|No...they didn't look like this.|
I won't discuss the myriad difficulties associated with the task of baking in a country where people don't cook or really know how to do anything more than grill meat and starchy root vegetables. Instead I want to muse a little bit about modeling Star Wars in an RPG...a topic I realize I've visited more than a few times over the life of this blog (with little success).
Once upon a time, I had hit upon an idea for a way to "do Star Wars" as a knock-off of an existing game. Actually, there were couple four systems that would make good "hacks" for a SW-type game. B/X was one. Trollbabe was another. Dogs in the Vinyard a third...though having just purchased the last one and read it over the last few days, I see exactly how mistaken I was: DitV works well for a number of genres, but it is one that really needs to be tied in tight with religion, and there's just not enough theology to the pseudo-religion of the Jedi.
Oh, yeah...I should probably mention that I mean these are good hacks for a Jedi-centric game, not an overall "galactic space opera adventure" game. If you want something akin to the original trilogy (or, at least, the original film)...well, there are other systems to hack for that style. Systems that will allow for goofy fun in more than just a few passing ways. Star Wars, like that other 80s space opera film series (Star Trek) was all about the goofy fun.
There's a part of space opera that really cries out for goofy fun...and by this I mean a "not taking itself too seriously" approach. Probably because it IS "space opera." The technology isn't based on "hard science" (laser guns/swords, FTL travel, AI robots that "feel," psychic powers, etc.). It's fantasy, and melodramatic fantasy of world-shattering destruction (literally). That's why Guardians of the Galaxy, with its goofy cast, is such good space opera.
Despite the fancy special effects and (yes, really) heart that is injected into Episodes I, II, and III, there's very little real humor instilled in the films...especially the kind of self-deprecating type of the original trilogy. Han Solo, for all his bad-assedness at piloting and shooting, often comes off as a lovable buffoon. Leia ends up humbled by Solo's wit more often than any other "princess" I remember seeing on celluloid (and what does it say that she ends up with the buffoon by the end?). And while Luke is certainly a force to be reckoned with by RotJ (no pun intended), he had a lot of ground to make up from being wet-behind-the-ears kid of the first movie...but of course, his story evolves along a significantly different path from the others through Empire and Return of the Jedi.
Very little humor or silliness is found in the prequel films...in fact, the one with the most might be The Phantom Menace and, no, I'm not talking about Jar-Jar. Here we have Qui-Gon failing to influence Watoo with his mind-tricks. Here we have Anakin admitting he's never actually managed to finish a pod race. Here we have Obi-Wan referring to their own party as rather "pathetic life-forms."
Not taking oneself too seriously means allowing yourself to be humbled...to admit that you aren't the invincible action hero but a person with flaws and foibles and ability to laugh (or at least grudgingly smirk) at your own failings.
As a related aside: I realize I never did get back to what I thought about the Star Wars VII trailer. My overall impression was that what I saw was interesting...and that I would be interested in seeing more. I found J.J. Abrams's interpretation of Star Trek was full of contrasts between the seriousness of the situation and the playfulness/humor of the characters...in other words, pretty good space opera. This gives me quite a bit of optimism for a good Star Wars flick.
Hmmm...more on this later (perhaps).