Saturday, December 4, 2010

Irvin Kershner - The Force Will Be With Him, Always!



1923 - 2010


In honor of Mr. Kershner's incredible work as director of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back ( filmography). I am posting my Top 10 scenes I would like to see in Star Wars 3-D out of order and posting Episode V before Episode IV. A small tribute for someone who has given me so much.

The light that this Star Wars Saga star added to the galaxy will keep the Force with us, Always!

The Star Wars Saga in 3-D: The Empire Strikes Back My Top 10 3-D Moments

Whose dumb idea was it any way to select only the Top 10 scenes I can’t wait to see in each Star Wars Episode? …Oh yea, I guess that was me.  Well I can honestly say, if I haven’t already, that I can’t wait to see EVERY SINGLE SECOND of every Episode in 3-D on the big screen (and eventually my Blue-Ray, lol).  My UPF fantasy is to build a Star Wars Saga war chest so that I can watch each film EVERY day that it is available on the big screen finally culminating with a marathon viewing of all six films (I would love to throw the Clone Wars in there as wellJ.), one right after the other until I drop from sheer bliss and exhaustion. Until I can work out all the kinks in that one, I will forge ahead and finish what I started my-masochistic listing.
  1. Lightsaber Duel & Vader’s Revelation - I begin this list by cheating.  I admit it. I have lumped the lightsaber duel chapter with the Vader's revelation chapter. In my own defense, it's the same light saber battle and how can Vader's revelation not be THE moment to see in this film.
  2. There is No Try  - My father being a man of the cloth – and the greatest man I have ever known – this scene holds a special place in my heart.  Many a day of my youth was spent discussing religious dogma and philosophy with my father – me as the awakening prodigy, Luke, and my father as the wise yet humble Yoda.  Here faith comes by hearing and seeing.
  3. Battle in the Snow – We finally see the Rebels and the Empire lock horns in the light of day. For the Rebels…it ain’t pretty. Imperial walkers equal stubborn, tenacious, slow-walking kickass until Mr. Skywalker comes to town.
  4. Confronting the Dark Lord – This was the most anticipated confrontation of its time: the imagery, the primary colors, the light sabers, the sound of them…these things will stay with me forever.
  5. Rebels in Retreat - The fireworks display when Luke takes out that walker is awesomeness, and  the emperial walker (AT-AT) that takes a step back and shoots the speeder…come on…that is so cool, lol.  
  6. The Empire in Pursuit – Han may be scruffy-looking and Chewie his nerf but they are beautiful poetry flying like a bat out of heck in the Falcon.
  7. Carbon-Freeze – I admit it, this is the first scene in a movie ever to make me cry.  Chewbacca wailing at the loss of friend…kills me every time.
  8. Escape from the Wampa – Luke hanging upside down on ice, hand outstretched reaching for his saber.  I know I can feel the Force, can’t you.
  9. Crash Landing on Dagobah – Say it ain’t so…did we just lose R2-D2? Good thing R2 doesn’t taste as good as he looks.
  10. Luke’s Recovery – I know that slave-girl Leia was every man’s favorite costume at Celebration V, but I will continue the lobby I started for some brave gym-baby to don Luke’s Bacta-Tank swimwear at Celebration VI.  I know there will be many a black garbed, Jedi Luke in attendance, however, for 30 years I have nursed this dream.  I see no reason to stop now, lol. This is not the only reason I want to see this scene in 3-D. The whole Empire family is there in one shot: Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO & R2-D2 doing what they do best-driving each other crazy. Just like all good families.
Not happy with my Top 10 3-D list , no hard feelings (Apology accepted Captain Needa).  My suggestion, go watch the Empire Strikes Back again and make your own list.  The fun is in the doing.
May the Force Be With You Always!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Star Wars Saga in 3-D: Revenge of the Sith - My Top 10 3-D Moments

My apologies on how long it took me to post my top ten 3-D scenes from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.  With every reviewing of this film I am torn apart emotionally.  It must be some form of emotional, self preservation, but I forget how traumatic this film is to me.  The beginning of the film is wrought with excitement and emotional intrigue; however, the tables turn on an ever downward spiral of despair that begins with Mace vs. Sidious.  The horrible ache at the pit of my stomach rises and the bile at the base of my throat births a bad taste in my mouth as I watch Palpatine transfigured into the hideous Lord Sidious.  I know that as he lies and manipulates Anakin, this is the beginning of the end.  I know that I must watch the end of Anakin Skywalker.  The surrender of a once good and valiant Jedi Knight to a despicable Lord of the Sith who will soon go on to murder his Jedi brother and sisters who had adopted him into their home and way of life. We know the clones we have come to love and cheer are going to betray their Jedi leaders. Like Yoda, I want to protect Obi-Wan from the heartbreak that will come with the knowledge of Anakin's treachery at killing fellow Jedi and Younglings.  Though I had waited nearly 30 years to see the epic light saber duel between these two (master/padawan, father/son, brothers/friends), I can almost not bear to see the despair in Obi-Wan's face when he defeats Anakin and says aloud what we already know, what Luke and Han cannot bear to say, that he loved him-even as he turns his head away and leaves him to burn. Watching the hatred that Anakin feels, to be burning in the very fires of Hell and rather than seek redemption choose to use what may be his final breathe to say, "I hate you," with all the strength that is left in him.
I took my daughter to see this film on the big screen and even now when we watch it together at home I can only appreciate the closeness we cling to as we endure the agony of this heart-wrenching episode.  That is the beauty of the prequels. We already know what is going to happen. We know that Senator Palatine is the one pulling the strings (if you can’t see the Francis Ford Coppola, Godfather allusion here.  I just can’t help you.), we know that our relationship with the clones will turn and that all will be seemingly lost. Yet we are powerless to stop the agony that we feel.  Our cheering at both the birth of our beloved anti-hero Lord Vader and the twins is the only thing that saves us from this sci-fi tragedy. As we watch the twin suns of Tattoine set on this chapter of the Star Wars saga we are emotionally exhausted and saddened.  However, there is hope, 'A New Hope,' that will rise with these two suns and lead to the destruction of Sidious and the eventually return of our fallen hero.  While I grab a hankie, here are my top ten scenes:
1.       Battle of Heroes: The one we all waited for: Obi-Wan vs. Anakin Skywalker and the only bad thing I can say about this is—I wish it could be 10 times longer.
2.       Yoda vs. Sidious: One line sums up how awesome this sequence is—If so powerful are you, why leave.
3.       Mace vs. Sidious: I can barely stand to watch the beginning of the end here: Anakin, what have you done?
4.       Battle over Coruscant: There is so much to see in this scene. One of the things I love about Star Wars Saga, with each viewing there is something to see that you may not have seen before.  Although, with Ewan McGregor in the scene it is sometimes tough to tear my eyes away—Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope!
5.       Rescuing the Chancellor: Obi & Anakin vs. Count Dooku. The life-sized replica of Obi-Wan that Anakin carries…I think there could be a market for that, lol.
6.       Confronting Grievous: Obi-Wan & Anakin on the bridge of the Separatist’s ship all the way to ‘another happy’ landing.
7.       Obi-Wan vs. Grievous: Hello there! The chase, admittedly another chapter, through Grievous’ final demise.
8.       Order Sixty-Six: At least this time I will be prepared and have my Kleenex!
9.       Time to Leave: Jett Lucas killing clones like it’s going out of style. Also, I have to say there has never been, nor will there ever be as cool a tuck-tail-and-run retreat as the one executed by Bail Organa.  Jimmy Smits is awesome!
10.   Birth & Rebirth: Lord Vader Awakens!

Thank goodness I can always count on Obi-Wan to cheer me up:  wet or dry!

Hot, Wet & Wielding!


May the Force Be With You, Always!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Star Wars Saga in 3-D: The Clone Wars - My Top 10 3-D Moments

Glad to see the continued interest in the Star Wars Saga in 3-D.  As fans sound off, remember the re-release of these films is a gift from George Lucas to Star Wars fans everywhere-old and new. And I love getting presents.  Normally, I would not choose a favorite anything where the Star Wars saga is concerned but I thought doing a list of my top 10 Star Wars 3-D scenes in each film would help fans focus on the positive: another chance to see Star Wars on the big screen. (And give me the unnecessary excuse to watch the films again, lol).  In doing so, I have put myself between a blizzard and a tauntaun's gut: trying to select which scenes I want to see in 3-D most. I hope you appreciate this list because, trust me, it wasn't easy:

  1. Mace Windu: The Party's Over
  2. Yoda's Calvary
  3. Obi-Wan & Anakin: Speeder Chase
  4. Obi-Wan & Jango Fett: Asteroid Chase (Don't forget little Boba.)
  5. Obi-Wan vs Jango (Again, don't forget little Boba.)
  6. Master Yoda vs. Dooku
  7. Clone War on Geonosis
  8. The Droid Factory
  9. Yoda & the Younglings: Map Reader (I love this scene, lol.)
  10. Begun the Clone Wars Has (Final scene where Star Destroyers go into space.)
I forced by myself to stick to only 10, but I will cheat here by saying that I can also not wait to see the following scenes: Return to Coruscant, the Inspection of the Clone Army, The Geonosis Arena, Obi Wan & Anakin's Duel with Dooku, etc.

And finally, again, anything with Ewan McGregor wet or dry is good for all Jedi girls and boys.  So I will leave you with one of my favorite pictures that I've titled Wet & Wielding, Enjoy!

Hello There!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Star Wars Saga in 3-D: The Phantom Menace - My Top 10 3-D Moments

Fans are sounding off all over the internet at the annoucement that the Star Wars Saga is being released in 3D.  Well here are my "3" cents.  I can't wait.  Of course, I had to take the annoucement as an excuse, I mean opportunity, to watch the saga again.  I can't wait to see the entire film, but I have restricted myself to include the top 10 scenes that I can't wait to see in the new format. (Even then I list 11, lol.)




  1. Pod Race
  2. Lightsaber fight w/Qui Gon, Obi Wan & Darth Maul
  3. Battle between the Gungans and the Droid army on Naboo coutryside.
  4. The skirmish in the Naboo hanger between the droids and the Naboo
  5. Showdown with Jedi and the Destroyer Droids on Trade Federation ship
  6. Anakin destroying the Droid Control ship from within
  7. R2-D2 repairing the shields on the Naboo ship that escapes the Trade Federation blockade.
  8. The Bongo being attacked by the sea creatures: Opee Sea Killer, Sando Aqua Monster and Colo Claw Fish.
  9. The invasion of Naboo by the Trade Federation army.
  10. The Republic Cruiser being blown up in the docking bay of the Trade Federation ship. 
And, any scene with Ewan McGregor-wet or dry. 

Who knew Obi Wan Kenobi could be so sexy?

It brings new meaning to...help me, Obi Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yoda Lives!

Mark Hamill is a great actor!



I am watching Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back AGAIN, lol. Yoda is one of the most loved and revered characters in the Star Wars universe and rightly so. Frank Oz, the team of puppeteers, designers, sound editors, John Williams' music and George Lucas all did an incredible job creating Yoda's physical presence, voice and movements; but it is Mark Hamill's performance that truly makes Yoda alive to me. 

Think of it, Mark Hamill spends nearly 30 minutes, one fifth of the film, as the only human character on the screen. Most good actors will tell you that acting is much more than reciting your lines and actions. Truly great actors take a memorized script and turn it into something that seems fresh, spontaneous and real-you feel it with them.  Mark Hamill's initial disregard of Yoda is hilarious.  The way he smells his food and throws it away because Yoda took a bite that kills me every time I see it, lol. His incredulity when he realizes that this little creature is Yoda, the Jedi Master he seeks. His intensity as he tries to convince Yoda to train him.  I will ignore the fact that I love Mark Hamill and Luke's character. While Luke does not revere Yoda when he initially appears, he respects him as a being.

In A New Hope when C3PO and R2D2 first come into his service, Luke does not look down on them as droids.  He tells C3PO not to call him Sir and speaks with the two as equals. He shows Yoda the same initial respect as another creature when he meets him on Dagobah.  After lowering his weapon, he rises to let Yoda explore the campsite and ruin his dinner.  During training, Yoda's oratim does not appear preachy but is rather the answer to Luke's inquisitive nature and eventual questioning "Is the Dark side stronger?"

Luke's faith in his new found beliefs are tempted when Yoda asks him to move his ship from the "puddle".  The Force is strong with Luke and Yoda is amazed when Luke begins to move the ship, but it is Luke's failure to move it that allows us to see not only Yoda, but the Power of the Force.  Yoda tells us that it is the Force that makes him powerful not him or his size.

This scene was my spiritual baptism into all things Star Wars.  The culmination of great acting by Mark Hamill, Frank Oz and Kenny Baker; the design team, puppeteers, John Williams' score and Irvin Kershner's directing and finally George Lucas' vision create my seminal moment of conversion. Luke's astonishment mirrors our own, is there anything so incredible in the universe.  As Luke learns from Yoda, his and our faith grows.

I am amazed by fans that watch these scenes with Luke and Yoda and are upset that Luke does not show Yoda the homage that they feel he deserves.  Remember Luke did not see the Jedi during their golden age, he does not know that Yoda has been addressed as Master for over 800 years and has a best friend, Han Solo, who tells him that his beliefs are a lot of hocus pocus. But that is the topic of another blog, lol.

Mark Hamill's ability to portray Luke's wide-eyed innocence, make Yoda believable and express all of our Freudian issues with our parents as he screams “Noooooo!” makes me feel every scene each time I see this movie.  Yoda, Mace and Obi Wan are the Jedi of the Grand Republic but for those of us born on Earth Luke is our arch type of a Jedi.  One born realized during a time of hardship and skepticism and Mark Hamill does it with humility and grace.

May the Force Be With You, Mark, Always!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Star Wars Stash


Howdy Star Wars UPFs!

It is almost impossible to believe that it's been nearly a month since Celebration V ended. I am still sufferring from Celebration V-is-over-itis but I have found a few things to do to help me get through it.

  1. Clone Wars Adventure Game
    You can RP in an MMO environment and there are lots of little individual games to get addicted to.  Kind of like Neopets in a galaxy far, far away and juiced on the Force, lol.  I haven't explored it enough yet because of my Force Perception addition, lol.  I am currently ranked 22nd.  I am 2nd in the typing game as of this posting of course, lol.  Those darn gamers never rest so I have to work day and night to keep my standing, lol.
  2. Star Wars The Old Republic
    While I love to play every Star Wars game I can get my finger tips on, lol. I haven't played any Star Wars RP/MMOs prior to Clone Wars Adventures and am reading up all things SWTOR and trying to join a guild so I can rock it like its 1999.
  3. Making My Star Wars Stash Video
    My daughter thinks it is bragging, but I told her to all us UPFs we know that it is more like slapping the bear.  Its a right of fanhood.  We get what is cool to us and it is a little remember that takes to the Star Wars Galaxy as fast as light speed. So enjoy and wait for the movie of my freebies to come...

video

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Why We Love The Prequels @ STARWARS.COM





StarWars.com|Celebration V: Why We Love the Prequels


Get highlights from a panel discussion of the prequels with Dave Filoni, James Arnold Taylor, Kyle Newman and others...


STRWRSGRL STRIKES BACK EPIDOSE I


Posted by: dommom August 28, 2010 1:16 AM

AKA|Strwrgrl. I was also at the panel. Happy to see so many fans. I walked out of the screening of A New Hope w/the best UPFs in the galaxy to attend. I loved it & thought it could've been so much better. I even have started my own blog about it. I am a UPF, an Ultra Passionate Fan of the Star Wars Saga. You don't have to be a kid, or even male, to love it. There wasn't 1 female panelist, which I thought would've added a new dimension to why we love the Prequels. Everyone on the panel was awesome! Their points of view were honest and valid. But, the passion and perception that a UPF, like myself and you guys out there could bring was missing for me. Maybe I'm just a girl but the story that flows from Episode I-VI reveals, not only a chara


STRWRSGRL STRIKES BACK EPISODE II:

Posted by: dommom August 28, 2010 1:17 AM

...character, but a life. From an innocent boy; impassioned teenager; troubled young man; willfully enslaved fist of an Empire to a resurrected Jedi Knight-that could only be fully realized & enjoyed in Ep. I-VI & Clone Wars. Open your eyes & review the prequel, as we all did to truly love IV, V & VI, & you will see all that is there to LOVE! MTFBWYA
 
There I am at the end of Yoda's light saber at Celebration V panel!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Welcome: Celebration V Friends & Star Wars Fans



I have been a Star Wars fan ever since I saw the Star Wars Holiday Special on CBS on November 17, 1978. My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up and I didn’t get to see the original movie on the big screen until the Special Edition was released twenty years later in 1997. The first Star Wars film I saw on the big screen was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I was mesmerized from that day forward and became what Mark Hamill calls an Ultra Passionate Fan (UPF). I had of course seen Star Wars on television, cable and VHS, but that could not compare to seeing it on the big screen. When I did finally see Star Wars: A New Hope (Special Edition) on the big screen, I was lucky enough to be with a group of first graders from my nephew’s elementary school. I don’t know who had more fun, them or me. Okay, me!

I didn’t feel lucky to watch A New Hope with first graders because they aren’t critical of the movies they see, but because they’re more honest in their reactions. If children don’t like a movie they aren’t afraid to say that they hated it and are equally open to saying they loved it. The problem with adults is that they’re sometimes so influenced by what others think that they are unable to have their own, honest opinions. By others, I mean film critics and the entertainment media.

Film critics stopped giving informative critiques that helped me decide whether or not I should invest, not only my money but more importantly, my time in a film. Money can be replaced. Time is an unrenewable resource that you can never get back. The American Film Institute’s Catalog, the most authoritative database on film on the web, includes extensive entries on over 32,000 American feature-length and 17,000 short films produced from 1893-1974 (American Film Institute. 2010. Web. 20 Aug. 2010. <http://www.afi.com/members/catalog/>). Taking into account the approximately 49,000 films created in the United States before 1974 and ignoring my love of foreign films, if I live to a life expectancy of 81 years olds and watch an average of nine films per week that means I can only watch 37,908 films in my lifetime. That’s if I started watching movies the moment I was born. My daughter can claim this particular luxury because we played movies in the delivery room where she was born. Her father and I were on a Neil Simon binge and had The Odd Couple (1968), The Out-of-Towners (1970) and Plaza Suite (1971) playing on continuous loop. The rest of us, who have normal parents, can’t claim such a luxury. Having normal parents myself, film critiques were an important part of my life.

When the reviews for Star Wars: A New Hope (Special Edition) were released, I was desperate for news about the film. I found that even twenty years after the original film's release, a surprise financial success,it was still loved by fans all over the world.  George Lucas still wasn’t recognized for telling a wonderful story—our first modern, cinematic myth—but was credited only with “good timing” in the words of one Washington Post staff writer. That article, which ran on January 31, 1997, was the last movie review that I gave any credence to. The movie media seemed to be the Galactic Empire lead by a collective, cynical leader—movie critics—who was bent on sucking the joy out of my movie-viewing experiences. Like the Empire, they under estimated my ability, to tell a good movie from a bad one, and my passion for a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…


Jump ahead circa 1999-2005 and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith are released. The movie media had given the Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition a collective grade of an A but felt that Episodes I, II and III only deserved a collective B. One letter grade lower may not seem like such a big deal, but I grew up in a cash-poor household where A’s earned $20 and B’s only $15. I never came home with a B. A B is still a good grade, so they tell me, but the implication is that the prequels aren’t as good as the original trilogy and any observant, intelligent Star Wars fan will tell you that that just isn’t the case.

The “Why We Love the Prequels” Star Wars celebrity panel at Celebration V was created to discuss the prequels in a positive light and share, with those Star Wars fans who may not understand why we Saganites are so passionate about all the films, examples of why we love all the Star Wars films. It was also meant to be an opportunity for fans to express their love for the films that, when joined with the original trilogy, give the Star Wars myth more resonance and meaning than it could ever have had before. I am just as passionate about Clone Wars (television and film versions), which opens up a universe of possibilities for storytelling related to the Jedi, their skills and their relationships. The Clone Wars will be included in the blog discussions of our love for the Star Wars saga.

Because the panelists seemed to be defending the prequels more so than expressing why they think they are totally awesome, I have created this Star Wars Fan Site to show them how its done. Not, in anyway, to undermine their thoughts and feelings but to show them that Star Wars fans are the best and the brightest fans in the universe.

So, bring your thoughts, your ideas, your examples and your evidence to this discussion of the Star Wars Saga and Why We Love the Prequels. Even if you don’t know why you love them and you just do, you can use this forum to applaud your favorite characters, lines, scenes etc. from all the movies. Share your pictures, drawings, poems or other unique expressions as we all explore the many facets of the Force within us.