of time.
Regardless of that, it’s still a Star Wars movie. And that’s all I ever need to know. If you missed my notes from re-watching Episode I you can CLICK HERE.
If you are doing a big re-watch before Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens comes out (in just 10 days, by the way) make sure to comment below. I’d love to know!
-Naboo starships! So sleek. Very different from the trusty ole Millennium Falcon.
-Poor Corde. One of the Natalie Portman look a likes who didn’t go on to have great careers.
-Luminara Unduly and Barriss Offee! Love them. Wish we could have had a lot more of them. Let’s give those lady Jedi some real parts!
-Enter CGI Yoda. He’s way cuter than Ep. I’s puppet Yoda. I think it’s in the nose. But still. Why not be consistent?
-Natalie is an excellent actress, so it’s a bit disappointing to see the rigid way she handles some of the scenes.
-Anyone sort of ship Padme with Obi-Wan?
-I don’t care what anyone says… Hayden Christensen=Hubba Hubba!
-Enter the mullet. Sexiest mullet in the galaxy!
-Here’s where George appeases rabid fans and relegates Jar-Jar to the sidelines!
-“You’ll always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine.” BURN!!
-“And you will learn your place, young one.” Burn again. Ani is getting burned left and right. No wonder he turns to the Dark Side.
-Hey it’s Zam! I always like her.
-Corsuscant is a crazy planet. And visually stunning.
-Forced celibacy on 19 year olds? Bad idea, Jedi.
-This is definitely my least favorite of the franchise, but back in ’02…I loved this movie.
-Easter Egg – the Millennium Falcon just flew by in the air traffic.
-Obi-Wan gets the dumbest one liners in this movie. Making the best character in the prequels harder to take in.
-Unrequited shipper: Zam Wessel and Jango Fett. She coulda raised Boba with him and they could have been a happy little bounty hunting family.
-Anakin losing his lightsaber over and over again either makes him really stupid or is just a whole mess of foreshadowing to him losing his arm. Either way…it’s dumb.
-Jedi can’t have sex, but they can drink?
-The Jedi Temple is hella cool looking!
-Mace Windu is the most disappointing one. Did George jam a stick up Sam Jackson’s ass? I imagine Mace being so much cooler when i read him in the expanded universe. And with Sam Jackson is so cool. So it should have worked. Not sure what happened there!
-Warning Anakin! Stop listening to Palpatine right now! Listen to Obi!
-Why is Yoda in that floating chair? Why don’t they all get floating chairs?
-I like Padme’s Minnie Mouse looking buns when she’s packing for Naboo.
-Unrequited shipper: Dorme and Captain Panaka.
-Padme flirts with him right after asking him not to look at her that way. Sending some mixed signals there, Padme!
-Anakin gets the pauper poncho and Padme is dressed in regal refugee robes. This doesn’t look suspicious at all!
-I really like Dex. Plumber’s crack and all.
-“I should think you Jedi have more respect for the difference between knowledge and wisdom.”
-Does lace make her seem less conspicuous?
-Younglings!!! I love younglings.
-“Lost a plane, Master Obi-Wan has.”
-Must go to Spain and stand on Naboo!
-Queen Jamilla’s costumes are far less impressive than Amidala’s were. What gives?
-“The day we stop believing democracy can work is the day we lose it.” Well….
-Kamino is a planet I would never want to live on.
-Kaminoans look like giant walking Q-tips. They feel way too sleek for the Star Wars Universe.
-I love Padme’s Naboo sunset dress. This scene is stupid, but the dress is pretty. And her seashell hair is cool.
-Oh yeah…she really seems to be fighting Anakin off!
-The Clone Wars series really does such an amazing job at giving the clones their individuality. Adds another layer to the whole thing.
-I also like her yellow field dress with the croquet Leia buns. Another stupid love scene. But gorgeous costuming.
-I lived for these costumes! Somewhere is a notebook full of my own ideas for Padme’s wardrobe.
-“How would you have it work?” -Padme “Evil dictatorship…that’s what I’m into!” -Anakin
-As stupid as this field scene is, Portman actually has personality in it, which is saying something.
-Coulda done without the large tick cows. (as my dad calls them.)
-Padme’s all… hey let’s roll around in the grass together. All sexy like. Cause that will definitely discourage your crush on me.
-Padme’s S+M dress on Naboo was designed by none other than George Lucas himself. Another example of Padme really trying to discourage Anakin!
-How long were they awkwardly staring at each other on that couch before the scene began?
-THIS SCENE IS THE WORST!!!! THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING EVER!
-You think they’d have covered ship docks on Kamino. Given that it’s a planet of oceans and it probably rains constantly. Think it through people.
-No on uses contractions in the prequels. Is that supposed to make them seem more serious? It’s dumb.
-Yep. Naboo is gorgeous!!
-Padme is sending some seriously mixed signals. First she’s dressing like a dominatrix, now she’s in her silky nightgown and robe. Come on now!
-Natalie Portman looks like she was slapped in the face before even scene in this movie.
-Back to Tatooine. For a planet that is furthest from the center of the universe, a whole lot goes on there!
-I love Padme’s blue Tatooine outfit.
-Seizmic charges make the dumbest noise.
-“Fiyah!” – Boba Fett
-John Williams’ score to the rescue.
-Owen and Beru!
-Ah, the old homestead where all the blue milk is served.
-Welcome back to my ears, Duel of the Fates.
-Don’t do it, Anakin. Don’t lose your patience. Don’t give in to your hate!!
-Stupid Nute Gunray. Someone kill him already.
-Techno Union Army is lame and glitchy.
-Fiercest Sith Lord of all time’s nickname is Ani. Still can’t get over that one.
-Shmi lasted all that time only to give up once she’s been saved by her son.
-You could’ve prevented this, Shmi. You could have lived.
-Geonosians are creepy, oversized termites. Add Geonosis to the “never gonna live there” list.
-I like Padme’s white battle outfit. But she didn’t really know she was gonna be going to battle.
-I like when Padme gets sassy with Anakin and is all “If you plan to protect me, you’ll just have to come along.”
-Why does Anthony Daniels do a higher pitched voice for C3PO in this
-And now George makes more reparations to the fans by having Jar-Jar be responsible for giving Palpatine the emergency power.
-Christopher Lee is amazing, but he really gets underused in this.
-I could never imagine Qui-Gonn on the Jedi Counsel. He’s way too rogue for that.
-Hey! George Lucas is on the Senate. That sounds about right.
-Too much politics.
-The assembly line scene – after seeing behind the scene into the green room, it takes the magic out of this scene. Scratch that. This scene itself takes the magic out.
-This is a gross misuse of C3Po!!
-And R2 can fly? Why? Seems a little convenient. Seeing as after Ep III he never does it again.
-The 3PO battle droid gag is unforgivable!
-There goes Anakin, losing another lightsaber and further foreshadowing the loss of his arm later.
-“Pst…boyfriend…I love you!” -Padme “You love me?” -Anakin (I know! It is a shock after all her belly aching about not going through with feelings and junk!)
-Here comes another love scene. And guess what it’s stupid too!
-Now we get to a good part. Battle. I like Battle. Someone start the Battle already!
-Oh yep…this is a stupid battle. With stupid mashed up creatures. Rhinoceratops vs Anakin Praying Mantis Crabraptor vs Obi-Wan Ratcatupine vs Padme
-I love how Padme is all “Forget this, boy. I’m gonna climb this poll and handle this on my own!” Get it girl!!
-“Hey boyfriend! Wanna give me a ride on your Rhinoceratops!!”
-Roll out the Droidekas!
-The battle droid head on 3PO’s body is funnier than 3Po’s head on a battle droid’s body!
-George allowed NSYNC to film a scene for this movie for his daughter. So…there’s that!
-Aayala Secura and Kit Fisto are two of my favorite B-roll Jedi.
-Kit just looks so happy to be alive after he force pushes that droid.
-Enter the Clones.
-Here starts Boba’s track down a dark path. I guess watching your father beheaded by a Jedi will do it.
-Geonosis is like Tatooine if Tatooine was infested with giant termite things.
-“Around the Jedi, a perimeter create.” Wow! They are really trying to push Yoda’s backwards speech in this thing.
-Yoda, you big faker with that cane!
-Hey…that looks like the Death Star! Hey…does anyone see that Count Dooku has a Death Star? Where’s a Bothan when you need one?
-I do have to admit. The music is really the only thing that grounds this movie into the Star Wars Universe and makes it feel like part of the galaxy we know and love. Otherwise…not much else does.
-I think the older I get, the less I can blindly accept the glaringly obvious faults of Attack of the Clones. I remember loving it so much. But again, it just does’t stand the test of time.
-Dooku’s lightsaber is cool.
-Padme has an A-game Baywatch run!
-Force lightning is so cool and is a big draw that the Dark Side has over the light.
-I remember every single person in the theater completely losing their shit when Yoda starts to fight Dooku like a crazy, spinning top.
-Yoda’s battle with Dooku is arguably the best part of this movie. Though Christopher Lee’s stunt double is way too spry to be believable!
-Yoda is a BEAST!!
-“Try not. Do or do not.” Indeed!
-Are the sails really necessary in space? All that space wind.
-Yoda just picks up his cane like a BAMF!
-“Where is your apprentice?” -Mace “On his way to Naboo with Senator Amidala….to like…get married!” -Obi “What? And no invitation? Rude!” -Mace (or at least I’m sure that’s what he was thinking!)
-“Begun the Clone War has.”
-Imperial Star Destroyers make it real!!
-I really love the decision to cast Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa.
-Across the Universe is a beautiful suite, but flanked by Duel of the Fates and Battle of Heroes, it really isn’t as good. Just like this movie itself.
-All in all. This is my least favorite movie in the entire franchise. And time just makes it worse.
-But it’s Star Wars and I love Star Wars. So there!
Day 18: Padme Amidala from Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones
I know, I know. You’re thinking ‘she calls herself the Nerd in the City and she chooses hair from the prequels?’ But have no fear, Leia is still on the way.
And guess what, whatever the prequels are to you, they still have some of the kickin’ assiest hair in cinema history…fact!
And so what, I like them. So here you have it. My inspiration for my last day at the beach.
I’m even wearing my Celebration III shirt in honor.
Given my beachy texture, thanks to my vacation, this was a little difficult to acheive. But I started off with a defined middle part and pulled my hair into a low ponytail. Then I took small section of the ponytail and twisted and pinned them to create a bun.