Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Star Warped

Star Warped by Adam Roberts

A parody commentary and retelling of the Star Wars films. Quite amusing, both in its directly highlighting of absurdity from the films as well as positing its own more bizarre satire. Also benefits from a strong command of language, playing with elements of phrasing and effectively conveying voice. Beyond that there's not too much to say, I found it effective and enjoyable but intrinsically lightweight, and not really up to the level of sublime satire that Pratchett on occasion delivers. There's some nice meta stuff caused by Roberts' relabeling the Force "the Farce" and running with it, producing an environment where random falling and slapstick humor are the underlying mystical force. More generally the book works well at collapsing the absurdities, contradictions and poor reasoning in the original source material, and to that end works well but delivers little beyond comedy concerning Star Wars.

Insofar as there is a more sustained story or real coherence, it lies in two elements. 1. The continual playing up of the robots as far more intelligent, self-aware and resentful than in the original story, poising a type of challenge to the Lucas-defined limitations in intelligence and general creativity 2) the eventual revelation that the environment of the story isn't a unique universe, instead it's a virtual environment composed of pastiches of comedy and other science fiction. This forms a reasonably well-worked twist at the end, and points to the mixed and turbulent culture of mass-culture science fiction.

Similar to and better than: Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett

Similar to and worse than: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

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