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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

curated: is almost everyone in the ‘Star Wars’ galaxy illiterate?


posted in:
easter eggs

  • Bluejay

    I remember reading that a few years back. It’s a fascinating theory, but I think it’s more likely due to Lucas’ sloppy world-building.

    There was a Twitter thread awhile back, regarding the show Into the Badlands, about how you would need a huge agrarian society to support the large leather-clad warrior class that you see on the show; but all you ever see are the warriors in empty fields, never a farmer or rancher in sight. The showrunners just wanted the cool visuals without thinking through the kind of society that would be required to make those visuals possible.

    I suspect the same is true of Lucas. People in Star Wars communicate via holograms because that’s cooler to see than text messages, but they’re conveniently able to read whenever something needs to be read. I doubt that he thought through the implications of a highly technological society resulting in high-functioning illiteracy. So theories like this — which I do think are fun — are also interesting as commentaries on the creator’s own imaginative failures or blind spots. (See also: Did Inadequate Women’s Healthcare Destroy Star Wars’ Old Republic?)

  • LaSargenta

    About sloppy world building…I’ll have to rummage through my books at home, but, iirc, LeGuin wrote a wonderful little story about some visitors on a planet with an astoundingly dull and static society until people get too old to be ‘desirable’ and then all the interesting things about culture and language get developed by the old people, but not really passed to the younger who ignore the older ones. There’s a ‘god’ who appears finally; and it turns out he is the world-builder. A really sloppy one.

    I can’t remember the name.

  • RogerBW

    Does rather miss the point that AFAIR Lucas explicitly excluded paper from the design brief – just as he did the wheel.

  • Bluejay

    No wheels, unless there are wheels: the Jawas’ sandcrawler, the wheeled mouse droids on the Death Star, the wheels in R2D2’s “feet,” the wheeled transport cart in the rebels’ hangar, wheeled Tattooine “chariots” and giant-wheeled missile launchers in Attack of the Clones, etc.

    Like I said, sloppy world-building.

  • Danielm80

    One of the many things I love about Buffy the Vampire Slayer is that there are books everywhere. Reading can literally save the world. The books have terrifically scary, vaguely medieval illustrations, so that they communicate information visually. It also makes me a little envious of Giles’ book collection.

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