Embracing the Journey

As an artist, I believe that it’s essential to revisit your old creations and compare them with your current ones. In this world, we have a lot of talented people who may not always see the value in their work. They might even think that their creations are terrible, worthless, or not good enough. Despite this, they keep trying, keep practicing, and keep sharing their work. This kind of perseverance is bravery in action.

I recall a few years ago when I received an invitation to visit a local video game bar in Orlando, FL. They were hosting a Star Wars Day celebration and had encouraged everyone to attend dressed up in their best Star Wars costumes. As a photographer, I arrived there eager to capture some amazing photos of the attendees carrying light sabers.

Once I got back home, I edited the photos using the skills I had acquired up until that point. The outcome of my effort was not terrible, but it was clear that there were a lot of mistakes and things that I could have done better. However, I choose to look at those photos as a stepping stone to where I am today, and not as a source of self-criticism.

Admittedly, many people scrutinize their past work every day and berate themselves for not doing better. But, for me, it’s important to acknowledge that my past work was a vital part of my learning journey that brought me to where I am today. I am proud of the fact that I took those photos and used all the skills that I had at the time. And, more importantly, I was willing to keep learning and acquiring new skills as time went on to continue improving.

If I hadn’t continued to learn, I would not have been able to take and edit the stunning photos that I took of my wife this year on Star Wars Day. These pictures are a testament to the progress that I have made as a photographer and artist. And, for that, I choose to celebrate my past work instead of belittling it.

I Am One With The Force – A Story of Sacrifice

Christmas came early for me yesterday as I walked into the movie theater to view Star Wars: Rogue One. Since it’s announcement in March of 2015 fans all over the world have wondered and speculated on what this movie was really going to be about.  Most of the Star Wars fandom was thrilled when Disney took over the production of new Star Wars movies, and even though Star War: The Force Awakens was a tremendous success, I think many fans are still having PTSD from the prequels and wondering “Is this too good to be true?”

As someone who has been an avid Star Wars fan since as far back as I can remember, The Force told me that Star Wars: Rogue One was going to be a spectacular movie.  That being said I also knew it was going to be a film very different from anything we had ever seen before.

Before we go any further into this review I should warn you there will be spoilers ahead.  If you are ok with that read on, if not, discontinue reading, and come back after you have seen the movie.

As I sat in my seat, surrounded by fans, I was struck with a thought.  Looking about at everyone sitting in the theater I could feel it.  Something unseen that pulled all of us together.  Uniting us in the hope that what we were about to see would live up to our expectations, and stay with us in our hearts and minds for years to come.  The excitement was almost tangible as the lights dimmed and we read the words “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…”

As the movie opens we are shown a side of the empire that we have never really seen before.  One of savage brutality and heartless devotion to the cause.  I think we as fans always knew that the empire was evil, but to see it right there in front of us, as a family is murderously ripped apart left nothing to be doubted.  The empire has no care for any one individual.  Their stories, memories, happiness, friends, family, and love are meaningless to an army devoted to conquest, submission, and subjugation.  To the empire you either serve them, or they will inflict pain and suffering upon you and your family.

Can you imagine what it would have been like to live under those conditions?  To know that your life means nothing?  What kind of choices would you make, knowing that at any minute your freedom, liberty, and very existence could be taken from you at any moment? Would you hide, keeping your life mundane, and extraordinary to avoid notice?  Would you even consider starting friendships, or a relationship, knowing they could be killed or used against you?  Or, would you rebel?

Like the empire, I think many fans forgot just how dire the circumstances for the rebellion really were. Disorganized, scattered, and hopelessly outnumbered, the rebellion was often forced to make choices that would not be considered honorable or even good.  They became murderers, assassins, saboteurs, and thieves. They had no other choice but to become the very things they hated and despised or submit to the oncoming storm that was the imperial army.

Would you do it?  Could you do it?

This is the setting of Rogue One, and while we like to think of Star Wars as black and white, dark side vs light side, rebellion vs empire, the universe is so much deeper, richer, and more complicated than that.  While we would all like to believe that our choices are either good or bad, they are not, but our choices do define who we are.

Cassian, a rebellion spy who shoots and murders his own friend.  Why did he do it?   Did he do it to keep him from being captured and interrogated by the empire, or was his motives to protect the rebellion from discovery?  Can it be both?  Going even deeper how does he carry that and many other decisions like it with himself?

Chirrut Îmwe whose home, religion, and purpose was completely destroyed.  A man who had literally everything he believed in taken away from him, and yet he still has faith.  Faith in the Force.  He believed, and it never waivered for even a second, not even in death.  That very faith and hope inspired his companion and friend Baz Malbus to, in the end, believe as well.

You see Star Wars was never a story of good guys vs bad guys.  It’s a story of choices, sacrifices, ambition, determination, war, despair, and hope.  The characters we have come to know, love, and sometimes despise tell the story of what it would be like to live inside such a world.  Rogue One is a beautiful story of tragic and desperate hope.  A tale of a miserable band of mismatched misfits who for one brief moment decided to come together and accomplish the extraordinary.



My Initial Thoughts on Star Wars: Rogue One

As many of you know the new trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One premiered today. As a fan of Star Wars since I was a small child I have always been fascinated by the universe and the stories it tells.

This is why I was not happy with Disney when they declared that almost all the books, and novels related to the Star Wars Expanded Universe were no longer considered canon.  How could they accept the prequels as canon, but disregard some of the amazing stories told through the talents of some amazing authors?!

However, before I start complaining, and get off on a tangent, the reason I love the promise of Rogue One is it seems to be the untold story of characters within the Star Wars universe that have nothing to do with the Jedi or the Sith.

We get to peer into the lives of members of the rebellion as they struggle and fight for a cause without the promise of “The Force” or the rebirth of The Jedi.

Further, what excites me is we may actually get to see just how scary The Empire actually is, and what it does to its citizens and captured members of The Rebellion.

This is important, and something I always felt was brushed over in the original movies. The Empire was a scary, and dangerous organization.  It showed no mercy, destroyed whole worlds, and built weapons of mass destruction that would terrorize its people.  And we get to see that world.

At least I hope we do.

What are you most excited about when it comes to the upcoming film Star Wars: Rogue One?

Comment Below.

Its Hard To Be A Nerd Girl


Star Wars Tattoo

OK I know its not Friday and I am a little early for tattoos, but I saw this and thought this was an awesome tatto, and I had to share.

Star Wars With A Horse

Part of the reason I dont like Episodes I, II, and III is because Lucas made the whole story of Star Wars about Darth Vadar. Vadar was made out to be one of the most powerful force users ever born! They even compared him to Christ by having him born as a “Vergance in the Force”. They put him up so high, and there is a real problem here…In the Original Trilogy he just isn’t a that much of a badass. In fact he acts more like The Emperors BITCH! The whole point of The Sith is for the Master to train the Apprentice, and then one day the Apprentice is suppose to kill The Master. This ensures that each new Master will be stronger then the last.

Vadar shows NO desire to be planning to overthrow and kill The Master. None whatsoever! He looks like he will do WHATEVER the Emperor tells him to do. So knowing that why did Lucas make him out to be this future Badass?????