Everything you need to know about STAR WARS in exactly 6.000 words

(*** Caution: this post consists of 0,5% silly wordplay, 0,5% nudity and 99% spoilers)

Has it ever happened to you that you totally unexpectedly meet a person with whom you have ridiculously many things in common, almost getting the feeling as if the Universe was plotting to unite you all along. The feeling of absolute bliss and understanding, the feeling of utter completeness, the sound of angels singing and happy bells ringing.

But then, all of a sudden, a big obstacle the size of a second Death Star arises?

(…)

This is what is happening to me… I have met a SUPER DUPER GREAT person, but there is one big obstacle…

The force isn’t strong in this one.

He doesn’t like Star Wars…

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I swore I would never get involved with someone who doesn’t like this mega awesome saga but sometimes you can’t always get what you want…

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Since he doesn’t like it *kuch* (LOSER) and I am obviously very passionate about it, I want us to share this interest, even if it’s just a little and I want to see if I can train him into becoming a Jedi Geek just in time for the 14th of December.

Him: “What’s the 14th of December?”

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For him it’s just a regular day of the year. And this is exactly what needs to change in his feeble little brain because the 14th of December is the day all STAR WARS geeks (at least in Germany and the UK) are living for. It is our Christmas, New Year, Easter and birthday combined. It is the day Episode VIII: THE LAST JEDI arrives in theaters.

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You: “So why doesn’t he like Star Wars, Evvy?”

Ha! I guess he doesn’t want to jump on the mega mainstream train. Or something went terribly wrong in his childhood… BUT he likes comic books so there is a little REY of NEW HOPE that the FORCE can be AWAKENED. (See how I just made a triple Star Wars reference? Anyone?)

hermione sarcasm

Even though he might be a ‘loser’, he’s not a lost cause. I just need to use the right Jedi mind tricks to tickle his Star Wars interest. So far I came up with:

  • A gorgeously hot woman in a golden bikini

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  • Kick-ass action sequences
  • Funny droids
    droids
  • Aspirational characters like Han Solohowareyou.gif
  • A ❤ storywalkingcarpet
  • A walking carpet
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  • A general sense of understanding of life and the importance of staying on the right track => certain schools actually teach Star Wars philosophy classes!!!
  • … Ahm… Merchandised popcorn?

I will continue to explain him that if he opens his mind to this wonderful universe he will be enchanted by its depths, he will be able to connect with like minded people, he won’t feel so left out anymore in daily conversations, he won’t feel as if he is missing out and he will understand TV shows much better: Friends, That 70’s Show, Family Guy, Big Bang Theory…  They all make references to Star Wars and there’s nothing more frustrating than missing the joke.

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Also. And this applies for every not yet Star Wars fan: You can run but you can’t hide. Considering the pace with which Walt Disney is refueling the Star Wars craze (they have just announced AN OTHER trilogy) the Force will probably haunt you until the end of your days. If you can’t beat them -and believe me you can’t- then there’s only one thing left to do: TO JOIN THEM.

Ok so let’s commence the training!

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away 

Every Star Wars film starts with yellow letters floating into outer space. This is called: the opening crawl.  It basically unravels a background story in a couple of seconds, opening the floor to whatever is about to happen next. It enables you, the viewer, to be sucked into the action straight away instead of having to endure 1 hour of film before you come to the good part.

I made a little opening crawl just for you. Click here!

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What’s quite extraordinary is that the very first Star Wars movie (Episode IV: ‘A New Hope’) starts somewhere in the middle of the big Star Wars narrative. Without any character or scenic introduction the yellow letters inform us that the Rebel Alliance have stolen plans from the Death Star in order to destroy the Galactic Empire and bring peace to the Galaxy where …

Him: “STOOOOOOOP!”

Me:
double indemnity

Don’t freak out. When the yellow letters rolled over the screen the first time in 1977 no one knew what the Death Star was or how the Galaxy looked like. You will get there! … But maybe I can’t jump to the plot line just yet….

Let’s go through some fundamentals first. In order to understand Star Wars you have to get an insight in its time line as it’s a little tricky with the different trilogies, episodes and spin offs.

The important thing to know is that:

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope chronologically is the FOURTH film out of the series even though it’s the FIRST one that was ever made. Released in May 1977. 40 years ago to be precise.

Let’s jump into history-hyperspace for a quick second:

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Writing the 1970’s. President Nixon had just burnt his hands on the Watergate scandal, many people withdrew from politics altogether and turned from a hippie way of life to a pop culture–easy lifestyle. They listened to 8-track tapes of Jackson Browne, Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer and Marvin Gaye and smoked even more pot than they had in the 1960s. In general, by the end of the 70’s, many young people were using their hard-fought freedom to simply do as they pleased: to wear what they wanted, to grow their hair long, to have sex, to do drugs. Their liberation, in other words, is intensely personal -especially once the ‘personal computer’ finds its way to the people, which changed lives drastically- and science fiction finds its way into cinema.

People hear about ‘this far out movie’ being released in their nearest (drive in) cinema directed by ‘this guy named George Lucas’. It is described being a ‘space opera’. The people don’t really know what to expect but the movie poster shows some crazy cool glowing sword and a girl with cinnamon spice buns as a hair do. Totally revolutionary!

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Even though the science fiction genre was -at this time- not very popular and a lot of movie distributors turned Lucas’ story down. It’s even been said that when Lucas showed the film to Spielberg and De Palma they were pretty much disappointed. Or potentially jealous? The first movie, however, was an unexpected box office success turning Star Wars into a pop culture phenomenon in no time. It captured imaginations with an irresistible force and had a huge effect on the film industry later on.

C3PO PEOPLE

Catch the joke: a robot on the cover of PEOPLE

The first ever blockbuster was born and stayed record holder until E.T. decided to phone home and win the audience’s heart over in 1982.

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Remeber when E.T. bumps into a Yoda costume during trick or treating and refers to him as ‘Home’?

Two sequels followed: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983) making it into a trilogy. Throughout these three movies (respectively referred to as Episodes IV, V and VI) there are three important protagonists, played by three young performers who were instantly catapulted to superstardom.

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  • Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), => Even though she passed away in 2016, she will continue to stay Princess Leia (aka the golden bikini girl) for all eternity. She will appear in Episode VIII for the last time.
  • Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), => He is the farm boy with the light saber. The franchise hero. This guy is a god. He will also appear in Episode VIII. Potentially for the last time?
  • and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) => He is the good looking cool guy with the space ship (Millennium Falcon) and the walking carpet (Chewbacca). Thanks to Star Wars he landed the part of Indiana Jones and went on to become one of Hollywood’s finest actors. He will still play a small role in Episode VIII but more on that later as I don’t want to give away toooooo many spoilers at once.

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    Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Again E.T. is present. Not referring to the Indian guy in the back.

16 years after the very first trilogy, another trilogy was made. Again directed by -the at this point very famous- George Lucas. This trilogy, however, was not a sequel but a prequel. The prequel trilogy describes what had taken place over 32 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and primarily focuses on a young Darth Vader originally known as Anakin Skywalker (played by Jake Lloyd and later Hayden Christensen) and a young Obi-Wan Kenobi (played by Ewan McGregor). It was the last trilogy to be distributed by 20th Century Fox.

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Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999) was the first of the three.

OK brace yourself. Remember I mentioned E.T. before? Well… watch this little clip from ‘The Phantom Menace’ and prepare to have your MIND BLOWN! => This is why E.T. recognizes Yoda in Spielberg’s blockbuster. 

Two more films followed: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). These movies basically tell everything that happened until Episode IV.

Well yeah ALMOST everything, since the very recent spin-off ‘Rogue One’ (2016) also takes place before the first trilogy.

Him: “STOOOOOOOOP!!”

Me:That-70s-show-star-wars

Him:tumblr_mvatac4a9F1qaqu1ro4_250

Me: “Ok then try to replace the light sabers with something you like, for instance … Errrr… French baguettes! And let’s go over it again in a nutshell.”

 

You have the original trilogy => Where the glowing sword and the cinnamon spice buns play quite a big part. Three movies that CHANGED the life of people all over the world until this very day => 16 years later another trilogy was established to reveal the history of the first trilogy that DIDN’T CHANGE the life of people all over the world since it kinda sucked => But the brand new trilogy (VII, VIII, IX) which follows the original trilogy (IV, V, VI) brings back the sentimental feelings the original trilogy brought to this world now 40 years ago.

Bear with me darling. It’s about to get better.

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Let’s go through some fundamental lexicon:

THE SITH vs THE JEDI
Shit… AHM, I mean ‘Sith’ are basically the bad Jedi. They are overcome with hate. Jedi like Obi-Wan, Yoda and Luke Skywalker are good knights who use the metaphysical power of the Force to guard justice in the galaxy. They greet each other by saying: “May the force be with you”.

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Ok then what is THE FORCE?
As Obi-Wan states himself in 1977’s Episode IV, A New Hope: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together”.  The Force is mystical energy inside everything that can be controlled by certain people and is often said to be inspired by Taoist philosophy. Just like yin and yang, you have a light side and a dark side and they constantly interact with each other. On each side you also have masters/lords and apprentices. Darth Vader is the pupil of Lord Sidius (Emperor). Kylo Ren is the pupil of Emperor Snoke. Luke Skywalker was the pupil of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.

***

Let’s start chronologically:

What you ABSOLUTELY need to know about the first TRILOGY (these are the basics my friend):

  • The trilogy has 3 famous protagonists: Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo
    These are the good guys. Well, Han Solo at first doesn’t appear to be a good guy, he is a rogue, but eventually he turns out to become a hero. He flies the ‘Millennium Falcon’, which is a space ship, together with his BFF and co-pilot Chewbacca aka Chewie aka the walking carpet. He is a 7-foot-tall Wookiee, a hairy, bipedal mammal who only makes gurgling noises. The two encounter Luke and Obi-Wan, a Jedi master, in a cantina in A New Hope and go on to join them, and later Leia, in Rebel attacks against the evil Empire. Luke has his own reasons to seek justice because his aunt and uncle -his legal guardians- were killed by the Empire.

    lukeauntdied

  • There are -of course- antagonists too 
    Darth Vader is the most famous one. But also Senator Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious or the Emperor). They master the dark side of the Force and want to control the Galaxy.

    breathingproblem

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Senator Palpatine before and after his make over into The Emperor / Lord Sidius #plasticsurgerygonewrong

Jabba The Hutt is also an antagonist. He is the most powerful crime boss on Tatooine, who has a bounty on Han Solo’s head in ‘Episode VI: Return of the Jedi‘.

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Flattering character

  • The Death Star is the Empire’s ultimate weapon
    A huge spherical space station over 100 kilometers in diameter capable of destroying a planet with one shot of its superlaser. The Death Star is a very powerful and threatening piece of imagery throughout the saga. This space station is also populated by Imperial Storm Troopers. They are the troops of the Galactic Empire.

    Rebels_stormtroopers_bw-2400x1200-780667296424
    => The Death Star evolution:
    1. In Episode II the Death Star plans are being handed to Darth Sidious by Darth Tyranus.
    2. In Episode III the Death Star is under construction.
    3. In Episode IV the Death Star is operational but gets destroyed by the Rebel Alliance right after it blows up Aldaaran, the home planet of Princess Leia.
    4. In Episode VI a second and much bigger Death Star is being constructed but gets destroyed as well by the end of that movie.

deathstar

  • Luke Skywalker is Darth Vader’s son! 
    If there is any quote from the movie you know, it’s probably : ‘Luke, I am your father’.no
    These famous words are being spoken by Darth Vader at the end of ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ and is until now known to be one of the biggest plot turns in history! Vader wants Luke to join him on the dark side to rule the Empire but Luke refuses since he’s a good guy. They get caught in a sweet light saber duel where Luke loses his hand but he finds a way to escape. One year later, after an intense training becoming a badass Jedi Knight, father and son Skywalker face each other again in the second Death Star. Luke defeats Vader and cuts off his hand in a revenge light saber match. The Emperor orders Luke to kill his father. Luke infuriates the Emperor because he refuses to do so. The Emperor tries to kill Luke but Vader intervenes and rescues his son by killing the Emperor. Vader eventually dies and Luke cremates him. The Empire is defeated. The people rejoice.
  • Luke and Leia are actually brother and sister
    luke-leia2
    Luke doesn’t find out until ‘Episode VI The Jedi Returns‘ that Leia is his twin sister. They were adopted by different families right after they were born. This causes a little bit of awkwardness since at first Luke crushes on Leia and they actually kiss in ‘The Empire Strikes Back‘. Yuk! But it was merely a trick pulled by Leia to make Han Solo jealous and eventually -after a lot of bickering- Han and Leia fall in love at the end of the third film. In ‘Episode VII The Force Awakens’ (2015) we find out that Leia and Han Solo actually have a child. A son called Kylo Ren. More on him later. And YES young Padawan (*): this means Princess Leia is Darth Vader’s daughter.leia and vader

(* a Padawan is a Force-sensitive adolescent who trained in the Jedi Order to one day become a full-fledged Jedi.)

  • Other important characters are:
    R2-D2 and C-3PO.
    Built by Anakin Skywalker, C-3PO was designed as a protocol droid intended to assist in etiquette, customs and translation, boasting that he is “fluent in over six million forms of communication”. Along with his astromech droid counterpart and friend R2-D2, C-3PO provides comic relief within the narrative structure of the films. C-3PO was strongly influenced by the Maschinenmensch from Fritz Lang’s classic sci-fi film Metropolis, and played by British actor Anthony Daniels. Kenny Baker, a circus performer, got the role of R2-D2. Standing as an adult at three foot, eight inches (1.12 meters), Baker was short enough to fit into the robot and strong enough to operate the heavy machinery a child would have not been able to do.droids
    Funny fact: While the film may show an unbreakable friendship between these two droids, the actors actually couldn’t stand each other and hardly talked to each other during filming. Baker passed away in 2016 aged 81 and got replaced by Scottish actor Jimmy Vee who will make his first credited appearance in Episode VIII this December.

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
Obi-Wan-Yoda-Force-Awakens
These are Jedi Masters and Luke becomes their apprentice. Yoda is that dyslectic little green goblin on the right. Instead of saying “We must destroy the Sith” he says: “Destroy the Sith we must”. He is the most powerful of Jedi and dies at the end of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi at the blessed age of 900. Yoda plays a big part in the prequel episodes I, II, III since he is Obi-Wan’s master. Obi-Wan becomes Anakin Skywalker’s master until he turns into the evil Darth Vader. Kenobi then continues to train Luke Skywalker. Obi-Wan dies in the first film of the original trilogy (Episode IV) after a duel with Vader, his former apprentice. Instead of being cut into two he vanishes into thin air. A technique evolved by Obi-Wan and Yoda.

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What you ABSOLUTELY need to know about the SECOND TRILOGY:

  • N-O-T-H-I-N-G!
    Well that’s not entirely true. Let’s just say that the only thing you need to know is that the story evolves around Anakin Skywalker and his transition from being a young kid to becoming an adult and all the challenges related to it. The Force is very strong in him and he is believed to become a very promising Jedi. HOWEVER. When his mother gets brutally murdered, he feels the pull of the dark side growing stronger in himself and his surroundings. He ends up killing a bunch of Jedi and turns into the evil Lord Darth Vader (=> TAKE A MENTAL PICTURE: ANAKIN SKYWALKER IS DARTH VADER) 

    rubbbsyffypy
    His turn to the dark side happens right after he marries Queen Amidala (also known as ‘Padmé’, played by Natalie Portman) and impregnates her. When she finds out Anakin is a baddie she slips into a critical condition. Obi-Wan confronts Vader. The two engage in a duel which results in Vader suffering the loss of his limbs, severe burns, and damage to his lungs.  => THIS IS WHY VADER WEARS HIS MASK AND SUIT AND HAS TROUBLE BREATHING. Obi-Wan leaves his longtime friend and former apprentice for dead but Sidious (The Emperor) rescues Vader and encases him in a life-support suit.

Queen Amidala dies in childbirth, and the Skywalker twins, Luke and Leia are separated; Leia is adopted by Senator Bail Organa and his wife on Aldaaran. She grows up as a Princess and later on becomes a secret member of the Rebel Alliance. C-3PO and R2-D2 are also in the custody of Bail Organa with C-3PO’s memory getting wiped in order to have the twins split-up and protected. => SO NO! C-3PO WAS NOT AWARE ANYMORE THAT LUKE AND LEIA WERE SIBLINGS WHEN HE SAW THEM KISSING

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Luke is taken in by his uncle and aunt on Tatooine but we all know what happens to them at the beginning of Episode IV …

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Roast beef anyone?

Kenobi disappears in exile on that same planet and from then on calls himself ‘Ben Kenobi’. Luke, Leia and Kenobi discover each other in Episode IV A New Hope. They bundle forces in order to restore peace in the Galaxy since Sidious and Vader succeeded in taking control of the Senate and later the galaxy forming the Galactic Empire. The two Sith oversee the construction of the first Death Star, a glimpse of the dark times to come.

I would suggest NOT to watch Episodes I, II, III but would advice to look for a re-cut instead.

Apparently Topher Grace (yep, Eric Forman from ‘That 70’s Show’) is such a big Star Wars fan he re-cut the three episodes into a 85 min film. That is the shortest Star Wars film ever made! He showed the film publicly to about 50 people, but it’s not currently available to watch in any other way, likely due to copyright issues.

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Topher Grace playing Luke Skywalker in ‘That 70’s Show’

According to Slashfilm’s Peter Sciretta, who attended the screening, “Topher was able to completely tell the main narrative of Anakin Skywalker’s road from Jedi to the Sith,” and continued by saying, “What’s better is that the character motivations are even more clear and identifiable, a real character arc not bogged down by podraces, galactic senates, Jar Jar Binks, politics or most of the needless parts of the Star Wars prequels. It not only clarifies the story, but makes the film a lot more action-packed.”

Or watch this clip where you basically learn everything you need to know about the prequels in 3 solid minutes .

And while you’re at it you might as well check this video (2015) too:

Of course this video doesn’t yet speak of the recent trilogy from which we’ve only seen ‘Episode VII: The Force Awakens’.

Therefor: What you ABSOLUTELY need to know about the THIRD TRILOGY:

  • It almost didn’t exist
    Chronologically ‘Episode VII The Force Awakens’ is set around 30 years after ‘Episode VI Return of the Jedi’. Lucas originally planned a sequel trilogy in the mid-1970s, but had abandoned these plans by the late 1990s. The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in late 2012 and then announced the production of a sequel trilogy. Unlike the previous two trilogies, whose films were released approximately three years apart, the sequel films are planned to be released two years apart. ‘Episode VIII The Last Jedi’ is set for release this December, with Rian Johnson as screenwriter and director. Episode IX was to be directed by ‘Jurassic World’ director Colin Trevorrow but he departed from the project. Shortly after, it was announced that Abrams would return to direct the film. It is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2019.
  • It’s still very much a family affair (but maybe the last Skywalker one)
    It is very clear that STAR WARS has always been a family affair (siblings kissing, father issues, children watching their parents die, a repetitive history of orphanage and exile, …) This road continues in the recent trilogy where Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), the son of Princess Leia and Han Solo, steps into the footsteps of his grandfather Darth Vader.
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Grand daddy issues…

Kylo Ren continues Vader’s legacy by setting up ‘The First Order’, a new collective of bad guys with the help of Supreme Leader Snoke (his mentor).

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Snoke

FUN FACT! Snoke is being played by Andy Serkis who you may know as that other ugly creature… 

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Gollum

Just like with the original trilogy there is another father-son face off in ‘Episode VII The Force Awakens’, only this time resulting in the tragic death of one of Star War’s most loved characters: Han Solo. It’s all just a little bit of galactic history repeating  but of course the fans love it. It captures the original Star Wars spirit where the prequel failed to do so.

  • There is a new Death Star and a new R2-D2 in ‘The Force Awakens’
    More history repeating!
  • > Starkiller Base
    starkiller base
    Starkiller Base was a mobile, forested iceplanet that was turned into a base operated by The First Order looking very similar to the Death Star. It got destroyed at the end of ‘The Force Awakens’ by the good guys.
  • > Meet BB8
    BB8
    In ‘Episode VII The Force Awakens’ the ball-shaped BB-8 droid gets introduced. In the film, the robot is the astromech of the Resistance X-wing fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Poe entrusts him with a map that must be delivered to the Resistance headquarters in order to determine the whereabouts of Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker. While Poe is captured and interrogated by the sinister First Order commander Kylo Ren, BB-8 flees across the desert of the planet Jakku and finds sanctuary with the plucky scavenger Rey. Eventually Rey, the renegade stormtrooper Finn, Han Solo and Chewbacca  bring BB-8 to Resistance leader Leia Organa, and ultimately reunite him with Poe.  => This story echoes the story of ‘Episode IV A New Hope’ where Princess Leia hides the plans to destroy the Death Star inside R2-D2 along with a holographic recording. R2-D2 flees to the planet Tatooine together with protocol droid C-3PO in order to bring the plans to Obi-Wan Kenobi but bump into Luke Skywalker first. From there on the saga begins.

    helpmeobiwan

  • Emancipation is a big thing now
    Aha! Finally something different. Luke Skywalker has always been the franchise’s hero and has now been dethroned by a woman. Not a princess, but rather a ‘female Han Solo type Jedi heroin’ named Rey (Daisy Ridley) who was left by her parents when she was a child. Much of her past and familial lineage is shrouded in mystery. And thus THE BIG QUESTION that keeps itching fans’ brains is: Who are Rey’s parents? According to director J.J. Abrams : “Rey’s parents are not in Episode VII The Force Awakens, so I can’t possibly say in this moment who they are. But I will say it is something that Rey thinks about, too.”

    Is Abrams just trying to throw fans off the scent of Rey’s real parents? The current online theories go from Rey being Luke Skywalker’s daughter to Kylo Ren’s sister, to being willed to life through an immaculate conception, to being the daughter of a new character played by Benicio del Toro, to being Obi-Wan Kenobi’s daughter, … More on that in this very interesting/entertaining read.

=> Personal note : Rey being Luke’s daughter could be the most obvious and therefor boring plot line but, nonetheless, makes the most sense. The original idea was that STAR WARS was going to be about three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him and if there was another seventh, eighth or ninth film, it would be about Luke’s children. However, Lucas changed his mind off and on. As announced by Lucasfilm, this recent trilogy also would mean the end of most of the existing Star Wars expanded universe, in order to give “maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience”.

LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!

Who are Rey’s parents? What happened to Luke these past decades? Will Kylo Ren move to the light side of the Force? WHO IS THE LAST JEDI AND DOES THIS MEAN THE END OF THE JEDI ORDER???

What we know about ‘Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’ so far is that the action picks up immediately after the events of 2015’s ‘Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens’ which ended with the film’s heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) coming face-to-face with an elderly Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), now living a life of monastic solitude on a planet called Ahch-To.

Star-Wars-Force-Awakens-Alternate-Ending

The only information IMDB cares to share is the following:
Having taken her first steps into the larger Jedi world, Rey joins Luke Skywalker on an adventure with Leia, Finn and Poe that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past.

Details about the plot are being kept under wraps, but director Rian Johnson has hinted that the film will be a war film, explaining that its tone was influenced by Second World War classics ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ and ‘Twelve O’Clock High’. “Particularly Twelve O’Clock High, a lot of that made it in there,” he said in July. “It ended up being a really personal part of it.”

Be prepared for some surprising plot twists. And potential kill offs… The Star Wars screenwriters have never been afraid of going all ‘Game Of Thrones’ and killing off main characters. Think of Obi-Wan, Yoda, Darth Vader, Han, … I can only imagine more favorite characters are likely to die. Possibly Luke Skywalker since the next trilogy (it has just been announced that Episodes X, XI and XII are coming) will move on from the Skywalker family. But then again, this is merely personal speculation.

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14 REASONS WHY Episode VIII will be another box office smashing blockbuster. THESE ARE THE FACTS: 

  1. It’s tradition: Star Wars is one of the most intergenerational movies in the history of cinema. Passed on from father/mother to son/daughter (trying not to be stereotypical here)
  2. It’s all about reconnecting to a lost childhood. #nostalgia!
  3. The movie trailer broke records. This is the first time people were actually aware of a trailer being able to do that. The clip shows Luke training Rey to use her Force powers on his rocky mountain outcrop, before telling her “I only know one truth – it’s time for the Jedi to end.” WATCH IT HERE
  4. There are too many questions that need answers ASAP. For instance: WHO IS THE LAST JEDI? Conveniently, Rian Johnson cleared this up speaking to the New York Times in September, he said the title referred to Skywalker, but added that there might be “wiggle room” for other interpretations. “Luke Skywalker, right now, is the last Jedi. There’s always wiggle room in these movies – everything is from a certain point of view – but coming into our story, he is the actual last of the Jedi. And he has removed himself and is alone on this island, for reasons unknown.”
  5. It will be the last time you’ll see old school heroes Carrie Fischer and Harrison Ford. *SNIF* The film will include a funeral for Han Solo, who was killed by his son Kylo Ren in ‘The Force Awakens’. Fisher will appear as Princess Leia one last time as all her scenes had been filmed by the time of her death in December 2016.
  6. These are films you just have to watch on the big screen.
  7. The Lucasfilm advertising machine promises us a mind blowing, not to miss, experience. Already interviewed in 2012 after the announcement of the new trilogy, Lucas biographer Dale Pollock already said that he had, in the 1980s, read the outlines to 12 Star Wars episodes planned by Lucas, but had been required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Pollock said: “The three most exciting stories were 7, 8 and 9. They had propulsive action, really interesting new worlds, new characters. I remember thinking, ‘I want to see these 3 movies.'”
  8. There are going to be more movies coming so you might as well jump on the train pronto if you don’t want to be left behind.
  9. It’s already a pretty sure thing that ‘Episode VIII: The Last Jedi’ will be a piece of brilliant work otherwise Lucasfilm would have never commit to hiring director Rian Johnson to helm a whole new trilogy (X, XI, XII) if they weren’t impressed with his work. One more reason to be excited about this latest development!
  10. RED FLAG: Something HUGE is about to happen. It is said that this 3rd trilogy will be the last one focussing on the Skywalker family. And chances are pretty real the makers won’t wait until Episode IX to begin this big shift. The red letters are a major RED FLAG!

 

This isn’t the first time the yellow logo has changed to red for a movie — both ‘Return of the Jedi’ and ‘Revenge of the Sith’ had red logos. Both movies are the end of their respective trilogies, and also both considered to be the darkest. In Return, we’ve got Luke finally defeating the Emperor and the death of Darth Vader; with Revenge, we’ve got the fall of the Galactic Senate, the death of Padmé…and the death of Anakin Skywalker. Knowing that both movies featured a prominent Skywalker dying (even though they were both Anakin), this could mean Kylo Ren is going after his mother (Leia) and/or uncle (Luke) ending the Skywalker heritage?!

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  • Incoming: an evil R2-D2 !! Has R2-D2 moved over to the Dark Side??? Well, no… But after the introduction of BB-8 in ‘The Force Awakens’ there is more fresh droid blood on its way! BB-9E will make it’s introduction in ‘The Last Jedi’ as the evil version of BB-8. According to Disney he belongs to the “astromech unit of the First Order that keep their starships and machinery operational.” We don’t know much more about BB-9E except that he’s probably Kylo Ren’s sidekick.
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  • Crazy Celebrity Cameos. This is probably the main reason for fans of old UK boybands and the British monarchy to check out the movie. As it’s been said that Take That-singer Gary Barlow has been given a character of his own, while Prince Harry and Prince William will make an appearance as Stormtroopers.

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    I Sith you not. The royal brothers payed a visit to Pinewood Studios last April and were completely fascinated as they explored the backstage area, and showed off their sibling rivalry with a playful lightsaber duel.

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    Actor John Boyega went on to confirm in a BBC Radio 4 interview that the royal brothers filmed cameos in the upcoming film Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The actor reportedly revealed that the Princes had non-speaking parts as Stormtroopers, although he believes their scene was cut from the movie. We will have to find out for ourselves!

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    A big name that will definitely make an appearance as a Stormtrooper is TOM HARDY. Really following the footsteps of Daniel Craig (Hardy is said to become the new James Bond) who also played a Stormtrooper in the last Star Wars installment ‘The Force Awakens’. Find the clip hereNew major additions to the cast include Benicio Del Toro as an unnamed villain, Laura Dern as Resistance fighter Amilyn Holdo, and Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, another member of the Resistance.

    13. Look! It’s a new cuddly mascot!

    porgWhile ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’ had the Ewoks, a kind of living alien teddy-bear, ewoks
    The Last Jedi has porgs. According to LucasFilm these furry, birdlike creatures are native to the islands of Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker’s new home, so it’s possible the Jedi has befriended a few of them.

    14. Make up your own final reason why you wanna watch Episode VIII and start crossing your galaxy calendar!

    YOUR TRAINING HAS COME TO AN END. THANK YOU FOR APPLYING TO THE JEDI MASTER CLASS. WE SINCERELY HOPE YOU WILL CONTINUE TO PICK THE FRUITS OF YOUR TRAINING THROUGHOUT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

May the force be with you

kick-sparks

XO

OH RIGHT I ALMOST FORGOT! 

Since I have spent days putting this post together, doing a lot of research, reading a lot of theories, digging deeper… I came up with a personal theory on the future narrative of the saga.

Investigating the background of Kylo Ren’s name, I discovered that the expression number of the name ‘Kylo’ is 9 which basically means the following:

“Kylo are idealistic who embrace the principles of compassion and forgiveness. Kylo are visionary who is wiling to make a better world and have the ability to influence masses. Kylo are also creative and imaginative that gives them an artistic talent.”

My educated guess? Kylo Ren will eventually step over to the Light Side and will marry Rey in some reversed Anakin-Padmé story.  They will have kids of their own who will carry out the next Star Wars generation and in their turn will flirt with the Light and the Dark Side of the Force. ‘The Last Jedi’ trailer basically confirms this theory with Kylo Ren reaching out his hand to Rey.

Got any Star Wars theories of your own? Feel free to share them!

Thank you for listening, the exam will be TOMORROW.

XO

 

Smoking the mistletoe

After our Christmas celebrations, Celine and I got ready for a three day layover in Toronto. It would just be the two of us, Thelma & Louise-ing.

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I was super stoked. Toronto is supposed to be an awesome city with a very multi-cultural community and a lot of artistic neighborhoods. Just get a load of Kensington, a very bright neighborhood. You got China Town, India Town, Greek Town, The Village, University campuses, you name it! PLUS: It’s Jim Carrey’s birth town and the backdrop of ‘Scott Pilgrim vs The World’.

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Look that’s Toronto in the back right there ❤

And Rihanna filmed her ‘Work’ video clip on the corner of Gerrard Street.

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AWESOME!

Wherever I was going I felt I was walking in a movie decor. The little houses with the little porches, the drug stores, the coffee and book shops on the corners, the big street car, … It all felt really American. And very non European. Just the way I like it.

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The three days would be simple: just enjoy our time in the city, walk around and meet up with some friends of Celine. One of her friends even ended taking us up all the way to Niagara Falls.

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All this water => filling up my bladder

But before I could see the falls I had to go through a haunted mansion. There were three levels of scariness.

  1. Vanilla scary shit
  2. Super scary shit
  3. Hardcore scary shit

I didn’t know what I was signing up for. It was Celine’s friend Ryan who bought the tickets and pushed me to get in.

Literally.

It was pitch dark and there were things moving and invisible zombies and demons yelling and whispering. I couldn’t help but walk through the maze of terror with my hands over my ears hoping for it to be over as soon as possible. I could only come up with one thing to save my life:

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But I wasn’t impressed with myself at all. What a ridiculous vampire slayer I would be.

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Anyway, for the next part of this story it’s probably good to know we arrived in Toronto on the second day of Christmas. We got to borrow Celine’s dad’s bachelor pad and on the same night we were supposed to meet up with her friend Mel who lives in an apartment uptown. She invited us over for tea and crumpets.

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All ready to hit the town!

We took the subway and the street car and a firm 30 minutes later we arrived at the apartment building. As we entered Mel’s unit it was almost as if we stepped into an oven.

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The fumes alone would get us baked.

It had seemed Mel was having her good friend Mary Jane over.

And I’m not talking about a person.

You: “A robot?”

Me: “Herbs.”

Mel: “Come on in, make yourself right at home. Care for a glass of red? I got you guys some chips, dips and sweet popcorn.”

I sat down on her couch and almost knocked over the ashtray with doobie butts.

The place reeked so much, I had a little trouble breathing regularly.

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I’m not opposed to weed or anything. I actually like being in the presence of potheads. Seeing people get high relaxes me too. And occasionally I would take a hit or two if somebody offered. Just never that much. One time I got really sick off some freaky weed and puked my guts out for 5 hours straight. I made the fatal error of getting shit faced first and high after. Not my most elegant outing in 2016.

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But I figured I would be up for some Christmas tree burning right about now.

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And whilst we’re at it smoke all of the other christmas decorations.

After all we were the second day of Christmas. And being the diligent student I am, I didn’t finish my wine but went straight for the pot.

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Me to Celine: “Let’s get Chinese eyes dude!”

I puffed the magic dragon back in China. It was the bees knees! I was curious how the stuff would taste here. And if it would taste anything like maple syrup.

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This stoner circle was the bong! It felt like such a natural thing to do. Weed is far more accepted here in Canada than it is in Europe. They’re even legalizing it in 2017. What a lovely timing to be here.

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After 30 minutes I was starting to feel a little to a lotta light headed. The room started dancing. And I had to interrupt our conversation for an important communication service:

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I don’t remember what we were talking about but I remember not participating in the conversation. I just watched Celine’s mouth opening and closing and stared at it while the wallpaper was raining down the wall.

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I think I picked up on a talk about how time doesn’t exist and how you can control your future with your mind. All this happened while carnival videos from Trinidad were playing in the background.

Mel: “Evelien, what is your take on this subject?”

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Me:

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Mel: You’re really liking that popcorn, hey? Here, why don’t you finish the rest of the production line.

On our way home I fell asleep 15 times on the tram. And we were only on there for about 7 minutes.

I was so sleepy, I just wanted to go home and cosy up to Lucy.

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“TAKE LSD?”

No kiss the dog Lucy. Our home girl.

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So baked.

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Gimme some of that sweet sweet sugar.

The next day we kept it cool and walked around the city. I had the lucid idea of going to the dollar store and buying me some DIY stuff to make business cards.

The plan was to leave them all over town in coffee shops, thrift stores and the metro station. Ya know, spam the hood. Get the word out.

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Fab people casually loving BGftBC at Reflections Vintage store

Enter narrator’s voice: 

And that’s how the girl from Belgium made a splashin’ entrance in the throbbing town of Toronto. Ready for whatever adventure’s next on her itinerary: Ottawa, Quebec and Montréal.

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(I’m on a moose)

=> Read all about my New Year’s resolutions next time on the blog. And my hot date with Celine’s dad ^^

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Peace out
Smoke mouth

XO

Freaks + geeks

There was a girl who talked to freaks.

You: ?

Me (hissing): “Shut up, I’m quoting some poetry here.”

*ahum*

There was a girl who talked to freaks
She understood them, and they her
One day she looked into a crystal stream
and saw in its bed a diamond
she picked it up and placed it in her hair

she did so

as she did so, she turned into a freak
it was then revealed that the other freaks,
she magically had understood,
were once human like her

You: “Mmmkay that doesn’t make sense, Ev.”

Well it’s an adaptation of a Cocorosie song which I geniusly altered to my new favorite tv show :

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You can watch it on Netflix. Or try Youtube for free!

It’s kinda like ‘That 70’s Show’ but situated in the 80’s. And it has been around for ages. It was the first acting gig for a lot of actors who became famous later on.

It’s about this achiever kid Lindsay who is a mathlete, decides not to be a geek anymore but to hang out with a bunch of burnouts instead.

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Hell I would be a burnout if I could hang with James Franco and Seth Rogan.

Squat goals!

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Errr, I mean squad goals.

Freaks and Geeks - Season 1

L-R: Seth Rogen as Ken Miller, Jason Segel as Nick Andopolis, Linda Cardellini as Lindsay Weir, and James Franco as Daniel Desario

I have always fancied James Franco as an actor but after seeing him on ‘Freaks and Geeks’ I desperately want to sodomize him.

You: ???

Me: Well, I hear he’s gay but he doesn’t want the world to know about it.

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Anyway. Some of the plot lines are very adaptable to my life. Apart from the fact I’m not in school anymore and I don’t smoke weed (that often): I’m a definite burnout! I’m channeling my inner punk. Heck, I even sneakily blasted ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ by the Sex Pistols through the speakers the other day.

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Well, relax. I’m not going to walk around with egg white spikes in my hair or walk the streets with a head full of acid, but I do understand the punk way of thinking.

I don’t know if it’s the trashy Berlin vibe of the café I work at, the tattoo TV shows I binge watch, Trump unpacking his personals in the Oval office or just another super moon, but I just don’t feel like following the rules too much anymore. Even dogs go to heaven, right? And there are a lot of good people who live their life according to the book who don’t.

Punk basically promotes the act of ‘thinking for yourself’. And that’s all I’ve been doing this year. Analyzing, questioning, nonconforming. Because it came naturally to me. The more I walk off the beaten path the more I feel this uninspired way of living: getting up each day, leaving for work with a worn out face, coming home with a worn out face, not enjoying anything, being an apathetic slave to society isn’t the way I want to live my life.

Example: I happen to know quite a lot of people who studied, have a degree in some higher study like business management, civil engineering, sports physics, … but deliberately serve coffee, work in a store, pick up garbage, … Every day these people get asked if they aren’t too smart for the job they do. And I think it’s exactly this narrowed way of thinking that makes our economy, our society, sick.

You don’t have to stay an engineer and reply emails all day if you discover it’s not really your trade. You made the choice to become one when you were 18. If you feel you would be better at serving coffee with crazy latte art, then why should you feel restricted to go do that? If you pour coffee and it’s the thing you love most in the world, don’t you think a bit of that love drips in the cup and makes that customer a little more happy too?

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I just really feel people are doing way too much against their will. They’re being deliberately sodomized by the system, man.

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And that’s how you create diseases, cancer and mental breakdowns.

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Life at the café is a good example of this point I’m trying to make. I experience a lot of interesting encounters behind my counter. I talk to people. Listen to them. Share stories, insights and laughs. Also pain. Some come to me to talk about their troubles. A bad day at work. A date that got blown off. A brain tumor that needs to be removed. A marriage that has gone sideways.

Now, I don’t really like being confronted with people’s problems too much but I designed my own signature way of dealing with these cases.

I don’t speak.

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I just listen. And when the waterworks come, I quietly slip a napkin under their beer card and whisper: “Go ahead. This stays between us”.

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Just let it all out K-boy

Because of the world presenting itself to me in various shapes, colors and tastes,  customers provide me with a lot of insights in life. Some bright. Some somber.

The other day I was gazing outside and reminiscing about life and asking myself some fundamental questions about my future. Our future.  And the reason why we are put on this Earth.

My boss: “There is no reason, kid. This is all there is to it. I hate to give it to you, but take it from a man who has lived.”

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Funny thing: I didn’t really feel like disagreeing with him. Even though he’s only 50 % right.

It’s a crazy thing called ‘living’. We’re all trapped together in a limited time and space zone and don’t really know what to do with our time being here. We just fill up the blanks. Make time pass quicker when we’re at work and try to press pause when we’re on holiday. The only thing we know for sure is that we’ll all die one day.

Being limited, we should all be capable to make the most out of it. But instead we fuck everything up. We destroy, overindulge, hate, fight, complain, cheat, … we let our egos get in the way.

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Also, with time being so limited, we all feel the deadline. And the need to desperately leave a mark. A footprint. We want the world to know who we are and to remember us. We don’t want to disappear in the history books a loser. We all want to be winners and be better than our neighbor. But often fail doing so.

Greed is such a disease. We should shake it.
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Tone down your expectations. Of yourself, of others, of life in general and just try to do good, enjoy the ride and pick up as many memories while doing so. It is the only way of dealing with this mortal fight.

To be kind to your kin.

And your knees.

And to live as much in the moment as possible.

Wherever you are, to really be there. Whatever you do, to really do it. I think it’s the only way to savor each day and actually come as close as you can get to something called ‘happiness’. Take it from a burnout.

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On that thought, I recently started to Snap myself into the moment.

You: “Oh great, just be more egotistical that will solve all of our problems.”

Me: “Oh please… I had some accounts before but I just never really was a fan of it until now. All of a sudden I felt the need to snap. And I also understood it better. It’s a great way to share your vision, to make mini movies, tell cool stories, … I guess my after movie inspired me to do it.”

In case you haven’t yet, you can check it right here:

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And it’s SUPER compatible with the blog and a great addition to my multi media strategy in my bid to transcend this earth and start life on a different planet with James Franco!

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Look, I already snapped this before you read it. How meta am I?

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You: “As if you’re living someone else’s drug dream…I’m calling your mother.”

Me: “Wait! You don’t want to stay around to see me get my ears pierced with infected pins???”

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Snap you later! 

==> Follow me: evdelgouffe aka ‘Blonde Clueless

XO

The self ridiculing act of nomad bashing

Hi all!

You: “Errr…?”

Me: “Ahm… what? Do I have something on my face?”

You: “Why do you start your blog entry with an hello? Usually you just talk away. About your life. Or god forbid… your sex life. Ugh.”

Me: Well today I would like to change things up. And maybe start a dialogue…”

I can’t help but feeling there is a little bit of underlying tension going on these days. Not between you and me, per se. But more frequently I discover some kind of mockery against nomads, backpackers and everybody who chooses the great outdoors to gain some personal perspective.

Since this blog is called ‘backpackersguide…blablabla’ I feel I need to take a stand and address the non captivated/exploited, happy-go-lucky elephant in the room. And try to analyze what’s going on.

There are two obvious camps here:

* People who are drawn by adventure, who temporarily run away from obligations to live in the here and now and diss on people who rot away in their comfort zones.

* People who steer away from adventure and diss on the people who recklessly throw away all securities and comfort zones in the idle hope they will find all life’s answers by swimming with sharks, taking a selfie on top of Machu Picchu or eating a fried scorpion at some random Chinese farmer’s market.

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(I plead guilty)

Well, let’s just settle this friendly battle here and now, why won’t we.

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Let’s draw a little background sketch. We (20-30 year olds) are the generation that’s been handed too many choices. Our parents were children of parents who had survived the war. They had a harsh upbringing. In a bid to turn things around they decided a different approach for their own offspring. The velvet glove. Let’s just be motivational towards our kids. Let them become whatever they want to become. Let’s bring them up with a sense of freedom. Some analysts would say this prevented some serious quakes on the puberty scale. Why would we start a riot if everything is allowed and negotiable? It didn’t eliminate it; it just postponed it. To a much more difficult timing later on.

Enter the quarter life crisis.

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I am…. (feel free to pick one for yourself)

a) who my parents made me to be (=realist, acceptance, no crisis here)
b) everything opposite my parents made me to be (=the rebel)
c) better than everyone (=the jerk)
d) a loser (=negative thinker)
e) Egon Ewin Kisch (=dead)

Of course the problem is not good or bad parenting. The initial problem is still the fact that there are too many choices. And the fact they eventually lead to choice stress. The way we react to that would enable some older generations to call us: spoiled narcissistic brats with no sense of reality.

But it’s just hard these days to really say:

Screenshot from I Want It That Way

We pick a road but from the minute the scenery doesn’t appeal to us any more, we bail and try another road. Because we can. Because we should. And because we want to. Or think we want to. Because -actually- we really don’t know. We just assume. Because -let’s face it- there’s too much choice.

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So what seems to be a choice a lot of youngsters take these days? Right, the high road.

Due to the pressure of (social) media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, …) and the ad hoc commercial strategy of the travel industry using internet cookies and tailor made stalker advertisements to their power it looks like the only evident way to get rid of your stress is to step on a plane and travel to a galaxy far far away.  noseviaja

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Where else are you going to get the opportunity to do a shallow water scarf dance?

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Get the most out of your opposable thumbs?

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Or cosy up to a complete stranger?

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Woops, this one is not supposed to be in here

Of course not everyone dares to take the high road. Because they

  • are scared
  • financially in a pickle
  • scared
  • scared
  • scared

The list with reasons is endless.

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So some of them -in fact- rot away in their comfort zones. And forever regret not making exciting life choices. Walking around like little time bombs. Others find a way to get over/around it and end up appreciating what they got and eventually lose the need to jump from one continent to another.

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“I don’t need to go to Asia to solve my life problems, thank you”, someone slingshotted at me recently.

That’s fair. If you really mean it. That means you’re much more likely to solve your problems one on one. Or maybe don’t have any problems to begin with.
… For now. Let’s just see what midlife brings.

I can’t help but feeling when people say it like that, they take the diss out of people who do need it. It has become a phenomenon to ridicule the act of traveling the globe to get to know oneself. I call it nomad bashing. Backpacker bullying. Globetrotter battering. Wanderlust shaming.

Well, don’t blame us for having a sense of curiosity.

… Or for having better stories than you.

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In reality those people are just shifting the blame, changing the conversation, greatly hoping one day a scientist with a PhD will stand up and tell them:

‘You were right, you don’t have to travel to the other side of the world. It’s not going to help you. I have the proof!’

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So the bullies can go on and say: ‘Told you so’

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I don’t know

Our stories could be the closest you’ll get to a little adventure.

Too bad you don’t see it that way.

It must be hard living a life with bad eye sight, no cojones and a synthetic identity.

It might just be you are trying a little too hard to conform to a closed system, pushing a synthetic identity onto yourself which enables you to avoid looking if the chosen identity matches your own deeper wishes and competences. You choose to be unsupportive towards other ideas to protect yourself against potential doubt about the irreversible road you took.

So, who’s dealing with the real crisis here, Sherlock?

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Not to be worried though.

“A crisis is no such thing as an inevitable disaster, but must be seen as a necessary turning point, a critical time when the development in one way or another should continue and opportunities for growth, recovery and further differentiation will be mobilized.

An identity crisis, like any crisis, is an initially negative perception of emotional experience, but mostly an inevitable obstacle to achieve further development.

In that turbulent phase lies ample opportunity for growth.”
(Erik Erikson)

“Real winners are those who dare to lose everything” * 
(Evelien Delgouffe)

I hear the Maldives are on sale.

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Great travel agency by the way. It’s the one I used for my awesome adventure. If you want to I can tell you ALL about it some time.

XO

* (Not to be taken literally by heavy gamblers with debts the size of the Grand Canyon.)

… Although I do hear the Canyon looks great this time of year.

Grand Canyon National Park

Less hating. More hiking.

Safe travels!

paperbag

XO

 

Home (-sick)

Homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home.[1] Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects.[2] Sufferers typically report a combination of depressive andanxious symptoms, withdrawn behavior and difficulty focusing on topics unrelated to home.[3][4][5]

I have thought about home. About my brother, who’s having his first baby soon, my mother who is worried sick about me, my father who is far too active on Facebook and my best friend who now has to go to parties without me…. I have thought about them a lot. But I don’t miss a single one of them…

Ouch Evelien, that’s a pretty harsh thing to say innit?

– Well, … Is it?

I mean, why would I travel all the way to the other side of the world, where everything turns backwards, the seasons are upside down, people drive on the left and the midland looks like Mars? To be pretty damn far away from everything and everyone, I reckon*.

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I have been in South-Australia for almost three weeks now. One week of holiday, two weeks on the farm. And I’m enjoying myself every day.

Why would anyone wanna stay in the South that long? Fact: the rest of the continent considers the southern folks to be a bunch of bacon loving bogans. But the truth is: if it wouldn’t be nice down here, I wouldn’t have stayed this long. And by the look of the Crocs and white socks on my feet, maybe I am just a big bogan too.

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So you know I’m physically doing well. You’ve seen my updates pop up on Instagram and Facebook. But how’s the inner Eve doing? I hear you wonder. As you can read in my bio, I was kinda worn out when I left Belgium. I had reached a ceiling and needed some time to clear my mind. Well, I have had plenty of time to reflect on my life here. I have just spent four hours scrubbing a stove and an oven to absolute polished perfection, just because I found it therapeutic. As I scrub I see my life roll in front of my eyes like a movie. How far I’ve come -literally 15.975,96 km- but also the turns and directions I’ve taken in my life. Some dead ends. But mostly exciting roads that lead to amazing experiences. This farm life definitely puts into perspective how crazy hectic my life was before. The media, the rat race, the constant tap dancing between success and failure.

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But it made me the adventurer I am today, I guess. It’s crazy to see that ME, the girl who used to have such a big fear of being abandoned when she was a kid, became so independent. I used to be scared of everything. I was raised by a bunch of pessimists. Basically everyone in my dad’s family missed out on brilliant careers as safety inspectors. They would always warn me for the dangers in life, all the things that could go wrong.

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Well it didn’t help I grew up in a time where Belgium’s major export product were pedophiles and child molesters. I am still aware of the dangers, I’m not THAT clueless. I keep my eyes open while traveling alone, but I also keep them open to see the good parts. My fear of abandonment has been reduced to minus 1.000.000.000.000. … . I hear some backpackers have their parents over to stay with them for a couple of weeks. I just couldn’t imagine my parents on a 20 hour flight. My mom wouldn’t understand any of the in flight entertainment since the movies -including the menu- are all in English, my father would snore the entire way people would freak out thinking one of the engines fell out.

I’m such a loner, sometimes this worries me. When I imagine my future I think I will live somewhere on a mountain top with my future husband, two kids and two dogs. Somewhere far away from the outside world. Not having to deal with a lot of other people. Just living a very natural way of life. That sounds like bliss.

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I do blame my job for my over independentness… independence… inde… ah whatever! In a good way. It taught me to be inventive, to do deal with problems on the spot, …
I remember my first day as a journo. I had to go to this press event with loads of celebrities attending. I didn’t have any time to prepare. I just jumped in my car and drove with both hands wrapped tightly around the steering wheel since I had just gotten my temporary driver’s license. When I arrived I noticed I had no pen or paper on me (a journo’s basic attire). I had to use my diary and an eye pencil to make notes…

But most of all I blame Disney for making me spend all my life savings on traveling and seeing the world. That company made a hard headed dreamer out of me. Portraying girls who are a little left of center, and want to be part of something bigger. They got me completely brainwashed.

So yeah, I’ve been thinking about life a lot. I still don’t know what I will do when I return to Europe in five months from now. But … -I RECKON- that doesn’t matter. I don’t know what I will be doing next week either, besides going to Melbourne. What I will do there? Where I will sleep? Where I will have a stop on the Great Ocean Road to take my next selfie? Don’t know, don’t care. I just follow my nose. I have done this the past few weeks and it hasn’t let me down so far. In fact: the best plan I ever had was to have no plan at all.

However, I doubt I will just pick up my life where I left it. I left it for a reason, so some things will definitely change. Things will probably simplify more. Other than that I leave all my options open. I’m planning to live life to my full potential. I’m not super confident or anything but I do have a strong belief people can achieve more than they think and let themselves be limited by others too much.

You read my bio, and how much I like to live life to the fullest. I strongly believe in reincarnation. Only I don’t believe you have to die first in order to experience this. If I choose to live a bunch of different lives, acquire a bunch of different trades, I can. It’s not because I don’t speak Japanese, I can’t be speaking it two years from now. It’s not because I am not a triathlete, I can’t be a few months from now. What if I want to become a martial arts expert, who’s gonna stop me? Me? Because I’m a journalist and locked myself into that box till eternity? Ahm… don’t think so.

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You: “So I can become anything I want, ay? Okay Evvy, I wanna become a millionaire.”
– Well why not? It’s not something you just wish for, though. But if you work hard, sure you can be the next Jordan Belfort. Why wouldn’t you?

Just look up some old David Beckham pics and you’ll see ANYTHING is possible in life.

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(#Dafuq?!)

You: “Uhu, and what if I wanna become a Jedi?”
– Well there are lightsaber schools you can attend, so yeah, this is possible. I’m sure you can work something out with your fellow class mates to re-enact some cool Jedi story lines and perform some (staged) mind tricks.

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I know a guy in New York who puts on a super hero costume every day to help authorities fight small criminals. Just don’t get yourself deliberately bitten by a poisonous spider. I’m pretty sure you won’t turn into Spiderman. And if you do, just remember: with great power, comes great responsibility.

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XO

Bank stats: I have been in Australia for almost one month and I have hardly spent a nickel. People don’t need much when you come to think of it. We just like to think we do. I haven’t been wearing much make up either. Only 10 % of what I usually smear on my face every day. Maybe this is why I save up so much money.

* Famous Aussie stop word. They just put it in every sentence possible.