You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Godfried Daneels, meet Anthony Daniels [corrected]

THERE IS ANOTHER: Recently I learned of the existence of a second George Lucas. No, not a clone, but the Catholic bishop of Springfield, USA, which means his ring and crozier may feature a three-eyed fish. This got me thinking... What if he'd been the George Lucas who'd created the Star Wars trilogies? How far might his Catholic episcopal influence have counter-balanced Hollywood's recent spate of anti-Catholic movies (The Magdalene Sisters, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Golden Compass, Luther, Serenity, The Nativity, The Da Vinci Code)...? What would Star Wars have looked like if...

1. All post-1965 editions of the script, working from earlier and more accurate manuscripts, transliterate "Ben Kenobi" as "Bar Aknubi."

2. Luke renamed "the Lucan Authors".

3. When Leia asks "Would it help if I got out and pushed?", Han replies "No! - for that would transgress the Seventeenth Canon of the Third Council of Cato Nemoidia, which declares in perpetuity that the Senate has no power to permit Women to pilot vehicles."

4. Anakin sets out his views on democracy and governance. "Then they should be made to agree." When Padmé asks "What if no one can make them agree?" Anakin explains "Then the Chancellor purges from office all Senators who vowed against his proposal. Bingo! Now you've got unanimous consensus - against which shall none dare to presume to set his private judgment."

5. Palpatine orders Anakin/ Vader "Take a squad of troopers and purge the Temple. Leave nothing alive." Anakin: "Isn't that a bit extreme, my master?" Palpatine: "No. For it hath been profaned by the presence of Natalie Portman, Kenny Baker and Anthony Daniels - that is to say, by a Woman, a Dwarf, and an man which hath crushed testicles." Anakin: "Aieee! Abomination! Abomination! It shall be cleansed forthwith!"

6. Yoda's word order now matches that of normal English speakers ("Therefore let the Jedi apprentice approach Our precious hut, in humility and with a teachable spirit", rather than "Let therefore the Jedi apprentice, in humility and with a teachable spirit, Our precious hut approach").

7. When Leia says to Vader, "Darth Vader. Only you could be so bold. The Imperial Senate shall not sit still for this!" Vader replies, "Don't act so SURPRISED, your highness. The moment you removed your faux-Benazir-Bhutto head covering in public, that gave my troops complete authority to use non-lethal force upon your person, pursuant to the Suppression of Vice and Promotion of Virtue Decree (Imp.) of 1 BBY."

8. When Obi-Wan says "Millions of voices cried out in terror - and were suddenly silenced", Luke corrects this vilification of the Empire: "In fact, recent scholarship by unbiased researchers has proven conclusively that (a) fewer than 300 or 400 people overall died in the destruction of Alderaan, (b) of those who did die, at least 90 billion were engaged in aggressive terrorism against the Empire, so killing them was an act of self-defence, (c) officially-sanctioned translations of the Death Star plans into Standard Droidspeak were circulating at least two or three centuries before Alderaan was allegedly destroyed - which proves that Alderaan was in fact destroyed by the Rebel Alliance, not by the Empire. That is, if it ever truly existed."

9. Palpatine tells the Clone Troopers "Execute Order 66." Anakin: "Wow, that sounds, like, really sinister and evil." Palpatine: "And rightly so, my young apprentice. For indeed, it is the sum of the numerical values of the letters on the triple crown that is worn by the President of the World Federation of Seventh-Day Adventist Churches when pilgrims arrive at his palace and kneel before him to kiss his ring."

10. "General Grievous" renamed "Generalised Grievance" and played by William Donohue.

11. When Moff Jerjerrod says "I assure you, Lord Vader. My men are working as fast as they can," and Vader replies ominously, "Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them", he means nothing more sinister than inspiring them with the story of St Ergonostres, an historical figure who was reliably attested by thousands of eyewitnesses to have worked an ultra-supererogatory 25 or even 26 hours in each per day.

12. Obi-Wan explains "Sandpeople always ride single file... partly to hide their true strength from any observers, but mainly so they can periodically stop, kneel and flog themselves until the blood flows. This is because they believe in a loving God and reject the cruel doctrine of double predestination."

13. Obi-Wan tells Luke of The Force: "It is difficult to explain, but it links together everything in the universe." "Aha", says Luke. "So it's like Humanae Vitae then."

14. Han Solo: "Besides, going up against that thing ain't my idea of courage. More like... suicide." Luke: "Although death to oneself is an entirely foreseeable consequence of attacking the Death Star in a small, one-person fighter, it is not the primary intention (intentio primaria) thereof, nor is it willed by the actor."

15. Vader tells General Tagge, "I find your lack of faith disturbing. I find your lack of works, however, even more disturbing."

16. "Organa Solo" not only a political dynasty but also a theological slogan.

17. Leia corrects Han Solo so that he stops calling her "Your Worshipfulness" and starts calling her "Your Venerationfulness" instead.

18. Luke now understands that, when Obi-Wan says Vader was "a pupil of mine until he turned to evil," use of the word "until" (heos hou) doesn't mean Vader ever actually ceased being Obi-Wan's pupil, and that even now he remains, eternally, Obi-Wan's pupil.

19. When Palpatine tells Anakin "I want you to be my ears and ears on the Council", Anakin replies: "Can't you just send along a gang of disgruntled Latin Mass barristers with notebooks?"

20. Governor Tarkin: "Charming. You don't know how hard I found it to sign the order authorizing your life-annulment." Leia: "I'm surprised you had the courage to take the responsibility yourself." Tarkin: "I've ordered that you be declared a formal heretic and turned over to the custody of the secular power." Leia: "But they'll torture me, and then have me burned to death at the stake!" Tarkin: "Yes, but then the responsibility won't be mine, will it? I mean, be reasonable...."

21. When dodgy one-eyed cantina guy tells Luke "He - doesn't like you! I - don't like you either!", Luke replies "Rather, instead, is he motivated by an all-consuming prejudice and hatred against our ancient Faith."

22. When Kenobi says "That's no moon... that's a space station," Solo corrects him: "It is disappointing that you exhibit a simplistic dualism born of degraded late-mediaeval Nominalism. Whereas - if only you possessed the fullness of the Oral Tradition, you would understand - that a moon can also be a space station, without in the least adding anything to, or taking anything away from, its essence as a moon (essentia quam luna)."

22. When Lando asks "How can you alter one side of a bargain?", Vader explains to him the concept of Mental Reservation.

CORRECTED: Apologies for my confusing Lando Calrissian with Count Baltar, the Imperial Lord with the Imperious Leader. If you can remember 1977-78, you weren't there... This should read:22. When Vader says "I have altered our agreement. Pray I don't alter it further," Lando points out, "I can't pray for that! To grant such a request, the importuned deity would need to interfere with the freedom of your will - something that not even the most omnipotent of gods are capable of."

23. When Palpatine says, "The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be... unnatural", Anakin says "Hey, if it doesn't involve pills or rubber, then who cares?"

24. "Admiral Ackbar" would be renamed "Admiral Allahu Ackbar" and "Padmé" renamed "Ave Mari Padmé Hum La Ilaha Ill'Allah." Admiral Piett renamed "Admiral Piettà", although this would require his character to be rewritten as a woman.

25. C3PO tells R2D2: "You can't go in there. It's restricted to humans. Artificial forms of intelligence are intrinsically forbidden."

26. When Palpatine announces "If elected Chancellor, I promise to put an end to corruption", Jar Jar starts running about shrieking "Oh nooooooo! Himsa gonna paste alla da priestermans!"

27. When Owen Lars says "I guess that makes me your brother", Anakin replies: "Ah. Well. Given that (a) I was a virgin birth, and (b) you and I share neither a father nor a mother, maybe the term 'cousin' or 'close male relative' would be less likely to mislead the theologians of future centuries."

28. Tarkin to Leia: "Don't wowwy – we will deal with your Webel fwiends on Dantooine soon enough." Leia: "I sure hope that you're using 'deal with' here as a euphemism for 'mass extermination,' and not for masturbation, since the latter would be a gravely intrinsically evil act, regardless of exigencies."

29. Leia pleads "Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." Luke: "So you are going to help her? Right?" Obi-Wan: "Well, yes, obviously she's right and the Empire needs to be stopped. But she still needs to enlist some extra intercessors to change my mind. I'm not moving on this unless Qui-Gon Jinn advocates her cause as well, from the afterlife."

30. Obi-Wan points to Artoo and tells Luke, “Plug him in. He should be able to interpret the entire Imperial network... provided, of course, that he acts in obedient subjection not only to Sacred Scripture but also to [the] Tradition, to the Decrees of Ecumenical Councils, to Bulls issued by the Holy Father (provided that such bear the clear marks or indicia of an ex cathedra statement in relation to faith and morals, and intended to be infallible), and to Dr Scott Strongstaples' 2007 bestseller, ‘How Moses, David and Ezra are All Antitypes of the Blessed Virgin Mary'."

31. The Emperor's Royal Guards' uniforms would be brown polyester, not red velvet.

32. A Nunn would never be passed over for the role of Princess Leia.

33. Why can't the Wookey win?!

34.Vader's actual words in the Original Manuscript were “I sense the presence of my old master... I must face him." However, in later editions, someone (and I'm looking at you, LT To LV volume of the phone directory) altered this to “... I must face him – alone," which completely reverses its meaning.

35. Name of Han’s bounty-hunter adversary changed from “Greedo” to “Lusto” to make it sound like a real deadly sin.