D-Day Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Ken_L says:

    The British Inter Service Security Board had the role of assigning clearly differentiated names for each of the numerous Allied operations then underway. Unfortunately the only name available was “MOTHBALL.”

    When Morgan presented Operation MOTHBALL to Churchill, he went right through the roof. “Do you mean to tell me that those bloody fools want our grandchildren 50 years from now to be calling the operation that liberated Europe Operation Mothball? If they can’t come up with a better code name for our landing than that, I damn well will pick the code name myself.” Morgan said that Churchill “glowered for a moment” and then shouted, “Overlord. We shall call it Overlord.” That is how the greatest D-Day of them all came to be known to posterity as Operation Overlord. It was one of Churchill’s most important personal contributions to the invasion plan.

  2. CSK says:

    The seminal event of the twentieth century, I was taught.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My Uncle Walt came ashore at Utah Beach. Don’t know for sure exactly when or where he went from there as my only knowledge of his war comes from a single B&W photo of him sitting in front of a tent with a caption of “Walt at Utah, D-day +3.” My father and all my other uncles* ended up in the Pacific.

    *except for Gus who spent the war building barracks here in the US, and Tony who was 4F and spent his war in the Joliet Ammunition plant where he met and eventually married Betty who was almost killed when it blew up.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    via Anne Laurie, a couple of covid tweets:

    delthia ricks

    If you’re still waiting for herd immunity to stop Covid, it’s time to move on. Early in the pandemic, public health experts hoped when enough people were immune to the coronavirus it would be stopped. Now scientists say herd immunity won’t happen https://abcnews.go.com/Health/youre-w

    Annina Büchi MD MSc

    Somehow… if you continue protecting yourself against Covid, you’re seen as crazy, but if you die/get LongCovid or other long-term health problems from it, it was your own fault for not protecting yourself. It really feels like we are living in a bad parody.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Being an atheist I never paid much attention to the “secretive charismatic Christian group” that ACB belongs to, so I found this article informative. The article basically describes pretty much what one would expect from a charismatic conservative Christian group, and their “ideas” are imo more than a little out there in foul ball territory.

    Legal claims shed light on founder of faith group tied to Amy Coney Barrett

    The founder of the People of Praise, a secretive charismatic Christian group that counts supreme court justice Amy Coney Barrett as a member, was described in a sworn affidavit filed in the 1990s as exerting almost total control over one of the group’s female members, including making all decisions about her finances and dating relationships.

    The court documents also described alleged instances of a sexualized atmosphere in the home of the founder, Kevin Ranaghan, and his wife, Dorothy Ranaghan.

    The description of the Ranaghans and accusations involving their intimate behavior were contained in a 1993 proceeding in which a woman, Cynthia Carnick, said that she did not want her five minor children to have visitations with their father, John Roger Carnick, who was then a member of the People of Praise, in the Ranaghan household or in their presence, because she believed it was not in her children’s “best interest”. Cynthia Carnick also described inappropriate incidents involving the couple and the Ranaghan children. The matter was eventually settled between the parties.

    The article states that ACB lived with the Ranaghans while going to law school.

  6. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: On the other hand, herd immunity may never have been likely to begin with. Think of our friend, the common cold. Influenza is another example; with vaccination, we keep the count down during a specific season, but that’s not really the same as herd immunity.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    From the guardian, comes this little tidbit:

    What is clear is that the plan for partisan warfare was long and well prepared.

    Ukrainian partisan forces started being trained after Russia’s intervention in 2014 but they became part of Ukraine’s state structures last summer, according to Serhii Kuzan, head of the Ukrainian Center for Security and Cooperation, a Ukrainian thinktank that specialises in military analysis.

    Partisan forces, along with Ukraine’s territorial army, were part of new self-defence measures introduced across the country, said Kuzan. While thousands had joined the territorial army, hundreds had also volunteered to be trained as Ukrainian partisans, said Kuzan. Both forces are made up of people from a given region.

    The Ukrainian partisan forces were trained to be an underground resistance movement in the event their region became occupied, said Kuzan. Their task is to build networks of informants, launch information campaigns against the occupiers, pass information back to the Ukrainian authorities, and to kill high-level political collaborators and the occupying commanders, said Kuzan.

    Ukrainian partisans were led and trained by Ukrainian special forces, who were responsible for carrying out the higher-level acts of subversion, said Kuzan.

    “The idea is for the occupier to always feel the presence of the partisans and for them never to feel safe,” said Kuzan. “Recently, the partisan forces in Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions carried out a coordinated sticker and flyer campaign against the so-called Russian world.”

    So all that prewar talk from Zelenskyy about how he didn’t think the Russians would actually invade was probably just being hopeful while knowing full well it was only a matter of time.

  8. Beth says:


    So, EVERYONE at Disney was coughing. It was like a constant song everywhere. I don’t remember ever getting this far into spring/summer with everywhere sounding like a medical ward.

    We had an opportunity to beat Covid and we held a gun to our heads and pulled the trigger instead.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: I was just discussing with a few other folks that this year seems especially bad for allergies. It has been very rainy around here so I suspect there is a lot of mold in the air.

    When it comes to Covid, there is no covid around here. At least that is what all my maskless, not socially distancing, bar hopping, restaurant visiting, Walmart shopping, neighbors tell me. I was reading this morning that the death rate of covid has been dropping, whether that is because of better treatments or less virulence, I don’t know.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It certainly appears to mutate at a high enough rate that like the flu, we will always have a new variant to deal with.

  11. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Here’s the thing:

    There was no way to roll out 15 billion doses worldwide, administer all by mid-January 2021, and have everyone take it except for those with valid medical exceptions. That would have made for widespread herd immunity long enough to end the pandemic, even if the virus remained with us.

    But I still lay the continued duration of the pandemic squarely on those who 1) won’t get vaccinated and 2) have stopped taking precautions.

  12. Kathy says:

    Spoiler warning for part III of Kenobi.

    All that Vader did when meeting Kenobi was spot on in character, so I should have no complaints. Except, I have one.

    I refer you to the infamous “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” scene in Revenge of the Sith. This happens when Vader asks for Padme, and Palpatine says “You killed her.”

    Now, maybe after the confrontation with Padme, the fight with Obi Wan, and the very painful near death ordeal, his memories of the day are all effed up. But his love for Padme was real and intense, so it would be inhuman of him not to want to ask a relevant question from the only other person present that day.

    Therefore before the confrontation, Vader should have asked Kenobi, “How did Padme die?”

    Never mind that he knew she was pregnant, so he should also have asked about the children.

    Of course, part of the problem with this prequel is that we already know what happens later and who knew what, therefore asking such questions is problematic. and it can all be chalked up to “Vader blindly believes and obeys Palpatine, because as cool as he looks and as cruel as he is, he’s really a second fiddle in the Empire, and will be until he overthrows his master.

  13. JohnSF says:

    Boris Johnson is to face a vote of confidence among Conservative MPs after the threshold of 54 letters requesting a vote was passed.
    Vote will take place this evening.

    My guess: he’ll win, but not overwhelmingly.
    Majority is 180; suspect he’ll end with maybe 240-ish.
    Though he’ll try to cling on if he gets a bare majority.
    But under a three quarters majority means he is perilously weak; bad by election results in June could then produce a Cabinet revolt and a second challenge.

  14. CSK says:

    If I never paid my bills, I’d have much more money than I do now.


  15. KM says:

    Haven’t seen it but the prequels always gave me the sense that the twins were a secondary thought at best in Anakin’s obsession with Padme. He was so singularly focused on her – loving her, saving her, holding her up as his perfect Soulmate – that the fact she was pregnant was more “oh my WIFE is doing something amazing!”, not “OMG I’m gonna be a dad!”. Anakin’s a classic case of BPD wherein love can be a black/white, change on a dime, to the exclusion of all else focus. The kids would have been seen as secondary to their union or to Padme herself, a part of her to care about but not as high a priority.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Anakin simply assumed they died just because *she* died. After all, why would child outlive it’s mother when the mother was the center of his world? He lost her them all, end of story – if he bothered to check, it would have been with someone who parroted the official in-universe line and confirmed no survivors. Obi-wan would have been a good source to confirm but it would also mean pulling up that trauma and assuming he wouldn’t lie just to hurt Anakin, another common BPD assumption.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “So it’s a hard decision,” Adam told the Tampa Bay Times. “Because ultimately we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here. But when we put it on our bodies, I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe – not that they look down on anybody or think differently – it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior.

    “… It’s not judgmental. It’s not looking down. It’s just what we believe the lifestyle he’s encouraged us to live, for our good, not to withhold. But again, we love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.”

    Talking out of both sides of one’s mouth never makes any sense.

  17. Kathy says:


    All that makes sense.

    Therefore Vader would find it useful to know he did not, in fact, kill her.

    As for the children, I can handwave that with Vader’s position as second fiddle in the empire. We know the emperor knows the Skywalker offspring are deadly dangerous to him. So said Obi Wan in episode VI. Vader maybe doesn’t see it.

  18. Jay L Gischer says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I was once that guy. It was a long time ago. I can imagine myself, in those days, making that decision, and saying those kinds of things.

    I can appreciate that much harm has been done to gay folks under this banner, but I’m guessing not by guys like Adam, but who can tell really. Though it isn’t Jesus who is commanding this. Jesus had nothing to say about gay or trans people. That’s other parts of the Bible.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’ve always thought this blanket “Religion is off limits” thing is misguided when it comes to elected and appointed office. The specific beliefs and actions of the religion matters.

  20. MarkedMan says:


    We had an opportunity to beat Covid and we held a gun to our heads and pulled the trigger instead.

    I just don’t see it. Yes, we had an opportunity to greatly reduce the number of deaths from COVID. The majority of Americans seized that opportunity but unfortunately a significant minority did not and so we have a million dead that didn’t have to die. But given what we know now about COVID and the ever more transmissible variants that keep on coming, we were never going to “beat” COVID. It’s endemic and it was always going to be endemic.

  21. gVOR08 says:


    I’ve always thought this blanket “Religion is off limits” thing is misguided when it comes to elected and appointed office.

    Indeed. With Dominionism and Catholic Integralism having become very real things, as Ozark noted about the Coney Barrett woman, it would seem highly relevant to ask about religious views. However, if asked, the candidates in question don’t seem to take very seriously the thing about not bearing false witness. In every school board election I fear I may accidentally vote for some closeted Creationist.

    Once upon a time, in Camelot, JFK had to pledge he wouldn’t let his Catholic beliefs dictate his actions on public policy. Now Biden and Pelosi are being attacked, and Pelosi denied communion, for not letting the Pope dictate their actions in their public capacity.

  22. MarkedMan says:

    I don’t know whether it was here or elsewhere that I commented that Musk’s tweet about cutting 10% of employees had the distinct “things we say while doing cocaine” vibe and that I would be astounded if the actual execs at his companies took him seriously. And… here’s his “clarification”

    Look, it’s a big job running the world’s most popular EV maker and ejecting random, unsubstantiated shit into the ether, so please forgive Tesla CEO Elon Musk for stating in an internal email that he was planning on cutting 10 percent of jobs over a “bad feeling” about the economy on Friday. Rather, “total headcount will increase” over the next year as “salaried should be fairly flat,” per a tweet by Musk on Saturday

  23. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: Proof that a lack of money isn’t necessarily the cause for someone being a deadbeat.

  24. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan: @gVOR08:
    In the entire history of Congress, there’s only been one member who was openly an atheist: Pete Stark from California. At present, only Kyrsten Sinema identifies as “unaffiliated.”

    It’s interesting how we demand that our leaders profess some religion when 26% of Americans aren’t religious. A friend of mine from Texas says that people in the south view religious observance as a sign of good character. Just like Roy Moore, for example. Great character. Just ask all the teen girls he molested.

    This is interesting:

    I’m pretty sure the number of religiously indifferent legislators is substantial. They have to claim to be faithful just in order to get elected.

  25. CSK says:

    I was thinking: Why doesn’t Trump get the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers to provide security? I’m sure they’d do it for free, plus provide their own ammo and transportation.

  26. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Pardon me, I misspoke. The only thing Jesus had to say about gay and trans people was this: “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

  27. Kathy says:


    Elon is on track to join Howard Hughes.

    I wonder if he has drafted a will already.

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: More and more Musk’s public comments strike me as drug fueled.

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: That kind of charge isn’t one that he has to pay. It’s a charge that the event has to pay? How can he be blamed for the fact that the event doesn’t have any money?

    You people are so unfair. It’s perverse!

  30. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    All right all ready. I’m a pervert. I admit it.

  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I’m not sure that it’s a “we demand” situation as it is a “they dissemble” because of a desire not to potentially alienate the other 74%. It’s a variation on “I smoked but didn’t enhale.”

  32. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    It probably depends on what part of the country from which one hails. The religious issue is clearly important to a lot of southerners and midwesterners. In the northeast, not so much. And nowadays, even less so here than fifty years ago.

    I recall once reading that Dave Powers, in an effort to rehab JFK’s reputation after all the sordid revelations about the latter’s womanizing came out, earnestly claiming that he and JFK got down on their knees and prayed each night before bed. I burst out laughing.

  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: When some body says something like,

    I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe – not that they look down on anybody or think differently – it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus,

    I can’t respect it, especially when as you note, Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality.

    @MarkedMan: The specific beliefs and actions of the religion matters.

    I agree that the specific beliefs and actions matter but the subject does have to be approached cautiously. After all, the constitution says, “but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

  34. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    I don’t think Trump is aware that there’s a difference between “perverse” and “perverted.”
    A big difference.

  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Also, if one considers gay people to be lesser, he said, “Whatever you do to the least of these, so you do unto me.”

  36. Jay L Gischer says:

    In those days, my best reconciliation was that engaging in homosexual sex was exactly the same amount of sinful as engaging in premarital or extramarital heterosexual sex.

    I’m a bit embarrassed by that now. Sex is something that brings people so much happiness (and also more than a little distress, but we seem to think its worth it), I can’t really countenance banning it outright.

  37. OzarkHillbilly says:

    In today’s Atlantic: First Wave at Omaha Beach

    Unlike what happens to other great battles, the passing of the years and the retelling of the story have softened the horror of Omaha Beach on D Day.

    This fluke of history is doubly ironic since no other decisive battle has ever been so thoroughly reported for the official record. While the troops were still fighting in Normandy, what had happened to each unit in the landing had become known through the eyewitness testimony of all survivors. It was this research by the field historians which first determined where each company had hit the beach and by what route it had moved inland. Owing to the fact that every unit save one had been mislanded, it took this work to show the troops where they had fought.

    How they fought and what they suffered were also determined in detail during the field research. As published today, the map data showing where the troops came ashore check exactly with the work done in the field; but the accompanying narrative describing their ordeal is a sanitized version of the original field notes.

    This happened because the Army historians who wrote the first official book about Omaha Beach, basing it on the field notes, did a calculated job of sifting and weighting the material. So saying does not imply that their judgment was wrong. Normandy was an American victory; it was their duty to trace the twists and turns of fortune by which success was won. But to follow that rule slights the story of Omaha as an epic human tragedy which in the early hours bordered on total disaster. On this two-division front landing, only six rifle companies were relatively effective as units. They did better than others mainly because they had the luck to touch down on a less deadly section of the beach. Three times that number were shattered or foundered before they could start to fight. Several contributed not a man or bullet to the battle for the high ground. But their ordeal has gone unmarked because its detail was largely ignored by history in the first place. The worst-fated companies were overlooked, the more wretched personal experiences were toned down, and disproportionate attention was paid to the little element of courageous success in a situation which was largely characterized by tragic failure.

    The official accounts which came later took their cue from this secondary source instead of searching the original documents. Even such an otherwise splendid and popular book on the great adventure as Cornelius Ryan’s The Longest Day misses the essence of the Omaha story.

    In everything that has been written about Omaha until now, there is less blood and iron than in the original field notes covering any battalion landing in the first wave. Doubt it? Then let’s follow along with Able and Baker companies, 116th Infantry, 29th Division. Their story is lifted from my fading Normandy notebook, which covers the landing of every Omaha company.

  38. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Padme’s funeral was open casket, and her dress was stuffed so she looked pregnant, so no one would know the kids survived.

    And I assume Vader believed the Emperor’s claim the he killed Padme because he was emotionally devastated at the time, and it fit with the self-pitying “my life is over” thing he was probably going through having lost his limbs, been set on fire, needing a suit to breathe… and once it becomes part of his self pitying tragic backstory, he will never question it.

    Had he ever discovered the truth, that she simply lost the Will to live, he would have dismissed it out of hand as being too stupid to be believed.

  39. Jen says:


    and her dress was stuffed so she looked pregnant,

    I don’t really think that was a dress-stuffing. Women don’t automatically go back to having flat bellies after giving birth, particularly not after having twins.

  40. MarkedMan says:


    “but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

    I agree with that completely. However, no requirement for office is not the same as “voters shall not consider the beliefs a candidate holds that they happen to label religious”. That’s not only unenforceable but also undesirable.

  41. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Having visited the American military cemetery overlooking Omaha twice, I still am astounded by the fact that any GIs were able to get across the beach alive.

  42. Beth says:


    I bet that’s a good chunk of that. I have goo spraying out of my eyes from all that. But, even taking that into account, there was an unreasonable amount of coughing and I’m sure more than a few actively positive people based on the amount of people grousing about masks.

    @Jay L Gischer:

    In my experience, guys like Adam and those other Rays players are the same sort of people who will stand back while their friend’s bash a gay couple’s teeth in for holding hands. I know we are “supposed” to find people like him palatable, but he’s just a big a monster as Liz Cheney.

  43. Kathy says:


    I can’t say why Palpatine lied to Vader, but the latter would not want to believe it even if he did think the former had told him the truth. I think three eps remain, so he has another chance to ask.

    In the movies and TV, though, monsters usually have no agency.

    Had he ever discovered the truth, that she simply lost the Will to live, he would have dismissed it out of hand as being too stupid to be believed.

    Didn’t we all react that way? 🙂

  44. Gustopher says:

    @Jen: It has been explained in the lore as dress stuffing, prosthetic pregnancy, etc., specifically to help hide the kids.

    This may have been explained just for the benefit of men, of course.

  45. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Beth: Maybe he is that guy. I couldn’t say different. However, I can imagine myself, at that age, saying something similar, and I would never have had friends like that in the first place, let alone stand by.

    And sometimes people stand by, not because they approve, but because they feel helpless to stop things.

    Of course you would consider him a threat, though. That makes sense. I feel I could probably make some progress if I were given the chance to talk to him, though. I’m not particularly threatened by him, and that helps me.

  46. Mu Yixiao says:

    China’s population set to shrink for the first time since the Great Famine.

    China’s total fertility rate (births per woman) was 2.6 in the late 1980s – well above the 2.1 needed to replace deaths. It has been between 1.6 and 1.7 since 1994, and slipped to 1.3 in 2020 and just 1.15 in 2021.

  47. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: He knew he force choked her, and that she fell to the ground, and that now she is dead — there was a funeral and everything.

    There are also comic books, Greg Pak’s run on Darth Vader where he does investigate to see if she is really dead, or whether the body was one of her handmaiden/decoys. One shouldn’t have to rely on comics to explain the tv show, granted, but it is there.*

    If anything, I would expect that Vader has convinced himself the Obi-wan turned Padme against him, and that the whole thing is Obi-wan’s fault.

    Also, I assume it was the added trauma of childbirth which caused those injuries to kill her. (And that the medical robot was just a victim shaming asshole…)

    *: Some of the comics are quite good. Chris Soule does a storyline about Vader getting back in the Emperor’s good graces after the Death Star fiasco, and the early part of Doctor Aphra is great (she’s a mildly evil Indiana Jones knock-off, who often has a homicidal protocol droid and astromech in tow… just delightful.) Greg Pak is often good, but I lost track of the story due to production delays, so I cannot knowledgeably recommend.

    I love the homicidal protocol droid and astromech pair. Dialog from memory:


    “He’s saying ‘I’m on fire, help me, help me’ and then a lot of untranslatable guttural screams.”

    “Bleep blip.”

    “Quite right. They always say the same thing. Not very original. I guess it’s just in their programming.”

  48. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: “voters shall not consider the beliefs a candidate holds that they happen to label religious”.

    Yeah, religion has always been a consideration in voters evaluation of candidates (as noted above, how many out and proud atheists have there been in Congress?), but we weren’t talking about candidates, we were talking about judges and SC Justices. I’m just saying that one has to ask a question of a nominee that gets to the core belief in a non-religious way. How does one do that? Eliphino, I’m not a particularly eloquent person.

  49. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Beth: Oh yeah, denial is not a river in Misery, it’s a crowd of shoppers at the local Walmart.

  50. Gustopher says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I’m glad you were smacked in the side of the head with a brick or something and got a clue. And I hope it was before you ever had something to really regret.

    I don’t quite understand the Christians who dig for rules in the Old Testament that can be used to hurt people. They’re missing the big picture — kindness.

    I would love for someone to slip things into newer translations like “god judges so you don’t have to. Actually, you’re kind of treading on his territory when you do.” We really should rewrite that thing, hand out countless copies of the rewritten one, and try to get rid of the old ones. Go to churches and swap editions, etc. Maybe make up a fake history.

    If we can believe the thousands of lies about American history, surely we can rewrite religious history.

  51. Kingdaddy says:

    I’ll second that recommendation for the Star Wars comics. Very original and fun, while working within the constraints of Star Wars canon.

  52. Kathy says:


    There’s a subplot in Babylon 5 where Vir, the assistant to the Centauri ambassador, kills his mad emperor just in time to avert a major disaster. He wasn’t supposed to do it, but he was supposed to be there and help the actual perpetrator, the ambassador, to carry it out.

    So this was a planned assassination, which deviated from the plan only insofar as who pulled the (figurative) trigger.

    Just the same, a short time later Vir is shown waking up suddenly and saying “I didn’t do it!”

    I should think Vader has had similar thoughts.

    I agree the whole “lost the will to live” was ridiculous. But that’s the canon and writers coming in later ought to put it to some good use.

    Suppose at some point in their encounter in part III, preferably before dragging Obi Wan through a roaring fire, Vader had asked “How did Padme die?” What does Kenobi reply? Does he even reply?

  53. KM says:


    (And that the medical robot was just a victim shaming asshole…)

    I always assumed medical malfeasance. Either (1) the medics and droids messed up and lied about it or (2) they had no idea what they were doing and assumed loss of life signs was the same as “lost the Will to live” due bad / limited programming.

    I guess you could suppose that since Palpatine had access to Nabooian droids & networks while she was pregnant meant he could have left a nasty little surprise to be rid of Padme – a failsafe or punishment for Anakin. He’d need her dead to get his Vader after all. Occam’s Razor suggests though it was poor medical care from the droids and the default error message of “lost Will to live” when they weren’t sure of cause of death. The 404 Not Found of fatalities, if you will….

  54. CSK says:

    You seem to have been right on target with that prediction.

  55. JohnSF says:

    Results of Conservative parliamentary party vote of confidence in the Prime Minister:
    Confidence: 211 MPs
    No confidence: 148 MPs

    Did even worse than I predicted (around 240).
    Worse than May or Thatcher when they were forced out.
    If the “payroll vote” of 173 ministers, ministerial assistants etc (not all actually paid) was solid that would mean only 38 backbench MPs voted for Johnson!
    In fact I’d bet a sizable sum that several Cabinet ministers voted no.
    Forthcoming Cabinet meetings will be such equable,businesslike and collegial affairs. 🙂

    Johnson’s a walking corpse.

    Absolutely perfect result for Labour: Johnson mortally wounded, but will cling on.
    Probably another attempt on him later this year.
    Time to “bed in” a new leader running out.
    Conservative factions at daggers drawn; leadership contenders will be focused on their prospects.
    Government like a scorpion pit.

    Bloody bad for the country, though.
    If the charlatan had any honour he’d jack it in now.
    If the Cabinet consisted of vertebrates, they’d force him to.

  56. CSK says:

    Nonetheless, your call was pretty accurate.

  57. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: Anakin always seemed more prone to self-pity and blaming others than in denial. “You made me kill her!” is more believable than “how did she really die?”

    At least, that’s what I’ve always gotten from the character.

    (Also, ladies, if your man goes off and slaughters the sand people — men, women and children — this is called a “red flag” and may be a sign of a potential domestic abuser. Just because you knew him back when you were a teenager and he was an infatuated 8 year old is no reason to give him a pass on slaughtering men, women and children. I don’t want to blame the victim, but… there were signs that he needed help, and he was never getting that help)

    As far as “she lost the will to live” goes… I’m ok with glossing over bits of canon that are just dumb if doing so helps the story. “Darth” was clearly a first name in the original movie, so things get changed.

    Maybe it was a common expression for someone dying. Totally ignorable.

    Maybe there is a story about Palpatine siphoning off her life force. Or even Vader doing so accidentally. Also fine.

    Hard to just say “The Rise of Skywalker” never happened. Or all the sequels (the middle one was the best movie it could be given the first, but they are all at least a little rough), for that matter. But one line that has other reasonable explanations? Story shouldn’t be a complete slave to canon. Respect canon, for the most part, but deviate when needed.

    Otherwise you end up with R5-D4 being the most important droid ever, nobly sacrificing his motivator…

  58. Gustopher says:

    Also, Darth Vader at one point has to consider that Han Solo flew onto the Death Star with his (Vader’s) mentor/teacher/best-friend, his son, his former astromech, the protocol droid he built as a child and a Wookiee friend of Yoda’s (did Obi-Wan ever meet Chewbacca before then? Wookiee friend of someone he knew and respected as teacher #3 or so is still close). Given that the daughter was in a cell, it was a big family reunion. Han is the odd one out.

    Do we ever learn of Han Solo’s family? I’m calling it now — he’s Obi-Wan’s abandoned child. He can fly through asteroid fields, which requires some pre-cog ability, so untrained force powers.

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I just read of the mass shooting in Chattanooga, so now I am checking my email for word of old friends who live there. I’d send them an email or call them but it’s been 10 or 15 years since last I saw them so I’m just gonna have to wait for the old caver grapevine to pass bad news down, or not. I suspect not, but a couple were on the younger side.

  60. CSK says:

    Three dead, seventeen wounded. Swell.

  61. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: FTR, I’m not really worried but still… Nobody thinks it will happen until it does. In a few days of not hearing anything I’ll relax.

  62. Han says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Sex is something that brings people so much happiness (and also more than a little distress, but we seem to think its worth it),

    They eventually turn 18 and move out.

  63. Kathy says:


    Here’s the thing:

    We know Kenobi won’t die or even sustain serious injuries, because he looks fine a few years later when he gets Luke involved in a “damned fool, idealistic crusade.” Likewise we know Vader won’t die, because he was just fine by the time he fails to stop Leia’s ship from slinking off with the Death Star plans transmitted by the rebels. And we know Leia will also be ok because see the preceding sentence.

    I suppose over the next three eps, old Ben might inflict another serious injury on his wayward padawan and perhaps leave him a few limbs short and in horrible pain.

    So what’s left to find out from these three character? That Obi Wan is so depressed he lost his mojo and has to get it back?

    Thus far, I’m more interested in the Inquisitors, namely because the one Reva attacked should still be alive years from now when he runs into Kanan and Ezra.

    But I guess there was no shortage of formula at Disney…

    Han is the odd one out.

    Well, they’re all Jedi, except Han and Chewbacca. So maybe it was an incipient “meet the (surviving) parent,” but no one quite realized it.

  64. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: The Inquisitors are great — or at least Reva is. Moses Ingram steals every scene she is in.

    (It’s also possible that she can climb along the ceiling of a tunnel to get ahead of a small child that she was following… luckily not letting her cape dangle and brush against the kid as she passed. Or she figured out where the tunnel would lead, left the tunnel, got on a speeder, went in the other end, but that’s less interesting than the Spider-Inquisitor holding her cape up as she sneaks past an 8 year old just to make a dramatic appearance)

    As far as what else? There are lots of stories where we know the beginning and the end and it’s all about the journey, and they can be great stories. The entire Clone Wars cartoon was basically that — we know where everyone ends up at the end, with a few exceptions here and there.

    I didn’t buy Ewan McGregor’s broken man Obi-Wan, so I’m not terribly invested in his character arc, but that’s less because I know how it will end, and more because it’s not well done (and that redemption arc is basically done by the end of the second episode…)

  65. wr says:

    @JohnSF: “In fact I’d bet a sizable sum that several Cabinet ministers voted no.”

    Well, sure. They’re either gunning for his job or aligned with someone else who is and who promised them a better gig.

    And it’s not like they’re going to stop going after him just because they lost this one.