Hi all!

So the other day I decided to take an online class in English grammar. I just wanted a quick refresher, mostly. Let’s just say it has been a very long time indeed since I last thought about most of this stuff. And I write all the time!

Anyway, it was actually much more difficult than I thought it would be. Who the heck thinks about predicates, gerunds, clauses, and past perfect progressive tense while they are writing? People just write. If you have to think of all that stuff too much, you probably aren’t doing a great job of writing.

So yeah, the rules of grammar need to be somewhere in the back of your mind while writing. I get that. I also know that it isn’t desperately important if I can diagram a sentence properly. I don’t need to know the specifics, I just need to know how to craft a correct sentence.

Still, I think it was good to refresh my memory of some of the rules. I didn’t make many of the kind of mistakes the course spoke of, but there were a few that I recognize. Granted, most of my writing is more casual, since I tend to write young adult stories, which are told from the character’s point of view, but it is still good to know.

I passed, by the way, with an A. But it was a struggle.

So what else…

We still haven’t seen Frozen 2. Is it really that good? I think part of my problem is that I don’t have a good feeling about this. I think I worry it will ruin Frozen for me. I don’t want to see a bad followup and have that taint things.

Which is silly, when I think of it. I mean I love everything Star Wars, including every single sequel and prequel. Okay, well, I did try to watch the Holiday Special, and it… yeah, uh, it was… it was not good. Nope. Don’t do that to yourself.

Image from Star Wars Holiday Special showing a wookie watching 2 holographic dancers.

So anyway, we’ll probably have to see Frozen 2 soon.

For now I’m going to go try to forget I ever brought up the abomination mentioned above.

Guhhh!

Just don’t watch it. Please.

The Rise of Skywalker

Hello all,

The Rise of Skywalker Poster

I’ve been meaning to add this, but I have been sidetracked several times, and early on I didn’t want to provide spoilers for anything. Now that is much less of a concern, because anybody who really wanted to see it either has or probably won’t for a while, and they have undoubtedly seen a million spoilers in any case.

I loved this movie. It answered all the main questions, completed all the necessary story lines, and provided action and effects that were amazing!

Plus, Babu Frik!

I really thought the way Rey was explained to be a Palpatine worked, and it makes a lot of sense to me, considering what we knew already before this.

I loved Rey’s lightsaber at the end, and I loved the way she takes on the Skywalker name. Luke and Leia represent spiritual parents to her, it makes sense.

But some people had some problems with the movie. There are some seriously negative reviews, and I don’t understand. So I’m going to discuss a few of the things that seem to be common complaints, and give my view why these are incorrect.

Palpatine’s Return. There is no doubt that this was a huge one for some people. But if you read some of the older books about Star Wars, it is my understanding that there is a basis for this. It has been talked about before. I didn’t have a problem with it, because Palpatine himself says, when talking to Anakin, that the dark side has the ability to prevent death and to create life itself. He was clearly a very long range planner, with contingencies upon contingencies. Why would he not have a plan, in case the rebels prevailed in Return of the Jedi? Of course he did!

Some people seemed to think that giving this away so early in the movie destroyed a huge surprise and disrupted the narrative. I disagree. I think it creates the motivation for the whole movie. Kylo is angry that anyone dare challenge his power. Palpatine. Rey is scared of the power–possibly dark power–that she feels flowing within her. Palpatine. All roads lead back to him. He has been the one pulling the strings on the entire Saga.

Snoke, People seem to think it defanged Snoke, or somehow retconned his importance out of The Last Jedi, when Palpatine said he created Snoke. Why? We’ve already discussed long range plans that Palps makes. I think it makes sense that he would have an apprentice somewhere who was powerful, one who would later maybe be cloned and used to control and manipulate the galaxy. Just because he made Snoke, it doesn’t mean he knew everything Snoke did and said, and it doesn’t mean he controlled everything Snoke did, either. It’s somewhat like Snoke was a child, and he didn’t tell his parent (Palpatine) every thought in his head or what he and his friends got up to when they were hanging out after school.

Luke’s Saber. This, of all things, is the closest thing to a legitimate criticism I usually see, but it’s completely shortsighted. Yep, the lightsaber sure was ripped in two during The Last Jedi. The fact that it is now together does not, in any way, ignore that.

Look, it’s been at least a year or two since that time. The Resistance has gathered more allies, found a base, and done a lot in that time. Rey has been training under Leia. Even the First Order has some new generals, Hux having been demoted in some way. We don’t know every single thing that happened in that time frame.

But it seems pretty obvious that Rey would fix Luke’s saber. Or, possibly, that Rey and Leia fixed Luke’s saber. The fact that they didn’t show it means nothing. Just to stop this kind of criticism, I wish they would have had a close up of the saber, showing marks from where it had been repaired.

Luke’s change of attitude. Some people seem to think the same guy who wanted the Jedi to end in The Last Jedi would not tell Rey that a Jedi’s weapon deserves more respect when she tried to throw it into the fire. They think this is a complete reversal of character, and ignores The Last Jedi.

Did they see the end of that movie?

In The Last Jedi Luke all but comes out and shouts that he has been wrong all along. He flat out states that he will not be the last Jedi. He gives his life to give a chance for the resistance, and all of that for hope. He even tried to go back in and save the ancient Jedi texts when the tree was set on fire.(naughty Yoda, he knew all along that Rey already had the texts).

Luke obviously would come to help Rey in her time of doubt. He would obviously step forward to support her and give her the boost she needed to save the galaxy. It seemed obvious and consistent to me.

Kylo not being the big bad. I already discussed this above. When Palpatine made himself known and threatened Kylo’s power, Kylo was livid! He raged across the galaxy, trying to find and end any challenge to his power. And when he found it, he found that he had been manipulated from the start. And he had his own ideas of how to use Palpatine, how to use Rey, to further his own power. It’s all right there. It made sense!

Kylo’s change of heart. Look, he warred with the light and the dark within all throughout this trilogy. It’s a main theme of his story line. And he didn’t take too kindly to the idea that Palps had been manipulating him all along. On top of that, he cared way too much for Rey to kill her, as Palpatine wanted him to do. That became obvious in their duel, because he clearly waited for her to recover several times before he struck at her again. (Their entire duel seemed only designed to wear her down and bring her to agree to go with him. )

And then, after clearly thinking he had gone too far and could never return to the light, even if he wanted to (as he clearly did want in The Force Awakens), his mother died to reach him and save him. He clearly always had a special connection with Leia. He hesitated when firing on her ship in The Last Jedi, after all. So this had a major impact on him.

And then, and then, Rey, after striking him down, saved him. She healed him with the force. That had a profound effect on him. I thought it was masterfully acted, by the way. But anyway, this brought out that old war within him, making him question everything in himself yet again. And during that, he imagines his father, who tells him it isn’t too late to fight for what Leia stood for.

It made perfect sense to me.

Rey & Kylo’s instantly on, instantly over romance. Ok, well everyone stop overreacting here. First of all, there was definitely a connection all along. The Last Jedi firmly establishes that. It also establishes, without saying so much, that they are a diad in the force. They have that closeness all along, and it is clear he very much cares for Rey, and she for him. He even tells her, in The Last Jedi, that she’s not a nobody to him.

But they never had a romance. Ever. She had just defeated Palpatine. He saves her life. Of course she was excited. She kissed him. She never declared her undying love for him. Still, she cared about him, so his death could have had a bigger impact on her than it did.

Except for the fact that this girl has just been through and emotional roller coaster for the past several days, and even years. She was exhausted physically and emotionally. Completely drained. Reacting to his death was probably going to be a bit muted at that point, because she was just relieved that everything was over.

Rose disappears. Oh Rose. Do I wish she had more scenes? Of course I do. But let’s face it, she was not as important to this story line. Where would she have fit in? Would she just tag along on the Falcon? Was she going to fight against Palpatine? No. Her role was always going to be support, in some way.

Now some people seem to think The Rise of Skywalker ignores the budding romance between Rose and Finn in The Last Jedi. Watch that movie again. She clearly has a bit of a hero worship thing going on toward Finn, and may even have true feelings for him. He never really shows more for her than just caring for a friend. He never returned her feelings.

I’ve also heard that Rose was actually in more scenes, but they would have been with Leia. From what I understand, they couldn’t make the CGI for Leia work correctly on those scenes, and they had to be cut.

Wow, this was much longer than I anticipated. The basic argument against The Rise of Skywalker is that it ignore or negates the major developments in The Last Jedi. I hope, with some of this, you see that it actually doesn’t. It builds on it, it doesn’t destroy or distort it.

This long, long post can now come to an end.

Bye!

Christmas is Stressful

Hello everyone,

I’ve been thinking about how we all do too much for Christmas. Too many gifts, too many meals, too much travel. It’s not good on us, and it isn’t good on the environment. Do you know how much trash we throw away because of all of this gift giving? A lot. Think about the wrapping, the boxes for each thing, and all the cheap crap they package these items in.

But at the same time, we want to see our families. I don’t really think that’s a bad thing, I guess. But if you have a family with various parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and friends who you want to see, and each of you all have spouses with the same on their side, it becomes quite a mess.

I think we all need to just step back and realize we can’t do everything, can’t see everyone, and just be happy with what we can do. Don’t schedule 2 or 3 meals with different groups on the same day, because you’ll feel rushed, stressed, and won’t enjoy any of it.

My theory is, just try to schedule 1 thing a day, if at all possible, and just be happy with what you can do. Don’t schedule every single day full, leave yourself time to recover and relax. Yes, there are going to be special things with people you haven’t seen forever, but don’t pressure yourself too much, just enjoy what time you can manage with the family and friends you can see, and don’t dwell on the ones you can’t see.

That’s my take, anyway.

And the gifts. Ugh. Why do we find it necessary to buy a million gifts for each child? Give them a couple of gifts they will really care about, and then spend time with them. If you give them a million toys they won’t/can’t enjoy them all. Mostly, they won’t remember what you give them by this time next year. But you know what they will remember? A really fun time with a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.

So cliche, I know.

Personally, my most memorable things from my childhood Christmas times don’t involve the gifts at all, or only tangentially. My strongest memories are things like playing games with my family or going riding around and looking at all the lights together.

And the meals! I’ve been to some of these meals where there are five gazillion different things, just trying to make everyone coming happy and give a variety. But you know what? Most people eat the basics first, anyway, and only one person here and there really seem to care about the extras. And then we have the poor person hosting the meal making this huge meal with so many different items, when they could have relaxed a little more and made fewer things. Or better yet–everyone split it up and bring a dish or two each.

Anyway, I just felt like venting on here, mostly because I’m doing my best to avoid reading anything too closely related to Star Wars until we get to see it next week, so of course that’s about the only thing other than Christmas I can think of at the moment.

Everyone have a good Christmas, if I don’t post again until after, and have a good weekend!