I remember the promise of Episode One as it neared release. Not only would The Phantom Menace be the first new Star Wars movie in sixteen years, it would tell the story of a previous generation of heroes. Set in the days of the Republic, it would feature Jedi in their prime. Sure, Luke Skywalker was a cool Jedi Knight in Return of the Jedi, but he was barely trained. The thought that Jedi Masters would be gracing movie screens was exciting. The obvious expectation was that Obi-Wan Kenobi, the mentor to both Anakin and Luke Skywalker, would feature in these films. And, he did. However, it was his mentor, Qui-Gon, that was the first full-fledged Jedi of the prequels. Beyond being the first, Qui-Gon Jinn was significant for many reasons.
So what do you do when your Star Wars fandom is in a lull?
Let me start by saying I will always, always be a huge Star Wars fan. Always. Nothing will ever change that. Embracing my love for this saga changed my life. Literally. No need to rehash how, but I’m talking EPIC change. That’s not an exaggeration. But I’m feeling kind of – blah – right now about the GFFA, and I keep thinking that, with the current Star Wars media bombardment, I can’t possibly be alone…
I’ve seen a lot written and I’ve heard a lot said about Lor San Tekka lately. The leader of the Church of the Force seems to have captured the imaginations of Star Wars fans. I recently watched The Force Awakens again (thank goodness for Blu-ray) and one of his lines caught my attention. “Without the Jedi, there can be no balance to the Force.” Whoa. Wait a second. Didn’t Anakin or Luke Skywalker bring balance to the Force? With that line, Lor San Tekka casts doubt that any balance that was brought to the Force by Anakin and Luke Skywalker is a lasting balance. The question is, what does he mean by this? Ever since the prophecy whereby the Chosen One would bring balance to the Force was mentioned in The Phantom Menace, a great deal of fan speculation has followed. What does Lor San Tekka’s declaration mean to the fabled “balance of the Force?”
It had recently occurred to me that my children had never had the privilege of viewing The Princess Bride. Along with Star Wars, The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies and has played a huge role in my life. For instance, early on in our relationship, among the many things my wife and I connected over was the novel for The Princess Bride. We would later dance to the theme song from the movie at our wedding. That is all good and well, but you may be asking what any of this has to do with Star Wars. Good question. I decided that my children needed to see this movie. So we had a movie night. The kids loved it, and I enjoyed experiencing it through their eyes. There was one other thing that caught my attention on this viewing: how the movie handled the concept of revenge. In some ways, it was different and yet very similar to the lessons on revenge taught by Star Wars. Read more
**SPOILERS** for the Star Wars Rebels episode “Shroud of Darkness.”
Kanan and Ezra have grown weary of being chased by the Inquisitors — and they’re concerned that the Rebellion is being exposed to additional danger it does not need. Kanan decides it’s time to seek counsel on how best to deal with the situation. Joined by Ahsoka, Kanan and Ezra make their way to the Jedi Temple on Lothal where they each find answers they need, but not necessarily the ones they were seeking.
Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka seek out answers from the Jedi Temple on Lothal in “Shroud of Darkness”
– the next episode of Star Wars Rebels on March 2nd at 9pm ET/PT on Disney XD!
Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka return to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to find out how the Inquisitors have continually been able to track the rebels. Seeking the advice of Yoda, who is once again voiced by Frank Oz, the three will experience powerful visions that reveal the future, the past, and old friends long gone.
Perhaps it was Billy Joel or Kierkegaard who once said: “We share so many secrets, there are some we never tell. Why were you so surprised that you never saw the stranger? Did you ever let your lover see the stranger in yourself.” Sometimes the stranger we are looking at is in our own mirror. We are afraid to get to know the face that looks back at us because the challenge will be too burdensome to bear.
It was indeed Billy Joel; on the cover of that album he is peacefully reclined, looking into the eyes of a mask. Is it his? Is it his lover’s? We will never know, but the donning of masks is a ubiquitous act that divides us and instills fear in the other. Think about it. Kids on Halloween may be cute, but if you want to make Fozzy Bear creepy, make his face out of molded plastic, poke two eyeholes in it and affix that useless elastic strap around the back. And let’s not even bring clowns into this.
Friendship and mentorship are recurring themes in the Star Wars saga. Many of the challenges faced by the heroes require them to rely on the support or wisdom of others. As is obvious by the word “wars” in the title, many of those challenges are high-stakes indeed – light vs. dark, life-or-death, fate-of-the-galaxy situations. Over time, continued stress of this level can wear upon a person, putting them at risk of psychological injury. Not even the most powerful Jedi are immune to such dangers. How did Yoda approach the issue, and what can it teach us?
Like many of you, on Thursday I went with my two boys to the theater. What a glorious evening! I was too young to see A New Hope in 1977, but I have vivid memories of seeing Return of the Jedi. I saw Phantom Menace with my new wife and uncle in 1999. Now, I took my own offspring to see this glory of a film.
At first, I was a little kid, stolen away to a movie by my doting aunt. For the second trilogy premiere I was a young man beginning my adult life just a few days after my wedding. Now as a grown man, I share the joys with the ones I am trying, with varying degrees of success, to raise.
Just a very quick entry on this Sunday Before Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens,T-minus four days until our first glimpse into a larger world…