Tag Archives: star wars

Galactic Suburbia 158

Happy New Year edition! One last episode before we squeak into 2017. In which we sum up a year of culture consumed and other interests, and mourn the recently departed. You can find us on iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.


Carrie Fisher
George Michael
Richard Adams
Vera Rubin
(note: we recorded this ep before the death of Debbie Reynolds was reported)


Tansy: Rogue One
Alisa: Operation Apocalypse Plan (books mentioned: Will McIntosh’s Soft Apocalypse as a guide to the probable future, Defying Doomsday)
Alex: The Arrival
Tansy: Hurricane Heels by Isabel Yap (& Buffy rewatch with daughter, because this is what 11 yr olds are for)
Alisa: PhD & Jamberry
Alex: The Expanse
Tansy: Check Please fandom & Yuri on Ice
Alisa: Paleo Cinema Podcast
Alex: Octavia Butler

Link to call for Letters to Butler

Tansy — 2016 culture round ups in Smugglivus & Ambling Down the Aqueduct

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Galactic Suburbia does Star Wars

theresheisStar Wars: the Force Awakens Spoilerific

We went, we watched, and now we’re going to flail our hands about it, shortly before going to buy all the Rey toys that aren’t out there.

You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

Relevant Links:

The Bechdel-Wallace Test – is this film feminist?
What To Do When You’re Not the Hero Any More
John Boyega being super excited about being in Star Wars
Lupita Nyong’o on not being seen as herself in Star Wars
Emo Kylo Ren

Skype number: 03 90164171 (within Australia) +613 90164171 (from overseas)

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/galacticsuburbia) and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Galactic Suburbia: Star Wars spoilerific!

theresheisStar Wars: the Force Awakens Spoilerific

We went, we watched, and now we’re going to flail our hands about it, shortly before going to buy all the Rey toys that aren’t out there. You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

Relevant Links:

The Bechdel-Wallace Test – is this film feminist?
What To Do When You’re Not the Hero Any More
John Boyega being super excited about being in Star Wars
Lupita Nyong’o on not being seen as herself in Star Wars
Emo Kylo Ren

Skype number: 03 90164171 (within Australia) +613 90164171 (from overseas)

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook, support us at Patreon (http://www.patreon.com/galacticsuburbia) and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Return of the Jedi

Unknown-2Return of the Jedi: things that were quite good:

  • “The emperor is not as forgiving as I am.” Way to go making them both even MORE terrifying.
  • I still like the costume progression for Luke.
  • The CGI band at Jabba’s is… I’m conflicted. I like the music! BUT.
  • Leia saves Han. WIN.
  • OMG “I’m all right pal; I’m all right” Han and Chewbacca SO CUTE.
  • Han.
  • The PAIN of the beastkeeper. You made one of the supposed baddies grieve so poignantly!
  • The whole rescue from Jabba is basically a heist plot. I love it.
  • The imperial guard. Dead awesome.
  • Yoda is the most compassionate and benevolent puppet ever in the history of puppets.
  • GENERAL Solo. Heh.
  • The speed bike chase is very awesome.
  • Ewoks: conflicted. Cute! Resourceful!
  • “It’s against my programming to impersonate a deity.”
  • Han’s nobility: he apologises to Leia!
  • The conflict within Vader is made genuinely more complex with deeper backstory.
  • Another great gift to modern culture: “It’s a trap!”

What were you thinking, George?

  • The CGI band at Jabba’s… the animation is horrid and so unnecessary.
  • Also unnecessary: Jabba’s treatment of women. Ugh. Lazy writing, George. It’s not like we can be under the impression that he’s a good guy.
  • Torturing droids, George? Really?
  • What an ignominious end for Boba.
  • “FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW,” George? You’re making Obi-Wan a relativist? a post-modernist?? Just no.
  • Also: Luke’s feelings for Leia “do him credit”?!? How on earth do you figure that?! Ew.
    • James: NO, not ew, Obi-Wan is talking about Luke having brotherly feelings towards his sister! Not anything bad!
    • Alex: whoa. That’s thirty-odd years of grossed-out-ness being turned on its head.
  • George. Look, George. Tax collectors, George? No one liked the Trade Federation in Phantom Menace, George, and the idea that they ought to appear on the bridge in this film? No. That’s the worst retconning yet.
    • Apparently I imagined that this was retconning! They’ve always been there and I had either not noticed (possible) or I was assuming George was being evil because prequels! Sorry George. My mistake.
  • Ewoks: conflicted. Little bit too much like you’re going with Noble Savages. Some of the markings etc are a bit too much imageslike stereotypes of some earth cultures. Made me queasy.
  • I cannot adequately express, George, how annoyed I am at the retconning of the funeral. The idea that it is young Anakin who appears with Obi-Wan and Yoda is just wrong. If he has genuinely been redeemed by Luke’s actions, then his old self ought to represent that. Otherwise, you are dismissing the genuineness of his return to the side of Light. And that’s not fair.

I AM SO READY for The Force Awakens.

The Empire Strikes Back

Unknown-2The Empire Strikes Back: Things that were quite good

  • THANK YOU, George, for that great gift to modern culture: “I thought these things smelled bad… on the outside…”
  • Han Solo
  • The Han/Luke friendship. DAW.
  • Han and Leia tension. Unknown
    • James: I’m surprised by how early in the film this occurs.
  • James: the music makes the film.
  • Imperial walkers.
  • Luke says, in the middle of a FOREST, “It’s like something out of a dream!” Wow, George. Subtle.
  • “Wars not make one great.” Preach, George.
  • The revelation that the emperor knows who Luke is is definitely more poignant thanks to the prequels.
  • And Yoda’s hovel is more poignant too.
  • This entire set of movies should be subtitled: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
  • Han.
  • Lando!
  • I’d forgotten just how echoes/foreshadowings there were in the prequels, with words and actions and scenes. It makes me forgive them a little bit more.

What were you thinking, George?

  • Unconvinced by the new bits of the snow critter.
  • You’re continuing the assumption that cities <=> civilisation in Luke’s little comment about Dagobah, George. I know he’s still a whiny little kids, but nonetheless – unhelpful.
  • You retconned Boba Fett’s VOICE, George.
  • Vader goes through underlings at a rate of knots. Bad vision of leadership there.

Were you sad that Mark Hamill didn’t get prettier, George? 

A New Hope

And now we get to the original series. Which is… interesting.

A New Hope: things that were quite good

  • James: “listen to that analogue sound. Beryllium bells!”
  • Ah, the childhood reminiscences. For a very long time, I thought the trumpets for 20th Century Fox were actually for Star Wars.
  • That opening, with those starships? SWOON.
  • At least you didn’t retcon the voices of the stormtroopers.
  • Feisty Leia!
  • You managed to convey so much emotion from a rolling rubbish bin and a few beeps. Bravo, George.
  • The prequels made me feel far empathy for Owen and Boru than I had previously experienced (this may also be due to Age).
  • I am totally fine with the idea of Ewan McGregor growing up to be Alec Guinness.
  • Most of the additions to Mos Eisley are basically ok.
  • The cantina song. Which was nearly our wedding processional.
  • Han Solo!
    • Who totally always shot first.
    • And is responsible for a lot of ladies (and not a few fellas, I would guess) having their first ‘scoundrels are swoon-worthy’ moment.
  • Alec Guinness.
  • Darth Vader v Obi-wan is surprisingly more poignant coming right off the back of the prequels.
  • Han Solo.

What were you thinking, George?

  • You FRIDGED Owen and Boru, George. That was callous.
  • Even though the additions to Mos Eisley are mostly ok, I still don’t know why you bothered. Seriously. Leave well enough alone, George.
  • Stormtroopers are really bad shots.
  • Luke is So. Whiny. “But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!” said every self-absorbed adolescent ever.
    • Which I get, there has to be some development, but does he have to be SO mopey?
  • The throne room scene. So cheesy. So very cheesy. Grins for everyone! Teeth out in the hope of a sequel!

Revenge of the Sith

Unknown-1We actually did watch this a couple of days after Episode 1 and Episode 2, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to write about it at the time.

Movie whose name I couldn’t initially remember: things that weren’t too bad:

  • The opening fight scene is quite nice.
  • Christopher Lee. Again.
  • Anakin’s robotic arm is nicely styled.
  • Samuel L. Jackson
    • Samuel L Jackson fighting with a light sabre.
  • Ewan McGregor is way better in this film.
  • You gave General Grievous four light sabres. That was a stroke of genius.
  • Ian McDiarmaid is scenery-chewing good, for most of the film.
  • Yoda’s suffering as the Jedi are killed. True pathos – and in a puppet. Very nice.
  • A Wookie army!
  • Jimmy Smits!
  • Your classics is showing, George, moving from republic to empire.
  • I finally realised that Anakin’s costume journey parallels Luke’s (ooh, spoilers). That’s quite a nice touch.
  • Anakin and Obi-wan fighting is really pretty cool.
  • The parallel of the twins being born with Vader being born is obvious, but still kinda cool.
  • James Earl Jones.
  • Jimmy Smits.

What were you thinking, George?

  • In the opening credits you say there are heroes on both sides. Why are you confusing the young people with this even-handed post-modern crap?
  • Your droid general sounds like he has emphysema. Or possibly TB. If he was in an 19th-century dress and sounded like that, you’d know there was a death scene coming up. DROIDS DON’T COUGH, GEORGE.
    • ETA: Thanks to Grant I’ve discovered that Grievous is actually a cyborg, who coughs because Windu shot him. In the Clone Wars cartoon. Which just transfers my annoyance: nice little plot point for those in the know, but for the rest of us it’s just confuses. Bad, George; bad.
  • Unknown-2Why wouldn’t a queen let a female senator continue to act in a role she’s clearly been good at just because she has a baby? No, seriously George, why is this a problem?
  • Tell me, George, how exactly is destroying the Sith going to bring balance to the Force? Balance implies, well, balance – stuff on both sides. Without the Sith doesn’t that mean it’s going to be all one-sided? I’m not saying I like the Dark Side, but balance is not the word you’re looking for here.
  • Anakin’s petulance moves his well-founded angst and concern for his mother away from Macbeth or Hamlet and more towards many ten-year-olds I know (and, let’s be honest, Luke in Episode 4).
  • Ian McDiarmaid’s make-up after being beaten up is really, really bad.
  • Anakin goes Total Evil way too quickly.
  • You reduced Padme to weeping and fretting. From elected queen to senator to weeping and wailing. This is not an adequate plot arc, GEORGE. Very disappointing.
    • Also Anakin treats Padme as property. I understand he’s evil but that’s still not cool.
  • “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” Do you even see what you did there, George?
  • I wrote “No respect for traffic patterns” in my notes. I don’t remember what I meant, but still, TRAFFIC PATTERNS, George.

But finally, my biggest gripe, George, is that you did not include Han Solo anywhere in these prequels. You included Boba Fett for heaven’s sake, and Chewbacca, and ANTILLES, but no Han. No moment in a bar where a grizzled man claps a hand to a young boy’s shoulder and says “this is my nephew, I’m teaching him about smuggling”? Why, George? Why?

Attack of the Clones

Our idea initially was that we would watch one episode a week, which would get us about up to episode 7. But Phantom Menace left such a bad taste in our mouths that we decided we had to watch the second: it’s not a great film, but at least it’s not as bad as the first. Right?


Unknown-1Attack of the Clones: things that weren’t too bad:

  • Jay Laga’aia.
  • Ewan McGregor’s hair is definitely better in this film.
    • Obi-wan in general is better in this film. He’s better when he’s stern.
  • Female assassin.
  • Female Jedi!!
  • Yoda in a city.
    • Yoda taking part in politics.
  • Jedi younglings are super cute.
  • Jango Fett.
  • Boba Fett.
  • Christopher Lee!Unknown
    • Christopher Lee in a speed racer!
    • Christopher Lee with a light sabre!
    • Christopher Lee fighting Yoda!!
  • James: at least they got John Williams back.
    • And the use of CG isn’t quite as bad as Episode 1.

What were you thinking, George?

  • Not enough Jay Laga’aia.
  • You kept Jar Jar, George. You kept Jar Jar.
  • Amidala + Anakin: everything about every scene they are in together.
    • Amidala’s clothing choices. I’m not presuming to speak for every woman here, George, but I think it would have been more realistic for a woman who is being forced to be alone with a man whose romantic interest makes her uncomfortable not to wear provocative clothing. YES she has a choice in what she chooses to wear, NO I am not blaming her for Anakin’s infatuation, but nonetheless it’s a dubious choice for your costuming.
  • Anakin in general.
    • So petulant
    • So creepy towards Amidala
    • His rebelliousness towards Obi-wan is just embarrassing.
  • You have NO RESPECT FOR PHYSICS, George. Super leaps between struts is one thing. But the level of timing required to jump from the speeder onto the assassin’s speeder, not to mention the leap itself, is truly ludicrous. NO RESPECT, George.
  • Amidala always getting pushed around by the menfolks. Boring, George.
  • You fridged Shmi Skywalker, George. Couldn’t you at least have given her a bit more of a story for herself? Shown her with Jack and the kids?
  • You made Christopher Lee say some really bad dialogue, George. That’s nearly unforgivable.
  • James: the CG is still pretty bad.

The Phantom Menace

In honour of The Force Awakens coming out… whenever that is, we’ve decided to rewatch Star Wars. All six. In in-universe chronology.

Yes, today we watched The Phantom Menace.

The Phantom Menace: things that weren’t too bad:

  • The references to the original trilogy were mostly kinda cute, and not all of them were over the top. The “I have a bad feeling about this” is meant to immediately make someone like me feel at home, and I liked that. Also going through a ventilation shaft was pretty funny.
  • UnknownThe meet-cute of C3PO and R2-D2 is, indeed, quite cute.
  • The cameo from Warwick Davis: weird! But cool.
  • Samuel L. Jackson.
  • A nod to diversity: at least two noticeable black humans and two female pilots! Amazing.
  • Liam Neeson’s hair.
  • imagesThe fight between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul is fantastic.
    • Double-ended light sabre!!
  • James: the music. At least they got John Williams back.

What were you thinking, George?

  • It’s a film about trade negotiations going wrong. I mean really.
  • TOO MUCH CGI GEORGE. This is why we can’t have nice things.
  • Qui-Gon’s use of mind tricks as soon as things are slightly difficult is just repulsive.
  • Darth Maul. Not his existence, his lack of one. What a wasted character, man.
    • He has basically no dialogue!
    • He has no motivation!
    • His fight with Qui-Gon is too short.
  • The pod race. I did not need to see all three laps, George.
  • The Gungans. I am all in favour of ignored/oppressed people showing they have something to contribute, but did it have to be in such a racist and boring way?
  • Jar Jar Binks. Everything about him.
    • I do mean everything.
  • Anakin.
    • Ani? Really? For the boy who grows up to be Darth Vader? Seriously.
    • Why did you make him so young?
    • Why did you make him so petulant?
    • Didn’t your casting call throw up any other options?
  • Ewan McGregor’s hair.
  • Qui-Gon is a master Jedi and he’s fooled by some make-up as to who actually has the power in the entourage of women? Really?
  • George, you made Anakin the product of a virgin birth and only spent ten seconds thinking about it. I mean, seriously, man, what the hell?
  • James: the visuals reminded of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It just looked plastic.

Han Solo

What can I say, I’m one of those people  who thinks that Solo is really the star of the Star Wars movies; I was very annoyed that eps1-3 didn’t make a reference to him, even something as small as ‘here’s this kid I’m teaching to be a smuggler…’.

Anyway, a friend was cleaning out her house of books and I became the recipient of a Rather Large Bag of Star Wars novels… and I have finally dipped my toe in. I started here partly because SOLO, and partly because of this article about the author, AC Crispin, having recently died. And I had no idea that AC = Ann.


So. Solo.

Look, this is not a novel that was ever going to win literary prizes. The prose is a bit clunky, some of the characters are a bit stock, and yes the overall plot is a bit hackneyed. BUT! But.

a) It’s SOLO. Who doesn’t want to know how the galaxy’s most loveable rogue got to where he is? Who doesn’t want to know why someone so rough on the outside actually has such a soft smooshy inside? (Much like a tauntaun…). Plus, how did he GET that tough exterior? How did he and Chewbacca find each other, and what about the Millennium Falcon? These are questions I really want an answer to. So, I’ll read the novels.

b) It expands the Star Wars universe. I think one reason why I really like the idea of the enormous number of tie-in novels is that they’re all set in the same universe, but they don’t concentrate on just one bit. The Zahn novels didn’t; this one novel takes the reader to a few different planets, and while most of them are (as far as I recall) referenced in the original movies, this book looks at them from a rather different perspective – and it still works. It’s a lot grubbier, mostly. Yes Solo is a smuggler in the movies, yes Tatooine is the planet-futherest-from-the-bright-centre-of-the-galaxy – but really you don’t see much of the seamier side of the planets, let alone of the empire as an Evil Empire. Contrariwise, Crispin sets a lot of her story in the criminal underground, or on a slave plantation. Some people are nice, some are downright rotters.

c) Gratuitous Star Wars references. Sure Solo’s miff-ed-ness at being called scruffy got a bit tired after a while, but still – funny.

d) It takes Star Wars stuff but it makes it different. There’s an elderly Wookee woman that Solo’s friends with, and there are clear parallels to Chewbacca (also with his non-human companion Muuurgh) – but it’s not identical. There’s a romantic interest and again, parallels to Leia but by no means identical, and indeed provides some rather thought-provoking points on why Solo reacts the way he does to Leia (abandonment issues). Links to the Hutts, being a pilot, etc – all of these essential elements are there, but Crispin does interesting enough things with them that it’s by no means ‘young Solo just imitates old Solo.’ And that’s cool.

Thus this novel was definitely light entertainment. It’s light because it doesn’t require an enormous investment of time or thought-process from the reader – although it does raise genuine issues and does not simply ignore them. It’s entertainment because there are pirates, and smugglers, and chases, and Han Solo.