Why George Lucas Doesn’t Understand “Star Wars” and Why Consequentially, Episodes 1 through 3 (and somewhat 6) Suck

I spotted a interview with George Lucas via ShowMeSciFI:

But there’s no story past Episode VI, there’s just no story. It’s a certain story about Anakin Skywalker and once Anakin Skywalker dies, that’s kind of the end of the story. There is no story about Luke Skywalker, I mean apart from the books.

That’s the problem right there.

It’s a certain story about Anakin Skywalker…

To those of us who went to the original movies when they first came out, Star Wars was the story of Luke Skywalker and his companions – especially rogue Han Solo – as they rebelled against the evil empire which was personified by the great villain Darth Vader.

Darth Vader aka Anakin Skywalker is the bad guy. George Lucas thinks he is the star or hero. That is why the episodes 1 thru 3 suck pretty much.

Episode 6 sucks a little, partially by rehabilitating Darth Vader – and excusing all the evil he has done (also by introducing the marketing friendly cutesy Ewoks).

David Brin has also de-constructed the ideology and philosophical notions behind Star Wars quite ruthlessly here, here, here, here and here. These should be read by all.

Rant out!

Note to George Lucas: This is your villain character, not your hero character!

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22 Responses

  1. Hah! Couldn’t agree more. He lost me at Jar Jar Binx. I half expected Ronald McDonald and Grimace to make a cameo appearance after that.

    Many thanks for leading me to David Brin’s personal blog!

  2. I just realized…episode 6 – The Return of the Jedi – The Jedi is Anakin, not Luke. jeez.

  3. Your a fool! Star Wars Kicks ass. The first three movies were awesome. The story about the Knights of the Old Republic was possible the greatest part of the movies.

  4. “The story about the Knights of the Old Republic was possible the greatest part of the movies”.

    It could have been, but lazy writing, boring plots. bad dialog, the lack of chemistry between the queen and Darth Vader, filmed/framed for merchandise marketing, and the fact that Lucas thinks Darth Vader is the hero (not villain) doomed it.

    I fear for what the new Indy Jones movie will be like.

  5. I love David Brin’s Uplift novels. Very ethical, humanitarian, and with a code of responsibility.

    Things that Lucas seemed to have forgotten.

    Glad to have passed on the 7 minute BG plot wrap up. Very funny the speed phrases.

  6. If you want good Knights of the Old Republic stories, you need Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic RPG game.

  7. [...] Leftist director, puts in his movies. But I love reading about how other people deconstructs his messages even more! I also like David Brin’s novels, so that doesn’t hurt the message about [...]

  8. The funny thing is that Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber combines heroic demi-god storytelling with the kind of science fiction progressive utopia and egalitarianism that Brin takes to heart.

    http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/2007/12/01/interview-with-david-weber-on-off-armageddon-reef/

    I don’t like the Illiad cause the “heroes” are a bunch of Greek murderers, more or less. I don’t like Star Trek cause the heroes are a bunch of weaklings that won’t do what it takes cause some idiot Prime Directive bureaucratic red tape is around.

    Since David Weber combines the the best of heroic epics with the best of a classical liberal’s view of the world, it is a really entertaining book.

    Legends of the Galactic Heroes, that decades old sci fi anime series made in Japan, actually explained well the differences between autocracy and representative government.

    While representative government has problems and inefficiencies, with a benevolent autocracy being able to get things done, what tends to happen is that the son of the autocrat is never as sane nor efficient as his father. Democracy and republics assure that the people can have a stable and sane leadership with improvable institutions. Autocracy is more like a throw of the dice as to which you will be, free or a slave.

  9. ymarsakar,

    I liked the first series of Uplift novels very much. I never did get around to reading the others.

    I will check out Off Armageddon Reef.

    Of the Star Treks, my clear favorite was Deep Space Nine: Longer story lines and multi-episode story arcs, more characters, better developed relationships, more non-human PoV, no “prime directive” driven story lines, no silly stories around using a starship to transport medicine and the like, etc.

    I am not familiar with Legends of the Galactic Heroes. Here is the wikipedia entry:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_the_Galactic_Heroes

    Looking around…I am unable to find the novels or DVDs in english. :-(

    You have the key: Democracies/Republic have automatic built-in self correction mechanism. Dictatorships do not. You might get lucky with a good dictator (Rome had a few), but mostly the people get crapped on.

    Here is an earlier post of mine on democracies:

    https://purpleslog.wordpress.com/2006/09/05/democracy-elections-modern-democracies-are/

  10. Looking around…I am unable to find the novels or DVDs in english.

    http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/2008/02/17/legend-of-the-galactic-heroes/

    You can find a download link and instructions there. They never released it in Region 1 originally back then, meaning America or Britain. Or if they did, I couldn’t find it on netflix. I think Japan released a big box set of it recently, since there seems to be a Japanese promo youtube vid about it and DVD advertisements about it. But I can’t really say if they got the english subtitles or not.

    http://www.webscription.net/p-601-off-armageddon-reef.aspx

    You can buy it in ebook format, but I wouldn’t recommend it since Tor fracked up the price setting. Most ebooks from Baen are 5 dollars, not 18.

    But You can read the first few chapters off that link, which I recommend since Weber likes condensed and action packed intros for sci fi beginner novels.

  11. I didn’t pay much attention to Phantom Menace and the other pre quel movies. So I didn’t really get much material to analyze Star Wars “ethics”. I did know that the Jedis were a bunch of aristocratic idiots, of course. For example, taking children away from their families and indoctrinating them in some retarded ideology is pretty much what Palestinians have done.

    It doesn’t led to good stuff people. Anakin went berserk because why wouldn’t he? He had nobody around him as a father figure and since Jedis are taught not to form attachments, he didn’t, thus, attach any loyalty to his master or the jedis or whatever. Thus in a multicultural world, the only culture you care about in the end will be your own.

    In the Bioware game KOTOR, you get some good stuff from the Sith Side. It still doesn’t make sense, of course, but it makes more sense than the movies.

    ” Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall set me free.
    —The Sith Code [src] ”

    So technically the Sith are a bunch of neo-cons. You know, former Leftists and Democrats that left the Jedi Order for the Dark Side.

    The Sith, aside from the darwinian social culture of student slaying master, seem to hold to a code of philosophy very much what produced America’s victories.

    Peace may not be a lie but certainly it is an illusion given that it is never permanent.

    There is no emotion, there is peace.
    There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
    There is no passion, there is serenity.
    (There is no chaos, there is harmony.)(*)
    There is no death, there is the Force.
    —The Jedi Code (Based on the meditations of Odan-Urr)

    Very 1984ish in a way. And when there is no emotion, what happens then? Not peace, but the cold calculating logic of evil.

    If you don’t feel anything, if you aren’t attached to society, then you’re just a sociopathic psychopath really. With no inherent loyalties to blood, family, nation, or tribe.

    I wrote a couple of posts about Voyager on my blog. It was pretty funny, since remember how often Voyager and other Star Trek vessels would get boarded? How could they be that vulnerable when a real warship had halo graphic technology that could make light into matter? If the holodecks required “safety” protocols to make bullets and energy weapons harmless, then setting up holo emitters inside the ship should effectively be able to create indestructible defense turrets to slaughter enemies, wouldn’t it?

    But Stark Trek being pacifists, they don’t use that technology that way. Which is why I loved when Voyager became evil in that one episode. It was so funny when Voyager acquired those armored shock planes and started blowing up and killing people and planets.

    Yeah, let’s not weaponize holographic emitters, people. That would be dangerous. It’s far better to just let the red shirts and cannon fodder die off trying to defend the ship unsuccessfully. That’s ethical, right.

  12. And if you read the Jedi histories or the particular plot that KOTOR used, the best and brightest of the Jedi Order were the ones that became Sith Lords. Is that a coincidence, people?

    The Sith kept dying out as an order until the Jedi Order resurrected it with their members!

    Wipe out the Jedi Order and you also wipe out the Sith.

  13. Also, LOGH gave this explanation of why rule by the majority is just rule by the minority, an oligarchy really.

    Since it takes 51% of a population that is 100%, to decide what goes on, this is majority rules. However, 26% of that 51% gets decide what all the 51% thinks and does. And in that 26%, we have another 14% higher in the hierarchy deciding what that 26% will be doing. And eventually, going with human nature, you have 5, or 4, or 1% of the human population controlling 100% of mankind.

    That’s majority rules. That’s the philosophy behind Parliamentary systems that elect MPs based solely on population counts. That’s why the EU is becoming a tyranny, well at least one prime reason.

  14. ST: Voyager was a good concept poorly executed.

    The Jedi weren’t just aristocrats they were genetically different. They were Supermen.

    The EU is non-democratic by design. That’s a bad thing.

  15. Aristocrats prided themselves on their blood purity or age too. They rated it by “good family genes” as well. And since the Skywalkers seem to produce good force users, they can be seen as aristocrat, even though the Jedi Order was presented as full of people in different colors and shapes. Culturally and ideologically speaking, however, the Jedi Order was pretty homogenous.

  16. http://faustasblog.com/2008/05/empire-strikes-barack.html

    has a very funny Empire Strikes Back video of Obama you should see, purple.

  17. I did a spit take when Darth Hillary came on camera!

  18. [...] minutes later the call ended with me all wired up and saying George Lucas ruined Star [...]

  19. http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/02/10/george-lucas-confirms-it-the-star-wars-we-loved-never-existed/

    –>

    “Here’s the medicine we all need to swallow: as children we were more grown up than George Lucas is now as an adult. Han Solo’s entire character rested on what we saw in that early scene in the film. In shooting first Han Solo was a role model doing what any Real Man was supposed to do. Now we know that character only existed in our imaginations, not his creator’s. And that George Lucas regards most of his fans as amoral neanderthals.”

  20. Jedi as aristocracy: The old Republic Jedi discouraged its members from getting emotionally involved with anyone–they didn’t die out. Leia Skywalker married a smuggler who hangs out with Wookies–their children would be not only be Jedi, but would prove pivotal (for good and for ill) to the New Republic’s struggles. Genetics seem at best loosely involved.

    Darth Vader: Struck me as being more of a cautionary tale than anything–this is how a even a good person can turn bad.

    Star Trek’s Prime Directive: How many fights have we got into because our ancestors insisted on dragging an insular society kicking and screaming into our larger world?

    That said, even a good idea can be harmful if applied blindly and bureaucratically. That reality feeds not only several Star Trek episodes but some of the Star Wars movies–Odan Urr’s ideas were ossified into rules that forced Anakin’s love life underground, where the Sith were waiting to exploit it.

    Star Trek holoprojectors: I missed a lot of Voyager. I got the impression, though, that Starfleet was more worried about its own crews getting hurt by holodecks than about the enemy. This could have been an oversight, but it could also be a reflection of some technical limitation. You’ll recall the Doctor was limited in his abilities until they found that futuretech portable emitter, and it’s not hard to imagine that a weapons turret for shooting other starships would be a lot harder to create out of thin vacuum than a fussy man with a first-aid kit. Even giving the Doctor a phaser would require channeling enough energy through the emitter to power it and hurt the enemy.

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