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Since writing my fanfiction involving my dragon form, I decided to make my own information about the biology and culture of dragons in MLP: Friendship is Magic. Many of it is hypothetical, but also based upon observing dragons in the show, and forming my own headcanons about how dragons behave. 

Note: Although dragons, apart from a few such as Spike, are said to be scary and considerably dangerous in "Dragon Quest" I have observed there is more to dragons than when they were initially depicted in the show, as shown in "Gauntlet of Fire". 


Dragons are one of the most recognizable and awe-inspiring creatures in the world of MLP. Most live beyond Equestria, though a few have been seen in Equestria (not counting the dragon migration). Well-known for their love of gems and fire-breathing abilities, dragons are essentially large reptiles with extraordinary abilities. 
And as Twilight Sparkle once said, "ponies know next to nothing about dragons".

But observances in my dragon form has led me to discover more information about dragons. Here is the information I wrote down below. With some help from research on other reptiles. 

Biology

As dragons are reptiles, it is easy to assume they are ectothermic, or cold-blooded. However, as they can breathe fire, it is more likely that they are actually endothermic, or warm-blooded. Since dragons often dwell in caves, as caves are ideal places for storing valuable treasure such as gems, this is more evidence that dragons are endothermic.
Nevertheless, dragons often like to lie in the sun when traveling, as sunlight can make a dragon feel "charged up" whenever they have flown for a long time. 

Concerning dragons' fire-breathing abilities, it is a product of hot air. As we can produce hot air if we breathe slowly, rather than blowing, this applies to dragons' fire-breathing. Their bodies contain chemical gases that can come out through their saliva glands, and when they breathe hot air, the hot air ignites the chemical gases and allows them to emit fire from their mouths. Dragons' mouths are fire resistant. 

Diet-wise, dragon's main diet are gems, crystals, and occasionally nuts and fruits. While most dragons primarily feed on gems and crystals, they are also capable of consuming plants and pony food, as demonstrated by Spike many times. They have been known to sometimes raid food from garbage disposal areas in Equestria. 
As dragons' teeth are mostly sharp, this is effective for smashing gems and grinding them into a powder worth consuming. Gems and crystals are a good source of vitamins and minerals for dragons, and darker colored gems and crystals are especially good for younger dragons. 

Culture

For a long time, what ponies knew about dragon culture was that dragons could be considerably fierce, competitive, and rather aloof. There is more to dragon culture than this. Dragons are often loners, but they will gather together during migrations, courting, and when there is enough food and valuable treasures for all. Although many wild adult dragons don't like to share their treasures, when there is more than enough in one area, they will share. Dragons who know each other well will also share gems and treasures together, especially if there is a benefit for all of them. 
         
It is not uncommon for dragons who are siblings to share food and treasure together, especially if they love each other and get along well. This happens with dragons who are mates too, or a couple as ponies would call them.This shows that dragons do have family bonds much like ponies. 

When courting, dragons like to bring gems or other valuable objects to potential mates, as well as say words about what they find most impressive, lovable, and attractive about them. A few dragons have even recited their own form of poetry to their potential mates. 

Dragon society is governed by the Dragon Lord, the top authority leader of all dragons. Their authority is mostly based on summoning dragons for an important event, such as warning them of a natural disaster about to happen (such as an earthquake), issuing a new rule, or participating in diplomatic relations with other sentient creatures. And also informing dragons of which dragon could become the new Dragon Lord in the Gauntlet of Fire competition. 

The title of Dragon Lord also allows the Lord to appoint other dragons as his or her advisers, or scouts. Dragon scouts are useful since their tracking skills allow them to bring in important information to the Lord. Although dragon government is not as complex as that of other kingdoms, such as ponies or the hippogriffs, dragons nevertheless have a sense of order that concentrates mainly around the Lord's land. 

According to Spike's experiences in the Dragon Lands, unlike royalty among ponies, the title of Dragon Lord does not last until the Lord's death. Dragon custom dictates that the Dragon Lord steps down after a considerable amount of time.                                       
It is not clear exactly how long a dragon can be Dragon Lord. But based on former Lord Torch's speech, I would consider that it could be a length of 10 years or more, depending on how successful the Lord is in his or her reign. I believe Torch may have been Lord for at least several decades, given on how he said how "supreme" his reign was. In other words, there is no strict limit on the Lord's reign, but a reign for 50 years I would consider to be the longest allowed. 

Since Ember is the current Dragon Lord, much is now known on what the Lord can do in diplomatic relations. A Dragon Lord can either send an ambassador to the kingdom in question, or come to the kingdom themselves, for the purpose of establishing stronger ties and understanding. Resources from the other kingdom can also offer benefits for dragon society too. 

Other information

A common negative stereotype of dragons, at least before the stronger diplomatic ties with ponies with Ember as Lord, is, or was, that they are overly competitive, hostile towards other sentient species, and overall greedy and mean.

But that is far from the overall nature of dragons. Although it is a natural tendency of a dragon to collect valuable objects, not all dragons are greedy. As mentioned above, many dragons will share food and valuable treasure with other dragons that they are close to. Some dragons aren't even interested in treasure. 

The relations between dragons and ponies, and indeed, other sentient creatures, has historically been rather rocky. But over time, dragons have come to appreciate friendship more, and relations between dragons and ponies have become stronger and greater. The stereotype that dragons don't like what ponies do, such as hugs and exchanging gifts, isn't entirely unfounded. But a number of dragons I have interviewed admit that they actually enjoy hugs and gifts and don't really mind "pony ways". Some dragons are even fascinated with ponies, showing an eager desire to learn more about them. 

Dragons have also held stronger ties with other creature kingdoms such as griffons, hippogriffs, and yaks, since Ember become Lord. The importance of friendship has been recognized by Ember, and thus at least one young dragon has been sent to the School of Friendship in Equestria, by the name of Smolder. 

As dragons have become better known, it is clear that they are somewhat complex creatures, with an inclination towards collecting valuable objects. But although they can be fierce and often competitive, most dragons have a sense of common morality and thus it is disapproved in dragon society to steal from other creatures. One particular dragon, named Garble, that I learned about, was a real jerk. He didn't represent the positive qualities of dragons. 

Overall, dragons have a strong sense of honor and respectability, and while they can be rather aloof sometimes, it is possible to have a dragon as a friend. Most dragons that I have met are fiercely loyal to friends and embody the good principles of having a sense of good self-worth. Dragons make useful allies when battling evil individuals, and a good dragon will never betray or abandon you. 

That is all the information I have, whether from observances in the TV show, or based on my headcanon, about dragons in the land of MLP. 

Hope you liked this information, and remember, dragons in MLP are individuals like ponies are. No two dragons are exactly alike. 
Image result for snoke last jedi

"You wonder why I keep a rabid cur in such a place of power? A cur's weakness, properly manipulated, can be a sharp tool." - Snoke 

From the time I watched Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was intrigued by this new character. He left an impression on me long after I saw The Force Awakens. My interest in Snoke grew over time as I looked up online articles about him. What was known about Snoke in TFA was this: 
  • Snoke is the leader of the First Order, the villainous group that was resurrected from the fallen Galactic Empire. 
  • He is a humanoid alien, though not human. 
  • He is responsible for turning Kylo Ren, born Ben Solo, to the Dark Side of the Force.
  • Is a Dark Side user, but not a Sith. 
As mentioned above, Snoke is not a Sith, but a different kind of Dark Side user. Snoke is powerful in the Dark Side of the Force, as he exerted corrupting influence on young Ben Solo and turned him bad. 
Given how Kylo Ren is like a new version of Darth Vader, it is true that Snoke is the sequel trilogy's answer to Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, in the original trilogy. Both are evil, manipulative users of the Dark Side, and desire to have tyrannical control over the galaxy. The key differences between the two is that Palpatine's rank in the Empire was "Emperor", while Snoke's in the First Order is "Supreme Leader." Snoke also lacks Palpatine's blatant sadism, and has a more sophisticated, albeit dark, demeanor.  

One thing that I think makes Snoke a compelling character and villain is his appearance. Snoke has a scarred, twisted appearance that suggests damage. His humanoid face combined with that appearance gives off a spooky vibe. In other words, his appearance just looks creepy and wrong. Coupled with the fact that so far we don't know what alien race Snoke belongs to. 

Also, Snoke's demeanor makes him compelling, since he is played by Andy Serkis, who also played Gollum in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Portrayed via motion-capture, Andy Serkis's voice for Snoke is a distinct low and croaky voice which I think is perfect for Snoke. Other aspects of Snoke's demeanor is that while he is mostly calm and unassuming in The Force Awakens, in The Last Jedi, he gets a bit more lively and energetic, and we get to see more of his evilness in action. Snoke's presence overall is enough to make me feel interested in and anticipating on what he is planning. 

While so far we know little about Snoke's past and backstory, many of us do know that Snoke is from the Unknown Regions part of the galaxy, as revealed in Wookiepedia, the Star Wars wiki. 

I have a theory that Snoke was a member of an alien race that lived in a planet in the Unknown Regions, and the Force concentration there was unusually strong. Given Snoke's high level of Force sensitivity, it wouldn't be surprising to assume that the Force concentration there was high too. 

According to the production members of the sequel trilogy of Star Wars, Snoke's twisted appearance is from years of using the Dark Side, which explains his ghoulish look. 

This has been my look at Snoke and how I found him compelling. Until next time, once we see more of Snoke in Episode 9 or in future novels. 
Predator and prey battle- Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops 

Related image

This is my first written story on my DeviantArt account. This story, though more of a scenario, will be the first to concern my visual ideas and concepts of how dinosaurs lived their lives in the Mesozoic Era. 
The first scenario will be about a fight between a T. rex and a Triceratops, as predator and prey. Keep in mind that I'll try to be as accurate as I can, since dinosaur theories often change over time, so I'll leave out several theories, just in case. I researched some paleontology articles to get my ideas for this scenario. And I've made one of the dinosaurs to be the winner of the battle, whether T.rex or Triceratops. 

Here it is. Enjoy. 

Deep in the heart of the Cretaceous period, approximately 67 million years ago, a lone Tyrannosaurus is walking through a forest, searching for a meal. 
As the carnivore walks on, he comes to a clearing, where the plains meet the forest. Seeing an open field with several large trees, T.rex looks in the distance, hoping to catch sight of a large animal to prey on. Looking to his right, T.rex doesn't see anything except a couple of Pteranodons getting a drink from a waterhole. 
Knowing that these were flying animals, and that there was no way he could hide himself without the Pteranodons noticing, T.rex ignored them. He looked straight, but saw nothing. He then caught a whiff of a large herbivore, thanks to his superb olfactory bulbs (sense of smell), and turning to his left towards an open field, sees a Triceratops. 
Seeing no herd, he decides to take this opportunity to get a meal. 
If this was an Edmontosaurus, T.rex would charge and try to come close enough to fatally bite it. But since this was a Triceratops, T.rex needed a more thought out plan. He moved behind some trees that were opposite of the clearing, and peered to look out at the Triceratops, who by now had moved his position and was facing T.rex's left. 
Still needing more time to plan, T.rex walked some more distance until it was aligned with the Triceratops. This, coupled with that the Triceratops was facing away from the scheming predator, was T.rex's chance. 
Triceratops then raised his head, catching a smell of something. Something he feared. Just as Triceratops sensed the scent of T.rex, T.rex charged. He kept his mouth closed, waiting until he got close enough to use his massive jaws on the hapless herbivore, or so hapless as it seemed. 

Triceratops turned and faced the T.rex, standing his ground and displaying his horns. This was a young adult Triceratops, who was healthy and showed no sign of injury or disease, and was certainly a match for the T.rex. Hesitating for a moment as he stopped some safe space from Triceratops, T.rex pondered on what to do. He studied the horned herbivore, looking for a weak spot. With his jaws open partly, T.rex looked over as he tried to discern a chance to attack and possibly fatally injure Triceratops. T.rex moved back a little as Triceratops waved its horns and made noises for his herd to hear. 
Finally, T.rex decides to lower his head and try to bite down on one of Triceratops's front legs. Triceratops had raised his head slightly when he saw the enemy lunging forward, and quickly Triceratops swung his head sideways in an attempt to counterattack the predator. 

This attempt at counterattacking results in Triceratops's side of his head colliding with T.rex. Although the horns are not in an angle that allows Triceratops to injure T.rex, Triceratops's head frill keeps T.rex from gaining enough space to bite down on one of its legs. T.rex stubbornly tries to force his way to Triceratops's leg, and after gaining some firmness on the ground, T.rex brings his jaws down and manages to slip downwards a little and a few of T.rex's teeth scratch Triceratops's leg. Though not particularly deep, the scratches from T.rex's teeth are enough to make Triceratops yelp out in reaction to the pain. But Triceratops then brings his head to a narrower angle which prevents T.rex from doing any more damage. 

Finding himself momentarily outmatched, T.rex decides to step back several steps, and then uses the empty space between them to bite down on Triceratops's frill, to try to hold Triceratops in place. As a defense mechanism, Triceratops plants his feet firmly on the ground and while he gets dragged a little across the surface, he does not stumble. Although T.rex has succeeded in biting his frill, Triceratops has another defense. Triceratops leans forward and bites T.rex in his own leg, with Triceratops's sharp beak-like mouth causing a rather deep wound. T.rex cries out and stumbles backward, and this allows Triceratops to use its horns to make deep scratches across T.rex's side. T.rex cries out louder in pain, and steps back, focusing on his pain. 

The time in the battle spent has allowed members of Triceratops's herd to arrive and they all make deep bellows at T.rex and wave their horns. Outnumbered, and not wanting to get severely injured, T.rex backs off. The Triceratops then go back to their usual browsing and socializing with each other, while T.rex walks off, deciding to instead find easier prey later. 

So the winner of this battle was Triceratops! A healthy adult Triceratops would have been a challenge, since according to paleontologists Triceratops was built low to the ground, which would have endowed it with a very stubborn center of gravity. 

Also, Tyrannosaurus was indeed a fearsome predator, but it and other large predatory theropods may have preferred to hunt the old, young, and sick/weak individuals, since they would have been easier to bring down. 

I hope you enjoyed this hypothetical dinosaur battle scenario, and more dinosaur scenarios will be on the way! 
Sin should not be the central focus of one's life. We must certainly be reminded not to fall into grave mistakes or commit offenses against God, but one does not have to feel guilty or think that sin is a constant problem for them. 

As a Catholic Christian, I have been told by my dear grandmother Lala (God bless her) that the Catholic Church is a Church of Mercy, and that one important aspect of living a Christian is that we must be reminded this: 
God is a God of mercy.

There are pastors, priests, evangelicals out there, while they are nevertheless deeply dedicated to the Bible and its messages, some of them disturb me with how much they place emphasis on sin and even how we are all "condemned" (talk about daring choice of words!) since birth. This is disturbing because despite this being used by some evangelicals, the Catholic Church does not teach this. The Church does say that sin lurks in our nature, but this is also what the Church holds: Salvation does lie outside the Church.

As the bold and italicized statement says above, one does not have to be Catholic or even a Christian in order to get to Heaven. Non-Christians who do good and fear God will go to Heaven too. 

This is a big relief for me, since the over-emphasis on sin that I read on some Christian articles (I don't go to those anymore, rather I now go to more reassuring and moderate articles) made me concerned about the fate of non-Christians. As a Christian, I hope and pray that others will see God and those who do wrong will change their ways and be forgiven. 

Christians can live life in bliss without having to worry about sin. We can appreciate how good the world actually can be (it's actually getting better, in my opinion) and how great it is to be a child of God! 

As mentioned above, one should not focus so much on sin. 

For me, there has been way too much focus on sin in many Christian circles. We should emphasize the MERCY of God and the bliss of being his children, and we should focus on the goodness that humans can do, rather than on the "sinful" nature.

I can safely say that one can go living life without mortal sin, but we all have some small fault, so we should admit to God our mistakes and sins so that we may continue a life of godliness without bumps in the road making our life harder to be close to God. And besides, no one in my family has committed some major crime and gotten arrested- they have all remained law-abiding citizens. We should think so as for most people. 

So in conclusion, it is not right to be constantly preaching about how "sinful" we are. That actually brings a sense of guilt and dread, rather than more dedication to God. Sin can actually be something of an exaggeration, believe me. 
We should preach about how forgiving and loving God is, and how he created us to do his work, rather than fear any punishment or wrath from him. 

I hope this helps for anyone else who feels there is too much focus on sin or feel afraid about being "sinful". 
It has been over two years since I finally dove into the fandom of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and my love for the show and its fandom still remains strong. In this entry I will talk about how I discovered the fandom of bronies and how it has impacted me. Expect some honorable mentions to online friends whom I have a good friendship with. After all, friendship is magic! 

I heard about MLP: FIM, as early as 2012 or 2013, and it was around 2013 that I first heard about bronies. But it wasn't until mid-2015 that my curiousity finally pushed the limit and I watched an episode of Friendship is Magic and from then on, I was glad to be part of such an amazing fandom. 

In 2013, I was a high school junior in Lamar High School. I was doing well, and I was aged 17. It was just one more year until I turned 18, and I wanted to make the best of my final year before adulthood. It was where I believe I heard about bronies online. I wasn't disgusted or repulsed by the idea of adults watching a TV show for little girls, in fact, I was intrigued. "What is this all about?" I thought to myself. It could be that I could tell how the show was not a stereotype of all things "girly" and had depth to it. 
However, I forgot about bronies and MLP for a while. 

In 2014, I had come back from a trip with my Dad and sister to South Africa. Around June of that year, I was depressed and anxious because going on long trips does not often sit well with me. It was a hard time, and while I could still function in my everyday life, I paced and suffered from a loss of appetite, and I lost a moderate amount of weight. But fortunately, my depression was not severe. 

But by August 2014, I recovered from depression and anxiety. Online, I rediscovered my childhood icon The Land Before Time. The loveable gang of plucky dinosaurs had helped me back out of depression and that began my journey into becoming a member of the Land Before Time website called the Gang of Five Forum. But it would take many more months before I officially became part of the brony fandom. 

2015 marked the year that I officially got to know MLP:FIM and the bronies. In that year, I became a member of DeviantArt and the Gang of Five forum. One important event that got me into MLP was one tragic occurence- 
the death of my mother. 

My mother's name was Maria Zaayman (maiden last name "Valdes") and she had lived five years with brain cancer. She was a great soul, raising me to become the man I am today with strong morals and good taste. Her brain tumor was a glioblastoma, which makes five years quite a long while. My aunt Cecilia, who was a registered physician, did her best to help my mom undergo chemotherapy and bless my aunt's heart, was highly dedicated to helping my mom every step of the way. 

But finally in the summer of 2015, the glioblastoma had become too severe to treat, and my mom decided to be put in hospice. Me and my sister were deeply sad, and the funeral for my mom was paid in deep respect. My dad, who had enjoyed a healthy marriage with my mom until her death, was also deeply sad. 

After some weeks of her death, I recalled MLP and bronies. Wanting something happy and light-hearted, I decided to watch an episode of MLP to see what this fandom was about. And... 

I was touched by the greatness of this show. The stories were full of depth and felt genuine, and the characters were very relatable and loveable. This new generation of MLP had elements that you wouldn't expect to find in a show for little girls, and it dawned on me that I was now a member of the amazing group of fans that called themselves bronies.

Soon I became a member of DeviantArt. At first, I just watched and commented on others' artwork, but some months after I joined D-Art, I decided to post my own artwork. I created two MLP OC's: a draconequus named Blithe, and a pegasus pony named Plasma Blaze. 

I had quite some fun surfing the net for all things MLP-related, and I soon formed a sort of "mental network" that was all about being a brony. For a long while, I did not consider myself an official "brony", but now I decided I am one of the "moderate bronies". 

My sister later learned I was a brony, and she asked me what I was doing with this "pony show". I told her about the fandom and why I watched the show, and I have recently showed her some episodes of MLP, including season 7's "The Perfect Pear". She understood the reason why I watched the show, and from then on she doesn't see anything strange about watching MLP:FIM. 

So while I was relatively late to the fandom, I quickly familiarized myself with it. I learned about the main characters, the important princess figures of Equestria, the show's setting, and the life lessons in the episodes. I think the first episode I saw was "Daring Don't". I got to see the season 5's premiere, and by the season 5 finale, I was a full member of the bronies.

So that's how I discovered and became a member of this wonderful and dedicated fandom. I hope other fandoms that come up can model themselves after us, and I give honorable mentions to ShutterflyEQD and CybertronianBrony  
for inspiring me to make my own fanart and artwork. Thank you, for being my friends. 

P.S. Any brony who sees this, you can comment on how you discovered the show and fandom too! 
Image result for star wars a new hope

As we draw closer to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and this year being the 40th anniversary of Star Wars, I've decided to talk about my favorite of the SW films, A New Hope

Now while A New Hope is number 4 in order of the Star Wars timeline, it holds the honor of being the first SW film, and the one that kicked off the cultural phenomenon since 1977. It may not be a surprise that this is my favorite of the SW films, with The Force Awakens (2015), being my second favorite. While Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is often considered the best by fans and critics alike, A New Hope is my favorite for a number of reasons, which I will discuss here. 

I highly enjoyed watching A New Hope as a child when I got familiar with Star Wars, and the plot and setting of the first SW film was enough to keep me to see A New Hope again and again. While I also enjoyed The Empire Strikes Back, there were a number of things about ANH which made it my favorite. 

A New Hope is among those films which pull you into the story as soon as you watch the beginning. The film dives deep into the story, which, putting aside the famous opening crawl, allows audiences to follow along with the progression of the story. We don't see the main hero Luke Skywalker appear right at the beginning but instead the first characters to appear onscreen are the droids C-3PO and R2-D2, who are integral to the story as the carriers of the Death Star plans. 

We have those on the hero side, the Rebel Alliance members, along with Princess Leia, began the story along with Darth Vader. For me, it was interesting to see a villain appear early in the film (although in the first SW film, Vader is the secondary villain) before the main hero. Vader's entrance excellently establishes his menace, with the ominous music and his dark shape emerging quickly establishing him as one of the greatest movie villains of all time. 

The film delivers the viewer well into the plot, with the plot device being the readout of the Death Star, the superweapon of the Galactic Empire. A well-known plot device that happens frequently in fantasy films (Star Wars is both science fiction and fantasy) is an object being the focus of a conflict in the film, like some artifact or a magical object being wanted by the villain and the hero having to keep it from falling into the villain's hands. However, A New Hope has the device being a readout plan of something, which has quite a lot of depth into the conflict in my opinion. 

The pacing is wonderful, and keeps the story of the film easy to follow with and does a great job at keeping audiences anticipated in the characters' experiences in the film, and establishes their role in the film very well. 

The dialogue, while a bit corny at times (Alec Guiness, who played Obi-Wan Kenobi, found many of the lines to be "fairy tale rubbish") nevertheless contains memorable lines and quotes worthy of being online memes, with some of my favorites being Luke Skywalker's "If they traced the robots here, they may have learned who they sold them to. And that would lead them... home!" as well as when Luke sees the Millennium Falcon- "What a piece of junk!" 

The action scenes, as well as being evocative to watch, don't overcrowd the story and appear when the time is right for action. A common problem I find in many action films today is that there is just too much action which tends to overcrowd the story, and not enough dialogue-driven scenes which is essential to the film as much as the action is. Luckily, Star Wars manages to avert that, and does well in keeping the action scenes and the dialogue scenes controlled and balanced. The Force Awakens managed to do a good job at that too, which is among the reasons that TFA is my second favorite SW film overall. 

And the chemistry between the characters is quite lifelike and feels genuine, which made the trio of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia one of the most beloved character groups in film history. As for the characters themselves, they follow a pattern common in epic stories- the humble hero (Luke Skywalker) being pulled into the conflict of the story, the wise old mentor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) teaching the hero of what needs to be done, the damsel in distress (Princess Leia) (although Leia was a more progressive heroine if you consider her a "damsel in distress"), and the loveable sidekicks (Chewbacca the Wookiee and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2). 

All of these combine to make A New Hope worthy of being my favorite SW film, since the pacing and setting just folds into a pattern to my liking, and is a great model of what epic films can be, and how creative the genres of fantasy and science fiction can be. 

Now I will talk about how The Empire Strikes Back compares to A New Hope. Now while I loved TESB and consider it to have one of the most adventure-filled stories of any films, I do not consider it to be the best SW film. While I do not in any way consider it "inferior" to ANH, the reason TESB isn't my favorite is not because of any flaws, but because ANH just has the elements which I like. TESB has the many makings of an adventure film, which I admire, from the fact that Luke Skywalker is separated from his allies for a majority of the story, the elevation of Darth Vader to being the main villain of the film (as the main villain in the first film was really Grand Moff Tarkin), to the introduction of fan-favorite Yoda. 

TESB has a level of supense that is sure to keep me gripping my seat and hoping for the heroes to prevail in the dark hours that follow in the film, since the one thing I admire most about TESB is that Luke is tested both by Yoda and Darth Vader, the good mentor and the villain respectively. Of course, I understand the full impact audiences had when the sequel premiered in 1980 when it was revealed that Vader was Luke's father. But alas, since that famous scene has been copied numerous times, any reference to "I am your father" becomes just lost in impact. But still, the scene where Luke fights Vader and the former learns, much to his horror, that Vader is his father, is just perfect in establishing the difficult times that Luke has to later face and prove that he is a Jedi.  

Now the reason I have ANH as my favorite over TESB is that I personally feel more connected to ANH than TESB. As for Return of the Jedi (1983), I also consider it to be worthy of being Star Wars. But ANH delivered everything that made me interested in Star Wars, and I find the pacing in ANH to be the best used overall. After all, ANH was the film that changed the film industry, and established numerous film tropes and inspirations to follow.  
So that is why A New Hope is my top favorite Star Wars film. I hope this gave you insight into what makes A New Hope great. I am Dracorider19, and be sure to comment on what you thought of this. 

Bonus point: I have the original edition of the novelization of Star Wars: A New Hope, which at the time was simply called Star Wars. The writing is just brilliant, and the dialogue is complex and worthy enough to make one feel as if they are in a galaxy far, far away. 
Image result for canterlot castle

This is a my little MLP take on the intro of Disney's The Little Mermaid with additional description of the Equestrian ponies, based on deleted quotes from the Little Mermaid intro. 

This also serves as a sort of anticipating prelude to the 2017 My Little Pony movie. And while this conversation is fictional, it also represents the brony appreciation for the depth-filled world of Equestria and its well-developed characters. As a bonus you can view the opening scene for Little Mermaid here for comparison: 

(Several people are at a fantasy convention. There is merchandise for fantasy-related franchises such as Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, the board game Dungeons and Dragons, and some Disney-related stuff. Some are dressed up as fantasy figures such as elves, dwarfs, wizards, and ogres. Here we see some fantasy fans checking out merchandise for Harry Potter.)
Main fan, named Jason: "Isn't this great? Cards for role-playing, Harry Potter wands, and fanart posters for all things fantasy! A perfect day to be at a con, don't you think, Greg? 
Greg: (bored) "Well, yes, rather enjoyable."
Fan #2: "This atmosphere has a magical feel to it. I bet Princess Celestia in Equestria is in a magical mood too!" 
Jason: "Princess Celestia?" 
Fan #2: Why, ruler of the ponies of Equestria. Also co-ruler with her sister, Princess Luna. The ponies of Equestria are in a faraway land, accessible where there is high concentration of imagination and magic!"
Greg: "Pfft, ponies, Equestria. Jason, don't listen to any of this fantasy nonsense." 
Fan#2: "But it's not nonsense, there's a whole land of magical sapient ponies out there, who all live much like we do, though with magic. I'm telling you, down in the depths of Equestria, the ponies live!" 
Fan #3: "There are three races of ponies: pegasus, unicorn, and earth pony. Also the alicorns, who are usually royal." 
Fan #4: "There are six particular ponies along with a young dragon who are closely tied with Celestia." 
Fan#5:"And beyond Equestria, the sinister Storm King." 
Jason: "The Storm King?" 
Fan #5: Evil, conniving, and looking for lands to expand his empire. He has conquered other lands and now looks to include Equestria in his empire. One can hope that the six magical ponies and dragon can gather the tools needed to defeat the Storm King and spare Equestria from his wicked deeds." 

Jason (thinks to himself) "A world of ponies in a place called Equestria. I hope they know what they should do to deal with this threat." 

(In another magical place, the ponies gather at Canterlot for a celebration.
OC character based on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. A great degree of thought and imagination I have put in order to think up what powers my draconequus might possess and what he lacks. 

Discord: "Can you turn apples into oranges? (turns apples into oranges) Can you hypnotize? Can you put your eyes into your hands? Can you turn yourself into different animals? (turns into a bird, a dog, and a gorilla, then back to normal form) Can you make yourself small?"
Blithe: "Well... golly that's a lot of magical things to do. I can turn apples into oranges (does so), however I cannot hypnotize. Even if I could, I wouldn't really know how. I cannot take my eyes out, but I can take my horns off (takes off one horn and puts it back on his head). I can turn into a few animals (turns into a hawk, then an alligator, then back to normal) but there are some animals I cannot change into. And no I cannot make myself small."

These are the powers and abilities that my draconequus Blithe possesses. He shares many magical powers and abilities with Discord, 


Lacks: Hypnosis, super-strength, thought projection, Telepathy

Powers: Physics bending, creation magic, light magic, shape-shifting, telekinesis

Physics bending: Blithe is able to bend the laws of most physics and even some laws of nature to a degree. He can change plants into different plants, make trees grow improbable things such as candy, and turn water into lemonade. While there are certain advanced physics-bending magic that is either difficult for him or simply impossible (due to his more limited powers than Discord) he is learning under the teachings of Discord and Twilight and so is learning to bend physics to a more advanced degree.
Creation magic: Blithe can poof up almost any household item, create orbs of light, and make beautiful plants such as flowers to grow in the ground. Although he cannot create highly valuable objects such as diamonds, he can mold and bend different gemstones together to create something new and beautiful.
Light magic: Blithe possesses magic that is involved with light- simply speaking, he can influence and create light in many shapes and forms.
Telekinesis: Blithe can summon most objects without touching them, though he cannot do so with very heavy objects such as boulders.
Shape-shifting: Blithe is able to shapeshift into a number of animals, based upon the animal body parts he has. For example, possessing a leg of a kangaroo, he can turn into a kangaroo. Having an alligator tail, he can turn into an alligator. And though he is practicing this ability, being part dragon, he will eventually be able to transform into a red dragon. 

This is what Blithe can do, and what he cannot do. Blithe is still practicing on some magical spells, and will eventually be able to perform some of the more advanced magic easier as he undergoes more training with Twilight Sparkle and Discord. 


I've rediscovered an interest in fantasy and fairy tales, and also in some certain creatures of those genres.
Most have heard about fairies. The diminutive magical beings are fun to fantasize about. They actually used to be traditionally depicted as human-sized, but starting in the 18th-19th century, they were depicted as the familiar small winged humanoids we know today.
Then there's the pixie, a similar small mythical being like the fairy, but traditionally said to be wingless. It is fond of fun and pranks,
and is known to sometimes lead travelers astray and lost. This had led to the term "pixie-led".

I will describe fairies and pixies in my fantasy world. In my world, fairies and pixies are related, but pixies also share common ancestry with goblins. In my fantasy headcanon, there are two "races" of fairies:
. The common, familiar "winged fairy", who are small, about 6-12 inches (or more, depending on the tribe) and live in forests. They will sometimes frolic in the meadows during the spring and warm seasons.
. The human-sized "fey" (an alternative word for a fairy), has no wings, and are more like wizards, and carry magic wands. They are also called "wizard fairies" and the men are mostly beardless. They can often be found in human settlements, such as towns and villages.

As mentioned before, pixies are related to fairies, but are a distinct race from the fairies. Pixies are wingless, wear plain green or brown clothing, often have pointed hats, and typically live in open woodlands or in former human settlements such as stone circles and old farms. While fairies can be helpful and welcoming towards people, pixies are usually mischievous, playful, and may play tricks on people. Pixies can be helpful and benevolent, however, especially if those who need help demonstrate good manners and ask for help.

Also in my fantasy, one difference between fairies and pixies is that fairies can be found all across Europe and North America, while pixies are more commonly found in England, but also in parts of Northern Europe. There are no pixies in North America.                                   Fairies can be seen throughout all seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter, whereas pixies can typically only be seen in summer and fall. On the other hand, one can see pixies during the spring in parts of Northern Europe if they live with fairies, since sometimes pixies and fairies live in the same settlement. Though, the two races more commonly have their own settlements.
Christmas is the holiday that has a sheer number of songs. More than any other holiday in America, Christmas has many well-known songs that are played over the radio, shopping radio, and Christmas caroling. It is difficult to know the exact number of Christmas songs, but here are the top standards songs in different categories. There are religious/spiritual carols, which are the oldest, and the more recent popular Christmas songs, which are typically not religious, but nevertheless celebrate the spirit of the season.

Religious/spiritual
  • "Silent Night"
  • "Joy to the World"
  • "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
  • "O Holy Night"
  • "Away in a Manger"
  • "O Come all Ye Faithful"
  • "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
  • "The Little Drummer Boy"


Popular/Most often played on the radio
These are the songs you most often hear on the radio. They are also the most often recorded by other artists.

  • "Jingle Bells" (Originally was a Thanksgiving song)
  • "White Christmas"
  • "Winter Wonderland"
  • "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
  • "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
  • "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
  • "Silver Bells"
  • "Jingle Bell Rock"
  • "I'll be Home for Christmas"
  • "Sleigh Ride"
  • "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
  • "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"
  • "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"
  • "It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas"
  • "Holly Jolly Christmas"
  • "Here Comes Santa Claus"
  • "There's no place like home (for the holidays)"


It's no surprise that the obvious reason Christmas has such a huge number of songs is because of how special Christmas is. The reason for this holiday even existing is because of Jesus Christ coming down in the form of a human being and is the bridge between humanity and God. He came to die for any sins committed and loves us more than we can imagine. Therefore, that's why Christmas is so special.

As I saw the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I knew that this new film would please fans of Star Wars everywhere. The script was well-written, the acting superb, and best of all, the old actors of the original trilogy were back.                                                                                                                                                                      I really enjoyed watching The Force Awakens, and one of the characters that drew my interest the most was Kylo Ren. From watching the advertisements for The Force Awakens, it was obvious that Kylo was the main antagonist, and a fanboy of Darth Vader. Of course, before watching Star Wars 7, I knew that Kylo Ren shared many similarities to Darth Vader because he wore a mask and a dark cloak in order to emulate Vader. Then I learned in the movie that Kylo was Vader's grandson, and that he wanted to "finish what (Vader) started".                                                                Kylo Ren clearly has admiration and obsession for Vader, and so he seeks to be like his grandfather by wearing a mask and dark cloak. He aspires to become as powerful as Vader, and under the guidance of his master Snoke, to restore the legacy that Darth Vader left.     

Kylo Ren wears a mask to appear intimidating and to hide his emotions, evident by the  deep robotic voice that he speaks when wearing it. His dark hood and cloak are part of his devotion to the dark side and admiration for his grandfather. Of course, Kylo does not need a mask unlike Vader, but while Vader's mask and helmet was part of his life support system, Kylo's mask is designed to make him look more threatening, and so closely imitates Vader's appearance.
Now while these are one of the similarities Kylo shares with Vader, there are also some contrasting differences. While both follow the dark side of the Force, Darth Vader was a Sith, but Kylo Ren is stated to not be a Sith.                         Another contrasting difference is the personality and emotions. While Darth Vader was a cold and sinister person who channeled his rage calmly and was ice-cold in emotions, Kylo Ren is emotionally unstable and frequently has temper tantrums. While Kylo does his best to keep calm, he frequently loses his temper and cool when things aren't going his way. This is a stark contrast to how both figures handle their emotions.

When Kylo took off his mask, I thought he looked pretty creepy and cold even without the mask. He has no scarring or injuries unlike Vader, in fact, he appears pretty healthy, aside from his creepy look.
Image result for kylo ren
Kylo Ren unmasked.

And one striking similarity Kylo shares with Vader is his conflict with his father, Han Solo, though this is also another difference since Vader was Luke's father e.g. the antagonist of the original trilogy was the father, and the antagonist of the sequel trilogy is the son. These are interesting contrasts which intermingle with similarities.           
Kylo Ren has disowned his father; this is shown when he addresses his father as "Han Solo" instead of "father" or "dad" and when he tells his master Snoke that his father "means nothing" to him. This is evident of him trying to distance himself away from his family and heritage in an effort to be immersed in the dark side.
The scene where he kills his father under the pretense of being turned back to the light side is a pivotal point in Kylo's  character: he does this in order to make sure he is completely dedicated to the dark side. It is indeed a tragic scene, but it reveals just how conflicted he is. He is shaken by the event, probably thinking "What have I done?" while trying to stay in the dark. Kylo's conflict with Finn and Rey later on shows how affected Kylo is by that point, as he is somewhat unstable in the battle, and while he defeats Finn, he does not defeat Rey, and the event may have ignited the inner conflict Kylo was experiencing at that point.

While Kylo Ren certainly is strong with the Force, it is revealed in The Force Awakens that his training is not yet complete, and so we will see how much training he'll go and what skills he will gain in the future films.  Overall Kylo Ren is a character who is conflicted within himself, and unsure of himself. He may have turned to the dark side, but he still feels the pull to the light side. The next films will show more of Kylo Ren's character, and we can learn more about his history and character.

Tell me what you think about my analysis, and if you feel I need to change or add more, don't hesitate.
The My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic show has generated quite a large and devoted fan base with tons of fan-fiction and fan-art flooding the Internet and many O.C. characters.
I am one of these fans, and I have made my own O.C., based upon the kind of creature that the former antagonist Discord is: a draconequus. Discord has been quite popular with the fans thanks to his witty and silly demeanor and mix-and-match appearance. Now while there hasn't been any other draconequi in the show, and the origin of Discord and his species has not been revealed or explored, there has been much fan speculation about Discord and his kind.
I am one of those who has created a draconequus O.C., and this is what I think about draconequi.

In my headcanon, draconequi are highly magical creatures (Discord has obviously a lot of magical power) who are "creatures of chaos", able to manipulate and bend the laws of physics and nature, though typically on a smaller scale than Discord. My OC, called "Blithe" is a draconequus who is younger than Discord, and not as experienced with magic and all things a draconequus can do like Discord, but can do many things with magic, being a draconequus. Blithe is good-natured, friendly, and is not mischievous, unlike Discord. He also does not wish to cause any trouble.          
Blithe's appearance: Blithe is shorter than Discord (though a little taller than Princess Celestia) and has a younger-looking face, being a young draconequus. (His age is equal to a man in his late 20s)
Blithe lacks a goatee, unlike Discord, and has two small pointy teeth sticking out. His horns are that of a gazelle, and his head and neck is white. His mane is brown. His eyes are green and his eyebrows are brown. He has the torso of a red dragon, and his right arm is that of a red dragon also. His left arm is that of a fox, his right wing is a hawk's and his left wing is a red dragon's. He has the right leg of a kangaroo and the left leg of a wolf, and his tail resembles an alligator's.

Here is my story of how Blithe meets Discord, Spike, and the Mane 6.

Blithe wants to use his magic for his and others' pleasure, and thus he has been out trying to find friends. He comes from beyond Equestria, and he happens to wander into Equestria, into the Everfree forest. He spends a night there, and doesn't fear the Everfree forest, since most of the creatures flee from him because of his unusual appearance.
He then walks into an open field outside of the Everfree forest, and takes a nap there. He is spotted by Discord, who happened to be flying around. He sees Blithe and reports to Twilight Sparkle and her friends about it, albeit with glee and excitement that another draconequus is present.          
Wanting to find out if this draconequus is friendly and not a trouble-maker, Twilight, her friends, and Discord set out to find Blithe. Of course, this is very simple since Discord teleports himself and Twilight and co. to where Blithe is. (Blithe is still sleeping at this point.)
These are the following Mane 6's reactions:
Twilight Sparkle: Woah, I never thought I'd see another draconquus! 
Rainbow Dash: Let's just hope this one is not out to cause trouble.  
Pinkie Pie: Ooh! Do you think he'll want a party! I think he will! I'll throw him a welcome party!
Fluttershy: I think he looks, uh... cute when he is sleeping.
Applejack: He could be useful, having lots of magic.
Rarity: Well, I certainly hope he has standards and sophistication.
Spike: Well I hope he likes to eat gems! Cuz' we could be best buds!

They wake up Blithe. Blithe opens his eyes and sees the Mane 6, Spike, and Discord. He pauses and looks at them for a moment, then he opens his eyes wide in surprise.
Spike comes over and says "Do you know where you are?" Blithe says "This must be my dream land!" and magically poofs a glass of lemonade and drinks it, apparently in joy over someone willing to talk to him instead of show fear. (My OC loves lemonade.)
The Mane 6 and Discord then proceed to tell Blithe where he is, ask how he got to Equestria, and what is his intent. Blithe tells he's been traveling all over from beyond Equestria, and after hearing about a place with friendship and welcoming (which is Equestria, of course) he traveled over to find Equestria, and since he wanted to show that he was good-hearted and not out to cause any trouble, he felt ponies were the best creatures to make friends with.
The Mane 6 are moved by Blithe's words, and Discord says how "great it is that another draconequus is here" and offers to be a teacher to Blithe in the way of magic so that Blithe could learn more and potentially become stronger. Twilight agrees with Discord's idea, and she also offers to teach Blithe magic as means to advance his powers and use his magic for benevolent purposes.
Blithe is overcome with happiness, and he hugs Discord, Spike, and the Mane 6. They are somewhat surprised by this, but accept Blithe's gratitude.
Twilight then writes a letter to Princess Celestia, telling about Blithe and requesting a meeting between them. Discord then teleports Blithe, the Mane 6, and Spike to Canterlot.
They walk through the halls, with Twilight clarifying to a pair of guards about their meeting with Celestia. They let them pass, and soon Celestia is waiting for them outside her throne room.      
Blithe is awestruck to see the majestic Celestia, and immediately bows to her in respect. Celestia chuckles and asks Blithe what his motive is for coming to Equestria.
Blithe replies that he came looking for friends to make so he can demonstrate his magic for fun and good purposes, and so that he won't be lonely. He also wishes to be known to ponies that he is not out looking for trouble and that he is friendly. Celestia understands this and decides to arrange for Blithe to meet everypony in Ponyville, with Twilight planning to introduce Blithe to Ponyville.      
Blithe expresses excitement to meet more ponies, and Pinkie Pie rushes off to plan a welcome party for Blithe.
Discord says he will come back to meet Blithe tomorrow for some magic training, which Twilight agrees and promises to give Blithe some magic training too after lessons with Discord. Blithe can barely contain his excitement, much to the amusement of Celestia.
Blithe then is asked by Twilight if he can teleport. Blithe replies that he can, but his teleportation powers are currently limited, and that he can only teleport to a moderate distance. He demonstrates by teleporting over to the other side of the throne room. Twilight say that they will work on expanding his teleportation powers later. Twilight then teleports herself and Blithe out of the throne room to the entrance of Canterlot.
Later, Blithe is walking with Twilight in Ponyville, with Twilight introducing Blithe to everypony. First they go to Sugarcube Corner, where Twilight introduces Blithe to Mr. and Mrs. Cake. The Cakes are surprised to see Blithe, but nevertheless welcome the young draconequus. Blithe demonstrates his magic with magically making a glass of lemonade. Pinkie then comes over and says she's almost done planning Blithe a welcome party. Blithe offers Pinkie the glass of lemonade, saying it is his "friendship gift" to her. She drinks it, and exclaims how good it is, and rushes off to continue finishing the welcome party.
Twilight goes on to introduce Blithe to the various citizens of Ponyville, including Applejack's family, Big Mac, Granny Smith, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Zecora (she came into town to get some important groceries), Roseluck, Derpy Hooves, Golden Harvest (Carrot Top), Vinyl Scratch, Lyra Heartstrings, Sweetie Drops (aka Bon Bon), Miss Cheerilee and others. Blithe is pleased to see how friendly Ponyville is, and expresses joy at being able to make potential friends. Twilight says that she will teach him about friendship as well as magic, so he could learn how to spread friendship as an ally of Equestria.
 Twilight leads Blithe to her friendship castle, and as they open the door, a ton of voices yell "SURPRISE!"
Pinkie bounces over and talks a mile a minute, exclaiming how she threw a welcoming party for Blithe, and this surprises and excites Blithe, who says "The level of friendship has gone to new heights!" and poofs a pair of sunglasses to put on, and magically summons confetti to throw in the air.
Blithe enjoys the party, and even refills the bowl of punch with his magic when it is almost gone, having learned some magic from Twilight while out making friends.
After about two hours, the party is over, and Blithe thanks Pinkie profusely for throwing him such a great and welcoming party, and promises to meet with her again to help her throw a party with his magic after he learns to strengthen them with teaching from Discord and Twilight.

So that's my fan story of my draconequus O.C. Tell me what you think below, and if you want more stories with my O.C. I will be glad
to write some more. I gladly accept feedback.

Note: My O.C.'s name, "Blithe", is an old word meaning "cheerful, or in happy spirits".