A Star Wars Post Script

Jar Jar Binks is truly annoying and really beneath contempt. Oddly, I’m able to ignore him, but I have a hard time ignoring the Anakin-kid. Part of my problem may be that I really wanted to like him. I read magazines before the movie came out and thought he looked the part and I still do. But he couldn’t act at all. I was really looking forward to seeing a boy Anakin ~ the innocent boy who becomes the evil Darth Vader and it just fell flat. Jar Jar is annoying, but unexpected and unnecessary to the story and therefore ignorable.

Yes, it would have been cool to do more with Darth Maul. Too bad the actor didn’t have name recognition and clout like Samuel L. Jackson. I’ve heard he got to pick his light saber color (purple), said he didn’t want to die in Episode I, and said he wanted a noble death. That’s a LOT of clout! I do like Samuel L. Jackson and Mace Windu.

Now, onto more of what I like about Star Wars… The spirituality of the Force appeals to me. I’m not religious, but I have mildly spiritual leanings and the Force fits it well. I like how the Force is a tool that can be used for good or evil and that one must use discipline to use it and discipline to choose how to use it ~ for good or for evil. I like that there are constant temptations that come with that degree of power, just like real life. I like seeing Anakin’s fall from grace, but I have trouble with some of the Jedi’s decisions through that process. I think they ignored some things that were right in front of them. Throughout Episode II, Obi-wan warns the Jedi Council that Anakin isn’t ready for a solo mission, yet they send him out alone and he impulsively runs off to Tatooine in a vain attempt to rescue his mother and kills the Sand People. A necessary step toward the dark side.

All along Yoda says, “clouded the dark side is.” Maybe so, but Obi-wan’s warnings were very clear. Don’t get me wrong, I love Yoda (like Mrs. Pushy says, the Space Age Buddha), but he and the council really goofed on that. He did a much better job with Luke than with Anakin. Actually, he had a pretty hands off attitude toward Anakin and maybe that was the problem. And you’d think with the prophesy and his concerns about making him a Jedi at all, he would have been paying closer attention.

Okay, back to what I like… I love it during the first fight between Anakin and Obi-wan (Episode III) when Anakin says to Obi-wan, “If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy,” to which Obi-Wan replies: “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” This is a great line and an important lesson, which I only wish our world leaders would learn.

Not that Americans are the only ones guilty of this line of thinking, but on:

  • September 13, 2001 Hillary Clinton said, “Every nation has to either be with us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price.”
  • September 20, 2001 George W. Bush said, “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
  • November 6, 2001, Bush said, “You are either with us or you are against us in the fight against terror.”

These statements clearly fit with his Axis of Evil ideology. Bush hasn’t used rhetoric like this for awhile and while I’m hoping he’s had a change of heart and not just writers, I’m not too hopeful. I’ve often wondered if Bush has watched the Star Wars movies ~ who hasn’t? ~ and what he’s made of that brief dialog between Anakin and Obi-wan? Does he hear himself?

Anyway, I like the Star Wars movies for showing us the dangers of power and how easy it is to slip from good to evil. How desire can be a path to destruction and how others can manipulate us to do what is wrong. It’s interesting that the dark side is so black and white and somehow easy and what is good and right can be so complicated and confusing. This is why clouded the dark side is, I guess. Still, we should listen to those we trust (Obi-wan) especially when they speak about what or who they know best (Anakin).

I also like the relationship between Anakin and Obi-wan. It’s cool how there is real love there, even when there is tension. Anakin is loyal to Obi-wan until the very end in many ways, even as he has trouble trusting. But trust has always been a part of his problem. Obi-wan has been a loyal and strong teacher and brother to the end. He’s devastated by the destruction of Anakin and the part he plays in his physical destruction, though he knows the emotional and spiritual destruction is complete.

Finally, I like how the Luke and Leia thing plays out. How Luke is trained by Obi-wan and Yoda, his father’s teachers. How he’s horrified to find out he’s Darth Vader’s son, but comes to realize that if Vader was Anakin, his father, that he still is. Only he can see that and is determined to find that. Perhaps only he can. And he does, saving Vader from the dark side. Perhaps, Vader in his final act of overthrowing Lord Sidious (literally) he does fulfill his prophesy and brings balance to the Force. It just took 20 more years and his son’s help to do it.

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5 Responses

  1. There’s a lot of Taoism in Star Wars, I think. That’s the spirituality (not religion) that I really like in it as well.

    I couldn’t stand the teenage Anakin. He was so freakin whiny all the time, drove me nuts!

  2. Oh, whiney teenage Anakin. Yuck. I forgot about him.

  3. We had a star wars evening not too long ago. It is amazing to me how it is just burned into our memory and it can feel like home.

  4. Here’s something I’ve never figure out about the Star Wars story. How does destroying all practitioners for the Dark Side restore “balance” to the Force? I can ignore the kid in Episode 1. He’s really a MacGuffin in that episode as his specific identity is really only important to the overall story arc. I can’t stand the teenage Anakin either. He annoys me much more than the kid. I guess I’ll have to work on that before Kidlet reaches that stage. And work to avoid it as much as possible.

  5. Not a big Star Wars fan. Actually, I’m not a little Star Wars fan, either. LOL. But I do like that the Dutch word for father is so prevelant – Vader.

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