On the one hand what I am about to write I get to kick some one on the HuffinPuff Post for his liking of the Prequal Series (and George Lucas Fanboyism) but on the other Hand Fark and IMDB both had links up to it (which due to my extended third shift zombie time from Sunday I never really got to handle it) So I figure why not add a good “Me To” to the list.
So me taking my small slice of the Interweb to go kick a Nanny State Liberal about George Lucas Worship… you want to see that click the button
and I thought going over David Brin’s pages on this subject would just be for my own fun…
Fairness Disclaimer time:
I am a recovering Star Wars Fanboy. Saw the special editions when they hit theaters, “Outsourced” some one to get my Episode I tickets when it came out… etc. However from the Start of Episode II till today I have increasingly started to say “well thats just not very good at all now is it” in response to the Star Wars Franchise penned by Lucas.
I am also politically on the other side of what He’d believe…. so lets first start off with the power of IMDB
Untitled Obesity Documentary
An overview of the politics, social effects and problems associated with the rising epidemic of American obesity.
Plot summary for
The BYU 25 (2007)
In Spring of 2007, the administration at Brigham Young University invited Vice-President Dick Cheney to speak at their commencement ceremony. Even at what is rated as one of the most conservative campuses in the country, students became outraged, holding peaceful protests and circulating petitions denouncing Cheney. Some students went so far as to plan an alternative commencement and booked consumer advocate Ralph Nader as the keynote speaker. Written by Bryan Young
The Fleapit Three (2007)
Mike and John work at a discount movie theater and hate every minute of it. When they get the idea that robbing from their employer would be the easiest way to buy a car, things quickly escalate beyond their control.
Plot summary for
This Divided State (2005)
The film carefully examines the divisive nature of politics in an overwhelmingly conservative mid-western community. In September 2004, the student body representatives of Utah Valley State College invited controversial filmmaker Michael Moore to speak on campus two weeks before the Presidential election. An unanticipated uproar from the students and community ensued. Moore protestors claimed university funds should not pay for Moore’s visit, while those in support of Moore fought to defend free speech. A community once considered politically passive was stirred to action, and the conflict played out in the media and several public forums. Those opposed to Moore’s visit, in an effort to have the invitation rescinded, resorted to death threats, petitions, law suits, and bribery. Moore supporters, living in the high concentrate of Mormon conservatism, struggled to be heard, to defend new ideas, and to keep plans for his visit on track. Steven Greenstreet, the film’s director, tracks the personal stories of the key figures embroiled in this controversy, as well as opinions of the community at large. By delving into the personal motives and expectations of those involved, Greenstreet effectively presents the causes and effects of this unprecedented debate. The result of his efforts is a documentary full of candor, conflict, and humor that stands as a fascinating commentary on the current “divided state” of both the nation and the small town of “Family City, USA.” Written by Michelle Pate
Plot summary for
The Misbehavers (2004)
The Misbehavers documents a small army of guerilla filmmakers as they converge at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival for a mission dubbed Operation: Altitude. The objective: book a venue, market a film, attract acquisitions representatives and pack the screenings beyond capacity. Essentially, they set out to create their own film festival from the ground up in less than two weeks and all no financial backing of any kind. The film chronicles the amazing heights of passion, humility and unity met with the unbelievable lows of self-sacrifice, ego and division that exists even in the lowest levels of the independent film world. Written by Bryan Young and Elias Pate
Plot summary for
A mix between “The Twilight Zone” and “Of Mice and Men”: tells the tale of two friends who have purchased a run-down cargo ship in an effort to regain freedom in their lives by traveling across the galaxy. Soon their friendship disintegrates and trouble arises between them. Pranks turn to fistfights and arguments turn to threats. Cabin fever in deep space. Written by ShineBox Motion Pictures
Dude is a Nanny State Liberal who makes films which try to highlight Moore and Nader (which fits the Nanny Stater Mold) and also has a movie which is disdainful of the individual and opening the gates of the “art” to the little guy
and one sci fi pick which could actually be somewhat good.
He named one son Anakin (Ug) and another sun Scout (do you hate your kids dude? seriously)
What I am amused by is I am going to use another person who *seems* lefist (but Libertarian Leftist) who has helped me Solidify my thoughts on Star Trek as a Mythos with “Star Wars” despots vs.”Star Trek” populists, What’s wrong (and right)
with “The Phantom Menace”, and An Addendum To My Critique of The Star Wars Universe
What Brin raised and really teased with this quote
“But there’s probably no better form of government than a good despot.” — George Lucas (New York Times interview, March 1999)
It seems fitting to put this into a moral comparison of a Nanny State Liberal advocating Star Wars as a “Secular-Progressive” sort of mythology.
Got a problem? Cleave it with a light saber! Wouldn’t you love — just once in your life — to dive a fast little ship into your worst enemy’s stronghold and set off a chain reaction, blowing up the whole megillah from within its rotten core while you streak away to safety at the speed of light? (It’s such a nifty notion that it happens in three out of four “Star Wars” flicks.)
Anyway, I make a good living writing science-fiction novels and movies. So “Star Wars” ought to be a great busman’s holiday, right?
One of the problems with so-called light entertainment today is that somehow, amid all the gaudy special effects, people tend to lose track of simple things, like story and meaning. They stop noticing the moral lessons the director is trying to push. Yet these things matter.
In the truth isn’t that the notion of the Leftist/”Progressive” movement. Government is the answer to everything? “Slash” The Evils with the power of the Government? and then Blow up the establishment you disagree with.
But lets bring Bryan to the table for a moment?
Episodes IV through VI are widely regarded as modern classics of both film and fairy tales but what people don’t realize is that Episodes I through III are every bit as relevant, engaging and amazing as their predecessors and should be regarded as classics.
First of all, gotta respect Bryan for holding a strong opinion. One that is in the minority view point but has many True Believers. But I believe Brin points to the 4 films ( I’ve yet to see an update written from him) that the works have aged far less well then we would like.
Just what bill of goods are we being sold, between the frames?
* Elites have an inherent right to arbitrary rule; common citizens needn’t be consulted. They may only choose which elite to follow.
* “Good” elites should act on their subjective whims, without evidence, argument or accountability.
* Any amount of sin can be forgiven if you are important enough.
* True leaders are born. It’s genetic. The right to rule is inherited.
* Justified human emotions can turn a good person evil.
That is just the beginning of a long list of “moral” lessons relentlessly pushed by “Star Wars.”
I think this is part of why Star Wars hasn’t been aging well. And much of the work in the Extended Universe is vastly superior to the work done by Lucas.
back to Byran
Unfortunately, between the years of 1983 and 1999, American audiences forgot what it was like to see a new Star Wars movie. They spent 16 years watching special effects grow beyond what the classic trilogy had to offer but were able to foster a love for the films that went above and beyond worship. (Take my word for it. I spent more nights camped out for Star Wars movies, both new and old, than most people spend camping in the wilderness in a lifetime.)
Really because in the latest Re-Package Lucas is dumbing down some of the effects… No the thing is we have so much we can do with Special Effects certain Film Makers (and lucas is not the sole offender here) More Effects does not equal better.
Back to Byran
More than anything, the prequel trilogy showed me how a good person can turn to totalitarian evil with the most benevolent of purposes and it’s an important lesson. It adds to the gravitas of the classic trilogy and highlights all of the redemptive themes we find most appealing about the classic stories in mythology in religion. The prequels offer a view of people willing to do the most horrid things in the name of good and it’s a personality type we’re finding more and more common in politics today.
First of all Maddox has some rather Crude and Angry words for you
The Money Quote from Maddox’s crude and angry (to the point of awesomeness ) Cartoons
Palpatine: “Hello I am Senator Palpatine. I am a Sith Lord. My Race is known for lying and deception. Could I interest you in dubious solution to all your problems.”
Anakin:”Sure! Even though I have no reason to believe you, I’m compelled to deny a lifetime of hard work, benevolence, and training in exchange for a vague Promise about a cure for a potential ailment my wife may have based on a premonition from a 20 second dream sequence.”
(Note #1: When the Cartoon Series “The Clone Wars” is factored in the progression between Episode I and II Anakin and II and III Anakin make much more sense. So much so as to expose lucas for the hack he is.)
(Note #2: Remember the Premonition of his Mothers Death lead him to come there in time to see here die, their is no way he could know if she would have died without seeing him. Its a whole lot of faulty poorly thought out mystical hogwash)
Really Maddox has the whole “reason” for Anakin’s turning down flat. He had a vision which sucked and was unclear so he jumped at the first chance he had to “cure” it. Later on we see him asking people to help him take over the galaxy. Clearly Anakin is a poorly thought out character or George Lucas really just had him filling in spots of good cliche clips.
But most of all, the prequels give me a platform to talk to my kids about all of the altruistic lessons one could ask for. My son loves watching the movies (all six of them) almost as much as I do and constantly asks me about these lessons. Since I’m what Bill O’Reilly would call a “secular progressive” and I don’t go to church, Star Wars offers something for my son and I to discuss practical “sermon-on-the-mount” types of issues with the understanding that it’s just a movie.
One of the best lessons I feel that the prequels helped me teach my son was to be nice to people and things and creatures that you may not like or that you may find annoying. Jar Jar saved the day and the only reason he was able to do so was because of the kindness of Qui-Gon Jinn.
That’s something we could all strive to do better
Did he really?
First of all the force fields and exploding energy was all the gungans had. Yes it provided a momentary pause while the Demigods/Jedi could “save the day” (though it was De-Powered Anakin, much like De-Powered Solo and Lando saved the day in the original movies.. which makes the role of the Jedi as aristocracy and self justifying heros even worse)
But secondly by being nice and pulling Jar Jar into their wake it lead to a weak willed and Foolish Individual who started the ball rolling into galactic dictatorship and oppression. We can gof urthermore that the Altruism of Qui Gon leads to Yoda short changing Anakin and giving him to a wet behind the ears newly minted Jedi to train (outside the norms of behavior and policy for the order) which lead to Anakin not having a full and complete lesson.
-forget the stupid force ghost return in the final movie… that was just really foolish.-
The truth is its not a good mythological lesson and you can pull much better from the likes of Aesop.
But while we live in a world where to quote babycakes it feels like we are ruled by devils, the truth is things aren’t as corrupt as we ever imagine them.
i think the Star Trek Solution fits better the world we live in then the Star Wars Solution
Can we learn more about the “Star Wars” worldview by comparing George Lucas’ space-adventure epic to its chief competitor — “Star Trek?”
The differences at first seem superficial. One saga has an air force motif (tiny fighters) while the other appears naval. In “Star Trek,” the big ship is heroic and the cooperative effort required to maintain it is depicted as honorable. Indeed, “Star Trek” sees technology as useful and essentially friendly — if at times also dangerous. Education is a great emancipator of the humble (e.g. Starfleet Academy). Futuristic institutions are basically good-natured (the Federation), though of course one must fight outbreaks of incompetence and corruption. Professionalism is respected, lesser characters make a difference and henchmen often become brave whistle-blowers — as they do in America today.
In “Star Trek,” when authorities are defied, it is in order to overcome their mistakes or expose particular villains, not to portray all institutions as inherently hopeless. Good cops sometimes come when you call for help. Ironically, this image fosters useful criticism of authority, because it suggests that any of us can gain access to our flawed institutions, if we are determined enough — and perhaps even fix them with fierce tools of citizenship.
By contrast, the oppressed “rebels” in “Star Wars” have no recourse in law or markets or science or democracy. They can only choose sides in a civil war between two wings of the same genetically superior royal family. They may not meddle or criticize. As Homeric spear-carriers, it’s not their job.
Again when we deal with a society where folks who following Byran’s political team say their elections are stolen, advocate attacking peoples property to attack their expressions of free speech and bully others who disagree Brin has some very good points about the Moral tale Lucas is really telling us (and not the one we think we are seeing._
I will close with this Bit from Brin’s initial Salon Article because I think it attacks both the message of lucas and the self defeatist message of Nanny state Liberalism
Lucas often says we are a sad culture, bereft of the confidence or inspiration that strong leaders can provide. And yet, aren’t we the very same culture that produced George Lucas and gave him so many opportunities? The same society that raised all those brilliant experts for him to hire — boldly creative folks who pour both individual inspiration and cooperative skill into his films? A culture that defies the old homogenizing impulse by worshipping eccentricity, with unprecedented hunger for the different, new or strange? It what way can such a civilization be said to lack confidence?
In historical fact, all of history’s despots, combined, never managed to “get things done” as well as this rambunctious, self-critical civilization of free and sovereign citizens, who have finally broken free of worshipping a ruling class and begun thinking for themselves. Democracy can seem frustrating and messy at times, but it delivers.