by Editor Darren Doyle, (Star Wars Fan):
Coming from the generation of the original Star Wars trilogy and growing up with all of the movies, I have a pretty good knowledge of the entire franchise and consider myself to be a true fan.
Although I was only a year old when the first film, Star Wars Episode IV was released, I saw the rest of the films on the big screen. I've enjoyed all of them, minus a Jar Jar and clone or two...
I received a Millennium Falcon for my 5th birthday and I still have it, along with all my other original Star Wars toys and figures. I wore Star Wars stuff during the dark period between Return of the Jedi and when the new edition, original trilogy was re-released in 1997. So while I'm in no way a movie critic, I know a little bit about Star Wars. (I also forgot to mention that I have a full-sized Darth Vader costume). And yes, I know all this stuff is pretty nerdy.
I was fortunate enough to attend a VIP event on Thursday, December 14, 2017 for a special screening of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," thanks to participating in a scholarship fundraiser hosted by dear friends through SKYCTC. As I said, I'm no movie critic but here are my overall thoughts on the movie without any spoilers, whatsoever. If you would purposely share spoilers I hope you're cast into the pit of Carkoon, the nesting place of the all-powerful Sarlacc, where in his belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering, as you are slowly digested over a thousand years.
The movie WAS all I expected it to be, and I had some pretty big expectations. We see lots of things that are no surprises and we also see some very big surprises. It's emotional, it's intense, and it's everything a real Star Wars fan hopes it would be.
There were two different spots in the movie where I caught myself with my hands on my cheeks, hanging on for dear life, as they were two of the most intense moments I've ever experienced in a Star Wars film. There was more than one time I teared up. I wanted to cheer out loud on more than one occasion, and there was at least two different times where I said "WHAAAAAAAA?"
We see all the major characters: Rey, Kylo Ren, Snoke, Fin, Poe, Leia, Chewbacca, BB-8 and the rest of the droids, and yes, Luke Skywalker. Much of the movie goes the way you might expect while there are also some major plot twists that I don't really think anyone saw coming.
Don't go see this if you're not a true fan...you won't get it. At this point, I'm not sure why you'd want to if you're not familiar with the franchise. By the time the 8th installment comes out in a film and you've never seen number one, you should probably stick with something else.
Bottom line: this movie was well done and I simply can't find any fault in it other than the humor got a tad cheesy in a couple of spots.
As the credits rolled, I was exhausted. The movie grabbed me from the beginning, but not necessarily because it was such a great film, although in my opinion it was great, but because I'm a real Star Wars fan and this is a real Star Wars movie. If you leave the theater and your initial reaction isn't simply "WOW," then you're either not a true fan or you just don't get it. (BTW, I think it's one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time).
And if you're not a Star Wars fan, I get that, too. I get confused when people start talking Harry Potter stuff. I've never understood any of that, never been interested, and there's no amount of fanfare that will interest me in Harry Potter; however, I don't give Harry Potter fans a hard time. I let them do their thing and hope they let me do mine. People don't watch the Harry Potter films for cinematic excellence, they watch them because they're fans of Harry Potter, and it's the same for Star Wars, Avengers, and so on.
The Last Jedi is a perfect setup for episode nine. I can't wait to watch it again in a couple weeks.
Edmonson Voice Staff: photos courtesy of Pauline Lay & Perth Tay Portraits:
Local artist Tylerann Lay (21), of Chalybeate, has shared a passion for drawing since she was a young girl. She's received regional recognition for her work, such as being featured in the 2017 US Bank Celebration of the Arts at the Kentucky Museum on WKU.
All during the month of September, some of her work will be on display at the Edmonson County Public Library.
Check out some of her work below:
Tylerann is a 2014 graduate of Edmonson County High School and received an Associate of Arts degree from SKYCTC. She currently runs her own portrait service called "Perth Tay Portraits," where she creates one-of-a-kind pieces from photographs.
To find out more about Tylerann's art and how she can create art for you, visit her Facebook page by clicking here.
Bring your guitar, banjo, fiddle, upright, or any acoustic instrument and jam.
PROBUS Publishing, a BMI/ASCAP publishing/pitching service on music row owned by former Edmonson County resident Ben Probus, will be kicking off with a ribbon cutting ceremony of the company at the home place where Ben Probus grew up, the newly renovated the, "Grand Victorian Inn," owned and operated by Karin Baldwin-Carroll and Gary Carroll II.
This celebration will feature open Bluegrass jams and Songwriter Jams.
"Those are always a lot of fun to play and network with other musicians and industry professionals," said Ben. "If you feel you wanna stick around, book a night at this Beautiful Bed & Breakfast Bring your guitar or whatever you strum or bow and come on out to the PROBUS Publishing Ribbon Cutting Party."
PROBUS Publishing writer Ronny Vines, who co-wrote Jason Aldean's "Country Boy's World" will be present. The tune sold over 3 million copies from album sales and Vines has number 1's in Bluegrass and Texas music as well.
Also in attendance will be more of the PROBUS team such as the, "Belles of Blue" who will be performing bluegrass and co hosting the event, John McGinnis former FLW Champ, James Fitzstephens of Munfordville, non-typical deer farmer & Turkey Slayer master Rondal England, Ben Probus, owner of PROBUS and founder of Nashville Gig Finder, and Paige Probus, talented singer songwriter and wife of Ben Probus.
Nashville Gig Finder will have a booth where folks can look for gigs and gear access around the country. Thousands of gigs have been booked through the networks and you can learn how to book yourself. NashvilleGigFinder.com
5 Old Dixie Hwy, Park City, KY 42160-7720, United States
When you come to Exit 48 on I-65 turn into Park City,
follow the posted signs or your GPS.
Ben added, "Bring an instrument if you play or sing, bring your ears if you don't. Bring a lawn chair. Bring business cards. Submit a cd of originals if you would like us to review them incase we spot a jewel. We all will be both outside and inside at this event. Huge Lawn, couple stages, jams spread out under shade trees, picken on the porch, you can purchase you a yummy dinner there. It will be great times!"
Max Jackson, Edmonson Voice Entertainment:
Bill Richards, a 1986 graduate of Edmonson County High School, was recently named a finalist in the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, an event which includes 51 categories in the visual arts division that range from oil painting to leatherwork to paint-by-number kits. In addition, there are 100 categories in the performing arts pertaining to all aspects of music, dance, drama, and creative writing.
Richards grew up in the Chalybeate community and came from a talented family. His grandparents were the late Wilbur and Melba Madison, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday. It was an event he was able to attend.
Richards, now living in Grand Rapids, MI was recently featured on the cover of "The Artsgram," the official magazine of the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival.
After graduating ECHS, he enrolled in the U.S. Army in 1989 where he was stationed at Fort Stewart, GA with the 24th ID(M) and deployed for Operation Desert Shield/Storm 1990-1991.
Bill's drawings only showcase a portion of his talent as he also enjoys playing several varieties of music. He credits his former high school art teacher, Mrs. Phyllis Miller for supporting his art during his four years at ECHS.
"Mrs. Miller has always been an inspiration to me and we keep in touch regularly on Facebook," he said."My entire family all reside pretty much in Edmonson County and were involved in music and that was enough to get me started there."
To contact Bill, send him an email by clicking here.
Edmonson County Arts Council Celebrates 30th Anniversary With Female Version Of "The Odd Couple," Reflects On Past
Darren Doyle, story
Scott Skaggs, photos
Edmonson County Arts Council President Ricky Skaggs said that while 30 years is a long time, its' gone by quickly, and it's hard to believe that's how long it's been since the formation of the local dinner theater organization.
"We started this when I was young, and now I'm not," Skaggs said. "But I still love to make people laugh for just a little while and forget the daily troubles."
And lots of laughs he's helped create as the non-profit organization has held countless productions over the years with humble beginnings at the Brownsville Community Center back in the 80's.
"We started with our first production way back when of "Our Town," where we had a professional Director that the Arts Council paid to do the play. I became President the next year where I and Craig Browning, Chairman of Board of Directors at the time, came up with the idea of the Green River Amphitheater, where we performed "The Death of Floyd Collins" by Tim Hatcher. We did that for 16 years along with dinner theaters that were made possible by Arlene Skaggs and Jewell Newkirk who served as our cooks, and these two women were gifts from God. We then were able to move to the high school were we could cook, serve, and do the play all in the same building."
Skaggs was pleased with the recent performance of the female version of "The Odd Couple," held at ECHS this past Saturday.
"We had two first time performers with Sandy Bledsoe and Jackie Alford, along with Anthony Simon who came back after several years to help out this time," said Skaggs. "Then we had our old timers, Katie and Cody Tennison, Angie Hughes, Sue Fitzpatrick and of course the biggest ham of all, me."
Skaggs also pointed out that while providing good family entertainment along with a great meal is a positive experience the council has enjoyed over the years, he's even more proud of those that they've been able to help along the way.
"We're able to help out students of Edmonson County with our annual scholarship that not only requires excellent grades, but high character, morals, and we factor in if the student or their family has been part of the Arts Council at any time."
He said the scholarship is something the council has always been honored to provide and it was awarded to ECHS Senior Caleb Skaggs during Saturday's performance. He received a $1000 scholarship.
"We have some of the greatest children right here in Edmonson County and with our scholarship, maybe they will go out in the world and let other people see how great they are."
He also noted the partnership between the council and the Chalybeate Homemakers, which allows them to raise money for Adopt-an-Angel program with Edmonson County Schools. The homemakers also have been able to make donations to the American Cancer Society.
"The Arts Council takes a ton of effort and hard work, but with all the great help we get and the support of my great family, it ends up looking easy," Skaggs said.
"God put us in a great county and it is a pleasure to show others just how great it is through our young men and women. I wouldn't have it any other way."