Children’s Books Mini Reviews

I am 9 books away from completing my GoodReads challenge and there is no way I can read 9 full size books in 2 days!  I am going to cheat a little and read Kid’s books.  I have a 6 month old niece so I asked my sister if I could borrow some books.  She laughed at me but brought some over anyway!  Since I am reading so many so quickly I am only going to do mini reviews.

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

I Think My Dog Might Be a Nerd

by Justin Matott

**** (4 out of 5)

Nerd

Amazon | Goodreads

My mom got this for me for Christmas since we just got a dog and I am a total Nerd.  She works at a store that sells items from local businesses, so Justin Matott is a fellow Coloradan.  He signed the book for us!

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This book is super cute.  I like the concept.  How could anything with Nerdy Dogs be bad?!?!  Its easy to read and the flow is nice.  Its a fun book.  The only reason it didn’t get a 5 is because I am not a huge fan of the artwork.  I don’t know why, it just isn’t super appealing.  Otherwise this is a great book!


The Monster at the End of this Book

by Jon Stone

***** (5 out of 5)

Monster

Amazon | Goodreads

I got this book for my Niece for Christmas.  I had just finished checking out and was leaving when I saw it on the Kohl’s Cares for Kids rack.  I remember this book from when I was a kid so I grabbed it and got back in line to get it for her.  I also got her the Grover stuffed animal to go with it.  She was only interested in the stuffed animal but my Mom, Grandma, and Sister all got really excited because they remembered the book too.

 

I LOVED this book as a kid! The story is very interactive and I can remember how funny it was!  It is incredibly clever and the artwork is bright and cheery.  Plus its Sesame Street which I watched all the time.  I used to laugh and laugh when my mom read this too me.  It didn’t matter that after the first time I knew how it ended, I loved the book and it was so fun to watch Grover try and stop me from turning the pages!


Another Monster at the End of This Book

by Jon Stone

**** (4 out of 5)

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Amazon | Goodreads

This book only gets a 4 because it is pretty much exactly like the first book except its got Elmo in it.  I like the original better.  This one is still good by itself, because I still love the idea and it is clever, but it loses a star for not being unique.


Snow

by Angela Lake

*** (3 out of 5)

Snow

Amazon | Goodreads

I like the artwork and the story reads well.  Its short and sweet.  The only issue that I have is that the adults don’t like the snow and the kids do.  I know lots of adults, including a police officer, that love snow too!


Vader’s Little Princess

by Jeffrey Brown

**** (4 out of 5)

Vader

Amazon  | Goodreads

This book is hilarious.  It takes real scenes from the movies and twists them into hilarious Father / Daughter interactions.  This one is my favorite:

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This book is a bunch of 1-4 panel comics and is probably geared more towards adults than kids, but it was fun to read.


How to Dress a Dragon

by Thelma Lynne Godin

***** (5 out of 5)

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Amazon | Goodreads

This book is freakin adorable!  Its super easy to read and a perfect length.  The story flows nicely.  I love the artwork.  It is bright and colorful.  The plot is really cute.  Overall this is a perfect Children’s book!


Nibbles: The Book Monster

by Emma Yarlett

***** (5 out of 5)

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Amazon | Goodreads

Ahhhhh! This book is amazing! I loved it! It it is super cute and unique.  Nibbles escapes his book and jumps into other books.  This book has interactive flaps and holes in the pages and the books he jumps into are smaller pages to make them feel like a different book.  I am not explaining it very well, but it was really cool! Nibbles is adorable and the art is great.  I would highly recommend this book!


Gaston

by Kelly DiPucchio

*** (3 out of 5)

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Amazon | Goodreads

If I saw this book in the store I never would have picked it up, which is a shame because the story is really cute.  I don’t like the artwork at all.  I don’t like the unfinished look of the pictures.  I did like the plot a lot, it was easy to read and flowed nicely.  The names of all the puppies were adorable.


Hooray For Diffendoofer Day!

by Dr. Seuss

**** (4 out of 5)

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Amazon | Goodreads

The story is good.  It is classic Dr. Seuss.  Lots of rhymes and made up words.  The made up words in this book are easy enough to read. The problem with this book is the artwork.  I don’t like the pictures, and they are do not feel like Dr. Seuss.  There are a couple characters mixed in that are drawn in his normal style, but the majority of the book doesn’t have the right feel.  At the end of the book they have some original sketches from Dr. Seuss.  The sketches are his normal style! They should have used those!


Yay! I finished my Goodreads challenge.  I will write a post about that tomorrow (probably).

If you have read my reviews for No One Else Like You and Big Hid you might remember that I felt bad for giving them negative reviews.  I started to wonder if they weren’t good or if I was just too old to enjoy Children’s books.  These 9 books restored my faith in Children’s books! I liked them all, but especially The Monster at the End of this Book, How to Dress a Dragon, and Nibbles: The Book Monster.

Have you read any of these? What is your favorite Children’s book?

Princess Academy

Princess Academy

by Shannon Hale

***** (5 out of 5)

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AmazonGoodreads

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

In December 2016 I decided to create a list of all the books I have ever read.  This turned out to be an impossible task because I have read too many books to remember them all.  Plus, there was a handful of books that I could not remember if I had read them or not.  This was one of those books.  For the life of me I could not figure out if I had read it.  This book in particular was really bugging me so I decided to read it again.  Turns out I have read it before, but it was still worth reading.

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According to Scholastic this book is meant for grades 3-8, so it was a pretty easy read, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy every second of it.  Miri, the main character, is amazing. She is strong and clever and brave, but she is also insecure and loving.  She is pretty much my ideal heroine.  I love the way she interacts with the other girls in the academy.  They have petty arguments and real issues, but they still manage to come together and help each other in their darkest hour.  Despite the competitions and the drive to win, no one truly wished for the other girls to fail.  They had very realistic, middle school drama, relationships.

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There is a certain innocence about the book that just made me happy.  It is hard to explain, but its just a feel good book.  But not a sappy love story type feel good.  Its got a good plot and a LOT of character development.  There is a good mix of love, action, fantasy, drama, and resolution to make it a great read.

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This is a great book for all ages.  I would definitely recommend it to elementary and middle schoolers as well as teenagers and adults.  This would make a great book to read with your child too!  If you want to start a mommy and me book club with your child I would suggest starting with this book.  Its that good!

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P.S. I would like to give a shout out to Angelica @ The Book Cover Girls.  This book has been on my TBR for a year and has been nagging at me to figure out if I had read it previously.  Reading Angelica’s story inspired me to pick it up sooner rather than later! Thanks Angelica 🙂

BROTHERHOOD OF THE WORLD AWARD

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I got nominated for this award by The Orangutan Librarian. They let me know that they nominated me on my “Oh God I am so far behind post“. It was kind of a dick move to give me more stuff to do on the very post I was complaining I had too much to do! (Just kidding 🙂 thanks for nominating me! I really appreciate it)

BRIEFLY EXPLAIN YOUR BLOGGING STYLE (WHERE YOUR FAVORITE BLOGGING SPOT/TOOLS – AS IN, ON THE COUCH USING YOUR SMARTPHONE OR SOMETHING).

I usually blog while I am at work (shhhh don’t tell my boss!) Occasionally I will have time to blog at home and then I usually sit on the couch and do it while watching TV.  I always use a laptop (either my work comp or my personal one).  I am a pretty fast typer on an actual keyboard and it would take me decades on a phone.  Though all the pictures I take are on my phone and I just transfer them to my computer to use.

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HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR BLOGGING TIME INCLUDING BLOG READING TIME?

I am really bad at this.  I don’t really manage my time at all. When I have a few extra minutes I blog.  When I read blogs I just scroll through the wordpress reader area and open a ton of tabs for anything that sounds interesting and then make my way through them.  When I read for my blog its the same thing.  I don’t manage reading time, I just read when I can.

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WHO IS YOUR MOST READ AUTHOR?

According to goodreads my most read author is Janet Evanovich, which is a little biased because she wrote like the worlds longest series.  I didn’t even finish all the books!

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HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BLOG NAME?

I love Pride and Prejudice.

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I’m also really bad at coming up with names haha.

WHAT KEEPS YOU BLOGGING?

It simple.  I like it.  I like writing, I like interacting with other bloggers, and I like reading!  I wish I have a better answer but I don’t.

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Thanks again for the nomination!! I nominate: Books Tales By MeLFBooks, and Boundless Bookaholic!

Random extra thought:  Does anyone else dislike the name of this award? I don’t know why but “Brotherhood” just sounds bad to me.

Secondborn

Secondborn

by Amy A. Bartol

*** (3 out of 5)

Secondborn

AmazonGoodreads

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.

It was incredibly hard to choose a star rating for this book.  While reading the book, I loved it and was super hooked.  I was thinking it was going to be a 5.  But once I finished it, it sort of pissed me off and I wanted to give it a 1.  So I am going to split it and give it a 3.

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Since my feelings towards this book are all over the place, I am going to try and break my review up into two parts.  The Good and The Bad:

The Good

Roselle is awesome.  She is a badass, ass kicking, strong female.  She can literally fight, and has been training her whole life. In her society, firstborns rule the world and secondborns are sacrificed into the workforce.  Roselle is a secondborn sword, meaning she is trained as a fighter.  She is unique though, because she comes from an aristocratic family.  As a secondborn aristocrat she is elevated almost to firstborn status.  She doesn’t welcome the fame though.  She would rather just do her duty.  That is until she sees all the injustices that seconborns have to endure.  She embraces her fame in order to help save her fellow secondborns.

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Its not just another rebellion story.  A unique thing about this book is that Roselle doesn’t join the rebellion.  She knows that when the rebels attack, seeking to liberate the secondborns, they are really attacking  the seconborns.  (because the lower ranks of the military are filled with seconborns) It doesn’t make sense to attack the people you are trying to save.  So she doesn’t join the rebellion.  Instead she works on outfitting her fellow secondborns and teaching them how to protect themselves so they can survive the war.

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The Bad

The book randomly skips a year.  You follow Roselle as she leaves her family and is sent to the military.  You are with her when she makes acquaintances and makes rocky friendships. Then all of a sudden a year passes and they are all best friends and nothing bad has happened.  I feel like you miss a lot of character development in that time.

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Next, there really isn’t a plot. The story was engaging, but there was no climax, no conclusion, no beginning, middle, and end.  It just sort of went on and then ended.  I have a feeling more will happen in the next book, but you still have to have some sort of structure in the first books in a series.  I hate when books don’t end.  Cliffhangers are one thing, but its awful when nothing really happens.

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Finally, the relationships are weird.  The group of “Best Friends” disbands ish.  Two people have to be evacuated for their safety.  One is forcibly removed. And the last is just forgotten about? He isn’t mentioned at all when the group is separated.   And when Hawthorne (Roselle’s lover) is taken away he doesn’t try to find a way to be with her and leaves her completely in the dark.  Based on what you know of the rest of his character, this makes no sense.  He isn’t the type to just bow down and accept his fate.  Also, when you first meet Clifton, he is made out to be this sexual deviant and that Roselle needs to be careful around him, but then he treats her with respect and doesn’t make any advances.  Is his reputation wrong? Or is he just different around Roselle.  The two pictures painted of his personality don’t match up.

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The more I think about it, the more I dislike this book! Which is sad because it had so much potential! Roselle is awesome, and the universe is unique and different.  Its not your normal repressed rebellion story.  I really wanted to like this book, but there was just too much that bugged me.  I am not going to read the second book.


Random shout out to Book Basset.  If you have never heard of this blog, I highly suggest that you go visit it!  They let you know about kindle sales where the books are free or really really cheap.  I got this book for free! (I love free books) Book Basset is awesome!

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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I know this is a book blog, but you are going to just have to deal with a Movie Post because its Star Wars and I love Star Wars!

This is not going to be a review.  It will be an explosion of all the thoughts running through my head after seeing the movie.  Yes, I am sure you will be able to tell what I thought of the movie, but it is not my intention for this to be a review.

Also it will contain spoilers! So if you you haven’t seen the movie you should probably stop reading!

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I’m serious!!! I am not even going to pretend to keep anything secret!

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If you are still reading then I am going to assume you have watched the movie, or don’t care if you learn all the plot twists.

I apologize in advance that this post is going to be all over the place. I have tried to break it up by thought.  Good luck and may the force be with you!

1) Family

My Dad, My Brother, and I saw The Last Jedi on Sunday.  This was us:

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I enjoyed watching this with my dad and brother! We are all nerdy together and it was nice to talk about all the parts we liked and didn’t like on the way home!

2) What is the Deal with Porgs?

A lot of the merchandise being sold pre-release heavily featured Porgs.

Porg

First I want to know how everyone knows they are called porgs?  I even knew that is what they were called, but have no idea how I knew that.  I am fairly certain it didn’t say it in the movie?

Second, why does so much of the merchandise feature porgs? I thought they were going to play an important role in the movie, instead they were all but pointless.  Yes they are super cute and funny and gave us an excuse to see Chewbacca, but they didn’t add anything to the plot. Don’t get me wrong, I liked them.  I just don’t understand why there is so much merchandise with them on it?

3) Rey’s Parents

Are they really nobodies?  Was that another trick Snoke was playing to try and seduce Rey to the Dark Side? Personally I am still holding out that Rey is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s daughter.  Obi-Wan is one of my favorite characters and it would be awesome if she was his daughter.  My favorite character is Han Solo, but Kylo Ren is Han’s son and I don’t want Rey and Kylo to be siblings.  Though, siblings would be better than lovers, so who knows.  Either way, I hope that they answer the question once and for all in the next movie.  No more of this ambiguous crap.

I have been reading other people’s reviews all morning, and this topic seems to have viewers split.  One person really liked the fact that they were nobodies and hoped that it was true.  Another person hoped that it was just a trick from Snoke and that we find out who her real parents are in the next movie (he was rooting for Obi-Wan too). A third user ignored the fact that they said her parents were nobodies and went straight into the speculation of who they really are (he thinks Luke Skywalker)

4) CGI Carrie Fisher?

You might have already known this, but I wasn’t sure of the timeline.  After seeing the movie I was curious if Carrie Fisher had actually finished the filming before she passed, or were there CGI parts.  I knew she was CGI at the end of Rouge One, so it is possible that they could CGI her in this movie and future movies.  Googling it was hard because it returned a lot of articles about how the franchise is dealing with her death, and not a specific answer to my question.

Eventually I found this article: Carrie Fisher’s Traumatic ‘Last Jedi’ Scene Hard for Family to Watch.  They mentioned that the family had gotten to watch an early cut while Carrie was still alive, so I think it is safe to assume all her appearances in this film were actually her.

5) Vulptex

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Unlike the Porgs these creatures are not all over the merchandise.  Also unlike the Porgs, they have an actual use in the movie.  They help the small band of remaining resistance fighters to escape.  Personally I like these guys better than the Porgs, but I tend to like feline creatures in general.  (I know these guys could be canine … I still like them!)  I am not the only one! There are lots of posts saying how much better these guys are than the Porgs:

Also, back to the Porgs. Everyone knew what they were called but no one knew what these cute Ice Foxes were called.  It actually took some digging for me to find their name.

6) Why is it important to let us know the surface of Crait was made of salt?

Remember this scene? Unknown character one steps out of the trench to look off into the distance with his binoculars.  His footprints on the white landscape are red.  I think they might be blood.  Unknown character two sticks his finger in the boot print and then licks his finger (ewwww) He then turns to unknown character three and says “salt.”

That might not have been exactly how it went, there is a lot of scenes playing around in my head, but I think I got the jist of it.  I very rarely analyze why a scene is in a movie.  I don’t care that the porgs were useless, they were cute.  But this scene baffled me.  it didn’t make any sense why it existed.  What am I missing?

7) Vice Admiral Holdo’s Purple Hair

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I love the purple hair.  In fact I like her whole look.  She looks regal and bad-ass all at once.  I also liked her character.  She had no reason to explain her actions to Poe.  In the military I don’t think it is common practice for higher ups to divulge their plans to the lower ranking soldiers.  Overall I really liked her.  And at the end where she took the ship into light-speed to try and save the others while taking out an enemy ship was spectacular.

8) “We are what they Grow beyond. That is the true Burden of all masters”

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I love this quote.  It is super insightful.  Of course it had to come from Yoda, the wisest Jedi we know of.  The issue with it coming from Yoda is that its said in a weird order.  So its not particularly easy to quote.

9) “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate, saving what we love.”

This scene bugged me.  I know Fin is one of the main characters so therefore he is more important to the story, but why did Rose sacrifice herself to save him?  And in doing so she prevented the destruction of the battering ram that probably killed hundreds of people when it destroyed the door.  Why is Fin more important than all the people he was trying to protect? It was very selfish of Rose.

I know that they needed to open the door for the rest of the movie to continue, and I am glad Fin didn’t die, and Rose probably isn’t actually dead.  But it still bugged me that she sacrificed all the people Fin was trying to save, by saving Fin.

10) Lei Floating Scene

When Lei got sucked into space and then used the force to pull herself back in, it just looked stupid.  It was a cool idea, but ended up looking ridiculous.

11) The Code-breaker

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It was unclear if the code-breaker they ended up with was the one Maz was referring too.  It is probable that he lost the flower pin gambling and ended up in jail, and that is who they were looking for. What are the chances there were two code-breakers in the same place that could break into the First Order’s ship?  If it was the right guy, did Maz know he was the type of person to turn tail when it suited him?

It was super unfortunate he betrayed Fin and Rose, but not surprising.  He is the one that points out the people making money building First Order ships are the same people making money building Resistance ships.  They don’t care who wins the war, they are just in it for the money.  Thats how the code-breaker operates.  He is going to help whoever pays him.  Though he did give back Rose’s necklace, so I don’t think he is completely heartless.

12) Kylo Ren kills Snoke

This was awesome! I like how Snoke narrated his own death and didn’t even see it coming!  It was brilliant.  He could tell what Kylo Ren was doing but couldn’t see the little details.

Then Kylo and Ren fought together and it was beautiful.  I had such high hopes! But then Kylo had to be a little bitch and ruin it.

13) Kylo Ren is a little bitch

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My fiancee sent me a text a couple months ago asking who Kylo Ren was and if I liked him.  My Response: “He is the Bad Guy in the New Star Wars movies.  He killed Han Solo and is creepy looking, so no, I don’t like him.”

I really wish he was hot. I know that is weird, but it bugs me that he isn’t attractive.  Anakin Skywalker was very attractive.  Kylo Ren looks like a whiny teenager.  And for the most part he is a whiny teenager.

In The Force Awakens I didn’t like him at all, but there was a TON of character development in The Last Jedi.  You see how Kylo Ren was “Created.”  If you woke up and thought your Uncle was trying to kill you, you would probably freak out too.  You also see a lot of conflict inside of him.  He wants to do right, but the light side betrayed him.  He is confused about what is right and what is wrong.  Snoke took him in, in his moment of weakness. Now that I understand him more, I like him more as a villain, but he is still weird looking.

In his twisted conflicted mind, he thinks he is better for the galaxy than either the First Order or the Resistance.  Does this make him different than the Resistance?  This plays into my next thought … what is good and what is evil?

14) What is good and what is evil?

In the original 6 movies, good was light and evil was dark.  But Kylo is a conflicted mix of both.  You can see there is good and bad in him.  Rey is also strong in the dark side and doesn’t shy from it, which scares Luke.  Rey is obviously good, but Kylo is not solely bad.

Also is the Code-breaker bad? Yes, he revealed the Resistance fleet, but he also broke into the First Order’s ship.  He is more of an opportunist.  I would say he is pretty neutral.

Skulls in the Stars summed it up really well: “Putting it in terms of Dungeons & Dragons alignments, the First Order seems to be Lawful Evil and the Resistance seems Chaotic Good; in DJ, we have a character who is practically true Neutral: he will work for anybody, and doesn’t give a shit.”

15) Plot Twists and Spoilers

What is considered a spoiler? Is saying there is a large plot twist a spoiler?  Personally I would rather not know there is a plot twist ahead of time because I want to be completely surprised.   But the radio station I listen to told everyone without warning that there is a plot twist.  They didn’t seem to think it was a spoiler.  My dad agrees with me that he doesn’t want to know there is a plot twist.

Also, what was the plot twist? Was it that almost all of the resistance died? That Fin and Rose failed? That Kylo killed Snoke? That he didn’t turn to the “good side” afterward?  Was it Luke returning at the last minute? All of the above?  If I had to guess they were talking about Kylo killing Snoke and not returning to the good side.  I don’t know why people got so worked up about the “Plot Twist” when it doesn’t even come close to the plot twist of Vader being Luke’s father.

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16) Everything the Resistance Tries Fails

In most movies the heroes have some troubles then ultimately they succeed, but not this one.  Every plan the Resistance has fails.  They start with a decent amount of people and end up with enough to fit on the Millennium Falcon.  After the movie, this kind of bugged me.  Its no fun to watch everything fail over and over again.  Its very stressful.

But, after reading other fan’s reviews, it makes a little more sense.  One of the theme’s was that you have to let the past die and move forward.  The old Jedi order has been destroyed and the new is being reborn in Rey.  The Resistance needs to be broken down in order to start over.

It also can be stretched to say that this movie isn’t like the original 6.  You need to accept that the old movies are done and you need to embrace the new ones as they are.  I think thats a little too deep and reading into it too far, but its kind of cool to think about.

17) What are the dice things on the chain?

The gold dice things on the Chain that Luke gave Leia at the end and then they disappeared in Kylo’s hand when Luke died.  What are they? What is their significance?

I know they are important and I remember seeing them earlier in the movie but I didn’t take note and now I can’t remember where I saw them before?  It bugging me but I don’t want to google it, in case it brings up other stuff relating to future movies.

18) Potato

Sorry for the long Post. Here is a Boba Fett Potato:

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Side note: Why do people post potatoes at the end of long posts? How did that get started?

Thanks for reading!! Please feel free to comment with any answers to my questions (they aren’t rhetorical!) or any random thoughts you had!