Best Moments from the Star Wars Prequels

I have been spending more of my time reading other blogs than writing for my own. I find I can always come across a post that moves me in some way. This happened when I read a post written by John Siebelink titled “Why So Much Hate for the Star Wars Prequels”.  The prequels are flawed films, but underneath there are great elements of story telling within the movies. I personally grew up with the prequels as I remember the release of the Phantom Menace. I had many of the action figures along with Qui-Gon’s Comlink with little key cards which activated the voices of the characters. I wanted to share a few of my favorite moments from the prequels because I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fond memories of watching these movies.

Darth Maul

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As a kid I thought Darth Maul was one of the best villains I had ever seen on a movie screen. I envied for his light saber and he took out Qui-Gonn Jin who was a Jedi Master. Watching the Phantom Menace again I realize one huge flaw in the movie was not utilizing Darth Maul. It would have been neat if Obi-Won in the Revenge of the Sith  would have had a epic lightsaber battle to finally avenge Qui-Gon’s death. The fact that Maul appears in Solo: A Star Wars Story has me hyped for the future of other Star Wars films.

The Flaws of the Jedi

The Jedi are seen as these tremendous leaders who’s ultimate goal is world peace however, they’re incredibly flawed in their logic. Not allowing their disciples to love is what led Anakin astray. He only wanted to save Padme which is how the Emperor was finally able to turn Anakin into his personal killing machine. If the Jedi were able to see how love can really strengthen someone’s resolve maybe Anakin could have still been a Jedi.

Also when Mace Windu has Emperor Palpatine pinned down and is planning on killing him, Anakin sees the hypocrisy of the Jedi’s teachings. Jedi claim they’re “good” and are on the “light side of the force” yet Mace Windu is willing to make an exception for killing Palpatine. As a kid I always thought the Jedi were the “good guys”, but after re-watching the prequels when I’m older, I realize how the Jedi are flawed heroes.

Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones

Another one of my favorite sequences in the prequels is the arena battle sequence in Attack of the Clones. When Obi-Won, Anakin and Padme are tied to the poles, Padme is the first one who uses her smarts to escape. Watching this as a kid, I saw Natalie Portman hold her own against the two main male characters in the story. She knows how to use a blaster and doesn’t need Anakin’s help to save her. Padme (even though her character arc is poorly written) was still one of the first female science fiction characters I was exposed to.

Battle on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith

I will say this fight sequence between Anakin & Obi-Won is hands down one of the best light saber duels in the prequels. I still cannot believe Obi-Won let’s Anakin burn to death because again isn’t he a Jedi who represents the good in the force, but no let’s leave your former student to burn alive. I also get chills as I watch this scene with the score that goes along with it. The music amps up the battle between these former Jedi.

The prequels are flawed films with some redeeming scenes in them. Part of my childhood was spent watching these movies so I can’t fully hate them like other Star Wars fans can. I’m interested to see what your favorite prequel scenes are.

 

 

 

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Boston Comic Haul

As promised, I said I would also write a blog post detailing all the comics I purchased while in Boston. It’s frightening to think that my trip to Boston was already a month ago, time is flying by quick! While I was in Boston, I received a recommendation to visit the comic book store Comicopia. Boston has a couple different comic shops including Newbury Comics which has several locations in the city. I wasn’t too impressed with Newbury Comics because they sold more records and t-shirts than actual comics. Comicopia was amazing though because it was on the west side of Boston near this beautiful colonial neighborhood. I was also impressed by their selection in this small shop. Almost all of the comics I bought were written by local creators in the New England area. Here is my extensive haul from the store:

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Siren School by Isabella Rothman

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This is probably my favorite comic I bought and read. It’s a cute little feminist comic about female sirens teaching young sirens to lure men to their deaths. Instead of saying sexual stuff though, they say things like “I know I can’t play video games” and other quotes appealing to the man’s ego. Definitely gave me some laughs in only a couple short pages.

Kitties by Greg Steele

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This comic wasn’t a story, it was just an art collage of cute and chubby kitties wearing superhero costumes. Something I didn’t really knew I needed until I saw it.

Good Morning Gorgon by Ben Doane and Olivia Li

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The premise is simple, a Gorgon mom is shopping for all of her snake head babies. Not much more to say than that.

The BackStagers Volume #1 by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh and Walter Baiamonte

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This graphic novel was included in HideNGoShauna’s post about graphic novels for pride month. I didn’t realize this book was LGBTQIA+ friendly which makes me more excited to read it. It’s currently on my coffee table to remind myself to read it especially in the month of June.

Local comics are my favorite to read because there are some talented creators who aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. When you visit your comic book store, go straight for the locals section. If there isn’t one, work to change that. If you’re only reading DC or Marvel, you’re missing out on so many great comics. Support your local comic book community! 🙂

 

 

Riverdale Season #2 is my guilty pleasure show

River Dale

Photo from Netflix

In October 2017, I wrote a blog post talking about the Archie comics based show Riverdale. Season #2 has been put on Netflix and I spent two days watching the show. Although season #2 started off mediocre, I must say the second half of the season redeemed the first half. I started typing this post with full intention of saying I would abandon Riverdale. I was wrong as I’m happily looking forward to season #3.

Riverdale picks up with Archie Andrews holding his bleeding father in his arms. Fred Andrews indeed survives his ordeal, however “The Black Hood” is stalking Riverdale citizens to rid the town of sinners. Betty Cooper gets caught up in the madness as “the Black Hood” seems to take special interest in her. Veronica Lodge has been dabbling in her father, Hiram Lodge’s affairs whether they’re legal or not. Jughead Jones attempts to gain leadership with the Southside Serpents the gang on the south side of Riverdale.

SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT:

 

 

 

 

 

It’s revealed that Betty’s own father Hal is the man in the black hood. Betty’s grandfather murdered a family because they “sinned” leading her grandmother to instill this mythology of ridding Riverdale of sinners into Hal as a child. I wasn’t sure who to expect as the Black Hood, but I’m pleased with how this was all linked together.

Additionally, we truly see how villainous Hiram Lodge can be. This isn’t shown until the last episode when Hiram takes responsibility for everything Archie accuses him of. The final five minutes of the season finale show Archie being arrested as it’s clear Hiram planted evidence on Archie to initiate this. I am patiently waiting for the episode that shows Hiram’s downfall even though it wasn’t in this season.

One of my favorite characters this season is none other than Cheryl Blossom. Cheryl was obnoxious in season #1 which is surprising to me how I enjoyed her presence in the show. Cheryl takes ownership of her needs by seeking emancipation from her abusive witch mother. Besides being a gossip, she practices her archery which helps her shoot an arrow through Hal Cooper as he’s attacking her as the “Black Hood”. Cheryl was a bad ass this season which was not what I was expecting. Also Cheryl & Toni are the cutest lesbian couple on TV.

Now what was wrong with the first half of the season? I didn’t like where the story was going. It seemed like the group (composed of Archie, Betty, Jughead and Veronica) were going their separate ways when I really enjoy the chemistry they have together. I had to to be patient because the four of them do team up again to help save Riverdale from a gang war Hiram Lodge funded. Some story lines in this season were unbelievably corny such as Betty having to abandon her friends to save them. An honorable mention goes out to Alice Cooper for not realizing how creepy Chic was. There was a distinct reason Betty didn’t want to be in her house. Alice should have listened to her daughter because Betty was right, Chic was dangerous.

Riverdale’s current season could have been worse instead it captivated me in the last couple episodes. If you’re on the fence about this show, I get it because I was too. Season #2 did recover it’s bearings which is why I will continue with season #3 when it’s uploaded to the CW’s website. Please leave a comment if you want to discuss season #2 in more detail than this post.

Toxicity of Star Wars Fans *rant*

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Rogue One is my favorite Star Wars movie btw.

I want to start this post off by saying: Not All Star Wars fans 🙂  I wanted to address the darker side of the Star Wars fandom after I decided to scroll through Rian Johnson’s twitter account. He will make a tweet unrelated to Star Wars, yet fans will still harass him about The Last Jedi. I’m in agreement with fans in the sense that I had my issues with The Last Jedi, but I don’t think The Last Jedi is on the same level as the prequels. Star Wars is one of the fandoms I’m apart of where the toxicity and hatred in fans is astounding.

Kelly Marie Tran who plays Rose in The Last Jedi is one of my favorite human beings. I followed her Instagram to see posts from a celebrity who was down to earth and let her followers know how real she seems. Unfortunately, fans have decided to comment on her posts and harass her about her role in the franchise. This harassment led to Kelly Marie Tran deleting her Instagram account.  This is not okay and as Star Wars fans, we should be better than this.

Let’s get one thing straight: the fans do not own Star Wars. Star Wars is operated by Lucas Film and Kathleen Kennedy who I absolutely adore. Therefore, you have no right as a fan to protest whether or not The Last Jedi should be canon or not. It is a movie recognized by the Star Wars franchise and frankly if you truly hate where Star Wars is going, than stop watching. I think we would all hold the door open for you as you leave.

Finally, I wanted to express how annoyed I am when fans say they don’t like the new movies because of “forced diversity”.!! Diversity allows every single culture to be represented on our movie screen. This could mean the world to a 6 year old African American kid or a 6 year old Asian American child to see someone who looks like them fighting off the First Order. It’s time for a change in our Star Wars movies to see a broad mix of different characters and actors instead of all white people.

Star Wars is a fandom I appreciate, but it’s certainly not my number #1 franchise I’m into. If you see this toxicity in your Star Wars fan groups, point it out. This behavior is unacceptable and Kelly Marie Tran deserves better than this.

AFTERGLOW: My First Backed Kickstarter

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Image from the AFTER GLOW campaign. 

I’m super excited to share with you all the first kickstarter campaign I have ever backed! Sometimes I scroll through Kickstarter browsing through different creations, but I have never felt compelled to pull out my credit card and back a project. This changed when I clicked on the campaign for the graphic novel AFTERGLOW. I was drawn to the pastel artwork, the characters and the overall story line. It’s close to being funded even though the campaign is going to run for 20 more days. Join me in funding this quirky graphic novel!

Image shows a "Thank You" for Successfully Backing AFTER GLOW - A graphic novel by Pat Shand and K. Lynn Smith

Photo taken by me.

AFTERGLOW is told after The Glowing destroyed 80% of the population. The wildlife was impacted including animals being mutated along with water being contaminated. Lacey is one of the survivors in this new world along with her radioactive cat. Yes, you heard me right she is riding on a radioactive cat. Not going to lie the radioactive cat did draw me into this graphic novel because I will forever be a cat lady. So basically this gigantic house cat and Lacey go on adventures together.

So who created this story? There’s K. Lynn Smith who created a very successful web comic called Plume. I haven’t read Plume yet, but I do have the website bookmarked under my web comics folder in google chrome. K. Lynn Smith is also a Midwestern native as she is from Michigan, but has appeared at Cedar Rapids Comic Con in Iowa. Pat Shand is the other brilliant mind behind AFTERGLOW and someone I’m less familiar with.

As far as the rewards, they’re pretty typical for any kickstarter campaign. The more you pay, the more you unlock such as exclusive artwork, book marks, buttons, bumper stickers and more. I personally only need the physical trade paperback so I didn’t pledge for any of the extra stuff, but if you’re a collector that might be worth it for you.

I have no doubt that this project will be backed considering they are less than $500 away from their funding goal. You can go check out the official kickstarter campaign here: AFTERGLOW – Graphic Novel I have never been more excited for a graphic novel to ship to me!

 

Essence makeup: cheap, but surprisingly great quality.

I almost never blog about beauty products on this blog. Not because I don’t want to, but I don’t consider myself a “beauty guru”. I have been experimenting more with different makeup companies to try and find the best products that fit my needs. Essence is a brand I bought at Ulta solely because it was cheap and cruelty free. Cruelty free makeup is worth paying for because I don’t want animals to be harmed for me to be beautiful. Essence makeup has mostly great products if you need something cheap.

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I personally have tried two of Essence makeup’s products. The lipstick I tried was “Around the Rosie” which is a bright pink shade. The lipstick doesn’t last long. If I were to get a pint with a friend, the lipstick would be all over the glass. It’s perfect for work when I just want to look pretty, but wouldn’t work for a girl’s night out. I don’t mean to make that sound negative, I don’t mind having to reapply lipstick. I don’t need a lipstick lasting a full 24 hours. Again, my needs might be different than someone else’s so if long lasting lipstick is what you’re looking for, Essence might not be right for you.

The other product I tried was mascara. I tried the “I Love Extreme Volume” mascara tube. It personally wasn’t all that bad of a product. However, I find that it leaves flakes under my eyes. I sometimes will go into the bathroom at work and see I have dark black dots underneath my eyes. I know it’s not my eyeliner because I have used the mascara without eye liner and those flakes still appear. I’m not sure if I would actually recommend this mascara because I have used other brands and I’m more impressed with their products.

Overall, Essence makeup is a great cheap alternative to vegan and cruelty free makeup. I want to eventually convert all my beauty products to cruelty free. I would love any other suggestions for cruelty free makeup brands to try. Let me know some that you use in the comments.

Boston Book Haul

Every time I travel to a new city I look for smaller stores to go shop at. Boston has plenty of comic book stores, book stores and smaller boutiques. Specifically, I visited Brattle Book Shop and Comicopia which by the way if you’re ever in Boston, Comicopia is the best comic book store on the East Coast. I bought plenty of books & comics to last me a while. Since my post was starting to get a little long, I’m going to do two separate posts one for my books and one for my comics. Here were the books I purchased at this classic outdoor book store.

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The Brattle Book Shop is one of the oldest book stores in the U.S. When the weather is nice, books are displayed on racks and on the shelves in the above two pictures. Walking into this store was walking into a bookworm’s dream. There were huge shelves with one of those old fashioned library ladders. There were two full floors of books and on the third floor were rare books. I didn’t purchase any rare books because some sets were close to $200 or more. The prices from this shop are incredibly fair as you can see that there are $1, $3 and $5 books outside. Here are my finds from Brattle Books:

Madhouse by Rob Thurman

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This is one of the books I found on the $1 book rack. This book is the third book in the Cal Leandros series which I had never heard. Cal and Neko are half-human brothers who run their own paranormal detective agency in the Big Apple. A malevolent evil being is murdering humans at an alarming rate so Cal and Neko must kill it. Seems similar to the Dresden series which I like.

The Night Manager by John Le Carre

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I’m a big fan of Tom Hiddleston’s role in the TV adaptation to this book. I have heard that the TV adaptation is better than the book, but I want to read the book and then re-watch The Night Manger. The Night Manager tells the story of Jonathon Pine working as a night manager at a prestigious hotel. When his former lover is brutally murdered at the hands of Richard Roper, a prominent man who cannot be touched by MI6, Pine goes undercover into Roper’s operations to bring justice to his fallen lover. I believe the Night Manager TV series is 6 episodes long and is on Amazon Prime.

Serpents in the Cold by Thomas O’Malley

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This mystery book takes place in 1950’s Boston where a serial killer is on the prowl for the next victim. Mystery is my second favorite genre to read from because I enjoy the suspense leading up to uncovering the truth. After I finish a mystery book, I always feel like I’m on cloud nine because of knowing how the book ends which I didn’t know a couple hours before finishing the book.

H.P. Lovecraft’s Dunwich Horror

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One of my favorite board games is Arkham Horror which is based off of H.P. Lovecraft’s horror stories. This is a graphic novel take on some of his classic stories. Lovecraft’s stories are intriguing, but since they were written in the early 1900’s, the language used can be dull and hard to interpret at times. This graphic novel makes that easier.

Griff by Christopher Moore and Ian Corson

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My final purchase is this graphic novel for a decent price. I read the reviews for this graphic novel and apparently other comic fans are saying it’s mediocre. I guess I will form my own opinion. The book takes place in NYC where an alien invasion is occurring. A couple pesky New Yorkers are destined to fight back and take back their favorite city.

My book pile is growing bigger which is how I like it. I never not want to have anything next in line to read. My comic post will be posted soon enough because there’s a lot of cool stuff I bought I wanted to share. Also I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day. Let’s be thankful for the U.S troops who have fought for so much to give us the rights we have.