The secret of writing TIE Fighter cutscene dialogue

Christopher Bazley, December 2013

(In tribute to the 1994 videogame published by LucasArts, Star Wars: TIE Fighter.)

When writing dialogue for cutscenes, use as many of the following key phrases as possible:

  1. "Even now..."

    The single most important (and well-worn) phrase in the Galactic Empire, which strikes fear into anyone within earshot.

    Example usage:

    "Even now our capable forces led by Darth Vader are striking back at the rebel insurgents."
    "Even now the rebels are gathering their forces for the strike on Endor."
    "Even now the process of repairing your planets has begun." (Nice try but this one's a bit weak - ed.)

  2. "Pitiful".

    Always downplay the capabilities of your enemies, who would arouse pity if you were capable of such an emotion.

    Example usage:

    "The pitiful remnants of the alliance have scattered to the Outer Rim."
    "Soon he will have nothing but his pitiful Force to rely on."
    "Excellent! It is time for me to travel to Endor to oversee the final destruction of their pitiful rebellion."

  3. "Excellent".

    This expression of approval can only be used by very bad people and must always be pronounced with great relish (think of Mr. Burns in The Simpsons).

    Example usage:

    "Excellent! I want this installation fully operational within the hour."
    "Excellent! The Empire has lost most of its capability to manufacture the TIE Advanced starfighters."

  4. "Interesting".

    Standard response to any new information that doesn't yet merit an exclamation of "Excellent!" (but probably will in a future cutscene).

    Example usage:

    "Interesting. The Emperor will want a prototype immediately."
    "Hmm... interesting. Keep me informed of your progress."
    "Very interesting, admiral. We have great need for officers of your calibre."

Now you too can speak like a character in a LucasArts cutscene. Give it a try:

"Even now my pitiful husband is on his way to the supermarket."
"Excellent! We will have fresh salad cream within the hour and these sandwiches will be complete."