Stephen Speicher

Star Wars: Episode III- Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke leaves Yoda without completing his training, leaving Yoda and Obi-Wan thinking that Luke will fail. Obi-Wan says to Yoda (paraphrasing), "That boy was our last hope." Yoda replies, "No, there is another," meaning Leia.

But in Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan was present at the birth of the twins, so he would have known that there was "another."

But Leia is not a Jedi. She could become one, but who would train her? By the time anything definitive happens to Luke, Yoda would be near death. Plus, she doesn't even know that she could be a Jedi. Leia could be another hope, given enough time. But time is somewhat of a rare commodity for them, isn't it? Obi-Wan is probably just being pessimistic and figuring that they'll all be dead before Leia can be a Jedi if Luke fails. Thankfully though, he doesn't, so we never have to find out if that's true. :D

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SPOILERS

Spoilers ahead.

The Jedi are stoics who urge Anakin to stop caring about worldly values.  Anakin rightly refuses to renounce this world.  He loves his wife and will do anything to save her -- and so he is forced to the dark side.  In the Star Wars universe Anakin is punished not because he is worse than the other Jedi, but because he is better!  He is punished for the best within him.  Pretty sick.

You could argue that, if he hadn't killed a bunch of people to save his wife. It's pretty hard to argue self-defense against a six-year-old padawan with a fake light saber. I found that particular scene chilling, and it killed any sympathy I had left for Vader. Granted, the council could have handeled things better, ie not asked him to spy on Palpatine. That in particular made me understand Anakin's mistrust of the council. They were asking him to go against the Jedi code. That combined with his fear of losing Padme made me understand his use of the Dark Side if he had only tried to save her. But he didn't.

Once he was over the line, Palpatine took over completely. He wasn't Anakin anymore. He had only a shadow of Anakin's value (Padme) which was easily defeated (he choked her). He underestimated the Emperor's power. He thought he could remain Anakin Skywalker even if he became Palpatine's apprentice. But when he renounced everything he stood for as a Jedi, Darth Vader was born. That is what caused his undoing, and that is what makes him despicable to me.

He thought he could keep his highest value (Padme) by denying every other value he had ever had (justice, peace, freedom, jedi-related stuff, you get the idea). He thought he could have her without any of the things that made him worthy of her. While I understand what made him covert initially, I am forced to condemn him for his rationalization that the killing of innocent padawans and Jedi would save Padme's life, for his rationaliztion that the death of the Republic would be *more-efficient*. He betrayed justice, he betrayed freedom, he betrayed himself. No matter what his original motives, he became evil indeed.

Just my two cents. Bear in mind that I'm rather new to the Star Wars fandom. I've only just seen the original trilogy a couple of weeks ago, and then after that... all the newer ones. :D

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The following is a copy of a very extemporaneous message I sent a friend about ROTS. So please forgive the style of writing.

-----

I just realized a couple things about Revenge of the Sith - as well as why the series will only have six episodes instead of the original nine.

I saw the movie with a friend recently, and we were talking about why Mace seeks to betray the Jedi Way and try to kill Palpatine (and thus ultimately leads Anakin to turn his back on the Jedi as well). I realized later that the reason is simple: the Jedi are already ON the Dark Side.

Think about it. As Yoda instructed Anakin, fear of loss is the path to the Dark Side. He said that attachment leads to greed. And he said that one should release oneself from that which one fears to lose. Given that context, it is no wonder Mace tried to kill Palpatine. He - and all the other Jedi - were in great fear of losing the Republic - losing liberty (his own and that of all citizens). That fear of loss took him off the path of the Jedi and onto the path to the Dark Side. His attachment to the Republic lead him to greed - a greed for freedom. And it is that greed which lead him to betray his own principles. A proper Jedi would have released himself from that which he feared to lose. A proper Jedi would have accepted enslavement and dictatorship, just as he accepted freedom and republicanism. He would have had no emotional attachment or preference for either. He would simply have 'accepted' things.

You see, the problem is the Jedi had simply become too selfish - they were not willing to sacrifice the thing they feared to lose. And thus Anakin was merely following their example and their lead. The only difference was WHAT he was selfish about. HIS greed was not for freedom. He was not selfishly seeking liberty. His greed was for his wife. He was selfishly seeking her continued love. Where freedom was Mace's and the rest of the Jedi's cherished value - the value they refused to give up - his wife and child was Anakin's most cherished value. And, like these fallen Jedi, he too refused to give that value up. Anakin refused to sacrifice it.

This means, put simply, the Jedi got exactly what they deserved. They betrayed their principles and went down the path of the Dark Side. And they were simply killed by better practitioners of those Dark Powers.

Now, in the end of the entire series, Luke shows that he has learned the lesson of sacrifice. His fear that the Emperor will get to Leia and turn her to the dark side - ie his greed for her purity and goodness - leads him to attack his father, nearly killing him. This greed - this selfishness - is exactly what the Emperor wants. Like it did with Anakin, it will lead Luke straight down the path of the Dark Side and directly to the Emperor. But right at the end, Luke realizes that he has made the same mistake as his father. He is being greedy, being driven by his emotion - specifically his love for his sister. Realizing this mistake, Luke simply surrenders. He gives up. He declares he is a Jedi and will no longer fight them - ie he will no longer seek to protect his sister or himself. He is willing to sacrifice them both, in order to not embrace the Dark Side of the Force. He is willing to sacrifice not for any particular reason - but simply to sacrifice FOR the SAKE of scrifice.

With this act, the Jedi had indeed returned.

Luckily (or unluckily, depending upon how you look at it) for Luke, his father still hasn't learned his lesson. Anakin is still is on the Dark Side. Anakin realizes he loves his son too much to let the Emperor kill Luke. In his greed to have his son live, instead of simply 'accepting' that things die (as Luke has just done in regards to Leia and to himself) Vader KILLS the Emperor - exactly as Mace was going to do originally, those many decades ago.

So in the end, Vader simply REAFFIRMED his commitment to the Dark Side. And the fact that he appears in the end with Yoda and Obi-wan as 'one' with the force simply shows that they are ALL now 'one' with the Dark Side, and that, not only can the Dark Side supposedly prolong life, it can also lead to spiritual immortality. And a pretty happy one, judging by their smiles.

--

Now Lucas originally said that that there would be a third trilogy to the series - one which showed the rebuilding of the Republic. But somewhere along the line he must have realized that the Jedi couldn't do that. Since the Jedi have to refrain from loving anything - including freedom and a Republic; if they have to be willing to sacrifice it, and anything else, in order to remain on the path of the Jedi - then Luke, as a Jedi would not be able to reform the Empire into the New Republic. He would have to sacrifice it to the first person who came along and tried to prevent or destroy it. Not only that, but he would have to sacrifice his friends and those who sought to rebuild the Republic to any new Emperor-wannabe. If Luke tried to do anything to save them or protect them, that greed would put him off the path of the Jedi completely, just like Mace Windu - and his father.

This means, after the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke had to not care about them. He had to have no feelings one way or another about his sister, or Han, or the rebellion. Or about anything. And if one doesn't care one way or the other about anything - even one's own life - one has no motivation to act, nor a guide as to how one should act. One simply has to let things occur without interference (which is what Yoda tells us is the Jedi way). One has to NOT act. And if one does not act, one cannot live. So in the end, Luke - having truly embraced the Jedi way - will stagnate and die.

Of course that is not a way to create a republic. So, in the end, there wouldn't have been a New Republic - not unless the Jedi Order died with Luke (either way, making the Jedi Order useless to achieve any goal of man). Which is why Lucas gave up on having the last three episodes. And I am sure he had hoped no one would figure out that reason. I am sure he hoped no one would figure out that, past the light show - past the smoke and mirrors - what he offers man as his only alternatives are: stagnation and death on the one hand as 'good' - or subjective selfishness and life in the hereafter on the other hand, as 'bad'.

But now you know the truth.

:D

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One thing that I realize about the Star Wars series, in how it can cause such mixed reactions among Objectivists, is that it's probably a mistake to try to make too much sense out the weird mix of Eastern philosophy that Lucas injected into the plot. To the extent that the movies superficially represent a clear clash between good and evil, with thrilling fights, colorful characters, and spectacular special effects, they're good movies. In the first movie, you don't need to be a philosopher to understand that it's a Good Thing that somebody is fighting against a group that is so evil that it builds "Death Stars" designed to murder entire planets on a whim; you have a pretty clear idea that Darth Vader is a Bad Guy and the ones fighting him are the Good Guys.

To the extent that it muddies its own waters by trying to take this contradictory Jedi (Eastern mystical) philosophy too seriously, and gives some really, really lame "reasons" as to why Darth Vader ends up evil, and generally advancing the dreary pacifistic notion that to angrily take vengeance against the Bad Guys makes you a Bad Guy yourself, it ends up undercutting the positive aspects of the movies.

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I agree on both counts.

The problem with the Star Wars universe is that Lucas created a realm in which you WANT to be able to play. You want to be able to fight with light sabers and pilot starships and weild blasters, and own droids etc. There is so much creative 'gee-wiz' stuff going on it is hard not to like it, at least on a viceral level.

But then Lucas adds the Jedi philosophy on top, emphasising it more and more with each passing movie. This explicit philosophy makes it hard to stay just on the superficial level. It's as if the Church made a film about a mythical future in which it takes on communism - winner take all. With that explicit alternative - mysticism ruling the universe or subjectivism ruling the universe - your enthuseasm balloon deflates a bit, and it becomes pretty hard to ignore the movie's context. :D

To gain and maintain any enjoyment from these films, one must ignore the explicit philosophy and simply take it very superficially(as you indicated). One must take it out of the intellectual context Lucas made more and more essential to the stories. That is one of the reasons I think the first couple films did so well - and why the second trilogy suffered so much. There was less of the obvious Good Guys vs obvious Bad Guys swashbuckling after the first couple, and much more turgid pontificating (especially in Ep. 1 and 2 - and the beginning of 3).

With my email/post I was just having fun at the expense of the internal, intellectual 'consistency' (or lack thereof) of the movie. Thus my :D at the end.

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Hey! Doesn't the spell check work on "fast reply"? I wasn't thinking when I posted the above. I knew there were some mispellings. But spell check didn't bring anything up, so I absent-mindedly just posted it. It wasn't until I started re-reading it that I said "Wait a minute. That's right. I misspelled that!"

Is this a problem with "fast reply", or is it just a quirk on my end?

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

I would disagree that the films are only enjoyable superficially. Some dialogue could have used better words, but the meaning behind it was anything but superficial, nor bad or disagreeable either.

For example, the lessons to "look at your feelings" are an unfortunate choice of words but they suggest introspection and knowledge of one's subconscious. How do I know? Because the Jedi, those who supposedly are masters of looking at their feelings, are not shown as emotionalistic whim-driving bumbling idiots, but calm, peaceful and serene people. If that is the proper end result of such advice, then I know that the initial obvious meaning of a phrase like the one above must be incorrect.

Same goes for phrases like "Only Sith deal in absolutes" -- clearly the Jedi do deal in absolutes, they call the Sith objectively evil and themselves objectively good; it is the Sith who avoid absolutes by saying that good is a point of view. So I might not like a phase such as that, but I know not to take it too closely, and to try and limit its meaning to the immediate context of the situation (Anakin trying to get Obi-Wan to either admit that he's completely on Anakin's side, or completely against him and his enemy).

I understand that there are those who cannot, or are not willing to, look beyond the words and find the deeper meaning than meets the eye, and perhaps even a bit of profundity. But I submit that those who can, or are willing to, will see a lot more to these movies than meets the eye, and will enjoy it on a far more fundamental level.

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Is this a problem with "fast reply", or is it just a quirk on my end?

Hmm. I never use the "fast reply" and had not checked its operation with the spell checker. It does not appear to be working for me either. I'll have to look into this. Thanks for mentioning it.

p.s. Why use the "fast reply?" Of what benefit is it?

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Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post. 

I would disagree that the films are only enjoyable superficially. Some dialogue could have used better words, but the meaning behind it was anything but superficial, nor bad or disagreeable either.

I have to disagree.

For example, the lessons to "look at your feelings" are an unfortunate choice of words but they suggest introspection and knowledge of one's subconscious.

To come to this conclusion I would suggest that you have to take these statements out of their actual context.

How do I know? Because the Jedi, those who supposedly are masters of looking at their feelings, are not shown as emotionalistic whim-driving bumbling idiots, but calm, peaceful and serene people.

The same can be said of Ellsworth Toohey.

If that is the proper end result of such advice, then I know that the initial obvious meaning of a phrase like the one above must be incorrect.

No. What I would say is incorrect is the assumption that using feelings as the basis of one's judgments (in place of reason) can ONLY lead to one being a wild-eyed "bumbling idiot." There are plenty of examples, in both Literature and History, of men who accepted the subjectivist Primacy of Consciousness philosophy (ie were whim-worshipers), yet were "calm, peaceful and serene people."

Thus I would suggest the reason some of those individuals who do not enjoy movies like Star Wars on a level beyond the basics is NOT because they refuse to, or are incapable of, looking deeply at a piece of art (nice psychologizing there). I would suggest that such individuals simply do not project alternate ideas onto a given text, out of context of the ones ACTUALLY being presented.

To this whole post, I will simply reiterate Oliver's point that it is "probably a mistake to try to make too much sense out the weird mix of Eastern philosophy" in the series. And,I will reiterate my own point, that it is just harder to ignore that blatant and necessarily inconsistent mysticism in the later films.

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Why use the "fast reply?" Of what benefit is it?

There is no need to delete out or edit any of the content of a previous post because it doesn't automatically include a quote of that post. It also keeps you on the same page, with the full content of that page, instead of just the last set of posts (last 10 only, if I recall correctly).

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Why use the "fast reply?" Of what benefit is it?

There is no need to delete out or edit any of the content of a previous post because it doesn't automatically include a quote of that post.

"NEW POST" gives you a blank slate to work on too.

It also keeps you on the same page, with the full content of that page, instead of just the last set of posts (last 10 only, if I recall correctly).

Oh, I see that now. That is a nice feature to have the full-page content.

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...

I understand that there are those who cannot, or are not willing to, look beyond the words and find the deeper meaning than meets the eye, and perhaps even a bit of profundity. But I submit that those who can, or are willing to, will see a lot more to these movies than meets the eye, and will enjoy it on a far more fundamental level.

How do you then take into account Lucas's explicit philosophy for Star Wars? The "moral" which he wanted to convey? Having listened to some of his commentary on the Star Wars DVD set, I see a major, contradiction between what he says this character, this object, this aspect, etc. symbolizes, vs how it is actually interpreted.

For instance, Lucas constantly talks of how there is no good and evil, no black and white; he allegedly demonstrates this by dressing up his villains in black and white and that only they talk about right/wrong, good/evil; and yet here he is talking about "good guys" and "bad guys" and at the same denying the existence of "good" and "evil"! He talks about how this is not a black/white world, yet he delineates his characters in such a way that there is no ambiguity as to who are the heroes and who are the villains. These are just a few examples of the indisputable clash between what Star Wars is supposed to mean vs. what most people take it to mean irrespective of George Lucas's explication.

Is he saying these things in his commentary just to appease the intellectuals who spew the same things he says Star Wars supposedly demonstrates? Or is he such an incompetent artist that in his artwork he conveys the exact the OPPOSITE of what he intends to portray?

Imagine Ayn Rand saying that Atlas Shrugged's theme (with the novel itself exactly the same) is that man is despicable, helpless and evil creature living in a chaotic, incomprehensible universe inimical to his interests, that he can only "live" by "exploiting" other men. Should we then ignore what she says she wanted to portray and make our own "deep, meaningful" interpretation of the novel?

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How do you then take into account Lucas's explicit philosophy for Star Wars?

As fans of Ayn Rand, we have been spoiled. Ayn Rand's fiction and non-fiction are consistent with each other, as should be obvious with a completely integrated philosophy. Not so with the typical storyteller. That being the case, I think it is a good principle to pay attention to that contained in the story, rather than the author's commentary on it afterwards. And, within the story pay less attention to pronouncements from the characters, and more attention to what is dramatized in action. This latter is, to me, at least, the best value and joy of the Star Wars films.

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I should preface my remarks by saying that I saw the original Star Wars at the first showing of the first day it came out, and sat through it twice with eyes glued to the screen.

You can shout “Bah, humbug” all you like, but the current movie is quite another matter. Although I found it visually stimulating to say the least, and although I wasn’t bored during its nearly two-and-a-half hour length, the Jedi mysticism and utter silliness was worse than ever, as, e.g., illustrated by Yoda’s pseudo-profound anti-egoist blatherings. (He’s the Bruce Lee of the SW universe: supremely great fighter, embarrassingly bad philosopher) .

The mysticism of the Jedi is most clearly seen in their attitude towards knowledge of the Dark Side, viz., that it is forbidden knowledge. By contrast, the Sith Lord Palpatine appeals to Anakin by promising him knowledge of the Dark Side, knowledge that brings power. Now one might say that in the SW reality the Dark Side is by its nature corrupting, and--rationally, one might say--it is best left alone. But that presentation of the Dark Side is an artistic choice made by Lucas and Co., and it is a bad choice--a projection in that respect of a malevolent universe, completely at odds with the rest of the SW reality. In reality (and properly in fiction) knowledge is good, and the pervasive idea of the "forbidden fruit" of knowledge is one of the most corrupt features of religions and other mysticisms. In this connection, it is worth quoting my favorite line in literature: "There are no evil thoughts except one: the refusal to think. " (Atlas Shrugged)

The lack of any truly heroic figure, like Han Solo in the original Star Wars, served to blur further the distinction between the Good and the Bad in this movie (though the rubber-masked Palpatine--played with relish by Ian McDiarmid--was unquestionably the Ugly).

All in all, I had a difficult time deciding who to root against in this movie: the Nietszchean Sith, or the mystic-altruist Jedi who kept consulting their navels and their feelings for every decision that should actually have been made--Heaven forfend!--by thinking.

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Thus I would suggest the reason some of those individuals who do not enjoy movies like Star Wars on a level beyond the basics is NOT because they refuse to, or are incapable of, looking deeply at a piece of art (nice psychologizing there).
Not psychologizing, for I've never said that people are "incapable" of looking deeply into the subject matter at hand. What I said was that some people may be unwilling, i.e. they cannot be bothered to spend so much effort and salvage something of value from what initially appears to have nothing good. Some people just want to enjoy a piece of art, or a film, and not have to be concerned or on guard -- and that's fine of course. The argument I made in my post is that, for those who are willing to give it a try, a six-ilogy like Star Wars (and not just the last 3 films) can offer a very valuable level of fundamental enjoyment and even moral lessons.
I would suggest that such individuals simply do not project alternate ideas onto a given text, out of context of the ones ACTUALLY being presented.
To that I'd respond by pointing to what Stephen has already said: what you said is true, but it depends on what you mean by context; you appear to be saying that the most important context is what characters say, while I'd say that the most important context is what characters do.

Tom,

How do you then take into account Lucas's explicit philosophy for Star Wars? The "moral" which he wanted to convey? Having listened to some of his commentary on the Star Wars DVD set, I see a major, contradiction between what he says this character, this object, this aspect, etc. symbolizes, vs how it is actually interpreted.
First, I did watch the Trilogy DVD recently, but I don't remember any of such explicit statements that are seriously disjoint from the actions of the characters, so perhaps you could provide a more concrete quote for me to respond to.

But in general, what you should watch on the Special Features DVD (the 4th one), is a short feature documentary, maybe an hour or two, about the history of Star Wars and its influence. You have to remember that George Lucas is part of the 60s hippies generation, so you can pretty generally assume that he will have some issues with explicit philosophy. You will also see how it was his generation of filmmakers that produced the "indie" film industry, i.e. all the weirdos out there making films that make no sense, just to exploit some trivial filmmaking gimmick. It was in the 60s that the old Hollywood industry died (and old giants like Cary Grant wisely retired before being taken over by it); for the entire "Vietnam decade" American theaters were filled with depressing, malevolent movies. The documentary even tries to include Lucas in this generation of hippie filmmakers who destroyed the old Hollywood establishment and its old and silly notions of happiness and heroism. But as you can see in the Episodes 4-6, he was far from belonging to that crowd, and was in fact the antithesis to that crowd, which is why when his gloriously happy movies finally came out in the end of the 70s, they nearly collapsed all movie theaters with their popularity and never-ending attendance of hundreds of thousands of fans. So in a way, you can attribute to Lucas the rebirth of the American movie industry, because he brought back the sense of heroism, the sense of benevolence, the importance of morality, and generally every important feature, back into the movie theater, and made it popular again. So he was a part of the hippie generation, and some try even now to recruit him among their ranks, but the facts show that he was their undoing. And that's why, while he may say whatever he wants with his confused philosophy, his heart, as seen on the movie screen, does not lie (the Jedi pun intended).

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For instance, Lucas constantly talks of how there is no good and evil, no black and white; he allegedly demonstrates this by dressing up his villains in black and white and that only they talk about right/wrong, good/evil;  and yet here he is talking about "good guys" and "bad guys" and at the same denying the existence of "good" and "evil"! 

The Star Wars universe is the product of George Lucas's personal, idiosyncratic sense of life and his crazy, mixed-up, and often self-contradictory conglomeration of values.

Lucas describes himself as a "Buddhist Methodist" (click here) and the "Jedi philosophy" is pretty much what I would expect to flow from Lucas's creative subconscious.

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...I've never said that people are "incapable" of looking deeply into the subject matter at hand. What I said was that some people may be unwilling...

I'm afraid this statement does not accurately summarize the statement to which I was responding. You specifically said:

I understand that there are those who cannot, or are not willing to, look beyond the words and find the deeper meaning than meets the eye, and perhaps even a bit of profundity.

In other words, not only did you indicate that some are unwilling, but you specifically differentiated an unwillingness to look beyond words FROM an inability to look beyond words. Put simply, you explicitly claimed that there are BOTH those who cannot look deeply into the subject matter at hand AND those who will not look deeply into the subject matter at hand.

Now, if you are seeking to correct that original assertion, that is fine. However, even the new statement is still psychologizing. You are asserting that the reason people come to a different conclusion than you is that they can't be bothered to 'look deeply' as you apparently have done. You indicate that their reasoning and approach is somehow deficient, but you do so without actually addressing ANY of the ACTUAL reasons they provide for their positions.

As I said, psychologizing (and being one who came to a different conclusion than you, offensive)

...you appear to be saying that the most important context is what characters say, while I'd say that the most important context is what characters do.

That is not at all what I have said. I would suggest that Stephen's position is essentially my own. If you look again, you will see that I indicated that, for a rational individual to enjoy these movies, he must divorce the swashbuckling, heroic action from the explicit mystic philosophy. And I indicated that this was much easier to do in the earlier films of the series because that philosophy was not so pervasive.

In other words, I said one must drop the explicit context and thus, if one can, enjoy the action OUT of context.

Now, where I disagreed with you was over the assertion that the "meaning behind" the explicit philosophy of the film "was anything but superficial, nor bad or disagreeable" - along with, as indicated previously, the claim that those who disagree with your assertion simply cannot or will not find the deeper meaning and profundity of the films ideas. Then, as now, I believed that both those assertions were in error. And I provided reasons which supported that belief.

--

As to your comments concerning Lucas, I will generally agree. He did save the film industry from the general dreck of the late sixties and the seventies. He is brilliant in MANY respects. But that brilliance does not carry over to his explicit philosophy. In a word, it sucks. Thus, like his films, his actions and his philosophy contradict each other. And it shows in what he produces (as this part of the thread attests). Fortunately though, he DOES act in contradiction to his explicit philosophy. And thus the industry, and moviegoers, are immensely the better for it.

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ANOTHER NAY-SAYER

I was a fan of the first "Star Wars" movie, because of its idealism. My favorite moment was the final scene, in the throne room, as uplifting music swelled through the theater.

In "The Empire Strikes Back," I was revolted by Yoda at my first glimpse of him; and not a word of his lousy eastern philosophy ever raised him an iota in my estimation.

But in "Return of the Jedi," when Darth Vader was "redeemed" (i.e. killing billions of people doesn't make anybody bad), I lost all my remaining enthusiasm.

I went to see "The Phantom Menace" only because of Padme: I was hungry to see a strong heroine. I liked her. But when I heard the Jedi spout that something in your blood speaks to you and gives you knowledge--that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Am I the only one who sees the connection? Lucas is preaching exactly the same epistemology that Hitler did!

I know you can't expect good philosophy in popular entertainment. But that goes way, way too far. Nothing can ever excuse that, in my mind. I firmly resolved that Lucas would never get another penny of mine.

I'll watch the remaining movies on TV, thanks.

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How do you then take into account Lucas's explicit philosophy for Star Wars? The "moral" which he wanted to convey? Having listened to some of his commentary on the Star Wars DVD set, I see a major, contradiction between what he says this character, this object, this aspect, etc. symbolizes, vs how it is actually interpreted.
First, I did watch the Trilogy DVD recently, but I don't remember any of such explicit statements that are seriously disjoint from the actions of the characters, so perhaps you could provide a more concrete quote for me to respond to.

...

I can't give you the exact quote, but (assuming you own the DVD--I just rented it), go to episode 6 and watch the beginning of the chapter wherein Darth Vader takes Luke to the Emperor--in the room where they both try to convert him to the Dark Side. Lucas states that his villains are dressed in pure black or white to show the falsity and evil of thinking in black/white and good/evil--he states explicity that they "do not exist"--whereas his "good guys" are dressed in browns and greens, to emphasize the "organic" nature of reality.

Could anyone make a more blatant contradiction and not see it? Lucas presents a story of bad guys vs. good guys, and then turns around and states (in that commentary portion I mention) that the bad guys are dressed in pure black and white and talk in terms of good/evil, wright/wrong to show how wrong it is to think in terms of "good" and "evil." :D

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Could anyone make a more blatant contradiction and not see it? Lucas presents a story of bad guys vs. good guys, and then turns around and states (in that commentary portion I mention) that the bad guys are dressed in pure black and white and talk in terms of good/evil, wright/wrong to show how wrong it is to think in terms of "good" and "evil."  :D

Sounds like David Kelley, getting all judgmental about people who pronounce moral judgment!

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Imagine Ayn Rand saying that Atlas Shrugged's theme (with the novel itself exactly the same) is that man is despicable, helpless and evil creature living in a chaotic, incomprehensible universe inimical to his interests, that he can only "live" by "exploiting" other men.  Should we then ignore what she says she wanted to portray and make our own "deep, meaningful" interpretation of the novel?

Of course we should. For, in your example, her subconscious obviously won out over her explicit intent.

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In "The Empire Strikes Back," I was revolted by Yoda at my first glimpse of him; and not a word of his lousy eastern philosophy ever raised him an iota in my estimation.

"When nine-hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not."

Yoda Return of the Jedi

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I can't give you the exact quote, but (assuming you own the DVD--I just rented it), go to episode 6 and watch the beginning of the chapter wherein Darth Vader takes Luke to the Emperor--in  the room where they both try to convert him to the Dark Side.  Lucas states that his villains are dressed in pure black or white to show the falsity and evil of thinking in black/white and good/evil--he states explicity that they "do not exist"--whereas his "good guys" are dressed in browns and greens, to emphasize the "organic" nature of reality. 

...

Am I colorblind, or was Luke wearing black in that scene?

There are spoilers in this post

I dunno, I liked ROTS, but I found it kind of... disturbing. Anakin did have some good reasons for mistrusting the Jedi. The whole thing was so muddled, which is how Lucas wanted it I guess. The Senate was falling to corruption and under the control of the Sith. The Separatists might have been the good guys, except for the fact that Dooku was a Sith too. I honestly can't say who I would believe in that situation. I understand why Anakin would trust Palpatine and try to save Padme, but then he completely loses control to Palpatine and murders everyone in the Temple on his orders. The enormity of that betrayal... *sigh* In the end, I can't forgive Anakin, he's evil. His *redemption* In ROTJ is bitter. Too little, and too late. I guess the movie disturbs me because I don't like seeing such happy people as Anakin and Padme were, end up so utterly ruined.

With that said, you'd wonder why I like the movie at all. I like it because I love a good story. Even with it's bad philosohpy, the story of Anakin Skywalker is still an interesting one. To me, at least.

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True, I wasn't quite sure how to put that into words. The betrayals, the motivations of the characters, the friendship, the danger, the epic tone to it all. It's just so... grand. (that is a good word for it, you're right) Just to see Anakin's choices and the enormity of the consequences... Star Wars just has that quality that makes me want to be there, to make my choice in his position, to battle with a lightsaber, to fly a starship. It's the same thing in LOTR, Harry Potter, any fiction book I've ever liked. That simple child's desire to be part of the story. Han would call it "delusions of grandeur." :D

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