anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)
[personal profile] anghraine
City of Heroes is not really my thing, since I've never been into superheroes or comics, and I tend to prefer strategy games to RPGs anyway (Alpha Centauri FTW!). However, they just came out with a new release and it's awesome.

Originally, you could play either as a Hero or a Villain -- I was almost always a hero, because even vicarious villainy makes me uncomfortable (except the one time I was an evil psychiatrist with psionic powers and pain driven healing, but that was for the lulz, so it doesn't count). I mostly missed out on the awesome villainous powers, which was deeply sad for me (seriously, evil masterminds can summon forth personal armies of thugs or robots or NINJAS). Anyway, the new release allows you to play as neither villain nor hero, so you can choose any of the classes and dice whether you'll be a good guy, a bad guy, or something in between (vigilante, rogue) later on. Yay!

Better still, it's set in a wacked-out mirror universe where everything is ... really bizarre, and also much more interesting. The story is less an excuse to blow things up, and more ... um, a story? Your choices have actual consequences, from the major to the minor. It's almost like a brand new game.

As for the storyline, it's ... well, like this.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away At some point in Earth's future, accepting that Earth's future involves aliens, well-substantiated ESP, and in general superpowered people running around creating havoc, there's a big nasty war. Everything is chaos and people are dying and it's all very bad until one man steps forth to bring peace, order and prosperity back to the galaxy Earth. He succeeds, for a certain value of success -- namely, creating a totalitarian empire with himself at its head.

Further notes:

-- The Emperor's name is Marcus Cole (meh), but he's generally just referred to as the Emperor, or sometimes Emperor Cole.

-- Order is maintained through the judicious combination of omnipresent robots to perform menial tasks (...and some less-menial ones ) and overzealous armed forces who follow the Emperor's bidding and are kind of jerkasses in the meanwhile. No matter which side you choose, you end up killing a lot of them.

-- You have the choice to join the Empire, and serve as part of the Imperial Forces Division (basically, they're superpowered warriors in the service of the Empire), or to side with an underground movement dedicated to overthrowing the Emperor's tyranny. This involves a lot of terrorism and mass murder. There's also a tremendously powerful crime syndicate thrown into the mix, who you may join if you so desire.

-- All resistance is ruthlessly crushed, and thanks to using superpowered people (rather than, I don't know, killing them all, including the easily brainwashable children), the Empire is able to sense aggressive, violent, or even unusually anxious thoughts via the Seers.

These things do not remotely remind me of anything else at all! Also: it is, in fact, possible to make a character who can shoot blue lightning out of her fingertips. This seems to be a strangely popular choice in Imperial City. (Yes, it's actually called that.)

It's incredibly unoriginal and incredibly awesome, all at the same time.


Back to actual Star Wars, I've watched the next twenty-five minutes or so. Again, my running commentary turned out to be ridiculously long-winded, so (again) I tried to sum up my conclusions about what background we see in this part. Also again, TV Tropes.


(1) Jawas appear to be creepy, childlike, twinkly-eyed, gun-toting travelling salesmen.

(2) While R2D2 is resourceful and multitalented, he seems to get himself out of (and admittedly, into) various predicaments more through wits and cunning than anything else.

(3) Droids sleep, or do something sufficiently similar that the finicky C-3PO uses that word for it. This voluntary deactivation seems entirely different from the forcible version that C-3PO fears, and they can wake themselves/be woken up.

Most droids we see communicate in beeps like R2D2, though the timbre of their 'voices' vary considerably.

(4) The same goes for stormtroopers, who give every indication of being genetically distinct human beings.

(5) C-3PO is a protocol droid, designed to assist with customs and etiquette, and in his case further programmed for translation of millions of languages, either between humans and cyborgs, or between humans/cyborgs and other things. Even if a nine-year-old slave could have somehow created a model protocol droid to help his mother, it's unclear why one would have been remotely helpful for her.

(6) Luke wants to pick up 'power converters' from someone called Tashi, who seems to be a friend of his [ETA: It's a place -- Tosche Station -- not a person.] Most of his friends have already left Tatooine, apparently for the Imperial Academy, which doesn't seem to have stringent acceptance requirements. Included are someone named Biggs, who didn't think Luke would ever be able to leave, and another named Tani (?).

(7) The R2 unit Owen initially buys has a bad 'motivator,' whatever that is. They also have restraining bolts, which apparently keep them from running off. I'm getting some seriously unpleasant vibes here.

(8) Owen and Luke apparently have an agreement that, if Luke stays another season (= year) on the farm, Owen will let him apply to the Imperial Academy. However, Owen seems to have reneged on altered the deal (or a similar one) before, à la Anakin, so Luke understandably is not much encouraged by this.

For those of us in the know, of course, Owen's reluctance is even more understandable.

(9) Luke knows about the Rebellion -- at least about its existence. He seems to approve, despite wanting to be an Imperial himself. Of course, that's just to escape Tatooine.

(10) C-3PO and R2D2 have been together through at least two masters, the last of whom was a Captain Antilles, and several battles.

(11) Obi-Wan lives some distance from the Lars' farm, beyond a stretch of (...more) desert called the Dune Sea. Luke is at least passingly familiar with him.

(12) Owen calls Obi-Wan a 'wizard,' which appears to be a mildly derogatory slur which Luke is likely too young to understand, and insists that Obi-Wan died long ago -- at the same time as the also-not-dead Anakin, no less. At this point it's not clear why Owen is on such bad terms with him, why he insists that Luke forgets about his (non)existence, or even why Obi-Wan is there at all.

(13) Luke's attention is distracted the moment Owen mentions his father. He betrays no curiosity about his mother.

(14) According to C-3PO, the astromech droids are all about as wayward as R2D2. Nevertheless, people casually wipe droids' memories (and, apparently, their personalities).

(15) Owen and Beru are obviously concealing some mystery about Obi-Wan and Anakin, and about Luke's blatant resemblance to his father, which Owen seems to regard with apprehension and Beru with ... affection? Since there are at least -- *counts* -- a half-dozen facts being kept secret at this point, it's not clear which ones they know about and certainly not which ones they're hiding. They may or may not know about Anakin's current ... state.

(16) Sand People are dangerous and violent and masked, and ride huge lumbering creatures with lots of fur, ram-like horns, and beards. They're even more dangerous at night, or at least people are in more danger from them.

(17) Owen casually mentions 'hell' (the first vaguely religious reference we ever hear), but only as part of the phrase 'there will be to hell to pay.' Early SW relies much less on 'spacey' idioms and concepts than eventually became normal for the franchise.

--------------------------

-- Jawas have weird glowing eyes of doom. Also, their faces are completely hidden, even in full sunlight, much more than the hoods could account for. (Another check for hoods ’n robes, btw.) Honestly I’d expect pretty major villains but they’re just ... creepy merchants?

-- When they shoot R2D2, some kind of electric spark thing shoots all over his body, he gives a wail (*sniffle*), turns off, and keels over. Very much not God Mode Sue. (If he could fly, I’d think he’d do it in the various horrible situations he finds himself in. He doesn’t. Ever.)

-- The Jawas’ voices are strangely childish. This makes the eyes and faces concealed in deepest shadow even creepier.

-- the room of discarded robots and ... er, pieces of robot? also creepy.

-- R2D2 randomly turns on once he’s dropped into the room. I guess he was just sleeping.

-- He looks around and one of them is exactly like WALL-E. I hope he went to a good home. :(

-- ... also, there’s a walking trash can...?

-- Most of the robots do not talk in EnglishBasic, but in beeps of various tones -- R2’s are pretty high, the trash can’s are deepish, but they have definite ‘voices.’

-- there’s an android without arms. eep!

-- C-3PO looks shell-shocked, poor thing.

-- The Star Wars soundtrack is quite possibly the best ever made. Even the little bits highlighting the plight of the droids is perfect. (I do not exclude the prequels from this. I’m even willing to watch the cringeworthy trainwreck that is Anakin and Padmé’s ... whatever it is ... just to hear “Across the Stars.” OMG adadklfjaldfadjkfaf awesome!)

-- LOL stormtroopers. One is trying to ride some horrible giant beast thing and looking rather like Fanny Price must have the first time she got up on the little grey pony. Another’s peering around with binoculars. The outfits are creepily uniform, the behaviour is not.

-- STORMTROOPER 1: The tracks go off in this direction.
STORMTROOPER 2: Look, sir! A droid!

S1 has a deep, vaguely mechanical voice. S2’s is considerably higher and lighter. They. Are. Not. Clones.

-- C-3PO: We’ve stopped! Wake up. *pokes* Wake up!
R2D2: *beeeeeeep* *da-beep?*
(translation: *yaaaaaaawn* Huh?)

So he was sleeping? LOL!

-- C-3PO: Don’t shoot, don’t shoot! *turns away* Will this never end?

Not if you accept the EU. Again, whatever they’ve been through, it’s (1) sucked, and (2) gone on a long while.

Also: C-3PO and Marvin are clearly long-lost brothers. I want them to meet so much.

-- The Jawas setting up shop is kind of cute, in a weird twinkly-eyed way. It’s like a bazaar. Of robots.

-- A vague domicile-shaped thing and ... are those ... humans? They’re kind of fuzzy, but -- yeah, big darkish guy in brown and a small fair one in a white tunic thing. Blond hair is kind of weird for desert-dwelling people, but likely it’s Hair of Gold and we all know that’s got its own -- hey, I bet it’s Luke!

Y’know, the hero of the trilogy, and a mere twenty minutes in! I might keel over from shock.

Admittedly, Anakin/Vader is the actual protagonist and he showed up pretty much immediately. (In the OT. I think TPM was half over before he appeared in it and I never could tell who was supposed to be the protagonist anyway.)

-- Aaaaand our hero’s memorable first words!

BERU: Luke! Lu-uke! Lu-uuuke! Tell Uncle, if he gets a translator, be sure it speaks Vatchi.
LUKE: I don’t think we have much of a choice, but I’ll remind him.

Faintly whining, yet dutiful. That’s Luke, all right.

Incidental note: we’re immediately told that Luke isn’t Owen and Beru’s child. I mean, it’s an obvious case of nephewism anyway, but we’re not given the slightest chance to misunderstand the situation.

Musical note: it changes to something less like “kidnapped by small spastic gun-toting merchants from hell” and more like the main theme. Luke’s theme?

-- OWEN: You. I suppose you’re programmed for etiquette and protocol?
C-3PO: Protocol? Why, it’s my primary function, sir! I am well-versed in all the customs --
OWEN: I have no need of a protocol droid.
C-3PO: Of course you haven’t, sir! Not at an assembly in an environment such as this. That is why I have been programmed --

You know who else wouldn’t have any need of a protocol droid? SHMI SKYWALKER.

No, seriously, prequel!Anakin supposedly made C-3PO to help his mother out. Because what every slave needs is a protocol droid to help her with her etiquette! Also, prequel!C-3PO actually went with Shmi when she got married. Yes, TO THIS VERY HOUSE. Supposedly C-3PO got his memory wiped, but I think we can safely assume that Owen didn’t.

Gah.

-- Even though Owen and Beru are decent people, the way they keep calling Lu-uuuke!! is decidedly reminiscent of the evil stepfamily’s constant Cinder-ellllla!! in, well, Cinderella. The nephewism vibes, they continue.

Incidental note: It never once occurred to me that Luke’s relationship to the Larses wasn’t through Owen -- even though (1) nephewism is often through the mother(s), (2) Beru is generally more sympathetic to Luke and definitely much more on his wavelength, and (3) at this point we have no information on the subject whatsoever.

-- Good Lord, the whine. It’s so ... authentic.

And what is he whining about? Not getting to pick up power converters. Because that, of course, would be utterly thrilling. Though maybe it would, for a Skywalker. You never know with them -- they seem to follow the Kit Rodriguez line with mechanics. Or maybe he has what passes for a crush in Skywalkerland on Tashi or whatever her name is. [ETA: Actually, I misheard his line here -- Tosche is a place, not a person.]

No, I wouldn’t give my eyeteeth for a YW/SW crossover.

-- OWEN: You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done.

I bet Owen’s spent the last sixteen or so years doing his very best to raise Luke as a nice stolid, respectable farmer. Instead he ends up with a petulant, restless, short-tempered dreamer on his hands all over again even though Luke never even knew Anakin. (Heredity’s a bitch. At least if you live in the GFFA.)

Owen isn’t terribly sympathetic, and I definitely don’t get the feeling that he’s ever considered Luke as anything other than Anakin’s son, but you’ve got to give him points for trying.

-- LOL, R2 is actually dancing with urgency as they go off without him, while C-3PO seemed to be practically advertising himself to Owen. I suspect he hoped to spend the rest of his existence translating binary vaporator code or whatever. Like Rincewind, only C-3PO seems somewhat guilty at leaving R2 behind.

-- So, the Jawas do something that makes R2 stop dancing ... and then the other one, which incidentally looks much less like R2 than the prequel astromech droids, sparks up (“Uncle Owen! This R2 unit has a bad motivator!” says Luke after one glance, sounding almost as peevish as before). R2D2 immediately takes up dancing again.

-- Aw, C-3PO sticks his neck out for R2D2, metaphorically, while Luke fans the smoke out from under his nose. Hm, wonder if R2 had anything to do with that timely explosion?

-- Luke looks veryyoung and very small. And ... pretty? *bemused*

-- C-3PO: Thank the Maker! This oil bath is going to feel sooo good.

...

-- Luke is playing with a model starship. <3

-- LUKE: It just isn’t faaair.

I seriously hate AOTC, but I have to admit that this is ... strongly reminiscent of prequel!Anakin. I mean, you’ve got Padmé talking about one thing and suddenly he’s going off on some tangent about the epic unfairness of his life, whine-whine-whine, and why exactly would she be interested in this? C-3PO has only to talk about dust (at least it's not sand) to send Luke off on ... well, on some tangent about the epic unfairness of his life to someone who really isn’t likely to be interested. (Except it’s C-3PO, so he is.)

-- LUKE: Ah, Biggs is right, I’m never going to get out of here!

Not if Owen has anything to say about it, I bet. But it’s hard to blame him. He knows about The Skywalker Way -- one minute it’s flying around the galaxy, the next it’s crushing windpipes with your mind.

-- The introductions are adorable.

C-3PO: I see, Sir Luke!
(heeeeeh)
LUKE: *laughs* No, just Luke.
C-3PO: Oh. And I am C-3PO, human-cyborg relations.

(Truly, what every slave needs. Also, can’t cyborgs talk to humans on their own? Vader certainly manages to get his thoughts across pretty clearly. Maybe it’s for human andcyborg relations with other beings, rather than between each other?)

C-3PO: And this is my counterpart, R2D2.
LUKE: *waves wrench* Hello.

Aw. How strangely ... normal.

-- C-3PO: With all we’ve been through, I’m surprised we’re in as good condition as we are!

What have they been through? I still don’t have any idea.

C-3PO: ... What with the Rebellion and all.

He should never be a spy, ever.

LUKE: *whirls around, visibly excited* You know of the Rebellion against the Empire?!

Apparently, so does Luke. On Tatooine. So ... not a big secret, I’m guessing.

-- LUKE: Have you been in many battles
C-3PO: Several ... I think. Actually, there’s not much to tell. LUKE: *looks depressed*

Amen, brother. We know they’ve had crazy adventures, that C-3PO’s robot psyche is scarred, and now that they’re not worth talking about, or just too traumatising. What actually happened to them? I STILL DON’T KNOW.

-- LUKE: Were you on a star cruiser or a --

What’s a star cruiser?

-- LUKE: Who is she? She’s beautiful!

She’s pretty. Even that much is hard to tell through the flickering hologram, but hey, we can’t all see through the eyes of GSA. Or a raging Dulcinea complex.

(I never shipped Luke/Leia, but I really don’t like the sibling reveal. It. Does. NOTHING. Especially in ANH, it’s ... gah. And even in ROTJ it’s just a weaksauce version of the one in ESB.)

C-3PO: I’m afraid I’m not quite sure.

Uh ... what? Given his talk about how ‘the princess’ won’t be able to escape ‘this time,’ I was under the impression that he at least knows who she is! Or is he just obfuscating?

C-3PO: I think she was a passenger on our last boarding ship. A person of some importance, I believe ...

You think?

Also, if he's not lying, the implication is that their tenure on Leia's ship wasn't permanent -- hers was just the last of a number of ships. OTOH, R2D2's extreme loyalty to her may indicate something more? I'm not sure, but at the least they've been on other ships. Also, what's a boarding ship?

-- C-3PO: He says he’s the property of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a resident of these parts.

How did R2D2 even know that Obi-Wan lives here? I suppose Leia could have told him, but how would she know? If it was common knowledge, you’d think Vader would have done something about him by now. Hm.

-- C-3PO: I don’t know what he’s talking about. Our last master was Captain Antilles.

... who? Also, they’ve been together through at least one owner, then, but didn’t know each other during R2D2’s tenure with Obi-Wan.

-- LUKE: I wonder if he means old Ben Kenobi. [...] I don’t know anyone named Obi-Wan, but old Ben lives beyond the Dune Sea. Kind of a strange old hermit.

First point: The implication is that Luke does know ‘Ben,’ if only passingly as an eccentric neighbour.
Second point: What’s the Dune Sea?
Third point: A truly cunning pseudonym! Though, of course, not quite as good as hiding Anakin Skywalker’s son at his home, with his brother, under the impenetrable identity of Luke Skywalker.

-- LUKE: Sounds like she’s in trouble. I better play back the whole thing.

Okay, I’m leaning towards Dulcinea complex. It’s so hard to be a knight in shining armour -- classic version -- without anybody to save! No wonder he’s so miserable on Tatooine.

-- Restraining bolts apparently keep droids from running off? Huh.

-- I don’t know if C-3PO is obfuscating, but R2D2 definitely is. ‘What message? *whistle-beep*’

-- BERU: Lu-uke! Lu-uuuuke!

*twitches*

-- R2D2: *be-eeep?*
C-3PO: No, I don’t think he likes you at all.
R2D2, wistfully: *be-doop*

<3

-- The Larses’ milk is blue. Why is this?

-- LUKE: Says he belongs to someone named ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi.’

Owen and Beru manage to say ‘oh shit’ with their eyebrows.

-- LUKE: Do you know what he’s talking about?

OWEN: *ambiguously negative grunt*

Luke’s world seems to be entirely composed of half-truths and misdirections.

Apparently, there’s an early novelisation that has Owen as Obi-Wan's (estranged) half-brother. At this point, that might actually make sense.

-- OWEN: That wizard’s just a crazy old man.

... or not.

What exactly does he mean by ‘wizard,’ by the way? It’s not the last time we’ll see terms like that casually thrown around to describe Force-users, always in a rather sneering way. Is it simply a derogatory description or are these people actually dismissing the Force as mere magic tricks? Since Luke obviously knows nothing about the Force, it’s a rather odd phrase to use to him.

Also, when did Owen get on such spectacularly bad terms with Obi-Wan?

And how old is Obi-Wan supposed to be, really? He seems ... rather old, here.

-- OWEN: I want you to take that R2 unit in and have its memory wiped.

This is ... very disconcerting. Yes, machines, blah blah, but they really are ridiculously human. It’s so casual, too. Eep!

-- Beru continues to speak via her eyebrows. I’m impressed -- there’s not really any doubt about what she’s saying, but she never opens her mouth.

-- LUKE: What if this Obi-Wan comes looking for him?
OWEN: He won’t. I don’t think he exists any more. He died about the same time as your father.

This must be the part where we find out Ben Kenobi betrayed and murdered his brother Obi-Wan, a virtuous and courageous Jedi --

OH WAIT.

Seriously, what is up with these people? If he’d stopped before the last sentence, it’d be one thing. Obviously the situation calls for some misdirection. ‘I don’t think he exists any more’ could conceivably mean ‘as far as I know, he hasn’t lived as Obi-Wan Kenobi for years, so he won’t be coming for some droid he might have owned in another life.’ You know, metaphorically, if you stretch things a little.

But ‘he died about the same time as your father’ is not a metaphor. It’s an absolutely unambiguous statement of fact: Obi-Wan Kenobi died at the same time as Anakin Skywalker. Even in the ANH continuity, that’s not misdirection, it’s a blatant lie. And to make matters worse, it’s a completely superfluous one.

*flail*

However, it does work dramatically. I know, supposedly the certain-point-of-view thing is a retcon, but ... come on. These people are all looking furtive and lying through their teeth and waggling their eyebrows. Obviously something suspicious is going on. ‘Obi-Wan is alive! and he’s Ben!’ doesn’t seem to account for it all -- it's really near-perfect foreshadowing. That Obi-Wan is the subject of somebody else’s ‘certain point of view’ just makes it all the more satisfying.

-- LUKE *head snapping up*: He knew my father?

I think these are the first references to Anakin-as-Anakin (or rather, as-Skywalker, since we don’t know his name at this point). First established details? He’s dead, and Luke is fixated on him. Not surprising for an orphaned adolescent, particularly when the dead parent is something of a taboo subject -- though he never shows much curiosity about his mother. (Of course that’s typical -- and Owen and Beru are Anakin’s relations, after all.)

Anakin, incidentally, seems to be at once an elephant in the room and a bright red flag. On the one hand, he’s a perfect distraction from any awkward line of enquiry, since Luke will inevitably drop anything to go after his father (metaphorically -- though literally too, of course), but on the other hand, he’s what they’re trying to distract him from in the first place.

Awkward.

-- OWEN, flatly: I told you to forget him.

... Yeah, the true and tried method of making a teenager forget someone? Imply that he knew the kid’s dead father and then tell him to forget about it.

What.

Also, I’m going to assume that ‘him’ refers to Obi-Wan, not Anakin, because that would be incredibly disturbing.

-- LUKE *poking at his cereal/oatmeal/whatever*: Yes.

Again: sulky but dutiful. I’m getting a definite Lawful Good vibe here.

-- LUKE: If these new droids do work out, I want to transmit my application to the Academy this year.

So Owen and Luke made an agreement at some point -- Luke will stay and help harvest the wheat water for another year, and then he can apply to the Imperial Academy.

Can’t really quibble with Owen’s reluctance about that. Truly, the mind boggles. Really, how long do you think he’d be able to fly under the radar? A few months? A year? (Even if you accept the backstory presented in ANH itself, Anakin Skywalker wasn’t just some subordinate who pissed Vader off or spouted blasphemies, or even one fellow Jedi among ... hundreds? thousands? Anakin was personally betrayed and murdered by him. He mattered. [Okay, ignoring ESB is just weird.])

Also, this makes Luke’s theatrics about how he’s ‘never’ getting off a little ridiculous, but then, that may be the point. A year probably does feel like ‘never’ to him, and of course it’s possible that he wouldn’t get accepted at all -- he just wants to try.

-- OWEN: Harvest is when I need you the most! It’s only one season more. This year we’ll make enough on the harvest that I’ll be able to hire some more hands and then you can go to the Academy next year.

He’s really being very accommodating about this, everything considered. Obviously Luke can’t know that, what with nobody telling him anything. Still, letting him join the Academy at all, ever, is insanely dangerous.

Does Owen really think that a madly gifted pilot with preternatural luck and reflexes named Skywalker won’t come to Vader’s attention? What with Vader being a madly gifted pilot with preternatural luck and reflexes named Skywalker? - and, oh yeah, Luke’s father? Really, this is one scenario where dark!Luke doesn’t seem ludicrously improbable.

Oh, but wait. Is there any OT evidence that Owen knows what really happened to Anakin? Obviously he knows that Anakin was a Jedi and that turned out badly for him, and that Obi-Wan’s been lurking around ever since. It may be that Obi-Wan has some justification for living nearby (I think it’s implied later that he was there to lure Anakin away, back in the day?) -- I don’t know. But if all Owen knows is that Anakin was drawn into the Jedi, became a badass Magic Knight, and then got killed ... well, Owen might sincerely believed that Luke would be better off as an Imperial than falling under Obi-Wan’s sway.

-- OWEN: It’s only one more season.
LUKE: Yeah, that’s what you said when Biggs and Tani (?) went.

Okay, everything makes a bit more sense -- Imperial > Jedi, but Tatooine > either. And that explains why Luke is certain he’ll never get to leave. Owen’s agreed to let him, but he keeps altering the arrangement. I’m now imagining little!Owen and little!Anakin getting lessons in that.

-- BERU: Owen, he can’t stay here forever.

She speaks!

Also, Owen’s definitely trying to keep him on Tatooine.

BERU: Most of his friends have already gone. It means so much to him.

They’ve ditched Tatooine (no shock there), or joined the Academy? If the latter, it doesn’t seem there are rigorous standards of admission, if any Tatooine rube can just up and join. Or maybe the ones who don’t meet the requirements get shunted off to some other division. Tall ones to the stormtroopers, everyone else to ... somewhere else. The Empire can always use cannon fodder!

OWEN: I’ll make it up to him next year.

... how?

He reminds me a bit of some of the foster parents we’ve trained – the nicer ones, who don’t really know what to do with the children who’ve landed on their doorsteps before they were ready, and definitely draw a sharp line between their-children and foster-children, but are still trying to do their best for them.

– BERU: *smiling* He’s just not a farmer, Owen. He’s got too much of his father in him.

I’m trying to imagine Darth Vader farming. Maybe with a scythe, like DEATH, though that might not be spectacularly helpful with water.

I think my mind just broke.

Back to the department of backstory, we can safely say that as either the dead hero of ANH or, y’know, Vader, Anakin was restless and dissatisfied at home. It’s the first of many (many, many, many) indications that Luke is a chip off the old block.

– OWEN *darkly*: That’s what I’m afraid of.

I’m not actually sure how to take this.

The ominous tone of ominousness seems to go hand-in-hand with their generally suspicious behaviour. They’re obviously hiding something – something which, just as obviously, revolves around Anakin Skywalker. IMO there was always supposed to be some mystery about him (beyond ‘Jedi!’), even if Lucas hadn’t decided what it was, yet.

If this is foreshadowing for the As Yet Unrevealed (...And Possibly Undetermined) Deep Dark Secret, then of course Owen does know what happened to Anakin. In the event, it turns out to be that he became Darth Vader; if Owen knows about that, then ... we’re back to ‘Imperial!Luke is a really really bad idea.’

If not, of course, he’s just afraid that Luke is so much like his father that he’s going to run off and get himself killed -- not that he’s going to run off and becoming a murdering Agent of Evil.

The scene, incidentally, ends right there, with yet another ominous look from Owen.

– I like the suns, though I’m not sure if they’d actually look like that.

– The binary sunset while Luke looks dreamily into space is awesome. Even more awesome, however, is the music. I know, I said the earlier music was perfect for its scene, but this is even more perfect. Wistful and majestic and somehow it makes me want to cry. I’m pretty sure this one is actually Luke’s Theme, not the other one.

Incidental note: it’s strongly reminiscent of the Anakin/Padmé theme from the prequels (well, really the other way around), which ... makes perfect sense, actually.

*sniffle*

If I ignore everything else about the prequels and just listen to the music, they actually feel like the soaring, epic tragedy they ought to have been. Honestly, I think I would have liked them better as an opera.

– C-3PO: It wasn’t my fault, sir! Please don’t deactivate me!

I’m kind of wondering what, exactly, deactivating consists of. Does he mean just turning him off for the moment, like Leia does later? Or something that amounts to killing him?

– C-3PO: That R2 unit has always been a problem.

I’m not even sure how a robot manages to sound so incredibly smug.

Also, binocular vision is kind of cool, though I have no idea what the various doohickeys stand for.

– C-3PO: These astrodroids are getting quite out of hand. Even I can’t understand their logic at times.

So it isn’t just R2 who is like this? (Yet people are casually wiping their memories? *squick*) Also, C-3PO is ... heh, not exactly a beacon of logic and reason.

Also, at this point, I’m not clear on what an astrodroid is.

– LUKE: Blast it!

The full phrase is, undoubtedly, ‘blast it all to heck!’ <3

– C-3PO: Pardon me, sir, but couldn’t we go after him?
LUKE: It’s too dangerous with all the Sand People around.

Enter reference to Sand People! And what are they, exactly? I mostly just remember that Obi-Wan scares them away – and, of course, prequel!Anakin slaughtering a tribe of them after they torture his mother to death.

Also, many heroes of this type would immediately rush off, Sand People or no Sand People. Luke, however, comes across as both intelligent and practical – night is too dangerous, so he’ll go off the next morning. No danger of Stupid Good here.

This, incidentally, is one of the reasons his character works (many of his breed really don’t). He doesn’t take insane risks for no reason, so when he does embark upon some crazy, dangerous adventure, we’re willing to trust that he has (1) a good reason for it, and (2) a plan. (With one notable exception, he does.)

– LUKE: You know, that little droid’s going to cause me a lot of trouble.

Heh.

You have no idea.

– OWEN: Lu-uke! Lu-uuuke! Lu-uuuke!

Gah.

– OWEN: Well, he’d better have those two units repaired and in the south range by midday, or there’ll be hell to pay.

From him, so ... yeah.

Apparently the GFFA has some concept of hell. Somewhat amusingly, this is the first reference to religion, even of a vestigial kind. I suppose it could just be a
translation convention (though there will be more overt references later). And in general, the OT is much lighter on smeerps than the rest of the franchise.

Also, I think this is the last time we see them alive. Now I’m morbidly curious about what Beru was putting in the blender (assuming that was a blender?) and, presumably, never got around to eating. :(

– ooh, the ... thing Luke is flying/driving is kind of cool. And I’m guessing what they’re flying over is the Dune Sea?

– okay, those would be Sand People. Again, robes, masks, blah blah – wait, what is that thing? It’s like somebody managed to cross a mammoth with a ram. A rammoth? Well, whatever it is, it’s kind of horrific.

It has a huge beard too.

– C-3PO: You’re fortunate he doesn’t blast you into a million pieces right here!
LUKE: *waves his hand* No, it’s all right, but we better go.

Sensible. Also, we hear a lot about his temper, but ... I’m not exactly seeing it. He was genuinely upset earlier, he’s had to go to considerable trouble because of R2D2's Determinator ways, and he’s about to be in hot water back on the farm. But that’s cool, because ... just because.

Luke Skywalker: restless and impatient, yes; angry, no.

– LUKE: Sand People. Or worse.

... what’s worse? Aside of stormtroopers, I mean. Maybe rammoths.

Also, life on Tatooine (...OMG I’m reminded of the holiday special BRAIN BLEACH STAT) seems a bit dangerous. Luke apparently brings a rifle with him as a matter of course.

– LUKE: C’mon, let’s go have a look. *grins* Come on!

Don’t be party-poopers, guys. It’ll be fun!

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anghraine: from the 2005 p&p: darcy standing at a piano while georgiana plays it (Default)
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