The Growing Emptiness of the “Star Wars” Universe

The Growing Emptiness of the “Star Wars” Universe

Postby Nutso » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:07 pm

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultu ... s-universe

Early in William Gibson’s novel “Pattern Recognition,” from 2003, Cayce Pollard, a highly paid professional “coolhunter,” wanders through a London department store. Pollard is hypersensitive to the semiotics of brands: when a product is lame, she feels it physically, as a kind of pain. In the basement, she stumbles upon a display of clothes by Tommy Hilfiger. Recoiling from the “mountainside of Tommy,” she thinks, “My God, don’t they know?”

This stuff is simulacra of simulacra of simulacra. A diluted tincture of Ralph Lauren, who had himself diluted the glory days of Brooks Brothers, who themselves had stepped on the product of Jermyn Street and Savile Row . . . . But Tommy surely is the null point, the black hole. There must be some Tommy Hilfiger event horizon, beyond which it is impossible to be more derivative, more removed from the source, more devoid of soul.

I thought of this scene this weekend, after watching “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” “Solo” is an entertaining movie, with engaging performances, vivid production design, and enthralling action sequences. It’s also distressingly forgettable—it’s about nothing, an episode of “Seinfeld” with hyperdrive. In “Pattern Recognition,” Pollard wonders if Hilfiger’s blandness might be the source of his appeal: where most preppy clothes are freighted with meaning, Tommy allows you to look preppy without actually being that way. Similarly, “Solo” evokes “Star Wars” without quite being it. It isn’t the “null point” of the franchise, but it’s close.

To begin with, “Solo” confronts the problems of any prequel. It feels unnecessary and anticipatory of the real action, filling in the blanks without pushing the story forward. We already know what will happen—Han will meet Chewbacca, make the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs, win the Millenium Falcon in a card game, and end up a rakish bachelor—and this puts any genuine suspense out of reach. It’s hemmed in, moreover, by the staid psychology of the “origin story,” according to which people are destined only to become themselves. In origin stories, people almost never contain multitudes, and circumstances rarely leave room for choice; “Solo” discovers that the young Han is pretty much identical to the older one, with the same skills, mannerisms, and values. It would’ve been interesting to learn that Han was once a sensitive boy with a musical gift, or a talented athlete with prospects for the pros, or a genuinely flawed person in need of improvement. Instead, he turns out to have no hidden self and nothing to regret. Our understanding of him does not change.
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Re: The Growing Emptiness of the “Star Wars” Universe

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:27 pm

You know, if I'd been making this movie I'd have started it with Han and Chewie walking onto the Falcon right after Han won it. Completely skip him actually winning it. And him meeting Chewbacca. And I wouldn't show the Kessel run at all. Just to mess with people's expectations and leave them thinking "Wow, so what WILL they do?!"

And then do a story about Han being a smuggler and outwitting people. Kind of a Firefly vibe, where his main concern is keeping out the way of the Empire and making enough money to keep his new ship running.

But they forgot to ask me, so...
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Re: The Growing Emptiness of the “Star Wars” Universe

Postby Nutso » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:59 am

Graham Kennedy wrote:You know, if I'd been making this movie I'd have started it with Han and Chewie walking onto the Falcon right after Han won it. Completely skip him actually winning it. And him meeting Chewbacca. And I wouldn't show the Kessel run at all. Just to mess with people's expectations and leave them thinking "Wow, so what WILL they do?!"

And then do a story about Han being a smuggler and outwitting people. Kind of a Firefly vibe, where his main concern is keeping out the way of the Empire and making enough money to keep his new ship running.

But they forgot to ask me, so...

I guess they wanted to show that this new Han Solo is the real Solo, so they had to show us this Solo doing the things that we know Han Solo did.
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Re: The Growing Emptiness of the “Star Wars” Universe

Postby Coalition » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:41 am

They could have had a plaque on the wall saying "Kessel Run, 1st place", something about 'only the fastest survive', and a zig-zag course that dodges between several dots. It would represent the course Han took for the route between the singularities, be in the background so it doesn't need to be mentioned, and explain everything about the Kessel Run being only 12 parsecs

Maybe an hour to design, a couple hours at a CAD-CAM shop to make, and Star Wars history is explained in canon
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Re: The Growing Emptiness of the “Star Wars” Universe

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:47 am

A scene where Han is bragging on the Falcon.

"She's fast - she once made the Kessel run in twelve parsecs!"
"Isn't a parsec a unit of distance?"
Han laughs. "Yeah. You'd be amazed how many people miss it, though. It's a great way to work out if you're dealing with some local yokel."

Job done.
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Re: The Growing Emptiness of the “Star Wars” Universe

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:21 pm

Graham Kennedy wrote:A scene where Han is bragging on the Falcon.

"She's fast - she once made the Kessel run in twelve parsecs!"
"Isn't a parsec a unit of distance?"
Han laughs. "Yeah. You'd be amazed how many people miss it, though. It's a great way to work out if you're dealing with some local yokel."

Job done.

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