Hang the Jedi


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Because the music that they constantly play
says nothing to me about my life…


#3

This has been pointed out since the 1980s: The Rebels were the bad guys.

Just look at the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi for example. A primitive tribal people. And yet the Empire was able to build a massive shield generator and landing pad right next to their village without disturbing them.

The landing pad was built on pylons and the power generator was underground, so that there was hardly any disturbance to the forest. The Empire used a mix of walking and hovering vehicles, so that they didn’t even need to carve roads into the forest. Only the shield antenna poked above the tree-tops. The empire was as “green” as they could possibly be. Small wonder the Ewoks had no real fear of them.

Along come the rebels, and what’s the first thing they do? They take advantage of the Ewok’s religion to convince them that their golden robot is actually a god, and by extension, that the rebels are the god’s representatives. Then they tell the Ewoks stories of good and evil, with the Rebels being good, and the Empire evil.

In short, they convince the Ewoks - who have club and spear technology - to attack the Empire with its blaster and walking tank technology. Many are killed. This makes even the Emperor look like one of the good guys.

Then the Rebels blow up the power plant and shield generator - near the Ewok village - with a nuclear-level explosion.

Then they blow up a Death Star - the size of a small moon - in low orbit around the Ewok’s planet. They stayed to party that night, but no doubt they left before the atmosphere and surface of the planet were laid waste over the following weeks by hundreds of cubic kilometers of metal wreckage raining down from above.

They’re evil, I tell you.


#4

I remember thinking this when watching the first two prequals (I never got round to seeing the third). I just couldn’t give a crap about what happened to the republic, they all seemed pretty terrible.


#5

To turn Star Wars into a canon strangles all of the things that make it a fairy tale.

Yes, that’s exactly it. Star Wars tells one story (the fall and rise of Anakin Skywalker) really well - and, as noted in the article, it has multiple interpretative approaches. But it makes absolutely no sense outside of that one story. That’s why it’s a hopeless universe to use for e.g. roleplaying games because there’s only one story that is interesting - and even the background details of that story become absurd really quickly. Compare it to, e.g. a long running tv series like Star Trek, where the universe has to be of a different set-up in order to make the range of stories possible, but which feels immediately as though a new series would work easily with an entirely different set-up to previous ones, whereas Star Wars has had to largely confine itself to the gaps in the existing story. (I am deliberately excluding the “expanded universe” novels here; for me they illustrate the problems perfectly, even though they are perfectly competent works in their own right.)
I guess I’m arguing that Star Trek is broad but shallow, whereas Star Wars is narrow but deep. And both of those are essential story-telling approaches with positive and negative elements, but it’s generally not good to try and make something that is both broad and deep, as it’s generally doomed to failure.


#6

I find your lack of faith amusing.


#7

Yes, but lasers! And giant space battles! And plucky robots!


#8

Finally.

After having played Star Wars: TIE Fighter as a kid, I always doubted the official story.

But some of Darth Vader’s actions make it a little bit less obvious than is could be.

Consider Star Trek for comparison, where it is completely obvious that the “Federation” is nothing but a military dictatorship. Even though we only get the sanitized TV propaganda produced using cheap props and holographic actors.


#9

If the Jedi want to restore a hopelessly corrupt and royalist ‘republic’, why you the OP call them ‘left wing militants’? This is not left wingness as we know it. (also: sheesh)


#10

I was always struck by the problems of scale. There are how many planets - hundreds? Thousands? But one of Vader’s kids just happens to live in walking distance of Vader’s mentor. The other kid just happens to head up the rebellion, and drops her stolen secrets in the very same neighborhood on the same planet. One would think there were only 4-5 planets in the galaxy, and each one is 20 miles across.

Like any space opera.


#11

There seems to be a presupposition in this article that a strong galactic government is necessarily a good thing. The Senate is really more like the UN than it is like a national legislature. Haven’t you ever heard of planetary sovereignty?


#12

Obi-wan explicitly said he was going to remain near Luke to watch over him, didn’t he? And Leia was outright looking for Obi-wan, whose location she would have known from her father – she wasn’t in the neighborhood by chance. That’s like saying it’s odd that my mail ended up at my parents’ house, when all I did was address it to them and put a stamp on it and drop it in a mailbox. Crazy odds, right?


#13

I am reminded of A People’s History of Tattooine.

Of course, like everything in Star Wars, I’m sure there’s nothing there that hasn’t been hashed and re-re-hashed time and time again in innumerable other forms. But it’s nicely presented.

What do you mean these blaster marks are too precise to be made by Sand People? Who talks like that?

also Sand People is not the preferred nomenclature.

They have a rich cultural history that’s led them to survive and thrive under spectacularly awful conditions.


#14

That’s almost exactly what my parents said when they wanted to take me to see Star Wars as a kid, and I wasn’t interested. Eventually I agreed to go, but have never been a huge fan.


#15

who said that Han was smuggling drugs? and i always figure that the empire brought their own torture equipment with them and set it up in cloud city.


#16

Ok look, Star Wars has some very deep flaws and inconsistencies but this article just is full of errors.

The first time we ever see the power of the “light side” of the Force is to psychically dominate a security guard.

I assume this means when Obi-wan tells the storm trooper, “these are not the droids you are looking for.” I think it is a stretch to call this psychically dominating, more like diverting. And he hardly is a security guard, he is an occupying foreign soldier. And the first time we see the light saber in use it is to protect an innocent from being killed in a bar.

Jedi are not supposed to be emotionless, quite the reverse. They are “required to love” This could have been shown better in the movies. They are not supposed to be executioners when they can at all avoid it, this point was made a few times.

The Jedi are unelected except internally, which does not count I agree, but neither are the US military and I am sure that the military would “noisily resent” if the congress started to tell them how should be made a general and so on. Yes the head of the military is appointed so the analogy is not perfect, but I think the point stands. The Jedi are regularly dispatched on missions by the senate and seem to work for the republic. The Jedi are trusted in general because of their reputation for honesty. Yes some do get corrupted and turn to the dark side but that is supposed to be known and watched for. When Anakin destroys the Tusken village he, presumably, does not tell the rest of the Jedi, does he? And further he is not on the council so he could not be removed.

The question of the clone troopers being slaves is an interesting one, but the rest of this paragraph is more troublesome. Slavery is illegal in the Republic, and Tatooine is outside of the republic. Should the Jedi storm in and impose their laws on a planet outside of their jurisdiction? Droids are supposed to be substantial less sentient then meat life, this is why having an army of clones was better then an army of droids, for example. R2D2 and C3PO were more human like then the probably should be for the purpose of engaging the viewer. Also there was no indication that droids wanted to be liberated. Maybe this is just programming, but, as with the clones, it veers in to philosophy.

The Galactic Republic should be thought about more like the UN then the US. Yes It is a collection of independent planets and it’s function is probably to regulate trade and disputes between them. Yes it has limited ability to enforce rules, like the UN it relies on the member states to enforce embargo’s and other soft forces like that. Probably if there is an actual military conflict it would call upon the independent planets to provide troops, like the UN. They are reluctant accept the clone army precisely because this is not supposed to be a ruling body but an arbitrating body.

We really only see a few “rulers” of planets, but Naboo has a queen who is ELECTED for a limited term, and we don’t know how much power she really has anyway (see queen of england). Lando is the head administrator of a CITY. I don’t have any reason to beleve Lobot, asides from the stupid name, is supposed to be enslaved. We see him acting on Lando’s behalf but that is his job. There was no torture chamber showed on Bespin, the empire is quite capable of bringing their own equipment. And back on Naboo, what is this policy to marginalize the Gungans? All we know is they think the non gungans think they are better then them.

Princess Lea lies… Yes well, she is a politician, isn’t she? She is trying to subvert a brutal take over of the government she serves by a ruthless dictator who honors no law but his own will and has killed and enslaved millions, according to the official story.

The moon sized installation the rebels destroyed was called the DEATH STAR. It was not a general use space station. It was a battle station. Clearly a military target. And I would bet it had many orders of magnitude less people on it then Alderaan. Even if they were providing equipment for the rebellion that does not justify destroying it. Even Moff Tarken says, “perhaps you would prefer another target? A military target?” And “Destroying Alderaan is retaliation in kind”? Asides from the massive disparity in life’s lost and the lack of military objectives here, Alderaan was destroyed BEFORE the first death star. Hell it was distressed BY the first death star.

Yes, lots of problems and inconsistencies in the movies. No need to make up more.


#17

This was the best argument for “what’s the point of twitter” I’ve seen so far.


#18

I don’t disagree with you about problems of scale. I think the inherent problem with scale is highlighted by the prequels, which try to deal with the Star Wars politics at scale, and I think is one of the reasons they are so bad.
But as far as coincidence is concerned in regards to Obi-wan, Luke and Leia, my understanding was that Obi-wan picked his location to keep on eye on Luke and that Leia was trying to get to Obi-wan when she was caught (to convince him to join the rebellion on her way to deliver the plans). I assume I read that somewhere (a long time ago at an age far, far away), although I suppose I could have come up with it myself or in discussions with family and friends in a attempt to make sense of the plot. The lack of any concept of time and space on a galaxy scale is pretty rampant throughout the SW universe though (e.g. kessel run ).


#19

Please visit your local Nerd Card Surrender Office as soon as possible.


#20

Well fortunately the Empire outlawed light sabers and disbanded the Jedi, imprisoning or executing anyone who was in the order.

So we can sleep safe now. I was just talking to Grand Moff Tarkin the other day, and he assured me measures were being taken to eradicate the terrorist extremists and keep the citizens of the Empire safe.