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News from Comic Con 2005

Ah, Comic Con! The show doesn’t seem much bigger than last year (and they’ve already filled the convention center floor), but there are more people. Last year, Friday was quite comfortable, but this year it was more crowded than I remember.

Let’s see… News from panels so far. Serenity and Mirrormask are apparently opening the same weekend (September 30), so I’ll be spending an entire day at the movies. Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier are working on a script for a CGI Groo the Wanderer film. They apparently held out for years for a deal that gave them enough creative control to satisfy them. And early next year they expect to release the 4-part comic book, Groo vs. Conan.

The Jim Henson Co. 50th anniversary panel was great fun. In addition to seeing some early experimental muppetry, we learned that they will be producing a sequel to The Dark Crystal that takes place several hundred years later, and a prequel anime series.

Katie went to the big Warner Bros. movie panel, featuring Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, V For Vendetta, The Fountain (from Darren Arenofsky), and The Corpse Bride, all of which look promising.

And if you have a chance while in San Diego, don’t miss Fellowship!, a musical parody of The Fellowship of the Ring. With the exception of one running gag that got old very fast, it was a great send-up of the movie (and it was also fun looking for tropes and in-jokes from musicals).

This year is absolutely crawling with Jedi costumes. So many that we didn’t bother to take pictures, except for one Anakin & Obi-Wan pair where the former actually looked like Anakin. There’s also a booth selling high-quality light sabres with removable, light-up blades that are sturdy enough you can duel with them. The cheap ones run for $120.

Jedi vs. Sith, Order vs. Chaos

I was thinking about Star Wars, the “bringing balance to the Force” prophecy, and RPG character alignments, and realized that while you can neatly map the Jedi and Sith to good and evil (Anakin’s confusion notwithstanding), you can’t map them so neatly to order and chaos.

The Sith are a chaotic organization. They thrive on emotional chaos, they spread chaos to meet their ends… but when they get in charge, they impose order on everyone else.

The Jedi are extremely ordered. They try to purge emotions, they deny attachments. They’re hidebound by tradition. The organization is very structured. And yet they fight not to impose order but to protect it. The Jedi actually strive to preserve the balance of law and chaos.

I’m actually reminded a bit of Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series, in which the cosmic balance between order and chaos is treated as its own faction. The Eternal Champion, in his various incarnations, always fights for the Balance, bringing order to Chaos worlds and chaos to Order worlds.

So the Sith are chaotic, but impose order, while the Jedi are ordered, but fight for balance. The problem, of course, is that the Jedi are not balanced themselves. Anakin does three things to correct this:

  1. He destroys the old Jedi order
  2. He destroys the Sith (two decades later)
  3. Destroying the Jedi ensures that Luke and Leia, heirs to the Force, will grow up as people first, Jedi later.

Luke and Leia have the opportunity to re-create the Jedi without all the baggage that dragged the old Jedi order down… and they can rebuild it with Jedi who are actually in balance themselves.

Revenge of the Sith: Decisions That Almost Changed Everything

We went to see Revenge of the Sith again last night. Fourth weekend out, and the theater was still packed. (We were able to get tickets 15 minutes before showtime—or, rather, preview time—but it was pure luck that we managed to find a pair of seats that weren’t in the front three rows.)

And now, Decisions that could have changed everything.

  1. Obi-Wan: Certainly, I’ll take down General Grievous. But since he wiped the floor with me last time, I’d like some backup. Anakin, would you care to join me?
  2. Mace Windu: Palpatine is the Sith Lord? Great work, Anakin! I’m going to recommend you for full Jedi Masterhood next week for this! Hey, you’ve been working hard, why don’t you go celebrate and unwind. Here, I’ve got a pair of tickets to the Outer Rim… (I can’t take credit for this one.)
  3. Anakin: (after delivering the report on Grievous’ location to the Jedi Council) *keeps his mouth shut*
  4. Anakin: In my vision, Obi-Wan was trying to help you. You’re right, we should ask him for help.
  5. Obi-Wan: You know, Anakin has been spending a whole lot of time with Senator Amidala. And everyone’s wondering who the father of her child is. I wonder if she’s told him, I mean we were on Coruscant around the time that… oh, blast!
  6. Ki-Adi-Mundi: Relax, Skywalker, I was on the Council before they made me a master, too. Oh, wait, they wrote that out? Never mind.

Finally, some thoughts on viewing order. For a new viewer, I think watching the original trilogy first, then the prequel trilogy, probably works best dramatically. There’s so much in the prequels that has impact simply because you recognize elements from the original.
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