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!

Something Magical Happened, But I Can’t Show You

Magical Moments Lizzie blog nerd solo adventure no phone Disney Star Wars fireworks

Last week can only be described as amazing, soul-refreshing and down right exciting. You already saw my solo adventures at not one, but all four of Disney World’s theme parks. But here’s the part I didn’t show you.

I actually can’t show you. See…my phone died right after I ate what looked like a delicious Mickey Mouse shaped pretzel, but really was old tire rubber that had been sitting in the sun since 7am.

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Pretzel notwithstanding, there was magic in the air as I returned to Hollywood Studios, where I’d started my grand adventure.

There has been one other time in recent Disney history that I’ve stayed for the fireworks at the park. And it’s because 2 equally minded, childlike spirits knew as I do just how much magic a fireworks show can hold. I may be overselling this. But the majority of the time when I go to a theme park, at the end of the night, my party is worn out, tired and just wants to beat the traffic. The best way to do that is to skip the fireworks and high tail it out at about 7:30pm. That’s the formula for skipping as much Disney traffic as you can.

But this time it was just me. And traffic, when I have nowhere to go, doesn’t bother me in the least. Especially if I have open windows and a good radio station. Bring on the tail lights!

So I stayed for the fireworks. Specifically the new Star Wars Spectacular at Hollywood Studios cause…well, duh! It’s me! It was always going to be the Star Wars Fireworks show!! I wish I could show it to you, but I’m sorta glad my phone died. I love to share my photos and bring people into my adventures as much as I can. But this was just for me (and the thousands of other people that stayed late too.) You can probably Google the show, find clips on the internet and pictures on Instagram, but I beg you…don’t! Make a plan, if you can, to get to the park and see them live. Let your phone die and live in the magical moment that it absolutely is. I was nearly in tears…it felt that magical. The way the lights and music perfectly complimented my favorite story in the whole wide galaxy…there is really no other word to describe how it felt…it was magic. And I haven’t felt magic like that in a while.

Without a doubt this has been a challenging year. And I have felt, at times lost, at times angry and at times like it wasn’t worth it at all. It’s not true…it’s worth it. It has been worth it the whole time. And not just because of magical fireworks on a balmy Thursday night. I seem to be most attuned to God and myself when I am acting like a kid. I tap into a part of myself that I seem to abandon more often than not these days. She and I used to be much more in sync, but the older I get the farther away she feels.

That magic isn’t lost! In fact I found that magic the very next day when I decided, on a whim, to go paddle boarding off Merritt Island. Another instance of a magic moment that I will just have to keep in my brain because I didn’t bring my phone with me. So this is the only picture I took of the whole adventure:

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It was 11am on a Friday morning. The breeze off the water was perfect and the sun was shining down just enough to give me a nice sun tan/burn glow. I was paddling along by myself, trying to remember how to do it, since it had been a while, when I saw a fin. My heart froze…and I thought “OH SHIT!” Then, I saw another and another. I took a deep breath and the time to notice the shape of the fin and was delighted to see a pod of dolphins headed straight for me. Four adult dolphins and a baby just happily swimming towards the channel and passing me by on their route. I stood in wonder at the sight of them just five or six feet off my starboard bough. It was nothing less than magical!

I followed the pod and watched as they interacted with one another. Squeaking and jumping in the air. I wish I could show you, but again, I’m kinda glad I can’t! It was a moment made just for me. There was no one else on the water right then and by the time other people came into view, the dolphins were gone.

These are extraordinary moments. And they don’t happen everyday. After all “if life were made of moments, even now and then a bad one! But if life were only moments then you’d never know you had one.”

I guess what I’m saying is that when magic comes along don’t spend all your time trying to take a picture of it. Let your phone die or leave it back on shore and keep that magic for yourself. There will be plenty of other things to share with people. Magic is something special. And since it’s rare, take care who you share it with.

Truth is, even this blog can’t effectively convey the rejuvenating magic that happened to me somewhere between Disney and the water. But I feel like myself again. I feel the ideas and the excitement of my life again. Ideas and excitement that never left me. God doesn’t take away your creativity. It’s you who walks away. And if you’re lucky you come back and remember who you are. Take the magic when it comes! Seek it out if you have to.

“Just remembering you’ve had an ‘and’ when you’re back to ‘or’ makes the ‘or’ mean more than it did before.”

I hope you find magic today. And I hope I never get to see pictures of it!

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Lizzie’s Solo Ride

Disney World Scavenger Hunt blog

Lizzie's Solo Disney Adventure Blog Scavenger Hunt Nerd

I LOVE Disney. If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know this. That being said, I’ve never done Disney on my own before. I’ve always gone with friends or family. And the day is usually very mapped out. Everyone has their top picks and there is lots to cover in a short period of time. I love to go with a plan and I love to go with people, but this day was different.

There was something really freeing and exciting about a solo adventure. Just me, nerdself and I.

I did have an agenda in the form of Crazy for Disney’s scavenger hunt. It kept my day just organized enough without feeling rushed. And since I only paid for parking and dole whips, I didn’t feel like I had to “get my money’s worth.” There is no shortage of Disney adventures in my future, that’s for dang sure!

So take a look at my adventures and if you want to do a scavenger hunt of your own try Crazy for Disney’s. But also, keep an eye out for my own scavenger hunt. There were some things I definitely wanted to add on the list (and some that I did add on the list!)

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First up was Hollywood Studios:

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What I found at Hollywood…

  1. A Movie Theater
  2. Large Green Army Men
  3. 1950s Diner
  4. Giant Guitar
  5. Kermit the Frog
  6. Star Wars Characters
  7. Tower of Terror
  8. Giant Letter Blocks
  9. Woody or Jessie
  10. Mickey Mouse Balloon
  11. Handprints in Cement
  12. An AT-AT
  13. A Potato Head

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…A Giant Ant or Bug, Mater, Pizza Planet, Giant Mouse Ears, A Spaceship.)

Next was Epcot:

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What I found at Epcot…

  1. Giant Silver Sphere
  2. Someone Wearing a Sombrero
  3. Boat (Monorail was on the list, but I substituted it for a boat ride.)
  4. Characters Made of Plants (this picture is actually from Magic Kingdom, I couldn’t find plant characters at Epcot to save my life!!)
  5. A Planet (BAM! I found 2!!)
  6. Statue of a Viking
  7. A Chinese Building
  8. American Flag (I spent way too long trying to get a picture of the flag flying. Alas!)
  9. A Clock Tower (thanks Germany!)
  10. A Park Bench
  11. A Street Band
  12. Coral Reef
  13. Nemo
  14. A Sea Turtle
  15. A Live Disney Character

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…Statue of a Horse, A Double Decker Bus, A Kidcot Sign, A Dinosaur.)

Then, Animal Kingdom:

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What I found at Animal Kingdom:

  1. Tree of Life
  2. Statue of a Disney Character
  3. A Dinosaur
  4. Live Elephant
  5. Live Gorilla
  6. A Large Mountain
  7. A Train
  8. A Safari Vehicle
  9. A Stream/ Flowing Water
  10. A Bus
  11. A Live Disney Character
  12. A Large Set of Bones
  13. Someone Wearing a Safari Hat (Bonus for finding someone wearing a hat and a vest!)
  14. Someone Wearing a Vest
  15. A Truck Selling Ice Cream
  16. Street Band
  17. Rafiki (Got a two for one on this one with #2)

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…I only couldn’t find Flik from a Bug’s Life and it was only cause I was running out of time.)

Finally, Magic Kingdom:

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What I found at Magic Kingdom:

  1. Monorail
  2. Someone Wearing Mouse Ears (so many to choose from including myself!)
  3. Statue of Walt Disney
  4. A Horse
  5. A Map
  6. A Balloon
  7. A Train
  8. A Castle (Correction…THE Castle!)
  9. A Popcorn Cart
  10. A Big Treehouse
  11. A Flying Elephant
  12. A Pirate
  13. A Princess
  14. Turkey Leg (I added this one to the list)
  15. A Spaceship
  16. A Former U.S. President (Lots to choose from but I went with good ole Abe)
  17. A Teacup
  18. A Flying Carpet
  19. Mickey Mouse (sorta cheated on this one and used #2 twice…time crunch)
  20. Dole Whip (I also added this one to the list, Dole Whip is an absolute must!!)

(Things on the list I couldn’t find or didn’t have time to find…I only missed Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom and it’s because I was trying to find the Pooh himself. Oh, well…next time!)

Follow Friday

Follow Friday

I don’t know if you feel this way. But sometimes I feel like there’s so much noise out there on social media these days. It seems like everyone is trying to be heard. Me included. But you, gentle reader, have included my voice in the playlist of your life. And for that I’m grateful. I’m excited to share with you some other voices that you maybe haven’t heard yet. People on Vine and Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and You Tube and who are Podcasting and Blogging that are making noise of a different kind.

With so many new technologies popping up, it’s hard to keep track of it all. Trust me, I understand. I work in social media and I’m confused sometimes. Allow me to cut through the chatter and help you discover some new goodies to enjoy!

I wouldn’t steer you wrong!

Thomas Sanders on Vine

If you are looking for the most adorable and charming voice on Vine right now, it’s Thomas Sanders. He has over 7 million followers and updates daily with a new hilarious Vine to watch.

My particular favorites are his: Misleading Compliments and his #ShoutoutSunday Songs. I’d love a full album release because his voice is like butter in my earballs…and btw that’s a good thing!

Plus just look how cute he is!

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The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy on You Tube

If you enjoyed The Lizzie Bennet Diaries or Emma Approved (2 of my very favorites in the world of web series) and are a fan of the classic tale of Peter Pan, then this crowd funded web series on You Tube is perfect for your eyeballs! Created by Kyle Walters (who also plays the role of Peter Pan) and Shawn deLoche. This series is fun, well-written and perfectly cast.

Season 1 saw the shenanigans of Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, John Darling, Michael Darling, Lily Bagha and Tinkerbell. Season 2 upped the ante with the addition of Billie Jukes, Mr. Darling, Mr. Smee and Jas Hook. Fans of the series eagerly await season 3.

It’s a fresh, new take on the beloved story by J.M. Barrie!

Fashion by Mayhem on Instagram

Little Mayhem started crafting dresses out of paper when she was just 4 years old. Her career as a miniature fashion maven has taken off since her mom, Angie, started posting pictures of her creations on Instagram.

Late in 2014 Mayhem’s creations started to catch the attention of big names like Ellen, Vogue and J. Crew who offered Mayhem her own shot at a fashion line for kids under the label Fashion by Mayhem.

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Shipping Room Podcast on iTunes

If you like TV and also like talking about TV couples, then this is the podcast you’ve been looking for. On Friday’s the girls at The Shipping Room release new podcastisodes where they discuss all the hot shippers in pop culture. I’m currently obsessed with listening to all things Olitz. But I bet that if you’re shipping it, they’re talking about it!

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Tiffany Beveridge on Pinterest

In 2012, Tiffany Beveridge launched a Pinterest board called “My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter” which consisted of pictures of polished little girls in haute couture with hilarious little stories about Quinoa (Tiffany’s imaginary daughter) and Quinoa’s friends Chevron, Meridian, Chayote, her au pair Fontanelle and her manny Lozenge.

The creativity and well branded voice of the Pinterest board began to take off, and then was turned into a book, “How to Quinoa: Life Lessons from My Imaginary Well-Dressed Daughter.” Available today.

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50 Nerds of Grey on Twitter

This parody account plays off the erotica of 50 Shades of Grey, but with a delightfully nerdy and non erotic twist. Well go ahead and read below, you’ll see why I find it amusing!

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Melificent Blogger

Meli is a fashionable nerd blogger that I’ve been following for a while now. She is gorgeous and nerdy, resides in Miami, Florida and just had her first daughter, Luna, who is completely adorable. Her voice is fun, fashionable and fangirl friendly. She has this amazing Tardis tattoo and does killer cosplay!

And she loves all the nerdy things just like moi! Plus, look how cute she is!

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Do you have anyone on Social Media that you love to follow and want to spread the word about? Hit me up at nerdinthecity01@gmail.com so I can discover them too and perhaps add them to my Follow Friday Feed!

And, of course, if you aren’t yet following little ole me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, Pinterest, Podcast coming soon, Periscope (@nerdinthecity), Vine, Snapchat (@nerdinthesand) or on the very Blog you are currently reading, then now’s the time to pick your favorite platform, cause I have a little something for everyone!

Thanks for reading. Go forth and discover something new!

Come join #TheSweatPack

#TheSweatPack

2016 is in full swing at Nerd in the City and Lean Girl’s Club. We are determined to make this year count for more than just 12 sheets of pretty calendar paper!! This is THE ONE! I say that every year. Because every year it’s true. Every new year is a chance to make it. And this one is no exception. Exciting things are happening for me in 2016 and I hope they are for you as well. The moral of the story is that life is moving forward. It doesn’t stop because we aren’t ready for what’s coming around the corner.

We can either jump on board or get bumped and bruised from trying to fight the flow. Trust me, I’ve been on the bumps and bruises side of life. I fought for love that wasn’t right for me. I fought to leave New York, when New York wasn’t quite done with me, and then I fought to stay there long after it was. I’ve fought against jobs that were right for me and for friendships that were wrong. I wish I was a quick learner, but when it comes to making the “right” choices, it takes time. And if someone is telling you that it’s easy…they don’t know what they’re talking about! No one has it easy.

That’s why it’s so important to reset every year. Give yourself a chance to start fresh. If you gained weight (like I have) forgive yourself and move on. If you lost a job, accept the change and move on. If you lost a love, find a place for them in your heart and move on. It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

If fitness is an area that you have been struggling with (like I have) please join Grace from Lean Girl’s Club and me over on Instagram for our 2016 fitness challenges. Every Monday we’ll be starting something new. Last week Grace and I were all about the stairs.

She took the stairs,
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I took the stairs…

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and some of you took the stairs too…

Taking the Stairs Fitness Challenge Blog Collaboration Lean + Nerd
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This week we are jumping rope. So Step 1: Get yourself a jump rope and then show us what you got. We’ll be doing this challenge all week, so there’s plenty of time to jump in! (See what I did there!!) 😉
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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!

Leia, It’s Cold Outside

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If God Rest Ye, Merry Stormtroopers was this nerd’s answer to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (and if you missed it…CLICK HERE) then Leia, It’s Cold Outside would be my answer to Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. I wonder what could possibly be coming tomorrow to a YouTube near you!

Enjoy and an even Merrier Christmas to you than yesterday!!

Make sure to share it if you like what you hear!  Help me (insert your name) you’re my only hope…

Vocals and Lyrics by Yours Truly

Music and Mixing by Kevin Porter of Flash Grove Music

Photography by Jessica Eriksen of Blue Moon Photography

Video Editing by Jeremy Twachtman of Hallelujah Productions

Ugly Vader Christmas Sweater from Target

Star Wars Re-Watch (Ep V + VI)

Long have I considered Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back to be my favorite Star Wars movie. But this time around, I have to be  honest…Return of the Jedi really pulled out in front. That’s not to say that I don’t consider TESB to be the best of the Star Wars films, because I absolutely do. There’s no denying it’s merit. But there’s something about Jedi that I respond to more and more as I get older.

The hope of redemption for Anakin Skywalker. The path that Luke is set on after the death of his Father and the defeat of the Empire. It’s filled with victory. Empire sets it all up, but has a twinge of sadness and un-fulfillment. Jedi wraps it up with a giant Rebel colored bow on top.

No matter which Star Wars film is your favorite…if you love Star Wars, then you made the right choice! Without further ado here are my reactions to Episodes V + VI, respectively! Enjoy…

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

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-I don’t like snow. But if I had to be in the snow, I’d want to ride a Tauntaun!

-Leia is so not impressed, Han!

-See…they’re fighting again! That’s what it means to be meant to be, right?

 

-“I’d just as soon kiss a Wookie” …or my brother.

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-Awww Han…you old softie!

-Wampa attack to explain Hamill’s facial scarring after his accident between 4 and 5.

-The full length shot of the Wampa in the special edition is a great addition.

-Is this Luke’s first time hearing from Ben after he heard his voice in the X-Wing??

-Learn to read the room, goldenrod!

-What exactly does the inside of a Tauntaun smell like? Do they make a scratch and sniff for that?

-Are Bacta tanks available for civilian use yet? They seem super handy!

-Laser brain…nerf herder…Leia has all the best zingers.

-Also…scruffy looking? Not an insult!

-DON’T KISS YOUR BROTHER, LEIA!! This isn’t Game of Thrones!

-Scruffy looking = HOT!

-These sweeping shots of the Star Destroyers in space are to die for.

-Piet is either super lucky or a major schemer.

-I bet Chewie gives the best hugs!

-Yep, Admiral Ouzel is gonna get it!

-Leia…BOSS since 1977!

-She just never stops being BOSS at everything in life!! Not in a garbage chute…not on an ice planet…not ever in a gold slave bikini! ALWAYS BOSS!

-“Right now I feel like I could take on the whole Empire myself…” – Dak Oh, Dak 😦

-AT-AT’s are mad cool,  but also really slow. I feel like they should be much easier to defeat. And also…I want one for a pet.

-I love Wedge! More Wedge please!

-Snow, Storm, Sand, Clone…Which is the trooper of your choosing?

-Han looooves her….he wants to date her….hug her and marry her!

-Han is quite possibly the perfect man. I feel very confident in saying that!

-Han hitting the Falcon and pulling a total Fonz!

-R2 and Luke together again! Together 4ever!

-Off to Dagobah!

-Dagobah’s not a system…he’s a man. No, wait! That’s not right.

-Han is so good, he knows the difference between a laser blast and as asteroid hitting his ship.

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-Someone turn 3PO off already!

-You don’t know that it’s perfectly safe for droids, Luke.

-R2 is just so presh!

-R2 is by far the funniest one and we don’t even speak the same language. Probing that humor goes far beyond the spoken word.

-Never walk in on Vader while he’s in the middle of a soothing scalp massage.

-Captain Obvious = 3PO!

-Being held by Han would be quite enough to get me excited! (*smiley face emoji with sunglasses!)

-Come on now, Leia! Don’t tell me you didn’t feel a twinge!

-YODA!!!!

-Yoda is very mischievous in Empire. Maybe being a hermit has made him a little batty!

 

-“Wars not make one great!”

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-Here comes the smooching!!!

-Scoundrels are hot…. #WhyImSingle

-C3PO is the biggest cock blocker in the galaxy!

-Wait…Vader mentions the name Skywalker long before this conversation with the Emperor. Isn’t that the big SON flag??

-Yoda is the MAN!! Er…the Muppet!

-If 9 years old was too old, then 20 is definitely too old to start the training and look how it went down for little Ani!

-Leia just sitting there contemplating Han smoochies. We know what she’s thinking about!!

-“I have a bad feeling about this.” -Leia

-Yep…verbal sparring is definitely a trait I look for in a man. Thanks for that Han and Leia. #WhyImSingle

-Ok…definitely gonna work on a #JediinTraining program complete with weighted Yoda backpack and swamp runs.

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-Come on, Luke! You’re the one who came to Dagobah to learn from Yoda and then you don’t listen to his wisdom? You have too much of your father in you.

-I dream of Vader…

-I wonder what would have happened if Luke had taken nothing in there?

-Wah-wah-wah…. No hyperdrive for  you.

-Buh-Bye Admiral. I’m gonna quit learning their names cause…what’s the point. They’re just gonna end up strangled.

-“No!! Try not. Do or do not. There is no try!” BAM mic dropped!

-“Size matters not!”

-“Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.” I think we should all remember that one!

-Yoda is one Bad A Mother F!!

-Now…if Yoda hadn’t taken Luke’s ship out of the swamp then he wouldn’t have been able to leave Dagobah!

-“I don’t believe it.” “That is why you fail.” Major truth bombs being dropped on Dagobah!

-Now why wouldn’t Han be checking the scanner to make sure he wasn’t being followed by…oh, I don’t know…a bounty hunter?

-I like that Luke has a Force sensitivity to premonitions like his father before him. Unfortunately he’s also impulsive like his father.

-Think before reacting Luke!

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-Lando is so dashing!

-That silver protocol droid is a bit of a B word! 3PO may be a lot of things, but he’s never rude!

-Luke!!! Listen to Yoda and Obi-Wan! This is why you came here to train.

-Luke and Anakin’s problems are that they won’t make the sacrifices that are sometimes needed for the greater good.

-Han tries to give Leia the puppy dog eyes, but she isn’t having it. They would definitely work on me. I’m highly susceptible to scoundrelly puppy dog eyes!!

-I love how Chewie tries to take such good care of 3PO!

-And yet 3PO is so ungrateful, it hurts!

-LOBOT! I love Lobot!

-BOBA!!!

-See what happens when you get in bed with the Empire, Lando. Shoulda really seen that one coming!

-When exactly did Leia fall for Han? What is the exact moment when she realized it?

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-Nowadays if a man ever responded with “I know” he would get slapped in the face. But Han makes it look hot. Is there anything he can’t do?

-Luke, be careful Luke! It’s really a trap Luke!!!

-Lando’s redemption!

-Leia is having none of it. She’s all “Naw!! You aren’t getting away with that shit, Lando. Chewie! Go ahead and strangle!”

-Seriously,,, 3Po comes with an off switch. They need to use that far more often!

-Father/Son smack talk!

-Anakin!! Come back to the light side. Help your son become a man!!

-Luke getting pummeled in the Cloud City supply closet.

-Stop being belligerent to Chewie, 3PO! You thoughtless droid!

-Here it comes….the BOMBSHELL!

-This first battle between Luke and Vader is bangarang.

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-“If only you knew the power of the Dark Side…”

-“No…I am your father!” “Dat’s not twue…Dat’s impossible!”

-“Come with me, it is the only way!” Or…or I’ll just fall down this giant chute and take my chances!

-As many limbs as Vader’s lost, you’d think he’d be a little more sensitive to sitting off his kid’s arm.

-Ok, on the bright side to falling down that chute and landing on flimsy weather vanes…there’s a beautiful sunset to watch. Front row seat!

-The things Leia has to put up with! MEN!

-R2 to the rescue…as usual!

-“Son, come with me.” “Sure dad! Definitely gonna do that after the whole you-cut-off-my-hand thing. Let’s do this!”

-Everyone is always having those delusions of grandeur.

-Back to Tatooine…the sand trap of the entire galaxy!!

-Look…Lando’s not only driving Han’s ship, he’s also wearing Han’s clothes. Must come with the pilot seat.

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-Leia, girl! Don’t fall for that old stare-out-at-the-galaxy-with-my-arm-around-you move. He’s still your brother!!

 

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

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-The Death Star looks much more menacing and scary when
it’s half done like that. It’s like the zombie version of that Death Star.

-Oh snap! You do not want to cross Vader. Don’t make him find new ways to motivate you!

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-And we know just how forgiving YOU are, Vader!

-And…we’re back to Tatooine. Seriously! THIS PLANET!

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-As many languages as 3PO speaks…body language is not one of them.

-Neither is sarcasm.

-Neither is context!

-Bib Fortuna. I know all of his lines. He delivers them so well! “Tay wanna wanga.”

-3PO has a bad feeling!

-Luke has grown up so much. And is a straight up hottie now!

-Poor Han!

-“Yes or no will do!” This droid don’t play!

-I love how feisty R2 is!

-Oh no…the remastered version!! YUCK

-At least 6 Boobs is still there. I know…I know. She has a name and a backstory and everything. But I’ve always affectionately known her as 6 Boobs!

-Aren’t you a little short for a bounty hunter?

-Definitely think I could speak Huttese if I really needed to!

-Can you pull your mask down any more conspicuously, Lando?

-Love will not be stopped by bounty hunters or death marks or carbonate.

-“Someone who loves you!”

-Pudu is definitely not always used only in the context of saying “Fodder.” Very subtle way of adding in some space cursing!

-Han and Chewie reunited!

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-GOLD BIKINI.

-Funny that in A New Hope there were no bras in space, but in Return of the Jedi all she gets is a bra.

-See 3PO, if you weren’t so annoying all the time then people would listen when you had something important to say!

-TV Jedi! TV Jedi!!!

-Luke has become completely BOSS! Like his sister before him.

-Poor little Rancor. He thought he was getting his 5 o’clock dinner. He didn’t know that dinner would fight back!

-And the poor Rancor’s owner. His poor little pet who he’d raised from a Rancorling.

-“How we doing? ” “Same as always.” “That bad, huh?”

-“I hate long waits.” Ummm….Han???

-“I used to live here, you know.”  Yeah…so did everyone else in the galaxy!

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-Eewwwww…. Jabba tongue. 😦

-The Sarlaac looks so stupid in the remastered version. Leave perfection alone, George!

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-Luke is a complete bad ass now!! When he catches the lightsaber in mid air…it is on like Donkey Kong!

-Wilhelm scream!!

-Boba Fett…Boba Fett!!

-Get it Leia…kill that Hutt!!!

-Lando’s screen when the Sarlaac grabs his leg!!

-And 3PO has to be put together…again.

-That rope is tied to the exact perfect spot so that Luke and Leia can easily swing to safety.

-Back to Dagobah. And R2 says…not there again!

-Oh snap! The Emperor is here.

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-Emperor Palpatine has that maniacal laughter thing down!

-“Master Yoda…you can’t die!”

-“Strong am I with the Force, but not that strong.”

-If Luke always had to confront Vader, then Obi and Yoda handled the whole thing rather poorly.

-You know, I never thought for a second that Vader could have been lying to Luke. Did anyone ever think that was a possibility?

-Also…Vader never seems super surprised that his kid is alive. Or that he actually has two alive kids. He wouldn’t have been very good on Maury.

-“Pass on what you have learned.”

-“There is another Skywalker!”

-Well Ben, maybe if you’d been preparing Luke for this eventuality!

-“Leia…Leia’s my sister.” And incidentally the only girl you’ve ever met. So…yep!

-Those poor Bothans. Can we hear more about the Bothans? “Many Bothans died” Is the heaviest line!

-And what exactly were the Bothans to Mon Mothma?? Boyfriend? Husband? Girlfriend? Kid?

-“Ask me again sometime”

-The gang’s back together!!

-Looks like Lando finally gave Han his clothes back.

-Fly casual!

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-“Hey…it’s me!”

-How does Luke know how to work that speeder bike that he’s never been on before?

-3PO is actually wearing a gold bikini himself. Go back and look again!

-Wicket Warrick!! Raise your hand if you like Ewoks. I like Ewoks!! Don’t care what anyone says about it!

-I HATE how much Vader has become Palpatine’s bitch. Palpatine scolds him and just tells him what to do all the time.

-2 seconds ago he hadn’t felt it, now he’s foreseen it all?? That hardly seems plausible, Emperor.

-No one ever listens to 3PO! “Very long drop…”

-Of all the people in that forest to worship and they pick 3PO.

-I’d live up in the Ewok village! Or at least vacation up there. Looks like a fun ropes course experience.

-Leia finally gets to let her hair down. Imagine the braid headache she must have from 3 whole movies.

-R2 and Wicket are the cutest of friends.

-Now 3PO is a good story teller. I love his character arc there.

-“We are now part of the tribe!”

-When that Ewok hugs Han!!!

-“Short help is better than no help at all, Chewie.”

“Do you remember your mother? Your real mother?”

-“Very beautiful, kind, but sad…” Sure, that whole dying thing was super upsetting to her!

-“Your father” (she says with utter disdain) Just wait before you say that Leia!

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-That’s quite a bomb to drop on her, Luke.

-Dude, Han! She just found out an evil Lord of the Sith is her father and that she kissed her own brother. Maybe she needs a minute…

-“Hold me…” Like you did by the lake on Naboo. Oh wait…no. But like mother like daughter apparently.

-I love this exchange between Luke and Vader in the corridor. I think it’s my favorite scene.

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-“It is the name of your true self, you’ve only forgotten.” FEELS!!

-“I feel the conflict within you, let go of your hate.” MORE FEELS!!

-“Then my father is truly dead.” I’m not crying…you’re crying!!!

-“Abu? Nagu tak tak?”

-See how useful the Ewoks can be!

-“Not bad for a little fur ball!”

-The Throne Room scene is EVERYTHING!

-“By now you must know that your father can never be turned from the Dark Side…so will it be with you”

-“Your faith in your friends is yours…” Faith is never a weakness, Palpatine!

-“Oh, I’m quite afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive…”

-Lock S-foils in attack position.

-“IT’S A TRAP!!!!”

-Palpatine keep talking about destiny, but he doesn’t know everything now does he?

-Ewoks kicking serious Imperial butt!!

-Technology has nothing on those fur balls!!

-Way to get promoted, Wedge!

 

-Luke’s struggle is so real!

-Of course you could hot wire that thing, Han! It’s what you do!

-Dead Ewok. 😦

-His little friend is so sad.

-“I can feel your anger…” Ewww stop feeling his anger, Palpatine!

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-Don’t do it, Luke. Don’t give in!!

-That rope across the road gag shouldn’t have worked. But proves that sometimes keeping it simple really does work best.

-Nope, you don’t got it! You made the door stronger, Han.

-NO!!! DON’T LET THE HATE FLOW THROUGH YOU, LUKE!!! DON’T DO IT!

-And stop trying to kill your kid, Ani! Remember that happiest day of your life thing? Come back to that!

-You keep saying you won’t fight him, Luke. And then you go ahead and fight him anyways. Maybe what you mean is that you don’t want to fight him.

-Stop being mean, Anakin Skywalker!! And don’t threaten your daughter. What would Padme say if you hadn’t of strangled her to death??

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-Luke is so fierce in this scene. His fighting stance is so strong!!

-And now he’s repaid his father for that whole amputated hand thing.

-But the joke’s on  you, Luke. He lost that hand a long time ago.

-“You failed your highness. I am a Jedi! Like my father before me!!” The most epic of lines!!! Still not crying….

-Ya think Yoda could have passed on the knowledge of how to catch Force lightning. Seems like a better use of training. More useful that swamp running at this point in time.

-Vader’s finally hip to the Emperor’s game!

-Finish him Ani!

-Restore balance.

-Fulfill the prophecy!!!

-I’m not the one crying….it’s still you!!!!

-That beauty of the arc of Vader’s journey sacrificing himself for the son he thought he’d lost long ago…

-“Let me look on you with my own eyes.” (Or rather the CGI’s eyes of Hayden Christensen in the remastered version…yuck)

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-The flap of white on Luke’s clothing. Symbolizing the light inside the darkness. The hope!

-Luke looks so confident and grown up and very attractive when he gets in the shuttle and flies off the Death Star. He’s seen some shit. He’s had to grow up and he is so much better for it.

-VICTORY!!!

-“He wasn’t… I can feel it!”

-“He’s my brother.” Oh…your brother! Umm…Leia…YOU KISSED YOUR BROTHER???? Go wash that brother kissing mouth out with some soap!

-Vader’s funeral scene is gorgeous and haunting.

-Luke looks extra hot!

-Remastered version ending is the most disappointing thing in life. Though I do like how they show you the different planets celebrating the fall of the Empire.

-But the rest is the worst. So sad to see it changed from what I grew up with.

-No more Yub Yub!

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-And there’s Hayden… WHY???? Cause why wouldn’t you put a young Obi-Wan in there too… if you were gonna alter it.

-And if you were gonna alter it to create continuity between the prequels and the original trilogy, why wouldn’t you add in Qui-Gonn, the guy who taught them to commune with the Force in the after life?

-And also why would you need to create continuity between Star Wars and Star Wars????

-In short…no young Anakin, please!!!!

-And that’s how they end it. Disappointment. Now I need to original release to cleanse the palette!!

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In other news…TODAY IS THE DAY I SEE STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKK!!!

May the Force be with you, Nerds. Thanks for reading!!

 

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.)