talk nerdy to me
This Saturday is Christmas Eve, and it also marks the one year anniversary of when I ran up to the one other super-nerd at work, my hair done up in Rey’s three loops, and gushed, “You’ve seen it, right?!?” “It” being The Force Awakens, and that super-nerd being my now-husband. Yes, it was on that fateful day that me reaching out to a shy nerd boy started a dialogue he’d been wanting to have with me since training me in a class 7 months prior, and showing our coworkers that we needed to get together. Give it up for Star Wars, helping nerds end their dry spells since 1977.
Also, since we were the only department to have to work during the holidays, we were allowed to have a Star Wars day on Christmas Eve. I don’t normally cosplay at corporate jobs, but like the husband has said since, my deviance always finds a way through, which is why he likes me.
So anyway, this post is full on nerd theory all about Rogue One, the latest movie. Of course we saw it opening night (Thursday first showing, none of that wait-until-Friday bullshit), and again Saturday morning. So we had time to digest it, see it again for more detail, and talk about it. I’ve been dying to post about this but wanted to give people time to see it for themselves before nerding out, but a week is long enough. If you still want to see it without spoilers, now’s a good time to leave. Bye! Come back after seeing it.
Spoilers from here on out:
This film was clearly about which people do sacrifice everything for a cause, and those who won’t. Jyn and her group did what they did because they had no other options. They had lived comfortless lives and had been in too many dark places in their lives to be able to just walk away from the final battle, even though she had previously shrugged off the Empire’s unchecked growth with “you don’t notice [the Imperial flags] if you keep your head down.” But her life had already been ruined by the Empire, and she grew up broken because of them. They all did. It was the rebel council, far removed from the real battles and safe in bunkers planets away, that had possessions and comfort to lose, who would not keep fighting. They had a choice: they could walk away and assimilate, if needed. Jyn and the rest could not, and would not.
If you think that’s not a parallel to rebellions happening right now, on our planet, in this galaxy, then I’d love some of your childish naïveté. Can I have some for Christmas?
Anyway, I mainly came here to do minute nerd talk about Jedha. We all got the original trilogy nod with the two thugs from Mos Eisley cantina, but what about Jedha? In The Force Awakens, Han Solo said that common speculation amongst Luke’s inner circle was that Luke had gone looking for the original Jedi temple. Wookiepedia says that the island where Rey found Luke was the ruins of the first Jedi temple on Ahch-To, but there is in fact debate over whether Ahch-To is home to the first temple. Certainly one of the oldest, but my theory is that the temple on Jedha where the kyber crystals were used to build lightsabers was actually the first temple. Jedha – Jedi. Pronunciations change over time, and spellings change due to oral traditions and people spelling phonetically when they don’t know proper spellings. (My 7 year old nephew makes Doctor Who comics in a Kindle app and scripts dialogue beyond his range, so I can tell you some things about phonetic spellings.) Trust me, I’m a linguistics nerd.
The Empire was intent on eradicating all traces of Jedis and their lore, and taking control of the original temple makes the most sense: it would be a mecca to those who still believe in the force and wanted to try and start a revival. Crush the origin, crush the faith. It’s also historically the first thing fascist regimes do when they take over a new land. Think back to the thousand year old temples we’ve seen destroyed in recent human history. And using the kyber crystals to make a giant death machine? Totally in line with the Empire’s spite and hatefulness towards the light side of the Force. Why else would someone like Chirrut spend his life on the outskirts of the temple at Jedha, chanting “I am one with the Force, the Force is with me”? There were no Jedis left to tell believers what was real and what was not, so Chirrut took what he could find: hanging around a defunct temple, doing a prayer-chant to the temple and heightening his senses by opening himself to his faith. I’ve seen some reviews that scoff at his physical abilities for being an untrained not-Jedi, but are y’all unaware that a person who’s lost one sense will have their others become more heightened to compensate? That’s a fact. That could, cynically, be the only real reason behind his skills, and his partner Baze just smiles and tolerates it because he loves Chirrut and supports this harmless obsession.
The Empire destroying the temple at Jedha would also neatly pave the way for Ahch-To becoming the oldest Jedi temple. Not the first, but the oldest, by the time Luke decides to embark on his quest. Destroying Jedha didn’t end the underground Jedi fanaticism, and clearly there are other places to obtain kyber crystals as Luke ended up starting his own Jedi school and training younglings til that Ben asshole acted up – but not before Ben got to the point where he chose his crystal and bonded with it. (I rightly called that he was torn between the dark and the light when he was bonding with his crystal, which is why it has that rough, crackling energy to it.) So there are still crystals to be found, and of course the Jedi continued to be urban legend after the destruction of Jedha, making this totally feasible.
I will say that I’m not familiar with the old EU (expanded universe). My husband read a lot and still clings to the Han Solo trilogy of books, but I never really got into that. Plus, none of that is canon. I have been reading up on the new EU series of books, but from what I’ve read so far, they only give crumbs for The Force Awakens, and are disappointingly short. Maybe Episode VIII will give more insight into all of this, because I really do think that creating Jedha for this film and the shot of the fallen, half-buried Jedi statue are all meant to be used in the future.
So anyway, you can tell that becoming unemployed this month has given me a lot of time to think about what’s really important in life, and what I want to do next. Making Jyn’s Imperial gunner costume is one of those things (see above). Catching up on my long list of costumes is another. I’ll also be making little things for my Etsy shop before too long, but in the meantime I’ve sold both the typewriters in stock this month! I have a Remington in the works but it needs restoration (which I’m doing myself because hi, I’m amazing), and we’re hosting Christmas this year, which means I’ve been cleaning like a motherfucker because I moved in with a guy who pays a mortgage on a house he never used and it hasn’t been properly cleaned since maybe the 70s? It’s a lot of work. I’ve also learned how to clean a flagstone fireplace.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my jerk cat has cabin fever because it’s raining today, so I have to cuddle her before she sits on my laptop and deletes everything.