Posts Tagged Star Wars Day

A Poetry Video for Star Wars Day

On Star Wars Day in 2012, all I had seen of Star Wars while fully awake was The Phantom Menace and The Star Wars Holiday Special. I finally had what seemed like the perfect opportunity to lose my Star Wars virginity, with a screening of the original three movies by the CERN CinéClub, and yet, I had doubts. Not many people reached my age without having seen Star Wars. Surely I should do something artistic with my unusual lack of knowledge. Which is not to say that art is the realm of unknowledgeable people, but humour can be, as long as one doesn’t mind being the target of the laughter.

I asked Twitter whether I should watch the movies, or instead write a poem about everything I knew about the movies from songs and internet memes. Twitter said to write poetry, so I did.

I have since recited the poem to an audience of nerds on JoCo Cruise 3, and to my surprise, they did not throw me overboard. One of them has even read my poem at an event at a library. I made a mistake on the cruise, though, so I never had a good video of the poem to share… until now. I have actually seen all seven Star Wars movies in the last year, so made a video with not only the poem, but a run-down of how it differs from the actual movies:

I quote Marian Call’s song, ‘I’ll Still be a Geek After Nobody Thinks it’s Chic (the Nerd Anthem)’ and The Doubleclicks’ song ‘Nothing To Prove‘ at the beginning.

The poem references OSV word orderWil Wheaton’s story, ‘The Trade’, from which I learnt the existence of land speeders, to some extent the sleeping bag from which I learnt about tauntaunsThe Tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo, and the ‘Do not want‘ meme from Star War The Third Gathers: Backstroke of the West.

I used six seconds of Jonathan Coulton’s song ‘Screwed’ in the credits. I’m wearing this shirt; there are two versions of the shirt widely available online, but I got the only one which ships to Europe.

Star Wars is not the only thing I learn about mainly from songs and internet memes. Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire is another, and so, inspired by a song by Paul and Storm about George R. R. Martin’s slow writing, I contributed a picture to a music video for another song by Paul and Storm about the series:

I hope you enjoyed these videos. May the fourth be with you! 🖖😉

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May the Fourth be with you (even if you haven’t seen Star Wars)

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s Star Wars day, so it seems like a good time to repost. Remember last Star Wars Day, when I snubbed the CERN CinéClub’s showing of the original three Star Wars movies in order to write a poem about Star Wars, from my perspective as someone who has only seen The Phantom Menace, several hours of The Star Wars Holiday Special (with Rifftrax), the start of the original trilogy, under duress, while tired, from 2a.m. until I fell asleep, and a lot of Star-Wars-related songs and Internet memes? Well, I still haven’t seen the movies, and it doesn’t look like the CERN CinéClub is showing them today. But I did recite the poem in front of a crowd of nerds and geeks at the open mic night on JoCo Cruise Crazy 3, and they didn’t lynch me as an infidel, or throw me in the hot tub and force me to drink mudslides and watch Star Wars on the on-deck movie screen. Some of them even said they liked the poem! Even several people who I know write great things themselves! Here is my video of it. Having a decent microphone and no need to use up all my breath to speak loudly eliminated most causes and symptoms of nervousness, but oh boy, is my high-rising terminal showing at the beginning.

If you’re wondering, my first comment referred to Mike Phirman saying earlier that when you go on stage your body shuts down its vital functions and ‘you can really, really, really have to pee before you go on, and then you walk on stage and your body goes into like war mode, where it’s like, ‘There’s no time for that! We are at war!” I don’t think anyone laughed at the reference to the story Wil Wheaton read on the first cruise, so there goes my best chance at any audience noticing that. I missed out the following lines, at the start of the second stanza:

There were Chewie, and Yoda (the OSV talker)

Han Solo, and Leia, of course, Luke Skywalker.

I excused that in advance by saying I’d spent more time memorising Chicken Monkey Duck than this poem. That was not a joke, although I also made one mistake in Chicken Monkey Duck, so I guess I’m just imperfect. That means I’m not a replicant; hooray! (For what it’s worth, I saw all of Blade Runner for the first time this year, while outside in the rain, no less, so I finally know what that means. And I’m still using it wrong, because it seems like replicants aren’t perfect either. But passing the Voight-Kampff test just seems like it would give a higher-level qualification than passing the Turing test.)

To anyone else out there who still hasn’t seen Star Wars and feels like they should have: remember it’s entertainment. It should not be on your to-do list. Put it on your ‘things that might be fun to do when I need a break from the to-do list’ list if it seems interesting to you. Or, like me, use it to quickly dispatch anyone’s insistence that you see, read or listen to every other piece of culture that they deem important. Once you tell them you haven’t even seen Star Wars yet, they dismiss you as a lost cause and stop trying to add things to your to-do list. And if you’re a geek and they tell you this makes you a fake one, just tell them that, as Marian Call says, you have been a nerd since your first five syllable word, and no TV series or movie changes that:

In other news, I’ve signed up to read something at the Leman Poetry Workshop open mic night (warning: gratuitously-Flash-only website; don’t bother clicking if you have special needs that this won’t cater for) on May 31. I haven’t decided what to read yet, but it’s on my birthday, so probably something about birth, or death, or cake.

Also, I’m working on several different things at the moment, including the long-planned but little-implemented six of hearts, so hopefully I’ll finish those and post them here soon.

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I have not seen Star Wars, so I wrote some poetry about it.

I have not seen much of the original Star Wars trilogy, unless I saw it when I was too young to remember anything. I was dragged along to Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in the theatre 13 years ago, forced to watch the trilogy back-to-back starting at 2a.m. in around the same time period (I fell asleep before taking much in, but not before the guy who was forcing me to watch it did) and watched as much as I could stand of the Holiday Special with Rifftrax starting at a similar hour (I gave up before the end, but not before Wil Wheaton did.) I played a fair bit of the Episode 1 Racer game on the Nintendo 64 back in the day. Almost everything else I know about Star Wars, I learnt from songs and internet memes. I know quite a lot of factlets from these sources, but I have no idea how they fit together. This Star Wars Day, I had the option of watching the original Star Wars trilogy in the CERN Council Chamber, but I was hesitant to lose my Star Wars virginity when I was one of so few people my age who still knew what it was like not to know the plot. It seemed like that would be wasted if I just saw it. I asked Twitter what to do, and the majority said to write ill-informed poetry about Star Wars before seeing the movies. One suggested haiku. So here’s a haiku, for starters:

“Come to the dark side.”

“Why? You’re not the boss of me.”

“I am your father.”

The person who suggested writing haiku wanted me to give a title for it, but I can’t decide on one. Maybe something like ‘Star Family Feud’ or ‘Daddy knows best’ or ‘Zo Vader, zo zoon’ (which is Dutch for ‘Like father, like son’.) or ‘Van Vader op Zoon’ (‘From father to son’) Any ideas?

Here is a poem containing most of the things I know about Star Wars that I could think of in the 10 hours or so since I came up with the idea. It amuses me, mainly because it rhymes, but it will probably amuse you more, since you know exactly how wrong it is. I don’t mind if you laugh with me or just at me. I think I’ll just call this one ‘I have not seen Star Wars, so I wrote some poetry about it.’

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away,
there was light, there was dark, there were no shades of gray.
And a war was beginning, and stars were being made,
though I don’t know their names or the roles that they played.
I know some were ewoks, Storm Troopers and wookiees
And Jedi Knights, padawans, masters and rookies,
Darth Vader, and C3P0, R2D2,
but Einstein couldn’t name them, so don’t expect me to.

There were Chewie, and Yoda (the OSV talker)
Han Solo, and Leia, of course, Luke Skywalker.
There were Pod Racers, Falcons, and starships deluxe
and cruisers, and Land Speeders (that and five bucks
will get you a Death Star; it looks like a moon
but it’s some kind of space station dealing out doom.
You would think it would wipe out the good guys, but nup!
For some reason, this one’s a cinch to blow up.)

I digress. There’s a thing called the Force Luke must use,
for the good side or bad? He’s the one who must choose.
(Side note: midi-chlorians, what the Force goes on
are Force mitochondria, some kind of boson.)
So may it be with you, it’s stronger in this
one, whose lack of faith hints that there’s something amiss,
but I think Obi-Wan puts him on the right track.
(That’s a guess. I don’t know who he is. Don’t attack!)

I’m a little unclear how the plot goes from there,
but it’s not like I’m bumbling around unaware.
I know what a mind trick or lightsaber’s for
and I know that they’re not the droids I’m looking for.
If they sleep in a tauntaun, then someone won’t freeze
and for Palpatine’s sake, wookiee’s spelt with two ‘e’s.
And it’s Han that shot first, not… uh… Guido? No, Gweebo!
He couldn’t shoot first at a wounded gazebo.

So this guy named Darth Vader, who breathes through a mask,
his wardrobe’s all dark side, you don’t need to ask.
Well he tried to convince the young Luke to turn bad,
and then (spoiler alert!) he said, ‘Hey, I’m your dad!’
And the princess was somehow Luke Skywalker’s sister,
but nobody talked about how he once kissed ‘er.
He vanquished his father, who, looking quite gaunt,
while wheezing could still somehow scream ‘Do not want!’

The End (and I don’t care what anyone thinks;
this poem may suck, but it beats Jar Jar Binks.)

There are a few references to other things in there. OSV refers to Object Subject Verb, the word order Yoda tends to use. Wil Wheaton once traded his Death Star for a Land Speeder and five bucks, which is the only reason I know Land Speeders exist. Gazebos are very hard to wound, but they don’t attack much. And I know Darth Vader screamed ‘Nooooooo!’ rather than ‘do not want‘, but I’m not too sure when or why.

This is not part of the Writing Cards and Letters (have you noticed I’ve been ignoring the letters this time?) project. I’m still planning on publishing a nine of spades by Sunday noon. It will be short and sweet and sour.

May the Fourth be with you, if it still is in your time zone.

Edit: I still haven’t seen Star Wars, and I imperfectly recited this poem at the Open Mic night on JoCo Cruise Crazy 3.

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