The Weekly Geek: “Star Wars” news and what sci-fi has to do with sexuality


Did you have a good Star Wars day yesterday? It was a very special “May the 4th” yesterday as the full details were releases for the much-anticipated release of the films (all six) on Blu-Ray. On September 16, North American fans can finally enjoy the HD versions of each movie, by buying the Complete Saga — or, you can conveniently “forget” that the prequel trilogy ever happened, and just pick up the original films. (Jar Jar Binks fans can do the same with just the prequels.)

The really exciting news is the juicy stash of extras planned for the release. Check for a complete list of all of the goodies, but a few of them stood out to me.

For pure, nerdy, Empire-loving value, I can’t wait to watch this one:

NEW! A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes) — George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Back in this in-depth retrospective from Lucasfilm created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.

And I’d love to see the tone of this one:

NEW! Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes) — The farce is strong with this one! Enjoy a hilarious collection of Star Wars spoofs and parodies that have been created over the years, including outrageous clips from Family Guy, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and more. And don’t miss Weird Al Yankovic‘s one-of-a-kind music video tribute to The Phantom Menace!

There’s also a new disc of pure archival footage on the list, promising “deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more” that could be quite tasty as well.

OK, so the Star Wars films are about as family-friendly and sex-free as you can get, but that doesn’t disprove, as Discover magazine writer Kyle Munkittrick asserts in this incredibly kick-ass blog post, titled “How Sci-Fi Makes Us More Open to Strange Forms of Sex and Sexuality,” that “Science fiction knows how to play around with sex and gender.” He writes:

The free-lovin’ of A Stranger in A Strange Land, Commander Shepard’s bisexual proclivities, and William T. Riker’s seemingly universal interspecies compatibility are constant sources of entertainment. And the fun doesn’t stop with organic entities. Androids, cyborgs, and robots make gender all the stranger.

It’s a phenomenal post, well worth a look whether you’re a fanfiction-loving trekker or a hardcore FemShep Mass Effect player. Sci-fi has always been so appealing to me (and, I suspect, many other queer nerds) because it presents so many worlds of possibility — which often fly in the face of real-life societal norms.

As Munkittrick says:

Sci-fi lets us explore sexuality free of the cultural and social baggage it carries in the here and now.

Of course, any piece of writing that examines the lesbian possibilities in Mass Effect will grab my attention.

And just a friendly reminder, geeks, that Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday. So be sure to treat your favorite maternal figure to something awesome. Because I’m incredibly lucky, my mom’s one desire is to be taken to an opening weekend screening of Thor for Mother’s Day.

Whatever you do to celebrate/appease your mother/aunt/grandma/strong female figure you admire, enjoy, and keep it geeky!

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