Why Skywalker`s Students Should Have Been Afraid

The Stupendous Wave on YouTube said yesterday that John Boyega’s people have said that an official trailer for Rise of Skywalker will air at halftime during Monday Night Football, and go to YouTube at the same time.

I wanted to say something more about the character of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, played in 2017 again by Mark Hamill.

Luke Skywalker wanted there to be more Jedi Masters, heroes of the Light Side of the Force, who help police their galaxy.

The word disciple often refers to people dedicated to learning about The Bible from Jesus Christ, of course. The Last Jedi retells how Jesus could do only so much, as when Luke is unseated by Ben Solo, son of Han Solo, and Leia Organa. Ben Solo has betrayed Luke and murdered the other disciples, becoming Kylo Ren.

This is not that different than the Apostle Judas betraying Jesus to Pontius Pilate for thirty pieces of silver. Unlike Jesus Christ, crucified by the Romans, Luke has enjoyed the freedom to retreat to Ahch-To. He is done with enlisting potential Jedi, at least until Rey seeks him, and tells him what she knows is happening in the First Order, across the galaxy.

The difference between Ben Solo and the other Jedi disciples Luke was trying to train is that Ben is the son of Leia and Han. Luke had known when training Ben, that the young man could be trouble for the galaxy if the Dark Side of the Force continued to grow in him.

Some of the tragedy of The Last Jedi, tragic in the sense that the events of the story are irreversible, and of an ill-nature, is that what Luke could teach caused the apprentices’ demise. The Jedi dedication to the Light Side of the Force could not combat the darkness in Ben. Supreme Leader Snoke has corrupted young Ben Solo, as a transformation into Kylo Ren begins, not too different than the transformation of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, in the prequel trilogy.

Snoke, a new character in The Force Awakens, has origins unclear, and likewise murky in The Last Jedi, but is an evil mentor to Kylo Ren, the opposite to how Luke was a mentor to young Ben Solo.

Dimensions: 3200 x 1967
Photographer: Luca Baggio

Not a big surprise, Luke Skywalker is my favorite character in The Last Jedi because of the reminders Mark Hamill creates of the original Star Wars trilogy. Luke`s powerful abilities with the Force, begun in Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, and explored in the next two films, are what fans like about him. For Luke to be teaching the ways of a Jedi Master is great because Luke learned from Yoda, in The Empire Strikes Back, the ways of the Force.

“Pass on what you have learned,” Yoda finally tells Luke in Return of the Jedi.

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Photographer: Michal Jarmoluk

The Star Wars audience knows of events in the time between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens because they have been told to Rey by Han Solo when the two are aboard the Millenium Falcon after Rey leaves home. If Luke`s other disciples had known of Snoke`s influence, on Luke, and his protégés, they would have become afraid. No one facing death would surrender life voluntarily when a pressing objective very much requires the opposite: the objective to become Jedi Masters and to protect the galaxy.

Luke`s remorse is evident. Mark Hamill displays the emotion perfectly.

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Photographer: Mateusz Dach

Recollections of the murders are present in The Last Jedi, but that movie would have been better if it were more clear what Luke searched for in his years of travel before the events of The Force Awakens. Luke is a Jedi Master who can deter the First Order if only he can teach Ben Solo the importance of the Light Side of the Force. That can`t be done, not even by Luke Skywalker.

How is it that Luke, with everything he understands about the Force, can make such a dangerous error? Luke has decided, I think, in The Last Jedi that to wield the Force, with as much ferocity as he has, is an act of hubris. If Luke had reached Ben Solo on any other level than of training the young man to become a Jedi, the sway of Snoke on Ben Solo might have been dispelled, with Ben never joining the First Order.

Although the conflict in Ben has made unrest in the galaxy that Luke, Leia, Poe, Fin, C-3P0, R2-D2, and Rose together combat in The Force Awakens, Ben`s path could have taken him elsewhere instead of to the very center of the battle against tyranny in the galaxy.

Appropriate fear is usually an emotion evoked by the Dark Side of the Force on one vulnerable. That same emotion could have prevented tragedy and kept both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker alive. Luke`s powers mostly fail him in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader confronts him on Cloud City in Bespin, after Jedi Master Yoda has told Luke that he isn`t ready for such an encounter.

In The Last Jedi, Leia has told Luke that she desires for him to teach the Light Side of the Force. If Luke could have drawn insight from what Yoda at the last had to say about teaching with wisdom the Force, long before Ben precipitated the murders of Luke’s apprentices, the drawback of overconfidence in Luke Skywalker could have meant a better outcome for all.

You`re welcome to like this post, to follow the blog and/or to comment.

The Skywalker Saga draws to a close this winter beginning December 20.

Why A Winter’s Night Will Change Your Life

The theatrical release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is two months away and today is Force Friday, a retail shopping day for Star Wars fans.

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Photographer: Matt Moloney

The Rise of Skywalker is one of the biggest film releases of 2019, as you probably know. Movie director J. J. Abrams has returned, who in 2015 helmed Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The Force Awakens resumes after the original trilogy in 1977, 1980, and 1983, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy, in 1999, 2002, and 2005.

While this is familiar film history, what’s striking is that the Disney company, which now owns the brand, is launching Disney+ in November, when Star Wars will again be newly available. Disney+ is an offering of classic animated features, as well as reboots and the Avengers franchise. Both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi were tremendous hits, but the box office failure of the expensive one-off Solo: A Star Wars Story diminished the profitability of the franchise for Disney, and the success of Disney+ would surely benefit from the continued success of Star Wars.

Disney+ will have much better chances of lasting if Star Wars is reinvigorated by another blockbuster film. There isn’t much question that Star Wars: The Last Jedi divided the fan base. Last Jedi director Rian Johnson dispelled some of the magic of Star Wars by reinventing Mark Hamill’s character of Luke as an old cynical hermit, rather than staying true to the bold Jedi warrior hero who defeats the Empire in Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars fans turned out for Mark Hamill’s reprise of Luke Skywalker after what happened in the original Star Wars trilogy, and instead, Luke in The Last Jedi nearly couldn’t be roused to continue the fight against the Dark Side of the Force.

YouTube’s Looper has tapped into a mega-spoiler: by their account, actor Harrison Ford has returned as Han Solo for a scene in The Rise of Skywalker. It’s understood that Ford had been reluctant to return to Star Wars without a movie script handling his character adequately, as the actor was absent from the cast of The Last Jedi.

There have been announcements about Star Wars that fans ate up. Prequels actor Ewan McGregor will be in the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, not for The Rise of Skywalker, but a Disney+ series picking up after the events of the prequels.

Disney has also announced that Kevin Feige will do a Star Wars film. Feige’s involvement is good news for people who believe in Star Wars, as the Avengers films largely speak for themselves in terms of popularity and quality. With the promise of a bang-on Star Wars film after the Skywalker Saga, there is more reason to believe that Star Wars will again succeed, and if it does, a future with Disney+ is all the more likely.

The other spoiler from Looper is that, contrary to expectations, at least expectations I had, the Force will redeem the character of Kylo Ren when he gives up his allegiance to the Dark Side. Based on the love-hate intensity of their relationship, I held the impression that in The Rise of Skywalker Rey will defeat Kylo Ren and destroy him. The trailer for The Rise of Skywalker seems clear that the final battle will be highly personal.

If instead Kylo Ren changes his allegiance, it will make for a different future in Star Wars. Although audiences believe that the Light Side of the Force triumphs in Return of the Jedi, this time, in 2019, it is possible to think, the Light Side will, at last, have victory.

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Photographer: Leeroy

If you have the opportunity to enjoy The Rise of Skywalker, I hope you have one of the best nights you have ever had in the company of Star Wars’ villains and heroes. It should be a wonderful occasion. I appreciate you very much thinking about it with me. Maybe I’ll see you again come wintertime as momentum for The Rise of Skywalker continues to build.

How Halloween Resolutions are Making the World a Better Place

In What Ways Might We Find a Little Magic in Affirming Halloween?

Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is a yearly remembrance on 5 November, in the United Kingdom. I was there twenty years ago, in 1999, and the festivities I saw that fifth of November delighted me. I drifted among village people carrying an effigy of the infamous Guy Fawkes in procession and then setting him ablaze, burned.

He had been a traitor. Here, back in Canada, on Halloween, 31 October, of course, I get a little remorseful that I have let some fine moments pass by since, without being in the same kind of high spirit that night in the English village I was visiting.

Years later, I continue to enjoy seeing the leaves change colour, and I like seeing candy on store shelves, and spooky house decorations. I always think I could get myself a few costume elements–maybe this year will be the year I make good on my promise. I experience occasional brief pangs of regret for having spent years with less beauty and sensation as I would have liked, in my youth.

Even with as much opportunity as we have in the West, fiscal and personal and soul-satisfying, too, the calendar pages keep turning. There could be so much in the world that invigorates. I can think of one example in particular.

On the off chance that you’re visiting Iceland in winter, you are most likely wanting to see the Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis. The Northern Lights can be seen from pre-winter to spring, with the most obvious opportunity being during the nighttimes of the winter months.

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Photographer: Hunter Bryant

I think of a kind of magic there could be, viewing a sky like that. If I think of seeing that, but never, I can start to feel sad. If you have the calling, you may need to go somewhere like that, to feel as though you have lived properly.

Where I live, we enjoy Halloween candy and costumes. Halloween is not officially celebrated in Iceland, so it can be thought of a blessing that in this culture, in Canada, we celebrate Halloween, Americanized Halloween. In the United Kingdom, individuals hold Halloween parties where they take on the appearance of phantoms, skeletons or other frightening figure. In that respect, Canada’s the same as there.

I tweet occasional content that I think could be valuable for the right reader, lots of it trending and about my life and yours. If you want to share in these riches, click me up at https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

Happy autumn!

Why Our World Would End If A Daft Misconception Disappeared

Were the pyramids built by slaves?

No. As the Pyramids are understood by many, trembling and fearful ranks of Egyptian slave men pushed and hauled giant blocks to mark tremendous points of energy on Earth, triangle-shaped tombs for departed leaders. We can imagine slave girls in leather brassieres and skirts of bird-feather and twine, Egyptian beauties shimmering with flesh soaked by the never-shrinking sun, drunk on wine, a vision of an apparatus with no more technology than what could float a raft in the river or raise a shelter in the vast desert.

All false, and hung on a myth that keeps humans organizing themselves like a slave assembly, where all power and competence are enacted as though by the living hand of God–it is a design conceived with the Pharaohs’ tombs in the mind’s eye.

Dimensions: 6000 x 4000
Photographer: The Lazy Artist Gallery

As Ancient Egypt exerted its dominance, so too did reigning attitudes about a solidarity of people which became absolutely entrenched by the Pyramid’s sway, infiltrating the essence of the civilized world, as many understand it, an effort of many slaves.

The most earnest high school history teacher, the librarian who holds a catalog of records in disruptively accurate bookshelves, the Egyptian fantasist with his movie monster posters; all three present the mythology that the Pyramids were built with an outpouring of sweat and single-mindedness, the impossible, expansive tombs built from heavy rocks in cubes, hoisted by rope and ancient pulleys. Into the shape of three-dimensional Pyramids were constructed elaborate tombs, laid for departed Pharaohs of renown. Gizeh is the best-known.

It is the same will to organization and legacy throughout the Western world in the twenty-first century, where gentlemen in running shoes or luxury cars or perhaps dining in a capacity to manage what others might characterize as savage, to have plates and pints brought round by pleasant servers, the bosom and the heart. Gizeh’s tomb marked the first wine-and-dine.

Where will it end? As long as there are workers who are unsung, the dominion of the ancient Pharaohs will maintain its control. Update your browser.

The above is intended as an aside only. The International Day of Charity is observed annually on 5 September.

Every #spring a St. Patrick’s Day

2018-032-15

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m a Canadian every other day of the year.

When I was a boy, my godmother bought me a coffee table book celebrating Ireland.  It followed that in grade school, I thought to turn a work assignment about other countries into homework on the subject of Ireland.   I flipped through the book to do the research (that I could do at that age) for the teacher.

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St. Patrick

The photos in the book illustrating Irish women helped shape my attitudes to the fairer gender, as well.  I briefly visited the UK in the fall of 1999, but I didn’t go to Ireland.

There is a friend I know whose parents are Irish.  This friend is not fond of the English, despite what I know from grade school about the role the English played shaping Canada.

At the same time, this person has a different understanding of how the Irish fared in history than I have got.  That said, when my mother asked me the other day whether I am prouder of Dublin or Belfast, I found myself answering Belfast.  Until then I didn’t know I felt that way.

I was born in 1977, two days before St. Patrick’s Day.  My mom and dad named me Patrick, after my father’s late brother Patrick.  This uncle died when he was a young man, in a motorcycle accident (he was riding).  My name remembers this Uncle Patrick of mine, and of my brother and sister.

My mom and my father’s mother had a bond.  When my mother was young, the two women would speak to each other privately having a coffee or Coca-Cola together or the like.

Another time In grade school I was instructed to ask questions about the family line. I brought to my paternal grandmother the question of the origin of our name.

I never knew my paternal grandfather.  He’d died before I was born.  I suppose I assumed we are an Irish family.

My grandmother let me know that the surname she took when she married is Welsh, of all matters.  At that age, I was not aware that Wales is a principality of Britain, or otherwise knew anything about it.

Many years later my brother took a strong interest in the Irish.  He went backpacking there with one or two of his friends.

He later researched our family line, and he learned of many of our living relatives in Ireland.  I am sure it is an Irish family, whether the surname is Welsh.

I work for my father as a cemetery groundskeeper.  When we were at the cemetery yesterday, handling a funeral, for which we were responsible, to my surprise, as we wrapped up our clean-up, we saw a hailstorm!

Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery

The spring solstice ahead:  it doesn’t feel like it.  Last week my father reminded me of the old expression, “In like a lamb, out like a lion.”  That’s what my father was predicting for the month of March here.

About Ireland, I know it is hard when times are tough, and I am empathetic of others experiencing suffering.  If you are Irish or love the Irish, God bless you.  It’s your chance this day, as it is every year, to be Irish.

I hope you’re having a great day.  Naturally, you are welcome to “like” this post, to follow my blog and/or to comment.  Thank you for having an interest.

The cemetery where I work with my father is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited  My duties for the work I do are nominally tied to the posts I publish in this blog.

Mermaid’s February 2019 WordPress Tea Party

The very courteous Little Mermaid returns, for another tea party. Her theme, this month, is making confessions. The tell I want to bring, to the party, is how roadblocked, I’ve been, by Zork.

I know I am in a sense very old. Have you played Zork? It’s a game where you explore a dungeon and combat monsters.

Your commands for playing Zork typically consist of two words apiece, often a verb and a noun, short and sweet.  It commands hours of your time if you are among the dedicated.

Did you run Java? It once boasted a solid three billion devices did. I’d sit, sometimes, on the main page of a Java site, to read chat remarks.


Photographer:
Elliott Chau

In college, a savvy young woman from Scarborough got to know me a little. Her name was Julie, and she was a singer. I’m sure she knew nothing about Zork.

All the same, Julie was outright a rock star on Livejournal. Her email was routed by beer.com, appropriately fashionable for that subculture.

When she wrote, ”it’s called myspace, and there are millions of brilliant people,” I was taken aback. I’d played Zork, in a retro edition. Facing the myspace site, I had a silent question.

“How do I move to the next room?” It was weird. Years later, Christmas, 2016, my very smart nephew referred to that, nonsense in the distant past.

I remember, because of Rogue One, a Star Wars Story. About IRC, “Justacrap,” my brother’s boy pronounced with scorn. Discounting me?

For wasting time with websites? Can you believe that? Sure, I made friends one way or another, but those people are now gone.

It wasn’t the sum of my activities, I guess. Truth be told, I was rotten at Zork, too.

The tea parties are great. You can find that blog here: https://thelittlemermaid09.wordpress.com

Mermaid’s November 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Saturday‎, ‎September‎ ‎05‎, ‎2015

“Tea parties” have been at the forefront of The Little Mermaid blog the last five months.  These are blogging challenges that span the entirety of each month.  These are free and encourage participants to blog on a specific theme along with the rest of those joining in.

This month The Little Mermaid has asked her participants for their thoughts on travel.  Where have you traveled? the Little Mermaid asks.  What’s the best part?

What’s the worst part?  What tips might you offer up to someone grappling with wanderlust?

The furthest-reaching of my travel experience was done in my life in the nineteen nineties.  I have traveled to the United States, to the United Kingdom, to France, and to Belgium.  These are the countries where I have gone, done in my adolescence and later in my early twenties.

The best part was the excitement of going to locations completely new.  For example, when I was going to the United States, passing through Detroit, seeing Walt Disney World in Orlando (and cheating a touch by going through Universal Studios, too).   Spending a little time in Chicago, staying with family in Nashville, visiting a friend in Portland, Maine, lodging in a traveler’s stop in Memphis, visiting New Orleans, visiting New York, all this was great.  I was seeing a little more of the world.

One of the happiest times in my life was my twenty-first birthday, an important birthday if you are an American, in Memphis, Tennessee.

I would say I was taking a “walkabout” on that birthday, and it made for several nice weeks.  My father’s brother-in-law thought of the label for what I’d done.  He mentioned it to me at the wedding of one of my cousins, at the reception.  The gentleman, my godfather, mentioned to me what he said was spoke about by aboriginals in Australia, a country I’ve never seen.

Years earlier, spending days at Walt Disney World in 1991 was a fine time. The members of my particularly as my immediate family went aboard “Star Tours,” an interactive cinematic ride like being in a Star Wars spaceship.

It was very exciting as come 1987 I’d got to VCR-record a tenth-anniversary television presentation of Star Wars on Fox. At that age, ten, Star Wars was my favorite film.

The worst part of travel, I’d offer to say, is the end of the “moment” when the time for travel ends, as it generally does, and it becomes time to return to more ordinary things wherever you are spending your life.  For me, I live life in the gritty small town of St. Catharines, in the Canadian province of Ontario.

What I know at my age, which is something like an unfulfilled forty, is that if you are in the midst of wanderlust, you should listen to the word itself and observe what is the best part of life in most circumstances–the people you meet and how they take to you.  I know I have not had the luckiest of experiences in my travels.  I felt unprepared for Nashville, my handsome friend in Portland eventually killed himself, I believe, despite his promise and ambition as a musician, the lodge in Memphis finally burned to the ground, where I’d left friends behind, my idea to hustle in New York led to me being escorted out of a nightclub where I had thought to pose as an NYC resident.

These weren’t great times, especially when I returned to St. Catharines from New York and my girlfriend was angry with me when I told her how it had gone.

When I saw London, England, though, in 1999, when Y2K was only months away, it was exciting, but even with my experiences in America under my belt, I felt quite the novice with only a little money in my pocket and quite clearly to locals a foreigner.  My embarrassment deepened in Paris, the City of Lights, when I realized I was in my youth and seeing the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile.  I knew it would never come again, and I’d been learning French since the third grade and could barely communicate in it–it was as if my aspirations were quickly coming to naught, and I was overwhelmed by the absurdity.

Dimensions: 4525 x 3699
Photographer: Bruce Mars

I didn’t spend much time in Belgium, but I liked it a little better than France, enjoying chocolate and also seeing grim war trenches from World War I when Belgium soldiers defended their nation from Germany.

Eventually, my younger sister married a Belgium gentleman.  That was a nice occasion.  Here is a photo I took at the wedding ceremony.

Saturday‎, ‎September‎ ‎05‎, ‎2015
My sister’s wedding

The photo of myself I am showing is of a time in 2003 in a hotel in St. Catharines. I was meeting up with the friend who had introduced me to MySpace (before it blew up to become entropy) and speaking, as intended, of American writer Charles Bukowski, the beauty of whose work she wanted to impress upon me.

She and her boyfriend were gracious visitors.  It was, again, a “moment.”

2003
Image: Julie Rippl

I am grateful to The Little Mermaid for thinking of these tea party posts that are interesting for me and for other bloggers on WordPress to organize new blog posts.  If you are a touch keen on this, feel free to “like,” to follow, and/or to comment.  I wish you well if you travel yourself, and, what’s more, I wish you luck if you have a blog.

All the best.