Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Star Wars Futures

(More SW Stuff. Racial slurs are used, unpleasantly and deliberately, to highlight the loathsome messages that Lucas slipped into the analyzed plots.)

So, what will the new Star Wars movies be about? Let's review what we know, and predict the future.

First Two Trilogies Specifics

Star Wars Plot Point 1: An evil empire of faceless white people pursues a wealthy princess from California through space. The goal of the empire is to expand the dominion of a single white man who talks about enjoying hatred and killing. The imperial soldiers call themselves by Nazi names, and their officers wear Nazi-styled uniforms.

Star Wars Lesson 1: You can tell evil people by their similarities in speech, dress, and manner to evil people from the past. Evil people wear dark colors, and are always really obvious about being evil.

Dangerous Tidbit Inside SWL1: Evil people and evil empires are not always, or even at all, identifiable by their similarities in speech, dress, or manner to evil people from the past. Evil people accomplish evil things by pretending to be nice. They talk about humanitarian intervention and they lament collateral damage. People conditioned by Star Wars to see evil as obvious are often unable to identify as "evil" evil actions perpetrated by tyrants or stormtroopers who talk about human rights and justice, rather than about tyranny and hatred.

Art-specific Lucas Issue Inside SWl1: Politics aside--on a personal level, George Lucas is obsessed with two things in life. Firstly, Nazis. Secondly, being reincarnated as Harrison Ford. Try as he might, he cannot get over the desire to be as ruggedly handsome and sexually vital as Indiana Solo. And try as he doesn't, does he care even the tiniest bit about the dozens of millions dead in Stalin's gulags, the millions of victims of Maoist China, the napalmed children of the Vietnam War (happening right as he finished up his script for A New Hope), the Filipino bone piles of the Spanish-American War, the American Indian genocide, or any of that? No, but with his every breath, he will take care to remind the world that Adolf Hitler, the most widely-agreed-upon figure of evil in the history of mankind, is bad. So his heroes have to fight Nazis across ten movies, and to hell with the rest of the world. And of course, the wealthy, powerful heiress to an acting and producing family is the natural choice to play a young, vulnerable rebel.

Star Wars Plot Point 2: The rich princess faces capture by the Nazis. Her only hope lies in a wise British man who has lordship over a patch of sandy desert on a nearby planet. She stores vital information about the empire's ultimate weapon--the Death Star--in a robot, and the robot escapes to the planet. The robot is found by some dirty, scuzzy, physically stunted desert people in robes, who sell it to a young man with an American accent. Attracted by a picture of the princess, he goes for advice to the wise British man. En route, he is attacked by a different set of desert men, called "Tusken Raiders," who are violent and territorial and try to kill him without any provocation whatsoever. The wise British man long ago learned secrets of Oriental fighting, and he offers to teach the boy these secrets.

Star Wars Historical Aside: If rich princesses get in trouble, it is the duty of British and American people to help them out in deserts.

Star Wars Lesson 2: Wise British men know the secrets of the universe. Deserts are often filled with worthless, untrustworthy scavengers. Most desert people and desert clothing are filthy and stunted. If they're not that, then they are tribal, irrational, and violent, and need to be killed to live safely in the desert.

Dangerous Tidbit Inside SWL2: Wise British men may know the secrets of the universe, but they are not the best source for East Asian history and culture. This will come as a surprise to George Lucas, and many, many Englishmen and Americans, but even after centuries of raping China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the rest of the Far East, the British and American empires are not (gasp!) the best sources of information on Asian culture. Ascribing stunted versions of eastern philosophy to a white nobleman, and passing "the Force" down through blood, westerner to westerner, is a tidy way of rewriting history.

Worse than replacing Asians with whites is the treatment offered Africans in the first Star Wars movie. The dirty, untrustworthy Jawas of the Sahara desert try to sell a broken droid to Luke. They are cruel to the droids they capture, and they are a society of parasites, living only off of the hard work of others. This is the "lazy darkie" American view of slavery-era African-Americans. It could be a coincidence, but Lucas' "bad desert people" trend continues throughout all of his work.

The Tusken Raiders are the extra-bad Africans. Like Lucas' Jawas, they live in the sandy deserts of Africa, wrapped in robes, violently raiding the settlements where decent people live. They're "the sand people," and both innocent Luke and worldly Ben Kenobi know that they are dangerous. They're easily frightened, though. (Later, in Episode III, we find out they are also into BSDM-rape of brunette white women. In fact, it was the vulgar sandy-desert people that created Darth Vader in the first place; he was just trying to protect his mother from their horny lust for white women. See Ep. II!)

Lucas used the Jawas and the Tusken Raiders to send a message about the backward, violent, extermination-warranting nature of Africans, in particular Muslims and Arabs. Americans find Saharan-style desert clothing exotic and fearful, courtesy the endless, ongoing Crusades to massacre those damned dirty sand people who live in Jerusalem.

Real African people might wear loose, billowy desert clothing to allow them to shed layers during hot daytime, then easily replace them during cool nights. They might wrap their mouths and hair against blowing sand, to help them in breathing. However, to Americans, wrapping your face can make someone seem shifty; wrap your face in a cloth wrap, and suddenly you're an oil tycoon sheik or a Taliban member. Lucas loved the opportunity of showing how decent, white, blond-haired, blue-eyed Luke Skywalker lived in the middle of the desert without needing such clothing, but how the backward, violent, disgusting Jawa and Tusken peoples wore African-style clothing.

A black character does appear in the second movie (Billy Dee Williams = Lando Calrissian), proving that Lucas' hero has a black friend. Granted, the black friend is a dirty traitor who sold everyone out for money, but he eventually figures things out.

Art-specific Lucas Issue Inside SWl2: Jesus, Lucas, how likely is it that an entire culture of Jawas could exist doing nothing except selling androids that fall safely from the nearby solar system during space battles? Even in a solar system where there are a lot of space battles (not the boring backwater 'burg the main character says the planet is), how many Jawas does it feed, selling one or two used droids per week to poor moisture farmers? And that's if those droids fell from space, survived the impact, and landed on the tiny percentage of the entire planet that your tribe of Jawas had to constantly search for fallen pieces of usable hardware.

Star Wars Plot Point 3: The Trade Federation, composed of babbling simpletons with a fishy appearance, blockades a lush, wealthy planet in response to a tariff dispute. Another princess (but an elected one, this time) attempts to oppose the tariff, but the democratic legislative body decides to further investigate the issue, so she is forced to start a war with the greedy Federation. (As before, Lucas casts his favorite heroine-type: a rich Jewish girl with strong Hollywood connections.)

Star Wars Lesson 3: Beware weird-talking, Japanese-like, sushi-eating fish creatures.

Dangerous Tidbit Inside SWL3: Despite the only attempted Asian representation inside the franchise up until The Phantom Menace, all Japanese and/or Asian people are not bad. Even if the Dutch East India Company sent knights back to Britain armed with superior knowledge of East Asian culture, the Asian people remaining behind are not all bad. The babbling fish-people of Lucas' Trade Federation, dropping the letter "r" and using exaggerated Asian-American accents, fit neatly in with his Nazi obsession, when it came time to write his second ("first") trilogy. Lucas had to mock Japanese because the Third Reich had Imperial Japan as an early ally, so obviously, the Evil Space Nazis needed to have Stupid Space-Nip Allies behind their buildup. He made them interested in "trade" because he was conceiving of the story during America's (and California's) racist 1990s fears that Japanese companies were buying too much real estate in America.

Art-specific Lucas Issue Inside SWl3: How many silly, childish accents can you pack into one franchise? Apparently, the number approaches infinity. Also, even Star Trek paid jobless linguistics PhDs to make up dialogue consisting of foreign space-languages. Except for a few derivative Spanglish lines from "Jabba the Hutt," Lucas didn't figure that one out until 1999.

Star Wars Plot Point 4: Before each movie, the good guys and bad guys are announced, and battles are promised.

Star Wars Lesson 4: Fighting is cool because it is cool. If someone is bad, you fight them without thinking about why.

Dangerous Tidbit Inside SWL4: Fighting is cool because it is cool. If someone is bad, you fight them without thinking about why.

That one should be obviously bad, but with a generation of Americans and many millions of others worldwide raised on the Star Wars franchise--succeeded by a generation raised on the equally vapid, blunt, "declared good against declared evil" Harry Potter franchise (also straight out of Anglo-America-land)--it is little surprise that when the Prez'dent and/or Prime Mini'stuh says someone is bad, most people are unable to think anything other than "fight." American country music's similarly trite "Let's Roll" gets bad press, but the reverse-stigmatizing effect of Star Wars and Harry Potter of unthinking violence has a far deeper impact on children's minds. Violence can be good, great, fun, and exciting, and maybe even honorable and necessary, but violence without thinking about why, because the opening credits tell you so, is exactly the kind of message that Lucas wanted to send.

The heroes in the first three Star Wars films never explain why they're against the Empire. The slightest moral dilemma is never expressed. The only potentially evil thing the Empire ever does during the trilogy is blowing up Alderaan with the Death Star, after a prominent politician and insurgent operative from Alderaan, with the support of Alderaan's political structure, steals the designs for a weapon housing several thousand Imperials, planning to bring them to a rebel organization dedicated to attacking and destroying the Empire. They also give the wealthy princess-prisoner the opportunity to reveal a true military target, but she lies, and Alderaan is blown up. Since we already know the Empire is bad from the credits, and since it calls itself an "empire" and its officers speak by rolling their r's like filthy Germans or Hispanics, we know the Empire is bad, so we don't need to worry about the relative morality of different forms of destruction during open war. Even Clerks addressed the morality issue; Lucas couldn't be bothered, because he had krauts and sand-niggers and japs to slur.

Star Wars Plot Point 5: To destroy the Old Republic, Count Dooku travels to a desert planet far from the capital, where a hive of ugly, brown insect men help him build an army to overthrow the government.

Star Wars Lesson 5: To destroy democracy, white people collaborate with dark people from dusty desert planets. These dark people may be affected by notions of collectivism.

Dangerous Tidbit Inside SWL5: Democracy, or any kind of government, can actually be upset without help from dangerous people from dusty desert planets. And, contrary to Lucas' continual vision, every non-white person who lives in an area of low rainfall is not a mindless, violent terrorist. This is how Star Wars sees Africans, Arabs, and Muslims, but--again, believe it or not--everyone from the Sahara desert and nearby countries is not either: an unthinking Tusken-Raider-style savage; a worthless, lying, thieving little Jawa; or, a brainless, violent, insectine communist Geonosian.

When countries in Africa try to nationalize their oil reserves, coal reserves, land, labor, or anything else, they are swiftly invaded by France, Britain, America, or all of the above, the people murdered, and the situation stabilized. When the dark-skinned locals object, they're killed by American flyovers or proxy thugs. When white people in America object, they're accused of being in sympathy with the dark-skinned people, or just not understanding reality. This is the nasty lesson of the second trilogy, and though Lucas tried to dress up a lot of his racism two decades later, he failed to eliminate the "sand people are bad people" giveaway.

First Two Trilogies, Overview

Specifics could go on, but we'll turn to the bigger picture first. The first trilogy, 1977-1983, tells the story of a banal, evil empire being defeated by a band of plucky heroes. The second trilogy--err, the "prequel," or the "real first trilogy"--tells the story of an evil young German corporal in the post-WW1 period--excuse me, ambitious Senator in a galaxy far far away--seizing power from the Senate, and stealing the resources of the republic to use to build an empire.

The plot explains Lucas' entire worldview: good, decent people, led by the right kind of wealthy entertainers, have built a democratic republic. That democratic republic is then threatened by usurpers who desire power. The usurpers win, temporarily, forming an evil empire, from which the galaxy is saved by the blood descendants of the Chosen people, who have a greater connection to the Force than other people.

The Necessary Successor

The necessary chunk for the next trilogy is the story of how a new Republic can be built by the heroes, while beset by the attempts of bad people to stop them. The Star Wars worldview of simple, obvious, unrealistic good versus evil will complete, in the third trilogy, the entire story of civilization: beginning at the end, the next trilogy will show how good governments are formed out of chaos. Then, the good governments fall due to greedy people willing to conspire with sand-darkies, after which the Nazis are defeated by people who rebuild a good government.

Given Lucas' history, and the history of the same team of dozens of inbred producers and contributors it's going to take to cobble the thing together over the course of several years, we can predict that the "new republic" will be beset by awful Africans, Muslims, and Arabs while it tries to form. The blood-Chosen race of special people (to whom the galaxy always rightly belonged) will struggle to defeat the few traitors to the cause, assisted by a bunch of eastern-style, collectivist darkies who are too stupid to understand that the democratic republic is good for them. These stupid easterners will reveal themselves, eventually, to be Nazis in disguise, because anyone who disagrees with the heroes is always a Nazi.

Look for a more ethnically diverse cast, though. One thing Hollywood has always been great at doing over the years is adding in just the right blend of women and/or minorities to appear proper within whatever the current historical climate says. So, the first Star Wars had zero black people and one woman, followed by one black person and a second woman in the second and third movies, followed by several black people and almost four women in the next three movies. We might even see a few token "good Arabs" in the next ones, just to reassure us, in true Aladdin style, that not all people from the Middle East are bad--just everyone there who isn't taking orders from the main characters.

Oh, and while we're wrapping up here, you know the "Sith"? The evil faction of violent, angry, openly hateful force-users behind every problem in the galaxy, including the manipulation of violent desert people toward anti-government behavior? As well as consistently choosing the wrong lightsaber color? Guess at the origins? That's right; it's from "Seth," e.g., an Egyptian word. And dark, dusky, desert people live in Egypt. Even some Africans (gasp!).

Don't worry, though. The brave, French-derived "Jedi" are there to save good white people from those dusky Africans. A few years ago, in a country very, very close, a man decided he was finally going to show everyone just how bad those desert dwellers really are.

10 comments:

  1. To anyone who will listen, I tell them that Joss Whedon's worlds are vastly superior...

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    1. Yeah, Firefly and Serenity provided not only a workable economic background to galactic travel (which most worldbuilders fail in) but un-cliche, non-token minority roles, and a beginning foray into the ideas of essential human perversion (e.g., "pax").

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  2. Actually, the more I thought about your post, the more I formed a new theory on good guys v. bad guys in Lucas' universe, and it all is based on hair. Basically, the more hair someone has and shows, the more you can trust them. Think about the villains in Star Wars (all of them):

    - Palpatine, hair shriveled out of pure evil
    - Vader, hair singed off permanently in magma debacle
    - Jabba the Hutt, too fat and slimy to have hair
    - Darth Maul, prefers horns and tattoos to hair
    - Boba Fett, might have hair but hides it under helmet
    - Stormtroopers, same
    - Tarkin, very high, receded hairline
    - Count Dooku, okay, ONE villain with decent hair, but remember, he's supposed to be freshly converted and a former Jedi.
    - Sandpeople, as Arka lists above, hide hair and all features really
    - Jawas, same

    Look at our list of heroes:
    - Luke, has shaggy 70s hair
    - Han, see above
    - Wedge, Biggs, rebels, etc., see above
    - Leia, makes a statement of her hair in every scene
    - Chewbacca, dear god, no explanation necessary
    - Lando, hair improves as he turns to the good side
    Qui-Gon Jinn, hippie hair
    - And then there are the Ewoks...we land on a planet and get captured by natives but THANK GOD LOOK AT ALL THAT HAIR, we know they'll come around and be friendly.

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    1. Oh and I forgot Padme, see Leia's entry.

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    2. Yeah, see that last rant about the Lucas/Gates fake-hippie connection. Lucas used the casual dress, elements of lawless spirit, and hairy tropes of the hippie era to trick people into being lured back into the arms of empire.

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  3. I think that his generally having followed the storyline prescribed by American political theology is one of the big reasons to explain Lucas' fame and fortune.

    Just imagine Star Wars plotlines being changed to ones where the darkies are presented as a people living under an imperial yoke and band together to fight the empire.

    Under such plotlines the best that Lucas could hope for would be favorable reviews from bohemian film critics and occasional mention in collegiate textbooks studied in second-tier liberal arts schools.

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  4. only innocents accept that class of movies around War: "Star Wars" is it the wished future for humankind?. No thank. Out Wars. "Stars Peace" better.

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  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  6. if religious would not so damaging; be careful, religious-demoniac-Enola Gays-little boy-fat man-sick homo-vices-religious go saying in "their" global media that "World War III has already begun"...because Humankind escapes from religious, and religion no more, Humankind go to a best Future; demoniac-religious would give a pity

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  7. if religious would not so damaging; be careful, religious-demoniac-Enola Gays-little boy-fat man-sick homo-vices-religious go saying in "their" global media that "World War III has already begun"...because Humankind escapes from religious, and religion no more, Humankind go to a best Future; demoniac-religious would give a pity

    ReplyDelete