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.



The New Wonder Women


So I am not sure the story behind this photo, but I do know the artist is Jeff Chapman. What do you guys think?

48. Being a Geek in the Real World

Last night, even though I was sick was a pleasent one for me. I was able to read a couple chapters in my current book, Fearless, which is the second book of the seris The Lost Fleet. I got three pages of story written from this past weeks gaming, and I was able to read the first issue of The Guildes new comic.

When it came time to go to bed and put away my geeky things I felt a certain sense of saddness that the following day I would have to return to the real world where I couldnt totally be myself. As I have explained before most of the people I work with are hunters and fishermen, and have no interest in Geek related things. So when i work in Firefly quotes, like I did this afternoon (“Why dont things ever go smooth?), no one has a clue what I am talking about.

Note: I also worked in a Star Wars quote too: “I look forward to completeing your training”, and all I got was a blank stare.

Moving back and forth from the Geek world to the real world is hard. This is why I am hoping someday that I wont have to switch from one to the other. I hope someday I can keep my feet solidly in Geek territory and never have to come out. I would love to be able to wear my Geek T-Shirts every day of the week, instead of just on Fridays. I would love to able to have long lunch conversations about what I would do with a Light Saber in the real world instead of trying to keep up with a fishing or sports story.

Ahhhhh to be a Geek full time instead of part time. That would be nice!

37. 56 Kinds of Geek

Once again I must thank my Brother-in-Law Matt for sending this to me. As I look over the list and think about my life as a Geek I fall into several of these different types of Geeks.

Trek Geek
I have mentioned this before, but one of the earliest memories I have with my family is watching Star Trek: The Next Generation together. To this day I find myself a loyal Star Trek fan. In fact one of the biggest draws to Dragoncon this year is the LARGE amount of Star Trek characters coming.

Jedi Geek
Do I even need to bother with an explanation on this one. Anyone who has know me for almost any length of time knows I am an avid Star Wars fan. Most of my Geek t-shirts are Star Wars. I own every Star Wars PS3 game. I love watching the movies. If I had three wishes one would be the ability to control both sides of the force, and have my very own lightsaber.

Larper Geek
I must confess that there has been times where I have enjoyed LARPING. Through my association with The Knightly Order of the Fiat Lux I was introduced to different types of larps including Dagorhir and SOLAR

Portable Geek
I love technology and gadgets. Nuff said!

Apple Geek
Well lets see I am writing this post on my Macbook while my Iphone goes through its weekly sync, and listening to music from my Ipod classic. I have three Mac blogs bookmarked, and check Mac Rumors everyday. Does that make me an Apple Geek?

Con Geek
I dont think I am a Con Geek. I think its perfectly natural to know how many days are left till Dragoncon….96.

There are several other categories that I have spent some time in, and may in the future spend more time, but I think its safe to say I am a Geek. So the question is what kind of Geek are you?

35. What Kind Of Geek Are You?

Thanks to my Brother-In-Law Matt for sending me this comic.

A Geeks life is a classic story of becoming comfortable with themselves. Its funny that Matt sent me this particular comic, because as I looked at it I saw my own journey into becoming a Geek. As a kid some of my best memories are watching Star Trek: The Next Generation every week with my family. That eventually lead to watching X-Files each Sunday, and lets not forget there were the Star Trek Movies that my parents introduced me to. But this was never something I felt I could share with anyone at school or any other social group I found myself in. It didn’t matter if, as in the comic, someone else brought the subject up, I still felt like it was uncool to talk of such things.

As I got older and moved into High School I started feeling more comfortable talking about some of the Geek trivia I had picked up over the years, but I wanted more. I remember a class project we were all given once. The assignment was to write about a collection we had, bring in an example of something out of that collection, and give a short presentation on your collection. I don’t remember what my paper, example, or presentation was on, but I do remember one student brought in his Star Wars Action Figures. His paper and presentation talked about how he had started collecting when he was a small child. His collection ranged from out of the box figures that were either missing a limb, light saber, or blaster, to mint condition rare figure still in their display boxes.

I could tell from where I sat in the classroom that he was nervous. I don’t know if he was nervous because he was speaking in front of a crowd of his peers, or because he was speaking about something that was so clearly in the Geek category. Regardless of why he was nervous, the longer he spoke the more confident he became. I remember being very jealous of his collection, and wishing I had the money to start my own collection. It was not long after that that I started picking up geek paraphernalia.

Now fast forward to the present day, and any one of my friends will clearly tell you how I am an Uber Geek willing to not only talk about my geeky obsessions, or share books, comics, or toys from my Geek collection, I will also from time to time stray from reality and truly wonder what my life would be like if I owned a light saber and had control of the force.

I think all Geeks go through this process. I say this because as I have showed this comic to my friends they have all started laughing and commenting about how that is totally them. While each Geek may be different there is a common bond that keeps us all connected to each other.