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May 26, 2005

Revenge Of The Sith Will Suck Unless It Clears This Up

I haven't yet seen the new Star Wars movie. But I'm hoping it will answer what I believe is the greatest mystery of the Star Wars universe—something I've been wondering about since I saw the first one.

As we know, Han Solo assists in the rescue of Princess Leia because Luke tells him she's rich and the reward would be "more well than you could imagine." So they spring her from the Death Star's detention block and escape to the rebel base. There, as Luke and the rebel forces mobilize to attack the Death Star, there's a scene in which Han and Chewbacca are seen loading their reward onto the Millennium Falcon in plastic containers.

So, my question is this: what IS it? What's inside the containers? Paper money? Gold? 100% pure heroin?

This is a particularly urgent question because Han's getting whatever it is from a rebellion. Throughout history, revolutions have printed up their own money. The Continental Congress did during the American Revolution, the Assembly did during the French Revolution, the Bolsheviks did during the Russian Revolution, and so on.

But if the revolution fails, it's just a bunch of paper. For instance, one of my ancestors fought in the Civil War for the Wisconsin cavalry, and afterwards brought home as a souvenir some of the worthless dollars the Confederacy had printed. (I think my family still has them around someplace.) And even if a revolution wins, the money printed during the war may not be worth much. After the American Revolution, people started using the phrase "not worth a Continental" to describe something especially valueless. In the end, the new US government was only willing to redeem Continentals for bonds at 1/100th of face value.

Maybe George Lucas has let me down again and we'll never know. If so, I will continue doing what I've always done, which is imagine that the containers Han has received are filled with money that looks something like this:

Posted at May 26, 2005 09:11 AM | TrackBack

Evidence of true genius, jon.

Posted by: alexis S at May 26, 2005 09:33 AM

Think of the one thing that's commonplace on this planet but apparently nowhere to be found among the stars a long, long time ago. You were close with the heroin in the fact that it's a narcotic, but heroin's widely available on the bottom levels of Coruscant and in the sithhole that is Tatooine.

I'm even told that Hoth is PURE SNOW.

No, sir, those boxes are full of the common currency used during the previous revolution against the Starbuctic Empire- It's 20 pounds of whole-bean Kenya AA preserved in carbonite. Fortunately, a band of rebels not unlike Luke and his gang- then led by the Jedi legend Tully Seatellite -broke up the Starbuctic Empire into a well-diffused array of drive-up joints throughout the galaxy.


Posted by: Matthew at May 26, 2005 10:21 AM

I'm guessing that Han's newly acquired containers were full of "spices." That's what the trade federation was all about, no? And didn't Han fall out of favor with Jabba after he dumped a shipment of "spices" before being boarded? Yes, spices, like rosemary. Or sage! That was it... looked more like sage. ;-)

BTW, Jon, I'm pretty sure that Luke's line was actually, "more WEALTH than you can imagine."

Posted by: Steve at May 26, 2005 12:13 PM

Well, in that faraway galaxy, I assume they have come up with better ways of transferring credit than this...

Posted by: En Ming Hee at May 26, 2005 12:45 PM

Those are the photos of Darth Vader in his underwear.

Posted by: hedgehog at May 26, 2005 12:45 PM

It's pretty obvious to me -- they're frozen embryos that Han has adopted as part of the "snowflake" adoption program.

Posted by: Axis of Evel Knievel at May 26, 2005 02:07 PM

Jon, my guess is scratch-off lottery tickets. Han Solo is just that kind of adrenaline junkie with poor money-management skills.

Posted by: Mike at May 26, 2005 02:37 PM

Having seen the analysis made by experts who have examined these containers, I can now reveal the full contents to all:

1) The letters of transit formerly held in Sam's piano
2) Credit card receipts from The Last Supper
3) Genghis Khan's baby rattle, formed in the shape of a club, complete with teething marks
4) Map to the Seven Cities of Cibola (Oh, you thought it would be El Dorado? Don't be silly, everyone knows there's no such place.)
5) Michaelangelo's sketches for the statute of David, re-imagined as finger paintings
6) Well-written dialogue for the movies that Lucas wrote -- wisely discarded when he realized he wanted to be known for special effects, not as the crafter of bon mots

Wealth beyond imagining indeed

Posted by: Alan at May 26, 2005 09:07 PM


Go back and listen to the line. I'm almost sure I'm right.

However, I hope you disagree. That's because if at all possible I'd like this to form the basis of a feud between us that continues beyond our lives for several generations of our descendents and sometimes escalates into open war. This is part of my attempt to enter the Guiness Book of World Records under "Fomented Most Pointless Bloodshed."


Don't forget #7 -- the ability to direct actors so they don't appear to be blocks of granite.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at May 27, 2005 09:08 AM

LOL. :)

Posted by: Steve at May 27, 2005 09:16 AM

I'm sorry, but I have to agree with the article. On my last run-through of Star Wars, it seemed to me that Mark Hamill *did* say, "more well than you can imagine."

Maybe the "th" got run into the "th" on the start of "than," but it does sound weird.

I am not such a fan that I have the illustrated scripts that they released years ago, though, so I don't know what Lucas thought it should be....

Posted by: Tom at May 27, 2005 03:09 PM

Well, page 103 of the script, we have this exchange:

HAN: Look, I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, Princess. I'm in it for the money.

LEIA: You needn't worry about your reward. If money is all that you love, then that's what you will receive.

The script also has Luke saying "wealth."

Now, can we move on to important stuff, like the Empire Strikes Back scene where Lando tells everyone to flee because the Empire is taking over the cloud city, and the crowd panics, and in the crowd there's a guy running with an ice cream maker.

Posted by: clete at May 27, 2005 09:31 PM