Ten Interesting Facts from Harrison Ford’s Reddit AMA

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Harrison Ford participated in a Reddit AMA today, and he had some interesting things to say. It’s worth reading the entire AMA, when you get the chance. He discusses his work with James Cameron on Years of Living Dangerously, a docu-series on climate change that premieres on Showtime April 13th at 10 p.m. ET., as well as his favorite cheese, his workout routine, and a recent trip to Indonesia. There were no Episode VII answers. Plenty of questions, though! Read more

YODA’S HOUSE OF PANCAKES–The Colony

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“The Greek word for “return” is nostos. Algos means “suffering.” So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.”Milan Kundera, Ignorance

The world is in a continuous state of flux.  The things that are here today have a tendency to be gone tomorrow.  Nations rise and fall, babies are born and the elderly die, technology gets replaced by newer inventions.  Even the mighty rivers can alter their course without a moment’s notice.  Nothing, it seems, ever stays the same.

You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.

This is a good thing, is it not?  Things are supposed to change.  If they didn’t, life would not only get stale and boring, but the quality of life would be lessened.  There would be no advancement of technology, which means that we would never discover new ways to treat illnesses or find faster ways to communicate.  Evolution is necessary for the survival of humanity.

So why do we hate and fear change so much?  And why do we dwell on the past?

I was raised in the town of Gallipolis (pronounced gal-uh-pole-LEESE), Ohio.  Don’t worry if you have never heard of it; most people haven’t.  It is located along the Ohio River in the southeastern corner of the state, on the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, which also happens to be the most economically oppressed section of the Buckeye State as well.  Gallipolis bears claim to the title of third oldest city in Ohio, and it has a bit of history, but it is most remembered as being the town on the other end of the Silver Bridge disaster, which was immortalized in the Richard Gere movie The Mothman Prophecies.

I love Gallipolis, and at the same time I hate it with a fiery passion.  It was an ultra conservative town, and ultra conservative towns are not kind to the weird kids with big imaginations, outlandish dreams and second hand clothes.  It was tough growing up, but there was one place I could always go to escape life for a while:  The Colony Theater.

The Colony Theater was built in 1937 and to this day the original marquee still stands over the box office.  It only played films that were long into their second run, but the cost of admission was around two to three dollars (maybe even a dollar fifty, time seems to have erased the actual amount from my memory) which was fairly affordable even to a child living below the poverty level.  There was only one screen and one showtime per night (7:30), with the exception of an occasional double feature.  Each film played for exactly one week unless it was a big seller.  I believe Titanic ran for a full month.

Upon walking into the lobby you are greeted with the best smelling popcorn ever to indulge your nostrils.  I have been to plenty of other theaters since and I have yet to come across a similar smell.  The Esquire in Northside, Ohio comes close, but it still pales to The Colony’s corn.  The lobby retained the old 30’s style, so maybe the popcorn poppers were vintage too, and that is why the smell and taste has not been duplicated by the fancy megaplexes of today.

In the back of the lobby there are two large and heavy wooden doors.  These opened up into the theater, and instantly your eyes marveled at the magnificence.  Everything was a deep maroon color, from the felt on the seats to the curtains bordering the screen.  The exception to this was the mural on the left wall (or was it on both walls?  Again my memory fails) which was all white, and featured a group of Greek men and women, naked save for the loose fitting robes that scarcely covered their bodies at all.  Oh how those robes rippled in the wind…

I cannot recall every movie I saw in that theater, but I can remember quite a few of them.  It was where I saw Star Wars: A New Hope on the silver screen (for more on that, see my first blog entry).  The only movie my father ever took me to was there; that movie was called Willow, and I’m sure most of the readers on this site remember that one quite well.  There was also White Men Can’t Jump, Independence Day, Grumpier Old Men, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (the last twenty minutes of that was in old school 3D, how exciting!), Ernest Scared Stupid, Twister, Blues Brothers 2000 and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, to name a few.

Unfortunately, we live in tough economic times. The Colony Theater closed its doors for good a few years ago, after an impressive seventy year run.  The end was inevitable; I moved away from my hometown a decade ago, and even then it was struggling to survive.  No more celluloid will flicker past the projection lens.  The screen has gone forever dark.

Why should this bother me?  I moved away ten years ago, and it is very unlikely that I would have ever sat down in one of those maroon seats again, with the salt from the world’s best popcorn lingering on my lips.  My relationship with The Colony ended all those years ago; I shouldn’t care what happens to the theater.

And yet I do.

If nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased desire to return, the empty bones of The Colony Theater serve as a reminder that you can never go back.  The past can never be reclaimed; it is but a ghost standing in the hallway, visible to the eye but impossible to touch.

The building that housed The Colony theater was purchased last year.  From what I’ve heard, the new owners intend to repurpose the property but they haven’t disclosed what it will be.  They said that they hope to keep the marquee if it is financially feasible.  I hope they make it feasible.

Colony-Theater

jamesh@coffeewithkenobi.com

Dan Z’s New Blog Post on Star Wars.com Featuring Ian Doescher Now Available

Darth Vader Studying Skywalkers  The Empire Striketh Back Author Ian Doescher Makes a Classroom Appearance   Star Wars BlogA few weeks ago, Ian Doescher made an appearance in my classroom to talk to my Freshmen about William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, The Empire Striketh Back, and Shakespeare.  It was an amazing experience for everyone, and Star Wars.com was kind enough to allow me to Blog about the experience.  Check out the link below, and let me know what you think!

Check out the Blog here

Thanks again to Star Wars.com for the opportunity.

George Lucas Looking At Chicago As Possible Home For His Cultural Arts Museum

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For those keeping track of the progress surrounding the proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, it looks as thought the odds of it landing in Chicago are improving.

After having his proposal rejected by The Presidio Trust in San Francisco, George Lucas has been considering Chicago as a home for his museum. The facility would be home to Lucas’ considerable art collection, including works by Norman Rockwell, as well as memorabilia from Star Wars, illustrations from comic books and children’s books, costumes, digital animation, and examples of special effects created by Industrial Light & Magic. Read more

Coffee With Kenobi Show # 16: The Impact of Star Wars on Culture, featuring Consetta Parker (29)

Coffee With Kenobi : Now with the Bearded Trio!

In today’s show we share a cup of coffee with Rancho Obi-Wan and Star Wars fan favorite Consetta Parker.  We are happy to have her on to discuss our topic for Show # 16, the impact of Star Wars on Culture.  Consetta is plugged into Star Wars culture in an amazing way, and we look forward to sharing the discussion with this inspirational person!

We also have the next offering of  “Your Espresso Shot with The Bearded Trio” featuring Rob Wainfur, as well as discuss Star Wars updates at Walt Disney World, Celebration Anaheim updates, and more.  We will also introduce our topic for Show # 17.  This is the Podcast You’re Looking For!

Check out this episode!  Read more

Why Don’t I Have A Love Affair With The EU?

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My relationship with the Star Wars expanded universe hasn’t been a close one.  I’ve often wondered why the two of us don’t get on as well as we should.  I’ve pondered the reason why we are like passing ships in the night.  There should be no reason why we don’t have a more stable and close relationship.  But there it is.  Each of us only occasionally open the door to one another’s universe.

One theory I have for this glancing relationship takes me back to the first time I was introduced to Star Wars all those decades ago in 1977.  For years after my first viewing at the cinema, my only aim in regards of my Star Wars fix was increasing my Kenner Star Wars figure collection and completing my Topps trading card set.  Even by the time Return of the Jedi came around in ‘83 I was still collecting Kenner/Palitoy products and getting frustrated in not completing my Panini sticker album.

Now you may be asking why has this stopped me from exploring the expanded universe of Star Wars?  Well my expanded universe as a kid was my figure collection.  I would spend hours making up my own stories using my figures, Millennium Falcon and Mini-rigs.  Any figures I didn’t own usually were substituted with another figure from another franchise (The Black Hole’s Maximilian usually got used as the Empires latest baddie.)  If no substitute was available then that character was usually “written out” of my story.  Lando was kidnapped and nowhere to be seen and The Emperor was in hiding.  My play time with these figures produced what I considered to be complex stories for the time and I even ended my playtime on a climatic event, a cliffhanger that would be picked up on the next play time.

So the early years of my Star Wars fascination was occupied with this routine.  I may have read the odd Star Wars comic or read the Marks & Spencer’s movie adaptation annual but m69FV-Eywyk3wlalENpROwAmy heart was with these toys.

Later on in my Star Wars life I realised there was a huge collection of original novels out there but at no time was I drawn to them.  The Star Wars books were not a big part of my life unless it was books on the making of the movies.  I loved to read as I was growing up but I was more drawn to original novels, behind the scenes books and biographies.  Actually the only time I have looked to an expanded universe for answers was actually Star Trek (Sorry!)  After seven years of watching Voyager I was so displeased with the ending I needed to know more, so when I heard there was going to be two novels that continued the story straight after the ending of the show I had to get them.  This was and still is the only time I’ve actively seeked out an expanded universe story.

I am a huge videogame enthusiast and I realise that technically the Star Wars games are classed as being part of the expanded universe, and this I would consider my closest involvement with the EU.  It may contribute in a strange way with my continued lack of closeness to the EU in later years.  I’ve played every Star Wars game on the PC and Xbox and loved them all.  Okay maybe not the Kinect one.  Getting my Star Wars fix away from the movies and The Clone Wars has often been achieved by video games.  My virtual Kenner toys so to speak.

So here I am now in current time and I have more involvement with Star Wars than ever before and yet my relationship with the expanded universe still feels a bit forced (no pun intended.)  I love reading graphic novels on my kindle and phone.  I continue to read novels but Star Wars is often overlooked, instead choosing the likes of Gaiman or Pratchett.  I recently read the Thrawn trilogy and although I enjoyed it, it didn’t blow me away.  Same with the recent Darth Maul graphic novel.  I listen to a number of Star Wars podcasts, (Coffee With Kenobi being my first choice) and often see the subject of the week being discussed is the latest novel or graphic novel.  They sound good but I’m looking for that same fix I had all those years ago as a kid.  I am looking for my modern day Kenner playtime.  So am I missing out on some classic Star Wars or is it okay to leave the EU alone?  Can I be regarded as a true Star Wars fan if I don’t have a permanent residence in the EU universe?  What do you recommend?

Rob Wainfur

@thebeardedtrio

Disney Chairman Alan Horn Says ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Filming is Underway

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Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn was being interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter at the Loyola Marymount University School of Film when he revealed that Star Wars Episode VII has already begun filming. He also stated that casting was incomplete, but the leads are all in place. Of course, those names have yet to be announced. Read more

Coffee Chat: Dark Coffee Edition Featuring TNA’s Gunner

20140404-133149.jpgOn our latest Coffee Chat, we welcome TNA’s Gunner and Chad of the Cantina Cast.  Pro Wrestling fans will need no introduction to this Total Nonstop Action Wrestling icon.  The Modern Day Viking is a fan favorite in the ring, and he is here to talk about his pro wrestling career, as well as talk about his other great passion, Star Wars!  Chad is a frequent contributor to the Cantina Cast and a good friend of our show. This is the Podcast You’re Looking For!

Check out this episode!