Sunday, December 21, 2014

An analogy explaining my avoidance of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

               The reason why I have decided not to watch the trailer for the upcoming Star Wars movie or even to see the movie itself can be understood by analogy. Imagine for a moment that two new NFL teams will be created to play in the 2015 Super Bowl. The teams will have a few familiar players but will mostly consist of players new to the NFL. The created teams will not have played in the regular season and thus the fans will not have had the opportunity to develop any familiarity. Why would NFL fans even bother to watch the Super Bowl? The creation of two new teams invalidates the season; all the games and moments and plays the fans watched with a mixture of anger and delight are to come to nothing because no team that played during the season will be playing in the grand finale. This is basically the erasure of history and I imagine it would infuriate the fans. People that are indifferent to the NFL might have trouble understanding the problem.
                And thus this is the situation with the fictional world of Star Wars. The upcoming movie is not following the story set forth in the Expanded Universe novels; the previously authorized sequence of events following Return of the Jedi is being erased, or I should say – has been erased. This is no different than the NFL erasing a season of play and creating two brand new teams to play in a Super Bowl.
                The erasure is not 100% actual since one can still read the Star Wars novels or an NFL fan could still watch previously played games. The continuity, though, is what’s being meddled with – molded – into something new that does not follow what has been set forth. The disruption of continuity affects only those that have taken part in it, so a newcomer to Star Wars would not suspect anything is amiss, nor would a person indifferent to the NFL feel cheated.

Having Fun With Eu

 I wrote this on 1-19-2008 and I got the idea from an article in Discover magazine (about life originating in ice) and the short fiction of Robert Sheckley (a story about a eudemon).

            The eupeptic eudemon euphorically ate plates of eurytopic organisms in the eutectic layer of the glacial covering, several kilometers above the moraine. His name was George.
            George was a minor eudemon and felt comfortable feeding in the deep pockets of glaciers. Getting there was no problem as he was an intangible eudemon. Tangible eudemons have much trouble tunneling through ice, since they interact physically. Unlike other eudemons, George has eupepsia and does not blow fire out of his nostrils. Sadly, George can never have a normal relationship with another eudemon and his eurytopicity ensures there will always be euphoric moments.
            While most demons would cringe at the notion of subjecting themselves to a eutectic mixture, George is very happy to be in such places. A eutectic environment is usually only found very deep in a layer of ice, such as a glacier. What is there to eat in a glacier?
            When ice crystals freeze, they stay pure. Any impurities are excluded and thus become crowded and form large molecules which provide a eudemon with eupepsia. So, in vast layers of ice, there might be a eudemon. This will never affect you directly, but might paradoxically prevent your existence.
            Life is eurytopic as long as water is present. George is a very smart eudemon, so he knows this. He also knows that glaciers have empty spaces with eutectic environments. He's also very considerate and does not eat all of the large molecular chains, since he knows that some of them may give rise to life after many millions of years. His brethren are not so considerate, however.
            George has a brother named Greckel that is a regular demon. Greckel is not eupeptic and blows fire out of his nostrils, so he could never enjoy snacking in a eutectic environment. The large molecules discarded from ice crystals would expire in his filthy fires, thus forever preventing eupepsia.
            Greckel was very angry. He decided to follow George one day to the Planet of Solid Ice. It is very far from any star and has a spinning core of molten metal, which produces a magnetic field. George removed the planet from its solar system so that no other demons would harm his source of continued eupepsia.
            Greckel arrived at the planet and confronted George, exuding flames from his nostrils. Part of the surface started to melt under the extreme heat. “You outcast!” screamed Greckel.
            George vanished into the ice, seeking out his safest pocket. Greckel would never be able to find him. However, the normal euphonious molecular bondings were soon replaced with rage that could very well cause an ocean to form and then rapid eustasy. Greckel was destroying the planet to find George. But George, being intangible, had a trick up his sleeve.
            George coaxed several molecular chains to bond together and the natural voltage in the layer between ice and water formed complex amino acids which started to replicate. The eutectic mixture soon became alive and felt the heat from Greckel. It didn't want to die.
            George, a stolid pacifist, left the Planet of Solid Ice and returned home. His Mom was baking a fire cake in a small tungsten oven and drinking a glass of molten rock. “Hi George. Dinner will be ready soon. Have you seen Greckel?”
            “No, Mom. I haven't seen Greckel.”