DEATH STAR PR: THREE WAYS THE GALACTIC EMPIRE COULD HAVE BENEFITTED FROM GOOD (DECENT REALLY) PR

April 24, 2017

 

Mos Eisely Spaceport, Tattooine- My earliest memory in our not-at-all far away galaxy takes me back to 1997, to a much more adorable three-year-old Connor, with his stubby little legs dangling from the red felt theater chair as he furiously inhales popcorn, oblivious to the life-altering cinematic adventure he was about to embark on. Which is absolutely astonishing I remember this because I forgot where I parked this morning and lose my keys on an hourly basis.

 

To my beautifully innocent youngling mind everything about the galaxy far far away was black and white, as everything in the world was at the time. Old Ben and Luke Skywalker were the architects of the shining city upon the hill and Darth Vader and his stormtroopers were undoubtedly heathens purposed only to destroy everything that is good in the universe.

 

However as I aged and became more educated in college, or as one of my relatives would so lovingly call it “that damn communist liberal arts college,” I learned you can’t be so steadfast in your opinions of right and wrong, that there are some blurred lines that aren’t adequately explored in film. We seem to forget why Darth Vader was doing what he was doing, sure he was a pawn, but his intentions were to restore the galaxy to its’ peaceful state and restore order to the force.

 

Which is precisely why Darth and his master Palpatine would have drastically benefited from hiring this scruffy looking nerf herder- I mean publicist to handle their strategic communications. I get it guys, the darkside is actually pretty rad. There are so many perks to the darkside that aren’t properly advertised to the general public.  Here’s a 12 parsek rundown of how the Galactic Empire could’ve been saved through strategic communication strategies.

 

1. “Take Your Kid to Work Day” isn’t appropriate in the midst of Galactic Civil War.

 

It’s easy to see why Darth Vader decided to bring his estranged son up to the Death Star to see how pops puts food on the table. On a personal side, it allows Darth to show his son a side of him he may not have seen before and maybe gain back some desperately needed father-son time. From a PR perspective, hosting a bring your kid to work day shows the public and prospective employees that you implore family values in day-to-day business and that you encourage the importance of familial relationships to create a quality work environment. On paper, it’s sounds almost as good as free college tuition, building a wall to end immigration, or arming opposing factions to fight your battles for you (all three candidates in one joke! If only the Daily Show still needed a host). However, bringing your angsty, way-too-old-to-still-be-in-a-rebellious-stage son to work during the climax of the most pivotal battle in recent memory? Yeah, I might have spoken up in that meeting and said “ya know, maybe hold off till third quarter, yeah guys?”

 

 There's no way this can end badly

 

2. Issue a preemptive statement regarding the construction of Death Star One, and re-brand it to Shmi Station

 

Secrets don’t make friends, especially when that secret is the ultimate tool of most devastating destruction. So why keep the greatest space station in the history of floating habitats a secret? Because I wasn’t there to help the Empire get out in front of the sure-fire shitstorm that was the post-Alderaan obliteration crisis management. Luke, Obi-Wan, Han and Chewbacca are awestruck by the sheer magnitude of the Death Star’s size when they first stumble upon the moon-like station. But let’s pause there, because branding 101 dictates that the “Death Star” is a horrendous name. You’re never going to make anybody happy with that. Instead, I would’ve recommended “Shmi Station”, named after Darth Vader’s mother, Shmi Skywalker. This not only is consistent with the Empire’s branding of family values from the “take your kid to work day” (as long as they don’t host that day in the midst of a battle), but is a helluva lot more welcoming than Death Star. Let’s now continue with the idea of getting out in front of the press-nightmare that is Shmi Station. A simple press release highlighting the amount of jobs created by the construction, maintenance, and operations of Shmi Station combo-ed with the astonishing size of the station itself could’ve been integral in swaying a more favorable public opinion towards Shmi Station, and the Empire as a whole. With this public support, the Empire could have, and I am in no way advocating for this, had better luck convincing the public that Alderaan’s demise was due to some sort of tectonic implosion rather that obliteration from Shmi Station. Besides, Shmi Station sounds to alliteratively cuddly to cause such destruction.

It's just a space station the size of a moon that the galactic senate has somehow never noticed..

 

3. Instead of just giving Han Solo’s carbonite cocoon to Jabba the Hutt, sell it to Jabba and donate that money to victims of the “natural disaster” of Alderaan

 

Let me preface this by saying that Han Solo is by far the best character in the Star Wars universe, possibly the entire American-fiction canon. That is not an opinion, that is simply fact. So watching the galaxy’s most famous smuggler become frozen in carbonite was the second most gut-wrenching scene in the Star Wars saga (I had to be consoled for three weeks after what happened in The Force Awakens, and I am still grieving). What was surely a devious act, meant as a test in order to freeze Luke Skywalker too, could’ve been turned into a golden publicity opportunity had the Empire just had a decent PR team. When the Darth Vader first struck up a deal with Boba Fett to deliver Solo to Jabba the Hutt, Vader should have been advise to demand a large portion of Solo’s bounty from Fett and Jabba. Then, Vader should have taken those credits and started an “Alderaan Relief Fund” to “help the thousands of families affected by the horrible natural destruction of Alderaan.” That’s all it would take! Solo still get’s frozen in carbonite, Fett still gets his bounty, Jabba gets Solo and dear old Darth gets some great publicity of being a philanthropic man who cares for his people.

 Somehow only the second worst thing to happen to Han Solo in the Star Wars saga. RIP you half-witted... scruffy-lookin'.. nerf herder {sobs}

 

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