When I first saw The Force Awakens after a fully funded summer media apparatus of hype in the winter of 2015, I remember the following Christmas morning my mother turned the corner, threw me a Force Awakens pillow, and coldly chuckled “Merry Christmas.” It was a good joke — like many the Force is moderately strong in my family — but it left me to wonder, what Christmas spirit at Walmart possessed my Mom to buy me this gift? I suspect my mother may have unknowingly become a Disney market research statistic. But after the last five years and our predestined Rise of Skywalker, I am largely left to ask the same question.
WARNING: The following contains major spoilers from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The latest and final installment of the Skywalker saga of Star Wars is now out in theaters. In The Rise of Skywalker, the Resistance must face the First Order once more, in the midst of the mysterious return of Emperor Palpatine.
With Rise of Skywalker and the end of the Skywalker Saga at the end of the month to look forward to, Hard NOC Life is going to be a Star Wars podcast for the month of December. Because there aren’t enough Star Wars podcasts on the internet! Each week, Dominic and Keith will be breaking down a different trilogy that make up the beloved Star Wars franchise.
Nolan had me for a moment, I was deep in space with his crew as they went through a worm hole; into the next galaxy for our new earth. After the film’s release, following tradition in the wake of a Nolan film; debates began. Physicists were referenced and America’s favorite smarty-arty Neil De Grasse Tyson weighed in. I had no problem with any of the alleged technical flaws of the film, I was more concerned with the brother. Matthew whats-his-name and the other Caucasoids left him in space for 23 years?
According to Webster, a latter definition suggests that a nerd is: “unstylish, introverted, and devoted towards academic pursuits.”
There is nothing unstylish about my nature, but for the purposes of this site, I’ll define the term as a person who has an affinity for certain forms of entertainment. For the purposes of this site, I’ll be that. A cinema nerd. A rap music nerd. A nerd divulging mythology through fiction, poetry, or graffiti walls.
Comic books were taboo in my parents’ Christian household; my collection was always stifled and intermittent. My stash was hidden in the clandestine manner young boys hid Playboy magazines; under mattresses, behind dresser drawers — ultimately found and discarded.
Two mysterious lands far away from one another — yet linked by seas of soybeans — birthed a child born of melody, harmony, rhythm, and the smell of soy sauce. The child was destined to become a musician… and a tofu-loving pescetarian. But first, between musical gifts, came dreams of Jedi knighthood, ninjas, and flying with a cape.
My dad says he took me to Return of the Jedi when I was 3. I don’t remember it, but judging from the reaction my mom gives when this is mentioned, it happened. What I do remember very well from childhood is becoming obsessed with Superman in the early 80s. It seemed about right being surrounded by farms in a Nebraska town 60 miles from Smallville (okay, the Kansas border). Superman links farmland Nebraska with farmland Goiás (Brazil). My dad and my tio Laurinho took me to Superman III a year later. Remember, it took a bit more time for movies to travel back then. After that, it was capes and the same tio, or anyone else I could get, making me fly in both Brazil and the U.S. while trying not to break stuff.
I remember coming home after watching Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on the big screen. I was quiet, but as soon as I got home and put on my pj’s, I jumped on my bed and pretended to fight invisible foes with my imaginary lightsaber. I had been practicing reproducing the sound of the masterful lightsaber and by the end of the week, I had perfected it. Some kids in the neighborhood where we lived in Lima, Peru either thought it was really cool or let their fists do the talking.
That didn’t stop me. I’ve always been the “unique” person in every room I’ve entered. Nowadays because there aren’t too many spoken word artists of Peruvian heritage in the Midwest — or the U.S. — that grew up watching Mazinger Z and Ultraman, or fell in love with Lynn Minmei from Robotech, or was sucked into Transformers, or collected Dungeons & Dragons figurines, or watched My Little Pony (not a Brony, by the way), or raised the eye of Thundera with Lion-O, or geeked out every time Voltron would form, or loved it every time Saint Seiya would scream out “Dame tu fuerza! Pegaso!”