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Monday, February 8, 2016

In space, no one can hear you high five


One of my favorite moments in Star Wars: Episode VI: The Force Awakens is when BB-8, the adorable little beachball-shaped droid who holds the secret to Luke Skywalker's whereabouts, gives Finn a thumbs up.  It's cute, amusing and I've laughed both times I've seen it.  It's a nice little character moment, and one, in my opinion anyway, that works within the context of the Star Wars universe.  Unfortunately, there is a line of dialogue in this very same scene that is so not Star Wars appropriate, it's a bit jarring.  You remember the moment: Rey is trying to get Finn to reveal the location of the resistance base, as she is under the mistaken impression that he is a "big deal" in the organization, while Finn pleads with BB-8 for the information, using his past association with BB-8's master, Poe Dameron, as a bargaining chip.  For the moment, BB-8 "ain't feeling it," and in frustration, Finn grumbles the following:  "Droid, please."  Finn says this in the style us earthlings use when we use the common phrase "Bitch, please."  It's a weird choice as it seems very out-of-step with Star Wars in general.  It also falls flat.  It is a forgettable, and, ultimately forgivable, miscalculation in an otherwise stellar filmgoing experience.  In fact, one father of a pop-culture blog writing 37-year-old man who regularly goes out in public wearing a baseball cap with Bowser from Super Mario Brothers stitched on it called The Force Awakens, "the best Star Wars movie I've seen, because I understood everything."

Anyway, this "Droid, please" line got me thinking about other things that would be weird, jolting or simply off-putting to see happen in the Star Wars universe; turns of phrase, cultural references or physical gestures that seem a little to Earth-bound to exist a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

1. If at any point during their escape from the First Order, Poe and Finn paused to give each other a high five, I think that would be strange.  I don't know why a casual thumbs up seems fine to me and a high five feels like a mistake, but it does.  Maybe it's already happened, and I just don't remember.  Does Darth Vader offer his son a half-hearted high five attempt after tossing Emperor Palpatine into a chasm at the end of Jedi?

2. After the Starkiller base lays waste to the Republic, Supreme Leader Snoke holds up a pack of Mentos, pops one in his mouth and winks at the audience.

3. Two random resistance soldiers are standing together sharing a package of peanuts (already weird), observing Han and Leia's tense reunion.  One resistance soldier looks at the other, shrugs and says, "You know what they say: "Men are from Mars, and women are from Jakku."  (Does Mars even exist in this universe?  I doubt it!)

4. Finn says "cool beans" after Rey outruns the First Order in the Millennium Falcon.

5. Kylo Ren has a Hawthorne Heights poster in his bedroom.

6. Harrison Ford forgets to take out his old man earring before shooting; editors fail to remove it in post.

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