Posted in Geeky Stuff, Movies

The Rise of Skywalker, or “GUESS WHO’S FINALLY BACK FROM THE DEAD…”

[wipes a coat of dust off of computer screen] Oh, hey everybody! I’m officially on winter break now, and I’ve got my finals over with, so I’m back on my normal(ish) schedule for now. I still might be a tad sluggish through next week, what with holiday festivities coming up, but I suppose this post marks the end of my hiatus.

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Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.

Last night, I saw The Rise of Skywalker. Despite some of the reviews, I still came in with my expectations absolutely through the roof (curse you, TFA/TLJ-nostalgic brain…), but I expected nothing that came my way. And quite frankly? I’ll have to watch it again, but The Rise of Skywalker might just be my favorite of the sequels.

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Now, fair warning: DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, AS THIS REVIEW WILL PROBABLY BE CRAWLING WITH SPOILERS. I’m really sorry, I just haven’t quite found a way to write something that adequately expresses my emotions without revealing half the plot. Oops.

 

Let’s start off with the central plot, concerning Rey, Kylo Ren, and…Palpatine. Yep, that’s right, folks, the cryptic trailer laughter wasn’t all for naught.

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The revelation of Rey’s true heritage definitely served to complete her/Kylo’s arc deftly; Now that she knows who she’s truly descended from, she has a complex battle with her own emotions, but eventually realizes that blood does not determine one’s destiny. A beautiful theme, I think, and one that mirrors the original trilogy without being too on-the-nose about it. I also THOROUGHLY enjoyed seeing all of the backstory with Palpatine in hiding on Exogul (Am I spelling that right? It’s the Sith planet, however it’s spelled). I was a bit suspicious when the rumors about his resurrection starting circling, but as I started watching the movie, I realized that it’s exactly the kind of thing that you’d expect Palpatine to do, and, in a way, ties a tiny bit into one of the themes of The Last Jedi: failure.

Palpatine lost everything at the end of Return of the Jedi. Betrayed by his own apprentice (hey, that’s just karma, buddy), his empire destroyed, and all of his efforts in were in vain. And of course, because he couldn’t bear to see his disturbed dreams flushed down the drain, he…stole away to a fabled planet in the unknown regions, brings himself back to life, and tries to get his granddaughter back to his side to resurrect the Sith and the Empire for good. As one does. But the root of that is that he cannot accept his own failure. His refusal to accept failure is, in part, what makes him a crucial antagonist, however over the top, in this film. For learning from failure, as Rey, Luke, and all the rest soon learn, is what truly makes a person a true hero, perhaps.

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And Rey. Oh, Rey…

Ever since I saw The Force Awakens in sixth grade, I’ve looked up to her in so many ways. And to see her complete her beautiful arc, and go against the wretched evil that runs in her blood to become what she knows is right, made me so happy. There’s so much controversy and scorn directed at her from the fandom (I stand by the fact that she is not a Mary Sue, thank you very much…notice how naïve she is in the first two films? That’s a character flaw, if I’ve ever seen one…), but she is, at heart, a role model, and an archetypal, unforgettable hero. So I owe a big thanks to her.

Her, and Finn, Poe, and all the rest. After a few years of bonding, the complex relationships of these characters have finally come into their own, having been through so much. Astounding chemistry, several tear-jerking scenes, and brimming with heart…these characters truly are a big part of what makes these films so unforgettable.

But…but…okay, I’m still pretty bitter that we didn’t get FinnPoe. I mean, COME. ON. Their feelings for each other couldn’t have been more obvious…and yeah, some props to Disney for having a brief lesbian kiss at the end, but they’re probably just doing that to check off a representation box. To be sure, it’s wonderful to see, and I felt kind of warm and fuzzy, but having two characters that are so undeniably in love lacking any sort of romantic resolution is just disappointing. Finn and Poe are a couple. Don’t you dare tell me otherwise. Thank you, goodnight.

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Overall, The Rise of Skywalker was a phenomenal end to the Skywalker saga, beautiful both thematically and visually. But, it certainly wasn’t without its flaws.

Though seeing the arcs of major characters (Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, Poe, etc.) were satisfying, there were some areas where I’d like to have seen a little more backstory. Of course, the movie was nearly 3 hours long already, so we would’ve had Avengers: Endgame 2: Electric Boogaloo if everything was expounded upon. And there’s one character in particular that I would’ve like to have explored more in depth:

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Bill Weasley  General Hux.

After the death of Snoke in The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren rose to power as the Supreme Leader of the First Order. In the beginning of Skywalker, there’s a mention that there’s a mole in the First Order, and we later find out that Hux himself, the cold, ruthless general, is the one who alerted the Resistance to Palpatine’s reawakening. Disappointingly, though, after helping Rey, Finn, Poe, and the others escape, he’s shot, brushed off of the First Order’s shoulder without another word.

The mere fact that the death of Snoke has pushed him this far is absolutely intriguing. We’re now sure of where his loyalties truly lay this whole time: only with Snoke. With him gone and his rival, Kylo Ren,  in power, he seems to have had an extreme internal conflict, questioning who he truly trusts. Such a dramatic change of character was absolutely astounding to see, but I feel that it was an afterthought. As with a few other elements of the film (parts of the path to find the Sith Wayfinder, Finn never telling Rey whatever it is that he so desperately wanted to tell her, etc.), I felt that parts were a bit rushed, and a bit of focus on something other than the grand Palpatine plot could have done the film some necessary service. But, all things considered, The Rise of Skywalker was as unforgettable as its predecessors, a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am so grateful to have witnessed. Solid…ooh, 9/10 for me? Maybe more like 8.7, but either way, I WANNA SEE IT AGAIN. 

 

I’ll be back next week with some more content, so stay tuned for more! Have a lovely rest of your day, and I hope you enjoy The Rise of Skywalker as immensely as I did!

 

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday

Book Review Tuesday (6/4/19)-Aurora Rising (+ a few quick updates and explanations)

It is I, fellow bibliophiles, back from the dead at last!

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Again, so sorry for going M.I.A. for about a month there. AP exams and finals were weighing me down a little bit, and I was a little *busy* about a week ago (by “busy” I mean “converting some of my friends to X-Men before Dark Phoenix comes out”). But hey, I’m back now, and I’ve got a positively INCREDIBLE book to review!

(Oh, and HAPPY HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! 🏳️‍🌈)

Everyone’s got their dream book. For all bibliophiles, there’s always that one book that we sorely wish that we’d written, that we re-read endlessly without getting tired of it. There’s a few books for me that I feel that way about. Think…Heart of Iron, and a few years back, the Search for WondLa series. Now, Aurora Rising has stolen the title of dream book…yes, surpassing Heart of Iron.

And I thought that was the best book in the universe. MAN.

Aurora Rising is, in short, everything that I could possibly want in a book–downright lovable characters, a fast-paced, intricate plot, and some classic, high-stakes space adventure.

Without further ado, here’s the first Book Review Tuesday in…like, a month? Wow, I’m really in rare form…

 

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Aurora Rising

Tyler Jones thinks he has it made–he’s about to graduate at the top of his class from the Aurora Academy, a school that trains humans and aliens alike for interstellar humanitarian missions. But on the day of his graduation, he finds a defunct ship drifting out in space. In it, he finds Auri O’Malley, a girl who has been frozen in a cryogenic pod for 220 years.

After rescuing Auri, Tyler is late to graduation, and ends up with a ragtag crew of misfits and delinquents, all of which will accompany him on his missions: Scarlett, his twin sister, Cat, his childhood friend, Finian, Zila, Kal, and now Auri. Though the unlikely group seems destined for anything but greatness, they soon find themselves embedded in a mystery involving the mysterious planet that Auri and many other human colonists were set to settle. And Auri herself is an enigma–with each passing day, new powers wake within her, putting a target on her back that everyone in the Milky Way Galaxy can  see from miles away.

 

 

Now, presenting the reactions of my last brain cells, upon finishing this book:

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YYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH

 

AAAAAAH!!!

 

Aurora Rising truly has it all–aside from the factors that I stated above (incredible world-building, characters TO DIE FOR, and ✨SPACE FUN✨), there’s also:

-Not only do we have great characters, but the chemistry between them is FANTASTIC

-BEAUTIFUL writing. Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are honestly gods…

-No spoilers, but MY DREAM SHIP IS *squeezes two fingers almost completely together* THIS CLOSE TO BECOMING A REALITY

-DIVERSITY! Let me elaborate–Zila is African-American (or British? I dunno, they didn’t specify, but she’s definitely poc), Auri is mixed race (half Irish, half Chinese), and Finian is definitely LGBTQ+ (again, no explicit explanations, but I think he’s either bisexual or pansexual), and also has a disability that requires him to wear a special suit for mobility. (MAN, and I didn’t think you could get such good representation with an alien, for God’s sakes, and here we are…and I’m HAPPY FOR IT)

I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again. DREAM. BOOK. AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE. PLEASE, GO READ IT. I’d rate it a solid…however many stars there are in the known universe out of 10. I kid you not. 😉

 

Kaufman and Kristoff have confirmed that this is going to be a trilogy, but as this book only came out about a month ago, we have no information other than that. (*cries while re-reading it and waiting for 2020*)

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s review! Have a great rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Oh, and don’t forget…DARK PHOENIX COMES OUT ON FRIDAY!!! I’m seeing it on Saturday, so I’ll DEFINITELY get to a review at some point…AAAH!

 

Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Holidays

Here I am, Back from the Dead…

I’m back, everyone! Hi again!

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I forgot to mention in my last post that I’d be missing another Book Review Tuesday because yesterday was Christmas, so…sorry about the lack of BRTs this month. But! Not to worry, Book Review Tuesday celebrates its 3rd anniversary this Saturday, so I’ll be doing the last Book Review Tuesday of 2018 then. Sheesh, this year has gone by so fast…

Anyway, happiest of holidays to you all! See you on Saturday!

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