Before The Force Awakens

If you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, you might not know about the upcoming Star Wars film [Ed note: much love to the cave dwellers among us]. Even if you have been living in a cave though, chances are you still heard the excited shrieks of fanatics everywhere when they first learned the news.  After months and months of anticipation, the time is finally upon us– Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters nationwide on December 17. The film has been under lock and key since its inception (thankfully, Sony wasn’t involved in this production), so very little is known as we begin the countdown to opening day.  Here’s what we do know:

Name: The Force Awakens

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Director: J.J. Abrams

Veteran director, producer, and self-proclaimed Star Wars fanatic, J.J. Abrams is at the helm of this chapter of the Star Wars saga; Countless interviews show him proclaiming his undying loyalty to the franchise and earnestly professing his efforts to stay true to the originals.  Fandom aside, he has quite the resume, from Mission Impossible III to Lost to, more controversially, Star Trek (the reboot).  Naturally, some die hard Star Wars fans fear a trekkie influence on their beloved franchise; they should know better than anyone though– as Yoda so sagely put it— fear is the path to the dark side.

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What We’re Reading

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This week, The Atlantic featured a stunning video of a group of friends who made a proportional model of the solar system with complete planetary orbits. Usually, depictions of the solar system are incorrect and display the planets too closely together. In order to amend this error, the team took over a dry lake in Nevada and constructed a model by drawing huge circles scattered across the desert. Even for those of us not studying STEM or are not interested in space (despite the buzz around the new Star Wars trailer), this video is an absolute treat.

On Friday, America witnessed another tragic mass shooting. In Colorado Springs, an armed man killed three people and wounded nine others at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Vox  explains why certain pro-choice groups are petitioning President Obama to call these acts against abortion providers domestic terrorism. “The technical term really reflects the use of violence against limited targets to scare a lot of people into doing their bidding,” explained Sasha Bruce, a leading strategist for a large pro-life lobbying group. “These actions are intended to scare women away from seeking an abortion. It fit the bill even before the awful, awful incident Friday in Colorado.”

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Drunk/Sober/High: Watching Star Wars for the first time

Drunk/Sober/High is a series started at New York University’s blog NYULocal. It sends a drunk person, a sober person, and a high person to all go enjoy (and endure) the same experience together. We love it, so we thought we’d give it a try. 

One staff member (High) had the brilliant idea to organize a Star Wars viewing party (not specific, we know) with other staff members who, like her, had never seen any of the Star Wars movies. High was inspired to organize this event due to the impending release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Drunk didn’t realize this key detail until the middle of the evening — more on this later). Here’s what went down:

Pre-Gaming the event

Drunk: After six episodes of Master of None and a 30-minute shower featuring exclusively Missy Elliot, I was ready to go. Nowhere. My friends were coming to my house. Sober rolled up first. In honor of a networking function we both attended last Friday (read: not a networking function) where we had way too much white wine, I brought out a bottle of Pinot Gris and prepared to get wine-drunk SWUG style. High showed up shortly after and we migrated outdoors to accompany her while she smoked. After chilling outside for 30ish minutes sans shoes, I learned that 1) my feet get cold very easily and 2) WE WERE WATCHING STAR WARS BECAUSE A NEW MOVIE WAS COMING OUT.

Sober: I was the first to arrive at Drunk’s house, so I ended up pre-gaming the movie by trying to figure out technology a.k.a. doing the most hyper-sobering thing I could possibly do. Drunk and I spent about 15 minutes trying to turn on the TV and set up Chromecast, both to varying degrees of success, while leaving somewhat unacknowledged the more serious issue of where to find a copy of Star Wars. Luckily, High showed up just in time to [smoke and] somehow get us set up. While this was all happening, a fan came by for a photo-op because apparently we’re famous? (Of course we’re famous. Bow down.) It was a lot to take in. Also notable: I brought myself some Pringles and a pack of Double-Stuf Oreos (shoutout to the Jo’s mini-mart in all of its grossly-overpriced beauty), so my movie munchie game was strong AF.

High: I reprised my role as High during a movie by smoking on Drunk’s porch. Shout out to Sober and Drunk for hanging out in the cold with me like true homies. At some point while contemplating how odd it is to smoke without partaking in the proverbial passing of the bowl, my BOLT leader appeared. We talked to her for too long before explaining our varying degrees of sobriety. When she found out we what we were doing, she was so excited to see D/S/H in action that she took our picture. I remember posing for that photo… I don’t remember what my pose was. I should really ask for that photo. After smoking and hacking into the mainframe to find the movie, we were off to the star-races.

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Time-waster of the day: November 2, 2012

http://youtu.be/9G1anlqrsYg

The recent announcement of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm means that Star Wars has been on our minds the past few days, but we’d be fools to think that this space saga is only important to us Americans. Let us turn our attention to Turkey, the source of undoubtedly the weirdest Star Wars adaptation in history — and by adaptation I mean “blatant misuse of material in the service of B-grade film.”

“Leonidas, I am your father!”

Feast your eyes upon Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam — The Man Who Saved the World, in Turkish — and its absurd whole-cloth lifting of Star Wars scenes directly from the original, as well as its confusing use of the Raiders of the Lost Ark theme song. Why does the Vader-like figure have horns on his head? Why does the Skywalker-like figure have the martial arts skills of Bruce Lee’s 4th-string backup? And why are both factions using muppets as cannon fodder? Guess this galaxy is a lot farther away than we thought.

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Devastation, Outrage, and Pain: Reactions to Episode VII

It was around 1 p.m. on Tuesday when the news sunk in. I had just peacefully awoken to a room awash with cool sunlight. Class was cancelled, the libraries were closed, and the cafeterias were open; it was undoubtedly a simpler time. Without a trace of the urgency that characterizes a typical day at Brown, I eventually drifted over to my computer to see what had transpired during my indulgent sleep. What I found was truly shocking. My newsfeed was alight with stunned reports and fervent commentary.  Many had foreseen a simplified version of what had transpired, but no one could have predicted the extent of the consequences.  Some of the more impassioned outbursts:

Portions of the East Coast remained effectively underwater, but these outspoken friends were aghast at another piece of news: The announcement of Star Wars Episode VII. Continue Reading