The Force Awakens: Intertextual =/= Winkingly Referential

WARNING: This post was written keeping in mind that not everyone has seen the movie. However, the discussion does include references to information that is contained in the IMDB synopsis. It also includes comparisons between generalized character descriptions for the main characters in both A New Hope and The Force Awakens. Nothing specific to the plot is discussed in this post itself. 

Since the release of The Force Awakens, haters have been hating. A generalized series of different posts include more or less the same arguments. These arguments state, in varying ways, that The Force Awakens is nothing more than another remake taking everything from A New Hope and just tweaking it a little bit. There’s nothing original. In fact, the reliance on the source material is so huge as to be distracting. In addition, this is just another cop out in a long series of Hollywood cop outs running from originality and therefore leading to meaningless, derivative movies.**

If you subscribe to this approach to TFA, I give you warning. The following will be the Festivus of Posts, in which I air my grievances regarding the Derivative Argument. There is a difference between being derivative and being intertextual. I argue that TFA is a study in intertextuality.

Continue reading The Force Awakens: Intertextual =/= Winkingly Referential

The Hour of Code Awakens: Build Your Own Game With Star Wars

Remember in my PAX Review how I mentioned that Disney Infinity was going to be even bigger—especially with anything Star Wars related? Well, this is it.

Disney is teaming up with for this year’s Hour of Code and it is going to be big: Coding. Gaming. And, best of all, sharing!!

Continue reading The Hour of Code Awakens: Build Your Own Game With Star Wars

Star Wars Droids Support Immunization

Public domain image from the National Library of Medicine.

While browsing through public service posters from decades past, I ran across this gem and wanted to share it with all of you!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released this poster in 1977 after the success of the first Star Wars film. To give the time period context, the DTP (diptheria, tetanus, pertussis) vaccine had been around since 1948, but it had been only six years since the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine was licensed in the US. It had been only five years since smallpox vaccinations ended, thanks to near-eradication of the disease. In 1976, the year prior, the fewest cases of whooping cough to date had been reported, thanks to the vaccine. Around the time of this poster, the pneumococcal vaccine was licensed, and a year later, measles became the next target for elimination.

To see another icon used on behalf of health, see this poster in which Spock speaks for the Great American Smokeout.

GeekMom 2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Clothing

Is there a geek in your life who wears their geekiness everyday? Many of our GeekMoms suggest these fashionable accessories and pieces of attire as gifts this holiday season.

Book Scarf Image www.etsy.comshopstoriarts
Book Scarf. Image: www.etsy.comshopstoriarts

Storiarts Book Scarf Wrap the page of a good book around your neck. Storiarts Book Scarf™ is created from American-made, cream colored, super soft 100% cotton jersey knit fabric, about 65″ in circumference and 12″ wide. Fabric has been doubled over and sewn along the edge and at the center to create a thick, chunky, and moldable “page.” Choose a page from Sherlock Holmes, Romeo & Juliet, Wuthering Heights, Anne of Green Gables, and many others. We’re partial to The Raven. $42

Hadaki tote Image
Hadaki tote Image:

Hadaki Cool Tote This tote bag comes in seven cheery designs. Each can be wiped clean thanks to coated cotton, featuring 3 interior pockets, one exterior pocket, with plenty of room for your tablet along with other essentials. $50

ScotteVest Travel Vest
Scottevest: Image: Scottevest

Scottevest vests and clothing We all have many (too many?) gadgets that we carry around on a daily basis. Most clothes have pockets, but many aren’t designed for holding specific kinds of things, such as iPods, phones, even tablets. Scottevest is a company which makes versatile, high quality clothing in many different styles to hold all of our things, be they electronic gadgets or baby pacifiers. These are items that you will wear for the rest of your life. $125 for a vest

R2-D2 tunic: R2D2 hoodie. Image: Her Universe

R2-D2 tunic This R2-D2 tunic from Her Universe is a great gift for Star-Wars-loving GeekMoms, and it now comes in kid sizes, too! $40 (adult), $35 (kids)

TannimCustomChucks - Photo by Tannim, used with permission
TannimCustomChucks. Photo by Tannim, used with permission

Tannim’s Custom Chucks You know what your wardrobe is missing? A custom pair of Converse high tops that show off your fandom allegiance. Tannim’s shop covers everything from Game of Thrones to My Little Pony, and the Doctor Who versions are pretty spectacular. Orders must be placed by 11/15 at the latest for holiday shipping. $115

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Totoro Kigurumi Pajamas. Image: Amazon

Totoro Kigurumi Pajamas Adult full-length pajamas. Need I say more? There are also Totoro Feet Slippers if you wanted the full footie-pajama experience from your youth. $26

GoFollowRabbits skirts - Photo used with permission
GoFollowRabbits skirts. Photo used with permission

Custom Skirts by Go Follow Rabbits The incredibly cool Mars Rover skirt from Go Follow Rabbits was worn by one of our readers in our Geek Chic Fashion spread, and now we’re hooked. GeekMom Jackie is especially coveting the Doctor Who and R2-D2 skirts. Orders must be placed by 11/21 for holiday delivery. $45.99-$54.99

GapBatmanMittens - Photo from the Gap website
GapBatmanMittens. Photo from the Gap website

Gap Superhero Mittens Junk Food’s line of comics-inspired kids clothing is the best thing to happen to The Gap in a long time. Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman mittens are available. $16.95

Fullscreen capture 11102013 81107 AM
Lego Star Wars Crossing

Lego Star Wars Crossing Zone T-shirt Lego Star Wars guys re-creating the famous Beatles album cover. This shirt represents the best of building and music geekiness. $10.50

The Princess Bride Tshirt Image:
The Princess Bride T-shirt Image:

Princess Bride costume T-shirt We are huge fans of The Princess Bride in this household, so is it any surprise that I fell in love with this t-shirt featuring the very recognizable costumes of my favorite characters? Twue wuv! It is, however, inconceivable that they don’t offer a women’s cut. (You mock my pain!) $20

Lego Wrist Watch Image Lego
Lego Wrist Watch. Image Lego

Lego Brick Watch Check out this cool watch that looks like it’s made out of Lego bricks! $18.03

Eat Lunch With R2-D2 or Hello Kitty: Thermos Products Are as Good as Ever

Image: Thermos
Image: Thermos

My first lunchbox was a Thermos brand Peanuts lunchbox, back in the late 1970s. It was all metal, with a plastic insulated drink/soup container inside, held in place by a little metal hinged protrusion. (For years, we called that kind of container a Thermos, but really, it’s just the name of the company…) I loved that lunchbox so much. I have no idea what happened to it. We moved in 1981, and I never saw it again. Sadness. But I was able to revisit my lunchbox in the vintage section on the Thermos website. They have a slew of vintage ones to peruse.

The same lunchbox I had as a kid, circa late 1970s. Image: Thermos
The same lunchbox I had as a kid, circa late 1970s. Image: Thermos

The Thermos company is still quite in business today, making much more modern products with modern materials. A couple of years ago I even bought a large container for hot drinks or soups. It’s a fantastic contraption. And now Thermos has some new products available to fit our geeky lifestyle.

Thermos isn’t limiting themselves to the usual rectangular shapes for lunchboxes anymore. Nor are the boxes made of metal or hard plastic. This 100% PVC-free snazzy R2-D2 lunchbox (or “insulated lunch kit” if you want to be precise) is shaped just like the droid himself, soft-sided, with a zip open top and plenty of room inside for a full lunch (probably for more than one person). He has a sturdy handle on his back, and you can even make R2 light up and make droid noises. Don’t do this while you’re in school, though.

Image: Thermos
Image: Thermos

Another of Thermos‘s offerings is a line of Hello Kitty products, which brings me back at least 30 years to when I obsessed over the Hello Kitty store at the mall. This soft-sided lunchbox, also 100% PVC-free, shaped like Hello Kitty’s head will easily hold your meal, and insulated stainless steel drink and soup/pasta/whatever containers will give you plenty of options. The box is a little hard to zip closed, though, since Hello Kitty’s face is a harder material than the rest of it to help protect your food, but it works well enough. The 12 ounce insulated drink container will keep your drink cold for 12 hours, and the 10 ounce food container will keep food cold for seven hours, or warm for five. Both are top rack dishwasher safe, but hand washing is recommended.

Image: Thermos
Image: Thermos

All of these products are very easy to clean (the soft-sided lunchboxes can be spot cleaned), and live up to the usual Thermos standards. They protect food while keeping it the right temperature, and just work.

Prices vary on all of these Thermos products, but they are all reasonably priced and made of quality materials. Geek up your kid’s lunch hour with some of these new products. (But let’s face it, we want them for ourselves. I know I do!)

GeekMom received some items for review purposes.