Melinda’s Brew: Yes, Virginia, There Are Star Wars Christmas Songs

Melinda's Brew

If you’re like me, once Thanksgiving – a fine holiday in its own right – has passed, it’s the thought of once again seeing houses decked out with colorful twinkling lights, tabletops and mantles adorned with cheerful elves, stoic nutcrackers and reindeer-drawn sleighs, getting a whiff of fragrant boughs of fir, pine and spruce that bring a wide smile to my face. Let’s not forget those long absent melodic tunes, both classic and contemporary, playing on the radio once again. Christmas songs really get me in the holiday spirit, and missing them as I have the past 11 months, I have them playing as often as I can, no matter what I am doing. I sing along with Bing [Crosby], Johnny [Mathis], Amy [Grant], Ariana [Grande] and Justin [Bieber]. If a song combines Christmas and Star Wars, all the better! This year, two of my favorites are The Matinée’s “Star Wars Christmas” and up-and-coming voice over artist Daniel Ferguson’s “Star Wars 12 Days of Christmas”. What makes both these songs so endearing and so much fun to listen to is you can tell the songs were written and performed by Star Wars fans. 🙂

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Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Volume One Review

These reviews of Star Wars Forces of Destiny will contain spoilers.

The Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Volume One premiered on the Disney Channel Sunday night, and it showcased a mix of old and new. Some episodes from the first run released during the summer were interspersed with new episodes, along with interludes featuring the delightful Maz Kanata (voiced by Lupita Nyong’o) as our guide through these adventures. (One of the new episodes, “Newest Recruit,” was released early and has been reviewed here.)

Here are my reviews for the latest episodes:

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Marvel Star Wars Comics Reviews: Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #1

This review of Star Wars: Jedi of the Republic — Mace Windu #1 contains minor spoilers.

The first issue of Mace Windu was a week late.

It could have used a week more to tighten up some of the minor annoyances in the debut of Marvel’s latest five-issue mini series.

Still, that’s not to say the comic — and the four issues to come — isn’t worth your money or time spent reading it.

Written by Matt Owens, with pencils by industry veteran Denys Cowan and inks by Roberto Poggi, colors by GURU-eFX, letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna and edited by Heather Antos, Charles Beacham and Jordan D. White, the series is stylistically different than any previous Star Wars comics outing.

That’s good and bad.

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What I Learned From Spiderman: Homecoming

Jay’s Galactic Expressions

Warning: Major Spoilers ahead for Spiderman: Homecoming!

Everywhere I look in our society today, I am bombarded by messages of “girl power.” Some are very positive, encouraging and empowering. Others leave me – a grown woman – with the proverbial “very bad feeling” about what my younger female counterparts may eventually be molded into.

With the release of the cartoon shorts Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, there has been a noticeable spike in the conversations regarding female-centered role-models, and how those role-models are being utilized to market not only merchandise but the message of “what it means to be a girl.” I love the series, and I believe it sends positive messages that transcend all human-imposed boundaries. However universally acceptable I feel the series to be, there exist those who oppose and/or challenge that notion, for whatever personal motives or agendas they may have. As Palpatine said: “so be it.” I’m not here to change anyone’s beliefs or opinions, but I do have some things to get off my chest.

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Melinda’s Brew: The Thrill of Victory…

Melinda's Brew

You know where, in The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda encourages Luke: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”? A lot of Star Wars fans take exception to Yoda’s lesson. They think that Yoda is wrong in making such a statement to Luke, our fledgling Jedi-in-Training. These fans criticize Yoda because they believe he is not validating the significance of the ol’ college try. They argue that trying counts for a lot. I can see their reasoning.

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Star Wars Forces of Destiny Review: “The Padawan Path”

***This is a review of Star Wars Forces of Destiny episode four, “The Padawan Path.” There are spoilers! ***

The fourth episode of Star Wars Forces of Destiny, “The Padawan Path,” features Ahsoka Tano, voiced by the delightful Ashley Eckstein, back in her Jedi training days when she was still Padawan to Anakin Skywalker — voiced by none other than Matt Lanter. (Click here to watch this episode now.)

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Sympathy For Mace Windu

Sympathy for Mace Windu

It seems in recent years that Star Wars fans turned against the Jedi of the Republic. Whether it was because of their rules against attachment or their handling of Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi just aren’t as highly regarded as they used to be. Of all the Jedi, the one that is most maligned by the fan community is Mace Windu. For multiple reasons, he catches the ire of fans more than anyone. I’m not sure he deserves all the scorn. Master Windu had a difficult job, and many of his decisions were tough ones. Therefore, I’m taking this opportunity to extend a little sympathy to the venerable Jedi Master. Read more

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Melinda’s Brew: The Force Springs Forth

Melinda's Brew

Can you feel it? There’s an energy pulsing through the air. It’s palpable. It’s electrifying. It’s so strong I can feel it coursing through every pore of my being.

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How Does The Force Work?

A few weeks ago, as I sat in church and listened to a talk about faith, my mind began to wander to the Force. How does the Force really work? Is it really as easy to use as the Jedi and the Sith make it look? Is being born with the ability to use the Force enough? Are faith and self-confidence really that important when using the Force? And what part does urgency play? Faith is a belief in something that is unseen, and self-confidence is a trust in one’s own abilities and judgements, and both seem to fit well with what Yoda tried to teach Luke Skywalker on Dagobah. In scripture we learn that we have the power to move mountains if we believe we can do it. So could I really move a mountain? Maybe. But there is my problem. I’m not sure I could do it. It’s just a maybe. So maybe using the Force isn’t that easy after all.

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Force and Faith: Abundant Life Blooming in the Desert

The Star Wars community tends to boil things down to a lowest common denominator.  While we all have Wookieepedia bookmarked and a vast knowledge TIE fighter models, we find the conversations being whittled down to likes or dislikes, goods or bads.  We polarize our conversations instead of finding deeper levels of understanding through true understanding, dialog and compassion.  If you think I’m nuts, have you ever persuaded someone with your theory about who Snoke is?  When talking to someone with an opinion on midichlorians, have you changed your mind?  There is a call to something greater, though.

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