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SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
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Basebf555 posted:

It seems like he often includes some specific detail in his reading that turns out to be wrong, but when that's pointed out he's always got a way of explaining why it wasn't really all that relevant to his point anyway. I know its at least happened one other time.

See: the Lucky Number Slevin thread from a while back

You've actually missed the point. I was saying that the ATATs are not a recurring enemy in the plot - unlike the Death Star, the plot does not center around the grave threat posed by ATATs, and how the rebels must unite to stop them.

That one appears in the background of a single shot in one scene of a later film is wholly irrelevant to the point.

ATATs are Imperial status quo, which Vader is breaking from by employing controversial new tactics in his 'obsessive' pursuit of Luke.

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SuperMechagodzilla
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Rando posted:

I appreciate them in the same way I appreciate the art of unmedicated schizophrenics.

That's a really stupid thing to write.

SuperMechagodzilla
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Rando posted:

Roger Ebert posted:

When I taught the film, I had endless discussions with my students over this scene. Many insisted on explaining it: He is walking on a hidden sandbar, the water is only half an inch deep, there is a submerged pier, etc. "Not valid!'' I thundered. "The movie presents us with an image, and while you may discuss the meaning of the image it is not permitted to devise explanations for it. Since Ashby does not show a pier, there is no pier--a movie is exactly what it shows us, and nothing more,'' etc.

Inspiration is one thing, metaphor another but I entirely dismiss the invention of meaning by use of spurious analogy.

because I'm a nice guy I will edit away my posts that could be seen as argument bait.

Now you're misquoting a dead guy.

That quote has absolutely nothing to do with what you are writing about ("invention of meaning"), and says basically the opposite ("you may discuss the meaning").

Consequently, that's a really stupid thing to write.

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2014 around 06:54

SuperMechagodzilla
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Rando posted:

No, it's no misquote at all and the fact he is dead is meaningless.

A movie gives you everything you need to understand the movie. Any movie that doesn't is a bad movie made by poor artists.

Works of art stand on their own otherwise they are bad art by a bad artist piggybacking on better artists hoping the viewer knows something of the better artist to give the bad artist's art meaning.

Tell me about a Jackson Pollack piece that means this or that rather than just being art in it's own right.

And once again, metaphor and the artist's inspirations are meaningless in this. An artist speaks in his or her own voice. Period.

edit: and you just simply saying "that's a stupid thing to right" doess not make you right, it makes you seem desperate to justify yourself. What of eberts last sentence: a movie is exactly what it shows us, and nothing more

That is a stupid thing to right [sic], because you've decontextualized the quote - thereby misquoting it. Here's what it doess [sic] say (my italics):

quote:

...a movie is exactly what it shows us, and nothing more," etc.

So what does it show us? It shows us Chance doing something that is primarily associated with only one other figure in human history. What are we to assume? That Chance is a Christ figure? That the wisdom of great leaders only has the appearance of meaning? That we find in politics and religion whatever we seek? That like the Road Runner (who also defies gravity) he will not sink until he understands his dilemma?

The movie's implications are alarming.

Ebert says film images show things with cultural associations and philosophical implications. Ebert is against the student's attempts to find a 'canonical' explanation for the evocative imagery. Ebert even makes explicit associations to other artworks: the Bible, and Looney Tunes.

SuperMechagodzilla
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Billy Idle posted:

I don't think this was changed in the Special Editions. Vader is still hunting Luke and all but knows for certain that he is his son, even before he speaks with the Emperor. There were about two lines of dialogue added into the Emperor scene to address the fact that, given what was shown in Episode III, it would now make sense for Vader to have to feign disbelief and ignorance at the notion of his offspring surviving.

In the Special Edition, Vader has been obsessively hunting a random 'Young Rebel' and he needs to 'search his feelings' to realize it's Luke. The Emperor is practically omniscient, so Vader's not really able to feign anything.

SuperMechagodzilla
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Billy Idle posted:

But he knows the rebel's name is Luke Skywalker, and he knows he's Force-sensitive. He clearly knows what's going on.

And the Emperor isn't omniscient, not even in the original version. Even back in the old version, the Emperor "informs" Vader that they have a new enemy, and that his name is Luke Skywalker--as if he was unaware that Vader had just been obsessively searching for him.

And Vader is still the one to suggest that they recruit him instead of killing him in the SE.

There's a lot of nuance in the full dialogue:

What is thy bidding my master?
There is a great disturbance in the force.
I have felt it.
We have a new enemy: Luke Skywalker.
Yes, my master.
He could destroy us.
He's just a boy. Obi-wan can no longer help him.
The force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a jedi.
If he could be turned he would become a powerful ally.
Yes, yes. he would be a great asset. Can it be done?
He will join us or die, master.

The first line establishes that Vader anticipates some sort of command from the Emperor. The spiel about 'the great disturbance' is just laying the groundwork, before getting to the point. "As you know, we have a new enemy..." Vader is already fully aware of Luke Skywalker - it's implied that Luke has become something of a notorious folk hero.

The actual command is "kill Luke Skywalker before he becomes a Jedi, and destroys us."

Vader voices his disagreement - Luke is powerful, but he's still too young and inexperienced to destroy them. Why not just recruit him? And since the Emperor's mostly just concerned with accumulating power and not dying, he agrees wholeheartedly. The only reassurance he needs is Vader's pledge to kill his own son if it comes to that. There's no duplicity involved here; Vader is just straight-up telling the Emperor what he intends to do. (This also all matches Yoda's prophecy, as it happens - everyone agrees that this is how things will go down.)

The SE 'retcons' it specifically so that Vader doesn't know the name of the dude he's been hunting. Vader only knew that it was a young rebel who was working with Obiwan, which makes his decision to recruit Luke weirdly spur-of-the-moment.

SuperMechagodzilla fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2014 around 09:24

SuperMechagodzilla
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One thing that's very fun is that Palpatine never lies, in any of the films.

He displays drippingly sarcastic mock-concern, but always just says what he's going to do: he'll only use his emergency powers 'until the crisis is over and the Republic is whole again', and so-forth. Palpatine simply counts on the people he's talking to being too stupid to think things through. The crisis, of course, will never be over because a perfect society free of antagonism is impossible.

He never lies to Anakin either, and Anakin never lies to him. Again, the message is legitimately that evil will triumph because good is dumb. (Spaceballs is some brilliant analysis - note its conclusion that the Death Star is a transformer whose 'robot mode' is the Statue Of Liberty.)

Earlier, in Empire Strikes Back, Ben and Yoda have to lie to Luke to keep him 'on the path'. "Ben! Why didn't you tell me!" Ben doesn't tell him for the simple reason that he's afraid Luke will learn too much - that knowledge will corrupt him. It's basically like the end of The Dark Knight.

SuperMechagodzilla
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Billy Idle posted:

And there's no question that the Jedi are misguided. But they are good guys. The last film in the trilolgy, when evil is defeated and democracy is restored, is called Return of the Jedi. Luke is a Jedi like his father before him, so he defies the Emperor, then his father, the redeemed Jedi Anakin Skywalker, kills him....which is a good thing

"“How did the Republic turn into the Empire? That’s paralleled with: how did Anakin turn into Darth Vader? How does a good person go bad, and how does a democracy become a dictatorship? It isn’t that the Empire conquered the Republic, it’s that the Empire is the Republic.” The Empire thus emerged out of the inherent corruption of the Republic: “One day Princess Leia and her friends woke up and said,‘This isn’t the Republic anymore, it’s the Empire. We are the bad guys.’” One cannot overlook the contemporary connotations of this ancient Rome reference: the shift from Nation-State to global Empire. We should therefore read the Star Wars problematic (from Republic to Empire) precisely against the background of Hardt and Negri’s Empire: from the Nation-State to the global Empire."

-Zizek

Luke becomes 'a Jedi, like his father before him', but there's an important point there: Anakin was not a detached buddhist like other Jedi. So, which part gets the emphasis: being a Jedi, or being like his father?

Earlier in the thread, I pointed out that the different versions of the original trilogy can be treated as alternate timelines. In one version, Boba Fett is doomed to remain a mere clone. In the other, he grows to have his own voice. The same applies to Anakin's appearance as a ghost: is Luke guided by three dead Buddhists, or by Christ? As noted, the former choice leads straight back to Episode 1; Luke simply restores the corrupt Republic, and nothing is accomplished. In the Special Edition sextology, there is no end - only endless revisions.

It's only in the unaltered original trilogy that Luke establishes something new: the kingdom of god, the dictatorship of the proletariat.

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redshirt posted:

Showing directly that corruption has already swamped the Republic. This is further shown by the near complete inability for the Senate to address the Federation's invasion - they're going to "explore it in a committee".

"I am not a committee!"

-Princess Leia, in The Empire Strikes Back

SuperMechagodzilla
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Billy Idle posted:

Why do I need to explain this? Because for whatever reason, you only need one parent to pass on the super strong Force gene or whatever.

You're getting ahead of the important things: what is the force? What is the light side? What is the dark side?

SuperMechagodzilla
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I posit the following heresy, in defiance of the canon:

Luke and Leia have no genetic relationship whatsoever. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke declares Leia a Sister In Christ, and inducts her into the community of believers. References to 'My Family' and 'Our Mother' are likewise metaphorical.

"Our Father, who art in heaven..."

SuperMechagodzilla
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Hbomberguy posted:

If there's any proof Lucas was not a creator worth listening to, it's the way he's flip-flopped on who can be a Jedi and the nature of the force. Any living being can be a Jedi, all they need is the right mindset and teacher, except Wookies. The Force is in everything and everyone, and entirely beyond the physical - but now we can measure it, scientifically! The latter is more interesting because it's not what Lucas thinks, it's what the old Jedi think.

E: The biggest refrigerator of all is the one you have to put your dick in when you realise she's your sister.

It's funny-sad the lengths canon-fans will go to to argue Han Solo isn't 'force-sensitive' when he shoots accurately while physically blinded, saying "It's alright. Trust me."

Billy Idle's error is in getting the causality mixed up: the force isn't caused by (biological) familial ties. Rather, connection to the force creates solidarity that cuts across all aspects of society.

That's the same error Vader makes when he tries to keep his family alive with blunt genetic engineering, inadvertently crushing his wife's 'soul.'

SuperMechagodzilla
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jivjov posted:

Are you forgetting that his vision had been getting steadily better over the course of the preceding scenes?

Are you forgetting that the entire gag in that scene is that Lando doesn't trust Han's ability with a gun - or that Trust is a repeatedly underlined theme in the films, directly related to the light side?

It's a fairly direct callback to Luke shutting off his targeting computer. Also, to R2D2 trusting a strange computer and thereby saving the day at the end of Empire. Genuine honesty and trust, as opposed to deception and naïveté, is the light side. It's the basis of Luke's 'family'. Han is Luke's Brother, not just a brother-in-law - and the force is strong in his family.

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Gotta Wear Shades posted:

So for those who believe the story's universe still operates under the notion that anyone can use the force, where does that leave the ability for Force-users to sense potential candidates? In the past recruitment always seemed rather low given the population of the galaxy. In this setting midichlorians still are probably correlated to Force sensitivity, but if anyone can theoretically use the Force why does no one seem to recognize this?

As pointed out, this is the logic of the dark side: If people are 'weak', it is because they are of inferior stock. Only those genetically predisposed to it can be Jedi, and even they must be indoctrinated at an early age so that the institution can keep them in line.

In the prequels, both the Jedi and Sith share this type of racist thought, tied to their love of power. The Republic's multiculturalism has an undercurrent of white supremacism - note Padme's smirk as she manipulates the stupid Gungans.

Again, you can't put the cart before the horse; what is the force? What is its light side?

If the light side is read as the Holy Spirit, as it must be, then 'force sensitivity' is just a nonsensical term for trustworthiness, honesty, and all the other qualities that make one a good Christian revolutionary.

When fans cannot understand 'trust' except as a videogame mechanism, it's like that comic where Patrick Stewart bemoans the fact that Trekkies cannot understand empathy except as a racial superpower.

SuperMechagodzilla
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redshirt posted:

In this analogy, is every sentient being a potential Jedi? That is, fully realized in the Force? As with Christ's mission of freeing all mankind from sin (the Dark side)?
Yes, perhaps especially those considered inhuman. R2D2, for example.

Hbomberguy posted:

But Jesus was the ultimate comedian. I'm the son of God, guys, hey check this out! Oh no, turns out I'm gonna die horribly, only for people to carry around pictures of it for thousands of years!
Darth Vader is the literal incarnation of the force, and it consequently dies with him. That's the meaning of 'bringing balance to the force': killing it. The force itself commits suicide.

The stuff Luke is getting up to at the end of Return Of The Jedi is altogether different. The original Jedi dualism was false: there were no light and dark sides. Only darkness. It's only with the force dead that the true light side could emerge, as its 'holy spirit'.

SuperMechagodzilla
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The bounty hunters recruited by Vader in ESB are basically bad versions of the hero crew. Anyone asking how to detect 'strength in the force' - well, those dudes are strong in the dark side (as opposed to the Imperials, who are just weak and stupid).

See also the dudes Obiwan kills in the cantina. They're a lovely Han Solo with a lovely Chewbacca.

While Vader is a lapdog in Star Wars - failing in the end because he relies on his targeting computer instead of the force - Empire Strikes Back is where he starts displaying the full power of the dark side.

The 'appeal' of Boba Fett is that he's "what if Han Solo were a Nazi collaborator and war profiteer who never has sex?"

The joke of all the growling lizardmen and sniper robots is basically the 'stunt double' gag from Spaceballs. It's not the real team, and they don't work as a team.

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SuperMechagodzilla
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'Bosk' is an evil Chewbacca, and 'IG88' is almost literally his guy.

(This is the meaning of the gag in Episode 2 where C3PO has his head attached to the wrong body, and gains a taste for blasting 'Jedi dogs'. - There's only a thin line between the heroes and the bounty hunters.)

If you've wondered what happened to the separatists, that's them. They've gone underground, no longer part of federations and guilds. And you can read this in reverse, too: the trade federation's various groups are bounty hunters operating on an interplanetary scale.

And here it's important to remember that aliens and, especially, robots are Star Wars' ethnic and LGTB minorities. Although Chewbacca is black, the difference between him and Lando is Lando's (relatively) higher social status. Think the aliens in District 9 versus the literal Nigerians.

Take note of the Imperial officers' disgust at this racial 'scum' on their bridge, and you can get a better idea of why Vader is always on the verge of being a good-guy champion of the underclass. Boba Fett may be an evil bitch, but that means he's also something of an underdog.

SuperMechagodzilla
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Justin Godscock posted:

This is the first time I've seen someone on CD speak of Superman Returns without criticism, let alone say it's among the upper echelon of superhero films.

You also haven't heard criticism that isn't hella dumb. Superman Returns is top tier.

SuperMechagodzilla
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That's not a good Superman post.

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Pththya-lyi posted:

I choose to believe that Anakin painstakingly assembled C-3PO by cannibalizing parts from other droids of his type, maybe putting some non-standard hardware under his plating. He built a protocol droid for his mother because she kept getting cheated by non-Basic-speaking merchants at the marketplace whenever she did Watto's food shopping; 3PO was meant to help her negotiate. This makes the movies marginally less terrible for me, hth

Like the robot butlers and doctors in Elysium, C-3PO represents Anakin's desire for an efficient state apparatus that will take care of the people.

Remember, the one thing that prevents Anakin from being a genuinely good guy is his pathological attachment to his mother. He loves her, and will do anything to keep her alive - and his feelings towards Padme get mixed up in that. See the earlier observation that, in his attempt at keeping Padme's body alive, Anakin crushes her soul. However, this love is the very thing that elevates Anakin beyond the level of the other Jedi. His passion and ruthlessness are simply misdirected towards sandpeople, the basic concept of Democracy, etc. Anakin fails to love the sandpeople as much as he loves his mother, or moreso.

The beauty of C-3PO in Star Wars is that he never stops being a servant. He pretends to serve the empire, actually serves the people, but never stops. This explains his antagonistic relationship with Han in ESB. Of course Han's all ruggedly individualistic, but that's his flaw. He's frequently endangered by his failure to communicate and trust others. C-3PO is all communication.

SuperMechagodzilla
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Grendels Dad posted:

Sorry, I just have a problem with the reading that midichlorians were introduced to further show how detached the Jedi were, because the thing they tried to prove with the midichlorians (i.e. the identity of their Neo) turned out to be true.

The midichlorians 'work' because the Jedi have fallen to the dark side, abandoning authentic belief in favor of blunt positive knowledge. They're fundamentalists.

They're directly analogous to Shaw in Prometheus finding a copy of God's DNA and feeling overwhelming disappointment - because the numbers on the screen say absolutely nothing about the meaning of life. See also: the answer to the universe being 42. Shaw has to find meaning in the absurd pursuit itself.

This dichotomy between knowledge and belief is the key difference between the dark and light sides of the force.

Those are actually both the dark side.
VvvvvvvvvV

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SuperMechagodzilla
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jivjov posted:

I'm getting kind of tired of the "EU fans can get hosed" sentiment that's been going around. I mean, it's perfectly fine to not care about or like the EU, and it's fine to hold a belief/hope/wish that it all gets nuked and paved in the wake of the upcoming sequel trilogy. But actively telling EU fans that their opinion is lovely and that they should "gently caress right off" seems needlessly petty and antagonistic.

Actually, to do so is rad and correct!

SuperMechagodzilla
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PeterWeller posted:

I don't see that. He always freaked them out with a yell. Now it is a freakier yell.

The point was always that Obiwan uses his voice as a weapon. ("I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.")

The joke in the SE is that it changes from Obiwan using his knowledge of the local people (note his observations about how sandpeople walk single file, and so-forth) to Obiwan using some kind of ridiculous Force Shout™ superpower.

SuperMechagodzilla
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Billy Idle posted:

This makes no sense. The Blu-ray version, while goofy, does sound a little more like a sound a human being could actually make than the original stock sound. If anything, you'd think he was using a Force Shout™ in the original, and Lucas changed it so that people wouldn't misunderstand it as such.

It's exactly the disembodied, 'inhuman' nature of the voice that makes it powerful, while Force Shout is just midichlorian-enabled amplification effect.

SuperMechagodzilla
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Billy Idle posted:

Except there's nothing in the actual film to indicate this.

...except for the 9+ films establishing what the force is and how to use it.

Cynicism is dumb & boring.

SuperMechagodzilla
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RunAndGun posted:

I was trying to give an alternate explanation to wrap up the concept into something slightly less bad, then trying to close the door on it. I never liked the "ignore it and it'll go away" because ignoring it means it'll always be there. Like that stuck pixel on the side of your LCD. Or the FedEx arrow. Or something.

But that's clearly not working, so, nevermind.

There's a danger in trying to pretend that 'the prequels never happened', as it misidentifies the problem - like saying cognitive science undermines human dignity, or whatever. It's the same logic as those fan-edits that make Obiwan cool, and erase JarJar.

Really, the trouble is that Star Wars viewers' faith cannot withstand these 'facts.' The prequels take the ideological assumptions behind all the films to a logical conclusion - stuff that was already in the original films. The prequels are what happens if Luke fails and the message is lost - a possibility that is very real. I remember being totally baffled when a fan insisted that "no, Han Solo does NOT have the force. He is NOT 'Force-Sensitive....'"

SuperMechagodzilla
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Electromax posted:

It didn't ruin the scene, just changed it.

You're correct that it 'only changes' the scene, but incorrect as to the result. As outlined in earlier posts, the inclusion of the Noo signals an alternate timeline. Vader either wails Nooo or does not, depending on which version of the film you watch. This is intimately tied to whether the rebellion succeeds or not - whether we loop, endlessly, back to the future.

In Revenge of the Sith, the Noooo obviously stands for Vader's failure - the moment he realized that he preserved his wife's body but crushed her soul in the process. Vader's Nooooo in the Special Edition is an obvious callback to that moment. In other words, he's simply trying to restore Padme. In saving his nuclear family, Padme 'comes back to life', the Republic comes back to life, and we circle back once again to Phantom Menace.

The absence of the Noooooo signals the possibility that something new will emerge, because the correct option is to destroy everything: Padme, the Emperor, the Republic, the Empire, the Jedi and the Sith, and the Force itself.

Vader's act must be a mad suicide from which the light side, defined as the holy spirit, can finally emerge.

"I love you, but inexplicably I love something in you more than you, and therefore I destroy you."

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SuperMechagodzilla
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Jeez, look at you fairweather fans. Drugged-up Leia is canon.

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The idea that Anakin 'falls to the dark side' is a persistent falsehood.

As noted before, there is no light side in the prequels. It's all darkness. The films depict, instead, Anakin's failure to rise to the light side - an extremely crucial difference.

The prequels attack the assumption that the Jedi and the republic are good guys. Anakin does not fall because the Jedi are not good.

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Mr. Funny Pants posted:

My problem was that they completely neutered him. If you didn't see the original Clone Wars cartoons, you'd be left thinking, "This twat killed a bunch of Jedi?" He spends about 90% of his screen time running like a bitch instead of being the Jedi-murdering abomination he was supposed to be.
The insistence that these characters are supposed to be badass only gets funnier the more it's expressed.

Every time JarJar steps in the poo poo, noses scrunch up and plaintive nos are emitted, because it's supposed to be badass why isn't this badass?

Meanwhile, back in the original films, the badass characters are can be counted on two fingers, and one gets lodged in a massive vagina.

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Mr. Funny Pants posted:

So the collection of dead Jedi trophies is indicative of his being an ineffective fighter?

Luke kills a few million people. He spends the whole first film being a total dorkus, and the whole second film being constantly shat on. He's not badass at all.

Another example of a loser who kills lots of people: Anakin Skywalker.

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Everyone knows the podrace scene is a Ben Hur reference. It's one of those things that's just taken for granted. But what does this mean?

Context for those who haven't seen it: Ben Hur's full title, from the original book, is Ben Hur: A Tale Of The Christ.

Ben is a wealthy Jewish prince who falls in love with a slave girl. However, an antisemetic Roman commander jails him for basically being too uppity. Ben works his way up from slavery to get revenge, eventually competing in a no-rules chariot battle against the same evil Roman. Ben succeeds despite the Roman's dirty tricks - but the victory is undermined when the dying villain reveals that Ben's mother and sister have been forced into homelessness and become lepers.

Everything seems lost until Ben is reunited with the slave-girl he loved, who tells him about this cool new guy named Jesus. Ben gives up his vengeance against the Romans and converts to Christianity. Long story short, Jesus dies on the cross and, as his final miracle, cures all the lepers - including Ben's family. They all live happily ever after.

What's notable here is that in Phantom Menace, the scenario is totally reversed. It's not just Ben Hur In Space. Phantom Menace 'remixes' this imagery, completely altering its meaning: Anakin is not a prince in love with a slave, but a slave in love with a wealthy queen. The oppressive villain is not an imperial stooge but a smalltime ethnic gangster. And, of course, the charioteer in Phantom Menace is not a future christian but Christ himself - the Christ of this galaxy.

Then, the ending: when Anakin' mother and is found dying, Anakin slaughters the alien 'lepers' who made her this way. He then vows to acquire the magic powers to cure both her and his love, the queen.

The total result is the the Star Wars prequels function as a response to, and critique of, Ben Hur's happy-ending version of Christianity. The fantasy of having your family restored to harmony by magic as a reward for 'good behaviour', the desire to have your wealth restored, the blaming of certain groups for preventing this harmony, etc., etc.....

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Kart Barfunkel posted:

What's the literary reading of C-3PO switching heads with a battle droid?
I noted earlier that C-3PO serves the same role as the robot butlers in Elysium. He represents the efficient state apparatus that takes care of the people. Anakin builds and programs him to help his mother, the aging slave. And Anakin's eventual lesson is to treat all slaves with that same love. 3PO may be a servant, but his destiny is to become a servant of the people - a communist robocop, enforcing the dictatorship of the proletariat.

The joke in Attack of the Clones is that C-3PO is not quite there yet. He is still at war with himself: too smart to become a libertarian drone, but he knows - in his gut - that the liberal Jedi are his enemy.

There's also a flipside to the joke: it's not just C-3PO getting the wrong body, but a drone suddenly becoming conscious - wondering 'why am I doing this?' The Jedi immediately knocks him down, and grins.

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Robot_Rumpus posted:

Then they realized they didn't entirely want to make the thing they started out making, and now have to sort of figure out what it is they ARE making.

Since the hexalogy is cyclical, there already is an Episode 7. It's called The Phantom Menace.

Return Of The Jedi ends in Luke's implicit failure, as the inherent corruption of the Republic causes the Sith to re-emerge. Fans may recall that 'Return' was originally titled 'Revenge of the Jedi'. Although that title was softened, the idea of cyclical vengeance is still present: each trilogy ends with one party achieving a temporary revenge.

Abrams is consequently in the unenviable position of making a film that's more Star Wars than Star Wars itself. Episode 7 must break the cycle by surpassing Luke, being even more Light. Anything less would be, essentially, a remake - totally superfluous.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
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Basebf555 posted:

How exactly are you reading the ending of Return of the Jedi as a failure? I see it as Vader bringing balance to the force by killing the Emperor(and himself), and Luke succeeds in turning away from the dark side because he refused to kill his father. I could understand what you're saying if Luke had executed Vader and the Emperor and just changed the name of the Empire to the Republic, but he turned away from all that, which I saw as a victory.

Most fans interpret the Jedi as Obiwan does: as preserving a balance, kind of vaguely Buddhist protectors of nature and liberal democracy. "You form a symbiont circle. What happens to one of you will affect the other. You must understand this." Multiculturalism, etc. This balance, however, is false. There is always a radical antagonism at the heart of society. To the Jedi, and to fans, balance is a matter of eliminating the 'terrorist' Sith. But this is impossible. The Sith are always in their place.

As noted in earlier posts, bringing true balance to the force means to destroy it. The force itself is Darkness, and it's only when the force is dead that the Light can emerge. The true Light is the Holy Spirit, the community of believers.

So like I said, it's a question of interpretation. If Luke interprets his father's death as simply a rejection of the Sith, a removal of the bad guys, a cleansing and restoration of the world, then he has failed. The Light side can only be understood as a radical imbalance, an excessive love for the excluded - so excessive that it can only be understood as Evil. In other words, it means loving the Sandpeople above all else. It means loving Darth Maul.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
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Put more simply, Luke must understand Vader as the good guy and pick up where he left off - ruthlessly crushing the false Jedi, and those who'd seek to restore the Republic.

When we see the ghosts of Yoda, Obiwan, Anakin at the end, we must understand that they are happy to be dead. Like - to put it scandalously - the end Act Of Killing in reverse.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
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Hbomberguy posted:

What do you see in the Republic's place?

Dictatorship of the proletariat, of course!

If you've seen The Dark Knight Rises, Chris Nolan totally restages the end of Return of the Jedi with Batman as Luke, Bane as Vader, and Talia as the emperor. Hopefully that clarifies things.

The conventional reading of Star Wars is that Darth Vader killed Anakin when he became 'more machine than man'. So, when he takes off his mask, he becomes 'human again': Anakin comes back to life and good humanity triumphs over the evil machines. This is accurate except for one thing: we've all seen Anakin, in the Prequels, and he's a piece of poo poo! Darth Vader is an angelic/demonic avatar of Truth and Justice, so devoted to Justice that he would destroy even himself. Anakin, on the other hand, is a genocidal fascist and whiny mommy's boy - a genocidal fascist because he's a momma's boy. When he has to choose between the leprous Sandpeople and his mom, he chooses poorly - with obvious results.

So too with Bane: Bane wears the mask of Truth and Justice. When the mask is removed, we get Anakin again: a 'nice guy' virgin and fascist loser. He's pathetic, and gets swept aside. What must be understood in both films is that Vader and Bane's human failings in no way diminish the Truth that they stood for. The only hope for the Galaxy, and for Gotham, is if their successors carry on where these radically Evil figures left off - instead of going on a ritzy European vacation with the new wife.

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SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
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To expand on Vermain's excellent post: Of course communism. Why not communism. What did you think those rebels were dying for? The prequels?

No, the prequels can only be understood as the gravest betrayal of the people by their leaders. And which character has the will to crush any and all that betray the force?

Darth Vader - and I'm not talking Anakin here - Darth Vader is so ruthless in his commitment to his ethical ideal that he'll choke to death those on 'his side'. He'll kill the Emperor - even himself. This should not be understood as some cliche, like 'he's just so drat crazy'; Darth Vader is rightfully disgusted by the Imperial officers' human arrogance and pride, their petty motivations. "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." He's radically Evil, capital-E Evil. The imperials are just a bunch of punks.

Anakin was an Imperial, but Darth Vader is clearly beyond the Empire. His extreme devotion to the Dark Side is such that he brought it to its culmination, allowing the Light side to finally emerge. So I'm talking the same ruthless devotion - but to the Light, to the people.

This means not cleansing the galaxy of machines, but a radical appropriation of the Imperial state apparatus - putting it in the service of the proletariat. I'm talking the robot police from Elysium, an army of droids devoted to the slaves and lepers, the lowest of the low now calling the shots with a heavenly host at their backs. That's the victory, if Luke does the right thing.

SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
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Maarak posted:

Except here, unlike Elysium(d.p. Trent Opaloch), the robots aren't symbols of the state apparatus but sentient beings stuck in a galaxy spanning system of slavery. Luke and co. have first hand experience with droids that demonstrate personhood, but their worldview remains stuck. Chewie might be the exception.

Not exactly; the droids are people - but in the way that Elysium's robocops are also people. C-3PO is a person who genuinely loves to help others - is literally built to help others. If anything, he is held back from achieving his full potential as a public servant by his various corrupt owners. Freedom for him and the other droids means freedom to serve those in need, and consequently to find satisfaction in their work. It's not a selfish freedom.

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SuperMechagodzilla
Jun 9, 2007
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Bongo Bill posted:

I believe SMG thinks that because the prequels were made chronologically later. There was also something in there about the age of Anakin's ghost varying between the various editions. It's a stretch to me. Palpatine failed to tempt Luke to become someone who kills in anger. The Jedi Order of old fought the Sith, and whatever that war made them, it was not great. The last of that religion killed the last Sith, and told the first of whatever comes next that he was right.

All prequels are achronological sequels. That's unavoidable.

But more than that: Although Return Of The Jedi leaves things open, everything leading up to that end is of a very specifically of a 'New Age', pagan ideology. And that's what most people understandably take away from it. The prequels satirize what Star Wars became: thousands of fans dressing up as Jedi - in fake beggars' robes - because Yoda's the good guy. Millions of people saying 'use the force' as just kind of a reference to vague mysticism. And outside of Star Wars, what is James Cameron's Avatar if not an entire epic film devoted to the nobility and purity of the Ewoks? The last thing we see in the original films was Yub Nub - how do you interpret that?

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