31 day star wars challenge, day 19: in which I have favorite concept art …

Alrighty, this will be the last post for today because am tired. The plan is to work on at least two posts tomorrow, as well, but who knows with all the papers and projects and shit I have due in the next seven days. Sigh.

Anyway, I was going to do fan art for this one but then decided that there were so many pieces of concept art that I love that it seems sacrilegious to completely skip them for the fan art. Granted, there’s a lot of amazing fan art out there for the Star Wars universe, and I do highly recommend you check them out. I’ve used a couple pieces in the previous entries of this challenge, so please go click on the links at the bottom of the posts pages and give those artists some love.

But anyway, let’s take a look at some concept art!

I have been obsessed with Ralph McQuarrie’s work since I was a kid, and if you can’t see why? Well, I can’t help you. He truly caught the feel of the Star Wars universe – epic high fantasy in space – without making it look hokey. I also love that his original design for Han Solo (when he was an alien instead of a dashing human rogue) was reused in the design of Star Wars Rebels character Zeb.

I also adore Iain McCaig’s work on the prequels, specifically his designs for Padme. I’ve been studying his style over the past couple of months, as well as a couple other people’s because I’m trying to improve my own art – this shit is stunning, and I am in awe of McCaig, despite the fact he uses Papyrus font on his website. No one’s perfect.

And that’s that! My favorite concept art! Now … nap time.

Art Credit: 99 Designs, Tenth Letter of the Alphabet, Amazon

31 day star wars challenge, day 18: in which I have a favorite quote …

Yep, I both underestimated how busy I would be with nursing school and overestimated how much effort I’d be able to put into this challenge, so! I’ll be working on this as I go, with a couple of adjustments. Today is obviously not what was originally on my calendar, but oh, well. I’ll be updating that, too!

But anyway! Onto the revised edition of my Star Wars challenge, Day 19:

I’ve watched a lot of Star Wars, you guys, and there are a lot of memorable quotes that have just kind of become a part of our cultural lexicon:

May the Force be with you.

I have a bad feeling about this.

That’s not how any of this works!

But honestly? The best one? Comes from my Princess:

Animated gif of Princess Leia Organa running down a hallway in the Millennium Falcon, yelling "I am not a committee!"

Everything about this line, as well as the general banter between Leia and Han, is a big reason as to why Empire worked as well as it did. Kershner did such a good job with this movie, I swear.

Art Credit: ExpressoBeans, 99 Designs

31 day star wars challenge, day 17: in which I have favorite music from the sequels …

Okay, I will say this: John Williams’ score was the best thing about the prequels, at least consistently, and I say that as a major Carrie Fisher fan (I know, I know, she passed away suddenly, but like, they didn’t really do much with her in The Force Awakens, anyway). I can honestly say I think it’s probably some of his best work ever, which I think would have been a nice ending to a rather robust career as a film composer, but considering he’s still writing stuff, I have a feeling he might be around a bit longer than that. Williams had a decent chunk of scores under his belt before 1977, but damn, this man’s work nearly defined my childhood and I feel like he just doesn’t ever, like … stop? You can retire, John. Take a vacay.

But anyway, here’s some of my favorite pieces from the sequel trilogy, starting with the arguably most famous from this part of the saga:


I love how this just keeps building and building yet still manages to be simple. Kind of reminds me a bit of the Harry Potter theme? And now that’s all you will be able to hear. You’re welcome.


I know General Leia Organa being able to pull herself through space using the Force was a contentious scene, but I loved it. Her theme comes up around 3:03 – 3:04, but you should listen to the Force theme buildup before it. So great.


Rose Tico was done dirty, and Kelly Marie Tran is an absolute treasure. I also love her overly sweet theme almost as much as I do Leia’s. This one def has a bit of an Indiana Jones feel to it.

4 – “THE CAVE”

I mentioned this was my favorite scene from The Last Jedi, and the music just added to that. It didn’t have the same overly brooding music from Luke’s similar scene in The Empire Strikes Back – it sounds sad and wistful, almost resigned, and just so beautifully done.


Yes, I despise this movie, but this track is absolutely great: an emotional story being told with music, reaching this glorious apex of Rey’s theme mixed with the Force theme? I mean, come on, you’d have to be heartless not to feel something while listening to this.

Art Credit: 99 Designs

31 day star wars challenge, day 16: in which I have a favorite scene from the rise of skywalker …

Recently on Twitter, a friend of mine and I got into a brief discussion on The Rise of Skywalker, and both of us came to the same conclusion: we were apathetic to the movie, despite that fact we spent the majority of the film being alternatively angry at decisions made and confused as to what was even going on. At the end of it? We just did not give a fuck about the movie. Which is my way of saying that I had to go back and rewatch this stupid movie in order to do this post, something I vowed I wouldn’t ever do for various reasons, which I’ll expand on a bit more when I discuss the entire saga later on this month.

And I actually struggled to find a scene that I actually enjoyed purely on its own merit and ultimately came down to the one time in the new trilogy where Adam Driver smiles, because honestly? He has a great smile, and I’m like, “Dude, I get it. You’re free now, on like multiple levels.” So that’s my favorite scene.

You know, I feel a little bad making Attack of the Clones my least favorite Star Wars movie. I mean, it’s still objectively awful and the worst of the prequels, but I at least let it play and remember it exists. I can honestly say that I don’t ever think about The Rise of Skywalker because it was just, as my friend said, “messy and safe.” It didn’t bring anything new to the table, like The Last Jedi did, and it wasn’t at least moderately fun rehash of A New Hope like The Force Awakens was. Ugh, I need to stop now because I’m definitely going to talk about this disappointment of a conclusion in a couple of days.

I do love that poster, though.

Art Credit: 99 Designs, IGN

31 day star wars challenge, day 15: in which I have a favorite scene in the last jedi …

As a writer, the second act is always the most interesting to me: this is the meat of the overarching story, expanding on the themes usually briefly touched in the first act but not resolving them in a manner that the final act does. The viewer kind of expects things to be open-ended, eventually leading to a conclusion in the next part, but until that happens, they can discuss the moral implications, the character development, etc., without the same finality as the end of the story. Everything is a bit darker yet simultaneously more hopeful, more introspective and flawed – it’s a relationship, really. The shiny newness is gone, and you’re actually getting to know the characters and growing with them, for better or for worse.

Rey’s development throughout The Last Jedi is a great example of this, especially during my favorite scene. We know that she’s been abandoned – at this point, we don’t know why – and that she is looking for love and acceptance, which she initially got with Han, Finn, and Chewie, if briefly. Her search for Luke is an extension of this desire for belonging, only this time it’s to be a part of a larger group – the Jedi – with a purpose, and of course, because conflict drives story, Luke denies her training, although for a much different reason than Yoda initially denied Luke his own training in Empire. The draw of the dark side is so strong because it is based on fear.

  1. In the prequels, Palpatine was able to seduce Anakin by sensing and then honing in on Anakin’s fear of loss.
  2. Unlike his father, Luke feared falling to the dark side and was nearly driven to killing Darth Vader, the embodiment of that possibility.
  3. Her lack of identity or worth drives almost all of Rey’s actions, nearly to an obsession equal to that of Anakin’s with keeping those he loves alive.

Which leads us to my favorite scene in The Last Jedi. The cave scene, specifically the vision Rey has in the mirror, is just purely fascinating for a multitude of reasons, but I’m going to focus on just a few of them. The mirror answers her query – who are my parents – in a number of ways, but almost in a tarot card kind of way. One interpretation is that, nope, girl, you’re alone, from the beginning and all the way into the future, which is a very dark side way of looking at it but also tracks because this cave is basically Dark Side Central. Another interpretation is that her identity, her belonging, was in her hands alone, and she had always had that strength in her. With the revelation that Palpatine is her predecessor, this vision also reveals that her identity is eternal, a connection to the dark side that would continue perpetually, and it left me with the hope that the concept of Gray Jedi would finally make its way into the films proper. It didn’t, which was disappointing, because instead we got whatever happened in Rise of Skywalker.

Anyway, I have tried to come up with a way to close this for the last, like, ten minutes, and haven’t been successful, so I think I’m just going to say “this is my favorite scene and good night,” because that’s basically the best I can pull out of my brain. Nursing school might be the death of me. Thank god tomorrow is Sunday.

Art Credit: 99 Designs, Pinterest

31 day star wars challenge, day 14: in which I have a favorite scene from the force awakens …

Alrighty, onto something I didn’t do the last time I did this challenge because the sequel trilogy I think had just started maybe? You’ll have to forgive me; the last decade has kind of melded together in my brain as just one bad period of time, so pinpointing things is not my strong suit.

Now, of the three sequels, The Force Awakens is … not my favorite. It’s not my least favorite – that’s definitely Rise of Skywalker, but I’ll get into that in two days – but it just has that JJ Abrams feel to it that I’m not always a fan of. I feel like he’s a combination of Aaron Sorkin and Joss Whedon, but with lens flare* – he’s so concerned with quipping and kind of dumbed down observational humor (“The garbage will do!” I legit hate that line) that his movies just don’t do it for me**. Plus, it just felt … lifeless? Like at the end of A New Hope, you knew the characters well. You cared about everyone, Chewie and the droids included. Hell, even in The Phantom Menace, the characters were fairly well crafted, even if the next two movies basically undid any character definition that was set. But with The Force Awakens, by the end of the movie, I knew Finn and Rey in an acquaintance kind of way, didn’t really understand Kylo Ren except that he was Han and Leia’s son, had no idea why I was even supposed to care about Poe, and all I really wanted to do was watch Han and Leia flirt with each other or Chewie yell at Han for being Han. The best parts of this movie didn’t involve the new characters at all, and that’s … disappointing.

But! I did really like the scenes involving the already established characters, and I couldn’t really choose between two:

  1. When Han is trying to talk his way out of all the people he’d basically conned. Han will always Han, and that kind of consistency is just so refreshing in the midst of a movie that had no real personality of its own.
  2. When Han and Finn are discussing the fact that Finn worked in sanitation and thinks that they can just “use the Force” to solve whatever problems come their way. And then Han says, “That’s not how the Force works!” which I literally said that same exact thing in the theater – I love how much like Han Solo I’ve become as I get older.

I know they’re both fairly quippy scenes, which I said was one of my issues with TFA, but Han is a fairly quippy character, anyway, so it tracks. If he behaved any differently, I would have been pissed, especially since **SPOILER ALERT** he dies a few scenes after the second one I mentioned above.

Art Credit: 99 Designs, FandangoNow

* I actually don’t mind the lens flare. It’s a stylistic choice of his, and that’s fine. I just like to bring it up because people’s reactions to the observation are so polarized that it’s fun to see which side you’re on.

** The only reason I even like his Star Trek series is because I love Chris Pine.

31 day star wars challenge, day 13: in which I have favorite music from the originals …

This set of soundtracks are such a huge part of my life and will continue to be probably until I die. I’m really hoping not to hear anything negative about John Williams – I’m speaking more in terms of like he’s a sexual predator or puppy killer – because if I can’t morally listen to his work on Star Wars, I will be incredibly sad.


Leia’s theme naturally has to be the first track I put on here. Enough said.


Just listen to this and tell me that you don’t feel the urgency behind the evacuation.


I am pretty sure that I’ve already posted this on one of my “on rotation …” posts, but it really is one of my favorite tracks. That lightsaber duel theme (starting around 4:50-ish) is just *chef’s kiss* and no one can tell me otherwise.


This is what the parade music from The Phantom Menace wants to be when it grows up.


I’m not normally a fan of dissonance, but I absolutely love how it’s used on this one.

Art Credit: 99 Designs

31 day star wars challenge, day 12: in which I have a favorite scene in return of the jedi …

Minimalist retro style poster by Russell Walks

While Return of the Jedi might not have the character development of The Empire Strikes Back or the innovation that drove the success of A New Hope, it finished out the trilogy in an incredibly satisfying way, ending the Darth Vader redemption arc that we didn’t know was happening at the time. And it probably has some of the better known scenes by the public at large:

  • Leia in the slave costume (hi, Friends!)
  • Threepio being worshipped as a god by the Ewoks
  • Vader tossing Palpatine down the shaft
  • Han’s carbonite shell melting
  • “I love you.” ~ Han / “I know.” ~Leia
  • Luke battling Vader while Palpatine looks on / Luke being electrocuted by Palpatine while Vader looks on

Luckily, narrowing it down to just one favorite scene was not tough at all because, well, it involves Leia, and that should surprise no one.

The assault on Jabba’s sail barge is still one of the most fun action scenes I have ever seen. From Han’s sarcasm about his blindness to the droids waiting head-first in sand to get picked up by the skiff at the end, it’s constantly moving, and even though you know the good guys are going to escape in the end, there’s some real drama there. Plus, my favorite part of the scene happens to be when Leia chokes Jabba with the very chain she was tethered by, which is so beautifully poetic, if not on-the-nose in the best way possible, and stayed true to the type of woman Leia was. She’s just as creative and wily as the men she has to rescue all the time, but it’s almost always done out of the limelight.

It’s not entirely unproblematic, though. The humiliation of women in order to drive the plot is nothing new in storytelling, and it will probably continue to be A Thing, especially when it serves the men in the story. With Leia, because she never gets that recognition from others – she fucking killed Jabba the Hutt by herself, y’all – that she deserves and has to suffer alone, something that women who are brutalized often have to do. In the novelization of the movie, Leia thinks about how the torture she endured under Lord Vader was way worse than what Jabba was doing – lecherously licking her face and forcing her to drink stuff – so she just bears with it, never mentioning it again. This is supposed to paint her as this strong, badass bitch, but … like, that’s trauma. Physical and emotional trauma that is never discussed. The women watching the movie are just supposed to cheer and feel a certain solidarity with her, I guess?

Ugh, and then Han is like, “Hey, thanks, Luke!”

Because his girlfriend being sexually assaulted by a slug guy after trying to rescue his carbonite ass means nothing. This whole thing just seemed to set up the whole Sansa arc in Game of Thrones: look! She’s resilient and crafty now! She wouldn’t be that strong if she hadn’t been raped and brutalized!

Despite my modern take on Leia here, I still adore this scene and can at least celebrate Leia’s badassery (all while wearing basically nothing). And I do feel like things are at least getting a little better in terms of the treatment of women in Hollywood. We’ve got Mad Max: Fury Road, Orphan Black, A Promising Young Woman, I Care a Lot, Wonder Woman, etc., that are giving us examples of powerful women who are also multifaceted, not necessarily with sexual trauma to make them so. We’ve still got a long way to go, especially in terms of women of color, and maybe I’m being too optimistic, but things can only get better, right?


Art Credit: 99 Designs, Russell Walks

31 day star wars challenge, day 11: in which I have a favorite scene in the empire strikes back …

A few weeks ago, my sister and I were discussing movies that we had watched so many times that 1) we had lost track of how many times it actually was, and 2) we could basically recite them in our heads without needing the visuals or sounds in front of us. Well, The Empire Strikes Back is definitely one of those for me. You could plop me in the middle of the soundtrack, and I could tell you what was being said and/or done at that very moment, down to the very precise detail. Regardless, though, I still feel many of the same emotions I had when I watched it the first time as a kid: glee, terror, sadness, desire. However, despite my fondness for the movie as a whole, I had no problem narrowing down my favorite scene.

Now, it’s more of a sequence of scenes that I adore the most, but seeing as it takes place basically at the same time, I don’t think it’s cheating. Technically. Anyway, when the Falcon lands on an asteroid in an attempt to evade the Imperials, hijinks ensue: the ship *surprise* needs repairs, Han and Leia kinda make out (only to be interrupted by an oblivious Threepio), mynocks are chewing on cables outside, etc. What I love so much about these scenes are the bits of character development that are so subtle and yet so revealing simultaneously. Leia is struggling with her feelings for Han, something she really hasn’t had the time to consider, what with leading a rebellion and all. As evidenced by his teasing and flirting with her during these scenes – and his later “I know” quip – he is obviously aware of their mutual attraction but he’s struggling with it in his own way: he has a bounty on his head and can’t really allow himself to be tied down in one place, no matter how pretty the scenery is, and to be honest, I don’t think he believes himself to be entirely worthy of her. A lot of that comes from the expanded universe books that are no longer canon – specifically the godawful book, The Courtship of Princess Leia, where he kidnaps her after he wins the ownership of Dathomir – but I do think it tracks. Now, Chewie is the exact opposite of bumbling Threepio; he knows exactly what is going on and finds the whole charade amusing, seemingly saying, “dear god, just bone already.”

All of these characters are so clearly defined and have such strong personalities that their interactions are just magic, and this sequence is a near-flawless example of that. If any one of them weren’t so expertly crafted and acted, none of the scenes would have worked as well, and I think we have Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Irvin Kershner, Leigh Brackett, and Lawrence Kasdan (the last two are the screenwriters) to thank for that.

Art Credit: 99 Designs, Marvel Wiki

31 day star wars challenge, day 10: in which I have a favorite scene from a new hope …

First day of nursing school complete. Only 16 more months to go … I don’t know how it’s already May in AD 2021, but here we are.

Anyway, despite the original trilogy being focused around Luke’s journey (and sure, there’s the whole Rebellion and shit, but it’s about Luke, y’all), the movies are truly at their best when they’re treated as an ensemble film. All of the characters have such clear goals, especially in the first movie, and when they play against each other, it’s just great cinema.

The entire trash compactor scene is perfection: the main characters’ personalities and ultimate aims bounce off each other in wonderful ways. Desperately needing to get back to the Rebels with the Death Star plans, Leia is innovative and spontaneous in her solution to escaping the stormtroopers, even if it does lead them into a precarious situation – the trash compactor – and she manages to stay in control as much as she can, ordering the guys around and racking her brain for a new step in her ever-evolving plan to get off the Death Star. Han’s pessimism, pragmatism, and sarcastic commentary contrasts so well with Luke’s youthful enthusiasm for death-defying danger, all the while Chewie is just trying to stay alive in a space that was only getting smaller. The men definitely have less serious goals than Leia – Han wants money so he can pay back Jabba the Hutt, who hasn’t yet put a bounty on his head, and Luke is dipping his toes into the identity of a hero after losing his aunt and uncle – but that doesn’t make them any less dedicated to them. Then you add Artoo and Threepio in the mix, reacting to the danger the others are in, and you’ve got a scene that manages to balance humor and high-stakes drama that actually is a hard line to walk without veering more into one over the other.

And that’s all y’all are getting out of me today. I am exhausted from all of the activity I’ve managed to fit in the last 10 hours, so I’m gonna do some yoga and then probably take a nap. Or maybe take a sleep. Who knows. Tomorrow also has me doing my first clinical at 7A, so … probably a sleep, now that I think about it.

Send me good vibes please?

Art Credit: 99 Designs, Pristine Auction