Rogue One: A Strikingly Relevant Movie

Rogue One: A Strikingly Relevant Movie

A powerful female protagonist and her story, on the day of Carrie Fisher's passing, strike an all too relevant chord with the current political atmosphere.

I saw the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, on the day of Carrie Fisher's passing. The movie itself was quite incredible in its own right, but I think my experience was heightened due to the tragic events of the day.

Ever since I first saw Star Wars, I admired Carrie Fisher's character, Princess Leia. The women in my life have always instilled a sense of "girls can kick ass" in me, but seeing a kick ass woman on the big screen, in a beloved movie series, really hammered it home. Star Wars touched a place in my heart from a very young age and still does even to this day.

That is what made Rogue One so enjoyable. It too featured a strong, powerful female character, who showed that women can kick ass and take names all while saving the galaxy. Another thing that struck me with the newest film was the fact that, although there was a minor romantic storyline, it did not dominate the film, nor the female protagonist's storyline. In the original trilogy, this also happened with Princess Leia. Also, given the results of the presidential election, it was nice to see another woman kicking ass and taking names. This may seem trivial, but for some reason, it struck this Political Science major deep in my core.

Carrie Fisher was a powerful, leading woman in Hollywood, without qualms about her mental illness, how she looked, or what the outside world thought that she should be. That's what made me continue to love the character of Leia as I got older, and inspired a similar admiration for characters in that same vein, particularly if they lived "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away".

In this most recent film, Felicity Jones plays the kick ass protagonist Jyn. She, alongside her allies, part of the rebellion, try to tackle a seemingly unstoppable force, the Empire. The correlation between the events in the film and how many feel about the current political climate was striking. Like many things that emerged after the election, the movie hammered home the idea that hope can inspire, and eventually conquer all.

"Rebellions are built on hope."

In the Star Wars universe, and other universes, including the real world, rebellions, especially ones powered by hope, can win. I do not condone violence, even in this particular case that evokes visceral reactions even today, so I am not suggesting a violent rebellion. Already, we have seen examples of peaceful ones, such as safety pins, donations to Planned Parenthood in Vice-President elect Pence's name, and many other examples. I suggest that this continue, as it instills hope in those who may need it most. Instilling hope in the hopeless adds to the power of the resisting parties. Hope is a powerful weapon, and the more people who wield it, the more powerful the force becomes (pun slightly intended).

So, Ms. Fisher, thank you for paving the way for the kick ass female protagonists in the Star Wars universe. Thank you for showing women everywhere that we can kick ass, take names, and save the galaxy, without a love story driving it. Especially during these troubling times, we need reminders about the power of women, the power of a small group of allies, and the power of the Force, which I believe can be found within all of us.

Cover Image Credit: The Verge

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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