Timeless Series Finale: The Hearts that Change History

If you are a #clockblocker, have a #clockblocker friend, or live within a 500 mile radius of any #clockblockers, you have probably heard the news by now.

Timeless is getting a series finale, and the fans are getting closure.

laughing gif

This is a rare gift that most cancelled shows never get. Sure, they may get a few follow-up movies, which are often a bigger disappointment than if nothing had been done at all!

I do not fear that in the case of #Timeless If there is anything our show creators have proven, it is that they understand proper storytelling and know how to make the most of whatever time they are given! I have laughed, I have cried, I have had a roiling stomach full of anxiety in the 26 episodes we have had the joy of watching.

There is no way this series finale should have happened. No way. And yet, here we are.

never tell me the ods

The passion of Timeless fans has blown me away (and honestly, scared me at times ;)). You do not quit! Who hires a helicopter to fly over ComicCon? WHO DOES THAT?

Clockblockers, that’s who.

We have 2 more episodes to complete the beautiful saga of Lucy, Wyatt, Rufus, Jiya, Flynn, Denise, Conner, and *gags*, Emma!

This show has touched us deeply. The characters are real people, who are carrying wounded hearts and fears just like we are. They are going back into some of the best and the worst moments of history, and being given a chance to make a difference. As they have evolved as characters, they are changing not just the past, not just the present, but the future as well. And they are changing each other.

We can learn so much from these characters. These ordinary, flawed people who were called to a place to heroism not by choice, but by circumstance, and they chose to take on the responsibility. They didn’t do it perfectly. They made plenty of mistakes, they broke hearts, they hurt themselves and others. But there is one thing that they haven’t done, and that is given up.

Sure, they have considered giving up. That’s only human. But something or someone always drew them back into the fight. We have seen them grow into kinder, stronger, more capable people even as they are being broken in new ways and facing harder obstacles.

I believe this show has touched so many hearts because most of us want to make a difference. We see the compassion and ferocity of Lucy’s heart and we say I want to be like Lucy when I grow up. We see Wyatt’s protective spirit and feel drawn to defend those in need. We see Rufus show up to work, terrified every day, and still, he keeps showing up. And we say to ourselves, If Rufus can do it, I can too. 

We’ve seen Jiya embrace the terrifying and come out as a warrior. We have seen Denise take a ragtag group of hurting people and draw them under her wing of support and strength. We have seen Conner transform from a selfish slimeball to someone with a team/family mindset. We have seen a broken and hurting man, Flynn, rediscover the truth of who he is in his heart. Someone who loves and protects.

Ordinary people, doing the extraordinary.

These are the hearts that change history. It is my desire and hope that all who have watched this show will walk away changed. That they will face obstacles and keep going. That they will treat everyone with kindness, whether they agree with them or not. That they will protect those in need of protection. That they will have grace for their mistakes and determination to continue. That they will find people to connect with and face life together, just like our Time Team has.

I already believe these things, as a daughter of the King of Kings and an ambassador of His grace and light. These themes are life-changing, my friends. World-changing! So let these things take root in your heart and be encouraged.

These are the hearts that change history.

Here’s to you, #clockblockers!

war to end all wars

In celebration of this momentous occasion, I am offering a discount to all my Timeless fan store products, this discounted link is valid thru Sunday! Celebrate your favorite moments and characters with a fun tee or mug!

I have US and EU options! You all are amazing, see you when we all show up to #saverufus!

https://teespring.com/stores/timeless-fan-store?pr=TMLS

 

Copy of _discount thru Sunday#timeless

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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Exactly What It Needed to Be

I’ve heard some talk floating around the internet that Marvel’s latest instalment, Ant-Man and the Wasp was “mediocre” following the massive movie event that was Infinity War.

antman and the wasp smaller image

My response to that?

you don't get it

Y’all don’t get it.

Ant-Man and the Wasp was NEVER meant to be Infinity War. The same way the Captain America movies and the Iron Man trilogies are vastly different, it’s like comparing a watermelon to a grape. If you want a watermelon, you watch Infinity War. Neither one is “better” than the other, they are two different stories. You are welcome to have a favorite, but don’t try to compare such different fruits.

 If you want to take on an entire watermelon, go watch Infinity War. If you want some refreshing grapes, go watch Ant-Man and the Wasp. 

Okay, now I’ll back up my argument with something a bit more substantial than fruit. Here are 3 reasons why Ant-Man and the Wasp was exactly what it was supposed to be. *Spoilers ahead*.

1. Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne are still fairly new heroes.

If you’re expecting Scott Lang, Hope Van Dyne, and Hank Pym to be gallivanting around with the other Avengers, guess again. That little trip Scott took to Germany to join #TeamCap was AWESOME, but it really was an anomaly, same for Peter Parker. Scott Lang is still a newbie hero, and while he may be older than our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, he’s still developing. And Hope Van Dyne make walk around with great confidence, but we have only had 2 movies to get to know her, she’s still a work in progress as far as the audience is concerned.

I know our Marvel universe has been building up to this climactic, dramatic place where Infinity War is raging, but as a character, Scott is still fairly early into his character arc, as is Hope. If you compare this second instalment to Iron-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (the best Marvel movie to date), and Thor: The Dark World it’s not that far off. Ant-Man and the Wasp are still building up to the place the other heroes have already come to after years of fighting.

This makes sense as newer characters like Peter Parker, Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne ARE the future of Marvel! Once the dust settles on Avengers 4 most of our older heroes will have been killed or hopefully retired. We have to be left with somebody!

I loved the lighter tension of this movie. Infinity War was exhausting to watch. I didn’t mind the fact our villains weren’t bent upon world domination or mass genocide. I loved the fact that Ghost got a redemptive arc. Sometimes you want to see the “bad” person saved. If someone had gotten Thanos turned around centuries ago we wouldn’t be in this stupid mess now.

ghost.gif

Lighter, that leads me to my next point.

2. Ant-Man IS SUPPOSED to be lighthearted and funny!

Something I love about the Ant-Man movies is how down-to-earth and approachable they are! Scott is a cereal and Skittles kind of hero, and I love that. It sets him apart from Thor’s stateliness, Steve’s intense moral compass, Tony’s champagne and AI world. Any elegance or class Scott lacks Hope fills in beautifully as she creates this beautiful gravity to these stories.

I love Luis and co. I LOVEEEE CASSIE! I love the playful creativity and freedom of these movies. In what other Marvel movie would it be completely normal to take out a goon with a massive Hello Kitty pez dispenser.

pez dispenser

Where else do you get to see a giant ant play the drums? In what world can you carry all of your matchbox size vehicles in a lunchbox?

Btw, have you considered the fact that it was literally on someone’s to-do list AT WORK to “go purchase matchbox cars for Ant-Man and the Wasp“? How do I get that job?

I don’t know about you, but I needed every single laugh I got out of this movie. It wasn’t cheap humor. It wasn’t degrading humor. It wasn’t chock full of inappropriate humor. This was the hilariously crazy mixed in with the adorably normal and I loved it. I needed it. 

Laughter is good medicine. Ant-Man and the Wasp was good for my health.

3. The personal stakes were HUGE for these characters.

No, they weren’t trying to prevent a worldwide genocide, but that doesn’t mean this mission didn’t matter.

Can you imagine knowing the love of your life, the beloved mama you lost has been trapped in another realm for 30 years? And after grieving her tragic loss for years, you find out that maybe, just maybe you can ACTUALLY get her out??? That would be fire burning inside of you that you could not quench!

Can you imagine losing your parents violently, and then existing between two realms for your whole life? Being used for horrible things because you are “special”, but ALWAYS being in pain? Knowing you are going to blink out of existence in just a few weeks? Oh! The loneliness, the terror, the torment, the grief!

Can you imagine losing everything, your wife, your child, your freedom, regaining part of that and meeting a partner you want to spend forever with, and then losing it all again? And if you had a third chance? Wouldn’t you put everything you had into keeping that third chance?

This movie was huge when it came to personal stakes. Hank Pym was determined to get back the love his life, his true partner. Good thing, since the number of people who actually like him he can count on one hand. I can’t imagine the pain of being separated from a loved one that way, the agony he must have felt.

Hope wants her mama back. Her family fell apart when her mama disappeared. She lost both parents that night. All sense of security, joy, hope, laughter, gone! I know how it feels when your family is shattered so I can imagine how she feels. Not to mention, she had actually met this guy who is warm, funny, great with kids, and somehow complements her beautifully, and then she lost him too. She’s done losing people, she’s ready to get somebody back for a change!

Scott has worked his rear end off trying to re-establish his life so he can have a future that includes his daughter. I’m not a parent yet, but I know enough to know there are few motivators as strong as the motivators parents have. Plus, he found this amazing woman who he can have as both a superpartner, and a life partner. Yeah, he’s motivated.

This movie was hugely focused on partnership. Hope and Scott, they have a rhythm, a balance as partners. They need each other.

hope and scott

Janet and Hank, they belong together. They are better together.

This movie was about restoration. Restoration of partners. Of families. It was about healing a shattered little girl who had been in pain since her childhood. It was down-to-earth, it was funny, it was wacky and unexpected.

This is EXACTLY the movie I needed after the year I’ve had. EXACTLY the movie I needed after Infinity War. And the folks at Marvel knew that.

I hope you can laugh and enjoy yourself as much as I did. I hope you see the sweet heart and messages of restoration and healing in this movie. I hope you go home lighter.

4. Bonus…this movie is Giant-Man sized in terms of impact for Avengers 4.

The horror of that mid-credits, Infinity War tie-in scene settled in my belly like cold quicksand. The thought of being trapped in the Quantum Realm with literally no one on the outside to help Scott scared the living daylights out of me. Until I thought about it…

…and then I realized. What if Scott is actually the key?

I have a theory, one that I quickly found was shared by other Marvel fans. What if the Quantum Realm could somehow be connected to the Soul Stone where half of the world plus half of our heroes were sent after that dreadful finger-snap? If so, Scott could travel between worlds, perhaps even be the key to free those lost. And since Scott wasn’t one of those “taken”, he can still get out into the real world. Perhaps even bring vital information back to the remaining Avengers and Captain Marvel when she arrives. Every single hero we had left standing at the end of Infinity War serves a very specific purpose.

We haven’t even gotten to the potential possibilities presented by the “time vortex” Janet cautioned Scott against.

This is exciting stuff. Scott has proven himself capable in the Quantum Realm before, and as Marvel has taught us time and time again, nothing is ever insignificant. No hero is too “small”. And everyone has a vital part to play.

So, was Ant-Man and the Wasp mediocre?

Absolutely NOT! It was precisely what the Doctor ordered.

antman and the wasp gif

(Did Dr. Strange see Scott being a key player in the 1 scenario out of billions where they won? I guess we’ll find out next May).

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy:

Civil War: Why the Sokovia Accords Are a Waste of Paper

Civil War: The First Annual Avenger’s Football Game

Civil War: Why Vision Needed to Fail

Wanda Maximoff’s Room: Backstory in Less than 3 Minutes

If you’re a big Ant-Man fan, check out these awesome L-A-N-G tees! I have an entire ASSEMBLE collection, but I definitely need to add in a few heroes such as Hope.

*Available for US and EU buyers!

US TEE

EU TEE

_Hi, I'm Scott._

When You Are Sitting Inside of an Exploding Firework

In July of 2015, I sat on the steps of our family friends’ home in the country and enjoyed a hearty 4th of July celebration. We had grilled hotdogs, grilled chicken, potato salad, watermelon, all the classic goodies! It was a comfortable temperature outside, lots of groups of people chatting pleasantly, playing with sparklers, just enjoying being free Americans having a good time.

Of course, once the sun started to go down, the fireworks began. Fireworks can be so much more fun up close. Can be is the key phrase here.

This particular batch of fireworks had a bit of “attitude”. For a while, all of the fireworks went off without a hitch, they shot in a proper upward direction and exploded in the sky where they would burn off and do no harm to innocent bystanders. I think we were being lulled into a false sense of security.

Then we got to the “fiesty” batch. First a firework sped off across the ground and started showering a lady’s parked car with little explosions. Lucky, the car was unharmed and we got a good laugh out of it.

Next, a firework sent little explosions over to an entire line of parked cars and started a small grass fire underneath our 15 passenger van. Again, the vehicle was unharmed, and people continued to laugh, even if they were getting a bit jumpy.

The steps I had enthroned myself upon on were further away from the drama surrounding the driveway and road. I was surveying the scene with distant amusement, withdrawn from the chaos and quietly chatting with the people sitting with me.

My poor little sister had had enough of the firework tantrums below, so she came up to the porch where I was to finish out the festivities from a “safer” vantage point. I remained seated on the steps with a friend and a bunch of small children who found the step seating to their liking. The sky was growing a bit darker, and there were a few fireworks left.

And then it happened.

The meanest rocket yet was lit, and it shot over to the left of the driveway, into the air several yards above the porch steps. You know that split second of delay that happens when a rocket is shot off, it reaches its destination, and then there is a breath before the explosions begin?

That moment was a mix of slow motion and fast-forward all at the same time. I saw it light, go flying, and stop right in front of me…wait a second…that’s gonna explod…

firework explosions

I am not a screamer by nature. Sometimes I literally have to force my body to scream just to let go of some pressure, and it’s an actual labor for me. I DO NOT react naturally.

There was no forcing of this screaming. It was flowing out me like Niagra Falls. One moment I was chilling on the porch steps, the next moment I was surrounded on all sides by a fountain of blazing green fire that was popping and exploding! It was like being in the middle of a massive lightsaber battle where I didn’t have so much as a toothpick, much less the Force.

The friend I was seated next to was clinging to me and screaming like a banshee. The tiny children who had shared the steps with us were also shrieking and crying.

I’m sure it only lasted a few seconds, but when you are literally taking a firework shower, it feels like an eternity.

I ran a lightning fast evaluation of the situation in my head as I sat there, screaming and surrounded by alien green fire. It was one of the most bizarre, practically out-of-body experiences I have ever had. It was like my mind was separated from the rest of me and I was casually observing this chaotic scene while my physical body was screaming bloody murder.

So, I did a mental evaluation. Fight or flight told me to run. My mothering instincts told me to grab all the babies around me and shield them. But I quickly came to the one and only conclusion…

…there was literally nothing I could do but wait the firestorm out.

I couldn’t run. I couldn’t jump. I couldn’t even help anyone else around me. I just had to sit there and outlast it.

There have so many instances since that day when I have felt the exact same way I did July 4th, 2015. In fact, I feel like I have been living inside of an exploding firework for the past 3 years. Everything blowing up around me and there is literally nowhere to go, and practically nothing I can do. Just stuck in the misery.

If you ever wonder why people turn to alcohol, sex, drugs, and any other number of vices or addictions to deal with their pain, I’ll tell you why. Because when you are hurting so badly you just want to make it stop. You want to escape from the chaos, you want a place where you feel something other than sorrow, fear, or anger. There are days where you get desperate enough you feel like you would do anything to make the pain stop, that’s why some people commit suicide. They get low enough and don’t see any other options, then the devil whispers lies in their ear that they believe are their own voice. And tragedy happens, a hurting person ends their precious life full of potential, and they never get to see beyond that moment.

Escape. We are wired to want to escape. We are wired to want to fight. We are told that if we don’t DO something, nothing will ever come out right in the end.

There is a time to fight with everything you have in you. There is a time to run and escape a fire. There is a time to get up and do something…

But here is a truth I have learned about life in the past 3 years.

Quite often, the very best thing you can do is simply sit still and wait.

We human beings think we can control so much of our lives. We keep up this illusion of control until something like a natural disaster, a death, or a change in circumstances quickly reminds us that so much of this life is outside of our hands.

That thought strikes fear into the heart of so many people. It has done the same to me before, but it does not have the effect on me that it once did. What changed for me?

I have an intimate relationship with the One Who truly has the power to change, and I KNOW that He is good. I “knew” it before, but I KNOW it now!

At that moment where I sat surrounded by green fire, I had to let go of every human thought about what I had the power to do. The truth was if I had tried to move, run, grab someone, anything, I would have been horribly burned.

Have you tried to fight against an impossible circumstance and been utterly burned out? Or gotten burned? Have you tried convincing a bullheaded person of something true and only managed to give yourself an ulcer and a headache? Have you fought for something that you may eventually have gotten, but you destroyed your health/relationships/life in the process?

We strive so hard to change things that we cannot change. We spend so much energy worrying over things we cannot control. We scream and we rage, we ache and we panic, and rarely do we sit still.

I am a fighter, so I understand all of the above. I understand it perfectly. However, I have a novel new idea to present to you all.

Sitting still and waiting is one of the most effective ways to fight an impossible battle.

I love a God of grace. A warrior God. A God of peace. My Heavenly Father wages battle on my behalf 24/7. He sees all, He knows all, He loves more broadly and deeply than I can even fathom. He has a plan for everything. He has unlimited resources. And this God, my God, tells me, “Baby girl, just rest. Daddy’s got this.”

When I sit still, I accept a universal truth that there are things beyond my control. I let it go.

let it go

There is an incredible freedom to be discovered when you drop the weight of a burden you were not made to carry. And it’s only after you drop that weight that you can enter into rest.

Rest. So many people associate rest with laziness. WRONG! Have you ever seen an alligator resting in the sun at the zoo? It’s unmoving like a statue carved out of granite. You might even squint your eyes to make sure it’s not dead. It’s so still you can’t even connect this lazy lizard with the stories of the lightning-fast attacks gators make on their prey.

I warn you, never underestimate a still alligator. Take it from a nature-doc nerd. Never. Underestimate. The. Speed. Of. A. Resting. Alligator. Or you might die. While that gator was resting, it was recharging. It’s aware of the world, but it’s not concerning itself with every little problem and detail. It’s preparing…preparing for the moment when it’s time to move.

And when it’s time to move, you will never see it coming.

I know the misery of being caught in a place where you feel sad every day. Where it seems like the bad news just won’t stop. Where you just want the pain to stop. Where you can’t imagine how anything is ever going to be right again. I know how that feels, and it sucks.

But I promise you, you can survive it. You can outlast it. You can fight it. And you can do all of that, by sitting still and resting.

It’s easy to lose your perspective when you are in the middle of the firestorm. The heat is as close as your right-hand pocket (thank Jesus I was not burned). There are things blowing up all around you and it’s easy to believe that it will never end.

But I promise you, dear one, I PROMISE you! You can outlast this firestorm. Because you are more enduring than the storm. It may be blazing and bright and hot, but you have patience. You have stamina. Your life is not defined by this single storm, your life is going to be an entire collection of journeys, storms, seasons, experiences, and people. You have a future beyond this moment. So hang in there. Let go, and rest.

Was I killed or maimed in that firework shower? No, because while an explosion of green fire may be terrifying, it burns quick and hot and then all that remains to haunt you is a little smoke. When the dust settled my friend was practically in my lap, the children were crying but unhurt, and parents were rushing over.

And I laughed.

laughing gif

Yes, it was that hooray-we-won’t-need-to-use-our-medical-insurance-tonight laugh. I have already visited the emergency room in that particular town on a different occasion and I do not recommend the experience. You could have taken the amount of adrenaline I had flowing and created a seventh Infinity Stone.

But I was alive and unburned. A bit smoky, very done with fireworks for the evening, and miraculously, my pants were still dry. It was a great story afterwards, and I remember that evening fondly.

As for the other firework showers in my life, they haven’t all ended. But that’s okay. Because I am resting. I am waiting. I am recharging. And when the moments come to move, to act, to fight! I will be ready. I am ready. Because I am laying down that which I cannot carry, and resting. The time may come to move before the storm is even over, but I will actually have the energy to face it now.

I know my life is bigger than this firestorm. I know that the same God who kept an entire staircase full of people safe and unharmed during a firework shower is on my side and He is working on my behalf. He’s bigger than any storm, and I draw my strength from Him and rest in His peace. My life is in this moment, but I also know it is beyond this moment.

Be still, and rest. Let the fire burn out before you do, your time will come.

Happy 4th of July, may everyone have a safe and joyful holiday!

IMG_E7727

 

Star Wars: Kelly Marie Tran and the Ladies of the Galaxy

 Some may wonder why we are so loud about the shameful treatment of Kelly Marie Tran (Rose in The Last Jedi), after all, Star Wars is just a fictional world and Rose was not the most popular character, the movie itself was highly controversial. Many people expressed negative views on the movie that had absolutely nothing to do with sexism, racism, or anything else inappropriate. I have no problem with these people. Negative opinions are not evil, the evil can come in with how they are expressed.

But it was revealed that Kelly Marie Tran was targeted by one specific hate group of men who have also targeted Daisy Ridley, and have announced that their next target is Kathleen Kennedy. They were delighted that they caused Tran to leave Instagram. These men are disgusting, lustful humans with evil hearts. The kind of men who like a woman to be scantily clad and submissive to whatever their sick minds can conjure.

Star Wars has created female characters that make my heart as a woman soar. The women of Star Wars are warriors, politicians, mothers, wives, pilots, inventors, mechanics, artist, and so much more. They do not always fight with physical weapons, often they fight with their words, their compassion, their influence, their hope. They mobilize those around them and make things happen because they are energy constantly in motion. They are beautiful, strong, intelligent, hopeful characters who bring so much color to the story of Star Wars.

I am a woman. I know what is in my heart. The strength that God put there, the beauty. I know I have the heart of a warrior, I feel the tenderness of God in my heart. I want to change lives, to bring hope, to bring life.

So when someone so viciously attacks a woman who played a character that actually represents these things I KNOW to be true about women, it hurts and angers me deeply. Not just on her behalf, but on behalf of thousands of years of women who have not been treated with respect, love, and given value. It hurts me on behalf of my little sisters, my mother, my friends, my future daughters.

Kelly Marie Tran, you are precious and beautiful, my dear. Created in the image of God and He delights in you. I pray that you may find Him and know the truth of who you are.

And, Gentleman, please don’t dismiss these posts as nonsense. I love men, I delight that they are in our world. Heck, fellas, we women GIVE BIRTH to men all the time after we have MARRIED men. Women have fought for their men since the beginning of time. But there are deep wounds felt by millions of women. There are ways they have been hurt, physically and emotionally. Misused, misunderstood, undervalued, squashed, and damaged by the men in their life.

That is not God’s heart. That warrior spirit you men have? He gave you that spirit to protect and help those around you thrive. If you love the women in your life enough to value ALL of who they are, to cheer them on, celebrate them, enjoy them, and share your life with them, you will have a life overflowing with happiness and love from women who feel treasured. The love and joy of a woman who is treated like a treasure will knock you off your feet.

I celebrate Star Wars because I feel like in many ways Star Wars celebrates who I am, and no one, no matter how acidic or evil, can take that away from me.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

I saw this movie opening day, an entire week ago, and I have been sitting here since,  terrified to write this article. Why? I just felt so, so many things. Good things. But I felt overwhelmed with the task of trying to put all of those things into coherent words and sentences.

Until I found the key to my thoughts. And amazingly, that key also happens to be the key to all of Star Wars and why it is so beloved.

Hope.

It’s as simple as a gentle, four letter word. H-O-P-E.

star wars hope

Hope is the summation of the entire Star Wars saga and every single story contained within the galaxy. Solo is about the heart of Star Wars…it’s about hope.

There is a lot of pain to be felt in Star Wars stories. The agony of loved ones lost, betrayal, wanton destruction, questions of value and purpose, merciless and cruel evil sweeping upon the innocent like a shadow of death.

The ache of Anakin holding his dying mother in the desert. 

anakins mother

The death of clone after clone after clone as they march into an unwinnable war, all while wondering if they are more than just forms created for endless violence.

The pain of Ahsoka leaving.

ahsoka leaves

The death of the Jedi by one of their own. Obi-Wan’s tearful scream, “You were my brother, Anakin! I loved you!”

you were my brother anakin

Padme’s death. 

Ezra Bridger losing his parents. Caleb Dumes’ sacrifice.

Ezra and Kanan

Our entire Rogue One team, gone. Alderaan. Countless Rebel pilots and soldiers. Ben Solo’s fall to the Darkness and subsequent death of many Resistance leaders and beloved friends. And so many destroyed lives in the middle.

rey crying

And yet…we stand in hope.

After every breath of darkness and pain, no matter how deep, we are always left with even a glimmer of light.

poe dameron hope

Perhaps it’s babies hidden away in the desert or the palaces of Alderaan.

It’s clones who took their stand and made their choice to live free and walk their own paths.

It’s long-lost warriors rising again from the dust of the Clone Wars. It’s Jedi returning, it’s warriors, pilots, soldiers, street rats, senators, princesses, moisture farmers, scavengers, Storm Troopers, and orphans standing up and fighting back. 

jyn's rallying hope

It’s a ragged kid from Correllia lifting his eyes above the squalor of his life and daring to dream of the stars.

Han Solo. 

corellia street boy

We know him in later years. He’s a scoundrel. He’s sarcastic, crusty even. A scruffy-looking nerf herder with enough bravado to destroy a planet and a heart big enough to envelop the galaxy.

How do you become Han Solo, the legendary smuggler who made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? (12 if you round down). How do you go from appearing like a selfish jerk to winning the heart of a Rebel princess, befriending a Jedi, and leading in a rebellion that destroys the Empire?

Han Solo

Solo: A Star Wars Story is the tale that tells us the how, and the why of our favorite smuggler.

What the makers of Solo did is they gave us a horrible set of circumstances. Then they gave us a cast of characters each faced with the same awful world. The truth of the story came out as we saw how each character faced that world and what came of their chosen paths.

Some chose to nurture and create more evil beneath the Empire’s shadow. Some characters would have appreciated change, but when it came down to the wire, they made choices out of self-preservation and fear. Other characters gave into hopelessness and despair that anything could ever change. Some characters drowned the pain of their world in alcohol, games, and fancy capes.

And then we have Han, a rebel.

sad han

Just a street boy working for thug overlords?

“The next person who hits me is going to get hit back.”

Stuck on the ground in the squalor?

“I’m gonna be a pilot.”

Foot soldier in the mud now?

“I got kicked out of the Imperial Academy for having a mind of my own.”

Thrown in a mud pit with a Wookiee? No problem, just befriend the Wookiee and get freedom for them both. Faced with a dangerous job stealing coaxium with a crew who doesn’t really want him, when do we start? Lost the coaxium and facing sure death from a crime lord?

“What about unrefined?”

Mauraders, homicidal crime lords, card games, giant space monsters, gravity wells, explosive materials, insurmountable odds…

never tell me the ods

 

Because he will always, always defy them!

Solo tells us a truth that we have suspected for a while now.

smiling han

Han has always been a Rebel.

Han may have grown up in poverty and violence, but he was rich. Rich in heart, and in hope during a time when hope was an even more precious commodity than coaxium. Han dreamed of the stars. He was ambitious, but not cruel. He spends the majority of this movie working to take care of someone he loves. He’s incredibly driven, driven by the unbending belief that there is more for his future, that he is NOT trapped by his circumstances, that he can fight for something better.

And he is willing to put his life on the line to ensure that others around him get that same chance. If only they had all followed his lead, they would have met with the same truth we were led to.

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Han, our hero, survives. Not only does he survive, he has a hope and a future. Oh, if he only knew just how amazing that future is going to be. Yes, it’s going to be filled with many heartaches, many setbacks, and losses. His life is full of tragedy. But it’s also full of love. Full of people he loves. Full of moments where he said no to evil and yes to making a difference, and what a difference he made. We see the beginning of that in Solo, we see where the hero’s roots are planted.

And he did it without selling his soul. Without giving into despair. Without trampling innocent lives under his feet. That’s what he proves in Solo. That is the truth of this movie, this character, this thing we are all crazy about called Star Wars. It’s hope.

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Han clearly grew more jaded in the ten years of life lived between Solo and A New Hope. I imagine kicking around the galaxy with the worst of its citizens with his bro Chewbacca probably caused his golden heart to crust over a bit, his perspective to skew, and the miles began to wear on his soul.

That is until he meets a crazy kid who actually believes he can make a difference. Until he meets a beautiful princess who is glowing with hope and purpose. Until he meets people willing to lay down their lives because they believed that there could be more for their future, that it could be better.

Original trio

Sound familiar?

He thinks he’s big. He’s bad. He’s a scoundrel. A legendary smuggler. He always shoots first. He’s rubbed shoulders, sweet-talked, and fought with the worst scum of the galaxy. He’s an outlaw, a terrible person.

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But one who knew him from childhood, Qi’ra. She knew better. Beckett, a hardened mercenary who chose to view life with harsh cynicism knew better. Chewbacca, who has seen the cruellest of people, knew better. Enfys Nest knew better. Lando Calrissian, the double-crossing fabulous smuggler, knew better.

They all knew better because they looked at this cocky kid who walks with a swagger and a smile, and they saw hope. And they knew in their hearts.

“You’re the good guy.”

And we, the world that loves Han Solo as if he is our own blood-relation reply,

“We know.”

chewie and han

Disney Live Action: Treasure Planet

Clearly, Disney has had wild success with their live action films. I learned much in MaleficentI cried in Cinderella. I was beautifully transported back to my childhood with The Jungle Book (I watch it over and over and over again). And I had all of my practical questions answered in Beauty and the Beast in the most golden, beautiful way.

What we are finding with these magical live action movies is not that Disney is incapable of producing a new story, but rather;

Disney is using their live-action remakes to deepen and flesh out the stories and characters we are already in love with.

Why is Maleficent so angry? Surely there has to be more going on here than not getting invited to the baby shower? Is there more to a true love’s kiss than meets the eye?

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Why is Cinderella so hopeful? There has to be an answer for it, a moment, a person who motivated her to have that perspective on life despite her circumstances. Is Prince Charming just a pretty face, or is there more to him? Why does the evil stepmother hate Ella?

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Why does Shere Khan hate Mowgli? What is the mindset of a man-cub who has been raised by animals in the jungle his whole life? Does he HAVE to leave the jungle, after all, this is his home and his family?

jungle book

Why is it that Belle finds understanding for the Beast when at first glance they have so little in common? What is it like being raised by a charming but eccentric inventor in a village that looks down on him? Why is Gaston so full of himself? Just how does it feel to be a servant of the prince who has been cursed all this time for a crime you did not commit?

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Disney took these stories from our childhoods and made them 3D. Turns out, there is more behind Maleficent than getting dropped from the baby shower list. Cinderella has an incredibly strong motivation to be who she is. Prince Charming is a real human with a heart, mind, and dreams. Mowgli struggles with trying to find his place in the jungle as he is still a human. Belle doesn’t have a picture-perfect life, she has been ridiculed, mocked, and feels like an oddity. The servants at the Enchanted Castle are heartbroken as they remember days in the sun when music, love, and life thrived, oh how they long for those days to return!

This formula is working. I cannot wait for DumboThe Lion KingAladdin, Mulanand so many more movies to come! I cannot wait!

Along the lines of live-action movies, I have an animated movie suggestion to send Disney’s way for a live-action remake. If you agree with me, let’s try to get Disney’s attention.

That movie? Treasure Planet.

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No, Treasure Planet is not as well-known as some of the other Disney classics, but in my opinion, it’s an often overlooked gem of a story and a treasure in the storehouse that Disney would do well to bring out into the light.

treasure planet fireTreasure Planet is a “treasure island” story, told in a science fiction/steampunk/space fantasy world. It features a deeply engaging story about Jim Hawkins, a fatherless boy in search of adventure and meaning. He falls in with charming rogue John Silver, a pirate with a bigger heart than he cares to admit.

 

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This story deals with fatherlessness (something a huge majority of our world is facing), responsibility, betrayal, bravery, maturity, honesty, mentorship, fatherhood, and choosing to become someone better on behalf of someone you love. It has deep, rich themes, made even richer by the colorful and exotic world that it’s placed in. Just LOOK at this world!

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treasure planet ship

Can’t you just imagine how beautiful this movie would be live-action? In the hybrid-filmmaking that combines beautifully crafted, physical sets with rich, intricate CGI? Can’t you just see the solid wood of the airship, the rough ropes, the creak of the many metallic costume pieces and props, mixed with a glorious CGI sky full of clouds, stars, and planets? Then we add in colorful characters from all across the galaxy, ship captains, inn-keepers, scientists, treasure hunters, and pirates! And ground it all with our deeply engaging and heart-rending character, Jim Hawkins.

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This idea is even more plausible to me now that we have discovered Tom Holland. Can you think of anyone more perfectly suited to play the raw, untrained-yet-eager-innocent and sympathetic Hawkins? Nope, it’s like Tom was born for the role.

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Beyond the role of Jim Hawkins being given to Tom Holland, I’m open to any other casting. But. This. Is. Perfection.

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This movie live-action would draw new fans from an audience who hadn’t even seen the 2002 animated movie. It would be that beautiful.

Do you agree with me? If so, share all over and let’s make some noise and let Disney know what the people want. They have a treasure in Treasure Planet, and I for one want to explore this rich story/world deeper.

#liveactiontreasureplanet 

 

Star Wars: Every Story in the Galaxy

Back in the 1970s a creative guy named George Lucas made a little movie called Star Wars.

No one expected it to be a big thing. Sir Alec Guinness (who played the original Obi-Wan Kenobi) acted in the film because he’d always wanted to be a “children’s movie”. 

At best, they thought they might make a sci-fi cult classic that would gather a small but fierce following who met in basements and had mini-conventions. That was all they expected.

This is what happened instead…

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The world exploded, and we have never been the same since.

Why is Star Wars so popular? I had a friend of mine ask me a question along these lines recently. She’s an adult with grown children, and not super into many movies. But she loves Star Wars. “What is different about Star Wars?” she asked.

I could list hundreds of reasons why Star Wars is all that and a bag of credits, but we don’t have time for all of that today. Instead, I’m going to list the biggest reason I think Star Wars has resonated so deeply with millions of people internationally for generations.

Star Wars tells us every classic, cliche story we’ve ever heard, but they do it in an unforgettable way.

Star Wars is one of the most cliche-ridden sagas ever. We started our journey with a young hero possessing a unique “ability”, the old sage mentor, a rogue with a big heart, a princess, and a cute animal (or droid) sidekicks.

Original trio

They joined forces with the underdog (the Rebellion) and go up against Goliath (Darth Vader and the Empire). The hero uses his unique abilities at just the right moment to destroy the story’s greatest threat against all odds.

It’s not the first time this story has been told. Star Wars borrows from many classic stories, established religions, and other known influences. And yet, the world exploded.

See, we “complain” about cliches, stereotypes, and classics. But there is a reason those things became so well known. It’s because they are real, and we experience them on a regular basis.

Star Wars tells us all of the old stories. An underdog story.

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A redemption story.

Luke and His father

People bravely fighting against all odds for a better future.

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Questions about free will.

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Darkness vs the light. Free will vs destiny.

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The danger of allowing your emotions to be manipulated.

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Mentorship. Family. Friendship. Growing up with grace in times of hardship.

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Choosing to not give into victimhood, but instead to stand on your own feet.

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Making the hard choices. Becoming a part of something bigger than yourself.

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Stormtrooper Finn

Learning what true leadership is.

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And on, and on, and on.

And these classic stories are told in the most exciting and colorful way. With spaceships, planets, aliens, blasters, lightsabers, dark and light, good and bad. They are told with heart, with humor, with a connected history, a force that binds all of these stories together. With characters that feel like old friends.

Star Wars tells our stories.

I love our galaxy. I love the characters, the history, the messages, the hope. The fact that by now generations of families have all gotten to enjoy the same world and story as it is continually told. I love it all.

Happy May the 4th, may the force be with you!

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