My Friend’s Stupid Idea Just Became Star Wars Canon and I Am So Jealous

This morning started out so well. USA Today posted an excerpt and the cover from Star Wars: Bloodline, the next Star Wars book and one which focuses exclusively on pre-Force Awakens Leia, and I was all YAS YAS REPUBLIC CREDITS ARE IN FACT GOOD HERE.

Then I got to this paragraph:

Something was written on the paper streamer on her plate. Actual writing. Virtually nobody wrote any longer; it had been years since Leia had seen actual words handwritten in ink on anything but historical documents.

So… has anyone but me heard of this jerk-o by the name of Ryan Britt? I got trapped in an office with him for like 18 years and I don’t remember all of it but for some reason here he is in my apartment holding my legit VHS copy of the movie Contact.

oh god why

Not pictured: Carl.

He also wrote for Tor.com like a lot in that span of time and one of the things he postulated was that everyone in the Star Wars universe is functionally illiterate. Then he doubled down on that idea a couple months ago and expanded on it in his book Luke Skywalker Can’t Read, taking into account the various backgrounds of the main characters in the Star Wars movies.

Here’s what Ryan “The Human Blazer Coat” Britt says about Leia [emphasis mine]:

Humans and aliens populating their universe used the written word for the purposes of getting their basic culture off the ground–for commerce only–and as soon as holograms were available, switched over. If we use the basic reductive interpretation of Marshall McLuhan’s axiom “the medium is the message,” then the medium of Jedi holocrons sends a message that recorded verbal information is preferable to the craft of writing. Still, let’s just assume Jedi can probably read and are taught to read, as are rich people like Princess Leia, Padmé Amidala, and Jimmy Smits. But everything, everything, everything in Star Wars is about video chat via holograms or verbal communication through comlinks. Of course, for these cultures to have progressed and become space-faring entities, they needed written language at some point. But when we catch up to the “now” of Star Wars, the necessity to actually learn to read and write has all but faded away.

Take look at that paragraph from Claudia Gray’s Bloodline again. You know, that new Star Wars book that is considered canon.

Something was written on the paper streamer on her plate. Actual writing. Virtually nobody wrote any longer; it had been years since Leia had seen actual words handwritten in ink on anything but historical documents.

I’m going to murder Ryan Britt.

Chris Lough writes about fantasy and superheroes and stuff on Tor.com. He doesn’t have those glasses or that beard or that shirt or even that hair anymore.

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