Posted in Monday Mayhem

The Star Wars Universe

There was a time I didn’t like Star Wars. I was in my teens. All my friends, who were nerds, by the way, were into the whole Star Wars universe thing. I didn’t care for it. In fact, I went one step further. I used to tell my friends Battlestar Galactica was better. Boy, did that go over well.

Star Wars characters
Star Wars characters

Thankfully, as I’ve grown older, I had kids of my own. My first introduction to the entire Star Wars universe wasn’t until I hit my mid-thirties. Yes, you can call me deprived. Coincidentally, it was also when my kids experienced their first introduction to the sci-fi saga.

For those of you wondering what it was like watching it on TV, and all we had back then were thirty-two inch CRT TVs and a VHS tape that rendered the film in a pan-and-scan format—life couldn’t have been better. You may think this is crazy, but if you didn’t have today’s standards to compare the picture quality, you would have thought the presentation was phenomenal. And back then, it was. The kids loved it.

Once the Star Wars prequel trilogy hit the theaters, I couldn’t help but take my kids to watch it. Somehow, the films were so amazing that other films in the sci-fi genre had trouble keeping up with the visuals, creative motifs and gorgeous backdrops.

Darth Vader
Darth Vader

And this brings me to the reason why I’m writing this Monday Mayhem post with Star Wars on my mind.

I have found that other than Star Trek, the Star Wars universe is where I would enjoy living. With so much talk about how bad or how wrong this world is right now, isn’t it refreshing to know hope exists in the movies we watch? I don’t know about you, but when I die, I’d like to think the world I’m leaving to my kids would be a world filled with hope. I don’t think I’ve ever thought that until I began watching Star Wars.

And although the Star Wars universe has meddling Sith Lords wanting to bring about the death of all humans, akin to a zombie apocalypse, the Force, which holds everything together, reigns supreme. Even with the Dark Side wanting to corrupt a good heart, the Force, living in every Jedi can overcome evil, and bring about real change to a heart.

Imagine the Force now, living in us, able to help us overcome the pulls to the Dark Side. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I sure wouldn’t think life would be all that bad after all.

Yet, as fictional as Star Wars is, some truth exists within its universe’s tales. Perhaps to see that truth we have to look closer. Or, perhaps, the Force is something real we have yet to experience.

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What do you think of Star Wars? What do you like about its universe?

Posted in Wednesday Warriors


Few actors in the lifetime of their careers have defining roles that make them eternal to an audience of film admirers. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of those actors. His portrayal of a robot assassin sent from the future to kill the mother of the leader of the Resistance is a benchmark for all future actors who have culled an impressive portfolio to best James Cameron‘s creation.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys

Today’s Wednesday Warriors honors Terminator, which is that creation.

In the early Eighties, The Terminator became a box office sensation. Word has it when Schwarzenegger auditioned for the role, he actually auditioned for the Kyle Reese role instead, but Cameron saw differently. One look at Schwarzenegger, and he found his killing machine for the movie of the same name.

For those unfamiliar with the story, a quick spoiler-free recap is in order.

Soldier Kyle Reese, travels to the present to save the mother of the future leader of the Resistance. In his bid to keep her from harm, he leads her through a series of escapes to foil the murderous plans of an evil machine called the Terminator. In the future, the machines rule the earth hunting humans to take over the planet.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day has a similar story but this time there are two terminators to worry about. The target this time is the child who will become the future leader of the Resistance.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The Terminator is an interesting character in that it represents the relentless drive to achieve a goal at all costs regardless of the damage that happens surrounding the achievement of that goal. Much of the Terminator’s drive comes from its neural net processor, which has the capability to follow direct programming by other machines to eliminate humans from the face of the earth, and learn as it goes along

A major aspect of the character’s inclination to follow orders pertains to nothing more than bits and bytes in a CPU. However, in the progression of the series, the audience comes to learn that the terminator machine can take on a life of its own, and in several instances, become human in an inhuman world.

Of course, if one were to attempt to stop a terminator, the target would need more than a truck to take it out of commission. The target would need a special strategy to relieve it of its mission. Neither fire nor ice can destroy the cold heart of this killing machine. A sledgehammer might do the trick, but there are no guarantees.

Terminator’s focus is steadfast and does not waver from its mission, which makes the robot one of the most terrifying characters in science fiction history. 2001: Space Odyssey‘s HAL 9000 exudes as a malignant robot gone astray, using deception as its key tool to fight humans. With a terminator, there’s nothing deceptive about its goal. It plunges into the present, hunts its targets, and makes a spectacle out of it.

Having said that, as mentioned, the Terminator’s capacity to learn is its redeeming quality that may absolve it of its terrible role it possesses. That is to say, if it learns for good. If anything, this quality can lead it to become a father to a lost son.


Have you seen any of the Terminator movies? What did you think of them?

Posted in Freedom Friday

Friday Tradition

Weekends are for movies. Friday nights are for science fiction or retro. I’m not sure what I’m watching tonight, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will be perfect. Last weekend I watched The King of Comedy with Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, a Martin Scorsese film about an obsessed comic who goes too far with wanting to be on TV. Not science fiction, the 80’s movie was nothing short of clean fun.

Space war
Space war

The other day I watched Mars Attacks! with pretty much everyone who was anyone in Hollywood in 1996 starring in the flick. This proved to be another hilarious romp, but this time it was science fiction.

I’m not sure when this tradition started. All I remember is how Friday nights became The X-Files night and once the show had moved to Sundays, I had a massive void to fill. Incidentally, one of the first movies I watched for a Friday night was Mars Attacks! and it became a type of template for what I wanted out of the evening.

All the Men in Black movies became a Friday night staple at my home, too. They deliver on fun with a twist of science fiction. The wonderful thing I like most about the movies is their consistent 50’s theme while set in the 90’s and 2000’s. For instance, the flying saucers, which everyone knows is nothing more than a throwback to the old sci-fi flicks that hit the drive-ins in small towns across America during the cold war, make a valiant appearance.

Flying saucer
Flying saucer

Part of my Friday night viewing pleasure is retro viewing. I’m talking about watching one of those 80’s action flicks with plenty of cheesy lines, and a thousand explosions that would cause serious sonic damage to the structural integrity of my house’s foundation. We’re talking Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger damage here. I’m a sucker for those movies. Anything but the movie Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot will work here. If it’s Predator, I’ve seen it a gazillion times. If it’s any of the Rambo movies, I’ve seen them another gazillion times. Nothing quite beats a muscleman hero with a smart-alecky attitude to get my testosterone pumping full throttle. These movies never cease to entertain me on a Friday night.

Lastly, I do hold a special place for those one-offs where no other night will do to watch the movie other than a Friday night. I’m talking about real bad movies. The kind of movie that would embarrass your mother if she were watching it with you. The kind of movie that would cause someone to have the desire to walk across a busy freeway. The kind of movie that would make someone wish a train would derail and crash into the house to bring them sweet relief. Can I get away with one more bad movie joke? The kind of movie that would cause you to say, “drop your gun, I’m Superman,” knowing full well the robber will shoot to prove you wrong. Somehow, these movies make for a fun start to great weekend.

I hope you enjoyed this Freedom Friday post. What a treat to go back to the days when habit became tradition and I now have something to look forward to every week.


What do you watch during movie night? If you have more than one movie night, what kind of themes do you have?