I Love you Dad

There is so much I want to say about my dad; I want to say he was the best dad in the world despite being a flawed person. I want to say he knew the answer to so many problems despite him seeing practical solutions that people would overlook and telling me “just pray to God and everything will be fine.” Most of all, I really do want him here now.
On Sunday June third at 15:33 my father was called into God’s kingdom. What had started as a simple colonoscopy and lead to the removal of a tumor with six months of chemotherapy ended with a two month hospitalization and the loss of my most favorite person in the world. This whole experience is still a shock to friends and family who were close to my dad, but instead of focusing on the sadder parts of the experience, I wanted to focus on something important to me that my watchers probably gathered that is closely tied to my relationship with my dad, God and the Catholic religion he left for me.
When I was little one of my first memories was my dad telling me one day I, and everyone I know and love, will die. Death was okay though, because so long as you were a good and kind person, you went to heaven. From there he taught me about God and Jesus and with his humble ways he taught me Catholicism.
He wasn’t like other men in the sense that “emotions and intelligence are dumb,” and while he did teach me skills he felt a man needed to know, my dad did things most men wouldn’t do with their sons. When I was seven and didn’t want to learn to shoot a bb gun, he asked me why. I stated that from what I saw on tv guns were used to end life, my dad accepted this reasoning for not wanting to learn to use a gun and never brought up the topic again. The main thing my dad did, that most fathers don’t do with their sons was that he was very open about loving me and my brothers.
Everyday when I was dropped off to school he told me he loved me, every night before I went to bed he told me he loved me. Every phone call I had with him ended with both of us exchanging “I love you.”
As I got older things started to get complicated; I had been assigned two Sunday school teachers that were homophobic in eighth and ninth grade that stated no matter what I tried I would go to hell for my existence (don’t worry, they have been asked to resign from ever teaching sunday school again). However because of that and many trials in life (well highschool) I felt the need to join a statistical correlation concerning gay youth.
My dad noticed something was wrong though, I call it having the best love a parent could ever have. When I was seventeen planning to become a statistic I decided to tell my dad I was gay just to give a reason for said statistic to happen. I expected to be thrown out, condemned, beaten, but I wasn’t. He smiled, hugged me tight, and said he loved me anyways.
From that point on I decided I would stay in this religion to honor my dad for his unconditional love.
While my dad did have flaws (he didn’t realize that me being gay also meant I would date and have a boyfriend at some point), he was still someone I loved (and still do) greatly. It’s hard to think properly right now, it’s hard to type the sixty four pages my dad deserves and more about how awesome a parent and person he was. It’s hard to breath for various reasons and type on this keyboard (mostly because of allergy season,) but for now I continue to be with my family and pray for him. I’ll try my best to continue his legacy. I am taking a break from blogging as well, to recover and regain the ability to read books and listen to audiobooks.
Be kind.

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A Hero and a Chosen One Walk Into a Bar

In every story there is a protagonist, the protagonist can either be a primary character, someone the story just so happens to follow, or in some creative cases the enemy of the “protagonist” should the story follow a villain rather than the hero (think Invader Zim). In many stories a a protagonist will more than likely be labeled a hero and in some cases even a ‘Chosen One’. Now a Hero protagonist and a Chosen One don’t have to be one and the same, but in some cases both will be merged into one character for convenience or lack of creativity. There is nothing wrong with having a Chosen One or a hero, but one can’t help but admit that it may be done a bit too much at times.

The Hero’s Journey

The Hero’s Journey is pretty self explanatory, but just to give a little more detail as to what goes on is that your protagonist goes on a journey and through a series of events has experiences that cause change in his character which may result in heroic deeds.

I’m going to go farther back than I normally do with my references to pop culture and media and reference the poem known as Beowulf. Yes that long poem you had to read in twelfth grade english class will be talked about a little today, no I’m not talking about that weird CGI movie that came out ten years ago. Beowulf hears of the troubles the monster Grendel is causing because the tenants above him won’t turn down their partying resulting in Grendel  killing citizens under the land of Heorot. Grendel and Beowulf do battle, Beowulf rips off his arm and Grendel dies at home. His mother gets pissed.

Grendel’s Mother gets her revenge, and Beowulf travels to put an end to her too. For these two battles Beowulf is more or less just being a nice guy and is very confident in his abilities. He’s a hero because it’s the right thing to do. After fifty years and becoming a king himself, Beowulf takes on a dragon, but thanks to old age isn’t as confident in his abilities and is mortally wounded while dealing with the dragon.

The story itself isn’t too thrilling, but we have the basic hero of Beowulf who technically does go through change in his story of heroism from confident man who defeated two monsters to a king who wasn’t so sure he could defeat a dragon.

The subject of change for the hero can vary from the confidence of the hero regardless of it being a lack of confidence at the beginning to having confidence at the end or vice versa in the case of Beowulf.

There is also the ‘Zero to Hero’ story where Disney’s adaptation of Hua Mulan (just Mulan for the film) is a good example. In the original story Mulan wanted to join the army in place of her father (after she dueled him for permission and won) and was already a skilled martial artist and capable with a sword and after gaining much credit for her work returned home in retirement accepting no compensation for her work in the military.

The Disney adaption keeps Mulan replacing her father as a soldier, but takes away her badass combat abilities. She instead has to learn and earn her abilities as a soldier with the stakes increased in the film that should the Chinese military discover that she is a woman she will be executed for daring to break social norms by entering the army. Mulan is discovered, but is spared because Li is probably very relieved that Mulan is a woman meaning he isn’t gay. For all her efforts Mulan returns home a changed woman with a better understanding of honor and very happy to see her family (and is even hugged by the Emperor after she blew up his castle and earning the highest headcount of her Disney Princess counterparts).

It could be argued that the Disney film Hercules released a year before Mulan has the same Zero to Hero format and technically it does, but the character Hercules is doing it for selfish reasons at first rather than the selfless reason of Mulan and only learned to be a hero after Megara dies and the gods are freed. Technically Hercules didn’t learn a damn thing in the movie (Hades wasn’t such a bad guy and was just keeping his end of the bargain, Hercules is an asshat).

From the three examples above it could be argued that Mulan is the best example of a hero due to her compassion and will to sacrifice herself for the needs of her loved ones (and a cricket for good luck) while Beowulf was just being a nice guy and Hercules had no idea how to be a hero outside of getting a merchandising deal.

The Chosen One and The Special

What do Harry Potter and Star Wars have in common? Well besides the hero and villain relying on the color scheme of red and green to help the audience determine who is good and who is evil, not that much. Both DO have a Chosen One and do indeed play with the idea of a Chosen One. Normally a Chosen One is someone who is predicted to “save the day and put an end to evil!” Because destiny said so.

While this isn’t a bad plot device for a story, I chose the topic of Star Wars and Harry Potter because most audiences are familiar with these two franchises when it comes to having a ‘Chosen One’ despite the actual label of Chosen One being played with. In Harry Potter, Harry is known as ‘The Boy Who Lived’ and after a run in Voldemort his first year at Hogwarts is the only wizard who can defeat Voldy after Dumbledore himself. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book 5/the one with the blue cover for you muggles) after being responsible for the death of a student and his godfather Harry demands answers from Dumbledore as to why this is happening to him.

Dumbledore explains that because of a vague prediction that Voldy knew of Harry could have been living a normal wizard life while his classmate and friend Neville Longbottom could have been the one with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead, but Voldy picked Harry because he felt Harry was his equal. Dumbledore mentions that Voldy didn’t HAVE to actually listen to the prediction and could have gone on causing problems in the wizarding world, but because of knowledge of said prophesy didn’t want to take risks and decided to go after baby Harry setting the story into motion.

In Star Wars we have the Skywalker family; this starts off with Anakin Skywalker who has a special talent with the force and is prophesied to bring balance to the light and dark side of the force. Anakin is a gifted padawan despite having temptations from the dark side of the force. In the tv series Clone Wars he is shown to be a competent general, but it’s all for naught when in Revenge of the Sith he falls to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader putting an end to his Chosen One status. For the original trilogy audiences figured Luke was the actual Chosen One, and the force even had a back up plan with Leia, but in the end it’s Vader who puts an end to Emperor Palpatine.

In recent movies and spin offs though in the Star Wars universe things are shifting away from having Chosen Ones save the day to a bigger picture type of story I’ll get into a little bit.

The alternative to The Chosen One is ‘The Special’ as The Lego Movie puts it. As the name suggests, the Special is someone who is special, they can be someone immune to most vampire abilities, a vampire with empathic abilities, or in the case of The Lego Movie, someone who will be the best master builder ever! I do like that The Lego Movie also plays with this with the character WyldStyle hoping that she is the special, but discovering it’s a guy who thinks inside the box in contradiction to the outside the box master builders and saves the day more frequently because of it. It is revealed that the Special is completely made up for the sake of one of the protagonists buying time earlier in the movie and that all the protagonists in the movie are ‘The Special’.

Born for the Job

A variation for ‘The Special’ is literally being born into the job. Very good examples of this are Avatar The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. In these cases our protagonist is born into the role of hero due to being reincarnated in the case of Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon), and the light spirit of Raava being transferred into each life and incarnation of the Avatar.

The approach of being a hero is taken to two different extremes with the Avatar series; in the first series Aang is just child when he is told that he is the Avatar and has to defeat the Firelord to restore balance between the four nations. Aang flees resulting in the mass genocide of Airbenders and has to clean up the mess later. The first two seasons of the series Aang focuses more on having fun since he is still a twelve year old, but grows to understand the seriousness of the situation with the Fire Nation and realizes that he is the only one who can fix his mistake. While the first two seasons are more lighthearted, the third season takes a darker approach with the final batch of episodes focusing on the conflict between Aang’s personal beliefs that killing is wrong despite his position of being the Avatar and needing to protect and bring balance to the world and that he needs to kill Firelord Ozai (he takes the third option).

In the sequel series Legend of Korra, Korra is the opposite of Aaeng, when she discovers she’s the Avatar, she’s excited and spent her whole youth training to be the greatest fighter mastering all bending outside of airbending. While Aang was primarily a defensive fighter who went to great lengths to avoid violence as a solution to a conflict, Korra was ready to kick ass and chew gum. Korra’s constant conflict throughout the series is being told that she as the Avatar is not needed anymore. It starts off small when Amon of the Equalist movement tells her she is no longer needed because ‘benders shouldn’t be superior to nonbenders.’ this continues onto the second season where her uncle tries to replace her as the dark avatar, and comes to a tragic level in season three where the radicalist Zaheer wants to kill Korra and end the Avatar cycle for the sake of chaos and anarchy. The tragedy comes at the end of the season where Korra is damaged physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally and is told by her mentor Tenzin that the newly formed air nomads will aid the people of the four nations further pushing the message that Korra isn’t ‘needed’ anymore. In contrast with most tales of the Hero’s Journey, Korra realizes that in contradiction with Aang needing to resort to violence to save the day (he technically didn’t, but there was still fighting), she needed to rely on pacifism and talked her final foe down without resorting to what she believed was needed in the form of brute force and skill to save the day a few years ago.  

Now there’s Sailor Moon; many people see it as the one of the girliest shows out there. They might be right, but who says a story aimed for girls can’t have depth? Compared to the previous two examples, Usagi Tsukino almost had to be dragged into heroics kicking and screaming. The manga, nineties anime adaption, and live action tokusatsu series do a decent job of Usagi’s growth into a hero from her usual cry baby antics (the first episode of the nineties anime is literally named Crybaby Usagi’s Beautiful Transformation). What convinces her to go out and become a hero despite being a crybaby with zero combat ability? Her friend Naru is in danger (she never turns her back on a friend, she’s always there to defend, she is the one on whome we can depend), so she leaps into action without a second thought to save her best friend. As the series continues it is shown that what Usagi lacks in heroism (there are times where Luna and Tuxedo Mask have to talk Usagi into believing in herself to beat the bad guys), she makes up for as a people person genuinely liking most of the people she meets and standing up for oddballs and social outcasts that would later become her dearest friends.

By the third arc of the manga Usagi admits that she has accepted her fate to protect the earth from all who want to do harm to it and it’s people. In the final series arc she even gives a pep talk to a future incarnation of Sailor Moon known as Sailor Cosmos that even though the fight against Chaos seems hopeless, she can’t destroy the Galaxy Cauldron because then there would be no more life and that even if the fight against Chaos seems hopeless, it’s no reason to give up.

The Legend of Zelda

Why is The Legend of Zelda getting its own portion to this essay? Because it’s just that amazing. In nearly each Zelda game, there is one constant. There’s a Link, and there’s a Zelda. Things got a little interesting a few years ago with the release of the Hyrule Historia finally placing some clarity to many fan debates of how the series worked concerning our two main heroes.

Our heroes Link and Zelda are both subversions and straight examples of a hero and a Chosen One (this can vary from game to game). Each Link is a hero earning the Triforce of Courage for their courageous deeds (and in two cases getting the complete triforce). Many fans wondered how each Link was connected, and the only connection between them outside of the green tunic was bearing the Triforce of Courage, thus being the subversion of a ‘Chosen One’.

The multiple Zeldas in the series are an interesting approach to being a ‘Chosen One’ and ‘being born into the job’. It was revealed in The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword that there was indeed a fourth goddess for Hyrule known as the goddess Hylia born into a human by choice into the first incarnation of Princess Zelda. From that point onward future Zeldas are by technicality a Chosen One in their adventures not because they are royalty, but because they have the blood of the goddess Hylia flowing through their veins and with this power are trained and obligated to protect the land of Hyrule.

In the most recent game in the series Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, this incarnation of Zelda can’t connect with the power wielded by her ancestors and doesn’t like the pressure of being needed to protect Hyrule due to her inability to connect with these spiritual abilities and would rather be a scholar aiding in the research of past technologies. In contrast the Link of the game is a stern soldier fully devoted to Zelda and to the land of Hyrule ;Zelda laments that Link may have chosen this path because his father chose it and asks him what if he had chosen a different path mirroring his own situation with her own.

Unlike the Zeldas, most Links don’t have the baggage of having a duty to protect the kingdom and are just someone who stepped up to the plate to save the day for various reasons either to save a friend, sister, or because a tree told them to do it.

Subversion of Everything I Just Talked About

I have some issues with Chosen Ones; not that a story is bad for having a Chosen One, but that in writing once you set your protagonist as a Chosen One, you wrote yourself to rely solely on a protagonist. First let’s talk about destiny.

Destiney can tie into having a Chosen One because they’re destined to be chosen (so shocking). Back to Star Wars, in 2003 the video game Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic was released; it is one of the only GOOD Star Wars games out there. You can literally make your Player Character have decisions that affect their affiliation with the Force (as in you gain light side points for giving a man money, or can earn dark side points for mugging that man instead). You can also strike up conversations with crewmembers of the Ebon Hawk, one of them being Jolee Bindo. Bindo provides some insight and an alternative perspective to  the way the Force is seeing as he isn’t on the best terms with the Jedi Order.

One story is how a force user named Andor Vex who is told that the Force has a strong interest in him. Andor takes this as a sign that he will be a great hero and is cocky, this eventually leads to him confronting a villain and is taken captive. Andor begins to mouth off and brag about his destiny, resulting in his neck getting snapped and his body tossed down a hole that leads to his captors getting blown up. The lesson from this is pretty obvious that  just because you are told you have a big important destiny, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a delightful one.

To continue on with the thought of destiny there is Steven Universe; in the later portion of the series the main protagonist Steven begins to think he exists and was created for the sake of a big fancy destiny, possibly from the influence of his friend Connie.

Steven is a unique entity on his show where he’s half gem and half human. He was created because his mother, Rose Quartz, was so intrigued by humans and their ability to choose their own destiny, decided she wanted to have a child so that said child can choose their own destiny. By the episode Lion 4: Alternate Ending, Steven becomes obsessed with finding out more about his life and what his mother wanted for him only to be told by his dad that nothing in Steven’s life was planned and that everything that has happened so far was by pure chance.

Philip J. Fry

Philip J. Fry was the protagonist (sorta) to the animated scifi comedy series Futurama! He was a delivery boy from the year 1999 who got frozen and now lives in the year 3000 (sort of) as a delivery boy. As the series goes on it is discovered that Fry is a very important and special (no not that kind) person.

Because of time travel it is revealed that Fry had a one night stand with his grandmother and is his own grandfather. It seems like a throwaway gag at first, but this makes him the most important being in the universe; because of Fry’s ‘nasty in the pasty’, Fry lacks the delta brainwave making him immune to mind control and having his own mind read.

This doesn’t make him a Chosen One and Fry does qualify as a Special, but his importance is never really brought up. While the Nibblonians were aware of Fry and his importance, once his job of defeating the brainspawn is done (twice) he lives an uneventful life most of the time when he isn’t saving the universe by dumb luck alone.

I really do like the approach to Fry in Futurama since his character arc was planned from the start of the series instead of thrown in out of nowhere as the series went along. Futurama is also filled with constant subversions of science fiction and fantasy tropes that inspire the show and treated with love and respect.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Super heroes, they’re not exactly chosen to do the job of being a hero, but they do a good job of doing it. I like comicbooks, The above title for this part of the essay comes from The Amazing Spiderman as something Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben tells him shortly before being killed. And this quote does indeed echo not only through the Marvel Comic universe, but the DC universe as well.

There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of superheroes drawn and printed onto comicbooks once a month that range from being a mutant, alien, gifted with powers, and so many origin stories of how they became heroes.

A common plot involves the hero getting the power by sheer accident (like Spiderman or The Flash), they then proceed to use said power for the sake of doing good. In the case of Spiderman, it was originally just to find the crook who killed his beloved uncle (like a more sarcastic and middleclass Batman), but Spidey decided to keep on saving the day.

Honorary Mentions

  • Once Upon a Time- the first six seasons of this series followed Emma Swan and her adventures in the small town known as Storybrook as she slowly begins to understand and accept her life as the Savior with constant forks in the road of her eventual destiny of saving everyone (even the villains)
  • The Hunger Games trilogy-I’d Argue that Katniss Everdeen is only a hero because her sister just so happened to be selected to participate in the games. Had neither of their names been selected Katniss and Prim would have just continued on their lives and no big rebellion would have happened.
  • Battlestar Galactica-holy crap this series is all kinds of weird “because God wants it this way” going on.

They All Said Ouch

The hero protagonist has been here a long while and is here to stay. The same thing goes for being a Chosen One. The story of a hero can and has evolved though from basic stories of individuals doing good deeds just for the sake of doing them to complex prophecies saying ‘someone will save the day’, and even stories both real and fictional bringing in a protagonist who came from nothing and caused many great and good things to happen.

Ready Player One Review

At the suggestion of a friend I listened to Ready Player One (narrated by Wil Wheaton). I wasn’t really expecting anything amazing, and I wasn’t expecting crap. I got neither, but I am underwhelmed.

Spoilers from this point on.

Ready Player One takes place in a near dystopian future where humanity spends most of its time playing the video game The Oasis. The Oasis is the online RPG where most of the art, culture, scientific knowledge, and anything else you can think of is stored on there with countless people playing the video game at all times. The Oasis was created by James Halliday who was both eccentric and obsessed with pop culture from the eighties ranging from cheesy sitcoms, videogames, blockbusters from the time period, to even Japanese anime and Tokusatsu.

The plot follows Wade Watts, a Gunter (low level Easter Egg Hunter) on his quest to find the three keys that lead to the Easter Egg left in the game data by Halliday in order to gain his company and fortune in a contest to find an heir (kind of like Willie Wonka). Things in Wade’s life begin to change when he discovered the first key leading to the Easter Egg by accident causing a chain effect of many other players in the Oasis video game to discovering that the Easter Egg quest is not a hoax after all.

Along with regular players in the game, Wade also has the competition of the Sixers; employees of the IOI company who aim to win the Easter Egg contest to apply the usual capitalism to The Oasis game and ruin it for everyone. The Sixers have countless resources at their disposal and are willing to even resort to homicide in the real world killing both their targets and innocent civilians that are in their way.

While I didn’t hate the story, I feel like much of the story was devoted primarily to exposition of the world of the Oasis and explaining real life secrets in video games and pop culture with the most obscure references known to only a handful of people at most. After most of the exposition is done the story flows fairly well though; Wade becomes famous by accident, goes from living a shitty home life to a more decent life, gets the girl and loses her (it looks like he eventually gets her in the end though), has a heroic blue screen of death, and saves the day by accident.

My complaint is that we don’t really learn much of the real world beyond the video game (which kind of makes sense because the novel wants us to focus on the game and Wade and his friends defeating big evil capitalists). We don’t know just how awful the real world really is; are all the animals dead? Is there no plant life? How is Saturday Night Live still going into the 2040s, how is the Wil Wheaton administration going? We never get those questions or answers in the novel outside of some minor mentioning from the character Art3mis (the “girl I gotta impress” of the story).

The strongest part of the novel is the pop culture references primarily from the eighties. I was a little shocked that I got more of the Japanese culture references in the book instead of the eighties  culture reference (the writers of Glee would be devastated how little I know of Rush). There really is a little bit of everything the reader can relate to even if the reader isn’t into video games or nerdy related content. If they’re into movies, there’s movie references, tv shows, there’s a reference!

Wil Wheaton’s narration for the audiobook was a nice match for the book; he always kept a humorous tone and was serious when it needed to be. I highly recommend anyone interested to listen to the audiobook.

Views on the film adaption

I was vaguely aware of the film adaption of Ready Player One until recently. I can’t help but feel that Steven Spielberg was going for the last breaths of the dystopian “teens gotta save the world” movie trend that was started by The Hunger Games. Obviously the film adaption can’t stay true to the source material (no chance of getting Super Sentai Spiderman Mecha in this film), but it does look nice to look at so I might enjoy what will be presented to the audience.

While I wasn’t too impressed with Ready Player One, it was a fun and exciting listening experience. I give Ready Player One by Ernest Cline two out of three keys.

What to do When Your Favorite Celebrity did Something Bad

(note this was written around December 2017, but still fairly relevant)

The first main thing to do is to remember that despite your favorite celebrity being a great Actor/Singer/NewsAnchor/YouTuber/Author/Artist/Comedian/WhateverElseMakesYouFamous is a human being and is flawed just like you and me. They too have their own personal lives and today I will instruct you what to do if someone you enjoy who is famous did something bad and there is controversy involved. No I won’t be throwing out any names or mentioning anything recent, if any of the following examples make it seem like I’m talking a specific celebrity, I might be, I might not be.

First of all no it’s not bad for you to still support your favorite celebrity because we all make bad decisions in life and live with consequences. In these times of crap one would like some support (so long as the lesson is learned and said celebrity is willing to seek help to solve whatever conflict got them in trouble in the first place.) If you are a religious person then it’s fine to pray for your favorite celebrity when they’re in deep shit because you’d do the same for a normal person when they’re in deep shit and you’d like for someone to do the same for you in that situation. If you are not religious, it’s not bad to have the above support for said celebrity that has done fucked up.

You don’t even have a degree in psychology, why are you telling me how to deal with my celebrity being an asshat?

Fair enough, but as someone who watched a lot of VH1 from thirteen to sixteen and noticing a pattern of celebrities having ups and downs more or less has given me an idea of how to react when they did something. Yes there will be a period of time where fans will be hostile towards said celebrity, but it will pass and they can either enjoy a life of obscurity away from the limelight, or they can find a way to redeem themselves to the public if possible.

“Celebrity X” turned out to be a total jackass!

As I mentioned above, these are people, not angels or gods. If someone you like turned out to be a total jackass when you ran into them or at comicon, then maybe they are a jackass, or maybe they’re just tired.

Everyone wants a private life, sure some celebs are active on social media via twitter or instagram, but no one wants to have fans running up to them when they’re trying to enjoy a ice cream cone or some beach time. Yes there are some celebs that will play it cool and take a selfie with you, but please do understand that they are human and sometimes they don’t want the attention and just don’t feel like taking a selfie.

As for the comicon thing; yeah it happens sometimes, conventions can be exhausting for some celebrities though. Place yourself in their shoes; your at a place with hundreds of people who want to meet you, yes it is kind of cool, but then you realize that the word “hundreds” is in your mind. People that have either been fans of yours since they were kids and grew up watching you on tv, or you got famous over night because you lucked out and got cast as a regular on Doctor Who.

Not only are you meeting these fans, but you’re also autographing their stuff, you have to have a quick conversation with them (some fans may even try to stretch the conversation out more than you want them to). Then you MAY even have to do your own panel; you could be doing a panel alone, or you could be doing it with a group of costars in whatever you’re participating in. You gotta keep that positive attitude going!

Now some people might be able to pull this off, most celebs I’ve met on the convention circuit have been pretty chill and very nice about meeting fans. There have been instances though that friends of mine and facebook pages have said some celebrities weren’t so cool at said convention. Well as I said earlier conventions are exhausting; you can’t be “happy happy joy joy” constantly, sometimes you want to go to sleep, but can’t for whatever reason.

There is also the possibility said celebrity is indeed an asshole; a good example would be a basketball player I’ve been in breathing space with a few times at a local comicon. I don’t keep up with basketball, I don’t care for the sport, I only knew of this individual because of his strange antics in the nineties. When it was announced that he would be at a comicon I thought “well that’s weird that a basketball player is at one of these, but whatever” and I noticed while waiting in line to meet Amy Jo Johnson (she is as sweet as honey btw) that his booth had little to no visitors.

I figured “well this isn’t really an environment for fans of basketball, most of the people here want to meet Amy Jo Johnson and the guy who played Darth Maul”, it was later I found out that he wanted to charge fans money just to get in line and meet him in addition to charging money for an autograph and a selfie. After hearing that and remembering that he wasn’t so friendly at the previous year’s comicon, I guessed that this former basketball player is just not a great guy.

“Celebrity X” broke the law!

While it is upsetting to see someone you like break the law, do remember, the law is the law and just because Celebrity X has money or is famous does not mean they are above the law. Yes I am aware there are instances where Celebrity X gets away with breaking either fully or through some sort of loophole abuse (like house arrest or the rich person prison).

Sometimes not getting away with breaking the law is a nice much needed slice of humble pie for Celebrity X and they will better themselves not just for their sake, but their fans. And it can bite them in the ass by making them too expensive to insure leading them to getting less movie roles and having to resort to a “live my life” type of deal where it’s pretty much them charging you to view what most other people would place on instagram for free (there are two has been Celebrity X that do this now.)

Also remember your high standards can be good for Celebrity X; Celebrity X is as much entitled to their opinion as you are, but sometimes your high moral code keeps Celebrity X from misbehaving too much and may even result in them bettering themselves to please their fans.

Celebrity X does not agree with my religious or political views

Get over it. Along with being human, Celebrity X is not tied down to religion; Celebrity X can be christian and heavily religious thus not agreeing with the primarily liberal life of other Celebrity X. Celebrity X can be an atheist and be against your religious beliefs and practices, Celebrity X can be a scientologist and either want to shove it down your throat or just be casual about it.

Same goes for political party, it seems though that most celebrities do lean towards the left side of politics, including some of the religious ones.

Celebrity X is gay, nooooooo! I wanted to marry him!

HAHAHA! He’s MINE NOW, there’s NOTHING you can do to have him now!

Celebrity X had their phone hacked and all their naked pictures are on the internet!

Be respectful and don’t look them up.

Celebrity X is pregnant at a young age!

It happens, if you can, be happy for them and support any decision they make.

Celebrity X did something pretty damn bad

This is where things get complicated, especially with the current sexual harassment and assault situation. Where you’re not sure what to do because Celebrity X did something particularly bad; by particularly bad this can range from beating their wife or husband, doing any form of physical or verbal abuse, sexually assaulting anyone, etc.

You are shocked and hurt and obviously you feel betrayed by Celebrity X, but you can’t bring yourself to hate them. You don’t like what they did and nothing you can say or do will justify their actions and why you’re still a fan of theirs.

In some cases Celebrity X has come out, apologized, and heavily regrets past actions. To some, this is enough, to others it’s not enough. I don’t have any sarcastic wisdom to provide to make this feeling to go away because I’m still trying to get over my own Celebrity X doing something bad. I don’t want to hate Celebrity X, but I’m not happy with them, but I don’t want to make a YouTube video of me burning all my possessions in relation to them (because let’s be honest that’s just petty and a waste of time).

If you can find it in your heart to forgive your own Celebrity X despite them doing something very bad, good for you for being a forgiving person. If you cannot and no longer wish to support Celebrity X, that is also fine because your reasons are just as justifiable.

However in some instances where Celebrity X did something bad, doesn’t care and you are in full support of this, you’re probably an idiot and probably won’t be reading this little blog anyways. But there have been instances where Celebrity X has been getting away with this kind of behavior for years and is now jobless because of it. You are very shocked that they did these awful things for so long and got away with it, it is fine to end your admiration of them on the spot if they did something particularly bad.

Remember that your Celebrity X is a human like you or me and has their own flaws because no one except for Anne Hathaway, David Tennant and Reese WItherspoon are perfect (don’t correct me on that list internet!) Also remember most crimes are forgivable. Except pedophilia, if your Celebrity X is into that shit you gotta end that admiration on the spot.

A Wrinkle in Time Film Review

A few months ago I posted a blog out of excitement for the motion picture adaptation of one of my favorite books growing up (and got me into reading) A Wrinkle in Time. Earlier today I got to sit down and watch the film and see if I would be fully satisfied with this motion picture adaptation of a book close to my heart, or would this be like Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader again?

Spoilers from this point on, I’d much rather you go read the book A Wrinkle in Time first, then watch the film.

First thing is first, I didn’t hate the film. I do heavily feel things could have been handled better than what was presented. Fortunately there is a big steaming pile of things I liked in the film to make me happy that I watched the film and to say that I liked the movie.

In defense of the film though, I knew changes would be made, I knew characters would be adapted out and new scenes and dialogue adapted in. However there are things in the film that bother me. The primary thing being the direction of the character Mrs Whatsit. In the book the Mrs W’s are indeed celestial beings that are wise, kind, and willing to help Meg and Charles Wallace find their father. While the characters of Mrs Who and Mrs Which are still the same, Mrs Whatsit is kind of a slightly bitchy Elle Woods.

She is still very kind and shows concern for the children, but she also looks down on humanity unintentionally and puts Meg down frequently during the film (she also has a ‘thing’ for the now male Happy Medium). My only reasoning for the decision to have Mrs Whatsit put Meg down was to have Meg focus on her own faults more and more since they are needed by the end of the film, but with the reaction Mrs Who and Mrs Which give her, I don’t think that was the intention.

There are a few plot points glossed over or excluded from the film including; the black thing (the entity that created IT and is causing the evil in the universe), the origin of Mrs Whatsit, the whole point of Calvin in the film, and the near exclusion of the planet Ixchel and Aunt Beast. Also Sandy and Dennis Murray are nowhere to be seen, but I don’t think we’re getting any sequels to A Wrinkle in Time.

The film is modernized a bit, Mrs Who quotes some recent historical figures (including Lin-Manuel Miranda) and a more modern setting, to be honest though with the clothing worn by the human characters and the lack of cellphones this film could take place between the 1990’s and today. Along with modernization, some of the darker aspects of the book are removed from the film (I guess in this version of the film CPS would not let any form of child abuse slide so easily).

There is also a lack of clarification between using magic and science; in the novel there is no magic used. The whole point of the Happy Medium was so she could use her crystal ball to find Dr.Murray and expose Calvin’s home life, via a scientific approach. That is to say I do like what was done with the scene and how it helped Meg grow as a person later in the film.

Back to Calvin, I don’t understand his point in the film. In the novel he’s there to encourage Meg and to try to save Charles Wallace, and in later books it’s heavily implied God wanted Meg and Calvin to get married one day. While romance is never a big deal in the book (Calvin and Meg do kiss) it’s almost non existent in the film and instead of sharing a kiss, Meg and Calvin share a hug. As mentioned above some of the darker tones from the novel aren’t present in the film including Calvin’s home life. The book revealed that Calvin was in a abusive household with multiple siblings and a mother who ‘had the hope and joy in her life beaten out of her’. Not sure why this was watered down to Calvin having a verbally/emotionally abusive father, but it does fit the scene fairly well.

Charles Wallace is…kind of annoying, which is also what I got from the book when I was rereading it as an adult, so nothing too bad. Meg was the central focus of the film (obviously) and I am happy what was done with her character; she didn’t let minor things bother her (not having fashionable clothing, caring about her weight, etc), she cared about her family and brother and knew she was intelligent.

Now there’s the near exclusion of Aunt Beast and how the climax of the film was handled; I liked what was there, and I dislike what wasn’t there. While I was happy that this time around IT wasn’t defeated as seen in the tv movie, I didn’t like the exclusion of Aunt Beast in the film. While I am happy Aunt Beast is there in cameo form, I felt that the character would have been necessary to increase the outcome of the climax.

In the book Aunt Beast was part of a race of creatures that had no gender, no eyes, no ears, and no mouth and spoke via thought. Despite the lack communication the species of Ixchel are very kind and loving by nature and heal Meg out of the goodness of their hearts and provide some ammo via ‘power of love’ to have Meg go and save Charles Wallace. I feel that if this scene had been included, it would have made the climactic ‘battle’ between Meg and IT over Charles Wallace stronger. I am also happy with how the ‘battle’ is handled in the film.

In terms of appearance, THE FILM IS BEAUTIFUL TO LOOK AT! The planet Uriel is such a beautiful portion of the film with bright colors and scenery (gotta love that New Zealand filming location). The clothing and dresses worn by the Mrs W’s are also very beautiful and detailed. I find myself loving Mrs Who’s outfits in the film with one of her gowns having quotes in various languages sewn into them.

The special effects are nice, and I do like Ava DuVarnay’s decision to make the planets visited in the film as alien as possible (no flying centar in this film).

The Removal of Christianity

I had a feeling this would happen, I’m not shocked and I’m not really offended either. Despite what a meme on the internet may tell you, A Wrinkle in Time is not about religion. While there is mention of the citizens of Urial singing a verse from the Bible (Isaiah 42:10-12), Calvin mentioning reading from the book of Genesis to Charles Wallace, and Charles Wallace name dropping Jesus as someone who fought against darkness, the book isn’t as overtly about religion as many think claim it is.

It is also heavily hinted in the book that the Mrs W’s are servants of God in the books, and in some trailers for the film the impression that they serve a higher being is there. I do enjoy the science fiction approach to them this time around with them only being able to exist there there is both physical light and light as in the figurative sense of good in the universe.

Despite the removal of Christianity from the film there is still a strong good versus evil theme with Meg witnessing the large cosmic evil from the influence of of the Black Thing and IT and seeing the small minor evils in the world (Calvin’s abusive homelife, a school bully who forbids herself from eating certain foods so she can be skinny, a stranger Charles Wallace is kind and polite to getting mugged while waiting for the bus, teachers being envious of a promotion for one of their colleagues, etc). The book and the film are able to stand alone without the inclusion of the religion, but I was hoping the line of ‘not to me Calvin, never to me.’ would have been kept in the film.

Marketing

I feel that Disney didn’t have as much faith in this film as many were lead to believe. While it may be a good thing little to no merchandising was released for the film (there are a few coffee mugs, notebooks, and posters with quotes from the film and three barbie dolls of the Mrs W’s. Oh and the obligatory Pop Funko figures, gotta have my pops). This might be because aside from the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, live action Disney films have a tragic habit of underperforming and being quickly forgotten about within less than a year (you ever hear of anyone talking about Tomorrowland or Maleficent still?)

I mean I knew about the film and kept close tabs on it from the release of the trailer last year (my poor friends Sam and Myrna had to endure me counting down to the premier of the film), but I’m not really sure if the public was as aware of the film. As mentioned above I kept close tabs on the film even subscribing to #AWrinkleInTime on Instagram, but I don’t know exactly how much effort Disney placed into marketing. Seeing as how my nieces and nephews (who I see usually around weekends alone) were aware of the film, I’d say it was advertised enough.

The advertisements and film did put heavy emphasis on women and young girls being able to change the world and to ‘be a warrior’ which I have nothing against, but that wasn’t really a thing in the book.

All in all despite not living up to my picky standards I did enjoy A Wrinkle in TIme and give it three flying tulip aliens out of five.

Pokemon I Choose You Review

Pokemon has been here for a very, very long time, so in celebration of the twenty fifth anniversary of the franchise a new Pokemon movie was released to celebrate the yearly tradition of releasing a pokemon movie. Unlike previous Pokemon films which are made primarily to advertise the newest pokemon, give sneak peeks to pokemon coming up in the next batch of games, and show one of the new legendary Pokemon, Pokemon I Choose You is a retelling of the first season of the franchise.

Initially many fans (myself included) thought that this was the movie version of the first three episodes or so. We were slightly wrong.

Spoilers from this point on, I can’t Mewtwo these spoilers outside of your head

There was some controversy surrounding the movie over discrepancies between what happens in the film, and what happened in the first season of the anime. The main controversy being that Misty and Brock are nowhere to be seen during the film and Team Rocket having little to no influence on the plot of the film. Another controversy is the inclusion of many pokemon not seen in the first generation of the game series.

However is this actually a good film despite what many other fanboys on forums and reviewers on YouTube say? Well it’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it is better than Destiny Deoxys (gosh that movie is so dull).

As mentioned above the film is an alternate telling of the first season of pokemon, but it borrows some plots from the first season and despite being a ninety three minute film, a decent amount of what occurred the first half of the season made it into the film without it being a horrible mess. The plots borrowed from the first season include Ash catching a caterpie that would eventually evolve into a butterfree and be forced to part ways with, and Ash’s relationship with a abandoned charmander Ash rescues. Elements from the second generation of games are also brought into the film concerning the plot of the legendary pokemon Ho-oh.

Although I was a little annoyed with the approach taken for this film, I do like the alternative storyline. I feel it handled some of the aesops presented in the first season a little better with Ash learning that sometimes you can’t win them all in the film despite being a good person and the opponent you’re fighting being a bad person.

The antagonist in the film was a shocking revelation that the main antagonist was the pokemon trainer who abandoned charmander to die in a rainstorm and only desired to become a stronger trainer only catching strong pokemon. Instead of being just a jackass trainer featured in the initial episode featuring charmander in the pokemon anime, Cross (the villain for the movie) is a talented trainer, but only views his pokemon as tools to achieve his goal of catching Ho-oh rather than establishing a friendship with his pokemon.

Of course it wouldn’t be a pokemon movie without advertising one of the new legendary pokemon in the series and this time around it’s Marshadow who acts as an observer for Ho-oh to make sure Ash is indeed a worthy pure hearted trainer (I guess he functions as a PR advisor for Ho-oh or something). Unlike previous films, the plot is not focused on Marshadow and the pokemon is only featured the last ten or so minutes once again challenging the human characters and their pokemon to see if they are indeed worthy of battling Ho-oh.

I do like that the film breaks tradition and only focuses on Ash’s relationship with pikachu and his other pokemon captured in the film. I like that Ash’s relationship with his caterpie is deep, even if some parts of it were a montage, I like that caterpie was useful in each stage of his evolution. I like that charmander didn’t become a jerk as soon as he evolved into charmeleon and so on into charizard. There is even development from both pokemon as they evolve with caterpie evolving into butterfree, but wanting to stay loyal and stay with Ash despite also wanting to go and mate (contrary to a mistranslation, butterfree do not die when mating). We also see just how loyal charmander is to Ash in each stage of evolution and how this trust benefits Ash’s team in the long run of the movie.

New characters to replace Misty and Brock are also featured in the film, they are Sorrel, a young pokemon trainer who wants to become a professor of pokemon (don’t they have college in this universe? Or do all researchers and professors go through the Jane Goodwill approach?) and Verity, a young girl from the Sinoh region exploring the Kanto region for unknown reasons. They’re not too shabby.

As with many of the pokemon movies, the art and animation is beautiful with a beautiful mixture of 2d and 3d animation. The end of the film also has a piano rendition of the pokemon theme song at a slower temple that may or may not touch the hearts of long time fans of the pokemon anime.

While the film isn’t amazing, I feel it’s a pretty decent movie and there are things to like about the film despite not sticking exactly to the source material of the anime. I give Pokemon I Choose You three Pokeballs out of Five.

The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren Book 2 The Siren Review

Whisky Tango Foxtrot is a good way to describe my experience with the second book in The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren trilogy. No I don’t mean it’s a bad read (I enjoyed it alot), but there are enough surprises here that will make the reader wonder if they watched Once Upon a Time and had a shocking cliffhanger presented to them.

Possible Spoilers from this point on, I’ll try my best not to give any, but if you want we can put you under a Siren spell and drown you afterwards.

The second book in the series continues the life of Blaize Trails as he continues to attend the faux ‘pray the gay away’ school known as sanctuary prep. Blaize is still recovering from the trauma of losing his friend Jimmy from the previous year’s encounter with the homophobic group the Zimmerman Zealots.

Despite all his trauma, Blaize is fully excited to leave his homophobic home life and return to sanctuary prep to hang out with his friends and eat hamburgers that heal you. However just because he is returning to his school, doesn’t mean the stakes aren’t any higher for Blaize, his friends, and peers.

Blaize now has the power of the Seeker given to him by his friend Jimmy before he died. Despite knowing better Blaize chooses to keep this new knowledge to himself only and not tell the staff at his school or any of his friends out of desires to not be owned by the government or to endanger any more of his loved ones.

The approach the Siren has taken against the school has also changed; rather than being backwater foulmouthed possible inbreds, the Zimmerman Zealots have expanded their resources to becoming politicians, not the foul mouthed orange kind either. They’ve become proper, have an extended vocabulary, and aren’t always under the control of the siren. Tensions increase when it’s revealed that one of the senators and part time controlled member of the ZZs has been informed that not all ‘healing schools’ are what they claim to be.

On a more teenage first world level of things, Blaize’s second year at Sanctuary Prep isn’t as glamorous as he’d thought it be (second year of highschool is never as glamorous as expected). The topic of bullying returns to the series and the minor character of Tracy returns as a main character. She is harassed by her former friends, but Blaize and his friends show her some kindness and invite her to hang out with them. Too bad her personality is that of an awful person.

The approach to bullying is done differently this time around with the character Roze choosing to do something about it and standing up to the jock crowd and encouraging other students to join in and creating a group known as the Red Shirt Brigade. I was actually reminded of the television series The Good Place at one point in the book with Roze, Blaize, and Cassie teaching Tracy how to be a ‘decent person’ with mixed results.  

The parents of the character Cassie are introduced in this novel as well and along with Blaize’s parents present two different types of homophobia in the book; a nonviolent ‘have you tried not being gay?’ atmosphere is present with Blaize’s home life that frustrates him heavily even though he knows that his family still loves him and struggles with his own emotions of still loving his parents, but being angry with how they view his sexuality. Then there’s Cassie’s home situation; Cassie is abused both emotionally and physically by her adoptive parents causing Blaize to have some relief that despite his parents being homophobic, he is still loved by them regardless.

There is romance in the book, but like with the previous novel I am happy with how it was handled and that Blaize’s affections for a character named Timothy is more in the crush area that occasionally slips into stalker territory instead of constant Twilight Saga level of obsessing over the love interest. I do like that Blaize makes the smarter decision concerning his feelings for Timothy for the greater good of not only Timothy, but all of the student body at sanctuary prep and could relate to some of the heartache that Blaize had at later points in the book.

One final thought is that I am very, very sorry to the author Cody Wagner! Despite my decision not to approach him about the story when I was reading the first book until after I was done, I may have bugged him a little bit with my real time reactions to the events of the book (something tells me JK Rowling and Anne Rice don’t put up with that). It was pretty cool to have him tease me about theories I thought up as I went along reading, and it was pretty cool that some questions I asked that resulted in a “not answering” response were addressed in this book!

I give The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren Book 2 the Siren four Tater Tot Pyramids out of five.

You can purchase the ebook on Amazon Kindle and the paperback edition will be available soon!

A Ring of Endless Light Review

In 1980 Madeleine L’Engle published her novel A Ring of Endless Light focusing on the continued life of the Austin family. In contrast with the Murry-O’Keefe family the books that revolve around the family are mostly stand alone and the reader doesn’t have to exclusively have to read the series in order (as in you could read A Wind in the Door or Many Waters without reading A Wrinkle in Time to get into the story. A Swiftly Tilting Planet requires some previous knowledge of A Wind in the Door.) The lives of the Austin family require some previous reading of books focusing on them.

Spoilers from this point on

The primary theme of this novel is death with the very first page taking place at a funeral of a family friend of the Austin family known as Commander Rodney, who suffered a heart attack after saving a rich kid from drowning. Vicky Austin and the rest of her family spend their time on an island that they normally spend no more than two or three weeks at each summer due to her grandfather’s battle with a form of leukemia.

The topic of death is one that is ever looming over Vicky’s mind due to the revelation that it was her own friend Zachary Gray whom Commander Rodney had saved despite the fact that Zachary was trying to commit suicide at the time. Meanwhile Zachary is trying to come to terms with the death of his own mother who was killed in a car accident, but unlike the Christian traditions of the Austin family, Zachary’s mother was cryogenically frozen in hopes that in the future she can be “saved”.

I haven’t read any of the other novels featuring the Austin family or Zachary Grey, but it’s easy to gather that the worlds of the two families clash completely with the humble, religious, and educated Austins, and the rich, entitled, buy your way out of trouble Gray family. From what I’ve read about L’Engle’s work concerning the character Zachary Gray, L’Engle had seen him as the “ultimate redemption story” she never got to finish.

Although the primary topic of death being a major theme in A Ring of Endless Light, it does play background noise at times to Vicky’s trials as a typical teenager; she likes boys and has “finally become beautiful enough to attract them.” However, unlike modern YA literature, Vicky isn’t in a “team Edward/team Jacob” love triangle. While she does have two characters with romantic interest in her (the above mentioned Zachary Gray and the son of Commander Rodney, Leo), Vicky doesn’t spend her time pondering over “which one is good for me?” and focuses more on herself and concentrates more on helping Leo recover from the death of his father and functioning as Zachary’s moral compass at times.

Vicky also has a third romantic interest named Adam that doesn’t show feelings for her due to the events that previously happened in The Arm of the Starfish (gotta get around to reading that).

How Vicky approaches ‘dating’ each of these boys is actually a relief. She never officially goes on a romantic date with any of them, she actually didn’t like Leo too much at the start of the novel, but does grow to genuinely care for him as a friend by the book’s end even with Leo’s desire to take the friendship further. Despite the best efforts of Zachary and Leo Vicky is very firm in what she doesn’t want from them and by the climax of the book, Vicky has lost any previous infatuation with Zachary after a incident with him flying a plane.

Adam is a college student studying dolphins and marine biology. He’s handsome, athletic, and honestly who wouldn’t fall for someone that is dolphin approved? It’s one thing to be approved by a cat or dog, but dolphins are one of the most intelligent sentient species on earth. If a dolphin approves of a boy, he’s the type you bring home to mother. Adam doesn’t actively pursue Vicky romantically ever in the book, but is very grateful for her help in his research. (Side note, this form of science would probably be mocked in real life).

In terms of the plot with dolphins, Adam hypotheses that because of Vicky’s artistic abilities as a poet, she should be able to connect with dolphins. And that she does through a form of telepathy previously used in L’Engle’s books known as kything. There is a significant amount of growth between Vicky and Adam where towards the end it is all but confirmed the two are in love with each other since Vicky is able to call Adam in her time of greatest distress.

The climax of the novel does heavily involve the above topic of life, death, and dolphins. Through kything the dolphins give VIcky an idea of what the universe is like beyond what she knows of on the planet earth and a deep understanding of what is beyond life and death.

In the climax of the novel while rushing to see her grandfather, Vicky is briefly left in charge of a sickly child also suffering from terminal illness. Sadly said child has a seizure and dies in Vicky’s arms sending her into a deep despair challenging not just her religious beliefs, but everything the dolphins told her and her faith that there is good in humanity despite all the sorrow and evil in the world. The plots come full circle when Vicky is healed of her sorrow through the healing abilities of the dolphins.

Outside of romance and death, A Ring of Endless Light does have some interesting callbacks to her previous work outside of the Austin family. When Vicky has a small conversation with her little brother Rob, he asks her about the possibility of a planet with a population that has no sight and no hearing, which DOES exist in L’Engle’s universe (the planet Ixchel visited in A Wrinkle in TIme). There is also the above mentioned callback to A Wind in the Door, and the fact that Adam did do some research with Dr.O’Keefe (aka Calvin O’Keefe).

I also do enjoy the fact that even though A Ring of Endless Light being published nearly forty years ago, the topics seen in the novel are still relevant today. Is it okay to let a loved one die from terminal illness and is it bad to prolong their life via “hooked up to a machine”? Is it bad to slaughter animals even though said animals eating the source of income/food for your family? Can all diseases be “healed by science”? Etc.

In Comparison to the Disney Channel Original Movie

While the movie adaption isn’t bad (it’s a lot better than any of the DCOMs released since Highschool Musical), it is very toned down from the book in many ways. One of the major differences is the reduction of the cast size from nearly twenty characters, to about eight named characters. The theme of death is toned down significantly with the dolphin plot taking place as the central plot.

Instead of being mystical creatures, the dolphins are still pretty damn mystical, but do not serve the same purpose in the film as they do in the novel, where instead of being the source of Vicky’s healing from her trauma, they’re involved in a “illegal net fishing is bad!” plot that reminded me a lot of another DCOM called The Thirteenth Year.

Zachary is also toned down from being reckless and suicidal to just being rich and unaware of the world around him (his father owns the fishing company that has dolphins getting tangled up in nets). Adam goes from introverted scientist to excited marine biologist who is pissed about dolphins getting killed in fishing nets.

It’s not a bad movie, but if Disney could have gotten away with The Color of Friendship, they could have at least handled the topic of death better than Vicky’s grandfather suddenly croaking after the dolphins were saved (ironically Vickey’s grandfather didn’t die just yet in the book.)

I give A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle, four out of five dolphins (seriously, we need to go back to writing about dolphins in YA, WHY AREN’T THERE MORE DOLPHIN STORIES??)

The Princess Diarist Review

The time has come to review the last novel written by the late, great Carrie Fisher. After discovering how much I liked her writing with Wishful Drinking I thought I could just jump into Fisher’s memoirs of her experience with the first Star Wars film (now confusingly known as episode Four A New Hope). And It was still fairly funny, granted this time there was the main reason why fans wanted to buy the book (this reason taking up two thirds of the book), her affair with Harrison Ford.

No You can’t spoil real life, but I will talk about The Last Jedi a bit here with some minor spoilers, I promise this will be the last time I talk about Star Wars until the end of Star Wars Rebels.

This novel is more or less Carrie talking about her life behind the scenes of what was going on when filming the first Star Wars movie, her life prior to the movie, life as an actress during that time, her hesitation at going into showbiz, her experience with Harrison Ford (gosh he was/is hot. Remember when you didn’t need amazing muscles to be hot?), her life in the world of comicon, and a depressing realization I had that resulted in me taking a few months (and some audiobook sessions) to finish this novel.

The Princess Diarist is a pretty damn good book, Carrie Fisher had chosen to write it solely because one day she was cleaning house and found her old diaries from when she was filming Star Wars, which is pretty cool that she kept and found them and that the ink managed to last for so many years.

As mentioned above the main focus of the book (and one of the reasons why so many people were interested in the book in the first place prior to December 27th 2016) was the revelation that Carrie FIsher had an affair with Harrison Ford. Carrie FIsher didn’t go into too much detail about what went on in the bedroom (with the exception of maybe one detailed poem) as she felt that sex is a private matter.

She talks about the secret she and Harrison Ford shared and how she did have feelings for Harrison Ford that she didn’t want to have because she saw that her father ran off with Elizabeth Taylor and didn’t want to become ‘a homewrecker’ by having an affair with Harrison Ford. The poems she wrote can sometimes be particularly dark to the point that I resorted to listening to the audiobook (which somehow got Carrie FIsher nominated for a Grammy), to highschool crush and feelings, to being in love with someone and knowing that you yourself can be more interesting and better than what you see yourself as and wondering how that person views you. Despite how dark the diary entries go, I feel that people can relate to them even if the situation is just so unrealistic.

I will admit I did get annoyed how the book focused so much on this affair; I understand it’s a secret that Carrie Fisher almost took with her to the grave, but I was hoping for other stories and adventures she had on set of Star Wars. But then again the diary entries that were created partially because of the affair so I understand why so much of the book was devoted to it.

It was fun seeing how Carrie Fisher talked about her life after the original Star Wars trilogy, going through life living in Princess Leia’s shadow, hating princess Leia, liking Princess Leia, understanding that she is only famous because of Princess Leia, hating Star Wars for a little bit, then just growing to accept all of it.

She does also talk a bit about her life in conventions giving small parodies/generalizations of the fans she meets while at conventions. She mentions that despite meeting some fans multiple times, she didn’t remember them, but was polite about that situation, and situations where children thought that Princess Leia was a beautiful young woman still (don’t do drugs kids). Most of all she did like the Star Wars fan base and enjoyed joking around with her fans and just grew to enjoy everything. She accepted what life had given her and was happy to live it.

And now for the depressing realization of this novel and The Last Jedi. Throughout most of the book Carrie FIsher mentioned the topic of death a lot. Most people would say “she was old, of course she’s going to talk and joke around about death,” which is fair enough, I joke about dying a lot too. But then I saw The Last Jedi last week and noticed something about Carrie’s performance and began to tie something with what she had written in the book. Carrie knew she didn’t have much time left on this earth.

Granted she was having a blast on The Ellen Degeneres show a little over a week before she passed away, but who wouldn’t have a blast on Ellen? Even the kids from Thirteen Reasons Why had a blast on her show!

I could be wrong, I really hope I’m wrong about this observations I had while reading this book and seeing her act one last time, but this is a feeling I have, nothing more and nothing less. It was great seeing the crazy lady and her internal thoughts one last time, it’s making me consider going to go see The Last Jedi again on the 27th dressed as a giant prozzak pill.

I give The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher five out of five strange Slave Leia autographs.

Star Wars the Last Jedi Spoiler infested review.

As I mentioned in my other review of Star Wars The Last Jedi, there would be two seperate reviews, this one is the spoiler review. DO NOT READ IT UNLESS YOU WANT YOUR MOVIE EXPERIENCE TO BE SPOILED! I will not spoil everything though, so there you go 🙂

So first thing is first, all the fans making theories about Snoke being a force vampire, Rey’s parentage, wondering what will happen with Leia due to Carrie FIsher passing away, and Luke being on the dark side of the force all get a giant middle finger given to them. Fans of shipping from the previous film get a smaller middle finger given to them and a pat on the back (even my Poe/Finn ship got a small pat on the back). Essentially though it’s fair to say each and every fan who spent the past two years trying to solve the new mysteries in the Star Wars universe got bamboozled and I’m fine with being mostly bamboozled.

The film picks up immediately after The Force Awakens concluded with Poe doing some badass flying drawing time for the Resistance to pack up and flee to regroup. However Poe believes that the Resistance should focus primarily on defeating The First Order right then and there rather than using a strategy after regrouping to continue battling the First Order, it is this recklessness that leads to The Resistance losing many resources at the start of the film and more or less spending most of the film at the mercy of The First Order.

We also see Finn recover from his injuries from The Force Awakens and his primary goals are to find Rey, save her, and go into hiding away from both the First Order and the Resistance. He goes on a secret mission to infiltrate the First Order to stop them from tracking the Resistance through hyperspace.

During all of this Rey is spending her time with Luke Skywalker trying to convince him to aid the resistance against the First Order, however Luke has grown cynical and disillusioned with the Jedi and feels it is arrogant to call the Jedi order as the sole good side of the force arrogant. And as usual Luke is a whines and complains because that’s what he’s good at.

Your Fan Theories Have No Power Here!

I’ll start things off with one that many fans had been wondering about since Rey came into the mix; her parentage! Many thought Rey was the long lost twin of Ben Solo/Kylo Ren, the obvious age difference between the two actors makes this very unlikely plus even if Leia had some weird “force memory erase” her body would definitely remember being pregnant with twins. Essentially my theory of Rey’s parents being “no one” were right. She was just a girl abandoned by her family, there are hints to her being something more than what she believes herself to be. Also no she isn’t Luke’s daughter and she isn’t the Disney version of Luuke Skywalker.

Despite what many fans believed, Leia was not killed off in this film due to Carrie Fisher’s passing last year despite Lucasfilm and Disney stating many times that the character Princess Leia would not be killed off.

#BossBitch

Leia shows us why she is in charge of The Resistance (outside of the fact that she founded it), in the event that all of the Resistance leadership was ambushed and went flying into space, Leia showed us that despite not being trained in the force as a Jedi, she knows damn well how to use it. As with The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi shows us many female characters present in the film doing heroic deeds all without screaming “woo feminism,” and once again the film passes the Bechdel test.  

Another strong character is Amilyn Holdo who though gets little characterization in the film itself (for more info on her past go read Leia Princess of Alderaan). Despite serving as someone that Poe distrusts throughout the film in terms of leadership and decisions not to do any form of action choosing to flee, she shows that she can not only put an end to a small mutiny, but also delivers a strong blow to the First Order.

References to Knights of the Old Republic (the only GOOD Star Wars video games)

Oddly there are references to the Knights of the Old Republic video games with porgs infesting the millenium facon and Luke more or less becoming The Exile of Knights of the Old Republic 2.

Let the Hate FLOW Through You!

As I first mentioned many fan theories and plot lines started in The Force Awakens and heavily advertised in the marketing for The Last Jedi are thrown out the door with major villains in the previous film being defeated with ease. Rey’s parentage is treated as unimportant, the damage of the government system is not shown despite many implications that the government is in chaos due to most of the senators for many planets are dead.

Let’s be honest with ourselves, some of what was being presented to the fans were a little ridiculous at times (no one is going to take you seriously when you look like look like an aged anorexic version of Sloth from Goonies who stole Goldmember’s wardrobe).

In place of all these theories and teasing we get an actual story that I previously mentioned, the film felt more like watching a few episodes of Star Wars Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels where in some situations flying around and blowing shit up was not the best solution to a problem and that there were alternative solutions that would have helped alot more. While I understand that fans were displeased with this, this was a better approach to telling the story rather than relying on the predictability of something along the lines of “Rey’s parents were noble people hiding her away from the First Order” or “Snoke is an evil Force vampire that awoke because Palpatine killed all the Jedi at once”.

I also felt the story was more along the lines of the 2004 scifi series Battlestar Galactica where the main goal was for the humans to find the planet Earth and start a new home and evade the cylons, which is nearly exactly what happens here actually.

I really liked this movie even if it wasn’t at all what I expected; I give Star Wars the Last Jedi four porgs out of five.