Tag Archives: fandom

18 Signs You’re Obsessed With the “Alien” Franchise

Today is Alien Day! The “holiday” was introduced last year to commemorate the second film’s 30th anniversary. Since the asteroid the xenomorph eggs were found on was called LV426, it made sense to use the date 4/26 to celebrate everyone’s favorite horror-sci-fi franchise (take that 4/20 potheads!) much in the same way we celebrate May the Fourth. To take part in this celebration, I’m going to read your mind and reveal to you how you express your “love” for the Alien movies. Let’s begin shall we?

  • Whenever you send your naughty child to the corner of the house you put a life-size replica of the xenomorph complete with a second mouth that moves in and out in front of him/her.

Image result for ripley and alien gif

                    Go sit in the corner and think about what you did! (Source: Imgur)

  • You took up pole-dancing just so you can perform in a xenomorph costume.

       Then you perform your routine in front of your orange tabby, who just hisses.

  • You buy more than one cart of xenomorph eggs so that one day you can cook them and serve them to your husband for breakfast just so he can know what it’s like to give birth.

Image result for xenomorph toy eggs

                                                     Expires June 3, 2122.

  • You name your daughters Newt, Annalee and Amanda and your sons Kane, Brett, Parker, Ash and Dallas.
  • You sleep in a cryo chamber.
  • You’re license plate is either LV-426 or N0STRM0.
  • You’re answering machine is Ripley’s final report: “This is (your name here), last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off. Please leave a message.”
  • Instead of saying goodbye your parting remark is “Game over, man! Game over!”
  • You bought your in-laws facehuggers for Christmas (in space no one can hear you nag).
  • You sang “You Are My Lucky Star” to your kids as babies – which always ended with a scream.
  • Your biology thesis was on the xenomorph life cycle.
  • When you received news about John Hurt’s death you wore a black chestburster.
  • You wore a jumpsuit to school (with a Weyland-Yutani patch on both shoulders) everyday as a teenager.
  • You keep a flamethrower in the trunk of your car (you just never know).
  • Your ringtone is “Get away from her you bitch!”
  • If any one of your family members is sick you put them on quarantine for 24 hours – in a tent outside the house. We can’t take any risks you know.
  • You’re still sending death threats to the Academy Awards for not giving Sigourney Weaver the 1987 Oscar for Aliens.
  • You’re still sending marriage proposals to Sigourney Weaver – even though she’s been married to the same man for 32 years.

So that’s all I came up with. Could I have listed more? What other ways are you obsessed with the Alien franchise? Any and all suggestions, curses or threats is accepted in the comments section. Happy Alien Day!

 

 

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6 Star Wars Action Figures That Should Be Added to the Black Series

Yesterday, I took a Star Wars Black Series survey at surveymonkey.com to tell Hasbro what I want to see in future Black Series releases. If you take it yourself, you can 20% off your purchase at hasbrotoyshop.com (a word of caution, the survey is heavily 6″ biased, which can be a problem if you lean more towards 3.75 figures like me).

On another related note, I finally, finally, finally got that Ahsoka Tano figure I’ve always coveted. For years I wanted the Vintage Collection Ahsoka Tano figure but it was always priced at over $100. I love to collect, but I’m not stupid so I waited and learned that Hasbro had released the same figure to the Black Series line. So when it was finally available on Amazon, I bought it. Before that, I bought Medal Ceremony Princess Leia, a much needed update of a 1998 version.

Recently, I got myself to thinking: “what other past figures should get the Black Series treatment?” The possibilities are endless. So I’m narrowing the list down to female characters only and they’ll mostly be from before the Disney buyout of Lucasfilm. Also this is going to be an ongoing series so for now I’m going to pick 6 characters. Let’s begin, shall we?

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Padme Naberrie Peasant Disguise

Episode 1’s toy line in 1999 had three Padme figures: her battle gear, her Mongolian-influenced senate dress and her peasant disguise outfit when she first meets Anakin. At the time, Lucasfilm were promoting Padme and Queen Amidala as separate characters to avoid any spoilers. Padme’s battle of Naboo outfit was redesigned and re-released in 2012 to coincide with the 3-D release of The Phantom Menace but there hasn’t been a Tatooine Peasant Padme since 1999.

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Leia Organa Ewok Celebration Dress

Leia channels her inner Earth Mother. This is my third favorite Leia costume after this one and this one. To show off her diplomacy skills, she wears the dress the Ewoks make for her after Wicket brings her back to his village and again after the Empire is defeated. The last time we saw this dress in toy form was as part of some collectible tin collection in 2006. The figure looks like she needs to use the bathroom. A Black Series update is much needed.

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Juno Eclipse

This figure was part of the 2007 multi-media project The Force Unleashed. Juno Eclipse (portrayed by Nathalie Cox) is the Imperial pilot who escorts Galen Marek/Starkiller on his missions to eliminate any remaining jedi and helps him find his humanity (as well as hers) in the process. The only figure of her is her black Imperial Officer uniform. Eventually she joined the Rebellion so maybe when Hasbro gets around to designing her, she’ll have her Rebellion look.

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T’ra Saa

The picture above comes from the 2009 Comic 2-Pack Collection of secret jedi couple Tholme and T’ra Saa, two heroes of the Clone Wars. Not only did the line feature two action figures for the price of one but also came with the Dark Horse comic both characters featured in. No doubt the toys would fetch a very high price today what with Dark Horse no longer holding the reins of Star Wars. Hasbro can release both Tholme and Saa figures separately under the Black Series banner but you know which one I’m more willing to shelve out money for.

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Darth Phobos

Another character introduced through The Force Unleashed only this character functions as a training hologram for Starkiller. She was included in a 2011 5-pack Toys R Us exclusive. Unfortunately that cost at the time, $49.99. Today the lowest price you can get for the pack on Amazon is $149.69. Yup, time to give the gal her spotlight and her Black Series treatment.

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Jabba’s Dancers

OK, I cheated. I said 6 but I’m including these three because how can you split them up. Well, maybe Hasbro can sell them separately or as a 3-pack. Anyway, Rystall, Greeata and Lyn Mei were added to a musical scene in Jabba’s palace in the Return of the Jedi special edition. They were a part of the late 90s Power of the Force line and included in a 30th Anniversary Walmart exclusive with Joh Yowza and Rappertunie. However these gals have been in the same stilted position since 1998! They could use more articulation because they’re, you know, dancers. 

So that’s my first wish list of Star Wars ladies who should be added to the Black Series. Stay tuned for part 2 and sound off in the comments: which female character action figures would you like to see reissued as new additions to the Black Series?

See also: 10 Female Star Wars Characters That Should Be Made Into Action Figures

 

 

 

 

 

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Enough With The ‘Star Trek’ Vs. ‘Star Wars’ Debates

Star Trek is turning 50, which means lots of new goodies for fans to consume with their wallets – among them collectors’ issues from your local magazine rack. Among these issues, expect to find, once again, the perennial Star Trek vs. Star Wars articles as to which franchise is better. Eyeroll please.

When I was a teenager, I was a Star Wars fan first and foremost. I had never seen any episodes of Star Trek, whether it was the Original Series, the Next Generation, Deep Space Nine or Voyager. There were no TV stations playing the Original Series at the time (not even the then popular TV Land was airing the show regularly). Yet the no. 1 question I would get from people after learning that I loved Star Wars was “do you like Star Trek?” For years – even after I had become acquainted with the show – I had no clue there was supposed to be a “rivalry” between fans of both franchises. I ‘m convinced there isn’t and it’s all a pointless ploy by the media to create divisions and since it isn’t working, they won’t give up.

So to beat them at their own game, I’m going to tell you what both franchises have in common and why they both made our society all the richer for it (no, I will not point out the differences because they’re too obvious).

1. They Premiered In Double Digit Years.

Star Trek made it’s debut in 1966. Ten years later, in 1977, Star Wars: A New Hope  made its debut in theaters across the US. September 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. May 2017 will mark the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. Lord, time flies!

2. Both Had Something To Say

Gene [Roddenberry] envisioned a future where humanity had overcome their fears and prejudices and were willing to use science and exploration to their advantage. George [Lucas] envisioned an epic space adventure story using age-old mythological tropes. Both franchises are morality plays that dealt with topical and age-old issues: racism, oppression, good and evil, the importance of loyalty, the need for teamwork, why we should be forgiving, why we should look for the good in others, and so forth. They also broke ground in representation: Star Trek was the first major sf show to depict a diverse crew – that included a technically savvy black woman, an Asian helmsman and a Russian at the time of the Cold War, who weren’t ethnic stereotypes –  regularly, while Star Wars broke ground by introducing cinema’s first action heroine, challenging traditional male stereotypes with its main character and introducing a black character in a position of power – 28 years before the US would vote in a black president. I would also like to add that The Phantom Menace brought us, for the first time in cinematic history, a queen who wasn’t evil.

Here’s another point: both had potential to be even more groundbreaking, had circumstances not gotten in the way: the Enterprise‘s second in command would’ve been a woman, Obi-Wan Kenobi would’ve played by Toshiro Mifune, etc. But either way, both franchises changed people’s lives.

But the average viewer/moviegoer wasn’t the only person to be inspired by these stories…

3. Both Have Inspired Scientists 

I KNOW what you’re going to say! Star Trek is sci-fi, Star Wars is space fantasy, so you can’t even put the two in the same camp. Try telling that to the many scientists who’ve been inspired by both franchises. While Star Trek is the more obvious of the two – check out the charming documentary How William Shatner Changed the World for more information – Star Wars, believe it or not, has also inspired scientists to “stretch out with their feelings” when it comes to their scientific endeavors, be it space travel, biology, or prosthetics. Here’s a list of scientists (and scientific discoveries) inspired by that galaxy far, far away:

Holly GriffithThe Crew of Expedition 45Israel SanchezJonathan ArmbrusterKelly B. Miller and Quentin D. WheelerNate Lo

Here’s another documentary to watch: Star Wars Tech.

4. Both Produced An Expansive Tie-In Novel Collection

Curious as to what happened to the the crew of  the MirrorEnterprise after the events of “Mirror, Mirror”? Want to know more about the birth and life of Khan Noonien Singh before he was introduced in “Space Seed”? Want to learn more about Vulcan philosophy or Klingon rituals? Star Trek has produced, so far, over 200 tie-in novels written by talented authors, who fill in the blanks left open by the shows and movies that answers many a fan’s burning questions. From 1977 to 2014 the Star Wars Expanded Universe answered questions regarding how the myriads of characters in that galaxy far, far away got involved in the situations presented in the movies: who was Darth Plagueis the Wise? Why do the Sith follow the Rule of Two? How did Luke rebuild the Jedi Order? What happened to the survivors of Order 66? After April of 2014, a new canon novel timeline was introduced which included the novelization of an unfinished story arc from the canceled Clone Wars TV series. Whether you prefer the EU or the CU is up for debate. Because of the successful sales of Trek and Wars books, other franchises, from the X-Files to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, have also released tie-in novels furthering the adventures of their characters, albeit with less success.

Let’s also give a shout-out to all the comics, reference books and magazines published since ’66 and ’77.

5. Both Have Given Us Well-Written And Thought-Provoking Cartoons

If you were alive in 1973, were you under the impression that cartoons were silly, humorous entertainment strictly for kids and nothing more? Star Trek: The Animated Series shot that notion into a black hole with its intelligent, thought-provoking storylines, its continuation of groundbreaking moments (such as when Uhura briefly became captain of the Enterprise) lack of cutesy talking animal characters and its toned-downed humor. And because of that, the show won the franchise its first Emmy and paved the way for more serious, adult-oriented shows like Batman: The Animated Series. And if you ask me, Star Trek: TAS deserves more love.

In 2003 and 2008, Lucasfilm released two TV series that explored the war only hinted at in A New Hope and Attack of the Clones. The 2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars used minimal dialogue to portray the earliest battles of the Clone Wars and introduced a new, scary villain (and also netted the franchise its first Emmy) while the 2oo8 Clone Wars gave us more details, a deeper philosophical insight into the Force, more ambiguous moral conundrums and a new iconic female character. That series also won an Emmy (eventually) and was Cartoon Network’s most watched show.

6. Lots And Lots of Merchandise

…And counting. Could sports or music memorabilia ever compete with a fan’s extensive Star Trek or Star Wars collection? That depends on who you ask. Start with Marc Bell or Steve Sansweet (warning: your mind will be blown or you may covet these collections).

So let’s follow George Takei’s advice and stop this silly rivalry. Remember only a Sith deals in absolutes.

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You can also buy this shirt over at Society 6 in any size you want!

 

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Planet X Puts Simon Pegg On Trial For Crimes Against The SF Community

(Note: This is a work of fiction. However, real people with real quotes have been inserted into this work of fiction. This is also an inaccurate example of a trial. I’ve tried my best to be as close to real life as possible, but this is a mock trial on another planet. And you know what they say: “when in Rome, do as the Romans”. If your reading this and your an expert on the criminal justice system, any and all corrections are welcome.)

All rise. The Court of Planet X is now in session. Judge John W. Campbell presiding. Please be seated. Calling the case of the people of Planet X versus self-proclaimed geek, Simon John Beckingham Pegg.

Me: Your Honor. Geeks and nerds of the jury. The defendant has been charged with the crimes of haughtiness, rudeness to his peers and disrespect to his elders regarding beloved sci-fi franchises. Four incidents of this disreputable behavior will be used as evidence.

Exhibit A: A Constant Nagging Criticism of George Lucas and the Star Wars Prequels.

The defendant has always let it be known that he has a boiling disdain for George Lucas’ 1999-2005 trilogy. He has spewed bile about it in interviews over and over again. Take this quote for instance:

And I think if anyone can pull Star Wars out of the mire its J.J. He’ll bring the fun back. Lucas seemed to misread what made the first ones great, and concentrate on things that people didn’t really care about, or willfully ignore the things that people cared about. Whereas J.J. embraced them all. We’re going to see the Millennium Falcon again. We’re going to see those characters again. All the things we see about the first three, we will see again.

Or there’s this one:

They’re a monumental misunderstanding of what the first three films are about. It’s an exercise in utter infanticide, like George Lucas killing his kid.

Yet many fans disagree with Pegg’s views. And his response leads to…

Exhibit B: Bully Those That Like The Star Wars Prequels.

This is what Mr. Pegg had to say about those fans. First is this little gem from his show Spaced:

Note: He plays character named Tim and he’s shouting at a little boy for liking “The Phantom Menace”

“You are so blind! You so do not understand! You weren’t there at the beginning. You don’t know how good it was! How important! This is it for you! People like you make me sick!…take your pocket money AND GET OUT!

[little boy runs out crying]

“What a prick.”

He didn’t stop there, he said nasty things about prequel fans out of character too:

I don’t really have any respect for anyone who thinks those films are good. They’re not.

Now that we’ve seen evidence related to Star Warriors let’s move on to the other fans Pegg has offended – the Trekkies.

Exhibit C: Outright Rudeness Toward Star Trek Fans.

Star Trek Into Darkness, the sequel to 2009’s Star Trek reboot was released in 2013. It has an 86% at Rotten Tomatoes and made 467.4 million at the box office. But looks can deceive. At a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Into Darkness was voted worst the worst Star Trek movie of all time. Pegg did not take kindly to the news. Here’s his kind, thoughtful response:

You know what…it absolutely isn’t the worst Star Trek movie. It’s asinine, you know. It’s ridiculous. And frustrating as well, because a lot of hard work and love went into that movie, and all JJ wanted to do was make a film that people enjoyed. So to be subject to that level of sort of, like, crass, fucking ire, I just say, fuck you.

But then his criticism of Star Trek fans shifted to sci-fi fans in general.

Exhibit D: Accusing SF of Dumbing Us Down

Obviously I’m very much a self-confessed fan of science fiction and genre cinema. But part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilized by our own taste. Now we’re essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes…Adults are watching this stuff and taking it seriously!

And, not surprisingly, geeks did not take kindly to his words because he blamed everyone but himself.

Judge: The prosecution may call its first witness.

The People call the first witness, Israel Sanchez.

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God?

Sanchez: I do.

Clerk: You may be seated.

Me: Where do you work, Dr. Sanchez?

Sanchez: I work at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid.

Me: And what is your occupation, Dr. Sanchez?

Sanchez: I am a biologist.

Me: Can you tell us about the fossilized remains of this animal you discovered, Xenokeryx amidalae?

Sanchez: In central Spain, we discovered an amazingly preserved giraffe relative that lived between 23 million and 5 million years ago. Its physical characteristics included a short neck, two ossicones and a cranial, T-shaped appendage.

Me: And why did you name it, Xenokeryx amidalae?

Sanchez: If you remember the Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace film, when Padme Amidala is queen of her home planet Naboo, she shows off several complicated dresses and hairstyles. Well, one of the hairstyles from a scene in Coruscant is strikingly similar to the occipital appendage of Xenokeryx. Yes, I am a fan of Star Wars.

Me: And how does it make you feel to know that actor Simon Pegg has no respect for you?

Sanchez: I think it’s unfortunate, though I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him.

Me: Members of the court. I’d like to take this moment to name other famous fans of the Star Wars prequels: Robert Kirkman, comic book writer and creator of The Walking Dead. Joey Fatone, singer, dancer and former member of *Nsync. Actress Jaime King. Even more important are scientists like Nate Lo, who discovered bacteria in mitochondria and named it Midichloria mitochondrii. And last, but not least, astronauts Scott Kelly, Kjell Lindgren, Sergei Volkov, Oleg Kononenko, Kimiya Yui and Mikhail Kornienko, who posed as jedi for their Expedition 45 portrait and watched Revenge of the Sith in space. These are the true geeks who, inspired by science fiction, the very genre Pegg says is “infantilizing us”, spend their lives studying the world around us and using their findings to help society better understand our world. And because their tastes are different from Pegg, he has no respect for them. Thank you, Dr. Sanchez.

Judge: The witness is excused. The prosecution may call the next witness.

The People call George Takei.

Clerk: Please stand. Raise your right hand. Do you promise that the testimony you shall give in the case before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

Takei: I do.

Clerk: You may be seated.

Me: Mr. Takei, tell us your occupation and work history.

Takei: I am a 61-year veteran actor and activist. I played Enterprise helmsman Sulu on Star Trek.

Me: Mr. Takei, can you tell us about the week of July 4, 2015?

Takei: I was informed by John Cho, the actor who plays a younger version of my Star Trek character – that it would be revealed that Sulu would have a husband and a young daughter – as a form of inclusion and as a nod to me as a gay man. This decision was made by Simon, who wrote the screenplay and Justin Lin, the director.

Me: And what was your reaction to the news, Mr. Takei?

Takei:

I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.

Me: So what did you suggest to them?

Takei: I told them to…

Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly revealed as being closeted.

This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision…carried us through half a century. Honor him and create a new character.

Me: And did they respect your wishes?

Takei: I thought so at first. But they didn’t.

Me: What was Mr. Pegg’s response?

Takei: He said that he respectfully disagrees with me and that if he created a new gay character, it would be tokenism because audiences would just see that character as “the gay character”.

Me: And what did he say about Mr. Gene Roddenberry?

Takei: He said…

The viewing audience weren’t open-minded enough at the time and it must have forced Roddenberry to modulate his innovation. His mantra was always ‘infinite diversity in infinite combinations’. If he could have explored Sulu’s sexuality with George, he no doubt would have.

Me: Your Honor. Members of the jury. I did not use Mr. Takei’s predicament as Exhibit E, because I felt it was better to hear the victim tell his story in his own words. And it’s this recent incident that convinces me that Mr. Pegg should be found guilty.

Here he is, once again, declaring that he knows the franchises he claims to love better than the creators that spent, hours, days, months and years imagining, writing, outlining and fighting for their work to be released to the public. Franchises that he had nothing to do with in the first place. He was a consultant on The Force Awakens, despite the irrefutable fact that he was only 7 years old when A New Hope was released and had no involvement whatsoever with the making of the original trilogy. They already hired Lawrence Kasdan, the co-screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back to write the script. Because of this, The Force Awakens lacked creativity and originality. It was nothing more than big budget fan fiction with no heart and no soul. And now Pegg is using his delusions of grandeur against not only against Mr. Takei, a legend and icon among many, but the late Mr. Gene Roddenberry, by assuming he knows Roddenberry – a man he has never met – better than Takei, a man whose worked closely with Roddenberry for 23 years. And Pegg is now in charge of the screenplay for the 13th Trek film, Star Trek Beyond. Why? This man wasn’t even conceived when the very first Star Trek series premiered on September 8, 1966. Now, with him at the helm, so to speak, his decision to turn an established straight character, gay, is not only lazy, it’s inconsistent with Trek mythology. Since these contemporary films are prequels, it would be awkward to show Sulu with a family, and then watch the Original Series and wonder why he never brings them up in casual conversation. For gay fans of Star Trek, it would look as if Sulu went back into the closet. It would make Kirk’s aside about not knowing that Sulu had time to start a family in Star Trek Generations, all the more perplexing. I will close my arguments by pointing out that making Sulu gay as a tribute to Mr. Takei is undermining Mr. Takei’s work as an actor, a job that requires you pretend you’re something other than yourself for the sake of suspending audiences’ beliefs for an hour or two. That his sexuality is the only thing that defines him despite the fact that the roles he took as a Japanese American man broke barriers.

Judge: Will the jury foreperson please stand? Has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?

Foreperson: Yes. The jury finds the defendant…guilty.

Judge: Thank you jury. Ladies and Gentlemen. Due to the amounting evidence against Mr. Pegg, I think we can’t afford to wait another day to give the defendant his punishment.

From this day, forward, Mr. Pegg, you will be stripped of any film making duties, be it screenplays, producing, directing, editing and creative consultant. You will be restricted to acting and acting in other’s films only. However, you will be suspended for one year from film roles to spend the next two years, with worker’s compensation, reading and studying the works and history of science fiction. You will be given all the major classics of SF, from Asimov to Zelazny, to complete while wearing a different Star Wars prequel t-shirt everyday.

Court dismissed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do As Peggy Says: Support “Agent Carter”

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So the inevitable happened: ABC cancelled Agent Carter. Why? Because of “low ratings”. How were the ratings for Agent Carter were any lower than the ratings for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a show that (according to some fans) has indecisive storylines and started off weak, yet got stronger (depending on who you ask) as seasons went on? Was it because it was given a chance? Agent Carter, on the other hand, started off with critical acclaim, broke ground and won the hearts of nerd girls (and guys) everywhere. Even the second season, which divided fans, still had much to offer and left us with a juicy cliffhanger. If the show had such low ratings then why were there two online petitions to save the show? Maybe ABC aired the show in an inconvenient time slot (Tuesdays at 9 PM are iffy for me. I often had to use Hulu to catch up). Maybe ABC didn’t promote the show enough. Haley Atwell signed on to do a different show. Have you seen the trailer yet? Ugh. Just, ugh (barf).

But let’s not just sit around and mope. We are geeks and nerds! We have the brains and the imaginations to show and spread our love for our favorite secret agent so she will never be forgotten.

1. Sign Dat Petition

You’ve heard on the internet about that petition on Change.org to continue the show on Netflix. Sign that thing.  Think that won’t be enough? Go to abc.go.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on contact and a new window will appear (“feedback”). Select the box that says: “Select Your Issue”. Click on “abc programming feedback”. Give them your first and last name, email address, state and zip code. Select “Marvel’s Agent Carter” for “Select Show or Category”. Then select “I like this show because” and give your reasons. Even persuade them to move the show to Netflix. Then submit. If you feel that’s not enough, write to Marvel comics and Disney and complain (I’d provide contact info but I can’t find any. If you can provide info, it would be appreciated).

2. Buycott Peggy

Her Universe has four Agent Carter t-shirts. Here they are:

 

           10408048_hi   10577026_hi  

hun_mvl_agentcartershirt_front_01  14fc8a71265bcedae6b3cab8ecfd22d1

Teepublic.com also has some great shirts. Collect them all.

There’s also this FunkoPop! Peggy figure:

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You can buy one from Hot Topic or your local comics shop if they carry one.

Season 1 is available on DVD at Amazon.

3. Make Your Own Peggy Stuff

Do you have any hobbies? Can you sew? Knit? Make jewelry? Paint? Sculpt? Then put your talents to good use and make some Peggy-themed stuff to show off to your friends, family and fellow fans. If you want to take your Peggy love a step further, sell some of your stuff online, or at your local convention so that others will join you in celebrating the awesomeness that is Agent Carter.  I make jewelry so I plan to make some Peggy pendants using pictures printed from the internet, bezels and magic gloss (aka resins). I will display the final results on Tumblr.

So now it’s your turn. How will you express your love for Peggy and the gang? Sound off in the comments. I’d love to hear your ideas.

 

 

 

 

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Star Wars and Female Representation – Part 3

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Since I’ve been getting a lot of feedback for my previous posts on female character-centered merchandise, I realized that I didn’t expand on the ladies of the Expanded Universe that much. I just mentioned that there were action figures of them and that’s that. Well shame on me because now I’m going to fix that by showing you which ladies got represented in plastic form and where to find them (Yes, I’ve just heard about how SW toymakers were told not to include Rey in their merchandise. Why am I not surprised? Once again, this would’ve never been a problem when Lucas was in charge.).

I wasn’t much of a star warrior in 1995-6, but I do recall seeing commercials for lots of Star Wars action figures. It wasn’t until the release of the Special Editions in 1997, that Star Wars toys really started taking off and they haven’t lost steam since. The earliest wave of EU inspired action figures was the release of Shadows of the Empire, a multimedia project that revealed what happened to Luke, Leia, Chewie and Lando between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Sadly, there were no action figures of Guri, Xizor’s right-hand, er, woman and only two figures of Leia (one in her famous Boushh disguise and the other in an outfit provided by Xizor). But in 1998, fans caught a glimpse of  an action figure of one of the EU’s most popular female character: Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand. Here it is. But that’s not all. In 2007, Hasbro released some two figure packs that came with a comic. One of them was Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade from Heir to the Empire. And recently Mara was included in the Black Series line. I bought mine from the Disney Store, of all places.

Speaking of 2 figure comic packs, most of them contained ladies: The Dark Woman, Lumiya (the first ever made), Deena Shan (twice!), Ysanne Isard, Darth TalonJarael and T’raa Saa. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Remember Bastila Shan, the wife of Revan, in Knights of the Old Republic? She got an action figure too. And so did bounty hunter Shae Vizla from The Old Republic.

In 2008, Lucasfilm embarked on the most ambitious multi-media project since Shadows of the Empire except this time some female characters were included. Among them was Felucia Shaak Ti (a movie character that surivived Order 66) and her apprentice, Maris Brood. Another important character was Juno Eclipse, the woman who melts Galen Marek’s heart. And as an added bonus in this TFU five figure pack is the first and only Darth Talon action figure, a long dead sith lord resurrected as a holographic figure for Galen/Starkiller to duel with.

Shall I resuscitate you now? No? Good because I’m not finished yet.

Before Rey, there was Jaina Solo, daughter of Han and Leia, niece of Luke Skywalker and “Sword of the Jedi”. In 2009 she was included in the Legacy Collection with her brother, Jacen.

And what about Asajj Ventress? Even though she became canon with The Clone Wars, she was first introduced via the EU. Her first action figure appearance was as stylized as her animated counterpart in Genndy Tartakovsky’s 2003-2005 Clone Wars series. Then there was a five figure Battle Pack set from 2005 that included her, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda and General Grievous. Then in 2007 she was in the aforementioned Comics 2 Pack line with Tol Skorr.

I would mention her 2008 Clone Wars action figure, but that’s not considered Expanded Universe. 😉

For part one of this series, look here. For part two, click here.

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Filed under feminism, Star Wars

After Seeing “The Force Awakens”, People Are Starting to Miss George Lucas

Someone pointed out that there were a lot of negative reviews for “The Force Awakens” on IMDB.com. So I did a lot (and I mean a lot) of browsing through the member reviews and among the negatives, something unthinkable is happening:

People are starting to miss George Lucas.

Even more miraculous is some people are starting to see the freshness of the prequels. The following are some snippets from reviews that I copied and posted here, as well as the online names of the reviewers. The italics are my comments. I don’t agree with everything said but I think this is a good sign.

Enjoy:

“Bring back George Lucas. All is forgiven!” – magicbeatledel

“George Lucas, I miss you.” – ashsarin

“Covince George Lucas to write the stories for all future Star Wars films.” – A.Y.

“I would like to apologize to George Lucas for not giving him the credit his prequels deserved and seeing them for what they were. You at least had imagination and originality all the way through.

Long Live George Lucas!!!!” – sirfrazkhan

“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this movie makes me miss George Lucas. I think we all owe George a huge apology. I didn’t care much for the prequels at all, but at least they were original and you can tell there is a passion behind the story and the film-making.” – jerodorb

“After screening TFA George Lucas made a comment that many felt was back-handed…

‘I think fans are going to love it. It’s very much the kind of movie they’ve been looking for.’

You said it George… You said it.” –  HiFiAudioGuy (This person means that TFA is nothing more than fan service.)

“Lucas Help!” – vasyatyumen

“Help me George Lucas, you’re my only hope. Be a genius like you once were, step in and take back the reigns. I don’t know who else could.” – T.H.

“We’ll have a new appreciation for George Lucas’s talent.” – aloisc

“The prequels may have been bad for die-hard original trilogy fans, but at least Lucas came up with something original for those.” – stanislaw-63299

“If that is Disney, for the love of God get it back in the hands of Lucas.” – hughmanatee-54040

(This doesn’t mention Lucas but I’ll include it anyway cause LOL.) “Now, I consider the prequels (SW 1-3) to be true masterpieces of movie-making.” – i.a.

“George Lucas needs to come back. He at least cared about storytelling.” – louidz

“We may dispute about the artistic merits and demerits of the second Trilogy but it was undoubtedly made with love.” – R.B.

“At least in the prequels we get to know new worlds, very convincing and menacing villains and climax scenes with the music score been remembered  and helping to establish those moments (now I miss George Lucas).” – V.I.

“In Lucas’ defense at least he tried to invent something new with the prequels in order to move forward the mythology…” – wulfthar

“Once George Lucas was gone, so was the vision and guidance.” – Teh Pwn

“All in all, my takeaway is that George Lucas comes off smelling like roses. I never thought anyone could make his maligned prequels look inspired by comparison, but at least he knew the difference between a story and a gimmick.” – shea765

“I have to admit in a way, I think George Lucas has been vindicated due to the Force Awakens.” – willtheresaway

“Come Back George, All is Almost Forgiven  (title.)

Even George Lucas’ Episodes I, II and III had new content for us to digest and ponder over a beer.” – peeky1

“Bring Back Jar Jar To Improve Star Wars” (No, really, that’s the title!) – johnsonfambly

“It’s So Terrible In All Aspects That I Actually Miss Jar Jar Now” – A.H.V.

“I left actually missing the genuine heart and love for these characters and this saga, admittedly not always with the most finesse and appeal, that George Lucas always displayed.” – J. N.

“Bring back George Lucas Please!!!” – P.C.

“Help us, George Lucas, you’re our only hope.” – monik2695

“I didn’t hate this movie but once the hype dies down, I think it will probably be looked on in a similar way as the Prequels. However the Prequels have at least one advantage because they tried something fresh and original. It didn’t pay off as well as George Lucas hoped but at least he wasn’t just ripping off one of the other Star Wars movies.  Personally I think The Force Awakens was worse than the Prequels.” – tom-43722

“I really wish I could have seen Lucas’ vision of it instead.” – jlseagull-jonno

“Despite how disappointed I was when I saw George Lucas’ prequel trilogy, he at least made his films with an open heart. And they contained moments that I thought I would like to watch again. The Force Awakens has none of that for me.” – jordanlucker42

“I miss George Lucas. I truly miss George Lucas now.” – robertpetersson9

“Now I’m curious to know what Lucas’s original story was. People like to beat up on the prequels, and they certainly leave a lot to be desired, but they had their moments. And despite their flaws, they still felt like Star Wars. The Force Awakens, on the other hand… felt a little hollow and soulless. It needed George Lucas’s touch.” – mblotd

“Give us back Lucas to Star Wars, please. We will say sorry for all the worse things we said in these years, but give us back that man.” – O.M.

“But the irony here is that Lucas’ prequels were more creative and innovative (new planets, new alien races) than this supposed sequel, whose every planet and creature feels like we’ve been there before, we’ve done that already (hey, another cantina scene!).” – rosebudfr

“If this was the best they could come up with Lucas should come out of retirement and do the next two.” – Darkfalz1979

“Come back, George. You’re forgiven.” – filmaxter

“For all of the mistakes in the prequels, at least George Lucas had the guts to actually develop the story!” – andrew-morley-955-593950

“I do miss George Lucas’ story telling!” – M.K.

“At least Lucas followed his heart with the prequels and tried to make something original.” – rysmith25

“If your new favorite movie’s claim to fame is ‘it’s better than the prequels’, then you obviously can’t pick them very well.” – J.S.

“George Lucas was at least trying to say something thoughtful.” – glofau

“Makes me think if we had any of Lucas’ originals releasing now, how would critics and audiences have treated them?” – A.B.(pazuzu-1)

“However, if you’ve been a lifelong fan, you will leave this movie doing the unthinkable and that’s saying, ‘I miss George Lucas.’ Say what you will about the prequels but at least he had the guts to write an entirely new story, no matter how flawed.” – spamsoft

“I think this movie is the worst Star Wars sequel ever made so far. The absence of George Lucas among the ‘written by’ credits is so evident that you might think you’re watching a movie that has plagiarized the Star Wars saga.” – L.M.

“Was it a mistake to reject George Lucas’ ideas?” – avossa

“I feel a little nostalgic for the prequels and their fresh material.” – michaeldenis

“Great film, but you can see the consequence of Lucas selling out to Disney.

I wonder what George Lucas could be thinking, ‘I created Jar Jar and they blamed me, now this Jar Jar messed and reused my story and they are loving him??'” – pipegomez

“…The lack of George Lucas is very obvious. Say what you want about him, but that man is special, he brought something unique that was even in the prequels. That special ingredient is missing in this movie.” – elpresidente-4

“In some ways the prequels were more honest than The Force Awakens, in the sense that you understand why characters do the things they do and this is coming from someone who is not a fan of the prequels.” – N.C.

“I’m surprised that people despise the prequels so much yet PRAISE this unimaginative weak rehash.” – JAB102

“…The prequels…helped create a larger world and a larger context.” – powerful_jedi

“It was a mistake to not allow Lucas to direct.” – ssimon55

“Suddenly the prequel trilogy doesn’t look that bad.” – F.C.

“I miss Lucas, wooden dialogues and all…” – AlanaJedi

“Lucas’ prequel trilogy gave us something new, a lot of which didn’t work. But at least it was new! Those films felt more compelling than this one.” – tgrock

“This movie needed to have more George Lucas.” – R.Z.

“For me Episodes 1 to 3 were superior and had a unique story at least.” – TheJediNight

“This movie just does not have the George Lucas touch, it is another mainstream Disney family action movie.” – the_real_smile

“The sad thing is, at any rate, that I truly believe that had George Lucas created this same crushing disappointment of a film, he would never have seen the end of the censure.

Yes, The Force Awakens is garbage, and the best thing I can say of it is that it has given me a newfound greater appreciation for George Lucas’ deeply flawed, but heartfelt and genuinely moving prequel trilogy, and the inescapable genius of his vision which has no place near Disney’s thoughtless, soulless, assembly line movie-making.” – ian32353

“Never would I have imagined Episode VII would be worse than the prequels. I was wrong. Forgive me George Lucas.” – alberator

“Lucas at least had the balls to explore new terrain… ALL the prequels were new, ACTUALLY new, movies.” – buggy3001

“Made me like the prequels so much more…” – lance752

“At least the prequels had originality if nothing else.” – rick-58826

“Two weeks prior to the premiere, I watched the George Lucas interview after he watched the complete version and in which you could read the disappointment on his face. I said to myself that it can’t be true, he’s just old and crazy, but after I have watched it myself, I completely feel his pain.” – MisterHOH

“Been waiting to say this a long time…THE PREQUELS WERE WAY BETTER!!!

And maybe the people that still keep talking down the prequels can focus on hating this movie instead?” – megatronxxi

“Such spirits live on for the whole original trilogies, and in prequels as well. Don’t get me wrong. I also think prequels were bad movies and George Lucas was somewhat to be blamed for such failures. But they were original, with new spaceship designs, new stories, new alien worlds and species that expanded the Star Wars Universe. Everyone of his episodes, whether bad or good, worked to expend our imagination and acknowledge how we can incorporate our own ideas to the movies. This is proved by how many Star Wars dedicated novels and games (we call it Expanded Universe, or EU) are contributed by the fans, continually expanding our imagination with novelty.

Prequels were bad because of Lucas’ poor directing (which he acknowledged), poor scripts and overuse of CGs, not because of his stories and ideas.

Some reviewers commented “the magic is back!” No. This only confirmed how great George Lucas’ ambition was when he started the Star Wars franchise, and the death of magic Lucas created for us.” – kyw0277

“J.J. You, sir… have officially done what many say Lucas did but truly did not. You have murdered, butchered, and mutilated whatever was left of Star Wars. You, sir. Finally did it. You killed Star Wars and its soul.” – angiris

“On some levels I think I even preferred The Phantom Menace. It’s hard to believe now, but at least it introduced groundbreaking special effects and had moments of genuine excitement. McGregor and Neeson were convincing and very watchable together. ” – mankind-photo

“I wanted so badly to love this movie. But now I feel like I owe George Lucas a huge apology. At least Lucas tried to do an original story in his prequels. At least he allowed the characters to evolve.” – fyreflye-93363

“But my feeling is that the spirituality of Lucas’ films doesn’t fit into today’s mainstream anymore. After all, the whole point was that if you get tainted by the dark side there’s no going back. Now try to match this with the recent ‘we have to ignore our values to save them’ politics. Anakin’s fall in Eps 1-3 was a comment on our real world that Disney wasn’t likely to continue.” – Big Brother

“For me the George Lucas’ Star Wars are over.” – dimtabakov

“So This Is How Creativity Dies … With Thunderous Applause (title)

George Lucas at least showed us new planets or environments in the prequels which we could look at in awe.” – invisibleman-1

“I can’t believe I’m saying this but I think Lucas would have done a much better movie than this one.” – T.A.

“I wish Lucas could do episode 8 *sigh*.” – wolfpup3

“The main reason for the success of the Star Wars series has been the guiding hand of George Lucas. With Disney in control instead of George Lucas, Star Wars has now become nothing more than just another kid’s show.” – game-seller

” There is still more heart in the single scene in Episode 2 in which a young Boba Fett alone on the deserted battlefield, cradles his father’s severed head, than in this entire movie.” – Cassandra-94509

“GEORGE LUCAS needs to come back and direct his movies…I’d say ‘Bring back George Lucas!!!’ not the same without him…- kknight1974

“And honestly, I missed George. George’s world had its problems but at least it was coherent and interesting, not just a random collection of old, recycled favorites thrown together in the most marketable bundle possible. We got rid of George Lucas and now we have a fatherless franchise.” – J.D.

“I would rather watch the previous 6 episodes again than watch this one for a second time.” – alanlee-84230

“99% of the production value was spent on replicating that original 70’s look (where even Lucas decided to go with something fresher)…” – zwerg105

“To be honest I’d love to know what George Lucas had in mind for episodes 7-9.” – pjvanes69

“I would love to hear George’s honest thoughts on this film although I’m sure Disney will have muting clause in the contract somewhere.” – A.H.

“Even if you hated the prequels, after this movie you want Lucas to come back, declare ‘The Force Awakens’ non-canon and film an alternative Star Wars VII.” – knnknn

“At least Lucas had a vision for the prequels. This movie lacks heart and vision which ultimately makes it unwatchable and boring.” – The_Legend3

“Say what you want about Lucas, but he knows how to build a climax.” – M.B.

“It’s safe to say no George Lucas, no Star Wars…and saying this I stop being a fan for this money machine until Lucas comes back.” – J.M.

“The prequels were maligned (I didn’t like them), but at least they had a plot and took us to new places. Come back George and help save this mess!” – Icedjw

“The prequels might have been bad Star Wars movies but they were Star Wars movies in heart and soul.

The leading thread in The Force Awakens is milking George Lucas’ creation for money. Unlike the creator, Abrams had no message he needed telling.” – D.D.S.S.

“The three prequels may have had their faults but at least brought something new, a darker and more dramatic tone which accentuated the contrast between good and evil. What made them fail was that Lucas also tried to keep the naive positivity and childish sense of humor of 4-5, which were OK in 4-5 but resulted in a lack of cohesion in 1-3. But at least he tried to innovate, like an artist should do.

Lucas may have made mistakes, but he always experimented and innovated, and I respect him for this.” – altersaege

“This would not have been the movie put forth by George Lucas by any means and the movie itself does not follow Star Wars protocol.

Thank you George for episodes 1-6!” – mji71

“I walked out of the theater and into the lobby. I stopped by the poster and stared at it. I honestly was void of any thoughts let alone words. I walked out of the theater to my car, opened it, got in, then stared at the parking lot. I finally asked myself why I felt as though I hadn’t seen it yet. Maybe I was becoming burned out on Star Wars. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just I expected…..I don’t know…..maybe…..

……….the strangest sensation came over me suddenly, I felt compelled to watch the prequels, ONLY the prequels, 1, 2 and 3!! I wanted to watch them, I NEEDED to watch them. This sensation quickly became a number one top priority!! I don’t know why, but it had to be immediately!! Then I thought, YouTube, yeah! I quickly typed, Anakin Vs. Obi Wan…..there I was, watching Episode 3 and the final battle on my tiny phone. John Williams iconic musical score blasted from it, both actors are thrilling, at each other’s throats, the fire planet, a breathtaking set piece beautifully digitally animated, the story is suspenseful as hell. The tension is emotionally supercharged!!! After that I brought up Yoda Vs. the Emperor; same reaction (and Yoda was entirely CGI)!!! Then the Pod race in 1; same thing…..then Obi Wan Vs. Jango Fett in 2; superb!!!

I then realized why VII left me so emotionless, because there was no George Lucas. His film making magic is what was missing. His gift for genuine emotion, suspense, originality and storytelling is nowhere to be found. VII opened my mind’s eye to something. I always said that the prequels were so bad. They weren’t. I was wrong. George, I owe you an apology. Those individual pieces on my phone was a hundred times more entertaining than the big screen full movie of VII. That’s pretty bad.

What VII did for me: Give those prequels the proper credit they most certainly deserved. Any up front flaws that those prequels had can be respectfully disregarded, they were damn good films. When I got home I rewatched all three of them, they’re awesome!

Disney, J.J., if this is the best you can do then give it up now. Lucas is way out of your league. You do not have the Star Wars magic.” – misties

“It left me feeling numb. It left me missing George Lucas.” – jhanlon-12011

“I now see that George Lucas was right, the madness is in the detail. 3 films dedicated (plus the animated series) to showing us Anakin’s decent into the dark side now looks time well spent when compared to this slingshot around the sun.” – jez-28621

“One thing Lucas did great in the prequels is taking us to different planets and really showed how unique each environment was. We didn’t get that at all with Episode 7.” – dm-56199

“George Lucas: The Innovator (title) 

…the fact that a lot of people consider this a remake and not a sequel is bad in my opinion. Was that really all people wanted? Was that why the prequels were SO HATED, because they tried something new?… this is also a testament to the movie industry that we just want the same thing, because it feels familiar and we don’t have to question anything. If this movie did one thing it made me appreciate what George Lucas tried to do, maybe not in all ways succeed, but at least try.” – N.J.

“Star Wars is dead but we will always have 6 fantastic pieces of art. I miss you so much George. I’m sorry.” – J.L.

“I will have to agree with Lucas. This film without him is nothing: junk, junk, junk.” – alvydasjokubauskas

“The prequel trilogy’s main problem was that it entirely depended on CGI which made it unbelievable, but in many respects was way better than this new installment. At least there was a new story.” – godsnames

“Lucas Did It Way Way Better” – markaurelianus

“Why oh why couldn’t Disney actually make a movie of the existing stories that George Lucas already wrote decades ago and had also already made scripts of?” – eldydor

“I think old George had a good laugh. He sold Disney a recipe for millions of dollars, knowing they can’t cook. Brilliant man!”-razblizz

“Nothing close to any of the Star Wars directed by Lucas.” – ironhorsegladiator

“Because of this movie, I miss George Lucas so much.

No George Lucas, no Star Wars.” – gimlikos

“The prequels were bad but at least they didn’t insult my intelligence by making an Avengers style film with a Star Wars skin. Who would have thought I would have a new appreciation for the prequels after walking out of this movie.” – NessFromOnett

“To me this whole thing boils down to opposites as follows: George Lucas always had a story to tell. He built worlds. He populated them with animals and birds and history. He respected his characters and knew the audience wanted them to triumph. Disney and Abrams had no story to tell (they just want to make money)…

George Lucas had a sense of history to his story. This one does not.” – torifelstead

“…the reason Star Wars is so popular is because one guy decided to risk, mixing art with pop culture and risked again years later, introducing Shakespearean moral themes, deliberately strange dialogue reflecting Homer’s techniques used in his epics to convey “hidden” messages to further emphasize the passive precognition of the Jedi. Not all the risks pay off or are noticed. Still, an artist takes those risks, and for that I am grateful they were taken by Lucas.” – E.Z.

“I would just like to apologise to George Lucas. Before I saw The Force Awakens I was happy he was not involved. Now I realise Lucas losing creative control is probably the worst thing that could have happened to Star Wars.” – jasonjay100

“If you see beyond the big budget it is the same movie and lacking the magic of Lucas.” – N.U.

“Even the prequel episodes to the originals were better than this piece of junk.” – Sinbad theSailor

“For me, Star Wars will just consist of George Lucas’ parts from now on, pretending this last movie never happened.” – Nikopolous

“The prequels were pretty bad, but there’s at least one thing they did better: that majestic, grand SW-feeling.” – Zippo_123

“For those who are sad, and even think that VII ruined all of Star Wars for you, remember this. Lucas was not involved. He didn’t help direct it. He didn’t write it. He didn’t even co-write it. All of his ideas were ‘poo poed’ by Disney so he backed out. To me, this places Episode VII outside the canon of Star Wars. Big money can slap the title on the film, but if the father of Star Wars had no say in it, it’s not canon.” – wes-29182

“I really do hope, George Lucas buys back the franchise, disavows this film, and makes a proper one.” – G.T.

“All Is Forgiven, George (title)

We all took George Lucas for granted when we saw the prequels. We saw the flaws and didn’t appreciate the brilliant story beneath the surface, the original characters, ships and locations. TFA stands in stark contrast to GL’s brilliance… a pointless, corporate, plagiarised piece of unimaginative rubbish.” – C.C.

“When George Lucas was involved, you could tell that he was involved. Now, with J.J Abrams at the helm, it doesn’t even feel like Star Wars anymore.” – UntamedRomance

“I never thought I’d think these treacherous thoughts after midichloreans and Jar Jar, but I kinda miss Lucas.” – C.J.

“Prequels Did It Better” – C.A.

“Bring back George Lucas. At least he came out with some original ideas. They may not have all worked but at least he had the guts to try something new!” – sanjk75

“Bring Back George Lucas! (title)

I for one…believe the whole franchise would have been better off under Lucas’s guidance.” – Star Master

“To recycle old ideas is an insult to George Lucas, the fans, and the saga.” – dturov

“Anyway, I am sorry I blamed Lucas for Ep.1-3. It turned out they were great, compared to this thing, whatever this thing is.” – Marko10

(I post this one because I find it interesting. This reviewer believes that beneath the diverse casting, The Force Awakens is another variation on the white savior story. Finn escapes from the white-led First Order and always has to be saved by a white character.) “People have praised the film for addressing the (perceived) racial and gender inequality of the original trilogy. But in both the originals and the prequels you had strong black portrayal (Lando in the originals and Mace Windu in the prequels who were also strong characters in positions of authority and leadership). So the original films were much more progressive and far less racist than this film.” – cvonbarron

“I Owe ‘The Phantom Menace’ An Apology (title)

I honestly think it is even worse than the prequel series. Yes, those were awful, but at least they had ambition – they tried to forge ahead, and add substance to the universe. TFA does not. It lives like a parasite on the universe created by the original trilogy.” – drivein s4turday

“After watching the 7th film of Star Wars, I came to the conclusion that George Lucas would have done better. It was good but it could have been better.

We can only hope that George comes back to the Light Side and takes Star Wars away from the hands of Disney. May the Force be with George!” – S.B.

“There’s a lot that has been said about George Lucas in the last forty years, but there’s one thing that can’t be denied: he had imagination.

The prequel trilogy was a misstep in a lot of aspects, but at least George tried to innovate and create something new. The Force Awakens however is a big step backwards.” – imdboudewijn

“Whatever one thinks of I-III, at least they were original; new story lines, new weapons, species. The villains were complex, credible and weighty; Palpatine, Count Dooku. Palpatine played 3-4 sides against each other.” – chumbywhumba

(I love this one because it’s the first review to take a swipe at a certain famous spoiled brat. Seriously, J.J., if you already had Kasdan as a co-writer why did you ask someone who wasn’t even involved in the OT’s production to give creative input? Over Lucas.) “Under Disney ownership and with hacks such as JJ Abrams (with creative input from Simon Pegg…God help us) at the helm now, unfortunately Star Wars has been reduced to yet another Transformers/Marvel mindless action, zero plot franchise designed purely to reach the widest possible audience.

But without Lucas, it’s just spaceships and lasers.” – aveivers

“Please bring back Jar Jar! He was a much better character than any of the ones Disney added!” – G.O.

“Makes me appreciate the prequels just a little bit more. Although they were terrible movies, they brought tons of new stuff to the table. I can’t think of anything original, this movie has brought, and lemme tell you: IT FEELS FRIGGIN’ DEPRESSING!” – martyaxwar

“There was nothing, absolutely nothing in the story of this movie that somehow expands or builds the Star Wars storyline. Even though episodes 1-3 were awful and wooden, at least George Lucas was trying something.” – jonnev-933-918325

“I would suggest J.J. to use George Lucas for the next episode but as they are already producing Episode 9 while the Force Awakens is still available in theaters, I think we will enjoy another epic failure. George, Come Back!” – A.E.

“I was not surprised when this ‘Little Mermaid II in space’ was received as a masterpiece by the so-called ‘fans’, roughly the same people who called Avatar ‘Pocahontas in space’. Their criticism towards George Lucas’s prequels and their irrational hatred of Jar Jar probably blinded them to their own double standards. When a director decides an extra movie will do a book more justice in an adaptation they immediately have the word ‘capitalist’ ready but when a movie obviously recycles a previous success for commercial reasons it is a masterpiece?

Once you could no longer avoid the black plot holes in the story I realized that copying the plot elements from the very first Star Wars movie keeps you warm and fuzzy for a while until you sense the absence of lore, a political background and pretty much everything that made Star Wars Star Wars. I call it: the Lucas touch, which is in my opinion the core ingredient to what Star Wars REALLY is, not what a bunch of crazed fans, who have only ever consumed Star Wars and never contributed to it, make it out to be. The essence to the Star Wars story arc, the warmth to the stories and coming of age of the characters, all lost.” – e.h.

“I would even rather watch The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith than this garbage.” – temps89

“There was nothing, new or exciting about it and as it was just a poor rehash of episode 4, it was also very predictable. Say what you may about George Lucas as a director, but at least he knew how to tell a story.

It is doubtful if I will bother with the next 2, and instead will just enjoy watching the story George Lucas gave us.”- tcomx

“Is my generation that hive minded that Disney was able to manipulate their weak minds with weeks of pre-hype and advertisement? I never joined the “the prequels aren’t good” circle-jerk bandwagon, though I never thought they were as good as the originals – their ratings on IMDb are actually fair. But I liked every single prequel movie better than The Force Awakens.” – Trokin

“Really, this whole movie is so derivative and unimaginative that I was missing the prequels. Sure, they were not the most well written masterpieces in cinema, but they expanded the universe in every installment – and this is a big universe we are talking about here. This movie plays it safe – too safe.” – John

“And I thought Jar Jar Binks was the pits for this movie series. Jeez, was I wrong.” – pontus-randen

“Episodes 1-3 were bashed for not being in par with the saga, but looking back at them from Force’s perspective – they’re near masterpieces of sci-fi action genre. I’m getting through them with my daughter now and the depth of characters, rich script full of interesting plots, well developed characters, even Christensen’s Anakin – they’re all a joy to watch. There was so much fuss when Abrams took the saga, he’d been brought up on Star Wars, he’s gonna turn it into a masterpiece people said. So far nothing indicates any of that and I fear next movies, that are probably being produced as we speak, will only get worse.” – janzjaniny

“You can definitely feel and see the absence of George Lucas. He belongs there. He is the essence and spirit of ‘Star Wars'”. – T.J.F.

“So Phantom Menace WAS A Good Movie Anyway!” – feritciva

“I’m thinking George Lucas would have done better, guys.” – jbmajzner-87228

“I am disappointed with this because it sends away George Lucas…and exists only to sell enough toys to justify Disney’s investment.” – A.D.

“This film made me miss the underrated prequels. Yes, they had their share of problems, but at least they prioritized the plot over explosions and presented some new ideas.” – Fanfictionlurker1

“I just hope, that the upcoming movies will be produced under the advice of George Lucas.” – Roxerone

“After watching it last night, I can honestly say that the critically panned Lucas prequels are better.” – ian_campbell6

“People are right to say the prequels were slightly better because at least they were trying to stay focused on the story. God only knows why with such incredible material they decided to make this movie so sloppy and boring.” – Rattigan

“Makes The Prequels Suddenly Seem Much Better (title)

This is the first Star Wars movie I’ve seen that doesn’t feel like a Star Wars movie. Not once. After watching all this, all I could think was, heck, ‘The Phantom Menace’, Jar Jar Binks and all, was vastly more original, exciting, and fun. Did I mention that it never once achieves that sense of soaring wonder and elation that even the prequels occasionally achieve? This is sad.” – bholly72

“For all the hate he gets, Lucas was a master world builder. I genuinely enjoyed the machinations of Palpatine within the Senate, the political scheming of the trade federation, and the build up to the start of the Clone Wars. It made the Star Wars universe seem so real seeing a functioning government and the power struggles within it. Abrams’ entry in the series is devoid of all of that context. And the lesser for it.” – sahmsnash

“It is my sincere belief that Kathleen Kennedy convinced George Lucas to sell to Disney with the knowledge that she would be in charge of Lucasfilm. She also had no intention of continuing Lucas’ vision and opted to use tired formulas from The Hunger Games and Harry Potter movies. The Force Awakens is an attempt to replace the first trilogy completely and start an all-new franchise under Disney. The intent is to push Lucas’ 6-film series into obscurity.” – Its-Clobberin-Time

“First Order? What the hell is that? If Lucas did something like that, it would have been in 1, 2, or 3, not way down the line like Disney. Having a group called the First Order would make the group the first. What is so ‘first’ about it since stormtroopers and sith are already established? What about the guy on the throne? He looks like something from Harry Potter. Ooh, big evil guy who wants himself to be menacing. Sidious was menacing in his own right and did not need to be gigantic. Covering his face with a hood did it all.” – CM1976

“So ‘fans’, you got everything you wanted. George Lucas, and the prequels are but a memory and you get all your original toys back, with just enough new crap to fool you into thinking your experiencing something fresh. You’ll see the next 20 Star Wars movies and you’ll get everything you begged to have, but you’ll never be surprised.

When Lucas wrote the script for A New Hope, he wasn’t trying to please anyone but himself. He wasn’t feeding a hungry mob everything they wanted, he was crafting a story that he wanted to see told on film. After 6 great chapters, he finished his story. So enjoy Disney’s Star Wars movies until the end of time, but just remember that you’re never going to see a film series so daring, ambitious, and above all, entertaining as George Lucas’ Star Wars.

George Lucas didn’t just have a part in the making of Star Wars, he CREATED it. Star Wars wasn’t a collaboration that incorporated the imaginations of many different people. It wasn’t an adaptation of someone else’s work. Star Wars is solely the product of one man’s imagination. Sure, tons of people worked on the films, but the entire Star Wars universe is George Lucas’ vision. The uniqueness of Star Wars is that it all comes from the mind of one, incredibly creative man. Episodes 1-6 are the official Star Wars story as told by the man who created it. Any other story is, by definition, an imitation. A Star Wars story without George Lucas is the same as a Dr. Seuss story without Dr. Seuss or a Harry Potter story without JK Rowling. When one person creates a universe, it belongs to them. The Force Awakens is not chapter 7 of the saga, it is chapter 1 of a corporation’s takeover of a universe created by someone else.” – jaredpahl

“A Re-Release of ‘The Phantom Menace’ Would’ve Been Better” – fadohacolu

“Even the prequels demolish this movie in plot, character building and EVEN action sequences.” – pipbison

“Clearly, long gone are the days of incredible creatures and amazing costumes (shout out to Lucas).” – K.J.

“The prequels with bad acting, terrible special effects and lack of real sets sucked yes, but at least they had a good story.” – LiveFire 1

“Honestly, I’d rather watch The Phantom Menace.” – prwalters

(I don’t know why I included this one but I like it anyway.)“I kept on kidding myself into thinking Natalie Portman would soon walk in with her commanding, powerful and mystical presence.” – rubysthom (a self-proclaimed “fierce woman” who was disappointed with Rey.)

“I always liked George Lucas and this movie makes me want to bring him back. Lucas did not make this movie so I consider it a remake, not Star Wars.” – Joe

“At least with the prequels George Lucas had the task of tying all of the plot subtleties together. What did we get? Exactly what the mindless masses wanted, A New NEW Hope.” – andyschultz-95491

“Even in The Phantom Menace and Clone Wars they at least showed/introduced a planet with its creatures combined with great music.” – vladimir-ivanov84

“I don’t know why people hated Episodes 1, 2 and 3…these movies were visually wonderful and exciting, with tons of new planets, eye-popping locations, vastness of space, robots, gadgets, cities, buildings, politics, and intrigue. Many memorable moments, real drama, crazy lightsaber fights, massive military battles, alien wildlife and much much more…they were the true and thrilling progression from Episodes 4,5, and 6.

Episode 7 has none of that. I doubt I will ever want to watch this ridiculous boring rip-off again.” – dekadent

“At no point did this film feel like a genuine Star Wars movie. Disney should consider giving Star Wars back to Lucas.” – kaledolfin

“A New Hope has pacing, galactic scope, tension building, memorable characters, and a powerful spirit. Even the flawed prequels retain scope and vision. The story arc of Episodes 1 through 6 is about the corruption of Anakin Skywalker from childhood and his eventual redemption in death through the efforts of his children. The series has not one, but two of the most memorable villains in storytelling history: Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.

Episode 7 has none of these elements.” – WylyQuimby

“Like so many I am a massive fan of the original 3 movies and although the prequels didn’t measure up to the first 3, they did stand on their own in terms of story line and character building, but The Force Awakens was, I have to say a real disappointment.” – C.D.

“This is truly the most depressing movie ever. There’s no Lucas. No storytelling. No Force. Nothing from the previous films.

‘Hey it’s cool to have a stormtrooper pick up this weapon.’ ‘Hey this is what the fans want.’ The Big Bang loving group that have been BRAINWASHED to say Episode 1 Sucks, etc. etc. I only hope Lucas’s original vision someday comes to light, in a written form, or something. I’m POSITIVE he never imagined this ATROCITY.” – Sro100

“Even the prequels with all their faults were light years ahead of this simplistic nostalgia mosaic.” – P.K.

“While the prequels had issues with the writing, directing and acting, I always joked/thought that some people didn’t like them simply because those movies did not have X-wings, TIEs and the Falcon flying around and that some people just needed those ships flying across the screen and some lightsabers to rate a movie a great SW story. Well this movie sadly proves that point since many seem to rate this movie as good. But to me the Star Wars movies should always introduce new designs, ships, locations/ planets and story lines… That is what makes it an epic, vast space adventure.” – Betamax77

“After watching it, I realized that the prequels were not too bad, because at least they HAD A STORY to tell.” – N.G.

“No matter how much some people hate the prequels, none of them can tell me it (TFA) was better than Phantom or Clones.

I already miss George Lucas.” – desertfox1942-178-876030

“Even the previous worst Star Wars movie, The Phantom Menace, is better than this because despite Jar Jar Binks it has two jedi plus a great villain who gives us the best fight sequence in a Star Wars movie to date.” – hotturkey

“I don’t consider this movie canon. Bring back George.” – H.E.

“Compare it to the last three, then this movie is absolute crap. The last three has such a huge amount of focus put into it but this one had a similar format as before, the story line was from previous movie.” – rslrsl

“Phantom Menace was better solely on the fact that it took chances.” – 46055 Dollard

“If you see beyond the big budget it is the same movie and lacking the magic of Lucas.” – N.U.

“Lacks the Lucas Heart” – B.H.

“But even the prequels had better ideas, and MUCH better music.” – j.v.

“This movie does a great disservice to the Star Wars fan base and to the unimaginably gifted and talented story telling ability/vision of George Lucas and will be remembered as such by true Star Wars fans.” – david – 69494

“But again, thank you George Lucas for giving us 6 excellent films. I wish you would put your input into episode 8 to correct what a failure episode 7 is by JJ Abrams. I want to cry for what he did to your original creation. The only thing that gets me through this horrible film is re-watching the original six.” – bobolife

” After rejecting all the ideas from George Lucas, Disney then decides to just copy episode 4 instead of actually make it into a sequel. Even the prequels were incredibly better than this. A corporate giant uses Fear (the dark side) to reject George Lucas’s ideas because they were ‘scared it would be like the prequels,’ thus guiding them away from original creativity (the force) by playing it “safe” and making it just like episode 4. The prequels were wayyyy better than this btw. – speyeralsound

“George Lucas would have never done that. He would have never killed Han Solo this way.” – abouelnouboul

“I know the Phantom Menace was bad but at least the story was original and was not affected by outside pressure.” – gandalfnog

” I don’t consider myself as a deep SW fan, but I respect the material and appreciate what Lucas created. And as far as the 3 prequels had quite cringe-worthy dialogues and unbelievable action scenes, the main story was finally more than respectable, with new twists and a Star Wars feel to it. At least some kind of a conclusion.” – sylvain-lepage

“Unlike the original trilogy (and the prequels) I will never watch this film again.” – Mos Eisley

“For me the Star Wars films are 6, and will remain 6.” – dragonbate

“Padme was arguably the most self-assured and balanced of the SW ladies. She was a strong leader, and at the same time, completely comfortable with her femininity. She felt no need to diss or embarrass the males around her in order to prove a point, and she appreciated and accepted help from whomever offered it, male or female. She also clearly enjoyed every facet of being a woman, from dressing up to eagerly anticipating motherhood. She captured the heart of heartthrob Anakin Skywalker, one of the most powerful and famous Force-users of all time and the subject of an ancient prophecy.

Rey, on the other hand, is Star Wars’ resident Mary Sue…- ccbane

“George Lucas is the father of Star Wars and should have directed Episode 7.” – mineyo

“At least in ‘Phantom Menace…they didn’t rip off ‘A New Hope’.  At least The Phantom Menace had a cooler villain in Darth Maul (and a cooler weapon…Kylo’s lightsaber is something I always thought looked dumb since I first saw the thing in pictures/trailers). And at LEAST Phantom Menace had some new music that was worth Duel of the Fates. This movie? I can’t remember ONE SINGLE PIECE OF MUSIC worth. And I liked Ewan McGregor in those flicks…and this is coming from someone who did not like the prequels.

The original 3 are easily better…but yes, I can also say that REVENGE OF THE SITH is WAY better than this crap today. I didn’t like Revenge of the Sith before but now it will get a second opinion from me.” – ivo-cobra8

“When I first saw episodes 1-3, I was a bit disappointed at first, but then I realized that I saw episodes 4-6 when I was a child and I watched 1-3 as an adult. With that in mind, I found that i actually enjoyed 1-3 more with each viewing

When I heard that they were making episodes 7-9, I was super excited. But that excitement began to falter after it was made public that Lucas would have nothing to do with the films. I mean, it’d be like JRR Tolkien was still living and Disney bought the rights to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and wanted to make a sequel, but fired Tolkien and wrote their own story. Obviously, it would not be as good and that’s exactly what has happened in this case.

This is by far and away the WORST of all the Star Wars movies. My disappointment was so profound, after the movie ended, I tossed the Blue Ray right in the garbage can, as I want this abomination out of my home.” – Mac Flagg

“There is nothing in this that wasn’t done better in the other six movies.” – diearat

“As much as you can say bad things about the prequel trilogy, at least they were f****** original.” – miclarsen

“For a STAR WARS fanatic and a huge fan of George Lucas such as myself who loves so dearly all six previous films and who truly understand the mythology and core of the saga, it was very bitter watching episode VII. Lucas’s films had heart, soul, depth and substance. Abrams especially misunderstood the core of the saga – he thinks it’s just about action, spaceships and lightsabers.

The originals and the prequels were a monument of human imagination and had great space opera like theatrical conversations, beautiful visuals and amazing music. For example one of the themes of The Phantom Menace was about letting go, about having organisms realize that they must live together and they must live together for mutual advantage. Not just humans but all living things and everything in the galaxy is part of a greater whole. That’s basically the idea of midichlorians and the Force, and the realization that Gungans and people of Naboo must live together, in this case the most unlikely character Jar Jar becomes a central figure that brings two nations together. I loved how it taught you lessons like:”Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” or the scenes with Anakin and Padmé in AOTC were touching: “Attatchment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love is essential to a Jedi’s life. So you might say, that, we are encouraged to love.” We didn’t get any of the classic dialogue and themes that would have meaning in The Force Awakens.” – macewindu-2

“The great thing about VII, it make you miss the genius of visionary George Lucas. Even his ‘fan hated’ prequel look now like masterpieces of visual and entertaining magic.” – magalidanielsny

“George Lucas and his team would spend months if not years planning and creating new worlds and characters to discover and explore with the audience. Disney has chosen to try and make as much money as possible…Because of the exaggerated and unjust criticism of the prequel trilogy, Disney has knee jerked and tried to recreate the original movie with new characters.

So Disney if you want to cast aside the man who created this universe then please do not be upset when the fans cast you aside also. You can buy the rights to use the Star Wars logo but you can never buy the Star Wars universe because it only exists in one place, inside the mind of George Lucas.” – R.H.

“Good and bad decisions were made in the other six installments but at least they took risks. This series was good triumphs evil if you train hard enough. But now it’s been watered down so much that all you need is a light saber and “poof” you have the skills of a Jedi and can match skill for skill with a Sith apprentice.” – S.M.

“I did not like how they treated Lucas during the filming. Hope Abrams never touches another SW movie ever….let’s get James Cameron (director) and Lucas (executive producer) combo.” – lord of the rings

“I have been Star Wars fan my whole life. I have seen the trailers to this movie and thought, “Wow”. They are going to make it. They are going to create a wonderfully dark and epic fantasy story, right there where “Empire strikes Back” and “Revenge of the Sith” left off. Yes, you are reading correctly. Even Revenge of the Sith, if not even the whole Prequel trilogy was better. Why? Because seriously: Another bigger death star, a kid growing up on a desert planet again, a heavily cheesy death scene for Han Solo, a space battle showdown which happens next to the rest of the plot without triggering the slightest thrill or excitement a la “oh there is a big planet-like death star, oh now it is gone, because guess what, we flew in it and destroyed it” ?????. The prequels at least had a good story/idea (political backgrounds, sith lord manipulates the republic from the inside, chosen one falls and much more) but were often extremely badly executed. This movie looks great, but its story sucks, it is just boring and I felt ashamed while watching it for me waiting so long and expecting so much of it. – y-oswald

“I never understood people who didn’t like the prequels, I wonder what they think now… and I truly pity the new generation who discover Star Wars with this sequel.” – Aeghis

“The movie plays it safe when it clearly should not have. Star Wars movies do not play it safe. In fact Star Wars is known for being one thing: unpredictable and borderline unconventional.

This positive reception for all six movies came from the fact that they had an original story that was thought-provoking. One would be hard-pressed to find another movie about clone armies, Sith Lords with double bladed lightsabers, or a four armed robot fighting Ewan McGregor on a visually stunning world. Most importantly however, one would be very hard pressed to find a six part Saga in which a man fall from heaven’s grace and then gets his redemption. The saga has a beginning, middle, and an end and it is about the rise and fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker. However, not only does episode seven not understand this, but it coldly retreads the plot of A New Hope. Not only is Anakin Skywalker barely mentioned in the movie, but we also see that peace has not been restored to the galaxy. What Return of the Jedi said is that with the emperor gone and Darth redeemed, peace would forever be restored to the galaxy. However, The Force Awakens decided to screw the ending and bring back the Darkside. Which affectively nullifies most of the Saga’s entries.” – PablothePenguin

“The note is that many people are calling JJ Abrams,  Jar Jar. That is absolutely not correct. Jar Jar was lame and stupid, but he meant well. He was well meaning. JJ is not Jar Jar. JJ is a sith who wants to destroy Star Wars the chronicle of the Jedi.” – G.J.

“Don’t get fooled by the hype, OT had some faults, but they made us ignore those faults because of the good overall story The prequels had mistakes but they related correctly to the setting, and while mirroring the sequels, told their own original story This movie is the worst of them all…” – U.Y.U.

“Disney should’ve stuck to George Lucas’s vision and script they would’ve made even more money.” – ryanplug

“I will end this nice by thanking George Lucas and ALL he has done for making these classics.

I salute you with praise.

Thanks again!” – djangozelf – 12351

My decision to post this wasn’t so that I can assume the role of new generation “basher” fan, but because I want to say “I told you so. I’ve been telling you this for the last 16 years.”

And: “be careful what you wish for.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Star Wars

Star Wars And Female Representation – Part 2

SAM_1200

In my last post I addressed the complaints made against Star Wars regarding the lack of female representation. I also talked about some of the Leia-centered merchandise that was released over the years and the fact that Lucasfilm and toy companies were actually very mindful about female representation in their products. But my focus was most on the Empire era with Leia, Aunt Beru, Toryn Farr and Oola. Now we jump to 1999 where Lucas has tantalized us with three new Star Wars movies. How did female representation fare then? Hate to burst your bubble, haters, but if there’s one thing the prequels did better than the originals, it’s that they added more women in their stories. They also brought in a larger female audience. They created new fans – many of them women. The prequels were also an inspiration for many cosplayers because of Queen Amidala’s many wardrobe choices. But there was also her handmaidens, Aurra Sing (more on her later) and Zam Wessell, and lady jedi like Aayla Secura and Bariss Offee. Then in 2008 came the Clone Wars TV show and we got Asajj Ventress (who first appeared in many comics and an earlier Clone Wars TV show), Mother Talzin and of course, Ahsoka Tano. If you doubt her popularity, you’ve definitely been spending your entire adult life hanging upside down in a wampa cave.

But how did Star Wars fare when it came to female representation in merchandise? From what I remember, there was enough Amidala merchandise to rival Disney’s Princess line. T-shirts, stationary, posters, costumes, even a makeup collection! But most of all: fashion dolls to showcase Padme Amidala’s fabulous wardrobe. There was the Queen Amidala Portrait Edition Collection where you could get dolls of the teen queen in her various gowns as seen in The Phantom Menace. There was also another collection called simply, the Queen Amidala Collection and they were more kid-friendly dolls that involved different ways to arrange Amidala’s dress, disguising her as a handmaiden and of course, styling her hair. Twice. I forgot to mention a two doll pack collection where she’s in her battle outfit with Qui Gon Jinn. Sadly there wasn’t as many Padme dolls for Attack of the Clones (except one) but other ladies got their time in the spotlight: Shaak Ti, Aurra Sing and Bariss Offee

But since Star Wars dolls are not a new thing, there was also something that was never released before: paper dolls. Yes! You could play the part of Amidala’s handmaiden and dress her in different royal attire. There was also a Padme paper doll book for Attack of the Clones (because she made more costume changes in that film than in episode 1!)

And of course we can’t forget the action figures. To date, I personally have 13 Padme Amidala action figures, 6 from TPM, 4 from AOTC, 1 from Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars and 2 from ROTS. I also have two Sabe action figures and two bounty hunters: Zam Wessel and Aurra Sing respectively. I could go on and on about my collection but we’d be here all day. Here’s a list instead. (Confession: I’m secretly drooling for that “realistic” Ahsoka Tano Vintage Collection action figure but it’s only available on Amazon and the price offers range from $105 to $139. Yeesh!)

And what of the Expanded Universe? Though it was kicked off in 1978 with Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, toys based on the books, comics and video games of TGFFA shot skyward with the prequels and they covered different eras, from the early days of the Old Republic to the adventures of Cade Skywalker. Characters like Lumiya, Mara Jade, Jaina Solo, Juno Eclipse and Shae Vizla were given their own action figures.

It’s hard to say how Disney/Hasbro will fare in the future when it comes to female character driven merchandise since they’ve only owned Lucasfilm for 4 years now. I’ve been bored with a lot of SW merchandise lately because it’s all been OT and TFA era and I want more representation of the entire saga. I feel that the #WeWantLeia campaign was too limited in its demands. I don’t want just Leia, I want Padme and Ahsoka too. So girls, keep speaking up. Keep demanding. Ask for more female characters in merchandise – not just Leia.

But also, look for that silver lining: DIY merchandise. Sewing and crafts have always been considered a feminine art form and instead of sitting around on their computers, wishing, hoping and tweeting for female-centered merchandise, some fangirls have made their own merchandise. Heck, it worked for Ashley Eckstein.

I will also leave you with this idea, girls: use Star Wars as inspiration to make your own movies. We can’t keep on demanding men to represent us when we have the brains, the hands and the imaginations to represent ourselves. We can’t have more women in front of the camera until we get more women behind the camera. And instead of demanding inclusion in a 40-plus franchise that needs to be retired, let’s create new SF and F stories with female characters or adapt SF novels written by women for the big and small screen.

In the meantime look online and at your local comics, toys and collectible shows for merchandise.

Happy shopping, star warriors.

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Filed under feminism, Star Wars

“Star Wars” and Female Representation – Part 1

SAM_1200

If you’re a girl who loves Star Wars like me, by now you’d be familiar with all the brouhaha that’s been floating around the internet about TGFFA’s “female problem”. From actor dads who introduced their daughters to the saga (via only two episodes if I may add) to Hasbro’s contemporary lack of female characters in their toy lines, to screams of outrage when the first pictures of the cast of The Force Awakens at a script reading were released.

And I have to admit: I don’t get it.

I mean, I’m all for increased female representation but I don’t get the timing of these arguments. The franchise is nearly 40 years old. It took fans this long to realize that the male to female ratio was disproportionate? Shouldn’t we’ve been complaining about this when the first trilogy was released? And why is a 1977 film being called out for using the Smurfette Principle, while a 2012 film like The Avengers gets a free pass?

Let’s go back to 1977 and look at things in an historical context.

While the 70s will forever be remembered as the decade of The Women’s Liberation Movement, the concept of feminism was still foreign in many parts of the U.S. The subculture of science fiction was no exception. Despite being a genre of futuristic, scientific possibilities, it was a genre that was still ruled by older white men, even though there had always been women SF/F writers from the get-go. One woman writer in particular, Pamela Sargent, describes her dilemma when she was collecting stories for a pet project of hers:

Twenty years ago, my first anthology, Women of Wonder, was published. It was the first anthology of its kind: science fiction stories by women about women. For over two years, I tried to find a publisher for Women of Wonder, and the reactions of the editors were instructive. A few editors thought the idea was wonderful but decided not to do the book anyway. Some editors found the idea absurd, a couple doubted whether I could find enough good stories to fill the book, and one editor didn’t think there was a large enough audience for such an anthology.

Let’s backtrack a little. Not only did society look down upon the idea of women liking science fiction, they couldn’t comprehend the idea of sci-fi as a genre to be taken seriously.

 It’s hard to believe now, but many SF films and TV shows that are now considered classics, were at one time critical, commercial and ratings flops. 2001: A Space Odyssey was hated by the critics and despite positive word-of-mouth, took years to regroup its costs. Darryl F. Zanuck had to overcome a lot of obstacles, both political and creative, to make The Day the Earth Stood Still. Arthur P. Jacobs needed Charlton Heston’s star power and John Chamber’s makeup talent to convince studios to distribute Planet of the Apes. And both Star Trek and The Outer Limits suffered so much from low ratings and executive meddling that it lead to the departure of their respective creators. So what point am I trying to make? That if these classic films and shows had a hard time getting respect with male leads, imagine how much harder it would’ve been if the leads had been female. George Lucas was no exception (It’s been said that one of the reasons he called Star Wars science fantasy was because if he said it was SF, the film would’ve never been accepted).

Speaking of Star Trek, there are times when female portrayal on that show set my teeth on edge. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show as much as the next nerd but there are times I secretly felt that Leia could kick the butts of every woman on the Enterprise (not that she would do that). Having loads and loads of female characters doesn’t automatically make something pro-woman. But a story can have only one or two women and they can be written extremely well. And now back to Lucas.

According to the book The Art of Star Wars Galaxy (Gary Gerani, Berkeley Pub Group, 1993), Luke was originally written as a girl on a mission and Han Solo was a general who was helping her in her quest. But studio executives refused to distribute the film unless there was a budding romance between the two characters, something Lucas did not want (one thing he was adamant about was that the main hero, male or female, would not have a romance). Maybe it’s because classical mythology always featured male protagonists or maybe because male characters aren’t expected to fall in love as much as female characters, but either way Luke became a man. Oh well…

But there is one thing Lucas had been adamant about: in his script there was going to be a woman.

Star Wars has become such a fixture of pop culture, it’s hard to believe that Princess Leia Organa was a shock to filmgoing audiences in 1977. No one had seen anyone like her before because unlike those before her, she was more than just smart and determined, she was an action girl. She knew how to shoot a gun and wasn’t afraid to use it. Before Leia, action sheroes were mostly seen on television (like Emma Peel, Honey West, Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels), not film. Leia was the first. Yet, it’s inaccurate to say she’s the only female character in the films, she’s the most important. How would audiences have sympathized with Luke’s desire to leave Tatooine if it wasn’t for Aunt Beru’s support? How could we truly comprehend the evil nature of Jabba the Hutt if we weren’t witness to Oola’s demise?

Yet what the first Star Wars lacked in two-hour cinema, it made up for in comics, television, novels, video games and toys. Yup girls, at one time you could girl-themed SW merchandise to your heart’s desire. Here’s a Princess Leia doll. Here’s another one. Here’s one that was released in the 90s. Here’s one of her on a speeder bike.

Dolls not you’re thing? Well did you know there was a 1997 Princess Leia Collection? These were two figure-packs of Leia in different clothes with an accompanying male character. Here’s one in her ceremonial gown with Luke. Here’s another one of her in her Ewok-made dress. Here’s one where she’s with Han on Bespin. And last, but not least, here’s her famous senator gown. And they’re all made with real cloth.

But you didn’t have to be the heart of the Rebellion to get an action figure. You could simply stand there in the background and become an action figure. You could have only one scene and become an action figure. You didn’t have to be in the movies and you could still be an action figure! Many various characters from Kitik Keed’kak to Toryn Farr to Sy Snootles got action figures so that girls could make up their own adventures with these characters with limited screentime. And I’m forever grateful to Lucasfilm for that.

But what about the aforementioned expanded universe? And the prequels? And the Clone Wars? How did female representation fare in those eras? Find out in part 2!

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A Sci-Fi Movie Fan’s Incredible Collection

We all have favorite things we like to collect. Some people collect Barbies. Some collect Beatles or Elvis memorabilia. There are people out there who still like to collect stamps. I like to collect Star Wars action figures, Beanie Babies and SF art trading cards. But every collector, sooner or later, faces the dilemma of where to store his or her finds.

That’s not the case with Cho Woong.

According to Star Wars.com, the South Korea native has quite a collection of movie statues and figures beautifully displayed above his restaurant in Daegu (I’m guessing that’s where he gets the money to buy all these beautiful props and accessories ’cause if I tried the same thing, I’d be living in my car). Most of his collection consists of Star Wars characters, vehicles and weapons but he also has stuff from Alien, Predator, Avatar, Terminator, E.T., Lord of the Rings, Marvel and even The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

But don’t take my word for it, see his website here.

Check out his restaurant here. (This is for those of you who have more interest in his culinary skills than his collecting skills. Hope you can read Korean)

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