Star Wars Script Meeting

Someone just like Yoda, only not, and maybe sexy • Steve Young
Art by Joe Oesterle

Art by Joe Oesterle


eptember 15, 2016 meeting, Disney headquarters

In attendance: Writers and producers R, S, K, J

R noted that Star Wars Episode VIII is well into production, yet several crucial plot points have yet to be figured out. Elements need to be superficially new, yet comfortingly familiar. Summary of discussion follows.

Death Star/Starkiller

S and K reviewed the progression thus far: The Death Star was a moon, then The Force Awakens raised the bar with a Starkiller Base planet. The group agreed that an even bigger, more impressive “space ball of death” is necessary, but how to up the ante?

K pitched that the next movie’s “death ball” should be a star. All admired the logic of this, yet there was concern that a star would be “too bright to look at,” “too hot to work in,” and “would burn up all the computers and stuff.”

R suggested a “large planet with a ring which acts like a circular saw and cuts other planets in half with a prolonged high-pitched grinding noise.” Deemed “appealing,” yet rejected because of the annoying sound as well as the fact that “everyone would have to wear safety goggles.” 

S offered the notion of “a giant ball of planets” which could be held together by “gravity beams or girders or something.” J jumped on this, pointing out that “the giant ball of planets could shoot fire, or planets, or planets on fire, or planets on fire that themselves shoot lasers.” All agreed this was “awesome” and “different without actually being a new idea.”  APPROVED

Space Ball of Death’s
Destruction/Nick of Time

K observed that the Death Stars and Starkiller Base are invariably destroyed by the rebels with mere seconds to spare. How many seconds prior to disaster should the rebels destroy the Giant Ball of Planets?

R said “three seconds, just like always.” Agreement that the three second option would go over well with fans, yet worry that Episode VIII could miss an opportunity by not trying something slightly new.

K proposed “four seconds.”  Dismissed as “not high enough stakes due to the extra remaining second.”

S suggested “one second.”  Shot down as “too unbelievable.”

J pitched “two seconds.”  Extensive back and forth about this option.  

After nearly an hour, S suggested “two and a half seconds.” “You could have a digital timer showing tenths of a second,” pointed out K. “Fractional seconds would be a great way to keep the franchise fresh,” agreed R. General enthusiasm and relief. APPROVED

Rebel Attack Strategy
on the Giant Ball of Planets

All parties quickly agreed that the rebels’ attack strategy did not require an update. “No need to reinvent the wheel on everything,” noted R. “Cinematically, there’s nothing more satisfying than a small overlooked vulnerability involving ductwork.” APPROVED

Adorable Robot

J reviewed the variations thus far: R2D2 is a cylinder with a rounded top, BB-8 is a ball with a rounded top. What would be an appealing form for the next adorable robot?

S suggested a cube with a rounded top. Admiration for the boldness of this idea, yet worry that “we’ve established that adorable robots have to have a bottom section that’s sort of round.”

K’s attempt to bring triangles into the discussion resulted in acrimony.  

Brief excitement over R’s pitch that the bottom part of the adorable robot could be “pear-shaped,” followed by discouragement. “We’ve never established that this galaxy has pears,” noted S.

Following a long silence, K pitched “a ball of balls with another ball on top.” The group quickly seized upon the obvious merit of this idea. “It could be named like ZP-72 or ZP-73 or whatever,” suggested R. After intense debate, the name “ZP-75” was chosen as the name of the adorable robot shaped like a ball of balls with another ball on top. APPROVED

Adorable Robot Sounds

Once again, the group agreed that a new approach was not required.  Unanimous acclaim for “the usual 1970’s computer bleeps and bloops, with perhaps a slightly more melancholy whistle.” APPROVED

Ominous Black
Villain Mask/Helmet

S observed that the ominous black Darth Vader mask and helmet had been followed by the ominous black-with-silver-highlights Kylo Ren mask and helmet. Clearly a new-ish, slightly-less-iconic variation is needed for the villain being introduced in Episode VIII, Bulp Mofo.

K suggested “a plain black helmet, but the mask has lots of blobs and protrusions near the eyes, in case we want to have a story line about Bulp Mofo’s limited peripheral vision.” Lukewarm response.

R pitched “a really mean-looking welding mask, because maybe Bulp Mofo does a lot of welding.” J reminded R that as currently conceived, the Bulp Mofo character once enjoyed welding but has lost interest.

J proposed that Bulp Mofo wear “a large, round black helmet with a stem-like appendage on top, triangular holes for the eyes and nose, and an oblong mouth cut-out with jagged edges.”

Proposal met with awkward silence.

S ventured: “How about even though Bulp Mofo no longer is interested in welding, he still wears the welding mask, because he’s evil and refuses to give it to a welder who’s just starting out and could really use it.”    APPROVED

To Be Addressed At Next Meeting

Bulp Mofo’s light saber needs to have a superficial difference. Two parallel beams for no particular reason?  Beam color: plaid? ◊ 

This piece originally appeared in The American Bystander #3.

(@pantssteve) wrote for Letterman for many years. He will soon be seen in a documentary about industrial musicals.
Steve Young (@pantssteve) wrote for Letterman for many years. He will soon be seen in a documentary about industrial musicals.
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