Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; A Parent Review

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

“Wait, why aren’t there more yellow words?” Lily whispered to me as we sat in the theater on one of our days off from school. This Star Wars movie was starting differently than all the others; there wasn’t an explanation of the story’s setting scrolling up the screen as in past Star Wars movies. I had been hesitant to bring my daughters to this movie, since the reviews said it was more warlike than the previous movies. But let’s be honest; the other movies had plenty of lasers from blasters firing across the screen. I still can’t believe I let Lily and Emmy watch Revenge of the Sith, when Anakin Skywalker transforms into Darth Vader. There is definitely a lot of darkness in that movie. So in then end, I took them to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on our day off from school.

It was very interesting to this lifelong Star Wars fan to get my daughters’ perspective about Rogue One. WARNING: Some of our conversation includes SPOILERS!

The beginning of the story begins when Jyn Ers0 is a little girl. It is obvious from the beginning that her family has a secret. Barely ten minutes into the movie, Jyn becomes motherless. Her father is taken away by the bad guys and Jyn is left with a gruff caregiver. We don’t really know what happens to Jyn at this point, and the next time we see her is in prison. The movie bounced around from setting to setting in the beginning, and it made for a very confusing plot at first.

Lily really wanted to see more of a backstory on Jyn and wanted to know more about her as a little girl. Although this would have made the movie much too long, in a way I agree with Lily. Jyn’s childhood is a mystery, and if we knew more about her character, her actions as an adult would be even more heroic.

Emmy, on the other hand, wanted to see more of something entirely different! To Emmy, Star Wars means light sabers, and there was not enough “swordplay” for Emmy. The fact that all the Jedis were dead or in hiding at this point in the Star Wars saga didn’t convince her about the lack of lightsabers.

At the end of the movie, (this really is a spoiler!) the Death Star is destroying the base that the rebels have overtaken. Our two main characters are swept up in a fiery golden glow. When I was lamenting that they had died, Emmy said, “What? I thought that was love!” No, honey, that Death Star ruined any chance of love!

Some people have said they they liked this movie more than The Force Awakens. Personally, I really liked both movies, but each movie had a different vibe. Are you a Star Wars fan? What do you think?



Trying to Stay Cool

I was tempted to title this post “Beating the Heat” but that title just didn’t sound right. We didn’t really beat the heat during last week’s high temps in Chicago, we endured it with the help of air conditioning and iced water. We spent the 100-degree days inside. The evenings hardly cooled down at all, so we went to the pool to cool off.

To avoid heating up the kitchen and working our air conditioner harder than it was already working, I grilled everything I could think of. Chicken, pork chops, hot dogs and brats. And of course, burgers.

Friday night, I wanted to do something different. I decided to try making french bread pizzas on the grill. It worked beautifully! (See the recipe below!)

Do you remember in the late ’80’s, when three gray whales were trapped under the ice in Alaska? They didn’t make it out into the open sea in time to migrate south for the winter. The media caught this story and it went national, capturing the country’s attention. A lot of money and effort went into rescuing the whales from under the ice. Drew Barrymore stars in the movie Big Miracle that tells this true story. We rented it to go along with our pizza. Watching this movie which takes place in Barrow, Alaska, made us feel almost chilly! It was the perfect movie for a hot summer’s night!

Lily and Emmy really enjoyed Big Miracle, especially since we just got back from our Alaska vacation. When we were up in Anchorage in early June, there was still quite a bit of snow up in the mountains. Does this picture make you feel chilly?

Ed and I shivering at Portage Glacier in June

Grilled French Bread Pizza

1 pkg. French Rolls
8 oz. can of your favorite pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese, shredded
favorite toppings
crushed red pepper

Slice the rolls into half. Make sure the halves lie flat by slicing a little off the bottoms if necessary. Spread a small amount of sauce on each half. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese. (I do not buy pre-shredded cheese–I think it melts and tastes much better when I shred a block of cheese myself! Pre-shredded cheese has a coating to keep it from sticking in the package which also can change the taste.) Place your favorite toppings on the layer of cheese. Place on preheated gas grill, set to the lowest flame. Grill for about 10 minutes, or until your toppings are hot. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper if desired.

What’s on your grill this summer?