Friday Favorite: Favorite Movie

You know how sometimes you just get inspiration to write?  Well this was one of those times.  I thought about adding another regular writing series to this blog.  I was inspired to write about my favorites so now we will have “Friday Favorite”.  I don’t know if it will be a weekly thing of or just some Fridays but you have to start somewhere right?

Seeing as how I’m a movie guy, I thought I would start with my favorite movie.  Now I have a lot of films that I love.  I have a lot of film franchises/series that I love.  But my favorite film series of all is the Star Wars saga.  And my favorite of the Star Wars saga is The Empire Strikes Back

Empire Strikes Back Poster

This film is my favorite of the Star Wars saga.  Now I will say that A New Hope and Return of the Jedi are right up there.  But The Empire Strikes Back has a special place in my heart.  As a kid there was three reasons why I loved Empire:  AT-ATs, Boba Fett & Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber duel with Vader.

AT-AT

The All Terrain Armored Transport (or AT-AT) was the coolest vehicle the Imperials had.  They were massive and they were awesome.  The Battle of Hoth was the only one the Imperials won in the trilogy (though one could say the Rebels won because their main objective was getting off the planet) and it was due in large part to the AT-ATs.  If there was any Imperial vehicle I wanted, it was the AT-AT.

Boba Fett

Boba Fett.  As a kid, he was simply one of the coolest guys ever saw in a movie.  I guess you could still say I still think he’s one of the coolest.  He wasn’t necessarily a bad guy.  He just wasn’t a good guy.  He was simply doing a job and getting paid.  But he was bad because he wanted Han Solo to take back to Jabba the Hutt.  Even Vader respected Fett.  One thing about Boba Fett, he was a bounty hunter you did not want to mess with.

Luke vs Vader

Luke vs. Vader.  Growing up, this was the lightsaber fight.  It’s hard to compare this one to the one in Return of the Jedi.  But this one had the raw emotion.  Luke was still trying to find himself as a Jedi.  And he had to learn from this experience.  But it was a really cool fight with some really cool fight scenes.

The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve found other things I appreciate.  I love the interaction and banter between Han and Leia.  I became a huge fan of Wedge and loved when he took down the AT-AT with his snowspeeder.  I appreciated that it wasn’t a “happy” ending but a “hopeful” ending.

The Empire Strikes Back is my go-to film.  It is a great way to start off this “Friday Favorite” series.

Lesson from Yoda: We Are More

A while back, I did a couple of posts called “Lesson from Yoda”, about lessons learned from Yoda, character in the Star Wars saga.  Seeing this will be the third entry, one could call it a series now?  I think so.  Here’s the latest entry in the “Lesson from Yoda” series.

TPM-CGYoda

Once again, we journey back to the planet of Dagobah and The Empire Strikes Back.  Luke is continuing his training to be a Jedi under Yoda.  As part of the training, Luke is doing a handstand with Yoda standing on top of him and also levitating a rock.  As this is taking place, Luke’s X-Wing spaceship starts to sink in the mire that he had crash landed earlier.  He gets distracted and loses focus.  After discussion with Yoda, Luke tries to move the ship but is unable & the X-Wing sinks further.

Yoda and Luke

At this point, Yoda tells him that “size matters not”.  He discusses about life and gets to a key point.  He says “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter” as he pinches Luke’s shoulder.  We are more than just skin and bones.  There is more to us.

God created each one of us not just with a body but also with a soul.  A soul that matters.  A lot of times we forget that as we go about our daily lives.  We are more than just flesh and bones.  We have a soul.  And God cares about our physical bodies as well as our soul, because they are interconnected.  That’s why Jesus came to die for our sins so that we don’t have to go through spiritual death as well as physical death.

Remember, you are more.  God has created you to be more.  He has given you gifts and talents for you to use.  He loves you and has a purpose for you.  He wants to have a relationship with you.  There is so much more out there.  Let us not settle for less.

Star Wars and Following Your Path

With news about the new trailer for Star Wars:  The Force Awakens debuting this weekend, I’m amped up to get back into counting down to a new Star Wars film.  As with that, it’s a good reminder of the films that I know and love, which mainly is the original trilogy (not that I hate the prequels but I grew up on the original trilogy).

As I have from time to time here, I like to look at scenes from the films and reflect on them and the messages that they convey.  One that I recently have been pondering was from A New Hope.  The Rebels were gathered in their base on Yavin IV as they prepare to launch an assault on the oncoming Death Star.  Their hope was to destroy the space station before it could get in range to destroy the planet.

Luke Skywalker was prepared to fly into battle but before he left he tried to convince Han Solo to come with him.  At that point, Han was focused on collecting the reward for rescuing Princess Leia and getting him and Chewbacca out of there.  Luke was disappointed and left Han and Chewie.

As he was making his way to his X-Wing, Luke ran into Leia.  Here was the exchange:

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Leia:  “What’s wrong?”

Luke:  “It’s Han.  I don’t know.  I really thought he’d change his mind.”

Leia:  “He’s got to follow his own path.  No one can choose it for him.”

As much as Luke wanted Han to join in the fight for the rebellion, Luke couldn’t make Han do it.  Han chose the path in which he took.  Granted, he would join the fight at just the right time to help Luke out of a tough spot and would go on to join the Rebels in their fight against the Empire.  But he had to make that choice.

Many times, we interact with those we care about (either in person or in some cases a far through social media) and we feel like Luke.  We want them to come with us.  But as much as we want them to come with us, we can’t make them.  They have their own path to follow.  Sometimes, like Han, they do end up coming alongside.  Sometimes, though, they don’t.

When they don’t, it doesn’t mean we stop caring about them.  It does mean that we understand and still be there for them.  Who knows, they may surprise you like Han did.

Lesson from Yoda: Patience

A few weeks back, I had a post entitled “Lesson from Yoda”.  I thought I would revisit that post with another “Lesson from Yoda” (I might make it into a series).

TPM-CGYoda

Yoda was introduced to everyone back in 1980 in the film The Empire Strikes Back.  This was the sequel to Star Wars:  A New Hope and is my favorite of the entire saga.  We meet Yoda as he is living on the planet Dagobah and Luke Skywalker is sent there by Obi-Wan (now a ghost) to continue his training to become a Jedi.

the-empire-strikes-back-luke-skywalker-and-yoda

While in the midst of his training, Luke has a vision of his friends Han & Leia in pain.  He then hurriedly packs his things and tells R2 that they’re  leaving.  Obi-Wan appears and both he and Yoda plead with Luke to not leave and to continue the training to become a Jedi.  At one point, Obi-Wan screams out “Patience!”  Luke’s response is that of someone rushing into something “And sacrifice Han and Leia?”  Yoda’s response is interesting “If you honor what they fight for?  Yes.”

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It’s not easy to have patience.  That is something that is up at the top of the list of things people pray for on a daily basis.  Luke didn’t have patience.  He did not listen to Yoda or Obi-Wan (who had Luke’s best interests).  He rushed off to Bespin to try to save his friends but in reality it was a trap set by Darth Vader to capture him.  Luke ended up in a fight he was not ready for and ended up with his right hand chopped off and having to deal with the knowledge that Darth Vader was his father.

Patience comes from time and trust.  Ultimately, patience comes from God.  He tells us to trust in Him and wait on Him.  Sometimes we are like Luke and rush out and get hurt in the process.  But He’s still there.  Though it is not easy to have patience, it is for our benefit.  We are able to grow and mature in the waiting.  Trust and be patient.  Valuable assets in this journey of life.

Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Reveal

Star Wars Episode VII Cast

It was announced today from Disney the main cast for Star Wars Episode VII.  It will be a mix of cast from the classic trilogy as well as new actors.  The picture above is the first picture of the cast (funny to see R2-D2 in a crate).

When I saw the news break, I was excited.  It’ll be cool to see characters that I know and love (Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Artoo, Threepio) along with some new characters.  It was interesting to see Andy Serkis as a part of the new cast.  He’s best known for his work as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings saga.  I think that’s a good hire.  I do hope that Billy Dee Williams and Denis Lawson (Lando Calrissian & Wedge Antilles) will at least have cameos.

The Star Wars saga is my favorite series of films.  I’m looking forward to December 2015 for the next piece of the film series.

Luke Skywalker and Me

Anyone who knows me, knows that my favorite movies are the original Star Wars Trilogy.  I grew up watching those films over and over again (and would dare say i could pretty much quote at length most of them).  I collected the toys and books and pretty much anything Star Wars.  So I would say that I know that “universe” pretty well.

If you asked me growing up what Star Wars character I would’ve wanted to be, I would have told you Han Solo.  He was cool and flew around the galaxy in the Millennium Falcon.  He had a cool companion in Chewbacca.  When people messed with him, he just drew his blaster.  And of course there was Princess Leia, who fell in love with him.  If there was any Star Wars character to be, it would be Han Solo.

But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand I’m more like Luke Skywalker.  Yeah on the one hand he’s a Jedi and that’s cool.  But compared to Han?  Luke’s not as cool.  But, I do relate more to Luke.  Growing up, I wanted to get away.  I dreamed about what was out there beyond.  Luke was very much that way as he went through his days on the farm that Uncle Owen & Aunt Beru ran.  As he left Tatooine and traveled, I have been able to do the same going on adventures I’d never imagined.

Like Luke, I struggle with anger.  The film The Empire Strikes Back, showed that side of Luke rather well and it’s a characteristic in my life that I still try and work through.  Also like Skywalker, I struggle with being impatient.  I’m not a patient person.  Luke is not either.  In Empire, he hastily leaves his training on Dagobah to try and help his friends against the advisement of Yoda & Obi-Wan Kenobi.  Kenobi even screams out to Luke “Patience!”  There are those seasons in my life (and right now is one of them) where I need that screamed at me and yet I still want to rush off to wherever.  Patience is another thing that I’m trying to work on and get better.

I may not be a Han Solo, but there’s a need for a Luke Skywalker.  So wherever my journey takes me, I know that God has a part for me to play.  And the lessons that I’ve learned along the way will make me a a better person & a better leader down the road.