On Star Wars

The Madness of King George

By Keith R. A. DeCandido

So Matthew Woodring Stover said to me, “Keith,” he said, “BenBella’s doing a Smart Pop book called Star Wars on Trial. I’m one of the editors. How’d you like to contribute?” Having already contributed to four previous Smart Pop books, BenBella probably figured it was an easy sell. What the good folks at BenBella don’t know, of course, is that I have been using Smart Pop to finagle a way to get paid for preexisting rants. I was carrying on about how “The Train Job” sucked as an intro to Firefly and how the last line in King Kong was bull and how cool Kitty Pryde is for ages before I wrote about those topics for Smart Pop books, and I can rate actors the way I did for the various Superman folks in my sleep. Ben-Bella never cottoned to the fact that this wasn’t work, this was fun– and also didn’t require anything like effort on my part.

Having half a dozen rants on Star Wars1 waiting to go, I said, “Sure, no problem.”

“You’ll be a witness for the Defense,” Matt continued.

“Uh, okay.” All of a sudden this sounded like work, thus belying my entire Smart Pop credo.

“You’ll be taking on David Brin. He’ll be arguing that the politics of Star Wars are elitist and anti-democratic. You probably have seen his Salon article.”

As a matter of fact I had. When the article first went live in 1999, I would never have considered defending Star Wars on this topic. But the  …

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