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Episode 1747: To Beach Their Own

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I'm pretty sure we've said this before, but it's worth repeating. If a player in a game you're running comes up with a brilliant theory like this that connects a whole bunch of minor plot details - that you had not intended to be connected in any way whatsoever - don't contradict them. Just run with it.

The player who "worked it out" will think they're brilliant, and all the other players will be stunned by the brilliance of your subtle-but-detectable clue dropping and the cleverness of the plot going on in the background almost, but not quite, out of their notice that makes sense out of a bunch of otherwise random and strange stuff. It's a total win-win scenario.

And when running a game, those are so rare that you have to take them when they come. It'll make up for all those times when you did set up something like this and they were completely oblivious to it.

[Reminder: Our guest commentators have not seen Rogue One. Part of the fun is seeing how their untainted impressions re-interpret the movie through the lens of our comic.]

Pete, the min-maxer, has solved the puzzle. The hints, the strangenesses that we have seen, all point to one thing.

That spice that we saw mentioned in the cast page for Episode I? That strange stuff that was growing on the desert planet, that I thought was responsible for a hovering spaceship?

It is the ultimate "somebody else's problem" field generator. It makes things completely undetectable.

All we need to do, is to load some of this sand onto a ship that blasts off from Mos Eisley spaceport, and then the Empire will never find that ship unless they manage to put a tracker on it. Or, if that ship happens to be stationed in a Rebel base in the middle of nowhere, the Empire will never find the base unless you destroy a probe, in which case the Empire realizes that you have destroyed a probe from out of nowhere.

And of course, the Comic Irregulars have once again managed to pull a major plot twist in front of the readers. Granted, this time we were told by the bad guys that they were bringing in sand to block the scans; but here we can clearly see that there was in-universe evidence for this.

As a side note, I'm not really sure how I managed to make it all the way to about 10 or 12 TV Tropes tabs. I know that I was looking at the section about writing by the seat of your pants, the author coming in and saving you, etc.; as well as 6 tabs just for Doctor Who. Actually, I can check my browsing history to see where I started on my TV Tropes journey. ... Lovely. Giant in the Playground forums, a reference to What If? number 4 (which also references a planet of water in outer space and exotic forms of ice), ... How did I get there from here?

— Keybounce

Transcript

R2-D2: We have to go somewhere. Besides, I've worked out where we need to go next. Tatooine.
R2-D2: It's the sand! It's the only possible answer.
Leia: What do you mean?
R2-D2: It's coarse and rough and it gets in everything! It blocks scanning radiation. It's been in front of us the whole time!
{flashback to Cassian looking at Jedha City through binoculars}
GM: You see a flotilla of shuttles flying between Jedha City and the star destroyer.
Cassian: Hmm. They must be taking something from the city.
Kyle Katarn: Sand. They're exporting... sand.
R2-D2: {commenting on flashback} The Empire was going to a lot of trouble to ship sand to a water planet that they wanted to hide.
{flashback to Kyle Katarn's hideout}
GM: The bustle of the city fades away and the stifling heat of the desert floor engulfs you.
Benthic: This place is so well hidden, you'll never find it again.
R2-D2: {commenting on flashback} They never found Kyle Katarn's hideout in the desert, even though it was enormous! And walking distance from Jedha!
{flashback to the battle on Toprawa}
Chirrut: Everyone! Fall back to the sand dunes!
GM: The articulated cockpit swivels to look at your position.
R2-D2: {commenting on flashback} That armoured tank on Toprawa couldn't target us. It never fired after we took cover behind the sand!
R2-D2: There's only one explanation. The sand interferes with scanning! We'll be safe on Tatooine.
{end flashbacks}
{beat}
C-3PO: Hey, isn't that also where Obi-Wan parked your dreadnought?
R2-D2: Oh. What a lucky coincidence.


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Published: Sunday, 23 December, 2018; 02:11:02 PST.
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