Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Why is it always planets?
Original Star Wars (the 1977 movie) had the Death Star and destroyed Alderaan and I get that. Special effects of that type were totally new, and it made an impact. It also proved how irrevocably, irredeemably EVIL the Empire was.
Except of course, it WASN'T irredeemable. Somehow the most irredeemable character WAS REDEEMED. (Don't get me started.)
Back to the Death Star.
Even though it had a total major design flaw, the Empire decided to rebuild the Death Star for Return of the Jedi.
I guess because thinking you can repeat the exact same motions and they'll result in a different outcome is one definition of madness and the Empire is pretty insane? I dunno.
Death Star 2 is also destroyed. And in spectacular ignorance of the saying, "the bigger they are, the harder they fall", the First Order decides that the problem was IT WASN'T BIG ENOUGH.
So now we have Starkiller Base, which can destroy five planets at a time, in contrast to the Death Star's measly one.
Which I suppose makes the First Order MOAR EVIL.
But honestly, did we need that?
The human brain can only process so much. Does the audience feel five times the shock as we did at the annihilation of Alderaan? Do we have time to feel *anything* before the plot moves on?
I believe we felt for Alderaan because we felt for Princess Leia. There is no emotional touchstone for those five planets. They're just fridged. They existed to be killed. And it's a waste, because they don't provide any particular motivation for our main characters that those characters didn't have already.
Not even the special effects justify it. We see awesome special effects all the time now. It's not 1977 anymore.
You may scoff, and say these quibbles are outside of the movie's reality. And you'd be right.
But I've got a problem with Starkiller Base WITHIN the reality of the movie.
Let's say I'm General Hux (because I'm assuming he's more likely to make calculated, strategy-based decisions on behalf of the First Order than Kylo I-do-what-I-want Ren). I would think the entire concept of Starkiller is a Really Bad Move strategically.
I get that the people on those planets are A Problem. And the First Order wants to Make An Example.
BUT WHY DESTROY THE PLANETS?
Each of those planets has flora, fauna, and mineral wealth. They have infrastructure, machines, factories, libraries. Why destroy all those resources when you could use them to strengthen the First Order?
If you wipe out a galaxy, doesn't that make traveling in that area more difficult? Like those "Last Gas for 100" miles signs? Take away all those planets and you impair the First Order's future logistics for shipping, refueling, and combat staging.
So I'd be ordering the brain trust that designs Evil Weapons to create a contagion - and requisite delivery system - that kills people, dissipates rapidly, and leaves the animals/ecosystem/infrastructure and other planetary wealth intact.
Because that is totally what the First Order needs. It would make empire building much cheaper, easier, AND more difficult to fight against because the delivery system could be mobile, and there could be multiple iterations, because it wouldn't have to be THE SIZE OF A PLANET ITSELF.
I was just getting warmed up on how this could actually work, and how you could make the special effects for that shit really scary, and it wouldn't have the same science-related problems that planet explosions have, but I've deleted it all because really, who needs that sort of Evil? And maybe that's the problem.
Maybe these thoughts are TOO EVIL for the Star Wars universe.
This is why I write Happily Ever After Romance.
Because at heart I'm really a Psychotic Space Ginger. *headdesk*