Lit Moorcock's Starship Stormtroopers essay

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Iron_lord, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/moorcock.html

    Any thoughts on it? Do you think that ESB and RoTJ reinforce the message he attributes to Star Wars or subvert it?

    I would agree with the notion that Star Wars & Tolkien come out of the same basic philosophical viewpoint (the power of mercy, the themes of nature vs industry) - but I'm a bit doubtful about the wisdom of labelling them "crypto-fascist".
  2. Karohalva Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2008
    star 2
    It seems to be Marxist sociology, wherein class and the pursuit of material control are the sole movers of society. To me his argument seems almost petulant, a disillusioned intellectual refusing to acknowledge his own disillusionment in that his fellow man has disproved his sacred truths being self-evident. But then again, I'm a reactionary, patriarchal bigot, so what do I know.
    MercenaryAce and Zorrixor like this.
  3. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Yes- it seems a bit blinkered to exclude Heinlein from the "libertarian" class- anarchists are not the only ones that can value freedom.
  4. cthugha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2010
    star 3
    For easier reference, here are the Star Wars part of the (longish and not particularly well-structured) essay:

    The heroes being quasi-children I can agree with -- the Campbell myth basically requires exactly that (which mind you is no excuse, as Moorcock's whole essay can be read as an indictment of the Campbell myth itself).

    However I'm somewhat doubtful about the notion of the heroes' being "protective of existing institutions" because they follow a "paternalistic authority", represented in "the princess". Of course the ending of ANH hearkens back to the medieval knights-honored-by-king motif, but apart from the aesthetic similarities I don't really see the connection. I've always thought of Leia as a princess in name only -- she doesn't behave like one (I mean like the stereotypical princess), you don't get the kingdom if you get her, there's no king-father, all that. So I don't really see how she would represent any paternalistic authority, especially as she is part of the hero group herself. Who else remains, then -- Dodonna? I don't think so, particularly seeing how Wedge reacts to his plans; at best he's a representative of the Rebellion as a group. And thinking of that -- how are the heroes protective of existing institutions if they join up with a rebellion against the existing institutions? Just because they get awarded and respected by their peers at the end doesn't mean they're fighting for the establishment.

    The Force thing, instinct over reason, I can partly agree with -- however the only scene where this conflict is really played out is in the scene on the Death Star with Vader Force-choking Conan. So one might say that the movie actually makes it quite clear that assuming superiority of the Force over reason is something that bad guys do.

    On the whole, though, I agree with most of what Moorcock says, and much of this I've been saying myself for some time. I also wouldn't exclude all of Star Wars from his fundamental criticism, but the parts he picks on are not too convincing IMO. Maybe I'll have time for some more analysis later...
  5. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    :eek:

    Oh, wait...

    For a second there I honestly forgot that that was Motti's first name and thought you were talking about Vader choking this Conan:

    [IMG]
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Jan 31, 2013
    cthugha likes this.
  6. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Conan is too awesome for stupid puns. [face_not_talking]

  7. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    It wasn't a pun... I actually thought that was what @cthugha meant at first. :p
  8. Gorefiend Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2004
    star 5
    Wouldn’t you know that part of burned off in his little accident? [face_batting]