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.

11 Perfect (And True) Loves Found and Lost

It’s Valentine’s Day, and in the spirit of the occasion, a spot of research has led me to Well-known and Famous Couples in History, by Madhura Pandit.  It’s an expository piece from which I chose ten of the most dynamic romantic figures ever known, in Madhura’s estimation.  I added an obvious eleventh, with thanks to scholaradvisor.com for the example.


Photographer:
Clem Onojeghuo

Nine of these people are based in history, and the last two are the stuff of legend.

Historical Couples

Julius Caesar and Cleopatra and Mark Antony

Cleopatra and Mark Antony are both associated with Julius Caesar.  Mark Antony discovered beguilement with Cleopatra’s greatness.  Cleopatra, in turn, might have discovered a feeling of strength with him, since he was getting to be a standout in Rome.

She found in him the chance to reestablish old wonder.  Mark Antony had attributes not the same as that of Julius Caesar, yet the equivalent political stature.

The gathering after Julius Caesar’s demise demonstrated scented blooms in Cleopatra’s boat, where she dressed like the Roman goddess Venus when they met in 41 BCE.  The dinner awed Mark Antony in that he needed to outperform such marvelous planning; however, he hopelessly fizzled.

With extraordinary cleverness, he figured out how to keep considerate about it.

Cleopatra, on the other hand, could engage Mark Antony by being next to him constantly.

https://www.scholaradvisor.com/essay-examples/cleopatra-relationships/

Napoleon and Josephine

Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine were hitched when he was a general in the military, and she a rich widow.  They went separate ways as Josephine couldn’t deliver a beneficiary, and Napoleon remarried.

Despite enormous ambition, Napoleon’s life ended in exile.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

As the music career of The Beatles gave way to solo careers for the four musicians who were members, no one knew that John Lennon had scant little time left alive.

That being said, John Lennon and Yoko Ono arranged a seven-day “Bed-In for Peace,” in the Presidential Suite of the Hilton lodging in Amsterdam, as a challenge against war and savagery on the planet, March 1969.

Lennon’s life ended when he was shot in the street outside his home in New York City.

https://www.vogue.com/article/john-lennon-yoko-ono-relationship

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley had set their sights on enjoying a weekend writing competition, to see who could write the more impressive story, when Mary dreamed of events she would novelize as what ultimately became the book, Frankenstein.  Mary Shelley’s novel would be instrumental in science fiction.  In future years, many times various filmmakers would adapt it for the silver screen.

Frankenstein probably exceeded the talents of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Percy Bysshe Shelley later succumbed to madness.

Legendary Couples

Lancelot and Guinevere

Sir Lancelot was a knight in King Arthur’s Round Table, who went gaga for Queen Guinevere.  Their mystery prompted terrible capital punishments for the two, divided the Knights, and debilitated Arthur’s kingdom.

It is not known whether Arthur’s kingdom ever existed, but it has been written about for centuries.

Adam and Eve

In the book of Genesis in The Bible, there is an account of The Lord creating our world and making Adam and Eve the first people who would live here.  The lives of Adam and Eve were idyllic, until Satan, in the guise of a snake, led Eve to eat an apple from The Lord’s Tree of Knowledge, filling her consciousness with all manner of realizations.  Eve quickly had Adam do the same.

Enraged by the betrayal, The Lord declared that all of man would from then on endure untold hardship.

Many of the devout feel that these events occurred roughly four thousand years ago, in the Garden of Eden.

Prince of Peace

With thanks to Madhura Pandit, vogue.com, and http://www.scholaradvisor

An Exhaustive List of Well-known and Famous Couples in History can be found at https://historyplex.com/famous-couples-in-history

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