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Agiru Friendship Cup underway

first_imgFive  teams from Hela Province and five from Southern Highlands Province are in the race for the K20,000 prize money.Players from all 10 teams will be also be pushing for a spot in the Hela Wigmen Digicel Cup team that is likely to be named after the tournament that will finish tomorrow.Locally-owned Paradise Tailoring has come on board as the naming right sponsor of the annual tournament which enters its fourth year running.Paradise Tailoring is the sister company of Kemele Construction, who are the major sponsor of the Wigmen Franchise.last_img read more

How The Last Jedi Restored My Faith in Star Wars Tons of

first_imgI love Mark Hamill’s whole career, but I’ve been pretty Luke-warm (Ahh? Ahhhhh?) on Star Wars‘ Disney-run, annual cinematic return. I was soured by the prequels, I didn’t get into the CG shows, and as a long-time Star Wars nerd the Disney obliteration of the EU turned me off from it. I enjoyed The Force Awakens and Rogue One, but they both felt desperately derivative of previous movies, focused on echoing what made the original trilogy work and pouring on the fanservice to get attention. I didn’t think we were going to get anything really worthwhile in this new, more active Star Wars world.Then I saw The Last Jedi and my faith was restored. I understand why the movie is polarizing, and it certainly isn’t perfect, but the nay-sayers demanding it be stricken from Star Wars canon are wrong. It’s the step forward Star Wars has needed for the past few years to prove that there’s more to the franchise than mimicking trench runs.This is going to be completely filled with spoilers. It assumes you know what happened in The Last Jedi as well. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this and go see it.We Know How Much the Galaxy SucksHey, you know what was really downplayed weirdly in The Force Awakens? Everything about the Republic and how the Starkiller base wiped out an entire system. You know what the opening crawl in The Last Jedi does? Explain exactly how screwed the galaxy is. The Republic has been decimated. The First Order are in control. The Resistance are basically the Rebels now, and the First Order is the Empire. It’s as simple as that.I would have liked to see a post-ROTJ galaxy closer to the EU, with the fledgling New Republic and the remnants of the Empire still causing problems, but we aren’t getting that. But now it’s no longer a question. After the confusing presence of the Resistance while the Republic presumably still existed in The Force Awakens, and the completely undefined relationship of those powers and the size and scope of the First Order, now we know. The First Order has taken control and whatever remains of the Resistance is on the ropes. The Republic is shattered.My biggest complaint about The Force Awakens wasn’t the slavish adherence to A New Hope in structure, but how it completely glossed over what exactly happened to the galaxy in the decades since Return of the Jedi. Why was Leia a general and not a Senator? Why was there a Resistance to begin with? What’s wrong with the Republic? The Last Jedi establishes all of that without prequel levels of exposition.We’re Facing How Much the Jedi SuckedLet’s be real. The Jedi are cool ideas. Space knights with laser swords and magic powers who keep the peace throughout the galaxy. And in the EU they were. But in the movies, the Jedi were garbage. They were complacent, easily manipulated non-enforcers of a corrupt and idiotic Old Republic in the prequels, and all we saw of them in the original trilogy were a few cool guys who died and a dumb farm kid who fought with his own teenage whininess to become the last Jedi master.Again, I would have liked an EU-style galaxy where Master Luke founded a new Jedi praxeum and taught a new generation of Jedi. I would have loved some shout-outs to Kyle Katarn and Kyp Durron. But they’ve been wiped away by Disney, and have been replaced by the harsh realization of just how garbage the Jedi were throughout the movies. They were good guys only by contrast, built on legends and ignoring the dysfunction their traditions demonstrated.The Last Jedi recognized that. Luke tried to train a new generation of Jedi, but he wasn’t equipped to do it and was easily manipulated, himself. His fear of Ben Solo was used to turn him toward the dark side and become Kylo Ren just like the Jedi Council’s fear of Anakin Skywalker was used to turn him toward the dark side and become Darth Vader. The Sith performed evil acts and enabled the new Dark Lords to rise, but it was the Jedi and their rigidity and fear that provided the push the Sith needed for their plans to work.Luke recognized it, which is why he wanted the Jedi to end. And Yoda recognized it, which is why he brought the ghost lightning and called Luke a dumbass. If the new Jedi kept to the teachings and traditions of the old Jedi, they would have repeated the same mistakes just like Luke did. And now Rey, as the true last Jedi, won’t. Because she sees beyond the reflexive fear and worship of dark and light. She’ll make mistakes, as any good character will, but now she won’t make the same mistakes as her predecessors.The Jedi needed to die. Now the Jedi can begin, and be more effective and interesting by shedding meaningless platitudes and habitual condemnation.Snoke Was Imposing, and Now He’s DeadSupreme Leader Snoke was never going to live up to your expectations, and his elimination was a brilliant move. Yes, his existence was weird and mysterious, and his incredible Force powers weren’t explained. Some side material explaining why he’s as strong as Palpatine would be great. But it isn’t necessary, and wiping him off the board makes the future of Star Wars much more interesting.You know how the Jedi suck? The Sith suck too. They’re paper-thin Bad Guys whose entire ethos is that of being an edgelord. Hate, fear, anger, meanness, cruelty, they’re all pretty ridiculous concepts to base your religion off of. And while Snoke had some pretty good moments of yelling at Kylo Ren, that’s all he had to offer. The same platitudes Palpatine had to offer. He was a copy of Palpatine, possibly a straight-up clone of him (also something the EU did). And he simply wasn’t interesting outside of the vague promise that his origin had something more compelling than his character traits as presented.So Kylo Ren cut him in half with a lightsaber when he was in the middle of an evil villain monologue about the power of the dark side. In the original trilogy this type of gesture redeemed Darth Vader, who still died the necessary death of redeemed villains because he had done too many evil things. And in the prequel trilogy this type of gesture condemned Darth Vader, betraying Mace Windu and saving Palpatine. The cycle of betrayal, condemnation, and redemption was finished by Darth Vader, who came back around to Anakin Skywalker. And that cycle would have been boring to see play out again.Kylo Ren killing Snoke and fighting alongside Rey could have easily been his redemption and return to the light side. It was the most obvious path. Ren blindly taking up the mantle of Supreme Leader and declaring himself the new Dark Lord of the Sith would have been the second most obvious path. He did neither, and became Supreme Leader not to carry on the legacy of the Sith, but to destroy it all.Snoke gave us a second Emperor spouting the same tired junk about the power of the dark side. We’ve been there before. Now the First Order is commanded by an angry man disillusioned with the Jedi and the Sith, looking to carve his own bloody place in the galaxy by burning all the old orders down. And Rey understands and recognizes that. She sees where he’s coming from, and just like he is to us, to her he’s a much more complex and tragic figure than a big evil bald guy.Rey’s Parents Were NobodyThe revelation that Rey’s parents were just drunks on Jakku who abandoned her and not some legendary Jedi figures or secretly someone from the original trilogy disappointed a lot of people. It certainly didn’t help tone down the screaming from enraged incel MRAs that she was a Mary Sue. However, it makes her much more interesting as a character.If Rey was secretly Ben Solo’s brother or had some heritage that tied back to the Jedi, she would have been tied down to the paths others had already taken. It would have only fed into the The Force Awakens feeling of new characters doing the same things the old characters had done. A new generation following in the steps of the older generation.Rey isn’t secretly the daughter of Jedi masters. She doesn’t share blood with the Skywalkers. She has no genetic or filial connection to the legends of the past. She’s just the abandoned daughter of drunks left to fend for herself on a desert planet. And at heart, she already knew that, and the revelation to the audience wasn’t a revelation to her but a reminder that what she was seeking from Luke in a father figure wasn’t in the cards and wasn’t necessary to begin with.Rey grew up alone under terrible conditions and became a capable salvager who could fight with her own strength and pilot anything. And she’s a Force user for reasons that aren’t explained, just like Snoke’s powers weren’t explained. Because not everything has to go back to the Skywalkers or previous generations. Rey isn’t a Mary Sue. She’s a survivor who’s carving her own place in the world, and her entire training with Luke was about that.She’s the last Jedi, and she’s the new Jedi. And she isn’t held back by connections to the past that are beyond her control. She had no choice in her upbringing or her Force powers, but everything after that was entirely her decision. Her choices define the Jedi now, and in spite of all she went through she has a strong enough moral compass that her choices will hopefully be mostly the right ones.Yoda himself said it best. Rey had all she needed to carry on the legacy of the Jedi, because making the right choices from your heart is so much more important to being a good Jedi, or a good hero, or a good person, than blindly following someone else’s teachings like Luke did with the Jedi and like Anakin did with the Sith. And like Kylo Ren did, until he came to the same conclusion as Rey, from the opposite angle.Star Wars is Moving Forward, Instead of Running in CirclesThe inevitable confrontation between Rey and Kylo Ren will be a new fight between Jedi that we haven’t seen before. The sides of light and dark, Jedi and Sith, aren’t nearly as important now as simple good and evil. And now the faces of those fights are much more complex and interesting than their predecessors were.Rey isn’t Luke. She wasn’t a bored farmboy who found out his uncle and dad were important people and jumped onto ideology. She was a survivor who struggled to find her place in the galaxy, and who heard the calls of both the Jedi and the Sith and made her own choice instead of blindly following rhetoric.Kylo Ren isn’t Darth Vader or Sheev Palpatine. He isn’t a poor boy rescued by the Jedi and then feared and confounded by them for years, and he isn’t a big bald evil head who wants to be mean and cruel to everyone for no reason. He was tempted, and betrayed, and finally made his own choice on what path to take. He has the power of the Sith without the empty edgelord attitude, and while he’s committing evil, he’s committing it with his own agency as his own attempt to carve out a place for himself in the galaxy.The First Order is basically just the Empire now and the Resistance is basically just the Rebellion now. You have a powerful galactic government menacing everyone and a scrappy band of heroes fighting them. There’s a nice purity in that. But the fact that the head of this new Empire is now conflicted and disillusioned by the Sith, and that the last Jedi fighting for the Resistance has defined her ideals and paths through her own choices and not Jedi rhetoric, means that the coming fight will be much more interesting. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more