David Brin's commentary on AOTC and what it reveals...

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Kiki-Gonn, Sep 19, 2002.

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  1. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    A benevolent dictatorship is still a dictatorship. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So, before very long a benevolent dictatorship becomes bad.

    The point is, a benevolent dictator, if he were truly benevolent, would not be corrupted by power. That's the whole point. Lucas isn't saying that we should take a dude who's pretty good for the most part and give him absolute power because that would come to a bad end. I think Lucas is merely saying that a "benevolent despot" would be the ideal ruler if it were realistic.
  2. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    It's amazing the different responses to one little interview. You know who I immediately thought of while reading it? Adolph Hitler? Nah. More like Walt Disney!

    * Possibly inflammatory lines gone with the wind.

    Personally, I would have no problem with a benign despot or emperor or king or whatever nomenclature was used, provided he pretty much left everyone alone.
  3. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Durwood,
    Forgive my ignorance. I'm too keyed into Tony Blair's poor "regime" and I only glance at US politics.


    Sorry, if I jumped at you, but the fact is, Al Gore lost the election fair and square but then filed lawsuit after lawsuit, trying to get needless recounts of the ballots which introduced more and more errors into the final tally, and with the Florida Supreme Court all but telling Gore to go ahead and find as many votes as he could to "win" he still couldn't do it!

    It got very messy, but the bottom line is, Al Gore lost the election, and the liberals haven't stopped bellyaching about it for over two years.
  4. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    JediHeretic47 you made some good points. But lets stay away from talking about GOD. Don't forget a hell of a lot of people believe in him. I'm one of them.
  5. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    JediHeretic47,

    Try studying Christianity a little more before calling it a "monarchy." It is, in fact, a theocracy in that the "benevolent dictator" in this case happens to be the creator of the universe and so deserves our devotion.

    See: Issues that make Christians squirm! a website that focuses on "facts, arguments and scandals that give Bible believers nightmares."
  6. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    A Durwood could we not talk about Christianity.
  7. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    I'm not saying Brin should go after fundamentalists or anyone else, but I'm sure he gets the shudders around religious people. He just doesn't have the guts to take them on.

    And yes, I've done my bit studying Christianity. In fact, I was one for 21 years! And I attended a private Christian school for 9 of those years! Read a ridiculous amount of theology. So I'm down with the lingo.

    I can even go edit what I said out, lest we go crazily off-topic.
  8. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    Ok bothof you let us not talking about Christianity here. PM each other of that.
  9. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    I think his point was that there is a contradiction between espousing democratic values and then using terminology like king and lord on Sundays. Which is true. Most Christians do that.

    Again, that's why we have a separation of church and state.

    But yes, Brin has plenty of other targets to go after besides a mainstream independent film director. Like I said before, he seems to be projecting his feelings toward Lucas just because he happened to mention the word despot (which does have negative connatations). It's the same way U.S. politicians at the height of the Cold War threw out "commnunist" to attack those who ran against them. Brin is trying to put Lucas in a box he doesn't fit into.
  10. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Abstract,

    Please read the article. And thanks for pointing out my misread of despot for benevolent dictator.

    Durwood,

    I correct myself. GL doesn't say "benevolent dictator." He says "despot." According to Webster's despot means "a ruler with ABSOLUTE POWER AND AUTHORITY." So, David Brin is right!

    Lady S.
  11. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    What Abstract said.

    And Durwood, that site was horrible! Sounds like something the love child of Lee Strobel and Ravi Zacharias would write up. Quite frankly, I've thought about becoming a Christian apologist just to help them out a little. Where's the Augustines? The Aquinas'? Where oh where.

    Sorry, but I'm feeling a bit playful.

  12. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Okay all you despot lovers: KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!


    Seriously, did anyone else read the Wired Lucas interview from '96 or '97?

    He believes people should have the right to own their own image.

    This is way too authoritarian for my tastes.

  13. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    Who is ZOD? Just jokeing no real I'm.
  14. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    Mercy! Quite frankly I'm so thoroughly a-political I don't really even deserve to be in this debate at all. I've read the interview several times, and if Brin hadn't made such a fuss, I wouldn't have even noticed, except perhaps to say, "Well, that's interesting." And then I would have gone on about my business. In point of fact, I'm not completely unsure that I didn't read it the first time.

    I would say that the entire point of Star Wars is - as I say in my three part article which I decided to spread out over a month - that if you haven't learned how to simply be human, no amount of systems are going to save you. The fact of the matter is, Brin is taking everything out of context, vomiting all over the internet, contradicting himself at every turn, distorting everything he comes into contact with, and presents himself as some sort of paranoid conspiracy nut.

    I could argue him down quite easily, therefore there's no real reason for doing so. You have to have faith in people. He has none, despite all his posturing. One can only beat their head against a brick wall for so long. I say just let him have at it. It takes a long time to understand this, but people are going to believe what they want to believe, and rationalize anything they want to rationalize, and arguing usually does no good.

    It's like the Matrix. No one could convince Neo of where he was. He just had to see it for himself.
  15. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    Re-read it again. Lucas is pointing out 2 things a benevolent despot would do:

    1. Encourage culture.

    2. Submit his will to the people.
  16. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
  17. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Abstract,

    He said that's how he rules his little fiefdom.

    But his comments about democracy seem to indicate he thinks a despot (see Webster's definition) would be better than democracy, which is what D. Brin said he said, and GL did indeed say it, so quit denying he said it. It's in print, for pete's sake.

    Please?

    Lady S.
  18. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    Thank you again, Abstract.

    Now, if Lucas was talking about an eviiill despot, that would be another thing!

    (trying to picture Lucas saying "eexxccccelllent" like Mr Burns)

    What was I saying? Oh yes - I was watching the Karate Kid Part 2 recently, and it was so great the way Mr.Miyagi handled scoffers back in Okinawa. They were all out in the street shouting, "Why did you come back? You have no honor! You're a coward!" And he didn't even look up! Daniel was all upset, and he was saying, "Doesn't it bother you when people say things like that?" To which he replied, "Daniel-san, lie becomes truth only when people want to believe it."

    And the same thing repeats itself in Karate Kid 3. After Mr.Miyagi soundly whips all three of the Cobra Kai people in their own dojo, and they're still shouting insults, struggling to get to their feet. "You won't even be a memory! You're nothing! When people think of karate, they'll think of Cobra Kai karate!" And again, Mr.Miyagi just walks out. He doesn't even look back or respond in any way. Of course, Daniel-san has to say something back to them and ruin it, but it was still great.

    There's nothing more boring that people sitting around justifying themselves, because anything can be justified.
  19. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    What I gather from his comments is he thinks that our democracy is not working in our country. Which is his opinion, and has nothing to do with Star Wars. Does it make him an evil man? I doubt it.

    It had proven historically that democracy is just as prone to corruption and decay as any other political system. It's not a self-perpetuating system. Lucas gave specific critiques of modern-day democracy, and in no way advocated the throwing over of our system. And I tend to agree with him on those very same critiques.

    But please, let's not hang the man for forming a political opinion.
  20. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    And on a more happy note, just let me say I love the phrase "cynical optimist." How very human and sane.

    Reading this thing for the fourth time, mainly because I'm waiting out the traffic, Lucas says that there is a "whole social need for that," that being, living in a society that you actually felt proud of being part of. Wouldn't that be nice? Queen Elizabeth immediately springs to mind. And again, not to "oppress" the masses but "impress" them, and people certainly like and respond to all sorts of ritualized pomp. Just look at the way a judge dresses. Then he clarifies what he has to say, "Now, obviously in some cases it got used in the wrong way." Such as the cases that Brin cited.

    We can get insight into Lucas' own psychology by the way he runs his own fiefdom. "I rule at the will of the people who work for me." Well, there you have it.

    He's talking basic humanism, thank goodness. And operating from the mindset of someone who actually trusts the feelings of the masses. That's what Brin really hates. To bring in another Mr.Miyagi quote, "Sometime, what heart know, head forget."

    Put it this way, I would much rather - MUCH RATHER - be ruled over by a king like Lucas than a president like Brin. No question. Hands down.
  21. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    JediHeretic47,

    Brin's not running for president, thank god! Or I would move to Australia.

    But the masses are oppressed by all that pomp and circumstance because they are the ones that pay for it thru taxation. And it takes a lot of taxes to pay for ruby-encrusted robes, huge palaces, etc.

    I have a friend (truly I do) who works for GL and I can ask him how Lucas treats his people.

    It's not someone who posts on these boards.

    Lady S.
  22. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    You know someone who works for Lucas? I'm sure a lot of people would like to know how he treats his people.

    Ask if Lucas makes them bow to him and stuff. You know, call him "Your majesty." Maybe even throw rose petals in front of him wherever he walks.

    I just don't get the point of Brin's arguments. I know he needs someway to cast himself into the role of the white knight, but I mean honestly, what does he think is going to happen? Groups - or as he calls us, cults - of SW fans are going to get together, start forming assemblies and stuff to promote Lucas' agenda? That SW is somehow paving the way for that? And that, one fine morning, legions of fans dressed up as stormtroopers are going to march on Washington, where they can behead the president, and crown Lucas emperor of America? That seems to be what he's implying.
  23. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    Most accounts I have read tell of a man who is so low key, you would mistake him for the janitor on set. They say he is always patient with the people he works with, and he never lets anything get him angry.

    Just look at the beginning docco when McCallum is bleeping every other sentance after the sand storm. Everyone else is stressing out a lot and when Lucas shows up, he just shrugs his shoulders and talks about how this happened for ANH's shoot too, and how he found it rather comforting. Kershner has called him the most wonderful collaborator.

    Alec Guinness, who went on and on about the dialogues banality, says on the side that he has a great deal of respect for Lucas, he just doesn't think it is healthy to start a phenomenon where people watch a single movie hundreds of times.
  24. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    Gomer, that's just a bunch of Lucasfilm propaganda. You don't realize this, but you've been brainwashed.

    Me: Tell me, are you now or have you ever been a member of the Lucas party?

    *David Brin walks in. I snap him a salute.*

    Me: I think I've found you another one, sir.

    Brin: Exceeeeellent. Take him to Postman Ranch where his re-education can begin.

    Me: Yes sir!

    Brin: By god, if the masses can't think for themselves, I'll just have to think for them! They're going to be free ... even if I have to force them to.

    Me: Superb sir!

    *We salute again. Brin walks out. I turn to Gomer, and drag him away, kicking and screaming.*

    Me: Don't worry son. After ten days of consecutive viewings of the Postman, you'll be all fixed up and ready to be a good, patriotic, productive member of our society. This way please.
  25. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I am so glad you are posting here again. I have always thought your articles have been the kind of thinking this whole forum needs more of. I wish I could make the kind of connections you have as readily.

    I just don't understand the view that assumes because one doesn't make all kinds of deep meaningfuly symbolic connections on one's 1st or second viewing that the film is devoid of meaning.

    It is even more grating when it comes from people who love the classic trilogy, and who realize that to this day there are new connections to make in the older films.

    Some seem to just throw their arms in the air at "I don't understand the point" and then assume there is none.
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