The Evolution of Women in Entertainment

Today to celebrate International Women’s Day I’m going to look through some of the movies I’ve seen that have impacted me the most and how the women’s roles in these movies have gradually changed, for the better, over the decades. I’m so excited to share this with you and I hope you enjoy! (I just want to let you know, this is a longread.)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The wispy dreams of a teenage girl becoming a false reality as she grows unconscious after being in the middle of a tornado is the story of The Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland’s Dorothy is the center of this magical fairy tale. In 1939 Dorothy was quite the heroine in cinema. Yes, she was scared at times, and yes there were some moments when she slightly fit into the mold of a damsel in distress but she was also strong, courageous, and brave and at that time in the world when women were still looked upon as housemaids and nannies she helped to break that mold of what women’s roles in cinema could be portrayed as.

An American in Paris (1951)

Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron in An American in Paris (1951)

This is one of my favorite musicals of all time, introduced to me by my wonderful mother. She said this was one of her favorite movies and for a long time I didn’t want to see it because I’m not a fan of musicals but it actually was worth the watch. This movie, however, does not depict women in an entirely respectable fashion.

The entire plot of the movie is wrapped around these two men who fall in love with the same woman. Gene Kelly’s Jerry Mulligan of course wins her heart in the end but this movie feeds on the typical portrayal of women in cinema. Lise Bouvier (Leslie Carson) isn’t a strong woman who Mulligan fauns after for an entire movie and eventually is rewarded with her love. No, she’s a confused young French girl who can’t decide which man she wants to be with for the rest of her life. I love this movie but representation of women in film has come a long way.

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What Has Happened To ‘Survivor’?

I didn’t really start watching Survivor until a few years ago and the first season I saw was Season 19 which was the season introducing the iconic Survivor player, Russel Hantz. Russel Hantz was diabolical, crafty, mean, smart, brilliant, a hustler, he was everything that Survivor was about and more. In fact, he was the pioneer of Survivor players going to search for idols because before him people didn’t search for hidden immunity idols, they just ran into them by accident. It was one of the best things I’ve ever seen in reality television and I’ve been hooked on Survivor since.

After that season I went straight to Season 20: Heroes vs. Villains and I was even more hooked as I watched 20 of the greatest Survivor players battle it out through thirty-nine days.

Photos of Full Cast of Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains

It was such great entertainment and it was one of the greatest discoveries of my young life. After that I proceeded to binge-watch all of the seasons and was absolutely thrilled at how incredibly fascinating nearly all of them were. When you have seasons with players like Coach, the invincible Ozzy, the legendary Russel Hantz, the CIA agent, Phillip, Boston Rob, the flirtatious but extremely smart and strong Parvati, the ultimate Survivor nerd, John Cochran, etc. you can’t help but absolutely love the show. The last two and a half years or so, of Survivor has been terribly lackluster lately.

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Admiral Holdo’s Greatest Moments

The Last Jedi introduced three new characters and Amilyn Holdo, who was one of them, has become one of my favorite new additions to the Star Wars universe. First of all, I already loved Laura Dern for her role in the iconic Jurassic Park so to find out she was going to be in a Star Wars movie was exciting enough as it is. Then I saw her character and I was immediately interested in this new, pink-haired (the first pink haired character in Star Wars I might add) admiral of the Resistance but I had no idea she would have as large a role as she did and that was even more exciting to discover.

A lot of people didn’t like the Resistance admiral but, I for one, loved her. I loved that she was dressed differently, I loved her pink hair, I loved her toughness and her authoritative attitude, and I loved how simply awesome she was. So today I’m going to share with you the Greatest Moments of Admiral Holdo. Enjoy!

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The Fifteen Best Duels in ‘Star Wars’: Ranked from Worst to Best

I love Star Wars for so many reasons and one of those reasons are the lightsaber duels. When I was a little girl I remember watching Revenge of the Sith and The Phantom Menace and then taking my Star Wars toys and remaking those lightsaber battles in my own little way. It was so much fun to not only watch but to also reenact. And then I got a little older and I finally saw the original trilogy and those lightsaber battles were less flashy but all the more incredible. That’s why when Rogue One was coming out I was a little worried, I’m not gonna lie. The thought of a movie with no lightsaber duels seemed bogus. Thankfully the film didn’t need one because it was that good.

Now, when I wrote this post last year it was all about lightsaber duels but after The Last Jedi my idea of what a duel is had to be updated and so here is the new version of that post.

15. The Attack of the Clones: Escaping Geonosis

Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

This is hands down the worst lightsaber duel out of all of the Star Wars films. The duel between Obi-Wan and Count Dooku is okay. It’s when Anakin joins the party that it starts becoming ridiculous. Who decided let’s let Anakin cut off the power and have a slow motion fiasco of a red and blue lightsaber flashing by the camera while all you can see is the two duelers’ faces in the shadows? That’s so dumb! And then after that terrible duel comes super CGI Yoda ready to tangle with the former Jedi, Count Dooku. It’s laughable watching them hurl fake rocks at each other, throw lightning, and then finally start fighting with their lightsabers. I don’t know how many times Yoda flips in that one sequence but it’s very, very annoying to behold. In fact, the last time I watched it it was so bad that I vowed never to watch The Attack of the Clones again. That’s how terrible it was.

14. A New Hope: On the Death Star

Alec Guinness in Star Wars (1977)

There’s nothing particularly wrong with this duel, it’s just ancient. The lightsabers look fake, the movements are slow, and it’s just boring. There’s nothing more I can say.

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Yoda’s Greatest Moments

I love Yoda. I mean who doesn’t love Yoda? Yoda was one of my favorite characters even when I only knew him at his worst as a flipping, hollering, green CGI alien in the prequel trilogy. My love for the ancient Jedi only increased, however, after seeing him in his original introduction in The Empire Strikes Back. At that moment I realized why the robed puppet became such an icon in cinema and I’ve been a Yoda fan ever since. So on today’s segment of Greatest Moments I’m going to share with you my favorite Yoda scenes throughout the now six Star Wars movies he’s appeared in. Enjoy!

1. The First Conversation With Anakin Skywalker

This is one of the most important scenes in The Phantom Menace because it’s the first time the movie truly hints at the person Anakin could become if he follows the wrong path in life and Yoda is the one who senses this most. I love the words that he tells him. This is, in fact, the conversation that ensues between Anakin and Yoda.

Anakin: “I miss her.” (He’s referring to his mother, Shmi.)

Yoda: “Afraid to lose her I think, hmm.”

Anakin: “What does that got to do with anything.”

Yoda: “Everything! Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate…leads to suffering. I sense great fear in you.”

That right there is one of the most impactful things Yoda has ever said and it practically sums up Anakin’s entire fall throughout the prequel trilogy. He saw the possible future of young Skywalker and it’s a shame because he couldn’t do anything about it.

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Who Is The Evilest Villain in ‘Star Wars’?

Star Wars is full of heroes and villains, the light and the dark, good and evil, but of the many antagonists of the juggernaut science fiction franchise who is the most evil? From the diabolical plans of the Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine to the hateful wrath of General Hux there have been some rather evil dudes (and one lady) who have graced the Star Wars list of baddies and I’m going to tell you who I think is the most evil of them all. Enjoy!

6. Director Krennic

Director Orson Krennic

When I saw the first teaser for Rogue One Director Krennic looked legitimately menacing. I had never seen an Imperial officer dressed in white before which gave him an air of superiority and intimidation that I had never seen. When I watched the movie it was disappointing to find out he wasn’t as terrifying as he appeared to be. Maybe he had been a little more frightening before the reshoots changed much of the film but the end product produced a bloated antagonist whose goal and motivations weren’t nearly as menacing as they could’ve been. He’s definitely one of the coolest looking villains in Star Wars but he’s also one of the lamest.

5. Darth Vader

Darth Vader

Darth Vader is undoubtedly an evil guy but he isn’t nearly as evil as the other villains later on in this list. He made a mistake, he went to the Dark Side because he thought Palpatine could help him save Padme, and after that of course he was evil. He’s definitely everything that Krennic is not; ruthless, terrifying, authoritative. Darth Vader’s no joke. He’s also not as villainous as he pretends to be though, that’s why Luke was able to turn him back to the light. Hate and the hunger for power is what drove him to become the monster that he was for so long but that good side of him was still in there. That’s why instead of killing Luke in the Cloud City he tried to get Luke to join him so they could rule the galaxy as, in his words, “Father and son.” That’s also why when he saw Luke again before he took him to the Death Star he had a private conversation with him instead of treating him like he didn’t care the slightest about him. Darth Vader is, of course, the main villain of the original trilogy but he definitely isn’t as villainous as some of the other villains in the franchise.

Continue reading Who Is The Evilest Villain in ‘Star Wars’?

Rey’s Greatest Moments

For nine days last month I had a segment celebrating The Defining Moments of some of Star Wars’ most beloved characters and this month I’m excited to present to you a new segment celebrating the greatest moments featuring my fifteen favorite Star Wars’ characters. Enjoy!

1. Saving BB-8

One of my favorite scenes in The Force Awakens is when she rescues BB-8 from the grasp of Teedo, the mean Jakku native. It’s the first time you see her interact with another character and the immediate bond between her and the droid is simply beautiful.

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

This was the first movie poster I saw in the movie theaters and it was utterly magical seeing Rey and BB-8 against the backdrop of the sun and it’s probably the reason why I love this scene so much. The Force Awakens was the Star Wars movie I had been waiting for and this poster embodied that euphoric feeling the idea of another Star Wars movie gave me.

2. “Let Go of Me!”

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I know I always bring this scene up whenever I talk about the awesomeness of Rey but that’s how much this scene impacted me the first time I watched The Force Awakens. I mean Rey was already awesome leading up to her first encounter with Finn but as they ran from stormtroopers trying to kill them and Finn had her hand in his I absolutely loved seeing her tell him to let her go. That was the moment that I realized I liked Rey a whole lot.

Men in movies always think they have to take care of us as women because we’re usually depicted as damsels in distress but she immediately squashed that narrative as soon as she said, “Let go of me!” That scene right there is a huge part of the reason why she’s my favorite heroine of all time.

3. Piloting the Millenium Falcon

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Like I said before, Rey was already awesome and then they made her pilot the Millenium Falcon. Drop the mic. I was stunned. She flew the ship better than Han Solo!!!! Not only is it one of the better action scenes in all of Star Wars but to see Rey pilot the Millenium Falcon was sensational and undoubtedly one of her greatest moments.

4. Defeating Kylo Ren

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Hah! Kylo Ren really thought he was going to put his probing Force fingers into her mind and make her all spill all the tea but instead he was met with a Force fist in his face. Rey had already demonstrated time and time again how awesome of a character she was and how brave she was in the face of evil but this was the perfect way for them to have a face-to-face conversation for the first time with her beating him in a Force battle (she barely knew the concept of the Force by the way.) I absolutely love this scene.

5. Retrieving the Lightsaber

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I watched The Force Awakens the other day and after seeing this movie over a hundred times I still got teary at this part. This is such a powerful moment for Rey in the movie. Han is dead, Finn is possibly dead, Rey is hurt, it seems like all hope is lost and Kylo Ren will be the victor and then when she Force snatches that lightsaber out of the snow instead of him the pure horror on her face speaks it all. She’s so afraid at that moment (remember, the last time she held the lightsaber she had that terrifying vision) but she gripped that lightsaber with determination and charged Kylo Ren with nothing but pure bravery. And that’s why I love Rey.

6. Defeating Kylo Ren Again

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Rey is off the chain, pure and simple, and this scene solidifies that. Kylo Ren thought he had her beat but he didn’t realize how exactly wrong he was. She calmed her emotions, felt the Force, and kicked. His. Butt! And it was absolutely beautiful to watch. Girlpower!

7. Lightsaber Training

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I honestly did not think I would end up loving this scene as much I did because I saw it so often in the trailers and commercials but this scene was AWESOME! The music was magically perfect, the setting was impeccable, and seeing Rey practice with the lightsaber kind of highlighted her growth and her confidence with the ancient weapon. This is actually one of my favorite scenes in The Last Jedi because it’s that great.

8. Fighting the Praetorian Guards

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This is already one of the best scenes in The Last Jedi and it helped show how powerful Rey has become. While Kylo Ren did kill most of the guards she totally held her own against them and that’s very impressive. Besides, any time Rey is part of an action scene makes me ridiculously happy.

9. Saving the Resistance from Eminent Doom and Saying Goodbye to Kylo Ren

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Another one of my favorite scenes in The Last Jedi is when Rey saves the Resistance as she Force lifts the boulders covering their escape. It’s another one of those powerful Rey moments that happens to make me emotional because it’s kind of amazing seeing her come into her own as a Jedi. And seeing her hug Finn is the emotional icing on the cake.

Secondly, as she experiences her final Force connection with Kylo Ren that’s another quiet moment the two share that is positively juicy to watch. They don’t speak to each other, they just stare at one another, Kylo Ren on one side looking at her with a look of, I don’t know, despair or regret, and Rey looking at him with quiet dismissal and anger. When she severs their connection it’s like a slap in the face for Kylo Ren and I love it.

The question is, does this mean they are now mortal enemies or will they once again find themselves on neutral ground? I have over a year and a half to find out. (Boo.)

Well, these are, to me, Rey’s greatest moments. Stay tuned for the next two weeks as I share with you the greatest moments of fourteen other amazing Star Wars characters. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a wonderful day. May the Force Be With You.

I. Love. MOVIES!