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Star Wars Opinion

Star Wars: What is Canon?

 

There have been a great number of arguments over what is official canon in the always popular Star Wars franchise ever since the prequels were released into theaters.  Those dedicated fans who have been faithful to the franchise since its inception have stuck by the original films, citing them as the true history of the franchise. Many would agree that George Lucas’s vision should in fact be kept as the basis behind the Star Wars universe, no matter how expansive it might be.

However, there are those who have transcended the movie by reading the books, the comics, and the graphic novels, absorbing what many upon many authors and artists have added to the story. The prequels did a fairly reasonable job of explaining a number of questions that were presented in the original trilogy, but the schism thrust between fans who are loyal to the original trilogy and those who were awaiting a new spin on the Star Wars universe was made noticeable after “The Phantom Menace”.

From that point on the rift between fans only grew wider as the prequels continually changed the universe and answered more questions than had originally been asked.  As the Star Wars universe continued to expand, the ideals and expectations of Lucas’ creation began to shift.  The books that were written after the initial trilogy, masterfully written and detailing a story for the original characters that was compelling and even pleasing to the readers, became moot.  Even a galaxy-wide invasion by a marauding alien species that could not be stopped by the vaunted and revived Jedi Order was scrapped when Lucas sold his creation to Disney. From that point on, the canon of Star Wars shifted for good.

While it can be said that the direction the franchise has taken is in fact quite interesting and engaging, it is also a very hard slap in the face to the literary fans of the story.  Just imagine if Disney had picked up a series of books that came after the original trilogy, just to see what readers had become enamored of, they might have had a far easier time moving forward. Just imagine if the story in the books had been unveiled, such facts as these would have garnered far more films than have already been conceived.  Here are just a few bits of information from the books:

 

1) Han and Lei married and had three children. Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin Solo all became powerful Jedi, and eventually would reshape the Order.

2) Luke Skywalker married an assassin, Mara Jade, formerly the Hand of the Emperor. They had a son named Ben Skywalker.

3) Chewbacca died saving Anakin Solo’s life. He was crushed, along with the planet he was on, by a falling moon.

4) The entire Yuuzhan Vong invasion could have spanned another trilogy if not more, as these fierce, warrior-aliens were more than adept at destroying planets. They could even fight the Jedi to a standstill.

5) The Jedi Order is renewed under Jedi Grandmaster Luke Skywalker, and includes many talented Jedi of all species.

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The Darkness

You Make the Darkness

By Tom Foster

 

 

Woke up, fed up, so sick of this scene                       Woke up fed up can’t do this anymore

Wandering two steps forward, fallin’ back three       Just waiting for the end

Finding there’s no time to sit between.                      No longer need to settle the score

-The darkness rises-                                                     -The darkness is here-

Livin’ day to day with the sickness deep inside         You’ve fallen prey to rage

Goin’ crazy wanting to know                                     You’ll never be the same

Is there somewhere safe that I can hide                     I’ve locked you in my cage

 Before you slip and I just blow.                                The darkness knows your name.

 

You let the dark roll out of me                                   You made the dark come out of me

You make it boil inside                                               It swallowed up my mind

You break the bonds and set it free                            Now you will have to see

Your ignorance I won’t abide.                                    And then be left behind.

 

Through the days I walk

And the nights I crawl

Going out of my mind as the thoughts I stalk

Just to withstand it all.

-My darkness is straining-

The hatred seeks its mark

You stand in the path alone

It will see you in the dark

Go on admit you’re gone.

 

You make the dark rise out of me

You make it strain and pull

It’s out for all to see

It’s filling up my skull.

 

-Let it go-

Don’t wanna feel no more

-Give it back-

And even up the score.

Writers Are Crazy

   Writers are a step above many individuals when it comes to being disturbed, mentally unstable, and even the dreaded “C” word, crazy.  On the outside many writers seem quite normal, even friendly and outgoing. It is on the inside that many upon many writers, particularly freelancers and fiction writers, are absolutely unhinged. While there are many reasons why, there are several listed here that can better explain the disturbing inner workings of a writer’s mind.

1) We destroy whatever we create.  Admittedly every writer pulls their main characters from the ether just to send them back to whatever oblivion they came from.  The purpose of creating a character is rarely ever to keep them alive and around indefinitely. Readers would eventually get bored and ask when the next big thing is expected to come along.  In order to save our creations we must eventually destroy them.

2) We are essentially insane.  No matter if a writer is a “nice person” on the outside and even boisterous and friendly at most times, on the inside our minds are typically as chaotic as the stories that make it to the page.  The controlled madness that is given to the readers to peruse and judge is only the dried out portion of what awaits within the tortured hallways of our minds, while the juicy stuff continues to replenish itself.

3) We have to write. It’s not a mild yearning, nor even a wistful longing. It is a COMPULSION. If you have ever spent hour upon hour staring at a lit screen with small type attempting to discover the ins and outs of your own insanity you have likely come to realize that writing is no longer just a hobby. It is a burning need that pulls at the heart strings and cramps the guts until the idea that is almost physically stuck in your body is finally allowed its freedom. There is no halfway point between not wanting to write and having to at this point, you must write or descend into your own madness.

4) Caffeine and alcohol become your best buddies.  It’s true, so true.  If you don’t prefer the hard stuff then you will likely turn to the go-juice that has sustained so many college students and writers alike throughout the years.  The lifeblood of a strung-out, manic writer is the same nectar that millions cannot start their morning without. 

5) There is little if any easy, REAL money in writing.  Forget what you see in the advertisements about stay at home moms making thousands of dollars a week, and especially forget the idea that you might be that one in a million writer who gets a lucky break and becomes an overnight millionaire. It takes roughly twenty years to become an overnight success, and even then nothing is assured. You will work for pennies on the dollar and find new ways to live on what seems only enough to purchase a kids meal at the local drive-thru.  Why will you do it?  Because you have crossed the threshold and no longer recognize the term “sanity”.

      There are a great many reasons why writers are perhaps some of the most insanely unbalanced individuals walking the world today, but these are just a few.  Remember though, if you happen to know a writer, just assume that the inside of their head is a dark and twisted place you would pay to avoid. It’s better that way.

Being Human

It’s a bit of statement, right? Being human, it can mean so many different things, from being kind to one person and being a complete and utter prick because necessity demands it.  Being human is being as complex and simple as could possibly be at any given moment. It’s loving your neighbor and wanting to stab them in the back should the situation call for it.  Being human is different and adaptable for each individual.

We’re made up of the same things, we operate the same on the most basic levels, but once you get past that, once you reach the surface and start looking around, we are very different. There are cultures, races, ethnicities, habits, politics, religions, and any other number of differences that we use to separate one another. We seem to excel at listing our differences and keeping apart from one another in our little cliques and groups that celebrate our differences without taking into account how alike we really are.

But there’s a silver lining, like there always is. Human beings aren’t wholly evil, and we’re not wholly good.  As was said above, we’re complex in our simplicity.  We love, we hate, we stand to the side and we go on personal crusades in an attempt to make lives better.  So then what does it all mean?

We’re imperfect beings in an imperfect world, that’s what it means.

Why become a writer?

You might do it for the money, hell a lot of people will when they hear they MIGHT be able to make more in an hour than some people make in a day.  Anyone would jump on that, right?  As someone who’s been writing freelance for almost three years I can tell you now, if you want to make top dollar just walking in, walk away.

Just like any other job, if you work at it, if you pay your dues, and you put in the time, it is entirely possible to make a good living writing. But if you want to get paid just by walking in, then don’t bother. The rare individual will find the dream job when they walk into it, but the majority will need to find a way to make it work. If you’re educated, experienced, and know what the hell you’re doing then you’re likely to find a decent job writing.  But if you want it just because it sounds easy, stay away.

Those of us who have done this job know that writing doesn’t just come to you most times. You need to have a background that allows you to pull information out of thin air at times. There is a definite benefit to being the type that daydreams, that picks up information like change on the street, and can fire it back at a moment’s notice.

So why in the world would anyone want to become a writer?  Maybe you should ask one of us.  You might be surprised at what you hear.

My reason, my purpose.

Some people go through life searching for their purpose, their reason for being here on this earth. A lucky number find it, while others settle and accept that life had something better in mind for them than what they thought they wanted.  Sometimes though it doesn’t matter what we want or what we decide to settle with, that reason, that purpose, remains.  I had no idea when I was younger that writing would call to me the way it has in the past several years, or that I would have enough ideas to fill so many books and hundreds of articles, blogs, and academic papers.  It came so easy after a while that I finally had to sit back and realize, “This is my purpose for being”.

I am a writer, and I say it proudly.  Where others do, I chronicle the story of those actions. Where others speak, sing out, and give voice to life, I seek to make it last for the generations yet to come.  Writing isn’t an antiquated practice, it’s an art that is very much alive and still just as capable of bridging the gap between one generation and the next.  We are the ones who will tell the story of the past, of what could be, might be, and will be.  Writers are the ones who will ultimately tell of the world when what has come before is truly gone.  Throughout history there have always been chronicles laid down in one form or another, and as writers we continue that proud and noble tradition.

So why am I here?  I’m here to write, plain and simple.

The Ode

Ode to the Writer

By Tom Foster

 

We are the lords and ladies of creation, yet we are still just players.
In the beginning we are as in the end.
We do not aspire, we simply do.
There is the dream, tempered by the reality, and given form by the thought.
By our thought, by our dreams, and by the reality we impose.
It’s a madness of the sort that only poets and writers can truly understand, and even among those only a few can comprehend.
Comprehension, that is a truly frightening thing.
We play with words, we are those that can immortalize, and those that can do what must be said and say what must be done.
It is confusion, this comprehension, and in the midst of it all, it is the single word that carries power, the one among all that is ever elusive, ever there, always waiting for us to return to, to remind us what it is that drives us, what keeps the fountain flowing.
Every last soul that has ever put ink to paper, ever put finger to key, every vague idea that swirls inward from the maelstrom we call the world, the universe, and everything in between and without.
For everything that could come, for everything that has and will come, we are there. We are the ones that do not deny the voice that tells us, “this must come to pass”, or “this must be remembered”.
It is who we are, what we do, and through everything, it is the lifeblood of those who cherish this timeless art form, this undeniable urge to say, in their own manner, “I AM”.
We are not gods, we create, and yet in the process, we are created. It is our words, penned and copied throughout the ages that have helped to shape the world, to say that, “WE ARE”, that “WE EXIST”.
Whether tyrant or savior, good or evil, saint or sinner, the words that are put to time’s test are those that will come to define the world we know. Memory is not enough, though it serves.
As do we.
We are the lords of creation, the ones whose words will last and echo into the ages, for all to see, and all to remember.
Is it truth?
The better question is: Does it matter?
We are the lords and ladies of creation, and by our words, the world we know is shaped, molded, and given to the next generation, and so on and so forth until the whole mess ends, only to be rebuilt, and to crumble again.
We are the lords and ladies of Creation, and this is our legacy.

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