10 thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi film poster

Unlike in the last two years, when I attended midnight screenings of The Force Awakens and Rogue One, I didn’t see Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi until 2pm on opening day. But I decided to continue my tradition of posting 10 (hopefully spoiler-free) thoughts on the movie (some of which, admittedly, aren’t actually about the movie itself).

Disney could be making Star Wars movies every year until the end of time, so I don’t know if I’ll still be doing these posts a decade from now, but obviously I am this year because you’re reading it. So without further ado, here are 10 thoughts I had while watching Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi film poster
Star Wars: The Last Jedi film poster (LucasFilm Ltd.)
  1. I asked for a regular Coke but this feels like an extra large super size or something. The movie is 2.5 hours long so I’m going to have to ration this because there’s no way I’m leaving my seat to take a bathroom break.
  2. Leia… I’m getting emotional just looking at her. RIP Carrie Fisher. Nice touch giving Lieutenant Connix a couple of little buns.
  3. YAAAASSSS! Asian representation! Welcome to the galaxy, Rose Tico. Also, great surname (Tico, like Tico Torres, the drummer for Bon Jovi.)
  4. Luke Skywalker sure got grumpy and cynical in his old age, but it makes sense here. Rey is like a young Luke.
  5. Thanks Artoo, now I have something in my eye.
  6. People ragged on George Lucas for the Ewoks and Gungans, but at least both of those served a purpose to the story beyond making puppy dog eyes at Chewbacca. I have no issue with the porgs; there’s no reason why there shouldn’t be birds on Ahch-To. I’m just saying.
  7. AHH I DIDN’T KNOW HE WOULD BE IN THIS MOVIE!
  8. The Force Awakens was basically A New Hope, and The Last Jedi takes a darker turn like The Empire Strikes Back.
  9. Kylo Ren is way cooler this time around. Not as cool as his grandfather, but cool enough. I’m liking Hux more too.
  10. Oh man. I haven’t cried this much in a Star Wars movie since… well, ever.

The Last Jedi official trailer:

Help me 2017, you’re my only hope

fireworks

I had just woken up in my hotel room in Sydney when I heard the news that Carrie Fisher had died, four days after she stopped breathing on a flight from London to Los Angeles. While 2016 saw the passing of many iconic figures, this one probably hit me the hardest.

Like most of the world, I first saw Carrie as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy.

But the hilariously honest way in which Carrie wrote and talked about her battles with addiction and bipolar disorder made me admire her all the more. So I got her likeness tattooed on me in February 2015, and I’ll treasure that for the rest of my life.

If you spend half as much time online as I do, you’ll know that 2016 was widely dubbed the “worst year ever”, in part due to the deaths of so many beloved famous people. I was fortunate enough to see Prince live at Perth Arena early in the year — which would turn out to be just eight weeks before he died. No photos or recording devices were allowed, so I can’t show you anything from that concert, but by the time I left the building, he was in my top three live acts of all time.

On a more personal note, someone close to me was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, but as I write this, they seem to be doing well. So I’m quietly hopeful that 2017 will bring good news for us.

fireworks
Fireworks for the New Year. Photo by Freerange Stock Archives.
While it’s easy to focus on the negatives, last year had its highlights too. I returned to full-time study with the goal of qualifying as a library technician. And after a few false starts, I began writing what I hope will be my second novel during NaNoWriMo. (I’ve had some rejections for my first novel, but I will keep trying to get it published.)

I also flexed my writing muscle for other websites:

Other highlights included:

  • Seeing 1927, my favourite Australian band, four times — bringing my total tally to 16.

    A photo posted by Lee-Ann Khoh (@leeannkhoh) on

  • Attending the midnight premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I don’t watch many movies, so actually going to the cinema is usually an event anyway.
  • The 50th anniversary of Star Trek and the release of what I consider to be the best of the “Kelvin Timeline” reboots, Star Trek Beyond.
  • Spending the holidays with my Sydney family, which includes my brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

In 2017, I hope to keep writing and improving as a writer, as well as continuing my studies. While 2016 wasn’t entirely awful for me (despite the rather dramatic blog title), I know some people who had genuinely horrific years, and I hope for a better 365 days for them too.

Happy New Year.

10 thoughts on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story film poster

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story film poster
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie poster (LucasFilm Ltd.)
This morning, I attended a midnight premiere of Rogue One, the first movie in the “standalone” Star Wars Anthology Series. I’m not going to post a proper review because there have already been plenty of those, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty more to come. But like I did for The Force Awakens last year, I’ve decided to post 10 thoughts I had while watching Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. (I’ve tried to keep it spoiler-free, but if you haven’t seen it and are concerned about potential spoilers, please look away now.)

  1. I attempted to pay homage to Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia and Rey in one hairstyle… I don’t think anyone gets it.

    A photo posted by Lee-Ann Khoh (@leeannkhoh) on

  2. No yellow opening text crawl. 😮 That’s how you know it’s not an Episode.
  3. I remember watching Felicity Jones as Ethel Hallow on The Worst Witch when I was a kid. Now she’s the star of a freaking Star Wars movie. The circle is now complete.
  4. K-2SO is like a badass C-3PO. He deserves his own spin-off.
  5. Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus make a great pair.
  6. Slightly disappointed that Ben Mendelsohn didn’t play Krennic a little more “Australian”. I think a Wolf Creek-inspired Aussie accent is long overdue in the Star Wars universe. 😉
  7. They did a fantastic job bringing Tarkin back to life.
  8. I know it’s a space opera, but there’s something very realistic about this.
  9. Noooo Bail Organa, don’t go back to Alderaan!
  10. OH MY GOD. OH. MY. GOD. Even if the rest of the movie had sucked (which it didn’t), it would’ve been worth it just for that last scene.

10 thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie poster

Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie poster
Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie poster
As you’ve probably heard, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens just came out. As a Star Wars fan who went by the pseudonym Kenobi in high school and now has Princess Leia tattooed on her thigh, I was counting down the days until I finally got to see this highly anticipated movie at a midnight screening in Perth today.

I decided against doing a proper review because a) that would likely include spoilers, which most people who are planning to see the movie are trying to avoid, and b) there are already plenty of reviews by actual movie reviewers.

Instead, here are 10 thoughts I had while watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’ve tried not to give too much away, but if you’d like to be completely surprised and you haven’t seen it yet, then stop reading:

  1. Got my stormtrooper 3D glasses on and a Padawan braid in my hair. I feel like a little kid again. This is gonna be great!
  2. That score, that yellow opening crawl… It’s like coming home.
  3. Jakku looks a lot like Tatooine. And Lor San Tekka reminds me of old Ben Kenobi. And I see the old “hide it in the droid” tactic is still in play.
  4. Finn is an intriguing character. I wouldn’t mind an origin story about the new generation of stormtroopers.
  5. It’s the Millennium Falcon! We are home.
  6. Rey kicks some major butt. I think she’s my new idol.
  7. That blue lightsaber is the one Obi-Wan Kenobi gave to Luke Skywalker in A New Hope, right? The one Luke lost in The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vader cut his arm off? Did someone go scavenging around Bespin and find it? Was Luke’s dead arm there with it?!
  8. There’s a lot of deja vu in this movie.
  9. The acting is pretty damn good, though.
  10. Did they really make Mark Hamill lose weight for this? He’s in a robe, not a catsuit!

I’m not sure you can tell by those 10 thoughts, but I actually loved The Force Awakens. Then again, I loved the prequels (Revenge of the Sith is my favourite Star Wars film) and the fourth Indiana Jones movie, so make of that what you will. 🙂

4 out of 5 stars.

Star Wars in 3D: Is it worth it?

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Hey George, is this 3D on? (Photo: Twentieth Century Fox/Lucasfilm)
I love Star Wars. All of them. Yes, even the prequels.

Except maybe Attack of the Clones, but if you fast forward past those sickly scenes between Anakin and Padmé (or better still, mute them and ad lib your own dubs) it becomes awesome again.

And to be perfectly honest, the mere presence of Obi-Wan Kenobi makes everything okay for me anyway. The Star Wars franchise — Gungan warts and all — has become one of my biggest creative inspirations (even though I don’t typically write science fiction or fantasy).

So I was pretty pumped to win a double pass to the Perth premiere of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 3D (courtesy of The WiRE Mag). I even plaited myself a Padawan braid for the occasion to honour my idol Obi-Wan.

But was it worth the hype?

The Phantom Menace was the first movie I’d seen in 3D that hadn’t been originally released that way. It didn’t “pop” as much as I was used to for 3D movies – not that I necessarily want lasers flying into my face, but at times there was only a minimal difference from watching it in 2D.

That was kind of disappointing; I know nothing of converting to 3D but Star Wars has traditionally been on top of its game when it comes to special effects.

Having said that, there were scenes where it did look really cool. If you’ve ever wanted to pilot a Podracer in the Boonta Eve Classic, this is your best chance to do it.

Moreover, my guest at the event had never seen a 3D movie before and was highly impressed by the effects.

So I wouldn’t say it’s terrible by any means; just don’t expect Avatar.

My guest was also new to the Star Wars universe so if you know someone who hasn’t been introduced to the saga, what better way to do it than a cinema screening in 3D?

Besides, the last time I saw a Star Wars movie on the big screen, I was still a kid. 3D or not, prequels or not… it’s an epic experience. That childlike wonder I had the first time I saw Star Wars‘ yellow scrolling text is something I hope to never lose touch with as I get older.

I was also pleased to be able to “catch up” with my favourite Jedi partnership (Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi — or as I call them, the Jinnobi Dream Team) in a cinema once more.

Well, twice more… I’m going to see it again with a bunch of friends when it officially opens this week. 😉

Will you be seeing The Phantom Menace in 3D?