Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars Day

A Day that will live in scum and villainy...

That's right...I'm talking about that day in November 2010 when Katie Goldman was teased at school because she had a Star Wars water bottle. Not to worry, like the Rebel Squadron on a Death Star (take your pick DS I or DS II), the international Star Wars community rushed to Katie's aid. We, Star Wars fans, showed the world that not only is it cool to be a Star Wars fan girl, but that we've got each other's backs.

So on this 3rd annual Wear Star Wars Day, created to celebrate geek pride and anti-bullying, I will continue to wear Star Wars. 

If you have not done so, please Join Wear Star Wars Share Star Wars on Facebook; and also watch Jedi Camp (A 6 episode web series fan film, dealing with the bullying epidemic). While these two sites are not affiliated with each other they are both trying to do the same thing - end bullying and help kids build self-confidence. Abolishing harassment and building self-confidence is something both kids and adults need.

Bullying was something I had to deal with all the time as a little girl. I was teased for so many years, for so many things that by the time I was in junior high nothing was going to stop me from wearing my Luke Skywalker circa Return of the Jedi black suit to school. Remember, this was 1983 before Cosplay was cool. 

After begging my mother to buy the McCALLS, RETURN OF THE JEDI  © Lucasfilm Ltd. 1983, Sewing Pattern #8654 and sew it for me minus the iron-on transfer (I was going for authenticity.), I  wore it to school with pride.  I did have the inevitable schoolmate taunt and tease me. Like my forebears - Yoda, Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker - I did not take the quick and easy path and FORCE choke them like I wanted to but ignored their jeers and scoffs. Regardless of what anyone said...I was a Jedi. That was the first day that I can remember beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin. 

The ideals and themes within the Star Wars universe helped me find the courage to be me. Maybe the best defense against bullying is a strong sense of self.

Will wearing Star Wars put an end to bullying? We won't know until we Do! Remember, there is no Try. 

Check out my reply on Star

May the FORCE Be With You, Always!

Fangirl pics from top left to lower right: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9

Friday, October 12, 2012

Strwrsgrl - MIA?!

No...I am not "Missing In Action" I'm still here! Since my last post I have reached a tenuous detente with the "Emperor", visited the biggest and best party this side of the galaxy - Star Wars Celebration VI - and resumed co-hosting theFORCEbook Fangirls podcast.

Celebration VI was, as always, an awesome and exhausting four days. Why oh why can't it go on forever? That would be the only length of time that would satisfy me. Maybe they will expand the Star Wars section of Disney's Hollywood Studios of Walt Disney World to include more than Star Tours and Star Wars Weekends. Better yet, how about an entire new park within Walt Disney World called Star Wars Galaxies. Then you could have an entire theme park with Star Wars centered rides. Enough daydreaming. 

This past Celebration, I was able to experience the convention from a different perspective. Cartamundi_USA allowed me to hang out with them and play exhibitor for a couple days. I was able to distribute the incredible, lenticular,  3-D cards they created specifically for Celebration VI as giveaways. If you saw the framed Royal Flush set they had at their booth and still want one contact Victor Shaffer to get one of the limited number remaining. I was able to meet so many other Star Wars fans because of them. It was great fun!

I also attended at least two panels with Dave Filoni, as I am now officially obsessed with the juggernaut that is The Clone Wars. I took special care to also visit Bonnie Piesse, young Aunt Beru, and Joe Corroney, licensed Lucasfilm artist - both of whom are fellow members of I also visited Linzy Busch, one of my new fangirl heroines, creator of Power of the Force Girls. If you ever feel like you need to amp up your girl power, the Power of the Force Girls are just what you need. I am especially happy about making the acquaintance of fellow fangirl and Star Wars clothing designer Christine B. of Ohmethreads. All of whom may be guests on upcoming episodes of the podcast.
Mace Windu, "This party's over."

Of course, theFORCEbook Fangirls allows me to do one of the things I love to do - talk, talk, talk - about Star Wars! My husband says that he's almost certain that Babbles is a animated incarnation of me. The podcast also allows me to survive the inevitable depression that follows in any Star Wars fanperson when they depart from Celebration. It is definitely one way I keep the FORCE strong with me until the next Celebration. 

Organizing the items I purchased at C6 into my collection will also take some time and help tide me over until the next convention. I don't know what it is about swag, but of course, a lot of my favorite items are the free things I was able to gather. Once everything has been placed I will post new pics of my office so that I can show it off in true fangirl style.

Even with the podcast I have found that I still need my diary to wax analytical on Star Wars topics.  Where else can I hash out my thoughts about The Clone Wars - Mortis trilogy? (Coming Soon) It's just great to have another fan to bounce ideas off and increase my own point of view about the Saga.

May the FORCE Be With You, Always!  

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Mom is NOT Darth Vader!

Star Wars Family
I have previously posted on during some familial rant that my mother is Darth Vader. I was wrong.  I did what Mace Windu warned against, I made an assumption.

My mother is NOT Darth Vader! It's much worse than that - She IS the Emperor!
I know this seems excessive, as if I may need years of intensive therapy, but hear me out. I have always had a tenuous relationship with my mother, I love her, but the woman is Dark-side and has a killer FORCE choke.

However, my mother is so much more than that. She is crafty, manipulative and seductive - when she needs to be. My mother is the hands down ruler of the galaxy known as my family. Which was not a simple task to accomplish in a family grounded in Judeo-Christian traditions where the man is the head of the family. She skillfully used her role as wife/mother to befriend all sides of the family individually - my brothers, my sisters and my father - and used her privileged information to keep us at odds with each other and rule the empire.
I kid you not, my mother was, and is, very jealous of any relationship between myself and any other family member. She had to be the the most important relationship in my life to the exclusion of all other family members, even my father. She would take me into her confidence and then leak twisted snippets of information so that I would feel that I shouldn't trust anyone else. All the while, believing she had my best intentions at heart - Now tell me that isn't Palpatine! Actually, I'm kind of proud of her. Ian McDiarmid is after all - BAD ASS! Senator Palpatine's masterful manipulation of the galactic senate makes our own congress look like a bunch of preschoolers playing tiddlywinks.

The faces of mom.

But this leads me to an even more startling revelation. If my mother is actually the Emperor...then my Father is Darth Vader! 
I can't get away from this.
When I was a little girl the fact that Darth Vader, who we found to be Luke's father, could betray his child, cut his hand off, try to kill him or turn him to the Dark side was the ultimate betrayal for me. I have been and will always be a Daddy's the idea of "daddy betrayal" stops me cold in my tracks.
My father was also my most revered teacher - My Yoda. Because of this, I just naturally assumed that my mother, the darker and less affectionate of my parents, was Darth Vader. I was wrong.

A closer look at the Emperor/Vader relationship and it is all now so clear to me.
My father, the handsome and powerful, young Jedi - the Chosen One - was seduced to the Dark side by my mother, the Emperor. Like the Emperor she had access to his secrets and desires and she used that information to cause a rift in the FORCE. My father and I also had a very tenuous relationship when I was a teenager (and thought I knew everything) but with maturity and growth on both our parts that relationship was repaired. (Not unlike Luke and Darth Vader)

Me & My Dad - through the years.
Now I realize that my father had the more unpleasant ordeal. He had the long, close relationship with my mother only to later realize that she was Sith, and like Vader, he could not resist her seduction. He remained with her until the end, but again like Vader, he saved me when I needed it most and returned to the Light side. I now see my battles with my father as epic, the fight for my independence on Bespin, the knowledge that there was still good in him on Endor and finally the fight to rescue him from the emperor's clutches on the Death Star.

And you thought your family bickered...
However, my Episode VI ends very differently. The emperor does not fall and it is up to me to battle on alone without Vader/Yoda - my father. Maybe the key here is to be like Obi-Wan and Luke, self-sacrificing and dutiful. You never know, who says there's no good in the emperor. Like the FORCE maybe there are two sides to every story. If Darth Vader can be redeemed, I might be able to save my mom yet...

May the FORCE be with you, always!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

May the Force Be With You, Bro!

The Ultimate Bromance - Clone Brothers in Arms
A few months ago I read an online article about bromance in movies. You know, movies that depict a platonic, intimate relationship between two or more men. The most famous bromance for my generation is probably Brian’s Song, the story of that famous bromance between Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers. Our Star Wars own, Billy Dee Williams (aka Lando Calrissian) stars as Gale Sayers. This article included many movies in addition to Brian's Song that are famous for their bromance:

The Defiant Ones, The Great Escape, The Wild Bunch, Hell in the name a few.

I have seen most of the films listed and a few are on my list of all-time favorites - The Great Escape, for example, which I’ve watched with my father and husband many times.

However, there are some very notable exclusions: Ben Hur, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but most especially the Star Wars Saga. How can you write an article about bromance in cinema and not include Star Wars?!

Never has one saga exemplified the idea of bromance more. The very idea of the Master/Padawan relationship of mentoring and caring was made for bromance.

There are Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Obi-Wan and Anakin Skywalker, and even Yoda and Luke Skywalker. But the Jedi are by no means the only examples of bromance in Star Wars.

The most famous probably being between Han Solo and Chewbacca, wonderfully depicted in one of my favorite comic strips Calvin and Hobbes. Some of the funniest moments in the films are between Han and Chewie. When Han, like a nagging wife, goads Chewie to get in the garbage compactor, "I don't care what you smell!" As well as some of the most tender moments in the films, most notably for me when Chewie leans back his head and wails as Han is being frozen in carbonite. (I've mentioned that I rarely cry at movies...but this scene leaves me blubbering.)

No less bromantic is the relationship between R2-D2 and C-3PO. (Although, I still love to tease my husband that R2 has to be female, because "she" is just so darn cool.) If their constant bickering and concern for each other isn't brotherly love, then I don't know what is. Who else in the universe but R2 would put up with 3PO's constant flagellation.

These two relationships are by no means the only bromances in Star Wars. I could go on and on... 

There is Luke and R2.  I love the way Luke and R2 are with each other. They are so cute.  R2 offers to drive so Luke can get some rest and Luke warns R2 to be more careful. If they were a romantic couple, they would be the kind that still holds hands years into their relationship.

The three-way between Luke, Han and Chewie. I love that scene in Empire when Luke goes to say goodbye to Han and Chewie. Chewie, who is completely unashamed of his bromantic love, just grabs Luke and gives him a big Wookie hug. (I'm so jealous!) And of course, the locked gaze between Luke and Han as they share their silent goodbye.  I love these guys. *sniff*

Now the coolest bromance in the film is, by far, between Han and Lando. These two guys bicker over the Millennium Falcon like an old girlfriend. And when Lando matter-of-factly asks, "How you doin', Chewbacca?" You know these three have spent some nights in a cantina or two that you can't even talk about in mixed company. Even when Chewie has those big, hairy hands closed around Lando's can almost guess this isn't the first time.

The most dysfunctional bromance in the entire film and one that definitely needs to call Dr. Ruth, or whomever bromancers call when they are having relationship issues, is between the Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. What an incredible seduction by the emperor. He just lies and lies to Anakin telling him whatever he needs to, to get him under his thumb. And what does Lord Vader do, he just kneels down and takes it.  Talk about co-dependent.  Even when I was a kid, I just knew this was a relationship that had to have lots of domestic violence.

Are these the only examples of bromance in Star Wars? By no means, but I think I've made my point. You shouldn't make a bromance movie list and NOT have Star Wars in it.

May the Force Be With You, Bro!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How can any Star Wars fan celebrate Father's Day without thinking of the most shocking scene in cinematic history...

It's impossible...and has given birth to so many parodies and one of my favorite t-shirts of all times.

It has become it's own "thing" to collect in my Star Wars collection.

The oedipal drama within Star Wars is by no means subtle, but it is the insightful and exquisite paternal themes between Yoda and Luke that make me think most of my own relationship with my father.

My father was a brilliant and gifted man of the cloth. And even from the early age of five, I have memories of us discussing our beliefs and religious dogma. Which is probably why Yoda reminds me most of my father. That and the fact that they both had a goofy, ever present, since of humor. I love watching Yoda be sarcastic or silly...just like my dad.

The scenes on Dagobah with Yoda and Luke are ever present reminders of how my father helped me become the Jedi I am today. He taught me so many things. And like Yoda moving the x-wing fighter out of the swamp on to dry land, my father taught faith - not by telling, but by doing.


To this day that scene still makes me tingle inside...on days like even makes me cry. I feel as if I am at my father's feet watching one of his most moving sermons. He was a great man with a powerful faith, who was not boastful but humble - like Yoda.

One of my happiest memories of watching the Star Wars trilogy was when my father came for an extended stay to visit. We had the most awesome home theater at the time with a 75" screen and Dolby surround sound. My father was center seat in his favorite easy chair, which he usurped from my husband each time he visited, and we watched the entire original trilogy. (The prequels had not come out yet.)

My father loved movies, but didn't go to the theater after we were heavy enough to keep the seat down on our own (Money was tight when I was a kid.) I watched these movies I love with the man who taught me to love movies - He LOVED them!

Star Wars is a science fiction, action-packed, thrill-ride of a movie; but it also appeals to the more cerebral cinema fan. Which is why I think I loved them so much.

My father did not miss the mythological and religious themes in the films and we spent most of the day discussing those parallels with our own faith. We discussed the themes that were universal to many faiths and how that might explain why people from all over the world connect to this film in such an innate way. It is one of my favorite Father's Day memories.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy. I will love you, always.

So for all you Star Wars fans out there. Don't say Happy Father's Day say...

Who's Your Daddy?