Parks,  Prequel Trilogy,  Revenge of the Sith

Disneyland denies that the word “youngling” is avoided by Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge cast members (UPDATE)



From Newsweek:

“Update (6/7/19 5:20 p.m.): In response to our request for comment, Disneyland says that cast members do not avoid the word “younglings.” “Our cast members use that word daily in the new land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, as part of the interaction with guests,” Disney officials said in a statement to Newsweek.”


The cast members of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme land don’t use the word “youngling” because the children killed in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith are called so, according to video maker Jenny Nicholson.




  • Bob Jones

    Lol but they’re totally fine with literal space nazis (first order stormtroopers) walking around and being glorified as “cool”

    In all seriousness I dont think this is a dig at the prequels in any way

  • Cryogenic

    I’m glad the tweet says “one of the only times”; though it’s still a bit equivocal and deceptive.

    How many times should a special lore term like “younglings” (though it also occurs as a real English word meaning much the same thing — “a young person or animal” — in major dictionaries) actually be uttered in the films; if that’s your baseline?

    The implication is that the term isn’t that significant because it occurs with low frequency in the prequels, and the most famous (or infamous) time it is spoken is by Obi-Wan, when he informs Padme of Anakin’s Jedi Temple massacre, and therefore, for some reason, there’s a great deal of shame and awkwardness attached to the word.

    But that doesn’t hold. It’s a bit like claiming the word “gay” or “Jew” should never be uttered in Germany because thousands/millions of homosexuals and Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Sorry, Godwin’s law. But it’s a really silly rationalisation. Youngling is an official term; like “padawan” and “apprentice”. Should the honorific “Master” and utterances like “Yes, Master” be banned because African Americans are also, y’know, Star Wars fans, American citizens, and human beings that will be — wait for it — visiting and participating like other ethnicities within the new attraction?

    Of course, the tweet could just be hearsay/rumour. But it wouldn’t surprise me if it comes from some actual polling data Disney have gathered. Just look at the way the sequel movies (well, TFA, especially) have been marketed. Read Kathleen Kennedy’s remarks in a February 2016 interview/biography in Vanity Fair with writer Sarah Ellison (titled “Meet the Most Powerful Woman in Hollywood”). Kennedy avers that Leia’s “slave” costume in Jabba’s Palace is inappropriate and unacceptable today; and even suggests Lucas himself erred in dressing Carrie/Leia that way in the first place and wouldn’t do the same thing again (apparently overlooking Padme’s black leather corset with choker in the fireplace scene in AOTC, and later, her slender, form-fitting white outfit being ripped in the arena, exposing Portman’s/Padme’s midriff, as she fends off her arena monster with a chain — in a clear homage to Leia choking Jabba).

    And, to echo Bob Jones above, not only are there actual “Space Nazis” walking all over the place, and even being glorified with any number of cuddly toy variants, but a major fixture of the new attraction is a full-size Millennium Falcon, which you are encouraged to pilot in a simulator ride. Hate to break it to anyone who didn’t already know, but the Millennium Falcon is an illicit smuggling ship (and the simulator ride is based on a smuggling run), which was won and lost via gambling, and embodies the reckless and criminal underside of the Star Wars universe as much as it does heroism, valour, and sacrifice. So this would seem to be another example (if true) of politically-correct, anti-prequel, Orwellian doublethink.

    • Slicer87

      Don’t forget that the First Order nutroopers are abducted as kids and brainwashed, basically child soldiers. A tactic many terrorist groups use in real life.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Slicer:

        Good reminder. I was going to point out earlier, then I changed my mind, that the Jedi Order in the PT use “child soldiers”, too — echoed with the clone army that Obi-Wan discovers on Kamino, which the Jedi then assume control of; and which is a key aspect (as Episode III makes concrete) in their ultimate downfall.

        I felt indicating unquestionable/unsavoury aspects to the Jedi might open a can of worms, but nevertheless, when you also consider Anakin’s background, there is a lot of child slavery and eyebrow-raising stuff in Star Wars. As there perhaps should be in any significant, high-stakes fantasy universe — slavery, for example, being a major motif within the main saga.

        But, under the rubric of “social justice”, only relatively minor and superficial aspects tend to be focused on and negativised; largely concerning the hot-button and politically-trendy topics of race and gender. The bigger and more difficult issues are left alone. To paraphrase a quote I came across recently: all the topics we should be talking about are inevitably the ones that nobody wants to talk about.

        On the hypocrisy of Kathleen Kennedy: Well, actually, Slicer… In that interview I cited (link below), Kennedy doesn’t mention the prequel costumes, at all. Nor any other costumes or characters in the original trilogy. She solely hits out at the bikini costume in ROTJ. Disney/Lucasfilm have semi-officially taken a stand against that particular costume, you see, and Kennedy is either echoing their stance, or is one of the driving forces behind it; or, I suspect, a bit of both.

        In any case, if you read her remarks in-context, she is clearly taking a moment to deliberately knock Lucas’ earlier choices, secondary to flashing her feminist stripes and signalling her pro-social-justice acumen. In so doing, she is also planting a seed in people’s minds that some aspects of the earlier films, beyond women and chains and bikinis, aren’t necessarily acceptable in a post-Lucas universe — sending a direct message about how “progressive” she is, and by extension, how much cleaner/cleaned-up, palatable, and inoffensive consumers of Star Wars and Disney-licensed products can expect to find things going forward.

        And that’s all quite a shake-up from a somewhat submissive and doe-eyed Kennedy reassuringly calling Lucas her “Yoda”; in a video interview of the pair that was recorded to originally announce the transition of power from Lucas to Kennedy at Lucasfilm, slightly before the actual sale to Disney (but confusingly: was released only after the sale was completed in November 2012). Of course, one shouldn’t expect Kennedy to remain in Lucas’ shadow. She is unquestionably a “powerful woman”, to quote the Vanity Fair title, and no one should ever imagine or want her to be Lucas’ puppet, or not to have strong opinions of her own.

        The unfortunate aspect of it, for me, is that she chose to call into question and presume Lucas’ own decision-making, rather than simply keep the focus on what *she* would prefer to do — or not do, as the case may be. That, to me, reveals a certain condescending arrogance and egotism on her part. She was, after all, hand-picked and entrusted, by the man himself, to carry the legacy of Lucas forward; besmirching and quibbling could have been left out of it.

        And it is also hypocritical, indeed — or at least bone-headed — since she outright ignores other examples of raunchy or flamboyant costuming in the films. It’s also a snub of all the fans who like the slave Leia costume, male and female alike, including all the people that dress that way at conventions; or, for that matter, like Oola — or, indeed, like Padme.

        But the most curious aspect of the article is in that same stretch, where Mellody Hobson, Lucas’ wife, randomly fires back in defence of her husband. I’m not sure how that came about. Perhaps the interview with Kennedy was concluded, her comments reviewed, and someone said, “Perhaps we should try and contact George Lucas for a counter statement”. But whatever happened, it’s Mellody responding in that passage, not George. It seems there was some kind of rift that occurred between Kennedy and Lucas for a while.

        If you look at photo archives for both premieres of TFA, held in Los Angeles and London, respectively, you will not encounter a single picture of Lucas and Kennedy together (conversely: photo and video evidence of Lucas and Abrams together at both premieres is available). But they were both in attendance. I might have overlooked a photo (someone can try and disprove me by checking), but I *did* look, and I couldn’t find a single one. Back around that same time, Kennedy also spoke ahead of Lucas in the press, saying he “really liked” TFA, though Lucas was singing a different tune (in his subtle, mild-mannered way) when cordially prodded for his opinion at the premieres. And then there were his remarks in his lengthy interview with Charlie Rose.

        Not sure about Kylo’s bare chest. But there are at least alien nipples at the start of the same film (the now-notorious milk-slurping moment on Luke’s island). In fairness, Kylo only appears in “beefcake” mode for a few seconds on-screen, but it’s a somewhat in-your-face demonstration of the human form nonetheless, and one wonders why this is acceptable, but a young woman in skimpy clothing — when there’s reasonable situational context — is not.

        I’ve rambled again. But making this post has brought back some warm memories. It was just after commenting on this very topic, and going over these same remarks of Kennedy’s in the Vanity Fair article, that I was dismissed from a particular message board that shall not be named. That was a happy moment. The happiest moment of my life. But anyway, here’s the article for you to digest at your leisure:

        And I almost forgot! There’s more bashing of Lucas in the article. Some of which I also commented on before; and which may be designed, in part, to buttress Kennedy’s decrying of Leia’s ROTJ costume (or, more accurately, her oblique opining on Lucas’ underlying judgement concerning the costume). You’ll see.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        It’s okay, Joe.

        I agree that, where the prequels are concerned, Vanity Fair leaves a lot to be desired.

      • jppiper

        funny when they covered the prequels there was little to no bashing likely due to lucas being involved now with lucas out of the picture it’s bash bash bash

      • archdukeofnaboo


        One rather obvious issue I’m surprised you haven’t yet covered is the nature of the sequels themselves. In comparison with both the OT and ST at the same stage, they are much darker, violent films. In desperately trying to recreate Darth Vader for a new generation, TFA strove to make its villain Kylo Ren overly-gruesome with the murder of his father and constant tantrums (complete with over the top lightsabre sound affects). When one looks beyond the veneer of nostalgia, which is now so a lot easier to do than in 2015, and the new childlike droid, there is quite a moody, almost aggressive movie in its self-assertiveness, with a one-upmanship attitude towards ANH.

        To be fair to Abrams, it can be argued than popular cinema in general has become more violent than it had been in the 2000s. I haven’t researched this properly, but it does seem to me than the “PG” rating has become less frequent, with more and more prevalence of “12” , including Disney’s own Episode VII and VIII. Now some might can call that “realism”, I call it poor taste.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Arch Duke:

        “One rather obvious issue I’m surprised you haven’t yet covered is the nature of the sequels themselves. In comparison with both the OT and ST at the same stage, they are much darker, violent films.”

        Sure. And yes, in many ways, they are — even (or perhaps especially) in moments that are meant to be “comical”. In TFA, for instance, Rey acts like Queen of the Market Place and beats Finn down with her staff, for no good reason. What gives her the authority to declare Finn a thief, simply because he’s wearing a jacket some robot claims is stolen (while she herself, ironically, is a desert scavenger)? In TLJ, she again goes to work against a male she dislikes, by striking Luke on the back of his head with her staff (evoking the clone troopers shooting the Jedi in the back). In the same film, Leia — leader of the entire Resistance — slaps Poe across the face, and in full view of other serving crew members (not that slapping him across the face in private would be any better).

        Imagine Leia hitting Han in the back of his head with the butt of her rifle in the original trilogy, or Padme slapping Anakin in the prequels — even though some people would probably argue they would have been justified in doing so. Lucas was wise to reserve this sort of “physical comedy” for the droids, who may or may not feel pain, and are more akin to squabbling cats. Seeing the humans treating each other so impetuously, when these are meant to be heroes and people to look up to, is pretty saddening, and just one more reason the sequels and all the machinations of Disney, and the pathetic doublespeak of pseudo-visionary managerial types like Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams, have left me cold.

        The Lucas films are plenty violent, of course; and perhaps we’re too close to the whole thing to objectively weigh the earlier films — the prime data matrix of Star Wars — up. ROTS is especially dark and outright grim (or grimdark) in its second half. Anakin slaughtering younglings — or, yes, children — and Anakin himself subsequently being dismembered and left to burn to death, are grizzly events we are forced to bear witness to (but it makes the story more gripping and honest), and maybe still the darkest and shocking Star Wars has yet gotten. And this was all under the watch of Lucas, who constantly protested his primary audience was children, and who began the saga in a notably light-hearted manner (albeit with dark undercurrents) with Episode I. From Jar Jar and magical forests to death squads and killing fields.

        Yet there is this arresting, trenchant logic to Lucas’ storytelling; combined with a thrilling, elliptical progression. You can’t help but be pulled in as clouds gather, forms change, violence erupts, and darkness takes hold. And Lucas never dwells too long on anything diabolical; lest it become suffused with too much of an erotic thrall and risk becoming outright pornographic. In TPM, we never see much suffering under the TF on Naboo. Ambiguities surrounding the full scope of the TF’s malevolence even become a plot point within the film. In AOTC, Anakin turns his fury outward on the Tuskens; but we only see the initial burst of his vengeful escapade; the rest is conveyed by a mournful dyad involving Yoda sensing Anakin’s pain with Mace as his concerned confidante, and Anakin confessing his pain — including his hate and anger — to a bewildered and consoling Padme. The focus is not on the violence itself, but on the loss of self and dehumanising effects that the embrace of violence brings about. In ROTS, Lucas takes us a little closer to the violent actions of Anakin, Palpatine, the clones, and even Obi-Wan and Yoda, but the operatic thrust of the movie is so powerful as to sweep and absorb these events within a more artistic (almost metaphysical) cyclone; with the focus once again being placed on the personal and political hells that violence and irrationality send society and its constituents into.

        By contrast, some of the violence in the sequels just seems designed to communicate how “evil” some people are (Kylo and Phasma executing an entire village, in a maybe too-stark echo of Anakin killing the Tuskens, at the start of TFA), as if trying to give the film more of an edge than it deserves (a cinematic cheat code in place of working hard); while, at the other end of the spectrum, you have Finn and Rose delighting in the carnage they cause on Canto Bight, patting themselves on the back for “tearing up the town” and supposedly teaching those rich scumbags a good lesson (when it’s the slave underclass that would clearly be forced to clean up the mess and scapegoated and flagellated for the damage occurring in the first place). Rose, I think, is a particularly grating character. Like her big boss Leia, she doesn’t hesitate to apply violence to a male she wants to rebuke, stunning Finn and sending him flying with a burst of electricity, much as Snoke sends Kylo flying and Leia later shoots Poe. But as with Rey beating Finn (and letting BB-8 zap him) in TFA: what gives her the right to attack deserters and imprison them for attempting to escape?

        Arguably, the sequels lack any real foundation or a grounded conscience, displaying a flippant attitude toward violence, both physical and structural, and the power differentials that make life challenging and the game of living so treacherous. Lucas obviously sees life through a Machiavellian lens; and also, weirdly, a more positive, almost Panglossian lens. Perhaps to be an optimist, you must also be a pessimist. If you don’t know the Dark Side, how are you to recognise or cherish the light? This is the brilliance of the original saga; and perhaps the main reason the sequels — in my eyes, at least — flounder so badly. You may also be interested in this review by the mysterious MSTRMND:

        “By giving the darkside no discernable goal outside of low-level rage, control and mayhem, the First Order villains are basically invisible psychically; meaningless. Their behavior is shown to us as unilaterally incoherent (the way the West views Nazis or ISIS). They’re not even humorously deranged the way Vader rolled in Empire (the humor came from purposeful rage). And that method was Lucas’s subtle seduction. These villains are just stand-ins for some vague idea of evil. And that makes Chapter VII irrelevant. The most obvious metaphor for Han’s death is the Abrams-Lucas exchange: Lucas thought he was leaving his story in the hands of a team with mythic aspirations, instead they slay his tale in a coarse effort to reboot it.”

      • jppiper

        @archdukofnaboo and @cryogenic
        if the psycho fans had their way we would have seen anakin killing the younglings and there would be alot of R-rated violence and gore
        THAT’S NOT WHAT STAR WARS IS!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        True. I think that also applies to some staff at Lucasfilm previously (and presumably now) — all the way up to Rick McCallum himself, perhaps; who states on the commentary track that he would have preferred a totally dark movie, and for the hijinks at the start of the film to have been replaced with something else. Some people were evidently hoping for a dark and relentlessly gory Episode III to emerge; but, as you said, that isn’t really Star Wars.

      • Slicer87


        I would not call the Jedi soldiers or the Jedi younglings child soldiers, as the Jedi are
        peacekeepers, which is one of the issues with them leading a war. Also they did at least give families of prospective children a choice. The First Order on the other hand abducted children to brainwash into killers, and it is doubtful they gave any choice to the families of the children, if the familes were not even simply killed. In many ways, abducting children like that is even worse than cloning soldiers, as well as less effective.

        As for KK, she seems to be a very mercenary person, towing whatever the current party line is. It is not uncommon for such individuals to use their predcessors as scapegoats to make themselves look better. KK, along with JJ, RJ, etc, probably do believe they are better and are doing much better jobs than that old bearded hack they replaced. Moreover, KK also has a tendency to say too much and put her foot in her mouth. Back with promoting TFA at a fan board, she began saying TFA would have no CGI in it before JJ had to stop her and say they have to use some CGI like some necessary evil.

        As for the no more slave Leia bikini, there are probably some other factors at work. There are perverts who make rule 34 “art” which brings a negative element to a family IP that Disney would like to reduce. Which is ironic as Jabba is implied to be a perv among many other of his negative traits. As well as Leia using Jabba’s slave chain against him. Plus there is a theory that Disney is trying to shift the main marketing target for Star Wars away from boys and towards girls instead. It has been observed there are a lot of similarities between Rey and Kylo with Edward and Bella from Twlight. Perhaps that is why they try to downplay the female form but still show off the male form?

        Slavery is a reoccuring theme in SW. In TPM, besides Anakin and Shmi who were both eventually freed, Sebulba had a couple of female slaves as well one of Watto’s friends in his skybox and Jabba had one too on thr balcony. For ANH, it can be argued Luke is enslaved to the moisture farm. In TESB, Vader treats his officers and Lando as slaves. The star destroyer bridges are designed to look like slave galleys, to highlight how the imperials are enslaved to the Sith. In ROTJ there are Oola, other dancing girls, and briefly Leia. The Jedi were pretty much slaves to duty in the sega, and Vader ended up a slave to the darkside and Palps. Not to mention droids are treated even worse than slaves throughout the whole sega and clones are not much better than slaves to the Sith. Many of the slave owners had bad endings, Watto ends up poor while both Jabba and Palps meet their demises from enslaved Skywalkers.

      • Moose

        Beautiful analysis (as usual) and thank you for the MSTRMND review link.

        Once Disney mostly went away from the mythological and made Star Wars largely self-referential, I sometimes feel like critiquing the result is akin subjecting a toaster to a CT scan.

      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe, @ Slicer, @ Moose:

        Thanks, guys. First off, in my last post:

        “Some people were evidently hoping for a dark and relentlessly gory Episode III to emerge; but, as you said, that isn’t really Star Wars.”

        There, I meant “mega dark”, since ROTS is already dark in the events it portrays. But there remains a light, lithesome touch; humour, for example, even if fleeting, is injected into even the serious, story-climaxing confrontations between Anakin and Obi-Wan and Yoda and Sidious (a lava-gathering droid who appears in mid-air and rapidly makes himself scarce in the former, when Anakin and Obi-Wan are duelling along that narrow piping, and Yoda tidily dispensing with those red guards when he enters the large senate office, ready to make war against his arch-nemesis, in the latter).


        The child-soldier angle can definitely be disputed. What the First Order does echoes what the Jedi Order did (interestingly enough — and note the similarity of the names), but I wouldn’t say they’re entirely alike. The Jedi have a very complicated relationship with the Republic and the larger galaxy — or galaxies (technically: there are several Star Wars galaxies as the Kamino subplot in AOTC indicates) — and this is reflected in the the way adherents are inducted; and various other matters beside.

        Also, very much unlike the First Order, we get to glimpse some of the infrastructure of the Jedi Order, and the results and attendant effects of indoctrination and assimilation of group norms are taken seriously — contra Finn, who just up and leaves the First Order after a single mission, objects to killing others, but is mowing down comrades five minutes later, and is played for comic relief throughout much of that same film (and a serious injury he receives at the end of the film is also totally discounted five minutes into the next one).

        Yes. Power-grabbing is ugly business. I said as much before regarding KK and JJ on TFN at the time of TFA (all these acronyms). It is, as you just said, extremely common practice for the new regime to bury — metaphorically, at least; literally, if they can get away with it — the old one; as an expedient means of implying their superiority over what came before. But Kennedy going from “He’s my Yoda” in 2012 (in the taped interview) to “He was a lazy billionaire recluse who made questionable choices” (more or less) at the end of 2015 (when the Vanity Fair interview was conducted) is quite the turnaround.

        Personally… I think everyone’s a pervert. But only some people will admit it. Most will find some means of cloaking their perversions (religion is a good one). Again, as Christopher Hitchens once pointedly and hilariously observed: “There can be no question that a human being, whether standing up or lying down, finds his or her hand resting just next to the genitalia.” Make of that what you will. But I think the basic point I’m trying to convey is: sexuality and some degree of covetousness are inevitable. On the other hand (no pun intended), I can understand Disney being a bit uneasy at some of the concupiscent desires that are out there, and which these films might specifically have given a green light to — but also: live and let live, you know? There is hypocrisy here, too, because Disney has been profiting from attractive babes in similar-ish clothing for years (e.g., Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”). Disney sells sex; but like any corporation or power structure, it wants you to think sex is a banished abstraction, and that no money would *ever* flow in along that vector.

        Such puritanical attitudes from people like Kennedy also seem to have impacted the new films. Nothing half as edgy as Han trading barbs with Leia, or Anakin’s Dionysian pursuit of Padme, can be found inside the sequel trilogy piggy-bank; not even if you tip the whole thing upside down and shake hard. Yet we know Lucas wasn’t afraid to go there, even in his post-prequel years, based on that provocative concept artwork that emerged a few years ago (tiger-toned Twi’lek babe in the embrace of a large, blue-scaled “daddy” demon figure). All we have are a few tepid intimations of a romance between Finn and Rey (unlikely — and only one film to go, anyway), another one between Poe and Rey (more likely, but barely), and some weirdly undefined sexual tryst between Rey and Kylo (as you just touched on — again, no pun intended). The sweetest/most intimate moment that has yet occurred is Rose giving a kiss to Finn on Crait in a rather improbable scenario; a moment of romantic affection that seems to come out of left field. The sequel trilogy, in my eyes, is defined by timidity on multiple levels.

        Great thoughts on the slavery motifs of the saga. Not much to add, really; it’s a whole other discussion in itself. But the saga itself is now enslaved to Disney; and Lucas himself evoked the concept by branding Disney “white slavers” in 2015 on Charlie Rose. He formally recanted that remark, but I think we were getting his true feelings in that moment — that was the firebrand Lucas of the 1960s and 1970s talking, not the PR-conscious, Forbes 500 Lucas we’re more familiar with today (the retraction was obviously the latter). I always prefer it when people speak their mind. Too much is held back. Which is a major thematic component of the prequels. Arch Duke may recall the conversation we had a few months back in which I had a fairly intense reading of Anakin and Obi-Wan saying farewell on Coruscant — that scene, to me, is not about what’s said, but what is being avoided and glossed over. And much of what has happened under Disney, in my opinion, has been a major gloss.


        Glad I was able to introduce you to the weird and wonderful MSTRMND. Thank you for the kind words. And good analogy — very apt. I just hope Artoo will forgive you for speaking about him in that way. :p

      • jppiper


      • Cryogenic

        @ Joe:

        I have to laugh that the back of the UK DVD case for TFA (yes — *sigh* — I did actually purchase TFA on DVD) says the following:

        “Visionary director J.J. Abrams brings to life the motion picture event of a generation.”

        First off: Visionary director???

        Second: What, exactly, gets brought to life in TFA?

        Third: Which generation? Who is the film really for?

        And yes…

        Lucas has always been treated (at least since the prequels), by comparison, like garbage; while these people simply arrogated his achievements to themselves and took all the credit for baking an inferior cake and placing a cherry on the top.

        That said, bear the following quotes in mind, and take heart:

        “When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.” (Jonathan Swift)

        “The most subtle art, the strongest and deepest art — supreme art — is the one that does not at first allow itself to be recognized.” (Andre Gide)

      • Slicer87

        The nerd resentment against began way before the PT. It began at least around the release of ROTJ as some of them disliked the happy ending of the film. It really got bad with the release of the SE, which they screached was a rape of their childhoods and wished for Lucas’s death . By the time of TPM, many nerds already hated Lucas and the then new film before even watching it, plus the then new internet gave them a worldwide megaphone. There is no reasoning with such individuals.

      • Slicer87

        Yeah, its not ok to show Leia in a bikini or Padme’s midriff, but its ok to show a topless Kylo’s bare chest. KK is such a hypocrite, like most SJWs.

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