"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Movie Review: Spirited Away (2001)

Greetings, friends and readers!

My sister and I have been watching “Halloween” movies all week (note, not horror, just anything fantasy and magical!)! Today Iʼm bringing you a review of a movie that would be ideal to watch today if you have nothing else to do. In fact, it is such a good movie for anytime of year. One of my all time favorites! Iʼm also continuing to follow my goal for this year which was to review more international and foreign films!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This review is spoiler free! Feel free to read!

Spirited Away [Sen to Chihiro No Kamikakushi] (2001):
Chihiro and her parents are moving and she hates it. All of her friends are back at home and now sheʼll have no one. On taking a short cut they come upon an old railway station and her parents decide to explore even though Chihiro complains and tells them not to. They find what they think is an amusement park and her parents start eating the food that they find. It turns out that they were intruding on a place of the spirits and are punished. Chihiro is now trapped in this place, and after receiving some help is told that she must work very hard at the bathhouse and have her name changed to Sen. Names have power, and without hers Sen begins to forget who she is. Will she be able to get her and her parents out of there?
“Once youʼve met someone you never really forget them.” 
Genre: Fantasy.
Length: approx. 125 minutes.
Script: 10, no bad words.
Crew: Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki. Written by: Hayao Miyazaki.
Starring the voices of:
Usually I donʼt list the voices for every dubbed version of it, but in here Iʼm going to be listing the cast for two languages: The original Japanese and English (because that version is the one that I watch). One day I want to see the Japanese version just with English subtitles.
Rumi Hiiragi (Japanese) and Daveigh Chase (English) as Chihiro.
Miyu Irino (Japanese) and Jason Marsden (English) as Haku.
Mari Natsuki (Japanese) and Suzanne Pleshette (English) as Yubaba.
Mari Natsuki (Japanese) and Suzanne Pleshette (English) as Zeniba.
Yumi Tamai (Japanese) as Rin and Susan Egan (English) as Lin. “Someday Iʼm getting on that train.”
Bunta Sugawara (Japanese) and David Ogden Stiers (English) as Kamaji.
Ryûnosuke Kamiki (Japanese) and Tara Strong (English) as Boh.
Akio Nakamura (Japanese) and Bob Bergen (English) as No-Face.
Takashi Naitô (Japanese) and Michael Chiklis (English) as Akio Ogino.
Yasuko Sawaguchi (Japanese) and Lauren Holly as Yûko Ogino.
Costumes: 8, just fine. There are some guests at the bathhouse and a baby who don't wear that much. Something that is relevant to this time is a line from that baby: "You'll get sick if you go outside."
Animation: 10, this is incredible! Besides the fact that it is hand drawn and amazing in that feat alone, it is stunning. The water, the colors, the lighting, all of it top notch and leading to an amazing aesthetic and feel for this.
Music: 10, the music is gorgeous as well! This might be one of my favorite scores for an animated film. It is so relaxing, but has mystery whispering around the edges.
Music by: Joe Hisaishi.
Quotability: 9, there are all kinds of little moments through out the film that my sisters and I quote frequently, but the most used of all has to be:
“Wanna loose your nose?”
Oscars won:
1: Best Animated Feature Film (at the 2002 Oscars). Fun fact, it is so far the only hand drawn film to have won that award!
Content: 8, there is some smoking, gross things and scary scenes. All of it is so bizarre, but that is part of the magic of it!
Originality: 10, This movie is one of the most unique films that Iʼve ever seen. I can honestly (not that I'm ever dishonest!) say that I've never seen anything like this.
Good For: I feel that Chihiro is such a good character for anyone and everyone to follow, to see her struggles and what she does. Any fans of animation, anyone who has just moved and is missing home.
Age Range: Iʼm mentioning it again, there are some strange things in here. Some could be scary for little kids, but I think most people over 8 would be fine. As always (I probably donʼt even have to say it because you know whatʼs coming next), it depends on the person.
Overall Score: 9!
Worth watching?: So much so! There are so many golden moments in here. And, fantastic characters! I love Haku, Lin, Kamaji, and we can't forget the soot spirits!
Will I watch again?: Yes! So far I canʼt tell you how many times Iʼve seen it, and that will only continue to grow.
ʻ“Whatʼs going on?”
“Something you wouldnʼt understand. Itʼs called love.”ʼ
Bonus thoughts:
Where do I begin with an icon of a movie like this? It is so good. Let me straighten this out: Do I believe in “spirits” or “gods” like that who visit a bath house to relax? No. This is fantasy, but it takes place in our world, but I donʼt necessarily believe it then. Stories are impactful not because of the exact details but because of the characters, and in this case it is about Chihiro.
Chihiro is one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. She is only 10 (that blows my mind), but goes through so much and grows so much as a result of her journey. The whole movie is fantastic from beginning to end, and she shines as the main character.
I canʼt encourage you guys enough to watch this film because, to me, it is such an important milestone for animated movies. You might be like me the first few times that I watched it and think that it is extremely weird, but it grows on you. 
If nothing that I said there convinced you, I have one final word: dragon.
Now, go find out what you think of it!

Oh and look!

My wonderful younger sister made this header for me for Halloween! What do you guys think about it?
Clockwise from the top left: Harry Potter, Casper (1995), The Princess Bride (1987), Hocus Pocus (1993), Ghostbusters (1984), & Hocus Pocus (1993).

Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you are all staying safe, healthy, and happy. Have any of you seen this movie? I would love to talk about it with you! What will you be watching tonight for Halloween? Hint, for me itʼs one of the movies in my header.

Happy Halloween! 


Monday, October 26, 2020

Inklings // October 2020: Tolkien

Greetings, my literary people!

Here we are in October. While we now have snow here, which makes me so happy, the start of the month was the ideal autumn. What I'm posting today has to do with that in the month's Inklings prompt! Inklings is a monthly linkup hosted by Heidi of Along the Brandywine.
How it works: 
1. At any time during the month, on your own blog post a scene from a book or film that matches the prompt, including a link back to the original post in your post.

2. Leave a link to your post in the comments section of the monthly post and she'll post all your links with the next prompt.

You don't have to do it every month, just whenever you feel like it! It is so much fun, I highly recommend trying it.

I have participated in July 2016, August 2016September 2016July 2020August 2020, & September 2020.
Read what Heidi started us off with for October HERE, and check out Ivy Miranda's HERE.

October 2020's prompt: A scene that shouts 'autumn' to you in book or film 

I would've posted mine earlier in the month, but I couldn't decide what to write about! I considered using a scene from the movie Penelope (2006), but that entire movie has such a wonderful fall aesthetic that I couldn't pick just one. But, now I want to rewatch it, so that's a win in my case.

I admit, usually when I read Heidi's prompt for the month an idea pops into my head immediately, but I don't use that one because I know that I can think of something better. In this case, I decided to use what came into my head first even though I don't exactly remember the details. Thanks to my sister for listening to me talk about it and helping remind me of what happens. 

I don't know if it was because of Skye's post HERE, or my review of it last month, but the first thing that came to me and my pick for this month is from the movie Tolkien (2019).
Now, I won't be going into as much detail as I usually do with this post because...I honestly don't remember what was happening in this scene. I remember exactly how it looks and the utter feeling of fall that accompanies it, but I can't remember any dialogue that was happening. So, there are NO SPOILERS here because of that.

My sister and I using our heads together think that this is what happens in the scene (don't by any means hold us to it, though!). Tolkien and Edith live in the same house, boarding under an old lady. They become friends and love to spend time together. In this scene they are enjoying a glorious fall day and Edith begins to spin in the leaves. While Tolkien watches her, he begins to come up with his famous poem Beren and Luthien.

There you have it! My sister and I really need to rewatch this, especially because it is one of her favorite movies and therefore she should remember all of the details.

Thanks for reading! Are you going to join the link up? You have a little less than a week left! What scenes in books or movies, or whole books and movies for that matter, that are perfect for fall?


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Movie Review: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Hello, movie lovers!

Anyone who really, really, loves movies has most likely heard of the Oscars. And it is likely that they want to watch all of the Best Picture winners to see why they got that award. Well, that's how it is with me. I am always super excited to watch a Best Picture winner that I haven't seen before. About a year ago I watched the movie that I am reviewing for you today, and I've been mulling it over in my mind ever since. And boy, it deserved Best Picture. I hope that you enjoy my review!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957):
Based on: The Bridge over the River Kwai - by Pierre Boulle.
"You mean, you mean to uphold the letter of the law, no matter the cost?"
During World War II, part of the British army was advised to surrender instead of lose their lives and now are in a Japanese POW camp. They are given orders to be a work force to build a bridge. They are also ordered that officers will be working alongside the men, but one of the commanding officers, Colonel Nicholson, is firmly against this because by the Geneva Convention they are exempt from that, and are supposed to just be leaders who help direct and command. The fight is against Colonel Saito who hates any resistance in his outpost. One soldier makes plans to escape from this place, but the odds are highly against him. Will the bridge be built on the River Kwai?
"Do not speak to me of rules, this is war!"
 Adventure, Drama, War.
Length: approx. 161 minutes.
Script: 9, I'm giving this a tentative 9 because I can't remember any bad words, and I didn't write down that there were any, but there may be one or two.
"Colonel, do you suppose that we could have a cup of tea?"
Crew: Directed by: David Lean. Written by: Carl Foreman, Michael Wilson, & Pierre Boulle.
Alec Guinness as Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson.
William Holden as Commander Shears.
Sessue Hayakawa as Colonel Saito.
Jack Hawkins as Major Warden.
Geoffrey Horne as Lieutenant Joyce.
James Donald as Major Clipton.
Andre Morell as Colonel Green.
Peter Williams as Captain Reeves.
John Boxer as Major Hughes.
Percy Herbert as Private Grogan.
Harold Goodwin as Private Baker.
Ann Sears as Nurse.
Heihachirô 'Henry' Ôkawa as Captain Kanematsu.
Keiichiro Katsumoto as Lieutenant Miura.
M.R.B. Chakrabandhu as Yai.
Costumes: 7, there are quite a few times when guys are walking around without a shirt on and there are pictures of people wearing scanty clothing.
Cinematography: 10, there is a weird quality to this cinematography, but whatever it is, it is very memorable! I love watching movies with my dad because he notices a lot of things and points them out. With this movie, he pointed out in one scene when it was supposed to be night, you could tell that they filmed it in daylight and then put a filter over it. Kind of nifty! I couldn't find a picture of it, so you'll just have to keep an eye out for it when you watch this movie.
Cinematography by: Jack Hildyard.
Music: 9, the "Colonel Bogey March" is the "Comet" song! My sisters and I have known this little ditty for as long as we can remember. I knew that it came from the film, but still, watching the opening is so incredible and powerful and moving with this tune included.
Music by: Malcolm Arnold.
Quotes: 7, I won't give it away, but the last line is quoted a lot. For the rest of the lines, I think of them from time to time, but I don't actually say them out loud.
"That man's the worst commanding officer I've ever come across. Actually, I think he's mad."
Oscars won: 7!: Best Motion Picture, Best Director (David Lean), Best Actor (Alec Guinness), Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Scoring, Best Cinematography, & Best Film Editing.
Content: 7, while this is a war movie, it is about a prisoner camp so there isn't active fighting as there would be in a normal war movie. But, there is still killing, death, and some abuse. In addition to that there is smoking, some suggestive things, and crude humor.
"Poor brave lad."
Originality: 9, as I said, most war movies include a lot of action with a lot of fighting, and it was something new for me to see something different. It was still such an intense and gripping film, but in different ways, while still having some similar elements. It was especially interesting to me because I don't hear a lot about something from WWII that wasn't happening in Europe. To see part from Asia was fascinating.
Good For: Any Alec Guinness fans, anyone trying to watch all the Best Picture winners, anyone and everyone.
Age Range: So much happens in this movie and it is just so incredibly thought provoking that I think if I was any younger than I was when I watched this my brain would have stopped working from an overload of information. To me, there was never a dull moment through the whole thing, but for little kids it might be different. I'd say the average age for someone to understand this film (what am I talking about? I still don't understand it fully!) would be at least 15, but it depends on each person's level of interest.
Overall Score: 9! I'm really rounding up because of how much I enjoyed it!
Worth watching?: Yes! This movie isn't absolutely historically accurate, and you can tell in places where parts where added for drama, but even with that it is a superb (huh, I don't think I've ever used that adjective) story.
Will I watch again?: You bet I will! This is one of those things that you don't watch every few months (like my favorite movies), but something that you see every few years and really ponder it each time. I intend to have my younger sister watch this with me someday, and even after that I'll be watching it from time to time.
Bonus thoughts:
"There are some times when you realize you are nearer the end than the beginning."
Wow, where to begin? I don't say this often, but this is a movie that everyone should see at least once in their life. After watching it my dad, older sister, and I stayed up late just talking about what had happened in the film. Warning, this movie makes you conflicted. By the end you feel torn apart, and that is its purpose. It makes you question many things, and most notably for me, pride. Do you sometimes feel that you are doing something that will help, when it will be the opposite for others? It plays with the questions of who is right, and who is wrong? Who is good, and who is bad? With a war dividing people this question is much harder than initially thought.
Alec Guinness is marvelous in this. The way that he cheers his men and they respect him made me teary. In fact, I was really emotional through the whole thing. Even though William Holden got top billing in the credits, Alec Guinness won the Oscar which is why I put him first. I have not seen Sessue Hayakawa in many things, but this performance was wonderful. So much tension is built by how he and Colonel Nicholson are fighting each other.
I can't give this movie as much recognition as it deserves. Really, you all have to go watch it for yourselves and have your hearts be ripped to shreads by the events.
"Well, I must be pushing on."

WHEW. Just writing this review made me think so much about it and be all emotional. I've been wanting to write this review ever since I saw it, and I'm so happy that I finally did! A shoutout to Keturah Lamb who sent me pictures from this back in March asking me if I knew what film it was! That really threw me into gear to write this review, even if it took seven months...

Thank you so much for reading! Please, if there is anyone else who has seen this, let me know! And if you haven't seen it yet, you should at the next opportunity, then we can talk. Tell me about your favorite Best Picture from the Oscars movie! Favorite war movie?


Monday, October 19, 2020

Movie Review: Adam's Rib (1949)

Hello, all!

I'm coming to you today with a movie review starring a very famous duo! I've been meaning to review this one for ages, and have even started writing it a couple of times, but I have the perfect excuse today. I always get excited when I review classic Hollywood movies, so I hope that you enjoy this!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

Adam's Rib (1949):
Married couple, Amanda and Adam Bonner, are both lawyers and l live a good life defending people. When a woman is accused of shooting her husband a date is given for a court hearing, and Adam is assigned with the prosecution. Amanda hears all about it and decides on the spot to defend the woman. What follows is that this pair has to go against each other in the courtroom while being together the rest of the time. Adam is upset when he hears this as he is worried that this constant arguing will bring about something worse. Who will win the case, and will Adam's foreboding feelings be right?
'"What's going to happen?"
Genre: Drama, Romance.
Length: approx. 101 minutes.
Script: 10, I'm sure of no bad words!
"I say, I sound fascinating."
Crew: Directed by: George Cukor.
Written by: Ruth Gordon & Garson Kanin.
Katharine Hepburn as Amanda Bonner.
Spencer Tracy as Adam Bonner.
Judy Holliday as Doris Attinger.
Tom Ewell as Warren Attinger.
David Wayne as Kip Lurie.
Jean Hagen as Beryl Caighn.
Clarence Kolb as Judge Reiser.
Hope Emerson as Olympia La Pere.
Eve March as Grace.
Emerson Treacy as Jules Frikke.
Polly Moran as Mrs. McGrath.
Will Wright as Judge Marcasson.
Elizabeth Flournoy as Dr. Margaret Brodeigh.
Costumes: 6, there are times when people are just hanging out in bathrobes, or towels, but nothing bad or excellent.
Cinematography: 8, the opening struck my attention for having good cinematography! The rest is your standard black and white movie.
Cinematography by: George J. Folsey.
Music: I have to mark this one as N/A because I can't remember it besides the one song.
Music by: Miklós Rózsa.
Quotes: 6, I have not even considered quoting this since I watched it, but looking at my notes there were lots of good lines!
"I've got a theory, wanna hear it? I think the world is having a nervous breakdown." 
(Very applicable for this year!)
Content: 9, there is the subject of people having affairs, divorce, emotional abuse, and suggestive things. But, many of those are handled very well! I was duly impressed.
 "I don't believe women should smoke, you'll excuse me from saying." ( I don't believe anyone should smoke, but that seems to be my personal opinion)
Originality: 9, talking about gender justice (hey, that kind of rhymes) is a common topic, but not one that gets old! I admit, I haven't seen it take shape in a courtroom like this before with such circumstances, so it was very unique! In some ways it strangely reminded me of the book that I was reading at the time, Anna Karenina - by Leo Tolstoy.
Good For: Fans of the actors, married couples, anyone.
Age Range: While this movie is very clean and has some thought provoking topics, these kind of dramas can be boring to little kids. I speak from experience! It depends on the person, of course, but I would say this kind of interest could start appearing in someone of 13.
Overall Score: 8!
Worth watching?: Whenever I hear about a movie taking the most time in a courtroom, my immediate thought is, "Oh no! That's going to be so boring!" which is funny, because most movies dealing with the law in that way that I've seen are not boring. This one was especially the opposite. I was always interested in what was happening and it was, to tell the truth, riveting! Very well done and it was definitely worth watching. Plus, Judy Holliday had such an impacting role, and I was so glad to see Jean Hagen!
Will I watch again?: I most certainly will! With a lot of Katharine Hepburn movies I'm very anxious about how it will turn out when I am first viewing it (the exception obviously being Bringing Up Baby (1938)), but when I watch it again I find myself enjoying it a lot. In one way I was not satisfied with the ending, and in another I was very much so, so I don't know what to tell you, readers! I look forward to multiple rewatches!

For the blogathon:
Last year I reviewed one of my favorite movies, The Philadelphia Story (1940), which stars our wonderful Katharine, but this year I wanted to feature Spencer, too! As I said in my intro, I'd been wanting to talk about this film on my blog for awhile, so I picked it as my contribution. I'm sorry that I'm, once again, at the last minute, but it completely slipped my mind that this was happening until today! Rebecca at Taking Up Room also reviewed this movie, so check out what she has to say HERE.
When I finally watched this I'd been meaning to do it for such a long time. I was not disappointed! The story was so good and I liked all of the points brought up. It didn't say "Women are better than men." but it didn't say "Men are better than women", it had a wonderful balance of how all people are equal. I agree that there are biases towards both genders and they are valid points to bring up. Kate was so energetic and fun to watch as Amanda, but Spencer Tracy stole the show for me with Adam. He was so emotional in the role! I applaud both of them as they worked together perfectly.

Thanks to Michaela and Crystal for hosting! Check out the other entries HERE or HERE.

Your turn to talk to me! Has anyone else seen this? What is your favorite movie, or book, set in a court? Mine is To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), but this one is close!


Saturday, October 17, 2020

How I am like Luke Skywalker

Hello, my Jedi Knights and readers alike!

Today is the last day of a blogathon hosted by Classics, Coffee, and Craziness and I'm Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read). What is the celebration for this time? Why, only one of my favorite things of all times, STAR WARS!!! It's the Everything STAR WARS Blogathon!
What Iʼm bringing in to the party for you today is the start of a series that Iʼve been wanting to create for a while now. Talking about how I am like and how I relate to fictional characters! Iʼm here to talk about Luke Skywalker.

SPOILER ALERT! IF YOU HAVENʼT SEEN EPISODES 4-9 OF THE STAR WARS SERIES, READ NO FURTHER. PLEASE LISTEN TO ME ON THIS. I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH AND I DONʼT WANT IT TO BE SPOILED FOR ANYONE. Seriously, if I find out that you havenʼt seen the series but you read this anyway, I will be very upset.

Ahem. As you can see, I feel rather strongly about it. One more thing: one of the hosts of the blog party, Eva, wrote a really awesome post about Luke HERE, which may have started me thinking about writing my own.

I thought that this would just be something easy and quick to write up. What resulted was several hours of madly hitting my keyboard which ended in 3,612 words. That is insane. So, I had a long time of editing to get that to a blog post size. Which was not successful. Oops, doing editing is not my forte. Enjoy!

I canʼt believe that I was so unimpressed by STAR WARS when I was little. I had never seen it, didnʼt want to, but I knew a few things: There was a guy named Darth something, a small green crinkly guy, a big green crinkly guy, and awesome looking sword things. Oh, and robots. There were robots and maybe a princess?

I knew that a ton of people loved it, but my only thought about it was, “War? That doesnʼt sound good. Why would people be obsessed with that?”

I can now say that I am one of those people.

Luke Skywalker is one of the most famous characters, yet I had never heard of him. Now that I know him I RELATE TO HIM IN SO MANY WAYS.

Sure, our our stories and lives are completely different.

Am I a Jedi Master like my father before me? Well, no.

Am I “not such a bad pilot myself!”? Another no.

But, there are other ways that I feel a deep connection to him. Itʼs not until Return of the Jedi that I really started to see the similarity between us, but since then I have seen places in the first two films as well. I know that Luke got a lot of bad rep in The Last Jedi for being not like himself, but Iʼm here to tell you that that is exactly what he wouldʼve done, and why.

In A New Hope, we meet this kid whose aunt and uncle are murdered. 

“Thereʼs nothing that you couldʼve done,” Obi-Wan tells him.

He accepts that and the epicness of the first movie occurs.

In the second movie Luke goes to Dagobah where he wants to learn to be a Jedi. He is frustrated that heʼs wasting his time when he could be with his new friends, and this weird creature is not helping him. Heʼs not mean to it (unlike R2 who zaps him), but you can tell that he is tired of waiting.

Then, he is criticized about not being ready. After all of this time of course he is! He will try his hardest.

So he does, but nothing seems good enough. It is all impossible. Yoda tells him: “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

One of the most famous lines of the series, and itʼs something that I need to tell myself everyday. I think, “What use is it?” I think that I am trying, but just the act of “trying” and not committing is the difference.

He goes into a cavern and sees Darth Vader. An impulse hits him: He can stop this. The evil oppressing the galaxy. He kills Darth Vader and the mask comes off with his own face behind it. It was just a test and he failed.

At that moment we see a glimmer of doubt in Luke. How would it feel to die himself, when there is so much to learn and that he can feel the light and good inside of himself?

He sees a vision, but one of pain and torture. His friends that he has found another home in are going to die. He has to help! He has two options:

1. Stay, complete his training while his friends die, just another casualty in an ongoing war.
2. Or never complete his training and be what he wants more that anything, but have a chance at stopping that death. Which one does he choose?

Sure, he might not be able to save them, the likelihood of succeeding without his proper training completed is low, but he just has to DO SOMETHING. After all of those years putting off going to the academy, he needs to DO anything that might result in saving those he loves. He canʼt stand by and DO NOT.

Why? Because last time: “Thereʼs nothing that you couldʼve done,” Obi-Wan told him about his aunt and uncle.

This time there is.

The consequences: He loses his hand, and he learns that Darth Vader...is his father.

The father that Luke has wanted to be like, is alive, in front of him, and one of the evilest people in the galaxy. What is Lukeʼs reaction? To get away. To let go. He needs to think this through.

Are we shown right away what the result of his time for pondering brought forth? Nope. The Return of the Jedi begins with him saving a friend, which will go before his own problems.

This was the movie where I thought, “Hey, Luke and I have THE EXACT SAME MIND”.

He offers his own two droids in exchange for Captain Soloʼs life. C-3PO is horrified by this, but we know that Luke knows what he is doing. His loyalty extends to his droids and he wouldnʼt do anything concerning them if he didnʼt have a plan. He also knows that C-3PO tends to talk and this is on a need to know basis, and he doesnʼt. (Ha, I worked a reference from The Last Jedi in!)

He knew that Jabba wouldnʼt go for it, but wouldnʼt be able to resist a gift. Too bad for the giant slug mobster, because Luke now has two people on the “inside”.

He walks into Jabbaʼs hut (ha, see what I did there?) looking just like a Jedi Knight. He uses a mind trick to get Jabbaʼs servant to do what he wants. Since that worked so well, he tries it on Jabba. Which didnʼt turn out as nicely as it could have. But, they still get out of there alive.

After that is sorted out he returns to Dagobah. Saving his friends did cost him learning to be a Jedi fully, but it was worth it. He has a few last words with Yoda, who tells him: “Pass on what you have learned.”

He does something very hard: He admits that he canʼt face Darth Vader. It is fully DO NOT, no matter who Darth Vader is, he can not and will not kill his own father.

Luke also learns that not all of his family is either dead or evil. One of the sweetest and kindest people that he knows is his sister. There is hope in his family, and maybe he wonʼt be bad either?

He joins his friends on a mission to Endor but he senses Darth Vader and a terrible feeling goes through him. Has he ruined everything? They are let through, but Luke knows that itʼs just a matter of time.

The Ewoks are going to help them and it will all be good, but Luke has a feeling that it wonʼt be successful if he is there. He tells Leia why he has to go. Finally, we see what all of his thoughts have lead to. Remember that cave scene? He has to DO something, and killing Vader is a DO NOT... so why not turn him back to the light?

The galaxyʼs most hated man and he is sure that there is good inside him. Luke will not kill his father, so doesnʼt that logical thinking lead us to believe that a father will not kill his son?


Leia tries to convince him otherwise, “Run away, Luke!”, but she knows that his mind is made up.

Here is the part where every move that Luke makes would be the exactly the same. Every word, expression, look, and gesture.

He confronts Darth Vader with the fact that he is his son, and that he wonʼt be able to kill him. We see hesitation on Vaderʼs part, but, being classic STAR WARS, both are sure that the other will turn first.

The scenes with the Emperor are so painful for me to watch, because in those moments I am Luke. It is revealed that it is his fault, that he did endanger the mission, and his friends are all doing to die. Again, and again, it is his fault. For so long he waits and tells himself not to attack the Emperor because that is what they are trying to get him to do, but eventually he breaks. And I wouldʼve broken there, too.

This duel is unique from the other duels in STAR WARS. Instead of both attacking each other, Luke is constantly hiding.

“Your thoughts betray you.”

Unintentionally he released the biggest secret that he has: Leia is his sister. Then the anger comes pouring out. But, not at Vader. At himself. He is to blame that he thought about her and Vader sensed it, now Luke feels that he has to save her by destroying Vader.

A short and intense fight ensues. Luke cuts off Vaderʼs hand and a couple of things hit him all at once.:
1. Wires replace where an arm should be. Luke doesnʼt know about the dark side of the force, but he feels there is something about losing a hand and that starts the process. That was what Vader was trying to do to him.
2. He is back in the cave. Instead of staring at his face where Vaderʼs should be, he is staring at his arm where Vaderʼs should be.

He throws down his lightsaber, making the final decision of DO NOT when it comes to killing his father.

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”

The Emperor begins torturing Luke, and his father, Anakin Skywalker, comes through. Vader chooses DO by stopping Palpatine. He throws him down a shaft, while taking the blunt of the attack and his system starts to shut down.

Luke feels that he has failed, because instead of turning him to the light, and saving him, Vader will die anyway. But, Anakin tells him: “You already have, Luke.”

This is one of the most amazing endings ever. But, Lukeʼs story continues in The Last Jedi. Many people disliked it, but I think that it fully completes his story.

Everyone has been searching for Luke since he disappeared after Ben Solo turned to the dark side and became Kylo Ren. Finally, Rey has found him and extends his and his fatherʼs lightsaber so that he will teach her.

Um, excuse me?

“You think what? Iʼm gonna walk out with a laser sword and face down the whole First Order?”

This is where everyone becomes confused when I say that I am Luke Skywalker, especially in The Last Jedi. I am a super optimistic person. It might be a bad day and everything seems horrible, but Iʼll point out some good things that happened. How would I be like this pessimistic old man who is crabby and tired of everything?

Remember, Luke was an optimist, too. The odds would look bad (or sound bad when coming from C-3PO), but he would push on.

They have found that there is a Death Star swarming with troops, but he had to get the princess out of there.

That target on the Death Star was too small, but Luke said that he used to hit rats that are not much bigger.

He has always stepped up because there had to be a way to save his friends.

What happened?

Even though I am bursting with positivity, when things are piled up and the dam finally breaks, it all reverses. I become tired of the world, am sarcastic, and angry.

This is something that I wish I could tell everyone, but I am never angry at other people. That rarely happens, possibly once or twice a year, and I can feel the difference. That anger is so different than when I am mad at myself. When I am filled with anger and despair and rage, it is all at myself. I blame every bad thing that happens on myself. Somehow, I am at fault. I know it sounds extreme, but itʼs true.


This, I think is a big difference with the light side of the force vs. the dark side.

Anger leads to the dark side, so donʼt be angry they say. That, is impossible my friend, everyone gets angry from time to time.

But hatred, anger, towards others leads to the dark side. The dark side and Sith are the ones who use the Force choke on others. Whenever Luke is mad, it is towards himself. Therefore he would never turn to the dark side.


But anger at yourself can still be destructive. We could go into all of the pros and cons of guilt and what it does to you, but thereʼs so much, you could write a book about it (Pst, thatʼs what Iʼm doing, if you were curious. That book is my NaNoWriMo project for this year.) Iʼll just stick to the points concerning Luke.

Luke never blames anyone else, he places the fault again, and again on him, Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, a legend. He blames the Jedi, but he is such a part of the Jedi, the last one, that he is still blaming himself. 

What gives him the motivation to teach Rey? A visit from an old friend. Luke loves his sister so much, that is one of the reasons why he feels so much guilt.

In his lessons to Rey, he tells her: 
“But if you strip away the myth and look at their deeds, the legacy of the Jedi is failure. Hypocrisy, hubris.”
“Thatʼs not true!”
“At the height of their powers they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire, and wipe them out. It was a Jedi Master who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader.”
“And a Jedi who saved him. Yes, the most hated man in the galaxy. But you saw there was conflict inside him. You believed that we wasnʼt gone. That he could be turned.”
“And I became a legend.”

Luke feels that this failure brings down all of his victories and nothing is worthy. He forgets how much he has done because he feels that everything has just lead to this momentous disaster. That is why it is so beautiful that Rey reminds him about how he saved Darth Vader.

He remembered Yodaʼs words, “Pass on what you have learned.”

“For many years there was balance, and then I saw...Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him, I could pass on my strengths."

He wanted to share the Force. We see his face when Rey feels the force in front of him, we know how much he loves it. He wants to share that with others so they can use it for good.

But, in his words, he failed.

He closes himself off from the Force as a punishment.

He tells Rey that when he went to confront his nephew, Ben turned on him. Now, this may be part of what bothers people about The Last Jedi? Iʼm not sure. You could say, Luke lied! He didnʼt tell Rey what happened!

I understand him. When I have failed at something, it is hard to admit it. Whatever we tell people they are going to be disappointed. So what do we do? We tell them what is pounded into our brains, minute after minute.


They donʼt need to know the details.

“Leia blames Snoke, but it was me.”

The tone of his voice when he says those words kills me every. single. time.

What happened when he made this mistake? He decided to DO NOT.

This is a really hard part of always blaming everything on yourself. Eventually, you feel that no matter what you do, youʼll only make things worse. You want to fix your mistakes, but you feel that youʼll only ruin everything.

So what do you do? You run. Far away. You feel that you are worthless and canʼt do anything to make things right.

I fight this every day. Sometimes I convince myself to keep DOING, even if it doesnʼt work out. Some days that despair sinks in too much.

While teaching Rey we see that Luke wants to go back to the Force. So he does. He hears his sisterʼs voice say his name. This moment makes me so happy, because he starts to believe in himself as we have all believed in him.

He sees Rey with Kylo Ren. This is such a sad moment for Luke, because you can tell that he was going to tell Rey that he would DO it, he would help.

When starting all over again, from the bottom up, your foundation is unstable. So many times when I make the decision to DO, some tiny thing makes everything crumble again and I feel more broken than before.

Rey demands that he tell her what really happened.

“I saw darkness. Iʼd sensed it building in him. Iʼd seen it in moments during his training. But then I looked inside, and it was beyond what I ever imagined. Snoke had already turned his heart. He would bring destruction, and pain, and death, and the end of everything I love because of what he will become. And for the briefest moment of pure instinct, I thought I could stop it. It passed like a fleeting shadow. And I was left with shame, and with consequence. And the last thing I saw were the eyes of a frightened boy whose master had failed him.”

Rey is angry at him, which is understandable, but Luke has never denied that it is all and completely his fault. Did all the people think that Ben just went to the dark side on his own?

“You failed him by thinking that his choice was made. It wasnʼt. Thereʼs still conflict in him. If he were turned from the dark side, that could shift the tide. This could be how we win!”

“This is not going to go the way you think.”

She gives Luke one last chance to train her, and he turns away.

After Rey leaves he takes a rash decision. This happens to me all the time. When I failed a million times, I just want everything to end. The tree, the texts, the Jedi.

His old master Yoda appears.

Luke hesitates before DOING. He slowly lowers the flame. Yoda completes the task for him.

One of the things about blaming ourselves all the time is that we want others to do the same. I hate it when Iʼm telling someone that it is all my fault and they say, “No, it isnʼt.” then string out a million excuses, when I still know that it was me.

Whoever Luke has talked to, they blame someone else.

Leia blamed Snoke.
At first Rey blamed Kylo.

People still think that he is a legend and he just wants to reveal what he truly is: a failure.

What is so amazing to me about his conversation with Yoda, is that Yoda never tries to shift the blame. Yoda says that is okay.

“Heeded my words not, did you? Pass on what you have learned. Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”

We donʼt want to blame someone else. That just makes us feel worse. We want to stop failing, but can never seem to. That is why it is so big for us for someone to accept us as we are, failures, and tell us that that is okay.

We donʼt see Luke for a while, but when we do, he has chosen to DO. How? He faces down the entire First Order with a laser sword.

He has my ultimate favorite lightsaber duel of all time. He learned his lesson that he canʼt stop Kylo Ren by killing him. After all, he is Lukeʼs nephew. Luke canʼt hurt any of his family.

But, he can distract him while the others escape. AND HE DID THIS ALL FROM HIS ISLAND.

That is not the end.

He taught Rey so much and she has had another great teacher, his sister. His legacy taught her that no one is ever really gone.

They can be saved from the darkness.

Luke Skywalker passed on what he learned.

I love The Last Jedi because it is Lukeʼs story. We get to see Lukeʼs struggles and we want to see him overcome. This is why we love stories, right? We connect and relate to characters, but it doesnʼt end there. We want to see them succeed, because that means that hope is not gone for us.

I fight everyday with the struggle of DO or DO NOT. Every day I tell myself that I canʼt just try while another part of me says that it is all pointless and will end in failure anyway.

But why do I keep fighting, and keep choosing to DO?

Because I havenʼt had my most epic lightsaber battle of all time where I showed that I was the most powerful Jedi. I keep looking towards the horizon.

What will I do when those doubts come pouring back? 

Yep, brush ʻem off.

That, ladies and gents, is the reason that The Last Jedi is my third favorite movie of all time!

Thank you so much for making it through that ginormous thing! Check out HERE or HERE for other awesome STAR WARS related posts. Thanks to Katie and Eva for hosting!

Your turn to tell me your thoughts on Luke Skywalker! Are there any ways that you relate to him? Did anything that I said make sense?

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles