Carrie Fisher

I can’t believe I’m having to do yet another tribute post in 2016 to one of my biggest idols. We all know that this year has been extremely cruel & unfair when it comes to the amount of hugely talented artists it has taken from us. And like many people, I’m not only sad – I’m angry.

I struggle with these tribute posts, especially when it comes to those artists who mean so much to me. I always feel a bit weird doing them as, obviously, it’s not the same as losing a family member or people you know in real life. It’s a terrible, hate-filled world full of so much tragic death on a daily basis that it feels almost wrong to mourn a “celebrity”. But it’s also understandable as, to their fans, these talented celebrities help provide a form of escapism from our real-life troubles and the evils of this world. They entertain us, they make us laugh, and they make us cry.

I don’t need to go into what a legend Carrie Fisher is and how she inspired so many of us by bringing Princess Leia to life (especially us girls, as we so rarely got such strong, sassy heroines in that male-dominated era & genre). A witty writer, a very funny lady, and forever one of the most-loved and iconic characters in the history of cinema. I’m so glad I was able to see Carrie in person at Star Wars Celebration Europe this year and to have shared that experience with my husband and 7-year-old daughter, who is part of a new generation of Star Wars fans through which Carrie Fisher’s Leia will forever live on. 

R.I.P. Carrie Frances Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)

Disney Infinity: Star Wars! 

I don’t know who was more excited when this came out in the UK on Friday: my Star Wars crazy husband or my Star Wars mad daughter. Probably my husband, although he played it cool instead of squealing with delight like my six-year-old did. 😉

This is just a quick post & certainly not a review of the game itself as I’m not exactly a gamer. In fact, I’ve not played it yet (but I’m sure I’ll be forced to soon – which won’t be so bad as I’m a bit of a Star Wars fan myself). I just want to say THANK YOU to Disney Infinity for probably being the best Star Wars-related thing yet to actually not ignore its young female fans! 🙂

We have not just one, or two, but THREE female Star Wars Disney Infinity characters! I’ve talked about this a bit in the past but it’s crazy how difficult it is to get any Princess Leia toys/clothing/etc nowadays as opposed to all the widely available items with all the male characters. Okay – you can sometimes get a Leia but only as a part of a ridiculously expensive set (like the Lego Ewok Village). Want a cheaper Lego Leia? You’ll have to get the keychain & pull the chain out of her head. Better than nothing, I guess?

Having a daughter, she’s of course happy with any Star Wars toys & has loads of male character toys as well. But how do you explain to a six-year-old why female characters are so often excluded? She loves Star Wars Rebels, which has two main female characters, but all the merchandise in Disney Store is aimed at boys and the girl characters are actually not even included in the images of the cast of characters on the boys’ clothing & things like stationery. Occasionally Sabine Wren is included in an image but, when she is, she tends to have the helmet on so you can’t tell that she’s a girl. It’s like Leia in the Boushh helmet – you can sometimes find that version of Leia. Is a boy really going to complain at one or two girl characters on a t-shirt or a school folder along with the male characters? I highly doubt it. I blame idiotic marketing execs.

I’ll stop rambling before I sound too complain-y. I just wanted to celebrate the fact that you can get Princess Leia, Ahsoka Tano & Sabine Wren Disney Infinity characters (and that super cool Boba Fett up there as an exclusive if you buy the set that includes him. hubby did, of course). Things seem to be improving slightly for female fans of what are considered “boy movies” – let’s hope this is just the start of things. On a recent trip to the Disney Store, we were able to buy an awesome unisex R2-D2 sweatshirt plus an R2-D2 t-shirt specifically for girls! I was so happy that I won’t even complain that it’s pink & full of glitter. She can wear her Darth Vader helmet with it to balance out the pink. 😉

Speaking of Star Wars, I’ve participated in another great Question Of The Month for Luke over at Oracle Of Film. This month’s question: Who Is Your Favorite Star Wars Character? You can read everyone’s answer, along with mine, HERE. (FYI – I didn’t choose a girl) 🙂

I Went To Secret Cinema’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

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For anyone who doesn’t know, Secret Cinema is an event that’s been going on in London for several years now where you go to watch a movie, yes, but you do this while experiencing recreations of events & scenes from that movie’s “world”. I’d heard a little about it but it got more attention than usual last year when they did Back To The Future but had some problems in getting the whole thing ready on time. When they did manage it, though, I saw photos of a recreated Hill Valley and it looked pretty damn amazing. Despite the problems, I wished I’d been able to go. When this year’s movie was announced, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, we immediately bought tickets (£75 per adult, in case you’re wondering).

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Was it worth the price? I’d say “yes”. It’s a lot of money to pay to watch a movie but, obviously, you aren’t just watching a movie. To fully enjoy this one, I’d say you have to be a pretty die hard Star Wars fan. But… I’m not sure why you’d go to Secret Cinema if you aren’t a huge fan of the movie being shown? Do I like Star Wars? Of course – I love it! The original three are some of my very favorite movies ever. I grew up with them and I’ll always love them (not the prequels!) but I’m not an obsessive fan in the way a lot of Star Wars fans are known to be. Did I go all cosplay or wear a huge homemade Millennium Falcon on my head like one guy who was there? No. I’m far too self-conscious to do stuff like that! Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought I was a bit more fun than I actually am… 😉 I’ll talk about my experience now. This will have some SPOILERS for anyone who may have tickets to go see this but I won’t reveal too much…

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I’d say that Secret Cinema is great fun for anyone who really gets into the whole “game” and the role-playing involved. As soon as we bought tickets, we got e-mails about various secret events that have been & are still going on. But that’s classified info so I can’t discuss the details! 😉 Every e-mail talks of your “secret mission” and no actual address details are given. You’re not going to London – you’re going to a Galaxy Far, Far Away! Close to the time of your “departure”, you’re e-mailed the location of where your “flight” will take off. A link brings you to a map with just enough real-world details to find the location. But first, we had to stop at the secret shop for SUPPLIES:

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You are NOT required to dress up. However, I took the e-mails seriously & got a little stressed out thinking that we wouldn’t be allowed in without at least having some of the things listed. I chose a character that allowed me to dress in regular, all black clothing (I’m very boring!). It was very hot so I feel sorry for those in full Jedi robes… Once there, you’re given a stamp on your wrist. Look! My arm!

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As this whole thing is top secret, no photos are allowed. So, unfortunately, I have no cool photos to share with you. When you get there, an actor gives you instructions for your mission then you go through an area where your phones are put in a sealed bag. You do get to keep your phone, though, which was nice as I didn’t like the thought of handing my phone over to them. Well, here’s me in my scarf & goggles after the event:

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(Hopefully you’re all still here after that…). Here’s my one big SPOILER but this has been mentioned in enough articles now that I can say they’ve recreated….
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Tatooine!

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WOW! And…. WTF? Shouldn’t it be Hoth? This isn’t A New Hope! Oh well – I hate being cold anyway. 😉 There were plenty of actors all dressed up and acting out scenes as you walked around. Some talked to you but you didn’t have to get too involved if, like me, you’re not totally comfortable with all that.

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After a while on Tatooine, we moved onto the next stage of the mission. This is still a big secret but it was very well done & I enjoyed this bit a lot.

THEN………. We watched the movie!!!!!

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It’s funny – it had already been a long night full of so much entertainment that I kind of kept forgetting we’d all be watching the movie at the end of it. I have to say it was a long evening and I was exhausted by the end of it. They say no kids under 8 are allowed but we saw a few kids who were definitely not 8, which was disappointing as we have a six-year-old who would’ve LOVED the whole experience. But it’s a very long night for young ones…

The entertainment didn’t end when the movie began as several key scenes were acted out while they played on screen. It was fun watching this movie in a room full of (1,500!) massive Star Wars fans and hearing what bits got the biggest reactions. The biggest cheer was when we see Han Solo for the first time. Everyone loves Han! Luke & Yoda got cheers and, luckily, so did Leia (after a wolf-whistle). Darth Vader of course got a boo.

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One of the biggest reactions, though, was from the female fans during the kiss scene. I’m happy to report that at least 40% of the people at Secret Cinema were FEMALE! Possibly even 45%. So…. Time to stop ignoring us female geeks, world! Time to start making Princess Leia toys easily available for our daughters, dammit!! (Okay – I’ve ranted enough about that in the past. I’ll move on!). Speaking of Leia & kissing, the reaction to her kissing Luke was pretty hilarious and there was of course one shout of “They’re gonna regret that later!”.

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If anyone is at all interested, tickets for Secret Cinema are apparently still available for some of the week nights. I’d definitely recommend this to those who are massive Star Wars fans but, if you’re just a casual fan, I’d say you wouldn’t really appreciate it. I probably enjoyed it slightly less than the cosplay/role-playing types of people but I found the scene reenactments a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the “world” they created. Maybe someday I’ll make more of an effort and dress up as Bespin Leia – that’s always been my favorite look & hairdo:

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Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a great weekend & may the force be with you. 🙂

Oh… I suppose I should rate this like my movie reviews!

My Secret Cinema Rating: 8/10

My Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Movie Rating: 10/10

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My Top Ten: Royalty In Movies

To celebrate today’s royal birth (it’s a boy!), I thought I’d post my Top Ten Royalty In Movies. I’ll count down from ten to my number one favorite:

10. Coming To America – Prince Akeem (The royal penis is clean!)

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9. Princess Mononoke – Princess Mononoke

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8. The Lion King – Simba & Mufasa (And I’d like to point out that Mufasa is voiced by James EARL Jones! Ha!)

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7. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – The Earl Of Preston & The Duke Of Ted (And if that’s not acceptable, I’ll go with the two princesses. Those are historical babes! Plus, the royal ugly dudes…)

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6. Monty Python And The Holy Grail – King Arthur

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5. Pulp Fiction – Royale With Cheese

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4. The Princess Bride – Prince Humperdinck & Princess Buttercup

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3. Rear Window – Grace Kelly (Actual royalty! Am going with my favorite of her films. Look at her – classic beauty!)

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2. Star Wars – Princess Leia (Of course!)

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1. Aliens – The Alien Queen (Look at that! Freaking awesome. The genius of H.R. Giger)

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Honorable Mentions:

Spaceballs – Princess Vespa
Stephen King Adaptations – Stephen King cameos
Carrie – Carrie White (prom queen! yeah?) :-p
Disney Princess Movies – I’ll be lazy & just say all the princesses
The Aristocats – Duchess
The Neverending Story – The Childlike Empress
King Kong – King Kong
Purple Rain – Prince
The King Of Comedy – Rupert Pupkin
Enemy Of The State – Because it stars The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air AND Regina King :-p
Star Wars (and many other soundtracks) – The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

And finally:

Flash Gordon – Emperor Ming The Merciless, Prince Vultan, Princess Aura, Prince Barin, some more I think, AND music by Queen. This movie is royal-rific! And Ted loves it…

**A Note:

These are the types of films I like. I looked at lists of proper “royal” films. You know what? I’ve seen hardly any of them! So this is my list of personal preferences. And I think it’s way more fun. 🙂