12 Days of Star Wars

#12Days of Star Wars Instagram Challenge Nerds

Nerds!! There are only 11 days left till our eyes behold the next installment in the Star Wars saga. (10 if you plan on going on Thursday night!) This Star Wars is going to have a decidedly different flavor than the 7 that have preceded it. There will be no scrawl at the beginning of the film. It’s going to take place in a timeline that we are familiar with but with a whole slew of new characters. And I, personally, am on the edge of my seat waiting for opening night!! I can barely contain my excitement!

I’m doing a Star Wars Challenge over on Instagram to give myself an outlet for all my Star Wars joy! Come play! @nerdinthesand #12DaysofStarWars

#12Days of Star Wars Instagram Challenge Nerds

What are you most looking forward to seeing in Rogue One? Brand new characters like Jyn Orso, Captain Cassian Andor, K-2SO and Director Orson Krennic? The return of familiar characters like Mon Mothma, Bail Organa and Darth Vader himself? Perhaps you’re pumped to see how it’s going to set up the story to lead right into our beloved Original Trilogy? I can’t decide which part I’m most excited about.

I just know that every time a new Star Wars comes out I feel like I did in 1999 when The Phantom Menace came out and my friends, family and I waited in line for hours for that midnight showing.

I grew up with Star Wars (this you already know) so there was never a time when it wasn’t a part of my world. I don’t remember the first time I saw Episodes IV, V and VI. But I do remember when the news hit that George was finally going to give us a prequel trilogy. The impossible had become possible. There would be more Star Wars in our future!! I felt almost the same way in 2012 when Disney announced it’s acquisition of Star Wars and that  the purchase would mean that once again, the Star Wars universe would be expanding.

So yeah…I’m pumped! There is no fandom that hits me the way Star Wars does. No fandom has ever come close. And I think…no fandom ever will.

Get your tickets for Rogue One TODAY!

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.)

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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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

5 Fandom Friday

5 Star Wars items I’d wait in line for on Black Friday

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Today the highly anticipated teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released. Unleashing the power of the nerd and igniting the usual speculation and analyzation that comes with every ounce of Star Wars information.

In honor of this I have decided to do a list of the Star Wars items I’d wait in line for on Black Friday.

#1 – Mysterious new Swordsaber

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I want it. I need it. I have to have it. And if it were available in stores today, you can bet your bottom dollar that I would be in line to get one!! Because haters gonna hate all they want… but that thing is cool. And bad ass. And nerdtastic!!!

#2 – That little rollie ball droid guy

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I love that little guy. And I’d wait in a slightly shorter line than the lightsaber line to get him!!! I’d take him home and name him Sweepington von Dundersnap. And I’d love him forever!!

#3 – Wookie Crossbow

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Yes, the truth is that you can get a crossbow these days. But Chewie’s is better than anything you can get on our world. And I want one!!

#4 – Dejarik game set

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You know that Star Wars chess game they are playing in A New Hope? It’s not chess… it’s Dejarik. And once Hasbro gets that going, complete with working holographic pieces then I will need it. Cold weather be damned. That Black Friday line will be mine!!!

#5 – Blue Globe of Peace

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It may be a weird choice, but I always liked that big blue ball at the end of The Phantom Menace. The peace ball that Boss Nass raises in triumph. It’d make a killer lamp or maybe a nightlight. And I really want one.

There are a million other things in the Star Wars universe that I want. A Millennium Falcon. Padme’s entire wardrobe. But I’m thinking mainly of things that would fit in my shopping cart.

What would you wait in line for on Black Friday? Star Wars items or normal ones.

Photos taken from Star Wars teaser trailer

Nerd in the City Book Club

A New Dawn

by John Jackson Miller

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Once Disney and co. decanonized all of the existing Star Wars novels, relegating them to “Star Wars Legends” they made quick work of ordering all the new novels that would take their place in the new canon alongside the movies and Star Wars: Clone Wars and the brand new Star Wars: Rebels.

A New Dawn picks up about a year before the new Disney XD cartoon, that’s already been picked up for a second season. IT follows future crew mates, Kanan Jarrus an ex-Jedi just trying to survive in the aftermath of the Jedi purge and Hera Syndulla, an impressive Twi’lek pilot with secrets of her own.

Star Wars is always at it’s best when unlikely allies come together to take down a big bad that is doing unspeakable evil. This novel sits comfortably in a world we know and love, employing references to Obi-Wan, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and even Grand Moff Tarkin. Yet it has it’s own story to tell and creates a lovely lead in to the TV show that is just on the horizon (episode 1 has already aired and will be re-aired on ABC at the end of Oct. with a special scene featuring Vader himself, voiced…of course, by James Earl Jones. Don’t miss it!)

It’s great to see a strong female character, which Star Wars has never had a problem portraying. They’ve only ever had too few of them to portray. A problem I hope to see disappear in the new film as well as in Rebels.

A lovely gentleman at the Del Rey booth gave me a copy of this book, officially making him my favorite person at New York Comic Con this year!!

Get it here.

Star Wars and Harry Potter

Before I write another word, Star Wars has always been and will always be my very favorite movies of all time. I know every line. And every time I watch any one of them my heart is immediately lightened. It’s nostalgia and joy and all manner of good things wrapped in a bow. Sort of the way you feel when you play with puppies. But with lighsabers thrown in. (Not thrown at the puppies. I hope that was clear!)

Now…I can confidentally say that Harry Potter is officially my second favorite set of movies. (LOTR is a very close third. Very close!) And let me just tell you why. I actually hadn’t seen either parts of The Deathly Hallows since they were in theaters.
And I just finished the whole series once again. Harry burdens my heart and makes me think. Harry presents simple concepts wrapped in riddles. Harry gives us Snape and Neville and Sirius and Luna. There is such a beauty in the series that just grabs my heart and holds on till the end. And each time I watch it I let myself forget all I know about it and I am taken on the ride all over again. And by the end I am knee deep in Kleenex every time.

Nothing can compare to Star Wars for me. It’s in a class all it’s own. Plus it has about 15 year of constant viewing on every other movie out there.But I truly believe nothing can quite compare to Harry Potter either. And that’s why it deserves second place on my favorite movies list. (Seriously…LOTR is really, really close behind!)

Twachtman Family Christmas

Christmas is swiftly approaching. For many this means decking the halls, trimming the tree, shopping for gifts, planning the holiday meals, booking travel, etc. This is all true for my family as well. But most importantly for us is preparing our Christmas costumes.

Past family Christmas themes have included Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. But this year is the piece de resistance. STAR WARS!! Which means lightsabers, Star Wars Christmas Carols, green screen photos, and so much more!!

Long has our family had a deep and abiding love for the Star Wars universe and last year’s voting reflected that love. It’s my favorite series of movies and it binds our family together!!

Here comes my dilemma. So little time, so much to sew!! I’ve chosen to be Queen Amidala from Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The celebration costume at the end of the movie to be specific

So as I rush to finish in time for the big family Christmas celebration taking place on December 23rd, make sure to check back and see my progress.

Also check out our website for a more comprehensive accounting of the Twachtman Family Christmas shennanigans!!! http://www.sterlinghutchinson.com/Christmas.html