I’ve worked for an ISP for 15 years now, and I’m still astounded by what you can do on the Internet. Start and run a business. Attend college. Make your cat famous.

Keeping people’s Internet connection up (and fast) so they can connect with all that goodness requires the work of smart people who love technology. And not to perpetuate stereotypes, but these types of people usually include a higher-than-average percentage of Star Wars fans.

As the owner of an authentic 1984 Return of the Jedi metal lunchbox, I was relieved to discover that TDS is no exception to this paradigm. When I met the VP of Marketing from our Madison headquarters, he joked that Wisconsin is like Hoth. No tauntauns have yet been harmed in my many trips there, but we nearly had to take an AT-AT to get to the airport last time.

Sometimes to the point of career peril, I have had vigorous debates about Star Wars with various co-workers—Han shot first, the Machete Order is genius, making the Kessel run in 12 parsecs makes total sense, and Boba Fett would totally win in a fight against Batman.

On the plus side, I’m learning about an important professional skill: being able to set aside my feelings about a certain boss’ absolutely ridiculous opinions on Episode 7. I have yet to call him a stuck up, scruffy looking nerf-herder, but c’mon. Episode 7 was awesome. The Empire Strikes Back was still the best movie, but The Force Awakens made me laugh-cry with happiness during the scene where Rey pilots the Millenium Falcon off Jakku.

And so today, May the 4th, is Star Wars Day. (Why? With a mouth full of marshmallows, say the following: “May the Fourth Be With You.”) My contribution: I’m comparing various Star Wars planets with cities that TDS serves. Let’s start with some easy ones:

    • Tatooine is home of the Skywalker clan and Jabba the Hutt. It’s a vast and beautiful desert with stunning canyons and rock formations, much like our TDS cable service areas in Utah, or our TDS Telecom service area of Supai, Arizona (if you focus on the rocks and ignore the water).
    • The Forest Moon of Endor is home to the Ewoks, as well as the planet where the second Death Star fell and the Emperor and Darth Vader died. Its lovely green trees and friendly inhabitants make it an easy comparison to two of the beautiful Pacific Northwest towns where TDS Telecom serves as the local phone company: La Center, Washington and Kendrick, Idaho.
Bend, Oregon
  • Alderaan, which was tragically blown up by the first Death Star, is the most beautiful planet in the entire Star Wars universe #IMHO. And perhaps not coincidentally, it looks exactly like my home of Central Oregon (where TDS serves customers through its local cable company BendBroadband).
  • Kashyyykk is the home of the wookies (think: Chewbacca), who live in its many giant trees. You know where else there are a lot giant trees? The 122 state forests of New Hampshire! TDS serves a number of towns in New Hampshire including Farmington (home of the Blue Job Mountain State Forest) and Wilton (home of the Russell-Abbott State Forest). Fun fact: In addition to its lots of trees, Kashykk is also the setting for the first skit from the Star Wars Christmas special on TV. According to my brother—who really, really, really wants to love every single thing about Star Wars ever—this special was “VERY UNFORTUNATE, to the point of being UN-[bleep]ing-WATCHABLE.” Ha! But seriously. It’s terrible.

And now for a few more difficult comparisons:

  • Mandaloria: The Fetts are Mandalorian, and there is a metal mined there called “mandalorian iron” that can basically block lightsabers. TDS serves another place with a famous mine: Amelia, Virginia, home of the Morefield Mine.
  • Coruscant, which was sometimes the galactic capital, is tough to find a geologic match for in the TDS universe since it’s basically covered in buildings. For this one, I’m going to say Coruscant is like Madison, the capital (get it?) of Wisconsin.
  • Kamino is the planet where clones are made from the genes of Jango Fett (father of Boba Fett). As far as I can tell, Kamino looks like the inside of a data center. So the sister city for planet Kamino is from our sister company One Neck IT Services. Eden Prairie is home to one of the national data centers that One Neck operates. I chose that one in particular because TDS Telecom also serves Eden Prairie (and Minneapolis and St. Paul and a lot of other great towns in Minnesota) with business VoIP services.


AT-AT image: Adrian Kellor
Bend, Oregon image:
Madison capital image: Vijay Kumar Koulampet at Wikipedia

Guest blogger: Stephanie Senner


One Comment

  1. Stephanie Senner

    Mad City: I love Madison and don’t think your town is anything like the capital of the dreaded Galactic Empire. I meant the Coruscant AFTER it was liberated by Wedge Antilles and the Rogue Squadron. Obviously.

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