Friday, December 25, 2015

When Man forgets his Creator

He forgets how to create. Once you read this, you will know why John C. Wright's review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the only one I was actually interested in reading. One should not read this being wary of spoilers, but rather of having one's ability to mindlessly enjoy the cultural detritus of Western decline irretrievably hampered. As always, Mr. Wright cuts to the chase by stating an obvious fact that has nevertheless escaped most of the movie's critics and fans alike:
How can this movie both at once be a really enjoyable return to a beloved childhood favorite, and be a bland and dull, and in places offensively stupid and politically correct, piece of trash?

Because it is a remake, not a sequel.

Oh, I know that technically it is a sequel, allegedly taking place decades after the close of TEDDY BEARS OF THE JEDI, but the story follows the same plotline, except that the roles of Han, Luke and Leia are all played by Junkyard Girl, since she is the cynical rogue, the innocent novice, and the girl with the McGuffin needing rescue all at once. Except she escapes on her own. The rollerball robot is not as cute and sassy as R2D2, because he is not given as much to do, and the Exhenchman and the Ace Pilot don’t actually do all that much.

There is a way cool scene when the X-wings come screaming across the lake to the rescue. The hollow star-eating weapon-planet with forests and snowy mountains and atmosphere above its hull was a convincingly impressive weapon, but, again, there was no moment where the impressiveness was played up, no moment when someone whispered, that’s no moon…

So it is a fairly good remake as remakes go, and it does what it sets out to do, and recapture some, or almost some, of the energy, cleverness, craft, excitement and innocence of the original.

So why is this not the review I wanted to write, with me dancing jigs on the steeple, painted with woad with bells on my toes, yodeling for joy? Because the jerkwads of Hollywood had to take a favorite movie and crap it up with political correctness. Because this film is critic-proof. No matter how bad it is, everyone and his brother will go see it.

And the political correctness is subtle. It has to be subtle, because if the poison tasted of poison, the victim would spit it out: so it is sugar coated to go down easy. Do you think controlling the myths and dreams of a generation has no effect on the generation? Story tellers are the secret legislators of mankind.

The scene where Luke tosses his lightsaber away rather than using it in righteous wrath to smite the evil Emperor may have only been a scene in a kid’s space opera flick: but the majority of the American public regards exactly that same maneuver, preemptive self-disarmament,  as the only moral and right thing to do in the face of the appalling evils of our present war, a war they dare not admit exist, lest they feel a split second of anger, and like a lightswitch being flipped, turn entirely evil themselves. That is what they think will happen if we fight back. If you smite a Sith, you become a Sith.

Why can’t the modern Leftist tell a decent story? Even when he is copying a good and healthy-minded original scene by scene in a paint-by-numbers fashion, it turns out sick-minded.

The answer is ultimately where all ultimate answers reside, in the deep places of the soul.

When we forget God, we forget how to tell tales. I submit that when a man forgets his Creator, he forgets how to create.
It is rather remarkable, when you think about it. Abrams is no different than Brooks is no different than Scalzi. They are not only "creators" who cannot create, they are parasites who, regardless of their technical skills, cannot even successfully execute a paint-by-the-numbers imitation. Like a colorblind painter, their moral blindness renders them fundamentally incapable of utilizing a full moral palette.

This is, I think, the best realistic outcome for Star Wars fans, and one that is pretty close to what I assumed would be the case. Abrams is a technically competent remaker, and he was never likely to resist the conventional SJWisms. Better a competent and mildly poisonous remake than an incompetent or virulently poisonous one, but all the same, it is a remake, not a genuinely new story.

For that, you'll have to turn to the Expanded Universe, or, later next year, to an entirely different science fiction universe entitled Faraway Wars: Embers of Empire.

Merry Christmas....

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Blogger Shimshon December 25, 2015 6:39 AM  

Abrams can make entertaining movies, but I doubt he is capable of making great movies that stand the test of time. His movies simply don't age well.

Anonymous tdm December 25, 2015 6:41 AM  

Thanks, haven't been to a movie in many years but was thinking about going to this one, so thanks for saving me the time and money.

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 25, 2015 6:56 AM  

@John C. Wright

He is whiny Teen Anakin all over again.

True but that part is internally consistent. Name one male member of the entire Skywalker family that wasn't a whining bitch-monkey.

Blogger Phillip George December 25, 2015 7:24 AM  

pre emptive unilateral disarmament in a war we dare not mention. denial. I watched Thomas Hardy's "Far from the madding crowd" last night and was impressed that day time soap TV was once pre pulp fiction fiction. People go to sequels not to watch a new story but to watch the same one dressed up in some slightly altered apparel. All the human striving for very human virtue, and Lady MacBeth's clorox If only fig leaves weren't deciduous. Yet regards to the creator of the fig leaf, He seems to have created them to work so less well than we might want them to.

whether it's a light saber, a bayonet or a captured scimitar one should be able to stick it into an enemy unflinchingly praying fervently God have mercy on their eternal soul. Out of respect of who they are, not what they have become. To the hilt. It was an adage we sharpen swords in order to never need them. a poor paraphrase. I'll wait for the DVD - the maddening crowds abated.

Blogger JDC December 25, 2015 7:28 AM  

When we forget God, we forget how to tell tales. I submit that when a man forgets his Creator, he forgets how to create.

"The light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it . . . The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father." (John 1: 5, 9-14)

Blogger Scuzzaman December 25, 2015 7:45 AM  

When we forget the Creator we forget that we were created to be like him, to be creative.

Makes perfect sense to me.

Anonymous KH December 25, 2015 7:47 AM  

Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous Strange Aeons December 25, 2015 8:02 AM  

When I got finished ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the wrecked Star Destroyer backdrop on not-Tatooine, it occurred to me: by virtue of dinophobic meteors and Ultronesque city relocation, shouldn't that crash have been an extinction level event?
I'm thinking the whole premise shouldn't have gotten off the ground the second a ship that size hit the ground.

Blogger Timmy3 December 25, 2015 8:12 AM  

"If you smite a Sith, you become a Sith."

Is this leftist politics or political correctness? Nonetheless, this is a plot device for a story where we know the predictable conclusion. Real life doesn't often work this way unkess the leftist can preemptively control the debate. Star Wars does have at least one character willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. They may or may not succeed in their objectives or die or not. That's the plot twists that we often love.

Blogger Dave December 25, 2015 8:21 AM  

an entirely different science fiction universe entitled Faraway Wars: Embers of Empire

Merry Christmas indeed!

Anonymous karsten December 25, 2015 8:23 AM  

"And the political correctness is subtle. It has to be subtle, because if the poison tasted of poison, the victim would spit it out: so it is sugar coated to go down easy."

He's obviously entitled to his opinion, but this is nonsense.

The Cultural Marxism in this movie is layered on with a trowel. As not only traditionalist critics have pointed out, but as even some few honest Leftist reviewers have admitted, the film shoves feminism down the audience's collective throat more blatantly than any other movie I've ever seen, ever, thanks to a self-parodically over-adept Mary Sue protagonist.

She literally can do everything better than every male character: pilot Han's ship better than Han, and use the Force better than an adversary long schooled in it (despite having no training in either), just due to a biological element that, in this feminist propaganda piece, is made out to be even more powerful than any midi-chlorians: XX chromosomes.

It's as if a female Marine recruit could, on her first day out, and prior to any training, take out the No.2 top Spetznaz assassin in hand-to-hand combat, and then come back and teach all the Marines' professional mechanics how to fix their battalion's equipment, then work it better than they can.

It IS a virulently poisonous film, and will ratchet up Western women's entitlement self-conceptions tenfold.

And when, in real life, they discover that they're not better than men at everything -- that their magic XX chromosomes have failed them -- what other recourse will they have to rationalize their inadequacy but to cry "sexism"?

And that will be this film's toxic legacy.

Anonymous karsten December 25, 2015 8:28 AM  

When you have ultra-hard-Left feminist rags like Bustle and Jezebel (!!!!!) praising a film's female character rather than complaining about her (as they do for 99.99% of films ever created) -- in other words, when the most insane feminist harpies are PLEASED with a female character, SATISFIED that a film meets their levels of man-hating and womyn worshipping -- that's how you know that the Leftist propaganda in a movie has reached off the charts measures of virulence.

Blogger EdL December 25, 2015 8:41 AM  

It wouldn't surprise me if we find Rey had been previously trained as a secret super Jedi by Luke. Her seemingly instant powers have layed dormant and forgotten to some day fight the mother of all battles with Kylo.
Lame I know, but the Star Wars universe does tend to lazily tie these things together over time.

Blogger JDC December 25, 2015 8:41 AM  

I have not seen the new movie, but will later this week (we're taking 9 little ones - my popcorn bill will be atrocious). I'm hoping against new hope that it will entertain. For me, the low point (I'll insert theological), was Anakin's discussion with Obi-Wan, right before he was turned into a human buoy.

Anakin: If you're not with me, then you are my enemy.
Obi-wan: Only a sith deals in absolutes.

Anakin quotes scripture (arguable yes, but the connection to Matthew 12:30 is at least implied), and Obi-wan responds by saying absolutes are evil.

This moral relativism...drives the whole story. Thank goodness Han shot first, or else the entire saga would crumble in a quagmire of liberal sentimentality. (Wait...did Han shoot first?)

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 25, 2015 8:59 AM  

Someone from Abrams' ethnic group needs to sit him down and tell him there is a bit of malarkey in their group's cultural script.

Blogger Cyr#0052 December 25, 2015 9:39 AM  

Good review by John Wright. I will spend entertainment dollars on something from Castalia House instead.

Anonymous JamesV December 25, 2015 9:40 AM  

That review just convinced me to pick up a copy of Transhuman and Subhuman.

Blogger Chris Nelson December 25, 2015 9:40 AM  

I think there's a sad legacy to the cinematic Star Wars.

The films could have been so much better with a modicum of decent writing. And the large audience continues to reward mediocrity with a semi-religious fervour that's beyond that of sports fans or patriots.

Blogger collisioncat67 December 25, 2015 9:43 AM  

What used to be dreary, eye-rolling leftist propaganda is now the vanguard of creative achievement.

...well thats according to smart collage professors and scientific consensus.

Anonymous 334 December 25, 2015 9:47 AM  

@11 @12

To be fair, if you've read the entire review you'll find Wright details the absurdity of the Mary Sue protagonist at great length. It's not something he overlooked.

Anonymous VFM #0410 December 25, 2015 9:50 AM  

John C. Wright more or less speaks for me in this. I agree in all particulars.

It's a shame, but it's also worth noting that Star Wars has been over hyped for as long as I've been alive. It's more of a pop culture phenomenon than anything else. And, quite frankly, pop culture usually sucks. It's empty, vapid, but well packaged.

Anonymous JRL December 25, 2015 10:03 AM  

I had the same thought that Rey was Hans Solo and Luke. The black guy was Leia to Rey's Solo. The bar scene where Fin is saying goodbye ...she stands a full head over him while he looks up at her with doe eyes. They were making that pretty obvious. The only impressive thing was the the cinematography/cgi. Even grandpa said the movie was a remake. The whole fight against the Sith Lord at the end was unsatisfying to say the least. There was no build up to Rey becoming able to beat a Sith. The prequels and sequels have ruined the force. Noww it's a bunch of invisible citters trying govern the moral affairs of man.

Blogger Hazim December 25, 2015 10:34 AM  

You know why he made Star Trek better than the original?
Cuz he had the opportunity to wash the foul stank of Roddenberry off of it.
That's all it took. Hack.

Blogger Were-Puppy December 25, 2015 10:46 AM  

When we forget God, we forget how to tell tales. I submit that when a man forgets his Creator, he forgets how to create.

They lack the ability to be inspired with originality.

It's all a cut and paste of something that has come from
before. The best can be hoped for is that they at least understand the original.

Blogger Harry Spitz December 25, 2015 11:20 AM  

I have to respectfully disagree.
Every one of Abrams' 'reboots' are crap.

Blogger LP999 DUNE no Doom December 25, 2015 11:26 AM  

May we never forget the Lord.

Militant Teddy is but a bear from a gift shop.

I asked Militant Teddy what he thought about Star Wars since in the presence of DisNeyRuin nonsense I can act crazy.

Militant Teddy, the bear wearing camo gear in either pink or green said, "I want a cookie", to which the kidlets get another cookie because its Christmas. Kids dont care about Star Wars or DisNeyRuin.

Anonymous SWW December 25, 2015 11:34 AM  

John nailed it.

Blogger Dexter December 25, 2015 11:35 AM  

When I got finished ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the wrecked Star Destroyer backdrop on not-Tatooine, it occurred to me: by virtue of dinophobic meteors and Ultronesque city relocation, shouldn't that crash have been an extinction level event?

Or at least, arrive as a heap of scorched unrecognizable wreckage strewn over thousands of square miles of landscape, not as a single relatively intact ship.

Anonymous Buff Pecloader December 25, 2015 11:52 AM  

Abrams ruined Khan Noonien Singh. How do you ruin Khan? He was a pasty faced, trout-shouldered, Brit ponce with the physical presence of Ichabod Crane.

And he ruined the story. Could he drop the lens flare for one scene? I hate him.

Blogger Dean Esmay December 25, 2015 12:13 PM  

Tricking you into striking a blow that will only harm you, which was obviously all the Emperor was doing, who otherwise had Luke at his mercy, tactically Luke's move was completely correct.

This is why despite my shared opinions with many modern conservatives, I can never call myself one again. The mythopoetic part of Star Wars died with the first of the prequels, which ruined all subsequent hope for a return to the lessons of a warrior code involving honor, decency, restraint, violence strictly only when necessary and then never with rage, but then unleashing the violence mercilessly--which was all captured magnificently by Luke Skywalker throwing away his obviously pointless saber in order to look more helpless. Luke waited calmly for a better moment for that was a clear head fake. Sun Tzu would have approved.

But that has been ruined, for all the true symbolism was already destroyed with "Chapter I." Anything we get now is just more Star Trek style reboots no matter what they call it.

Blogger Aziz P. December 25, 2015 12:21 PM  

any fairy tale that involves space wizards, which exists solely to entertain and inspire by painting in broad brush strokes about humanity and heroism, and fundamentally is about encouraging human beings to dream (encapsulated in one line: "luminous beings are we, not this crude matter" - a line strangely overlooked by Christianist critiques of Star Wars such as Wright's), is inevitably a disappointment to anyone looking for validation of their political agenda.

one may as well argue that italian operas are poor models of economics. True, but missing the point.

Anonymous Trimegistus December 25, 2015 12:41 PM  

She's not a Mary Sue: she's the DM's girlfriend.

Anonymous Trimegistus December 25, 2015 12:43 PM  

"Only the Sith deal in absolutes — er, I mean, the Sith tend to deal in absolutes to a greater extent than Jedi do, in my experience, anyway."

Anonymous SWW December 25, 2015 12:43 PM  

After Hans, there are no compelling characters to carry the story forward, except perhaps Chewie, who doesn't say much...

Blogger Neanderserk December 25, 2015 12:50 PM  

Leaked Report:
Divine Intelligence Agency, North American Culture Division


Heaven brings forth innumerable things to nurture man.
Man has nothing good with which to recompense Heaven.
Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill. Kill.

Blogger LP999 DUNE no Doom December 25, 2015 12:54 PM  

The Lord inspires a great deal.

David was so thrilled he danced before the Lord. Today, soloists and choreographers wonder how David leaped.

(I'm still not impressed with GRRM.)

Anonymous karsten December 25, 2015 1:04 PM  

"any fairy tale that involves space wizards, which exists solely to entertain and inspire by painting in broad brush strokes about humanity and heroism [...] is inevitably a disappointment to anyone looking for validation of their political agenda."

"Exists solely to entertain"? What utter, disingenuous rubbish. This film exists to validate and push the director and writers' political agenda, which they hurl at you in every frame. The fairy-tale elements are just the delivery device for the political contents. The delivery receptacles superficially change, but the indoctrination is always the same, when it comes to directors like this. It's just especially blatant, in this case.

"I have to respectfully disagree.
Every one of Abrams' 'reboots' are crap."


Anonymous Nxx December 25, 2015 1:14 PM  

Faraway Wars: Embers of Empire

A heroic fantasy template set in space is a proven multimillion megahit franchise.

For 30 years all that money is left sitting on Lucas/Disney's plate for no obvious reason.

The real clone wars begun they have.

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau December 25, 2015 1:24 PM  

The Force Awakens is just a Modern Disney Princess Movie. Rey is just Merida/Mulan/Belle/Elsa.

Blogger papabear December 25, 2015 1:49 PM  

(encapsulated in one line: "luminous beings are we, not this crude matter" - a line strangely overlooked by Christianist critiques of Star Wars such as Wright's)

The crypto-gnosticism in Lucas's attempt to appropriate Eastern philosophy and religion... got it...

Blogger Tim_W_Burke December 25, 2015 2:17 PM  

There's one fact no one has mentioned:

Roddenberry insisted on having inspiring, positive values. The show couldn't pass a science test, but GR did have ethics.
I despise JJA too.

Anonymous patrick kelly December 25, 2015 2:24 PM  

I found it to be entertaining and pretty good for a Disney kids movie but it did not live up to the bestest movie ever hype, that's for sure.

Instead of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia we got Finn and Rae, nuff said

Blogger Nate December 25, 2015 2:45 PM  

well... no wonder dawkins' poetry is so awful.

Anonymous Ain December 25, 2015 3:11 PM  

"Anakin: If you're not with me, then you are my enemy.
Obi-wan: Only a sith deals in absolutes.

Anakin quotes scripture (arguable yes, but the connection to Matthew 12:30 is at least implied)"

It was more likely a jab at George W. Bush.

Blogger Thucydides December 25, 2015 3:35 PM  

For a remake is is OK, you can certainly see the difference decades of CGI make in the backdrop and flight sequences.

There is the possibility of a "good" Star Wars movie hidden away, and I thought they were hinting at it in the second teaser trailer:

"The force is strong in my family. My father had it. My sister has it. You have that power too..."

Imagine the implications of everyone discovering their ability to access the Force. This would be somewhat like the Roman Empire converting to Christianity in terms of social, political and economic upheavals, and would make a fantastic story in the right hands.

Indeed, if the Minions and Ilk start spreading this meme on the multitude of fan sites, message boards, social media platforms etc., there is a possibility that it will become so entrenched that it will make it into some future edition of the movie (and only we will know where it came from!)

Subversion can take many different forms.

Blogger Thucydides December 25, 2015 3:53 PM  

Edit to add:

Given the quasi religious nature of the Force, and especially the strong implication that the Force is on the side of light or Good in the traditional Judeo Christian sense of the word (while the Dark Side is a pretty explicit reference to Evil), everyone accessing the Force is indeed an explicit call for conversion to Judeo Christian values (regardless of what contortions SJW's try to put on things, I'm certain enough people read the Force mythology this way, and that is how they would take the story if it were to make it to screen or written page).

Anonymous Hezekiah Garrett December 25, 2015 4:17 PM  

Aw, look, Axiz can't tell gnostics and Christians apart!

It's cute when he acts like he thinks he people.

Anonymous Ain December 25, 2015 4:24 PM  

You can't have Christianity without Jesus. Tapping into power yourself is secular humanism.

Blogger Weouro December 25, 2015 4:55 PM  

That's what I suspected. A remake with a girl Luke Skywalker, a girl Darth Vader, a girl-general-led rebel alliance, a new empire same as the old empire, a new venerable old "last living Jedi" in exile. Instead of an evil father saved by a good son, a good father killed by an evil son. That's probably the biggest plot twist they could come up with: "Other than making all the characters girls, how can we make this even more anti-patriarchy? I know, let's destroy any love of fathers in sons and make the heir himself murder his own patriarch! We can be like Hannibal Lector feeding his victims pieces of their own brains!"

Anonymous KoranBurngingFaggot December 25, 2015 4:58 PM  

And the political correctness is subtle. It has to be subtle, because if the poison tasted of poison

Subtle? I had to move a seat down because the faggot sitting next to me kept elbowing me when I laughed at non pc times.

"Only the Sith deal in absolutes — er, I mean, the Sith tend to deal in absolutes to a greater extent than Jedi do, in my experience, anyway."

OK the Sith and the space jew from the pod racing movies.

Blogger newanubis December 25, 2015 5:25 PM  

If societal shadows are growing darker, it is because the light that cast them is growing brighter.

Anonymous Alice De Goon December 25, 2015 6:02 PM  

I don't want to watch this film because I hate all-powerful Mary Sue characters with a passion. They are written ONLY to pander to feminists, who will screech if a heroine isn't an invincible badass who can air-juggle guys three times her size without breaking a sweat. And God help you if you allow your female character to fail at a task or to fall into enemy hands. (Joss Whedon allowed his Black Widow character to show just the tiniest smidge of weakness and humanity in the last Avengers movie and his beloved feminist fanbase turned on him like a Frankenstein monster.) Who wants to deal with that? As a writer, you either make boring, invincible heroines that no one besides feminists will like or...well you have no other choice now. If you leave female characters out entirely, the femininazis will screech about that too.

The only female "Jill of All Trades" character I've ever seen done well was the version of Mrs. Hutchinson in Miyazaki's "Sherlock Hound" cartoon series. She seemed like a damsel in distress, being captured by the bad guys at one point (and then she was able to charm them into submission with her kindness and caring.) In a later episode, we learn that she was actually a crack shot and an ace pilot, and that she had decided to abandon those activities and become a housekeeper after her husband had died. (She was his partner in adventure and couldn't bring herself to continue the lifestyle after his death.) She could still do badass things, but only when the situation required it and when she was pushed too far. Hidden depths, as it were. Makes for a far more interesting character than a Mary Sue who wears her awesome on her sleeve all of the time. (Particularly if her "awesome" was something she didn't have to earn through hard work and years of study.)

Blogger Neanderserk December 25, 2015 6:24 PM  

Underworld, the Matrix, Wir Sind Die Nacht, Resident Evil - all had sexcellent female badasses.

Of course, sometimes real life imitates art - braggart foolheroines like Rousey have been getting slapped down since Boudica.

Blogger Jon M December 25, 2015 6:25 PM  

My beef with Rey's late novie badassery (and it is one I haven't seen elsewhere) is that it is poor storytelling from a dramatic perspective. Her instant turn provides short term victory at the expense of long term suspense and dread. Now that we know she can outfly anything in the galaxy, and pilots the fastest ship in it, and can beat even the Big Bad in a stand up fight...what's the point?

You can show us more backstory, who she is and where she comes from, but JJ sucked any potential tension out of Rey in the rest if the story.

Blogger tz December 25, 2015 6:33 PM  

Abrams lost me with the Star Trek reboot that forgot to scan for malware.
The original managed to shred and shatter any link with the original. Destroy Vulcan? Time-travel (scifi jump the shark, if they end up on earth near Hollywood they definitely have). It gets worse in the second as they are squeezing every drop of easy drama out of all three seasons of the original. I'm not sure why they weren't able to include the Horda, maybe because the original had an anti-abortion slant. Oh, and he forgot tribbles and Mudd.

Perhaps Abrams can reboot ST:TNG, merging it so you get (Tasha) Yar Wars. (Female human head of security?).

The great evil is that he is good with the visuals and the rest. So the abomination, the vandalism, and the rest looks pretty and is entertaining if you can't see the artistic rape going on.

Anonymous Alice De Goon December 25, 2015 6:43 PM  

John C. Wright made some interesting points about the end of ROTJ. There was something about it that had always bothered me, namely that it seemed to make the Emperor out as a huge idiot. That this evil mastermind would know so little about human nature as to think that Luke would turn evil and become his slave for no reason other than just "getting really mad". I know the Emperor also tempted Luke with the lure of power, but he should have known that Luke -a man who cared so much about his friends - wouldn't be taken in by something so shallow. A man of the Emperor's intelligence would have taken a different tack - threatening to have Luke's friends killed if the boy didn't surrender and join him. (It's not like the Emperor hadn't used this tactic before - he had tempted Anakin to the Dark Side with the promise of saving his wife.)

When Luke threw down his lightsaber and refused to kill Vader, I had first thought it was like the end of the "Kirk vs. the Gorn" fight in that one episode of Star Trek TOS. Kirk had beaten his enemy and had him at his mercy, but refused to kill him because he'd realized they had both been patsies of a larger power. An act of mercy would seem warranted in that case, but in that instance, I don't think Kirk going ahead and killing the Gorn would have been a bad tactical move to make. It wouldn't have turned Kirk into a monster, (he just wouldn't have gotten the "super special happy 100 percent ending" to his story.) But it is implied in ROTJ, that if Luke had killed Vader, the very act would have corrupted him, rendering him irredeemable. Which I think sounds like total BS. The threat of corruption should not have been there as it strips all ambiguity and realism out of the scene and makes Luke's deciding to throw down his lightsaber seem like the Only Right Move, (as if Luke making The Wrong Move would have stripped him of all of his future agency.)

Incidentally, I know of another franchise that pushes the nauseating "pacifism at all costs" narrative and that's an indie game called "Undertale". The selling point of that game is that you don't have to kill ANY of the enemies - you'll always find some mechanic that will allow you to spare them if you're patient enough. (This is just how real life works, right?) Needless to say, the game is REALLY popular with Leftists and Tumblrtards. Big surprise...

Blogger epobirs December 25, 2015 6:46 PM  

Ideally, the line in the new movie should have been, "That's no space station. It's planet!"

Blogger TheRedSkull December 25, 2015 7:34 PM  

Blow up death star, killing thousands to millions is hooray. Killing one subhuman emperor lich is DARK SIDE.

Anonymous Frank Luke December 28, 2015 11:50 AM  


>She's not a Mary Sue: she's the DM's girlfriend.

May the Comic Irregulars have the same thought when they parody this travesty! Their parodies so far have had me rolling on the floor. Jar Jar is played by an eight to ten year old girl who has never roleplayed before.

Anonymous tublecane December 29, 2015 1:23 AM  

@14-You oughtn't take one line from the sixth film to figure out what drives Star Wars stories, even if that was a long-awaited and pivotal scene. For one thing, it was clearly not planned well, beyond "Obi Wan and Darth yell at eachother, then have a video game swordfight for a half hour." More importantly, there were a bunch of other movies. If you want to know what drives the overall story, look to the good ones: Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back. They're the reason people still watch these things. And even if the ethos expressed in them has been corrupted, the core remains.

There's nothing relative about the evil of the Emperor in Revenge of the Sith, no matter what crap Obi Wan spouts. Ever notice, by the way, that saying "only" Sith Lords believe in absolutes sounds a lot like an absolute?

Anonymous tublecane December 29, 2015 2:23 AM  

@56-Lucas couldn't write about temptation, for whatever reason. The entire prequel trilogy was about how Luke's daddy became Darth Vader (and about how the Emperor killed the Jedi and conquered the universe), but his conversion to the Dark Side seemed almost an afterthought. It was a pretty lame trick on the Emperor's part, pretending to know how to save Anakin's baby momma. Imagine, that great villain Darth Vader is a mere dupe, after all. The Emperor may have also planted Anakin's nightmares, which would've been clever. But I don't know, because the movie didn't or couldn't tell me.

Return of the Teddy Bears was worse, in a way, because the Emperor didn't offer anything more than the promise of power and the threat of death. But there's something both you and Wright overlook, I think. Luke wouldn't just be giving into hate; he'd be killing his own father. That's dark. Not that there aren't special circumstances, but Luke's hope was to redeem Vader. That was the entire point of surrendering on Endor. "Because there is good in him. I've felt it. He won't turn me over to the Emperor. I can save him," Luke said.

The throne room scene is not just about avoiding temptation, defeating the Emperor, and winning the war. It's also about saving Vader, bringing honor back to the family, and doing right by what Anakin once was or could have been. Killing Vader would be to go over to the Dark Side not just because he has to give into hate to do so but also because to do so would betray every goal I've mentioned above. Think of it as breaking the 4th commandment.

What happens, by the way, if he kills Vader and isn't suddenly on the Dark Side? Does he pretend to serve the Emperor until he gets lucky, catches him off guard, and kills him? How long would that take, if it ever happened? Taking him on directly is out of the question. I'm fairly certain the Emperor can sever Luke's brain stem with a Force Chop any time he wants. Palpatine didn't need Vader to intervene when Luke drew his saber. He could kill the kid at his leisure.

Luke is in a trap, as Admiral Ackbar put it. Possibly the ONLY out was what happened, i.e. for the Emperor to be killed by surprise and Luke not to have to risk corrupting himself by killing his father. Let's assume Luke is too weak to kill the Emperor outright, much less both Vader and the Emperor. There's no Death Star Run to be made direct violence won't work. If he doesn't fight Vader the Emperor kills him. If he doesn't give into his rage he can't best Vader. But if he rage kills Vader he risks going dark. He also misses his preferred outcome, which is to save Vader.

Does that mean the scene has a pacifistic message? Not in my opinion, though Luke dropping his saber makes it seem so. What if Luke has been playing a deeper strategy? When the Emperor electrocutes him he calls out for his father to save him. That was the plan when Luke gave himself up, in a way. Not this specific situation, but for Vader to betray the Emperor and join the Light Side for Luke's sake. The moment Luke refuses to kill Vader and stands defenseless before the Emperor it could be a ploy. His initial burst of violence was a mistake not because violence is wrong, but because it was a rash reaction and a repeat of his mistake in Empire Strikes Back, which was to ditch a long-term force strategy to save his friends right now.

In my version of the scene Luke isn't passive. He's getting to the Emperor through Vader, like Vader tried to do with Luke in Empire. He's doing so passively, or passive-aggressively. Which doesn't sound heroic, but fits in with how he's matured from Empire to Jedi. Not that that's what happened, necessarily. The movie isn't explicit, though it's set up much better than basically anything that happens in the prequels.

There's a lot more potentially going on in that scene than what you and Wright let on, is all I'm saying.

Anonymous tublecane December 29, 2015 2:39 AM  

@56-About Luke losing his agency, in the same scene Darth Freaking Vader comes back to the Light Side, or at least does what the Force wants, so obviously a permanent loss of will isn't possible. Unless you're the Emperor, maybe.

The Only Right Move thing is only because, as I've said, Luke's in a trap. There's not only the choice to kill Vader or not. There's the fact that the Emperor can kill Luke whenever he wants, plus Luke's desire to save his father, plus the probable impossibility of faking being on the Dark Side,plus the risk of turning dark if he gives into hate. The Emperor has set it up so that it seems like there're two choices: kill Vader or die. Luke picks option three, much like when he jumped to his apparent death in Empire: he gets Vader to kill the Emperor.

Or maybe he doesn't. The important point here is that his One Right Move is dictated not only by the morality of the situation, though that is paramount, but also by the practical circumstances. There can't be many ways to beat a seemingly omnipotent opponent like the Emperor.

Blogger John Wright December 29, 2015 5:19 PM  

A comment I'd like to pass along:

'...self-proclaimed Social Justice Warrior, Miss Laurie Penny agrees with John Wright’s idea that myths are what shape society, and that the new Star Wars is attempting to change it:

“Capitalism is just a story. Religion is just a story. Patriarchy and white supremacy are just stories. They are the great organising myths that define our societies and determine our futures, and I believe – I hope – that a great rewriting is slowly, surely underway.”

'the rest of her thoughts here:

'The title: “What to do when you’re not the hero anymore” also says it all. It’s not that women can now be heroes, it is that men cannot be heroic, we are now the foil by which they rise against (commonly known as villains).'

Blogger John Wright December 29, 2015 7:26 PM  

"But there's something both you and Wright overlook, I think. Luke wouldn't just be giving into hate; he'd be killing his own father. That's dark. Not that there aren't special circumstances, but Luke's hope was to redeem Vader."

If the Emperor were the Devil, and his only joy was to do evil for the sake of evil, then having Luke kill his father would indeed be a victory.

But as an Emperor, what use would it be to have Vader dead? Luke would be guilt ridden and angry, let us say for his whole life, but he would not have served the Emperor: he would have killed him.

So what was the Emperor trying to do? To get Luke to WANT to kill his father but fail? Whoop-de-freaking-do. If Hitler had General Patton in his grasp, would he had killed him or would he have tried to get Patton to kill Patton's uncle -- and fail!!

This whole scene makes no sense because no matter how you slice it, it takes place in a Liberal idea of the universe, one where only intentions count, and actions never count, consequences never count, logic never counts.

Hate is feelbadz. That is what the scene meant. Vader, a man who killed more people than Attila the Hun, is forgiven and goes to Jedi heaven because, for one minute, he has a good and normal emotion of saving his son.

"You-- you have a sister! Leia is your sister! Hey. Doesn't that mean I was torturing my own daughter in the first movie? How come I did not turn on the Emperor then?"

Anonymous tublecane January 04, 2016 2:09 PM  

"then having Luke kill his father would indeed be a victory"

But it would be a greater victory for him to turn his father instead.

"as an Emperor, what use would it be to have Vader dead"

It was implied Luke has enormous potential force power, which he's eager to tap into. Also, I get the feeling apprentice Dark Siders are always conspiring against their masters, as Vader did with Luk. There has probably been a brisk turnover rate in the past, and Luke is the best potential replacement to come along since his father.

"he would have killed him"

Where do you get the idea that Luke could have killed him? Vader only managed because the Emperor was distracted and trusted the man who had served him loyally for decades. You brought up Hiroshima earlier, I think. Saying Luke should've just killed Vader and the Emperor is a little like saying Japan should've nuked the U.S. instead. They didn't have a nuke. Luke didn't have the Emperor's power.

"To get Luke to WANT to kill his father but fail?"

No, to actually kill Vader and become his apprentice.

About Hitler, Hitler was the Fuhrer of a modern nation state in time of war, not Space Satan and Galactic Emperor of the Universe seeking to control everything everywhere forever. Patton was not a magician and couldn't aid Hitler with the occult.

I don't doubt the scene takes place in a Liberal world, and that much of what you describe is true. I too sense something wrong and hippydippy about the hate-anger-fear-suffering stuff. But the Liberal world is attached to our own. They didn't start from scratch, and they borrow from tradition despite themselves (how else to explain the first two movies?). Your focus on Luke dropping his lightsaber as representing pacifism (or whatever else you make of it) blinds you to the presence of actual filial piety.

That's right, filial piety in a movie presumably made by hippies. The concept exists in Eastern religions, of course, which is probably why it slipped in.

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