Star Wars 30 Day Challenge
Day 30. Why you love Star Wars.
Something like a Pavlovian response happens to my body when I hear the snap hiss of a lightsabre… I grew up with these films. I have spent my entire life surrounded by their imagery and likenesses. When everything else in my life has changed, the one constant is my love of SW. Watching the Holy Trilogy is like going home again. And no matter how long I am away, I know what waits for me there is all that is good in the world. It has informed my sense of values and ideals far more than any empty religion has done. And like any great love words fail to describe everything that it means to me.
So here we are at the end of the 30 day challenge, spending time thinking about my favourite movies in the world and what they mean to me.
Day 1. All time favourite character - Darth Vader
Without any hesitation, Darth Vader is my favourite character. I remember the first time I saw Star Wars, I spent the next week terrified that he was around every corner, hiding in every shadow, behind every noise I heard at night. As my love affair with the Holy Trilogy deepened, I began to fear Vader less and begin to secretly admire him. I knew I could never tell anyone that, cos let’s face it, he’s on the wrong side, but as someone who was bullied and picked on a lot as a kid, the fantasy of having Vader’s power even if for just one day was a tantalising thought. I remember watching ESB and seeing Vader storm into the Rebel base on Hoth ahead of his troops, not hiding behind them, his cape billowing in the wind and thinking, he isn’t afraid of anything. He is invincible.
Day 2. Favourite Member of the Rebellion - Princess Leia Organa (Solo)
So being a gay, obviously I love strong female characters, but even as a kid I loved the idea of this feisty, intelligent woman running this ragtag team of rebels against the might of a galactic empire. Like Vader, Leia knew no fear. In ANH she stood up to both Tarkin and Vader on the Death Star, in ESB she organised the troops at the Battle of Hoth and then in ROTJ, she infiltrated Jabba’s palace to rescue her man. Then of course there is the final revelation that she is indeed the other hope, Luke’s twin sister and thus strong in the force like her brother and father before her. As a kid, my favourite action figure was Leia in her Endor fatigues, but I decided to give her a lightsabre as obviously that would be the next step on her path.
Day 3. Favourite Member of the Empire - The Royal Guardsmen
I have always had a thing for the Emperor’s Royal Guardsmen. I’m a sucker for anyone force sensitive and wearing a red cape.
Day 4. Favourite Jedi - Asoka Tano
What’s not to love about Asoka? Apprenticed to He Who Shall Bring Balance to the Force, we don’t know her fate yet, but the idea that she may meet her end at the hands of Anakin makes watching their relationship deepen and develop all the more exciting. And no one looks as bad ass as Asoka when she’s fighting Jar’Kai style…
Day 5. Favourite Droid - EV-9D9
So I guess it is becoming quite clear that I prefer badasses and when it comes to droids, although I will always love R2, I think EV was one of the most interesting droid characters. A twisted sister who almost destroyed Cloud City, my friends and I always used to joke about an S&M scene between 3P0 and her where she whipped him whilst screeching, You are a protocol droid are you not?
Day 6. Favourite Ship - The Executor
A ship fitting for the ultimate Sith Lord, the Executor was nineteen miles of pure beauty and destructive power. I actually shed a tear when it crashed into the second Death Star…
Day 7. Favourite Sith - Asajj Ventriss
As I have already picked Vader as my all time favourite character, the place of my favourite Sith belongs to my Night Sister, Ventriss. From the first time I saw her in the Clone Wars mini series, to her further expansion in the TV series, I have loved her witchy ways. Based on one of the failed designs for what eventually became Darth Maul, I still wish we had seen her in the Unholy Trilogy, even if she was doomed to die at the end of the first movie.
Day 8. Favourite Holy Trilogy Movie - The Empire Strikes Back
As Dante says in Clerks, Empire had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader’s his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that’s what life is, a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets.
Day 9. Favourite Unholy Trilogy Movie - Attack of the Clones
Based purely on the fact that I waited 20 years to see Yoda wield a lightsabre and discover exactly what the Clone Wars involved, I shall go with AOTC. Otherwise, I prefer to pretend all three of these movies do not exist.
Day 10. Favourite Star Wars photo - Carrie Fisher and her stunt double sunbathing
I love this photo because I remember reading that they both kept getting in trouble from the director and continuity guy for sunbathing as it would ruin the shoot if their tans didn’t match on film. And they did it anyway! Don’t be messing with the Fisher, she’s Hollywood royalty!
Day 11 Favourite Battle - ESB: The Battle of Hoth
My mother isn’t a big fan of sci-fi films but even she changed her mind when she saw the AT-ATs marching in the distance. I’ve already talked about how much I loved the way Vader storms through the rebel base ahead of the snowtroopers, so I won’t go on about that again here. I just think there is a tremendous amount of tension in this scene, as we watch our heroes allude Vader once again. And it is also the first time we begin to see Luke’s true power.
Day 12. All-time Favourite scene - Leia admits she loves Han
I think this is probably most people’s favourite scene, after much denial, the Princess finally admits that she loves the scruffy looking nerf herder and he replies simply, I know. Which I believe Ford ad-libbed rather than following the script…
Day 13. Favourite quote - You’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view. - Obi-Wan Kenobi
I think this is excellent advice whenever one is trying to look at the bigger picture.
Day 14. A scene that makes you happy - Darth Maul’s death
Contrary to the way this might appear, this doesn’t make me happy because good triumphed over evil, but because in that moment Maul was revealed to be the discount Sith that I knew he was… And he got cut down by a mere padawan to boot… Everyone was jumping on the Maul is a badass bandwagon in the lead up to TPM forsaking the one true Lord of the Sith, Vader. Not me though, I knew who wielded the true might in this galaxy.
Day 15. A scene that makes you sad/angry - Every scene starring Jar Jar Binks
I cannot even begin to describe how much I loathe this creature and for those that would dismiss the Ewoks as being equally annoying I would like to remind you of one thing… They were going to cook our heroes alive and eat them!
Day 16. Favourite TPM moment - The moment when the credits rolled…
Day 17. Favourite AOTC moment - Yoda finally wields a lightsabre.
I waited most of my life to see Yoda wield a lightsabre during the Clone Wars and even though I think the puppet had more life than the CGI version did, I still enjoyed it. The entire audience cheered when we saw him pull it out of his robe and heard that all too familiar snap-hiss of the sabre igniting.
Day 18. Favourite ROTS moment - Seeing the Emperor wielding a lightsabre
I think I have been pretty clear on my distaste for these films, but it was quite cool seeing Palpatine wielding a lightsabre, and what a beautifully constructed hilt it had too…
Day 19. Favourite ANH moment - Han wishes Luke good luck before the Death Star battle.
This is my favourite moment in ANH because we begin to see the real Solo and it adds depth to the smuggler’s character.
Day 20. Favourite ESB moment - Yoda reveals there is another…
This one line began endless playground debates and arguments as we all tried to figure out just who Yoda was referring to… I always maintained that it was Leia, whilst all of my friends said it was Han.
Day 21. Favourite ROTJ moment - Luke jumping off of the skiff and catapulting back up onto its deck.
Another favourite moment from my childhood was trying to reenact Luke jumping off of the plank and leaping back up onto the deck to grab his lightsabre. My friends and I spent the whole summer trying this on my diving board, strangely none of us ever managed it.
Day 22. Something you wished was different - Luke constructing his lightsabre
I wish they had have included this scene as I would have loved to have seen Luke constructing his sabre and the added tension of Vader calling out to his son to join him would have added so much to the finale.
Day 23. A character you dislike - Baron N. Papanoida
I don’t think I need to explain this one any further…
Day 24. Favourite EU book - Shadows of the Empire by Steve Perry
Perry is one of my all time favourite sci-fi writers so I was overjoyed that he was going to be writing a novel, which was a. set between ANH and ESB and b. it was actually going to be considered canon unlike many of the other novels. I loved his insight into Vader, Xizor and the Black Sun were fascinating and it was sexy which is something the franchise really needed.
Day 25. Favourite Obi-Wan quote - For over a thousand generations, the Jedi knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the old Republic… before the dark times… before the empire.
This is a fairly stereotypical fantasy type of line, but the beauty of having someone like Sir Alec Guinness delivering it gives it gravitas. They way he says before the dark times; before the empire still gives me chills.
Day 26. Favourite Yoda quote - You must unlearn what you have learned.
I know everyone will pick do or do not, there is no try, but I think this was the better part of that speech and I can’t think of a better ideal to live your life by.
Day 27. Favourite Vader quote - The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am…
It’s really hard to pick just one line from my favourite character in the trilogy, but I’m going to go with this one as I think this was a Sith attempt at humour. I remember everyone in the theatre laughing when he said this. Plus I think it is going to be pretty obvious what the top five answers to this question are going to be…
Day 28. A photo of your SW related things
This is but a small portion of my SW related things, they are all on a shelf above my workstation. I like to think of the Vader action figure case as vintage, but the rest is all pretty recent.
Day 29. Best personal SW memory
I have two favourite SW memories actually, the first is when my father picked my brother and I up from school early on the day that ROJ (yes, I am that old…) came out so that we could be first in line at the cinema. He had never taken us out of school before, so we thought something was terribly wrong, but he simply said this is Star Wars, what could be more important! The second was when the first boy I ever had a crush on bought me a Royal Guardsman as a leaving present when I was moving to Australia. My evil best friend who was insanely jealous was delighted to tell him that I already had one of those, to which I replied there were six in the movie, so another one is just perfect.