Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, June 06, 2005

I Reckon I'm a Sith

My wife and I finally got around to seeing the 6th installment of the Star Wars saga, Episode III. Having to secure and schedule babysitters puts us about 3 ½ weeks behind the rest of the world, but I refuse to be one of those goofball parents who insist on taking a restless 3 year old to the first day opening of a 2 hour movie, even if I tried to get away with it by painting him green and slapping on some Yoda ears.

But I digress…

Despite all of the positive reviews, and publicity boasting how it could potentially become the biggest grossing film of all time even surpassing E.T. and Titanic, I was let down and underwhelmed. Yes, the visuals were stunning with gobs of special effects to dazzle the eyes, but the film just left me with a “Welp, that was OK” feeling. To tell the truth, this has been my take on all the modern day prequels beginning with Episode I. They have been good to look at, but the films lack the warmth and imagination the first series generated. I can still recall watching the original Star Wars from the truck bed of my cousin’s pickup at the Batesville Drive-In. The monotone speaker produced terrible sound and the mosquitoes were annoying, but I still sat in raptured awe as the story unfolded. I can also remember experiencing similar feelings when I saw the two sequels. When the special edition was released, I stood with a bunch of friends in a block long line in front of the Mann’s Chinese Theater in downtown Hollywood with eager anticipation for a movie I had seen several dozen times.

Sadly, I have never felt the same excitement about any of the three prequels. After the let down of Episode I, they have failed to capture my endearment.

But, like all Star Wars fans who experienced having the first three movies shape his imagination, I wanted to see how Anakin came to be the bad guy, Darth Vader. Little did I realize I was going to have to suffer George Lucas’s Bush bashing cheap shots throughout the process.

Now I realize some may charge me with reading just too much into this film, but Lucas's anti-Bushism are as obvious as Hayden Christensen’s bad acting. There are the comments about the clone troopers hunting down terrorist separatists, Padme’s opining about how the Supreme Chancellor had overstayed his welcome and the senators being misguided to vote away liberties. However, the one that is the icing on the proverbial cake is Anakin’s confrontation with Obi-Wan. He tells Obi-Wan in no uncertain terms (this is a paraphrase): “If you stand against me, you are my enemy.” To which Obi-Wan responds, “Only the Sith think in absolutes.” If a person cannot see the direct connection to President Bush’s post 9/11 speech, he is as clueless as the Jedi were to Palpatine’s machinations.

Yet, I am not so bothered by GL’s anti-Bush propaganda; I expect that from the Hollywood left. I am more troubled by Obi-Wan’s illogical response, “Only the Sith think in absolutes.” A good question to ask is, why would Lucas write such dialog for his character? Honestly?

On top of being a Bush hating, flannel wearing toy salesman, George Lucas is a postmodern, moral relativist. Let us pause to ponder this sage like comeback he put into the mouth of Ewan McGregor. Basically, Obi-Wan is saying only evil, Sith dark lords believe in absolutes. Am I to understand, then, that Jedi are good because they are moral relativists? Even more, Lucas is a boneheaded moral relativist, because his entire series plays to the distinction between good and bad, which, the last time I checked, are absolute ideas. The good guys wear earthy, light toned clothing in these films, the bad guys wear dark, sinister colors of black and blood red. Unless I'm missing something, are we not illustrating absolutes here? Furthermore, Obi-Wan makes this comment right after he is dispatched to kill Anakin. Now, if I am not mistaken, death is pretty much an absolute condition. Surely Lucas can't be blind to so many logical inconsistencies?

If adhering to absolutes means I align myself with the Sith, then I reckon I will be a Sith. At least the Sith aren’t philosophical dunderheads like the Jedi. Besides, I always thought their candy apple read lightsabers looked cool.


Blogger BlackCalvinist said...

Hey Fred,

You forgot the obvious....

#1 - the very statement "ONLY the Sith speak in absolutes..." is an absolute statement in and of itself.

#2 - from more Anakin-Obi-Wan dialogue: You were the chosen one! you were supposed to bring balance to the force! - Yet, at the end of Ep. 6, the Sith are destroyed and the Jedi stand victorious.... that doesn't sound 'balanced' to me....

One of my fellow speakers at the Apologetics Conference in PA this past weekend pointed out rightly tha t anyone who denies the Trinitarian God of scripture is like a man whose house has mismatched furniture. Some things were taken (obviously) from somewhere else... in this case, Lucas' concepts of 'good' and 'evil' are taken from the Christian worldview.

12:01 PM, June 07, 2005  
Blogger Sojourner said...

You know, I thought exactly the same thing when Obi-Wan said, "Only the Sith think in absolutes." I thought, "Oh my...I'm a Sith." I even elbowed my wife.

It's pretty sad. If Jedi are philosophers, they're not even good ones. Of course, in a relative Yin/Yang Universe, I guess it's impossible to be a good or bad philosopher. But me demanding logical consistency is just another example of me thinking like a Sith again. Oh well.

12:13 PM, June 26, 2005  

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