Knights of the Old Republic EP21: You’re Totally Ship-faced

By Shamus Posted Friday Oct 16, 2015

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 200 comments

Link (YouTube)

So let’s say you get the rights to make a “Star Wars” product, and now you need to guide your creative staff to nail the look, feel, tone, and overall style of the original three movies. What do you need? I’m not talking about worldbuilding stuff like Jedi, X-Wings, and Wookies, but more low-level art cues. Let’s assume you want to make “new” Star Wars stuff. You want new races, new planets, and new time periods, but you want the new stuff to still feel like Star Wars.

  1. “Luke NounVerber” style names.
  2. Maybe a ship named in the style of “Adjective Birdname”.
  3. Ships should be really lumpy. The original ships were made by dumping out dozens of disparate models and gluing them together to make spaceship-shaped stuff.
  4. Slender droids with quirky or eccentric personalities.
  5. Other droids that make beeping noises all the time, even though nobody understands them.
  6. Use an orchestral score. Or just recycle the original John Williams music.
  7. Robes and capes for almost everybody, regardless of climate.
  8. Building exteriors should feel kind of like the spaceships: Lumpy and irregular.
  9. Most places should look well-worn. Places should have junk laying around. Dirt on the floor. Surfaces should be scuffed and the paint should be fading. A few edges of implied water damage wouldn’t hurt. Only fascists mop the floor.
  10. Avoid mundane objects. No paper, coffee mugs, writing tools, etc.
  11. Computers are banks of blinky lights, like 1960’s Star Trek.
  12. It helps to have cables and hoses strewn around, hanging from the ceiling, and running down the walls.
  13. Rooms with four walls are bad, so break up the square room shape any way you can. Passages are tube-shaped. Slant the walls. Make lots of round rooms. Add some support columns.
  14. Trim everything with lights.

What other cues make a place feel “Star Wars”?


From The Archives:

200 thoughts on “Knights of the Old Republic EP21: You’re Totally Ship-faced

  1. General Karthos says:

    The ships need to be breaking or under repair all the time. Pristine ships are ships nobody has ever used before. (And pristine ships have no personality. Part of what made the original series so good was the Millennium Falcon had a personality all its own.)

    The bad guys need to be clearly recognizable by face-concealing uniforms. Good guys should be recognizable by having visible faces.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The bad guys need to be clearly recognizable by face-concealing uniforms. Good guys should be recognizable by having visible faces.

      And this is why Josh has that ridiculous ship on his face.I mean for the character.Though I wouldnt be surprised if Josh also had a ridiculous face concealing ship on his face.

      1. Lachlan the Mad says:

        I think that’s just his moustache.

      2. Ardis Meade says:

        That would explain why no one has ever seen his face.

      3. Heulwen says:

        Josh is the Stig of video games. But with more talking.

  2. MichaelGC says:

    Giant impractical structures of nebulous purpose which must include deep abyssal chasms and a complete absence of handrails.

    1. One can always tell just how advanced a civilization is by how large, spacious, and improbably designed even their most mundane of structures are.

      1. Veylon says:

        Northcote Parkinson could tell you that there’s a perfectly good reason for monumental buildings containing vast chasms. It’s because such buildings are very expensive and therefore must be approved by a committee. Such a committee perhaps will contain a member who understands the purpose and proper scale of such a structure but will undoubtedly contain several who are impressed by sheer mass and boldness of vision. It therefore behooves an architect to appeal in his design to the latter rather than the former.

        This is also why handrails are usually excluded; they would merely clutter the design. While it is true that they would likely save the lives of any number of workers who must cross the fathomless gaps in their workspaces, it is also true that individuals of that caliber will not be attending committee meetings and thereforce will not have the opportunity to advance their concerns. Furthermore, those worthies who do attend committee meetings will not be coming any closer to the abysses than peering at models and can thus focus on their important and dramatic aesthetic qualities rather than trouble themselves with the mundane and often quarrelsome details of safety.

    2. One of the Force Unleashed games did that one better (I think it was II). I was watching a demo and at one point the player used a Force power to make a stormtrooper leap to his death through a floor-to-ceiling plate-glass window that was helping enclose a catwalk.

      Apparently, the glass was a nod to safety in that it would take an entire single person to smash it to pieces from just a standing jump, and how often would that happen?

  3. Gruhunchously says:

    If you have any mundane items, amend them with exotic sounding titles. You don’t have ‘house plants’, you have ‘bachani house plants’.

    Anyone with a British accent has a high statistical probability of being untrustworthy.

    1. Joe Informatico says:

      The old Star Wars tabletop RPG from West End Games even gave suggestions for this: “It’s not a wrench, it’s a hydrospanner. The players don’t find a sewing machine in the corner, they find a textile droid.”

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I’d have to look for the source but I remember reading that Lucas did this on purpose to increase the alieness of the setting. The examples I specifically remember quoted were the lack of paper and the blue milk (though personally I found the milk case slightly cheesy).

      2. Felblood says:

        Sadly this led to a decade long period where every piece of licensed Star Wars fiction had to include one scene where one character asked another character to hand him a hydrospanner, and at least one reference to a vibro blade.

        1. KimikoMuffin says:

          I call this the “appeared-in-the-movies” effect (though it doesn’t really apply to vibro-blades), and it works like this: if it specifically appeared or was mentioned in the movies, it shows up more often.

          So every time specific alcohol has come up in the EU, the different authors came up with their own names for specific beverages (Vistulo Brandale in the Thrawn trilogy, Ruby Bliels in Jedi Outcast, etc.), because no alcoholic beverages were ever named in the movies. On the other hand, 90% of all drug-junkies since Episode II use death-sticks, and the rest use “spice”, because both were (vaguely, in the latter case) mentioned in the movies. 95% of the locations in the galaxy which appear in the EU are planets which were mentioned or visited in the movies. And the line “Where are you taking this … thing?” is presumably meant to imply that Wookiees aren’t generally recognizable, but even before Revenge of the Sith, they were ridiculously common in the EU and were well-known among the Imperials to be one of the best races to enslave for physical labor …

          1. Jabrwock says:

            He may have known very well it was a wookie. “Thing” was his version of attempting to be a racist snob.

            Like calling a slave “boy”. It’s all about de-humanizing (well, de-anthropormorphizing?)

  4. You’re thinking of The Misadventures of Flapjack, Chris, not Chowder. Brian Doyle-Murray plays Captain K’nuckles. He’s also been in quite a lot of other stuff.

    1. At first I thought he was mixing up his role as Davey Jones in SpongeBob. That guy plays a pirate a surprisingly often amount of times…

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So this thing is millennia old.How come no one entered it before revan and malak?How come no one discovered and used the star forge earlier?

    1. Not only it is millenia old, it’s also right by the Council’s front lawn. Perhaps they thought they had very quiet neighbours and didn’t want to be rude to foreign customs.

      1. MrGuy says:

        While I hesitate to call on the prequel movies for lore backup, there’s precedent established there that the Sith have the ability to conceal themselves from the Jedi, even right under their noses. The power behind the ruins here could be hidden from thhe Jedi in a similar fashion.

        1. Ledel says:

          It’s because noone could solve the puzzles. They all thought desert planets could support life because of Tatooine.

          1. Atarlost says:

            You never get to see it, but in the spring all the tiny plants on Tatooine bloom and it’s this absolutely gorgeous carpet of bright colors.

            The tourism this brings in is why the planet is still inhabited millenia later even though the mining stinks even now.

      2. Hector says:

        Since I’m just playing KotOR now, I’m willing to give them this one. The Jedi are not necessarily archeologists, and given how huge a galaxy is, some old burial mounds on an out-of-the-way world could quite easily go unnoticed, assuming anyone wanted to bother with them anyway. Jedi or no, unless you’re looking for something, you won’t find it unless you somehow stumble on it. Revan, who possibly trained on Dantooine, apparently didn’t know there was anything interesting present until after he came back from the Outer Rim and had contact with some Very Interesting People. People find caches of old coins from time to time – sometimes quite valuable stuff – literally just sitting around under a few spadefuls of dirt in real life. It’s just that nobody turned over that specific spadeful in the last eon.

        Of course, I tend to assume that things like “scope” are compressed in games. The Dantooine Enclave is about four rooms and a couple hallways, without exactly six beds in the entire place. The tomb itself doesn’t remotely make sense since there’s no place for the big wings of the tomb (which you can see but not enter) since there’s no actual stairs up or down, etc.

        1. Thomas says:

          Jedi probably have a higher chance of being archaeologists than most folks. Studying history and digging up old Force artifacts is quite a Jedi occupation and in-fact the Sith base you visit later in the game is home to a full scale Sith archaeology team.

          Although maybe it’s only the Sith who care about uncovering and learning from the past. Jedi are too busy force-punching people in the name of Good!

          1. Lachlan the Mad says:

            Considering that, in KOTOR 2, both Kreia and Atris fall to the Dark Side after poking their noses into Jedi archaeology, that actually sounds quite likely.

            1. Wide And Nerdy says:

              So fear, anger, hate and archaeology are all paths to the Dark Side.

              1. SharpeRifle says:

                Hunh…that explains the Nazis and Doctor Belloq. Its a good thing Indy didn’t use the force!

                1. ? says:

                  “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good revolver at your side, Short Round. I’ve flown from one side of this planet to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.”

              2. Metal C0Mmander says:

                In star wars archeology will wreck you if you’re not strong enough. Mostly because of sith force ghosts.

                1. Lachlan the Mad says:

                  Yeah, admittedly both Kreia and Atris messed around with a lot of Sith artefacts.

                2. SlothfulCobra says:

                  It makes sense, considering how according to this game, the original colonizers of the galaxy were fueled by the dark side.

        2. Sleeping Dragon says:

          My bet would be on scope as well. I mean, in the game it’s all within walking distance but I assume the tomb is meant to be in a remote location, just like I doubt it’s meant to be the case where the Council can see Juhani’s hounds chasing civilians down their front lawn, she’s “out there somewhere in the wilderness”.

          That said the scope thing also kinda applies to puzzles. I mean, the games usually present your average Towers of Hanoi puzzle as this incredibly complex obstacle that can keep entire civilizations out of a location for centuries…

          1. guy says:

            Clearly it was originally a 30-piece version and the previous civilizations got bored and gave up when they were three pieces from finishing the recursive solution.

      3. Felblood says:

        Actually they pretty much state that in-game.

        The council says that they never messed with the ruins because they thought they were burial mounds. Apparently archaeology isn’t part of the Jedi quest for knowledge and enlightenment.

    2. Slothfulcobra says:

      It was destroyed millennia ago, but the technology has been magically repairing itself the whole time.

      You don’t get work done fast with approximately zero logistical resources.

    3. Matt Downie says:

      Are there any RPGs that don’t have a (building / cave / tomb) full of (priceless treasures / magical artefacts / lost technology) within easy walking distance of a major population center that no-one has ever bothered to visit?

      1. Hermocrates says:

        Pillars of Eternity does have them, but it does seem to come up with reasonable in-universe reasons why they’re still full of treasures and not bandits: a culture whose foremost religious tenets include guarding the ancient ruins to ensure no one enters them, including themselves.

    4. Classic says:

      Star Wars has… interesting problems with time. Not uncommon problems, Lord of the Rings has the same problem. Which makes sense, because Star Wars borrows its themes way more heavily from LotR than it does from Flash Gordon serials. The thing is it’s an even older and weirder phenomenon than that implies.
      A lot of myth-makers (literally into antiquity) try to present the past as a better-than-now steady state. Arthurian legend fictionalizes and idealizes the feudal system (to varying degrees, obviously, e.g. French version isn’t super keen on the chivalry of the Round Table). Roman myth fictionalizes and idealizes Romulus and Remus and Troy. This is a tiny bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison, for reasons we can get into later, but for now let’s get back to time.

      In many of those myths and histories, the amount of time for which a “good” status quo persists gets exaggerated the further into the past it is. Part of this is straight up mythmaking. Methuselah’s 969 year lifespan (though it depends on who you ask) only barely exceeds his grandfather, Jared’s 962 year lifespan. You see a similar improbable extending of the reigns of “good” kings in other histories. Another part is when histories are long and complicated we impose a steady state on them, glossing over details we don’t find important. Most people probably think of Ancient Egypt as a kind of quasi-timeless civilization lasting for thousands of years. I mean, I don’t care about the differences between the old, middle, and new kingdoms. So as far as I’m concerned “ancient egypt” just has an unbroken 3000 year history where no one wore shirts and everyone had a Kopesh.

      Both Middle Earth and Star Wars were created against this backdrop. So to make their versions bigger and more iconic those spans of time get bigger and more iconic. Granted: They both fight against this by creating space in our minds to believe that all sorts of neat and fantastical things are happening just outside the scope of the stories we’re presented with, but we still end up with dynasties and governments that are “unchanged” for thousands of years in both.

      Also in both: things never seem to improve as a result of research or developing new technology?

      1. guy says:

        Star Wars sort of implies that they’ve settled on the types of technology but keep making them better. There’s a number of incidents (Xim’s war droids, the Katana fleet) where someone recovers old tech and it’s basically the same as modern tech except not as good. Also, the X-wing is on like its thirtieth retrofit by the Legacy Of The Force series. Various minor upgrades, stealth tech, modifications to deal with the exotic Yuuzhan Vong defenses. That was a pretty neat concept; they used a bibiological gravity generator that created a micro-singularity to eat incoming fire but got tired if continually refocused, so the New Republic retrofitted their weapons to have a mode where they generated a spray of low-power shots that looked like full-power shots to make them waste energy.

        1. Classic says:

          I’m mostly discussing the “canon” as of the Disney buyout. Mostly because that’s what of the media I consumed. I’d believe there are X-U Star Wars writers that are probably better fans of more future-focused stories like Star Trek and Flash Gordon (or hell, even Ghost Busters).

          I’m being coarse as fuck here, but I always try and categorize what side of the future- or past-focused dichotomy fiction lies on. Star Wars is interested in an idealized past which we should aspire to. Star Trek is interested in an idealized future which we should aspire to.

      2. djw says:

        I think that we live in a really weird time period. Technology has progressed at an amazing rate for the past 200 years, and looks like it will continue to progress for a while at least (not gonna try to predict how long).

        Most of history wasn’t like that. Progress was slow, and people lived with more or less the same technology that their great-great-grandparents had.

        It seems to me that there must be an end to technological progress for us at some time. Moore’s law can’t last forever. We have already progressed far enough in fundamental laws of particle physics that further experiments are very difficult and expensive. In the distant future most people will look back on history and see a more or less constant level of tech throughout. Our belief in progress will look weird to them.

        1. Classic says:

          “I think that we live in a really weird time period. Technology has progressed at an amazing rate for the past 200 years, and looks like it will continue to progress for a while at least (not gonna try to predict how long).”

          Yeah, that’s totally true. But “most of history” was like that, maybe since before the first Agricultural Revolution. You can find words to the effect of what you’ve written throughout recorded history, it’s just a matter of how difficult it is to find them among all those financial tablets. I feel like you could fit exponential growth on a scatter plot of “quantity of science” and it would be good. If there are differences it’s in how rapidly these advances have become somewhat ubiquitous. Water-based wate removal, for example, is no longer reserved for the very rich or public spaces. Even people we count as poor have access to private toilets.

          We have evidence that people have been constantly pining for “the good old days” and lamenting rapid changes to society that their forebears did not have to weather. This feeling that “the past” changed less dramatically than “the present” has more to do with how bad we are at history than the rate at which our societies and technologies change. Regardless of how steep that exponential growth currently is.

  6. Xeorm says:

    The ancient races build their buildings with stone. Still works, and possibly even better than current resources. Primitive races still use wood, even when firing lasers.

  7. Steve C says:

    “Only fascists mop the floor.” That got me giggling for a while.

    1. Gruhunchously says:

      That’s basically the premise of Mirror’s Edge.

    2. ehlijen says:

      Yup, Han should have known Lando was up to no good when he first saw the Cloud City floors.

    3. Felblood says:

      It actually even goes beyond that.

      Only an evil empire would overhaul their starfighters after every battle and make sure that they are all up to the factory spec.

      Heroic rebels don’t even expect their mechanics to put the hood back on their vehicle after messing with the engine, even if the hood is an armor plate on an armored vehicle, and a less courageous and heroic individual might be under the impression that he needs that, for some silly reason.

  8. shiroax says:

    I’m not getting a reference, what’s the Crucible pls?

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The mcguffin for the mass effect 3.

      1. MrGuy says:

        a.k.a the Normandy

    2. Slothfulcobra says:

      A play about the Salem Witch Trials. Drew Karpyshyn was weirdly into it for a while.

    3. AdamS says:

      It’s also the name of the main PVP mode in Destiny, which Josh and Campster play together.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    There are these giant monsters that feed on force users.We call them the thresher maws.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Its racist against twilighters!

    1. MrGuy says:

      Almost everyone is a Caucasian human. Almost every exception to this rule is someone who whose entire personality can be summed up by “is an X,” and in most cases is the only example of “being an X” in the galaxy.

      (This is in reference primarily to the movies – I recognize in the expanded universe there are whole planets of wookies, etc.)

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Irony tit.

    1. ehlijen says:

      As in, the thing that happens at the end of Coupling’s first episode?

    2. Ivan says:

      Aw man! Tits, Boobies, Woodcocks… There are so many great bird names out there, I can’t believe I forgot the best ones!

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        And now you know why the expression is “flipping the bird”.

  12. By the time of Luke Skywalkers Mandalorians have declined so much their armour is used by one Jar Jar like human by the name of Booby Feet.
    For ship name I propose Fat Kiwi.
    Back to jedi morality, notice how Carth has been stopping you from doing acts of evil, however Bastila allows you to make them then she preaches about it. “Doing things like that is the path to the dark side.” So is not speaking up before she runs off to die.
    There’s some commenting on the Kashyyyk Star Map puzzle but I’ll keep it for the chapter in which it’s shown.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      You know, I don’t think I took Bastilla with me a whole lot, because frankly I’m not the fan of the character, so I may be missing some scenes but I kinda wish that the psychology of her situation was explored a bit more.

  13. Is it me, or did this game not only lack the ability to hire Frank Oz and Yoda, the not-Yoda they got doesn’t even use the same oddball sentence structure that Yoda does?

    Does that imply that not-Yoda is an English (Common) Major or that Yoda has some kind of brain damage?

    1. SpiritBearr says:

      Initially Yoda’s speech thing was due to him being a hermit on a moon for decades. Then the prequels had Yoda in them with the same sentence structure but as less of a dick. They also had him doing stuff.

      1. True, but that stuff (like having lightsaber duels, showing none of the wisdom he’d deliver in ‘Empire) wasn’t good.

        1. Neil W says:

          Yoda’s wisdom, insight and advice is of absolutely no use in any of the films. When he has good advice every one ignores him, and the rest of the time he’s just wrong. He’s pretty good at training Luke, and he saves Anakin and Obi Wan from Dooku*. Everything else is terrible.

          When he feels the first Jedi being killed by Order 66 he doesn’t bother to try and call up the others or warn the temple. Yoda sucks.

          * Might he have done better to let Anakin die though?

          1. His “wisdom” about the Force in ‘Empire was what made the Force cool. It was where we learned about this mystic energy field, how life was responsible for it, etc. It was also where what being a Jedi was more or less defined as being a kind of Zen master combined with being a reluctant warrior. He prepped Luke for his confrontation with the Emperor.

            By contrast, the Yoda (and everything about the Jedi) in the prequels further pushed being a Jedi into the role of a gung-ho fightin’ wizard who was either hyper-violent or utterly inactive and useless.

      2. HeroOfHyla says:

        I just watched Phantom Menace for my Race and Gender in Film class the other day, and Yoda’s backwards speaking was much less pronounced than I remembered. He mostly just spoke normally.

        1. That may be so, but then in Attack of the Clones, he busts out the cumbersome line, “Around the survivors a perimeter create.”

      3. Jabrwock says:

        I thought it was partially because he was trying to be a dick on purpose to test Luke’s patience.

        The obnoxious stuff, not the backwards speech. Maybe his native tongue is just reverse order, kind of like how in Manga you read right to left.

    2. Mike S. says:

      While I know it’s not in the spirit of Star Wars, I don’t know that we should actually ding it for two members of a species having different accents and grammar. (Especially when separated by millennia.)

      1. Given that Yoda’s race is as good as extinct (unless more show up in the sequels), perhaps the speech patterns sparked a civil war, resulting in there being only one survivor out of… two?

    3. Lachlan the Mad says:

      Well, I planned a character for a Star Wars tabletop game who was a member of Yoda’s species raised by humans, and he was meant to have a Cockney accent.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        “London Zoo or mum’s stewpot, see? There ain’t no Palace of Versailles.”

  14. John says:

    In my early runs through the game, I always took Carth with me to the ruins (and to do the Sandral-Matale quest). When I started using other characters, I was disappointed to find that they don’t have nearly as much to say as Carth does. (You may now make the requisite jokes at Carth’s expense. Go on. I’ll wait.) I like how Carth and Bastila interact with each other during quest-related conversations in a way that the other companions tend not to do. In fact, Carth will actually sometimes butt in to “Bastila looks like she has something to say” conversations.

    One of my favorite exchanges in the game is in the Sandral-Matle quest: “I’m impressed, Carth. That interjection was very Jedi-like.” “Well, what can I say. You pick up a few things.”

  15. Henson says:

    ‘Wipe’ transitions.

  16. hborrgg says:

    Every time something bad is about to happen have a character say “I have a bad feeling about this”.

  17. topazwolf says:

    5. Other droids that make beeping noises all the time, even though nobody understands them. and certain people (protagonist always included) inexplicably understand them despite there being no way that the non-unique noises and patterns could be capable of conveying the ideas that were evidently conveyed.

    fixed that for you.

    EDIT: Strike doesn’t work anymore. Have to use del now.

    1. Slothfulcobra says:

      That whole dynamic of a conversation where both parties are speaking completely separate languages is everywhere in Star Wars. It’s weird.

      1. Matt Downie says:

        It’s easy to understand alien languages but pronouncing them is almost impossible.

        1. ? says:

          Especially when some of them have two mouths on opposite sides of their massive neck.

  18. MrGuy says:

    What other cues make a place feel “Star Wars”?

    Looking lived in! Not uniform grimy brown, but everything in Star Wars looks like it actually gets used. No sterile futuristic cleanliness (which is a pretty direct contrast to Star Trek and quite a lot of other space-faring scifi)

    It’s one of the main reasons Quigon and Obi-wan’s ship in the Phantom Menace bothered the crap out of me. Polished silver, gleaming and sleek ain’t Star Wars. They tried to make something “futuristic” and forgot the aesthetic wasn’t about that.

    1. Zombie says:

      Now, to be fair, that ship was the Queen’s personal starship. It stands to reason that they would keep that spotless, and it wouldn’t be used much.

      1. Slothfulcobra says:

        It’s fine, because it exploded at the beginning of episode 2, and all was right with the world.

      2. I didn’t like it. The shininess was one aspect of its un-appeal for me, as it just seemed to make the Queen more oddly opulent on a planet with no apparent citizenry beyond Gungans and about a dozen actual people. It also bugged me how it was basically a shiny version of an SR-71 Blackbird.

        1. Metal C0Mmander says:

          Have you seen how the leaders of the prequel dressed like. They were all about ridiculous show of extravagance. Even Mon-Mothma the leader of the rebel alliance was rocking a fairly impressive dress. So anyway all this to say that to me it make sense that the queen of even a lowly planet like Naboo would have a magnificent ship.

          1. ? says:

            Even if Naboo was a poverty stricken backwater (doesn’t look like it whenever we see their architecture) Queen would have a nice spaceship. Look at any third world dictator, they have swag. Even modest head of state has nice limousine because resources of even impoverished country are vast. Price of one luxury car won’t fund health care or education for even a day, contrary to common belief.

            1. MrGuy says:

              Could you make an argument that the queen having a nicer-than-average ship makes sense? Sure. But my point is not whether it makes sense that the ship looks “nice.” It’s whether it looks like it belongs.

              The emperor travels in a less sci-fi, futuristic-y looking ship than this. No other ship in the universe looks like this. Not close.

              To me, it’s like a universe where everyone travels by hot air balloon, and then someone else has a helicopter. It’s not that they can or cannot afford a helicopter – it’s that we’ve established what airships look like in this world, and that’s not one.

              Whether it looks “cool” is (to me, anyways, but maybe I’m more bothered by this than some) doesn’t matter as much as whether it fits.

              1. Metal C0Mmander says:

                Well the emperor was an almost universally reviled political figure so he probably didn’t want everyone to figure out his shuttle and since he was essentially the uncontested ruler of the empire he didn’t really need to show-off.

  19. Incunabulum says:

    I don’t think #1 or #2 really apply.

    How many ‘Luke Nounverbers’ are there. Skywalker and . . . ? Especially compared to the Obi-wan Kenobis, Han Solos, Leia Organas.

    And the ‘Adjective Birdname’ flown by Han Solo – yet all the other ships had names like Tanitive, Adamant, etc.

    Even in KOTOR – which tried to be as much a copy of the original movie as the could get away with, you have the ‘Ebon Hawk’ and – that’s it.

    #3 – the ships aren’t *lumpy*. A better term here might be *greebbly*.

    #4 – Amusing personalities maybe – but none (outside R2) are really ‘eccentric’. Few are slender either. Typically just the ones that are explicitly designed for melding into wealthy social situations.

    #7 – Only the Jedi/Sith dudes wear robes. Most of the capes are fashion accessories and not environmental garments (my take on them anyway and why Vader has one).

    As for the ‘old aesthetic’ – that changes from place to place depending on where the scene is set. Imperial ships and facilities are sleek, cleanly sterile, and grey. Rebel facilities are rough and makeshift. Tatooine looks like the impoverished backwater it is. The MF looks like the bailed together POS it (mostly) is. Cloud City looks like a mildy prosperous commercial outfit that is dependent on the maintenance of high tech to continue to exist that it is.


    I think your list is things that are *in* Star Wars, but not a list of things that *define* the SW aesthetic. Even within the first movie we see a variety of set designs. Especially today – some of it is things that set the setting apart from its contemporaries, but a lot of that list is pretty bog standard sci-fi trope today.

    1. Zombie says:

      On Starship names, don’t forget that bad-guy ships have to be named things like Dominator or Executor, things that sound evil and threatening; good-guy ships get to be named like Champion, Alliance and Ardent, or they get to have more personal names like the Millennium Falcon.

      For bad-guy star-fighter squadrons you get cold, sterile names like 12th Squadron, or 181st Imperial Fighter Wing, unless they’re elite fighter squadrons, then they get cool names. Good-guy star-fighter squadrons you get cool names right off the bat like Rogue, Wraith, or, looking through the Wookiepedia list of Rebel star-fighter squadrons, gems like the Lightspeed Panthers or the Flying Bantha Squadron.

      1. guy says:

        Generic good guy starfighter squadrons, on the other hand, get English color names. Red Squadron was promoted to Rogue Squadron for being awesome after Yavin IV.

        1. Zombie says:

          I actually looked that up because I’m re-reading the Rogue Squadron books.

          The reason its Red Squadron is because they shoved together a bunch of other X-Wing and Y-Wing squadrons to get a bunch of fighters to attack the Death Star. When only two guys actually lived (Luke and Wedge), they just got shoved into a new Red Squadron, which was Renegade and Rogue flights. Then Rogue flight got really good, Renegade flight got destroyed at Hoth, and Wedge decided to make it just Rogue Squadron.

          The EU stuff gets REALLY specific at times.

        2. Syal says:

          Surely the Red Squadron was actually promoted to Rouge Squadron?

          1. guy says:

            That would make sense, but no.

      2. ? says:

        To be fair Empire has hundreds of thousands if not millions of fighter squadrons. For Rebel alliance primary colours get the job done. Also you don’t want to explain to new recruits why there are large gaps in squadron numbers . Or why their squadron number will suddenly change from 48th to 12th if you want to remove the gaps.

      3. Couscous says:

        So like some of the odder British navy ship names in their long history. HMS Destruction, HMS Havock, HMS Vengeance, Revenge-class ships, HMS Infernal, HMS Carcass, HMS Terror, HMS Serpent, HMS Convulsion, HMS Fury, HMS Devastation, HMS Surprise, HMS Termagant, HMS Conquest, HMS Savage, HMS Spiteful, etc.

        1. Mike S. says:

          The one I don’t get is the HMS Inconstant. Who names a ship that? (The Royal Navy, evidently. But why?)

          1. Neil W says:

            Records suggest that the first one was captured from the French and called the Pallas, then renamed Convert, which sort of makes sense, then renamed again to Inconstant, which I guess makes sense as it’s changed sides once and name twice?

            Or maybe the word meant something subtly different in the 18th century. More Maverick than Unreliable.

            1. MichaelGC says:

              Aye – it was the Pallas under the French, so renaming it ‘Fickle’ would essentially be the British Navy going ‘nyah, nyah’. As a Brit I find this highly plausible…

              Similar considerations might well apply to later ones – or maybe one of them did something really awesome at sea, and subsequently other HMS Inconstants were called that ‘cos it’d become “cool.” (As a Brit I find…)

          2. Somebody lost a bet? Or alternatively, the word sounded good and no one bothered to look it up till later. You’d be surprised how often that happens (especially before looking things up was so easy. It took my great-grandfather about 3 years to look up fluorine and discover he’d spelled it wrong when he named a daughter and he was a printer)

            1. Neil W says:

              It would be mid-eighteenth century so it’s quite possible that the first lord of the admiralty had a whole bunch of ships to name and asked his children and/or mistress for suggestions when he ran out of ideas.

    2. SlothfulCobra says:

      Bendak Starkiller.

    3. I disagree on the droids not being slender. Look at IG-88, the (ugh) Battle Droids, the torture droid in Jabba’s palace, the Imperial Probe droid (though the “slenderness” was more its arms), the WED Treadwell droid, etc.

      I think this came about due to the era when Star Wars was made, in that it was probably easier to make droids (that weren’t costumes) with skinny crane-like limbs that were (1) light and (2) easily moved by off-camera puppeteers. The few beefy droids we’ve seen were practically stationary props or were wheeled garbage cans like R2.

    4. Shamus says:

      I think you misunderstood the point of the exercise. It wasn’t to make a list of things WHICH MUST ALWAYS BE IN STAR WARS. It’s a list of notes to hit.

      I said robes when I meant capes, because I’m sartorially illiterate. Uncle Owen, all Sand People, Vader, Emperor, Lando, the trunk-nosed guy outside docking bay 94, Leia (at various times), and many others wore cloaks, robes, capes, or what-have-you.

      As others have pointed out: The Nounverber name is also present in “Starkiller”. Again, it’s just one of Lucas’ quirks that you can copy. “Rutkarn Larprunner” suddenly sounds vaguely star-warsian.

    5. Leia says:

      Also Biggs Darklighter.

  20. BruceR says:

    “Millennium” is not an adjective. That is all.

    1. Ledel says:

      It just happens to be a very rare metal we can’t find in our galaxy, but can be found far far away.

    2. Mike S. says:

      It’s English– if it’s used to modify a noun, it’s an adjective, just like we can verb any noun we care to.

      Besides, noun units of time taking on an adjectival role is standard: minute rice, hour hand, day labor, century plant, etc.

      1. Matt Downie says:

        Wouldn’t it be more efficient to refer to those as ‘adjective nouns’?

        1. Incunabulum says:

          The ship’s called ‘Adjective Noun Noun’?

        2. Syal says:

          …making a name longer is the opposite of being more efficient.

    3. True, but the “Millennial Falcon” would have a harder time in this depressed economy.

    4. MichaelGC says:

      It’s an attributive noun in a phrase like ‘Millennium Falcon’. Attributive nouns function as adjectives, so just saying ‘adjective birdname’ is a quick & easy shorthand, with the large advantage that it’s much clearer for those who haven’t encountered the phrase ‘attributive noun’.

      Although that said, ‘Millennium Falcon’ is not actually an attributive noun phrase, but rather a compound proper noun. As such, ‘Falcon’ in ‘Millennium Falcon’ isn’t really a noun, and neither is ‘Millennium’. This despite the fact that the ship itself can be (and often is) called just ‘the Falcon’, where ‘Falcon’ is also proper noun.

      Probably wise of Shamus not to get bogged down in all this! :D

  21. Spongioblast says:

    So who here farmed the child on the Ebon Hawk for dark side points?

  22. ehlijen says:

    An important thing Star Wars needs to have is odd, ubiquitous use of the z-axis.

    Whether it’s bridge officers literally walking above pits of computer clerks, corridors inexplicably sitting above floor height in the detention level only to lead down stairs into the cells again, whether you have moisture farmers live in holes in the ground or connect everything with walkways over pits…
    If a star wars character isn’t walking up or down ramps or stairs half the time, you’re doing it wrong.

    This is one of the areas where the excessive green screening of the prequels really hurt the star wars feel. The action scenes were mostly fine, because they did use three dimensional spaces, but the calm scenes rarely did and it felt boring to watch (besides all the plot issues).

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      The cells setup is so that if a prisoner tries to escape the guard standing in the corridor has the high ground.

      1. Lachlan the Mad says:

        And as we know, in Star Wars, the high ground is all-powerful.

        1. It didn’t do much for Darth Maul.

          1. djw says:

            His problem is that he was the mini-boss that had to be defeated to move on to the next level.

          2. Syal says:

            Darth Maul never stated he had the high ground, so the advantage was negated.

            1. He couldn’t say anything. The guy that dubbed in his voice had already done his two lines and couldn’t be called back to add combat-banter.

              1. MrGuy says:

                That is why you fail.

    2. Felblood says:

      Some more design edicts for making things look, star-warsey.

      Text that is written upside-down, backwards or vertically, even on screens with chairs in front of them, that are only usable while sitting in the chair. Being able to read mirror print while floating in zero gravity is such a part of Basic literacy that nobody thinks it’s weird, even if they themselves never leave their homeworld.

      The Basic alphabet has characters that can be easily distinguished even if you are unsure of their orientations. Pairings like U and C, , ‘ and ,, or even \ and / are unacceptable.

      Bold visuals with dynamic framing are a must. Find a way to break up any empty floor space, especially in the foreground of a shot. Anything that reminds you of a Three Camera Sitcom must die immediately. Bottomless pits with a bunch of distant details are a great way to add visual texture without actually blocking the audience’s line of sight, but never lose sight of the actual goal. If I see two people sitting at a normal table or on a couch looking at the camera over a coffee table, a member of the design team will be executed at random.

      Women’s costumes must be as fantastical as possible. They need to evoke classic pulp movies, adventure serials orsword and sorcery tales as often as possible. If you design a female character and her outfit wouldn’t be at home in Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Conan the Barbarian, or Amazon Women on the moon, half of it needs to be destroyed, and you should add some kind of flowing scarf.

      Haircuts should be practical, but seemingly foreign to American viewers. You can’t have something that will ruin the stunt choreography, but steal old unused styles from western Europe and Southeast Asia whenever you can. This goes double for women. Evil characters can just be bald instead.

      Computer screens display 3 color graphics at shockingly bad resolutions. For this reason everyone uses holograms, even though they only do monochrome. This is probably why people prefer robots that just tell them things.

      When in doubt, break the hyperdrive. A hyperdrive killed your parents or something.

      Explosions chain react all the time. Power converters and fuel cells are always stored just far enough apart that blowing one up causes several others to explode in sequence.

  23. Zombie says:

    Chris, Mandalor and Mandalorians are still a thing after all the KoTOR, KoTOR II and SWTOR stuff (The Bounty Hunter in their story-line actually becomes an honorary Mandalorian at the start of Act II), its just not as big a deal as it is in this point and time. In the old canon, before Disney wipped everything, it was Mandalorians who trained the Clone Commandos and ARC Troopers and all the other non rank-and-file clones during the Clone Wars, and they still become Bounty Hunters and stuff, but its not a big deal to be a Mandalorian. At least, that’s what I remember.

    1. Tuskin says:

      The mandalorians still exist in canon in clone wars, mandalore showed up as well

      With some still following the old warrior culture

      There was even a mural on mandalore depicting a battle between the Jedi and them

      1. Joe Informatico says:

        One of the characters in the new (canonical) Rebels series is a Mandalorian.

    2. Disney didn’t wipe the Mandalorian canon. Lucas did. If you’ll notice, there were no Mandalorians training anyone for the Clone Wars. If you say it happened in the cartoon, then the argument ensues about what tier of canon that is.

      1. Metal C0Mmander says:

        Jango Fett was the sole mandalorian who trained the clone army for Dooku under the guise of doing so for the republic and that comes from episode 2 itself.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          That dweeb was a mandalorian?How low they have sunk indeed.

          1. ehlijen says:

            Sunk from where? The only movie mandalorians are Jango and ‘Help my jetpack turned on by itself’ Boba.

            More to the point, the first mandalorian appearance was in the christmas special!

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              From back in the days when they were so strong they were opposing the whole galaxy.

      2. ? says:

        In the cartoon (which had some Lucas involvement so it’s higher canon than a book with no Lucas input) they don’t explicitly contradict idea of mando mercenaries training clones, but they show non-mandalorian bounty hunter training clones.

        1. Viktor says:

          The book basically had Jango Fett get hired to train the army, and he hired a bunch of mercenaries and bounty hunters to help him. Roughly half of the subcontractors he hired were Mandalorians. So it all fits together better than I expected it to.

  24. @Campster: Your mangled Twi’lek sounds oddly like Japanese. And I did not need to know what you get up to with dango while practicing your sword forms. Seriously.

    1. Neil W says:

      Campster’s pseudo-conlanging sounded almost Gungan. I could imagine that coming out of Jar Jar’s mouth.

    2. Felblood says:

      Am I the only one here who is bothered by the fact that Twi’Leks speak Huttesse, but it sounds comletely different from the kind of Huttesse that the Hutts speak.

      Hutt spoken Huttesse has more mispronounced English/Basic words sprinkled in. Jabba’s line in RotJ is particularly full of Easter eggs.

  25. Ledel says:

    15: Badass bounty hunter that inevitably doesn’t do anything.

    16: Evil government officials who are more concerned with evil acts than actually running any form of government

    1. Metal C0Mmander says:

      The evil government was more an original films thing. The prequel had more of an inefficient government because it was too busy with status and appearance to actually do anything else while the companies were doing everything they could to get more profits.

  26. Thomas says:

    Since Chris was asking about how Boba Fett fits in the timeline, it’s time for the ridiculous Wiki fact of the day:

    In the Mandalorian Wars, roughly 4000 years before the Original Trilogy, the second in command of the Mandalorians was Cassus Fett. I think his pistol is in KOTOR.

    Boba Fett is a direct descendant of Cassus Fett.

    1. Joe Informatico says:

      For the sake of comparison, imagine if any person living today could directly trace their lineage to someone who predated the Babylonian Emperor Hammurabi. That’s how long ago 4,000 years is.

      1. Metal C0Mmander says:

        Well maybe Fett just became a popular name in Mandalorian culture. Mind you I wouldn’t be suprised if Boba Fett was indeed a decandant since the expanded universe can be dumb like that sometimes.

        1. Thomas says:

          He’s canonically a direct descendant, it’s not just a shared name :p

          1. Lachlan the Mad says:

            You guys seem to have already forgotten that there was a Twi’lek named Fortuna in this game. Although at least he hasn’t yet been canonically declared to be a direct ancestor of Bib.

          2. djw says:

            Khan is a very common surname throughout Persia and South Asia, and there is a fair amount of genetic evidence to support the hypothesis that most people with that surname actually are decedents of Genghis Khan. If this Cassus Fett was a famous conqueror then maybe he also had legions of decedents.

            More generally, past a certain point, you can be almost 100% certain that everybody that had decedents is one of your ancestors… If you go backward in generations you double the number of ancestors each generation. 2**30 ~ 1 billion ancestors, which is many more people than lived on the planet 900 years ago. It gets even more ridiculous if you go back 60 generations (maybe 1800 years, depending on generation length) you have 10**18 ancestors, which is many orders of magnitude more people than have ever lived, and probably ever will.

            It must be the case that just about everybody is your ancestor. The interesting question is who is your ancestor more than once?

            So, the notion that Cassus Fett was Boba Fetts ancestor is perfectly legit. Mandalore, Canderous, Carth Onasi, Bastilla, and any other semi-human characters you meet are probably also his direct ancestors. Calling some ancient figure that had children your direct ancestor is kind of like calling the sky blue.

            1. MichaelGC says:

              Which of course also means we’re all related. Hey cuz! :D

        2. Couscous says:

          Wouldn’t insane numbers of people be descendants of him in all likelihood after so long?

      2. Felblood says:

        This is actually one of the few parts of the 4000 year timeskip that actually works for me.

        The Twi’lek culture is supposed to be a patriarchal clan structure, where males derive social status from their ancestors, and the rules of inheritance are insanely complex. (Females gain social status by getting the fuck off of this shithole planet, even if it means becoming a pirate, bounty hunter or “exotic dancer”.)

        Twi’lek males are supposed to live a couple hundred years if they can land a nice safe office job, and a wealthy clan lord is likely to have a harem. Put that together and you have a lot of potential heirs looking to maximize their tiny slice of a very large pie.

        Considering the potential losses one could suffer by being unable to prove their distant connection to a recently deceased clanlord, and the wide availability of resilient, easily-duplicated data storage devices, only a fool wouldn’t have backups of the copies of his great half-uncle’s family tree.

        We lose a lot of heritage data in our culture because preserving it is a lot of work and most people aren’t motivated to get around to it until Grandma Florence is already dead and nobody knows what to do with her grandmother’s old documents that she’s been keeping in a shoebox for 60 years. (I recently inherited a torn bag full of WWII letters home and 60 year old newspaper clippings. Thankfully, I know a trained anthropologist who used to work on old letters for the Jewish Heritage Museum, but how many people in my position don’t have the resources to preserve something like this?)

    2. AdamS says:

      Are we sure a starwars year is the same as a real year? Maybe it’s just, like, a few months or something. Hell, maybe it’s a week, and the whole starwars canon was just a really crazy decade.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Ha,I like that explanation.

      2. Thomas says:

        I too love this idea :p However I can’t pass up the opportunity to show just how obsessive the Star Wars continuity is

        A years is 368 days of 24 hours, derived from the orbit of Coruscant. There are 5 days in a week, 7 weeks in a month. The number of months in a year is controversial

        The Great ReSynchronization (sic) was “a 60 year long notation system that was established in 35 BBY by the Republic Measures & Standards Bureau to recalibrate the disparate dating systems. Later in 25 ABY, it was disbanded and reorganized by the New Republic into the GSC”

        The bureaucracy behind creating their dating system is established canon.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Really enjoying these postcards from Wikiland! :D

        2. Syal says:

          How can the number of months in a year possibly be in debate when the number of days in a month and the number of days in a year are both known quantities.

    3. On the other hand, given 4000 years and what appears to be highly developed and effective medical care, that’s potentially a lot of direct descendants.

      Which raises other problems of course; swarms of second and third cousins is probably not the kind of background Star Wars wants to give its badass bounty hunter, haha.

      1. Thomas says:

        Absolutely, but you can say that for lots of people on Earth with descendants right? But saying “In 3,000 years time there will be a brilliant hologram director called Sam Shakespeare, a direct descendent of William Shakespeare” – that still sounds nuts. Or “In 4000AD there’ll be an amazing general directly descended from Genghis Khan, called Bob Khan”.

        Maybe part of what makes it silly is just the Star Wars conceit that by the time 4,000 years rolls around, everything will be exactly the same up to and including everyone still having the same names. It’s crazy that a family would keep the same name father to son, father to son, for much much longer than the lifetime of civilisations but it’s just a trope of Star Wars that language drift isn’t a thing

        1. Felblood says:

          The really weird part is that not all of the writers followed the whole “technological stasis” conceit, and it leads to some really weird seams in the timeline.

          For example, it’s actually only 3940 years BBY, not a full 4000, because if we went that far back, we’d be stepping on the toes of the Tales of the Jedi series, where the Jedi order worked in a completely different way and the council hadn’t been established yet.

          Bioware chooses to ignore this fact as much as possible, expect for Jolee “The last sane man” Bindo, griping that back in his day we didn’t need no Jedi Council telling us what to do, and we liked it that way.

      2. djw says:

        Which is worse, swarms of second cousins or swarms of identical clones dressed like storm troopers?

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Swarms of stinging bees!

          1. djw says:

            Clones, not drones! Bees are probably worse than storm troopers though, since they usually hit what they are aiming at.

  27. Tuskin says:

    The sith warrior and sith inquisitor story lines in SWTOR are pretty great, choking and lightning during conversations

    Also Not-Yoda here voices Yoda in productions where they can’t get Oz. like Clone Wars

    Interestingly enough they were able to get Frank Oz for the new series, Star Wars Rebels

    Also James Earl Jones

    1. guy says:

      One of the little touches I liked playing as Sith Inquisitor is that you got to open a lot of conversations by implicitly threatening to electrocute the questgiver if he ever took his opening disrespectful tone with you again. Then he’d say “Yes, my lord!” and politely describe whatever problem he was having. You can do all the quests without any backtalk.

      1. Metal C0Mmander says:

        Although the problem was that if you decided to kill someone your character would often start using the force to slowly and painfully kill your target which would get weird in some case.

        1. guy says:

          Honestly, if you didn’t want to kill people slowly and painfully with the force you should have clicked on the other faction icon.

          1. djw says:

            I guess we know Palpatine was a Sith Inquisitor, since he tortured Luke with lightning.

            My Juggernaut chokes everybody instead, just like Vader.

            1. Metal C0Mmander says:

              The conniving and subtle(well in star wars anyway) style of Sidious was pretty much the inspiration for the inquisitor class while the honorable demon style of Vader was the same for the Sith Warrior.

    1. McNutcase says:

      Lightsabre bat’leths. Oy vey.

    2. Felblood says:

      I am rolling my eyes so hard at this.

      –but 14 year old, past me woulds have thought this was awesome.

  28. Joe Informatico says:

    Single biome planets.

    Absolutely massive and improbable megafauna.

    The Wilhelm Scream.

    1. modus0 says:

      But the Wilhelm Scream isn’t ubiquitous to Star Wars. (It even happens twice in Return of the King!)

      Not like “May the Force be with you.”

  29. guy says:

    I remember way back reading an article about Jade Empire. It turns out they actually made a constructed language of some degree of sophistication for the old language in it. Not Tolkien levels of sophistication, and mostly Frankensteined together from actual east/southeast Asian languages, but respectably large.

    Then, for reasons of voice actor time, they recorded a relatively small number of lines with various emotions. Most of them were about cows.

    Angry: I’m going to burn all your cows!
    Sad: Bandits burned all my cows.

  30. SlothfulCobra says:

    There’s heroes flying by the seat of their pants, lots of technology and crazy junk in the background without grabbing the viewer and forcing them to sit through an explanation of how it works, the line, “I have a bad feeling about this,” and wipe transitions.

    But one of the most star warsy things there is, and the thing I’m absolutely certain that JJ Abrams is going to mess up, is greebling. That’s when you stick a bunch of various technological junk onto an otherwise smooth surface in order to make it more visually busy, It kind of goes hand in hand with the way that Star Wars presents all sorts of technology without explaining it. All the greebling makes it look like it actually is a mechanism rather than just a farce.

    And JJ Abrams clearly ain’t never greebled in his life. His version of the X-Wing looks more streamlined, the ball droid is all smooth instead of being covered with bits and pieces and nonfunctional electrical sockets like R2-D2, and the sad panda stormtroopers are all smooth and round like an apple product. I hate it.

    1. ehlijen says:

      Sadly, JJ would be following Lucas’ directions in the prequels with that. Pretty much everything Nabooian is stupidly smooth rather than interesting.

      It was somewhat excusable as it was the art direction for one planet, and one not touched yet by years of civil war. But when even the fairytale planet diplomatic ship Tantive IV is all geebled up (yes, I know the EU says it’s made by the same people as the Falcon, but the movies only ever showed it in possession of alderaanians), then the smooth, shiny starfighters of Naboo look really out of place.

    2. Atarlost says:

      The greebling is outrageous. I fear that we are losing the art of the greeble.
      Can you spot the Executor’s monumental statue of a 20th century soldier?

      Sure, that’s more work with CGI, but how many of JJ Abrams’s ships are greebly enough to hide even the Stanford Teapot?

  31. Nidokoenig says:

    Regarding languages, named languages will be gibberish, but based on specific Earth language sounds, like Huttese being based on Quechua and Ewok on Tibetan, giving them a distinct enough flavour. Interestingly, Jawas are supposed to use pheromones to show emotional state, like the elephant dudes in Mass Effect. There’s a fair bit of species-specific language tricks, like Twi’lek apparently including tentacle signs in addition to speech.

    Apparently there was an effort to create a Mandalorian language, using a song from Republic Commando as a base, but it didn’t really go all that far. This is somewhat similar to how Klingon started, in the Motion Picture it was just gibberish, then they handed that off to Marc Okrand to make something more consistent. I have the impression that Klingon is a lot simpler than any one Tolkien language, but then he made languages for fun and then created a world for them to inhabit so that’s kind of a given.

  32. Neko says:

    Theme planets. Space is big, and we want to tell this epic tale across as much of it as possible, so it should be impossible to get all of the scenery on a single planet. We need desert planets, ice planets, forest planets. There’ll be a civilization planet with a single planet-wide city on it and the galactic government, but it would lower property values to also have agriculture and industry there so we’ll need like, a 7-11 planet nearby where we can go to get food and shit.

    1. Matt Downie says:

      Let’s make Coruscant a city-planet with a population of one trillion! I’m sure there will be no environmental consequences, or immediate mass starvation on an unimaginable scale if there’s ever any disruption of trade.

      By the way, we’re designating your nearby world as our sewer planet – apologies for any inconvenience.

      1. ? says:

        If you can make moon sized mobile space stations I think you can figure out how to recycle your crap and how to grow stuff in a greenhouse.We already have the technology to hydroponically grow crops in basically a warehouse with lettuce growing on dozens of shelves (with day/night cycle optimized for growth). Imagine what could you achieve with GMO if you could use antigravity so an oversized fruit does not break the branch it’s growing on with it’s weight.

    2. Classic says:

      Elsewhere I mentioned Star Wars has problems with time, but it also has problems with space. I find this latter problem less worth fixing on but both of Star Wars’ problems with scale or scope boil down to the fact that they’re stories written by and for people who can’t even have a sense of the scale or diversity of their own planet, let alone the barely-countable number that exist beyond it.

      I still kinda like this particular “feature” though.

  33. RCN says:

    I think that the greatest characteristic from Star Wars that KotOR really nailed was the concept that the galaxy is really, really small. Luke has an entire planet to crash land on and somehow almost lands right on top of Yoda. Every planet is exactly the same all over, even the local culture. There’s only half a dozen planets of any note in the entire galaxy (and, if that galactic map from the Ebon Hawk is to be believed, each of those planets are in a different corner of the galaxy, so crossing the entire galaxy is clearly no effort whatsoever and takes a couple of days at most).

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ive heard the luke thing explained as “the force was guiding him”,but for the rest,yeah the galaxy is quite small.

    2. Incunabulum says:

      I think this is probably *the* defining feature of Star Wars.

      From Luke and Leia being siblings, to Luke jumping a *single-seat with no facilities* fighter to Dagobah and then landing right on top of Yoda.

      To the prequels where we find Anakin built C-3PO. To Sonny-Jin being the one who discovers how to become a force ghost and teaches Yoda and Obi-wan. Oh, and Chewbacca knowing (and fighting alongside) Yoda.

      Then we get into the whole – major change of technological aesthetic and military philosophy in a decade and a half to a rebellion that changes the face of the galaxy by killing a single man – all of a sudden everybody’s throwing a party and not cowering in fear of the local apparatus of governance that kept them under the imperial heel (and which hasn’t suddenly gone away).

      1. djw says:

        The scene where Obi Wan Kenobi’s ghost taught him “force defecation meditation” during the ride to Dagobah was cut in final production.

    3. lurkey says:

      Not only the Galaxy is really small, there is no evolution whatsoever. Periods separated by 20000 years use the same technology and has in fashion the same silly hats. Behold the New Sith empire, the clone copy of the old Sith empire. It really makes the Galaxy feel like some backwater village.

    4. Jabrwock says:

      In the EU they explain that Yoda took advantage of the fog to use the Force to guide Luke to roughly where he wanted him to land. Otherwise he might have pancaked into the ground or a tree instead of splashing into the water.

      When you’re a Jedi Master and a former student’s ghost stops in to tell you a new recruit is on the way… you get out the Groucho Marx glasses and turn the landing lights off. When 900 years old you reach, entertainment is hard to come by.

  34. Matt Downie says:

    More things for a Star Wars feel:

    A space rogue who’s ultimately a good guy.

    A strong friendly humanoid alien who looks like a monster.

    Jedi/Sith with light-sabres – no matter how rare they are in the time period, there’s always at least a couple in the story so they can fight one another.

    Monarchist governments, and no-one seems to think that’s a bad idea. Around 50%
    of women are royalty.

    Casual use of technology that makes robots and cars float – but not used by normal people to fly around even though that’s the first thing most of us would want.

    Incredibly hi-tech weapons that don’t seem any more effective than 1940’s earth technology.

  35. 4th Dimension says:

    Lightsaber boxing gloves. Those are called power weapons in 40k, specifically power claws. You can cut tanks with those.

    “I need to fill a hole in my aching hearth”
    “Lady you need to fill a hole in your aching hearth lady you”
    * gets interupted *
    Ohhhh gooood.

  36. The “A long time ago…” text that lingers at the very start of a Star Wars movie/game, holding suspense for a few seconds until the Star Wars logo is shown and then the iconic opening crawl that it makes even the most cynical Star Wars fan squeal.

    Also the end of the opening crawl where the text fade into the horizon leaving only the stars and then panning down/to a planet or similar while the music transitions.

    Then there are the wipes/fades between scenes.

    Star Wars is “epic” in the way the camera work is done.

    I think these are all called “Star Wars Crawl”, “Star Wars Pan”, “Star Wars Wipes”.

    Just look at the KoTOR opening cinematic

  37. MrGuy says:

    Also, you’re doing Charlie Murphy a great disservice by comparing him to this knock-off Yoda numbskull.

    Charlie Murphy isn’t the world’s greatest actor, but he was a heck of a writer, and had that transcendent episode of Chapelle’s Show. As compared to knock-off Yoda, who has nothing going for him whatsoever.

    1. Shamus says:

      That’s fair. I’ve only seen the guy in one thing. (Some cop movie, probably one written for his brother.) I remember him having middling acting but tons of charisma.

      1. Warclam says:

        Wait, there actually is a Charlie Murphy? I thought that was a joke! I was going to say you guys should have called him Patty Murphy instead. Well, how about that.

        1. djw says:

          The linked video is worth watching, both for Charlie Murphy’s storytelling and for Dave Chappelle’s gloriously ridiculous rendition of Rick James.

          Charlie Murphy’s story about playing Basketball with Prince is also very good, especially since it features Dave Chappelle as Prince.

          How is it that people don’t know about the Chappelle Show? Was it really that long ago?

  38. Corsair says:

    The most important thing to remember to get Star Wars right is this if you ask me: Star Wars is not Science Fiction. It doesn’t want to be, it just likes to pretend to be. What it actually is depends on what scene you’re watching – sometimes it’s a World War II commando movie, sometimes it’s got a bit of Gangster flick, sometimes it’s a Kurosawa Samurai movie or a spaghetti western. It’s almost Frankenstein-like, really, taking ideas and images from completely unrelated source material and draping Space Adventure over it, and when its done properly it’s seamless stitchwork.

    One of the things that really confounds me about the Original Trilogy – they did that so much, -especially- in A New Hope, and it doesn’t make it seem disjointed – quite the opposite, it makes the world feel more real, more full. Then again, I have glasses so rose-tinted about the original trilogy that it’s a wonder I don’t use them as romantic gestures.

    1. Metal C0Mmander says:

      George Lucas did try to do that in the prequels too. And while he messed up there at least I appreciate the effort.

  39. James says:

    Ona Deena donga goro mora wookie nipple pinchy

  40. Jabrwock says:

    “Ships should be really lumpy.” Although it works when you think about it. Why should a space-bound ship worry about aerodynamics? Some fighters and ships are clearly designed to enter atmosphere, (mostly fighters) and they have streamlining.

    “Only fascists mop the floor.” One thing you’re likely not going to have a lot of in space is water to waste on things like over-polishing the floor. I saw it more as a demonstration of waste. It’s also an indication of whether your ship lands or not, if you’re tracking in dirt your ship will be dirty. A Star Destroyer likely has a mudroom for planetside troops to debark and clean up.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      He wasnt talking just about ships though with the whole dirty floors part.

      1. Jabrwock says:

        Even on the ground, you’re going to get scuffing. Ever been in a building with a shiny floor? Bet it was because someone just came by with the buffer. School floors are super shiny in the morning, but by first bell the floor is dull and there’s bits of wrappers and other garbage.

  41. Syal says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Star Wars, but I think ‘head-shaped hair’ is a thing. Like, Luke and Leia had the longest hair and it was only down to their ears or so. Lots of bald droids, bald aliens, helmets that shine and mimic baldness. Only bad guys wear hats that show their hair, and they aren’t the cool bad guys. It’s all very efficient, and if it’s styled it’s styled to shape to the person’s head.

    1. Corsair says:

      I think we can safely exclude bad haircuts from the list of Necessary Star Wars things.

    2. 70’s hair is a big part of star wars. Lots of guys with parts down the middle and feathering on the sides.

      Also, porn ‘staches. Biggs and a few of the other X-Wing pilots had them.

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