This is a piece I wrote a few years back, about a Star Wars academy opening in Romania. I reprint it here, in honour of the Disney buy-out of Lucas Films, and more-so in honour of the hilarious keening and caterwauling of Star Wars fans.
It’s a few years old, but the abuse of these woeful movies is as fresh as ever… 🙂
You’d think they’d have better things to be worrying about in Romania – like sorting out a struggling post-communist economy, chopping off those horrible mullets they still have, and press-ganging a thousand prepubescent girls into gymnastics boot-camp to ensure a higher medals tally in future Olympics – but apparently they do not.
I say this because news has reached me that a Star Wars academy has opened in this proud home of Dracula, Nicolae Ceausescu and that guy who plays as striker for Chelsea. This fantastically useless institution will teach devotees/nutters about the religion of Jedi and how to use the light sabre.
This is insanely stupid on a number of levels; primarily, the fact that “Jedi” is not a religion, but a rip-off of various other fictional philosophies and cultures, particularly the Rangers in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In fact, the very notion that someone could consider this simple-minded hotchpotch of extant myths and fairy stories to be in the same ballpark as Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism or whatever, beggars belief (pun most definitely intended), and I’m not even religious myself.
Heads up, nerds: “religion” generally denotes a millennia-old system of theology, philosophy, thought and debate. “Jedi”, on the other hand, can basically be summarised thus: “There is good and bad in the universe”. Ooh, deep.
Moving swiftly on, one feels obliged to point out that light sabres do not, in the accepted sense, actually exist. They’re just clever special effects put together by a small army of computer geeks toiling under the whip of George “Dark Lord” Lucas in his underground complex somewhere in the great American west. You cannot, self-evidently, learn to “use” something which isn’t real.
I mean, you might as well try to drive Marty McFly’s time-travelling DeLorean, chuck some Krypton to hobble that prissy git Superman, or take a thrilling but ultimately doomed ride aboard one of Wile E Coyote’s roadrunner-chasing rockets. Just can’t be done. Unfortunately, in the case of that Wile E Coyote rocket.
The Jedi Academy also aims to teach students how to speak in Wookiee. Now, I haven’t a goddamn clue what the hell a Wookiee is, but a quick trawl of that new-fangled information superweb tells me that they are “shaggy giants” from the planet “Kashyyyk” who, “during the time of the Galactic Republic”, were represented in the Galactic Senate by…
Yes. I think we can leave it there, safe in the knowledge that speaking the language of a bunch of ridiculous, overgrown Fraggles is about as useful as…well, as trying to fight with a non-existent neon sword.
According to King Nerd Adrian Pavel, who runs Romania’s Star Wars Club, one earns entry into the academy by completing a 100-question quiz that covers (and I’m quoting here) “even the darkest aspects of the Star Wars phenomenon”. What, dark aspects like the fact that all the films are so rubbish, you mean?
The quiz must be finished within 24 hours, which I think is putting on undue pressure. I mean, when you have to remember which Flesh-Eating Monstron from the quadrant Zovirax VII was responsible for the destruction of Emperor Blofeld’s Laseroid of Doom, sometimes you need a little time to think about these things. *
Ah, no, I’m being unfair. Star Bores – sorry, Wars – was a fine kiddies’ entertainment, with some memorable characters like Dart Invader, Princess What-do-you-call-her, and Indiana Jones. It was also a groundbreaking series in cinema history, paving the way for others to follow in such important areas as special effects, cutesy creatures, voracious merchandising tie-ins, and simplifying everything to the nth degree for your moronic audience.
And if nothing else, at least the popularity of Star Wars encouraged studios to invest in other science-fiction projects, thus making it possibility for the world to enjoy top-drawer fare like Battlestar Galactica, Space Precinct and the classic I Was a Cross-Dressing Teenage Werewolf Killer From Outer Space 2.
So it probably doesn’t deserve the abuse hurled on it by, uh, hurlers on the ditch like me. But it’s still fun to laugh at the sort of deluded saddos who publicly admit to the fact that they “dress like Jedis” (hold on to that light sabre, pal, you might need it to defend yourself from the inevitable beatings).
Or the hilarious coup de grace that the academy also offers “special modules for true devotees” in – wait for it – preparing some of the dishes seen in the Star Wars films. Forget about wanting to emulate brave, heroic stars of the screen like cowboys, secret agents, Terminators or Danny de Vito: apparently, cookin’ up a storm in the kitchen is where it’s all at now.
May the Force be with you; and if not, you can always order some take-away.
* The answer is none, ‘cause I just made that up.
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