Friday, May 27, 2005

Alderaan Revisted

Seriously, I say this as a huge fan the original Episodes, but the recent politicization of the films has made me start to question my adoration of the character. He greased Alderaan to make a point - there was simply no reason for him to do it - he knew the princess was lying and he could have made his point any number of ways, but he instead decides to wipe out a few million people.

So maybe he isn't the tragic figure that we want him to be. Yes, there's redemption in the end, but at the cost of (thousands? tens of thousands?) of more lives - many of whom are on his side. A hell of a time for him to get redemption. What if the note from Hitler turns up in some Russian archive - "Gee, sorry about the last six years, Eva and I are doing the honorable thing and calling it quits."

I'm thinking that the ghosts of twenty million wouldn't be satisfied with that. But at the end of Jedi we're led to believe that Anakin's final act - destroying the Emporer redeems him in the eyes of the Jedi. Deathbed absolution aside, I doubt this will make the scattered survivors of Alderaan feel any better.

As for the politicization of the ROTS - which I still haven't seen - I understand that there's this whole "only a Sith believes in absolutes" line that has the blogosphere jumping. I have to ask, is Howard Dean a Sith Lord?

Why didn't anyone in 1977 make the tie in between The Force and Jim Jones? Why weren't there parallels made between the rescue of the princess and the Mayaguez Incident? Don't the actions of Tarkin remind you an awful lot of Zbigniew Brzezinski? (Don't bother googling them, the parallels are absurd and made up at random in the writers mind)

They didn't because it was a freaking film. And folks recognized then, as we do now, that Lucas couldn't write dialogue to save his life. Which is interesting considering that he can tell one hell of a story.

Unfortunately, everything since about 1994 has had to have it's parallel in modern politics. And yes, my side has a great deal to answer for where that is concerned.

Question for Discussion - could the entirely non-partisan movie Dave be made today? You have twenty minutes, please close your blue books and put your pencils down when you are finished. A proctor will come for your blue book.
A Judge ruled in favor of a corporation in a lawsuit? Heavens! Next thing you know, our pure of heart legislators will be marred by their oily grasp!


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