Category Archives: Star Wars

My Ten Favorite Movie Heroines

I love movies because they’re very fun to watch. I love seeing stories play out onscreen, I love watching actors portray different characters that I will either love or despise, I love action films, but most importantly, I love a movie with an off-the-chain heroine. There are hundreds of great films with male heroes but when a woman can come into the fold and kick butt alongside the men that’s when a movie, for me, gets really awesome and lately that’s become a regular occurrence.

Last year Wonder Woman finally got her own blockbuster film after being around for decades and there have been a bunch of critically acclaimed indie films and television shows led by women in the past year. The last three Star Wars films have been led by women and have made billions of dollars, an idea that at one time would seem preposterous to the Hollywood elite. And last year’s highest grossing films were all female-led, Beauty and the BeastWonder Woman, and The Last Jedi.

So, because women are clearly awesome, I’m going to share with you the ten movie heroines that I have come to love the most, at least, so far. Enjoy!

10. Dorothy

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies of all time. I remember seeing this film as a child and it was one of the most magical films I have ever seen still to this day. To think that this movie was made in 1939! is beyond incredible and in the center of this epic tale is Dorothy.

Dorothy is a special character. She has those ruby slippers, she sings like an angel, she has the cutest dog ever, Toto, and she’s so sweet. She’s a regular farm girl trying to run away from home because a mean old lady wants her dog to be taken away who just so happened to end up embarking on an incredible journey in a magical world unlike any other. She faces flying monkeys, an evil witch, and many other obstacles but at the end of it all she survives the adventure and helps save the Land of Oz while never refraining from being herself. If you really think about it, Dorothy is a very brave girl. To face all of that strange stuff; a talking scarecrow, a talking lion, a tin man, munchkins, witches, etc. without utterly freaking out is very impressive.

Without Dorothy The Wizard of Oz would not be the same magical movie that it has been for almost a century and that’s why she is one of my favorite heroines.

9. Murph Cooper

Jessica Chastain in Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar is another one of my favorite movies because, well, it’s very, very good. The story is well written, the creativity is out of this world amazing, every actor’s performance is exceptional, the music is ridiculously imaginative and helps elevate the film in chill-inducing ways, and at there are some incredible women in this movie.

Through the marketing of this film it seemed like the movie was about Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper who supposedly was going to save the world but in actuality the movie was really about his daughter, Murph. No she might not have participated in an adventure that consisted of falling in black holes or surviving a planet that had nothing but water but back on Earth she was being a hero in her own right as she tried to find a way to save the people on Earth from extinction.

When her mentor, Professor Brand, died did she go sit herself in a corner and weep until the world came to an end? No. She continued striving to find the solution that would save humanity even though she was mostly alone, with the exception of her friend, the Doctor, a grueling task that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to handle. The fact that she, at the end of the day, was the one to save everyone is not only amazing but makes her one of my favorite heroines.

8. Valkyrie

Valkyrie is so cool. She’s rude, she’s unapologetic for her attitude, she’s tough, and beyond all of that, she’s really powerful. No, she might not be able to summon lightning like Thor but besides that she has the exact same skill set as him and that’s why I am an absolute fan of hers. And did I mention she was cool? 🙂

7. Shuri

Letitia Wright in Black Panther (2018)

Shuri is awesome, pure and simple. Not only is she a Wakandan princess but she’s also the lead scientist of the technologically advanced African nation (and she’s just a teenager by the way) and she’s a superhero! She’s basically the female version of Tony Stark, except smarter and cooler. 🙂

Black Panther is representing black women in the most beautiful ways and to know that young girls will be able to see a character this amazing and self-confident is not only a great thing but it is an inspiring realization. Hopefully Shuri will be around for many years to come.

6. Black Widow

I love Black Widow. She’s beautiful, deadly, intelligent, and she can kick some serious butt. You would think, because she’s an assassin, that she wouldn’t be able to hold her own against the terrible forces that The Avengers have to fight every now and then but she can. That makes her more than just an assassin, she truly is an Avenger as well.

She’s also complex too. The brief hints at her back story helped reveal a darker side of her that had never been seen before and will hopefully be explored in her standalone film.

I’m so glad she’s finally getting her own movie. It’s about time. I mean, she’s one of the most loved and earliest Avengers and yet she still, in every movie that she’s been in, has been a co-star. I am beyond excited to see her finally shine in her own movie.

5. Ripley

I had no idea why Sigourney Weaver was a movie icon…until I watched Alien. In 1979 there weren’t a lot of delightfully strong heroines displayed in movies but Ripley was undoubtedly one of them. In the movie she isn’t used as a love interest or a damsel in distress, she is portrayed as just another astronaut alongside the predominantly male astronaut crew she’s in. When things start getting crazy she’s the only crew member who didn’t absolutely freak out and that is stunning.

Alien is a disturbingly frightening movie and undoubtedly the scariest sci-fi film I have ever watched but at least there was Ripley to make you feel a little less horrified. Now, of course, she was scared because how can you not be scared? Think about being trapped on a ship with an alien that wants to kill you. That’s beyond terrifying but she handled herself remarkably well in that horrendous situation. Her strength in the movie is astoundingly brilliant and it’s why she’s still an icon to this day.

4. Princess/General Leia

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Star Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars today if you didn’t have Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. They were the foundation that made the movie resonate with millions of people and Leia was a huge part of that foundation. When she first appeared in A New Hope she was a princess, yes, but she wasn’t your typical princess. She wasn’t like Cinderella or Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty or Snow White. She was a Star Wars princess and that entails not a damsel in distress but rather a feisty, intelligent woman who is willing to die for the cause she believed in.

Throughout the films she has been a politician, a warrior, a lover, a wife, a mother, a sister, a general, and she has been unwaveringly powerful. When she spoke every one listened. When she commanded people to do something they did it.

She helped inspire girls around the world that we as women can be strong and beautiful without compromising our integrity and our goals. Princess Leia is a heroine in many people’s lives and as the story of Star Wars finally continues without her the impact she left in this franchise will be felt for a long, long time.

3. Okoye

Danai Gurira in Black Panther (2018)

Okoye is off the chain! Oh my goodness, I love her so much. She’s such a strong woman in Black Panther because, well, she’s the general of Wakanda. And she is quite the general too. She’s not the smily type. If she doesn’t like or trust you she will let you know with the way she looks at you. She immediately authoritizes herself over everyone, except for the royal family, and you can sense that. She is second to no one and that’s why I love her so much.

I also love her belief in the beautiful and natural ways of Wakanda women. One of my favorite scenes with her in Black Panther is when she comments on the wig she has to wear as a disguise during a certain sequence of the movie. I’m a black woman with natural hair and so it was so relatable seeing her despise the wig. She got rid of that wig at the first chance she got too. Brilliant. 🙂

I also love how incredible of a fighter she is. In Marvel there are a lot of powerful superheroes but there aren’t any like her. She has this spear and she knows how to use it too. It’s amazing. The first time I saw her in action my jaw dropped a little. Like I said before, Okoye is off the chain!!! I can’t wait to see her kick some alien butt in Avengers: Infinity War.

2. Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (2017)

I mean come on, it’s Wonder Woman. How can you not love Wonder Woman?! She’s gorgeous, powerful, benevolent, she’s frankly, in my opinion, the leader of the Justice League, she’s got that incredible Lasso of Truth (I love the lasso) and she’s simply awesome. Yeah, I might not have liked the way they treated her origin story (it could’ve been MUCH better) but she’s still one of the greatest heroines ever!

Gal Gadot did a marvelous job portraying the iconic heroine and I can’t wait to see her again in future DC movies. Hopefully those films will be better than the last few. *shrug*

1. Rey

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

This, frankly, isn’t a surprise. I mean, I love me some Rey! Ever since the first time I saw her in that eensy weensy teaser for The Force Awakens (at the time I thought she was Leia’s daughter) four years ago I was immediately intrigued. Then I watched the movie in 2015 and when I discovered that she was the new Jedi of this trilogy it was beyond amazing. I totally freaked out, in a good way. For so long I had been wanting a major female Jedi but there had never been one…until now. Thank you Disney for making my dreams come true.

And then after The Last Jedi my love for her only increased. Now did she have any groundbreaking moments like she did in The Force Awakens? No, not really, but she stayed on the level of coolness that made me such a Rey fan in the first place.

The casting for Rey was also perfect as well. Daisy Ridley was the perfect woman to play her because first of all, she was a widely unknown actress so she could make Rey her own and I didn’t have to say, “Oh, that’s such and such.” Secondly, she can act! The way she can just summon tears at will is very impressive. Third, she just looks awesome. She’s beautiful, vulnerable, tough, strong, smart, and kind all at the same time and she portrays that so well simply with her face.

I love Rey a lot and the thought that Daisy Ridley’s last appearance as Rey will be in Episode IX is kind of saddening to think about because I wish her story could go on and on. Unfortunately, it can’t, and so I’m going to treasure watching her in The Last Jedi and then one day, in the future, in Episode IX.

Well, these are my ten favorite heroines. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a glorious day.

The Blu-Ray Special Features for ‘The Last Jedi’ Are Awesome!

The Last Jedi has come and gone. There are no more secrets surrounding the film, there is no more reasoning for theorizing what’s going to happen in every scene, what’s going to transpire for every character in The Last Jedi, and how the movie will probably play out as a whole, and the mystery surrounding Luke Skywalker has finally been resolved.

Now I all I have to do is wait for the Blu-Ray to become available which will be happening sooner rather than later. A couple of days ago it was announced that The Last Jedi will be available on Digital on March 13 (yes I said it, March 13th!!!) and then on Blu-Ray two weeks later on March 27. It’s a dream come true! For the past two years the Blu-Ray has been available around mid-April but thanks to Solo: A Star Wars Story coming out in May this time the Blu-Ray will ready for purchase at the end of March. And let me tell you, the bonus features for The Last Jedi are beyond amazing. Here are all of them.

  • The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
  • Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
  • Scene Breakdowns
    • Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
    • Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
    • Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
  • Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
  • Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
  • Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

Oh. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!! Do you see all of this fascinatingly interesting content we’ll be able to enjoy thanks to LucasFilm and Rian Johnson being so nice to us avid Star Wars fans. And here’s the thing. Not only is it over two hours of bonus footage but…wait for it, wait for it.

*drum roll*

There’s also FOURTEEN deleted scenes. That is insane! I have never seen a movie have so many deleted scenes in my life. It shows how massive Rian Johnson’s vision for The Last Jedi truly was and, due to timing, they had to condense the movie to a slightly modest two hours and thirty-two minutes compared to having The Last Jedi become a Star Wars film that would end up being close to three hours long. I am so excited to see these deleted scenes. I mean, what could they be?

I think I have an idea, thanks to reading Star Wars news, of what two of the deleted scenes will entail. One is supposedly going to show Rey participate in a third lesson from Luke on Ach-To which sounds like a deleted scene that I’m going to enjoy thoroughly. And then another deleted scene is going to include Finn and Phasma aboard The Supremacy after DJ betrays him and Rose. That’s just two out of fourteen! deleted scenes though, that’s how amazing that is.

I’ve seen some amazing movie bonus features in my time. The movies’ behind-the-scenes featurettes I’ve enjoyed the most was for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (amazing bonus features by the way) and The Force AwakensRogue One had a disappointing bonus feature package that didn’t even span an hour and didn’t include any deleted scenes. Judging from all of this content, however, The Last Jedi is probably going to join my list of favorite special features packages for a movie.

I thank you for reading and I hope this made you as excited as me because I am ecstatic. Have a gorgeous day and May the Force Be With You.

The Proof That Poe Was Regarded As a Villain in ‘The Last Jedi’

Over three weeks ago I wrote a post about who I felt was the true villain in The Last Jedi and at the end of the article I felt that, due to the movie’s events, Poe Dameron was the true antagonist of the movie and for several reasons. One of the biggest reasons why however is that Poe got hundreds of Resistance fighters killed due to his reckless actions. He wanted to be a hero several times and every time he thought he was doing something great he only made things much, much worse. Of course Kylo Ren is the main villain of the trilogy but for the majority of The Last Jedi he was treated as a partial-protagonist rather than the villain that he was in The Force Awakens. And now I have legitimate proof that Poe was regarded as one of the antagonists of the film. Look at this poster.

Anthony Daniels, Neal Scanlan, Brian Herring, Jimmy Vee, Dave Chapman, Kelly Marie Tran, and Joonas Suotamo in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

If you see where all of the major characters are placed where is Poe? On the villain side of the poster! When I first saw this poster I wondered why Poe was on the bad side but I figured it was simply designed this way so he’d be perfectly parallel with Finn but after watching the film I now understand the reasoning behind his placing on the poster.

I find this very interesting and it highlights how different The Last Jedi is compared to its predecessor. I mean when you’ve got Poe, one of the most heroic characters in The Force Awakens, considered as a villain in its sequel it shows how wildly different the movie’s tone was going to be. And it was.

That’s why I love Star Wars. There’s always something new to discover. I’m sure when I watch this movie again I’ll find many more hidden references and Easter eggs that I’ve missed before. I mean I still watch The Force Awakens and see new things. Well, that’s my latest discovery from The Last Jedi.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day. May the Force Be With You.

The Characters I’m Most Excited To See in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: In Increasing Order

Solo: A Star Wars Story will be coming out in nearly three months and after an exciting article from Entertainment Weekly last week featuring the movie my knowledge of these new, and old, characters has been broadened. So, today I’m going to share with you the character’s stories I’m most interested in seeing in Solo. Enjoy!

Val

Thandie Newton in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

In the Entertainment Weekly article I discovered what this character’s name is as well as her involvement in the film. She’s an accomplice of Beckett’s and that makes her super interesting. I know for a fact just from briefly seeing her in the trailer that she’s totally shady. She looks like she’ll backstab you so fast. Awesome! In Star Wars we’ve never fully been introduced to the criminal underworld and the shady inhabitants of its enterprise and, like Rogue One, it’s going to be fascinating seeing another side of Star Wars that hasn’t been shown before.

Tobias Beckett

Woody Harrelson and Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

When I heard that Woody Harrelson had been cast in the movie as Han’s mentor I already knew he was going to play a crooked character and after seeing him in the teaser he practically screams swindler. I don’t exactly know, of course, how he’s going to betray Han but I have a deep feeling in my gut that he is at some point in the movie. In my last post about Solo I wrote about how exciting it was not seeing who the villain of the film was but maybe I did. Maybe Beckett is the villain. The cool thing is I only have a couple of weeks from three months before I find out the truth.

Continue reading The Characters I’m Most Excited To See in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: In Increasing Order

Could There Ever Be Too Much ‘Star Wars’?

After Disney bought Star Wars in 2012 there have been three movies, a new cartoon, over a dozen books, and there isn’t a sign of Disney slowing down any time soon. I mean there’s literally going to be an actual Star Wars land coming to Disney World next year which is ridiculously awesome!!!! And now Disney has announced that they have just gotten the moguls behind the HBO phenomenon, Game of Thrones, to make other Star Wars films that stand outside of the standalone movies and Rian Johnson’s trilogy!

Disney is also bringing out a streaming service next year which will feature a live-action Star Wars show for the first time. And then in a little over three months we’re going to have another Star Wars film to indulge ourselves with and then after that I’m sure there will be countless books to get our imaginations wrapped around. And remember, there’s also going to be an Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone film coming out in 2020. It’s Star Wars galore!

And while this is all great news there are some who feel that Disney might be taking the magic of Star Wars away by having so many venues for the franchise. Now for me I couldn’t be happier.

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As you all know I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. I still remember the days when I used to dream about there being more Star Wars movies every time I watched the end of Return of the Jedi. When Disney announced they had bought LucasFilm I was legitimately terrified because when I used to think of Disney I thought of, well, Mickey Mouse and I definitely didn’t want a Mickey Star Wars.

That skepticism was instantly erased after The Force Awakens, for it was everything that I wanted a Star Wars film to be. I could get behind the new characters of this generation’s trilogy and it brought back the classics, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill. It was the perfect way for Disney to tell us, “Star Wars is back!!!”

Then there was Rogue One.

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This movie proved to everyone that LucasFilm wasn’t Disney-fying Star Wars by making a film where everyone dies. I’ve seen some rated R films that haven’t even done that. I was sold on Disney’s concept of movies after that.

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And The Last Jedi only increased my appreciation for Disney’s vision of the franchise by having Rian Johnson create a very long and complex film that helped move the story of Star Wars in a whole other direction and I love it.

The fact that Disney is already planning to keep giving us Star Wars for many more years is a dream come true for me. And judging from the way they’re hiring these people to make Star Wars movies it seems like they’re going to make the Star Wars franchise off of the Marvel model and I am very glad about it. The thought of at least two Star Wars films in a year is practically incredible and if this ever comes to pass I’m going to be one of the happiest Star Wars fans ever.

Now if the quality of the films start decreasing and become more like Marvel films (sorry Marvel but Star Wars still has better movies) then that’ll be a problem. If every film, however, is made with the respect and care as the last three movies were made and each film ends up being as good as The Last Jedi, or better, then that will be the greatest gift Disney could’ve ever given me.

Until these new movies are announced I’ll continue to focus on Solo which comes out on May 25 and then after that I’ll slowly begin counting down the days until Episode IX.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day. May the Force Be With You.

 

The Defining Moments of Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren has become my favorite character in Star Wars, so far. He’s complex, Adam Driver is a ridiculously remarkable actor, he looks really cool, and every time he’s in a scene the scene gets ten times better. Now I have to admit, I wasn’t as huge a fan as I am now of Kylo Ren after The Force Awakens but The Last Jedi shed a new light on his character and he has become just a blast to watch.

So, today on the final segment of The Defining Moments, I am going to tell you all of the moments that I think have defined his character throughout The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Enjoy!

1. Confessions

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When we meet Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens he’s a troubled and angry individual. He destroys equipment off of a whim, he killed Lor San Tekka just because he said something that upset him, and he emits gloom. Then we find out he’s Han’s son and it’s like, okay, now we’re starting to get an idea of who this character exactly is but there’s still a great deal of mystery surrounding the Knight of Ren.

When he confesses to his grandfather’s Darth Vader mask about feeling the call to the light his story instantly becomes more than that of just a scary villain. At that moment we see another side to him, a vulnerable side that he can’t hide, even with the mask on. It makes us wonder if he’s really a villain or if he’s going to eventually crack and become good. This, of course, won’t be the last time we see a conflicted Kylo Ren but it is the first.

This scene also subtly hints towards Snoke’s distrust in Kylo Ren as he tells “Darth Vader” how the Supreme Leader senses the conflict within him. That distrust will lead to a lot of things happening in The Last Jedi.

2. Finding the Girl

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At the Battle of Takodana Kylo Ren went to find the missing droid and instead came upon the girl who helped the droid, and the stormtrooper, escape. This scene is very important, for it’s the first time he comes into contact with his future arch-nemesis/ally and it subtly hints towards Kylo Ren having a slight attraction to her.

I mean did he have to pick her up and take her to his personal ship? No. And he surely didn’t give that courtesy to Poe Dameron. He could’ve easily had the stormtroopers take her aboard their craft and that would be the end of that but no, he had to capture her himself and take her to his transport. Mmm-hmm, we see you Kylo Ren.

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The Defining Moments of Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker became a prominent character again after The Last Jedi and while some Star Wars fans highly disliked his story arc there were others, including me, who loved Rian Johnson’s vision for the elderly Jedi Master.

So today on the The Defining Moments I’m going to celebrate his journey throughout the five films that he has graced. Be Warned. This post will be a longread due to Luke’s extensive journey. I thank you for heeding this warning. Now enjoy the post.

1. A Secret Message

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Luke was a moisture farmer on Tatooine. While he loved his uncle and aunt so he didn’t complain too much he always dreamed of leaving the desolate planet to go fight for the Rebellion against the Empire. So imagine his immense surprise when he came across the secret message hidden within R2’s insides.

Before him was a hologram of a beautiful princess who was in trouble. His imagination immediately began to run wild as the outside world beyond his sandy home began to slowly enter his life. He had no idea how far that simple message would end up taking him.

2. Staring at the Two Suns

While this is one of the quieter defining moments of Luke’s long journey it is one of the most impactful, for it highlights Luke’s wistfulness to explore new horizons. This was the scene that, I believe, truly began his story and would end up becoming one of the most iconic scenes in Star Wars.

2. Saved By Ben Kenobi

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After losing R2-D2 Luke, of course, went to go retrieve the droid but ended up coming across the terrifying and brutal Tusken Raiders. In a scuffle he was knocked unconscious and became their captive, but not for long as he was rescued by the old hermit, Ben Kenobi. Upon waking he learned some fascinating truths, such as Ben Kenobi was, in fact, the same person as Obi-Wan Kenobi who the girl in the message was pleading for help. He had no clue that this simple rescue would lead to the beginning of his destiny.

3. Learning About the Force

In the old man, Kenobi’s home, Luke repaired C-3PO and talked with the elder. They ended up discussing about Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker the Jedi Knight and Darth Vader the murderer of his father, both the same person but Luke wouldn’t know this until later in his life. The most important thing about this scene, however, is when Obi-Wan tells him of the Force for the first time. Luke doesn’t fully understand what he’s talking about but he will. He will.

Continue reading The Defining Moments of Luke Skywalker