“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope,”

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These iconic words of our beloved Princess Leia are forty years old today. On this day in 1977, George Lucas gave the world Star Wars, now dubbed A New Hope. I know, I’m only 24, I haven’t been enjoying Star Wars for 40 years..but I have enjoyed it pretty much my whole life. Being introduced to this beautiful space fantasy is actually one of my earliest memories; I remember being on the phone with my aunt Adelaida, and she was describing the cover of the VHS tape she had just bought me. “It has Darth Vader’s face, which is all black and shiny,”. I was so excited. And this was 1995…I was just 3 years old and had no idea who or what Darth Vader was, but I believe the excitement in my aunt’s voice is what made me so excited. I don’t think I necessarily made this conclusion back then, but I think it must have been meant a lot to her to share this with me. A movie that she saw at least 17 times in theaters (she would often say 100 but who knows), a series that she’s adored so much…I think it was important for her to share it with me. Looking back on it now, she must have been so elated when I first watched the movie and loved it.  And I’m forever grateful for her introducing me to this world that I so adore, that I’ve loved all of my life, that inspires me and soothes me daily. And of course I still have the VHS with Vader’s “all black and shiny” face:

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And I’m pretty sure she bought me the other two, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, either at the same time or shortly after, and I loved those two dearly as well…actually, it was Return of the Jedi that was constantly in my VHS player; it’s always been my favorite.

Alas, today is about 40 years of A New Hope! Again, I can’t really attest to those 40 years, but during my personal lifetime, Star Wars has always been there. From crushing on the beautiful Luke Skywalker played by Mark Hamill, to also crushing on his father, Anakin, played by Hayden Christiansen…to Diego Luna and Oscar Isaac, the first Latino men to lead in Star Wars. To the women I idolize, starting with the late Carrie Fisher, to her mother played by Natalie Portman, and to my current baes, Rey and Jyn Erso played by Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones, respectively. I adore so many of the characters and relationships this saga has given us, and I’ve always loved them above everything else. I appreciate lightsaber battles and spaceships more now, but as a kid, the battles didn’t really excite me (because obviously I was a stupid child). But really, it was always Luke and Leia that cemented my attachment to these stories.

The only thing that’s really changed about my love of Star Wars is how I’ve been able to express it. When I was a kid, there weren’t many other kids I got to talk about it with. As the years went on,  I was ridiculed by my peers for loving it and letting it show. First, I believe, it was for wearing the beautiful watches that Burger King sold at the time of the theatrical release of Revenge of the Sith, the final prequel/what we all thought at the time would be the last Star Wars film we would ever receive. They were all double-sided and just the greatest watches ever. My favorite was the Darth Maul side of the Phantom Menace watch.

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I mean, it probably didn’t help that some days, I would wear all six watches at once on my tiny 13-year old arms, but still…no regrets.

The other item was a black t-shirt from Hot Topic with the beautiful Hayden Christiansen as Anakin Skywalker on it…I miss that shirt. Sadly, it is long gone…it didn’t fit me anymore anyway.

And yet, with my massive love for Star Wars, that was all I really ever had, aside from a t-shirt or two from the little boys section when I was little. It’s been amazing to see Star Wars fashion grow over the years, particularly for women, and while some people (like my parents) might think I have gone overboard with all of my t-shirts, sweaters, dresses, skirts, jewelry, etc….I don’t care, I’m just happy that all of these fabulous apparel has been available to me and I can’t help but buy so much even when I’ve probably already made up for lost time (when no such amazing things were available)  And I don’t care if you don’t like that I love Star Wars so much…I’m not that shy and vulnerable child anymore. I wear my love and express every way I can and want to. But back to the fabulous galactic wardrobe I have now…this is from under a year ago but it doesn’t reflect even my current collection, but just to give you an idea about how much Star Wars fashion I’ve acquired over the last few years or so:

If I had to guess without actually going through my closets right now, I’d say my collection has AT LEAST definitely doubled.

Guys, it’s not my fault…I just love this series and the characters so much and I love to express it!

Also I love dressing up as the characters, naturally…here is me as the ultimate rebel princess a few Halloweens ago:

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I think that’s just a testimony to how meaningful this franchise is; I’m dressing up as a character that I was introduced to when I was 3 years old in my adulthood, and I definitely plan on continuing to do so (whether it be at comic conventions, Halloween parties, or even just random days where I want to feel regal yet super badass and fabulous).

Happy 40th Anniversary, Star Wars!! May you continue to inspire all generations to come!

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Mugshot Monday #9

I received my Jabba’s Palace themed Smuggler’s Bounty last week, and it was quite delightful! My favorite goodie is definitely the adorable R2-D2 Vinyl Pop! figure that has his little tray of drinks he’s serving at Jabba’s Palace, because it’s only one of my favorite little moments in Return of the Jedi; C3PO happens to run into him and asks him what he’s doing and you hear R2 beep and then 3PO is all like “well I can see you’re serving drinks!”.I love it. I haven’t taken him out of the box yet. I will, though. They’re all too cute not to display together. I’m a bit disappointed that there wasn’t anything of my girl Oola, like a t-shirt of a Funko Pop! version of her or something…instead, we got a C3PO hat, which is not really my style. But hey, maybe they’ll do a Twi’leks appreciation box one day! Oh well. And yes, of course there was a Jabba piece…

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Yes, Jabba is a gross giant slug, but he’s kind of adorable in the Funko-fied mug. And doesn’t it look perfect with my tank of a hula Hutt-Slayer Leia by BeepBoopBeepClothing?!

And yes, it’s fair to say that I look like I’m on crack in that first picture, but…coffee, man. What can I say!

“…you’re old enough to dance the night away,”

This past weekend, I finally wore my Hula Oola tank top from Beep Boop Beep Clothing while out shopping with my parents and my dad was puzzled by what was on my shirt. “Is that from a cartoon or something?” Silly Dad, she’s from Return of the Jedi! My mom, I think, sorta knew it was from Star Wars, at least. My mom decided to post a picture of my tank top on Facebook asking if anyone knew who was on it for our amusement. Most people did not know, except for a few fellow huge Star Wars fans who came into the conversation after I gave up and revealed the answer. Look at how cool my top is:

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I love my Oola top; I love the Hula girl twist and this tank is so incredibly soft and comfy.

Why did I bother getting something with a character who is killed so shortly after her introduction, you ask? I’ve always liked her. I think part of it is my general affinity for the alien species in the Star Wars universe. As you know, I love Ahsoka Tano, so Torgruta’s are my favorite, and I would say Twi’leks are next because stylistically, they’re just so cool looking. They’re very similar to humans but different enough that you know when you first see them that they’re certainly not humans. I love their colors, like how Aayla Secura is a bold blue, while the other Twi’lek in Jabba’s Palace is a very light blue.

The other part of my fondness of Oola is honestly…I feel bad for the poor girl. As far as we can see in the film, she’s in chains in a sexy, very revealing outfit and dances for Jabba (at the very least. I don’t even want to think of what else she may have had to do). How did she get here? Maybe she was an aspiring dancer, dancing in clubs, and some minion from Jabba’s Palace saw her and knew that his creepy boss would be particularly fond of her. I doubt Jabba found her himself, seeing as how inefficiently he moves around. Maybe life on Tatooine is rough, and maybe, like Luke Skywalker, she wasn’t meant for a life of mediocrity on a moisture farm. Maybe she wanted to dance and even sing for millions in a city more like the ones we have seen on Courouscant. Maybe she thought working at Jabba’s Palace was simply a step on the ladder. Most importantly, I don’t think it was made clear to her that she would be some sort of slave, literally in chains. I do, unfortunately, think this was a common thing for Jabba, however. Giant, slimey, slug pervert must always be near a beautiful, scantily clad woman. I have to go back and see, but I feel like in the Clone Wars movie and show he wasn’t really doing that, maybe because he had his gross little son to watch over. Who was the mother?! We don’t know! Where did this stinky little son go?! Maybe he died and then Jabba went crazy with a creepy, disgusting bachelor life! Anyway, this isn’t about Jabba, it’s about the tragedy of Oola. The only time she looks happy in Return of the Jedi is when she’s dancing while the Max Rebo Band performs. But even then, she just looks like she feels numb when it’s all over. Then Jabba has to pull her chains for a closer look and she’s had enough. Probably more than just a closer look, as he licks his lips. This wasn’t what she signed up for. It would appear that she’s been molested and used by Jabba for one too many times and is finally taking a stand by pulling back on her chains. Or, perhaps she hadn’t even been at the palace too long and was disgusted at the first advance Jabba made, but I highly doubt it. Sadly, I think she had been abused for a while. I just feel bad because I know this isn’t what she thought her life would become, some sort of dancing-sex-slave in chains. She was young and naïve and had to be tricked into this life. When she resists Jabba, he sends her to her inevitable death by the Rancor. Which is cruel, insane, and just plain messed up on so many levels. And she doesn’t know what to do! How could she? I’m going to guess that she was around 20 years old, probably from a poor family, and she had to have been lacking a lengthy repertoire to get a normal, steady job to support her aspirations, let alone any skills to defend herself.

Poor Oola…

Before the prequels, I feel like the character of Oola and the blue Twi’lek that sings in Jabba’s Palace give at least the mild impression that Twi’leks were somewhat of an oppressed race. Not a lower species in any way, but sadly, treated as such. With that impression in mind, it’s cool to watch the prequels and see Aayla Secura and know that Twi’leks could be force sensitive and badass. I don’t know about you, but I like that part of the prequels, seeing all of the other Jedi and the species they were, because in the originals all we see are humans and Yoda. Not that that isn’t enough, but it’s simply fun to see.

Oh, and I can’t forget Hera, the amazing pilot from Star Wars Rebels!

 

One more thing…I have to admit that I’ve never read any of the Expanded Universe/Legends stories, so forgive me if there’s already an Oola backstory out there. The only Star Wars books I read when I was kid were the novelizations of the movies, because that was all I needed at the time. The movies were actually enough for me, I didn’t crave anything more, like I do now. Plus, from the little I know about the Expanded Universe/Legends, I’m not terribly fond of the things that have happened and I enjoy that Lucasfilm denounced its’ canon before Disney bought them, so now I don’t feel bad for not having any interest in them. I’m excited for all of the new books, like Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars and Bloodline, which are just waiting for me on my bookshelf. I’m also super excited about the new Ahsoka Tano novel that will debut this October, but also actually quite sad and angry that I didn’t write it.