Sunday, September 27, 2015

Anthology News and Some Nerdy Dissection of "Star Wars"

    Recently found out that another story of mine has been accepted, in the anthology whose cover is just above this.  This is another one of EMP Publishing's books, who readers may recall is publishing another story of mine in their Creepy Campfire Quarterly, Issue 1, due out in January of 2016.  The Prison Compendium will be published in December of 2016.   It's also open to submissions until September of 2016.  So if any writers out there are looking for a home for a story, or want to write a new one, you can check out the guidelines at the EMP website, which is:
This anthology was inspired by several famous books/movies/television programs, such as "The Green Mile," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Dead Man Walking," "Escape From Alcatraz," "American History X," "Cool Hand Luke," "The Experiment," "Caged Heat," "Stir Crazy," and "Orange is the New Black."  My own contribution, "A Ray of Hope," is about an inmate who's dealing with a new cellmate, who happens to be a religiously devout killer who specializes in killing babies and young children.  So I'd like to thank the folks at EMP Publishing once again, and I'll provide more details as I get them.

     Moving on, last week I mentioned a little Star Wars trivia, in my post about exotic dark chocolates.  I got to thinking about the series a little more, and a small detail about the original Star Wars (AKA "A New Hope," or Episode 4).  (SPOILERS on a 38 year old movie ahead) To review, in the movie Luke, Ben, C-3PO, R2D2, Chewbacca, Han, and Leia are all on the Death Star.  After Ben sacrifices himself to Darth Vader, the remaining six escape on Han and Chewbacca's ship, the Millennium Falcon.  Leia wants to go to the Rebel Alliances's secret base on Yavin 4, where specialists there can look at the complicated plans of the Death Star, and in doing so hope to find a weakness for this incredibly powerful space station.  After the Falcon leaves, it's pursued by 4 TIE fighters.  They manage to inflict some, but not major damage to the Falcon (and no character is killed or destroyed), before Han and Luke destroy all of them using the Falcon's guns.  They then make their way to Yavin 4.  At the time, Leia seems very suspicious of this token pursuit, thinking the Empire is up to something.  As it turns out, she's right--the Empire has left a homing device in the Falcon, which they use to locate the last remaining large Rebel base.  Only because Luke manages to destroy the Death Star (using strategy figured out by the Rebel's analysis of the Death Star's plans) mere seconds before the space station can destroy Yavin 4 is the Rebel cause preserved.
     The more I think about this, the weirder it is.  First off, it seems odd that Leia would risk going straight to the Rebel base if she is so suspicious about how easy their escape was.  But putting this aside, the Empire's plan of attack is strange in many ways.  I understand why they put the homing device in the Falcon, of course, and I also get why they want to (slightly) cover up their ruse by sending out a small attack force of TIE fighters to make it look like they were trying to attack the Falcon.  But how does that work?  Specifically, how does this make sense to the TIE fighter pilots?  If the pilots aren't told anything, then presumably they will fight as well as they can, and there's a chance they could have destroyed the Falcon.  Which means the Empire wouldn't know where the Rebel base is for some more time, until their spies can find out, etc.  And if the pilots are told, basically, "this is for show--don't actually blow up the Falcon." why would they obey this?  They don't call off the attack at any point, they keep firing on the Falcon until they're all destroyed.  The pilots would know they're doomed.  Even if they're clones, or super patriotic soldiers, doesn't pretty much everyone have strong urges to save their own lives, or at least not utterly waste them?  True, there were real life Earth examples of this, like the kamikazes of Japan, but I think there's a crucial difference in the situations: the kamikaze were willing to kill themselves, but by trying to destroy enemy ships, not by acting like it, to pull off a rather unconvincing ruse.  So I guess what we're left with is that the Empire either deliberately sent out 4 of their worst pilots, in the hopes that they would fail (and so the Empire could follow the Falcon to Yavin 4), or that the Death Star had a bunch of clinically depressed pilots on retainer who were perfectly willing to commit suicide by enemy guns, as characters in a not very compelling one act, space play.
     And I know, I know, it's just a movie, and I'm almost certainly overthinking this.  Pretty much every movie has at least a few plot holes/logic inconsistencies in it.  Also, don't think this nit-picking means I don't like the movie--on the contrary, I think the Star Wars series (at least Episodes 4-6) is one of the very best ever.  But, with movies I like especially, I enjoy thinking about all the minutia, and reading about wacky fan theories, and the like.  Plus, I thought I needed something else to flesh out this blog post.

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