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. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    elfdart,

    No, we don't go to see 'average' people. But, I'll bet if they ever make a movie of Flight 93, we'll all go see it, even if the ugliest actors/actresses in Hollywood are cast as the true-life heroes.

    Who were the people carrying their co-workers out of the Trade Center? Just average, ordinary people, everyday heroes.

    EDIT: I notice you said 'cool' 'interesting' and 'grotesque.' You did not say "half-god", "semi-divine," "royal," or even "noble." So, your definition fits ordinary people, 'cause ordinary people are cool, interesting and grotesque. And a decent author can make a good story out of that.

    Lady S.
  2. naw ibo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 5
    I've seen Lucas' comments in context and he *was* talking about government, political government.

    However Lucas is also smart enough to know that in practice, that doesn't work, so Brin is kind of putting a bit too much emphasis on it than he should.

  3. elfdart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 2
    One more thing. The reason Lucas introduced the midichlorians and made Force powers hereditary is simple -Lucas needed a plot device to explain why Jedi are so rare by the time of A New Hope. If just any Tom, Dick or Harry could acquire Jedi powers, then they would be impossible for Sidious to wipe out. If he can't get rid of the Jedi, no Evil Empire.

    The midichlorians might be a plot device to explain how Palpatine is able to track down and kill any potential Jedi.

    Once again, Lucas is not a neo-Nazi out to extoll the vitues of ubermenschen.

  4. elfdart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 2
    But those ordinary people were doing very EXTRAORDINARY things, which proves my point. If Al-Queda had never attacked the way they did, these people would have gone on with their lives -doing ordinary things. Only two of the victims were well-known before Sept. 11: Barbara Olson (her husband is a bigshot at the Justice Department), and Beri Berenson ( actress and sister of actress Merissa Berenson and wife of the late Anthony Perkins). In other words, it's unlikely that anything that would have happened on a normal day would be made into a movie.

    And there's no way in hell I'll watch a movie about Flight 93 because it will probably be made into a lame Fox Movie-of-the-week and will cheapen the memory of those who were real heroes.
  5. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    elfdart,

    Missed the point again.

    Lady S.
  6. elfdart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 2
    If someone says: "In theory, communism is heaven on Earth. But it's difficult to not be corrupted by so much absolute power." , is that person saying communism is good? No! Because everyone knows that (as Goethe wrote) "Theory is grey, but reality is green." Lucas said that in a perfect world, there would be a kind despot. He then goes on to say that however, absolute power (as Acton said) corrupts absolutely.

    The only way someone could infer from that line of questioning that Lucas wants a dictatorship is to willfully distort what Lucas meant or to have a poor grasp of language. (Again, this assumes the quote is correct.)
  7. elfdart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2001
    star 2
    Most movies (at least the ones I watch) have one or more of the following things:

    1) Characters who are extrordinary. They are much more interesting than the average person.

    2) Extraordinary deeds.

    3) Extraordinay situations.

    Star Wars has all three of these things. The Postman has zero.

    There is no correlation between having supernatural powers and being interesting in Star Wars, as I pointed out with Han Solo and Boba Fett. Out of all the main characters, I find Luke Skywalker the LEAST interesting. If Lucas was trying to push a "genetic superman" dogma (as Brin claims), he is a miserable failure.
  8. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    elfdart,

    Yes, there is--on page 19 of this thread, DarthTerrious' post of 1:30 a.m. on 9/24. Read it yourself and then make up your own mind.

    Lady S.
  9. cratylus Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 9, 2001
    star 2
    I for one am no fan of "archetype" thinking or of Joseph Campbell, as I believe humans are more complex than he makes us out to be and that each of us has our own story. What campbell really did was repackaged Sir James Frazier's outdated attempts to find unity in anthropology, and that kind of packaged theory rarely hits the mark--never mind that Frazier was wrong.

    I loke Star Wars. I love it. But the whole monom,yth thing is taken too seriously by too many people. It also gets coopted by pseudoscience and is used to bolster their claims when it is itsel;f defective. I like the fact that Lucas seeks mythic proportions in his saga; Brin doesn't. But criticizing Campbell doesn't really touch Star Wars.

    I am interested in the fact that Dr. Brin never mentions the LIBERAL subtext of the star wars series (or if he did it was so brief I forgot about it) Not only is the Empire a dictatorship, but the rebels are trying to restore a republic. George Lucas has said, ever sincve the seventies, that his inspiration came from the Vietnam War... in other words the Ewoks are the Viet Cong, overcoming the superior technology of...


    That's right folks. WE ARE THE GALACTIC EMPIRE.
  10. DarthBane93 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 1999
    star 4
    Geez. SW is just a movie series. Sure all movies have some elements you can take from real life because we contruct these movies.

    But in the end, its just a movie. David Brin and others take this stuff way too seriously.

    Hmmm...an infamous William Shatner quote, albeit on SNL, comes to mind. ;)
  11. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    DarthBane93, I think you hit the nail on the head right there.

    I enjoy Star Wars. I enjoy the OT and the PT. Yes, that's right, I like the prequels. Call me "easily pleased" if you want, but I do. I enjoy them because I don't try and rip them apart, or take them too seriously. I just watch them for a bit of fun. I recognise that they are not in the same league as the OT, and I don't belive that they ever could be. But in my opinion, they are enjoyable to watch.

    And that's been the real sticking point here: opinion. Back when the "ship design" thing took over this thread, people on both sides of the argument were stating their opinions a though they were real, varifiable facts. As though it can be scientifically proven that a Coruscant air bus, as designed by Doug Chiang, has a quantifiable ugliness factor that you can measure on some scale. Well guess what? It doesn't. If you think it's ugly, so be it. If you think it looks fine, that's your opinion. Why make it into a huge slugging match? My opinion is that the PT has some great designs,and that Chiang and his team have done a great job of harkening back to another era of the GFFA, and that in AOTC they have done well in starting to blend it with what we see in the OT. If you don't agree with me, I don't have the slightest problem with that. By the way, I'm sorry to bring this topic back up again, I just wanted to comment on it, and it goes with my whole argument.

    Everyone has an opinion. You have an opinion, I have an opinion, David Brin has an opinion. Some people agree, some disagree. Some people feel the need to take issue and berate people when they have different opinions, others just shrug and say "whatever." I'm among the second group. If you don't like the PT, it's no skin off my nose. I don't feel the need to gush about it, or to insult you because you feel differently to me. I've said this in several other posts during my time here: "Why can't we all just get along?"

    Sure, Brin has some weird ideas, and I agree wholeheartedly that he contradicts himself and exibits very poor knowledge of what he is discussing, but does it really matter what he thinks? Will it ruin your enjoyment of Star Wars? Will you sit down to watch the movies and then suddenly think "oh no, David Brin thinks I'm a sheep, I'd better go read The Postman instead?" No, of course you won't. You probably won't even think of him while you're watching. And he isn't likely to change his opinion just because you have a whinge about him on the internet. So I guess we'll all just have to live with it, and get on with our lives.

    And just to quickly comment with my 2 cents on the "benevolant despot" question, I can see what Lucas is saying. Having a truely good, uncoruptable ruler who only wanted the best for his subjects would be in many ways better than the system we have now. But it can't happen. It's a total pipe dream, and I'm sure Lucas knows that. Human nature means that such a thing is impossible.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts.
  12. DarthBane93 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 1999
    star 4
  13. JediHeretic47 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 1
    I suppose my last post was a bit short. I was having one of the worst days I've had in years yesterday. But anyway.

    Jar Jar is a commoner. As is Han Solo. As is Shmi. As is Lando. As is Padme! She was elected, and according to outside sources, she is from a "humble mountain village." And aren't we forgetting Mon Mothma? That's right, the leader of the Rebellion is a woman.

    You may agree with this, or you may not, but all of this is about what's going on inside of us. When you try to transport it out into socio-political-economic realms its ridiculous. But this is not what anyone is talking about. Or at least, not what Lucas and Campbell are talking about. It is NOT Frazer imo. If I recall, Frazer was saying that myth was primitive man's bumbling attempt at science. It was about explanation, and meaning. All Campbell's work has been in the opposite direction. It is an EXPERIENCE. It has nothing to do with explanation or meaning. He denies both those things again and again.

    And if you recall that part in the Power of Myth when Moyers pointed out that the virgin birth was when gods were born, Campbell replied, do you know who that god is? It's you. All the symbols in mythology have to do with you. Now, you can get all mixed up in concepts, and think that it's all going on out there, but that's not what it's about. Have you died and been reborn? Have you died to your animal nature and come to life as a human incarnation?

    That's what it's all about. Think about all those Greek plays in amphitheaters and so on where the actors would assume the personalities of the gods. Even now, in India, when people dance in certain Vedic rituals they are meant to become incarnations of the various deities that they are representing. It's all about participation, not explanation. This is what, in one way or another, all mystical experience is about. And it doesn't matter if it happens in Greek mystery plays or people dressed as Jedi at DragonCon. Now, it's a little different in our Judeo-Christian traditions, where one cannot have these experiences and just has to submit to scripture and authority. But that's certainly not how it started. The reasons for this are outlined in a book that I've read, and so has Lucas, called The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels.

    All the symbols in mythology have to do with you. When you try to translate it into what Brin is trying to translate it to, it's like having a book that's written in Latin and trying to translate it as if it were written in Japanese. And then wonder why it seems so crazy. We're not talking about the daylight world of business and politics, but rather the deep dream language of the visionaries. I can relate to almost every single character in the saga with no problem whatsoever.

    In order for Brin's argument to work, you would literally have to distort everything Campbell ever said. Though I still don't negate his opinion, I find it a very dishonest and intellectually reprehensible one. And it does matter what Brin has to say, because people listen to him apparently. And guys like him who are all self-consciousness and nothing else are going to get this world screwed up past the point of all return.
  14. The_Abstract Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2002
    star 4
    In order for Brin's argument to work, you would literally have to distort everything Campbell ever said. Though I still don't negate his opinion, I find it a very dishonest and intellectually reprehensible one.


    I'm going to ride JH47's coattails a bit and add on that I also do not have a problem with people stating their opinions. But when they purposely and knowingly misrepresent other people's ideas to advance their own agenda, they really do a disservice to intellectual discourse in this world. We all should know by the end of our first year of college how to properly build an argument. The tools aren't really that complicated.

    But what Brin and other people like him do is let their arrogance take over. I have no doubt he honestly believes he is right. He thinks he is intelligent enough to deceive other people into believing what he says. He's a svengali, working his magic on the dull and apathetic masses. Unfortunately, people like that don't play well with others, especially those who are smart enough to be able to deconstruct and discredit his opinions. But like someone caught with his hand in the cookie jar, his first reaction is going to be denial. His arrogance in addition to his intelligence allows him to construct these seemingly valid scenarios, which in his world are correct, but when brought into the realm of a public forum, they are as illusionary as an oasis in the Sahara.

  15. newbie4000 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2001
    star 1
    Bottom-line its just a freakin movie, who cares what Brin thinks...

  16. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    JediHeretic47,

    The characters you used are all 'minor' characters, not the main heroes. The main heroes are all male, btw.

    The minor characters all have important roles to play, but they're not the main heroes and I think that fits with my point.

    Lady S.
  17. DarthBane93 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 1999
    star 4
  18. rpeugh Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2002
    star 4
    Im still baffled about his wacked out idea to have Obi wan and Anakin consipire against Yoda and the Emporer. That makes absolutely no sense. Does anybody know what the heck he is talking about? Thank GOD he isnt writing episode 3. It would ruin everything.

    Also, he says, "So basically Anakin is becoming evil because he is human?" He asked this question in a sarcastic way. And the answer to his question is YES. I dont see why it is so hard for him to believe that we both have good and evil in us.

    Anyway, Im not worried about what Brin says. Literature these days is not the dominating discipline of the world that it once was 5 or so centuries ago( that title now belongs to computer science). If Shakespeare, Milton, Dickens, or some other classic writer came back from the dead and said Lucas's movies were bad, then I MIGHT be concerned.

    Also, in one of his essays, Brin mentions that Lucas said Jedi are in fact NOT celibate. I had not heard this before. Has anybody else heard GL say this?
  19. DarthTerrious Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 5
    Well Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi, Actually I thought Padme was a main hero. So not all of them are male. Flaw in your point there methinks.
  20. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    If she were the "Chosen One" instead of Anakin, then she would be the main hero. But, hey, I'm looking at it from the woman's perspective.

    Lady S.
  21. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    "But what Brin and other people like him do is let their arrogance take over."

    Exactly. He hurts his own argument.

    rpuegh: Brin's argument would make sense if we were only the second or third film into the SW saga. As it is now, his idea of Palpy/Yoda would absolutely not work. We've seen Yoda in his latter-days. It could work if we started with TPM and went on, but not now. Yoda is a flawed mentor/hero.
  22. Tobie_Wan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 4
    The twins may have been hidden from Yoda to protect him as the last repository of Jedi knowledge from the purge.
  23. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Yoda: "No, there is another".

    Yoda knew.
  24. Tobie_Wan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 4
    I think yoda knew as well. I think he didn't have contact with the twins because he would likely want to train them, thus bringing a threat to them and himself from Vader and the Emperor.
  25. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    But umm...Yoda did train one. :confused:

    I'm not sure I understand your contention. Are you saying you agree with Brin's idea about Palpy and Yoda in cahoots?
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