Star Wars Essay

Star Wars Essay


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The Star Wars Films: Moral and Spiritual Issues


Note: This essay was written by a guest critic.


Jimmy Akin

George Lucas’s popular Star Wars films
have much to commend them, as is made clear in the above reviews.
Yet there are a number of moral and spiritual issues connected
with these films that may make them unsuitable for some viewers,
especially some children.

Because these issues deserve special attention beyond what the
limitations of a review would allow, and because they are common
to all of the films, they are treated at length in this
article.

Moral and spiritual issues raised by the Star Wars
phenomenon range from the problem of where to draw the line on
Star Wars tie-in products all the way to the
theological problems associated with the concept of “the
Force.”

Any of these issues may be a reason why at least some parents
might wish their children not to see the films; however, none of
them makes the films inherently objectionable or unsuitable for
children generally, nor do they negate the films’s positive
aspects.

This article is intended to help clarify and illuminate the
issues for parents and other interested readers, to help them
decide for themselves regarding the propriety of the Star
Wars
films for themselves and their families.

Merchandizing

The Star Wars films are the center of
an enormous merchandizing effort. Indeed, the first Star
Wars
film (Episode IV) inaugurated a new age of movie
merchandizing. Each new film is the epicenter of a new explosion
of tie-in products — more than any family could
possibly buy (at least, within the bound of reason).

Consequently, parents must find some place to draw the line in
what Star Wars merchandise their children will be allowed
to have and what they must pass up. Some parents may choose to
draw the line by disallowing any movie merchandise, including the
movies themselves. Others may allow a limited number of toys or
other Star Wars-related items, but they must draw the line
somewhere: Some items (for example, the most elaborate costumes)
sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars apiece!

Violence and death

As action-adventure films, the Star
Wars
movies contain a significant degree of violence — both
in the form of military battles and individual fights. As a
result of this, characters do die. There are also many situations
where dramatic tension is created through menacing
situations.

However, a number of factors mitigate the degree to which the
on-screen violence might be problematic:

  • The violence tends to be stylized — that is, its effects
    usually are not portrayed realistically. There is not a lot of
    blood and gore. Either we do not see the wounds at all or, if
    we do, the wounds tend to be cleanly cauterized by the action
    of the lasers.
  • The violence tends to be fantasy violence — that is, it
    cannot be realistically imitated. It involves weapons
    that do not exist — lightsabers, laser pistols, laser
    artillery. This does not mean that the violence cannot be
    unrealistically imitated — kids who see the films
    regularly “play lightsabers” or laser pistols — but since these
    weapons don’t exist, serious injuries from such play are
    unlikely. Also because of the fantasy weapons used, virtually
    no one in the real world is going to pick up a gun or a knife
    and use it while thinking “Star Wars.” If someone
    irresponsibly uses a real-world weapon, he’ll be thinking of
    other movies. Not these.
  • The good guys do not use violence gratuitously. They resort
    to violence only when they are attacked first or when a
    preemptive strike is the only way to guarantee safety. They do
    not relish using violence, and they seek alternatives before it
    breaks out. When violence is used, they bring it to a close as
    quickly as possible and try to take prisoners rather than kill
    their opponents.
  • There is a strong anti-aggression message in the movies. No
    matter how much fantasy violence the films contain, the
    anti-aggression point is worked throughout all the films. It is
    part of the Jedi code of ethics, and is made most explicit in
    Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, when Jedi master
    Yoda tells Luke Skywalker that a Jedi uses the Force only for
    information and self-defense — never aggression.

Despite these mitigating factors, viewers who dislike
action-adventure films will want to avoid the Star Wars
movies, and parents of children who are especially sensitive to
such situations may not wish their children to see them.

Lying and mental reservations

The use of arms and even deadly force can be
morally licit in at least some real-life circumstances. However,
lying is in a different category. It is never morally
licit.

Under certain circumstances, it can be licit to make
potentially misleading statements while employing a mental
reservation — an unstated qualification about the sense in which
or extent to which the statement can be regarded as true — though
even a mental reservation, if unjustified by the circumstances,
can be morally equivalent to a direct lie.

Most films that are made today are completely oblivious to
this fact, and the good guys in most films regularly lie with no
moral censure from the filmmakers.

Unfortunately, the Star Wars films are not the
exception to this that they could or should be. Still, they are
better than many films in this regard:

  • The good guys in the Star Wars films probably tell
    fewer lies than the good guys do in many other films.
  • With one major exception, the lies tend to be “tactical”
    lies — that is, the kind of lies that are told in wartime
    tactical situations (for example, to sneak into an area in
    order to pull of a rescue, as when Luke and Han rescue Princess
    Leia in Episode IV). They are not told for fun.
  • The one major exception concerns the deception of the hero
    — Luke Skywalker — in order to avert a potential tragedy of
    galactic proportions. This deception is perpetrated by Luke’s
    mentors — by his uncle and aunt initially and then later by Ben
    Kenobi and Yoda. When Luke finally discovers that he has been
    deceived by those closest to him, he confronts Kenobi with the
    fact, and the latter is forced to acknowledge the deception,
    though he argues that it was a form of mental reservation –
    that is, what he told Luke was true “from a certain point of
    view.” Luke is not impressed by this qualifier — nor should he
    be. Judged by standards of real-world moral theology, the
    mental reservation employed by Kenobi is not morally
    licit.
  • In addition to the lie just mentioned, two specific
    deceptions are particular causes for concern:

    • In Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back, when
      Yoda first meets Luke he pretends that he is not Yoda.
      Cinematically, the motive for this is to highlight the
      unexpected and unpredictable nature of mentor figures in
      mythology. It is also not clear that Yoda strays from
      mental reservation into outright lying, but the incident
      remains troubling because (setting aside its cinematic
      rationale) there may not be significant justification for
      what Yoda does.
    • In Episode VI — The Return of the Jedi, the main
      characters are in danger from a tribe that is inclined to
      regard the droid C-3PO as “some sort of god.”
      C-3PO objects that “It’s against my
      programming to impersonate a deity” — as well it should be.

      Unfortunately, Luke orders the droid to perpetuate
      this impression and augments the effect by using his Jedi
      powers to make it seem as if Threepio has magical
      abilities. While the life-threatening circumstances are a
      mitigating factor, and while the whole “god” schtick
      disappears as soon as the immediate crisis is overcome,
      the film does not explore possible alternatives, and the
      relevant scenes are played for comedy, without censuring
      the manipulation of others’ religious beliefs.

Because of the relatively restrained nature of the deceptions
in question (the last being an exception), it is difficult to
place the Star Wars films in a more morally objectionable
category than most contemporary films — including most children’s
films. Still, the deceptions are cause for concern, and parents
may wish to discuss these with their children.

“Jedi mind tricks”

Related to the above concern is the use in
the film of “Jedi mind tricks” — instances where the (good) Jedi
knights of the film give certain characters a mental push that
leads them to believe or act in a desired manner. Sometimes mind
tricks are used to accomplish a deception (e.g., “These aren’t
the droids you’re looking for” — when in fact they are) or to get
a character to do something he is otherwise disinclined to do
(e.g., “Take me to your master, now”).

Interfering in the mental processes of others in this manner
could not be morally licit. Still, there are several mitigating
factors regarding the use of mind tricks:

  • “Jedi mind tricks” are not possible in the real world. Few
    kids are likely to try them, and those who do will be quickly
    disappointed.
  • The Jedi code of ethics appears to contain restrictions on
    when mind tricks can be used (e.g., in Episode I
    Qui-Gon remarks to Obi-Wan that they
    cannot use mind tricks to affect a political decision that will
    decide whether two races choose to ally with each other). Also,
    the Jedi use mind tricks rarely and only when there is a
    significant good to be achieved (e.g., personal survival
    through self-defense).
  • Mind tricks don’t work on everyone in the Star Wars
    universe; in fact, Ben Kenobi says that they affect only the
    “weak-minded,” and certain races (“Toydarians” and, apparently,
    “Hutts”) aren’t affected by them at all. What constitutes
    “weak-mindedness” is not clear, but it may mean that those who
    are strong-minded in the sense of having a strong resolve
    not to do something will be invulnerable to a mind
    trick. If so, a person who complies with the suggestion of a
    mind trick would be at least partly responsible for his actions
    in that he wasn’t doing something he was strongly opposed to in
    the first place.

Despite these mitigations, the device of “Jedi mind tricks” is
morally problematic.

Illicit romance

For some viewers, one troubling aspect of the
series is that, in the original trilogy, there is a fleeting
romantic entanglement involving two characters who turn out to be
too closely related to each other for a romance to be morally
licit.

However, the “romance” never gets farther than some
goo-goo eyes and two (quite innocent) kisses. Most
importantly, neither character is aware of their relationship at
the time. By the point either character is aware of their
relationship, any question of a romance is long gone — one of the
two characters now being romantically involved with another.
Further, from an examination of the scripts it does not appear
that the romance’s illicit dimension was planned by the
filmmakers — it was an accident that arose and that Lucas wrote
around.

Because of the subdued nature of the whole issue, few children
will pick up on it, and few parents will find it a decisive
factor in whether to let their children see the movies. If
children do notice the situation, parents can easily put it in
perspective by saying something like, “Isn’t it good they found
out how they were related? I bet they feel pretty silly about how
they were acting before!”

Mythic symbolism

George Lucas is a fan of the writings of
mythology scholar Joseph Campbell. As a result, ideas from world
mythology are woven through the series. Episode IV itself
is a reproduction of the archtypal story given in Campbell’s
The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Most of the mythic symbols
Lucas weaves into the films will pass completely unnoticed by the
children in the audience, but three of them might not:

  • In Episode I, Darth Maul looks an awful lot like a
    stereotypical depiction of the devil. In face, in one interview
    Lucas responded to the question of what he learned in making
    the film by saying that he learned how many evil characters in
    world mythology have horns.

    Of course, Darth Maul is a thoroughly evil
    character who opposes the heroes and fights with them; so if
    children think of him as being like the devil, that’s all
    right unless they find it too disturbing. At any rate Darth
    Maul’s appearance reinforces traditional Christian imagery
    rather than subverting it: The horned, red-skinned man in
    black is not your friend!

  • Also in Episode I, Anakin Skywalker is described in
    a way that suggests that he had no physical father: that he was
    the product of a virgin birth. Though the film provides a
    possible alternative scientific explanation for this fact, many
    children will notice the similarity to Jesus.

    If they do notice this, parents might turn it into an
    occasion for a genuine spiritual lesson by pointing out that
    no matter how much someone may be like Jesus, we can
    never trust them they way we trust the real Jesus.

    For more advanced children, it might be pointed out that
    the film is symbolizing the idea that in order to fall to the
    lowest depths — like Darth Vader — one must fall from the
    highest heights — like Anakin Skywalker. In the same way, we
    must guard the goodness God has given us. We too could fall
    to low depths if we betrayed our God-given goodness.

  • Through all the episodes there is the subject of the Force.
    Though in Episode I a semi-scientific explanation is
    added to it, the Force remains a spiritually problematic
    element deserving a section of its own…

“The Force”

Among all the moral/spiritual problems of the
Star Wars series, this is the big one. More
Christians will object to the series on this ground than on any
other.

According to the rules established in the films, “the Force”
is an energy field generated by all living beings, and “binds the
galaxy together.” For at least some gifted individuals, the Force
is a source of both power and guidance, by which properly trained
adepts can achieve startling effects: Objects can be made to
levitate or fly through the air, and distant locations or the
future can be seen.

More problematically, the Force appears to be morally
polarized, with a “light side” and a “dark side.” The light side
(connected with good, peace, and self-defense) is the power of
the Jedi, and the dark side (connected with evil, anger, and
aggression) is the power of their enemies, the Sith. On a couple
of occasions, the study of the Force by both Jedis and Sith is
referred to as a “religion” — though only in the first film, and
only in a disparaging way, by skeptical individuals.

In Episode V, Jedi master Yoda denies that the dark
side of the Force is stronger than the light side; but he does
not declare the light side stronger, leaving open the possibility
that the two are of equal strength and that the Force is
fundamentally dualistic.

Here is the straight skinny on the Force: In interviews George
Lucas has explained that the Force is a symbol for all that is
unseen in the universe. The light side is essentially a symbol
for God — the unseen Power of good — while the dark side is a
symbol for the forces of evil.

According to Lucas, the Jedi exhortation to “Use the Force”
essentially means “Make a leap of faith” (or “Trust God”). The
phrase “May the Force be with you,” of course, is clearly
evocative of “May God be with you.” The connection beween God and
the Force (or its light side) was strengthened in Episode
I
with the introduction of the concepts of “the living
Force” and even “the will of the Force.”

On the other hand, certain aspects of the way the Force is
presented make an application to God more remote and difficult.
In Episode IV, Ben Kenobi tells Luke that the Force
partially “controls your actions” but also “obeys your commands”
— neither of which literally applies to God’s interactions with
us. The phrase “Use the Force” as a metaphor for “Make a
leap of faith” or “Trust God” is less transparent than other
phrases Lucas might have used (e.g., “Trust the Force”; “Open
yourself to the Force”; etc.). Also, the series’ lone
explicit theistic reference — “Thank the Maker,” uttered
in the original film by C-3PO — has no connection
with the Force.

Of course one must remember that the Force (or the light side
of the Force) is only symbolic of God, not a direct
allegory>. Still, these clearly non-theistic elements make it
harder for viewers to make the connection between God and the
Force. The connection may still be obvious to scholars of
mythology and to literary critics, but not to the average
audience member.

Most unfortunately of all, the films do not establish the
light side as intrinsically stronger than (or different in origin
from) the dark side, so good and evil can come across as equal in
strength and origin. As a result, many people reasonably came
away from the first Star Wars trilogy regarding the force
as a New-Age mystical energy field balanced between good and
evil, comparable to the yin-yang balance of Taoism. (This
perception may be strengthened as a result of another development
from Episode I — a still-ambiguous prophecy about bringing
“balance to the Force” — though the fulfillment of this prophecy
seems to involve the triumph of good over evil.)

In any case, all these concepts are likely to whiz over the
heads of most children, who will most likely view “the Force” in
essentially the same way they would the fantasy magic in The Wizard of Oz and
similar stories. Still, some Christian parents may not wish their
children to watch a movie series that depicts a Force — whatever
its deep symbolic meaning — in such a non-Christian way on the
surface.

Those who do choose to let their children watch the series may
wish to nudge their children in the direction of a Christian
reading of the Force, perhaps asking questions like:

  • “When Luke ‘uses the Force,’ he’s trusting in a higher
    power that he can’t see. What is that like in real life?”
  • “Qui-Gon talks about following ‘the will of the living
    Force.’ Does that sound like the Force is only energy,
    or is it more like a Person? Whose will does it sound like
    Qui-Gon is talking about?”
  • “Who wins in the end, the good guys or the bad guys? What
    does that say about which side is stronger?”

Conclusion

Because of the problematic moral and
spiritual elements in the Star Wars films, some Christian
parents may not wish to let their children view them. However,
many of these elements are subtle and ambiguous enough that they
will not pose a problem for young viewers, and Christian parents
may reasonably allow their children to watch the films. In such
cases, parental guidance in understanding the films in a
Christian way will be needed when kids pick up on the problematic
elements.

For those who are adults and who are secure in their faith,
there is little in the films that would stop one from using
critical thinking to spot and bracket the problematic elements,
while enjoying the other aspects of George Lucas’s outer-space
fantasies.

All Things Star Wars , By Jimmy Akin


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Home Essays Essay–A Hater’s Perspective On Star Wars

Essay–A Hater’s Perspective On Star Wars

Posted on by Paul Cooley
Posted in Essays



11 Comments ↓

When I was a kid, the Star Wars universe was a watershed moment. We were in Canada when it came out and there was some 60 Minutes special on the movie when it was released. All I remember is seeing the X-Wings and Tie-fighters going at it. Dad asked me if I wanted to see the film. I asked what it was and he said “Cowboys in space.”

I distinctly remember that because it was the phrase that sort of typified my understanding of science-fiction at that age. We went to see Star Wars that very night. Did I enjoy it? Hell yes. Did it warp and change my childhood forever? Pretty much.

But see that’s the thing–it was childhood. My favorite character wasn’t the douchebag Luke Skywalker. It was Han Solo, the pretend anti-hero. He was sarcastic. He was funny. And he was a bad ass.

Darth Vader was terrifyingly evil. Luke was the best “hero” that ever existed. Obi-wan’s death made me damned near cry. And the wookie? Shit, Chewbacca was awesome.

I cheered when they destroyed the death star. I may even have shed a tear at the end of the film. I was only eight.

Then Empire came out. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the best Star Wars movie they’d ever make. Nothing else could top it. The wanton destruction. The constant peril. The hurt and pain those untouchable goody-too-shoes went through. It was ominous and it left me shaking with…reality.

Jedi? Started out great. Then those fucking puppets entered the scene. Yeah, I’m talking about the eewoks. They didn’t just ruin the film, they took away any sense of real peril. The only time I felt anything during that flick was when those damned things were being hunted down and destroyed by loads of imperial “can’t-shoot-for-shit” stormtroopers. The Vader scenes? Not really all that compelling. I was older. And it was pathetic.

Don’t get me wrong. I was a Star Wars nerd. I had the action figures. I had the tie-fighter, the x-wing, the falcon, the hoth playset, and all the other claptrap. I had the movie-tie-in picture books. I had everything I could possibly want.

In college? I even joined a group of RPG’ers for the Star Wars Universe RPG. I read the Timothy Zahn books (the first three). I still found something sort of redeeming in it all.

And then I grew the fuck up. I can’t stand the films. CAN’T FUCKING STAND THEM. And there are a long litany of reasons. So let’s get to ’em.

First off, Star Wars is a shitty premise. Period. We get a polar conflict. There’s only good and evil, no grey. There’s no sign of what the other side is really attempting to achieve other than the ridiculous concept of “power.” Sorry, guys, it’s not realistic. It bugs the shit out of me. It’s the almighty of light versus the almighty of dark.

There’s no chaotic neutral here. There’s no lawful evil. There’s just this ridiculous situation where folks on one side don’t like the folks on the other side very much. The first three films showed nothing of the political, really told the audience nothing about what all the fuss was about. So it was just this “they’re evil” with no real justification or explanation. Considering those douchebag white stormtroopers couldn’t hit a target even if it was as big as the death star doesn’t make it any better. It just makes it pathetic.

Who are these soldiers? What are their lives? Are they clones? Robots? Who the fuck knows? Doesn’t matter. Why? Because they didn’t matter. They were just cannon fodder. The kind of garbage where a King sits on one side of the battle, a rival King on the other, and they send their footmen into the maelstrom and simply tally the casualties. Whomever loses more loses the war.

The good guys don’t lose. They can’t. Otherwise “all is darkness.” So there’s no drama here. NONE. It’s the same reason I can’t stand LoTR (besides the shit writing and shit story-telling and the boring walking and songs that go on for 90% of the damn  books)–the conflict is meaningless.

The dreaded Empire has run things for decades. What have they accomplished? Don’t know. The “Rebels”? Little more than terrorists, right? I mean, they occasionally form in to a real organized force, but from what I remember from the movies, they’re little more than hit and run artists. They are insurgents. And for what and for why?

For me, it’s not drama. It’s ridiculous romantic claptrap dressed up with spaceships and aliens. And when it comes down to it, who gives a shit? Well, obviously, I don’t. And before you start calling me a hater, please, I have more hate to loose.

Sadly enough, Clone Wars and Revenge had the best possibility for REAL drama. The idea of a person driven to change sides in a war is very powerful. Someone sacrificing their ideals upon the altar of power for what they consider “the greater good” has the makings of a bad ass story. However, LUCAS RUINED IT.

The man does not know how to do real drama. At least not in this ‘verse. He can’t drag himself away from following Campbell’s every tick mark of “The Hero’s Journey.” He’s too busy following mythos to make it something realistic. It just completely falls apart. Instead of getting an honorable man who slowly loses himself in his private war, we get a jealous, selfish brat who can’t act his way out of a bag. When he turns? It’s like, okay, whatever.

So what’s the point? I mean, seriously, what was the goddamned point? It’s not an epic trilogy. My opinion is Empire is the only of the movies worth watching. And in many ways, it’s an unsatisfying ending. But I’d rather watch it again and again and forget I ever saw “Return” because the sequel I envisioned was so much better.

Certain folks are going to respond to this rant by pointing out all the bullshit that happens in the books, and yada yada yada. Don’t give a fuck. Zahn’s trilogy (the first one) was compelling in many ways, and I enjoyed them, but that doesn’t mean the material he had to work with was good. The characters still felt…2d.

Luke was never going to be anything but that farmboy who happened to inherit his father’s power. He was never going to be a real person. Solo? They wussied him. The real Solo not only shot Greedo first (fuck you Lucas for changing that), he would have smashed, trashed, and killed anyone that went after his friends. There’d be no parlay, there wouldn’t be thinking about it. The man was a pirate and loyal to his “crew.” That’s the way it should have been played.

Leia had the chance to be the shining light in the series. Falling from royalty to common terrorist should have been an immense change in character. It wasn’t. There wasn’t any fall at all. Whah, she could no longer get a pims cup in a pimp cup. Whah, she no longer had an army of servants. Whah.

Only she didn’t even whah! It was “Oh, right, today we’re killing stormtroopers instead of playing canasta.” There was no fucking shift in character. NONE.

It seemed to me that Lucas was so busy following the Campbellian/Jungian texts that he forgot characters have to CHANGE. These great conflicts and dangers are supposed to change them, enlighten them, cause their lives to transform. But that didn’t happen. Never did. Never will.

I hate myself for having awakened one day and realizing all of this. Life was so much better when I could look back with some kind of sentimentality for this world. But I can’t. I can’t even watch the films when they come on television. Every time I see fifty thousand laser blasts fired at one dude, and miss him every single fucking time, I want to reach into the screen, grab Lucas from his director’s chair, and beat him to death with an Eewok. It’s ludicrous and I can’t stand it.

The biggest problem with Star Wars? The crap it fostered. To this day, the bookshelves are filled with the same shit. It’s Star Wars rewritten. “The Force” is everywhere. It’s been almost 4 damned decades since the first movie came out and folks are still writing fan-fic for it.

To me, Star Wars is just as ridiculous as all the epic fantasy worlds I loathe. Some of the fans (I’m going to say some) seem more interested in the world than anything to do with the characters. Why? Because even they know, in their heart of hearts, that they’re 2-dimensional shells of unfulfilled conflicts and resolutions. They’re not people. They’re stick figures with guns and a few tropes from Jung and Campbell. I’d much rather watch a Sergio Leone Western or Akira Kurawsawa film to get those tropes. And those two directors created better worlds and characters than Lucas could ever hope to.

So, yeah, I’m old and bitter. Mainly because I woke up one day and realized it’s a farce. I can’t look on it with any sentimentality. I can’t be an apologist for it.

My stories? Less complex. Not epic. More centered, rather than all encompassing. I admit that. No problem. Those are the stories I like to read and watch, so those are the ones I write.

Lucas has made a mint of the franchise. He’s reached godlike status among the fandom. That’s cool. He deserves it. He came up with a world that was “unique” at the time and certainly pushed mountains to invent technology to make it happen. For that, he has my enduring respect. For what he did to the stories, he has my everlasting bitterness.

Disney is bringing out a new host of films. Perhaps they will be better. I strongly hope they will be better. But I doubt it. Knowing Disney, we’ll get cute droids, a host of eewoks, and a legion of wookies in the first scene. There won’t be any blood. There won’t be any loss. There won’t be anything that makes me worry for the characters or want them to achieve their goals. Instead, it will just be another sacharine, unrealistic, jumble of celluloid pinched together with Michael Bay style explosions.

I hope I’m wrong.

My rant is over. You may now troll the comments. You KNOW you want to.

‹ Essay–Cutting and Culling
Essay–Piracy Is Not My Enemy ›

11 comments on “Essay–A Hater’s Perspective On Star Wars
  1. Peter Bryant says:
    March 26, 2014 at 19:59

    Hear, hear! Star Wars is tripe. I still enjoy Episode 4 and 5 parts of 6 but ONLY because of nostalgic reasons. I know they are suck ass movies and I k ow if I was seeing them for the first time now, I would hate them.

    Reply

  2. Linton says:
    March 26, 2014 at 20:03

    So I was all ready to troll you, but you’re right so I guess not. What I do, is lump movies into a different category from books. I don’t expect them to be as well developed and thought out as books. For the most part when I watch a movie I turn off my brain and lower my expectations. Only SyFy movies seem to fall below what I expect to see. As much as it saddens me to say this, but you expect waaaaaay too much out of Hollywood.

    Reply

  3. Brett says:
    March 26, 2014 at 22:00

    SCREW YOU!!! The first two I think work. There’s a gee whiz charm to that first one, and then a nice evil second act that promises more depth. Where did they screw the pooch? Probably JEDI, and the decisions to water it down. Originally the Ewoks were to be Wookies, and David Lynch was going to direct. Had all of that happened and they kept the idea of REVENGE OF THE JEDI I think there may have been some redemption. But they wussed out because a studio was too afraid to make it dark, and they were selling too many toys to plunge into the heart of darkness. And maybe Lucas can’t get there (although THX 1138 and AMERICAN GRAFFITI beg to differ). But I say the first two chapters of the movies still work in my book.

    The new trilogy? YUCK! Although my mother claims had I been in my late 30s when the originals came out I would have had the same reaction…

    Maybe STAR WARS was always meant just to be COWBOYS IN SPACE. And that’s why Han Solo worked so well…

    Reply

  4. wobin says:
    February 17, 2015 at 19:56

    I watched all the starwars films for the first time today. I didnot like it, I could not understand why people like it so much. Thank you for writing this

    Reply

  5. Gene Gillespie says:
    September 11, 2015 at 08:26

    So star wars sucks like most people think and the fast and furious movies are good. For the love of god I hate people no a days.

    Reply

  6. Timmi says:
    December 1, 2015 at 13:55

    Well, you know what they say, if 30 million people loved it then it can’t be that good. It’s art, we take it or leave it. I liked this essay.

    Reply

    • Paul Cooley says:
      December 2, 2015 at 10:05

      It is what it is. People either like what they like, or they don’t. But as always, nostalgia is a dangerous place and going back and watching old films and reading books I loved as a kid often makes me hate them as an adult. Probably just my problem.

      Reply

  7. RAD says:
    December 4, 2015 at 16:14

    I think the characters will have changed with the Force Awakens.

    Reply

    • Paul Cooley says:
      December 4, 2015 at 21:25

      I hope so. I trust JJ Abrams to do a good job and he’s not usually one to let crap dialogue and acting fly. So we’ll see.

      Reply

  8. Tanya Newnum says:
    January 5, 2017 at 12:13

    How funny!

    I was doing some interneting on Star Wars to find assignments for a student I am tutoring, and this was on the first page!

    HA!

    Reply

    • Paul Cooley says:
      January 5, 2017 at 15:03

      Snicker.

      Reply

1 Pings/Trackbacks for “Essay–A Hater’s Perspective On Star Wars”
  1. JJ Abrams opens the box of my childhood | Woman. Legend. Blog. says:
    December 28, 2015 at 20:55

    […] that “kids can take their parents to.”  Multiple reviews allude to it as “corny.” I mean, just look at this original poster. […]

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