A Thought on Alderaan

I want to take a moment and share a couple thoughts I’ve been having about the fateful planet of Alderaan.

Alderaan Star Wars

When we are first introduced to Alderaan (in Episode IV: A New Hope) it is the home world of the one and only Princess Leia. Which in and of itself is enough of a reason for us to care  about it’s fate, but beyond that we know nothing. We don’t know what it looks like, whether it’s a rocky planet or a lush planet, whether the people get along on Alderaan. Do some people side with the Empire and others with the Rebellion? The fact is, in those early moments of A New Hope, we know so little about Alderaan. Therefore, the fact that an entire planet is destroyed is tragic, yes. But we are not deeply invested in Alderaan itself.

Jump ahead to the prequels and the Clone Wars and Rebels and the comic books and the many novelizations both canon and legend that are out there. Some are chalk full of information about the mysterious planet of Alderaan. And just like that, years later…posthumously, we come to care for it quite a lot.

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We see what it looks like in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. We know more about Bail Organa and the upstanding man he is. The kind of man who would take an orphaned Leia and raise her has his own. The kind of man that believed in the Jedi to the bitter end. The kind of man that died on the planet of Alderaan that sad day when Governor Tarkin chose to use it as an example to keep the galaxy in line.

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It’s no longer a mysterious planet, it’s a tragic, ill-fated planet. Obi-Wan sensing that not only an entire planet full of people had been killed, but an old friend as well means that much more when we start to see the whole picture.

In some story telling, we may be treated to the whole picture from the get go. Like say…starting at the beginning and working through to the end, but not with Star Wars. No, we start in the middle of the story. Not knowing about Darth Vader and his past as Anakin Skywalker, hero of the Clone Wars. Not knowing about Alderaan, the peaceful planet with the beloved Bail Organa on it.

The more the picture broadens, the deeper we understand. The more we care. It’s what I love so much about Star Wars. It’s what keeps the expanded universe going. It’s what makes it so interesting.

Catalyst STar Wars book club December 2016

I’m currently reading Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel with my Goodreads book club, in preparation for Rogue One’s release on Thursday night. It deals directly with the creation of the dreaded Death Star and we learn that there are other planets that were sacrificed in order to create that monstrous weapon. Another poignant reason to remember poor Alderaan. I went back and watched A New Hope with this brand new information on my mind and it made the destruction of Alderaan so much more tragic and unbearable.

Alderaan…you went too soon. And we didn’t understand at the time or care as deeply as we do now…in the aftermath. But yes…now we know!

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Now What Do You Do?

If you haven’t yet seen Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, then I’d venture to say it’s only a matter of time till you do.

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The biggest pop culture event of all time…even the Muggles want to be a part of this. There’s a lot of new people discovering the wonderful world of Star Wars. Maybe they just never devoted the time to watch all 6 movies before (or 3 if you’re a purist.) Maybe they thought it was kid’s stuff, but now are discovering the truth.

Inevitably they’re gonna reach a point where they’re going to wonder…”Now what?” It always happens after the excitement and fervor of a new movie dies down. It happens to me after binge-watching a show or reading a great book series or watching a new Star Wars movie. It’s hard because all you (I) want to do is immerse in the fictional world you’ve (I’ve) just been a part of. It recently happened to me after watching 4 straight seasons of Scandal. It happened after reading Harry Potter, but nowhere has it hit as hard as with the Star Wars Universe.

So…you’ve seen Star Wars. You’re in what Amazon likes to call a #Showhole. But there’s good news. This is where the fun begins. This is when you can start to discover what we die hard fans have been doing to stay in touch with that galaxy far, far away for years.

It’s called the Expanded Universe and it’s marvelous!

Here’s what you’re gonna do…If you’ve been living in a cave and have just emerged after 12 long years and haven’t had time to take a shower and get yourself to the movie theater quite yet…then Step 1 is pretty clear.

Complete Star Wars Saga. Episode I - VI

And if you haven’t gone back and watched the 6 movies that came before then…actually scratch that other Step 1… this is Step 1.

Star Wars Rebels Disney XD

Next up is the television universe created by Cartoon Network and Disney XD in the form of Clone Wars (seasons 1-6 available on Netflix) and Rebels (season 1 available on Netflix, season 2 currently airing on Disney XD.)

New Expanded Universe Novels by Disney Story Group

After watching all that, go to your local book store and pick up the newest novels in the Expanded Universe: Dark Disciple, Lords of the Sith, Tarkin, A New Dawn, Heir to the Jedi, Aftermath, Lost Stars, etc. These novels start to build the world around what you know and have seen on screen. They fill in the blanks and flesh out the questions. They also allow supporting characters to have rich story lines.

Star Wars Comic Books by Marvel

After you’ve read all that, head to your local comic book store and dive into the Expanded Universe created by Marvel Comics. The comic runs for Star Wars, Lando, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Kanan… The best thing about all this material is that is fits together like one giant puzzle. Each component working with the rest. It’s very impressive!

If you’ve done all that and are still thirsty for more. Go see Episode VII 2 or 3 or 12 more times so you know the dialogue by heart and then…

Go deep or go home.

Star Wars Legends Expanded Universe Timothy Zahn

The Star Wars Universe goes beyond Disney cannon. But I warn you, this step is not for the faint of heart. It involves heart break, misery and long hours reading amazing stories that are now considered mere Legend in the Star Wars Universe.

You wanted more and here it is! Silver platter not included!

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!!

 

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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8 Months Till Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Yes, the waiting is getting harder and harder. Especially with the new trailer out this week. Which, if you haven’t seen yet, must mean you are living in a cave on a desert planet far, far away. For those of us who aren’t a crazy, old man, take another look:

Yeah, so patience isn’t exactly my strong suit. But I’m trying really hard to bask in the pre-Force Awakens world of Star Wars. There are so many wonderful stories to read and watch in the waiting. So while I’m working on my patience, I will be doing these things.

Star Wars Digital

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Show of hands, who will be purchasing both Star Wars trilogies on a digital platform regardless of whether or not you own DVD versions of the films. Count me it. Not only is this the most everlasting version of Star Wars available to us, there are also brand new behind the seasons featurettes available. And if you are anything like me, you consume new Star Wars information like a ream of frozen Thin Mints.

Star Wars Expanded Universe: Legends

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By now we all know that the entire Expanded Universe has been relegated to Star Wars Legends to make room for all the new stories as well as the story line of the new films, but that doesn’t diminish the amazing work of all the authors who penned the Legends. Like Timothy Zahn and James Luceno and Drew Karpyshyn and John Jackson Miller and many, many more. So in the ether of the waiting zone I will be diving head first into the Expanded Universe starting with Timothy Zahn’s epic Thrawn Trilogy! And hopefully getting through as many as I can. Because after December I will be focusing on…

New Star Wars Expanded Universe

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All of the new novels that are now considered canon. Not to say I won’t return to the Legends, because, as I said, they are amazing stories that deserve to be read. But I want to fully immerse in what Lucasfilm and the Disney overlords are considering part of the official Star Wars Universe. There are many new titles coming out not only this year, but in the works in order to start making use of the word Expanded. Right now the timeline is a little thin, especially given how long the previous Legends timeline is. But if I start soon, then I won’t be as behind as I am with Legends. So there’s no time like the present. The only current canon novel I’ve read so far is A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller. Which leads me to…

Star Wars Rebels

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The explosive Disney XD cartoon that is not just for kids takes place in the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It is a great way to stay connected to the Star Wars Universe in the space between big budget films and the story being told is very strong! If you don’t want to watch week to week, go ahead and start with…

Star Wars Clone Wars

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If you don’t like to wait for new episodes to come out, then Clone Wars is what you want. This is what I’m currently watching. And as sad as it is when a great show ends, I love being able to just power through and fully immerse in the experience of a show. And Clone Wars is truly a wonderful show. The Cartoon Network series takes place, obviously, during the Clone Wars in the space between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It does an amazing job of bridging that gap, not only by giving us actual stories from the legendary Clone Wars, but also in Anakin’s decent and temptation towards the Dark Side of the Force. Something believed to be missing from Revenge of the Sith for avid Star Wars fans. Clone Wars boasts of strong villains like Asajj Ventress and Savage Opress, new heroes like the young padawan Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex as well as all the characters we love from the prequels, Obi-Wan, Anakin, C3PO, R2D2, Padme.

Star Wars Comics

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Star Wars comics are returning home to Marvel Entertainment. From 1977-1987, Marvel held the property. Dark Horse got a hold of them after Marvel and they have been responsible for all the modern Star Wars comics that we know and love. But this is the year that Star Wars returns to Marvel, where it always belonged (not to belittle the amazing work Dark Horse did for the comic universe.) With Disney owning both Marvel and Star Wars, it makes sense to keep it all in the family. Now, all the comics coming out of this Mavel/ Star Wars partnership are considered current canon so this blurb could technically belong in the New Expanded Universe column. But comic books are an entity in and of themselves. I love comic books, but have a hard time keeping up with weekly serials. I tend to gravitate towards books or graphic novels. But if comics are your thing or you want to expand your knowledge of the SWEU, then you should start with Lando #1 which hits the racks in July.

There you go. Plenty of Star Warsian things to do while we eagerly (and patiently) wait for December to roll around.

What will you be doing while you’re waiting?