My Entertainment Weekend Update

Hello friends!

I’m done with my reread of The Rising Storm, by Cavan Scott, and as I mentioned last week, I enjoyed it more the second time around. The crux of the story revolves around the Republic Fair on the planet Valo, which is attacked by the villainous Nihil. Jedi Masters Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann lead the Jedi in defending against the attack, along with Padawan Bell Zettifar and his devoted charhound, Ember.

Star Wars Holocron on Twitter: "Character of the Day: Ember  https://t.co/H1wwIxdCoY" / Twitter
Aw, what a sweet doggie. She blows fire out of her mouth.

I easily finished the book before The Fallen Star arrives at my door. The next High Republic book by Claudia Gray was released January 4th, but delivery being what it is these days, I’m not expecting it for a few more days. Waiting is hard….but while I’m waiting, I’ll start the middle-grade book Race to Crashpoint Tower, by Justine Ireland. It also takes place during the attack at the Republic Fair, but from the point of view of young Jedi Knight Ram Jamoram (that just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?). It was only 99 cents on Kindle, so why not? 🙂

Meanwhile, I’ve finished my rewatch of the sequel trilogy, with The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. One of the most interesting aspects of the sequels for me, personally, is my flip-flopping of how I feel about Kylo Ren. After hating him in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi delves a little more into his history and your feelings soften for him a little bit. You feel a little sorry for him, lol. But then at the beginning of TROS, he’s hardened again, and you think maybe he’s lost for good and there’s no hope for him. Right up until his and Rey’s last duel on the wrecked Death Star, he’s implacable.

Indeed.

And then, suddenly, his mother reaches out to him, and something answers. Rey deals him the death blow, and then heals him. And then the incredibly emotional scene with Han Solo happens, and he throws his wobbly lightsaber into the sea, and you know Ben’s back. It did seem really quick, but then again, throughout the sequels he’d been as wobbly as that lightsaber, feeling the pull of the light, struggling, torn, miserable. I really didn’t know which way he’d go until the very end. He’s one of the most interesting characters in Star Wars, in my opinion, and it helps that Adam Driver is such a great actor.

So, onto the second episode of The Book of Boba Fett, The Tribes of Tatooine. This was a great episode, and a lot happened, with a lot to take in. Hutts! A terrifying Wookiee named Black Krrsantan! Pykes and spice! A dream-inducing lizard up the nose! So many cool things. I like how we’re getting more cultural stuff about the Tuskens–we got a little bit in The Mandalorian, and there’s some interesting stuff in the book Kenobi that I recently read (although it’s Legends). They’re more than just savage brutes. I’m just learning that the warrior that teaches Boba how to fight with the gaffi stick is a female, which is awesome. (She’s played by stuntwoman Joanna Bennett).

Why Boba Fett's evil Wookiee is more important than you realise
This is one scary Wookiee. He and Boba have a history in the comics.

But besides all that, I think it’s important that we see Boba’s spiritual journey in these flashback scenes. Once he climbed out of that Sarlacc, he was reborn, and now he has to face trials, both physical and spiritual, to figure out who he really is and what he wants now. He needs to become more than his father’s clone, more than a bounty hunter. In Legends, Boba also escapes the Sarlacc, but he remains a bounty hunter for the rest of his life, for the most part. As a main character now, he needs to be more than that, and I think this show is doing a great job telling that story. I love the soundtrack, by the way.

So with this new year, I’m going to be doing more blog posts, and I’ll write briefly about that in my Monday post. Stay tuned.

That’s it for now; what’s been entertaining you? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Star Wars: Kylo Ren Fan Art

I know I just did a post on fan art, but I saw this Kylo image on Pinterest, and absolutely loved it and wanted to share it. I love how the artist filled his scar with gold the way the cracks in Kylo’s broken helmet are filled in with red. It’s inspired by the Japanese process of “Kintsugi” wherein the lacquer that fills the cracks in broken pottery is brushed with gold; the point being that the breakage is part of the piece’s history and should be celebrated, instead of something to hide. Beautiful.

I also love Kylo’s fabulous blue hair!

What do you think of this image? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Five Favorite Things About The Last Jedi

Here’s my list for The Last Jedi, the second installment of the sequel trilogy. You can find my thoughts on The Force Awakens here.

Favorite Scene

Luke facing down the First Order on Crait. When Luke says to Rey on Ach-To “What, you think I’m going to face down the First Order all by myself with a laser sword?” little did we know that that is exactly what he was going to do. Because in the end, he’s Luke Skywalker, and he does heroic things. He just forgot for awhile, or rather, rejected it. And he did it in the most Jedi-like way: non-aggressive, his actions a subterfuge for a higher purpose–giving the Resistance time to get away. And the fact that he wasn’t actually there just blows my mind. I didn’t see it, at first; I just thought he cleaned up for his appearance, you know? I didn’t notice the clues: the fact that he didn’t leave any red footprints in the salt; Leia’s lack of worry at her brother facing down the enemy alone; his wink at C-3PO; and where the heck did he come from, anyway? His scuffle with Kylo and the “See ya around, kid,” was great, and the fact that he sacrificed himself to do this–and more than likely knew he would die doing it–is just profoundly sad and awe-inspiring. A great scene in a movie full of great scenes.

Favorite Duel

Rey and Kylo vs. Snoke’s guards. This was an eye-popping duel, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the prequels. Everything’s red as blood, and Kylo and Rey are working together rather than against each other. And they are a force to be reckoned with. We don’t hear the word “dyad” yet, not until TROS, but these two clearly work well together, and their connection in the Force is apparent. I love Rey’s savage yells, and how Kylo keeps checking on Rey when he can. It’s a foreshadowing of their working together in TROS at Exegol, but here it’s only their potential. As long as Ben is Kylo, it ain’t gonna happen.

Favorite Line

“You’re nothing. But not to me.” This is one of those “Um, thank you?” statements that insult and gratify at the same time. Kylo doesn’t get any points for charm here, but he doesn’t have time for that. He gets right to the point. And so when he holds out his hand to Rey and asks him to join her, adding a vulnerable “please,” you almost want her to take his hand already, for goodness sake. Almost. Again, Rey feels the connection, but can’t accept Ben as Kylo, and rightfully so.

Funniest Moment

General Hugs. Some people thought that this little exchange between Poe and Hux was dumb or silly, but I thought it was pretty funny myself. But I have a goofy sense of humor. I do think it’s exactly in Poe’s nature to mess with Hux like this, and Hux to be fastidious enough to take the bait. When Poe says into his comm “Yeah, I’m looking for General Hugs,” I chuckled. Good enough for me.

Most Impactful Character

Luke Skywalker. See aforementioned “Favorite Scene,” as Luke saved the day in this film. But it wasn’t just that scene that makes Luke the most impactful here; the whole movie was his, when you think about it. Everyone’s been looking for him, Rey finally finds him and–oh my goodness, why is he so crabby?–and we have to process and react to that; we find out that his moment of weakness was the nail in the coffin of Ben Solo and put him on the path to Kylo Ren. Everything centers and swirls around Luke here. We even get to see Yoda once more! A lot of people didn’t like how Luke was portrayed in this movie, and I understand that. Call me weird, but I liked it from the get-go. My first thought was, “Oh, this is interesting.” I HAD to know what the hell had happened to Luke, what was going on his mind, and if and how it would change by the end of the film. What I loved about The Last Jedi as a whole was how it just subverted all of our expectations. The Empire Strikes Back, the second film of the original trilogy, did much the same. TLJ is following a pattern, where the good guys take heavy losses, and characters surprise us in numerous ways. Anyway, that’s a whole other post, lol, but Luke gets the prize for this one.

What did you like about The Last Jedi? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

My Five Favorite Things About The Force Awakens

Having gone through the prequel and original trilogies, it’s now time to check out my five favorite things about the sequel trilogy films. So let’s get right to it with The Force Awakens:

Favorite Scene

Chewie, We’re Home. I think this was the most anticipated scene in the movie. We hadn’t seen Han Solo and Chewbacca onscreen together in about 30 years. It was beyond exciting. Sure, Rey and Finn are cool, and BB-8 is adorable, but we know who we really want to see: the “Legacy” characters. And these two were the first to make an appearance in the sequel trilogy (unless you count the Falcon, which is kind of a character in its own right). But reuniting these two with the Falcon, leading to the iconic line “Chewie, we’re home,” signalled to us fans that we, too, were home.

Favorite Duel

Rey and Kylo Ren at Starkiller Base. Again, not many lightsaber duels in this film, unless you want to count the short confrontation between Finn and Kylo just prior to this. The fact that Rey held her own in this battle–and won (probably because Kylo was an injured, emotional mess, but even so)–shows that there indeed is something special about Rey. The mystery of her, of who she is and where she comes from, intensifies. And the fact that Kylo even survived Chewie’s blaster bolt and can still fight is amazing. The way he pounds at his wound with his fist is disturbing and chilling–drawing upon his pain and rage for his power. Apart from the emotions going on in the battle, I loved the look of it: the red and blue blades glowing against the whiteness of the snow in the darkening gloam. The visuals are just stunning in this scene.

Favorite Line

Hearing Han Solo admit to the reality of the Force in a serious way is surprising, and alerts us to how much he’s changed over the course of 30 years; and our next thought is, Wow, shit must have gone down, and in a real personal way for him. I think this is before we learn that Kylo Ren is his son, so it’s a foreshadowing that Han has had some heartbreaking experience with all this mystical stuff, especially since he’s clearly not with Leia anymore.

Funniest Moment

I thought the little scene with Han Solo and Finn on the Falcon was pretty funny. When Finn calls Han “Solo”, and Han just looks at him and says, “Did you just call me Solo?” Then when Finn refers to himself as a “big deal” in the Resistance, Han says, “Listen Big Deal, you’ve got a bigger problem. Women always figure out the truth. Always.” I just loved that, lol.

Most Impactful Character

Kylo Ren. When we first meet Kylo Ren striding down the ramp of the shuttle to confront Lor San Tekka, he seriously gave me the creeps. His distorted voice behind the mask didn’t help much. Who is this guy? I thought. When later in the movie we learn he is the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa, I was genuinely shocked. I hadn’t seen that coming at all. And it truly broke my heart, for I had imagined the child(ren) of Han and Leia to be the Child(ren) of Light or something, heroes in their own right. But no. This dark, rageful, emo being. And the moment he betrayed his own father, speared him with that unholy lightsaber, and let him fall into the abyss like so much meat, I hated him. HATED him. Intellectually, I knew his character’s arc was probably meant for redemption over the course of the trilogy, but I didn’t care. I hated him. I would never forgive him. Do you here me? Never!! And then of course proceeded to understand his character a bit better in The Last Jedi (a softer, kinder Kylo, at least in his relationship with Rey), and the return of Ben Solo in TROS, and by then I was cheering him on. But in this film? The quintessential, irredeemable villain.

What are your favorite things about The Force Awakens? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Star Wars Fan Art: Kylo Ren/Ben Solo

Kylo Ren is one of those characters from Star Wars that really hit a nerve with a LOT of people. There’s something about his tortured, divided soul that calls to so many. I scrolled through a ton of Kylo fan art. A vast amount illustrated Reylo, and though I’m not against Reylo and recognize his deep connection with Rey, I wanted this to be just about Kylo/Ben.

There’s a lot of great stuff (and a lot of weird stuff, lol), but the following images stood out to me in some way:

I loved this windblown kind of look to a contemplative Kylo. The blood on his hands speaks volumes.

littlechmura.tumblr.com

This is the Ben Solo who would have existed if Kylo Ren had not had a chance to take root. Total “Son of Han Solo” look going on here. I notice he still has his lightsaber, though. A blue one?

therealmcgee.tumblr.com

I thought this one was really interesting: Ben in death and arranged the way his grandmother, Padme, had been at her funeral. The flowers in the hair, and the dice entwined in his fingers the way her necklace from Anakin had been in hers. Shivers.

Viv on Twitter.com

I love the use of light and shadow in this one, and how Kylo is in both, torn between the two.

“Torn Apart” by Veronika-Art on deviantart.com

I don’t usually care for images of Kylo with his mask on–it’s a bit boring for me. I like to see his expressive face. But something about this one haunts me. He looks like a Nazgul or something, a dark, shadowy thing.

KloeDeSaga on deviantart.com

I like this one of Kylo contemplating Vader’s mask, while bathed in the light. The calendar in the background with the Death Star on it is a nice touch, too, lol.

Trystan Pease on twiggymcbones.tumblr.com

What do you think of these Kylo/Ben images? Do you have any favorites? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

Feature image above by Shuploc on redbubble.com.

It’s Pilot Appreciation Day!

Who’s your favorite Star Wars pilot? Here’s a list of contenders…

“He was the best starpilot in the galaxy.” Even though most of his missions ended up with crash landings.

Anakin Skywalker

He destroyed the first Death Star. Without his computer.

Luke Skywalker

I never understood the Wedge obsession, but okay. He’s cool. Bonus points for being Obi-Wan’s uncle in real life.

Wedge Antilles

He made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. You know the story. (If you haven’t watched Solo, watch it NOW).

Han Solo

A trigger-happy flyboy…and the Resistance’s star pilot.

Poe Dameron

He’s the son of Solo, so…duh. Bonus points for not killing his Mom.

Kylo Ren

Wish I knew of some excellent female pilots. Maybe Rey counts? Anyone know of other great female pilots? Let me know in the comments!

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Star Wars Story #1

Every fan has their Star Wars stories. I’ve got a few, and I’d like to share them with you. Here’s one:

It was December 2016, and I wasn’t talking to my husband. I can’t remember exactly what I was so upset about; I just remember being so ANGRY that my lips remained zipped for several days. I don’t scream when I’m angry. I shut up. This is primarily to keep myself from utterring terribly cruel things that I don’t mean and would ultimately regret, but there’s also an element of punishment to it. I’ll admit it.

Anyway, after several days, my husband couldn’t take it anymore. The Force Awakens happened to be premiering that weekend, and he knew I wanted to go see it very badly. He’s not as much of a dedicated fan as I am, but he enjoys the films as the popcorn movies they can be. So on this particular day, when my silence was pushing him to the limit, he very quietly asked, “I was wondering if you wanted to go see the new Star Wars movie with me.”

Hmm, well played, husband, well played. Of course I wanted to see it. But I almost said no, clinging to my anger and vowing I’d go see it by myself. To hell with him! But I recognized that he was holding out the olive branch, so after a minute, I said, “Sure.” We dropped our daughter off with my mom, and off we went.

I sat in the theater, totally absorbed in the joy of a new Star Wars movie. I was catapulted outside of myself, riveted by the story, the characters old and new, the action, the roller coaster ride of my emotions. It was such a relief to be feeling something other than anger. I even let my husband drape his arm on the back of my chair.

When Kylo Ren killed Han Solo, I was shocked, outraged, and…angry. But this was a different anger than my domestic ire. It was a place I could channel my own anger, and diffuse it. I thought, man, I thought I had problems. I don’t. This guy’s got problems.

We were silent on the way home, but it was more of an exhausted absorption of the movie, rather than any chill between ourselves. I didn’t feel that anymore. I was still sore from our disagreement, but I let the anger go. Isn’t that what a good Jedi does? You know, fear, anger, hate…darkside suffering. And it’s true. Fighting with my husband makes me feel awful and unhappy and basically like a bucket of turds. Once the spell of anger had been broken, I could speak rationally about what was bugging me.

My husband and I would have eventually cleared the air and made up even without the movie, of course. But it just happened sooner. Star Wars makes me happy. And it even mends relationships!

Don’t be like Kylo. Let that shit go.

Adam Driver (Kylo Ren TFA)
He’s angry and sad and just feels yucky.

Star Wars Fan Art

There’s so much incredible Star Wars fan out there, I thought I’d show a few of my favorites, with credit to the artists, of course. There’s so much gorgeous art, this may become a weekly thing for me. Enjoy!

This first one got me in the feels–it shows Kylo Ren remembering his childhood friendship with Chewbacca. Ouch–literally and figuratively.

Kylo Ren remembering Chewie. Or trying not to. Just as he calls his father "Han Solo" to avoid any emotional ties to him, I imagine he avoids thinking of Chewie as anything than in terms of "that h...
Jenny Dolfen, goldseven.wordpress.com

I like Reylo a lot, but my first Star Wars love story was Han and Leia. This piece is fantastic.

Han SOLO and Leia ORGANA | STAR WARS: Fan Art - Star Wars Canvas - Latest and trending Star Wars Canvas. #starwars #canvas #starwarscanvas - #StarCitizenHammerhead
Star Citizen France

I’ve always loved Art Nouveau, and this piece of Leia just sums up her character perfectly.

MeganLara, redbubble.com

Threepio always did remind me of a Victorian gentleman. Priceless.

C3PO, must have missed some time travel scene somewhere in the series. :)
Terry Fan Illustration

Darth Vader drinking tea in a meadow full of flowers just makes me happy.

Kyle Hagey, kylesgallery.com

This is another great piece that juxtaposes images of evil with beauty. Love it.

Bennett Slater, bennettslater.com

Psychedelic Chewie is just awesome.

Alessandro Pautasso, Curioos.com

Check out these awesome artists for more of their gorgeous work!

Do you have any favorite Star Wars art? Comment below and we’ll talk about it.

Whatever Wednesday: The Many Faces of Kylo/Ben

Even with the same character, Adam Driver is a chameleon.

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren / Ben Solo in Star Wars - TFA 2015.
Emo kid in The Force Awakens
ADAM REN - the-apple-is-the-fruit: Rey and Kylo ready to...
Sad/resentful Kylo in The Last Jedi
Kylo Ren during the Throne Room battle
Messy hair warrior Kylo in The Last Jedi
Ben Solo - The Rise of SKywalker
Determined desert Kylo in The Rise of Skywalker
"in this moment he’s not kylo anymore. he’s ben solo in kylo ren’s clothes
Regretful son Ben in The Rise of Skywalker
𝐛 𝐫 𝐢 loves ben solo on Twitter: "REDEEMED BEN SOLO SAID IM KYLO REN BUT 10x HOTTER AND 10x SOFTER… "
Supportive Ben in The Rise of Skywalker
𝓮𝓵𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪 🌸 on Twitter: "The Last Skywalker #BenSolo… "
Happy savior Ben in The Rise of Skywalker.

The man is an amazing actor with a putty face.

Oh, and we musn’t forget:

VIDEO: Adam Driver Channels Kylo Ren (in a Wig!) for SNL's Hilarious Undercover Boss Spoof
Undercover Boss Kylo

Saturday Survey: Pilot Poll

3 Reasons why Anakin Skywalker is necessary to The Rise of Skywalker plot | Inverse
The best starfighter in the galaxy…
Rebel Pilot
He destroyed the First Death Star
J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII: Title TBD hits theaters during the Christmas season next year and, with more and more teases for the film being released on the Internet, fans of the original trilogy are hoping that the light side of the Force guides Abrams’ hand as he crafts the next chapter of the […]
He made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs
Like father like son
You got: Poe Dameron You’re probably a good, dependable person with a heroic spirit. I mean, look at this guy – he’s flying an X-Wing and has a great chin. That’s the chin of a hero, my friend.
Ace fighter pilot of the Resistance

I like Han Solo. Not only did he make that Kessel Run, but he got out of that asteroid field in Empire. But for someone who can barely drive a car, it’s hard to choose. They’re all great.

If there’s someone not on the list, put them in the comments below!