Zorii Bliss: A Day in Kijimi: Opening Monologue and Chapter One

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away…

The First Order reigns across the galaxy. Children are stolen daily from backwater planets struggling to survive under the tyrannical regime to help expand the First Order’s vast armies under Supreme Leader Kylo Ren’s rule.

On one such remote world named Kijimi is a woman named Zorii Bliss. Born into poverty, this woman has been forced to learn how to survive in a world of crime just to get by.

With massive debts weighing her down and the cries of the missing children preventing her from sleeping at night, Zorii longs to escape the hellhole that she has called home for over thirty years. But to do so involves a little more duping and a whole lot of luck…

Pew pew pew.

That was the distinct sound of blaster fire whizzing by Zorii’s head as she hurried down an alley in Kijimi City.

The sky was still dark but it was brightening as the sun began to rise over the mountains surrounding the small city. A heck of a time to be on the verge of death.

Zorii chanced a glance backward and could see the red outlines of her three attackers chasing after her as they rounded a corner. Information slid across the inside of her visor in red Aurebesh, detailing to her the opponents’ weapons and distance away from her. They were a good fifty meters behind her. She stopped in her tracks.

“Is there any way that we can talk about this?” she yelled.

Her response was a blaster bolt hitting the wall to her immediate left. She shrugged.

“Apparently not,” she said as she resumed running for her life.

Her attackers were crooks like her looking for a big break. They were the Jaazenee Brothers and they weren’t ones to trifle with. Running a deal with them wasn’t easy (or ideal) but it paid good and right now, Zorii needed money…badly. The deal had gone down as expected, no hiccups in the operation as Bliss and the Brothers sold a particularly hefty and entirely illegal shipment of spice to a big-time gambler looking for a good time. The only thing was, Zorii was clearly a bigger crook than the Brothers and had duped them out of their share. So, naturally, they were furious and wanted to see her dead.

Zorii, however, had grown up on Kijimi. She knew the alleys like the back of her hand and she also knew where her compatriots were. Just a few more turns and the Jaazenee Brothers wouldn’t know what hit them, literally.

She dipped around a corner, hurried up a heap of storage bins piled high on the backside of a food joint, and began to traverse the rooves of the buildings where she picked up her speed. Blaster bolts coursed by her but up here, this was her territory. Up here, she was in charge.

The sun’s golden light began to peek over the mountain in front of her, bathing the clustered city into a depiction of rare beauty that made Kijimi almost gorgeous. Almost. It was moments like these that memories resurfaced. Fond memories of sitting on the high cliffs watching the city light up under a beautiful sunrise. Right now, she wasn’t allowed the time to daydream. She had to get to The Den.

A blaster bolt whizzed by her head so close she could feel its searing heat. She glanced back, saw the Brothers still shooting at her, and with a smile beneath her helmet, she vaulted across a gap between the buildings, slid to a trapdoor inlaid in the roof, and knocked three times. There was a voice on the other side.

“What?!” cried a gravelly voice that sounded annoyed.

“Trouble,” she responded.

“There’s always trouble with you,” grumbled the voice.

A second later, in the alley, there was a sound of a loud thump followed by the distinct noise of three bodies falling to the ground. When Zorii peeked over the edge of the roof she saw that the Jaazenee Brothers were laid out, red knots forming on their heads from where a large log of wood had hit them, the wood lying not two feet from their bodies. Zorii shook her head amused.

She jumped down from the roof, moving around to the side of the building where she located the side entrance and knocked three times. There was no immediate response. She could hear the unmistakable chatter of approaching First Order stormtroopers nearing her. She didn’t have time for that. She was just about to knock again when the door opened.

An old slouched woman with greying hair and a scowl on her wrinkled face stood before her. Her name was Marta.

“You happy now?” Marta asked.

“Not quite,” Zorii said as she hurried inside.

 

 

 

 

My ‘Star Wars’ Movie Experiences

Star Wars has been a part of my life literally since I was a baby. Each movie has provided me experiences that I will never forget and today, on May the 4th, I figured it would be a great time to share those experiences with you. Enjoy!

The Phantom Menace

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My mother and father always tell me of how when I was roughly one-years-old they went to see The Phantom Menace and of course, they took me as well. As a silent infant in the movie theaters I was most often either sleep or breastfeeding but they always say how my attention was drawn to the movie screen when something important was happening. It is a bold testament to how Star Wars has managed to wow me since before even can remember.

Attack of the Clones

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I didn’t go to see this movie in the movie theaters but as a child I remember watching this film over and over again, dazzled by the fantastical worlds and Obi-Wan’s top-secret mission that was always so fascinating. In my youth, what I remember standing out the most was Obi-Wan’s confrontations with Jango Fett on Kamino and in the asteroid belt surrounding Kamino. Those were my favorite scenes to watch and even now, those scenes still stand tall as some of the best moments in the entire franchise.

Revenge of the Sith

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A little older, my parents took me and my sister to see Revenge of the Sith in the movie theaters. I don’t remember much but I can still recall the bold colors of lava bubbling on the big screen as Anakin and Obi-Wan duked it out in a lightsaber duel of the ages. I also remember crying when Padme died, which was a bit surprising considering that I wasn’t a fan of her character, even as a child. It was still tremendously sad though and as we walked out into the night to go back to our car it was very apparent that I had witnessed one of the best Star Wars movies of all time.

The original trilogy is a whole different story of movie experiences that I’ve had with this franchise. Growing up, we didn’t own the original trilogy, at least…not for a while. When we finally did obtain Episodes V, VI, and IV (we got the movies in that order) it was like stepping into a larger world.

The Empire Strikes Back

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I still remember watching The Empire Strikes Back. I was sitting in my parents’ bedroom watching the film with the lights turned out movie theater style. I stared at the screen in genuine awe as I watched a story unfold that I vaguely knew but had never seen before. There was romance and incredible action scenes. Jaw-dropping moments and fantastical worlds. When it concluded it was very clear that I had seen the best Star Wars movie, at that time.

Return of the Jedi

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I don’t remember much when watching Return of the Jedi for the first time. There are, however, moments that I will never forget, such as the incredible escape from Jabba’s Barge, Yoda’s death, but mainly I do recall the anxiety I felt when Luke Skywalker had to face Palpatine.

I didn’t know what would happen. Would Luke Skywalker die? Oh, it was so stressful. Thankfully he didn’t and the Rebellion won. Yay!

A New Hope

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After watching The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, A New Hope was fun but the experience wasn’t nearly as memorable. I do remember, however, being appalled by the lightsaber duel between Ben Kenobi and Darth Vader. After seeing so many legendary duels, the duel was very underwhelming in comparison.

The Force Awakens

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Five years ago, The Force Awakens would enter theaters. It was an amazing time in my life. I never thought I’d ever get to see a new Star Wars movie. Disney made my wish come true and after early reviews of the film depicted a fun, adventurous experience with the newest addition to the Skywalker Saga I couldn’t be more pumped to see this brand new story on the big screen.

To say that I had one of the best movie theater experiences of my entire life is an understatement. I laughed and cheered inwardly, I gazed in awe and felt, at times, slivers of horror. And boy oh boy, did I cry my eyes out.

Walking out of that movie theater with red eyes and an absolutely distraught expression, I was a bit upset that Han died but it wasn’t long before I would realize I had seen the best Star Wars movie in years. I went to see it with my family an additional four times at the movie theaters.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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In 2016 I would be introduced to the first ever Star Wars Story. To be honest, I was skeptical about the film’s chances of being good. I mean, a story that didn’t focus on the Skywalkers or the struggle between the Jedi and the Sith? That was odd. However, as I sat on the near bottom row of the movie theater (the theater was packed!) craning my neck to see the giant screen in front of me, it wasn’t long before I would realize this was one of the best Star Wars movies ever made. In fact, it would become my favorite Star Wars film of all time.

The dark theme of Rogue One was gripping, the noise of the IMAX theater was astounding, and the final fifteen minutes of the movie left me stunned, in a good way. Specifically the moment that Darth Vader appeared onscreen in a blaze of crimson glory. It was a remarkable evening that I’ll never forget.

The Last Jedi

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Watching The Last Jedi was an entirely different roller coaster. The story left me wanting more and not entirely in a good way. There were certain aspects that I LOVED such as the Praetorian Guards and the epic scene that they would be a part of, Snoke’s death was unexpected and perfect in the context of Kylo’s story development, Luke Skywalker’s mirage trick was legendary and caused me to clap with expected enthusiasm when first watching it, however there were also elements I wasn’t fond of.

I’m talking about DJ and Poe’s storyline, Leia’s use of the Force, and the Canto Bight sequence. However, upon my second viewing, it was as if I was seeing an entirely different movie and suddenly I began to understand the brilliance behind The Last Jedi.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

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To celebrate my twentieth birthday I decided to go see Solo, a film that I wasn’t entirely thrilled to see but would ultimately love. I loved the classic feel of the movie. It was a plain adventure film riddled with awesome action scenes, lovable characters, and eye-catching worlds. When I walked out of that theater I was very, very pleased with the choice I made.

The Rise of Skywalker

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Being a Star Wars fan means that one takes each film very seriously. It’s unfortunate to say that The Rise of Skywalker is my least favorite movie experience of this list. The film, after several viewings, has managed to grow on me, but after my first viewing, I wasn’t even distraught. I was angry. Angry that a story that I had grown to love so much, characters that I had invested in wholeheartedly, had been reduced to shells of greatness beneath a clearly lazy facade.

J.J Abrams, in one fell swoop, annihilated the franchise’s most important values and made a film that I ultimately didn’t agree with on any level. Even the greatest Star Wars villain of all time, Emperor Palpatine, had been turned into a joke in my eyes.

However, like I said before, my more recent viewings of the film have painted a different picture. One that makes me genuinely happy at times. No, the movie isn’t perfect, but at the end of the day it possesses what every Star Wars movie has always had, a story filled with heroes and villains that manages to bring families together on beautiful evenings to bond with one another.

One day, I will have a new movie experience to share with you. For now, May the 4th be with you!

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.

 

‘The Clone Wars’ Ending Has Made Me Emotional!

Ah, The Clone Wars. This conclusion was brutal to my emotional stability. The last three episodes have been nothing short of brilliant, slowly building to the moment we all expected: Order 66. But this finale, this conclusion, has left me utterly reeling.

Even though I know that Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex survive (because they’re in Star Wars: Rebels) it didn’t make this episode any less tense or emotionally impactful. Laced with action and some truly heartfelt moments that had me tearing up, this is the finale that this series deserved. But, as with all things Star Wars, nothing is truly gone. I have a feeling that we will be getting another animated series very soon, one that focuses on Ahsoka’s story even further, and if so, I am going to be a very happy camper!!!!

Geez, that ending has gotten to my emotions big time. Wow, what a finale.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day. May the 4th be with you!