main
side
curve

Saga Star Wars- an anti-power fantasy saga

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Mr. B, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. Mr. B

    Mr. B Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Batman.
    Wolverine.
    Raphael from the Ninja turtles.

    The general consensus from the target audience for these characters is that they are the most popular in contrast to the other members of the teams they are affiliated with. And with good reason. They are characters that indulge people (particularly adolescent and young adult males) and meet them where they’re at by glorifying anger, anti-social elitism and angst, while simultaneously having the skills to back up those traits with precision violence and a personal “code of honor”. In short, they are viable power fantasies.

    Their non-viable counterparts are of course Superman, Cyclops and Leonardo. Characters that are highly skilled or very powerful, but are decidedly not angry, not angst-ridden (most of the time), and generally prefer diplomacy and patience over violence- not the sort of things that insecure young men find cathartic. The former characters are regarded as “badass” while the latter are not.
    It has been posited that many Star Wars fans love the idea of that Galaxy Far, Far Away, but not the execution. And I wonder if some of that has to do with how the “badass” viable power fantasy characters are handled. Let’s take a look at a few of those characters:

    Darth Maul
    Darth Vader
    Boba Fett

    Maul is defeated by a padawan. Vader loses his final fight while holding out his hand as if to beg for mercy, later ending up a pitiful wreck through self-sacrifice. Boba Fett gets taken out like a chump by a blind Han Solo by accident. In Star Wars, being a badass equals humiliating defeat.

    It is the characters that master patience, calmness, inner security and prefer not to engage in violence or intimidation that come out on top. But it takes a certain amount of maturity to embrace those qualities or find them synonymous with respectability.

    Take a look at the battle at the shield bunker on Endor. “How much more badass would it have been if the stormtroopers were getting their arms ripped off by an army of angry wookiees rather than getting beaten by a bunch of teddy bears?” Aside from the fact that the Ewoks did not defeat the stormtroopers, we see here another example of the power fantasy denied.

    Despite being somewhat incorrect about the whole attachment thing, the lessons that Yoda tries to impart to both Anakin and Luke really are meant for a major chunk of Star Wars’ target audience. Namely, those angsty, angry, and insecure fans who fantasize about adventure, vengeance, violence and being a mysterious badass. The entire saga and the fates of its characters reinforce Yoda’s words. I really do think Lucas constructed an anti-power fantasy…fantasy.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    You have a point. The lesson here is that being badass isn't very badass.

    BTW: This is one of the reasons why Star Wars is awesome.
     
  3. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I agree, but there is more to the no-attachment lesson than that. A lesson to take from Anakin's story would be that falling in love with someone does not mean that the rest of the world stops and gets in line behind that emotion or that relationship, and it should not be the catalyst for all personal decisions.
     
    Andy Wylde and Master_Lok like this.
  4. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 21, 2008
    Star Wars an anti-power fantasy saga?

    [face_laugh]

    Sorry, but that was a funny statement. All the movies are about solving problems through violence/power. Yes, there is the scene of throwing away the lightsaber in ROTJ, but the actual war was won by might/blowing things up/being more powerful than the enemy. That the baddies lose has more to do with them being baddies rather than some "anti-might message".

    And Cyclops from X-Men is not angry and angsting? That's news for me. I love him, but if there's one thing he does best, it is brooding and angsting about something.
     
  5. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011
    That's a very astute analysis, and I think it is probably correct.


    Winning the war wasn't the point, though. After all, they blew up the Death Star in Episode IV, but it didn't really solve anything.

    Darth Vader destroyed the Emperor using violence, but he paid for it with his life. He still had to destroy himself in order to fulfill the prophecy, because he wasn't what the galaxy needed going forward. Luke was.
     
  6. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 21, 2008
    It was absolutely "the point".

    You're really fooling yourself if you think Star Wars is anti-war and anti-violence.

    Protecting the galaxy through violence could be the slogan of the Jedi and the Rebels.

    Ah, the prophecy. The prophecy was not the motiavtion for throwing the Emperor down the shaft.
     
    Cushing's Admirer likes this.
  7. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2011
    It absolutely was not "the point."

    You're really fooling yourself if you think Star Wars is pro-war and pro-violence.

    I never said it was the motivation.
     
    Andy Wylde and Death Wizard like this.
  8. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 21, 2008
    Oh please, the movies are filled with awesomely blowing things up and cutting your opponents to pieces with kickass glow swords. It is about as violence-glorifying as they come. Diplomacy (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/diplomatie/ - good film, btw) it is not.

    Sure, Yoda tells Luke that wars don't make one great and all that jazz, but the Jedi philosophy is more about using their awesome and violent powers for the right reason rather than rejecting violence altogether. That's why they train in the art of the kickass glow sword. Without their might and power, the heroes would never have stood a chance against the villains.

    But please do go on, this is becoming more hilarious by the minute.

    Mod note: Disagree by all means, but the mocking tone probably isn't necessary.
     
  9. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Star Wars is not pro-violence, nor has it ever been. Rather, it shows us why we shouldn't resort to violence. The war against the Sith is won when Luke refuses to fight and Anakin commits self-sacrifice to save his son.
     
  10. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 2014
    I think the scenes with Yoda on Dagobah are anti-violence. Yoda tells Luke to leave his weapons behind and he ignores him, leading to Luke's failure in the cave. Also Luke rushes off at the end to fight Vader when Yoda tells him not to, and Luke loses his arm.
     
  11. PatttyB0123

    PatttyB0123 Former RSA star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 2, 2003
    Also when Luke's was fighting Darth Vader and seeing his missing arm, and his father also missing arm Luke realized that violence was not the right path to go or follow.
     
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  12. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Star Wars is all about war and power. I think it has NOTHING to do with being bad***. If that's why one takes in something I find that sad. I don't care about power. I care about *standards* and yes most things including SW are very muddled. Unfortunate.
     
    Darth_Pevra likes this.
  13. Darth_Pevra

    Darth_Pevra Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    May 21, 2008
    No, Yoda is teaching Luke humility and to be passive, to only resort to violence if attacked.

    However, he also teaches him how to be a warrior. For instance, he urges Luke to confront Vader in RotJ.

    The Jedi are warriors who try to fight only when it is absolutely necessary. Luke's failure was that he took weapons with him when it was unnecessary.
     
  14. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    The key word there is "confront". Yoda urges Luke to confront Vader, not necessarily fight him.
    That said, there are few Jedi in Star Wars who actually understand what true Jedi Knighthood is about. The moment when Luke throws away his weapon in front of the Emperor is probably the most Jedi moment of all. That's the essence of Jedi - to counter violence with non-violence, darkness with light, hate with love.
     
    Andy Wylde and DarthPhilosopher like this.
  15. Loupgarou

    Loupgarou Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Maybe this is off topic, but the idea that batman's the 'edgy' one really doesn't stack up in the comics and cartoons, most the time. The Batman i love is the one that doesn't kill out of a respect for life and a knowledge that he wants to protect, not punish. He's not out to enforce his own rules, simply to help those forgotten by Gotham's. I love the batman that yes, began in anger but has grown to love the people of his city, actually having a character arc. He believes in rehabilitation and sympathizes with his villains even as he puts a stop to their violence. Batman can be a very positive character, someone who lives in a very dark place and yet fights with morality regardless. Now this batman has never been seen in a movie, but he's the true Batman in my mind.

    But on Star Wars, it's something in between. Star Wars says that oppressed people have a right to overcome their oppressors, and violent resistance was the only method that worked against the Empire.. But there are certain things heroes in star wars never do;they never torture, they never kill civilian targets. People bring up the death star forgetting it's a military base about to destroy an entire planet. Every violent act the rebels commit directly defends innocents.
    Now yes, luke does once counter violence with non-violence, and his compassion is part of what makes him the perfect Heir for the Jedi. But Luke also blew up the Death Star. As a Jedi, he strikes only when absolutely necessary and without cruelty or hatred. To kill an enemy you do not hate is a bit of an alien concept in modern society, but it's something the Jedi do often.

    So yes, Star Wars does preach utilizing every possible option before violence, but i can't say it is truly anti-violence.
     
  16. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Interesting thoughts but your justifying the fact Rebels do the same things as the Empire and only faulting the Empire. That itself is faulty. Plus those like me that don't applaud the destruction of the Death Star as 'good' aren't necessarily forgetting anything. That's an assumption and incorrect on my part speaking as one that decries it's needless destruction.
     
    Lulu_Mars likes this.
  17. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2011
    How is the Deathstar's destruction needless? They were forcing absolute control of the galaxy through mass genocide of anyone who disagreed with them. You can't tell me the Deathstar had any function that wasn't objectively evil?
     
  18. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Am am telling you sir it wasn't needed at all. Nor is destruction the only means to not use a weapon. :)
     
  19. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Would you explain why not?

    You're "the Rebels", you're in their position, what do you do? And go.

    I'm finding the structure of this statement difficult to understand.

    Did you mean destruction is not the only use of the Death Star?
     
  20. Cushing's Admirer

    Cushing's Admirer Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 8, 2006
    I would seek *PEACE* as Leia should have, sir. :) I would seek that the Death Star be decommissioned and dismantled so her materials and personnel could be used elsewhere. In spite how many here act warring and destruction are NOT the only possible responses to a tight spot. Nor is lying.
     
    Lulu_Mars likes this.
  21. HevyDevy

    HevyDevy Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2011
    I agree that it's destruction to prevent further lives lost may arguably not be the only solution, but what would you propose the Rebels do? And what does the galaxy have to gain by keeping the Deathstar active. I don't see how it can be used for anything else, destruction is it's primary function. When the DS is looked at as an Imperial home-base, I can kind of see your point, not everyone aboard was neccessarily evil. But the DS was really just a giant weapon, and the Empire didn't seem to discriminate who they used it on.

    Edit - Just read your last post. Interesting suggestion of dismantling, but I don't think peace was an option seeing as the Emperor disolved the Senate, so any chance of discussion was effectively replaced by brute force.
     
    Andy Wylde and Slicer87 like this.
  22. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    We're talking about the Emperor here. He hasn't exactly proven himself open to ideas that didn't originate in his own head or consolidate more power for himself.

    That solution sounds like a very quick way to die, or encourage him to use the Death Star to blow up more planets.
     
    Andy Wylde, Octavian Dibar and Sarge like this.
  23. Lulu Mars

    Lulu Mars Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2005
    The real problem isn't that Palpatine is evil. The real problem is that people follow and obey him. If his followers can be made to see the error of their ways - and I believe they can - then he will end up quite alone and stripped of his power.
     
  24. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Skywalker Saga/LFL/YJCC Manager star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    How are you going to reach trillions of people on Empire-controlled communication?

    Getting people to not follow Palpatine should have happened in ROTS. He was elected "with thunderous applause."
     
    Andy Wylde and Octavian Dibar like this.
  25. Loupgarou

    Loupgarou Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2010
    The death star was literally just about to blow up a planet, had blown up a peaceful one already, and would go on to blow up more. But staying away from specific instances, the Empire was a government that squashed any and all resistance, non-violent or otherwise. To act like the rebels 'were doing the same thing' is nonsensical, and calls back to my initial post. The Rebels do have lines they won't cross, and have direct defensive purpose in every attack. The imperials massacre any hint of dissent. Not the same thing at all.

    And regardless of our own points of view on the matter, this thread is about what Star Wars itself states, and i think it's pretty clear that the Rebels are portrayed as completely justified in their violence. The movies, whether or not you agree with them, present this.