November 16, 2006

Shameless Geek Post

Over the weekend, one of the upper tier cable channels (I'm thinking it was HBO, but I'm not sure) ran a Star Wars marathon that featured all six of the Star Wars movies in chronological order, from the annoying Jar-Jar Binks mistake to the improbable stone age Ewoks decimating an entire legion of the evil emporer's finest troops.

And of course, I had to watch, bleary eyed, at least twice. After all, I am of the Star Wars generation. I owned (and still own, somewhere) a few dozen of the original Star Wars action figures, including a couple of the snow fortresses from the Empire Strikes Back, and even the Ewok village, which is a little embarrassing to admit. So, I was required by little-known Star Wars law to sit through all six episodes, back to back.

And you know what? I have to say, I have some serious problems with the movies now that I've seen them all in order, tweaked as they've been by George Lucas's warped sense of the Force. First off, as pretty much any hardcore Star Wars fan will tell you: Greedo did NOT shoot first. If you don't know what that means, well, there's nothing I can do for you.

But all Lucas quibbling aside, there's something far more fundamental about the Star Wars series that's bothered me for years. Namely, I really think Anakin Skywalker got off far too easy in the end. Oh, sure, he died and got all frizzled by the emporer's finger lightning, but that's about it.

After a couple of decades gorging himself on the excesses of the Dark Side power as Darth Vader, Anakin's given an "awww, shucks, welcome to the glowy trio party! All's forgiven!" greeting by Obi-Wan and Yoda. All because he finely, FINELY decided to throw an elderly crippled man down a ventilation shaft. Hey, I could do that after work; there's plenty of elderly cripples walking around the Mayo Clinic to choose from. At least one of them must be evil. If I push one in front of a bus, do I get a "Get Into Heaven Free" card?

I mean, come ON! Isn't there, at least, some sort of Force purgatory? Shouldn't Anakin have had to work off a couple hundred years of pennance, you know, for slicing and dicing a temple full of younglings? Shouldn't he have had to sit in the corner for a few centuries to really think about that one before he could join the Glow Force Trio?

Or, you know what? Hey, didn't he just stand idly by while Grand Moff Tarkin ordered the blowing up of an entire freakin' planet? He just stood there and watched, clutching his daughter. He didn't even consider putting a little Force pressure on Tarkin's trachea.

Shouldn't there be some penalty for allowing "millions of voices to cry out in terror, and then be suddenly silenced," all for the sake of TESTING a battle station's firepower? I mean, that's some pretty hardcore apathy, even by our standards. Yet, Anakin's given a pass on that, all because he suddenly realized that, maybe, just maybe, that was wrong. "Oops, my bad! But, I killed a geezer, so all's forgiven, right?"

As an additional "you know what?," I feel I should point out that he also went and sliced off his own son's hand. Now, child abuse in our galaxy, right now, is pretty solidly frowned upon, so you'd think that long ago, in a galaxy far, far away that was far more technologically-advanced than our own, there would have been some sort of child services agency that had a ban on lopping off a child's hand. Granted, Luke was considerably older than a mere child, but if I went home over the weekend, and my dad came after me with an axe, intent on lopping off my hand, I'd have the cops over there putting on a serious beat down.

All of this just means I watched way, way, wayyyyyy too much Star Wars over the weekend.

Posted by Ryan at November 16, 2006 12:33 AM | TrackBack

What you don't see is right after the camera cuts back to the dancing Ewoks, glowing-Yoda and glowing-Kenobi give him a righteous wedgie. A process they will repeat every three minutes for the next twenty-thousand years.

Posted by: flamingbanjo at November 16, 2006 11:46 AM

Sure, he cut off his son's hand but that's because he knew Luke was using it to masturbate to Ewok porn. Tough love, ya know?

But yeah, he got into the glowy thing really easily and quickly. He should suffer for having banged Natalie Port.. I mean Padme.

Posted by: Johnny at November 16, 2006 02:30 PM

I dunno about using the force, but you could sure use a spell-checker. Vader wasn't apathetic when he blew up that planet either, that would be sociopathic.

That aside, don't think for a second he got off lightly - after he blew up planets and cut off his son's hand etc he then had to go and star in the first three films. Punishment enough, methinks. "It's as if millions of nerds suddenly cried out in pain".

Posted by: simon at November 17, 2006 03:46 AM

I might be even more geeky than you because when I saw that the movies were on, I couldn't bear to watch them because they were all presented in full-frame. Bastards! (Everyone knows widescreen is the only way to see movies the way they were intended).

Posted by: Thomas at November 17, 2006 12:28 PM

"finally, FINALLY"

not "finely, FINELY"


Posted by: Strider at November 22, 2006 10:09 AM

That being said, your entirely right. Except for the hand bit: that was a legitimate duel and thus fair game; and anyway, Luke chopped off Darth's hand *right back*, so it's a wash, right?

(Wasn't there a line in the Addams Family movie somewhere about one kid poisoning the other, and Morticia responding with "you just go and poison him right back"?)

Actually, the redemption of Darth Vader is right in line with Christian theology. No matter what your sins, God forgives all if you are truly repentant, and will let you into heaven. The Star Wars movies didn't have the messianic figure who died to make such forgiveness possible, (well, Obi Wan? Yoda maybe?) but still....

Posted by: Strider at November 22, 2006 10:20 AM

"you're entirely right"

not "your entirely right"


(Damn it)

Posted by: Strider at November 22, 2006 10:21 AM

Sounds great! Your blog is one of my most favorite now ;). You have hit the nail on the head, just like you always do.

Posted by: Curt at April 9, 2008 04:45 AM
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