What does ‘Rise of Skywalker’ mean?

Star Wars Celebration is a national gathering of fans to celebrate all things Star Wars. This year’s event took place in Chicago. Like past events, I read about it and watched highlights of the event online. Also like past events, I immediately wished I attended. Maybe one year I will get to go to one.

Disney extends Kathleen Kennedy contract for another three years

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting Disney extended the contract of Kathleen Kennedy as president of Lucasfilm for another three years.  This move undoubtedly has members of the toxic Star Wars fandom community quite livid. These are the fans who enjoy watching a metal Rose Tico figure get decapitated with a pair of bolt cutters. I’m surprised I can’t hear their collective cries of anguish and their gnashing of teeth from where I sit in my house in Maryland.

They can’t all live in sound-proof basements.

Kathleen Kennedy is a proven winner

People who peddle hate in the Star Wars fan community like to bemoan what a terrible job Kathleen Kennedy has done as president of Lucasfilm. I don’t agree. The facts just don’t align with that claim. Under Kennedy’s watch, the Star Wars franchise grossed nearly $4.5 billion.

Considering how much money Kennedy has brought in for Disney and its shareholders, they would have been stupid not to extend Kennedy’s contract. This is Hollywood where most movies supposedly lose money.

What about Solo: A Star Wars Story?

Granted, Solo: A Star Wars Story was the first movie in the Star Wars franchise to lose money, but you cannot expect to hit a home run every time you go up to bat. Make enough Star Wars moves and chances are, one of them will be a box office dud.

I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story and it wasn’t as bad as some people said it was. My biggest problem with the movie was the actor who played a young Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich.

Alden Ehrenreich

It’s not like Alden Ehrenreich was terrible or anything. I just wasn’t feeling him as Han Solo. That’s not an insult towards Ehrenreich. I just think the only actor who can play a young Han Solo is a young Harrison Ford.

A better choice would have been to leave the character alone and make a Star Wars movie about a post-teen Boba Fett or better yet, a young Admiral Ackbar.

There were a lot of things I liked about Solo: A Star Wars Story. If you’re a Star Wars fan and you haven’t seen Solo: A Star Wars Story, you should watch it. It may have lost money, but that shouldn’t stop you from watching it. Solo: A Star Wars Story is not the worst Star Wars movie of the franchise. That distinction goes to the prequel movies. If you watched those three movies, you’ve already watched the worst movies in the Star Wars franchise.

In my opinion, the best single movie in the Star Wars franchise was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That happened under Kathleen Kennedy’s leadership. She deserved the contract extension just for that.

What do you know, Kelly Marie Tran was harassed off Instagram

Actress Kelly Marie Tran, best known for her role as Rose Tico in the 2017 film Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, left Instagram earlier this summer. The reason? She was on the receiving end of some brutal harassment by anonymous trolls using Instagram as a weapon.

At the time, some people in the Star Wars fandom community were claiming no one knew why she left Instagram. This seemed at best, disingenuous. Although I normally appreciate a skeptical view of things, the evidence was pretty clear. She was harassed by hateful trolls on Instagram. It wasn’t too much of a leap in logic to conclude she left Instagram because of this harassment.

I like Rose Tico

Although I had problems with The Last Jedi, Rose Tico was not one of those problems. I liked the character.  I identified with her. Although I’m not female or Asian, I too was a wrench bender, not for the Resistance, but for the United States Air Force.

Here I am riding in the back of the pickup truck on the island of Diego Garcia. I just got done either bending a wrench on a B-52 or playing hacky sack in a hanger.

As a former maintenance technician who worked on electronic warfare equipment on the F-4G Wild Wessel and the B-52G bomber, it felt good to see my kind represented in the film.

Rose Tico also had the best line in the entire movie.

If you have a problem with the character of Rose Tico, I have to question your Star Wars fandom. She’s truly a heroic character. She was dealt a shitty hand by the Universe. Instead of wallowing in self-misery, she chose to fight back and join the Resistance. Not only that, she was more than willing to go outside her skill set to serve. She put down her wrench and picked up a blaster. I like that. How can anyone not?

Let me put it this way: I own only one Star Wars action figure still in the packaging.

One of the reasons I chose to leave it in the packaging was because of the price sticker. I bought it on clearance for only four dollars. I thought it was a travesty my favorite character from the movie could be had for only four bucks. To me, this spoke to the current state of Star Wars fandom.

Kelly Marie Tran: I Won’t Be Marginalized by Online Harassment (New York Times)

Jeremy from Geeks + Gamers doesn’t understand words

Geeks + Gamers is a website and YouTube channel dedicated to all the great things “Geek Culture” has to offer. Jeremy, the site’s founder, and YouTube host came across my radar from watching Ethan Van Sciver’s YouTube channel ComicArtistPro Secrets.

Evidently, there’s been some type of war between Star Wars themed YouTube channels. Luckily for me, I’ve been able to avoid the drama because the war seems to be between two entities I do not follow, Making Star Wars, a website and YouTube channel and Rebel Force Radio, a website and podcast.

Reportedly the editor-in-chief of Making Star Wars, Jason Ward, contacted Rebel Force Radio’s sponsors and persuaded them to stop advertising with Rebel Force Radio because of something they said.

Making Star Wars’ editor-and chief Jason Ward and his wife Amanda Ward, the site’s administrator. (Photo: Twitter)

Jeremy and Geeks + Gamers have also been getting some heat from Jason Ward. This prompted Jeremy to create a response video while driving somewhere.

I watched the video. Here are my thoughts:

Not only did Jeremy not know who Chloe Dykstra was, but he also didn’t seem at all familiar with her last name (timestamp 2:44):

Somewhere in the livestream, I talked about the Chloe… what’s her name… Chloe Dykstra.

How can one be a Star Wars fan and not know the name Dykstra?

John Dykstra, Chloe’s father, was the mastermind responsible for inventing the spaceship special effects in Star Wars. He not only filmed the special effects using models, he invented the cameras used to capture the images. The man earned an Oscar for his work on Star Wars. George Lucas never did.

John Dykstra is Star Wars royalty

Star Wars legend John Dykstra.

As a kid growing up, I loved building plastic models and science fiction. John Dykstra was a hero of mine. I read everything in Starlog magazine about him and how he made Star Wars look the way it did.

I thought it was odd watching the video that someone could be wearing a Star Wars hat while gripping a Stormtrooper steering wheel cover and not know the Dykstra name.

Jeremy admits to objectifying women (timestamp 4:15):

He (Jason Ward) also said that I admit to objectifying women which is 100 percent true. I do. And I said that. And I’ll stand by that because I’m a man. I’m a man with a certain body part that makes me objectify women and any man who says he doesn’t, I’m trying to be as clean about this, any man who says he does not objectify women in private or says he does not watch adult videos online is a liar.

So I’d like for you to ask Jason Ward, “Hey have you ever watched adult films online Jason?” Because any man who says he doesn’t objectify women when he’s hanging out with his boys, when he’s hanging out at the bar, when he’s chilling watching football or whatever, he’s a liar.

There’s a lot to unpack in the above quote. In Jeremy’s defense, I don’t think he understands what the word objectify means. He seems to have confused the word objectify with the word attraction. You can be attracted to women without objectifying them.

Objectifying women is bad

Objectifying a woman means you don’t view them as a person but as an object. In this case, a sexual object that exists for the sole purpose of deriving sexual pleasure.

Objectifying women is bad. Being attracted to women is not bad unless you use that attraction to fuel something weird, annoying, or creepy.

Speaking of weird and creepy, Jeremy wants his viewers to ask Jason Ward, someone they don’t know if he’s ever watched “adult films” online. How ridiculous is that? I can’t imagine asking anyone that question, let alone someone I don’t know.

For the record, I’ve never watched an “adult film” online. Mostly that’s because I’m not a 14-year-old boy. I’m a happily married 53-year-old man. I wouldn’t even know how to go about watching “adult films” on the Internet. That’s not at all what I use the Internet for.

It seems Jeremy is assuming everyone is like him and his “boys.” Big mistake. To assume everyone is just like you or the people you chose to associate with is a good way to be wrong most of the time.

Everyone is different. Some people are more different than others.

What I find weird about this whole situation is that everyone involved professes to love Star Wars. It just goes to show that you can have something major in common, but instead of focusing on your similarities, you concentrate on the things that make you different. I guess that’s just human nature.



‘The Force is Female’ is not about Star Wars

There’s a picture floating around the Internet, as pictures often do, that shows Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucas Films, standing with three women. They’re all wearing t-shirts that say, “The Force is Female.”

What the photo means depends on who you ask. Some say it’s proof that Kathleen Kennedy is a militant feminist who wants to kill all men. Either that or take away men’s child visitation rights and make them all pay more in child support.

Others are saying it’s an indicator why Disney’s Star Wars movies have more female characters, especially in positions of leadership. Others aren’t saying anything because they’re just t-shirts.

I’m in the latter group.

I was watching a YouTube video this morning where the host was bringing up the photo and trying to make a big deal about it. The video drove me to take six minutes and conduct a proper Internet search. My goal was to find the source of the t-shirts. This is what I was able to find.

“The Force is Female” is from Nike

The t-shirts were part of a marketing campaign by Nike. They had nothing to do with Star Wars. They were part of a campaign to get more women to wear Air Force One shoes, probably the greatest athletic sneaker ever made.

'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner
Nike Air Force One high-tops designed specifically for women.
'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner
The Force is Female Air Force One low-tops.
'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner
The exact t-shirts worn in the infamous photo, except Kathleen Kennedy’s t-shirt was black because she’s from the Dark Side.
Another version of a “The Force is Female” shirt. This model has probably never watched a Star Wars movie.
'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars - Bent Corner
This photo is from Nike.com.

Of all the photos, the one shown above is the most offensive. Who in their right might wears Air Force Ones in bad weather? There’s snow on the ground. The ladies in the above photo don’t seem to care about their shoes. I’d go barefoot before I’d wear a pair of Air Force Ones in the snow.

This is what it says on the official “The Force is Female” page on Nike.com:

'The Force is Female' is not about Star Wars

Nike’s campaign has nothing to do with Star Wars

Nike’s “The Force is Female” has nothing to do with Star Wars. If it did, they would have a photo of Aunt Beru wearing a pair of minty fresh Air Force Ones. They don’t. I’ve looked.

If memory serves, Adidas released Star Wars themed shoes when the awful prequels came out. I think Vans is making Star Wars shoes now. I don’t really know because I don’t really care.

Let not yourself be offended by the t-shirts of others

If you allow someone’s t-shirt to offend you, you’re doing something wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever been offended by the actions of a stranger, let alone by a t-shirt they were wearing, so it’s hard to put myself into the mindset of someone who has. The closest I get is when I see someone wearing Jimmy Buffett clothing or anything to do with the New York Yankees. Like most moral and rational people, I hate Jimmy Buffet and I hate the New York Yankees. When I see someone wearing that filth, I just turn my head and don’t look.

It works for me.

I’m not a real ‘Star Wars’ fan because I like Rose Tico

Kelly Marie Tran, the actress who played Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, deleted her Instagram account. Some Star Wars “fans” don’t like the character. Supposedly some of these fans decided to make things difficult on the actress by harassing her. One of the places this harassment was taking place was Instagram.

I don’t get it. Why would anyone dislike like Rose Tico? I also don’t understand why anyone would then take the time to harass the actress who played the character. It all sounds nutty and a lot of work. What did Kelly Marie Tran ever do to anyone?

Actress Kelly Marie Tran.

Anyone who harassed Kelly Marie Tran on Instagram should have focused harassment on their parents for not practicing safe sex the night they were conceived.

I don’t understand the Rose Tico hate

I’ve watched Star Wars: The Last Jedi twice now and she was my favorite part of the movie. She was just a mechanic, someone you normally only saw in the background in a Star Wars movie, who stepped up and tried to become a hero. I’m a sucker for characters like that, in fiction and in real life.

I identified with Rose Tico. She was a wrench bender, someone who fixed and maintained equipment for the Resistance. When I was in the Air Force, I worked on airplanes. I bent many wrenches in my Air Force days.

Like all Star Wars movies, I had problems with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but Kelly Marie Tran’s portrayal of Rose Tico was not one of them.

I’m such a fan of Rose Tico that I was going to order a Rose Tico t-shirt from comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver until I realized it wasn’t meant to honor the character.

Since leaving DC Comics, Van Sciver has been focusing on all things Star Wars on his YouTube channel. He spent a lot of time addressing the character. Referring to Star Wars as Soy Wars is a play on words. The consumption of soy can increase the estrogen levels in some men. It’s meant as an insult.

I also didn’t buy the t-shirt because it cost $29.50 plus shipping for a 2XL Tall. That’s too pricey for my wallet. It’s a t-shirt, not a tuxedo jacket made from the skin of an endangered animal.

If I’m not a “real” Star Wars fan because I like Rose Tico, I’m fine with that. When you stop and look at the people displaying hatred towards the character, I don’t want to be within 12 parsecs of them.

If you’d like to harass me on Instagram, you can do so by going here.