February 3, 2018 (original post date)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Leia, rather than Luke, is the true hero of Star Wars...
Alright, maybe not so universally, but I think there's a strong case for Leia. Before you pull out your torches and pitchforks, hear me out.
In late spring of 1977, a small-time science fiction film hit movie theaters for the first time and took the world by storm. That summer, after droves of people rushed to the box office to catch this singularly unique movie, Star Wars had been called many things: an out-of-body experience; the biggest possible adventure fantasy; universally loved. The rest is history. If you, dear reader, happen to be in the minuscule percentage of people who have never seen a second of any Star Wars film (not to mention its two animated TV shows, several comic book runs, and various novels), a percentage with more zeros than Harrison Ford's net worth, here is a quick synopsis: a young (white) man from a desert planet escapes with a smuggler, saves a princess, and destroys a planet-killing machine the size of a small moon... I know, right? Great stuff. And that's just the first movie. The name of this young hero is Luke Skywalker, a fact that has permeated the pop cultural zeitgeist so deeply that even non-watchers of Star Wars know his name. I don’t think anyone would ever disagree that Luke Skywalker is the hero of Star Wars, but I am here to convince you that he is, in fact, not our hero or our true protagonist.
I am working on the assumption that most readers are very familiar with Star Wars, but if that’s not the case then fair warning: spoilers and info dump ahead. And for you Star Wars purists, yes, I do bring up the prequel series. Read at your own risk.
Friday, January 8, 2016 (original post date)
It’s been three weeks since Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens hit theaters and what an exhilarating three weeks it has been! The film captured the hearts of fans the world over and it has broken all manner of box office records, even pushing James Cameron’s Avatar, the long time champion of most money made ever here at home, from its number one spot. Along with the film’s financial and critical success, the imaginations of viewers have been busy interpreting the smallest details and making predictions for the next two films. Most popular among some fan theories is the story behind Rey’s parentage and, my personal favorite, the theory that Finn and Poe are more than space bros.
I caught The Force Awakens twice in theaters and I have some theories of my own. In the next few paragraphs I will lay out my thoughts on the identity of the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke who is, arguably, the real baddie of the new trilogy. If you haven’t had chance to see the movie yet (seriously?), then this is your chance to exit out before I get into the spoilerish deets. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
If you scrolled down and plan to continue the rest of this article then I’m going to assume that you’ve either seen the film or that you’re part of the rare 1% who don’t freak out at spoilers. Either way, you’ve been warned.
Saturday, January 11, 2014 (original post date)
Dreams matter to me. Although I still don’t know exactly what they are – my psyche’s way of dealing with emotional issues, peeks into my doppelgangers’ life from alternate universes, or nonsensical hodge-podges of my thoughts and experiences – they have proven to be my greatest source of inspiration as well as my number one confidants and secret keepers. Dreams are indiscriminate; they will show you things you don't want to see and things that’ll leave you wondering what sort of sick desires you've been harboring your whole life. Whatever craziness stirs you in you sleep at night (or day), dreams are some reflection of you. The reflection could be clear-as-day accurate, seemingly indiscernible from life, or distorted fun house mirror reflections, or reflections of a you from a different time. Either way, dreams come from your mind – your unique, twisted, beautiful mind – and there’s no denying their connections to our selves.
Last night . . . Or more accurately, this morning, I had a dream of a past that I hang on to, a life previously lived that I still shed tears over. In the dream, my parents are not the divorced, ambivalent, and hesitant acquaintances that I watched them become, but rather they were still in love (or at the very least, some illusion of love), and still happily married. My older brother and I are not torn-apart siblings missing each other over distance, but still the argumentative but playfully teasing Dynamic Duo. Father gets news of a house in Havana whose ownership he never surrendered. We take a trip to our island country as a family to see this new, old childhood home of mine. And when we arrive, it’s as if we never left. Like much of my country, our home is frozen in time; the walls are decorated with framed photographs my four year old self, of my brother’s 1st birthday party, and Mom and Dad’s wedding. The bedroom my brother and I shared is bursting at the seams with 90’s memorabilia, toys, children’s clothes, and memories. Even the layer of dust that covers everything and the dying guava tree in the backyard feel like old friends. The more of this long-forgotten home I explore, the younger I become, until I'm four years old again and I come across an abandoned triplet of kittens taking refuge in my white oak wardrobe. I am filled with the joy of a child – pure, harmless, incorruptible – and my dream ends with my 6 year old brother and I playing with the kittens.
I've never woken up feeling more heartbroken. Every fiber of my being longed for those days, those simpler days when being happy meant something more. When love was alive and prosperous, when loneliness was a foreign concept, and my brother and I were free to explore and bicker as siblings do, never thinking we'd someday be separated by consequence and 1,000 miles of empty space. And, somehow, I long for the unbridled innocence and warm fuzziness of a kitten, or three, on my lap.
Dreams dissect your true self, exposing your very essence, and projects it in the most hard-hitting ways. Pay attention to the ones that rip you open and leave you crying in a corner; you could be trying to tell yourself something.