Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Unless you have been living in a swamp on Dagobah you are probably aware that there is a new Star Wars movie coming out in a few days. Last week I reprinted my opinions back when it was first announced that JJ Abrams would be helming the new instalment of the Star Wars saga. As we grow closer to the release date of The Force Awakens.
You can hide from the mighty tidal wave of Star wars, and SW merch. My 70 year old aunt is as excited about this movie as my 7 nephew. He also told me that he wished that the local Fred Myers (kind of a Pacific North West, version of Wal-Mart without the moral qualms) was full of just Star Wars items. Whether you like it or Star wars is going to son burst on the scene like twin suns of Tatoonie.
First off I still mourn the loss of the original Star Wars EU. For over two decades we have the history of a galaxy far far away unraveled to us, fling in the details before and after the battle of Endor. 90% of it is now non-canonical. JJ has chosen to wipe the slate clean and start with a new clean sand box.
For the casual Star Wars fan that isn’t a big deal. But for many of us a lot of that comes from the old West End games D6 RPG. To us who played the game in the late 80’s and the 90’s if it wasn’t like we were writing Star Wars cannon we were at least mapping it. The WEG D6 RPG, was the guide post for nearly two decades of Star Wars novels.
It bothers me that Jar Jar Binks and Mideclorians are cannon and Grand Admiral Thawn and Mara Jade are not. Still some of the original cannon sneaks through the name Twi’leks, for the two tailed headed aliens. Dash Randar’s YT-2400 the Outrider is now seen on the Special Edition and a brief cameo of Prince Xizor, legitimizes the Shadow of the Empire. The name Coruscant as the capital of the Empire remains form a Timothy Zhan novel. So parts of the EU remain. As Marvel increases the numbers of new Star Wars comic books I have no doubt that they will barrow form he original EU. Also let’s remember that Abrams is a big geek at heart and probably has some EU Easter Eggs up his sleeves.
And like many fans I have the same complaints about the prequels. Anikan is too whiney. Why did the Jedi let Obi wan do what they just told him not to do in training the future Darth V. The story line is dumbed down. But the part really annoys me that most people either miss or give a pass on, is the part where Ankin is trying to land a burning space cruiser and these ‘Fire truck’ spaceships fly by and spray water on it. Fire Truck Space ships! Come on. Just fly up out the atmosphere if no oxygen wont pit it out then spraying water on it won’t help.
If you weren’t alive back in 1977, you can’t really appreciate the sheer size of the impact on Star Wars. I think it was time that had a cartoon of two old men, one said to the other, “you and I are the only people in the world that haven’t seen Star Wars” – He then pulls out a gun and shoots the other guy and claims – “Now I am the only one in the world that hasn’t seen Star Wars”. For thirty years we have been bombarded with tie-ins any action adventure block buster, but this was all new back then, and the extent has never again been reached.
Last week I too my niece and nephew to a local antique store (actually more a kitschy knickknack store), because it has a 50’s style ice cream fountain in the back. The store has a huge 5’ diameter Millennium Falcon hanging over the register. There are all these remnants of my childhood. And of course with the new movie they have all the SW out on display. An old beat up Kenner’s X-Wing, without the cockpit canopy is running $40.00. I look at the Hot Wheel van with Darth Vader on its side I got on my last birthday cake and I wonder what it will be worth in 28 years.
I try to remember the hype around the prequels, and the only ones that stick was the TV commercials where Corneal Sanders, The Hot Pizza Girl (that’s her name, I didn’t make it up, the internet did) and the Taco Bell Chihuahua get suck in to a time warp and fight evil. Hey it was better than Phantom Menace. We basically all hope the new moves don’t suck like the prequels.
So let’s talk about the dark side of this wave of Star wars enthusiasm. Katherine Timpf, a Fox news person said that the movies were over-rated and that she didn’t get it. What she got was death threats. Now I am not completely anti-Fox News, it is just that I don’t think it is news it is Op Ed. Now I love NPR, but have to remind myself that it is also heavily influenced by op Ed too. And Timpf can give back as well as she gets, and I am sure that the death threats were made ‘in jest’. But let me say it, this is not cool. We do not nor should we allow this to happen to women threatened over Gamer-gate. We should not stand for it here because Timpf is a conservative.
Also there is a story going round face Book and the web that a man killed himself over the fact that the Force Awaken has a black actor as one of its lead. More than likely this isn’t a true story. It was broken by a website called Channel 33 News. Sometimes they do post shocking real stories but they are mainly a satirical web site much like The Onion. Though picked up by many media outlets as real I really doubt its veracity.
Wither we like it or not it is JJ’s universe we just live in it. He is the heir apparent of Lucas legacy and hopefully when it arrives this time it will be worth a portion of the hype.