**Before I begin, big props to Frank Cho for the featured art on today’s article.**
For those of you not nerdy enough to care, Today is the official Star Wars day or in other words “May the 4th be with you”. Some people go all out of this made up reason to reconnect with the ground breaking sci-fi film franchise, donning Darth Maul makeup before going to the IHOP for a stack of pancakes or putting a used belt covered in matchbook cases around their dog’s mid section before yelling “Punch it, Chewie!”
All of these things are…well…let’s be honest…lame. In fact, there’s not a lot of public things you can do to celebrate this holiday that’s not going to get you ultimately pants-ed and drug around the track by a bunch of jocks, whether that be literally or metaphorically.
Andy Larson has always been too cool for school anyways, so I definitely like to go low key for these hullaballoos. So for my Star Wars day, I will do what I normally do. I will put on my “Arm & Blaster” t shirt (not too in your face in terms of the geekiness) and watch New Hope with my wife and kids.
In any case, in celebration of Star Wars day, I thought I’d include some pictures for those self respecting gentlemen out there:
Yep, that’s Princess Leia herself, the late, great Carrie Fisher, in a previously unreleased picture from the filming of the 1983 epic “Return of the Jedi”. Yes, and that is the original world famous metal bikini. The outfit that launched a thousand young boys down that long smutty path to adulthood.
I won’t lie. I too have to credit Slave Leia as well as Teela from Masters of the Universe for first stoking the fires of this red blooded American male. And to this day, the sight of that outfit still stirs some pretty strong feelings deep down below the surface.
In fact, if there was one thing that the TV show “Friends” did right, it was to perfectly capture and make public the kind of sweaty nerdgasm that this simple outfit invokes in the minds of geek men everywhere. Yes, I’m talking about the scene where Rachel surprises Ross with her own version of this classic.
A scene which prompted countless boyfriends and husbands to look over at their significant female other and rather creepily say “well…that just raised the stakes, didn’t it?” To which countless girlfriends/wives muttered back “Not in a million years…” Well, that is unless they had kickin’ bodies, great self confidence (or in some cases poor self confidence), or some sort of cosplay fetish. If you happened to be one of those lucky few, then all I have to say is:
“Good. Good for you. What do want from me, a coke? Get off my lawn.”
The saddest part though about the metal bikini is that for some women that’s all they think Star Wars has to offer females. I mean just the other day I was playing with my son and his Jedi Force little mini action figures (Great toys BTW), and I commented that it stunk that for some reason Hasbro didn’t make a ton of female figures to go with the line. Just mostly all guys and robots. It would be nice to have a Princess Leia to hang out with the rest of the Rebels. And all my wife had to say was:
“That would be nice. As long as she wasn’t in a bikini.”
I was dumbfounded. I mean these are figures for preschoolers. Of course they wouldn’t make a Slave Leia figure. Yet it was the first place my wife’s mind went. Not to Cinnamon Buns Leia from New Hope or the sweet Bespin Leia from Empire. Nope, Metal Bikini Slave Leia. Sure, after I said something she did say that the Empire Leia would be a really nice figure to have, but it troubled me that she thought of Slave Leia first.
Then again, I did make Slave Leia the first picture on today’s post and just talked about her for two whole paragraphs above, so I guess it’s natural that she would exist at the top of my wife’s mind. I guess I’m not really doing much to change the sexist stereotypes and objectivity of the fairer sex if all I’m doing is drawing more attention to it.
Not that I think Slave Leia is some sort of revolutionary form of sexism. If anything, George Lucas was just channeling some classic Alex Raymond Flash Gordon in both the outfit and motif. There’s no doubt in my mind that the original trilogy is heavily influenced by classic Flash Gordon and the metal bikini is no different.
As I wrote about in this previous blog, Flash Gordon from the 1930s is a racy thing to behold. A Sin City in Space filled with some of the scantly dressed babes you’d see anywhere. And to think that high class smut was in the Sunday funnies right next to Blonde and Dagwood.
In any case, that’s how I will spend my Star Wars day. And to think I got through an entire Star Wars related blog post and didn’t even talk about the casting news for Episode XI.
Wait? You didn’t know about the casting news for Episode XI?
Disney is looking to cast a middle-aged woman going by the name of Mara, possibly suggesting the character could be Mara Jade. For those of you not up on your Star Wars Extended Universe, Mara Jade is Luke Skywalker’s wife and mother of his children in the expansive range of novels written before the Force Awakens officially regulated all of those stories to “folktales” instead of canon.
A former assassin of Emperor Palpatine and an extremely strong Force wielder in her own right, she was first introduced in the magnificent “Thrawn” trilogy of books which some credit for reigniting the interest of the franchise in the early 90s. Mara eventually went “Bond girl” over Luke in the novels transforming from a baddie to an integral part of the Skywalker extended family in a way that almost rivaled Leia in importance (emphasis on “almost”).
Now given that JJ Abrams is both penning and directing Episode 9, what are the chances that this character will be actually Mara Jade? I personally feel the answer is both “yes” and “no”, and here’s why:
Yes, because after some of the fan upheaval over Last Jedi in some circles, I feel Disney has mandated Abrams to deliver a movie that settles things back down again in terms of the Star Wars cash machine. Some thing that feels like an original Star Wars movie, that is comfort food to the true fans, and gets them to buy back into the franchise for another 10 movies.
Without Leia and with Luke only being a Force Ghost, bring a character like Mara Jade in to pay fan service could work extremely well. Especially without Leia, as this trilogy has been delivering on strong female characters and who better to complete Rey’s training than a bad ass elder female Jedi.
However, I also say “No” because I feel like if they do bring Mara Jade in, don’t expect her to be the same character from the books. Instead she’ll probably bring similar themes, like being a Force wielder, having some past intense relationship with Luke, having red hair etc. But, like the way that JJ Abrams took concepts from the novel and made them his own ala Jacen/Jana Solo becoming Ben Solo and Rey respectfully in the movies, I can see the movie version of Mara Jade being a somewhat different character, more of a homage than a straight copy.
And for me that’s fine. I mean, I’ll just be happy if Luke does make an appearance in the last movie as a Force Ghost, and that Rey’s parentage reveal in Last Jedi, was actually a fake swerve on the part of Kylo Ren to tip her over to the Dark side at a point when she was vulnerable. I think having Mara Jade as a character allows both of those things to happen, as she could be Rey’s real mother, and have a past relationship with Luke.
Not to say I’m on board with Rey being Luke’s secret kid, but maybe Luke and Mara had a falling out before they had children, and Mara had a child with someone else. But in her heart, she always felt Rey should have been Luke’s child and that devastated her. Maybe she had difficulties dealing with that, and lead her to make some bad decisions (hence the filthy junk traders comment by Kylo could be the truth “from a different point of view” as Kenobi would say). That falling out with Mara also could have been the original catalyst for a lot of the somber, hopeless, Luke we get in Last Jedi as he too never got over losing Mara and led him to make some really bad decisions in a sort of “mid life crisis” let’s open a new Jedi Temple/almost kill Ben Solo moment.
Long story short, Episode 9 happens and Mara comes to grips with her feelings about Luke and Rey and everything in the wake of Luke’s death, and after a tear filled reunion, Luke comes to accept Rey as the adopted daughter he always should have had. In that way those that are hell bent on shipping Kylo and Rey, they still can as they aren’t blood related. Also those that feel Luke should have been some chaste space priest and never had kids, he technically didn’t as Rey wasn’t actually his.
Wow…I wonder if I’m even in the ball park. I mean it makes total sense to me.
Who here thinks they should have me write Episode 9? I mean this shite seems to almost write itself. Leave some comments if you agree with my take on where they should go with these characters….