9.13.2015

Written in Delerium - Star Wars

Haven't posted a lot in the last couple of weeks. I've been busy, really, I'm not abandoning the site because I've forgotten about it, and certainly not because I ran out of ideas. I have lot of ideas. I just don't know how to get all of them out on paper quite yet.

So in their place, let's start a new sub-series: late night ramblings of whatever happens to be on my mind, unfiltered and apropos of pretty much nothing except that it all comes from the rather terrifying and Wonderland-esque recesses of my brain. Science says that the effects of lack of sleep are almost identical to liquor. I don't drink, but I do stay up late far more often than I should.

So I'm going to stream of consciousness this little ramble and just write whatever's on my mind. Right now, that's Star Wars.

A Long Time Ago...

Star Wars is a huge part of my life. The original three movies on VHS tape were basically constantly on repeat as I was growing up, and I had a box full of action figures that I'd tell my own stories. In fact, Star Wars stories were some of the very first ones I ever wrote, and were basically the worst sort of fan fiction, full of self-inserts and Mary Sues and the like. Unlike most fanfic writers, though, I fully recognize that those stories were crap and have banished them to the deepest recesses of my hard drives.

Since then, I've worked on telling actual quality stories in my beloved Galaxy Far Far Away. I have a couple of fanfic stories that I've felt good enough about to actually post online for other people to read (see them here Hanna's Story and here Interlude - Mandalore). I don't do it because I hope that someone at Lucasfilm or Del Ray will notice my work and offer me a book deal. I'm not that vain or self-entitled. Rather, I do it because I love Star Wars so much that I want to tell a story worthy of it, even if I never get paid a cent for it.

I can go into all sorts of existential details about why I think the star Wars formula of storytelling works in such a certain way to grab me and never let me go. But I won't, I'm not one of those artsy sorts of people with a lot of fancy words for things that are either subjective or too vague to actually mean anything. But I can spell out a few quick thoughts on what I think makes a good story in the Star Wars universe.

...Not So Far, Far Away

Star Wars stories always have a strong sense of adventure. They never really get bogged down in the details about how the universe works, about how there are sounds in space or how lasers are somehow slower than light. That's not to say that such explanations don't exist, they do, that's what the mass of novels, RPG sourcebooks, comics and other material called the Expanded Universe is/was for. But the stories themselves do not hang or depend on these sorts of minutia.

The factions that exist in the Star Wars universe are also tremendous fun to explore, close enough to real-life groups and factions to draw parallels, but different enough to be exiting and able to be explored in new and exiting ways. The characters are the same way, each one recognizable in an instant, yet with explorable depth to them that can be plumbed for all ranges of storytelling possibilities.

Oh, here's another one. The spaceships. The characters and stories are cool and all, but it's the spaceships that hook me in more than anything. From the first sight of the Tantive IV and the Star Destroyer chasing it at the beginning of A New Hope, I was hooked. Star Wars is a masterful mix of dogfighting tropes, duels between captains of opposing capital ships, and the free-spirit action of pirate films or Westerns. Every time the depths of space appear, I sit up and grab my popcorn.

So here's the thing that matters most to me. Star Wars is cool. It's a big universe with a huge amount of potential for stories to be told, everything is at once familiar and alien, the technology is all exotic but still enjoyably retro, and unlike Star Trek, it takes place in an entirely fictional universe where the baggage of things like real world physics and history don't apply.

I have a bobblehead of the new character Captain Phasma on my desk. She's telling me that I've rambled long enough on this and need to go to sleep. I guess it must be late if inanimate figures are talking to me. I'll be back again sometime next week.

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