Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker Teaser Trailer Breakdown!!!

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Alright my awesome fellow Star Wars fans, I don’t know about you but damn yesterday’s teaser trailer has my mind freaking buzzing nonstop!!! There is just so much we’re given in this short two minute clip and I promised you that today we’d take a closer look at all the epic reveals and possible theories revolving around this finale of the Skywalker saga! Are you ready?! Let’s GO!!!

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So first off, the title: The Rise of Skywalker!!! I mean how fitting is it that the saga will end with the name of it’s most influential and tumultuous family. Now, I’m not going to lie, my first instinctual gut-reaction to the title reveal was not the most positive. Perhaps it was because the title was shown next to a newly released picture of Daisy Ridley as Rey, but my first thought was oh crap, this is really going to feed into those Rey-is-a-Skywalker theories and give them a lot of support. But like I always say, to each their own, no one sees Star Wars the same way as any other fan and for all we know, this could be the case — but for me, I personally do not want our heroine to be a lost daughter of the Skywalker line, it just doesn’t make sense at this point and it serves no point now that both possible fathers, Han and Luke, are dead.

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If this young girl we have come to care so much about has spent her whole life waiting to be reunited with the family that abandoned her as a child only to met the two men that might be her father and neither of them acknowledge her before they die, that just seems pretty harsh. So in all honesty, my first thought was not the most positive. But upon taking a few minutes to calm down and reflect on the title as a piece of the whole saga and not just the sequel trilogy, I found great joy in the thought that this reveal was leading us not only back to Luke, but back to Anakin and Shmi, the first Skywalkers known in our galaxy far, far away. The title may have nothing to do with Rey other than the site I was looking at placed her picture next to the title card. For the last eight movies leading up to this epic finale, we have watched our Skywalker heroes lose themselves to the darkness in one form or another: Vader falls to the darkside because of fate and love, Luke abandons the galaxy after unleashing the next wave of evil because of fear, guilt, and judgement, and Kylo Ren turns to it to survive in a world where even his own family wants him dead because of the mere possibility of what he may do in the future.

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Each one of our Skywalker men have fallen, each one has tasted darkness and death in the Force’s pursuit of righting itself, but now it is time for them to rise, to become the heroes we know they can be. The Force called upon Anakin to be the greatest darkness borne from the greatest light, and now I think it’s balancing itself by calling upon Kylo to become the greatest light borne from the greatest darkness. The Skywalker line had a hero taken from them to enact a terrible fate upon the galaxy, but now they will have one restored to them to bring the balance back into all things.

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Which leads me on to the trailer itself… which ends not only with the maniacal cackling of Emperor Palpatine himself (OMFG am I right!) but also with Kylo Ren’s thematic music playing as the title reveals itself. Only this time the key has changed and the notes end not with the boom of death but with a triumphant ring that leaves me filled with so much hope!!! Music tells the story of Star Wars just as much as the actors, the script, the setting, or the color palates, it evokes our senses in the most primal way and makes the story and it’s characters so completely real to us in a way that nothing else can. When we hear the Force’s theme we know magic is real and that we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. Anakin’s speaks of tragedy, first love, and the inescapability of fate while Han and Leia’s embodies romance and possibility and a lover’s spat. We know these characters and their place in the story by the music that surrounds them, and until now Kylo’s theme has been a projection of quicksilver temperament and descisive darkness, but upon the proclamation that the Skywalkers will rise, his theme turns victorious and bright, triumphant at last! To me this signals that the family I’ve known and loved all my life will find their way back into the light. We may finally get the see Ben Solo become the man that Anakin Skywalker never got to be.

Next up is the backflip seen round the world, and let me just say, I was sitting in my back room at work attempting to eat lunch and ended up shrieking out loud when I first saw this!!! Rey from Nowhere is one badass heroine, a fact she’s proven time and again in this sequel trilogy, but NEVER IN ALL MY LIFE HAVE I SEEN SOMEONE BACKFLIP ONTO A MOVING TIE-FIGHTER WITH A BLAZING LIGHTSABER IN HAND AND I AM SHOOK!!!  I never knew I needed that in my life but apparently I was mistaken because that scene is LIFE! With a tie-fighter screaming it’s approach, Rey ignites the legacy saber and looks over her shoulder as if to say, Now, I am ready before sprinting dead ahead of the deadly craft and throwing herself in the air, presumably to land on the top of the fighter itself. We don’t see the face of the pilot but at this point we know those black gloves well and it’s easy to assume that it’s our Skywalker/Solo son racing towards Rey in this heart-stopping feat and I could not be happier! It looks like after all this time, our two next-gen’s are finally working together, training in the desert for whatever battle lies ahead and if Rey come into the finale fight atop a screaming tie-fighter in all her raging glory then I may just pass the f*ck out! The films have said time and again that Rey needs a teacher and considering the ship was only advancing on her and not firing, I see this as some epic training happening at last and I am here for it! Kylo Ren is the heir of two of the galaxies best pilots ever known and Rey is the burning light and ferocity of the desert itself. Together they will be unstoppable!!!

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The rest of the trailer goes by in quick flashes but we see a misty blue planet ringed with mountains and clouds that just screams Alderaan-before-it’s-destruction to me so I am hella excited to see what exactly this place is! There’s also a shot of Kylo’s mask being reforged with searing red lines by some rather hairy hands — which makes me wonder if it’s Chewie’s handiwork here, the reintroduction of our favorite charmer and old smoothie Lando Calrissian (or Unca Wanwo to Ben) who I am hoping to see interact with Kylo/Ben in some fashion. Of all people in the Star Wars universe, Lando knows how it feels to betray those you love and care for, Han Solo in particular, and find your way back to honor and a good life. Ben will need him as an example and Lando will finally have someone who understands his past actions.

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Kylo also fights unmasked in a red-tinged scene, troopers at his side, and I find myself wondering what side they’re fighting for? I firmly believe the troopers will switch sides, that they will follow Finn’s lead and find the humanity inside them that the First Order tried to snuff out and will rise up in revolt, and how badass would it be to have Kylo lead them away from the Order as they all decide to find Rey and the Resistance!! Again, this is all strictly theory at this point, but it’s the way I see things and the direction I want the storytellers to follow 😀 Finn and Poe look dashing as ever and I’m so happy to see this film reunite this pair and I cannot wait to see what shenanigans they get up to as the film progresses! BB-8 also has a new little buddy who makes a quick appearance, D-0 (hoping that’s spelled right) who looks like a one-wheeled, cone-headed rubber ducky with the face of a hair-dryer and I must find him on a t-shirt quickly because he’s too freaking adorable for words! I had high hopes for BB-8 and BB-9E being lightside/darkside besties and so far those haven’t been fulfilled so by-thunder BB needs a bestie already and D-0 won my heart in two seconds flat!

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We also see Leia (!!!) not only hugging Rey, but holding the medal she awarded Han after the battle of Yavin in A New Hope — excuse me while I sob my eyes out —  and then finally our heroes approach the watery remains of what appears to be the fallen Death Star! That’s right people, THE DEATH STAR ITSELF RETURNS!!!  I cannot express how eerie and unexpected and heart-pounding seeing this onscreen was for me, and it really just drives home the point that we are going back to the beginning, back to the original great evil in the galaxy: Darth Sidious himself, and I hope beyond hope that this time when our heroes face him they will face him with not only Ben Solo, but his grandfather Anakin Skywalker (as a Force Ghost of course) at their side. Anakin and Ben had their choices taken from them in one fashion or another, and now they need to be allowed to become the men that they always should have been. Great light and great darkness combined, Skywalkers rising at last.

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And there you have it my fellow SW fans, my take and analysis of the newly released teaser trailer for Star Wars episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker! What did you guys think of the trailer and what theories did it inspire in you? I’ve seen people mentioning the return of the Senate but I must have missed it somehow so if you see what they’re talking about please let me know because I hate missing something so crucial! Was there anything else big I missed, if so please let me know in the comments because I love discussing this stuff with you all and I am just so excited for this release of new info! Hope you guys have an awesome weekend and I’ll talk to you again soon!

But before I go here’s a bonus picture of the new character (not seen in the trailer) Jannah!!! She looks freaking epic does she not!!!

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Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker!!!

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It’s been a big day for us my fellow Star Wars fans! Not only did we finally get a title drop (because I mean Dear God it felt like we never would) but we also got our first look at this soon-to-be epic finale with the first ever teaser trailer dropped at Star Wars Celebration! I have to say it was near torture to be at work knowing that this thing was streaming online and that I couldn’t just go in the back at watch it with all the other awesome fans (who plans this kind of reveal for the middle of a work day I ask you?!) but a little after one o’clock I peered online and finally saw the title that we’ve all been waiting for and guessing at for the last year or so, and then had the strength of will (and the desire to not be fired for walking out and claiming it to be an official Star Wars Day of celebration!) I made it to a late lunch of 2:30 and finally got to see the teaser… and let me just tell you, I nearly fell out of my chair!

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From the Han and Leia romance theme blaring in the background, to the backflip-onto-a-tie-fighter that shocked the entire fandom, to the victorious return of Lando Calrissian himself, this trailer was EVERYTHING I had hoped it would be and frankly so much more than I thought we would get! Needless to say, we’ve got A LOT to discuss!!! So we’ll definitely have a more in-depth breakdown of all the epic moments and hella shockers tomorrow but I just wanted to be here with you all tonight, my Star Wars family, as we gather around and take our first look at the end of the Skywalker saga… and appreciate all the magic it has created in our lives!!!

And thank you again for taking this year-long journey into the mythos of Star Wars with me, I know there were no posts this week but I declared a mini-break was very much in order (and very necessary to be honest) but never fear, we’ll continue right on with our regularly scheduled SW posts tomorrow with a deeper look at the trailer itself before returning to Episode III: Revenge of the Sith!!!  ❤ Tara

End Of The Month Review: Attack Of The Clones

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I can’t believe the second month of our year-long countdown to Star Wars Episode IX has come and gone my fellow SW fans and we’re already gearing up for round three! We’ve happily spent the past two months together exploring the fandom and breaking down the themes, characters, and meaning behind the first two films in the Skywalker saga: The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones – and I don’t know about you, but I feel like we covered some hella fun topics along the way!

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Before we jump headlong into Revenge of the Sith and all its epic heartbreak and darkness, I figured it’s only fitting to tie up our experience with AOTC with a little end of the month review! So, if you’ve missed any of March’s posts or are new to Whispered Mutterings in general, now’s the perfect time to explore the site and get all caught up before Episode III begins! Thanks for coming on this Star Wars journey with me – thank you for every view, like, comment, and share. You guys are amazing, and you make SW and the fandom amazing too!

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May the Force be with you ❤

February’s Attack Of The Clones Posts:

The Journey Continues: Attack Of The Clones

AOTC: The Last Rays of Light

AOTC: Stolen Moments And A Splintered Soul

AOTC: Master and Padawan

AOTC: An Unholy Alliance

AOTC: Naboo — The End Of The Fairytale

AOTC: Once Upon A Cautionary Tale

AOTC: A Voice Of Reason In The Darkness

AOTC: Shades Of Morality

AOTC: Fallen Heroes

Bonus Posts:

Delving into Star Wars: Queen’s Shadow

Star Wars Book Review: Queen’s Shadow

Top 11 Revelations From Queen’s Shadow!!!

A (possible) Star Wars Story

A (possible) Star Wars Story

Hello again my fellow Star Wars fans, I hope you’re having a delightful day — especially since there appears to have been some promotional leaks abounding on twitter regarding Episode IX 😀 Now I’m not one for massive spoilers myself, and in all honestly I didn’t get much out of the “leak” whether it was real or not, but it brought a lot of excitement to the fandom so yay for that!

Now down to tonight’s post… I’m going to level with you — I tried, but it just wasn’t happening. No matter how much I sat down and stared at the open Word doc, the words just were not flowing. And instead of freaking out, I’m choosing to find another option for when this invariably happens again — because let’s be real, even if you love something to distraction, you’re going to falter every now and then. It happens — or at least that’s what I’m telling myself!

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Now I know my Whimsical Muttering’s family isn’t familiar with my creative writing efforts because that’s all usually posted on my moonstonemaiden blog, but I do have a Star Wars-esque story that I’ve been working on for sometime that I’ve been debating sharing nor not anyway, so my question for you guys is this: would you be interested in a reoccurring creative piece that would be updated on those days where I don’t want to disappoint by not posting anything, but the analytical muse is just not cooperating with me? No worries if it’s not something that interests you, I just want to make sure the site continues to grow and expand and has something to offer to everyone, even myself when I just need a helping hand 😀

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So if your don’t mind, make sure to vote and let me know what you think and thank you guys so much for taking this epic Star Wars journey with me! Even though I stumble from time to time, I’m having so much fun breaking down this story and finding incredible new SW truths with you all!!!  ❤ Tara

Star Wars Book Review: Queen’s Shadow

Hello again my fellow Star Wars fans, I finally finished the new SW book: Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston let me tell you…it was one helluva emotional roller-coaster. Seriously, I’m not going to lie…I cried. Like a lot. It’s probably sad how emotional I got, but I’m a crier and I’ve come to terms with that. Anyway, I told y’all a few posts ago that I’d write more of a review once I actually finished the book and that time has come at last! That being said…MAJOR SPOILERS ARE AHEAD – so if you don’t want to know anything about the book or are planning to read it yourself, maybe save this post for later because I have some serious tea to spill and I’m not great at keeping secrets!

First and foremost, let me just say: Thank the Maker and E.K. Johnston! As a prequel and Padme fan, this book is one I’ve been waiting for since I first saw Padme onscreen when I was nine years old! We get so little of our favorite Queen/Senator in the fandom (in official avenues or otherwise) so I was totally ready for this book, especially since I heard about it almost a year ago and have been frantically patiently waiting for it ever since. Not only does it have one of the most stunning covers I’ve ever seen, but damn if Ms. Johnston didn’t capture Padme’s voice perfectly! I literally had chills the entire first chapter!

Coming back to this time and place and people that I left behind so many years ago and knowing what was coming ahead for them but not how they were going to get there was insane. It was like watching Ani fall to the darkside for the first time all over again: here was Padme just living her life and it was almost as if we could reach out and touch her, warn her of the terrors and dangers ahead. A beautiful window was suddenly open to a time before death and darkness had settled over the galaxy, and maybe, just maybe we could make a difference. Alter fate. But no, no matter how much we want to save our beloved Padme, we’re left helpless, our words of warning remain unheard and we know, once the book is finished, Padme will still die. But still, for the first time we have her perspective, her voice, her words. Padme is telling the story for once, and not the story we already know, but one in that time in-between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, a time of trial and change where she is becoming the powerhouse political advocate we know her to be. This Padme is preparing to give up her Queendom and life on Naboo to take on her next great challenge: the galactic Senate.

But it’s not just Padme that we share this adventure with, it’s her handmaidens – those brave shadowy women that guard Amidala and put themselves in danger so that she may survive. Make no mistake about it, these women are ready to die for their Queen/Senator/Friend, and some of them actually do. To be a handmaiden is to stare into the face of death and say: take me.

Considering there are so few female characters in Star Wars, I have always been fascinated by these mysterious, brave women… I mean who are they? What are their stories? What are their truths? What have they seen and what secrets do they keep? Until now we’ve never known, but this book delves right into the heart of the handmaidens and their relationship with Padme and the outside world. Their voices and scenes with Padme are my absolute favorite part of Queen’s Shadow, they just radiate power and capability. These young women are badass, even if no-one else around them knows it – and when it comes down to it, that’s precisely how they’d prefer it!

It’s upsetting that the films never explored the lives of the handmaidens before, but in fairness, there was a much larger story to tell and only so much time to tell it. That’s why books like Queen’s Shadow are so important, they fill in the blanks for so many awesome characters and content that the films just don’t have space to. I truly hope that in the wake of upcoming shows like The Mandalorian, we get a live-action series about these fierce women who gave their lives and identities to their Queen and their planet. We are brave Your Highness.

Over all this book was everything I wanted it to be. It was empowering and emotional and I could hear Padme speaking through it. There wasn’t any huge flip-twist-surprise at the end like some other SW novels and I was completely ok with that. This reads as more of a character study than an action novel, we’re finally given time to understand how Padme thinks and feels and reacts on her own and in her own words. I would have been okay with more drama, but even without it, this story was superb! We don’t often get to see Padme outside of her relationship with Anakin or any of the other male leads, so with Queen’s Shadow she is finally given a chance to shine on her own, to dominate. And my God was she and her handmaidens fierce as hell.

**Stay tuned for the second part of this review where I breakdown the Top 5 revelations from Queen’s Shadow and their impact on the Star Wars legacy!

Media Via:

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Attack Of The Clones: The Last Rays of Light

With one month down and The Phantom Menace now behind us, I settled in to re-watch Star Wars Attack of the Clones yesterday afternoon. It had been a little while since I had seen this one and in some ways it felt like I was watching it again for the first time.

When it first premiered in May of 2002 I was in the soaring upswing of my complete and utter adoration/fascination/obsession of all things wildly romantic – I was about to be 13 and dramatic flair was my middle name. All these years later I’ve never really come down off that high of loving impossible romances. Yes, they’re unrealistic ideallic fantasy-dreams that don’t exist in the real world, but there’s still something about them that sucks me in. And at 13 everything seems possible – and plausible – so the more dramatic and impossible the love story, the more I adored it. Needless to say, when episode II hit theaters, I was MESMORIZED.

Attack of the Clones was everything I needed Star Wars to be at that time of my life, it was lush and beautiful, with sweeping scenes of waterfall picnics and sunshine-drenched lake houses. Padme’s clothes were to-die-for and the addition of a purple lightsaber just was sheer perfection. Add to that, Anakin was suddenly attractive – something I didn’t even know to expect – and he was in love with Padme and it was a forbidden love, which just made it all the better! My young heart beat to the tune of the Anidala theme my friends, and I never looked back. I was a shipper before I knew knew what shipping was and for me this installment was a love story plain and simple, and love stories were my bread and butter.

But watching it now almost twenty years later, what really struck me this time first and foremost wasn’t the actual love story –although it is still epic – but rather Anakin’s attitude during the first half of the film. When I think of Ani now, having seen the entire saga, I often picture the Jedi Knight in episode III, the closed-off, near-drowning man who can’t find the light to save himself. Or maybe the happy little boy winning the big pod-race and believing that all his dreams will come true. But this Anakin, this teenaged AOTC Anakin, struck me this time around as such a forgotten gem of a person. He comes across as sullen and argumentative and is therefore automatically panned as being a classic teenage whiner but that’s only when he’s in the company of Jedi. He’s spent the last ten years being told to contain his nature, to submit to the Jedi’s way of life and for someone who is so emotionally mature and expressive, it’s no wonder he chafes at such restrictive and harmful instruction. But the moment Padme enters his life again, all that meaningless chatter and chastisement visibly melt away and he is again that boy from the desert who can’t help but speak the truth.

“Ani? My goodness, you’ve grown.” — Padme Amidala
“So have you, grown more beautiful…” — Anakin Skywalker

Anakin has always been portrayed as highly emotive, especially in the previous film, what he thinks and feels he says, and he has no qualms about expressing to someone that they’re important to him. His honesty and openness are originally commendable but now set against the restrictive nature of the Jedi code – with their aversion to attachment and expression of emotions – is suddenly portrayed as wrong as we see it that way as well. He is chided and ridiculed by Obi-Wan for his display of obvious feelings, but it’s not in Anakin to lie. Not yet. There is still too much of his mother in him, too much of her teachings and love and wisdom to be beaten down completely by dogmatic rhetoric.

That’s why very time Anakin is with Padme he finds himself speaking his most inner absolute truths – things that most people would blush at or feel too embarrassed to speak aloud. Because she is not Jedi, and because he knows that somehow she understand him and he needs her to know the truth while he can still say it. He explains his love for her, his admiration and respect for Obi-Wan as well as the crippling frustrations with his Jedi training. It’s like he cannot help himself. Every time he speaks to her, the truth overwhelms him. After ten years of being encouraged to lock his old self away, and not give in to emotion or his own instincts, the real Anakin is dying to be recognized, to be understood. Even at his darkest, he hides nothing.  It’s incredibly beautiful to watch, but painful at the same time. Painful because honesty is actually frightening for most people and because it’s as if Anakin’s spirit is trying to purge itself of the last ten years of repressed emotion. He’s unconsciously attempting to shake off the shackles of Jedi mentality, but it’s too late, he’s completely surrounded, his fate is already sealed, and this is the last time we truly get to see Anakin as he was before. His time as Anakin Skywalker is fading fast, and it’s almost like some part of him knows it.

“From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought of you. And now that I’m with you again… I’m in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you — I can’t breathe.” –Anakin Skywalker

So after watching AOTC again for what is probably the hundredth time, what I see now is a boy who hasn’t yet been broken. What is often read as awkward and argumentative behavior, is in reality just Ani desperately pushing back against the Jedi’s restrictive nature and seeing Padme again immediately reverts him to his old self. He speaks the truth to her with no shame hampering him and for a short time becomes the person he wants most to be — someone capable of great deeds, and great emotions. Ultimately, he is still the Anakin we met on Tattooine, he is still Shmi’s son – but now time is running out, and the Anakin we know and love is coming nearer and nearer his final fatal destiny.

 

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The Journey Continues: Attack of the Clones

It was a year chock-full of Harry Potter hysteria, marching band performances, swoon-worthy new crushes, and general over-the-top middle-school histrionics when Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, finally soared into theaters in May of 2002. Three months shy of my thirteenth birthday and with the end of seventh grade looming on the horizon, I was in that dreamy/dopey stage of life where everything was epic and larger than life and I didn’t understand half of what my peers were talking about, but it was fun just being in the conversations. It’s easy to look back on this time of my life and cringe at the ridiculous nature of how everything was so dramatic and completely larger than life all the time, but in reality that’s what made it so great. And the same goes for the movie itself. Yes it’s cheesy and over-the-top and I spent half the movie cringing from second-hand humiliation but my God that’s what makes it so amazing.

My biggest (and most awkward and therefore embarrassing) memory of AOTC releasing happened a few days after seeing the movie in the theater. A fellow classmate mentioned how many times Anakin and Padme “made out” and as I had the completely wrong idea of what that phrase meant, I was horrified and vehemently denied it, like what movie did you watch?! I know, I’m still getting red-faced thinking back on it now, but I was a Harry Potter obsessed band-geek walking cliché, I wasn’t up on all the dating terminology. Suffice it to say, I was completely confused and then epically embarrassed to discover that it just meant kissing…

Sigh, don’t you just miss middle-school?!


Anyway – despite my lack of dating knowledge, I was and always have been a sucker for romance (the more extravagant and angsty the better) and this movie with its idyllic picnic sequence and forbidden love tension just fed my melodramatic pre-teen soul. Han and Leia had a love that burned bright and true in the original trilogy, but Anakin and Padme’s suppressed desire rattled the damn stars. This is the type of drama I LIVED for, and between AOTC and Moulin Rouge, it was a damn fine time to be alive. If at any point Anakin had sung a ballad to Padme declaring his undying love and devotion like Moulin Rouge’s Come What May, I may have actually perished.

In a lot of ways this second movie – and especially the characterization of Ani – encapsulated who I was when I watched it for the first time – endearingly awkward and sweet, full of hope for the future and the promise of adventure. But beneath the surface, there’s the churning of fate and the inescapability of time as the first tugs of destiny pull you toward the path of adulthood. There’s fear and resentment and anger but it’s tempered with the brightest of joys and the thrill of experiencing so many life-altering firsts. First love, first solo trip, first time making decisions for yourself, and of course, the first true dose of epic humiliation.

Overall, Attack of the Clones was a whirlwind, wild ride of all out emotions and danger and drama, and frankly some of the most gorgeous fashion statements I’ve ever seen in my entire life. (I’m looking at YOU lake dress!!!) I laughed, I cried, I cringed, and almost twenty years later, I’m still enraptured by the beauty of it all, of the forbidden love between a Jedi and a Senator that couldn’t be denied, and the tragic-and-yet unbreakable bond between Anakin and Obi-Wan that runs just as deeply. It marks the end of Anakin’s youth, the end of his innocence, and sets the stage for the inevitable enactment of his destiny. And as someone transitioning into adulthood at the time myself, I could totally relate. This is the phase of life where everything is possible, where you’re invincible and at your most vulnerable, and every emotion is a torrent that threatens to consume you. This is middle school my friends, and damn wasn’t it a magical time to be alive.

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End Of The Month Review: The Phantom Menace

I can’t believe the first month of our year-long countdown to Star Wars Episode IX has come and gone my fellow SW fans and we’re already gearing up for round two! We’ve happily spent the past few weeks together exploring the fandom and breaking down the themes, characters, and meaning behind the first film in the Skywalker saga: The Phantom Menace – and I don’t know about you, but I feel like we covered some hella fun topics along the way!

Before we jump headlong into Attack of the Clones and all its epic Anidala glory, I figured it’s only fitting to tie up our experience with TPM with a little end of the month review! So, if you’ve missed any of January’s posts or are new to Whimsical Mutterings in general, now’s the perfect time to explore the site and get all caught up before Episode II begins! Thanks for coming on this Star Wars journey with me – thank you for every view, like, comment, and share. You guys are amazing, and you make SW and the fandom amazing too!

May the Force be with you ❤

January’s TPM Posts:

The Journey Begins: The Phantom Menace

TPM: Judgement and Consequence

TPM: The Emergence and Importance of Fate

TPM: A Light in the Darkness

TPM: Enter The Gray Jedi

TPM: Shadows In The Force

TPM: The Reign Of A Queen

TPM: A Queen’s Victory

TPM: A Mother’s Love And Legacy

TPM: The True Phantom Menace

Bonus Posts:

Star Wars Episode IX: The Beginning of the End

Epic Fun In The Fandom: #ReyloNight

 

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The Phantom Menace: A Queen’s Victory

Obi-Wan Kenobi may have overcome the epic new darksider Darth Maul in the finale of The Phantom Menace with one of the most powerful songs in the history of film playing in the background, but I think it’s safe to say that the true victory of the first installment of the Star Wars saga is unequivocally Padme Amidala’s. With her unerring bravery, compassion, intellect, determination, and lack of self-sabotaging ego, Padme goes from a young Queen under attack to a bold ruler who negotiates and fights both on and off the battlefield to secure the safety of both herself and her world’s peoples. Even with the accompaniment of two of the order’s most capable Jedi sent to assist her, it is Padme who ultimately formulates the plan to end the Trade Federation’s unlawful occupation of Naboo and while doing so, mend the tattered relations with the other Sentient race of Naboo, the Gungans.

In a series that is so dominated by masculine heroes and ideals, I think it’s incredibly impactful and telling that the prequels begin the origin of the Skywalker saga with the victory of a woman, a Queen. I have no issue with Luke as the main hero in the originals, he’s the one I’ve rooted for my whole life, the man I emulated and hoped to be like. Leia was strong and fierce and amazing, but she is sometimes overshadowed by her twin brother and even that rascal who won her heart: Han Solo. The victories, even the typically more feminine emotional ones, were mostly male accomplishments. So when the first great battle of the new trilogy was won by a girl about my age, let me tell you, it made me feel so powerful, so capable of anything.

“I will sign no treaty Senator. My fate will be no different to that of our people.” — Queen Amidala

And what made it even more impactful was witnessing Padme’s frailty, her fear and hesitation, because not only did it humanize her, but it made her so much more real. Leia was ALWAYS the baddest b*tch in the galaxy and she knew it, but it was nice and important to see the perceived weakness grow into the strength that saves the day.

Over the course of the film, we are visually bombarded with similar scenes of Padme trying to stand her ground and make life or death decisions while her councilmen, pilots, head of security, Jedi ambassadors, senators, and even the lackluster Supreme Chancellor all vie to make their opinion her decision.

Even after being whisked away by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, Padme is lost and noticeably alone amongst her troupe of male saviors, but she doesn’t let that fear keep her from acting. (Yes, she has her handmaidens by her side some of the way – and yes, they are hella epic – but onscreen we don’t get too much of them.) She refuses to be left behind while Qui-Gon scouts Mos Espa for supplies to fix their ship, and it is her determination to see the world for herself and her curiosity of life outside of her own limited view that leads her to understand the issues of the galaxy at large – which later impacts her decision to remain in the political arena once her term as Queen has ended. She meets with people who have no voice, people who have no choice in their own lives… it’s not surprising that afterward she becomes one of the loudest voices in the room.

“I was not elected to watch my people suffer and die while you discuss this invasion in a committee!” — Queen Amidala

It’s here that Padme meets the only other impactful woman in The Phantom Menace: Shmi Skywalker. Shmi is a slave and an only mother raising an extremely gifted young son on a planet where she is considered cattle to be bought and sold, won and lost to the highest bidder. She easily could have been portrayed as bitter, a spiteful shrew how hates the galaxy for doing her wrong, but instead we’re given a powerful, peaceful woman who sees the evils thrown her way and stands tall with pride and compassion. I have more to say about Shmi, but that’s for another post…suffice it to say, we see a noticeable difference in Padme after she encounters the Mother of the Skywalker line.

“The Republic doesn’t exist out here. We must survive on our own.” — Shmi Skywalker

The Padme that emerges from Tattooine is more grounded, surer of herself and the actions she must take. She still doesn’t know how to right the wrongs of the Trade Federation, but now she sees the plight of others outside of herself and her people…which in time leads her to Jar-Jar and the hidden strength of the Gungan army. Padme’s decision to appeal to the Gungans showcases the greatest lesson she’s learned since leaving her home-planet: that great evil can be conquered not only by force, but by intelligence and compassion. It is her humility and lack of ego, something she learned to put aside on Tattooine, that convinces the Gungans to help her, and it is only with their combined efforts that they free their planet.

“I ask you to help us… no, I beg you to help us.” — Queen Amidala

This is Padme’s greatest victory: a battle for justice and peace hard-won by brute force and intellect, her compassion for life as well as her passion for her planet, her selflessness as a woman, and her power as a Queen. A true middle-ground, a shade of gray, placed here in the first movie as an example of what can come of later is others follow in her footsteps. I can only hope to see her legacy live on in her grandson, another leader who has the greatest lesson to learn and everything that matters to either win…or lose.

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The Phantom Menace: The Reign Of A Queen


“I will not condone a course of action that will lead us to war.”  — Queen Amidala

I remember being in awe of Padme Amidala the moment she appeared onscreen in The Phantom Menace. She was — for lack of a better word — just epic.

Like everyone else in the packed theater, I didn’t know she was actually Leia’s mom, but between her unforgettable fashion and her unwavering bravery, I knew I had found a new Star Wars woman to look up to and I was captivated.  She was only a few years older than me (back in 1999) yet she seemed so much older and wiser than my lackluster nine-year old self. Padme was fearless, steady, intelligent, and elegant — pretty much everything I ever wanted to be. When she first appeared onscreen before the Trade Federation she was unflinching and unbreakable; she refused to accept defeat, and instead held her head high as she fought against the illegal invasion of her home-world. Simply put: she was a badass. I mean it’s no wonder Leia was such a spitfire princess and rebellion-leader!

Even on Naboo amongst her own council Padme stands stalwart and alone amidst a sea of men, each telling her what he thinks she should do, vying for her attention, and forcefully declaring their opinion to be the only valid one. Visually, it’s a powerful scene and as a woman it’s even more so because it would have been so easy to have her listen to one of them, to have her admit defeat, and then wait to be rescued by the heroic Jedi knights. But instead we see her hold her ground, frightened and alone as she is, she stands up for her own point of view — expressing herself elegantly but forcefully. And most importantly, we see this determined young Queen actively decide her own fate.

It is Padme’s choice to leave Naboo and appeal for help abroad, it is her choice to follow Qui-Gon into the desert-swept town of Mos Espa, and then to step before the galactic Senate and speak the truth that no one else wanted to hear. And when no help was offered from said Senate, it was Padme’s choice to humble herself before the other occupants of Naboo and ask for their assistance securing the planet. Every step of the way, for good or for ill, Padme is an active participant in her life, she doesn’t shirk decision-making or side-step taking the first step. She evaluates situations as they arise and she alters her course to ensure that her people and her planet are cared-for to the best of her abilities. She is no figurehead Queen. Padme is a battle-tested monarch, a woman born to rule and brave enough to do it.

With a blaster in hand and a razor-sharp intellect, Padme Amidala is one hell of a role-model for the prequel-era generation – or any generation at that. She makes mistakes like everyone else around her, she wrestles with fear and sorrow, and struggles to beat back political oppression and manipulation but through everything thrown her way, she never stops believing in herself or the power that inherently resides within her. She even stands up to my favorite Jedi: Qui-Gon Jinn when she believes his judgement to be skewed. and if that’s not self-assurance and bravery I don’t know what is. She is a woman I proudly modeled myself after then and now, and when I think of the prequel trilogy it is her iconic lines that run through my head, her wisdom that shapes the way I see the story. Her life may have been unexpectedly short, but it’s impact stretched to the far reaches of the galaxy and her strength, determination, and bravery were nevermore present than here, right from the beginning in The Phantom Menace.

 

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