I endcap my editorially unapproved multi-column month of Star Wars columns with another Cultural Junkdrawer where I’ve asked several friends (through a mass text) to hit me with questions about STAR WARS VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS – DIE HARDEST – THE SPAWNING and I will attempt to answer them in a competent manner with as little snark and derision of their poorly understood knowledge of the epic space saga.
So here goes…
Occasional roommate, and TV episode director Rick asks: “Damn you and your mass texts…”
Me: That’s not actually a question, try again.
Former Adult performer, marketing wiz, and current issue Penthouse model Kelly asks: “Opt out. Opt out!!!” and follows with the astute “I’m gonna put this in my pants and set it on vibrate…”
Me: Good idea. But it doesn’t really have much baring on the Star Wars mythos.
Co-founder of 01 Publishing (current home of my Graphic Novel Crazy Mary, among other fine reading materials) Kat wanted to say this about the movie that has made a billion dollars faster than any movie in history: “Take me off this conversation.”
Me: Apparently I fucked up by sending a mass text and I might be in the market for some new friends, sorry guys. Got a little excited about the idea.
But the questions still remain and I guess I’ll have to make up people to ask them and work in real questions from the remaining friends as they trickle in amongst the recriminations for breaching texting etiquette.
Facebook friend and gay comptroller Milton Whahoonyeplunk-Smith of Bitter Creek Wyoming asks – “How could Finn, conditioned from birth to be a faceless killing machine, suddenly NOT act on his orders to slaughter innocent villagers?”
Me: Well, Milt, it is established that the Force is awakening. I think they worked that into the movie title somehow. Supreme Leader Snoke (or just “Marvin” to his friends) feels it and comments on it to Kylo Ren in one of his many conversations that is obviously not part of a mass phone text that pissed off all of his friends. The Force is awakening in Finn, thus the sudden attack of conscience that stopped him from killing all those innocent villagers… and started his trilogy-long kill-spree of First Order troops who had no choice because they were conditioned from birth to be Stormtroopers.
Dimmer board programmer for The Grinder and self-aware nerd Brian “Fish” Fisher asks: “Why is Luke’s name in the opening scroll? Why not have the first mention be in the film?”
Me: It’s what we call in the writing biz “The McGuffin”. Named after famed black-listed film writer Stuart “McGuffin” Whahoonyeplunk-Smith (no relation to my friend Milton, I asked) it’s a term for a plot device that drives the narrative of the story. Other famous McGuffins: The Lost Ark of the Covenant, Fonzie’s jacket from the epic multi-episode story arc Happy Days: Fonzie Loses his Cool, The One Ring, Waldo.
FanboyNation editor, podcaster, and all around warm fuzzy guy Chad Osuna asked (through our conversation before and during the Christmas episode of the Growing up Geek Podcast and not in response to the mass text I sent out in a moment of unbridled enthusiasm): Why does SWFA steal so much from SWANH? Why couldn’t they do something more original?
Me: Well, AAMOF, I heard, on the DL, JJ wanted to make something in the mold of ST: TNG, FYI. But Y is the FAQ UR looking 4. IDK. FWIW IMHO SWFA needed to play it safe. IDC really, AL it nicked all the Good parts from SWANH and a little from SWESB. It WFM.
Seriously, though, this is the big arguing point from the backlash camp. And it is a cogent point but consider this; making The Force Awakens a half-reboot half-sequel is the culmination of years of Hollywood doing primarily re-boots and sequels. Now we’ll get a slew of this combined hybrid boot-quels with movies like Jurassic Rest Stop, Indiana Jones and Another Adventure with his Father, Big Trouble in Little China with an all transgender and German Sheppard cast, and Batman v. Superman v. Wonder Woman v. Zan & Jana v. Evil Gleek v. Dracula.
Disney made a four BILLION dollar investment in Lucasfilm. That’s, like, what Kanye West earns in a month (according to Kanye, I haven’t double checked his facts but why would he lie?). I’m sure there was some discussion in the early stages of developing a new STAR WARS movie that went like “You all got my mass text; sorry ‘bout that. Anyway we just dropped a Kanye size chunk of dead prez on this property! How do we not end up with another Jar Jar Fucking Binks?”
This may be surprising to hear but studio executives aren’t that imaginative; AKA Rebooting AKA Boot-quels every property out there. There was probably so much nervousness to deliver another New Hope and not a Phantom Menace that essentially I get to apply the term “Re-mix” to the description along with “re-boot” and “re-visit”. It doesn’t necessarily let anyone off the hook but when you got a property that is planned to be spun off into movies, merchandising, theme park WORLDS, and the essential and lucrative coffee creamer tie-in it’s a surprise this thing didn’t have R2D2 wielding a lightsaber and flying the Millennium Falcon for two hours. So, yeah it has all the elements from the Star Wars movies we liked and no Jar Jar Fucking Binks.
Vice President of sales Tony Arnod asks “Rey lives in a downed AT-AT. Are there others available?”
Me: Well the downed AT-AT market has blown up since the release of The Force Awakens (it’s like everyone forgot about the gentrification of Endor twenty five years ago) but I poked around on the internet and found this…
Junk bond seller and casino owner Butch Calarissian asks – “What were those squid monster things Han had on the cargo ship?”
Me: They are called Rathtars and they are a subtle commentary on the rise of the tea party movement in the American political system.
Butch follows with: “Why didn’t they eat Finn right away, like they did with the Guavian Death Gang and the Kanjiklub Gang?”
Me: The Rathtars were full; they just devoured two complete space gangs for Palpatine’s sake! The Rathtar was taking Finn back to its nest to put him in special Rathtar Tupperware for devouring at a later time.
Presidential candidate and three time Tallahatchie prettiest princess competition winner Ted Cruz asks – “Why does the Empire keep building giant superweapons that have easily found weak spots the rebels can blow up?”
Me: 3 words: Pork Barrel politics. You know how many local jobs converting an entire planet into the Starkiller weapon created? Same goes for both Death Stars. Christ there could’ve been a whole story arc in the expanded universe about the coin Tagge Corporation skimmed off the Death Star construction budget.
Also the weak point of Starkiller base was the size of a small city. Much bigger than a womp rat.
Butte, Montana dental assistant Jessica Whahoonyeplunk-Smith (No relation to Milt) asked – “Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?”
Me: There are many theories as to who Marvin (as I call him) could be here are a few…
Darth Plagueis – Palpatine’s master. Possible but Palpe said he murdered him and it seems unlikely Plagueis would chill while his former pupil took over the galaxy.
Jar Jar Binks – Although the Jar Jar as Sith Lord theory holds water it is unlikely that the name Jar Jar will ever ever be uttered in a Star Wars film ever again. Set decorators working on the movie were told to not even place two jars together.
The love child of Gollum and Voldemort – He’s got the looks and some DNA for it.
Snakeman from Dreamscape – Ever since his 90’s sit-com That’s so Snakeman got cancelled after one episode aired and his subsequent failure to save the show through a mass texting campaign, Snakeman slipped into the semi-rote but not-undignified role of traveling guest star appearing in shows like Friends, Shasta McNasty, Law & Order – SVU, and I personally just met him when he did a guest spot on The Grinder just before holiday break. He’s pretty cool. Also his IMDB page has no mention of The Force Awakens so, no.
Denizen of the ocean depths and slayer of Sperm Whales, Giant Squid Larry, asks: “What’s the deal with Captain Phasma? We were led to believe she was a bigger player in this movie!”
Me: I think Captain Phasma was an attempt to get some of that “Boba Fett” mojo going. Boba Fett was a character of mystery for us 70’s kids as a teased new character. We knew nothing about him except that he was a bounty hunter and he had a freggin jet pack! That’s why Fett was already legendary status by the time Empire… came out. Remember there were Captain Phasma toys released right out of the gate. Who they should’ve focused on is this bad-ass, TR-8R…
I guarantee his toy will outsell Phasma 2 to 1.
Detroit, Michigan used car salesman Hank “Mass text” Frankenburger asks: “How can Rey be so good with the Force so quickly and without any training?”
Me: Rey is either the daughter of Luke Skywalker or one of the surviving younglings from Luke’s Jedi academy. I personally think Rey knows more about the Force than she’s letting on, or, having a seriously high genetic predisposition towards Force sensitivity, the Force can upgrade her quickly. She might be getting tips from Force ghosts Kenobi, Yoda, Qui Gon, and Anakin (although she would probably tell Anakin to “Sack up”), or maybe somewhere in a hovercraft in a giant sewer system Rey popped out of the Matrix saying “I know Jedi mind tricks!”
It should be noted that in an earlier draft of The Force Awakens Rey’s name was “Mary-Sue”.
Fictional movie character who is due for a Re-boot any day now Roger Rabbit asks: “Why was Lucas being such a bitch about The Force Awakens?”
Me: He complained to Charlie Rose about selling Star Wars to “White slavers” (aka Disney) primarily because they threw his notes for episodes VII – IX into the trash. That and he’s an obsessive control freak. He later apologized because he probably got a strongly worded (not mass) text from Kathleen Kennedy pointing out that he should drink a tall glass of blue colored shut the fuck up! Truth is he’s upset that nobody really wanted to see a story about a New Republic filibuster led by some Zebrasquid dude named “Fartknocker”.
Sack up George; your creation will essentially live forever now.
And finally Katie Heaven, a camgirl and president of the Spokane Washington chapter of the Mandalorian cosplayers asks: “Why is Kylo Ren such a weenis?”
Me: One aspect of Kylo Ren is representative of all the Uberfan internet trolls that have bitched about movies in general and Star Wars in specific. He’s a moody twenty something all dressed in black and obsessed with things being what he interprets them to be to the extreme refutation of other points of view (He essentially prays to the mask of Darth Vader which was not how Anakin ended. Finished what Vader had begun? The subjugation of the galaxy. Not bringing balance back to the Force). Irrationally angry, perpetually pushy, eternally whiney (TROLL characteristics) and hiding behind a mask (COMPUTER SCREEN, ON-LINE PERSONA).He offers only destruction with no plan for rebuilding. And yet he still feels a pull to do what’s right. Kylo is acting contrarian to his own (and the Galaxy’s) best interests because he’s immature and angry.
I’m sorry if I got too analytical there.
That about wraps it up for this Q&A. If enough of you want to fling more questions at me about the movie or in the future we do an edition for other big geek movies coming out hit me up at [email protected] I promise I won’t include you in a mass phone text.
The other column entries are Cultural Junkdrawer – Who the &%$# is Kylo Ren?, Adult Continuity Episode III – Star Wars XXX – a Porn Parody, and Comics on the Can – Darth Vader #12.
Boot-Quel and Re-Quel are registered trademarks of MikeCo LLC.
After doing some research I discovered Kanye only makes three Billion a month. What an egotist!
Gor-Nar Fugleman’s trans-galactic realtors is, sadly, no longer canon.
Jar Jar as Sith lord is the best retroactive justification for a terrible character ever. Still doesn’t redeem Phantom Menace, though.
Space gangs are like Chinese food; you’re always hungry a few hours later.
Snakeman did get a Golden Globe nom for his multi-episode stint on Glee, but… well, it’s the Golden Globes…
Serious, TR-8R is an internet sensation Google it.
Lucas later apologized for the white slavery comment. Sometime after that he revised his apology with a special edition version containing an updated but superfluous digital apology. Look for the Blu-ray version of the apology soon with an altered audio track and irritating and pointless changes.
Kylo Ren is still cool even if he is a weenis.
I’ll be doing something about the AVN awards, at the very least tweeting about it at @logos728 come late January, stay tuned.
I received a transmission from Zortron Destroyer of Worlds. She is interested in covering the Academy Awards again before destroying our planet.
I hope you liked the Star Wars month. If you didn’t get your own columns!