Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Tag: star wars (page 1 of 5)

A Han Solo Story

INT – MILLENNIUM FALCON

YOUNG HAN SOLO (played by ALL THE KIDS FROM STRANGER THINGS EXCEPT THE BLACK ONE) paces around the hold. YOUNG LANDO (played by THE BLACK KID FROM STRANGER THINGS) and YOUNG CHEWBACCA (played by a #TIME’SUP PIN) are also there. Everyone is doing SPACE BULLSHIT.

HAN
Hey, Lando. Guess who sent me a hologram?

LANDO
Young Luke Skywalker?

HAN
Who?

LANDO
Oh, right. We haven’t met any of them yet. Who?

HAN
Bryx Darb

LANDO
That is a very Star Wars name.

HAN
Right? We’re going to a 50’s diner, which exist for some reason.

LANDO
You’re gonna wear that?

Young Han Solo is wearing SPACE OVERALLS.

HAN
What’s wrong with this?

Lando and Chewie look at each other and shake their heads. Chewie makes ONE OF THE NOISES THAT MAKES NERDS CUM. They both GET UP and walk into the COCKPIT, where Chewie HITS HIS HEAD on a PAIR OF DICE HANGING FROM THE REARVIEW and all the NERDS CUM AGAIN.

INT – THE SPACE MALL

Wacky ALIENS and THAT SORT OF BULLSHIT walk around the FOOD COURT where SPACE TEENS are SPACE FLIRTING.

HAN
Guys, I don’t know about this.

LANDO
Han, old pal, we’re gonna make you look groovy.

CHEWIE
<Wookiee sound.>

They enter a store: HOLO-CHESS KING.

SOUND CUE: WALKING ON SUNSHINE BY KATRINA AND THE WAVES

Lando and Chewie sit outside a DRESSING ROOM. A retail CLERK played by Kevin Spacey Christopher Plummer is with them.

Han emerges in a COMICAL OUTFIT. Lando, Chewie, and the clerk SHAKE THEIR HEADS. He REENTERS the dressing room.

Han comes back out in a WHITE BLOUSE AND BEIGE LEGGINGS. The nerds CUM. The clerk DOES, TOO. Lando and Chewie are UNIMPRESSED. BACK IN the dressing room.

Han re-emerges wearing a COAT MADE OUT OF WOOKIEE FUR. Chewie does that thing where he SHAKES HIS SPACE MONKEY ARMS OVER HIS HEAD. Lando attempts to hold Chewie down, but is THROWN OUT THE WINDOW TO HIS DEATH.

The clerk pulls a weapon.

HAN
No blasters! No blasters!

Chewie EATS the clerk.

Han takes off the coat.

HAN
Okay, okay. No need to get nuts. It’s fake!

Chewie examines the coat. They have a BIG LAUGH.

HAN
What about this?

Han pulls a BLACK VEST and WHITE SHIRT off of a hanger. Chewie approves.

INT – DEATH STAR

A CREEPY CGI MOFF TARKIN and a DARTH VADER THAT DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT stand at a monitor looking at the SPACE MALL.

TARKIN
You may fire when ready.

VADER
I’ll teach you to ban me from Sears!

TARKIN
You were hitting on teenagers, Darth.

VADER
The Force wants what the Force wants.

SHZWAM!

From Father To Son

“LUKE.”

“LUKE.”

“LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKE.”

“What!?”

“LET’S GET PANINIS.”

“Dad, I’m meditating.”

“YOU’RE ALWAYS MEDITATING. COME ON, PANINIS. I’M BUYING.”

“I have plans for lunch.”

“YOU’RE NOT GOING TO SUCKLE THOSE ALIEN COW-THINGS, ARE YOU?”

“I don’t suckle them.”

“NEAR ENOUGH. IT IS OFFPUTTING. WHAT WOULD YOUR MOTHER HAVE THOUGHT?”

“I have no idea what she would have thought. I never met her and you won’t talk about her.”

“SHE WAS A TERRIBLE ACTRESS.”

“That doesn’t help, Dad.”

“LUKE, DON’T PUSH ME AWAY AGAIN. NOW THAT WE ARE BOTH FORCE GHOSTS, WE CAN TRULY GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER.”

“You’re just lonely because none of the other Force Ghosts will talk to you.”

“LOT OF BAD FEELINGS THERE. OBI-WAN CAN REALLY HOLD A GRUDGE.”

“Well, in his defense, you broke his heart. I think in this discussion, he holds the moral high ground.”

“I TOLD YOU NOT TO USE THAT PHRASE.”

“What about Qui-Gon? Go hang out with him.”

“THAT GUY SUCKS.”

“He’s not that bad.”

“HE IS A MIDI-CHLORIAN TRUTHER. THAT THEORY HAS BEEN THOROUGHLY DEBUNKED. IT’S LIKE TALKING TO A FLAT-CORSUSCANTER.”

“You’re very judgmental .”

“I AM HUNGRY. PANINI TIME.”

“All right, fine.”

“EXCELLENT. TOGETHER, WE WILL EAT THE PANINIS SIDE-BY-SIDE, FATHER AND SON.”

“If you say so. Dad?”

“YES, MY SON?”

“Why are still in the whole get-up with the voice and whatever? I thought when you turned into a Force Ghost, you reverted back to your old self.”

“WHO WOULD YOU HAVE ME LOOK LIKE? HAYDEN CHRISTIANSON OR THE OLD CABBAGE-HEAD GUY?”

“Those are terrible choices.”

“YES, MY SON. BESIDES, I AM A DARTH. YOU CAN’T SHOW UP IN BLUE JEANS AND A BALL CAP AND EXPECT PEOPLE TO CALL YOU DARTH. DARTHS ARE SCARY.”

“So go back to being Anakin.”

“ANAKIN WAITS IN LINE FOR PANINIS. DARTH VADER GETS SERVED IMMEDIATELY. KEEPING THE ARMOR.”

“Fine. Let’s go.”

“AND WE NEED TO STOP AT SPACE WALMART ON THE WAY.”

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

Thoughts On The Last Jedi, Episode II

I don’t get it. Why would you post a picture of–

Ohhhh.

Spoiler.

Sure. Technically, though, that is a wing.

I’m just gonna go into the bullet points and ignore you.

Where everyone will ignore you.

  • The Force.
  • It binds us.
  • Penetrates us.
  • Nibbles on our ear just the way we like.
  • Maybe some prostate milking.
  • We’re getting ahead of ourselves.
  • Zip!
  • Zop!
  • Pew pew pew.
  • And hope.
  • Gotta be honest: I’m a bit fucking hoped out with these Star Wars movies.
  • There’s too much hope.
  • How about bitter disappointment, Star Wars?
  • Inappropriate sexual arousal?
  • Ennui?
  • Any other emotion than hope, and I need blank-faced British women with pointy chins to stop blathering about it.
  • (Here’s the closest I’ll come to an actual review: The Last Jedi is better than Rogue One in every way, but especially in that I did not want to shoot the lead character out of an airlock 20 minutes in. The first flick in this current trilogy (let’s call it A Nu-Hope) was more fun than this, partially because the second act wasn’t spent watching Lucy and Ethel wander around Space Caesar’s Palace interacting with mostly-finished CGI.)
  • None of this bullshit matters, or at least it shouldn’t to adults: there are no ideas here.
  • Quite a few long articles have been written about how The Last Jedi sits in the #METOO thing, or that Poe Dameron is toxic masculinity, or how the porgs represent the Baltic States during the Cold War, but you should remember that all the people who wrote all that bullshit got paid to do so, and if they had any useful skills, then they wouldn’t write for a living.
  • Anyway: the plot, as it was.
  • Did it start with pew pew pew?
  • I think it started with some pew pew pew.
  • Oh, right, the thing with the bomber ships that weren’t B-Wings and everyone died heroically or whatever except for Oscar Isaac.
  • Oscar Isaac was, once again, doing his Al Pacino in 1973 impression.
  • Carrie Fisher shows up and says “hope” a lot.
  • Listen, I loved Carrie Fisher just as much as the rest of you, but the woman couldn’t act.
  • Also: they should have killed her off onscreen because I’m already dreading the opening funeral scene of Episode IX.
  • Then there is a low-speed chase across the galaxy, much like O.J.’s Bronco ride, and we learn that spaceships in Star Wars now require fuel.
  • And if you run out of fuel, you immediately start drifting towards the shoulder as though your Mon Calamari capital ship were a 2002 Toyota Camry.
  • Then there’s an old guy and British girl on an island with turtlemonsters and penguin-things and Tobacco the Space Monkey, and it rains there quite a bit–which you would think would make it a terrible place to store antique books–and we see the third variation on “Jedi training” in eight movies.
  • This version is just as shoddy as the other two.
  • A refresher:
    • Gymnastics in a swamp with a frog-person on your back.
    • Raised from childhood to be a creepy, sexless, incompetent space-Franciscan.
  • And now Iteration #3: waving a lightsaber at some rocks while psychic-Skyping with a dude who keeps sexy-whispering at you.
  • Is there a gymnasium on the First Order ships where Kylo Ren does his chest exercises?
  • And is their Force-link always open?
  • “Rey, let me tell you about the Dark Side.”
  • “I’M IN THE GODDAMNED BATHROOM, BENJY!”
  • “Don’t call me that.”
  • “GET OUT!”
  • “Let me watch.”
  • “OUT!”
  • Then the Finn and Whatshername go to a place to get a thing and Justin Theroux is there for some reason.
  • If we’re grading Therouxes: Paul>Louis>Justin.
  • And just when you’re not expecting it: BOOM Benicio Del Toro out of nowhere.
  • Every time I see Benicio Del Toro onscreen, I think to myself, “Why wasn’t that guy a huge star?” and then he says his first line and I think, “Oh, right.”
  • Just say the fucking lines, Benicio Del Toro.
  • (An aside: Benicio Del Toro’s character’s stutter = General Grievous’ cough. A completely pointless and distracting tic that substitutes for character development and will undoubtedly be given a stupid origin in some upcoming SW novel.)
  • Some bullshit about a necklace?
  • A double-cross, maybe?
  • Stampeding the dog-horses?
  • Whatever: they get the thing or maybe they don’t or maybe it never mattered in the first place and I am cranky at this point because there has been no pew pew pew for at least an hour.
  • More hope.
  • Laura Dern is far too tall.
  • Get to the transports.
  • The Rebellion/Resistance/Revanchists/Redoutables spend a good quarter of every single day of their lives getting to the transports.
  • It’s like their first move.
  • Second move, of course, being Direct Frontal Assault.
  • “Okay, half of you get to the transports. The other half, fly right at them. May the Force be with you.”
  • Then there’s a planet made of production values.
  • Very photogenic planet.
  • And the Reboobulizers have an excellent plan: a big door.
  • A large door will surely hold off the enemy.
  • Hey, it’s Luke!
  • And he’s got a plan, too!
  • “I have a plan.”
  • “Get to the transports?”
  • “No.”
  • “Direct frontal assault?”
  • “Kinda.”
  • “Kinda?”
  • “You ever see Superman II?”
  • And then Luke Skywalker Superman II‘ed his nephew.
  • Random thoughts:
  • I spent a good 80% of this film waiting for Billy Dee Williams to show up; I don’t know how the idea got in my head that he would appear, but I kept looking for him.
  • So glad Max Katana or whatever the fuck Mrs. Magoo is called came back.
  • Supreme Monster Snoopy’s guards looked like they were wearing the protective suits that the “attackers” in self-defense courses wear.
  • At one point during the pew pew pew, Oscar Isaac’s X-Wing performs a handbrake turn, and I congratulate the filmmakers for having the restraint to not include the sound of screeching tires.
  • Although, speaking of sound: John fucking Williams, man.
  • “Why are we all standing here like this?”
  • “It’s the end of the movie.”

Thoughts On The Last Jedi

And there you have it.

Excuse me.

Yes?

Your thoughts on The Last Jedi are Emmylou Harris’ cover of a Bruce Springsteen tune?

Yes. This just about covers it.

How so?

Are you familiar with Interpretationalism?

You’re not allowed to just make up philosophies.

Why? That’s what philosophers do.

And that’s why no one likes them. Be better than this.

I don’t wanna.

Do it anyway.

Maybe.

A Note On Spoiling

TotD is seeing Starble Warble or whatever the fuck it’s called on Tuesday, so anyone recounting plot points in the Comment Section will get their hand lopped off.

A Real Time Reaction To The New Star Wars Trailer

  • This shit again?
  • This Star Wars bullshit is like herpes; flares up once a year or so.
  • Is Woody Harrelson in this?
  • Hey, look: it’s her.
  • The one who’s not Keira Knightley.
  • Keira Might-Be.
  • Keira Mostley.
  • Near-a Knightley.
  • Where does the food come from on this magical island where Luke’s been living?
  • I didn’t see any agricultural concerns during the flyover.
  • And now she’s playing with the magic sword and there’s robot hands.
  • Luke is coaching her up.
  • And then he sends her into a spooky cave.
  • I guess we’ve tossed out the “Jedi Academy” bullshit from the prequels and have gone back to the “calisthenics and spooky cave” method of pedagogy.
  • Someone in a robe yells some semi-Buddhist bullshit at you while you exercise, spooky cave: boom, you’re a Jedi.
  • Getting your Jedi certificate is easier than getting your weed card, apparently.
  • Spaceships!
  • Darth Whiner!
  • Aw.
  • Now I’m sad.
  • I was against the horridly cheap-looking CG in Rogue One that brought young Carrie Fisher back to life, but I would be in favor of bringing old Carrie Fisher back to life for a spectacular death scene.
  • Like, the bad guys shoot her right in the face with the Death Star.
  • And when the smoke clears, there she is.
  • Still alive.
  • All burned and shit, with just one white eye peering out from her blackened face, and she yells “FULLY OPERATIONAL, MY ROYAL DICK!” and they have to shoot her two or three times more before she dies.
  • I’d be okay with that.
  • Hey, it’s Tobacco the Space Monkey!
  • Black guy fights shiny lady.
  • Uh-oh!
  • What’s this?
  • Someone has a destiny?
  • I wonder what they’ll be told to do with it?
  • Fulfill it?
  • In a Star Wars movie?
  • Wow, that’s a brave choice.

All Today’s News At Once

“Jenkins!”

“Yes, Emperor Palpatine?”

“What the hell is going on?”

“The Galactic House of Representatives has voted to repeal and replace healthcare.”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”

“Yes, sir.”

“I’m supposed to be the Sith around here. They’re stealing my thunder.”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of it?”

“Almost, Emperor. No bacta tanks for people with pre-existing conditions.”

“That’s what bacta tanks are for! Pre-existing conditions! You don’t get in one if you’re feeling fine.”

“I agree, sir, but according to the new plan, you need to be injured while in the tank.”

“That makes no sense.”

“No, sir. Also, medical droids are to be reprogrammed 20% stupider.”

“That’s just wanton cruelty.”

“Yes, sir.”

“This is me saying this, Jenkins.”

“I fully understand the import, sir.”

“Killing younglings and blowing up planets is one thing, but healthcare is a right.”

“Not anymore, sir. Although, the bill is going to face serious opposition in the Senate.”

“I am the Senate.”

“That’s what I meant, sir.”

“When did these idiots come up with this plan?”

“Last two weeks, thereabouts?”

“Two weeks!? For a healthcare plan for the whole galaxy?”

“To be fair, sir, it’s easy to come up with a healthcare plan if you don’t put any healthcare in it.”

“Good point, Jenkins.”

“The first page is just one sentence: And now, you will die.

“THEY’RE STEALING MY LINES!”

“Egregious all around, sir.”

“Jenkins?”

“Emperor?”

“Execute…Order 92.”

“You want tacos?”

“That’s Order 71, dummy.”

“There are a lot of Orders, sir. Why don’t you just tell me what you want.”

“Because it’s more fun my way. Order 92!”

“Buy you a Houston Astros throwback jersey?”

“That’s Order 3, moron.”

“Why would that be so high up?”

“Concentrate!”

“Sorry, sir.”

“I’m this close to shooting lightning bolts at you.”

“Yes, sir. I will execute Order 92. I will, to the best of my ability, faithfully execute Order 92, which is a great Order, one of the best, and in fact it is my honor to be trusted with this very, very, very–”

“Murder the Galactic House of Representatives, Jenkins.”

“–important…yes, sir, I can do that. Thank you for the opportunity. Sir?

“Oh, what is it?”

“What about the representatives that didn’t vote to repeal?”

“What about ‘Murder the Galactic House of Representatives’ didn’t you understand?”

“Yes, sir. Can I borrow the Death Star?”

“The keys are in my cape.”

“You want anything while I’m out?”

“Frappucino. You know how I like it.”

“Frappucino with extra whipped cream, murder the House. Got it. Be back soon.”

“And a Rice Krispie treat.”

“Yes, sir.”

Two Thoughts About Chewbacca

One of the thematic elements of the Star Wars Universe is that Chewbacca gets fucked. No medal in the original. Consigned to fuck around with teddy bears in Jedi and saddled with that stupid Tarzan yell they give him. No hug from Leia in The Force Awakens and he’s certainly not getting one now.

But the greatest indignity comes in Empire. The Rebels are on the ice planet of Hoth. (People make fun of Star Wars for having mono-climatic worlds, but if the earth were a little farther out, we’d be an ice planet. Desert and forest planets, however, remain dumb as shit.) You will recall that Hoth gets cold enough to kill creatures that had evolved there, and what does Chewie get to wear when he and Han go outside to check out the Imperial probe droid? Han is in a fetching blue parka with a furred hood. Look:

(All of Han’s costumes contained black (or almost black) and white to symbolize his rogueishness.)

Look at that coat! That is a heavy-ass coat! I think he has more than one scarf! It is cold.

And what does old Tobacco the Space Monkey get?

Now: we can’t see all of him. Chewie may be wearing mittens. Probably, though, he is not wearing mittens and is instead completely naked except for his bandolier, which, one would assume, is made out from leather and metal; those are not the right materials for 800 below. (Also: Chewie’s bandolier is his collar because his character is “world’s best dog.” Discuss.)

“But, TotD,” you’re saying. “Chewbacca is covered in fur. Therefore, he could survive on–”

BLAM!

Damn you for making me shoot you. Why would you do that to me? That’s why Palpatine won.

Yes, Chewie is covered with fur, but so are lemurs; you can’t take a lemur to Hoth. It would die quickly, if it didn’t already on the ride over. (Lemurs have specialized diets and do not thrive in captivity.) All fur is not equal. A tiger is simply covered with fur, and it wouldn’t last a minute. Look at that chilly bullshit. A polar bear could survive, but polar bears evolved where it is very cold; wookiees evolved on Kashyyyk, where it is temperate.

Please stop nitpicking Star Wars.

This not a nitpick. This bespeaks of a graver injustice.

You’re insufferable.

Chewie never gets the respect he deserves.

Chewie is a hippie with a pituitary disorder in a space monkey suit. Imagine how that thing smelled by the end of the shoot.

I don’t want to.

IMAGINE!

Yurgh.

Stop talking about Star Wars. Everyone hates it.

The people think highly of me.

Chewie didn’t have a coat because the director thought he looked cool with his fur flapping around. There’s no reason beyond that. Plus, the Rebel base didn’t have any cold-weather gear his size.

That is straight-up racist. Speaking of racism, I would like to discuss wookiees further.

There’s nothing better you could be doing?

No. Shh.

Very small amount of backstory that I’ve almost certainly bored you with before: when Disney bought Star Wars, the first thing they did was kill the Expanded Universe. Nothing besides the movies counts now, and there is a lot besides the movies: books, comics, cartoons, video games, etc. all conglomerated into this unwieldy glop called the Expanded Universe. The men and women who run Disney took one look at all the clones and space dragons and force-blocking salamanders, and chucked the whole thing out the window.

(The Expanded Universe was as spectacularly nerdy as you’d think: there were levels of canonicity arranged in concentric circles. The movies and anything confirmed or denied by George Lucas was in the center. This was called–and I’m serious–the G canon. Surrounding that was the T canon, which were all the cartoons, and the next one out is the C canon, which stands for Continuity canon and that makes no fucking sense, and I think you’re getting the idea of the depravity that was the EU and everything surrounding it.)

But they’re already starting to bring it back: Admiral Thrawn (just about the only good character created for the universe) has returned, and I’m sure someone’s going to regrow the Emperor and stick him in a giant robot soon. There is one plot point from the EU that they need to leave in the messy past, however, and it deals with Chewbacca and how he met Han; the spin-off film is coming up and I pray they don’t go with this idea. The Disney version of Star Wars is already markedly dumber than before, and the franchise didn’t start off at a high reading level.

Wookiees were slaves. You may want me to stop there, but I’ll keep on going. The Empire used the Wookiees as slave labor…wait for it…to build the Death Star. (I told you this shit was dumb.) Han was in the Imperial Academy and transporting a bunch of them, including Chewbacca, when a crisis of conscience leads him to free the wookiees and start wearing vests. Chewbacca swears the traditional life debt to him, and they go off on adventures. This, Enthusiasts, is the single stupidest thing in Star Wars, and I am including the incest.

Slave labor? And not even “a slave caste that had been raised and inculcated to be such.” The Empire went and snatched up wookiees and poked them with sticks to make them work. Why would you want a work force of smart monsters waiting for you to turn your back so they could rip out your spine? You have droids, Empire. Let the droids do it. Or–and this is a wild idea–hire some contractors. If it’s credits you’re worried about, then you could stiff the contractors at the end of the job. I know a guy who has risen to the highest of ranks using that strategy. Do not enslave wookiees, Empire.

In conclusion, Kashyyyk is a land of contrasts.

Good job, champ.

We’re all winners here.

Thoughts On A Second Viewing Of Rogue One

Right up front: still hated Rogue One; in fact, the movie made me angry this time around. Freed from the propriety of the theater, I yelled epithets at the screen whenever a character did something notably stupid. I have a sore throat now. It looked good, I’ll give Rogue One that, but everything else was a failure: character, tone, story, acting, and whatnot. Let’s take them one by one.

CHARACTER

Remember Luke? Blond, tunic, leggings, family on fire? You remember Luke. He was a farmboy who wanted to join the Academy to become a pilot. He had a friend named Biggs, and they were going to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters. We saw him working on the droids that his uncle paid good money for, so he must have been handy. He was familiar with weird old hermits, and had a beat-up old landspeeder. We find all this out before Obi-Wan is introduced; we have time to get to know Luke and who he is, to empathize with him. (Same thing they did with Rey in The Force Awakens.)

Who, though, is Jyn Erso? She’s a black hole of nothing in the middle of the film and might be the linchpin to why none of this works. Star Wars movies need a hero, and she is merely the protagonist. (This is not helped by the casting of one of the least talented actresses on the planet.) We are informed that is some sort of lone wolf terrorist against the Empire by another character reading off her rap sheet, which I believe is a preset in Final Draft software: you hit, like CTRL+4 and the scene writes itself.

Who is Saul Guerrero? (It turns out that Forest Whitaker’s character is named Saw Gerrera, but I heard it as “Saul Guerrero” the entire movie and kept thinking he was a Cuban Jew.) He’s a former Rebel whose methods have become “too extreme” for the Alliance, we’re told. Then we see him and he’s hobbling around on robot goat legs and sucking from a gas mask like Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet. (Every time he did that, all I could think was “JEDI WANTS TO FUCK!” and I would lose the thread of the movie for a bit.)

The two Chinese guys show up. Literally.

“Hey, you! Pouty white girl! I have a magical feeling that you’re the hero of this movie! We’re with you, now!”

And don’t give me any shit about the Force. The Force doesn’t work that way.

There’s also a pilot guy whose dumb name I can’t remember, but he defects from the Empire out of loyalty to Galen Erso, Jyn’s father and the engineer behind the Death Star. Again: we’re told this. We are told everything in this movie.

The only time Rogue One shows us character instead of telling is with Casper Ambulance, or whatever the hell Diego Luna’s name was. He’s on a mission for the Rebels and, after extracting the information he needs from a spy, shoots the guy in cold blood. Unfortunately, this is precisely the wrong choice to have made for the movie. Why?

TONE

Because Star Wars movies are supposed to be fucking fun, that’s why. Star Wars movies are about friends having adventures in space. Sometimes they have to fight monsters. Generally, there is a castle with an evil wizard in it. There is a Light side of the Force and a Dark side, and the contrast is stark and defined. Yes of course when you stare into the abyss blah blah blah and be careful when you fight monsters harblegarble, but that’s not what Star Wars is. I don’t want to make the jump into lightspeed with bunch of mopey fucks in the first stages of PTSD.

Rogue One is a War Movie, which is not the same genre as a Fantasy. (Star Wars is not Sci-Fi in any way, shape, or form.) War Movies come to one natural conclusion–that war is hell–and anyone alive in the last reel is there because of luck. Fantasy teaches us that a hero will save the day, and that overwhelming force can be overcome through pluck and cleverness. These two worldviews are not compatible. Perhaps stripped of the Star Wars bullshit, Rogue One would stand on its own as a War Movie in space, but they curdle when placed in the same space.

STORY

As you know, Enthusiasts, Mr. Completely is my trusted advisor in all dealings; he has wisely counseled me to avoid picking the plot apart, and is correct as usual. To accuse one particular Star Wars movie of not making sense is akin to people slighting Mrs. Donna Jean for singing out-of-tune: all the others are committing the same sin. Plot is not important in Star Wars movies.

What is important is story, which is different from plot. The story of Star Wars (not A New Hope; you know I don’t roll like that) is this: A young man leaves home to discover a weird and dangerous new world. Along the way he makes friends and rescues a princess. In the end, by applying the lessons he has learned on his journey, he defeats the forces of evil.”

(If that seems familiar, it’s because it’s also the story to Harry Potter and the Matrix and just about a billion other movies and books and epic poems. You know all about Joseph Campbell; I won’t bore you.)

So: what is the story to Rogue One? You’re saying “A ragtag bunch of scrappy rebels steal the plans to the Death Star,” but it wasn’t. The story was “Several dour people look for another dour person, and then steal the plans to the Death Star.” First Jyn looks for one father figure with whom her relationship has not been established. Everything blows up. Then she looks for another father figure with whom her relationship has not been established. Everything blows up. Then everyone gets a completely unearned hero moment. Darth Vader shows up to screw up the continuity. Everything blows up.

ACTING

I believe Felicity Jones suffers from facial paralysis. She has a default expression that reads as “Yes, I’m here but please don’t ask me anything complicated.” Her little rouse-the-troops speech reminded me of a little girl clip-copping around the kitchen in her mother’s shoes, and she couldn’t even squeeze out a tear during her father’s death scene. Plus–and this may have more to do with the editor than her–she often sounds as if she’s having a slightly different conversation than the people she’s talking to. She is–for the whole movie–flat, monotonous; her face is like crossed arms, and there’s no inner life to the character at all.

On the other hand, she has a lovely chin.

The rest of the cast acquitted themselves professionally, except Jimmy Smits. HOLY SHIT was Jimmy Smits bad. He was probably drunk. Jimmy Smits likes to party.

WHATNOT

After the prequels (which do not exist) came out, people were fond of saying “George Lucas raped my childhood.” I believe South Park did an episode about it. This is a crass overreaction, and simply isn’t true of Rogue One. I believe this movie raped me with my childhood.

“Hey, remember the guy with an ass for a face and his ugly friend?”

Sure, why?

SHA-SHPLOIK!

(That’s the sound it makes when you’re raped my your own childhood. Trust me.)

“Hey, remember blue milk?”

Please don’t–

SHA-SHPLOIK!

“Remember your droid friends?”

No! I don’t!

“I don’t believe you.”

SHA-SHPLOIK!

And so on.

The Force Awakens did far more of the cutesy-winky bullshit than Rogue One did, but that movie has to be seen as a meta-commentary on itself, as well as a soft remake. TFA was also more entertaining, so I’m prone to forgive its fan service and theft from the OT.

PLUS the structure didn’t match the genre. The structure was half Star Wars/half Jedi: first hour was Luke’s call to action and the gathering of allies; second hour was ships going PEW while people shoot at each other on the planet below. But that’s not a War Movie.

AND Digi-Tarkin and Cyber-Leia were still jarring and creepy. You didn’t need Tarkin at all, and you could have shown Princess Leia from the back. We would have recognized the buns. This wasn’t an uncanny valley you needed to ski down, Disney.

ALSO I promised not to nitpick, but Vader didn’t sound right.

That’s nitpicking.

Wow, I almost got through a post without talking to myself.

Don’t nitpick.

There is SO MUCH nitpickery to avail oneself of. There was a chomper door. Like in Galaxyquest.

You said you wouldn’t nitpick. Sum up and do something productive.

To sum up: if Rogue One had fun characters I enjoyed going on adventures with, then I could have lived with the disjointed story; if the story were more compelling, I could have overlooked the underwritten, unmotivated characters. Felicity Jones can’t act.

Feel free to disagree in the Comment Section.

A Frame-By-Frame Breakdown Of The New Star Wars Trailer

At 0:04, we can see a hand that is later revealed to be Rey’s. But she’s making some sort of gesture with her hand. Is it a Jedi gesture? Is it part of her training? The screen then cuts to black. Is this symbolic of Rey’s death? How does Boba Fett fit into this?

At 0:10, we see a rock. Is it a space rock? Does it contain magic? Could it possibly be a Khyber crystal used in the construction of lightsabers? Or is it just a rock?

At 0:15 OMIGOD IT’S LUKE! LUUUUUUUUUUUUUKE!

Okay, that’s enough.

Everyone else on the innertubes got to do one.

All the more reason for you not to.

That’s not how you win the content game.

Let’s not play the content game. It’s a lovely poster.

What do you think the red symbolizes?

Stop that.

Okay. May I point out that Chewbacca wasn’t in the trailer?

Please.

They fucked Chewie again. He doesn’t get a medal in Star Wars, he doesn’t get a coat in Empire, he doesn’t get a hug from Leia in Force Awakens, and now he doesn’t get to be in the trailer. All the humans are in the trailer. Cute little droid is in the trailer. Racist bullshit.

Well said, I think.

I would also now like to issue a harangue to Star Wars.

Yeah, whatever.

Dear Star Wars,

  1. Remember how you made the last one all gritty and miserable and sweaty and rainy? Don’t do that. Also, please do not kill every character at the end. Especially Chewie.
  2. More nudity.
  3. Just don’t make it anything like Rogue One is all I’m saying.

Sincerely,
TotD

That was helpful.

Thank you. And now Thoughts on the Dead presents Ways Star Wars Is Going To Explain Carrie Fisher’s Death:

  • A random Resistance officer will run in the room and yell, “General Organa fell down the stairs!”

Stop this.

  • Don’t interrupt me when I’m in the bullet point format, please.

This is disrespectful.

  • Either shut up, or get in here with me.

No, I’m staying out here. More room.

Now I’m here, too. Whaddya got to say about that, tough guy?

Hello.

It is more spacious out here.

Yeah. You got anything else or you just petering out?

The second thing.

Sure, champ.

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