Archive for Revenge of the Sith

Favorite Non-Human Female

Posted in Spotlight with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 10 March 2013 by Megan
Something called "C-level canon"

Something called “C-level canon”

This post was ridiculously hard to accomplish; I’ve been agonizing about this for days, which was weird because I was positive with all the scifi and stuff that I’m in to, the nonhuman character question would be the easiest. Then I realized every nonhuman I like is male. Pickings were slim and I nearly gave up altogether, and then I realized that Aayla Secura didn’t need more than her few seconds of screen time in two movies to count — I’ve been crazy about her for years!

Here’s the thing. I love Twi’leks. Twi’leks — their name comes from their twin lekku, or head-tails — are beautiful and fascinating and pretty. They hale from the planet Ryloth, and are memorable to most people because of Jabba’s dancers in Return of the Jedi. Now, if you haven’t heard me describe Star Wars as a “coloring book” before, you haven’t heard me discuss why Star Wars is like a coloring book. Lucas made six movies that give you the outlines of a battle against good and evil, the rise and fall and redemption of a slave boy, the end and beginning of a noble bunch of peacekeepers with light swords. He’s not much a one for character development, backstory, timelining, or any of those tedious little details that could really give the saga depth and meaning, and that’s where the very unique aspect of Star Wars comes to light — it’s boldly left up to each fan to fill in the lines using whatever he deems best. Maybe you want to use crayons, maybe she wants to use oil colors, maybe he wants to use wads of used gum. The great thing is that this is all okay because Lucas never put in enough of his own information to prevent fans from making it any color they want. So, like with all things Star Wars, I have elaborately fleshed out Ryloth and the Twi’leks according to my own imagination and logic, and done, I think, a considerably better job than the published EU writers, who are typically focused on one thing: “Heh, heh . . . boobs.”

It is hardly my fault women have boobs and this is a women-based challenge

It is hardly my fault women have boobs and this is a women-based challenge

So here’s the low-down on Aayla Secura, my favorite non-human character. She is also a type of character, which is why I paused to emphasize my love of Twi’leks. There’s very little to be known about Aayla Secura, but a lot to be inferred: she appears on screen in two scenes in Attack of the Clones — she is in the background as Obi-Wan goes to ask Yoda about the missing planet in the Jedi Archives, and again during the battle on Geonosis — and her death is seen in Revenge of the Sith on the planet Feluca. So she is a Jedi, one of the ones brought by Yoda to rescue Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Senator Amidala on Geonosis; she later fights in the Clone Wars and is stationed on the planet Feluca, where her clone troops turn on her and kill her. Really, not much more to know than that. Her death scene is a little weird, but then, all of them are . . . for example, how can Yoda on Kashyyk sense what’s happening to Jedi all over the galaxy, when the Jedi can’t sense the intent of their clone troops who are literally about to pull the trigger on them? Makes me think the Grand Egotist (Yoda) was doing a little long-distance brain-fuzzing.

Anyhow, while it’s not unusual for me to pick random background characters and obsess over them, how did an obscure blue Twi’lek with only a few seconds on screen manage to get a name, an action figure, and such a following? You might as well know there are lots of comic books about her. I don’t comic book. (I also don’t idiotic-cartoons-based-on-cinema-classics.) But she did come from the comic books. In fact, Jon Foster’s cover art painting of her was what caught George Lucas’ attention, so that he asked for her to be included in two of the films.

The painting that started it

The painting that started it

Actually I don’t see anything appealing about that picture at all and her head-tails make no sense. (I’m sure it annoys people how I take over at Star Wars and act like nobody else has any good thoughts about it except for myself, but the fact of the matter is, no one else will approach it with a modicum of logic!! They are thicker and more muscled than her arms! How does that make sense? And the shape has nothing to do with the established shape of lekku! Also, her left arm is gross.)

But I’ve had a background fixation on Aayla Secura since just before E2 came out, and I was one of the ones eagerly awaiting the release of the action figure. While it’s disappointing she still has to prance around in various stages of undress — what, is it illegal for female Twi’leks to wear clothes — it is nice to see a capable warrior female Jedi who is also a Twi’lek. (Soap box time! It’s not that the Empire was ever anti-nonhuman — another thing that makes absolutely no sense in an ancient universe where humans are freely mingled with nonhumans on every planet — but it’s that the 80s and 90s Star Wars authors themselves couldn’t cope with the not-human, and their own specisism colored what they wrote and created layers upon layers of nonsensical behavior that I have to compensate for! What am I, the only person who can think? Bah!)

So that’s why I like her and stuff. Twi’leks are cool.

She will mess you up.

She will mess you up.

Day 19: Favorite Non-Human Female Character via Hundredaire Socialite.

Favorite Female Character

Posted in Challenges with tags , , , , , , , , , on 17 January 2013 by Megan

Ugh, I hate this question. I just have no answer to it. I never like women. It is so incredibly difficult for me to think of favorite women . . . I just don’t know. There are some women I do like, but none of them seem legit for overarching favorite female character for the franchise.

Dracmus, Qi Xux  Aunt Beru, Taun We, Lyn Me

Dracmus, Qi Xux
Aunt Beru, Taun We, Lyn Me

For example, as I was “growing up” in my love for Star Wars, and reading the books and all, I freaking adored Dracmus (Assault on Selonia) and Qwi Xux (Dark Apprentice — she bags Wedge Antilles. Respect!), but it’s not like they’re even recurring characters. My favorite woman in the films was undoubtedly Lyn Me — I adore Twi’leks of all kinds, but this classically-trained dancer in Jabba’s palace actually has an awesome back story about her hunting down her sister and stuff. As I was contemplating answers for this challenge, I thought about how much I love Taun We, the Kaminoan who shows Obi-Wan around; the actress who did her voice described her as a creature of love and light, which just about sums it up; I love her galaxy-eyes. Aunt Beru, though she doesn’t seem to have enough personality to wring a whole post out of, nevertheless seems like a sweet lady, and one wonders just how she did at mothering Luke.

Still, none of these seemed to inspire enough affection from me to get a real post out of. Finally, I was authorized by a friend that the character didn’t have to be sentient. In that case, I said, well, in that case, I have an easy choice to make:

boga_relationship

Boga, the noble varactyl

In Episode III, Obi-Wan chooses a varactyl to get around quickly and unnoticed on Utapau. Although the film cuts it, the novelization mentions that he spends quite some time among the varactyl stables trying to identify one with the right sort of spirit. He immediately forms a bond with Boga; he senses a kindred spirit with her, and that she is noble, intelligent, and loving.

Just pretend there's a feathered lizard standing there.

Just pretend there’s a feathered lizard standing there.

Just watching Boga move in Episode III gives me a thrill. She reminds me of a big dog — well, specifically, of the Newfoundland we used to have — the way she goes loping down the ramps and corridors, barking and yipping. Birdlike, lizardlike, dinosaurish, you can tell just by looking at her that there’s something clever to her, but not a destructive kind of cleverness like a raptor.

movie_bg

Boga would take the raptors OUT.

I also find it amazing that Obi-Wan can just immediately handle one of these things. How many years does it take to become a horse master? And Boga’s big old head is kind of in the way for visibility while riding. Nevertheless, they make a convincing team. I was afraid she would try to sneeze and give away his location, but it’s in fact Obi-Wan who gives away the location by casually leaping into a hoard of enemies.

obi_boga

So many pretty colors, too. I want a baby varactyl.

Boga is quite ready to jump into any battle or fray at the need of the person she’s accompanying. Although she never met Obi-Wan before, she feels the connection he does, and droids and clones are no nevermind to her. She gladly jumps into the fight and carries Obi-Wan in pursuit of Grevious in some truly head-spinning dives.

Boga

I have the Boga figurine and it is so awesome.

Although she got her name from a Tunisian soft drink, this lizard-creature is legit. It’s not clear whether she dies or not; sources are contradictory. In the film, when Obi-Wan’s clone troops turn on him, Boga does her best to protect his frame from the bolts, and she almost certainly saves his life. Obi-Wan eulogizes her bravery, loyalty, and fierceness, and it seems to me if he thought she died, that she probably did. Still: a glorious career for a great and noble creature.

Kenobiandboga

Rest with the lizard angels, Boga, dear.