I finished to read the Star Wars novel Empire and Rebellion: Razor’s Edge by Martha Wells. Leia Organa is the main focus of the story, which takes place a short while before The Empire Strikes Back. I can say this is one of my favorite pieces from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. The tone and story are pure Star Wars. The characters we know are perfectly portrayed. Wells gives true justice to Leia and it is a joy to see her get the spotlight so much.
There are two main things I loved besides Leia as the general center of the narrative. The first is how both Leia and other survivors deal with the aftermath of Alderaan destruction. It was poignant and brought up a lot of things regarding the civil war and the choices people make when grieving. The other element that completely won me over is the interaction between Han and Leia. You can really see the attraction and friendship having grown and how they still get on each other’s nerves. It was the perfect build up for The Empire Strikes Back!
I also got to see Ender’s Game today. I had started to read the book in Fall 2012 and a friend gave me a copy of it back then. Life got in the way and it is still on my to read shelf. Watching the movie adaptation made me very eager to pick up the book and finally read it fully. I enjoyed the movie overall. The execution was well done from the stunning visuals to the powerful original score – one of Steve Jablonsky’s best places.
I was happy to see Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley being the great actors they can be. It is always a treat and in the back of my mind I was all squealing about how I wanted to see Ford return as an aged Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars movies. My big issue with the movie was a good number of the young actors, including the main one. I disliked them a lot and it was hard to engage with the story on a regular basis because I didn’t really buy their performances.
Earlier tonight I reblogged a post by my friend Rose about Disney princesses. I always enjoy reading her point of view, but this post found a strong echo in my own view of the topic discussed. I am not going to repeat everything I agree with, as it would basically be the whole post. I find it important to consider how these movies and characters are much more complex and interesting than they can be given credit for.
I loved how Rose considered Nala from The Lion King as a Disney Princess! I’ve always thought that myself and I find that Nala was a huge moment in the Disney movie history as a female character. The same way it is worthy of pointing out how Sarabi, Simba’s mother, also is an interesting female character.
This post also made me think of how I loved my Barbie dolls when I was a little girl. I played with them as much as with more “boy toys”. Just like Disney Princesses, most Barbie dolls weren’t just skinny but also white. Yet, my parents found it great to get me all the different ones that sometimes came out, like the 1991 Maoni one. I had a collection of not just white and blond dolls. And while I started retelling fairy tales and other stories, I soon began to play Star Wars stories with them. Up to that day, I remember which doll I used for which Star Wars character, including from the Expanded Universe.
So, I watched Disney movies and still have great fondness for some of them, including the female characters, and I played with Barbie dolls when a child, but first of all it wasn’t all I grew up with, and then I was told that it was make believe. I also grew up with heroines as diverse as Leia Organa (Star Wars), Jo March (Little Women), Yoko Tsuno (Yoko Tsuno) to name a few very significant ones.
Finally, I want to address a point that Rose made in her short Cutting Room Floor Tumblr post, in relation to the Disney topic. Maleficent remains one of my favorite villains all media and narrative sources considered. This character was actually the one big disappointment I had so far in Once Upon A Time. I love the show to pieces, and I like the actress who portrays Maleficent, but I find that they completely messed up the character in the show. She was great in her dragon form at least! Maleficent still scares me and is such a finely crafted villain. It is why I am very much looking forward to the movie with Angelina Jolie.