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Episode 1842: Snow Job

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One of the best ways to play for time when confronted by someone who may as well just kill you is to go for total and utter confusion. If the potential killer is too busy simply processing what the heck you just said, then they can't engage enough neurons to go through with the task of putting you out of their misery.

At least that's the plan. Make sure you have some good Charisma/Personality modifiers if you try this.

Commentary by Keybounce (who has not seen the movie)

I love the first two panels. "I believe you may be the Resistance pilot I'm looking for." No threats of killing, no demands for knowledge, just a back-and-forth. And then we have the ultimate subversion of the similarities between the movies. The "good guy" switching sides and going over to team evil.

The worst thing: dealing with Rebel scum.
The best thing: killing anybody that gets in your way.

For somebody who has gone trigger-happy (or combat happy)—and note what Sally was playing in Butch Cassian and The Sundance Droid—this doesn't sound like that much of a stretch.

Sally was what, six when this whole thing started? And now a third year university student? Can you imagine someone growing up with this kind of story-telling game, getting used to killing as part of this game, and seeing Annie running a "bad girl" so well? - OHH, "Kylo" is probably female. (Wouldn't the voice be a tell? For that matter, no one is commenting on the voice at all. No one is commenting on it being a male or female voice. Since Sally is female, and running a character that no one is commenting on, clearly it must be a female voice, right?)

Look at this from Sally's point of view. She's already got one other player on her side. She's about to get a second player on her side. A third player needs to make a new character, and might very well become somebody promoted up in her ranks. We've even had Pete say, "Why didn't you tell me playing team evil was an option?", so chances are very good that he will find an option to switch.

Please note, that just because they switch to team evil doesn't mean that they will stay on team evil. After all, I think it was General Veers in Episode V who was reminded he had the resources of an entire Starfleet to find someone. At this point, it looks like all the PCs will have that many resources to find Luke.

Just because you and the bad guys find your target at the same time doesn't mean you've lost. It just means that the climactic battle will occur at the end of the story, where it belongs.

I mean, can you imagine if, for example, Harry and Draco faced off in the first Quidditch match of the season, instead of the last Quidditch match of the season? That would break all the rules of storytelling - you'd have the most important, critical thing early, and then you have the whole year for nothing important to happen at all.


(This next part will be long. And techie.)

The Ring Cycle view of the Star Wars story construction points out a story construction style that is old. Old. Old. Of repetitions and variations. Episode III lines up with Episode IV. Episode I lines up with Episode VI.

The ring cycle construction is repetition with variation. Just as DMM discussed timeloops as repetition with variation, we have that across generations, across groups of stories. Like a song repeating the same theme over and over, with variation, so too the ring cycle tells the same story pieces, over and over, with variation.

In Star Wars, the cycle is A B C C' B' A'. I and VI correspond. III and IV correspond. And in addition, II is V in reverse order; while III and IV have most of their plot points in order, the start of III matches the end of IV, and the end of IV matches the start of III. (Sith starts with a space battle to free Palpatine; Hope ends with a rescue of Princess and a space battle. Etc. Read the linked, long, detailed, researched, footnoted, paper.)

So let's look at this story so far. We are maybe ten minutes, possibly only five, into the movie so far. I cannot tell exactly what scenes in the originals we are comparing to. But I can see enough to question whether this is a parallel to episode IV, or if this time around, the order of the ring has been poked around.

Episodes II and V split the party. We are tracking two different groups in two different areas. Here? We have Finn (not "Flynn". Finn. Huckleberry) and Ren, and now Poe seems to be joining them. Elsewhere we have BB-8 running off to join Pete/R2. That's "split the party", and tells us that we are looking at parallels to II/V, not IV.

So this time, the cycle is starting with B. The questions to ask: Do we have someone descending into inner darkness (II), or rising out of inner darkness to embrace their ability (V)? Since Finn is apparently an "evil" NPC that looks to turn good—in the Irregulars' treatment, Finn is a full PC—Finn will probably ascend. And yet - Pete wants to play team evil, and is upset he didn't know it was possible. Poe is turning to team evil.

We have both the ascending and descending stories being told at the same time. We are looking at a very strange twist in the ring this time around.

Speaking of name problems, for some reason (ahem ... despite much effort, I could not completely avoid all spoilers), I thought Ren's name was Rey. All I know, or think I know, is that at some point we'll see Ren/Sally make a lightsaber, and that should correspond to either Luke getting his lightsaber from the frozen ground, or his Yoda training scene.

Which brings up an interesting question: How will Ren lose that existing saber? Since Star Wars is color coded for your convenience, if Ren needs to make a new saber, is it because she switches sides and needs a new color?

What if Finn and Ren go from Evil to Good, while Poe and whoever Ben makes become Evil? Two for two, and the balance in the Force is maintained :-).

Commentary by memnarch (who has not seen the movie)

Kerr-azy like turning an interrogation into a job interview. It's a bit backwards, but these are all the basic questions I've had while job interviewing or at least pretty close to them. I wonder if this is how Han turned traitor in Episode IV. Sell himself as a useful person to keep around, get a promise for some cash for turning Rebels in, and as a bonus, he gets to live and perhaps make some cash off of the Rebels later too. I bet this is the point that the GM's planned campaign jumps the rails and goes off in an unexpected direction. The train was pretty shaky before, but here's the moment when the conductor finds themself stuck in the dining car with only a microphone to yell at the passengers as they try to head towards Albuquerque instead.

I give it even odds that Sally decides Poe is snowing Kylo and kills him off as well. All Poe has to offer at the moment is that his droid buddy has the information that Kylo wants instead of him. BB-8's run off somewhere Poe doesn't know and doesn't have an in-character way to contact, and the troopers are probably better as a whole at searching for a single droid than he is. That said, Poe's got a pretty good sales pitch at sounding useful which seems to be what Kylo's interested in. If I was in Sally's place, I'd think Poe's got nothing of use at the moment, but he's amusing enough to let him live to see what he comes up with. There's no harm in listening for a while right?

Transcript

Kylo Ren: My name is Kylo Ren. You are Poe?
Poe: Yeah.
Kylo Ren: I believe you may be the Resistance pilot I’m looking for.
Poe: Possibly. So tell me, what’s the worst thing about working for the First Order?
Kylo Ren: Dealing with Resistance scum like you.
Poe: What’s the best thing?
Kylo Ren: I get to kill anyone who stands in my way.
Poe: Walk me through a typical day.
Kylo Ren: What?
Poe: You know what my greatest weakness is?
Kylo Ren: You talk too much?
Poe: I come up with a lot of crazy ideas. I mean kerr-azy. It takes someone with a firm hand to keep me in check.
Poe: But on the plus side, I’m the one who can see through a screen of obfuscation and deliver that one blinding realisation that we’ve been doing everything wrong, and need to change to something nobody else could conceive.
Poe: In short: I’m the guy your organisation needs.


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Published: Thursday, 21 May, 2020; 03:11:16 PDT.
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