"There is something with storytelling where you take the most mundane and elevate it. And if you're taking something that's really elevated, you bring it down to the grit of it." - Jon Favreau Disney Gallery: Connections
When Luke Skywalker does anything it ignites a roaring fire inside every Star Wars fan in the Galaxy. But now, the same thing is true for a mundane character named Willrow Hood.
This article looks at the intriguing, counterintuitive phenomenon at the heart of Star Wars. No, not the fact that everyone on the planet literally loves a little green man. Instead, I'm speaking of the way Star Wars elevates the mundane to greatness.
It keeps happening. We saw Star Wars Twitter go ballistic over Luke Skywalker news.
No, it had nothing to do with Luke Skywalker's amazing (spoiler!) return in the Mandalorian Season Two finale.
Instead, Star Wars fans went ballistic because Mark Hamill tweeted a vital bit of news. Yes, Hamill tweeted that he finally made it to the "Tosche Station."
Sound mundane? In fact, the tweet got so much attention that it caused the term "Uncle Owen" to trend on Twitter for several hours.
Better Late Than Never!
In the tweet, Hamill suggests he indeed finally made it to the Tosche Station.
"I can finally cross this off my "to-do" list. #BetterLateThanNever."
But in reality, Hamill's tweet actually helps us understand the direction Star Wars is trending.
Elevating The Mundane To Trend-worthy
First of all, Hamill's tweet is a reference to 'A New Hope.' You probably already know this.
But right after the Jawas arrive at the Skywalker moisture farm, Uncle Owen buys C-3PO and R2-D2. Uncle Owen then turns to Luke and tells him to take the droids to the garage and clean them up before dinner. That elicits the infamously whiny response:
"But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!"
Indeed, the twitter pic shows Hamill standing in front of a Tosche gas station. He's holding something. We assume it's a power-converter. It's worth noting that the pic is clearly photoshopped.
Twitter quickly spoiled the fun by pointing out all the inconsistencies. And before long, one fan even located the original picture. Ok mystery solved. Mark Hamill was in a St. Patrick's day parade.
Do we care? No!
It's all good fun. But as mentioned earlier, this tweet indicates a lot more than just Hamill's snark.
The Secret Sauce Of Star Wars Storytelling
Hamill's tweet shows us he has a Jedi's-grasp of where Star Wars is at right now-- and where it's heading.
Consider the way 'The Mandalorian' pivotted sharply away from anything too new.
Sure, Mando and Grogu were new. But they came in familiar-looking packaging. Their stories played out in the familiar-looking surroundings, (what you might call the soft-edges) of the original trilogy.
Favreau and his co-creators discussed their showrunning recipe in the fascinating Disney Gallery series.
Specifically, Favreau revealed the secret sauce during the final Gallery episode titled, 'Connections'. In it he explains,
"There is something with storytelling where you take the most mundane and elevate it. And if you're taking something that's really elevated, you bring it down to the grit of it."
You Know Robin Hood, But Do You Know Willrow Hood?
Favreau then related the example of Willrow Hood. Hood is a character who appears on screen for a only brief second during the evacuation of Cloud City in 'Empire Strikes Back.' But there's something odd about the item Willrow Hood is carrying.
It's clearly just an off-the-shelf, homemade ice cream maker! Apparently, the filmmakers in the late 70's thought an ice cream maker looked "Star Wars enough."
So maybe you're wondering what's the big deal?
Well since then, Star Wars fans have elevated Willrow Hood and his love for homemade ice cream to ridiculous heights.
Celebrating Late-70's Quirkiness
This was best examplified when dozens of fans arrived at 2019's Chicago Star Wars Celebration dressed as Willrow Hood, complete with orange jumpsuit and at-home ice cream maker.
But it doesn't stop there!
Next, Celebration organizers held a "running of the Hoods!" The run gave all the Willrow Hoods in attendance the opportunity to participate in an urgent dash through a Star Wars set, while carrying their ice cream maker. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Hilarious.
Wait, there's more!?
'The Running Of The Hoods' Is Only The Half Of It!
In response to this outpouring of deep geekdom over Willrow Hood, Favreau wrote him into the Mandalorian. Sort of. As Favreau explains in the Gallery Series, after Star Wars Celebration, the ice cream maker was ret-conned into The Mandalorian.
In short, Willrow Hood's ice cream maker became Werner Herzog's camtono safe holding all the beskar!
This is just one example. But you see where this is all going don't you? (No, not beskar flavored ice cream)
There's something like a race to the bottom (or should we say, a "running of the Hoods"?) when it comes to elevating the mundane.
Therefore, it's safe to say that the next Star Wars Celebration will probably feature dozens of fans dressed as "Jeans Guy."
And to summarize, we shouldn't be shocked when Jeans Guy appears on screen again.
Consider how much screen time writers have to fill with all the new Star Wars series coming out? At our current trajectory, there's actually a non-zero chance Jeans Guy might get elevated to Jedi in some future Star Wars spinoff series.
And if that happens, believe me. I'll be on the loveseat with a camtono of beskar-flavored ice cream-- eating it all up!