Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Let the Wookie win

The newest installment in the Star Wars franchise comes out this week. Here's an interesting article about "life-lessons" we can learn from the characters. What do you think about some of these? Are there other lessons to be learned?

  1. "Let the Wookie win."
  2. Looks don't last forever. "When 900 years old you are....look as good you will not"
  3. "Don't get cocky."
  4. "There's always a bigger fish."
  5. Evil leads to unnatural abilities.
  6. "Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them."
  7. "...the Force will be with you....always."
  8. "Impossible to see, the future is."
  9. Sometimes, the odds are ugly.
  10. "Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is."
  11. Hate and anger are powerful tools.

Meh. Yes, I will be first in line to see the new movie. Yes, I just watched all 6 (in the order they were created). But my tastes have changed over the years---they didn't stand up too well to me over time. But I am looking forward to seeing what JJ Abrams does with it. I liked the last Star Trek movies that he did. But, it is just a movie. And the commercialization this holiday season! Wow. Here is a list of Star Wars fruits and vegetables:

Maybe you can build your own little droid from the oranges?

As far as life lessons from Star Wars, I enjoyed this article more that the CBS News clickbait:

I enjoyed the complexity of how characters can be received by the audience differently from how they were designed. And still enjoyed by all.

Of course, you need to introduce a gender controversy, even in a discussion of Star Wars. That particular blog simply illustrates that folks with gender confusion feel it in everything they deal with, even a fictional movie. No news there. But the larger lesson is that there are heroes. It doesn't matter who they are. When someone steps up and saves the day, we can all cheer, and aspire to be the hero no matter their race, gender, or even species. We all want to believe that we can be that person.

I didn't see that as a "gender controversy", only a person coming to understand a character in their own way. I appreciate that. I thought it was more insightful and thoughtful than "Life Lessons from Star Wars" with lots of pictures. I like challenging my understanding and learning new ways to see familiar things.

Then, you'll surely enjoy this piece about the moral and spiritual issues in Star Wars:

I did enjoy that---it was very funny! Was it supposed to be funny? I like the idea that lying and "Jedi mind tricks" are problematic. Wouldn't that be a strange world if people really thought that lying was that terrible? And if people really thought that much about lying, I'm sure that killing anyone---or anything---would require some serious verbiage. But not even a mention over "Han shot first"?!

That has to be the most morally questionable action of all of the movies. To recap, there are at least three versions of that scene:
  1. Originally, Han shot first
  2. Edited to make it so that Greedo shot first
  3. Edited again to show that they shoot at the same time
I like the fact that in the original, Han was a cold-blooded killer. He was more complex; had a secret. But they whitewashed him, made him a less interesting character.

We'd better be careful. Our nerdliness is showing....again. I actually enjoyed the South Park episode where they mercilessly mock George Lucas for perpetually going back and modifying his movies for "new and improved" releases.

Like you, I also liked it better when Han shot first. He's not all cookies and ice cream. But he isn't a "cold-blooded killer". He's defending himself, as he has a gun pointed at his head and facing certain death.

At least it should have been certain death. Apparently, this must be Greedo's first bounty mission (or he forgot his glasses), because he's a terrible shot.

If Han shot first, then I think legally and philosophically you would have to say it was murder. If Greedo had killed Han, that would have been murder? Greedo was just defending himself, too. I'm no fan of any "pre-emptive strike" in real life. No, if Han had shot first, he would be a cold-blooded killer, and slightly less 1-dimensional.

Without straying too far into the legal weeds:  If I walk up to you and shoot you with a gun, I'd be committing murder. If I walk up to you, aim a gun at your head and tell you I'm going to shoot you, and you pull out a gun and shoot me first, you are defending yourself. That's not murder. It's not a crime at all. Apparently, your leftward leanings have led you to believe that every gun-related death is automatically murder. Legally, that is not the case. Sorry to pop your simplistic bubble.

Wow, you saw a different scene than I did. Greedo did none of those things. If he had done what you say, I would agree with you. But Greedo did not.

Here's an interesting clip (made by someone who may be more nerdish than us) with both scenes, side-by-side. Greedo has a gun pointed at Han's head throughout the scene. Decide for yourself if the dialogue suggests he's about to shoot Han.

I, too, am looking forward to a new episode with very little Lucas involvement. When you go back a view the originals (and, having 4 young boys, I've seen them....... a lot!), the acting is pretty poor, and the dialogue is worse. But, the story is good and supports the other failings. You know that it's George Lucas that's at fault, because the same actors have produced great acting while working in other projects, with different directors.

Will this movie revive the series? Will it live up to the hype? Will the ghosts of Yoda and Christmas past return? Is Luke going to go over to the Dark Side?

Well, I can answer one of those: it can't live up to the hype. And as you watch the new movie, remember that your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them. Especially the left one.

You're certainly right there. However, even if it's a bad movie, we can bet the farm there will be sequels.  If this one is terrible, we'll still go see the next one to find out if they can salvage the wreckage. And if it's pretty good, well, the only question is how many films they'll make. So, Yoda is wrong. The future isn't so hard to see.

After all, the Avengers films are taking on an entire industry unto themselves. I missed the last film, and probably will need to see it to understand all of the inter-connections between the films to stay with the ever more complicated storyline.

Perhaps Star Wars, and other films, will follow this lead? "When 900 Star Wars films you have seen...... look as good you will not!"

I'll let you have the last word to fulfill C-3PO's instructions: "Let the Wookie win!"

Wait, am I the Wookie? I win?!

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