tv and films

There are no humans in Star Wars.

This should be obvious from the title card. We’re a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Human beings evolved on this planet, Sol 3, over the last sixty million years or so depending on how you count. If we don’t want to go all “Chariots of the Gods?” we have to throw out the notion that the people represented by human actors in Star Wars movies are in fact human. They’re something else.

Why represent them as human? Let’s assume that the Star Wars movies are dramatizations of real history: that Luke, Leia, Han et. al. actually existed in a galaxy long, long ago (etc.), and that George Lucas accessed this history via the Force and wanted to represent it on film. Star Wars tells the story of a dominant-species empire arising from a pluralistic society, then being overthrown by courageous rebels and warrior monks. Lucas had to cast this drama with human actors, and the obvious choice was to use unmodified humans to represent the most common species.

While convenient, this approach does present one problem: watching the Original Trilogy, we assume that the ‘humans’ of the GFFA (Galaxy Far Far Away) are biologically and sociologically identical to Sol 3 humans. When obviously they’re not! In fact, I think a few important context clues present a very different picture of the dominant race of the Original Trilogy.

Read the rest of Max Gladstone’s theory for what he thinks is the most likely answer. From 2013, but I just came across this link today.


Rogue One Mini-Review and Machete Order Thoughts

I saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (man, that full title is clunky) last night, and really enjoyed it. Here’s the brief mini-review I posted to Facebook:

Brief spoiler-free review of Rogue One: as many have already said, it’s good, and well worth seeing in the theater. Manages to be very much a part of the established Star Wars universe while also being very different from every other Star Wars film made to date — and, yes, part of that is that it’s darker than the rest, and parents might not want to assume that young ones will be fine with this one just because it’s part of the Star Wars universe. Very effectively sits just before A New Hope while also being a very modern film; I was particularly impressed with how well they pulled this off, especially as so many of the costumes and hairstyles had to be consistent with the very ’70s aesthetic of ANH. Lots of little (and some not so little) touches, Easter eggs, and in-jokes for long-time fans to enjoy (one conversation between a couple stormtroopers made me laugh out loud, and I didn’t hear anyone else react to it; it didn’t seem that obscure to me, but maybe this Trekkie has a bit more Star Wars cred than I’d have thought). I’ll enjoy watching this one again down the line.

In another discussion, a friend asked where Rogue One should go in a Star Wars binge based on the Machete Order (which omits Ep. I, and puts Eps. II and III between V and VI, for a final viewing order of IV-V-II-III-VI). My initial thought was to just drop RO in at the beginning, since chronologically it comes just before ANH. When combined with The Force Awakens, this would make a full Machete viewing of RO-IV-V-II-III-VI-VII).

On further reflection, though, I actually think that RO (and, most likely, the rest of the forthcoming standalone films) should be omitted from the lineup, and that Machete Order should be restricted to the “primary” films (those with formal episode numbers).

(Keep in mind, the following is from the theoretical perspective of subjecting someone to a Star Wars immersion course under the assumption that they’ve never seen the films and are so divorced from popular culture that they don’t know the characters, beats, or revelations. So, basically, this is a fun little bit of geekery not very related to the real world at all.)

Spoilers for various films in the Star Wars saga up to and including Rogue One follow, so I’ll just drop the rest of this post behind a cut…

Star Wars Without Politics Wouldn’t Be Star Wars

Disappointed that these two tweets by Star Wars: Rogue One writers were removed (but not terribly surprised, especially if the deletions were decreed by the Powers Above):

On November 11, 2016, Rogue One writer Chris Weitz tweeted: “Please note that the Empire is a white supremacist (human) organization.” He later deleted that tweet after receiving lots of complaints from other Twitter users, many of whom asked him to stop “injecting politics” into Star Wars. Weitz clarified in one response tweet, “My apologies. You have a right to enjoy it as you wish; and I don’t wish to harm my colleagues’ work either.”

Weitz’ colleague, Gary Whitta, had already written his own response to the tweet comparing the Star Wars Empire to white supremacy, which said: “Opposed by a multicultural group led by brave women.” Whitta’s tweet has also since been deleted.

I have just as much sympathy (to wit: absolutely none) with people whining about “injecting politics” into Star Wars as those who did the same with Star Trek (most recently, regarding Bryan Fuller’s preparation for Star Trek: Discovery). Politics are integral to these stories. Even if you try to ignore the parallels between the Empire and the Nazi regime (which were explicit and intentional in both the original films and in The Force Awakens, so attempting to ignore that is rather ridiculous), the Star Wars prequels open with the Trade Federation controlling a blockade around a planet at the bidding of Chancellor Palpatine…but, no, sorry, that has nothing to do with politics. How silly of me.

All these people really mean is that they don’t want their politics to be called out as the bad guys…but, c’mon, if the shoe fits….

So Rogue One has already been passing the Furiosa Test (Do people on the internet get mad about it being feminist?), and now Trump supporters might be staying away as well (though, really, the two groups do seem to have a lot of overlap)? I don’t see much of a downside to that. I’d certainly be quite happy going to a movie knowing that there’s a smaller-than-normal chance of being surrounded by those types of people, and given the juggernaut that Star Wars is, I just don’t see a major impact on their bottom line from this. Win-win for everyone!

Except the Empire, perhaps.

Star Wars…?

This has been everywhere across the ‘net for the past day, so you’ve probably seen it…however, if you haven’t, now’s your chance.

The Star Wars trilogy, as told by someone who hasn’t _actually_ seen the movies.

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn’t seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

tv and films

Star Wars Parts IV-VI on DVD Sept. 21st!

The good news: the “first” three movies in the Star Wars trilogy (parts VI [A New Hope], V [The Empire Strikes Back], and VI [The Return of the Jedi]) will be released on DVD on September 21st.

The bad news: as has been rumored, speculated, assumed, and generally grumbled about for quite a while now, the DVDs will contain the newer, fancier, Greedo-shoots-first Special Edition versions rather than the original, unedited, like-we-all-remember-and-love versions.

The original “Star Wars” trilogy, comprising the 1977 movie, its 1980 sequel “The Empire Strikes Back” and 1983’s “Return of the Jedi,” will be released on DVD as a four-disc boxed set in September, Fox Home Entertainment and Lucasfilm Ltd. announced yesterday.


The boxed set will contain the special editions of the “Star Wars” trilogy released in the late 1990s and not the original theatrical versions.

Ah, well. Even with the Special Edition changes (which, to be honest, some I like and some I don’t), any of the first three films are still far better than the disappointing dreck of Episodes I and II.

And yeah.

I’ll be picking this set up on day one.

tv and films

Top 25 lines from Star Wars…

…that are improved by substituting the word “pants”:

  1. A tremor in the pants. The last time I felt this was in the presence of my old master.
  2. You are unwise to lower your pants.
  3. We’ve got to be able to get some reading on those pants, up or down.
  4. She must have hidden the plans in her pants. Send a detachment down to retrieve them. See to it personally Commander.
  5. These pants may not look like much, kid, but they’ve got it where it counts.
  6. I find your lack of pants disturbing.
  7. These pants contain the ultimate power in the Universe. I suggest we use it.
  8. Han will have those pants down. We’ve got to give him more time!
  9. General Veers, prepare your pants for a surface assault.
  10. I used to bulls-eye womp-rats in my pants back home.
  11. TK-421…why aren’t you in your pants?
  12. Lock the door. And hope they don’t have pants.
  13. Governor Tarkin. I recognized your foul pants when I was brought on board.
  14. You look strong enough to pull the pants off of a Gundark.
  15. Luke…help me take…these pants off.
  16. Great, Chewie, great. Always thinking with your pants.
  17. That blast came from those pants. That thing’s operational!
  18. Don’t worry. Chewie and I have gotten into a lot of pants more heavily guarded than this.
  19. Maybe you’d like it back in your pants, your highness.
  20. Your pants betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for your sister!
  21. Jabba doesn’t have time for smugglers who drop their pants at the first sign of an Imperial Cruiser.
  22. Yeah, well short pants is better than no pants at all, Chewie.
  23. Attention. This is Lando Calrissean. The Empire has taken control of my pants, I advise everyone to leave before more troops arrive.
  24. I cannot teach him. The boy has no pants.
  25. You came in those pants? You’re braver than I thought.

Thanks to Demented Kitty

tv and films

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

One word: overkill.

Sometimes good, sometimes bad. But that’s the single most precice and concise description I can come up with to summarize Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

tv and films

Ruminations on Star Wars

I was bouncing around over at Fark, and stumbled across a fun alternate take on the Star Wars mythology that I’d never seen before. Kinda cool theory, I think.

tv and films

How ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ really ended

A furious lightsaber duel is under way. DARTH VADER is backing LUKE SKYWALKER towards the end of the gantry. A quick move by Vader chops off Luke’s hand! It goes spinning off into the ventilation shaft.

Luke backs away. He looks down, and realizes there’s nowhere to go but straight down.

personal tv and films

Gee, I’m real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.

Monday’s back — woohoo?