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Happy New Year!

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Review and Rey, My Theory (Contains Spoilers)

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The wait is over, and Star Wars fans all over the world have seen, or will soon be seeing the newest movie in the saga.  Speculations have filled the internet over the past few years, and some of the questions have been answered, while others have been left untouched.  My overall opinion?

I LOVED IT!  I laughed, I cried, and I saw the movie…three times.  I am working my way through the novel at the moment, and that is answering a few minor questions, but there are still a couple major questions that are not addressed in this movie.  One of those questions, through multiple viewings, I have developed a very detailed theory about, and most of those I have discussed it with agree.

Below this point are spoilers, and I would suggest avoiding the comments as well if you are spoiler free.

******Beginning of Spoilers – Highlight to view******

Rey has easily taken the place of my favorite Star Wars character, a role previously held by Luke Skywalker.  (I am also obsessed with BB-8, in a way that R2D2 only ever minutely filled, but he has no part in my theory).  Rey’s full name has been kept a secret since day one, and the fan theories have gone three ways:  She is Han and Leia’s daughter (who by the way, thanks to the novel, I know they are married), she is Luke’s daughter, or she is not related to them at all.

First, I find the last idea very difficult to swallow.  They make a point in talking about how she is waiting for her family to come back to her, the lightsaber calls to her, and she has a vision of being left behind on Jakku, where they pointedly avoid showing who leaves her or who she is left with.

As to being Han and Leia’s daughter, while I entertained the idea prior to seeing the movie myself, I now find it hard to believe.  Han and Leia are distraught over the fall of their son, and blame themselves.  Through all this, they show concern for Rey, but not at the level of trying to right mistakes they have made. 

No, I back the theory that Rey is a Skywalker, and the daughter of Luke.  To this theory, people have started obsessing.  But who is the mother?  (What does that matter?  It could have been anyone.)  Is it Mara?  (The EU is no longer cannon, so probably not, but again, what does it matter?)  But the Jedi are not allowed to fall in love!  (During the Old Republic, yes, but there is no Jedi council to enforce this anymore.  Hell, when Anakin burned down the Jedi Temple, it is likely he destroyed all of those records anyhow.  What records Luke has discovered (if any), are probably from a more ancient order of Jedi, before this rule was imposed.) 

Here is my list of things to support my theory:
*When Kylo hears that a girl helped BB-8 and Finn escape Jakku, he gets extremely angry and asks “WHAT girl?”  He was angry before this, yes (I refer to his very Anakin outburst), but this is a different sort of anger.  He knows of a girl, and her possible return makes him anxious.
*Han seems to suspect her identity, but is not sure until he asks her name.  It is only after learning her name, that he suggests her joining him and Chewie, something that he would not offer any random person, but he would offer his niece, in order to be able to look after her.  He misses Luke, and his retelling of why Luke left (especially in the novel) suggest that he feels guilty that it was his son that destroyed all that Luke had built.
*She is drawn to the lightsaber of Anakin/Luke.  Yes, you could say that is just a powerful Jedi being called to an object of power, but that feels like a stretch, especially considering her visions upon touching it.
*The visions she has when she holds the saber are not from times where Luke possessed the lightsaber (which is what one would expect being tied to an object), but if the shot of her as a child is any indication, visions she may have once seen herself.  In the novel, it indicates that she sees visions of Luke prior to losing the lightsaber as well, but there are still visions from after that.  It is as if it is a mixture of both its own history, as well as her awakening, which IS what the title of the episode alludes to.
*NOVEL ONLY – The person who leaves her on Jakku has a voice, and in the audiobook version, it sounds like the inflection given to the voice is intended to be female.  The voice says “Stay here!  I’ll come back for you!  I’ll come back, sweetheart, I promise!”
*Maz tells her that the person she has been waiting for is not coming back for her, but there is someone who still could.  Funny wording.  This would suggest that someone who “could” would still be family, as she is waiting for her family specifically.  Otherwise, anyone could come for her, much like Finn already did.  But Rey asks “Luke?” as if realizing and accepting that he is her family, that he is her father.
*When Han and Finn are trying to rescue her and Han notices that she escaped Ren on her own, he looks at her almost nostalgically, as if thinking “Just like her father.”
*The moment Rey wields the lightsaber, the background music switches to Luke’s theme.  Yes, it is Luke’s lightsaber, but I find it hard to believe that the object outweighs the person in the importance of this scene.  This scene is about Rey accepting her path, and accepting who she is.
*NOVEL ONLY – In the novel, there is more emphasis on Ren calling Rey a simple scavenger, pointing out that she is nobody, but when she manages to call the lightsaber instead of him, he says “It IS you.”  She is then unsettled because he seems to know more about her than she does.  They then cut to Snoke saying it appears Ren may have been right about the girl.

*Rey and Leia look like they recognize each other.  People say that this is just the two of them sensing something in each other, but I am not so sure.  It is very likely that Aunt Leia visited Luke and his family.  Since this meeting happens AFTER Rey takes up the lightsaber, she may now remember and recognize her aunt, whereas prior to this, she may not have, had she had the chance.
*R2D2 has been “asleep” since Luke went into hiding, but wakes up the moment Rey arrives.  Seriously, nothing else changed between the first time we see him and the moment he wakes up (well…Han dies, but still).  Rey lands, cut to R2D2 waking up.
*When Kylo Ren is in Rey’s mind, he says that he sees an Ocean, and an Island, at the end of the movie, this looks likes a description of the place where Rey finds Luke.
*When we find Luke, he is standing by what looks very much like a grave.  Whose grave would he hold vigil over for so long?
*Luke, after a moment of confusion, looks like he recognizes Rey, and gives a look as though he is experiencing guilt.
*Star Wars has always been the story of the Skywalker family, and though it is now under different management, it seems like Disney is trying to maintain the integrity of it all.

MY THEORY
As a small boy, Leia sends her son Ben to train with her brother Luke.  She never fully explored her own abilities, but she senses the Dark Side in her son, and feels that it would be better for him if he does receive training to dampen this.

Over the years of his training, Ben is either Luke’s only student, or he feels like he is the best/most important student, because he is Luke’s nephew.  Even if Luke does not treat him any differently (which would be difficult to do, he would naturally show affection for his nephew, and his nephew would have access to him that the other students would not), other students would be aware of their relation and treat him differently.  

One day, Luke and mysterious unknown mother (MUM) have a daughter.  As she grows older, Luke begins to train her as well, and Ben feels shunted and replaced.  He is jealous of his cousin, which gives way for a rise in the dark side within him.  It presents a weakness that Snoke is able to pray on.

Ben looses it.  As he begins his reign of terror, MUM fears for her daughter, and takes her somewhere to be hidden, until all is safe and she can return for her.  She does not even tell Luke where their daughter is, whether to further protect her, or by his request.  In the course of Ben’s killings, he kills MUM, the only person who knows where Rey is hidden.  Now no one can go back to find her.

Luke takes the body of MUM, and buries her.  The location is probably somewhere that was significant to Rey and his wife, perhaps where Rey was born and/or where they lived at some point, separate from where Luke trained Jedi, so that Ben would not know to look there.  Blaming himself for the downfall of his nephew, he is unable to face Han and Leia out of guilt.  He gives R2D2 most of the map to find him, and instructs him to only reveal this information to his daughter.  He then goes into hiding, grieving the loss of his family and meditating on where he went wrong with Ben.

******End of Spoilers – Highlight to view******

Loot Crate Level Up Announcement

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Get ready for some Chrononaut Couture because this month is all about TIME! Take our +2 Socks featuring a futuristic Marvel hero for a spin or blast back to the past with a brainy buddy (it’s all relative)! Travel through time and relative dimensions in style with as many +1 Accessories as Time Lords have hearts! And prepare yourself because October’s +1 Wearable may awaken your ancient ancestral memories and have you looking sharper than a hidden wrist blade!

For the two items I watch, Accessories looks like its going to be two Doctor Who items, which I am ecstatic about.  Wearable is going to be Assassins Creed?  I have never gotten into the franchise (I did not even realize there was time travel involved), I am tempted, but I think I am going to pass and stick with the Accessories only.

Level Up Fail

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I received my Loot Crate Level Up items yesterday, and total fail.  Two more Pokemon items.  *head desk*

On the upside, Loot Crate has announced its October theme!

lootoctober lootoctober2Back to the Future!  Bill & Ted!!  Doctor Who!!!  I am super excited!  I am going to wait until they give the Level Up clues, but I may have to re-subscribe to the wearable for this one….and maybe even the socks!

Happy October Birthday to me!

Loot Crate September, 2015: Summon

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20150922_221920-1This months LootCrate arrived, and first I must say that the shipping is a bit loony right now.  I received my Level Up tracking information at least a week ago, but still no Level Up item.  For the regular crate, I received the tracking information the day it was delivered, AFTER the package was delivered.  Odd.

So, Summon.  I was nervous about this crate from the get go, and it seems rightly so.  While there were some redeemable items, overall, this crate was a fail for me.

20150922_221834-1The box was pretty cool, folding out to look like a treasure chest.  This is actually up there as one of my favorite box designs, although I wish it were larger that I could actually store a decent amount of stuff in there.

20150922_221642-1 20150922_221652-1 20150922_221659-1My favorite item is probably the Supernatural Loot Crate exclusive.  A mini 1967 Chevy Impala.  I probably would not have bought this for myself, but it is still pretty cool.

20150922_221528-1Next up, a Hearthstone stress ball.  If only I did not have a Clyde stress ball already on desk at work.  I don’t know, maybe I should start a stress ball collection.  This makes me miss WoW.

20150922_221544-1Neutral about this.  It is pretty cool looking, but I doubt I will use it.  It is a Hearthstone Collectible Coin and Card Pack Code.

20150922_221509-1I like Simpsons as much as the next person, but this is just not the kind of thing I am ever going to display anywhere.  It is a Homer Buddha.  I did not take it out of the package, because I am definitely going to gift it to someone, but I took a picture of the box next to the magazine picture.

20150922_221426-1By far my least favorite item, and the first thing I saw when I opened my crate, is this Pikachu hat (I had to look at the magazine just to know how to spell Pikachu).  I hate Pokemon with a passion.  My first two days working at Wizards of the Coast were during a Pokemon expansion release…hell on earth, and then I had a stalker there who came in for the Pokemon league.  Beyond that, I was too old for Pokemon when it released, hell, I was too old for the Power Rangers, but I can at least stomach them.  This is definitely going to have to find a better home, because I want none of it.

As I said, I am still waiting on my Level Up item.  I cancelled the Wearable item for this month, but kept the Accessory, so I am really hoping it is worth it.  I just checked the tracking again, and it looks like it is delivering today, so I should be unwrapping that around the time that this post goes live.  Beyond that, I just hope that October is better, especially being my birthday month.

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Happy Anniversary Harley Quinn

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DragonCon 2015 Recap

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Another DragonCon has come and gone, and I am already counting down the days until the next one (no, really, 356 days).

I spent a lot more time in the dealer hall this year, helping my friend Nico at her booth Binary Soul where she sells chainmail jewelry that she makes by hand.  She is not going to be vending next year, though she is considering moving to the Art Show and/or opening custom orders to bring for next years DragonCon.  She is also a writer buddy of mine, we often trade stories, and may one day do a crossover between our novels (if I ever finish mine).

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The most memorable moment for me was when I was hanging out with a group of friends doing Grecian DC characters.  A gentleman took our pictures, and then offered us dumdums.  I, as Harley, playfully accused him of calling me a dumdum.  He asked if I would rather have “puddin'” to which I replied that I always want “puddin’.”  At that, he pulled out a pudding cup and tiny spoon.  It was too perfect.

Here is a recap of my costumes from each day:

DCon2015 Costumes copyThe picture used for Saturday is actually an old one from DragonCon a few years back, that was my most photographed costume, but I have not found any of the photos yet.  I am hoping as photos trickle out, I will find some for that, and maybe better ones for my Steampunk outfit from Sunday night.

Oh, and as a bonus, look what arrived today!

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Mental Floss: Eight Memorable Comics Screw-Ups

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Mistakes happen. Sometimes those mistakes end up in print with a distribution in the hundreds of thousands. Here are some classic screw-ups, printing errors, and unfortunate coincidences that have graced the pages of comic books and newspaper strips over the years. 

1. THE FAR SIDE/DENNIS THE MENACE MIX-UPS

 In 1981, a newspaper layout error swapped the captions between a The Far Side and a Dennis the Menace strip to hilarious effect. 

Two years later, it happened again!

 

2. DOC OCK FORGETS WHAT COMIC BOOK COMPANY HE WORKS FOR

When Amazing Spider-Man #3 debuted in 1963, Spider-Man was still relatively new—but was that an excuse for writer and co-creator Stan Lee to confuse him with a character from the competition? 

3. CAPTAIN AMERICA’S TRASH TALK FAIL

This goofed attempt at tough talk from Captain America in Tales of Suspense #92 in 1967 has earned the honor of being one of the funniest lines of dialogue in cartooning history. It would later be corrected in reprints.

4. THE $%&#ing BATGIRL

In All-Star Batman & Robin #10 (2008), Frank Miller made this already weird and controversial series even more newsworthy when he gave the new Batgirl a potty mouth. Despite all of the curse words being blacked out, the contrast between the ink used for lettering and the ink used for censor bars resulted in clearly legible swears showing through. Eventually, DC recalled the issue. 

5. GARFIELD’S VETERANS DAY INSULT

Garfield is not known for making controversial political statements, but many readers took great offense to this strip that ran on Veteran’s Day in 2010. Creator Jim Davis drew the strip almost a year in advance with no connection to Veterans Day and had no idea when it would actually run, as he explained in his written apology

6. CAPTAIN BARRACUDA GETS BLIND-SIDED

When an artist on deadline quickly draws a villain looking through a periscope, it’s easy to forget that villain only has one good eye. Sal Buscema was the victim of this flub when he sketched the eye-patched Captain Barracuda in Incredible Hulk #219 (1978). 

7. THE BEAST INSULTS WOMEN EVERYWHERE

In X-men #28 (1967), writer Roy Thomas falsely wrote “pliers” instead of “screwdriver.” The result: Hank “Beast” McCoy’s backhanded compliment to Jean Grey turned into a full-on insult to all women. 

8. SWAMP THING VS. THE PINK TENTACLE

Colorists have one of the most important jobs in comics. Sometimes their shady choices can lead to an entire print run getting destroyed, or “pulped.” In the case of Swamp Thing #15, the colorists didn’t botch the “flesh”-toned tentacles of the character named Arcane, but the pink hue became problematic when used on a tentacle that resembled male genitals. Writer Scott Snyder takes the blame in this hilarious series of tweets explaining how his demand for more tentacles on the page led to some really unfortunate imagery.

The image below is not even close to being the worst offender. You can click through to this collection of Snyder’s tweets to see the big reveal.

(Originally Posted on Mental Floss: http://mentalfloss.com/article/68192/8-memorable-comics-screw-ups)

 

Loot Crate August, 2015: Villains II + Level Up x2

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My internet at home has been down all week, which is frustrating.  I promised myself I would post this today while at work, then I realized I forgot to take pictures of my actual Loot Crate items.  So, I borrowed a few picture from google.  I will try to replace these later with my own images, but until then, this works.

My Loot Crate arrived Saturday afternoon while I was at Wizard World Chicago.  This month had only four items, but they were sizable items.  It included:

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My favorite item, a Hydra replica pin.  For some reason, the Midwest Garrison has taken to shouting “Hail Hydra” to each other all the time, I even have a Hydra patch on my patch jacket.  This pin went straight on there, though it may move somewhere else eventually, since there is already Hydra representation.

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My second favorite item, a Loot Crate Exclusive little wooden Joker figure with interchangeable heads (different heads have different words in his mouth).  Most people expect Joker to be my favorite male DC Villain (since I am Harley Quinn and all), but that honor goes to Riddler, who was my favorite long before Harley debuted in 1992.  Still, my puddin’ will always hold a special place in my heart.

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An Apron, which I am told is from Breaking Bad.  I have never watched the show.  This item is functional, but it holds no real excitement for me.  I might use it, I might give it away, I have not decided yet.  I might take this as a gentle hint from the universe to watch the show, but only time will tell.

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Finally, my least favorite item, one mug, either of Venom or Carnage (I received Venom).  I have a ton of mugs, though that does not stop me from buying more, but I am just not a fan of either of these.  I am not a fan of Venom or Carnage in general, but the mugs are kind of ugly, to be honest.  This is definitely going into my giveaway box from Loot Crate.

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Now, onto the more exciting items!  This month, I sprang for TWO Level Up items:  The Wearable and the Accessories.  I could barely contain my excitement when I received an e-mail yesterday afternoon telling me that my package had arrived.  I ripped it open the moment I walked into the door.  Unlike the regular crate, these came in a typical plastic bag in the Loot Crate aesthetic.  These I took pictures of.

20150826_191007_001-1 20150826_191250-1My absolute favorite item for this entire months theme was the first thing I pulled out, a Harley Quinn hanging accessory/make-up bag.  This has a hook at the top that tucks neatly away when not in use, a top plastic pocket, a middle mess pocket, and a bottom removable plastic pocket.  This has already been filled with my make-up for DragonCon and has been placed in the great stack of packing.

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The other item from the Accessory Level Up was this cute Poison Ivy hair bow.  It is pink and green, with the Bombshell version of Red on the pink.  The bow is very cute, and I thought about keeping it, but I have friends who would appreciate this more, so like my Harley case above, this is already in my DragonCon packing pile to bring to a friend of mine who now lives in Georgia.

20150826_191217-1 20150826_191224-1 20150826_191235-1Finally, the wearable item.  I was a little underwhelmed with this.  I was hoping for something a little…well, more, but it is still cute.  It is a basic black polyester polo shirt with a little Jabba the Hutt where you would be expecting to see a Lacoste alligator.  At least the shirt is in a women’s size though.  I will probably keep this, though I am not sure how much I will wear it.

Loot Crate includes a postcard in the Level Up bag.  It allows all Level Up subscribers to see what the other Level Up items they did not receive were.  I am glad I did not subscribe to the socks as well.

20150826_210557-1Finally, I leave you with the announcement I JUST received in my e-mail, next months theme!

unnamedunnamed2Not sure how I feel about this one.  I imagine a Crate full of Pokemon (which I am NOT a fan of at all).  I may very likely cancel my Level Ups for this one, but we’ll see.  I have a few more days until I need to worry about it charging.

Star Wars Make-Up

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Before I dive into the meat of this entry, I have to say that I received my Loot Crate tracking number for August last night.  EEee!  This months theme is Villains, so I am super excited.  Also, I bit the bullet and sprung for not one, but two of the Level Up items this month: accessories and wearable.  I heard these do not arrive at the same time as the normal crate, but I am excited either way.  Bring on the villainy!!

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Now, I am sure everyone has seen or heard of the new Cover Girl Star Wars line.  Some people are rolling their eyes and scoffing at this, I rather love the idea.  For ages, us women have complained that we are not recognized in the geek community, and while this may be a very limited recognition, it is still a step in the right direction.  I have also started to see women’s sized Star Wars shirts in regular stores as well (that reminds me, I need to stop at Shopko to pick-up that Star Wars t-shirt).

So far from the news sites I have seen the lipstick, nail gloss, and mascara listed, but if you visit the Cover Girl website, you will also notice eyeshadow, foundation, eyeliner, and various other products.  It seems the theme is Droid/Light Side vs. Stormtrooper/Dark Side, which is an interesting choice.  The products listed so far are:
Lipstick (Hoping that these are not the actual names on the product, because they could be more creative here)
Dark Purple
Gold
Red
Lilac
Silver
Nude
Nail Gloss (Here we see some name creativity)
Speed of Light
Nemesis
Red Revenge
Mascara
Very Black in waterproof or non

The mascara appears to not have much variety, but there are ten collectable tubes, all with quotes on them:
1/10 MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU.
2/10 DO, OR DO NOT.  THERE IS NO TRY.
3/10 YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE.
4/10 I FEEL THE GOOD IN YOU.
5/10 LUMINOUS BEINGS ARE WE.
6/10 I WILL FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED.
7/10 THERE HAS BEEN AN AWAKENING.
8/10 INDEED YOU ARE POWERFUL.
9/10 YOU WILL MEET YOUR DESTINY.
10/10 IMMUNE TO THE LIGHT.

Again, these seem to be divided into Light and Dark Side, but what is a bit disappointing to me, is that all the Light Side quotes are from the Original Trilogy, but the Dark Side Quotes seem to have a mix of old and new.

I will be in Atlanta at DragonCon for the release of these on September 4th, but I am going to try to make it to a store and pick some up while I am there.