Stephen Colbert is well known as the nerdiest fanboy around, but last night on his show he explained why he is the ultimate Star Wars fan. He took time out of more serious things like talking to Senator John McCain about 2016 in order to explain why the new lightsaber from the Star Wars trailer is a fantastic piece of weaponry. It was a rare glimpse into the man Stephen Colbert truly is – a giant, loveable nerd.
The reboot of a beloved series whether film or television is always an occasion for the diehards and the newbies to voice their opinions. Hardly anyone is ever really satisfied with the new product because nothing quite compares to the old beloved original. Star Wars has already had this problem once before with the much maligned prequels and it looks as though the sequels may have a similar problem. The new lightsaber is just one indication that people are already dissatisfied with what director J.J. Abrams is doing to their fandom. Comments have ranged from describing it as “childhood ruining” to long treatises about why the three-bladed lightsaber is impractical and dumb.
Cue Stephen Colbert, King of the Nerds. Colbert opened his show with talk of the most important “conflict in a troubled desert region” in the galaxy with a clip from the new Star Wars trailer. After warning the Jawas that their hoodies put them at risk of being stopped and frisked for no reason other than hoodie profiling, he launched into the perfect explanation of the new lightsaber, complete with hand-drawn depiction. His theory was that the laser guards on either side of the hilt were practical because they only encased an unbroken stream of blade, meaning that doubters’ theory that an opponent could just slice right through the guard was silly. After calling the haters “stuck up, scruffy looking nerfherders,” Colbert laid the entire controversy to rest.
After nine years of Colbert’s trademark humor and satire, moments like these really bring home why people will miss his personality on Comedy Central. The next twelve shows are a farewell tour of sorts and John McCain, who was last night’s guest, was cognisant of his position as a farewell guest, though he noted that Colbert seemed to be scraping the bottom of the barrel with him. Ever the consummate host, Colbert said that he was merely saving the best for last like the Bible tells him. When the aged senator asked for clarification, Colbert recited the story of the Wedding at Cana where Jesus turns water into wine and which contains that now famous saying. As the show’s satirical host put it, if he was going to appeal to Christian conservatives, he had to know something about the Bible.
John McCain was on the show to discuss his new book 13 Solders: A Personal History of Americans at War. Framed as a series of biographical vignettes of individual soldiers, the book chronicles their lives and service in the context of the wars in which they served. One female soldier’s heroism as recorded in the book is one of the reasons why McCain supports women in the military. As Colbert pointed out, however, the book does not chronicle the War on Christmas whose only combatant would be the inimitable Bill O’Reilly. At the tail end of the interview, McCain made a surprising comment when he noted that he was thinking about running for president in 2016. Somewhat taken aback, Colbert said he would have the famous “Colbert Bump” if he did, except for the fact that there would be no show in 2016.
Senator John McCain’s little announcement that he was thinking about a 2016 campaign was more than a little shocking. The way it was delivered, it seemed like a joke, but with the Republican field what it is, who knows? Mitt Romney is rumored to be making a comeback and there are plenty of people who say they would vote for him. If Romney can do it, why not McCain? While talk of McCain’s 2016 future was negligible, Colbert’s explanation of the new Star Wars lightsaber was amazing. All that can really be said is that there is probably more hope for the lightsaber in 2016 than there is for Senator McCain in 2016.
Opinion By Lydia Bradbury