Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sherlock Holmes's War of the Stars

Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds, by Many W. Wellman and Wade Wellman, will always have a special place in my heart, along with all of the fun Holmes paperbacks I plowed through during the seventies after picking them up in the campus bookstore. Crossover Holmes was having a bit of a surge back then, after Sherlock teaming with Sigmund Freud made the bestseller list. But the combination of a Twitter mention of that book during the onslaught of hype for the big Star Wars return next week.

Sherlock Holmes mixing it up with H.G. Wells's War of the Worlds plot makes a certain sense, as their time and place pretty much coincide. But the Victorian period was a time for science fiction of other worlds, not other star systems, and certainly not "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away." And as much as we've loved a good mash-up in the Sherlockian world for about as long as we've had Sherlock Holmes (A House-Boat on the Styx, anyone?), sometimes there's just a bridge too far.

Which brings us to Star Wars.

Star Trek has always fit hand-in-glove with Sherlock Holmes. Same Earth, time travel, Vulcan logic, and all that. But Star Wars?

Outside of misappropriating quotes about "the Force," there's really not a good link to hitch them up with, despite the light sabers in the recent RocketJump "Fan Friction" video.  "The Wookie of the Baskervilles?" Naw. "Darth Moriarty?" His sorcerer's ways wouldn't fit at all. Fencing, single-stick, and light sabers? Well, that might get Sherlock Holmes into padawan kindergarten with the younglings, but, no, no, no. What do you need keen powers of observation for if you have a keen sense of the force pervading all existence?

Mycroft the Hutt. Jefferson Solo and Leia Ferrier. Old Ben Hudson, who lives nearby. None of it works.  "You never heard of the Aurora? It's the boat that made the Thames run in twelve parsecs!" Worse still.

I might give you Tonga as a Jawa. That has a certain sensible feel to it. A Jawa with a crashed spaceship on the Andaman Islands, befriended by Jonathan Small, whom he later flew back to England on his "boat." Of course, Watson could write about Tonga shooting people with a blaster, so the blow-gun would have to suffice. But man, is that a reach.

Some legends just need to stay in their own backyards. Sherlock Holmes, Star Wars . . . definitely two good examples.

Except maybe for Tonga the Jawa.

1 comment:

  1. C3PO and R2D2 as Gregson and Lesteade. Pretty clueless but along for the adventure anyway.