StarWars-ing: Teachers in Star Wars

This month, StarWars.com has been running a quiz called WHICH STAR WARS CHARACTER SHOULD BE YOUR TEACHER?  The quiz paired me with Tobias Beckett, a character from Solo.  I have no idea if this is correct because we didn’t get to see Solo in theaters because we could never match up the time we had with a babysitter. The quiz asks better questions than most quizzes of this kind ask.

It did get me thinking about teachers in Star Wars.  This is a subject we are something we of an expert on since it is our day job. Actually, no.  This is just us having fun.

Yoda:  Yoda never really tells you the objective of the lesson.  He is more of discovery learning type of teacher.  He has a well planned lesson but the pupil is responsible for figuring it out. This is great for the motivated, patient student, but the learner who needs lots of redirection could have a problem.

Obi-Wan: Obi is an involved teacher.  He will do the lesson with the student but not do it for the student.  He trusts the student has a team member. This is great, but sometimes students need more discipline.

Palpatine:  He is that professor that doesn’t care about his students at all, only his career.  They do the research and he takes the credit. He forgets who you are as soon as the semester is over, unless other academics start to notice you.  Then he destroys you and your career.

Ashoka: From what we have seen, she is the motivated new teacher.  She technically didn’t have a padawan yet, but she has led a group on a field trip.  She’s resourceful and knows how to think on her feet, which makes up for her lack of planning.

Luke:  His pupils turned on him. Was it a really bad class, or did he lack management skills?

Qui-Gon Jin: He is the rebel teacher that plays fast and loose with the rules.  He doesn’t do anything to get fired, but if he agrees with the administration he will do it his own way. The students love him so they don’t snitch.

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

StarWars-ing: The Kylo Ren Redemption Problem

I’m not sure how the Mrs. feels about this so these thoughts are my own.  We will do a podcast eventually, and I’ll bring this up as a topic.

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The three most important lines in The Last Jedi:

Luke Skywalker : I came to face him, Leia. And I can’t save him.

Leia Organa : I held out hope for so long, but I know my son is gone.

Luke Skywalker : No one’s ever really gone.

I emphasized the I because I think that’s the issue.  Luke can’t save him.  Maybe he can’t because he helped create him.  Maybe he can’t save him, because he doesn’t sense any good in him as he did with Vader.

But when you get to that last line, we have a new hope for Kylo.  Maybe someone else can.

But does he deserve it?  He led a massacre on Jakku, and it probably wasn’t his first one (I’m behind on all my Star Wars reading so I’m going off just the two movies).  He nearly killed his mother. He killed his father.

I’m not sure if he deserves it.  He is a very problematic character which is what makes him such a captivating character.  We don’t fully understand his motivations as to why he was so drawn to the dark side, but there is plenty of darkness there.  Luke could sense the smallest amount of good in Vader, but can’t sense it Kylo Ren. This in turn lead us to the question was Kylo destined to join the dark side or does he have free will?

What I find interesting is how much the dark side is Kylo Ren choosing it and how much is the force inside of him making him do this.  If you think about it, the force created Anakin and the Skywalker line. Four people in the line have the ability to be force users.  Two have chosen the light; two have chosen the dark. But did Kylo? What happened to him? Or is the force an imposing and interventionist source.

It’s so hard to say you want him to be redeemed when you don’t know why he fell from the light. Anakin had is reasons even if they were flimsy.  He fully believed he was saving the woman he loved by joining the dark side.  He definately was manipulated by Sidious, but it was by choice.

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We don’t know this about Ren.  Was he always evil? Did he show all the markers in our universe that makes up a psychopath, but lives in one where he is powerful with force.  When we first meet Kylo Ren, he is talking to  Lor San Tekka:

Kylo Ren : Look how old you’ve become.

Lor San Tekka : Something far worse has happened to you.

Kylo Ren : You know what I’ve come for.

Lor San Tekka : I know where you come from, before you called yourself “Kylo Ren”.

Kylo Ren : The map to Skywalker. We know you found it. And now you’re going to give it to the First Order.

Lor San Tekka : The First Order rose from the Dark Side. You did not.

Kylo Ren : I’ll show you the Dark Side.

Lor San Tekka : You may try. But you cannot the truth that is your family.

Kylo Ren : You’re so right.

Tekka is trying to bring up the past to Kylo Ren and Kylo acknowledges the dark side of his family only. This exchange, from Tekka’s point of view, leads us to believe that Ben was a good person and his free will led him to the Dark Side. Personally, this is where I belong, because I don’t believe the force manipulates people.

Does this make Kylo Ren a more evil character? If the force made him evil, then the force is more complex than we ever thought.  If he chooses evil, then why.  Anakin was desparate.  What was Kylo Ren’s motivation? What was so horrible in his past that he choose this? Will it change how we feel about his parents? Or was it all Snoke manipulating the family?

Kylo Ren is simply put the most fascinating character in the Star Wars universe right now.  He has the lineage and a backstory clouded in mystery.  The little bit we know we have found out Roshamon style.

To me, for there to be any chance for redemption, we have to know why he fell from the light. If we don’t it will feel tacked on. I just hope we find out more about him in the next movie.

Star Wars: Star Wars Links

Our day jobs don’t allow us to do breaking news. So in this weekly feature, we will give our reactions to Star Wars news. 

Rain Johnson Calls Out a YouTuber: Normally, I put links on this write-up, but I couldn’t find one that actually told the story correctly.  A certain Star Wars youtuber, who I won’t mention, has found a way to make money from making up rumors about Star Wars films. From a capitalist point of view, this is fine, but he his making stuff up.  In a tweet that has since been deleted, Rian Johnson remarked in a joking way how they had someone keep tabs on the fake reports basically to have a laugh at. He deleted it because he felt it was mean.  We don’t agree. The youtuber is making money making up stuff about Rain’s work.  In the big scheme of things his videos don’t matter, but it is unethical. Furthermore, he has made up rumors about Johnson’s upcoming trilogy that have no foundation. Not only Johnson should shut him down, but so should Lucasfilm.

Solo: A Star Wars Story novel adds amazing scenes, characterization: I can’t wait to read this article and book, but I have to.  We never got to see Solo because it was just too difficult to get a sitter. Luckily, the Nola Nerd Baby is cute enough to make up for it.

Today’s Star Wars: Episode IX Black Park Location 2 jungle set photos!: We don’t normally look up a because a lot of stuff about current Star Wars filming, mainly because it is a minefield.  The only site we trust is MakingStarWars.net.

 

Star Wars-ing: Remember the True Evilness of Darth Vader

I was three and a half when I saw Star Wars for the first time. It was an event movie that I probably didn’t know anything about, but my parents took me knowing I would enjoy it.

Darth Vader was the first truly evil character I recognized as being evil.

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It’s hard to remember a world in which only A New Hope existed.  The rest of the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy change our perceptions of Vader. We grow to have feelings for Vader and want him to be redeemed.  This is amazing when you consider how he was evil absolute in the first film.

There is nothing sympathetic about Vader in A New Hope. His, as Vader, only backstory is that he killed Luke’s father. His every action in A New Hope is evil.  Yes, some of it is done in heavy-handed symbolism (he is in all black, Leia is all white), but his actions help prove it. He chokes his own general that dared disagree with him. He aides in the destroying of an entire planet. He strikes down the beloved character who has given us all the information we know about the backstory of the Star Wars. While we loved seeing the Vader that struck the damage he did in Rogue One or Vader Down, deep down we didn’t need to see it.  We knew that Vader existed all along. Like the Joker in The Dark Knight, he is an absolute evil character.

The actors that portrayed him did a fantastic job bringing him to life. James Earl Jones voice over work is as iconic as you can get. The authority in his voice more than matches his physical presence. David Prowse doesn’t get enough credit for his physical side.  The suit had to limit his movements quite a bit, but he found a way to make Vader’s movements operatic without being hokey.

Yes, Vader is redeemed, but that doesn’t undermine how evil he was in the first film.  The fact that we become sympathetic to him midway through Jedi is a testament to Lucas’s vision.  Also, we have to give him credit in that Lucas was able to do in a way that wasn’t R-rated. He was the boogey man. But then, over the next two films, we find out that there is someone Vader is scared of.

And that’s the true nightmare: the boogeyman has something he is terrified of.

 

Star Wars-ing: Han Solo Comic

The biggest problem with the EU and Disney’s now canon universes was writing for main characters especially if it was in the middle of episodes. Writing for Luke, Han, and Leia can be tricky because we know they aren’t in real danger.  We know they will live to fight another day.

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Yet, the entire time I read Han Solo, I was on the edge of my seat.

The plot is that Han needs to pick up three spies one of which has been murdering other rebel spies. The setting is a race which the Empire knows about but isn’t enamored with.  Han, being Han, knows his mission but will commit to the cover just as much.

While I never worried about Han or Chewie, I quickly worried about the spies and the other racers.  Writer Marjorie Lui creates a quick action-packed script that is perfectly brought to life by the pencils of Mark Brooks and the coloring of Sonia Oback I’m not actually a fan of comics with lots of action but this one was a lot better than most. The race scenes were fantastic and full of kinetic energy. And we get to see the maturation of Solo which is always nice to see.

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With the baby coming into our lives we are really behind on our comic reading, especially with Star Wars comics. Yet, everyone I’ve read so far has been a knockout.   Marvel deserves kudos for handling these properties so well.

 

Star Wars-ing: Star Wars Celebration Important Dates

Star Wars Celebration is a great place for fans of Star Wars to show off their talents whether it be in artwork, props, podcasting, and fan led panels.

The Art Show: According to Celebration’s website, the “Star Wars Celebration Art Show is open to official artists of Lucasfilm, Disney and of the companies’ licensees only. If you have created official work for Lucasfilm, Disney, or one of their licensees, you will be able to submit your work to be considered for the juried selection of the Celebration Art Show.”  Submissions are due by August 15.  Eligible artists need to present three to five examples of their artwork along with a summary of their working relationship with Lucasfilm. Artists who make it past the first round will have to develop a concept for the show for a final evaluation.

Fan Built Props and Sets: If you are one of those fantastic craftspeople who love to tinker and build props and sets, then fill out the application so all of us Star Wars fans can see it. You do have to give details of size for your prop/set.  The deadline is August 15, and all applicants will be informed of their status by Holloween.

The Podcast Stage: This is a dream for us!  We applied for the last one but didn’t get it. We will apply for this one too!.  Of all the fandoms out there, none rival the amount nor the quality of  Star Wars podcasts. Podcasts should be “historically Star Wars-themed and family friendly.”  Keep your fingers crossed for us! (and check out our podcasts here!).  Deadline for this is September 11, and all applicants will be notified of final decisions by November 14. If we don’t get selected, you will probably find Mr. Nola Nerd Couple in this room quite a bit as he loves Star Wars podcasts!

Fan Tables: Celebration puts aside a few tables for “unofficial, regional, and international fan clubs and similar fan organizations. These tables will allow clubs to promote their organizations to other Star Wars fans and to act as a central location for club activities.” We love going by these tables and find out about the organizations and all the excellent work they do in the name of Star Wars fandom. Deadline is September 11.