Just this month in a nearby galaxy, a yellow cartoon canary – disguised as a gilded robot but shaped like an egg – flings itself at a space station full of pig-faced stormtroopers. What a fearful iconographic mashup is the encounter between Angry Birds and Star Wars in the app just released by Rovio. Imagine a scholar 1,000 years from now trying to parse the egg-shaped creature, tracing its roots back to the unlikely marriage of a game full of small multicoloured birds angry about pigs stealing their eggs with a sci-fi movie franchise featuring robot sidekicks and heroic humans fighting Nazi-like troopers in white helmets. If you were worried that the recently announced sale of Lucasfilm to Disney might adulterate the revered figures of Luke, Leia and Obi-Wan, you can stop fretting: The company has done its own adulterating with the Rovio deal, creating a cast led by an ornithological “Luke” hiding his red feathers underneath a brown wig. Of course, Rovio has already demonstrated it doesn’t know from icons, last summer having created a pink bird with thick eyelashes, thereby retroactively assigning the male gender to its largely androgynous characters and importing a dose of sexism into the mix. The game maker may have just launched another top-selling app, but seriously, it needs to fire a few 18-year-old nerds and hire a comp-lit prof or two.
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