The Princess and the Scoundrel Book Review

A wedding is supposed to represent a new chapter in our lives. It is an opportunity to walk hand in hand with our new spouse for what hopefully will be the rest of our lives. That doesn’t mean, however, that everything will be sunshine and roses.

The new Star Wars novel, The Princess and the Scoundrel (not to be confused with the similarly named podcast), by Beth Revis, was published last month. It takes place just after the events of Return of the Jedi. There is obviously a reason to celebrate. The Empire has been destroyed and democracy is being returned to the galaxy.

After everything he has been through, Han Solo is ready for a fresh start. That fresh start includes settling down with Princess Leia Organa. When he proposes, she says yes. Though she knows that she wants to marry Han, Leia is still burdened by her experience during the war and her newly discovered bloodline.

After their vows are complete, they hope that their honeymoon on the Halcyon will be the break they both need. As usual “hope” is the keyword. Leia is still in work mode and Han stumbles upon a plan to kill his wife. With the remnants of the Empire still fighting for their cause, Han and Leia learn one thing: that they work best as a team.

I loved this book. It goes without saying that you have to know the characters and the narrative from the original trilogy to have a basic understanding of the story. That being said, there is more than enough (including plenty of easter eggs) to keep the fanbase happy.

It is a lovely extension of where their relationship, taking it in new directions while remaining true to the groundwork that has already been laid. In addition, knowing how their marriage ends, it’s nice to know that they had a few good years before everything fell apart.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

The Princess and the Scoundrel are available wherever books are sold.

Princess Leia Kiss GIF by Star Wars - Find & Share on GIPHY

Light & Magic Documentary Review

When we think of films or TV shows, we often think of the boldface names at the top of the credits: the director, the actors, the producers, the screenwriter(s), etc. For every name that is in large letters, there are many others whose work is important, but unknown by the audience.

Light & Magic is a new six-part documentary about the creation of Industrial Light & Magic, otherwise known as ILM. Started by George Lucas, the company started out as a way to create special effects for Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. In the beginning, they were a bunch of young rebels living off of dreams, hard work, and a limited budget.

Over the decades, ILM would not just become the pioneer for special effects. The company would also be behind the success of some of the biggest movies of our era, creating visual imagery that has caused multiple generations of fans to ask “how did they do that?”.

I enjoyed this documentary. It proves that determination, creativity, diligence, and coloring outside the box can change the world.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Light & Magic is available for streaming on Disneyplus.

Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation Movie Review

Summer vacations, in their many forms, should be simple. A chance to get away from the every day, see something else, and generally take a breather. But anyone who has ever gone away will tell you that it can be far from simple.

Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation recently dropped on DisneyPlus. In this 45-minute kid-friendly film, Finn (voiced by Omar Miller) is more than excited to get away with his friends for a little while. But then they all scatter and Finn is left to wonder if his expectations were just a little too far from reality.

This movie is so much fun. it is adorable and fans of all ages will love it. The humor is mostly directed at a younger audience. However, there are a few easter eggs that the adults will recognize and get a chuckle out of.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Lego Star Wars Summer Vacation is available for streaming on DisneyPlus.

The Republicans Got Owned: Beto O’Rourke and Dick Cheney

Politics is more than the creation of a series of laws. The impact of such legislation has consequences that go far beyond the room that it is passed and signed in.

Over the past few weeks, the Republicans got owned twice.

The first instance came earlier this week. During a campaign event, Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke was speaking about the need for gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde in the spring. One person laughed and O’Rourke went off on him. The crowd cheered in response.

This is the type of leadership we need. We need someone who cares more about saving lives than padding their pockets or kissing the asses of their 1% donors.

Meanwhile, last week, former Vice President Dick Cheney released an ad supporting his daughter Liz while warning that he who shall not be named is dangerous. The reaction from MeidasTouch contributor Texas Paul is absolutely on the spot.

These days, the former VP is one of the OGs of the right. Back in the day, his nickname on the left was Darth Vader due to his less than moral actions. I can’t say that his reputation has taken a 180. But given what is going on in this country at the moment, his warning should not be taken lightly.

We still have time to save our nation and our future. The question is, will we do so, or let everything we know and love turn into a dumpster fire?

Owned GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Can You Learn to Write Via Fanfiction?

Learning to write can only be described as a process of trial and error. For every polished piece or story that is published, there are others that are still in messy draft form.

Many writers (myself included) started writing via fanfiction. Fanfiction is fiction that is based on previously released work. The beauty of this genre is that there are so many opportunities to take the narrative in a new direction. The story can be a prequel, a sequel, go inside a character’s head, take place in an alternative universe, etc.

The one caveat is that the publishing date determines whether or not the writer is breaking copyright laws. Anything that was published more than 100 years ago (i.e. the novels of Jane Austen or Charles Dickens) is public domain and obviously fair game. The same cannot be said if the tale being crafted is based on a work that is less than a century old. Anyone writing, for example, Harry Potter or Star Wars fanfiction is wading into legally murky waters.

The answer is yes, you can learn to write via fanfiction. Some of my early works are in need of a major rewrite. Even with that cringe factor, there is no doubt that I was learning along the way. The basics of creating fiction in terms of narrative, characters, setting, etc, can be mastered via this genre. E.L. James, the creator of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, has become one of the preeminent authors of our era started out by creating Twilight fanfiction. Regardless of one’s opinion of James’s writing, there is no doubt that she has turned a hobby into a successful career.

Not everyone takes the same route when they start out writing. That does mean, however, that one path is better or worse than another. We all learn how to craft stories in our own way and own time. One of these routes is fanfiction.

Kermit The Frog Reaction GIF by Muppet Wiki - Find & Share on GIPHY

I Stand With Moses Ingram

The world of Star Wars stands for everything that racism and hate are against. Diversity, inclusion, respect, democracy, etc are ingrained into this world. That does not mean, however, that everyone in the fandom is immune from the hate and racism in the outside world.

Earlier this week, Obi-Wan Kenobi star Moses Ingram spoke out about the racist messages she has been receiving via social media from a small group of fans who are unhappy with her character’s place in the universe.

Ingram is unfortunately not the first SW actor of color to have this experience. Both John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran were also verbally attacked by online trolls. They could not fathom that there are more non-Caucasian characters than Lando Calrissian.

Thankfully, both the upper echelons at Disney and her colleagues have spoken up. Ewan McGregor, as both the lead actor and executive producer of the series, released a video in support of his co-star.

As a performer, Ingram is completely new to me. But in the three episodes that have been released so far, I have become a fan. Her performance is brilliant and I cannot wait to see where she will go in future episodes.

The haters can suck it for all I care. I stand with Moses Ingram.

Thoughts On the Andor Trailer

The hero’s journey is a fascinating tale. From where they start to where they end requires courage, a belief in the path they are taking, and the innate trust that everything will work out in the end.

The trailer for the new DisneyPlus Star Wars series, Andor dropped last week. The program follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as he goes on a path that will lead him to the rebellion in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

As usual, DisneyPlus and Lucasfilm are keeping the details close to the vest. What I see so far, I like. Cassian is such a fascinating character that I am curious to see where the story goes.

Andor premiers on August 31st, 2022 on DisneyPlus.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Review

When the original Star Wars film, A New Hope, premiered in 1977, no one could have foreseen the narrative junctions that have come out of this one movie.

The new DisneyPlus miniseries, Obi-Wan Kenobi, premiered on Friday. Ten years after the events of Revenge of the Sith (2005) the Jedi appear to have been wiped out. But a few have survived in hiding. The Empire sends The Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend) to find those that are still alive. One of the Inquisitor’s lieutenants, Inquisitor Reva, Third Sister (Moses Ingram) is intent on locating one Jedi in particular: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). His former Padawan, Anakin Skywalker (now known as Darth Vader) is eager to see his former master again

While living under another name, Obi-Wan is keeping an eye on Anakin’s son, Luke Skywalker (Grant Feely). But Luke’s Uncle and guardian, Owen Lars (Joel Edgerton) would prefer that his nephew remains in the dark. Meanwhile, on Alderaan, Princess Leia Organa (Vivien Lyra Blair) is kidnapped. Her parents turn to Obi-Wan to rescue their daughter.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is amazing. After watching both The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, I thought nothing would top them. I was wrong. My eyes were glued to the screen the entire time. There were multiple easter eggs (if you know where to look), many mouth drops, and quite a few expletives. I am already hooked and ready for the rest of the series.

It would be easy to make another soulless sequel. But it is not. It is full of so much love and respect for the material that it radiates from the screen. McGregor is back in perfect form, with the obligatory changes since the last time we saw the character. He is starting to become the grizzled old man who has come to terms with what was and will never be again. But there is still a little bit of hope, just enough to inspire him to pick up the lightsaber one last time.

Do I recommend it? 100% yes. Don’t be surprised if the program makes the cut for “best of” lists in December.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is available for streaming on DisneyPlus. New episodes premiere on Friday.

Star Wars Goodbye GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Fans Strike Back Exhibition Review

Though the Star Wars saga is only forty-plus years old, it feels as if it has been part of our collective culture for eternity.

The Fans Strike Back recently opened in New York City. This nearly 25,000 feet exhibition is by and for the fans. Containing numerous figurines, lightsabers, life-size figures, vehicles, etc, it is a trip through the world of Star Wars and the fandom that has given rise to a universe that we all love. Starting with Episode One: The Phantom Menance, we walk through the narrative, hitting all of the major plot points and feeling this delicious energy that is nothing short of infectious.

One thing I do have to point out is that the pieces with the exhibit strictly come from the fans. Nothing has come from either Lucasfilm or Disney. That being said, it is wonderful. I walked in with a smile on my face and walked out with a smile on my face. Perfect for both children and adults, it is an absolutely wonderful experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Star Wars Vintage GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Fans Strike Back is located at 526 6th Ave in New York City. It is open until July 26th. Check the website for ticket times and prices.

%d bloggers like this: