The widely anticipated “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” opens in theaters on Dec. 20. Disney and Lucasfilm have said this is the end of the “Skywalker Saga.”
The “Skywalker Saga” is all of the episodic Star Wars films produced up until this point.
Beginning with the adventures of Luke, Han and Leia, then the prequel trilogy focusing on Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padme, the sequel trilogy finally wraps up starring Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn and Poe.
With such a monumental nerd chapter coming to a close, here are my full Star Wars movie rankings—including the anthology films—and a quick predictions section for “The Rise of Skywalker.”
10. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
Bogged down by a force-fed love story between Anakin and Padme, “Attack of the Clones” is filled with poor acting and head-scratching story decisions. Obi-Wan’s arc is easily the best part.
9. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Remove Jar Jar Binks and this would still probably rank ninth on my list. In one movie, George Lucas ruined everything we thought we knew about the Force and turned Darth Vader into a whiny little kid. We do, however, get one of the best lightsaber fights ever between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gonn Ginn and Darth Maul (shoutout to the music “Duel of the Fates” playing).
8. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Finally, we get to see Anakin become Darth Vader. Oh wait, maybe we didn’t want to see little Ani mercilessly kill younglings. In all honesty, this is probably the only prequel that I enjoy watching out of the three, mainly because there is real emotion when they execute Order 66. Also, the final fight between Anakin and Obi-Wan does pull at a few of my heartstrings.
7. Solo: A Star Wars Story
This may seem like I am ranking this movie low, but I actually enjoy “Solo.” The story, characters and action sequences are all enjoyable but it doesn’t provide any unforgettable moments in my opinion. While Alden Ehrenreich does the best he can playing Han Solo, my biggest problem with this movie is that he’s not Harrison Ford. Obviously, it would be impossible for Ford to play this aged character now but that just makes me question if we really needed this movie at all.
6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This is exactly what a “Star Wars story” should be: a well-crafted story around likable characters that we grow to quickly love throughout the film. We only see one lightsaber (the one and only Darth Vader’s) and it is one of the best scenes in Star Wars history. Not only does this movie perfectly lead into “A New Hope,” but it provides us with the “wow” factor we all crave when journeying to a galaxy far, far away.
5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
This was nearly placed at number six on my list, but despite all the movie does wrong, the super sweaty, gasping-for-air moments in this movie give it the nod over “Rogue One.” Kylo Ren, also known as Ben Solo, is my favorite character of the new trilogy and I love everything he does in this movie. All of the moments between him and Rey are great (#TeamReylo), and their brief team-up against Snoke’s guards is pure Star Wars bliss.
4. Star Wars: A New Hope
Back where it all began. The teaching between Obi-Wan and Luke learning what the Force is, our first appearance of Han and Chewbacca, Darth Vader force-choking his subordinates and the beginnings of an iconic friendship between Luke, Han and Leia. The original Star Wars film will always hold a special place in our little nerd hearts.
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Some take points off for being very similar to “A New Hope” but I absolutely love “The Force Awakens,” even with the blatant copying. Star Killer Base was a misfire. However, seeing a Storm Trooper—Finn—go rogue, being introduced to the best pilot in the resistance—Poe—and meeting our midi-chlorian-filled scavenger Rey are all great character moments and sets the foundation for the next three movies. Also, Han (rest in peace), Chewy and Leia are heavily featured and it feels like a dream come true.
2. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
I do not mind the Ewoks. Inject the throne scene between the Emperor, Vader and Luke directly into my veins. Next.
1. Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
If this isn’t your favorite Star Wars movie are you really even a Star Wars fan? Some of the best elements are the battle of Hoth, Luke training with Yoda and Lando Calrissian and Cloud City. This movie also has some of the best moments of dialogue, including the moment between Han and Leia where she proclaims her love for him and he simply responds, “I know.”
There’s also this iconic exchange between Luke and Vader:
Luke: I’ll never join you!
Vader: If only you knew the power of the Dark Side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.
Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
Vader: No, I am your father.
The Rise of Skywalker questions/predictions:
- How and why is the Emperor back?
- Who was Snoke?
- How do they handle Leia?
- Kylo and Rey team up in the end to fight the Emperor.
- Kylo dies in the end.
- Rey, Finn and Poe all survive.
- We see Hayden Christensen reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker in the form of a Force ghost.
Evans Library embraced the Gothic style of Edgar Allen Poe on Nov. 1 for the most recent Reel Reads event, “Poe’s Spooktacular Tales: From Page to Scream.”
Reel Reads is a literature and film series hosted by Florida Tech’s School of Arts and Communication.
Poe established himself as a notable writer and editor in the mid-19th century, according to the Academy of American Poets.
“It’s a great tie-in to do it around Halloween,” said Debbie Lelekis, an English professor at Florida Tech. “Edgar Allen Poe was a natural selection for that.”
He was also prolific in the Gothic horror genre. Lelekis, along with fellow English professors Melissa Crofton and Angela Tenga, presented an analysis of Poe’s works and their modern adaptations.
During the analysis, Crofton explained that Poe’s works often resonates with her students.
The professors then opened the floor for audience members to speak about their personal interest in Poe’s work or how they discovered him.
“He exposes us for what humans fear,” Lelekis said regarding the value of Poe’s works. “We can make connections to our own lives.”
Poe’s presence in modern pop culture was a focus of the panel.
Clips were shown of Netflix’s “Altered Carbon,” a series that features an artificially intelligent character modeled after Poe.
A trailer for “The Raven,” a 2012 film where Poe is portrayed by John Cusack, was also shown.
In the film, Poe must work to prevent a serial killer from recreating the deaths from his literary works.
“The Cask of Amontillado” is one of those works, a story of one man taking fatal revenge on a friend he believes has wronged him.
Cheryl Davis, Evans Library’s distance learning librarian, took to the podium twice to read excerpts from “The Cask of Amontillado.”
Victoria Smith, Evans’ resource sharing specialist, gave a reading of “The Raven.”
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,” she began the poetry reading in a resonant tone.
In pop culture, many of the details of Poe’s personal life are disputed, leaving many aspects of his biography unclear.
“I think most of his stories intrigue people partly because of [that] mystery surrounding Poe himself,” Lelekis said.
She said that his works help people to examine human nature.
“It helps us understand ourselves better, which is something everyone needs to do no matter what your major is or what your career path is,” Lelekis said.
It’s been two weeks since our editorial staff attended a college media conference in Washington D.C.
We left the nation’s capital with an arsenal of tips for better reporting, but also deeply disappointed to see one of journalism’s biggest odes to the industry to be uprooted by the end of the year.
Since opening day in 2008, the Newseum has dedicated itself to increasing public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.
“In all of the 30-plus years I spent in broadcast journalism, I would’ve never expected something like the Newseum to ever exist, anywhere,” said Paul Littman, a retired PBS broadcaster who has spent his early years of retirement volunteering at the engaging and interactive museum of news. “I was born and raised in D.C. and to see something as great as this close down will leave me heartbroken.”
As young and aspiring journalists, to walk through five floors of history and see how journalism captured every part of that left us awestruck.
One of the most visually impactful exhibits was the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery.
To see a vulture preying on a starving child in Sudan is devastating.
But to then read that the photographer later took his own life because of the trauma and grief he felt for neglecting that child portrayed the harsh reality of reporting in third world countries.
Standing in front of chunks of the Berlin Wall that once separated communism from freedom was eye-opening to the freedom that we currently take for granted.
A glimpse at the civil rights movement exhibit showed that while many people turned a blind eye to the horrible things that were happening, journalists reported on the deaths of African American people, the brutal ways they were treated and the efforts they were making to gain more rights.
Walking one floor up, we entered the Stonewall exhibit, where the first Pride flag hung on the wall.
The Newseum illustrated how rights for LGBTQ people have changed and progressed throughout the years.
As in the civil rights exhibit, this was an area of history where many people were ignoring the mistreatment of the LGBTQ community or viewed them as bad people and deserving of punishment.
Meanwhile, journalists worked to uncover the truth and report it.
In another showcase—and perhaps the most emotional— newspapers from around the world covered a singular wall, each reporting on the events of 9/11.
This exhibit highlighted Bill Biggart, a photographer and the only journalist to lose his life covering 9/11.
His gear was preserved in the Newseum, his photos having been recovered after the events of 9/11.
While we were in awe of the archives and galleries around us, other museum-goers were also drawn in by the history of news and value of free speech.
“This museum shows how the First Amendment is a gift to the world,” said Tim Neary, a professor from Worcester University in Massachusetts who was in town for a Georgetown Alumni celebration.“It’s a damn shame this place is closing. It seems like there has to be a solution.”
In a time when the Trump Administration has launched an attack on news media and criticized journalists for reporting “fake news,” the Newseum tells an important story.
It shows the way reporters have given their lives in pursuit of their craft.
It shows how history has been influenced by the news: When reporters do their jobs and report the truth, people take action and promote change.
In a survey of the Florida Tech community, we asked how reliable people believe the news is.
The survey is not reflective of the entirety of students, staff, faculty and alumni; rather a small portion—55 respondents—helps illustrate trends within a small section of our community.
The biggest takeaway from the survey is that 40 percent of respondents believe that the news is somewhat reliable and a little more than 38 percent believe it is mostly reliable, but we live in a time when the idea of fake news is broadcast and spread on social media constantly.
Pew Research Center released a report this past June in which 68 percent of Americans, which is nearly seven in 10, said that the creation and spread of fake news is causing significant harm to the nation and needs to be stopped.
There are many people with their own agenda, but a good journalist reports facts in an unbiased way.
It is a hard job without stable hours. Many countries do not have the freedom of speech that we enjoy, and journalists risk their lives and are sometimes captured, tortured or killed as they pursue a story.
According to the journalist memorial at the Newseum, 2,344 reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters have died doing what they loved.
These people dedicated their lives to giving marginalized groups a voice, even when others were not willing to listen.
What left us shocked in D.C. was to learn about the closing of this display of journalistic excellence.
According to the Newseum’s website despite more than 11 years of service and nearly 10 million visitors, continued operations are no longer financially feasible.
It’s a shame as student reporters to have to wrap your mind around the fact that journalists are being torn down by the current administration in office with their jobs and the entire industry on the line.
More worrisome is the fact that no benefactor has stepped in to save this museum.
What will happen to those pieces of the Berlin Wall?
The preserved Articles of Confederation on display?
The piece of the antenna that remained from the top of the North World Trade Tower?
These are the questions reporters of our generation have now.
This homecoming, Florida Tech saw dogs on Crawford Green, celebration of the environment, and awareness brought to some of the problems impacting the planet.
The reason: the Student Organization for Sustainability Action held its first Fall Earth Day celebration.
The event was a collaboration between SOSA, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Squamish and RLSC.
Fall Earth Day was held on Wednesday, October 23, on the Crawford Green.
Ken Lindeman, the advisor for SOSA and an ocean engineering and marine sciences professor, has worked with SOSA every year to help them create an engaging week-long celebration of Earth Day in April.
“We have wanted to also do a Fall Earth Day, and there have been some efforts to do that in the past,” Lindeman said. “This year, SOSA, ASCE and other student organizations followed through with a substantive event.”
Allyson McCarron, the vice president of SOSA, discussed the initial idea of collaborating with another organization, ASCE.
“We have a diverse group of people in SOSA in terms of majors and could have done it as a group, but more organizations are getting interested in sustainability and we thought that ASCE would do a great job to help bring our vision to life,” McCarron said.
McCarron said the original idea of Fall Earth Day was born last fall.
“We wanted to increase the importance of Earth Day on campus with the idea that we shouldn’t just have one day in the spring that we celebrate it,” McCarron said.
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22, and both SOSA and ASCE recognize the importance of that day and the message that it presents to people.
For Fall Earth Day, a number of organizations were invited.
McCarron said these organizations included Keep Brevard Beautiful, Facilities, Alumni Affairs, and the CLEO Institute.
The Brevard Zoo has a program known as “Restore Our Shores,” which is a project that focuses on conservation, especially on the shorelines.
The project aims to protect locations such as the Indian River Lagoon and other bodies of water with shorelines.
Oysters and mangroves are examples of some organisms that the Brevard Zoo team helps protect.
The sculpture that was designed from collected trash and waste as a result of campus clean-ups attracted a lot of attention.
McCarron said, “I am very proud of what all of us accomplished and hope that it opened some of the eyes of students on campus.”
A gray sky sheds rain
It waits while classes meet
Storms again after
Open the day’s lunch
Pausing from tasks and “to do”
A most welcome rest
At a school like Florida Tech where STEM is highly valued, the highlight of local arts and new technology within community made its debut at its own auditorium.
Gleason Performing Arts Center held their first arts showcase on Oct. 4 presenting an array of space-themed paintings and the display of their new lighting system and LED screens.
The showcase also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the auditorium, with about 86 attendees at the event.
William O’Steen, the general manager, and Jeffrey Richardson, the assistant manager, created this showcase to not only show their new direction for Gleason but also to display their new equipment and abilities.
“We wanted to find an opportunity to thank the campus and community for taking part in the upgrades and improvements we have made,” Richardson said. “It was our way of inviting everyone to a free and inclusive event where we could show some of the types of events our building can support.”
According to Richardson, this was their first event that focused on their own creativity, with an attempt on utilizing their own production knowledge.
The front lobby was decorated with giant paintings from local artists Christopher Maslow and Mark Gilliam, as well as having a
lighting control booth for guests to interact with featuring colored spotlights.
Big LED screens were hinged on the front wall, presenting advertisements and graphics from Florida Tech College Players and Florida Tech Video Productions.
Before the main event, a special VIP event was held on stage for donors and the school’s administration to meet with Gleason staff and the keynote speaker, Salem Murphy.
The showcase opened up with Anja and The Band, an alternative/pop/rock group, for the first thirty minutes.
The performance was then followed by the keynote speaker, Salem Murphy, an actress and producer known for her role as the principal in season one of “Stranger Things,” as well as “Abe” and “Reckless.”
Murphy graduated from Florida Tech in 1986 in business and finance and was invited through the Office of Development for the showcase.
“I was honored to be part of the showcase,” Murphy said. “It was a wonderful opportunity to see all the ways in which Florida Tech has thrived throughout the years.”
Evan Olsen, assistant director of dining services, presented Murphy as the keynote speaker and interviewed her on stage.
“It was a great experience for me as an MC,” Olsen said. “It was my first time being a formal speaker outside of my dining services circle.”
Murphy explained her experience at Florida Tech, her personal growth and her journey in becoming an actress in the industry.
“Just to see how many wonderful things are happening here at Florida Tech is pretty cool,” Murphy said.
Olsen said that he would like Gleason to have more events like these geared towards the student body.
“After this event, I’d say there is an opportunity in doing showcase events of various talents, such as comedians and bands,” Olsen said. “Even though it’s utilized more for formal events, I would like the students to get more involved with Gleason.”
Richardson heard this type of feedback from the audience and is looking into making this showcase a recurring event.
“Much of the new equipment we use in our building is shown frequently at events around campus,” Richardson said. “We make every event we support on campus a way that we can show off some of the new creative equipment that we desire.”
On Aug. 20 it was announced that Spider-Man would be leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe and would return to being fully produced by Sony Pictures, this is when the nightmare started.
After a month of despair, on Sept. 28, I woke up from what felt like a bad dream.
Variety has reported that Spider-Man will remain in the MCU for at least his next solo film, being released on July 16, 2021, and a future marvel film.
For a brief history lesson, Spider-Man is owned by Sony (another history lesson for another day).
In 2015, Disney and Sony came to an agreement for Spider-Man to join the MCU in a co-producer partnership between the two companies.
Spider-Man would be featured in three team-up MCU movies and two solo films that would be creatively lead by Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige (In Feige We Trust).
Sony would monetarily produce the Spider-Man movies, and Disney would receive a modest five percent of first-dollar gross, as well as all merchandising revenue.
After three spectacular years of Spider-Man swinging around with the likes of Iron Man and Captain America, the initial deal between the two juggernaut companies was over and despite universal optimism, the deal seemed to be over, leaving thousands of MCU and Spider-Man fans alike distraught and heartbroken.
During negotiations for a new deal between Disney and Sony, it was reported initially by the Hollywood Reporter that Disney wanted more compensation for their work done in the solo Spider-Man films.
The initial reports stated that Disney wanted to split the cost and revenue 50/50 with Sony and that’s where talks stalled out.
Now I have a few thoughts on this dispute and what it felt like as a fan. It felt like complete garbage.
It always hurts when you get drastically reminded that money is everything and creativity and pleasing the paying fans is just an afterthought.
Spoiler warning ahead for Spider-Man: Far From Home and Avengers Endgame.
During this “nightmare” period I kept questioning everything thinking “Why would they set Spider-Man up to be the next Iron Man if they knew there was even a possibility that he could leave after the deal expired?”
It just made no sense that Feige and Marvel Studios would make him such an intricate part of the future of the MCU if there was even the slightest possibility of them losing him in the blink of an eye.
Obviously now that a deal has been made I can out those questions to rest.
I like to think that the incredible backlash from fans and even MCU actors like Jeremy Renner had a part in them finally striking a second deal.
This second deal is fundamentally different in structure and length. The new deal is just for two movies, as I previously mentioned, and this time Disney will receive 25 percent of the revenue, contribute roughly a quarter of the finances and keep their merchandising rights.
So who cracked? From this report, it seems like Disney did to some extent. Going to 50 percent to 25 percent is a difference of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Disney had every right to ask for significantly more compensation and financial stock in the character.
Spider-Man: Far From Home was the highest-grossing film in Sony Pictures history, raking in $1.1 billion worldwide.
This success, one could argue, is in large part because of Spider-Man’s integration into the MCU and making him more relevant than ever.
Disney knew that and wanted more.
Sony knew that and wanted Feige and the MCU. Nerdtastic rant time.
I can’t express how happy I was to hear that Tom Holland and SpiderMan wouldn’t be leaving the MCU.
I no longer have to curse the name of Sony and Disney, pretend like I’m interested in a Venom sequel or a Morbius film, want to cry thinking about how good the MCU could have been if he stayed or act as if the MCU would be fine going forward. All that is put to rest, and just as Tony Stark, I can rest now.
But not actually because this is only a two-movie deal and Feige when talking on the new deal said, “[Spider-Man] also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”
Could this new deal take a page of the Spider-Woman (Gwen Stacy) comics where her home universe is Earth-65 but she goes to Earth-616 to fight along with the likes of Peter Parker and Miles Morales frequently?
In this case, the MCU could be Spider-Man’s version of Earth-65 and a Sony “Spidey-verse” featuring Venom would be like Earth-616.
Are you seriously still reading this sweating piece of nerd juice?
Anyway, this is a time to celebrate, Spidey is back where he belongs (for now) and all is right with the world.