How a snowman gave me new hope for Star Wars (FROZEN SPOILERS WITHIN)

AKA a pseudo review of Frozen (with SPOILERS) that lead me to writing this rant about the up and coming Star Wars films.

It took me a while to get out and see Frozen, and I admit it took some prompting before I gave it a chance. With the occasional exception, there have been some serious misses in the recent Disney playlist for me. I was raised in the Disney revival of the late 80’s and early 90’s where even after we had lost Walt himself, the touch of his “child in all of us” attitude was rekindled to a massive and impressive scale. Walt knew how to tell a story, and he knew how to find and encourage those like minded creators as well. He built an empire on it. And now, that empire owns another empire, Star Wars.

So where am I going with this? Right, FROZEN. So my friend Jimmy Burns, a fellow 501st member AND ‘Disneyphile’ posted his own review encouraging others to see the film:

I was really worried about Frozen going in. The Olaf character was just not hitting me well, seemed too JarJar for my taste. However, I’m ready to eat crow now, because the movie was very enjoyable and even Olaf was done really well.

I hadn’t even seen the movie, and yet I felt like I knew exactly what he was talking about. One of the biggest letdowns as a maturing person waiting for the continuing saga of Star Wars… was a Gungan. Although played by an extremely wonderful person, who is a joy to speak with and a fellow total fan if I might add, the character is almost painful to watch. When turning to Uncle George for an explanation, all we got was footage of him watching clips of Buster Keaton silently prat-falling into pseudo-disaster scenarios.

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George Lucas wrote in detail the description of a sweeping war saga that was only hinted at before this, and put at the front line a bumbling buffoon. How does that have a place in Star Wars? In the originals, R2-D2 is cute but NOT dumb, and C3P0 is a great source for verbal comic relief but almost equally so to Han Solo’s quips and jabs. Why would he feel the need to include a character like this in the prequel?

Disney as a studio as done the same thing in their own storytelling on occasion. Animals that talk in inappropriate scenes, scripts with the potential to transport us to another world we’ve been waiting to see, and tearing us into reality because we’re watching something so absurd we can’t let go. But probably nothing as bad as HIM.

Which brings me back to Frozen (here be the spoilers). In trailers we have no context of the deep significance Olaf represents in the final film. Actually there’s an even deeper layer that’s not even acknowledged by the characters in the film, but your brain knew it was there. It hit me like a ton of bricks when he walked into frame. Olaf is literally the HEART of this film.

The royal sisters Elsa and Anna are story centric, but neither of them get to the final conclusion on their own. Both are guided by an unseen force, LOVE. And who describes that force in bittersweet and completely innocent agenda? Olaf!

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Olaf is a thinking, BREATHING (carrot sneezes?), self sacrificing character that was conceived by the sisters when they were at their happiest, and then brought to life completely unknowingly by the Snow Queen Elsa when she embraces her powers. Actually he’s the first thing she creates! It’s so quick, but it’s there, she creates life when she embraces her own freedom. That is an incredible revelation in terms of character development. But when she realizes she has this power, when she’s scared and wants to be alone, she creates an ‘ice monster’ who fiercely protects her. The woman is practically a God who can create life itself, and NO ONE ACKNOWLEDGES IT except those who are scared of her and call her a monster. (By the way, that ‘ice monster’ has an equally deep revealing development in a delightful after credits scene, which breaks a few taboo barriers in my opinion, but I’ll leave that one to discover for yourselves.)

Just as a side track, I’d like to acknowledge the Hollywood process. These days, a good script gets treated over and over by so many writers, producers, directors, and anyone else who thinks they understand the imagination, that it’s truly a rare thing when the final product makes ‘perfect’ sense. I’m a jaded reviewer, it takes a LOT of good storytelling and production value for me to give something 5 stars. Actually I probably wouldn’t even give Frozen 5 stars. It doesn’t even slightly resemble the inspirational source material. It had some faults in terms utilizing the potential this story had, but the final product was in fact extremely heartfelt and entertaining.

So the creators of this final version of the Disney project really outdid themselves when they didn’t make a character that had the power to create life absolutely evil for what would have most likely been explained as ‘story purposes’. The Snow Queen is in fact just lonely, and finds companionship in her sister, and the very people she thought she was protecting by hiding her gifts. She could have created her own winterborn subjects and let the people possibly die. I could go on and on about the significance of the choices this script took, but ultimately that’s not my point.

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My point is this: I was terrified when Disney bought Star Wars. An entire trilogy of Jarjar Binks filled my mind. Will we ever get a sweeping epic space opera again? The announcement of JJ Abrahms to the project didn’t really quell that for me either, even when it gave fans of the new Star Trek reboot hope. Star Wars doesn’t need a reboot, it needs love and life. We as fans never went away, we’re still warming ourselves by the fire of classic storytelling the original trilogy presented. We learned to embrace the prequels in many ways because they are in fact the product of a great creator, BUT… there’s that but again mentioned so many times in relation to this subject. But with all of the canon mapped out so well in the expanded universe, how do we go on from here with Disney at the helm instead?

We go up! (No, not Pixar/Disney’s UP!) If the powers that be at Disney can produce a piece of work about a lonely girl who becomes a God, then becomes a Queen, with a walking talking snowman to guide her there, then perhaps I can learn to accept that some things are meant to change, and some things, however unlikely, should be given a chance, so that they can give us hope.

Why do we love Star Wars? Because a man named George wanted to show us an exciting story that would transport us to a galaxy of a scale greater than our own. Why do we love Disney? Because a man named Walt wanted to show us the exciting and beautiful worlds we are capable of conceiving.

I have hope for George again, thanks Walt.

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Star Wars Viewings

Everyone is putting their two cents in for what they expect in the new Star Wars films, and instead of piling up my opinion on the already dissected and really unimportant “what ifs” I’m instead going to share some of my favorite already existing Star Wars related videos of jokes, reviews, and commentaries. Enjoy!

Belated Media’s “What If Episode 1 Was Good”
Episode 2 and 3 versions are good too after this, but bottom line someone should give this guy a screenwriters job, stat! It’s always been said that one of the biggest problems with the prequels is no one but Lucas wrote and edited them, without anyone around to tell him what might have been a bad idea.

Red Letter Media’s Star Wars Prequels Reviews
Watching the entire series will take almost as much time as watching a full movie, but it’s so worth it. I’m a big fan of everything produced by RLM, even if I don’t agree with every opinion, the thorough break down of reality is honest and entertaining.

Red Letter Media predicting J.J. Abrams would make better Star Wars films and why, solely based on the success of the Star Trek reboot.

The People Vs George Lucas
If you haven’t watched this on Netflix yet, DO IT NOW! It’s an incredibly well made documentary with opinions from all sides of the “argument”, and caused me to rethink my words from now on before I talk down about the creator of my favorite fictional universe.

The Star Wars That I Used To Know
No further explanation needed.

Star Wars Filibuster
Just for fun, this is my favorite Episode 7 suggestion so far. The original one take rant put to animation, I think it should also be noted Patton Oswalt improvised this speech.

Episode 3 A Lost Hope
Almost a year before Revenge was released, a parody based on only the trailers and the previous 2 films was made available for download. It wasn’t too far from the final version in some ways, and better in others.

Star Wars Call Me Maybe
And finally a video that puts aside all differences and makes all 6 films come together in harmony.

Social Media and Screen Names

Making a complete list of how to find me on various social media and chats:
facebook – roseylady
twitter – roseylady
google – scifigal5123@gmail.com or Rose Wollack
aim – Rosey Lady
yahoo messenger – sci-figal
skype – roseyisalady
snapchat – roseyisalady
vine – Rosey Lady
facebook pages – severedwingsconcepts
instagram – roseyisalady
tumblr – roseylady
pintrest – roseylady
wordpress – severedwings
linkedin – Rose Wollack

Why I need 30,000 friends…

Back home from Dragoncon 2013 and I’m going through the typical post-con depression when I noticed some friends talking about getting their badges for next year now. However when I was finishing up the weekend in Atlanta I had just had a discussion about going ahead and skipping the next year.
All this got me thinking, why do I need this weekend? All year, I think about what an amazing time I’ve had before, and how much fun it will be the next time around, but why?
Every year I feel like I miss about 10 percent or more of the people I intend to see. And every year I have more and more friends, so that 10 percent becomes a larger and larger number.
First of all I want to experiment, if I don’t have that one weekend a year from now to plan towards, would I be more likely to make the time to see these people? I think so.
Then there’s the obvious, absence makes the heart grow fonder. If I skip a year, 2 years from this past weekend I “SHOULD” have the time of my life!
Finally, it almost guarantees I can afford and make the time for Star Wars Celebration in April 2015. Star Wars costuming and fandom community means so much to me, everyone I’ve met in it, or met as a result of it are like family to me, and I love every moment with them. A visit to California would bring me closer to some I’ve only seen once or twice in my life. So I want to look forward to that.

But why do I need these events in the first place, why do I need to be surrounded by 30,000+ friends. Because it’s just that, friends. Perfect strangers are never strangers when you have something in common, be it costume building, Star Wars, 80’s cartoon nostalgia, there’s always something to find common ground on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s never perfect, but it sure is damn near perfect.
In 2013 I look forward to “normal” size cons, parties, movie nights, and general get togethers. In 2015 I’ll look forward to absolute insanity again, and I can’t wait! In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my corners of social media to bring the wide world of geekdom a little closer in my mind.

And thank you Dragoncon 2013 for being so awesome, you have inspired me creatively, emotionally, and healthfully. I really needed this after the rest of the year so far.

He-Man and She-ra Photos by Mandy Hughes, Charal and Necromonger by Anna Rossmann.

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Burlesque in my Life

On May 21st, 2010 Salomé Cabaret gave me a chance to express myself in ways at the time I could have only imagined. Now, on May 29, 2013 once again they assist me in my dreams of pursuing an art that so few get to experience, by traveling to Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in Las Vegas.

I’ve lived more than half my life trying to surround myself with like minded people who love the things I love, going to conventions and costuming as characters from some of my favorite movies, tv shows, and literature, so when burlesque began to crossover into that culture, I couldn’t resist and dip my toes into that proverbial pool of talent and stardust. I’ve never looked back.

These communities are my family, my friends, my companions down the roads of uncertainty and imagination, heartache and passions. So today I look forward towards the horizon and say, “Thank you for encouraging me to be me, now let’s have some more fun!”

Watch “Riddick – Debut Trailer” on YouTube

I loved Pitch Black and all the Riddick back story and lore, but I loved the Necromongers the most. And the lack of Necros in this story greatly dissapoints me. The story that should continue after Chronicles seems obvious to me, and yet they’re trying to recreate Pitch Black instead.