I’ve been trying to think of something to write all day, but not had much luck. I was thinking of writing a story about an abandoned protocol droid, but all I had was the situation/idea but no story, so…
MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU! HAPPY STAR WARS DAY 2021 😊
Anyway here are some pictures and memes in lieu of a story.
Brynla landed in docking bay 127. To her disappointment she found Asran wasn’t waiting there for her.
“Stay here and guard the ship.” Brynla told Ennik. As she walked off the ship, E-5JF followed behind her.
“Will you be needing me mistress Brynla?” the droid asked. Brynla turned to face her.
“No stay here and help Ennik.” she ordered.
“But you might need my assistance mistress.”
“I’m sure I won’t.” Brynla responded as she turned around and kept walking. When she came out of the docking bay she looked around. “Hey kid, do you know Asran?” she asked a passerby.
“Yes. He owns the cantina over the road.” the kid said pointing in the direction.
“Thanks.” She replied. She walked over the road and into the first cantina she found. The place was moderately packed. Everyone looked at her when she entered. She strode to the bar and approached the bartender. “I’m looking for Asran.”
“He’s over there.” he said pointing to a booth. As she approached it, she saw Asran was a race she had never seen before. His skin was a greenish-grey colour and while is head and abdomen were on the seat, the rest of him appeared to be made up of slimy tentacles that writhed around. She shuddered as she approached him. He looked at her excitedly as she got nearer.
“Ooh who might you be?” he asked.
“I’m Brynla. I have your shipment of food.”
“I never realised you were going to be a human female, and such a pretty one too.” Brynla rolled her eyes at his words. She sat down at the booth as far away as she could get from him. “Olooch, a drink for the lady!” he called out to the bartender.
“It’s been a long time I’ve been called a lady.” Brynla remarked.
“Can’t see why. You rebel chicks are so hot!’ As he said this Brynla could feel a slimy tentacle slowly wrap around her right leg. She kicked it away.
“Stop that! Anyway I’m not part of the rebellion, I just do jobs for them sometimes.” Brynla informed him.
“Really? I’m sure a crimelord, or even the Empire itself, would pay you far more for your services than the Rebellion can.” The bartender came over to them and gave Brynla a glass full some bright blue liquid.
“What’s that? I would have preferred a Corillian ale.”
“Try it. I’m sure you’ll love it!” Asran urged her. Brynla took a swig. It was sickly sweet.
“Not really to my taste.” she informed him. “Anyway, why has the Empire restricted access to this planet?”
“We don’t really know. There are many rumours. The most popular one is that the Empire is testing some new sort of weapon.”
“What on the inhabitants?” Brynla asked horrified. Asran shrugged.
“Or perhaps just certain areas of Karagen. Maybe not on the populace. Who knows?” He deftly flicked some of his tentacles in a way that suggested to Brynla he didn’t really care about it.
“Well anyway, my ship’s hold is full of foodstuffs. I need your employees to come and collect it.”
“All in good time my sweet. My place is upstairs. We can always go there and… negotiate.” As soon as he said this, several tentacles began to writhe up Brynla’s legs. Brynla pulled out her blaster and stuck it into one of his tentacles. Asran looked shocked.
“If you don’t keep your slimy tentacles to yourself, I will remove them all with my blaster, starting with this one.” she told him. Immediately all his tentacles quickly left her vicinity.
“I’m just trying to have a bit of fun.” He complained.
“Get your fun somewhere else. I’m just here for business. Tell your employees, or henchmen, or whatever, to come and pick up the foodstuffs on my ship, otherwise I’ll just dump them in the docking bay and leave them there to rot. You’ll find my ship in Docking Bay 127.” Brynla stood up and put her blaster away. She strode out of the cantina with everyone’s eyes still on her.
Once she was outside, she saw there were slime trails all over her legs. She shook her head as she walked back to her ship. She felt like she needed to be decontaminated, and might just have to burn her clothes for good measure. And this was meant to be the easy part…
They came out of hyperspace. Before them was a medium-sized planet that was rather mountainous with desert plains and a few areas of green. Large seas also frequently dotted the planet’s surface. Around it orbited a solitary moon.
“We have come out of hyperspace.” E-5JF stated. Brynla rolled her eyes.
“Yes I’m aware of that.” she told the droid.
“We have you on our scopes light freighter. Please identify yourself.” said a voice on the com channel. Brynla hated dealing with The Empire, but life as a trader, and smuggler, meant coming into frequent contact with them.
“This is Captain Brynla. We are heading to Karagen.” she replied.
“The planet Karagen is restricted. What business brings you here?” the voice asked.
“We are bringing food supplies to a trader by the name of Asran.”
“Prepare to be boarded.” said the voice. Brynla had expected this, but was not happy with it. An Imperial Customs Frigate approached them, flanked by two TIE fighters. Out of the corner of her eye, Brynla thought she saw an Imperial Star Destroyer in the distance. This wasn’t going to be so easy, she thought.
The frigate docked with them. The doors opened and four stormtroopers marched into the ship followed by an Imperial officer. Brynla, Ennik, and E-5JF stood by the door. The officer walked up to Ennik and looked down on him.
“I take it your the captain?” he asked him.
“No she is.” Ennik said pointing to Brynla. The officer turned to Brynla.and looked her up and down with disapproval.
“Like what you see?” Brynla asked him.
“You are aware Karagen is a restricted world?” The officer asked her.
“Well I do now.” Brynla replied. “Why is it restricted? I have been here before and it wasn’t then.”
“That’s restricted information.” The officer replied.
“I should have guessed that.” Brynla responded.
“We will take a look in your hold. If we find anything that’s dubious, then you will all be taken into Imperial custody.” The officer informed them.
“Great. Just what I’ve always wanted.” Brynla replied. The officer looked at her annoyed.
“Silence!” You will take us to your hold.” The officer ordered. Brynla led the way and the Imperials followed. Once they were in the ship’s hold, the stormtroopers began searching through the various containers finding nothing but foodstuffs. After searching through everything they could find they left the hold, leaving everything a mess.
“Happy now? I told you we were bringing in food supplies.” Brynla told the officer. He walked up to her and sneered.
“Mark my words: your insolence will get you into trouble one day.”
“Noted.” Brynla replied looking directly into his eyes. The officer shook his head.
“You are cleared to travel to Esgor Spaceport. Go there directly and nowhere else. If you deviate in any way, you will be destroyed.” the officer told them. He walked out of the ship with the stormtroopers following.
“Nice guy.” Brynla commented as she went to the cockpit.
“Shouldn’t we tidy the mess up first?” E-5JF asked, suddenly finding herself alone.
“Why do you have to be so sarcastic with them? You’ll get us into trouble.” Ennik inquired as he sat down in the co-pilot’s seat.
“It’s just my way of getting through the day.” Brynla explained as the ship undocked with the frigate. She flew the Star Wolf directly to Esgor spaceport, well aware there were probably turbolasers directly aimed at them should they suddenly change course. She wondered what else they happened to be carrying: was it bombs, weapons, ammunition, or something else? Whatever it was, she knew it was something the Empire wouldn’t have been happy about if they had found it. It seemed Juslak could get her to do anything…
“There’s nothing here mistress Brynla.” said E-5JF.
“I can see that.” Brynla replied to her droid. Their ship had just come out of hyperspace and all there was around them was just empty space. They weren’t even near a star system. “Are our coordinates correct?”
“We are exactly at the point of the coordinates you gave me.” the silver droid told her. Brynla wondered what had gone wrong.
“Maybe we’ll wait here for a little while, just in case something shows up.”
“Or we could go back to Tatooine.” Ennik, the First Mate, suggested.
“Have you considered it could be a trap mistress?” E-5JF suggested.
“Juslak gave me the coordinates. I doubt she’s wanting to get rid of me. My ship is too useful for her.” Brynla replied.
“Is not like you to trust someone else.” Ennik stated. Brynla shrugged her shoulders.
“I’m too much of an enigma for her.” Brynla told him.
“What do you mean?” asked Ennik, but the question was left hanging in the air as a large freighter suddenly came out of hyperspace right in front of them.
“Mistress, a freighter has just come out of hyperspace.” E-5JF told her.
“Yes I can see it!” Brynla shot back.
“Please identify yourself.” said a voice over the intercom.
“This is Captain Brynla of The Star Wolf.” Brynla replied. The three of them waited for a response.
“Okay Captain Brynla, please dock with our ship.” the voice told them.
“Okay here goes.” Brynla responded. She flew the ship slowly towards the freighter and docked with it.
“Why does the Rebel Alliance have to be so clandestine?” Ennik asked. Brynla looked at him as those his brains had just fallen out. She shook her head and ignored him.
“The Rebel Alliance need to do things secretly so the Galactic Empire doesn’t find them.” E-5JF explained.
“Oh.” said Ennik. Brynla wondered about Ennik sometimes. She stood up and left the cockpit.
“Shall we see what the Rebel Alliance wants us to do for them this time?” Brynla suggested. The other two followed her.
Once they were in the rebel ship they found themselves in a corridor. Standing there was Juslak with two rebel troopers. She smiled at Brynla.
“Good to see you made it.” Juslak told her.
“So what do you want me do this time? Break into another Imperial facility? Steal a Star Destroyer? Blow up Coruscant?” Brynla asked her.
“We need you to smuggle some supplies to a planet under Imperial blockade.”
“Is that all?” Brynla replied sarcastically.
“We’ll pay you 50,000 credits.” Juslak offered. Brynla raised her eyebrows. That was a lot of money for a job like,this.
“What’s the catch?” Brynla asked suspiciously.
“There’s no catch. It’s just urgent that we get the supplies there as soon as possible.” Juslak replied.
“Okay we’ll do it.” Juslak breathed out a sigh of relief at Brynla’s acceptance.
“Thanks, we really needed your help.” Juslak said. Brynla wondered why it was so important, Juslak had looked so relieved when she accepted.
“No problem. So what’s the plan?”
“We have some boxes that will be needed to be stored in your smuggling compartments. We will also fill your ship’s hold with foodstuffs. Your cover story is that you’re delivering food to one of the traders there.” Juslak told her.
“And it’s okay to deliver food there?”
“Yes the Imperial forces should let it through.”
“So what’s in the boxes I’m smuggling in there?” Brynla asked her.
“Am I smuggling weapons for you?”
“I’m sorry I can’t tell you. Just please get them there.” Juslak told her. Brynla let it go. A short time later Rebel troopers filled her ship with produce and several boxes were stored away in the ship’s smuggling compartments.
“So where are we going?” Brynla asked.
“You’re going to the planet Karagen. Leave the foodstuffs with a guy named Asran. He’ll be waiting for you at the main spaceport. If he’s not there go to the nearest cantina and I’m sure you’ll find him there.” Juslak informed her.
“What about the contraband?”
“You take it to these coordinates and drop it off there.” Juslak handed her a data file. “And please don’t open the boxes. Just deliver them as soon as you can.”
“Okay.” Brynla replied.
Ennik, E-5JF, and Brynla went back to their ship. Once Brynla was at the controls, she separated her ship from the Rebel freighter. Shortly afterwards the freighter disappeared into hyperspace. Brynla stared into space. The fact they were being well paid for this assignment suggested it might be more dangerous than it seemed. She wondered what was in those boxes.
“Mistress Brynla, can I suggest we leave now? The Rebel Alliance said it was rather urgent.” E-5JF told her.
“I have a bad feeling about this.” Brynla said as they went into hyperspace.
to be continued…
Just thought it would be nice to continue the story of Brynla and company. It’s been nearly a year since I wrote a story about them.
“We’ve just arrived at the Tatooine system.” E-5JF informed Brynla.
“Yes I know.” Brynla replied as she looked dull yellow planet below her. She sighed. She didn’t like her droid, she didn’t like the passenger they had onboard her ship either, in fact she didn’t like most things in this galaxy… But then she thought of Juslak, her contact with the Rebel Alliance, and was mystified how she found herself willing to do favours for her. Juslak made her want to be a better person, and that scared her.
Ennik, her first mate, was keeping their passenger entertained in the ships living area. As well as the passenger, there was also a small box Brynla had been asked to drop off to a contact in a cantina in Mos Eisley. Both these favours had been requested by Juslak, and Brynla had found herself agreeing to it against her better judgement. She had even agreed to do it for a reduced fee, which would have been unheard of a few months ago.
“Freighter, state your destination and cargo.” A voice abruptly said on her comm channel.
“This is Captain Brynla, we are heading to Mos Eisley. Our cargo is one passenger.” she replied back over the comm.
“Keep heading in the same direction. Docking Bay 91 is free.” the voice stated.
“Thanks.” Brynla answered. She steered the ship towards Mos Eisley.
“You didn’t tell them about the box you were given.” E-5JF reminded her.
“That’s right I didn’t.” Brynla replied. “No need for them to know about it.” The droid turned towards her.
“I don’t understand mistress Brynla. You have to declare everything to the authorities.” the droid declared.
“Do you really want me to try reprogramming you again?” Brynla asked. “Sometimes it’s best for the authorities not to know about things we’re carrying. I thought we had been over this.”
“I really don’t understand human behaviour.” E-5JF stated.
“You got that right.” Brynla quipped. “I’m the Captain. Leave it to me to be the judge of what we tell the authorities, and what we don’t. You understand?”
“Yes mistress.” the droid replied slightly puzzled.
Once Brynla landed her ship at Docking Bay 91, she found an Imperial Customs Officer along with a couple of stormtroopers waiting for them. Once she walked down the ramp, they started approaching her.
“Is there a problem Officer?” she asked him.
“I would like to inspect your cargo.” he informed her.
“All I’m carrying is a passenger.” she declared.
“Well I would like to meet them.” he insisted.
“Okay, if you must…” Brynla replied. She motioned with her hand and their passenger came down the ramp. He was tall with orange skin and long flapping ears. He held out a long hand.
“Heyday ho! Nice to meet yousa!” the Gungan said. The Customs Officer recoiled.
“Just keep going!” the officer ordered.
“Okeeday thanks!” the Gungan said enthusiastically. He turned to Brynla. “Thanks per yous helpen. Me am in yous debt.”
“No problem.” Brynla replied. The Gungan walked off into the spaceport.
“You were transporting a Gungan? There ought to be a law against that!” the officer remarked. Brynla nodded her head as she followed the Gungan, while carrying the concealed box.
My plans were to write this article sometime in January, but due to having to move and then settle in to my new surroundings, this has meant several of my projects I had for this year have been shelved or delayed. I was also hoping to see The Rise of Skywalker again to see if I got any new perspectives on the film. Sadly this hasn’t happened, so I’m going to have to rely on my memory of the single time I watched the film in late December.
I quite enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker when I saw it, but it was afterwards when I thought about it, I found I had all these questions about the film: How did Palpatine come back? Is he a clone, like what happens in Dark Empire? What was the point of him trying to corrupt Rey so he could possess her, when he could drain her of life energy all along and use that to revive himself anyway? Surely that’s more of a Sith move? If Rey is his granddaughter, when exactly did he get someone pregnant? Why is the Empire/First Order so obsessed about destroying planets? Surely if you have a galaxy-wide empire destroying planets is just a waste of precious resources? And why bother destroying planets when a single Imperial-Class Star Destroyer is perfectly capable of reducing the surface of any planet to molten slag? Also surely equipping thousands of Star Destroyers with superlasers is just overkill anyway? What is it with J.J. Abrams and MacGuffins? In The Force Awakens it was the map to Skywalker and in The Rise of Skywalker it’s the Sith Wayfinder, so why bother having some wild bantha chase for it when in the end they don’t really need it anyway? Also how did The Resistance put together such a large fleet in such a short space of time? See, lots of questions….
All these questions aside, I have some unease with this film. I really liked the Last Jedi and I think it stands out as the best film of the Sequel Trilogy. It left the fate of the Star Wars galaxy at a very interesting juncture. It was daring and unpredictable. However with Abrams back at the helm, he seemed to go back on Rian Johnson’s ideas for the second film, and took it back to a rather predictable storyline. It struck me as both lazy thinking/writing and fan service. One of the messages of the second film was that you didn’t have to be from some impressive lineage to be the Chosen One. Rey was the child of nobodies who sold her for gambling money, but Abrams walked back on this idea, and instead made her the grandchild of Palpatine. I’m not sure if that was what was originally planned. For me it felt contrived. More than one person laughed out loud in the cinema when it was revealed.
My feeling was Palpatine was brought back to give the film an antagonist, with Snoke being killed off in The Last Jedi. I had assumed that the central conflict in this film was going to be between Kylo Ren and Rey. That’s the impression I got from the ending of The Last Jedi and where the end of the trilogy seemed to be heading. Clearly Abrams had no desire to go down that path and instead inexplicably brought back the previously dead Sith Lord, which in effect cheapened Anakin Skywalker’s sacrifice at the end of The Return of the Jedi.
I think Disney was very aware of the backlash from a very vocal minority of the fanbase regarding The Last Jedi. To me, The Rise of Skywalker, seemed to be a film that tried placate this fanbase by giving them what they presumably wanted, and also to pander to the feelings of sentimentality audiences have towards the Original Trilogy. In the end they came up with a film that really didn’t work.
There were some parts I enjoyed. It was nice to see Lando Carlrissian, and also Wedge Antilles (however briefly) reappear in a Star Wars film. Rey’s Jedi training at the start was fun to watch (you do wonder had Carrie Fisher not died if her role would have been larger in this film). At the end celebrations there was also a kiss between two women, so hooray for lesbianism in Star Wars!
As a creative type I don’t think writers, or filmmakers for that matter, should necessarily be pandering to the expectations of their fanbase. They don’t owe them anything, in my view. If you do pander to them, then you’ve entrapped yourself. You have now enmeshed yourself in other people’s ideas and then you’re stuck appeasing them for the rest of eternity as you are now too scared or lack the confidence to stick to any original story of your own. I think writers and artists should stick to their original vision and follow it to what end they come to, regardless of what anyone else thinks. They should have faith in it. If it’s any good people will like it. If it isn’t, you can always try again with something else. George Lucas got a lot of stick for the Prequel Trilogy, but I admire him for it. Instead of doing an endless rehash of the Original Trilogy, which is what the “fans” wanted, he stuck to his own vision and told the story he wanted to, regardless of the howls of annoyance from the fan community. Good on him, I say. The films weren’t perfect, but I liked them and so did many others. They introduced a lot of good things into the Star Wars Universe, and they finally explained the Jedi, the Sith, and what the Clone Wars were about. But even the toxic fan rage got to Lucas in the end, and he walked away from it all.
These days fandoms have become toxic entities. Fans peddle their own ideas of what should constitute a Star Wars film, and get upset and even abusive to the filmmakers when they don’t deliver what they were expecting. They call themselves True Fans, whatever that means, and think they know better than everyone else what Star Wars is and what a Star Wars film should be. In the minds of these people, the filmmakers should be making the films they demand of them, rather than the filmmakers daring to have their own ideas… I honestly believe now Star Wars would be better off without a lot of its fanbase. This fandom has become a millstone around the necks of the filmmakers and Lucasfilm itself. Filmmakers will now forever feel like they need to appease them and be forced to release new material just for these “fans”, rather than the general audience. It isn’t just Star Wars either: Star Trek, Doctor Who, and other franchises are all in a similar situation.
The Star Wars Saga are just movies. Lucas said this himself. I like them because they are fun to watch. The have been a major influence on me virtually my entire life. Occasionally it is enjoyable to switch off and watch something reasonably mindless but enjoyable. I treasure the escapism they offer. I often daydreamed about being a Jedi and hurtling through space. The problem is when people attach special significance and meaning to these films to the point they almost become a cult. I don’t envy Disney. Star Wars is probably seen as a poisoned chalice to them these days. No matter what they bring out, it won’t satisfy the entirety of the fan community. Some will like what they release in the future, and others will vehemently hate it and rage about if indefinitely on social media, and then spread that hate even to the actors in the film and the director.
Maybe Disney will just end up playing it safe and continually release films like The Rise of Skywalker for the foreseeable future, which to me demonstrated a major loss of nerve on behalf of the filmmakers in trusting their own ideas. That would be the end of Star Wars.
The recent post I did for Star Wars Day made me think about doing a showcase of the artwork Ralph McQuarrie did for Star Wars.
There would probably be no Star Wars if it wasn’t for Ralph McQuarrie. He visualised George Lucas’s ideas for Star Wars and created images Lucas could show film executives to get them interested in the project. His images created the look for not only A New Hope but also for the other two films of the Star Wars Original Trilogy.
When I first saw his drawings (after seeing the films) to me they hinted at a Star Wars Universe that seemed stranger and more tantalisingly mysterious. At least that was my reaction to them.
I thought I would share some of his images that I really love from A New Hope. I might do another post showing his concept artwork for the other two films at a later date.
In this early drawing the characters look very different. There seems to be no Han Solo-type character (maybe the Jedi is an amalgam of both Kenobi and Solo), Luke is a girl, while C-3PO looks more like the robot from Metropolis (which was an inspiration for his look).
Another early drawing with C-3PO still looking like he came from Metropolis and R2-D2 seems to have a few extra attachments.
Luke looking out at Mos Eisley? The droids are there but no Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The Millennium Falcon in Docking Bay 94 almost looking exactly like the completed film version.
I think this was the first drawing McQuarrie completed. He created the look of Darth Vader with this image and it was his suggestion that Vader should be in a breathing apparatus which Lucas agreed with. He is meant to be fighting Luke Starkiller (or Skywalker as he becomes) in a match-up that didn’t end up happening until The Empire Strikes Back. I like how Starkiller is in some sort of strange outfit himself.
Pilot of a TIE fighter attacking the Millennium Falcon. This image was realised in the film after the Falcon and her crew escape the Death Star and are attacked by four TIE fighters.
The Rebel pilots at the Rebel Base on Yavin IV getting ready to take off in their starfighters to attack the Death Star.
TIE fighter and X-Wing dogfight over the Death Star.
Y-Wings attacking the Death Star. Note how the Death Star is not so smooth looking and seems to have some sort of opening in its pole.
I think this may be an image for The Empire Strikes Back, but I include it here because I love this picture and I have some sort of weird obsession with Star Destroyers. When I think of a capital starship I always immediately think of an Imperial Star Destroyer. There’s something about their angular wedge design I adore.
This was an early design for the Millennium Falcon but was rejected. It became the Corellian Gunship and you can see one briefly in Return of the Jedi.
This scene at the beginning of The Phantom Menace, the first of the Prequels, reminded me of the above picture. I wondered if it was a nod at Ralph McQuarrie‘s picture. By then Doug Chiang was doing the initial concept design. Ralph McQuarrie was asked but he declined (he also had quite noticeable shaking from Parkinson’s Disease by then).
Well I hoped you liked this article. If you want more like this let me know.