Star Wars – Another perspective….

Hi You guys! So glad that your time is being well spent! πŸ˜‰ Funny that you have encountered the lure of Star Wars in Guatemala of all places. Oh well, we can’t escape. I’m sure it’s a gift somewhere. Our trials will follow us wherever we go, eh?

I thought I’d add my thoughts here, as Star Wars is dear to my heart.

Aaaah star wars, as a student of film, cultural ethos and communications in University, I focused a lot on science fiction cinema and literature and what it may embody of our cultures…why, like greek heroic myths, and first nations and totemic descents into various forms of darkness, trial and horror, with a return to daily life, initiated into the role of adult: the hero’s journey, our culture and many others, tell stories not only of battles between clans, against earthly enemies, but also otherworldly, and even more importantly, inwardly, a battle with the self……the first three star wars movies have stuck out in my experience both before and since having a child as great examples of such a story…including many nuances of so-called good and evil, of strong female and male role models, of honour, valour, kindness, empathy, resilience in the face of loss (luke has no parents, yet grows into a tender, noble, loved and loving knight of the light….he forgives his father, and accompanies him towards a path of self-forgiveness and redemption…..huge, deep reaching themes, underlying the flash of battles, arms, soldiers, and explosions…..then there’s the force, and yoda, and obi one kenobi…..the following star wars movies and all the new cartoons, vid games, merchandising, are of a completely different class in my books

when I imagine doing a course questioning why humans create myths and stories, why those stories help bind us together in belonging and meaning, how this has disappeared from our culture to some extent due to multi-culture, multi-faith, and an over dependency on media to raise our children and therefore provide their moral compass, I would not fail to include The Original Star Wars Trilogy in my course… the past in was venerable and wise adults that delivered these stories to our youth……this is the problem, as I see it: today it is a cold, hard, faceless screen…..


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7 Responses to Star Wars – Another perspective….

  1. Lori says:

    Thanks for sharing your perspective, Belinda. In our family, Star Wars (especially the original trilogy of movies) is seen as an epic myth. I had a neighbour, when I was in my late teens, who was an anthropologist and she pointed out some of the background info and historical references in Star Wars that I’d never thought of before. So my approach to Star Wars is similar to yours. We’ve watched the other movies, and DS enjoys watching the Clone Wars TV show with Daddy (it’s a special weekend bonding ritual thing for them).

    I’ve read somewhere that from the ages of 6-8, boys in particular are very interested in black-and-white, good-vs-evil stories. That it’s part of their usual development, and it explains the interest – at that age – in cops and robbers, and Robin Hood type stories. It’s not all bad, though it does require some tempering discussions for those of us who wish to raise our sons a little differently. As our son has grown, he’s started to see more of the nuances.

    I suppose the best part of the later trilogy of movies is that we get Queen Amidala – I really like that character. I can’t really fathom her relationship with Anakin, but then I know lots of couples like that in real life too.

    (But thanks to Edgymama for pointing out some of the less desirable aspects of the Star Wars phenomenon.)

    • Belinda says:

      Thanks so much for your added perspective, Lori, now I think I’m gong to have to give the later trilogy a better look…..frankly, I just haven’t gotten around to watching them all yet. My son and I and new semi-blended family of boys and men have a lot of screen time to contend with, and I’m usually the only one urging every one to turn away from the screens……tell me Bout Queen Amidala.

      • Lori says:

        Well, here’s my take on Queen Amidala – her name is Padme Amidala, and at the beginning of the first movie, she is the 14-year-old ruler (elected Queen) of her people on the planet of Naboo. She’s a very strong character (the dialogue really doesn’t do her justice – you have to read between the lines), and takes her political work very seriously. Unfortunately she gets misled by the senator representing her planet – Senator Palpatine (who we later figure out is actually a Sith Lord – i.e. Master in the Dark Side – and who eventually becomes the Emperor of the original series). He manipulates her into initiating a political action that puts him into power and destabilizes the entire political galaxy. But she works hard to unite the humans on her planet with the underwater sentient beings that live there (it’s cheesy, but that’s the idea) and then continues her work after her term as Queen, eventually becoming the new Senator for Naboo. She’s also daring and adventurous – she dresses one of her handmaids in the Queen’s ceremonial clothing and takes off adventuring (posing as one of the handmaids) with Obi Won Kenobi and his Master Quigon Jinn. (If these themes sound slightly Asian, it’s because George Lucas took a classic Japanese film as his inspiration for the first movie.) In the later movies (and the TV series) she really struggles with some of the important issues that earnest people face in politics – dealing with intrigue and deceit and compromise and trying to find a way to create peace rather than war.

        Sadly, these movies could have been really awesome, but I think the “boys” in charge got too busy playing with their special effects toys and forgot about the importance of the story. Mind you, Lucas was never good at dialogue. Some people claim that The Empire Strikes Back was the best of the bunch because Lucas was too busy with other projects, and the actors actually ad libbed a great deal of the dialogue. I don’t know if I agree, but it’s an interesting proposition. I’m looking forward to what might happen with future Star Wars movies. They couldn’t be any worse, and I rather enjoyed the most recent Star Trek movie by that director…

  2. edgymama says:

    Hey you two,

    Thanks for adding your thoughts – I’ll catch up with them soon (unreliable internet connection)

  3. Edgymama says:

    I realized I should have been more specific about my post on this because I was actually writing about a video game of Angry Bird Star Wars.

    I can’t speak directly on the movies because I haven’t seen any but I am intrigued by the depth and mythology of the stories as you’ve described them.

    Going back to my original post, however,I refer to the games that are spin-offs of the movies. I do wonder if children discern any mythology but are instead fixated on the drama of the fighting and battles. I have noticed that the kids who seem to have a lot of Star Wars in their lives seem to be captivated by fighting and conflict and transfer it to their play. And in the games I see no mythology and I doubt the children do either. Why does it always seem that the β€œus vs them” scenario takes precedence, with boys games in particular?

    While we don’t want to deny our son fun and games, we also don’t want to deny him skill and practice in critical thinking.

    • Lori says:

      Ah, well, there’s nothing particularly related to actual Star Wars in that game. It’s just Angry Birds with slightly different birds and pigs. (In fact, it’s a bit of a spoof – I find it slightly amusing.) The whole birds vs. pigs thing is a stupid premise for a game, but it is essentially a *puzzle* game, and that can be very addictive (we’ve been playing it lately ourselves).

      As for the “us vs them” part – I think that is somewhat developmental. When I was young, I saw things in a very black-and-white way. It was certainly part of growing up, for me, to see more sides to issues – everything turned a bit more grey! Of course Hollywood exploits the fact that many adults haven’t moved past that black-and-white developmental stage.

      I think that in the more recent trilogy (episodes 1-3) Lucas tries to show more of the grey sides as they portray Anakin Skywalker’s seduction to the dark side by the evil Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sideous. It’s not an entirely successful attempt, of course. But you also see Senator Amidala trying to bring peace by reconciling different factions – that provides the plot for many episodes of the cartoon TV series’ first two seasons (I haven’t watched any episodes lately, so I don’t know if that continues.) In the end she fails, because Chancellor Palpatine has been setting certain things in motion (including the entire war – it’s very “wag the dog”) for many many years, and the Galactic Republic fails, and Palpatine declares himself Emperor and has all the Jedi assassinated. This definitely echoes some of the horrible things that have happened around the world in history, especially since WWI. Too bad the special effects (and therefore battle scenes) always take precedence in the movies. And Fairy Tales and other folk tales tend to have a lot of adversarialism in them, right? I mean, what’s a plot without conflict?

      (I’m not saying you’re wrong, just pointing out another perspective…)

      • Edgymama says:

        Thanks Lori,

        I think it’s the predominance of the conflict that annoys me; it becomes the focus of so many games, books, and movies aimed (sic) at boys.

        Yes – a plot does have to have conflict but there are many kinds of conflicts that don’t involve weapons or injuries and the most interesting to me are the ones that involve the kind of inner conflict that I can intrinsically relate to.

        I’ve come to realize that Calum has a fascination with conflict and battles regardless of our family discussions on the realities of warfare and our playing the devil’s advocate on related issues. We just keep trying to broaden the horizon so he hopefully sees that there is more to life and literature than violence or armed conflict.

        Glad you’re part of the discussion πŸ™‚

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