NED Talk: What if we got stormtroopers all wrong?

“You shoot the handsome guy!” “No, you!”

We’ve always joked about what terrible shots the stormtroopers in Star Wars are. In all of the original series movies combined, they manage to hit

  • A hallway of rebel soldiers.
  • One surly dirt farmer.
  • His blue milk-slinging wife.
  • The shoulder of one weird advocate for representational government who also has everyone call her princess.
  • One or two Ewoks

So, what gives? Are full-face helmets a bad choice in a gunfight? I refuse to think so.

But, take into consideration that, under stress, some soldiers tend to fire high, above the enemy’s heads. Especially draftees. (There’s no evidence that stormtroopers are drafted, but it’s an awfully big galaxy to police/civil war in, so it’s certainly plausible to assume conscription happens.)

Is it possible that, unwilling to kill farm boys and girls in fabulous up-dos, stormtroopers missed on purpose?

But, you may ask (g’on, I dare ya), what about those examples in the opening paragraph? Exceptions that prove the rule.

The crew of the Tantive IV, Owen, and Beru had the misfortune of running into Vader’s personal troops on a really bad day to intentionally not kill rebels. Vader’s right there, breathing in their ears, and super pissed that he’s on point to save a battle station he doesn’t even care for. Given the narrow space quarters above and guff they most likely took from Owen below, those were kill or be killed situations. Morals don’t apply there. And, as a metaphor for her entire life and marriage, Beru was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Leia’s shoulder on Endor? Probably an accident. Stormtroopers’ shooting is like jazz: you judge it by all the targets they don’t hit.

The couple of Ewoks? Maybe accidents. But you look into those dead yellow eyes and see if you can find a humanity worth preserving.

Dead, lifeless eyes. Like a doll’s.

So, in a way, aren’t the stormtroopers sort of heroes?

And before you answer that, consider how many get indiscriminately mowed down by space wizards, the aristocracy, pirates, and Chuckie dolls wearing teddy bear skins.

Maybe those masks were a bad choice, because nobody even cares when the people behind them are eaten. Even after they laid down their lives rather than shoot Princess Patty Hearst.

Yeah, keep eating and dancing, fly boy.

So, thank you to the men and women of the 501st. May your cod pieces never chafe.

Your Week in Seriously Times: Feb. 26 – Mar. 3, 2012

Legos, Jesus fish, the Goddamn Bat Flu, Lent, Nazis, and T. Rexes — if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear this week was life trying to outdo all the crap that won Oscars on Sunday. Here’s the recap:

  • One Japanese astronaut is trying to turn the International Space Station into one of those Russian nesting dolls. Much like Putin’s pre-planned election results, it just seems like the Ruskies aren’t even trying to be devious any more. (Feb. 27, 2012)
  • Even in the earliest days of Christianity, they couldn’t help advertising their faith on the most expensive thing they owned. (Feb. 28, 2012)
  • ♬ Dunna-nunna-nunna-nunna, dunna-nunna-nunna-nunna BAT FLU!(Feb. 29, 2012)
  • Take it from Snee: Lent is a valuable time to explore your own faith and connect with God in a meaningful way … but, what if we got to apply it to others? (Feb. 29, 2012)
  • Just in case you were worried things were getting better, we found some racists either wielding authority or seeking it in the U.S. Now, don’t you feel better? (Mar. 1, 2012)

Sharing Lent with Others

If you’re of the Catholic persuasion, then you know that we are one week deep into Lent.

For everyone else: every year, shortly after Valentine’s Day, the Almighty decides that he’s tired of putting in all the work into this relationship — including that freaky four-way with his son and a ghost we asked for. After Mardis Gras, God sobers up and turns into the princess from A Knight’s Tale and asks us to prove our love by giving up something we love for 40 days.

I, for instance, gave up the slide whistle this year, which means 40 days of stern erections: a price my wife will just have to pay. In prior years, I’ve given up monologuing in the shower, checking my tissues for productive noseblowings and Chalupas because

  1. It has to be something difficult to live without. (I ate nothing but Gorditos in 1998 to keep to my non-Chalupa agreement.)
  2. It can’t be a repeat.

But, you don’t have to be Catholic to participate. In fact, Muslims have their own version, Ramadan, while Evangelical Protestants swear off of gay sex for their entire lives — which often leads to failure for extending it beyond the Lent season.

It is in this Christian spirit that I’ve prescribed some Lent suggestions to others. Who knows? Maybe it will change their lives permanently for the better.

Who got Lent recommendations, and for what? Read the rest at either: