The Big Mac Blog

Dear Star Wars, find a new Death Star

The Death Star is back for the latest Star Wars flick, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
The Death Star is back for the latest Star Wars flick, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” AP

Darth Vader has been called one of cinema’s greatest villains, usurped only by the sprawling housing complex in which he lives.

The Death Star is the ultimate contractor’s dream - it’s a government building in constant need of major repair. The Empire builds it, the Rebellion blows it up, and the contractor re-builds it again. Can you imagine the costs of building a Death Star? The plumbing must have been a nightmare, the duct work a disaster, and everyone knows that the wiring was done on the cheap - why does it blow up so just easily?

Then there are the insurance agents who want their cut and push on The Empire, “Rebel Alliance Explosion Prevention” policies, which are historically not an inexpensive premiums, either.

BTW - The insurance agents on these are notoriously difficult to cover explosions; the Death Star and The Empire must prove that the explosion was indeed planted by the Rebel Alliance. And the Rebel Alliance is normally decent at not leaving finger prints, thus making coverage claims a hassle.

There are eight movies in the Star Wars franchise, and the Death Star has been the main villain in four of them. That’s enough.

The rumor was the Death Star was not finished for “The Return of the Jedi” because three of the framing guys just quit, pipes broke, and the foreman was fired after he was caught having an affair with Bob Fett’s ex-wife (his real name is Robert; he changed it to Boba to sound more menacing - his agent said “Bob Fett The Bounty Hunter” did not sound as intimidating as “Boba Fett the Bounty Hunter”).

The Death Star is once again back with Disney’s “Rogue One: More Money From Star Wars Because ESPN is Killing Mickey” that was released to both critical and nerd acclaim.

SPOILER ALERT: George Lucas wins.

As an out-of-the-closet junkie for this commercialism crap, Rogue One is indeed a worthy companion to the iconic film franchise that could fund multiple Russian/American voting hacking projects. This is not a typical Star Wars movie - it’s not as fluffy, some good guys go down, there is little humor. The final one-third of the movie is tremendous and makes the two-hour movie worth it.

Rogue One takes place between “Episode III: The One That Didn’t Suck as Bad as I & II” and “Episode IV: A New Hope.”

The new installment features a finale that has Darth Vader on the first rebel ship doing Darth Vader things, and a young CGI’d version of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher from her affair days with Han Solo.)

Rogue One is entirely about the rebel alliance’s effort to steal the plans to destroy The Death Star.

As great as The Death Star is, surely an organization as vast and as powerful as The Death Star must have some other means of mass destruction. This reliance on one tool as a means of both housing and ruination demonstrates a lack of creative and forward thinking on the part of the Empire.

The Empire clearly has some things figured out, but not everything. Case in point - the Stormtrooper, the worst soldier in the galaxy. The Stormtrooper has been around forever, and they never improve. The existence of the Stormtrooper suggests the Empire should privatize its ground army.

I smell a tremendous opportunity for an ambitious consulting firm to swoop in at $1,000 per hour to advise The Empire on a series potential options to the Death Star (which we know the First Order regime will likely ignore; after all, consultants exist to be paid, not to be heard). There will be countless meetings, artist renderings, and many two-hour lunches.

When fully operational, the Death Star was great - a giant condo’ that features a jacuzzi, shuffle board and it can blow up a dumpy planet like Tatooine deserves proper recognition. Clearly, however, it’s a flawed venture project with an expiration date.

The Rebels always figure out a way to blow it up. This screams of a government contractor - how is there a switch in every one to trigger an explosion of that scale?

The Empire has been all about the past now it must embrace the future. Perhaps hire a social media coordinator, too. Maybe a Twitter account, or at a minimum a Snapchat page to show citizens some of the new ambitious programs from a sugar-free yogurt bar to allowing Stormtroopers to take dogs to work.

“Rogue One” is a winner, and like the rest of the world I am excited for next year’s release of “Episode VIII: Surpassing Apple” - but it’s time for The Empire to be done with The Death Star.

Mac Engel: 817-390-7697, @macengelprof

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