Parenting: Star Wars Toys for Baby

Back in May, we attended Star Wars Galactic Nights.  The Nola Nerd Baby was three months old and did a fantastic job.  She didn’t complain and slept through most of it.

On the first meeting of her great-grandfather, he slipped her twenty dollars.  We want to make sure we bought something for her.  We settled on a two sets of toys.  There were squeezable Star Wars and Princesses.  We held up both in front of her.  She raised her hand closest to the Star Wars set.  We then switched hands and she held up that hand.  We know she really didn’t pick Star Wars but we acted as if she did anyway!

Over the summer, this became her favorite set of toys.  They were too big to fit into her mouth but small enough for her to grab.  If you squeeze them they will squeak.

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Over time, one of the toys became her favorite.  In fact, when you give it to her, her face lights up.  Surprisingly, it was C3PO. She also loves R2 and Vader.  Boba and the Storm troop pick up the rear with Chewie trailing behind.

We can’t wait to share more Star Wars toys with her in the future.  We really can’t wait to shop for her at Star Wars Celebration.  Hopefully, she keeps enjoying them!

Star Wars-ing: No Boba Fett Movie But a Late Thank You to Jeremy Bulloch

A movie about Boba Fett will not be made. Weirdly, the announcement saying it was not going to be made was made before any announcement that it would be made. At Nola Nerd Couple Headquarters, we would have went to see it, but it wasn’t a film we were asking for.  Personally, for me, he was perfect in the original trilogy.  A man with no backstory that just wants to get paid is needed in films like Star Wars.  While I know he has his diehard fans, I can’t help but think he is a character that is best left up to the imagination.  The more we know about him the less mysterious he is.  The charm, for me anyway, has always been that we didn’t know much.  Yes, the prequels give him an origin story, but that to me changed him in a way I didn’t like. When it comes to villains, I often like a lack of an origin story.

While Boba Fett has never been one of my favorite characters, one of the actors that played him is.  Jeremy Bulloch announced his retirement in early August.  Mr. Bulloch portrayed Boba Fett in both Empire Strikes Back (where he also had a second role as an Imperial Officer) and Return of the Jedi. Along the convention circuit, he has always been a fan favorite with long lines waiting to meet.

Meeting Jeremy Bulloch at Star Wars Weekends in 2009

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Mr. Bulloch at Mississippi Comic Con in 2017

Mr. Bulloch at Mississippi Comic Con in 2017

Since we became serious collectors, it seems that we have met him at least once a year at conventions. While Mrs. Nola Nerd is the true Star Wars autograph collector, it was people like Mr. Bulloch who got me hooked on collecting autographs as well.  Meeting him was always a joy, and he, often accompanied by his wife, made sure everyone felt the magic that the love of Star Wars creates. He would always honor autograph collectors requests (certain color ink is often what we ask for) and would share a story if he could.

It will be weird not being able to meet him again, especially at Star Wars Celebration Chicago. Yet, after giving back so much to the Star Wars fans over the last couple of decades, he has more than earned his rest and retirement.

May the force be with him!

Star Wars-ing: Why Celebration Tickets Go So Fast

Star Wars Celebration tweeted on October 15 that Friday tickets were 98% gone.  By the time most new sites and blogs posted their story, they were gone.

I decided to look at the replies to the post.  A couple of people were questioning while sales were so early for Celebration, especially since there have been no real announcements coming from Celebration.  There have been only two panel stage hosts announced.  We still don’t have a clue of the celebrity guests nor programming.  They wondered why people are buying tickets in such circumstances.

We get it.  A lot of cons don’t announce guests until two-three months before the show, and Celebration is no exception.  But let’s face it, most cons, no matter the financial power behind them, are regional cons.  Star Wars Celebration is not a regional con.  It’s not even a national con.  People from around the world come to Celebration.

They have to announce and sell tickets early because of this.  Celebration requires people to work around work.  For a lot of fans, this is there 2019 vacation.  Hotel’s and transportation have to be booked.  We booked our hotel right away but had to wait for flights to be announced. We also have to find a babysitter. This takes months, not weeks, of planning for us.

Also, we have already started saving for Celebration.  Autographs, pins, comics, and other Star  Wars collectibles cost money.  (I always describe conventions as jewelry shows for nerds to my friends that have no clue what happens at these things).  We always say we are going to cut back and then Celebration announces people we have never met before (in 2017 Hayden Christensen and Sarah Michelle Gellar hit our pocketbooks hard…and before they announced we had hardly purchased any autographs.)  By paying for our tickets early, we can then purchase the autograph tickets when they become available without killing our budget.

So yeah, we are thankful that Star Wars Celebration was announced early.

Star Wars-ing: Star Wars Links

Star Wars Authentics Releases Resistance Photos:  Star Wars Authentics, which is run by TOPPS, is the official source for Star Wars photographs.  For autograph seekers like us, this is where we go to get photos for conventions and Star Wars Celebration.  Well, they just released a slew of photos from Star Wars Resistance.  Who knows, maybe we will see a few of the voice actors at Celebration Chicago?

Star Wars Celebration Tickets: 5-Day and Saturday tickets sold out quickly.  Friday, tickets sold out this past weekend.  If you are planning on going, you need to act now.

Star Wars Halloween Mood Table:  You love Star Wars and being crafty? StarWars.com has a great idea for you to decorate for the second best holiday season of the year. (For us, it’s the regional holiday you dress up for).

Looser Episode IX: According to Oscar Isaac, filming for the latest installment in the saga has been “looser” with more improv. He credits JJ Abrams feeling less pressure which in turn puts less pressure on everyone else.

 

 

 

 

 

StarWars-ing: Star Wars Links for September 12!

Former ‘Solo’ Star Still Hopes to Join An:other Star Wars Film: One of more questionable parenting decisions was to rewatch The Wire when feeding the baby.  I’m afraid she will now walk down the street whistling the Farmer in the Dell. Because if any one from that show could have created an indelible impression on my young child, it was Michael K. Williams’ magnificent turn as Omar Little.  He was cast in Solo, but didn’t make it into the final film and was recast.  It wasn’t because he was bad, obviously, but couldn’t commit to re-shoots with Ron Howard. If he is cast again the saga, make him a good guy, but one you don’t want to mess with. (Note: we still haven’t seen Solo! We have to wait for the physical release because we are too vested in Disney’s points program)

Star Wars Celebration News!:  Star Wars Celebration Chicago has announced two of their hosts for the event and they are two of the best: Amy Ratcliffe and David Collins. We have attended multiple panels that they have hosted in the past and they do a phenomenal job of asking the right questions but not making it about them. Ms. Ratcliffe will host the Behind-the-Scenes Stage while Mr. Collins will host the Galaxy stage.  (To get a rundown of the stages check out our earlier blog here)starwarslinks

Teaching: How Buffy Made Me a Better Teacher

We are taking the week to prepare for the start of the school year (Thursday!), so we are reposting some of our older blogs.  

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With the announcement that Sarah Michelle Gellar will be attending Star Wars Celebration, I’ve been thinking more about the show lately.  It also helps that it’s been in entertainment news lately because it has reached its 20th anniversary.

When I first watched the show, during the original run, I just watched it for the drama and humor.  Both were top notch, even if the special effects sometimes were not up to their level.  It wasn’t until the second time I watched it, that I realized the brilliance of Joss Whedon.  It amazes me that he wasn’t a high school teacher  (his mother was, though).  He captures high school perfectly.

By this, I mean he captures all the horrors of high school.  “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” showcased a girl (Clea DuVall) that just wasn’t noticed in high school.  When I watched around 2010 it reminded me of what that feeling felt like.  It reminded me that I need to reach every student, not just the attentive and the troublemakers. “I, Robot…You, Jane” was well ahead of its time with it’s stories of making friends on the Internet. At the time of the writing, only real nerds did this kind of stuff, but it still resonates today. “The Pack” might be a little too on the nose with it’s group bullying storyline.  I mean that as a compliment. “Earshot” looks at a student who reaches the point where he wants to commit suicide.

The brilliance of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that you can watch it from both sides.  When you are younger, you see it through the eyes of the Scooby Gang.  When you are older, Giles, Joyce, and Angel are you window into this world.  When we met Anthony Head, I thanked him for making me a better teacher.  The show not only gives you a viewpoint to the life of teenagers, but it is written in a way that builds empathy for them.  This is the mistake most shows about that age group make…they divide us from the people.  Most teenage shows have the older people be obstacles or people that don’t have a clue.  Not here.  Giles and Joyce are responsible adults who truly care about those in their charge.  They don’t always understand everything, but they always try. Through them, we become protective of the Scooby Gang.  Because of them, I have become more empathetic to my students’ issues.

Angel even furthers this.  He is perpetually young, but he is the oldest soul on the show.  And because he has a soul, he sees the tragedy in almost every situation mainly because he has seen every situation many times. As a teacher, you often just repeat years.  The students change, but the problems don’t.  Too often, you see students make mistakes before they make them.  This can be as simple as putting off homework or as complicated as choosing the right college/vocation.  We treat high school students as kids because they are, but at the same time, we ask them to decide their future.  The future is always the biggest and baddest big bad.

I know I won’t have time to tell Ms. Gellar all of this.  I am fully expecting to be so star struck that I’ll be surprised if I can utter actual words.  But I had to thank her, and the cast, and Mr. Whedon in some form.  So I choose this one.

 

ComicCon-ing: Why We Go to Conventions

This is a reposting of an earlier blog. 

Doing all my post-Star Wars Celebration write-ups and the podcast, I took the time to think about why do we go to cons.  They can be expensive, frustrating, and exhausting experiences.  Yet, we keep going and going.

Yet, we keep going and going.

Yes, we are collectors.  We love collecting autographs.  I know collecting signatures doesn’t make sense to some people, but I usually counter that argument by asking the person what they collect and point out why THAT is absurd.  (When you really think about it, collecting is an absurd practice). We love meeting the celebrities and crew members of films.  We want to show our appreciation for them. Both of our collections are extensive.  But this isn’t the reason why we go to cons.

Yes, we like to fill our house with geek art and objects. I love our Batman in New Orleans prints.  I love all the Zelda pieces my wife buys because she loves them. Our goal is to make one of our rooms, the Nola Nerd Couple Lounge. But this isn’t the reason why we go to cons.

We love collecting comic books.  We collect all Star Wars comics.  We love going to panels at cons where comic book creators are speaking and then searching out their books for them to sign.  One of my most prized pieces is the issue of Iron Fist that marks the first appearance of Misty Knight.  Misty’s creator, Tony Isabella, signed our copy.  It is framed and hanging in our Nola Nerd Couple Lounge right next to our Stan Lee signed comic.  But this isn’t the reason why we go to cons.

When we drove back from the con we, along with Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s sister, debriefed each other on our day.  The part where we got the most excited was when we were talking about talking with people in lines.

The real reason we go to cons is that we love being around individuals who love the same things as us.  It’s the fandoms that make cons enjoyable.

I waited for two and half hours for Hayden Christensen. While meeting him was fantastic, it also was a blur.  However, the guy from the UK in front of me had, not surprisingly, the same interests as me.  We talked about cons.  We spoke about music. I didn’t feel like I waited for two hours. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple had the same stories about people she met in line. She told me more about the guy she was in line with for Tiya Sircar, then she did about Mr. Sircar. Waiting for Phil Noto, the person in front of me chatted about comics books. Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple joined an online group of autograph collectors and did a meet up with them on Friday and had a great time.

If you check other write-ups and podcasts of Star Wars Celebration, you will notice that meeting other fans is the usually the number one reason why people do this.  Being with other fans is where the real lasting memories are made.

In my very first blog about a con, I entitled it Nerds of the World Unite.  I was just glib with the title. Now, I understand how correct I was in my title. We go to cons to feel united with other people like us.  We do this the same way people go to football games, political rallies, or book clubs.

We go to be with our tribe.