Friday, August 27, 2010

Star Wars Status Updates: A Response

Please find below a Facebook status update exchange re: Alderaan. Don't believe the hype. (Other than mine, names changed to protect the foolish.)

Mike Wines
Please put this on your status if you know,or are related to someone killed on Alderaan when it was obliterated by the Death Star. My wish is that people will understand that the Empire is a band of murdering scum. The Rebel Alliance wants only to bring peace to the galaxy, but the evil Empire continues to kill innocent civilians. 93% won't copy/paste this. Will YOU make this your statusforat least one hour?

Alex Livingston
I don't normally talk politics on FB, but you have drawn me out with your conspiracy theories.
An entire planet destroyed by a battle station? A man-made moon? This baseless nonsense has been sent around the galaxy in forwarded emails and treated as if it were fact. The explosion of Alderaan is the greatest tragedy in recent memory, and marginalized political groups trying to bend the facts to suit their ends is shameful.

Fact: The only accounts of the "obliteration" of Alderaan via a mysterious "Death Star" come from terrorists.

They allege that they destroyed this massive station and killed everyone on it. No witnesses -- convenient.

Fact: Until the Alderaan event, no one had ever heard of this alleged moon-sized battle station.

What purpose would a Death Star serve? Why would Coruscant pay for something that large when warfare is known only to history? Who would they use it against? Not the systems, surely. Why would the Empire destroy its own tax base? Any pirate threat has never required more than a few twin-ion-engine pilots to bring to an end.

Fact: Only days before the Alderaan event, the archaic and bloated Galactic Senate had finally been dissolved, with authority over the systems being moved to regional governors.

After the sad end of Alderaan, this "Death Star" story was invented by the elusive terrorist organization. They play on the fears of the citizenry -- the breakdown of the Empire into chaos. I urge you not to take the incendiary rumors sent around by gun-toting backwoods types seriously.

Mike Wines
Your points are all very interesting Alex. However, you failed to address one small issue. Where's Alderan?

Alex Livingston
The planet of Alderaan is gone. The exact cause remains in the realm of conjecture (a fact the terrorists are all too happy to exploit), but I am much more inclined to believe that some kind of massive geophysical disaster destroyed it than that the government blew up a weaponless planet without cause or warning.

The reduction of the planet to asteroids is very telling -- what kind of technology exists that could do such a thing? The Death Star "argument" infers that the Empire not only built a base of unprecedented size in complete secret, but also developed a world-destroying weapon under the same cloak. The term "far-fetched" does not even come close. Again, what would be the use of such a weapon? The Empire has no enemies; we are one united galaxy. And the only people with anything to gain from making us believe otherwise are the terrorists.

Bill Kelly
Fortunately, i did not have any family on akderan, however, I did have 2 sisters and their families contracting on the new DeathStar. They were lost in the newest terrorist plot, which has also brought about the end of our peace abd the demise of our fair and beloved leader, Palpetine. So, now I ask you, are the murdered parents of my neices and nephews the same merciless scum that you so vehimently prosecute? I think NOT!!! they were innocents! i think you should rethink your stance, sir, before you offend one more likely to draw first!

Alex Livingston
Mr. Kelly -
Thank you for your letter. I write to you from prison, placed here by your illegally installed new senate, may the blood never be washed from their hands. My unflagging loyalty to the Empire and the iron oath I swore to defend her have made me an enemy to the dandies who now swarm over beauteous Coruscant. After Endor, I did not skulk in shadow as was the wont of the terrorist; nay, I spoke my fidelity, knowing it would place me here.

It truly saddens me to hear of the untimely passing of your sisters. While the tears of one called "traitor" may not serve to assuage your family's pain one jot, I extend my condolences nonetheless, and I beg you to accept them in the spirit they are proffered.

I hope it is not too painful to set your memory back to the last days of the war, but I must ask -- how came your sisters to work on what you call the "new DeathStar" (sic)? To my knowledge, women did not serve in the Imperial Navy, an example of the humanitarian leadership under which those soldiers fought and bled. The Death Star was built by the Navy Corps of Engineers, military men all. Civilian contractors never set foot on the base.

There is a legend of the noble Lord Vader's first visit to that ill-fated space-station in which it is told that the officer who received him promised that his men would work overlong to ensure its completion before its grim purpose need be realized. His men, not civilians.

The construction of the battle-station was a brilliant coup by my beloved Empire. The success of the fallacious rumors of a Death Star (maudlin name, really) put the Navy in a position where to not build one would seem to be weakness. How could the good people of the Empire feel safe if the greatest technological marvel ever built had been destroyed by a band of angry criminals? The Navy needed to build a better one to assure the public they were well-protected, and so they did.
The world-destroying laser beam was an impossibility, of course. A large cannon was built into the base, but it was meant to be used only for the harassment of capital ships. The myth could go only so far.

The terrorists won that day, and what choice did the people have but to celebrate? The statue of our fair Palpatine on Coruscant was torn down not out of joy, but out of fear. Who would dare be called "loyalist"? Very few, I assure you.

As for your offer of a duel, I must play the part of coward. Even were I free, I would decline; I abhor blasters, you see. My pacifistic conscience was allowed to flourish under the Empire, but I'm afraid the new world - built on the bodies of honorable Navy men - cleaves to violence too much for me. Even from my cell I have heard rumors of a return of the order of the Jedi, the thugs of the old senate. They state themselves to be peacemakers and ambassadors, but I ask you what needs a diplomat with a sword?

All I can ask is that you think on what I have written, as I have thought on your note. And as for your challenge, I offer an alternate -- a duel of spelling.

Bill Kelly
Mr. Livingston, firstly, allow me to apoligize for my typing... i never claimed to be a typist, and attempting to do so on a qwerty cellular comlink occasionally ends poorly, however, I MOST CERTAINLY AM ABLE TO SPELL. Secondly, you were not the subject of my violent outburst. That being said, you most certainly may step onto the field should you so desire. you claim to be a pacifist? Perhaps,sir, you are the reason that your beloved empire has fallen!?! Lastly, you state that there were ni civilian contractors? Were you there? you assume truth in all that you read? If so, I have an entire wikipwdia volume for sale at a very reasonable price!!! Forget, never for a moment, that history is written by the victor. My sisters and their husbands were in fact "civvies" in the project which was so very ill fated. It is the likes of you, the "sheep" mentality, accepting all that is laid out nice and neatly for them that has ruined this galaxy for all time.

Bill Kelly
I appologize for my candor, alas, it is late and the Corrillean Ale, and my emotions, have gotten the better of me. Perhaps, when next we speak, it will be of happier tidingd. Adeiu

Alex Livingston
Thank you, Mr. Kelly, for your correspondence, and for proving my point for me.

5 comments:

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That Mike Wines guy sounds like a nice fellow.

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