Ord Mantell, Ernest Rister, and the pursuit of Star Wars knowledge

By Max

This is an article about Star Wars. In particular it is a about an event described within the expanded universe that is briefly mentioned in the original trilogy. The events that spawned this article though, occurred a few weeks ago while I was celebrating Star Wars Day…

I have a consistent morning routine where I drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and navigate the bits of data streaming from the internet to my laptop. On May 4th I clicked on a link that forever changed my viewing pleasure of the six Star Wars movies. The article touts a new viewing order christened the Machete order. It involves watching them in this order IV, V, II, III, and VI. Though buried within is a small mention of the Ernest Rister order in which the Machete order is derived. The Ernest Rister order is IV, V, I, II, III, and VI. As opposed to the Machete order it includes Episode I. Now I’m not a big fan of Episode I, I don’t watch it unless I am going to watch them all, but if I am going to watch them in any particular order I cannot ignore it. So I thought the Machete order was neat, but the Ernest Rister order suited my tastes.

Now the point of all that is: I shared this information with Ben, as I so often do with the tidbits of knowledge I gain and we decided it would be a good idea to try it out. So a few days ago we sat down and watched Star Wars Ernest Rister style, going two movies a night.

I’ve watched these movies countless times, so much so as a child that my sister would complain every time I put one of the movies into the VCR. Yes kids I am that old. On this occasion as it is on all occasions I watch Empire Strikes Back, one statement stands out to me.

In the beginning of the movie Han Solo has decided to leave. Leia stops in a hallway and questions his choice to leave. Han mentions a run in with a bounty hunter on Ord Mantell. Boom, every time I watch the movie I ask myself what happened on Ord Mantell.

The unfortunate truth about myself is that I am fairly lazy and quite forgetful so most of the time I don’t pursue the question I ask every time I watch this movie. Until now that is. I decided to find out and with a little Google magic I did just that. Thanks to the obsessive nature of fanboys and the internet if I want information on Star Wars that is a part of the Expanded Universe I don’t have to scour comics and books anymore, I just have to jump onto the Wookiepedia and my curiosity is sated.

The information I was seeking had been serialized in a comic strip written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by Al Williamson in 1981. It tells the story of how Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie find themselves on Ord Mantell and the event that occur to cause Han to want to leave the Rebellion. The strip can be read online and has been collected for several print publications, most notably Dark Horse’s Classic Star Wars issue #1.

Now I am an obsessive collector and Star Wars merchandise is one particular thing I almost never hesitate in purchasing. The problem is I usually acquire much faster than I can consume, which presents the problem of not being 100% aware of the items in my collection. Maybe one day I’ll create an organizational system that works for me and write an article about it to bore you. The ironic thing about this and my obsessive questioning of the events on Ord Mantell is during my research I saw that the story had been collected in the Dark Horse comic Classic Star Wars. I knew for a fact that I owned several issues and said to myself, “Hmm, I wonder” and proceeded to peruse my comic collection. Lo and behold I owned the very story I wanted to know about.

There really isn’t a moral to this story, or even a point. The events described within were found to be interesting and fun to me and I figured I’d share a snippet of my life and what happens on a fairly regular basis to me. I figured maybe someone reading this asked the same question about Han’s line and for some reason or another hadn’t looked it up and will now be able to hear the line and say “Yeah, I know what you mean Han.” Anyways, its Nerdstafari, useless trivia is our trade.

One Response to “Ord Mantell, Ernest Rister, and the pursuit of Star Wars knowledge”
  1. Funkmother says:

    That’s awesome man! I always watch movies and forget to research things I heard. One thing I did remember to look up is the Pneumatic Transit System referenced in Ghostbusters 2. You should check my website… ;-)

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