Friday, June 22, 2012

32 BBY: The Starfighter Trap

Most of the time starting a post is easy for me, but this one has been very difficult.  For the last few months I’ve been experiencing a combination of writers block along with playing too much WOW.  But it’s been mostly me playing too much WOW.
To paraphrase the immortal words of Rick James as proffered by Dave Chappelle: World of Warcraft is a helluva a drug!

That’s where I’ve been, deep in the bowels of Azeroth, and it’s something I’m not proud of.  I quit that game back in ’07 and I thought for sure I had that monkey off my back. But I got sucked in again, and really, it’s kinda TOR’s fault (hey, I have to deflect blame somehow right?).  As I was playing TOR I kept comparing it to WOW, and lamenting the fact that TOR did not have many of the “bells and whistles” WOW had to make gameplay a little more user friendly, like instant ques for dungeon runs with players across servers.  Before long I had WOW reinstalled and my Dwarf Holy-Paladin up to level 85 pursuing some epic armor and weaponry. 

Three weeks ago I was out with a buddy having beers and he asked me how far I had leveled my Dwarf.  I replied with “I hate that game”.  He was a little shocked by my response, and to be honest, so was I.  It came from the heart as an unfiltered thought.  He asked me what I meant.  When I reflected for a moment I told him “I hate what that game turns me into.  I become obsessed with it.  All my spare time is poured into it.  I think about it constantly.  It distracts me from my job, and my marking piles up.  I have to make a concerted effort to get things done at work and around the house.  Any spare moment I have I’m on the auction hall or grinding out some meaningless skill like archeology.  Plus, it’s stolen all my energy for my Chronology Project.  My drive for finishing my project had disappeared, usurped by a red-headed dwarf paladin.  It takes time away from my family.  I hate it.  I quit it back in ’07 for a reason.  I was distracting me from my marriage and my other relationships.”  He slowly nodded his head.  My response felt cathartic.  That night I cancelled my subscription. 
Some people get hooked on drugs, on alcohol, on sex, on work, or gambling.  We all have our vices – things that unbalance us.  Mine is WOW, and was also SWG back before WOW.  I’m glad I didn’t get into TOR.  As excited as I was about that game, I’m glad it disappointed me.

WOW distracts me from the good in my life, and hopefully I’ve finally put it behind me.
Still, after I cancelled my subscription I still had trouble writing.  I must have sat down to write this post about five times, with very little being produced.  I kept starting the post with a reflection on the text, but kept getting nowhere (probably because The Starfighter Trap is a pretty boring story).  I finally resolved to address why I had been away, and talk honestly about my interactions with MMOs.

This too feels cathartic.
As it is, I apologize for my absence.  Also, I’ve tried to make this blog about my personal reflections on Star Wars and not about my lpersonal ife (because my life is boring, which is good.  I like it like that), so I apologize for dragging you into my inner thoughts on my WOW addiction.

Ok, now on to the text.
The Starfighter Trap, like I already said, was boring, but as I write this I’m unable to come up with a good explanation as to why I think it was boring.  I thought the dogfight between the Naboo starfighters and the betrayal experienced by Essara Till was all good and fun storytelling, but for some reason this story didn’t inspire me to keep moving on with the project.  As a matter of fact, I found it to be just another piece of fluff that makes up part of the black hole that is 32 BBY.  Ultimately, what I really think was going on was that The Starfighter Trap represented for me all that is wrong with The Phantom Menace, which in my opinion is itself one of the worst things to have happened to the living history of Star Wars.  I’m heading towards this confrontation with TPM, and I’m really not looking forward to it because I don’t have many positive things to say.

At the end of the day, The Starfighter Trap was a little tale with characters I found difficult to care about.  In Dan Wallace’s The Monster I cared about Panaka and I struggled along with him in his search for justice.  I did not feel the same way about Essara Till.
I think from here I'll simply put The Starfighter Trap behind me, and look forward to the next source I'll engage with, Tales #7: Single Cell, thereby bringing me one step further out of 32 BBY. 

Until then my friends, may the Force be with you.


  1. This story was so boring, I don't even remember what happened in it! I vaguely recall that one or two of the characters show up again in the game Starfighter, but that's pretty much all I remember of it.
    I have a feeling I might become some sort of addict were I to try playing TOR, so I'm staying away from it (I also don't really have the time for it). I'm hoping the upcoming TOR encyclopedia will fill in most of the info I'm missing by not playing the game. :-)

  2. Ok good, I'm glad you felt the same about it and it wasn't just me. When is this TOR encyclopedia due out?

    I think I'm going to have to make peace with the idea that there will be a TOR gap in the Project when it's done. I don't think I'll be able to play that game. Even though I didn't get into it, I still feel like the possibility of becoming addicted to it is still there.

    I can't find where we decided to place the Darth Plagueis novel. I looked at my post “Handling 32 BBY” and was unable to find where we had ear-marked it off. Would you be able to refresh my memory for me?

  3. Since Plagueis references quite a few of the stories leading up to TPM, we agreed it makes best sense to read it after hitting the TPM material (or maybe somewhere in the middle of all the adaptations, just to break things up a bit).
    According to amazon, the TOR Encyclopedia is scheduled to be released on 10/15: :-)