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.)

To Thine Own Self be True

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Photo from Fashion by Mayhem

Today is National Shero Day! A day to celebrate dynamic women that inspire us and drive us to be better. And the Shero I want to talk about is not a woman yet, but she is an inspiration. She is 6 year old Mayhem from the amazing Instagram and blog Fashion by Mayhem. If you haven’t discovered the amazingness of Mayhem’s daily fashion creations, please check her out right now.

I’ve been following Mayhem for a while and I continue to be amazed by her personality and ability to stay herself. She is gaining more and more press and attention and it hasn’t changed her. I hope this continues. But it made me think of myself when I was a kid. And how growing up did change me.

When I was younger, I always used to try crazy style ideas that I’d come up with in my head. (Who would ever have thought me capable of such a thing?) Skirts over pants, multiple bindis on my forehead, fingerless glove sleeves. I even made my own homecoming gown in the 10th grade. Basically, if I had fun with it and liked what I saw when I left the house… I’d wear it.

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This gave me a reputation for being a weird kid. I would often be made fun of and not just by the mean bullies, but by close friends and sometimes family too. I don’t think they meant to be mean. They were just commenting on the vast difference between me and (seemingly) everyone else. They just didn’t get me. Didn’t get my style and as we see everyday, humans tend to persecute what they don’t understand.

So, somewhere along the way, right around Junior/ Senior years of high school, I started to do what the other kids were doing. I started to lose that confidence and style that was once so uniquely me. I took to wearing t-shirts and baggy jeans, because if no one notices you, then no one will be mean to you. And I let myself fade into the background. I quit the high school marching band and got low grades and just phoned it all in.

There’s a funny story I like to tell about taking my Senior school pictures. Right before I went into the room, someone told me I had the biggest smile. So big that they could see my gums. And I thought “well, that’s a horrifying thought.” When I walked into the photographer’s room, instead of flashing my big, bright, beautiful smile with the confidence of my younger self, my smile ended up looking like what I can only describe as the pinched smile of a person with zero self esteem. Basically I looked like I had been drugged! I let someone else’s comment on my appearance change one of my favorite features. I love my smile, but in a split second I made the choice to hide it because of someone’s words.

I know what you’re thinking… how can style effect someone so much. It’s not the clothes that mattered in this situation because there was a lot more going on under the surface. More than a drastic change in fashion sense. There’s usually more than what you see or what you think going on in any given situation.

For a kid who proudly wore her Wonder Woman pj’s as everyday clothes, this switch in style was an important red flag.

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It took many years for me to feel comfortable in my own skin again. And to eschew the opinion of others, mean or otherwise, in deference to not only my own opinion of myself, but God’s opinion of me.

I talk a lot about those awkward years of missteps and self discovery, because I was a hot mess (minus the hot.) I knew who I was, then forgot who I was, then tried to find who I was in the eyes of everyone else around me. This is universal stuff here. So I like to talk about it because, for the most part, I’m through it. I’m on the other side, gently patting my younger self on the head and saying, “Oh, little one. If only you knew what I know now. How much easier your journey would be.” And once again, I think this is not something that just little ole me has been through. And if someone out there reading this says, “Hey, I feel that way too” well, that’s why I share! Sharing opens the door on things that we are ashamed of. Our past, our shame, our embarrassment. By talking about these things, we take away the power they have over us.

Yeah, I was an awkward, weird kid. But I grew up. Though I’m still pretty quirky and weird. And people still think that remarking on my differences is somehow a nice thing. But if we hold onto these things then we never overcome them! So rise up. Rage against the machine. Don’t let the past win over your future. Cause God has better things planned for you!! And Mayhem wouldn’t like it!

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What’s Your Favorite?

Only 1 week of web series hiatus left. And I have all kinds of crazy stories coming at you in the New Year! But I wanted to find out if you had any favorites out of the episodes I’ve done so far. So I have a couple of polls below that I hope you’ll take! And if you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

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Photos by Cristina Fowler

 

There have been a handful of men to come into my life up to this point (don’t worry, there’s a bunch more in our future) but I wanted to know if you had a favorite. And if you forgot who did what, then click here and take a look back at the episodes that we’ve done so far. With only 18 episode at about 2 minutes each, it’s an easy binge watch. 😉

Thanks for your opinions. I love to see the results. And I’ll see you next week for a brand new episode of So…This Happened.