Overthinking Star Wars

21:27 Tue 14 Dec 2010
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In the spirit of the famous Clerks discussion, here’s “Think Tank: What do the Stormtroopers Think of Vader?”. Best excerpts:

Imagine you worked at the Pentagon as a personal attache to Colin Powell or McChrystal, and you hear over the PA “Alert! Alert! There is a Nazi Ninja Master loose in the Pentagon! Your orders are ‘Shoot to kill!’” You get up and walk around the corner, and there’s this 80 year old man with a Hitler moustache in a black outfit, and he and Donald Rumsfeld are circling each other ominously. Both of them have katanas drawn.

Do you shoot?


Even if we suppose that they’re just too damn scared of Vader to consider fragging him, we should at the very least expect them to be performing countless little acts of insubordination throughout the movies. Turning a blind eye at checkpoints when they’re supposed to be looking for droids, half-assing it on guard duty (even of critical areas like the prison and the reactor core), and intentionally misfiring their weapons during combat… huh.

Does my appreciation of this kind of thing account for a significant amount of my geekiness? The desire for rich fictional worlds that continue beyond what is presented in the story, and for those worlds to make sense? I still recall my enthusiasm as a kid about the “history” of Star Wars[*], and I’m pretty sure there was a desire there to understand why the events of the first movie came to pass—and, naturally, for those reasons to be interesting and compelling.

I seem to have significantly higher standards, now, for what it takes for these worlds and stories to “make sense”, and that might be why I find myself often dissatisfied by plots and milieus as I come across them in fiction; this is just about counterbalanced by more appreciation for the good ones when I find them, and (to a lesser extent) by my efforts to make some myself if I don’t find them elsewhere[†].

[*] Since magically transformed by George Lucas into severe scarring.

[†] I mean in original creative efforts rather than reinterpretations.

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