Blog · Lauryn's Picks

Five Things: March 2018

Five Things is a series where I list five things I liked, loved, or geeked out about during the month.

In no particular order, here are this month’s five things…

1. This month belonged to Star Wars Rebels. The show came to an end in early March and Lucasfilm was kind enough to invite fans over to watch the series finale and have a Q&A with the cast and creator Dave Filoni. It was really great to hear everyone’s reactions and get some insight into the future of the Ghost Crew.

2. The Last Jedi novelization came out this month! I have not finished it because I’m busy with school, but I love what I have read so far. It’s a great companion to the film and offers a better understanding into the motivations of our beloved characters. It’s also a really pretty book!

3. Forces of Destiny is back with a whole new batch of episodes for season 2. The shorts are really cute and feature PORGS. Yes, PORGS.

4. Filming for Captain Marvel has begun and Brie Larson has been giving us a sneak peek into her training and research for her amazing role as Carol Danvers. I loved the comics written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and I cannot wait for this film!

5. Lastly, The Director and the Jedi is fucking wonderful. This documentary is all about the making of The Last Jedi and gives us an inside look into how Rian Johnson pulled it together. If you liked the movie or love filmmaking in general, you need to watch this doc. It’s available now as a bonus feature on The Last Jedi DVD!

 

Blog · Star Wars

The Last Jedi… Three Months Later

So, The Last Jedi is officially out to own on DVD and Blu-ray at a store near you.

I just finished re-watching the film and all of its bonus content and I can honestly say it is truly a spectacular movie. When my first viewing of TLJ ended I remember my SO turning to me and asking me how I felt, I was literally speechless. I couldn’t even think because I was trying to process what I had just seen. The movie was so different. I wasn’t expecting it and I wasn’t sure how to feel. Was I in the wrong if I loved it? Was I in the wrong if I hated it? I couldn’t make a quick judgement, I needed to watch it again.

After my second viewing I remember driving home and thinking it was incredible. All the things that made me feel uneasy were actually wonderful and different and new. That was the best part.

The Last Jedi is not a traditional Star Wars film, both technically and story-wise. It features shots that aren’t traditionally used in Star Wars movies and it shows us incredible ways the Force can be utilized by its users. It’s understandable that certain Star Wars fans may have felt uncomfortable, it’s understandable if they got taken out of the universe they loved so much, but you know what’s not understandable? For people to boycott, harass, and threaten people’s lives over a space movie.

Three months have passed since The Last Jedi premiered and it has been quite a tumultuous time for fans on the internet. Frankly, it sucks. There are certain hate groups who are trying to ruin people’s love for Star Wars, they’re harassing creators on the daily, and they attempt to do very petty things to try and get Disney to listen to their opinions. It’s ridiculous and makes me feel so bad for the people who have to deal with it every day.

There is no doubt TLJ changed Star Wars fandom forever. With the negativity it’s easy to forget that the majority of fans loved and appreciated this film. It doesn’t have to be your favorite. Art is subjective, you can like it or dislike it. You can disagree with how something was shot and you can be mad about Luke dying. But it is completely unnecessary to tweet at a random person to tell them they’re wrong for loving this movie.

After watching all the bonus content I couldn’t help but think about how this film divided people. It is such a wonderful addition to the Star Wars filmography and the Skywalker saga and I have never felt more confident about Rian Johnson than after The Director and the Jedi.

The Director and the Jedi is a documentary that features behind the scenes footage of the making of The Last Jedi. It was beautiful. It made me laugh and cry and wish I were working on a Star Wars film. I was slightly disappointed with the bonus content of The Force Awakens, so I was extremely satisfied with this release. I’m used to watching The Beginning: Making Episode I and Within a Minute: The Making of Episode III. I watched those documentaries over and over again when I was younger. It sparked my dream to work in film, but more specifically on a Star Wars production. I found myself having those same feelings of awe and wonder. Rian Johnson handled this film with composure and class. I look forward to his future trilogy and admire his unperturbed attitude towards the horrible people online.

The Last Jedi and all of its bonus content is out and worth a watch. Yes, it was a controversial film and we will all look back at this time in Star Wars fandom and probably laugh and roll our eyes and then cry because Star Wars is fucking amazing.

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Blog · Geek & Pop Culture · Star Wars

Looking for Leia

Hey!

Let me tell you about this really cool docu-series called Looking for Leia. The project was originally going to be a documentary all about women in Star Wars fandom, but is now a six episode series ALL ABOUT WOMEN IN STAR WARS FANDOM and the creators need our help to get it done.

Check out the sneak peek below:

Check out the docu-series announcement below:

Annalise Ophelian is behind this wonderful project that features women of all ages and backgrounds who love Star Wars and not just in front of the camera but behind the scenes as well. After watching the trailer a couple of months ago I instantly regretted not having known about it last year, but it’s not too late to support the project and help get it out there for all of us to watch.

If you’re interested in donating, visit their crowd-funding page here.

If you can’t donate but want to get the word out, follow them on twitter @LookingForLeia.

#GirlsRunTheGalaxy

#WomenBuiltThisRebellion

 

 

Blog · Geek & Pop Culture

It Belongs In A Museum!

Museums are pretty cool. You know what’s even cooler?

A museum that is dedicated to the art of visual storytelling, in other words, movies, paintings, visual media of all kind.

And guess what? George Lucas is doing just that.

On Wednesday the famous filmmaker and creator of Star Wars broke ground in Los Angeles, officially beginning the construction process for his long-awaited museum. For years I’ve heard about the Lucas Museum, not knowing exactly what it would feature, but knowing it had to do with film and probably Star Wars. I’m happy to hear that not only will the museum have a Star Wars collection, but also feature film memorabilia from the past to the present. As a film student, this sounds like a dream and I cannot wait to visit one day.

gL
George talking about his dream. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Concept design for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

I love the idea of being able to go to a place that has the ability to take you back into the past. Museums are modern day time machines that offer knowledge and hold artifacts from long ago. I have been lucky enough to visit a couple of museums in the past, but I have yet to visit one that focuses on filmmaking and visual narrative.

I can imagine the Lucas museum will feature all kinds of props and costumes from various Lucasfilm productions, including Indiana Jones. It makes me think of one of Jones’ most famous lines, “it belongs in a museum!” Seriously, so many people out there own really cool props, scripts, and costumes from classic films and I feel like those things belong in a museum for the whole world to see and appreciate. It’s nice to know that George will donate his collection, which includes over 10,000 paintings, illustrations, and film memorabilia.

I’m happy that George Lucas’ dream is finally coming true and I hope to be at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art opening day in 2021!

Blog · Lauryn's Picks · TV

The 7 Best Historical Fiction & Fantasy Shows (IMHO)

Hey!

Have I ever mentioned that I have a thing for historical fiction? Well, I do.

I love period dramas and medieval fantasy shows. Like, I eat that shit up. I thought I’d list a few of my favorites because nothing’s better than sharing what you love, right?

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are my favorite historical fiction & fantasy shows….

1. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012)

This. Show. Is. So. Good. A couple of years ago I saw a gift set of Miss Fisher on tumblr and checked the show out on Netflix. I binged it in three days and fell in love with the 1920s. It’s a really, really great mystery show. I stopped watching Sherlock (2010) after season 3 so this filled my mystery hole quite nicely.

2. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell (2015)

Based on the popular novel (that I have yet to read) by Susanna Clarke, this miniseries is funny and weird and I looked forward to every episode each week when it was airing. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for something light and magical and takes place in the 19th century. I’d watch the hell out of this again if it were available on a streaming service.

3. Downton Abbey (2010)

Before people were live-tweeting Game of Thrones on the reg, people were live-tweeting Downton Abbey. I’m pretty sure at one point it did become a cultural phenomenon, but only a handful actually stuck around until the very end. This doesn’t mean it sucked, it just didn’t cater to the US as much as it did to the UK. Anyways, it holds a very special place in my heart and I still think about some of the characters to this day. If you want to see beautiful costumes from the early 20th century and walk around your house pretending you’re upperclass aristocrat this is the perfect show!

4. Outlander (2014)

Men in kilts! That’s it. That’s the whole show. To be honest, it bothers me that not enough people watch this show! I never see people talking about it online as much as they do other shows. It’s a hot and heavy romance featuring the political history of Scotland, men in kilts, and a dash of time travel. I live-tweet this show when it airs and I don’t plan on stopping.

5. Pride & Prejudice (1995)

Sticking to the romance, I present to you my favorite Pride & Prejudice adaptation. I love the Joe Wright film from 2005 and as a matter of fact it was my first introduction to P&P. From there I read the book and then I was recommended the 1995 miniseries, which I was a bit hesitant about due to google image searches and the fact that I didn’t find Colin Firth VERY APPEALING. But all that changed when I actually sat down and watched the damn thing. It is really good and yes, I fell in love with Colin Firth, as one does. I live for Mr. Darcy memes on tumblr so sit yourself down and watch this and join in on the fun! It’s romance in the 18th/19th century with an english countryside backdrop *swoon*.

6. Black Sails (2014)

I LOVE PIRATES. I love the history of pirates and rebellion in general, so this show was right up my alley. Black Sails gives us a realistic look at piracy in the 18th century and really interesting, complicated characters. I’m sad it didn’t get as much recognition when it aired, but it’s totally worth checking out. I will say that season 1 was slow but every episode of season 2 was fucking amazing and it just kept getting better! I am a former Pirates of the Caribbean fan (FORMER) and I used to say that if you grew up with PotC, Black Sails is your graduation gift.

7. The Crown (2016)

My current BAE. The Crown is phenomenal! While it is based on Queen Elizabeth II’s life, it’s not entirely fact and therefore qualifies as historical fiction. I love learning about the monarchy and while I’d prefer 17th century monarchy any day of the week, the 20th century monarchy is actually fascinating and wasn’t that long ago. I’m always googling what actually happened after every episode I watch of this show. If you’re interested in the life of Queen Elizabeth or love the present day royal family, check this show out!

Honorable mentions:

Game of Thrones (2011)

Vikings (2013)

Marco Polo (2014)

Penny Dreadful (2014)

The Man in the High Castle (2015)

Mad Men (2007)

I know there are many shows that I haven’t mentioned and that’s probably because I haven’t seen them yet or they escaped my mind. If you think I’d like something that’s not on this list, please feel free to recommend it! I do tend to like higher quality shows with bigger budgets, but if it has a good story and great writing then I’m ALL IN.

 

Blog · Star Wars · TV

Godspeed Rebels

Star Wars Rebels is over. It’s the end of an era.

The first season of Rebels was one of our earliest glimpses into the galaxy far, far away after the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm. Many were hesitant about the show post-Clone Wars (me), but with Dave Filoni at the helm it quickly earned many fans’ respects.

Over the last four years we have been introduced to several characters across the galaxy and many unique qualities about the force that none of us would have ever believed. If you think The Last Jedi was weird, watch Star Wars Rebels. The series finale aired last night on Disney XD and I wanted to share my thoughts about the ending of this show that initially, I had very little faith in.

Basically, I loved it. I loved the finale. I loved that in the end, our ragtag crew of rebels made it out alive.

Well, for the most part.

We lost Kanan in “Jedi Knight” after he sacrificed himself to save the family that he loved, who he knew would continue the fight against the Empire. It was tragic, beautifully done, and a necessary loss. As for Ezra, I honestly cannot imagine where he’d be and if Thrawn is alive or not. I will probably have to listen to a few podcasts and read a few theories before I make any assumptions. Zeb and Kallus live happily ever after on Lira San and probably adopt a few lasats (wishful thinking). Hera turned out to be pregnant, which I would NEVER have predicted and ended up giving birth to a baby boy named Jacen (yes, Jacen). Jacen Syndulla.

Sabine narrates everyone’s lives from the liberation of Lothal to after the Battle of Endor, which was another surprise! Everyone expected Rebels to end before Rogue One or possibly after the Battle of Yavin. I absolutely love that Hera, Sabine, Zeb, and Chopper survived the original trilogy. I didn’t expect it, but I should have. Sabine then goes on to say that she along with Ahsoka Tano (AHSOKA LIVES) will fulfill the promises they made to Ezra to find him and bring him home.

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I’m dead.

First of all, Ahsoka Tano is a fucking legend. I am in love with her story even though it’s shrouded in mystery. I honestly think that’s probably what makes me love her even more. Yes, there is a small part of me that wants to ask, “well, where was she during this event or what about this infamous Yoda quote about Luke being the last Jedi?” I get it. However, Ahsoka isn’t a Jedi anymore and Luke is the only one who could have redeemed Vader, end of story.

Jacen Syndulla is my new favorite conspiracy theory. Who does he grow up to be? Where do his allegiances lie? They obviously were inspired by the EU to use the name Jacen. Why Jacen? Hmm? Anyways, I’m happy that Hera was able to have a living memory of her love for Kanan and it looks like she’s teaching him the ways of space piloting, which is so sweet.

Ezra is the heart of this show. I will admit that I didn’t care for him until the very last episodes because I couldn’t relate with him on a personal level. He is a teenage boy growing up under incredibly difficult circumstances. While I still don’t quite relate with him, I do sympathize and saw that in the last few episodes he really grew up and became the leader and light that everyone needed in those dark times. He made the decision to sacrifice himself not knowing where he’d end up, so that he could liberate his home planet and save his family. Just thinking about his last words make me teary-eyed. I hope Sabine and Ahsoka do find him and I hope we get to see that in a future show or film one day.

Thank you to Dave Filoni and the entire cast and crew of Star Wars Rebels. The show is over, but the Ghost crew will never be forgotten.

 

Featured image from StarWars.com & Lucasfilm.

Blog · Lauryn's Picks

Five Things: February 2018

Five Things is a series where I list five things I liked, loved, or geeked out about during the month.

In no particular order, here are this month’s five things…

1. Natalie Portman returned to SNL with a hilarious rap about the last 12 years of her life and I loved it so much. Say something about the motherfucking prequels, bitch.

2. The Solo: A Star Wars Story teaser trailer premiered earlier in the month and it was amazing! I have been skeptical about this film in the past, but I am officially ready to go back to the galaxy far, far away…

3. One of my favorite interviews this month was The Sucklord on the Steele Wars podcast. I wasn’t familiar with his work, but after that interview I had a better understanding of the bootleg toy industry and was super inspired by this guy. He turned his failures into success. Check out this episode!

4. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. You probably heard or saw their names at least once this month. The ice skating pair from Canada made their return to the Pyeongchang Olympics and oh my… their performance to Roxanne from Moulin Rouge was sexy and amazing and won them the gold for Ice Dancing.

5. Star Wars Rebels is coming to an end. Every episode since the latter half of season four premiered has been beautiful and thrilling. The most recent episode “A World Between Worlds” was galaxy altering for many reasons. It is a must watch for any Star Wars fan. The Force is weird and wonderful and I only want it to get weirder and more wonderful.