Growing Up With Star Wars

It’s like learning to ride a unicorn. You never forget.  ~Eoin Colfer

Kyle at Star Wars Movie Theater Latrobe 12-24-15 Aunt Heather Piper

My young Jedi or I should say Padawan at the Star Wars The Force Awakens move Latrobe, PA 12/24/15

Besides seeing family and friends and eating myself into a sugar coma, two of my other favorite Christmas activities are snowboarding and going to the movies.  Since we’ve been experiencing a very bizarre warm winter of sixty degrees with no chance of snow, snowboarding is out of the question.  However, perhaps waking boarding needs to be the new tradition if this warm weather phenomena continues.

Now the movies.  I love going to the movies! TAKEN by Movies, Our Avatar Adventure, Everything Is Awesome – The Lego Movie, The Hobbit: It’s Always An Adventure with Kyle  Granted, you can go to the movies any time of the year, but the major motion picture industry seems to release their best features during the Christmas season.

Christmas Eve day is always celebrated in our household.  Since I was little, that was the big day, to open a few presents, go to church, have a big meal and invite family to join in on the festivities.  Kyle has grown-up with our traditions, making them as his own.  Christmas Eve day is the Piper Christmas.  Sure Christmas morning held its own special memories, but it started the night prior.  The day before Christmas, we get together and do whatever we want, without rushing, without interruptions, and without expectations, except attending church.  This year, we headed to the movies.

Who went?  Kyle, naturally, and Nicole and myself.

What did we see?  You got it!  Star Wars the Force Awakens Episode VII .  Actually, Kyle planned it, and of course Nicole and I complied, not only because it’s what Kyle wanted to do, but because we each wanted to see the movie with a passion.  Nicole and I turned Kyle into a life long Star Wars fan ever since he was a little tyke.  First, we got him hooked on the movies, and he continued with all his Lego figures, video games, and watching Star Wars the Clone Wars cartoon.  Kyle loved me telling him about the Ewoks cartoon we used to watch as kids.  I wished they’d bring those back.  Maybe with this new Star Wars resurgence.

Nicole & Aunt Heather Piper at Star Wars Movie Jedi training 12-24-15

Check out my lightsabre! Kyle wouldn’t pose twice, so I made him take our pic. Nicole looks like Chewbacca… same color of hair! Latrobe, PA 12/24/15

Did I like the movie?  You bet I did, as did Nicole and Kyle!  It was the typical First Order (bad guys) verses The Rebellion (good guys).  How can anyone not like seeing Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia, and no she didn’t wear her hair like cinnamon buns), Harrison Ford (Hans Solo) along with Chewbacca, and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) reunited again!  I was surprised to see the Millenium Falcon, and even Darth Vader made a subtle and yet creepy appearance.  Plus, it wouldn’t have been a proper reunion without C-3PO and R2-D2!  Honestly, I was half expecting to see a vision of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, maybe next time.  I’ll admit, I wiped the sweat from my brow when Jar Jar Binks didn’t make his appearance.  Close one.  And secretly, I was hoping one of the planets that blew up was Naboo, although rest-in-peace planet Coruscant and The Republic.

As always, I enjoyed the little humor and silliness between the characters.  I love, with a passion, the hand-on-hand combat fight scenes (or I should say, lightsabers on lightsabers).  To this day, I have the sound of the lightsabers in my head and it gives me goosebumps.

My only question that came to mind while watching the movie, which I guess I anticipated, was how closely they’re going to stick to the story from the Star Wars books.  (I know George Lucas didn’t write them)  I’ll admit, I read a few Star Wars books long ago, in a galaxy far far away.  (pun intended)  Princess Leia had twins, similar to Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman), Princess Leia’s mom.  I assumed twins ran in the family, but there wasn’t any indicator of a twin in the new movie.  Of course, they didn’t reveal that Luke and Leia were twin brother and sister until Return of the Jedi.  Perhaps I’m getting a head of myself.

Have I always been a Star Wars fan?  I have.  I’m not as die hard as some, but I’m a bit of a Star Wars geek.  Believe it or not, I’ve actually seen all seven Star Wars movies in the theaters.  True!  The original Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) debuted in theaters in 1977.  I was extremely young at the time.  So how did I see it?  Back then, movies circulated through theaters slower and played for a longer duration.  My dad actually took me and Nicole to the theater in Ligonier to see the feature.  Ryan, who was even younger than me, was really sick, so mom stayed home with him. 

Facebook screen shot Aunt Heather Piper

I remembered the movie, maybe not every detail at the time, but it left a life long impression on me.  How could it not when they were fighting with lightsabers?  I’ll bet that’s when I developed an interest in swords and samurai sword training.

A few years later, Empire Strikes Back was released, again back to the movie theater once it came around to us in little old Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  Then, a few more years later, Return of the Jedi.  This time, mom and dad took us to see it at the drive-in.  To this day, I remember that night with vivid accuracy.  You see, the drive-in hired someone to walk around dressed as Darth Vader.  Yikes!  As a kid, I was freaked out, thinking the dark side of the force was walking around the cars.  In my mind, all I thought about was getting word to the Rebel Alliance like Princess Leia did through R2-D2.  I know what an imagination I had. 

Around 2004 – 2005, the Star Wars movies were digitally remastered and extra scenes were added.  Yep, I hit the midnight showings with friends to re-live the adventures.  Naturally, I saw Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005).  For some reason, I believe I took Kyle to see Revenge of the Sith, although he would have been four years old.  Yep, that makes sense, because I clearly remember him grabbing my arm and curling into my seat when things got tense.  He also had the General Grievous Lego set, which he adored!  I wish I had my blog then, I most certainly would have recorded that event.

Aunt Heather Piper showing Jedi skills at Star Wars movie 12-24-15

Action shot of me practicing my Jedi skills on Nicole after the Star Wars movie. Latrobe, PA 12/24/15

It does make me happy to see Kyle sharing one of my interests, and really getting into it like I did.  In fact, Kyle was joking around before we left for the movies saying he was going to dress up (I can’t remember who he said he wanted to dress like).  My response?  I jumped up saying, “I’ll dress as Princess Leia!”  Kyle didn’t think anything was wrong with that.  That’s my little Jedi!

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Education & Learning,Family,News,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Kyle’s Very Own Big Bang Theory Gang

Sheldon: Why are you crying?
Penny: Because I’m stupid!
Sheldon: That’s no reason to cry. One cries because one is sad. For example, I cry because others are stupid, and that makes me sad.  ~The Big Bang Theory

Kyle-at-LegoKidsFest-Pittsburgh-Pa-Star-Wars-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle @LegoKidsFest at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. He found his Star War friends! 12/1/12

Just about everyone loves the TV Show The Big Bang Theory, or at the very least has heard of the program.  Well, I am parked in that camp, as well as my sister and now-a-days, my mom and most of those I encounter.  For anyone who has been like Patrick Starfish, living under a rock, or who has just arrived to planet earth, The Big Bang Theory is about a group of four highly intelligent scientists who work together at the local university, two are roommates living across the hall from an inspiring actress.  The roommates,  Sheldon Cooper and Leornard Hofstadter are Caltech physicists; their co-workers Howard Wolowitz is an aerospace engineer and astronaut; and Rajesh Koothrappali, an astrophysicist.  Then there’s Penny, the always trying but never succeeding  actress who waitresses at the Cheesecake factory.  Yep, it’s about a group of geeks and Penny!

This year mark’s The Big Bang Theory’s seventh year.  I remember the first time I saw the show, the guys went to a Halloween party and Sheldon was dressed as the Doppler radar.  I almost died!  At that moment, I was hooked!

Why am I pouring my heart out about a television sitcom?  This past Saturday, I saw it unfold in real life.

Let me set the stage.  Yes my little man, who my sister and I always refereed to as a mix between Sheldon Cooper and Leonerd Hofstadter started showing interest in Dungeons and Dragons.  I’ve always made comparisons between Kyle and Leonard and Sheldon Food Has Many Tastes.  Recently, out little man was on a mission for the complete fantasy game and earned enough money to purchase one of the D & D boardgames.  Kyle has always loved the sci-fi type of movies and shows, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.  He’s been a Star Wars freak since I can remember, a Lord of the Rings fan, a Legoman and list goes on and on.  Not that I disagree with any of these, but Kyle, like others of his genetic makeup, who have been labeled geek status, takes these interests to a whole different level of obsession and experience.  After all, Kyle was the one who wanted to learn Elvish and looked it up to start and believed it would be too cool to know.  I might have had a hand in his interests, after all I was the one who bought him his first comic books, but on my defense I thought it was a great intro to reading books.  He loved them.  My sister also had a big influence too!

big_bang_theory_Logo Aunt Heather PiperWhat happened this past Saturday that gave me this epiphany?  After our Witches Brew Scavenger Hunt at North Park Saturday morning, which turned out to be a beautiful sunny day, Kyle wanted me to drop him off at his friend Duncan’s house.  Great!  Then, I was to retrieve him later on that day to hang for the rest of the weekend.  On a side note, I love Kyle interacting with his friends, he doesn’t do much of it, so when the opportunity arises, I am all for it!

Prior to Saturday, Kyle and I were making arrangements, trying to plan out times and such.  As I was talking to him on the phone, he was referring to his friend.  For the life of me I could not understand what the boy’s name was.  Kyle still has this very young child voice on the phone.  Even though he’s twelve, he sounds very much like a five year old.  He speaks very articulately just squeaky like a kid.  So as we were laying out the plans, I didn’t understand the name he was saying.  Deacon? Bacon?  Kyle was just laughing at my lack of understanding until he said, “Duncan, like Donuts.”  I died!  I said, “O, Duncan!”  We were both giggling.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love the name Duncan, a very old Scottish or English name, but at that particular moment Kyle and I were being Beavis and Butthead.  When I was talking, I kept throwing the name Duncan to see how many times I could say it in a sentence.  Ya, maturity runs very thin in the Piper line.

Kyle-at-LegoKidsFest-Pittsburgh-Pa-12-1-12-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle @LegoKidsFest at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. Yep he hit up the story for more Legos! The Lord of the Rings naturally… 12/1/12

On another side note, I saw the contact Kyle placed in his phone for Duncan.  He spelled it Dunkin, just like the donut!  I couldn’t believe it.  Laughing at his mistake I asked Kyle, “Is that how he spells his name?”  Kyle said, “I really don’t know.”  Trying to catch my breath and already knowing the answer, I said, “Buddy, I’m pretty certain he wasn’t named after a donut joint.  I think you have the spelling wrong, you might want to fix that.”  Kyle, usually assuming he is right (just like my sister) said, “Well, how do you know how to spell his name?”, as if I’m just a plain idiot wrong.  What a stinker!  Kyle must have asked about the spelling of the kids forename, because later he confirmed I was indeed correct.

Upon our completion of the Thrill of the Hunt Witches Brew Scavenger Hunt, Kyle and I headed towards Duncan’s house.  Naturally, I was not going to leave  my little nephew with complete strangers, so I followed Kyle up onto the porch to introduce myself.  Kyle was not happy about that, but I wanted to meet one of the parents and of course, Duncan!  As my little short Leonerd Hofstadter climbed the porch steps with his Dungeons and Dragons game tucked securely under his arm and his iPod in pocket (containing a list of games), out pops a tall thin Sheldon Cooper from the front door.  I was slightly taken aback and I couldn’t help but grin.

After meeting the dad, who seemed very nice and I gave him my digits in case of an emergency or issue, I left Kyle for a day of fun.  Once making my way to my car, I busted out laughing.  I had to share this realization of what just unfolded, with someone.  Who?  My sister!  She would totally understand, even if she never met Duncan.  Nicole shared in my vision and laughed when I outlined the scene.  She told me “Don’t pick on our little guy Aunt Heather!”, as she laughed along.

While reiterating the story with my mom, because you know I wouldn’t let it drop (dad would have never understood) I said, “I hope he finds his Howard and Raj, then they have their Halloween costumes set for next year!”

I love my little geek!  If he does turn into the real life The Big Bang Theory, I couldn’t be happier for him.  Kyle is who he is, and I hope he always remains that way and never compromises his principles and his true nature.  Plus, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.  Looks like I’m learning to play Dungeons and Dragons.  I even told Kyle we will go larping!  Bazinga!

big-bang-theory-bazinga-logo-Aunt Heather Piper

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Halloween Takes A Turn!

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite,
All are on their rounds tonight;
In the wan moon’s silver ray,
Thrives their helter-skelter play.  ~Joel Benton

Ah yes another Halloween is upon us, and it’s snowing!  I love the snow!

Incredibles Heather Piper-Aunt Heather Piper

Elastic Girl (me) Dash (Kyle). Yep I made these costumes. They were the best outfits ever! 10/2005

Something was different about this Halloween season, I guess it was Kyle.  He really wasn’t into it.  Usually we talk about his costume months before hand and I help him plan the theme of the year.  Not this time.  He was blasé about the holiday.  Kind of depressing but expected since he’s getting older.  I will admit I wasn’t all about Halloween either, unlike Halloween of Years Past.  Being so busy and wrapped up in other things made the months slipped past, including October.  In fact, this is the first year in a long time I didn’t do anything for Halloween, no trick-or-treating, no parades, no parties, no corn mazes and really no scary movies.  The only movies we watched that could be considered Halloween themed were Sleepy Hallow, Coraline and Dark Shadows.

Maybe I’m the one who’s finally maturing.  After all I wasn’t bugging Kyle about his costume as I did formerly.  Or was it that I sensed Kyle’s disinterest in Halloween that held me back?  Either way it was certainly a milestone year.  I will admit I do enjoy creating themes.  It’s more fun that way, also more challenging.  I still remember Kyle’s first Halloween costume.  Technically, Kyle missed his first Halloween.  He was three months old and we just lost his dad, my brother, nine days prior.  That Halloween, I didn’t participate in any of the festivities, I didn’t dress Kyle up or take him out, I just wanted to stay at home with Kyle and my family.  By the following Halloween, Kyle was fifteen months old and my sister wanted to get him his costume, since she lived in Tucson and wanted to contribute.  He was a lion and I was a lion tamer.  The costume list goes on and on but the best year was when I made our costumes and we were The Incredibles.  Kyle was Dash and I was Elastic Girl.  While gathering our candy Kyle said to me, “Aunt Heather they don’t know we are really not the Incredibles!”  As he flashed a very happy smile my way.  That’s my favorite part, teaming up with Kyle and working with him on a theme and the two of us getting it together and being creative!

Although, I will admit the year he chose be Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars was a classic!  Mom surprised him with the costume because that’s all he was talking about.  I remember stopping down mom and dad’s that Friday night to find Kyle dressed in his outfit, mask and all, sitting in his rocking chair watching TV.  It was actually kind of creepy.  He wouldn’t take the costume off!  Mom said that he was so excited he put it on right away and was wearing it since.  We did manage to get it off of him to go to bed, but it went right back on the next morning.  Plus, he had a light-saber!  I guess it doesn’t get much better then that.  While we were trick-or-treating most people were commenting on his costume and Kyle loved it!  He thought he was so cool and tough.

Kyle as Anakin Skywalker-Aunt-Heather-Piper

Kyle as Anakin Skywalker. He wore it all weekend and wouldn’t take it off.

The first I heard about Kyle’s desire to be anything for this Halloween was about a week or two ago.  He said he wanted to be Harry Potter.  I didn’t think it was original but if that’s what he wanted, then great!  Maybe I could be Hermine.  Usually, when Kyle approaches me about a costume it means he wants me to make it, but alas I was out of time.  So mom found the get up online, which I would venture to be easy since it is a popular one.  But next thing I know, Kyle had a scare crow costume that actually looked like a hillbilly or a moonshiner.  Maybe next year I’ll teach Kyle all about going bagging and corning since he seems to be out of the age for trick-or-treating.

Bagging!  Not a lot of people have heard of it, in fact I don’t think anyone outside of Latrobe has ever heard of such a fun event.  Simply, it’s when you get a brown paper bag and add a sign to it like ‘I’m Dying for a Treat’.  Then, you place the bag on a person’s doorstep, ring the doorbell and hide.  The recipient is suppose to place treats in your brown bag.  You wait for them to close the door before retrieving your brown bag and move onto the next house.  I talked about in Halloween of Years Past.  I know this doesn’t sound like fun, but it really is!!  What makes it exciting, besides getting dressed up in all black like a cat burglar, is when the they give crazy gifts like toothpaste or a rock.  It makes it so much fun and gives great stories to talk about years down the road.

Kyle scarecrow Aunt Heather Piper

Kyle as a scarecrow. 10/26/12

Of course, no one ever gets too old for haunted corn mazes!  I’ve been taking Kyle to the same local haunted corn maze by the fair grounds ever since he was three years old.  Yes I know, he was a bit too young, but he really wanted me to take him, so I started that tradition, at least until we broke it this year.  Well, there is always next Halloween!

The first time I took Kyle for his scary nighttime outside entertainment, and every time since, he rode the hayride and went through the corn maze with his head in my coat.  When he was little I could carry him, but after the years progressed, nope!  He had to walk on his own.  That made it challenging, walking with a little guy hanging for dear life off of my coat and tripping me as I walked.  Every year I ask Kyle, “Why do you want to go through that if you don’t even see it to enjoy it for yourself?  You seem to really hate it.”  He would just reply, “Cause Aunt Heather it’s fun!  I just don’t want to see it.”  Ok, how can I argue with that!  The first time we participated in the haunted hayride and corn maze, they had a huge stuffed black spider that dropped into the wagon right in front of Kyle!  He remembers that till this day!  Back then, Kyle would sleep with my parents and I guess that night mom said Kyle wouldn’t stop talking about this spider, as I got a look of like, ‘I can’t believe you took him on that!’.  Well, it is Halloween and we had fun!

Yep, things are different now, I guess I just need to adjust our activities to fit his maturity before I get the boot totally!

Last Friday, mom and I went to see Kyle in the school parade, the last one!  That was definitely bittersweet, I do enjoy seeing Kyle grow up but I also love the little kid he used to be.  We’ve been do for a big change and it seems like this one is fast approaching.

Happy All Saints Eve! and Happy All Saints Day! (tomorrow)

Check out these fun facts from

logo_sm_msn24 Aunt Heather Piper

  1. No matter how scary your local haunted house is, it probably can’t top the Haunted Cave in Lewisburg, Ohio. Measuring 3,564 feet long, the Guinness World Records has named it the world’s longest haunted house. Even spookier: It’s located 80 feet below ground in an abandoned mine.
  2. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there will be 41 million trick-or-treaters ages 5 to 14 in America this year. Parents are expected to spend $1 billion on children’s costumes—and if they’re on trend, most of the cash will go towards princess, witch, pirate or Spider-Man get-ups.
  3. Although the cards may be ghoulish, the sentiment is sweet—according to Hallmark, Halloween ranks as the sixth most popular card-giving holiday, with 20 million cards sent each year. Christmas comes in first place, with a whopping 1.5 billion cards sent each year.
  4. Halloween candy coffers wouldn’t be the same without California. Why? Because according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Golden State leads the nation in non-chocolate confectionery production. Out of the 409 sites that manufacture non-chocolate confections in the U.S., California is home to 45 of them.
  5. In 1950, Philadelphia-based trick-or-treaters traded in a sweet tooth for a sweet action. In lieu of candy, residents collected change for children overseas and sent it to UNICEF. Subsequently, the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program was born.
  6. Valentine’s Day is no longer the sweetest national holiday—at least when it come to candy sales. More than twice as much chocolate is sold for Halloween as for Valentine’s Day; 90 million pounds of chocolate are sold during Halloween week alone. In total, $1.9 billion is spent on Halloween candy each year.
  7. Americans are more ready than ever to get into the Halloween spirit. According to the National Retail Federation, 71.5% plan to celebrate the holiday this year—compared with 68.6% last year—and will spend an average of $79.82 per (adult) person on candy, costumes and decor.
  8. A working magician from the age of 17, Harry Houdini (née Ehrich Weisz) became America’s favorite magician and a world-renown legend for his daring escapes. It was only fitting, then, for this master trickster to die on October 31, 1926—from a ruptured appendix.
  9. Since its invention in 1898 by the Herman Goelitz Confectionary Company of Fairfield, California (now known as the Jelly Belly Candy Company), candy corn has been wildly popular—so much so that today, nearly 35 million pounds of candy corn are produced each year.
  10. It was just tricks—no treats—for Charlie Brown in It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. In the 1966 TV special, he utters, “I got a rock,” while trick-or-treating. The phrase went on to become one of the most famous lines in Peanuts history.
  11. Halloween wouldn’t be the same without pumpkins, and thankfully, there are plenty of gourds to go around. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2010, the top pumpkin-producing states—Illinois, California, New York and Ohio—produced 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins.
  12. Due to safety concerns, trunk-or-treating was introduced in 2000 as an alternative to hitting the pavement for candy on Halloween night. Cars are parked in a circle at a school or church parking lot, with event-goers decorating their open trunks and dressing in costume in order to hand out treats.
  13. From its vampy costumes and sweet treats to macabre household decorations, Halloween is big business. So big, in fact, that it’s the second-largest commercial holiday in America—only Christmas surpasses it in sales.
  14. In 2010, Belleville, Illinois, became the latest city to ban trick-or-treating for kids over 12. Teens can face fines from $100 to $1,000 for going door-to-door (although according to officials, more often than not, over-age Halloween-goers are just given a warning).
  15. Got leftover Halloween candy? Save it for later! Dark and milk chocolates can last up to two years if stored in a dry, odor-free spot. Hard candy can last up to a year, while unopened packages of candy corn can last nine months.
posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Church,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Going Retro with Star Wars – 3-D

Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.  ~Yoda

Star-Wars-3D_poster-Aunt-Heather-PiperTwo Friday’s ago, I took Kyle to see Star Wars, The Phantom Menace in 3-D playing in the theaters.  It’s funny, as I sat there and looked around a very packed movie theater, I noticed Star Wars really does span generations.  They even had a person dressed as Darth Vader behind the concession stand.  The crazy thing is, Darth Vader isn’t even in the first Star Wars movie, yet all the kids lining up for popcorn knew who he was.  Even, our 3-D glasses were Star Wars branded!  It’s pretty cool to share a phenomena with Kyle, that I too shared as a child, a neat common ground and an overlapped interest.  As I sat there waiting for the movie I reflected and realized that I have been a part of this craze, pretty much since its birth.  I saw all the original Star Wars movies in the theaters, then I saw them all digitally remastered, then the first three movies, and now the first Star Wars in 3-D.  This franchise has really maintained its popularity and grew with each new generation.  Kyle watches the cartoons, Star Wars the Clone Wars.  When I was a kid we watched the Ewoks Cartoon.  I will admit I started getting into reading the books which, recently I’ve passed to Kyle.

I’ve talked about  Going Retro With Star Wars before.  But I must admit it is still amazing to see the Star Wars fan base and the age assortment of those fans.  It makes me wonder what else has become a cult following like Star Wars that has lasted for generations?  I really don’t know of any.  Possibly because the fan base grew old and the obsession wore off?  Or is it because my parents never really got into any past phenomenons before to pass down to my generation?  I guess that’s not entirely true if you count Grease.  Everyone knows the songs and that musical has been classically redone over the years.  So I guess if that is true, then I should include the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Priscilla Queen of the Desert.  Each having their own followers that dress up when the local theater plays the musicals from time to time.

Already knowing that the Twilight series will continue to remain a favorite for generations to come, at least among women, is no secret.  The franchise not only has done will financially, but it has a following that consists of those having a true interest and are driven by passion behind the story.  Admittedly, I am on of those millions that share in the attraction.  Another series that might maintain their die hard fans would be Harry Potter.  By default they have already span the generation gap and painted a magical world for their followers to come to request. Recently, if I had to forecast, this same enthusiasm is going to stay strong among the fans of The Hunger Games.  Even before the first movie hits the big screen, I am saying that with complete confidence.

Aunt-Heather-Piper-and-Kyle-watching-Star-Wars-3-D

Me & Kyle in the movie theater watching Star Wars 3-D 2/10/12

So, is it just in recent times that we have been brought into the presence of great writing or fascinating stories?  No, I know that’s really not true.  There have been some very powerful classic books written, with great character development and storylines.  But maybe it’s the times of pop culture, the big screen entertainment and heart throbbing actors who have captured our attention in addition to the storyline?  Or is it our culture now-days to want to reach for something, to be apart of something so popular?  Maybe it’s the excitement of these releases that gets us all caught up in the story?  It’s also no secret that the amount of information that is disseminated exponentially is over-whelming.  It can be retrieved with a few clicks of the mouse and voila, stories on actors, directors, authors, other fans, events, trends, you name it.  I can see where it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the hype.  Perhaps if William Shakespeare lived in another time, he may have been a mega star during his living years.  I know he was popular during his time period, but I guess if he lived in present days, his name would expand to all ends of the earth.  Although, I am not forgetting that his works have traveled through time and he is a household name.  Sometimes I wonder how Romeo and Juliette would have been handled?  Of course that movie did hit the big screen a few years ago staring Leonardo DiCaprio (I liked it!)  The same goes for my favorite Midsummer Night’s Dream.  But what about MacBeth, Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, and Julius Caesar.  Maybe Shakespeare would have been a red carpet celebrity with his plays and he would have made big names of his actors if he sprang up in Hollywood.  But would he have started a popular craze?

I truly believe that a lot of pop culture trends revolve around hype, but I also believe that there is something real there, something to get the ball the rolling.  We Are All Children At Heart , I truly undoubtedly believe that.  Maybe it’s because this new generation is staying younger longer, even though they are maturing younger.  Is that possible?  At any rate what are your thoughts on pop culture and the newest trends?

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Going Retro with Star Wars Legos

Part of the issue of achievement is to be able to set realistic goals, but that’s one of the hardest things to do because you don’t always know exactly where you’re going, and you shouldn’t.  ~George Lucas

Lego's Star Wars Death Star  Aunt Heather Piper

Kyle just started building the Lego’s Death Star – Christmas 2011

This past year, my sister arrived for Christmas break with the biggest box of Legos this house has ever seen, The Death Star.  Containing 3,803 pieces for ages 14+, this was Kyle’s dream Lego set.  Not only does Kyle love Legos, and I use that as an understatement, but he is infatuated with Legos.  Kyle has been building The Death Star off and on for a week now and enjoying every minute of it.  Kyle finally found himself a challenge, never being intimidated by the size, the piece count, or the minimum suggested age.  I must say, he welcomed the challenge and went straight to work.  He did manage to stop periodically to play with the partially built structure.  Not discriminating,  Kyle brought in other toys to join the Star Wars battles, including his new Skylanders.  By the New Year he had it about halfway completed and set himself a goal of wrapping up the project before the following weekend.

Lego Star Wars Death Star Aunt Heather Piper

Kyle is about half way on the Lego Death Star. 2011

You know, it’s kinda neat to see Kyle so engrossed in Star Wars, not  just the new episodes or the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon, which he is completely into, but he likes the classics and the story as a whole.  I will admit, when I was younger I was a Star Wars fan.  As a typical female Star Wars follower, I would take my long braided pigtails and roll them up on the sides of my head like a cinnamon bun.  I not only wanted to emulate Princess Leia, but I also liked the fashion of the hairstyle.  I sported the T-shirts and ran around with an empty wrapping paper roll as a lightsaber.  I watched the Ewoks cartoon on Saturday mornings and I still have my metal Return of the Jedi lunch box.  Yep, what kid didn’t want to be a part of the adventure?

I was lucky enough to see all the original Star Wars movies in the movie theater.  You see, back then, by the time a movie made it’s way around my hometown it was out for quite some time.  So, even though Star Wars was released in 1977, and I was born in 1975, I did get to see it in the movie theater, and I remember it!  My dad took me and my sister to see The Empire Strikes Back in Ligonier, leaving my mom home with a really sick kid.  We went as a family to see Return of the Jedi in the drive-in, which was recently torn down this past year to make room for an Eckard.  I’m not happy about that, but I digress.  Seeing Return of the Jedi in the drive-in was cool enough, but then they had an actor walking around the cars wearing a Darth Vader custom!  He peeked in windows of cars and was really a prominent dark figure in the shadows of the evening.  Even though I was completely terrified, I couldn’t help but watch him and then to see Darth Vader on the big screen made it too real.  It was AWESOME!

I told Kyle all these stories and you would swear I was an army war survivor telling great stories from a previous life.  You can see the excitement in his eyes when we talk about our Star Wars experience and our mutual love for the franchise.  It seems like all superheroes have come full circle and re-made their modern appearance.  I guess it’s not only fun for children but adults alike.  One day, I’ll touch on my obsession with Wonder Woman.  What were you into as a child?

Check back to see how the Death Star turns out.

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination and have No Comments
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