Infinity War ~ Movie Review

I saw Avengers: Infinity War the weekend it came out, but was debating on whether or not to post a review of it. Mainly, because there was so much going on in the film, and I honestly don’t think I can give a complete rating until Avengers 4 comes out.

But.

Avengers 4 isn’t coming out anytime soon, so I thought, what the heck! I’ll give Infinity War review a go. I have a lot of thoughts on it, so let’s begin!

Remarkable people || Avengers Infinity War || captain america black widow scarlet witchvision falcon Tony Stark iron man peter parker spiderman Dr strange Bruce banner wakanda black panthertchalla shut okoye bucky barnes mbakuguardians of the galaxy gotg peter quill star lord || Cr: KiwiTo set the stage, the Avengers are pretty scattered. You have Thor and Bruce/Hulk who are in space. In New York, there’s Tony, Rhodney, Wong, and Dr. Strange. And in Wakanda, you have the rest of the gang, with the exception of Vision and Wanda, who are in Edinburgh. Meanwhile, the Guardians are cruising through the cosmos without a care in the world.

No one has any idea that Thanos is coming for them. Ok. Well. Except for maybe Gamora.

Anyway.

***Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD

IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN INFINITY WAR

TURN BACK NOW

LAST WARNING***

If you saw Thor: Ragnorak, then you will recognize the ship that appears in the first scene of Infinity War. Cause, ya know. Why give Thor and his people a moment of rest?

Ha. Haha. That would be dumb.

In the span of the first, like ten minutes, a LOT happens. For one, we realize that at least half of the Asgardian refugees have been murdered by Thanos and his puppets – who apparently consider that a blessing. The Hulk attacks Thanos, and the one beast that we think might be able to take on Thanos (also can we mention how awesome it is that Loki is the one who states, “we have a Hulk???”), looks like a child against the Titan.

Then Heimdell, poor man has had to deal with the mess of Asgard’s royal family for far too long, uses a crazy power we have not seen him use before. He basically rainbow bridges/teleports the Hulk back to Earth.

And then is killed…as Thor watches helplessly.

Thanos decides then, to use the one Infinity Stone he has – the power stone aka the purple one – to basically squish Thor’s head? Idk, something like that. Meanwhile, Loki is standing by and Thanos says that Thor will die if the Tesseract is not given to him.

I was crying because I knew what was gonna happen and this was his way of telling Thor that he loved him and was ready to die for himLoki gives him the Tesseract…Thor lives.

In the span of only a few minutes, Loki says that Thanos and his crew are going to need a tour guide to Earth, and that he could be that tour guide. As he approaches Thanos, a dagger materializes in the hand behind his back. Any attempts at tricking the Titan, however, are futile, and Loki is brutally choked to death in front of Thor.

So…this has basically been the worst week of Thor’s entire life. In only a matter of days, Thor has lost…

  • his dad (seriously Odin, AVOIDING CONFLICT MUCH?)
  • learned he had a sister, that she was a psychopath, then forced to kill her (not to mention that he learned his dad had in essence been lying to him his entire life)
  • forced to watch his home planet explode
  • lost an eye
  • and a hammer
  • the rest of the Asgardians that he JUST RESCUED are brutally murdered
  • his brother is killed in front of him
  • oh yeah, also his best friend

Ouch.

And somehow he still manages to keep it together??? Not to mention, on meeting Gamora, who through no fault of her own, IS the daughter of Thanos, who just KILLED HUNDREDS OF ASGARDIANS, Thor totally does not respond like a normal person would – bless him. Instead, he’s just like, “family’s are hard.”

The only silver-lining I can offer y’all, is the Russo brothers did say at some conference that Valkyrie and some Asgardian refugees escaped. So. There’s that.

The ship is obliterated, and hundreds of Asgardian bodies are floating through space. Cut scene to the Guardians. They heard the distress signal from the Asgardian ship and are on their way to see if they can help.

 Thump. Thor lands on their ship. He’s still breathing, so they bring him in. Some much needed humor insures, before they make a plan on what to do about Thanos. They split ways, with Rocket, Groot, and Thor going to Nidavellir in order to create a weapon that can kill Thanos, and the rest of the Guardians, head to Knowhere to try and stop the purple grape from getting the Reality Stone.

Back on Earth, the Hulk has crash-landed in Dr. Strange’s home, while Tony and Pepper are having a nice, lowkey jog in Central Park.

Welp, that doesn’t last long.

Dr. Strange creates a portal and once Tony sees Bruce, he realizes that something is up. Saying goodbye to Pepper, he joins the magicians and his fellow science nerd in Dr. Strange’s house. Barely any time has past, when chaos envelops New York City. Aliens. Alien technology. Not good.

Riding on a school bus, Peter Parker’s spider senses tell him that something BIG is about to happen – and not the good kind. His best friend, Ned, provides a distraction and off goes Spider-Man to figure out what the heck is going on.

Soon, Ironman, Dr. Strange, Wong, and Spider-Man are having to battle these aliens who call themselves the children of Thanos. Bruce tries to help, but after the last ordeal with the grapefruit Titan…the Hulk refuses to come out.

It ends with Dr. Strange, Tony, and Peter on an alien ship. In another part of the world, Scarlet Witch and Vision are having a romantic getaway.

all i can think of whenever i see steve's face in the third frame is that one guy on catfish saying "you got me there"Ok. Y’all. I just have to take a moment to give my thoughts on this relationship. Look, I love romance – most of my favorite scenes in movies, have to do with it. However, I have some serious problems with Wanda and Vision being together.

For one, Wanda is human – a mutant, yes, but still human – and Vision is a robot. Like, his brain is wires. This is my main issue…Vision is not human. He’s not even technically “alive,” the only thing that gives him the ability to halfway act like a human, is the stone.

Personally, I just find the ethical and moral issue of a human and robot having a romantic and sexual (also, it literally would be impossible for them to procreate since Vision is, like I said, not human) relationship disturbing.

I do realize they were together in the comics, but honestly y’all, there would have been so many better options for a romance. They could have paired Wanda with Steve or Bucky. Or, they could have not paired her with anyone. I want a romantic aspect, of course, but not like this.

Honestly, I’ve never just loved Vision’s character. He has some really cool powers, don’t get me wrong, but I never felt like he had an actual purpose in any of the films. In my opinion, it kind of felt like they put him there for the sole reason that they wanted him to have a romance with Wanda later. Although, I did appreciate the picture/line above where Vision reminds Cap that this is no different than when he sacrificed his life to save everyone else’s. ACCURATE.

Wanda Maximoff | Scarlet WitchScarlet Witch cutting loose in Wakanda

Speaking of Wanda, I really loved how her powers have grown. The fact that she could actually hold Thanos off, AND destroy the stone at the same time was awesome. Along with, how her levitating/flying and force field skills have improved.

And…no one can convince me that Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff have not formally adopted Wanda Maximoff as their child. I mean, the way they interacted with her? Pfft.

On that note, how freaking awesome was the scene where Captain America slowly comes out of the shadows and CATCHES the spear??? Quote from Tumblr…

“Proxima Midnight wields a special spear, that was forged by Thanos himself. This allows the spear to transform into light and change size. It hardly ever misses its target. That’s why it’s such a big deal to see Captain America dodge and grab this spear in the trailer. This isn’t supposed to be something you can catch.”

Not to mention that Cap briefly holds back Thanos WHILE he has the Infinity Gauntlet on! You can literally see the look of shock on the grapefruit’s face, that this human is able to do this.

I’m just saying. Steve Rogers could 100% pick up Mjolnir.

Note: The quotes on those pictures are from the comics FYI ❤

I do wish though, that he had gotten more screen time. Hopefully, in Avengers 4, they’ll give Cap more. In terms of screen time, Thor, Gamora, and Tony definitely received the most in this film.  I’ve already discussed Thor, pretty in depth, so I’ll jump into Gamora and Tony’s parts.

DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN INFINITY WAR That's fine I didn't need my heart anywaysI thought Gamora had a really great character arc. Getting a glimpse of her childhood, gave more weight to what she was going through in the present.

Seeing how much her relationship with Peter Quill has grown, was awesome. I loved how comfortable they had gotten with each other, and honestly, I was not expecting Gamora to die the way she did. I was ok with her dying, but I wanted her to die killing Thanos – or something like that. And even though she was not my favorite character, the romance between Peter and her was one of my favorites.

On Tony, like wow, character growth – am I right? He’s come so far, from being the selfish playboy, and hearing him talking to Pepper about wanting kids: ADORABLE.

His interactions with Doctor Strange were hilarious – as to be expected with two confident, albeit cocky geniuses. Also, I can’t go this far, of course, without mentioning Tony’s relationship with Peter Parker. I thought they did a great job with that, and really enjoyed the almost father/uncle relationship he has with him.

 But gosh. THAT SCENE. Y’all know which one I’m talking about. A++ acting Tom Holland. All of the other deaths happened so fast, and weren’t like traumatic (as in it wasn’t painful/gruesome), that I didn’t get that emotional about them. But this one, ouch. Seeing Peter, knowing what is happening, terrified of what the unknown will be, and just acting like how any teenager would – is clinging to Tony, begging him to make it stop.

Luckily, Tom Holland still has 2 more Spider-Man movies he’s signed on for, so Peter isn’t gone for good. But still. Eek.

I could go on and on, but seeing as how this blog post is getting a little bit long xD I’ll try and summarize the rest of my thoughts.

This action-packed movie had so much going on. There was never a dull moment, and when the film ended I was honestly surprised! It didn’t feel like it had been over two hours long. The ending was interesting, in the way that everything happened. Only the original Avengers were left….Captain America, Black Widow, Ironman, Thor, Bruce/Hulk, and we’re going to assume that Hawkeye is still alive. Along with, Okoye, Rhodney, Rocket, and Nebula.

When I watched this scene I was wondering why Bucky wasn't running right there with them, but now this explains it.Some of my favorite moments are as follows:

  • Steve Rogers stepping out of the shadows and catching the spear
  • Thor landing in Wakanda
  • Okoye and Natasha kicking butt with Wanda
  • T’Challa saying, “get this man a shield.”
  • All the funny moments with Spider-Man
  • Mantis saying, “Kick names, take ass.”

I’ve only seen the movie once, so I may be missing some other scenes I loved. I’m eager to see Avengers 4 – although kinda anxious, since there’s a rumor going around that at least four of the original six are going to be killed…

But yeah! If you’ve seen the movie, what did you think? Favorite lines, scenes? Did you love it, hate it, or don’t know yet? Let me know in the comments below!

~ Southern Dreamer

P.S. ROMANOGERS IS STILL ALIVE =D

Grace Abounding

grace

Y’all probably know by now that I tend to struggle with perfectionism. With perfectionism, comes a viewpoint that makes grace incredibly hard to understand. I think as humans, grace is a hard concept in and of itself. Most situations we encounter in life are performance based and there is no grace if you mess up. Perfectionism doesn’t exactly help this already difficult topic to get any easier.

So, I was sitting in my college dorm room a month or two ago, and doing what I tend to do often, go through the motions of perfectionism, guilt, fear, etc…Then, I had this thought that I believe the Lord shared with me.

God does not base the grace He gives us on a scale. He doesn’t look at the entire week, and go, “Well, Monday through Wednesday you really screwed up, so when Saturday comes, there’s no grace for you.”

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I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I usually think about the grace that God might give me in terms of everything I’ve already done that week.

I messed up on this too many times this week.

I haven’t spent time with God in several days, but now I really can’t cause I have an exam to study for – cue guilt.

Does this sound familiar to y’all? Do any of you find yourselves doing the same thing?

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness,” ~ Lamentations 3:22-23

For me, realizing this, gave an entirely new meaning to the verse, “his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.” Not only are His mercies new every day, but He is not judging us on all of our actions in order to determine whether or not He should give us grace.

Is anyone else’s mind exploding? Cause mine definitely is.

As believers, with the Holy Spirit living in us, we are heirs in grace. Grace is the birth certificate, the blood of Jesus is the writing, the Holy Spirit is the identification.

“But he gives more grace,” ~ James 4:6a

And then in James, He expands on the concept of grace. Not only does He give us perfect grace, but He gives more grace. When we think that surely we have exhausted the supply of grace, that God cannot possibly want to extend further grace to us, the Bible clarifies that nope, God actually loves to extend grace to His children.

I love this quote from Dwight L. Moody:

“We must not limit the mighty grace of God.”

How true is this? It can be so easy to carry guilt for things that we should not feel guilty for, or if we should feel guilty, then instead of freeing ourselves from that guilt after repenting, we continue to hold it close – telling ourselves, that Jesus could not really mean that we receive grace for that.

“And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace,” ~ John 1:16

But wait. There it is again – more grace. Grace upon grace.

Grace.

Such a simple word, but so difficult to wrap our minds around. I don’t know if we will ever understand grace or how deep it goes on this earth, yet I do think that as we grow in our faith, we will be able to better grasp a tiny portion of the truth, strength, and expansiveness of God’s grace.

~ Southern Dreamer

Breathe ~ Movie Review

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I remember seeing trailers for the movie Breathe last year, and thinking to myself that I really wanted to go and see it. This new film had something I love – historical romance.

Until this past month, however, I had not watched it.

One night my mom and I decided that instead of watching something that the boys picked out, we were going to watch a romantic movie! And, of course, I instantly knew which one we should watch.

Breathe.

Without further ado, then, here is my review of this historical romance!

***Warning: There will be spoilers ahead, I don’t think there are really any plot twist spoilers – if you’ve seen the trailer. If you haven’t seen the trailer though, then there will be spoilers***

The movie opens with a beautiful landscape scene, and soon zooms in closer on several characters, including Robin Cavendish the protagonist. He’s chatting with several buddies of his as they play cricket, and in the distance there is a small crowd watching. When one of his friend’s realizes who has caught Robin’s attention, he tells him that it would be futile – she’s a player.

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She, being Diana Blacker, is a pampered young lady who does as she pleases. And yet, she decides to marry Robin – despite him having no great inheritance, and despite her twin brother’s urgings to find someone better.

They are married in 1957.

The scene cuts to Kenya, where Robin and Diana have traveled for his work. Some people question why she would want to go with him this far, and she retorts that she wants to be with him and finds the work interesting.

As they are riding back one day, Diana surprises him with the news that she is pregnant. Thrilled, Robin has tears in his eyes and kisses her.

It is 1958.

As the camera cuts, the next image shows a pregnant Diana laughing and talking with another woman, as they watch their husbands play a game in the background. Humorously, a hula hoop is introduced and Robin has a go at it for the first time. Suddenly, his vision grows dizzy and he falls to the ground, before quickly recovering and jokingly saying he must have overdone it.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Something worse has happened, and all too soon, Robin reaches his friend for help one night, before collapsing. He’s rushed to the hospital. The doctor asks him to move his arm and he is barely able to twitch a finger. Then, his breathing becomes uncertain and shouts of “get him on ice!” are echoed around the room.

Robin has contracted polio, and is permanently paralyzed – only able to breathe with a ventilator. He is twenty-eight years old.

The rest of the film shows their journey through dealing with this, and how they overcame a seemingly impossible life-altering condition.

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One of my favorite components of the movie was the love between Robin and Diana. After becoming paralyzed, Robin wants to die – he tells his wife that she could still find someone else, start over.

Diana is having none of this and refuses to give up on him. Not only that, but at twenty-five years old, her fierce loyalty and commitment to someone who can do nothing, can offer nothing for her, is extremely admirable.

It would have been easy for her to do so. Easy to abandon him, take her little son, and find someone else to marry.

But she didn’t.

Because Diana Cavendish understood what true love actually means. The actual definition of love has nothing to do with what we get in return. It has everything to do with selflessness, compassion, respect.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

This movie does an amazing example of showing what love actually looks like, and in a world where divorce is common, we need more films like this that demonstrate how love and commitment in a marriage work.

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Another thing I really appreciated, was the light it shed on people with disabilities. I am not paralyzed, or in a wheelchair, so I can’t speak for those people, but I do have a medical condition, and as such, I know how important it is to be represented in film. So I was glad that they were able to do that with the many people who have disabilities in the world.

Not to mention, the history behind the wheelchair and movable ventilator. I can’t even imagine how many lives were forever changed by Robin and Diana’s work. With their invention, for the first time, people with significant disabilities were able to live outside of a hospital.

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I also appreciated the relationship shown between Jonathan and Diana. Obviously, the film focused more on Diana and Robin’s relationship, however, the scenes that they had as mother and son, were strong and showed how much they relied on each other for strength.

Overall, I loved the movie, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you definitely need to! If you have seen it, what did you think?

~ Southern Dreamer

P.S. If you weren’t aware, Robin and Diana’s son produced the film. So. Yeah, right in the feels xD

Do you see it?

This past semester, I dived back into Disney Channel. I had stopped watching it for a while, because frankly, the amount of disrespect that was being shown to parents, not to mention making them look stupid, was unappealing.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that several of the shows were no longer treating parents in such a manner, such as Bizaardvark and K.C. Undercover. 

There was something, however, that started to nag at me.

If you watch Disney Channel at all, I’m certain you saw the many trailers for the new Disney Channel Original Movie Zombies. 

Now, I’m not going to delve into whether or not it is morally right to watch shows with zombies. Personally, I don’t enjoy it, since I find it too frightening for my own tastes, but as long as they are portrayed as the monsters they were created to be – such as in The Walking Dead which my brother and dad both watch, I’m not going to argue about it.

And herein lies my issue with Zombies. On the forefront, the film has great qualities and the inherent lessons they are trying to teach are good…but. I really do not believe they went about this the right way.

Let me just start with some Merriam-Webster.

Zombie:

“a: a will-less and speechless human (as in voodoo belief and in fictional stories) held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated
b: the supernatural power that according to voodoo belief may enter into and reanimate a dead body                                                                                                                  c: person held to resemble the so-called walking dead.”

So from this definition we can gather, that one, they do not have a will or speak. Now, that reminds me of an animal, except…an animal does have a will (as anyone with pets can attest to!). If they’re not an animal then, and not inherently human, then what does that make them?

Food for thought.

The Urban Dictionary describes zombies as,

“in its near-mindless state, it grasps no remains of emotion, personality, or sensation of pain. The only observable action a zombie takes part in is killing living creatures, especially humans, and eating them.”

Alright. We can now, after significant research, logically deduce that in dictionary terms and in pop culture, zombies are dead bodies, do not have a will, cannot speak/think/experience emotion, do not have personality or the feeling of pain, and the only activity they actually do is to eat other living creatures – specifically humans.

Now, with that definition in mind, I’m going to look at the Disney Channel Original Movie, Zombies. 

First of all, um like there are zombie children??? and parents??? Last time I checked…DEAD people did not procreate. There is literally nothing believable or logical about this. And as we established earlier, the only action zombies participate in as mindless creatures is the eating of living people.

Here are a few quotes from the movie that I find particularly problem some.

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“I’m not a monster, I’m a zombie!”

Ok. Back to the dictionary. Merriam-Webster describes a monster as,

“a: one who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character, an immoral monster
b: threatening force                                                                                                                       c: something monstrous; especially : a person of unnatural or extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, or cruelty.”

Well, I don’t know about y’all, but eating people is generally considered immoral. Not to mention, highly unacceptable and very much not normal behavior. So, yes. According to all logic, zombies are monsters, and therefore, Zed falls into the zombie/monster category.See the source image

“I’m fighting against intolerance!”

*heavy sigh*

*deep breaths*

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

This literally spats in the face of every single moment of intolerance on our planet, and the progress that actually has been made. They are basically comparing the intolerance historically against people of color, religion, women, etc…to zombies, which, as stated above, are certainly, and most definitely not in the same category as humans or animals.

Look, I’m all for people everywhere being treated respectfully and such, but let’s not confuse wanting to get a concept across, with another concept that is disturbing. They could have still gotten this concept across with so many other ways, without going to the blatant lie and illogical thought process of “zombies are good, not monsters, and can totally interbred with humans.”

Are they trying to make monsters seem good, and nice? Possibly. For the sake of the kids who watch it, I hope not, but at this point, I don’t really have many other options to draw from.

Now, the film could have been good in its message. Change the zombie family to a mutant family. It would still get the same message and values across, without saying that zombies are “good” creatures, when nowhere in history or in definitions have they been portrayed as “safe” or “good.”

Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”

It is important that we are aware of the purpose and message behind what we are watching, reading, and listening to. Unfortunately, Satan is real and we cannot be naïve and think that he is not trying to manipulate us. As Colossians says, we must make sure that we are not being distracted by the glitz and glamor of the various forms of media, and remember that behind every story there is a purpose.

Oftentimes, it isn’t obvious and there lies the tricky part. If it were clear and obvious, most of us would probably catch it. Unfortunately, most things in this world are not going to be so easily seen or obvious. Frequently, some bad is mixed with a lot of good or vice versa, and that brings up a moral dilemma.

Moral dilemmas are always conflicting, as they are very much not black and white. It can be difficult to discern what the right choice is however, I believe the more we spend time in God’s Word, and the more we come to know His character, the easier it will be to know what to do. It may never be completely clear, but the closer we draw to Him, the mirror that we look at the world through becomes just a little bit less dusty.

~ Southern Dreamer

 

 

Infinity War ~ Who’s In It?

*Deep Breaths*

Y’all. Avengers: Infinity War is out.

RIGHT NOW.

Is anyone else freaking out?

Cause, if you can’t tell, I totally am.

Ok. It’s fine. I’m calm, cool, and collected. Right? Right. 

*awkward laughter*

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  • ORIGINAL AVENGERS
  • MAGIC PEEPS
  • THE TEENS
  • THE SIDEKICKS
  • THE ALIENS
  • THE NEWBIES

Excuse the rambling, let’s get to it, shall we? On the line-up in Infinity War, we have…

See the source imageTony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr (otherwise known as the godfather of the MCU as several of his fellow actors – Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo specifically – have said, started the Marvel Cinematic Universe back in 2008 with Ironman. 

In his own words, he is a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.” His skillset includes being a brilliant scientist (physics, computer science, chemistry, neuroscience), expert businessman and hacker, as well as being multilingual – though not fluent, and a gifted engineer and robotics technician. See the source image

Steve Rogers played by Chris Evans, another founder of the first Avengers team. Because of the serum, he has enhanced mental processing, strength, durability, speed, stamina, agility – greater than a Olympic gold-medalist, reflexes, and senses. He also has a regenerative healing factor.

Other advantages, include being a master martial artist, acrobat, tactician, and strategist, not to mention, that he is an expert marksman, military operator, pilot, and is multilingual – English and French.

See the source imageNatasha Romanoff, played by Scarlett Johansson, was trained by the KGB and Red Room, before earning the title of Black Widow. She is regarded as one of the most lethal assassins in the world.

Her skillset is comprised of being a master spy, martial artist, acrobat, interrogator, as well as being a pilot, multilingual (Latin, Russian, English, German, Chinese, Italian, etc), expert marksman and hacker, and having intellect equal to Captain America.See the source image

Bruce Banner, played by Mark Ruffalo most commonly, has the ability to transform into his alter-ego, the Hulk if his heart rate increases too much or he loses control of his emotions. The Hulk has superhuman strength, durability, stamina, speed, and a regenerative healing factor.

In terms of Bruce, he is master scientist (biochemistry, bio-organics, and atomic and radio physics), expert tactician, skilled physician, and is multilingual (fluent in Hindi and English).

Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner, was a SHIELD agent until SHIELD’s collapse. He is married to a woman named Laura, and they have three young children – Cooper, Lila, and Nathaniel.

Hawkeye’s skills are being a master marksman, acrobat, martial artist, and assassin. He is also a pilot, expert tactician, and is multilingual (English, Russian, Arabic, Chinese).

See the source imageThor Odinson, played by Chris Hemsworth, is not from Earth, instead hailing from Asgard and is now king of Asgard’s people. His Asgardian physiology means that he has superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, agility, durability, stamina, longevity, and a regenerative healing factor.

Additionally, Thor is able to manipulate the weather, electricity, and fly. He is also a master combatant, swordsman, spearman, leader, and pilot.

 

 

*pause*

WOO! And those are only the founding members of the Avengers! I’m so nervous y’all, on who they are going to kill off O_O I would really prefer if they left them all alone…pretty please Marvel – THEY HAVE SUFFERED ENOUGH. Who’s with me?

Alright, alright. I know y’all are wondering about the others! *inhales* Ok. *cracks knuckles* ONTO THE OTHERS!

MAGIC PEEPS:

See the source imageWanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, is from Sokovia, and upon volunteering to be experimented on for personal reasons, she gained many abilities, and eventually joined the Avengers.

Her powers include psionic energy manipulation – blasts/waves/bolts, levitation, force-field generation, telekinesis, telepathy, and mental manipulation.

Vision, played by Paul Bettany, is an android or robot whoSee the source image has a vibranium body. He is a mixture of Ultron and JARVIS, and is “alive” because of the Mind Gem which is embedded in his forehead.

The robot’s skills include density manipulation, superhuman durability and strength, intangibility, and flight. Vision can also make energy blasts, create synthetic skin constructs aka whatever outfit he feels like wearing xD, and as an android, his “brain” is basically a computer.

See the source imageStephen Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, was a renowned neurosurgeon until a tragic accident ruined his hands. He has a photographic memory, which is why he was able to earn a MD and PhD at the same time.

Through his journey, Dr. Strange was able to learn the mystic arts. In this way, he is able to be a master sorcerer – Eldritch magic, levitation – using the Cloak of Levitation, teleportation, interdimensional travel – using the Sling Ring; astral projection, time manipulation – using the Eye of Agamotto, and transmutation. He also has an eidetic memory, and is a master tactician, skilled martial artist, and multilingual.

Loki Laufeyson, played by Tom Hiddleston, is a Frost Giant, though adopted by Odin and Frigga as a baby. His Frost Giant heritage means that he has superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, stamina, longevity, cold immunity, and regenerative healing factor.

Further, he is a master sorcerer in illusion manipulation, hypnosis, presence concealment, conjuring, and telekinesis. He is a master manipulator, tactician, expert combatant, pilot, and arcane lore – immense knowledge and skill in mystical objects.

It will certainly be interesting to see how all these super-magical people interact together! I hope we’ll get a scene of these four fighting side by side!

THE TEENS:

See the source imagePeter Parker, played by Tom Holland, otherwise known as Spider-Man, is a high school student at Midtown School of Science and Technology. Since his parents died when he was a child, he lives with his Aunt May.

In terms of skillsets, his spider physiology means that he has superhuman strength, speed, durability, agility, equilibrium. As well as, enhanced senses – vision, spider-sense, wall-crawling, and regenerative healing factor. Peter has gifted intelligence and is a tactician, investigator, trilingual (English, Spanish, Italian), acrobat, marksman, and combatant.See the source image

Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, is the princess of Wakanda, and is T’Challa’s younger sister. She is the leader of the Wakandan Design Group, and has developed much of her country’s technology. Additionally, she has a genius-level intellect on par with people like Stark, Banner, Helen Cho, Hank Pym, etc…

Her skillsets also include being a master engineer and multilingual (English and Xhosa).

Groot, played by Vin Diesel, is a sentient, tree-like being, who is the son of the Groot in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. He has superhuman strength, durability, enhanced speed, regenerative healing factor, longevity, and rebirth. Further, he is able to generate light, flowers, twigs, vines, and can use these to create a shield-like structure. Groot is also elastic.

I seriously need interactions between these three!!!

THE SIDEKICKS:

See the source imageSam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie, was introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He is an ex-military officer, good friend of Steve, and uses the codename “The Falcon.” His skillsets include being an expert marksman, tactician, aviator, and being proficient in different weapons. He also has hand-to-hand combat skills, and is a great pilot.

James Rhodes, played by Don Cheadie, known as “Rhodney” is a U.S. military officer and jet pilot in the Air Force. Best friends with Tony, Rhodney was one of the first in the Marvel universe as he appeared in Ironman. His codename is “War Machine” and he is an expert pilot, tactician, martial artist, and marksman.See the source image

See the source imageWong, played by Benedict Wong, was introduced in Doctor Strange, as he helped Strange go on his journey of learning about the mystic arts and rediscover himself. He is a master martial artist, sorcerer, and can create, shape, and manipulate Eldritch magic.

Okoye, played by Danai Gurira, is the general of the Dora Milaje and in charge of Wakanda’s armed forces and intel. She is an expert martial artist and marksman, as well as, being multilingual (Xhosa, English, Korean).See the source image

Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan, was introduced in Captain America: The First Avenger as the best friend of Steve. Later, he is manipulated by HYDRA and becomes “The Winter Soldier,” although, at the end of Black Panther, some children call him “White Wolf.”

See the source imageBecause of the experimentation done on him, he has artificially enhanced physiology – enhanced strength, speed, durability, stamina, agility, reflexes, and regenerative healing factor. His biotic arm gives him superhuman strength. Among his skillsets include being a master martial artist, marksman, assassin, acrobat, and mastery over knives. He is also a master pilot and multilingual (English, Russian, Romanian, etc).

 

THE ALIENS:See the source image

Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, is the adopted daughter of Thanos. She has Zehoberei physiology and bionic enhancements. This gives her superhuman strength, agility, stamina, and a regenerative healing factor as well as enhanced durability and vision.

She is a master assassin, combatant, and of swords, also, an expert marksman and pilot.

See the source imageNebula, played by Karen Gilan, is another of Thanos’s adopted daughters. Her Luphomoid physiology gives her superhuman strength, durability, and agility. She also has cybernetic enhancements and regenerative healing factor.

Her skillsets include being a master assassin, combatant, pilot, and expert marksman.See the source image

Drax, played by Dave Bautista, is known as “Drax the Destroyer.” He has superhuman strength, durability, agility, and a regenerative healing factor. Additionally, he is a master of knives and an expert combatant.

See the source imageRocket, played by Bradley Cooper, is a genetically enhanced fur animal. He has enhanced strength, durability, agility, and acute senses, as well as, genius-level intellect. Further, other skillsets include being a master pilot, engineer, marksman, tactician, and an expert combatant.See the source image

Mantis, played by Pom Klementief, was raised by Celestial Ego. She has enhanced durability, and is an empathetic, meaning that she can sense others emotions, manipulate them, and induce sleep.

THE NEWBIES:

See the source imageT’Challa (I know technically he was in Civil War, but I feel like Infinity War will be the first time he’s really fighting with the Avengers), played by Chadwick Boseman, is the king of Wakanda. With the heart-shaped herb, T’Challa is able to have enhanced strength, speed, stamina, durability, agility, reflexes, and regenerative healing factor.

He has genius-level intellect, and is a skilled pilot. Also, his skillsets include being a master martial artist, acrobat, tactician, and is multilingual (Xhosa, English).

Scott Lang (sort of the same thing with T’Challa, on why I’m putting him here), played by Paul Rudd, is known as Antman – using the technology of Hank Pym. With his suit, he has size manipulation, superhuman strength and durability, and insect manipulation.

On his own, he is an expert thief, engineer, acrobat, tactician, and martial artist. He also has gifted intelligence. See the source image

Carol Denvers, played by Brie Larson, is known as “Captain Marvel.” In 2019, her debut movie, Captain Marvel will be coming out. Until then, here are her skillsets based on the comics. She has superhuman strength, stamina, durability, agility, flexes, regenerative healing factor, and has a contaminant immunity.

Further, she can fly both in and out of space, flash precognition/cosmic awareness, photonic blasts, energy absorption, and has minor molecular control. She is a experienced spy, multilingual (English, Russian, Kree, Shi’ar), master pilot, combatant, and a journalist.

Wow. So many amazing superheroes – and those are only the main ones! Tomorrow, I will be seeing Infinity War in theaters. Cue excitement and nerves. I have mixed feelings, because I am super pumped to see it, butttttttt I also know that they will be killingoffsomeofmyfavoritecharacters. WHICH, I am not ok with.

Pretty please, let’s all not give any spoilers away – ESPECIALLY on a movie of this size and magnitude and an ending that will effect the rest of the MCU.

When are y’all going to see Infinity War? Are you excited? Anxious?

~ Southern Dreamer

 

 

Black Panther ~ Movie Review

See the source image

Over spring break, my dad and I went to see Black Panther. It was my second time seeing it, and his first. With the upcoming Infinity War, I thought I would hurry on up and get in my review of this movie first! 🙂

Black Panther takes place after Civil War, with T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, returning to Wakanda, after the death of his father, to take his place as king. Wakanda is a nation in Africa, however, its actual country is concealed from the world. Most people believe that it is a poor nation, that happens to have a small amount of the strongest metal on earth – vibranium.

The truth, though, is that Wakanda is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world and is far from being helpless.

During the course of the movie, T’Challa’s reign gets challenged by a foe that is surprisingly connected to Wakanda, and he is forced into a difficult position of what to do when your entire worldview and belief about your country and family is rocked on its axis.

His family is there to support him each step of the way however, with his sister, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright (I did a post on her here), and his mother, Queen Romanda, played by Angela Bassett. With their help, T’Challa strives to do the right thing, while having the weight of Wakanda on his shoulders in the process.

See the source image

Black Panther is an amazing movie that combines action, humor, and culture into a two hour and fourteen minute film, and if you haven’t seen it, you definitely need to.

Alright, as per usual, there’s the spoiler-free version 😉

SPOILERS AHEAD.

WARNING Y’ALL.

ANYTHING BELOW WILL HAVE SPOILERS.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

With that out of the way, full-speed ahead into spoiler territory!

There’s so much to unpack in this movie, that I’m just going to jump right in and ask that y’all bear with me.

 First of all, can I just say that Marvel does sibling relationships fabulously??? I love Shuri and T’Challa’s relationship. There’s Shuri, who at sixteen, gets a huge kick out of the fact that her brother is being made king. This is never more apparent than at the ceremony, when she asks, “can we get on with it already?” and mentions that the corset is really killing her.

And T’Challa, who bless his soul, finds himself continually roasted by his little sis. I saw something on Tumblr that I just have to restate here – “being a good older brother: reassuring your sister after she unknowingly ran over someone in the street.” xD

So funny.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie, is at the very end, when the antagonist of the movie, Erik Killmonger (also I LOVE NAMES WITH PUNS, and like the fact that his last name has the world “kill” in it is hilariously ironic considering his reputation), is about to attack Shuri. At this point, Shuri has used all the firepower in her weapons and stumbles to the ground.

In the distance, T’Challa is taking some serious hits from basically the entire tribe under W’Kabi. You can see him getting tired and becoming weary, when all of a sudden, in his line of sight, he catches view of Erik about to attack Shuri.

Pretty sure you can guess what happens. T’Challa ain’t having NONE of that dude hurting his little sister, and instantly, you can physically see him becoming reinvigorated as he races toward them and knocks Erik away from Shuri.

It reminded me so much of in Star Wars, when Vader is taunting Luke. And Luke is doing an awesome job of keeping his cool, until Vader mentions Leia…starts threatening her. Farewell calm persona, hello protective anger.

Lesson of the day, ladies and gentlemen, don’t mess with someone’s siblings. Just. Don’t. Seriously, you will live a much longer life if you listen to this piece of advice xD

On the mention of Star Wars, I can’t help but also notice that there were some other elements that echoed the space series. For one, did anyone else get Padme Amidala vibes from Queen Romanda’s outfit, when she greets T’Challa upon him arriving home? Cause I totally did. The more obvious touch, I think, were Shuri’s buns – reminiscing of Princess Leia.

See the source image

I thought Black Panther also did a great job of showcasing the culture of Africa. You can tell they really put a lot of thought and effort into the research for the different tribes and such.

Additionally, they did a great job of showing so many different type of women. There’s not just one stereotype. You have Nakia, who has a compassionate spirit, desire to help others, and is a spy for Wakanda. You have Okoye, who has strong leadership qualities, not very emotional, and is the general of the Dora Milaje, an elite female special force that protects the king. You have Queen Romanda, who is wise, more traditionally feminine (if that makes sense), and an advisor to T’Challa. You have Shuri, a light-hearted teen, who has one of the most brilliant minds in the world.

In terms of the villain, I did not see Erik Killmonger being related to T’Challa coming at all! So, I think they set that up very well to be a surprise. I liked how they tied in the storyline of helping others with the villain, without making what Erik did right.

#blackpanther #erikkillmonger #tchalla #marvel #mcu #michaelbjordan #chadwickboseman

And Everett Ross was such a great addition. I felt like he was pretty much everyone in the audience if we were in the movie: “Hey, don’t know what I’m doing, or what’s going on, but I’ll totally help with anything.”

Personally, Shuri was one of my favorite characters in the movie. I loved her humor and the light-heartedness she brought to the film, which was much needed with some of the seriousness.

If you’ve seen Black Panther, what did you think about it? Favorite scenes, characters? If you haven’t, I encourage you to go watch it! And definitely see it before Infinity War!

~ Southern Dreamer

Revenge of the Sith ~ Part 4

Disclaimer: All Star Wars characters/locations/etc belong to LucasFilm, but the storyline (once it derives from the movies) is mine, so pretty please give credit if you decide to use any ideas or repost 🙂


The skyline of crimson and darkening clouds only gave the tiniest glimpse into the battle that was being fought on Mustafar. Hot air bellowed out from the lava that bubbled up to the surface, the heat creating a stifling, suffocating canopy over the planet.

Sweat beaded on Anakin’s forehead, yet even the exploding fire in the distance did nothing to deter his focus. His focus on the Sith. With a cry of outrage and anger, he swung his saber in an arc that came down heavily onto his opponent. How dare you try and take MY family from me! screamed his mind, emotion alighting his veins and fueling him against the counter-strikes from Palpatine.

“Such anger young Skywalker.” Darth Sidious grinned, yellow, crooked teeth showing. His eyes, so dark and empty, stared at Anakin with the confidence of one whose plans are falling perfectly into place. The red blade came within an inch of Skywalker’s neck, a warning from the Force being the only thing that saved him from a painful, deadly wound.

Anakin dropped into a roll to avoid the collision of sparking saber meeting his skin, and came to his feet with one jump. Using the momentum, he dashed forward and with a firm hand on the Force leapt into the air. Sending a quick succession of swipes at Sidious, he did not wait for the Sith Lord to retaliate, preferring to go on the offensive instead.

The energy he used from this feat, left him the slightest bit winded, and the Sith took his shot. With a quick speed that shocked Anakin, Sidious scathed the skin of his right arm – every move intentional. There would be no quick death for this menace in the Darth Lord’s side, on the contrary, the ex-Chancellor planned to draw this out and make every action as painful as possible. Anakin Skywalker would be shattered into nothing more than a barely breathing structure, and then, oh yes, Sidious let his lips turn up in evil glee, then, when the boy could only beg for mercy and plead for forgiveness, he would take his chance. He would treasure each moment, letting the last thoughts of the foolish child’s mind be that he failed, and because of his failure, the Sith would never stop hunting for his family…until they were dead, or turned into Palpatine’s own puppets. Then, and only then, would Darth Sidious take the final strike and end Anakin Skywalker’s life.

Letting his mind return to the battle, Sidious chortled at the battle stances Skywalker chose. How adorable, how utterly immature. Someone needed to be taught a lesson, and Sidious thought of himself as perfectly qualified to do so. With a practiced swing that did not give any indication he had been sitting in an office for years, he allowed the red blade to sashay past the boy’s face – a warning, of who he was dealing with. Drawing the Dark Side close to him, Sidious used it to hold Skywalker in place.

Anakin twitched, muscles tense in adrenaline and fury. He had sorely underestimated the Chancellor, but how could he have possibly known of Palpatine’s ridiculous aptitude at combat? Ever since he could remember, the only activity the Chancellor was involved in included paperwork, speaking in front of large groups, discussions, diplomacy – nothing pertaining in the least to battle. He glared at said person.

Stalking from one side of him to the other, Sidious flipped the saber’s handle easily. “Such emotion, loss of control,” he started, hood hiding many of his features for which appreciated, “quite unbecoming for a Jedi. I wonder what the Council would say about this, hm?” Sidious paused, letting the seconds tick by as he ever so slowly turned around. A smirk appeared on his face. “Oh dear, I fear a significant fact slipped my mind only now. The Council can never give you an answer, do you know why boy?” He came closer. “Because of you. You killed them, every death rests on your conscience.”

As Sidious cackled madly, Anakin’s blood, which had already begun to boil, erupted into a frenzy of irate anger. In all truth, he did not know if he was a Jedi or a Sith. Anakin did not seem to meet the mold for either, and that left him alone in a world where the Force was apparently black and white. I really couldn’t give a kriff about that right now! and with that Anakin broke out of the Force hold and made good use of the precious few seconds of surprise.

One underhand swipe aimed at the Sith’s middle.

Overhand – the shoulders.

A flurry of sharp movements that materialized as a blue blur.

Through every jab sent his way, Sidious retaliated with equal or greater force. He appeared unconcerned and as Anakin’s energy lessened, the Sith’s grip on the Dark Side grew.

Ok. Clearly need a new plan. Offense is not happening…mused Anakin, grumbling internally at the stupid Sith’s skill. He had underestimated Palpatine. Breathing in deeply, he tried to focus on calming himself – not exactly easy when everything you thought you knew turned out to be a lie, not to mention the emotions that threatened to drown him. Nevertheless, Anakin made himself focus and draw on the Force, not through anger, but remembering the love of Padme. And sure, some rage he was unable to hold back, but all things considered, Anakin thought he faired pretty well.

As Sidious increased his offensive strikes, aiming for critical limbs and toying with Anakin physically and psychologically, he matched the Sith’s saber – blow for blow. Though Sidious had more years of experience than Anakin, the effects of his battle with Windu and Yoda were still being felt.

He’s still a man…Anakin reminded himself, when he ducked to avoid an especially violent move. Part of him wondered how the Sith was even keeping up, considering his age, but whatever the reason may be, Anakin was coming to the realization that Sidious, at least at this moment, could not be defeated.

“You will never defeat me!”

“Like I said,” a Force push, “earlier,” the red saber swung high, “I don’t have to defeat,” his blue blade met it, “you,” he drew on the Force firmly and shoved every weight of it towards Palpatine, “to win.”

ANAKIN.

Not. Now.

Quit being an idiot! If you do not make it onto this ship, Padme has threatened to come back down to the surface herself.

Anakin rolled his eyes, gritting his teeth as he tried to hold Sidious back.

I am being completely serious. She said to tell you that if you do not get up here in ten seconds, then she is coming down and dragging you back.

The sound of an engine roaring overhead caught his attention. Briefly, his eyes flickered up and saw the ramp being lowered. Part of him screamed that no, he did not need to get on that ship. He needed to stay on Mustafar and finish Palpatine for good. Yet, Anakin knew his wife well and if what Obi-Wan was saying was the truth, then nothing would stand in her way, not even a Jedi Master.

Making a quick decision, Anakin used the last remains of his energy to make the far leap onto the ship’s ramp. As soon as his feet touched it, the ramp began closing and he walked into the Naboo star skiff.


Let me know what y’all thought! 🙂

~ Southern Dreamer

Midnight Sun ~ Movie Review

Recently, I went to see Midnight Sun with one of my friend’s. I had seen the trailer and was really excited to see the movie. For one, there was going to be a romance, and anyone who knows me, knows that Hallmark Channel-like movies are my cup of tea. And besides that, I was super happy that another film about someone with an illness other than cancer was being showcased.

The National Institute of Health says that 23.5 million Americans suffer from auto-immune diseases (https://www.aarda.org/news-information/statistics/#1488234345468-3bf2d325-1052). I do think that it is important to look at other types of illnesses and have more light shed on them. My entire point with the statistic was to show that many people would relate to a character in a film who has another type of disorder/illness. I believe that Hollywood should branch out a little more and make more movies about people with other unseen illnesses like diabetes, lupus, narcolepsy, etc…

ANYWHO.

Apologies for the semi-rabbit trail xD

See the source imageMidnight Sun is a movie about Katie Price, played by Bella Thorne, who has a rare disorder: a life-threatening sensitivity to the sun. Because of her disease, she can never go outside during the day, and has been homeschooled her entire life. During the first few minutes, a flashback details how she met her bestfriend – Morgan, played by Quinn Shephard, and shows the most important person in her life – her father, played by Rob Riggle.

The premise of the movie is that she is faced with the decision to tell her long-time crush, Charlie – played by Patrick Schwarzenegger, about her illness…or keep it a secret and play normal for a while, risking her life in the process.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

TURN BACK NOW IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS.

See the source image

LAST WARNING.

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Now that that’s out of the way! 😉 Onto the spoiler part of the movie review.

One of my favorite things about the movie was Katie’s relationship with her father. For reasons I will never understand, many times Hollywood seems to enjoy giving dads and men in general a bad rap, so it was really refreshing to see this close, healthy relationship.

See the source image

I loved the genuine honesty in their relationship. There was no lying or tricking the other person. The one time that Katie tries to lie; she doesn’t even make it half a day before telling her dad.

I absolutely love that.

Katie is genuinely a good teenager. She’s not perfect by any means, but she doesn’t lie to her dad or sneak behind his back. Her heart is in the right place, and I really love how they portrayed her character.

On that note, I seriously adored her entire interactions with Charlie. For one, maybe it’s just me, but like so relatable??? I feel like a lot of times in movies people are all smooth and not-awkward when it comes to crushes and dating. I’m sure that definitely applies to some people – like Morgan, but for the rest of us out there aka Katie, well, it doesn’t come quite as easily.

I thought Charlie was a great character. The twist of popular guy, who does something stupid, gets injured in the process, and pretty much loses everything he had been working towards, making him wiser and put a stop to getting wasted/drunk was a refreshing change. Not to mention, that he was really sweet to Katie. Even after he learned about her disease – knowing that she would likely die, Charlie did not leave her.

See the source imageHe could have and I don’t think anyone would have blamed him if he did, after all, pure logic says that what would be the point if the end is inevitable anyway? But he didn’t, and that entire scene and monologue is wonderful.

The movie also has some funny moments. Like when Katie is amazed at the “party,” and Morgan heaves a sigh, mumbling that no this is not a real party, and no Garver do not listen to her – she has never been to a party before and has no idea what she’s talking about. I also loved the Taylor Swift comment, relating to Katie’s boy troubles xD

Unfortunately, I now must discuss the ending. Grab your tissues, go ahead. I promise I won’t judge. Alright, tissues at the ready? Here we go.

Not going to lie, I was in complete denial that the movie was going to end the way it started to look like it would. I kept telling myself, ‘nope. they’re going to find some miraculous cure and everything’s going to be a happily ever after.’

Yeah, that did not happen.

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But gosh y’all, the way the constructed the ending was so like heart-wrenching??? In terms of storytelling, they did a great job of tying everything together and giving the viewer a punch to the heart. Of course, as a viewer, I also did not want it to end that way, so, take that with what you will.

The song Katie recorded as she started to decline – “Charlie’s Song.” How Charlie used the money he had been saving for his truck, to rent out a real recording studio so she could record her song.

How her song stared playing on the radio as Charlie was driving, after she had died. How it had gone viral. How her dad turned on his radio and started to shout, “That’s my girl! That’s my girl!”

Yep, both horrible and beautiful at the same time.

If you haven’t seen Midnight Sun, I would encourage you to go see it! But be warned, you should probably bring tissues. If you have seen the movie, what did you think? Did the ending leave you satisfied?

~ Southern Dreamer

 

Revenge of the Sith ~ Part 3

Disclaimer: All Star Wars characters/worlds/etc belong to LucasFilm, but the plot and events are mine, so pretty please don’t steal and give credit if you use any ideas 🙂

See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.


Palpatine started to chortle, hysterical laughter exploding from him – wave after wave. The old man could barely stand up, so great was his amusement. Beady eyes finally looking back up at Anakin’s defensive position, a smirk appeared on his face. “You. You truly believe you can defeat me? Foolish boy! Not even your Master Yoda could come out victorious! And yet, somehow your childish mind, fantasizes that you, not even a master, could win such a duel?”

There were several things, that Obi-Wan, having known Anakin for so long, knew could get his padawan worked up into a tizzy. One – threatening those he cared for, which the Sith had managed to do splendidly, and two – treating him like a child, something Palpatine had also brilliantly succeeded at.

Force help them all.

Gripping the hilt of his lightsaber tightly, the blue beam shimmering against the red and orange landscape of Mustafar, Anakin made himself take a deep breath – never losing sight of the hooded figure. “Well, it’s certainly a good thing that I am not Master Yoda then, isn’t it?”

Palpatine’s lips curled up into an evil grin. “Ah, such arrogance! Such poorly placed confidence!”

“It’s not poorly placed if it’s true. And,” Anakin took a step forward, “I don’t have to defeat you to win.” This time, he was the one who gave the other a smirking expression.

Padme watched all of this with wide-eyed anxiety, grateful that her idiot husband and his ridiculous friend had stopped fighting, but at the same time, now encased with an entire new thing to worry about – namely, whether they would all survive to escape this planet.

Next to her, Obi-Wan was still trying to process everything. His mind was going into overdrive, and the only thought that kept passing through was Force help us. Force help us. Force help us.

Obi-Wan!

Said Jedi started suddenly, glancing around, before his eyes came to rest on Anakin. Anakin?

Yes. Of course it’s me! Listen, I’m going to hold Sidious off. I want you to get Padme and the babies – force that’s still weird – off this planet. Don’t worry about me.

Are you insane?! He’s going to kill you!

Thanks for the vote of confidence. You’re not going to change my mind, all that matters now is getting Padme and my kids to safety.

Obi-Wan attempted to persuade Anakin, but it was now clear that his padawan had, at least temporarily, closed off the connection in order to focus. Kriff, if Jedis took vacations, he was seriously going to need one once this was all over and done with.

Turning to Padme, he gave her a tight-lipped smile and gently picked up one of the babies. Force help us all…he thought for the thousandth time, as the Jedi helped the young twins and Padme into the ship, while in the distance, red and blue lightsabers sparked violently.

Lover’s Ballad

Several days ago, I was sitting in my bed at night and that ancient battle of whether or not to go with what my flesh was wanting, or what I knew my spirit needed commenced. I had not spent time with the Lord or read the Scriptures much that week, and realized I needed to, though a large part of me wanted to do other things then – looking on social media, reading, etc…All things that are not bad in and of themselves, but as believers, we’re supposed to keep the Lord first and foremost in our lives.

I’m not going to say that it was easy to do the right thing, because it wasn’t. However, I’m grateful that the Holy Spirit helped me to overcome that and do what needed to be done even if I didn’t “feel” like it.

The devotional I used was an app called “First 5.” If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a short devotional that takes about five minutes of your time. The Proverbs 31 team put together the app and devotionals, and they usually go through different books of the Bible – at least, that’s what I’ve observed so far.

Anyway, right now, they are going through Hosea.

When I opened the app, the main verse out of chapter 11 of Hosea that they were focusing on was…

“I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst and I will not come in wrath,” ~ Hosea 11:9

At first glance, you might be like, ‘ok. so, what’s the significance here?’ The part that really stuck out to me was the very end of the passage: the Holy One in your midst and I will not come in wrath. 

I read this the day before Easter. And in my mind, I kept thinking how ridiculous it was that I was struggling with wanting to read the Bible, to spend time with God. He literally died for me – nails stabbed into his hands, thorns shoved onto his head, betrayed by his closest friends. 

Then, here I am, having a difficult time deciding whether or not to spend time with Him or go scrolling on my cellphone.

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So, when I read that passage – “I will not come in wrath” – my entire brain was kinda overwhelmed. Humans, imperfect as we are, are not forgiving creatures and when someone doesn’t respond correctly after we have sacrificed everything, well, I would say that the majority of us are probably going to be pretty mad.

God is perfect. He has not sinned at all. If anyone had the right to be angry after the sacrifice Jesus gave for us, it would be Him.

But that’s not how He responds. Instead, He makes several statements that I think we all need to remember. One, God is not man – sounds straightforward, yet many times, I know I think that He will react the same way that humans do. The Holy One in your midst, reminding us that He is here. Lastly, I will not come in wrath.

I especially love this verse, and really the entire passage, not only because of what it says, but where it is located…Hosea. The Old Testament. A lot of times, the Old Testament is categorized into the section where God’s power is shown and not His love and mercy. While there is some truth to that, I don’t think it’s the whole story.

When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2
The more they were called,
the more they went away;
they kept sacrificing to the Baals
and burning offerings to idols.
3
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
I took them up by their arms,
but they did not know that I healed them.
4
I led them with cords of kindness,[a]
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.

Then verses five through seven cover the consequences of Israel’s actions. What will happen because they refused to come back to God.

8
How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
my compassion grows warm and tender.
9
I will not execute my burning anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and not a man,
the Holy One in your midst,
and I will not come in wrath.[c]

I find this passage beautiful. It really shows the Lord’s heart, I think. It reminds me almost of a lover’s ballad – someone who knows what they need to do, and yet, the very thought of hurting their love is unbearable. The tone is definite, yet broken – resigned, nostalgic, adoring.

Reading this helped me to see a different side of God that I had not really thought of before, and I hope that some portion of this Scripture will touch your heart like it did mine.

~ Southern Dreamer