Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Tonight I saw a screening of The Clone Wars. It's the next entry in the Star Wars film franchise...also known as "George Lucas needs a hand putting his great-great-great-great-grandchildren through college". The welcome change this time, however, is that the film - which takes place during the intergalactic conflict between Episode II (Awful Love Story) and Episode III (Franken-Vader Screams Noooo!) - is all done in a highly-stylized CGI format. Sounds like a fair amount of fun, right?

Well, the film carried on in a pretty mediocre manner for a while, which shouldn't really surprise anyone. For all intents and purposes, it's a cartoon. But is it aimed solely at the kiddies?

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to my new favorite character in the entire Star Wars universe. His name...is Ziro the Hutt.

The folks at Lucasfilm have finally, after more than 30 years, created a character even gayer than C-3PO. He showed up towards the end, just when I was about to completely lose interest in everything happening onscreen. Allegedly he's Jabba the Hutt's uncle. You know, because every family's got "that" uncle. And just like that uncle of yours, Ziro is without a doubt the black sheep of the family. Instead of Jabba-green, he's a fabulous shade of purple. He wears a feathered crown. He's got weird, tribal tattoos.

And he sounds like Truman Capote.

I'm not kidding. I was literally laughing out loud. To clear up any confusion - Ziro the Hutt speaks English, not just that faux-Jive that Jabba uses. His personal base is a tower in the seedy part of Coruscant that has basically been converted into a gaudy, neon-adorned gay bar. Senator Padme Amidala - depicted here as the Star Wars-equivalent to Barack Obama - has of course heard of him, and drops by to perform some deus-ex-machina responsibilities on the plot. And of course, they sent the girl to deal with Ziro.

Needless to say, he's been a naughty, naughty slug. And who gets sent in to rescue of-course-she-gets-captured Padme? Why, that butch, combat-ready C-3PO...naturally. Upon arriving at the door to Ziro's Pleasure Palace, he delivers the best line of dialogue in the entire 90 minutes:

"Well this part of town certainly isn't my part of town!"

Despite his denial, it's good to know that some things never change when it comes to our prissy, nelly little protocol droid. And as for Ziro? He may be just another downright dreadful character; a cringe-inducing by-product of the misguided prequels - but he's pure camp. So much to the point that for a split second I thought it had to be a joke..."this isn't going to be in the final cut, right?"

But he cannot be undone, and I think the world will be a better place for it. It's about time we started laughing with Star Wars, not just at it...even if that wasn't the filmmakers' true intentions. Ziro the Hutt, please take your rightful place next to the Star Wars Holiday Special. You're in good company.

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