Thursday, 27 September 2012

Celebration VI

Soo, this blog has been deserted lately, hasn't it? In my defense, there hasn't really been any clone wars news for me to write about. And I was getting ready for the best vacation ever.

Celebration VI. If you're a Star Wars fan, then you've most likely heard of it. It was basically a giant party for 45,000 Star Wars fans. And I got to go!!!!!

My mom and I left on Wednesday so we could get there before CVI started on Thursday morning. This meant getting up at two thirty in the morning so we could be at the airport by four. Let me just mention that I live in Canada, so it meant a lot of hassle with passports and stuff. Oh, and they found a hammer in my suitcase, so we were delayed a bit because of that. (I actually didn't know it was in there, it was my dad's suitcase and he had forgotten to take it out.) Whoops...

So, the plane ride itself was extremely epic. Have you ever watched the sun rise from the airplane? It's amazing.

After a two hour plane ride, we had a stopover in Denver. That lasted two hours, and then it was a three hour plane ride from Denver to Olando.
When we stepped out of the Orlando airport, it almost felt like walking into a rainforest. It looked like it too... everything in Orlando is very green!
I spent Wednesday night in the hotel lobby freaking out with excitement and just generally being very hyper- that's not normal for me. 
Oh yeah- there were some Star Wars characters standing in the lobby! ;)

Don't mind me, I look strange. ;)

On Thursday morning, I got up early and we took the trolly to the convention centre. As seen above, it was very very awesome. There were so many cool costumes! Almost as soon as we walked in, I saw a Ventress and two Jedi. There were also clone troopers and Darth Vaders and Boba and Jango Fetts everywhere.
After getting our badges, my mom and I just spent a while walking around and taking everything in. Then we went to a Clone Wars panel Inside the Clone Wars Tech. I'm really interested in the behind the scenes stuff, so that was very cool!

Dave Filoni and Joel Aron. I may have fangirled when I saw Dave Filoni. Most teenaged girls fangirl over famous singers or actors, but not me. I fangirl over the supervising director of my favorite TV show. What is my life. :P

After that panel, we did a little bit more walking around, trying to find our way around the place. We had a quick meal of pizza, then we made our way to the James Luceno writing panel. That may have been the best part of my day, not only because a famous Star Wars author answered one of my questions in the Q&A, but because I met Grace (Jedi~Chick) right after! She was the first TLF girl I ever met in person. We talked for a little bit and she gave me my TLF shirt and wristbands.

I hate being tall, okay? But yeah, that was the highlight of day 1. XD

The rest of Thursday just kind of blended into shopping and walking. And then when we got back to the hotel, I Skyped one of my internet best friends Nora (SnipsSkywalker) who I didn't get to meet that day, sadly. And I have also learned that Skyping is a really poor substitute for real life.

Okay, so. Friday. AKA the best day ever.

We got there bright and early again and Nora and I arranged to meet under the giant blow up Death Star that was hanging from the ceiling. While I was waiting for her, Pink showed up! She's another one of my best friends on the internet and I was so happy to meet her in person. And literally a minute after I met Pink, Snips walked in the door! It was so funny, because she crashed into three Sith Lords making her way across the hall. :P

I love the fact that I can say I met my best friends under the Death Star. ;) I doubt too many other people are able to claim that. :D

Then we went up to the exhibit hall and just looked around for a while. The three of us found a box of action figures and had a lot of fun just looking through it. All the Anakin figures were missing their right arms and we had a laugh over that. That's when it kind of hit me that I was actually meeting my friends. It was a bit surreal. Also, Pink gave me a friendship bracelet that she had made herself. It may sound weird, but that was one of my favorite parts of the convention. I had come to the convention to meet and hang out with my friends and that's what I did.

After looking around the hall for a while and buying a few things, it was time to go down for lunch and meet the rest of the Lakehouse girls! All of us got along really well right away and it was a lot of fun. We also all signed a shirt for Ashley Eckstein.

So basically we all hung out for two hours and just talked. It was great. :D

Then it was time to go to the awesome Her Universe Cupcake Party! Ohmygosh it was fun. We ran into Tom Kane (literally) and I got Dee Bradley Baker's autograph for my brother (with a hot pink marker *snickers*). Me, Pink, Snips and Snips' sister also got a picture with Dave Filoni and we got his autograph. I also met Ashley Eckstein. That was awesome. I was just kind of hanging around and Grace saw me. She was like, "This is Shelby, she's from Canada!" and Ashley turned around and hugged me. She's seriously one of the nicest people I've ever met. She took time to meet EVERYONE at the party properly. And she got a group picture with all the Lakehouse girls and kind of gave a little speech. She's amazing. :D

Dee Bradley Baker signing an autograph for my brother.

TLF with Ashley Eckstein!

This is an awful picture of me, but oh well. :P

Pink, Snips' sister, me and Snips with Dave Filoni!

So yeah, the party was great. We did leave a little early though, so we could get in line for the Clone Wars Season Five Premiere! The line was already HUGE! The room they had us wait in was the size of a gym (probably bigger) and it was three quarters of the way full when we all got in line. And there were still two hours left until it started! It was fun though, we sat around talking and signing each other's TLF shirts. My mom disappeared for a while and came back with some adorable Star Wars stuffies. :D

Because it hasn't aired yet, I'm not going to spoil anything, but I will say that it was a good episode. Just watching an episode with around 500 Star Wars fans was a great experience.

Snips fangirling over Sam Witwer. ;)
  Friday was awesome. That is all.

Saturday was the most uneventful day, for me. In the morning, all the Lakehouse girls did a HU photoshoot. That was a ton of fun. :D Then Ashley signed a poster for me! I got three autographs at CVI and I paid for zero of them. I was very lucky.

The epic photoshoot.

After that, we went to the family room and found a bunch of artists! They were doing free commissions, so you could ask them to draw anything Star Wars and they would. A really nice lady drew me an Ahsoka and let me draw one too. I had fun there. :D

After that we went down to lunch at I met up with the other girls again. TBH, the afternoon was a bit of a blur. Snips and I went to laser tag at one point and that was a lot of fun. I think I went to one panel the whole day. The rest was just spent hanging around.

One of the funniest parts of the day was when my mom found someone in a Jar Jar Binks costumes. She literally chased the man down the hall so she could get a picture with him. At that point, I turned to Snips and was like, "Yeah... I don't know her."

My mother with Jar Jar Binks. He was the only Jar Jar we saw there.

That evening, we also had to say goodbye to three members of TLF who were leaving early. I think we were all a little bit sad after that.

  My mom and I met up with Pink again at one of Dave Filoni's panels. It was funny, because Krell and the 501st ended up crashing the panel. Dave was like "I drew this character on paper and now I'm actually looking at him." It was a cool panel! But it sucked a little, because Pink had gotten in line to ask Dave a question, but the panel ended before she got a chance.

After that, we went back to the hotel, where they were showing Return of the Jedi by the pool side. It was really cool! By the end, I was swimming laps in order to stay warm, but I watched the entire movie from the pool. :D

Sunday... that was a sad day.

We actually all met up in a Clone Wars panel at the beginning of the day, where they showed the Season Trailer and seven other epic previews. We were all fangirling by the end of the panel. It was awesome!

After that we went up to the family room again where Katie Cook was teaching an art class. My mom took the class and I joined in about halfway through. Cartoon drawings aren't really my thing, but I have to admit, they are cute.

Ahsoka, Katie Cook style!
  Then me and Snips went to Sam Witwer's panel. Snips is a total Sam fangirl. XD She tried to get his autograph, but sadly, he was only signing a few things.

After that, we met up with all the remaining Lakehouse girls again. Again, we all just hung out for a bit. Then it got sad. Pink and Autumn (Tahiri) both had to leave early. Everyone was hugging and several of the girls were crying.

Snips, Pink and I hugging goodbye.

Pink crying nearly set me off. :(

After Pink and Tahiri left, the atmosphere was definitely subdued. Snips, Savanna, Grace and I all went to the High Adventure concert. They have really cool Star Wars songs. After a few songs, they did a few rounds of Star Wars trivia, which was fun. It wasn't even over before Snips had to go as well. I really really hate goodbyes. They're so depressing. And they're even worse when you have no idea when you're going to see the person again.

Snips tearing up really didn't help me at all. Again, goodbyes suck.
When Snips had left, I walked around the exhibit hall with Grace and Savanna for a while. I'm not going to lie, I was dangerously close to tears for about two hours after saying goodbye to Pink. I really didn't want to have to leave, but eventually it was time to go. I hugged Grace and Savanna goodbye and my mom and I left the convention centre before I lost it completely.

I actually didn't cry until I got on Twitter when we got back to the hotel. Then I teared up a bit because talking online just isn't the same as talking IRL.

Monday was depressing and it almost felt like my mood matched the weather- a hurricane was moving over Florida and there was a chance our flight might be cancelled. Luckily, it wasn't and we were home by 11:30 PM.

Wow, this got depressing really fast, didn't it? I'll try to fix that. :P

It's been exactly a month since CVI ended and I still miss my friends like crazy. I've discovered that it's something that doesn't just go away as time goes on. But still, I wouldn't change anything about the trip. I have a lot of great memories from CVI- laughing over action figures with Snips and Pink, meeting celebrities with the other girls, signing shirts for the other girls in the line for the Premiere, playing Clone Wars adventures with Snips, fangirling over previews with Pink, and meeting all the girls almost everyday and just talking about Star Wars. I definetly want to go to Celebration Seven, wherever it is. I really hope I can meet the Lakehouse girls again there!

The blow up Death Star. Who knew that the Death Star would ever have sentimental value to me? ;)


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Unschooling- Not a Bad Thing!

Today I came across a YouTube video by TYT Network titled "Unschooling vs Homeschooling vs Formal Education." In the video, they showed a peek into the life of an unschooled family. The parents explained why they chose the unschool their children and each of the family members were interviewed about their day to day life.

The newscasters then proceeded to list everything they thought was wrong with unschooling. "You're doing your children a great bit of damage." and, "They won't be able to get good jobs" and "All unschooling children are going to be ignorant." "They have no idea what's going on in the world." They went on to say that no ten year old child is going to want to learn math or science, right?


 I am unschooled. My three siblings are unschooled and have been for most of their lives. My sisters love doing crafts together, my eight year old sister is working on a short story and loves building things, and she also works on math when she wants to. It's not a thing that my mom pushes onto her. She sometimes just gets out the book and starts working.

My four year old sister, while not old enough to be a registered unschooler, already knows the alphabet, how to count to thirty, she's learning to read and she can do simple math problems. She also can write her name and the names of the rest of the family, among other words. She's also learning to draw. Oh, did I mention she can speak full sentences in Spanish? (I guess I have something to thank Dora the Explorer for.)

My ten year old brother is the mini-historian of the family. He reads tons of books on airplanes and guns of World War II and pretty much knows every gun used back then. He hates writing (how is he related to me?) although he is pretty good at it when someone can pursuade him to pick up a pencil. He's a math whiz- he can figure out complicated math problems in his head.

Then there's me... I'm thirteen years old. I'm the writing freak that had finished a novel by the time I was eleven. Now I'm constantly writing fanfiction. I have eight stories up on I've also discovered that I like making movies (I use Windows Live Movie Maker, which is kind of lame) and I use Windows Paint a lot now. I research whatever interests me at the time, whether it's the history of 9/11 or the people of ancient Greece.

What's my point? My point is, we did not learn this stuff because someone forced us to learn it! No, we learned it because it interested us. Kids have a natural desire to learn! You don't need a workbook to learn math or science, you just need to want to learn it. People have this idea that learning isn't supposed to be "fun". But kids actually remember stuff better when they have a good memory to go along with it.

This is what unschooling is about. I assure you that I have a very good idea of what's going on in the world. I plan on getting a good job. There's nothing wrong with going to public school. Homeschooling is great- I know this for a fact. But unschooling isn't the brain-dead way of learning that everyone makes it out to be. It's not going to scar me for life- it's the best thing that's ever happened to me.

It is true that if I want to go to college, I'll read the textbooks and everything required to take the entrance exam. I won't be handicapped because I was unschooled.

Thomas Edison was taugh reading, writing and math by his mother (with no curriculum), but everything else, he taught himself. Look at what he did to the world. Go on and tell me that unschoolers are ignorant. Just remember every time you flick on a light switch that that was an invention made by an unschooler.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Massacre Review

WARNING: This post will be written from a Christian point of view (I am a Massacre hater). If that upsets you in any way, move along, please.

Here's something I'd like to know after watching last night's episode- has the Clone Wars team gone insane? Perhaps they had a moment of brain-deadness that made them think that it was okay to put voodo dolls and zombies into The Clone Wars. Who knows? Just answer me this- why would the thousands of young girls (and some boys too) want to see horrifying Nightsisters brought back to life by an evil chant?

The Baptism: To make Ventress a true Nightsister, Mother Talzin 'baptized' her in the dark magic of their clan or something. Okay, good. Yippee for Ventress. But the baptism ceremony itself followed the way of baptizing Christians. The whole "reborn" thing was a total play off Christianity. Basically, they took Christian baptism and twisted it around to make it dark and evil. I have a problem with that.

The Zombies: I thought that the baptism thing was going to be as worse as it got. But no- then they took it a step further. A creepy old Nightsister began an incantation that would- put simply- awaken the dead to fight the droids that had invaded Dathomir. We saw Zombies in the Geonosian arc. They weren't that creepy. Sure, they had blank eyes and walked wierd, but they were bugs. The Zombies in Massacre were much MUCH worse. They fell out of their hanging graves with gaping mouths, eyesockets that bled green smoke, emaciated bodies and they screamed. I'll admit to having been a little frightened at that point. I'm a teenager and this episode scared me. What about the younger kids that watch this? People of all ages watch this show, something that seems to have escaped the minds of The Clone Wars team.

The Voodo Doll: Okay, so we've got creepy baptisms and horrifying Zombies. It couldn't possibly get worse- right? Wrong. Enter, voodo doll. Mother Talzin wanted to get back at Dooku for the attack on her village. So, she mixed up a potion that created a doll of Dooku. When she cast her spells at the little figure, it actually hurt Dooku himself, who was billions of miles away on Serenno. Dooku was in agony, and that wasn't even the worst part. Then Talzin actually came out of Dooku's chest. She warned him to call off the attack on Dathomir, or the pain would get worse. Then she disappeared again. The pain continued, with Talzin stabbing pins into the figure. Again, kids did not need to be watching this stuff. It didn't need to be in TCW at all.

This was the first episode in the history of The Clone Wars that I actually couldn't wait to be over. I was tempted, several times, to turn it off. The Ventress vs Grievous fight was cool and I suppose the plot was interesting enough. Sure, the animation was great and I guess there was some character building for Ventress, but honestly, I couldn't see past the dark stuff to enjoy the episode. Sure, this is probably the most negative review in the history of reviews, but I wanted to be honest. I hope we never see an episode this dark ever again. I rate this episode 1/10. 

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Latest Clone Wars news

We all knew that Maul would be returning in Season 4, but who knew that he would be insane?

Did anyone else find that extremely creepy?

 '"He’s suffered through a lot to keep himself alive," Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni tells EW. "First of all, how does he survive getting cut in half? Plus, he fell! So there was a lot of jeopardy for that poor guy. He's implemented the training of his master to keep himself alive."' (sorce-

Well, who knew that evil Sith tricks could save a guy who got cut in half and fell hundreds of feet down a reactor shaft? And why haven't the other Sith used it?

Looking forward to the Finale, all the same. Maybe then we will finally get some answers.


Saturday, 14 January 2012

A Friend In Need

Last night, the worst episode in the history of The Clone Wars aired. It was full of flirting, death, humour and even more flirting. The episode should have been called "A Traitorous Idiot In Need."

Lux Bonteri crashed a meeting between the Separatists and the Republic, then got thrown out. Ahsoka, recognizing the boy, ran after him and saved him from being killed by commando droids. When they were safely off-planet, Lux told her that he had a mission to complete and couldn't go with her to Coruscant. He then tazered her and took control of the ship, convincing Artoo that Ahsoka was just tired. (This made me EXTREMELY mad. I hadn't thought I could hate him more than I already did until he knocked out my favorite character.)

When she woke up, Lux had landed them on a snowy planet, stolen her lightsabers and left the ship. Upon following him, she discovered that he was in legue with Death Watch, the mandolorian terrorist group. Thinking quickly, she introduced herself as Lux's "betrothed". This act probably saved her life, but why couldn't she have chosen, "friend"?

When they got back to the Death Watch camp, I hadn't thought things could get much worse until Lux kissed her. And I don't mean a little kiss on the cheek. He kissed her full on the lips. Yes, it was only to silence her and keep up the act, but ugh! It was quite obvious that he wanted to in the first place. Ahsoka was sent away to work in the kitchens with some girls that they had kidnapped in a neighboring village while Lux showed Pre Visla the device they could use to track down Count Dooku.

During dinner, the chief of the tribe that they had kidnapped burst in, demanding that they free the women. Visla agreed saying that they would do so the next morining. Lux was convinced that they would keep their word, but Ahsoka wasn't so sure. She was correct. The next morning, Visla killed the chief's granddaughter and order the Death Watch to set the villagers' houses on fire. Ahsoka was forced to blow her cover and attempted to stop the Death Watch. As she didn't have a very good weapon, she was quickly defeated and dragged back to the camp.

Visla ordered her excecution, much to Lux's horror, but Artoo, who had been repairing droids, came to the rescue. He created a distraction and gave Ahsoka her lightsabers, enabling her to free herself. She dueled Visla, darksaber against two lightsabers and was able to hold her own quite well, however I'm not sure that the reverse grip is the best grip for dueling. She, Lux and Artoo escaped on a speeder, but Bo-Katan, a female Mandolorian, jumped onto the speeder. Ahsoka dueled her in hand-to-hand combat before finally pushing her off into the snow.

*shivers* Now for the worst part of the entire episode...

When they were finally on the ship and away from the Death Watch, Artoo registered that an escape pod had been activated. Ahsoka found Lux getting ready to launch away from the ship. Ahsoka asked him to stay, but he told her that he needed to go find his own destiny and all that sappy stuff. Then after looking into each other's eyes, Lux blasted off into space, hopefully never to be seen again.

(I'm skipping the interesting scenes and going straight into a rant.)

Lux needs to die. Or something. After this episode, I don't think I can stomach seeing him again. The looks that they were giving each other, the hand holding, the kiss and the sappy scene at the end... ugh. Ahsoka was acting like a lovesick teen! Is it possible for a character to be out of character even if it's in canon? Because if it is, then I'd definetly say Ahsoka was out of character. I was really disappointed in this entire episode. I'd give it a 2/10, and thats because there was one funny line ("Try not to choke on your stupidity") and Artoo was awesome. :)

Coming up:

I smell deception...