Sunday, May 22, 2005

OK, last Star Wars post for now.

I was planning a snarky article on religion in the Star Wars movies.

But Beliefnet beat me to it.



Steve Caldwell said...

Check out this article on the "Star Wars" ethical and political universe being compared to the "Star Trek" universe published in 1999:

"Star Wars despots vs. Star Trek populists -- Why is George Lucas peddling an elitist, anti-democratic agenda under the guise of escapist fun?"

For whatever it's worth, the message distilled from the above-mentioned article should be troubling:

** Elites have an inherent right to arbitrary rule; common citizens needn't be consulted. They may only choose which elite to follow.

** "Good" elites should act on their subjective whims, without evidence, argument or accountability.

** Any amount of sin can be forgiven if you are important enough.

** True leaders are born. It's genetic. The right to rule is inherited.

** Justified human emotions can turn a good person evil.

The political message in Star Trek sounds closer to our Unitarian Universalist theology ... here's another quote from this article:

"In "Star Trek," when authorities are defied, it is in order to overcome their mistakes or expose particular villains, not to portray all institutions as inherently hopeless. Good cops sometimes come when you call for help. Ironically, this image fosters useful criticism of authority, because it suggests that any of us can gain access to our flawed institutions, if we are determined enough -- and perhaps even fix them with fierce tools of citizenship.

By contrast, the oppressed "rebels" in "Star Wars" have no recourse in law or markets or science or democracy. They can only choose sides in a civil war between two wings of the same genetically superior royal family. They may not meddle or criticize. As Homeric spear-carriers, it's not their job."

And since we value the democratic process in our congregations and in society at large, any suggestion that we're better off with ruling elites should be troubling.

Chalicechick said...

Part of me think this is cool and part of me thinks these people have WAY too much free time.

I don't think that Lucas is peddling an overtly political message most of the time, though the Bush comparisons in this movie seem clear enough.

It probably behooves us to keep in mind that this series was concieved as something basically for kids. I think it comes down to the fact that elitism is also "specialness."

I was a nerdy, not especially liked kid. (I know. Shocker!) I can promise you that the movies about kids who were just like all the other kids weren't the ones that captured my imagination.

I can 100 percent see the appeal of Harry Potter. Here's this kid who, like little CC, was a nerdy, not especially liked kid. Then one day, he finds out that he's someone special. He has magic powers! He's a wizard celebrity!

What little CC would have given!

(and adult CC wouldn't half mind herself. )