Illustration for article titled The terrifying secrets of the “Jedi Mindmeld” revealed!

In a world where everything seems to change — like the look and format of your favorite website — it can be nice to know some things stay the same — like your friendly fake post-apocalyptic mailman. This week, we look at how Gotham City will have the Damian Wayne’s death, an odd amount of Star Wars-related politics, and, of course, robot dancing.


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It’s All in the Mind

Ken P.:

When Obama finally develops his long sought ability to "Jedi Mindmeld", what is our best defense against enslavement? I presume that the merger of Jedi and Vulcan abilities means that a "Mindmeld" would no longer require physical contact. Furthermore, Obama would be able to erase memories, incept ideas, read thoughts, or turn us into emotional wrecks. Also, assuming Obama is less than benevolent, by turning to the dark side, he could subject us all to "Force Corruption" which would apparently turn us into willing slaves as he slowly feeds from our life forces. Is a tinfoil hat enough under such circumstances? Also, does it matter that tinfoil is actually made from aluminum?


This a wonderful question, and I hate you for it. A fun, funny question about a major political should be fine, but unfortunately it’s going to make people go insane in the comments, angry that you would even in jest accuse Obama of being evil, or furious that you jest about Obama’s evil when HE’S TRYING TO KILL US ALL WITH COMMUNIST OBAMACARE DRONES. Your question is why we can’t have nice things on the internet.

That said, you are mostly correct; the “Jedi mindmeld” is a mindmeld that can be created without physical contact, much like Darth Vader can choke the shit out of you from across the conference room. Like a Vulcan mindmeld, it can be used to read minds, and like the Force, it can be used to alter the minds of the weak-willed. So together, you’re exactly right in that the Jedi mindmeld could be used to plant ideas in someone’s head, or change their mood drastically. As for erasing memories, I imagine you could suppress memories for a while, but you’d have to be Emperor-level to truly destroy a memory, and that person would still have to be pretty weak-minded.

But I don’t buy the Force corruption thing, at least as part of the Jedi Mindmeld. Besides, doesn’t [insert the leader of your opposing political party here] corrupt enough things anyways?!

Last but not least, a tinfoil hat would not help, because a Jedi would just Force the damn thing off your head anyways. Once a Jedi can Mindmeld or Vulcans learn the Force, we’re all completely screwed.


Dance Dance Robolution

Brian B.:

Loved the joke about punching Joffrey. Anyhow, my question/theory:

When the robots take over, AND WE KNOW THEY WILL...When the robots take over, and some Android/Cyborg clocks out after a long 18 hour work shift at the factory where human bodies are used merely as an energy source for some massive super computer, a la The Matrix...

So this Android, let's call him... Sal. Better yet, Sal-13. So Sal-13 clocks out and heads to the local pub to enjoy a pint or two of oil after a long day's work. Let's say there are girl robots there too, and Sal-13 hits up the ole dance floor. Will Sal-13 be obliged to do "The Robot" on the dance floor, or do you think that by the time of the Robot Apocalypse they will have invented a new dance called "The Human" that involves a lot of side-to-side stepping and a frantic flailing of the arms above their robot heads? (Wave 'em like you just don't care, Sal-13.)

Also, do you think C-3PO can do any dance other than a modified version of "The Cabbage Patch?" I mean, he's got those bars attached to the inside of his elbows and can barely raise his hands above his head when surrendering to Storm Troopers. What am I thinking... 3PO doesn't dance. (I've put a surprising number of hours into thinking about robots dancing.)

Lots of questions in here, so let me go into bullet time:

• Thank you for my Joffrey joke praise, but it’s no joke. Someone is going to punch that poor kid in the face one day.


• After the robopocalypse, there will be two main dances: The Robot and The Human, the latter of which involves the miming of eating, sleeping, and other bodily functions, along with the aforementioned flailing of arms. This will cause a great divide between the robots, as some robots find “The Robot” the only appropriate dance befitting their technological mastery, while others find “The Human” really funny. It is when this conflict is at its highest that the remnants of humanity will strike.

• Believe it or not, C-3PO can salsa dance, and he’s fucking great at it. Who knew?


Get Back

Parisa W.:

So Luke, Leia and Han are in Episode VII. I know you’re disappointed, and I don’t care because I’m excited to see Luke Skywalker again. But who else from the Star Wars do you think might show up? I’m guessing R2-D2 at the very least.


I’d say salsa king C-3PO and R2-D2 are both a lock; George Lucas obviously meant them to be the line that runs through the prequels and the original trilogy, and I see no reason why Disney wouldn’t continue that for the sequels (the stand-alone Star Wars movies may be a different story, however). I imagine Chewbacca almost certain to show up, too; you can’t have Han without Chewie, although I imagine Peter Mayhew is too old to play him. We heard our first inkling of the Lando rumor earlier today; I’ll say he’s 50/50. He could easily be hanging out with Han, Luke and Leia, running the new Republic, or he could be off somewhere with a new Cloudd City-like venture. And I imagine we’ll get a few cameos in all the sequels, maybe a Power Droid, a Jawa or two, something like that.

Now, if George Lucas were directing the sequels, I’d say there was a 75% chance that Boba Fett would be in ‘em. Oh, you know it’s true. If George was willing to shoehorn Lil’ Fett Babies into the prequels, you know he’d have no problem saying Boba escaped the Sarlacc Pit to get revenge on Han Solo for… for… accidentally hitting him with a stick. At any rate, since J.J. Abrams is directing, I’d put the odds of Boba Fett showing up in Episode VII at a mere 20%. But no matter who directs the other ones, that percentage will be higher for Episodes VIII and IX.



Ian J.:

So Robin dies, and Bruce Wayne’s son mysteriously disappears. Maybe — maybe — no one put two and two together when Bruce’s wards Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake left and Robin suddenly looked different, but surely someone has to figure it out now, right? Damian was super-young and Bruce Wayne’s kid – the disappearance of either would be huge news, and both disappearing at the same time would be incredibly obvious. So how’s Batman going to handle it?

Illustration for article titled The terrifying secrets of the “Jedi Mindmeld” revealed!

Well — and incredibly mild spoilers for Batman and Robin #18, which comes out today — Batman’s plan at the moment is to be really goddamned upset, and it doesn’t seem he’s thought much further than that.


Unfortunately, this is just one of those things where you have to say “Comics, folks!”, much like Clark Kent’s glasses prevent the entire planet from realizing he’s Superman. The general DC public knew Bruce Wayne had a son named Damian, who seemingly showed up one day out of nowhere, and now he’s gone, and it somehow won’t be an issue, because that’s a hell of a lot less fun to read about than Batman punching things.

But if you want a more fun conundrum, think about this. Bruce Wayne has adopted four children as wards or sons: Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake and Damian Wayne. As far as the public knows, Jason Todd died in a terrorist attack, and it remains to be seen how Bruce will explain Damian. So at the very least that’s two of four children under Bruce Wayne’s care dead or missing. Someone needs to call Child Protective Services on Bruce Wayne, stat.


Final Fantasies


Given that Game of Thrones is such a success, why aren’t there more fantasy TV series being made now? Obviously there’s an audience bigger than just geeks, and there are tons of great series with plenty of built-in fans.


Fantasy costs money. Hell, even doing fantasy badly costs money; good fantasy is as expensive as hell. HBO is one of the few channels that can afford to go all out on its series, because they only make a few of them, and they all have huge audiences. But even then, it’s hardly like showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have a blank check.

Think about how few battles have actually been in the first two Game of Thrones seasons. They simply can’t afford their various locations and sets and effects and still give us an epic, Lord of the Rings-style battle of thousands. Now, I’d argue this has actually been to the show’s benefit — it keeps the focus on the characters, not the fighting, which is much more interesting and certainly more what the series is about.


Even the show’s biggest battle, season 2's Blackwater, was pretty small when you think about it. The entire city of King's Landing was supposed to be under siege, and Stannis was supposed to invade with a fleet of hundreds. Instead, we got a few dozen ships, and one admittedly lengthy battle at a single gate. It was awesome, and it was the show really needed, but it didn’t come close to how GRRM described the battle in the book.


The point is even if you wanted to adapt something like David Eddings’ Belgariad or Wheel of Time (please don’t adapt Wheel of Time) you’d need a ridiculous amount of money to make it look even half-way decent. Most networks don’t have the money, and most of the ones that do aren’t willing to take the risk.

Darth Voter

Denise N:

We live in a crazy world. Fabricio Correa is Rafael Correa's brother and opposing presidential candidate [in Ecuador]. Rafael won the elections (again), but his brother Fabricio went to vote with an "interplanetary" seer, just to make sure the whole operations were under control.

I wonder... has he ever watched Star Wars at all?

Illustration for article titled The terrifying secrets of the “Jedi Mindmeld” revealed!

I fully admit I’m not as up-to-date on Ecuadorian politics as some, but it’s my understanding that Rafael won despite a pretty hefty number of corruption charges, including a few from his brother Fabricio. In that regard, it makes little since that Fabricio, the challenger to the corrupt system, would bring in a Dark Lord of the Sith and the Emperor’s enforcer to check on the voting.

On the other hand, if I was pretty confident there would be some fraud going on and the Sith owed me a favor, I think I’d rather have Vader at my side. I guarantee whatever cronies Rafael Correa might have had doctoring the votes would be far less inclined to do so under Vader’s baleful gaze than Luke Skywalker’s.


Do you have a letter for or to the Postman? Questions about nerd culture? Queries about Ideas you want to share? Email!

[Fabricio Correa/Vader photo © Derechos Reservados 2012 Compañía Anónima El Universo.]


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