Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Luke Skywalker vs. Han Solo

Jim Geraghty takes on the real Phantom Menace:

Let me get this straight. With villains in Attack of the Clones that consisted of the "Trade Federation", "Commerce Guild", "Techno Union" and "Intergalactic Banking Clan", etc., I'm being warned about the dangers of capitalism from a man who made perhaps more money from merchandising than any other man in history. I'm getting lectured about the dangers of greed from man who authorized, "C-3POs" breakfast cereal, "The Star Wars Christmas Special" featuring Bea Arthur's musical number, and not one but two Ewoks made-for-TV movies.

I'm being warned about the dangers of technology, and the glory of primitive cultures like the Ewoks, who are able to defeat the "technological terror" of the Empire, in what is supposedly an allegory of Vietnam. Technology is bad, soulless, dangerous, and dehumanizing. Mmm-hmm. This from a man who replaced a tall man in a hairy suit, a projecting the human-eyed loyalty and sadness of Chewbacca, with the CGI cinematic war crime that is Jar-Jar Binks. A man who tossed aside the Yoda puppet, the spaceship models, the stop-motion animation of the Imperial walkers to go all-computer-animation-and-green-screen, all-the-time.

I'm being warned about the dangers of a "you're either with me or against me" attitude, and the viewing of the world in a black and white morality, from a filmmaker who has his villain dress entirely in black, choke the life out of helpless pilots, and blows up entire planets. This from a man whose nuanced moral view required an edit to make Greedo shoot first.
Ha! Lucus utterly fails to grasp the portrayal of heroism that made the first Star Wars successful in the first place. My pet theory: like a lot of people who make a lot of money, Lucus has been atoning for it ever since, and his art has suffered accordingly.

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