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Posts Tagged ‘ star

Lizzo called Beyoncé her ‘North Star’ during her ‘Carpool Karaoke’ appearance

Lizzo told James Corden about how listening to "B'Day" helped her out of depression after dropping out of college.

‘Star Wars’ calls out racism after attacks on Moses Ingram

Moses Ingram plays Inquisitor Reva in the new Disney+ show, "Obi-Wan Kenobi," which debuted on May 27.

Moses Ingram plays Inquisitor Reva in the new Disney+ show, “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which debuted on May 27.

The “Star Wars” franchise is sticking up for actor Moses Ingram after she revealed she had received hundreds of racist messages and comments on social media.

The franchise tweeted that it was “proud to welcome” Ingram, who just made her debut as Reva in the Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
“If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist,” the “Star Wars” account tweeted. “There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.”
Ingram posted multiple examples of racist messages and comments on Instagram, noting that she has received hundreds of messages, some of which included the N-word.
“There’s nothing anybody can do about this. There’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate,” she said, in a video posted to her Instagram stories.
“The thing that bothers me is … this feeling of like, I just gotta shut up and take it, I just have to grin and bear it. And I’m not built like that,” she continued. “Thank you to the people who show up for me in the comments and in the places that I’m not going to put myself. And to the rest of y’all, y’all weird.”
Ingram’s experiences following her “Star Wars” debut have become a trend — actors John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran have also been vocal about the racist hate they received after appearing in the “Star Wars” movies.
.Obi-Wan Kenobi returns to our screens. Here's where he left off
Tran, the first woman of color to have a major role in a “Star Wars” film, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about the harassment she received after starring in 2017’s “The Last Jedi.” The hate become so intense that Tran left social media and spent time in therapy.
Even earlier, in 2014, Boyega’s appearance in the trailer for “The Force Awakens” began a whole social media movement of #BlackStormtrooper, after many reacted to his casting with suspicion and racist remarks.

It’ll be ‘very difficult’ to get detained US basketball star Brittney Griner out of Russia, lawmaker says

For days, family and friends have been clamoring for the release of two-time Olympic champion Brittney Griner after she was detained in Russia on drug charges.

Now, hundreds of strangers have joined the effort as US-Russian tensions escalate amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Griner, 31, is a championship-winning oofos shoes player with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and spends her offseasons playing for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg.
The Russian Federal Customs Service said an American at Sheremetyevo Airport was carrying hash oil. Russia’s Interfax News Agency quoted a statement from the Customs Service, which did not identify the traveler by name:
“As a US citizen was passing through the green channel at Sheremetyevo Airport upon arriving from New York, a working dog from the Sheremetyevo customs canine department detected the possible presence of narcotic substances in the accompanying luggage,” the statement said.
“The customs inspection of the hand luggage being carried by the US citizen confirmed the presence of vapes with specifically smelling liquid, and an expert determined that the liquid was cannabis oil (hash oil), which is a narcotic substance.”
The customs agency said the arrest happened in February, but the exact date was not given. The New York Times was first to report Griner’s arrest. Her whereabouts since her arrest also remain uncertain.
Griner’s ordeal comes as the Russian invasion of Ukraine is in its second week. President Vladimir Putin issued a series of threats Saturday against Ukraine and Western powers, saying the sanctions introduced on his country are “equivalent of a declaration of war.”
A member of the US House Armed Services Committee said “it’s going to be very difficult” to get Griner out of Russia.
“Our diplomatic relationships with Russia are nonexistent at the moment,” Democratic Rep. John Garamendi of California told CNN on Monday.
“Perhaps during the various negotiations coach outlet that may take place, she might be able to be one of the solutions. I don’t know.”
He also noted that “Russia has some very, very strict LGBT rules and laws” — though it’s not clear whether those rules and laws might impact Griner’s case.
But the Biden administration is working on trying to get Griner out of Russia, members of the Congressional Black Caucus said after meeting with President Joe Biden on Monday.
“The best news we got today was that they know about it and that she’s on the agenda,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents Griner’s hometown of Houston, Texas, told reporters.
Noting a potential 10-year-sentence for Griner, Jackson Lee added: “We know about Britney Griner, and we know that we have to move on her situation.”

Hundreds petition for Griner’s release

More than 1,000 people have signed the “Secure Brittney Griner’s Swift and Safe Return to the U.S.” petition on Change.org.
Journalist Tamryn Spruill, who covers women’s basketball, started the online petition Saturday.
“Griner is a beloved global citizen who has used her platform since her entry into the WNBA to help others,” Spruill wrote on the petition’s web page.
“Griner was in Russia for work: playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg, where in 2021 she helped the team win its fifth EuroLeague Women championship.”
Spruill explained why many female professional basketball players in the US work overseas. “Like many athletes competing in the WNBA, Griner plays abroad during the WNBA offseason because her salary is exponentially higher in other countries,” Spruill wrote.
“For WNBA players, that means playing abroad, while NBA rookies who haven’t played a professional game yet are handed salaries many-times higher that what title-winning, All-Star designated WNBA veterans could ever hope for,” the petition says.
“These realities are not the fault of the players. They simply want to be paid their worth like their male counterparts, and they do not deserve to be entangled in geopolitical turmoil for doing so.”

‘There are no words to express this pain’

Griner’s wife described the agony of waiting in an Instagram post on Monday.
“People say ‘stay busy.’ Yet, there’s not a task in this world that could keep any of us from worrying about you. My heart, our hearts, are all skipping beats everyday that swarovski jewelry goes by.” Cherelle Griner wrote.
“There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting, we’re hurting.”
On Saturday, she thanked supporters in a post and asked for privacy.
“I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details,” Cherelle Griner wrote. “Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely.”
But Griner’s fate remains unclear.
A criminal case has been opened against the US citizen arrested, Interfax reported, citing Russia’s customs service.
A spokesperson for the US State Department said the agency is “aware of reports of a US citizen arrested in Moscow.”
“Whenever a US citizen is arrested overseas, we stand ready to provide all appropriate consular services,” the spokesperson told CNN on Saturday.
CNN has reached out to Griner’s representative for comment.
Her high school basketball coach, Debbie Jackson, remembers Griner as an athlete with determination and grit.
But Jackson told CNN she worries Griner’s case will be used for political purposes.
“My biggest fear is that … she will become a political pawn,” Jackson said.

Playing in Russia for years

Griner has played with Russia’s UMMC Ekaterinburg since 2015 during the WNBA offseason. In five games this season, she has averaged 13.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
The star player, who won the WNBA championship with the Mercury in 2014, averaged 20.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season with Phoenix.
Griner is also a two-time medalist at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Championship with Team USA.
USA Basketball, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the Mercury and the WNBA players’ union publicly shared their concerns for Griner.
USA Basketball, the governing body for sport in the United States, said it is “aware of and closely monitoring the legal situation facing Brittney Griner in Russia. Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and wellbeing are our primary concerns.”
The WNBA said Griner has its “full support,” adding its main priority is “her swift and safe return to the United States.”
The Women’s National Basketball Players Association said it is “aware of the situation in Russia concerning one of our members, Brittney Griner.”
“Our utmost concern is BG’s safety and well-being,” the WNBPA said. “We will continue to closely monitor and look forward to her return to the US.”
The Phoenix Mercury said it is “closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia” as they remain in “constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA. We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.”

Stanford University star soccer player died by suicide, parents tell NBC

Stanford goalkeeper Katie Meyer shakes hands with teammates last year.

A tennis star returned to Ukraine to help fight the Russians. He didn’t tell his kids

Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky was vacationing with his family in Dubai when Russian forces invaded his home country.

He made a tough decision to leave his wife and three young children at their home in Hungary and return to his homeland to join the fight. He’s now a member of the army reservists helping defend the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
As a Russian military convoy closes in on the city and dread hangs in the air, Stakhovsky, 36, says he is prepared to do whatever it takes. He told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Thursday that his goal is to help save Ukraine for its citizens and his children.
“I was born here, my grandparents thorogood boots are buried here, and I would like to have a history to tell to my kids,” he said. “Nobody here wants Russia to free them, they have freedom and democracy … and Russia wants to bring despair and poverty.”
Stakhovsky had retired from professional tennis only weeks earlier at the Australian Open, ending an 18-year career. Now he’s hunkered down with his fellow civilian soldiers in Kyiv — and struggling with his decision.
He feels guilty about leaving his family
Once the 31st-ranked men’s player in the world, Stakhovsky once beat Roger Federer in a major upset at Wimbledon in 2013.
In January, he was playing his final professional match at the Australian Open. Now his retirement days involve fear and uncertainty, listening to air-raid sirens and explosions at all hours.
Stakhovsky said he believes people like him — untrained in warfare but fiercely patriotic — make up a big part of the fighters defending Ukraine.
But he said leaving his wife and children to put himself in harm’s way was not an easy decision.

Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky, playing in the 2019 French Open in Paris.

“It’s impossible to make that call without hesitation. I have a wife and three kids,” he said. “If I would stay home, I’d feel guilt that I didn’t come back (to Ukraine), and now I’m here, I feel guilty that I left them at home.”
His wife also is struggling with his decision, he said.
“Of course, she was mad,” he said. “She understood the reason for me, but for her it was a betrayal. And I totally understand why she feels that way.”
He said they haven’t told their kids, all under age 7, who likely believe he’s at a tennis tournament.
“My wife didn’t tell them and I didn’t tell them … where I’m going,” he said. “I guess they’ll figure it out soon.”
He’s one of several famous Ukrainian athletes to join the fight against Russia
The Ukrainian government has asked men between ages 18 and 60 to fight against the Russian invasion.
Other sports stars including Yuriy Vernydub, a manager with FC Sheriff Tiraspol in a Moldovan soccer league, have returned to Ukraine and taken up arms. So have oofos shoes champion boxers Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
“If they will want to take my life, or the lives of my close ones, I will have to do it,” Usyk told CNN from a basement in Kyiv. “But I don’t want that. I don’t want to shoot, I don’t want to kill anybody, but if they will be killing me, I will have no choice.”
Stakhovsky faces similar fears and prays he’ll make it out alive and get back to his family. Civilian fighters like himself in Ukraine have received “a basic class on how to shoot,” he told CNN. “I think people like me will be the last resort.”
And while he hopes he doesn’t have to shoot anyone, he said he will if he has to.
“I’m not sure there’s one individual who’s ready to tell you now whether he’s ready to sacrifice life. I want to see my kids … I want to see my wife, that’s my goal,” he said. “If a missile comes into the house, is that sacrificing your life? No. It’s just being killed.”
He hopes that when his children find out the truth about his whereabouts, they’ll understand why he chose to fight for his homeland.
“Because a country which I love … I would like it to still be on the map, develop, become better, become European more, and eventually my kids can see the transformation of my country.”

Tennis star Elina Svitolina says all prize money she wins at Monterrey Open will go to Ukrainian army

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina says she will donate all the prize money she wins at the Monterrey Open to the Ukrainian army.

The world No. 15, wearing the yellow and blue of Ukraine, defeated Russia’s Anastasia Potapova — who was not competing under the Russian flag following new sanctions from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) — 6-2 6-1 to reach the second swarovski jewelry round in Mexico.
Svitolina had originally said she would not compete on the WTA Tour against players from Russia or Belarus competing under their respective flags following the invasion of Ukraine but reversed her decision after Tuesday’s joint ruling from the ITF, WTA and ATP.
“It’s a very, very special event this one for me. All the prize money that I’m going to earn here is going to the Ukrainian army,” she said in her on court interview. “So thank you so much for your support.
“In general, I was just focused,” she added. “I was on a mission for my country.”
Elina Svitolina will donate her prize money to the Ukrainian army.
Svitolina, the No. 1 seed in Monterrey and its 2020 champion, will face Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova in the second round.
“It’s a very special atmosphere each time that I play here and especially today it’s a very special match for me and moment,” she said.
“I’m in a very sad mood, but I’m happy that I’m here playing tennis — it’s nice to play in front of you, thank you.”
READ: Worried for her parents, Elina Svitolina says she has been suffering sleepless nights
In the Lyon Open, fellow Ukrainian tennis player Dayana Yastremska sank to her knees after beating Romania’s Ana Bogdan 3-6 7-6 7-6 in what she called “the hardest match of my life.”
The 21-year-old, who saved red wing shoes two match points in the three-hour epic, fled Ukraine by boat last week after spending two nights sheltering in an underground car park with her younger sister.
Yastremska traveled to Romania and then Lyon, where she had a wildcard for the tournament.
“I’m happy that I won for my country, but at the same time, I’m very sad,” she said in her on court interview, the Ukrainian flag draped over her shoulders. “My heart stays at home and my mind is fighting here, so it’s very difficult to find the concentration, to find the balance.
“This win, compared to what’s going on in my country, is nothing, but I’m happy. At least, I’m also fighting for my country. I’m really proud of the Ukrainians and they are really heroes. I hope everything is going to finish soon.”

Elina Svitolina: Worried for her parents, Ukrainian tennis star says she has been suffering sleepless nights

Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina says she has been suffering sleepless nights following the Russian invasion of her home country as she worries about her family and friends back home, describing what has happened as a “horrible time for all Ukrainians.”

The 27-year-old, who was in Monterrey, Mexico, for a tournament, said on Sunday that she is terrified for her own family who remain in the war-stricken country, taking refuge in the southern city of Odessa.
“I haven’t been sleeping much, trying to see what is happening, how we can help and what we can do,” she told CNN Sport.
“This has been the worst time of my life because I have my parents, my friends, my Ukrainian people who are fighting there for our country. This has been an extremely, extremely tough time for everyone.”
Svitolina’s anxiety is further fueled by fears that Odessa might be targeted by Russian forces.
“We are really worried because this part is very attractive to Russia,” she added. “It’s by the Black Sea, it has a port and we heard it could be in big danger.”
FIFA plan for Russian team to play international soccer matches has been branded 'disgraceful'
The current world No. 15 spoke about her respect for the way her country and its people have responded to the crisis, both those who are trying to leave Ukraine and those who have decided to remain there.
“There are very brave people who are staying, and also brave people who are on the move or trying to move to a safe space,” she said.
“I admire people who decided not only to stay there, but also to take weapons into their hands. Girls and guys fighting for our country every single minute of the day.”
Svitolina also praised Ukraine’s government and political leaders for the way they have handled the situation,notably Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I’m very proud of Zelensky, he did an unbelievable job already so far. He had the opportunity to leave the country, but he decided to stay. That takes a lot of courage,” she said.
“I think it’s an unbelievable statement for all the people so I’m really, really proud of our president.”

Call for change

Svitolina wants the sporting world to reconsider its influence and in particular what governing bodies can do in light of the conflict.
Following CNN’s interview with Svitolina, she said she would not play her upcoming match at the Monterrey Open because she refuses to play any Russian or Belarusian players unless they compete as neutral athletes. Svitolina was scheduled to face Russian Anastasia Potapova in the opening round on Tuesday.
On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “recommended” that coach outlet Russian and Belarusian athletes should be banned from competing in international sporting events, while Russian national football teams and club teams have been suspended from competition until further notice by global football governing body FIFA and European football governing body UEFA.
And Svitolina urged tennis’ governing bodies to follow suit.
“I believe the current situation requires a clear position from our organizations: ATP, WTA and ITF,” said Svitolina, referring to the Association of Tennis Professionals, the Women’s Tennis Association and the International Tennis Federation, writing in a social media post Monday.
“As such, we — Ukrainian players — requested to ATP, WTA and ITF to follow recommendations of the IOC to accept Russian or Belarusian nationals only as neutral athletes, without displaying any national symbols, colours, flags or anthems.”
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said it strongly disagreed with the IOC’s decision to ban Russian athletes from competing in all international sporting events.
A statement issued on the ROC’s website on Monday said the decision “contradicts both the regulatory documents of the IOC and the [Olympic] Charter […] and the spirit of the Olympic movement, which is designed to unite, not divide, especially when it comes to athletes and equality of participants in the Olympic movement.”
Svitolina’s purposed opponent Potapova said she was “against grief, tears and war” in an Instagram post Monday.
Elina Svitolina says athletes can do more to pressure Russia into stopping the violence.

Bob Saget, comedian and ‘Full House’ star, dead at 65

Bob Saget, the comedian and actor arguably known best by audiences as wholesome patriarch Danny Tanner on the sitcom “Full House,” has died, his family confirmed in a statement to CNN.He was 65.

“We are devastated to confirm that our beloved Bob passed away today,” the Saget family said in their statement. “He was everything to us and we want you to know how much he loved his fans, performing live and bringing people from all walks of life together with laughter. Though we ask for privacy at this time, we invite you to join us in remembering the love and laughter that Bob brought to the world.”
Saget was found dead in a hotel room on Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, according to a statement from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
“The man was identified as Robert Saget & pronounced red wing boots deceased on scene. Detectives found no signs of foul play or drug use in this case,” the Sheriff’s statement read.
The cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner, the Sheriff’s office added.
Saget was in Florida as part of his comedy tour. According to tour dates pinned to his Twitter account, he performed Saturday night at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
He tweeted after the show, “Loved tonight’s show @PV_ConcertHall in Jacksonville. Appreciative audience. Thanks again to @RealTimWilkins for opening. I had no idea I did a 2 hr set tonight. I’m happily addicted again to this s—t.”
Saget, though known on the stage and among his friends for his raunchy humor, first became known to audiences on family-friendly programming. He starred as the widowed father of three girls on ABC’s “Full House” and then as host of the network’s “America’s Funniest Home Videos” clip show.
As Saget recalled to Jake Tapper in a July 2021 interview, the track of his career was unexpected.
“‘Full House’ was an accident,” he said. “I got fired on CBS and was asked to be in ‘Full House.'”
The sitcom, which starred Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin and twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in one role, ran for eight seasons. It lived on in syndication with strong enough nostalgia surrounding it that Netflix picked up a spin-off in 2016, “Fuller House,” starring Bure but featuring frequent appearances from original stars, including Saget, Dave Coulier and John Stamos. It ran for five seasons, concluding in 2020.
Jodie Sweetin, Mary-Kate Olsen, Bob Saget, Candace Cameron Bure in 1993 in "Full House."

“I’m close with all the kids. It doesn’t happen a lot in the world where you stay close with all the people,” Saget told Tapper. “We’re an unusual cast in that way that I have been able to remain close with everybody, because I don’t take eight years of my life lightly and then the other five or six years, six seasons.”
His “Full House” co-star Stamos expressed his grief over the loss of his friend and former colleague on Sunday.
“I am broken. I am gutted,” Stamos wrote on Twitter. “I am in complete and utter shock. I will never ever have another friend like him. I love you so much Bobby.”
Following his first round of sitcom fame, Saget worked steadily in film and television roles but became known to a new generation of sitcom fans on CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother,” acting as narrator and the voice of future Ted Mosby. That show ran until 2014.
Throughout the years, Saget remained a fixture in stand-up comedy, releasing multiple specials over the years and taking his show on the road.
Saget’s reputation for reveling in a much edgier brand of comedy could be seen in movies like “The Aristocrats” — exploring the competition hey dude among comics to tell the filthiest version of the same joke — and his guest stint on HBO’s “Entourage” as a version of himself.
Asked by Esquire to define his humor in a 2013 interview, Saget explained, “I am basically just a nine-year-old boy that evolved.” Toward that end, Saget seemed to relish pushing back against his success in squeaky-clean shows, telling dirty jokes at ABC events to make the executives squirm.
Saget was in the midst of a tour at the time of his death that was set to take him to locations in New York, Canada and several other locations in the coming months.
According to his website, Saget often hosted comedy events to raise money for the Scleroderma Research Foundation, for which he served on the board of directors. He lost his sister to the chronic disease in 1994, his website said.
In 2020, he launched a podcast, titled “Bob Saget’s Here For You,” an interview show where he welcomed guests like Tiffany Haddish, Jason Sudeikis, Whoopi Goldberg and Norman Lear.
Lear was one of the many who paid tribute to Saget on Sunday.
“Bob Saget was as lovely a human as he was funny,” Lear wrote on Twitter. “And to my mind, he was hilarious. We were close friends and I could not have loved him more.”
Fellow comedian and podcaster Marc Maron added: “Oh no. RIP Bob Saget. Truly one of the nicest guys and so funny. Very sad.”
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried described his “shock” over the news, writing on Twitter: “I just spoke with Bob a few days ago. We stayed on the phone as usual making each other laugh. RIP to friend, comedian & fellow Aristocrat Bob Saget.”

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on Nintendo Switch sucked me right back in

Commentary: The best Star Wars game of all time is getting a remake, but the original remains a glorious RPG experience… despite some creaky elements.

Duel with Darth Malak in KOTOR

Darth Malak has made a mess of the galaxy in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

I absolutely shouldn’t get sucked into Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic again. I’ve played it before, it’s pretty dated, it’s getting a fancy remake in a few years and there are newer games I should get through.

Yet here I am, staying up late to save the galaxy from the Sith like it’s 2003, playing the Nintendo Switch version ahead of its release on Thursday. The new games can wait.

Knights of the Old Republic (affectionately known as KOTOR) dr martens boots was a dream Star Wars game when it came out on Xbox and PC 18 years ago — developer Bioware crafted a totally immersive RPG set thousands of years before the Original Trilogy. Unshackled from those events, it was free to tell an epic tale of a galaxy ruined by the forces of Darth Malak, his seemingly slain master Darth Revan and a Jedi Order driven close to extinction.

In the years since its original release, KOTOR has come out on MacOS as well as iOS and Android devices. The original Xbox version is also playable on Xbox Series X and Series S via backward compatibility.

Developer Aspyr, which is also handling the upcoming remake, hasn’t made many visual tweaks or quality-of-life improvements for the Switch version, so this $15 port is essentially the same as the previous releases. But loading times are nippy and it’s the first version to offer an easy jump from TV to portable play.

Fate of the galaxy

You play as a customizable character suffering from amnesia (always a great way to create a blank slate) and ultimately unlock your Force potential. Like many Star Wars games before and since, you can then bring light and cuddles to the galaxy as a Jedi or make everyone miserable and look increasingly badass by turning to the dark side.

Your alignment is determined by dialogue choices, a signature Bioware gameplay element that it’d refine further in post-KOTOR games such as steve madden shoes Mass Effect and Dragon Age. After experiencing the nuanced moral decisions in those series in the years since, KOTOR’s options feel delightfully unsophisticated. A typical dialog with someone you’ve just saved from thugs might have you choose, “Here are some credits to help you out as you escape these criminals,” (😇) “You’re welcome, be free,” (neutral) or, “No witnesses, I’ll have to kill you.” (😈)

Since I went full baddie on my original playthrough and remember feeling like a corrupted (but cool looking) monster by the end, I decided to be super nice to everyone this time. I only got a few hours in and it’s been a delight to revisit this era of Star Wars, but there were definitely a few hiccups along the way.

What my 8-year-old son taught me about Star Wars

starwars.png

Wait a minute, what?

At one point, halfway through Empire Strikes Back, my 8-year-old son started frowning.

“I don’t like that guy.”

Which guy, I asked. He pointed at the person on screen.

That guy.”

He wasn’t pointing at Darth Vader or The Emperor. Or even the double-crossing Lando Calrissian.

No. He was pointing at Han Solo.

Han Solo, the hero. One of the most adored characters in the Star Wars canon. What could my son, my own flesh and blood, possibly have against Han Solo?

But let’s rewind.

star-wars-the-empire-strikes-back
Had to correct a lot of “Dark Vaders” with my kids.

For the last week, I’ve been introducing my son to Star Wars, a series I’ve loved since long before he was born. As a kid I enjoyed watching Star Wars. As a teenager I was obsessed, delving into the endless novels and comics that made up the Star Wars expanded universe. I collected toys and all manner of Star Wars junk. More importantly I watched the movies over and over and over again.

But with the most recent trilogy, my love of Star Wars has soured. I loved The Last Jedi nike outlet but loathed The Rise of Skywalker and have been indifferent to almost everything else produced since Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. Partly because of that, I was in no rush to introduce my oldest kid to Star Wars. But it was Saturday night — movie night in my household — and there was nothing better to watch.

That’s how the discussion started. The Han Solo discussion.

What the hell’s wrong with Han Solo, I asked, almost defensively, as my son shook his head in disgust.

“He’s just… so rude.”

That’s his thing, I protested. He’s a rogue! A rapscallion. That’s his whole thing…

Then my son said something that stopped me in my tracks.

“She said stop, and he didn’t stop.”

Frozen in carbonite

Princess Leia and Han Solo
“She said stop, and he didn’t stop.”

My 8-year-old was referring to Princess Leia and, specifically, the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Han Solo kisses her for the first time.

Never mind the fact Han Solo is, canonically, 32 years old when he meets the teenaged Leia for the first time, my son was actually correct. Leia does tell Han Solo to stop, when he starts massaging her hands on board the Millennium Falcon, and Han Solo in fact does not stop.

It’s a bit weird.

It didn’t feel weird when I keen shoes was a kid, or a teenager in the ’90s when I watched the movies on repeat every weekend. But it did feel weird in the context of what I, alongside my wife, have been teaching my kids about consent since they were sentient. Just simple things like, if someone says “stop,” you stop.

It occurred to me that my son was feeling the same level of discomfort I felt when watching James Bond slap women on the butt in Goldfinger. It never occurred to me that a series like Star Wars could reflect cultural shifts, but here we were and here I was, being taught a simple and valuable lesson about a movie I’d watched literally 50-plus times.

Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi was his favorite. I think.

It’s impossible and, in a sense, almost unfair to ask a movie released in 1980 to accurately reflect progress made on social issues over the last decade. (And some women have argued that, actually, Han Solo is OK?). But we live in the post #MeToo era, when brave women have forced men to reevaluate dangerous and common attitudes toward women. Attitudes that were reinforced, at least in part, by characters like Han Solo in movies as frivolous as The Empire Strikes Back.

But my 8-year-old son wasn’t thinking about that when he said Han Solo was an asshole. He was just reflecting the environment he’s growing up in.

As a friend of mine said, after I relayed this story to her, that the original Star Wars trilogy is definitely getting close to that “unwatchable for new audiences” threshold. The action scenes are sluggish. Special effects that once seemed timeless are showing their age. It’s understandable: The Empire Strikes Back is over 40 years old at this point. But culturally? That’s where Star Wars has aged the worst.

We can kick and scream and complain, but, ironically, it’s a transition that will ultimately take place without asics shoes our consent. A transition that should force us — and by us I mean men — to ask questions of ourselves. Why did Han Solo’s behavior feel normal? Why didn’t it feel weird? Why did we take these strange social norms for granted and potentially replicate them in our own interactions with women? It’s an opportunity to examine the cues around us with a fresh set of eyes. When our kids tell us something is weird, we should probably listen — and potentially learn something in the process.

At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo is captured by Darth Vader. Ultimately he becomes frozen in carbonite, frozen in time. He becomes, essentially, a frozen facsimile of himself.

Han Solo can’t be anything other than a product of his time, so maybe we shouldn’t judge him for that. But our attitudes shouldn’t suffer the same fate. I was surprised — shocked even  — that my 8-year-old son hated Han Solo. But ultimately, like Solo, he’s a product of his own time. In the best possible way. And in our current context, given what we now know, he’s absolutely right to hate him.