A to Z Challenge: More Fictional Favorites! Day 23: Westley from The Princess Bride

W is for — Westley from William Goldman’s The Princess Bride A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0

“As you wish.”

Whenever “farm boy” Westley said these words to Buttercup, he was really saying, “I love you.” Buttercup’s realization of this ignited a love so true, it survived pirates, kidnapping, evil princes, Cliffs of Insanity, a Fire Swamp, and the Pit of Despair.

The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies, and Westley, played by Cary Elwes, is a perfect hero. He’s smart, strong, and capable, and his love for Buttercup never wavers. He’s an expert with a sword, too, which lifts him even higher in my estimation.

One of my favorites scenes in the movie is Westley’s sword duel with the Spaniard, Inigo Montoya, whom I wrote about in last year’s A to Z “I” post. The moments leading up to the duel are quite funny, too.

Elwes recently published a book called As You Wish that tells about everything that went on behind the scenes during the making of The Princess Bride. According to an article I read about the book, Bride author William Goldman spent a great deal of time researching 17th century swordfighting to create the duel, and Elwes and Mandy Patinkin, who played Inigo, spent more months learning to fence both right and left handed. Elwes and Patinkin performed every part of the duel themselves, except for the somersaults. They were trained by the legendary sword master and stunt man Bob Anderson, whose credits include being the stunt double for Darth Vader’s light saber battles and training the one and only Errol Flynn.








© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.

A to Z Challenge: More Fictional Favorites! Day 8: Han Solo

H is for — Han Solo from Star Wars A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0

Some of my favorite characters are good-hearted rogues. Their good sides may be well hidden, and they may not always be on the right side of the law, but when it’s all on the line, the good shines through.

Perfect example: Han Solo. He’s a good-looking guy — a smuggler, soldier-of-fortune-type, cocky and cynical. He’s in it for the money. Just pay him, and he’ll ask no questions. He and his sidekick, Chewbacca the Wookie, travel the galaxies, dodging the authorities and bounty hunters, in his souped-up ship, the Millennium Falcon. He’s proud of his exploits and brags of them to Luke Skywalker, when Luke and Ben Kenobi want to hire him to take them to another planet.

When things go wrong and he gets tangled up with the Rebels, he extricates himself as quickly as possible, takes his money, and leaves. He wants no part of the rebellion against the Empire. He finds, though, that Luke’s and, particularly, Princess Leia’s regard is more important to him than he wants to admit, and that good side of himself, buried deep, begins to emerge.

I saw the original Star Wars movie in the theater, and my favorite moment was right at the end where Luke is careening down the trench, pursued by Darth Vader and the TIE fighters. Vader is just about to blast Luke into oblivion, when from out of nowhere, laser fire shoots into the trench, takes out the TIE fighters and sends Vader spinning through space. Han in the Falcon is yelling, “Yahoo!” and everyone in the audience, including me, is cheering along with him. Han the rogue became Han the hero, a key member of the rebellion, and I became a Star Wars fan for life.



Photo Credit: Star Wars Wikia

Photo Credit: Star Wars Wikia






© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.