Alternative Ideas for the New Star Wars Trilogy

By Kyle B. Stiff

There have already been over one billion blog posts and YouTube vids in which big-brained types have methodically broken down what’s wrong with the new Star Wars movies. The world doesn’t need another in-depth analysis, so I won’t do that… but then again, what about some bullshit brainstorming about how the story could have gone differently? So that’s what this piece is about.

let+the+past+die

NEW ORDER

I’m not the first person to be confused about what the New Order even is, and why the battle at the end of Return of the Jedi seemingly had no effect on the galaxy. Did the Rebels forget to set up their Republic once again, and just remained guerilla fighters because they’d gotten used to it? And if the total defeat of the Imperials, including the loss of their leaders, their superweapon, and most of their big ships, really affected them so little, then shouldn’t they be acknowledged as the rightful rulers of the galaxy?

maxresdefault

In any case, I think it would be interesting if the storyline reflected the times we live in now. The Rebels should have remade the Republic, but then their leaders should have inexplicably gone insane and spread propaganda about Imperials being everywhere. Anyone not on board with the new rulers would be declared “literally an Imperial stormtrooper” and been censored, thrown out of their job, doxxed, and un-personed. They could post images of Darth Vader on every planet, convinced that he somehow still lived, or was magically influencing people who were not progressive Rebels. While the Empire was anti-alien, the New Republic could move aliens onto human worlds in order to combat perceived anti-alien prejudice. The human leaders of the New Republic could even undergo surgery to make themselves look more alien, slowly turning into abominations that were neither human nor alien.

Star-Wars-Last-Jedi-Leia-Uses-Force-Powers

In this situation, instead of Luke turning into a titty-sucking cynic, we could have seen Leia become a villain. Lots of people have already noticed that extreme progressive views destroy beauty, so it would be interesting to see Leia, the beautiful space princess of the original trilogy, turn into a surgically modified proto-alien monstrosity. Her brother Luke, on the other hand, instead of running away because he almost killed a kid who was having a bad dream, would instead run away simply because he saw the horrible effect of everyone’s mind being controlled by something he didn’t understand, and he was genuinely afraid that his own mind would be consumed as well. Imagine a monk choosing to live far from civilization because he doesn’t understand the benefits of Antifa or Gillette ads or why the green piggy guards from Jabba’s Palace were being pushed into human resources positions in the New Republic. Remember that Luke was basically trained as an assassin by Yoda, but in this instance, he would be facing a monster that couldn’t be defeated with a lightsaber, a monster so insidious it had somehow replaced his own sister.

cb78ea2f812b5cfc211c7a7f2bfd1919

Or, as terrible as it sounds, it might be interesting for Luke to realize that he will be forced to do what Yoda trained him to do so long ago: Kill a member of his own family for political reasons. How fucked up is that!? It would probably be so disturbing to him, on such a deep and fundamental level, that he would seek the solace of an alien titty because what else does he have???

 

 

e37zee2sigf11

 

FINN

I’ve always been confused by this character. It was never explained why he had a bout of conscience and could no longer serve the New Order. If the Empire used clones for stormtroopers, it would have been interesting if the New Order used something even more disturbing, like victims of MK ULTRA who had been turned into suicidal fanatics. Imagine soldiers who had their core humanity ruined or buried under layers of traumatic programming. Maybe Finn’s programming was incorrectly administered, making him the odd man out. Or maybe joining the Rebels is a part of his programming, and he doesn’t even know it. Or maybe his programming was corrupted, so he left the New Order and joined the Rebellion, but he found the Rebels so ideologically repulsive that he couldn’t help but constantly argue with them, shouting, “Palpatine did nothing wrong!” and ruining every friendship.

Otherwise he’s kind of forgettable, isn’t he?

9555d77e8de291e7423be4acdc4acede

 

REY

I’m old enough to remember a time when nerds were routinely rounded up, fitted with explosive collars, and hunted on live tv. No memorials commemorate this because nobody gave a shit about nerds in the 80s. Times are different now, and nerd culture is mainstream. However, let’s be real… times haven’t changed that much. Deep down, women don’t care about Star Wars, they just tolerate it because they don’t want us to feel like idiots for getting into fights over why Qui-Gon Jinn didn’t disappear when he got lightsabered in his gutworks. The wheels of culture are spinning hard to bring women into sci-fi, but they will never appreciate my life-size Lando Calrissian body pillow or my ability to repeat a lot of the alien dialogue from Return of the Jedi, which I can do despite the fact that it’s been many years since I’ve seen it. (If you’re curious, I can even replicate the weird voice modulation they used when Leia was pretending to be an alien bounty hunter.)

chun-lo-kylo-red

The desire for “strong” female protagonists is powerful in everyone except audiences (they just want a good story). Progressive types like to ignore the history of interesting female characters in sci-fi and fantasy and are pushing for Mary Sue types who are good at everything and have no personality. This is how we get characters like Rey, but apparently it could have been worse. Captain Marvel is slated to be the Alpha Mary Sue, the ultimate Mary Sue of which all other Mary Sues are mere reflections, or maybe harbingers of the prophecied Mary Sue Prime who is destined to defeat Thanos.

screen-shot-2017-12-20-at-7-18-08-pm

Anyway, Rey may be bland, but she actually fits pretty well within my idea of the New Republic becoming a totalitarian left-wing nightmare, because her absolute mastery of everything would make her a pretty scary villain. Imagine her gaze, so lacking in doubt because her mind is free of all complication, and now turn the intensity up to eleven after she gets indoctrinated by Empress Leia. What Vader was to Emperor Palpatine, the brutal feminazi Rey could be for Empress Leia, going beyond simply Not-Needing-a-Man and outright killing supposed “like literal stormtroopers” without hesitation (or, from the good guys’ perspective, massacring civilians who commit thoughtcrimes and facecrimes). Imagine if she wore a perfectly clean white uniform and even had a halo of light shining around her, because she was just that pure in her progressive beliefs. She could even use a blue lightsaber, traditional among good guys, or hell she could have a unique golden lightsaber.

tumblr_p2843cKEEU1uh0jkko1_500

In this situation, Kylo Ren’s emo sensibilities would seem like a breath of fresh air, but still be meme-worthy. He’s the kid nobody sat with during lunch, but he’s trapped in a football player’s body. He could very well be the Jedi equivalent of the emotion felt by K from Blade Runner 2049 when he saw his girl in hologram form, lost to him forever, taken out of the home and reduced to a corporate product that anyone could buy. Hell, a Jedi master tried to kill him in his sleep; he was made for tragedy and self-doubt. In some sense, he’s the perfect hero for a dystopian sci-fi story about a civilization destroying itself via endless revolution. Luke used to dream of visiting new worlds, but Kylo could stare at his grandfather’s mask and dream of going back to a world that possibly never existed.

blade-runner-2049

A scene from Pol: The Movie

It would be interesting to see Luke and Kylo team up in episode 9 rather than shrugging off the conflict between them. Instead of one of them nearly getting bisected while taking a nap and the other one pushing his soul out of his anus so he could get sassy with someone a thousand light-years away, what if they were forced to work together to take out Empress Leia and Mary-Sue Rey? The banter would be legendary! One of them is an alien milk fetish freak who’s “too old for this shit” and the other one is absolutely convinced that the world was better when Vader was goose-stepping over Ewok and Jawa corpses. “They take our jobs,” Kylo Ren would yell at Luke, “and they drive down wages and the crime rate skyrockets!” Meanwhile Luke, ancient boomer that he is, would be like, “It doesn’t matter if they come in *legally*!” and Chewbacca would be like “UwaaWaaAaAaa!” which is pretty standard except in this movie, he would be completely shaved, looking like a mutated hairless possum and trying to pass for human so Kylo Ren wouldn’t freak out about having to team up with an alien.

when-your-mom-throws-out-the-decade-old-wii-health-30001998

 

Anyway, Star Wars Episode 9: Right-Wing Traditional Jedi Values would be impossible to write in a lefty environment where sci-fi is generally seen as “problematic”, but it’s fun to speculate about an alternate universe where the mainstream can be challenged. As the noose tightens and we learn to watch what we say, we can always dream of a world where the human spirit isn’t dying from a terminal mind virus.

Advertisements

CONTRA: The Great American Novel

hqdefault

I just remembered something ridiculous from my childhood.

I was a little kid when the NES game Contra came out. Maybe it’s not safe to assume everyone knows about Contra… it was about two shirtless military guys who go to a remote island to shoot a bunch of alien invaders. These guys could do flips in the air, so they were pretty hot shit, even compared to “regular” special forces soldiers. I could only beat it using the “thirty lives” cheat code, but I think most people who claimed to beat Contra without using it were lying anyway.

iPSAGCG

Anyway, I tried to write a lot, even as a kid. I heard the term “Great American Novel” somewhere, and I was pretty dumb back then, so it stuck with me. Because I was really into Contra, and because I was a pretty balls-out kind of kid, I knew that Contra would make the perfect Great American Novel. So I had to do it.

I pulled a few books off the shelves and looked at them. They were freaking enormous. I started to doubt myself. Surely it was impossible for a human being to write an entire book… but I knew that I couldn’t let the guys from Contra down. They never backed down, never, even if you killed them twenty-nine times, they would still kick ass for America. I had to do the same.

contra-facehugger

I pulled out my parents’ piece of shit typewriter. I’ve never understood people who are romantic about typewriters. I spend a lot of my life getting angry at my computer, but a typewriter is even worse. It weighed as much as I did, plus I had to wind a ribbon through it that made my hands look like a coal miner’s corpse. I had to jam paper in there and nothing was ever even.

As I was messing with this awful machine, I realized I couldn’t just write down the events of the game itself. Everyone already knew that story. Plus the thing that intrigued me about the game was wondering who those guys were, why they were chosen to take down an alien invasion force without any backup, why they were capable of flipping through the air, why they wore red and blue pants rather than normal military gear, etc. So I decided that the Great American Contra Novel would have to be a prequel. Keep in mind that “prequel” wasn’t a term commonly thrown around in the 80s, so I was really being a pioneer.

contra_Mad_Dog_Scorpion_collage_01

 

I started writing. Chapter one started with… and don’t worry, I think I got only a paragraph or so into the Great American Contra Novel… it started with the guy in the blue pants sitting in an air plane. I’m assuming he had his shirt off. But a terrorist got up and started making a real shit-show out of everything. “Not on my watch,” the guy in blue pants and no shirt probably said out loud, then he stood up and walked toward the terrorist… and then… and then…

That’s about as far as I got. As stupid as this story sounds, I saw it recreated in a popular military-thriller while browsing a book store. I was in my twenties. The book opened with a military guy sitting on a plane (I think he had his shirt on in this version) when a terrorist started causing a real ruckus. The military guy was like, “Not on my watch,” and stood up. He made his way over to the terrorist… and then… and then… I quit reading.

2297599-contra

It was pretty bad, but at least that famous writer finished his awful book. I never finished Contra: A Tale of Two Dudes (or whatever it was called). I ended up figuring out that if you slammed your entire palm onto as many keys as you could, it would make all of the metal bits of the typewriter move at once. They would get hooked on each other in mid-air and it was super fun to flip them back down. Oh man, it was great!

Who wants to write a shitty book when you got that kind of action goin’ on?!

***

I did end up writing some books, though. They can be found HERE. And one of them is free! Can you believe that?

 

The Official Kyle B. Stiff Update

Hey everyone, thought I’d give you an update. I’m sure the few but formidable fans of Demonworld and Heavy Metal Thunder are wondering when the next book is coming out. These days I’ve started the process (once again) of finding an agent. I have to accept that I’m not very good at self-promotion, so self-publishing is never going to take off for me. I need the hideous strength of the established world of publishing. Instead of fighting for one reader here and one reader there, I need books with nice covers spewing out of giant bookstores where people can’t even get in the door without being assaulted by posters and displays telling them that buying Demonworld is not a choice, but a necessity. That’s our path to victory, readers.

synthwave wasteland

But to get there, I need an agent. It’s been a while since I took part in the cycle of looking / finding / submitting / being rejected, so things have changed. I have to admit… agents have gotten weird. Sorry, but it’s true. Back in the day, they used to say, “I publish science fiction. Send your manuscript to this address” or “I publish literature, here’s where I can be found.” These days, there’s a bit more dictation up front. The modern day superagent wants to find “the next big thing” rather than the next great read, and they’re getting specific. “I would love to receive a manuscript about a reluctant space pirate with a wise-cracking dog in a wheelchair!” or “Writers, I’m looking for a superhero zombie story with a sarcastic granny and a gay Vietnamese good-guy serial killer. Also must be reminiscent of Breaking Bad.” Uh… I’ve got six Demonworld books that readers seem to like, how’s that sound? No? Okay – see you later!

12783225_251186845220332_1673273107_n

As you can see, it’s a little frustrating. Obviously they want the humorous, quirky, short-lived cash cow, but I think it’s the dark stuff, the complicated and tragic tales, that endure. Lots of readers agree. Nobody ever read Game of Thrones or Stephen King or Dune or Wool or Joe Abercrombie because they wanted a light-hearted romp. Lots of readers want to see characters pushed beyond their limits. They don’t want the sitcom version of Tolkien. They want something that can grow with them.

12670365_242753039410249_5074669987475374528_n

But I’m rambling. Basically I have to find an agent who believes in Demonworld just as much as I do, just as much as my readers do. Any help would be appreciated… maybe a collection of signatures? I don’t know. Like I said, I’m bad at this.

hmt promo stuff

But there’s only one path to victory, dear readers… and that path is guarded by the agents.

Don’t forget, the first Demonworld book is still free if you click here!

 

Demonworld Six Murders Readers’ Faces!

… and it’s using my worn-out body as a flail!

Hey everyone, Demonworld Book Six is now available at Amazon! It’s already gotten some great reviews; thank you, readers! It’s really nice to know that people are willing to give their time and attention to Wodan and his strange journey. It’s also good to know that you guys are enjoying the turns the story has taken. I was afraid people might think this installment of Demonworld was just too weird. But when you’re in a post-apocalyptic holy land contending with wasteland gods, weird is the norm.

12494810_222356971435430_5622984297670007664_n

Click to…

See the book at Amazon!

See my updated Amazon author page and my massive array of textual oddities!

See the first Demonworld book, which is free!

10245442_10154398468632388_8267339973677759604_n

Thanks for sticking with me, readers! Let’s keep going until Wodi reaches the end of his path!

 

Demonworld 6 Now Available for Pre-Order!

Good news everyone! Demonworld Book Six: The Love of Tyrants is finally available for pre-order! Official release is on January 27th, 2016. But don’t wait until then! Those pre-order sales work Amazon’s ranking magic in my favor. Every pre-order sale helps initiate an alchemical process  that’s famous for turning struggling artists into living legends capable of shooting lightning, crapping molten magma, and flying while holding their breath!

 

love of tyrants kindle cover 6 x 9

 

The sixth installment in the Demonworld epic follows Wodan as he visits the holy land of Srila. It’s about twice as long as a normal novel, and takes the story in a wild direction while revealing lots of stuff about the past. It’s the most intense Demonworld yet.

 

10984191_738242482955686_6328870892994871915_o

I hope you enjoy it. Click here to see the book at Amazon, or click here to see my author page with all of my work that’s worth reading.

Remember, the first Demonworld book is free!

 

New Kyle B. Stiff Short Stories: PSYCHO ISLAND and DIGGER BUNS

Finally! Two new short stories written by Kyle B. Stiff are now totally, totally available on Amazon.

psycho island cover SMALL

First off, PSYCHO ISLAND. It’s a futuristic tale about some people who decided they were going to live in a decent world even if they had to kill to get there.

This is one of the best freakin’ things I’ve ever written. No lie, reading this piece is almost as entertaining as watching television!

digger buns cover SMALL

DIGGER! BUNS! If you’ve ever read a wholesome children’s story and then wanted a sequel that was a bleak, dystopian sci-fi tale for adults, then this is it. DIGGER BUNS is the unbelievable sequel to TUDO AND THE YELLOW BANANA, and follows some of the same rabbits as they explore a new world beyond imagining that is, of course, much the same as our own.

Of course, Demonworld and Heavy Metal Thunder, those original soul-shattering Kyle B. Stiff classics, are still available… HERE.

Not sure what you’re getting into? Here’s a free Kyle B. Stiff original with the wordy title KISS OF THE MAN-SPIDER: FANTASTIC FIRST ISSUE! FEATURING… THE DEADLY CAMEL!