Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Only what you take with you.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child.

When I became a man, I gave up my childish ways.

There's a great anecdote, about how Alec Guinness met a young boy that claimed he had seen Star Wars over a hundred times. Guinness, a smart man, realizing that Star Wars was just a fairytale, or more cruelly a tale of "secondhand, childish banalities", tried to make the child promise him to never again watch Star Wars.

Not that Guinness was wholesale against Star Wars though, i mean yes, he wrote how it made it feel old and out of touch, and lamented on how terrible the dialogue was (and it is, even noted carpenter Tennyson Harrison Ford famously complained about the dialogue) Guinness did have this to say:
"When the film was first shown, it had a freshness, also a sense of moral good and fun."

Throughout the course of Star Wars, Luke Skywalker learns about the Force, which in the end turns out to be self esteem.
Luke Skywalker doesn't save the day because of some forgotten religion, he does it because he trusts in himself.
Let Go Luke.

Let's now check the perspective of the machine man himself, Darth Vader.

The "dark side" in use by the Empire, is shown to trust entirely in the unnatural instead of the power of self. Even realizing that the Force was strong with Luke, Darth relies on a computer instead of his own feelings. He loses that day.

However, the Force is more than just belief in yourself, it's also belief in others. Luke is only able to save the day because he believed in Han Solo.

One in a million.
Han is able to go from a slimy drug trafficker, to a hero with a heart of gold, all because he believes in a dumb farm boy. More than that, he learned to love him.

And that i feel, is the ultimate truth of Star Wars, The Force is love.

To me the most Star Wars thing, has always been the Ewok, a small, loving, community that is able to team up with some friends and crush the heartless machines of the Empire.

The same is true of the droids. There is no denying that the droids in Star Wars are living, feeling, and subjugated beings.

So while they may be built from technology, they are not the unnatural element i mention of the Empire, they are not without a metaphysical heart.
The Empire, and especially Vader, are more of an analogue to the Tin Woodsman.

Once a man, cut limb by limb, until he felt he became a heartless monster.

The imagery we see here is a cold technological planet, using a weapon not unlike a lightsaber, to take the place of a living breathing one, much like Vader takes the place of a once living and breathing man. His iconic iron lung is the indication that he's not supposed to be alive. This is not a creed against technology or medical science, it's ideology,  "If you replace the working parts, you get a different machine."

And in defense of the droids, it could be argued that R2-D2 is the most powerful force user.
Communication is key.
But i digress.

At the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke throws his lightsaber away, he sees now it is only a tool of violence, and he has realized the real power is love. Much like the Tin Man needed a trinket to remind himself of his heart, Vader needed Luke to remind him of his own.

The title, Return of the Jedi, is more of a reference to Anakin than it is to Luke. Sure, Luke calls himself a Jedi, like his father before him, however, he's nothing like the bourgeois and pompous jerks in the prequels. Anakin was foretold to bring balance to the Force, and i believe that he does this by destroying both the last Jedi and Sith in the universe.

In the final scene of the film, we have Luke looking at the Jedi of the past, and then turning his back on them and joining his friends.

The lesson here, the moral of Star Wars, is while laser swords and mysterious monks are neat when you're young, when you grow up, you learn what's really important.

And that, is the most powerful force in the universe.

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