I don’t have any true insights to share right now. But it’s May 4th and I’ve got plenty of Star Wars art on the tumblr pages I am watching for classic pulp fantasy and sci-fi art and it got me all hyped up again. And as any semi-regular readers will know, I just love Star Wars to no end. It’s pulp entertainment at its very finest. The old trilogy manages just the perfect blend of a completely outrageous and preposterous world and plot and taking itself still completely serious without making jokes about itself. (It’s the moment when the new movies try to crack a joke that they are at their lowest.) It’s far from infantile nonsense, but instead I see it as a story that is all about emotion, with the plot being a rather secondary thing. It doesn’t make much sense, and often it’s outright silly. But it’s silly only on a rational level, when you try to explain things logically. When looked at as a story that does not work by logic but by emotion, it works perfectly.
I remember quite well when I saw Star Wars for the first time. I was 10 when we moved to another city and a few months later I went to visit one of my old friends for a weekend. My dad dropped me off at the train station where my friends mom picked me up, but before we went to his home, my friend first had to get a new toy from the store next to the train station. And it was a Star Wars toy, which didn’t mean anything to me at that point. So once we got home, he showed me all his other Star Wars stuff and it all looked and sounded really fascinating, completely different from anything I’d seen before. It wasn’t anywhere like Star Trek at all. So we got permission to watch Star Wars on video on a tiny TV in his room later that evening. That stuff was totally amazing. And the next day we also watched The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Best weekend of my life! Fortunately, it was 1995 and in 1997 the special edition was rereleased first in theatres and then on video. And of course I got my parents and my brother to go see them and we got them on video for christmass that year. And I’ve stayed with Star Wars ever since. Watched the movies dozens of times, and played X-Wing and Tie Fighter on our first computer to complete exhaustion. My brother and I probably read all the novels that existed at the time, we played Jedi Knight, and Knights of the Old Republic, and my brother got a small stack of comics. And lot’s of posters. Actually I have to admit I don’t care for the new movies at all. I might not even go to see them on release, but unless the reviews are disastrous I’ll probably get around to watch them on DVD some day. Call me old, but I grew up on the stuff that was made in the 90s and early 2000s and that’s the only true way Star Wars is done for me. There are still gems of course. The Knights of the Old Republic comics are amazing and I even love playing The Force Unleashed, even though the story is one of the dumbest things ever written for Star Wars this side of Dark Empire. But even if I don’t really care for most of the things released in the last 10 years, I still love Star Wars and probably always.
I freaking love this stuff!
So here have probably the best movie scene of all time:
This is just the greatest stuff ever made. Sorry, Mass Effect, Ghost in the Shell, Dark Sun, and The Witcher. Star Wars is still so much more awesome.
“Historians/Archeologists suck at naming things” is kind of an old joke, but when it comes to Star Wars it’s even worse. Much, much more worse. Things are certainly not helped by the fact that it’s always the same four groups fighting the same conflict over and over. But seriously, how much more terrible could writers possibly be at naming these wars?
- Great Hyperspace War: 5,000 BBY; Jedi and Republic vs. Sith
- Great Sith War: (also known as First Sith War) 3,996 BBY; Jedi and Republic vs. Sith and Mandalorians
- Mandalorian Wars: 3,964 BBY; Jedi and Republic vs. Mandalorians
- Jedi Civil War: (also known as Second Sith War) 3,958 BBY; Jedi vs. Sith
- Sith Civil War: 3,956 BBY; Jedi vs. Sith vs. Sith
- Great Galactic War: (also known as Republic-Sith War or Great War) 3,681 BBY; Jedi and Republic vs. Sith
- Cold War: 3,653 BBY; Jedi and Republic vs. Sith
- Galactic War: 3,642 BBY; Jedi and Republic vs. Sith and Mandalorians
- New Sith War: (also known as Jedi-Sith War) 2,000 BBY; Jedi and Republic and Mandalorians vs. Sith
- Mandalorian Civil War: 60 BBY; Mandalorians vs. Mandalorians
- Clone Wars: (could be called Galactic Civil War) 22 BBY; Jedi and Republic vs. Sith and Republic
- First Galactic Civil War: 2 BBY; Jedi and Republic vs. Sith/Empire
- First Imperial Civil War: 4 ABY; Empire vs. Empire
- Yuuzhan Vong War: (also known as Great War) 25 ABY; Jedi and Republic and Empire and Mandalorians vs. Yuuzhan Vong
- Second Galactic Civil War: (also known as New Galactic Civil War) 41 ABY; Jedi and Republic vs. Sith
- Sith-Imperial War: 127 ABY; Sith vs. Empire
- Second Imperial Civil War: 130 ABY; Sith vs. Empire vs. Jedi and Republic
Seriously! The fuck?!
Well, I guess that means we should get ready for the New Mandalorian War, the Jedi-Empire War, and the Great Republic War.
Worldbuilding for dummies. First lesson: Don’t do this!
I recently noticed that I havn’t been watching Star Wars in quite some time, and having been thinking a lot about running a Star Wars campaign, it felt like the time to do it once more. In these days, that always raises the question in what order you should watch them. There’s the Release Order (4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3) and the Narrative Order (1, 2, 3, 4, ,5, 6). By now a few years ago, someone sugested another order, that you could call the Flashback Order (I think it has gained an actual commonly used term, but I can’t remember it now), which is “4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6”. The main issue with the movies is that Episode 3 spoils Episode 5 (Anakin becomes Vader and is not killed by him), and Episode 6 spoils Episode 3 (by telling us that in the end Vaders turn to the Dark Side will be reversed and the Emperor defeated). Not only does the Narrative Order solve this problem by putting the prequel trilogy between Episodes 5 and 6, it also makes quite a bit of sense. After the end of Episode 5, Luke has to come to terms with the revelation of Vader and wants to better understand how that situation could have happened. Then Episode 6 comes along and it seems that Luke has put the shock behind him and becomes stronger in the process. The prequel trilogy are basically an elaboration on the short talk Luke has with Obi-Wan after Yoda dies at the beginning of Episode 6. It’s not a perfect match, but for the rest of the movies Luke could have learned from Obi-Wan what happened in the prequels, so it makes sense for the audience to get that knowledge at roughly the same time.
Now some guy at No Machete Juggling suggested a variation of that order, which is known as the Machete Order, and goes 4, 5, 2, 3, 6. It’s skipping Episode 1 completely, on the grounds that it’s not a good movie and doesn’t actually contribute anything to the rest of the story. All that really happens and becomes relevant is that there’s a seperatist uprising (which we are told by the opening crawl of Episode 2) and that Anakin and Padme once met each other for three days or so when Anakin was a kid (which Episode 2 also tells us, and doesn’t really matter).
Continue reading “Watching Star Wars and the Machete Order”