Friday, December 30, 2011

My Drawings #1 :)

As you might already guess, I am an especially big fan of Ahsoka. Here I would like to share some pictures I drew and edited. If you have been on Ahsoka Tano pages on facebook, you might already see some.

This was taken from my webcam, like all other drawings of mines. It took me about 30 minutes to finish this. I was drawing to give an impression that she's looking compassionately at something below her.


Ahsoka doing her famous Force-push. I got this from an episode, so I thought it would be interesting to draw. It took me about 35 minutes to get all the details correct. Unfortunately, it's not colored yet unlike the last one. I'll try to do it when I have the time, and hopefully I won't forget.


Ahsoka in her covering slave outfit. I do not intend to color this. I just wanted to make a good shading out of it. So far, it is working out pretty well. It took me only 20 minutes to do this.


I was struggling with this one to make the smile fit her face. I wanted it to curve up on the right. Also, I think the face is too round, but I guess it will suffice. It took me about 40 minutes to do this after a lot of erasing.


Below is a picture that is not Ahsoka...

The quality of this picture is not so good. Also, it was done rather hastily. It took about 25 minutes only. This picture shows a pair of lightsabers-one blue and one green-that shows the design of many Jedi. If I am a Jedi myself, I guess this would look right for me. It fits my style, I guess. Just how I wanted it to be.
The writings show the parts of the lightsabers as well as giving credit to the Jedi that designed that part. At the middle, I wrote something I learnt by heart since I first was a Star Wars fan:

"The crystal is the heart of the blade.
The heart of the crystal is the Jedi.
The Jedi is the crystal of the Force.
The Force is the blade of the heart.
All are intertwined- the crystal, the blade, the Jedi.
We are one."
- Lightsaber construction ceremony

This picture has really bad graphics. Sorry. It is not about Star Wars, but an assignment I did for French class. I was supposed to draw an illustration for the poem "Déjeuner du matin". I really liked this so I thought I'd put it on. While I did the framework, this would be nothing without my good friend Mimi E.- a great artist. I drew this and had help with the coloring and design by her. I will say it again, this picture would be nothing without Mimi. Thanks, Mimi :)

Well! That's pretty much it for now! Until my next blog, May the Force be with you... as always.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Star Wars Force Theme... Review

Link for Star Wars Force Theme:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_gLXFZQL8o&feature=like-suggest&list=UL

I will state this clearly: This song will blow you off like no other. It's a mix of all in the Classic Trilogy.

---What I think it sounded like---

This piece may sound different to each person. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as beautiful music is in the ear of the hearer, or so I've been told.

It began with playing notes ranging from somewhat low to high then back to a quite low tone. The volume is also low. What's fast is the beat. From low to high and back to low takes only a second or less. This is a perfect start for a perfect song.

Ten seconds later it began to tinkle and next came my favorite part. I was pretty down then, and this song just brought me up like it had been made for me. The part was sad, touching, and comforting. The somewhat slow music caught my full attention.

Then, with the same melody, the volume came up, and so did my heart beat. Then it went down for a second and the tune changed. It began a part that reminded me of playing hide-and-seek. It turned more dramatic. It became a part where you'd see in a movie that gets your heart thumping. Horror-ish.

After that it turned to a piece in the middle of the star wars theme song. It was playing very fast by now. Suddenly it went back to the piece in the beginning (After 10 seconds) but instead of slow and touching, it became fast.

It changed again to remind me of the Jedi Purge. It wasn't sad yet; it was still dramatic. For the third time,
the "piece at the beginning" played again. This was faster than the first; but slower than the second. By this time we are roughly at the middle. Every part of my body froze and my ears were opened a long time ago.

Not long later there was a piece that was played at the end of every Star Wars movie.  The rest is somewhat like the Star Wars theme song, if not exactly like it.

The end completely blew me off. It ended in the big bang of a sound and a rush of emotions through my head. I don't know if I will ever find a piece of music better than this.

---Conclusion---

Slow and melodic, beautiful and touching, to fast and dramatic, it is finished with an epic touch.

For those of you who never listened to it before, I suggest you do. I also suggest Across The Stars, Duel of the Fates, Battle of the Heroes and other Star Wars themes. They are awesome.

Thank you, John Williams.

The Force is with this piece. Not just because of the name, but because this is simply magical. In my mind, I have entered a ship to the Galaxy far, far away. I saw everything that happened there just by listening to this awesome piece of music.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Dawn and Dusk of the Dark

Chapter 1
A piercing scream echoed through the eerie silence. Startled, I opened my eyes and looked out of my small cell wildly. People all around me just threw dirty looks to the right of me. Oh. It turned out to be just another prisoner nearby having a nightmare. This horrible place was never short of it.

I sighed. This was one of the few times I finally got to sleep. Not a restful sleep, because those ones were nearly impossible in this hell. The most important thing to remember in this dreaded prison was to get food and sleep every chance you get. You never know when you would get another chance. So what could I do? I just rolled over and tried to get back to the best part of my life: sleep.

Following the scream, the cell doors abruptly sprang open, which was a signal for us prisoners of get going to breakfast. Time to start another day. So much for trying to get some sleep again.

I got up stiffly and walked out of my door to join the streaming line of prisoners. Guards flanked us. The person behind me stumbled, and the guards hit him hard. Ouch. He was sent sprawling across the floor and sent of another scream. This one was not from a nightmare, but from sheer terror. I saw what was coming next and closed my eyes.

I was right. The air suddenly smelled thick of ozone after a sound of bullet. The other prisoners exchanged looks that said, too bad.

On the bright side, at least we won't be getting anymore screams from him. On the down side, he just saved the empire some credits because he could barely do work anyway.

"Move along," The guards commanded in a professional way. I left the body behind as well as a sick feeling in my stomach.

I had my breakfast of some gooey-thingy, whatever it is. But I was so hungry I didn't care. As tasteless and disgusting as it was, I needed it to live. But it failed to make me full. It only made me hungrier. It's that feeling that your food just makes you want more.

The buzzing bell sounded and we all got up and filed out of the room. It was time to go to our posts. My job was scrubbing the floor at the place where new prisoners came in. Yucky, right? Well, it was better than working in a dangerous platform. You either die because you're too weak to work or something kills you. I tell you, nobody comes back from there. It's the place where we prisoners dreaded the most. But thankfully I'm not going to go there soon, as I've been told. Perhaps it has something to do with being a thin little fourteen year old girl. Anyway, I'm glad my situation wasn't worse, so I'm ok with scrubbing the dirty floor.

I joined Eroda and Ward, who were fellow prisoners that were also assigned to clean the landing platforms. We barely had time to talk to each other, because the guards watch us when we clean all the time. Still, there was a bond between us for working together for our whole short lives. My mom was supposed to work here too, but as you know, she was... gone.

Eroda, Ward, and I were marched to the landing platform by two guards as usual. They watched us carefully as we each picked up a repulsorbroom and started the long work. Their eyes followed us for the rest of the day. Creepy.

Every day there would be a ship coming to bring more prisoners and supplies in. Today was no different. Exhausted, I put away my hydromop and skipped away to allow the people to go out. I noticed something strange today though. Usually there were only about a hundred prisoners all over the galaxy that was landing on this particular platform. Now, there was a sea of people coming out. Yeah, no kidding. There must be a revolt going on in Courasant or something. Even the guards have a hard time pushing them around.

There's something else that caught my eye. As some prisoners rush to take the supplies and stack them away, there was a young prisoner who took too much and can't handle it. His eyes went wide as it stumbled out of his grip. Before they hit the floor, though, another young torgruta amidst the crowd gave the barest flick of her finger. It softly dropped. Nobody saw this except me. And you'd think the guards were observant. Well, they already had their hands full in trying to control the confusion. Too bad for them. Just great for the young man.

He didn't know what had happened to make the supplies hover for a nanosecond before gently hitting the ground, which probably saved his life. Neither did I. But I'm pretty sure the togruta did that. My mouth dropped open. She must have sensed it somehow with her montrals, because she whirled around and gave me a smile and a finger on her lips. I regained my senses and quickly closed my mouth and nodded, just as she put on her tired face and got herded away.

I don't know who she was, but she was no ordinary togruta. I had a strong suspicion she was a Jedi. My mother said that they can do some voodoo magic and move things around by calling on something known as the Force. I was going to find out about all this. Oh yes I would.

Things were about to get interesting.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Rivers of Zadaa


The Pendragon series is one of the best series I've read apart from Star Wars. I have long been a fan of Pendragon. Not the #1 fan, but a fan nonetheless. Just a small fan that, compared to me being a Star Wars fan, it would be like an ant to a dog. But it popped into my mind that I should share some striking similarities between this particular book and the Star Wars saga.
Even the book mentioned Star Wars in the story itself. For those of you who haven't read this book, it is about an ordinary boy whose life had been turned up-side down when his "uncle" Press came and took him to another territory in another place and time. Then, he started knowing his true destiny as a Traveler, which is to try save everything that ever existed and will exist (Also known as Halla). He discovers that he has powers that no normal human has. In his quest to stop an evil Traveler known as Saint Dane, he needed to come to Zadaa. That's where this book starts.

The first similarity is pretty obvious. When Bobby Pendragon was training to become more of a warrior, his teachers were giving him advice similar to the Jedi. They were supposed to feel, not think. This reminded me of Qui-Gon saying the same thing to Anakin before the Boonta Eve Podrace in Part I. When Bobby complained about how useless it is, Alder responded, "Because you are trying." Though Bobby thought it was "Yoda garbage", it actually worked. That gave me a sense that what the Jedi actually says in Star Wars might even help out in a real fight (not that I'm going to get into one).

Bobby's exercise is similar to the Jedi youngling's one in the temple. You have to basically fight in the dark and use your senses other than your sight. Loor would say, "Feel us." the way Obi-Wan says "Use the Force, Luke." Of course, it worked for both of them. Bobby finally got to slap someone on the arm and Luke destroyed the Death Star (Destroying the Death Star is a much bigger issue, but that's another story). The exercise might better compare with the training on the ship where Luke wore a training helmet.

Bobby, after saying that all this is "Yoda garbage", "Jedi Talk", or even mentioning the "Use the Force, Luke." in his journals, he said that he was thinking something into it.

The flooding of the underground Zadaa reminded me of Jedi Quest: The False Peace. Both are filled with water underground and barely escaped with their lives. They had help- Pendragon from a dygo and Obi-Wan and Anakin from Siri and her padawan.

This leads me to another thing. Love. You would probably know that it is forbidden in the Old Jedi Order because attachments like this can lead you to the dark side. This basically means that it can affect our choices, and if he/she dies you are going to get rocked by it more than friends do. Obi-Wan and Siri, for this reason, put their love aside the same way Loor and Bobby did, and for the same reasons.

The courage of Bobby is also outstanding. When he was brutally beaten up by Saint Dane, the evil Traveler commanded him to beg for mercy. He got the nerve to croak out, "Dude, you're talking to the wrong guy." That made me laugh. It impressed me. He can be a Jedi anytime, if he were to exist in the Star Wars saga (Not to mention with enough midi-chlorian). Like the Jedi, he acted on his instinct in times of danger and realizes the emotions are to be put aside if work is to be done. Loor trained him well.

The story line is impressive. Like Star Wars, action is scattered throughout the book, keeping pages turning. The reader will want more and more, never stopping to consider or even give a thought about the fact that the next page might be boring.


I would like to conclude that I recommend readers to give a shot at the Pendragon series. It has some flaws, but overall the story is as great as any Star Wars book can be. So until next time, May the Force be with you. Or as the Pendragon series says it, Hobey-ho, let's go. And so we go.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A fan, A story

Most of you who are taking your time to read my blog (Thank you very much) are probably Star Wars fans. I know all of you have your own story of how you came to like Star Wars. This is my story- a story of how an ordinary person came to like what she can call one of the greatest sagas in history.

It all began on an ordinary day for an ordinary person. It all began five years ago, back when I was 7. It was a beautiful, sunny day that seemed magical to me. In some ways, it was. For it was that day that I first saw Star Wars. I didn't know it that morning, but now Star Wars had taught me to expect the unexpected (Or as Yoda says, "If routine you count on, disappointed your hopes will be.")

After a great round of sports- two hours of swimming, one hour of tennis, and another thirty minutes of freeze tag, I was more than ready to settle in for a good TV dinner. After a furious fight with my brother (as usual) over what to watch, I lost and he opened Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

The opening song already caught my attention before I knew it. I did not know what happened after that, for it was such a long time. All I knew was that I could never forget this day. I went to bed with my head spinning from what I just saw.

Of course, I had no idea what the story was about or anything. I only watched it then because it was just simply awesome. But the next day, I jumped out of bed and went directly for the Internet. I had to find out more. So I did.

There are times when other movies and books surface to become my favorites, but Star Wars has always stayed there. After learning about the Harry Potter (Yes, I loved Harry Potter and still like it, but I love Star Wars more), Pendragon, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and other series, I found out even though I can like them, it will come and go but Star Wars will always be with me. After watching ROTS for the first time, I was sort of depressed that the Will of the Force drove it all this way (I didn't know it at that time). Especially then, I had spent time off Star Wars, even though it was always with me.

Star Wars is not all about action and fun to me, even though I research and do stuff about Star Wars for fun. Before I knew Star Wars, I was just a little girl reading Geronimo Stilton and Dr. Seuss. But now, The Jedi Code and their morals provide a base for me to live. The Sith warns about the great evil there are in this world. Traveling in the Galaxy gave me new imaginations and ideas. The planets, moons, and stars also gave me a base of astronomy (I got a very good science grade for astronomy because of that. But then, when have I've gotten a bad grade when I have Star Wars around?). The books that I read gave me a better grip in reading and writing English. The love of reading and writing was enhanced when I knew Star Wars. It was with me also, but like an untrained Force-sensitive, you can't do much with it. I became who I am just because Star Wars shaped me. I honestly don't know who I will be without ever knowing Star Wars.

Over the years, I became more and more of a Star Wars fan. I contacted other Star Wars fans from all over the world, thanks to technology. I dedicated myself to learning everything there is about Star Wars. However, I am still not even close to learning all about it. After years of study, I finally know more or less all about the prequels (I still have to learn more about machines). Presently, I am thinking of moving on to the original trilogy.

I do not know when I will finish learning all about Star Wars, but all I know is that it will take effort and time. Well, as Yoda says, "A infinite mystery is the Force." In the future, I hope I will get a job around Star Wars, maybe even being a Star Wars author. I'm hoping for that and I'm not loosing hope. The Jedi taught me well. Or rather, Star Wars taught me well. So thank you to all those who made Star Wars such a great saga. That includes you guys.

May the Force be with you.

Merry Christmas!!!

Above is a little something I made for you all for Christmas :)
Anyone can read the Aurebesh writing at the bottom? I've been learning that for awhile.
Credits to the websites I got these pictures... which makes it so hard to keep track of the sources. :P

Well, there's nothing much I can say here...
Just enjoy your holiday, think of Star Wars once in awhile, and I hope you got some Star Wars presents!!!
***NOTE: Today's also Life Day in Star Wars. Sooo... Happy Life day!!! Don't forget the New Year Fete week too.
Also, May the Force be with you... as always.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Dawn and Dusk of the Dark

Prologue
From the private journals of Kaayla (Prisoner 985123)
Every story has a beginning. You know, the good old times.

The good old times... ah. Most stories have those beginnings. Few don’t. What’s my beginning? I don't know, but it definitely doesn't fall into the "good old times" category.

I don't even know my beginning. Or if I even have one. But as I said before, all stories do. So I guess my beginning is that I'm born. Yeah. That's pretty much it.

I have been here in the Imperial Prison for as long as I can remember. I can't imagine how to live other lives apart from being a prisoner, mostly because I don't know them. So why am I here? What's my crime? Being an offspring of a prisoner. Or two. Their crime? Walking on the street during a security sweep and not running off fast enough. Or so that's how I heard it from my mom before she was executed. That was probably because she was too old and weak to work for them, so they just shot her like a bantha just to save expenses.

I remembered never feeling so alone.

Sure, I was mostly alone working for the Empire in prison, but knowing that my mom who was there was always a comforting fact for me. The comforting presence was gone when she was dead. She was the only person I knew that ever truly loved me.

On rare occasions when we get to spend time together, she told me of her life before she went to prison pregnant. She told me about the history- how the Jedi fell and how the Empire rose. She told me how my father fought bravely alongside Anakin Skywalker (better known as The Hero with No Fear) and fell. The Empire killed my father. The father I never knew.

"They killed him," she had said.

They killed him. That word echoed in my head.

On our last talk together, she told me that there was still hope, and the Jedi could not be completely wiped out. She said that I should do something in honor of my father's memory and worked against the empire.

"Remember all I told you," she had said, "for they will serve you well in the future."

So far, my knowledge had not come in use, for I was stuck here in prison. My destiny seemed like only one long road fading away to the darkness. That one road was the prison. It never occurred to me that I could break out- at least, not until my mom mentioned it. After all the security around here, it seemed that the Empire had wanted us prisoners here desperately for a reason.

These were dark times. Fear lay like a blanket of fog over the whole galaxy. I was just another person trying to see through the fog of darkness. I was hoping for someone to shine a light. But I was losing hope since my mother's death. Fast. It was like night overcame day and stayed like that. Forever.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stories of the Jedi

The Old Man's River Crossing

"One can fail at a task but still learn the lesson”

“Have you ever heard the story of the old man's river crossing?"

"I do not recall it."

"At the bank of a wide river on this world, long before it was as it is today, an old man sat by the water, meditating. A second, younger man came along and saw the older one. “What are you doing?” the younger man inquired.

"I am working on the ability to walk on water, so that I may cross the river,” the older man said.

"Ah. And how is it going?”

"Pretty well. I have been at it for forty years, and in another five or ten I believe I will have it.”

"'Ah,” said the younger man.  "Well, good luck to you.”

"He bowed, then walked to a boat tied up nearby, climbed in, cast off, and rowed across the river."

Master Unduli looked at her. "Do you understand the meaning of this story?"

Barriss thought about it for a moment. "If the important thing was crossing the river, then the younger man was wiser than the older one."

"Precisely.”  Why spend decades learning how to walk on water when there is a boat moored right next to you?" The Jedi paused, then asked, "What was most vital in this exercise with which I tasked you?"

"How many pastries were in the bakery window."

"Exactly."

Barriss felt incredibly stupid as she suddenly understood what her Master meant.

Master Unduli smiled. "I see you comprehend at last."

"I could have simply stood up and looked over the wall," Barriss said. "What was important was not how I got the information-only that I got it."

Master Unduli nodded. "There is hope for you yet, my young Padawan..."

********************

This is a little story I whipped up from Medstar I: Battle Surgeons. Personally, I think it contributes well to the story and made it sound more interesting, so I thought I'd put it up. It also hints that there are other Jedi tales that are passed down from generation to generation, just like we heard "Little Red Riding Hood" or "Cinderella" from our parents and will most likely pass it on to our children someday.

This is not the only "story within story" in the Medstar series, but this is one of the ones I like the most there. There is also one about the path to the water, which I might post later on. All these stories are from Barriss Offee's flashbacks to her time with her master, as you can see from their dialogue above. That was probably before the Clone Wars, when things are mostly peaceful and Jedi work only as peacekeepers...

The moral of the story is also a good rule to live by. This one shows that there are shortcuts in life, and we could know what they are and how it would help us. The short story here in Medstar is memorable enough for me to serve as a reminder to look for shortcuts at a time in need. Who knows what the future may bring.

May the Force be with you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Revenge of the Sith Novelization (By Matthew Stover) Review


The turning point of the whole saga is at hand...
I honestly don't know how to describe this book in a few words. If I am asked to, I will just use Matthew Stover's words as I memorized them: This is a story of love and loss, brotherhood and betrayal, courage and sacrifice, and the death of dreams. It is a story of an end of an age.

Revenge of the Sith is not my favorite Star Wars movie. However, this book is definitely one of my favorite books in the whole Star Wars saga. No. Not one of my favorites. The favorite- not only in Star Wars, but every single book I have ever read before. This book describes the movie even better than I ever think is possible.

While I am sorry that the story needed to turn out this way, I understand that everything happens according to the will of the Force. This book made me understand Star Wars even deeper in another way. While the plot of the book is same as the movie, this book makes it seem thicker and darker. One notable thing in the book is how it describes the emotions inside Anakin Skywalker. The "dragon" within him makes the story even more interesting. This story also made me view Anakin's fall in a different way. It made me understand better why love leads to the dark side. One man can only take do much before he breaks. And Palpatine keeps adding on and on, which eventually lead to what he wanted- a new fearsome Sith lord: Darth Vader.

What I like best is the way Stover described the emotions of the characters as well as the background stories. It shows the public opinion of the Jedi and way each character feels. It also shows the founders of the Rebels alliance and how they feel about Palpatine's thirst for power.

Sure, the book has its flaws such as the need to remove the scene in Kashyyyk to pace the story. But however, some deleted scenes had been added to my pleasant surprise when I read the book. The one that shows Padme and Anakin together discussing their baby shows how much Anakin loves his family, so the scene helps make Anakin's path to the dark side shorter.

This book uses words that add to the suspense of the story and kept me turning the pages without ever thinking that it might be boring. One I like is, "This gift is the edge of a knife that has already cut their past from their future." The great choice of words and the sentence fluency made me read it as if I am listening to music. 

I noticed that other EU publications are also referenced such as Star Wars: Republic (comic), Star Wars: the Clone Wars animated series, The Approaching Storm, Shatterpoint, The Cestus Deception, and Yoda: Dark Rendezvous. Labyrinth of Evil was heavily used for reference as well.

I actually shed a tear after I read the last sentence, which hints that everything will be all right even though the galaxy was doomed to be in the dark. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.

So it will be. The fallen Chosen One will rise once again.