Fanboy Friday: An Off the Cuff Explanation of Star Wars

On Monday Nicole texted me a picture of this.  What was first an innocent text sharing a funny picture turned into two and a half hours of me explaining Star Wars to her.  The following is a transcript of our text conversation.  Quick note, the order of texts sent and received have not been altered, as well as the texts themselves, also since I can’t hyperlink in texts, there will be no hyperlinks in the post.  For all things Star Wars and the place I went to look up certain facts, such as the Jedi Code, Yoda and Palpatine’s origin, go here.  Last note, since we didn’t plan to have a talk about Star Wars all of this is from memory. If I got some facts wrong, don’t lose your fan boy/girl mind.  Enjoy.

Nicole: Darth seems pretty gangster.

Irving: This is true Darth does have some serious street cred: grew up a slave, won his freedom by racing something he was way too young to drive, crowned saviour of the Jedi only to destroy them, and eventually bringing balance to the Force with the help of twins he didn’t know he had.

Nicole: DARTH WAS A BABY DADDY?

Nicole: Ps. I totally know there’s two Darths. Vader and Milk or M something.

Irving: Well the name Darth is something every Sith Lord gets. So there’s been plenty of Darth’s but only one Vader.

Nicole: Who is the one with the horns?

Irving: Darth Maul from Episode One.

Nicole: So, Darth is like Sir? Like Sir Knight and Sir King whatever. Sir Mixalot?

Irving: But yeah Darth is a baby daddy. His secret wife had twins except Vader thought they weren’t born because he killed his wife and the knowledge of them were hidden.

Irving: Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia are Vader’s kids he didn’t know about.

Irving: And yes Darth could be seen as Sir.

Nicole: So wait. They were married. She got pregnant. Then he left. She has twins. Then he came back and murdered her?

Nicole: Who took care of the secret babies?

Irving: Nope he thought he killed her when she was preggers.

Nicole: So he didn’t actually kill her?

Irving: So [Vader] went all I’ma kill the Jedi so Obi-Wan goes to stop him but he lets Vader’s wife talk to him first to try and convince him what he did was wrong but then Vader tries to kill her by choking her. And then Obi-Wan fights Vader and cuts off his arm and both his legs. And his wife gives birth to the twins like right after in secret and dies because “She loses the will to live.”

Nicole: Who is Obi-Wan?

Irving: Vader’s Jedi Master person.

Irving: Aka the Jedi who trained Vader.

Nicole: And wait. Vader has no legs?

Nicole: Are Jedi’s good guys?

Irving: He technically has no limbs but he has robot arms and legs and yes Jedi are the good guys, the Sith are the dark side.

Irving: The Jedi are basically monks so they’re not supposed to have emotional attachments like love and such so Vader’s marriage was a secret.

Nicole: Who knew Vader was a robot? Wow.

Nicole: How did he become a bad guy?

Nicole: Was it after his teacher maimed him after Vader tried to strangle his baby mama?

Irving: So the head of the Galatic Republic (the President/Prime Minister) is the #1 Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious. Except he was able to keep this a secret and he used his power to manipulate the galaxy so that he could have absolute power. So he’s good friends with Anakin Skywalker (Vader) basically as a way to manipulate him to use him as an instrument of destruction against the Jedi. So Anakin has visions of his wife dying and wants to save her. He can’t tell the Jedi this because marriage isn’t allowed and he’d be kicked out of the Jedi Order. So he tells Sidious who reveals to him that he can save her but only through the Dark Side.

Nicole: Also, why did Vader not want babies? I have so many questions.

Irving: And Vader tried to strangle his wife before he lost both his legs and his arm. He thought that Obi-Wan turned his wife against him.

Nicole: So Sidious is a good guy even though he’s a bad guy playing for the good and bad guys?

Nicole: And how did Vader become Sith? When he was a Jedi?

Irving: Sidious is the ultimate bad guy but everyone thinks he’s a good guy because he’s the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic and such but that was just a cover and yes he controlled both sides. The good side as Chancellor and gave out orders as Darth Sidious for the bad guys, all so he could have absolute control of the galaxy.

Irving: And Vader was a Jedi when he was nine years old because he is believed to be the Chosen One, the person who brings balance to the Force. Except some of the higher ups in the Jedi Order thought he was too old to be trained. Most Jedi are discovered and brought to the Jedi Temple when they’re babies so they can’t be corrupted by the outside world.

Nicole: This is all so confusing.

Quick note if I had known I’d spend another two hours or so explaining the rest of the movies I would have stopped right here but the fan boy in me just did not know when to quit.

Irving: So after Sidious reveals to Vader that he’s the Dark Lord of the Sith, Vader goes to the Jedi tells them this. The Jedi tell Vader to wait for them to return and they’ll deal with Sidious. The Jedi go to arrest Sidious and Vader mulls around and keeps thinking about the death of his wife and what Sidious told him about being able to save her. So he rushes over to find the Jedi ready to kill Sidious and Sidious begs Vader to help him as he’s the only one who can save his wife. So Vader helps him and Sidious dubs him his apprentice and gives him the name Darth Vader.

Irving: Sidious orders Vader to go to the Jedi Temple with an army and slaughter all the Jedi and Vader kills little baby Jedi and that’s how he became Sith.

Nicole: That does definitely sound like a not nice thing to do.

Irving: Nope, that’s a big good guy no-no.

Nicole: Wait. Who are his babies?

Irving: Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

Nicole: Aren’t they dating?

Irving: No Leia and Han Solo are dating.

Nicole: Who’s baby is Anakin?

Irving: Anakin is Darth Vader.

Nicole: Is Han Solo a good guy?

Irving: Sidious proclaimed Anakin, Darth Vader after he betrayed the Jedi.

Nicole: So wait. Anakin has the same last name as Luke.

Irving: And yes, Han Solo is a good guy.

Irving: Yes, Skywalker is their last name.

Nicole: But Anakin killed Luke’s mom.

Nicole: And Luke didn’t change his last name?

Nicole: Does Luke have a baby?

Nicole: Does Leia have a baby? What is she princess of?

Irving: Nope. Luke and Anakin both are Skywalker and Luke’s mom survived being choked by Anakin but she was so heart broken she “lost the will to live” after giving birth to the twins.

Irving: And yes in novels after the movies Luke has a kid and Leia has kids with Han Solo.

Irving: And Leia is the Princess of the planet Alderaan.

Nicole: I’m going to go ahead and blame Vader for killing Luke’s mom.

Nicole: Does everyone live on the same planet?

Irving: That’s legit the reason why I keep saying “lost the will to live” is because that’s the line delivered in the movie. George Lucas was a lot of things, a master of dialogue he was not.

Nicole: It’s definitely a little melodramatic.

Irving: And no. Leia grew up on Alderaan, while Luke grew up on Tattooine, which was where Anakin grew up before he became a Jedi.

Nicole: Wait. So do Leia and Luke know they are related? Or like, were they in foster care as babies?

Irving: Nope they had no idea until Luke found out years later when he began training as a Jedi.

Nicole: So who is the golden robot?

Irving: Anakin made him when he was a slave to help his mom.

Nicole: Who is R2-D2?

Nicole: Wait. Back up. How does Anakin know how to make robots?

Irving: He was a droid who served Luke and Leia’s mama and then helped Anakin and Obi-Wan out on their Jedi adventures later and such.

Nicole: Do all moms in Star Wars have robot slaves?

Irving: Because Anakin is the Chosen One and is a boy wonder basically. He’s also the best pilot ever.

Irving: And I guess, if they were in existence today you’d bet the Real House Wives would be all over them.

Nicole: He’s a pilot? Like, planes?

Irving: Yup yup, he blew up a space station that helped win a war when he was nine.

Nicole: Well yeah. This story is very incestual and dramatic.

Nicole: When he was nine?

Nicole: Do people grow up really fast?

Irving: This is what happens when you get labelled the Chosen One.

Nicole: Lucas totally stole that from Jesus. Like, be original George.

Nicole: How did they know Vader was the Chosen One? Was he born in a manger?

Irving: Speaking of Jesus, Anakin was immaculately conceived.

Nicole: SHUT UP.

Irving: Fact.

Nicole: Did anyone win an Oscar for this?

Irving: Main reason why they believed he was the Chosen One.

Irving: And nope.

Nicole: That’s not cliche or anything.

Nicole: Do they know who started the war between the Jedi and Sith?

Irving: A cardboard cutout had more emotion than the dude who played Anakin in the new films.

Irving: And way back when, when the galaxy was in constant turmoil the Jedi and Sith had giant wars.

Nicole: Just because?

Nicole: Or like, was there an original conflict, where there was a man and a woman. Was eating an apple involved?

Irving: War of ideologies and beliefs and what is the best way to harness the Force.

Irving: The Jedi believe in harmony and peace.

Nicole: What’s the Force?

Irving: The Sith believe in “I gotta get mine by any means necessary.”

Nicole: Is this movie also some extended metaphor for the evils of capitalism?

Irving: In the movies the Force is described as, “An energy created by all living things, that surrounds and penetrates living beings and binds the galaxy together.” Some people have the ability to tap into this power, they are known as force sensitive beings and they can manipulate the Force and it basically grants them superpowers.

Irving: So back to the Jedi/Sith. The Jedi Code is, “There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the force.”

Nicole: Did you know that by heart?

Irving: Nope. Star Wars Wiki.

Nicole: Wait. So how do Jedi’s have babies if there’s no passion?

Irving: This is why Jedi only usually discover force sensitive babies and bring them to the temple right away so they don’t get corrupted.

Irving: Anakin began his training at nine thus had feelings of attachment and love and such.

Nicole: Oh, and look how Anakin turned out.

Nicole: Is he the one with the sword that’s pokey on both ends?

Irving: Nope, that’s Darth Maul.

Nicole: I forget, who Darth Maul is again?

Irving: Also the Jedi frown upon arrogance and love humility. Anakin was full of arrogance but maybe that’s the because he was called the Chosen One since he was nine.

Irving: And Darth Maul is the baddie you mentioned who has the horns.

Nicole: Anakin is so Lebron right now.

Nicole: Right. But how does he fit into this famila?

Irving: He was Darth Sidious’ apprentice before Obi-Wan cut him in half.

Nicole: So, he was pals with Vader?

Irving: So, when the Sith/Jedi war was going on. One of the main reasons why the Jedi won was because the Sith have a problem with wanting power so much so it was customary for the apprentice to kill their masters so they could attain a higher rank. So one Sith Lord decided this is stupid and we need to stop killing ourselves and implemented the rule of two. And that is at all times the Sith Order will only have 2 members. A master and an apprentice.

Irving: And Maul and Vader did not know each other. Maul was sliced in half when Anakin was 9 and busy blowing up space stations.

Nicole: So there can be only ever be 2 bad guys? Exclusive.

Nicole: Also, so it seems like Obi-Wan did a lot of bad guy beating up. Who is he?

Irving: He’s the Jedi that trained Anakin. He’s the one that hid Luke when he was born and brought him to the planet Tattoonine so Luke could be raised by his aunt and uncle and have a “normal” life.

Nicole: He seems like a stand up guy.

Irving: He is, Vader kills him though when Obi-Wan is an old man.

Nicole: How does Vader live for so long with no limbs?

Irving: The mask and suit he wears is a fancy life support system.

Nicole: Does he die eventually? Or go back into the Force of whatever?

Irving: Yes, he does. He dies when kills Darth Sidious and finally destroys the Sith with the help of Luke.

Nicole: Does Luke know Vader killed his mom?

Irving: Good question, it’s never talked about in the movies. I’m sure Luke discovers the truth eventually but it’s never discussed in the movies.

Nicole: Does Leia know?

Nicole: Also wait. Did you say Leia and Obi-Wan are dating?

Irving: I’m sure they both find out but they don’t really talk about their mom at all in the movies.

Irving: And no Leia and Han Solo are dating.

Nicole: Phew. That would have been mega gold digging. Who is Han Solo?

Irving: He’s a smuggler who helps Luke and Obi-Wan rescue Leia when she’s a prisoner of Vader.

Nicole: Vader takes his daughter prisoner?

Irving: Vader doesn’t know Leia’s his daughter at this point. And Leia is one of the leaders in the rebellion against Sidious’ reign.

Nicole: That’s so alarming. How do Luke and Leia find out they are related?

Irving: Obi-Wan hints that he has a twin sister and Luke deduces it’s Leia.

Irving: This was after Vader told Luke that he was his dad.

Nicole: So how does Han Solo get roped into helping them?

Nicole: Why did Vader decide to tell Luke?

Irving: [Han] owes gangsters money and Luke tells him that if he helps rescue a Princess he’s bound to get a substantial fiancial reward. I ain’t saying he’s a gold digger but…

Irving: And Vader decides to tell Luke because he tells him that they can overthrow Sidious and rule the galaxy as father and son.

Nicole: Why did Vader decide to hate Sidious?

Irving: Remember that habit that Sith have of killing their masters and replacing them? Yeah, the rule of two didn’t solve that. Sidious was just more badass, smarter, and pulled the strings better than anyone else before him.

Nicole: So Vader wanted to be even more vengeful?

Irving: Well if someone told you that if you joined them they’d save your wife and really the only reason she died was because you joined them then you’d be pretty pissed too.

Nicole: So wait. Vader joined Sidious so that Vader’s wife, aka Luke’s mom wouldn’t die? But then Vader strangled her anyways?

Irving: Yup yup, Anakin told Sidious he had visions of his wife dying and Sidious told him that there were ways to manipulate the Force so you could prevent people from dying and that Sidious would teach Anakin these things.

Nicole: So how did they go from there to the strangling incident?

Irving: Well Vader destroyed the Jedi and turned his back on everything they stood for. His wife was a Senator in the Republic and one of the more outspoken ones to boot and Vader’s change of heart didn’t fly with her.

Irving: In related news, when he did tell her about visions of her dying. She suggested they go to Obi-Wan for help while Anakin believed he should be strong enough to deal with this himself.

Irving: Also, when Anakin’s wife doesn’t like this new life direction of Vader aka killing baby Jedi. Vader thinks that she betrayed him, thus solves his problem by choking her using the Force. This is why the Dark Side is bad.

Nicole: Oh, I get it. Sid convinced Vader that the only way to save Vader’s baby mamma was to kill everyone Sid already wanted dead aka all the Jedi babies. And then baby mamma was of the Jedi type so he had to kill her too? Only Obi-Wan hopped in and sliced off Vader’s limbs. But then baby mamma died anyways. Then Luke and Leia grew up and then needed to fight the Sith. So Vader kidnapped Leia and then Obi-Wan, Han, and Luke saved her. And Leia and Han got together. So following this, Vader and Luke started working together and killed Sid. And Vader never forgot then he killed Obi-Wan in the end?

Irving: Close. So Leia has R2-D2 and the gold robot aka C-3PO to go find Obi-Wan to rescue her. Obi-Wan recruits Luke and teaches him about the Force. They meet Han, rescue Leia but in order for them to escape they need time. So Obi-Wan fights Vader and sacrifices himself, Luke sees Vader kill him. But at this point Obi-Wan is one with the Force so he gets to be a Force spirit aka ghost who can still impart wisdom and knowledge upon Luke.

Irving: Obi-Wan sends Luke to a planet where Yoda is hiding to be trained as a Jedi. Meanwhile Leia/Han and the rest of the gang are on the run from Vader. Vader sets a trap for them and captures Han while everyone else escapes. Luke senses that his friends are in danger and goes to save them before his training with Yoda is complete. He fights Vader and Vader chops off his hand and tells him to join him to take down Sidious and rule the galaxy. Luke says no and Leia and the remaining gang save him.

Nicole: Is Darth using R2-D2 and C-3PO to guard Leia then?

Nicole: I forgot Yoda was in Star Wars.

Nicole: Is he the boss of the Jedi?

Irving: So Sidious tells Vader to convert Luke to the Dark Side. For Sidious it gives him a chance to dump Vader’s bucket of bolts for a new younger apprentice. Vader doesn’t know this. Luke believes there’s some good left in his father. So he completes his training with Yoda, they save Han and confront Sidious’ army. Luke surrenders himself to Vader, hoping to convince him that he’s still good.

Nicole: Sidious is so manipulative.

Irving: Vader brings Luke to Sidious. Luke tries to kill Sidious and Vader defends him and Luke and Vader fight. Luke doesn’t want to fight until Vader tells Luke that he’ll corrupt Leia. Hearing this Luke flies off the handle and beats Vader. Sidious watching tells Luke to kill Vader and take his place with Sidious. Luke stops and proclaims himself a Jedi. Sidious shoots lightning at him by way of the Force to kill him. Vader watches his son being killed and has had enough. Vader kills Sidious but in doing so he had to go take some of that lightning to the face so it kills him.

Irving: Darth isn’t using R2 and 3PO to guard Leia. She inherited those two droids from her mom after she died.

Irving: And yes Yoda is basically the head of the Jedi.

Nicole: So everyone is dead in the end?

Irving: Luke lives, Vader saves him and Leia and Han are alive.

Nicole: Vader kidnaps Leia with her loyal robot friends?

Nicole: Is Vader alive?

Irving: Well, Vader invades her ship and Leia sends her droids in an escape shuttle before she’s captured.

Nicole: Oh. That makes sense.

Nicole: Go Leia.

Irving: Vader dies from the force lightning to the face but he comes back as a force spirit in the end ala Obi-Wan.

Irving: Yoda also dies but that’s because he’s 900 years old.

Nicole: So when all three Darths are dead and Luke is alive, there is no more Sith?

Nicole: YODA DIES?

Irving: He’s 900 years old, he’s allowed to die.

Irving: And yeah the Sith are defeated and balance has been brought to the Force.

Nicole: Oh my goodness. He’s like, the face of Star Wars.

Irving: But Yoda also becomes a Force spirit.

Nicole: Who is the hairy creature who’s like Sweetums again?

Irving: Chewbacca? He’s best friends with Han.

Nicole: Yeah. Chewbacca. What does she do?

Irving: He’s Han’s right hand dude. He was born into nobility on his planet but left to explore and he was captured by the Empire and sold into slavery. Han came across him and saved him. Based on the customs of his people Chewie owed Han a life debt. They became partners for years and Chewie refused to leave until he had properly repaid his debt to Han.

Nicole: What’s the Empire?

Irving: The name of Sidious’ self appointed tyrannical government.

Nicole: That’s aggressive.

Irving: This is what happens when you’re evil.

Nicole: Are the white and blue robots the Empire?

Irving: Those guys in white and black armour? Yeah, they’re the Empire’s storm troopers.

Nicole: Who is Sidious’ mom?

Irving: I have no idea.

Nicole: Why is he so evil?

Irving: According to the Star Wars Wiki Palpatine (Sidious’ real name) met a businessman when he was 17 who was in secret the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis. And he manipulated Palpatine to kill his dad and pledge his allegiance to Plagueis.

Nicole: Palpatine sounds like a flavourful spread. Like vegemite.

Nicole: There are a lot of daddy issues in this movie.

Irving: Fact.

Nicole: Does Yoda have parents?

Irving: Yup yup, but Yoda’s back story is a huge mystery. He left his home planet with a friend, their ship crash landed on a planet where a Jedi Master happened to be. The Jedi discovered Yoda and his friend were both Force sensitive and began training them while they waited for a rescue ship.

Nicole: I feel all great leader characters have some sort of an ambiguous background. It’s a thing.

Nicole: I feel like I never need to watch Star Wars now. Like, I felt that before but now I’m educated and I think that.

Irving: I enjoy how this started because I told you Vader was a baby daddy.

Nicole: I know. Who knew such a scandalous situation could be so complicated.

Irving: I’ve never explained Star Wars to anyone before.

Nicole: Star Wars is complex. I need flashcards.

Irving: It is but one of the reasons why it’s so good. Episode IV is the perfect representation of the Hero’s Journey.

Nicole: How many movies are there?

Irving: Six but Disney is making more.

Nicole: It takes real commitment to watch that many movies. Like, I really like Mean Girls and Love Actually. But it takes all my movie commitment skills to watch them for 90 minutes.

Irving: I don’t watch them all at once.

Nicole: That would be lengthy.

Nicole: You would need a lot of pizza.

Irving: But Star Wars is the first movie I remember going to the theater for. When they were re-released Episode IV-VI before Episode I came out, my dad made it a point to take me.

Nicole: How old is the oldest one?

Irving: Episode IV came out in 1977.

Nicole: That’s old.

Yes, I realize I didn’t cover everything about Star Wars with Nicole but I think we hit the major plot points. Sure we didn’t talk about the Death Star, the Clone Wars, or the Battle of Endor, but for someone who never watches movies having a conversation about Star Wars is an accomplishment.  And honestly if I did dive into that, the conversation would’ve gone on for another two hours.

It’s Like I Have ESPN or Something – Nicole

Before yesterday, everything I knew about Star Wars, I knew from Happy Meal commercials or the Volkswagen little Jedi commercial. When my brother was a kid, he watched a bit of Star Wars –  but not very much. That music is scary. Nightmare stuff.

So obviously, I still have a lot of questions. Does Anakin’s mom have a name? Who is his dad? Is Chewbacca like a person on these planets? Or is he an animal? Does he eat at the dinner table? Do all people live as the Force after they die? Do they live as holograms forever? Or is there a time limit? How does Obi Wan find Han Solo? Does he have some underbelly crime connections to hook up with Han? Why does Leia fall for Han? She’s a politically active princess and he seems a bit like a deadbeat who needs money? Doesn’t she have friends to warn her about this? And what does he end up getting paid for saving her anyways? It sounds like she sent her robot pals to save her, so his role seems ancillary. Am I allowed to abbreviate Han Solo to Han? Do robots live forever? Or can they die? Is that why there are Storm Troopers? Do droids come back as holograms? Does Yoda get paid?  Did he ever have babies? What is Yoda? Is he the same breed as Chewbacca? If Jedi aren’t allowed passion or emotions, does that mean two Jedi can never have baby Jedi together? Are there girl Jedi? Is the word ‘Jedi’ plural? Is it a proper noun? Is anyone worried about there being no more force-sensitive babies then – like, that’s basic Darwinian evolution? Is the originary-conflict battle plot over forever in Hollywood now? Who is Luke’s best friend? Does Leia know Luke is her twin? Are her and Han married? Did Luke stand up for Han at the wedding? Will their baby be a Jedi? Is the Force balanced forever? Or can something disrupt it? Can there be baby Darths, only people don’t know yet? Illegitimate and hidden toddlers seem to be a thing here. Is there a Sidious Jr? What would happen if a Jedi and a Vader had a baby? Can there be girl Vaders?

I have many more questions. Things I will never do: watch this movie. It’s too much.

Irving Chong (@Irving_Chong) and Nicole (@_nicoliooo) are co-creators of This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things even though it doesn’t make sense why they’re friends

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2 thoughts on “Fanboy Friday: An Off the Cuff Explanation of Star Wars

  1. Basketball Over Everything: Nicole Watches Second Round Sunday, Irving Goes to Yoga Instead | This is Why we Can't Have Nice Things

  2. We Aren’t Any Closer to Having Nice Things: 50 – This is Why we Can't Have Nice Things

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