“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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“The strongest stars have hearts of kyber,”

I’ve watched Rogue One 4 times this week, and sobbed every time. I love it so much. The special features on the Blu-Ray combo pack are pretty awesome as well, although I wish there was a directors’ and/or cast commentary on the film…oh well. I’ll just keep watching it as it is and crying at the tragedy and beauty of it all. And yes, of course I got a special edition…I originally wasn’t terribly impressed with the exclusives offered by Target, Wal Mart, or Best Buy, but…my boyfriend happened to surprise me with the Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook combo pack! The only reason I didn’t preorder that one myself was because I had decided I wanted to have Jyn, Cassian, Bohdi, Chirrut, and Baze, basically my main bae heroes, on my cover….meanwhile, the steelbook has the Death Troopers on the front. Don’t get me wrong, they’re super cool, but…they’re kinda evil? But they’re also walking through the water on the beaches of Scarif so that’s kinda beautiful enough to make up for their evilness. Also, regular stormtroopers are on the back cover also walking through the water, and I’m just so fond of that particular image. It’s oddly glorious to me:

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In addition to my Rogue One addiction, Star Wars Celebration has been happening since Thursday in Orlando, Florida, and I have tried to keep up with most of the panels by watching them stream live on YouTube or later when I can. And of course the panels are also making me emotional, especially when they mention our beloved Carrie Fisher. If you haven’t seen this already, here is the tribute video they played for her when Celebration began this week:

Just beautiful…yes, yes this also made me sob.

Yesterday, they continued to honor Carrie Fisher’s legacy in Star Wars by showing the path that her Princess Leia led for the future of women in this franchise in the Heroines Panel. It such a magical panel…first, they had a sizzle reel of all of the heroines of Star Wars:

I highly recommend watching the entire panel if you’re as obsessed with these powerful ladies as I am!

I think the main point of the panel, though, was to promote a new series of animated shorts called Star Wars: Forces of Destiny focusing on Rey, Leia, Jyn Erso, Sabrine Wren, Padme, and of course AHSOKA TANO!!!

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In addition to these shorts, they are releasing these “adventure dolls”, which are basically action figure Barbies. They’re fantastic and I need them and I’m sad I didn’t have these as a kid. But hey, little girls now will finally have badass Barbie-like dolls that are heroines! Also, seeing Daisy Ridley (Rey), Ashley Eckstein (my darling Ahsoka Tano), and Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren) react to their new adventure dolls was just beautiful: (And yes, I took these from various Instagram stories/various official Disney/Star Wars accounts on there)

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Also they all look absolutely fabulous and beautiful but I’m particularly in love with Tiya’s darling outfit. She’s always quite stylish, though. AS THEY ALL ARE!

Speaking of my beautiful idols, I finally revamped one of my walls…it was tough to take down my ginormous The Breakfast Club and mini Pee Wee’s Big Adventure posters, but I’ve had them up at least since I was like…8? They’re still in my favorites but it was simply time for a change. I still have them; I want to use them in the future when I have my own house, perhaps for a massive movie theater room. Anyway, look at my new mini-mermaid mural:

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Are you surprised I’ve centered my mermaid mural with Ahsoka, or rather, Mersoka by Lorna-ka, one of my favorite artists?! If you know how obsessed with Ahsoka I am, you’re probably not surprised at all. But she is joined by other mermaids!

On the left, the first smaller print is of Belle, Aurora, and Rapunzel as mermaids, and the print underneath is classic mermaid, my favorite mermaid and princess, Ariel! Oh, and she’s being held by my favorite prince/her true love, Eric. I purchased those two on Etsy by the lovely Elisa Garcia Bonilla/Aasilee, and naturally I have other pieces by her already on my walls.

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On the right of Mersoka, I have a beautiful mother and daughter mermaid set also from Etsy. Becuase Ahsoka is facing this way, I wanted her to face her dear old friend, Padme. Underneath Padme, I have her glorious daughter Leia. Guys, I can’t get it to show in pictures but up close they both have golden sparkly accents! Because Aleigh Watford is awesome! She has so many original mermaids on there but naturally I had to start with her Star Wars mermaids.

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So, underneath my mermaid mural…I just have more Star Wars!

I had talked about needing this art before, and now it’s mine!! Everyone looks so beautiful and perfect. I especially love this version of Ahsoka; I saw on Twitter that this artist hasn’t even watched Clone Wars or Rebels but simply loved the way Ahsoka looks. How could she not?! But anyway, I just love this artist’s style. Jealous? Get your own by Mariana Avila right here!

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And this I’ve wanted this since  before Rogue One even came out! Being in love with both Oscar Isaac and Diego Luna, and being Latina/Hispanic myself (yes, I consider myself both), this piece means so much to me. It’s aptly titled Latinos in Space! and it’s also by Mariana Avila!IMG_2126

Being a woman and being Latina, both of these pieces mean so much to me, and it’s honestly so inspiring and heartwarming to look at them every day now.

“Make 10 men feel like 100,”

That is one of the many moments giving me hope and chills in one of the latest Rogue One trailers. It is spoken by the beautiful Diego Luna:

An American with Mexican heritage, I have had a devastating week. I’ve never intended for this blog to touch on politics and that’s not changing now, but that doesn’t that mean I can hide my heartache and disappointment. I’ve lost count on how often I’ve cried reflecting on how half of the country elected an unqualified “business” man who has had several bankruptcies, cheated employees out of payment, called Mexican immigrants as a whole rapists and criminals, mocked the disabled, mocked our own veterans that happened to be prisoners of war when this man himself has dodged the draft several times, normalized talk of sexual assault and abuse, called for identification systems for Muslims (sound familiar? Hitler did that to the Jews) and has been endorsed by the KKK. People say to me, “oh Rita, you’re American, you’re okay”. Well no shit, I’m American. But the kind of people that that man has incited a hatred of minorities in…those people see no difference in someone whose family recently immigrated here to someone who has been here for 4 generations now. All they see is our brown skin. And this despicable excuse for a man chose one of the most anti-gay politicians I’ve ever seen to be his running mate. I fear for all of us who are different. I mourn the struggles some have already faced in the wake of this tragedy and I grieve the future to come. I have no hope anymore.

So, I have decided to continue thinking about the things that make me happy…naturally, one of those things is Star Wars and how close we are to the first stand-alone Star Wars story, Rogue One! I need this movie so badly right now. I need Jyn Erso’s earnest hope and glowing determination. I need Captain Cassian Andor for his darling Mexican self being a leader. I need the severely war-scarred Saw Guerrera for his passion and for his Clone Wars ties; the fact that we are seeing a character from the Clone Wars series in a live action film is just amazing. I just need all of it so much. I need this small group of diverse people coming together to fight something much bigger than they are, to fight the evil and oppressive Empire. I need to see them get those Death Star plans. I’m honestly quite in love with Jyn and Cassian in what I’ve seen in the trailers so far; Jyn in all of her ass-kicking glory, saying “We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope.”, Cassian saying “make 10 men feel like 100,”.

Surely you have heard of a coping mechanism known as retail therapy…I couldn’t help but engage this past weekend when I saw the exclusive Funko Pop! Captain Cassian Andor bobblehead at Target:

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If/when I see this movie and fall in love with him, I also want the bobblehead of him in his blue coat that has very Han Solo-on-Hoth vibes:

 

And yes, that’s a hint to the people that know and love me who need ideas to buy me things for Christmas! Also, I still don’t have any of the ones of Jyn Erso. I need some, though. There’s several different versions of her; I love all of them except the one where she’s in the black Imperial suit. Obviously she rocks and looks amazing, but I just like the other ones that capture her true character’s essence. So, preferably her main outfit, hood or no hood.

Look at how perfect Cassian Andor looks next to fellow Star Wars Latino Poe Dameron:

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However, while I love Poe in his flight suit, I want one without his helmet. Because mmmmmmmmm:

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The one that I want that embodies this sexiness is a Wal-Mart exclusive, but I’ve found a few on eBay. I’m probably just going to buy him for myself the next time I’m feeling really down. But I’ll cut myself off just for this week, because just today, I also required this Funko Pop! bobblehead of another Star Wars rebel:

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Finally got the Mandalorian-masked Sabine from Star Wars Rebels at just the second Walgreens I checked! She fits in pretty well with the rest of my darling Funko Pop! Star Wars bobbleheads:

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Christmas list opportunity for people that love me: I don’t even know if they will be released in time, but Funko Pop! is set to release more Star Wars Rebels bobbleheads. Sabine and Ahsoka were the first ones, and they both exclusives; Sabine to Walgreens and Ahsoka to Hot Topic. I’m pretty sure the other figures will be everywhere that these little guys are typically carried, like Target, Wal-Mart, Hot Topic, etc. All I want is Hera. Perhaps Kanan and Ezra as well, but all I need is Hera:

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I love having all of my favorite Star Wars characters together like this. Keep them coming, Funko!

OH, and back to Cassian and Poe making me so happy because they’re both sexy and Latino (like me 😉 )….I love all of the diversity that’s coming through this franchise lately. Yes, there were always some there ( like Lando by the wonderful Billy Dee Williams), but it’s nice to be getting more. Especially more Latinos! Yes, of course I’m bias. But it’s just so fun. Also, I’m in love with Oscar Isaac.

And guys…I’m not forgetting Jimmy Smits, aka Bail Organa, aka Leia’s beloved adoptive father.

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He’s of Puerto Rican descent, which is amazing, of course. It made me so happy so see him even just for a moment in the first season of Star Wars Rebels; he bends down to R2-D2 just like his daughter and that image just makes my heart smile. He’s a wonderful character. But sadly…we don’t really get that much of him in the films. In Clones Wars, yes. He’s an incredibly vital character but he is not a main character.

That’s why I’m so excited for my fellow Latinos because now, they are among the leading stars in these movies. I just hope it keeps coming and we get even more diversity as these projects continue. It’s just beautiful to see; one of the things I love about Star Trek and Gene Roddenberry’s vision for it is the diversity, so it’s lovely to see Star Wars follow that lead.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it was Lin-Manuel Miranda that tweeted his excitement about seeing Diego Luna in the Rogue One trailers all like “YESSSSS LATINOS IN SPACE”. So now Latinos in Space is a thing; a trending topic, a hashtag, whatever you consider to be hip. And I adore it. I WANT TO JOIN MY FELLOW LATINOS IN SPACE!! Speaking of which…look at this adorable and sexy piece of art by a lovely artist named Mariana Avila:

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I need it on my walls! It makes me so happy, it’s just so perfect and cute! Of course, it’s called Latinos in Space!

I’m tempted to buy it right now; it’s 10% off with free shipping until midnight! But…it would just add on to the things I’ve bought this week just because I’m massively depressed. But hey, sometimes materialism has a purpose, however shallow, silly, or brief it may be.

Until next time…”may the Force be with us,”.

 

 

“War, children, it’s just a shot away, it’s just a shot away…I tell you love, sister, it’s just a kiss away, it’s just a kiss away,”

Happy Rogue Friday, everyone!! So, Rogue One merchandise is being released now and I am so excited!! I remember last year when they released a bunch of merchandise for The Force Awakens…I bought a lot of things that weekend…mostly clothes. It was the first time I had seen a whole section of Star Wars apparel at a Target, and it was such a lovely sight to see clothes for all genders and ages. I bought myself at least one of the ladies’ shirts I saw (I would buy a few more in the months to come) and a sweatshirt that I suppose was primarily made for men, but a size small was perfect for me. I didn’t buy any of the toys (except, of course, Rey and Poe Funko Pop! figures), but it was fun to look at them. I definitely want to at least take a gander at all of the new Rogue One toys that will come out this weekend. I’m especially excited for Jyn Erso items. I have a feeling about her being awesome…I had the same feeling about Rey when I saw her. I didn’t know exactly how awesome she was going to be, but I knew I would admire her.

Not only is an exciting time to be a female Star Wars fan when women are finally the lead stars in these movies, but it’s also an amazing time for Hispanic/Latino Star Wars fans like myself! First, we had the hunky and beautiful pilot Poe Dameron played by Guatemalan-born Oscar Isaac:

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Now with Rogue One, we get Captain Cassian Andor, played by the adorable Mexican (half like me 😉 ) Diego Luna:

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Guys, do I want him in that blue jacket,

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Or, in his other outfit, which is a Target exclusive?!

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They’re both insanely cute and fierce, I don’t know which one to get! I can’t decided on Jyn, either; there’s at least 3 different versions I’ve seen that will be released. Or should I wait until the movie comes out?! Ha, nah…I know I will love these characters, I feel it.

They will look so cute with my other Star Wars Pop! figures:

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Actually, I’m going to need a bigger shelf, or maybe add another shelf within that shelf?! Because they all deserve to be seen.

Remember when  I said that I do not collect Disney Infinity figures because I want to play with them? Well, that’s mostly true; I need the figures to play as those characters in the games. But, let’s be honest; if I could spend a few hours just playing with them, like I would have with my Star Wars action figures, Barbies, and Bratz dolls like I did when I was a child without feeling incredibly silly, I would. But perhaps that’s just my inner story-teller just wanting to work with something visible, tangible, even. I think that’s partly why I like collecting my Funko Pop! figures; they’re adorable little bobbleheads that are actually quite the hot thing to collect right now, so I feel somewhat socially validated for buying these little figures. Like, they’re meant to be collected by adults, right? Yet, I can’t keep them in boxes like most of the fellow adult collectors I know in person. I need them to be out and free, so they don’t suffer like stupid Jesse and my beloved Bullseye from Toy Story 2. Also, I like to tap their heads sometimes. I collected bobbleheads as a child,  so I’ve really just modified that hobby a bit.

In addition these Funko Pop! figures I clearly need, there will be a few non-Rogue One-related Star Wars releasing this weekend, like another Ahsoka Tano Black Series figure that will be exclusive to Wal-Mart. I don’t have any action figures anymore, except for my ones of Ozzy Osbourne, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Blue Meanie, and Jeremy (Yellow Submarine)…so it would be weird…or would it?! She is my favorite and I’m so deeply attached to her, it would make sense if I just collected everything I found of her. I’ve already been feeling regret at not trying to find this beauty when it came out (because now, it is impossible to find):

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And this new one that’s coming out is part of a “vintage” collection…aka, she’s in her best outfit ever; her Clone Wars tunic:

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Okay…I might need it..

 

BUT WAIT…back to the inclusion of females and minorities in Star Wars! I didn’t mean to get distracted by toys! It’s an important change in movies lately, more inclusion. Yet, it’s still not happening enough; there has been criticism about Tim Burton’s latest movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and its’ lack of people of color. I remember seeing the trailer and noticing the only character who isn’t white is black and appears to be the evil character…I thought to myself “damnit, Tim Burton,”, because I’ve been a fan and supporter of his all of my life. I grew up being in love with Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, the Nightmare Before Christmas, and so forth. I consider him my favorite director, mostly because of my deep attachment to Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. I’ve defended him to people complaining that he won’t stop casting Johnny Depp and remaking movies….and then he does this to me. Sadly, he’s really been doing it to me this whole time. Hardly any of his movies have people of color. People of the internet have pointed out that his world is just overall kinda pale, and that’s sort of his aesthetic? But, is that a valid excuse? What’s more disappointing than anything was his explanation of this particular criticism:

First of all, people complaining about political correctness are annoying; these complaints are typically from white people who truly have no idea what it’s like to be a minority and be subjected to the worst stereotypes and slurs. I do understand the principle of not wanting to force anything simply for the sake of inclusion, but then…simply, don’t force it. It should be natural. Like…was Finn from The Force Awakens written as a black character? I don’t know for sure, to be honest, but John Boyega is perfect and darling and I think he was chosen because he was simply the right actor. Second of all….darling, I will always love your weird and creepy style and your drawings and such, but…right now, I kinda want to slap you. Of course you’re not going to complain that there should be more white people in movies…you know why? BECAUSE ALL OF FREAKING HOLLYWOOD FOR YEARS HAS BEEN PRIMARILY WHITE MOVIES. Alas, times are changing and at least these injustices are being recognized. And I’m also realizing this about my favorite movies lately; John Hughes is my other favorite directors, and not only are his films super white, but they’re also kinda racist; I’ve only noticed in the last few years how Sixteen Candles, one of my favorite movies ever, is terrible towards Asians (this realization was largely in part due to watching the show Fresh Off the Boat). I can’t dislike the movie, I’m far too attached; but I can acknowledge that it was a imperfect time. Shit, it’s still an imperfect time, but it is getting considerably better.

Speaking of which, this is old news by now, but please let me talk about how excited I was when I heard the hopefully true rumor that Zendaya is playing Mary Jane Watson in the new Spider-Man Homecoming with Tom Holland!! Then, please understand my disappointment in many people on the internet who were mad that Mary Jane was going to be played not by a white girl, but by a black one. And I freaking love red hair and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, but we’ve seen that already. Zendaya is technically mixed race, like me, so that makes it even cooler. I’m also sad because this was the second time I had ever heard this young woman being mentioned in the media involving racism. The first time I had heard about her, it was when stupid Guliana Rancic criticized Zendaya’s dreadlocks hairstyle at a Red Carpet event, saying it looked like this beautiful young lady “smells like weed” (she would later “apologize” by saying she merely was referring to a bohemian look (ha!)), while she praised one of those Jenner girls (I don’t respect them enough to figure out which one it was. They’re both awful, like their older sisters) with the very same hairstyle within that same week. One, Zendaya is absolutely gorgeous and fabulous. Two, Rancic is just a pityful reflection of the shallow celebrity-obsessed channel E! that she works on. Three, I’m sad that every time I heard Zendaya mentioned in pop culture news, it involved her being put down and pitted against white girls. Don’t worry, Zendaya slayed Rancic for her idiotic comments  with such grace. And if she’s Mary Jane Watson…I’m so freaking happy and excited. Like, at this point, I’m just going to be sad if she’s not.

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Also, while I actually strongly dislike rap and hip-hop, I adore this video of our possible Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker (and friend) dancing: