Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars

06
Jun
12

The Kessel Run argument

It started innocently enough. It involved a dress … an Ewok/Wookie dress, to be specific.

The headline about it read, “This Dual-Action Dress Flips from Wookie to Ewok in Under 12 Parsecs”.

If you’re unsure about what this means, chances are you are not a Star Wars fan and would have no interest in checking out that dress anyhow. But if you are familiar with it, you remember that after Obi Wan asks Han if his ship is fast, Han says something like, “Fast ship? You never heard of it? It made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs!”

A simple enough line … one that should not cause any kind of debate. Except a parsec is a measure of distance, so it was kind of laughed at by the casual fan.

But then there are the Lucas apologists who say “NO! HAN WAS RIGHT TO SAY IT LIKE THAT!”, and offer an explanation. And as a twitter friend pointed out, there are numerous sources and wikis and such that support this view, because it’s “what Lucas intended.”

I have a word for that: “Bullshit.”

“This whole argument is a pointless trap!”

OK, I’ll admit it: For a Star Wars fan, I’m not really all that hardcore. Sure, I will absolutely own you in Star Wars trivial pursuit. I have framed movie posters. I have my original action figures. But I have never read the books, never heard any of the writers or Lucas talk about “intent,” nor will I. Here’s why:

1. Intent is bullshit. Long long ago, in a state far, far away, I was sitting in on a friend’s creative writing class. A guy was feeling kind of nervous about the poem he wrote, and before he read it, he started explaining it. “Well, see, you have to understand … I was trying to envision this man trying to describe this beautiful woman and …” Me, being the jerk that I am, interrupted him. “I don’t want to be rude, but don’t explain it. Read it, and let the piece speak for itself.”

And that’s the way I feel about any movie. When someone says, “Well, you have to read the book” about a movie, or refer to an interview that the director gave, then the movie has failed. I don’t want footnotes to explain the shit that made no sense in order to cover a flub. So, when I’m talking about Star Wars, I’m talking about the movie as it stands as a piece of work. I refuse to take footnotes into consideration.

Side note: I think Lucas said he never intended for Han to shoot first.

2. Admit it, Lucas Fucked Up. Let’s take a look at the dialogue. I’ll even go so far as to look it up.

Obi Wan: “Is it a fast ship?”

Han: “You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? … It’s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.”*

According to the apologists, here’s what’s what’s going on according to the writers and Lucas’ intent: While making the Kessel Run, Han flew close to the event horizon of a black hole, which shortened the distance he actually had to fly, which makes “less than 12 parsecs” accurate, and shows how much of a kick-ass pilot Han is for pulling it off.

But without that knowledge, let’s look at what’s going on. Obi Wan is clearly asking about SPEED, the logic being that if the ship is really fast, they’ll make it to Alderaan in less time (t = d/r). Han responds that the ship made a specific run in terms of DISTANCE (d = rt), not in TIME or RATE.

So, if we apply this conversation to our daily, non-space traveling lives, it goes like this:

Me: “Is your car a fast car?”

Han: “Fast car? You’ve never heard of the Chevy Nova? I made it from Cleveland to Pittsburgh in 134 miles.”

Me: “Yeah, so I have I. HOW LONG DID THE TRIP TAKE?”

Han: “134 miles.”

Me: “You’re an idiot. NEXT.”

Now sure, the apologists can argue all day long that space travel isn’t the same as travel on earth. I get that. But it still reflects piss-poor writing. For example, if doing the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs is such a big accomplishment, shouldn’t Obi Wan be asking “In how many parsecs will it take you to get to Aldaraan?” (distance) instead of asking about how fast it is (rate)?

Also, the “kick-ass pilot” logic that the apologists bring up isn’t reflected in Han’s answer. He didn’t say, “With me flying, we made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.” He talks specifically about the ship (again, a “rate” issue), not how his flying skills saved the day.

Later on, Han talks about how he “outran those Imperial slugs.” Again, he’s talking speed (or rate), not distance.

So, clearly, Lucas and the writers fucked up, and the conversation is horribly flawed.

Conclusion: 

*And yes, I know this isn’t fully accurate. Refer to above picture.

06
Apr
11

Snobbery

It’s recently come to my attention that I am, indeed, a snob.

Not that I think I’m better than anyone else … I don’t … but I realize that I do have my moments.

One came the other day, when the following conversation appeared on my Facebook feed:

 

Screw you and the Ewoks you brought with you in your Landspeeder.

Yes, a friend tries to join in my love of Star Wars, and what happens? I chastise her for liking Ewoks. I mean, just cause there is no redeeming value in Ewoks doesn’t mean it’s wrong to like them.

So, I feel as though I must repent, since it is the repenting season.

Behold the Raid Night video. I lived this. And scarily enough, it makes me want to raid in Warcraft again.

Yes, go ahead and laugh.

Assuming you even get it. Stupid normie.

I never learn, do I?

30
Oct
09

Pre-party procrastination

I have stuff to write about, but no time to do it, since I need to slap together a Halloween costume for tonight and tomorrow. So, instead of writing out a blog entry, you’ll just have to deal with some videos.

The first is the all-time classic, TROOPS:

Or if you like things on the romantic side, Under the Tusken Sun:

(Nothing more touching than Sand People in love…)

Anyway, time to get rollin’. Happy Halloween!

27
Oct
09

I wants it

Recently, a friend posted a link to a site called “Home Decor for Absolute Geeks.”

And I browsed through it, laughing, but not really seeing anything that was a “must have.” I mean, yeah, the Space Invaders wall decals were pretty funny, but I couldn’t see myself slapping them in the walls of The Geekatorium. I mean, I love me some video games, but not exactly that much, where I want to see them on my wall.

But then I saw something that changed everything:

YES.

I told my friend that this desk made me want to open my own company, just so I deal with people over it. Imagine the possibilities:

  • Interviews:
    “So, what makes you think your ideas are any better than, let’s say, HIS.”
    “Do you have any questions? And I advise you to answer this question carefully.”
    “What do you think of our health care plan?”
    “Your jedi powers won’t work on me, boy.”
    “As you can see, there’s always room for advancement.”
  • Employee reprimands:
    “I advise you to work harder … for your sake.”
    “Remember, your HMO won’t reimburse you for damage sustained from carbonite freezing.”
    “Remember Solo? He liked to call in sick when he wasn’t, too.”
  • Evaluations:
    Form has boxes “Excellent,” “Good,” “Average,” “Below Average” and “Wall Decor”
    “I really think your smuggling skills need to improve.”
    “Quite frankly, your work on this project stunk worse than Bantha poodoo.”
    “You’ll get a bonus of $2500. No more.”

Oh man, it could actually make being a boss somewhat fun.

Now to find a product or service worth forming a business for ….

09
Oct
09

Oh, Rifftrax, thank you

For us nerds, there was a Holy Grail of TV shows outside of Monty Python — and it was called “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” If you’ve never seen it, basically it was a couple of guys watching really cheesy movies and busting on them. The humor was sometimes harsh, sometimes subtle, sometimes really obscure and sometimes a complete flop … but regardless, I know I LOVED it. My dad and I had a routine of having breakfast, camping out on the couch and watching MST3K every Sunday when it was on Comedy Central. When I was in college, he would tape a bunch of the shows and mail them to me for Christmas, and it was awesome . In fact, one of my friends even had an MST3K wedding. Oh, I am so sad I missed that….

Buy their stuff!

Support Rifftrax, Capitalist dogs!

But after 10 seasons, it had its share of ups and downs. It changed hosts. And then, what felt like all too soon … it was over.

And we were left with a void in our lives.

Now, I heard that they were on a new project called Rifftrax. A former coworker was really excited to tell me that they were up and running again. However, I have to admit, I never really looked into it because

  1. I’m lazy
  2. I’m lazy
  3. I’m really, really, really, golly whizzbang frickin’ lazy

So, last night I got together with some friends, and we went to see the encore presentation of “Rifftrax: Plan 9 from Outer Space.” By “Encore presentation,” they meant “We’re repeating the live broadcast from August.”

And I laughed. I laughed really hard. Almost to the point where I had tears in my eyes. It was great to have the boys back again. And it seemed to be better than MST3K, as it was just the movie and their ripping on it. No stopping for commercials — and yes, it does make a HUGE difference.

Since I reverted to a daylight schedule on the last couple days of my vacation, I decided to check out the Web site this morning.

Oh. My. God.

They’re doing TONS of movies now. And they have gone mainstream. Star Wars. Star Trek. Indiana Jones. Matrix. SAW. Sixth Sense. Roadhouse. Dirty Dancing. Dark Knight. They even hit the Star Wars Christmas Special from 1978. And another cool aspect: They’re really not as limited in their commentary as they had to be in the past — but they’re still pretty family friendly (well, at least they were on “Plan 9” — I’ll have to let you know about the others later).

The only thing now is that you have to sync up their commentary with your copy of the movie (whether you bought or rented the original), which I hear can be a pain. But you know, that could be a labor of love. I plan on buying a couple rifftrax for movies I already have, and seeing how difficult it is.

As winter looms, it looks like I’ll have another geek project to keep my time occupied.

Oh, and Rifftrax? Thank you. Thank you a ton.

01
Apr
09

Cool or disturbing?

My friend Corey sent me a link to this — a tauntaun sleeping bag — and I’m not sure where I stand on it.

On one hand, it’s Star Wars, I’m a geek, so it’s cool.

On the other, I’m disturbed … I mean, who puts their kids in a simulated carcass with and intestine lining?

I threw this out on my Facebook status as well as on BarSmart, and am getting mixed results.

So, what better way to end the mystery than to throw it out on my blog, with a poll to boot.


24
Jun
08

I am George Lucas’ bitch

So, while dealing with my bout of insomnia last night, I turned to my sure-fire sleep getter: Star Wars.

Now, it’s not that I feel Star Wars is a hideous movie. Quite the contrary, I love it, despite all of its flaws. But after seeing it so many times, it has become like a warm glass of milk … comforting … so much so that I’m usually out cold before Vader snaps the neck of the first rebel.

But last night, that didn’t happen. And here’s why:

PS3 Blu-Ray upconversion and the LCD TV. Oh. My. God. The colors were simply gorgeous. I was seeing new details; like the fact that the droids were all scuffed up on the rebel ship … Stormtroopers’ armor was also all scuffed up … and I believe that C3P0’s right leg, at the knee and down, is more of a white gold than the rest of him. And the reflections of Tatooine’s  landscape on his body — it was just, wow. I sat like I was 8 years old, watching it for the first time. I started to notice things in the background, like the Stormies harassing their rebel captives in the neck-snapping scene. And it was crystal clear.

It still managed to put me to sleep (it was, afterall, almost 5am), but now I’m completely stoked to re-watch it, “Empire” and “Jedi” during my upcoming days off. I want to see what those Ugnauts are doing in the background in Cloud City. And I’m sure the speederbike chases on Endor will rock soxs. Boba Fett, I’m sure, is so completely bad ass in HD that I won’t even be fit to sit in the same room as his image. It even made me so curious that I’m thinking about buying “Clones,” because I’m sure the lightsaber fights are just amazing in HD. (However, I somehow doubt that even HD goodness will get me to buy “Phantom” — I hate the Gungans THAT much.)

And then, the inevitable thought hit me: “I’m going to have to buy the Blu-Ray versions of these.”

Oh sure, it’s not enough that I have the originals on tape. And the Special Edition on tape. And the boxed set on DVD. No, now I’ll have to repurchase the Blu-Ray versions. And I’m sure I will rebuy on whatever funky new and improved system comes out afterwards.

Damn you, George Lucas. Why can’t I quit you?




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