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LordYam

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I think Palpatine coming back COULD have worked with some changes; Veranius had it that they had to literally rip open the gates of hell to bring him back, and even THAT required mass death.

1.) One thing that was kinda hinted at was that Palpatine's end goal was this

2.) Elysium94 had this as his endgame for his first version of the sequel trilogy; the big bad plans to open a gateway to chaos (basically the realm where darksiders suffer for all eternity) and unleash it on the galaxy before rebuilding the remains as a god emperor.

I think that both could have worked as a Palpatine esque end game

3.) As for Ford in an interview in 2015 he said that his issue was more that he felt that the character wasn't really given the proper chance to conclude. I strongly suspect that had Han been killed off in 1983 he'd be a lot less bitter.
 
So this is the OTL Sequel Trilogy but actually good? I do find it hilariously ironic that this trilogy is mostly Lucas's idea even though it has a lot of the stuff most fans heavily dislike from the Sequels like Hermit Luke, Ben Skywalker being Evil, and some kind of resurrection of Palpatine (though luckily Lucas never takes it that far due to Dark Empire showing how that was a bad idea).
It's a bit of a mystery exactly what Lucas's ST would have looked like, though some recent revelations make it look a lot like what we got in some basic plot/story areas, and his ideas evolved over the years, though Hermit Luke did seem to be a part of it in some form for a long time. In what little is known of the OTL version he sold to Disney, there were two force sensitive teens (the female lead was Kira, IIRC) coming to train with him. Ben Solo went to the dark side per OTL, Darth Maul and an apprentice named Darth Talon were apparently the Big Bads, and the Whills would have been introduced as microscopic organisms that communicate the Will of the Force through the Midi-chlorians. The entire EU C Canon was getting ignored.

So yeah, much of what many of the fans hated about the OTL ST were ironically part of the original G Canon version they've been "if only"-ing, it seems.

Otherwise he'd never have gone retro in the look/effects like JJ, and was very perturbed that TFA had "nothing new". So I had it all digital, so it will be arguably more sterile and artificial than the OTL ST, which deliberately used practical effects, in many cases right out of the '70s and '80s. Also, with creative control and no Disney Execs to panic about fan rebellions, he's free not to use the third film to retcon the second, for example.

I mostly used this as a framework, restructured it around TTL Canon, including the fact that Heir to the Empire's TTL equivalent is the higher T Canon and some changes in the PT (e.g. no Midi-chlorians). I also resurrected bits from the Kurtz-era ideas on the Nelith Trilogy, such as her name. Since Maul is objectively dead, I resurrected his old apprentice from the TTL T Canon Bogana Mal'qi in his place as the "lingering evil".

The Sith Tempest was an original idea.

Speaking of Dark Empire, it's probably inevitable that the Sequels will either decanonize it or make it less prominent in the SW lore due to Palpatine's consciousness being part of the Tempest (if they do the latter, then Palpatine was properly revived in Dark Empire only for his soul to be thoroughly contained by the Jedi by the ending, leaving behind his hatred to be part of the Tempest).

Nellith being the main character is a huge surprise to me since I expected Jacen/Jaina to be the protags but considering the Twins had their spotlight in the Heir to the Empire animated series, I guess it makes some sense.

At least Star Wars is in a good position to move past the Skywalker Saga since they can use the Sequel Trilogy's characters and plot much more readily than OTL. For that reason I 100% believe that SW: Legacy will be a thing ITTL, but removing the Sith and the Dark Side itself is a huge deal. Writers are gonna be forced to be a bit more creative without someone like Darth Krayt and a revived Sith to oppose the heroes and I doubt they'll use the Yuuzhan Vong to do that due to the Fiction Zone.
I deliberately never dug into the C Canon stuff myself, since George was going to ignore it anyway. So if you or anyone still wants to dive deep there, don't feel constrained to match up to the ST, as anything that went into C Canon is likely to get ignored anyway (GL never really saw it as true Canon, but simply a Cash Cow). With the Dark Side eliminated, then anything post-ST will obviously not feature it directly. Though evil in other non-force-y ways will always be there, so Thrawn-like enemies could be obvious. I for one can imagine a plot by someone, disgruntled Padawan, perhaps, to try to deliberately refracture the force to return the Dark Side as a central plot in a novel series, for example.

(raises hand) What happened to Halix? She kinda disappeared from the synopsis after VII; I assume she's one of the background Jedi?
She rescued the Younglings and sheltered them in the hidden recesses of Had Abaddon, then joins up with Ben and Lando for the Revolution. I added a line to make that more clear.

As for a new Indiana Jones film, though? I kinda wanna see him in that just so he can actually enjoy a role instead of acting on a paycheck.
Indy is open to who ever wants to go there.

Could you tell us what these new attractions are like?
@Denliner may go into detail in a future guest post.
 
So yeah, much of what many of the fans hated about the OTL ST were ironically part of the original G Canon version they've been "if only"-ing, it seems.
I did hear about George Lucas's draft of the Sequel Trilogy but I'm just shocked at how similar it actually is to ITTL's version when you take out all of the faff like Darth Maul or Darth Talon.

Otherwise he'd never have gone retro in the look/effects like JJ, and was very perturbed that TFA had "nothing new". So I had it all digital, so it will be arguably more sterile and artificial than the OTL ST, which deliberately used practical effects, in many cases right out of the '70s and '80s. Also, with creative control and no Disney Execs to panic about fan rebellions, he's free not to use the third film to retcon the second, for example.
Honestly, I gotta agree with the ITTL fans on this one. The loss of practical effects in films definitely hurts, especially one as grungy as Star Wars, but you can't have your cake and eat it too.

I deliberately never dug into the C Canon stuff myself, since George was going to ignore it anyway. So if you or anyone still wants to dive deep there, don't feel constrained to match up to the ST, as anything that went into C Canon is likely to get ignored anyway (GL never really saw it as true Canon, but simply a Cash Cow). With the Dark Side eliminated, then anything post-ST will obviously not feature it directly. Though evil in other non-force-y ways will always be there, so Thrawn-like enemies could be obvious. I for one can imagine a plot by someone, disgruntled Padawan, perhaps, to try to deliberately refracture the force to return the Dark Side as a central plot in a novel series, for example.
Well SW: Legacy has to use ST plot elements since it's a sequel to the Skywalker Saga, but KOTOR could probably function just fine since it predates the Sequels (but Lucasfilm will retcon the shit out of the Old Republic era thanks to the Whills and the war with the Ancient Ones potentially conflicting with previously established lore).

Personally, I'm okay with no Dark Side for Legacy or any other post-TWOTF content since Star Wars can finally delve into grey villains or heroes without the ever-looming presence of the Dark Side corrupting them into just pure evil or going into discussions about Grey Jedi (which are even more cringe ITTL since SW actively tries to work against this fan theory in the Hensonverse). Considering we have amazing SW media that doesn't involve Jedi/Sith like The Mandalorian or Andor you can arguably say that ITTL SW will flourish without the need for The Force as the main crutch.

@@Denliner may go into detail in a future guest post.
If I do go into a Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Post (which is very likely) then I will definitely address the ST additions into the land at Hollywoodland/Disney-MGM.
 
... Darth Maul and an apprentice named Darth Talon...
... I'm just shocked at how similar it actually is to ITTL's version when you take out all of the faff like Darth Maul or Darth Talon...
George seems to have had a thing for goth Sith Twi'leks (and I don't think Jude playing Halix counts), so Talon may end up being a thing anyway... albeit probably with less fanservice and an actual personality.
 
George seems to have had a thing for goth Sith Twi'leks (and I don't think Jude playing Halix counts), so Talon may end up being a thing anyway... albeit probably with less fanservice and an actual personality.
I think Bogana replaced Talon in this instance for George Lucas.
 
This looks good.

RS-4: new R2-like Droid that has no “owner”

I read somewhere that the BB-8 design was based on an idea for R2 that they just couldn't do at the time, so it probably wouldn't be too convergent if RS-4 has the spherical body.

Jacen is clearly still traumatized by this, as Ben was his best friend.

I read this, thought "What with them being cousins" and was two paragraphs further on before I remembered they aren't.

Bogana Mal’Qi was generally loved as a villain, though the name “Bogana”, derived from an abandoned early term for the Dark Side of the Force: The Bogan, would be the source of NetWit, usually merged with Bill & Ted in the viral “Darth Bogus”.

There's doubtless some Australian NetWits where she's actually a bogan...
 
Man Enough to Cry
Excerpt from Manly Tears, Nick Offerman’s 2017 HBO Special

As boys we are taught that “boys don’t cry”. Moreso, we are taught that tears are a sign of weakness and indeed that any emotion which is not anger, arrogance, stubbornness, or lust is a sign of weakness.

Even more insidious, these emotions are deemed feminine, and anything feminine is implicitly, and often explicitly, considered weak. And yet I have thus far failed to meet a single self-proclaimed Alpha Male willing to trade places with women on the reproductive task and spend several hours slowly pushing a nine-pound wriggling mass of muscle and bone through his urethra, something that women have done since the dawn of time, and most of that time without painkillers.

The “weaker sex” indeed.

[laughter and cheers from audience]

Humans are emotional beings. We all, regardless of gender or sexuality, have the same basic circuitry in our brains, in place since birth, that delivers a wide variety of visceral responses to the many challenges and pleasures of life. Each one holds an important place in our survival, and part of that survival is the success of the family and the clan, assured through our emotional connections to one another.

And yet so often our traditions, which began as the rituals that bind the clan, get weaponized into implements of control. Girls are taught to be submissive and cheery and ashamed of their bodies. Boys are taught to be cold and aggressive and judgmental, even when this flies in the face of the clan’s spiritual values, as it so often does. While this dichotomy leads to a society where men are in charge, it is none the less just as dehumanizing and damaging for these emotionally stunted boys, a case of generational trauma disguised as tradition.

And this trauma, as is often the case, feeds back upon itself. Men, being told since childhood that strong emotions, to include joy and love, are weak, and that lust is sinful and disgusting even as a man is judged by his sexual prowess, externalize this internal loathing onto the women who often through no intent on their part inspired the perfectly natural feelings. It wasn’t your body responding naturally to its genetic preprogramming, it was the seductions of a vile temptress. This deflection leads naturally to female sexuality being stigmatized. This has led time and time again to cultures that hide and conceal their women, nominally for protecting the women, but in reality, this is done to protect the males from experiencing any of the emotions that they are apparently too weak to handle, all the while simultaneously shielding said males from culpability in any crimes that they commit against the women who violate any cultural norms.

And in the name of enforcing the notion of women as weak, chaste, and in need of male protection, all manner of heinous and crippling disfigurements have been instituted upon them, often in the name of “beauty” and “chastity”. Criminal abuses that are originally devised by insecure males, but soon self-enforced by the women, continuing the practice of generational trauma as tradition.

All so that men don’t have to express girly emotion.

This is literal insanity. We’re trying to shield ourselves from who we are. We have one part of the brain initiating these natural personal and social survival mechanisms and another part telling us we’re weak and wrong to have them. The only way to react to this internal cognitive dissonance is with anger and violence, be this violence against the ones that we claim that we “love”, or heinous acts of violence against the “other”, whomever that “other” might be, within our society or beyond it. Acts of violence that “they” in turn often revisit upon “us”, leading to losses that men feel ashamed of mourning, reinforcing the very toxic behaviors that led to the violence to begin with in a self-perpetuating cycle.

This madness needs to end. We cry for a reason, and that reason is not “weakness”. We cry because our minds need an outlet for the multitude of complex situations that are beyond our immediate comprehension, be that the tears of loss at a funeral or the tears of joy at a birth. We cry in the same way that we bleed upon being cut: the first critical step in the healing process that makes us stronger. We cry because a shared emotion is the bond that glues us to our loved ones and to our families and to our clans.

Thus, when we cry, we are strengthening ourselves and our families. When we don’t, we short circuit the healing and bonding process and produce trauma and division, making us weaker, not stronger.

I submit that tears are not weakness, they are proof that weakness is leaving the body.

[loud cheers and applause from audience]

And yet the damaging, insidious lies to our boys continue.

“Man up, crybaby.”

“Quit acting so gay.”

“Don’t be a pussy.”

Consider the magnitude of the toxic, subconsciously self-loathing misogyny in that last one. As though the very parts of the female anatomy that brought us all life are a source of weakness rather than a giver of life and strength. The very idea of a vagina – and some insecure males can’t even say the word “vagina” – as anything other than a source of temporary lustful satiation-through-conquest is made a source of scorn and contempt.

Is it any wonder why we confuse self-hatred and toxicity for masculinity?

Similarly, anything even indirectly associated with that part of the female anatomy and its connected parts is the source of fear and discomfort for these insecure males. Take tampons, a class of health care product that began their existence as the wad of cotton that held back the powder and bullet in a musket before finding new uses, the first being to plug bullet wounds. Despite this “manly” martial origin, some male-dominated State Legislatures can’t even openly say the word out loud when legislating on their availability in schools and government offices.

Man up, crybabies.

[laughter and cheers]

Insecure males, and I shudder to call them “men”, are mortified when they’re asked by their wives or daughters or girlfriends to pick up a box of tampons at the store.

What a pathetic bunch of babies!

[laughter]

I proudly carry that box to the register, devoid of shame, for I am doing that manliest of actions: I am providing for my woman.

[loud, ongoing applause from audience]



- - -​

Back to the Futurism: The New Progressivism of the 2010s
Article in J Street Review by Harlan H. Hughes, May 2023 Edition


A decade ago, I wrote an article on the Conservative shift in US social politics in the 2000s. I discussed the rise of the Men’s Rights movement and the resulting effects on Pop Culture. And I predicted, based on the trends of the time, that the pendulum would swing back.

And it appears that, to some degree, it has. But in other ways, it has not.

While the mainstream pop culture, aiming to appeal to the much more socially progressive Millennium and Postmillennial Generations, has embraced Inclusion and Diversity, the increasing Congolization[1] of the media has allowed for the ongoing self-segregation of Conservatives and Progressives, and allowed for some channels and corners of the net to harbor extremist ideologist.

In fact, if one trend seems to be driving culture and politics in this first quarter of the 21st Century, it’s the slow death of the shared culture space. Gone are the days where all Americans watch the same TV shows and get the same news from the same evening news anchor, with only major sporting events like the Super Bowl or World Series remaining within the shared space. Today folks, whatever their political preference, can choose from a laundry list of stations and netsites where their Confirmation Bias button can be repeatedly clicked, and even finding a shared set of agreed-upon facts is increasingly hard.

And while the long-term ramifications of this trend have yet to be fully known, one imagines that they can’t be all sunshine and rainbows.

But while the Congolization goes on, there remains a definitive shared space in the realm of film in particular, and even several small screen shows have broken out across a wide spectrum of viewers, albeit increasingly from Direct Viewing channels rather than network TV. And in general, the trends with these productions have followed a leftwards shift, and a similar shift has occurred in advertising, with products marketed towards more diverse audiences, risking boycotts in many cases from their established core customer base.

And why has there been such an ongoing shift? Is it just the pendulum returning after the 2000s? Has industry “gone Lib” as conservative politicians in deeply red states and the commentators on PNN insist?

Well, it’s more fundamental than even that. Simply put, the Postmillennial Generation is coming of age, and are starting to define themselves and make their consumer choices. If you’re a major beverage company and you want to still be a major beverage company in twenty to thirty years, you’ll need to attract the Postmillennials to your brands before they’ve chosen “their” brands going forward. And this means appealing to their values.

Did you really think that beer company’s board of directors really cares about Trans Rights, the objectification of women, or Climate Change? Cynically, no, they could likely care less, at least from a business standpoint. But 18–24-year-olds overwhelmingly do care about these things, and if you want them in your customer base going forward, you’ll at least pretend to care too, even if it means potentially losing some lifelong-loyal Boomer customers in the process, since in that next twenty to thirty years it’ll be increasingly likely that you’ll lose them anyway.

Such is the cold calculus of market capitalism.

With all of this in mind, we shouldn’t totally discount the grassroots shifts of the 2010s. The landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized same sex marriage marked a watershed in acceptance for LGBTQ+ people not just on the left, but among the swing voters of the center. Likewise, as the threat of climate change becomes more real and the technology of renewable energy alternatives more cost competitive with fossil fuels, environmentalism has become increasingly mainstream.

And how has the Progressive grassroots mobilized? Since the Men’s Rights Movement formed the centerpiece of my article a decade ago, I’ll focus on its Progressive response: the True Manliness Movement, spearheaded by folks like comedian and author Nick Offerman, actor and former WCW star Dave Bautista, and NFL player turned actor Terry Crews of Ballers franchise fame. These three outwardly traditionally masculine men have been surprisingly open about their lives, their emotions, and their vulnerability, openly rejecting the toxicity of the Men’s Rights movement. In doing so they have openly embraced diversity and feminism and LGBTQ+ inclusivity. And they openly dared any “insecure male” to challenge them on it.

“I’ve always rejected this idea that manliness and feminism are at odds or that manliness and acceptance are incompatible,” Swanson told Ms. Magazine. “A man who is secure in himself and in who he is has no reason to fear a powerful woman. A cisgender, heterosexual man secure in his identity has no reason to be homophobic or transphobic. To the contrary, to be a man is to stand up for those less privileged than you. To walk arm and arm with a gay man and a trans woman down the street in broad daylight in solidarity against injustice is an act of manhood up there with taking down a mastodon with a spear in order to feed your family.”

hero-image.fill.size_1200x1200.v1614266930.png

(Image source Mashable)

Crews likewise has been vocal about his feminism and disdain for male toxicity. “Millions have died because of male pride,” he said in an interview, “just because they didn’t want to back down. Just because they were more afraid of how they’d be judged. They say, ‘I’d rather blow up my whole family than have everyone look at me as though I’d just lost.’”

Bautista goes on and on about the strength, tenacity, resilience, and power of his mother Donna Raye, who came out as a lesbian, using her story and others to assert that true strength doesn’t come from muscles (though he certainly has no deficit there), but from strength of character, which is something that “transcends race, sex, sexuality, or any other such bull****.”

Offerman, Bautista, and Crews are three of the loudest and most central voices in the movement that calls itself “True Manhood” or “True Manliness”, but more and more men, both famous and anonymous, joined the call and spoke up for such things as the Masculine Act of changing a diaper or being there for your gay or transgender teenager. Non-cis/het men have likewise joined the chorus, which has increasingly featured queer men, including trans men such as Chaz Bono, and numerous female or trans-female allies as well. And writers and actors in Hollywood and on Direct View services increasingly made it a point to have their characters taking actions like having tea time with their daughters or folding laundry without comment or comedy, or with said comedy being at the expense of the toxic insecure male who can’t reconcile the manly man he looked up to acting unironically “girly”. This all came alongside a second wave of activism against sexual assault and harassment in the mid-2010s on par with the 1990s, with True Manhood activists taking up the banner alongside the women.

And on the subject of the 1990s, that decade was all the rage alongside the 1980 in a wave of nostalgia touched with reevaluation. The pop culture of the 2010s evoked these decades in many ways, such as the relaunch of classic franchises and various period pieces set within those decades, but it was often openly critical of their toxic excesses. This can be seen in films like 2016’s Lockup, which explored the overcrowded for-profit prisons that resulted from the 1994 Crime Bill, or the 2014 film Consequences, where actor Robert Carradine, in a silent acknowledgement of the rape culture tropes present in his breakout film Revenge of the Nerds, plays a former frat boy turned suburban family man and father of an 18-year-old daughter who is forced to reckon with his sex crimes back in the 1980s.

Even superheroes have been explored in this way, with Peacock’s Over Man serving as a savage deconstruction of the unfortunate implications of and eugenics-linked history behind super men. Blockbuster Direct’s Miracleman reboot explored similar topics, and even Disney’s animated Superior looked at some of the unstated undercurrents in the genre, albeit in a more family friendly manner. Alan Moore, meanwhile, has gone to court to try to stop a planned WB Now series based on his Watchmen, whose production rights are in a legal limbo with Warner Brothers.

But other productions are more conservative or even reactionary. The Patriot’s Choice direct view service, for example, has spun up a variety of anti-immigrant, anti-diversity, pro-gun, right-Evangelical, and even borderline White Nationalist productions. Sequels to Agent X and its spinoff film series featuring highly-sexualized side character Nadia Kula continued up until 2018, with a new series in production for Patriot’s Choice.

Indeed, right-wing anger, in particular the far right MWNO aspects, have grown louder, angrier, and more brazen in the last couple of years. If the election of Sebelius in 2012 stoked anger, the election of the hated Barack Obama, the first non-white president and the subject of a thousand conspiracy theories, has elicited rage. The Take Back America movement has sprung up in the last two years, possibly indicating a swing of the pendulum back, and yet the demographic realities mean that the TBA, which skews overwhelmingly older, whiter, and less educated, is increasingly a minority movement as Millennium and Postmillennial Generations largely avoid it, as do an overwhelming majority of non-whites. This has exacerbated the existing Congolization and is, many fear, leading to a “besiegement mentality” that could further radicalize susceptible conservatives and stoke a return to the MWNO terrorism of the 1990s, only with potentially more grassroots support, particularly should some demagogue come along to rally around.

And as the political far-right gets more insular and besieged, they drift further into their own cultural sphere, separated not just from the rest of the country politically, but culturally as well.

And meanwhile, far left politics has begun to gain traction among Postmillennials in some parts of the Progressive infosphere, driven by dwindling opportunity and a growing wealth gap. The People’s Front and similar groups have begun calling for direct, potentially violent opposition to the angrier fringe elements of the TBA Movement. While still the nucleus of a political movement, a violent clash between PF and Saxon Nation protestors in Nashville last summer could be a forerunner of things to come, and a return of MWNO violence could spur further growth of the PF and similar organizations in response.

It appears that the pendulum, rather than swing back, has to some degree split in two.

Time will tell where the rise of TBA and PF will lead. They could be a simple, healthy social pressure release, giving a voice to groups that feel disenfranchised. So far, the vast majority of participants in the TBA movement have remained peaceful and refused calls by MWNOs for violence, content to peaceful grassroots protests and product boycotts. Or this could be the start of something more confrontational and violent, particularly as growing Youth Progressivism causes these “sons of the soil” to become increasingly isolated. Only time will tell, and the actions that we take now could have serious consequences going forward.

Perhaps the best thing that we can do right now is to reach out to our neighbors and remind them that, regardless of our differences, we are all in this together.



[1] We would call it “Balkanization”.
 
OK, folks, we're nearly at the end. Next Thursday is likely to be the official last post day. There's one last Meta Discussion where I go deeper into this, but i just wanted to thank everyone again for being there with me and going along with my crazy idea. It's crazy to think that I've been at this for over three years. I definitely wouldn't have without all of your support and even participation.


There's doubtless some Australian NetWits where she's actually a bogan...
Yes, I'm sure she'll be TTL's Count Dooku in terms of "can't hear it with a straight face, mate" in the Land of Oz.

Ironically, she's known for being very sophisticated and stylish while Prana Ashla would be the actual arguable "bogan", having come from relatively humble and backwater roots. As Padawan Shana Ylitt (Tales of the Clone Wars series) Bogana was the privileged rich girl with connections who at first befriended but then grew jealous of Prana Ashla, who came from more humble roots. Mauk Shivtor was able to prey on her insecurities and seduce her to the Dark Side. It was presumed that Prana killed her until she reemerged from the shadows, last of the Sith, and turned Ben Skywalker prior to the events of the ST, as ultimately revealed in a Tales from the New Republic series, naturally.

So is the Shadow of the Empire series still canon?
I'll leave that up to guest posters, but presumably there could be a TTL equivalent, particularly on the Video Game side, as George couldn't resist a cash cow of that magnitude. It would be C Canon and subject to RETCON.
 
OK, folks, we're nearly at the end. Next Thursday is likely to be the official last post day. There's one last Meta Discussion where I go deeper into this, but i just wanted to thank everyone again for being there with me and going along with my crazy idea. It's crazy to think that I've been at this for over three years. I definitely wouldn't have without all of your support and even participation.
Well, it was good while it lasted.
Also, will the Guest thread remain open? Just likr Jim I still have so much in the works.
 
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OK, folks, we're nearly at the end. Next Thursday is likely to be the official last post day. There's one last Meta Discussion where I go deeper into this, but i just wanted to thank everyone again for being there with me and going along with my crazy idea. It's crazy to think that I've been at this for over three years. I definitely wouldn't have without all of your support and even participation.
And thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. Especially with how you inspired so many of us. Looking forward for your next works and would be happy to talk and so on.
 
This really is it. Only six days left for the main timeline of the Hensonverse. It's still so sudden to me.

I wish you and Mrs. Khan the best of luck. And hey, if you guys decide to "put the lime in the coconut", at least there's a lot of ways you can introduce your future kid to the Muppets.
 
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