Show Notes 16: Not an Anakin, Not Yet a Vader

Back to the podcast!? Why does everyone want to go back to the podcast!?


This podcast contains adult language and spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and every other Star Wars movie, plus lots of Star Wars Legends stories, including: Knights of the Old Republic, The Force Unleashed II, Thrawn Trilogy, The Krytos Trap, New Jedi Order (Vector Prime, Star By Star, Destiny’s Way, and The Unifying Force). There’s a minor post-VII spoiler from supplementary materials. And we also spoil Alias season 1.

2:15 – We briefly touch on the Special Edition releases of the Original Trilogy, which came out in 1997 and made some changes fans didn’t like (e.g. Greedo shoots first). Even so, they were an inestimably big moment for a lot of us younger fans as our first chance to see the OT in theatres.

7:30 – C’mon guys! In Biblical tradition, angels are not usually thought to be dead humans, but a completely different order of beings created by God!

8:08 – According to some stuff I read, the reason for Kylo Ren’s triple lightsaber is less “he thought that sounded awesome” and more that he was so inexpert in its creation that he needed side vents to discharge extra power. Note that in close-ups of it clashing against Anakin’s lightsaber, you can see Ren’s is much more energetic and flickery.

9:07 – Kylo Ren also kills Max von Sydow with his lightsaber.

9:18 – Its actual name is Z6 Riot Control Baton, though “badass motherfucker” is good too.

10:14 – I refer to GalCiv1, not to be confused with the PC game.

11:09 – I talked about Han and my love of scoundrels and rogues in the Star Wars universe in our episode on Star Wars games.

17:58 – A number of EU sources eventually started to introduce the (dumb) idea that various villains, and even Palpatine himself, were just trying to prepare the galaxy to stand against some greater threat, usually the Yuuzhan Vong.

21:46 – I didn’t realize until the second or third time I saw the movie that Lor San Tekka effectively provokes Ren into killing him, sacrificing himself and the whole village to give Poe time to get away and keep Ren from reading their minds.

24:20 – The Generation Xerox trope was very much averted. True, The Force Awakens gives us a charming star pilot, an ex-Imperial who struggles with selfishness before confirming his heroic nature, and a naïve desert-dweller (who might be Luke’s daughter). But the new kids aren’t strictly Han, Luke and Leia; each combines traits of multiple OT characters with unique new characteristics (no one in the OT really shows Rey’s hardworking resolve or prolonged rejection of the call to adventure). Remarkably, the Solo kids in Star Wars Legends didn’t come out as clones either; Jaina for example combines Leia’s fiery determination, Han’s mechanical affinity, and Luke’s mysticism. Kylo Ren, on the other hand… Well, the kid likes Darth Vader.

29:53 – I’m talking about Sev, the sardonic sniper from Republic Commando. We also talked about Republic Commando in our Star Wars games episode!

33:27 – Okay, I remembered that wrong. Although BB looks really worried, he definitely follows Poe’s orders to get himself out of there.

35:35 – Likewise, Rey has a similar background to Luke, but rather than seeking adventure, she ultimately expects to go back to Jakku and wait for her family, hopeless as it seems. Her instinct to help people (and droids) drags her into the plot, but it takes the entire movie for her to accept her place at the center of these events, something Luke had fully absorbed by the time Owen and Beru’s bodies were cold.

44:11 – It’s almost like Vader views the Force – along with his saber, his TIE Fighter, and his intimidating presence – as a tool to be used, while Ren is in love with using the Force for its own sake, and for the effect it has on those who see it in action. Or maybe Kylo Ren’s brutish, casual use of the Force is what it looks like when someone has the power but doesn’t respect it.

44:50 – You’ve probably already heard that the Stormtrooper in this scene is played by Daniel Craig.

45:04 – There’s precedent in Star Wars materials for characters to learn the basics of being a Jedi in an incredibly short period of time, e.g. Luke, Kyle Katarn…

46:36 – I can’t link to Topher Grace’s cut, which copyright law generally keeps off the internet. Similar attempts pop up on youtube or reddit from time to time.

47:50 – More on the trope can be found here.

49:31 – Some theorize that this was just so that Mark Hamill could be paid for all three movies. I disagree!

58:15 – In fact it’s the same Mon Cal and Sullustan – Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb. Ackbar lives!

58:48 – Vocals for the new cantina band were provided by J.J. Abrams as well as Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the band’s two songs. One of the two numbers, according to Miranda, is a rough Huttese translation of Shaggy’s 2000 hit, “It Wasn’t Me.”

1:02:45 – They were Rathtars.

1:05:59 – I’m referring to the planet Honoghr, home of the Noghri warriors.

1:06:16 – That’s the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya.

1:11:01 – PK is apparently a big fan of Captain Exposition himself, Ric Olie.

1:15:07 – As I mentioned in a previous episode, one of the ways the prequel trilogy got the feel of Star Wars wrong is that it focused on the most important people in the galaxy: queens, Senators, the masters of the Jedi Order. Like the original trilogy, The Force Awakens chooses to spend its time with outsiders and distant, desolate places.

1:18:10 – PK’s talking about the events of Knights of the Old Republic! Spoiler warning! (I won’t go into further detail, so as to keep it a not-quite spoiler.)

1:24:58 – Poe’s parentage, at least, is settled. His mother has a starring role in the Shattered Empire comic miniseries by Greg Rucka, ending up together with his father at the end. Poe’s childhood and decision to fly for the Resistance are covered in the novel Before the Awakening, also by Rucka.

1:27:00 – The Menaechmus Brothers, or just Menaechmi, is a hilarious Roman comedy by Plautus (Andy had it right). The play’s backstory establishes that a kidnapper snatched up one of twin babies, fled to another country, and died – leaving two identical brothers, both named Menaechmus, both unaware that they have a brother. This is mostly just the setup for a bunch of mistaken-identity gags.

1:34:36 – The legend of Leia’s lost birth certificate is from Queen of the Empire – inevitably, part of the infamous Jedi Prince series.

1:35:22 – I’m talking about Teneniel Djo and her daughter Tenel Ka.

1:36:07 – Star Wars: Legacy is a comic series that takes place 127 years after A New Hope and stars Luke’s ruthless bounty hunter descendant, Cade Skywalker, who uses deathsticks to quiet the Force ghosts and visions in his head telling him to clean up his life and become a good guy.

1:36:32 – Cade’s sometime love interest Deliah Blue is a Zeltron, not a Twi’lek. Zeltrons, introduced way back in the first Marvel Star Wars series, are red and have hair. Twi’leks have tentacles instead of hair, and are not red, except when they’re red.

1:37:25 – The red arm was a fairly blunt hook for a C-3PO comic series to explain that away.

1:38:53 – Sorry! It’s actually The Last One Standing.

1:39:42 – Boba Fett’s actual escape from the Sarlacc is covered in a story called “A Barve Like That.” It’s by the same author, Daniel Keys Moran, though he asked to use a pseudonym because he was unhappy with the changes Lucasfilm had imposed. In his initial draft, the creature Boba Fett talks to while being digested by the Sarlacc is simply… the Sarlacc. If you’re interested, the author talks more about his Star Wars work, among many other fascinating things, on his blog.

1:47:22 – Pintel was played by actor Lee Arenberg.

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