Star Wars: Are you Light-Side or Dark-Side?

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This is a question that I see coming up again and again with the advent of the latest installment of the Star Wars saga, The Force Awakens. I know it’s largely advertising, but what bugs me about this is that it entirely misses the point of the original series. The prophecy was about bringing balance to the Force, not eradicating followers of the Dark Side. In fact, it was the Jedi’s shortsightedness in forbidding knowledge of the Dark Side that led to the rise of the Sith. Jedi who wished to develop a deeper understanding by studying both sides of the Force were (no pun intended) forced to study in secret. In other words, the Sith were created by the Jedi’s desire to suppress knowledge.

The Dark Side, as has been shown by Luke’s use of it as well as in the (now defunct) expanded universe, is not inherently evil–just as the Light Side is not inherently good. They are simply opposites. For instance, anger and fear lead to the Dark Side, but anger at oppression is not a bad thing. Neither is fear. In the proper circumstances and proportions, they serve useful purposes. Uncontrolled and excessive anger can lead to massacring Tusken Raiders, but righteous anger motivates us to help and protect those less fortunate than ourselves. Excessive fear can lead to cowardice and stupidity, but appropriate fear teaches us to avoid unnecessary risks.

I’m also going to talk about Luke, but it is pure speculation based on what we already know of the expanded universe. There are no spoilers, I promise you.

Some think that Luke may have married, which has led to accusations that he was not a “true” Jedi–since the original Jedi order did not allow marriage. First of all, Luke is the last and only Jedi. If he did found a new Jedi order, he could have created different rules. Second, since he brought balance to the Force, he would have known that both sides of the Force were necessary for that balance; he could have taught the new Jedis how to balance their attachments with the knowledge of their eventual loss. Having attachments is not necessarily bad, though they do lead to suffering if you do not (in Yoda’s words), “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

What leads to evil is turning (ie: succumbing) to the Dark Side–in other words, becoming a slave to your own desires and being unable to deal with the fact that you will eventually lose what you love. Everything is impermanent because it is the nature of everything to change. It doesn’t matter if you are a Jedi or a Sith, married or single, friend or foe, you will lose the ones you love. It’s the nature of the universe. Everyone experiences loss. But the difference is whether or not you accept that knowledge and use it to cherish the ones you love in the present, rather than seeking to keep that inevitability from happening.

Balance is about accepting both sides; so the question ‘Are you Light-Side or Dark-Side?’ makes no sense. Everyone contains both the Light and the Dark within themselves. The real question is, Can you walk the balance between them?

 

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Friday Flash: Holiday Pains

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Pain surged up his arms, and he wished to Hades he’d listened to the healer and not adopted those damned pets. But the holidays were a time for generosity to all lifeforms as well as celebration. Rather than see the homeless creatures euthanized, he took them in, and now those infernal humans would be the death of him. He popped a few more katha-berries, moaned as he felt the rash rapidly spread across his back, then called for the male and female. “Braaaad! Jannnnet!!” Her and her blasted mate had caused this misery; the least they could do was scratch his back.

 

*Image courtesy of BigFoto.com.

Star Wars II Attack of the Clones Rewatch Commentary

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Recently I checked out Star Wars I – VI from my friendly neighborhood library. I thought I’d brush up as preparation for the December release of The Force Awakens. Since it’s been awhile since I watched the movies, I noticed things that I’m almost ashamed to admit I’d never noticed before.

I’ve also recently come across this interesting fan theory: Jar-Jar is actually the Phantom Menace. Now listen, I know it sounds crazy, but the post I read was really compelling. One of the strongest points in favor of this theory is that Lucas created the prequels to mirror the Original Trilogy. He had very specific views about Yoda being this minor, inconsequential character that’s later revealed to be a powerful Jedi Master. So with that logic, Jar-Jar could be Yoda’s Sith doppelganger, but Lucas chickened out of the reveal because the fans hated Jar-Jar so much. Again, I know it sounds ridiculous, but you should read the post which explains everything with observation, examples, and logic. I will be watching II and III with this theory in mind. At the very least, it might make Jar-Jar less annoying. I hope.

But enough chit chat. I give you my observations from rewatching Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones.

  1. Scrolling text. Again.

Dummmmm dummmmmm, dada dadummmm dummmmm…

  1. Reading the introductory text, I am reminded that I have completely forgotten almost all of this movie. So Amidala is a Senator now, returning to the Galactic Senate to vote on the issue of creating an ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC (all caps, just like in the text), because the Jedi are being overwhelmed by all the separatists. And the separatists are led by Count Dooku. Right, got it.

But why do they want to leave the Republic?

  1. And the first familiar character we see in the movie, in Coruscant, is R2! And second is Amidala, speaking to her dying bodyguard when the ship is blown up. So I’m guessing someone doesn’t want her to vote.
  1. Palpatine doesn’t want the thousand year old Republic to split in two. Surprise, surprise.
  1. “We are keepers of the peace, not soldiers.”

Oh Windu, are you really?

  1. “You know, milady, Count Dooku was once a Jedi. He couldn’t assassinate anyone. It’s not in his character.”

Windu, Windu, Windu…you’re batting zero today, aren’t you?

  1. Now I remember, this is the movie where Amidala loses the weird hat and wig collection, because she had to look oh-so-pretty for Anakin.
  1. Yoda looks awfully suspicious of Palpatine, when he suggests that Obi-Wan be Amidala’s bodyguard. I suspect the future isn’t quite as clouded to Yoda as he says it is.
  1. Ah, yes, the introduction of Hayden Christensen as the newly hunky Anakin. You know, now that he’s not a little kid anymore, they can play up the romance—the weirdly inappropriate romance. Thanks, Lucas.
  1. And now Jar-Jar introduces Padme to Obi-Wan and older Ani. Possibly sinister?
  1. “Ani, you’ll always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine.”

After Anakin compliments her on her beauty. What a lovely way to reject someone making creepy advances.

  1. Wow, and then he throws a temper tantrum because Obi-Wan disagrees with him and doesn’t want to investigate the assassination attempt. Way to impress the lady, dude.
  1. And the possibly sinister Jar-Jar is comforting a pouty, whiny Anakin. Guess that sort of thing runs in the Skywalker family, but I am wondering why Jar-Jar is still around if he’s such an idiot. Hmmm…
  1. Anakin: “She covered the cameras. I don’t think she liked me watching her.”

Obi-Wan: “What is she thinking?”

Maybe she didn’t want the guy that just hit on her watching her sleep?

  1. “Don’t worry. No harm will come to her. I can sense everything going on in that room. Trust me.”

Not creepy at all.

  1. Anakin: “I don’t sleep well anymore.”

Obi-Wan: “Because of your mother?”

Anakin: “I don’t know why I keep dreaming about her.”

Obi-Wan: “Dreams pass in time.”

Have I mentioned how much I dislike Obi-Wan?

  1. Anakin: “I’d much rather dream about Padme.”

 Creeeeeeepy.

  1. More of creepy stalker Anakin. What a turn on.
  1. So they tried to assassinate her by worms? Well, that’s original.
  1. And now the exciting chase scene, where Obi-Wan grabs ahold of the drone that brought the assassin-worms, and Anakin… hey, is that a Dug driving that speeder? Thrills, people. Thrills.
  1. Bicker, bicker, bicker. It’s almost like Anakin is a kid rebelling against his dad—well, father-figure anyway.
  1. I just want to flick that spot off the middle of Ewan McGregor’s head.
  1. In a seedy bar, into which they’ve chased the murderous changeling–

Weirdo: “You wanna buy some death sticks?”

Obi-Wan: “You don’t want to sell me death sticks.”

Weirdo: “I don’t want to sell you death sticks.”

Obi-Wan: “You want to go home and rethink your life.”

Weirdo: “I want to go home and rethink my life.”

I may not like Obi-Wan, but he has his moments.

  1. After Obi-Wan cuts down the changeling in the middle of the nightclub

Anakin: (gruff) “Easy. Jedi business. Go back to your drinks.”

I’m getting the feeling the Jedi are bullies on Coruscant.

  1. Yoda: “Track down this bounty hunter, you must, Obi-Wan.”

Windu: “Most importantly, find out who he’s working for.”

I can almost feel Anakin thinking, I told you so…

  1. Palpatine: “And so, they’ve finally given you an assignment (to guard Amidala). Your patience has finally paid off.”

Saying Anakin has patience? That should have been a tip off!

  1. So Yoda thinks Obi-Wan is arrogant too? Maybe they should have let Anakin train with someone else. Actually, how cool would it have been if Yoda had trained him?
  1. Now Jar-Jar is appointed to take Amidala’s place in the Senate during her absence?

But WHY??? He seems like such an idiot, but if he was using the dark side to gain influence…

  1. Anakin: “Sometimes we must let go of our pride and do what is requested of us.”

Padme:  “Anakin, you’ve grown up.”

And then he starts whining to her about how Obi-Wan doesn’t understand and isn’t fair.

Way to show her you haven’t grown up, numb nuts.

  1. Padme: “Please, don’t look at me like that.”

Anakin: “Why not?”

Padme: “It makes me feel uncomfortable.”

And then he stares at her butt as she walks away.

  1. Oh no, I stand corrected. She must have a special hat collection just for when she travels.
  1. “Don’t worry. We have R2 with us.”

Thank the Force that R2 is there to chaperone those crazy kids.

  1. Obi-Wan, talking to his buddy about the investigation: “Well, if droids could think, there’d be none of here, would there?”

Really, Obi-Wan? How enlightened of you.

  1. Obi-Wan: “Cloners. Are they friendly?”

Weird alien friend: “Oh, depends.”

Obi-Wan: (smiles) “Depends on what, Dex?”

Weird alien friend: “On how good your manners are…and how big your, uh…(looks Obi-Wan up and down) pocketbook is.” (creepy chuckle)

Did that guy just hit on Obi-Wan?

  1. “If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist.”

It seems arrogance isn’t strictly a Jedi trait.

  1. Padme: “Are you allowed to love? I thought that was forbidden for a Jedi.”

Anakin: “Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love… is central to a Jedi’s life. So you might say that we are encouraged to love.”

What a wonderful way to describe the Jedi precepts, so similar to the teachings of the Buddha. Suffering is caused by our attachments, our desires, specifically to our concept of our own ego. However, if you learn to live in the moment, enjoying what you have while you have it and accepting that all things are impermanent, you can be selfless and happy, you can care and be compassionate for others without getting caught up in how no one is around forever. You can live in the present.

Of course, Anakin mucks it up at the end by using the “encouraged to love” line to hit on Padme, but it’s still eloquent.

  1.  “Truly wonderful the mind of a child is.”

So Obi-Wan asks Yoda for help finding a missing planet, a planet (if I remember correctly) Yoda and the rest of the Council erased from the archives so no one would find it, and Yoda has a youngling give Obi-Wan the answer. Now that’s what I call panache.

  1. “Only a Jedi could have erased those files.”

Yeah, Yoda, you go meditate on that. Quite the conundrum, huh?

  1. And Anakin is showing barely suppressed rage at Padme in front of the new Queen. What a turn on.
  1. So Ani and Padme go to the incredibly romantic hideaway—you know, for her “safety.” Yup, nothing can possibly go wrong there…
  1. Oh, so the Jedi Master, Sifo Dyas, ordered the creation of the Clone Army ten years previous? So maybe Yoda didn’t already know?
  1. “No, I shouldn’t have done that.”

So she kisses him, after strolling around the super romantic setting in her shoulderless rainbow dress, talking about beaches. Really?

  1.  It’s just so weird seeing the Clone Army in their white stormtrooper uniforms.
  1. And they’re talking in a meadow about past romances. And politics. Ah, you can practically smell the pheromones.
  1. Padme:“Sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me.”

Anakin:  “Well, if it works.”

And looooooove is in the air…

  1. Running to him in the meadow in your bare-shoulder gown. Rolling around in the grass. Really? Come on!
  1. Awww, little Boba Fett. Is he the parallel to little Ani or maybe teen Luke? If I remember correctly, he watches his “father” die.
  1. I know they’re setting up the whole romance, but does it really need to be this thick? One minute he’s using the Force for cheesy parlor tricks over dinner, the next they’re in a darkened room on a couch before a roaring fire. And dear Thor, did she pack any dresses with shoulders?

So, in the beginning of the movie she’s telling him his stalking makes her uncomfortable, but now she’s pulling out all the stops. She already knew how he felt about her. She couldn’t possibly be this stupid, unless it was on purpose.

  1. Anakin: “And now that I’m with you again, I’m in agony.”

Maybe because she’s practically falling out of that dress? Seriously. I have bras that cover more cleavage.

  1. And as Obi-Wan leaves the Kaminoans, he tells R4 to send a message care of “the old folks’ home.”  First thought? That droid is toast. There’s no way it’ll survive, because if it was meant to be successful, it would have been R2—robot chaperone of the future.

Second, I wonder why he’s using code? “Old folks’ home” can’t be good.

  1. So Yoda and Windu didn’t know about the clone army, but Sifo Dyas died over ten years ago? So who ordered the army?
  1. “I think it is time to inform the Senate that our ability to use the Force has diminished.”

What?!!!

  1. And she comes out to see him on the terrace, during sunrise, in her satin nightgown. For a second, I thought she had found a dress with shoulders, but it turned out to be a robe.
  1. I’m so confused. Obi-Wan thinks Jango is the assassin trying to kill Amidala, but why? And why attack him in front of his kid?
  1. The happy couple arrives back on Tatooine to rescue Ani’s mom. Lucas sure made use of that set, didn’t he?
  1. Watto: “Ani! It is you!” (chuckling)

All I can think is his unspoken, Remember the good ol’ days when I owned you?

Is he this stupid, or is he playing dumb because he’s afraid of Jedi Anakin?

  1. How come Jango Fett has an accent but little Boba doesn’t?
  1. Owen Lars and his girlfriend, Beru. Are we meeting all the young versions of the original characters?
  1. So they grew mushrooms on the vaporators at the moisture farm. I guess that answers my question about at least one type of food on a desert planet.
  1. The scenes of Anakin looking for his mother are absolutely stunning, his dark silhouette against the vivid sunset background. Could it also be the beginning of the sunset of his life as a Jedi?
  1. So the Viceroy hired Dooku, head of the Separatists, to assassinate Amidala. And all the Separatists are planning to combine their droids to make an army against the Republic?
  1. Evil music after Ani’s mother dies. That can’t be good.
  1. Wait, Obi-Wan is on Geonosis? The droid foundries on Geonosis?

Really?

  1. Padme: “To be angry is to be human.”

Anakin: “I’m a Jedi. I know I’m better than this.”

And that’s your problem. That, and your recent murder spree.

And your need for acting lessons.

  1. “R2, what are you doing here?”

Did they think they’d given him the slip?

  1. Giving the Chancellor emergency powers to create an army? Sure, that’s not a bad idea.
  1. Holy crap, Qui-Gon was Dooku’s padawan?
  1. I’ve got to admit, Dooku makes a lot of sense.
  1. Jar-Jar addresses the Senate and convinces them to grant emergency powers to Palpatine. Jar-Jar. And he does the hand wave thing, like a Jedi. With Dooku’s previous reveal about Darth Sidious being in charge of the Senate, it seems like the Sith Lord Jar-Jar theory could easily be true. The way it’s timed in the movie, it makes sense.
  1. C-3PO: “What does that mean? That means I’m in charge here.”

R2D2:    (beeps and whistles)

The closed-captioning for R2’s response read raspberry. So are the captions trying to translate R2’s noises? I always suspected they were bleeping out profanities.

  1. Fleeing from the bad guys, Padme in her suspiciously Leia-ish white outfit, gets caught with Anakin outside a closed door on a bridge that needs to be extended. I have to admit, I’m starting to like finding the repeated scenes of the Original Trilogy. They’re like Easter Eggs.
  1. So Jango captures Anakin at the droid factory. I still don’t get it.Why is Jango involved with the bad guys if he’s the template for the Jedi’s clone army? I know he’s a bounty hunter, but what does he gain? Why would the bad guys hire him at all? I don’t understand.
  1. Finally, some female Jedis kicking butt! Yes!
  1. Lasers everywhere, and somehow none of them hit our heroes. Did the droids train the stormtroopers?
  1. “Oh, this is such a drag. I’m quite beside myself.”

Who knew C-3PO had a sense of humor!

  1. Yoda shows up to save the day with the clone troopers! That’s my favorite scene in this movie. It’s one of the few I hadn’t blocked out of my memory. I still remember how excited I was when I first saw them.
  1. Dooku cut off Anakin’s arm? I didn’t remember that!
  1. Now we get to see Yoda actually fight Dooku. There’s something supremely awesome about seeing a little green muppet kick Christopher Lee’s ass.
  1. “Fought well, you have, my old padawan.”

Oh, COME ON. This is getting ridiculous. So Yoda trained Dooku…who trained Qui-Gon…who trained Obi-Wan…who trained Anakin.

So basically, if you think about it, Darth Vader is all Yoda’s fault.

  1. Lies, deceit, creating mistrust are his ways now.”

I know Yoda’s talking about Dooku there, but meanwhile Anakin’s sneaking off to get married.

  1. And they get married at sunset. How symbolic.

The prequels may not be the best, but the movie ends with the Jedi marrying the Senator—or rather the knight marrying the (former) princess. I know people think of these movies as science fiction because of all the tropes, but they are fantasy! Mythic themes, knights and princesses, sword fights, and good against evil. What more do you want?

Oh, and they’re awesome.*

I hope you enjoyed this. I will post my next review next Wednesday. May you come visit my blog again, and May the Force be with you.

 

 

 

 

*My thanks to D Paul Angel for suggesting I create this post.

**Though I had originally thought I’d watch the series beginning with Episode I, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So my observations may change as I remember or misremember things from the prequels.

***I know I say “awesome” a lot, but I’m an 80’s girl. Deal with it.

Star Wars V The Empire Strikes Back Rewatch Commentary

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Recently I checked out Star Wars I – VI from my friendly neighborhood library. I thought I’d brush up as preparation for the December release of The Force Awakens. Since it’s been awhile since I watched the movies, I noticed things that I’m almost ashamed to admit I’d never noticed before. So, in the interest of pointing out what others have already picked up on, I give you my observations from rewatching Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back.

  1. The ice monster on the planet Hoth that attacks Luke bears a striking resemblance to the Abominable Snowman from the claymation Rudolph movie. “Bumbles bounce!”
  1. “A death mark’s not an easy thing to live with.”

Ummm,kind of an asshat thing to say, isn’t it? Guess the Rebels had too many generals already.

  1. Why do I get the feeling tauntauns are always doomed on Hoth?
  1. Han is definitely NOT scruffy looking.
  1. Don’t look so smug, Luke. You just kissed your sister.
  1. So at this point Vader knows his son, Luke, is with the Rebels. But how did he find out? He sensed someone strong in the Force took out the Death Star with that killer shot, but he didn’t necessarily know it was Luke. Or did he?
  1. When Vader’s Easter egg shaped meditation chamber opens, it looks suspiciously like he’s decorated the inside with wall stickers. You know the kind. And they look… pink? Is he that starved for a little color?
  1. Couldn’t Vader use the Force to make his holographic image a little clearer? I mean, he’s trying to communicate with the troops!
  1. If the Rebels are trying to avoid detection by the Empire by hiding on an ice planet, why do they insist in going around in fluorescent orange everything? Hubs maintains that in the futuristic past of Star Wars, they have so many sensors that color makes no difference, but I say a little white paint never hurt anybody. Unless you count graffiti.
  1. Dagobah. Daaaaaaaaaay-gobah. Dagobah, and me wanna go hommmmme.
  1. So, why is Dagobah strong with the Dark Side of the Force? I remember reading something about that being the reason Yoda could hide there, but why exactly? Is that why the Jungland Wastes were a good hiding place for Obi-Wan?
  1. “Captain, being held by you is quite enough to get me excited.”

Amen, sister. Luke’s sister, I mean. See what I did there?

  1. “Away with your weapon. I mean you no harm.”

So Yoda doesn’t always talk backwards. Also, Yoda sounds suspiciously like Kermit the Frog. And they’re both green. I wonder…

  1. Given how pissy Luke is acting, I can’t blame Yoda for worrying about training him as a Jedi. Look what happened last time an angry Skywalker learned to use the Force.
  1. “You like me because I’m a scoundrel.”

So, first Leia kisses her brother, then she makes out with Han on the Falcon. She’s just all sorts of confused, isn’t she? Guess when you’re the only main female character on set, your dance card fills up pretty quickly.

  1. When the Emperor says he suspects the Jedi that destroyed the Death Star is the “offspring of Anakin Skywalker”, Vader acts all surprised. Darth was already looking for “Skywalker.” I mean, was he keeping the Emperor in the dark so he could find his son first and protect him?
  1. Yoda is the wisest muppet EVER.
  1. “What’s in there?”   “Only what you take with you.”

And Luke takes his weapon. I mean, there’s so much meaning in this one tiny scene. It shows he’s not perfect, that he could potentially become evil, and echoes Vader’s fall from the Light. I can’t imagine a more perfect scene. It’s like flash fiction, or a zen koan, compact and powerful in its brevity.

  1.  “Bounty hunters. We don’t need their scum.”

Hey, that bounty hunter…Is that the Metron Captain from Star Trek?

  1. OK, I admit it. I admire Captain Needa. He knew they lost the Falcon, he told his fellow officer that he was going to Lord Vader to take full responsibility, and I’m sure he knew what that meant. So basically, he felt it was his duty, and he was willing to face death for the sake of that duty. That’s admirable. If only he’d been on the good guys’ side!
  1. “You do have your moments. Not many of them, but you do have them.”

Leia gives Han a kiss when the Falcon floats away with the Imperial garbage. What is it with them and garbage? Is that their Paris?

  1. “If you choose the quick and easy path, as Vader did…”

Quick and easy? He massacred his friends and force-choked his pregnant wife in a jealous rage. How was that quick or easy?

  1. What is it with Leia and braids? Is that something she got from the mother she never knew, because Amidala must have spent hours at the hair salon. Either that or they had wig closets that would make Tammy Faye jealous.
  1. “I’ve just made a deal that’ll keep the Empire out of here forever.”

Han shoots. First. Then Vader invites him to dinner.

What if all Vader wanted was to have a cup of tea with our beloved heroes? That whole torture thing might have been avoided if they had simply been polite and had dinner with the guy. Let’s face it. He probably doesn’t take rejection well.

  1. Not only is C-3PO a whiner, he’s an ingrate too! That “overgrown mophead” is the only one who even looked for C-3PO when he went missing. Now C-3PO calls him names because he made a mistake fixing him? No wonder R2’s language is bleeped out all the time. Some best friend.
  1. Han switches between wearing a jacket and not while being frozen in carbonite. I didn’t know he had time to change his clothes in such dire circumstances, but I guess he didn’t want to be scruffy looking.
  1. “Calrissian, take the princess and the Wookie to my ship.”

I don’t think Vader knows Leia is his daughter at this time, so why does he care? Why doesn’t he sense the Force in her?

  1. “The Force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.”

And then Luke draws his lightsaber first. Could this have been a tearful father-son reunion if Luke hadn’t pulled his sword first? Vader set the trap with the carbonite, but this is the first time he’s face to face with his son. Was he considering something else, something less confrontational, maybe confessional?

  1. “I’m terribly sorry about all this. After all, he’s only a Wookie!”

Shut up, C-3PO.

  1. So wait, Bobba Fett is a clone of Jango Fett, and Jango Fett was the template for the clone stormtroopers, and twins are clones, and Leia and Luke are twins…I’m starting to see a pattern here.
  1. “R2, you can tell the computer to override the security systems.”

So, R2D2 is like a computerized skeleton key? He fits anywhere, is compatible with and can override any system? Handy.

  1. “I am your father.”

And every Dutch person watching this scene says, “Yes! I told you so! In your faces, stupid English-speakers!”**

  1. Is Luke suicidal when he lets go during the father revelation scene? I mean, I originally thought it was a desperate attempt at escape, but he did just find out his father was space-Hitler.
  1. Luke doesn’t have any blood on him after losing his hand. I’m guessing lightsabers cauterize wounds.
  1. I love how Lando echoes Han from the first movie. First, he’s saying how he’s done all he can but he has his own problems, then when he tries to be heroic and the Falcon can’t go into hyperdrive, he yells, “It’s not my fault!”
  1. “Ben, why didn’t you tell me?”

Because he didn’t want to tell him his father was a psycho and not a Jedi hero. Also, he got killed five minutes after they met, and after he died it just never seemed like the right moment.

  1. Sure, they’re on the run, but on the bright side Luke gets a robot hand! I know, I know, like cyborg father, like cyborg son, but who wouldn’t want a robot hand?

Empire left off with one hell of a cliffhanger, but it’s still a great movie. The good guys get away, so there’s enough resolution that I don’t feel cheated, yet there’s momentum for the next movie. You know that there’s more coming, and you’re excited about that! That’s the kind of middle movie I can get behind. There’s nothing wrong with cliffhangers, as long as they give you some resolution. That’s the crux. Without any resolution, you just piss off your audience, but with too much there’s no desire to see more. Empire is the perfect cliffhanger.

I hope you enjoyed my incredibly insightful comments, and hopefully I’ll see you next week when I talk about Return of the Jedi!

 

*My thanks to D Paul Angel for suggesting I create this post and to my husband, Doug, for his insightful comments.

** “Vader” means “Father” in Dutch.

***Though I had originally thought I’d watch the series beginning with Episode I, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So my observations may change as I remember or misremember things from the prequels.

Friday Flash: Gummies

The following story also appears in my short story collection, An Optimist’s Journal of the End of Days and Other Stories, published via Venetian Spider Press.

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So innocent looking, yet so deadly.

That was Karen’s last thought as she looked at the small, colorful gummies sitting on the counter. She had lined them up for tea, thinking they might melt and make nice sweeteners for the steaming brew. Who knew? She wasn’t posh. She wasn’t cultured. She liked her sweet tooth, and if the candy didn’t dissolve she’d still have a treat when she reached the bottom of her china cup.

However, how was she to know that the assorted soft candies left on her doorstep the night before were not from a secret admirer but rather the abandoned children of a lost traveller among the stars? That the traveller’s race, though tiny, was deadly when crossed and not prone to forgiving transgressions? So when Karen unsealed the little plastic package of rainbow colored gummies, she simply released them from their airlocked space. That was no matter; they were adaptable. But they could not, apparently, adapt to scalding liquid.

So as Karen poured the freshly brewed tea into her clean, white china cup, she was ill-prepared for the screams of agony emitted by the little orange gummy resting in its bottom. She gasped and nearly dropped the pot. Then chastising herself for her foolishness, she realized there must have been an air-pocket or something in the candy that caused the squealing noise. Oh well, it’d still taste fine.

She popped the little orange gummy, now flattened and mushy, onto her waiting tongue, bit down, and swallowed. The squealing stopped.

But Orangie’s brothers and sisters started, and soon she lay bleeding on the floor from a thousand small bites. They were insanely fast. As she watched the rainbow assortment of gummies advance on her prone figure, she realized that Orangie was the lucky one.

He had been consumed in a single bite.

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*image courtesy of BigFoto.com

*inspired by a photo prompt at the six minute story site. Again, I ran out of time! But the story was too good to just stop, so I’m posting it here. I hope you enjoyed it!