Saga SW Saga In-Depth In-Depth Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by only one kenobi, Dec 23, 2013.

Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn
  1. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    This was initially in response to another discussion but...I realised that it had drifted far from the issue at hand. So, here's as concise a reasoning for my dislike of the PT as I can put together - explaining that it is not just about nostalgia but about how the PT is a very different story (which is reasonable in itself) but which is meant to inform about the OT and thus alters the OT. More pertinently it is about how I can not buy into the story as told in the PT.

    For the purpose of this discussion I am going to us the separate terms "the Jedi" and "Jedi Order". The former is a concept introduced and elaborated in the OT. The Jedi represent the path to good - to good action and good thought. In the OT "The Republic" represented people's freedoms and democracy. "The Galactic Republic" is a body politic which, as we see, is not fit for purpose.

    In the PT Lucas introduced the Jedi Order, which is attached to a political body called The Galactic Republic. The very first action in TPM is decribed as two Jedi being despatched on a secret mission by the Chancellor, Valorum. Think about that, a secret mission authorised solely by the Chancellor... Does the Chancellor have the power to send the Jedi on this mission? In a democracy? We know that such executive powers are not given to the Chancellor until AOTC. This action is, democratically, illegal.

    So, right from the beginning of the PT the Jedi have become the Jedi Order. The concept of the Jedi has been morphed into a body of government attached to a governmental system - and each has a dependency on the other (just take a look at the Jedi Temple...that must have been a costly bit of work.... The Jedi (a concept) is a pillar of the OT story-telling and here, right from the beginning, that concept is dismissed and replaced by the story-telling construct "the Jedi Order"

    Part of the problem, I think, is that Lucas doesn't believe in or understand democracy. So, here we have a guy who is telling the story of losing democracy when...his thoughts on the matter probably mirror those of Anakin in AOTC (the waterfalls picnic scene). He has said that he believes in a 'benign dictatorship'. There are more worrying hints as to Lucas' beliefs such as the line in one of the Naboo deleted scenes. Anakin is speaking of the people having tried to change the constitution so that Padmé might remain Queen. Now, while I think her rejection of that is admirable, the reason she gives makes me...uncomfortable. She says; "Popular rule is not democracy..." - now in a way I agree with this, in as much as representation is not democracy (though it may be an aspect of it) and - more especially - rule (as in being ruled) is certainly not democracy but more worryingly she continues "..it gives the people what they want not what they need"...errm...WHAT?! What this is really saying is 'the people' are incapable of self-governance. This is 'the people' as mob. This is an oligarchic/aristocratic/elitist argument of rule by the qualified elite. Is this the basis of common law and the American constitution? It most certainly is not. There is another worrying aspect from that scene; "when the Queen asked me to serve as Senator..." Say whaaat?! So the Senate is not even democratically representative?

    What made the OT is not matched in the PT. I don't like the story the PT tells; I cannot buy into that story. The Jedi as a concept, and their philosophy - all that it represents (responsibility, questioning truth, questioning your own motives, a path to light, spiritual awakening). The Republic is a concept that I can relate to, and I see the people who relate to their freedom fighting for that (the rebels).

    In contrast the PT gives me the Jedi Order (a genetic elite, an aspect of the body politic, a governmental cabal) and the Galactic Republic (an unrepresentative oligarchy, an organisation unfit for the purpose of promoting freedom). At no point in the PT do we see real people doing anything. The story is told by means of organisations - two separate oligarchic structures (the Galactic Republic and the CIS) and a genetically elite, quasi governmental cabal (The Jedi order).

    The OT and the PT tell their stories on an entirely different level from each other, and the concepts the OT deals with are incompatible with the story the PT tells. The Jedi and the Jedi Order are entirely differentiated story-telling constructions, and the same can be said for the Republic and the Galactic Republic.
    TheWatcher, TKT, Darth_Pevra and 4 others like this.
  2. Carbon1985 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2013
    star 3
    It's real simple: I like the OT more because I like think they're better movies, and nobody should need to defend themselves when these 'nostalgia' arguments are thrown their way. (Which is frequently done on this website). Fans like us who prefer the OT are not anymore right about the movies then the fans of the PT, its just an opinion.

    But just to give some examples for those who will continue to bring up the nostalgia arguments, I will give you of an example of nostalgia. I get very nostalgic when I think about playing with Star Wars figures as a kid. Those were some great times getting the figures for Christmas and then creating your own adventures day in and day out. Now would I want to play with SW figures as an adult? No way, as I grew out of them when I was about 10 years old, but it still holds a place in my heart that can't be duplicated. Plus like most kids who grew up in the 80's, my parents trashed them after ROTJ and lord knows how much my collection would be worth today? [face_money_eyes]

    Now take the OT movies, I can still watch them endlessly today and still enjoy them as much as I did when I was a kid. I never outgrew them like I did with SW figures, because they all hold up well 30 years later. The characters, the story, the drama, the humor is all still there, and what worked for me from 1977-83 still works me in 2013. :)
    Last edited by Carbon1985, Dec 23, 2013
    Yanksfan and Ord-Mantell70 like this.
  3. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    You make great point there @only one kenobi, but certainly preferring the OT is not nostalgia, I don't think that is in dispute. But I think you are wrong in saying the stories are incompatible. In the PT we see how much the Jedi Order has become intertwined in politics to the point that they stray from their ideals and despite Mace Windu's claim they end up getting tricked into fighting a war for the Republic. Because of what happened to them back then, Obi-Wan and Yoda forget about their loyalty to the Republic and the "rules" of the Jedi Order and simply go back to being the Jedi. While they do try to pass on their philosophy to Luke they ultimately let him make his own decisions, rather than giving him direct orders that go against his ideals like they did to Anakin.
  4. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3

    You are correct that I was wrong to say they are incompatible. In fact what I ended up saying was a poor representation of my intent. Of course they can be compatible. My point was, rather, that the storytelling constructs are entirely different beasts. The Jedi in the OT act as representatives of a concept; of a philosophy of selflessness, of responisbility, of self-awareness. Becoming a Jedi is, in itself, the quest of the main character in the OT. To be a Jedi (one might say to do Jedi) is a state (concept) that is aspired to within the story that is the OT.

    In the same way the Republic is a concept that represents freedom (from tyranny) and we see people rebel against that tyranny (the Empire) in the name of that concept (the Republic).

    What has then occurred is that Lucas has decided to tell a different story and he utilised the pre-exisiting conceptual 'space' of the OT as a template for this. And it is the telling of a different tale. The OT is a story in and of itself, but Lucas then tells us that it is to be(come) the second half of a story about Anakin Skywalker. But in this other story that Lucas has decided to tell the references are to be altered. No longer is there The Jedi, there is now the concept of The Jedi Order. No longer have we the concept of the Republic, but we have a very different concept the Galactic Republic.

    I'm still not sure I'm getting this across as well as I would like. In the OT there is no requirement for the Jedi Order, only the concept of what it is to be a Jedi (to do Jedi). There is no need for a Galactic Republic, only the understanding of the Republic that is not the tyranny of Empire. More than that, by incorporating the PT as an aspect of the OT, those concepts are altered and, I would say, weakened.

    I hear what you say @Carbon1985...what I'm getting at is that the OT work better as films because of those conceptual place holders; because of how conceptual the story telling is.
  5. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    What's wrong with nostalgia? Furthermore, how does it invalidate an opinion?
    No matter how you look at it, an opinion will always be colored by personal experiences - and it will always be valid.





    - Do you remember your mother?
    - I remember when I gave this to you.

    /LM
  6. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4

    I'll address the rest of your post later, but I would really like you to clarify some of the points you made here. Particularly about Lucas' belief in democracy or lack thereof. I ask because I think that is quite an accusation to make.

    I took the liberty of looking up Lucas' statement on "benign dictatorship" and, perhaps you have a different source, but from what I found, he was referring to filmmaking NOT government as a "benign dictatorship."

    Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=5iHIJX42POMC&pg=PA723&lpg=PA723&dq=Lucas "benign dictatorship"&source=bl&ots=0GujclC9ZA&sig=faOaqtJSllY52ZfjU-TBdS-7oPM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=pUS4UrD-NcWvsQTp6IHYAg&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Lucas "benign dictatorship"&f=false

    Page 288:

    Q: One of the things we stress here at AFI is collaboration.

    Lucas: Film is an interesting medium because it's really a benign dictatorship.

    Now, we can discuss Lucas' beliefs about filmmaking somewhere else, if you'd like, but I'd like to see your source regarding the "benign dictatorship" quote, if you don't mind.

    In regards to "popular rule is not democracy," I don't really see why you would perceive this as anti-democratic. It's anti-establishment, to be sure, but I think it is no more anti-democratic than those who suggest Congressional term limits are. Because democracy is about representing the people's will, but you also have to go against the majority ("the popular") at times in order to protect your people. This is where the concept of "majority rules, minority rights" comes into play.

    Also, you might have noticed that Anakin is on a protagonist journey to villain -- Lucas explicitly portrays the Empire and Anakin as murdering children. Hardly the picture one would paint of a side one supports.

    Additionally, the fact that Senators are appointed by the Queen is not undemocratic since the Queen is elected. In the United States, for example, the Senators were not initially directly elected. It took an amendment to the Constitution for this to come into effect. It's rather hilarious, then, that you state "is this the basis of common law and the American constitution."

    Heck, in the US, we still don't directly elect our President. Instead, we vote for electors in the electoral college to make this decision for us. The electors are not legally bound to follow the will of the people.

    Note: "There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States. Some States, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. "

    Source: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/electors.html

    Democracy is messy and frustrating, but still worth fighting for. I've always seen the prequels as a clear demonstration of this fact that works beautifully with the OT's portrayal of a genocidal Empire. If the Republic was perfect, why would it have fallen in the first place?
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 23, 2013
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  7. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Well you should note that i said that I agreed to some extent with that statement. Popular rule is not democracy. What I made clear I took exception to was what followed - "that gives the people what they want not what they need". Just take a few minutes to take that in. It is essentially saying that people cannot decide for themselves what they need. Well...who is it that decides what they need for them? (as they are clearly incapable of knowing themselves what they need)

    ..but the story is painted through the palette of the failing, corrupt Republic and the dogmatic Jedi Order as causal items of his fall. Why, equally, should I feel any support for bodies which forced soeone to commit mass murder? What we see as representing (in terms of what 'The Republic' represents conceptually) democracy is a centralised oligarchic institution - with no sign of 'the people' taking part in the process. What is there that is worth saving that we find in TPM?

    Hilarious? Hilarious that I ask what the basis for your democratic rights are (bear in mind common law - think Bill of Rights) and you think I was referring to constitutional procedure?

    It happens in the US of A so it is democratic? An interesting, if questionable, argument.

    It is not that it is not perfect that concerns me. It is that there is so little being registered as democratic. Where are the people in all of the PT? What I mean is there is no hint that there is any popular support/activism which might be seen as counter to the inaction of the Senate. The Senate is the Republic in this telling - and the dialogue merely re-inforces that idea. In the deleted scenes it is Senators who petition the Chancellor. It is Senators who are the body politic. Politics in this story is the preserve of an oligarchic in-crowd. There is not a hint of democracy here.

    Want to know why the Republic fell? here, let me put forward an idea. we have a Senator from Naboo who is not an elected official who puts in her stead (as she is leaving the planet) a member of her entourage, a certain Jar-Jar Binks. What does Jar-Jar do? Do you think the people of Naboo would, given a say, have placed Jar-Jar Binks in a position to grant the Chancellor sweeping executive powers? In their name? Where's the oversight?
  8. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Jar Jar didn't grant Palpatine emergency powers, nor was he in a position to do so. He merely suggested that the Senate do it - and it did.





    - Dellow felegates!
    - What?!

    /LM
  9. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Because that is actually a huge problem in democracies today. One of the reasons so many Senators/Representatives keep getting elected over and over again is because they have clout and can get federal money for their particular constituents. But this often leads to extremely expensive projects -- such as the building of a jet -- were different portions are build across state lines and then assembled elsewhere. It's extremely inefficient but it is often political suicide to oppose such bills because they provide jobs. It would be far more practical to build the item in question in one state, but no Senator is willing to give up his portion because that would mean losing the jobs.

    Or there's examples of historical discrimination -- of blacks and gays for instance -- where the majority/popular sentiment is used to oppress minorities. In that instance, yes, the people might not want integration, but it's what they need. A good public servant has to understand that they are bound to the will of the people, but that means all the people and not just the majority. It's not about people not knowing what they want -- it's about ensuring that everyone is protected and that no individual accrues to much power simply through charisma and popularity.

    Because a flawed system is still better than the Empire perhaps? That a corrupt Republic and a dogmatic Jedi Order is worth fixing rather than replacing with an autocracy and the Sith? Also, Anakin wasn't forced to commit mass murder -- he made a choice. It might have been a difficult choice, but that's what Luke and Leia faced as well. The Republic of the PT is not the Republic in its prime -- it is in the process of transforming into the Empire, so of course it is not going to be ideal. Of course it is going to have cracks in the system and rampant corruption.

    But I fear for people who think as you do -- people who think it is better to give up on a flawed system and instill something far, far worse in its place.

    What was worth saving in TPM were people like Valorum. Padmé and Bail Organa were also worth preserving. The peace of Naboo and Coruscant was worth preserving. Or do you think Alderaan alone was not a high enough price to pay?

    Hilarious because you ask if "an oligarchic/aristocratic/elitist argument of rule by the qualified elite" is "the basis of common law and the American constitution" and then invoke the fact that Senators are not directly elected but instead appointed by a democratically-elected representative. It's hilarious because you bring up the American constitution when it began with such a system.

    No, but by your argument, there is nothing in the USA worth preserving and we should just become Nazi Germany instead of trying to fix our horrifically flawed democracy. What's worth saving about the USA? We've got the NSA spying on the citizenry, corporate interests running amok in Congress, an apathetic public (where most can barely be bothered to vote), and a deadlocked political situation on Capital Hill.

    I would say there's plenty worth fighting for, though.


    We do see the populace in the PT. We see the Gungans on Naboo. We see people who live outside the Republic (such as Shmi, Cliegg, Owen), we see people on Coruscant in clubs, for instance. But have you paused to consider that there is a reason for this. That the populace is not shown because they are not engaged? Because perhaps they largely don't care or have been rendered largely voiceless by the political system. It certainly would parallel a lot of what is going on in the US today.

    If the Republic were a democratic ideal -- with the people perfectly represented, with strong powerful voices -- why would they have become an Empire? Why would anyone have granted Palpatine control? Don't you think that would be a more disturbing transition? People perfectly happy with the Republic but it become an Empire anyway?



    Also, I'm still waiting for a source for that quote from Lucas.
    Edit: I'll address this more thoroughly later. My computer's about to die.
    Last edited by PiettsHat, Dec 23, 2013
  10. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    The people might not want integration? What people? The two instances that you rely on here are predicated on a base falsity. Firstly, the laws in both cases were responsible for those minorities being denied their rights. Legislation denied those people their rights and it was activism (of the people) that lead to the legislation being changed. There is no sense in which a higher authority (benign dictators) decided that the people were falsely antagonistic and forced them to behave rightly against their will. In fact it was governmental institutions that opposed the rights of those people, and who suppressed not just their rights but also their right to petition on behalf of them.


    Then you misunderstand my point. It is that I am expected to understand that this...Senate is (represents) democracy that I object to. There is nothing to suggest to me that there is anything democratic going on. Hence my suggestion that having actual people willing to fight against the tyranny of the Empire to procure their freedom is a greater representation of democratic rights. The OT concept 'The Republic' is far more compelling than the PT "Galactic Republic".

    But the "Galactic Republic" was incapable of acting for Naboo. It dispensed with Valorum (at the behest of Padmé)...and, again, where are the people in all of this? Irrelevant. Incapable of knowing what they need, perhaps? Enjoying their bread and circuses?


    My point about Padmé not being an elected official followed that. Does an oligarchic/elitist in-crowd then - in your opinion - represent your democratic rights under common law? (perhaps I need to be more careful with my words. The basis of the American Constitution is The Bill of Rights (the first ten ammendments), and my point was that common law under-writes the American constitution)


    Again, you misunderstand. My point was that the representationn of democracy by the Senate, by "The Galactic Republic" is horribly flawed; because it is such a poor representation of the idea of democracy. If I paraphrase a little. If we begin to believe that a body like the Senate represents democracy then we will lose that democracy.


    Exactly my point. The OT concept 'The republic' holds its value because it is not represented by a decrepit, mouldering shell of 'democracy' but because it stands for an ideal of freedom.
  11. PiettsHat Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 1, 2011
    star 4
    Did you forget that the national guard had to be sent in when schools were being integrated? That's not to say that discriminatory laws weren't in place, but you can't ignore the fact that the populace definitely had a role to play here in perpetuating discrimination. It wasn't "benign dictators" deciding to protect people -- but the federal government did have to step in and protect the rights of black minorities from the populace. The state governments reflected the will of the majority at that time which is why the Voting Rights Act of 1965 established federal oversight of elections.

    That's not to say that the will of the people didn't press for a change -- they did. But regionally, the sentiment was in the minority and thus it required intervention of the federal government.

    The Senate, by the time the PT rolls around, no longer represents the interests of the people. Hence why Padmé, in TPM, says that she fears the Republic no longer functions. Corporate interests and corruption have made it powerless to help her people.

    I don't disagree with you that having actual people fighting the tyranny of the Empire to procure their freedom is a greater representation of democratic rights. And that is exactly the point -- they succeed. Whereas the Republic, which has been mired in corruption, militarism, and corporate largess fails. That's the entire point. The Republic would not have become the Empire if it had been similar in principle to the situation of the OT. Otherwise, the characters in the OT are simply setting up another system that is doomed to fall to autocracy.

    The Rebels succeed where the Jedi fail because they are fighting for a just cause -- for their freedom, as bands of brothers. Rather than as the pawns of a corrupt and damaged system that desperately needs to be fixed. But not given up on. Giving up on the Republic and giving up on its principles is what gives you the Empire.

    The people (such as the Gungans) are on Naboo fighting to free themselves. But you also can't forget that this is what they have been living with for a while. It's why the Empire comes into being -- because people aren't willing to fight for the Republic anymore and they (misguidedly) replace it with something worse. They buy into the idea that the system doesn't work and that it would be better to have someone in charge.

    No, I don't think an oligarchic/elitist in-crowd represents democratic rights under common law. But I also think Padmé has a point -- keeping the same people in the same positions and amending your constitution to allow this is not ideal for democracy. Nor do I think that the Senator's appointment is undemocratic given that the appointment is made by a democratically elected leader (the Queen). I think one could argue that the electoral college is more undemocratic, personally.

    I think you are making a mistake in identifying democracy with the Senate, though. At best, the Senate represents the Republic. But it's not meant to give us a picture of what George Lucas sees as an ideal democracy. I doubt he considers having a Senator from a Trade Federation as good for democracy. You have to remember that these are at the last days of the Republic. The Senate is falling apart due to its corruption.

    The people are either fighting for themselves (such as the Gungans) or living blissfully ignorant hedonistic lives (Coruscant party-goers).

    It is meant to be a poor representation of democracy because it is a failing system. We're not supposed to see the Senate as representative of a democracy but of a complacent, lazy, corrupt system.

    And why, exactly, would an ideal of freedom become a genocidal Empire? Are you saying that democracy leads to genocide? I think it makes far more sense for a corrupt system to become an Empire and then have the OT show us how freedom fighters are making a new, better Republic from the ashes of the old one.



    Still waiting for the source of that George Lucas quote by the way.
  12. Sarge Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 1998
    star 4
    Getting back to the OP, I thought it was pretty clear that the Old Republic was once all it was supposed to be, as were the Jedi. But by the time of the PT, they had lost their way and become corrupt and dogmatic, and far less than they should be. The OT was about visionaries who fought to restore the Platonic ideal Republic and Jedi.
  13. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    That's why Valorum was ousted like he was by Palpatine. He knew that the Chancellor couldn't rely on the Jedi to act as witnesses before the Senate without sacrificing his political career and he without them, it was simply a matter of manipulating Padme into getting him removed.

    You're misunderstanding. What Lucas wrote was that while it is one thing to have the public vote to keep Padme in office, sometimes you have to go against what the general consensus is in order to do the right thing. His thoughts are this...

    "To get an idea of the kind of man Palpatine is in the prequel trilogy you need to read about the Roman Emperor, Julius Caesar, and his spectacular rise to power in Rome."

    --George Lucas, Lenoard Maltin interview, 1999

    One of the larger issues that surfaced in the telling of Anakin's fall to the dark side and his rise to becoming a corrupt figure was that of the fall
    of democracy at the hands of the very people who initially fought oppression.

    "You have the personal issue of Anakin and his turn to the dark side, but then the children later bring him back to being a human being," Lucas says. "But the larger issue is that you've given up your democracy, and that the bad guys never took it -- it was handed to them. That theme was there 30 years ago which came out of the Vietnam War and Nixon wanting to change the rules so he could get a third term.

    "I'm a big history buff and I was really into Caesar at the time," Lucas recalls. "I always wanted to know why the Roman Senate gave Caesar's nephew a dictatorship after they had gotten rid of Caesar. Why after the revolution in France did they create an Emperor? Why did the Germans after they had a Democracy after World War I, turn it into a dictatorship? Those were my initial questions 30 years ago."

    --George Lucas, Star Wars Homing Beacon #142


    Political figures have been known to take advantage of popular opinion and turn it to their favor. That's why when the US government was in its infancy, Washington chose not to run for a third term because even though most of the public would side with him, he believed that it was best left to someone else. It would not be until after FDR, that term limits were put into place so that future Presidents wouldn't stay in office longer than necessary. Padme didn't want to take advantage of the Naboo which is a contrast to Palpatine who takes advantage of the Republic in order to become Emperor. When it came to Padme becoming a Senator, she still ran for the office. She was asked to run. Or at the very least, her predecessor either died before his term was up and she was appointed, or he choose to resign and she agreed to finish his term.

    You might want to go back and read up on the civil rights movement. Many white people didn't want blacks to attend school together and it took a lot of hard work and as noted, the National Guard to get it done. Not the first time, nor the last time such actions are done. You can even debate whether the NSA was right or wrong with the wiretaps. Many will say that it isn't what we needed, but those in the government and the ones that supported will say that needing to protect against potential threats superseded those rights in order to prevent another terrorist attack. That's why politics is a dangerous and gray area.
  14. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/032199lucas-wars-excerpts.html


    LUCAS. Movies have a big voice, and what we filmmakers have to do is to set a good example. There's nothing wrong with that. The story being told in "Star Wars" is about heroes who have the ideals that we as a society would like people to possess. It's a terrible thing to say, but there's a certain part of society that would like everybody to be cynical. But at the same time, another segment of society needs to have heroes -- to have somebody of whom they can say: "This is the kind of person that we should aspire to be."
    SCHELL. Where are we going to get such models?
    LUCAS. Society creates them. That's why society builds statues.
    SCHELL. But, if I follow your logic, you're saying that we are now incapable of resisting putting feet of clay on these statues.
    LUCAS. The United States, especially the media, is eating its own tail. The media has a way of leveling everything in its path, which is not good for a society. There's no respect for the office of the Presidency. Not that we need a king, but there's a reason why kings built large palaces, sat on thrones and wore rubies all over. There's a whole social need for that, not to oppress the masses, but to impress the masses and make them proud and allow them to feel good about their culture, their government and their ruler so that they are left feeling that a ruler has the right to rule over them, so that they feel good rather than disgusted about being ruled. In the past, the media basically worked for the state and was there to build the culture. Now, obviously, in some cases it got used in a wrong way and you ended up with the whole balance of power out of whack. But there's probably no better form of government than a good despot.
    SCHELL. And, in a sense, is that what you're trying to be here at Lucasfilm?
    LUCAS. Possibly. Yeah, at least in my little kingdom. But I rule at the will of the people who work for me.
    SCHELL. But let's say you have a leader who's only pretty good and does some shady things. Do you think that the media should be more discreet about investigating and looking into what he is doing? Basically, do you think certain things should be off limits in order to maintain the heroism of a leader?
    LUCAS. Yeah, I do. I think that the media should look at the situation in the larger sense -- at what is necessary for the culture as a whole rather than exposing and tearing everything down all the time. That will not bode well for people's confidence in the institution. After all, a society only works on faith. If you lose that faith, then your society will crumble and it will be hard to get a consensus on anything.
    SCHELL. But isn't that a slippery slope, one that quickly leads to what we have seen in countries like the Soviet Union and China, where in the name of positive role models it becomes unacceptable to criticize the leaders or the country?
    LUCAS. That's sort of why I say a benevolent despot is the ideal ruler. He can actually get things done. The idea that power corrupts is very true and it's a big human who can get past that.
    SCHELL. Confucius said that the good ruler should rule so that the citizens bend before his moral suasion like rice seedlings before a breeze.
  15. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    I understand that - it is the idea implicit within the film that this mission is perfectly legitimate - that it is, actually, OK for the Chancellor to take the course of action he does.


    No I'm not misunderstanding. I am specifically highlighting the idea that people essentially cannot know what is good for them.

    This explains quite a bit, actually. If you read the Romans' own version of this (and the eighteenth and nineteenth century apologists - a combination which consists of aristocratic elites quantifying their rights of power) then you will have a very odd view of the rise to power of Caesar. If you bother with historians of more recent times, with the evidence that is available then you will see a very different picture emerges. What can be said with certainty is that the Senate was not a democratic body and it did not represent the people.

    The post WW1 Germany situation is...interesting. It was predicated upon what might well have been a false flag terrorsit attack upon the Reichstag - resulting in all sorts of powers been given over to the Chancellor in order to shore up 'homeland security'



    You might want to think about why it is called the Civil Rights Movement. It was people that engendered change through activism - it was not altruism from on high that emancipated.
  16. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Lucas doesn't say that they cannot know what is good for them. What he is saying is what is in most democracies is that if all you rely on is popularity, you miss out on the larger picture. Sometimes you have to have an unpopular decision in order to move forward. Otherwise you lose the democracy and wind up with a monarchy or a dictatorship.

    Regardless of the different points of view about how it happened, the fact is that it had happened because of circumstances involved.

    Right and what happens in the PT? Palpatine orchestrated a war that resulted in his rise to power.


    No one is disputing that part. What is being said is that those who didn't want to accept that change had fought against what was "good for them". It started with the people and it moved up to the political ladder and from there, it became a law. From that law came a second battle to enforce that law. In that case, it was a split between the factions that resulted in change. In the course of what happened in SW, it was a near unanimous vote that the people side with the Chancellor who gives the people what they want, which is peace and security and not what they need, which is is the freedoms that come with the peace and a lesser security. That's why two decades later there's a fight to take back the government from the Empire.
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  17. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
    Interesting as this political discussion is, I'll address the OP...

    It's not nostalgia. For me, it's liking a particular way of executing the telling of a story and the making of a movie. It's relatable characters playing out powerful ideas and events which strike at the heart of human experience, told in a fairly straightforward and uncluttered way, in which much is left to the imagination.

    The fact that this type of storytelling / film making was more prevalent in an earlier time doesn't mean that favouring it is driven only be nostalgia.
  18. Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2009
    star 3
    "Pure" nostalgia can play a certain part in critisizing the PT and strongly preferring the OT, especially for those kind of movies (OT) that enthralled millions of young people and had such a deep imact.

    I mean, it can be really hard to let go of most of the OT designs, optical special effects, iconic and fascinating characters (suited Vador, Solo), and basic story pattern, for something completely new and different (PT), both stylistically and storywise (overtly religious and messianic issues, virginal birth, political ploting and entanglements, Sith order vs Jedi order etc,...). It's particularly relevant for TPM in 1999, which I guess many people didn't expect to be so far away from the originals, despite Lucas hints.

    People who wanted to see most of the coveted OT elements back in the PT must have ended rather disappointed.

    But of course, 15 years after the PT came out, "pure" nostalgia isn't the main reason anymore as to why some people largely prefer the OT over the PT.

    Disliking, for example, Jar Jar antics, poor jokes, some really clunky scenes and lines, Anakin's faustian arc to save his wife from death, or Vader's embarassing NOOOOooooo in ROTS has nothing to do with nostalgia for sure...:cool:

    Anyway, the OP points out one of the basic disconnectedness between the 2 trilogies (much different portrayal of the Jedi basically, as to me the Republic is simply a disembodied reference in the OT).

    Personally, that's not what bothers me the most here regarding the PT, and the fact that I largely prefer the OT.
    Last edited by Ord-Mantell70, Dec 23, 2013
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  19. Cryogenic Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 4
    Good political discussion above, guys. Great posts by PiettsHat and darth-sinister: erudite, articulate, and succinct. Bravissimo!

    I don't think you're being particularly objective there. Nostalgia, in my view, can certainly harden hearts to broader elements -- be they moments of slapstick or camp, allegedly clunky lines and scenes, or grandiose plot developments -- in sequels and prequels, which are designed, at least, and especially so, in Star Wars' case, to augment and expand the scope, depth, and sublimity of prior entries, meaning that a certain defensiveness and/or protectiveness can emerge as a shielding mechanism over deeper-seated emotions in some fans: those with a strong (perhaps too-strong) attachment to an earlier set of movies now being re-framed, re-contextualized, and re-positioned in some larger weave. In other words, some fans are reflexively inclined to see their earlier movies, or their standing in wider culture (a culture, it must be said, also largely of subjective imagining: i.e., another mental construct), as, in some sense, tainted or threatened by rival, and not-insignificantly, newer components. There are clear analogies in nature: e.g., a body's immune system rejecting a foreign tissue, or even the body's own cells, due to biomolecular differences or misreadings.

    It is a perennial sign of human frailty, too, to lament that things were better in the past (Star Wars is built on and exploits this same nostalgic impulse -- on multiple levels), and to scoff that the following generation(s) are intellectually and morally vapid and unaware or unappreciative of achievements of the generations immediately preceding theirs (i.e., achievements implicitly belonging to the generations now displaced and given to this kind of lamentation).

    I know, also, that fans tend to beat down on certain things ten times harder than casuals. Casual fans can even be touched or charmed by aspects that harder fans find grating or galling. Often, the more intense fans seem to do this in anticipation that casuals will automatically reject the art when they encounter it: it becomes a kind of bloodletting or scapegoating, or a sort of howling to the wind, or a system of crude (and sometimes complex) signification to other members of the tribe, that something is rotten and needs to be bled from the body or driven out of the village. A warning system. A blood ritual. A dance to the stars. The exorcism of psychological demons. Or merely that overly-aggressive immune response again.

    I'm not saying that objection to such items you've listed above is entirely defined by nostalgia; I don't believe it is. But it's far too hasty, and much too sweeping, to simply rule nostalgia out, in my opinion. Nostalgia has the profound ability to cloud and distort one's impression of an art-work and of the world generally. It is far more pervasive a psychogenic entity than you're granting.
    Last edited by Cryogenic, Dec 23, 2013
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  20. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
    Nostalgia is one example of human frailty which can blind us or at least cloud our judgment, but it's not the only one. We humans are territorial beings and we're loyal to our clans to a fault. Once these lines have been drawn we are oh so reluctant to vary our established position irrespective of obvious realities. This is at least as powerfu a foible as nostalgia.
  21. only one kenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2012
    star 3
    Have you any idea how self-contradictory that explanation is? Who is it that is to make these 'unpopular' decisions?

    That the Senate represents the republic, and that the Republic is what is supposed to represent 'democracy' is the issue I have. Democracy is activism. It is only through action on behalf of your rights that you partake in democracy. The Civil Rights Movement is the true face of democracy - action leading to change in legislation. There is an untruth that is being sold, that the House/Senate/Parliament, the vote, is in and of itself, democracy. Actually the right to petition, to protest, to organise, to oppose, to act - that is democracy


    I'm not sure what it is you have said here. I'm not sure you have actually said anything.

    Indeed...but I got sidetracked. The fact is there was only the pretence of democracy in post WW1 Germany. You had armed militia roaming the streets, gun battles between opposing (Communist/Nationalist) groups in the streets of Munich and Berlin,an economy on its knees. Rome's Senate was not a democratic body, even in the narrow sense of a 'house' being democracy, it had become a battleground between aristocratic Generals and de facto private armies. The French Republic was under constant attack from neighbouring states from the moment of the revolution. None of these polities were flowering, vibrant democracies that fell to Empire.

    No, what was being said - in the context of the discussion - was that there had to be someone making a decision for the people because the people cannot know what they want. That government must be imposed upon the people who do not know what they need, only what they want. The gay and civil rights movements are examples of people, through petition, protest, opposition and self-representation through those actions brought about change - opposed by their 'leaders', their 'representatives'.

    The thing is, the line sets up 'the people' as incapable of understanding what is good for them and then tells us that 'the people' are incapable of knowing what is good for them - that a 'leader' needs to make that choice for them.

    When we do see 'the people' they are partaking of 'bread and circuses' in the bars, disinterested on-lookers.
  22. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Right, but in the end, the government won because they enforced the law that many states deemed unconstitutional. Much less unfair and unjust. It was democracy, but not everyone agreed with it. That's the good and bad of democracy. In the case of SW, the people wanted Padme to stay indefinitely and she felt that it was time for someone else to step in, because someone else would have the right to make choices that the public could willingly oppose. If all the people do is say "Yes" to every decision because the political leader is so popular, you wind up losing out on true democracy. They're not being objective.


    No, they weren't. But what happened in each instance was that the countries were in bad shape because of a conflict and a state of fear existed which allowed someone to swoop in and assume command. The people sided with them because of that fear and a desire to have a strong leader make the decisions, who would offer them a just and secure society. The Republic had fallen into chaos from a war and from that war came the Jedi uprising which lead to the Jedi Purge and the reformation of the Republic into the first Galactic Empire.


    To which I point out what I said in my first reply to you.
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  23. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2013
    star 3
    My problem isn't the nostalgia or love for the OT, I can understand that since they are amazing movies. It's just the undue hatred for the PT, like they are the worst movies ever I don't get. Since I got into Star Wars with the PT, I can't comprehend the prequels making any offenses toward the older stories. I agree that the prequel needs to be fleshed out more on a level of individuals (Which is why I love TCW so much).
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  24. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    Why do people keep making these criticisms of the PT that also marred the OT? Why do they keep pretending that the OT did not share the same or similar flaws?
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  25. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    @darth-sinister and @only one kenobi (plus anyone else involved) - worthwhile though it is, that whole democracy/dictatorship discussion is way off-topic for this thread.

    Not for the forum, though - if any of you would like to continue it in a separate thread, just start one and I'll merge selected posts over, just let me know.
Moderators: Darth_Nub, Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn