A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, May 20, 2005

Star Wars

I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, I haven't seen the last three movies-- which of course are the first three movies-- but with the release this weekend of #6... err... 3... I figured I should at least mention it. Mostly because of things like this:

"In terms of evil, one of the original concepts was how does a democracy turn itself into a dictatorship,'' Lucas told a news conference at Cannes, where his final episode had its world premiere.

''The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable."

Which is really a remarkable thing to say. Remarkable in that a well-respected filmmaker, with a pretty big megaphone at his disposal, uses that megaphone to compare the United States to one of fictions most ruthless, merciless dictatorships. Which, if it were true that the US is much like the Empire, couldn't happen. I mean, if the U.S. is the Empire, Bush is Vader, and Rove is the Emperor then shouldn't Lucas be minus his head right about now? Or being held in a cell and being forced to watch Mystery Science Theatre 3000 films without the MST3K commentary?

Of course, just the fact that he opened the film at Cannes gives you a pretty good indication of Lucas' ideological bent. These are the same people who couldn't stop kissing Michael Moore's ass last year, after all. A certain irony, however, to the fact that one of the films entered this year at Cannes is "...an Iraqi film, ''Kilometer Zero,'' a tragi-comedy on Iraqi-Kurd relations during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. It's told from the perspective of a Kurdish man drafted to fight for Saddam Hussein's brutal regime."

Anybody think that film would have been made, much less entered in a film competition, if Saddam was still ruling Iraq?

Now, for those of you who just can't get enough Star Wars and political commentary, leavened with "live-action" vegetables, check this out. It doesn't make me want to buy organic, but it is pretty cool-- especially if you have a good enough connection to d/l the broadband version.

UPDATE: MoJo passes along the following link, which really is very funny. Give the Star Wars fans credit, too, for being good sports about the whole thing.

FURTHER UPDATE: I found this summation to be a concise and tidy explanation of my own opinions on the subject.
The movie is a one-go only. Going once is enough. As far as CGI goes, Yoda was not better than Gollum. As good as, perhaps. But probably not.

Here's my comments for Mr. Lucas. Don't read on if you don't want to be spoiled!


Padme has her twins, names them, then assumes room temperature (dies). The doctor says there's nothing wrong with her. Ok, she wills herself to die over Vader's betrayal. Uhm, excuse me, what about living for your children, you silly nob? Who are you, Terri Schiavo?

Obiwon and Yoda go into exile. Hey, geniuses, you ever think about hanging around and helping out the rebellion? (Yes, they were locked into this decision by the previous films. Still.)

Even with the droid war over, the senate willingly lets the republic become an empire. Come on, no way would these people give up their political power 'just because'. Democrats here in the US can't even cede rightful power to the majority!

Vader slaughters a room full of children, Jedi apprentices. (Some idiot in the theatre cheered this moment!) That doesn't betray the story, I suppose, but later on when Luke rehabilitates ol' daddy; I don't think so. You can't come back from that!

We have a dual climax of sorts, Vader versus Obiwon, Yoda versus Palpatine. That's nice, but there's no suspense. We know every one of these characters is going to be in the original trilogy. So it was all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Almost the last scene; Yoda tells Obiwon that he can learn to communicate with the dead! Yowza! I guess this is so that in "A New Hope" Obiwon can communicate with Luke. But it felt like a sore thumb, since it had nothing to do with episode III.

The clone army implements order "66" (why not order "666"?) and slaughter the Jedi. What does it say that I wasn't all that moved by this heinous action? Because I knew it was coming? Because a Jedi flailing about with a light saber while 200 clones shoot at her looks ridiculous?

Finally, if the force thingies are in your blood, what happens if you need a blood transfusion? Does this dilute your force powers? What happens if you donate blood? Does the recipient gain some of your jedi powers? So if a vampire attacked a jedi, would the vampire become a jedi vampire? Sounds like some possible bad fan fiction there! :->
Nick, I hope you didn't get worked up about Lucas. The poor bastard hasn't written a good story in 20 years (maybe longer), yet still makes billions because he has fans who can't get a date. (Maybe I should be seeing this movie 10 times the first day. But I digress.)
To make sure that none of these people gets too worked up on the 'made-up' parallels between fantasy and actual events, I think we should enact a law that you are not allowed to have any input in anything if you have spent more than 24 hours in line for a movie.
OK, I have now seen the movie and Lucas is completely full of shit. Any parallels between his movie and the war in Iraq are completely in his warped mind.
He claims that the movie is about how a democracy becomes a dictatorship. But the problem is that his 'good guys' are religious military men (the Jedi). They are generals in the army and members of some fanatically whacki religion. Wait, I am now seeing a parallel: the Jedi are like the leaders of Muslim countries. Saddam was both a military man and the leader of the Muslim church in his country!
Lucas is a nut, plain and simple, and I am so happy that he is spending all his money on creating better specials effects instead of telling me how to live my life.
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