Nerd Rant: My Renewed Hope in Star Wars

I’m not going to lie to you.  After the final prequel film ended, and the saga was complete,  I was left unsatisfied.  We were given three new, and unfulfilling movies that were pale comparisons to their predecessors, and they failed to add anything new to the experience, and in many cases, depreciated the originals joy and creativity.  And it was over.  No more Star Wars.  No hope.

As I am in love with Star Wars enough to look past many things, I still purchased the movies and began watching The Clone Wars tv series when it came out.  This was a good thing.  Though the show skewed young, it aged with it’s female protagonist, Ahsoka Tahno, and in not-so-small of a way, made up for the disappointing prequel films.  This, at least, was Star Wars.

Then Star Wars Rebels happened, and I was finally getting Star Wars on the level I needed.  It isn’t the big screen romp I wanted, but it was good storytelling, in the galaxy far, far away.  My hope began to kindle.

The Force Awakens came the following year, and my hope for a world where new and inspiring Star Wars stories took flight.  Was it a perfect movie?  No, but it did something that none of the prequels had done.  It reminded me of why I loved Star Wars, and gave me something new, in the form of some of the most complex and interesting characters we’ve yet to see in Star Wars.  I was ready.

And now, Rogue One, A Star Wars Story has arrived, and it truly is my New Hope for Star Wars.  They succeeded on every level.  Do I think there are flaws in the film?  Yes.  But then again, there were flaws in 4, 5 and 6 too.  But they were the flaws you look over, because ultimately they do not detract from the overall experience of the film–which was a lot of fun!  In fact, I truly only have two problems with the film, and both of them involve unnecessary cameos of characters from episode 4.  But they are small complaints, because when the credits finally rolled, I was not left unsatisfied, or unfulfilled.  I left the theatre loving Star Wars that much more.

Thank you, Gareth Edwards.  #YouDoneGood

2015

I moved across the country.
I lost weight, and gained it back.
I read twenty-three books.  Not one of them was the one I promised to read.
I literally, “leaped for joy,” upon learning of my wife’s pregnancy.
I starred in a movie and made several.
My son taught me how to be a triceratops.  I taught him about bacon.
I was unemployed. “Sorry, we’re going in a cheaper direction.”
But, then I got a job.
I wore a tuxedo, and cried at a wedding.
But then my baby died.  I held him in my arms, only once, for fear I wouldn’t let him go again.
We put him in the ground, and I held my wife.
And, then I went to work.
I made new friends.
I tried new food.
I cried a lot. 
I began working on my novel again.  We’ll see how it works out.
I have not visited his grave.
Christmas is supposed to be a happy time of year.
All I want is for it to be September 8th, and for him to still be here.
But time is a constant.
Thanksgiving was good.
I’ve whispered “I love you” into my son’s ear, on a consistent basis.
I’ve watched Star Wars twice.
I’ll see it again, soon.
I don’t like resolutions.
But I will promise myself, this:

I will not stop.  I will continue.  I will learn how to breathe again.
I will make him proud.
I love you, Isaac.

The Force is Strong with this One

“The Force Awakens” is the seventh Star Wars film, and it has never been so cool! JJ Abrams has successfully reignited the franchise, by not only drawing on all three of the original trilogy, but also by introducing us to some of the most interesting and complex characters the series has ever seen. Oh, and then there’s “The Force.”

“The Force” is a character in this film and has never been as interesting or visually engaging! It kicked the proverbial @$$ in this film. I’ve never been so excited about Star Wars than I am having watched “The Force Awakens” in the theatre (twice). I now know what it must have felt like in 1977 when my parents saw “Star Wars” for the first time.

See this movie.

Indiana – Hollywood Part Deux?

So, here I am on the set of another movie in so many days. Today I’m playing Nate, the affable best friend of Michael, who is consoling his friend as he deals with girl problems in “Sparks Fly.” Short films are fun to make; the commitment isn’t huge and it helps to exercise your acting muscles.

I’m feeling good. I was cast late last night, as a last minute replacement. Thank you, Elaine Gardner, for dropping my name. There’s nothing like playing make-believe to keep you young. It is, however, par for the course that I am helping the crew out.  I just love being on a movie set and can’t stop myself from asking “what can I do” whenever there’s a break from my own duties. Today, the back of my head gets to play an extra and I get to help move cars for the producers because my scene had to be shuffled around due to an uncooperative sun.

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The more I’m doing this the more I’m learning my lines faster and faster. I can’t wait to see where I am a year from now. My brother and I are slowly putting together a feature film to shoot at his home in South Carolina, and my Star Wars Fan Film has been granted an additional year of pre-production due to an unsuccessful crowdfunding campaign (a blog post about this will be appearing here in the relative future, but suffice it to say I’m not bummed and I think it will work out for the best this way). So, with the new job granting me quite a bit of freedom to shoot, and the 60 Hour Film Challenge in 2 weeks, my Indiana-based Hollywood career is taking off quite well.

Anywho, I’ll write a real blog post here shortly, but for now I have to pretend like I’m drinking the associate producers coffee again.

“Action!”