Thursday, October 18, 2007

Welcome MSNBC.com Readers

Just when the healing begins, another wound rips wiiiiiiiiiide open.

cell block 1138 at: mbe@drinktothelasses.com

15 comments:

cj said...

Great article, MB!

Loved the line 'He Who Must Not Be Named, But Who Is Addressed By Words Which Rhyme With “Far-Far.” '

I think Lucas lost focus on the vision that he had of the Star Wars universe. He let too much of our culture slip into his writing (Anakin being stressed out, Han being all PC by not shooting first). If he continues that in the TV series, it will be as bad as the prequels.

Rachel said...

I think much the same way as you do on a whole range of topics, which is why I enjoy your blog so much. For example, I too wish that the atrocity that is The Hideous Computerized Minstrel Show Alien could be digitally erased from my memory.

But one thing I don't understand is how much you hate that Luke married a smuggler. After all . . . so did Leia.

MB said...

The issue isn't with Luke marrying a smuggler, it's him getting married at all.

Leia might be strong in the Force, but she not a Jedi. The point of Jedi not marrying was... well, we saw what happened in "Revenge of the Sith." The Jedi were supposed to be a monastic order of sorts, both male and female, as personal attachments were thought to affect clearheaded decision-making and lead to, for example, selling out to the dark side in order to keep a particular person around for one's own needs. There were at least a couple conversations about this even in the prequels and the reason why Jedi were taken to the temple to train as infants-- so that they wouldn't grow overly attached to a family unit. Therefore, by greenlighting Luke's marriage in the EU, Lucas ripped the basis out of the entire "knight errant" structure of the Jedi.

Plus, this now means that Luke is no longer available for me, and we cannot have that.

Rachel said...

Oh, ok; I see your point now.

I also agree that post-whiny phase Luke = HOTT.

SusannahS said...

Best. Line. Ever.

"Because when you’re dissatisfied with work ever since Master Yoda started getting all up in your grill to put covers on your TPS reports, the very first thing you do is sit around muttering “I’m not the Jedi I should be” ..."

Can't you just see Anakin hanging out at the cantina, hitting on the flare-happy waitress, muttering "I don't feel like using The Force today, Bill."? All the while, He Who...Far-Far is crawling around clutching a red Swingline stapler to his chest.

dan-the-soldier/brother-in-law said...

Well, as a former force-trained Emperor's Hand, who else is better suited as a mate for Luke? If it was going to be anyone, I'm glad it was Mara Jade.

John M said...

Here's hoping that cooler heads prevail and SWTV ends up like the new Battlestar Galactica; stories about X-wing pilots and gritty tales of the Rebellion.

That I could get behind.

But somehow, I can't get my hopes up.

Life's a Laugh said...

Quite honestly, I'm surprised they didn't attribute Anakin's flip to the dark side to PTSD or abandonment issues. I mean, there was the whole sand people issue. After you slaughter a whole mess of people, should you be crying to your girlfriend about it? Just wondering. Circa-1970 Vader wouldn't have batted an eye.

In the days of PC-everything, he'd probably be stretched out on a couch somewhere complaining to Dr. Phil about his inability to accept Obi-Wan as his mentor due to his lack of a father figure or having to hide his marriage to the queen because of social class issues. "Is she ashamed of me? Why won't she introduce me to her friends as her boyfriend?" I think it went from kick-butt Star Wars, to therapy-laden-how-are-you-feeling Star Wars.

And what was up with having the whiny Anakin in the end of the Special Edition Return of the Jedi? If they were going to change him out, they could have done the same for Ewan McGregor, no offense Sir Alec.

red pill junkie said...

Many fear that we can’t trust George Lucas with his own universe.

No he can't be trusted. Why? You answered it brilliantly. He made use of ancient archetypes that have surface in all the great myths and religions since the dawn of man, and used the twist of setting the story in a space age with laser blasters and corellian cruisers.
He tapped into our collective psyche with the drama of the never-ending struggle between light and dark that ringed so deeply into our young minds that we will never recover from it.

Yeah I'll watch his TV series, but I already know he will not achieve a tenth of the greatness he managed at the beginning of his career.

But I still have high hopes for the new Indie movie! There will be cristal skulls, ancient civilizations AND aliens from Area 51. Man he'd better not screw this one up!

Starnarcosis said...

Yea, verily, Lucas jumped the shark with the immaculate conception of Anakin.

LiteraryAlchemist said...

Yet another wonderful SW article, MB. I found and continued to visit your blog after your "Obi Wan" dissertation, several years ago. These endeavors are always brilliant and terrible fun to read.

However... I cannot disagree with you more about your comments regarding the Jedi family unit.

Lucas began stressing the importance of family to Jedi long before the release of ESB and ROTJ. The earliest versions of his "Starkiller" treatments revolved around fathers teaching their Force-adept sons at home. The stories then went on to illustrate how close bonds with distant family or friends were also critical to a Jedi's upbringing and character.

The celibate and monastic Jedi order and its ludicrous "temple" and "council" were an advent of Crapisodes 1 through 3. An afterthought tacked on to support Wahnakin's absurd "immaculate conception". A concept that unquestionably altered, for the worse, the entire storyline by threatening the integrity of so much dialogue in Episodes IV-VI.

It was this drastic 180 degree turn in his "story writing" that so dissatisfied me as a fan. While I cannot tolerate the slightest inkling of the "Hideous Computerized Minstrel Show" (apologies to Rachel), midichlorians, the "Darth" honorific (remember, Obi Wan refers to Darth Vader as if "Darth" is his first name, not a title), Luke's scream in Bespin, Greedo's lousy aim etc. None of those horrors so immensely ruined the story for me as the destruction of the Jedi family. Without the importance of that element in the storyline, the greatest twist ever revealed in film is now meaningless:

"No. I am your father."

There are only three Star Wars films. They were theatrically released in 1977, 1980 and 1983.
http://www.starwarz.com/starkiller/illustrated.htm

With that, I'll step off my SW SoapBox. :) Thanks for the great article, MB!

MB said...

The entire story was laid out long before the prequels were made. Lucas saw it as nine chapters, then hacked it down to what we saw in ANH. That is what made it so rich; there was a backstory, and a future, but we just didn't see it. The film therefore had the feel of a well-established universe.

I see what you're saying about the importance of family, but the precepts of the Jedi as a sort-of monastic order were actually in place long before the prequels, and are hinted at in the novelizations and in the EU books approved before even before the Thrawn trilogy. It always seemed to me that what made these movies work wasn't the soap opera aspect, but the old-fashioned battle of good vs. evil. Where there were family dynamics, they were more successfully drawn, I think, in father *figures*-- in Obi-Wan and Yoda. I agree that the twist of Vader as Luke's father added many layers of meaning and threw in an Oedipal aspect to the mythology ties, but I felt it was trumped by sacrificial decisions and finding good even in the depths of evil. Why didn't Obi-Wan mention a wife? Why was Yoda alone? Chewbacca left his family to fulfill his life debt to Han (who was totally without family) and Leia's parents is mentioned, but barely shown (outside of Luke, of course, but that zinger was left for the very end.) To me, the concept of "family" in the Star Wars universe is not so much about blood ties, but dedication and shared experience.

I always found it significant (and refreshing) that Lucas didn't fall down the cliche story hole and cram a girl into Luke's life. He let Leia and Han's romance carry that card.

So I agree with you that the Star Wars movies really are about families-- just not biological ones.

Sheridan1 said...

Good to see you on MSNBC...a day without...is like a day without sunshine!

Star Wars. Poor Poor maligned Lucas. He almost looses everything to bring a small story to the big screen and all he seems to get these days is lack of trust issues. Come on! His portfolio may not be filled with films that make you want to laugh, cry, scream and hope. He may only have a few compared to others, but those few are gold. Even Howard the Duck! Yip! Howard the Duck!

MB….don’t give up the Lucas’ ghost yet! I bet he is going to WOW us again!

C said...

My gosh what fun to read the comments here. I am not a SW fanatic like some here. But I am a passionate fan. It is great to hear the back and forth on this issue, to hear thoughts that I have had and to hear the counterpoints is very entertaining.

I stumbled on this article on MSCBC and had to find more about the author.

MB you are a talented and very funny writer. I will be coming back to this blog for more.

Thank you

MB said...

What a lovely comment, C! Thanks and welcome-- I hope you're here often in the Tasting Room :)

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