In 1972, John Lennon wrote a song called “Woman is the N****r of the World”. In my opinion, no song title has ever been truer. In more recent times there has been a change in the mentality; one that has taken far too long to have been readily accepted by society, specifically in Star Wars fandom. That it’s okay to be female and like Star Wars! I say “readily accepted” because unfortunately there are still too many who think that there is no issue when it comes to women and fandom. Coincidentally enough, these are the same folks who have not had to deal with being subjected to gatekeeping.
The passing of Carrie Fisher was sudden, unexpected, and is a tremendous loss felt worldwide. Coffee With Kenobi is joined by returning guest, and Hollywood Insider, Bill Thill, as we reflect on the legacy of Carrie Fisher, her many talents and roles, and what she meant to each of us.
Classic Trilogy Perspective, Part 1:
A New Hope – The Princess, The Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
On September 22, 2015, three original adaptations of the classic trilogy were released: Star Wars: A New Hope — The Princess, The Scoundrel, and The Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back — So You Want to Be a Jedi by Adam Gidwitz, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi — Beware the Power of the Dark Side! by Tom Angleberger. Now that these books have been in circulation for almost a year, I felt it was time to take an exploration through each one from a Star Wars canon perspective, asking the following questions:
(1) What scenes or elements have been added to the narrative we know from the film?
(2) What knowledge from other canon narratives are part of this tale?
(3) How has this book influenced or altered our understanding of the film?
This month, I will focus on Star Wars: A New Hope — The Princess, The Scoundrel, and The Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken.
For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship. – Yoda to Luke in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
As Star Wars evolves and takes on new directions, I’m forced (pun intended) to revisit the known and to look at it anew – you must unlearn what you have learned. That’s the genius in what makes Star Wars so great and what gives it that ability to live on beyond or despite some other’s expectations; an ambiguity like no other. That said, Star Wars has roots and they were planted deep – a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Each new addition or key element just adds another extension to the saga as a whole, branching out and laying seedlings, growing, connecting the puzzle, one parsec at a time. Read more
“Luke, run away, far away. If he can feel your presence, then leave this place. I wish I could go with you.” – Princess Leia
“No, you don’t.” Luke said, “You’ve always been strong.”
This conversation, between the newly united (in a manner of speaking) brother and sister duo, speaks volumes to me, so much more now since the recent events of Claudia Gray’s newest novel Star Wars: Bloodline. As I wrote in my ‘Book Review’ for The Cantina Cast: Luke was definitely right about that! When have we ever known Leia to run away from danger? On the contrary, it seems as though she has always ran toward it.
Call me silly [you wouldn’t be alone in doing so 😉 ], but I’ve always been … entranced … by Alfred Hitchcock’s decision to make a cameo appearance in his films. They always are unobtrusive roles — an every-day man riding the bus [that’s “Hitch” sitting next to Cary Grant on the bus in “To Catch A Thief”], a customer leaving a pet shop [in “The Birds”], a passenger lugging a double bass trying to board the train [in “Strangers On A Train”]. In some instances, the director had to be rather creative to “appear” in one of his films. In “Lifeboat”, Hitchcock’s image appears in a newspaper ad one of the survivors is reading. It is just as much fun to locate his recognizable visage in the crowd as it is to watch one of his masterful cinematic efforts.
Throughout most of the Star Wars saga, we see a lineage of Skywalker descent make choices based on compromise, morals, and their life experiences — in turn, forging a personal perspective or point of view. One’s choices or decisions in life don’t make them right or wrong, per se, rather a sense of righteousness or justification for their own actions. Again, at the time, it may seem like the right thing to do, but onlookers or outsiders may not see it as such. In fact, such perception of oneself would never be considered as a bad person, but perhaps, making a bad decision. In other words, no one ever thinks of themselves as evil.
How many times have we heard that ‘three’s a charm?’ Most likely, more than you can count. Even in advertisement, for example: Easy, Breezy, and Beautiful – CoverGirl. Is it sheer luck? Or is it pure brilliance? As someone who plays with words on a regular basis, not so much in the blogging format, but from a titling perspective, three usually is the magic combination.
We are now 10 episodes into Star Wars Rebels and it has yet to let me down. The work of the writers and actors is not in vain, they have successfully kept me, as well as a lot of you, tuning in each week. I have to admit, after meeting a lot of the cast at Star Wars Weekends last year, it has been a blast to see the fruit of their labors on the screen. After watching the episodes to date, I can see why they were all so excited to be involved.
The audio and effects team have done a tremendous job as well! The sound effects truly have given it an original trilogy feel. The TIE Fighters soaring around take me back to the first time I saw Luke and the rest of the Rebels attack the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. I will not get started on Kevin Kiner’s soundtrack. I will have to do a whole blog alone about the excellence of his scores for not only Rebels but The Clone Wars as well. All I will say about this subject is that Kiner’s music brings completion to each episode in the same way each John Williams piece brings completion to the movies.
Yet even though all these pieces fit together and help mesh Rebels with our beloved Saga, let’s not overlook the deliberate connections being made to the movies. I am speaking of the guest cameos.
Elvis Presley’s birthday was January 8. He would have been 80 years old — if he was alive. Every year, the King of Rock ‘n Roll’s birthday is celebrated around the globe, and I must admit … it astounds me. He passed from this early world almost 38 years ago! How can people acknowledge a mark that celebrates life when (and I do not mean to be crass) there is no life?
What does that have to do with Star Wars? I’ll get to that in just a moment. Please, continue reading …