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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Peaslee

Star Wars and Somehow: A Lesson in Vague Writing

Updated: May 27

Somehow, Palpatine returned. - Poe Dameron, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

I wrote about filler words last week, but this really bears repeating: "somehow" is a terrible word. Take it out of your writing, please, because I never want to see it.

Star Wars perfectly encapsulates the problem with somehow. There's a reason the line has become a meme, and it's not only because it's a ridiculous premise. It's a shit sentence.

Somehow, Palpatine returned.

It's so bad, y'all.

This is the epitome of vague writing. It makes the Star Wars sequels sound like they were making things up as they went (oh, wait).

Take away the word "somehow," and SOMEHOW the sentence becomes a little better. "Palpatine returned." Still narratively silly, but it carries more weight than adding the weak-willed "somehow."

I don't have much to say about this—don't use the word "somehow," just don't, please—go through your writing and remove it.

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