Fun:Star Wars

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Necker cube.svg Tired of laughing? RationalWiki has a slightly more serious article about Star Wars.
The opening to three very good films.

Star Wars is a trilogy of science fiction movies (AND THERE ARE ONLY THREE OF THEM AND NO MORE) that took place [sic] a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Despite the fact that it took place a long time ago and really far away, almost everyone was humanoid and spoke perfect English. It has bad guys whose mooks have the best aim in the history of film.

After absolutely nothing happened whatsoever from 1984 to 2011, the creator of Star Wars[1] finally decided to sell off his studio to Wal Bisdney in 2012 so it could try to revive the franchise from certain death repeat the successes of the trilogy by outright remaking it.

Characters[edit]

From the prequels ahem, "unpleasantness"[edit]

A forward-thinking Dark Lord of the Sith
  • Anakin Skywalker - the main protagonist, Anakin is first introduced as a whiny brat who matures into a rat-tailed carny snotty, unappreciative, narcissistic megalomaniac by the second film and his actor won a bunch of Razzies. Throughout the course of the series he goes from being American to Canadian to African American to British.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi - the sexually nonthreatening father figure, played by one of the sexiest Scotsmen around. One of the few characters that no one hates.
  • Qui-Gon Jinn - has a particular set of skills, and will find you, and will kill you (if those "death sticks" don't get you first).
  • Darth Sidious (Supreme Chancellor Palpatine) - the main antagonist, preys on Anakin's daddy issues. The only one who looks like he's having a good time. Pa Pa Palpatine, Naboo's greatest hate machine, it was a shame how he carried on!
  • Master Yoda - the really sexually nonthreatening grandfather figure, he was.
  • Padmé Amidala - the love interest of Anakin, Padmé was also the love interest of every heterosexual teenage male who watched the series. She dies because she gave birth to Leia and there's only allowed to be one woman in the Star Wars universe at any one time. (Her actor was one of the few to come out of the Unpleasantness unscathed.[2])
  • Padmé's body double - The body double of the queen, played by Scarlett Johansonn. People forget she was in these movies, part of the reason she also was able to escape the Unpleasantness unscathed.
  • Darth Maul - a lobster/devil thing who was good at martial arts and was soon made irrelevant. Due to his popularity however, he was resurrected in the Clone Wars cartoon.
  • Mace Windu - just one "I have had it" monologue would've been fine for us. But no, we couldn't even get that.
  • Jar Jar Binks - the greatest Star Wars character of all time. Seriously. It takes a special kind of character to unite the fandom in any way. Although recent evidence suggests that far from the bumbling idiot he has been portrayed as, Jar Jar is actually a magnificent bastard, the actual power behind Palpatine.[3][4] Even the actor who played him thinks so.[5]

From the Clone Wars ahem, "Fall of Lucasfilm"[edit]

We don't talk about the dark times. Even if the TV series was halfway decent until it was cancelled and replaced by another halfway decent television series.

From the original trilogy[edit]

Previously unseen childhood snap of Chewbacca
The influence of Princess Leia's hairstyling continues to haunt Ukrainian politics.[6]
  • Darth Vader - the most iconic antagonist in spite of being at most second in command in any movie (and barely in 10% of the first one), Vader enjoyed long walks on the beach, killing his generals, and editing Conservapedia. In a previous life he had been well-known to British viewers as the Green Cross Code Man,Wikipedia's W.svg exhorting children to 'stop, look and listen.' Actually played by five actors — one for the voice, two for being in the suit, a guy to fill in for him in light saber battles, and a fifth for him dying (who also played his Force Ghost). Why? Goes to Jedi heaven despite all the Jedi genocide and youngling murder. Recanting on your deathbed does work (saving your son and killing Darth Sidious may have helped, too).
  • Luke Skywalker - the main protagonist and second in a family of assholes, Luke would only have sexual relations with his sibling. Was actually called "Luke Starkiller" even in the shooting script, so at least someone on set spared us that.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi - still sexually nonthreatening; while waiting for young Luke to grow up, Obi-Wan spent his time meditating and surfing the galactic internet PMing Yoda.
  • Han Solo - a maverick (similar to John McCain[WTF?]), was always stroking his own Wookiee
  • Princess Leia Organa - was a snotty, unappreciative, narcissistic megalomaniac with nice boosters. Her golden bikini scene in Return of the Jedi was a formative experience for many adolescent boys in the early 1980s.
  • Yoda - still the New Age-y green dwarf who had been Fozzie Bear[7] in a previous life. The giveaways were his voice, and enjoying swamp life. Offered more platitudes than Kermit though, and some remarkably bad advice.
  • Chewie - a furry seven-foot yeti/bigfoot thing named after chewing tobacco. Sort of like a giant superintelligent bipedal Yorkshire terrier. Used to yelp and gurgle a lot, and went through the Millenium Falcon's shampoo by the barrel.
  • C-3PO - a surprisingly camp golden robot, who had odd gestures and posture. R2-D2's soulmate.
  • R2-D2 - a short dumpy robot who made unintelligible bleepy noises which, bizarrely, everyone in the film (and the audience) could instantly understand. Either that, or he was continually swearing.
  • Jabba the Hutt - a fat, sluggish nightclub owner. Another character who didn't speak English.
  • Tarkin - I mean, Peter Cushing was in it! As a naval commander of some kind of grey planetary structure.
  • Admiral Ackbar - It's a frap Sorry, I just left Starbucks. It's a trap!
  • Ewoks - teddy bears who lived up trees and spoke Kalmyk (the language spoken by the Kalmyk people of Russia). Originally supposed to be Wookies, but changed in a blatant attempt to sell more toys. Probably the first sign that Star Wars was going horribly wrong. Unless you've seen what it stated out as, which makes it a surprise it was ever right to begin with.
  • Boba Fett - A completely incompetent bounty hunter whose only saving grace is neat looking armor. Despite being a supposed badass, he's knocked into an alien sand anus by a flailing blind man. His father's clones were the first Stormtroopers.

It's worth watching Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress, to see where the inspiration for several of these characters came from. Snotty princess — Check. Camp pair of retainers — Check. Evil emperor — Check. Samurai who gains in confidence — Check...

From the sequel trilogy[edit]

  • Rey - The new Princess Leia. Without the Princess part. And so far, without the metal bikini. So far, she's the most badass of the new characters we've seen.
  • Bowe Bergdahl Finn - A former US Soldier Stormtrooper who deserted the cause after his conditioning broke during a battle, joined the resistance against them, and proceeded to get his ass handed to him several times.
  • Poe Dameron - Ace X-Wing pilot, BB-8's caretaker, and the closest thing the movie has to a "white male protagonist," despite his Guatemalan heritage. Played by manic-pixie-dream-guy of the moment, Oscar Issac.
  • Kylo Ren Not Darth Vader - He thinks he's Darth Vader, and he even tries to cosplay as Darth Vader, but he's really bad at it. He is actually an edgy, emo kid underneath that helmet.
  • General Hux Not Tarkin - In charge of a planet-destroying battlestation? Check. Holding Darth Vader's Kylo Ren's leash for the Emperor Supreme Leader? Check. Orders the destruction of a planet to christen the new battlestation? No, now it's several planets! And he's ginger, so soulless comes with the actor.
  • BB-8 - The new R2-D2 (because they couldn't reuse the old one or something), shaped like a soccer ball, probably swears a lot more than R2 did, and even flips off Finn at one point.
  • Han Solo - He's gotten old! And he apparently misplaced his spaceship. And had a fight with his princess not-wife. And he seems to be limping after that time he hid in a fridge when a nuke went off.
  • Princess GENERAL Leia - Leader of the Resistance, not quite as hot as the last movie she showed up in, but she still seems to go out of her way to get a bunch of armored angry white people shooting at (and missing) her.
  • C-3PO - He's back, but with a red arm for reasons only nerds who care about the Expanded Universe would know. Actually, scratch that last bit, the Expanded Universe is no longer canon. Thanks Disney.
  • Supreme Leader Snoke - A CGI cave troll who can't be bothered to get off the toilet to answer the phone. Spoiler Alert: He's secretly every Star Wars character ever, but don't tell anyone! Proves that Lucas isn't the only one who can come up with really stupid names.
  • TR-8R - The greatest Stormtrooper ever to walk the face of the galaxy.
  • Captain Phasma - Special stormtrooper that's a badass because... her armor is chrome, or something. Of course when someone points a gun at her, she folds like a lawn chair and immediately (and surprisingly enthusiastically) helps her captors to kill everyone under her command. Basically the new Boba Fett, and equally as lame.

From Suicide Squad Rogue One[edit]

  • Jyn Erso - Yet another female protagonist. Killed off in the end to avoid accusations of being a "Mary Sue".
  • Cassian Andor - A morally gray Rebel captain who doesn't do that much.
  • Director Krennic - A glorified architect who chokes on his aspirations too much.
  • Tarkin - He's back, with a CGI face stuck firmly in the uncanny valley.
  • K-2SO - A surprisingly murderous reprogrammed Imperial droid.
  • Chirrut Îmwe - A blind Force-using warrior-monk who's vocabulary is limited to "I am one with the Force, the Force is with me". Definitely not a Jedi.
  • Darth Vader - Die Rebel Die!
  • Galen Erso - So that's why the Death Star had such an "idiotic flaw," it's because the entire staff planning and constructing it paid absolutely no attention to this guy adding it to the plans!

The RationalWiki angle[edit]

Reddit: Who shot first? Han Solo or Greedo?
Harrison Ford: I don't know and I don't care.
—April 2014[8]
  • Star Wars explores how a small determined cabal of neocons Sith Lords can use an invented "crisis" to manipulate a democracy through fear into acting against its own interest, thus becoming an Evil Empire. And all thanks to Jar Jar.
  • Star Wars presents a distilled version of Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity under a generic religion called The Force which grants magic powers to its initiates.
  • Star Wars has one of the more hilariously self-contradictory ethics systems ever: Luke is fine with slaughtering legions of Imperial troops, henchmen, and everyone on the Death Star,[9] yet when he reaches Darth Vader, killing his former father would be "giving in to the Dark Side." However, there is a crucial difference: the Death Star is not defenseless (and is about to destroy an inhabited planet), but by the time Palpatine tries to goad Luke, Vader is already helpless and disarmed.[10][11]

Fundies[edit]

Unsurprisingly, some Christian fundamentalists caught on to the popularity of something other than the Bible (and that "something" drew a bit of influence from Asian religious belief systems, no less). They denounced Star Wars as Satanic, compared it to Nazis, and promoted the New World Order.[12] Shoehorning, that is. The irony is that the trilogy is an anti-Nazi project; Lucas based the empire on the Third Reich and Darth Sidious on Hitler.[citation needed]

Libertarians?![edit]

Will you join the Rebel Alliance? Donate $20.16 to help me keep up the momentum of my post-debate victory!
Rand Paul, 12/17/15 Tweet.[13]
You were the chosen one! You were supposed to bring balance to the market, not leave it in darkness!

Jedi are not allowed to feel emotion, they're not allowed to have romantic attachments, and believe in an invisible force binding the universe together, so you can see why libertarians can relate to that on personal grounds. (You seen the Jedi temple? It makes Apple's corporate HQ look like a duplex!)

In case anyone is curious what our favorite economist and second third favorite philosopher would think of Star Wars, here's the latest and greatest "Greenspan is Vader" and "Obama is Palpatine" hot takes:

As Ludwig Von Mises was so intellectually consistent and pure he can be compared to none other than the great Jedi Master Yoda...The Sith lord and the dark side spread its influence behind the scenes by manipulating the political system just as central bankers and the creators of central banks did.
—Not a cult.[14]

Jedi believe in working for others. Also, they were based on ronin, the most selfless guys imaginable. (The word "Jedi" comes from jidai geki.) You get nothing, good day sir.

And, if you want to get really confused, check out their "Maybe the Empire Were the Good Guys" prax, with such epic statements as:

Lucas confused the good guys with the bad. The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good…. Make no mistake, as emperor, Palpatine is a dictator — but a relatively benign one, like Pinochet. It’s a dictatorship people can do business with. They collect taxes and patrol the skies. They try to stop organized crime (in the form of the smuggling rings run by the Hutts)[15]

Bill Kristol adopts a similar view as his magazine, which doesn't exactly scream freedom:

Imperial stormtroopers kill Luke’s aunt and uncle and Grand Moff Tarkin orders the destruction of an entire planet, Alderaan. But viewed in context, these acts are less brutal than they initially appear. Poor Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen reach a grisly end, but only after they aid the rebellion by hiding Luke and harboring two fugitive droids. They aren’t given due process, but they are traitors."[16]

Bonus: 2001 sucked.

Parodies[edit]

There are too many to count, but only one (in film format) has stood the test of time: Mel Brooks' Spaceballs.[17][18][19] Released four years after Return of the Jedi and deemed pointless by critics, it is now recognized as the last good moment of Brooks' cinema career.

Video games[edit]

Battlefront, KOTOR, Dark Forces, X-Wing, Republic Commando, and Rogue Squadron. Play them.

There's also an old MMORPG named Star Wars Galaxies, and a newer MMORPG named Star Wars: The Old Republic. As with all MMORPGs, you should only play them if you don't ever want to have any free time again.

The LEGO Star Wars series did a surprisingly good job of retelling the prequel trilogy. Turns out that the story becomes substantially more entertaining once all the dialogue has been removed, and the more worthless characters given useful abilities. Plus you can pummel Jar Jar Binks and Anakin Skywalker into dismemberment as much as you like with no penalty.[20]

Videos[edit]

External Links[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. We must not speak his name... (NSFL)
  2. Natalie Portman on 'Star Wars': 'No director wanted to work with me afterwards', NME
  3. original Reddit thread
  4. Is Jar Jar Binks the ultimate Star Wars bad guy? Yes, says the internet
  5. [1]
  6. And it's not just Leia.
  7. Or perhaps Grover, Kuato, or Jordi PujolWikipedia's W.svg
  8. Thank you.
  9. Stormtroopers 9/11
  10. This is never explored in the movies. AT ALL. The few Expanded Universe authors who have drawn attention to this issue (Matthew Stover, Karen Traviss) are alternately loved and flamed by ravenous rancors fanboys. And even worse, the EU is effectively retconned now.
  11. Another possible difference is not ethical but psychological. Luke is tempted to kill Darth Vader out of anger, rather than simply as part of a necessary war. Anger is apparently an emotion that leads Jedi to the Dark Side.
  12. Here, here, and here.
  13. Jack Martinez, "As ‘Star Wars’ Opens, Rand Paul Urges Backers to ‘Join the Rebel Alliance’", Newsweek.
  14. O'Connor, Dan, "The Clairvoyant George Lucas", Lew Rockwell, 4.18.13.
  15. Tucker, Jeffrey, "Star Wars, Their Wars", Lew Rockwell, 5.23.02.
  16. Vast, Jonathan V., "The Case for the Empire - Everything you think you know about Star Wars is wrong", The Weekly Standard, 5.15.02.
  17. Opening scene
  18. Comb the desert!
  19. Now you see that evil will always triumph, because good is dumb.
  20. Seriously! They explode into Lego pieces when killed.
  21. Okay, okay, here you go.