Sunday, February 02, 2014

Star Wars is Evil....There I said it

I grew up in the generation that Star Wars was custom made for. At the age of eight I remember sitting with my jaw at ground level, mouth drooling, fixated on a universe that was simply unbelievable. If I had been moved to a utopia, this was it. That was then. My enthusiasm continued as I submerged myself in the somewhat duller Empire Strikes Back and the trilogy’s concluding episode Return of the Jedi. Years later when Lucas released these three with a few modifications I sat through them again with a healthy nostalgia. Jedi had taken over from a New Hope as my personal favourite and Empire seemed a slightly less disjoined than the time that I saw it as a kid. However the series had dropped remarkably in my overall esteem, the magic was tarnished and I couldn’t believe how insipid both the plot lines and acting were. Of course I was of an older age – one cannot dismiss that variable – but compared to the Science Fiction of the British Comic World – Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper – not to mention the alternative Blade Runner or Dystrophic films, Star Wars looked remarkably inferior - at least by a parsec or two. In fact it was downright awful. I watched the prequels (hoping for a broader salvation) but loathed all three. The second was particularly bad and I cursed the fact that I had been duped, even at a young age by Lucas’ space odyssey of junk. Alec Guinness, who played Obi-Wan, was dismissive of Star Wars in his personal writing and rightfully so. The series was a gigantic con job, that used the brilliance of special effects to hide its glaring flaws. Nothing of substance emerges from the Star Wars – it is a massive cliché but worse than that is morally questionable something the masses who bathe in its sub-culture almost never admit. In A New Hope, Darth Vader carries out an unspeakable genocide, the destruction of the planet Alderaan. I remember even as a kid being shocked by that. Lets put this in context for a second – History is replete with its evil despots – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot – all of them carried out massive genocides but none of them destroyed a planet and all of its inhabitants….not even close. Yet Vader does this in a matter of minutes… and we are exposed to it as a matter-of-fact. Of course its part of the story but get this …once Vader comes clean and has the dark side’s hold over him broken (in Jedi)..we are now supposed to cheer for this villain, sympathize with him as he takes his place alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda in the pantheon of Jedi. In fact Luke Skywalker ceremonially honours this genocidal lunatic in a funeral ceremony…Talk about turning your back on evil….What about all his victims? Was this monster not responsible for destruction in the billions (a likely estimate range for planetary populations)? But Lucas wants us to forget this because he (Vader) did the honourable ‘thing’ and saved his son. Frikkin Hell…story or no story!…fiction or not!…Does this not show how morally decrepit Lucas’ universe is? Now one could argue that I am wasting too much bytes on this line of thought (ink is so 20th century) …but unfortunately the Star Wars super meme has infected our collective conscious in a manner that is extremely pervasive… Kids know more about such asinine lines… as ‘I am your father Luke’ and ‘Use the force’ than the words of Churchill, Schweitzer or King. Adults dress up in Vader costumes…and when questioned about this will retort with a line such as Vader is the ‘ultimate bad ass’….which begs the next question where does that leave Genghis Khan who ‘only’ redrew the face of Eurasia?…A third-tier bad ass perhaps. Ideas drive action and Lucas has a twisted calculus that he has sold to the rest of us. Disney and Lego will of course further entrench this nonsense in the next generation’s mind set. It’s a further statement on the sad reality of a truism that we overlook as we amuse ourselves to oblivion. Now where did I put my son’s double headed light sabre that his grandparents got him.
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