Fuzzy Thoughts: On Wookiees and Fan Fiction
|Title:||Fuzzy Thoughts: On Wookiees and Fan Fiction|
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It was printed in Shadowstar #15.
Well, I've given the matter a lot of thought and finally decided the subject for my first editorial should be the Mistreatment of Wookiees in Story and Song. I've been reading a lot of different fanzines and books, lately and I've discovered that, with very few exceptions, Wookiees — having the misfortune of not being human — are treated with a lack of respect.
It seems that writers have a lot of trouble dealing with Wookiees in their stories. This is probably because these writers, being human, write the human characters in their stories by a sort of role-playing, pretending to be that character, thinking as it would think, moving as it would move. They cannot do this with a non-human character, it seems. The writer will try to put the Wookiee's character into a human form, and try to have him think and act as a very tall, very strong, fur-covered human. This isn't right; we won't always act, think, and move as a human character might. I've also noted that many human writers have some kind of weird mental block that prevents them from believing that a non-human species could possibly be as smart as — much less smarter than! — the human race. It ofttimes looks as though the writer thinks of Wookiees as being no more intelligent than the author's family pet.
Being unable to accept the idea that we Wookiees are the greatest of assets in any endeavor and are as intellectually advanced as any species capable of spaceflight, the authors of stories set in a universe wherein Wookiees reside will sometimes do their best to find a way to avoid dealing with a Wookiee character. They'll do whatever they can to write the entire race out of their pieces. It's not fair! My Dad is the one who usually gets slighted by this action. I realize that these writers are supposedly writing stories about various heroes and their great deeds (and sometimes their great pains and disappointments and mistakes), but, just as there are great humans, there are also great Wookiees. My Dad, for one. My Dad's a hero!! But one would never know it from the way he's treated in certain stories, movies, poems, and songs. I've seen Dad written out of far too many stories in quite a variety of imaginatively convenient ways. I've seen stories wherein the authorseriously injures Dad at the very beginning of the tale, or has him laid up with some severe illness, so he'll have to spend the whole of the story in a medcenter or sickbay, unable to travel with the other heroes on their particular mission. The writer will sometimes send Dad on a separate mission (usually some kind of milk-run that's so boring, the readers wouldn't be at all interested in hearing about it, so the writer therefore doesn't have to bother telling them what's happening with him), so that he will not be there when the others go on their adventure.
Even Mr. George Lucas is somewhat guilty of jumping to conclusions where Wookiees in general — and my Dad in particular — are concerned. I know a lot of you reading this are now saying to yourselves, "George created Star Wars, and if that's the way he sees Wookiees, then that's the way they must be." How untrue!! Mr. Lucas came closer than any other human in expressing the true Wookiee character, but even he was off a little. In the movie A NEW HOPE, he had Dad's character down pretty good, but in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, he started to go astray. In this second film, Mr. Lucas did show how good Dad is at electronics and mechanics, but that was about all he did. The rest of the movie only showed him as Uncle Han's shadow. By the time the third movie came out, his idea of Wookiees had gone totally downhill. He starts assassinating Dad's character right from the very beginning by having Princess Leia disguised as a bounty hunter, bringing Chewbacca to Jabba the Hutt and demanding a reward. In my opinion, Jabba was an idiot for believing that that tiny bounty hunter could possibly be restraining Dad with chain and collar and the threat of a thermal detonator. Dad's hands weren't even bound. Even I, a mere cub, knew it was a set-up, right away. As good as he supposedly was, Jabba wouldn't have fallen for that. But apparently he did, which seems to say that Dad is so much of a coward, a pint-sized bounty hunter could capture and hold him with mere threats.