|Final thoughts on Star Wars
||[May. 20th, 2005|04:46 pm]
Fingolfin son of Finwe
|[||I am ever so
|||||Tori Amos - Leather||]|
For what they are, the prequels are good. Unfortunately, what they are is a high budget, totally unfunny version of Van Helsing. An article in the New Yorker this week points out the inhuman antiseptic of Lucas's universe - not only is there a complete lack of drinking, swearing, bodily functions (Did you notice that a movie about war doesn't have a drop of blood in it? That people who are shot just fall over, with no visible wound?), but the homes we see don't even have any personal posessions in them, not even a pair of shoes left by a doorway, a picture of family or friends, or spare key. I don't there are even any contradicting statements except, perhaps, about the grand archetypes that each wooden chess-piece of a character was meant to suggest. If George Lucas had paid attention in High School English, he might know that character depth is a matter of shadow and flaw. If he had any respect for his viewers, he would bother to show them that his characters and world are real before asking them to believe that his creations are anything more meaningful than pretty pixels. If he wants to go Evil!Napoleon vs. Spanish Republicans, he needs to realize that the appeal of liberty and plucky rebels is that they are overwhelmingly human in the face of a grand, soulless mechanization. When the supposed wielders of the compassionate "living force" are totally inhuman, storm troopers just aren't creepy in comparison.
After watching Episode I earlier this week, I went poking around the internet to see if anyone had anything interesting to say (I have, after all, been tossed back into the real world, where no one wants to sit around and analyze). The brilliant and barbed Sith Academy website offered a critical discussion of their collected stories, which I think is wonderful and have to share a part of, on "the moral bankruptcy of the canon universe":
After all, how do we know from the movie that the Jedi are good and the Sith are evil? Well, because the Sith wear black, make dark threats in sonorous tones, and are allied with a bunch of aliens who talk and act like the villains in an old Charlie Chan movie, whereas the Jedi wear earth tones, talk like they walked right out of one of those pocket collections of pithy nuggets of Eastern wisdom that people buy to put in the magazine basket by the toilet in the guestroom, and are allied with a group of humans led by a young and beautiful girl (and, later, with a race of stupid but good-hearted 'primitives' whose clumsy antics are comic rather than sinister). It never really gets deeper than that. For instance, as has been pointed out in the Sith Academy, the Jedi don't seem to be too concerned about the fact that slavery is an accepted fact of life on Tatooine. In order to accomplish their ends, Jedi have no trouble whammying, cheating, stealing, or killing anyone who gets in their way. Nor do we ever see this 'Council' actually doing anything aside from training more Jedi and fighting the Sith. To make matters worse, we find out that one's Jedi powers are determined not by the strength of one's mind nor the purity of one's spirit, but by the concentration of midichlorians in one's bloodstream. The film wants us to believe that good and evil are metaphysical profundities; but what it really tells us is that they are cosmetic, superficial, at most skin deep.