Archive for opinion

EUderaan Two Years Later

Posted in Announcements, Opinion, Spotlight with tags , , , on 25 April 2016 by Megan
taken

courtesy Paul Adams of the Alliance

We the Star Wars fan community have often compared ourselves with Alderaan, the demolition of our universe with the destruction of that planet, our plight as homeless nerds with the lost refugees of Alderaan. It’s comparable on every level: a world with hundreds of thousands of vital, living creatures and a rich, deep, ancient history completely destroyed by one cold and unfeeling machine of evil empire.

Were there people from Alderaan who had a bad life there and who sullenly growled that it was better off gone? I have no doubt. Frustrated ne’er-do-wells who couldn’t live under Alderaan’s laws and restrictions, who didn’t care about history, who would rather be going after the latest shiny thing, glit-biting or finding other shallow Imperial-allowed entertainments — you can bet they sounded a chorus of “well I’m glad that planet’s gone.” But they weren’t refugees. They didn’t have something taken from them.

The Graveyard of Alderaan

The Graveyard of Alderaan

Princess Leia and her companion Winter, Tycho Celchu, the other survivors of Alderaan — they did have something taken from them. Some, like Leia, were aware of it the moment it happened — others, like Tycho, didn’t realize what had taken place until later. They banded together to fight against the empire that had created such a menace, and they also banded together to help one another in coping with the loss of something as monumental as an entire world. The Empire had to be stopped, but also, Alderaan had to be restored. It would never be the same, you can’t un-destroy what has been destroyed, but it would be a place for the refugees of a world to call home once again.

A ritual developed among the survivors of Alderaan. Called The Returning, it consisted of a special journey to the Graveyard, a vast asteroid field making up the remains of Alderaan. An intimate and private act of memorial, the Returnees would say a few words and leave a pod of gifts to commemorate those lost family members, friends, faces, places.

Leia's Return

Leia’s Return

We are the Refugees of “EUderaan.” We mourn for what has been lost, because we know the depth and the extent of what has been lost. Two years ago today, Lucasfilm made the announcement that should have shaken the fanbase to its core. When Joss Whedon had the audacity to say the television show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D wasn’t canon vis-a-vis his Avengers films, people flipped out and he was forced to retract. When the Lucasfilm Story Group declared that a 38-year-old fully unified multimedia canon of Star Wars lore would no longer be considered canon, people were not permitted to flip out. We were muffled, pushed down under hype of new movies and propaganda where the most peculiar, obscure bits of the EU were used to typify the whole. “You don’t get to have a voice until we see how Disney’s movie turns out,” people said, even though we already knew all we needed to know when we were told Heir to the Empire (whose Coruscant is the hinge of the prequels), Dash Rendar (whose ship Outlander was edited into A New Hope by Lucas Himself), and Aayla Secura (drawn from comics for a role in Episode II and III) no longer existed as canon.

Simply put, the Expanded Universe forms the framework for the Star Wars films. Since the entire EU — books, comics, and both electronic and tabletop games — was instigated and supported by George Lucas as canon equal with the films (his only caveat was that he did not need to submit to them if his vision contradicted them — something which rarely happened), by removing the EU, Disney effectively rebooted the franchise. Deletion of 90% source material is as sure a reboot as Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. But we were denied the right to call it what it is.

The Empire didn’t let people mourn for Alderaan, either. Such an event should have caused such moral outrage and horror that the Empire would’ve been lost overnight. But the Emperor’s grip was tight, and protestation was muffled — just as our protests for the EU have been muffled.

But now we the community have taken a stand. Star Wars fans have done something really amazing, and the media has noticed —

We literally took a sign out.

We literally took a sign out.

Various coinciding factors allowed certain organizers among the fan community — I reject the terminology that we are an “organization”; no, we are merely fans doing what fans do! — to plan and accomplish getting a literal billboard literally outside the doors of the Lucasfilm offices [more here].

Literally.

Literally.

It’s the message we’ve been speaking for two years now, but this time it cost money to make. Via crowdfunding, the relatively modest cost of a billboard (compare $7 million raised by Msties to bring Mystery Science Theater 3000 back) was raised and applied to a sign asking for the EU to be restored to its position, and the response has phenomenal:

We’ve started the conversation. People are finally being heard as they voice dissent against the mouse empire. The anti-EU fighters can no longer hide behind “wait and see, you don’t know, it might be good.” The pro-EU wishers and dreamers who hoped that somehow Disney meant to decanonize and yet incorporate have seen that all the current Star Wars administration means to do is recycle the stories into trash for cash.

It took almost four years for Alderaan to receive justice, and longer than that before her homeless refugees were able to rebuild. This is a long fight, but we’re in it and we’re in it together.

I have another post coming where I try to address some of the repeated confusion in media attention (“what do those Legends people want, anyway?”), but with this post, looking back on the last two years of anger and struggle, all I want to do is say thanks to the Give Us Legends [also Twitter] guys for doing this!

The view from here.

The view from here.

We’re not an organization. There’s no leadership, no hierarchy, no one in charge. We’re just the fanbase. The Star Wars fans in 2016 as we were in 1976, in 1986, in 1996, and in 2006. We just want Star Wars, as it is, as it was, as it should be. Declaring the EU non-canon was no different from declaring Return of the Jedi non-canon — and we will fight for what we love, to bring it back.

For the press release and more information about the billboard, how it came to be, and what it represents and is for, check out giveuslegends.net.

Our love. Our story.

Our love. Our story.

And you, EUderaan, EUderaan,  you are not forgotten. We will not send you quietly into that good night. We will keep up this fight. #WeWantLegends. #GiveUsLegends.

Realcanon Favorites

Posted in Questions with tags , , , , on 1 April 2015 by Megan

Do you have a list of your favourite Star Wars books in order? Would be curious what your picks would be? — Chris

When Chris asked this, it occurred to me for the first time that I have never provided a book list of my favorites from the EU. I was frankly a little astonished to realize I’ve never done it before — I mean, I’ve mentioned some favorites every now and again, but never done a list. No joke! This shocks me because on my personal blog, it’s all book lists, all the time. Time to remedy it!

I don’t love every Star Wars book I read. If you’ve spent any time in my reviews, you know that. In fact, if you’ve spent any time in my reviews, you may wonder if I’m capable of love. I’m unusual among Star Wars fans in that I don’t like the same books they like and I don’t crave new book after new book. It’s why I started this site, why I’ve worked so hard on the concept of realcanon even before the Disney Death Star drove everyone into the discussion of canon. (PS, I am revamping the realcanon page. Soon. Soon!) But I think my favorites represent a certain cream of the expanded universe’s crop.

As it happens, I have 10 books (keeping trilogies as “one book,” because it’s not fair to separate them) that I’ve rated 4 and 5 stars! I’ll elaborate on the top 5. As usual, here’s my complete bibliography (aka the books I’m choosing these favorites from).

10. Shadow Hunter by Michael Reaves. (Published 2001; set 37 years before ANH.)

9. The Jedi Academy Trilogy (Jedi Search, Dark Apprentice, Champions of the Force). (Published 1994; set 7 years after ROTJ.) My first favorite.

8. Tales of the Bounty Hunters. (Published 1996; short story anthology edited by Kevin J. Anderson.)

7. The Thrawn Trilogy (Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command) by Timothy Zahn. (Published 1991; set 5 years after ROTJ.)

6. Death Troopers by Joe Schreiber. (Published 2009; set 1 year before ANH.)

First and best.

First and best.

5. The Corellian Trilogy (Attack on Corellia, Assault at Selonia, Showdown at Centerpoint) by Roger MacBride Allen. Published in 1995 and set 14 years after the Battle of Endor, book 2 of this trilogy was the first Star Wars book I ever read. It was December 1997, ten months after I saw Star Wars for the first time, and my mind exploded with all the new information: Han and Leia were married and had three kids? Han had an evil cousin? Leia was running the New Republic? There was a New Republic?! A shocking place to dive in — but it’s not just nostalgia that makes me give it a spot in my Top 5. This book really holds up. Every time I go back and re-read it, I’m thrilled by the sense of history, the fearful mystery of the archaeological expeditions, the quick wonder of the Solo children, the gripping determination of Han Solo, family man. MacBride Allen is an underrated contribution to the EU.

Gambling on awesome

Gambling on awesome

4. X-Wing Series, specifically the “Taking Coruscant Trilogy” by Michael A. Stackpole (Wedge’s Gamble, The Krytos Trap, The Bacta War). Published in 1997 and set three years after the Battle of Endor — it’s hard to pick a pinnacle, but I’m thinking Wedge’s Gamble might reach top this time. I’ve enthused about these all recently, but to be honest, I was surprised to find myself ranking them so highly. Unlike the Corellian Trilogy, for years I just thought these were “those flight sim books” that were “kinda okay.” When I re-read them last year, though, I was knocked flat by how good they are. Solid win. (Specific review here.)

Book 2 is best

Book 2 is best

3. The Han Solo Trilogy (The Paradise Snare, The Hutt Gambit, Rebel Dawn), by A.C. Crispen. Published in 1997 and set 12-0 years before the Battle of Yavin. It was February 1998, almost one year to the day after I first saw Star Wars. I was returning Paradise Snare to the library, saw they already had Hutt Gambit in, but was not allowed to check it out because Mom felt I was “too in to” Star Wars and shouldn’t get two books in a row. I read as much as I could while sitting there, and reached page 57 before being made to leave. That night I wrote in my diary, “I don’t think I’ll forget that page number if I live to be 100 years old!” And to this day, Hutt Gambit is linked with the number 57 in my mind. These books quickly became some of my first favorites, especially Hutt Gambit, which is also my preferred gateway book to introduce people to the EU. The trilogy starts with a young Han Solo, shows how he got his start as an orphan pickpocket on up to a cast out of the Imperial military academy. How does he know Wookiee? How is he with Chewbacca? Why does Boba Fett have a grudge against him? The man with the mystery past need be a mystery no more.

Book 1 is best

Book 1 is best

2. The Bounty Hunter Wars Trilogy, by K.W. Jeter; published in 1998 and set both immediately after ROTJ and during ANH, these books are unique in a variety of ways. First of all, they lack the “Big Three.” Second of all, the antagonists are the protagonists. In these landmark books, we learn that Boba Fett survived the Sarlacc, and also get to find out more about the bounty hunter crew we saw briefly in Empire Strikes Back. The whole gang is here — Boba Fett, Bossk, Dengar, IG-88, Zuckuss, 4-LOM. Plus Prince Xizor and my all-time favorite, Kuat of Kuat. Jeter has a fantastic sense of place, boldly painting the lines of bounty hunter culture and building a mystery that takes place during a most tumultuous time in galactic history, a mystery that makes the rise and fall of regimes seem almost insignificant. I love this trilogy — in fact, the one post I have done on “favorite EU book” was dedicated to it. Read more (here).

The greatest

The greatest

1. I, Jedi, by Michael A. Stackpole. Published in 1998 and set 7 years after ROTJ, concurrent with the Jedi Academy Trilogy — perhaps why I love it so much, because how often does a writer you love get to touch up a story you love written by a lackluster author? Anyway, you knew it would end up here. Simply put, this is my favorite Star Wars book and one of four Star Wars books to end up on my List of 100 Favorite Books Ever. I talk about this book so much, there simply isn’t more to say. I’ve already said it here. And here.

Why I Love Star Wars

Posted in Challenges with tags , , on 31 July 2014 by Megan

This question has bothered me for a long time, almost since I started watching it in the first place.

See, I really struggle with living in a society that somehow is convinced that a science fiction adaptation of The Seven Samurai is a children’s movie. I saw it for the first time at the age of 12, but for some reason every adult that I knew apart from my parents thought it was a movie for six year old boys, and so I’ve been hit with, “Why do you like Star Wars so much anyway?” ever since I first dared tell someone I liked it. It’s always been awkward having this movie in common with my friends’ toddler younger brothers — not because I thought there was anything wrong with me liking it, but that these kids were way too young to even know what it was. And they are. But that’s a different rant.

Call it a kids' movie one more time, I dare you . . .

Call it a kids’ movie one more time, I dare you . . .

All I’m complaining about here is that most people seemed to criticize me for being too old to care about something I’d only just seen for the first time — something which I personally think should’ve been rated PG-13 from the beginning even though PG-13 didn’t yet exist.

All this is preface to the first time I got distressed by answering why I love Star Wars. On May 14, 1999, a homeschool co-op parent asked me on the way to class why I liked Star Wars. Being your average articulate 14-year-old, this was what I wrote: “Mrs. L asked me that today and I’m trying to think WHY I love SW. I think its the charicters, and the stories. I’m not sure. All I know is: I LOVE STAR WARS, AND I LIKE LOVING IT!! To tell the truth: I’m OBSESSED with it. AND I like THAT, TOO. I don’t know why. It just hit something in my imagination that I just like the way it feels when I watch or read about it. But WHY does it make me feel that way? In fact, why does ANYONE like ANYTHING?”

That was too much philosophy for me and I left off the diary entry at that point. And yet it’s a question that’s haunted me all these years, one I’ve struggled to find some way to answer or express.

I just like it. Don't give me that look.

I just like it. Don’t give me that look.

This week I was listening to The Princess Bride audiobook, which was on every possible level random because I rarely do the audiobook thing. It was a Christmas gift from probably eight or nine years ago and I recently found it in my storage unit while looking for CDs.

At the very beginning of this cleverly done book — as tongue-in-cheek and satirically funny as the film itself — the narrator attempts to explain what it was about his “barely-literate father” reading S. Morgenstern’s classic tale of true love and high adventure to him. And — paraphrasing here, because I don’t have access to the book — it grabbed him because it made him care about what happened in the story.

Star Wars made me care about what happened. All these years, I’ve read Campbell and treatises on mythology and even took a class on the subject, trying to determine just what it is about Star Wars it is that gets me ticking, and you can say whatever you like about archetype and cosmology and myth and cliche, but the simple fact of it is . . . Star Wars made me care about the characters, on a level I had never previously cared about them before.

Their triumph, my triumph

Their triumph, my triumph

Their battles were my battles, their triumphs were my triumphs, their fears, my fears. Their universe was not truly inherently different from mine, and really, with as much as I loved Han from day one, I must have always seen myself as Luke, because at the age of 12 when I first saw him, I was just embarking on my own path — the road to personhood — as he was embarking on his path to knighthood and heroism. And maybe somehow if I watched him suffer and overcome enough times, I, too, could suffer and overcome. And maybe have a robot. Robots are cool.

I guess that’s what it comes down to. I love Star Wars with a kind of fervency that is not obsession, that lives somewhere beyond obsession (cf. this post), because it was the first time I ever cared on a personal level about the people in the story I was experiencing. Always before Star Wars, all I cared about was the story itself. I was a plot person, as it were. Stick figures or faceless silhouettes could have been the ones saving the world, rescuing the princess, ending tyranny for all time for all I cared; the heroes as well as the villains were interchangeable blanks who did not matter to me whatsoever.

After Star Wars, the story became second. Suddenly it didn’t quite matter to me if the heroes were on a quest to end all evil forever or just heading down to the corner for a pizza: as long as there were characters involved, that was the important part. Ever since the end of Return of the Jedi, when I first noticed Luke’s shoulders crumple as he wept over the man voted Most Likely To Never be Wept Over (before he killed the ones who voted it), all I have cared about is the character. I’d watch a feature-length film that contained nothing apart from Luke Skywalker Reads Novel In Comfy Chair because Luke Skywalker is the interesting part — not the lightsabers and spaceships and war.

I told you, I love him!!

I told you, I love him!!

And that, Mrs. L., is why I love Star Wars, because Star Wars made me love characters (“charicters” in my 14-year-old misspellings), and characters are my favorite thing in the universe.

Best Memory

Posted in Challenges with tags , , on 24 July 2014 by Megan

It’s weird to think here’s this movie that means so much in your life that you not only have a memory concerning it, you have such a number of them that you could be easily expected to choose your “personal best Star Wars memory.” I mean, I have a couple of The Avengers memories, like this one time I sat down and watched The Avengers with Rifftrax, or this other time I told somebody about the time I watched The Avengers with the Rifftrax, but it’s not like any of that stuff is memoir material.

Star Wars is different. Why? How? I don’t know. I’ll probably explore those concepts next week, the last day of the challenge in fact, when I’m supposed to talk about why I love Star Wars. How inexplicable and strange it is that here’s this 70s scifi flick that has made enough of a difference in my life that I, quite literally, have a scrapbook of memories related to it. I mean it, it’s a black suede photo album entitled Star Wars: A Love Story. It’s unfinished because I started it the summer before grad school and I always thought I’d have a home with a work station in it after grad school which would enable me to finish it. Two years on, that hasn’t happened, but I digress.

There’s the memory of the first time I ever saw A New Hope, with pepperoni pizza and snow on the ground. There’s the memory of watching Oprah Star Wars interviews before even seeing ESB and discovering via clips that Han got frozen in carbonite. There’s the memory of how Mom sneakily rented ESB and ROTJ at the same time but didn’t tell me. The memory of washing Dad’s car six or seven times to earn the money to pay for the Special Edition Trilogy on VHS. The memory of turning broom handles into lightsabers and dueling with my niece. The memory of borrowing novelizations from a friend at electricity class — the related memory of the first time I found out there were books. The memory of sitting on the floor in my room on a rainy day sorting my Star Wars Trivial Pursuit cards by the number in the lower right corner. The memory of carrying my Episode I Visual Dictionary around everywhere I went for six months. The memory of building my first fan site. Seeing ROTJ in the theater — seeing the prequels in the theater. First soundtrack. First action figure.

About 5 years' worth of papers

About 5 years’ worth of papers

You know, one of the very first things I ever, ever did was — I had this spiral-bound wide-rule notebook. I wrote STAR WARS on the cover in Sharpie. (It’s the green notebook in the middle of that picture.) And then, during the 20 minutes allotted Internet time I got each day, I would log onto the graphics-intensive StarWars.com and methodically start copying out the databank articles into this notebook. I also printed out a few pictures and quotations and made profile pages. The cover eventually came clean off because I carried it around recording every smidgeon of Star Wars information I could find in it. (This is why I’m not kidding when I say I’ve spent more than a decade and a half researching Star Wars.)

Oh, here’s another fun one. Before I got Star Wars Trivial Pursuit for Christmas the one year my parents went ahead and gave me Star Wars stuff for Christmas, I created my own Star Wars board game. The only board games I really knew of at the time were Monopoly and Parcheesi, so I’m vaguely surprised at the similarities it has with Trivial Pursuit.

The original Star Wars board game...?

The original Star Wars board game…?

It’s called Star Wars and it lives in a Reebok box. I colored it with those scented Mr. Markers. There were three types of cards: ?, !, and |o| (TIE fighters). It’s hard to explain the difference between ! and ? in my 12-year-old brain, but ! was more positive than ?, sort of. Actually, most of these “surprises” consisted of losing turns. The TIE questions almost all involved asking about Luke’s relatives (“True or false, Han Solo is Luke’s cousin”), which is why Kristine — the only other person to have played this game — and I tend to refer to it as “Luke’s Relatives,” as in, “Hey, wanna play Luke’s Relatives?” Look, I was 12! Anyway. I have no idea how you were supposed to win — oh, questions were rated by difficulty and assigned Imperial designations so when you answered correctly, you “destroyed” your target. TIEs were easy, Star Destroyers hard — there was a Super Star Destroyer and a Death Star question but I forget what I considered of that degree of extreme difficulty. “Darth Vader’s real name” might’ve been a Super Star Destroyer. I guess the general idea was you racked up points and the first one to reach a certain number of points won. And the non !, ?, or |o| tiles were planets. Ah, well.

All of that being said to say that I really think my favorite Star Wars memory, my favorite thing I’ve ever done, favorite thing to remember doing . . . would be the Star Wars concert of 2009. 2009 was a fantastic year, closing off a decade that was better than I give it credit for. The 2010s suck, man, we need out of this horrible decade . . . Sidebar. 2009 was the year I kicked off by seeing Topol in February and concluded by seeing Anthony Daniels in December. It doesn’t get better than that.

Anthony Daniels! In the blurry cell phone pic flesh.

Anthony Daniels! In the blurry cell phone pic flesh.

You can read all about my Star Wars concert experience here and here, though. It seems redundant to cover all that again. Suffice it to say — yeah, the Star Wars concert is my absolute favorite.

Favorite Darth Vader Quotation

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , on 17 July 2014 by Megan

Well, this is awkward. My favorite Darth Vader quotation coincides with my favorite Episode V quotation.  Now what am I supposed to do?

No, I guess that’s okay. I have another Vader line that I like very much that I can use!

The original Anakin vs. Obi-Wan

The original Anakin vs. Obi-Wan

The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner — now I am the master.

And then in the style of the ancient webcomic Surf Rat and Spencer, I have to quip, “What circle?” “You and me, we make a circle.” “No, we don’t! Two points make a line, not a circle!” “Ugh, let’s just fight!” “Fine! You were always a terrible student!” Man, I miss Surf Rat. . . .

Not actually visually stunning

Not actually visually stunning

Anyway, while this is the least visually stimulating duel in the entire saga, there’s a lot of emotion that goes on with it. Vader’s “Your powers are weak, old man” is another great line. More than the emotional culmination of the encounter that has been brewing for 20 years, this duel always sparked off in my imagination as I used to watch it and wonder about their last encounter, the duel over a lava pit where Vader was so horribly damaged in the first place. Episode III fulfilling my mind’s vision hasn’t reduced the drama of this moment.

Favorite Yoda Quotation

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , , , on 10 July 2014 by Megan

I don’t think I can do this. Yoda is not my favorite zombified toad — he taints everything he comes in contact with. Sort of like Thomas Jefferson, he’s a hypocritical old bat with a few highly quotable catchphrases. People get caught up on the Yoda train without thinking about it: he’s cast as the wise mentor, Obi-Wan bounces out a recommendation his way, and our minds (trained by generations of fairytales) accept him in spite of the fact that he never demonstrates the wisdom that we supposedly admire him for.

An entire generation misled

An entire generation misled

In the prequels, Yoda is like the worst boss ever. It’s not noticeable in Episode I because he doesn’t do much at all, but in Episode II, he twice goads Obi-Wan into speaking before promptly rebuking him saying anything! He would have done well to take his own advice about the trap of arrogance, because in Episode III, after encouraging Anakin not to care when others die, he insists on keeping the more glorious mission to himself. Even though Obi-Wan is better matched against Palpatine and Yoda could kill Anakin in a heartbeat — Anakin, whom Obi-Wan is incapable of killing — Yoda insists on going against the Emperor himself. When he fails, he arrogantly decides that killing the Emperor is impossible, dusts the fate of the galaxy off his hands, and hops on the speed train to exile. This in spite of the fact that there is no conceivable reason why Obi-Wan couldn’t make another attempt himself, thus preventing Palpatine from saving Anakin in the first place!

(Also — not really against Yoda, but it drives me nuts at the end of E2 when he mutters, “Begun the Clone War has.” How can he possibly know the name of the war? This is like English Prime Minister Lloyd George reading about Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination and saying, “I guess that’s the start of World War I!”)

In the trilogy, Yoda is at his most tolerable in Empire as he amusingly harasses Luke. However, everything he does in that movie is pointless and dumb. I know, I thought it was mystical and cool, too, until I really thought about it. He wastes Luke’s time for about a week, berating him for not being able to use the Force to lift an X-wing fighter out of the swamp after a mere couple days’ training, and continually throwing his faults and failures back at him. I know I learn best when constantly being rubbed with, “Hey, remember how you didn’t do that right? Remember how you did it WRONG?” He even tries to recreate Vader by telling Luke he should sacrifice the lives of his friends for the sake of his training.

No, shut up, or shut up!

No, shut up, or shut up!

The famous

Do or do not. There is no try

is probably the most-quoted line from Star Wars, and probably what the majority of people answer this question with. But this line has troubled me since day one.

First of all, I know this looks good on a bumper sticker, but there’s a reason we say “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Repeated efforts increase the chance of success. If Yoda had simply answered “Okay” to Luke’s “I’ll give it a try,” Luke would have continued working at lifting the ship until he did it. But because Yoda said you can only succeed or fail, Luke couldn’t do it on the first try and opted for failure. Yoda then berates him and shows him up, resulting in obvious discouragement and huge setbacks in his training. Imagine if this is how your parents taught you to tie your shoes! This is a terrible way to teach anybody to do anything. (Honestly I think Yoda was less trying to produce a new line of Jedi and more trying to set Luke up for ultimate failure in order to prove that if he couldn’t defeat Palpatine, nobody could.)

Secondly, I proved in my high school logic class that this statement is itself a logical fallacy. I actually took this quote and used it as the basis of my final paper. I don’t have the paper anymore, or I’d quote it. Suffice it to say, it’s a fallacy.

I’m sorry, I tried to think of any line from him that could qualify as a favorite, but he just made me so mad, I can’t do it. See also: A Character Everybody Else Loves That You Hate.

Favorite Obi-Wan Quotation

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , on 3 July 2014 by Megan

Two of my all-time favorite quotations come from Obi-Wan (seen here), so I’m really working to avoid redundancy. I really love both of those lines.

I'd much rather dream about Ewan

I’d much rather dream about Ewan

Well, that’s a nice face for inspiration. When I first saw this question in the challenge, I had a brief but dim hope I might find an OT quot of his I like. But after realizing just how much I dislike old Ben, I knew that was never going to happen. Since I gave him a quot from E2 and E3 already, fairness should have me pick one from E1 — but surprisingly, one line did pop into my head here and keeps going around.

The sober Jedi master

The sober Jedi master

Dreams pass in time.

There’s something vaguely annoying about this line. Like the serenity is forced. Or it’s a brush off. But at the same time, I’ve always been drawn to this line.

Ewan said in an interview that George Lucas told him he was very Alec Guinness with that line. And there is a certain depth to it, where Obi-Wan is trying to offer his Padawan something, but Anakin’s problem is so far beyond the league of anything Obi-Wan has ever had to deal with that he can only offer this bit of Jedi insight. Anakin prefers to change the subject. And really, that’s the best his master can give him? The tautology that eventually he won’t have the dream because he’ll stop having the dream?

But there’s more to this fraction of a haiku than initially meets the ear. Ignoring the fact that these guys are tuned into an energy field connecting all life in the galaxy into a single organism, which means they should have trotted out to Tatooine as soon as Anakin started having extremely detailed visions about his mother’s death. Skipping that mumbo jumbo entirely and focusing on the truth of it — it’s one of those statements like This too shall pass, a statement that can’t be wrong.

One more for good measure

One more for good measure

You could also start thinking of dreams in their metaphorical sense, not the merely literal — Anakin told Qui-Gon he dreamed of being a Jedi who came back to free all the slaves. We all have aspirations of one sort or another, toward greatness of one definition or another. (Even the humblest life’s dream can be great to the one dreaming it.)

I know the kneejerk response when someone says “you’ll stop wanting it eventually” is to be defensive or depressed. After all, the only acceptable way to stop wanting something is to get it, so you don’t need to want it anymore. But this is myopic.

A New Hope focuses a lot on dreams, I came to notice as I listened to the radio drama. “You can’t begrudge him his dreams!” Aunt Beru flares at Owen. Luke’s dream was to go to the Imperial Academy and become a pilot — that dream was replaced by the dream to see his father avenged by killing Darth Vader, and that dream also passed when he began to dream of seeing his father, Vader, redeemed. At the end of the trilogy looking back, do you think even the slightest part of Luke wishes he hadn’t given up becoming an Academy-certified pilot? Of course not.

My own dreams have been on a roller coaster for the better part of a decade. And for awhile there, I was getting fairly apathetic about wanting anything, about dreaming anything at all because the more I wanted something, the more likely I was not to get it. First I wanted to be a novelist; then I wanted to be an English professor; then I wanted to go to school in Scotland; then I wanted to not be alive anymore; then I wanted to be a library director. Now I’m a cataloger. I’m dreaming of going to Washington DC now; although I feel I have only a slim chance, my sister observed to me that it’s not a one shot deal. If I don’t get it this time, I try again. Dreams pass in time, but they don’t leave a void behind them. They’re like hermit crab shells — as you grow, you get new dreams that better accommodate your maturing self.

Except if your dream is that your mother is getting tortured to death by a savage tribe on a remote desert planet — maybe don’t wait for that dream to pass. Maybe go ahead and call her right now and make sure she’s all right.