Star Wars


May The 4th Be With You!

The Force is strong in this one. Did I mention I got the GoDaddy job?!?

Hello stalkers,

I write all the time, but never hear from you. I’m sure you’ve all seen this sort of thing circulating the internet in some form or another. Here are 25 Things about me. Now let me know 25 Things about you. No, I won’t force you to come up with 25 New Things if you’ve already done this elsewhere. I’m OK with you cutting and pasting.

1. I’m a gamer. I like to play at Game Depot especially. It’s my Happy Place.

2. I have a green spot in my right eye that comes and goes.

3. I have a green spot on my right ankle that’s not going anywhere–my shamrock tattoo.

4. I recently discovered blogging. It’s more fun than I thought it would be.

5. Movies! I love movies! I’ll see anything but horror, and if the story looks good enough I’ll probably see horror too.

6. Reading is my favorite alone time activity. I’m a sci-fi/fantasy kind of girl, but I like a lot of New Age stuff too.

7. I really dislike job hunting.

8. Pizza is my default food. If I don’t want to make a decision pepperoni pizza it is.

9. Watching TV is almost a full time job for me.

10. If I can’t be a Jedi or a wizard/witch, I want to be a vampire.

11. I decided just now to send my resume to someone in Forks WA.

12. You know when you are just falling asleep and you suddenly have that spasm and wake up? I hear most people were dreaming of falling. I was dreaming of spiders. I’m phobic about them.

13. I love dark chocolate. Always have. I have a love/hate relationship with South Beach. On one hand I love that there is a dark chocolate alternative to nearly every candy bar because they told the world dark chocolate is good for you. On the other hand I was really enjoying being the only one in the office who ate dark chocolate when vendors brought it in and everyone automatically brought me their share. No one’s sharing anymore!

14. I’m the person shuffling cards behind Sarah on the plane. Ok, so that never happened but Bobby and I usually play Cribbage when we go out to dinner.

15. My license plate says PADAWAN.

16. There are people in the world that only know me as Duff, my college nickname.

17. I love pears. There is a pear gelato at Arlecchino Gelateria in Phoenix that makes my knees buckle.

18. John Williams is my hero. He pretty much wrote the soundtrack to my life.

19. Borders is my favorite book store.

20. I have three cats: Guinness, Sam Adams, and Zima. I know what you’re thinking, but Sam was named after a football player. If I were that big of a lush he would have been named Captain Morgan.

21. I apparently don’t have issues with self-disclosure.

22. I want to be a foster Mom.

23. I didn’t get my ears pierced until I was 22.

24. My three favorite TV shows right now are Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes, and Chuck.

25. I’m writing a book. I’m very excited about the ideas I came up with yesterday.

    

Yes, you read that right. Bella Skywalker. This could only be a Random post, right? For those of you who don’t know, Random is my Unicorn friend–that mythical beast know as the man who reads Twilight. Out of the blue, this is how the texting started this evening, as if there had never been an interuption in last night’s text conversation.

Random: Finished New Moon today. Edward has confirmed that he’s a retard.

Me: You’re retarded! 🙂

Random: When you are over 100 years old and make Romeo look like a guy who knows how to make a plan work, that is truly special.

Me: You’re reading too much into it. That says a lot coming from me. He’s no more or less retarded than Romeo.

Random: Romeo is the king of dumb. And Edward is in his class at the very least.

(Agreed, but romance can make one stupid, especially boys.)

Random: And Bella is so typical. Although I expect that is the attraction for the target reader. She’s annoying as the heroine.

(Bella is typical in some ways which makes her relatable to a lot of readers. She a-typical in others whichs gives her the feeling of being special we all want. I relate to her in a big way, so I guess I’m annoying.)

Random: Then again, my favorite protagonists come from Ayn Rand and Isaac Asimov, so typical is not my cup of tea.

(Yeah, Random, I know you’re shocked, but I haven’t read any Rand and the Asimov I read was an excerpt or short story way back in the day. We read so many so close together in that class that I don’t remember what was his. As always, “It’s on the list.”)

Random: New Moon will make a horrible movie with Bella whining more than a Skywalker.

(Bella hurts on the inside but she suffers in silence. As a movie we shouldn’t be so “in her head”. Maybe it won’t come off so whiney to you.)

The texts were coming fast and furious while I was trying to find some paper to print my resume on. I couldn’t get a word in so I’ve added my thoughts in ( ).

I sat there dumbfounded at the Skywalker remark when my phone rang. I just started laughing. Apparently Random’s hatred for all things Twilight could not longer be contained in text. Rather than forgetting the books altogether, he needed to get vocal. I was still laughing when I answered. The first thing I heard was, “Bella Skywalker.” It had the ring of an epithet. I just laughed. Typical. Trying to get under my skin, deriding two of my favorite things at once: Twilight and Star Wars. And two of my favorite characters, too. Luke and Bella are the ones I relate to. Way to push my buttons, Random.

Ok, I had to admit Luke is a bit whiney: “But I was going to Toshi Station to pick up some power converters!” I didn’t read Bella as whiney though. I read her as strong. She knows what she wants and when she doesn’t get it she fights for it. She gets angry, petulant. He asserted that stamping your foot and demanding your way is just the teen version of whiney. He might have a point. But doesn’t that make the character more believable? Bella is flawed. That doesn’t mean the writing is flawed, just the opposite in my opinion.

He liked Carlisle. He relates to him most. I suppose I would have guessed that. In fact I think I did guess that once. I believe I made Random take the survey once upon a time, and predicted that he would be Carlisle. He thinks that the vampires being invincible superheroes is ridiculous, and that they should be running the world, not keeping the secret. The Volturi he thought were kind of cool. I had to admit that I never saw the point of keeping the secret even without the Volturi, as humans can’t harm vampires. But I try to let that sort of thing go. It’s fiction.

So we talked some shop, talked about the vibe at the company I no longer work for, but then we were right back to New Moon. He thought it was boring. He thought Edward was retarded. He was frustrated that Bella was going to be ok and then everything freaked out again. Basically everything I loved about the book, he hated. No big shock there.

I think the people who dislike the Twilight saga are the people who go into it expecting a vampire story. It’s a love story that just happens to have vampires and werewolves. As a friend of mine put it, it’s Vampire 90210.

We talked about the upcoming movie too. He’s convinced it will suck. He knows from the last two month’s worth of obsessing that I have my worries. If they stay true to the book, he thinks, there will be a opening scene, then a whiney birthday, a paper cut, a bit more whining, then a really long boring part in the middle, followed by about 15 minutes in Italy, and a rushed happy ending. I think that sounds about right, except that as they are actually shooting in Italy I think they plan on getting their money’s worth. If anything is going to be rushed it’s going to be the long months that Edward is gone (Random’s “really long boring part in the middle”). If they are going to screw with anything it’s going to be the beauty of Bella and Jacob’s relationship. I think they’re going to rush us back to Edward/Robert Pattinson. It’ll be tricky not having the Heart-ThRob in most of the movie.

No one I worked with recently got me like Random did. We like a lot of the same things. It is typically frustrating talking to him about geek stuff though, because we rarely agree even about the stuff we both like. No matter how frustrating, it’s always good for a laugh though. Today’s big laugh was Random saying, “If Edward had an alignment it would be Chaotic Dumb.” Thanks, Random, I needed that. I hope you had fun storming the castle tonight. And I certainly hope the Pandemic bugs didn’t get you down.

Star Wars fans tried something like this with The Phantom Menace. The Twilight Moms’ idea has spread to other sites in an attempt to break records. It didn’t work with Star Wars. It would be nice to see it work once.

From TwilightMoms.com:

TwilightMOMS Night at the movies
In honor of the original release date of Twilight, we are launching TwilightMOMS Night at the Movie on 12.12.08. Let’s all go see Twilight on December 12th as a way of saying Thank You to Summit, the cast and crew! We are not planning any big parties this time around- just go and enjoy the show. Go with a your hubby, your family, your friends, your fellow TwilightMOMS- it doesn’t matter who you go with, JUST GO! To find other TwilightMOMS in your area that want to see Twilight one more time check out our get together forums.

The Macy’s Parade is over. The cheeseball is chilling in the fridge. The turkey is in the oven. The Holidays are officially upon us. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I for one have much to be thankful for. Highest on the list is my Uncle J. He made it through his surgery beautifully yesterday and is on the mend. They will have him up and walking around today–amazing!

I am thankful for my friends and family. They are fun, loving, and best of all supportive. I know I can count on you, and I hope you know you can count on me. I love you all.

I am thankful for my job. Sure, I complain a lot about it, but it’s hard work, so I suppose that is to be expected. I really am thankful to have a job, especially with today’s economy being what it is.

I am thankful for my hobbies. Gaming, writing, reading, and movies, have done their best to keep me sane, especially the last couple of years. That leads me to thank a few authors in particular, who have given me the means to escape when needed in the last few years: JK Rowling, the writers of such recent Star Wars novel series as the New Jedi Order Era and the Legacy of the Force Era, Andrew Davidson, and of course Stephenie Meyer. A special Thank You to the folks at The Game Depot, Arizona, my FLGS. If anyone has kept me sane (Yes, I know. I use the term lightly.) these last few years, it has been you. Thanks for keeping my hands busy and my mind occupied.

I know I have a lot more to be thankful for, but time is running short. There is dinner to be made. I’ll close with Old Man Bobby. I cannot say Thank You enough, for everything. For more Date Nights than I can count. For dealing with my many neuroses and putting up with my crap in general. For backrubs I never have to ask for. For endless games of Ask Me About My Book. For doing my bidding. And of course for all the stuff I shouldn’t mention in polite company. Thank you. I’m a lucky woman to have a “boyfiend” like you. Don’t tell anyone I said that though.

Happy Birthday to my first movie crush, and the actor who played such roles as Luke Skywalker, The Joker (voice), Tony Hart, etc.–Mark Hamill.

Star Wars Politics

Star Wars Politics

Yeah, I know, it got an F…from everyone. I liked it. It’s fun. It’s something new in the Star Wars galaxy. I appreciate that.

I think I have a nearly unique perspective when it comes to George Lucas though. First and foremost he’s an Indie film maker. Yes, Star Wars is one of the most, if not the most marketed movie franchises ever, but this is what amuses me most and makes me root for George. As the story goes, he traded away his director’s fee for A New Hope, to get it made. In return he was given something like 99% of the licensing. I’m too lazy to look that number up right now. I think it was 99%. So 99% of everything with the Star Wars logo on it (movies, books, comics, toys, lunch boxes, role-playing games, board games, card games, video games, clothing, CDs, DVDs/videos, Christmas ornaments, etc.) goes directly into George’s pocket.

I think it’s beautiful that the money goes to the creator. That’s as it should be. People say he’s a sell out, but I ask you this, “Wouldn’t you, if you could?” I mean, really? Picture it. It’s your galaxy. You get final say in everything. People are clamoring just to be a part of it, to write something, to design something, to put their own fingerprints on your greatness. You can make a buck or two, if you let them, and you get to pick and choose how they can make you even greater; there are that many options. Seriously, you’d refuse? I’d set my great-great-great-great grand nieces and nephews up for life, personally. If I created a wonderful galaxy, and everyone wanted me to move in and make it better, I’d be more than happy to oblige. I worked hard to create that galaxy, after all. It would be hard to let it go, and I’d just be happy that everyone was so pleased with it.

That being said, Star Wars is an amazing galaxy, and we, as fans, begged him to keep it alive for us. We wrote books, that fleshed it out. We developed his characters several decades past what George ever intended. We created new characters and new worlds. We theorized for decades about the backstory. And when we finally found out, in Episodes I-III, we complained? This is wrong. Think about it. He could have left this galaxy behind in 1983. Instead he allowed others to step in and leave their mark. All he asked was that we leave the movie making to him really. His prerogative. Is it really that great of a surprise that professional writers wrote “better” stories than a director who happened to have a great idea? Look at Lord of the Rings. Many have said JRR Tolkien is a linguist who had a great story to tell; he’s just not a writer. I look at George in much the same way. His first three SW movies were magic, but why was that? It was the time. He did so much to push sci-fi along, both with effects and story line. His characters were real, and lovable. They pulled us in to this lived-in looking galaxy, and made us feel at home and like we were a part of something special. Because of what he did back then we expect so much more now. He raised the bar, and many since have answered the challenge. How do you, 20+ years later, create something new and cutting edge that has the same flavor? That’s a nearly impossible task. I for one am glad he tried.

As I’ve been saying for years, if George Lucas unexpectedly showed up at my house for dinner, I’m not going to complain that he brought a cabernet instead of a merlot. I’m going to accept the gift. And I don’t even like wine!

My Twilight Chronicles begin in LA, in the beginning of July. I was on my Pacesetter Award trip for work, and my friend Bryan kept pulling out this book called New Moon. I would not have pegged him as a reader. Turns out I was wrong about that, but the fact remains that this mohawked, pierced, tattooed gentleman with the chain on his pants was pulling out a book every chance he got just to read even two pages. Being a reader, I understand that when someone pulls out a book in public it’s a sign that their mind is really elsewhere right now, and they shouldn’t be disturbed. It could be dangerous, like waking a sleep-walker. As the days passed, I couldn’t contain my curiosity any longer. Besides, I was hot and miserable on our broken-down tour bus, and really needed a distraction. I crossed the line and asked what it was that had so captured his attention. He told me a little bit about it and I thought it sounded like something I’d like to read someday. He clearly had to get back to it, so that was that. I again wondered at the obsessive manner of his reading. Not even during the height of my Harry Potter Haze did I get that obsessed about reading.

Let me restate that. I have been obsessed about a great many writers’ universes over the years. I’m a geek with every fiber of my being. I’ve always been a reader, but a slow one. My attention span is quirky enough that I can’t sit and read for hours and hours. Four hours is about my limit, and I’ll probably break to get something to eat and move around a bit. I’ll think about the book obsessively in the meantime, even worrying about the characters as if they could somehow get into more trouble while I’m not looking, but to actually sit and read for hours and hours can be painful for me no matter how amazing and enthralling the story. So, while reading Harry Potter, and even the Star Wars: New Jedi Order series, I’d read for extended periods when I could, but life went on, albeit with me pondering the mysteries of the books like the obsessive fangirl I am.

So, vampires, werewolves, high school drama…Yeah, I’d be reading that. I just had to finish with my Boba Fettish first, and it would have to wait until after my extended vacation. Pacesetter first, then the family reunion. So fast forward to the family reunion. I had watched Bryan tear through New Moon and Eclipse on our three day trip, and what’s one of the first things cousin Anna says to me when we meet to go see Hancock? “So you’ve read Twilight, right?” The tone of her question stuck with me. It said to me that it was expected that I would have read this already, that it would be old news to me. Anna seemed very excited that she would be the one bringing this joy into my life. She started describing it and I said, “Hey wait, is one of the books called New Moon.” She said, “Yes, that’s it. Read it. You’re going to love Edward.” That was all that was said. I think she didn’t want to ruin anything for me. Anna, thank you for the introduction, but why, oh why, did you wait so long? I’d be mad at you, but I had an amazing time reading then books when I did…almost magical. In the future don’t assume I’ve already read something. I get obsessed with things and lose track of what’s going on in the outside world.

When I got home from vacation, I was still reading the Boba Fett books. I finished the day I got back actually, and resolved that I’d go get Twilight Friday. When I finish something I need a little time to “mourn the book”. Odd, I know, but I find I enjoy books much more if I get over the previous book first. So Friday, I had a date with Old Man Bobby, and he graciously agreed to take me to my favorite Borders. I had an inkling of what was to come, so I grabbed the first two books which were out in paperback. I didn’t see a paperback for Eclipse so I waited on that one until I found out when it was coming out. What? I like my books to match.

I was tired after a hard day’s work, so Bobby and I called it a night early in hopes that I’d make it out to Game Depot to game on time for once. When he was gone I thought, “I’ll read a few pages before bed.” A few pages turned into 60. How did I get to page 60 already? I gotta get to bed. I’m pretty sure I dreamed of a certain beautiful, bronze-haired vampire that night, but I’m not sure. I woke up in plenty of time to have a nice leisurely morning before going gaming. That might have been a mistake. I should have slept in until I had to shower and bolt out the door. Having time, I couldn’t resist picking up Twilight. I didn’t even turn on the TV. My TV is always on when I am home, except when I’m sleeping. I need the background noise. At noon, when I was already supposed to be at the store, I wrenched the book out of my hands and went to shower. Late again.

I was restless during the day. Gaming was fun, but my thoughts strayed, even though I’d had two solid weeks of no gaming and had been suffering withdrawals. Suddenly I had a new addiction. It turns out Twilight is exactly my brand of heroin. Twilighters, Twerds, Fanpires, and Twihards alike will know just what I mean. The next week was more of the same.

I’m not allowed to read at work no matter how slow the phones are, so I generally don’t bring a book. I couldn’t help myself though. I brought it and found that now I was the one sneaking a page or two whenever possible. When I couldn’t read, the book sat next to me as I sat there looking at it hungrily, leg bouncing. My co-workers were highly amused. Jo got the gist that I was obsessing about a book but hadn’t heard anything more than that. Knowing me, she stood up and asked, “Harry Potter or Twilight?” I answered. She smiled and said, “Ok so let me ask you a question.” As an out-of-the-closet-geek, I get nervous when people say that. It’s generally like a pop quiz. I just knew I was about to be stumped. It’s a constant fear, a hazard of the company I keep, I suppose. So I took a breath and said OK, and Jo asked, “Edward, or Jacob?” By this point it was about Wednesday and I was already, starting Eclipse. Even though I’d only just begun, I was almost finished with the saga as the world new it then, so I knew all about Edward VS Jacob. I blushed and found myself unable to answer quickly enough. Crystal giggled behind me and said, “Edward! She loves him!” More blushing. Turns out Jo is a Twilighter of the Team Jacob variety. Jacob’s a fine person. I can’t hold it against her. She doesn’t even like Edward though, so clearly she must be crazy.

At this point I think I must go back to previous statements about my obsessive fangirl nature. I discovered Fantasy and Sci-Fi early on in life. It started when I first saw the play Camelot. From then on I loved all things medieval. Knights, quests, damsels. It’s only a small hop from there to Unicorns and Dragons, and from there it’s all fantasy all the time. When I got over my fear of “big books”  and series (always the slow reader, they were too much pressure), I found Piers Anthony. The man’s prolific. I occupied me through my high school years, and most of college for that matter. Throughout college I kept hearing about Anne Rice and her vampires. They were on my list, if Piers would ever slow down. When the movie Interview with the Vampire came out, I left Piers and never looked back. You see, Edward is not my first vampire. Louis and I go way back. I was quite obsessed with Anne Rice’s vampires, especially Louis. Louis and I were together for a few years, but Anne decided to go in another direction, and he left me. No matter, a fangirl’s gotta do what a fangirl’s gotta do. I turned to Anne’s witch series, and from there slowly read everything she’d written (yes, everything, even those). I had other dalliances, which I’ve mentioned. Although, out of respect, I don’t count Harry Potter a dalliance. He saved me like Jacob saved Bella, truth be told (Thanks JK!). But that’s another story which I won’t tell here.

Back to the matter at hand. I could hardly believe how I was devouring these books. I could certainly relate to Edward’s reaction to Bella, as I wondered if somehow the pages of my books were impregnated with heroin. Nothing had ever effected me quite this way. I’d spent hours upon hours talking about and writing about my theories on what would happen to Harry Potter, but I could put the books down. I wasn’t staying up intil 1am when I had to be up at 5am. Sure Harry Potter is the first book I ever read a second time (well four times now), so that should give you an idea of how I felt about it, but I could put it down. I could not make myself put the Twilight books down!

I knew a new book was coming out, but I didn’t know when until I snuck online at work and checked it out. No, we’re not supposed to be on the internet either. So there you go, more evidence of my obsession. I was sneaking pages at work and willfully going online. It started innocently enough at first. We’re allowed to visit travel-related sites, being that we’re travel agents. I checked out Forks. Linda was more than happy to help me out, asking me questions. You’ll be happy to know that the population in Forks went up between 2000 and 2005, so the vampire population isn’t having a negative effect there. Anyway, I found out that Breaking Dawn was coming out that very Saturday! I’d broken down and bought the hardcover Eclipse, knowing I couldn’t hold out until April for the paperback. Would I finish in time for the release? I didn’t have a whole lot of time to read late in the week, so I wasn’t confident. I knew I’d pick up the book Saturday anyway.

Friday night I went out with my friend Erika to see The Dark Knight. We got out about 10pm, and she said, “Ok, come on, let’s check out Barnes & Noble. I know you want to.” She was with me at the midnight release of the last Harry Potter book. I think she was as curious about the spectacle, too. This was the first time I saw who my fellow fans were. I expected Team Jacob and Team Edward shirts. I expected to be raising the mean age by about 20 years, but I did not expect…emo. I definitely wasn’t expecting all that glitter and black eyeliner. I was a little disturbed at the thought of me as a 15-year-old Twerd, but I shook it off. I didn’t stay to get the book. I hadn’t finished Eclipse and was afraid of spoilers. Erika and I called it a night, and I went home…by way of my favorite Borders. I just had to see how their party was shaping up. It wasn’t any more crowded than B&N, neither party holding a candle to the Potter release. The t-shirt score was 8-2 in Edward’s favor by the end of the night, by the way.

The next day I was back, and buying Breaking Dawn. My favorite Borders cashier chatted me up as usual. He doesn’t remember from visit to visit, I’m sure. I think he just flirts with every geek girl he can. “Breaking Dawn,” he said, “I think I’ve heard of this one…wait, yes, I’ve sold 2000 copies today.” He went on to tell me about a shirt from the night before. A husband of a Twilighter was wearing a t-shirt that said “Team Jacob” on the front. On the back it said, “Because Edward stole my wife’s heart.” I laughed about that until Old Man Bobby asked me how much houses were going for in Forks. I answered too quickly, “There are four houses for sale, ranging from $125,000 to about $325,000.” Busted. He fully expects me to move to Forks any day now.

Old Man Bobby and I had had dinner and gone to a movie before getting the book, but it was early for a Saturday. We we got to the car he asked what I wanted to do now. I thought for a moment, not wanting to say it. He said, “I can just take you home so you can read. You are coming over tomorrow. Frankly I’m surprised you let me take you to a movie.” I thought he’d be mad, but he was really amused. Turns out he’s loving this. Well, of course, he is. He has something to tease me about. So take me home, he did, and did I ever read. I finished Eclipse at dawn. Naturally I couldn’t resist beginning Breaking Dawn at breaking dawn. Magic.

Once again, I’ve put off the real word in favor of Twilight. I need to get a move on. Old Man Bobby is one his way, and I’m not showered yet. I’ll write more about what I think of the actually story, characters, and writing later I imagine. I wasn’t ready to give Twilight up. I was completely obsessed and yet suddenly done with the books in a week and a half. What else could I do but start them over? I started Eclipse last night. Between reading this morning and this entry this afternoon, I’ve completely forgotten myself.