'The Last Jedi' Teaser: Where Is Finn?

'The Last Jedi' Teaser: Where Is Finn?

Why is the new promo material missing its leading male?
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As any fan of "Star Wars" is aware by now, the first teaser for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" premiered at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando this past Friday, and fans are already studying and analyzing every detail of it. The teaser makes the film look noticeably different from "The Force Awakens," the trailer for which looks bright and whimsical in comparison to the high contrast of blacks and reds in the new teaser, and every bit of it has been paused and pulled apart. From Luke falling to his knees beside R2-D2 in what looks to be the same moment we see in Rey's force vision to the fleeting audio of Leia saying, "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi," Obi-Wan saying, "Seduced by the dark side," and Yoda saying, "Surrounds us and binds us" as Rey describes all she sees to Luke, every bit of information that can be gleaned from this teaser seems to have been found and has sparked a hundred conversations. Does Luke mean to train Rey as a Gray Jedi so that she can bring true balance to the Force? What did Luke find while researching the Jedi? What happened to make him decide that the Jedi need to end, and what exactly did he mean by that?

However, the second film in every trilogy contains two stories: one of a lone traveler, and one of the two other members of the trio on their own journey. As Mark Hamill said at Celebration, a teaser is meant to tease the story to come so that people will want to see the trailer, and yet this teaser only teases Rey's section of the story. Her co-stars, Poe and especially Finn, were unfortunately spare in the teaser, and Kelly Marie Tran's new character Rose is completely absent, despite descriptions of "The Last Jedi" placing heavy emphasis on the importance of her and Finn's storyline. If a teaser is meant to tease the story, why was the only shot to tease this major story a single shot of Finn asleep in a bacta tank? When combined with the fact that Finn was completely absent from the poster and that Kathleen Kennedy didn't acknowledge John or Kelly's existence on the stage with her despite Finn being as "iconic as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo" according to "The Last Jedi" panel, it almost feels as if Finn is being intentionally scrubbed from promotional material for this film.

The only possible solace from this is that he was so heavily focused on in the original teaser for "The Force Awakens," since Rey only received one shot there, leading many to believe Finn would be the central character and suggesting this teaser may follow in the same pattern and reveal Finn to be central in the next film. However, this shot of Rey actually showed her in action and teased her character. Even if Finn and Rose's story is so essential that showing a piece of it would reveal too much, that can't mean there isn't an ambiguous action shot of him to replace the image of him literally unconscious and hardly teasing anything. The only possible reasoning for this would be that to show him would mean revealing a spoiler, like if he was visibly scarred or disabled from his fight with Kylo Ren. It's still hard to buy that this is the reason, but it is a way to somewhat ease the minds of Finn's fans.

Don't get me wrong, the teaser is still exciting to watch. Getting to finally hear Luke's voice is almost overwhelming and Rian Johnson's directing is already noteworthy before the film even comes out. The way the teaser completely downplays Finn's character, though, one that is essential to the franchise and that basically kickstarted the entire new trilogy in favor of drawn out and vague references to the Jedi and the First Order, feels almost purposeful, a concept that is leaving plenty of fans feeling uneasy. We can only hope he and his storyline are at least featured in the first trailer.

The full teaser for "The Last Jedi" can be found here.

Cover Image Credit: Lucasfilms

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The Key To Ending Your First Draft Blues

Or at least getting through the next chapter with your hair intact
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Ah, the first draft. We’ve all been there as writers. The day we decide to turn a blank word document into a 70,000 word (or more) masterpiece. Or, at least, that’s always the aim. Often as first-time writers, we go into the experience blind, learning as we go, and never really knowing whether what we’re doing is right or wrong.

It can be frustrating at times, as most first drafts are a test of sanity. As somebody who had written ten first draft books (nearing eleven) in six years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs when it comes to first drafts.

My first book ever took me four years just to write it, I started at the age of sixteen and finished by the time I was twenty. A year later I had written another. I then wrote one in thirty days, and nowadays I write about three to four books a year.

My point is, there is no science to writing. It is all about learning how to do it, and finding the methods that suit you best. I just wish I could have had someone to tell me all of that when I started.

With that in mind, here are my five pieces of advice on how to write your first draft:

#5 Embrace the Terribleness

The first draft is always the worst version of any story. The sooner you accept it, the easier it is to move forward with your work. So you misspell a few words so bad that even Word can't help you. That shouldn't stop you from going with the flow. Your dialogue will feel hammier than a "Star Wars" film, but you'll clean it up the second time around. You're not expected to create a masterpiece on the first go, so just enjoy the ride.

#4 Suffer for your Art

Writing can be hard. I've said it enough times already, but it's true. You have to be prepared to suffer for it. The reason my first book took four years to write was because I didn't commit to it. The reason I wrote 80,000 words in thirty days was because I committed myself to write at least 1,000 words a day. Now I average 3,000 daily. Is it painful to force 3,000 words to the page every day? Yes, but that's what you have to do to get the draft finished.

#3 Take your Time

Now I know this goes against what I just said, but it's important that you go at the pace you want to. I was happier writing 1,000 words a day, but I was eighteen then. At twenty-three, I'll never get everything done going at 1,000 words a day. Commit yourself to writing every day, even if its only 200 words. Writing is a marathon, not a sprint. You'll get to the finishing line quicker if you jog a steady pace rather than adopting a sprint and rest mentality.

#2 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Yes, it's important to remember what colour your character's hair is, which one is taller, and what weapon they are carrying. Although with that said, it is important to keep going forward. In my editing, I go over everything with a fine comb, often with a character profile at my side. Don't get bogged down giving every little detail the first time around, you'll have time for that later. The hardest thing is getting it down the first time.

#1 Keep the Story Going at All Costs

This kind of goes without saying, but it is by far the most important step for me. You have to keep moving forward. It doesn't matter if you have to use the biggest Deus ex machina to get your plot going again, you can always edit it away in the re-draft. I use a technique called automatic writing, which means that I don't plan every detail of a chapter. I simply write it as I go. This allows me to give my characters natural reactions as events often come as a surprise to me too.

Obviously it is good to have a rough idea of what is meant to happen, but as long as you can get your characters from A to B, then you are half way there. The other half will be polishing it to the point you can see your reflection.

Good luck, and happy writing.

Cover Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Writer%27s_Block_I.jpg

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4 Steps To Writing a Haiku

It's Fun I Promise
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You've probably had to write a haiku for English sometime in your school career. You most likely found it boring, or difficult, or just plain stupid. I am going to try and show you a more fun way to write a haiku.

1. The Basics: What You Should Know

In case you don't know, a haiku is a Japanese poem that is only three lines long. It is usually taught that the syllables in each line should go 5-7-5. But really, as long as there are 17 syllables or less in the three lines, it's a haiku.

2. Write to Get a Reaction

When you write a haiku, you are aiming to get one of three reactions: Aaaahhh, aha!, or ha ha! For example...

Aaahhh: Laying in bed/dog next to me under blanket/my furry heater

Aha!: Life is too short to love people/who do not deserve/your whole heart

Ha ha!: I'm on the toilet/and my stomach drops/the roll is empty

3. Create an Image

In your writing, you want to create a new image in your readers mind with each line. Take my first haiku for example. I first talk about laying in bed. Then, I say there is a dog next to me under the blanket, so you picture a lump under the covers. In my last line, I call him a furry heater so you imagine a heater covered in fur. The image you create is more important than the syllables.

4. Performing

Lastly, you need to think about performing your haiku. As always, when you're speaking in front of a room of people, you need to project so the whole room can hear you and you need to make eye contact. Another thing to remember is the tone of your voice while you are saying your poem. Dramatic pauses can keep people on the edge of their seat, waiting for what you're going to say next. You also have to remember to be confident! And if you're not confident, fake it till you make it!

Cover Image Credit: Imgur

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