Actor, Writer, Jedi, Singer,

Actor, Writer, Jedi, Singer,
You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you

Monday, January 30, 2012

Favorite Song Monday

Today's song is "Blow Me Away" by my favorite band "Breaking Benjamin." Some of you may know the song from the game "Halo 2"(which I have yet to play). It's an awesome song and it helps while writing a fight/battle scene in my books.
There is a little screamo, just so you know if aren't that big of a fan of it but it's really not that much.
Well, anyway, enjoy! :)

Here is a Star Wars tribute to the song which very awesome :) I think it fits well.

Hope you have a nice rest of your day and May the Force be with you! :D :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award

Annika over at "Writing Beyond the Moon" gave me this award(thanks, Annika! :))


1. Post Seven random things about yourself.
2. Award this to 10 other bloggers!

Random things about myself
1: I flew in a helicopter when I was a few hours old
2: I love Siri-Wan
3: Obi-Wan Kenobi is my favorite Star Wars character EVER!!! :D
4: I have written five books(the last one is 608 pages) and I'm re-writing the first.
5: I love acting and I want to be in the movies some day
6: I have OCD
7: I am a direct descendant of Chaucer who wrote "The Canterbury Tales"

Okay, so know I have to tag 10 other bloggers so they can get the award too(I'll try to give this to other people who haven't gotten the award yet).

Misty Kasumi at "The Mistiness of the Future: Actor, Writer, Dreamer
jedigal1990 at "A Jedi and A Mouse"
Aayla Rain at "Fangiril; Farmgirl
Solace Utara at "Prophets of the Force
Savanna at "Pandas, Lightsabers, and Cameras, Oh My!"
Voronda Elda-Aranel at "A Believer's Journey"
OneofakindKnight at "Knightly Randomness" and some other blogs too
Stephanie at "Pandora"
4peace at "My Three Seedlings"
Aay'liah at "Wings like an Eagles"
Arda @ In Western Lands

Look below this, I posted my review of last night's episode. I posted twice again in one day :)

"Friends and Enemies" Review

Okay, so to start off, that was an AWESOME episode!!!! :D I didn't expect it too, but it just barely topped last week's episode of epicness; that's how good it was! The action was awesome but what really made this episode awesome was the characters and emotion(Being a tomboy, I like both action and non-romantic relationships between characters). I'm really enjoying seeing Obi-Wan undercover and the focus on him and Anakin which is something I want to see more of in this show.
I heard yesterday that Ian Abercrombie passed away(he was the voice of Palpatine in The Clone Wars). So, I dedicate this review to him, may he RIP. :(

The Good: The entire episode was awesome, but of course there were parts that shone out to me. My absolute FAVORITE part of the episode was when Obi-Wan had Anakin in a tackle and his arms pinned to his sides while whispered "Anakin...don't follow me." The short segment of "The Force Theme" that played their was very poignant, you could really see Obi-Wan there, telling his friend the truth. I also liked how Obi-Wan holding Anakin looked like a parent holding an upset child even while he was retraining him. I loved the way his voice sounded there too; it reminded me or Obi-Wan's Force ghost speaking to Luke in "A New Hope" particularly during and after the Death Star trench. And I loved Anakin's eyes widening when Obi-Wan spoke to him(though I'm not sure if Obi-Wan put him to sleep through the Force or if he just passed out).
I also loved the scene where Anakin is talking(well, more like ranting to let everything off his chest, but anyway) to Palpatine. His emotion was great and when he said "Hardeen killed my Master. My best friend" I was so excited to hear him call Obi-Wan his 'Best Friend'!(AHHHHHH xD). I also really liked Obi-Wan's "Anakin!" after the last of their many ships in this episode; it really showed his concern for his friend there and from what I saw on Wookiepedia, it appeared he wanted to tell Anakin the truth. I also think it had something to do with keeping Cad Bane away from his friend. Also, Obi-Wan/Hardeen's "Anakin" sounded slightly like Padme XD. And the fight scenes were epic, of course :).
Oh and the end was top notch! Anakin sensed a connection and found out that Obi-Wan is ALIVE(now I really can't wait till Friday to see how this turns out). I liked it when Anakin told Ahsoka that they would get to the bottom of this.
The opening scenes were also great- Obi-Wan crashing the ship into the swamp on Nal Hutta seemed very reminiscent of Anakin crashing the Invisible Hand in ROTS. Plus Obi-Wan seemed very Anakin-esque during the crash-land(Anakin sure has rubbed off on you, hasn't he, Obi-Wan ;)?) The scene in the shop was also well done. I liked the nod to Indiana Jones(with the hat)and Bane's line "I need a new hat." Obi-Wan's disgusted look at Bane after he'd stopped choking Pablo was great, as was when he tried to give the Rodian's girlfriend/wife/person some credits to try and make up for Bane's violent behavior(you could see he felt bad for his 'companion's' behavior); though I was quite annoyed at her reaction to him- why is she mad at him? He's being nice and you smack him?! -_- sigh. Oh, and Obi-Wan escaping his capture was AWESOME(he totally could have gotten out earlier but he wanted to wait till Bane and Eval were back on the planet). I like how he whacked his captor with his own staff(HA! Shows you not to mess with Obi-Wan, sucker!).
Anakin was very dark in this episode; I mean, he Force-choked an innocent bartender(well, probably not innocent, but he hadn't done anything to Anakin) for information. I can understand WHY he's doing it, but that doesn't make it right. But the darkness was well done and we are seeing the gradual darkening of Anakin's character. I'm SO glad that Mace and Yoda decided to tell him the truth(which I hope we'll see in the next episode).
Oh and Ahsoka's line of "Who else wears a hat like that?" was hilarious! :D

The Bad: Well, I pretty much enjoyed the entire episode so I'm being very nit picky here. I didn't like it when Obi-Wan punched Anakin during their fight but, after thinking about it, I came to the realization that he did it because Cad Bane was their and had to make him 'defeat' of Anakin realistic and to not make him suspicious and because he needed to get Anakin in a position where he would be able to listen to him. Also, I didn't like it too much when Anakin kneed Obi-Wan in the crotch but, if I was fighting the actual murderer of Obi-Wan, I'd do beat him up too. I also didn't like how easily Obi-Wan was captured but his escape and his attitude towards Bane afterwards made up for it. I also didn't like it when Rex wouldn't tell Mace Windu

All in all, this episode was an awesome addition to the show as well as one of my favorite episodes yet! Obi-Wan has really shinned in the last couple of episodes he's been in, and in this one he does the same. What's great about this arc is that it's all about Obi-Wan AND his friendship with Anakin which is just awesome:).
I love Obi-Wan and Anakin's friendship and I'm uber-excited to see more of their relationship in this show(especially this ARC). I really hope we see them talk or something and show the mending of their relationship. I kind of hope they hug since it hardly ever happens :). And one more note; the "Anakin...don't follow me" sort of sounds like "Don't let yourself become like the man I'm posing as" which seemed sort of eerie since we know who Anakin becomes.........
I'm now really excited to see how this arc ends and I can't wait till next Friday to see "The Box" where Obi-Wan(still Hardeen) has to compete with other Bounty Hunters in some large facility shaped like a giant box so Dooku can pick out who to send to kidnap the Chancellor.
So, until next time, have a good day and May the Force be with you! <3 :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Holodiary of Aran Liander- Jedi Apprentice

981 ARR

I don't feel well at all. I started feeling bad last night after a long spar with my Master. At first I thought I had just over-exhausted myself, but now I'm not so sure. The darkness in he Temple- Coruscant for that matter -seems to be entering me and poisoning my very blood. Now I know why the Jedi believe that the Sith Lord is here on Coruscant- I can feel him/her. The fact that I can makes me feel even worse- like a giant fist has reached inside me and started to squeeze my guts.
I've been sitting in my room all day- My Master won't let me leave since he thinks I'm sick. He's been in and out all day, checking in on me and I can see that the dark side here is also affecting him. His face is wan and tight and his eyes are bloodshot with weariness. My brought in a healer, a human man, who pronounced me perfectly healthy, but as he left, he turned to me and gave me a look- a look which signified that he knew what I was going through. We all feel it; from the youngest initiate to Master Yoda himself; a sense of dark foreboding that grows heavier every day, every moment. How long till it crushes us?
I want to get out of this bed and DO something but if my Master finds me out of bed, he'll make me do five hours of katas once I feel better, which is something I don't want to do(practicing is fun, but going over the same forms for hours on end looses it's fun after the first two hours). And I don't want to cause him any trouble; he already has enough. My room seems different now, maybe that's why I want to leave. It seems soft, and light- almost angelic and it seems so wrong for me, dirtied with battle and stinking of death, to be here in this place. I've seen far, far too much to go back, I-
Oh, Force, I just started crying again. At least I'm here in the Temple, surrounded by Jedi who understand how it's like instead out there where the public can't bear the sight, or thought, of a Jedi weeping. 'We must not cry or show great anger or sorrow before those we serve. We must be calm and collected or they will not trust us' is what I've grown up hearing and I agree- if the public saw us weep or panic, they would loose what little faith they still have in us.
Yes, the public is loosing faith in us. It hurts me every time I see a disdainful or suspicious glance directed towards me as I stride through the crowded streets of whatever planet I'm on. They blame us for the war; I can see it in their eyes. Can't they understand what it must be like to have to do the thing we hate: make war. I've asked my Master about it- why does the public distrust us after all we've done. He told me that “People always fear those who are different then they are and those who do good”. How could you fear someone doing good? Isn't that what most people want to do at heart?
So many questions buzz in my head that I can't think straight. That's most likely why it takes so long to become a Knight- because we need to learn to quiet ourselves and look outwards to the needs of others before looking to the needs of ourselves. It is hard, it is difficult, but I completely understand and I will do my hardest to accomplish this. I will be the best Jedi I can be and that is enough for me.
Okay, I'm starting to feel less ill even if the shroud of the dark side still stifles me. At least the cramps have gone away. Maybe I'll even be up for some sparring with some fellow Padawans later. I'd like that.
When this war ends I shall be so thankful. I'll celebrate with my Master and Kyla and hopefully we'll be able to smile more than we cry as we remember those who have fallen. But hopefully the tears I shed will be those of joy instead of sorrow. I know Rune and Lint would rather I continue on the path of the Jedi instead of wallowing in grief. It's hard sometimes but....but I know that I'll be able to heal after this war one way or another. And I look forward to the day when my Master, Kyla, her Master, and I can look out to the sunset, with the suns rays shimmering against the stone of the Temple, and think of the joys ahead and the sorrows behind us because you can't have one without the other, right?
My Master just brought me my dinner which is sausage, slices of meat, muja fruit, and a tart for dessert. I'll write to you tomorrow or when I next get a chance.
May the Force be with you and let that wonderful day in my future come.

Aran Liander

Look at the post below too. I posted two things today :)
Enjoy and May the Force be with you :D

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Actor's Odyssey

I've always wanted to be an actor ever since I was little and wanted to be on Barney.
I've acted in quite a lot of plays and even went to a film acting camp last summer :).
My goal is to be act in movies and t.v shows and maybe even do some plays on Broadway.
And of course, like every actor, there are roles that I would love to play sometime in my future. Whether for film or for theater, I'm making it my goal to play as many of my 'dream roles' as I can :).

Film/t.v show roles

The main character in my books series- Ever since I started writing my books series, it was my goal to play the main character someday in the films(whenever that happens). I feel like I could play her very well and it would also be a great challenge for me.

A role in a Star Wars related film/episode
- I've always wished I could have had at least a small role role in one of the Star Wars films. Though I know that won't happen, I'd like to at least voice someone on Star Wars: The Clone Wars or play a role in the live-action t.v series. Of course, if they made Jude Watson's books into a television show, I'd love to play/voice Siri Tachi(or even a young Obi-Wan):D

Milla from "The Seventh Tower series" - I really liked her character; I mean, she's a warrior girl who isn't a bad guy which is a role I've always wanted to play. The books are a favorite of mine, so it would be an awesome role to play.

Thorgil from "The Sea of Trolls" trilogy - I also liked her character. She's also a fighter/warrior girl(a Viking type girl, actually) and that is the sort of role I REALLY want to do several times throughout my career as an actor.

Someone from the Underland Chronicles - I know I'm too old now to play the role of "Luxa" but since this is one of my favorite series, I'd like to play one of the girls in the series(I'm drawing a blank on her name, but there was a role I could play).

The main character in my t.v show - I am also writing a t.v show(I haven't gotten very far, yet) and I am definitely planning on playing the main character since she's a lot like me. :)

Theater roles

Elphaba from Wicked - The moment I first saw glimpses of Elphaba's character in "Wicked" I knew I wanted to play her. I immediately identified with her and felt 'I could do this'. I can also sing her songs quite well(the character's range and voice type are the same as mine). Plus she sings a lot of lovely and hilarious songs(alone and with other people) such as - Defying Gravity, What is this feeling?(loathing), No Good Deed, and The Wizard and I. :)

Abigail Williams from The Crucible" - I read "The Crucible" for school recently and while reading, I was very intrigued by the antagonist Abigail. The farther I got into the story, the more I wanted to play her character- it would be a large change from what I typically play(I've played bad guys many, MANY times) and would be a challenge for me to convey which is something I greatly desire to do.

Eponine and Cosette from "Les Miserables"
- I have yet to watch the musical, but I did read the novel and from what I've read of the musical, playing a part in this production would be an amazing experience. My first choice would be the role of Eponine- I really enjoyed her character in the book and I would LOVE to portray her one stage. I'd never paid much thought to playing Cosette, but I had someone tell me recently I could play the role(as well as the part of Eponine) so I'll add it to my list.

Jesus Day by Day soloist, or John the Baptist/Judas in Godspell
- I've already done this play(I'll tell you about it later) and I had a blast doing it. Of course, besides the role I did, there are other characters in this show I'd like to explore- such as Jesus and John the Baptist/Judas since those would be challenging roles. I'd also like to be the "Day by Day" soloist since I love the song so much.

Runner up
The Baker's Wife, Cinderella, or Little Red Riding Hood in "Into the Woods"
Mary Warren in "The Crucible"

My favorite roles ever have been - The Red Queen, Pepper, Peter Pevensie, "Learn your lessons well" soloist, the second Wickersham brother, and Ralph Herdman. Here are some of the productions I've done-

Children's theater
Sleepy Hollow - Ghost Pirate and some kids in the school
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever- Ralph Herdman(I was the oldest kid in the Herdman family)
Through the Looking Glass - The Red Queen
Into the Woods - Jack's mother
Godspell - Learn your lessions well soloist as well as other people in the parables(I also was the one who drew a weapon on Judas).
Suessical - The second of the three Wickersham Brothers
Beauty and the Beast - Madame D'arque(something like that, anyway) and some other smaller roles
Thirteen - an extra and Rabbi <------ Never do this show. You won't like it(I know I didn't :p)

Homeshool group
Cinderella(a filmed thing) - One of the stepsisters and one of the girls who played Cinderella; I played her when she was at the ball.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe- Peter Pevensie(my sister was Lucy)
A Christmas Carol- One of the narrators(I wasn't impressed with this one so much)

Missoula Children's theater(the one that travels around to the different states)
Little Red Riding- a racoon(I was about seven)
The Frog Prince- venus fly trap(I was the leader )
Snow White - A skunk
The Jungle Book - I was one of the four wolf pups
Robin Hood - One of the Foresters
Little Mermaid - Sea Scout
Jack and the Beanstalk - Ringmaster of the Circus
Beauty Lou and the Country Beast- the older version of Beauty's little sister of Little Zo(I threw a temper tantrum on stage)

And soon they are going to be having auditions for "Once Upon a Mattress" at my city's local theater(where I did Annie last year) and I hope to get the lead in that.
Have a great rest of your day, and May the Force be with you! :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Favorite Song Monday

The song I am going to post today is "Hallelujah" sung by Rufus Wainwright. He isn't the original singer of the song but his version is my favorite of the several that have done it. It's a really beautiful song and I hope you enjoy it. :)

Here's a Star Wars related video to the song. It's a tribute to Obi-Wan Kenobi and was one of the first I ever watched(and it's still a favorite of mine). This video actually made the sort of cry the second time I watched it.

Hope you enjoy, and May the Force be with you! :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Deception" Review

Okay, so I've been looking forward to last night's episode for a long time. When I heard that my favorite character(Obi-Wan Kenobi) I got extremely excited. The whole 'posing' as a bad guy reminded me of when Siri Tachi pretended to leave the Jedi Order and joined Krayn's slavery operation(no one knew except the Council. Not even Obi-Wan).
The episode starts out with Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Ahsoka heading towards a secret meeting when a sniper suddenly starts shooting at them. The episode unfolds with Anakin and Ahsoka thinking Obi-Wan is dead(he faked his death)and having to deal with it. Meanwhile, a disguised Obi-Wan goes deep undercover as a criminal named Rako Hardeen to worm his way into a scheme designed to kidnap the Chancellor and stop it from the inside.
Interesting premise, right? I'm really looking forward to see how this all unfolds.

The good: I definitely liked the majority of this episode since it was basically about OBI-WAN :D. The beginning was well done, especially Obi-Wan's 'death' and Anakin and Ahsoka's reaction to it. Anakin's scream of Obi-Wan's name as his friend fell off the building was wrenching. I really love the part where Anakin returns to see Ahsoka cradling Obi-Wan's limp body and when he asks "how is he?" the only thing Ahsoka can do is look up and cry. And Anakin's "Obi-Wan! Obi-Wan" where he is shaking his 'dead' Master was also really sad; the music in the entire scene was well done. I also liked when Obi-Wan held his lightsaber, closed his eyes to prepare himself, and stepped into range to be shot- it was very surreal. Plus, the part where Anakin is arresting Hardeen(Obi-Wan) he says that the only reason he wasn't killing the man was because "the man you murdered would rather see you rot in jail." Anakin's anger and pain was transmitted very well and I congratulate Matt on his acting in this episode.
Of course, Obi-Wan incognito and in 'jail' was just plain awesome! It was interesting to see Obi-Wan pretend to be a Bounty Hunter/villain and I feel that he pulled it off quite well. I knew the minute I saw the preview that the Hardeen guy was Obi-Wan(I guess when you like someone enough you can tell it's them even though they are completely in disguise). I absolutely loved the part where Obi-Wan is talking to Cad Bane and Moralo Eval in their cell and Bane is taunting him and Obi-Wan says "Who says I want your respect?" HA! >:). Him and Bane standing face to face reminded me of when Obi-Wan was challenging D'nar in "Kidnapped." Oh, and who thought it was cool that Obi-Wan's code name was "Ben"?
The part where Obi-Wan is talking about how leaving Anakin out was critical for the mission sure seemed to me like he was trying to convince himself it was true(I especially got this vibe when Mace told him that what's done is done). I also liked Obi-Wan's facial expressions in the very beginning where the Council looks like their discussing the problem.
All in all, I pretty much liked the entire episode. :) Oh, and Obi-Wan gets his face and head completely shaved off!!! Ahahahahaha! (though, Obi-Wan DOES get a lot of really awesome lines in this show, doesn't he? :))

The bad: While I enjoyed the majority of the episode, there was, of course, a few problems with it. The funeral seemed to quick and really, Satine should't have been there at all(well, at least she isn't canon to me and she won't be in any of the episodes, thankfully) :p. Anakin's facial expressions were great and so was the music. I was also worried that Obi-Wan would shoot the guy(since it sounded like he did from some reviews) but I was relived that he didn't(Cad Bane actually was the one that did it because Obi-Wan hesitated). And about half way through I began to miss seeing my Obi-Wan(in his regular Jedi robes and look). But beyond that, the episode was top notch! :D

I'm very excited to see where this arc leads. It has the potential to be one of my favorite arcs and I can't wait till next week! In the next episode we see Bane trying to find a hat as well as some blasters. I loved his line "I need a new hat"; this whole obsession with hats seems to be a Lucas/Spielberg thing(Indiana Jones, anyone?). And I loved Obi-Wan's disgusted expression at Bane right after he stopped choking the rodian(I could definitely see Obi-Wan there).
Also, I have a pretty good idea for how Anakin could realize that Hardeen was Obi-Wan. Yoda made a comment about Anakin realizing it. I think it would be awesome if , during one of their fights, Anakin looks Hardeen/Obi-Wan in the eye and realizes that this is his friend he thought was dead.
So, looking forward to the rest of this Arc and seeing Obi-Wan do some really cool stuff. Until then May the Force be with you. Always. :)
Shena Tokala/SiriKenobi-ShenaTokala, Siri Kenobi95, Maegen, and Obi-Wan :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

From the holodiary of Aran Liander: Jedi Apprentice

981 ARR

I'm home. We arrived earlier this morning and I was able to have breakfast in the refractory for the first time in years. It was so soothing to sit there and see the wizened Yoda along with the few members of the Council still here up near the front of the room; their calm, steady presences having a relaxing effect on everyone in the room. I wonder it must be like for them; the galaxy is on their shoulders and yet they make sure that we, the younger generation, is calm and at least somehow at peace.
However, not is all that it seems. The Temple seems different; I sense a thick, confusing tangle of blackness splintering through the very air of Coruscant. It's corrupting everything slowly; even the Temple seems doused in faint shadows. My heart is heavy to see this in my once pure home. It's like the darkside is slowly taking over.......Force forbid that from becoming true. Everything seems clouded, even with with the Council, and I don't know what to make of it. Even though we are all calm and serene I can see the haunted looks in the eyes of the Padawans, Knights, and Masters who have seen battle as well as the ancient look that has come over everyone, even the youngest initiate.
I'm happy to be back, don't misunderstand me, it's's just that I feel out of place here......
I feel like I'm dirtying my home....and I feel like...I feel like I'll never be the same again. This place is my home and I'll always love it but....but I feel like we've both twisted away from the way we once were and now there is no going back.
But, by the Force, I am so glad to be back. I'd never known how much I truly missed the Temple until I walked off the ship and into the hangar to see a clan of younglings rifling through some of the ship and droid parts. The sight made me smile and tear up slightly. I remembered doing that with my friends Kyla, Rune, and Lint. After breakfast I went in search of Kyla and her Master but they aren't here; they're still out there, fighting, in danger, seconds away from death.......But I know they are safe. Because of something had happened I would have felt it. And because...because I can't loose another friend. I know I would continue on living, continue on serving the galaxy and the Force as a Jedi, but I'd me filled with such pain, such pain.
But today is a happy day and I need to stop dwelling on the tragedy and the 'what ifs'. We can only analyze and prepare but it doesn't do good to look back and regret. My Master and I are going to spar in the training room for the first time in what seems like forever then we shall walk around the Room of a Thousand Fountains and go out and to help with some relief work for those poor destitute beings who were made homeless by the attack on Coruscant.
Before I go, I'd like to...say something. I know your not real, your just something for me to write into but I've...noticed something I'd like to say in here. Something...strange is happening with Anakin. I've never doubted Anakin Skywalker and I never will but something is wrong; he's under a lot of stress and filled with some sort of fear. I can't quite explain it but I felt it, a tangle of confusing emotions, as he passed me in the hall. I'm worried for him. I also saw his former Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi and he too radiates a sense of worry and even though his is not as tight and mangled as Skywalker's it's..heavier, I suppose you could say. I could be wrong since everyone is like this now days- even the highest Masters on the Council, even my Master...even me. Maybe it's because I've heard so much about this duo that they've been rendered superhuman in my eyes and I'm just surprised that they are like any Jedi, any being. See, even I've fell for the holonet broadcasts. What would Kyla think of me? Just thinking of my friend makes the heaviness and sorrow lift slightly from me. I wish she were here now; maybe she could make some sense of everything going on around me....
Well, my Master is calling me to start our training routine, so I'll say goodbye for now.
May the Force be with you....forever and always. And may the Force grant speed in capturing Grievous and ending this war.
Aran Liander

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Writing Tips: Part 3: Section A

Writing Tips
Part 3: Characters
Section A: How to create and develop a character.

While your working on your basic plot-outline you should also have some idea who the story is going to revolve around. Who is the main character, who do are their friends/allies? Who is the person who stands in their way and whom they despise?
Creating and develop a character can seem a daunting task for early writers; I know that back when I first started that was something I always worried about. Right now, however, you shouldn't worry too much since you have a lot of time to refine your character and change them(which will happen). Right now you just want to make a sketch about your major characters- what do they look like, what are they interested in, what is their personality like, what they hate, what they fear, etc. One thing I've done in the past was to answer a list of random questions, such as you might find on Facebook, a blog owner's 'about me', a forum, etc. What you put here may not apply to how your character eventually turns out but for now, this should help you get the basic idea of what they're like down.
Developing a character takes time and lots of practice at writing, so don't expect your character to be this amazing, wonderful creation just yet(this will come along on it's own course). To help develop your characters, you can base them off yourselves or someone you know. This will help if you can't think of what you wan't them to be like(I based the main character in my series off of me). Reading also always helps; you can't be a good writer without having read quite a lot of different books(movies and t.v shows can also be helpful). Look at your favorite character from your favorite story- what makes them likable and easy to relate to? By looking at what others have done, you can begin to understand how creating a character works and how to find your own voice in writing. :)
Till next time where I shall discuss in depth about different roles in a novel. Have a good rest of your night and May the Force be with you! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Favorite Song Monday

The next song I'll be posting is the song "Carry Me" by Dead by April. It's a really good song and I enjoy listening to it :). There is some screamo in it but even if you don't like screamo(I don't really care for it) you'll like the song.

Star Wars related video that goes with this song. It's for Obi-Wan and Anakin's brotherly relationship and how it all fell apart.

Enjoy and May the Force be with you! :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

"A Friend in Need" Review

While not as awesome as the last two arcs, this episode was a fairly good addition to the show.
In this episode wee see Ahsoka and Padme at a meeting between Republic and Separatist politicians(on Mandalore :p, but more on that later). Then Lux Bonteri walks in and accuses Dooku of having his mother killed. Lux almost gets killed by the Separatists(on Dooku's orders) and Ahsoka has to bail him out; transporting him off planet in fact. What happens next involves Lux being leagued with Death Watch, Ahsoka trying to hide her identity but ending up having to blow it after some people are killed, and Artoo saving the day yet again :).

The good: While not awesome on a grand scale or emotional on a personal scale, the episode had several good scenes which I enjoyed seeing. My favorite part was Ahsoka's duel with Pre Vizla, especially the part where she says "I didn't miss" and he realizes that his pack is about to explode(he managed to get out of it before it blew). I also liked all the fight scenes; especially when R2D2 and his little band of droids turned on their tormentors(Death Watch). I felt very satisfied when that happened(I had felt really sorry for the droids :( ). I actually almost found Artoo's story more interesting than the actual story line :D. Oh, and Ahsoka's fight on the speeder was really cool! I wish the duel had been longer.
Another part I liked was when Lux left in the escape pod; the angles and the way it was done was really well done. It was an emotional scene and I congratulate the animators and actors on a job well done. Oh, and the "I hope you don't choke on your stupidity" was quite funny too :)

The bad: Well, the story seemed a bit rushed but than I can't blame the episode for that since it's just a stand alone. I've found in Star Wars: The Clone Wars that Arcs or duos are better since the plot can be developed more. I also didn't like Satine's little cameo(can't we just let her fade away and pretend she was never thought up? sigh). Oh, and the kiss scene? Ick and yuck :p! I mean, I know why he did it(to keep her from blowing her cover) but I don't want the directors and writers of the show making a habit of having Jedi kiss or get kissed. Jedi don't kiss. PERIOD (Anakin not included in the following statement). I was also wondering about those captured girls- were they concubines to Death Watch or just slaves? Well, either option gives me more reasons to not like Mandos(Satine and Karen Traviss made me not like then and Death Watch's actions just added to it).

On the whole Luxsoka thing: I saw it coming because Ashley Eckstein kept dropping hints in her interviews about it. For example, she kept bringing Lux up when asked about her character this season. And really, it doesn't bother me all that much. Everyone gets crushes on other people; it's a part of growing up. Even the Jedi are attracted to people; the only difference is they don't act on their feelings..except for Anakin, of course. And I can understand why Lux is attracted to her; she's a strong girl who is confident and can take care of herself, unlike him, who is still distraught over his mother's murder. I know that this has upset a lot of people and I can relate; that is exactly how I felt when I heard about Satine and Taria(who aren't canon to me) as well as the return of Darth Maul. So to each their own :)

On to the next episode in which Obi-Wan has to fake his death and go under cover!! WAHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :)
The only problem I have is that Satine was at his mock-funeral. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! WHY OH WHY IS SHE THERE? I DON'T WANT HER TO BE THERE!!!!!! >:(. END RANT. Otherwise the clip I saw was good; Ahsoka's worried comment about Anakin and Anakin's expression were very well done.
Oh well, I guess she won't be in the episodes except for that scene since the episodes really revolve around Obi-Wan going under cover with Anakin and Ahsoka going after the guy Obi-Wan is posing as. So, here's to an awesome, Obi-Wan-Anakin centering episode of epicness! And of course, to Obi-Wan kicking butt! :D
So good night, and May the Force be with you! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

From the holodiary of Aran Liander: Jedi Apprentice

981 ARR

Separatists attacked our position again a few hours ago but this time we drove them off and bombed the last of their forces. We've won, in other words. I remember back at the beginning of the war that when we came to victory I always felt glad...well, actually, more like ecstatic, but that's beyond the point, because all I get is a sense of satisfaction and a sour taste in my mouth. Now don't get me wrong, you know that I want the war to end just never seems to end. And anyway, how can we win when the leader of the Republic is captured? I don't know what's happening since all contact from Coruscant has been blocked and we haven't heard anything since last night.
My leg is stinging; I was wounded during the final stages of the battle by a blaster bolt that got through my guard. I guess I need to work on my defensive techniques some more.....but, really, I shouldn't complain. So many people have died and lost least I'm still here and still whole. I can thank the Force for that.
My Master keeps pacing before me in suppressed agitation. His head is bowed, hands clasped behind his back, and his mouth forming silent words that I can't seem to be able to read. When ever I try to reach out with the Force I feel a buzzing field of bouncing energy that feels almost like some sort of electromagnetic field. It doesn't feel right...nothing feels right...
I'm getting tired now, so I think I'll take a quick nap....
Good news! The Chancellor has been rescued! Master Kenobi and and Anakin seem to have done it. I don't know the details but I do know that Skywalker killed Dooku....I know, I can't believe it either. He has haunted my dreams for the last three years and now he's gone. A part of me is joyous; one of the dreaded Sith is no more is not the Jedi way to rejoice about the loss of life and redemption. What could Dooku have been had he not turned his back on his Order and became that which he'd sword to destroy? What could he have become? So instead I will meditate on what I think and look for a sense of regret at his passing in my heart.
The other good news is that we are leaving! Yoda himself called my Master, our troops, and I back to the Temple. I cannot wait to be back walk around the peaceful, wet inclosure of the Room of a Thousand Fountains, to spar in safe, clean training rooms, to sleep in a soft, warm bed, to eat things other than dried or powdered rations. I know these longings are not the way of the Jedi and I will work on putting them out of mind and focusing on the genuine fact that I am heading home. I thank the Force a million times for that. Well, I'd better go, we're boarding now. Liander out.
Something...interesting happened just a few minutes ago. I'd been lying on my sleeping cot, trying to get some sleep on our journey back to Coruscant. I'd just been about to drift off when I sensed my Master standing over me looking at me. For a moment I thought we were under attack and he was going to awaken me but when he'd stood there in silence for more than fifteen seconds I began to wonder what he was doing. Than I heard his voice, so soft that for a moment I thought I'd imagined his words. He said - “ fleeting. Before you know...they're gone. You're an old man before you realize it.” Than I heard him bend down and felt his hand on my shoulder. “Aran...enjoy your life...enjoy every minute of it. won't realize what you had till you lost it. And your almost home, son. Your almost home.” Then his handed lifted from my shoulder and with a rustle of his robe he was gone. I sat up and have been for the last few minutes, still wondering, still not knowing what to think of it. My Master had never spoke like that before. I'm not sure what it meant....and I don't know if meditating will help at all but I'll give it a try anyway...
So, May the Force be with you and may the war come to a swift, clean end.
Aran Liander

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dragon Apprentice Award

I was given the "Dragon Apprentice Award" award by Voronda Elda-Aranel who runs "A Believer's Journey." :D Thanks! :D Being a Dragon Apprentice sounds like a fun thing! This is my first award so I'm very excited about getting it. :)

So, the first part I have to fill out for this award is- "Dragon you appreciate the most."

My first pick would be Shardas from "Dragon Slippers" as well as it's sequels. I really liked his character and the books were very good :).

I also liked Eustace as a dragon. It really changed him and made him a more humble and thoughtful person(the actor was amazing, I might add! He NAILED the role).

So now I give three people the award...but I think I'll give it to four since it's my first time doing this :)

Misty Kasumi* at "The Mistiness of the Future- Actor, Writer, Dreamer."
Arda at "In Western Lands"
Aayla Rain at "Fangirl; Farmgirl"
Solace Utara at "Prophets of the Force"

The award can keep being given out till the 16th.
May the Force be with you! :D

Monday, January 9, 2012

Favorite Song Monday

Today I am posting a song called "Unknown Soldier" by my favorite band Breaking Benjamin. It's a favorite of mine and I really enjoy listening to it. Enjoy :D

And here's a Star Wars related video to go with the song. It's for Obi-Wan and I really think it fits.

Hope you have a good rest of your day and May the Force be with You! :D

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The end of my book series :)

Roughly seven years ago I came up with an idea for a science fiction book series. It started out as an idea for a film but I decided that I should make it into a book series first. At first the story wasn't so great- I started off the characters really young and the story was a cobbled together mess of other works that I admired. But, through it all, the core of the story as been the same- it was about a girl who fought in a war. And I stuck with that core and that girl who once was just a one-dimensional figure and is now as real as any human being.
I started the first book and after several failed attempts wrote one with a plot that worked well and that I liked. Since then I have written the rest of the series, including the last one which I finished today. The last book is 608 pages long and has 56 chapters. I am really proud with how it turned out- how the characters were written, how the plot, emotion, and action came out. The characters have changed; I've added some and some have been raised and lowered in significance. And all in all, the story has taken flight and is nearly complete.
So, now all I have to do is finished re-writing book one(yes, I needed to do another revision), edit all five books, then send them to the publisher. Oh, and of course there is the second series to start writing >:). I've already started planning on it.
Have a wonderful day and May the Force be with You....Always. :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Escape from Kadavo" review

This is my first review of an episode so I hope I do all right.
First off, I'd like to say that this episode was awesome! It was very well done and had a nice balance of action and emotion. I liked this episode a whole lot better than "Kidnapped" and just a little more than "Slaves of the Republic."
The episode revolves around the trio as they try to get out of their respective situations and rescue the enslaved Togruta colonists. Obi-Wan is once against dealt the worst card and is forced to slave away in the mines of Kadavo where he isn't able to resist or fight back. Therefore, he ends up getting the best scenes in the episode.
The episode starts out strongly with Obi-Wan and Rex working in the mines; with Obi-Wan commenting that the place is engineered to shatter the will and that it's already apparent in the slaves around them. One of the slavers then tells that talking is forbidden and Obi-Wan apologizes quickly, saying it won't happen again. The slaver than tells him that there will be punishment and begins beating a slave right next to him. Obi-Wan than tells him to stop and that it was his fault and to leave the man alone. But he is shocked and told to beg otherwise the slave will die because of him. So Obi-Wan is FORCED to get on his hands and knees and BEG the slaver to not harm the slave. Not only that, but he is forced to call this man Master; not in the traditional, honorific title given to a Jedi of high rank and respect but that of a slave submitting to the will of his cruel oppressor. It was horrible because he couldn't do anything and I felt so bad for him :(. Which leads to me to pretty much the best scene in the show- the one where the Queen is telling Dooku about Obi-Wan in the mines and how he isn't able to do anything and if he does, the slaves will suffer and die because of it. While she's talking me are shown clips of Obi-Wan in the mine and how he is entirely unable to fight back or resist. The echoing voice of the Queen narrating the scene was eerie and quite powerful. Which leads me to a point I wanted to bring up; it seems like a lot of people were saying that Obi-Wan kept being beat up and was weak and broken. But if you really look into it, that isn't so. In "Kidnapped" he wasn't really getting beat up, he was stalling for time(and I'll admit, I thought he was getting beat up when I first watched that episode). In this episode he wasn't ABLE to do anything because if he did others would be killed. You can see quite clearly that he wanted to fight back(as we see when the man kicks him during meal time and he raises his fists threateningly) but he couldn't. So really, he was doing the right thing; suffering so others wouldn't. Plus I wouldn't say they broke him; maybe they drove him to despair but they didn't break him; or if they did he sure bounced back extremely quick since he was able to give Dooku a few verbal jabs when they conversed. And anyway, once reinforcements arrived he broke Rex and himself free from the electric collars and was able to fight back - which I do have to say was plain awesome!!! Finally, some Obi-Wan kick-butt action! Though I will admit, I was a little annoyed that he kept having to get hurt like that; apparently a lot of people have some strange pleasure in seeing him get hurt(in the t.v show, the books, fanfictions I've seen/read).
The escape was pretty well done as well; I liked when Obi-Wan told Anakin that this was a fight he couldn't hope to win alone and Anakin said "Who said I was alone?" I also liked it when Obi-Wan got his lightsaber back and Agruss was all "You're a Jedi so you won't kill an unarmed man," and Rex threw the electro-stick at him and killed him. Seems like the dude forgot he was only dealing with ONE Jedi instead of two.
After having such an awesome beginning and middle, the ending fell slightly flat. After Obi-Wan and Rex escaped and the slaves were rescued the episode seemed to just...I don't know, fall from it's high flight I guess you could say. After all was said and done Anakin said that Ahsoka was the real hero of the operation which didn't make any sense at. All she did was tell their forces that they would have to rescue the slaves from below instead of from above. Beyond that, she really had it the easiest of the three so I don't see why they would say that. Plus the conversation with her and the Governor didn't really fit into the episode; he'd never really had much connection to her so why would ask to speak to her privately? I guess it had something to do with the fact that they were both Togrutas.
Even with the flat ending, the episode was still extremely good; so glad they finished the arc with an awesome and solid episode.
Now I'm looking forward to the rest of the season, ESPECIALLY the prison break episodes where we get to see Obi-Wan go undercover! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH :D Really excited for that!
So, I hope everyone has a good day and May the Force be with you....Always. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

From the holodiary of Aran Liander: Jedi Apprentice

981 ARR

My meditation didn't work out very well; I am still as exhausted as I was when I started. But my mind seems clear so that's a relief. After meditation I went exploring the stronghold to keep my mind busy, and stumbled on an old shower room. After checking to see if they still worked, I went to find my Master and told him of my finding. He told me that he was proud that I had come to tell everyone of my finding before using it. My heart sang at his praise.....Our troops, my Master, and I used these showers to get a quick clean. It felt so good to scrape away the dirt and filth that encrusted my skin; I feel as if I've been reborn....physically anyway. Sometimes I wish I could be reborn..but than I realize I would forget everyone I love and that would be worse than the pain and grief I am experiencing. Sorry, got to go, my Master's calling me.

I'm back. My Master and I trained for about an hour; running through my katas over and over till he was sure I had remembered everything he'd taught me. Then we sparred. My Master is still loads better than me and beat me after about ten minutes but...that was the longest I've fought against him in a spar so hopefully I'm improving. My Master expects an attack soon so he told me to get some sleep but I've given up on sleep and since meditation isn't working I've decided to write in here some more.....I really want to return to the Temple since I haven't been there least a year. I miss it's clarity, it's tranquillity, it sense of home. There, my mind was always clear and I never felt conflicted. Now that's all I feel.
And- wait, I heard something. Someone's contacting us. I'll be back-
We got some terrible news, so terrible I can barely write it down....Coruscant has been attacked and Chancellor Palpatine has been captured by General Grievous! I've only met the General once and I had so many vivid nightmares my Master had to hold me to calm me down. My Master was so pale when he got the news; I've only seen him that scared when I was nearly killed at the beginning of the war. I hate seeing my Master scared....because if he's scared I know it's really bad.
I can only think of the horrors the people on Coruscant are thinking....of what they are suffering. And I fervently hope that the Chancellor is all right; I don't think the Republic will survive without his leadership. I am afraid. What will happen if the Sith take over? What will happen if we can't protect the Republic and it's people. What if...but, Jedi don't deal with the what ifs, we must keep on going and think not of the past.
My only consolation is that Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are being sent to rescue him and if there's anyone that can do this, it's them. I only wish I could do something but impatience is not the Jedi way. All I can do is hope and ask the Force to grant Master Obi-Wan, Anakin, and the Chancellor safety......
I can tell my Master wants to return to Coruscant but we both know that we still have to free this world; that is our mandate and we will follow it through. Hopefully after we save this world we can return to Coruscant and the Jedi Temple. And hopefully by then, Obi-Wan and Anakin will have rescued the Chancellor..........
I'm still scared however and I can't seem to release this fear into the Force; it just keeps gnawing at me......I'm shaking and I can't stop. I-I-
Fear is the path to the darkside Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to Suffering. Beware the darkside, Jedi. Beware.
I am still cold and still afraid but I'm going to try and sleep. I just wish I could take that pale, tight look from my Master's face. He doesn't deserve this, he is too good a person to suffer. He should never suffer and if I could I would take it all away from him. And as I lie here on the cold metal staring at my Master in the light of hologram of Master Yoda, who is still talking to him, I see him age right before my eyes.....and it's horrifying. May the Force be with you, everyone on Coruscant, Obi-Wan, and Anakin, and the Chancellor.

Aran Liander

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Writing Tips: Part 2: Section B

Writing Tips
Part 2: Plot and/or idea
Section B: What a plot is and plot structure

Warning: What I say will be, on some topics, slightly biased. I will try not to be but all writers see things differently so some people may agree with me and some may not.

Today I will be talking about what a plot is and how to craft one.
A plot is basically 'What Happens in a Story.' It's what the bulk of a book; the plot can be about a huge interplanetary war or it could be about someone moving to a new school- there are so many possibilities to explore. And remember that sometimes figuring out the perfect plot can take years to figure out; your story will change many times as you mature and as you think of new ideas and discard old ones.
Once you have your main idea, you need to figure out how the story will flow- how will it flow, what will happen at the beginning and end, what will happen at the end. If you are a new author or you are starting a new series, figuring out how your story will go can be hard to figure out. Luckily, there is a formula that should help you get started on your plot structure. Also, plot structure varries with what you are writing- like whether your are writing a single book or a series novels.
The first part of the plot graph is exposition- in other words, the beginning. The beginning of a story should set up the major character(s) and how they live prior to the story. Stories can begin in many ways- some begin slowly and introduce you to the characters and others plunge head-first into the action. Both techniques work; it depends on what sort of story you want to write. Remember, your beginning should intrigue the reader but don't worry about that too much- the most important thing for know is to figure out how you want to begin the story.
Once you have established your characters and their situation, your begin what is called 'Rising Action.' Rising Action is the build up to the main point of the entire story- most of the story is rising action in all actuality and it is important to spend just the right amount of time here- try not to add too much filler or gloss over things too much.
The next part of a plot is the climax-which is the epitome of the novel. The climax is what the story has been building towards the whole time. Climaxes can be very hard to write and can be different depending on whether or not your writing a stand alone or a series. If you are writing a stand alone novel this climax should be the biggest part of the story and it should resolve the conflict. When writing a series, however, the climax can be big, but it shouldn't completely end the conflict; especially if you want to continue with the same thread throughout the whole story.
The last part of a story is the 'Resolution.' The resolution is where everything comes to together, the action winds down, and the characters start learning to live with the changes that have taken place. If your story is just one book than make sure you tie up any loose ends and bring the story to a close. However, if it is a series, leave an opening for the next book or end with a cliffhanger (unless it is the last book in the series, then you can just finish it..unless you are going to continue with the characters in another series >:D)
So that is all for now. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Till next time!
May the Force be with you!
Shena Tokala(Maegen).

Monday, January 2, 2012

Favorite Song Monday

The song I am going to post today is "What I've Done" by Linkin Park.

Star Wars-related video

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Two Movie Reviews

I went and saw two really good movies this week and I'd like to tell you about them.

The first was "Hugo" which my family and I saw on Wednesday. It is based on novel "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick which I read a couple of years ago. It followed the book, from what I could remember, very well.

Plot: The story is about a young boy who manages the many clocks in the Paris train-station. Besides working the clocks he is trying to fix an automaton which can write; he hopes it will have a message from his father who died in a fire.
The acting was very good, especially from Asa Butterfield who I had seen before in "The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas"(I didn't recognize him till the end though). Asa was able to portray the right emotions and facial expressions that his character would be feeling; and it was rather remarkable since he is quite young. I look forward to seeing him in Ender's Game as the lead role. I really wish I could have him play the main villain as a child in my book series; he would play the part perfectly(he even has the right look) but he wouldn't be able to since he will be too old soon :(. It was also quite neat to see many popular British actors that I've seen in the Harry Potter films appear, such as: Helen McCrory, Frances de la Tour, and Richard Griffiths.
The effects were great as was the set; it look very realistic and the cinematography was awesome! I especially though the beginning where they were shooting down the passage and the depth was awesome(we were watching it in 3D, so that probably added to the effect). Their was just the right amount of suspense and character development which added to the movie significantly. Plus it was cool to see old film that most likely hadn't been on the big screen in over a hundred years, in the theater.
All in all, it was an awesome movie for a family to go see(my little brother even liked it) and I would fully recommend you see it. :)

The next one was "War Horse" which saw a couple of hours ago. We had been studying WWI in history this year and thought it would be a good film to see(we are currently in the Cold War).

Plot: The movie is about a boy who raises a horse to plow his families horse(after his father had bought it on a whim during a horse auction). The boy teaches the horse how to plow, thus saving his family from ruin. However, a rain destroys their crop and his father has to sell the horse to the army to be able to pay the rent. The boy, named Albert, ties a ribbon his father got in the Boer war to his horse's bridal and the man buying the horse promises to return the horse to Albert. Through many different happening the horse manages to visit many different places and sees all sides of the war.
The story was very well done, sad, and the portrayal of WWI was very realistic. I enjoyed seeing the different and really, how the common soldier is never very different from the other side. I need to read the book :)
The acting was very well done; it seemed like they were actual people and not just actors going through the motions(which always makes me happy to see). There were also a few actors I recognized from Harry Potter and other shows and that was cool to see.
I would definitely recommend this movie; it's not something for young children to watch but if you were able to watch the Umbaran arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars than you can watch this. All in all, it was an amazing movie and you should go and see it. :D