I Want to Live on Tatooine

Something’s bugging me, and I don’t know what. I’ll figure it out sooner or later. One thing that’s a little disorienting over here on the East Coast is the imbalance between what the weather looks like it should be and what it actually is. Think about it. If it’s raining, it should be cold. If it’s sunny, it should be warm. There are plenty of places where that isn’t true, but I grew up in California, and there, it generally is. Now I live in a city where thunderstorms and sweltering heat can coexist. What is this, the tropics? I want to live on Tatooine. Sure, it’s hot as hell, but at least you know what you’re gonna get.

It’s hot and sunny today. There was a thunderstorm this morning. I brought my umbrella to school, and now I feel like an idiot carrying it around in the middle of a blazing summer day. Someone should tell the mad scientists who secretly control our weather to make up their goddamn minds. If they’re going to wipe us off the face of the Earth, could they at least be a little bit more consistent about it? This wildly inconsistent weather pattern does nothing but irritate me. If you want me dead, you should go all-out. I deserve that, at least.

Part of what made Darth Vader such a great villain was his desperation. In the first film (of the original trilogy, obviously), he’s taking orders from Grand Moff Tarkin and clinging to the hope that he can make his Imperial cohorts respect the power of the Force. In Empire, he kills his underlings for everything except breathing loudly not because he’s all-powerful, but because he’s scared shitless of what the Emperor will do to him if he fails. Darth Vader is unspeakably evil, but as prone to self-doubt and insecurity as any one of us. That’s why he’s terrifying. On one hand, the Empire looks unbeatable, but on the other, they’re barely holding together. Nobody seems to like them very much. They’re trying to rule an entire galaxy out of fear. That’s difficult, even when you’ve got a weapon that can destroy an entire planet in one shot.

The closest thing to Darth Vader that New York has is Donald Trump. He’s not scary so much as just annoying. Seriously, what has he accomplished? Darth Vader at least believed in something. Trump believes in, I don’t know, putting his name on everything he touches, having a hideous hairdo, and making sure that no one ever forgets him. On the first two counts, he has most likely succeeded, but I’m not so certain about that third part. What will the history books say about him? Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan revolutionized their respective industries, for better or for worse. I don’t think Donald Trump has revolutionized anything except how to be an loathsome douchebag. Has he inspired anyone? Do business majors cite him as their reason for getting into this line of work? I’ve known at least one person who idolized Warren Buffet. I respect Warren Buffet. Trump is a pest, nothing more. No one takes him seriously. No one ever will.

One of my favorite elements of the Original Star Wars Trilogy is something that a lot of people mock it for. It may seem ridiculous at first that the whole Death Star can be detonated by a direct hit to an exhaust port, but things that stupid happen in real life all the time. Remember the Mars Climate Orbiter? It crashed on the surface of Mars because the ground crew did the calculations in Imperial units but programmed the lander in meters. Over $300 million were lost because a bunch of geniuses with degrees from the best universities in the world made a mathematical error that I was warned against in grade school. It would be funny if it weren’t so…actually, screw that. It’s hilarious.

New York has a convoluted subway system that I’m still learning my way around. But I can get to a ride to Alderaan on the Millenium Falcon for only 10,000 credits. New York subways are crowded and filthy. The most unsanitary thing on the Falcon is Chewbacca, and I’m pretty sure he’s been toilet-trained. New York has muggers. Tatooine has Sand People. I think I’ve made my point.

I’m still debating whether children or Ewoks are more annoying. Ewoks are cuter, sure, but they’re also more prone to roasting strangers over a fire. We’ll call that one a toss-up. Children just rub their boogers on you. Never mind that–Ewoks are better than children. The point I’m trying to make is that while flying to New York and studying at an Ivy League school may seem glamorous, there’s a lot about it that’s chaotic, even messy. I’m supposed to be finishing a lab right now. (I hate the way that Climatology labs are always due on Friday night.) After that, I’ll probably go home to catch up on The Daily Show, which I have sadly fallen behind on. The Star Wars universe, admittedly, lacks a Jon Stewart, but I’ll trade that in for the chance to hang with Yoda. As long as he’s still a puppet controlled by Frank Oz rather than a CGI creation, I’ll pay just about any price.


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