Tag Archives: Star Wars

The Force Awakens Rebuttal:

Spoilers so step on if you haven’t seen it. I shall be addressing the “that is not how the Force works” issues with a main character.

So some people have presented a problem with Rey using the Force and being seemingly proficient in it without training. And there is a feeling that the Force is being ruined or guided in a direction that some do not agree with. It is a recurring problem I have seen expressed and I think a lot of people might be overlooking a few of points (maybe not, but figured I’d add my two pennies anyhow).

First, the reason Jedi seek to find and train Force sensitives is because of unchecked ability. Anakin Skywalker is able to use foresight without training, for example. The Force augments a person without training. Having an untrained force user in the galaxy was a concern. And those with it often used their abilities to further themselves in the galaxy. They were able to use the Force without training. They were limited by two things – complete ignorance, not knowing it was the Force aiding them. And ignorance of abilities, not knowing what the Force could be used for. Thus rarely do they go beyond the simple insights and proddings they feel.

Second, training makes it reliable, yes. It makes it an at will thing. Obi-Wan does the Jedi Mind Trick without effort because of training. But once you know something? Once you have an idea that you have this power and it can affect people’s minds? You have already jumped pass the two biggest hurdles we just mentioned. Training is not required to access and use the Force. Training is about Ethics, it is about Tangible Repeatable Results. It is about learning to use it under duress. It is learning to use it without resorting to emotional prodding and the Dark Side. This is what Jedi Training is about. It is about Mastery. Understanding. And overcoming Ignorance – what you can and cannot do with the Force. What you should and should not do with the Force. And using it in stressful situations reliably.

Third, we have an understanding the Jedi sometimes excel in certain areas of the Force. Different Jedi had different strengths. Who is to say Mind Affect is not an innate trait of Rey’s? Perhaps subtly being done over her years as a scavenger? She seemed to convince the greedy little scavenger who trapped BB-8 well enough.

Now – I view Rey’s use of the Mind Trick was great and within the confines of everything we know of the Force, Canon or Legends. She failed. And Again. She knew it was possible, but failed. How is this different than Luke on Hoth? Nowhere within the movies do we see him get telekinesis training. But he knows of the Force and its abilities. So why not try? Both had to stop – calm the mind – and than force their will (no pun intended). It was a great moment. I’d personally love to see her fail again in the next movie – because of lack of training. Not reliable yet. The Force aiding, guiding to a specific outcome.
Side Note: I’d recommend Scourge (A Legends novel) which touches on the subject of the Mind Trick throughout the book. I think it helps understanding how such a thing can be done.

Lightsaber Duel – “The Force doesn’t make you a skilled duelist.” Correct, but it does help telegraph moves – as said it guides. Rey already knows how to fight. So with premonition and nudges to strike here, block there, strike here? Which whether you go Jedi Apprentice series or A New Hope, you know the Force does work in that manner. So yeah, going to kick butt. “But Ren has more training!” True BUT, he was still emotionally torn from killing his father, that just happened, so unstable (no doubt affecting his own connection to the Force). He was shot with a bowcaster that was blowing stormtroopers out of their boots (connection issue even with Dark Side logic of pain fuels me – body and mind can only take so much). He had just fought Finn and suffered a wound from that battle (so hindered in that). He was holding back because he had NO Intention of Killing Rey. He just wanted to her to willingly join his side. So he wasn’t fighting to win, he was fighting to simply defend and diffuse. Any real fighter will tell you that makes a huge difference. So not going 100%. And Rey, connected to the Force, calm mind in battle, already established as a skilled fighter, and fighting 100%? Why wouldn’t she kick the crap out of him?

Overall I felt nothing shown went against any notion of the Force that we have been shown or know of, again canon or legends. Rey is awesome. But she isn’t overpowered, she struggles. And just the knowledge that you can tap into this great power which you had heard stories and legends of your whole life? Seriously, think for a minute. If you knew you had the Force as seen in Star Wars – how many abilities would you try? How would you try them? Maybe based off the stories you know so well? Stop – Calm the Mind – Focus – Act? Nope. Sorry I stand behind Rey’s actions within the movie and feel they are directly in line with canon – not changing direction or altering the Force in any way.

Prequel v. Original

In my last post I gave my two cents about the unnecessary conflict people perpetuate. As if people cannot have multiple enjoyments and like different things. Oh! You like Star Wars then you must hate Star Trek. Oh you like Cosplay you must hate Football. You like anime you must hate documentaries. It is an absurd way of looking at life. This automatic dichotomy that one thing automatically excludes another. One big and relevant example I left out was Star Wars itself. More specifically this Original Trilogy versus Prequels thing that seems to keep popping up. As if liking one means you have to dislike the other. And it bothers me, because actors I like, such as Simon Pegg make really insulting comments, such as “I don’t really have any respect for anyone who thinks those films are good.” You judge the respect of a human being on what type of art they like? They is probably the most idiotic thing I have heard and certainly makes me lose respect for someone who should understand that people find value and beauty is all places (and that individual taste should be respected). You don’t have to agree. You can have your own option and it can be completely different than someone else’s. You don’t have to demean people who you do not agree with.

So to be clear. I am not a huge Prequel fan. Not for the stupid reasons I have heard others spout off. Such as them being “bright and colorful.” Because that was actually the point. It was suppose to contrast the state of the galaxy. That the Empire’s reign was in fact cold, dark, and very greyscale machine-focused. It was a decline in the galaxy as the weight of war and the need to assert Empirical rule over a long standing republic took its toll. The colors and feel were meant to serve to contrast. It was not suppose to be the same trilogy. People have decried Jar Jar (one very fun theory aside) which is such a minor thing. Really it is a minor character that, while poorly done in my opinion, doesn’t really take away so much that six hours of Star Wars is ruined forever and ever. That is just over-reaction to good intentions gone horribly wrong. And the whole CGI vs. practical effects argument I find silly since many who use it are fans of heavy CGI movies such as the new Trek movies, the Superhero movies, and so on. And I did not find the CGI use so distracting that it ruined the movie experience. And I really don’t think anyone can logically make that argument. And midiclorians vs. mystical energy field I find a silly thing to miss a trilogy for. I felt it opened new thought for mitochondria and how energy is infused with all life. Just another way to explore some interesting concepts so – meh.

No all the general prequel complaints aside, my issue with the prequels was more Jedi related (surprise, surprise). It was the general plot-holes that have to be filled with, “well the Jedi are arrogant and corrupt”. Which I find insulting and something that doesn’t mesh with how the Jedi were portrayed in the prequels (or trilogy). The fall of the Order is too rushed and vague for it to really feel proper to me. I think there was just too much going on. And often I felt I had to justify scenes with, “well, because of plot.” The Fall of the Jedi and Anakin I felt could have been a much more emotional journey than it was. Something that really broke the hearts of all who watched it. Don’t get me wrong, I think the actors did a great job with what they were given, but ultimately the prequels became the journey of Obi-Wan Kenobi (which I am 100% okay with) – not the Fall of Anakin Skywalker. When I watch the movies I see and feel Obi-Wan’s emotional struggle and journey much more. It seems to me more of – How did this old hermit go from Hero of the Clone Wars  and Jedi Knight to the broken man we see sacrifice himself? And when you watch the prequels you see it. You understand. You see two broken and beaten Jedi tuck their tails between their legs and practice the famed Jedi patience as they watched everything they had known and love burn and die. And go live as hermits on some really tough planets.

So that is why I like and dislike the prequels. Because it could have been more and I have to change perspective of what it was meant to be. I don’t think you should have to switch character focus to make a movie worthwhile. The Jedi angle could have been way more involved and powerful. But whatever, it is what it is. Now here is the main point – This is my personal opinion. And I know many who really identify and love the story of Anakin Skywalker. They really enjoyed the prequels and have no issues with any element from the movies. They like them and felt they did exactly what they were meant to – inspire a new generation of Star Wars fans and encourage their exploration of life and the universe. And you know what? That’s Okay. My issues with the prequels takes NOTHING away from their enjoyment. And their enjoyment takes NOTHING away from my opinion. We can still both take away our own perspectives and still be respectful of our individuals opinion. I am glad people have positive views and experiences with the Prequels. I think that is great! And the fact the Prequels did encourage a whole bunch of new fans? Wonderful and great.

So – if you are not a fan of the prequels. Fine. But don’t shit on the people who do enjoy them. Don’t state definitively that your opinion is truth. Be grateful that new fans have come to the fandom and have embrace Star Wars as a whole because of them. Likewise Prequel fans – please do not dismiss me or disrespect me because I thoroughly enjoyed the Original Trilogy more. Don’t throw me as a “prequel hater” just because I didn’t get the same thing you did out of it. As my previous post said – It is Not a Competition. We can love Star Wars and have differing views and still all embrace the beauty of our Fandom. The diversity of it is a great thing. And I am truly hoping that this new Trilogy will finally provide us all with that common ground. Like the Prequels or not. Like the Original Trilogy or not. But we are ALL excited for the new Trilogy. And hopefully (in a month’s time) we can all agree that The Force Awakens is awesome. If we as fans can show our solidarity maybe we can stop comments like Simon Pegg’s and he can see that we are all allowed to love the art that speaks to us.

SDCC: The Force Awakens Panel

The battle of generations has begun. It is a silly battle of course. One that still hinges on a lot of speculation. Abrams and many Star Wars fans grew up with the Original Trilogy and were greatly impacted by it. The Hero’s Journey they experienced with Luke, Han, and Leia inspired a generation. In 1999 a new journey was created specifically aimed at the next generation and it hit its mark. Many younger Star Wars fans grew up with Anakin’s journey, with Qui-Gon, and young Obi-Wan. They enjoyed the style and presentation in which the journey and characters were presented. Add in Ahsoka and now Ezra and you have many Star Wars fans highly accustom to CGI and animated effects.

The comments on practical effects were not digs. They were a generational outlook. A desire to get back to hands-on effects and feel. This is absolutely no surprise since the people pushing the most for the sequel was the generation that fell in love back in 1977. This was a concern for many Star Wars fans So there is a focus to ease that worry for the original fan culture of Star Wars. For the people who wanted in ComicCon like lines to watch the original trilogy in theaters. Those comments were directed to them, but to bash or dig at the prequels.

Look at Abrams work and you can see the clear use of computer generated special effects. There will be a balance. It is demanded by the type of cinema that dominates these days. But it is purely 100% simply a generational focus. It is merely the older generation saying – “Hey, we want to recapture that feeling we had with the original trilogy.” They didn’t get that with the prequels, because the prequels were not made for that purpose or for that audience. ((This is all generalization by the way. Obviously their are outliers – I myself enjoyed both trilogies.))

Point is – movie is not out. What we have seen thus far has been good stuff. For everyone. There have been some original trilogy squeal moments. There have been some fun fly-bys that give you more of that action and movement feel from the prequels. Until December we won’t truly know. And any derisive bickering over what was said and in what context with what tone of voice and blah blah blah is all moot. The six films are canon – Disney gets that say and they have had their say. The new films will set new canon. And the younger Star Wars fans will just have to put up with any changes like all the older fans had to do with the prequels. lol We are all excited and nervous. We all have our favorite moments and films of the franchise. Some still love the 80′s Ewok adventures (crazy, right?). These new films are made with love and a focus on what inspired the individual filmmakers (and that will mostly be original trilogy stuff – at least until about 10 to 15 years when those inspired by the prequels are the ones running shop).

So Star Wars fans – relax. Enjoy the ride. Embrace a new adventure. And stop with the finger pointing. It is silly. Love YOUR Star Wars, which ever it may be. And let other people enjoy THEIR Star Wars.

SWTOR Inspired – Commission by Rayn44



These moments were never easy. Teachable moments is what his Master had called them. A time when both the Master and the Apprentice learn something valuable. Not just of the subject, but of each other and their relationship. Kirvin knew well the sting of failure, especially when you wanted to impress your Mentor. Arden had been doing so well lately. She had been receiving praise for her dedicated study and quick application. Her growth and skill were remarkable, but she was falling into the trap of over-confidence, arrogance, and looking down on others. So Kirvin had taken her to one of the tougher testing areas. It would probably be another 10 years before she ever saw this room again. Holographic diplomacy scenarios. Telekinesis Boulder Movement. Advanced Lightsaber Combat Scenarios. Advanced Knowledge of Meditation Techniques and Showing them under duress. Physical obstacle course. It was all very involved and not something she was prepared for. The lesson being that there was always more to learn. No matter how good you think you are there is another level you can reach for. No one is better than anyone else, just at a different stage.

This does not come without its risks of course. Blame can be quick to join someone in such a moment of defeat. It can turn inward and eat away at a person destroying their motivation and drive. Creating a habit of defeatism. A pattern of thought that no matter the effort, it just won’t be good enough. Or it can turn outward destroying trust and dooming a relationship. The key was how one approached the student immediately afterward. The Student has been torn down, the misconceptions they held have been shattered. Now the time comes to help them put the pieces back together. You cannot do it for them, they must find the valuable lessons and learn to pick themselves up. A lesson on failure, infallibility, and the Jedi Way to learn, grow, and move forward. To give the answers is to rob them of those core lessons and create a habit of dependency. Teaching them instead that they don’t have to think for themselves, but can simply turn to you for answers. A delicate time and Kirvin wondered if his Master had experienced the same doubt he was having. Wondering if he was capable of pulling this lesson off.
Arden was standing in the hallway as Kirvin exited the training room. He had given her time to process the events and consider the possible reasons for this exercise. Now was the time to help ensure a very promising Jedi was not lost to the inevitable defeat we all must face during our lifetime. She looked hurt, struggling with the utter defeat she just faced. Kirvin walked over to her and knelt down so they were eye level.

“All things have there purpose. Especially here at the Temple. The schedules on eating, the order of classes, these are all designed with the growth of the Jedi in mind. Likewise this moment right now has a purpose.”
“To tell me I am not good enough?” Arden pouted back.
Kirvin gave a small smile. “What you take away from it is for you and you alone. But know that what you take away from it will help shape you as a person and your future as a Jedi. That is the only hint I’ll give you. When you feel ready, we can talk about the answer you come to. Until then,” Kirvin’s signature grin spreading across his face, “lets go to this really great sweet shop nearby. It is where my master took me when I failed this test.” Kirvin began to standing up to leave and Arden’s eyes widen. “You failed this Master?”
Kirvin looked back still smiling “Come on Padawan. The shop doesn’t stay open forever.” Arden quickly caught up to his side “Yes Master.” Kirvin knew more explaining would be necessary in time, but that she had begun to grasp the most important hint. Failure was not the end. Even a Jedi Knight has experienced failure. The sting would last a bit longer and the lesson would hopefully last a lifetime. But for now they could smile, joke, and he could continue to help her grow into one of the best Jedi Knights the Order would have.

(( Drawing by Rayn44 :: http://rayn44.deviantart.com/ ))

I got Obi-Wan Kenobi! Which Star Wars Commander Are You? | StarWars.com

I got Obi-Wan Kenobi! Which Star Wars Commander Are You? | StarWars.com