A ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Critique

 

At last, I saw the most recent Star Wars movie. I will say that this was actually a good movie.  Where special effects are concerned, The Force Awakens would earn 4 stars. The droids, non-human and humanoid characters were convincing and brought much-needed life to the worlds.  Supreme Leader Snoke in particular was a masterful example of animation; from his wrinkles to his body language, he was awe-inspiring and believable. In terms of the story, this film rates as a solid 3 1/2 star.

The Force Awakens did not feel like a Star Wars movie.

It is devoid of the fundamental component for these films: the Force.
Yes, it was minorly used as a tool, but there was nothing on the power struggle or balance of the Force from any of the characters. There were no ethical choices for the most part, or ideological struggles. The imperative nature of the Force wasn’t even mentioned. Characters may as easily been discussing how the weather could effect their war.

Granted, most characters didn’t believe in the Force, but a budding Sith Lord in the film mentioned nothing on the topic other than, ‘Woe to me, the dark side is so hard to maintain,’ while other characters flatly acknowledged “It is real. I know, crazy, right?” Where is the platform on which the movies are based? What became of the main theme, which made previous movies an epic, and differentiated the saga from being another action scifi? Drafting old actors from the epic does not an epic make, despite the attempt to rally the audience into believing this was a true Star Wars film. There wasn’t enough substance for those looking for the Star Wars experience.

This was yet another movie of a talented and pretty girl going on an adventure in a shattered universe, but it was not Star Wars.

Hedgehog Revival in Britain

Hedgehogs seem to be everywhere on the internet, but have been dwindling in numbers within their natural habitats in the UK. http://hedgehogstreet.org of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, report as much as a third of the spiny population have dissapeared, due to a shrinking habitat. This is largely because British hedgehogs, who eat common garden bugs and pests, have less access to gardens they can call home. According to the Preservation Society, the ability to come and go through gardens freely is essential to hedgehogs, who need to roam for mates and forage. hedgehogstreet has placed heavy emphasis on building ‘links,’ or holes in fences, so hedgehogs may traverse from garden to garden, even including a map of hedgie territories.

hedgehogstreet is inspiring a strong movement for British citizens everywere to “garden for wildlife,”  in both rural or suburban settings.  As many as 30,000 participants are involved in providing a variety of gardens, hedgehog homes, and backyard entryways for Britain’s hedgies.  Many Brits are making an effort to naturalize (or even create from scratch) gardens to make a safe haven for hedgehogs, through organic gardening or planting native flora. By making these changes and joining hedgehogstreet the gardener may, in true British fashion, be dubbed a Hedgehog Champion.

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A Hedgehog Champion performs their duties by hosting a hedgehog friendly habitat via links through fences, and hedgehog homes such as a wood pile or compost heap. Most importantly,  Champions own an eco friendly garden for hedgehogs to occupy. As many as 3,866 Hedgehog Champions have made registered hedgehog homes in their own backyard and host 2,007 hedgehog holes, and that was in 2014!

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An Eco-friendly Movement

A beautiful aspect of this hedgehog revival are the dual benefits for aiding hedgies and the environment.  By setting gardens and practicing organic gardening, hedgehogs are not the only ones who will be recieving benefits. Butterflies, bees, and other pollinators will definitely enjoy an increase in food supply, which will assist their population health as well.

Cool, I Want to Help!

If you’re a British resident, you can directly support hedgehogstreet by becoming a member on their website, and recieve great tips, support, and guidelines to being a Hedgehog Champion.  Not a British citizen? Spread the word via internet! Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook make a wonderful start to spreading awareness about native British hedgehogs. Ask Britain’s People’s Trust for Endangered Species what you can do to help on their facebook. Or, you can donate directly to hedgehogstreet here.

Luckily for the hedgehogs, they are loved throughout the world, and their future looks bright, if not prickly for the present!

By Tiffany Magennis