Today's Hot Twitter Hashtag Joke: #wookieleaks

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In the wake of the WikiLeaks war logs unveiling, Twitter's nerdy users have combined the organization's name and Star Wars to create a viral joke.

The hashtag #wookieleaks features all kind of quips about ewoks, Afghanistan, empire, and Princess Leah. The tag (obviously) takes its name from Chewbacca's Yeti-like species. People are using the tag in two ways. First, to retell the narrative of the Star Wars movies in the voice of contemporary political headline writing. And also to discuss current events under the guise of Star Wars characters. Here are some good ones we spotted

@tcarmody: Despite billions invested on construction of an untested defense system, the new Death Star may not yet be fully operational. #wookieleaks

@The_Squirrel_: Rebel escape on Death Star aided by Imperial troops' irrational fear of looking in garbage. #wookieleaks

@daudig: Protocol droid fluent in 6 mil languages discharged for violating DADT. #wookieleaks

@jbohlinger: Death Star bidding process shown to favor non-union exhaust port workers, ignored OSHA required inspections #wookieleaks

@Paul_Conrad: Jar Jar Binks defends use of word "refudiate" compares self to Alderaan's greatest poet #wookieleaks

Wondering what a hashtag is? Here's a quick explanation for Twitter neophytes:

Hashtags are one of the more interesting emergent phenomena on Twitter. The tags are words or phrases delineated by the poundsign (#wookieleaks). Twitter automatically turns words formatted that way into links that bring up a list of all the people who've included that hashtag in a Tweet. Originally used to keep track of conferences (#CarSales2010), now they often become punny categories for collective jokes, like a parlor game for millions. No one explains what the hashtag is supposed to mean, but users catch on from watching their friends play. It's like an instant inside joke that anyone can join.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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