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In Moot Member Blogs Why I love Star Wars, but am not a fan Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #13 New December 16th, 2015 01:04 AM
I already wrote a similar entry either last year, or sometime in the previous two years. But I've got some new thoughts o the matter for anyone who's inclined to read them.

I loved the original film from way back in 1977, and think it's one of the great revolutionary films of all time that really helped revitalize and reinvent classic commercial film making, and just the whole cinematic experience as a whole.

And as much of a "fan" of the experience that I had become, I didn't feel myself too emotionally attached to Star Wars on a profoundly deep level in terms of the thematic message delivered to the audience.

What I felt was a love for the presentation. The score, the story, the acting, the sets, the special effects, and the setting. But I didn't buy into the whole spitirualism or spiritual aspect of "the force", nor did I really buy into the "rag tag group fighting a desperate battle against impossible odds" bit, even though I found it highly entertaining as a cinematic experience.

Star Wars really opened up a whole new world that was apart from other sci-fi offerings from Hollywood. It had a realism to it, and a masterful artistry in shot composition, and was well acted. It really was and still is a great artistic cinematic experience. I can't see how you could not like Star Wars.

But on that same note, I really can't see how anyone would take it as seriously as some of the die hard fans have to this very day. To me it's an adventure in space film about a group of people fighting was appears to be a very expansive and well organized political unit that has a lot of similarities with the Roman empire, or perhaps even to fascist Germany.

The message of stepping out into the big wide world, taking sage advice from wisened ones, and finding unlikely allies from all quarters, is not a bad message. Nor is fighting against what you think are inhuman or downright cruel organizations; i.e. "the Empire".

But that's pretty much all Star Wars is. It's larger story about a fractured "family" really doesn't ring true because they never were a family to begin with; i.e. Luke and Leia never sat down to dinner their parents, nor spent any kind of time with one another. One wonders how it is that Vader feels a sudden kinship to a young man that might as well have been someone else's son. I guess he really wanted one badly.

The concept of "rebel alliance" came into being in the mid 1800s when the South attempted to separate from the United States. They were not well equipped. They were sporadic "nations" that were held together by a couple of alleged "ideals", all of which really just point to slavery to help keep making money for the wealthy. And they were fighting against what turned out to be the number one industrial and military power on the face of the Earth. And they lost. Their cause was very unjust, but that's not why they lost. They lost because the North had more men, materials and industrial might to throw at the confederate states.

And that's important for this blog entry, because in Star Wars it's the scrappiness and heart of the rebels that carries the day in the final climactic battle. I think George Lucas stated that he modled some of the story of Star Wars after the Vietnam War; i.e. in his view it was the heartiness and resourcefulness of the Vietcong that thwarted the Imperial like industrial military complex of the United States.

Again, factually it doesn't ring true, as the rules of engagement allowed the North Vietnamese to rebuild and rearm after the US and South Vietnamese had pushed them back time and again. What the Johnson administration was trying to do was execute a "moral police action" by giving the Vietcong a bloody nose, and then, in theory, giving them time to think about their failure. When in reality a lack of prosection of the war by way of bombing and invading North Vietnam and engaging their forces in Laos, Burma and elsewhere, allowed the Vietcong a breather. In other words, the war was winnable, but the failure of it gave to authors, artists and even film makers, like George Lucas, the idea that the communist North Vietnamese forces could defeat the US, when in fact the US had defeated itself, so to speak.

But rebels defeating a huge military makes for great mythology, and that's what Star Wars is all about. Even though it takes its cues from the real world to present great cinema, like a lot of other artists and artistry, the facts regarding the basis get lost in the shuffle.

That really doesn't bother me, and the only reason I bring it up here in this blog is to explain why I loved the movie as a movie, and indulged in the film's fantasy as a fantasy, but never bought into the thematics nor take them to heart like a lot of hard core Star Wars fans.

History shows that it's the side that has both preparation, tactical savvy, and the right forces, that defeats a rival military. Belief in your cause gives you heart to carry on in the struggle, but it doesn't give you the tactical edge. And as a kid who read about the American Civil War, I knew this, and so when I saw Star Wars I tended to furl my brow some.

But, regardless, people love it. And what more can you ask? And the fans love for the film is mostly harmless, or so I think. I remember Mark Hamil talking about people camping out on his lawn in a news interview, presumably so said campers could shake the hand of "Luke Skywalker". To me that's nuts. I remember seeing Triumph the Insult Comic Dog doing his thing for Star Wars Episode 2, and in that skit we the audiene saw a "Jedi Wedding", and college age adults acting out (in costume) Star Wars Episosde 1 as it played in the background on TV. I guess that kind of thing is harmless enough, but one does wonder how much of that translates to their real world jobs and personal lives at home.

Now, having said all that, I do think Star Wars, like I stated earlier, is one of the great films of all times. But only as an adventure in space film that helped remind Hollywood the kind of films they could be making, and should have been making.

I don't buy into the spiritual theme, I don't buy into the historic basis of the military conflict shown in the film, but I do appreciate and love the scope of imagination and the overall spectacle that is Star Wars.

The Uhited States of America was founded on freedom and independence, to allow people to pursue happiness (own property) as they saw fit. It was not premised on saving people from extinction. Far from it, in the words of Jefferson, to die free men rather than to live as slaves. Or, more succinctly by Patrick Henry in his famous speech; "Give me liberty, or give me death." Star Wars really doesn't tout that as such, though one might gleam that after a lot of thought and logical twisting, but again, it's not what Star Wars is all about. In fact, the Vietcong were very much against that, QED.

Star Wars, like all movies, great entertainment, but it is after all, just a movie.

Just my take.
Views: 353 | Comments: 12


RSS Feed 12 Responses to "Why I love Star Wars, but am not a fan"
#12 September 25th, 2017 11:34 AM
Blue Ghost Says:
Magnus,, ultimately to me Star Wars is World War 2 in space. Hollywood loves to remind us about what a great patriotic defeating nazi Germany was, and I agree. And I think the founders of the nation would beam with pride at the accomplishment. But we get tons of WW2 films, and so few on the founders of this nation and other conflicts we've been in. I still like Star Wars, but I'm just not a fan because it does seem awfully contrived.
#11 January 22nd, 2017 05:32 PM
Blue Ghost Says:
Magnus and SanDragon; ultimately Star Wars had a spiritual message to it, and was upbeat in terms of the violence and heroics. George Lucas himself seems to be religious, and injected his personal beliefs into his film. He seems like a pretty cool guy, and probably a good humanitarian, but when Ben Kenobi is talking to Luke from "the beyond", I accepted it as part of the Star Wars world, but it didn't resonate with me on any emotional or intellectual level. People don't go to an afterlife, don't communicate with the living after dying, and all that goes with it. Star Wars is a very fun film, and I love it for being fun, but it's not something that I embrace as a fan. I love the artistry, and most of the story, but the religious elements are something that I'm not partial to. Still a fun ride.
#10 December 21st, 2015 06:33 PM
Blue Ghost Says:
And I think that's how most people read "the force" aspect of the film; some scientifically based "thing", whatever it is, that permeates the Star Wars universe. However I think the very young viewer who is impressionable, may view it as an extension of any deity or faith being introduced to him.
#9 December 21st, 2015 02:18 PM
Spiritual, that's nice. I give two spits about matters spiritual so I missed out on caring about that. Me, I dig the politics, I love the tech, and of course aliens. Also, I see the Force as more Pisonics than clerical magics, so again the spiritual stuff is wasted on me. Probably why the prequels with their virgin birth make me sad and disappointed. And funny the Sith run an empire of supposed law and order, yet to look at it it sure seems to be a totalitarian and bullying more than law and order. Which does fit the Sith memes. Frankly, on the whole of it both sides are extremist puke-heads.
#8 December 20th, 2015 03:26 AM
Blue Ghost Says:
Well, the law and order folks are the empire. It's their methods of enforcement that's in dispute. And the message is actually a fairly spiritual one, and the whole series has a religious overtone to it. If you've heard Lucas get interviewed, he has a very pan religious approach to life, and thinks that various religions are all related and are expressions of the same faith. That's a large part of his message.
#7 December 19th, 2015 11:26 PM
Message? What message, that space opera is cool? And when it comes down to it, I rather like the "message", justice and rule of law are worth fighting for no matter the size or resources of the opponent. What is so bad about that?
#6 December 18th, 2015 11:58 PM
Blue Ghost Says:
The reason I posted this blog is because I've always been concerned that people might actually buy into the small band of rebels beating the big empire rhetoric, as per Lucas citing the Vietnam War. Because that's not how we lost Vietnam, and breakaway provinces usually have some strategic advantage. But you don't get that in Star Wars, only the "have faith in your cause" rhetoric. Like I said, Star Wars was an awesome movie going experience, but I do worry about its message.
#5 December 18th, 2015 05:32 PM
My point is that several small scrappy Rebel groups have in our history defeated larger military forces. And yes, most of them had help, but then I gathered one of the reasons for blasting Alderaan was that they were a powerful, rich planet who was acting like France to the Empire's Britan. And using Vietnam doesn't actually mean the Rebels had nothing. I would like to remind folks that the VC/NVA were be supported by the Soviets and the Red Chinese, so it wasn't exactly like they did it all by themselves. I mean. Yeah they did a huge bunch of their own work, they did after all smoke the French by humping arty up and over a mountain. But then they got MiGs from their allies. Honestly that is one of the parts of the prequels that tick me off, the lack of the politics of the whole war. Thankfully the Clone Wars CG series did a pretty decent job with parts of that. Mostly. The whole point of the affair is to have fun and escape the drudgery of our real lives for a few hours.
#4 December 16th, 2015 06:34 PM
Blue Ghost Says:
Okay, let's use the English Civil War. Cromwell and his forces defeated Charles Stuart, but weren't they evenly matched at first? I guess I'm not understanding the parallel being drawn here.
#3 December 16th, 2015 04:01 PM
SanDragon Says:
Dangit, von Thornwood! I'm not supposed to read this and see what I was thinking already posted!
#2 December 16th, 2015 01:44 PM
Blue Ghost Says:
Well, France, Spain, and a few other countries, all contributed, though France and Spain were the only ones to directly contribute in terms of assets. I guess that was an alliance of sorts, but it was an alliance of major powers helping a number of rebelling provinces. I didn't get that sense in Star Wars. It struck me more as a small ill equipped force going up against space fascists.
#1 December 16th, 2015 01:07 PM
I think your biggest problem with the film is you are using the wrong meme to interpret it. It isn't the US Civil War, it is an English Civil War kind of like that one that was happening when this Nation's scrappy forefathers/mothers fought and defeated the greatest military power on Earth, the British Army and Royal Navy. So, it can be done, you just have to play your cards right.
 


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