I Know the Power of the Dark Side

Photo from TeePublic.com

I gotta tell you, after the news of not one, but three shootings in the last 2 months, as well as (and more emotionally jarring for me) the murder of a friend, I understand the power of the Dark Side. I understand the temptation to lean into that power and the strength that comes from my anger. It gives me focus…makes me stronger. (where have I heard that before…)

It’s a righteous response to hearing about a crime that strips innocence and kindness down to a headline in a newspaper. There is power in the feeling, in the emotion.

It’s why the Jedi teach peace over emotion. It’s why they teach serenity over passion.

But today I don’t want peace and I don’t want serenity! I don’t want to seek knowledge. I don’t want harmony. I don’t want to understand or forgive. I want revenge.

I do.

In my heart, in my head, down to my fingertips, in my gut I want swift justice for the men and women mowed down by yet another gunman whose story somehow gets amplified above the stories of his victims. I want swift justice for one of the kindest, most faithful men at my church who was brutally killed. That’s what I want.

The Dark Side calls in moments of high emotion.

The Dark Side seems to have all the answers.

The Dark Side beckons!

But that’s why we (I) have to take extra care to fight for the Light. We (I) have to be vigilant in times of high emotion, in times of pain because these are the times when that Darkness feels comforting. Think of your warm, safe bed. All the lights are off. It’s safe there. It’s comfortable to be wrapped up in that blanket of Darkness and block out all Light.

I’m sure that’s what the congregation of First Baptist of Sutherland Springs wants to do. I’m sure it’s what the citizens of Las Vegas wanted and probably still want to do. And the families of the people mowed down in New York City and on and on and on.

These stories aren’t going away. The world isn’t going to just heal on it’s own. And it is so damn easy to just become numb to it. That’s what the Dark Side will do. It allows numbness to filter in till you can’t feel the pain anymore. And even worse…it tells you that numbness is what you need. It tells you it’s normal.

So, yeah…I know the power of the Dark Side. I feel it, even today, coursing through me. If I could tap into the power of the Force, I’m not sure I’d use my powers for good today. To be honest…it would be a struggle.

But the Emperor hasn’t won yet…the Dark Side has not taken over! The Light is still there and it reminds me of who I am. I use this Star Wars analogy today to add lightness to the pain of these tragedies. But the truth is that these are heavy weights that our country seems to carry more and more of around our collective necks. Salvation rests in believing that we were meant for more and loving beyond our understanding.

The Darkness lets me wish the man who killed my friend would meet with “eye for an eye” justice. But the Light…the Light challenges me to find compassion for the 23 year old who took his own life in a jail cell last Friday after having committed the crime against my friend. One path is much easier…one path is swift and far less complicated. Far less messy. Last week, the Darkness won my thoughts, but today I feel the Light remind me of what is good and pure and beautiful about this world and I think I have it in me to forgive.

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!

Will Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?

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

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

Will Kylo Ren Be Redeemed?

by Michael Burgett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POE DAMERON

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!

#StarwarsChallenge Recap

It’s been quite a journey waiting for The Force to Awaken in theaters!! Now that it’s here I scarcely know what to do with  myself (besides seeing it basically everyday of the week!)

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Thanks to everyone who joined me Star Wars Challenge on Instagram! It was so fun seeing your unique interpretations of my prompts! I think I’m gonna have to do another challenge soon. If you have any ideas, shoot them my way.
Here’s a recap of the challenge!

Nov. 18: I Love Star Wars
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Nov. 19: Show Your Buns
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Nov. 20: Younglings
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Nov. 21: Force Choke
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Nov. 22: Quote Me On It
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Nov. 23: Star Wars Reading Corner
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Nov. 24: Light Side
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Nov. 25: Woman Crush Wednesday
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Nov. 26: Wookie Cookies (Happy Thanksgiving)
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Nov. 27: Dark Side
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Nov. 28: I Love You, I Knowimage

Nov. 29: Star Wars Make-Upimage

Nov. 30: The Power of Cosplayimage

Dec. 1: Favorite Characterimage

Dec. 2: Force Fashionimage

Dec. 3: Star Wars Craft Cornerimage

Dec. 4: Rebelsimage

Dec. 5: Toy Timeimage

Dec. 6: Funko Feverimage

Dec. 7: The Droids You’re Looking Forimage

Dec. 8: Ignite Your Lightsabers
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Dec. 9: Empireimage


Dec. 10: Throwback Thursdayimage

Dec. 11: Her Universeimage

Dec. 12: It’s A Trapimage

Dec. 13: Life Day Celebrationimage

Dec. 14: Product Placementimage

Dec. 15: T-Shirt Collectionimage

Dec. 16: Favorite Star Wars Movieimage

Dec. 17: Midnight Showingimage

Dec. 18: Ticket Stubsimage

 

Share your Star Wars Experiences in the comments below or email me at nerdinthecity01@gmail.com I’d love to hear from you!

May the Force be with you this weekend!

 

 

Star Wars Rewatch (Episode I)

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

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

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

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

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

-Nute Gunray…no thank you!

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

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

-I love Qui-Gonn so much.

-Battle droids have the funniest butts.

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

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

-Com-mune-ications…nope!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-The Bonga ship is cool.

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

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

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

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

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-Oh, hey, little droid…we know you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-I LOVE pod racing.

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

-Shout out to my Tusken Raiders!

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

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

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-Ooo-tee-dee!

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

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

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

-Warrick Davis sighting!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-They sure have beautiful sunsets in Coruscant.

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

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

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

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

-Obi-Wan is the very best.

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

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

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-Those yellow Naboo starfighters. So cool looking.

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

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

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

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

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

-Seriously, Ray Park! BEAST.

-Lady Naboo pilot alert.

-Battle Droid 1138. (Easter Egg alert)

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

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

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

-Obi and Ani together at last.

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

-Farewell, Qui-Gonn!

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

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

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

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

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.

Sci-Fi Debate Club

If you’ve seen this week’s episode of my web series, then you know about my Sci-Fi Debate Club. If you missed it, take a look…

We didn’t plan it. We didn’t mean for it to happen. But when two of more nerds are gathered together, nerdy…geeky…dorky debates are bound to ensue! And yes… they can get rather heated at times. We nerds are passionate about our fandoms (to say the least.) But I think we can all agree that we are united in the way we love. We love with intensity. We love with all we have.

Here are some of the hottest debates (not all are science fiction related) in the nerd community…

#1 -Star Wars vs. Star Trek

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Photo from FuriousFanboys.com

Do you prefer a galaxy far, far away full of rebels and stormtroopers, blasters and lightsabers, the Dark side and the Light side. Or do you tend to lean towards the order of Starfleet. The uniforms, the space exploration, the strange new worlds and civilizations? Personally, I don’t like to choose. I grew up with both of them in my life from a very young age and have never known a time when there wasn’t something to look forward to in the world of one or both of them. That being said, Star Wars does hold an extra special place in my heart. I cried when I saw the newest trailer for The Force Awakens and none of the Star Trek’s have elicited quite that response. But I do love both world greatly.

#2 – Would sex with Superman kill Lois Lane?

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Photo from io9

Gotta admit that I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about this one. But I sorta think they’d find a way to make it work. Love will conquer all… even super powered nether regions.

#3 – Who’s the best Doctor?

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This is a case of…why choose? Although, if I really did have to pick between all of Doctors that have ever been, I’d definitely choose the tenth Doctor, played by the incomparable David Tennant. (I guess I chose after all!)

#4 – Mac vs. PC or Android

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This is more of a geeky tech debate. But it’s one that is had often and can get heated. Mac people are loyal and unswayed in their devotion to the apple. I used to be unflinchingly Mac oriented. And when it comes to computers, my loyalty stands. Now when it comes to phones…different story. 4 years ago when I finally upgraded to a smart phone, I was ready to take my place in the iPhone community, but alas, T-mobile did not carry iPhones at the time and that is the service my family uses. So I was forced to join the world of Samsung instead… and I’ve never looked back.

#5 – Bale vs. Keaton

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What this boils down to is more of a best-Batman-ever-debate. Contenders: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Kevin Conroy, Christian Bale & Ben Affleck (I guess we still have to wait and see about that last one.) I’m firmly in the Kevin Conroy camp. For those of you not in the know, Conroy voiced Batman on the beloved Batman: The Animated Series from the 90’s. The same series that hosted Mark Hamill’s icon voicing of the Joker (another popular debate among nerds: Best Joker ever.) Keaton comes in as a solid second for me (Batman Returns is one of my faves…I love Pfeiffer’s Catwoman!)

#6 – Marvel vs. DC

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Photo from Kweeper.com

This is an issue where I really don’t want to take a stand. I could argue passionately for both. Though Marvel’s immersive world is just so unique and impressive right now. I grew up on the Batman and Superman animated series. And Superman has long been my favorite superhero of all time. Now as for favorite superhero team, I love The Avengers and I also really love X-Men. But my favorite villain is Harley Quinn. My imaginary superhero boyfriend is Captain America. But my imaginary best friend is Catwoman. See… I’m all over the place. I dip my toe in both pools and I just don’t wanna choose…so I won’t!

#7 – Game of Thrones vs. Lord of the Rings

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This is a no brainer for me. One is a pop culture phenomenon. The show that brought dragons to the mainstream audience. That’s an amazing feat, to be sure. But the other is a piece of classic literature. A set of beloved stories that a parent can pass down to their children. An epic tale of hope and fellowship. An author who inspired the other so much that he went and added R’s in his name for that very reason. Any other argument is made invalid by that fact alone. (mic dropped…Liz out!)

#8 – Pirates vs. Ninjas

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Photo from baconbag.com

Ok… we have to talk first about where and why and in what time period are these pirates fighting the ninjas. Are they allowed to bring their pistols to the sword fight?  Cause pirates fight dirty, while ninjas are all about tradition. Though my coworker just brought up a good point…the pirates would probably be inebriated for the fight. So there’s that.

#9 – Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard

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There is a greater debate along these lines, who’s the best Starfleet Captain of all? Are you a Kirk fan? A Picard follower? Is it Captain Sisko that really gets you? Perhaps Janeway is the lady captain for you? Or maybe….nope that’s it! (Sorry Scott Bakula… I love you, but Enterprise doesn’t count.) Personally I’m a Captain Picard girl. I was a child of the 80’s and a preteen of the 90’s. And my parents l-l-loved Star Trek: The Next Generation. We used to watch it together all the time. So there’s a great deal of nostalgia and warm fuzzies attached to Jean-Luc. And while I really enjoy all the other Star Trek series as well and think they have stellar captains at the helm, it’s Picard for me!

#10 – Did Han shoot first?

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Artwork by Fitz Fitzpatrick

This one is less a debate and more of a sore spot for hardcore fans of Star Wars. See… here’s the story. Star Wars was released in 1977. Beautiful, iconic, practically perfect in every way! 20 years later, George Lucas remastered his masterpiece to include some new things. Including, but not limited to, the scene between Greedo and Han Solo in the Mos Eisley cantina. In the original, untainted version of Star Wars, Han shoots Greedo, killing him and thus ending their conversation. This gave Han a cold-blooded killer persona. One that the Maker did not intend for Han. So when the remastered editions came out, George took the chance to set the record straight and added CGI footage of Greedo shooting first, missing and then Han shooting and killing him afterwards. Fans were unhappy, to say the least (the very least.) In actuality, fans were pissed!! 20 years of believing something about their beloved hero only to have it changed? This isn’t the only thing about the remastered versions that would upset the fans. But George Lucas maintains that Greedo shot first, while fans insist the opposite. Han Solo himself (Harrison Ford) was asked about this nerd debate in a 2014 Reddit conversation. His response…”I don’t know and I don’t care.”

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At the end of the day, we all love and love hard. So what are your thoughts on these very important and pressing issues in the world of nerdy things? Let me know in the comments below!! Even if we disagree, I still love to hear about it!

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