Star Wars-ing: The EW Article We Didn’t Read

We have a subscription to EW. We read it often.  Except for this week.

It’s hard doing a Star Wars weekly feature when we don’t want to know anything about The Last Jedi.  There is some great stuff out there that do give spoilers.  I love the Making Star Wars site, but only go back and read it after the movie is out.

For us, we like to know nothing but what the trailers and toys tell us going into a movie. It’s kind of hard to escape the toys.

At first, I was going to read the EW article, but then I noticed that quite a few podcasts decided to talk about the feature. This makes me wonder if there is more than what I want to know.,

We want to go the movie with as little knowledge as possible so we can be wowed or disappointed. I truly believe that if you know too much about a movie, particularly a Star Wars movie, you can become a little cynical. It can make you wish things were different.

I know this makes us weird for a Star Wars/nerd site that writes news features, but hey, we are fans first. And we want to do fandom our way.

Star Wars-ing: A New Obi-Wan Kenobi Film….Maybe…Hopefully

Last weekend, the Star Wars Twitterverse was all abuzz with the possibility that there might be a new Kenobi film. The key word in the sentence is “possibility.”  There is no script, and no one is attached. I think the news leaked to gauge interest from fans.

How could we not want an Obi-Wan Kenobi film, especially if Ewan McGregor signs on.

However, Star Wars Rebels has given us the Obi-Wan story we truly wanted to see if you have been watching The Clone Wars.  But what if you are that person who’s canon of Star Wars is only movies.  There is still plenty of stories about Obi-Wan to tell.

First of all, he is on a planet controlled by a Hutt.  This means unsavory characters will be there and maybe a few from his past.  To protect Luke, he must protect his identity. Second of all, as someone said on Twitter, a stand-alone movie could be just one adventure taking place over a day or a week.  Also, we don’t know all that much about the galaxy in the years that Luke is growing up so this is an era ripe for telling stories.  However, to be convincing, Luke’s protection has to always be kept in the forefront of the plot.

We also don’t know if Kenobi has a connection to the new trilogy.  We do know that Mr. Mcgregor has a line in The Force Awakens, but does the character have a deeper connection to events playing out.  Could the stand alone movie, which would be expected after Episode IX explain that connection?  If he does have an impact on the new trilogy, this is where I expect them to go.

They could do a Kenobi before Qui-Gon movie, but that just seems like a bad move to me.  Replacing the actor once was risky, and it did pay off, but a second time might be pushing it.

 

Star Wars-ing: Star Wars at Comicpalooza

Every con we go to, we like to make Star Wars connections.  I usually am meticulous with my research for this kind of blog, but this week my real job is taking most of my time, so I’m kind of doing this one on the fly.

  • Jessica Henwick: The star of Iron Fist was also Jess Testor in The Force Awakens
  • James Robinson and Tony Harris:  This comic team brought us the one off for C3PO.  But don’t be fooled by the one-off. This is one of the best single issue comics in the new Marvel line of Star Wars comics.  It brings up serious issues about artificial intelligence in a moving and thought-provoking way.  It is simply fantastic.
  • Ben Templesmith did work in the previous Marvel Star Wars runs.
  • On Friday at 10 am, there will be a panel on the Storytelling of Story Wars in 370D.
  • Later at 4 that same day, there will be a Star Wars improv show in room 362A.  On Saturday, at 2:30 this will be repeated.
  • At 4:30 on Friday in room 361C, a local theater troop will put on a reading of William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.  At 4:30 on Saturday, the reading will do the second half of it.
  • On Saturday at 1, there will be a Star Wars Enthusiasts of Huston Mega Cosplay Photo Shoot in Hall B3 if you want to see some great Star Wars costumes.
  • Saturday evening at 9 pm, there will be a discussion as to what is better Star Wars or Star Trek.  Personally, that’s comparing apples and oranges to me, but I love both equally!

May the force be with you!

Running: The WDW Second Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon

IMG_2071eAs soon as I crossed the finish line of my first half-marathon, I knew that I wanted to do another.

Life got pretty crazy after my first half-marathon. I flew back to Virginia and started a new full-time job. I took a few months off from running, but I still signed up for the second The Dark Half-Marathon when registration opened in August. I started my training back at square one doing Couch to 10K to get me eased into the walk/run intervals. I did pretty well in Fall but definitely didn’t train as much as I wanted in the Winter. I thought it was hard to run with a baby in a jogger stroller, but it is even more difficult running with an active toddler who does not want to stay in the stroller.

My main running time would be on the weekends when my husband Darin and I would take turns watching Layla while the other ran. I would try to do lunch time or after work walks, but it didn’t always happen. I underestimated how hard it can be to make time for myself while working a full-time job and having a toddler.

entertainment

I was pretty nervous on race day. We hadn’t done any races since the first The Dark Side Half-Marathon, and we were in the last corral. We were actually in the second to last corral during the first Half-Marathon, so the pressure was definitely on this time to stay ahead of the balloon ladies. I had only seen them from a far distance last time, but this time we started in a mini-wave only minutes in front of them. I looked at Darin and said, “I am one with the force, and the force is with me.”

beforerace

The race started, and even though I had used the bathroom three times before going to the corrals, I drank a lot of water (later I would realize I actually drank too much water) and knew that I wouldn’t be able to comfortably run until I used the bathroom again. Thank goodness we at least had a mini-wave in front of us because that allowed me to take a much-needed bathroom break at mile 2. The balloon ladies caught up thanks to the long bathroom line, and I took off running as soon as I jumped out of that porter potty. I accidentally left my husband behind because he was being sweet and waiting for me. Oops. The balloon ladies passed him, and a couple people around him were already quitting. I called him to let him know I had started running right away out of fear of that Death Star balloon getting too close, and he easily got back to me.

The race went really well the next few miles. My muscles were warmed up, and I was fully completing my runs and walks at an excellent pace. Every mile, the pace keepers would announce how far ahead of the balloon ladies we were running. We were getting farther and farther ahead. Running through Animal Kingdom was an amazing experience, and Darin and I high-fived as we reached the half-way point several minutes ahead of the balloon ladies.

And then things quickly started going downhill for me. My hands were throbbing and becoming very swollen. My legs and body felt great, so I pushed through. Once the sun was fully out, the heat and humidity took its toll on me. At the water stations, I would pour water on myself. I started occasionally feeling dizzy and nauseous. Thankfully, Darin and I bought running pouches so I had a granola bar and energy chews to snack on. Those helped, but not enough. Eventually, I could no longer run and just maintained a power walk. Darin was fantastic and kept track of our pace and the looming balloon ladies.

Finally, we reached Hollywood Studios. I knew that if I could make it to Hollywood Studios, then the excitement and cheering should push me to the finish line. Seeing the 10-mile marker made me smile even though I was in pain and feeling incredibly ill. Our time in Hollywood Studios was brief, but the cast members on Hollywood Blvd were in costume and cheering us on. Running through The Boardwalk is kind of a blur, but I loved all the people out with signs and encouragement. I high-fived many costumed 501st Legion members. I wanted to cry when we reached Epcot because I was so close but yet so far away. I actually started doubting my ability to finish the race. Darin tried to make jokes and keep me motivated, but I couldn’t even talk. I did enjoy seeing all the cast members in front of the countries, waving flags, and cheering. When I finally reached Spaceship Earth, I breathed the slightest sigh of relief, and it wasn’t long before I had the finish line in my sights.

duringrace

Darin and I held hands as we crossed the finish line. And after getting my medal, I went straight to the medical tent. I had heat exhaustion and salt depletion. My hands were so swollen that it hurt to move them at all. They gave me cool rags, ice packs, Gatorade, and chips. They had me lay down and told me to try not to drink water for a while because I needed to retain salt. Everyone was amazing, and now I know what to do and not do to prevent salt depletion in the future.

Overall, the race was harder for me than my first Half-Marathon because of the heat exhaustion and salt depletion that I endured. But, at least I didn’t fall down and hurt myself like last year. I am incredibly thankful that I completed the race. I don’t think I would have been able to finish without the love and support of my husband who practically dragged me through Epcot.

medal

I still have two bruised purple toenails and some tightness in my shins, but I am eager to get back into running again once I am all healed up. Eventually, I will be able to complete a Half-Marathon without collapsing at the finish line. We plan on signing up for The Light Side Half-Marathon (January 2018) as soon as registration opens, as well as doing The Dark Side (April 2018) again so we can receive The Kessel Run medals. Darin even wants to do the challenge (where you complete the 10k on Saturday and the Half-Marathon on Sunday), but I will just stick to conquering the Half-Marathon for now. He wants to be able to actually RUN during his 10ks and then be the supportive husband doing slow walk/run intervals with me during the Half-Marathons.

Thank you, Nola Nerd Couple for letting me tell my story about this year’s The Dark Side Half-Marathon. Hopefully, I can report again from California and give my take on The Light Side. And maybe one of these days I will be able to complete a race without complications or Death Star balloons haunting looming behind me…

Star Wars-ing: Exploring the Canon with DelRey Books and Marvel Comics

Of course, Star Wars is more than the movies. Since Disney purchased Star Wars, they created a new canon that includes the new Marvel Comics and DelRey Books. While invalidating the old canon angered some, it freed Disney to make the new films according to how they want to make them.  It was, truly, the only sensible business move.  That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the old canon (known as the expanded universe or Legends as Disney calls it).  I just read Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn from the Legends universe and loved it.

At Star Wars Celebration, I attended the authors’ panel and the Marvel panel.

Here are some tidbits from the authors’ panel:

  • Chuck Wendig didn’t really know where some characters would go in Aftermath.  He let some plot lines play out and became convinced as he wrote them.
  • Mr. Wendig definitely had some moments where he thought Lucasfilm would cut it, but they didn’t. One in particular involved Jar Jar.
  • Timothy Zahn usually just gets some “tweak” comments. In fact, the arguments he lost to the story group he is glad he lost.  He further states that if they were horrible to work with, he would have just made three novels (Legend’s Heir to the Empire series) instead of 11.
  • Mr. Zahn created one of the characters in Thrawn to serve as the intermediary between Thrawn and the audience.  (I haven’t read the book yet, so I didn’t catch the name)
  • To keep the tension in novels in which you know that the main characters survive, you have to put the audience on their toes by putting other characters in jeopardy, according to Mr. Zahn.
  • Delilah Dawson pointed out that the moderator alluded to Captain Phasma’s back story…Ms. Dawson’s Phasma book comes out later this year. Spoiler?
  • Christie Golden discussed how most villains have some good in them.  She advises young writers “to make sure their heroes have flaws, and their villains have virtues.” Now, sometimes a character is so evil, and you have to enjoy it.

Marvel

This panel was hosted by Amy Ratcliffe of StarWars.com and featured Jordan White (editor of all Star Wars comics at Marvel), Charles Soule (writer for Lando, the upcoming Darth Vader, Poe Dameron), Phil Noto (artist for Poe Dameron and Chewbacca), Heather Antos (assistant editor for the Star Wars line), Matt Martin (LucasFilm Story Group), and John Tyler Christoper (cover artists that does the action figure variants). The panel focused on previous releases and future ones.  Ms. Ratcliffe did a fantastic job of moderating making sure each person was given time to speak.  That is a hard thing to do with a group this big.

Some of the things I learned:

  • John Tyler Christopher designs his variants not like they looked, but as the 5-year-old he remembers them looking.
  • Captain Phasma, who was indeed over-hyped for the Force Awakens, will have her own comic book.  This, along with the upcoming novel by Ms. Dawson, will hopefully fulfill the promise of this character. And of course, The Last Jedi.
  • The next Darth Vader begins seconds after he screams “NOOOOOOO” in Revenge of the Sith.  He is now half man and half machine with lots of rage, and according to Mr. Soule, he will in indulge in his dark side.  Marvel is letting him make it as dark as he envisioned it.
  • Also, Mr. Soule says we will find out how a red lightsaber gets made.  Plus, not every Jedi was killed by Order 66.  We will meet some of them.
  • Poe Dameron deals with a funeral of a character.  Mr. Soule wrote it right before Carrie Fisher’s death and rewrote it as a tribute to her.
  • Mr. Soule writes out BB8’s words.  He is mostly positive with a few salty phrases.  Ms. Antos then translates it into droid speak and has gone so far as to make a notebook of translations.
  • Mr. Soule, a lawyer, actually enjoys writing Palpatine and uses that to help write him.
  • Mr. Soule and Mr. Noto got to read the Force Awakes script before it came out to help write Poe Dameron.

Really, if you haven’t read any Star Wars comics, you should.  They are well done.  They don’t have earth shattering revelations, the movies kind of prohibit that right now, but they do flesh out each character they touch.  In Leia, we got to see a strong leader allow a few cracks to show through.  In Lando, we saw that for a scoundrel, he actually love his friends.  Darth Vader reminds us that he is, for most of the saga, a villain.

I know the Extended Universe has its fans, but for me it became intimidating.  I didn’t really know where to start.  Having the books and comics come out at the same time as the movies allow for some depth to be allowed to the universe.  Again, because of the films, there will not be any earth-shattering developments, but enough to drive the story along and maybe fill in some blanks.  They also allow us to see Star Wars away from the Skywalker family.  I, personally, think this is a good thing.  To me, Star Wars is just that: tales of war a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away that is part of the living force.  The Skywalker story is the most important in this saga, but everyone’s life is affected in this universe, and their stories deserved to be told as well.

Star Wars-ing: Ahsoka Lives!

I think a lot of Star Wars fans of the Clone Wars have the same response to Ahsoka Tano that I did. I hated her at first.  She was a typical teenager. Anakin gave her the perfect nickname in “Snips.”

Then I became invested in the show.  My feelings for Ahsoka changed.  First, it was “ok…I don’t mind an Ahsoka episode.”  Then I couldn’t wait for them. The way she exits the show makes her the Jedi (I know she left the Order but she never wavered; it was the Order that did) I admire the most.  In fact, when Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple asked who was my favorite character, I didn’t hesitate when I said Ahsoka. Unfortunately, she was asking what lanyard I wanted from Amazon, and she was unforgivably not an option. I went with Rey instead.

Meeting Ashley Eckstein was fantastic.  She is one of the last people we needed for our Clone Wars Poster.  Ms. Eckstein was even surprised we never met her before when she saw the names already on the poster.  She talked to each of us and even noticed that Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s sister was wearing one of her jumpers.

The next day at the Rebels Panel, showrunner Dave Filoni was wearing an Ahsoka Lives? shirt. Now, the Saturday of Celebration was the Ahsoka Lives Day!  He is completely aware of the fandom and realized that there was going to be a huge meetup that day.  In other words, he was basically trolling fans.

After that panel, almost everyone that cosplayed as Ahsoka or who wore any clothing with her on it, gathered at the main steps to the second floor of the convention center to take a group picture.  Ashley was there, and so was Dave with a new shirt that changed the “?” to a “!”  (Click on the pictures to make them larger).

Later in the day, I attended the Marvel panel.  There was an extremely unscientific poll about who should their next comic focus on. Of course, it was Ahsoka.

BECAUSE AHSOKA LIVES!

Star Wars-ing: Amazing Cosplay at Star Wars Celebration

One of our favorite pastimes at Star Wars Celebration is seeing people cosplay.  From the thrown together ones to the extremely detailed, they are all done with love of a true fan at heart.  We love the mash-ups and the by the book accurate.

Here are the pictures we took at Celebration of people dressed up as some incarnation of a Star Wars character or idea.  If any of these cosplayers are you, shoot us an email at nolanerdcouple@gmail.com, and we will send you the unedited picture! Click on the image to make them larger.