Great Escape

The Great Escape room

I had heard about escape rooms before. I always thought they sounded fun, but the ones I had heard of were mostly horror-themed, and that was not something I was interested in. I generally don’t do well with scary things and especially jumpscares, so a room like that would not be my thing. But about a week ago, a Star Wars themed room at the Great Escape opened up so my family and I obviously had to go do it in costume. We got to be the first to try the Star Wars room.

I won’t spoil anything about the room for anyone who is interested in doing it, but I am going to say that it was really fun, and the one hour you have to do it goes really really fast. Overall, the room was super fun, there were some really cool props in the room, and if you’ve never done an escape room before and like Star Wars then it’s definitely worth trying out. Even if you have done an escape room, you definitely want to do the Star Wars themed room at the Great Escape Delaware. I will be trying out the Harry Potter room in a couple weeks. Check out the Star Wars room and other rooms and tell them Sabine sent you, maybe you will get an extra clue.

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Ahsoka Tano by Zoe Hinton

Ahsoka Tano

by Zoe Hinton

Ahsoka Tano. She means something different to everybody. For some people, she’s just another Star Wars character. To others, she might be a character that they don’t really care for much, for whatever reason. But to me, Ahsoka Tano is a character that always has and always will be my favorite character out of anything ever.

Ahsoka is a character that means a lot to me and you can tell that from the costume I wore the first Halloween after Clone Wars came out, from the hours I spent crying after she left the Jedi Order, from the shriek I made when she made her first appearance in Rebels, from the tears I shed when she fought Darth Vader in the season 2 finale. You can tell from the Disney Infinity figure sitting on my desk where I am writing this, from how I’m tearing up right now while typing this out, overcome by emotion from thinking so much about Ahsoka Tano and how important she is to me. You can tell from the shirts in my closet, from the wallpaper of my computer, from the home screen of my phone.  You can tell from how I jumped up and down when an Ahsoka book was announced, from how I sobbed after watching the Ahsoka panel off the Celebration livestream. You can tell from the fact that the first words I practiced when I was learning Aurebesh were “Ahsoka Tano lives.”

My relationship with Ahsoka has only grown stronger with each episode she is in, each time she is written about, each time she is talked about. My devotion to her and her character have never once wavered. From the moment she walked onto the screen in the Clone Wars movie all 8 years ago, to the moment, she walked into the temple in Rebels, I have grown with Ahsoka. Ahsoka Tano is a character that I love, that I want to be, that I respect and that I learn from. When Ahsoka was growing stronger, I was following her lead. Being a Star Wars fan since before I could remember, she was the first character that I could truly connect with, she was the first female Jedi to have a leading role. I wanted to be just like Ahsoka, and if we’re being honest, I still do. I still look to Ahsoka just like I did when I was in second grade.

Ahsoka Tano is a character that I have always loved, and always will love unconditionally. Ahsoka Tano is a character that I have always felt was with me, inspiring me, motivating me, and cheering me up. As much as I have cried over Ahsoka Tano, as many of those tears were from happiness and excitement as they were from sadness and despair. I care more for Ahsoka than I ever have any other character, she is a character that has opened my eyes and a character that has made me laugh and smile but has also made me cry.

I will always defend Ahsoka Tano and everything to do with her. Ahsoka Tano was the first character, out of anything that I could look at and say “that is me.” Words cannot express how much Ahsoka Tano means to me, and how much every tear that I’ve shed over Ahsoka Tano feels worth it, because in the end, Ahsoka Tano is a character who I love with all my heart. And to be honest if you’re reading this you probably aren’t as emotional as I am writing this because these words are the best I have and they don’t even come close to telling you how strongly I feel about Ahsoka because those words do not exist. I am sitting here crying as my fingers move across the keyboard, typing words that probably don’t make sense and if they do then they can’t convey the fierce loyalty and love I have felt since Ahsoka first stepped out of that shuttle and introduced herself not just to Anakin and Obi-Wan, but to the entire world.

And this might all sound crazy but the reason I’m writing this is that I am fully confident in saying that everyone has an Ahsoka Tano, whether they’d like to admit it or not. How strongly they feel towards whatever character it is varies but every single person has a character that they look up to, whether the character is a character introduced to them when they were small or if they first saw the character when they were a bit older, everyone has a character that they love and will defend because they truly connect to them in every way. And while some people may feel this way about multiple characters (I know I do for sure) there is always that one character, the character that they put above the rest because that is their character.

And while I finish off this piece because it is getting long and ridiculously sappy and cliché, all I ask is that just for a minute, that you stop and think about who your Ahsoka Tano is. Think about who that character is and what they mean to you, think about how and why you relate to them, think about how they have made you sad and happy and angry and how they have made you just feel more than any other fictional character. No matter who your character is, they are yours, and nobody can take that from you.

Who is your Ahsoka Tano?

Star Wars Geek Girl

Caleb Weaver

Star Wars Geek Girl

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, the world was set abuzz by the promise of three new Star Wars films.  To most of the population, this was exciting, an extension of the beloved series.  However, for the Star Wars fan-base, those more invested in the franchise than just the seven existing movies, were thrilled.  

Zoe Hinton, a freshman at Solanco High School, is one of those fans.  Star Wars, for Zoe is not just a collection of movies as it is for most people, but Star Wars for Zoe is a lifestyle, the fourteen year-old has her own podcast called Star Wars Geek Girl.  I had the privilege of talking with both her and her father as well as her cohost about the podcast.  

    Zoe grew up with Star Wars and credits her father as the reason for her love.  From a young age she was watching the films with him and playing with Star Wars toys.  When I asked her about it, she said “I don’t remember seeing them[the Star Wars movies] I just remember Star Wars.”  However, while she was in a second grade, the animated Star Wars film Star Wars: The Clone Wars was released, which Zoe credits as a major factor in her current love for the space saga as it was the first Star Wars movie released during her lifetime.  Following the movie, the two television series, Star Wars the Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, emerged, both of which Zoe also cites as fuel to her already expansive love.

    As Zoe’s love for Star Wars grew and was nurtured by her father, who also loves Star Wars, the creation of a podcast was a natural next step.  Zoe and her father often listened to Star Wars podcasts together, but they noticed how they were all hosted by men, and they thought it would be neat if she made one, to provide a fresh and different view on the franchise. Her first podcast episode was a tribute to her favorite Star Wars character, Ahsoka Tano.

    However, Zoe does not make the podcast by herself.  Her father helps with the nuts and bolts of the operation as well as with some of the guest contacts.  Lizzy Perales, Zoe’s cohost, also helps with the show, the catch being she lives in California.  Lizzy, like Zoe, credits her father with her love of Star Wars, as she saw it as a great opportunity to connect with him.  Zoe and Lizzy met through a connection their father’s made while Zoe’s father was making her Sabine Wren costume and thought that Lizzy would be a fun guest.  After that initial episode, they became fast friends and now they produce the podcast together.  When the girls make an episode, Zoe messages Lizzy with a possible date and time, and Lizzy checks to see if she is free.  If she is, she quickly does her chores after which she connects with Zoe via skype.  After they review the show’s notes, they begin recording.

    Zoe’s favorite podcast(Episode 10) was when her and Lizzy were contacted by Vanessa Marshall, the voice of Hera Syndulla on Star Wars Rebels, who asked if they could make a podcast episode together. After they agree, they setup a thirty minute interview session to interact with Marshall, but twenty minutes into their interview, the questions they had prepared ran out, so for the last ten minutes, they made up questions for the actress, a moment both of them enjoyed.

    For the future of the podcast, there is nothing set in stone, but the two girls are planning several more round tables, which are episodes in which multiple people are on the show at once, participating in a conversational style recording.  They are also in the process of lining up some other guests, whose names they cannot divulge, but they are excited about.  

    Not only does Zoe have her own podcast, but she also uses her love for Star Wars to do charity work.  Both her and her father troop for the 501st, an international group of Star Wars costumers who support charities.  Charities will ask the legions to troop for them to help raise money as people love to see their favorite characters.  The Hintons have participated in several troops, including toy drives, hospital visits and food drives.  When they troop Zoe often costumes as Sabine Wren, the bounty hunter from Star Wars Rebels, while her father dresses as a stormtrooper and her youngest sister as a Tusken Raider.  

However, there is another side to Zoe’s story.  Though she has always loved Star Wars, she was often made fun of as she was a girl.  With the recent release of the new movie, it has been easier for her, but only by so much.  Zoe is passionate about Star Wars.  A passion that has allowed her to start her own podcast and allowed her to do a lot of good through her charity work.  A passion she was told she could not have because she was a girl.  The sad reality is most people do not understand passionate people because most people never experience passion.  Zoe is a role model for not only girls who love Star Wars, but anyone who was told they could not love something for any reason.  She shows that you can be passionate about anything you want, and you can thrive doing it.  In many ways Zoe is like Ahsoka Tano; finally, a leading lady with lightsaber.