Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Dear Libyan Rebels

Well fucking done to the lot of you; a sterling effort all round. However, I can't help but feel the urge to apologise on behalf of the Western world. I imagine you could've got the job done in half the time if Doc Brown hadn't ripped off your Plutonium.


PS - What the hell is a jigawatt?

Dear Geeks, George Lucas

Lemme axe you sumthin’. Have you ever noticed, while watching the Holy Trilogy for the 450th time, how totally ineffectual half the characters appear to be? For every Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan or Boba Fett who steps up and gets the job done, there seem to be a dozen wretched fools bumbling around the periphery, limping from one crisis to the next with all the sure-footed √©lan of a knackered Chicken Walker.

Frankly, when all the facts are in, this initial period of galactic turmoil might just be considered the most shambolic ‘revolution’ this side of the time my mate Steve decided he was going to overthrow the Coalition by knocking up a Facebook invite to a riot in Bangor (Steve is currently serving four years at Her Majesty’s pleasure after a worriedly rushed trial).

With this in mind, let’s ignore the ‘expanded universe’ for a moment – we simply can’t afford to get bogged down in back-story or speculative future endeavours when dealing with these dolts. No, indeed; going solely on the evidence presented in the original text, I hereby now present to you…


10) R5-D4 (A New Hope)

Notable only for providing a neat ‘what-if’ plot twist in the original movie - otherwise, utterly useless. Among what are no doubt innumerable other flaws, has a “bad motivator”. Make sure you keep the receipt.

9) CAPTAIN NEEDA (The Empire Strikes Back)

Who put this plummy Brit in charge of one of the Empire’s key battleships? The dubiously-ranked ‘Captain’ Needa (blatantly a political appointee to humour a more successful General father) is in command for all of about five minutes, and still manages to codge things up royally. I mean, a military officer who can’t fathom that a ship as small as the Falcon (which can’t possibly have a cloaking device) has parked itself on the arse-end of their massive cruiser? Unlucky to have been asked for an update on the pursuit at such an inopportune moment, but still - if I were Vader, I wouldn’t have bothered even listening to his apology. Sole redeeming feature an enjoyable pair of comedy nostrils.

8) GOLD 5 (A
New Hope)

Redundant Rebel Wally #1. Big on barking out short-sighted commands to “Stay on target”; not so hot when it comes to recognising that he might be being chased. “They came from… behind…!”? Well of course they fucking did – they’re hardly likely to be firing from bang in front of you, are they? According to ‘Yodapedia’, the character’s actual name was ‘Davish Krail’ – which is as wholly worthless a piece of information as you’re ever likely to be furnished with.

New Hope)

Redundant Rebel Wally #2. Big on being a fat fuck and insisting he can “hold it”; not so hot on not getting shot to shit as soon as it comes to the crunch. If it wasn’t the TIE-Fighters that got him, it would’ve been KFC which killed the beast.

6) WEDGE ANTILLES (A New Hope / Return of the Jedi)

Redundant Rebel Wally #3. The owner of more ‘Valued Competitor’ rosettes on his dressing table than any other character in the Star Wars universe, the thoroughly hapless and rather aptly-named ‘Wedge’ might just be the Rebel Alliance’s most prominent serial underachiever. He tries his best, bless him, but it’s a fair bet that he gets it royally ripped out of him whenever he’s drinking blue milk down the cantina with his buddies from Rogue Squadron for that time he had to pull out of the initial trench-run because he simply “couldn’t do any more good back there”. Manages to pick himself up for a successful second try in Jedi, but by this point it’s all a bit too much like a token inclusion because everyone feels sorry for him. Frankly, one gets the impression that he’s just a bit too nice for all this aerial combat malarkey anyhow.

“Where were you when they blew up the first Death Star, Daddy?”

“I was, ah… well, what you have to understand, son, is that it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part...”

5) EVERY STORMTROOPER EVER (all three films)

Seriously, who’s in charge of their training programme? Were they all roped in from former Polytechnics with E/E/F entry requirements? Throughout the entire three films, Vader’s army of white-hatted henchmen make the Keystone Cops look like a crack team of Navy SEALs. They trek around in large groups but never seem to actually go anywhere, completely fail to spot the droids they’re looking for even before getting bamboozled by an old biffer in a hood (were they not issued with CCTV images?), smack their heads on blast-door entrances, and apparently can’t hit anything unless their weapons are set for ‘stun’. I realise they probably “can’t see a thing in this helmet”, but come on now – even the cast of Police Academy were more efficient than this.

“TK-421, why aren’t you at your post?” Let’s face it, he probably doesn’t even know where his fucking post is.


Granted, they’re a cool-looking bunch of bastards, and provided Kenner with a great excuse to get stuck in and sculpt their way to a small fortune in natty collectables. But as far as their own job performance goes, the Bounty Hunters really are found to be sorely lacking. I mean, these are supposed to be professionals, for fuck’s sake, and not one of them seems to even get close to the Falcon. Even Captain Needa caught a swizz of it at one stage. How hard can it be? Dengar, Bossk, IG-88, Zuckuss and the rest, hang your heads in shame; I bet half of them are still out there looking for Solo, merrily oblivious to the fact that an entire Death Star has come and gone in the interim. As it turned out, Admiral Piett was right: the Empire quite literally “didn’t need that scum”. If this were a task on The Apprentice, one suspects that Sir Alan would’ve fired the lot of them.

3) NIEN NUNB (Return of the Jedi)

What is he supposed to be, a hotshot pilot of some sort? Because the only discernible qualities I’ve ever seen exhibited by Lando Calrissian’s cockpit buddy are having fanny lips, a dead-eyed fish mug and looking a bit surprised once in a while. Even in the toy world, he was utterly superfluous – the plastic equivalent of that infuriating Panini football sticker you seemed to get in every packet and no-one wanted to swap (usually a third-rate Spurs defender like Pat Van Den Hauwe or Gudni Bergsson), Nien Nunb was the sort of action figure that even girls who weren’t even into Star Wars seemed to have stashed away amongst their Sylvanian Families. Still to this day I’ve got three of the bastard and can’t get rid of them for love nor money.

2) ADMIRAL OZZEL (The Empire Strikes Back)

As clumsy as he is stupid. Refuses to acknowledge a fairly transparent lead from an imperial probe droid on Hoth; gets lippy with Vader when called on the error; and then, to top it all, comes out of lightspeed too close to the system and alerts the Rebels to their presence. Poor form, sir; poor form indeed.

1) DACK (The Empire Strikes Back)

The ultimate Redundant Rebel Wally, neatly summarised here. Ill-prepared, inept, all talk and precious little action - in many respects, Dack is the embodiment of the expendable unknown soldier. If Hoth were Vietnam, Dack would be the fresh-faced young recruit who’d signed up voluntarily, makes all the grim-faced veterans laugh with his misguided ideals, then proceeds to get torn to pieces the moment he lands in the jungle. For someone who claims to feel like he could “take on the whole Empire by himself”, Dack displays a quite incredible lack of evidence to back up his bravado. Can’t get his approach vector set, develops a malfunction in fire control, fails to get a shot off with his harpoon and tow cable, then gets lasered into oblivion - all within the course of just three minutes of screen time. No wonder the Empire struck back – with chumps like this onboard, the Rebel Alliance needed to do some serious regrouping before coming back for another pop.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Still, I suppose none of them were Jar Jar fucking Binks or young Anakin’s token Asian mate.


Props to Natalie Stone for the Ozzel gag.