The Mark Hastings Experience – Episode #8: “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” (TV series) – Episodes 14-16: a review

In this episode Mark talks about episodes 14, 15 and 16 – the penultimate episodes of Season One – of the animated Disney+ television series “Star Wars: The Bad Batch”. *Spoilers*

My Poem “Star Wars ’77”

I will never forget the epic music
and the iconic yellow text of the opening crawl
that first introduced me to the story
of these out of this world characters
who lived a long time in a galaxy far, far away…
I will never forget seeing the sight
of that Imperial Star-Destroyer
chasing down and firing at that
Rebel Alliance ship carrying Princess Leia…
I will never forget the fear that I felt
when I first saw the imposing Darth Vader…
I will never forget seeing the droids
R2-D2 and C3PO being jettisoned into space
and finding themselves on
the desert planet of Tatooine with
the blueprints of the "Death Star" super-weapon,
as well as a message for the "only hope"
of the Rebel Alliance - someone called "Obi-wan Kenobi"…
I will never forget seeing the iconic image
of Luke Skywalker looking to the horizon as the twin suns of his planet began to set…
I will never forget Luke Skywalker and C3PO
following R2-D2 into the desert
and being attacked by "Sand People"
and Obi-wan Kenobi having to come to their rescue…
I will never forget Luke Skywalker
first igniting his father's blue Lightsaber -
however unaware that his father, Anakin Skywalker,
who he thought was now dead
was still alive and was now
none other than the evil Darth Vader…
I will never forget Obi-wan Kenobi
explaining the nature of The Force to Luke Skywalker…
I will never forget seeing Obi-wan Kenobi
and Luke Skywalker arrive at the city of Mos Eisley
and be introduced to Han Solo and Chewbacca -
and then watch Han Solo shoot first
in a stand-off against a green alien named Greedo…
I will never forget the first time I saw
the Millennium Falcon freighter take off
and then be taken aboard the Death Star
not long after the super-weapon had destroyed
Princess Leia's homeworld of Alderaan…
I will never forget seeing Luke, Han,
and Chewbacca break Leia free of her cell
and then dive head-first into the Death Star's trash-compactor…
I will never forget seeing
the former master and the apprentice,
Jedi Master Obi-wan Kenobi
and Sith Dark Lord Darth Vader,
reunite and face-off against one another...
I will never forget being entranced
by Obi-wan and Darth Vader dueling
one another with their blue and red lightsabers…
I will never forget Luke Skywalker watching
Darth Vader strike down Obi-wan Kenobi -
not knowing that Obi-wan had learned how
to live on after death and become a "Force ghost"…
I will never forget seeing the Millennium Falcon
surrounded by Imperial Tie Fighters
and then jump into hyperspace
and eventually deliver the stolen plans for
the Death Star to the Rebel Alliance…
I will never forget Luke Skywalker
participating in the attack on the Death Star
and being assured by the voice of Obi-wan
that "The Force will be with you, always" -
just before Luke Skywalker delivers
the one in a million shot into the exhaust port
of the Death Star leading to its destruction...
I will never forget the ceremony
when Luke Skywalker, Han Solo -
but unfortunately not Chewbacca -
were given a medal by Princess Leia
for all that they did to destroy the Death Star…
Oh yes, I will never forget the first time
that I ever saw every moment
of George Lucas' revolutionary space-opera film
that changed cinema and the world forever:
I will never forget the first time I saw
the 1977 film that simply used to be called
"Star Wars".

My Poem “This is the way”

There are times when
some people can believe
that all hope has been lost…
there are times when
people cannot see beyond
the shroud of darkness
that obscures the constant stars…
there are times when people
walk through a forest of trees
and they cannot see a path
to the outside and back to the light…
there are times when
people have to dig deep and feel
for the source of the force
that shines like a beacon within them
and which seeks to cut through
the chaos of a moment
like a sabre of peace
that can be formidable if needed
to be used during a fight for survival.

There are times from dawn to dusk,
as the Sun walks the sky
and guides the lives
of billions of people
who are all seeking to play their part
in keeping the phantom menaces
that occasionally plague the world at bay –
however staying a course,
standing up against an adversary
who seeks to impose their will
over the innocent of society,
speaking out for those
who do not have a voice,
and saving the life of people
who you might not know
is the least that anyone can do,
and in the mission of those
who seek peace, harmony
and reconciliation with all things,
while walking with their head held high
and while basking in the light
of the living, is how it is possible
to be a force for good
in the world in some way.

My Poem “In A Galaxy Far, Far Away” (A Star Wars Poem)

*POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: EPISODES I-IX*

A long time ago
in a galaxy far, far away…
a young farm boy looked to the horizon,
to Light of the twin sunsets of his home world
of humble beginnings,
with a dream of going on an adventure
throughout the stars,
however unaware that he was already
a vital part of an epic story
and a saga that would one day
impact upon the lives, the dreams,
and the hopes of an entire universe
of people all looking to find
a purpose that would help them
decide what side of the Force of life
that binds the fate of everything
and everyone to embrace.

A long time ago, and every day since,
a reverential group of followers
of a tale of good versus evil
have diligently paid close attention
to every episode that chronicled
every twist and turn of a saga
that revolved around a “Phantom Menace”:
a Dark Lord’s insidious corruption
of the democracy of a Republic
and their rise to power
by becoming a tyrannical Emperor
who instilled fear into their subjects
and their manipulation and temptation
to the “Dark Side” of a family
with a powerful connection
to the energy field that binds
and flows through all living things
by the name of “Skywalker”,
and the many battles that comprise
the epic “Star Wars” that has defined
an entire generation and will never
stop influencing and inspiring
everyone who has lived through them.

A long time ago, X-wing starfighters
piloted by an alliance of Rebels hoping
to overthrow a tyrannical Empire
destroyed a moon-sized super-weapon –
a “Death Star” of phenomenal power
that had the potential to change
the face and the fate of this
“Star Wars galaxy” forever,
had it not been stopped…
a long time ago, a vessel by the name
of the “Millennium Falcon”
traveled through hyper-space,
beyond the speed of light,
from one side of the galaxy to the other,
and was responsible for
delivering the return of a New Hope
to counter the revengeful resurgence
of the zealots of darkness and fear
and restore peace and balance
to a galaxy and to a universe
that established from it’s very beginning –
with compelling characters, places, vehicles,
laser battles, and Lightsaber duels –
that it would never be forgotten,
even though the events that transpired within it
as stated from the outset,
all happened a long time ago,
in a galaxy far, far away.

May The Force Be With You Always