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Around the Galaxy: Porgs, Rebels, Ackbar & Vader (Oh My…)

Star Wars News & Notes - January 11, 2018

Star Wars Spoilers ahead: Stay clear if you haven’t yet seen The Last Jedi or intend to read Darth Vader No. 10

Can there be too many porgs?

Well, considering MSW was on the cutting edge of the porg phenomenon, we’d say, “No.”

Many many others agree and will be very upset to see the subheading of…

Save the Galaxy, Eat a Porg?

Porgs concept sketch.

In a fun piece co-written by The Verge’s Daniella Rabaiotti and Asia Murphy entitled, “The Last Jedi’s porgs may be a serious threat to the galaxy’s ecosystems” we’re confronted by the reality that not everyone loves (or should love?) our friendly space avians.

The researchers wrote:

“Kylo Ren, murderous new supreme leader of the First Order, may seem like the biggest threat to the galaxy — but he might have nothing on an invasive species. That’s right. What if the real villains of The Last Jedi… are porgs?”

The writers continued down that slippery slope of Star Wars science by applying a real-world model to the intergalactic puffins.

There are certain characteristics that make species more likely to become invasive: having a lot of babies quickly, being able to move long distances, not being a picky eater, and being able to live close to people. Does this sound like a certain cute, cuddly creature from Star Wars? Porgs quickly claimed the Millennium Falcon for porgkind, disrupting Chewie’s attempts to contact the Resistance and nesting in the hallway. In addition, they must have a flexible diet to survive aboard the ship. Finally, they can fly.

I can’t argue that or the fact that the full piece is a hoot, and shouldn’t be missed.

However, even on my ninth viewing of TLJ, I still won’t root for Chewie to eat that bird…

Rebels Paved the Way

Caleb Dume and his Jedi master, Depa Billaba.

SYFY Wire’s Michelle Villanueva posited an excellent theory that connects Star Wars TV and films earlier this week.

In her piece “How Star Wars Rebels Paved the Way for The Last Jedi,” she wrote:

“Ah, The Last Jedi. This film contains some of the most divisive and polarizing moments in the saga since The Phantom Menace revealed that young Ani Skywalker loved podracing. (Yippee!) Back in 1999, nothing in the Expanded Universe could have prepared us for that. If only Rebels had existed back then since the animated series has already addressed some of the contentious thematic elements of Last Jedi.”

Villanueva correctly reminds us that, just like Luke Skywalker, Star Wars Rebel’s Kanan Jarus is not the same person he was when he began his path as Caleb Dume.

She also asks why that change occurs, connecting the lesser Jedi’s ark to that of the chosen ones’…

Sans a Jedi Order, Kanan cobbles together Ezra’s teachings from the remnants of what he can remember as a padawan. Decades spent outside of the Jedi Order taught Kanan that the Jedi weren’t always right, and Kanan forges a path for his padawan that no other Jedi has followed in a thousand generations. It’s a new path not shackled by the past but formed by circumstance. It’s a powerful statement, a reminder that the Force exists even without the Jedi or the Sith. It’s so much bigger than the factions that seek to understand it.

Villanueva isn’t the first to explore this theory, but her inclusion of Star Wars Rebels as a kind of baseline added to my understanding and peeled back one of the proverbial layers to the Saga.

Thanks, Michelle!

Awkward Ackbar

That’s a wrap for Admiral Ackbar.

Count me among the folks taken aback by the abrupt end to Gial Ackbar in The Last Jedi.

Did it totally ruin my day? No. But I certainly wondered aloud about the somewhat non-descript end of the legendary admiral — a presence in Star Wars new canon books, the Clone Wars TV series, nevermind three movies — was announced only by a secondary character in a just-in-case-you-missed-this kind of way.

I guess some of the filmmakers now feel the same way, too.

Over at the Huffington Post, Bill Bradley spoke to The Last Jedi editor Bob Ducsay about the Mon Calamari’s death.

“It’s interesting that you mentioned it,” said Ducsay to Bradley, “because I watched the film last night and I thought, hmmm, maybe that’s too incidental.”

To which I say, “Ya think?”

Unless you’re the world’s biggest Admiral Ackbar fan, check out Bradlee’s fun read, “Last Jedi Editor Has Some Second Thoughts About That Off-Screen Death: Well this is Ack-ward.

Nobody from nowhere

Poster art: The Phantom Menace

Comicbook.com’s Charlie Ridgely dove deep into Star Wars lore with his recent post, “New Darth Vader Comic Helps Explain How Rey Has Force Abilities.”

While I disagree with the headline, I like the piece, as it does help us discern why Rey is so strong in the Force, rather than explaining why she has those abilities in the first place.

And, believe it or not, the conduit of this info is Jocasta Nu – everyone’s “favorite” Jedi librarian, whom we meet in the latest issue of Marvel’s current Darth Vader arc.

Ridgely wrote of Darth Vader No. 10’s turning poin, where, apprently Nu turns badasst:

“The Force is eternal,” Jocasta tells Vader. “It cannot be ended, it cannot be stopped, not so long as life exists. It will find its vessels. It always has – You know this. There are others, waiting out in the galaxy.”

This is the piece that’s important in light of Rey’s storyline: the Skywalkers, while very special, aren’t the be-all-end-all of the Force.

Ridgely added:

Jocasta’s final sentence is what truly matters, and Vader knows it. If you recall, Anakin was just some boy from a poor planet that happened to have the Force living and breathing inside of him… Rey is in a very similar situation. Sure, she wasn’t born of an immaculate conception, and Liam Neeson isn’t around to test her blood with a GameBoy, but Rey’s backstory almost mirrors Vader’s. She’s no one, from nowhere, but the Force chose her to have a purpose.

The post is terrific, and so, it seems, is the comic – I’m going to pick it up this weekend…

Garnering Green Milk

And, what the hell, I add this for comedy’s sake…

Hoped this helped get you through your day, everyone! Hit me up at @jmbishopjr. JB

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John Bishop

A graduate of Boston and Northeastern universities, John Bishop became the beat reporter for BostonBruins.com prior to the B’s 2006-07 hockey season. While with the Bruins, “Bish” traveled North America and Europe to cover the Black & Gold’s every move via laptop, blog, and smart phone. The co-author of two books, Bygone Boston and Full 60 to History: The Inside Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, John covered the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver in 2010 and the B’s 2011 championship run and banner raising before taking a faculty/communications position at a prep school outside Boston in 2013. He lives with his wife Andrea and sons Jack, Scott, and Luke in central Massachusetts.