Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening


From Skellig Michael.

“There has been an awakening…”

So said the first teaser for The Force Awakens.  Skellig Michael appeared in the last minutes of that movie as Ahch-To, the refuge of hermit Luke Skywalker.  The island will be forever associated with Star Wars to me.  Here are some of the “Jedi Steps” that Rey climbs, and some of the puffins that became “porgs” in The Last Jedi.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Awakening

How our new Star Wars trio is a reimagining of the old one

There are spoilers for The Force Awakens in this post.

One of my favorite parts of TFA was the three new heroes we meet: Poe, Finn, and Rey.  I like how analogous they are to the original trio of Luke, Han, and Leia, but as I was watching the movie I started to think about how each of the new characters has a mix of the old ones in them, both in their roles in the story as well as their personalities.

“The New Trio” by Miko724 on Deviant Art, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

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SPOILER-FREE first impressions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WP_20151217_21_51_51_ProYeah, it was great.  Not a perfect movie, but really fun.  It definitely warrants another trip to the theater sometime this weekend, or maybe over Christmas.

I actually switched showings to a 7:30 one at my hometown theater, where I saw at least one or two of the prequel movies.  Because it’s a small theater, it wasn’t even that crowded (there was an empty seat next to me).  But everyone seemed to have a great time.

Favorite things:

  • The new characters.  I just love Finn, Rey, Poe, BB-8, and Maz, plus some other minor characters whose names I need to find out.  The characters were so well written, and well acted.  I think they will really breathe some life into Star Wars going forward.  I was getting a little choked up thinking about how all the little girls going to see TFA this weekend have a character like Rey to look up to now.
  • Good script.  It was funny!  And there were some very quote-able lines as well.
  • Fast-paced.  Almost too fast at times.  It keeps up the energy and intensity very well, but I almost think some scenes could have used some room to breathe.
  • It was pretty.  From the opening pan-down shot, there were some really great visuals.  Sets and props looked great, and there was some nice cinematography, including a cool shot following an X-wing in combat from a ground perspective.
  • Skellig Michael was awesome!  I absolutely recognized the shots from Skellig Michael right away.  I was freaking out in the theater (my husband can attest, I was hitting his arm).  It’s so cool to think I’VE BEEN THERE.  Check out my post about it here.
  • I haven’t mentioned the plot yet…because there were some weak spots.  It wasn’t The Crystal Star-level bad, but it wasn’t outstanding either.  Still, we have to remember that this is just the first movie in a trilogy, and I think it did a nice job with set-up, and definitely whetted our appetite for future films!

I’ll talk more about all these things in a spoiler-y post after the weekend.

Feel free to share your reactions in the comments, but please no spoilers here.

5 things I’m looking forward to in The Force Awakens

It’s now less than a week until the premiere of Star Wars Episode VII. I’ve already got my tickets and to say I’m feeling excited is an understatement.  Here are a few things I’m really looking forward to.


  1. Meeting new characters, and seeing old friends again.

I can’t wait to meet Rey, Finn, Poe, and all the rest.  I’m also excited to see if any other characters, whether from Rebels, the new canon novels, or even something from the old EU,  make an unexpected appearance.  And will all the secrecy around Luke, I’m excited to get a first look at him (my favorite of the original trio).


  1. X-wing combat.

Let me just say I would have had no problems if they had made Episodes 7-9 into adaptations of the X-wing book series by Stackpole and Allston.  My ultimate dream job would be “X-wing pilot;” it would be a brief job because I would be terrible at it.  In any case, I really want to see some good starfighter battles featuring X-wings and maybe some new types of ships as well.  The trailers have shown at least one battle in atmosphere, which should be interesting, but I hope there’s some space battles, too.


  1. Visuals.

The plot of TFA could very well be on par with a bad EU novel, but I am willing give a bit of leeway in these area if it’s made up for with incredible visuals like we’ve been seeing in the trailers.  The Star Destroyer on Jakku.  Rey descending down into the Star Destroyer.  Kylo Ren igniting his lightsaber.  This kind of stuff gives me chills.


  1. Looking for the Skellig Michael scenes.

You may remember that on my summer trip to Ireland I visited the island of Skellig Michael, where some scenes for TFA were shot.  As far as I know, it’s not been made public which scenes those were, and I haven’t seen anything familiar looking in the official trailers, so I will be keeping my eyes peeled for Skellig Michael to make an appearance in the film.  I’ll report back on what I notice.  It’s entirely possible, though, that in all the excitement I will forget to do this, or that I simply won’t recognize the location if it’s been altered, or only a small part used (though if that’s the case, I wonder that they went through the hassle of filming there).


  1. John Williams’s music.

One of the few things that could equal my love for Star Wars is my deep and abiding love of John Williams’s music.  Isn’t it wonderful how perfect these two things are together?  I believe it’s even possible to truly love The Phantom Menace if only for “Duel of the Fates.”  I can’t wait to hear the new themes Williams has created, as well as new interpretations of themes from the Original Trilogy (we definitely heard some of Han and Leia in the trailer).

What are you guys looking forward to most?