Star Wars

A conversation concerning Star Wars between myself and vlogger Will McD. Will is in bold. I thought that this might classify as interesting or amusing. I’ve been wrong before!

I was talking about the background and universe of Star Wars with my girlfriend last night. She said that she’s read a book on it. I said that’s fair enough but I don’t know how the majority of the public get into the films unless they read the book too

I’ve read a load of the books but they were written post films. The films are hardly complicated to follow.

Well, my problem is this: they will jump from planet to planet.
“Here we are in Jawoo, to meet the Plasbian Mukabugu” and you just go, ‘ok, right’.
The planet Jawoo is a bright glowing orange with huge tropical birds and 6 moons. All the inhabitants are humanoids with ostrich heads. My question is…WHY?!

Because it’s Scifi.
If you can follow the universe of GOT i’m sure you’re intelligent enough to be able to follow Star Wars.

There is no explanation for how this world’s unique climate developed, where these people came from, what their general politics and allegiances are.

Because they’re films

They simply seem to be this way because people will say
“that’s cool”

Most people don’t enjoy 20 hour filmic explanation of the evolution of hundreds of different species and habitats.

I know Game of Thrones the tv show doesn’t give much history either but you’ll at least get some aside like “ah, Lord Frey of the crossing, the late Lord Frey my father called him but his castle is the only way to cross the Trident”

It’s a tv show
They tend to go into more depth
Due to the fact they’re so much longer

I can’t understand how you can get into something if it’s just bright lights and pretty colours.
I would enjoy watching a 2 hour film about the history or the culture of Jawoo
My girlfriend said “nobody would watch that, it would be crap”
I would watch it. Then i would understand it.

I can’t understand how you can watch any film without a week long introduction into the lives of all the characters from birth
But that guy who served him in the shop!? Who is he!?!

When it’s set in our world then its no issue. When the world is alien to us then it is an issue.

I feel he’s just been wedged in there without any explanation!?
Who is he!?
Where do his loyalties lie!?

There is a unique culture that is totally “alien” to us and to understand it we need some background
If there isn’t a unique culture then what the hell purpose does it solve to visit this place?
It would make the alien planet just a pretty backdrop and utterly irrelevant
That isn’t good writing, that’s set dressing

I don’t see how you can’t understand it if you’re not given a complete rundown of their economic structure and religious beliefs

At least a hint at it Will. Even Aliens gives more back story. Star Wars’ popularity just baffles me

Have you seen episodes 1 and 2?
That’s why they were so heavily criticised. They spent half the films going on about trade agreements and levies within the different systems and they were fucking boring

Ok Will, you walk into a business meeting
The meeting is held in a large, triangular shaped room
The man you are meeting is wearing just a thong
His secretary comes in wearing full traditional inuit costume
there is a shark, out of water, rolling about in its death throes on the floor in the corner
Do you accept all this and continue with the meeting or do you ask for just a little background?!

Is the meeting a 2 hour long sci fi film?
Besides i wouldn’t need background as it’s on earth
not in space

No, it is an example of curiosity and reasoning. You need some sort of structure. Are you not even a little curious?!

It’s not an alien planet so i would understand it all perfectly

Ok, all of the above but it’s on an alien planet

Well then i’d go to the toilet during all the exposition and guess my way through
I don’t know, i don’t like it when films feel the need to lead me by the hand when it’s not really necessary.

You could probably just assume you’ve wandered onto a star wars set and be done with it!
Its not leading you by the hand, its crafting a story, not just throwing up some pretty lights to distract from the paper thin plot

Surely you can make assumptions from various cues given by the director?
it doesn’t have to be all meticulously explained on screen during a conversation between two characters?

Its not about explaining or me being too stupid to follow it
Its about moving location in the film simply to show an impressive visual.
That isn’t storytelling.

so there’s a spaceship dog fight
its a fast paced action sequence
they fly down to the surface of a planet and past some locals who look shocked
should the film pause and gravitate away from the action to watch one of the locals have a cup of tea with his aunt and describe his entire family history?

ok, what is the purpose of introducing us to this planet and these shocked locals?

Because it’s an action sequence
which tend to be made for spectacle

Are the gravity and physics of this planet different to outer space and therefore affecting the fight?
If not then it is simply set dressing
The audience has gotten bored with outer space so lets jazz it up with a jungle backdrop then perhaps change the wallpaper again to a desert.

Well there would be more obstacles and a different landscape to navigate during the fight yes
But action sequences are mostly set dressing surely?
They are visual, isn’t that the nature of them?

I know, i hate action sequences anyway


But you used the example
My point was when they visit other planets
To talk to people

So your ideal film would just be back story?
Lets not show these massive battles but listen to people talk about them in the past tense?

Yeah i would like that

Hmm then don’t watch films i suppose

To be fair, i don’t like that many films
Top Gun is one of the few action films i like

Well cinema is a visual medium predominantly

I like rich story
Action takes away from that

You don’t care about the action if you don’t care about the characters and their development i agree
but a film has 2 hours to develop a story
so it tends to concentrate on the characters in the main frame. otherwise they don’t get any development and no one cares about your main guys
so you could expand on the whole universe at the expense of damaging your main characters
you hint at things
hint at civilisations as you don’t have time to expand on the whole thing

I agree with you but i don’t think Star Wars does develop anything when they planet hop
i don’t think Star Wars films hint at the civilisations or develop the main characters
maybe because Anakin is a shallow creep
and the old films are typical 80’s action films where “explosion” is a good substitute for story
and i spose you enjoy them for what they are, like Terminator. Then again, Terminator developed a back story

I disagree with your point on the older films
But the newer ones weren’t amazing

To be fair i’ve only seen the old ones once or twice

They do have decent character arcs
thing is they’re so famous and old

Ok, for my final point: Imagine if you were watching Game of Thrones
and in king’s landing Cersei says “i’m going to visit Jon Snow”
in the next scene she appears at the Wall and talks to Jon Snow
Nobody mentions the cold, the massive wall or the dire wolf
they talk about the matter at hand and then go their separate ways
that is what star wars is like to me

Well it’s a film not a 45 hours series

Or they go to see Daenerys
“Is that a dragon? What is the dragon about?”
Shuttup Will! Watch the movie. They don’t have time to explain story to you. Now watch this 6 minute space bike race which will inevitably end in either an unlikely win for the hero or some major trick that has been hinted at several times

I couldn’t possibly watch the space bike race without first viewing a detailed schematic of the workings of said bike and watching a 24 hour biopic on the guy who last cleaned it at the space bike wash!

A Bloodmoon’s Zenith

‘Lieutenant, we must discuss Hanan’, there was a tremor in the king’s voice.
Fergus knew that this wasn’t going to be a casual conversation. No talk of Hanan was ever casual, an island of such infamy that many folk dared not mention it, unless absolutely necessary. Evidently the king had found it necessary to call one of his commander’s to his personal chambers and to disturb an otherwise enchanted evening. Hanan, the volcanic island, was a haven for pirates and criminals, where decadence and corruption reigned. Fergus had heard it said that in the slums of Koros, capital of Hanan and seat of the Triumvirate, one could acquire any item, whether through purchase or pilfering. Koros was the final destination for many of the world’s greatest treasures, cities had been sacked, societies wiped out for their wonders. The Gold Tree of the Phlanos Empire had been transplanted to the palace grounds of Koros, a grim ghost of itself. The once iridescent foliage rotten and withered, a decaying monument to a grim conquest and an elegy to one of the first empires.
To rule over a land of such depravity and hedonism necessitated a strong standing army, martial law and a severe judicial system kept the population just within the check of agreed Hananian norms. However, many a murder would occur without so much of a batting of a legionnaires eyelid and pub closing time would often see the streets of Kauston painted thick with claret. Fergus had heard that the mantra of the legion was “no riots, no resistance”, they tended not to concern themselves with policing such trivial disputes as murders and gang skirmishes. The island had been ruled by pirate captains, self styled mayors, gang bosses and guilds for centuries until the three minks took control of the city. In the course of a day and a night every captain, kingpin, mayor or objector was slain by the guild of the Four Shadows. The event was known as the Reckoning and it’s anniversary is celebrated raucously in Koros, from fear and respect.
Three young mink emerged from the Reckoning, noteworthy for the parts that they played. Wernin, who had been merely an initiate in the guild, was solely credited with slaying Hajal-Keld of the Green Tongues and his honour guard, thus securing the coal quarter of Koros.
Kjarno Riktooth, who had been unknown prior to the Reckoning made his name at the battle for Kauston barracks. The barracks had historically been held by the Southern Military junta, a kind of unofficial army who controlled and manipulated all trade in the south of Hanan. Kjarno, a guildbrother of no fixed distinction, defied his chapter master’s planned subterfuge. The young mink slit his master’s throat in the night and urged his guild into a direct assault on the garrison. Wave after wave of brothers died against the gates and high walls, yet Kjarno led every assault, urging his comrades on, crossbow bolts thudding deep into his broad shoulders as he roared. Eventually the walls fell, Kjarno had sacrificed hundreds of his brothers in open assault, yet this was not how his part was remembered. His brothers were victorious, the militia were killed or inducted and all who survived the day would tell of a powerful mink with a huge battleaxe standing knee deep in blood and roaring for the cause as he suffered wound after wound and the dead piled up at his feet. A movement needs a banner and he became it.
Granos, for his part, was no berserker, no slaughterer. He was a diplomat and a shrewd politician. He consulted with the self elected governors and mayors of Koros, Kauston and Naur Province. Some were happy to pledge their support to the Four Shadows, once they learnt of the guild’s growing power, others took more persuading. Granos learnt that everybody has a price, whether that price is five hundred coins or their infant child’s life. He became known as Granos The Treacherous and then, several abductions and assassinations later, as Granos The Valiant.
The Slaughterer, The Berserker and The Valiant. Fergus shuddered at the thought of them. Yet here he was, with his king. Lennox played with the hem of his tunic idly, it had been some time since King Braus had spoken and his commanding officer had been standing silently, staring into middle distance. This was a surprisingly frequent occurrence so Lennox didn’t mind.
“Peace time is, as always, desperately short and psychologically demanding. It is now two years since the battle of Black Creek”
Fergus needn’t be reminded of the battle of Black Creek, no creature on Brausinia did. The last attack on Brausinia, two years ago, had been driven back at a bitter cost. The Hananian minks had sent waves upon waves of marten warriors, almost three thousand of them. Fergus had lost a brother at Black Creek, Lennox had lost an eye. Such ferocious and regular assaults were common practice for the armies of Hanan so it made little sense that there had been no news of marten troops for two years. Such bitter peace was both welcome and unnerving for Braus. His fur was showing unseasonal signs of whiting, his teeth seemed to be yellower and more prominent by the week; the king was tiring.