Star Wars Strikes Back!

Who was prepared for this? I just found out today that a new Star Wars trilogy is in the making, and this time it is headed by, wait for it, Disney. I never envisioned Mickey Mouse using light sabers, but you have to admit the visual is an interesting one.

 

I am a longtime Star Wars fan. When I say fan of Star Wars, I mean I love the original trilogy, and not the crap that Lucas gave birth to most recently. Nor do I approve the modern CG changes he has made to the original trilogy. As far as I am concerned, Hayden Christianson is not David Prowse. So when I first discovered new Star Wars movies were being made, I instantly felt an uncomfortable weight in my stomach. Until I found out that George Lucas will neither be writing nor directing it. I guess he’s either too old or has gotten tired of Star Wars fans sending him hate mail. Possibly both.

 

As of now, no one knows who the writer/ director will be. All that is known is that the people being considered are experienced with big budget action movies. Names that have been speculatively thrown around include Christopher Nolan and Joss Whedon. Whoever it will be, such a job will be a tall order after the critical bashing the most recent Star Wars trilogy received.

 

Since there is very little information available at this point, I do not know how this new trilogy will turn out. I only hope that whoever makes these movies understands that they will live up to fans if they remember to actually write a story rather than just putting in action and special effects, as Lucas seemed to do.

 

It seems strange that the original Star Wars trilogy was so wildly successful and the last one… wasn’t. Well, I guess that depends on what you call successful. True, they made a lot of money, but so did Twilight. As far as quality, the newest trilogy does not cut it.

 

 

The disparity between the two exists for one reason, and that reason’s name is George Lucas. When Lucas was making the first trilogy, he was still kind of a nobody in Hollywood, so he wasn’t calling the shots. Thus he was reigned in. Then he became famous and made it to the top of the totem pole. Then he could make all the decisions. No one could tell him “You know George, this character Jar Jar Binks is really annoying. Don’t you think we should cut him?” Or, “George, don’t you think having Darth Vader scream “No!” like that is a little over the top?” And we all know where that got us.

 

But if this next trilogy still sucks, the original trilogy still remains. Well, actually, you have to pay quite a lot of money for the very original untouched ones because Lucas is a greedy prick. 

The Top Ten Guiding Characters in Movies

So, what do I mean by Guiding Characters? It’s very simple. I mean male or female characters in movies who look after the hero and guide them through trials, rather they be the journey to Mordor, or a kung-fu competition. I would have called them Wise Old Men, but I incorporated some women, so that didn’t work. These are a few of the characteristics I look for in these characters.

Wise: obviously.

Old: This is pretty flexible. The character does not exactly need a long grey beard. But they do have to be experienced so they can legitimately give good real-world advice.

Teacher and Guide: This is what these characters all do. They teach, aide, and offer advice to the hero. They may not physically guide the hero to a destination, but they at least guide them emotionally.

Power: This one isn’t a requirement. Not all Guiding characters are God, or have magical powers. But most of them have some power that they use to help the hero.

Ethical: All of these characters have a firm sense between right and wrong. They are incorruptible, and they will always work to do what is right. And one of the major roles of the Guiding Character is creating a similar moral compass within the hero.

Friendship: This one is the most important. The Guiding Character bonds with the hero. They usually become great friends, or even establish a father-son dynamic.

Sacrifice: Most Guiding Characters are willing to or actually do sacrifice themselves for the hero. It is usually after this moment that the hero becomes the strongest and triumphs.

10. Mr. Myagi: Pat Morita, The Karate Kid

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When I decided to create this list, I knew Mr. Myagi had to be on it. He is the paragon of a martial arts teacher. And for an old man who is sometimes quite hard to understand, Pat Morita put on quite the performance.

9. Professor Xavier: Patrick Stuart, X-Men

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Teacher? Check. Xavier is a professor and the headmaster of a school. Power? He can control people’s freakin’ minds. In the original X-Men, Xavier uses this power and his brigade of mutants to help the hero Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) become an X-man and later find answers about his past. This plus his sacrifice (OK, so he doesn’t sacrifice himself willingly and doesn’t die, but those are just details) makes him a prime guiding character. Add Patrick Stuart’s sexy voice, and it’s a win!

8. Lionel Logue: Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

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First off, this is one of my favorite movies, and that is mostly because of Geoffrey Rush’s character. To be very honest, I think he, and not Colin Firth (although God knows I love the man) should have received an Oscar. Lionel Logue is an unconventional guiding character. He is not much older than Bertie, the hero he helps. He has no magical power. However, what counts is how Logue is able to help Bertie become the king he needs to be when WWII starts. In the movie (and in history) Bertie and Logue are close friends for the rest of their lives.

7. Mr. Keating: Robin Williams, The Dead Poet’s Society

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Another teacher. And as far as inspiring teachers go in movies, I think it’s easy for people to think of Mr. Keating. Although this is another unconventional case, because his hero, Neal, doesn’t triumph, but ends up (spoiler alert) committing suicide. But Keating is still a guiding character, because whether the hero fails or not, Keating still guided him and forged a relationship with him. If you’ve never seen Dead Poet’s Society, stop whatever you are doing right now, rent it, and watch it. And don’t say you won’t just because I gave away the ending. The ending isn’t as important as the journey. Sorry. I didn’t mean to sound so much like a fortune cookie.

6. Galadriel: Cate Blanchett, Lord of the Rings

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Don’t let Cate Blanchett’s beauty fool you. As any LOTR freak knows, as an Elf, Galadriel is probably the oldest character in the trilogy. Galadriel helps Frodo. She is not as close to him geographically or emotionally as Gandalf, but she does give Frodo advice, and helps him even when they are miles apart. And I’m sure some of you will argue, “But wait, Allison! Galadriel was tempted by the Ring! She’s corruptible!” Okay, true. She was tempted by the Ring. But so was everyone else, including Gandalf. The important thing is she said no and let Frodo keep it. As powerful as Galadriel is, to be able to see the most powerful and seductive weapon walk right in front of her and let it go, she is probably the most incorruptible character on this list. On top of that, she’s just awesome. I don’t know any other way to say it.

5. V: Hugo Leaving, V for Vendetta

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Yet another movie on this list that I love. Some people may be surprised about this choice though, because most people probably think V is the hero of V for Vendetta. V is a hero, but I think the hero of V for Vendetta is Natalie Portman’s character, Evey. The story of the movie follows her more than it does V. V guides Evey, makes her see the problems of the world and how to fix them. And not only do they become great friends, they fall in love. And V even makes the ultimate sacrifice (spoiler alert). He dies at the end of the film for the revolution Evey leads.

4. God; Morgan Freeman, Bruce Almighty

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Was there any way either God or Morgan Freeman were going to escape this list whether or not they would be put together? In Bruce Almighty, God guides Bruce (Jim Carey) through becoming a better man. And he’s a great character. If there really is a God, I hope he has this character’s sense of humor. But how can God not have a sense of humor? Case and point: the Platypus.

3. Morpheus: Lawrence Fishburne, the Matrix

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I’m sure if Morpheus were not on this list, I was going to receive a bunch of anonymous hate-mail and get bricks thrown through my windows. Morpheus is close to a perfect guiding character, but he’s also a bad-ass. My question to the makers of the Matrix. Couldn’t Morpheus be the main character? I for one found him much more interesting than Neo because of Keanu Reeve’s poor acting skills. But no one listens to me…

2. Gandalf: Ian McKellen, Lord of the Rings

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I usually don’t like to put two characters from one movie in the same list, but I had to. And it’s my blog so get over it. Gandalf is one of my favorite characters of all time. He fits my characteristics to a T. And Ian McKellen played him to perfection. All of that gave him a top spot on this list. Gandalf is perhaps second to Merlin the most remembered character in terms of fantasy. And that is for a very specific reason. Everyone loves Gandalf: his wisdom, his strength, and his devotion to Frodo. I think we all wished we had a bit of Gandalf in us.

  1. Obi-Wan Kenobi: Sir Alec Guinness, Star Wars

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I don’t think anyone can argue with my choice for number one. Obi-Wan is iconic as a guide. He fits every characteristic. he’s wise, old, definitely powerful, and he sacrifices himself for Luke. This phenomenal, memorable character will continue to go down in film history. And if Star Wars hadn’t had Obi-Wan, I don’t think it would have been near as successful. Well, as time has told us, though, there are other ways to ruin Star Wars, like letting George Lucas off his leash.

Honorable Mention

Merlin: Karl Swenson, The Sword and the Stone

Asland: Liam Neeson, the Chronicles of Narnia

William Forrester: Sean Connery, Finding Forrester

Glinda: Billie Burke, The Wizard of Oz

Albus Dumbledore: Ed Harris, Harry Potter

Star Wars Yoga

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I’m not kidding. Part of me wishes I was, and then the part of me that is laughing so hard is so happy that something so ridiculous exists. No offense to anyone who likes Star Wars. An awesome trilogy. When I say awesome trilogy, I am referring to the original trilogy because I refuse to acknowledge that the most recent trilogy exists.

But anyway, for the past couple of weeks I have been using stumble upon to find topics to write about on this blog. In case you need new ways to completely waste time on the internet, stumble upon is an awesome service. You create a profile, tell the site your interests and press the button that says stumble, and a random page on the internet that corresponds to your interests will pop up. It’s a great way to annoy your facebook friends with a bunch of random posts of pictures of celebrities sneezing.

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But to get back on track, I was stumbling and I came across a page about Star Wars yoga. I have sprinkled some of my favorites throughout this post.

Probably the best part about finding this page was discovering some person’s comment below. I’m just going to copy and paste and pray I’m not fined for copyright infringement:

Yoga is stupid. I hate yoga. Yoga is only for those preppie vegetarian bookish arsewholes who don’t really have a life and who like to have something in their life to brag about. It has been proven…somewhere…that yoga causes cancer and heart disease. I feel all yogatarians should be gathered up, a catchy emblem sewn on their clothing for all to see, and then either placed in concentration camps, electrocuted or possibly tazered to death by the corrupt police forces of the third world nations. -Just sayin’-

More powet to ya man. More power to ya. Oh, and learn how to spell. If you’d like to see the original page I stumbeled upon, here’s the url:

http://thecuriousbrain.com/?p=29395

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I was very disappointed to discover that none of these poses are inspired by the films, but are just normal yoga poses demonstrated by various Star Wars characters. To that end, I decided the world would not be right until someone came up with true Star Wars yoga. Be ready to have your mind blown.

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Pose: The Yoda’ Man!

Difficulty: So hard you have to sign a waiver before doing it

Props needed: a blow up doll of Christopher Lee, if the real one just isn’t available at the time.

Jump in the air ten feet while waving your light saber and summersault while also moving objects with your mind. If you are not using the force, you are not doing it right, and you will be charged a fine for posing as a Jedi. How dare you?

Pose: Jabba Jive:

Difficulty: if you have trouble doing this one, you’re dead. No, actually, even a dead person can do this one.

Gain about 500 pounds and just sit there. If you can get a friend to wear an iron bikini and dance in chains for you, all the better.

Pose: The Dramatic Irony

Difficulty: this one is hard if you are an only child.

Find a sibling and kiss them. Tongue is required.

Pose: The Air Traffic Controller

Difficulty: This one is near impossible, because I simply doubt anyone will do it as well as Alec Guinness.

This works best if you have a storm trooper present. Raise your right hand with your thumb, fore, and middle fingers extended. The fore finger and middle finger are together. Waive your hand in a slow and steady circle going clockwise. Repeat with your left hand going the opposite direction. Say in a monotone voice: “These are not the droids you are looking for.”

Pose: Admiral Motti

Difficulty: do not attempt if you smoke

Constrict your trachea, making it difficult for you to breath. If you can, make choking sounds. Note: a choking sound is not “I’m choking!” If you can say that, you’re not choking. After making these sounds for a moment, clutch your throat with your right hand and a table with the left. For safety reasons, have a friend on hand who can abandon you like a prick if you lose consciousness.

The Cinnamon Buns

Difficulty: Advanced. It is highly recommended that you lift weight on your head to strengthen your neck before you attempt

Place giant over sized earmuffs on your ears. Leave there.

I dare my readers to come up with their own based on their favorite movies and share them here. Damn. It’s tough to pull off an Alec Guinness impersonation in print.