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Episode 82: The Worst-Laid Plans

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This strip was published on 1 April, 2008: April Fools' Day. In the grand tradition of stupidity everywhere, and on the net in particular, we originally went to air with an alternative version of this strip. (You can also see it and do a blink comparison by mousing over the image on this page.) Here's the annotation text as it appeared:

We regret to have to announce that we have received a cease-and-desist letter relating to our work on Darths & Droids. As a result of this correspondence and some deeply considered thought, we are discontinuing our use of screenshots from the movie.

However, we still have scripts and story ideas to carry us a long way yet, so we are not giving up the comic altogether. We shall continue on, with just one minor change: All of the images used in the comics will be created by us.

Of course we'd like to recreate the visuals from the movies as closely as we can, but naturally our time and budget are limited. We'll do the best we can. Hopefully this change won't be too jarring in the long run.

We thank you in anticipation of your continued support.

Of course, this was a complete fabrication and practical joke. We haven't received any such letter, and we are not discontinuing our use of screencaps. In fact, George Lucas is known amongst the fan community as being particularly welcoming of fan works based on Star Wars. We have no idea if he or anyone at Lucasfilm knows about Darths & Droids, but we'd bet that if he did, he'd have a good chuckle and leave us be.

We had the idea to do this joke strip some time ago and we discussed it at length. Our fear was that some readers might not appreciate that it was a joke and get angry enough to write or otherwise contact Lucasfilm, which could have the effect of notifying some lawyers there about our previously undetected activity, leading ultimately to an actual cease-and-desist notice.

In the end we decided that:

  1. It was unlikely anyone would both believe what we said on April Fools' Day and then actually go to the trouble of contacting Lucasfilm, especially within 48 hours before the next comic update.
  2. Even if someone did, Lucasfilm wouldn't have a problem with us.
  3. Even if they did, we'd be legally able to continue making comics because it's clearly parody and our site is hosted in the USA.
  4. And if we got sued anyway, we could go out with a bang. "Yeah, we got shut down by Lucasfilm. How cool is that?"
All in all, it was a spectacularly bad plan. But at least it's spectacular!

Transcript

Qui-Gon: Here's the plan. Watto is going to throw the race. So betting on his opponent is a sure thing.
Qui-Gon: We bet a lot of money and win even more. Then we can buy the weapons we need.
Obi-Wan: Okay, where do I start?
Qui-Gon: "Brilliant plan, Qui-Gon."
Obi-Wan: Firstly, it's probably not a one-on-one race. There could be 50 racers, of whom we know one won't win.
Qui-Gon: Oh. Yeah. Damn. But...
Obi-Wan: We'd have to bet on every racer apart from Watto, and with the bookmaker margin we won't even be able to buy back the ship you gave away, let alone the parts for it.
Qui-Gon: If only I'd done it the other way around my plan would have been 50 times as good...
Obi-Wan: And all this presumes we even have any money to begin with, which we don't. It's a spectacularly bad plan.
Qui-Gon: But at least it's spectacular!


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