The Vulgarity of Star Wars

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Bubba, May 29, 2001.

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  1. Dewlanna Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 4
    I haven't had the time to do more than just skim this, but I see the same defense of vulgar language in several posts. That defense being very similar to my kids' complaint about my not allowing certain words to be said in my house (car, yard or anywhere else I happen to be). They say "But Mom, I see and hear worse words at school every day."
    My response "So? Just because other people are uncouth, vulgar and lack sufficient vocabulary to express themselves in a civilized manner, you want to be on their low level?"

    Same applies to Star Wars.
    Just because other books, TV shows, movies, and the general public are vulgar is no reason that Star Wars has to fall to that level.
    Lets have something that holds to a higher standard than the common rabble.
  2. Bubba Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2000
    star 5
    Exactly. Let other series sink, like Farscape, but not SW. :)
  3. Vergere Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2000
    star 5
    i don't necessarily think that more swearing=less respectable. actually, swearing makes some movies more realistic. can you imagine Pearl Harbor without swearing? nah.

    what others have said before--about how swearing is part of real life--is very true. but to start characters swearing up one side and down the other in sw now would be a major error, considering the example already set by the movies.
  4. JediStryker Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 4
    Real life is real life. I hear enough swearing as it is at work, I don't need to hear it in a Star Wars book also. I get the gist of it when they say things like Sithspawn, ya know? It wouldn't make sense for them to use Terran cursewords, anyway, because our cursewords typically have a basis in our history and society, which the GFFA does not really resemble.
  5. Mecca-Don Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2001
    star 2
    I have to agree with Commander Antilles. If they don't swear in the films then they shouldn't in the books.
  6. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    "Immaturity and vulgarity often go hand in hand." Well said CountJared.

    Jedi Ben stated that the books should be true to their source material.

    Absolutly. Star Wars has never been vulgar and I see no reason to start now. References to bodily functions or earth style curse words have no place there. Words like Stang are good enough.

    I don't allow it to come out of my 14 year old daughters mouth, even though she is surrounded by a culture that says it is ok.
    There is so little support for parents out there who expect better from their children. It was nice that SW was a safe haven. I would hate to lose that.

    I suppose I should have expected it, given the Dark nature of the current books and the audience they are trying to capture.
  7. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    "References to bodily functions"

    hmm, will have to throw out TPM, and it's jar jar antics, ;).
  8. The Cat Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2000
    star 3
    Jedi Ben, Delwanna, great posts.

    If there has been a trend to increased vulgarity in Star Wars, which I think there has, what I find particularly shocking is how some are defneding it. Necessary to win over new readers? You really think this is a justification?

    When you see an NYPD Blue commercial on ABC, the flash, in bold white lettering:

    DUE TO STRONG LANGUAGE AND PARTIAL NUDITY, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED

    Not all episodes contain nudity, and this "warning" is nothing but an advertisement that says "Tune in tonight for some T&A!!" I don't watch the show, to me it looks like just another cop drama, but it's clear what they're doing is substituting superior writing, better acting, whatever might set the show apart from its competition, with nudity. Has it won awards? Sure. So has Law and Order.

    Same goes for Star Wars. If authors need to go for the ten year old giggle factor to win audiences, that's proof that the quality of Star Wars literature is diminishing. Neither the movies nor the older books needed to rely on profanity to gain an audience, only cool situations, likeable characters, etc.

    Lastly, some have said that Star Wars needs more swearing because it's not real enough. The dialogue just isn't believable without it. Not real enough? Okay, add as many swearwords as you like. Just take away the droids. Get rid of the aliens too, and that spaceships. Jedi aren't real. What's this ting called the Force? Put everybody on Earth, take away the lightsabers, and there you go. Star Wars is perfectly realistic for you.
  9. Darth Tuna Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 1999
    star 2
    I've always enjoyed the imaginative GFFA swear words, and it's O. K. with me if those are used, but they don't really seem like our swear words, so they don't have the same vulgarity and evocative power. As for using earth type swear words, I am against it. An imaginative writer does not need to resort to this sort of thing to keep a reader's attention. Life has become more vulgar, but why let vulgarity pervade all areas of life?
  10. cavalier_one Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2001
    star 4
    Authors have had to devise new curses so that colloquial swear words do not offend readers. And, for the most part, they succeed. It also seperates the GFFA from our universe. Swear words on Earth are undoubtably different from those of the GFFA.
    But such things add to the "realism" of the published work. Starfighter pilots do not say "oh, blast!" when a TIE slips in behind for the kill.

    For the record, a list of curses used in the EU so far. There may be more.

    Kriff/ kriffing - used in HoT
    Stang - used in DE
    Sithspit - used in XW
    Son of a Sith - used in XW
    Emperor's Black Bones - used in XW(?)
  11. Hope Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 27, 1999
    star 4
    I've always thought of Star Wars as a safe haven from all the vulgarity, gore and smut found in so many books, films and t.v. shows today.

    How could adding vulgarity, etc. to Star Wars in anyway enhance it? It wont. If it's not broke, don't fix it.
  12. Destiny_Skywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 3
    Now that I'm reading the replies after my posts... is the swearing in SW really that big of a presence?
    If it isn't, why are we debating it?
    I haven't seen anything in there I wouldn't let my kids read (10 years down the road when I actually have kids).
  13. Dewlanna Solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 4
    Swearing and other forms of vulgarity aren't much of a problem in Star Wars yet. But it is slowly creeping in. We who don't want to see SW become as crass and crude as some much of today's entertainment need to let the powers-that-be know that Star wars should be kept as it is.
    I have no problem with most of the inventive GFFA cuss words, and don't mind my kids reading them. I don't want to see the type of low common verbal rudeness that has invaded other adult and young adult literature destroy the uniqueness of Star Wars.
  14. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    "young adult literature destroy the uniqueness of Star Wars."

    I was always taught, by learning about how others live, and if it includes how foul mouthed they can be, That I could learn to be a better person, and not resort to how they were.

    Take huck finn for instance, He is rather crude, Says lots of bad words. Should he be a role model, no. But should he as Faction(contraction of fiction, and fact) character based on Mark Twain's life, be understood that is how they talked back then. Removal of the words, would only make the story seem less realistic.

    We should take what is discussed in that book as a lesson. Show's how rude bad words can be, and how cruel Blacks were treated back then through language and physical violence. A child should be taught to tell the difference, of not copycatting and to learn lessons on what not to do, and to remember the past, so that the past does not become the future.

    Should these words be in star wars? well if it happens, I will take it with a grain of salt. But really don't think they will resort to the really really bad words. I mean one of the writers, who curses in his own interviews(I personally don't agree with his choice of words, he should be better than that), said he was forced to tone it down, because it was star wars. Nore really should it get the really bad words. they never were said before, so they shouldn't start now.
  15. jastermereel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 1998
    star 4
    I don't see what the big deal is...i mean...with the exception of a few choice words...mostly those begining with the sixth letter of the alphabet......i don't see any problem as long as they don't become too common.........Sith happens is humourous and i don't see how it could really be that offensive to anyone but the most sheltered of people......

    on a partialy realted note...my mother works in a school and there is a child there whose mother won't let her see anything that could be constued as magical...when the class was celebrating at the end of the year and watching Jumanji, she had to sit in the closet with my mother (who was grading papers)...and her (the student's) mother playing cards......she has to stay home for something like a week on either side of hallooween lest she gaze upon subversive icons...or anything that could corrupt her widdle mind......what is this doing to the kid?...when the enter middle school let alone high school they will have to be exposed to a little more of the world or be locked up in a little box and kept in the basement of her house.........why shelter children excessively?...i can understand parents not wanting their kid knowing the f words in elementary school but by 7th or 8th grade most kids at least know of them and many use them frequently even more so in highschool...

    Vulgarity is part of our world and to some extent part of Star Wars...asside from Han's few words there are other things that might be offensive to parents of young children...Oola for example...Jabba's letcherous behavior combined with the outfits of the dancers might not be the sort of thing young children should see or be thinking about at an early age...but they are exposed to it...for a rather long scene i might add......there is plenty of violnce and dismemberment in the trilogy (+1) as well.........there are plenty of reasons Star Wars is PG and not G and theres no need to heavily censor the books unless they get out of hand...but personaly i don't see pissed off or any of the other mild language used or insinuated (sith happens) thus far to warrent alarm......basicaly, i would object on the same grounds that have been used so far if writers got "romantical graphic" but having a character express their anger using a mild four letter word is hardly out of the ordinary in real life and definately not beyond the range of the movies...so what is the problem?


    P.S. For your information the cat, NYPD blue customizes that warning per episode and is hardly an add for T&A (as you yourself put it so crudely while you yourself argue against crudeness in Star Wars on a Star Wars board visited often by young people)...most late night dramas use "strong language" and occasionaly...but not often...and when the expanded warning appears it is commonly unnessesary as the shot is fleeting and to my knowledge, has not yet contained the former part of the T&A......in addition your negative comments towards the show are unfounded opinions as you yourself stated that you haven't even seen the show......if the show didn't have good writing, interesting and evolving characters, and good acting i wouldn't watch it...those who are watching TV for T&A are probobly not watching NYPD Blue and are instead on some sleezy station like UPN......in short...if you are trying to make judgements at least try to have some foundation on them instead of picking on a decent show to try and make your point...
  16. Valiento Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    This is to add to jaster's final comment. The second half of Disney's Anne Frank, had a warning. It was extremely sad, not for any T & A at all. It had that warning because, it was getting graphic about how bad the holocaust was. They had one scene, were woman were nude, you could see there exposed body parts, and they were being tortured. they had there hair cut off, they were being tossed around roughly. They were completly exposed. It was reality of how they were treated by the Nazis. That sort of thing had to remembered, because if we don't remember it. History could repeat itself. If we see how evil people can be, we don't have to be evil are selves. That movie was completly wholesome, as a historical document, and extremly sad trajedy.
  17. Ozzel TF.N Foreign Book Covers Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 5
    When I was reading Shadow Hunter, and saw Pavan's little power supply comment, it took me out of the story for a moment. It was distracting.

    I was embarrassed to show the Insider magazine (with the Mas Ammeda ad on the back) to others.

    Words like "poodoo" and "blast" are fine with me. I think they give Star Wars a "real" feel.

    Now, one has to wonder, if George Lucas had the chance to change those 3 words in ANH, would he do it? And I don't mean like change it in the Special Edition, where everyone would make a big deal about it, but go back in time to do so, do you think he would? Interesting thought....
  18. wampa Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 4
    I have always been opposed to censorship. It should be the parents' job, not the government or anybody else.

    While SW is fantasy, it also has a bit of reality. In reality, some people curse like a sailor and some people never curse. Thus is the way with SW.

    LFL wanted to appear edgy and attract that stereotypical comic book store audience with slogans like "One Horny Politician" and "Sith happens." It will end though, just like "Coke is It!" or "Dew it to it!"

    (this thread reminds me of Carlin's 7 Words You Can't Say... Good times)
  19. Bubba Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2000
    star 5
    Now, there's nothing wrong with the Oola scene...;)


    I found the "p" word in Mandalorian Armor took me out of the story a bit, but that's Bossk for ya.
  20. Tiershon_Fett Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2000
    star 5
    I had no idea how many people on here were raised in a monastary, or convent. I think it no big deal. It hasn't caught my attention yet, so it can't be that bad.

    As for NYPD Blue, it is a very realistic portrayal of the stresses of being in law enforcement. There is a lot of tradgedy, and people are often at their worst.

    In the NJO there is a war going on, so they won't be, "Father, I do beieve I will be out giving those tiresome Vong a sound walloping." "Very well, dear Jaina." Well, it would be entertaining, just not in the way it was intended. lol.....

    Most kids know all the swear words by age six, or seven. Most of learned it from our dads at their knees. You learn to swear or not from how it's used at home, not how others use it. It really doesn't rub off that much.
    Besides, with some people it's funny, and others not. It depends on the moment, the character, and the tone.
  21. ImperialGirl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 10, 2001
    star 3
    While I was allowed to read more or less anything I wanted whenever I felt like it, I was also taught that just because you know what a word means does not mean that you use it. Six-year-olds really have no business even knowing what the f-word means, but just because they do doesn't mean they should be exposed to it more than is necessary. And adding more Earth swear words to Star Wars seems not only gratuitus but as was said, potentially anachronistic. That happens a lot. I still can't figure out how "quisling," which appears in TaB, got past an LFL office that won't allow "toast" and "duct tape." Quisling means traitor, but it comes from the name of Vidkun Quisling, the World War II-era leader of Norway, who sold his own country out to the Nazis. How did that show up in the GFFA when "duct tape," which seems a lot less jarring, doesn't? Seeing s***, f***, and b**** scattered through Star Wars wouldn't make it more "real" for me. Also, while the points about Huck Finn are valid, they're not really relevant to Star Wars. Star Wars isn't a social commentary. Huck Finn, its own disclaimer notwithstanding, is.
  22. The Cat Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2000
    star 3
    Well, jaster, my argument is actually based on a rock solid foundation because I know some young kids who tune in to NYPD Blue for the T&A, stuff they don't show on UPN, or even Baywatch, including the both the T and the A. And, thanks to the "discreet warning" (yeah right) posted on the commercials, they know exactly which episodes to watch. You can't tell me sex doesn't sell.

    As a side point, I'm surprised Bossk could even say the word that he did. Without lips, how could you make a P sound, anyway? On top of that, the bodies of reptiles don't, uh, even make that stuff, at least not in the same way ours do.
  23. Darth Tuna Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 1999
    star 2
    I don't buy the 'realism' argument for vulgarity. Star Wars is (or was, before NJO) about myth, heroes, and magic. The idealism is what grabbed everyone. Humans need to be uplifted, and they respond to these qualities in a story. That's why the original trilogy is a classic of its genre. Realism, touted in NJO, lacks this quality, and vulgarity cheapens and destroys it. That is why vulgarity is not in the spirit of Star Wars!
  24. Bubba Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2000
    star 5
    Good point, The Cat. But hey, anything can happen. :)
  25. Jaina05 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 1
    I would just like to point out that in school, I read stuff alot more vulgar then what's in Star Wars. I do go to privite school but still, i'm in eigth grade and we've read books with swearing (Of Mice and Men), violence (Romeo and Juliet) and sexual abuse (Obason/House on Mango Street). Our teacher even made jokes about these books. For sumer reading we were given a choice of books to read. Because I liked Sci-Fi I chose Dune. I decided to read the rest of the series. I was surprised to find explisit sex scenes. At my school insted of being banned from these books I were encouraged to read them. The fact that I go the privite school dose change things but I still find it hard to beleive that Star Wars can be considered Vulgar compared to all this other stuff I read. You could say that Obasan and Of mice and Men are depicting real life but what about Dune? It is similar to Star Wars in that it's Sci-Fi and that it might apeal to younger audiences. Still it is alot worse then any Star Wars thing i've read. Anyway if you were 7 if you wanted to read Star Wars wouldn't you go for Young Jedi knights or something shorter? I don't know any 7 year olds that would read a 300 page novel.
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