The 5 Jedi I Would Take on My Team

Sometimes, I nerd out and ask myself hypothetical questions.  Then I make lists and answer them.  So, As I’m going through the Star Wars saga for like the 11th time in my life, I asked myself, “If you had to assemble a team of any five Jedi to take with you on a mission, which five would you take?”  It took me way longer than I thought it would to answer and the visions of the distraught faces of the Jedi that I left off still haunt my dreams.  However, here are the five Jedi I would take along with my reasoning.  I won’t go super into my nerdness for those of you who aren’t as into Star Wars as I am.

#1 Yoda

Yoda Soundboard

I know. I know.  This one seems almost too easy.  Yoda is one of the most powerful, if not the absolute most powerful Jedi in history.  His skill with a lightsaber is unrivaled as is his knowledge of the Force.  He is extremely wise and quick to see when he is wrong and change course.  He is also very old and has more perspective of the galaxy than anyone else.  Another reason I would take Yoda is that he is always looking for opportunities to teach and train those around him.  This is seen all throughout the Star Wars saga.  Last, Yoda is very small and can fit into very small places if the need should arrive.

#2 Mace Windu

This one was a somewhat difficult decision for me as Mace Windu is not exactly an extremely likeable character throughout Star Wars.  He is brusque and comes off as somewhat arrogant.  Many times he seems closed minded and set in his ways.  However, being so set in his ways brings with it a firm sort of consistency that I think would be invaluable on any given mission.  The one thing that made me choose Mace Windu however, is that he is simply a fighter.  The guy is seemingly always kicking someone’s butt.  He would have even killed Darth Sidious (Something that even Yoda failed to accomplish) had Anakin not interfered leading to Windu’s death.  Also, if you read the novel Shatterpoint, you will discover that Mace Windu has some very unique abilities with the Force.  His chemistry and friendship with Yoda make him an excellent choice for the second spot on my team.

# 3 Kit Fisto

Kit Fisto, even more so than Mace Windu, is somewhat of an oddball to make a list of top five Jedi to take on a mission.  However, I believe he would be an excellent addition for a number of reasons.  First, he is a Nautolan, which means that he can survive and actually excel in water as well as on land.  During the Battle of Mon Cala, he was integral in protecting Prince Lee-Char as well as winning the battle itself.  He is a fierce fighter who survives a duel with General Grievous and always seems to make the right decision.  He also has a good mix of humor and wisdom.  There are many times that he gives sage advice but just as many times that he laughs wholeheartedly.  Did I mention that he can stay underwater without any breathing apparatus?  I think Kit Fisto would make a fantastic third member of the team.

#4 Ahsoka Tano

Ahsoka Tano

I’ll admit that this one is a stretch.  Ahsako never officially moves past the rank of Padawan during the Clone Wars before she leaves the Jedi Order and strikes out on her own.  However, Ahsoka has several traits that I believe would make her a perfect member of the team.  First, from the time she first became a Padawan, she has always been faced with some kind of adversity.  All throughout her Jedi career, she is constantly in the mix of one conflict or another.  She, strangely enough, is at the center of some of the most consequential events in the Star Wars Universe.  Her experiences, give her invaluable wisdom and know-how that would be an addition to any mission and any team.  She also has a penchant for quick thinking and creative problem solving.  She consistently thinks of outside-the-box solutions to many problems.  She is wily and crafty with her enemies, and warm and selfless with her allies and friends.  She is courageous and spunky and knows when to obey orders, and when to think for herself.  Also, she duel wields lightsabers which is pretty BA.

#5 Obi Wan Kenobi

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Obi Wan is a Jedi who is hard to predict.  At times he is wise and level headed, giving wise advice and teaching those around him the deeper ways of the Force.  Other times he is foolish and brash, acting on instinct and whim.  However, I think that this is something that serves him, and would serve the hypothetical team, well.  I find him to be one of the most all-around likeable characters in the Star Wars Universe.  He is witty and charming, both with allies (Duchess Satine) and enemies (Asajj Ventress).  He is a more than capable fighter pilot and is powerful in the Force and with a lightsaber.  He beat Anakin in a duel, beat Darth Maul in a duel, and was the one to kill General Grievous.  Although he is unconventional and awkward at times, Obi Wan would be the perfect fifth member of the team.

Now, here’s a quick list of Jedi who were on the bubble but didn’t quite make the cut

#1 Luke Skywalker

Why I almost put him on the team.

Luke Skywalker is one of the most pure characters in the Star Wars story (at least until Rey comes around that is).  He is extremely powerful in the Force and quickly gains skill in lightsaber combat.  He blows up the Death Star and defeats Darth Vader while pulling off some other cool hero stuff along the way.

Why I didn’t put him on the team

I found that I was putting him on the team mostly because I felt I had to out of respect for the original trilogy.  In truth, he only blows up the Death Star because Han Solo saves him.  If not for that, he would have ended up like the rest of Red Squadron.  He defeats Vader sure, but to be honest, Vader makes a living in the original trilogy by choking out non-Force-sensitive dudes and cutting down people who have no lightsaber.  I dunno, I just felt that there wasn’t enough to put him on the team.

#2 Anakin Skywalker

I know that it seems blasphemous to have a team of Jedi assembled without a single Skywalker amongst them, but Anakin misses the cut too.

Why I almost put him on the team

Anakin is obviously extremely strong in the Force.  His mother even claims that he didn’t have a father and was actually conceived by the Force itself.  (If you get into the novels, it’s kind of suggested that this was a response to Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious messing around with resurrecting the dead).  Anakin is very skilled with a lightsaber, a quick and critical thinker, the “best star fighter pilot in the galaxy,” and a natural leader.

Why I left him off the team

Despite all those accolades, Anakin spends much of the prequels and Clone Wars getting beat.  He seems to be really good at chopping up battle droids and choking people, but never really beats a strong opponent until he kills Count Dooku.  I mean am I wrong in saying that half of his lightsaber duels end with him being reconstructed?  I feel bad leaving him off because I really like him, especially in the Clone Wars, but just feel like others were better for the team.

#3 Qui Gon Jinn

Qui-Gon Jinn

I really really like Qui Gon Jinn.  I know it’s not a huge snub to leave him off the list as he only plays a major role in one of the prequels and is killed in it.  I just wanted to talk about him so that he gets kind of an “honorable mention” award type deal.

Why I almost put him on the team

Qui Gon is strong and wise.  He is a large and powerful Jedi and is willing to take risks and trust his instincts.  As Obi Wan says, he would have been on the Jedi Council had it not been for his stubbornness.

Why I left him off the team.

He obviously wasn’t that strong as Darth Maul kills him in Episode One.

 

Well, I hope I didn’t bore you too much with my nerdiness.  As always, thanks for reading.  If you enjoyed the blog and want to receive emails whenever there’s a new post, please click on the “follow” link in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

All images courtesy of Starwars.com

 

Apple Cider Chili in a Crock Pot (Vegan Option Included)

I don’t know why I’ve been so into experimenting with new and different chili recipes this fall but I have. This weekend, I decided to try to blend two fall classics, chili and apple cider. I actually really liked it.  The two flavors blended really well into a sweet and spicy mix.  I didn’t top it with cheese or anything this time, but in the future I might.  Cheddar cheese actually goes really well with apples.  So, if you enjoy recipes and flavors that are a little bit different than what you’re used to, read on.

Ingredients

1 lb ground turkey (For the vegan option, substitute I can of red kidney beans

2 bell peppers

1 onion

3 cups apple cider

3 cups water

3 cups unsweetened applesauce

1 can  dark red kidney beans

1 can pinto beans

1 can light red kidney beans

2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tbsp cumin

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

Step One

The first thing you’ll want to do is get the water, cider, applesauce, peppers, and onion into the crock pot to start warming and getting soft.  Start by mixing the first three ingredients (water, cider, applesauce) and then dicing the peppers and onion and getting them in. 20181112_092543.jpg

(He’s four now, so I feel it’s a good time to teach kitchen knife skills)

Step Two

The next thing to do is get all the spices into the mix.  Add the chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, cinnamon, onion powder, and salt to the mix.  If you like your chili a little more spicy, feel free to add more chili powder than is in the recipe.  I would, but most people that eat my chili prefer foods not as spicy as I do.

Step Three

Brown the turkey in a skillet and add it to the mix. (Obviously if you’re doing the vegan version, skip this step)

Step Four

Add the beans and tomatoes to the chili and mix it all together.  Leave it sitting on high for at least 4 hours.  This will make sure that the onions and peppers get soft enough and that their natural flavors get into the chili.

 

Well, that’s all there really is to it.  It’s a pretty simple recipe.  Not too many ingredients except for a lot of spices.  If you wanted to simplify it, you could simply use one type of beans (probably the dark red kidney beans).  I just add different ones for variety.  Thanks for reading.  As always, if you enjoyed this recipe and want more, please follow the blog by clicking on the link in the lower right hand corner of your screen.

Crafting with Kids – Pinecone Christmas Ornaments

Last week, all the pine cones fell off of the trees in our backyard.  Instead of finding a way to get rid of them without burning them (apparently a huge EPA violation), I decided to use them to make homemade Christmas ornaments with the kids.  I realize that it is only November so all you fall purists out there are going to hate this, but I made Christmas ornaments this week for two reasons.  First, I wanted to use the pine cones before they went bad sitting out in the rain and snow (which will inevitably fall in about two weeks)  Second, I wanted to have a fun crafting project to do with my family.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of mess at the same time.  However, I think that the craft turned out pretty well and we are actually going to use them on our tree!  I like them a lot because they are all obviously similar but also not exactly the same like most Christmas ornaments.  These will give the tree a natural and unique type of look while still looking unified and cohesive. So, if you are going to try this at home, here is what you will need.

Pine cones (Use whichever you can find.  I have no knowledge of types of trees or anything)

Glue (We used regular Elmer’s but it was runny.  I think tacky glue would work best)

White Spray Paint

Glitter (Your choice on color or texture)

Plastic Sheet

Hot Glue Gun and Glue

Twine/Yarn/etc.

Two disposable containers big enough to lay the cones in

Step One – Spray Pain the Cones

Set the pine cones out on top of the plastic sheet and spray paint them white.  Spray one side and then turn them over to get the other side.  I sprayed from the top to the bottom as if the paint was snow falling onto the cones.  Note, I did not let my children help with this part.  If you are a teacher doing this in class, I would have the cones already spray painted as well.

Step Two – Roll the Cones in Glue

Pour about 1/4-1/2 inch of glue into the bottom of one of the containers.  Take one of the pinecones (ensuring that the paint is dry) and roll it around in the glue so all parts are coated in glue.

 

Step Three – Add Glitter

Move the pinecone to the other container and sprinkle glitter onto it so that it sticks to the glue on the cone.  It should come out looking as if the glitter, like the paint, fell like snow and stuck mostly to the outside of the cone.20181009_203119.jpg

Step Four – Make it an Ornament

Now cut about 3 inches of twine/yarn and make a loop.  Using hot glue, attach both ends of the twine/yarn to the pinecone making a loop to hang on a branch of your tree.  Now simply wait for the glue to dry and you’re all set!20181103_141637.jpg

Like I said, if I were to do this again, I would definitely make some changes like the type of glue I used.  Other than that, I think that they definitely turned out pretty well.  I hope you enjoy doing them as much as my family did.

 

As always, thank you for reading.  I hope you enjoyed the blog.  If you did and would like to receive an email update any time something new is posted, please follow the blog by clicking on the link in the lower right corner of the screen.  Happy crafting!