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!
Out of all the prequel films, this truly is the gem. I’m not saying there aren’t glaring mistakes…the love scenes still induce gagging. And the way Anakin flips sides so casually…yes, it could have been done better. But that doesn’t take away from the overall strength of the film and the beautiful and tragic story it tells.
I can’t stress the importance of watching the Cartoon Network series, Clone Wars. It really adds so much to the narrative and strengthens the weak points. If you haven’t done that…please do yourself a favor and check it out (all 6 seasons are available on Netflix.)
Ok…here’s my stream of consciousness as I re-watched Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. You’re welcome, nerds!! 😉
-“There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.” Ok but what heroes are on the bad side??
-Great start to this movie with the sweeping space shots and Battle of the Heroes playing majestically!
-Definitely the best of the prequels.
-Anakin looks like he’s seen serious action in the Clone Wars and has weathered life.
-“Set S-foils in attack position!”
-Obi-Wan is such a cranky old man… “Flying is for droids!”
-Poor R4. Maybe that’s why Obi-Wan didn’t form an attachment to R2, He’s lost too many droids.
-R2D2 dueling a buzz droid!
-“I have a bad feeling about this!”
-General Grevious is so unnecessary. But his theme music is super bad ass!! That cough though…what were they thinking?
-R2 hiding the communicator is so cute!
-I want to hear all those loose wire jokes, Obi-Wan!
-CGI’d Christopher Lee jumping off the balcony is just trying way too hard!! (I hate how they try so hard to show you that even though Christopher Lee is older he can still fly around like a Jedi bat. And why. Because older Obi-Wan was a boss and didn’t need to do CGI backflips to prove his skills!!)
-“Sith Lords are our speciality.” I wish they’d stop giving Ewan those stupid one liners. He’s so much better than that!
-This lightsaber battle between Anakin and Dooku is much better than the one in Episode II. But Lee’s stunt double is still way too spry!
-Emperor Palpatine showing his teeth in this scene!
-Also… as I said, if you aren’t watching Clone Wars, then you are missing out on all kinds of Dooku goodness!
-Anakin holding both the red and blue lightsaber as he kills Dooku…major foreshadowing…and I love it!
-Why do all he Nemoidians on Grevious’ ships sound like surfers?
-That whole “I say patience” conversation is dumb. “Wait a minute…we’re smarter than this.” Cause it doesn’t sound like you are.
-Major smack talk between Grevious and Anakin!
-Ani and Obi fighting side by side brings warm feelings to my heart!
-How can Grevious fly in outer space without needing air, but has that nasty cough??? And does having an organic heart mean he needs oxygen to breath? And how did he catch that cold? And does he have lungs? And if he has lungs and a heart, wouldn’t they explode in outer space????
-Why do they give Sam Jackson the dumbest most static lines in these movies??
-There’s Jar-Jar’s only line in this movie. “Excuse me.”
-Ok…do Ani and Palme think that no one can seem them there? It’s not that dark!
-“The happiest moment of my life.” Awwww…the heartbreak of this moment. And of Anakin’s happiness about the pregnancy. Hayden really hit this scene home and makes you feel it!
-Were they trying to go for some pre-Vader heavy breathing with Grevious? Cause it just comes off as a bit of a head scratcher!
-Que the terrible love scene… “No, it’s cause I’m so in love with you!” “So love has blinded you then?” Yep, blinded by love has to be the only explanation for this stupid dialogue!
-Awww Japor Snippets of love!
-“You die in childbirth” Clearly they didn’t teach Anakin about hope and faith and changing your destiny. Come on!!
-Yes, of course Obi-Wan would be able and willing to help you both. Of course he would! And you should have trusted that instinct.
-“Fear of loss is a path to the Dark Side.” But Yoda, I think actual loss can do that too sometimes if not properly dealt with!
-“Attachment leads to jealousy.” Yeah, but if taught correctly it wouldn’t have to! Friendship is attachment…and the Jedi have friendships.
-“Be careful of your friend Palpatine!” They’re all warning Anakin and all but pushing him in that direction. Of course Anakin easily trusts him. He is a loyal man who is hungry for a father figure. And when you separate him from Obi-Wan, the only father/brother he’s ever known, then Anakin finds that relationship in Palpatine who uses it and twists it. All Anakin wants is to love and be loved.
-Palpatine showing faith in him is exactly what he’s always wanted.
-I want to hear more about Yoda’s back story with the Wookie’s.
-Then don’t put him in that situation, Obi-Wan. You know what’s best for him. You are his family. Protect him from Palpatine and from the council!
-I just wish Qui-Gonn was still around right now!
-“A prophesy which misread, it could have been.”
-War always represents a failure to listen. This is a serious truth bomb from Padme!
-Just when Padme is getting to the good stuff and calling Anakin out on his stuff she goes all mushy, “Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo.” YUCK!! I want more of the fierce politician!
-Space Opera is cool!
-Bring on the tales of Darth Plagueis!
-“All who gain power are afraid to lose it.” Yep and that’s why power should be given to those who don’t want it.
-“The Jedi are selfless, they only care about others.” In an ideal world, of course. But sadly this isn’t true.
-What are some other Sith Legends, Palpatine? He’s such a good story teller!!
-“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some would consider to be unnatural.” He just hits those dark lines so well!!
-This is Ian McDiarmid at his best! He really nails this scene.
-Utapau is cool!
-Anakin and Obi-Wan saying goodbye. The last time they see each other before it all goes down. I’m not crying…you’re crying!!
-Jealousy doesn’t look good on you, Ani. Knock it off!!
-Padme looks so pretty with her curly hair.
-They don’t make it very clear whether or not Obi knows about Ani and Padme at this point.
-A rose gold R unit for Obi-Wan. That goes with everything this season! Obi has major droid style!
-“Oh…a volcanic planet. Why didn’t you say so? Definitely send us there cause it sounds super safe!”
-And now we find Dooku was training his evil half organic droid with the croup in the Jedi arts…but what for? That doesn’t make any sense! He was also training Asajj Ventress at this time. That seems to go against the rule of 2!
-Half wheel/half animal droid vehicle thing.
-How are we not about to have holographic conference calls yet? Someone get on that!
-“I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi” Slow clap and a cookie for Mace Windu…
-At least Anakin knows something is wrong here. Now if only Mace didn’t screw the pooch with this one and basically hand Ani over to Palpatine on a silver platter.
-Buh-Bye General Grevious!
-I wish Anakin had gone to anyone besides Mace Windu! Bad idea.
-This staring out the window thing is weird. Are Ani and Padme having a Force moment? Did it work? Did it help?
-Awwwww… Poor Kit Fisto! I liked him!
-Palpatine’s CGI stunt double is also pretty unbelievable! Too much CGI!
-Palpatine is seriously the most brilliantly evil mind. The way he manipulates situations for his outcome.
-This part is too quick. Anakin sees Palpatine kill Mace after asking Mace not to kill Palpatine. Then all of a sudden he’s swearing fealty to the Sith. It’s too fast. The progression isn’t there and that is the biggest failing of this film. That’s the most important part of the story and it gets rushed.
-Do you think Palpatine had the name Vader all picked out and embroidered on all the towels. He thinks of it really fast.
-How can Anakin possibly become so evil so quick??? It’s too fast. Ani is still in there somewhere.
-ORDER 66 😦
-No one takes down Yoda, bitches!! BEST!!!
-Without the Clone Wars series to give you the shading and characterization of the Clones as individuals, you really lose something in this scene where they turn after having fought side by side with the Jedi for years and years. It’s so powerful when you add that layer in there.
-NOT THE YOUNGLINGS, ANAKIN!!!!! Think of your own child!
-I really love Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa.
-There goes George Lucas’ Jedi son kicking serious Clone ass!
-Anakin really jumps on the evil bandwagon and lies to himself so easily.
“Oh, by the way, Padme. It’s Darth Vader now. I know…totally confusing. And sure it sounds evil. It’s cool. You’ll get used to it!”
-Bail, Obi-Wan and Yoda make a killer team!
-“So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause.”
-I think we really get robbed of seeing Padme as her best self. She is a fierce politician with a very clear picture of how things are going down and she’s not afraid to say what needs to be said. Her political career should have been much brighter after stepping down as Queen.
-Search your feelings, Obi-Wan. you know exactly who killed the younglings. 😦 The pain of the reality doesn’t change the reality.
-Obi-Wan’s heartbreak over Anakin is…well…heart breaking!!!
-Oh look, Padme can easily lie to herself too.
-Qui-Gonn could have fixed this. Maybe not all of it. But we really need him right now!
-This movie is so sad!
-Here comes more heartbreak!
-Padme’s hair is cool in this Mustafar scene!
-You’re darn right Obi-Wan was right! You should have gone to him earlier, Padme!
-Don’t fight your brother, Anakin!!! That’s your family. Come back!
-“Only a Sith deals in absolute.” That’s an absolute, Obi-Wan! Was George high when he wrote some of these lines???
-This is the lightsaber battle we deserve!!! It’s so freaking epic!!
-Yoda walks in and throws the red guards around like a freaking BOSS!!!
-“Not if anything to say about it, I have.” Trying too hard to Yoda-tize every line of his.
-This whole part is EPIC!!!
-And just when you think it can’t get any better, Duel of the Fates starts playing and takes the emotion up 100 notches!!
-The way they intertwine Duel of the Fates and Battle of the Heroes into each other…John Williams is the Master!!!
-Yoda looks so small after his fight with Palpatine. As he goes into exile and fully realizes the defeat of his oversight.
-Ok, when Anakin and Obi-Wan start jumping on the lava droids…it loses the magic.
-Even as Jedi, standing on those droids is just distracting and stupid.
-Yes, he is lost. And he needs you now more than ever, Obi-Wan!!!
-“You were the chose one…” I’m not crying again…it’s still you that’s crying, you big baby!!!
-Also…he is still the chosen one. That never changed!
-“Bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness.” It actually never specifies how he will bring about the balance, does it. Obi-Wan? Just says that he does.
-Can we talk about how Obi-Wan’s last vision of Anakin is him burning on a lava bank with no legs and no arm. Then he goes on to talk to Luke about him like he was the best guy. Obi-Wan can sure bend the truth and hide his feelings.
-I’d like to see Bail Organa: The Early Years, with Jimmy Smits raising Leis amidst what I can only imagine is a rather fascinating political landscape in the early days of the Rebellion on Alderaan!
-“Isita Orido…Oooba…Oooba…Oooba… isista Orida.”
-Oooba has got to be the calmest way of saying push in the whole galaxy!!!
-Padme hopes there’s good in him. But she is no Jedi. She believes. She has faith and that is so powerful!
-Vader breathing his first as Padme breathes her last is everything!! And then….NOOOOOOO happens. Ooops!
-Leia’s theme is beautiful here!
-Tarkin’s look alike is on fleek for those .2 seconds that he’s on screen!
-The last 4 minutes as a set up for A New Hope is very solid. Really sets up the world to come, the world we already know!
-Oh, John Williams. You magical beast!!! He makes the credits worth sitting through every time. He taught me to stay through the credits and listen to the beautiful music!!
I’m sure most of you, gentle readers, already know about my love of fashion. I studied fashion design in college and moved to New York expressly to pursue a career in fashion. I did my internship here and had big dreams of creating my own fashion label. As we all know, dreams change!
Here are the characters who’s fashion I love the most. I think the photos speak for themselves!!
Day 16: Padme Amidala from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
I was going to save this one for Thursday, the 18th, which will mark that we only have 6 months till Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens opens in theaters. But today I woke up with great Padme hair texture, so I had to bump it up a couple days. Padme Amidala starts off in Episode 1 as the queen of Naboo. Her hair is very strategic and massive. It’s part of her costume and her persona as queen. It’s meant to intimidate. By Episode III she has softened her hairstyles, rocking curls and waves. The hair becomes far less intimidating and much more feminine. Representing a change, not only in her political status (she is no longer queen of Naboo in Ep. III) but also in her personal life. She is married and pregnant, about to give birth to her and Anakin’s child. This is a much different Padme and her hair is a reflection of that. Hair can tell you a lot of things about a person!!
I used a clip in place of her headpiece and just let the curls cascade down. I also added a coral lip gloss like she’s wearing in the above picture. Now all I need is a flowy, Naboo nightgown and a very angry, confused Jedi husband and my journey to Padme cosplay will be complete.
Is anyone else so freaking ready for The Force Awakens??? Is it December yet???