For some more grounded stories and ideas, please feel free to explore Rosie's Words Words Words.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

25 Reasons I Got Goosebumps from the Kenobi Teaser

Here are some of things that gave me goosebumps from that one minute 48 second teaser...
• The familiar imagery of the sandy/rocky terrain of Tatooine's desolate Jundland wastes with the violins and harp notes of Obi-wan's Force Theme from 1977's Star Wars
• The weird Tatooine camel thing from 1999's The Phantom Menace
• Returning to Mos Eisley...a wretched hive of scum and villainy
• Ewan McGregor's voice as Obi-wan Kenobi lamenting his utter defeat.
• The callback music cue to the heartbreaking scene from 2005's Revenge of the Sith, in which Obi-wan cries out, "You were my brother, Anakin.   I loved you." followed by Obi-wan watching our fallen hero bursting into flames, but now we see Obi-wan watching over young Luke because he refused to give up
• The site of the Lars Homestead, our home..the normal world, the beginning of our heroic journey in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.
• Obi-wan using the same space macrobinoculars that he used in The Clone Wars
• Seeing young Luke instinctively mimicking his father's pod racing moves...his mind excitedly filled with adventure and excitement...his mind far from where he was...what he was doing.
• Callback music to The Duel of the Fates from Phantom Menace as the Lucasfilm logo dissolves into sand and blows away...the sand going everywhere.   I hate sand.
• The stark angular precision of a dark foreboding vessel traveling to a secluded, imposing outpost.
• The voice of a confident,  malevolent hunter, turning his prey's strength, compassion, into a weakness.  An image of a pale focused hunter devoid of life or empathy. 
• A train across the wastes of the Dune Sea.  Our hero, Obi-wan, hidden in plain sight amongst other lost desperate souls.
• The cold, severe inner sanctum of a Dark, Imperial power.
• The dangling limp body of a Jedi.  An image of inevitable failure in the face of overwhelming odds.
• An intense new Inquisitor....face to face with the grizzled, steely glare of a worn-down Owen Lars...just trying desperately to not get involved.
• This new Inquisitor on the hunt in the familiar territory of Coruscant...the former home of the traitorous Jedi Order.  But now, those traitors are relegated to its dark, seedy criminal Underworld.
• A steely Imperial officer narrowing her sights to a distant, desolate desert planet...the furthest from the bright center of the universe.
• Power and grace unleashed in the cover of darkness in an urban wilderness.
• The image of the spinning blade of the Grand Inquisitor an unholy combination of Dark Forces and Mechanical Might.
• Music growing  to crescendo.  Images of the unrelenting hunt.  Good under the foot of evil.  A familiar blaster as a last uncivilized.
• A burst of colorful birds disbursing over an explosion...goodness and beauty refusing to be destroyed by chaos and madness.
• The image of Ewan McGregor as aging, steadfast Obi-wan facing whatever comes on the horizon
• The ominous, unforgettable sound of Vader'a unholy, raspy breathing...twisted and evil.  And John Williams' theme for Vader...a portent of an ill fate unfolding.
• And finally, the sight and sound of a lightsaber bursting from behind the Disney logo creating Tinkerbell's arc over the logo.

I didn't care that The Grand Inquisitor had puffy cheeks and normal shaped forehead. His four seconds of the trailer were perfectly ominous and imposing, in my opinion.  

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie - The Reunion that Wasn't (A Rosie's Revision Essay)

We all are well aware of one of the biggest missed opportunities was to have an on-screen reunion of "The Big Three".  Well, here is an alternative that would have reunited Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie while passing the torch (well, the lightsaber) to the next generation.

Imagine TFA in which the Starkiller attack happened AFTER Leia rescued Han, Chewie, Finn and BB-8.  

The First Order realize that The Map to Skywalker is in New Republic hands, so they ready the weapon.

Rey had just been taken by the First Order.  Finn begs them to go after Rey, but Leia says it will have to wait until the find Luke.  Leia, Han, Chewie, Finn with BB-8 and Threepio warp to Luke's hidden location.  They reunite with Luke, but he tells them he still can not help them.  He has been and must continue to mediate on The Force.  He tells them The Force guided him to this place to keep him safe until he was needed.  They tell him he is needed now.  He tells them they must trust in The Force.  

At this point, Luke notices Finn.  He says that he feels something in him...a great destiny awaits.  Finn offers Luke his lightsaber.  Luke smiles and says, "I no longer need that.  That is yours to must let The Force tell you where it's Destiny lies. I can sense you are connected to another who is in great danger.  I have foreseen that you will be there for each other...go to her.  I have foreseen that you will save her."

Then Luke says his farewells to Han, Chewie and Leia..  "I will be here when I am needed.  Take Artoo...he will be of great help to your cause.  

Luke looks at his sister and his best friend.  "Our road has always been difficult, and the path ahead is no different.  The road ahead will be filled with Light and Dark, but never lose faith in The Force.  It is up to us to choose how we react to whatever our destiny becomes.  Remember, The Force controls our actions, but it does follow our commands.  I can see The Force flowing through us and keeping us connected.  Nothing can change that."

The group departs.  While in hyperspace, Starkiller Base attacks and Leia and company return to one of the only remaining hidden bases and they regroup for the counterattack and rescue.

The movie ends the same with the advanced team sneaking in to lower the shield and to rescue Rey, Han getting killed, Finn incapacitated with Chewie at his side.  But Rey and Leia both return to Luke feeling hopeless and desperate.  Luke sees them, and says, "I wish there had been another way, but this is the path The Force has laid out for us. It is time.  Let's begin."  And that is the end of the movie.
Side note.  In my version, Leia begins the movie as Supreme Chancellor, there is no Resistance at first, and Han (still happily married) had stepped down as General to lead the Top Secret Elite Operatives who had been searching the Galaxy for Luke.  His top field operative had been Poe Dameron, the best damn pilot in the Galaxy (Although Han still says he is the best.)

So, after the Starkiller attack wipes out the New Republic and their Fleets, the remnants becomes the Resistance and Leia becomes a General to rally the remaining Free People of the Galaxy.
Image credit: Daekasu

Sunday, January 9, 2022

What if "Resistance" had gotten four seasons to flesh out the story of The Collosus? (A Rosie's Revision Mini-Essay)

SPOILER ALERT! Don't even bother reading unless you've finished this charming, but short-lived show.

Having finally finished watching "Resistance" on Disney+, I have to say that the show had beautiful visuals, energetic action, engaging, charming characters and entertaining stories, but I was a left a bit underwhelmed.  Don"t get me wrong.  It was perfectly fine, and I did not feel it was a waste of time to watch this enjoyable show. But I got the sense that they had a much longer story in mind, just like "Rebels", which had 4 seasons.  I think they took seasons 2, 3 & 4 and compressed them into 1 final season.

At the end of the 1st season before the Starkiller Base massacre, Leia told Kaz she couldn't help The Collosus and they were on their own. I think they could have leanrd into this a bit more and made this a moment where she told him that a Resistance is built by finding others who would fight for their freedom and inspiring them to action.  She could have said that he isn't just a spy, but he could be the spark to give others the courage to join together to fight oppression.  She could encourage him to make sure others knew they were not alone in their desire for freedom.

I can picture all of Season 2 being Kaz slowly gathering allies on The Collosus to his cause until they all agree to become a Resistance Base.  The ship was called The Collosus, but it never seemed all that big.  It's sparse population could have been explained by it being out of the way on Catalon, but with its new community mission they could pick up fighters and refugees to fill the station with a growing cast of characters, species and ships.  Instead of exiting the pirates, they could have been their own squadrant to add to the battle readiness of the mobile battle station.Tam would begin moving up the ranks justifying herself because of the First Order conditioning.

Aunt Z referenced fleeing to a friend on Takadana.  This seemed like a reference to Maz Kanada.  I think they were planning on looping her in to Resistance. Season 3 could have had the Collosus jumping from place to place looking for more allies to support and be supported by. We could have seen the other side of that mysterious holocall Maz makes to Poe during TLJ. Season 3 could end with Tam being captured and brought back to the Collosus.  Perhaps Dr. Aphra (I'm assuming Mika Grey was an alias) could use a Force Relic to help break Tam's First Order conditioning.

And I think there are underworld connections between Maz and Lando, so they could have built the fouth season fortifying and training the citizens of the Collosus into a roving militia that eventually joins the citizen fleet that Lando and Chewbacca rallies in ROTS at the end of the series.  They could have even had the series end just before Lando's rally call and then do a series finale special that ends with them getting the call with the navigation info on how to get to Exaogol and the need for everyone's help and then the final shot is them jumping to light speed for the Final Battle.

It could have feathered in and out of the entire Sequel Trilogy.  But what do I know?  I'm just a fan.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

What if Qui-Gon had switched roles with Obi-Wan in Episode 1? (A Rosie's Revision Essay)

It has been asked how could Obi-Wan Kenobi, a mere padawan, beat Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace", but his Master, Qui-Gonn Jin, a skilled lightsaber expert was struck down.  Oh, yeah...SPOILER ALERT.

This got me thinking.  What if the original intent of Episode 1 was to have our Obi-wan as the main protagonist, not a newly invented character, Qui Gonn Jin?

In my head canon, that's exactly how I see it.  Don't get me wrong.   I love Qui Gon and Liam Neeson's portrayal.  This essay is only about what could have been with an alternate minor narrative choice.  With that subtle change, there are MASSIVE repercussions to the major themes throughout the Skywalker saga.

Indulge me.  Let me walk you through what that change does to our favorite Heroes' Journeys in a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

Imagine that Qui Gon never existed.  Imagine that everything in Lucas' version of The Phantom Menace (or, in other words, the real version) done by or that happened to Qui Gon was, instead, done by or happened to happened to Obi-Wan.  And everything that happened with Lucus' Obi-wan was my Obi-wan's 1st Apprentice who I'll call Qui-Gon 

Except at the end.  (Hold tight...we'll get there.)

So, it was Obi-wan who was sent to negotiate at Naboo with his apprentice, Qui Gon.  (Remember that General Grevious calls Obi-wan, "The Negotiator in Ep 3.)  Obi-wan who rescued Padme from the Trade Federation.  Obi-wan who discovered Anakin's Force Potential (while his apprentice fixed the ship).  Obi-wan was at the pod race to see how good of a pilot he was.  Obi-wan who tried (and failed) to convince the Council to train Anakin. 

And it was Obi-wan who returned with Qui-Gon, his apprentice, to Naboo to investigate Darth Maul. But at the climax of the fight, Obi-wan's Apprentice, Qui-Gon rushes ahead and is killed by Maul.  

Obi-wan, the experienced Jedi Knight, slices Maul in two.  The last dying wish from his Qui-Gon is for Obi-wan to keep his faith in the carry on and take another Apprentice so he can pass on what he has learned in this tragic his death wouldn't be in vain.  Obi-wan tells him that he will and he starts Anakin on his journey through the Force.

At the end of Ep 2, when Obi-wan warns Anakin to fight Dooku together, it would have been because Obi-wan had learned first hand the lesson that they are weaker when they are divided.

Now, at the beginning of Ep 3, when Anakin tells Obi-wan that this time they'll fight Dooku together, it is because Anakin learned that lesson also...that they are stronger together.

The tragedy of Darth Vader is that the Emperor did the one thing that he could to made Anakin weaker...he divided Anakin and Obi-wan.  Capitalizing on Anakin's fear, Palpatine fomented his hatred for not being able to end suffering and ultimately destroyed Anakin's greatest strength...his faith in his friends.
So, in Return of the Jedi, we see Anakin returning when he helps Luke...he is stronger when he fights together with Luke, not against him.

In Rise of the Skywalker, we see the culmination of this togetherness when Ray and Ben channel ALL of the Jedi to fight the Darkness together.

It's like poetry.  It rhymes.

But the leitmotif only works if Qui-Gon had been Obi-wan and Obi-wan's Apprentice died.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Star Wars Titles are Mixed Up

Credit to @fake.disney.facts on TikTok

In episode 1, we meet Anakin Skywalker and he is lifted out of slavery
The Rise of Skywalker 

In episode 2, Anakin falls from grace by acting on his rage.  He gets his revenge by killing the Sandpeople who had killed his mother.
Revenge of the Sith

In episode 3, the clones attack and destroy the Jedi
Attack of the Clones

In episode 4, after the Jedi are destroyed, Obi-wan starts a new acolyte, Luke
Return of the Jedi 

In episode 5, Yoda teaches Luke how to use the Force
The Force Awakens

In episode 6, Yoda and Anakin die, making Luke...
The Last Jedi

In episode 7, after seeming to have been destroyed, 30 years later...
The Empire Strikes Back

In episode 8,  with the entire New Galactic Republic destroyed, the Resistsance and Rey emerge as...
A New Hope

In episode 9, Palpatine returns from the dead as a final threat to the Galaxy
The Phantom Menace

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in Order of Release

Phase 1:
1. Iron Man (2008)
2. The Incredible Hulk (2008)
3. Iron Man 2 (2010)
4. Thor (2011)
5. Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
6. The Avengers (2012)

Phase Two:
7. Iron Man 3 (2013)
8. Thor: The Dark World (2013)
9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
10. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
12. Ant-Man (2015)

Phase Three:
13. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
14. Doctor Strange (2016)
15. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
16. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
17. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
18. Black Panther (2017)
19. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
20. Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
21. Captain Marvel (2019)
22. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
23. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Phase Four:
24. WandaVision (Disney Plus series)
25. Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney Plus series)
26. Loki (Disney Plus series)

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The "Novel" Order of Star Wars (movies only)

There is no right or wrong order to first watch the Star Wars films.  There is no right or wrong order to re-watch the Star Wars films.

With that in mind...I have a few thoughts on my own preferences.  But first...there a few possibilities to consider.

George Lucas thinks of his saga in the chronological order in the story. 1-2-3-4-5-6.  Many of the fans who were kids in the late 90s/early 2000s think of the saga as 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-R1-8-Solo-9.  

Many of the fans who were kids in the 70s and 80s think the proper order to first watch the Star Wars films is in release order.  Some fans stop at Return of the Jedi, but for the rest, their order is 4-5-6-1-2-3-7-R1-8-Solo-9.  

For quite a while, my preferred order of the Lucasian Star Wars movies was Episode 4, then 5, then 1, then 2, then 3 and finally 6.  This would make the "Prequel Trilogy" a flashback in the middle of the "Original  Trilogy", and preserves ROTJ as the climax of the six.  I call this the "Flashback Order".  It is sort of a variation on the "Machete Order", which does the same thing, but skips Episode 1. (Reading about the Machete Order is what got me thinking about what happens to the narrative if you change the viewing order.)

But recently I thought of a new NOVEL way of being introduced to Star Wars.  By "novel", I mean that this viewing order would have the audience to jump back and forth in time throughout the saga, just as would be perfectly normal in a written novel.  So, what I call the “Novel Order” would be as follows:

  • Episode 4 (ANH), then
  • Episode 1 (TPM), then
  • Episode 2 (AOTC), then
  • Rogue One, then
  • Episode 5 (ESB),  then
  • Episode 3 (ROTS), then
  • Episode 6 (ROTJ), then
  • Episode 7 (TFA), then
  • Solo, then
  • Episode 8 (TLJ), and finally 
  • Episode 9 (TROS)
This is what I think is the best order.  This, of course leaves out all of the outstanding additional content in animation, novels, comics and video games.  But we have to stop somewhere.  We're telling a story here.

But WHY is this an optimal order for telling this story?  You have to think about what you learn in each movie and how the narrative would play out.   Written novels jump around this way all the time as a narrative technique.   You begin in the middle of the action to get you interested in the setting of the story and the characters affected.  Then, once you're invested in the story, more mundane details can be leisurely explored to give backstory and context more depth and texture.  All that leads to a final confrontation with many climactic turning points hit along the way.

Each chapter of the story moves the story further along, while creating a richer and deeper saga to experience.  Lucas' use of "rhyming poetry" between the Originals and the Sequels makes this method even more appealing.  I think it would be amazing to experience SW in this order.   

Here's a breakdown of the rationale for why it works, by thinking of what you learn in each Episode:

Episode 4 (A New Hope):
We jump right into the action.  We immediately get the sense of the state of this Galaxy far, far away with the opening shots of the cool looking that is small and plucky being chased (picked on) by one that is massive and imposing.  We meet Vader. Boo!!! We meet Leia...quite the fiery leader! We meet Luke...will this headstrong idealist get caught up in some damn-fool crusade? We meet Obi-wan...hero of The Clone Wars and comrade of Leia's father, Bail Organa. We meet Han...can he escape his past and do the right thing? We learn that Luke's father was a hero killed by Vader. We learn there is a galactic empire that emerged after the Jedi were destroyed.

Episode 1 (The Phantom Menace):
We already know that the Jedi were wiped out by the Dark Side, so, the first thing we see are Jedi in action.  And not just Jedi, but a young Obi-wan and his master.  Obi-wan...the only Jedi to survive the Dark Times, as far as we know.  This Padme sure is a brave leader, despite being so young.  And we meet Anakin Skywalker.  Luke's father!  Cool!  We see him use The Force to help his friends and to escape from slavery.   What a great kid.   I can totally see why he'll grow up to be a great hero, just like Obi-wan said.  Anakin being separated from his mother sure was a touching moment.  I sure hope he learns to cope with that loss.  We get to see Jedi being Jedi...just keeping the peace throughout the Old Republic.  That reminds me...I wonder what Old Ben could have been talking about when he talked about Darth Vader wiping out all the Jedi.  I wonder if Darth Vader is connected to this Darth Maul and Darth Sidious. That'll be a tragedy!  And that Yoda guy is pretty cool.  I wonder who that guy in the dark robe pulling all the strings is.  Wonder why that red faced guy is so upset.   He was pretty awesome. Maybe Vader will take the place as Darth Sidious' apprentice in the next movie.

Episode 2 (Attack of the Clones):
The Old Republic shows a bit a tarnish.  Whoa...Anakin seems to have gone through a lot.   Wow...killing those sandpeople seems pretty dark.  Anakin must feel pretty awful knowing that if he had used his power in the first place his mother would be alive.  Hmmm.  That Yoda guy teaching the younglings was pretty neat.   I wonder if he taught Obi-wan when he was that age?  We meet Jango Fett and his son Boba.  Cool armor.   We meet Bail Organa.  Isn't he the guy whose planet got demolished in Episode 4?  Hmm.  The Clone Wars erupt. Wow...Vader must be coming soon.  The Seperatists have the Death Star plans.  And we know Vader is connected to the Death Star.  So, Vader will probably be a Seperatist General.  Maybe even the guy who takes over after Dooku.  This Clone War must be when all of the other Jedi get killed leaving Obi-Wan as the only surviving Jedi. 

Rogue One
Those last two movies were cool flashbacks.  Ah...back to Luke and Leia's timeperiod.  Well...I guess just before.  We get to see a bit more of the Galaxy.  We get to see how the Dark Times are affecting regular people. Very cool.  And what ending!  Vader was amazing. And that final shot brings us right back to thinking about A New Hope and how it ended.  That leads right into...

Episode 5 (The Empire Strikes Back):
We're ready for the next chapter with Luke and friends.  Hokie smokes!  Yoda survived the Jedi purge!!! Wow...what happened to him?  Sure is neat to see him training Luke.  Yoda seems so dark and jaded.  I wonder how bad it got for him to end up marooned on swampy planet.  Oh...we see Boba Fett grown up now working with Vader.  Hmm...that Emperor in the hologram looks a lot like Darth Sidious...could it be that they are one and the same?  Aww...Han and Leia seem to fallen in love.   Luke will be so sad that he'll have to ignore his romantic feelings for her...but clearly there is still quite the strong connection...she can "feel him" when he calls out for help. Vader reveals he's Luke's father!  That's not true.  That's impossible.  Noooo.  No.  No.(Spoiler Alert)

Episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith):
Vader MUST be introduced in this one..  it's got Sith right in the title. But why would Vader lie and say that he IS Luke's father. We can see from the first shot how close he is with Obi-wan. Uh, oh... Anakin sure is being asked to make lots of compromises.  That's could lead to the Dark Side.  Oh, no!!  Anakin IS Darth Vader!  Ben lied!  And we get to see the Jedi wiped out.   Oh...that's what happened to Yoda!  And we FINALLY learn that LEIA is Luke's sister...and has been the whole time!   Oh, THAT is why Bail Organa is connected to Obi-wan and how he knows where he is.  

Episode 6 (Return of the Jedi):
Now we know the whole backstory of it all!   Time to wrap it all up in a neat bow for an AWESOME CLIMAX!!  Yub nub!!  Celebrate the Light!!

Episode 7 (The Force Awakens):
And now we're ready for the final chapters.  There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?  The dark side and the light. The's calling to you.  Just let it in.  So good to see old friends long gone.  The past...the future.  Through the ages, I've seen evil take many forms. The Sith. The Empire. Today, it is the First Order. Their shadow is spreading across the galaxy. We must face them. Fight them. All of us.  Oh, no...Solo!  You sacrificed yourself to let your son know how much you love your son.  No!!!!  And Luke...we finally found you.  We know you'll be able to help us get out of this mess.

With that shocking ending...seems like a good time to reflect on the life of Han Solo.  Seeing him grow his friendships and have adventures is the perfect way to remember and memorialize this selfless hero.

Episode 8 (The Last Jedi):
Oh, can't give up hope. We need you. The galaxy needs you.  But a new generation needs to step up to save themselves and their loved ones, too.  Interesting lessons.  You don't win by killing what you hate, but by saving what you love...that's a very Star Warsy lesson, too. And Rey has no past, but a bright future...what a great ending.

Episode 9 (The Rise of Skywalker)
Palpatine is back?  As a clone?  What a great callback to the Dark Empire comics from the 90s.  Very cool!  Ok...I understand now.  Palpatine has been trying to create a vessel to pass into this whole time.  First, Anakin...but Obi-wan destroyed his body.  So, he sired an offspring...but the son of Anakin saved the son of Palpatine.  He tried to keep the grandchild of Palpatine safe, but failed to see that this attention would turn the grandchild of Anakin to the Dark Side.  But, it turns out The Force and The Light are in anyone who let's it in.  The past doesn't matter, just our choice to fight for what is right.  

So, the entire saga has been about evil trying to corrupt good for its own benefit and good fighting back to overcome.  Pretty good story, over all, I'd say.  So,what's on next?