Thursday, March 30, 2017

From the Archives: "Canon" Things I Choose to Ignore

This post originally appeared HERE on March 12, 2012

Han's hand is being very sneaky while Leia isn't looking...

We all have them. There are things that George has added to "enhance" the Star Wars universe to make it "better" except to most of us they do the exact opposite so we choose to completely ignore their existence. I find it funny how riled up we get when he changes things and makes them wrong, especially since as I've said before, this is a fantasy world and we can really all believe whatever we choose to believe. Most of these things are from the prequels and the books but some are definitely from changes he has made to the original trilogy. There is nothing in the original original trilogy that I do not see as absolute truth. But now a list of things I refuse to believe ever happened/existed:

1. Han not shooting first. We know he did. Obi Wan is allowed to chop a guy's arm off after a little shoving match but Han can't blast Greedo before he knows he's about to be blown away? It's been said before and I'll say it again: Han shot first.

2. Midichlorians. Even in my first, naively hopeful viewing of Episode I, I came awfully close to audibly groaning at the thought that you could measure Force sensitivity by some sort of micro-organisms floating around in your blood that some people have and some people don't. It should be mysterious and undetectable, just an innate ability. Not any additional crap in your blood stream. So to me, they do not exist.

3. Luke and Leia's mother died in childbirth because she "lost the will to live." Sure, Leia totally got her incredible strength from a woman who gives up and lets herself die for no reason just because a man left her, even though she now has two children. I'd be fine if she had died in childbirth of actual medical complications, but this is ridiculous. Although to be honest I still can't decide if I like the childbirth thing better or the idea that Leia actually does remember her a little, and her dying.

4. Bria. Nope. She never existed. Han had some women, you know he did. But in my own head he was never even close to being in love before he met Leia.

5. Anakin and Jacen's deaths. Han and Leia's children live long, long lives and they don't have to witness anything but their weddings, children, triumphs, etc.

6. To go along with the above, Jacen turning to the dark side. He instead grows up to be a pretty decent guy.

7. Almost anything that has to do with COPL. Han and Leia do not wait four years to get married. No prince shows up, Leia doesn't almost fall in love with someone else or treat Han like crap. Just... no.

8. Han and Leia not raising their own kids. I'm not going to get into a debate here about how many kids they have, whether it's twins, whether Leia would name one Anakin because for whatever reason those particular facts don't bother me like they bother a lot of other people. But, whatever children they have, they make every effort to be parents to without having someone else raise them.

9. Similar to #8, sending their children off to some remote planet for the first two years of their lives. That's just insanity.

10. Ewoks blinking.

11. Darth Vader screaming, "Nooooooo!!!!!" He does not do that ever, in any of the movies, for any reason.

12. Leia totally immersing herself in work and ignoring her family. She works, sure, but she has plenty of time to be a wife and mother.

13. Han and Leia spending most of their time apart. In my eyes, they actually spend the majority of their time together after marriage. And before, really.

14. Luke falling in love with a woman inside a computer.

15. Mara getting killed. I know, why should I care? But come on, as much as Han and Leia didn't deserve for their children to get killed, Luke didn't deserve to lose his wife, either.

16. Luke and Leia's parents having a ridiculously cheesy "romance" and spouting off nauseating lines to each other such as, "Your beauty is intoxicating." Yuck.

17. The existence of Jar Jar Binks.

18. Qui Gon Jinn teaching Obi Wan. Seriously, didn't Yoda say he taught Obi Wan? Why did all of these things get changed?

19. Chewie's death.

20. Anything else bad that happens to any of them.

Please add on if you see fit to do so. I'm sure there are more things that we all like to think never "actually" happened.

2017 notes:

Obviously there are FAR too many things that are now "canon" that I am choosing to ignore, I think it would take up too much time for me to type them all up.


  1. Okay, I haven't even read the whole list yet, but I had to say this. Numbers 5 and 6. I get that a lot of people here hate those two, but- honestly- okay, how do I say this? It didn't make me HAPPY, but I did enjoy it. A lot. Of course, Anakin and Jacen's deaths made me sad. They're supposed to. It makes a story. What would it mean to anyone if the mother ryn featured in BP died? Absolutely nothing. The YVH war had to reach a point where things got personal. Before then, every war had just been another tedious conflict interrupting Han, Leia, and Luke's lives in the SW galaxy. Oh, look. Another species is being targeted for genocide. Oh, look. The OT defeated them. There was a point int he EU when the authors had to be telling each other that more had to happen. Something had to happen to make the timeline worthwhile. And Anakin's death, Jacen's, Mara's, they all did just that. It caused conflict, struggle. It brought Han and Leia closer. It changed Jaina and set her on her own story apart from her parents. It changed Tahiri and set up her dark future. Of course, I wish Anakin could have survived, married Tahiri while still a teenager, take over the Order, and do everything his family had such hopes for him doing. But that didn't happen. He died and I think that Han, Leia, and Luke hopes for him were a huge part of what made it even worse for readers. Because Anakin had such a bright future and there was so much that probably would have happened, but didn't because he's dead.

    Yes, Han and Leia suffer because both of their sons die, but Anakin's death gives more reason to the war for the Solos (and talk about moving speeches!). Also, there's a sad sort of irony in Jacen's turn since Tatooine Ghost was published and I really like how Denning did that. Especially when you think of Jacen's character and his change over time, his whole story. Of the three Solo children, Jacen would seem the least likely to head down that path.

    Also, 8 and 9 I have a similar case for. It doesn't make me happy, but I like the story lines and how that was dealt with later on in the series.

    1. See, for me it just didn't do any of the things they wanted it to do. I guess it is again, one of the things that goes along with fairy tales. There are certain characters that you just aren't allowed to kill off. And even though in the books, dealing with those things brought Han and Leia closer together, I think in reality it probably wouldn't have been so easy. I don't have any children, and of course then haven't lost any children, but from what I understand, that is pretty much the most horrible thing that can happen to a person. So to expect that Han and Leia would lose not just one, but BOTH of their sons and still be able to carry on as they did might be a little unreasonable. Not that I'd have expected them to break up or anything, just that when you REALLY think about all those cute scenes that happen between them after, would those have really happened? I mean I'm sure they would still have loved each other to the end, but the underlying grief and sadness that would have been present for the rest of their lives would've been devastating.

      And I think too it doesn't make sense to kill off characters, like Anakin, who had a bright future and all of this potential. Because really, what for? It just causes everyone pain. We can compare this to Obi Wan's death in the OT. The thing about that was, his story was done. He set Luke down the path he needed to go on, he really had no future to look forward to, so his death is sort of satisfying in a way, especially because then he could always be there for Luke.

      So you mention 8 and 9, and that's why I have problems with comparing Obi Wan's death to Han's death. JJ said specifically that one of the reasons Han's death is such a huge blow is BECAUSE he would've reconciled with Leia and things could've gotten better. That doesn't make sense to me. And his death did not aid anyone's escape, it didn't really do much of anything except give Rey a ship to take to find Luke.

      I get the idea that giving your readers an emotional response is important for stories, but in this case much of it felt just plain sad for the sake of being sad. And I could be in the minority but for me reading the EU was far more about enjoying the characters I loved than anything about the bigger picture or any kind of big story arc. I just want to read about Han and Leia and Luke doing some different things, dealing with different situations now as a married couple with kids to go along with everything else. There were other ways to add to the drama. I mean, in the NJO wasn't Jacen captured and missing for a very long time? I don't know, in Anakin's case especially, because he died so young it was as though they made Han and Leia have this third kid just so he could die later and there would still be two left. I know that isn't true because they didn't decide to kill him until later, but like I said, that's just what it felt like because he was barely given a chance to really DO anything.

      And lastly, how much can you put one poor woman through? Her planet is destroyed in front of her and she loses everyone she loved, she finds out her father is Darth Vader, and later on you're going to take away two of her three kids? Sure, she still gets to be married to Han but even I'm not naive enough to think that being married to Han Solo is going to make all that other stuff ok and leave you anything but a completely broken person. I think she suffered enough, and I think the end of ROTJ should be the end point of any more TRUE suffering for those characters.

      Just an opinion, though.

    2. As the rest of the Myrkr team was leaving Myrkr (after Anakin died), the team was separated and Jacen was left behind on the planet. That was the beginning of his time as being missing.

      I get what you're saying about it being a "bit" too much tragedy and, honestly, I agree- though, I still "enjoy" these parts of NJO and LOTF. I'm thinking about what you said and I think it would have been enough if they'd just turned Jacen, but kept Anakin alive and well. Actually, I think that would have been interesting- if Jaina and Anakin were both alive to watch Jacen's turn.

      I don't know who else is aware of this, but I learned a while ago that Troy Denning didn't want to kill both brothers. Also, with the LOTF series being as dark and gloomy as it was, he wanted to end Invincible with reviving Anakin. I really, really, really, REALLY wish he'd been allowed to do this. I actually started a fanfic about it. ... That's one I want to go back and finish.

    3. I agree, I think I could've been more forgiving about the whole thing if they'd only gotten rid of one of them, maybe had Anakin live and then follow Jacen's turn. Although I still never 100% got what the point of Jacen turning was, when in the end he just carried out endless destruction and then Jaina had to kill him. Let's remember that Jaina also didn't seem to suffer much lingering trauma from having to do that, either. There weren't any hints of him wanting to go back to the light, to his family. I think it was sort of interesting how they did have him convincing himself that what he was doing WAS right, but still. Having Han thinking back to when he was a baby and wishing he'd dropped his own son out the window was, well, way too dark for me. But then I guess having him cause all that destruction and death and having him turn back and be redeemed wouldn't have made sense either, because how do you truly come back from that? I guess at least in the same way Vader did, one last moment of turning to the light, but still dying in the end.

      I don't think I knew that about bringing Anakin back, that would've made me very happy. I remember the whole flow-walking thing was really interesting and I thought maybe they would somehow use that to bring him back and that would've made me excited too. But of course that didn't happen.

      I think they just killed too many people. If you think of the core characters in NJO being Han, Leia, Luke, Mara, Chewie, Jacen, Jaina, Anakin and Ben, you killed off 4 out of 9 of them. That's kind of a lot. And while I kind of get the thing where maybe it's less "interesting" if we never believe our favorite characters are ever truly in danger because they always survive, when you kill off nearly half of them it starts to feel more like, ok, maybe we need to stop being attached to these people because they're just going to get rid of them one by one until none of them are left.

      Would love to read a fanfic about Anakin coming back! I will say that overall I liked NJO and enjoyed a lot of it. LOTF was just so, so dark. I don't remember there being a whole lot to enjoy there.

    4. It's kind of confusing and I've read the explanation at least twenty times, but it would consist of Jacen/Caedus flow-walking.

      Okay, let's see if I can explain this. And this is just the best that I understand it. So, Jaina and Caedus are having their final battle against each other. Caedus realizes that Jaina is winning, so he tries to distract her by flow-walking back to the Myrkr mission, "touching" Anakin, taking his image, and appearing like Anakin to Jaina. This doesn't entirely work for him, though. He manages to reach Anakin, but- on accident- switches places with him. Jacen, "disguised" as Anakin, "dies" on Myrkr, but doesn't change anything that happens between then and Jaina's battle against Caedus. Back to the battle, Jaina realizes it's Anakin and- I think the word that was used was "resucitates"- him.

    5. I think that makes sense, or at least as much sense as a scenario like that could make. So then irredeemable Jacen dies, and Anakin gets to come back? That sounds like it would've been a fair trade, and would've also made me a lot more forgiving about the whole thing. I'm surprised I hadn't seen that anywhere before.

    6. You know the giant encyclopedia of every EU novel? I bought that. For each book, there are short facts about them after their summary. I learned that from the the facts from 'Invincible'. I am so obsessed with this idea, though. Every time I think about it, I get really angry this didn't happen, but also really excited and enthusiastic about it. I think it would have been really interesting to see how Han and Leia would deal with that- celebrating the return on one son while mourning the death of another. And Tahiri . . .

    7. It's really depressing that more often than not when we read about stuff they almost did but didn't, they didn't do the thing we would've liked and instead did something that sucked.

    8. Denning was always our friend, wasn't he? It was mentioned that this idea didn't make it past him suggesting it and that makes me so sad! It's such a brilliant idea and would have had so much potential. I think I would have enjoyed FOTJ (with all its weird Abeloth stuff) much more if Anakin was a part of it.

    9. I'm sorry. I get really excited. Seriously, I need to write this!

    10. It's ok, I can see why you are excited by it. Yes, Denning was great, I was never disappointed by a book of his. I mean even when they made him kill off Solos, I still enjoyed the books.

      FOTJ was 9 books that should've been maybe 3. It was long and drawn out and didn't seem to have any sort of clear cut goal the way the other two long series did. I mean, of course I enjoyed lots of cute Han and Leia moments but in general I spent a lot of time wondering what exactly they were going for over the course of most of those books.

    11. In complete honesty, Invincible and Star By Star are my favorite books! They're just written so well! My bookmarks page for both of them is really long!

      Out of FOTJ, I liked the Han/Leia/Allana time. I got really bored with the rest of it. Oh! Except for the Abyss scenes in the Lake of Apparitions.

    12. Han/Leia/Allana time was usually super cute. I loved that. But there probably should've been more to those books than just Han and Leia hanging out with their granddaughter, which is almost all I remember from those. Except I remember another book, where I don't think she was with them, and Han and Leia were like out in the jungle or something on some remote planet and Leia used her Jedi skills to save Han from a snake. I remember actually kind of liking Ben and Luke stuff, but I don't remember much specifics there.

    13. I didn't like that Luke was still key in the "actiony" stuff while Han and Leia had basically retired and were only useful for helping from their quarters while the Mandos had surrounded the Jedi Temple.

    14. By the way, if anyone's interested, it does talk about the reviving Anakin idea on Invincible's wookieepedia page, too. It's at the bottom under 'original outline'.

    15. Zyra, since we have had this conversation, I have finished rewriting nearly two whole chapters of that fic and I choose to blame you. Is that alright?

    16. Yes, I will accept full responsibility.

    17. Good, because I'm really proud of how the chapters are turning out and I'm not in the mood to take responsibility.

  2. #14 cracked me up. I remember that.

    1. Poor Luke, he really got the shaft on the love interests for a very long time.

    2. #7 and #14 were the one-two-punches that nearly knocked me out of the fandom, way back when. I mean, COPL was so ridiculous I actually threw my copy away (I don't throw books away, y'all). And Luke falling in love with a ghost of a woman in a computer was nowhere near as offensive as that! But I guess I was just at the point of "outgrowing" my obsession with all-things-SW (haha Or so I thought) and I didn't have a high tolerance for ridiculously contrived plot points or poor characterisations.

      Actually, Zyra, I agree with every single thing on your list, except for #10, which I don't understand....

    3. #10 is more of a joke. For the blu ray release, because George can't just release something without changing stuff AGAIN, they digitally went in and made the Ewoks blink. Which is like, the most pointless "fix" I can even think of. It's not that I mind, I just find it insane that someone somewhere actually said, "Hey, I think it would be better if we went in and digitally added it so the Ewoks blink." And then other people agreed that was a good idea, and then other people spent a lot of time and money actually going in and doing it. I don't actually really care if they blink or not, I'm just baffled by that whole process.

    4. Wait. What? Ewoks blink now? wow... ok, that's funny.

  3. Wholeheartedly agree with the midichlorians. Not only was the explanation unnecessary, it also raises some pretty uncomfortable ideas if you think about it too much. Part of the mythos of the OT is that you can achieve something amazing due to your character and determination, not your biology, which is so inspiring! Midichlorians completely undercuts that. And it takes it too far; if your biology isn't good enough (not enough midichlorians), you dont' stand of chance of being one of the cool kids (Jedi). And sure, the Jedi code says no relationships because it leads to attachments, but a darker read is that it could also delete the gene/midichlorian pool. Eugenics, anyone?.... or even more confusingly, how do you get biological thingies in your blood if they're not hereditary anyways? Do parents the galaxy over worry about their kids getting enough vitamins to increase/reduce their count?

    I often choose to ignore the part where Leia is also the leader of the New Republic. It just doesn't make sense for me. Yes, she was a leader and a politician, but by the end of ROTJ it looked like she was no longer in the inner-most circles. I'm cool with believing it stayed that way, so she could continue to lead while also having a life. When she's also The Leader of the NR, it's too convenient, too much like what JainaDurron7 said: "Oh look. Another [horrible tragedy of unbelievable proportion]. Oh look. The OT defeated [it]."

    1. *dilute* the gene pool. Not delete. And I'm not even on my phone. :D

  4. Interesting post... As the newbie and someone who is overall tired of authors overstepping themselves and trying to give the audience what they want but instead screwing up what they had previously done, my take on canon as far as SW is concerned is: only the OT and the PT are canon, because those are the stories Lucas, the original creator, came up with (even if they had modifications and benefitted from other people's input). The PT could obviously have done with a lot more other people's input, but they were still part of Lucas' original plans, while the ST is not following /his/ story, so to me, not canon-canon. But at the same time, the PT contradicts stuff in the OT, so.... ?? Anyway. I'll go for a looser version of canon here, so, some thoughts:

    - I honestly had never considered until now that midichlorians weren't already part of the mythology before Phantom, in other released media. I don't know if it's too much of a problem for me or too different from how the Force is depicted in the OT. If you have it, it can be stronger or weaker, more or less developed, and you can do something about it, but if you aren't strong at all in the Force, then there's no training to give you Force sensitivity. It doesn't mean you can't achieve great things; you just don't have that particular power. But yeah, it's hard to think about it, because if Jedi aren't supposed to have attachments, that means they can't procreate (officially). So it can't be hereditary. Is it more like a genetic mutation? I need some answers now.

    - Okay, don't hate me for this, but... Jaina has a point, and I think it applies to what they did with TFA et al. It's true that they could have used the OT characters differently and make them have an adventure together, but I don't know if it would have been profitable the way TFA has been or if it could have used Han, Luke and Leia as anything other than background props, only there for nostalgia. For them to be the protagonists, they needed to have something happen to them, something worth telling in the span of a movie trilogy. It doesn't make me happy, it could have been done better (without any murdering, for example), and I'm sure people could have come up with other alternatives, but to me, the ST is doing nothing more or less than what the EU did. Maybe Han didn't die, but two of their kids and Chewie did, and Han and Leia still split for a time. "Something had to happen to make the timeline worthwhile". I had no expectations for TFA because I wasn't a fan at the time, but I know that I wasn't excited about a sequel for Harry Potter because it already had a satisfying ending that allowed me to believe nothing wrong could ever happen to those characters ever again (except due bills and teen kids drama). I would be 100% down to have movies just about Han, Leia and Luke gallivanting together through the galaxy post-RotJ, in a series of movies or tv show like Rebels, but realistically, that doesn't make for a dramatic 40-years-later cinematic return. (ok you can all punch me now)

    - I also hate that Padmé died "because she lost the will to live". I believe in the theory that Palpatine sucked her lifeforce to make Anakin live.

    - I agree pretty much with all the things already said.

    1. More things I don't like:

      - the fact that every EU book (until Mara Jade happened) gave Luke a different love interest. I didn't buy into any of them

      - I like neither Han and Leia getting married four years after RotJ as a consequence of COPL in the EU nor their Endor marriage in Disney canon. Even less Leia getting pregnant so soon afterwards in the new 'verse.

      - As mentioned, the lack of consistency with Leia's characterization and some authors removing her sassy/playful side.

      - Leia calling Han "Slick" in the Shadows of Mindor book?? I just had to say that.

      - Han and Leia breaking up/separating/divorcing/dying of unnatural causes/cheating in any universe

      - Han being a trophy house husband and Leia being consumed by work // Leia staying behind and having an unsatisfying career and Han being an absent father/husband (not that it's REALLY happened, explicitely, on paper, but the implication is there...)

      - any of their children going dark, like ??? excuse me the fuck up?? get your drama elsewhere

      I think I have more stuff but I'm tired, so that's it for today (also good picture choice, Han looks like he's posing dramatically)

    2. I forgot to address this too. You mention the OT characters being "background props" and really, in a way, that's kind of what they should've been. As much as I hate to say it, Leia didn't really add much to this story. I mean I guess with her and Han, but that whole thing was zipped through SO quickly it might as well have not even been a plot point. Nothing about the movie would've been different if Han and Leia had been together. Han still could've been off doing something when he found Rey and Finn. And they could've had better conversations that felt more natural than all the lengthy exposition they were spouting.

      The point of these movies was to introduce new characters for us, NOT to have Han and Leia and Luke be the protagonists. At this point, that was necessary. 10 years ago maybe they could've pulled it off differently, but not now. So I still think that it was too much to try and VERY quickly kind of, sort of explain what happened with those guys while still trying to introduce us to these new people and give us their stories, too. I think you can either introduce new characters and have them be the important focus moving forward or you can bring back the old ones and have THEM be the central focus, but you can't have both. ANH didn't spend a bunch of time trying to fill us in on what Obi Wan had been doing for the last 20 years.

      I do agree it would've been cool to have some sort of series or something following Han and Leia and Luke post-ROTJ, and animated would've been cool, too. Actually I've said more than once that I actually would've been ok with a young Han Solo movie ONLY if they had made it animated. That way you miss the most offending part of the whole thing, that the actor is not a young Harrison Ford.

    3. Oh, I agree. Their stories in these sequels are only important as a means to propel the new characters. And everything the Cracked videos say... it's too much information that is /there/, but isn't /there/, so what's the point? But the OT characters are still protagonists in the sense that the new stories derive from them--the bad guy came from Han/Leia, the good girl might have, Luke's absence and return are a big deal. Simplifying things wouldn't have left us wondering so many things about what the hell happened during the past decades, which Abrams seems to think is IMPORTANT for a movie, to have us wondering. And I just don't know if Mark, Carrie, and especially Harrison would have agreed to do it if their roles had been merely for nostalgia, without them actually serving a purpose. Because, for example, we hate that Han died for several reasons and we could have done without that, but it's supposed to have served a purpose to the story they're trying to tell and I'm sure that's what appealed to Harrison, since he already had the idea of a Han death being meaningful. tl;tr, having the original characters back and using them like that was a business move, not a storytelling one, and that brings us back to the discussion of bad movie-making.

    4. Right when the movie was announced I kind of expected that Han might die. As it drew closer I felt a little differently and felt like, wait, you've got Harrison freaking Ford willing to do your movie and he still holds mass appeal and you're going to kill him in the first movie? BUT, when I had thought about it earlier, I felt like there could've been a way to do it and make it satisfying. And I still think that, but I think the way they did it absolutely did NOT do that. Basically when we found Han in that movie he was a loser with no future left really and the worst son in the universe. And there was no emotional resonance there because we had no clue about the true relationship for those characters, what they were like, how long it'd been since they'd seen each other. According to his son, Han was a lousy and disappointing dad, and if that's the case, then maybe he deserved what he got. But, again, because JJ seems to love "mystery" we have absolutely no idea. (and seriously, holding back all this information just to keep things somehow "interesting" adds nothing, only serves to be confusing, and usually doesn't actually have much of a payoff when they finally do reveal all this mysterious stuff)

      I think if they had given us these characters, maybe had Han and Leia have a son and daughter, one or both being Jedi, have them go on some big mission and before that we know that they all had a good relationship with each other, but then Han has to make some big sacrifice for his kids and/or Leia. I think that could've been satisfying, and it could've set his kid(s) on whatever their path might be to defeat the bad guys or whatever.

      My point is, there were other, BETTER ways to do it, and what they did sucked and was just plain deflating to the audience. I've heard from kids who were just like, sad that Han Solo died. I mentioned that my brother after we saw it the first time said he could barely pay attention to the rest of the movie. IF it had been done well, seeing him making a noble sacrifice, I think we'd all have been sad but wouldn't have felt so deflated because on top of Han being dead, before all that he was just a loser who abandoned his family and had the worst kid ever.

      I agree they needed to help propel things, but there were other ways to do it. So far Leia and Luke haven't served much purpose either, which is sad. I mean I know technically people were looking for Luke but that entire story line could've been omitted and it wouldn't have meant much.

    5. Ah, but we know what Jar Jar Abrams thinks of Han! Why would he bother to, like... give him a satisfying story that doesn't undo his OT arc if he gets to kill him anyway?

    6. Actually, from what I've read, George's plot was that Han and Leia had two kids, one Force user, one not, and they propelled the adventure. Han and Leia were still together, Senator and General, and were going to be supporting. That's what they signed up for - they signed before George sold, from what I've read.

      The problem is...okay, make Han the father of the villain - and then kill him in the first movie? It makes no sense. Han and Leia having a dark lord child, all three of them losing all their character development and then being ripped apart - okay, they may be using them as plot props - but then I don't care about Rey, Finn or Poe, I want to know what happened to Han, Luke and Leia. Because they're not any conception of who I knew them as. You could have put them into the movie, together or even at the far ends of the galaxy, and kept their relationships intact - except they wanted another dark Skywalker and what's the easy way to do that? Make him have bad parents!

      It's easy to make all of TFA - even searching for Luke - pretty much happen as it did, without tearing up their relationships. Hell, you could have had them all reunite and then killed Han if you were all so fired up to do it. Then it would have meant something - to have Luke and Leia unable to save Han?

      I will NEVER get over the fact that the three of them weren't together in ONE SCENE - and that almost NO ONE has given Abrams any shit for it. When every other reboot has revolved around getting the original cast together - here's one of the most revered group of characters in cinema history, but hey, no, why put them together? It's such a failure of imagination and it will never not anger me unless it all turns out to be complete BS in 8.

      Or y'know, you could have had the three of them together and had them go down taking out Starkiller, if you so wanted them out of the way of your new cast. Easy enough. Just leave them together FFS. I'd've been sad but at least they went out together. Now we're going to have to watch Luke and Leia cope without Han? Well, who am I kidding? I'd bet good money they won't even mention him.

      For me, the movies are my canon. I tried the EU, and in the wake of TFA, I've tried it again. And I remembered why I gave up. Luke goes this way, Han and Leia go that way, the kids just bore me. There's almost no connection between the characters as there is on screen (I also have never gotten Mara Jade). I can say that for all the heartache they go through, the books do end with the three of them alive and still somewhat together (one day I will write a coda to Crucible. I was happy to see that the Vong stuff ended with Han, Leia, Luke and Mara going off on a vacation together - Maker knows they earned it!

    7. I really liked what someone said on Tumblr - they gave JJ the keys to the Falcon and instead of treating it right, he ran it into an asteroid.

      I just don't know why Disney signed off on it - why they stood by while characters they are strip mining for their new canon were ripped up. But I'm sure they don't care. I expect further violence to be done to Han in the new movie.

      What galls me is Abrams apparently said somewhere or someone did that the new movies would give them a "fitting sendoff." I want someone to explain to me how, in any way, shape or form, what happens to Han, Leia and Luke is a "fitting sendoff" for them. And I really have to keep from screaming at people who say "oh, there's two more movies" that "not for Han there aren't. He's dead. His life ruined ahead of that and he failed in turning his son back at the end. It wasn't 'wonderful,' he didn't need to be redeemed except for Abrams and his awful head canon. So Disney can shove 8 and 9."

    8. Aw, dang. The original plans sounded good.

      I love a lot of Disney movies, but I hate Disney as a company, it's a shitty company that's all about the money, so really, I don't know what went through their heads other than "this is how we pull back the nerd boys who were left in a rage after the prequels and make money off it for the next decade".

    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    10. Yeah from what I've read the original storyline Lucas started on had Han and Leia happily married, Leia was a Senator and Han was a General of the New Republic (Lucas pictured Han as much more "grown up" than JJ envisions him). They had two kids, Thea, a beautiful Force sensitive girl training to be a Jedi, and Skylar, a non-Force sensitive son who took after Han and was into mechanics and flying. A Jedi Killer then slaughtered all the padawans at Luke's Academy and Luke goes missing. Thea and Skylar set out to find Luke. Han and Leia appear at the beginning to see their kids off, but other than that don't appear again (except perhaps at the end).

      Thea was later turned into Rey and Skylar into Finn (combined with another character in the script of a former stormtrooper) and the Jedi Killer into Kylo. When they made the Jedi Killer Han and Leia's son, then they swapped out Thea and Skylar to make them unrelated.

      I really wish they had kept the original storyline. I remember when the announcement came out that Arndt was getting fired and Kasdan was taking over because they wanted to capitalize on Harrison Ford's star power and make Han the main character, not just a limited cameo having a bad feeling. I had a feeling that to make Han "interesting" again they were going to revert his character back to his ANH persona. Which is exactly what they did.

      I also just really wish we could have seen two good kids for Han and Leia. Seriously, with their combined good looks, smarts and skill, their kids should have been the coolest kids in the galaxy, not the whiny emo kid Kylo turned out to be.

    11. I have read "fitting sendoff for all three" but I hadn't seen capitalizing on Ford being there and making Han the main character (and if you want that, why the hell bring in Kasdan of all people!) Which, way to fail big time on that whole thing. Make him the main character and destroy all of his character in one fell swoop. Then kill him. Badly. Before you reunite all of them - that sticks in my craw the worst.

      I would have been unhappy that Han and Leia didn't go find Luke but they could have sold it to me if they were looking somewhere else or something - that I could have gotten behind.

      I still wonder why in the world Arndt couldn't finish the script, though, if George had left them the treatments. I wonder what got thrown out when...


    13. Here's the concept art for Thea and Skylar - looks very similar to Jacen and Janina.

      I think Arendt threw out Lucas' treatments when Lucas left the group. From the sounds of things JJ was automatically distrustful of anything Lucas came up with due to the backlash of the prequels and wanted to do a rehash of ANH. Lucas wanted the movie to start in peacetime with Leia being a Senator and Han a General but Abrams was afraid of the backlash the prequels got about the political scenes and wanted to reset the galaxy to Rebellion v Empire.

    14. Sorry Jaina not Janina - stupid auto correct.

    15. That's what I thought 🙃 Stupid jerkface. The heck would you do a SEQUEL for if it's just a rehash of something else?? Petition to remove Abrams from Hollywood. Just take him out.

    16. He has dirt on someone - well, what am I saying? His sequels made money - well, at least the first two Treks did. The new one didn't.

      TFA made a boatload of money and he escaped before Last Jedi. If it's as weird as they keep saying....

      The Han Solo fan part of me hopes it's a huge flop, even though I know it won't be. The Mark Hamill fan part of me hopes he escapes unscathed and gets some work out of it.

      I think it's funny, though, Variety had a big article today on how movies are declining in popularity (gee wonder why!) and had some line about the only sure bets are Avengers and "movies where Han Solo slides into the pilot's seat." Yeah, kinda threw THAT away didn't they?

  5. Canon I choose to ignore:

    1. Anything after October 30, 2012 (aka the day the music died). One caveat: For many reasons I like this idea, but it doesn't sit right with me that he'd do something that brought him so much fame given that he had to sneak around for the first 35 years of his life. I just don't see him doing something that puts himself in the public eye. In my headcanon, General Solo becomes a test pilot and important figure in Corellian Engineering Corp - he's like a Chuck Yeager in my headcanon.
    2. Everything Zyra listed (although I didn't read as much of the EU as others)
    3. Leia becoming head of the New Republic. It just doesn't work for me for some reason. Probably because I don't think the character has in her the willingness to compromise regarding things she believes in, and I think any politician - even a good one - has to be comfortable with constant compromise in order to rise to the top. My personal headcanon is she realizes not long after the OT that politics doesn't work for her, and while she'll be an advisor and a diplomat, she will never run for office or accept a truly political office (which has something to do with my feeling that having Jedi in a position of service to a government is not a good idea -- in my headcanon she would does learn to use the Force to Jedi-level)


    1. Sorry, deleted a sentence unintentionally. Should read:
      One caveat: HAN AS RACER PILOT. For many reasons I like this idea, but it doesn't sit right with me that he'd do something that brought him so much

    2. Oh, and here are some Canon things from the OT (well, actually, the revised OT) that I ignore:

      1. Luke shrieking like a little girl after he decides to fall down the shaft instead of join Vader. I think this went into the special edition and is now out again, but for me, it never happened.

      2. Giant lizardlike creatures hanging out in Mos Eisley. IT IS A DESERT. NO TO THE GIANT LIZARDS/REPTILES IN A DESERT.

      3. Force Ghost Anakin being Hayden Christensen.

      4. The whole Vader "alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival" followed by footage obviously from the ROTJ in the special edition of TESB. That one really galls me, because did anyone EVER ask "huh, how did Vader get back to his Star Destroyer?" in TESB? No, nobody did. So we don't need the expository comment from Vader and worse, we don't need the ham-handedly inserted footage from ROTJ that is clearly from the 2nd Death Star arrival. That all just bugs me on a "competent filmmaking level."

      So, basically, if it's not what happened in 1977, 1980, and 1983 - I'll ignore it. Thank the maker for the crappy ripped-from-laserdisc theatrical editions that were stuck onto a DVD in one of the re-releases. They are 3 of my most prized possessions :)

    3. You know I don't think I ever realized that the "prepare for my arrival" thing was added in the special edition. Maybe because they changed SO little in ESB, and we all knew that was going to happen, I wasn't as much on high alert looking for differences in that one. I did notice they seemed to add a few more groans and stuff from Leia when she and Han are trying to escape Hoth, and I don't think Han used to say "Come on" when he helps her up after he tells the transport to take off and he and Leia will go on the Falcon. Not that those things bother me, but just more of like... what was even the point of adding those things?

      It is funny to me too that they added and then again removed Luke yelling the whole time he is falling in Cloud City.

      I agree Leia having such a high ranking role in politics is not something I see. You really need to make that your life, and I think Leia would find something that would be much easier to do while still making her family her priority. Both her AND Han I think would do that.

  6. Leia just letting Han fall to the ground after getting him out of the carbonite without any support at all. She strangled Jabba for crying out loud; she's not weak. I keep trying to come up with good reasons for that... (haven't found one yet, but I keep trying...)

    1. Ahhh YES, Erma! That always bugged the hell out of me. I was sooooooooo excited for RotJ and especially for all things H/L, so I was jumping out of my skin waiting for the moment when they would be in each other's arms again and then... Leia just lets him faceplant! Like she didn't see it coming! Irks me to this day.

    2. Haha. I always felt like she just kind of hadn't really thought that whole thing through and was somehow surprised when he just collapsed in front of her like that. In the novel he falls and it goes into how for the first few moments she actually thinks he's dead.

      That entire plan doesn't really make much sense if you think about it. What if Han couldn't walk? Was it really a good idea to take him out before trying to sneak him out of there? I never thought about it until Sue Zahn covered it in a story, but that entire plan really doesn't make sense at all.

    3. I know! While we're at it, we may as well ditch the entire plot of Han's rescue because, as you say, it makes no sense. It was bound to fail, and they didn't really seem to have any solid plans for how to deal with it if things went very wrong. I know there are some especially nasty fics out there dealing with what happened to Leia between the moment she's discovered and the next time we see her in the slave/dancing girl outfit. I don't want to read them or think about them. But it does make me wonder: did Luke have some sort of plan for getting Leia out of such a situation if it arose? Remember that comic (I think it was a comic) that had Jabba offering Leia to Fett for the night? **shudders** So many bad things could have happened as a result of that ridiculous rescue plan.... I'm happy to pitch onto the "reject" pile.

    4. It wasn't a comic, it was a short story in some book I think Tales of the Bounty Hunters. The only good news there is that it is canon that nobody abused Leia while she was at Jabba's. Still though, talk about a huge risk. What the hell was even the point of handing Chewie over, too? I'd love to know how that was all SUPPOSED to go, even in the best case scenario. Or maybe what they showed us was actually the best case scenario, which would be crazy.

      I was so young when I saw that movie for the first time, I certainly wasn't one to start questioning why they were making such dumb decisions. So it took someone pointing it out later for me to be like, wow, wait a minute, you're right, that whole plan was ridiculous!

    5. Lay off, she was doing her best!! xD

      I do feel sympathetic of Han's falling on his face, but for me it does count that Leia is very small and he is rather big, and he was dead weight here. So it's not the same kind of force that she needed to strangle Jabba. As she didn't know in which incapacitated state Han would be and at which point her plan might fail, I think she probably didn't want to get caught off guard with pounds of scoundrel on top of her.

      As for the plan, it is kind of weird, but I thought it like this: Lando and Chewie spent some time tracking Fett, then Lando infiltrated Jabba's to get a feel of the place and make sure he was in a somewhat privileged position for when the rescue party arrived, right? So then they came up with two parallel plans in case the first didn't work out. Leia's plan, if it succeeded, would have been easier and be done without any bloodshed. Handing Chewie over was part of her role. Nobody knew this bounty-hunter, so for her to have access to the palace, she needed to have something big. Once she got Han out, I think Lando was probably supposed to get Chewie out. Luke's plan was in case all else failed, which he must have suspected it would. Maybe he would have wanted to do that from the start, after sending the droids, but Leia wanted to be part of the plan, too, and counted on her rank/price of her head to protect her from any assault.

      Idk, they're just four people getting into very dangerous territory; they probably knew luck was their best chance.

      Oh, and in Moving Target, we have this convo between Luke and Leia:

      “You’ll have to tell me all about it when you get here. The fleet’s nearly assembled. Plus we have new intel about Han. He’s still in carbonite, in Jabba’s palace. And I have a plan to get him out.”
      Leia looked down at her uniform. “I don’t know your plan, but I’ve been thinking about a role I could play. I’ll tell you about it when we reach Kothlis. And then we’ll get Han and bring him back to us. Where he belongs.”

      So, Luke already had a plan, but Leia came up with something else, too.

      Speaking of this, I saw earlier a SW fact image that says that, officially, three years and a half had passed between ANH and ESB, and six months between ESB and RotJ. I didn't know about the three years and a half, or where is it mentioned, but I did know about the six months. And I've noticed in fics people tend to write that a whole year passed. Was that just a general assumption, or was it official information back in the day?

    6. Well, Han did say Luke was crazy and he does say "oh great' when Luke says he's got everything figured out ;-) I think in the "How It Should Have Ended" for Jedi, Leia throws in two detonators, blows up Jabba's folks, then they unfreeze Han to get him out of there (he still falls out face first!). It's in the first minute:


      Also, if you've never seen their TFA one, it's perfect:

    7. I do love the TFA one!
      Rey was on that station (or whatever word they use)
      Yep, well, so was my son.
      *shrug* Who cares, right?

    8. OtterandTerrier, the originalJedi novelization has the six months - six Tatooine months anyway - that Han's been frozen. The "new" timeline has Empire in 1 year and Jedi in another, which still works with a six month timeframe, but I've seen a lot of fans say it's one year, because they occur in different years.

    9. Yeah, a dead-weight scoundrel who weighs literally almost twice as much as you might not be as easy to catch as we think. I'm sure if she had any better ideas she'd have made sure his landing was softer!

      Sending in the droids at all doesn't make much sense. I mean how the hell would Luke be able to figure out that everything would work out so perfectly for Artoo to be able to fling him his lightsaber? That is a LOT of stuff that you have to somehow predict that Jabba would be doing.

      What was Moving Target again? Was that one of the new canon books or was that an older one?

      And I always assumed it was about 6 months between ESB and ROTJ. I don't know when or where I read or saw that and it became just what I sort of knew as "true" but I've never thought it was a year. Maybe because of Shadows of the Empire? I'm not sure.

    10. The new timeline has it as six months, too, but I've read more than once in fic that it's a year, so I thought maybe it didn't use to be that clear how much time it had passed (like the trip to Bespin) and people did whatever timeline was more useful to their fic. Poor Han, haha.

      It was very risky to have your only weapon concealed in a droid you're sending to the lair of your enemy without knowing it won't be turned to scrap... But maybe Luke knew Artoo is the real hero!

      Moving Target is a new canon book about Leia that takes place during the months before RotJ. They find out about the second Death Star and Leia comes up with a mission to distract the Empire so the fleet can rendezvous new Endor, and it has a lot of Leia thinking of Han and struggling between her duty with the Rebellion and joining the rescue party when the time came.

    11. My headcanon for the gap between ANH and ESB is more like 18 months or (at most) 2 and a half years. I just find it a little bit more plausible somehow (Han sticking around). Seems to me he would've been long gone before 3.5 years if Leia was giving him the cold shoulder all that time.

      I don't subscribe to this idea but I do occasionally enjoy fics that suggest they had something going on before ESB that Han broke off in order to (finally) go pay Jabba. But it doesn't really work with the dialogue....

    12. I had it a 2, 2 1/2 years and find that more likely, too. I honestly don't know if that's a new fact or not and where did it come from, but stab in the dark says it's so that Disney can keep making money off pre-ESB adventures.

      I like reading that as an AU, but nothing else. I can see them growing closer, though always having this unresolved tension between them, until (whatever happens on) Ord Mantell happens, but I can't see anything physical or too emotionally explicit happening in canon.

    13. I'm not sure where it came from, but that goes back to the original releases - I think it was just because that's how long it was in "real time" so people adopted it, and the canon set that way. The six months for Jedi is in the novelization and I can't see Luke and Leia waiting any longer to get Han - and I'm glad that new canon didn't change that.

      I can see "three-ish" years because Han gets pulled under by the twins before he knows it (not that Chewie would pull him back). He's got to keep Luke and Leia from getting hurt and where would this rag tag Rebel Alliance be without Han anyway (to his mind!)

      I always see Ord Mantell (Mandell?) as bounty hunter threatens Leia and/or Luke (probably both) and Han realizing if he doesn't go pay Jabba, they're going to pay for it. I'm surprised he never got over there and paid Jabba off but I guess they had to have some reason he had to leave in Empire to keep the push/pull going and a reason for Vader to have the bounty hunters willing to come see him - I'm sure a double bounty was a great reward.

    14. Yes, but mainly for me it's just weird that Ord Mantell is the first situation in those three years that makes Han realize he needs to pay off Jabba /now/. Like, in ANH it doesn't seem like a lot of time has passed since he threw out the spice cargo, and Jabba's already sending people after him. It's hard to think he hadn't met any more bounty hunters in those three years.

      I agree on that headcanon too. I guess he kept getting involved in missions, and knew he was already on the run by being with the rebels, so he kept posponing it (mainly when he needed Leia to know he was supposed to have left already, but hadn't). So that's why Ord Mantell probably didn't put /him/ in danger, but Leia/Luke/the Rebellion (my heart says Leia), and he knows he can't keep putting it off.

      (and yes, it's "Mantell"! I check every time because "mantel" in Spanish means tablecloth, and I feel like an idiot every time I write it)

  7. Oh, I just thought of this, but I've never understood that whole time Jacen was missing after Anakin died. Everyone else swore that he was dead, and only Leia "knew" he was still alive. If Leia "knew" he was still alive, how come Jaina had no faith at all that he was alive? Anyone else bothered by this?

    1. I don't remember a lot of the specifics of how that all went down. So you're saying you don't like that they didn't trust Leia there? With the way you are describing it (and again, since I don't remember a lot of the details, I could be wrong) I could understand the others maybe not listening to her. I can understand them looking at Leia as being this mother who has already lost one of her sons and simply refuses to accept that the other one might be gone too. And Jaina couldn't feel him, and they are supposed to be more closely bonded than anyone, right? I can forgive them for having doubts there, if it is how you're describing it.

      I really will at some point go through the NJO books again and do proper reviews, I swear!

    2. I could be wrong too, but I thought Leia was truly convinced that Jacen wasn't dead. I just thought that Jaina should have been able to tell through the Force since she and Jacen were so close. But there was a specific moment I remember from Dark Journey. Han and Leia get to see Anakin's body, then Leia tells Jaina that she knows Jacen is still alive and Jaina and Han just kind of share this look. It's from Jaina's perspective and she mentions that she thinks it's just Leia's delusions since she's in such shock.

      I suppose it could be possible that Leia was in denial since there was a moment that kind of felt like his death, but leia explained that it didn't feel like when Anakin died, so I've just always thought that Jaina and Luke should have been able to feel that too.

    3. Maybe, although there was a lot of weird stuff with the Vong and nobody could sense them, so I could maybe buy that he was like, blocked or something and Leia was the only one who thought it felt different and wasn't the same as Anakin.

      I don't know, I can just kind of see the rest of the family wanting to believe Leia but not being able to because it just doesn't make sense that everyone else would think he's gone and Leia just won't admit the truth.

    4. Yeah I think it's in Dark Journey and then Destiny's Way that everyone thinks Leia is delusional for believing Jacen is alive, but the way it was written was that they had a special mother/son bond. Of course, then the writer who got Destiny's Way then totally dropped the ball on that storyline and didn't even have a proper reunion with Jacen and his parents because he already got one with Luke and Mara. That was the problem with the NJO, one author would start a plotline but then the next author to pick it up wouldn't really be invested in it and would drop the ball (same of what happened to Han and Leia's estrangement).

    5. That did bother me. He came back, had this great reunion with his aunt and uncle, hung out with Danni, then Jaina sees him, goes to sleep??? And it's just kind of mentioned that Han and Leia come and see him.

    6. Actually, I have to go back on my own words. I do like Jacen's reunion with his parents, Hough I do wish his reunion with Luke and Mara hadn't been more of this big party kind of scene.

  8. The ewoks blinking bit reminded me how much I liked the ewok song ("yub nub...") from the original RoTJ. Judge if you must. I have fond memories of singing it with my teammates during basketball practice in high school, lol! Even though that part (as with most of the Endor scenes, IMO) was campy, I was still bummed when it was taken out.

    1. Oh, I like that song, too. Probably mostly for nostalgic reasons, but also it's just very joyous, and the one they replaced it with seems kind of somber and not as fitting with a victory party. I'm glad I have an older version of the soundtrack that includes the old song! And still as an adult that song (among a few others from the movies) is on my iPod and comes on when I run.

      I mean, the added "Jedi Rocks" garbage was SO much worse than Yub Nub ever was!

    2. I'm okay with either the new song or the old song, but I hate that the scene got ripped up in the new cut. It used to be Luke and Leia hug (and watch Han holding his breath and then grinning like a loon when they do hug), then she pushes him to Han, just the way she did on Yavin when he lands and Han comes running up, and Han and Luke hug. It's a lovely set piece that I'm sure Mark, Harrison and Carrie choreographed since the other BTS stuff I've seen, they're basically directing themselves in places.

      The new cut cuts in the middle for Lando and Chewie or Lando and Wedge, I can't remember who. But they cut the lovely progression and I really hate that.

    3. Ah, it's so weird to think there are so many different versions that people have seen! (I've never heard the Yub Nub song, and I'm frankly a bit terrified to do it) Yeah, I just checked: the scene is cut by Lando gesturing something to Chewie, which is unnecessary because we'd already seen them hugging. Although it still shows Leia pushing Luke to Han for a hug, but yeah, it cuts the flow a little.

    4. Aw. Yub nub was such a good happy song.

  9. Random question: has anyone ever read a smut fic for that Tatooine Ghost scene?

    1. We happen to have one right here:

      It's actually probably kind of amazing that there aren't more versions of it out there.