Monday, August 29, 2016

The Force Awakens Thoughts Update and Fan Expo Toronto

If you haven't seen Star Wars or The Force Awakens and don't want spoilers, leave now!
If you haven't seen Star Wars or The Force Awakens and don't want spoilers, leave now!

It's been a few months since I saw The Force Awakens in the theaters. As regular followers of my social media have noticed, I've grown fond of it for various reasons. I'm also still really mad at it. I'm also half-hopefully anticipating and half-dreading what is to come next year.

I keep accidentally seeing what may or may not be spoilers online. I just tell myself they are fan theories and that no one will know for sure what happens until the final editing is done. And they've only just finished shooting. Anything can happen to that story-line; there's time for re-shoots and tweaks.

Back When A New Hope was Star Wars...
To recap for new readers, I'm a Star Wars fan since Day One, literally. I was fifteen when I saw it opening day in London, Ontario with my brother. We both loved it. I proceeded to see it 28 times that year. In those days, that took some tenacity. 

Han Shot First...
I saw it dozens of times. The Memory Police have not claimed me yet! And I stand by the idea that he had to shoot first, it was perfect for his character, back when Star Wars was actually teenager and adult entertainment, not marketed to toddlers. Don't get me started on Kylo Ren sneakers for infants but not for adult women and Kylo Ren baby bottles but no sports bottles for mom! The original Star Wars is a Dark Story, a fairy tale in space, a western in space, which was one of the appealing things about it for me as a teen. But then they went and tried to make it for kids and changed some things. Han is and was and always will be an asshole. He's a narcissist who does for Han and only Han which is how he's survived for so long. He's the Rhett Butler of the Galaxy. And damn right he not only shot first, he was the ONLY ONE WHO SHOT AT ALL! 

Darth Vader is an evil psychopath, not a Saturday morning cartoon, but alas, he's now a cartoon character in these modern times. He was terrifying in the seventies.

Kylo Ren killed his own dad. He stashes his helmet in the ashes of his enemies. He worships a psychopath. He IS a psychopath. Yet you want your baby sporting his  image? (I'm just jealous, that's all. I think they missed a great market when they didn't market to adult women in Canada). We have Pinheads, Darths, and Jasons running around at Halloween, of course Kylo will now be in there. Just not sure how all these little kids know who these serial killers are! 

Incest is Best
I was pissed off as hell when Luke and Leia turned out to be brother and sister. Oh, was I mad. I nearly stopped watching the series right then and there. I wanted Luke to get his princess and go on to conquer the galaxy while she ruled the galaxy and have more adventures. Luke was my dude. Luke was the reason I watched the show. Luke was the reason I saw Star Wars when it was called Star Wars 28 times in its opening year.

Return of the Fangirl
But as angry as I was, I returned to the Star Wars movies sixteen years later. I had married, had two sons, divorced, and became a published mass market horror novelist in the years between the first round of Star Wars movies and the second. 

And boy was I excited for Darth Maul. Yeah, I could hardly wait til that one came out! When I saw the commercials, I was peeing my pants with anticipation!

And then I saw the movie.

And I was pissed off once more. 

I blocked out what happened. I need to see those prequels again. Maybe it wasn't so bad...

Then There was Jar-Jar.
Oh. My. God.

I will admit off the bat, and have many times before in this blog, I'm one of those people who finds most sidekicks annoying and stupid although there are some shows and movies where I like them. 

But they are rare.

So Jar-Jar made me angry. I hated how he was. I couldn't put my finger on it. Perhaps it had to do with my age and mood when I saw it in the theater. But now that we have internet, I see I am not alone in my Jar-Jar disdain.

The Trauma Awakens
So, as I've previously written, it was with great trepidation that I faced Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I think I still have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the ending.

The only reason I went was to find out what happened to Luke. I knew Han was going to die at some point but I didn't care one way or another as that character has never connected with me. I love Harrison Ford and he's perfect for Han Solo; it's the character I despise though he's necessary. A lot of Jack Nicholson characters grate on my nerves as well, which they are usually supposed to do.

I tried not to watch the trailers for TFA.

I was worried there would be more Jar-Jar.

I worried that that Kylo Ren dude was Jar -Jar in disguise.

I worried that Kylo Ren would be Luke in disguise and wondered how he got so tall and if they'd address it.

I hated Kylo Ren's light saber. I figured he would have metal hands for some sort of heat repellent because that cross blade would bbq his fingers and surely it has slipped over the years or however long he's had it. How come the cross beam is shorter than the other beam? So many things stressed me out about that saber from watching the commercials.

The Force Awakens Thoughts
It's been months now since I saw TFA in theaters (twice) and now I own it on DVD. I still freak out at the ending. I still cry every. single. time. in agonized frustration that Luke turns around and it's over. I would see Youtube videos whether spoofs, reviews, or even news and that scene makes me cry. When they had the trailer that shooting had begun and showed that scene again, I actually screamed with anguish and cried and then watched it again and cried again. I listen to the soundtrack, which I do several times a week at one of my jobs, and that ending music makes me cry while I'm working. I seriously think I was traumatized. I sat through that whole movie after, what, thirty years to see what became of my Luke and now I have to WAIT EVEN LONGER! 

and they better not fuck it up.

I fully expect a Luke and Kylo showdown especially once Luke discovers Kylo killed Han, or maybe he already knew Kylo would and had killed Han as he likely felt it in the force. Maybe that's why he was sad when Rey came to him. But I think he was sad because he saw that damn light saber and got all traumatized by the sight of it. And of course, Mark Hamill was likely sad because he didn't get any lines! Or get to fight with his light saber! Or do anything at all except make me cry and cry that I STILL don't know anything! Do they really think us aging Star Wars fans are going to be alive for all these sequels??!?!?!

I still think Rey is his daughter though whether Luke ever got to get laid ever is unknown to me. And where is Rey's mom? Was she a soldier or a Jedi who is now dead? Or is she Laura Dern, swooping in to reclaim her daughter now that Rey has grown up and is using Force Powers she had obviously been previously trained in, perhaps by daddy Luke before Kylo and the Knights of Ren took down the Academy and she was put on Jakku?

However, as I watch bits and pieces of the movie and listen to the music I have more theories. And of course, they are just fan theories. I know nothing for sure nor does anyone else.

Rey is Luke's daughter according to all the musical and visual cues. That is what we are subconsciously being told. But of course, the screenwriters can do whatever the hell they want as the story unfolds. But up until this point, I believe Rey is Luke's daughter and she has the force within but also was training as a child until Kylo went crazy and then Luke had to hide her and wipe out everyone's memories. I think Leia knows who Rey is. Leia might be auntie, she might be mom, she might just know who she is and that she had been planted on Jakku for future reference. The way Leia treats Rey, I believe she knows who Rey is whether she's met her before or not.

However, if Rey is Luke's daughter, then Kylo is even more icky because as I watch the movie without the 3D and jiggly seats, I see more about the characters and some of the nuances.

As many fan fiction sites declare and I have some great Reylo art on my Pinterest, Kylo has the hots for Rey. And she may very well have the hots for Kylo. After all, both Kylo and Rey are very good-looking people with magical powers. What's NOT to like?

"You need a teacher!" Ah, yes... what kind of teacher, Kylo?

Scenes I Obsess Over
I have a couple of favourite scenes besides the epic yet traumatizing final scene. I love the ending. I love the scenery, the music, the tension of Rey's walk, the sheer joy and excitement of spotting Luke, and then the big cliffhanger...which despite my rage about it all, is good story-telling. If only I hadn't had to wait DECADES for this moment, it wouldn't have been so upsetting. I'm crying in frustration again just thinking about it! But I think its one of the best scenes in cinematic history ever. Seriously. Even though I know it's just a Star Wars movie. 

Kylo Ren carrying unconscious Rey into the Bat-Ship is right out of any monster movie. It is a classic horror movie trope image and I love it. I love how Han sees his son carrying the girl and is horrified. What does a father do with this psychopath son? And now the psycho son has the girl that Han just met and likes. (or maybe she's his daughter as well? Or niece? Or someone else?). What the hell is Han supposed to do? Ground him? Kill him? As a parent myself (of two sons around Kylo's age), that image in that scene hits me very hard. As a woman, the scene hits me hard. As a writer, that image hits me hard. What will Kylo do with her? Does he lust for her as well as wants to know about the map? Or is he carrying his sister/cousin and hoping she will join him on his quest so that he doesn't have to hurt her? Does he want to have his way with her? In another way, he reminds me of a cat carrying a mouse to his master. His prize to deliver to Snoke. I can go on but I won't. A powerful image for me.

I love just before that scene when Rey is in the jungle. It's like Jurassic Park only it's Kylo Ren who appears, not a velociraptor. Although a velociraptor might be less dangerous. LOVE this scene!

My favourite scene of all is the epic light saber battle at the end. Kylo Ren is in so much pain. He's so fucked up from killing his dad, from being shot by Chewie, trying to battle these kids while thinking Rey is hot or he would have instantly killed her instead of toying with her, confused by Finn's ability to use a saber (as are we!) and turned on by Rey's powers. Amazing scene. So many emotions, so many little plot threads in what on the surface is just a sword fight. There is sexual tension, fear, pain, anxiety, confusion, strength, much is in this battle.

Is Han dead? I still say no even though I know Harrison Ford wants him dead and doesn't want to return. However, as a writer and fan, I still think there was some sort of trickery here to fool Snape Snoke into Kylo (seemingly) killing his dad to continue his training but I'm not convinced he really did. Kylo, who can stop laser blasts with his mind, could have easily force-healed Han as Han fell. We don't know where Han fell to, if he splatted on the ground or was caught in a net, or even suspended in mid-air like that blaster bullet until Chewie went to rescue him later. Or maybe Han is held prisoner somewhere not on Starkiller base as that blew up but somewhere else. Chewie could have killed Kylo easily but he was too fucked up to do it because he helped raise Kylo and is in shock. Or Chewie is in on the ruse so only wounded Kylo to throw off Snape Snoke and the others that Kylo and Han and Leia have a secret plan to overthrow the First Order.

Is Reylo a Thing?
Part of me wants to see a Kylo Ren and Rey couple. Part of me wants Kylo Ren to kill Rey. I've seen some theories that Rey turns dark and Kylo turns light. These two can go in almost any direction.

I guess also, if Reylo becomes a thing, I sure as hell hope they aren't cousins! But you know those Skywalkers and all their galaxy drama and incestuous ways! 

I hope they don't screw up Kylo Ren's character. I love how he's tormented. I love the music and visual cues that belie his angst. I hope he is tormented by the fact he killed his dad. I hope Leia gets to give him shit, more than a spanking, perhaps even killing him although I don't want him dead because I love the character. I hope they don't redeem him. The only way he can be redeemed is if Han isn't dead. Kylo Ren is a serial killer. He is evil. He is a bad boy which is why us ladies love him, not to mention Adam Driver is a hunk. Don't fuck it up, Disney! Keep scarring him up, that face wound is gonna be sexy. But don't kill him! Or make him good.

I love Luke because he was a bored teen looking for adventure and boy did he get sucked into an adventure! He should have gotten the princess. I will always be angry about that.

I love Kylo Ren because he's a wild card, an interesting character, and perhaps more evil than Darth Vader, though that's not likely possible. I will be angry if he turns into a good guy. You will see my own Kylo Rage.

Share Your Favourite Scenes!
What do YOU think about The Force Awakens now that it's been out for a few months and we've all had time to absorb it? I've written several The Force Awakens posts and you know I don't think it's perfect or anything. It's entertaining. Yes, they could have gone in a million different ways but the movie is what is right now and that's what we can discuss. What are your favourite scenes? What are your theories for number eight?

I know I'm missing a couple of thoughts I had and I'll have to update later when they return to me.

Mark Hamill in Toronto
In the meantime, I'm having a heart attack that I'll get to watch Mark Hamill at a presentation THIS FRIDAY at five o'clock in Toronto. I have my ticket. I'm worried I won't get in as I have to give a presentation before him in another part of the building and it will be hell getting through the comicon crowds. My lecture about The History of Witches and Warlocks in room 705 at 3:45 ends fifteen minutes before his show begins. I sure won't be getting a good seat unless my son is able to save me one. But it will be cool to see Mark Hamill in real life. In the flesh. And I'll get to see him every day when I walk past his booth to go to the bathroom or any other roaming I have to do! I'll make sure I take the path past his booth for all the things! I can't believe we're in the same building! I thought they would put him in the South so I'm out of my mind with glee. 

Don't forget to come and see me and Mark Hamill and so many others including some of the actors from American Horror Story: Freakshow at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto on September 1 - 4.

Booth Number 5425 in NORTH Building in Horror/Festival of Fear Section!

I'm also Mistress Ariana at Fan Expo!

Check out my profile on the Fan Expo site:

Sephera will have Booth 5425 where she'll be reading tarot cards in the horror section. Sephera who is also known as Mistress Ariana will be giving three lectures and is on a couple of panels.

Thursday September 1
Reading Tarot:Booth 5425 in North Building in the Horror Section

Friday September 2
Reading Tarot: Booth 5425

The History of Carnivals and Freakshows 11:45 Room 705

Tea Leaves and Tarot Cards 1:45 Room 705

The History of Witches and Warlocks 3:45 Room 705

Saturday September 3
Reading tarot in Horror Section Booth 5425

Sunday September 4
Reading Tarot at booth 5425

Horror Writers Association presents Horror in These Modern Times
Kelley Armstrong, Sèphera Giron, Tonya Liburd, Lou Rera moderated by Andrew Robertson
11:45 Room 705

Monsters Eternal with Nancy Kilpatrick, Kelley Armstrong, Sephera Giron 1:15 Room 703

You never know where a Pokemon is going to show up. This dude is just hanging out at the grocery store. Looking forward to catching Pokemons at Fan Expo as well!

Oh, and before you ask, No. I don't have a life! I'm single and my kids are gone so I have lots of time to think about Star Wars! Haha!

I'm also aware that my Star Wars obsession will likely ensure I'll be single for the rest of my life but at least I don't have any cats...yet!

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