Throwback Thursday: New Star Wars Books and the Humor in The Force Awakens

by Todd King, contributing writer

Upcoming Books – Not the Jedi Ancient Texts

Bring the tastes and smells of Galaxy's Edge home

Cover for "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge – The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook" by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Marc Sumerak. Published by Insight Editions.

First question: does it include roasted porg? Probably not, but this cookbook is certainly one I want to get and try out! It will be a while before I can travel through the stars and set foot on Batuu, but maybe I can master creating a Ronto Wrap long before I get there. In what I think is a fantastic tie-in to the park, this official cookbook will be available in November of this year, just before the release of The Rise of Skywalker, and I hope, before Thanksgiving! This stuff will go better with the holiday meal than sweet potatoes. And what better to go along with any meal than Blue Milk? I can't wait to try out my galactic culinary skills and feed my inner Jedi.

Some details about the cookbook and a link to pre-ordering it are on Disney Parks Blog.

Luke's Last (History) Lesson

Cover of "The Secrets of the Jedi," by Marc Sumerak. Published by Insight Editions.

Also being published in November (the 19th to be exact) is an absolutely fascinating The Secrets of the Jedi by (cookbook co-author) Marc Sumerak. The text is narrated by Luke Skywalker, who tells the history of the Jedi from his perspective. Like in The Last Jedi, Luke has a unique perspective on the Jedi and sees their successes as well as their faults. To me, it seems like it might be the kind of stuff he might have told Rey if he had been so inclined (it seemed his only point to Rey was that the Jedi caused more harm than good). The great thing is that he discusses Jedi history from all over the Star Wars canon including The Clone Wars. I found the page below to be especially telling of his view of the Jedi we saw in the prequels.

A page from the upcoming book, "The Secrets of the Jedi," narrated by Luke Skywalker, tells the history of the Jedi from his perspective and this page is an excellent take on the events of the prequels. Written by Marc Sumerak. Published by Insight Editions.

More details and example pages (and a pre-order link) are on the Star Wars blog.

Awakening the Humor of Episode VII

Who talks first?

While I was planning to go through The Clone Wars and Rebels to continue my look at the humor of Star Wars in these Throwback Thursdays, I realized I was better off sticking to the theatrical movies (The Clone Wars pilot film notwithstanding) for the remainder of this year, and tackle all the TV series next year. This was, for me, all leading up to Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker so I think this focus is appropriate. Let's continue the films in release order. Good? Okay. Punch it!

While Revenge of the Sith wasn't without its humor, The Force Awakens was a "return to form" for Star Wars in a few ways. Episode III was where we had left off in the live-action saga ten years previously and it was the darkest chapter we had yet seen. Now forward to a time when the Empire had been defeated, but a new evil was rising, we find a galaxy that continues in its struggles but with nary a Sith in sight. In this rejuvinated episode, there is plenty of room for humor and it serves the story and the characters quite well. Harrison Ford brings together not only the anchor of much of the story and its place in the overall saga, but he always brings with him (in the character of Han Solo) that great quality of levity and instances of irony that we always loved about him and these stories. Aligned with new characters, Solo does what he can't help do: bring out the best in those around him. But first, these new characters are shades of ideas we've seen before.

The first bit of humor in The Force Awakens follows an awkward silence when Kylo Ren, through his mask, stares at Poe Dameron, who can't take the pause and says, "So, who talks first?" © Lucasfilm.

Stormtrooper FN-2187 has an awakening of his own and wants out of the First Order. With Poe's help, he plans an escape through the hangar while saying, "Stay Calm," not to Poe, but to himself. © Lucasfilm.

Episode VII has many subtle funny moments, like when Poe is explaining the operations of a TIE Fighter's weapons and FN-2187 says under his breath, "This is very complicated." © Lucasfilm.

When I played with Star Wars toys as a kid, characters would often get put in odd places, like Vader in the Millennium Falcon (where he would decree it as a "piece of junk"). Here we see a hero, Poe, piloting a TIE Fighter and exclaiming as they escape, "Whoa! This thing really moves!" © Lucasfilm.

Maybe this wasn't intentional but watching it back I though Oscar Isaac's delivery of this line was funny. He asks John Boyega his character's name, which is FN-2187. Poe replies, "F'n what?" © Lucasfilm.

Comedy comes in pairs

Rey is introduces as a lone scavenger, but an inventive one. Although this part isn't laugh out loud, a sled own a sand dune is fun, but also clever and practical. © Lucasfilm.

The solitary Rey tells BB-8 not to follow her but the droid, whose language she understands, lets out a sad whimper that stops Rey in her tracks. I think we've all been in situations where someone we don't want to be around asks to tag along. © Lucasfilm.

Finn has made his way through the desert to the outpost and finally finds some water, in an animal trough, and it is revolting to him, but ... © Lucasfilm.

... he drinks it anyway because he's just too thirsty. There's no way he didn't get some nasty bacteria in his system that causes increased impulsiveness which Finn does throughout his journey. © Lucasfilm.

Finn sees Rey struggling against some thugs trying to steal BB-8, but he's impressed that she fights them off herself and Boyega's face tells that story. © Lucasfilm.

In a favorite moment of mine, Rey starts for Finn when BB-8 tells her that guy's a thief. It cuts to Finn who slowly moves away, then back to Rey at full scary-sprint! © Lucasfilm.

Rey keeps Finn down to question him while BB-8 shocks him with electricity and the look he gives is one of complete disbelief that he's being tortured by a tiny droid, even saying, "What!?" © Lucasfilm.

When our heroes are under attack at the Outpost, there is a quick exchange between them where Finn tries to lead Rey to safety. She doesn't want help and tells him to let go of her hand. But then ... © Lucasfilm.

... after surviving a blast from a TIE Fighter, Rey offers her hand to help Finn. He takes it. © Lucasfilm.

In their flurry to escape, they argue which ship they should steal, a piece of garbage, or a quad-jumper. Once the jumper is destroyed here, Rey says, "The garbage'll do!" © Lucasfilm.

The garbage in question? Well, it's been called junk before and so in a joyous reveal, there is the Millennium Falcon! (including a new radar dish, the previous one of which was broken in Return of the Jedi--details!) © Lucasfilm.

In the Falcon, our heroes each try to build up their own confidence, first with Finn returning to a gunner position and talking again to himself, "I can do this, I can do this ..." © Lucasfilm.

... followed by Rey assuming the pilot's position while saying, "I can do this, I can do this ..." It's a tense moment eased by the humor of these characters feeling in over their heads. © Lucasfilm.

How many times have we been here? Trying to tell your friend to grab something for you and they just can't get the right thing. Here's Rey, like us in these situations, insisting, "No! The one I'm pointing at!" I adore this moment. © Lucasfilm.

In a bit of physical comedy, Finn needs a better view out of the cockpit and scales the dash while using Rey's head to brace himself. © Lucasfilm.

Star Wars is full of little funny aside lines that are often missed on the first viewing. Rey will not take being a prop for Finn's attempts at climbing and blurts out a quick English-accented, "Get off!" © Lucasfilm.

Pointing Irony

A funny moment? No. But one that puts a smile on your face. The return of Solo. "Chewie, we're home." © Lucasfilm.

Pleasantries aside, Han worries about his cargo, monstrous creatures called rathtars. Finn asks how he even managed to get them on board. Han replies, "I used to have a bigger crew." Oops. They were gone before they could be action figures. © Lucasfilm.

Finn, also concerned with this cargo, asks where Han's keeping the rathtars and in great movie timing, one suddenly appears at the nearby window. "There's one," Han says deadpan. © Lucasfilm.

We love to see Han in over his head and try to work his way out. He proudly states he can *talk* his way out of anything to which Chewie objects with a growl. "Yes I do!" Han says. "Every time!" And with that, we're in agreement with the Wookie before the danger even appears. © Lucasfilm.

Han has regressed to a state of being where once again, everyone wants him dead. First the Guavian Death Gang want recompense, then a second gang, Kanjiklub, show up wanting the same, while Han takes a moment, a breath, to realize he's pretty much screwed. © Lucasfilm.

Han's skills at talking his way out don't start off too well. "Good to see you!" he says to greet the gang he just described as "little freaks." © Lucasfilm.

Han, in a vain attempt to stall time, keeps talking and when told he has swindled the gang not once, but twice, he follows-up saying, "What was the second time?" basically admitting the first time actually did happen. © Lucasfilm.

"Wrong fusers." We get to realize, a few seconds before she does, that Rey has accidentally opened the cages of the rathtars. Maybe she and Finn should have stayed in those crawlspaces. © Lucasfilm.

Writing 101: you have monsters in cages and your character is worried about them escaping because they're so dangerous. Those monsters better escape and be more than dangerous. The rathtars do indeed get out making the situation both better and worse for Han. © Lucasfilm.

How awful are the rathtars? They have teeth, tentacles, can roll toward you, and also gobble you up with ease. In a quick visual gag, BB-8 narrowly evades this rathtar who burps out one of the gang member's boots. © Lucasfilm.

Rey has no time to explain that she just saved Finn's life by closing the door and freeing him from a rathtar's grasp. She just says, "That was lucky!" and moves on. © Lucasfilm.

I love Rey's/Daisy Ridley's expression here as she quickly solves their power problem on the Falcon. "I bypassed the compressor!" This needs to be memed. © Lucasfilm.

It's All About the... Timing

Ahh Threepio, your timing is perfect--in that it is interrupting a calm and moving moment. © Lucasfilm.

It's not necessarily a funny moment, but it is a payoff from the moment Rey had when Han gave her a blaster asking, "You know how to use one?" Rey says simply, "Pull the trigger." And in this split second of desperation she realizes she left the safety on. © Lucasfilm.

Jedi mind tricks have always be a source of amusement both when they work and when they don't. We wish it would work for all of us in precarious situations like this one where Rey believes she must have the Force and uses it on the Daniel Craig stormtrooper to escape. © Lucasfilm.

Oh poor this guy. He has to be the messenger of bad news to Kylo Ren and his face tells us he knows what's about to go down. © Lucasfilm.

And what happens? This messenger knows it's better not to run lest he makes his situation worse for himself. But he must stand his ground while Kylo Ren obliterates anything with a blinking light around him. © Lucasfilm.

Kylo Ren's wrath, and temper, are known all over Starkiller base, and these Stormtroopers are having none of by slinking away down the all probably admitting to themselves that they saw nothing. © Lucasfilm.

Han's True Self

Han discovers Finn's job was sanitation and realizes we all just put the fate of the galaxy in the hands of someone usually using those hands to push brooms. Finn's a lot like Han, everyone underestimates him, even himself, but he rises to every occasion. © Lucasfilm.

Paying off from Finn's previous employment as a sanitation worker, Han asks him if there's a place they can dispose of Captain Phasma, like a "trash compactor?" © Lucasfilm.

And Finn replies assuredly, "Yeah there is." © Lucasfilm.

Famous memes popped up from this moment where Han, a convert to believing the teachings of the Jedi, can say with aplomb, "That's not how the Force works!" © Lucasfilm.

"Oh *you're* cold?" says Han replying to Chewbacca who shivers to the side. © Lucasfilm.

Another payoff moment when Chewie hands Han his warm coat when they were both previously complaining about the cold. The wookie is always backing up Han and looking after him. © Lucasfilm.

Perhaps this is a bit of fan service, but I'll allow it. We always thought as kids that Chewie had the best weapon, his bowcaster. Han had apparently never fired it until this act of desperation to protect his friend. After which he declared, "Wow," impressed by the power of it. © Lucasfilm.

Later, in another skirmish, Han politely asked Chewie if he could borrow the bowcaster and skillfully took out a nest of stormtroopers in one shot. "I like this thing!" he said. © Lucasfilm.

In the next humorous episode 

So, what did I miss? What other moments from The Force Awakens brings you a smile or a laugh? Post in the comments.

Next time, I continue in release order and look at the funny stuff from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Oh, did I say Revenge of the Sith was the saga's darkest chapter? Does Rogue One give it any contrast? Does its pathos allow for any humor at all? Perhaps it does in the form of a 4-letter word ... no not that kind of 4-letter word ... I mean something like perhaps maybe K2SO ... tune in next time! Thanks for reading.



  1. By Pammer

    Thanks Todd ~ I thoroughly enjoyed the humor segment again!

  2. By foxtwin

    Quote Originally Posted by Pammer View Post
    Thanks Todd ~ I thoroughly enjoyed the humor segment again!

    Thank you! Got a favorite funny Star Wars moment/scene?

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