The Force is Awake

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens blog post NErds

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

Star Wars The Force Awakens - Rey - Reactions blog

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

star-wars-force-awakens Finn Reaction Blog

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

Star Wars THe Force Awakens Poe Dameron

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!

Dear Mrs. Abrams…

Dear Mrs. Abrams (aka the lovely Katie McGrath),

I wish to apologize in advance. Because if I ever meet your husband on the street or in a restaurant or at an interview or…anywhere, I will be forced to kiss his mouth.
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Please know that this is not an effort to tempt him from the sacred bonds of marriage! (As if anyone could tempt him from you!!!) I promise you, my intentions bear no ill will.

This reaction to seeing your husband in real life will merely stem from my deep love of the work he’s done to restore balance to the galaxy. I don’t know how else to accurately express my happiness. A handshake?…too small a gesture. A hug?…still not enough. So a mouth kiss it is. And I’m not gonna lie…I know thst you deserve a big ole mouth kiss yourself! So watch your back.

I could try to excuse my behavior…but truthfully…I’m not even sorry! Did you see The Force Awakens yet? Of course you did! Look who I’m talking to. Then you probably did a lot more than open mouth kiss him afterwards!

Before this gets any more inappropriate. I’ll just say thank you! I’m very sure you had everything to do with the health and happiness of our new fearless leader! He probably could not have done it without you and therefore we, the fans, could not do this without you! Believe that!

Sincerely,
A fangirl

44 Reasons Why It Is Good To Be a Nerd

It is so darn good to be a nerd right now. And if you don’t consider yourself a nerd, let me go ahead and give you your very own, personal invitation. It is never too late to join our tribe.
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We may come off a little strong at first, but we love when people come to the Dark Side (or the Light, if you’re into that sort of thing.) Don’t mistake our passion and zeal for anything other than just that.

Sure…there are trolls. But trust me when I say, we take care of our own! Here are 44 reasons why right now is the time to join us…and together we can rule the fandom!!!
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1. STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (tickets have been purchased!! Internets have been broken. This is the big leagues.)
2. Star Wars Episode VIII (ok we don’t know what it’s called yet, but the script is written and the funds are already designated!)
3. Star Wars Episode IX (we don’t even know who’s directing this one, but trust us…we’ll be there!)
4. Star Wars: Rogue One
5. Rumors of a young Han Solo film (rumors are our bread and butter. Get used to it.)
6.Star Wars Rebels (It’s only on season 2, plenty of time to catch up!)
7. Anything else Star Wars that is in the Disney pipeline. (If you aren’t sensing a trend then there may not be hope for your induction into our society.)
8. Ok…we do like some other things too…try Star Trek (anything with Star in it makes the short list!)
9.New Star Trek TV show in the works
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10. Any and all things Marvel (ie: the next 14 items on the list)
11. Marvel’s Jessica Jones (this one premiers in 7 days so you better catch up and watch all of Daredevil on Netflix stat!)
12. Marvel’s Captain America Civil War (trailer will be dropping very soon.)
13. Marvel’s Doctor Strange
14. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2
15. Marvel’s Spider-Man
16. Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok
17. Marvel’s Black Panther
18. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 1
19. Marvel’s Ant Man and the Wasp
20. Marvel’s Captain Marvel
21. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Part 2
22. Marvel’s Agents of Shield (currently in season 3 on ABC)
23. Marvel’s Agent Carter (season 2 starts in January)
24. Marvel’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist (both coming to Netflix along with season 2 of Daredevil.)
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25. DC has a lot of exciting things coming to our eyeballs soon as well (they just haven’t all earned their own number slot in this nerd’s estimation, but some are worthy like…)
26. DC’s Suicide Squad
27. DC’s Justice League
28. DC’s Arrow (currently in season 3 on The CW)
29. DC’s The Flash (currently in season 2 also on The CW)
30. DC’s Supergirl (kicking major butt in it’s first season on CBS)
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31. The Walking Dead
32. Once Upon a Time
33. Doctor Who
34. Game of Thrones
35. More Jurassic Park
36. Word of more Indiana Jones is in the ether.
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37. A little thing called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (translation: more Harry Potter)
38. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (translation: even more Harry Potter)
39. Netflix and Hulu are making it easier than ever to catch up on your nerd. In my day you had to wait for DVD sets to be released and either rent from Blockbuster (yeah that was a thing) or just spend the $29.99 to own it. You’ve got no excuses anymore! LOST, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Heroes, Supernatural, X-Files they can all be yours!)
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40. Speaking of The X-Files, you better get started cause new X-Files is coming our way in January. Jump on it and believe!
41. Star Wars Battlefront (if you aren’t a gamer yet, why not let Battlefront pull you in!)
42. Any and all things Disney (they make things other than Star Wars and Marvel movies as well. I know…crazy!)
43. Oh, speaking of Star Wars…there is so much amazing expanded universe literature coming out. (Start reading! Reading is cool! There’s a lot to catch up on!)
44. There are plenty of other awesomely nerdy things coming out before and after and in between all that’s listed above. But I’m trying to think past December 17th, 2015 and I’m finding it very hard to do.

Well…you have a lot of homework to do so you better get started now. See you on the other side where I’ll be waiting with your Nerd membership card*. We will engage in an obligatory lightsaber battle and a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock. It’s what we do!

*Membership card not guaranteed.

Dear JJ…

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Dear JJ Abrams,
Dude! It must be the hardest of jobs. And the pressure is truly on…I’m sure you’ve felt it.
We, the fans, are chomping at the bit. If you’ve stepped into social media for more than a nanosecond, you know this!
And now that the last trailer (and most epic of trailers ever to be seen by human eyes) has dropped, we can all sit back and patiently wait for our hopes and dreams to come true. That’s how the internet works these days, right?

Can I just say, Mr. Abrams…you are dealing with an entire generation’s heart.

That’s a big thing to hand over…and sure I’ve watched everything you’ve ever done, but we are strangers. I don’t know your favorite color (though I’m sure a simple Google search could clear that up.) I don’t know your third grade teacher or what flowers were at your wedding (again I’m sure Google knows.)

What I do know is that your heart must speak my heart’s language! Which is a mix of Elvish, Wookie, Klingon and Dothraki!
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Perhaps you feel as excited and scared as we do. Perhaps even knowing what’s coming, you don’t really know WHAT’S coming, though you know the plot of the movie that holds our attention.

With most movies, it’s here one day and gone tomorrow.
But Star Wars? Star Wars is a legacy. Star Wars has lasted decades. Star Wars is everlasting. And perhaps…just perhaps you took this job because you wanted to be part of that story. Let’s be honest…it’s what every single Star Wars fan dreams of…to be a part of this story.

I trust your vision. I don’t know what’s up with Luke or anything else about it really. I have a feeling you’ve been very specific in showing us exactly what you want us to see. So… I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know you have as much riding on this adventure as we do (dare I say, a little more.) And I have faith! My heart can tell a kindred spirit and I feel ya, bro!
The force IS with you…I just know it is!!
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And to the fans and the boycotters and the haters and the lovers…back off our boy! Nerds, he’s one of us!!
Nerds…we are getting new Star Wars movie! What more in this life do you want???
(Don’t answer that…I don’t care. I’m happy and living on Tatooine with a pet Bantha and a tall glass of blue milk…and I can’t hear a word you’re saying!!)

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Love,
Nerd in the City!

Star Wars

Only 2 Months to go… I repeat! There are only 2 months to go till we will be feasting our eyes on Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens!!!
(Can you hear that? That is the sound of a fangirl losing her nerdy little mind over here!!!)

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Here is the newest poster to drop today. With the new and final trailer dropping tomorrow night during Monday night football (clearly Disney’s effort to get more nerds to watch sports…all over that!)

First thoughts…
-WHERE’S LUKE?? Someone put out an APB for Luke!!!
-Leia’s hair! 😍
-New Death Star looking weapon!!
-Kylo, Rey, Finn, Poe!!!!! The gang’s all there.

No doubt we will all have many more feelings to share after tomorrow night!
It is really good to be a nerd right now!! Who’s with me?

It’s HERE!!!!

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The new teaser trailer just landed!! And it is amazing. Behold! And I defy you to not be emotional while watching! I’m in tears right now!!!

The remnants of a crashed Star Destroyer. The narration from Mark Hamill is chilling and heart-wrenching. Vader’s charred mask, Leia getting a lightsaber. And of course that one and only scruffy-looking nerf herder, Han Solo.

Harrison isn’t at Celebration this weekend as he is still healing from his plane crash. But the rest of the cast showed up in full Force (pun intended) and with smiles and tears alike! It’s gonna be a weekend to remember, even for those of us who aren’t in attendance.

I cannot contain my excitement and must now go watch it on repeat till I have every frame memorized!! TTYL

Dreaming of SW Celebration

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Sadly I am not in Anaheim, California right this very minute. I am not soaking up the California sun and preparing for an epic weekend of Star Wars culture. That is what I’m not doing.

What I am doing is dreaming of the panels I’ll be missing. And reading my Star Wars EU novels and watching Star Wars on digital platforms. Anything to be connected to the massive event that I am sadly not partaking in,

I have been to Star Wars Celebrations of yesteryear and I have to tell you… it’s an amazing experience. Especially for the fanatics of the world (that includes your favorite nerdy girl!) Luckily there are some new ways to stay in touch with SW Celebrations as the weekend progresses and the geeks keep on geeking out.

In just under an hour, JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy will be taking the main Celebration Stage to kickoff the weekend and talk about… well, you know what they’re talking about. A little movie coming out in December. An underground indie if ever there was one.

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Only the biggest movies of the year (Sorry, Avengers. I love you, but step aside for the King!) Who knows what untold treasure trove of information they will have to share. Luckily for those of us who can’t be there, Verizon and StarWars.com are bringing us the action, live. Click Here for more info!! 

Not only that, but there are the ever present social media platforms that make it easy to follow along.

Twitter: @SW_Celebration

Facebook: Star Wars Celebration

Instagram: @starwarscelebration

You Tube: Star Wars Celebration

These are, of course, the best way to stay connected to all the action from a galaxy far, far away. And when it comes to Star Wars, you never want to miss any of the action. It’s basically the best part!!!

If you are at the Con, make sure to keep us informed and shout it out if you are so inclined. I’ll be bringing you the panels I wish I was attending this weekend. As well as any good stuff coming out of the Con!! (of which there will be plenty!)

So may the Force be with you, my lovely nerds!! Enjoy this little look at Star Wars Celebrations of yesteryear!!

Ready to rule!

Star Wars Episode VII: 10 Months To Go

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The countdown continues and there are only 10 months left till Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Is it December yet??

Enjoy some more art from Katie Cook! One of my favorite Star Wars artists. Her work is too adorable for words!!

Star Wars Episode VII: 1 Year To Go

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Today marks one year until Star Wars Episode VII hits the theaters. And if you’re a Star Wars nerd like me, then you have been waiting with baited breath for each and every scrap of news that’s come out. But we have to beware, everyone. There’s a lot of false prophecy out there that you must ignore. So to clear things up, here’s what we know to be true.

THE DIRECTOR

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A little over 2 years ago when the news first broke that Disney had purchased the Star Wars Empire and that three new movies were slated to join the epic saga, the first thing on everyone’s mind was who’s going to direct it? With George Lucas stepping away, we knew that The Maker wasn’t going to be in charge. And to all of us who lovingly endured the more painful moments of the prequels (there are plenty of redeeming qualities) we all knew this could be a really good thing.

Once that was established, the hunt was officially on. And the amazing thing to think about is how most of today’s directors have been directly influenced by Star Wars. For a while, everyone from Joss Whedon (Avengers) to Jon Favreau (Iron Man) to JJ Abrams (Star Trek) was being considered to take the helm. As we all now know, in the end it would be JJ, who got hired to direct. JJ’s a big fan of the Star Wars movies.  So we know that the Universe we know and love is in the hands of someone who knows and loves it as well.

THE CAST

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After the director was hired, the next thought on people’s minds was “Who’s gonna be in it?” We all hoped and dreamed that the original trio would jump back into costume, but the years had passed and who knows if that was where the “powers that be” saw the story going. There’s was so much expanded universe (before the de-canonization) to work with. What direction would they go? But then came the news that they were back in the cockpit along with other classic favorites. And a list of new players that were seemingly perfect for this movie!! The cast list stands as follows according to IMDB:

-Mark Hamill

-Carrie Fisher

-Harrison Ford

-Domhnall Gleeson

-Andy Serkis

-Gwendoline Christie

-Adam Driver

-Oscar Isaac

-Lupita Nyong’o

-Warwick Davis

-Peter Mayhew

-Max von Sidow

-Kenny Baker

-Anthony Daniels

-John Boyega

-Maisie Richardson-Sellers

-Daisy Ridley

-Pip Andersen

-Dixie Arnold

-Crystal Clarke

This list looks especially good with so many female names upon it. There are officially 6 women cast in Episode VII which is a vast improvement on the 3 that were cast in the entire original trilogy!! And that’s including useless Aunt Beru… come on!! When the casting announcement first came out there were less women on the list and this sparked a national conversation about women in film as well as the online community known as the Legion of Leia helmed by Jenna Busch. Perhaps they were always going to cast more women, or perhaps they sensed that their offering just wouldn’t appease the countless female fans of the Star Wars universe. As it stands, there could always be more women in the Star Wars Universe, but this isn’t a discouraging list by any means. And who knows who may join in future additions to the saga. Methinks Disney knows the power of the female. And if they don’t they need only to head over to Legion of Leia to see how much we ladies truly love anything and everything SW!!!

THE TITLE

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Next up.. what will it be called? There were mixed reactions to the names when it was released. But personally I think it’s a great title and can’t wait for The Force Awakens. And when you see it lined up with the existing film titles then it makes it sound even better!!! Take a look:

The Phantom Menace

Attack of the Clones

Revenge of the Sith

A New Hope

The Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi

The Force Awakens

I think it sounds pretty cool when mixed in with the other titles. What do you think?

THE PLOT

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We actually don’t have much information beyond what we’ve seen in the trailer and mere speculation about what the plot of the film is. Right now the description on IMDB reads:

“A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi(1983).”

But false spoilers have been released almost weekly at this point with tid-bits of potential plot information. And while any hard core Star Wars fan knows the stories of Jaina, Jacen, Anakin and Ben, descendants of Han and Leia and Luke and Mara Jade, the council of Star Wars big wigs at Lucasfilm and Disney decided that the best course of action regarding the expanded universe would be to start fresh, thus giving themselves complete control over the stories released. And so everything that already existed in the EU would be relegated to Star Wars Legends and Disney would be able to keep the reins tight.

This was obviously disappointing news to avid Star Wars EU readers who greatly enjoyed the tales told by authors like Alan Dean Forester (who wrote the very first EU novel, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye), Timothy Zahn (Thrawn trilogy), L. Neil Smith (The Lando Calrissian Adventures), Michael A. Stackpole (X-Wing series) and many more. But at the end of the day, Disney has shown that it knows it’s properties well and if their handling of Marvel is any indication, they know exactly what to do with them. So this reader remains hopeful that whatever comes out of the Disney juggernaut will not only be faithful to the Star Wars we know and love, but it will also be exciting and action packed.

THE MUSIC

John Williams is doing the music!! And this isn’t so much news as it is confirmation of awesomeness. When a Star Wars movie gets made, it better have Williams on board or else it just wouldn’t be right. So when it was announced that he would be returning to create the score for the new film, Star Wars fans, the world over, drew a sign of anticipated relief.

THE TRAILER

If you still haven’t seen the trailer for the new movie then I can only assume that you have just crawled out from an underground bomb shelter built in the 50’s and have emerged into our culture with no knowledge of what’s going on in our world. That’s simply the only explanation I can think of that makes any sense. But if it’s true and you haven’t make sure to catch it now…

With an entire year to go until this movie comes out, it’s going to be a long, hard wait. But Nerd in the City will continue to bring you monthly updates with only confirmed news until we get a little closer to the big day.

If I had to choose one thing to be nerdy for in the entire world, it’d be Star Wars. It was the first thing I ever geeked out about. So you can rest assured, gentle reader, that if you love Star Wars as much as I do that you are in exactly the right place!!!

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Make sure to check back on the 18th of every month for monthly Star Wars news!! And to make sure you don’t miss a minute… don’t forget to subscribe to Nerd in the City.