Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

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Title: Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?
Creator: Anne Elizabeth Zeek
Date(s): September 1981 and November 1981
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Wars
External Links:
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Button, Button, Who's Got the Button? is an article by Anne Elizabeth Zeek. Other research is by M. Corbett and Jean Stevenson. In it, she addresses the question: who is The Other?

It was published in two parts in the letterzine Jundland Wastes, the first in September 1981 (issue #4) and the second in November 1981 (issue #5/6).

Pat Nussman cited this essay in her own 1982 essay: The Female Hero: Personal Reflections on the Appeal of Leia Organa.

Part One

first page of the first part

Part one has subtitle: "Or, But Daddy, You Said I Could Be 'The Other' Today!"

The article supposes that The Other could be a new character, Wedge Antilles, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Lando Calrissian or the droids, Luke's mother, and any of Luke or Han's cousins and various relatives.


Many fen have attached themselves to the idea of the 'other' being an entirely new character, one not yet seen in the movies. In this way we don't have to reconsider the established characters in a new light, and we are given wide scope for the fannish proclivity to 'Mari Su' it at the least excuse.

Part Two

first page of the second part

Part two is subtitled: "Or, Damn It All, George, How Could You Do This to Us?" This second half explores the idea of 'The Other' being Leia, Chewbacca, or Han.

In it, the author also notes that Han understands Chewbacca, and that true heroes understand the language of animals and magical beings.


Let us look at the wookiee first. While it may not mean a thing... there is the fact that Chewbacca is the one contacted by Ben Kenobi in the cantina. The Ben of the radio-show... tells us this is "no ordinary wookiee." Does Ben know something the viewer doesn't? Even though Ben does not know of the 'other," he could know that Chewbacca has strong potential in the Force. The co-ordination between Han and Chewbacca is extraordinary! Could it be helped by telepathy? How close a vetting does Lucas give the professionally published SWARS fiction? In 'The Wookiee Storybook', one of the SWARS children's books, wookiees are definitely mentioned to be telepathic. Are they? And what of other ESPer abilities?... Chewbacca is the first to notice that C3PO is missing, and later finds the droid in a place most visitors would not think to look for a missing mechanical—particularly not for one last seen in one piece. Then there is that strange cry he gives before the ill-fated party enters the dining hall. Does Chewbacca sense something wrong?

Leia resists Lord Vader's mind-probe. Now, I don't know about you, but I figure anyone able to resist that one's probe is indeed "a force" (ouch!) to be reckoned with. And for tnat matter, how did so young a woman become so high-ranking in the rebel Alliance? And even further back, how did she become a senator? Was it because of her royal heritage? Or is she, to paraphrase Ben, "no ordinary princess"? Leia is the McGuffin for the entire middle trilogy. Because she is who she is and was where she was the entire SWARS saga is set in motion. She has the tapes, dispatches the droids enchants Luke, gets captured by Vader, watches Alderaan be destroyed, escapes with Luke and Han,is a leader of the rebellion, exerts a strong pull on Han, etc., etc. It would be poetic justice after having set the entire sequence into motion, she should be the ultimate hero.

Han is chosen by Obi-Wan even over Luke's protestations. Why? Did the Jedi Master sense something in the Corellian? is Kenobi as much at the mercy of destiny as the rest of the characters? (Lucas has told us that Luke is but a pawn in events that had their origin before his birth.) Was it fate that Solo was in that particular cantina at that particular time and in need of money for a debt to Jabba the Hut? The radio show, bad though it may have been at times, makes it quite clear that Ben was looking for someone quite specific. Why Solo?