Inner Jedi Notebook Week 5

Week five of the Inner Jedi Notebook. This week instead of a question (or in addition to one) there was an activity. At first I thought I’d skip the coloring activity, thinking it silly or unnecessary, but then I thought, if you’re going to do this, do everything. Don’t skip. So, below witness my Luke and Yoda masterpiece, lol.

Coloring Meditations:

“Luminous beings are we.”

Yoda

What are some of the qualities that make you a luminous being?

Color in the scene on the opposite page, and then decorate the following spread with illustrations, taped or glued-in ephemera, and other embellishments that symbolize your best traits.

I forgot how much I loved coloring when I was a kid.

This is just a bunch of stuff I found on hand when I was working on it this week. I focused on my family and my love of nature, mostly. How do these things make me a luminous being? They’re things that make my soul happy.

My tribe.

I’m still meditating fifteen minutes every day. I think as a beginner, you never really know if you’re doing it right, lol, or how you’re supposed to feel afterwards. I find that I do look forward to that little bit of quiet time everyday. No computer, phone, TV, book, work, errands, chores, people needing me, etc. It’s me-time, when I can just be quiet with myself. And that alone is worth it.

Obi-Wan by croaky on Devientart.com

What makes you a luminous being? If you’d like, we can talk about it in the comments below!

High Republic Wednesday: Yoda Art

The High Republic is an exciting new era in Star Wars, taking place two hundred years prior to The Phantom Menace. That means lots of new, interesting characters to get to know. However, since Yoda is so long-lived, he is quite alive during the High Republic, at a mere 700 or so years. I thought I’d take a look at some Yoda representations during the High Republic era.

This one seems to be an earlier concept piece prior to the release of Project Luminous (the name the creators gave to the High Republic publishing initiative):

This is an amazing image of Yoda with Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis; I believe it is a comic variant cover:

Gabriel Dell’Otto

This is a more detailed and stylized concept piece of Yoda in his “Temple” garb (a fancier, more formal version of Jedi robes):

This gorgeous image is of Yoda with Jedi Master Avar Kriss, and is another comic cover variant:

Stephanie Hans

Here’s Yoda in his “Mission” garb, a plainer and more utilitarian version of Jedi robes:

Yoda is definitely a well-respected part of the High Republic Jedi Council, but is not the Grand Master yet.* His appearances are few and far between in the novels, but has a slightly larger role to play in the comics, especially the High Republic Adventures, in which he leads a group of younglings and Padawans. It’s always great to see this iconic, wisdom-dispensing character in any era.

What do you think of these images? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it.

For light and life!

*Edited–He actually is a Grandmaster, but he shares the post with two other Jedi: Lahru and Pra-tre Veter.

Inner Jedi Notebook Week 3

I’ve been working on my Inner Jedi Notebook for three weeks now, and I’m really enjoying the experience.

Here’s the question for Week Three:

Yoda assigns Anakin Skywalker a Padawan in Ahsoka Tano, in the hopes that mentoring a young Jedi would help Anakin discover his own best traits.

Decades later, Yoda would implore Luke Skywalker to pass on what he has learned to a new generation of Jedi. How can you be a mentor to people in your own life?

I answered with this:

“The obvious example that comes to mind is my daughter. We care for our children, protect them, play with them, but I think we also hope that we can guide them, teach them, impart some wisdom. My daughter is thirteen, so is probably at an age where she doesn’t quite want to listen to my lessons, lol. But I’m hoping, throughout the years, that a few things sink in that she can later retrieve: Be kind, always (she’s already pretty good at this; in fact, she’s got the biggest heart in anyone I know). Love yourself. Stand up for yourself. Listen to your intuition. Respect yourself. Believe in yourself. These are actually things I’m still working on. I’m hoping by imparting these lessons to her, I will also learn them. Be the example. Like a Master and a Padawan, the hope is that you can learn from each other. I know that eventually I will need to learn to let go, to teach her to be independent and send her out into the world. This terrifies me, lol, but is probably the most important lesson of all.

Yoda says over and over, especially in the High Republic books, that Padawans teach Masters the hardest lesson: to let go. Yoda ought to know–he’s probably had dozens of Padawans over his long life. And he had to let each one go. People with multiple children must guide and protect them, and then let each one go, one by one. I only have one child, and that seems hard enough!”

I got up to fifteen minutes of meditating this week, at least until Wednesday, but then I didn’t feel well, and didn’t do it for a couple of days. But I’m better and back on track, so I’m planning on fifteen minutes every day next week. It’s a habit I want to get into, like brushing my teeth; and also work my way up to thirty minutes, if I can. It seems impossible now, but so did meditating in the first place, so we’ll see.

Rey meditating on Ach-To by Shawn Duddridge on artstation.com

Are you a mentor to anyone? If you’d like, let me know about it in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

Star Wars Fan Art: Yoda

I found a lot of mystical portrayals of Yoda, which makes sense, as he’s deeply in touch with the Force and is one of the wisest Jedi Masters who ever lived. I like the aesthetic of this one; you can sense a lot of movement, like the spinning of worlds and galaxies. He looks like he’s in a deep, meditative Force dream.

Raymond Swanland, imgur.com

I like this one because it shows how alone Yoda ultimately was (or perhaps as alone as any deeply committed Jedi was). He stands alone on an outcropping in the Dagobah swamp (I’m assuming this is where he is), contemplating life and the Force and the cosmos, and whatever else crosses his mind. Darkness encroaches, but the light filters through to illuminate him.

Aaron Nakahara, crossconnectmag.com

Since Yoda is so old (about 900 years) and all we’ve ever known is the old Yoda, it’s fun to think about what he was like when he was young. This one is pretty awesome; it shows him wearing very different clothes, with all kinds of accoutrements that is a sharp contrast to the simple brown robe he wears in his later years. I like the necklace, and wonder what the symbol means, if anything. Anyone know?

Young Yoda, by Vincent Chambin, artstation.com

This one is just fun, colorful, and happy. The artist has done other paintings in this style with several other characters, but I feel it’s particularly apt for Yoda, as it captures the playful, mischievous personality beneath the serious Jedi Master.

Alessandro Pautasso, curioos.com

This is a beautiful piece with an Eastern flavor that I just love. Lucas took a lot inspiration from Eastern film and philosophies, so it seems apt for Yoda, a wise warrior-monk of the Jedi.

Tsuneo Sanda, mymodernmet.com

I can’t seem to find the artist for this one (there’s always at least one, lol) but I just love it, even though it’s kind of sad. Here he seems to be on Dagobah thinking about the tragedy of the Jedi, the tragedy of Anakin, heck, the tragedy of the galaxy. The image is framed by dark tendrils, as if it’s the opening of the dark side cave, but Yoda is surrounded by light. It’s lovely and sad and moving, and I wish I could find the artist’s name. Anyone know?

Do you have any favorite images of Yoda? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!

My Five Favorite Things About The Empire Strikes Back

So I realized that after I posted My Five Favorite Things About A New Hope that I totally forgot about Solo and Rogue One, lol. I had planned on doing them in chronological order, but now it would just be weird to go back and do them. So I’ll continue on with the main trilogies, and then at the end do Solo and Rogue One.

Anyway, here’s my five favorite things about The Empire Strikes Back.

Favorite Scene

Carrie Fisher

I’m going to say pretty much all the scenes between Han and Leia. I simply can’t pick just one, because they’re all delightful. The arguing, the banter, the chemistry and sexual tension, the tenderness–it’s all great. The kissing scene in the Falcon, culminating in the “I love you, I know” scene in the carbonation chamber makes up the best love story in all of Star Wars, in my opinion. When I was a kid and first saw Empire, it was about Han and Leia first, lol, and then Luke and Vader.

Favorite Duel

Again, there’s only one duel of note in this movie (besides Luke’s confrontation with Vader in the dark side cave on Dagobah, which is symbolic), and it’s between Darth Vader and Luke in Cloud City on Bespin (which is for reals). And it’s probably my favorite duel out of all the films in many ways. It’s kind of a game of cat and mouse, as they clash, each disappearing and reappearing, pouncing on each other suddenly and violently. Everything about this duel is epic: the part where Vader uses Luke as target practice and Luke smashes through a window and falls; the savage confrontation on the catwalk and the loss of Luke’s hand; Vader’s shocking revelation and offer; Luke’s decision to step off the catwalk and fall into oblivion rather than join his evil father in ruling the galaxy. So much going on here, and we get some insight into each character: Vader is willing to betray his master the Emperor and overthrow him (which is basically what the Sith do, but we wonder if he’s got a soft spot for his son, and therefore a bit of light left? Maybe?); and we see Luke’s total commitment to the Light and choosing to die rather than join evil. Later, in ROTJ, that commitment will be tested, but right now, there’s no question of going down that shaft.

Favorite Line

You know, up until very recently, this line confused the hell out of me. What does it even mean? I’ve come to realize that what Yoda was getting at is how you go about doing something–if you go into it “trying” then you’re letting in doubt about succeeding. Perhaps you don’t fully believe in yourself, and believe that you may fail. Once doubt sets in, I think Yoda is saying, then you’re doomed to fail. If Luke doesn’t believe in himself, then he doesn’t believe the Force will help him, and the Force won’t believe in him–it won’t work with him to move that darn X-Wing. A Jedi needs confidence and faith, in himself and the Force. Anyway, that’s how I’ve come to see it. A lot of philosophy in those few words, lol.

Funniest Moment

More classic Han Solo:

He’s got a point.

Most Impactful Character

Yoda. Yoda is the mysterious center of the film–force ghost Obi-Wan exhorts dying Luke to find Yoda and train to be a Jedi with him. Once on Dagobah, Luke finds not a “great warrior,” but a little wizened green guy with big ears, who makes a mess of his camp and plays tug-of-war with Artoo. But everything Yoda does is a lesson: he wants to gauge Luke’s response to him before he reveals himself. And of course, he finds that Luke takes things at face value, as most of us do sometimes. The lessons begin immediately, and he shows Luke that he has a lot to learn. He has misgivings, but trains Luke anyway–brave, considering he did the same thing with Anakin. Or perhaps he senses something in Luke, the strength of the Light in him. Either way, he has a lot to do with the Jedi Luke becomes. Wars not make one great, but Yoda is definitely a great Jedi Master.

What are your favorite things about The Empire Strikes Back? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

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