Melinda’s Brew : Hug The Stuffing Out Of ‘Em!

Melinda’s Brew : Hug The Stuffing Out Of ‘Em!

Say, did you catch the recent CWK podcast during which Dan and Cory talked to guest Dr. Andrea Letamendi about villains — and why we have a penchant for them? (Well, not me, but I know some of you do. 😉 ) It was a great show, even incorporating characters from other franchises, and if you haven’t listened yet, I’d encourage you to do so.

Anyway, that got me to thinking about how some fans just love Dark Side characters, and how some of us prefer those with Light Side leanings … which got me thinking about the Love/Hate relationship between the two sides of the Force — which is stronger, if one truly is better. I decided to take the matter to an impartial “judge” who would consider the merits of both sides of the Force, and help determine which characters (and their respective side of the Force) truly are deserving of our attachment to them, to help determine whether one side of the Force really is stronger. That “judge” would be my daughter’s one-and-one-half-year-old feline Mina. She has grown up on Star Wars, and in my estimation would remain unbiased.

When one of the nation’s pet store chains began carrying Star Wars-based toys for both dogs and cats last fall, there was absolutely no way I could resist adding some of them to Mina’s plethora of playthings. Erin grew up on Star Wars. Why shouldn’t her cuddly companion? 😉 I had tons of fun picking out items with which Mina could play — beginning with the Darth Vader, stormtropper and Chewbacca “mice” and the cape-clad Darth Vader suspended from a short pole. (The set of toys has increased since September. 😉 )

Would the Birman kitty show any favoritism, I wondered? You be the judge …


Poor Yoda. What a beating he took. He just couldn’t hold his own against the likes of Erin’s cat. Mina didn’t stop here, however. The stuffing got knocked out of the great Jedi Master …


Not one to show favoritism, Mina next took aim at the Dark Side of the Force, and Darth Vader got his comeuppance …


See his stuffing on the left? How strong in the Dark Side does Darth Vader feel now, eh? 😉 The stormtrooper did not fare any better, nor did the noble, loyal Chewbacca …


Could be you really can’t identify that clump of batting and fur as Chewbacca (or any of the other characters), but please take my word for it, these are the remains of characters I say they are. Light Side … Dark Side. It’s evident neither is any match for a fury, four-legged creature with sharp claws and even sharper teeth. 😉 Mina might not have a preference, but as far as we fans are concerned, I suppose we’ll just continue to play favorites. Light Side all the way! 😉



As promised, I’d like to announce the winner of my CWK Valentine Raffle. CONGRATULATIONS, BECCA!!! The Force is strong with her (remember Becca was the first winner of my first CWK Raffle? 🙂 ). Her surprise is on its way to her. I’m sorry, folks, but I can’t reveal what the gift is. She hasn’t any idea — except that it is Star Wars-related — and I’d hate to ruin the surprise. I hope you understand. Again, congratulations, Becca. I hope you like your surprise! 🙂

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  1. Becca Benjamin
    February 15, 2014 at 19:17 Reply

    “I swear to you, I didn’t ask to be put on the council.” -Anakin Skywalker

    W O W!!! “Holy Cow, Batman!” 😉

    Thank you so very much, Melinda! You know, people are gonna start to think we’re in *Cahoots* or something ;)~

    Mina’s toys are Funtastic! Love the Vader and the Chewie lol! I’m wondering if I could find those for my Rusty? Looks like have a mission this weekend 🙂

    Thanks again, Melinda and I can’t wait to get my Surprise!

    1. Melinda
      February 15, 2014 at 23:23 Reply

      You are so welcome, Becca! I hope you like your surprise. You’ll have to let me know what you think of it.

      The cat and dog toys — there is a larger selection for dogs, but that’s okay — are wonderful! Come to think of it, I need to replace Mina’s Star Wars playthings. She goes through them so quickly! 😉 lol

      (and for the record, everyone — everything is above board with my raffles. I swear, though … the Force is strong with this one! 🙂 )

  2. Becca Benjamin
    February 15, 2014 at 19:51 Reply

    As to which side of the Force is stronger, the Light versus the Dark? That’s an interesting question, harder to answer 😉

    My personal POV, probably would weigh heavily on the “User” and not so much on the light/dark perspective. Again, just my opinion.

    Going on Palpatine/Sidious’s line, “Don’t continue to be a Pawn of the Jedi Council.” Oh, I’m certain good ‘OL Palps was trying to schmooze one over on Anakin with that line, still, he had other intentions laced within those words. Meaning, why allow the Jedi/light side to “gain” from Anakin’s extraordinary abilities? Palpatine/Sidious wanted to attain that power too, because Anakin was noted to be the strongest force user of/at that time. With that said, Anakin’s abilities were still quite “Raw” and he lacked discipline in areas…. ok, I’m rambling aren’t I? lol!

    Great Blog! I’m intrigued and must ponder this idea of yours 🙂

  3. Melinda
    February 15, 2014 at 23:41 Reply

    I don’t know if it’s just my wishful thinking … or whether we have been “conditioned” to believe that good always will triumph over evil … but I like to think of the Light Side as the stronger of the two.

    You know, the Sith always have fear at the base of everything they do, the decisions they make. I think of this especially when Palpatine and Anakin were chatting during the ballet scene. Unrevealed at the time, Palpatine doesn’t come right out and say this, but that idea is going through my head. And, as a huge EU fan, the Sith are explored quite a bit through some of the novels. Always trying to undermine each other, etc. What kind of progress, growth can be accomplished under those conditions???

    You’re right, though, Becca. Some Jedi definitely are stronger than their Sith counterparts, and vice versa. I don’t think Palpatine was stronger than Yoda, but the Sith Lord certainly got the better of him in the end. Actually, I think Yoda was stronger than Palpatine, and that Yoda had a stronger sense of the Force. That’s just my opinion, however.

    As a group, I think the Jedi were stronger … because they employed a more positive approach toward each other (encouragement, brotherhood, work as a team toward a positive end). Yes, the Sith worked together, but without trust, their reign could not last. It’s the fate of every tyrant/despot. It might take time, but they always come tumbling down.

  4. Jay Krebs
    February 16, 2014 at 19:26 Reply

    Wow – those toys had no chance against Mina! Strong, she is!

    Which side of the Force is stronger…? VERY interesting question, and one I have pondered myself. We all know there must be “bad” to balance out “good”, so the stasis of the universe can remain intact. To what extent does each side pull toward that balance is a much deeper question.

    It’s interesting that there has always been this debate. Even as Luke was in training with Yoda, he asked if the Dark side was stronger. I am always intrigued by the fact that Yoda seems to hesitate at first, but then vehemently says “No, no! Easier, quicker, more seductive”, but even this is not a clear-cut reason to answer Luke’s question.

    Just as with “light” and “dark,” there is also “gray.” There is much out there to support the existence of “Gray Jedi,” or “gray Force users” – those who incorporate both light and dark sides of the Force but do not fully succumb to the dark. Qui-Gon was even referred to as a “Gray Jedi,” and…I know this is going to rattle your chain…but even Luke himself, when re-establishing the New Jedi Order, has been known to incorporate what some could consider to be “gray” teachings and practices.

    I think it all boils down to WHO is using the Force, and for WHAT means? The Force in itself can bee seen in some ways as a tool. It can perform different things when wielded by different users. What is the true definition of “strength?” or even “nobility?” “Integrity?”

    I am going to be diving into the idea of using the Force to elicit change in my blog, which will post on Tuesday!! Hope you’ll stop by…!

    …and you might want to start a change jar for Mina’s toy budget – she’s harder on her toys than sand to a servomotor!

  5. Jay Krebs
    February 17, 2014 at 02:13 Reply

    Oh, and CONGRATS to Becca on winning the raffle! 🙂

  6. Melinda
    February 18, 2014 at 14:55 Reply

    lol I couldn’t help but laugh at the idea of starting a change jar for Mina’s toy replacement endeavor. 😉 Well, it isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it makes a lot of sense! I just never thought about it before. 😉

    Jay, you make some strong, valid points/remarks about the Light Side and Dark Side of the Force. And, of course, the “Gray” Side (should we say it exists?). I don’t recall Qui-Gon ever referred to as a “Gray Jedi” — but, then again, it has been quite a few years since I have read some of the novels. Much as I’d like to say I can commit the contents of each to memory, that just isn’t the case. (Conversations … now, that’s a different matter! 😉 ) I don’t know if I exactly think of him as such, but I can understand how some people might.

    Luke. Ah, Luke. 🙂 At times skirting the Dark Side of the Force. Certainly in ROTJ. And then in one of the novels (I can’t remember which) during which Luke “turned” to the Dark Side with the intention of learning more about it. So seductive was it, Luke almost succumbed to it. It took Leia to bring him back. If there was anything positive to come of that experience, I think it helped Luke see the Dark Side for what it was, and helped him deal with it when it emerged from time to time (post ROTJ).

  7. Melinda
    February 18, 2014 at 15:08 Reply

    Does the end ever justify the means? Just how much of the Dark Side is one able to employ before being considered a Dark Side User? Is it possible to straddle the two sides of the Force?

    Intriguing notion about Yoda’s response to Luke. Yoda does answer Luke — emphatically, as you point out. I think Yoda — at least the Yoda we come to know (who has lived a long, long life by TPM) — deems it necessary to think before speaking, that it is prudent to give some thought before answering/considering the deeper questions of life. He knows the Dark Side really isn’t stronger than the Light Side. He knows, too, that the Dark Side should not be taken lightly. Just how much should he reveal to Luke at this point in Luke’s training. I think Yoda doesn’t want Luke to become encumbered by thoughts that would fog up his mind as he’s trying to learn about the Force.

    You can rattle my chain. 🙂 If it gets me thinking, reconsidering, expanding my ideas, that’s good! 🙂

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