Environmental Attitude

This.  Is.  The.  Slowest.  Week.  Ever.

For the past three days, I have thought it was a Thursday.  Yup, a Thursday.  I even wrote to one of my clients yesterday saying I’d get the assignment done Friday.  She must have been wondering why it was going to take me 3 days to complete a fairly simple task.  We also have finally begun seeing some peeps of spring (55 degrees today!  It’s like a heat wave!) so I feel like it’s just making me antsy in general.

By Saturday, it’ll be back in the 30s, and I’ll miss it so much.  Speaking of Saturday, we are supposedly doing our rescheduled Star Wars virgin viewing night.  So as long as no one gets appendicitis again, I should have an update next week.  🙂

Every once and a while on this blog I will either a) repeat a blog post I’ve already done in another format because I forget what I’ve written over 2.5 years or b) write a blog post that should have been written 2.5 years ago when I first started this blog and introduced core elements of my fandom.

Today is a B day.

What have I not talked about yet on this blog?  I’ve written about my favorite quotes from Star Wars, favorite order of movies, favorite characters (okay, I haven’t totally devoted one post to this, but it’s been written enough in other posts that it could be a post)…guessed what I haven’t written about yet?  Planets and ships.  Bingo.  Good job.

Today is a planet day.  Because ships are fun but a whole post on it?  I need more inspiration.

Planets play a key role in the Star Wars movies, and even outside of it.  We get to explore so many more planets in TCW and, hopefully, SWR as well.  And if we look at Legends – well, there are more planets than I could count.  I once had this really cool map of all the Star Wars planets from an Insider that was up on my wall.  I tried to memorize all the planet names and where they were.  Never happened.

Star Wars insider planet pic

But from the picture you can see that the Star Wars universe is a lot more concrete than you might think.  When Luke says “If there’s a bright center to the universe, you’re on the planet that it’s farthest from,” he wasn’t kidding.

So how do the planets shape the universe that we know?  I love that Lucas had each planet pretty much have the same ecosystem.  Some people think that may be too simple, but I think it’s really interesting.  Endor was a forest moon.  Tatooine was a desert planet.  Coruscant is one giant city.  This is not a video game where Lucas throws the characters into a chase and you while they’re on the speeder bikes zooming through the forest moon of Endor…oops – they just ended up in a desert.  As an audience, we can pretty much understand what will happen on this planet because there are no unknowns, therefore it takes away from distractions and helps us focus more on the plot, action, and character development.  It’s nice to have different planets, but it’s like adding spices to a meal.  It’s not the main attraction, but it enhances the movies and situations enough to make it interesting.  The most obvious case in point would be Mustafar.  Can you imagine the fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin on Endor?  Or beautiful Lothal, which we have just been introduced to in SWR?  The hellish, lava-filled planet is the perfect backdrop for a fight filled with betrayal, anger, and remorse.

If we look deeper at the movies, we understand that the planets also play a part in shaping the character, but can also be a reflection of them.  Luke is an empty vessel in the beginning of the OT.  He’s a blank desert canvas, naive and unsure how to navigate the different worlds.  His inexperience shows strongly in ANH.  Padmé grew up on Naboo, a planet known for beauty in plains, seas, and swamps.  It’s a reflection of her character: a beautiful person, filled with an intelligent depth but there are also murky aspects to her character.

Naboo

Naboo

Sometimes I wonder if being a New Englander has created me to be a little harder and crueler than if I lived in another area of the United States.  I have little patience for people at times, hate it when people fake interest in something they don’t care about, and I rarely smile at someone I don’t know.  I’ve read that the history of our attitude was created because people did not have the luxury of standing around outside and talking with neighbors, people in stores, etc., because the cold weather drove them to hurry on their way.  Now that we have central heating, this environmental attitude has still lingered.

When I lived in Hawaii for six months, I remember thinking I would welcome the change in pace and attitude that island life would bring.  Instead I found myself frustrated by how slow it took for things to get done, the smiling and saying yes when they really meant no, and worst of all, doing things without asking permission because they’d assume you’d just be fine with it.  It drove me crazy and I even though I loved the weather, the beach, and the sun, I sometimes longed to take the New England mentality and place it in Hawaii because then things would, you know, get done in a reasonable amount of time with little skirting around the issue.

So have we internalized our environment into our life?  And if that’s true for us, how much more true would it be for the characters of Star Wars, where they may not have had changes of seasons but instead their personalities reflected their environment more intensely?

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7 thoughts on “Environmental Attitude

  1. Of course planet=ecosystem is too simplistic, but I also think it works for SW, for the reasons you say.
    I remember watching Leonard Maltin’s interview with Lucas that came with the VHS releases, and how Lucas said that for ROTJ he tried to have different visuals for each area to provide contrast: the warm colors of Tatooine, the earthy forest of Endor, and the monochrome of the Death Star. I think this is one of the reasons ROTJ is my favorite.

    • Oh colors! That’s something I’d love to delve into…along with costumes. Han’s costume basically stays the same over the OT, is it because he doesn’t change much as a person? Luke goes from white to neutral/earth colors to black. What does that say? Padme…oh man she’s just cray cray and I could probably write an essay on that. But yeah, very interesting about the colors and how Lucas likes to play with them. You know, sometimes he’s totally not given enough credit.

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