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Old 05-16-2005, 08:41 PM   #16
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does history not repeat itself?

does the fall of the Roman empire not hold lessons for the USA of today?

i also think you're wrong about the Ewoks. they're totally the Viet Cong. and like i said -- these things are devices. you can't say "no, they're not the VC because the VC lost." look at the tactics used by the Ewoks agains the Empire, and you'll see the similarities in a broad sense -- and you yourself got to the point that Lucas was probably making: advanced technology does not make you invincible.

could this apply to the US army, so amazingly advanced, yet so vulnerable to cheap roadside bombs and boxcutters?
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:48 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Irvine511
Lucas is doing what he should: getting people talking.

this doesn't mean he is being disingenous. the two are not mutually exclusive. i feel it's a fairly safe bet to say that a San Francisco-based filmmaker who came of age in the 1960s doesn't like Bush very much.
Its safe to say that the hero's of the Star Wars movies have very little in common with 60s San Francisco pacifist/drug/free love culture. The Jedi Knights are from the middle ages. How Lucas feels about Bush is irrelevent to a film that was written 30 years ago based on idea's Lucas had been thinking about since he was a child.
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:53 PM   #18
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but things evolve, Lucas evolves, and the scripts weren't written 30 years ago, the scripts have been written recently and only completed in the past 5 years.

look at all the Asian mysticism in the films -- very contemporary.

you're right in that many elements of Star Wars are timeless, but so are many elements of modern politics, and dare we say it, human nature.

and Lucas is the maker of the film. how he feels about Bush is certainly relevant to him as a filmmaker -- and check out Coemgeon's article posted earlier.

films aren't one thing or another; they are many, many things mixed up in the mind of the director.
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
does history not repeat itself?

does the fall of the Roman empire not hold lessons for the USA of today?

i also think you're wrong about the Ewoks. they're totally the Viet Cong. and like i said -- these things are devices. you can't say "no, they're not the VC because the VC lost." look at the tactics used by the Ewoks agains the Empire, and you'll see the similarities in a broad sense -- and you yourself got to the point that Lucas was probably making: advanced technology does not make you invincible.

could this apply to the US army, so amazingly advanced, yet so vulnerable to cheap roadside bombs and boxcutters?
You can make the claim that anything that has ever happened in history holds lessons for anyone anywhere today. But that is not what Star Wars is about. Its about one mans fall from grace and his redemption. The political background in the story was inspired by what happened to Rome 2,000 years ago. Rome was similar to the "Old Republic" at one point and then it became an Empire with an Emperor.

Lucas did not write the movies about the VC, the US Army, or boxcutters. Lucas's statement on technology was on technology period, it was not directed at the US military or government or some time period in history.

The VC murdered hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians by the way, I don't recall the Ewok massacre of any innocent civilians in Star Wars, but oh well.
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:21 PM   #20
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Originally posted by Irvine511
but things evolve, Lucas evolves, and the scripts weren't written 30 years ago, the scripts have been written recently and only completed in the past 5 years.

look at all the Asian mysticism in the films -- very contemporary.

you're right in that many elements of Star Wars are timeless, but so are many elements of modern politics, and dare we say it, human nature.

and Lucas is the maker of the film. how he feels about Bush is certainly relevant to him as a filmmaker -- and check out Coemgeon's article posted earlier.

films aren't one thing or another; they are many, many things mixed up in the mind of the director.
The story was written 30 years ago! Pick up the the first book that came out in November 1976 where even in the small intro one can see the political events that take place over the course of the 3 movies that Lucas has currently been releasing! Lucas wrote the back story first, prior to the 3 original movies that came out in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Star Wars fans have known what happens in these 3 movies for nearly a quarter of a century including details of the epic battle between Anikan/Vader and Obi-Wan at the Lava pit or Lava area.

The scripts are simply edited versions of Lucas's story.

How Lucas feels about Bush today is irrelevent to a story that was already written over 30 years ago!
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Old 05-16-2005, 09:31 PM   #21
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I'm sure many South Vietnamese wished the VC were like Ewoks-then they would not have been tortured, raped, pillaged, or forced to flee to the US.
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:05 PM   #22
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I think the episode of "The Simpsons" with the "Bear Patrol" would have been a great parody of post-9/11 America, had it not aired several years before 9/11 in 1996.

Here's a link that has an in-depth summary of the episode.

http://www.snpp.com/episodes/3F20.html

Read towards the bottom with all the quotes. I'm chuckling over the fact that the episode starts with a bear ("terrorist attack"), then overblows into an expensive "Bear Patrol" (Department of Homeland Security), then heads to a new tax to pay for the "Bear Patrol," where, instead of blaming the excessive "Bear Patrol," they blame illegal immigrants and start a campaign to get rid of them.

Remind you of the present at all?

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Old 05-17-2005, 05:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


The story was written 30 years ago! Pick up the the first book that came out in November 1976 where even in the small intro one can see the political events that take place over the course of the 3 movies that Lucas has currently been releasing! Lucas wrote the back story first, prior to the 3 original movies that came out in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Star Wars fans have known what happens in these 3 movies for nearly a quarter of a century including details of the epic battle between Anikan/Vader and Obi-Wan at the Lava pit or Lava area.

The scripts are simply edited versions of Lucas's story.

How Lucas feels about Bush today is irrelevent to a story that was already written over 30 years ago!


yes, i knew the story in 1984 as a small child, but that doesn't mean that Lucas didn't purposely script the Anakin like that's getting so much press. it seems perfectly timed to echo contemporary politics, and Lucas is never going to come out and say, "well this is what i mean." films dont' work that way, directors don't work that way. many, many reviews have pointed out the anti-Bush/imperialism elements in this film. but it seems like you think films can only mean one thing, or do one thing, or that they're either about Rome or the USA and they can't possibly be about both.

scripts are simply edited versions of Lucas' story?

please, take a screenwriting class, or read some scripts.
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:35 AM   #24
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Originally posted by Ft. Worth Frog
I'm sure many South Vietnamese wished the VC were like Ewoks-then they would not have been tortured, raped, pillaged, or forced to flee to the US.


ugh.

nuance gets so lost on some people. the Ewoks are not a literal recreation of the viet cong, they are a cinematic version of an element of the VC -- which is sticks and stones bringing down the greatest power in the galaxy via guerilla warfare and being much more familiar with the terrain of battle.

and it's all about perspective, isn't it? perhaps if you were VC you woudl have looked at the cuddly Ewoks and said, "yes, that's just like us and it's those american soldiers that have raped our women, burned down our villages, bombed our countryside, napalmed our jungles, and we never wanted them here to begin with."
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Old 05-17-2005, 05:54 AM   #25
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By this train of thought the Ewoks could be any guerilla force from history, be it Spaniards during the Napoleonic Wars or the French Resistance during WWII or Francis Marion in the swamps of South Carolina during the Revolution-this means that we can apply many of our perceptions to the Ewoks.

Also, if I read your post correctly, you hint that the VC brought down the US. Militarily, the VC got their butts kicked. After the Tet offensive the NVA had to carry the lion's share of fighting because the VC had been weakened.
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Old 05-17-2005, 07:08 AM   #26
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So Lucas says that what he felt of Vietnam certainly had an influence on his original idea, and the overall storyline for the whole series. He also says that HE sees parallels between Vietnam and Iraq. So whats the argument? Whether the links he is making in his head are right or wrong, it's his film and that's what he suggests. You can't really argue with that.
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Old 05-17-2005, 09:50 AM   #27
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Originally posted by STING2


How Lucas feels about Bush today is irrelevent to a story that was already written over 30 years ago!
It's apparently not that irrelevant if Lucas himself is talking about it.

Star Wars was inspired from a lot of different things, and it seems that when he was writing it, in the early 70's, Vietnam might have crossed his mind. Why else would he be talking about it now, and comparing it to Iraq?
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Old 05-17-2005, 10:14 AM   #28
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Originally posted by Ft. Worth Frog
I'm sure many South Vietnamese wished the VC were like Ewoks-then they would not have been tortured, raped, pillaged, or forced to flee to the US.
Most South Vietnamese didn't support the U.S., because South Vietnam was a dictatorship. It's not as if the U.S. was trying to promote democracy in the region. In fact, the war started after they knew an election to unite Vietnam in the 1950s would yield a communist leadership. In other words, the U.S. was thwarting the will of the Vietnamese people in the name of "anti-communism."

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Old 05-17-2005, 12:22 PM   #29
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I thought it was more Putin, how he expanded his powers?
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Old 05-17-2005, 01:40 PM   #30
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Hm.

As a genuine Uber-fan (I saw the first film 8 times in the theater when I was 7 yrs old in 1977, Empire 12 times--boy did my stepdad hate me! and someone who has spent collecting and reading most of the novels (and I think that some of them ARE canon--but that's a debate for fans, Irivne, you'll know what I mean!--and ROTJ 10, let me comment here.

last night I did something I haven't done in quite a while: watched the prequels. And it is amazing how much the story of the Republic seems to be panning out to the events of the last 10 yrs or so.

Geroge Lucas did not write the origional trilogy novelizations, but he DID write the Prologue, which is basically the outline of the plot of the prequels. It says (and yes, I am literally quoting this out of my head): "aided and abetted by restless, corrupt officials, AND BY THE MASSIVE ORGANS OF COMMERCE, the ambitious Senator Palpatine caused himself to become Chancellor of the Republic. Once in office, he shut himself away from the populace... and the cries of the people for justice did not reach his ears."

(mini spoiler ahead)

I won't comment on the machanations of allegory (which I suspect Lucas dislikes as strongly as Tolkien, his inspiration, did; this is why he does not name names, although he is not averse, it seems, to discuss a society's state of being--I saw another article at about Cannes on Oscarwatch.com yesterday) but one thing that startles me more than any other was the apparent answer to a question that has been bothering me all these years:

Was Palpatine's destruction of the Jedi a act that he committed during his takeover of the galaxy, the miltary part of it, was it a byproduct of the aftermath of the Clone Wars, or was it a premeditated act that he did DURING his rise to power? How could the people of the Republic possibly approve, or how did they react? The answer posed in Sith shocks me: that after the events of the prequels, in which Palpatine apparently creates a set of artifical galactic disturbances (the Naboo Trade Federation dispute, the phony "seperatist movement" of Clones) he created a state where the security of the Republic was a t risk because the JEdi were spread out too thin around the galaxy and there were not enough of them to stop the escalating chain of violent events happening all over the galaxy.

Thus, Palpatine was able to proceed easily with the next-and most crucial--phase of his plan: (and as a Sith, he knew he's HAVE to do this before hand or his takeover scheme would be futile): mount an effective public relationd campaign that would result in the public's-and the Senate's enthusiastic endorsement of Paplatine's plan to remove the Jedi. That's right: he doesn't just do it; he goes ahead and makes sure the polls tell him it's the right time to do it. The public, then, is a full and willing particpant in the murder of their saviors. By the time of Sith, the Galactic public thinks of the Jedi as stupid, greedy for power, arrogant (an opinion that Yoda seems to share, curiously) and inept. They are a nuisance best neutered, for the public good, if not destroyed outright. What I can't wait for in the film (and I hope Lucas shows, if only by way of showing Bail Organa's reaction) is the Senate's reaction to the massacre in the Jedi Temple: did their words and actions justify and support ACTUAL murder as well as political "murder"? And was Palpatine justified in going that far when the galaxy was in a state of war, no matter how bad? Does the public know the full extent of what he planned to do to the discredited Jedi? Doubtfully. I hope Lucas tells us what Palpy told the public would happen to them.

Thoughts of the Patriot Act, and Gitmo, surface here....

These questions aren't just questions. This was brought home to me when after rewatching The Pantom Menace Qui-Gon tells Padme: "We are keeprs of the peace, not soldiers...we can only protect you. We can't fight a war for you." And Lucas also tells us that the Jedi were the gaurdians of peace AND JUSTICE in the Old Republic. ( I hope even you casual fans can recall where THAT quote comes from!)

Peace and justice. Does this start to ring a bell? When you think of the current campaign to discredit the UN as an insitution, and America's abandonment of multilatralism in favor of the solitary trappings of Empire, it;s hard not to see the Jedi in a new light. The Old Republic did not need an army becuase its prosperity guarunteed its peace. Or so each Chancellor was arrogrant enough to believe. So that when a threat arose, it was at a disadvantage.

Each country needs its army. But it also needs ties to other countries., And itmight be good to recall why the UN was established in the first place.

As for Justice, one needs only recall the threat against Justices and judges in recent months and the filibuster drama CURIOUSLY beginning this very week in Congress (just today the final talks broke down--what timing), and this acuirres a more urgent light.

In the Lord of Rings, characters such as Frodo, Sam and Aragron resperesented Archtypes as much as ourselves: Frodo as the Everyman who experiences all the changes of life (his very name comes from the old German Frode, "one who has experienced or seen much"); Sam, friendship; Aragorn, individual principles and human capabilty of nobilty. (One might also portray him as the romantic archtype in his devotion to Arwen, but that's another story...Ai! Viggo )

So Star Wars, too, the characters are Archtypes as much as ourselves:

Anakin: the Everyman, fallen and risen (virgin birth crap aside--I used to think before the prequles came out it would have been great if he was Palpy's bastard child or something, that as an up and coming politican on Naboo he had had an affiar with Shmi and fathered Anakin, and then packed them secretly off into slavery on Tatooine before the baby was born, to hide the potential skeleton in his closet as he climbed the ladder of power..and Shmi never tells her son this...GOD, what aplot line that would have been! Luke facing down his grandpa in ROTJ and he didn't know it! And expalining Luke's power!).

Padme: Freedom. Both of countries and the human spirit. She is symbol and metaphor for Freedom. Which explains everything she does in the prequels, and her quote about this in Sith. Which is why she has to die at the end of the film...why she does not for example survive and flee with Leia to Alderaan and die after a few years. In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien said in the Appendices that Arwen was the fairest creature in ME (indeed, she had athe blood of a demi-goddes in hee vains--she is living link between the human and divine, as Luthien's descendant)--she is the literal representation of Good. So that she cannot survive if Sauron won--as his pwer grows, hers indeed weakened.) Likewise, if Palpatine won, Freedom (or Liberty--DON'T think Lucas chose that old-fashioned Declaration 18th-century word by accident, or because it sounds good!) would be dead. Padme CANNOT survive at the end--Freedom is dead. But she carries Hope in her body, and the only trusim worth noting, it seems, for Lucas, is the eternal truth that Hope never really dies: it rests there in our children.

Which makes him perhaps the greatest optimist of our day, even as others despair.

The most interesting thing, though, in terms of today's current events, (and in light of watching the films again), is Lucas' visual represtation of the SPIRITUAL disentigration (and rebirth) or countires and societies. This is why Palpatine can't just be an ordinary corrupt, power-seeking politician from Naboo. He also has to be a Sith Lord who either penetrated Naboo's political system, or a ordonary man who decided for whatever reason to dabble in the Dark Arts and fell from grace. He has to be the visual representation of the inversion, or perversion, of a cherished SPIRITUAL belief or state of being. Corruption and disentigration of the Body (the Republic) is impossible without corruption of the Soul. Thus, he is the ultimate corruption of the Force. The Force is thrown "out of balance" when too much power is amassed in one individual. (Very Eastern way of thinking!)

I am sure that Lucas could not have POSSIBLY predicted the rise of "Christian" Bush and those I like to call the Taliban in our government and other more local places, and their profound effect on politics, busines, society and culture but he must be shaking his head in astonishment at how closely his metaphoric trusims are playing themselves out today, in starkly literal terms (the schisms in chruces due to the "designer" issues of gay marriage and abortion; the expelling of people from congregations who didn't vote for Bush; the attempt to enter list of congregations of major churches onto Republican databases, and have churces classified as tax-free contrubution zones etc) I imagine that out of all the things he wrote, he never saw THAT one coming. Not in America! Not to call Bush a Sith Lord (!) but there IS another quote from the film that so far nobody in the media except the NY TImes has picked up on: "Only a Sith thinks in absolutes."

What he might be implying about the consequences of America's artifical fracturing along so-called "spiritual" lines can only be conjectured. Remember Lincoln's quote: "If destruction be out lot, we must ourselves be iths author and finsisher. As a nation of free men, we willlive forever..or die by suicide." That never has seemed more true today.
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