The Last Sunrise of 2017

The Last Sunrise of 2017And so it came to pass, the year that was, yielding to the year to be. May good luck and a bright future shine upon you in 2018.

Here are some of the last photos shot this year for the Hawaii Files Blog, most of which can be viewed at our Flickr site. First off, the last sunrise of 2017, shot today (December 31) at Magic Island / Ala Moana Park. This location as well as Diamond Head Lookout, Waikiki Beach and Kahala are some of the our favorite locations to shoot sunrise pictures and sunsets.

Last Sunrise of 2017

Last Sunrise of 2017One of the major public events of 2017 was the arrival of Polynesian Society’s sailing canoe Hokule’a which completed a three year around-the-world trip in June. Thousands of people turned out for the vessel’s arrival on Magic Island and the open house event held at the Hawaii State Convention Center.

HŌKŪLEʻA - Mālama Honua Educational Exhibits & Hōkūleʻa Canoe Tours

Hokule'a Returns to HawaiiThe total solar eclipse of August 21 was a huge naturally occurring spectacle that dazzled many on the U.S. mainland. Here in Hawaii rain clouds almost cancelled out the partial eclipse that early morning viewers caught in various places around Hawaii. The photos below were shot from Kahala Beach Park.

Today's Solare EclipseThe First Hawaiian Auto Show that occurred in March 2017 never fails to attract thousands of people to check out the latest model cars as well as unforgettable classics. The Hawaii Files was there to capture some images.

2017 First Hawaiian Auto Show

2017 First Hawaiian Auto ShowAttractions on Hawaii’s beaches are plentiful. A seal coming ashore to rest or nurse a pup always brings out photographers and beachgoers to observe these rare and mostly elusive animals. Kaiwi shown below spent a morning at Waikiki much to the delight of observers who were kept at a distance.

Kaiwi, Hawaiian Monk SealYou can view all of our Hawaii Files Photos, many of which are not covered in this blog on our Flickr website.

Have a great 2018.

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Star Wars For a New Generation


Star Wars – Episode 7: The Force Awakens” is a triumphant return to style for the immensely popular movie franchise created by George Lucas.

It’s 30+ years since the events of Episode 6’s “Return of the Jedi“. Han Solo, Leia Organa, Chewbacca and Luke Skywalker are back, but the emphasis of the latest adventure is firmly set by new characters Rey, Finn (FN 2187), Poe Dameron, and the evil Kylo Ren.  “The Force Awakens” is the Star Wars for a new generation.

While Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill have reprised their famous roles, fans have also embraced the new characters played by Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe) and Adam Driver (Kylo Renn). They are the ones who will move the storyline along as Star Wars charts a new future in upcoming installments.

I especially liked Rey, who is a new, female version of Luke Skywalker looking for her way in a confusing universe while finding out about “The Force“. Finn is a brave but somewhat clueless former Stormtrooper. Kylo Ren is not the personification of evil to fulfill the role as a dark lord — he needs further training as Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) acknowledges. This of course offers some hope that Kylo Ren may be able to see “the light” again.

I have to say that “The Force Awakens” is a true return to style with fast pacing, interesting but not obnoxiously goofy characters, and great special effects that veer away from the overtly slick, overused CGI that was applied to the prequel trilogy (Episodes 1, 2 and 3). The story is kind of predictable, and parallels that of Episode 4‘s “A New Hope” in some ways.

It’s all good. Early on you know this is Rey and Finn’s story as they are both thrown into each other’s world as a series of events bring them violently together where they eventually form a bond. Han, Leia, and Luke all get their grand introductions as they make their appearances in the story; re: “Chewy, we’re home“. In another way this is also Han’s story as he tries to patch up his fledgling family relationships.

While droids C-3PO and R2-D2 figure into this sequel, the most significant new character is the droid BB-8, whom “The First Order” is after. Another interesting character is Maz Kanata, a pirate and bar operator who has possession of one of Luke Skywalker’s lightsabers.

Composer John Williams continues in his role to score the movie with his great fanfares and dramatic musical pieces. This adds to the impact and familiarity that we all take for granted in every Star Wars film.

Star Wars is the story of one family, the Skywalkers. We saw what happened in previous installments. Now we have the first new chapter and look forward to see what happens next. Director J.J Abrams has definitely crafted a fine movie that make fans yearn for more. Disney and Lucasfilm have done good. The fans are excited and no one can wait for the next chapter.

Rating: 10/10.


It has been reported that pre-sale tickets for “The Force Awakens” were in the stratosphere with more than $100 million sold. The movie has set a box office record for first day receipts of $120 million and is well on its way to make more than $200 million this weekend alone.

It goes to say that I was among the first people in Hawaii to see the new movie. The lines at the Regal Dole Cannery Theaters in Honolulu were long for the 7:00 showing Thursday night, Dec. 17. Thanks to my friend Daniel, I had gotten free promotional tickets from Scion Hawaii to view the flick.

Hundreds of others patiently waited to see “Star Wars” in other auditoriums of the same theater complex at various times on the first night. Many wore Star Wars t-shirts and costumes. The scene was repeated a thousand times over at theaters throughout the U.S. and the world. “Star Wars” continues to be a worldwide phenomenon.



Star Wars The Force Awakens” trailer.

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