The Phallic Symbol and Star Wars

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Seigiryu, Oct 14, 2002.

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  1. SONOFBEN Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 1
    I bet somewhere in a grave Sigmund Freud has a huge grin on his face. You guys have proved that we are all sexually beings and that sex is a part of everything that we do. Was any of this intentional on GL's part, no, but it's clearly there and now we have seen these scenes in a new light. There is no denying any of this, there is nothing wrong with seeing things this way because sex is involed in more than just intercourse, it's in our daily life and in our way of life. Just wanted to share a thought, please post some more freudian scenes from SW's, you are cracking me up.
  2. MadMardigan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    Just wanted to share a thought, please post some more freudian scenes from SW's, you are cracking me up.


    here are some Freudian lines from SW.

    Star Wars
    1. "Get in there you big furry oaf, I don't care what you smell!"
    2. "Luke, at that speed do you think that you'll be able to pull out in time?"
    3. "Put that thing away before you get us all killed."
    4. "You've got something jammed in here real good."
    5. "Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?"
    6. "You came in that thing? You're braver than I thought."
    7. "Sorry about the mess..."
    8. "Look at the size of that thing!"
    9. "Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough!"
    10. "She may not look like much, but she's go it where it counts, kid."


    The Empire Strikes Back

    1. "I thought that hairy beast would be the end of me."
    2. "Size matters not. Judge me for my size, do you?"
    3. "There's an awful lot of moisture in here."
    4. "But now we must eat. Come good food, commmme..."
    5. "That's okay, I'd like to keep it on manual control for a while."
    6. "Hurry up, golden-rod..."
    7. "I must've hit it pretty close to the mark to get her all riled up like that, huh kid?"
    8. "Possible he came through the south entrance."
    9. "And I thought they smelled bad on the outside!"
    10. "Control, control! you must learn control!"


    Return of the Jedi

    1."Hey, point that thing somewhere else."
    2. "I look forward to completing your training. In time you will call me master."
    3. "I never knew I had it in me."
    4. "There's good in him, I've felt it."
    5. "Grab me, Chewie, I'm slipping -- hold on. Grab it, almost...you almost got it. Gently now, all right, easy, easy, hold me Chewie."
    6. "Hey Luke, thanks for coming after me -- now I owe you one."
    7. "Back door huh? Good idea!"
    8. "She's gonna blow!"
    9. "I think you'll fit in nicely."
    10. "Wedge! Pull out! You're not doing any good back there!"

    Check this [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=8837436&replies=30]thread[/link] for more. It's pretty funny.
  3. DarthUnpleasant Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2001
    star 1
    Vader - "I have felt him"
    Emp P - "Strange that I have not..."

    Anyway, the X-Wing and particularly the red-and purple Imperial Guards, are a teensy bit on the phallic side. A friend of mine went to the SW exhibition in Bradford, UK, with me, and exclaimed straight away about the Imperial Guards.

    Also, I defy anyone to look at that sillhoette of Vader at the top of this page and not see any resemblence to any particular organ at all...

    Personally I'm more with Jung, and I tend to be very sceptical about all this Freudian mullarkey, but sometimes there's just no denying a willie when you see one. When you're delving into Greek tragedy structures and conflicts between sons and fathers, I guess there's no escaping all this, and I think it more than possible that a lot of the things we're seeing in SW were delibertately put there. Especcially considering that GL quote about the "castration scene".
  4. Seigiryu Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    star 2
    Yes, and also in Star Wars: Magic of Myth, they compared the Death Star to the dragon Luke has to slay as the first challenge of his hero quest. In slaying it, the trio (Han, Leia, Luke) are fist devored by it, going into its stomach (trash compactor.)

    The trash compactor was a womb like device, according to this text, and gave birth to the new heroes, as the struggle had killed them and made them reborn as a team.

    This makes sense, comparing the compactor to a giant uterus. They're in fluid, and after several contractions, go out through the tiny hole in the wall.

    Scary!

    Any others?
  5. Blackout Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2000
    star 4
    [face_laugh]
    Ya know, when I ask where the toilet is on the Falcon, or where the ladders go on Luke's X-Wing, I get told I am analysing the films too much!

    I was watching EastEnders this afternoon, and Peggy Mitchell was pulling a pint in the Queen Vic. Do you know what the handle of the bar-pump looked like? Do ya? [face_laugh]

    While the posts in this thread are convincing and very well written, I do think that this subject could do with being left alone!

    And I won't even go into:
    "Into the garbage chute, flyboy" :eek:

    Oh, and regarding swords, bullets and missiles etc; I thought it was called aero-dynamics? I can't help it if parts of my anatomy are aerodynamic! ;) Yeah baby!

    {||||| ?||} -----------------------------
  6. TK414 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2001
    star 2
    Topic is just too funny to write about.
  7. Seigiryu Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    star 2
    I agree with all of the above sentiments that the shape of a sword, bullet, missile, etc. is simply due to its aerodynamic neccesity and not neccesarily meant to be phallic, and I also agree strongly with the above mentioned that our society is one based heavily on sexual overtones and that Lucas didn't intentionally put a lot of them in but they're there nonetheless due to the impact of society.

    In light of these statements I thought I would clarify the purpose of this thread, and point out exactly HOW it is not just sexual rabble and reading things that arn't there into the series but simply is a different but still legitimate way of approaching interpreting Star Wars.

    As I've stated previously, this thread was a place to discuss whether or whether not we believed George included these overtones of Freudian and other sexual mythic notions purposely, and as mentioned above with his own qoute about Darth Vader's "castration" of Luke at the end of ESB, there is some proof that he did indeed mean to purposefully include some overtones, but most likely not to the extent that some literary crtics are reading into it.

    I for one think that a middle road is probably what was the case. The fact is, myth and classic literature has a lot of sexual based imagery in it for several reasons (besides swords simply need to be sharp to wound)

    1. Sex is what creates life, and people's reactions to it are often heavily determanistic in their place in life (especially in myth, whether Chinese, Japanese, Native American, Inca, or Greek to name a few examples)

    2. Sex was never as controversial and awkward a subject throughout history (both ancient AND modern) as it is now in America. Heck, even in Europe TODAY the subject is a lot less loaded and literary references are not deemed as "perverted" or "overly sexual" as in the US today (hence, we only study such blatant references in college and graduate school and rarely do so in public high school, normally, for fear of law suits)

    For the above reasons sexual imagery was very common in both myth and classic literature. I feel George used a lot of this imagery not in being perverted, but in expressing and representing basic emotions and personal breakthroughs of the characters.

    A perfect example is the above mentioned Darth Vader cutting off Luke's hand in ESB, or the castration of Luke, which in a sense was cutting of the phallis he inherited from his father (thus, his "borrowed manhood" or "training wheels of life") representd through the physical loss of not only his hand but the lightsaber he inherited from his father.

    In ROTJ, Luke then has shown to be a full Jedi, a warrior whose maturity and military preparedness surprises even cynical Han in his rescue, which is symbolized by Luke's new green lightsaber, which he built his self. In this sense his phallis was grown by himself, was fully his own, and thus he has reached manhood and maturity by his own skill and guile.

    I used the above example because we can all agree that Lucas intended it to be the imagery of castration (since he has said as much), and I hope the above explanation of this will clarify this thread.

    It is not meant to try to read into what wasn't there or twist words and scenes meant for fun, but look at how sexual images enhance the symbolic nature of the series. Still, such literary discussions are not for everyone! If you believe that all of it is English class dripple, more powre to you! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, this thread is for the sharing of those opinions.

    Sorry to go on and on, but I thought after 30 responses (MUCH more than I thought I'd ever get!) I would clarify the thread's purpose because I obviously didn't do so completely at the thread's onset as seen in the confusion of some responses (my bad!)

    Thank you all for your clarifying remarks on the subject, both sides. Any other thoughts?
  8. Emos-Edud Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 4
    Don't forget that Obi tells Anaking that his lightsaber is his life. And thet it gets chopped in half during the droid factory sequence. I don't think it is too much of a leap to see the droid factory as symbolic, monstrous womb. It's hot, dark and produces "life." Ani and Padme also go in through the out-door, via the vent.
  9. Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think Lucas is aiming his films at an audience that's too young to understand those things anyway, so why would he bother to put them in?
  10. MonMothmaGrrrl Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 2002
    This thread is absolutely fascinating--I'm taking a course called 'girls on film' right now and were are talking about this very subject (gasp!). As far as the 'knowing' is concerned...my understanding of Freud suggests that all phallic references in art (i.e. sw) are products of sublimations (repressed desires), and that even if you're not concious of your nastyness (as some might put it), the very fact that there are ovious references (well documented...wheeeee!) shows that you are repressing all that jazz.

    soooooo....to sum it up....even if gl didn't intend the lighsaber to be a phallus, he is acting on his own sublimated desires though his film.

    this is all veeeerrry academic, so i would love to hear your interpretations!
  11. Seigiryu Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    star 2
    MonMothmaGrrrl, you summed up what I was trying to say in a sentence or two! It may be far fetched, but it's an academic way of approaching the beloved saga, and it is fun to look for possible proof!

    Let the interpretations and debates continue!
  12. Punisher Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 20, 1998
    star 4
    Like it's a coincidence that Padme was attacked by a furry feline and Anakin was attacked by a horned beast... I haven't figured out what the Acklay means about Obi-Wan....

    Oh boy, I can see people making notes when the AOTC DVD comes out! ;)
  13. Emos-Edud Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 4
    Mon Mothma Grrl,

    Since you like sci-fi, I'll guess that you like horror. You should pick-up a copy of "Men, Women and Chainsaws." Its a feminist look at horror films. Very good stuff. Some of the ideas in there about monsters are probably relatable to Star Wars.

    Dark Lady Mara,

    The fact that adults like Star Wars enough to spend too many hours debating it on the internet shows that Lucas isn't just making these films for kids. Besides, plenty of supposed "children's" entertainment has hidden meanings or gags for the adults in the audience.
  14. MonMothmaGrrrl Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 2002
    Totally agree with you Emus-Edad with respect to the adult contents...even if these were purely children's films (which I don't believe they are either), the filmakers are drawing upon cultural norms that make the film relevant to everybody, not just the target audience. For example, the entire idea of a love-interest between any of the characters is beyond the scope of a 4 year old, but is a common theme that pervades our society. Even if the kids don't get it, the very fact that it is part of the movie says something about what GL thinks is "normal" or "appropriate".

    To a slightly different way, the same can be said about the omnipresent phallus...yay! Even if the sexual inuendos are beyond the frame of reference for the target audience, the very fact that Lucas uses liberal dashes of sublimated sexual repression says something important about a society that makes sexuality subversive (i.e.-he needs to repress their expression) and the cultural norms that let us all automatically recognize them. None of us had a very difficult time pickin up on the lighsaber phallus, and some of your AOTC referenes are pretty juicy (I especially enjoy your analysis of number 9)-- Padme leaps from the head of the phallus. In her white clothes, Padme's actions recall ejaculation. While falling she moans and then gives Ani a spent kiss.--)fantastic! That we can easily follow your argumentation indicates that this is a common cultural motif to which we all have access...i.e. we can all pick out the same inuendos, saying something about the status of those inuendos in themselves. I guess what I am trying to say is that 100% agree with you that instead of relegating Star Wars to 'kid's movis' we should reconsider the broader significance to the adult audience.

    p.s.: Thanks a bunch for the tip on feminist horror films...I'll have terrifying bedtime reading for awhile--wheeeeeee!
  15. Seigiryu Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    star 2
    I know this is the OT Forum, but this fits in this thread so I'm going with it here.

    Just finished watching TPM, noticed that Darth Maul was a Zebrak, who had horns. This reference of "horny", double bladed lightsaber could very well mean that his over aggresion (yet another symbol of the dark side as well) is something that led to his demise.

    For this aggresion, or arrogance - "I have twice the size of yours" - is called hubris in greek mythology, meaning one who thought they were as good as the Gods. Hubris always came right before the arrogant one's fall, which Darth Maul literally does when cut in half (yet another sign of castration of the over endowed arrogant one, literally putting him in his place.)

    Just another thought. Any more signs?
  16. POLUNIS Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 2
    Let me put it this way: Freud assumed everyone thought like himself. He was a perverted man. Where else would he get the crazy ideas that human behavior revolves around sexuality?

    I am a-Freud this speculation has gone on long enough. GL never intended any of this; besides, I doubt any of you know him personally in order for such judgments to be made about him.
  17. Seigiryu Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    star 2
    "GL never intended any of this; besides, I doubt any of you know him personally in order for such judgments to be made about him"

    Polunis, might want to go back and read the beginings of this thread. Any scholar or student of any type of philosophy or mythological studies knows the phallic symbol was there LONG before Sigmund Freud was born, and is only a blatantly sexual symbol to those who see it as so (which means its coming from you, not the context)

    The phallic symbol, for the 100th time of this thread, is NOT just male genitalia in mythological terms, it represents energy, life, etc (check the above posts to minimize repeats.)

    So in fact George Lucas DID intend a lot of the symbolism, and it has NOTHING to do with being perverted. Proof of this can be found (once again, previous post) in GEORGE HIMSELF qouting that Luke losing his hand at Bespin was "a castration." He meant nothing sexual by this term, simply mythologically speaking he was making a metaphor using the phallic symbol.

    This is not hard to believe, Lucas is a modern myth maker, myths use phallic symbols. Get over it :)

    Love to hear everyone's thoughts on the issue in this thread, have had lots of great ones, but please don't post an idea that's already been explained above without reading the explanations (I've given multiple ones of them by now) of the thread. This is not about perverted notions and no one is accusing Lucas of anything. Just that should be cleared up again.

    Any other thoughts on subject?
  18. Kaui-Gone-Jim Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2002
    star 3
    Some have said that the 'Monolith' in the film "2001: a Space Odyssey" is a phallic symbol -- as a symbol of creation, not sexuality.... as ancient societies/religions used to intend their artworks.

    The one thing in Star Wars that seems (unintentionally?) of a phallic shape to me is the front end of Luke's X-Wing fighter.

    On page 1, I did not mean to imply that bullets, missiles, etc, are shaped the way they are due to any sexual reasoning -- of course they are designed according to ballistics, aerodynamics, physics, etc.
    I was just trying to point out the curious fact that many weapons of war DO have a phallic shape to them -- period.
  19. Seigiryu Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    star 2
  20. Palp_Faction Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2002
    star 3
    So how do you interpret the trench run?Remember, Luke's proton torpedo penetrated the exhaust port...
  21. Seigiryu Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2002
    star 2
    Definitely, the torpedo pierced the exhaust port and entered the death star, exploding within it. This is symbolic of sexual intercourse, as this inner explosion (that destroyed the death star) gave birth to life and hope in the galaxy.

    Is this reading into it? Sure, but according to Campbell and other mythological experts Lucas follows, there is a reason the story can be seen this way. That is that the subconcious forces within us reflect human life and human desires, and are timeless.

    This is why Star Wars is just as fascinating to us now as Achilles and Odysseus were to the Greeks. Their symbolic journeys are representative of the everday struggles of all, due to the similarity of human nature. Myth and movies (modern myths) reflect that nature, and the phallic object is one way to symbolize this potent energy, used for good or bad (or light or dark side, etc.)

    Good point, any others?
  22. Admiral_JasterMereel Tucson FF Founding Member

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    This thread needs to return! :D



    You Rebel Scum!
    ~Bôba Fe++
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