Watch it with that thing!

I told you he shouldn’t have let him have that lightsaber. He nearly slices Ben’s ear off in the bottom-left.

(Nerdy) Film Notes

Father or not?

Whilst I wouldn’t like to over-analyse a fictional story–which was merely meant to be a piece of popular entertainment–and end up looking like a total fan-boy, do any of you think:

  1. George had decided on Vader being Luke’s father – when he made this?
  2. that it’s clear that Vader killed Luke’s dad? I mean, ACTUALLY killed him?

Here, Ben really seems to be saying that Vader was a separate person. So then, during the third–not very good film–Old Ben sits down with Luke and tries to explain it all away “in EFFECT he did kill your father Luke.” Now, < I know that I said in the previous page that it’s almost sinister the way Kenobi looks uneasy about the version of events that he relates to Luke; he seems to be manipulating the youngster. “You must do what you feel is right–of course…” (shifty sideways look) But I think I’m not alone in thinking that Vader’s soap-opera-esque revelation to Luke in the second film, feels a bit like a later add-on. George Lucas is adamant however, that he’d intended this to be the case aaaaall along…. even saying that Vader means Father in Norwegian.

Pull the other one George.

Creating Inner-conflict and depth

Having said all that–it’s a pretty clever–if improbable twist. Well, not clever so much as–more interesting–than just some evil villain who killed your dad so now you really hate him and all you can think of is getting trained-up (a bit) and facing him in the ultimate showdown in order to exact vengeance. Big hooray from the audience. Everyone goes home feeling entertained. But no real depth or inner conflict.

It’d just be an idea as old as the hills. Spaghetti Western stuff.

We’re lucky that Ben’s “Vader murdered your father” line was never retconned to: “Vader took over your father” or“…possessed your father”. In fact, I’m actually very surprised that it never happened.

Behemoth EU

But you know, George made all sorts of pronouncements on the story back in 1977. If you read ‘The Making of Star Wars’ book you can even read little back-stories that he wrote for each character. Han was an orphan – trained at the Academy etc. Fair enough, it’s good to have something that’s more than 1-dimensional to work with. Great for the actors too. And the characters in SW were fantastic–especially for a Space adventure action movie. But I bet George can’t even remember half of what he’s said about this stuff. I believe he employs people full-time to maintain a enormous expanded-universe (EU) knowledge base. Librarians, historians even. (UPDATE, 12 Mar 2015: Since writing this, SW was sold to DISNEY) When someone comes up with a new SW story or comic or what have you, these people–and George–have to be consulted.

It’s turned into a sort of behemoth that perhaps no one person could ever keep a handle on. Least of all George, who I’m sure has more important things to worry about. Which reminds me of William Shatner (see video, below!).

To be honest, as I’ve little interest in the SW’s EU, I’ll just stick to what was originally intended back in the ’70s before it mutated into a vast, bloated monster with all of it’s disappointing off-shoots. For me, it’s the Law of Diminishing Returns. “Oh… it’s just not as good as the original… but, maybe the next one will be!”

Funny Star Wars

As a side-note, Journalist and Star Wars fan, Darren Slade wrote 2 enjoyable blog posts called the Top 10 Jokes in Star Wars. He maintains–and I agree–that Star Wars was actually funny once up upon a time, before it became “intensely preoccupied with its own po-faced mythology.” After you read those, I recommend that you read every single one of his excellent SW articles!

God, aren’t Trekkies just the saddest people ever?

howard chaykin star wars

Artwork Notes

More SFTPaS-SFX – tm © here – some of it looking pretty grubby too! Oh, I learned the tm and © stuff from George as a 9 year old.

The final panel is lifted entirely from Howard Chaykin’s MARVEL comics version. Right down to the FLIK!