Archive for July, 2014

What If George R.R. Martin Wrote The Script for Star Wars 7?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Long before he became a household name, George R. R. Martin was a committed science-fiction and fantasy fanboy. He’s written and spoken several times about his life of fandom.

And, just look at what he wrote before the massive popularity of GAME OF THRONES: vampires on Mississippi riverboats; space operas; superhero shared world novels; screenplays for the Beauty and the Beast TV series; and a creepy horror story about a fat, slovenly neighbor.

Martin is hard at work on The Winds of Winter, the next volume in the Song of Ice and Fire. However, if Martin’s phone rang with a panicked phone call from J.J. Abrams, we think he’d answer the call.

Devoted Star Wars fans would howl, weep, and beat each other senseless with plastic light sabers at the news, but we’d like to imagine a Star Wars 7 script penned by George R.R. Martin.

George R R Martin in the Star Wars Cantina scene

Beloved Characters Would Die Horrible, Unexpected Deaths

The Star Wars brain trust tried this once before when R.A. Salvatore was given the unenviable task of killing Chewbacca in the Star Wars novel – VECTOR PRIME.

Martin would shrug his shoulders, put on some large headphones to drown out the screams of fans, and write a Star Wars 7 script littered with the dead bodies of our favorite characters.

Can you imagine? Han Solo getting decapitated with a sizzling light saber half-way through Star Wars 7. Movie theaters would need to provide barf bags to the audience on the way in, but Martin’s mission would be complete, “I know you care about these characters, but let’s make you cling to them even more, when you know they could die at any moment.”

An Underdog Would Steal Our Hearts

Someone on the edges of the story, someone who no one thought would be cool, would emerge as the coolest character ever. Maybe the little droid that Chewbacca roars at in Star Wars: A New Hope. Maybe a Jawa? Maybe an EWOK? MAYBE JAR-JAR? Yeah… no. I think we can agree that Martin, like every other 6 billion people on this planet, loathe Jar-Jar!

An Updated Cantina Scene Would Snag an NC-17 rating

We don’t need to get into details here do we?

The Enemy Would Come From Within

No Dark Jedi needed here, except as saber fodder. The real bad guy would be someone we know, someone we never expected could be behind such a sinister plot. Someone in the shadows, unassuming but sharp. Someone who the other characters always had misgivings about, but couldn’t quite put their fingers on why.

Like Wedge. Or 3PO. Or JAR-JAR! … sorry…

Beloved Characters Would Have Sex

In the 2010s, America’s schizophrenia about sex and violence is in full effect on the front page of every news website and newspapers.

When a woman posts an innocent breast-feeding photo on Facebook, Zuckerberg’s algorithms ban her account within minutes – only moments after people wail and punch their keyboards to report lewd photos on their Facebook wall. Meanwhile, chubby guys and gals who’d be comfortable at most science fiction cons, are walking into their nearest 7-11 toting semi-automatic rifles and crowing about Open Carry.

Killing beloved characters in Star Wars 7 would earn Martin the enmity of millions, but introducing sex into the canon would stir even more controversy.

What do you mean Star Wars characters wile away their time on long space travels by cavorting naked through the halls of their spaceships screwing each other in every sexual position they can invent in zero g.? We don’t need no s-e-x cluttering up our visions of the future!!

Sure, all those humans and aliens are probably screwing their eyes out at every opportunity, but we shouldn’t ever, ever know or talk about it!

Tyrion’s Exile Revealed

SPOILER, SPOILER ALERT!! Tyrion’s exile following his indulgence in patricide was frustrating for readers following his absence in A FEAST FOR CROWS. Many fans were frustrated with Tyrion’s meandering plot line in A DANCE WITH DRAGONS as he gets closer and closer to meeting Daenerys.

Martin could solve this frustration by writing Tyrion into Star Wars 7. In a pivotal scene, R2-D2 goes through his litany of beeps and groans, then R2-D2’s lid pops off, and Tyrion sticks his head out, “This idiotic metal suit of armor is hotter than a whorehouse at midnight in July!”

A Trilogy – Yeah Right?

As the last scene of Star Wars 7 rolls to a stop, with the audience begging, weeping, at Martin’s treatment of their beloved canon, a teaser for the next film would fill the screen. Stay tuned for Star Wars 8, coming to theaters in 5, 6, or 7 years (it’ll be here eventually whenever he finishes the damn script). Star Wars 8, the second movie in the new Star Wars pentalogy (5 movies).

What do you think would happen if Martin wrote the script for Star Wars 7? We’d like to know. Let us know in the comments.

Correlations II: Vinge, Vinge and Huxley Meet “The Peddler’s Apprentice”

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

By Keith Phillips

Warning: spoilers – I recommend reading the story FIRST!

In 1975, Vernor Vinge and former wife, famed SF author Joan D. Vinge, collaborated on a short story entitled “The Peddler’s Apprentice.” This is a high adventure in the classic style of pulp fiction- or at least, it appears to be so at first. In Vernor’s Collected Stories, the introduction to this story poses an interesting riddle: where did Vernor stop writing and Joan take over? (Most collaborative works are not written with an easy answer to this- but this story was.)


It seems Vernor Vinge only had the beginnings of a story and the vaguest of notions where to take it. After a certain story beat, he let then-wife Joan continue the tale; only giving suggestions thereafter. Joan ably picks it up and takes it into territory made infamous by Aldous Huxley- with barely a hint of that destination until the climax! I was stunned by how well the tale turns from “Conan” to “Brave New World.” Bizarrely, I had randomly pulled out Huxley’s book the night before reading the Vinges’ story. Correlations and “coincidences” once again…!

When Joan had completed the story, she then wrote a “frame” for it, including an intro and an “afterword” from the perspective of the protagonist as a older, much different, man. I personally found the “frame” an unnecessary addition that does nothing for the tale, even possibly detracting from it. It adds almost nothing with the intro, and little with its retrospective ending. The reinforcement of the pulp flavor of a classic “swords and sorcery” tale is all you really get here. But the majority of the story has enough of that without the “frame.”

The only other criticism I have with the story is that the best sentence in it (written by Joan) should have been its opening line… but that’s the kind of trouble writers will run into when writing a story piecemeal. Can’t you see how much more immediately a reader would be drawn into a story with a line like “a week after his seventeenth birthday, Wim Buckry had killed a ten thousand year old man”!? Especially versus the actual opening line: “Lord Buckry I of Fyffe lounged on his throne, watching his two youngest sons…”? I’d like to rewrite the story myself… as writing/editing practice, and to see how the “re-staging” of the plot would look.

The best SF tales are like a wizard’s trick- you don’t see the sleight-of-hand until it’s too late. The Vinges manage to pull off this show superbly. As the Peddler, Mr. Jagit, says: “A good magician never tells how. You have to watch and figure how for yourself.”


Keith Phillips – An inveterate jack of all trades, Keith has been hoping to become a published writer for about 3 decades now. Some of his previous careers have included photographer, plumber, groundskeeper, forklift driver and bookstore manager. He has also “worked” for 10 years in the LARP field.