05w21:2 Star Wars

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | episode 2005 week 21 number 2


Star Wars | Wikipedia
“Whereas Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, another science fiction franchise that has enjoyed long-lasting popularity in American popular culture, takes a rational and progressive approach to storytelling, Star Wars has a strong mythic quality. Unlike the heroes of earlier space-set sci-fi film and TV series such as ‘Star Trek’, the heroes of ‘Star Wars’ are not militaristic types but romantic individualists. College literature professors have remarked that the Star Wars saga, with its struggle between good and evil, democracy and empire, can be considered a national epic for the United States. The film has many visual and narrative similarities to John Ford’s ‘The Searchers’ that also provides a clue to the relationship between Leia and Luke. The strong human appeal of the Star Wars story probably accounts for its enduring popularity; it has also been postulated that this popularity is based on nostalgia. Many Star Wars fans first saw the films as children, and the revolutionary (for the time) special effects and simple, Manichean story made a profound impact. The Star Wars films show considerable similarity to Asian Wuxia ‘Kung Fu’ films, as well as Roman mythology. Lucas has stated that his intention was to create in Star Wars a modern mythology, based on the studies of his friend and mentor Joseph Campbell.”

Space Case: a review of Ep. III | Anthony Lane
“‘Revenge of the Sith’ is a zoo of rampant storyboards. Why show a pond when C.G.I. can deliver a lake that gleams to the far horizon? Why set a paltry house on fire when you can stage your final showdown on an entire planet that streams with ruddy, gulping lava? Whether the director is aware of John Martin, the Victorian painter who specialized in the cataclysmic, I cannot say, but he has certainly inherited that grand perversity, mobilized it in every frame of the film, and thus produced what I take to be unique: an art of flawless and irredeemable vulgarity. All movies bear a tint of it, in varying degrees, but it takes a vulgarian genius such as Lucas to create a landscape in which actions can carry vast importance but no discernible meaning, in which style is strangled at birth by design, and in which the intimate and the ironic, not the Sith, are the principal foes to be suppressed. It is a vision at once gargantuan and murderously limited, and the profits that await it are unfit for contemplation”

Is new ‘Star Wars’ an anti-Bush diatribe? | CBC
“At a press conference, Lucas said the film does mirror history, but he did not set out to comment on U.S. foreign policy under Bush. ‘As you go through history, I didn’t think it was going to get quite this close. So it’s just one of those recurring things,’ he said. ‘I hope this doesn’t come true in our country. Maybe the film will waken people to the situation,’ Lucas added jokingly. Lucas also said he penned the film long before the U.S. went to war against Iraq. ‘When I wrote it, Iraq didn’t exist,’ the filmmaker said with a laugh. ‘We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction. We didn’t think of him as an enemy at that time.’ He added that the ‘parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we’re doing in Iraq now are unbelievable.’ As research for writing the prequel trilogy, Lucas studied how democracies become dictatorships with the consent of the electorate. ‘You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody’s squabbling, there’s corruption.’ Although his films are not overtly political, Lucas has included some allusions to U.S. politics in previous episodes of Star Wars. In The Phantom Menace he named characters after politicians: Nute Gunray, for instance, was named for Newt Gingrich, the former Republican speaker of the House. “

Save the Republic! | Moveonpac.org
“This week, Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith opens in theaters nation-wide. And weirdly enough, the plot of what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest films in movie history revolves around a scheming senator who, seduced by visions of absolute power, transforms a democratic republic into an empire. The movie?s opening buzz and its parallel theme to our current judicial fight present a great opportunity to educate the public ? and have some fun. So we?ve put together a flyer that draws on themes from the Revenge of the Sith story to explain the very real threat to democracy posed by the nuclear option.”Note: with a video file

Darth Vader’s Family Values | John Tierney
“The new installment of ‘Star Wars’ has set off the usual dreary red-blue squabble, with liberals using the film to attack Republicans, and some conservatives calling for a boycott. But – and I know this is hard to believe for a movie with characters named General Grievous and Count Dooku – there’s actually a serious bipartisan lesson about the dark side of politics. […]He says he could never betray the Jedi because they’re his family, but then the chancellor puts the family question in perspective: ‘Learn to know the dark side of the Force, Anakin, and you will be able to save your wife from certain death.’ Anakin promptly recognizes the limits of altruism, just as Adam Smith did in the 18th century.”

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emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 24 May 2005 @ 12:00 PM

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