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George Lucas is not the Pope!

#1 User is offline   ForceHippo Icon

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:51 AM

Do you find my lack of faith disturbing?

According to Catholic tradition, the views of the Pope constitute the official views of the Catholic Church. As far as I am concerned Star Wars is not a religion. Still, many fans approach a SW discussion by stating that G.L. has said this or that and therefore that view is canon and therefore that is the correct interpretation of a certain SW matter. I would suggest that SW is art, and thus the art itself should be interpreted and not the views of the artist. As a side note it should perhaps be said that this is how all the professional critics work; second-guessing artistsí intentions or views fairly quickly becomes a meaningless exercise. Having that said, the views of G.L. are not irrelevant but they cannot be treated as solid facts; i.e. if G.L. suggested that Yoda should be perceived as an evil Muppet, would you still believe him? Therefore, only the art (i.e. the six instalments of the saga) can function as the definitely relevant basis for an argument.

Let me illustrate the above by taking on a subject, that has been much debated recently, that of Anakinís origins. Many fans claim that Anakin fulfilled the Prophecy by destroying the Emperor and therefore he was the Chosen One conceived by the midichlorians. They claim this is the case since G.L & Co. have indicated that Anakin indeed brought the force back into balance at the end of ROTJ. This train of thought is not logically flawed (apart from relying on the opinion of G.L.), but when it comes to the necessary interpretations to produce this conclusion I begin to wonder if we have watched different sagas.

The prophecy basically says, that someone conceived by the midis will bring balance back to the force. This balance idea must also be interpreted as a good thing, since the jedi otherwise should have been even more reluctant towards Anakin. How does Anakin then go about bringing the force back into balance? He becomes a sith lord, he helps destroying the jedi order and he helps oppressing the galaxy for a good 25 (?) years. After that he kills Palps and all is good and well? Obviously, I am somewhat sceptical about the balance thing, but even if there is balance at the end of ROTJ it is safe to say that the quest for balance hasnít been a positive thing for the galaxy. In ROTS Yoda also indicates that the Prophecy may have been misinterpreted. All this raises considerable doubt concerning the validity of the Prophecy and relying on it regarding Anakinís origins is problematic.

On the other hand, Palpatine (or at least his mentor) could manipulate the midis to create life. This could be beneficial if they wanted, for instance, a powerful ally in their fight against the jedi. This explanation is much more straightforward and much less ambiguous than the Prophecy thing and therefore it must be more plausible.

George Lucas has created a fascinating universe, but when it comes to his notions about balance I reserve the right to remain sceptical.
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#2 User is offline   mysterycycle Icon

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 11:17 AM

I hear you. After I first saw Episode I in the theater, I posted a message on some forum that I was frequenting at the time (RPG.net, I think) on all of the ways I thought the movie could have been improved. I stated that I left the theater feeling that I could write a better Star Wars script than Lucas could.

The responses I got were generally tame, but one person in particular really irked me, tut-tutting me for my "hubris." Yes, that is actually the word that he used. So, while some people believe that only those words which slip from Lucas's lips, ex cathedra, are canon (a view I had regrettably held previous to the new trilogy's release), there are even more devoted acolytes who view Lucas as a god, not to be blasphemed or challenged by us mortals who don't live on Mount Olympus. rolleyes.gif

As for the Balance thing, I am still of the opinion that Yoda and Company misinterpreted the prophecy in that they didn't seem to understand what the word "balance" means, and, thus, why it isn't inherently a good thing. The blame for this seems to be entirely upon Lucas's shoulders, as it's his scriptwriting that blindfolds them. Especially after seeing Episode III, I can't help but come to the conclusion that there is no plot solution or character motivation behind their faulty interpretation; Lucas's Jedi philosophy is just a sloppy and inconsistent plot device, and his characters are just helpless mouthpieces.
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#3 User is offline   floppydisk Icon

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 12:42 PM

Beautiful! Absolutely brilliant! You've put in words what I've felt about the PT's for a while now, and better than I ever could have. You, my friend, deserve a pirate.gif.
QUOTE (Theodor Herzl)
If you will it, it is no dream.
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#4 User is offline   ForceHippo Icon

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 07:27 PM

QUOTE (mysterycycle @ May 24 2005, 11:17 AM)
So, while some people believe that only those words which slip from Lucas's lips, ex cathedra, are canon (a view I had regrettably held previous to the new trilogy's release), there are even more devoted acolytes who view Lucas as a god, not to be blasphemed or challenged by us mortals who don't live on Mount Olympus.† rolleyes.gif

As for the Balance thing, I am still of the opinion that Yoda and Company misinterpreted the prophecy in that they didn't seem to understand what the word "balance" means, and, thus, why it isn't inherently a good thing.† The blame for this seems to be entirely upon Lucas's shoulders, as it's his scriptwriting that blindfolds them.† Especially after seeing Episode III, I can't help but come to the conclusion that there is no plot solution or character motivation behind their faulty interpretation; Lucas's Jedi philosophy is just a sloppy and inconsistent plot device, and his characters are just helpless mouthpieces.



GeorgieBoy sitting on Mount Olympus - I really liked that description! Here I tried to be a bit provocative by my Catholic dogma analogy and you up the ante by suggesting that fanboys' devotion often is nothing less than deity-worship.


Generally, I don't mind ambiguities, since they can allow for interesting analyses, but I agree on your verdict that the Balance thing has been poorly dealt with in the movies. I find many bits of the jedi philosophy presented interesting, but this Balance thing arguably must be considered a most basic concept since all jedi seem to think it is worth striving after. Therefore ambiguity in this case can hardly be positive, since it just adds confusion to the overall plot. To reiterate from my previous post, I wonder how many jedi by the time of TPM thought that the "Balance" brought by Vader's "redemption" in ROTJ was something to strive for, since this "Balance" had a few minor side effects regarding the jedi order and so on.

This post has been edited by ForceHippo: 24 May 2005 - 07:34 PM

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#5 User is offline   barend Icon

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:30 PM

i don't beleive anything that happens outside of KOTOR
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#6 User is offline   CowboyCurtis Icon

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Posted 30 May 2005 - 08:38 PM

I don't think the words "balance" and "Force" should have ever been put together in the prequels. It causes a lot of confusion.
Flying Ferret

Battle for the Galaxy--read the "other Star Wars"

All I know is I haven't seen the real prequels yet.
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